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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Pratyabhijnahrdaya

An introductory text of Kashmiri ŚAIVISM written in Sanskrit by Kemarāja, who probably lived in the 10th century CE. Its title, loosely translated, is “The Secret of Recognition” (hdaya literally means “heart” and abhijñā means “recollect” or “remember”; the prefix prati- implies “toward” or “back, again”; so the title implies a deep recovery of something we have forgotten and which is an essential part of our nature). The title is sometimes cited in the accusative singular (i.e., ending with an m). The work is a non-polemical, but very terse, outline of the main tenets of this non-dualistic school of Śaivism. In the 1970s it was recommended for theosophical study by I. K. TAIMNI, who did a translation of and commentary upon it under the title The Secret of Self-Realization (TPH, Adyar, 1974). Another translation under its Sanskrit title, with extensive notes and commentary, is by Jaideva Singh (Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 1963; 4th rev. ed. 1982). Kemarāja, who also wrote nine other works on this subject, was a pupil of Abhinavagupta whose 12 volume Tantrāloka (“Splendors of the Doctrine”) and Tantrālokasāra (“Essence of the Splendors of the Doctrine”) give an exhaustive treatment of the teachings of Kashmiri Saivism.

R.W.B.

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