The Stavacintamani of Bhatta Narayana (late 9th early 10th century CE) is a devotional stotra dedicated to the praise and worship of Siva and his power (sakti) who is responsible for creation maintenance and dissolution. The stotra is an outpouring of the state of the mature mind of one who practiced experienced internalized and lived this system of monistic Saivism. The quality of the verses and author’s personal fame suggest that bhatta Narayana was not merely an ardent devotee but a learned scholar familiar with the esoteric secrets of the saiva philosophy and practice. Ksemaraja’s commentary is intended to reveal the esoteric meanings of the original devotional text while simultaneously integrating this work into the canon of nondual Saivism. His lucid commentarial style primarily focuses on translating Bhatta Narayana’s poetic devotional verses into the terminology of yogic states and experiences based on the Pratyabhijna monistic philosophy. For example in verse 4 he states. The praise of the lord is nothing but the realization that the lord who is identical with this universe but appears in diversity is in reality non dual.
In his foreword to this book Prof. Rastogi observes Marjanovic’s approach is constructive at time comparative and felicity of language renders the overall presentation very lucid more particularly some of his renderings of Sanskrit terms into English impress at the first sight. In his treatment of the philosophical and doctrinal issues he appears authentic and tries to articulate the inherent intend of Ksemaraja. This work fulfills a long cherished need and serves as a welcome addition to the literature of Kashmir Shaivism in English.