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Pashupata Shaivism (Pāśupata, Sanskrit : पाशुपत) is the oldest of the major Shaivite Hindu schools. There is a debate about pioneership of this school and Goan school of Nakulish darshan believes that Nakulish was pioneer and Lakulish and Patanjalinath were his disciples while Gujrat school believes that Nakulish and Lakulish are one. Sarwdarshansangrah written by Madhavachary mentiones it as "Nakulish Darshan" not as "Lakulish Darshan". Both sub schools are still active in their own areas. The philosophy of the Pashupata sect was systematized by Lakulīśa also called Nakulīśa ) in the 2nd century A.D. The main texts of the school are Pāśupatasūtra with Kauṇḍinya's Pañcārthabhāṣya, and Gaṇakārikā with Bhāsarvajña's Ratnaṭīkā. Both texts were discovered only in the twentieth century. Prior to that, the major source of information on this sect was a chapter devoted to it in Vidyāraṇya's Sarvadarśanasaṅgraha.
Shaivism is one of the major traditions within Hinduism that reveres Shiva as the Supreme Being. The followers of Shaivism are called "Shaivites" or "Saivites". It is one of the largest sects that believe Shiva — worshipped as a creator and destroyer of worlds — is the supreme god over all. 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. It considers both the Vedas and the Agama texts as important sources of theology. The origin of Shaivism may be traced to the conception of Rudra in the Rig Veda.
The date of foundation of the school is uncertain. However, the Pashupatas may have existed from the 1st century CE. [ full citation needed ] The Pashupata movement was influential in South India in the period between the 7th and 14th century.Gavin Flood dates them to around the 2nd century CE. They are also referred to in the epic Mahabharata which is thought to have reached a final form by 4th century CE.
The Mahābhārata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the Rāmāyaṇa. It narrates the struggle between two groups of cousins in the Kurukshetra War and the fates of the Kaurava and the Pāṇḍava princes and their succession. Along with the Rāmāyaṇa, it forms the Hindu Itihasa.
South India is the area including the five Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Telangana, as well as the three union territories of Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Puducherry, occupying 19% of India's area. Covering the southern part of the peninsular Deccan Plateau, South India is bounded by the Bay of Bengal in the east, the Arabian Sea in the west and the Indian Ocean in the south. The geography of the region is diverse with two mountain ranges–the Western and Eastern Ghats, bordering the plateau heartland. Godavari, Krishna, Kaveri, Tungabhadra, Periyar and Vaigai rivers are important non-perennial sources of water. Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Trivandrum, Coimbatore, Visakhapatnam, Madurai, Mysore, Mangalore, Kozhikode and Kochi are the largest urban areas.
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Pashupata Shaivism was a devotional (bhakti) and ascetic movement.Pashu in Pashupati refers to the effect (or created world), the word designates that which is dependent on something ulterior. Whereas, Pati means the cause (or principium), the word designates the Lord, who is the cause of the universe, the pati, or the ruler. To free themselves from worldly fetters Pashupatas are instructed to do a pashupata vrata. Atharvasiras Upanishsad describes the pashupata vrata as that which consists of besmearing one's own body with ashes and at the same time muttering mantra — "Agni is ashes, Vayu is ashes, Sky is ashes, all this is ashes, the mind, these eyes are ashes."
Bhakti literally means "attachment, participation, fondness for, homage, faith, love, devotion, worship, purity". In Hinduism, it refers to devotion to, and love for, a personal god or a representational god by a devotee. In ancient texts such as the Shvetashvatara Upanishad, the term simply means participation, devotion and love for any endeavor, while in the Bhagavad Gita, it connotes one of the possible paths of spirituality and towards moksha, as in bhakti marga.
Pashupati is an incarnation of the Hindu god Shiva as "lord of the animals". He is revered throughout the Hindu world, but especially in Nepal, where he is unofficially regarded as a national deity.
A mantra is a sacred utterance, a numinous sound, a syllable, word or phonemes, or group of words in Sanskrit believed by practitioners to have psychological and/or spiritual powers. A mantra may or may not have a syntactic structure or literal meaning.
Haradattacharya, in Gaṇakārikā, explains that a spiritual teacher is one who knows the eight pentads and the three functions. The eight pentads of Acquisition (result of expedience), Impurity (evil in soul), Expedient (means of purification), Locality (aids to increase knowledge), Perseverance (endurance in pentads), Purification (putting away impurities), Initiation and Powers are—
|Acquisition||knowledge||penance||permanence of the body||constancy||purity|
|Expedient||use of habitation||pious muttering||meditation||constant recollection of Rudra||apprehension|
|Locality||spiritual teachers||a cavern||a special place||the burning ground||Rudra|
|Perseverance||the differenced||the undifferenced||muttering||acceptance||devotion|
|Purification||loss of ignorance||loss of demerit||loss of attachment||loss of interestedness||loss of falling|
|Initiations||the material||proper time||the rite||the image||the spiritual guide|
|Powers||devotion to the spiritual guide||clearness of intellect||conquest of pleasure and pain||merit||carefulness|
The three functions correspond to the means of earning daily food — mendicancy, living upon alms, and living upon what chance supplies.
Pashupatas disapprove of the Vaishnava theology, known for its doctrine servitude of souls to the Supreme Being, on the grounds that dependence upon anything cannot be the means of cessation of pain and other desired ends. They recognize that those depending upon another and longing for independence will not be emancipated because they still depend upon something other than themselves. According to Pashupatas, spirits possess the attributes of the Supreme Deity when they become liberated from the 'germ of every pain'.In this system the cessation of pain is of two kinds, impersonal and personal. Impersonal consists of the absolute cessation of all pains, whereas the personal consists of development of visual and active powers like swiftness of thought, assuming forms at will etc. The Lord is held to be the possessor of infinite, visual, and active powers.
Pañchārtha bhāshyadipikā divides the created world into the insentient and the sentient. The insentient is unconscious and thus dependent on the conscious. The insentient is further divided into effects and causes. The effects are of ten kinds, the earth, four elements and their qualities, colour etc. . The causes are of thirteen kinds, the five organs of cognition, the five organs of action, the three internal organs, intellect, the ego principle and the cognising principle. These insentient causes are held responsible for the illusive identification of Self with non-Self. The sentient spirit, which is subject to transmigration is of two kinds, the appetent and nonappetent. The appetent is the spirit associated with an organism and sense organs, whereas the non-appetent is the spirit without them.
Union in the Pashupata system is a conjunction of the soul with God through the intellect. It is achieved in two ways, action and cessation of action. Union through action consists of pious muttering, meditation etc. and union through cessation of action occurs through consciousness.
[ disputed (for: Not verified by local sources.) ]
Rituals and spiritual practices were done to acquire merit or puṇya. They were divided into primary and secondary rituals, where primary rituals were the direct means of acquiring merit. Primary rituals included acts of piety and various postures. The acts of piety were bathing thrice a day, lying upon sand and worship with oblations of laughter, song, dance, sacred muttering etc. Postures involved absurd actions such as, snoring or showing signs of being asleep while awake, limping, wooing or gestures of an inamorato on seeing a young and pretty woman, talking nonsensically etc. Secondary rituals involved bearing marks of purity after bathing.
Hindu philosophy refers(philosophies, world views, teachings) that emerged in ancient India. These include six systems (ṣaḍdarśana) – Sankhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Mimamsa and Vedanta. These are also called the Astika (orthodox) philosophical traditions and are those that accept the Vedas as an authoritative, important source of knowledge. Ancient and medieval India was also the source of philosophies that share philosophical concepts but rejected the Vedas, and these have been called nāstika Indian philosophies. Nāstika Indian philosophies include Buddhism, Jainism, Cārvāka, Ājīvika, and others.
Samkhya or Sankhya is one of the six āstika schools of Hindu philosophy. It is most related to the Yoga school of Hinduism, and it was influential on other schools of Indian philosophy. Sāmkhya is an enumerationist philosophy whose epistemology accepts three of six pramanas (proofs) as the only reliable means of gaining knowledge. These include pratyakṣa (perception), anumāṇa (inference) and śabda. Sometimes described as one of the rationalist schools of Indian philosophy, this ancient school's reliance on reason was exclusive but strong.
Niyama literally means positive duties or observances. In Indian traditions, particularly Yoga, niyamas and its complement, Yamas, are recommended activities and habits for healthy living, spiritual enlightenment and liberated state of existence. It has multiple meanings depending on context in Hinduism. In Buddhism, the term extends to the determinations of nature, as in the Buddhist niyama dhammas.
Shaiva siddhanta,(IAST: Śaiva siddhānta), provides the normative rites, cosmology and theological categories of Agamic and Vedic Shaivam combined. Being a dualistic philosophy, the goal of Shaiva Siddhanta is to become an enlightened soul through Lord Shiva's Grace.
Kashmir Shaivism or more accurately Trika Shaivism refers to a nondualist tradition of Śaiva-Śakta Tantra which originated sometime after 850 CE. Though this tradition was very influential in Kashmir and is thus often called Kashmir Shaivism, it was actually a pan-Indian movement termed "Trika" by its great exegete Abhinavagupta, which also flourished in Oḍiśā and Mahārāṣṭra. Defining features of the Trika tradition is its idealistic and monistic Pratyabhijnā ("Recognition") philosophical system, propounded by Utpaladeva and Abhinavagupta, and the centrality of the three goddesses Parā, Parāparā, and Aparā.
Vidyaranya is variously known as a kingmaker, patron saint and high priest to Harihara I and Bukka Raya I, the founders of the Vijayanagara Empire. He was the 12th Jagadguru of the Śringeri Śarada Pītham from 1380-1386.
The Kāpālika tradition was a non-Puranic form of Shaivism in India. The word Kāpālikas is derived from kapāla meaning "skull", and Kāpālikas means the "skull-men". The Kāpālikas traditionally carried a skull-topped trident (khatvanga) and an empty skull as a begging bowl. Other attributes associated with Kāpālikas were that they smeared their body with ashes from the cremation ground, revered the fierce Bhairava form of Shiva, engaged in rituals with blood, meat, alcohol, and sexual fluids.
A Kosha, usually rendered "sheath", is a covering of the Atman, or Self according to Vedantic philosophy. There are five Koshas, and they are often visualised as the layers of an onion.
Lakulisha was a prominent Shaivite revivalist, reformist and preceptor of the doctrine of the Pashupatas, one of the oldest sects of Shaivism.
The Mimamsa Sutra or the Purva Mimamsa Sutras, written by Rishi Jaimini is one of the most important ancient Hindu philosophical texts. It forms the basis of Mimamsa, the earliest of the six orthodox schools (darshanas) of Indian philosophy. According to tradition, sage Jaimini was one of the disciples of sage Veda Vyasa, the author of Mahabharata.
Kaula, also known as Kula, and, is a religious tradition in Shaktism and tantric Shaivism characterised by distinctive rituals and symbolism connected with the worship of Shakti. It flourished in India primarily in the first millennium AD.
The Agamas are a collection of scriptures of several Hindu devotional schools. The term literally means tradition or "that which has come down", and the Agama texts describe cosmology, epistemology, philosophical doctrines, precepts on meditation and practices, four kinds of yoga, mantras, temple construction, deity worship and ways to attain sixfold desires. These canonical texts are in Sanskrit and Tamil.
Prāyaścitta is the Sanskrit word which means "atonement, penance, expiation". It refers to one of the corrective measures in dharmaśāstra as an alternative to incarceration or other forms of danda (punishment) when someone is convicted of certain categories of crimes. The word is also used in Hindu texts to refer to actions to expiate one's errors or sins, such as adultery by a married person.
Worship in Hinduism is an act of religious devotion usually directed to one or more Hindu deities. A sense of Bhakti or devotional love is generally invoked. This term is probably a central one in Hinduism. A direct translation from the Sanskrit to English is problematic. Worship takes a multitude of forms depending on community groups, geography and language. There is a flavour of loving and being in love with whatever object or focus of devotion. Worship is not confined to any place of worship, it also incorporates personal reflection, art forms and group. Hindus usually perform worship in temples or at home to achieve some specific end or to integrate the body, the mind, spirit and also to live a pure life in order to help the performer reincarnate into a higher being.
Hindu denominations are traditions within Hinduism centered on one or more gods or goddesses, such as Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. Sometimes the term is used for sampradayas led by a particular guru with a particular philosophy.
Raseśvara was a Shaiva philosophical tradition which arose around the 1st century CE. It advocated the use of mercury to make the body immortal. This school was based on the texts Rasārṇava, Rasahṛidaya and Raseśvarasiddhānta, composed by Govinda Bhagavat and Sarvajña Rāmeśvara.
Pradhāna is an adjective meaning – most important, prime, chief or major. The Shatapatha Brahmana gives its meaning as – 'the chief cause of the material nature' (S.B.7.15.27) or 'the creative principle of nature' (S.B.10.85.3). The Samkhya School of Indian philosophy employs the word, Pradhana, to mean the creative principle of nature, as the original root of matter, the Prime Matter but which according to Badarayana’s logic is the unintelligent principle which cannot be the one consisting of bliss.
The Sanskrit word vidya figures prominently in all texts pertaining to Indian philosophy – to mean science, learning, knowledge and scholarship; most importantly, it refers to valid knowledge which cannot be contradicted and true knowledge which is the knowledge of the self intuitively gained. Vidya is not mere intellectual knowledge, for the Vedas demand understanding.
The Lakulisa Mathura Pillar Inscription is a 4th-century CE Sanskrit inscription in early Gupta script related to the Shaivism tradition of Hinduism. Discovered near a Mathura well in north India, the damaged inscription is one of the earliest evidences of murti (statue) consecration in a temple made to celebrate gurus. It is, according to the Indologist Michael Willis, crucial to understanding the "history of Pashupata Shaivism" and a floruit for the antiquity of its practices. The Lakulisha Mathura inscription is one of the earliest epigraphical evidence of a developed Shaiva initiation tradition.