All about Kashmir Shaivism
Today, more and more people are getting attracted towards the spiritual teachings from the eastern world. Considering the increasing popularity of spiritualism, meditation and yoga; we decided to pen down an article on Kashmir Shaivism.
Kashmir Shaivism is a lesser known but perhaps the most powerful school of thought that the eastern world has to offer. In basic terms it is a non-dual and transformative yogic philosophy with its origins covered in the mystic sands of time. Historians believe that it was the great scholar and philosopher Abhinavgupta who devised this powerful spiritual philosophy during the 9th century AD.
Ideology of Kashmir Shaivism:
According to Guru Shankarananda, one of the leading practitioners and gurus on the subject of Kashmir Shaivism, one cannot term it just as an intellectual school of thought. He says that Kashmir Shaivism is a path that runs parallel to both philosophy and mythology. He termed it as an experience that tends to grow as one practices it.
Kashmir Shaivism is also easy to understand for those who don’t believe in religious propaganda. This is because instead of objectifying God, it stresses on the existence of a supreme consciousness that anyone one achieve through meditation and Yoga.
Kashmir Shaivism in the 21st century:
Although it originated in the 9th century, for more than a thousand years it stayed dormant. The rapidly changing political scenarios in the undivided Indian sub-continent left little room for the spread of Kashmir Shaivism. From 12th century to 20th century, Kashmir Shaivism stayed away from mainstream and can be considered as an underground cult, practiced only by a few masters and gurus.
The man who first introduced Kashmir Shaivism to the modern world was Swami Lakshmanjoo. As a result of his efforts during the early 20th century, the western world gained knowledge of this powerful, non-dual yogic philosophy. Swami Lakshmanjoo was considered to be gifted with a great mind to understand the complexities of Kashmir Shaivism. He started learning about it when he was just 8 years old and proved his mastery on the complex language of Sanskrit before he turned 18.
The efforts of Swami Lakshmanjoo were forwarded by Swami Muktananda Paramahamsa. He travelled all around the globe and spread the world about Kashmir Shaivism. He wrote that regular sadhana and spiritual aptitude are the two most powerful tools that can enlighten any mind and can make the follower achieve the supreme consciousness. His influence and style can still be felt today in the teachings of his students who are carrying the efforts of these two great gurus forward.
Summary of the philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism:
Kashmir Shaivism derives its strength from Shiva. Shiva is said to pave the way for life by destroying the old structures. He is also considered to be omnipresent and aware of everything in this universe. Don’t mistake it for a religion; Kashmir Shaivism portrays Shiva as the supreme consciousness and not as a god or demigod that needs to be worshipped. The ultimate goal of Kashmir Shaivism is to identify one’s personality with this supreme consciousness.
Mike Yap is a long time martial artist turned Yoga instructor. Ever since birth, he’s had a strong passion for technology and stretching his mind and body to their limits. He lives in Vancouver, Canada and is currently working on his website Sound of Om. Check out his iPhone alarm clock.