How are Trika Shaivism and Dzogchen Related?

Dzogchen and Trika Shaivism
January 22, 2020

At a Satsang with Shambhavi in Eugene, Oregon, a participant asks about the relationship between Trika Shaivism and Dzogchen. Shambhavi talks about both the historical and esoteric connections between these traditions. A podcast from Satsang with Shambhavi

Podcast First Words

Trika Shaivism, sometimes called Kashmir Shaivism, is a tradition from north India. It’s specifically from the region of north India that’s called Kashmir, which is also partly in Pakistan, since it was separated. Dzogchen is a tradition that, in written history, is from Tibet. The actual founders of Dzogchen came from India and even from the Chan Buddhist tradition in China and the indigenous Bon tradition of Tibet.

One of the things that both of these traditions have in common is that they’re synthetic. There were a bunch of traditions, and over historical time they got brought together. The other thing that they have in common is that they were both being formed along what’s called the Silk Road. This is a very famous trade route from ancient times that went along the border between India, Tibet, China, Pakistan, and Iran. I don’t know exactly where, but across that whole swath of the world.

There were not only goods being traded, but there were also ideas, practices, and traditions being traded along that Silk Road. So there was a lot of exchange between people who were from Hindu traditions, loosely, Buddhist traditions, and traditions from Tibet. All this was happening along the Silk Road at the time that these traditions were kind of taking the form that we see them in today.

And there were teachers that became very, very important to Dzogchen or Tibetan Buddhism in general, who traveled through Kashmir on their way to Tibet. There was a lot of exchange. So what you see because of that is that between Dzogchen and Trika Shaivism there is a lot of View that is in common. There are also some very key practices in common.

Now, both Dzogchen and Trika Shaivism are from a group of traditions that are called direct realization traditions.


Satsang with Shambhavi is a weekly podcast about spirituality, love, death, devotion and waking up while living in a messy world.