Sanskrit & Sánscrito (English-Home)

JavaScript is disabled! Check this link!

 Trika 3 - Non-dual Shaivism of Kashmir

Sadāśiva, Īśvara and Sadvidyā


Dear friend, many secrets will be revealed in this document. The Great Knowledge about man and his possible evolution is real. You will be able to taste just a bit of it throughout this third part. Three mysterious realities will be analyzed:




Each of these universes is a predominant experience within the following 3 tattva-s respectively: SADĀŚIVA (tattva 3) -- ĪŚVARA (tattva 4) -- SADVIDYĀ (tattva 5).

Remember that Trika postulates 36 tattva-s or categories of Creation. The first two tattva-s are ŚIVA (tattva 1) and ŚAKTI (tattva 2). Both of them form the I-sense -- I AM -- that is the basis on which all experiences (the rest of the tattva-s) will be "experienced".

Again, remember that you are essentially ŚIVA-ŚAKTI (I AM) and not the self-invented person you think you are. The self-invented individual (Gabriel, John, Ivan, Manuel, etc.) is the ego (tattva 15), it is simply a role you play on the stage of the world. This ego is necessary in order to "play the role" but you always should be conscious of your true identity. If you are conscious, no harm will come from the ego. But, if you are not... well... look around.

In Trika the ego is not to be destroyed but recognized as it is: a mask to play a role. Very useful mask, but simply a mask and not the real "me". When the ego is recognized that way, it is seen as pure Consciousness (Śiva-Śakti) taking on this form and it becomes inoffensive. So, Trika gives a chance to the poor ego, a chance to become a very useful instrument provided that it is fully understood and recognized as a mere "mask" by us.

Very good, but let us begin with our study.



You are the Witness, the cameraman (Śiva or Prakāśa) who is always filming through Śakti (the camera) the movie of the world. Look around and behold your own creation. But, that camera (Śakti or Vimarśa) is a special one, because it is united with the movie filmed by it. This is strange, isn't it?

Let us glance at the whole process. I will use the visual field in order to explain how the cameraman works. Behind your own eyes there is the camera (Śakti) that is filming all around. And you are the very Witness operating the camera. This camera creates the world and then it films it. Another strange idea. Contrary to the ordinary viewpoint, Trika states that the world firstly emerges from us and secondly it is perceived (filmed) by ourselves. But you must always remember that cameraman, camera, stage and movie are all the same Paramaśiva playing to be many. They are completely united with each other. I separate the things so that you may understand the entire process of Manifestation.

OK, you are the Witness (Śiva, Prakāśa or the cameraman), and you have I-consciousness and consequently world-consciousness (Śakti, Vimarśa or the camera). And the world around you, despite it is essentialy Śakti, appears to be a different reality filmed by Śakti camera. Well, as you see it is difficult to explain by using words. Śiva and Śakti are the first two tattva-s (tattva-s 1 and 2). Sadāśiva is the third tattva (tattva 3), because the entire world arises in an "indistinct" form at the beginning. Ah!, you do not believe it... become conscious now of the corners of your.own eyes. Do not you see an indistinct image over there? Yes, you are beholding the world about to arise, dear Śiva. I am only analyzing the field of vision, but the same "indistinct" reality permeates all senses and mind. Listen to the sounds, they are firstly indistinct and then they become more distinct, and lastly they return to their indistinct form and dissapear.

The "indistinct" (foggy) reality penetrates everything, because it is Sadāśivatattva (tattva 3). All Creation must always undergo a primitive indistinct state before being manifested fully (in a distinct form). In turn, all distinct (sharp) creations must return to their indistinct condition in order that a new Creation emerges. Ah!, you do not believe it. Look at one object around. The object will appear as a "distinct" (sharp) thing in front of you. Well done, and now look at another object... you will see that as the second object becomes more distinct, the first object becomes more indistinct. Yes, the Śakti camera generally cannot keep the two objects as distinct realities simultaneously. So, Sadāśiva is a tattva revealing itself in all.

But, what is the use of knowing that? Good question. Apart from the pleasure of merely knowing more, there is a secret: Mind needs "distinct" things to keep on working. The "distinct things" are a kind of mental fuel. That is why, when you are sitting for meditation, the lights are generally off. Likewise, you like the silence or subtle music while you meditate. Of course, the "indistinct" universe makes mind become quiet. You already knew that, but the Trika gives you a serious explanation of the whole process.

Besides, since Sadāśiva (indistinct universe or tattva 3) is the first step of the Creation, it is completely full of Icchā (Will power). There is a Will to create in it, and consequently the I-sense is predominant since Will belongs to the "I". At this level, I feel I AM THIS, I AM THE INDISTINCT UNIVERSE. The 'I' comes first because the universe is foggy, not full-fledged yet. However, a feeling of unity remains. Later on, I will explain how you come to feel different and separated from the universe which is your own creation. Do not hurry. Try to understand all that has been said so far. Many things have been revealed now. Meditate on the indistinct universe which you can perceive by looking out of the corners of your eyes. Your mind will be so quiet. Enjoy friend!



This is the fourth tattva: Īśvaratattva. The "distinct" universe is predominant in it. You can behold Īśvaratattva just in front of you (within your field of vision). But, remember that the same truth is to be applied to the rest of senses and mind. You can hear "distinct" sounds, taste "distinct" flavors, behold "distinct" thoughts, and so on. Both Sadāśiva and Īśvara are tattva-s which permeate all your world. However, I will be using generally the field of vision to explain tattva-s to you because it is more simple for you and me.

When you look at an object in front of you, it appears to be "solid" and "real", and this is so for a while at least. Śakti is fully condensed in Īśvaratattva. Your mind want to see "solid" and "distinct" objects, people, etc. It needs "distinct universe" to survive as "mind". That is why, when you are sitting for meditation the lights are off and you want the sounds to be low. You need to enter Sadāśivatattva (the "indistinct" universe) in order that the mind become quiet. Then, we could say that the mind has its primeval source in Īśvaratattva. Of course, this original mind is not the ordinary mind, but a higher one which through the process of successive contractions will be turned into the ordinary mind.

This higher mind (tattva 4 or Īśvaratattva) and the ordinary mind (tattva 16) are far away from each other and at the same time they are very close. When you see a "distinct" object, the first experience is the higher mind (you only contemplate, no thought is arising), and afterward you are thinking of the object and perhaps lots of opinions begin to arise and so on. This is the ordinary mind. Well, pay attention to the first experience: "pure contemplation with no thought in it". If you can do this, you are conscious of the Īśvaratattva. There, you will note that a particular "knowledge" emerges. It is a knowledge regarding the object. Even though you may put "approximately" that "knowledge" in words later on, the first experience of it is beyond words. Experience by yourself.

So, Knowledge is predominant in Īśvaratattva. When the "distinct" objects emerge, the respective knowledge emerges with them. That first knowledge about the distinct objects will be transformed into the ordinary mind in the long run, which is full of opinions, feelings, etc.

In Īśvaratattva you feel: THIS IS ME, THIS DISTINCT UNIVERSE IS ME. Contrary to Sadāśiva's experience, the object ("this" or "distinct universe) is predominant. The "I" is overwhelmed by the "distinct object" experience. The cameraman ("I") is fascinated by the "distinct" wonder which has been manifested by Himself, and He "forgets" --a little bit-- His true essence or "I". For that reason, the distinct universe is predominant at this level. Īśvara is the abode of Omniscience.

And now a simple chart to show the different universes experienced by you. I am using the field of vision, but you may use this example in the rest of the senses and mind.

You are at the cThe different universesenter of the pie (look at the diagram below). The distinct universe stands in front of you. The indistinct universe stands in the corner of your eyes as a surrounding "foggy" reality. And behind, beyond your eyes' scope, the unmanifested universe stands as a "non-perceived" visual reality. The unmanifested universe changes according to the sense you are using. An object may be visually unmanifested, but perhaps you may hear a sound coming from it. In short, the unmanifested universe is all that is not perceived through senses and mind by you, the Cameraman. The entire unmanifested universe "exists" but not as a "solid" reality. It is merely a "probability". Every thing or person entering the manifested universe (composed of indistinct and distinct universes) is ever new. You do not know generally how that thing or person is going to become manifest. This is the play you are playing all the time.



Dear friend, you have surely noticed that when you want to glance another object, the previous one must become "indistinct". Experience this now. You are looking at an object, and then you want to look at another one. To do it, Śakti (the camera) will focus on the second object and the first one will become foggy automatically. It happens all the time. You are going from "indistinct universe" to "distinct universe" and vice versa. The constant oscillation brings about a "wave" or "pulsation" or "throb". In turn, this "pulsation" or "throb" brings about the rest of the tattva-s (from 6 down to 36).

When Śakti oscillate that way, you oscillate between two experiences: "I AM THIS, I AM THIS INDISTINCT UNIVERSE" and "THIS IS ME, THIS DISTINCT UNIVERSE IS ME". Thus, a resulting experience arises: "I AM I AND THIS IS THIS, I AM I AND THIS UNIVERSE IS THIS UNIVERSE". In short, the quick oscillation gives a sensation of continuity to the Cameraman or "I". Because of the aforesaid oscillation, you may experience now an apparently "solid" universe around. But that "solidity" is a kind of illusion produced by the fast swing of Śakti (the camera).

Since the oscillation of Śakti is an "action", the Action power is predominant at this level. Sadvidyā is the abode of Omnipotence.

And now a simple table with the first five tattva-s and their characteristics:

1 Śiva Cicchakti

--Power of Consciousness--
"I". The Cameraman, a witness standing behind all.
2 Śakti Ānandaśakti
--Power of Bliss--
"am". The camera which by focusing manifests the entire world around.
3 Sadāśiva Icchāśakti
--Power of Will--
"I am This, I am this indistinct universe". Śakti brings about an "indistinct universe" when She begins to focus, and Śiva --the Cameraman ("I")-- has the aforesaid experience with respect to that "indistinct universe".
4 Īśvara Jñānaśakti
--Power of Knowledge--
"This is Me, this distinct universe is Me". Śakti brings about a "distinct universe" when She focus properly, and Śiva --the Cameraman ("I")-- has the aforesaid experience with respect to that "distinct universe".
5 Sadvidyā Kriyāśakti
--Power of Action--
"I am I and this universe is this universe". Śakti, by focusing and "unfocusing" brings about the sensation of continuity, and Śiva --the Cameraman ("I")-- has the aforesaid experience.

This way, the Divine Śiva ("I") undergoes apparently successive transformations, and He has succesive experiences regarding the universe manifested by Himself. At last, when He gets to ego-tattva (tattva 15), He starts to consider Himself to be a "person" with limitations, opinions, family, relationships, etc., etc. Thus, He plays the role of a human being. Wonderful, really! Even though I speak of "Him", You are Śiva, do not forget this.


 Concluding remarks

Another document on Trika has been finished. You have learnt lots of things. Remember that you are living always as the Cameraman or Witness within the aforesaid universes. You are Pure Spirit who transcends all them. You have no form or attributes; therefore, mind cannot tie you. You are simply "I am". Never forget this. See you in "Trika: Part 4".


 Further Information

Gabriel Pradīpaka

This document was conceived by Gabriel Pradīpaka, one of the two founders of this site, and spiritual guru conversant with Sanskrit language and Trika philosophy.

For further information about Sanskrit, Yoga and Indian Philosophy; or if you simply want to comment, ask a question or correct a mistake, feel free to contact us: This is our e-mail address.