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An Introduction to Tantric Philosophy: The Paramarthasara of Abhinavagupta and the Commentary by Yogaraja translated by Lyne Bansat-Boudon and Kamalesha Tripathi, Introduction, notes, cricitally revised Sanskrit text, appendix, indices byLyne Bansat-Boudon (Routledge Studies in Tantric Traditions: Routledge) The Paramarthasara, or 'Essence of Ultimate Reality', is a work of the Kashmirian polymath Abhinavagupta (tenth—eleventh centuries). It is a brief treatise in which the author outlines the doctrine of which he is a notable exponent, namely non-dualistic Saivism, which he designates in his works as the Trika, or 'Triad' of three principles: Siva, Sakti and the embodied soul (nara).
The main interest of the Paramarthasara is not only that it serves as an introduction to the established doctrine of a tradition, but also advances the notion of jivanmukti, 'liberation in this life', as its core theme. Further, it does not confine itself to an exposition of the doctrine as such but at times hints at a second sense lying beneath the evident sense, namely esoteric techniques and practices that are at the heart of the philosophical discourse. Its commentator, Yogaraja (eleventh century), excels in detecting and clarifying those various levels of meaning.
An Introduction to Tantric Philosophy presents, along with a critically revised Sanskrit text, the first annotated English translation of both Abhinavagupta's Paramarthasara and Yogaraja's commentary.
This book will be of interest to dologists, as well as to specialists and students of Religion, Tantric studies and Philosophy. More

Brill's Encyclopedia of Hinduism: Sacred Texts and Language, Ritual Traditions, Arts, Concepts Volume II  edited by Knut A. Jacobsen (Handbook of Oriental Studies: Brill Academic Publishers) This is the second of the five volumes of Brill's Encyclopedia of Hinduism. The goal of the Encyclopedia is to present the latest scholarship on all aspects of the Hindu religious traditions. The Encyclopedia makes available in-depth critical scholarship, and the depth and breadth of information provided in this work are unmatched by any reference work on Hinduism. I should appeal to a wide range of readers. At the foundation of the Encyclopedia is a fascination with a phenomenon that we as humans share, and in the examination of this phenomenon, the emphasis is on critical knowledge. Hinduism as a religious tradition functions on a number of different levels, from the most complex architecture, philosophy, and linguistic activity to the performance of short ritual acts: a woman connecting for a brief moment to a statue of the god Ganesa in a wayside shrine on her way to work, a Hindu holy man performing his morning rituals in the Himalaya, a young boy learning to recite Sanskrit ritual texts at a school for priest education in South India, a dance performance in a temple, an astrologer giving advice to a client, the tying of a short thread to a tree by a pilgrim at a Hindu sacred place, a meeting of the organizational committee of a Hindu temple anywhere in the world, a philosophical discussion at an assembly of learned persons in Benares, artisans making stone sculptures for temples, Vedic sacred formulas and texts recited daily, and manuscripts of Hinduism being preserved in facilities and libraries worldwide. In these and many other ways, the Hindu traditions are performed by hundreds of millions of people every day. The goal of the Encyclopedia is to present the Hindu traditions as they take place on all these levels. Hinduism, it is often observed, has no common church and no common creed, and it is not based on a holy book or a single founder. That may be so, but Hinduism has many organizations, many creeds, many sacred texts, and founders of a number of organizations and knowledge traditions. The vision of this work is to approach the mosaic and network of Hindu traditions in all their multiplicity, and as both historical and contemporary institutions from different angles and in a variety of contexts, and to document a number of connections and networks.

For many scholars whose work is dedicated to understanding the history, structure, and pluralism of Hindu traditions, Hinduism is definitely the world's most exciting religion. This enthusiasm for the subject is displayed in the articles of the Encyclopedia. The articles are clear, comprehensive, interesting and exciting, and they do justice to the Hindu traditions both in the context of ancient civilizations and as global living traditions. More

The Yoga Sutras: An Essential Guide to the Heart of Yoga Philosophy by Nicolai Bachman ( Sounds True) Open your yoga practice with an in-depth course on the Sutras of Patanjali. We know there's more to the yogic path than asana, or physical postures, but how do we access the deeper wisdom of yoga philosophy? More than 2,000 years ago, the legendary master Patanjali answered this question in 195 pearls of insight known as the Yoga Sutras. Now Sanskrit and Ayurveda teacher Nicolai Bachman offers The Yoga Sutras, a complete course with a fresh new approach to working with Patanjali's seminal text for guidance and inspiration on your own journey toward clarity and happiness.

Why do we react the way we do in certain situations? How can suffering be an opportunity for growth? Why are nonviolence and truth important to a student? Patanjali's sutras offer an illuminating perspective on these questions and more. To help integrate this wisdom into our modern life, Bachman offers a unique approach. Instead of reading each sutra sequentially from beginning to end, he focuses on and discusses 51 key concepts. By exploring these principles with him and learning to chant the sutras in Sanskrit, the essence of yoga philosophy is revealed—helping us open to its heart and soul. The Yoga Sutras invites you to discover a variety of practical tools and heartfelt insights for transforming your practice, including:

  • A 336-page color-illustrated workbook with a concise history of yoga and the sutras, in-depth explanation of key themes, translation of all 195 sutras, and a complete glossary of Sanskrit terms for quick reference
  • Six sessions full of insights to further your learning about yoga's essential principles
  • A guided reading on CD of the complete sutras with pronunciation instructions for following along
  • Fifty-one study cards to encourage reflection of each concept and inspire action

When you immerse yourself in Patanjali's sutras, the heart of yoga—and what yoga means for you personally—will unveil itself in new and profound ways. Whether you're a seasoned teacher or a student looking to go deeper with your practice, this essential course offers a treasury of teachings to help realize the"outer joy and inner happiness" of yoga. More

Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism: Volume One: Regions, Pilgrimage, Deities edited by Knut A. Jacobsen (Handbook of Oriental Studies / Handbuch Der Orientalistik: Brill Academic)

The five-volume Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism is a thematically organized encyclopedia, presenting the latest research on all the main aspects of the Hindu traditions. Its essays are original work written by the world’s foremost scholars on Hinduism. The encyclopedia aims at a balanced and even-handed view of Hinduism, recognizing the divergent perspectives and methods in the academic study of a religion that is both an ancient historical tradition and a flourishing tradition today. Following a pluralistic approach, the encyclopedia embraces the greatest possible diversity, plurality, and heterogeneity. It thus emphasizes that Hinduism encompasses a variety of regional religious traditions, as well as a global world religion.

To the extent we are able to review individual volumes we will review each section by its theme.

Volume I of the Encyclopedia of Hinduism covers two main thematic fields. First it presents the regional traditions of Hinduism with articles on the Indian states and main regions of India and on historical regions outside of India. Here the reader will also find entries on sacred space and pilgrimage traditions, sacred time and festival traditions. The second thematic field concerns the various gods, goddesses and divine powers of Hinduism past and present.  More

Transcendent in America: Hindu-Inspired Meditation Movements as New Religion  by Lola Williamson (New and Alternative Religions: NYU Press) Yoga, karma, meditation, guru—these terms, once obscure, are now a part of the American lexicon. Combining Hinduism with Western concepts and values, a new hybrid form of religion has developed in the United States over the past century. In Transcendent in America, Lola Williamson traces the history of various Hindu-inspired movements in America, and argues that together they constitute a discrete category of religious practice, a distinct and identifiable form of new religion. More

The Teachings of the Odd-Eyed One: A Study and Translation of the Virupaksapancasika, With the Commentary of Vidyacakravartin (S U N Y Series in Hindu Studies) by David Peter Lawrence (State University of New York Press) book offers the first published translation of the contemplative manual Virupaksapancasika written circa the twelfth century CE, and the commentary on it, Vivrti by Vidyacakravartin. These late works from the Pratyabhijna tradition of monistic and tantric Kashmiri Saiva philosophy focus on means to deindividualize and disclose the primordial, divine essential natures of the human ego and body-sense.

David Peter Lawrence situates these writings in their medieval, South Asian religious and intellectual contexts. He goes on to engage Pratyabhijna philosophical psychology in dialogue with Western religious and psychoanalytic conceptions of identity and "narcissism," and also demonstrates the Saiva tradition's strong concern with ethics. The richly annotated translation and glossary illuminate the texts for all readers. More

Temple Consecration Rituals in Ancient India: Text and Archaeology by Anna A. Slaczka (Brill's Indological Library: Brill) The principal aim of this book is to study three important construction rituals of the Hindu tradition: the laying of the first stones, the placing of the consecration deposit and the placing of the crowning bricks. These rituals are described in numerous Sanskrit texts on architecture and religion, which date from ca. 7th  to 16th centuries CE.' It is therefore hardly surprising that the present study is based mainly on textual sources. The chief source is the Kasyapasilpa, a South Indian treatise on art and architecture and ritual, written in Sanskrit, usually dated 11th- 12th century CE. Three chapters from the Kasyapasilpa, which deal with the three construction rituals mentioned above, have been critically edited, translated and provided with a commentary. For this purpose, unpublished manuscripts of the Kasyapasilpa were collected in various Southern Indian libraries. In order to place the three chapters of the Kasyapasilpa in a broader context, the descriptions of the construction rituals given by cognate texts, some of them still unpublished, have also been studied. More


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