In this multimedia study set, Swami Lakshmanjoo, the fully realized philosopher saint of the long concealed and secret tradition known as Kashmir Shaivism, translates and illuminates Abhinavagupta's Paramarthasara. Originally a work of Patanjali, Abhinavagupta chose to revise and update this revered treatise in order to reveal the profundities of the Trika Shaivite doctrine. In the conclusion of the Paramarthasara Abhinavagupta tells us, "I have kept this Paramårthasåra, in brief words, in one hundred verses. But although it is only one hundred verses in body, in the volume of knowledge it is more than ten million verses." Abhinavagupta's Paramårthasåra encapsulates the essential teachings of the more difficult and challenging Kashmiri Shaiva works such as his voluminous Tantråloka and Utpaladeva's Ishvarapratyabijna. Unlike these treatises, however, Abhinavagupta's Paramarthasara does not indulge in exacting dialectic or concise logical argumentation. Rather, it is a straightforward piece intended primarily for novices and yet it is highly beneficial even for the more advanced Shaivite practitioner. Abhinavagupta reveals Kashmir Shaivism's unique understanding of the One and the Many and prescribes highly advanced and effective means for recognizing our true identity as the One. Swami Lakshmanjoo chose to reveal the Paramarthasara because, as Abhinavagupta tells us, the Paramarthasara contains the complete essence of the teachings of Kashmir Shaivism. In this direct and clear-cut explanation, Swamiji reveals and clarifies the essential teachings of this profound philosophical and practical tradition.
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Swami Lakshmanjoo was the last in an unbroken line of Kashmir Shaiva masters. As a boy his life was filled with a spiritual thirst to know and realize God. From a very early age he was filled with spiritual experiences. In fact these experiences were so intense that his parents thought he was suffering from hysteria. They were very concerned and approached their family guru, Swamiji’s grand master Swami Ram, requesting him to help their son with his hysteria. Swami Ram laughed and said to them, “Don’t worry, I should have such a disorder.” As Swamiji grew older his desire to completely realize and apprehend the world of spirituality became paramount. To make this a reality he sat at the feet of his guru Swami Mahatabakak and took up the study and practice of Kashmir Shaivism. He became completely engrossed and enthralled in his spirituality, wholeheartedly practicing day and night, ultimately experiencing the fullness of Kashmir Shaiva realization. It is to his beloved Kashmir Shaivism that he devoted the whole of his life, teaching it to those who asked and translating and commenting on what he considered to be the most important texts of this system. He became renowned as a philosopher saint steeped in the tradition of Kashmir Shaivism. With the growing interest in Kashmir Shaivism over the last thirty years, hardly any publication has appeared without a mention of Swami Lakshmanjoo’s contribution to this unique philosophy.
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