Trika is the self-name of Kashmir Shivaism. The very concept of "Kashmir Shivaism" emerged only at the beginning of the 20th century, in the texts of the tradition itself it is often called "trika" (trika-shastra, trika-darshana).

Trika (triple, triad) can point to three groups of doctrinal texts of this tradition — Agama-shastra, Spanda-shastra and Pratyabhidzhya-shastra.

  • Agama-shastras include shayva-agamas (canonical sacred Shivaite texts) and Shiva-sutras of Vasugupta
  • Spanda-shastra, in the first place, is the treatise "Spanda-karika" (authorship is most often attributed to Bhatta Kallate) and numerous comments to it
  • Pratyabhijna-shastra – "Ishvara pratyabhijna carica" ​​Utpaladeva, "Shiva-drishti" of Somananda, "Tantraloka" of Abhinavagupta

The principle of trinity (trika) is manifested in different ways and is revealed in the texts of Kashmir Shivaism. So, for example, Abhinavagupta in his work “Paratrishika-vivarana” asserts that the manifested universe consists of triads. He considers as the basic triad – Shiva (God), Shakti (World) and Nara (Person).

At the same time, Shiva acts as the cognizing subject (pramata), Shakti – the possibility and method of cognition (pramana), and Nara is the object of cognition (prameya). Shakti, in turn, also consists of a triad:

  • Iccha-shakti - divine will, the cause of the manifested world.
  • Jnana-shakti is the energy of knowledge, the ability to cognize.
  • Kriya-shakti is the ability to act.

The trinity of Shakti can also be considered as Para-shakti (Supreme), Parapara-shakti (Supreme-inferior), and Apara-shakti (inferior).

Sometimes they are considered as a triad of separate goddesses: Aghor, Ghor and Ghoratari.