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Related to Shaivism: Shaktism, Smartism, Vaishnavism
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also Shivaism), one of the two main branches of Hinduism, named for its principal divinity, Siva. Sivaism is rooted in the beliefs of the indigenous pre-Aryan population of India. The emergence of Sivaism as a separate current in Hinduism dates to the first centuries of the Common Era. Vestiges of the oldest fertility cults have survived in Sivaism; religious notions of Shakti—the creative basis of all living things—are associated with Sivaism. Veneration of the symbolic image of the genitalia of the male (the lingam) and of the female (the yoni) is to this day an indispensable part of the cult of Siva.

A major role in Sivaism is played by worship of the mother goddess, whose cult is identified primarily with Siva’s female hypostasis—his wife Durga (also called Kali, Devi, and other names). At the same time, Siva is regarded in the Trimurti as the destroyer, and his coterie includes evil spirits that inflict misfortunes on people. Bloody sacrifices, including human ones, survived in Sivaism longer than anywhere else.

A peculiarity of the pantheon in Sivaism is its family character. Siva’s spouse Durga is the personification of the female creative principle; Siva’s sons are Ganesha, the patron of wisdom and the bestower of a good beginning on any undertaking, and Skanda (Karttikeya), the god of war.

Sivaism has a multitude of sects (Lingayats, Shaktas, Smartas) and is practiced throughout India. The sacred literature of Sivaism consists mainly of Sivaist puranas and agamas written in the early Middle Ages.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Wilberg sees this shift in Heidegger's position as wholly congruent with the thinking of the 10th century Indian sage Abhinavagupta in the 'Shiva Sutras' (2) within the non-dual tantric tradition of Kashmir Shaivism. Calling this shift 'Heidegger's tantric turn', Wilberg even refers to 'late' Heideggerian thinking as 'Heidegger's Yoga Sutras' dedicating a whole chapter to it.
But the Agama Hindu Bali was not limited solely to the Balinese, as it was in fact the true ancestral religion of all Indonesians, complemented by Shaivism and Buddhism.
In Kashmiri Shaivism, for instance, an-upaya "nomeans" may be viewed as the highest way to liberation, but the tradition's vast array of meditation techniques receives almost equal respect.
(68) In Tamil Nadu, in the south, the Saiva saint Janasambandar is said to have forcibly, converted the Pandya ruler from Jainism to Shaivism. Thereafter, the kingapparently killed 8000 Jainas.
names her source on India for this poem as Sir Alexander Johnstone, a man who evinced a lifelong interest in Tamil literature, Tamil Shaivism, and Sinhalese Buddhism.
Hinduism has many branches, with the most widely followed being Vaishnavism and Shaivism. Slightly more than 90 percent of Muslims are Sunni; the rest are Shi'a.
It partially adapted the Shaivism of the Dravidian cultures, who have since been positively confirmed by DNA as migrants from the continent of Africa.
The latter two, sometimes through their avatars and consorts, serve as the foci for the two major sects of Hinduism, Vaishnavism and Shaivism. A variety of animals, reptiles, and other objects are also worshiped in conjunction with the deities of " high " Hinduism.
Gavin Flood, Body and Cosmology in Kashmir Shaivism, Lewiston: Edwin Mellen, 1993.
Rahner's theory of symbol, explaining how Jesus is "the unique point" of divine-human encounters, is paired with the linga and mantras in Shaivism and Vaishnava references to dramatic gestures expressing divine grace (94-128).
A religious persecution by the government of this princely state forced some leading Vaishnava priests to convert to Shaivism, while other priests who tried to avoid the same fate had to go into exile.
Shaivism, Vaishnavism and Mahayana Buddhism flourished among the ruling Khmer elites until the 14th century.