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A Synopsis of The Lectures on the Saivagamas By Mr. V. V. Ramanan


Delivered By MR. V. V. RAMANAN, F.Z.S. (LONDON); O.M.D.S.F.V (BERLIN); M.O.S.M.F. (PARIS); &C.,

At the Hall of THEOSOPHY, MADURA On the 25th and the 26th of September 1909.

Reprinted from a bulletin issued by the Madura Hall of Theosophy.


1. The Etymology of the word 'Agama'; sometimes it is used in the sense of Upanishads, and sometimes in the sense of mystic exegetics giving explicit instruction about Gnosis.

2. The Upanishads are classified into Brahmic, Saivic, and Vaishnavaic; a similar classification of the Agamas is recognised by the Skanda-purana. Suta-Samhita mentions Pancha-ratra-agamas, Sakta-agamas, Kapalika-agamas etc. The 28 Agamas known as Saiva-agamas come in for special recognition. The relation of Saiva-agamas to Tantras (e.g. Mahanirvana-tantra, Rudrayamila, and the like), Mantra-Sastras, and Yantra-Sastras. The Agamas of the Buddhists and the Jains.

3. The appreciative reference to Saivagamas as teaching the Highest Mysticism, in Siva-maha-purana, Linga-purana, Kurma-purana, Vayu-purana, the Advaitabrahmasiddhi, the Sivarkamanidipika and other treatises.

4. The archaic nature of the Siva-agamas, patent from a study of their peculiar versification, the nature of words frequently employed and the sublimity and mystery of the themes dwelt on. External evidence pointing to the same conclusion by a consideration of the age of the Skanda-purana, the age of Manikkavachakar, Tirumular and the rest. Prof. Bendal's discovery of the Nepaulese Mss. of Skanda, dates that Purana at the 3rd Century B.C., to give the latest limit, the Mss. being preserved in very ancient script. Dr. Stein's researches in Central Asia and the light they indirectly throw on the ancient character of the Agamas. In fine, the Siva-agamas are not later than the First Buddhist Council.

5. Sankara's Anandalahari, the Spanda-pradipika, Siva-Sutras, Siva-Sutra-Vimarsini, Suresvara's Manasollasa, Siva-tattvaviveka, and the Sarvadarsana-sangraha - all these and others persume a close knowledge of the Sivagamas.

6. The catalogues of public libraries in Europe, including Aufrecht's Catalogus Catalogorum, Gough's Report on the collection of Mss. in the N. W. Provinces and Oudh for the Sixties and Seventies, and other Reports on the search for Sanskrit Mss., record finds of Siva-agamas in Cashmere, Assam, Nepal and even Tibet. The wide-spread influence of Agamas in ancient days.

7. The Subdivisions of the Agamic School: The Nakulisa headed by Haradatta. The Mahapasupata (Vaidik) based on Siva-agamas represent latterly by Srikantha. The Avaidika-pasupata School known as the Vamachara School. The Pratyabhijna School. The Rasayana School. The Sivagama School is the best, as being a living tradition comprising the greatest God-taught Jnanis.

8. Vaidika Mahapasupata, the greatest School of Indian Mysticism, including a number of working Jnanis. Edward Carpenter's Testimony. Agastya-kutam, the head-quarters of the Southern Section. Kailas (Cashmere), the head-quarters of the Northern Section. The Vindhyas, of the Central Section.

9. Quotations from Vayu-purana and Skanda-purana to show that Agamas (Sivagamas) teach the Higher Mysticism which is simply adumbrated by the Upanishads. The extreme rahasyam attaching to the Agamantam.

10. Some of the abstruse positions of the Upanishads find the clearest exegesis only in the Sivagamas. The hierarchies of Power and Intelligences which are outlined in Theosophical books find a most elaborate and significant detailing in the Agamas. PSYCHOSES, GNOSIS, ORISON, and DEGREES OF SANCTIFICATION, a specialty with the Siva-agamas.

11. The Kriya-pada of the Agamas bear on temple-architecture, and temple-worship. Etymology of சிவாலயம் and அம்பரம். Temples are representations of human subtle-bodies and of sidereal systems.

12. No temple-worship in Vedic times. Temple-worship in post-Vedic times. How to account for the sudden origin of temple-worship? Animal-sacrifices were a misinterpreting travesty of the esoteric truths sought to be taught by such expressions as Asva-medha, Agnishthoma, Pasupati, Pasubandha etc., in the Samhitas. Rise of Jnanis showing the true way. Agamas, coeval with the Upanishads. Temples and Temple-worship were introduced as sanctifying exoteric mementos, as sound reminders of subjective rejuvenation.

13. Sankara came of a family of Vaidika-maha-pasuptas. Sankarins have the greatest claim to interpret his teachings in the light of the Agamas.

14. Appayya's Sivarkamanidipika is the most magistral exposition of the Agamic lore.


1. Siva-Agamas: their structure and composition: Charyapada, Kriya-pada, Yoga-pada, and Vidya-pada or Jnana-pada: Their Panchanana origin from Siva: Another division into Saiva and Raudra: The PARAMPARA by which the Mystic Teaching came to be finally recorded in the Siva-Agamas: Charya, Kriya, Yoga, and Jnana divisions of the Agamas correspond in measure to the Mantra, Brahmana, Aranyaka, and Upanishad divisions of the Veda. The contents of the various Padas. The greatest importance of the Jnana-padas. The Upagamas like Paushkara, Mrigendra etc.

2. The Kriya-pada, a specialty with the Kamika, Suprabheda, Parakhya, etc. Sacred architecture, a replica of the Sukshma-Sarira, and the Saura-Jagat. The parts of the devalaya, and the religious rites conducted therein, compared with the subtle organs, and psychoses leading to Gnosis.

3. The Charya-pada reminds of the Grihya. Dharma, and Sulva Sutras. Its contents.

4. The Yoga-pada and its contents contrasted with the Yoga darsana of Patanjali. Puryashtaka, Dvadasanta, and the Primary and Secondary Sushumnas and their points of intercrossing. The Primary and Secondary Sushumnas are the analogues of the ecliptic and the celestial equator, and their points of Junctions of the Equinoxes.

5. The Jnana-pada and the ILLUMINATION. The classes of souls recognised by the Agamas, e.g. the pure, the mixed, and the impure. The sub-divisions under these. The Trimurti are only impure souls in whom the Sattvic Guna is predominant. The meaning of Saguna, Nirguna and Gunatita. The 18 Avasthas of the souls. The 6 Adhvans. The 5 Kalas. The Souls put in charge of various Powers, and Dominions: Mantresvaras, Vidyesvaras, Bhuvanadhipatis. Andadhipatis. The celestial hierarchy and the sub-celestial hierarchy. The progress of the celestial beings is boundless.

6. The soul-culture. The 10 karyas (psychoses), and the 30 sub-processes coming thereunder. Sakti-nipata. The three kinds of Maya and Mala. The 36 evolutes relate to matter alone. Siva and Para-Sakti. The Light descending into matter. The methods.

7. The Viraja-diksha, a great initiation amongst the Maha Pasupata Order of Vaidiks. Rama, Krishna and Svetasvatara are initiates of this Order. Pauranic proofs culled from 13 sources.

8. Yogacharyas - Who are they? They are samyak-darsins or illuminati, of the Mahapasupata Order. Appayya's references to them. Srikantha's Haradatta's and Agamik references to the same. The references found in the Kurma and the Siva-purana.

9. திருமூலர், அகட்பேய், and ஒளவை represent three extreme sub-orders of the Mahapasupatas.

10. The mysticism of the Rosicrucians, Gnostics, Neo-Platonists, the early Christian Fathers, Plotinus, Sufis and the Buddhistic Mystics of the Mahayana School (e.g. Santi-deva and the rest), stop short at the Turiya-pranava-yoga. The plane of the fourth dimension. The "Solar Plexus" of the Rosicrucians.

11. The Phenomena attendant on ILLUMINATION. The Sun, Moon, and Stars. The blowing of trumpets. The Silver Glory. The Golden Temple. The Blue Luminous Ether. The Kalavanchana.

12. The Agamic mysticism excels all by the importance it attaches to the various grades of psychoses, and to the minute analysis of the various factors entering into each subjective experience, and by the explicit declarations it makes as regards all DEGREES OF SANCTIFICATION. "In My Father's House are Many Mansions."

13. Paushkara, Vatula, Jnanasiddhi and Parakhya are the greatest Mystic Scriptures of the World.

14. The Upanishads teach the highest Paroksha Truths from the intellectual plane. The Agamas have a practical end in view, and begin where the Upanishads leave; In other words, the Agamas teach men how to make the Paroksha Truths actual facts of Aparokshanubhava, while still in the flesh.


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