By: Moti Lal Pandit
Distributed by Coronet Books
268 Pages, Illustrated
The basic principle of Kashmir Saivism is that consciousness alone is real, and that which is not consciousness has no reality of its own, but is contingent on account of its being the expression of consciousness. It accepts a priori that consciousness alone is real, whereas what we cognize or perceive is nothing but what comes out of and from consciousness. The source of this thinking lies in the fact that it is in and through consciousness that we are empowered to engage in the process of reflective thinking, and due to it we become aware of what we are. This personal awareness gives rise to such reasoning which compels us to think that, a part from the body, there is existing within us a thinking principle, namely, the self. It is the inner self which is identified with the absolute—and the Absolute is nothing but consciousness.
Whatever we know or experience is because of consciousness. In the absence of consciousness, everything would be insentient, and there would prevail utter darkness of non-knowledge. It is in the context of the thinking that Kashmir Saivism has developed the philosophy of transcendental non-dualism that is theistically oriented, which maintains that the Absolute is none else than the core of myself. It is this self as the Absolute that expresses itself in and through the universe, which is to say that the phenomena are but the appearances of consciousness. Since everything is contained in consciousness, so nothing is different from consciousness. In this manner is established such a form of non-dualism that is both logical and experiential.
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