Shaiva Siddhanta

Shaiva siddhanta,(IAST: Śaiva siddhānta),[1][2] provides the normative rites, cosmology and theological categories of Agamic and Vedic Shaivam combined.[3] Being a dualistic philosophy, the goal of Shaiva Siddhanta is to become an enlightened soul through Lord Shiva's Grace.[4]

This tradition was once practiced all over India. However the Muslim subjugation of North India restricted Shaiva Siddhanta to the south,[5] where it merged with the Tamil Saiva movement expressed in the bhakti poetry of the Nayanars.[6] It is in this historical context that Shaiva Siddhanta is commonly considered a "southern" tradition, one that is still very much alive.[6] The Tamil compendium of devotional songs known as Tirumurai, the Shaiva Agamas and "Meykanda" or "Siddhanta" Shastras,[7] form the scriptural canon of Tamil Shaiva Siddhanta.

Shaiva Siddhanta encompasses tens of millions of adherents, predominantly in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. Today it has thousands of active temples there and numerous monastic and ascetic traditions, along with its own community of priests, the Adishaivas, who are qualified to perform Agama based Shaiva Temple rituals.


Shiva Nataraja Musée Guimet 25971
Lord Nataraja, moderating Panchakritya, the supreme being of Siddhantism.

Monier-Williams gives the meaning of siddhanta as ‘any fixed or established or canonical text-book or received scientific treatise on any subject ... as .. Brahma-siddhanta ब्रह्म-सिद्धान्त,... Surya-siddhanta, etc.’ The name of the school could be translated as "the settled view of Shaiva doctrine" or "perfected Shaivism."


Saiva Siddhanta's original form is uncertain. Some hold that it originated as a monistic doctrine, espoused by Tirumular (date unknown). It seems likely to others, however, that the early Śaiva Siddhānta may have developed somewhere in Northern India, as a religion built around the notion of a ritual initiation that conferred liberation. Such a notion of liberatory initiation appears to have been borrowed from a Pashupata (pāśupata) tradition.[8] At the time of the early development of the theology of the school, the question of monism or dualism, which became so central to later theological debates, had not yet emerged as an important issue.

Tamil bhakti

Om symbol
Om symbol
The twelve volumes of Tamil Śaiva hymns of the sixty-three Nayanars
Parts Name Author
1,2,3 Tirukadaikkappu Sambandar
4,5,6 Tevaram Tirunavukkarasar
7 Tirupaatu Sundarar
8 Tiruvacakam &
9 Tiruvisaippa &
10 Tirumandhiram Tirumular
11 Various
12 Periya Puranam Sekkizhar
Paadal Petra Sthalam
Paadal Petra Sthalam
Raja Raja Chola I
Nambiyandar Nambi

From the fifth to the eighth CE Buddhism and Jainism had spread in Tamil Nadu before a forceful Shaiva bhakti movement arose. Between the seventh and ninth centuries, pilgrim saints such as Sambandar, Appar and Sundarar used songs of Shiva’s greatness to refute concepts of Buddhism and Jainism. Manikkavacakar's heart-melting verses, called Tiruvacakam, are full of visionary experience, divine love and urgent striving for truth. The songs of these four saints are part of the compendium known as Tirumurai which, along with the Vedas, Shaiva Agamas, and the Meykanda Shastras, are now considered to form the scriptural basis of the Śaiva Siddhānta in Tamil Nadu. It seems probable that the Tirumurai devotional literature was not, however, considered to belong to the Śaiva Siddhānta canon at the time when it was first composed:[9] the hymns themselves appear to make no such claim for themselves.

The Bhakti movement should not be exaggerated as an articulation of a 'class struggle', there is nevertheless a strong sense against rigid structures in the society.[10]


In the twelfth century Aghorasiva, the head of a branch monastery of the Amardaka order in Chidambaram, took up the task of amalgamating Sanskrit and Tamil Siddhanta. Strongly refuting monist interpretations of Siddhanta, Aghorasiva brought a change in the understanding of Siva by reclassifying the first five principles, or tattvas (Nada, Bindu, Sadasiva, Isvara and Suddhavidya), into the category of pasa (bonds), stating they were effects of a cause and inherently unconscious substances, a departure from the traditional teaching in which these five were part of the divine nature of God.

Aghorasiva was successful in preserving the Sanskrit rituals of the ancient Āgamic tradition. To this day, Aghorasiva's Siddhanta philosophy is followed by almost all of the hereditary temple priests (Sivacharya), and his texts on the Āgamas have become the standard puja manuals. His Kriyakramadyotika is a vast work covering nearly all aspects of Shaiva Siddhanta ritual, including the daily worship of Siva, occasional rituals, initiation rites, funerary rites, and festivals.

In Tamil Shaiva Siddhanta, the thirteenth century Meykandar, Arulnandi Sivacharya, and Umapati Sivacharya further spread Tamil Shaiva Siddhanta. Meykandar's twelve-verse Śivajñānabodham and subsequent works by other writers, all supposedly of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, laid the foundation of the Meykandar Sampradaya (lineage), which propounds a pluralistic realism wherein God, souls and world are coexistent and without beginning. Siva is an efficient but not material cause. They view the soul's merging in Siva as salt in water, an eternal oneness that is also twoness.

Saiva Siddhanta today

Saiva Siddhanta today is practiced widely among the Saiva's of southern India and Sri Lanka, especially by members of the Vellalar community. It is also prevalent among Saiva's of the Tamil diaspora around the world.

Prominent Siddhanta societies, temples and monasteries also exist in a number of other countries. The United States island of Kauai, a part of Hawaii, is home to the Saiva Siddhanta Peetam, an organization that promotes the union of worldwide Hindus, through a publication called Hinduism Today. This was founded by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927–2001), which is currently under the auspices of Subramuniyaswami's designated successor, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami (1942- ). This lineage, which traces itself back to the Shaiva Siddhars of Northern Sri Lanka, adheres to the philosophical position that the original Shaiva Siddhanta as expounded by Tirumular, was and is monistic, and propagates this teaching as Advaita Saiva Siddhanta. The famous songs of the Sri Lankan Shaiva Sage, Shiva Yogaswami, attest to this view of the nature of God, Soul and World as being ultimately one.



The texts revered by the southern Saiva Siddhanta are the Vedas; the twenty-eight dualist Hindu Agamas, which form the ritual basis of the tradition; the twelve books of the Tamil Saiva canon called the Tirumurai, which contains the poetry of the Nayanars; and the Saiva Siddhanta Shastras.[11]

Early theology

Siddhas such as Sadyojyoti (ca seventh century[12]) are credited with the systematization of the Siddhanta theology in Sanskrit. Sadyojyoti, initiated by the guru Ugrajyoti, propounded the Siddhanta philosophical views as found in the Rauravatantra and Svāyambhuvasūtrasaṅgraha. He may or may not have been from Kashmir, but the next thinkers whose works survive were those of a Kashmirian lineage active in the tenth century: Rāmakaṇṭha I, Vidyākaṇṭha I, Śrīkaṇṭha, Nārāyaṇakaṇṭha, Rāmakaṇṭha II, Vidyākaṇṭha II. Treatises by the last four of these survive. King Bhoja of Gujarat (ca 1018) condensed the massive body of Siddhanta scriptural texts into one concise metaphysical treatise called the Tattvaprakāśa.

Later theology

The culmination of a long period of systematisation of its theology appears to have taken place in Kashmir in the tenth century, the exegetical works of the Kashmirian authors Bhatta Narayanakantha and Bhatta Ramakantha being the most sophisticated expressions of this school of thought.[13] Their works were quoted and emulated in the works of twelfth-century South Indian authors, such as Aghorasiva and Trilocanasiva.[14] The theology they expound is based on a canon of Tantric scriptures called Siddhantatantras or Shaiva Agamas. This canon is traditionally held to contain twenty-eight scriptures, but the lists vary,[15] and several doctrinally significant scriptures, such as the Mrgendra,[16] are not listed. In the systematisation of the ritual of the Shaiva Siddhanta, the Kashmirian thinkers appear to have exercised less influence: the treatise that had the greatest impact on Shaiva ritual, and indeed on ritual outside the Shaiva sectarian domain, for we find traces of it in such works as the Agnipurana, is a ritual manual composed in North India in the late eleventh century by a certain Somasambhu.[17]

Monastic orders

Three monastic orders were instrumental in Shaiva Siddhanta's diffusion through India; the Amardaka order, identified with one of Shaivism's holiest cities, Ujjain, the Mattamayura order, in the capital of the Chalukya dynasty near the Karnataka, and the Madhumateya order of Central India. Each developed numerous sub-orders. (see Nandinatha Sampradaya) Siddhanta monastics used the influence of royal patrons to propagate the teachings in neighboring kingdoms, particularly in South India. From Mattamayura, they established monasteries in regions now in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra and Kerala.


  1. ^ Xavier Irudayaraj,"Saiva Siddanta," in the St. Thomas Christian Encyclopaedia of India, Ed. George Menachery, Vol.III, 2010, pp.10 ff.
  2. ^ Xavier Irudayaraj, "Self Understanding of Saiva Siddanta Scriptures" in the St. Thomas Christian Encyclopaedia of India, Ed. George Menachery, Vol.III, 2010, pp.14 ff.
  3. ^ Flood, Gavin. D. 2006. The Tantric Body. P.120
  4. ^ Flood, Gavin. D. 2006. The Tantric Body. P.122
  5. ^ Flood, Gavin. D. 2006. The Tantric Body. P.34
  6. ^ a b Flood, Gavin. D. 1996. An Introduction to Hinduism. P.168
  7. ^ S. Arulsamy, Saivism - A Perspective of Grace, Sterling Publishers Private Limited, New Delhi, 1987, pp.1
  8. ^ See Alexis Sanderson's The Lākulas: New evidence of a system intermediate between Pāñcārthika Pāśupatism and Āgamic Śaivism. Ramalinga Reddy Memorial Lectures, 1997. In: The Indian Philosophical Annual 24 (2006), pp.143-217.
  9. ^ Dominic Goodall, The Parākhyatantra. A Scripture of the Śaiva Siddhānta, Pondicherry, French Institute of Pondicherry and Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient, 2004, pp.xxix-xxxiv.
  10. ^ Flood, Gavin. D. 1996. An Introduction to Hinduism. P. 170
  11. ^ Flood, Gavin. D. 1996. An Introduction to Hinduism. P. 169
  12. ^ See Alexis Sanderson, “The Date of Sadyojyotis and Brhaspati.” In Cracow Indological Studies 8 (2006), pp.39–91. (Actual publication date 2007.)
  13. ^ Alexis Sanderson, The Saiva Exegesis of Kashmir, pp.242-248 (in Tantric Studies in Memory of Hélène Brunner, edited by Dominic Goodall and André Padoux, Pondicherry, French Institute of Pondicherry and Ecole francaise d'Extreme-Orient, 2007.
  14. ^ Dominic Goodall, Problems of Name and Lineage: Relationships between South Indian Authors of the Shaiva Siddhanta, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Series 3, 10.2 (2000).
  15. ^ Extant lists are presented by Dominic Goodall in Appendix III of Bhatta Ramakantha's Commentary on the Kiranatantra, Pondicherry, French Institute of Pondicherry and Ecole francaise d'Extreme-Orient, 1998, pp.402-417.
  16. ^ This is one of the few demonstrably pre-tenth-century scriptures of the Shaiva Siddhanta to have been completely translated into a European language: Michel Hulin, Mrgendragama. Sections de la doctrine et du yoga, Pondicherry, French Institute of Pondicherry, 1980, and Hélène Brunner-Lachaux, Mrgendragama. Section des rites et sections du comportement, Pondicherry, French Institute of Pondicherry, 1985.
  17. ^ This manual, called the Kriyakandakramavali or Somasambhupaddhati, has been edited, translated and richly annotated by Hélène Brunner and published in 4 volumes from the French Institute of Pondicherry in 1963, 1968, 1977 and 1998.


  • Flood, Gavin (2005). The Tantric Body: The Secret Tradition of Hindu Religion. I. B. Tauris. ISBN 1845110110.

External links

Guhyasamāja Tantra

The Guhyasamāja Tantra (Sanskrit: Guhyasamājatantra; Tibetan: Gsang ’dus rtsa rgyud (Toh 442); Tantra of the Secret Community) is one of the most important scriptures of Tantric Buddhism. In its fullest form, it consists of seventeen chapters, though a separate "explanatory tantra" (vyākhyātantra) known as the Later Tantra (Sanskrit: Guhyasamāja Uttaratantra; Tibetan: Rgyud phyi ma. (Toh 443)) is sometimes considered to be its eighteenth chapter. Many scholars believe that the original core of the work consisted of the first twelve chapters, with chapters thirteen to seventeen being added later as explanatory material.

In India, it was classified as a Yoga or Mahāyoga Tantra. In Tibet it is considered an Unexcelled Yoga Tantra (rnal ’byor bla med rgyud). It develops traditions found in earlier scriptures such as the Compendium of Reality (Sanskrit: Sarva-tathāgata-tattva-saṃgraha; De bzhin gshegs pa thams

cad kyi de kho na nyid bsdus pa (Toh 479)) but is focused to a greater extent on the antinomian aspects characteristic of the later Buddhist Tantras. Naropa and Aryadeva considered the Compendium of Reality to be a root tantra in relation to the Guhyasamaja Tantra. The Guhyasamaja Tantra survives in Sanskrit manuscripts and in Tibetan and Chinese translation.

The Guhyasiddhi of Padmavajra, a work associated with the Guhyasamaja tradition, prescribes acting as a Saiva guru and initiating members into Shaiva Siddhanta scriptures and mandalas. Statues and pictures were also created to beautify the radical methodology. However, because extraordinary sexual acts with women including many virgins had no integrity to fundamental buddhist precepts, it is no longer done in Tibetan Buddhism. On the contrary, warning symbols and festivals, such as Citipati, are widely spread.

Hindu philosophy

Hindu philosophy refers to a group of darśanas (philosophies, world views, teachings) that emerged in ancient India. These include six systems (ṣaḍdarśana) – Sankhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Mimamsa and Vedanta. These are also called the Astika (orthodox) philosophical traditions and are those that accept the Vedas as an authoritative, important source of knowledge. Ancient and medieval India was also the source of philosophies that share philosophical concepts but rejected the Vedas, and these have been called nāstika (heterodox or non-orthodox) Indian philosophies. Nāstika Indian philosophies include Buddhism, Jainism, Cārvāka, Ājīvika, and others.Scholars have debated the relationship and differences within āstika philosophies and with nāstika philosophies, starting with the writings of Indologists and Orientalists of the 18th and 19th centuries, which were themselves derived from limited availability of Indian literature and medieval doxographies. The various sibling traditions included in Hindu philosophies are diverse, and they are united by shared history and concepts, same textual resources, similar ontological and soteriological focus, and cosmology. While Buddhism and Jainism are considered distinct philosophies and religions, some heterodox traditions such as Cārvāka are often considered as distinct schools within Hindu philosophy.Hindu philosophy also includes several sub-schools of theistic philosophies that integrate ideas from two or more of the six orthodox philosophies, such as the realism of the Nyāya, the naturalism of the Vaiśeṣika, the dualism of the Sāṅkhya, the monism and knowledge of Self as essential to liberation of Advaita, the self-discipline of yoga and the asceticism and elements of theistic ideas. Examples of such schools include Pāśupata Śaiva, Śaiva siddhānta, Pratyabhijña, Raseśvara and Vaiṣṇava. Some sub-schools share Tantric ideas with those found in some Buddhist traditions. The ideas of these sub-schools are found in the Puranas and Āgamas.Each school of Hindu philosophy has extensive epistemological literature called pramāṇaśāstras, as well as theories on metaphysics, axiology, and other topics.

Hinduism in Sri Lanka

Hinduism has a long tradition and is the oldest religion in Sri Lanka. More than 2000 years civilization have proved so far from Hindu temples in Sri Lanka. Hindus currently make up 12.60% of the Sri Lankan population, and are almost exclusively Tamils apart from small immigrant communities from India and Pakistan such as the Sindhis, Telugus and Malayalees. In the 1915 census they made up almost 25% of the population, which included the indentured labourers the British had brought. Due to emigration (over 1 million Sri Lankan Tamils have left the country since independence), today they are still a sizeable minority. Hinduism is dominant in the North and Eastern provinces, where there are predominantly Tamil people. Hinduism is also practised in the central regions (where there are significant numbers of people of Indian Tamil descent) as well as in the capital, Colombo. According to the government census of 2011, there are 2,554,606 Hindus in Sri Lanka constituting 12.6% of the country's population. During the Sri Lankan Civil War, many Tamils fled to other countries. There are Hindu temples abroad which were built by the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora to maintain their religion, tradition and culture.

The majority of Sri Lankan Hindus follow the teaching of Shaiva Siddhanta. Some hindus follow Shaktism. Sri Lanka is home to the five abodes of Shiva, which are known as Pancha Ishwarams, The holy places build by king Ravana. Sri Murugan is one of the most popular Hindu deities in Sri Lanka. He is not only venerated by the Hindu Tamils but also by Buddhist Sinhalese and aboriginal Veddas.A significant Hindu religious figure in Sri Lankan modern history is Satguru Siva Yogaswami of Jaffna. One of the mystics of the 20th century, Yogaswami was the official satguru and counseling sage of Lanka's several million Tamil Hindu population. The Ramakrishna Mission is somewhat active in the Amparai and Batticaloa districts while the Shaiva Siddhanta school of philosophy of Shaivism sect of Hinduism is prevalent in the North of Sri Lanka. Yogaswami belonged to the Shaiva Siddhanta and he was 161st head of the Nandinatha Sampradaya. The next person in the line of succession after Yogaswami was Sivaya Subramuniyaswami.

Kashmir Shaivism

Kashmir Shaivism or more accurately Trika Shaivism refers to a nondualist tradition of Śaiva-Śakta Tantra which originated sometime after 850 CE. Though this tradition was very influential in Kashmir and is thus often called Kashmir Shaivism, it was actually a pan-Indian movement termed "Trika" by its great exegete Abhinavagupta, which also flourished in Oḍiśā and Mahārāṣṭra. Defining features of the Trika tradition is its idealistic and monistic Pratyabhijnā ("Recognition") philosophical system, propounded by Utpaladeva (c. 925-975 C.E.) and Abhinavagupta (c. 975-1025 C.E.), and the centrality of the three goddesses Parā, Parāparā, and Aparā.While Trika draws from numerous Śaiva texts, such as the Shaiva Agamas and the Śaiva and Śakta Tantras, its major scriptural authorities are the Mālinīvijayottara Tantra, the Siddhayogeśvarīmata and the Anāmaka-tantra. Its main exegetical works are those of Abhinavagupta, such as the Tantrāloka, Mālinīślokavārttika, and Tantrasāra which are formally an exegesis of the Mālinīvijayottara Tantra, although they also drew heavily on the Kali-based Krama subcategory of the Kulamārga.Kashmir Shaivism claimed to supersede Shaiva Siddhanta, a dualistic tradition which scholars consider normative tantric Shaivism. The Shaiva Siddhanta goal of becoming an ontologically distinct Shiva (through Shiva's grace) was replaced by recognizing oneself as Shiva who, in Kashmir Shaivism's monism, is the entirety of the universe.

Maheshwara murtams

Maheshwara murtas are forms of Shiva revered in the Shivagamas of southern Shaiva Siddhanta sect of Saivism. It is usually counted to twenty five. Sritattvanidhi calls these as Panchavimsatilīlāmūrti (twenty five sportive forms). These forms are based on Puranas and Ithihasa (history) in which Shiva's divine play is explained with different stories. Most of these forms are present in South Indian temples as main deities of sanctum or sculptures and reliefs in the outer walls of Shiva temples.


Manikkavacakar or MaanikkaVaasagar was a 9th-century Tamil poet who wrote Tiruvasakam, a book of Shaiva hymns. He was one of the main authors of Saivite Tirumurai, his work forms volume eight of the Tirumurai, the key religious text of Tamil language Shaiva Siddhanta. A minister to the Pandya king Varagunavarman II (c. 862 C.E. – 885 C.E.) (also called Arimarthana Pandiyan), he lived in Madurai. His work is a poetic expression of the joy of God-experience, the anguish of being separated from God. Although he is a prominent saint in Southern India, he is not counted among the sixty-three nayanars.


Meykandar (Tamil: மெய்கண்டார், Meykaṇṭār, lit. the truth seer), also known as Meykanda Devar, was a 13th-century philosopher and theologian who contributed to the Shaiva Siddhanta school Shaivism. His literary work known as Śiva Jñāna Bodham on Shaiva Siddhanta has enjoyed great vogue and prestige among Tamilians compared to other well-known Hindu philosophies such as Advaita of Adi Shankara and Vishistadvaita of Ramanuja.

Neerotta Yamaha Anthathi

The 'Neerotta Yamaha Anthathi' is a collection of Thirty one stanzas (Venpaas) in Tamil written by Siva Prakasar also called as 'Siva anuputhi selvar, 'Karpanai Kalangiyam', 'Thurai mangalam Sivaprakasar' . Shaiva Siddhanta.

Om Namah Shivaya

Om Namah Shivaya (Devanagari: ॐ नमः शिवाय; IAST: Om Namaḥ Śivāya) is one of the most popular Hindu Mantra and the most important mantra in Shaivism. Namah Shivaya means "O salutations to the auspicious one!", or “adoration to Lord Shiva". It is called Siva Panchakshara, or Shiva Panchakshara or simply Panchakshara meaning the "five-syllable" mantra (viz., excluding the Om) and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is a holy salutation to Lord Shiva. This Mantra appears as 'Na' 'Ma' 'Śi' 'Vā' and 'Ya' in the Shri Rudram hymn which is a part of the Krishna Yajurveda and also in the Rudrashtadhyayi which is a part of the Shukla Yajurveda.

Pasha (Hinduism)

Pasha (Pāśa), often translated as "noose" or "lasso", is a supernatural weapon depicted in Hindu iconography. Hindu deities such as Ganesha, Yama and Varuna are depicted with the pasha in their hands.

Pasha is a common attribute of Ganesha, the Lord of obstacles; a pasha represents his power to bind and free obstacles. Yama, the god of death, uses the Pasha to extract a soul from a being's body at the time of death. In sculpture, it is depicted as two or three bound into one or a double loop.The Sanskrit word "pasha" originally meant "knot" or "loop". In general usage, the pasha is used to bind a foe's arms and legs or for hunting animals. Pasha represents worldly attachment as well as power of a deity to capture and bind evil and ignorance. Ananda Coomaraswamy explores the connection of pasha to worldly bonds.In the Shaiva Siddhanta school of Hinduism, pasha is part of the trinity Pati-pashu-pasha, meaning "Master, animal, tether", symbolizing God, man and world. Pati is God as Shiva, the patron god of the sect. Pashu is the soul or man. Pasha is the power of Shiva by which leads souls to the Truth or the power of his maya (illusion) by which entices "unenlightened" beings.

Pashupata Shaivism

Pashupata Shaivism (Pāśupata, Sanskrit: पाशुपत) is the oldest of the major Shaivite Hindu schools. There is a debate about pioneership of this school and Goan school of Nakulish darshan believes that Nakulish was pioneer and Lakulish and Patanjalinath were his disciples while Gujrat school believes that Nakulish and Lakulish are one. Sarwdarshansangrah written by Madhavachary mentiones it as "Nakulish Darshan" not as "Lakulish Darshan". Both sub schools are still active in their own areas. The philosophy of the Pashupata sect was systematized by Lakulīśa also called Nakulīśa) in the 2nd century A.D. The main texts of the school are Pāśupatasūtra with Kauṇḍinya's Pañcārthabhāṣya, and Gaṇakārikā with Bhāsarvajña's Ratnaṭīkā. Both texts were discovered only in the twentieth century. Prior to that, the major source of information on this sect was a chapter devoted to it in Vidyāraṇya's Sarvadarśanasaṅgraha.


Pāśa (Sanskrit: पाश, translit. pāśa, lit. "bondage", "fetter") is one of the three main components considered in Shaivism. It is defined as whole of the existence, manifest and unmanifest. According to Shaiva Siddhanta, Pati (the supreme being), Pashu (atmans) and Pasha are eternal, self-consistent, neither distinguishable nor indivisible triad in the nature.


Shaivism (Śaivam; Devanagari: शैव संप्रदाय; Assamese: শৈৱ; Bengali: শৈব; Tamil: சைவம்; Telugu: శైవ సాంప్రదాయం; Kannada: ಶೈವ ಸಂಪ್ರದಾಯ; Malayalam: ശൈവമതം; Sinhala: ශිවාගම/ශෛවවාදය) is one of the major traditions within Hinduism that reveres Shiva as the Supreme Being. The followers of Shaivism are called "Shaivites" or "Saivites". It is one of the largest sects that believe Shiva — worshipped as a creator and destroyer of worlds — is the supreme god over all. The Shaiva have many sub-traditions, ranging from devotional dualistic theism such as Shaiva Siddhanta to yoga-oriented monistic non-theism such as Kashmiri Shaivism. It considers both the Vedas and the Agama texts as important sources of theology. The origin of Shaivism may be traced to the conception of Rudra in the Rig Veda.Shaivism has ancient roots, traceable in the Vedic literature of 2nd millennium BCE, but this is in the form of the Vedic deity Rudra. The ancient text Shvetashvatara Upanishad dated to late 1st millennium BCE mentions terms such as Rudra, Shiva and Maheshwaram, but its interpretation as a theistic or monistic text of Shaivism is disputed. In the early centuries of the common era is the first clear evidence of Pāśupata Shaivism. Both devotional and monistic Shaivism became popular in the 1st millennium CE, rapidly becoming the dominant religious tradition of many Hindu kingdoms. It arrived in Southeast Asia shortly thereafter, leading to thousands of Shaiva temples on the islands of Indonesia as well as Cambodia and Vietnam, co-evolving with Buddhism in these regions. In the contemporary era, Shaivism is one of the major aspects of Hinduism.Shaivism theology ranges from Shiva being the creator, preserver, destroyer to being the same as the Atman (self, soul) within oneself and every living being. It is closely related to Shaktism, and some Shaiva worship in Shiva and Shakti temples. It is the Hindu tradition that most accepts ascetic life and emphasizes yoga, and like other Hindu traditions encourages an individual to discover and be one with Shiva within. Shaivism is one of the largest traditions within Hinduism.

Siddha Siddhanta

Siddha Siddhanta is one of the six main Shaivite philosophical traditions. It is also known as Gorakshanatha Saivism after its founding Guru Gorakhnath.

Siddha Yoga (disambiguation)

The phrase siddha yoga can refer to:

The Siddha Yoga path, founded by Swami Muktananda.

the Shaiva Siddhanta yoga tradition

the Siddhayoga-Tirtha lineage

Sivaprakasa Visagam

The Sivaprakasa Visagam is a collection of Poems in Tamil written by Siva Prakasar. Shaiva Siddhanta.


Thiruvasagam (Tamil: திருவாசகம், translit. tiruvācakam, lit. 'sacred utterance') is a volume of Tamil hymns composed by the ninth century Shaivite bhakti poet Manikkavasagar. It contains 51 compositions and constitutes the eighth volume of the Tirumurai, the sacred anthology of Tamil Shaiva Siddhanta.

Legend has it that Manikkavasakar was appointed as minister by king Arimarttanar and sent to purchase 10,000 horses from Arab traders but spent the money building a temple in Tirupperunturai.

As the legend goes, Thiruvasagam is the only work which is signed by lord Siva.


The Tirumantiram or Thirumantiram is a Tamil poetic work written in the 1000 AD by Thirumular and is the tenth of the twelve volumes of the Tirumurai, the key texts of Shaiva Siddhanta and the first known Tamil work to use the term. Tirumantiram's literal meaning is "Holy incantation". The Tirumantiram is the earliest known exposition of the Shaiva Agamas in Tamil. It consists of over three thousand verses dealing with various aspects of spirituality, ethics and praise of Shiva. But it is more spiritual than religious and one can see the difference between Vedanta and Siddhanta from Tirumular's interpretation of the Mahavakyas. According to historian Venkatraman, the work covers almost every feature of the siddhar of the Tamils. According to another historian, Madhavan, the work stresses on the fundamentals of Siddha medicine and its healing powers. It deals with a wide array of subjects including astronomy and physical culture.


Tirumular (also spelt Thirumoolar etc., originally known as Suntaranāthar) was a Tamil Shaivite mystic and writer, considered one of the sixty-three Nayanmars and one of the 18 Siddhars. His main work, the Tirumantiram (also sometimes written Tirumanthiram, Tirumandhiram, etc.), which consists of over 3000 verses, forms a part of the key text of the Tamil Shaiva Siddhanta, the Tirumurai.

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