Understanding Kashmir Shaivism

You must have heard about the mystic mediation techniques of the eastern world i.e. Asia. For centuries travelers from the west have documented it and written about it in their travel journals. For most part of the century these meditation techniques were hidden from us. But as a result of globalization, today it has spread to almost every corner of the world. In this article we will educate you about Kashmir Shaivism (a parallel philosophy to Hinduism). As you read through the article you will see it for yourself that anyone can adopt its teachings and enlighten their mind and soul.

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  • Don’t confuse it with religion:

A lot of people who do not have any knowledge of Kashmir Shaivism relate it with the mainline religion of India i.e. Hinduism. This is a misconception as Kashmir Shaivism is not a religion at all. In fact, to be precise, it is a school of independent thought and ideology that in some manner runs parallel to Hinduism. While religion aims at controlling the behavior of its followers, Kashmir Shaivism aims at liberating the followers by enlightening them spiritually.

  • The AIM of Kashmir Shaivism:

The ultimate goal of Kashmir Shaivism is to merge its practitioner with Shiva. Shiva is a God from the Indian mythology. It is said that he is the protector as well as the supreme destroyer. He is considered to be Omnipresent. Kashmir Shaivism aims at merging the individuality of the followers with that of Shiva by means of meditation, knowledge, wisdom, grace and Yoga.

  • Kashmir Shaivism focuses on meditation, not worship:

This is perhaps the most prominent fact that distinguishes it from mainline religion of Hinduism. While Hinduism stresses on idol worship, Kashmir Shaivism focuses on meditation. Every activity of Kashmir Shaivism is designed to impart philosophical knowledge in the practitioner.

  • The philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism:

The entire philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism can be summarized into 4 categories. They are Citi, Mala, Upaya and Moksha.

Citi: It represents individuality of the universe. It stands for one supreme consciousness and states that Shiva is that supreme universal consciousness.

Mala: Mala stands for impurities of the mind, the soul and the body. According to Kashmir Shaivism, one can achieve the supreme consciousness if he/she can get rid of these impurities.

Upaya: According to Kashmir Shaivism, impurities of the body, the mind and the soul are the primary reasons for suffering. On a sub-conscious level everyone yearns to return to their primordial state of supreme consciousness but these impurities stand in their way. Upaya, in English it means solution, aims at removing the impurities through meditation and knowledge. Most of the other paths of spiritual enlightenment have the concept of making offerings to the deity. But in Kashmir Shaivism, a practitioner offers his/her breaths instead of any physical offering. Through medication, a practitioner slows down his/her heart beats and breaths and assumes as if he/she is offering it to the Shiva.

  • Moksha: Mooksha means liberation through self-realization. Through meditation and spiritual practice a follower is able to attain Moksha.

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.