Ever since the beginning of the Christian era until, more or less definitely, the close of the seventh century, the valley of Kashmir remained in close contact with the Buddhists. They carried on their proselytising propaganda successfully and the whole of Kashmir came under their sway.
Teachers like Dignaga and Dharmakirti appealed most to the minds of the people and consequently the belief of the populace in the tenets of the Saivaism received a great shock. The voice of the Saivaistic teachers of this period was feeble in comparison with that of the Buddhists. The former busied themselves with the work of giving the coloring of the Dualistic Saivaism to the extant Saivagamas. The present Idealistic monism was unknown of less heard and spoken of. It was in the 8th century that Vasugupta was born and studied the Saivagamas from the standpoint of the Idealistic Monism. The power of argumenting was so strong in the Buddhist philosophers that even he felt in a fix to meet them and come out triumphant in creedal controversies.
Some of the Buddhist teachers, headed by Nagabodhi, engaged him in a wordy warfare of discussions. When all his-intellectual resources failed him to gain victory over Bodhi, he tried to seek divine help and implored the favor of Siva. To him, He appeared in a dream and instructed him to repair to the Mahadeva mountain, where he could find the Sivasutras engraved on the rock. Thus, receiving the holy command, Vasugupta hurried to the spot and great was his joy when he found them there. The Sutras were copied and published by him.
The Spanda system owes its origin to them and concerns itself with their elucidation and popularisation. The Spandakarikas, which have already been presented to the public in the recensions of Ramakantha and Utpala Bhatta, form a detailed commentary on the Sivasutras. On this point, all Saivaistika writers are agreed. It is only the authorship of the Karikas that has practically remained and will remain a matter of dispute.