Chapter Four of Abhinavagupta’s masterpiece, “The Essence of the Tantras” continues: this section features the initial revelation of the Twelve Kālīs, perhaps the most sublime and secret teaching of nondual Tantra.
In this section of his most accessible work, The Essence of the Tantras, Abhinavagupta makes a compelling — and controversial — argument that none of the practices of Yoga contribute to the possibility of abiding awakeness or final liberation except insofar as they contribute to discernment and insight, for only accurate insight into the nature of reality liberates. This nuanced and careful argument is a must-read for all Tantrik Yogis!
The first of 12 posts translation Tantrāloka chapter 29, which details not only the kula-yāga or sexual ritual, but its preliminary meditations, the nonsexual variant forms of the practice, and the important topics of how to perform a Kaula initiation and the ways in which the Guru can pierce the cakras of the disciple and activate his or her energy-body.
Chapter Two of Abhinavagupta’s Tantrasaara teaches the (rare) possibility of spontaneous realization of the Truth without the need for any spiritual practice or method. This chapter contains one of Abhinava’s most powerful and direct pointing-out instructions! He puts the realization of ultimate Truth into the first person for you to savor.
In this section of the text, Abhinava discusses the nature of Awareness as the ground of all being. He breaks down sentience & insentience, gradations of awareness, individuated awareness vs. overarching Awareness, what full realization entails, and refutes objective materialism, all in the course of just five Sanskrit verses!