The Krama Tantricism of Kashmir
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Excerpts from reviews: " This volume is the first full-length study of the Krama system. . . . . it is welcome as a pioneer work on this important line of philosophical thought and spiritual discipline." The Advent Vol. 38-2 April 1981 Arabinda Basu
" His doctorate research in an unexplored area of Kashmir Shaivism i.e. the Krama system will be a significant contribution to the history of Indian thought." Director, Radha Kamal Mukerjee J.K. Institute of Sociology & Human Relations ". . . .Rastogi has managed to reach satisfactory conclusions, displaying an uncommon knowledge of the extant literature, both published and in manuscript. The questions affronted by Rastogi are innumerable and complex, and the material he presents is extremely vast " East and West Vol. 1983 (Nos. 1-4) Dec'83 Raffaele Torella
" The chief merit of the book lies in its profuse and precise documentation in support of conclusions The exposition too is as scholarly and meticulous as demanded by modern research. . . ." Humanities Vol. XXIV & XXV, 1980-81 Prof. K. Krishnamoorthy
". . . .Your book will remain a solid contribution to Kashmir Saivism... ." Professor of Sanskrit & Dea Faculty of Arts, University " . . . . . . We welcome this is fresh light on an unexplored The Adyar Library Bulletin,
MOTILAL BANARSIDASS PUBLISHERS PRIVATE LIMITED
The Krama Tantricism of Kashmir is intended as a ground work of the Krama system, an almost neglected area of Kashmir Saivism. The author has very ably reconstructed the history and metaphysics of the system after rummaging through relevant literature, both in print and manuscript form. The Krama philosophy is a synthetic and complex whole where the different strands of Saiva Philosophy, Sakta esotericism and the Tantric synoptic view are seen. In this first of the two volumes, the author has given a general and historical survey in seven chapters - Krama as a distinct system, the nomenclature, as a Tantric system, mutual exchange from allied systems, . different traditions and sub-schools, sources and literature and Krama's place in Kashmir Saivism. Contains chronological table of Krama authors, classified Bibliography and indexes.
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Navjivan Rastogi obtained his Ph.D. in Sanskrit from the University of Lucknow. Since 1968 he has been on the teaching staff of Abhinavagupta Institute of Aesthetics and Saiva Philosophy in the same University. In 1987 he migrated to the parent Department of Sanskrit as Reader. Rastogi's specialized field of study is Kashmir Saivism. He is the co-editor of the Volume of Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies, devoted to that philosophical school. An author of several scholarly papers, his published works include the Tantraloka of Abhinavagupta (8 Volumes, co-edited with late Prof. R.C. Dwivedi) and Introduction to the Tantraloka: A Study in Structure.
The Krama Tantricism of KashmirHistorical and General Sources
NAVJIVAN RASTOGI, P H . D .Abhinavagupta Institute of Aesthetics & Saiva Philosophy, Lucknow University
MOTILAL BANARSIDASS PUBLISHERS PRIVATE LIMITED DELHI
First Edition: Delhi, 1979 Reprint: Delhi, 1996
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To My TeacherD R . K.C. PANDEY
BLESSING Each doctrine has its own philosophy and technique to attain the highest truth. All philosophies aim at the same goal - realisation of the Absolute. A seeker is concerned with the attainment of the truth. He may follow any technique but the important thing is that he reaches the state of equality where he sees and experiences the Oneness of everything in the world. I hope the way shown in Krama Tantricism of Kashmir will help seekers to realise that goal.SWAMI MUKTANANDA
PREFACE Perhaps the author owes an apology for publishing a work on the K r a m a system which has not been, unfortunately, noticed by any traditional author of the available compendia like the Sarva-darsana-samgraha etc. It is rather equally curious to see the modern studies on the I n d i a n philosophy in general and Tantricisrn in particular t u r n totally apathetic to such a system of philosophy barring a few honourable exceptions. T h e latter include the second edition of Dr. K . C . Pandey's study on Abhinavagupta incorporating a chapter on the K r a m a system a n d discussing the same in b r o a d outlines. In addition, one has one or two paragraphs from M . M . Dr. Gopinath Kaviraj on the same briefly dwelling upon some or its major aspects. (Vide his Preface to the Second edition, Tripura Rahasya, Jnana Khanda, p. iii., Tantrika Vanmaya me Sakta Drsti, Prastavana, p. 4.) It augurs well that the studies on the Kashmir Saivism as well as on Tantricisrn have come to gain - slightly greater m o m entum since Woodroffe first undertook to enter the forbidden land. Yet it is unfortunate that dearth of analytical thinking coupled with detailed exploratory investigations into specific fields remains a constant handicap of a modern student. T h e net result is that a great deal of the Saiva, Sakta a n d T a n t r i c wisdom is now lost to us a n d m a n y of their important theses now look completely strange. M . M . D r . G.N. Kaviraj in his recently published work Tantrika Vanmaya me Sakta Drsti, (Prastavana, p. 4) gives an eloquent expression to it :
In this context due stress may be laid on the fact that the concepts of K r a m a , Paduka, Bhasa and K a l a n a exclusively belong to the K r a m a system.
While writing a dissertation on the Stotras of Abhinavagupta for his M . A . examination the author was particularly attracted by the Kramastotra of Abhinava. This marks the first point of his interest in the system. T h e paucity of material for the study of the Stotra and the difficulty in interpreting the same inspired the author to undertake a comprehensive study of the same for his doctoral dissertation. T h e interest and fear both grew with each passing day when the author was able to grasp the enormity of the task taken up by him. Now this study is submitted for what it is worth to the discerning judgement of the reader. T h e K r a m a system has triple significance. First, it is a Tantric system. Second, it is a monistic Saiva system. Third, it marks the emergence of the Sakta tendency in the Saiva philosophy. It has, therefore, developed into a synthetic and complex whole in which the Saiva philosophy, the Sakta esotericism and the T a n t r i c synoptic view of life are inter-knitted together. It has been a difficult test for the author to appreciate their distinct implications and yet retain their synthesis. T h e K r a m a system is therefore not only a system of pure philosophy revelling in epistemic and ontological issues but also an esoteric discipline of spirituality constituting an important ingredient of wider T a n t r i c culture. The reader is earnestly urged to bear this aspect in mind while going through the pages of this work. T h e complex character of the K r a m a system has considerably influenced and defined the basic plan of this work. It has been divided into two parts, the first giving out a general and historical survey and the second the analytical exposition of the K r a m a philosophy. T h e second part does not deal with the ontology, epistemology, mysticism a n d esotericism of the K r a m a system under separate sections, because such a watertight division was neither possible nor worth-while in the very nature of the K r a m a system. T h e chapters, therefore, follow the traditional scheme of the Nine Prameyas (i.e., objects of discussion) a n d Cakras (forms of cyclic consciousness). Because by adopting this method alone justice could be done to the complex character of the K r a m a system. Special care has
been taken to highlight the real philosophical and epistemic nature of apparently esoteric issues in the relevant contexts. Owing to an earnest desire to make the work as thorough and authentic as possible the author has added five indices (together with a Corrigendum incorporating major corrections) to the Volume O n e including a classified Bibliography which because of its comprehensive and up-to-date coverage may be found of special interest. T h e other index titled "Chronological tree of the K r a m a a u t h o r s " offers a brief tabular account of the historical evolution of the system through the ages. T h e Volume Two carries with it an appendix incorporating a few of the unpublished small but important texts having direct bearing on the system. In this volume the author has further appended tables or tabular charts wherever necessary in order to afford a synoptic peep into the complex and varied contents covered in a particular chapter. It is, however, imperative to keep in mind that the two volumes together form an integral whole and need be perused as such. T h e capacity of the author has several limitations. First of all, the lack of tradition is to be extremely regretted because the precise tantric spirit has lain under the cloud of mystic jargon. Second, the system has failed to catch the notice of the modern student of Kas