What is Shaivism?

22 August Aug 2017
Shaivism
Somananda
Founder and Head Teacher

Tantra encompasses a wide spectrum of both practical and more theoretical teachings. One of the more esoteric tantric studies is known as Kashmiri Shaivism. It represents the most exclusive path of Tantra and it can produce miraculous effects. Here is a brief introduction to this remarkable body of knowledge.

The ancient origins of Kashmiri Shaivism

Like all tantric traditions, Shaivism originates from the Indian subcontinent. The yogis of the Kashmir region focused on more occult practices of Tantra than what was commonly known at that time. While some elements 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.

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Displayed here is the mandala of Kashmiri Shaivism. The trident, symbol and yantra of Parama Shiva, representing the triadic energies.

You may 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 acquire this level of achievement, a practitioner must develop a certain level of mind control – the mind must expand further than its everyday level. Through a higher practice called Trika meditation, which is a part 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, this practice is reserved only for those who have zealously devoted themselves to spiritual evolution.

“God and the individual are one. To realize this is the essence of Kashmir Shaivism.” ~ Swami Lakshmanjoo

Power in simplicity

The aforementioned simple techniques that can be used as methods to reach enlightenment can include virtually anything, even some acts that appear altogether mundane. Some examples are:

  • Watching the snowfall

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    In Kashmiri Shaivism, some of the most mundane acts, such as watching the snowfall, can be a catalyst for reaching enlightenment.
  • 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 hysterical laughter and turning it inward to catalyze spiritual growth, or finding this power from the stillness within moments in nature, such as during rain or snow, and using the experience to develop higher states. Sounds magical!

The richness of Tantra

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Here Somananda explains to our Meditation Teacher Training students the various levels of the mind.

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

Somananda

Founder and Head Teacher

Spiritual yogi, lecturer, teacher and author, Somananda is the founder and head teacher of Somananda Tantra School.

Discover the most transcendent Yoga

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The Highest Tantra: Kashmiri Shaivism Retreat

The yoga of enlightenment!

In the Kashmiri Shaivism retreat you will thoroughly practice all the teachings and knowledge gained in the workshop while receiving rare initiations by our advanced teachers. This meditation system is perfect and complete, meant for reaching nothing less than enlightenment. It is a prerequisite to first join the workshop before participating in the retreat.