(Last Updated on : 27/11/2010)
Shaiva Siddhanta was a Shaivite Hindu school. Shaiva Siddhanta flourished in Kashmir from the eighth to the eleventh centuries. A radically modified descendent survives till today in south India as a devotional religion. Ramakantha Bhatta was one of its important thinkers. After the twelfth century this cult was rare in North India. The school appears to have died out in other parts of India even though its importance grew in the south especially in Tamil Nadu
Following the ritual path just for its own sake will not generate karma. It helps to remove an innate defect that has radically restricted the souls' infinite innate powers of knowledge and action. This is ultimately responsible for subjection to Karma
and rebirth. Salvation granted by Lord Shiva
is understood as becoming all powerful and all knowing like the Supreme.
Lord Shiva is considered as a deity with an interest in the world that is sympathetically disposed towards inborn defect human beings. He possesses an unlimited power comprising knowledge and action. He is all pervasive. He is never subject to finite conditions. Inborn fault is a material substance and an action is needed to remove it. Knowledge of its presence is not enough. The eternally real material cause of the physical universe is called Maya
. Lord Shiva operates on this to create environments so that souls embodied with limited powers of knowledge and action may be freed from their karta by experiencing its fruits. The Shaiva Siddhantins hold that creation and the organisation of spheres of experience is in agreement with the accumulated karma of individuals. The soul will be released at death when the effects of its past karma have been worn out
The Siddhanta tradition differs from the Vedic and Puranic cult of Shiva due to its adherence to texts called Agamas which lay down rites that may be performed by any able man in his prime and describe a progressive, fourfold spiritual path of virtuous and moral living. Shaiva Siddhanta's original form is not certain.
Today there are trustees of almost all the Lord Shiva temples of Tamil Nadu. The rituals are conducted as per the Agama Shastras.