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I N T R O D U C T I O N T O S H A I V I S M
These branches of the Shaivit tradition have been brilliantly unified and synthesized by the illustrious personality, the greatest man of this system, the sage Abhinavagupta.
His most important work, Tantraloka, is written in verse and unifies all apparent differences between the Kashmir Shaivism branches or schools, offering a coherent and complete vision of the system. Realizing the difficulty of such a work, Abhinavagupta also wrote a resume, in prose, named Tantrasara ("The Supreme Essence of Tantra").
Abhinavagupta is said to have been a manifestation of Shiva. Even today he is accepted as one of the greatest Hindu philosophers and aestheticians.
Although India has had quite an impressive number of aestheticians, Abhinavagupta remains unique through his brilliant synthesis of all the visions and theories of the Kashmir Shaivism, offering them a broader, vaster perspective.
Abhinavagupta was born in 950 AD and lived until the XI-th century. It is said that at one point he left with a large group of his disciples in a cave to meditate, and that he never returned, as he translated into another dimension.
Ksemaraja continued Abhinavagupta's work and he was also Abhinavagupta's most important disciple.
Then, gradually, the secret tradition of the Kashmir Shaivism became extinct in this area. It flourished a little bit in the south of India, 300 years later, where there were several great sages: Jayaratha, who condensed Tantraloka, and the visionary Bhattanarayana, the author of the poem Stavacintamani (The Mysterious Sanctuary Of The Precious Gem Of The Divine Love).
Finally, the last to continue this famous and spiritual lineage of the Kashmir Shaivism was Swami Brahmacharin Lakshman (Lakshmanji), who lived until 1992.
From certain respects, the Kashmir Shaivism is very closely related to authentic Christianity. In the Kashmir Shaivism, as in Christianity the accent is laid on the divine grace (the Holy Spirit of Christianity) and on the awakening of the heart.
There are testimonies according to which Jesus was in Kashmir from the age of 12 until he turned 30. There are documents discovered in Kashmir that testify to this fact. Nonetheless, there is a striking resemblance between several aspects of the authentic Christian tradition and the Kashmir Shaivism.
The Kashmir Shaivism also has important Tantric influences. Here, just as in Tantrism, we find the idea that all things are mysteriously and closely interconnected, as in a holographic model of the universe.
Thus, the whole universe is envisaged as a gigantic net of virtual resonances that are established between each point (atom) of the universe and all the other points (atoms).
Knowing in-depth one single aspect (atom) of the universe, we are then able to know the entire universe, because all is resonance. At this stage, resonance is a concept more and more debated, of a growing importance in our contemporary culture and science.
In yoga, the contribution of the yoga teacher Gregorian Bivolaru is essential because he introduced for the first time the present concept of resonance in yoga, which allows us to acced to a superior level of knowledge and a very precise and clear structuring of the entire yogic system, as well as of the Shivaism system.