15 Facts About Shaiva


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, Khajuraho, Bhuvaneshwara, Chidambaram, Madurai, and Conjeevaram.

FactSnippet No. 1,910,481

Certain regions have a greater density of 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.

FactSnippet No. 1,910,482

Kashmir Shaiva Agamas posit absolute oneness, that is God 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.

FactSnippet No. 1,910,483

Shaiva is the purported author of the Pashupata-sutra, a foundational text of this tradition.

FactSnippet No. 1,910,484

Shaiva 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.

FactSnippet No. 1,910,485

Shaiva would walk around, for example, almost naked, drank liquor in public, and used a human skull as his begging bowl for food.

FactSnippet No. 1,910,486

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 in ancient Hindu texts.

FactSnippet No. 1,910,487

Shaiva Siddhanta is a major subtradition that emphasized dualism during much of its history.

FactSnippet No. 1,910,488

The philosophy of Shaiva Siddhanta, is particularly popular in south India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore.

FactSnippet No. 1,910,489

Historic Shaiva Siddhanta literature is an enormous body of texts.

FactSnippet No. 1,910,490

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

FactSnippet No. 1,910,491

Shaiva is conceptualized as a kind spiritual teacher, the first of all Gurus in Indonesian Hindu texts, mirroring the Dakshinamurti aspect of Shiva in the Indian subcontinent.

FactSnippet No. 1,910,492

Similarly, Shaiva traditions have reverentially embraced other gods and goddesses as manifestation of the same divine.

FactSnippet No. 1,910,493

Many major Shiva temples and Shaiva tritha centers depict anthropomorphic iconography of Shiva as a giant statue wherein Shiva is a loner yogi meditating, as do Shaiva texts.

FactSnippet No. 1,910,494

Many Yoga-emphasizing Shaiva traditions emerged in medieval India, who refined yoga methods such as by introducing Hatha Yoga techniques.

FactSnippet No. 1,910,495