Wisdom Words ~ Text Readings and Discussion
Tuesday, Jan 14, 2020
Wisdom Words is a twice-monthly gathering for deep diving into texts from the Trika tradition, works of epic literature, spiritual poetry, and puranas (teaching stories). Discussions are bold, personal, irreverent, reverent, hilarious, moving, revelatory, and immediately applicable to our lives.
The 2020 Wisdom Words texts are Abhinavagupta’s Paramārthasāra followed by The Kashmiri version of the Bhagavad Gita with Abhinavagupta’s commentary.
We meet every 2nd and 4th Tuesday evening. The discussion will be live-streamed via Zoom to registered students. This is a two-way livestream.
about Abhinavagupta’s Paramārthasāra
The Paramārthasāra is a slim work describing the essence of the Trika View of reality. With Abhinavagupta, there is always the possibility that the shorter versions of teachings are for those who have more access to natural direct intuition. As Abhinava says elsewhere with a hint of irony, a brief text on the essence of things is for those who are not so “intellectual” in their approach.
about Abhinavagupta’s commentary on the Bhagavad Gita
The Bhagavad Gita forms the centerpiece of the longer epic, The Mahabharata. It comprises a conversation about doubt, dharma, and yoga (moksha) between the warrior Arjuna and his Guru, Lord Krishna. The conversation takes place in the middle of the battlefield of Kurukshetra, the great war that heralds the end of the Dwapara Yuga and the beginning of our time, the Kali Yuga.
In his introduction, Abhinavagupta acknowledges that many commentaries have already been written, but he means to reveal the essence of the Gita, which he feels has been missed by those who came before him.
Jaya Kula’s reading group, Wisdom Words, has been going strong for two years. From mid-2017 to mid-2019, we read Ramesh Menon’s two-volume Mahabharata. This was a life-changing experience for everyone. Sometime in the not-too-distant future, recordings of the entire two years of gatherings will be available online.
Who can attend and how can I Attend?
There are no prerequisites. All are welcome. You may come and go as you please, although you are encouraged to attend regularly and keep up with readings.
All registered students can participate in the two-way livestream of Wisdom Words via Zoom. You can register for the entire Wisdom Words series (January-June 2020) for $120, or for any individual session for $15. Please click here for registration.
Unedited recordings of this teaching will be available for a week after the live teaching for MGO and Dashamamsha donors and those who have purchased annual passes.
Wisdom Words is included for folks participating in MGO and Dashamamsha.
You may purchase the following texts in preparation for the 2020 Wisdom Words gathering.
The Essence of the Exact Reality or Paramārthasāra of Abhinavagupta, transl. B.N. Pandit – this book is out of print. You can search for it in online used bookstores. PDFs of the text will be sent to registered students if needed.
You may also want to purchase Swami Lakshmanjoo’s Paramārthasāra: Essence of the Highest Reality. We will be consulting both texts.
About the teacher
Shambhavi Sarasvati is the spiritual director of Jaya Kula. Her principle training is in the View and practices of Trika Shaivism, the Tantrik tradition of Kashmir, and the Dzogchen tradition of Tibet.
“Spiritual practice is a way to find out who you really are and to live in the fullness of Reality. This is Self-realization. Nothing more or less.” —Shambhavi
You can read more about Shambhavi’s background, training and publications here.