SHIVA & SHAKTI, idea and energy divided in duality, as separate entities, create the principles, the Tattvas, that create things in the 7 dimensions. The Tattvas are considered Planes of Consciousness descending into denser realities which are all illusion. The only reality is the non-dual Shiva-Shakti
Creation oscillates/pulses in cyclic manifestation and dissolution
Origin: Kashmir Shaivism, also known as the Trika Shastra
(wisdom), is an Indian non-dualistic school of philosophy, similar to Advaita Vedanta, that emerged from Kashmir about the 8th century AD. It is based primarily on the Bhaitava Tantras and the Siva Sutras by Vasugupta. Universal Consciousness or Paramashiva, the ultimate non-dualistic creator in Shaivism is comparable to Brahman in the Vedanta…in Shaivism the World is real, in Vedanta it is unreal, illusion, maya. In Shaivism all things are a manifestation of Consciousness which created the World of itself, thus the world is consciousness. The world is manifest by the “differentiation of reciprocally adapted subjects and objects”. The object field is seen as the self. Manifestation is a process of only apparent division.
Kashmir Shaivism, also known as the Trika Shastra (wisdom), is an Indian non-dualistic school of philosophy, similar to Advaita Vedanta, that emerged from Kashmir about the 8th century AD. It is based primarily on the Bhaitava Tantras and the Siva Sutras by Vasugupta. Universal Consciousness or Paramashiva, the ultimate non-dualistic creator in Shaivism is comparable to Brahman in the Vedanta…in Shaivism the World is real, in Vedanta it is unreal, illusion, maya. In Shaivism all things are a manifestation of Consciousness which created the World of itself, thus the world is consciousness. The world is manifest by the “differentiation of reciprocally adapted subjects and objects”. The object field is seen as the self. Manifestation is a process of only apparent division.
The Primary Concepts of Kashmir Shaivism:
- Citi: Universal Consciousness: the fundamental stuff of the universe thus God or Shiva.
- Mala: Consciousness contracts itself, the one becoming many, individualizing, thus becoming impure. There are three malas or
limiting con-ditions: individuation, the mind and the body.
- Upāya: The practitioner aspires to the primordial state of Universal undertaking a spiritual practice (sadhana) of purification through control of the breath, the heart/pulse and eventually all food.
- Moksa: The attainment of Self-realization or liberation called sahaja samādhi.
Pratyabhijna, which is based on the, Isvara Pratyabhijna Karika by Utpaladeva, meaning: “the direct knowledge of one’s self or spontaneous recognition”. In this teaching everything is Shiva, absolute consciousness, and it is possible to become identified with this state and immersed in bliss.
The ‘Trika Shastra” is the philosophy or teaching of the triad or trinity: 1) Shiva-The Supreme Transcendent, 2) Shakti-The Supreme Creative Energy (the universe or macrocosm) and 3) Anu-The Individualized or microcosm or Nara-the bound Soul. These are also known as 1) Para -the supreme, 2) Parapara -identity in difference and 3) Apara – the difference. When pramatri, pramana and prameya. the three Shakts, become one, the true non-dual nature of the world is discovered. There are three fundamental states of conscious-ness, waking, dream and deep sleep. A fourth state, turiya, is transcendental or super-consciousness.
There are three basic limiting conditions (malas Sutras 2 and 3): 1) anava mala: ignorance of the essential self as Shiva, 2) mayiya mala: the sense of difference or separation brought about by maya which gives the soul its subtle and gross bodies, and 3) karma mala: the residue of impressions left on the mind due to karma or motivated action.
There is also a trinity of energies (of achieving enlightenment):
will power (iccha), knowledge (jnana) and the power of action (kriya), thus the threefold spiritual path (see Siva Sutras).
The awareness of the Self or Shiva, which is pure citananda, consciousness and bliss, is achievable through yogic practice. This results in a destruction of the bondage of ignorance of the Self caused by maya, (the non-discrimination of the self as Siva) i.e. liberation from the limitation that separates the Jiva, ego, from the Universal.
Spanda Shastra (wisdom), which is described as “the vibration/movement of consciousness”, or the ecstatic self-recurrent consciousness. The universe is vibration…waves. This cyclic movement of internalization and externalization occurs within consciousness at the most elevated plane in creation (Shiva-Shakti Tattva). The tattvas here are stages of vibrational transformation. Universe is constantly creating itself and returning, cyclic, thus the Path of Return. Purusha-Prakriti are contracted Consciousness. According to quantum physics, there is no matter, only vibration or wave forms…Spanda., the wave on the ocean of consciousness. The visible world emerges from spanda, subtle vibrations, the “throb of the divine”.
Shakti considered as an aspect of Shiva, his creative power, thus not a duality. She is not different or independent of Him. The multi-dimensions in Kashmir Shaivism are characterized by Tattvas (principles) or aspects of Shiva-Shakti, 36 in total, each tattva remaining whole and undivided. There are 5 principles or Tattvas of Universal Experience: 1) Shiva tattva-the initial creative movement, 2) Sakti tattva-the energy of Shiva which polarizes consciousness creating I and This, subject and object. 3) Sadasiva: Will to be, 4) Ishvara: To be this, to know being and 5) Sadvidya: to act, thus to manifest being.
These are the steps in he process of manifestation. There only appears to be duality…this is maya or illusion. Each tattva is a level or dimension. The first subdivision or dualization occurs in the un-manifest sea of potential, primal energy, which brings the bifurcated consciousness into the manifest arena for experience and further evolution down the chain of tatvas.
Shiva becomes Purusha, the Soul-individualized consciousness, and Shakti becomes prakriti, nature-the manifestation of the matrix. The dualization on the 12th dimension from Purusha-consciousness/being to Prakriti: nature, replicates the original division. Shiva/Shakti giving rise to 12 levels…Purusha/Prakriti give rive to 24, just double.
In the beginning of creation Shiva, in a state of non-duality, opens his eyes. These are two sources of light in the holographic model or at least the source of duality. Shakti is an aspect of Shiva as is everything which why Kashmir Shaivism is considered a non-dual system.
The Practice (Sadhana): to merge with Shiva-Shakti, universal consciousness, through the tattvas, the ascending dimensions of manifestation to Pure Consciousness, Shiva /Shakti, leading to union with Paramashiva. Anuttara, the Supreme. The practitioner who realizes anuttara either by their effort or by direct transmission of Grace of Shiva/Shakti, is liberated and perceives absolutely no difference between themselves and the body of the universe…non-duality. i.e. non-separation from the universe.
Sakti is, therefore, a path to Shiva. The universe at every plane, is pervaded by Shakti, the divine Presence. The universe is just the proliferation of the aspects of Sakti which are inherent in the letters of the Sanskrit alphabet. The Mother, or the Power of Sound corresponding to the letters of the alphabet, produces the entire universe. Matrka, the alphabet, is the mother of the entire universe.
SHIVA SUTRAS by Vasugupta
The Shiva Sutras define the way or Yoga of Supreme Identity, Saiva Yoga, the union of the Self with Shiva. The first two sutras contain the entire teaching:
Sutra 1. “Caitanyam Atma”: Consciousness (i.e. Siva) + (is the) Self. You are the same as the Supreme Identity.
Sutra 2. “Jnanam Bandhah”: Limited knowledge + (is) bondage. All other knowledge is limited and thus Bondage.
The Sutras are divided into 3 parts related to the three techniques, upaya, to achieve Samavesa, identification with the Divine, Siva-Consciousness or the Supreme I-consciousness or Self-Realization:
1) Sambhavopaya: the instantaneous emergence of Siva-Consciousness, without any “thought-construct”, vikalpa, just by the mere hint that one’s essential Self is Siva, through an orientation of the Will, Iccha-Sakti (by means of the force of will-power) by means of Iccha-yoga.
2) Saktapaya : achieving Siva-Consciousness through the power of focused concentration, Cit-Sakti, or meditation upon the pure thought-construct, vikalpa, of oneself being essentially Siva, though Siva-Consciousness is not a thought construct itself. This is achieved through Jnana-yoga, (the yoga of spiritual wisdom) the constant awareness of the real I-consciousness through the practice of the mantra, the sacred word OM or formula, which embodies the Siva Consciousness and which transforms the cittam, the limited mind of thoughts and perceptions, into cit, Divine or universal consciousness. This is achieved through mantra: the mind assumes the form of the mantra so that a communion with Siva is possible. Mantras consist of letters which are a form of Sakti or symbols of the creative Saktis of the Divine.
3) Anavopaya: achieving Siva-Consciousness through the practice of the senses, prana and manas, which is Kriya-Yoga, the mastery of the ctta, through action of yoga. The yoga is achieved through various forms of concentration: 1] varna (object of concentration-letter-primal sound): contemplation on the unstruck sound, the anahata nada, 2] dhyana (highest): the unified state of knower, knowledge and knowing, 3] karana (cause), the contemplation of the body-nervous system as the microcosm, the epitome of the cosmos, 4] uccara : concentration on pranasakti, the power of vital energy, and 5] sthana-kalpana : the concentration of external things.