Kashmir Shaivism is an Advaita (nondualist) Shaiva tradition from Kashmir based on Shaiva Agamas. One important scripture i am aware is Shiva Sutra by Vasgupta, in addition to Shivabheda Agamas (as mentioned in this Kamika Agama introduction). What are the important scriptures of Kashmir Shaivism apart from above scriptures?

I know Acharya Abhinavagupta is most important Acharya of Kashmir Shaivism. Please provide works or commentaries of Abhinavagupta which can provide gist or essence of Trika philosophy. Also, post any important works by other Acharyas of Trika philosophy.

In short, please list all important Scriptures or texts of Trika school in descending order, from direct Shiva Beda Agamas (most important or authentic of them) to Works of Acharyas like Abhinavagupta. If possible, provide online links of those scriptures with English translations which are out of copyright.

(This question is inspired by similar questions of Advaita Vedanta and Visistadvaita Vedanta).


2 Answers 2


The Shaiva philosophy of Kashmir is generally called Trika Shastra, because it is the philosophy of triad, 1. Shiva 2. Shakti and 3. Nara.

The literature of Trika System of Kashmir falls under 3 categories:

  1. the Agama Shastra
  2. the Spanda Shastra
  3. the Pratyabhijna Shastra

1. Agama Shastra is considered to be revelation by Shiva. It talks about both principles and practices of the system. In Agama we have tantras like Malinivijaya, Svacchanda, Vijnana Bhairava, Netra, Shiva Sutras etc.

Most of them talk about dualistic doctorine. But the most important Agama of the Trika System is Shiva Sutra.

  • There is no human author of Shiva Sutra. They originated from Shiva himself and were reveal to VasuGupta.

    Four commentaries are available on Shiva-Sutra:

    • Vimarsini commentry of Ksemaraja
    • Shiva-Sutra-Vriti by some anonymous author
    • Shiva-Sutra-Vartikam by Bhaskara
    • Shiva-Sutra-Vatrikam by Varadaraja

2. Spanda Shastra elaborates the principal laid down in the Shiva-Sutra from the point of view of Sakti.

Following are the commentaries on Spanda Sutras:

  • Pradipa by Utpala Vaisnava

  • Vivrti by Ramakantha

  • Spandasandoha by Ksemaraja

  • Spandanirnaya by Kshemaraja

3. The Pratyabhijna Shastra contains philosophy proper of the system. It explains Trika philosophy by arguments and discussions.

Following commentaries are available on Pratyabhijna Sutras:

  • The Vritti by Upala himself available only in an incomplete form.

  • The Pratyabhijnavimarsini by AbhinavaGupta

  • The Pratyabhijna-vritti-vimarsini by AbhinavaGupta


The main scriptures for the school are Netra Tantram, MAlini Vijaya Tantram, MAlini Vijayottara Tantram. But, they also have taken inputs from KAlikula Tantras such as GuhyakAlika chapter of the MahAkAla SamhitA.

The main body of Kashmir Shaivism is of course developed from Abhinava Gupta's Tantraloka.

Netra Tantram, for example, has been commented upon by one of Abhinava Gupta's disciple called KshemarAjA. This scripture has 22 chapters.

All their important texts and scriptures has been covered in the most voluminous series called The Kashmir series of texts and studies.

Many of the Tantra related books that i posses often quote from one of these volumes of the above series.

Some other, not mentioned above, will be the Swacchanda Tantram, VijyAna Bhairava Tantram, ParAtrisika, Shivasutra Vimarshini.

  • An overview of Netra Tantram is found here.
  • For the MAlini Vijayottara the same is found here.
  • English translation of MAlini Vijayottara is available here.
  • MAlini Vijaya Tantram in Sanskrit can be found here.

The series already mentioned above (KAshmir Series of Texts and Studies) is really outstanding. You can buy those one by one or look for them online.

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