Report 2020

 

Dear Friends,

Wishing you a peaceful and silent Christmas, the imposed restrictions should be an opportunity for a quiet and spiritual celebration. And we all pray that the pandemic should slowly subside in the coming year.

I want to share some news. Interestingly, although I have been quite unwell since I came to Austria in mid-August and was not able to do much work, but something positive happened with regard to my books. The two publications from Shimla, “Abhinavagupta’s Hermeneutics of the Absolute” and “The Yoga of Netra Tantra” are in the process of reprinting in a second revised edition. My collected articles which were lying with IGNCA for 5 years are now being taken up for publication, again by D.K.Printworld, under the title: “Paśyantī, Insights into Indian Traditions”, edited by Sadananda Das. The publisher promises to bring it out in 2021. In the German area my volume “Trika, Grundthemen des kaschmirischen Śivaismus” is going into a 5th (revised) edition (Tyrolia Verlag). The publisher congratulated me and Ernst Fürlinger (the editor) that this is the most successful volume in the whole series. Ernst had written a fitting foreword to the new edition linking it with the present world-wide crisis. My German translation of the “Vijñāna Bhairava: Das göttliche Bewußtsein” is going into a 6th edition and I am preparing it for a corrected version (Verlag der Weltreligionen).

In spite of my weakness due to a prolonged neuropathy I am still working on two more projects which are already in process. One is the transcript of my last retreat-seminar in Bir, Deer Park Institute, September 2019, on “Madhya: Finding the Centre. A Retreat with selected texts of Kashmir Shaivism”. The audio recording has been carefully transcribed by Micah Sheiner and I am now trying to edit it and make it into a small book which will be more directed to practice. The other project is already going on in a slow pace for some years, a selection of Stotras from the Śivastotrāvalī by Utpaladeva which is planned to be more a text for meditation, bringing each verse in Sanskrit (devanagari and transliteration), in English and German translation, illustrated with some of the splendid photos of Usha Hamm. Both these books do not pretend to be scholarly but to lead into the heart of the spiritual tradition through poetic and mystical texts.

Another great wish of mine is to translate the commentary by Ksemarāja on the Sāmbapañcāśikā in collaboration with Sadananda Das, an extraordinarily mystical text. But this is still a dream for the future when both of us will find time.

I do hope to return to India as soon as permissible in this corona situation. Meanwhile we should keep connected and protected by staying in the Madhya. My best wish is for mokṣa:

      mokṣasya naiva kiñcid dhāmāsti na gamanamanyatra
      ajñānagranthibhidā svaśaktyabhivyaktatā mokṣaḥ //

           Trikāgama

 

     Liberation is not any particular place, nor is it going somewhere else,
     Liberation is the unfoldment of one’s own inner Energy
     Once the knot of ignorance has been removed.

 

     Bettina Sharada