(Last Updated on : 19/11/2010)
Somananda (875-925 CE) lived in Kashmir. He was the original theorist of the Pratyabhijna
school of Kashmiri Shaivism
. He explains a form of absolute idealist philosophy that denies the reality of the physical independent of universal consciousness. If there were a real difference in nature between consciousness and material objects, knowledge of the world would be impossible.
Material things and consciousness are utterly different categories and they cannot be related. When categories have something in common, relation is then only possible. A relation between thinking minds and objects are possible if consciousness is the common factor there in everything. All conscious subjects are essentially the same. The universal consciousness is the supreme godhead Lord Shiva
who is all pervasive. Everything is the expression of the single and divine consciousness. There are no individual identities. Human problems start when one considers themselves as isolated individuals with social identities confronting a separate material environment. Somananda does not approve Advaita Vedantins who believes that the differentiated cosmos is an illusory manifestation brought about by mysterious ignorance of the featureless Supreme reality.
Shaiva Siddhantins are criticized for considering themselves as individuals independent of godhead. He was the disciple of Vasugupta and author of Sivadrishti which was said to be an explanation and defense of the Kashmir Shaiva.
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