(Last Updated on : 04/01/2016)
The philosophy of tantra in Shaivism
has made an enormous impact. Advaita Shaivism is one of the major aspects of Tantra that flourished in the Kashmir Valley which later came to be known as Kashmir Shaivism
. The goal of Shaivites is to recognize the true nature as the Shiva, which is the manifestation of consciousness, and then turn to all the creations and see its divinity.
The ultimate goal of Shaiva Tantra is self-recognition and realizing of one's own self with Shiva. In Shaivism the Purusha and Prakriti are integrated. Shiva in Shaiva tantra is depicted as Yogeshwara. Lord Shiva
had initiated the system of yogic meditation in Tantric practices. The Lord is personified in various names like the 'relentless mediator', 'Dakshinamurti', or the 'Mahayogi'. Shiva is the basis of foundation of yogic practices in Tantra who is known to possess the 'third eye' and who transcends all three worlds every time. Shiva in Tantric practice is abounding with legends and stories about belittling Brahma, the progenitor of the Universe. The form of Shambhavi, Lord Shiva and Shakti is also an integral part of Shaiva Tantra. Shambhavi when aligned with Lord Shiva and Shakti, it is referred to the Mudra in which the Lord is depicted as sitting in a serene posture with eyes half-open. Shambhavi here stands for uniting the microcosm with the macrocosm by offering every sense to the Goddess Kali
Divine Shakti functions to reveal the divine glory of the Lord simultaneously as transcendent being and the cosmos. The incessant activity of Shakti is called vibration. Self-recognition is the ultimate goal of Shaiva Tantra. The entire creation is divinized. Shaktipata is an explicit and central concept in Shaiva Tantra. It is said to be transmitted through everything that brings us to the spiritual path and moves us closer to the ultimate goal. However, in the context of Shaivism, it is the grace of God that comes through a guru's initiation. The Shaivites recognize their true nature as Shiva and then the entire creation to them seems divine.
One of the most significant philosophical expositions which arose from the practice of Kundalini MahaYoga was Tantric Shaivism. Tantric Shaivism was a non-dualistic school of thought that emerged from the inner practice of Kundalini. These practices blossomed from the hearts of many great Tantric masters who are called Mahasiddhas.