Definition - What does Trika mean?

Trika is a Sanskrit word meaning "triple" or "threefold." The concept of Kashmir Shaivism is the trika science of Shiva, Shakti and nara. Para, parapara and apara are the three energies of which the trifold system is composed. Para is the Hindu god, Shiva; parapara is the goddess, Shakti; and apara refers to nara. According to Trika philosophy, nara is a spiritual aspirant who seeks para through parapara.

Trika Shaivism emphasizes that Shiva and the individual soul are the same.

Yogapedia explains Trika

The trifold philosophy of Trika Shaivism (Trika) is based on the three energies. Apara is considered inferior energy, parapara is intermediate energy and para is supreme energy. Trika philosophy guides humans with inferior energy to progress toward supreme energy. The ultimate aim of Trika is to make the individual feel one with Shiva.

Progressing to the highest energy level leads to spiritual liberation. To achieve this ultimate goal, Trika suggests three routes: sambhavopaya, saktopaya and anavopaya. Those with inferior energy should adapt anavopaya, which involves developing God consciousness by practicing pranayama and mantras. Those with intermediate energy should use saktopaya, in which God consciousness is developed without the help of pranayama and mantras. Those with the highest level of energy should choose sambhavopaya, which involves promoting self-consciousness. Constant awareness of the self leads the yogi to the ultimate state where he/she feels one with Shiva, or God, and attains the state of jivanmukti.

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