History of Saivism

1. Origin of Agama
Saivism is the pre-historic religion of India. Siva the supreme is said to have revealed the Vedas and Agamas to enlightened souls. Saiva Siddhanta is the essence of the 28 Agamas. The Sankara Samhita of Skanda Purana says; “ The Vedas are in the middle of the mouth of Siva, the aksharas (letters) are in teeth and the Agamas are in the tongue”
Scholar V.V. Ramana Sastri in his Tirumantiram 1911 edition says;
“When agamas came south from the north, they appeared as the Viramahesvara Darshana in West India and as Saiva Darshana in South India. This was a few thousand years before the ardent of four Saiva acharyas like Thirunganasambanthar and Thirunavukkarasar. Thirumoolar wrote his Thirumantiram purporting to give in its nine tantras, the substance of the nine agamas. Of the nine agamas only eight are said to be principal agamas while the nineth Yamala is not a Saiva agama but Saktha tantra. Evidently, the Thirumantiram text had been interfered with and the original name of some agama had been substituted by Yamala. The Vira agama and Vathula agama are the principal texts for Viramahesvara sect.”
The statement from great scholar like Ramana Sastri are not historically accurate. The statement that the agamas came from north is totally incorrect. The Viramahesvara sect or now known as Vira Saiva cult which propagated by Basava in Kannada area in the middle of 12th century. This took root in Tamilnadu some centuries later from the days of Saints Santalinga Swamigal, Sivaprakasa Swami and Chidambara Swami in the 17th Century and of course could have had nothing to do with Thirumular. His argument that the agamas were earlier than the the Saiva acharyas by at least 1000 years and that Thirumular would have lived earlier than 6th century A.D are of course quite true.
Mohenjo-daro in ancient times was most likely one of the administrative centers of the ancient
Indus Valley Civilization. It was the most developed and advanced city in South Asia, and perhaps the world, during its peak. The planning and engineering showed the importance of the city to the people of the Indus valley.
The
Indus Valley Civilization (c. 3300–1700 BC, flowered 2600–1900 BC), abbreviated IVC, was an ancient riverine civilization that flourished in the Indus river valley in ancient India (now Pakistan and the present north-west India). Another name for this civilization is the "Harappan Civilization."
Excavations at Mohenjodaro and Harappa civilization have brought light to a proto-dravidian civilization which had Sivalinga worship; a sculpted figure of a dancer has also been unearthed. These facts go to indicate that Saivism has been prevalent throughout the Indian sub-continent 5000 years ago and therefore there is no basis for saying that Saivism spread to south india from Kashmir.
The Saivagamas had gained importance in the country even in pre Chola days. One of the titles assumed by Rajasimha Pallave (686-705 AD) is Agamapriya, the lover of agamas and another is Saiva Siddhantin.
Although we find that the available agams are only in Sanskrit, a deep consideration of the life and culture of people, their temples and temple rituals and worship may make us pause and ask if they were originally Tamil sources and Sanskrit rituals were not actually taken from the Tamil originals.
Some linguists believe that Dravidian-speaking people were spread throughout the
Indian subcontinent before a series of Indo-Aryan migrations.

Aryan invasion and Indus civilization
In this view, the early
Indus Valley civilization (Harappa and Mohenjo Daro) is often identified as having been Dravidian. Cultural and linguistic similarities have been cited by researchers such as Finnish Indologist Asko Parpola as being strong evidence for a proto-Dravidian origin of the ancient Indus Valley civilization. The north Indians are the descendants of Aryans and the south Indians are Dravidians.
According to general Indian legend, the Aryans arrived in north India somewhere from Iran and southern Russia at around 1500 BC. Before the Aryans, the Dravidian people resided in India. The Aryans disregarded the local cultures. They began conquering and taking control over regions in north India and at the same time pushed the local people southwards or towards the jungles and mountains in north India. According to this historical fact the general division of Indian society is made. North Indians are Aryans and south Indians are Dravidians. But this division isn’t proper because of many reasons.
The caste system is believed to have been established by the Aryans. The fair skinned Aryans who occupied parts of India established the caste system, which allowed only them to be the priests (Brahman), aristocracy (Kshatria) and the businessmen (Vaisia) of the society. Below them in hierarchy were the Sudras.
Normally the date given to Aryan invasion is around 1500 BC. But according to Hinduism experts some of the events in Hinduism occurred much earlier. Some of the events like the great war in the Mahabharta epic is believed to have occurred (based on astronomical research) 7000 years ago.
Some historical fact also reveals that the first signs of agriculture appeared in India 65,000 years ago. The world's population reached 4 million. Taittiriya Brahmana (of Yajurveda) of 3.1.2 refers to the elevation of Nakshatra Purvabhadrapada in the east, a phenomenon that occurs on this date (Dr. BG Siddharth Birla Science Institute), indicating the oldest reference sacred Veda. The Vedic culture, the essence of eternal wisdom of mankind, Sanatana Dharma, started in the Himalayas at the end of the era of glacier.
Archeological facts
Some scholars believe that artifacts from
Mohenjo-daro, Harappa and other archaeological sites of northwestern India and Pakistan indicate that some early form of Shiva worship was practiced in the Indus Valley. These artifacts include lingams and the "Pashupati seal" that has been the subject of much study. The Indus Valley civilization reached its peak around 2500-2000 BCE, when trade links with Mesopotamia are known to have existed
A seal discovered during excavation of the
Mohenjo-daro archaeological site in the Indus Valley has drawn attention as a possible representation of a "proto-Shiva" figure. This "Pashupati" (Lord of Animals, Sanskrit paƛupati) seal shows a large central figure that is surrounded by animals. The central figure is often described as a seated figure, possibly ithyphallic, surrounded by animals. Sir John Marshall and others have claimed that this figure is a prototype of Shiva, and have described the figure as having three faces, seated in a "yoga posture" with the knees out and feet joined.
Sir John Marshall in his "Mohenjo Daro Indus Civilization" devotes one full chapter to the religion of the Indus people. Therein he concludes that those people worshipped Mother Goddess, Shakti, and a male deity Shiva. He identified the male deity with Shiva because of the prominent characteristics of the deity having three eyes and being a Mahayogin as represented on seals, images, carvings and other signs discovered in different sites. Thus remarks Sir John Marshall:
"In the religion of the Indus people there is much of course that might be paralleled in other countries. This is true of every prehistoric and of most historic religions as well. But taken as a whole, their religion is so characteristically Indian as hardly to be distinguishable from the still living Hinduism or at least from that aspect of it which is bound up with the animism and the cults of Shiva and Mother Goddess - still the two most potent forces in popular worship."

Sir John Marshall’s excavation about 70 years ago, in 1922 has proven that Saivism existed 3500 years ago. He concluded that Saivism existed 3000 years ago before Christ, that is 5000 years from today. Sir John Marshall has excavated 7 layer of soil in the spot of Mohenjodaro Harappa by an estimation of 500 years per layer.
Great India’s philosopher and ex-president of India; Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan who wrote History of Hinduism. (Second President of India (
1962-1967).
“The possibilities of the origin of Saivism is more than the agreed date and period which cannot be determined because the first layer was not identified”
Thonmai is different from Palamai. Thonmai doest not have date of origin. Saivism was a Palamaiyana samayam in those days and Thonmaiyana samayam today.
Before 1922 we were convinced that the Samayam of the Aryans are the greatest Samayam and by agreeing to their teachings and scriptures. With this we developed the religion hand in hand with the aryans. But the Sir John Marshall & G.U Pope have stated that before the Aryans came, Saivism has already florished in India. These facts were all verified by Non Indians.
Many archeological findings and research papers worldwide concluded that Siva worship is an ancient way of worship thus makes Saivism the oldest religion in the world. The date of its origin is yet to be accurately identified today.

Darkness Period
In tamil nadu there was 3 Sangga kaalam. Madurai is famous due to this;Sanggam valartha Madurai.
Tamil was developed through these 3 Sangams and only Kadaisangga (3rd Sanggam) nool or scriptures was found. First and second sanggam scriptures was not found. Many tamil schorlars have came to a conclusion that there is nothing mentioned about Saivism in the third sangga scriptures by only studing the third sangga nool which is available.
But the truth is the first and third sangga scriptures clearly states that Lord Shiva is the chief of the first Sanggam and Lord Muruga is the chief of the second sanggam and Nakkiran is the chief of the third sanggam chief. The sanggam scriptures were destroyed by the sea during the great flood, infact some of the third sanggam scriptures also been washed away.
Infact based on some of the scriptures of the sanggam that was available such as Aingguru nool, Aalamar kadaval is mentioned in Purannarnoor 198. Aalamar kadavul means, Lord Dakshinamoorthi, sitting below the aalamaram tree. The Tholkaappiyam, tamil literature is said to be the last scripture of the Idaisanggam. Schorlars has concluded that it was available about 400 years B.C that is about 2500 years ago. Tholkaapiyam has given a lot of Siddhantam facts in its scripture. This proves that the first and second sanggam scriptures also could have given a lot of facts of Siddhantam in it.
The 3rd Sanggam was around AD100. Period when thirukkural written was around BC 31 during King Ukkiraperviluti’s rule. This time it was acknowleged that Saivam and only siva worship was the first and pioneer.Then after Sanggam period came Sangga maruviya kaalam about AD 100 to AD 300. Then came Irundha Kalaam ( Darkness Period )
India Kings used to have war among them but in Irunda kaalam wars took place between tamilians and non tamilians. The enemy’s samayam is not saivam and language is not tamil.
These enemies destroyed all Siva identities and demolished Siva temples. They began spreading their religion.Its given name Irunda Kaalam because historians could not identify the amount of damages done and couldn’t fix the historical facts correctly.

This was the period Buddhism and Jainism began to spread through the kings. Before this there was no influence of Buddhism and Jainism is Tamil Nadu. This 2 religion came to tamil Nadu about 700 years after it was founded. -Some Nayanmars existed during this Irunda Kaalam such as Kurthuva Nayanar & Murthi Nayanmar to battle against the Jains and Buddhist.
Painful period of the Aryans in India too. - Jainism which started in the North India came to South ( Tamil Naadu) and influenced the rulers and kings of the Tamil Naadu to destroy Saivism etc.-Koonpaandiyan
Demigod (sirudeivam) worship started because all the Shivan temples were shut down.
This is when Lord Shiva decided that a evolved soul need to be sent to earth for mankind to save the Saiva Samayam. These 2 souls are Appar and Sambanthar from sivasarupam form. Sambantar was Abara Subramanyar and Appar was Vaagesa Munivar. The period when they came are Saiva Marumalarchi kaalam. This is between AD 700 to AD.1200. Sambantar, Appar and Sundarar began spreading Saivism again. They sang a lot of Thirumurais with the full understanding of the Saivagamas
The faith of Saivism and Siva worship flourished again.
During this moment, Vaishnavism was not available and non of the Alwars of Vaishnavism were born too in the Gnanasambanthar or Appar’s period. This evidence is clearly stated in the “Aalwargal Sarigai” published by Lipco Company. In this book it is stated that all Aalwars born after the 7th A.D. All of them didn’t go through hard times like Appar or Sambanthar. They came after Saivism was rescued from the cluthes of Jainism.

Confusion and Diversion
Aram, Porul, Inbam & Veedu – the 4 Maraigal or path. Aryans say that their vedas was available from beginless period and not said by anyone. This is a contradicting fact because sound or say doesn’t appear from nothing. Someone has to preach or say such words. But our Thirumurai clearly indicated that Aram, Porul, Inbam & Veedu was preached by the Supreme Lord Himself.
“Aram porul inbam veedu mudintha vaayan mukkan aathi” is Saint Gnansambanthar’s words in 1st Thirumurai, 53rd padigam, 6th song. Meaning Lord Shiva has preached this 4 maraigal.
In Appar’s thevaram 6th Thirumurai 66th padigam 2nd song “ Aalathen keelinrunthu naalvarkku aram porul veedu inbam aarangam vedham therittanai”.
Saint Sundarar in 7th Thirumurai, 28th padigam 3rd song “Andralin nilatkeel aram naalvarkkarul purinthu”.
Saint Manikkavasagar in 274th Thiruvasagam “Aranthavarkku aram mudhal naanggu endra arul ceithaninil, thirunthavarkku ulegerrukke theriyathan challalo”; meaning If Lord Shiva didn’t preach Aram porul inbam veedu, nobody on this earth would have known how to live a life. Live according to Aram, gather porul, experience the worldly inbam and finally attain His veedu is the purpose of this.
After Thevaram and Thiruvasagam came, Saivism began to have a bright period and well known. It was during this florishing period came Adi Sankara in 788 A.D.
Another era of confusion started. What is the fundamentals of Saivism? What are the doctrines of Saivism? The confusion of the practices of Siva worship was cleared with the assistance of the 4 saints earlier but now a new confusion has started.
Now the teachings of Saivism and its principles was raised as question. Various scholars gave various explanations based on their own understandings which lead to confusion. This explanations confusion originated from Tamil Nadu itself.
It all started when asked what is the actual meaning of Advaitam which was stated in the Vedas. What is “Ekam Evadvaitham Brahmam” in Sandhokiya Upanisad?
When a group of saints and scholars from south of India decided to answer this question- 4 various religious faith or samayam was founded.
· Neelakanda Sivachariar from Karnataka in 7th Century who made a basyam,
· Adi Sankarar who came in 788 A.D,
· Ramanujar 1017 to 1137
· Madvacharya 1199 to 1272.
These saints didn’t give explanation in their own mother tongue’s language but gave all explanation in Sanskrit. Now the conflict was is our 4 saints mentioned the same principles as per this Saints in Sanskrit?
The conflict of language started. Which language gives higher level of explanation? All explanation were based on Pasu Arivu which means based on human’s intellectual mind. Now the concept of God in Thirumurais had to be explained in this language ,..confusion and conflict.
Adi Sankara used sanskrit vedas and created Brahmasutra in which, his principal clearly states that God is only one and the rest are just manifestations. People began to be confused, because Sambanthar and other nayanmars existed before the period of Adi Sankarar and they have said there are five elements ( porul ); God, soul, anavam, karmam and maya but Adi Sankarar says there is only 1 element. Confusion in the existance of the elements. Adi Sankara was born in 788 A.D in India a place called Kaladi.
Saint Sundarar attained Lord’s Feet in 718 A.D and after 70 years Adi Sankara was born to a brahmin family. As mentioned early, his preaching is Monoism where it indicates in his teaching that only God is Ulporul and all the others is just manifestations and forms. People began to be confused because Gnanasambanthar mentioned that there are 5 poruls and they started asking Adi sankara why his teaching only says 1. In Thevaram it clearly indicates Vilayathathor parisil varum pasu pasa veythanai un thalaiyayine thaviravarum thalaivanathu sarbaam – There are 5 poruls (elements) clearly stated here.
After him came Ramanujar in 988 A.D; 200 years after Adi Sankara and said Adi Sankara’s teaching is wrong. Ramanujar started a sect called Vaishnavam preached Sat Sit Anandham - 3 elements. 3 real entities namely, Jiva (the sentient); Jagath (the insenient) and Isvara (Vishnu-Narayana or Parabrahman) But when attaining mukthi these 3 elements will disappear. – confusion !
Vaishnavism only came during the era of Saint Manikkavasagar
Vaishnavite pray to Mahavishnu as Supreme God
Details of Aalwars – Divya Desam ( 108 temples) , Nalaayira Divyaprabhantam – ( songs)
The principal belief of Vaishnavism is the identification of
Vishnu or Narayana as the one Supreme God.

Within their worship Vaishnava devotees consider that Vishnu is within them.
In Saivism also this worship is available but we don’t practise this because the Vaishnavites always condemns Saivism. In the aspects of worship for Saivism, Saivagamas have indicated that we have 25 Muhurthams or forms to worship and one of it is Hariardhar which is Mahavishnu. Ardhar means half; half of Narayanan and half Shiva – Shankara Narayanan.
The
Gaudiya Vaishnava branch of the tradition has significantly increased the awareness of Vaishnavism internationally, since the mid-1900s, largely through the activities and geographical expansion of the Hare Krishna movement, primarily through the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, founded in 1966 by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, and, more recently, through several other Vaishnava organizations conducting preaching activities in the West ( The Gaudiya Vaishnavas, Krishna is considered to be the Supreme God and the source of all avataras)
Ramanujacharya also wrote a commentary on Brahma sutra, called,
Sri Bhasya, which lays foundations to the Vasishtadvaita tradition. In this, he firmly disagree with the Advaita view as proposed by Adi Shankara in his commentary.
200 years after Adi Sankara then came Ramanujar preaching Vaishnavism with more confusion. People after converting from the mess of Jainism and embraced Saivism, became clear with the concept of God after singing the Thirumurai became confused again now with these new school of thoughts and teaching. What is the fundamentals of Saivism? What are the doctrines of Saivism? The confusion of the practices of Siva worship was cleared with the assistance of the 4 saints earlier.
All Thirumurais were locked in Chidambaram at this moment and was only found by the great King Raja Raja Chola later during his era.
This confusion exist till today. There is no scholars or teachers who are ready to preach the truth in Saiva Siddhanta today and to explain which is the way of life as per the Saivagamas. Not everyone knows how to overcome problems and troubles in life.
Meikanda Sastras
Lord Shiva selected great saint Meikandar for this purpose. The Vedas and Agamas mentioned by Lord Siva and the thirumurai’s by the samaya kuravar is the same and to prove this was the ultimate mission of Meikandar for mankind.
Important point : Meikandar didn’t do His works everyone. The works was for those who have learned and understood Vedas, sastras and language. So the explanation has to be received directly from Meikandar that is via Upadesa murai. (Experience and theory is different). Meikandar is a Samusiddhar in His previous birth. ( Samusiddhar is a soul who finished Sariyai Kriyai & Yogam level in previous birth)
So Meikandar did Sivangana Botham in 1234. This works cannot be studied like ordinary books. Arulnandi Sivam was given the privilege to do a commentary for Meikandar’s work for everyone to understand.This is then followed by the rest of the 13 sastras.
Studing this scriptures is for understanding the liberation of soul and NOT for any material benefits.All the details and answers for doubts from this 14 sastras was explained to normal souls like us by great Madhava Sivangana Munivar. The world of Saivism today has acknowledged the explanation of this great saint in His great work called Dravida Mapadiyam where he have shown us what is Siddhantam.

3 comments:

RAVISHANKAR said...

I appreciate your whole hearted efforts and thank you for the blog. If you say that Pre-Aryan is Shaivite, how come there is not archeological or epigraphical evidence for Shiva worship in Sangam Period. Although the Irai Vanakkam songs are of shiva, no paripadal song is on shiva. Don't you feel there is a disconnect? Please reply. bjravishankar@gmaildotcom

Da Duo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Da Duo said...

The Pashupati seal is actually of Rishabha, the great Jaina ascetic. In fact, Siva is a venerated form of Rishabha. After Rishabha renounced the material world and became a naked ascetic, he had a large number of followers. These followers were of two types.

1) Those who imitated his way of life. ie the birth of Sramana Jains.

2) Those who venerated Rishabha himself as a god ie Saivites

For the Saivites, they required some form or figure to worship.

From the earliest times the lingam and Yoni have been worshipped (in those days, if men or women could not conceive a child, they would try to appease the god of male or female reproductive organs by worshipping them in the form of a lingam or yoni)

Since the lingam was already a figure of worship, and the fact that Rishabh was a NUDE ascetic, the lingam would be a perfect symbol for him.