September 24-30th, 2012

The Shiva-Sūtras With the Commentary by KsemarÁja

A Retreat-Seminar with Bettina Bäumer ‘Sharada’

The Shiva-Sūtras are, after the Tantras, the basic text of the non-dualist Shaivism of Kashmir. They are centered around the theme of consciousness and in terse aphorisms they show the way to mystical experience.


 In the words of Prof. A. Sanderson:
”They are teaching that the goal of practice is to realize that one is oneself the (śakti)cakreśvara, the deity that controls the diverse powers that constitute the universe of experience, establishing this realization first through withdrawal into the heart of consciousness and then through its expansion into the states that constitute the mundane awareness…(It is a) model of transcendence followed by an expansion that causes the state of enlightenment to pervade the transcended…”


The seminar combines the study of selected Sūtras (with the commentary by KsemarÁja, 11th century) and meditation as inspired by the Sūtras. It is a way of introduction into this spiritual tradition, and it is open to followers of any practice.


General program:

2 sessions of text study

4-5 hours silent meditation

Recitation of slokas/stotras

Periods of silence

Walks in nature

Discussion and personal sharing


Requirements: - experience in meditation is necessary

Basic knowledge of Sanskrit will be helpful, but is not a necessary condition for participation

Please note that only full participation in the entire program will be allowed


Dr. Bettina Bäumer, direct disciple of the last Acarya of Kashmir Saivism, Swami Lakshman Joo (1907-1991). She has translated the Vijnana Bhairava into German and English and taught it a number of times in Europe and India. She has authored and edited books on Indian philosophy, art, aesthetics and spirituality, with special focus on texts of Kashmir Saivism (Abhinavagupta). Living and working in Varanasi she is currently Visiting Professor in Religious Studies at the University of Salzburg (Austria).

NOTE: Please bring the following texts. 

Shiva Sutras, The Yoga of Supreme Identity, by Jaideva Singh, Delhi, Motilal Banarsidass.

Shiva Sutras, The Supreme Awakening, by Swami Lakshmanjoo (Indian edition)