Different Indian philosophical schools use the term tattva with different meanings. For example tattva means the ultimate truth according to some; it signifies a category to the Nyaya and the VaiSesika schools; it is a constituent of creation according to the SSmkhya-yoga school; and it is a level of creation according to the non-dual Saivites of Kashmir. Even all exponents of the non-dual Saiva philosophy do not use this term to convey the sense of a level of creation. The confusion about the real meaning of the term tattva is due to the absence of a definition by any school of philosophical thought. Abhinavagupta has discussed the different meanings of the term tattva in his Tantrlloka, book.
See also the authors article on the Concept of Tattva, A Study in the Mn. Gopinath Kavirai Felicitation Volume, Lucknow,The views of the two monistic schools of Indian philosophical thought, the Advaita Vedanta of Sankara, and the non-dual Saivism of Kashmir have a few similarities but a great number of differences in their approach to the nature of ultimate Reality. While the Sankara Vedantins conceive the nature of Brahman to be pure being, pure consciousness, and pure bliss; the non-dual Saivites of Kashmir regard the nature of Yoga to be pure self-effulgent illumination praklhii which can be equated with pure being, consciousness-power and bliss power but which is also endowed with infinite powers that constitute the very nature ParamaSiva, whereas the Brahman is totally devoid of any power. The concept of Paravak in the non-dual Saiva thought of Kashmir is a multidimensional one; on one hand it is regarded as identical with the divine Yoga Sakti or divine freedom of the supreme lord Yoga, while on the other hand it is said to constitute the aggregate of words existing in seminal form.
The term nirvikalfHi is frequently used by the non-dual Saivites of Kashmir in their descriptions of the true nature-of the supreme Intti’n Yoga. Since ParamaSiva is the material and the efficient cause of everything in creation it is not possible for the intellect or the senses which are themselves only objects in creation to seize or grasp ParamaSiva the root cause of all. Similar descriptions of the highest reality in the Upanisads declare that Brahman is. beyond the reach of the mind or the intellect. That the subject simultaneously experiences the reflecting medium, the mirror of pure consciousness, and the objects reflected in it in the form of an idea is the postulate that distinguishs the non-dual Saivite’s theory of reflection from that of the Yogacara school of Buddhism.
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