Shiva Temples

The Śiva temple is the abode of God Śiva and Gods and the precinct in which the three worlds consciously commune. The three pillars of Śaivism are the temples, the scriptures and the satgurus. These we revere, for they sustain and preserve the ancient wisdom. Śiva temples, whether they be small village sanctuaries or towering citadels, are esteemed as God’s home and consecrated abode.

Puja - Temple Rites

The traditional rite of worship, called pūjā, is a sanctified act of the highest importance for the Hindu. It is the invoking of God Śiva and the Gods, the expression of our love, devotion and surrender.We worship God Śiva and the Gods who by their infinite powers spiritually hover over and indwell the image, mūrti, which we revere as their temporary body.

Bhakti - Love of God

Temple worship is for all men and women at every level of spiritual development. Its meaning and experience deepen as we unfold spiritually through the service, devotion, yoga and enlightened wisdom. Every Śaivite home centers around the home shrine, a special room maintained to create a temple-like atmosphere in which we conduct pūjā, read scripture, perform sādhana, meditate, sing bhajana and do japa.

Monastic Life - Sannyāsa Dharma

Certain men are by nature inclined toward realization of the Self, and disinclined toward desires of family, wealth and property. Some among them are sādhus dressed in white,living as anchorites in the seclusion of distant caves and remote forests or wandering as homeless mendicants, itinerant pilgrims to the holy sanctuaries of Hinduism. Others dwell assembled with fellow monastics, often in the āśrama.

Spiritual Leaders of Hinduism

The saints, sages and satgurus who commune with God and Gods through devotion and meditation are Hinduism’s holy men and women. We revere them and strive to follow their example and words of wisdom.It is very difficult to be so disciplined and devoted, and so we honor and love those who have attained God’s grace, and worship the Divine within them, not their personality or humanness.

What are Śruti - Revealed Scriptures

The Vedas and Āgamas, revealed by God, are Hinduism’s sovereign scriptures, called śruti, “that which is heard.” Their timeless truths are expressed in extraordinarily profound mystical poetry known to man.Veda, from vid, “to know,” means “supreme wisdom or science.” Similarly, Āgama, which names the sacred sectarian revelations, means “descent of knowledge.In imparting religious practice, rules and doctrine, the Vedas are general and Āgamas specific.”

Smriti - Secondary Scripture in Hinduism

Smṛiti means “that which is remembered” and is known as “the tradition,” for it derives from human insight and experience and preserves the culture. While śruti comes from God and is eternal and universal, the ever-growing smṛiti canon is written by man.In addition to the epics, legends and supplements to the Vedas and Āgamas, there is a wealth of Hindu metaphysical, yogic and devotional writings.

Meaning of OM NAMAH SHIVAYA Mantra

Namaḥ Śivāya is among the foremost Vedic mantras. It means “adoration to Śiva” and is called the Pañchākshara, or “five-letters.” Namaḥ Śivāya is the most holy name of God Śiva, recorded in the Vedas and elaborated in the Śaiva Āgamas. Sages declare that mantra is life, action and love, that the repetition of mantra, japa, bursts forth wisdom from within.

Monism or Dualism | Advaita or Dvaita

At one end of Hinduism’s complex spectrum is monism, Advaita, which perceives a unity of God, soul and world, as in Śankara’s cosmic pantheism and Kashmīr Śaiva monism. At other end is dualism, dvaita—exemplified by Madhva —which teaches two or more separate realities.In between are views describing reality as one and yet not one, dvaita-advaita such as Rāmānuja’s Vaishnava Vedan­ta.

Monistic Theism with Pluralistic Theism compared

There are two Śaiva Siddhāṅta schools: pluralistic theism, in the lines of Aghoraśiva and Meykandar, and Tirumular’s monistic theism. While differing slightly, they share a religious heritage of belief, culture and practice. In South India, their points of agreement are summarized as guru, preceptor; Linga, holy image of Śiva; saṅga, fellowship of devotees; and valipadu, ritual worship.