The gist of Kashmir Shaivism

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!

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. ParamShiva literally translates to “Absolute Shiva” or “Highest Shiva”. 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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