collection of hauma hamiddha's scattered posts

Posts tagged ‘rudra’

History of Saiva Agamas

>Unfortunately, however no sacred texts of any pre-Aagamic Saiva sect have =
been preserved.
> Possibly none were written during this early period. It is not unlikely t=
hat when Saivism developed into a
>popular movement it relied at first on the Vedas and related literature al=
ong with developing epic Puranic traditions as
>sounding boards for their sectarian views.

This is really a weird statement. At face value it is plainly wrong. I agre=
e that shaivism, just as bhagavatism is actually a
very ancient religous stream of the Indo-Aryans. Both shaivism and bhagavat=
ism was probably affiliated with certain vedic
principles because they originated in the circum-vedic environment, however=
, they did undergo considerable early
development of their own. **There was an extensive pre-Agamic literature in=
sanskrit unlike suggested above.** The
clearest evidence for this come from the two texts: the shvetAshvatara upan=
iShat and the atharvashiras.

While the SU sticks to the classical vedantic pattern and has emerged out o=
f the core vedic paradigm, but we see the
identification of the brahman with rudra is beginning to occur. See mantras=
1.10 and 4.12:
4.12. He, the generator and supporter of the devas, *rudra*, the maharShi, =
the lord of all, who saw Hiranyagarbha being
born, may he endow us with good thoughts.

The atharvashiras goes beyond:

rudraM shAshvataM vai purANaM iShaM urjaM tapasA niyachchhata | vrataM eta=
t pAshupataM |
agniriti bhasma vAyuriti bhasma jalamiti bhasma sthalamiti bhasma vyometi b=
hasma sarvaM ha vA idaM bhasma mana
etAni chakshuMshhi bhasmAni | agnirityAdinA bhasma gR^ihItvA vimR^ijyA~NgA=
ni saMspR^ishet tasmAd
vratametat pAshupataM pashupAshavimokshAya |

The core of the pAshupata rite is layed out and rudra is clearly the brahma=
n one attains after freedom from the
pashupAsha. The tatvas are also identified with bhasma, the essential core =
of them them that is rudra.

So we may conclude that the pAshupata rite and the core of shaiva thought d=
eveloped coevally with the traditional vedic
religions and borrowed from it. In the late vedic period there were at least 4 clear texts (in the order of closeness to the vedic throught they are): 1) shvetAshvatara 2)atharvashiras 3)atharvashikha=
4) kAlAgnirudra. So these *are* the
pre-Agamic texts of shaivism. We very much have them in the sanskrit tradit=
ion. Interestingly these texts are paralleled
by the bhagavatic texts: nArAyaNa sUktaM, a late insert into the yajur corp=
us and nArAyaNopaniShat. This suggests that actually bhAgavatism and shaivism imitated each other in their evolution.

>contributed to the development of a corpus of sacred Saiva literature – th=
e Saiva Aagamas – that considered itself to be
>independent of authority of the Vedas and had nothing to do with the epics=
or puranas.

Untrue. Interestingly, recent studies clearly suggest a link between the sh=
aivas and the vedic world. In any case they
were firmly within the itihasa purANa genre of literature, unlike as sugges=
ted above. Most ironically, the kApAlikas, who
are considered by some as the epitome of vAmAchara, were actually soma sacr=
ificers. It appears that the kApAlika
doctrine itself may have arisen as a tantric caricature of the vedic soma s=

Tag Cloud