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Shiva (above) is the primary deity of Shaivism.

Shaivism (Śaivam) (Sanskrit: शैव संप्रदाय)[1][2][3] (Tamil: சைவம்) is one of the major traditions within Hinduism that reveres Shiva as the Supreme Being or its metaphysical concept of Brahman.[4][5][note 1] The followers of Shaivism
Shaivism
are called "Shaivites" or "Saivites".[6] Like much of Hinduism, the Shaiva have many sub-traditions, ranging from devotional dualistic theism such as Shaiva Siddhanta to yoga-oriented monistic non-theism such as Kashmiri Shaivism.[7][8][9] It considers both the Vedas and the Agama texts as important sources of theology.[10][11][12]

Shaivism
Shaivism
has ancient roots, traceable in the Vedic
Vedic
literature of 2nd millennium BCE, but this is in the form of the Vedic
Vedic
deity Rudra.[13] The ancient text Shvetashvatara Upanishad dated to late 1st millennium BCE mentions terms such as Rudra, Shiva
Shiva
and Maheshwaram,[14][15] but its interpretation as a theistic or monistic text of Shaivism
Shaivism
is disputed.[16][17] In the early centuries of the common era is the first clear evidence of Pāśupata Shaivism.[13] Both devotional and monistic Shaivism
Shaivism
became popular in the 1st millennium CE, rapidly becoming the dominant religious tradition of many Hindu
Hindu
kingdoms.[13] It arrived in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
shortly thereafter, leading to thousands of Shaiva temples on the islands of Indonesia as well as Cambodia
Cambodia
and Vietnam, co-evolving with Buddhism in these regions.[18][19] In the contemporary era, Shaivism
Shaivism
is one of the major aspects of Hinduism.[13]

Shaivism
Shaivism
theology ranges from Shiva
Shiva
being the creator, preserver, destroyer to being the same as the Atman (self, soul) within oneself and every living being. It is closely related to Shaktism, and some Shaiva worship in Shiva
Shiva
and Shakti
Shakti
temples.[9] It is the Hindu
Hindu
tradition that most accepts ascetic life and emphasizes yoga, and like other Hindu
Hindu
traditions encourages an individual to discover and be one with Shiva
Shiva
within.[7][8][20] Shaivism
Shaivism
is one of the largest traditions within Hinduism.[21][22]

Etymology and nomenclature

Shiva
Shiva
(IAST: śiva, Sanskrit: Sanskrit
Sanskrit
language text" xml:lang="sa">शिव
) literally means kind, friendly, gracious, or auspicious.[23][24] As a proper name, it means "The Auspicious One".[24]

The word Shiva
Shiva
is used as an adjective in the Rig Veda, as an epithet for several Rigvedic deities, including Rudra.[25] The term Shiva
Shiva
also connotes "liberation, final emancipation" and "the auspicious one", this adjective sense of usage is addressed to many deities in Vedic
Vedic
layers of literature.[26][27] The term evolved from the Vedic
Vedic
Rudra-Shiva to the noun Shiva in the Epics and the Puranas, as an auspicious deity who is the "creator, reproducer and dissolver".[26][28]

The Sanskrit
Sanskrit
word śaiva or Shaiva means "relating to the god Shiva",[29] while the related beliefs, practices, history, literature and sub-traditions constitute Shaivism.[30]

Overview

The reverence for Shiva
Shiva
is one of the pan- Hindu
Hindu
traditions, found widely across India, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
and Nepal.[31][32] While Shiva
Shiva
is revered broadly, Hinduism
Hinduism
itself is a complex religion and a way of life, with a diversity of ideas on spirituality and traditions. It has no ecclesiastical order, no unquestionable religious authorities, no governing body, no prophet(s) nor any binding holy book; Hindus can choose to be polytheistic, pantheistic, monotheistic, monistic, agnostic, atheistic or humanist.[33][34][35]

Shaivism
Shaivism
is a major tradition within Hinduism, with a theology that is predominantly related to the Hindu
Hindu
god Shiva. Shaivism
Shaivism
has many different sub-traditions with regional variations and differences in philosophy.[36] Shaivism
Shaivism
has a vast literature with different philosophical schools, ranging from nondualism, dualism, and mixed schools.[37]

Origins and history

The development of various schools of Shaivism
Shaivism
from early worship of Rudra.

The origins of Shaivism
Shaivism
are unclear and a matter of debate among scholars. Some trace the origins to the Indus Valley civilization, which reached its peak around 2500–2000 BCE.[38][39] Archeological discoveries show seals that suggest a deity that somewhat appears like Shiva. Of these is the " Pashupati
Pashupati
seal", which early scholars interpreted as someone seated in a meditating yoga pose surrounded by animals, and with horns.[40] This "Pashupati" (Lord of Animals, Sanskrit paśupati)[41] seal has been interpreted by these scholars as a prototype of Shiva. Gavin Flood characterizes these views as "speculative", saying that it is not clear from the seal if the figure has three faces, or is seated in a yoga posture, or even that the shape is intended to represent a human figure.[42][43]

Other scholars state that the Indus Valley script remains undeciphered, and the interpretation of the Pashupati
Pashupati
seal is uncertain. According to Srinivasan, the proposal that it is proto- Shiva
Shiva
may be a case of projecting "later practices into archeological findings".[44][45] Similarly, Asko Parpola states that other archaeological finds such as the early Elamite seals dated to 3000-2750 BCE show similar figures and these have been interpreted as "seated bull" and not a yogi, and the bull interpretation is likely more accurate.[43][46]

Vedic
Vedic
evidence

The Rigveda (~1500–1200 BCE) has the earliest clear mention of Rudra
Rudra
in its hymns such as 2.33, 1.43 and 1.114. The text also includes a Satarudriya, an influential hymn with embedded hundred epithets for Rudra, that is cited in many medieval era Shaiva texts as well as recited in major Shiva
Shiva
temples of Hindus in contemporary times. Yet, the Vedic
Vedic
literature only present scriptural theology, but does not attest to the existence of Shaivism.[43]

The Shvetashvatara Upanishad, likely composed before the Bhagavad Gita about the 4th-century BCE, contains the theistic foundations of Shaivism
Shaivism
wrapped in a monistic structure. It contains the key terms and ideas of Shaivism, such as Shiva, Rudra, Maheswara, Guru, Bhakti, Yoga, Atman, Brahman
Brahman
and self-knowledge.[43][47]

Emergence of Shaivism

According to Gavin Flood, "the formation of Śaiva traditions as we understand them begins to occur during the period from 200 BC to 100 AD."[48] According to Chakravarti, Shiva
Shiva
rose to prominence as he was identified to be the same as Purusha, Rudra, Agni, Indra, Sanskrit
Sanskrit
transliteration" xml:lang="sa-Latn">Prajāpati, Sanskrit
Sanskrit
transliteration" xml:lang="sa-Latn">Vāyu, among others.[49]

2nd century CE Kushan coins with one side showing a deity with a bull. Some scholars consider the deity as Shiva
Shiva
because he holds a trident, is in ithyphallic state and next to Nandi bull his mount, as in Shaivism.[50][51][52] Others suggest him to be Zoroastrian
Zoroastrian
Oesho, not Shiva.[51]

Patanjali's Mahābhasya, dated to the 2nd century BCE, mentions the term Shiva-bhagavata in section 5.2.76. Patanjali, while explaining Panini's rules of grammar, states that this term refers to a devotee clad in animal skins and carrying an ayah sulikah (iron spear, trident lance)[53] as an icon representing his god.[54][55][56]

The Mahabharata is another ancient Sanskrit
Sanskrit
text that mentions Shaiva ascetics, such as in chapters 4.13 and 13.140.[57] Other evidence that is possibly linked to the importance of Shaivism
Shaivism
in ancient times are in epigraphy and numismatics, such as in the form of prominent Shiva-like reliefs on Kushan
Kushan
Empire"> Kushan
Kushan
Empire era gold coins. However, this is controversial, as an alternate hypothesis for these reliefs is based on Zoroastrian Oesho. According to Flood, coins dated to the ancient Greek, Saka and Parthian kings who ruled parts of the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
after the arrival of Alexander the Great also show Shiva
Shiva
iconography, but this evidence is weak and subject to competing inferences.[55][58]

The inscriptions found in the Himalayan region, such as those in the Kathmandu
Kathmandu
valley of Nepal suggest that Shaivism
Shaivism
(particularly Pashupata monism) was established in this region during the Mauryas and the Guptas reign of the Indian subcontinent, by the 5th century. These inscriptions have been dated by modern techniques to between 466 and 645 CE.[59]

Puranic Shaivism

During the Gupta Dynasty (c. 320 - 500 CE) the genre of Purana literature developed in India, and many of these Puranas
Puranas
contain extensive chapters on Shaivism
Shaivism
– along with Vaishnavism, Shaktism, Smarta Traditions of Brahmins and other topics – suggesting the importance of Shaivism
Shaivism
by then.[43][54] The most important Shaiva Puranas
Puranas
of this period include the Shiva
Shiva
Purana"> Shiva
Shiva
Purana
and the Linga
Linga
Purana"> Linga
Linga
Purana
.[43][58]

Shaiva icons and a Hindu
Hindu
woman praying in River Narmada, Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh.

In early 7th century the Chinese Buddhist pilgrim Xuanzang (Huen Tsang) visited India
India
and wrote a memoir in Chinese that mentions the prevalence of Shiva
Shiva
temples all over North Indian subcontinent, including in the Hindu
Hindu
Kush"> Hindu
Hindu
Kush region such as Nuristan.[60][61] Between the 5th and 11th century CE, major Shaiva temples had been built in central, southern and eastern regions of the subcontinent, including those at Badami cave temples, Aihole, Elephanta Caves, Ellora Caves (Kailasha, cave 16), Khajuraho, Bhuvaneshwara, Chidambaram, Madurai, Conjeevaram.[60]

Major scholars of competing Hindu
Hindu
traditions from the second half of the 1st millennium CE, such as Adi Shankara of Advaita
Advaita
Vedanta
Vedanta
and Ramanuja of Vaishnavism, mention several Shaiva sects, particularly the four groups: Pashupata, Lakulisha, tantric Shaiva and Kapalika. The description is conflicting, with some texts stating the tantric, puranic and Vedic
Vedic
traditions of Shaivism
Shaivism
to be hostile to each other while others suggest them to be amicable sub-traditions. Some texts state that Kapalikas reject the Vedas
Vedas
and are involved in extreme experimentation,[note 2] while others state the Shaiva sub-traditions revere the Vedas
Vedas
but are non-Puranic.[64]

South India

Shaivism
Shaivism
was likely the predominant tradition in South India, co-existing with Buddhism
Buddhism
and Jainism, before the Vaishnava Alvars launched the Bhakti
Bhakti
movement"> Bhakti
Bhakti
movement in the 7th-century and influential Vedanta
Vedanta
scholars such as Ramanuja developed a philosophical and organizational framework that helped Vaishnava expand. Though both traditions of Hinduism
Hinduism
have ancient roots, given their mention in the Epics such as the Mahabharata, Shaivism
Shaivism
flourished in South India
South India
much earlier.[65]

The Mantramarga of Shaivism, according to Alexis Sanderson, provided a template for the later though independent and highly influential Pancaratrika treatises of Vaishnava. This is evidenced in Hindu
Hindu
texts such as the Isvarasamhita, Padmasamhita and Paramesvarasamhita.[65]

The 7th to 8th-century Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It features thousands of Shaivism-related sculptures.[66]

Along with the Himalayan region stretching from Kashmir
Kashmir
through Nepal, the Shaiva tradition in South India
South India
has been one of the largest sources of preserved Shaivism-related manuscripts from ancient and medieval India.[67] The region was also the source of Hindu
Hindu
arts, temple architecture, and merchants who helped spread Shaivism
Shaivism
into southeast Asia in early 1st millennium CE.[68][69][70]

There are tens of thousands of Hindu
Hindu
temples where Shiva
Shiva
is either the primary deity or reverentially included in anthropomorphic or aniconic form (lingam, or svayambhu).[71][72] Numerous historic Shaiva temples have survived in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, parts of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.[73] Certain regions have a greater density of Shiva
Shiva
temples, such as in the Thanjavur region of Tamil Nadu, where numerous Shaiva temples were built during the Chola empire era, between 800 and 1200 CE. Template
Template
Template-Fact" style="white-space:nowrap;">[citation needed]
Gudimallam is the oldest known lingam and has been dated to between 3rd to 1st-century BCE. It is a carved five feet high stone lingam with an anthropomorphic image of Shiva
Shiva
on one side. This ancient lingam is in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh.[74][75][72]

Southeast Asia

An image collage of 1st millennium CE Shaivism
Shaivism
icons and temples from Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
(top left): Shiva
Shiva
in yoga pose, Nandi, Prambanan temple, Yoni- Linga
Linga
and Hindu
Hindu
temple"> Hindu
Hindu
temple layout.

Shaivism
Shaivism
arrived in a major way in southeast Asia from south India, and to much lesser extent into China and Tibet from the Himalayan region. It co-developed with Buddhism
Buddhism
in this region, in many cases.[68] For example, in the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas, a few caves include Shaivism
Shaivism
ideas.[76][note 3] The epigraphical and cave arts evidence suggest that Shaiva Mahesvara and Mahayana Buddhism
Buddhism
had arrived in Indo-China region in the Funan period, that is in the first half of the 1st millennium CE.[69][70] In Indonesia, temples at archaeological sites and numerous inscription evidence dated to the early period (400 to 700 CE), suggest that Shiva
Shiva
was the highest god. This co-existence of Shaivism
Shaivism
and Buddhism
Buddhism
in Indonesian islands continued through about 1500 CE when both Hinduism
Hinduism
and Buddhism
Buddhism
were replaced with Islam.[78]

The Shaivist and Buddhist traditions overlapped significantly in southeast Asia, particularly in Indonesia, Cambodia
Cambodia
and Vietnam
Vietnam
between the 5th and the 15th-century. Shaivism
Shaivism
and Shiva
Shiva
held the paramount position in ancient Java, Sumatra, Bali
Bali
and neighboring islands, though the sub-tradition that developed creatively integrated more ancient beliefs that pre-existed.[79] In the centuries that followed, the merchants and monks who arrived in southeast Asia, brought Shaivism, Vaishnavism
Vaishnavism
and Buddhism, and these developed into a syncretic, mutually supporting form of traditions.[79][80]

Beliefs and practices

Shaivism
Shaivism
centers around Shiva, but it has many sub-traditions whose theological beliefs and practices vary significantly. They range from dualistic devotional theism to monistic meditative discovery of Shiva
Shiva
within oneself. Within each of these theologies, there are two sub-groups. One sub-group is called Vedic-Puranic, who use the terms such as "Shiva, Mahadeva, Maheshvara and others" synonymously, and they use iconography such as the Linga, Nandi, Trishula (trident), as well as anthropomorphic statues of Shiva
Shiva
in temples to help focus their practices.[81] Another sub-group is called esoteric, which fuses it with abstract Sivata (feminine energy) or Sivatva (neuter abstraction), wherein the theology integrates the goddess (Shakti) and the god (Shiva) with Tantra
Tantra
practices and Agama teachings. There is a considerable overlap between these Shaivas and the Shakta Hindus.[81]

Vedic, Puranic and esoteric Shavism

Scholars such as Alexis Sanderson discuss Shaivism
Shaivism
in three categories: Vedic, Puranic and non-Puranic (esoteric, tantric).[82][83] They place Vedic
Vedic
and Puranic together given the significant overlap, while placing Non-Puranic esoteric sub-traditions as a separate category.[83]

Two female Shaiva ascetics (18th century painting)

Shaivism
Shaivism
versus other Hindu
Hindu
traditions

Shaivism
Shaivism
sub-traditions subscribe to various philosophies, are similar in some aspects and differ in others. These traditions compare with Vaishnavism, Shaktism
Shaktism
and Smartism as follows:

Comparison of Shaivism
Shaivism
with other traditions
Shaiva Traditions Vaishnava Traditions Shakta Traditions Smarta Traditions References
Scriptural authority Vedas, Upanishads
Upanishads
and Agamas
Vedas, Upanishads
Upanishads
and Agamas
Vedas
Vedas
and Upanishads
Vedas
Vedas
and Upanishads
[90][91]
Supreme deity god Shiva god Vishnu goddess Devi None [92][93]
Creator Shiva Vishnu Devi Brahman
Brahman
principle
[92][94]
Avatar Minor Key concept Significant Minor [90][95][96]
Monastic life Recommends Accepts Accepts Recommends [90][97][98]
Rituals, Bhakti Affirms[99][100][101] Affirms Affirms Optional[102] [103]
Ahimsa and Vegetarianism Recommends,[99] Optional Affirms Optional Recommends, Optional [104][105]
Free will, Maya, Karma Affirms Affirms Affirms Affirms [92]
Metaphysics Brahman (Shiva), Atman (Soul, Self) Brahman
Brahman
(Vishnu), Atman
Brahman
Brahman
(Devi), Atman
Brahman, Atman [92]
Epistemology
(Pramana)
1. Perception
2. Inference
3. Reliable testimony
4. Self-evident[106]
1. Perception
2. Inference
3. Reliable testimony
1. Perception
2. Inference
3. Reliable testimony
1. Perception
2. Inference
3. Comparison and analogy
4. Postulation, derivation
5. Negative/cognitive proof
6. Reliable testimony
[107][108][109]
Philosophy Dvaita, qualified advaita, advaita Dvaita, qualified advaita, advaita Shakti-advaita Advaita [110][111]
Salvation
(Soteriology)
Jivanmukta,
Charya-Kriyā-Yoga-Jnana[112]
Videhamukti, Yoga,
champions householder life
Bhakti, Tantra, Yoga Jivanmukta, Advaita, Yoga,
champions monastic life
[113][114]

Texts

Shaiva manuscripts that have survived
(post-8th century)

Nepal
Nepal
and Himalayan region = 140,000
South India
South India
= 8,600
Others (Devanagiri) = 2,000
Bali
Bali
and SE Asia = Many

—Alexis Sanderson, The Saiva Literature[67][115]

Over its history, Shaivism
Shaivism
has been nurtured by numerous texts ranging from scriptures to theological treatises. These include the Vedas
Vedas
and Upanishads, the Agamas, and the Bhasya. According to Gavin Flood – a professor at Oxford University specializing in Shaivism
Shaivism
and phenomenology, Shaiva scholars developed a sophisticated theology, in its diverse traditions.[116] Among the notable and influential commentaries by dvaita (dualistic) theistic Shaivism
Shaivism
scholars were the 8th century Sadyajoti, the 10th century Ramakantha, 11th century Bhojadeva.[116] The dualistic theology was challenged by the numerous scholars of advaita (nondualistic, monistic) Shaivism
Shaivism
persuasion such as the 8th/9th century Vasugupta,[note 6] the 10th century Abhinavagupta
Abhinavagupta
and 11th century Kshemaraja, particularly the scholars of the Pratyabhijna, Spanda and Kashmiri Shaivism
Kashmiri Shaivism
schools of theologians.[116][118][119]

Vedas
Vedas
and Principal Upanishads

The Vedas
Vedas
and Upanishads
Upanishads
are shared scriptures of Hinduism, while the Agamas are sacred texts of specific sub-traditions.[11] The surviving Vedic
Vedic
literature can be traced to the 1st millennium BCE and earlier, while the surviving Agamas can be traced to 1st millennium of the common era.[11] The Vedic
Vedic
literature, in Shaivism, is primary and general, while Agamas are special treatise. In terms of philosophy and spiritual precepts, no Agama that goes against the Vedic
Vedic
literature, states Mariasusai Dhavamony, will be acceptable to the Shaivas.[11] According to David Smith, "a key feature of the Tamil Saiva Siddhanta, one might almost say its defining feature, is the claim that its source lies in the Vedas
Vedas
as well as the Agamas, in what it calls the Vedagamas".[10] This school's view can be summed as,

The Veda
Veda
is the cow, the true Agama its milk.

— Umapati, Translated by David Smith[10]

The Sanskrit
Sanskrit
transliteration" xml:lang="sa-Latn">Śvetāśvatara Upanishad
(400 - 200 BCE)[120] is the earliest textual exposition of a systematic philosophy of Shaivism.[121]

Shaiva minor Upanishads

Shaivism-inspired scholars authored 14 Shiva-focussed Upanishads
Upanishads
that are called the Shaiva Upanishads.[122] These are considered part of 95 minor Upanishads
Upanishads
in the Muktikā Upanishadic corpus of Hindu
Hindu
literature.[122][123] The earliest among these were likely composed in 1st millennium BCE, while the last ones in the late medieval era.[124]

The Shaiva Upanishads
Upanishads
present diverse ideas, ranging from bhakti-style theistic dualism themes to a synthesis of Shaiva ideas with Advaitic (nondualism), Yoga, Vaishnava and Shakti
Shakti
themes.[125]

Shaivism
Shaivism
Upanishads
Shaiva Upanishad Composition date Topics Reference
Kaivalya Upanishad 1st millennium BCE Shiva, Atman, Brahman, Sannyasa, Self-knowledge [126][127][128]
Atharvashiras Upanishad 1st millennium BCE Rudra, Atman, Brahman, Om, monism [129][130][131]
Atharvashikha Upanishad 1st millennium BCE Shiva, Om, Brahman, chanting, meditation [132]
Brihajjabala Upanishad Late medieval, post-12th century Shiva, sacred ash, prayer beads, Tripundra tilaka [133]
Rudra
Rudra
Upanishad">Kalagni Rudra
Rudra
Upanishad
Unknown Meaning of Tripundra
Tripundra
(three lines tilaka), Ritual Shaivism
[134][135]
Dakshinamurti Upanishad Unknown Dakshinamurti as an aspect of Shiva, Atman, monism [136]
Sharabha Upanishad Unknown Shiva
Shiva
as Sharabha
[137]
Akshamalika Upanishad Late medieval, post-12th century AD Rosary, japa, mantras, Om, Shiva, symbolism in Shaivism
Shaivism
iconography
[138]
Rudrahridaya Upanishad Unknown Rudra-Uma, Male-Female are inseparable, nondualism [139]
Bhasmajabala Upanishad Late medieval, post-12th century Shiva, sacred ash, body art, iconography, why rituals and Varanasi are important [140][141]
Rudrakshajabala Upanishad After 10th century Shiva, Bhairava, Rudraksha
Rudraksha
beads and mantra recitation
[122]
Ganapati Upanishad 16th or 17th century Ganesha, Shiva, Brahman, Atman, Om, Satcitananda [142]
Pancabrahma Upanishad About 7th century AD Shiva, Sadashiva, nondualism, So'ham, Atman, Brahman, self-knowledge [143][144]
Jabali Upanishad unknown Shiva, Pashupata theology, significance of ash and body art [145]

Shaiva Agamas

The Agama texts of Shaivism
Shaivism
are another important foundation of Shaivism
Shaivism
theology.[146] These texts include Shaiva cosmology, epistemology, philosophical doctrines, precepts on meditation and practices, four kinds of yoga, mantras, meanings and manuals for Shaiva temples, and other elements of practice.[147][148] These canonical texts exist in Sanskrit[147] and in south Indian languages such as Tamil.[149]

The Agamas present a diverse range of philosophies, ranging from theistic dualism to absolute monism.[150][151] In Shaivism, there are ten dualistic (dvaita) Agama texts, eighteen qualified monism-cum-dualism (bhedabheda) Agama texts and sixty four monism (advaita) Agama texts.[12] The Bhairava
Bhairava
Shastras are monistic, while Shiva
Shiva
Shastras are dualistic.[152][99]

The Agama texts of Shaiva and Vaishnava schools are premised on existence of Atman (soul, self) and the existence of an Ultimate Reality (Brahman which is consider identical to Shiva
Shiva
in Shaivism.[8] The texts differ in the relation between the two. Some assert the dualistic philosophy of the individual soul and Ultimate Reality being different, while others state a Oneness between the two.[8] Kashmir
Kashmir
Shaiva Agamas posit absolute oneness, that is God (Shiva) is within man, God is within every being, God is present everywhere in the world including all non-living beings, and there is no spiritual difference between life, matter, man and God.[8] While Agamas present diverse theology, in terms of philosophy and spiritual precepts, no Agama that goes against the Vedic
Vedic
literature, states Dhavamony, has been acceptable to the Shaivas.[11]

Traditions

Shaivism
Shaivism
is ancient, and over time it developed many sub-traditions. These broadly existed and are studied in three groups: theistic dualism, nontheistic monism, and those that combine features or practices of the two.[153][154] Sanderson presents the historic classification found in Indian texts,[155] namely Atimarga of the Shaiva monks and Mantramarga that was followed by both the renunciates (sannyasi) and householders (grihastha) in Shaivism.[156] Sub-traditions of Shaivas did not exclusively focus on Shiva, but others such as the Devi (goddess) Shaktism.[157]

Sannyasi
Sannyasi
Shaiva: Atimarga

The Atimarga branch of Shaivism
Shaivism
emphasizes liberation (salvation) – or the end of all Dukkha – as the primary goal of spiritual pursuits.[158] It was the path for Shaiva ascetics, in contrast to Shaiva householders whose path was described as Mantramarga and who sought both salvation as well as the yogi-siddhi powers and pleasures in life.[159] The Atimarga revered the Vedic sources of Shaivism, and sometimes referred to in ancient Indian texts as Raudra (from Vedic
Vedic
Rudra).[160]

Pashupata Atimargi

Lakulisha at Sangameshvara Temple at Mahakuta, Karnataka
Karnataka
(Chalukya, 7th century CE). His 5th-10th century ithyphallic statues are also found in seated yogi position in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and elsewhere.[161]

Pashupata: (IAST: Pāśupatas) are the Shaivite sub-tradition with the oldest heritage, as evidenced by Indian texts dated to around the start of the common era.[82][83] It is a monist tradition, that considers Shiva
Shiva
to be within oneself, in every being and everything observed. The Pashupata path to liberation is one of asceticism that is traditionally restricted to Brahmin
Brahmin
males.[162] Pashupata theology, according to Shiva
Shiva
Sutras
, aims for a spiritual state of consciousness where the Pashupata yogi "abides in one's own unfettered nature", where the external rituals feel unnecessary, where every moment and every action becomes an internal vow, a spiritual ritual unto itself.[163]

The Pashupatas derive their Sanskrit
Sanskrit
name from two words: Pashu (beast) and Pati (lord), where the chaotic and ignorant state, one imprisoned by bondage and assumptions, is conceptualized as the beast,[164] and the Atman (self, soul, Shiva) that is present eternally everywhere as the Pati.[165] The tradition aims at realizing the state of being one with Shiva
Shiva
within and everywhere. It has extensive literature,[165][166] and a fivefold path of spiritual practice that starts with external practices, evolving into internal practices and ultimately meditative yoga, with the aim of overcoming all suffering (Dukkha) and reaching the state of bliss (Ananda).[167][168]

The tradition is attributed to a sage from Gujarat
Gujarat
named Lakulisha (~2nd century CE).[169] He is the purported author of the Pashupata sutras, a foundational text of this tradition. Other texts include the bhasya (commentary) on Pashupata sutras by Kaudinya, the Gaṇakārikā, Pañchārtha bhāshyadipikā and Rāśikara-bhāshya.[158] The Pashupatha monastic path was available to anyone of any age, but it required renunciation from four Ashrama (stage) into the fifth stage of Siddha-Ashrama. The path started as a life near a Shiva
Shiva
temple and silent meditation, then a stage when the ascetic left the temple and did karma exchange (be cursed by others, but never curse back). He then moved to the third stage of life where he lived like a loner in a cave or abandoned places or Himalayan mountains, and towards the end of his life he moved to a cremation ground, surviving on little, peacefully awaiting his death.[158]

The Pashupatas have been particularly prominent in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Kashmir and Nepal. The community is found in many parts of the Indian subcontinent.[170] In the late medieval era, Pashupatas Shaiva ascetics became extinct.[171][164]

Lakula Atimargi

This second division of the Atimarga developed from the Pashupatas. Their fundamental text too was the Pashupata Sutras. They differed from Pashupata Atimargi in that they departed radically from the Vedic
Vedic
teachings, respected no Vedic
Vedic
or social customs. He would walk around, for example, almost naked, drank liquor in public, and used a human skull as his begging bowl for food.[172] The Lakula Shaiva ascetic recognized no act nor words as forbidden, he freely did whatever he felt like, much like the classical depiction of his deity Rudra
Rudra
in ancient Hindu
Hindu
texts. However, according to Alexis Sanderson, the Lakula ascetic was strictly celibate and did not engage in sex.[172]

Secondary literature, such as those written by Kashmiri Ksemaraja, suggest that the Lakula had their canons on theology, rituals and literature on pramanas (epistemology). However, their primary texts are believed to be lost, and have not survived into the modern era.[172]

Grihastha
Grihastha
and Sannyasi
Sannyasi
Shaiva: Mantramarga

The horizontal three ash lines (Tripundra) with a red mark on forehead is a revered mark across Shaiva traditions symbolizing Om.[173][174]

"Mantramārga" (Sanskrit: मन्त्रमार्ग, "the path of mantras") has been the Shaiva tradition for both householders and monks.[156] It grew from the Atimarga tradition.[175] This tradition sought not just liberation from Dukkha (suffering, unsatisfactoriness), but special powers (siddhi) and pleasures (bhoga), both in this life and next.[176] The siddhi were particularly the pursuit of Mantramarga monks, and it is this sub-tradition that experimented with a great diversity of rites, deities, rituals, yogic techniques and mantras.[175] Both the Mantramarga and Atimarga are ancient traditions, more ancient than the date of their texts that have survived, according to Sanderson.[175] Mantramārga grew to become a dominant form of Shaivism
Shaivism
in this period. It also spread outside of India
India
into Southeast Asia's Khmer Empire, Java, Bali and Cham.[177][178]

The Mantramarga tradition created the Shaiva Agamas and Shaiva tantra (technique) texts. This literature presented new forms of ritual, yoga and mantra.[179] This literature was highly influential not just to Shaivism, but to all traditions of Hinduism, as well as to Buddhism
Buddhism
and Jainism.[180] Mantramarga had both theistic and monistic themes, which co-evolved and influenced each other. The tantra texts reflect this, where the collection contain both dualistic and non-dualistic theologies. The theism in the tantra texts parallel those found in Vaishnavism
Vaishnavism
and Shaktism.[181][182] Shaiva Siddhanta
Shaiva Siddhanta
is a major subtradition that emphasized dualism during much of its history.[182]

Shaivism
Shaivism
has had strong nondualistic (advaita) sub-traditions.[183][184] Its central premise has been that the Atman (soul, self) of every being is identical to Shiva, its various practices and pursuits directed at understanding and being one with the Shiva
Shiva
within. This monism is close but differs somewhat from the monism found in Advaita
Advaita
Vedanta"> Advaita
Advaita
Vedanta of Adi Shankara. Unlike Shankara's Advaita, Shaivism
Shaivism
monist schools consider Maya as Shakti, or energy and creative primordial power that explains and propels the existential diversity.[183]

Srikantha, influenced by Ramanuja, formulated Shaiva Vishishtadvaita.[185] In this theology, Atman (soul) is not identical with Brahman, but shares with the Supreme all its qualities. Appayya Dikshita (1520–1592), an Advaita
Advaita
scholar, proposed pure monism, and his ideas influenced Shaiva in the Karnataka region. His Shaiva Advaita
Advaita
doctrine is inscribed on the walls of Kalakanthesvara temple in Adaiyappalam (Tiruvannamalai district).[186][187]

Shaiva Siddhanta

Tirumular, the great Tamil Śaivasiddhānta poet and mystic saint (siddha).

The Śaivasiddhānta ("the established doctrine of Shiva") is the earliest sampradaya (tradition, lineage) of Tantric Shaivism, dating from the 5th century.[188][182] The tradition emphasizes loving devotion to Shiva,[189] uses 5th to 9th-century Tamil hymns called Tirumurai. A key philosophical text of this sub-tradition was composed by 13th-century Meykandar.[190] This theology presents three universal realities: the pashu (individual soul), the pati (lord, Shiva), and the pasha (soul’s bondage) through ignorance, karma and maya. The tradition teaches ethical living, service to the community and through one's work, loving worship, yoga practice and discipline, continuous learning and self-knowledge as means for liberating the individual soul from bondage.[190][191]

The tradition may have originated in Kashmir
Kashmir
where it developed a sophisticated theology propagated by theologians Sadyojoti, Bhatta Nārāyanakantha and his son Bhatta Rāmakantha (c. 950–1000).[192] However, after the arrival of Islamic rulers in north India, it thrived in the south.[193] The philosophy of Shaiva Siddhanta, is particularly popular in south India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore.[194]

The historic Shaiva Siddhanta
Shaiva Siddhanta
literature is an enormous body of texts.[195] The tradition includes both Shiva
Shiva
and Shakti
Shakti
(goddess), but with a growing emphasis on metaphysical abstraction.[195] Unlike the experimenters of Atimarga tradition and other sub-traditions of Mantramarga, states Sanderson, the Shaiva Siddhanta
Shaiva Siddhanta
tradition had no ritual offering or consumption of "alcoholic drinks, blood or meat". Their practices focussed on abstract ideas of spirituality,[195] worship and loving devotion to Shiva
Shiva
as SadaShiva, and taught the authority of the Vedas
Vedas
and Shaiva Agamas.[196][197] This tradition diversified in its ideas over time, with some of its scholars integrating a non-dualistic theology.[198]

Nayanars

Nayanars
Nayanars
Shaiva poet-saints are credited with Bhakti
Bhakti
movement"> Bhakti
Bhakti
movement in Shaivism. It included three women saints, such as the 6th-century Karaikkal Ammaiyar.[199]

By the 7th century, the Nayanars, a tradition of poet-saints in the bhakti tradition developed in South India with a focus on Shiva, comparable to that of the Vaisnava Alvars.[200] The devotional poems of the Nayanars
Nayanars
are divided into eleven collections together known as "Thirumurai", along with a Tamil Purana called the "Perilya puranam". The first seven collections are known as the Thevaram and are regarded by Tamils as equivalent to the Vedas.[201] They were composed in the 7th century by Sambandar, Appar, and Sundarar.[202]

Tirumular (also spelled Sanskrit
Sanskrit
transliteration" xml:lang="sa-Latn">Tirumūlār
or Sanskrit
Sanskrit
transliteration" xml:lang="sa-Latn">Tirumūlar
), the author of the Tirumantiram (also spelled Tirumandiram) is considered by Tattwananda to be the earliest exponent of Shaivism
Shaivism
in Tamil areas.[203] Tirumular
Tirumular
is dated as 7th or 8th century by Maurice Winternitz.[204] The Tirumantiram is a primary source for the system of Shaiva Siddhanta, being the tenth book of its canon.[205] The Tiruvacakam by Manikkavacagar is an important collection of hymns.[206]

Tantra
Tantra
Diksha
Diksha
traditions

The main element of all Shaiva Tantra
Tantra
is the practice of diksha, a ceremonial initiation in which divinely revealed mantras are given to the initiate by a Guru.[207]

A notable feature of some "left tantra" ascetics was their pursuit of siddhis (supernatural abilities) and bala (powers), such as averting danger (santih) and the ability to harm enemies (abhicarah).[208][209][210] Ganachakras, ritual feasts, would sometimes be held in cemeteries and cremation grounds and featured possession by powerful female deities called Yoginis.[207][211] The cult of Yoginis aimed to gain special powers through esoteric worship of the Shakti
Shakti
or the feminine aspects of the divine. The groups included sisterhoods that participated in the rites.[211]

Some traditions defined the special powers differently. For example, the Kashmiri tantrics explain the powers as anima (awareness than one is present in everything), laghima (lightness, be free from presumed diversity or differences), mahima (heaviness, realize one's limit is beyond one's own consciousness), prapti (attain, be restful and at peace with one's own nature), prakamya (forebearance, grasp and accept cosmic diversity), vasita (control, realize that one always has power to do whatever one wants), isitva (self lordship, a yogi is always free).[212] More broadly, the tantric sub-traditions sought nondual knowledge and enlightening liberation by abandoning all rituals, and with the help of reasoning (yuktih), scriptures (sastras) and the initiating Guru.[213][210]

Kashmir
Kashmir
Shaivism

A 3rd century Nandi statue from Kashmir.

Kashmir
Kashmir
Shaivism"> Kashmir
Kashmir
Shaivism is an influential tradition within Shaivism
Shaivism
that emerged in Kashmir
Kashmir
in the 1st millennium CE and thrived in early centuries of the 2nd millennium before the region was overwhelmed by the Islamic invasions from the Hindu
Hindu
Kush"> Hindu
Hindu
Kush region.[214] The Kashmir Shaivism
Kashmir Shaivism
traditions became nearly extinct except for their preservation by Kashmiri Pandits.[215][216]

Kashmir Shaivism
Kashmir Shaivism
has been a nondualistic school,[217][218] and is distinct from the dualistic Shaiva Siddhānta tradition that also existed in medieval Kashmir.[219][220][221] A notable philosophy of monistic Kashmiri Shaivism
Kashmiri Shaivism
has been the Pratyabhijna ideas, particularly those by the 10th century scholar Utpaladeva and 11th century Abhinavagupta and Kshemaraja.[222][223] Their extensive texts established the Shaiva theology and philosophy in an advaita (monism) framework.[215][220] The Siva Sutras of 9th century Vasugupta and his ideas about Spanda have also been influential to this and other Shaiva sub-traditions, but it is probable that much older Shaiva texts once existed.[220][224]

A notable feature of Kashmir Shaivism
Kashmir Shaivism
was its openness and integration of ideas from Shaktism, Vaishnavism and Vajrayana Buddhism.[215] For example, one sub-tradition of Kashmir Shaivism
Kashmir Shaivism
adopts Goddess worship (Shaktism) by stating that the approach to god Shiva
Shiva
is through goddess Shakti. This tradition combined monistic ideas with tantric practices. Another idea of this school was Trika, or modal triads of Shakti
Shakti
and cosmology as developed by Somananda in early 10th century.[215][225][221]

Nath

Goraknath founded the Nath
Nath
Shaiva monastic movement.

Nath: a Shaiva subtradition that emerged from a much older Siddha
Siddha
tradition based on Yoga.[226] The Nath
Nath
consider Shiva
Shiva
as "Adinatha" or the first guru, and it has been a small but notable and influential movement in India whose devotees were called " Yogi
Yogi
or Jogi", given their monastic unconventional ways and emphasis on Yoga.[227][228][229]

Nath
Nath
theology integrated philosophy from Advaita
Advaita
Vedanta"> Advaita
Advaita
Vedanta and Buddhism traditions. Their unconventional ways challenged all orthodox premises, exploring dark and shunned practices of society as a means to understanding theology and gaining inner powers. The tradition traces itself to 9th or 10th century Matsyendranath and to ideas and organization developed by Gorakshanath.[226] They combined both theistic practices such as worshipping goddesses and their historic Gurus in temples, as well monistic goals of achieving liberation or jivan-mukti while alive, by reaching the perfect (siddha) state of realizing oneness of self and everything with Shiva.[230][226]

They formed monastic organisations,[226] and some of them metamorphosed into warrior ascetics to resist persecution during the Islamic rule of the Indian subcontinent.[231][232][233]

Lingayatism

A necklace with pendant containing linga symbol of Shiva
Shiva
are worn by Lingayats.[234]

Lingayatism, also known as Vira Shaivism: is a distinct Shaivite religious tradition in India.[235][236][237] It was founded by the 12th-century philosopher and statesman Basava and spread by his followers, called Sharanas.[238]

Lingayatism
Lingayatism
emphasizes qualified monism and bhakti (loving devotion) to Shiva, with philosophical foundations similar to those of the 11th–12th-century South Indian philosopher Ramanuja.[235] Its worship is notable for the iconographic form of Ishtalinga, which the adherents wear.[239][240] Large communities of Lingayats are found in the south Indian state of Karnataka
Karnataka
and nearby regions.[241][235][242] Lingayatism
Lingayatism
has its own theological literature with sophisticated theoretical sub-traditions.[243]

They were influential in the Hindu
Hindu
Vijayanagara Empire that reversed the territorial gains of Muslim rulers, after the invasions of the Deccan region first by Delhi Sultanate and later other Sultanates. Langayats consider their scripture to be Basava
Basava
Purana"> Basava
Basava
Purana
, which was completed in 1369 during the reign of Vijayanagara ruler Bukka Raya I.[244][245] Lingayat (Veerashaiva) thinkers rejected the custodial hold of Brahmins over the Vedas and the shastras, but they did not outright reject the Vedic
Vedic
knowledge.[246][247] The 13th-century Telugu Virashaiva poet Palkuriki Somanatha, the author of the scripture of Lingayatism, for example asserted, "Virashaivism fully conformed to the Vedas and the shastras."[246][247]

Demography

There is no census data available on demographic history or trends for Shaivism
Shaivism
or other traditions within Hinduism. Estimates vary on the relative number of adherents in Shaivism
Shaivism
compared to other traditions of Hinduism. According to a 2010 estimate by Johnson and Grim, the Shaivism
Shaivism
tradition is the second largest group with 252 million or 26.6% of Hindus.[21] In contrast, according to Jones and Ryan, Shaivism
Shaivism
is the largest tradition of Hinduism.[22]

Shaivism
Shaivism
and Buddhism
Buddhism
have co-developed in many regions. Above a syncretic image of Yoni- Linga
Linga
with four reliefs of the Buddha in a Vajrayana temple.

According to Galvin Flood, that Shaivism
Shaivism
and Shaktism
Shaktism
traditions are difficult to separate, as many Shaiva Hindus revere the goddess Shakti
Shakti
regularly.[248] The denominations of Hinduism, states Julius Lipner, are unlike those found in major religions of the world, because Hindu
Hindu
denominations are fuzzy with individuals revering gods and goddesses polycentrically, with many Shaiva and Vaishnava adherents recognizing Sri (Lakshmi), Parvati, Saraswati
Saraswati
and other aspects of the goddess Devi. Similarly, Shakta Hindus revere Shiva
Shiva
and goddesses such as Parvati
Parvati
(such as Durga, Radha, Sita
Sita
and others) and Saraswati
Saraswati
important in Shaiva and Vaishnava traditions.[249]

Influence

Shiva
Shiva
is a pan- Hindu
Hindu
god and Shaivism
Shaivism
ideas on Yoga and as the god of performance arts (Nataraja) have been influential on all traditions of Hinduism.

Shaivism
Shaivism
was highly influential in southeast Asia from the late 6th century onwards, particularly the Khmer and Cham kingdoms of Indo-China, and across the major islands of Indonesia such as Sumatra, Java
Java
and Bali.[250] This influence on classical Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand continued when Mahayana Buddhism
Buddhism
arrived with the same Indians.[251][252]

In Shaivism
Shaivism
of Indonesia, the popular name for Shiva
Shiva
has been Bhattara Guru, which is derived from Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Bhattaraka which means “noble lord".[253] He is conceptualized as a kind spiritual teacher, the first of all Gurus in Indonesian Hindu
Hindu
texts, mirroring the Dakshinamurti aspect of Shiva
Shiva
in the Indian subcontinent.[254] However, the Bhattara Guru
Guru
has more aspects than the Indian Shiva, as the Indonesian Hindus blended their spirits and heroes with him. Bhattara Guru's wife in southeast Asia is the same Hindu
Hindu
deity Durga, who has been popular since ancient times, and she too has a complex character with benevolent and fierce manifestations, each visualized with different names such as Uma, Sri, Kali
Kali
and others.[255][256] Shiva
Shiva
has been called Sadasiva, Paramasiva, Mahadeva in benevolent forms, and Kala, Bhairava, Mahakala in his fierce forms.[256] The Indonesian Hindu
Hindu
texts present the same philosophical diversity of Shaivism
Shaivism
traditions found on the subcontinent. However, among the texts that have survived into the contemporary era, the more common are of those of Shaiva Siddhanta
Shaiva Siddhanta
(locally also called Siwa Siddhanta, Sridanta).[257]

As Bhakti
Bhakti
movement"> Bhakti
Bhakti
movement ideas spread in the south India, Shaivite devotionalism became a potent movement in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Shaivism
Shaivism
was adopted by several ruling Hindu
Hindu
dynasties as the state religion (though other Hindu
Hindu
traditions, Buddhism
Buddhism
and Jainism continued in parallel), including the Chola and the Rajputs. A similar trend was witnessed in early medieval Indonesia with the Majapahit empire and pre-Islamic Malaya.[258][259] In the Himalayan Hindu
Hindu
kingdom of Nepal, Shaivism
Shaivism
remained a popular form of Hinduism
Hinduism
and co-evolved with Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism.

A seated Ardhanarishvara
Ardhanarishvara
symbolically presenting the feminine Shakti
Shakti
as inseparable part of masculine Shiva.

Shaktism

The goddess tradition of Hinduism
Hinduism
called Shaktism is closely related to Shaivism. In many regions of India, not only did the ideas of Shaivism
Shaivism
influence the evolution of Shaktism, Shaivism
Shaivism
itself got influenced by it and progressively subsumed the reverence for the divine feminine (Devi) as an equal and essential partner of divine masculine (Shiva).[260] The goddess Shakti
Shakti
in eastern states of India
India
is considered as the inseparable partner of god Shiva. According to Galvin Flood, the closeness between Shaivism
Shaivism
and Shaktism
Shaktism
traditions is such that these traditions of Hinduism
Hinduism
are at times difficult to separate.[248] Some Shaiva worship in Shiva
Shiva
and Shakti
Shakti
temples.[9]

Smarta Tradition

Shiva
Shiva
is a part of the Smarta Tradition, sometimes referred to as Smartism, another tradition of Hinduism.[261] The Smarta Hindus are associated with the Advaita
Advaita
Vedanta"> Advaita
Advaita
Vedanta theology, and their practices include an interim step that incorporates simultaneous reverence for five deities, which includes Shiva
Shiva
along with Vishnu, Surya, Devi
Devi
and Ganesha. This is called the Panchayatana puja. The Smartas
Smartas
thus accept the primary deity of Shaivism
Shaivism
as a means to their spiritual goals.[31]

Philosophically, the Smarta tradition emphasizes that all idols (murti) are icons of saguna Brahman, a means to realizing the abstract Ultimate Reality called nirguna Brahman. The five or six icons are seen by Smartas as multiple representations of the one Saguna Brahman (i.e., a personal God with form), rather than as distinct beings.[262][263] The ultimate goal in this practice is to transition past the use of icons, then follow a philosophical and meditative path to understanding the oneness of Atman (soul, self) and Brahman
Brahman
(metaphysical reality) – as "That art Thou".[261][264][265]

Panchayatana puja
Panchayatana puja
that incorporates Shiva
Shiva
became popular in medieval India
India
and is attributed to 8th century Adi Shankara,[264][261] but archaeological evidence suggests that this practice long predates the birth of Adi Shankara. Many Panchayatana mandalas and temples have been uncovered that are from the Gupta Empire period, and one Panchayatana set from the village of Nand (about 24 kilometers from Ajmer) has been dated to belong to the Kushan
Kushan
Empire"> Kushan
Kushan
Empire era (pre-300 CE).[266] According to James Harle, major Hindu
Hindu
temples from 1st millennium CE commonly embedded the pancayatana architecture, from Odisha to Karnataka to Kashmir. Large temples often present multiple deities in the same temple complex, while some explicitly include fusion deities such as Harihara (half Shiva, half Vishnu).[265]

Vaishnavism

Shaivism
Shaivism
iconography in Cambodia, at Kbal Spean river site. As in India, the site also co-features Vaishnavism-related iconography.[267]

Vaishnava texts reverentially mention Shiva. For example, the Vishnu
Vishnu
Purana"> Vishnu
Vishnu
Purana
primarily focuses on the theology of Hindu
Hindu
god Vishnu and his avatars such as Krishna, but it praises Brahma and Shiva
Shiva
and asserts that they are one with Vishnu.[268] The Vishnu
Vishnu
Sahasranama in the Mahabharata list a thousand attributes and epithets of Vishnu. The list identifies Shiva
Shiva
with Vishnu.[269]

Reverential inclusion of Shaiva ideas and iconography are very common in major Vaishnava temples, such as Dakshinamurti symbolism of Shaiva thought is often enshrined on the southern wall of the main temple of major Vaishnava temples in peninsular India.[270] Harihara temples in and outside the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
have historically combined Shiva
Shiva
and Vishnu, such as at the Lingaraj Mahaprabhu temple in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha. According to Julius Lipner, Vaishnavism
Vaishnavism
traditions such as Sri Vaishnavism embrace Shiva, Ganesha
Ganesha
and others, not as distinct deities of polytheism, but as polymorphic manifestation of the same supreme divine principle, providing the devotee a polycentric access to the spiritual.[271]

Similarly, Shaiva traditions have reverentially embraced other gods and goddesses as manifestation of the same divine.[272] The Skanda Purana, for example in section 6.254.100 states, "He who is Shiva
Shiva
is Vishnu, he who is Vishnu
Vishnu
is Sadashiva".[273]

Sauraism (Sun deity)

The sun god called Surya is an ancient deity of Hinduism, and several ancient Hindu
Hindu
kingdoms particularly in the northwest and eastern regions of the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
revered Surya. These devotees called Sauras once had a large corpus of theological texts, and Shaivism
Shaivism
literature reverentially acknowledges these.[274] For example, the Shaiva text Srikanthiyasamhita mentions eighty five Saura texts, almost all of which are believed to have been lost during the Indo-Islamic invasion and rule period, except for large excerpts found embedded in Shaiva manuscripts discovered in the Himalayan mountains. Shaivism
Shaivism
incorporated Saura ideas, and the surviving Saura manuscripts such as Saurasamhita acknowledge the influence of Shaivism, according to Alexis Sanderson, assigning "itself to the canon of Shaiva text Vathula-Kalottara.[274]

Yoga
Yoga
movements

Many Shaiva temples present Shiva
Shiva
in yoga pose.

Yoga
Yoga
and meditation has been an integral part of Shaivism, and it has been a major innovator of techniques such as those of Hatha Yoga.[275][276][277] Many major Shiva
Shiva
temples and Shaiva tritha (pilgrimage) centers depict anthropomorphic iconography of Shiva
Shiva
as a giant statue wherein Shiva
Shiva
is a loner yogi meditating,[278] as do Shaiva texts.[279]

In several Shaiva traditions such as the Kashmir
Kashmir
Shaivism, anyone who seeks personal understanding and spiritual growth has been called a Yogi. The Shiva
Shiva
Sutras
(aphorisms) of Shaivism
Shaivism
teach yoga in many forms. According to Mark Dyczkowski, yoga – which literally means "union" – to this tradition has meant the "realisation of our true inherent nature which is inherently greater than our thoughts can ever conceive", and that the goal of yoga is to be the "free, eternal, blissful, perfect, infinite spiritually conscious" one is.[280]

Many Yoga-emphasizing Shaiva traditions emerged in medieval India, who refined yoga methods such as by introducing Hatha Yoga techniques. One such movement had been the Nath Yogis, a Shaivism
Shaivism
sub-tradition that integrated philosophy from Advaita
Advaita
Vedanta"> Advaita
Advaita
Vedanta and Buddhism traditions. It was founded by Matsyendranath and further developed by Gorakshanath.[281][228][229] The texts of these Yoga
Yoga
emphasizing Hindu
Hindu
traditions present their ideas in Shaiva context.[note 7]

Dancing Shiva
Shiva
Nataraja
Nataraja
at the 6th century Badami cave temples.

Hindu
Hindu
performance arts

Shiva
Shiva
is the lord of dance and dramatic arts in Hinduism.[283][284][285] This is celebrated in Shaiva temples as Nataraja, which typically shows Shiva
Shiva
dancing in one of the poses in the ancient Hindu
Hindu
text on performance arts called the Natya Shastra.[284][286][287]

Dancing Shiva
Shiva
as a metaphor for celebrating life and arts is very common in ancient and medieval Hindu
Hindu
temples. For example, it is found in Badami cave temples, Ellora Caves, Khajuraho, Chidambaram and others. The Shaiva link to the performance arts is celebrated in Indian classical dances such as Bharatanatyam and Chhau.[288][289][290]

Buddhism

Buddhism
Buddhism
and Shaivism
Shaivism
have interacted and influenced each other since ancient times, in both South Asia and Southeast Asia. Their Siddhas and esoteric traditions, in particular, have overlapped to an extent where Buddhists and Hindus would worship in the same temple such as in the Seto Machindranath. In southeast Asia, the two traditions were not presented in competitive or polemical terms, rather as two alternate paths that lead to the same goals of liberation, with theologians disagreeing which of these is faster and simpler.[291] Scholars disagree whether a syncretic tradition emerged from Buddhism
Buddhism
and Shaivism, or it was a coalition with free borrowing of ideas, but they agree that the two traditions co-existed peacefully.[292]

The earliest evidence of a close relationship between Shaivism
Shaivism
and Buddhism
Buddhism
comes from the archaeological sites and damaged sculptures from the northwest Indian subcontinent, such as Gandhara. These are dated to about the 1st-century CE, with Shiva
Shiva
depicted in Buddhist arts.[293][note 8] The Buddhist Avalokiteshvara is linked to Shiva
Shiva
in many of these arts,[294] but in others Shiva
Shiva
is linked to Bodhisattva Maitreya with he shown as carrying his own water pot like Vedic
Vedic
priests.[293] According to Richard Blurton, the ancient works show that the Bodhisattva of Compassion in Buddhism
Buddhism
has many features in common with Shiva
Shiva
in Shaivism.[294] The Shaiva Hindu
Hindu
and Buddhist syncretism continues in the contemporary era in the island of Bali, Indonesia.[295] In Central Asian Buddhism, and its historic arts, syncretism and a shared expression of Shaivism, Buddhism
Buddhism
and Tantra
Tantra
themes has been common.[296]

The syncretism between Buddhism
Buddhism
and Shaivism
Shaivism
was particularly marked in southeast Asia, but this was not unique, rather it was a common phenomenon also observed in the eastern regions of the Indian subcontinent, the south and the Himalayan regions.[79] This tradition continues in predominantly Hindu
Hindu
Bali
Bali
Indonesia in the modern era, where Buddha
Buddha
is considered the younger brother of Shiva.[79][note 9] In the pre-Islamic Java, Shaivism
Shaivism
and Buddhism
Buddhism
were considered very close and allied religions, though not identical religions.[298][note 10] This idea is also found in the sculptures and temples in the eastern states of India
India
and the Himalayan region. For example, Hindu
Hindu
temples in these regions show Harihara (half Shiva, half Vishnu) flanked by a standing Buddha on its right and a standing Surya ( Hindu
Hindu
Sun god) on left.[300][301]

On major festivals of Bali
Bali
Hindus, such as the Nyepi – a "festival of silence", the observations are officiated by both Buddhist and Shaiva priests.[79][302][303]

Jainism

Jainism co-existed with Shaiva culture since ancient times, particularly in western and southern India
India
where it received royal support from Hindu
Hindu
kings of Chaulukya, Ganga and Rashtrakuta dynasties.[304] In late 1st millennium CE, Jainism too developed a Shaiva-like tantric ritual culture with Mantra-goddesses.[304][305] These Jain rituals were aimed at mundane benefits using japas (mantra recitation) and making offerings into Homa fire.[304]

According to Alexis Sanderson, the link and development of Shaiva goddesses into Jaina goddess is more transparent than a similar connection between Shaivism
Shaivism
and Buddhism.[306] The 11th-century Jain text ‘’Bhairavapadmavatikalpa’’, for example, equates Padmavati of Jainism with Tripura-bhairavi of Shaivism
Shaivism
and Shaktism. Among the major goddesses of Jainism that are rooted in Hindu
Hindu
pantheon, particularly Shaiva, include Lakshmi
Lakshmi
and Vagishvari (Sarasvati) of the higher world in Jain cosmology, Vidyadevis of the middle world, and Yakshis such as Ambika, Cakreshvari, Padmavati and Jvalamalini of the lower world according to Jainism.[304]

Shaiva- Shakti
Shakti
iconography is found in major Jain temples. For example, the Osian temple of Jainism near Jodhpur features Chamunda, Durga, Sitala and a naked Bhairava.[307] While Shaiva and Jain practices had considerable overlap, the interaction between Jain community and Shaiva community differed on the acceptance of ritual animal sacrifices before goddesses. Jain remained strictly vegetarian and avoided animal sacrifice, while Shaiva accepted the practice.[308]

Temples and pilgrimage

Shaivism
Shaivism
is located in India">
			<a class= Shaivism
Shaivism
is located in India" src="//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/dc/India_location_map.svg/400px-India_location_map.svg.png" width="400" height="431" srcset="//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/dc/India_location_map.svg/600px-India_location_map.svg.png 1.5x, //upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/dc/India_location_map.svg/800px-India_location_map.svg.png 2x" data-file-width="1500" data-file-height="1615" />
Somnath
Somnath
Triambak
Shiva
Shiva
Temple">Triambak
Kedarnath
Kedarnath
Kedarnath
Temple">Kedarnath
Shaivism
Sivasagar
Sivasagar
Shaivism
Shaivism
Varanasi
Varanasi
Badrinath
Badrinath
Puri
Puri
Khajuraho
Khajuraho
Shaivism
Shaivism
Shaivism
Shaivism
Shaivism
Shaivism
Shaivism
Shaivism
Amarnath
Amarnath
India
India
location map.svg">
Major Shaiva Hindu
Hindu
temple sites. Orange markers are UNESCO world heritage sites.

Shaiva Puranas, Agamas and other regional literature refer to temples by various terms such as Mandir, Shivayatana, Shivalaya, Shambhunatha, Jyotirlingam, Shristhala, Chattraka, Bhavaggana, Bhuvaneshvara, Goputika, Harayatana, Kailasha, Mahadevagriha, Saudhala and others.[309] In Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Shaiva temples are called Candi (Java),[310] Pura (Bali),[311] and Wat (Cambodia and nearby regions).[312][313]

Many of the Shiva-related pilgrimage sites such as Varanasi, Amarnath, Kedarnath, Somnath
Somnath
and others are broadly considered holy in Hinduism. They are called kṣétra (Sanskrit: क्षेत्र[314]). A kṣétra has many temples, including one or more major ones. These temples and its location attracts pilgrimage called tirtha (or tirthayatra).[315]

Many of the historic Puranas literature embed tourism guide to Shaivism-related pilgrimage centers and temples.[316] For example, the Skanda Purana deals primarily with Tirtha Mahatmyas (pilgrimage travel guides) to numerous geographical points,[316] but also includes a chapter stating that a temple and tirtha is ultimately a state of mind and virtuous everyday life.[317][318]

Major rivers of the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
and their confluence (sangam), natural springs, origin of Ganges River (and pancha-ganga), along with high mountains such as Kailasha with Mansovar Lake are particularly revered spots in Shaivism.[319][320] Twelve jyotirlinga sites across India
India
have been particularly important pilgrimage sites in Shaivism: Somanatha, Malikarjuna, Mahakal, Parmeshvara, Kedarnatha, Bhimshankara, Visheshvara, Trayambakesvara, Vaidyanatha, Nagesha, Rameshvara and Ghrishnesha.[320] Other texts mention five Kedras (Kedarnatha, Tunganatha, Rudranatha, Madhyamesvara and Kalpeshvara), five Badri (Badrinatha, Pandukeshvara, Sujnanien, Anni matha and Urghava), snow lingam of Amarnatha, flame of Jwalamukhi, all of the Narmada River, and others.[320] Kashi (Varanasi) is declared as particularly special in numerous Shaiva texts and Upanishads, as well as in the pan- Hindu
Hindu
Sannyasa
Sannyasa
Upanishads"> Sannyasa
Sannyasa
Upanishads such as the Jabala Upanishad.[321][322]

The early Bhakti
Bhakti
movement"> Bhakti
Bhakti
movement poets of Shaivism
Shaivism
composed poems about pilgrimage and temples, using these sites as metaphors for internal spiritual journey.[323][324]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Along with Vaishnavism, Shaktism, and Smartism
  2. ^ Kapalikas are alleged to smear their body with ashes from the cremation ground, revered the fierce Bhairava
    Bhairava
    form of Shiva, engage in rituals with blood, meat, alcohol, and sexual fluids. However, states David Lorenzen, there is a paucity of primary sources on Kapalikas, and historical information about them is available from fictional works and other traditions who disparage them.[62][63]
  3. ^ The Dunhuang caves in north China built from 4th century onwards are predominantly about the Buddha, but some caves show the meditating Buddha
    Buddha
    with Hindu
    Hindu
    deities such as Shiva, Vishnu, Ganesha
    Ganesha
    and Indra.[77]
  4. ^ There is an overlap in this approach with those found in non-puranic tantric rituals.[85]
  5. ^ Pashupatas have both Vedic-Puranic and non-Puranic sub-traditions.[83]
  6. ^ Vasugupta
    Vasugupta
    is claimed by two Advaita (Monistic) Shaivism
    Shaivism
    sub-traditions to be their spiritual founder.[117]
  7. ^ For example:

    [It will] be impossible to accomplish one's functions unless one is a master of oneself.
    Therefore strive for self-mastery, seeking to win the way upwards.
    To have self-mastery is to be a yogin (yogitvam). [v. 1-2]
    [...]
    Whatever reality he reaches through the Yoga
    Yoga
    whose sequence I have just explained,
    he realizes there a state of consciousness whose object is all that that pervades.
    Leaving aside what remains outside he should use his vision to penetrate all [within].
    Then once he has transcended all lower realities, he should seek the Shiva
    Shiva
    level. [v. 51-53]
    [...]
    How can a person whose awareness is overwhelmed by sensual experience stabilize his mind?
    Answer: Shiva
    Shiva
    did not teach this discipline (sādhanam) for individuals who are not [already] disaffected. [v. 56-57]
    [...]

    — Bhatta Narayanakantha, Mrigendratantra (paraphrased), Transl: Alexis Sanderson[282]
  8. ^ Some images show proto- Vishnu
    Vishnu
    images.[293]
  9. ^ Similarly, in Vaishnavism
    Vaishnavism
    Hindu
    Hindu
    tradition, Buddha
    Buddha
    is considered as one of the avatar of Vishnu.[297]
  10. ^ Medieval Hindu
    Hindu
    texts of Indonesia equate Buddha
    Buddha
    with Siwa (Shiva) and Janardana (Vishnu).[299]

References

Citations

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  4. ^ S Parmeshwaranand 2004, pp. 19-20, 272-275.
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  7. ^ a b Flood 1996, pp. 162–167.
  8. ^ a b c d e Ganesh Tagare (2002), The Pratyabhijñā Philosophy, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-81-208-1892-7, pages 16–19
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  32. ^ Keay, p.xxvii.
  33. ^ Julius J. Lipner (2009), Hindus: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices, 2nd Edition, Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-45677-7, page 8; Quote: "(...) one need not be religious in the minimal sense described to be accepted as a Hindu
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  37. ^ Tattwananda, p. 54.
  38. ^ For dating as fl. 2300–2000 BCE, decline by 1800 BCE, and extinction by 1500 BCE see: Flood (1996), p. 24.
  39. ^ Flood 2003, pp. 204-205.
  40. ^ For a drawing of the seal see Figure 1 in: Flood (1996), p. 29.
  41. ^ For translation of paśupati as "Lord of Animals" see: Michaels, p. 312.
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  48. ^ Flood 2003, p. 205
  49. ^ Chakravarti 1994, pp. 70-71.
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  119. ^ Pathak 1960, pp. 11, 51-52.
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    Sanskrit
    transliteration" xml:lang="sa-Latn">Śvetāśvatara
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    Upanishad
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    Shaivism
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  170. ^ See Alexis Sanderson's Śaivism among the Khmers Part I, pp. 349--462 in the Bulletin de l'Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient 90--91 (2003--2004).
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  200. ^ For the emergence of the Nayanars
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  285. ^ Shiva
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Bibliography

External links