Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Abhinavagupta's Critique of the Kalachakra (c.990 AD)

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…."the Kalachakra and its related commentaries (sometimes referred to as the Bodhisattvas Corpus) appeared in India in 966 AD ....there is a critique of the Kalachakra by the great Kashmiri Abhinavagupta, who wrote his text Tantraloka before he died in 1025.

"Abhinavagupta a distinguished philosopher, aesthete and saint was one of the most outstanding Acharyas of the Monistic Shaivism. His exact date of birth is not known but we learn from references about him in his works Tantraloka and Paratrimshika Vivarana that he lived in Kashmir about the end of the tenth and beginning of the eleventh century A.D."...http://shaivism.net/abhinavagupta/4.html

"At least one place where the Kalachakra teachings would have been available by 1027 would have been Kashmir. At the end of the tenth and beginning of the eleventh centuries CE, Kashmir was a center for both Buddhist and Hindu Shaivite tantra. Evidence that the Kalachakra teachings were present there at this time comes from the appearance of a Hindu critique of the Buddhist Kalachakra meditation system in Illuminating the Tantras (Skt. Tantraloka), a Kashmiri Shaivite tantra text written by Abhinavagupta some time between 990 and 1014 CE."….http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/study/islam/kalachakra_islam/kalachakra_presentation_prophets_in/kc_pres_prophets_islam_abridged.html

"…The only available translation of Abhinavagupta's Sri Tantraloka - so far - is the as yet two volume series translated by Gautam Chatterjee and published by Indian Mind, Varanasi. Hopefully the rest of the text will follow. However, even the translator admits that he finds Abhinavagupta's Sanskrit difficult. Still it is available from sellers in India"….http://www.amazon.com/Tantraloka-Abhinava-commentary-Rajanaka-Jayaratha/dp/1177026864

Abhinavagupta (Kashmiri: अभिनवगुप्त) (Urdu: ابھینوگپتا ‎) (c. 950 – 1020 AD ) was considered an important musician, poet, dramatist, exegete, theologian, and logician - a polymathic personality who exercised strong influences on Indian culture......He was born in the Valley of Kashmir in a family of scholars and mystics and studied all the schools of philosophy and art of his time under the guidance of as many as fifteen (or more) teachers and gurus. In his long life he completed over 35 works, the largest and most famous of which is Tantrāloka, an encyclopedic treatise on all the philosophical and practical aspects of Trika and Kaula (known today as Kashmir Shaivism). ...Tantrāloka is the masterwork of Abhinavagupta, who was in turn the most revered Kashmir Shaivism master. On account of its size and scope it is a veritable encyclopedia of nondual Shaivism, a treasure text containing the synthesis of the 64 monistic āgamas and all the schools of Kashmir Shaivism. The work contains both ritualistic and philosophic aspects, spanning over 37 chapters. Chapter 29 is entirely dedicated to the so-called kula-chakra - a tantric practice which includes ritualized sexual activity. Abhinavagupta also wrote a condensed version of Tantrāloka named Tantrasāra. The whole work has been translated into Italian by Raniero Gnoli.....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tantraloka

"Kalachakra teachings were available by 1027 in Kashmir. At the end of the tenth and beginning of the eleventh centuries CE, Kashmir was a center for both Buddhist and Hindu Shaivite tantra. Evidence that the Kalachakra teachings were present there at this time comes from the appearance of a Hindu critique of the Buddhist Kalachakra meditation system in the sixteenth chapter of the Kashmiri Shaivite tantra text Illuminating the Tantras (Skt. Tantraloka), written by the Kashmiri pandit Abhinavagupta. According to some scholars, Abhinavagupta wrote his text between 990 and 1014 CE and died in 1025....During the latter part of the tenth and the beginning of the eleventh centuries CE, communication was quite common between the Buddhists of Oddiyana, Bactria, and Kashmir."…http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/e-books/unpublished_manuscripts/historical_interaction/pt3/history_cultures_15.html

"There are currently two main traditions of Kālachakra, the Ra lineage (Tib. Rva-lugs) and the Dro lineage (Tib.'Bro-lugs). Although there were many translations of the Kālachakra texts from Sanskrit into Tibetan, the Ra and Dro translations are considered to be the most reliable….The two lineages offer slightly differing accounts of how the Kālachakra teachings returned to India from Shambhala……In both traditions, the Kālachakra and its related commentaries (sometimes referred to as the Bodhisattvas Corpus) were returned to India in 966 CE by an Indian pandit. In the Ra tradition this figure is known as Chilupa, and in the Dro tradition as Kālachakrapada the Greater. Scholars such as Helmut Hoffman have suggested they are the same person. The first masters of the tradition disguised themselves with pseudonyms, so the Indian oral traditions recorded by the Tibetans contain a mass of contradictions….The Kālachakra tradition, along with all Vajrayana Buddhism, vanished from India in the wake of the Muslim invasions, surviving only in Nepal.."…..http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalachakra#Original_Teaching_in_India_and_Later_Teachings_in_Kingdom_of_Shambhala

"The Dro lineage was established in Tibet by a Kashmiri disciple of Nalandapa named Pandita Somanatha, who traveled to Tibet in 1027 (or 1064CE, depending on the calendar used), and his translator Droton Sherab Drak Lotsawa, from which it takes its name. The Ra lineage was brought to Tibet by another Kashmiri disciple of Nadapada named Samantashri, and translated by Ra Choerab Lotsawa (or Ra Dorje Drakpa)."…..http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalachakra#Original_Teaching_in_India_and_Later_Teachings_in_Kingdom_of_Shambhala

Kashmir Shaivism...Abhinavagupta was one of the most outstanding Acharyas of the Monistic Shaivism. His exact date of birth is not known but we learn from references about him in his works Tantraloka and Paratrimshika Vivarana that he lived in Kashmir about the end of the tenth and beginning of the eleventh century A.D. The earliest known ancestor of Abhinavagupta was a famous Brahmin Attrigupta a great Shaiva teacher and scholar of Kanauj, who had been invited to settle in Kashmir by King Lalitaditya.Traditionally believed to have been a Yoginibhu (born of a Yogini), he mastered subjects like metaphysics, poetry and aesthetics at a very young age He possessed all the eight Yogic powers explained in Shastras. His biographers observed six great spiritual signs as explained in ‘Malinivijayotara Shastra’, in him. Kashmir Shaivism is classified by Abhinavagupta in four systems viz. Krama system, Spanda system, Kula system and Pratyabijnya system. ‘Krama’ deals with space and time, ‘Spanda’, with the movement, ‘Kula’ with the Science of Totality and ‘Pratyabijnya’ with the school of Recognition. .....http://shaivism.net/abhinavagupta/4.html

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Email....okarresearch@gmail.com

John Hopkins.....Northern New Mexico….November 2013

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3 comments:

  1. Hi John, thanks for this information. Could you say something about the contents of Abhinavagupta's Critique of the Kalachakra?

    Joy

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    Replies
    1. Hello Joy....sounds extremely interesting to me also...however I have not been able to find any reference to an English translation....let me know if you find anything helpful....John in New Mexico

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