About the Book :
Till the advent of Prof. K.C. Pandey on the Indological horizon, the Sanskrit academy was hardly aware that Abhinavagupta-the most towering creative genius of medieval India-was more a philosopher than a literary critic and that his foray into poetics, in fact art and aesthetics as such, was to complement and substantiate his metaphysical and soteriological vision and that his contribution has been phenomenal in both the realms along with their allied and applied ramifications. It was largely for Pandey to unearth Abhinavagupta from the historical and academic oblivion and highlight the unique poignancy of Abhinavan contribution as being nurtured by a unified dynamic integral world-view having perfection, that is, oneness of the being and the beautiful, experience and expression, beingness and bliss, foundationally enshrined in its epicenter. Thus, Pandey proved to be a path discoverer, pathikrt and a system-builder, tarkasya karta. He consistently, and cogently, demonstrated through his numerous writings the intrinsically reciprocal congeniality that obtained between the Trika metaphysics on the one hand and its aesthetics on the other, where the former constitutes the genesis (karana hetu) of the theory of art and the latter the psycho-epistemological synthesis to the proper understanding of the tantrico-philosophical stipulations.
The volume opens with a fairly long preface introducing the underlying theme and spirit of the whole venture followed by a biographical essay on Pandeys inspiring life plus a comprehensive bibliography of his writings. The opening segment is followed by the Part One comprising reminiscences from a cross-section of his students and admirers including quite a few surviving close associates and contemporaries. The next two parts constitute the substantive portion and are devoted to Kashmir Shaivism and Abhinavan aesthetics, respectively.
About the Author :
Navjivan Rastogi, besides being a pupil in the direct lineage of K.C. Pandey, is privileged to have been a colleague of his master and mentor for six years with whom he (jointly) edited an anonymous subcommentary on Abhinavaguptas Isvara-pratyabhijna-vimarsini (unpublished). Formerly Honorary Director of the Abhinavagupta Institute of Aesthetics and Saiva Philosophy, founded by his teacher K.C. Pandey, he retired from active service as the chairperson of the Department of Sanskrit, Pali, and Prakrta languages, University of Lucknow.
Navjivan Rastogi came to prominence with the publication of his Krama Tantricism of Kashmir, vol. 1. His other major works for which he is known are: An Introduction to the Tantraloka: A Study in Structure and Kasmira Sivadvayavada ki Mula Avadharanayen (Key concepts of the Shaiva Monism of Kashmir), in Hindi. He has also edited Tantraloka with the Viveka of Jayaratha, in eight volumes jointly with R.C. Dwivedi. His most recent publication is Abhinavagupta ka Tantragamiya Darsana. At the moment, his two works are in press. Presently he is, inter alia, associated with Karl H. Potter in editing the EIP (Encyclopaedia of Indian Philosophies), volume on Kashmir Shaivism.
Meera Rastogi, the joint editor, is a direct student of Navjivan Rastogi. She has recently published her doctoral dissertation Tantrika Sivadvayavada men Iccha-svatantrya tathta Niyamanavada (Free will and Determinism in Tantric Sivadvayavada). As a former General Fellowship awardee of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research, she wrote a monograph entitled Abhinavaguptas Theory of Speech (unpublished). Presently, she is a lecturer in Sanskrit, University of Lucknow.