Development of Tantras in the Context of Buddhism and Upanishads

 

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“The mother is glorious, she is the ever new creation, and her foundation the pure energy of consciousness that manifests manifoldly”

Trident3On June 15, 2010, Dr. Dyczkowski gave a talk at California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. In the talk, after his introduction, he covered the first verse of Tantraloka, followed by short but some fantastic readings on the Tantra of Three Headed Bhairava, 12 Kaalis and concluding with a Q&A.

In the introduction, he presented a birds eye view of how the tantric traditions provided a philosophical system which ultimately became an exegetical model through which subsequent tantric traditions developed a theory of consciousness, a theory of self and a theory of deity that can be considered as the most sophisticated analytical model that developed in the Indian sub-continent.

To elucidate this, he presents how the Shaiva masters had to fully leverage the tools of classical Indian philosophy to tackle the objections of Buddhists while accommodating the best of Upanishads.

To sum up, the thinking can be categorized into process theories of reality and the non-process theories of reality. We can associate non-process theories (Upanishad) with space and process theories (Buddhism) with time. Kashmir Shaivism bridges these two. One, the insubstantial indefinable that developed in some schools – a kind of streaming consciousness that is engaged in perception that constantly streams until it stills in a condition that is ineffable and that is insight. And on the other side the other view in which consciousness is a fundamental empirically indefinable pure witnessing consciousness that also escapes the relationship between subject and object ultimately and comes to rest in the ineffability of its absolute nature transcending empirical definitions. Both of these views mostly led to understanding the world as being transitory, phenomenal and its phenomenal nature inexplicable, equated in some way not fully real.

At this point, by this time, by the 6th 7th century AD when these discourses had developed to quite a complex level and had been understanding each other and variously criticizing each other and stimulating one another, the Tantras developed. That presupposed a kind of implied notion and perception of reality, the nature of reality which draws dynamic self regenerating manifesting kind of perpetually in an amazing proliferation of forms, divine forms, and at the same time remaining without contradiction as it were insubstantial, formless and non-empirically definable and both of these situations considered simultaneously to be deity.

ATK is delighted to present the first 35-minute of the audio recording to fellow seekers.

OM SAUḤ PARĀYAI NAMAḤ

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3 Replies to “Development of Tantras in the Context of Buddhism and Upanishads”

  1. Thank you Markji,
    I am also studying this briding of the subject object duality through the lens Abhinavgupttas aesthetics
    It is af eminine perception of the same reality that is mirrored in our conciousness I think

  2. Kashmiri Shaivism is a beautiful amalgam of the best philosophical streams that flowed across the region through the ages. It just about synthesized the best and brought out the essence that directs the practitioner to the core Being. Under a guru-mentor like Dr Mark Sahoday, the path is illuminated; its for us to tread with care, concern and divine love.

  3. Thank you, Markji. Looking forward to more lectures and/or publications on your exegesis of Tantra Loka in English. Pranams.

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