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Trident of Wisdom Intro:
"The Trident of Wisdom"
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This is a major exploration of the Tantric text "The Trident of Wisdom," through verse 20. (I expect to return to this work and complete it, hopefully by the end of 2005.) These remarkable verses inspired a great commentary by Abhinavagupta, which has been further developed by Paul Muller-Ortega and Jaideva Singh. My effort focuses on contacting the inspiration within the verses themselves, and does assume some familiarity with - or at least awareness of -the work of these authors. I consider this Tantric text to be on par with the mâñd:ûkyopanis:ad in its depth and significance to the sincere practitioner of jñâna yoga.
This text is a work in progress. I am translating it for an on-going class that meets every Sunday. There are two companion files associated with this document. The first of these is a set of papers that I've written either commenting on or inspired by this text; the second companion file is a collection of transcriptions of our Sunday night class. Both of these files are also available through this website.
We are studying this text because it's reasonably short, has an inspired commentary by the great Kashmir Shaivite Abhinavagupta, and because it has some remarkable things to teach us. While studying these texts, it seemed to me that I needed to develop an understanding of the Tantra itself before I could thoroughly appreciate Abhinavagupta's commentary, and these three files are the record of that effort. For those ready to move on to that commentary, there are two excellent books currently available.
They are:
1) "The Triadic Heart of Shiva" by Paul Eduardo Muller-Ortega © 1989 SUNY, Published by Sri Satguru Publications; Delhi, India; ISBN 81-7030-525-X
2) "A Trident of Wisdom" by Jaideva Singh © 1989 SUNY, Published by SUNY Albany; Albany, New York; ISBN 0-7914-0181-2
Excerpt From "Trident of Wisdom":
Let us draw a circle, taking it as a perfect non-dualism of uniqueness and infinity - not as a bound figure - and label it "Real." This Real is either attributeless or has attributes. To the extent that it it's attributeless, it is beyond any conversation, experience or realization - even by a God - for as attributeless, the Real is not even Real. To define it as attributeless is to commit sophistry - to give up any effort of definition without taking the blame. Therefore, we must consider The Real as attribute. Each Attribute - Anuttara, Absolute, Beyond Being, THAT, Brahman, The One (of Plotinus) couldn't possibly come and go, develop, emerge or withdraw. Each attribute is neither an aspect or a synonym for any other attribute here. The proper apprehension and use of any attribute contains its own self-dissolution and remoteness; to compare any two or more is to fall from dangerous vision to toying with glass beads.
Whichever attribute we address, we will find that attribute refutes all measure - even such measures as infinity and eternity. This refutation of Measure as Attribute Real = Being as inhering 'within' Reality. But as such, there is a distinction within Reality. Such a distinction - the number of Being - cannot be endured entirely within Reality. Thus Being emerges a bit from Reality.
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