The Definitive Explanation of Kashmir Shaivism
A review of KASHMIR SHAIVISM, The Secret Supreme, Revealed by Swami Lakshmanjoo, edited by John Hughes; Universal Shaiva Fellowship, 1985, 2003.
Kashmir Shaivism is a mental discipline. While it does encompass the practices of Bhakti and Karma yogas, it teaches the perennial metaphysics of the universe, its creation and our place of purpose therein.
Therefore there are many metaphysical ideas in Kashmir Shavism uniquely formulated in the Sanskrit terms that contain their essence. Immersing our consciousness in the unfamiliar waters of these Sanskrit terms is one of the initial challenges for the seeker. However it is also one of the enduring pleasures of this school of wisdom and you will find whatever effort you make to assimilate these terms well worth your time.
The days we live in are filled with confusion, permeated by a total lack of any authentic connection to our Source and the underlying reality of metaphysical truth. Kashmir Shaivism opens the door to the lost – to the western world - ancient timeless order, that eternal wisdom that lies within the Hearts of all waiting to be rediscovered.
Swami Lakshmanjoo’s ‘Kashmir Shaivism, The Secret Supreme’ is a bit like a user’s manual or explanatory dictionary for Kashmir Shaivism. It is invaluable as a reference guide and has been compared to a condensed version of Abhinavagupta’s TANTRA LOKA, which extensively lays out all the tenets of this system.
In 1971, John and Denise Hughes asked Swami Lakshmanjoo to teach them Kashmir Shaivism and this book is the result. We are very fortunate that John and Denise found their way to Swami Lakshmanjoo in remote Kashmir. It is because of these two courageous souls, along with other English-speaking disciples, that Swami Lakshmanjoo made the effort to put these secret teachings into English – a language he had not grown up with. Sanskrit came more easily to him.
Some of the topics covered are the Theory of the [Sanskrit] Alphabet, the Explanation of the Means (to enlightenment), the Theory of Speech, understanding Grace, what Liberation means, and the purpose of Kundalini.
One of the most intriguing theories is PRATIBIMBAVADAH, the Theory of Reflection: “The universe … is reflected in the mirror of consciousness, not in the organs (the five senses) nor in the five gross elements (ether, air, fire, water, earth).”
Have you ever wondered why we all see and hear, etc. so differently? This is because we are seeing and hearing only the reflection (bimba) of any particular thing in our own, unique to us, consciousness. We do not see or hear the thing itself.
“Nothing can exist outside of God Consciousness.” Whatever exists in the external world and the means (the five senses, mind, etc.) by which we experience anything is also God Consciousness.
The cause of this Reflection is the Free Will (svantantrya) of God. “… what He wills appears in the mirror of His Consciousness” through you and me. “In reality, only the reflection exists and not anything that is reflected” – because the ‘thing’ would have no existence apart from God Consciousness. The Absolute Free Will of God is “the seed of everything.”
Swami Lakshmanjoo was the acknowledged authority on these texts, the last of the great Kashmir Shaivites in the Abhinavagupta line. The secret ancient truths contained in this book will impel your Heart and mind into greater heights on your journey Home.
Swami Lakshmanjoo in the 1970s
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