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Kashmir Śaivism

(10,263 words)

Author(s): David P. Lawrence
The expression “Kashmir Śaivism” is now commonly used to refer to a group of nondualistic or monistic, tantric Śaiva (Śiva worshipping) traditions, which originated and flourished in Kashmir from the latter centuries of the 1st millennium CE through the early centuries of the 2nd millennium. These traditions must be distinguished from dualistic Śaiva Siddhānta traditions, which also flourished in medieval Kashmir. Though almost disappearing among the Brahmans of Kashmir, the nondualistic (like t…


(6,771 words)

Author(s): David P. Lawrence
Abhinavagupta (c. 960-1020 CE) is widely renowned as the most authoritative and influential proponent of nondual Kashmiri Śaivism, and probably even Hindu Tantra in general. While certain innovations often credited to him in the areas of Pratyabhijñā nondual Śaiva philosophy and Sanskrit poetics should properly be ascribed to predecessors, nevertheless his brilliance, erudition, and profundity in these areas are unsurpassed. Moreover, Abhinavagupta integrated his work on these subjects with his …