Vaidika Saiva Siddhanta
Kasivasi Sentinatha Iyer

    (Siva Sri Sentinatha Iyer was born on the second day of Iyppasi of Keelaka year(1848).  He learnt Tamil and Sanskrit from Brahma Sri Katirkama Iyer who later became his father-in-law.  HE joined the Central School of Jaffna in 1853.  He acquired proficiency in Tamil thanks to Pandit Sri Sambhandam of Nalloor.  He was versed in three languages viz., Tamil, Sanskrit and English.  He served as a teacher for six years from 1872 in Saivapprakasa Vidhyasalai, at Vannar Pannai, founded by the stalwart Siddhantin Siva Sri Arumuga Navalar.  He also served in the English School of Navalar for one year as a teacher.  He came to Trivandrum in 1878 for acquiring greater proficiency in Sanskrit.  He returned to Ceylon in 1880 and gave a series of Lectures.  In 1882 he came to Tirunelveli and took to teaching in the famous Saiva Vidhyasalai.  In 1883 he became the sub-editor of "Sujana Manoranjani" and wrote articles refuting the theories projected by calumniators of Saivism.  Iyer was a born polemicist.  He was not one who would suffer fools gladly.

    Iyer received his Nirvana Diksha as well as Acharya Abisheka in 1884.  His Diksha Naamam is Agora Sivacharya.

    In 1886 his work "Kantapurana Navanitam" was published.  In 1887 he made a special study of Sivagnana Siddhiyar, and the one who indoctrinated him in the intricate mysticism of this great work, as Inuvil Siva Sri Nataraja Iyer, a disciple of Navalar.

    In 1888 he started a journal called "Amirta Bhotini".  His polemical activities intensified.  He was at this time awarded the title: "Siddhanta Sikamani".  He flexed his creative muscles and produced "Gnana Retthinavali" "Veerabhattirastiram" "Viviliya Kurchitha Kandana Tikkaram" and other works.

    In 1902 he founded a school called "Vaidika Suddhadwaita Vidhya Saala" in Tirupparangkunram where he taught his alumni and alumnae, English, Tamil, Sanskrit etc.

    His famous Map of Saivism (Vaidika Suddha Saiva Siddhanta Patam) was released in 1904 and the explanatory book therefore was published in 1907.  Of this Pandithamani Sri Ganapathi Pillai says: "To this commentary are prefixed two scholarly introductory essays called "Upanitatha Upakkiramanikai" and "Brahmma-Sutra Upakkira-manikai" by Iyer. These two contain 455 sections.  The first 372 relate to Upanitatha Upakkiramanikai.  For each section he merits a Doctorate".

    Iyer wrote as many as forty-five works.  His "Sivagnana Bodha Vachaanaalangkaara Deepam" and "Tevaaram Veda Saaram" are worth their weight in gold.

    Iyer's services to Saivism are legion.  Agamanta oozed out from every pore of his sacred frame.

    Iyer shed his mortal coil on 5 May 1924. Editor.)

    It is mentioned in Jabala Upanishat that "Brahmacharis said, tell us by repeating what, Amritatva will be for us?  Upon which, Yajnavalkya answered, By repeating Satarudriya; these (contained in satarudriya) are the names of Amrita, by (repeating) which one will become Amrita."

    So the names mentioned in Satarudriya are those of Siva(Amrita) which are the means of producing Amritatva(Sivatva).  The word Amrita is found in the following Upanishats as the name of eternal Siva:-

    Isavasya II, 14.
    Kena 2, Khanda 12, 13.
    Katha 5, 8; 6. I, 14, 15, 17.
    Prasna I. 10; 2. 5; 3. II,12;5. 7;6. 5.
    Mundaka I, 2 II; 2, 2. 5, 7, II; 3. 2. 9.
    Aitaraya 4. 6; 5. 4.
    Taittriya I, 6, 1, 2; 3, 10, 3.
    Chandogya I. 4. 4, 5; 3. 12. 6; 4. 15. I 7.24. I; 8. 3. 4: 8. 7. 4; 8. 8.3 ; 8.10. I; 1,8,11. 1; 8. 12. 1; 1; 8. 14. 1.
    Brihadaranya 4. 4. 2; 4. 2; 4. 5, (1-14); 5. 7. (3-23); 6. 4. 7, 17; 7. 14. 8.
    Kaushitaki 3, 2, 8.
    Maitri 6. 22. 24, 35.
    Kaushitaki 3, 2, 8.
    Maitri 6. 22. 24, 35.

    In Mandukya the word Siva is found in 7, 12.  Although the word Amrita means nectar, water, milk &c., in some other places, in the Srutis quoted above it denotes Siva only.  Therefore all the above twelve principal Upanishats belong to Saivism only.

    Svetasvatara, Mahanarayana, Kaivalya, Kalagnirudra, Atharvasiras, Atharvasikha & c., clearly show that they are Saiva Upanishats.  It is said in 14th Adhyaya of Jnanayoga Khanda of Sutasamhita.

    "Some skilled in Vedasiras call the besmearing the whole body with sacred ashes Pasupata; others call it Sirovrata; others, Atyasrama; others, Vrata and Sambhava."

    That is : besmearing the body with the sacred ashes and repeating six mantras is called Pasupata in Atharvasiras; in Mundaka (3. 2. 10) Sirovrata; in Svetasvatara (6. 2. 1) and Kaivalya.  Atyasrama; in Kalagnirudra, Vrata and Sambhava.

    Sivarahysa says "Those belong to Taittriya think, O Uma, that sacred ashes should not be neglected."

    The word Bhuti (sacred ashes) is found in Taittriya 1, 11, 1.

    Again the Sutasamhita says (30th Adhyaya, Yajnavaibhava Khanda) "Besmearing the whole body with sacred ashes and wearing on the forehead and other limbs with three streaks of ashes form appendages to knowledge (Para Vidya).

    The 17th mantra of Isavasya and Brihadaranya(7. 15. 1) enjoin "Besmear the body with ashes repeating" Agni is the ashes, Jalam is the ashes" (i.e. adding the word Bhasma at the end of the words Anilam, Vayu, Amrita as in the order mentioned in Atharvasira).  As besmearing the body with sacred ashes forms an appendage to the study of Upanishats and Brahma Sutras, Brahmins should observe the Pasupata Vrata.  This is taught in the Pasupata Vrata Adhikarana(Saiva Bhasya, III. 4. 48, 49), Kailasa Samhita, Linga-purana, Vayu-Samhita, Maha-Bharata &c.  By the reasons cited above, all the principal Upanishats and the Brahma Sutras founded upon them are in favour of Saivism and define the attributes of Siva-Brahma Parasakti, Jivatma, &c.

    Brihadaranya(4. 4. 10; 6. 1. 2; 6. 5. 11) says that Vedas, Itihasas, Puranas & c. are the breathing of Brahma.  Again Vayusamhita ( I part I, 24) says that Siva is the Author of 18 Vidyas.  Upon this, if one contends and says that "Narayana alone existed not Brahma nor Siva," and He was the author of all Vedas, Puranas &c.  according to Subala Upanishat, we answer as follows.  In a certain Kalpa, Brahma was the creator of Vishnu, Rudra&c: in another Kalpa, Rudra created Vishnu, Brahma&c; in another Vishnu created Brahma, Rudra, creatures, Vidyas &c.  (Vayu Samhita Part I. II), Beyond these three, was Siva Para Brahma.  Therefore what is mentioned in Subala Upanishat belongs to the intermediate time of creation only.

    It is further known from Maha Bharata and SaivaPurana that the meanings of Vedas should be expounded by the aid of Itihasas and Puranas; Vayu Samhita again says that Puranas construe the Vedic meanings with great effort, whereas that Saivagamas expound them with great perfectness.  Therefore Upanishats, Puranas, and Sivagamas are respectively entitled to be called Sutras, annotations, and vast commentaries.  As Vedas and Agamas stand in relation as Sutra and Bhashya, Vedas are called samanya sruti and Agamas the special sruti in Moha-srokta.

    The word Adhva(Katha 3.9) is expounded in Vayusamhita(part I. 25, part II, 15) as six Adhvas i.e. Mantra, Varna, Pada, Bhuvana, Tatva and Kala Adhvas.  In Tatva-Adhva only, there are thirty six principles or Tatvas(which contain twenty four Atma Tatvas of Prasna (4. 8,)  Seven Vidya Tatvas of Svetasvatara (1. 2,) and five Siva Tatvas of Brihat-Jabala(4.19).

    Siva, Mahesvara, Rudra, Vishnu, Pitamaha, Samsara-Vaidya, Sarvajoa, and Paramatma are the eight names of Siva; as He pervades all from Siva-Tatva to Earth (numbering thirty six Tatvas), He (Siva) is called Vishnu(Vayu-samhita Part I. 28. 36).  Therefore the name Vishnu found in Rig-veda (1. 22. 20) and in Katha (3. 9) is only to be applied to Siva, and not to Narayana who pervades only twenty-four Atma Tatvas.  The Dahara Akasa Upasana ()taught in the 8th Prapathaka of Chandogya is found in almost all the other Upanishats.

    Uma, Haimavati (found in Kena) is the name of Parasakti of Siva only, who is neither Lakshmi of Narayana, nor the Anivachaniya-maya-sakti of Ekanmavada.  Kurma-Purana says that "Akasa" and "Vyoma" do mean the Parasakti of Siva.  Therefore Gargi-Akasa of Brihadaranya, Akasa of Chandogya, and Vyoma of Tattriya &c. denote Parasakti (Svetesvatara 6. 18) of Siva Brahma.  By the reasons quoted above, we easily come to understand that all the principal upanishats belong to Saivism only, and those who worship the Vedic Siva according to the prescribed Saiva rules are called Vaidika-Saivas.  As Upanishats teach up to Jnanayoga (Vayusamhita Part I. 28, 6) principal Upanishats treat of Path of Light, Brahmaloka, Sivaloka &c.  The Jnana-Pada or Siddhanta, the essence of Upanishats is taught in Sarva-Jnanottra, Devikalottara, Sivajnana-Bodha &c.

    The whole Kailasa-samhita treats of Sivadvaita; this was taught by Subramanya to Rishi Vama-Deva, whose name is found in Aitareya 4. 5, and Brihadaranya 3. 4. 10.  The name Sivadvaita is seen in Kailasa samhita 10. 96.  Saiva Siddhanta was taught by Siva first to Vijnanakalas, Pralayakalas, Sakaslas &c.  The word Siddhanta is seen in Sivarahasya Khanda, Sambhava Khanda, 3. 51.  Siddhanta was also taught by Vayu to Rishis, and by Upamanyu, the son of Vyagrapada to Krishna, who taught Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna.  The name of Siddhanta is found in Vayusamhita Part I. 28. 72.  The word Saiva Siddhanta is found in Vayusamhita Part II. 24. 177.

    Agita-Agama says,

    "Sa eva sarvages sadbhir Brahma sabdena Sabditah" that Siva is called Brahma.  Therefore Srikhantha-Acharya is right in interpreting Brahma as Siva according to Srutis, Puranas and Agamas.  Neither Meykandar nor Sivajnana Munivar introduced either Sivadvaita or Siddhanta newly.

Reproduced from the Light of Truth, Vol. VIII, No.3, Sep. 1912, pp. 105-108