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Accueil > Oriente > Pandey : Le Maheśvara

ĪŚVARA-PRATYABHIJÑĀ-VIMARŚINĪ OF ABHINAVAGUPTA

Pandey : Le Maheśvara

DOCTRINE OF DIVINE RECOGNITION

samedi 9 juin 2018

The Maheśvara, in the context of metaphysics, is the Free Will. As such He has two powers, ( I ) the power to act, that is, to manifest the phenomena?, which are the basis of the temporal? and spatial orders and ( II ) the power to know, that is, to manifest the limited subjects and objects and all the rest that is involved in cognition. The former is technically called ‘Kriyāśakti’ and the latter ’Jñanaśakti’. He is called Maheśvara, because of His omnipotence and omniscience, not in the sense, in which these words are understood in the system of Nyāya, but in the sense that He has two powers as presented above.

In this connection it is necessary? to keep in mind? that the Śaiva differs from the Naiyāyika in his conception of the ‘Power’ ( Śakti? ). According to the latter, it is a quality which cannot exist without a substratum and, therefore, presupposes a possessor, distinct from itself. The talk of power necessarily means dualism. The knower is different from the power to know and so is the doer from the power to act. But the former holds that the power is non-different from the possessor. ( Śaktiśaktimatorabhedaḥ ). It is the very being of the possessor : the distinction between the power and its possessor is as imaginary as between the fire and its power to burn.

Similar is the case with the difference of one power from another. It is assumed because of the variety of the effects. It is of the same kind as is imagined between the fire’s power of burning and that of baking.


Maheśvara, the Absolute? Mind.

In the Śaiva metaphysics of Kashmir, the Ultimate Metaphysical Principle is technically called Maheśvara. And in contrast to the Brahman? of the Vedāntin, which is referred to in the neuter gender, the Śaivas refer to the Maheśvara in the masculine. ‘He’ is not only Self-luminous ( Prakāśamaya ) like the Brahman of the Vedāntin, and, therefore, Śānta ( passive ) (?) but also self-conscious and free ( Vimarśamaya ). The implication of the affix ‘maya?’ in the present context is similar to that of the Vedāntin, when he talks of the Brahman as ‘Ānandamaya’.

Prakāśa? and Vimarśa are inseparable. There is no self-luminosity without self-consciousness? and vice versa. The two expressions simply present an analytical view of the same Ultimate Reality. This Reality, because it is self-luminous and self-conscious, is spoken of as the Universal? Mind or Self, The Reality, in the words of the Śaiva, is “Prakāśa-vimarśa-maya”. In the context of metaphysics, to put the idea? metaphorically, the Reality is like a mirror, capable of producing the multiplicity of its own affections. Just as a mirror remains really unaffected by the reflections which are cast in it by external objects, so the Reality remains really unaffected by the appearances, the Ābhāsas, which it manifests, which proceed from it as do the thoughts, ideas, or mental images from an individual mind. But the distinction between the Reality, the Universal Mirror, and an ordinary looking-glass is that ( I ) while the latter is not aware of its ‘being’, does not know that it is, is not self-conscious, the former is ; and ( II ) while the latter depends for its affections on? the external, the former is perfectly independent of everything external. Its affections spring from it as do the ideas from the individual mind. It means that the Reality is the Mind and the universe is nothing but the thought of the Universal Mind. The universe is a reflection on the Universal Mirror. The Prakāśa is the mirror and the power of awareness of the ‘Being’ is the Vimarśa.

In the context of epistemology, it means that the Reality is self-shining and self-conscious. It means that the Reality is the Universal Self-consciousness ; that it is the presupposition of every experience and assertion and denial.

It is admitted that every determinate experience, that an individual subject has, is due to an affection of the individual mind by an external object? through senses and to the determinative reaction of the mind on the data, supplied through the senses. The Śaiva admits that the aspect of the individual that receives the affections of the external object, whereon the external objects are reflected, is the ‘Prakāśa’ and is identical with the ‘Universal Prakāśa’ ; and that the aspect of the individual, that determinately reacts on what is reflected on it, is the ‘Vimarśa’ and is identical with the ‘Universal Vimarśa’. “The Universal and the individual are essentially identical”, is an assertion that the Śaiva makes in common with the Vedāntin. And because it is an acknowledged fact that the individual mind is the presupposition of all experiences, a fact that has been admitted even in the West by such an eminent thinker as Descartes? ; and because the individual is identical with the Universal ; the Śaiva, therefore, holds that the Universal Mind as ‘Prakāśa’ and ‘ Vimarśa’ is the presupposition of all experiences.

Epistemically ‘Prakāśa’ also means that the object of experience is essentially ‘Prakāśa’ i. e. of the nature? of ‘idea’. For, if the object be admitted to be different from ‘Prakāśa’, essentially opposite to ‘Prakāśa’ i. e., ‘Aprakāśa’ ; if it be not the essential nature of the object to shine ; if ‘not to shine’ were the essential nature of the object, it would never shine in experience ; because the essential nature of a thing? does not change and if it changes, it cannot be admitted to be its essential nature.

The Śaiva rejects the view of the dualists and the pluralisms, who hold that though it is not the essential nature of the object to shine, yet it is made to shine by the means of right knowledge?, ‘Pramāṇa’. For, he asserts that that the essential nature of which is ‘not to shine’, can never be made to shine. Thus he asserts that everything is essentially ‘Prakāśa’ and claims to be a Mahādvaitavādin.

From the mystical point of view also the Reality is the same. It is self-shining and self-conscious. The Śaiva admits that in the perfect emancipation (Pūrṇamokṣa) there is no negation of self-consciousness. For, that would mean reduction to the state of the insentience ( jāḑyāpatti ). In fact, this is the chief point of difference between the Śaiva and the Vedāntin. For while the Vedāntin admits the Brahman to be self-shining only (Cinmātra) and without self-consciousness (Nirvimarśa) and accordingly he holds the Brahman to be Śānta and the liberation to be the identity with the Brahman and, therefore, a state of negation of self-consciousness : the Śaiva admits self-consciousness to persist even in the final emancipation, because he holds the Reality, into which the appearance merges, to be not only self-shining but also self-conscious.

He, however, asserts the Reality and the final emancipation to be immediacy ( Nirvikalpa ). His assertion is made on the basis of the conception of mediacy (Vikalpa), which may be stated as follows :—

Determinacy consists ( I ) in unifying a multiplicity into a unity, as when a person combines a number of simple percepts into a complex whole ; ( II ) in contra-distinguishing the object of cognition “this” from “not this” ; ( III ) in interpreting a stimulus in a variety of ways and in accepting one interpretation to be correct and rejecting others as incorrect. Thus, determinacy in all cases is dependent on the consciousness of multiplicity either for unification or for consciousness of distinction. Therefore, in the absence? of consciousness of multiplicity, determinacy is not possible. Since in the transcendental? Self-consciousness, there is nothing to be contra-distinguished from the Self, as there is no ‘not-being’ from which ’being’ is to be distinguished, it cannot be spoken of as determinate consciousness.

The Śaivas admit, like the Vedāntin, that the individual mind is identical with the Universal. Their conception of the macrocosm is based on a very careful study of the microcosm. They hold that what is true in the case of the individual self is equally so in that of the Universal. Accordingly they maintain that the entire universe is a manifestation of the Universal Mind exactly as the world? of imagination is that of the individual and that the universe is related to the Universal Mind exactly as ideas are related to the individual.

Thus, the conception of the Ultimate Reality as Prakāśa-vimarśamaya, self-luminous and self-conscious, is not only what the metaphysical reasoning leads to, but also what the mystic experience in the indeterminate ( nirvikalpa ) Samādhi, from which a yogin rises either automatically ( Svatovyuttiṣṭhate ) or is awakened by another ( parabodhitah ) reveals. It is also the presupposition of all volitional, cognitive and conscious-physical acts at the empirical level. The distinctive conception of the Ultimate Reality in the metaphysical context, according to Kashmir Śaivas, is, therefore, “The Free Will” ( Svatantrā Icchā ).


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