Translator(s): Mark S G Dyczkowski
Publisher: Indica Books
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8186569448
Abhinavagupta, undoubtedly the greatest genius of India in the fields of philosophy, aesthetics, poetics, dramaturgy, Tantra and mysticism, is being rediscovered only in the last few decades. Although several scholars, in India and abroad, are engaged in studying his works, it is surprising that there are still few translations available.
Abhinavagupta explains in his commentary that he undertook this work because he felt that his predecessors when commenting on the Bhagavad gita had not understood its secret or esoteric meanings. With the mainpurpose to explain these esoteric meanings, Abhinavagupta elaborates the secret doctrine of the purificatioin of the sense organs through the alternation of enjoyment of worldly objects and deep meditation.
He claims that the continuous exchange of two contradictory experiences, i.e., gratification of the senses which brings satisfaction and samadhi in which sense organs are reduced to one’s own atman, qauickly brings the highest good. The great merit of the present translation of Abhinavagupta’s “summary of the (real and secret) meaning of the Bhagavad Gita” lies in the following: First, in includes the text and translation of the Kashmiri versioni of the Bhagavad Gita, which in places differs from the one commented upon by Shankara (there are fifteen additional verses, and many verses partially differ from the verses found in other recensions). Besides, it brings out the specific meanings in the context of Kashmir Shaiva philosophy and yoga, without being influenced by Samkhya or Vedanta.
The translation and explanatory notes show a deep understanding of Kashmir Shaiva metaphysics and yoga. The present work will fulfill an important role by presenting a different version of the Bhagavad Gita in the light of Kashmir Shaivism. It will also be inspiring for anyone interested in the practice of the secret yoga of the gita.
Sri Bhagavad Gita