Shaivite Hinduism Explained

Sin and Suffering

When we act wrongly, we create negative karma for ourselves and must then live through experiences of suffering to fulfill the law of karma.God is the God of all—of the believers within all religions, and of the nonbelievers, too. God does not destroy the wicked and redeem the righteous; but grants the precious gift of liberation to all souls.

*/ 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

Hinduism: Festivals | 10

Hindus celebrate festivals throughout the year. There are domestic, temple, and public celebrations. The birthdays of the many deities, especially Gaṇeśa, Kṛṣṇa, and Rāma, are popular. Hindus have a lunar calendar that is periodically adjusted to the solar year; thus, while the dates of the festivals change, they come within the span of a month. Festivals can be regional or all-Indian.

Hinduism: Temples and Holy Places | 9

Hindu holy texts extol the sanctity of many individual sites: For pious Hindus, to live in such places or to undertake a pilgrimage to one of them is enough to destroy a person’s sins and to assist in the attainment of liberation from the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. Texts that discuss the sanctity of the holy places tend to tell how a particular

Hinduism: Social Structure

A person’s social class (varṇa, literally “colour”), subgroup or caste, sectarian community, philosophical group, and linguistic community contribute to creating the sense of “self” within the Hindu tradition. There are many communities within Hinduism, and many of them have their own chains of leaders. In addition to these communities, there are charismatic teachers (gurus) who command large followings around the world.

Hinduism: Teachers and Leaders

Most of the important Hindu theologians in the last 1,500 years can broadly be classified as teachers of a philosophical school called Vedanta. This field of philosophical enquiry remains important in Hinduism. The term Vedanta was traditionally used to denote the Upanishads, the final part of the Vedas, but the term has more popularly been used to denote systems of thought based on a coherent

Hinduism: Sacred Symbols | 6

Hinduism is known for its numerous icons and images: Deities are represented in many postures and in various materials. The question of whether these are “symbols” or reality itself has been much contested within the Hindu traditions: Some philosophical schools think of them as symbols leading a person through meditation and concentration to reality; others think of the icons in the temples as actual incarnations

Hinduism: Sacred Books

There are 4 Vedic collections, known as Ṛig, Sāma, Yajur, and Atharva. The Vedic corpus was followed by a set of books called Smṛti (remembered) literature. Though acknowledged to be of human authorship, the Smṛti is nonetheless considered inspired: Sometimes this category is divided into 3 subfields: the 2 epics, the old narratives (Purāṇas), and the codes of law and ethics (Dharma Śāstras).