The Reformulation of the svātantryavāda and ābhāsavāda in the Doctrinal Teachings of the Tripurārahasya

  • Silvia Schwarz Linder Universität Leipzig
Keywords: ābhāsa, pratibimba, pratyabhijñā, vimarśa, svātantrya


The aim of this article is to discuss a specific element of the teachings of the Tripurārahasya (TR), a Sanskrit work of South Indian origin, possibly composed between the 12th and 15th centuries and associated with the Tantric Śākta religious tradition of the Śrīvidyā. The element in question is the reformulation, to be found in the TR, of the Pratyabhijñā twofold doctrine known as svātantryavāda and ābhāsavāda. According to this doctrine, characterized by a realistic idealism, the divine luminous Consciousness, by Her sovereign freedom (svātantrya), manifests the world, which appears as a reflection (ābhāsa, pratibimba) in the mirror of Her own self. Scrutiny of the relevant passages from the TR, in the light of some extracts from the works of the authors of the Pratyabhijñā, makes it possible, on the one hand, to highlight the main features of this doctrine as it was recast in the TR, and, on the other, to put forward explanations for the inconsistencies detectable in the text of the TR, which may be ascribed to the influence of the illusionism of the Yoga-Vāsiṣṭha.


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