Kashmir Shaivism

N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Sat Dec 5 21:06:46 UTC 1998

There are many features about this sytem of philosophy which
makes it  appealing to moderns and that includes those in the West.

While reatining its Idealist (spiritual) stance it maintains a joyous
and life affirming position as opposled to Shankara's Advaita Vedanta.
The prototypical experience it advocates is an aesthetic experience and
thereby includes art objects, both sacred and secular, as objects of

  This is true of Southern 'Saivism as well. That's the
  reason why Chola masterpieces on 'Siva NaTarAja were

  Of course, the 'Saiva Saint, MaaNikkavAcakar
  ('Saint whose words are rubies', 9th century AD) chides
  Sankara's advaita (maayaa vAda) in his TiruvAcakam.

The icon it celebrates most is the ardhanarisvara and regards Nataraja
as a form of ardhanarisvara as well. The Nataraja sports a female
earring (kundala) in his left ear and this is the only give away of its
female aspect.

  In which text this is told: Na.taraaja is a form
  of ardhanArizvara? Is it a Kashmiri 'Saivaite text?

  Many thanks,
  N. Ganesan

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