Pratyabhijna School Masters

Scris de 
Leo Radutz
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8 minute
Scris de 
Leo Radutz
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8 minute

Pratyabhijna is one of the most important schools of Casmirian Shivahism in the Trika system. There are several important schools of Cashmerian Shivaism, but the Trika system encompasses the most elevated ones.

The tradition of Casmirian Shivaism

Shivaism seems to be the oldest spiritual path in the world, as evidenced by the archaeological excavations at Mohenjo Daro and Harappa that indicate its existence just beyond the Calcolytic.

Shiva represents that hypostasis of the divine that manifests itself as the Great Initiator or Great Savior of the limited and ignorant beings. Any aspiration to the state of spiritual liberation is, in fact, addressed to this redeeming facet of the Divinity, bearing the name of Shiva ("The Good and Gentle").

Any manifestation of Divine Grace, indispensable to the achievement of the state of spiritual liberation, is closely related to Shiva.

In India, there are six main forms of Shivaism, three of which are essential:

* vira-shaiva, spread mainly in the central area of India;

* shiva-siddhanta,in the south

* advaita-shiva, the purest and most elevated form of Shivaism, in Kashmir (northern India).

It has been passed on for centuries, only from Master to disciple, "from mouth to ear." The first fundamental work of Shivaism, attributed to Vasugupta (the first initiate of this spiritual path, which lived between the end of the 7th century and the beginning of the 9th century AD) is called Shiva and Sutra is a collection of stoning and completely hermetic aphorisms for the uninitiated, presenting the three cardinal paths that lead to spiritual liberation:

* Shiva's Path or The Path of Consciousness (Shambhavopaya)

*Shakti's Path or Energy Path (Shaktopaya)

* The Path of the Limited Being (Anavopaya)

Vasugupta mentions that he did not write Shiva Sutra, but found it written on a rock that rose from the water and sank again under the water, after reading and memorizing what was written on it.

The entire written Shivaite tradition can be divided into three parts:

* Agama Shastra – regarded as a direct revelation from Shiva (God). Includes works like: Shiva Sutra, Malinivijaya Tantra, Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, etc.

* Spanda Shastra – contains the doctrinal elements of the system. The main work in this category is the work of Vasugupta – Spanda Karika.

* Pratyabhijna Shastra – contains metaphysical works with a high spiritual level (and being the least accessible). In this category the most important are the works of Ishvara Pratyabhijna by Utpaladeva and Pratyabhijna Vimarshini, a comment of the first. There are several important schools of Shivaism, the most elevated being grouped in the Trika system.

These branches of the Shivaite philosophical and spiritual tradition were brilliantly synthesized and unified by the most illustrious personality, the liberated master Abhinanagupta.

The main schools of The Chess of The Kașmirian

Trika comprises several spiritual schools:

  • Krama – in Sanskrit "process", "ordering", "orderly succession".
  • Kula (Kula) – in Sanskrit "community", "family", "totality".
  • Spanda – a term that calls the Supreme Creative Godly Vibration.
  • Pratyabhijna – a term that refers to the direct recognition of the Godly Essence.

The word "trika" means in Sanskrit "trinity" or "third",suggesting the idea that absolutely everything has a triple nature, manifested by: Shiva- the aspect of consciousness, Shakti- fundamental creative energy and Anu- the individual, the limited projection of the Supreme Sun Atman.

Casmirian Shivaism has tantric influences

In The Chessmirian Shivaism we find, as it is in tantra, the fundamental idea of the mysterious connection between everything and everything, between different aspects of creation, as a holographic model of the universe.

Thus, the entire universe is a gigantic network of virtual resonances that are established between each point ("atom") of the Universe and all the other "atoms". Knowing in depth only one aspect ("atom") of the Universe, one can know everything, the whole Universe, because everything is resonance.

The meaning of the name synthesizes the school philosophy

The name of the Patyabhijna school is derived from the name of the text of the shivait, written in Sanskrit by the great liberated master Utpaladava, around 1000 dh. The name of this work is "Ishavaphyabijnakaka" (aphorisms about the direct recognition of Demnezeu in ourselves).

Utpaladeva (or Utpala) is an accomplished divine model that has accumulated profound mystical knowledge spurred by his boundless love of God, desire for knowledge and transformation.

He states that the supreme spiritual liberation is essentially a total and irreversible recognition that our true identity is eternal, immutable and ineffable.

Man lives in suffering and limitation because he has forgotten his true identity. But it can emerge from samsara through a direct and spontaneous knowledge of its essential nature, through the spontaneous recognition of its identity with the Supreme Atman Self.

This revelation is a total and overwhelming manifestation of divine grace. It occurs only when all the necessary conditions have been fully manifested in the human being. We can come to fulfill these conditions through intense, consistent spiritual practice and by following the sucessive stages of the spiritual path, by overcoming the moments of hiatus. In these moments of hiatus appear various difficulties or spiritual tests, which it is necessary to pass in order to be able to progeste. All of these lead to qualitative leaps as a result of quantitative accumulations.

In this way the aspirant comes to know the ultimate reality, namely that there is an identity between him, the outside world and God.

This is the philosophy behind this system.

"Pratyabhijna" means "to recognize, spontaneously realize your Self once again" or "recognition, recall of our divine nature". It means realizing who we really are and finding ourselves.

In this way there is no "upaya", i.e. means, modalities or instruments of transformation, but the cultivation of inner attitudes in order to awaken the lightning Divine Consciousness within us.

It is also called the "easy and very short way", being accessible for very few very elevated beings.

" yovikalpampidamarthamandam

pashaatisha nikhilam bhavadvapuh

svatmapakshaparipurite jagat

yasya nitya sukhinah kuto bhayam "

(Shivastotravali XIII.16)

"Oh, My Lord, the one who sees (recognizes) the entire objective world as a pure non-relational consciousness. Thus, the identification of individual consciousness with universal consciousness and, therefore, the touch of divine Happiness, from where or from whom should it be frightened? "

The great masters of this school


Utpaladeva, also known as Utpala or Utpalacharya, lived in the late 9th and early 10th century AD (approx. 900-950).

He is the founder of the Pratyabhijna school.

One of his disciples was Lakshanagupta, who was in turn the spiritual guide of the great master Abhinanagupta.

He was, along with Abhinanagupta, one of the most important masters of the Pratyabhijna school.

A representative work of his is the poem " Shivastotravali", which was written after a period of intense and deep states of godly ecstasy (samadhi). This poem is a mirror of his exceptional spiritual betrayals.


Abhinanagupta (c. 920–1020 B.C.) was one of the most important masters of Sivaism in Kashmir, leading this school and its disciples to the heights of spiritual perfection.

A prominent personality, who exerted a strong influence on early Indian culture. His special skills were manifested in the fields of music, poetry, dramaturgy, being at the same time a philosopher, mystic and aesthetician.

Various scholars rated it as "brilliant and holy ", a pinnacle of the development. of the Shahhmir."

The great sage Abhinanagupta is said to have been a manifestation of Shiva.

Abhinanagupta remains unique through the masterful synthesis of all visions and theories up to him, giving them a much broader, deeply spiritual perspective.

It is said that at some point, he left with a large group of disciples in a cave to meditate and never came back.

Abhinanagupta's follower was Kshemaraja,his most important direct disciple. Then, gradually, the secret tradition of Shivaism faded in Kashmir. It flourished a little, about 300 years later, in southern India, where some great initiates lived: the famous Jayaratha, who masterfully concentrated Tantraloka, as well as the visionary Bhattanayana.


Goraksa, author of the poem Maharthamanjari, was nicknamed Maheshvarananda-the bliss of Lord Shiva –The Master of the Universe,by his Master, Mahatrakasa, at the time of his initiation.


Lalla is one of those blessed beings who have attained the state of supreme liberation in life.

Named Lalleshvari of Shivaites and Lal Didi or Ded of Muslims, the yogi lived in the 14th century, contemporary with the great Sufit Sayyid ́Ali Hamadan, who in 1380 converted Kashmir to Islam.

Hassan, a well-known late Kashmir historian, tells us that:
"This saint is known by many names, such as: Lalla-ded, Lalla-moj, Lalleshvari, etc. She was born in the 8th century hijri, in the village of Sempore, in the house of a pandit casmiri. The date and day of his birth are not exactly known. From an early age, her path emerged as unusual. She heard voices and had spiritual visions."

The name Lalla, worn by Yogeshvari, derives etymologically from the prefix "lal", a casmirian derivative of the Sanskrit word "lalasa" meaning desire, ardent aspiration, to yearn for, to seek, to obtain.

She was called Lalla or Lalla-ded because she was an ardent seeker of Truth, who reached the state of yoga, of full fusion, identifying, with the Absolute still during her life on earth.


Bhattanaarya, also known as Nishanarayana, was a Sanskrit scholar and writer who lived before 800

Among his more important works are "The Plaiting of the Braid ",which is based on the second and eighth books of Mahabharata and features episodes of the great battle of Kurukshetra.

He is the author of the initiatory poem of great depth: "Stavacintamani" (The Secret Sanctuary of the Gemofte of Divine Love.


Vasugupta was a 9th century author, best known for writing Shiva Sutras, an important text in the Advaita tradition of Kashmir's Shavism.
The details of Vasugupta's life are not known.

In the Shaiva tradition, It is believed that Vasugupta has accumulated his knowledge and recognition through direct realization.


Somonanda (875–925 CE) was one of the teachers of Shavism in Kashmir, Vasugupta's disciple.

He was the author of Shiva Sutra, one of the fundamental texts of Shavism.

Together with Bhaρa Kallaρa has rigorously and logically structured the concepts of Shivaism.

Bhatta Kallata, author of "Spanda Karika",was a contemporary of Somananda and was also a disciple of Vasugupta

There's a myth about Somandanda's origin. He claimed to be a descendant of the wise Durvasa, who received from Shiva the spiritual mission of keeping alive the tradition and secrets of Agamic Shavism. Durvasa is said to have created her son, Tryambaka, directly from the mind (in a similar way to creating Athena directly from the mind of her father, Zeus, in Greek mythology). Tryambaka, for his part, also created a son directly from his mind. It continued for 15 generations ending with Sangamaditya's father, who took a woman as his wife. Then there are three more generations to go to Somonanda.

So Somananda claims a divine spiritual ancestor.

Swami Brahmacharin Lakshman

The last continuation of Kashmir's Sivaite tradition was Swami Brahmacharin Lakshman (Lakshmanjoo),who lived until 1992.


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