worship of Shiva and His consort Shakti dates from pre-historic times and is today the
basic layer of religious belief in India. It has varying strata from the most terrifying
or obscene rituals, confined to fast decaying obscure cults, to aspiring philosophic
concepts, noble traditions of universal welfare and the most human of social urges.
The earliest Shaiva literature was associated not only with
Yoga but also with magic and incantations. Prabhasa was the centre of the great
Shaivayogis, and some of the great sages referred to in the Puranas were masters of their
sacred lore, Somavidya.