Mark Dyczkowski

Mark Dyczkowski

Guest Lecturer
Asian and Comparative Studies

Mark Dyczkowski is one of the world's foremost scholars on Tantra and Kashmiri Shaivism. Both a scholar and a practitioner, he was initiated by the great Indian teacher Swami Laksmanjoo. 

Mark Dyczkowski is affiliated with several major academic institutions in India and has lectured in universities in Europe, United States and India. Mark has authored numerous books and articles, including the 12 volume Manthanabhairava Tantra (pub. 2009). He has recently completed the first English translation and commentary on the 29 volume 11th century philosophical masterwork, Tantraloka of Abhinavagupta, and will be teaching an ongoing course on this text in the US.

He has now lived and worked in India for close to forty years, and lives in Varanasi on the ghats of the Ganges. In addition to his academic pursuits, Mark has studied sitar throughout this period, and his present teacher is the great maestro Budhaditya Mukherjee. During these years of musical study he collected over 1,500 compositions for sitar, and, since the mid 1970s, has given public performances in many countries, including India. Listen to a sample of his music performance »

Education

1980 Doctorate in Sanskrit Studies, specialising in Kashmiri Śaivism from the University of Oxford, England.

1975 M.A. Ist Class in Indian Philosophy and Religion at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India.

1973 B.A. Honours Ist Class in Indian Philosophy and History from the same University. Schooling in London, graduated in 1968.

Employment and Awards

1975 - 79: Grant from the British Government Department of Education and Science to study for a doctorate at the University of Oxford.

1979 - present: Research assistant and consultant for foreign scholars who come to Varanasi to search for data, both textual and anthropological.

1985 - 89: Research Associate at Sampurnananda Sanskrit University Varanasi, India; employed to edit unpublished Tantric texts in Sanskrit.

1985 - 88: Private instruction, 20 hours per week in Hindi Sanskrit and Indian classical music.

1979 - 83: Commonwealth Scholarship to research Tantric Sources of Kashmiri Saivism at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India.

1989: Contract with the Oriental Institute of the University of Naples to teach Indian philosophy and religion.

1987 - 91: Fellowship from the Indian National Trust for Art and Culture Heritage (INTACH).

1993 - 2007: Contract awarded by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), Delhi, India to edit, translate and research Tantric texts in Sanskrit.

2005 - present: Academic advisor and in-put supervisor for the Muktabodha on-line digital library of Tantric texts in Sanskrit. See the site WWW.MUKTABODHA.ORG

2007: Visiting Professor at the University of Prague.

Lectures

1984 - Present: Lectures delivered in Universities in Italy (Bologna, Rome Naples and Turin), Czech Republic (Prague), Poland (Warsaw), Switzerland (Lausanne and Zurich), United States (Philadelphia, Cornell, Rochester and Syracuse) and in India (the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, Sarnath, the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, Delhi, Banaras Hindu University (Varanasi). Lectures on a regular daily basis in India and Italy to University students many of whom are engaged in research programs and also to serious students and practicioners of Yoga and Kashmiri Shaivism.

Conferences

1980: World Sanskrit Conference held at Banaras Hindu University.

1980: International Conference on Abhinavagupta held at Banaras Hindu University.

1983: World Buddhist Conference of the Buddhist Society, held at the University of Bologna, Italy.

1984: Conference on Tantrism held at the Sorbonne, Paris.

1985: All India conference on Vedic recitation held at Banaras Hindu University.

1986: Conference on the 'Spirituality of Man' held at the University of Pisa, Italy.

1989: Conference on Śaivism held at Banaras Hindu University by Dharmapura Adhinam.

1990: Conference on the poet Kālidāsa held at Banaras Hindu University.

1991: Conference on Tantrism organized by the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies.

1992: Yearly conference of the American Academy of Religions held in San Francisco.

1993: Conference on Prakrti held by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts in Delhi.

1995: Conference on Indo-Tibetan Buddhism held at the Centre for Advanced Tibetan Studies, Saranath, India

1999: Conference on Pilgrimage Studies held by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts in Delhi.

2000: Conference on Void and Fullness held at the Centre for Advanced Tibetan Studies, Saranath, India

2005:  Second International Conference on Religions and Cultures in the Indic Civilisation, New Delhi

2006:  International Seminar On Kashmir Shaivism, for Birth Centenary of Swami Lakshmanjoo, New Delhi

2007:  Conference on Nāthas and Yoga at the University of Mexico, Mexico City.

2008:  Tantra Confernce at the IGNCA, Delhi

Publications

Sarnath, Varanasi. Books

1)  The Doctrine of Vibration, State University of New York Press, Albany, New York, 1987.

2)  The Canon of the Śaivāgama and the Kubjikā Tantras of the Western Tradition, State University of New York Press, Albany, New York, 1987.

3)  The Stanzas on Vibration, State University of New York Press, Albany, New York, l992.

4)  The Aphorisms of Śiva, State University of New York Press, Albany, New York, l992.

5)  Kubjikā, Kālī, Tripurā and Trika. Monograph series vol. no. 20. The Nepal Research Centre. 2001

6)  The Cult of the Goddess Kubjikā. A Preliminary Comparative Textual and Anthropological Survey of a Secret Newar Goddess. Monograph series vol. no. 21 The Nepal Research Centre. 2002

7)  A Journey in the World of the Tantras. Indica Books. Delhi 2004.

8)  The Section concerning the Virgin Goddess of the Manthānabhairavatantra. 14 volumes. Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts in conjunction with DK Print World, Delhi

Articles

1)  The Kashmiri Śaiva Response to the Buddhist Challenge, proceedings of the World Buddhist Conference of the Buddhist Society, held in Bologna, Italy, 1983.

2)  La Spiritualita' dello Śaiva Yogi in Le Spiritualita' del Mondo edited by C. Conio, University of Pisa Press, Pisa, 1986. Paper delivered at a conference entitled 'The Spirituality of Man' held at the University of Pisa in 1985.

3)  Abhāvavāda - A Forgotten Śaiva Doctrine in Navonmesa: Gopinath Kaviraj Commemoration Volume, edited by H.Chakravarty, Varanasi, 1987.

4)  Self-Awareness, Own Being and Egoity. Paper delivered at a conference on Śaivism held at BanarasHinduUniversityin 1989.PublishedbytheDharmapuramAdisham,1988.

5)  Kubjikā the Androgenous Goddess. Published in the Indologica Taurinensi. Torino, Italy, 1996

6)  The Sacred Geography of the Kubjikā Tantras with Reference to the Bhairava and Kaula Tantras. Published in The Nepal Research Journal. 2000.

7)  The Hymn to the Five Spheres of Emptiness - Khacakrapañcakastotra edition and translation with introduction and note.

Critical Editions of Sanskrit Texts

1) The Samvitprakāśa by Vāmanadatta, edited with English introduction,Ratna Printing Works, 1990.

2) The Spandapradīpikā. A Commentary on the Spandakārikā by Bhagavadutpalācārya, Indica Books, 1995.

3)  Śrītantrasadbhāvatantra - e-text on the website of Muktabodha, 2004.

4)  Kramasadbhava - e-text on the website of Muktabodha, 2005.

5)  Devipañcaśataka - e-text on the website of Muktabodha, 2005.

6)  Kulapañcāśikā attributed to Matsyendranaatha - e-text on the website of Muktabodha, 2006.

7)  Khacakrapañcakastotra - e-text on the website of Muktabodha, 2007.

8)  Mahānayaprakāśa by ArŠasimha - e-text on the website of Muktabodha, 2007.

9)  Khacakrapañcakastotra - e-text on the website of Muktabodha, 2007.

10)  Kularatnoddyota - e-text on the website of Muktabodha, 2007.

11)  ŪrmikaulārŠavatantra - attributed to Matsyendranaatha - e-text on the website of Muktabodha, 2007.

12)  Devyardhapañcaśataka by Prabodhanātha.

Reviews

"Mark Dyczkowski [is] . . . arguably the most original and wide-ranging scholar of Hindu tantra of the present generation, if not of all time." —Prof. David White (review of A Journey in the World of the Tantras published in the Journal of the American Oriental Society 124.4 (2004))

"Dr. Mark Dyczkowski's great labor has salvaged an important, albeit hitherto, unknown part of our Indian cultural and spiritual heritage from oblivion. We may hazard to compare his achievement to the discovery of a great monumental temple complex such as the one in Khajuraho or Konarak." —Attestation letter by Dr. K. K. Chakravarty formerly Director of the National Museum, New Delhi, at present Trustee and Member Secretary of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, concerning work in 14 volumes on the Manthānabhairavatantra.

Music

Dyczkowski has studied North Indian classical music on sitar since 1967 with renowned teachers in India. These include Prof. Rajband Singh and Dr. Gangrade both of which are retired heads of department of instrumental music at the music college of BHU. Shri Omir Bhattacarya who learnt from Ashik Ali Khan, father of Mustaq Ali Khan who belong to the Varanasi Seniya school of sitarists. Since 1990 has studied with Buddhaditya Mukherjee who has made over 100 commercial recordings and is considered to be amongst the very best sitarists alive. Dyczkowski began performing regularly since 1974. He has played in several countries in Europe including England, Italy, France and the Czech Republic as well as the United States.

He is a well known sitarist in Benares where he regularly performs in public and is highly regarded there by the community of musicians and lovers of music.