Agama (Hinduism)

The Agamas (Devanagari: आगम, IAST: āgama) are a collection of scriptures of several Hindu devotional schools.[1][2] The term literally means tradition or "that which has come down", and the Agama texts describe cosmology, epistemology, philosophical doctrines, precepts on meditation and practices, four kinds of yoga, mantras, temple construction, deity worship and ways to attain sixfold desires.[1][3] These canonical texts are in Sanskrit[1] and Tamil (written in Grantha script and Tamil script).[4][5]

The three main branches of Agama texts are those of Shaivism (Shiva), Vaishnavism (Vishnu), Shaktism (Devi).[1] The Agamic traditions are sometimes called Tantrism,[6] although the term "Tantra" is usually used specifically to refer to Shakta Agamas.[7][8] The Agama literature is voluminous, and includes 28 Shaiva Agamas, 77 Shakta Agamas (also called Tantras), and 108 Vaishnava Agamas (also called Pancharatra Samhitas), and numerous Upa-Agamas.[9]

The origin and chronology of Agamas is unclear. Some are Vedic and others non-Vedic.[10] Agama traditions include Yoga and Self Realization concepts, some include Kundalini Yoga,[11] asceticism, and philosophies ranging from Dvaita (dualism) to Advaita (monism).[12][13] Some suggest that these are post-Vedic texts, others as pre-Vedic compositions.[14][15][16] Epigraphical and archaeological evidence suggests that Agama texts were in existence by about middle of the 1st millennium CE, in the Pallava dynasty era.[17][18]

Scholars note that some passages in the Hindu Agama texts appear to repudiate the authority of the Vedas, while other passages assert that their precepts reveal the true spirit of the Vedas.[2][19][20] The Agamas literary genre may also be found in Śramaṇic traditions (i.e. Buddhist, Jaina, etc.).[21][22] Bali Hindu tradition is officially called Agama Hindu Dharma in Indonesia.[23]

Etymology

Āgāma (Sanskrit आगम) is derived from the verb root गम (gāma) meaning "to go" and the preposition आ (ā) meaning "toward" and refers to scriptures as "that which has come down".[1]

Agama literally means "tradition",[1] and refers to precepts and doctrines that have come down as tradition.[8] Agama, states Dhavamony, is also a "generic name of religious texts which are at the basis of Hinduism and which are divided into Vaishnava Agamas (also called Pancaratra Samhitas), Saiva Agamas, and Sakta Agamas (more often called Tantras).[8]

Significance

Bronze figure of Kashmiri in Meditation by Malvina Hoffman Wellcome M0005215
Developing physical and mental discipline with Yoga is one of four recommendations in Agama texts.[12] Above a Yoga posture statue from Kashmir, a center of monistic Agama texts.

Agamas, states Rajeshwari Ghose, teach a system of spirituality involving ritual worship and ethical personal conduct through precepts of a god.[24] The means of worship in the Agamic religions differs from the Vedic form. While the Vedic form of yajna requires no idols and shrines, the Agamic religions are based on idols with puja as a means of worship.[24] Symbols, icons and temples are a necessary part of the Agamic practice, while non-theistic paths are alternative means of Vedic practice.[24] Action and will drive Agama precepts, while knowledge is salvation in Vedic precepts.[24] This, however, does not necessarily mean that Agamas and Vedas are opposed, according to medieval-era Hindu theologians. Tirumular, for example, explained their link as follows: "the Vedas are the path, and the Agamas are the horse".[24][25]

Each Agama consists of four parts:[12][24]

  • Jnana pada, also called Vidya pada[12] – consists of doctrine, the philosophical and spiritual knowledge, knowledge of reality and liberation.
  • Yoga pada – precepts on yoga, the physical and mental discipline.
  • Kriya pada – consists of rules for rituals, construction of temples (Mandir); design principles for sculpting, carving, and consecration of idols of deities for worship in temples;[26] for different forms of initiations or diksha. This code is analogous to those in Puranas and in the Buddhist text of Sadhanamala.[12]
  • Charya pada – lays down rules of conduct, of worship (puja), observances of religious rites, rituals, festivals and prayaschittas.

The Agamas state three requirements for a place of pilgrimage: Sthala, Tirtha, and Murti. Sthala refers to the place of the temple, Tīrtha is the temple tank, and Murti refers to the image of god (usually an idol of a deity).

Elaborate rules are laid out in the Agamas for Silpa (the art of sculpture) describing the quality requirements of the places where temples are to be built, the kind of images to be installed, the materials from which they are to be made, their dimensions, proportions, air circulation, lighting in the temple complex, etc.[26] The Manasara and Silpasara are some of the works dealing with these rules. The rituals followed in worship services each day at the temple also follow rules laid out in the Agamas.

Philosophy

Temple design (Shore temple) and iconography such as the Nataraja (Dancing Shiva) are described in the Agama texts.[26][27]

Shore Temple 01
WLANL - MicheleLovesArt - Tropenmuseum - Shiva Nataraja (6274-1)

The Agama texts of Hinduism present a diverse range of philosophies, ranging from theistic dualism to absolute monism.[13][28] This diversity of views was acknowledged in Chapter 36 of Tantraloka by the 10th-century scholar Abhinavagupta.[13] In Shaivism alone, there are ten dualistic (dvaita) Agama texts, eighteen qualified monism-cum-dualism (bhedabheda) Agama texts, and sixty-four monism (advaita) Agama texts.[29] The Bhairava Shastras are monistic, while Shiva Shastras are dualistic.[30][31]

A similar breadth of diverse views is present in Vaishnava Agamas as well. The Agama texts of Shaiva and Vaishnava schools are premised on existence of Atman (soul, self) and the existence of an Ultimate Reality (Brahman – called Shiva in Shaivism, and Vishnu in Vaishnavism).[32] The texts differ in the relation between the two. Some assert the dualistic philosophy of the individual soul and Ultimate Reality being different, while others state a Oneness between the two.[32] Kashmir Shaiva Agamas posit absolute oneness, that is God (Shiva) is within man, God is within every being, God is present everywhere in the world including all non-living beings, and there is no spiritual difference between life, matter, man and God. The parallel group among Vaishnavas are the Shuddhadvaitins (pure Advaitins).[32]

Scholars from both schools have written treatises ranging from dualism to monism. For example, Shivagrayogin has emphasized the non-difference or unity of being (between the Atman and Shivam), which is realized through stages which include rituals, conduct, personal discipline and the insight of spiritual knowledge.[33] This bears a striking similarity, states Soni, to Shankara, Madhva and Ramanujan Vedantic discussions.[33]

Relation to the Vedas and Upanishads

The Vedas and Upanishads are common scriptures of Hinduism, states Dhavamony, while the Agamas are sacred texts of specific sects of Hinduism.[8] The surviving Vedic literature can be traced to the 1st millennium BCE and earlier, while the surviving Agamas can be traced to 1st millennium of the common era.[8] The Vedic literature, in Shaivism, is primary and general, while Agamas are special treatise. In terms of philosophy and spiritual precepts, no Agama that goes against the Vedic literature, states Dhavamony, will be acceptable to the Shaivas.[8] Similarly, the Vaishnavas treat the Vedas along with the Bhagavad Gita as the main scripture, and the Samhitas (Agamas) as exegetical and exposition of the philosophy and spiritual precepts therein.[8] The Shaktas have a similar reverence for the Vedic literature and view the Tantras (Agamas) as the fifth Veda.[8]

The heritage of the Agamas, states Krishna Shivaraman, was the "Vedic peity maturing in the monism of the Upanishads presenting the ultimate spiritual reality as Brahman and the way to realizing as portrayed in the Gita".[34] David Smith remarks, that "a key feature of the Tamil Saiva Siddhanta, one might almost say its defining feature, is the claim that its source lies in the Vedas as well as the Agamas, in what it calls the Vedagamas".[35] This school's view can be summed up as,

The Veda is the cow, the true Agama its milk.

— Umapati, Translated by David Smith[35]

Texts

Shaiva Agamas

The Shaiva Agamas are found in four main schools: Kapala, Kalamukha, Pashupata and Shaiva, and number 28 in total as follows:

  1. Kamikam
  2. Yogajam
  3. Chintyam
  4. Karanam
  5. Ajitham
  6. Deeptham
  7. Sukskmam
  8. Sahasram
  9. Ashuman
  10. Suprabedham
  11. Vijayam
  12. Nishwasam
  13. Swayambhuvam
  14. Analam
  15. Veeram
  16. Rouravam
  17. Makutam
  18. Vimalam
  19. Chandragnanam
  20. Bimbam
  21. Prodgeetham
  22. Lalitham
  23. Sidham
  24. Santhanam
  25. Sarvoktham
  26. Parameshwaram
  27. Kiranam
  28. Vathulam
Parts of the Nihsvasatattvasamhita manuscript from Nepal, reproduced in 1912 from a palm-leaf original, linking Shaiva Agama to esoteric Tantra.
Parts of the Nihsvasatattvasamhita manuscript from Nepal, reproduced in 1912 from a palm-leaf original, linking Shaiva Agama to esoteric Tantra.[36]

Saiva Siddhanta

The Shaiva Agamas led to the Shaiva Siddhanta philosophy in Tamil-speaking regions of South-India and gave rise to Kashmir Saivism in the North-Indian region of Kashmir.

Kashmiri Shaivism

The Agamas of Kashmiri Shaivism is also called the Trika Shastra.[37] It centers mainly on the Trika system of mAlinI, siddha and nAmaka Agamas and venerates the triad Shiva, Shakti, Nara (the bound soul) and the union of Shiva with Shakti.[38] The trika philosophy derives its name from the three shaktis, namely, parA, aparA and parApara; and provides three modes of knowledge of reality, that is, non-dual (abheda), non-dual-cum-dual (bhedabheda) and dual (bheda). The literature of Kashmiri Shaivism is divided under three categories: Agama shastra, Spanda shastra, and Pratyabhijna shastra.[38] Although the Trika Shastra in the form of Agama Shastra is said to have existed eternally, the founder of the system is considered Vasugupta (850 AD) to whom the Shiva Sutras were revealed.[37][38] Kallata in Spanda-vritti and Kshemaraja in his commentary Vimarshini state Shiva revealed the secret doctrines to Vasugupta while Bhaskara in his Varttika says a Siddha revealed the doctrines to Vasugupta in a dream.[37]

Shakta Agamas

God marriage AS
The Shakta Agamas deploy Shiva and Shakti, and a unified view as the foundation for spiritual knowledge.

The Shakta Agamas are commonly known as Tantras,[8][9] and they are imbued with reverence for the feminine, representing goddess as the focus and treating the female as equal and essential part of the cosmic existence.[39] The feminine Shakti (literally, energy and power) concept is found in the Vedic literature, but it flowers into extensive textual details only in the Shakta Agamas. These texts emphasize the feminine as the creative aspect of a male divinity, cosmogonic power and all pervasive divine essence. The theosophy, states Rita Sherma, presents the masculine and feminine principle in a "state of primordial, transcendent, blissful unity".[39] The feminine is the will, the knowing and the activity, she is not only the matrix of creation, she is creation. Unified with the male principle, in these Hindu sect's Tantra texts, the female is the Absolute.[39]

The Shakta Agamas are related to the Shaiva Agamas, with their respective focus on Shakti with Shiva in Shakta Tantra and on Shiva in Shaiva texts.[39] DasGupta states that the Shiva and Shakti are "two aspects of the same truth – static and dynamic, transcendent and immanent, male and female", and neither is real without the other, Shiva's dynamic power is Shakti and she has no existence without him, she is the highest truth and he the manifested essence.[39]

The Shakta Agamas or Shakta tantras are 64 in number.[9] Some of the older Tantra texts in this genre are called Yamalas, which literally denotes, states Teun Goudriaan, the "primeval blissful state of non-duality of Shiva and Shakti, the ultimate goal for the Tantric Sadhaka".[40]

Vaishnava Agamas

The Vaishnava Agamas are found into two main schools – Pancharatra and Vaikhanasas. While Vaikhanasa Agamas were transmitted from Vikhanasa Rishi to his disciples Brighu, Marichi, Atri and Kashyapa, the Pancharatra Agamas are classified into three: Divya (from Vishnu), Munibhaashita (from Muni, sages), and Aaptamanujaprokta (from sayings of trustworthy men).[1]

Vaikhanasa Agama

Maharishi Vikhanasa is considered to have guided in the compilation of a set of Agamas named Vaikhānasa Agama. Sage Vikhanasa is conceptualized as a mind-born creation, i.e., Maanaseeka Utbhavar of Lord Narayana.[41] Originally Vikhanasa passed on the knowledge to nine disciples in the first manvantara -- Atri, Bhrigu, Marichi, Kashyapa, Vasishta, Pulaha, Pulasthya, Krathu and Angiras. However, only those of Bhrigu, Marichi, Kashyapa and Atri are extant today. The four rishis are said to have received the cult and knowledge of Vishnu from the first Vikahansa, i.e., the older Brahma in the Svayambhuva Manvanthara. Thus, the four sages Atri, Bhrigu, Marichi, Kashyapa, are considered the propagators of vaikhānasa śāstra. A composition of Sage Vikhanasa's disciple Marichi, namely, Ananda-Samhita states Vikhanasa prepared the Vaikhanasa Sutra according to a branch of Yajurveda and was Brahma himself.[41]

The extant texts of vaikhānasa Agama number 28 in total and are known from the texts, vimānārcakakalpa and ānanda saṃhitā, both composed by marīci which enumerate them. They are:[42][43]

The 13 Adhikaras authored by Bhrigu are khilatantra, purātantra, vāsādhikāra, citrādhikāra, mānādhikāra, kriyādhikāra, arcanādhikāra, yajnādhikāra, varṇādhikāra, prakīrnṇādhikāra, pratigrṛhyādhikāra, niruktādhikāra, khilādhikāra. However, ānanda saṃhitā attributes ten works to Bhrigu, namely, khila, khilādhikāra, purādhikāra, vāsādhikāraṇa, arcanādhikaraṇa, mānādhikaraṇa, kriyādhikāra, niruktādhikāra, prakīrnṇādhikāra, yajnādhikāra.

The 8 Samhitas authored by Mareechi are Jaya saṃhitā, Ananda saṃhitā, Saṃjnāna saṃhitā, Vīra saṃhitā, Vijaya saṃhitā, Vijita saṃhitā, Vimala saṃhitā, Jnāna saṃhitā. However, ānanda saṃhitā attributes the following works to Marichi—jaya saṃhitā, ānanda saṃhitā, saṃjnāna saṃhitā, vīra saṃhitā, vijaya saṃhitā, vijita saṃhitā, vimala saṃhitā, kalpa saṃhitā.

The 3 Kandas authored by Kashyapa are Satyakāṇḍa, Tarkakāṇḍa, Jnānakāṇḍa. However, Ananda Saṃhitā attributes the satyakāṇḍa, karmakāṇḍa and jnānakāṇḍa to Kashyapa.

The 4 tantras authored by Atri are Pūrvatantra, Atreyatantra, Viṣṇutantra, Uttaratantra. However, Ananda Saṃhitā attributes the pūrvatantra, viṣṇutantra, uttaratantra and mahātantra to Atri.

Pancharatra Agama

See main article: Pañcaratra

Like the Vaikhanasa Agama, the Pancharatra Agama, the Viswanatha Agama is centered around the worship of Lord Vishnu. While the Vaikhansa deals primarily with Vaidhi Bhakti, the Pancaratra Agama teaches both vaidhi and Raganuga bhakti.[44]

Soura Agamas

The Soura or Saura Agamas comprise one of the six popular agama-based religions of Shaiva, Vaishnava, Shakta, Ganapatya, Kaumara and Soura. The Saura Tantras are dedicated to the sun (Surya) and Soura Agamas are in use in temples of Sun worship.

Ganapatya Agamas

The Paramanada Tantra mentions the number of sectarian tantras as 6000 for Vaishnava, 10000 for Shaiva, 100000 for Shakta, 1000 for Ganapatya, 2000 for Saura, 7000 for Bhairava, and 2000 for Yaksha-bhutadi-sadhana.[7]

History and chronology

The chronology and history of Agama texts is unclear.[18] The surviving Agama texts were likely composed in the 1st millennium CE, likely existed by the 5th century CE.[18] However, scholars such as Ramanan refer to the archaic prosody and linguistic evidence to assert that the beginning of the Agama literature goes back to about 5th century BCE, in the decades after the death of Buddha.[8][18]

Temple and archaeological inscriptions, as well as textual evidence, suggest that the Agama texts were in existence by 7th century in the Pallava dynasty era.[17] However, Richard Davis notes that the ancient Agamas "are not necessarily the Agamas that survive in modern times". The texts have gone through revision over time.[17]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Grimes, John A. (1996). A Concise Dictionary of Indian Philosophy: Sanskrit Terms Defined in English. State University of New York Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-3068-2. LCCN 96012383. pages 16–17
  2. ^ a b Julius Lipner (2004), Hinduism: the way of the banyan, in The Hindu World (Editors: Sushil Mittal and Gene Thursby), Routledge, ISBN 0-415-21527-7, pages 27–28
  3. ^ Mariasusai Dhavamony (2002), Hindu-Christian Dialogue, Rodopi, ISBN 978-90-420-1510-4, pages 54–56
  4. ^ Indira Peterson (1992), Poems to Siva: The Hymns of the Tamil Saints, Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-81-208-0784-6, pages 11–18
  5. ^ A Datta (1987), Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature: A-Devo, Sahitya Akademi, ISBN 978-0-8364-2283-2, page 95
  6. ^ Wojciech Maria Zalewski (2012), The Crucible of Religion: Culture, Civilization, and Affirmation of Life, Wipf and Stock Publishers, ISBN 978-1-61097-828-6, page 128
  7. ^ a b Banerji, S. C. (2007). A Companion To Tantra. Abhinav Publications. ISBN 81-7017-402-3 [1]
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Mariasusai Dhavamony (1999), Hindu Spirituality, Gregorian University and Biblical Press, ISBN 978-88-7652-818-7, pages 31–34 with footnotes
  9. ^ a b c Klaus Klostermaier (2007), A Survey of Hinduism: Third Edition, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0-7914-7082-4, pages 49–50
  10. ^ PT Raju (2009), The Philosophical Traditions of India, Routledge, ISBN 978-81-208-0983-3, page 45; Quote: The word Agama means 'coming down', and the literature is that of traditions, which are mixtures of the Vedic with some non-Vedic ones, which were later assimilated to the Vedic.
  11. ^ Singh, L. P. (2010). Tantra, Its Mystic and Scientific Basis, Concept Publishing Company. ISBN 978-81-8069-640-4
  12. ^ a b c d e Jean Filliozat (1991), Religion, Philosophy, Yoga: A Selection of Articles, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-81-208-0718-1, pages 68–69
  13. ^ a b c Richard Davis (2014), Ritual in an Oscillating Universe: Worshipping Siva in Medieval India, Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-0-691-60308-7, page 167 note 21, Quote (page 13): "Some agamas argue a monist metaphysics, while others are decidedly dualist. Some claim ritual is the most efficacious means of religious attainment, while others assert that knowledge is more important."
  14. ^ Guy Beck (1993), Sonic Theology: Hinduism and Sacred Sound, University of South Carolina Press, ISBN 978-0-87249-855-6, pages 151–152
  15. ^ Tripath, S.M. (2001). Psycho-Religious Studies Of Man, Mind And Nature. Global Vision Publishing House. ISBN 978-81-87746-04-1
  16. ^ Drabu, V. N. (1990). Śaivāgamas: A Study in the Socio-economic Ideas and Institutions of Kashmir (200 B.C. to A.D. 700), Indus Publishing Company. ISBN 978-81-85182-38-4. LCCN lc90905805
  17. ^ a b c Richard Davis (2014), Worshiping Śiva in Medieval India: Ritual in an Oscillating Universe, Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-0-691-60308-7, pages 12–13
  18. ^ a b c d Hilko Wiardo Schomerus and Humphrey Palmer (2000), Śaiva Siddhānta: An Indian School of Mystical Thought, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-81-208-1569-8, pages 7–10
  19. ^ For examples of Vaishnavism Agama text verses praising Vedas and philosophy therein, see Sanjukta Gupta (2013), Lakṣmī Tantra: A Pāñcarātra Text, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-81-208-1735-7, pages xxiii-xxiv, 96, 158–159, 219, 340, 353 with footnotes, Quote: "In order not to dislocate the laws of dharma and to maintain the family, to govern the world without disturbance, to establish norms and to gratify me and Vishnu, the God of gods, the wise should not violate the Vedic laws even in thought – The Secret Method of Self-Surrender, Lakshmi Tantra, Pāñcarātra Agama".
  20. ^ For examples in Shaivism literature, see T Isaac Tambyah (1984), Psalms of a Saiva Saint, Asian Educational Services, ISBN 978-81-206-0025-6, pages xxii-xxvi
  21. ^ Helen Baroni (2002), The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Zen Buddhism, Rosen Publishing, ISBN 978-0-8239-2240-6, page 3
  22. ^ Tigunait, Rajmani (1998), Śakti, the Power in Tantra: A Scholarly Approach, Himalayan Institute Press. ISBN 978-0-89389-154-1. LCCN 98070188
  23. ^ June McDaniel (2010), Agama Hindu Dharma Indonesia as a New Religious Movement: Hinduism Recreated in the Image of Islam, Nova Religio, Vol. 14, No. 1, pages 93–111
  24. ^ a b c d e f Ghose, Rajeshwari (1996). The Tyāgarāja Cult in Tamilnāḍu: A Study in Conflict and Accommodation. Motilal Banarsidass Publications. ISBN 81-208-1391-X. [2]
  25. ^ Thomas Manninezhath (1993), Harmony of Religions: Vedānta Siddhānta Samarasam of Tāyumānavar, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-81-208-1001-3, page 135
  26. ^ a b c V Bharne and K Krusche (2012), Rediscovering the Hindu Temple: The Sacred Architecture and Urbanism of India, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, ISBN 978-1-4438-4137-5, pages 37–42
  27. ^ Archana Verma (2012), Temple Imagery from Early Mediaeval Peninsular India, Ashgate Publishing, ISBN 978-1-4094-3029-2, pages 150–159, 59–62
  28. ^ DS Sharma (1990), The Philosophy of Sadhana, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0-7914-0347-1, pages 9–14
  29. ^ Mark Dyczkowski (1989), The Canon of the Śaivāgama, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-81-208-0595-8, pages 43–44
  30. ^ JS Vasugupta (2012), Śiva Sūtras, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-81-208-0407-4, pages 252, 259
  31. ^ Gavin Flood (1996), An Introduction to Hinduism, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-43878-0, pages 162–167
  32. ^ a b c Ganesh Tagare (2002), The Pratyabhijñā Philosophy, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-81-208-1892-7, pages 16–19
  33. ^ a b Jayandra Soni (1990), Philosophical Anthropology in Śaiva Siddhānta, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-0632-8, pages 178–181, 209–214
  34. ^ Krishna Sivaraman (2008), Hindu Spirituality Vedas Through Vedanta, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-81-208-1254-3, page 263
  35. ^ a b David Smith (1996), The Dance of Siva: Religion, Art and Poetry in South India, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-48234-9, page 116
  36. ^ Teun Goudriaan (1981), Hindu Tantric and Śākta Literature, Otto Harrassowitz Verlag, ISBN 978-3-447-02091-6, page 36
  37. ^ a b c Singh, J. (1979). Śiva Sūtras: The Yoga of Supreme Identity : Text of the Sūtras and the Commentary Vimarśinī of Kṣemarāja Translated Into English with Introduction, Notes, Running Exposition, Glossary and Index. Motilal Banarsidass Publications. ISBN 978-81-208-0407-4. LCCN lc79903550. [3]
  38. ^ a b c Sharma, D.S. (1983). The Philosophy of Sādhanā: With Special Reference to the Trika Philosophy of Kashmir. State University of New York Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-0347-1. LCCN lc89027739 [4]
  39. ^ a b c d e Rita Sherma (2000), Editors: Alf Hiltebeitel and Kathleen M Erndl, Is the Goddess a Feminist?: The Politics of South Asian Goddesses, New York University Press, ISBN 978-0-8147-3619-7, pages 31–49
  40. ^ Teun Goudriaan (1981), Hindu Tantric and Śākta Literature, Otto Harrassowitz Verlag, ISBN 978-3-447-02091-6, pages 39–40
  41. ^ a b SrI Ramakrishna Deekshitulu and SrImAn VaradAccAri SaThakOpan Swami. SrI VaikhAnasa Bhagavad SAstram [5]
  42. ^ Vaikhanasa Agama Books
  43. ^ Venkatadriagaram Varadachari (1982). Agamas and South Indian Vaisnavism. Prof M Rangacharya Memorial Trust.
  44. ^ Awakened India, Volume 112, Year 2007, p.88, Prabuddha Bharata Office.

Sources

Adrishta

The Fifth Chapter of the Vaisheshika Sutras of Kanada deals with the notion of action and the connected concept of effort; and also deals with the various special phenomenon of nature to the supersensible force, called Adrishta.

Agama

Agama is a Sanskrit word which is a term for scriptures in Jainism, Buddhism, and Hinduism:

Āgama (Jainism)

Āgama (Buddhism)

Āgama (Hinduism)The corresponding adjective is Agamic.

Agama can also refer to:

Agama (lizard), common name for lizards in the family Agamidae

Agama agama, a species of lizard from the Agamidae family

Religion, referred to as agama in the Malay-speaking world (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei)

Parthenogenesis or agamic, can mean a form of asexual reproduction not involving the fusion of male and female gametes

Annaprashana

The Annaprashana (Sanskrit: अन्नप्राशन, Annaprāśana, Bengali: অন্নপ্রাশন, Onnoprashon) also known as Annaprashana vidhi, Annaprasan or Anna-prasanam or Anna Prashashan, is a Hindu ritual (Saṃskāra) that marks an infant's first intake of food other than milk. The term annaprashan literally means "food feeding" or "eating of food".The Annaprashana, unlike many other Samskaras, remains an important ceremony in modern India.

Apauruṣeyā

Apaurusheya (Sanskrit: अपौरुषेय, apauruṣeya, lit. means "not of a man"), meaning "superhuman"., or "impersonal, authorless", is a context used to describe the Vedas, the earliest scripture in Hinduism.Apaurusheya shabda ("impersonal words, authorless") is an extension of apaurusheya which refers to the Vedas and numerous other texts in Hinduism.Apaurusheya is a central concept in the Vedanta and Mimamsa schools of Hindu philosophy. These schools accept the Vedas as svatah pramana ("self-evident means of knowledge"). The Mimamsa school asserts that since the Vedas are composed of words (shabda) and the words are composed of phonemes, the phonemes being eternal, the Vedas are also eternal. To this, if asked whether all words and sentences are eternal, the Mimamsa philosophers reply that the rules behind combination of phonemes are fixed and pre-determined for the Vedas, unlike other words and sentences. The Vedanta school also accepts this line of argument.

Bhedabheda

Bhedābheda Vedānta is a subschool of Vedānta, which teaches that the individual self (jīvātman) is both different and not different from the ultimate reality known as Brahman.

Ekagrata

Ekāgratā (Sanskrit: एकाग्रता, "one-pointedness") is intent pursuit of one object, close and undisturbed attention. Yoga emphasises regular practice (Abhyasa) meditation and self-imposed discipline to acquire ekagrata.

Geetam

Geetam, (Sanskrit: गीतं; gītaṃ) the simplest music form in Carnatic music, was created by Purandara Dasa in order to introduce talas with sāhityaṃ (lyrics).

Gītaṃ literally means "song" in Sanskrit.

Hinduism in Colombia

Hinduism is a minority faith in Colombia represented mainly by the Hare krishna devotees and Indian expats. The ISKCON has temples in 20 cities in the country. with about 700 members.

Hinduism in Panama

Hinduism in Panama is a minority religion. There are about 10,000-14,000 Hindus in Panama.

Hitā

Hitā (Sanskrit: हिता) means 'causeway' or 'dike'. In the Upanishads this word is used to mean 'subtle connections' or 'canals of subtle energies', or particular 'nerves' or 'veins'. The journey to the heart is said to be through seventy-two thousand subtle channels called Hitā; they are the beneficent active veins (filled with different types of serums).

Jagannath Temple, Sialkot

The Jagannath Temple (Urdu: جگن ناتھ مندر‎) in Sialkot, Pakistan, is dedicated to the Hindu God Jagannath.

Karnavedha

Karnavedha (Sanskrit: कर्णवेध, Karṇavedha) or Karnavedham is one of the sixteen major sanskaras (sacraments) known as "Shodasha Sanskaras" of Sanatana Dharma. It is an ear piercing ceremony that is typically performed between the first and fifth year of life. This can also be performed during later years. Brahmins, especially those studying the vedas, usually undergo karnavedha and the other samskaras during the course of their lifetime. The samskaras are mentioned in the Brahmana portion of the vedas. Some scholars advise that the performance of karnavedha should be considered just as important as upanayanam (sacred thread ceremony - another major samskara ) and the other sacraments as each holds its own symbolic spiritual value.

While equally recommended for males and females, in modern times, karnavedha has become an uncommon practice amongst males.

Karnavedha is considered a vedic rite of passage with symbolic spiritual significance. Some believe that it is intended to open the inner ears for receiving sacred sounds. Hearing of sacred sounds with concentration is considered meritorious in that it cleanses the mind and nurtures the spirit.

During certain medieval periods, "karnavedha" became associated with religious attire and its performance became obligatory to the extent that its non-performance became regarded as sinful among some communities.

Kaumaram

Kaumaram is a Hindu denomination which focuses on the deity Kumara, also known as Murugan, Skanda, Subramaniyam or Kartikeya. However, most devotees of Kumara also revere members of his family: Parvati, Shiva and Ganesha. The important theological texts relating to Kumara are a part of the Shaiva agama canon. This sub-tradition is found in South India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and among the Tamil diaspora worldwide.The term Kaumaram also means "childhood, youth" in Hindu texts, as in verse 2.13 of the Bhagavad Gita. It is sometimes a substitute for Brahmacharya stage of life.

Nididhyāsana

In Advaita Vedanta and Jnana Yoga Nididhyasana (Sanskrit: निदिध्यासन) is profound and repeated meditation on the mahavakyas, great Upanishadic statements such as "That art Thou", to realize the identity of Atman and Brahman. It is the fourth step in the training of a sisya (disciple), consisting of preparatory practives, listening to the teachings as contained in the sruti, reflection on the teachings, and nididhyasana.

Pancha Sabhai

Pancha Sabhai Sthalangal refers to the temples of Lord Nataraja, a form of Lord Shiva where he performed the Cosmic Dance. Pancha indicates Five, Sabhai means hall and Stala means place. All these temples are located in Tamil Nadu, India.

Prabhākara

Prabhākara (active c. 7th century) was an Indian philosopher-grammarian in the Mīmāṃsā tradition. His views and his debate with Kumārila Bhaṭṭa led to the Prābhākara school within Mīmāṃsā. The Prābhākara school is considered to be nastik (atheistic) or Lokayata school. Kumārila said: For in practice the Mimamsa has been for the most part converted into a Lokayata system; But I have made this effort to bring it into a theistic path.Śālikanātha wrote commentaries on Prabhākara in the 8th century.

Pratibimbavada

Pratibimbavada (Sanskrit: प्रतिबिम्बवाद) or the theory of reflection, whose origin can be traced to the Brahma Sutra II.iii.50, is credited to Padmapada, the founder of the Vivarna School of Advaita Vedanta and the author of Pancapadika which is a commentary on Sankara’s Brahma Sutra Bhasya. According to the Vivarna School, Brahman is the locus of Avidya , and which, with regard to the relation existing between the Jiva and Brahman, concludes that the Jiva is a mere reflection (pratibimba) of its prototype (bimba) i.e. of Brahman, and therefore, identical with its essence, Brahman. This school holds the view that the mahavakya, tat tvam asi, is sufficient for the attainment of enlightenment, of the realization of the identity between the self and Reality.

Sthiti

A Sanskrit Dictionary gives more than eighty meanings of the Sanskrit word, Sthiti (स्थिति), but this word mainly refers to position, rank or dignity, staying, or permanence, permanent or continued existence in any place.

Utsaha

Utsāha is an essential factor in matters governing human thoughts and actions, and directs all human achievements because primarily it is the strength of will, firmness of resolve, energy and power, endurance and perseverance, and the joy and elation resulting from achievement of pre-determined objectives.

Philosophy
Texts
Deities
Practices
Related
History
Deities
Texts
Mantra/ Stotra
Philosophical Traditions
Jyotirlingas
Pancha Bhoota Stalam
Temples
Traditional Observances

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.