Saiva Siddhanta question

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vidya at CCO.CALTECH.EDU
Thu Aug 14 12:36:27 CDT 1997

On Thu, 14 Aug 1997, Anand Hudli wrote:

>   I have read somewhere (cant remember exactly where) that the Shaiva
>   Siddhaanta of Tamilnadu accepts some kind of dvaita in that it holds that
>   Shiva, the individual soul and the bondage as all real. I am not sure if
>   this is exactly correct. Could someone who knows better comment?

The Tamil Saiva Siddhanta seems to have many currents in it. One strong
current is that of the pASupata school, in which pati (Siva), paSu (jIva)
and pASa (bondage) are all real. Liberation consists of attaining
Sivaloka, but the pASa with Siva remains, but in a modified form. This is
a kind of dvaita, but this is leavened with another stream that emphasizes
union to a high degree, even at a ritual level. Thus, it is held that only
Siva can worship Siva, so that there is a ritual identification of the
worshipper with the object of worship.

It seems to me that there is no one rigid philosophical opinion that the
Saiva Siddhantins subscribe to. The realist-dualist school of the
pASupatas is mixed with a monistic tAntric outlook, and different Agamas
emphasize different aspects. What is more important for them is the
supermacy of Siva, and the religious praxis, but those who interpret the
Tamil texts in modern times seem to be reading their own philosophical
opinions into them.


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