1) Saivism and Saiva Sittantha
The devotional literature of the Bhakthi movement is known as 'Panniru Thirumurai' and the fourteen Sastras of the theological exposition are known as 'Saiva Sittanta Sastras'. Sivagnanapotham by Meykanta Tevar is regarded as the basic text of the Saiva Sittanta Sastras. The Saiva Sittanta Sastras are also known as the Meykanta Sastras.
Sivagnanapotham, the basic text of Saiva Sitthanta explains from the creation of man to salvation.
To quote a few examples from the first book of Saiva Sittanta Thiruvunthiar:
'Evil creeped over the first Holy creature and bore the fruit of evil.
Don't eat off it'.1
'The hitherto unknown God came down as one of us and gave up Himself to save us from evil'.2
(iii) Salvation through His sufferings
'He who has accomplished the works of salvation through His sufferings will not come again in His body, He has no birth or death again'.3
(iv) Eternal life
'If you join Him who shared His home with the thieves you will attain the heavenly abode which is light'.4
Songs from other literature are also quoted. In defining the Trinity as three persons in one God head:
(v) Trinity and Avatar
" The eternal God( Siva) and the Ornamented one (Vitnu).
And the eternal one on the Lotus (Brahma).
If examined are one and the same
But the ignored are confused". 5
In Saivism God is visualized in three forms as 'Aruvam' (God without form), 'Uruvam' (God with a form) and `Aruvuruvam' (God with semiform).
'The Triune Prime God'6
sings Thirugnana sampanthar in Tevaram.
The author of Potripahrotai sings
"Iravaa Inpathu Yemai iruththa vendi piravaa muthalvan piranthaan."7
(To give us eternal pleasure, the unborn prime God was born). He delivers us from our original sin (Sahasa malaa).
The Godhead had lost all his glories and offered himself as a 'Sacrifice', so that mankind could be restored to a new life leaving the inherent qualities of leading a sinful life. In short, he gave himself as 'Sacrifice' for the remission of sins of the mankind. This is sung by Thirunavukkarasar in Tevaram as follows
(He offered himself as sacrifice)
"Aviyaai aviyumaahi arukkamaai Perukkamaahi Paaviyar paavam theerkum paramanaai brahmanaahi"9
(He being the sacrifice he offered himself as Sacrifice, decreased yet multiplied, he is the Transcending Brahman who washes away the sins of the sinners.)
Doctrine of trinity, doctrine of avatar, and the doctrine of fulfillment of sacrifice are fundamental doctrinal aspects of Vaishnavism.10
'Moovaraahiya Moorthiyai' 11 (Triune God)
'Moovaraahiya Oruvanai' 12 (Triune person)
'Udambu Uruvil Moonronroi'13
(One in Trinity in the bodily appearence).
Also He resides in our heart
'Ullaththae Uraiyum maal'14
( The one who resides in the heart)
'Thaanae thanakkumavan than uruve evvuruvum
thaanae Thava Vuruvum'15
(He himself is his comparison,all images are his images, He himself is the image of sacrifice)
'Vanakkudai thava neri vali ninru' 16
(By following the adorable path of the one who sacrificed himself )
Thavam means 'Thannuyir thaanara peruthal'17 (offering once own self as sacrifice) says Thiruvalluvar which means sacrificing ones ownself.
There are references about Original Sin (Janma bhandham)6 and individual sin (Karma bhandham)18 in Bhagavad-Gita. And God delivers us from these
"I will deliver thee from all sins"19
Sivagnanapotham is the basic book for the Saiva Sittanta Sastras and Meykandar is the author of Sivagnanapotham and since it is the basic book, the Saiva Sittanta Sastras are also known after the author of Sivagnanapotham as 'Meykanda Sastras fourteen'. Sivagnanapotham is an Early Indian Christian theological exposition and it consists of forty lines in 12 sutras (cryptic language). Within these 12 sutras, the theme of the whole Bible is briefly explained.
Dr.Pope, Rev.H.R.Hoisington, Rev.T.Foulkes, Dr. Karl, Rev.H.A. Popley, Rev.G.S.Philips, Rev.W.Goudie and Rev.C.A.Clayton were among the European Missionary scholars who studied the Saiva Sittanta and marvelled at the deep devotion and love for God.
The 12 sutras in Sivagnanapotham explain from creation to salvation. The first sutra explains creation and fall of the creature. God created man, woman and the world in three different ways.
'And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.20
( the divine powerful activity in creating man)
'And the rib, which the Lord had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man'.21
(the divine powerful activity in creating woman)
'In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth'.22
( the divine powerful activity in creating other things)
Later on they fell into sin (Malam) and lost the Holiness. This is the end of Holiness and the beginning of Sin. This is explained in the first sutra as follows:
'Avan aval athu enum avai moovinaimaiyin
thotriya thithiye odungi malathulatham
antham aathi enmanaar pulavar'. 24
|the first man (Adam)
|the first woman (Eve)
|all the other things
|the three mentioned above
|in three different activities
|in the stage of this creation
|fallen from the holiness and
|fell into sin
|this is the end of holiness
|and the beginning of sin
|say the scholars
The eight sutra explains about the redemption.Owing to the fall of men, they became ignorant of their creator and men became slaves to the five senses. This is explained by a beautiful story in this sutra.
A prince who was somehow lost was living with the hunters forgetting his heritage. Later on when the King came to know of this, he came in search of his lost son disguised as a hunter to rescue him and was able to save him. Similarly God took the form of a man (Guru) inorder to rescue the human beings, and through his 'Tavam' (sufferings) he enlightened the souls. ['Thavam' means 'Thannuyir thaanara peruthal' says Thiruvalluvar, which means sacrificing ones ownself and which is already mentioned.] This is explained as follows:
'Aimpula vedarin ayarnthanai valarnthu yena
thammuthal guruvumaai thavathinil unartha vittu
anniam inmaiyin aran kazhal selumae'.25
|aimpula vedarin valarnthu
|living with the pleasures of the hunters of five senses
|and living aside totally ignorant of the creator
|the beginning or the Supreme one
|(God) took the form of a Guru
|and bearing all the sufferings and sacri- ficed himself
|thus the Guru enlight ened the soul and the soulis freed from the sin
|and now the soul is not separated from God
|aran kazhal tholumae
|and reaches the feet of God who take away our sins.
Because of his sufferings and sacrifice, his feet look like a red flower. Through his sacrifice he cleanses the sin of sinners and unites them with abundant love. So, the cleansed one is completely united with him and he becomes a temple and praises his feet always. This is expressed as follows by Meykandar.
'Semmalar nonthaal seral ottaa
ammalam kaliee anbarodu mariee
maalara neyam malinthavar vedamum
aalayan thaanum aran yena tholumae'.26
|Semmalar non thazh
|the feet which has suffered for others are like the red flower
|seral ottaa ammalam kaliee
|the sin which prevents the soul to reach that great feet is eradicated
|then it is joined with the God of love
|it is freed from the sin
|is filled with divine love
|and the old nature is totally changed and is given a new nature
|and becomes the temple of God
|aran yena tholumae
|and it worships God who takes away the sin.
|108 Questions to Sankara Mutt| \An International Conference\| Bhakti Marga - from South or North?| |Brahmins - Leaders of Hindu Religion?| |Christ - Bodhisattva - Brahman| \Cycle of Birth\\Dravida Samayam Prayer\| God & Satan| \|How to protect our Hindu Religion?| \Hinduism is not a Religion\|Hindu Religion-Iconography| |Hindu Religion-Myths| |Hindu Religion-Theology| \Humane Love and Spirituality\|Indus Valley - Aryan or Dravidian?| |Mythical Aryan Race| |Origin of Hindu Religion| |Racism through Advaita Philosophy| \ \Religion Under Threat| |Religious Fanaticism| |Soul & Spirit|\Why Caste and Religious Clashes?\
Dr. M. Deivanayagam
Dr. D. Devakala
The Revival Movement of Dravidian Religion