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Philosophical difference between Advaita and Kashmir Shaivism

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Kashmir Shaivism is sometimes compared to Advaita Vedanta, the philosophy of the Upanishads. Both these philosophies are non-dualistic approaches and teach that we are all One / Chaitanya. There is only one God or Being, whom we are all a part of. The division and separation appearing in the world are not real.

According to some practitioners of Kashmir Shaivism, Advaita Vedanta teaches that the world is an illusion, whereas Kashmir Shaivism says that the world is real. This is not strictly correct, Kashmir Shaivism says that the world is real in the sense that it is created by the energy of God; but its appearance is completely unreal. It goes to great lengths to show through the Theory of Creation how some elements of creation (Maya, Kalaa, etc.) mask and conceal true reality.

The differences between these two philosophies are more to do with the practices followed to achieve enlightenment. They also use different names for God or Ultimate Reality. Advaita Vedanta uses the word Brahman for God, whereas, in Kashmir Shaivism, God is Paramshiva or Shiva. Kashmir Shaivism also goes to great lengths to explain through the Theory of Creation, how the world is created and why it appears the way it does.

When we study both these philosophies, there are two words that keep coming up, which explain, what is considered important for our evolution. They are Viveka (discrimination) and Vairagya (detachment). Discrimination is important because We need to discriminate between what is real and what is unreal. Too often what we think is real, is actually unreal.

Detachment is considered important because when we are affected by external events, we are making the world real. One reason we find it difficult to still our mind is that we keep thinking about the world and the events affecting our life. When we understand the world is unreal, we stop giving it so much importance. We shift our focus from the world to our Self, from the unreal to the real. Detachment becomes easy when we believe the world is unreal.

But the task for you is to find out for yourself- Why do we consider this reality fake?

What consists of this reality? Who constructs this reality? You already have the answer all you need is a realization.