The tradition of Kashmir Shaivism uses an illustrating comparison to show mans blindness towards his universal divine nature.
Tradition asserts that the one searching for truth and for spiritual liberation is like a young girl who was offered as a wife to a man from another family.
Hearing about the mans wonderful qualities the girl begins to fall in love with him even if she has never seen him.
One day she meets him by accident but she looks down on him, until she realizes that he possesses all the qualities that her future husband was supposed to be endowed with.
Only then does the girl recognize him and she devotes herself to him for eternity. This is how the soul, encountering the tribulations of the manifested world, becomes one with Shiva through the simple but complete recognition of its identity with him, who is the source of all manifested things, phenomena and beings.
A JEWEL KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE DIVINE WISDOM
In order to better understand the origins of the Pratyabhijna School in Kashmir Shaivism, we must mention the historical conditions in which this spiritual current sprang up and also the great masters that founded and developed it during the course of time.
Between the years 400 A.D., the great and wise Durvasas was initiated in the Kailasa mountain from Tibet in the basic Shaivit principles by Srikantha who is considered an incarnation of Shiva.
In turn, Durvasas offered this knowledge to his son Trymbaka, who is said to have been created by Durvasas himself through the power of his mind. Trymbaka was followed by other eighteen descendants in the spiritual system of the monist Shaivism.
The nineteenth was Somananda, Utpaladevas master. Somanandas main work Shivadrishti (the glorious divine Vision of the Supreme Shiva) is the first text that concisely expresses the fundamental ideas of the Pratyabhijna School.
That is why, Utpaladeva considers the Pratyabhijna School a new path of the highest spirituality that has spontaneously developed in Kashmir.
In fact, the great Abhinavagupta, a supreme and uncontested authority of the non-dualist Kashmir Shaivism, shares the same opinion.
Jayarathe, the main editor of Abhinavaguptas vast work asserts that this doctrine of the Supreme Divines Absolute oneness, initiated by Somananda, has first appeared in Kashmir, and has fully developed here and then it has appeared in the rest of India, where it has been received as a precious and unique jewel of divine wisdom.
The main contribution of the Pratyabhijna School towards the development of the Kashmir Shaivism is the rigorous philosophical account of the fundamental principles that define this spiritual current.
The deep metaphysical aspects explained in the doctrine of the fundamental remembrance (Pratyabhijna) have been easily assimilated by the monist tantric schools and spiritual currents that eventually appeared in Indian spiritual life. This is due to their vigor of expression, to the refinement of their doctrine and to the clear way in which the fundamental problems of the hindi philosophy have been analyzed.
This fundamental problem includes subjects like: the nature of causality, the transformation and continuity in Creation, the nature of the Absolute (Paramashiva), and of his relations with Manifestation, the relationship between God and the human being (that is, between the Creator and His creation).