Muktabodha Launches Major New Translation Series

In 2022, Muktabodha celebrates its 25th anniversary. To mark this significant milestone, the Institute has initiated a long-term project to translate a series of select Sanskrit texts from its Digital Library collections into English. Over the next 10 years, Muktabodha aims to sponsor the translation and publication of 10 mainly untranslated Sanskrit texts originally published in the Kashmir Series of Texts and Studies (KSTS).

In 1911, the Research Department of the state of Jammu and Kashmir began publishing the KSTS, which made dozens of texts preserved in Kashmir available outside of the region for the first time. The KSTS was the most important influence on what was seen as a distinctly “Kashmirian” form of Śaivism, and it laid the foundation for all future discussions of what is often referred to as “Kashmir Śaivism.” Many of the most influential and well-known works composed in Kashmir by some of the leading intellectuals of premodern India, such as Somānanda, Utpaladeva, Abhinavagupta, and Kṣemarāja, were published in the KSTS. However, fewer than half of these have been translated into English. This remains a major lacuna in the study of Śaivism and other religious, philosophical, and literary traditions in India.

The Translation Series will expand on the preservation work that Muktabodha has already accomplished. One of Muktabodha’s earliest contributions to Indological research was to provide scans and searchable e-text versions of the KSTS volumes to scholars worldwide. Muktabodha then published a translation of the Paramārthasāra (KSTS v.7), and a translation of the Īśvara-pratyabhijñā-kārikā of Utpaladava, a foundational work that has important  commentaries in three texts of the KSTS.

The Muktabodha Translation Series will serve a broad range of scholars and practitioners interested in the religious and philosophical traditions of Kashmir, and, at the same time, provide access to these treasures of Indian thought to the world at large. It is Muktabodha’s intention to ensure that the volumes in this series are academically rigorous translations and yet accessible to a general audience.

The Muktabodha Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of two distinguished scholars to serve as Co-Editors of the Translation Series: Dr. John Nemec (University of Virginia) and Dr. Hamsa Stainton (McGill University). Drs. Nemec and Stainton bring extensive expertise in the study of Śaiva Tantra, and its Kashmirian expressions in particular, to bear on this project. We are also pleased to announce that the Muktabodha Translation Series will be published by the State University of New York Press, an outstanding academic publishing house with a long tradition of offering titles in Indian Religions and, in particular, in Śaivism in Kashmir (and beyond).

We will share much more information about the Muktabodha Translation Series in the weeks and months to come, including specific information for scholars who may wish to be involved in the project. There will also be exciting new opportunities for donors who wish to support the work of Muktabodha by sponsoring the translation and publication of specific texts. It is our goal that the new Muktabodha Translation Series will bring the priceless wisdom enshrined in the volumes of the KSTS to a much broader audience, now and far into the future.