Skip to content

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 Nyingma and Bön traditions of Tibet, from Chinese Chan Buddhism, from India-born siddhas such as Garab Dorje and Padmasambhava, and from the sources of Trika Shaivism.


Trika Shaivism and Dzogchen hold a similar, although not identical, View of the process of self-realization. They 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 obvious emphasis on the heart and devotion, while Dzogchen places somewhat more emphasis on mind and nature of mind. 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.

Shambhavi’s Books

  • The Reality Sutras
    A handbook of 37 teachings about the nature of the self and reality from the perspective of Trika Shaivism.

OTHER Books About Trika Shaivism

  • The Shiva Sutras
    Received text (Shruti) from Vasgupta. Central text of the 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

Biographies and Autobiographies

  • The Chasm of Fire 
    Irina Tweedie’s autobiographical account of her relationship with her Sufi teacher.
  • Quang Van Nguyen and Marjorie Pivar: Fourth Uncle in the Mountain
    The autobiography of a Vietnamese Buddhist “barefoot” doctor who eventually travels to the United States as a refugee. If you want to understand the difference between real healing and spiritual attainment versus attachment to siddhis and sorcery, read this book.
  • My Reincarnation
    A moving film portraying the relationship between Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche and his son Yeshe.