Shaivism is a religion that is said to be created by Lord Shiva himself; people following his ideologies are called “Shaivas”. Lord Shiva is one of the thousand deities who is revered and prayed by the billions of Indian devotees. Malaysia, Singapore and Sri Lanka, Shaivism has spread its roots everywhere, it is not very hard to find an Indian temple believing in the philosophies of Shaivism in these aforementioned countries. The believers have a great faith in the astounding powers of Shiva, he is acknowledged as the creator and the destroyer of the whole universe. Vibhuti, is a purified and holy version of the ash that is worn by Shiva’s devotees to offer respect to their Lord. The origins of Shaivism is quite unknown, but it is presence is cleared in the archaeological texts that are obtained from the Harappa and Mohenjo daro sites. Shaivism has also find its place in Rig- Veda, where Lord Shiva has been referred as Rudra. It was in the Gupta dynasty that Shaivism spread in the whole country like fire. Even in India, the religion is most popular in Tamilnadu majorly among the Tamil Brahmins. The group is called “Shaivite group”.Shavite group classifies its teachings broadly into two groups: Vedic Puranic and Non- Puranic. The oldest named Shaivite group is Pashupata. The shaivas believe in getting enlightenment and walking on the path of moksha. They meditate day in and day out in the search of self-realization. Shaivism is a broad religion, Shiva is believed to be in the soul of each entity on this whole planet, the body is said to be made of all the world’s entities, thus making each cell a Shiva’s creation. There are varying philosophies driving the shaivas into multiple dimensions, among these the most popular one is that of Kashmir Shaivism. Kashmir Shaivism found its way in India during the 8th century, it was founded in Kashmir and had promulgated well enough until the end of the 12th century. Bhairava, the other name of lord Shiva, as was often referred by the Tantriks, Kashmir Shaivism has its roots taken from Bhairava’s tantras and, as Tantriks were a household name in those days, it made it easier for Shaivas to find their way into millions of hearts. Trika is contained in the Kashmir style of Shaivism. The idea behind the teachings of Kashmir Shaivism is the non-dualistic nature of life, it conveys the oneness in the universe, it defines the powers that bind together all the realms of life. It gets a little tricky distinguishing Kashmir Shaivism from Advaita sidhanta as both the philosophies are based upon the non-duality of the supreme. Kashmir Shaivism believes in the living conscience, it believes that the world is governed according to the decisions, perceptions, consciences, theologies and interpretations that we make. It believes that we are different from Shiva but Shaivism can teach us to mould and bend our indriyas in accordance with the lord. Meditation, yoga, concentration are the practices that bring us closer to the lord. Anuttara, it is the highest concept of the Shaivism, which believes in the supremacy of the ultimate creator of life. The word “Anuttara” is a Sanskrit word meaning, “The supreme”; here the supreme is referred to lord Shiva. The supreme teaching reflects that life is in singularity with the lord. We have the godly presence in us and so the god have us in him. We are not separate from the world; the worldly entities like river, fire, air and the quint essence of life have helped in our birth and formation so we live together with each other and in each other. Shiva is revered in the form of Lingam, he is also depicted in the image of Natraja, and Shiva is shown dancing in that particular depiction. The philosophies and ideologies of Shaivism has many references in all the Vedic texts. Many schools continue these teachings of lord Shiva. One of them is “Shaiva Siddhanta”, the teachings of this particular school is in very much contrast to the normal religious beliefs of Hindus. Shaiva Siddhanta believes in the theory that, “soul is not a singular entity but a plural one.” The other school is, “Kashmiri Shaivism”, it lies in accordance with the Indian religious beliefs, “God is one” that is. The popularity of lord Shiva can be determined by the fact that a lot has been written and shown on television having him in the centre. Lately a series of books known as Shiva trilogy “The secret of the Nagas” written by the Indian author Mr. Amish Tripathi became a big hit. Indians just not consider him as a lord but as a protector, provider and a benefactor. He is the reason why Indians feed milk to snakes and see them as luck bringers. So now, it should be clear whether the Shiva is in one of his fierce moods or in his dancing moods, he is loved and revered by all.

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Comment by Mike Yap on April 29, 2014 at 5:01am

Thanks for everything Trevor, I will keep that in mind for next time =)


Comment by Trevor Taylor on April 29, 2014 at 4:57am

Mike, thank you for this article. I will be recommending it to the publishers for puiblication in one of the forthcoming editions of OM Times, but will first be formatting it into paragraphs on the publishers draft as you had all 830 words in one block paragraph, just so you know for future articles, and be sure to put a brief    BIO in at the end of your articles, no more than about a sentence or two about yourself. Trevor

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