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I found that the philosophy of Kashmiri Shaivism is said to be similar to Adviata and preaching involves the Yoga. I came to know that Vasugupta is the important contributor to Kashimir Shaivism and he revealed Shiva Sutras. I am interested in knowing the Guru Parampara of Kashimir Shaivism like we have Guru parampara of Advaita and Vishishtadvaita.

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In chapter 36 of Sri Tantraloka, Sri Abhinavagupta describes in detail how the Guru-Shishya Transmission took place:

1) Bhairava

2) Bhairavi Devi

3) Swachhanda Bhairava

4) Laakul

5) Anuraat

6) Gahanesh

7) Kamalaja (Brahma)

8) Shakra

9) Guru (Brihaspati)

Out of 9 crore diversifications (NavaKotiVistara) Bhairava gave 8 crores verses to Bhairavi Devi, Bhairavi Devi gave 7 crores to Swachhanda Bhairava, Swachhanda Bhairava gave 6 crores to Laakul, Laakul gave 5 crores to Anuraat, Anuraat gave 4 crores to Gahanesh, Gahanesh gave 3 crores to Brahma, Brahma gave 2 crores to Shakra and Shakra gave 1 crore to Brihaspati.

In this way, in each transmission, there were 1 crores verses less transmission.

Now Brihaspati divides 1 crores vistaara to 8 disciples. They are:

1) Daksh and others: To this he gave 1/4th. ie. 25 Lakhs.

2) Samvarta and others: To this he gave 1/4th ie. 25 Lakhs.

3) Vamana: To Vamana Brihaspati gave 1/4th ie . 25 Lakhs.

4) Bhargava: To Bhargava he gave half of one fourth ie. 1/8th = 12.5Lakhs

5) Valaya: To Valaya he gave 1/16th of 1 crore. ie. 6.25Lakhs

6) Simha: To Simha Brihaspati gave 1/32th of 1 crore. ie. 3.125 Lakhs

7) Garuda: To Garuda Brihaspati gave two parts of the remaining ie. 1/48th of 1 crore.

8) Vasuki: To Vasuki, Brihaspati gave remaining part ie. 1/96th part of 1 crore.

Thus Brihaspati divided 1 crore diversifications to 8 disciples as: 1/4 + 1/4 + 1/4 + 1/8 + 1/16 + 1/32 + 1/48 + 1/96 (=1)

Up to this there were 17 divisions from the beginning.

Vasuki had 1/96th part ie. 104167 diverse verses. These all transmissions were going on in the heaven. It hadn't reached earth yet. And as time passed Ravana reached heaven and from Vasuki he got half of it ie. 52083. Rama received half of it from the mouth of Vibhisana ie. 26041 verses. Rama taught it to Lakshmana. From Lakshmana, it was received by Siddhas. From Siddhas, it was received by Danavas. From Danavas it was received by Guhyas. From Guhyas it was received by Yogis. From Yogis, it was received by Exalted Human beings. Thus this transmission is as:

1) Vasuki

2) Ravana

3) Vibhisana

4) Rama

5) Lakshmana

6) Siddhas

7) Danavas

8) Guhyas

9) Yogis

10) Human beings.

Then the transmission started from Human beings through Guru-Shishya Parampara. Gradually it was lost and this teaching became extinct.

There started spiritual darkness on the earth due to loss of knowledge and tradition. Then, Lord Shiva who lives in Kailasha (called as Lord Srikanthanatha) wanted to grace the world again reviving the tradition. He ordered Sage Durvasa to spread knowledge of these Shastras again. Durvasa created three mind-born sons: 1) Tryambaka 2) Amardaka 3) Shrinatha

He created one mind-born daughter ArdhaTryambakaa. She started ArdhaTryambaka school.

Durvasa taught nondual Agamas ie. Bhairava Agamas (which are the base texts of Kashmiri Shaivism) to Tryambaka.

He taught BhedaBheda Agamas ie. Rudra Shastras (both dual and nondual at the same time) to Shrinatha.

He taught Bheda Agamas ie. Shiva Shastras (dual doctrines) to Amardaka.

The Trika lineage (ie. Kashmiri Shaiva lineage) is of Tryambaka branch.

Tryambaka began to pass Advaita knowledge to his mind-born son Trayambakaditya. His son again created the mind-born son. In this way, 14 generations of mind born sons passed.

The 15th Siddha was not fully introverted and thus not able to create the mind-born son. Thus he married a girl. From them, a son called Sangamaditya was born and he got the nondual knowledge. Sangamaditya passed knowledge to his son Varshaditya. Varshaditya passed to his son Arunaditya. Arunaditya passed to his son Ananda. Ananda was the father of Somananda. Up to this time the transmission took place from only father to son.

Somananda nAtha was the teacher of Utpaladeva, Utpaladeva was the teacher of Lakshmanagupta and Lakshmanagupta was the teacher of Abhinavagupta. In this way Nondual knowledge taught by Lord Shreekanthanatha reached Sri Abhinavagupta through Guru-Shishya parampara.

1) Lord Srikanthanatha

2) Rishi Durvasa

3) Tryambaknatha

4-18) Tryambkadityanatha (mind-born sons)

19) Sangamaditya

20) Varshaditya

21) Arunaditya

22) Ananda

23) Somananda natha

24) Utpaladeva

25) Lakshmanagupta

26) Abhinavagupta

Sangamaditya had already come to Kashmir valley. And thus Somananda natha was also born in Kashmir.

One interesting thing is Abhinavagupta received knowledge of Tantra Shastra from various teachers, thus various lineages merge in him. We already talked about the lineage of Duravasa-Tryamaba ... above.

One of the important teachers of Abhinavagupta was Sambhunatha who was of Kula lineage.

The Kula lineage too was introduced by Lord Shiva himself.

1) Lord Shiva

2) Matsyendranath

3) Sumatinatha reintroduced teaching, himself from this lineage which had become distorted during his time.

4) Somantha

5) Sambhunatha was the disciple of Somanatha

6) Abhinavagupta.

Again another lineage Krama which started Goddesses MangalA herself also merges in Abhinavagupta:

1) Goddess MangalA

2) Jnanetranatha

3) Keyuravati

4) Hrasvanatha

5) Cakrabhanu

6) Bhutiraja

7) Abhinavagupta

Lord Shiva revealed Shiva Sutras in dream to Vasugupta:

-Vasugupta

-Bhatta Kallata

-Mukula Bhatta

-Bhattenduraja

-Abhinavagupta

Now as we have merged various traditions upto Abhinavagupta. The lineage from Abhinavagupta passes as:

  • Abhinavagupta

  • KashemaRaja

  • Yogaraja

... ... Due to problems in Kashmir, the transmission began to take place on the hidden way... ...

  • Swami Mankak (1860)

  • Swami Ram (1852-1914)

  • Swami Mahatabakak

  • Swami Lakshmanjoo (1907-1991)

Swami Lakshmanjoo didn't initiate anyone as lineage upholder. But there are still several living disciples initiated by him like Mark Dyczkowski, etc...

In this way, the tradition of Kashmiri Shaivism is running. This is just a surface view. The tradition is still running but is secret as a teacher doesn't have only 1 disciple and as he has many branches also. for eg. Kubjika tradition is found alive among Newars living in Kathmandu Valley of Nepal. Similarly, in the hidden way Tantrik traditions are running. When Swami Lakshmanjoo was asked why he isn't appointing lineage upholder and how will people in future get this knowledge, he told that these videos and audio recordings will work.

  • IMHO Swami ji should have initiated at least one to uphold the lineage. – TheLittleNaruto Nov 16 '18 at 16:24
  • @TheLittleNaruto I think Swami Lakshmanjoo was all aware of this but still didn't appoint any lineage upholder... So there must be some reason... maybe he saw lineage would become corrupted and he felt to terminate... or may be videos of him are sufficient.. or maybe someone is coming... otherwise he wouldn't just stop lineage started by Lord Srikanthanatha himself just for a common reason.. – Tejaswee Nov 17 '18 at 3:15
  • I talked to some persons in Kashmiri Community, they're saying Swamiji initiated one Shrimati Prabha Devi ji. But she is already at the age of 96 now. – TheLittleNaruto Nov 17 '18 at 8:41
  • Navjivan Rastogi is there but he is scholar not guru. – Rakesh Joshi Nov 17 '18 at 12:40

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