Thank You

Anand V. Hudli anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Jul 27 14:41:50 CDT 1999

On Sun, 25 Jul 1999 13:40:22 -0400, Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian
<ramakris at EROLS.COM> wrote:
>Well said!
>If I may offer some suggestions: I'd like to point out that you may
>want to explore the system commonly known as Kashmir Shaivism. The
>great abhinavagupta has written many texts based on the Saivite
>Agama-s. The sunypress has published many volumes including two by a
>direct descendant in that tradition: Swami Laksmanjoo. While the
>Kashmir Saivite system also espouses a form of advaita, it holds the
>world to be real, unlike advaita vedAnta. I gather from your mails
>that you are bent to towards what is called "realism". So the system
>of abhinavagupta may hold more appeal to you. There was a member of
>this list, Ken Stuart who felt the same way as you. This system also
>emphasizes yogic practices like nirvikalpa samAdhi and kuNDalini yoga.
>It may also seem less "dogmatic" than advaita vedAnta. Try
> for starters.

 I whole-heartedly agree that Kashmir-shaivism holds great appeal for
 those looking for an alternative to advaita-vedanta for some reason
 or the other. It is quite possible or even probable that Kashmir
 Shaivism was influenced by advaita-vedanta but the fact remains that
 this form of Shaivism has had some great philosophers/practitioners
 like Abhinavagupta, Laksmanjoo, etc. Like advaita, it preaches
 nondualism with the crucial difference that the Absolute Reality
 here also has inherent activity in it called "kriyaa", "spanda"
 (vibration), and has self-consciousness. In advaita, as per the
 statement of the bR^ihadAraNyaka, there cannot be even self-awareness
 in the Braham stage, because such awareness of the self necessarily
 means there is something other than the self. The Brahman state of
 advaita is akin to the deep sleep state (but should not be confused
 as simply the deep sleep state). In Kashmir Shaivism, Brahman or Shiva
 dreams all the time, and this "dream state" is the ultimate. So the
 world appears as a dream of the Eternal Dreamer. Kashmir Shaivas
 would deny that they are "realists", because the world is after all
 a dream.

 Kashmir Shaivism combines several techniques such as Yoga, and
 some tantric ones too. There may be some objectionable (left-handed)
 Kaula elements in it too, but I do not know anything about the necessity
 or otherwise of such elements for one who wants to practice Kashmir
 Shaivism. Finaly, there was some discussion of Kashmir Shaivism on
 this list sometime in June-July-August of 1997.


More information about the Advaita-l mailing list