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Tantrāloka (Sanskrit: तन्त्रालोक, romanizedtantrāloka, lit.'Elucidation of Tantra') is the masterwork of Abhinavagupta, a writer and philosopher of the Kashmir Shaivism school of Hindu philosophy.


The work contains the synthesis of the 64 monistic āgamas and the different schools of tantra. It discussed both ritualistic and philosophic aspects in 37 chapters; the first chapter contains the essential teachings in condensed form. On account of its size and scope it is considered an encyclopedia of the nondual school of Hindu tantra.

Tantrāloka was written in the 10th century and, after Kashmir Shaivism all but disappeared, it was rediscovered in old manuscripts towards the end of the 19th century.

Its only complete translation into a European language to-date – Italian – is credited to Raniero Gnoli, now at its second edition.[1] The esoteric chapter 29 on the Kaula ritual was translated in English together with Jayaratha's commentary by John R. Dupuche.[2]

A complex study on the context, authors, contents and references of Tantrāloka was published by Navjivan Rastogi, Prof. of the Lucknow University.[3] Though there are no English translations of Tantrāloka to date, the last recognized master of the oral tradition of Kashmir Shaivism, Swami Lakshman Joo, gave a condensed version of the key philosophical chapters of Tantrāloka in his book, Kashmir Shaivism – The Secret Supreme.[4]


  1. ^ Luce dei Tantra, Tantrāloka, Abhinavagupta, Raniero Gnoli, 1999
  2. ^ Dupuche, John R. The Kula Ritual as Elaborated in Chapter 29 of the Tantrāloka of Abhinavagupta.
  3. ^ Introduction to the Tantrāloka, Navjivan Rastogi
  4. ^ Kashmir Shaivism – The Secret Supreme, ed, John Hughes, SUNY press, 1985.


  • Mukund Rām Shāstrī, ed. (1918). The Tantrāloka of Abhinava Gupta. Vol. 1. Commentary by Rājānaka Jayaratha. Allahabad: Indian Press.
  • Abhinavagupta; Dvivedī, Rāmacandra; Rastogī, Navajīvana (1987). Tantrāloka : with the commentary of Jayaratha / 1 Introduction. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 8120802411. OCLC 165479173.