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‘UPAYA’ – MEANING & INSPIRATIONS
In Kashmir Shaivism, upaya refers to the means to reveal our Ultimate Nature,
Shiva Consciousness, the Supreme Reality. The upayas unify the fettered soul
with the Supreme. Shaivism asserts that there are three upayas (ways) that lead
to this state:

1. Shambhavopaya or Icchopaya—The Means of Shiva
Shambhavopaya is the path to reveal Shiva consciousness through Shiva (the
Supreme Reality). It is a perpetual state of freedom from thoughts that allows the
realization of the divinity. In this condition, there is no object or support on
which the mind is to be steadied or fixed, and the mind ceases to play an active
role. Because of this, it is also known as niralamba yoga (supportless yoga ).
In this state, practitioners see only the play of Consciousness everywhere.
Wherever they look, they see nothing separate from Shiva. They understand that
all is Shiva, who has merely assumed different inner and outer forms. The
Vijnana Bhairava Tantra (116) suggests this spiritual freedom very clearly:
“Wherever the mind is oriented, either outward or inward, right there, there is
the state of Shiva. [Meditate on the idea:] ‘Since Shiva is omnipresent, where else
could the mind go?’”