Trika Literature is Kashmir Shaivism

From the sources available, regarding the Trika philosophy read with the Trika way of understanding the Ultimate reality, which is the 36th Tattva-- Shiva, from the point of view of अवरोहण --descent. We can say that its literature is itself an evolutionary thought, from पृथ्वी तत्त्व to the शिव तत्त्व where चैतन्य consciousness is of utmost essence. Virtually, consciousness is the primal seed of this system,which developed into the Agama Shastra, Spnda Shastra and Pratyabijnya Shasra. The word Shastra--(शिष्यतेs नेन ---शास +ष्ट्रन ) means authority, understanding through injunctios, module for performing the साधना associated with the Shaivistic rituals, as is seen in the Vijnyan Bhairava text. The Shaivistic module is perfect and whole. It lays emphasis on the methodology and procedures. In a way, शास्त्र is the guiding manual of the theological understanding.It can be spiritual in content as well as religious in thought. Kashmir Shaivistic Shastras have definite terminology, which carries a significant meaning of the sacred text.

A glossary of such phrases have been made from time to time ,which became the coordinating and allied texts to know the real import of the basic text. Hence वृत्ति , Vrittis, विवृत्ति --Vivritti ,विवरण- Vivarna, विमर्षिणी -- Vimarshini and वार्तिका Vartikas were written by the great Acharyas/ Masters of the Trika Shaiva tradition, to explain the real import and true meaning of Shastra, which may differ from the dictionary meaning prevalent at that time of documentation. Hence, Shaiva has its own terminology, and has been explained,through tradition in the Kashmiri language, from Guru to Shishya for easy understanding. No record is available regarding the Guru Shishya Trika Parampara. May be, the Kashmiri psyche was so involved that the Shaivistic thought was in practice in daily house hold like Sani Wair, Sandhya Tsong, Hunya Myet, design of dress, the make upof the bride as is seen at the time of Devagun ceremony of the bride. and during shiva ratri, Shrawan Purnima, Shiva Chaturdashi, Partheshvara Puja etc.

The Shaivistic thought has later developed. with full flow in the Lall Vakhs, and the works like Jnana'-Prakash, Shiva Parinaya, and the other Bhakti Kavyas of Kashmir, particularly in the Kashmiri Bhajans from time to time, Though the message is there, but it is more devotional than philosophic as is seen in the Pratyabijnya and Spanda Karika. There is greater influence of the Agamas of Kashmir in the Kashmiri Bhajans, as is seen in the Koshur Bhakti literature in exile.

Trikacharya Swami Ramji lived for 63 years upto1915 A.D.He instituitionalized the Trika system, and chose his three disciples to be Swami Vidyadhar Ji.the author of Shri Vidhyadhar Stavvam, Swami Govind Kaul Jalali and Swami Mahtab Kak. Alsothere were some devotees, whoknew English as well at that time. But his grand disciple Swami Lakshman Joo in the 20th century.through his Sunday discourses at Ishbar Ashram, Nishat, Srinagar..Since he had proficiency in English, his lectures were documented, studied and researched by Jaidev Singh of Varanasi., which became respomsible tobecome the Trika thought to be known tothe West and the United States as well. The modern Bhajans focussed ion Shiva in Kashmiri, is Agama oriented,where the poet is demanding the blessings from Shiva for proper rehabilitation after exodus of Kashmiri Pandits..

The linguistic approach is also a must for understanding the Trika system of Shaivism. Just the word ह्रदय means quintessential and not the heart as understood in the general understanding of the term.Similarly प्रकाश means शिव and विमर्श is शक्ति, and so on.

-- To be continued
*Dr. Chaman Lal Rain