The Pratyabhijñā Hṛdayam, “The Heart of Recognition”, of Kṣemarāja (early 11th century), is a profound and concise summary text of the spirituality of non-dualist Kashmir Śaivism. Pratyabhijñā or divine recognition is the core philosophy, as expounded by Utpaladeva (9th century) in his Īśvarapratyabhijñā Kārikās (“Verses on the Recognition of the Lord”), and Kṣemarāja, genial disciple of Abhinavagupta, gives an experiential key to this non-dualism. He places the mystical experience of pure Awareness at the centre, giving both, the background and the practical ways to reach the permanent state of samādhi.
This seminar, which combines text study and practice, will be especially useful for those who have already studied other texts of Kashmir Śaivism like Vijñāna Bhairava, Śiva Sūtras, Netra Tantra, etc. For newcomers to this tradition, it can prepare the ground for further study and practice.
The program includes two sessions of text teaching, about 3 hours of meditation, yoga and recitation of stotras of the tradition.
Dr. Bettina Sharada Bäumer is a direct disciple of the last Master of Kashmir Śaivism, Swami Lakshman Joo (1907-1991). She lives in Varanasi since 1967 where she has her own teaching and research centre. She is an accredited Professor at the Universities of Vienna and Salzburg, Austria, in Religious Studies. She has taught at these and several other universities in Europe.
She has authored and edited 25 books in Sanskrit, English and German, and about 60 research articles, mainly in the fields of Āgama/ Tantra and Kashmir Śaivism, Upanishads, Indian aesthetics, temple architecture and religious traditions of Orissa, and interreligious dialogue.
Attending this teaching would not in any way mean changing your regular practice in the tradition of our Gurudeva Swami Rama.
Daily practice of usual hatha in our tradition and daily silent meditation of one hour will also continue.
As we are having eminent high level scholar and sadhika as our guest, in addition to covering the costs of SRSG hospitality, to keep an offerings envelope ready to correspond with the level of her eminence.
Experience in meditation and yoga. Some knowledge of Sanskrit will be helpful. but it is not an essential requirement.
Only full participation will be allowed because the text needs to be studied in its entirety.
A preparation course on Shaivite Tantra with Dr. Stephen Parker (Stoma) and Swami Prayag Giri. This course will include lectures by Swami Veda Bharati on Shaivism that were prerequisites for the earlier Shiva Sutra Seminar and provide background for seminars by Dr. Bettina Sharada Bäumer. This course is scheduled for 23rd-25th October, 2017, at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama (SRSG).