Kashmir Shaivism

Kashmir Shaivism, or Trika Shaivism, is a nondualist tradition of Shaiva-Shakta Tantra which originated sometime after 850 CE.[1][2] Though this tradition was very influential in Kashmir and is thus often called Kashmir Shaivism, it was actually a pan-Indian movement termed "Trika" by its great exegete, Abhinavagupta, which also flourished in Orissa and Maharashtra.[2][3] Defining features of the Trika tradition are its idealistic and monistic Pratyabhijna ("Recognition") philosophical system, propounded by Utpaladeva (c. 925–975 CE) and Abhinavagupta (c. 975–1025 CE), and the centrality of the three goddesses Parā, Parāparā, and Aparā.[1][2]

The trident (triśūlābija maṇḍalam) symbol and yantra of Parama Shiva, representing the triadic energies of the supreme goddess Parā, Parā-aparā and Aparā śakti.

While Trika draws from numerous Shaiva texts, such as the Shaiva Agamas and the Shaiva and Shakta Tantras, its major scriptural authorities are the Mālinīvijayottara Tantra, the Siddhayogeśvarīmata and the Anāmaka-tantra.[4] Its main exegetical works are those of Abhinavagupta, such as the Tantraloka, Mālinīślokavārttika, and Tantrasāra which are formally an exegesis of the Mālinīvijayottara Tantra, although they also drew heavily on the Kali-based Krama subcategory of the Kulamārga.[5] Another important text of this tradition is the Vijñāna-bhairava-tantra, which focuses on outlining numerous yogic practices.[6]

Kashmir Shaivism claimed to supersede Shaiva Siddhanta, a dualistic tradition which scholars consider normative tantric Shaivism.[7] The Shaiva Siddhanta goal of becoming an ontologically distinct Shiva (through Shiva's grace) was replaced by recognizing oneself as Shiva who, in Kashmir Shaivism's monism, is the entirety of the universe.[8]