Shaivism Philosophy & Practice

Ways of Wisdom

In the subconscious mind, there are subliminal traits or tendencies, called vāsanās, which shape our attitudes and motivations. The troublesome vāsanās clouding the mind must be reconciled and released.There are beneficial tantras by which absolution can be attained for unhindered living, including āyurveda, jyotisha, daily sādhana, temple worship, selfless giving, the creative arts and the several yogas.

Hindu Celebrations | Sacraments

Hindus celebrate life’s crucial junctures by holy sacraments, or rites of passage, called saṁskāras, which impress the subconscious mind, inspire family and community sharing and invoke the Gods’ blessings.Through Vedic rites and mantras, family members or priests invoke the Gods for blessings and protection during important turning points, praying for the individual’s spiritual and social development.

Hindu Festivals

Festivals are special times of communion with God and Gods, of family and community sharing and sādhana.Among the major Deity festivals are Mahā Śivarātri, Vaikāsi Viśākham, Gaṇeśa Chaturthī, Skanda Ṣaṣṭhī, Kṛittikā Dīpam, Vināyaka Vratam, Ārdrā Darśanam and Tai Pusam.Besides the temple festivals, there is a multitude of home, community and national celebrations.

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

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.