When one begins on the path of self-knowledge, when one awakens in the so-called spiritual path, in Shivaism of Kashmir, as well as in Advaita Vedanta, a question arises that is essential: Who am I? Who am I? … The resolution due to the exploration of this question will result in the conclusion that I am shiva, within me is hiding everything I have been looking for for so long. To describe the nature of shiva it is necessary to describe the nature of oneself, since within me is shiva. Therefore, the goal of the Kashmiri Shiva tradition is to recognize oneself, is to realize who one is oneself. Everything is fine, it has always been good … Everything we have been looking for has always been guiding us on the road, in life. Shiva, self, exists on its own. There is absolutely no need for shiva to exist. Shiva does not absolutely depend on anything, he is completely free and independent. Shiva lives in non-dualism, shiva is non-dualistic.
The problem of Shiva’s identity with the world …
But at this point then a contradiction or a problem of Shiva with the outside world arises. If shiva is universal consciousness by itself, what happens to the rest of the world? It’s not real? What is the relationship between the absolute (Shiva) and the relative (the world)? To understand this, it is necessary to know what non-dualism means.
Non dualism …
Non-duality does not mean the absence of apparent duality. What non-dualism refers to is that oneself and our external world manifest in different ways, in different ways. When the mind or consciousness projects a particular world in a dream, the dreamed and projected world, although it seems to be different, is in reality the dreamer in its essence. The dreamed objects are nothing more than ideas or thoughts projected as things, objects. In the same way, the world is a manifestation of Shiva’s projection. Therefore, the external world that surrounds us is not only one with shiva if it is not the fruit of the free expression of it. Thus, duality is the free expression of oneself, because of this it is not inconsistent with respect to the non-dual gaze. In a dream of someone who is not conscious, the dreamer is ignorant; He does not know, he does not know the truth that the dream is his own manifestation. Therefore, the dreamer does not create the dream in a free way, nor in an expressively free way. However, a conscious dreamer knows that the external world is a manifestation of his dreams. He knows that he is the creator of that external world and that ultimately the whole world is a projection of his own mind. Shiva is the creator and the destroyer. Everything in this world is there for us, for us and for our enjoyment.
What is Shakti?
To start talking about Shakti we have to talk about shiva and to talk about shiva we have to talk about shakti. Shiva and Shakti are different but at the same time they are one. Shiva or consciousness is conceived as a dynamic force and Shiva’s own dynamism is called Shakti or kriya. Shakti is used to define or connote the nature of shiva, activity or dynamism (Spanda). Shakti is just the name given to this dynamic characteristic of Shiva. When we talk about Shakti we are talking about Kriya. Shakti and Kriya is the same. The Kriya or the activity of Shiva is not mechanical or determined activity, it is free activity, it is freedom. To understand the nature of kriya or Shakti it is necessary to understand the nature of the actions that require an effort, the actions that require will and effort, the opposite of shakti or kriya. In kiya or when we rest in shakti, one is not forced to do or perform the action. The action emerges in a voluntary way, in a spontaneous way, one simply lets the activity flow, that everything flows. The activity when we rest in shakti simply flows, it is not forced, it is a free flow of energies, synergies, etc …
Shiva and Shakti are not two differentiated realities. The relationship between the two is identity. the difference between Shiva and Shakti is merely connotative and decorative. Actually, there is no difference whatsoever. In the art of India the figure of Shiva and Shakti is represented in allegorical ways that can lead to misunderstanding and differentiation. There are three levels of expression within the concept of Shiva Shakti. Shiva and Shakti can be interpreted in the following different ways:
a) Shiva and Shakti are represented as husband and wife. This suggests that Shiva and Shakti are in harmony together, which implies a duality of identity.
b) Shiva and Shakti can also be understood as Shiva is the Substance and Shakti is the quality of that substance. In a way it can lead to the misunderstanding that Shiva is the possessor of Shakti.
c) However, it can also be thought that Shiva and Shakti are completely identical identities.
If we follow the line of thought of Shivaism of Kashmir, the representation that most resembles is the third. Where there is no differentiation between man and woman, husband or wife, substance or expressive form …
Useful bibliography: Kashmir Shaivsm “The Central Philosophy of Tantrism”. Kamalakar Mishra. Spanda – Karikas “The Divine Creative Power”. Jaideva Singh Vijnanabhairava Jaideva Singh Vijnanabhairava. Swami Lakshman Joo