Tantra and Abhinavagupta: A Conversation with Professor Sthaneshwar Timalsina (audio podcast version)
Join Mukunda as he speaks to Professor Sthaneshwar Timalsina, Professor of Religious Studies at San Diego State University. He is also a qualified Acharya and has been trained in Sanskrit and Shastras since he was a child. He is an expert on Tantra and Abhinavagupta, a 10th century polymath genius who worked on philosophy, drama, math, music, aesthetics, and other areas. Acharya Sthaneshwar is also Founder of the Vimarsha Foundation, a 501c(3) non-profit that engages in expounding and maintaining the Kashmiri Shaivism tradition. In this episode, we discuss a host of topics including:
00:01:11 Introduction to Acharya Sthaneshwar Timalsina
00:03:23 Acharya Sthaneshwar’s Background growing up in Nepal and in a traditional gurukula (discussion on the difference of traditional gurukula and the current education system in India and Nepal)
00:14:20 Gurukula schools as immersion and “Montessori” style schools, the relationship between modern urban education and nature
00:18:40 Discussion of Landownership and traditional gurukula and brahmana mentality to ownership
00:22:00 The Remnants of the Gurukula system in the modern world and the Phd. Journey of Acharya Sthaneshwar
00:29:00 Life (village and also urban) growing up in Nepal in the 1970s and 80’s
00:34:50 Traditional Panditas method of learning and incorporating new knowledge or ideas (the idea of Guru as a thinker)
00:41:10 Conversation about Creativity and Originality
00:46:35 Paying Homage to the Thinkers and Philosophers that came before and how to have them engage with the modern world
00:50:10 The philosophy of Dynamism and its fruition with Abhinavagupta
00:58:50 Who was Abhinavagupta? Why is he important in Hindu and World Thought?
01:07:50 What is Tantra?
01:18:40 What is Spanda? Oneness and Diversity, Identity and Individuality
01:29:12 Why didn’t Abhinavagupta’s Thought take the sort of hold that Sankara’s Advaita has?
01:39:55 Ancient Knowledge and Philosophy in a Modern World, how have these ideas engage with each other even as ancient traditions are dying
01:57:25 Final Thoughts on civilization concerns, exploration of different ways of thinking, Vimarsha Foundation and bringing these ideas into the marketplace of human thought
You can find Prof. Sthaneshwar Timalsina at: https://sdsu.academia.edu/SthaneshwarTimalsina https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Nonprofit-Organization/Vimarsha-Foundation-103229978091068/
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