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Abhinavagupta's Maṅgala verse No. 2 (video talk)
from Parātrīśikā Vivaraṇa & Tantrāloka 13 103-107

by Boris Marjanovic May, 2016


@ Hang Wong

Editor’s Note:

Boris Bhāskara Marjanovic, the eminent Kashmiri Shaiva scholar, shines a light on the verses from Abhnavagupta's Tantrāloka and Parātrīśikā Vivaraṇa.

This video is a part of the series of videos that I'm working on in cooperation with Swami Khecaranatha of Rurda Mandir to bring to light the debt of the meaning contained in the scriptures of non-dual Shaivism of Kashmir. This is the product of my many years of study of the Shaiva scriptures (śāstra) and in particular of the Tantrāloka, the study of which I have dedicated considerable time.

These esoteric texts don't easily reveal their secrets, especially not the practices that are carefully woven into the texts, and therefore could easily be overlooked as such by a causal reader.
I've decided to make videos rather than write a book because in my experience it is much easier to learn a śāstra when it is transmitted orally. I'm sure many people have had the experience of getting excited about studying a given Sanskrit text, buying a book and then giving up effort after few days. Some of the reasons for this are the technical language and style in which śāstras are written and often the lack of the knowledge of even the basics of the Sanskrit language on the part of a reader. Ancient writers, such as Abhinavagupta, assumed that their readers have required background for the understanding of the śāstric texts. But when a text is transmitted orally, a teacher has the opportunity to go into details, point out and explain things that are implied , give examples, etc. All of these make a text much easier to understand and internalize.

In this particular video, I explain and comment on the several verses written by Abhinavagupta, mainly second maṅgala verse in the Parātrīśikā Vivaraṇa, and also verses TĀ 13: Although these verses appear in the different texts, but when joined together, they appear to describe five-fold acts of creation, maintenance, dissolution, concealment and grace.

First, I present the meaning of important words, but deal extensively with the number of technical terms, as without their proper understanding, grasping either the meaning of each verse or the meaning that they jointly convey is impossible. Some of these terms are, self-consciousness (svātmasaṁvitti), agitation (kṣobha), vibration (spanda) manifestation (ābhāsa), impurity (mala), concealment (tirobhāva) and grace (anugraha). As Abhinavagupta interacts with other schools of thought, such as Sāṁkhya, Advaita Vedanta, Nyāya, it was also necessary to present their understanding of some of these terms, especially self-consciousness, agitation, vibration and manifestation.

Abhinavagupta's Mangala verse # 2 from Parātrīśikā Vivaraṇa & Tantrāloka 13 103-107 Part One

Abhinavagupta's Mangala verse # 2 from Parātrīśikā Vivaraṇa & Tantrāloka 13 103-107 Part Two

Boris Marjanovic, Ph.D.

by Boris Marjanovic, Ph.D.

May, 2016

About Boris Marjanovic, Ph.D.

Boris Marjanovic is a Sanskrit and Indian Philosophy scholar, with particular interest in Philosophy of Nondual Shaivism of Kashmir. He lived and studied in India under the traditional system of instruction for 14 years. During that time, he read and received oral commentarial transmissions from Professor Shri Narayana Mishra, BHU, and Pandit Hemendra Nath Chakravarti on a wide range of Sanskrit philosophical texts.

He has published many papers, articles and books, most notably Stavacintāmaṇi by Nārāyaṇa Bhaṭṭa with the Commentary of Kṣemarāja, (Indica Books, Varanasi, India) and Abhinavagupta’s Commentary on the Bhagavad-gītā (Indica Books, Varanasi, India and Rudra Press USA).

Boris teaches courses on Kashmir Shaiva Philosophy and Practice, as well as courses on Sanskrit in the US, Europe and South Korea.

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