THE PRINCIPLE OF THE FINAL SALVATION IN HINDU TANTRIC SOTERIOLOGY

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Abstract


The specificity of tantric soteriology consists of a combination of three basic principles - unity, salvation, and bliss. This article explores the principle of salvation. Spiritual liberation implies the final overcoming of obstacles hindering the new worldview. Unlike the principle of unity, the principle of salvation focuses on difference, not on identity, drawing a sharp line between the desired state of liberation and the present state of dependence. The main obstacles to spiritual liberation are expressed in the well-known triad “avidyā - karma - saṃsāra”. The principle of salvation appears in Tantrism in two interrelated forms, the ascetic and śaktic ones. Both of them agree with each other in rejection of spiritual ignorance. Spiritual ignorance is the main “negative goal”; without deliverance from it there is no freedom. The state of ignorance is existential one and endowed with powerful protective “forces”. The principle of salvation implies the deliverance not only from everything that is usually considered negative (passions, sensual desires, suffering, etc.), but also of “positive” things (virtue). In the śaktic mode of the principle of salvation, it is assumed that an incorrect view of reality is eliminated by a correct view of it. Due to the fact that, according to the tantric adepts, the energies of the divine Śakti act in the world, the understanding of this fact leads the adept to stop perceiving himself as a dependent being even in the midst of an infinite variety of processes and events of the world. Life is then perceived as an unconditioned, spontaneous “divine play”, a stream of divine pleasure. Ascetic form can be reduced to an ontological interpretation of the principle of salvation, and śaktic form to a cognitive one.


About the authors

S V Pakhomov

Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia

Author for correspondence.
Email: sarpa68@mail.ru
Saint Petersburg, Russia

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