The Saiva Siddhanta is one of the most vigorous and extensively studied denominations in South India. What is often overlooked is that prior to its development in the Tamil South it was an all-India denomination, which had a history dating from the seventh century A.D.In this book the author surveys for the first time the whole tradition of the Siddhanta in its historical, literary and theological contexts. He then focuses on Aghorasiva (A.D. 1100), the theologian who bridged the two traditions, Sanskrit and Tamil.The book is based on Aghorasiva's commentary on Bhoja's (A.D. 1058) Tattvaprakasika, a systematic work of seventy-five verses. After translating the main verses (1-24) with their commentary, the author identifies the Siddhanta's main metaphysical problem: how to harmonize Emanationism with the theology of Difference (bheda)--a problem ignored by Bhoja and his predecessors. He then points to Aghorasiva's solution as significant in the context of Hindu theology: an inner plurality of the Godhead untainted by the phenomenal. This--the divine plurality in unity--is the Siddhanta's fundamental insight.Comparing the above insight to Christianity, the author then suggests that the latter's teaching--in the Catholic tradition--on the triadic nature of intradivine reality was logically and systematically formulated by some theologians only from a dyadic structure in God's Being--the absolute and relative aspects--a structure not unlike that of Aghorasiva. On the basis of this suggestion he concludes that both topically and historically the Siddhanta bears some comparison with Christianity's central mystery: the Trinity.|
About the Author:
ROHAN A. DUNUWILA teaches Religion at Niagara Univesity, New York. He earned his Doctorate in the History of Religions in 1978 from Fordham University, New York.