What is Shaivism?

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What is Shaivism?

Tantra encompasses teaching and learning paths, from practical to obscure. One of the more esoteric of these is known as Kashmiri Shaivism. It is a path open to only the most experienced practitioners of Tantra and it can produce miraculous effects. Here’s a brief description on what exactly it is.

The ancient origins of Kashmiri Shaivism

Kashmiri Shaivism yantra

Like all Tantric traditions, Shaivism originates from the Indian subcontinent. The Yogis of the Kashmir region focused on more occult practices of Tantra then what is commonly known. While some parts of Tantra differentiate between the self and a higher power – whether it be God, a deity or something else entirely – Kashmiri Shaivism rejects this duality. Divinity is in everything that exists and everything that exists is a divine whole.

You might think that accessing this divinity must be very complex. However, with dedicated practice and a devotional attitude, higher consciousness can be reached from seemingly simple acts and techniques.

To get to this level of achievement, a practitioner must develop a certain level of mind control – the mind must expand further than the everyday level. Through a higher practice called Trika meditation, which is apart of the Kashmiri Shaivism teachings, you can learn how to expand your mind outside your body in the early stages and how to deconstruct reality at the most supreme levels of this advanced meditation system. Hence it is reserved only for those who have zealously devoted themselves to spiritual evolution.

Power in simplicity

These simple acts and techniques that can be used towards enlightenment can be virtually anything. Some examples are:

  • Watching the snowfall
  • Laughter and humor
  • Submerging yourself in love
  • Experiences of intense fear

It is often said that the masters of Kashmiri Shaivism have a good sense of humor, but there is far more to it than simple wit. According to the sages, any human emotion can be harnessed and worked for a person’s own benefit. Imagine taking the immense energy from your distress or hysteric laughter and turning it inwards for your spiritual growth, or finding this power from the calmness of natural phenomena such as rain or snow and using the experience for higher states. Sounds magical!

The richness of Tantra

Kashmiri Shaivism and Trika meditation are a discipline that can be comprehended only with extensive experience in Tantra. Trying to take this path unprepared can have adverse effects on the psyche. While it is an esoteric practice and not for everyone, it serves as an example of the scope and magnitude of Tantra and the richness of it’s teachings. Even if self realization is not at the forefront of your desires this comprehensive system is both practical and efficient for those that seek structured and measurable mental self-development.


Feel prepared for the higher mysteries? Learn more about our Trika meditation retreats.

Somananda is the founder and head teacher of Somananda Tantra School - a spiritual school of Meditation, Yoga and Tantra. He has been practicing and teaching these ancient treasures across the globe for two decades.
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