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The Teachings of the Odd-Eyed One: A Study and Translation of the Vīrūpakṣapañcāśikā with the Commentary of Vidyācakravartin (review)

The Teachings of the Odd-Eyed One: A Study and Translation of the Vīrūpakṣapañcāśikā with the... noringtheproblematiccharacteroftheuseofothernaturalentitiesonthepartofthe humanbeing"(p.231)? Albertini'sdiligent472-pagestudybringstogethermanydiversestrands,while theirinterconnectionisnotalwaysclear.Unevennessinstructureandargumentation ontheonehandandacertainhigh-handednessontheother,whichneglectsmajor andimportantscholarlyresults,addtoratherthanexplainthedifficultiesMaimonides himselfhadwiththeconceptoftheMessiah. The Teachings of the Odd-Eyed One: A Study and Translation of the Vrpkapañcik with the Commentary of Vidycakravartin.ByDavidPeterLawrence.Albany:State UniversityofNewYorkPress,2008.Pp.xii+195.Hardcover$60.00. ReviewedbyGavin Flood UniversityofOxford The Teachings of the Odd-Eyed One: A Study and Translation of the Vrpkapañcik with the Commentary of Vidycakravartin,byDavidPeterLawrence,providesacritical translation and a philosophical and historical introduction to a work of the n ndualisticaivatraditionofKashmir,theVirpakapañcikh (VAP)withacomo mentary (Vivti) byVidycakravartin.The text was composed sometime during the twelfthcentury,probablyinKashmirjudgingfromtheradamanuscriptsthatreb main,theterminusaquobeingsuggestedbytheusethetextmakesofA hinavagupta (ca.950­1020 c.e.)andtheterminusadquembeingthetwelfth-centuryMahrthamañjarparimalabyMahevarnanda,whoquotesit.Thetextproclaimsitselftopresent the teachings of a form of iva calledVirpaka ("the odd-eyed one"). The commentatorVidycakravartin,orpossiblyrvidycakravartin,probablylivedinthe fourteenthcenturyandwaspatronizedbyoneofthekingsoftheHoysaladynasty. DavidLawrencepresentsuswithacleardiscussionofthesetextualandauthorial matters(pp.3­5)andplacesthetextanditscommentaryinthehistoryofaivism(pp. 5­10), describing how the philosophical articulation of the Trika tradition, the Pratyabhijñ, appropriated and domesticated toned down and internalised" (p. --" 7) hemoreextremeKpliktransgressivepracticesofthecremationgroundsin --t theirsearchforsupernaturalpowerthatinvolvedsexualritualsandtheingestionof pollutingsubstances.This"overcoding,"touseAlexisSanderson'sterm,produceda richsymbolism"remarkableforthebaroquecomplexityandconvolutednessofthis hierarchization"(p.7),astheauthornotes. Theintroductorymaterial,whichcomprisesaboutathirdofthebook,isf llowed o bythetranslationofthetextandcommentaryalongwithexplicatorynotes.Thereis aglossaryofterms,abibliography,andanindex.Myonlyrealcriticismisthatthe Sanskrittextcouldnotbeincluded,whichmakesitdifficultforthosewithoutaccess totheoriginaltexttoseewhatisbeingtranslated.TheprintedtextthatwehavebyT. Ganapati stri in theTrivandrum Sanskrit Series1 (largely followed by Gopintath Kaviraj's edition) is reliable, although Lawrence suggests that he might produce a neweditionbasedonthemanuscriptshehascollected(p.57). PhilosophyEast&WestVolume61,Number4October2011726­730 ©2011byUniversityofHawai`iPress Lawrence's interest is less text-historical and more philosophical, developing fromhisexcellentRediscovering God with Transcendental Argument,2andmuchof theintroductorymaterialtothetranslationpresentstheunderlyingdoctrinalassumptionofthesystem.ButtheVAPisnotsomuchaphilosophicalasa`contemplative' text articulated through a mythical idiom ofVirpaka presenting the teachings to proudIndra,whoishumbledbyVirpaka'spower.Lawrenceprovidesaninteresting chapteronthehistoryofthetamingofIndraandtheovercodingoftheIndracultby latertraditions,tracingthehistoryofthenarrativefromtheChndogyaUpaniadto theBhgavataandBrahmavaivartaPuras.WedonotfindintheVAPoritscommentary the sophisticated argument and technical terminology of Abhinavagupta andotherPratyabhijñphilosophers,althoughitisneverthelessinterestinginitspresentationofa"religiousandphilosophicalpsychology"(p.ix)concernedwiththe "transformationofegoity"andthedivinizationoftheselforrealizationoftheidentityofthetrueselfwithanondualabsolutereality.Thisrealityissupremeconsciousnessexpressedas`I-am-ness'(asmit)and,particularlythroughritualandmeditation, astheidentificationofthebodywiththecosmos(pp.11­18). Indeed,oneofthemainconcernsofthetextisthetransformationofembodiment andtherealizationthattheselfiscoextensivewithabsoluteconsciousness,whichis alsotosaythatthebodyiscoterminouswiththecosmos.Thisisanimportanttheme intheaivatradition,andVirpakatakesitupfromtheninthcenturyivaStras (1.14)wherethe`perceptible'(dyam),thatis,theuniverse,isidentifiedwiththe http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Philosophy East and West University of Hawai'I Press

The Teachings of the Odd-Eyed One: A Study and Translation of the Vīrūpakṣapañcāśikā with the Commentary of Vidyācakravartin (review)

Philosophy East and West , Volume 61 (4) – Oct 15, 2011

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1529-1898
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Abstract

noringtheproblematiccharacteroftheuseofothernaturalentitiesonthepartofthe humanbeing"(p.231)? Albertini'sdiligent472-pagestudybringstogethermanydiversestrands,while theirinterconnectionisnotalwaysclear.Unevennessinstructureandargumentation ontheonehandandacertainhigh-handednessontheother,whichneglectsmajor andimportantscholarlyresults,addtoratherthanexplainthedifficultiesMaimonides himselfhadwiththeconceptoftheMessiah. The Teachings of the Odd-Eyed One: A Study and Translation of the Vrpkapañcik with the Commentary of Vidycakravartin.ByDavidPeterLawrence.Albany:State UniversityofNewYorkPress,2008.Pp.xii+195.Hardcover$60.00. ReviewedbyGavin Flood UniversityofOxford The Teachings of the Odd-Eyed One: A Study and Translation of the Vrpkapañcik with the Commentary of Vidycakravartin,byDavidPeterLawrence,providesacritical translation and a philosophical and historical introduction to a work of the n ndualisticaivatraditionofKashmir,theVirpakapañcikh (VAP)withacomo mentary (Vivti) byVidycakravartin.The text was composed sometime during the twelfthcentury,probablyinKashmirjudgingfromtheradamanuscriptsthatreb main,theterminusaquobeingsuggestedbytheusethetextmakesofA hinavagupta (ca.950­1020 c.e.)andtheterminusadquembeingthetwelfth-centuryMahrthamañjarparimalabyMahevarnanda,whoquotesit.Thetextproclaimsitselftopresent the teachings of a form of iva calledVirpaka ("the odd-eyed one"). The commentatorVidycakravartin,orpossiblyrvidycakravartin,probablylivedinthe fourteenthcenturyandwaspatronizedbyoneofthekingsoftheHoysaladynasty. DavidLawrencepresentsuswithacleardiscussionofthesetextualandauthorial matters(pp.3­5)andplacesthetextanditscommentaryinthehistoryofaivism(pp. 5­10), describing how the philosophical articulation of the Trika tradition, the Pratyabhijñ, appropriated and domesticated toned down and internalised" (p. --" 7) hemoreextremeKpliktransgressivepracticesofthecremationgroundsin --t theirsearchforsupernaturalpowerthatinvolvedsexualritualsandtheingestionof pollutingsubstances.This"overcoding,"touseAlexisSanderson'sterm,produceda richsymbolism"remarkableforthebaroquecomplexityandconvolutednessofthis hierarchization"(p.7),astheauthornotes. Theintroductorymaterial,whichcomprisesaboutathirdofthebook,isf llowed o bythetranslationofthetextandcommentaryalongwithexplicatorynotes.Thereis aglossaryofterms,abibliography,andanindex.Myonlyrealcriticismisthatthe Sanskrittextcouldnotbeincluded,whichmakesitdifficultforthosewithoutaccess totheoriginaltexttoseewhatisbeingtranslated.TheprintedtextthatwehavebyT. Ganapati stri in theTrivandrum Sanskrit Series1 (largely followed by Gopintath Kaviraj's edition) is reliable, although Lawrence suggests that he might produce a neweditionbasedonthemanuscriptshehascollected(p.57). PhilosophyEast&WestVolume61,Number4October2011726­730 ©2011byUniversityofHawai`iPress Lawrence's interest is less text-historical and more philosophical, developing fromhisexcellentRediscovering God with Transcendental Argument,2andmuchof theintroductorymaterialtothetranslationpresentstheunderlyingdoctrinalassumptionofthesystem.ButtheVAPisnotsomuchaphilosophicalasa`contemplative' text articulated through a mythical idiom ofVirpaka presenting the teachings to proudIndra,whoishumbledbyVirpaka'spower.Lawrenceprovidesaninteresting chapteronthehistoryofthetamingofIndraandtheovercodingoftheIndracultby latertraditions,tracingthehistoryofthenarrativefromtheChndogyaUpaniadto theBhgavataandBrahmavaivartaPuras.WedonotfindintheVAPoritscommentary the sophisticated argument and technical terminology of Abhinavagupta andotherPratyabhijñphilosophers,althoughitisneverthelessinterestinginitspresentationofa"religiousandphilosophicalpsychology"(p.ix)concernedwiththe "transformationofegoity"andthedivinizationoftheselforrealizationoftheidentityofthetrueselfwithanondualabsolutereality.Thisrealityissupremeconsciousnessexpressedas`I-am-ness'(asmit)and,particularlythroughritualandmeditation, astheidentificationofthebodywiththecosmos(pp.11­18). Indeed,oneofthemainconcernsofthetextisthetransformationofembodiment andtherealizationthattheselfiscoextensivewithabsoluteconsciousness,whichis alsotosaythatthebodyiscoterminouswiththecosmos.Thisisanimportanttheme intheaivatradition,andVirpakatakesitupfromtheninthcenturyivaStras (1.14)wherethe`perceptible'(dyam),thatis,theuniverse,isidentifiedwiththe

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Philosophy East and WestUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Oct 15, 2011

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