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Samvid - Svatantrya Shakti - Anda Concept Of Abhinavagupta

The syncretic outlook of Abhinavagupta (9501020 CE) is also reflected in his description of the Advaita Shaiva philosophy. According to him, Samvid or the supreme Real conceived in a non-corporeal form as abstract metaphysical principle or Parama Shiva or Parameshvara conceived in a corporeal form resolves to manifest himself as the universe out of his free will. He does so by exercising his divine power, technically called the svatantrya shakti,the power of divine freedom.

The power of Shiva then functions in three different forms, technically called Para Shakti or Mahamaya, Parapara Shakti or Maya Shakti, and Apara Shakti or Prakriti Shakti on the three stadia in world creation.

As a result of this, the universe is manifested in three different forms, technically called shuddha adhva, shuddhashuddha adhva or mayadhva, and ashuddha adhva or Prakriti.

In his work, Paramarthasara, Abhinavagupta conceptualized these adhvas as constituting spheres which he named as andas. These are named by him as shaktyanda, in which the divine power functions in its pure form as chitshakti or mahamaya; mayanda, in which the divine power is held to be functioning as sukshma achit shakti or maya; and prakrityanda, in which achit shakti functions in its gross form or Prakriti. Abhinavagupta adds one more anda, a sphere, which he calls prithvyanda.

Source - article titled 'Light on Abhinavagupta’s Contribution to the Advaita Shaiva Spiritual Philosophy of Kashmir' by Dr Debabrata Sen Sharma published in Prabuddha Bharata Magazine January 2016 Issue.




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