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The Lakshmanjoo Academy is happy to announce the publication of first Chapter of the long awaited text “Light on the Tantra of Kashmir Shaivism;  Abhinavagupta’s Tantraloka" as revealed by Swami Lakshmanjoo. This 500 page introductory volume is chapter one of the renowned 10th century philosopher saint Abhinavagupta’s voluminous masterwork – Tantraloka.

This book, “Light on the Tantra of Kashmir Shaivism;  Abhinavagupta’s Tantraloka” as revealed by Swami Lakshmanjoo, is chapter one of the renowned 10th century philosopher saint Abhinavagupta’s voluminous masterwork – Tantraloka. This profound text is concerned with the philosophy and practice known as Kashmir Shaivism. On account of its size and scope it is a veritable encyclopedia of non-dual Shaivism.

Tantraloka One

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Why was the Tantraloka written? In answer to this question Abhinavagupta tells us that, although in the schools of Kashmir Shaivism there are many wonderful and important ways and methods for attaining the supreme reality, yet in his time not even one was still existing. All of those ways and methods were lost. It is for this reason that he was requested by his colleagues and disciples to create a text that would illuminate and clarify all of these ways and methods of Kashmir Shaivism. To accomplish this, Abhinavagupta composed the Tantraloka, a text, which he tells us is filled with the complete explanation of the ways and methods associated with Kashmir Shaivism. That is to say that the philosophical understanding on the level of the intellect might have been existing, but the actual practical means or methods to be used to attain the supreme reality – oneness with Universal Being – to which they all pointed was lost. Abhinavagupta was intent, therefore, to revive the true understanding of these very important teachings, to make the practices that they embodied live again. For what is the use of a map if you have no way to reach the destination? Thus, Abhinavagupta gave us the Tantraloka to remedy this situation.


The Tantraloka is composed of thirty seven chapters (ahnikas). Each chapter has it’s own distinct topic. In this present volume – chapter one – Abhinavagupta lays the groundwork for the rest of his Tantraloka.


Here are some of the topics Abhinavagupta examines in the first chapter:


•    The important Masters of the schools of Kashmir Shaivism. 

•    The differentiated perception of all the means and methods (upayas). 

•    The difference between knowledge, ignorance and liberation. 

•    The essence of what is to be recognized, i.e., the real object to be known. 

•    The oneness of Shiva and His energy (Shakti). 

•    Introduction to the means and methods (upāya) for attaining full and pure knowledge where you perceive your nature as one with the universe. 

•    True liberation in Kashmir Shaivism. 

•    A discussion of the four states of means (upayas).

•    Three variations of absorption or trance (samavesha) as mentioned in the Malinivijaya Tantra. 

•    The contents of each of the thirty seven chapters of Tantraloka.


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The Lakshmanjoo Academy publishes and distributes the teachings of Kashmir Shaivism from a library of lectures given over a period of more than twenty years by the realized master Swami Lakshmanjoo. He lived from 1907 until 1991 and was the last living master of the oral tradition of Kashmir Shaivism. In his teachings, which are based on his personal experience, he shines a light on this profound philosophy making these revelations easily accessible to one and all. These teachings are made available in written, audio, and video formats.


Kashmir Shaivism has been passed down for millennia as an oral tradition even though the Shaivite scriptures were available to the aspirants. Why? 


To understand that is to grasp the extra dimension of power that is communicated by direct contact with the master. But, truly there is no surprise here. Everyone has experienced the difference in the lecture by a teacher who goes beyond the intellectual understanding by having mastered what is being lectured on; such a lecture includes an extra dimension, the unspoken in the spoken.


The books you are purchasing are only a part of an intended study set which includes the audio from the original lectures recorded in Kashmir given by Swami Lakshmanjoo to his students. By listening to the lectures themselves you are able to experience the power of the great line of Shaivite masters and follow in the footsteps of students learning the esoteric and cryptic secrets hidden in the texts.


Please take advantage of the original lecture audio included with your book purchase by down loading the MP3 files from the Universal Shaivism Fellowship site.


The Lakshmanjoo Academy maintains a website with complete information about Swami Lakshmanjoo and the teachings of Kashmir Shaivism, a photo gallery, a audio and video library, and a calendar of public events.


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