Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Vasugupta Mean?

Vasugupta was a ninth century author who is best known for writing the Shiva Sutras, an important text in the Advaita tradition of Kashmir Shaivism, which is also known as Trika or Trika Yoga. Some even regard Vasugupta as the founder of this tradition.

The details of Vasugupta's life are not well known. According to references to his work in other texts and the better known details of his students, it is believed Vasugupta lived in the first half of the ninth century.

In the Shaiva tradition, Vasugupta is believed to have have amassed his knowledge and recognition through direct realization.


Yogapedia Explains Vasugupta

It is likely that Vasagupta was aware of the ideas of Advaita Vedanta, and he was also likely to be connected with the traditions of Buddhist scholars of the 8th and 9th century. However, there are inconsistent stories about what inspired Vasugupta to write the Shiva Sutras. Some sources claim he found them inscribed on a rock called Sankaropala. Others state that Shiva appeared to Vasugupta in a dream and recited the teachings to Vasugupta for him to transcribe.

Vasagupta’s students included Kallata and Somananda, both of whom themselves composed philosophical texts sometime between 825 and 900 CE. Kallata was his principal disciple and spread the Shiva Sutras.

Vasugupta’s Shiva Sutras explore the nature and causes of bondage, and how one can be liberated from this bondage. He also wrote the Spanda Karikas, a commentary on his Shiva Sutras.

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