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Monday, 12 April 2010






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More on Saiva Siththantham

Saiva Siththantham is an ancient branch of Hinduism. This philosophy flowered in Tamil Nadu in India. This is a forceful Bhakthi Movement infused with insights on sidda yoga.

A few saints successfully defended Saivaism against the threats of Jaiuisum during 7th to 9th centuries. Thirugnana Sampanthar, Maanicavasagar (Appar) and Sundaramoorthy went on pilgrimage from temple to temple and elucidated the quintessence of Saivaism through beautiful devotional songs which were sheer poetry.

These songs were known as Theavaaram. Lord Siva's greatness was described soulfully in these hymns.

Among these saints was Appar. His heart-melting verses were called Thiravaasagam.

It is full of visionary experience, divine love and the stress of the need to ascertain the truth.

Appar renounced worldly life, wealth and fame to seck and serve Lord Siva. He was the Prime Minister of the king at that time.

The songs of the saints - Sampanthar, Sundarar and Maanicavasagar - form part of a compendium known as Thirumurai.

This compendium and the Vedas and Saiva Aagamas form what may be called the scriptures of Saiva Siththantham practised in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka.

In fact an International Saiva Siththantha Conference was held a few years back in Mathurai in Tamil Nadu. The purpose was to rejuvenate our Saiva traditions and religious practices. At this conference many heads of Saiva Aatheenams, government representatives, academics proficient in Saiva Siththantham, Siva Achchariyas, Trustees and Administractors of Saiva temples from various parts of the world participated.

Saiva Siththantham represents the evolution of human thought which is based on the Divine themes (i.e.) Love is God truth is God. According to Saiva Siththantham there is only one God, but sages call Him by different names.

Saint Appar spoke of God as being concealed like fire in fuel, ghee in milk.

The word Siththantham is first used by Thirumoolar in the Thirumanthiram. Thirumookar spoke of the vedas and the Aagamas as true revelations the Vedas being the word of God. This is the bedrock of Saiva Siththantham upon which the philosophy was developed.

Saiva Siththantham bases its philosophy on three eternal entities Pathi, Pasu, Paasam, Pati is Lord Siva and His existence is proved by revelation rather than intellectual discussions.

The mystics testify to the existence of the ultimate reality as being Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscent with no end.

Pasu, in Saiva Siththantham referred to as Pasu, literally mean the cow. The souls are individuals and are by nature infinite. These Pasus are overcast by Paasam which consists of Aanavam, Kanmam and Maaya. Hence they are called Pasu (s).

Paasam, the third entity is Paasam, which is in reality Maya. Paasam is illusion and is divided into Aanavam, Kanmam and Maayai. Aanavam is egoism, Kanmam is the action good or bad which bears fruits following the law of Karma.

Maaya binds the soul to matter but this bondage is not eternal, it can be freed through the grace of God.

According to Saiva Siththantham there is nothing called Misery in this world suffering which we call Misery is only due to our karma and ignarance. Through sufferings we are purified in our lives.

Indeed, there is one God and many souls. If we surrender ourselves to God, God will take care of us.

Further the way of life taught in Saiva Siththantham is consistent with the mood and requirements of modern world. It helps a man to live a dedicated life while engaged in worldly affairs.

A great deal of dedication and divotion are necessary to enable a man to live in this life.

Understanding Hinduism

Hinduism is the religion of the majority of people in India and Nepal. It also exists among significant populations outside of the sub continent and has over 900 million adherents worldwide.

Lord Vishnu

In some ways Hinduism is the oldest living religion in the world, or at least elements within it stretch back many thousands of years. Yet Hinduism resists easy definition partly because of the vast array of practices and beliefs found within it is also closely associated conceptually and historically with the other Indian religions Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism.

Unlike most other religions, Hinduism has no single founder, no single scripture, and no commonly agreed set of teachings. Throughout its extensive history, there have been many key figures teaching different philosophies and writing numerous holy books. For these reasons, writers often refer to Hinduism as 'a way of life' or 'a family of religions' rather than a single religion.

Defining Hinduism

The term 'Hindu' was derived from the river or river complex of the northwest, the Sindhu, Sindhu is a Sanskrit word used by the inhabitants of the region, the Aryans in the second millennium BCE, Later migrants and invaders, the Persians in the sixth century BCE,the Greeks from the 4th century BCE, and the Muslims from the 8th century CE, used the name of this river in their own languages for the land and its people.

The term 'Hindu' itself probably does not go back before the 15th and 16th centuries when it was used by people to differentiate themselves from followers of other traditions, especially the Muslims (Yavannas), in Kashmir and Bengal. At that time the term may have simply indicated groups united by certain cultural practices such as cremation of the dead and styles of cuisine.

The 'ism' was added to 'Hindu' only in the 19th century in the context of British colonialism and missionary activity.

Lord Shiva

The origins of the term 'Hindu' are thus cultural, political and geographical. Now the term is widely accepted although any definition is subject to much debate. In some ways it is true to say that Hinduism, is a religion of recent origin yet its roots and formation go back thousands of years.

Some claim that one is 'born a Hindu', but there are now many Hindus of non-Indian descent. Others claim that its core feature is belief in an impersonal Supreme, but important strands have long described and worshiped a personal God. Outsiders often criticize Hindus as being polytheistic, but many adherent claim to be monotheists.

Some Hindus define orthodoxy as compliance with the teachings of the Vedic texts (the four Vedas and their supplements). However, still others identify their tradition with 'Sanatana Dharma', the eternal order of conduct that transcends any specific body of sacred literature. Scholars sometimes draw attention to the caste system as a defining feature, but many Hindus view such practices as merely a social phenomenon or an aberration of their original teachings. Nor can we define Hinduism according to belief in concepts such as karma and samsara (reincarnation) because Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists (in a qualified form) accept this teaching too.

Although it is not easy to define Hinduism, we can say that it is rooted in India, most Hindus revere a body of texts as sacred scripture known as the Veda, and most Hindus draw on a common system of values known as dharma.

. Hinduism originated around the Indus Valley near the River Indus in modern day Pakistan.

.About 80% of the Indian population regard themselves as Hindu.

.Most Hindus believe in a Supreme God, whose qualities and forms are represented by the multitude of deities which emanate from him.

.Hindus believe that existence is a cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, governed by Karma.

.Hindus believe that the soul passes through a cycle of successive lives and its next incarnation is always dependent on how the previous life was lived.

.The main Hindu texts are the Vedas and their supplements (books based on the Vedas). Veda is a Sanskrit word meaning 'knowledge'. These scriptures do not mention the word 'Hindu' but many scriptures discuss dharma, which can be rendered as 'code of conduct', 'law', or 'duty'.

.Hindus celebrate many holy days, but the Festival of Lights, Diwali is the best known.

.The 2001 census recorded 559,000 Hindus in Britain, around 1% of the population. Internet

Hinduism: The world's third largest religion

Hinduism is not a religion in the same sense as other religious Hinduism consists of "Thousands of different religious groups that have evolved. Because of the wide variety of Hindu traditions, freedom of belief and practice.

Hinduism has grown to become the world's third largest religion about 13% of the world's population. It is the dominant religious in India, Nepal and among the Tamils in Sri Lanka.

According to the "Yearbook of American and Canadian church thee are about 1.1 million Hindus in the U.S.

The 'American Religious Identification Survey' estimated smaller number: 766,000 Hindus in 2001. Statistics Canada estimates that there are about 157,015 Hindus in Canada. Hinduism is generally regarded as the world's oldest organized religion.

Most forms of Hinduism are henotheistic religions. They recognize a single deity and view Gods and Goddesses as manifestations or aspects of that supreme God.

Henotheistic a traditionally been among the world's most religiously tolerant faiths. Internet - www.religioustolerance.org


Commemorative lecture

Lecturer in Sanskrit at the Eastern University Sivashri M. Bala Kailasa Sarma delivered the commemorative lecture in Tamil in honour of the late physician K. Velayuthapillai on Sunday, April 4 at the Ratmalana Hindu College Hall. He spoke on "Saiva Makkalin Punpaudu Mutapil Koil Kiriyaykalum Avattin Ullarthangalum" (Temple Rites and their intrinsic meanings in the cultural tradition of the Saiva people)

The function was chaired by the President of the Akila Ilankai Indu Mamantram (All Ceylon Hindu Congress), Humanist V. Kailasapillai.

Special guests were Rasa Manohari Pulendran former State Minister of Education and T. Sangaralingam former Principal of Colombo Hindu College. The occasion was also the 12th anniversary of the establishment of the Hostel of the Colombo Hindu College at Ratmalana. KSS


Hinduism is the religion of the majority of people in India and Nepal.

It also exists among significant populations outside of the sub continent and has over 900 million adherents worldwide.

Unlike most other religions, Hinduism has no single founder, no single scripture, and no commonly agreed set of teachings.

BBC on Hinduism

Thinking Aloud

It is a reality that one realizes the presence of the Almighty not by visible evidence but by self seeking where rationality would'nt help much.

The scientists, philosophers, saints, artistes and great people from any race or religious or caste have experienced this phenomenon with their own research and felt experience.

They have realized some truths by their thavams (tapas), untiredly seeking to communicate with the Almighty (spiritually "seance") and by what or how nature reacts. This may be called Law of Relativity in Nature and Cosmo - Cosmic Ray).

This is evident from several instances in Mythology of the West and the East.

Such benevolents sympathise with the people who don't realize this suffering is partly due to the ignorance (Illusion or Maaya).

To make the uninitiated to gain knowledge on these, religious leaders and institutions strive hard to make devotees understand the real meaning of religion.

But such religious people in these institutions should be sincere and truly devoted in their minds.

Ostentation and grandiloquence do not help to achieve religious consciousness.

Hindu Kovil Events

Bhajan at Hunupitiya
The Hindu Religious and Cultural Affairs Department along with the members of Sri Muthukumaran Kovil Trustee celebrated the Kachiappar Sivachariyar Guru Pooja on April 1, 2010 at Hunupitiya, Wattala. Pictures by A. Maduraveeran

At the Kachiyappar Guru Pooja
The special guest A. Sangaralingam Sarma (Tamilnadu) lights the oil lamp to inaugurate the ceremony. Kovil Chief Prist, Sivashri Somaratna Kurukkal and a section devotees are seen in the picture.


Prayers and Pooja
A “Sahasranamam” prayer and special pooja took place at the Arulmigu Sri Gnana Bairava Swamy Devastham, under the patronage of Sivashri Ravi Shankar Kurukkal.




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