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Cutting across distinctions of schools and types, the author explains the central feature of Kashmir Shaivism: the creative pulse of the all pervasive Consciousness called SAiva. This is also the central theme of the Hindu Tantras, and Dyczkowski provides new insight into the most literate and extensive interpretations of the Tantras.
"This is a serious, scholarly and personally committed approach to a highly significant topic. It makes accessible materials which are not widely known and not readily available." -- Wilhelm Halbfass, University of Pennsylvania
"There is no other complete study of the Spanda, which is central to the SAaiva thought as it was developed in Kashmir. The treatment of the subject is sound, scholarly, exhaustive and penetrating." -- Andre Padoux, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris
"This delves into a relatively unexplored area of Kashmir Shaivism, i.e., Spanda, and offers a comprehensive first-hand treatment. The author brings forth new information and fresh insights." -- Navjivan Rastogi Abhinavagupta Institute of Aesthetics and SAaiva Philosophy University of Lucknow, India
This book is significant from four points of view. First, it breaks new ground in Indian philosophy. According to the Spanda Doctrine, the self is not simply witnessing consciousness as maintained by Sankya and Vedanta, but is an active force. Second, the ultimate reality is not simply a logical system of abstract categories, but is living, pulsating energy, the source of all manifestation. Third, the work elaborates the dynamic aspect of consciousness. It supplies an excellent introduction to the texts and scriptures of Kashmir Shaivism. Fourth, it suggests a Yoga for the realization of self.
Mark S. G. Dyczkowski took his first degree at Banaras Hindu University and then took his doctorate at Oxford University. He is presently associated with Sampurnananda Sanskrit University in Varanasi.
Table of Contents
The Land of Kashmir
The Śaivism of the Kashmir and Kashmiri Śaivism
Abhinavagupta and the Flowering of Trika Śaivism
Tantra, Kashmiri Śaivism and Kashmiri Society in the Eleventh Century
The Philosophy of Recognition and the Doctrine of Vibration
Notes on Methodology and Synopsis of Contents
1. The Integral Monism of Kashmiri Śaivism
Kashmiri Śaiva Realism
2. Light and Awareness: The Two Aspects of Consciousness
Prakāśa: the Light of Consciousness
Self-Awareness and Consciousness
Awareness and the Integral Nature of the Absolute
3. Spanda: The Universal Activity of Absolute Consciousness
Three Moments in the Vibration of Consciousness
The Conative Power of Consciousness
The Cognitive Power of Consciousness
The Power of Action
4. Śiva and Śakti
The Nature of Śakti
5. Śakti Cakra: The Wheel of Energies
The Wheel of Vāmeśvarī
The Wheel of the Senses
6. The Divine Body and the Sacred Circle of the Senses