is a major exploration
Trident of Wisdom"
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.
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.
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.
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
those of you who are new to my translations, please see the short
essay titled: Translation Techniques. I hope that you find your own encounter
with this material as stimulating, perplexing, and inspiring as we have.
Comments and questions on this work in progress can be sent to this website,
and I will endeavor to respond to them as time, thought, and opportunity
• Price: $12.00
Excerpt From "Trident of Wisdom":
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.