In News: Kashmiri Pandits celebrated the festival of MahaShivratri,that is locally called Herath.

  • The Pandits constituted around 2% of the population of the Valley in 1990 and witnessed a mass migration in the face of the 1989 armed rebellion.

About Herath

  • In Kashmir Shaivism, Mahashivaratri is called Har-Ratri or Herath.
  • It is a festival celebrated annually to honour Lord Shiva and also marks the day of the marriage between Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. 
  • As per legends, the festival also commemorates the day Shiva saved the world from the pot of poison that emerged during the great mythical churning of the ocean called Samudra Manthan.
  • Prayers held on the day after night long Mahashivaratri are called Salaam in Kashmir.
  • Walnuts and fish dishes are central to the festival.

Kashmir Shaivism

  • Kashmir Shaivism is a school of Śaivism identical with trika Śaivism categorized by various scholars as monistic idealism, transcendental materialism. 
  • These approaches suggest that Cit - consciousness - is the one reality and that matter is not distinct from consciousness, but rather different aspects of the same reality. 
  • There is no real separation between God and the world. They are one reality. 
  • Unlike what the Advaita proponents argue, the followers of Kashmir Shaivism hold the opinion that the world is not an illusion but very real.

Advaita Vedanta

  • Advaita Vedanta is one version of Vedanta. 
  • The propounder of Advaitvad was Sankaracharya.
  • The essential philosophy of Advaita is an idealist monism, and is considered to be presented first in the Upaniṣads.
  • According to Advaita metaphysics, Brahman—the ultimate, transcendent and immanent God of the latter Vedas—appears as the world because of its creative energy (maya). 
  • The world has no separate existence apart from Brahman. 
  • The experiencing self (jiva) and the transcendental self of the Universe (atman) are in reality identical (both are Brahman), though the individual self seems different as space within a container seems different from space as such. 
  • Cardinal Doctrine: “ brahma satyam jagan mithya; jīvo brahma viva na aparah” (Brahman is alone True, and this world of plurality is an error; the individual self is not different from Brahman).