The Vedas are the primary scriptures and base of Hinduism. Every different philosphy has interpreted it in each diffearent way.

I want to know how does Kashmir Shaivism Interpret the Vedas (Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda etc). What does it say about its philosphy?

As mostly Kashmir Shaivism is based on the Agamas, what does it says about philosophy of the Vedas? What do they say about hymns devoted to different devas like Indra, Agni, Soma etc as every deity is described supreme in Rig Veda.

  • May be the question also can be what are KS views on philosophy of Vedanta . What you think ? – SwiftPushkar Feb 8 '19 at 17:40
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    There is no restrictions with respect to caste gender religion when it comes to KS. – TheLittleNaruto Feb 8 '19 at 17:53
  • @TheLittleNaruto Tantras, in general, don't have such prohibitions.. so nothing peculiar to KS – Rickross Feb 9 '19 at 6:19
  • As u hv already said that KS is based on Tantras and Tantras don't bother to interpret Vedas .. So how do u think it can be answered? @KarmanyaNanda – Rickross Feb 9 '19 at 6:21
  • @Rickross yeah,I mean by saying KS is manly based on agamas but I want to know what it says about philosphy or how they interpret the rigvedic verses and is any part of ks based on vedic philosphy for eq Devi is also described supreme on one hymn of rig veda which is also part of KS. – Karmanya Nanda Feb 9 '19 at 6:42

Acharya Abhinavagupta, in his Gitartha Samgraha explicitly regards the Vedas as the highest authority on Dharma. This is what he comments on the following verses from the Bhagavad Gita which appears to be a criticism of the Vedas:

2.43 The undisceming, delighting in the study of the Veda,O Partha, speak flowery words declaring that there is nothing else.

2.44 They are filled with desires and have heaven as their highest goal; during their lifetime they strive to attain the fruit of actions and prescribe many special rites for the attainment of enjoyment and power.

2.45 A discerning state of intellect does not arise in the meditation of those who are attached to enjoyment and power, and whose minds are carried away by those flowery words.

Acharya Abhinavagupta's commentary: Those who are overwhelmed by desire for the fruits of action perceive Vedic texts as “flowery words” (puspitam vacam). In other words, they perceive the Vedas as being permeated by the fruits of sacrifice, such as the heaven that might be attained in the future. These people accept action as the only purpose in life. This way of thinking shows that they were not properly educated. They have been misled by their wrong interpretation of the Vedas, which is the result of their own imagination. Therefore, even if they possess a decisive intellect they are not entitled to samadhi. This is because they practice samadhi in order to attain some limited result. This is in brief the purport of these three verses.Therefore, the Lord said:

2.46 The Vedas possess three qualities (gunas), which are instrumental in binding. Free yourself from these three gunas, O Arjuna; be beyond duality, ever established in the highest reality, free from thoughts of possessions and comfort, possessed of the Self.

Acharya Abhinavagupta's commentary: The Vedas possess qualities called the three gunas, which are instrumental in binding (sinvanti badhnanti,5) (a person) to a great extent or particularly (visesena I6). However, the Vedas themselves are not instrumental in binding. If Vedic rituals are being performed with the notion of attaining fruits, which are characterized by one of these three gunas, only then the Vedas are binding. Therefore, the three gunas, which are of the nature of desire, are to be abandoned.This verse, however, should not be taken to be a criticism of the Vedas. If it were criticism, then the topic under consideration (the necessity for Arjuna to fight the war) would be difficult to justify. This is because the Vedas are the highest authority in ascertaining one’s dharma. Those who have lost interest in the fruit of action are not bound by the Vedas.Therefore, the Vedas are of great assistance to those seeking the highest knowledge....

Therefore, the Vedas are regarded as the highest authority in Kashmiri Shaivism.

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    Good finding! There was none but Bhagwat Gita commentary by Acharya would have been the place to search because of its very nature i.e. monistic. – TheLittleNaruto Apr 9 at 19:56
  • Thanks. But this isn't a complete answer yet. I found his commentary very difficult to understand. @TheLittleNaruto – Surya Kanta Bose Chowdhury Apr 9 at 19:58
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    I don't think there would be much to find like I said in my comment because of its nature. You did a good job imo. – TheLittleNaruto Apr 9 at 20:00

Kashmir Shaivism is more accurately known as Trika Shaivism and refers

to a nondualist tradition of Saiva-Sakta Tantra which originated sometime after 850 CE. Though this tradition was very influential in Kashmir and is thus often called Kashmir Shaivism, it was actually a pan-Indian movement termed "Trika" by its great exegete Abhinavagupta, which also flourished in Odisa and Maharastra. Defining features of the Trika tradition is its idealistic and monistic Pratyabhijnā ("Recognition") philosophical system, propounded by Utpaladeva (c. 925–975 CE) and Abhinavagupta (c. 975–1025 CE), and the centrality of the three goddesses Para, Parapara, and Apara.

they were the first attempt

to present a non-dualistic metaphysics and gnostic soteriology in opposition to the dualistic exegesis of the Shaiva Siddhanta.


Kashmir Shaivism and Advaita Vedanta are both non-dual philosophies that give primacy to Universal Consciousness (Chit or Brahman), in Kashmir Shaivism, all things are a manifestation of this Consciousness, but the phenomenal world (Sakti) is real, existing and having its being in Consciousness (Chit).

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    Welcome to Hinduism SE. :) The OP asked if Kashmiri Shaivism has any view or interpretation on Vedas and does it also talk about other vedic Gods etc. – TheLittleNaruto Mar 25 at 4:05
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    Yes! Vedanta != Vedas. – TheLittleNaruto Mar 25 at 4:09
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    Poking holes? I am sorry if I did something wrong. I am just trying to help here. – TheLittleNaruto Mar 25 at 4:11
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    Veda and vedanta are different. The question is about Veda – srimannarayana k v Mar 25 at 5:23
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    OP is interested in knowing the interpretation of the philosophy of Veda by KS, but not of vedanta by KS. Though vedanta try to explain VEDA, it never succeeded completely, as the Veda was cryptic. I repeat Veda and vedanta are different – srimannarayana k v Mar 25 at 6:02

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