Details of the two Pratibimbavāda Manuscripts in Sayaji Rao Gaekwad Central Library, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), India}

When Georg Bühler wrote his famous ‘Kashmir Report’, [Bühler, Georg. (1877) A Detailed Report on a Tour in Search of Sanskrit MSS made in Kaśmir, Rajputana and Central India, Journal of the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Extra Number. 34a. Bombay.] he thought the manuscript titled the Pratibimbavāda that was attributed to Abhinavagupta was perhaps one of his separate works, but later Pandey [Pandey, Kanti Chandra. (1962) Abhinavagupta. An Historical and Philosophical Study. Second edition revised and enlarged, Varanasi: Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series Office. Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series, Vol. I. Second Edi- tion. Revised and Enlarged (First edition 1936, Revised 1951, reprint 2003).] noted in his famous book on Abhinavagupta that the work Pratibimbavāda which is often attributed to Abhinavagupta is nothing but a selection of first twenty-two or twenty-three verses (number of verses varies in some manuscripts) of the chapter three of the Tantrāloka of Abhinavagupta. There are at least four manuscripts of the Pratibimbavāda of Abhinavagupta available to us. One is obviously what is a part of the Bühler Collection (1875-76) in the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute of Pune. This is No. 469 of the Bühler Collection. The other two are a part of Sayaji Rao Gaekwad Central Library in Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. These are Nos. 14/7739 and 14/7740. There is one more uncatalogued manuscript from the Ranbir Sanskrit Research Library in Jammu. This is a part of a bigger bundle of uncatalogued manuscripts titled ‘Works of Abhinavagupta’. The first three manuscripts are written in Śāradā script while the last one is written in Kashmirian Devanāgarī style. Unlike the first three manuscripts where the text of the Tantrāloka is written in the middle of the page and the commentary of Jayaratha follows on margins (not complete in all cases), the last manuscript contains full commentary of Jayaratha and it is not written on margins. Below is the description of the two manuscripts from BHU. Since I have only the scanned images of the manuscripts available to me, I have depended on Tripathi [Tripāṭhī, Ramā Śaṅkar. (1971) Descriptive Catalogue of the Samskrit Manuscripts in Gaekwada Library, Bhārat Kalā Bhavana Library and Samskrit Mahā-Vidyālaya Library, Banaras Hindu University. Banaras Hindu University Samskrit Series 6. Varanasi: Banaras Hindu University.] for their physical details.

Acc. No. 14/7739, C4779
Script: Śāradā
Folia: 7.

Title: Bimba-Pratibimbavāda
Source: Tantrāloka of Abhinavagupta and Tantrāloka-viveka of Jayaratha
Size: 197×14.5.

Details: This is a collection of first 23 verses from the third āhnika of the Tantrāloka. The -viveka, the only extant commentary by Jayaratha is written on margins.

Begins: (main text) oṃ namaḥ śrī gurave | oṃ prakāśamātraṃ yat proktaṃ……}
(Commentary) oṃ namaḥ śivāya antar vibhāti sakalaṃ jagadātmanī iha}

Ends: (main text ends in) iti bimbapratibimbavādaḥ samāptaḥ śubhaṃ bhavatu ||
(commentary on margins ends in) iti śrī tantrāloke bimbapratibimbavādaḥ samāptaḥ |

Remarks: The commentary on the margins begins with a maṅgala of Abhinavagupta antar vibhāti sakalaṃ jagadātmanī hi…… instead of Jayaratha’s maṅgala and then immediately follows the commentary from TĀ 3.1. prakāśamātramiti prādhnyāt | na hi nirvimarśaḥ ….. skipping the earlier part of the commentary.

Acc. No. 14/7740 C1198
Script: Śāradā
Folia: 3.

Title: Bimbapratibimbavāda
Source: Tantrāloka of Abhinavagupta and Tantrāloka-viveka of Jayaratha
Size: 12.3×13.5.

Details: This is a collection of first 23 verses from the TĀ-3. The -viveka, the only extant commentary by Jayaratha is written on margins.

Begins: (main text) oṃ namaḥ śrī gurave oṃ prakāśamātraṃ yat proktaṃ……
(Commentary) oṃ antar vibhāti sakalaṃ jagadātmanī iha \\

Ends: (main text ends in) iti bimbapratibimbavādaḥ samāptaḥ |
(commentary on margins ends in) śrī tantrāloke viśvapratibimbavādaḥ samāptaḥ oṃ śubham 

Remarks: The commentary on the margins begins with a maṅgala of Abhinavagupta antar vibhāti sakalaṃ jagadātmanī hi..…. instead of Jayaratha’s maṅgala and then immediately follows the commentary from TĀ 3.1.prakāśamātramiti prādhnyāt | na hi nirvimarśaḥ ….. skipping the earlier part of the commentary.

Photo of Pandit Mukund Ram Shastri

Pandit Mukund Ram ShastriFrom Aurel Stein, Eugen Hultzsch, John Marshal, Alfred Stratton to George Grierson, all of them were helped in their studies of Kashmir by a man in Srinagar named Pandit Mukund Ram Shastri. In early 1900s, 23 of the 29 books of “Kashmir Series of Texts and Studies” were brought out by Research Department of Jammu and Kashmir under his editorship. Books that are still read and shared in academic circles. And yet, if you Google Image Search, you will find no photograph of Mukund Ram Shastri. You can easily find Stein, Hultzsch, Marshal, Stratton and George Grierson, but no Mukund Ram Shastri. Given here is a photograph of Mahamahopadhyaya Pandit Mukund Ram Shastri, found in the biography of Stratton, ‘Letters from India, by Alfred William Stratton, with a memoir by his wife Anna Booth Stratton and an introductory note by Professor Bloomfield’ (1908).


(This post is reproduced from Search Kashmir with due permission from its owner).

Prof Raffaele Torella (Roma) with Pandit Dinanath Yacch (Srinagar).

18R 29

Two Sanskrit Letters of Pandit Dinanath Yacch

Thanks to Mr Chetan Pandey. Here are the two letters (one written in 1965 and another in 1971) Pandit Dinanath Yacch (1921-2004) wrote to Srī Amritvāgbhavācārya. Just note the eloquent Sanskrit written by Pandit Yacch.


Dinanath Yaksha Letters In Skt to Swamiji (dragged) 2Dinanath Yaksha Letters In Skt to Swamiji (dragged)






Dinanath Yaksha Letters In Skt to Swamiji (dragged) 1

Encyclopaedia Iranica on ‘Persian in Kashmir’.


Persian was the basis of administrations all over western Asia and the highly prestigious language at the courts. Hence, Persian learning radiated into Kashmir and found a fertile soil after the initial impulse.

Read the full text:

New Release: Kashmir’s Contested Pasts by Chitralekha Zutshi

Kashmir’s Contested Pasts: Narratives, Geographies, and the Historical Imagination

This is an extended chronicle of the historical imagination in Kashmir. It explores the conversations between the ideas of Kashmir and the ideas of history taking place within Kashmir’s multilingual historical tradition. Contrary to the notion that the Indian subcontinent did not produce histories in the pre-colonial period, the book uncovers the production, circulation, and consumption of a vibrant regional tradition of historical composition in its textual, oral, and performance forms, from the late sixteenth century to the present.

History and history-writing, as the book illustrates, were defined in multiple ways—as tradition, facts, memories, stories, common sense, and spiritual practice. Analysing the deep linkages among Sanskrit, Persian, and Kashmiri narratives, this book contends that these traditions drew on and influenced each other to define Kashmir as a sacred landscape and polity. Within this interconnected narrative tradition, Kashmir was, and continues to be, imagined as far more than simply an unsettled territory or a tourist paradise.

Offering a historically grounded reflection on the memories, narrative practices, and institutional contexts that have informed imaginings of Kashmir and its past, this book depicts how Kashmir’s history and its territory seem especially embattled in its present political culture. It thus places these contemporary debates over territory, identity, and sovereignty in a much longer historical context.

Follow the links for more details.

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