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Discover a wealth of readable, reliable guides to understanding Trika Shaivism, Dzogchen, and other direct realization traditions.


Trika Shaivism is one of the ancient Tantrik traditions of India. You will also see it referred to as Kashmir Shaivism and Shaivite Tantra.

The tradition as we know it today was formed from the confluence of number of direct realization traditions. Some of these are the Pratyabhijña, Kaula, Trika, and Krama streams of Tantra that flourished in Kashmir and the Swat Valley from the early Christian Era until the 12th century.

Dzogchen is a direct realization tradition from Tibet. In its formation, Dzogchen drew from the Bön tradition of Tibet, from Chinese Chan Buddhism, from the teachings of India-born siddhas such as Garab Dorje, and from the sources of Trika Shaivism.


Trika Shaivism and Dzogchen share the understanding that the purpose of spiritual practice is to directly discover the unconditioned, natural state of existence and to remain resting in that.

Trika Shaivism places somewhat more emphasis on the heart and devotion. Both traditions are based in a profound understanding of the five elements and the necessity of opening the gates of the senses in order to re-integrate with the natural state.

Neither Trika Shaivism nor Dzogchen are belief- or faith-based systems. Practitioners are given tools and guidance so that they may discover their real nature with certainty for themselves.

EXPLORE more on

Kashmir Shaivism: What is Self-realization? – blog post
How are Trika Shaivism and Dzogchen Related? – podcast
All About Tantra – podcast
What is Direct Realization? – blog post
Your Real Nature – podcast

Shambhavi’s Books

Shambhavi Sarasvati is the spiritual director of Jaya Kula.

  • Nine Poisons, Nine Medicines, Nine Fruits
    A traditional teaching text about the obstacles, remedies, and rewards we can expect to encounter as we seek relaxation and wisdom through practices such as yoga, mantra, and meditation.
  • The Play of Awakening: Adventures in Direct Realization Tantra
    Practical advice for spiritual practitioners. How can you stay motivated in your spiritual practice from day-to-day? What is the most fruitful way to work with your teachers? What detours and obstacles might slow you down? How do spiritual communities function as a core practice? What roles do grace and devotion, longing and loneliness play as you walk your path? How can you both live and die well?

OTHER Books About Trika Shaivism

  • The Shiva Sutras
    Received text (Shruti) from Vasgupta. A central text of the Trika tradition and a nondual blast.
  • Naked Song
    Down-to-earth revelations in poetry by a 14th century Kashmiri wandering yogini.

DZOGCHEN and other direct realization TEACHINGS