New Book by Navjivan Rastogi

“Kāśmīra śivādvayavāda meṃ pramāṇa-cintana”: “epistemological speculation in the monistic Śaivism of Kashmir” (pp.14+264) published by LD Institute, Ahmedabad.

About the Book:

The present monograph opens up a virtually hitherto unexplored area of fertile intellectual tradition of the Trika namely the epistemological. The foremost motivation for the author has been to seek an identifiable Trika model of philosophical enquiry, if there is one. The model, so envisaged, is theorized by him as the Dynamic Theory of Knowledge pivoted on the notion of re- cognition (pratyabhijñā) conceptualized as a rudimentary generalized mode of cognition per se. Spread over seven chapters under two sections plus a large thematic appendix the work seeks to reconstruct system’s precise formulations along the nature and definition of source of knowing and its specific modes, integral instrumentalities and the process mechanisms at work graphically recaptured and represented by seven tabular charts. The whole presentation is contextualized within the Trika ontology and against the inherited traditions of logical discourse.


Part One

Chapter One : Metaphysical sub-stratum

(i) Introduction

(ii) Ontological framework

Chapter Two : Epistemological theorizing

(i) Textual sources

(ii) Meaning of knowledge

(iii) Major concerns of epistemological enquiry

(a) Knowledge of knowledge: self-luminosity

(b) Knowledge not an object of another knowledge

(c) Validity and invalidity of knowledge

Chapter Three : Ingredients of knowing

(i) Knower

(a) Sub-notions of subjectivity

(b) Permanence and apriority

(c) Aesthetic dimension

(ii) Source of valid knowledge

(a) Pramāṇa-dependent establishment of an object (meya-siddhi) and the pragmatic role of epistemological functioning (vyavahàra-sàdhanatà)

(b) Definition of pramāṇa

(c) Dhārāvāhika jñāna (unitary flow of knowledge), pramāṇasaṃplava vis-à-vis pramāṇa-definition

(iii) Valid knowledge

(a) Non-difference between pramāṇa and its result (pramāṇa-phala)

(b) Divergence from the Buddhist view

(iv) The object of valid knowledge

(a) Principle of viṣayatāpatti (objectfication)

(b) Epistemic object intrinsically a universal (ābhāsa)

(c) ābhāsavāda : the sole object of pramāṇa-activity= an ābhāsa (manifestation)

(v) Abādhitatva (non-contradictedness)

(a) non-contradictedness: an essential component of pramāṇa-definition

(b) saṃvāda(“coherence”) and pramāṇa-definition

(c) pramāṇa and purposive action (pravṛtti)

(vi) Original insights of the śaivas

(a) Instrumentalization of the indeterminate perception (prakāśa : luminous immediacy)

(b) Pramā is bāhyatādhyavasāya (determinate apprehension of the externality)

(vii) The meta-epistemological nature of pramāṇa

Part Two (Kinds of sources of knowing)

Chapter Four: Statement of the problem

Chapter Five: Perception

(i) Definition of perception

(ii) Object of perception

(iii) Indeterminate-determinate perception : a dynamic concept

(iv) Types of perception

(a) Sensory perception a. Process of sensory perception

(b) Mental perception

(c) Yogic perception a. Immediacy of awareness : shining of manifestational vividity in awareness

b. The gateway to cognition of an other’s mind is through identification with the other

c. Impact of the Buddhist notion of bhāvaāprakarṣa

Chapter Six: Inference

(i) Inference : dependent and indirect cognition

(ii) Inference as reasoning (yukti)

(iii) Definition of inference

(a) Deterministic causation underlining vyāpti (relation of necessary dependent concomitance) : logical reason (hetu : middle term) redefined

(iv) Constituent parts of inference

Chapter Seven: āgama

(i) Context and background

(ii) āgama as prasiddhi (inherited cognition) (I)

(iii) āgama as prasiddhi (inherited cognition) (II)

(a) Essential unity of all scriptures: sarvāgamaprāmāṇya

(b) Two-fold variety of prasiddhi : the composed and the non- composed

(c) Source of scriptural validity:firm rooting of conviction (vimarśanirūḍhi)

(iv) āgama as śabdana (verbalizing)/pratibhāna (intuitive reflecting)

(a) Triple contextualization of śabdana

(v) āgama as āpti (verbal testimony : authenticity of the perfected being)

(a) Different kinds of the perfected authority

(b) āpti morphosized into prasiddhi

(vi) Investigating the epistemological structure of āgama

(vii) Epilogue

Appendix Manas and Jñānendriyas in Kashmir Śaivism




Author: Mrinal Kaul

I am a Kashmirian Orientalist

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