KĀLĪKULA LINEAGE OF KASHMIR

THE KĀLĪKULA (‘RETINUE OF KĀLĪ’) OR KRAMA (‘SEQUENCE’) LINEAGE

This highly influential and uniquely Kashmirian śākta (Goddess-worshipping) lineage was founded by Jñānanetra-nātha (ca. 850 A.D.) who was initiated by Maṅgalā, the ‘Auspicious One’ (Kālī), and her retinue of cremation ground goddesses (pīṭheśvarīs) in Oḍḍiyāṇa (Northern Kashmir). The Kālīkula was commonly known as the Krama (‘Sequence’ or ‘Cycle’), for its radically innovative form of worship which venerated the cyclical phases of awareness as Goddess manifestations of the one formless Kālī, the heart of consciousness itself. The Krama was also radical for being partially Matriarchal, beginning with Jñānanetra’s highly venerated successor, Keyūravatī, and represents the longest tenure of any Śaiva lineage with five centuries of master-to-disciple transmission (pāramparā).

The radical non-dualism and innovative practices of the Krama strongly influenced other systems established in Kaśhmir in the 9th and 10th centuries—the schools of Recognition (Pratyabhijñā), Vibration (Spanda), and the Kashmiri Trika school of Abhinavagupta who was himself an initiate of the Krama, along with his chief disciple, Kṣemarāja (see ‘Krama Family Tree’).

The surviving literature of the Krama masters contains numerous ecstatic hymns (stotras) that poetically revere and characterize the liberated state itself (jīvanmukti) and seek to trigger in the reader the actual experience of blissful euphoria that characterizes the awakened state of its author. As of 2011 only one of its invaluable works has been published with English translation. Almost none of  surviving Krama manuscripts attained from the ORL in 2012 ( below) have been examined by modern scholars.

  • Svabodhodaya-mañjarī of Hrasvanātha.
  • Dvaya-saṃpatti-vārtika (Bodhavilāsa) of Hrasvanātha.
  • Bhāvopahāra-stotra of Cakrapāṇinātha.
  • Mahānāya-prakāśa of Śitikaṇṭha.
  • Citta-saṃtoṣa-triṃśikā of Nāga.
  • Paramārcana-triṃśika of Nāga.
  • Paramādvaya-dvādaśikā of Ramyadeva.
  • Jñāna-kriyādvaya-śataka of Sillana.
  • Svātmopalabdhi-śataka of Sillana.
  • Mahārthamañjarī of Maheśvarānanda.
  • Kramadīpikā (anonymous)
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