Saiva Siddhanta question

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rbalasub at ECN.PURDUE.EDU
Thu Aug 14 16:14:31 CDT 1997

Anand 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?

Yes, the shaiva siddhAnta of Tamil Nadu accepts the pati, pashu, pAsham as
all real. We can see the classification in the shvetAshvatara upanishhad
itself, however as per the upanishhads this distinction is illusory. The
shaiva siddhAntins also claim that shiva is the efficient cause but not the
material cause of the universe.

Apparently this form of shaiva siddhAnta was spread all over the country
till around 1200AD, when the muslim invasions destroyed this school
everywhere except Tamil Nadu. For an interesting account of the philosophy,
history and practices refer to

Title: Ritual in an oscillating universe: worshiping Siva in medieval India
Author: Richard H. Davis
Publisher: Princeton University Press, 1991

Originally the main texts for this system were the shaiva Agama-s. Later
some paddhati-s (digests) based on these were written by aghorashiva et al,
which became the authorities, to the extent that most people in this system
are not well versed with the Agama-s, but only with the paddhati-s! These
people also hold that the dEvAram, the compositions of shaivite saints as
superior to even the veda-s. I have myself gone through some poems and found
advaitic pieces also.


More information about the Advaita-l mailing list