Ancient Indian tradition traces the origins of the Shaiva cult to the Agamic thought current. The emergence of the Trika school of Shaivism in Kashmir marks the climax in the development of the Advaita Shaiva thought, being backed up by a rich Sanskrit literature. The doctrine of recognition (pratyabhijna) constitutes the cardinal doctrine in the philosophy of the Advaita Shaiva School. The sadhaka (spiritual seeker) has to try to discover his real being by removing the various veils, to thereafter recognize his true essence.
The Advaita Shaivas describe the nature of the Supreme Reality, one without a second, in two different ways namely, as Caitanya or Samvid as an abstract metaphysical principle (nirakara tattva) as well as Parama Shiva and Parameshvara possessing a form (sakara Being). They also describe the Supreme Reality as the transcendent Absolute (anuttara) and at the same time as all-pervasive Reality (vishvatmaka)
The Advaita Shaiva philosophers have not only shed light on the process of the world manifestation in the conventional way, they have added a new dimension to it by describing it in terms of involution on the part of Caitanya to the gross level of matter; or as the unfoldment on the part of the Supreme Lord out of His free will, exercising His svatantrya shakti, or as His self-extension in the aspect of His Shakti. They mention seven different kinds of experients or subjects (embodied, unembodied, and disembodied), a concept unique in the annals of Indian philosophy.
The concept of purnahanta (pure I-experience) symbolizing the fullness-nature of the Supreme Experient, i.e. Shiva pramata different from the ego-experience (ahamkara) of the limited embodied beings, has been explained in this book in esoteric terms as it marks a unique contribution of Kashmir Shaivism to Indian philosophical thought.