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Lobanov, S. V. The Idea of the Absolute in the Two Monistic Paradigms: Shankara’s Advaita and Abhinavagupta’s Para-Advaita

Published in journal "Philosophy and Culture", 2014-3 in rubric "Theological foundations of being", pages 401-412.

Resume: The subject of the present research article is the Advaita Vedanta and Kashmir Shaivism as the two main monistic systems of the Indian philosophy introduced by Shankara and Abhinavagupta respectively. Philsophical and religious (mystical) monism was the paradigm in their works. The author of the article compares the two paradigms of monism, Shankara’s advaita (non-duality) and Abhinavagupta’s para-advaita (the highest level of non-duality) by comaring their idea of the Absolute. The author’s approach allows to describe the understudied philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism in comparison with the most famous and the best studied system of the Indian thought. The author conducts his comparison based on Sanskrit sources in both monistic systems including expressions and arguments used by the two great representatives of monism. In particular, the author analyzes Shankara’s and Abhinavagupta’s views on the Absolute as the central concept in their philosophical doctrines represented in the two different monistic paradigms as the ‘static’ or inactive Absolute (Brahman) of Advaita and the ‘dynamic’ creative Absolute (Anuttara, Shiva) of Para- Advaita. The topic raised by the author o the article is quite perspective and important for Russian studies of Indian philosophy in particular and history of philosophy in general. The author manages to cover the annoying gap and provide texts in philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism as the most poorly studied branch of Indian philosophy today. Growing interest of the West towards this branch of Indian philosophy encouraged the growth of attention of Indian researchers, too. Meanwhile, in Russia literature on Kashmir Shaivism is mostly translated from English and there is no researches or thesis works written on the matter besides the thesis research by N. Isaeva. A few articles and translations of extracts from Sanskrit sources do not cover the gap, either. The author of the present article appeals to Sanskrit sources, most of them have never been translated into Russian, as well as the Western and Indian researches. The author introduces new concepts, Sanskrit terms and other information in Russian science. The article will be of interest not only for those who study history of philosophy, but also for those who are involved in cultural research, religious studies, Indian studies and interdisciplinary research.

Keywords: monism, Indian philosophy, Shankara, Abhinavagupta, Advaita Vedanta, advaita, para-advaita, Kashmir Shaivism, Vedanta, Pratyabhijña.

DOI: 10.7256/1999-2793.2014.3.11534

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