Shiva Philosophy

Shaivism is a complex body of South Asian traditions centred on the worship of the Hindu male deity Shiva, or Śiva (Sanskrit: “Auspicious One”). - Shaivism forms one of the most important currents of classical and modern Hinduism. In classical Hindu mythology Shiva is portrayed both as the destroyer, who annihilates the universe at the end of each cosmic cycle, and as the lord of

God Śiva is among the most mysterious, complex, compassionate and profound conceptions of the one Supreme Being to be found in the religions of mankind. Those who worship the great God Śiva are Śaivites, and their religion is called Śaivite Hinduism. Śaivism represents roughly half, perhaps somewhat more, of Hinduism’s one billion members.It shares far more common ground than differences with other Hindu denominations. Still,

Here I am giving a short, concise introduction in Shivaism Scriptures and basic teachings. This introduction is based on a Tamil Shaivite book issued in 1863 called "A Catechism of the Shaiva Religion" by Sabhapati Mudaliyar of Kanjipuram and Sadashiva Mudaliyar of Chaturangapattanam.

Śaiva Siddhāṅta is the name by which Tamil Śaivism is known. The expression literally means “the settled conclusion or final position of Śaivism”; and it serves to distinguish the system from non-Śaiva Schools as well as from other types of Śaivism.

The Śaiva Siddhāṅta Philosophy Introduction In the books that treat of Śaivism , there is a reference to four schools, viz., the Nākulisa Pāśupata, the Śaiva, the Pratyabhijñā and the Rāseśvara. Śaiva Siddhāṅta is the philosophy of Southern Śaivism . It owes its origins to no single author. It is midway between Śankara’s Advaita and Rāmānuja’s Viśishṭādvaita. Its literature consists chiefly of 1. The 28

*/ 2. The Canonical Scriptures The primary sources of Śaivism are the twenty-eight Śiva Āgamas , of which the Kāmikā is the most important. The authority of the Vedas is also recognized. Saint Tirumular, author of the Tirumantiram says: “The Āgama , as much as the Veda , is truly the work of God; the one (Veda) is general and the other (Āgama) special; though

*/ 3. Main Categories The main categories of Śaiva-Siddhāṅta are: pati (God), paśu (soul), and pāśa (bond). According to this system, God, soul and matter are all real ; and so the Siddhāṅta is a pluralistic realism . God is the highest reality in the Siddhāṅta system. He is referred to as pati because he is the only lord of all beings. The very first

*/ 4. Liberation The release of the soul is accomplished through four means which are called caryā , kriyā , yoga and jñāna . These are, respectively, the paths of the dāsa, sat-putra, sakhā, and sat . The soul that goes by the path of caryā ( observance ) behaves as the servant ( d āsa ) of God: Cleaning the temples of God, rendering

To develop Vīra Śaivism into a full-blown system, to give it an independent social status, to make it definitive and distinctive from Śaivism was reserved to the genius of Basava, a great hero of Karṇāṭaka of the 12th century.Vīra Śaivism as a religion owes its birth to Basava. It started from Śivānubhava-Mantapa, the religious house of experience, which was a spiritual and social institution.

Vīra-śaivas were called Vīras or heroes for their heroic attitude in an aggressive or defensive manner in support of their faith. There is a general tradition that Basava, a Brahmin, son of Mādirāja and Mādāmba was the founder of the Vīra-śaiva sect. Basava was appointed as the minister in complete charge of Vijjala’s treasury and other administrative functions.