Nature of Difference Among Saivites
108. What confers eligibility, to worship according to the Saiva Agamas, Shivaperuman?
Siva deeksha. (Siva deeksha is the same as samaya deeksha; it is the initiation of a person into the Saiva religion by a guru who with appropriate ceremonies communicates the five lettered mantra of Siva - Panchaakshara - to that person).
109. What are the acts which should necessarily be performed by a person after obtaining Siva deeksha?
"Iyamam", "niyamam", "santhiyaavanthanam" ( a kind of worship at dawn, noon and dusk), puja to Sivalingam, recital of Thevaaram and Thiruvaachakam, service to Siva temple, worship at Siva temple, protecting the words of his guru by acting according to the guru's injuctions, and "Mahesvara Puja" according to his ability, etc.
110. What are "Iyamam"?
They are ten, namely, non-killing, truthspeaking, non-drinking of alcoholic liquor, manliness which does not desire the wives of others and prostitutes, compassion, non-deceit, patience, undauntedness, a little food and mental and corporeal purity.
111. What are "niyamam"?
They are ten, namely, penance, mental happiness, faith in the existence of God, giving to a virtuous man wealth earned without sin, obeissance to one's elders, listening to true books which give instruction or other means tending to the salvation of the soul, humbleness without arrogance on account of such things as high family or wealth or power, discernment of the fit and unfit, "jeba" (repetition of mantras in worship), and "viratham" (fasting as a religious observance and offering special prayers with devotion of God).
112. What are the acts which should not be done?
Blasphemy of Siva or of guru or of devotees of Siva or of the shastras, misappropriation of temple properties, killing etc.
113. How can sins committed by error in regular worship be removed?
Known sins can be removed by expiatory ceremonies. Unknown sins can be removed by funeral obsequies.
114. What will the persons who have obtained deeksha but do not regularly perform the rites prescribed for such a person receive?
They will undergo experiences as ghosts in the world of ghosts.
115. What appellation will those persons who have obtained Sivadeeksha and worship Sivaperumaan receive?
They will be known as "Saivar" (Saivities).
116. How many categories of "Saivar" are there owing to differences in caste?
There are six, namely, Aathi Saivar, Mahaa Saivar, Anu Saivar, Avaanthara Saivar, Piravara Saivar and Anthiya Saivar.
117. Who are Aathi Saivar?
Siva Brahmins born in the "koaththiram" (lineage) of the rishis who received spiritual illumination from the five faces of the Saatha Siva form of Siva who is the beginningless Saivar.
118. Who are Mahaa Saivar?
Brahmins who observe Vedic practices and who have received Siva Deeksha and who were born in the "koaththiram" (lineage) of the rishis who appeared from the faces of Brahma.
119. Who are Anu Saivar?
Kshatriyas and vaishyas who have received Siva deeksha.
120. Who are Avaanthara Saivar?
Sudras who have received Siva deeksha.
121. Who are Piravara Saivar?
Anulomas who have received Siva deeksha. (An anuloma is a person whose father belonged to one of the first three castes but whose mother belonged to a caste lower than that of the father).
122. Who are Anthiya Saivar?
Pratilomas and persons of other (lower) castes, who have received Siva deeksha. (A pratiloma is a person whose mother belonged to one of the first three castes but whose father belonged to a caste lower than that of the mother).
123. How many categories of Saivar are there owing to grades in deeksha?
These are four categories, namely samaya deekshithar, vishesha deekshithar, nirvaana deekshithar and aachaariyaar.
124. Who are samaya deekshithar?
Persons who having received samaya "deeksha" practise "santhiyaavanthanam" ( a kind of worship at dawn, noon, and dusk) or who perform both "santhiyaavanthanam" and service to Siva temple.
125. What is the appellation given to persons who perform "santhiyaavanthanam" only?
They receive the appellation "santhiyoapaasthiparar" ["upaasthi" = worship]
126. What is the appellation given to persons who perform both "santhiyaavanthanam" and service to Siva temple?
They receive the appellation "sivakarmarathar" ["rathar = persons who desire]
127. Who are vishesha deekshithars?
Persons who, having received both samaya deeksha and vishesha deeksha, regularly perform "santhiyaavanthanam" and puja to Sivalingam.
128. Who are nirvaanadeekshithars?
Persons who having received the three (deekshas) namely, samaya deeksha, vishesha deeksha and nirvaana deeksha, regularly perform "jnana puja" in addition to "santhiyaavanthanam" and puja to Sivalingam.
129. What is jnana puja?
It is five (acts), namely, recital of the spiritual books Saiva Siddhanta shastras in the prescribed manner, causing their recital, listening to their meaning, causing people to listen to their meaning and reflection over the meanings heard.
130. Who are aachaariyaars?
Persons who having received the four (deekshas), namely samaya deeksha, vishesha deeksha, nirvaana deeksha and aachaariyaa abhishegam perform ceremonies like deeksha initiation and installation of deities in addition to daily (religious) practices.
131.Who are qualified to become aachaariyaars?
Persons from the four castes commencing from Brahmins who have no mental defects or bodily defects, who have studied "nigandu" (a classical Tamil poetic vocabulary of words and their synonyms) and have done literary research and have studied grammar, logic, ethical writings, and Siva puranas, who recite Thevaaram and Thiruvaachakam with the musical modes called "pann" and who recite Saiva agamas and understand the four parts taught by them and who are efficient in imparting good conduct and the Saiva religion to disciples.
132. Who are not qualified to be aachaariyaars?
A man who does not belong to any of the four castes, a son of a woman by another man while her husband is living, a widow's illegitimate son, a man who does not send away his wife who has become a prostitute, a blind man, a one-eyed man, a deaf man, a lame man, a man with a crippled hand, a man short of a limb or limbs, a man with excess of a limb or limbs, a man with an incurable disease, a man who is under sixteen years of age, a man who is over seventy years of age, a man who has bad habits like killing and stealing and a man who has no understanding of the Saiva agamas.
133. What will a person receive who has anything such as deeksha or installation of deity performed by an acchaariyaar who has any of these defects?
He will loose the benefit of those rites and will fall into hell and suffer. Therefore one should get deeksha, installation of deity, etc., performed by an aachaariyaar who has the required perfection of a guru.
134. Is there a rule that only a person of a particular caste can be an aachaariyaar for persons of a particular caste?
Yes. A Brahim (aachaariyaar) can be an aachaariyaar for? the four castes beginning with Brahmins. A Kshatriya (aachaariyaar) can be an aachaariyaar for the three castes commencing from Kshatriyas. A Vaishya (aachaariyaar) can be an aachaariyaar for the two castes beginning from Vaishyas. A Sudra (aachaariyaar) can be an aachaariyaar for Sudras and for persons born of intercaste marriages. This rule is for the performance of rituals only. But even a man of a lower caste can be an aachaariyaar to a man of a higher caste for the inculcation of jnana or mystic and spiritual knowledge.
135. What should a disciple do who desires to attain Siva-jnana but the aachaariyaar whom he has taken does not have Siva jnana?
Just lke the honey-bee when the flower it has reached has no honey leaves that flower, similarly a disciple, when the aachaariyaar whom he has taken does not have Siva jnana, may leave that aachaariyaar and seek and take an aachaariyaar who has Siva jnana. Even then at dawn, noon and dusk daily he should first meditate on the first aachaariyaar who gave him instruction on the rituals and then meditate on the later aachaariyaar who gave him instruction on jnana.
136. Is there a rule that only a person of a particular caste is qualified to receive a particular deeksha?
Yes, Persons of the four castes and the six kinds of anulomas making up ten castes in all are qualified to receive "ouththiri" deeksha. (This is also known as "avuththiri" deeksha). Persons of other castes are not qualified to receive ouththiri deeksha. A person is qualified to receive according to his caste and according to his fitness a deeksha out of the six deekshas which are branches of "ouththiri" deeksha", namely, "nayana deeksha", "parisa deeksha", "vaasaka deeksha", "maanasa deeksha", "shastriya deeksha", and "yoga deeksha". ("Nayana" deeksha is deeksha by the eye, i.e., by the guru looking on the disciple and communicating spiritual light. "Parisa" deeksha is by the touch, i.e., by the guru looking on the disciple's head and touching five principal parts of the disciple's body thus conferring on the disciple the virtue of the five lettered mantra. "Vaasaka" deeksha is oral initiation. "Maanasa" deeksha is initiation of the disciple by the mind of the guru acting on the mind of the disciple thus leading to the enlightenment of the mind of the disciple. "Shastriya" deeksha is spiritual illumination by means of the shastras or spiritual books. "Yoga" deeksha is instruction in yoga, i.e., in silent motionless contemplation of God in the prescribed postures). The aachariyaar giving the water with which his feet has been cleansed is also a deeksha; the disciple should receive it with devotion and sprinkle it on his head and drink it.
137. What is "ouththiri" deeksha?
Deeksha which is performed with the performance of "Homam", ["Hoathiram" = "Homam"]. ("Homam" is a burnt offering, the casting of ghee, the nine kinds of grains, etc., into the sacred fire accompanied with prayers, etc.)
138. How many types of "ouththiri" deeksha are there?
There are two types, namely "jnana vathi" and "kiriyaa vathi".
139. What is jnana vathi?
After figuring in the mind "kundam" ( a hole in the ground in which a sacrificial fire is lit), "mandalam" (mystic diagram), fire, ghee "surukkuchuruva" (male and female ghee spoons used at a sacrifice), etc., and after mentally offering "aakuthi" (oblation with ghee and fire to a deity with prescribed forms and incantations) and after mentally performing other rituals, performance of the deeksha which will destroy the "paasam" (the bonds) of the disciple. This is also known as "Sakthi" deeksha.
140. What is "kiriyaa vathi"?
After making externally "kundam" ( a hole in the ground in which a sacrificial fire is lit), "mandalam" (mystic diagram) and after performing externally "Aakuthi" (oblation with ghee and fire to a deity with prescribed forms and incantations) and other ceremonies, performance of the deeksha which will destroy the "paasam" (the bonds) of the disciple. This is also known as "Maanthiri" deeksha.
141. How many categories are there in "jnana vathi" and how many categories are there in "kiriyaa vathi"?
Three are three categories namely samaya deeksha, vishesha deeksha and nirvaana deeksha.