Kashmiri Shaivism

Vivek Anand Ganesan v_ganesan at YAHOO.COM
Wed May 1 18:07:10 CDT 2002

Namaste Gadkari-ji,

--- shrI Shrinivas Gadkari wrote:
> Frankly I see no difference between Vedanta and Shaiva
> darshana.
I am assuming by "vedanta" you mean advaita-vedanta.
If so, there is indeed a difference. This has been pointed
out more emphatically by the Kashmiri school itself which
does reject advaita. I shall post some relevant extracts
from a good book I have on Kashmiri Shaivam.

  As an aside, as a student of shaivam in general, I have
noticed that the equation of shaivam ( here I mean shaivam
to mean the Agamic religion based on the shaiva Agama-s )
with advaita is not accurate. Many shaivites ( not only
Kashmiri but also the southern shaivites such as the Tamil
saiva siddhantin-s and the Kannada lingayat-s ) have indeed
taken exception to advaita as expounded bhagavatpada.
Speaking about the tamil version, a reconciliation of sorts
only took place recently ( 200+ years ago ) when a great
saint called thAyumAnavar ( refers to Lord Shiva as
ammaiyappan, who is Mother and Father; literally "One who
is also the Mother" ) presented a more advaitic form of
shaivam ( he called it vedAnta-siddhAnta samarasam )
followed by the illustrious shrI appayya deekshitar who
harmonized the entire shaivite worship in the south along
profoundly advaitic lines. It is due to such efforts that
advaita ( at least in the south ) is identified more
closely with shaivam. This is my general understanding.
As always, I request the learned to correct my errors.



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