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38 Facts About Shaivism
Shaivism developed as an amalgam of pre-Vedic religions and traditions derived from the southern Tamil Shaiva Siddhanta traditions and philosophies, which were assimilated in the non-Vedic Shiva-tradition according to Chakravarti.
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Shaivism has many different sub-traditions with regional variations and differences in philosophy.
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Shaivism has a vast literature with different philosophical schools ranging from nondualism, dualism, and mixed schools.
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Origins of Shaivism are unclear and a matter of debate among scholars, as it is an amalgam of pre-Vedic cults and traditions and Vedic culture.
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The description is conflicting, with some texts stating the tantric, puranik and Vedic traditions of Shaivism to be hostile to each other while others suggest them to be amicable sub-traditions.
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Shaivism was the predominant tradition in South India, co-existing with Buddhism and Jainism, before the Vaishnava Alvars launched the Bhakti movement in the 7th century, and influential Vedanta scholars such as Ramanuja developed a philosophical and organizational framework that helped Vaishnava expand.
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Mantramarga of Shaivism, according to Alexis Sanderson, provided a template for the later though independent and highly influential Pancaratrika treatises of Vaishnava.
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Shaivism sub-traditions subscribe to various philosophies, are similar in some aspects and differ in others.
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Over its history, Shaivism has been nurtured by numerous texts ranging from scriptures to theological treatises.
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The Vedic literature, in Shaivism, is primary and general, while Agamas are special treatise.
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In Shaivism, there are ten dualistic Agama texts, eighteen qualified monism-cum-dualism (bhedabheda) Agama texts and sixty four monism (advaita) Agama texts.
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Shaivism is ancient, and over time it developed many sub-traditions.
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Atimarga branch of Shaivism emphasizes liberation – or the end of all Dukkha – as the primary goal of spiritual pursuits.
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Shaivism is the purported author of the Pashupata-sutra, a foundational text of this tradition.
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Shaivism 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.
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Shaivism would walk around, for example, almost naked, drank liquor in public, and used a human skull as his begging bowl for food.
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Shaivism'storic Shaiva Siddhanta literature is an enormous body of texts.
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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.
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Scholars disagree whether a syncretic tradition emerged from Buddhism and Shaivism, or it was a coalition with free borrowing of ideas, but they agree that the two traditions co-existed peacefully.
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Twelve jyotirlinga sites across India have been particularly important pilgrimage sites in Shaivism representing the radiant light of infiniteness, as per Siva Mahapurana.
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Early Bhakti movement poets of Shaivism composed poems about pilgrimage and temples, using these sites as metaphors for internal spiritual journey.
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