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Paramarthasara Of Abhinavagupta

Abhinavagupta, lead exponent and staunch adherent of Trika philosophy of Kashmir, was a versatile writer. Abhinavagupta (10th century CE) wrote as many as twenty-four books (as per some scholars it is 44). His works can be divided into two parts – independent works and commentaries. Paramarthasara is one of the most important among his independent works.

The text is written in verse form, containing 105 karikas. It is called Paramarthasara because it briefly states the most essential principles of the Trika philosophy (karika 105).

According to Abhinavagaupta’s own statement, it is an adaptation of Adharakarikas of Sesha Muni (Adhara Bhagavan), a text known also as Paramarthasara.

Paramarthasara of Abhinavagupta contains the following subject matters –

  • Metaphysical reality
  • Ontology of Shaivism
  • Source of creation
  • Manifestation of thirty-six tattvas
  • Bondage and its causes
  • Liberation and its means and numerous other topics

Yogaraja, a disciple of Kshemaraja, wrote a detailed commentary on Paramarthasara.

Some quotes from Paramarthasara

In reality jiva is none other than Mahadeva Shiva Himself, having take up such form of the bounded being (Paramarthasara 5).

The universe is a real manifestation of the Absolute (Paramarthasara, 10-11)

An aspirant who meditates on the great Brahman quickly attains Shiva in his heart (Paramarthasara, 104).