Saiva Agama

Definition - What does Saiva Agama mean?

The Saiva Agamas are a grouping of texts that cover various theoretical and practical aspects of life and worship for Hindus who follow Saivism, which believes in Shiva as the supreme deity. Sometimes called the Shivagamas, the Saiva Agamas are believed to have originated with Shiva himself.

The other two main categories of agamas are the Vaisnava Agamas (Vaishnavism) and the Sakta Agamas (Saktism). Each agama covers four paths or parts (padas): knowledge (jnana/gyana), yoga, rituals (kriyas) and worship (charyas).

Yogapedia explains Saiva Agama

There are 28 main Saiva agamas, with the principle one being the "Kamika Agama," and more than 10 minor Saiva agamas. Agamas are not incompatible with the Vedas, the ancient Hindu texts. In fact, the various schools of Saivism recognize the Vedas, but Saivas typically consider the Saiva Agamas as more authoritative or at least equal to the Vedas.

In the philosophy set forth in the Saiva Agamas, Shiva is the highest Self and conscious principle; and Shakti is the unconscious (natural) principle, the cause of bondage. The union of Shiva and Shakti represents freedom from attachment and liberation of the self.

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