Abhinavagupta’s magnum opus ‘The Tantraloka’ is a great work in the ambience of tantragama treatise. This precept consists of right descriptions of almost all branches of saiva and akta agama. The right will to translate the entire work into English (direct from Samskrta) is reflected in the mind of Mr. Gautam Chatterjee. As the result, the translation work of the fifteen chapters has been completed with illustrious explanatory notes. I pray to Lord Siva, who blesses with his Trisüla of powers i.e. will, knowledge and action, may accomplish the translations of the entire work. I believe, all the scholars of the tantragama will appreciate this work with their blessings.
Situated on the upper portion of the Trisula of Jmanaguru Lord Samkara, Käsi, represents the whole world, so it is quite natural that people from Bengal come here and stay. In such a family, on 1 8th August 1963 (Bhadrapada mäsa), this child was born to enhance the joy of his mother Meera and father Amaresh Chandra Chatterjee, in order to flourish the grace of his lineage as his sun-sign is Leo (simhasthasurya).
‘Sisyaprajmeva bodhasya kãranam guruvakyatah’, by such blessings from Pt. Gopinatha Kaviraja and the spiritual mother Rangama blessed and elevated this fortunate. After completing his education in science subjects from Banaras Hindu University, he cultivated his skill in the field of musicology, and drama-art. He is performing his teachings in Banaras Hindu University. His mother Smt. Meera Devi was initiated (consecrated) by the ascetic Rangama and benefited by the teachings of great sages like Anandamayi Ma, M.M. Gopinath Kaviraja and others.
By the blessings of these great dignities, Gautam’s interest arisen in the spirituality. He mastered himself by the grace of great scholars like Swami Laksmana Joo, Sri Govinda Gopala Mukhopahyaya, Thãkur Jaideva Singh and others in the area of literature, music art and Pratyabhijmsastra. He interviewed art stalwarts such as Satyajit Ray, Kumar Gandharva, Kelucharan Mohapatra, Hazari Prasada Dvivedi, Badal Sircar and others and published it with the concerned seminars. He had keen interest in journalism so he enriched the journals Dharmayug, Svatantra Bharat, Rastriya Sahara and The Hindu with his talent, and got great fame.
At present, with Abhinavagupta Academy, busy with the scholarly works regarding Natyasastra and Pratyabhijmasastra, researches and seminars, Mr. Chatterjee is constantly engaged to accomplish his right resolves. I wish for the success of his zeal.
In 2006, he published his own collection of ten plays (as a playwright) ‘Dasarupaka’ in Hindi. In the preface of this book, he has discussed the ideas of his own and other scholars. Here, the effort is praiseworthy but we cannot approve every idea presented in this preface. Here discussed topics as the Buddhist tantras are inspired by Gautama Buddha, there are effects of Tantras on Natyasastra, the period mentioned here of Guhyasamajatantra, Prapamcasaratantra is the work of Adya Samkaracarya, the use of the word Sandha Bhasa (the twilight or upside down language) are expected to have genuine proofs. We must not forget that the Jaina-s are more harmonious to the nation than the Buddhists.
In the English translation of ‘the Tantraloka’, Mr. Chatterjee has written valuable notes as required by the help of several works with great pain and hard work. His effeort in this respect is very much appreciable. I stop myself. By saying that this method should be followed in the entire work.
Back of the Book
Tantraloka is a magnum opus in the horizon of Indian philosophy. This great work, created by the well known polymath Acarya Abhinavaguptapada (10th century A.D.), is a compendium of all Tantrika rituals and essence drawn from the light of all pre-treatises on Indian Tantra till the time of the creator. This text consists of thirty seven chapters. It reflects on Tantra from the background of Kashmir Saivism which is known as the monistic philosophy of Pratyabhijna. Abhinavagupta explains here at length the ways to worship the Supreme Consciousness in order to attain this state of Absolute ecstasy and liberation in one single life of mankind. This work is before the English-speaking world for the first time in a hermeneutic way.
Gautam Chatterjee is an aspirant of Kashmir Saivism through Consciousness studies. An oft-quoted author of various books and President of Abhinavagupta Academy, Prof. Chatterjee has a lineage of Pt. Ishvarchandra Vidyasagar with deep Sanskrit tradition and has been a close associate of Thakur Jaidev Singh. After completing his study on the inter-influence of Indian classical music and Agama, his two books ‘Consciousness: Re-cognition of the Actor’ and ‘Jnanaganja’ (English translation of the work by Pt. Gopinath Kaviraj direct from Bengali) are now in press. At present, teaches in Banaras Hindu University.
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