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Kashmir Shaivism Roadmap to Ascend Back to Godhood

Kashmir Shaivism is a non-dualistic philosophy, emphasizing the essential unity of Shiva (the unchanging reality) and Shakti (the dynamic force of creation). The core teaching of Kashmir Shaivism is the recognition of one’s individual self (Atman) as being identical to the Supreme Self (Param Shiva). This realization is central to achieving liberation (Moksha) from the cycle of birth and death.

Kashmir Shaivism and Your 108 Chakras

Kashmir Shaivism and Your 108 Chakras

What is Kashmir Shaivism?

Kashmir Shaivism is a spiritual philosophy rooted in the recognition and discovery of the individual self as one with Param Shiva, the ultimate reality. At its core, it explores the descent from Godhood to Manhood, unraveling the intricate principle of the 36 Tattvas or cosmic manifestations. This profound philosophy offers a path to ascend back to Godhood, emphasizing devotion to the Ultimate Reality. It offers a roadmap to spiritual realization, emphasizing devotion, inclusivity, and direct experiential learning. Since this tradition originated in Kashmir it is often called “Kashmiri Shaivism”.

Why Kashmir Shaivism?

The wisdom of Kashmir Shaivism provides a holistic understanding of the universe, human existence, and the divine connection. It offers a unique perspective on the journey from the Supreme Consciousness to individual souls and back, shedding light on the purpose of life and the pursuit of spiritual realization.

Kashmir Shaivism and the 108 Chakras

In many spiritual traditions, the number 108 holds great significance. In Kashmir Shaivism, 108 is considered a sacred and auspicious number, and it is believed to represent the completeness and wholeness of the universe. As seekers explore these chakras, they embark on a transformative journey, gradually uncovering the layers of their own existence and drawing closer to the ultimate reality, Shiva.

In 2005, amidst the serene and mystical backdrop of the Himalayas, Sri Amit Ray, a renowned spiritual teacher and philosopher, embarked on a deep and profound meditation journey that would lead to the revelation of the 108 chakras. During his intensive meditative practices, Sri Amit Ray experienced a heightened state of consciousness, where the boundaries of the physical self dissolved, and he delved into the realms of pure awareness.

It was in this heightened state of spiritual realization that he discovered the intricate and subtle network of 108 chakras within the human system. Sri Amit Ray’s revelation added a new dimension to the deeper understanding of the chakra system and its role in the journey of self-discovery and spiritual awakening. His teachings and insights continue to inspire countless individuals on their path to inner transformation and enlightenment.

How Does It Work?

The descent from Godhood to Manhood is characterized by the 36 Tattvas, which encompass various aspects of creation and existence. These Tattvas include Shiva Tattva (Consciousness), Shakti Tattva (Kinetic Energy), and others, each contributing to the cosmic dance of manifestation. As individuals, we progress through these Tattvas, experiencing the limitations of human existence.

The Roadmap to Godhood:

The ascent to Godhood in Kashmir Shaivism depends on Shaktipath, the descent of Divine Grace or Anugrah. This grace is independent of human effort but requires sincere dedication and practice. The path involves Trika Yoga, which is categorized into four main Upayas or Means, depending on the degree of grace within an individual.

  1. Anupaya (Supreme Means): This path requires minimal effort and is accessible to highly evolved souls like Sri Amit Ray, Lord Buddha, Abhinavagupta.
  2. Shaambhopaya (Higher Means): Aspirants can reach Godhood through mere willpower.
  3. Shaaktopaya (Medium Means): Knowledge predominates in this path.
  4. Anvopaya (Lower Means): Action predominates, also known as Kriya Yoga. This path includes various categories like Dhyana Yoga (concentration on meditation), Uchchara Yoga (breathing and moving energy), and Karna Yoga (focus on the body).

Shaktipath: Ascent to Godhood

  • Ascending to Godhood primarily relies on Shaktipath, the descent of Divine Grace or Anugrah.
  • Shaktipath operates independently of human effort.
  • To earn Grace or Shaktipath, one must make efforts through Trika Yoga.
  • Trika Yoga comprises four main categories known as 4 Upayas or Means, which depend on the degree of grace within an individual.

The 36 Tattvas

  1. Shiva Tattva (Consciousness): Represents the core consciousness.
  2. Shakti Tattva (Kinetic Energy): Embodies the kinetic energy of creation.
  3. Ishvara Tattva (Desire Shakti): Relates to the power of desire (Ichcha Shakti).
  4. Sadaashiva Tattva (Knowledge Shakti): Represents the knowledge energy (Gyana Shakti).
  5. Shuddha Vidya Tattva (Action Shakti): Encompasses the energy of action (Kriya Shakti).
  6. Maya (Veiling Power): The veiling power of Param Shiva.
  7. Five Coverings of Maya: Including Kalaa (creativity), Vidya (knowledge), Raaga (attachment), Kaala (time), and Neeyati (destiny).
  8. Purusha (The Limited Being): Signifies the individual as a limited entity.
  9. Prakrati (Limited Manifestation): Represents limited manifestation.
  10. Bhuddhi (Ascertaining Intelligence): Involves discerning intelligence.
  11. Ahamkar (Ego): The ‘I’ making principle.
  12. Manas (Mind): The cognitive mind.
  13. Five Sense Organs: Eyes, Ears, Nose, Tongue, Skin.
  14. Five Organs of Action: Voicing, Handling, Locomotion, Rejecting/Discharging, and Resting in Rapture/Recreating.
  15. Five Subtle Objective Elements (Tanmantras): Hearing, Feeling, Seeing, Tasting, and Smelling.
  16. Five Elements (Pancha Maha Bhuta): Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Ether.

Malas: The Impurities of Mind

The three fundamental impurities known as “Malas.” These impurities play a pivotal role in shaping the philosophy’s core principles and the spiritual journey of its practitioners.

  1. Anvo-mal (Inherent Impurity): Anvo-mal represents the inherent limitations and imperfections that individuals carry due to their descent from the state of pure consciousness (Shiva) into the realm of manifestation. It signifies the innate finiteness and constraints that come with human existence. In essence, it is the residue of the divine descent into the material world.
  2. Mayaa-mal (Illusionary Impurity): Mayaa-mal refers to the illusionary nature of reality that often obscures our perception of the ultimate truth. It symbolizes the deceptive aspects of the material world, which can lead individuals away from recognizing their true divine nature. Mayaa-mal highlights the importance of discerning the illusory from the real on the path to spiritual realization.
  3. Karm-amal (Attachment Impurity): Karm-amal represents the attachments and binding desires that keep individuals entangled in the cycle of karma and rebirth. It signifies the emotional and psychological attachments to worldly possessions, relationships, and desires, which can hinder one’s spiritual growth. Recognizing and transcending these attachments is essential for progressing on the spiritual path.

Manifestation of Speech:

Kashmir Shaivism also delves into the manifestation of speech, recognizing four distinct stages in the process:

  1. Para (Divine/Supreme): Para is the highest and most subtle stage of speech manifestation. It represents the divine, unmanifested aspect of speech, where language is in its purest form and directly connected to the Supreme Consciousness (Shiva). At this level, speech is beyond words and concepts, existing as a potent source of creative energy.
  2. Pashyanti (Great Desire): Pashyanti is the stage where the desire for creative expression arises. It involves the formulation of abstract thoughts and ideas, which are still in an unspoken, seed-like form. Pashyanti is the bridge between the divine and the manifest, where thoughts begin to take shape.
  3. Madhyama (Planning): Madhyama is the stage where thoughts and ideas start to take on linguistic form and structure. It involves the planning and organization of words and concepts in the mind before they are spoken or written. Madhyama represents the intermediary stage between thought and verbal expression.
  4. Vaikhari (Execution/Outer Manifestation): Vaikhari is the final stage of speech manifestation, where thoughts and ideas are articulated into words and conveyed externally through speech or writing. It represents the outermost layer of speech that is accessible to others. Vaikhari is the stage where communication and expression take place in the material world.

The Five Great Acts of Lord Shiva:

Kashmir Shaivism recognizes and venerates Lord Shiva as the Supreme Consciousness responsible for five essential acts that govern the universe:

  1. Creation: Lord Shiva initiates the cycle of creation, bringing forth the universe from the unmanifested state into material existence. This act involves the manifestation of all cosmic elements and beings.
  2. Preservation: After creation, Shiva assumes the role of the preserver, maintaining the cosmic order and sustaining the universe in a balanced state.
  3. Dissolution: Lord Shiva also plays the crucial role of dissolving the manifested universe back into its unmanifested state. This act is essential for the cyclical nature of existence.
  4. Veiling: Shiva veils the true nature of reality through the power of Maya, creating an illusion that conceals the underlying unity of all things. This veiling serves as a test for souls on their journey toward realization.
  5. Bestowing Grace: The act of bestowing grace involves Shiva showering his divine blessings and guidance upon individuals seeking spiritual awakening. It is through this act that seekers can overcome the veiling power of Maya and progress on their spiritual path.

Summary

Kashmir Shaivism offers a unique perspective on spirituality, emphasizing the oneness of the individual self with Param Shiva. It explains the descent from Godhood to Manhood through the 36 Tattvas and provides a roadmap to ascend back to Godhood. The path involves Trika Yoga and is accessible to seekers of all ages and backgrounds. It emphasizes devotion, moderation, and direct experiential learning, making it a profound and inclusive spiritual philosophy for all ages.

In essence, Kashmir Shaivism is a profound spiritual tradition that explores the unity of Shiva and Shakti, the nature of consciousness, and the path to self-realization. It teaches that every individual has the potential to realize their divine nature and experience the oneness of the Supreme Consciousness.

Elizabeth Martin
Author: Elizabeth Martin

Elizabeth, PhD is an author, educator, and a specialist on stress management, positive psychology, chakras, energy channels, yoga psychology, relationships, and emotional wellbeing.


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