Taboo and orthodoxy: Making Tantra respectable in 11th century Kashmir

1999 1999

Other formats: Order a copy

Abstract (summary)

This dissertation consists of a translation of the Agamādhikāra of the Īśvara Pratyabhijñā Vivrti Vimarśinī, along with a discussion of the context of the heterodox praxis underlying what was from most standpoints a fairly orthodox text. When examining the notion of ritually induced possession (samāveśa) in the religious context of Kashmir, one finds among contemporary scholars no clear comprehension of the term and widely contradictory views of its meaning and place in the religious praxis in medieval Tantra. After beginning with a treatment of methodological issues, this dissertation specifically addresses the notion of samāveśa from a textual point of view. Complementing this is an analysis of the idea of heterodox ritual praxis within this medieval tantric milieu.

The translation of the Āgamādhikāra of the Īśvara Pratyabhijñā Vivrti Vimarśinī deals with the Śaiva Siddhānta system of tattvas which nondualist Kashmir Śaivism inherited and expanded. For Abhinava, the system of tattvas is to a large degree transformed from a cosmological map of the universe into heuristically valuable map of the human psyche. It becomes a classificatory tool for psychological states of human consciousness. The second chapter of the Āgamādhikāra of the Īśvara Pratyabhijñā Vivrti Vimarśinī focuses especially on the five states of consciousness, waking, dream, deep sleep, the Fourth state and the state beyond the Fourth, with an eye towards the soteriological implications of each of these states. In this context Abhinavagupta discusses the notion of samāveśa, assimilating it to the Fourth state and the state beyond the Fourth state.

Indexing (details)

Religious history
0320: Religious history
Identifier / keyword
Philosophy, religion and theology; Agamadhikara; India; Isvara Pratyabhijna Vivrti Vimarsini; Kashmir; Tantra
Taboo and orthodoxy: Making Tantra respectable in 11th century Kashmir
Biernacki, Loriliai
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 60/12, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
9780599559622, 0599559624
Halbfass, Wilhelm
University of Pennsylvania
University location
United States -- Pennsylvania
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
Access the complete full text

You can get the full text of this document if it is part of your institution's ProQuest subscription.

Try one of the following:

  • Connect to ProQuest through your library network and search for the document from there.
  • Request the document from your library.
  • Go to the ProQuest login page and enter a ProQuest or My Research username / password.