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Shaivism or Saivism (Sanskrit: , aiva patha; lit. "associated with Shiva"), is one of the four most
widely followed sects of Hinduism, which reveres the god Shiva as the Supreme Being. Followers of
Shaivam, called "Shaivas," and also "Saivas" or "Shaivites," believe that Shiva is All and in all, the creator,
preserver, destroyer, revealer and concealer of all that is. Shaivism is widespread throughout India, Nepal
and Sri Lanka. Areas notable for the practice of Shaivism include parts of Southeast Asia, especially
Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia.
Saivism is the Hindu sect that worships the god Shiva. Shiva is sometimes depicted as the fierce god
Bhairava. Saivists are more attracted to asceticism than adherents of other Hindu sects, and may be found
wandering India with ashen faces performing self-purification rituals.
They worship in the temple and
practice yoga, striving to be one with Siva within.
1 General features
2 History
3 Major schools
3.1 Puranic and non-Puranic
3.2 Pashupata Shaivism
3.3 Shaiva Siddhanta
3.4 Kashmir Shaivism
3.5 Siddha Siddhanta
3.6 Lingayatism
3.7 Shiva Advaita
4 Shaivite literature and texts
5 Festivals
6 See also
7 References
8 Sources
9 External links
10 External links
General features
Sacred ash came to be used as a sign of Shaivism. Devotees of Shiva wear it as a sectarian mark on their
foreheads and other parts of their bodies with reverence. The Sanskrit words bhasma
and vibhuti
both be translated as "sacred ash".
Main article: History of Shaivism
It is very difficult to determine the early history of Shaivism. Shaivism is the oldest worship of hinduism.
Pashupata was the first Lord worshipped.
The vetvatara Upanishad (400 - 200 BCE)
is the earliest
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The Development of the Saiva Traditions
Shaivism Groupings
textual exposition of a systematic philosophy of
As explained by Gavin Flood, the
text proposes:
... a theology which elevates Rudra to the
status of supreme being, the Lord
(Sanskrit: a) who is transcendent yet also
has cosmological functions, as does iva in
later traditions.
During the Gupta Dynasty (c. 320 - 500 CE)
Puranic religion developed and Shaivism spread
rapidly, eventually throughout the subcontinent,
spread by the singers and composers of the
Puranic narratives.
Major schools
Shaivism has many different schools reflecting
both regional and temporal variations and
differences in philosophy.
Shaivism has a vast
literature that includes texts representing
multiple philosophical schools, including
non-dualist (abheda), dualist (bheda), and
non-dual-with-dualism (bhedbheda)
Puranic and non-Puranic
Alexis Sanderson's review of Shaivite groups
makes a broad distinction into two groups, with
further subdivisions within each group:
Vedic, Puranic.
Non-Puranic. These devotees are
distinguished by undergoing initiation (dka) into a specific cult affiliation for the dual purposes of
obtaining liberation in this life (mukti) and/or obtaining other aims (bhukti). Sanderson subdivides this
group further into two subgroups:
Those that follow the outer or higher path (atimrga), seeking only liberation. Among the
atimrga groups two are particularly important, the Pupatas and a sub-branch, the Lkula,
from whom another important sect, the Klmukhas, developed.
Those that follow the path of mantras (mantramrga), seeking both liberation and worldly
Pashupata Shaivism
Pashupata Shaivism: The Pashupatas (Sanskrit: Pupatas) are the oldest named Shaivite group.
Pashupatas were ascetics.
Noted areas of influence (clockwise) include Gujarat, Kashmir and Nepal.
[citation needed]
But there is plentiful evidence of the existence of Pupata groups in every area of the Indian
subcontinent. In the far South, for example, a dramatic farce called the Mattavilsanaprahasana ascribed to
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a seventh-century Pallava king centres around a Pupata ascetic in the city of
Kcpuram who mistakes a Buddhist mendicant's begging bowl for his own skull-bowl.
Inscriptions of comparable date in various parts of South East Asia attest to the spread of
Pupata forms of aivism before the arrival there of tantric schools such as the Shaiva
Shaiva Siddhanta
Shaiva Siddhanta: Considered normative tantric Saivism, Shaiva Siddhanta provides the
normative rites, cosmology and theological categories of tantric Saivism.
There is a
dualistic dimension to Shaivism, as expounded by Meykandar. The pure, or Shuddha
Saivism,however, proclaimed by Rishi Thirumular and his paramparai (guru lineage), is
strictly non-dualistic, and proclaims the soul to be at all times one with Shiva.
tradition was once practiced all over India. For example the theologians Sadyojoti, Bhatta
Nryanakantha and his son Bhatta Rmakantha (ca. 950-1000 AD) developed a
sophisticated Siddhanta theology in Kashmir.
However the Muslim subjugation of north India restricted
Shaiva Siddhanta to the south,
where it merged with the Tamil Saiva cult expressed in the bhakti poetry
of the Nayanars.
It is in this historical context that Shaiva Siddhanta is commonly considered a
"southern" tradition, one that is still very much alive.
Kashmir Shaivism
Kashmir Shaivism: Kashmir Saivism, a householder religion, was based on a strong
monistic interpretation of the Bhairava Tantras (and its subcategory the Kaula Tantras),
which were tantras written by the Kapalikas.
There was additionally a revelation of
the Siva Sutras to Vasugupta.
Kashmir Saivism claimed to supersede the dualistic
Shaiva Siddhanta.
Somananda, the first theologian of monistic Saivism, was the
teacher of Utpaladeva, who was the grand-teacher of Abhinavagupta, who in turn was the
teacher of Ksemaraja.
The label Kashmir Shaivism, though unfortunately now widely adopted, is
really a misnomer, for it is clear that the dualistic Shaiva Siddhanta was also in North India at one point in
Siddha Siddhanta
Natha Siddha Siddhanta: Founded by Matsyendranatha (ca 8001000) and expounded by Rishi
Gorakshanatha (ca 950), this monism is known as Bhedabheda, embracing both the transcendent Shiva as
well as the immanent Shiva. Shiva is efficient and material cause. The creation and final return of soul and
cosmos to Shiva are likened to bubbles arising and returning to water. Influential in Nepal, Uttar Pradesh,
Bihar and West Bengal.
Lingayatism: Made popular by Basavanna (11051167), this version of qualified
nondualism, Shakti Vishishtadvaita, accepts both difference and nondifference between
soul and God, like rays are to the sun. Shiva and the cosmic force are one, yet Shiva is
beyond His creation, which is real, not illusory. God is efficient and material cause.
Influential primarily in Karnataka.
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63 Nayanmars during the occasion of
samanargal kazhuvetram at the 6th day
Thirumangalam Shri Pathrakali
Mariamman vaigasi Festival
Shiva Advaita
Shiva Advaita: This monistic theism, formulated by Srikantha (ca 1050), is called Shiva
Vishishtadvaita. The soul does not ultimately become perfectly one with Brahman, but
shares with the Supreme all excellent qualities. Appaya Dikshita (15541626) attempted
to resolve this union in favor of an absolute identityShuddhadvaita. Its area of origin
and influence covers most of Karnataka state.
Shaivism left a major imprint on the intellectual life of classical Cambodia, Champa in what is today
southern Vietnam, Java and the Tamil lands. The wave of Shaivite devotionalism that swept through late
classical and early medieval India redefined Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Shaivite worship legitimized several
ruling dynasties in pre-modern India, incluidng the Chola and the Rajputs. A similar trend was witnessed in
early medieval Indonesia with the Majapahit empire and pre-Islamic Malaya.
Nepal is the only
country in the world where Shaivism is the most popular form of Hinduism.
Shaivite literature and texts
The vetvatara Upanishad (400 - 200 BCE)
is the earliest textual exposition of a systematic
philosophy of Shaivism.
The Shiva Rahasya Purana, an Upapurana, is an important scriptual text.
One of the most important text of Shaivism is Tirumurai.
The myth of Saivsm and Buddhism was played every year at the 6th
day Vaigasi festival of Shri Pathrakali Mariamman temple,
See also
History of Shaivism
Kamir aivism
Shaiva Siddhanta
^ "ISKCON" (
/1200.htm). Retrieved 7 February 2014.
^ "Hindus in SA" (
/hindu3.htm). Retrieved 7 February 2014.
^ Dubois. Hindu Manners, Customs and
Ceremonies (
q=hindu%20sects&f=false). Cosimo. p. 111.
^ "HimalayanAcademy"
/basics/four-sects). Retrieved 7 February 2014.
^ Apte, p. 714. 5.
^ Apte, p. 866 6.
^ Tattwananda 1984, p. 45. 7.
^ For dating to 400-200 BCE see: Flood (1996), p.
^ For vetvatara Upanishad as a systematic
philosophy of Shaivism see: Chakravarti 1994,
p. 9.
^ Flood (1996), p. 153. 10.
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^ For Gupta Dynasty (c. 320 - 500 CE) and
Puranic religion as important to the spread across
the subcontinent, see: Flood (1996), p. 154.
^ For an overview of the Shaiva Traditions, see
Flood, Gavin, "The aiva Traditions", in: Flood
(2003), pp. 200-228. For an overview that
concentrates on the Tantric forms of aivism, see
Alexis Sanderson's magisterial survey article
aivism and the Tantric Traditions, pp.660--704 in
The World's Religions, edited by Stephen
Sutherland, Leslie Houlden, Peter Clarke and
Friedhelm Hardy, London: Routledge, 1988.
^ Tattwananda 1984, p. 54. 13.
^ For overview of Sanderson's method of grouping,
see: Flood (2003), p. 206.
^ For the classifiction of Sanderson into atimrga
and mantramrga, and characterization of the
Pupatas, Lkula, and Klmukhas, see:
Sanderson (1988) and Flood (2003), p. 206.
^ For the Pupatas as the oldest named aiva
group, see: Flood (2003), p. 206.
^ For Pupata as an ascetic movement see:
Michaels (2004), p. 62.
^ See Alexis Sanderson's aivism among the
Khmers Part I, pp. 349--462 in the Bulletin de
l'Ecole franaise d'Extrme-Orient 90--91
^ Flood, Gavin. D. 2006. The Tantric Body. P.120 19.
^ Subramuniyaswami, Sivaya, Dancing with Siva,
Merging with Siva.
^ Flood, Gavin. 2003. The Blackwell Companion
to Hinduism. Malden: Blackwell. pg. 210.
^ Flood, Gavin. D. 2006. The Tantric Body. P.34 22.
^ Flood, Gavin. D. 1996. An Introduction to
Hinduism. P.168
^ Flood, Gavin. D. 1996. An Introduction to
Hinduism. P.168
^ Flood, Gavin. D. 1996. An Introduction to
Hinduism. P.164-167
^ Flood, Gavin. D. 1996. An Introduction to
Hinduism. P.164-167
^ Flood, Gavin. D. 2006. The Tantric Body. P.61 27.
^ Flood, Gavin. D. 1996. An Introduction to
Hinduism. P.164-167
^ Flood, Gavin. D. 2006. The Tantric Body. P.66 29.
^ Sastri, K.A. Nilakanta. "A Historical Sketch of
Saivism", in: Bhattacharyya (1956), Volume IV
pages 63 -78.
^ For more on the subject of Saivite influence on
Indonesia, one could read N.J.Krom, Inleiding tot
de Hindoe-Javaansche Kunst/Introduction to
Hindu-Javanese Art, The Hague, Martinus Nijhof,
^ For dating to 400-200 BCE see: Flood (1996), p.
^ For vetvatara Upanishad as a systematic
philosophy of Shaivism see: Chakravarti 1994,
p. 9.
Bhandarkar, Ramakrishna Gopal (1913). Vaisnavism, aivism, and Minor Religious Systems. New Delhi: Asian
Educational Services. ISBN 81-206-0122-X. Third AES reprint edition, 1995.
Bhattacharyya (Editor), Haridas (1956). The Cultural Heritage of India. Calcutta: The Ramakrishna Mission
Institute of Culture. Four volumes.
Chakravarti, Mahadev (1994), The Concept of Rudra-iva Through The Ages (Second Revised ed.), Delhi:
Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-0053-2
Flood, Gavin (1996). An Introduction to Hinduism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
ISBN 0-521-43878-0.
Flood, Gavin (Editor) (2003). The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
ISBN 1-4051-3251-5.
Keay, John (2000). India: A History. New York: Grove Press. ISBN 0-8021-3797-0.
Tattwananda, Swami (1984), Vaisnava Sects, Saiva Sects, Mother Worship (First Revised ed.), Calcutta: Firma
KLM Private Ltd.
External links
New World Encyclopedia, Shaivism (
Encyclopedia Brittanica, Shaivism (
Thirumoolar Vibhuthi ( -Original Vibhuti from Swadeshi Cows
External links
Saivism.Net (
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