Prakṛti tattva is the fundamental operative energy of the soul (jivatman), or, in other words, it creates the world of puruṣa. In Kaśmir Śaivism prakṛti has a different meaning than in Sāṃkhya; while here it means an energy of the individual, in Sāṃkhya it refers to the fundamental energy of the manifestation. Thus, as defined in Kaśmir Śaivism, every puruṣa has his individual prakṛti.
Prakṛti and Puruṣa are closely interdependent. They are the reflection of śiva and śakti tattva in the sphere of māyā. The difference is that - while śiva and śakti tattva are infinite and nondual, puruṣa and prakṛti are limited and subject to duality. Other than that, what śiva-śakti do on a universal scale, puruṣa-prakṛti do on a personal scale. They have the same energies of will, knowledge and action and perform the five actions of creation, sustenance, dissolution, occultation and grace.
In G. V. Tagare's The Pratyabhijñā Philosophy, these five actions and their correlates are given as follows:
|Role||Śiva's level||Level of the limited being|
|experiencing within oneself (resorption)||saṃhāra||vimarśana|
(occultation, reduction of knowledge
to a subconscious impression, saṃskāra)
|dissolution of residual impressions(saṃskāras),
Prakṛti tattva has three tendencies (guna), in perfect equilibrium: Sattva (purity), Rajas (agitation) and Tamas (inertia). They derive from the triad Icchā, Jñāna and Kriyā as follows:
|Sattva||Jñāna śakti||Buddhi tattva|
|Rajas||Icchā śakti||Ahaṃkara tattva|
|Tamas||Kriyā śakti||Manas tattva|
Prakṛti is the source of all tattvas from buddhi down to pṛithvī (earth) - the creator of both the individual and of the external reality.