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Kashmir Shaivism

 Shaivism or following Lord Shiva, is a very powerful and transformative non-dual yogic philosophy that has originated in Kashmir in the ninth century. Shaivism followed in Kashmir by Kashmiri Pandits is actually an intellectual system which has born from the experience of many sages who have proclaimed Supreme Conciousness at their time. 

Shaivism followed by Kashmiri Pandits is based on some basice principles which are:

1. Everything is consciousness. Everything that exists is the manifestation of this consciousness.

2. There are two types of consciousness - formless called Shiva and form called Shakti.

3. Consciousness always comes with awareness.

4. Consciousness further forms the universe by integrating everything into existence and souls.

5. Consciousness can be expanded through spiritual awakening.

6. Awakening leads oneself to the self-realized mode.

7. Following the principles of Shaivism, one can lead the spiritual self-realization while living his own ordinary life.

 

Kashmir had remained a center of learning Shaivism for more than a millennium. Mostly the Kashmir Shaivism become popular and flurished inbetween 9th and 12th Century. The first and farmost work on Shaivism is called Shiv Sutra written by Vasugupta. Other famous works are Shivdrishti by Somnanda and Ishvara-pratyabhijnakarika by Utpaladeva. 

Abhinavgupta was another famous philosopher of Shaivism in Kashmir who wrote more than 60 works on Shaivism including Malinivijayavarttika and Tantraloka.

After 12th century, the Shaivism from Kashmir started vanishing due to political and religious changes as Kashmir was now under the Mugul rule. However, Swami Lakshmanjoo (1907 - 1991) started the era of modern Shaivism in Kashmir and mastered sanskrit and became a reputed scholar and yogi.