The teachings of Kashmir Shaivism are derived from the ninety-two
Tantras, also known as Agamas, revealed by Lord Siva in the form
of a dialog between himself and the Divine Mother. Of these Tantras,
sixty-four are considered purely monistic, eighteen are monistic-cum-dualistic,
and ten are dualistic. Kashmir Shaivism derives its teachings from
the sixty-four monistic Tantras, known as the Bhairava Tantras,
the essence of which is called 'Trika Shaivism'.
Due to the rise and fall of Kashmir over the past eight centuries,
the knowledge of Kashmir Shaivism has remained practically hidden
from view. As an oral tradition, its teachings have always been
passed down by word of mouth, from master to disciple. Today, scholars
find it difficult to piece together the intricate web of Kashmir
Shaiva philosophy, since many of its earlier manuscripts are now
Fortunately, Swami Lakshmanjoo was a direct descendant in the unbroken
chain of Masters of this oral tradition.
With the gradual emergence of Kashmir Shaivism, over the last three
decades, hardly any publication has appeared without mention of
his name. Seeking his guidance for all of his publications on Kashmir
Shaivism, Jaideva Singh looked upon Swami Lakshmanjoo as, "the doyen
of Shaiva Agama."
In 1972 Swami Lakshmanjoo gave a series of lectures,
which he considered to be 'the essence of Trika Philosophy'. Without
the aid of texts, Swamiji revealed the most important aspects of
Kashmir Shaiva Philosophy, at the same time revealing some of the
unknown secrets of his oral tradition. His memory was so vast that
he could effortlessly verify his statements with quotes and references
from the various Shaiva tantras. Fifteen of the topics selected
covered the essence of the first fifteen chapters of Abhinavagupta's
Tantraloka. These lectures were recorded by John Hughes and form
the substance of Swami Lakshmanjoo's book, Kashmir
Shaivism, the Secret Supreme.
A devotee once asked Swamiji, what was the best way to learn Kashmir
Shaivism. His simple reply was, "read my Secret
Supreme over and over, and you will absorb the essence of
For the last twenty years of his life, Swami Lakshmanjoo translated
into English what he considered the most important texts of Kashmir
Shaivism. These translations were recorded by John Hughes and form
the basis of the teachings presented by the Universal Shiva Fellowship.
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Shaiva Fellowship (USF), John Hughes