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Saivism - Frequently Asked questions (FAQ)
(Shaivism A Perspective)
Questions on Shaivam ?
"We got this good human birth. Let us respect it!" Proclaimes King of Tongue (Saint Appar). This birth is not sinful. It is a gift given to us by God. This rare human
birth should be used properly for which we should know his purpose of this birth.
This worldy life is not made by god without purpose. All the good and bad happens here to us were not without reason. If god keep us in this miserable world without
reason, how can we call him as "Merciful"?
Saiva religion relieves us with suitable answer. We are souls, and nobody created us. (Let us, suppose god creates. If so, if we had not created us then we will not be
suffering. Hence what he had done is not merciful.) For very long the ego is attached to us is soul like aparasite. We were steeped by it. The god who is always blissful, took
mercy the creaturers. The creatures are suffering because of their attachment to the dirt is ego. The god wants to relieve them from their attachment to dirt and have a
attachment with bliss is himself. For that purpose he created the physical body with sense organs, worlds and with all the pleasures. Even thogh the god is omnipotent, he can
create all the pleasures but cannot make us bo enjoy them. To enjoy we should qualify ourself. (Others may give us sweet candy. But it is we who have to taste is and enjoy
the sweetness. This others cannot give us.) To enjoy bliss is god we should mature gradually for that only the body and others are created. For us these are all like a stick
extended to an ant struggling in water, to reach the shore, a great gifts.
Instead of understanding the mercy of god, like the ant instead of reaching the shore dancing and falling again and again into the water, and follow the right path
we confuse ourself as body. Instead of trying to use the body to reach siva we are wasting it. Neither make use of it to make this worldly life for permanent joy. The " I "
conscious thoughts and the acts based on that brought back to us as good and bad karma by God. He do this not to penalize us but to correct us. (If he is penalize for
all the mistakes how can he be graceful.) A mother scold her child not with a venge motive but to with a corrective intention. Like that, Siva who is more than a mother
feed a little from our own big collection of karma.
Realizing this, our body and all other were not ours but of Lord Siva and the mercy he showered on us we should love him. This love only is the way to reach him
and if we are attached to him by this mean then there is no suffering at all, only joy and happiness all the time.
The Yajur veda says, "The God is like a sun light which brilliant beyond the darkness. One who see the truth of all the things here the god by many names (Namas).
The person who understood like this enjoys the nector here itself. There is no other path is found."
This type of great men are always in the commune with god hence they don't experience suffering. This worldly life itself will be divine for them. Later not needing
the body and others they shed them and attain ever blissful Sivaloka.
Do anybody need to be paid to eat sugarcane? Let us chant the five syllbles of Lord Siva's i.e. "Nama Sivaya" and love him and be happy.
copy the translation of the song from JRS.
In ancient time siva religion was spreaded the world wide. To focus our love an the omniscient and brightful god theis religion gave us Linga form. The basic
factors of Saiva religion changed in time and space and took many forms as different religians.
Those who learned in this ancient and pure Saiva tradition, instead of realizing what they got is philosopher stone they thought it as a old stone and to searching
for pebtes as thro they are gold. For that type of people i.e. us. This elders of Saiva religion guides "oh, fools be happy for born as human attain this!" Yazpanam
(jaffna - Srilanka) Arumuga Navalar, a greats saiva scholar compiled the truths of saiva religion in the fom of questions and answers. I.e. "Saiva venaa - vidai"; Dharmapura
Aadheenam (a famous Saiva mutt in Tamil Nadu.) Published "siddhanta Saiva vinaa- vidai". (Questions and answer published on saiva philosophy). Thiruvavaduthurai
adheenam (another famous Saiva Mutt in Tamilnadu.) Published "Saiva Siddhanta thadaigalum vedaigalum (huddles and clarification on saiva philosophy.) This book an 'saiva
religion' in the question and answer form is compiled from all those above mentioned books.
CHAPTER - 1
Question : Who is principa of this world? and what is the primary principle of this world?
Answer : God.
Question : What is the special name we attributed to god?
Answer : Siva peruman (Lord Siva)
Question : Why we call him as such?
Answer : Siva means "Purana" (absolute), "Mangalam (auspicious). He is not only absolute and auspicious he make those who cames to him as such.
Question : What are the charactertics of lord siva?
Answer : He is immortal, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, pure, blissfull and unsubservient.
Question : Whe we should worship him (lord siva)?
Answer : Lord Siva has nothing to gain by our worship. But immortal and blissful siva will bless his worshippers with unbound joy. Worldly pleasures are not
permanent and everlasting one. But who are blessed by lord siva will attain bliss. Hence the very birth of human life is to worship lord siva and attain bliss.
Question : What lord siva do for the souls?
Answer : Creation, protection, distraction, bless and hide. All these five were does by him.
Question : What is the creation?
Answer : To created gross body, sense, world and its pleasure (Dhanu, Karana, Puvana, Pokam) for the souls from the primary source is known as creation.
Question : What is the meant by protection?
Answer : To substain the body sense and the world.
Question : What is the distraction?
Answer : Encapsule all the creation into the primary source.
Question : What is the meant by hidding?
Answer : To sink the souls in karmic pleasure.
Question : What is the blessing?
Answer : To unbound the souls from attachment and explain siva philosophy.
Question : What is meant by Dhanu, Karana, Puvana, Pokam?
Answer : Dhanu - means body; Karana - means mind and related instruments; Puvana - means world which is basic for body; Pokam - means pleasure things.
Question : How lovrd siva perform all these five works?
Answer : He do these by his sakthi.
Question : What is meant by sakthi?
Answer : Vitality.
Question : Who is Sakthi of Svia?
Answer : Uma Devi.
Question : Which is the primary place, the lord and uma bless the souls from?
Answer : The holy Mount Kailash.
Question : What is the name of the religion which worship lord siva?
Answer : Saivam.
Question : What are the forms lord siva took to bliss the souls?
Answer : The sivalinga and other vigraha and siva achariyas and siva sakthis are the medium through which lord siva bless the souls.
Question : What are the main books of saiva religion?
Answer : Thirumarai (The vedas), Agamas and thirumurais i.e. songs composed by siva bhakthas.
Question : What are the central theme of those books?
Answer : Siva punniyam and Jeeva punniyam.
Question : What is siva punniyam?
Answer : What ever with the consideration of lord siva as the prime.
Question : What is jeeva punniyam?
Answer : 1. Worshipping god, 2. Cherish parents and guru i.e. teacher, 3. Affectiate to others beings, 4. speak truth, 5. Grataitars and others like.
Question : What comes to those who do punniya?
Answer : Those who do siva punniya will get siva (Divine) joy. Those who do jeeva punniyam will get joy of Swarga.
Question : What are sins?
Answer : Murdering, straling, alchohal consumation, meating eatings, telling lies and gambling.
Question : What will happen to the sinners?
Answer : They fall in hell and suffer.
CHAPTER - 2
Question : What time we should awake up daily?
Answer : Five nazhikai before the sunrise. i.e. 04.00 A.M.
Question : What to do after wake-up?
Answer : Should wear holy ashes, think of lord siva should sins thiruppalli ezhuchchi. i.e. siva subrabhatham and other songs of lord siva.
Question : What to do after bathing?
Answer : With pure ater should do the rituals. Thinging five letters name of lord's siva; i.e. Namasivaya and should sing the
CHAPTER - 3
ON HOLY ASHES
Question : What is the identification mark the Saivists should wear an their body?
Answer : Holy Ashes.
Question : What is the holy ash?
Answer : The holy ash is the are we get when burn the cow dung.
Question : What will be colour of good holy ash?
Answer : White colour.
Question : Where we should store the holy ash?
Answer : Either in a silk bag or in a brass container.
Question : In which direction we should face while wearing the holy ashi?
Answer : North or east direction.
Question : How we should wear the holy ash?
Answer : We should lilt or head upward while wearing, so that the ash we do not drop on the floor. Should use three middle fingers of the right hand for
wearing and while wearing we should say "Siva Siva."
Question : What we should do if the holy ash is dropped on the floor?
Answer : We should take away the dropping and clean the place immediatly.
Question : Shall we wear the holy ash while walking or when we are in a laying position?
Answer : No. We should not do it.
Question : When we should wear it compulsorily?
Answer : In the following occation we must wear the holy ashes. While going to bed, at the wake-up, after brushing the teeth, at the down the sun set, after
bath, before meals and after meals.
Question : When achariyan and sivanadiyars are giving holy ash, how we should receive it?
Answer : First we should touch their feets and with a bow should receive it by both hands.
Question : How should we wear the holy ashes before the deity, guru and sivanadiyar?
Answer : We should turn to the other direction while wearing it before them.
Question : Is there different types in wearing the holy ashes?
Answer : There are two types; one is dry holy ash without mixing the water. Other one is with water mixing as "three pundaragam." i.e. in three horizondal
lines by three middle fingers.
Question : What is meant by wearing three pundaragam?
Answer : It means it will erodicate the the three dirts. i.e. Ego, Illusion and Karma.
Question : Which part of the body we should wear the holy ashes?
Answer : The body get following sixteen places for wearing the holy ash - Head, fore-head, chest, stomach, two knees, two shoulders, two fore-hands, two
wrists, two sides of the rib, back porn and neck.
Question : What should be length while wearing in the forehead?
Answer : Till the end of the both the brows. It should not exceed nor less than that.
Question : What should be the length while wearing in the chest and shoulders?
Answer : Six inches.
Question : In other places what should be the length?
Answer : One inch.
Question : What should be the gap between the threepundaragam?
Answer : The between gap should be one inch. The lines should not touch each other.
Question : Why the holy ash and ruthraksha are important in saiva religion?
Answer : Because they were from body and the eyes of the lord siva.
Question : How came they?
Answer : Lord Siva's body is like a ember. The ash formed on it naturally. Later at the end, he burned all the creation including Devas from that came the
holy ash, which he wear a his body. That is known as the first - Adhi vibhuthi. i.e. First holy ash. You can see the ash now also on the ember.
Question : What is the use of wearing it?
Answer : All the sins will be erodicated. That type of holy ash is prepared from cow dung. There are three ways a rules to make such a holy ash. That is
1. Karpam, 2. Anukarpam, 3. Upakarpam.
Question : How the holy ash is perpared in Karpa vidhi?
Answer : In the month of March-April (Palkun) the good cows should meddowed in eastern side. The cow shed should be clean. When cows drop the dung
it shoud be collected in the lotus leaves before it fall on the earth. Top lay moss should be removed and should be made as a ball. That cow dung ball should be pt into the
sivaagni (Holy fire). When it is burned into ashes that should be collected in a new clay pot and be kept in the vibhudhi temple. When ever needed it should be worn with
dropping it on earth. If we wear this type of ash we can overcome birth-death suffering and attain moksha. Preparing the holy ash like this is known as Karpa vithi. While
collecting the dung, while putting that in the holy fire and while collecting ashes in the new pot you should chant mantra. The mantra should be learned from your Guru.
Question : How to prepar by Anukarpa vithi?
Answer : The cow dung collected from the forest or meddow should be diluted with cow urine and put in the sivaagni (Holy fire). This way of preparing holy
ashes is known Anukarpa method.
Question : How it is done in Upakarpa vidhi?
Answer : Naturally burned forest ash and ashes from the Siva temple kitchen mixed with cow urine, made into a ball and put in the sivaagni (Holy fire). The
ashes prepared like this is known as Upakarpa vidhi.
Question : How a vibhuthi temple (temple of holy ashes) is made of?
Answer : Vibhuthi temple is made either by cloth or tiger skin or deer hide. There are other methods also.
Question : Why the cow is most prefered than any other animals?
Answer : Holy rivers, holy thirthas, saints, devas are all resides in the body of cow. The cow belong to the race of Kamadhenu which is in Devaloka, hence
the cow is most prefered. Not only that, the cow gives urine and dung which is use for preparing holy ash that which eradicate sin.
CHAPTER - 4
Question : When wearing holy ash itself is enough, then why should we wear Ruthraksha?
Answer : The vibhuthi (Holy ash) and rudraksha both are symbols of Lord Siva hence both should be worn. Holy ash may erased due to sweat or rain but
rudraksha will be there. It will protect you from rakshasha.
Question : How and where the Rudraksha is produced?
Answer : When devas were affected by rakshashas they appealed to Lord Siva. Hearing that tears shed from three eyes of lord siva; that was known as
rudraksham. (Rudra = Siva, Aksham = eye). People who do siva puja without wearing rudraksha will not be accepted by siva. Hence those who do Siva Puja must wear
Question : How many rudrakshas were to be worn?
Answer : At the top one, six at each ear both 12, at the head 40, at the neck 32, at the chest 108, at arms 32, at fore arms 24 should be worn.
Question : Shall we have any other stone in between the rudraksha?
Answer : Coral, gold boall and crystal stones may be added in between rudraksha. Vilva seeds also may be used. Without these in between however be the
number of rudrakshas continully will be considered as just one and benefit will be so. Among the rudrakshas single face, 11 faced, 14 faced rudrakshas were most prefered
one for siva puja or that rudrakshas itself can be worshipped.
Question : Who is qualified to wear rudraksha?
Answer : Those who shuned meat, wine and are orthodox are qualified to wear.
Question : If meat and wine were taken what will happen?
Answer : They will go to hell and will be tortured there.
Question : Shall we wear it while bathing?
Answer : Yes. The water dipping after touching it is considered as Ganga water.
Question : How many faced rudrakshas are there?
Answer : From single face to sixteen faced rudrakshas were available.
Question : How we should sting the rudrakshas together?
Answer : Either by gold or silver or copper we may sting them together. In between them we should had coral or pearl or crystal stone. The rudraksha shoud
be sting face to face or bottam to bottam.
Question : Where the rudraksha should be worned?
Answer : Turf, head, ears, neck, chest shouders, arms are the places where the rudrakshas should be weared.
Question : Is there any method that this much of rudrakshas should be worn at such on such places?
Answer : Yes. At the head 22, one at each ear, 32 at neck, 16 at each shoulders, 12 at each arms and 108 at the chest.
Question : Can we wear rudrakshas at all these place all the times?
Answer : At the neck and ear we can wear if all the time. About the other places, it should not be worn whiel sleeping, toiletting and at the time of illness.
Question : Wearring rudraksha indicates what?
Answer : It indicate the blessing from the eyes of lord siva.
CHAPTER - 5
ON SIVA MANTRA
Question : What is the right mantra for the saivist?
Answer : Five leters one. (In Tamil it is in five letters)
Question : What is that five leter mantra?
Answer : "Namasivaya" (நமசிவாய) is the five letter mantra. It is the middle of vedas. Four great saiva saints have worshipped that. Any body can think about
that any given time. It is a liberating mantra. It is having five letters. This is known as Sthoola Panchakkaram. There are other Sookkuma and Karana Panchakkarams also.
There are special one. It is good to get it from their Guru.
Question : Who are all qualified to think about the five letters mantra?
Answer : There is no discremination. All can think about it in their mind with love. The following questions narrate about how to do the mantra Japa.
Otherwise all can think about it all the times. "while sleeping and while not sleeping think about it in mind with love" - Says Saint Sambanthar.
Question : How many times we should repeat the mantra for Japa?
Answer : 108 times. Minimum it should be 10 times.
Question : In what position we should be while doing Japa?
Answer : We should sit in Sukasanam and the back borne should be erect, eyes should be focussed on the top of the nose.
Question : How our mind should be while doing the mantra japa?
Answer : The mind should deeply immersed in lord siva.
Question : Whiel walking, stand, sitting and while doing any other works where our mind should be?
Answer : The mind should allways be in the feet of lord siva.
Question : What we should do to the Guru who gave us the mantra?
Answer : Every gear we should give dakshina (Money offering) to our possible extand and do the mantra japa.
Question : In our sitting how many times we should repeat the mantra as japa?
Answer : 108 times or 50 times or 25 times to 10 times we should repeat it.
Question : How to cenut?
Answr : Either with japa mala or start counting with your right thumb.
Question : What should be use for japa mala?
Answer : It is better to make it with rudrakshas.
Question : How many beads should be in the mala?
Answer : Those living in family should have 27 beads. Sathu who left family life should have 25 peddles in the mala. Grahastas is those who living family
live may have 108 or 54 peddles in their japa mala.
Question : How many faced rudrakshas should be used for japa mala?
Answer : 2 faced, 3 faced, 12 faced and 13 faced should not be used for japa mala. Not only that all the rudraksha of the japa mala should be of the same
face one. various faced should not be mixed up in a japa mala.
Question : What should be used to sting the rudrakshas?
Answer : White silk or cotton should be used to make mala. The poor can use coir thread.
Question : How to make japa mala?
Answer : Top o top and bottom of head should be with the bottom that way the mala should be prepared. The beads should not touch one on another. In
between then there should be a nodale.Both end of mala should be tied together with a big sized bead. It is know as mount bead.
Question : What is japa?
Answer : Repeating mantra that reminds your about the one that which you want to indicate.
Question : What is mantra?
Answer : That which protect the one who thinks it. Therefore the name mantra go to siva and siva sakthi only. (Man = Thinker, thara = Protect).
Question : What is meant by manasa?
Answer : Repeating mantra in the mind without even tongue touching lips in known a manasa japa.
Question : What is known as upanju?
Answer : Repeating mantra audio able only to his ear only, tonque touching the lips very lightly. This is also known as mantham.
Question : What is meant by vasakam?
Answer : Repeating mantra louder so that the persons nearby also can hear it. This is also known as Bhashyam.
Question : Is there any difference of benefit in these different japas?
Answer : Yes. Vasagam will give benefit 100 times. Upanju will get you 16 thousand time, manasa will give you crore times benefit.
Question : In which direction we should do japa?
Answer : We should faced east or north direction should sit on a wooden plank or cloth or carpet or deer hide or tiger hide or grass seat are suitable for
japa. We should sit on that in Sukasanam with our back borne erect, eyes focused on the tip of the nose. This is the right procedure for doing japa.
Question : How we should not do japa?
Answer : While doing japa we should not wear shirt, head should not be covered. Hair should not be left uncombed. Should not do japa without undergarment.
Without wearing waiste and ring in the finger should not do japa. While doing japa you should not talk or be in the dark. Should not look at dog, donkey, pig while doing
japa. You should not be in angry or very happy or sleepy or lazy or argumentive mood.
Question : How to do japa with japa mala?
Answer : Japa mala should be covered so that others cannot see it. For doing vasaga japa the index finger should be used. For mantham japa middle finger
should be used. For manasa japa the ring finger should be used. While doing japa should always think of lord siva's feet only. The thinks should touch the meru i.e. the
biggest bead first and then should to to the next one. If you are doing japa with intention of obtaining wordly i.e. material benefits the mala should be pushed downward. If
doing for moksha it should be upward. While counting the biggest bead repeats you should not count that but should start again from that. While doing japa the beads should
not make sound by touching one other.
Question : What are the benefits of five letters mantra japa?
Answer : First should understand the meaning of the five letter mantra. Siva is the lord and we are bonded to him. This should be in our mind. With that
in mind who do japa as per the rules. Lord siva will be with the soul brightly, like a fire in the wood, will remove all the three dirts and will bless so to be in bliss for ever.
CHAPTER - 6
Question : What is the form the Sathasiva is worshipped by the souls?
Answer : Lingam with peetham. The peetham i.e. Base is known as Sivasakthi and the ligam is Siva.
Question : What is meant y lingam?
Answer : Lingam is a symbol. Without parts like eyes, face, hands and legs it indicates God hence it is Lingam.
Question : How the lingam came into being?
Answer : Brahma and vishnu were quarreling over who is great by them. Siva present before them in the form o light bean. Both felt dejected as their
could not find the root and the end of that light beam. Later that solidify for the purpose of worshipping thus came the form lingam. The lord who is formless in original state,
out of mercy for the sentient took this form which indicates the formless.
Question : What are the places of siva worshipping?
Answer : In external world lard siva took the form of lingam. He stay in the form of guru and in the cangeration of siva bhakthas. In the internal he stay in
the soul took the oblation.
Question : If siva is present in the places then is it not contradiction that he is omnipresent?
Answer : No. Siva is omnipresent, still he is present can be felt easily like ghee in curd in the above mentioned places. In the other places his presence in like
ghee in the milk. i.e. no so easy to felt his presence.
Question : How types of sivalingam are there?
Answer : There are to types; 1. Paratha lingam, 2. Ista lingam.
Question : What is paratha lingam?
Answer : Till the time of destraction the linga in which lord siva presence to bless the sentiments is known as Paratha lingam. This is also known as Thavara
lingam. Thavara means static.
Question : What are the types of Paratha lingam?
Answer : Swayambhu lingam, Gana lingam, Thivega lingam or divine lingam, aarida lingam, manuda lingam are the five types of lingam. Swayambhu lingam
is the one which came into being by itself. Gana lingam is the one established either by Ganapathy or Karthikeyan. Thivega or Divine lingam are the one established by Devas
like Indira, varun. Aarida lingam is established by asuras and rakshashas. Manuda lingam is the one done by human beings.
Question : will the benefit vary from this lingams?
Answer : Yes; are will be greater then the other. Since human established lingams were listed with the others we should not think of other easly. The Tamil
kings had great love for lord siva and their raja neethi i.e. rayal condition were also good, hence their got the blessings of lors siva.
Question : How about the one established by other men?
Answer : If there is no temple nearby then we should establish siva lingam in such a villages. If there is a temple in a deplete condition we should not
abondout and establish a new one. In a newly established temple we may bringin a lingam which was nearby without puja. If regular puja are conducted then we should not
bring that lingam to new place. If it is swayambhu lingam then we may bring it to new place.
Question : Since swayambhu lingam are established themself on the earth how can we bring them?
Answer : Here swayambhu lingas are unlike other made lingam they self established one. These are known as Kasi lingam or Bana lingam.
Question : Can all type of people worship the siva lingam established in temples?
Answer : Yes. All the four types of followers i.e. Sariyai, Kiriyai, Yoga and Jnani can worship in thge temple. Their worship vary according to their concept.
The blessing method of lord siva also vary for them.
Question : How Sariyai methodologish worship and how siva will bless them?
Answer : Sariyai followers without appling there mind, worship the lingam itself as lord siva. For than siva bless tham without revealing himself.
Question : What cancept the Kiriyai people follow in worshipping and how siva bless them?
Answer : The formless siva by means of mantras like esanam, came into the form of lingam was clear to the Kiriyai followers. So they worship him by
mantras. For them by their mantras siva took the form they like and bless them.
Question : How yogis worshiping?
Answer : Yogis know that siva who resides in their heart will came into the ligna form also and took the puja. With that knowledge they worship with able
mantras. For them like milk while milking the cow the lord present them and there in the form they want and bless them.
Question : How Jnani worshiping and siva bless them?
Answer : Jnani unlike other three will not focus in are place or one form will worship with love. For them siva, like a cow yacding milk thinking of its calf,
overwhalured by mercy reveal himself as love always.
Question : What is Esta lingam?
Answer : Guru after doing pujas and other give the lingam to his sisya and say "worship this lingam daily as lang as live." Sisya who promise so and say
"I will not partable food without doing this." This linga is known as Esta lingam. This is also known as Aathmartha lingam or Sala lingam.
Question : What are the types of Esta lingam?
Answer : There are many types like Vana lingam, Crystal lingam, Ratna lingam, Saila lingam and saniga lingam.
Question : What is Saniga lingam?
Answer : That which left in the water after puja is known as Saniga lingam.
Question : What are the types of Saniga lingam?
Answer : There are twelve type of Saniga lingams. There are sand, rice, cooked rice, river sand, cow dung. butter, rudakshas, sandal paste, kurcham,
flower, sugar and mango.
Question : If you had taken vow for siva puja but partake without doing it, what will happen to you?
Answer : A great sin will fall an them. The food partaken like that will be equal to worms, corpse and human dropping. It is a sin even look or touch such
a person. Hence such person should approch his guru and of Prayachitham according to his guidence.
Question : If we are physically ill then what to do?
Answer : In that case the puja should be done by his guru or somebody equal to him. By the time we should to puja in our mind.
Question : How a woman who so ordained to Siva puja can perform at the time of monthy menses?
Answer : On all the three days she should bath with water given by others and do antharyami puja i.e. mind puja. on the fourth day after taking bath she
should take either honey or milk. After that should take another bath and then do the siva puja. In case she had not done antharyami puja on the three days then that mistake
should be eradicated by chanting siva mantra by thousand times.
Question : In case of child delivery - maternity, close relatives death or physically ill then what that woman should do?
Answer : Shoud do the puja by other who is equal to her in siva deeksha.
Question : In case of ill and other situation those who have done puja by the help of others, ater recovery what they shuld do?
Answer : As a prayachitha they should chant agoram i.e. siva mantra for three hundered times and after that only they do puja.