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What is Nondual Shaivism?

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Nondual Shaivism, nowadays popularly known as Kashmir Shaivism is a group of nondualist Tantric Shaiva traditions that are thought to have originated in the second half of the first millennium in Kashmir. The final goal in Nondual Shaivism is to recognize one's already existing identity with Universal Consciousness. It's rather not a goal but an awakening to the real you that's always here.

The practitioners use the concept of Shiva, Shakti and Jiva in the process of a quick sadhana (spiritual practice). Shiva is the noun for Universal Consciousness; Shakti, the free will of Universal Consciousness to pour out as individual consciousness, Jiva.

Shiva represents the absolute unity, all that is, encompassing Shiva(itself), Shakti(its free will) and Jiva(its manifestation). An analogy would be fire encompassing itself, its power and all the shapes in the fire.

Shakti (Free Will) is the path through which Shiva pours out as Jiva, like fire making various shapes while still being itself.

Shakti (Free Will) is also the path through which Jiva pours in as Shiva, like the shapes in fire awakening to being the fire themselves.

Awake or not, the shapes in the fire are the fire. You are Shiva, the totality that contains you!

Final Goal in Nondual Shaivism

kashmir shaivism symbol

What is ParamShiva?

ParamShiva literally translates to "Absolute Shiva" or "Highest Shiva". A Jiva is always Shiva (Universal Consciousness) whether it knows or not and when it really knows, the Shiva it knows as itself is ParamShiva. But there's no separate Jiva, Shiva or ParamShiva at this state as "All That Is" is Universal Consciousness. Hence, ParamShiva is the ultimate reality who is the nature of bliss itself and all complete in itself.

In true sense, ParamShiva is beyond all manifestation, beyond limitation of form, time and space. ParamShiva is eternal, infinite, all pervading, all knowing and all powerful. In fact, this reality is ineffable and beyond all descriptions.

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Moksha - Identity with Shiva

Nondual Shaivism or Kashmir Shaivism describes the contraction (mala) of Consciousness (citi) into phenomenal existence. Liberation (moksha) from contraction can be achieved by methods (upayas).

Citi

Universal Consciousness (citi) is the fundamental stuff of the universe. This Consciousness is one and includes the whole. It could also be called God or Shiva.

Mala

Consciousness contracts itself by its own free will. Shiva becomes the individual (Jiva). This contraction is called mala (limitation). There are three malas: Anavamala (I am imperfect), Mayiyamala (I am separate), Karmamala (I am the doer).
These three malas cause Jiva to believe it exists as limited individual, when in truth it is not shrunken but perfect, the self of all, the real doer.

Upaya

A Jiva eventually yearns to return to its primordial state of Universal Consciousness. For that, the Jiva undertakes sadhana or spiritual practice. Kashmir Shaivism prescribes four methods (upayas): anupaya, the 'methodless' method; sambhavopaya, the method of Consciousness; saktopaya, the method of the mind and anavopaya, the method of the body.

Moksha

The fruit of the Jiva’s sadhana is the self-realisation of being Universal Consciousness, Shiva while living one’s ordinary life.

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SCHOLARS OF NONDUAL SHAIVISM

vasugupta

Vasugupta

860 - 925 A.D

Vasugupta is regarded by some as the founder of Kashmir Shaivism.

Abhinavagupta

Abhinavagupta

950 - 1016 A.D

In his life he completed over 35 works, the largest and most famous of which is Tantraloka, an encyclopaedic treatise on all the philosophical and practical aspects of Kashmir Shaivism.

Laxman Joo

Swami Laxmanjoo

9 May 1907 - 27 September 1991

Swami Laxman Joo Nurtured Kashmir Saivism Out of Dormancy. Swami Lakshmanjoo was born in Srinagar, Kashmir on May 9,1907 and was last and greatest of the saints and masters of the tradition of Kashmir Shaivism.

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