Second tantra assignment

For the rest of this course we will focus on the tantric tradition of Kashmir Shaivism, which arose in the region of Kashmir in about the eighth century CE and reached its apex in the writings of the great sage Abhinavagupta (950-1025 CE). Abhinavagupta’s vast corpus of writings and teachings were summarized by his student, Kshemaraja, in a set of 20 short sutras. This text is called the Pratyabhijnahrdayam, the Heart of Recognition.

For your second assignment, please:


  • Abhinavagupta’s Vision of Reality” by Christopher Hareesh Wallis: Chris Wallis is a young scholar/practitioner who currently lives and teaches in the Bay area. In this short but VERY full description, he presents a summary of Abhinavagupta’s worldview that includes many of the key concepts elaborated within his teachings.
  • Chapter 1 of The Splendor of Recognition, by Swami Shantananda: Swami-ji is a westerner who took the vows of sannyas (Hindu monkhood) in 1977. Since then he has devoted himself to study, service, and teaching for the gurus of Siddha Yoga, a tradition grounded in the teachings of Kashmir Shaivism. In this chapter he offers a commentary on the first sutra of the Pratyabhijnahrdayam.

PRACTICE: Find a place and time where you can be alone and completely undisturbed. Turn off your phone, and sit quietly for a few minutes, and do the exercise that Swami-ji presents on page 46. Is my consciousness in this space, or is this space in my consciousness?

WRITE a 1-2-page paper: In your own words, present your understanding of the meaning of Sutra 1.

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