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Fundamentals of Trika Shaivism
Episode No. 124

Shambhavi describes how her experience of the teachings has changed over time and lays out the fundamentals of the View of Trika Shaivism. A podcast from Satsang with Shambhavi

Podcast First Words

Next week we’re going to have a series of teachings that get back to what first thrilled me about the Trika Shaivaite tradition in particular. I’d been practicing loosely some form of kriya yoga and mantra since I was in my twenties, but without knowing what tradition those practices came from. At some point much later, I figured out where it all came from.

The very first book that I ever read about Trika Shaivism (Kashmir Shaivism) was this book called Vac. That means something like the nature of the word in Kashmir Shaivism. It was like 300 pages of this incredibly dense exposition of language and grammar and their relationship to cosmology. I literally understood 10% of it—no exaggeration! I didn’t know any Sanskrit at that time except maybe namaste, but I might’ve not even known that. And of course the book was just full of lots of Sanskrit. Still even understanding just that 10%, I was just electrified. It’s like every hair stood up on end.

After ploughing through Vac, I went on this 10 year odyssey of reading about the tradition. Abhinavagupta, the founder of the tradition, loved to write about things like every individual letter of the Sanskrit alphabet and all of their esoteric meanings and their place in the cascade of creation. He just loved this grammar/Cosmology stuff. So even though I was interested in it, I really couldn’t grasp it. I would just sort of skip over those parts of every book that I read. If I turned the page and saw a bunch of letters, I would be like ‘nah.’

Now many, many years have gone by. I’ve been practicing for 33 years now. Which is nothing! 33 years in one little life time. So I decided to do this teaching next week on the Goddess and the Word because Shakti—or Paravac, the Supreme word Goddess—is the whole of creation. The relationship between the word—between speaking and listening and the creation—is that they’re one and the same.