For this journey Trika thought has laid down three means within the body of cognitive energy, for it is cognitive energy alone that can carry the believer towards the subjective energy of Lord Shiva. The purpose of cognitive energy is to develop the limited being's capacity and ability to receive God-consciousness. In the body of cognitive energy there are three means. The first and Supreme means is called Shambhavopaya. The second, intermediate means is called Shaktopaya and the third, inferior means is called Anavopaya. These means are handled and practiced according to the ability of the seeker,
Some of the major works that expound in greater detail the various principles and beliefs of the Trika Philosophy are discussed below.
The Agama Shastra
This particular Shastra is believed to have superhuman authorship. It lays down both the doctrines (jnana) and the practices (kriya) of the system as revelations which are believed to have come down (agama) through the ages, being handed down from teacher to pupil. Among the works (if they may be so called) belonging to this Shastra there is a number of Tantras, of which the chief ones are the following:
Most of these had existed long before the appearance (or re-appearance) of the Trika and taught mostly a dualistic doctrine. They were interpreted in a dualistic, even a pluralistic, sense. In order to stop the spread of this dualistic teaching and to show that the highest form of the Shivagama taught only the pure Advaita Tattva-Idealistic Monism, the Shiva Sutras were recealed. These therefore form an important part of the Agama Shastras from the point of view of the Trika Philosophy. In fact they are spoken of as the 'Shivopanishat-Sangraha' which is again interpreted as 'Shivarahasyagama-Shastra-Sangraha'.
The Spanda Shastra
This Shastra lays down the main principles of the Trika system in greater detail and in a more enlarged form than the Shiva Sutras without, or hardly, entering into philosophical reasoning in their support. Of the treatises belonging to this Shastra, the first and foremost are:
(i) The Spanda Sutras, generally called the Spanda Karikas
The Spanda Sutras are attributed by Kshemaraja to Vasugupta himself but they were composed most likely by the letter's pupil, Kallata. These Sutras (actually verses, numbering 52) are based on the Shiva Sutras, on which they form a sort of running commentary. This commentary however only enunciates the detailed principles without going in the philosophical reasoning on which these principles are based. The collection of the Spanda Sutras is spoken of as a Sangraha Grantha i.e., a work which gathers together the meaning of the Shiva-Sutras.
On these Sutras there is,
(ii) The Vritti by Kallata.
The Vritti, together with the Sutras or Karikas, is called the Spanda Sarvasva. These are practically all of what now remains of the original Spanda Shastra.
On the Spanda Sutras there are the following commentaries:-
(i) The Vivriti by Ramakantha, a pupil of the great Utpala the son of Udayakara and author of the Pratyabhijna Karikas.
(ii) The Pradipika by Utpala, not the same as Utpala, the son of Udayakara, mentioned above. The author of the Pradipika is traditionally known as Utpala Vaishnava to distinguish him from his great namesake. Utpala Vaishanva lived later than Utpala author of the Pratyabhijna but earlier than Abhinavagupta.
iii) The Spanda Sandoha by Kshemaraja. It is a commentary on only the first Sutra or Karika, but explains the claim of the whole work.
(iv) Spanda Nirnaya is also by Kshemaraja. Of this work only the first section, called the first Nihshyanda, is available in Kashmir, at least.
The Pratyabhijna Shastra
This may be regarded as the Manana, or Vichara Shastraj, i. e. proper, philosophy of the Trika. It deals rationally with the doctrines and tries to support them by reasoning and refutes the views of the opponents. Indeed, the method of the founder of this Shastra, the Siddha Somananda, most probably a pupil of Vasugupata, is said to have been the exhaustive treatment of the doctrines of his own system as well as of those of opponents. Somananda is also spoken of as the originator of reasoning in support of the Trika.
The first work which laid the foundation of this branch was:
i) the Shiva Drishti by Somananda himself. As the name implies, Shiva Drishti, which is the same as Shiva Darshana, was par excellence the philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism. Unfortunately, the work is not to be had now in its completeness. Only the first-four Ahnikas of the work (the fourth in fragments) have been obtained. But it must have been of a considerable size and must have extended at least to seven Ahnikas, if not more. Somananda composed a Vritti of his own on the Shiva. Drishti. But this, with other works of his, is lost now and we know them only by name and from quotations from them.
(ii) The next and now the most important existing work of his Shastra is the Ishvara Pratyabhijna or simply the Pratyabhijna Sutras by Utpala, the famous-pupil of Somananda. It is a work in verses which are called Sutras. It is a shorter work than the Shiva Drishti which even in its existing parts contains more than 307 anushtubh verses, while the total number of verses, in the Pratyabhijna Sutras is only 190. In his own Sutras or verses Utpala summarised the teaching of his master Somananda. Indeed, his Ishvara Pratyabhijna is spoken of as only "the reflection of the wisdom taught by Somananda.
Since it is a shorter and more compact work, the Pratyabhijna would seem to have superseded, to a great extent at least, the Shiva Drishti of Somananda. In fact the Pratyabhijna assumed such an important position that the whole system of the Shaiva Philosophy of Kashmir seems to have come to be known, outside Kashmir, as the Pratyabhijna Darshana.
However probably, around the Sutras or Karikas of Utpala, developed a mass of literature; and the Pratyabhijna Sutras, together with the various commentaries on them and with other works which drew their inspiration from the Sutras, now constitute, perhaps, the greater portion of the existing writings on Kashmir Shaivism.
(Last Updated on : 25-02-2011)
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