Thursday, June 13, 2019

ThirumuRai - the medicine to sufferings

The Lord shiva who gives even Itself for the one who completely surrenders to It and serves selflessly, takes care of such a devotee in all the ups and downs of the life leading the devotee to the liberation. That would be the ultimate boon. Still people look for some helping hand when they are in some deep trouble. Many get mislead also going behind miracle performers and get cheated many times. The result is more pain than the temporary well being they get.
THIRU IYENTHEZHUTHU. These are the glorious Holy Five Syllable hymns (panchAkkarap padhikams) from thirumuRais. These are sung by shiva. Pa. SatgurunAtha OdhuvAr, mayilApUr.

The shaivite saints have sung the holy hymns - thirumuRai in a great spiritual wisdom and seeking only the Truth. The splendid powerfulwords ( mantram) and the unadultrated devotion on Lord shiva being the base these hymns give the great cure for many of the sufferings in life. Instead of looking for unreliable sources for betterment one should seek thethirumuRai path which apart from giving the benefit would slowly lead one to be set in the path towards the Almighty. Even those who do devotion without asking for returns would find these to be very enchanting hymns. Here are some of them. Let us sing these to get the blessings of the Three eyed Lord.

What is fate and why are there sufferings ?

Fate is not something just imposed on us. We have accumulated the good and bad things called karma through the thoughts, words and actions in the past births. Fate (called prArabdha) is one small part of that accumulation that is fed to us in this birth. (Detailed discussion on this could be found here ). Various powers of nature (like the divines of the various planets like saturn, venus etc.) have been given powers as the implementation officers to feed this effect of past karma at the appropriate time of life.

What is the way out ? Can astrology help me ?

In astrology using the zodiac - constellation found in the almanac the happenings are tried to be determined. There are some astrologers who suggest propitiating the associated planet divine (like rahu, shani...). One thing to be clearly kept in mind is that these divines are provided power by God to implement the effect of karma. They being sincere officers running the God given system, they are not authorized and would not stop short of feeding that karma. So one has to avoid doing bad deeds to escape from bad things happening to them in future and should hold on to God if one wants to comepletly come out of the iron and golden chains of bad and good karma !

But digesting the bad karma is not easy and it could be horrifying quite often. Can the highly merciful Lord not help out ? Definitely, God would like a mother who acts strict with the child for the child to correct itself, but softens when the child pleads in agony. So praying to Lord shiva with sincere devotion would help people out of the difficult situations. There are hymns which are powerful mantras that are available to us in making these prayers. These mantra hymns are found to be making wonders through the past many centuries as recorded in various texts. Praying sincerely to Lord shiva with the help of these hymns will definitely help the suffering ones.

How to do these prayers ?

* Chant then on a regular basis.
* If you know the paN (melody) you can sing in that. The audio file provided
could give some idea of the prescribed music for the hymn.
* If you do not know the music, no harm you could just read the hymns.
* If you cannot read these letters, try to listen to these songs with the help of
the audio files.
* Involve yourcomtinuously in God as much as possible while chanting. For this
the images of God at the Gallery could help.
* You could also do this prayer on behalf of somebody else.
* Once you get see the fruit of the prayer, thank God and continue your devotion
(may be singing the same or some other padhikam). That would provide you the
against the possible ills in future.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Shaiva (or Saiva) Siddhanta

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Shaiva (or Saiva) Siddhanta is a Saivite Hindu school that encompasses tens of millions of adherents, predominantly in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka (see Hinduism in Sri Lanka). Today it has thousands of active temples there and dozens of monastic/ascetic traditions: twenty-five Brahmin families, the Adisaivas, are qualified to perform its rituals.

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.[1] Their works were quoted and emulated in the works of twelfth-century South Indian authors, such as Aghorasiva and Trilocanasiva.[2] 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,[3] and several doctrinally significant scriptures, such as the Mrgendra,[4] are not listed. In the systematisation of the liturgy 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.[5] After the twelfth century, North Indian evidence for the presence of the Shaiva Siddhanta grows rarer. The school appears to have died out in other parts of India even as it grew in importance in the Tamil-speaking south. There its original emphasis on ritual fused with an intense devotional (bhakti) tradition. The Tamil compendium of devotional songs known as Tirumurai, along with the Vedas, the Shaiva Agamas and "Meykanda" or "Siddhanta" Sastras[6], form the scriptural canon of Tamil Shaiva Siddhanta. Tirumurai is a twelve-volume anthology of the works of few among sixty-three poets, the Nayanars,[7][8],Manikkavacakar, Sekkizhar and Others.The Meykanda sastras are fourteen in number, authored by St. Meykandar and his disciples.


Early Siddhanta

The Siddhanta tradition, like Kashmir Shaivism and Kaula, differs from the Vedic and Puranic cult of Shiva and also from the ancient Pasupati tradition by its adherence to texts called Agamas or Tantras, which lay down rites that may be performed by any able man in his prime and describe a progressive, four-fold spiritual path of virtuous and moral living (charya), ritual (kriya), individual practice (yoga) and knowledge (jnana, vidya). Flood and Alexis Sanderson refer to these traditions as the "mantra way" (mantramārga).

Saiva Siddhanta's original form is uncertain. Some hold that it originated as a monistic doctrine, espoused by Rishi Tirumular in approx. 2,200 bce. This Monistic Saiva Siddhanta, or Advaita Isvaravada Saiva Siddhanta, teaches that Siva is both Creator and creation, all pervasive and transcendent. In Tamil, this idea is encapsulated in the phrase "Anbe Sivamayam Sathiyame Parasivam," which means "Siva is immanent love and transcendental reality." The Tamil Saiva saint Meykandar formulated a dualistic school of Saiva Siddhanta in approx. 900 ce. Meykandar and the dualists content that the world and soul are eternal, were never created, and are inherently flawed. These views are completely counter to the monistic school.

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.[9] 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.

Sanskrit Siddhanta

The name of the school could be translated as "the settled view (siddhānta) of Shaiva doctrine". There are of course many other Shaiva doctrines, and so it may seem odd that this particular one should have been known by a name that makes such a large claim, but widespread epigraphical and literary evidence suggests that this is because it simply was the dominant school of Shaiva liturgy and theology for a long period and across a wide area. Early works of the school do not appear to use the label Śaivasiddhānta:[10] one the earliest datable attestations of the label is probably that in the eighth-century Sanskrit inscription carved around the central shrine in the Kailasanatha temple in Kancheepuram.

Siddhas such as Sadyojyoti (ca seventh century[11]) 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: Ramakantha 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.

Three monastic orders were instrumental in Shaiva Siddhanta’s diffusion through India; the Åmardaka order, identified with one of Shaivism’s holiest cities, Ujjain, the Mattamayura Order, in the capital of the Chalukya dynasty near the Punjab, and the Madhumateya order of Central India. Each developed numerous sub-orders. (see Nandinatha Sampradaya)

Tamil bhakti

From the fifth to the eighth CCE Buddhism and Jainism had spread in Tamilnadu before a forceful Shaiva bhakti movement arose. Between the seventh and ninth centuries, pilgrim saints such as Campantar, Appar and Cuntarar used songs (bhajan) 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, Siddhanta Shastras and Shaiva Agamas, are now considered to form the scriptural basis of the Śaiva Siddhānta in Tamil Nadu. It seems probable that the devotional literature was not, however, considered to belong to the Śaiva Siddhānta canon at the time when it was first composed:[12] the hymns themselves appear to make no such claim for themselves.

The bhakti movement, which both parallels and was an influence upon northern Vaishnava bhakti, asserted a positive and devotional quality missing in Buddhist and Jain asceticism, yet still inherited from those religions a certain antinomianism, particularly a rebellion against caste and privilege.[7]

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 the regions now in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra and Kerala.


In the twelfth century Aghorasiva, the head of a branch monastery of the Åmardaka 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 the Godhead by reclassifying the first five principles, or tattvas (Nada, Bindu, Sadasiva, Èsvara 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 Ågamic tradition. To this day, Aghorasiva’s Siddhanta philosophy is followed by almost all of the hereditary temple priests (Sivacharya), and his texts on the Ågamas have become the standard puja manuals. His Kriyakramadyotika is a vast work covering nearly all aspects of Shaiva Siddhanta ritual, including dîksha, saMskaras, atmartha puja and installation of Deities.

In the thirteenth century Meykandar and his disciple Arulnandi Sivacharya further spread Tamil Shaiva Siddhanta. Meykandar wrote 'Sivagnana Botham' and Arulnandi Sivacharya wrote 'Sivagnana Sithiar'. The twelve-verse Sivajñanabodham and subsequent works by other writers laid the foundation of the Meykandar Sampradaya, 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. source: