Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Professor K. Sivaraman
Scholars know a good deal about Kashmir Śaivism. Beginning in the teens of our century the works of Abhinavagupta and others were edited, translated and studied both by Indian and Western students. The philosophy of non-dualism or absolute monism that charactedized the thought of Abhinavagupta and the Trika or Pratyabhijñā school of which he was a representative has come to be identified with the name Kashmir Śaivism.
Yet a Śaiva school teaching philosophical dualism existed in Kashmir during the the same period. The only early writer of this school whose writings have survived is Sadyojyoti (9th.C). It is the writings of this author, along with their commentaries by Rāmakantha (12th.C) and Aghoraśiva (12th.C) which form the main textual basis for this study. The essay also includes a study of Aghoraśiva's commentary on King Bhoja's (11th.C) Tattvaprakāśikā.
The first two chapters give a detailed exposition of the philosophy of God in Sadyojyoti's Tattvatrayanirnaya (with Aghoraśiva's commentary) and Tattvasangraha (with Aghoraśiva's commentary). The first chapter, on the Tattvatrayanirnaya, includes a complete translation of this work and its commentary into English for the first time. This is followed by a study on the same theme in Bhoja's Tattvaprakāśiká and Aghoraśiva's commentary thereon. These three chapters are followed by a summary of the findings concerning the positive teachings on God put forth in these texts. Chapter four is a study of the polemics in the second chapter of the Nareśvaraparíksá of Sadyojyoti with a commentary by Rámakantha. It is here that the defence of the phiIosophy of God is effected against other schools of Indian philosophy. Chapter five is a study of Abhinavagupta's polemic in the TantrāIoka against Sadyojyoti's dualism and conception of God. This is followed by a summary and conclusion.
In brief, the findings are that, Sadyojyoti's system of thought resembles what one might think of as theistic Sámkhya. The metaphysics is similar with the only significant difference being that Sadyojyoti finds a place for God (Śiva) largly, so the thesis argues, due to the presence of mala in Śaivism, which is absent in Sāmkhya. The argument for the existence of God is similar to the Nyāya syllogism (ie., is a combination of the cosmological and design arguments). The main opponents to this attempted proof of the existence of God are the Buddhist, Dharmakīrti, and the Mīmāmśaka, Kumārila.
In general, Sadyojyoti's philosophy of God and his doctrine of philosophical dualism are as successful as any thought system in terms of power of explicability and internal coherence.
The final part of the conclusion argues that the type of philosophy espoused by Sadyojyoti and his commentators cannot really speak to the modern western world since the premises of the former are those which the latter sees itself as having outgrown.
Hannotte, Leon E., "Philosophy of God in Kashmir Śaiva Dualism: Sadyojyoti and His Commentators" (1987). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 2089.