Tantric Argument: The Transfiguration of Philosophical Discourse in the Pratyabhijna System of Utpaladeva and Abhinavagupta
by Lawrence, David
The Enlightenment dichotomy between the detached, universally intelligible and cogent discourse of science and philosophy on the one hand and the devout, reasonless, emotional or mystical discourse of religion on the other has greatly influenced Western understandings of Indian and
other non-Western philosophies. Wilhelm Halbfass has observed that Indian philosophy was excluded until recently from most Western histories of philosophy because of its religious nature (i.e.,its common purpose of facilitating the pursuit of salvation)as well as its situation outside the
This criterion has operated equally in the exclusion from serious consideration of other non-Western philosophies. Though for some time abjured by most scholars of non-Western philosophies, the religion-philosophy dichotomy has continued to have an insidious influence in a polarization between religious-historicist and philosophical research methodologies. The historicist approach
ostensibly overcomes the dichotomy by interpreting in terms of holistic cultural contexts, usually reducing philosophy to the broadly religious categories of world view and ritual-ethical practice. This unification is achieved, however, at the expense of the rationalist project of philosophy--philosophy reduced to religion as myth or ritual is no longer seen as "philosophy." On the other hand, a lot of the best
philosophical work on non-Western philosophies has tended to abstract discussions of problems of language, epistemology, and ontology from their functions within religious systems in comparing them to analogous discussions in the West.
I believe that the modern philosophy-religion dichotomy may be better overcome by a historically sensitive revision of the project of philosophical rationalism than by a relativist or postmodern destruction of philosophy. Looking back, before the prejudices of the Enlightenment, a more
synergistic conception of the relation of philosophical rationality to religion is found in our own paradigmatic Greek philosophies. As Pierre Hadot has shown, most of these were conceived as systems of "spiritual exercises," in that they aimed at the conversion (epistropheand metanoia) of the
student to a redemptive understanding of self and universe. Throughout the long history of Christian philosophy and natural theology, there have been attempts to use reason to determine religious truths independently of the assumptions of the Christian revelation, as an instrument of religious conversion, or under rubrics such as "faith seeking understanding." In the still-developing pluralism of the contemporary
academy, there has been a steady increase of efforts to create dialogue between Western and non-Western, between religious and nonreligious philosophies--frankly attempting the mediation of religious claims.
This essay will examine the strong synergism between a "hard-headed" concern with philosophical justification and intelligibility on the one hand and soteriology on the other, in the Pratyabhijna works of the tenth- and eleventh-century Kashmiri thinkers Utpaladeva and Abhinavagupta. Building
on the initiative of Utpala's teacher Somananda, these two thinkers created a new, philosophical instrument of conversion for the Trika tradition of monistic Saivism, to which I have given the name "tantric argument." Though the method of this essay is exegetical, I hope it can
contribute to constructive philosophical as well as historical understandings of the relation of philosophy and religion. I will first present the originating project of the Pratyabhijna system as the thinkers' effort to lead all humanity to salvation. Then I
will explain some key features of the Pratyabhijna methodology. Concerned to achieve greater intelligibility for their tradition in order to accomplish their redemptive program, the Saivas appropriate some of the most widely accepted justificatory procedures of the medieval Sanskrit philosophical
academy. At the same time, however, they resituate their philosophical discourse within the traditional Saiva worldview and homologize it to tantric praxis. Finally, I will sample some of the actual philosophical arguments implementing this method, in which the Saivas refute their Buddhist opponents and demonstrate their central theory of the Lord's self-recognition.
The creation of the Pratyabhijna system is said to ensue from the experience of salvation in the Trika tradition by Utpaladeva. Its explicit purpose is to lead all humanity to the same soteriological realization. Utpaladeva explains in the first verse of the corpus:
Having somehow been caused to obtain servitude [dasya] to the Great Lord and desiring the benefit [upakara] of humanity, I am establishing the recognition [[[pratyabhijna]]] of Him, which is the cause of obtaining all prosperity.
Servitude (dasya)is a widespread Saiva term for a state of high spiritual realization. Abhinavagupta interprets this word as indicating Utpaladeva's realization of identity (tanmayata) with the Supreme Lord. He explains this realization in a characteristically tantric manner as comprising the attainment of the Lord's Self-enjoyment (svatmopabhoga) , and the freedom (svatantrya) to obtain whatever is desired.
 The recognition (pratyabhijna)that Utpaladeva wishes to convey is the very same realization of identity with Siva, which might be expressed "Indeed I am that very Lord." This again includes the Lord's omnipotence and bliss. Its designation as recognition articulates the Saivas' actual philosophical theory, which will be taken up later.
The word "humanity" (jana)addresses the sastraic question of eligibility for studying the system. Abhinavagupta interprets the term as indicating "those who are afflicted by incessant birth and death" and who "as objects of compassion, should be helped." He explains that Utpaladeva's general reference means that there is no restriction regarding those who are eligible, not even of caste. It is unlikely that Utpaladeva and Abhinavagupta
really believed that all humanity would read these texts composed in the elite language of Sanskrit. Nevertheless, I believe that we should extend the hermeneutic charity of taking the Saivas seriously as intending their work to be of benefit to people outside their tradition. This intention is crucial to the discursive methodology that they develop.
Because the Pratyabhijna sastra attempts to bring about salvation, it is in numerous places described as a spiritual means or path (upaya,marga, patha). Abhinava describes the Pratyabhijna as a specifically Trika method, as "a means for the goal of the Person who is the Witness, who is none
other than Anuttara." Anuttara, 'not having a superior', is one of the important Trika designations for Ultimate Reality. Utpaladeva refers to the means taught by Somananda and himself as a "new, easy path." Abhinava's explanation of the path's novelty is interesting. He states that "[the
word] "new" signifies that it is contained in all the sacred texts but not well known because of concealment." Abhinava is here giving the common hermeneutic device of grounding innovation in the implicit or potential significance of a tradition a distinctively tantric character of secrecy. In various places the Pratyabhijna is described specifically as a means working through knowledge (jnanopaya).
The Pratyabhijna thinkers' understanding of the manner in which this means works is remarkably complex. They appropriate procedures of philosophical justification from outside their tradition while at the same time reinterpreting them with their own symbolic and practical resources.
In this section I will first present theological and meta-physical considerations adduced by them that in the highest perspective controvert the possibility of any methodology regarding the Supreme Lord. Then I will turn to the Saivas' appropriation of the classic justificatory methods of Nyaya. I will show how, at the same time they utilize these methods of detached rational discourse, they homologize them with procedures of tantric praxis.
Negations of Methodology. The Saiva formulations of procedure are immediately interrupted by reflections upon what I would describe--with our own terminology--as a fundamental religious problematic. I would describe this problematic most broadly as the possibility or utility of any finite
human behavior, whether linguistic, aesthetic, theological, devotional, ritual, and so on, for expressing, affecting, or attaining a religious Ultimate Reality. For the Pratyabhijna this human-Ultimate "structural" issue has two aspects--coming from its nature as both a theistic and a fully monistic system.
First, Siva is the omnipotent deity, responsible for everything that occurs. How can a limited human being bring about identification with Him? Abhinavagupta discusses the familiar questions of divine will, grace, and finite human action in several of his works. He acknowledges
that one may consider the most favorable conditions for, or actions of, an aspirant for salvation. At the same time, he states emphatically that in the ultimate perspective salvation is entirely accomplished by the divine will. The favorable conditions do not in any way cause the grace of Siva.
Abhinava makes the same argument at various places in the Pratyabhijna texts, although not at length. Thus he takes this issue up when explaining the use of the causative in the gerund "having been caused to attain" (asadya)in Utpaladeva's introductory verse quoted above. Abhinava explains that the
Lord does everything. His grace is therefore unattainable even by means of hundreds of wishes. It is because of the obfuscation of its real nature that actual causation by the Lord appears as ordinary observed causal relationships, such as the relation between means and goal (upayopeyabhava),
accomplisher and accomplished (nispadyanispadakabhava), and that which makes known and that which is made known (jnapyajnapakabhava).According to Abhinava, the unconditioned nature of the Lord's grace is indicated by the adverb "somehow" (kathamcit) modifying "having been caused to attain."
It is to the second aspect of the human-Ultimate structural tension that the Pratyabhijna thinkers devote most of their reflection. At the same time that the Ultimate Reality is understood in "super-" personal terms as the deity Siva, rather than as an impersonal principle, it is understood to
contain all reality in a pure unity. If the Ultimate Reality is nondual, the structure and cognitive presumptiveness of its realization must be fundamentally different from ordinary experience, which comprises dichotomies between subject and
The Saivas develop the Advaita Vedantin concept of self-luminosity (svaprakasatva)to explain how Siva always already has a nondual realization of Himself. Putting their convoluted discussions of this concept in a more linear fashion, the thinkers deny that (1)any cognizer (pramatr)(2) by any means (pramana)could have (3)any cognition (prama, pramiti)or proof (siddhi)--ofwhich the object (prameya)is the Supreme Lord. Like
Advaita, they explain the operation of the sastra negatively as only removing the ignorance of this self-luminosity. The following explanation by Abhinavagupta brings together this point with the other negation of methodology in terms of divine omnipotence; it is the Lord who both creates and removes His self-concealment:
Nothing new is accomplished. Nor is what is really not shining [aprakasamana] illuminated [prakasyate]. [Rather] the supposition [abhimanana] that what is shining is not shining is removed. For liberation, which is the attainment of the state of the Supreme Lord, is nothing but the removal of that [false supposition]. The cycle of suffering in rebirth [[[samsara]]] is nothing but the nonremoval of that. Both of
these [[[conditions]] of liberation and rebirth] are in essence only supposition. And both are manifested by the Blessed One. The Pratyabhijna thinkers' denials of the efficacy of human thought and action, like other such qualifications in the world's religions, do not
prevent them from engaging in elaborate positive discussions of methodology. These negative formulations may accordingly be taken as "dialectically complicating" their more positive descriptions. What is important for us is that in delimiting their new philosophical procedures from the point of view of Ultimate Reality, the thinkers are from the start carefully preserving their intratraditional integrity.
Positive Formulations of Methodology: (a)The Pursuit of Universal Intelligibility: The Methodological Standards of Nyaya. It is the Pratyabhijna thinkers' goal of sharing the Trika spiritual vision with all humanity that motivates their development of a philosophical method. For, in order that those outside their tradition may accept it, its validity must be intelligible to them. The Saiva effort in this respect has its parallel in the
more rationalistic strain of Western philosophical theology and philosophy of religion. The Catholic theologian David Tracy has analyzed the discourse of philosophical theology, which he calls fundamental theology, in a manner addressing problems of cross-cultural/interreligious interpretation and rationality. Philosophical theology is primarily addressed to, follows
the standards, and addresses the substantive concerns of the academy. Thus, although it may argue on behalf of a particular religious tradition, it is methodologically detached from the religious and ethical commitments and presumptions regarding truth of other forms of theology (systematicand practical):
In terms of modes of argument, fundamental theologies will be concerned principally to provide arguments that all reasonable persons, whether "religiously involved" or not, can recognize as reasonable. It assumes, therefore, the most usual meaning of public discourse: that
discourse available (inprinciple) to all persons and explicated by appeals to one's experience, intelligence, rationality and responsibility, and formulated in arguments where claims are stated with appropriate warrants, backings and rebuttal procedures.
We may say that in the broad sastraic "academy," there also developed a "philosophy division," analogous to those in the West and other cultures. In this sphere, the diverse schools of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism have attempted to argue for their positions not simply by citing scriptural
authority but by using reasoning (yukti,tarka, etc.). Each school maintained its own "intratraditional" point of view about what it was doing, whether it was apologetics to convert, means to allay the doubts of their own followers, or spiritual exercise.
Though differences always remained, there emerged a number of convergences about methods and experiential and rational criteria for philosophical justification spanning the various Indian schools. The most widely accepted argumentative standards in India were those developed by
the Nyaya-Vaisesika tradition. Gautama summarized these standards in sixteen categories pertaining to philosophical discussion at Nyaya Sutra 1.1, and these were elaborated with ever greater sophistication in later commentaries.
Though in the truest perspective the Pratyabhijna system does not do anything, when it comes to positive discussions of philosophical methodology, Abhinavagupta asserts that it adheres to the standards of Nyaya: "There is the correctness only of the method of the Naiyayikas in the condition of Maya." He explains the very power of the system to convince others on the basis of its addressing the Nyaya categories:
The ultimate purpose in that [[[sastra]]] is nothing but [explanation in terms of] the sixteen categories, such as the means of cognition [[[pramana]]], and so on.... When the sixteen categories are articulated [nirupyamanesu], another is made to understand completely that which is to be understood.
The sixteen Nyaya categories enumerate a variety of concerns which must be addressed in philosophical discussions. They refer to items of different orders and are somewhat overlapping in their significance, including the broad topics of means of knowledge (pramana)and objects of knowledge
(prameya),roughly corresponding to our fields of epistemology and ontology; a classification of types of philosophical debates and of the criteria operative in this classification; and an enumeration of the formal requirements of a well-rounded philosophical discussion. Within
the Naiyayikas' own soteriological project, the categories are oriented toward the comprehension of particular objects of knowledge (prameya).Knowledge of and the elimination of error regarding relevant objects of knowledge, particularly as pertaining to what is and is not the true self, leads to detachment and liberation from suffering in rebirth.
The Nyaya categories are in various ways explicitly and implicitly addressed in the Pratyabhijna system. However, two categories receive the greatest emphasis in the construction of the Pratyabhijna philosophical method. We will now examine how these categories are appropriated. I will devote the greatest attention to the most important of these, the schema for argument (avayava).Then I will more briefly explain the Saivas' treatment
of the Nyaya category of doubt (samsaya).In taking up each category, we will first consider how it is utilized in the Pratyabhijna effort to achieve more universal intelligibility. Then we will observe how the employment of each in the Pratyabhijna is given its deepest significance as spiritual
exercise, by its homologization both with earlier patterns of tantric praxis and with a particular classification of praxis developed by Abhinava. In each case I will present only the minimum substance of the Pratyabhijna arguments necessary to get a programmatic understanding of their
method; I will give an idea of the actual arguments in the last section. Positive Formulations of Methodology: (b) Philosophical Rationalization with the Nyaya Schema for Argument: Inference for the Sake of Others. The
Nyaya category most emphasized by Abhinavagupta is the schema for argument (avayava).This schema presents the steps of the Nyaya 'inference for the sake of others' (pararthanumana) .In Indianthere is a distinction between two types of inference, that for the sake of oneself
(svarthanumana)and that for the sake of others. The latter is given a rigorously explicit formulation in order to make logical justification from experiential and conceptual evidence assessable by any critical person. Abhinava explains that sastra "has the nature of an inference for the sake of others (parararthanumana) ."Its intelligibility results directly from its being constructed according to the Nyaya category:
What is the purpose with respect to the other? This [work] is for comprehension by the other. And there is that from the inference for the sake of others.... It has been explained by the founder of Nyaya, Aksapada, that every academic text [[[sastra]]] apart from scripture really
consists of the inference for the sake of others, and [thus] brings about complete comprehension by the other. I will first outline the Nyaya inference for the sake of others, using the common example of the inference of fire from smoke. This inference has
five steps and five terms. In the following, the numbered items are the steps; the other expressions given are the terms. (1)Thesis (pratijna): There is fire on the hill. The hill is the subject (paksa)of the inference. The fire is that which is to be established (sadhya) pertaining to it.
(2)Reason (hetu):Because there is smoke.
It is a property found in the subject, and known to be concomitant with that which is to be established. As such it is the justification for the inference. (3)General principle with exemplification (udaharana):Where there is smoke there is fire, like in the kitchen and unlike on the lake. This step explains the concomitance underlying the reason. The kitchen is the positive example illustrating the concomitance (sapaksa).The lake is the
negative example (vipaksa),showing that the property does not have concomitance with a class wider than that which is to be established. (Thisterm is usually not cited by the Saivas.)(4) Application (upanaya): The hill, because it has smoke on it, has fire on it. This step explicitly asserts
We must now get a programmatic understanding of the Pratyabhijna version of this inference abstracted from the technical details of the theories which actually articulate it. The proposition which the Pratyabhijna inference demonstrates is that of the soteriological recognition, that is, that one is identical with the Lord. The subject (paksa)of the thesis is the person, and what is to be established (sadhya)is that he or she is the Lord.
The justification for the connection between the subject and what is to be established is made by the reason step in the inference. This step is supposed to identify a quality (the reason term)in the subject, which is known to be invariably concomitant with that which is to be established. The
most distinctive fact known about Siva is expressed in the cosmogonic myth. That is, Siva emanates the universe through His power and consort Sakti, whose identity with Himself is described as sexual union. The reason in the Pratyabhijna inference is precisely that the individual is the actor in the cosmogonic myth of emanation.
The Saivas articulate this reason, that the individual is emanator of the universe, through their actual technical philosophical discussions. They also describe it with a variety of ad hoc figurative expressions, some of which will be seen below. However, in programmatic discussions of Pratyabhijna methodology, they give it two chief expressions, which we will take up presently. The first expression of the inferential reason is simply that the individual possesses Sakti. As Utpaladeva states in the second verse of the sastra:
In technical philosophical discussions, Sakti is often divided into special modalities that designate Siva's emanatory power as operative in the respective spheres of explanation. The two most encompassing forms of Sakti are the Cognition (jnana)Sakti and the Action (kriya)Sakti, which are
Speaking abstractly, the demonstration that the individual possesses the emanatory Sakti operative in a particular sphere is made by an idealistic reduction of aft its features to modalities of his or her subjectivity. This is brought out in a concise formulation by Utpaladeva:
Abhinavagupta explains that by "living beings" Utpaladeva means subjects (pramatr).These include all apparently limited subjects, from a worm to the gods Brahma and Sadasiva. The system demonstrates that the very existence of objects is the subject's exercise of cognition and action over them.
The conception that one is the emanator of the universe, which forms the inferential reason, is also described as a special kind of insight called Pure Wisdom (suddhavidya).Pure Wisdom is the awareness that one is the source emanating all objective reality as identical with oneself. This awareness is given the typical linguistic expression "I am this" (aham idam). According to Abhinava, the following statement by Utpaladeva explains why this wisdom (vidya)is pure:
Things which have fallen to the level of objects of cognition and are understood in the condition of "this" are essentially consciousness [[[bodha]]]; and are [through Pure Wisdom] seen as they really are.
Such knowledge is pure because it is an awareness of the ostensible essential nature of objects as one's emanation. The third step of the inference states the concomitance of Siva with His character as emanator, that is, Sakti, and so on, and gives examples
demonstrating this concomitance. The fourth explicitly asserts that the individual falls within this concomitance. The conclusion reiterates the thesis that the individual is actually the Lord. The entire inference will be further clarified by the presentation and explication of some informal summaries of it by Abhinavagupta.
In our first summary, the reason is formulated directly in terms of the Cognition and Action modalities of Sakti. Two supporting examples are mentioned: the Lord Siva Himself, as known in sacred literature, and the king, who like the Lord Siva, knows and acts over all his subjects. Abhinava explains:
The subject [[[pramatr]]], because he is endowed with the Cognition and Action Saktis, is to be understood [vyavahartavya] as the Lord, like the Lord who is well known in the Puranas, scriptures, and so on. Even if He is not well known [from such texts], Lordship is established to have the nature of the possession of the Cognition and Action Saktis over all objects. For
[Lordship] is invariably associated with nothing but these [two Saktis]. Thus the logical concomitance is understood in the case of one such as a king, who is regarded as Lord. Like the king, one is the Lord over so much as one is the cognizer and doer. It is contradictory to the nature of one who is not the Lord to be a cognizer and a doer. And the Self is cognizer and doer with regard to everything. Thus recognition [[[pratyabhijna]]] is established.
This may be put formally as follows: (1)The subject is the Lord. (2) Because he/she has the Cognition and Action Saktis. (3)Whoever has Cognition and Action Saktis is Lord. Like the Lord known in the Puranas and scriptures, and like the king. (4)The subject, since he/she has them, is the Lord.
The following example is similar to that just given but describes the relationship of individual and universe in terms of dependence: "He who is depended on somewhere is the Lord, like a king over his domain. So does the universe [depend on] you." Formally: (1)You are the Lord. (2) Because the universe depends on you. (3)He/she who is depended on somewhere is the Lord. Like the king over his domain. (4)You, on whom the universe depends, are the Lord. (5)Therefore, you are the Lord.
Several expressions by Abhinavagupta do not even mention the Lord as the inferential predicate but establish that the individual has divine status in other ways. Thus the following demonstrates that one is the pervader of the universe because he/she contains it:
That in which something manifests is the pervader [vyapakah] of so much, like a casket regarding jewels. The universe, beginning with the earth and ending with Sadasiva, as has been explained by the sastra, [[[manifests]]] in you who have the nature of consciousness.
We analyze: (1)You are the pervader of the universe. (2) Because in you there is the manifestation of the universe. (3)That in which something manifests is the pervader of so much. Like a casket regarding jewels. (4) You, in whom the universe manifests, are the pervader of the universe. (5) Therefore, you are the pervader of the universe, beginning with the earth and ending with Sadasiva.
I hope these examples have given a sufficient general view of the Pratyabhijna methodological program as structured by the Nyaya inference for the sake of others. By submitting their soteriological vision to this academic regimen, the Saivas are in a sense suspending their assumptions of its validity in order to demonstrate its cogency on extra-traditional grounds.
Positive Formulations of Methodology: (c)The Encompassment of the Inference for the Sake of Others within Tantric Praxis. At the same time, the Pratyabhijna thinkers understand what they are doing with this inference in intratraditional terms. From this perspective, the Pratyabhijna formulation of the Nyaya inference gets its deepest significance as following the patterns of earlier and contemporaneous tantric praxis.
To proceed, the approach to Siva through Sakti or other representations of His emanatory power is an ancient and pervasive tradition. Some of the most important expressions of this approach are found in Krama tantrism, where a number of rituals and contemplations aim to give the aspirant the realization of himself as the Lord over circles of Saktis in the form of Kalis (sakticakra).There was also a later development of approaches to Siva through His emanation in the form of 'creative vibration' (spanda).
There is always nondifference between Sakti and the possessor of Sakti [i.e., Siva]. Since She is thus the possessor of His qualities, She is the Supreme [para] Sakti of the Supreme Self [paratman]. [Similarly] the burning power [[[sakti]]] of fire is not considered to be
different from fire. There is this [the analysis of power and possessor of power] only as a beginning in entering into the state of knowledge. If one who has entered into the condition of Sakti would meditate on their nondifference, he would come to have the nature of Siva. Siva's consort [Saivi] is explained here to be the door. Dear, just as different places, and so on, are cognized by means of the light of a lamp and the rays of the sun, so is Siva [[[Wikipedia:Cognition|cognized]]] by means of Sakti.
The second passage is even more interesting. This passage refers to Siva's character of emanating the world without using the word "Sakti." However, it mentions the two fundamental modalities of Sakti, Cognition and Action, which organize the Pratyabhijna texts:
One can become Siva from the firm conviction: "The Supreme Lord is all-cognizer [[[sarvajna]]], all-doer [sarvakartr], and pervasive. I, who have the qualities [[[dharma]]] of Siva, am none but He. Just as the waves belong to the water, the flames belong to a fire, and light belongs to the sun, these waves of the universe belong to Bhairava, who is none but me."
This contemplation is remarkably similar to the later Pratyabhijna inference. One understands oneself as Siva because of having his distinctive character of emanation. The use of the Nyaya category has only elucidated the "rationality" already contained in a traditional practice. The post-Abhinavagupta commentator Sivopadhyaya, looking backwards through the philosophical interpretation, explicitly identifies this passage as describing the contemplation of Pratyabhijna.
The spiritual significance of the Pratyabhijna inference is not limited to its reenactment of earlier tantric practices. This inference fits within one of the classifications of spiritual means, systematized by Abhinavagupta in his Tantraloka and Tantrasara, called the sakta upaya. As I have just observed, the commentator Sivopadhyaya identifies the last-quoted passage of the Vijnana Bhairava as describing the contemplation of Pratyabhijna. In the same explanation, he also classifies this contemplation within the sakta upaya.
The two programmatic formulations of the conception that is the reason step in the Pratyabhijna inference, the revealing of Sakti and Pure Wisdom, are in fact the most definitive methodological themes of the sakta upaya. Thus the special importance of the revealing of Sakti in this upaya is indicated by its very name. As Navjivan Rastogi has explained:
The element of Sakti permeates all these three in varying measures and is characterized variously as gross, subtle, ultimate, etc., as the case may be. But it is the superabundance of Sakti because of which this Upaya is called Sakta.
It is in the chapters of the Tantraloka and Tantrasara presenting the sakta upaya that Abhinavagupta develops a Trika appropriation of the Krama procedure of meditating on one's Lordship over circles of Saktis. Abhinava describes the revealing of Sakti in the sakta upaya in terms of the same modalities of Cognition and Action that are the foci of the Pratyabhijna arguments:
There is the condition of conceptual constructions in the sakta [means]. In that [[[state]]], [the Saktis of] acting and cognizing are evident. However, according to the previous reasoning, there is a contraction of them. To the one occupied with destroying all of this contraction, there is revealed blazing Sakti, which brings about the desired internal illumination.
Perhaps more distinctive than the revealing of Sakti per se is Abhinavagupta's consolidation in the sakta upaya of developing understandings of the religious function of intellectual activity. The sakta upaya is the classification of the means based upon knowledge (jnanopaya) .We have already observed that the Pratyabhijna system is described as a means of knowledge by both Utpaladeva and Abhinavagupta.
Abhinavagupta thus describes the modus operandi of the sakta upaya gnoseologically as the 'purification of conceptualization' (vikalpasamskara) .The quintessential "tool" of the purification of conceptualization, and thereby of the sakta upaya, is good or true reasoning (sat-tarka) .Reasoning was increasingly seen as a spiritual means in scriptures before Abhinavagupta. Of the greatest importance
for Abhinavagupta were the assessments of reasoning in his most revered Trika scripture, the Malinivijaya Tantra. This scripture itself tantricizes Indian academic traditions in explaining the soteriological role of reasoning as the discrimination which encourages the movement from that which is to be abandoned (heya)to that which is to be pursued (upadeya).
In his sakta upaya, Abhinavagupta identifies these two categories, respectively, with the impure and pure kinds of conceptualization. Now, the distinguishing characteristic which makes one pure rather than the other is whether or not there is apprehended the absorption of the objective universe into the emanatory subject:
As the goal of this process, Abhinava posits a principle found in a number of Saiva cosmological schemes. This is none other than the conception with which we are already familiar, Pure Wisdom, that is, the awareness of emanation expressed "I am this [[[universe]]]."
Abhinava also identifies this goal of Pure Wisdom with the tool leading toward it, good reasoning: "Good reasoning is nothing but Pure Wisdom... ."  Pure Wisdom may thus be understood as the insight that informs, and leads toward itself, the purification of conceptualization. The following passage gives an idea of the overall process:
The multitude of things appear clearly in that jewel [the Self/Lord], who is pure, and has omnipotent freedom [[[svatantra]]]. That [[[Wikipedia:conceptual|conceptual]] construction] is said to be benighted [and is impure] which comprehends differentiation between [those things] and the Self. However [there is also conceptual construction] having the nature of Pure Wisdom, which comprehends the Self as containing all objects [as is expressed]: "I am all this." This conceptual construction has the nature of Pure Wisdom and is clearly manifest; it destroys the mayic conceptual construction which causes differentiation.
Thus we see that both formulations of the Pratyabhijna inferential rationale are also the central practical themes of the sakta upaya. I do not wish to claim, however, that the upaya is nothing but the inference. The two methodological themes in the sakta upaya include a variety of other practices, including nonphilosophical studies of sacred scriptures and discussions of them with gurus, and elaborate meditations on mandalas. Abhinava formulates the upaya to encompass the Pratyabhijna argumentation along with these other practices.
Positive Formulations of Methodology: (d)The Philosophical and Tantric Encounter with Doubt. We may now more briefly consider the Pratyabhijna thinkers' appropriation of one other Nyaya category, that of doubt (samsaya).According to Nyaya, philosophy proceeds by first considering doubt or indecision regarding a view. It then utilizes the inference for the sake of others and other procedures of debate to reach a justified decision (nirnaya).
Most Indian philosophical texts are structured as a series of statements, questions, and answers expressing the views of opponents (purvapaksa--the 'prima facie')in confrontation with the position being established (siddhanta--the 'established conclusion'). In the IPK and its commentaries, the whole second chapter is devoted to an initial presentation of the views of opponents. The discussions are
developed further as the proponents argue their response in the remainder of the book. The Nyaya requirement for the consideration of doubt may be taken as coming from the cognizance of the integrality of "otherness" to philosophical rationality. The effort to justify one's views, or to make their ostensible validity more universally intelligible, requires an awareness of alternative possibilities. Abhinavagupta again is explicit about the intelligibility accomplished through the effort of answering doubt:
Given the Saivas' redemptive-apologetic project, it should not be surprising that they do not understand alternative views as truly viable options. They attempt to reencompass the otherness of philosophical opposition within their traditional categories. This is illustrated by Abhinavagupta's benedictory verse to the chapter presenting the views of the opponents:
Here Abhinava is interpreting the process of philosophical debate with the mythical understanding that the Lord produces both delusion and revelation for humanity. Shortly after this benediction, Abhinavagupta quotes for support a statement from a devotional work, the Stavacintamani of Bhatta Narayana, which more generally describes these acts:
We know that Siva ultimately does everything. Nevertheless, corresponding to the mythical identification, the elimination of philosophical opposition is also encompassed within tantric practice. Thus in Abhinava's discussions of the sakta upaya, he polemically makes opponent doctrines an object of the purification of conceptualization. He states that the path to be abandoned [[[heya]]] is the means to liberation taught by other systems. Among
those whom Abhinava mentions are Buddhists, Jains, Vaisnavas, Vaidikas, and Samkyas. Blinded by maya, these schools lack good reasoning and do not understand the purification of conceptualization (vikalpasamskara) .However, through purifying their reasoning, those who follow other schools can be saved:
Even one who [because of karma] has developed within those [wrong systems] can come to be discriminating about his rising judgments [[[paramarsa]]]. Due to the excellence of Pure Wisdom, he is purified by the descent of Sakti [[[saktipata]], a way of describing mystical grace], and ascends the good path, from which the obstacles have been removed.
In one of his final comments in the IPV, Abhinava asserts that the Pratyabhijna sastra makes the views of various other systems help bring about the recognition of the Self, as the sun unites the essences (rasa)of earth and water for the nourishment of grains. From the Saivas' point of view, they are purifying conceptualizations to reflect their tantric metaphysics. This self-understanding also has a rhetorical consequence. As will be illustrated in the next section, the Saivas' arguments attempt thoroughly to subvert the views of their opponents in establishing their own.
The explanation of the Pratyabhijna methodology that has just been given has been confined to formulations of a programmatic nature. To understand it more deeply, we must turn to their technical philosophical discussions. It is not possible to present a detailed analysis of such discussions here. I will only give an overview of the chief implementation of the Saiva method in the arena of epistemology, that is, the philosophy of the recognition of the Lord.
The Challenge of the Buddhist Logicians. Following protocol, we must first turn to the challenge of the Saivas' opponents. Though they deal with various rivals, the Saivas' chief opponents are the school now often called "Buddhist logic," which was founded by Dignaga and most influentially interpreted by Dharmakirti. Buddhist logic develops two soteriological emphases of early Buddhism--on the transitoriness
of all things and on the dangers inherent in speculation--into a critical philosophy that has often been compared with the phenomenalism of David Hume. Buddhist logic formulates a radical distinction and disaccord between
(1) a series of evanescent flashes of direct perception lacking all conceptualization (nirvikalpakajnana) --ofevanescent svalaksanas, 'self-characterized', 'unique particulars', or 'point instants' and
(2) cognition, which includes vikalpa (i.e., savikalpakajnana), that is, all imaginative, conceptual, and linguistic interpretation, which synthesizes the unique particulars into ostensible objects characterized by universals (samanyalaksana) .Now, while the Buddhists acknowledge that this interpretation has a kind of provisional validity for ordinary behavior in the world, they contend that it is ultimately unfounded in immediate experience and is invalid.
In polemics spanning several centuries before the Pratyabhijna sastra, the Buddhist logicians attempted to refute or "deconstruct" as invalid generalizations of evanescent experiences many of the commonsensical and religiously significant conceptions held by the Hindu
schools--external objects, ordinary as well as ritual action, an enduring Self, God, the sacred language of revelation, and so forth. A particular development in the debates was crucial in defining the immediate intellectual problematics which the Pratyabhijna thinkers attempted to resolve in their philosophical theology. The entire process of interpreting
experience came to be viewed by both Buddhists and Hindus to be epitomized in the experience of recognition (pratyabhijna). Recognition in ordinary life is understood as the realization that an object of a present experience is the same as an object of a past experience, as retained in the memory. It has the typical expression "This is that." The same process actually occurs in all applications of interpretation to
experience. In our memory are stored the semantic conventions (samketa)regarding the words that we use in interpretation. We apply interpretations to experience when the relevant mnemonic impressions (samskara) are activated. Thus, all applications of interpretation, which in contemporary Western philosophy are described as "seeing as, " came to be understood as comprising the "This is that" structure of a very general sort of recognition.
The Buddhists claimed that this process of recognition is invalid. They argued that memory has no epistemic relevance to present direct experience. Their most energetic Hindu opponents, the realist schools of Nyaya-Vaisesika and Purva Mimamsa, argued that our recognitive seeing-as is grounded in, and elucidates, a world of genuinely independent objects possessing intrinsic qualities.
Now it is possible to appreciate why the Saivas formulate the soteriological realization that they wish to convey as a kind of recognition. They deliberately set it up as having the recognitive structure of interpretation that has been problematized by the Buddhists. In this regard, I must also point out that in Indian philosophy inference itself, as an interpretation, was understood to operate through a kind of recognitive
judgment (lirigaparamarsa, pratisamdhana) . Inference is the application of the knowledge--or memory--of a concomitance to a case presently at hand. For the Pratyabhijna, we have a memory from scriptures and other sources of the Lord Siva as causing the emanation of the universe, possessing Sakti, and so on. One applies this memory to the direct experience of one's own self, as is expressed in the statement "Indeed I am that very Lord."
The Saivas' interpretation of the challenge of the Buddhists to their soteriological recognition is oriented toward the structure of the Pratyabhijna inference for the sake of others. The Buddhists attack the overarching recognition by attacking the recognitions of the inference's key terms
along with their entailments: Self; Cognition as a faculty, which it must be to be a Sakti; Action as enduring process, again which it must be to be a Sakti; and the very possibility of relation, which Cognition and Action would have to have with the Self in order to be Saktis. The Buddhist contention is that, as there are no grounds for recognizing these categories in the flux of unique particulars, there are no
grounds for the Saiva soteriological recognition. The Saiva Response to the Buddhists. How do the Saivas answer this sweeping doubt, metaphysically subvert Buddhist logic, and establish the inference leading to the soteriological recognition? Their response may be understood as a highly creative development of the thought of the
fourth-to-sixth-century linguistic philosopher Bhartrhari. Bartrhari had interpreted the Vedic revelation metaphysically as the Word Absolute (sabdabrahman) or Supreme Speech (paravak) .This principle is a superlinguistic plenum containing language and reality in
a unity and emanating into the universe of separated words and objects. Bhartrhari's postulation of this principle as the source makes the entire universe of experience inherently linguistic, and thus provides the ground for the re-connection of words and objects in conventional linguistic reference. His basic position is diametrically opposed to that of the Buddhists.
Utpaladeva and Abhinavagupta interpret Supreme Speech as Siva's very self-recognition (ahampratyavamarsa) . Extending Bhartrhari's approach to the new problematics, they explain their cosmogonic myth of Siva emanating the universe through Sakti as this process of His self-recognition. As Abhinavagupta puts it:
The Supreme Lord, who has the nature of awareness, makes His own Self into an object of cognition, even though it is not an object of cognition, because the Cognizer is unitary.... As He recognitively apprehends [paramrsati] His Self, so, because everything is contained within Him, He appears as blue, and so on.
The emanation of the recognitions of discrete objects such as "blue" is understood as a kind of fragmentation of the Lord's self-recognition. In this process, there is first the pure monistic self-recognition "I." Then there is a recognition involving a partial differentiation of objectivity from subjectivity, having the structure we know as Pure Wisdom, that is, "I am this." Finally, there is the loss of the awareness of the "I" in the recognition of apparently separate objects as "This," or, more fully, "This is that," "This is blue," and so on.
Siva's self-recognition is, of course, the very realization that the Saivas aim to convey to humanity. The Pratyabhijna thinkers' ascription of a primordial, cosmogonic status to it is of great import in their arguments with the Buddhists. They are thereby able to argue that their system's goal constitutes the very facts that the Buddhists say preclude it. As the Saivas' speculation alleges the necessity of the Lord's self-recognition as the underlying reality of the basic epistemological and ontological facts, it may be classified as a highly ambitious form of transcendental inquiry.
According to the Saivas, just as the Lord's self-recognition emanates into the recognitions of apparently discrete objects, it emanates into different types of experiences of such objects. The chief among these are perceptual cognition, memory, and conceptual exclusion (apohana).In their treatment of epistemology, Utpaladeva and Abhinavagupta attempt to reduce these processes as well as their ostensible objects to modalities of Siva's self-recognition.
Saivas' arguments on perceptual cognition may be roughly divided into those centered on the term prakasa and those centered on the term vimarsa and its cognates such as pratyavamarsa, paramarsa, and so on. Though contemporary scholarship has given much attention to these terms, I do not believe there has been a basic appreciation of the way the discussions employing them function to articulate the Saivas' argumentative and rederuptive
agendas of leading students to the soteriological recognition. Prakasa, 'light, illumination' or 'awareness', has the philosophical significance, preliminary to the Saivas' arguments about it, of a kind of subjective awareness that validates each cognition, so that one knows that one knows. The thrust of the arguments about prakasa is idealistic. The Saivas contend that, as no object is known without this validating subjective awareness, this awareness constitutes all objects:
If the object did not have the nature of awareness [[[prakasa]]], it would be without illumination [aprakasa], as it was before [its appearance]. Awareness [[[prakasa]]] cannot be different [than the object]. Awareness [prakasata] is the essential nature of the object.
Nor can objects external to awareness be inferred as the causes of the diversity of awareness. For inference can only be made regarding things which have already been experienced, and not objects which by definition can never have been experienced.[[]]
Furthermore, the Saivas contend that one could never experience another subject outside one's own awareness. However, their conclusion is not solipsism as usually understood in the West, but a conception of a universal awareness:
Even the cognition of others is nothing but one's own Self. Otherness is entirely due to accidental attributes [[[upadhi]]] such as the body, and so on. And that [an accidental attribute such as the body] has been determined not to be other [than awareness]. Thus everything falls under the category of the subject. The subject is really unitary. And He alone exists.... Therefore, beginning with
The term vimarsa and its cognates have the significance of a judgment with a recognitive structure. The arguments centering on these terms develop earlier considerations of Bhartrhari on the linguisticality of experience. They refute the Buddhist contention that recognition is just a contingent reaction to direct experience, by claiming that it is integral or transcendental to it. As Utpala explains:
They attest that recognitive judgment [vimarsa] is the essential nature of awareness [avabhasa]. Otherwise, awareness [[[prakasa]]], even though colored [upararakta] by the object, would be like that which is insentient, such as a crystal, and so on.
Among the considerations the Saivas adduce for this thesis are: that children must build upon a subtle form of linguistic judgment in their learning of conventional language; that there must be a recognitive ordering of our most basic experiences of situations and movements in order to account for our ability to perform rapid behaviors; and that some kind of subtle application of language in all experiences is necessary in order to account for our ability to remember them.
The Saivas further elaborate their position on the transcendental nature of recognition against the Buddhists by inverting the latters' point of view on the epistemic statuses of universals and particulars. The Saivas make the recognition of universals primary, and hold that particulars are constructed at a secondary level through the synthesis of these syntheses. As Abhinava puts it briefly in the course of discussing another issue:
It has been explained here [in the Pratyabhijna] that objects are nothing but manifestations. They are sometimes mixed, through the unification of recognitive judgment [[[paramarsa]]], when they have the form of the particular. And sometimes they are recognitively judged [paramrsyante] as unmixed, when they have the form of the universal.
In this explanation, the Saivas attempt to achieve a double victory. The perceptions of both sorts of entities are claimed to depend intimately on conceptualization, especially that alleged by the Buddhists to be of the most basic and discrete sense data.
Now, neither the arguments about prakasa nor those about vimarsa and its cognates are meant to stand alone. The idealistic prakasa arguments make the recognition shown by the vimarsa arguments to be integral to all epistemic processes, constitutive of them and their objects. The following statement places vimarsa in the idealistic algebra:
Here, as the multiplicity of things are recognitively apprehended [vimrsyate], so they exist [[[asti]]]. This is so because Being [astitva] depends upon awareness [[[prakasa]]]. That is, there is the manifestation of Being as depending on the recognitive judgment [vimarsa] regarding what is brought about through this awareness [[[prakasa]]].... Therefore, something exists as much and in whatever way it is recognitively apprehended [vimrsyate] and unsublated.
Several points must now be spelled out. Since according to the prakasa arguments all experience belongs to one subject, this recognition must be His self-recognition. And, inasmuch as this self-recognition is the means by which Siva causes the emanation of the universe, it is none other than His Sakti. This identity of self-recognition and Sakti is stated very frequently:
The Sakti which is Creatorhood [kartrtva], which has the nature of Lordship, contains all the Saktis. That [[[Sakti]]] has the nature of recognitive judgment [vimarsa]. Therefore it is proper that only it is predominant.... As He recognitively apprehends [paramrsati] His Self, so, because everything is contained within Him, He appears as [[[objects]] such as] blue, and so on.
Sakti is, of course, also the reason term in the Saiva inference. In the following passage, Utpala thus places the two chief Saktis of Cognition and Action, interpreted in terms of recognition, in the position of inferential reason:
He [the subject] is the Great Lord since it is necessarily the case that he is recognitively judging [vimarsattvena niyatena], and since that very re-cognitive judgment [vimarsa] is the pure Cognition and Action of God [[[deva]]].
We are led to the startling realization that self-recognition, the thesis-goal of the Saiva's inferential-ritual methodology, is identical with the reason that justifies it. That is, one is inferentially led to the recognition that one is the Lord, because everything is one's self-recognition.
This may be put another way. The Pratyabhijna treatments of perceptual cognition along with other topics of epistemology may be understood as a recovery or reintegration of the Lord's self-recognition, which has been fragmented into the recognitions constituting ordinary experience. The following terse statement by Abhinavagupta elucidates as such both key formulations of the inferential rationale and the sakta upaya modus operandi, that is, the revealing of Sakti and the operation of Pure Wisdom/Good Reasoning in purifying conceptualization:
The ascertainment [adhyavasa] judges [paramsanti] word and object, characterized by name and form, as one, in the form "This is that." [That ascertainment] is the Sakti of the Supreme Lord, who has the nature of recognitive judgment [vimarsa]. It appears only "as the Self," that is, nonseparately from "I." However, it never appears as "this," that is, as separate [from the Self].
The recognition of an objective "This"/"This is that" is really the emanatory self-recognition "I." This fact may be expressed either as "'This' is Sakti" or with the expression of Pure Wisdom "I am this." The primordial status accorded to self-recognition in the interpretation of Saiva emanationism has defined the radical conclusion of it's transcendental inquiry. It is the fact that the Pratyabhijna theory of recognition so fully encodes the Saiva myth that makes the inquiries that disclose it into tantric ritual that bestows salvation.
Our discovery of the identity of the reason and conclusion of the Pratyabhijna inference brings us back to the overarching theological negations we considered at the beginning of the discussion of methodology. I there explained the Saivas' understanding of the Lord's ultimate nonobjectifiability in terms of their conceptions of grace and self-luminosity. Abhinava gives these ideas another important articulation in
his works on practical theology. Above his threefold scheme of increasingly subtle and internal means, he postulates what he calls the "nonmeans" (anupaya).This is a final stage of immediate realization involving no effort or very slight effort.
Some of Abhinava's remarks in his discussion of this nonmeans are directly pertinent to our present consideration of the steps of the Pratyabhijna inference. More fundamental than but homologous to the identity of inferential reason and conclusion is Abhinavagupta's denial here of the ultimate validity of any relation between a distinct spiritual means (upaya)and goal (upeya):
What use is there with reasonings regarding the self-luminous principle of consciousness [samvittattva]?. .. All means [[[upaya]]], external and internal, depend upon it. How could they be means [[[upaya]]] regarding it?... [[[Objects]] of different kinds of experience, such as] blue, yellow, and pleasure are only awareness [[[prakasa]]], that is, Siva. Since there is [really only] this supreme nonduality which has the nature of awareness [[[prakasa]]], what relation of means [[[upaya]]] and goal [upeya] could there be which is other than it? For that [[[relation]] of means and goal] is only awareness [[[prakasa]]].
It is the Lord's omnipotence and self-luminous unity that preclude all relationships of distinct means and the goal. This general conception of practical theology is exemplified in the identity of reason and conclusion in the Pratyabhijna inference.
From a philosophical point of view, the identity of reason and conclusion in the Pratyabhijna inference may seem to admit a vitiating circularity. Though this essay is not strictly philosophical, even its exegetic project requires that I say that I do not believe this is so.
For, in the Pratyabhijna, the soteriology is not presumed but is supposed to be discovered in inquiries into common problems and following common rules of Sanskrit philosophical discourse. The Saivas' development of these inquiries required an enormous amount of creative interpretation
and hard "methodologically detached" thinking. In effect, all these inquiries that they have developed constitute "reasons for the reason" that is emanation/self-recognition. From our extratraditional perspective, the circularity of the inference is thus transformed into a cognitively advancing hermeneutic circularity.
It is only within the intratraditional perspective that the elaborate argumentation of Pratyabhijna sastra does not do anything. We must recur to the monistic mythical dynamics of emanation and return. Utpaladeva describes the soteriological reintegration of self-recognition through the Pratyabhijna system as a sort of "telos" of the phenomena of ordinary experience:
The accomplishment of the purpose [krtarthata] of the separated recognitive judgment [virnarsa] "this"--is the recognitive judgment [vimarsa] of rest [visranti] in its own essential nature [expressed] "I am He."
The progress of phenomena toward self-recognition is nothing but a clarification of their nature as self-recognition. Cosmogony and teleology are the same. Thus Abhinavagupta compares the recognition constituting ordinary experience to a point of rest in a paradoxical journey between the identical origin and goal of Siva's self-recognition.
That which is called recognitive judgment [[[paramarsa]]] is the absolutely final and true [paryantikam eva paramarthikam] place of rest [visrantisthanam]; and it only has the form "I." In traveling to a village, the intermediate point of rest [madhyavisrantipadam], at the root of a tree, is explained to be created as expectant of that [final point of rest].... Thus also blue, and so on, existing in the
This essay develops one of the themes in my "Argument and the Recognition of Siva: The Philosophical Theology of Utpaladeva and Abhinavagupta" (Ph.D. diss., University of Chicago, 1992). An earlier vers
ion of this essay was presented in the session "Encoding and Overcoding in the Tantras" at the 22d Annual Conference on South Asia, Madison, 1993. The following abbreviations are used in the text or the notes:
BIPV Bhaskari, by Bhaskarakantha, commentary on IPV.
IPK Isvarapratyabhijnakarika, by Utpaladeva.
IPKV Isvarapratyabhijnakarikavrtti, by Utpaladeva, commentary on IPK.
IPV Isvarapratyabhijnavimarsini, by Abhinavagupta, commentary on IPK.
IPVV Isvarapratyabhijnavivrtivimarsini, by Abhinavagupta, commentary on Utpaladeva's Isvarapratyabhijnavivrtti.
SD Sivadrsti by Somananda.
TA Tantraloka, by Abhinavagupta.
TAV Tantralokaviveka, by Jayaratha, commentary on TA.
TS Tantrasara, by Abhinavagupta.
1. Wilhelm Halbfass, India and Europe: An Essay in Understanding (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1988), p. 157.
2. There was an effort to create a bridge between these approaches at the University of Chicago Conferences on Religions in Culture and History, 1986-1989, and the resulting SUNY series, Toward a Comparative Philosophy of Religion. For examples of several approaches, see
Francisa Cho Bantly, ed., Deconstructing/ Reconstructing the Philosophy of Religion: Summary Reports from the Conferences on Religions in Culture and History 1986-1989 (Chicago: University of Chicago Divinity School, 1990); and see Frank E. Reynolds and David Tracy, eds., Myth and
Philosophy (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1990), Discourse and Practice (Albany State University of New York Press, 1992), and Religion and Practical Reason: New Essays in the Comparative Philosophy of Religion (Albany State University of New York Press, 1994).
3. The relativist Howard Eilberg Schwartz thus attempts to destroy the universality and normativity of philosophical rationality precisely by reducing it to myth. See "Myth, Inference and the Relativism of Reason: An Argument from the History of Judaism," in Reynolds and Tracy, Myth and Philosophy, pp. 247-285.
4. One of the greatest pioneers of comparative philosophy, Bimal Krishna Matilal, did do some interpretation of religion, particularly in his later years. However, most of his work has the form described. Thus, see his most important study, Perception: An Essay on Classical Indian
Theories of Knowledge (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986). One of the most outspoken advocates of the seriousness of Indian philosophies, Daya Krishna, has claimed that their expressed religious objectives are an excuse to legitimate intellectual speculations.
5. See Pierre Hadot, Exercices spirituels etphilosophie antique (Paris: Etudes Augustiniennes, 1981).
6. David Tracy is an heir to the tradition of Christian philosophical theology who has made great efforts to develop it to address contemporary problems of interpretation and rationality. See his analysis of the different types of philosophical and nonphilosophical
theological discourse in The Analogical Imagination: Christian Theology and the Culture of Pluralism (New York: Crossroad Publishing Co., 1975), pp. 47-98. I will refer to this analysis in interpreting the Pratyabhijna philosophy below. Also see David Tracy, "The Uneasy Alliance Reconceived: Catholic Theological Method, Modernity, and Post-Modernity," Theological Studies 50 (1989): 548-570.
7. Scholars making such efforts are as diverse as Bimal Krishna Matilal, Michael Hayes, Paul Griffiths, Robert Neville, and Tu Wei-ming.
8. The main textual focus of this essay will be Utpaladeva's Isvarapratyabhijnakarika (IPK) and Abhinavagupta's Isvarapratyabhijnavimarsini (IPV). For these texts I will use the edition Isvarapratyabhijnavimarsini of Abhinavagupta, Doctrine of Divine Recognition: Sanskrit Text with Bhaskari, 2 vols.,
er and K. C. Pandey (reprint, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1986). I will sometimes refer to the eighteenth-century commentary on the IPV, Bhaskari, by Bhaskara (BIPV). Also within the essay's scope are: Utpaladeva, Siddhitrayi and the Isvarapratyabhijnakarikavrtti, ed. Madhusudan Kaul Shastri, Kashmir Series of Texts and Studies, no. 34 (Srinagar: Kashmir Pratap Steam Press, 1921) , and
Abhinavagupta, Isvarapratyabhijnavivrtivirnarsini, 3 vols., ed. Madhusudan Kaul Shastri, Kashmir Series of Texts and Studies (reprint, Delhi: Akay Book Corporation, 1987) . The Isvarapratyabhijnakarikavrtti and Isvarapratyabhijnavivrtivimarsini will henceforth be referred to as IPKV and IPVV, respectively.
This essay will for the most part treat the Pratyabhijna theories of Utpaladeva and Abhinavagupta as an integral whole. As is usual in foundational verse and aphorism texts, Utpaladeva's IPK is densely written and is intended to be expounded in subordinate commentaries. However, there is presently available only the shorter of Utpaladeva's commentaries, centered on the IPK the IPKV--which is mostly concerned
with clarifying the basic meaning of the verses. Abhinavagupta's commentaries have the quality of deep and original thought, but it is most often impossible to distinguish arguments which had direct precedent in Utpaladeva from those which either further or depart from his discussions. It is also in accordance with the intentions of the Indian genre of text and commentary to treat them as presenting one system.
9. I am working on a constructive philosophical interpretation of the Pratyabhijna, system in transforming my "Argument and the Recognition of Siva" into a book, and in an article.
10. IPK 1.1, benedictory verse, 1: 18.
11. IPV 1.1, on IPK, benedictory verse, 1:17.
12. IPV 1.1, on IPK, benedictory verse, 1:28-29.
13. IPV 1.1, on IPK, benedictory verse, 1: 37-38.
14. There are numerous discussions of the soteriological significance of the recognition which the Pratyabhijna system aims to convey. See IPV 1.1, on IPK, benedictory verse, 1:33-34, and on this BIPV, 33-34; IPV 1.1, on IPK, benedictory verse, 1:38-39; IPV 1.1, on IPK, benedictory verse, 1:41-42; IPK and IPV 3.2.11-12, 2:256259; IPK and IPV 4.1.15, 2:308; IPK 4.1.18, 2:315-316; and also the discussions of the practical causal efficacy (arthakriya) of recognition at IPV 1.1.2, 1:58-59; IPK and IPV 4.1.17, 2:312-315.
15. IPV 1.1, on IPK, benedictory verse, 1:32.
16. IPV 1.1, on IPK, benedictory verse, 1:29-30; BIPV on IPV 1.1, on IPK, benedictory verse, 1:30; IPV 4.1.18, 2:316.
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17. On hermeneutic charity, see Paul Griffiths, An Apology for Apologetics (Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1991), pp. 20-21.
18. IPV 1.1, introductory verse, 3, 1: 8.
19. IPV 4.1.16, 2:309.
20. See IPVV, 1.1, 1: 16. Cf. IPV and BIPV 1.1.4, 1:78; and Utpaladeva in The Sivadrsti of Srisomanandanatha with the Vritti by Utpaladeva, ed. Madhusudan Kaul Shastri, Kashmir Series of Texts and Studies, no. 54 (Pune: Aryabhushan Press, 1934), 3.16, 105. Somananda's text will henceforth be abbreviated as SD.
21. In this way, the Pratyabhijna illustrates what Alexis Sanderson has called the "overcoding" by which the various Kashmiri Saiva traditions have appropriated the symbolism and praxis of other traditions. Brian Smith has interpreted this pattern of appropriation in the Vedic and larger South Asian contexts as "encompassment" on the basis of a presumed "hierarchical resemblance." See Brian K. Smith, Reflections on Resemblance, Ritual and Religion (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), pp. 46-49, 186-189. I believe that the pattern is actually a reflection of the hermeneutic circle, necessary to all acts of interpretation.
22. Mircea Eliade conceptualized this issue in terms of history and the transcendence of history, as the "dialectic of the Sacred."
23. In Saivism generally, He is said to perform five cosmic acts: the creation of the universe, the preservation of it, the destruction of it, the creation of human delusion (which is the cause of suffering in rebirth), and the bestowal of salvific grace.
24. See the discussion of sections from the Tantraloka, Tantrasara, and Malinivijayavarttika, in Debabrata Sen Sharma, The Philosophy of Sadhana: With Special Reference to Trika Philosophy of Kasmira (Karnal, Haryana: Natraj Publishing House, 1983), pp. 88 ff.
25. IPV 1.1, on IPK, benedictory verse, 1: 24-28. Cf. Sivadrsti 1.1, 2.
26. The Advaita Vedantin theory itself interprets discussions in the Upanisads, and was also influenced by the Mimamsaka doctrine of the 'self-establishedness' (svatahpramanya) of the means of cognition (pramanas), as well as the Buddhist logicians' notion of the 'validating self-awareness' (svasamvedana) inherent in all experiences.
27. The two chief sections where Utpaladeva and Abhinavagupta focus on the issue of self-luminosity are IPK and IPV 1.1.1, 1:4756, and 2.3.15-16, 2:134-139. (Abhinavagupta points out the connection between these discussions, in IPV 2.3.15-16, 134.) Cf. IPV 1.1, on IPK, benedictory verse, 1:38. On ignorance/illusion in the context of self-luminosity, also see IPK and IPV 1.1.2,
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1: 5759; IPKand IPV 2.3.17, 2:141-143.
28. IPV 2.3.17, 2: 143-144.
29. Tracy, Analogical Imagination, p. 57. See the analysis of the differences between fundamental, systematic, and practical theologies in terms of five rubrics, ibid., pp. 54-58. Also see the discussion focusing on fundamental theology, in ibid., pp. 62-64. Tracy acknowledges that, because it is produced in particular historical situations, the effort of fundamental theology is intrinsically "problematic,
"uncertain," and only "partly history-transcending." See his Blessed Rage for Order: The New Pluralism in Theology (Minneapolis: Winston-Seabury Press, 1975), pp. 6487, and his "Uneasy Alliance Reconceived," pp. 557-559, 567568. Cf. Paul J. Griffiths' description of philosophy in its ideal-typical character of transcending the limitations of historical context, as "denaturalized discourse," in "Denaturalizing Discourse: Abhidharmikas, Propositionalists, and the Comparative Philosophy of Religion, " in Tracy and Reynolds, Myth and Philosophy, p.
30. I emphasize that not all sastraic discourse is philosophical in the sense that I have given the term here. According to this criterion, even the well-known Advaita Vedantin thinker Sankara, for whom reason is subordinated to the process of exegesis of scripture, is a philosopher only on exceptional occasions. He would more accurately be described as a systematic and practical theologian or "Brahmalogian."
31. The list is given at Nyayadarsanam: With Vatsyayana's Bhasya, Uddyotakara's Varttika, Vacaspati Misra's Tatparyatika and Visvanatha's Vrtti, ed. Taranatha Nyaya-Tarkatirtha and Amarendramohan Tarkatirtha, with introd. by Narendra Chandra Vedantatirtha (Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal, 1985), p. 28. The paradigmatic role of the Nyaya standards is demonstrated in the studies of Matilal. See particularly "The Nature of Philosophical Argument," chap. in Matilal, Perception, pp. 69-93.
32. IPV 1.1, on IPK, benedictory verse, 1:43. Abhinava states here that he is explaining the view of Utpaladeva. I note that we must rely on explanations of Abhinavagupta in considering the relation of the Pratyabhijna method to the Nyaya standards of philosophical argument. Utpaladeva does not seem directly to treat this issue in his available writings. Certainly the classic philosophical standards are in many ways implied in his speculation, and Abhinava's formulations are profoundly elucidative of Utpala's thought. We may nevertheless see in Abhinava's discussions of the Nyaya method some of his genuine innovations.
The stress here on the Saivas' use of Nyaya concerns their construction of their philosophical methodology in the pursuit of universal intelligibility. I am not claiming that the Saivas are more substantively "influenced" by Nyaya than other schools of Indian philosophy such as Vyakarana, Buddhist logic, Samkhya, Advaita, etc.
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33. IPV 2.3.17, 2:140.
34. For a good explanation of the Nyaya categories, see Matilal, Perception, pp. 71-93.
35. According to Nyaya, it is the knowledge of the following prameyas which leads to liberation: atma, siro, indriya, buddhi, manas, pravrtti, dosa, pretyabhava, phala, duhkha, and apavarga (Nyayadarsanam 1.1.9, 180).
36. IPV 2.3.17, 2:140.
37. IPV. Cf. IPVV 2.3.17, 3:181-182.
38. There were debates between the Indian schools about the precise number of steps and the structure of the inference for the sake of others. Abhinava dismisses the Buddhist disputation of the number of parts as mere obstinacy (IPV 2.3.17, 2: 140).
39. This account largely follows the interpretations by Karl H. Potter, ed., Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies, vol. 2, Indian Metaphysics and Epistemology: The Tradition of Nyaya-Vaisesika up to Gangesa (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1977) , pp. 180-181, and Presuppositions of India's Philosophies (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1963), pp. 60-61, and by Matilal, Perception, p. 78.
40. IPV 2.3.17, 2:142-143.
41. IPK 1.1.2, 1: 57. The same idea is expressed at IPK 2.3.1 7, 2: 141. Utpaladeva never explicitly mentions the inference for the sake of others in his available writings. However, his statements fit precisely into Abhinava's explanation of the inference. See above, note 32.
42. Abhinava explains elsewhere that by the word "Saktis" there are indicated the qualities (dharma) of the Lord (IPVV 2.3.1 7, 3: 182; IPV 2.3.17, 2:146). At IPVV 1.5.21, 2: 269, Abhinava explains that in different contexts the same fact may be variously referred to by the terms quality (dharma), Sakti, attribute (guna) and operation (vyapara).
43. On the latter correspondence, see note 124. The Saktis of Cognition and Action are also central categories of prephilosophical tantras.
44. Thus there are the Memory (smrti) Sakti, Semantic Exclusion (apohana) Sakti, Time (kala) Sakti, and Causal-Regularity (niyati)
45. IPK 1.1.3, 61.
46. See IPV 1.1.3, 1: 62-67; IPV 1.1.4, 1: 76-77; IPV 1.6.11, 1: 141 143.
47. Pure Wisdom is discussed at IPK and IPV 3.1.3-7, 2:221-232.
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48. IPK 3.1.4, 2: 225. This translation is influenced by that of Pandey, Doctrine of Divine Recognition, 3:193.
49. On the operation of Pure Wisdom in bringing about the soteriological recognition, see IPV 3.1.7, 2:230-231; and IPK and IPV 3.2.2-3, 2: 246-247.
50. IPV 1.1.3, 1: 67-68.
51. IPV2.3.17, 2:144-145.
52. IPV 2.3.17, 2: 145-146.
53. Other expressions of the inference assert that the individual is full (purna) of the universe, like a treasure is of jewels; and pervades the prior and latter parts of the universe, like the earth in relation to sprouts. See the series of expressions at IPV 2.3.17, 2: 144-146, and IPVV, 2.3.17, 3:181-182.
54. I note that Abhinava goes so far in what might be called his enthusiasm for philosophical rationalization as to indicate correspondences of inferential steps with parts of the Pratyabhijna text. He asserts that Utpaladeva's introductory verse states the thesis, and that one of his concluding verses, IPK 4.1.16, 2: 309, states the conclusion. The middle of the book expresses the "reason (hetu), and so on," i.e.,
steps 2 through 4 (IPV 1.1, on IPK, benedictory verse, 1:42-43). The Pratyabhijna thesis may only be understood implicitly within the introductory and concluding verses, which do not at all have the style of an inferential thesis and conclusion. Though the correspondences with particular sections must thus not be taken too strictly, the characterization is illuminating. The middle of the text, which is
supposed to contain the reason, general principle, and application, is largely constituted by the technical discussions of problems of epistemology and ontology important to the Indian philosophical academy. These discussions logically substantiate the soteriological purpose of the system articulated in the thesis.
55. Alexis Sanderson suggested in a personal conversation in 1991 that this practice reflects the assimilation of Saktism within Saivism.
56. Abhinavagupta's pupil Ksemaraja gives interesting interpretations of the revealing of Sakti in his commentaries on the Sivasutras and Spandakarikas. He explains the Krama mastery of circles of Saktis as the background to practices in these texts. See Sivasutras: The
Yoga of Supreme Identity: Text of the Sutras and the Commentary Vimarsini of Ksemaraja, ed. and trans. Jaideva Singh (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1979), 3.30, 196-197, and The Spandakarikas of Vasugupta with the Nirnaya by Ksemaraja, ed. and trans. Madhusudan Kaul Shastri, Kashmir Series of Texts and Studies, no. 42 (Srinagar: Kashmir Pratap Steam Press, 1925), 1.1, 3-8; 3.19, 74; 1.5, 19. Sanderson accepts Ksemaraja's
view about the Krama background as probable; see Alexis Sanderson,
"Saivism and the Tantric Traditions," in The World's Religions, ed. Stewart Sutherland et al. (London: Routledge, 1988), pp. 694-695. Cf. Bhaskara's explanation of the process of becoming the Lord of the circle in BIPV 1.8, 1: 399-400. The last passage was pointed out by Navjivan Rastogi, "The Philosophy of Krama Monism of Kashmir: An Analytical Study" (Ph.D. thesis, Lucknow University, 1967), pp. 417-418. This work also contains information on the relation of Krama to spanda.
57. The Vijnana-Bhairava with Commentary by Kshemaraja and Partly by Shivopadhyaya, ed. Mukunda Rama Shastri, Kashmir Series of Texts and Studies, no. 8 (Bombay: Tatvavivechaka Press, 1918) , 18-21, 13-15. This translation is influenced by that of Vijnana-bhairava or Divine Consciousness: A Treasury of 112 Types of Yoga, ed. and trans. Jaideva Singh (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1979), 18-21, 16-17. The passage
is cited by Jayaratha in The Tantraloka of Abhinavagupta with the Commentary of Jayaratha, 8 vols., ed. Madhusudan Kaul Shastri and Mukunda Rama Shastri, Kashmir Series of Texts and Studies, ed. R. C. Dwivedi and Navjivan Rastogi (reprint, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1987) , 1.74, 2: 115. Abhinavagupta's work will henceforth be referred to as TA, and Jayaratha's commentary, Tantralokaviveka, will be referred to as TAV.
58. For this word, bhangyah, I follow Singh, Vijnanabhairava, p. 99.
59. Shastri, The Vijnana-Bhairava with Commentary Partly by K.she-marcia and Partly by Shivopadhyaya, 109-110, 95-96.
60. This expression contains exactly the fourth, application, step of the inference, i.e, "I, who have the qualities [[[dharma]]] of Siva, am none but He."
62. The features of the sakta upaya treated below are discussed throughout TA 4, 1: 61 7-923, and in The Tantrasara of Abhinavagupta, ed. Mukunda Ram Sastri, Kashmir Series of Texts and Studies, no. 17 (reprint, Delhi: Bani Prakashan, 1982), 4, 21-34. I can make only a few
comments here about Abhinava's classification of means of realization. The first three means-types are distinguished by operation on the
levels of the Trika cosmological triads. In ascending order, these are the individual means (anava upaya), the means of Sakti (sakta upaya), and the means of Sambhu, a.k.a. Siva (sambhava upaya). Above them, Abhinava posits the 'non-means' (anupaya), which designates the direct absorption into Ultimate Reality involving little or no effort.
Some contemporary scholars have assumed that the Pratyabhijna system teaches the 'nonmeans' (anupaya). See, e.g., R. K. Kaw, The Doctrine of Recognition (Pratyabhijna Philosophy), Vishveshvaranand Indological Series, no. 40 (Hoshiarpur: Vishveshvaranand Institute, 1967), p. 264, and Mark Dyczkowski, The Doctrine of Vibration: An Analysis of the Doctrines and Practices of Kashmir Shaivism, ed. Harvey Alper, SUNY Series in the
Shaiva Traditions of Kashmir (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1987), p. 1 79. Dyczkowski apparently bases his classification on Abhinavagupta's citations of the authority of Somananda on the nonmeans, and on the lack of need for practice after Siva is realized.
However, none of the relevant statements by Somananda or Abhinavagupta state that the Pratyabhijna system works through the nonmeans. See SD 75b-
6, 209; TA and TAV 2.48, 2: 349-350; IPV 1.1, on IPK, benedictory verse, 1:31-32; IPV 4.1.16, 2:311. In my opinion, the significance of the nonmeans is closely related to that of the doctrines of self-luminosity and divine omnipotence. The highest realization is that Siva is already realized, and this highest realization itself is known to be brought about by Siva. I further develop this point at the end of the essay.
The sakta upaya classification was first suggested to me by Pt. Hemendra Nath Chakravarty. This well supported my own analysis of practical themes that seemed to contradict the nommeans classification. Pt. Chakravarty and I then spent a considerable amount of time researching the sakta upaya classification of the system together. Dr. Navjivan Rastogi later informed me that he also made the sakta upaya classification. He provided me with a copy of the unpublished second volume of his dissertation, "The Philosophy of Krama Monism of Kashmir:
An Analytical Study," which elucidates many connections between the Pratyabhijna and the sakta upaya. My understanding of the Pratyabhijna system in terms of the sakta upaya is therefore indebted to Pt. Chakravarty and Dr. Rastogi--though I have also researched it on my own. Alexis Sanderson also later supported the sakta upaya interpretation in our personal conversation. A summary of my understanding of this
issue is found in my "Argument and the Recognition of Siva," pp. 85-98. The chief points on this topic made in this essay are my own: the way the revealing of Sakti and Pure Wisdom in the Pratyabhijna system as well as the sakta upaya articulate the same knowledge of emanation, their function within an inference in the Pratyabhijna system, and the connections between this inference and the sakta upaya.
63. See his commentary on Vijnana-Bhairava, 109-110, 95-96. I may have learned of this statement from Dr. Rastogi.
64. In personal conversation, Sanderson did not wish to make a special connection of the sakta upaya with the practice of the revealing of Sakti because this practice is so general. Both the revealing of Sakti and the operation of Pure Wisdom actually figure in Abhinava's other classifications. However, they are given thematic prominence in the sakta upaya.
65. Rastogi, "Philosophy of Krama," p. 388.
66. See TA 4, 3: 617-923 and TS 4, 21-33.
67. TA 1.217-218, 2:240.
68. Alexis Sanderson explained in personal conversation that an increasing valuation of knowledge is evident even in the composition of the Saiva scriptures.
69. TA and TAV 1.148, 2: 186-187. On this section of the text, see Rastogi, "Philosophy of Krama," p. 416. The fact that the sakta upaya is the means of knowledge can be understood on the basis of its operation on the middle level of the Trika cosmic triad, which is in one version the Cognition/Knowledge (jnana) Sakti. See Alexis Sanderson, "Mandala and Agamic Identity in the Trika of Kashmir," in Mantras et diagramroes rituels dans L 'Hindouisme, ed. Andre Padoux (Paris: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 1986), p. 173 n. 9.
70. See TA and TAV4.13, 3:628-629.
71. Sri Malinfvijayottara Tantram, ed. Madhusudan Kaul Shastri (Delhi: Butala and Company, 1984), 17.18-19, 114. These verses are quoted at TA 4.15-16, 3:630-631. The role of reasoning along with scholarly works (sastras) in bringing about the discrimination between heya and upadeya is discussed in Nyayadarsanam 1.1, 1.
72. TA 4.118-119, 3: 737. Cf. TA 4.218-220, 3: 858-859. In his definitions of purity and impurity, Abhinava is subverting orthodox Hindu understanding of the objective reality of these qualities. For his criticism of orthodox ideas, again citing the authority of the Malinfvijaya Tantra, also see TS 4.43, 31.
I should also observe here that, aside from the operation of the inference, Abhinava frames an elaborate discussion in the Pratyabhijna Agamadhikara of the sorts of subjects existing on different cosmological levels in terms of the categories of that which is to be avoided and that which is to
be pursued. He even explains the soteriological recognition itself in terms of making the discrimination between these two (IPV 3.2, Introduction, 2: 244) . Utpaladeva himself refers to certain states of consciousness as to be abandoned (heya) at IPK 3.2.18, 2:269. The difference between the two classes is again that of the absorption or non-absorption of the object into the emanatory subject (IPV 3.2.2-3, 2: 246-247).
73. Pure Wisdom is fifth from the top in the thirty-sixfold scheme of tattvas, and intermediate in the Trika cosmic triads. In personal conversation, Alexis Sanderson suggested that Abhinavagupta may have utilized this principle in explaining the sakta upaya because of its importance in the Pratyabhijna.
74. TA 4.34, 3: 655. Likewise see TS 4, 23-26. Abhinavagupta frequently utilizes the terms interchangeably; see TA 4.44b-45a, 3: 665; TA 4.109-118, 3: 729-737. The identification exemplifies Abhinavagupta's general view that spiritual means (upaya) are identical with their goal (upeya). This view will be discussed further at the end of this essay.
75. TA 4.111-114, 3: 731-733.
76. To emphasize further the encompassment of the Pratyabhijna inference by the soteriology, I mention one
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other point: Pure Wisdom in the Pratyabhijna itself is also referred to as the Wisdom (vidya) Sakti to highlight its character as an activity of the Lord. Abhinava explains: "When there is born the condition of the bound creature... then the Sakti of the Supreme Lord illuminates His Lordship, as has been explained by means of the previously stated arguments. She due to whom some, having accepted these arguments and having their hearts encouraged, become successful--is the Wisdom Power" (IPV 3.1.7, 2:230-231). Also see IPK 3.2.2, 2: 246, and IPV 3.2.2-3, 2: 246-247.
77. See Matilal, Perception, pp. 53, 74, 80. Decision (nirnaya) is another Nyaya category.
78. IPV 1.2, Introduction, 1: 82. Cf. IPV 4.1.1 6, 2:309-310. I observe that many nonphilosophical sastras are also structured around debates with opponents. For example, there may be doubt or debate about interpretations of texts, doctrines, or practices which
are assumed to be correct. This sort of discussion is common to nonphilosophical academic (and, of course, nonacademic) discussion around the world. There are certainly gray areas between what should and should not be considered philosophical. The distinction perhaps depends upon the systematicity and depth of reflexivity.
79. IPV 1.2, benedictory verse, 1: 81.
80. IPV 1.2, Introduction, 1: 82. The verse is in The Stava-Chintamani of Bhatta Narayana with Commentary by Kshemaraja, ed. Mukunda Ram Shastri, Kashmir Series of Texts and Studies, no. 10 (Srinagar: Kashmir Pratap Steam Press, 1918), 71, 80.
81. TA 4.17, 3: 632. Abhinava identifies doubt with the propensity to seeing duality, particularly of subject and object, which is eliminated by good reasoning (sattarka); see TA 4.105, 3:726. The significance of doubt in tantric practice is discussed in Rastogi, "Philosophy of Krama," pp. 593-594.
82. TA 4.18-32, 3: 636-653; TS 4, 31-32.
83. TS 4.4-5, 21-22. Cf. Jayaratha's discussion of the difference between the good reasoning of the Saivas and the non-good reasoning (asattarka) of others at TAV4.1 7, 3: 636.
84. TA 4.39-40, 3: 659-660.
85. IPV, Conclusion, 2, 2:317.
86. See note 124 for remarks on the Saivas' development of "tantric argument" in the realm of ontology.
87. Though Abhinavagupta mentions various other Buddhist thinkers, the Saivas' understanding centers most on the thought of Dharmakirti. Buddhist logic is sometimes described as a hybrid of Yogacara and Sautrantika. I note that there are not presently known any texts expressing criticisms of the Saivas by this school. Whether or not
there were previous confrontations, what is important is that the Buddhist logicians were seen as a great intellectual threat by the large community of Hindu philosophers. By answering the challenges posed by them, the Saivas understood themselves as giving their soteriology a strong intellectual foundation.
88. See the Saivas' summary of the basic views of Buddhist logic at IPK and IPV 1.2.1 -2, 1: 85-91.
89. See Abhinavagupta's explanation of the "This is that" structure of interpretation at IPVV 1.2.1 -2, 1: 115. He supports this by quoting Vakyapadiya of Bhartrhari, kanda 2, ed. K. A. Subramania Iyer (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1983), 2.128. I note that the Saiva theory of recognition is actually elaborated with three sets of terms, all of which have extensive backgrounds in the earlier linguistic and
epistemological speculations: (1) Pratyabhijna, along with cognates such as abhijna, is usually unproblematically translated just as 'recognition'. (2) Derivatives from the root mrs, such as vimarsa, paramarsa, pratyavamarsa, amarsa, etc., convey notions of linguistic interpretation, judgment, apprehension, etc., which have a recognitive structure. I accordingly often translate these terms as 'recognitive
judgment'.(3) Terms derived from attaching various initial prefixes to the second prefix sam and the root dha--e.g., anusamdhana, pratisamdhana, and abhisamdhi--develop the significance of recognition through notions of synthesis or association. I often translate them as 'recognitive synthesis.' Previous scholars have not understood the way the latter two classes of terms articulate
the Saiva theory of recognition. In the Pratyabhina texts, these three classes of terms are variously defined by one another, used
interchangeably, and placed in close functional relationships. They are also employed disjunctively. The presentation in this essay is made on the basis of the synonymies and homologies between the classes of terms. Textual support for my interpretation is found in my "Argument and the Recognition of Siva," pp. 131-133.
90. See Nyayadarsanam, especially the Tatparyatika, 1.1.4, 93-131. Useful discussion of the debates about interpretation vis-a-vis recognition may be found in Dharmendra Nath Shastri, The Philosophy of Nyaya-Vaisesika and Its Conflict with the Buddhist Dignaga School (Critique of Indian Realism), with a foreword by Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (Agra: Agra University, 1964; reprint, Delhi: Bharatiya Vidya Prakashan, 1976), pp. 144, 201-209, 227-230, 456471. I note that in many discussions recognition and memory were
invoked by Hindu thinkers as proofs of a persisting Self functioning as substratum for the impressions of the past. Though they are sometimes used to defend epistemological points, these are in themselves arguments of philosophical psychology.
91. This is evident particularly in the fourth, application, step of the inference for the sake of others. See the discussions of lingaparamarsa by Uddyotakara, Nyaya Varttika in Nyayadarsanam, 1.1.5,
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142-143, and by Mahamahopadhyaya Bhimacarya Jhalakikar, Nyayakosa, or Dictionary of Technical Terms of Indian Philosophy, revised and re-edited by Mahamahopadhyaya Vasudev Shastri Abhyankar (Poona: Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, 1978) , pp. 709-710, and see Abhinavagupta and Daniel Ingalls' explanation in The "Dhvanyaloka" of Anandavardhana with the "Locana" of Abhinavagupta, trans. Daniel
H. H. Ingalls, Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, and M. V. Patwardhan (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1990), 3.33b, 546, 547-548 n. 7,
and the remarks in Daniel Ingalls, Materials for the Study of Navya-Nyaya Logic, ed. Walter Eugene Clark, Harvard Oriental Series, no. 40 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1951), 32-33. The converse view, that all conceptual construction is inferential, is well known; see Matilal, "Perception as Inference, " in Perception, pp. 255-291.
92. IPV 1.1, on IPK, benedictory verse, 1:37-38.
93. This fact strongly suggests that Utpaladeva himself, like Abhinavagupta, framed the operation of the sastra as the inference for the sake of others.
94. The challenge of the Buddhists is presented in IPK and IPV 1.2, 1:82-119.
95. The Navya-Nyaya later developed an approach to epistemology that in some ways parallels the Pratyabhijfina use of the ideas of Bhartrhari against the Buddhists; see Matilal, "Conception-free Awareness: Gangesa," in Perception, pp. 342-354. The Navya-Nyaya is, however, a realistic system whereas the Pratyabhijna is a kind of monistic idealism.
96. The Saivas use the latter designation. Contemporary scholars are not agreed on whether this term reflects a proper interpretation of Bhartrhari.
97. For Bhartrhari, the Word Absolute grounds linguistic reference as accessed through semantic intuition (pratibha) or manifestation (sphota).
98. This is not to deny that Bhartrhari's analysis of the role of language in experience also had a great influence on the Buddhists.
99. Somananda had already identified Supreme Speech with Siva's creative Sakti. See SD 2, 36-93. For the identification of self-recognition with Supreme Speech, see IPV 1.5.13, 1:252-255; I PK 1.6.1, 1:302; and IPKV 1.6.1, 22. Utpaladeva lists Supreme Speech along with recognition (pratyavamarsa) and Lordship as descriptions of consciousness at IPK 1.5.13, 1:250. Utpaladeva also identifies the Lord Himself as semantic intuition (pratibha) (IPK 1.7.1, 1: 341).
100.IPV 1.5.15, 1: 267-268.
101.In explaining this cosmogony of self-recognition, the Saivas correlate the Trika cosmological triad's levels of emanation with Bhartrhari's states of the emanation of
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speech. For a good discussion by Abhinavagupta, see IPV 1.5.13, 1:252-255. Cf. IPV 1.8.11, 1: 423-424; IPK and IPV 4.1.13-14, 2: 305-307. On the unfragmented character of the highest level of the Lord's self-recognition/speech, see IPK and IPV 1.6.1, 1: 301-305. On the lowest level of fragmented self-recognition, see IPK 1.6.6, 1: 324; IPKV 1.6.6, 24; IPV 1.6.6, 1:324-327. The
entirety of IPK and IPV 1.6, 1:299-344, is about differentiation inherent in ordinary conceptual constructions. Abhinava describes the lowest instances of recognition as reflected recognition (chayamayi pratyabhijna) (IPVV 1.6.6, 2:314). He also describes them as impure (asuddha) (IPV 1.6.6, 1:324-327; IPVV 1.6.6, 2:314).
102.Cf. David Tracy on the nature of fundamental theology as a transcendental/metaphysical inquiry, in Tracy, Blessed Rage, pp. 5556, 108, and his "Uneasy Alliance Reconceived," p. 559.
103.The Saivas believe that the Lord differentiates His self-recognition into the different types of experience such as cognition, memory, decision, and doubt through His Maya Sakti (IPK and IPV 1.5.18, 1:280-283; IPK and IPV 1.5.21, 1:296-298). Also see Bhaskara on IPV 1.6.10, 1:340, on the subtle judgment (pratyavamarsa) in all forms of experience.
104.This is true of the studies of these terms by Harvey Paul Alper, "Abhinavagupta's Concept of Cognitive Power: A Translation of the Jnanasaktyahnika of the Isvarapratyabhijnavimarsini with Commentary and Introduction" (Ph.D. diss., University of Pennsylvania, 1976), "Siva and the Ubiquity of Consciousness: The Spaciousness of an Artful Yogi," Journal of Indian Philosophy 7 (1979): 345-407, and "'Svabhavam Avabhasasya Vimarsam': Judgment as
a Transcendental Category in Utpaladeva's Saiva Theology: The Evidence of the Pratyabhijnakarikavrtti" (unpublished).
105.It will be noticed that prakasa is the same word as svaprakasa, 'self-luminosity, ' without the reflexive prefix sva. The significance of prakasa as a validating awareness is also understood against the background of the Upanisadic, Advaita Vedantin, Mimamsaka, and Buddhist logician conceptions mentioned in note 26 above.
106.These arguments develop in a monistic direction earlier arguments of Vijnanavada Buddhism. However, the Saivas conspicuously avoid the Vijnanavada arguments trying to raise doubts about the validity of ordinary experience on the basis of the occurrence of perceptual illusions.
107.IPK 1.5.2, 1:198. Also see IPV 1.5.2, 1:197-203; IPVV 1.5.2, 2:68.
108.See IPK and IPV 1.5.4, 1:210-212; IPK and IPV 1.5.6, 1:221225; IPK and IPV 1.5.8-9, 1:230-235. The Saivas here are refuting the "representationalism" of the Sautrantikas.
109.IPV 1.1.4, 1:76-77. Cf. IPV 1.1.3, 1:66-67; TS 1, 5-6.
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110.See note 89 above.
111.IPK 1.5.11, 1:241.
112.For these arguments, see IPK and IPV 1.5.11, 1:241-243; IPK 1.5.13, 1:250; IPV 1.5.14, 1:255-265; IPV 1.5.15, 1:267-268; IPV 1.5.19, 1: 283-293.
113.IPV 4.1.7, 2: 292-293. There is discussion pertaining to the syntheses of universals and particulars throughout IPK and IPV 2.3.114, 2:67-134. On this also see IPV 1.5.19, 1:293; IPK and IPV 1.8.5-9, 1:408-421; IPV 3.1, Introduction, 2:214.
The Saiva treatment of universals and particulars is again much indebted to Bhartrhari. On Bhartrhari's views, see Radhika Herzberger, "Bhartrhari on Individuals and Universals," in Bhartrhari and the Buddhists: An Essay in the Development of Fifth and Sixth Century Indian Thought, ed. Bimal K. Matilal and J. Moussaieff Masson, Studies in Classical India (Dordrecht: D. Reidel, 1986), pp. 9-105.
114.IPV 1.1.3, 1:61-62. For statements of the identity of awareness and recognition (vimarsa) also see IPK and IPV 1.5.11, 1:241244; and IPV 1.5.17, 1:273.
115.IPV 1.5.15, 1:267-268. In this passage I include an earlier statement along with a sentence already quoted. Another example will be quoted shortly. I also mention that Abhinava identifies pratyavamarsa with synonyms for Sakti, creative freedom (svatantrya) , and Lordship (aisvarya) at IPV 1.5.13, 1:254. Recognitive synthesis (anusamdhana) is identified with Sakti(s) at IPKV 1.3.7, 10, and with the Supreme Lord's creatorhood at IPV 1.6, Introduction, 1: 301.
116.IPK 1.8.11, 1:1:421. See also IPV 1.8.11, 1: 423-424.
117.Bhaskara explains this word: "'Judges' [paramrsanti] [means] brings to the condition of object of judgment [paramarsavisayatam] by means of recognition [[[pratyabhijna]]], which has the nature of the unification of word and object [sabdarthaikikaranarupa]" (BIPV 1.5.20, 1:294).
118.IPV 1.5.20, 1:294-295. Also see IPK 1.5.20, 1:294.
119.For further elucidation of how the argument of the Pratyabhijna relates to the sakta upaya theme of the purification of conceptualization, see Abhinavagupta's discussion of the spiritual ascent through ordinary conceptual constructions through the flashing forth in them of the Wisdom Power (vidysakti, a.k.a. suddhavidya, Pure Wisdom) at IPV 1.6.6, 1:325-327. Cf. IPV 2.3.13, 2:129; TS 4, 27; and IPK and IPV 4.1.13-14, 2:305307.
120.TA 1.145, 2:184.
121.TA 2.10-11, 16-17, 2:319-323. The reader will recall that in his sakta upaya, Abhinavagupta identifies the
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tool, good reasoning, with the goal, Pure Wisdom.
122.Ajadapramatrsiddhi, in Siddhitrayi and the Isvarapratyabhijnakarikavrtti, 15, 6. This is perhaps the most frequently cited verse throughout Abhinava's commentaries. Examples are found at IPV 1.1, on IPK, benedictory verse, 1:35; IPV 1.5.11, 1:1:244; IPV 1.5.17, 1:279; IPVV 1.1, 1:54.
123.IPV 1.5.17, 1:278-279.
124.As I have mentioned, the Saivas develop an ontology corresponding to the epistemology of recognition. I can only make a few remarks on this subject here. The Saiva ontology relies upon the Vyakarana interpretation of Being/Existence (satta) as mythicoritual action (kriya), and
makes extensive use of grammatical discussions of verbal-action syntax (karaka theory). Utpaladeva and Abhinavagupta particularly engage earlier linguistic considerations which either emphasize or de-emphasize the role of the agent in relation to verbal action. The Saivas develop the former to reduce action along with its accessories, such as objects, instruments, etc., to the omnipotent agency of Siva. Siva's
agency is the ontological counterpart to His self-recognition. As Utpaladeva says: "Being is the condition of one who becomes, that is, the agency of the act of becoming" (satta bhavatta bhavanakartrta...) (IPKV 1.5.14, 19). With this theory, the Pratyabhijna
reenacts as it interprets the very syntax of the Saiva mythico-ritual drama. The Saiva treatment of action is found throughout the Kriyadhikara of the Pratyabhijna texts (IPK and IPV 2.1-4, 2: 1-209). This subject is discussed in my "Argument and the Recognition of Siva," pp. 192-229, and in an article I am writing, "The Mythico-Ritual Syntax of Omnipotence."