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Commentary of Abhinavagupta on Parātrīśikā
Hi, Gabriel Pradīpaka --wrongly-written Pradipaka-- again. Parātrīśikāvivaraṇa --wrongly-written Paratrishika Vivarana-- is the Abhinavagupta's explanation or exposition (vivaraṇa) on Parātrīśikā (the last portion of venerable Rudrayāmala). There are 11 Tantra-s that are revered in Trika. Among them, five are the main ones: Mālinīvijaya (also called Mālinīvijayottara), Vijñānabhairava, Svacchanda, Rudrayāmala and Netra (also known as Mṛtyuñjit). This text is also called Parātriṁśaka or Parātriṁśikā. As a result, the Abhinavagupta's explanation or exposition on the last portion of Rudrayāmala can be designated in three different ways: Parātrīśikāvivaraṇa or Parātriṁśakavivaraṇa --wrongly-written Paratrimshaka Vivarana-- or Parātriṁśikāvivaraṇa --wrongly-written Paratrimshika Vivarana--.
Who is Abhinavagupta?: Simply put, he is the greatest Master of Trika philosophy. He is the author of around 40 books, of which the most voluminous and important one is Tantrāloka. Anyway, his present Parātrīśikāvivaraṇa is considered as the most difficult to translate and understand scripture in the Trika system... and soon you will find out that that label is not without its fundaments. This scripture is "originally" intended for very advanced disciples as well as jīvanmukta-s (liberated while living), and I am not joking at all. Consequently, it is obvious that I will have to add long explanations or the reader's boat will be wrecked even before setting sail.
Parātrīśikā is also known as the Trikasūtra-s (the aphorism of Trika) because it contains teachings that are the core of this philosophical system. The topics dealt with in this monumental treatise are, as always, the Highest Reality and how to realize It, but Abhinavagupta places emphasis on Mantra here, as the reader will discover. The style of Abhinavagupta is always difficult-to-understand to most translators, but this time the bar will be lifted to new levels. Therefore, in my own case, this will be a journey to insanity in the end, specially because this difficult translation is coupled with the hard task of, by endless explanations, having to make the scripture understandable (being optimistic) to the average reader. All in all, our journey, dear reader, could easily be like that of the mythical Titanic if we are not careful enough. OK, let us get down to work now!
This document was conceived by Gabriel Pradīpaka, one of the two founders of this site, and spiritual guru conversant with Sanskrit language and Trika philosophy.
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