The Five Pure Tattvas

Definition - What does The Five Pure Tattvas mean?

In the Saivism school of Hinduism, the five pure tattvas are the highest aspects or elements of reality. Tattva is a Sanskrit word that is typically translated as “thatness.” The five pure tattvas are also called the suddha tattvas or the saiva tattvas and are considered pure because they are believed to have been created by Lord Shiva.

These realities consist of pure spiritual energy and exist at the level of the Absolute. The five pure tattvas are associated with universal experience. There are seven pure-impure tattvas, or shuddha-ashuddha tattvas, which are associated with limited individual experience. There are 24 impure, or ashuddha, tattvas consisting of mental, perception, action, sensory and material realities.

Yogapedia explains The Five Pure Tattvas

The five pure tattvas are:

  • Shiva or sakala tattva – This is the highest reality, that of pure and infinite consciousness. It is Shiva himself, the state of union with the Absolute.
  • Shakti tattva – This is also an aspect of Shiva. It is pure bliss and joy, and spawns the creation of the rest of the tattvas.
  • Sadashiva tattva – Also known as sadakya or nada tattva, this is pure willpower and the aspect that causes the Self to appear.
  • Ishvara, or bindu, tattva – This is the divine knowledge that conceives creation of the universe. It is also the reality where delusion and concealment occurs.
  • Satvidya tattva – Also known as shuddhavidya or kriya tattva, this is the level of pure and infinite action. Shiva may manifest in any form. The universe is spiritual in this reality and is inhabited by deities, siddhas (enlightened yogis), rishis (sages) and sadhus (saints).
Share this: