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Quintessence of Trika Philosophy

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In this course Āchārya Sthaneshwar Timalsina will lead you through a study of Virūpākṣapañcāśikā, Fifty Verses of Virūpākṣa. Virūpākṣapañcāśikā is a treatise on the Trika Philosophy of Pratyabhijñā or Self-Recognition associated with the illustrious masters of Kashmiri Śaivism such as Somānanda, Utpaladeva, and Abhinavagupta. Rather than engaging in a rigorous philosophical exposition, the text instead guides the reader through a series of experiential contemplations that seek to elevate the awareness of the self to that of the all-encompassing Śiva by a process of deconstructing phenomenal self-identities. What is inside? 8 sessions, 5 Lectures, each 1 hour in length, 3 Q&A discussions. The 5 Lectures closely follow the 4 Chapters traditionally associated with the text. Lecture 1 includes a general introduction and then covers Chapter 1, verses 1-8, which introduces the concept that the true referent of the "self" and of the "body" is the totality. This comes with the rejection of the self-identities that are conditioned in corporeality, external entities, and mental constructs. Lecture 2 correlates to Chapter 2, verses 9-21, which brings the concept of self-recognition to the fore by describing the emanation of the world as the flow of consciousness identical to Siva. Emanation of the world is compared here with phonemic expression. Lecture 3 and 4 divide Chapter 3, verses 22-40, which expands the concept of the unitary nature of the self through analysis of grammatical persons, resulting in the theory of cosmic pulsation. This chapter brings Śākta concepts to the front with the discourse on the sequence of Śaktis. Lecture 5 concludes with Chapter 4, verses 41-53, which identifies the levels of aspirants in their progressive stages as they experience this totality as self-emanation. Interactive Q&A Discussions were held in the sessions falling between the 2.and 3. lectures, the 4. and 5. lectures, and at the conclusion of the course.

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