This little work is digest of the Pratyabhijna system of Kashmir Saiva Philosophy, prepared by Ksemaraja, the illustrious disciple of Abhinavagupta. It avoids all polemics and gives in a very succinct form (20 sutras) and main tenets of the Pratyabhijna presented by Utpala. Pratyabhijna means recognition. Jiva is Siva; by identifying himself with his body. Jiva has forgotten his real nature. This teaching is meant to enable Jiva to recognise his own real self i.e., Siva and to suggest to him the spiritual discipline needed to attain 'at-one-ment' with SIVA.
Preface to the First Edition
Pratyabhjinahrdayam serves as the best introduction to the Pratyabhijna philosophy of Kashmir. An English translation of the book by Prof. K. F. Leidecker is already available. My only apology for bringing out another translation of the book is that the one that is available bristles with mistakes, some of which are quite serious. It has been my painful duty to point out a few of the serious mistakes. No one who has not studied this book with a teacher can work away its translation merely with the assistance of a lexicon and grammar. I had the good fortune of studying it with Swami Lakshman Joo who is practically the sole surviving exponent of this system in Kashmir, and who not only embodies within himself the tradition of the school, but has also practiced the yogic disciplines recommended by it. He has helped me not only by explaining the technical words but also in tracing out the sources of most of the quotations occurring in the book. I am deeply grateful to him for his kind help.
This Sanskrit text adopted is that of the Kashmir Sanskrit Series. The translation is given below each page of the text. It closely follows the original-with a few words here and there in parenthesis to make the sense clearer. A person knowing even a little of Sanskrit can follow the translation almost word for word. I have tried to make the translation as flawless as possible. Some of the highly technical terms have been used in it as they occur in the original, but their connotation has been elaborately elucidated in the notes.
An introduction containing the chief features of the Pratyabhijna system has been provided. An analysis of the contexts of each Sutra has also been given. Copious notes on difficult and technical words have been added, and a glossary of the technical terms has also been appended at end.
While the book was at the proof stage, I referred my difficulties in some of the Sutras to MM. Dr. Gopinath Kaviraja and profited greatly by his illuminating exposition. I have used his suggestions with advantage in some of my notes. I am deeply grateful to him for his kind help. Acharya Pandit Rameshwar Jha was helpful in the clarification of some difficult passages of the text. I, therefore, offer him my heart-felt thanks.
Preface to the Second Edition
In this edition, both the Introduction and Notes have been considerably enlarged.
In the Introduction, three new topics, viz., Svatantrya-vada and Abhasavada, Sadadhva and Comparison and Contrast with Samkara's Advaitavada have been added. Considerable new additions have been made in the Notes.
At some places, alteration has been made in the translation of the text for the sake of greater clarity.
With these additions and alterations, the book has been greatly improved and will, it is hoped, be of considerable value to the readers.
About the Author:
Dr. Jaideva Singh has considerably revised and enlarged his translation, and provided a scholarly Introduction, Notes, Glossary of technical terms and Indexes. It serves as the best introduction to Pratyabihjna philosophy.
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