The Kashmir Shaiva Institute (Ishwar Ashram Trust) founded by Shaivacharya Lakshmanjoo Maharaj recently organised the Ist Introductory Course in Kashmir Shaivism from 1st December to 7th December 2013. Overall Guidance for workshop was done by Prof Navjeevan Rastogi from Lucknow and included inputs from scholars such as Dr S S Toshkhani and Prof M L Kukiloo. At the inaugural day of the workshop, scholars including Dr Rajneesh Mishra, Dr Meera Rastogi and Prof M L Kukiloo spoke about the contribution of Swami Lakshmanjoo Maharaj to Kashmir Shaivism. A Bhajan evening was organised to mark the occasion. Renowned singers included Sh Gautamji and Mrs Anjali Kaul.
The one week workshop on Kashmir Shaivism had the components of Audio/Video lectures by His Holiness Shaivacharya Swami Lakshmanjoo Maharaj, Didactic lectures by learned scholars of Kashmir Shaivism, Meditation sessions , Physical Yoga sessions, Group Discussions (with faculty members) and Library sessions.
Four students were selected for attending this workshop. The selection was done by the learned faculty members. The students remained in the ashram premises during the entire duration of this residential workshop. In addition, devotees of Swamiji too attended these lectures on various days.
The texts that were studied in the course were 1) Principles and Practice in Kashmir Shaivism- by Swami Lakshmanjoo 2) Kashmir Shaivism- The Secret Supreme – By Swami Lakshmanjoo 3) Supportive Kashmir Shaiva Texts as determined by the learned faculty for their respective sessions.
Dr Meera Rastogi from Lucknow took the lectures on Major Thought Systems in Kashmir (Shaivism, Shatka, Buddhism, Mimamsa, Nyaya, Kavya and Kavyashastra) and the History of Kashmir Shaivism / Birth of the Tantras: Concept, Texts and Systems
Dr Rajneesh Mishra from JNU, New Delhi took the class on Schools of Thought in Kashmir Shaivism. He also took classes on Tattvas (Elements) and The Explanation of Upayas.
Prof M L Kukiloo from the Ishwar Ashram Trust took the lecture on Meditation including its general concepts and prerequisites. He also took classes on The Theory of Image and Counter-Image Reflection (Bimba-Pratibimbavada) and States and Processes of Seven Perceivers.
Dr Shruti Rai from JNU, New Delhi taught the topic of The Theory of the Alphabet (Matrikachakra). Dr M H Zafar from JNU, New Delhi taught the topic of Impurities (Malas).
The workshop ended on 7th December 2013 with paper presentation by students. The papers of all the students were highly appreciated by the faculty members and it was decided to publish them in the upcoming issue of the journal “Malini”. This was followed by presentation of certificates to all the students and felicitation of the faculty of the workshop.