Shaivism in the Light of Epics, Puranas and Agamas

Shaivism in the Light of Epics, Puranas and Agamas

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Author: Pandit N Ramachandra Bhatt
Foreword/Introductio: Pierre-Sylvain Filliozat
Publisher: Indica Books
Year: 2008
Language: English
Pages: 634
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8186569707


Saivism encompasses all aspects of religion; a philosophy, a theology, a conception of the universe, a current of devotion, a world of myths, elaborate rituals in organized temples, expressions in plastic arts, in poetry, music, dance, Images of Siva of great variety and impressive beauty are countless all over India. To improve our understanding of such a rich and elevated subject, the sources are the Sanskrit texts of Epics, Puranas and Agamas. The present book gives a clear presentation of Saivism through a survey and an erudite reading of this vast literature. The Agamas are the key to the knowledge of temple organization and rituals, the description of which is a unique and original contribution of this work.

This very readable and reliable work contains an amazing quantity of information, carefully referenced at every step, and is likely to be of the greatest utility to researchers in history of religion, medieval to modern, as well as to the general reader interested in Saivism.


Indian philosophy provides the profound concept of cit. The school of Saivasiddhanta defines the essence of cit as universal action and knowledge. It conceives an entity which is none else than pure cit and gives it the name siva, word of neuter gender denoting auspiciousness and purity. This is an abstract entity, beyond the grasp of human senses, speech and mind. Truly, the human being is endowed with the same cit of same universal faculty of action and knowledge.

The difference between the supreme and the mundane beings is achieved by another entity, a universal power of obscuration, to which the figurative name of mala, ‘stain’, has been given. The supreme Siva is free of mala. The mundane soul is bound by it and undergoes drastic limitations of its faculties of cit: one cognition, one action at one time, accomplished with the ever-changing tools of mind and body of limited faculties in a material world, but with a background of consciousness limited to that cognition or action only. Whatever is the cognition, whatever is the action, there is always the same background of consciousness.

This is the indication of the presence of the fundamental essence of cit, inherent in every individual, partially and temporarily unveiled from the obscuration of mala.


Table of Figures

PREFACE by Pierre-Sylvain Filliozat

FOREWARD. Contribution of the Salva Agamas to Salvism

CHAPTER I. Introduction

CHAPTER II A Survey of the Early History of Salvism
1. The Mohenjodaro-Harappa Period
2. The Rgvedic Period
3. Rudra in the Atharvavdea
4. Rudra in the Yajurveda
5. Rudra in the Brahmanas
6. Rudra in the Upanisads
7. Rudra in the Sutras

CHAPTER III. The Decline and Fall of the Vedic Gods.
The Rise of the Hindu Trinity of Gods
1. The Evolution of Ancient Vedic Religion
Brahma; Vishnu; Rudra
2. The Epics and the Rise of Brahma, Visnu and Siva
3. The Puranas and the Individualization of the Three Gods
CHAPTER IV Siva in the Light of Puranic Mythology
Puranic Names of Siva

CHAPTER V The Linga and the Images of Siva
1. Sadasivamurti
2. Lingodbhavamurti
3. Gangadharamurti
4. Tripurantakamurti
5. Kalyanasundaramurti
6. Ardhanarisvaramurti
7. Gajari
8. Kesavardhamurti Hariharamurti
9. Bhiksatana
10 Simhaghnamurti or Sarabhamurti
11. Kalantakamurti
12. Kamari
13. Bhairavamurti or Andhakari, Brahmasiraschedakamurti
14. Virabhadramurti
15. Kiratamurti
16. Jalandharari
17. Ekapadatrimurti
18. Cakradanamurti
19. Visapharanamurti
20. Brahmasiraschedakamurti
21. Ravananugrahamurti
22. Candesvaranugrahamurti
23. Umamahesvaramurti
24. Somaskandamurit
25. Candrasekharamurti
26. Vrsarudhamurti
27. Natarajamurti or Nrttamurti
28. Daksinamurti

CHAPTER VI. Forms of Siva Worship and Ritual in the South
1. Yajna
2. Tapas
3. Tirthas
4. Stotra
5. Dhyana
6. Vratas
7. Puja
8. Mantra
9. Yantras and Mandalas
10. Kundas
11. Mudras
12. Karsana
13. Utsavas
14. Prayascitta
An excursus on the Saiva Rituals as practiced at present
A note on the important Saiva Vratas

CHAPTER VII. The Ancillary Cults
Other Ancillary Deities
Surya and Candra
The Devotees of Siva


1. A Brief Account of a Few Works Mentioned in this Work
2. Siva and his Ancillary Deities as Depicted in the Ancient Tamil Works
3. Some Puranic Episodes Relating to Siva Mentioned in the Tevaram Texas
4. The Puranas and the South
5. Temple Building in South India
6. Saiva Temples in South India
7. Construction of Images
8. Saiva Tirthas