The first question:
Is there any difference between the approaches of Shiva and Saraha towards Tantra?
Not really, not essentially. But as far as the form is concerned, yes. Religions differ only in the form, religions differ only in their methodology. Religions differ as far as the door into the divine is concerned, but not existentially. And there are only two basic formal differences: that of the path of devotion, prayer, love; and the path of meditation, awareness. These two basic differences persist.
Shiva’s approach is that of devotion; it is that of prayer, of love. Saraha’s approach is that of meditation, awareness. The distinction is still formal, because when the lover and the meditator reach they arrive at the same goal. Their arrows are released from different angles, but they reach the same target. Their arrows are released from different bows, but they reach the same target. The bow does not matter finally. What type of bow you have chosen does not matter if the target is attained. These are the two bows because man basically is divided into two: thinking and feeling. Either you can approach reality through thinking or you can approach reality through feeling.
The Buddhist approach – the approach of Buddha and Saraha – is through intelligence. It is basically through the mind that Saraha moves. Of course the mind has to be left behind, but it is the mind that has to be left behind. By and by the mind has to disappear into meditation, but it is the mind that has to disappear; it is the thinking that has to be transformed, and a state of no-thought has to be created. But remember: it is a state of no-thought, and that can be created only by slowly dropping thoughts, by and by. So the whole work consists in the thinking part.
Shiva’s approach is that of the feeling, of the heart. The feeling has to be transformed. Love has to be transformed so that it becomes prayer. On Shiva’s way, the devotee and the deity remain, the bhakta and bhagwan remain. At the ultimate peak they both disappear into each other.
Listen to it carefully: when Shiva’s Tantra reaches to its ultimate orgasm, I is dissolved into thou, and thou is dissolved into I; they are both together, they become one unity.