Author Topic: What is Saiva Siddhanta?  (Read 9285 times)

Hari

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1832
    • View Profile
    • Fundamental questions about mind
What is Saiva Siddhanta?
« on: August 23, 2012, 08:38:57 AM »
What is Saiva Siddhanta and what it teaches? I have found very controversial opinions about it - modern and classic. Some say it originally is dualistic. But some modern Saiva Siddhanta churches argue it is nondualistic - Jiva 'becomes' Shiva. What is it really?
Web Page dedicated to the Great Sages:
https://someoneelsebg.000webhostapp.com/Sages/HTML.html

Subramanian.R

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 43583
    • View Profile
Re: What is Saiva Siddhanta?
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2012, 01:46:17 PM »
Dear Hari,

Saiva Siddhantam postulates three fundamentals being eternal, i.e Pati (Lord), Pasu (Jiva), Pasam (the relationship through Maya).
In that sense, it is different from Advaita Vedanta though not opposed to Advaita Vedanta. Advaita Vedanta regards only Self
as eternal and jive merges with Brahman once the chord of Maya is snapped.

Such trinities are common in all religions. But they are true so long as the mind is operative. They are mere creations of the mind.
One can postulate God only after the mind arises. God is not different from the Self. The Self is objectified as God. So also with
Guru.

In sum. Saiva Siddhantam is a qualified non dualism, like Sri Vaishnavam.

Arunachala Siva.   

Ravi.N

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4016
    • View Profile
Re: What is Saiva Siddhanta?
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2012, 02:55:27 PM »
Hari/Subramanian,
Here is an interesting excerpt from 'gurudeva's Talk on Tirumanthiram':

Saint Tirumular began his mission of establishing the purity of the Saivite path soon thereafter when he settled down near Chidambaram, an ancient temple of Lord Siva as Nataraja, the King of Dancers. There he worshipped near a Banyan tree where there was a Swayambhu Lingam. That Lingam is revered by Saivites even today in a small shrine within the Chidambaram walls, and you can worship there on pilgrimage just as he did so long ago. It was there that he began composing the Tirumantiram. Legend has it that the sage retired to a cave where he would sit in samadhi for a full year without moving. At the end of each year he would break his meditation long enough to speak out a single Tamil verse giving the substance of that year's meditations. Each verse composed in this manner was just four lines long, but the wisdom each contained was boundless. He wrote over 3,000 verses in all. This may not be accurate by the calendar, but it is true to the spirit and quality of the Tirumantiram, which has within it the wisdom of three thousand years of meditation. It is without a doubt the most complete and authoritative scripture ever written. There are few before or since his time qualified to understand all the Tirumantiram says, much less to improve upon it. It is that perfect and that complete.

Today we hear the term "Siddhanta" and various meanings of the word may come to mind. For some perhaps their immediate thought would be Meykanda Devar and his interpretation of Saiva Siddhanta. For others some concept of a philosophy halfway between Advaita-Vedanta and Dvaita, a vague area of unclarity, and for others various literal translations of the word such as "true end," "final end" or "true conclusion." The term "Siddhanta" appears for the first time in the Tirumantiram. The word anta carries the connotation of goal}conclusion, as does the English word "end." Tirumular's specific use of the word was "the teachings and the true conclusions of the Saiva Agamas." And these he felt were identical with Vedanta or "the conclusions of the Upanishads." In fact, he makes it very clear that pure Saiva Siddhanta must be based on Vedanta. Siddhanta is specific, giving the sadhanas and practical disciplines which bring one to the final Truth. Vedanta is general, simply declaring in broad terms the final Truth that is the goal of all paths. There are those who would intellectually divide Siddhanta from Vedanta, thus cutting off the goal from the means to that goal. But our Guru Paramparai holds them to be not different. How can we consider the mountain path less important than the summit to which it leads us? Both are one. Siddhanta and Vedanta are one also, and both are contained in Saiva Siddhanta. That is the conclusion of scripture and the conclusion of my own experiences as well. The Suddha Siddhanta of Saiva Siddhanta is Vedanta. Vedanta was never meant to stand alone, apart from worship, apart from religious tradition. It has only been taken in that way since Swami Vivekananda brought it to the West. The Western man and Western-educated Eastern man have tried in modern Vedanta to secularize traditional Sanatana Dharma, to take the philosophical conclusions of the Hindu religion and set them apart from the religion itself, apart from Chariya and Kriya-service and devotion. Vedantists who are members of other religions have unintentionally sought to adopt only the highest philosophy of Hinduism to the exclusion of the rich customs, observances and temple worship. They have not fully realized that these must precede yoga for yoga to be truly successful. Orthodox Hindus understand these things in a larger perspective. These same problems of misinterpretation must have existed even in Saint Tirumular's time, for he writes that "Vedanta is Suddha (pure) Saiva Siddhanta." (Verse 1422). "The faultless Jnani is the Lord of endless wisdom in whom has dawned the final Truth of Siddhantam, the cream of pure Vedantam." (Verse 1428).

For the complete article,Please visit:
http://www.himalayanacademy.com/resources/books/tirumantiram/GurudevaTalk.html
Namaskar.

Subramanian.R

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 43583
    • View Profile
Re: What is Saiva Siddhanta?
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2012, 03:02:58 PM »
Dear Ravi,

Quite interesting. What I had given in my post is what Sri Bhagavan said briefly about Saiva Siddhantam.
Smt, Mangayarkarasi, who speaks every Sunday about one temple, once said, there is no term which is
more confusing than Saiva Siddhantam!  She said Saiva Siddhantam is only Siva-advaitam. Instead of
Brahman, the word Siva is used. Muruganar also uses the word Sivam to denote Consciousness. However,
Meikandar's Siva Jnana Sutras give varying definitions - eternal nature of Pati, Pasu, Pasam. And four types
of muktis, Salokam, Saarupyam, Saameepam, Sayujyam. 

Arunachala Siva.   

Hari

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1832
    • View Profile
    • Fundamental questions about mind
Re: What is Saiva Siddhanta?
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2012, 03:09:41 PM »
Quote
115: Pati (God), Pasu (Soul) and Pasa (World) are Eternal
They speak of the Three--Pati, Pasu and Pasa;
Beginningless as Pati, Pasu and Pasa are:
But the Pasu-Pasa nears not the Pati supreme:
Let but Pati touch! the Pasu-Pasa is as naught.

TIRUMANTIRAM
Web Page dedicated to the Great Sages:
https://someoneelsebg.000webhostapp.com/Sages/HTML.html

Subramanian.R

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 43583
    • View Profile
Re: What is Saiva Siddhanta?
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2012, 04:01:14 PM »
Dear Hari,

Nice. Here Pasa - is not merely the world but the worldly attraction (pAsam literally means that which binds) that binds the
soul (jiva) and keep it away from Pati (God or Self).  This is as per Saiva Siddhantam. 

Sri Bhagavan calls it slightly differently in Ulladu Narpadu (Main Text Verse 1) as ulahu, karthan, uyir. That is World, God and jiva
which is mind/body complex. 

World and and worldly attraction is the difference.

Arunachala Siva.

Hari

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1832
    • View Profile
    • Fundamental questions about mind
Re: What is Saiva Siddhanta?
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2012, 12:14:56 PM »
Siddha Saivism - Philosophy and Practices

by Jayaram V

The Saiva Siddhanta School is one of the most ancient schools of Saivism. It has a history of more than 2000 years. Its roots can be traced back to both Kashmir and southern India. It gained popularity in the south and established itself as a dominant sect of Saivism. In the past it had sizeable following in other parts of the Indian subcontinent. But currently it is popular mostly in the south.
Literary Sources

The Saiva Siddhanta tradition draws its authority from the 28 Saiva Agamas, the devotional works of several saints of Saivism, and the writings of several thinkers and scholars. The first known guru of Saiva Siddhanta tradition was Nandinatha, who lived around 250 BC in the present day Kashmir. He left behind a compilation of twenty-six Sanskrit verses called the Nandikesvara Kasika, in which he laid down the basic tenets of Saiva Siddhanta school. The next prominent personality of this tradition was Tirumular, who composed Tirumandiram in Tamil and introduced the Nandinatha tradition 1 of this school to the people of southern India. He was instrumental in making Saivism popular in the south by emphasizing the devotional aspect. So important was his contribution to Saivism that the Nandinatha tradition remains popular in the south even today.

His work was carried forward by subsequent generations of devotional saints such as Appar, Sundarar, Sambandhar, whose works are preserved in Tevaram. These saints moved from place to place and temple to temple, singing the glory of Siva and making Saivism a popular movement in the face of strong opposition from Jainism and Buddhism. Manikkavacakar, who came after these great saints, also contributed substantially to the popularity of Saiva Siddhanta school in the south. His work is preserved in the collection of poems known as Tiruvasagam.

The works of these four great Saiva saints were compiled into a single collection of verses named Tirumurai by Nambi Andar Nambi who lived in the 11th century AD. Tirumurai is an authoritative source of Saiva Siddhanta literature. It consists of about 18316 slokas divided into 12 individual Tirumurais consisting of prayers preserved from the earlier works mentioned above.

Siva-gnana-bodhanam by Meykandar is another important work on Saiva Siddhata. Meykandar lived in the 13th Century. He came from a place known as Vennai. Not much is known about him. His works is based mostly on the twelve sutras from the Raurava Agama. The Siva-gnana-bodhanam laid emphasis on sivam, gnanam and bodham declaring Sivam as One, gnanam as the knowledge of Sivam and bodham as the process of experiencing and realizing such knowledge.

Other important works of the Saiva Siddhanta school include:

    Siva-gnana-suddhiya of Arulnandi
    Sivaprakasam and Tiru-varut-prayam of Umapathi and
    A commentary on the Vedanta-sutras by Nilakantha.

Nilakantha's commentary on the Vedantasutras was an attempt to reconcile the differences between the Vedanta (the end parts of the Vedas) and the Agamanta ( the end parts of the Agamas). This idea was shared earlier by Tirumular who declared that wise men considered them to be not different.
Major Concepts of Saiva Siddhanta
Siva

According to Saiva Siddhanta, Siva is the ultimate and supreme reality, omniscient, omnipresent and unbound. He is Pati, the primal being and the supreme deity. Siva alone is the efficient cause of all creation, evolution, preservation, concealment and dissolution. He brings forth the worlds and their beings through his dynamic power, Shakti.
The Jivas

The jivas are the individual souls or beings. They are not the same as Siva. But they are made of the same essence. According to Saiva Siddhanta, Siva is the same as the souls but also other than the souls. The number of souls remains constant throughout. Their number can neither be increased nor decreased. They may undergo transformation but their number remains constant. Thus in Saiva Siddhanta there is a fine distinction between the souls and God. The difference is not in their essence but in their constitution. Their relationship with Siva is not a state of oneness but of sameness. Because Siva and jivas are different but also the same in essence, this school is considered as pluralistic or dualistic.
The Three Impurities

The soul is neither the gross body nor the subtle body nor the breath body. It should not be confused with sense organs or the internal organs (tanmantras). In essence it is the same as Siva (abheda), but also different (abheda), because it is subject to the three impurities (malas) or bonds. These three bonds (pasas) or impurities (malas) are anava, karma and maya. They bind the jivas to functional limitations and the experience of unreality or asat and turn them into pasus (animals) or ignorant beings.

Of the three impurities, anava is the natural impurity (sahaja mala). It is born with the soul and never parts from it except during the state of kaivalya or sameness with Siva. It clouds the consciousness of the jivas and makes them act like individual entities of finite nature (anu) with limited knowledge and limited abilities. It is the cause of ego, which makes a jiva think itself to be different from Siva and other beings. Karma or binding action is the second impurity. It binds the soul to the consequences of its actions. Actions done from a cosmic perspective are not binding. But actions done with an egoistic attitude, driven by ones desires, are binding.
Major Concepts of Saiva Siddhanta
Maya

Maya, the third impurity, binds the jivas to the sense objects through desires and ignorance. Maya is an instrument of Siva. In its highest form it is eternal, indestructible and indivisible. It is of two types, suddha maya (pure maya) and asuddha maya (impure maya). The suddha maya caters to the adhikara muktas or pure souls. The asuddha maya caters to the impure souls. Both the pure and impure mayas together give rise to 36 tattvas . Pure maya gives rise to pure tattvas which are five in number, namely:

    siva-tattva,
    sakti-tattva,
    sadasiva-tattva,
    isvara-tattva, and
    suddhavidya-tattva

Using these five tattvas, Siva creates the bodies, organs, worlds and objects of enjoyment for the pure souls. The asuddha maya is the cause of prakriti-maya from which arise 24 tattvas including the pancha bhutas (air, water, ether, fire and earth) and their five qualities (touch, taste, sound, color and odor), the five organs of action, the five sensory organs and the four internal organs (manas, buddhi, chitta and ahamkara). These impure tattvas are used by Siva for the creation of the bodies, organs, worlds and objects of enjoyment for the impure souls.

Contrary to the popular belief, the purpose of maya is two fold. First, to subject the jivas to the conditions of material existence and help them acquire pasa-gnana (sensory knowledge) and pasu gnana (material knowledge). Second, to prepare them for final liberation by subjecting them to the laws of karma and helping them discriminate between right actions and wrong actions so that they can gain merit by doing right actions and avoiding wrong actions. This is of course a long and tedious process and the jivas may have to spend many lives before they feel the need to work for their liberation.

Although maya may play some role in bringing the jivas closer to the path of liberation, it cannot take them far on the path. When it comes to liberation, maya is a clumsy instrument. The jiva cannot know of God through the knowledge of the senses or the knowledge gained by the mind. He cannot be known either by speech or by any faculty of the mind. Yet he is not unknowable. He can be known by pati-gnana obtained directly from him through a guru who has already been blessed or his own grace (anugraha).

In Saiva Siddhanta true liberation is a gift from God and the result of his direct intervention. When the jivas are immersed in maya, they learn about the unreal from the unreal. What they learn is basically theoretical knowledge or lower knowledge. It does not help them to transcend their conditioned minds and experience their true consciousness. It is only when Lord Siva bestows his grace upon them and comes to them in the form of a personal guru, the jivas overcome their illusion and realize their Siva consciousness.
Major Concepts of Saiva Siddhanta
Liberation

According to Saiva Siddhantha school, liberation is attained through the means of charya, kriya, yoga and jnana.These four paths are not complimentary. A guru decides the suitable path based on his study and observation of his disciple and according to the latter's ability and inclination.

    The path of charya involves serving Lord Siva in a temple or religious place by performing such tasks as cleaning, cooking, carrying water, gathering flowers etc. This is called dasa-marga or the path of the servant. By this path one gains entry into Kailas or the world of Siva.
    The path of kriya involves performing devotional tasks such as worshipping the idol of Siva , singing devotional songs, reciting the mantras, narrating stories about Siva or doing personal service to Siva like a son does to his father. This is called sat-putra-marga or the path of a good son. By following this path one gains close proximity to Lord Siva.
    The path of yoga involves practicing yoga exercises (asanas) and meditation and contemplation (dhyana). By following this path one gets an opportunity to live constantly in the company of Siva and become his spiritual companion. Hence this path is called sakha-marga or the path of friendship.
    The path of knowledge is the the fourth path. It is the best and most direct path to the world of Siva. The other three are actually considered inferior to it. On this path, jnana or knowledge is the means. It is called sat-marga because it takes the jivas closer to Sat or Truth and makes it possible for them to experience or become aware of their true Siva consciousness.

After liberation, the liberated soul knows that its intrinsic nature is that of Siva but that it is not Siva or the Supreme Self. Thus in its liberated state it continues to experience some form of duality, while enjoying Siva (pati) consciousness as its true consciousness free from all bonds (pasas).
Bheda-Abheda

In Saiva Siddhanta, liberation of a jiva does not mean that its existence as an individual soul is lost forever. After liberation the jivas enjoy a special relationship with Siva called bheda-abheda (separation and non-separation), which essentially means the duality between the two (the linga and the anga) linger, one being the whole and the other being the part, but the unity of experience prevail. The relationship is not of oneness but of sameness. In their liberated state the jivas experience unlimited bliss and freedom from the bonds (pasas) of Samsara. The Siva-gnana-bodham cautions the individual jivas who have become free while still living on earth to maintain inner purity and practice austerities so that, when they finally depart from here, the fruit of their previous actions do not interfere with their final liberation.

Saiva Siddhanta recognizes three types of jivas or souls based on their degree of bondage to the pasas or impurities. In the first category are the souls that are bound by all the three bonds (pasas) namely anava, karma and maya. In the second category are souls that free from two bonds namely karma and maya and are bound by anava alone. In the third category are souls that become free from maya only during pralaya or the dissolution of the entire creation.
Web Page dedicated to the Great Sages:
https://someoneelsebg.000webhostapp.com/Sages/HTML.html

Subramanian.R

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 43583
    • View Profile
Re: What is Saiva Siddhanta?
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2012, 02:15:14 PM »
Dear Hari,

Nice post. In Saiva Siddhantam, there are four types of liberation. Saalokam = living in the same sphere as Siva. Saameepam =
being very close to Siva. Saarubhyam = having save form as Siva. Saayujyam = becoming one with Siva. So Saayujyam is the
ultimate merger. In the three other muktis, there is Siva Consciousness but they do not become Sivam.

Four types of works:  chariyai is what Jnana Sambandhar did. kiriyai is what Navukkarasar did. Yoga is what Tirumular did.
Jnana is what Manikkavachagar did.

Among the three impurities, the anava (ego) is the last one to go. One can overcome kanma (karma) and maya. But ego killing
is the most difficult one.

Arunachala Siva.