A Spiritual Renaissance

The Shaiva Agamas (Lord Shiva’s precepts that have come down through the ages), also known as Shaiva Siddhanta Shastras (or the Shivagamas) in Sanskrit, are replete with mantras, techniques and practices to aid in transcending individuals from a lower to a higher state of consciousness. These scriptures reveal the exact nature of Pati (the Supreme Protector) and the souls that are bound which make known the exact nature of transcendental Parashiva (the Absolute which is beyond comprehension).

The Shaiva Siddhanta Shastras have been revealed by Lord Shiva to constitute the final and well ascertained conclusive principles that should be accepted or discarded. What should be noted is that Lord Shiva has five faces, and each of these five faces revealed five different scriptures.  They are: Sadyojata (that which gives both happiness and sadness to creatures), Vama (aspect of Lord Shiva that is peaceful, poetic and graceful), Aghora (represents the rejuvenating and dissolving qualities of Lord Shiva), Tatpurusha (represents the supreme soul behind the physical being) and Isana (form associated with akash or ether).

Kamika Agama is the foremost scripture that came out of the Sadyojata face, and was directly uttered by Lord Shiva to Devi and a Sadhaka or Sapta Rishi (sage) called Pranava on Mount Meru in Ujjain, India. Pranava transmitted it to another sage called Trikala who in turn revealed it to a third sage called Hara. Thus began the flowering of a unique and divine culture ensconced in the Hindu-Vedic tradition that set forth ways and means to practice living with the ultimate super-consciousness.

The Kamika Agama is one among twenty five spiritual treatises for enlightened living. According to Paramahamsa Nithyananda, “It is the only spiritual inner science to manifest anything one wants as reality.”

An Overview of the Kamika Agama

The Kamika Agama is divided into two parts:

  1. Kamika Agama Purva Pada

The Kamika Agama Purva Pada contains seventy five chapters, and is considered to represent the head of the form of Lord Shiva. For instance, the first chapter, is about the revelation and the transmission of the Agamas (summary is elucidated above in the introduction), the second chapter is about the significance of mantras where the presiding deity, effect and colour of all the letters in Sanskrit (‘A’ to ‘Ksha’) are meant to be contemplated by an Adishaiva (Shaivite priest) after which the various processes of incantation follow.

In the third chapter of the Kamika Agama Purva Pada, Lord Shiva outlines how one should take bath in various ceremonial ways, especially for the Varnashramas (order of society intertwined with four orders of life or ashramas) who are householders, Brahmans (priests), Kshatriyas (those with governing functions), Vaishyas (agriculturists, cattle rearers and traders), and Shudras (those who serve the three Varnas).

The fourth chapter gives directions for the daily worship of Lord Shiva, classifying worship, which are of two kinds: Atmartha (individual or personal worship) and Parartha (worship for the public). Through breathing techniques, breath control processes and with the help of mantras, for daily and occasional pujas (acts of worship) Lord Shiva is remembered and worshipped.

The remaining chapters cover subjects on the essential aspects of daily worship, offering of food and appetizing dishes, the lineaments of various fire pits, directions of the performance of fire rituals, selection of auspicious times, examination of omens, etc.

  1. Kamika Agama Uttara Pada

The Kamika Agama Uttara Pada contains forty eight chapters and the first chapter covers directions for the worship of Shivalinga (an iconic representation of Lord Shiva) which is facing the West, where, “temple worship is meant for the benefit of the world …which is capable of yielding worldly enjoyments and final liberation.”

The second chapter explores the directions for the worship of the Linga which is facing the south, where such worship is of three kinds: Worship done for the Linga, Pratima (image) and Mukhalinga (Linga with a face). The regular worship of the Shivalinga would yield liberation, that of Pratima is capable of yielding worldly enjoyments, and that of the Mukhalinga is capable of granting both worldly enjoyments and liberation.

The third chapter is about directions for the worship of Sakala Murtis (fully manifested forms). In this chapter, such worship is efficacious in obtaining the desired fruits of one’s labours.

The other chapters in this Agama cover subjects on the directions for: ceremonial bathing with Snapana (vessels arranged in different patterns), performance of daily and grand festivals, for waving the lights, etc.

The Art of Enlightened Living

The Kamika Agama teaches not only an enlightened art of living, but also the art of enlightened living and is a supreme scripture that is associated with four sections – Charya (lifestyle), Kriya (spiritual process), Yoga (union or methods of uniting with the divine) and Jnana (enlightenment).

Paramahamsa Nithyananda elucidates these as follows: Charya explains how one should wake up, brush one’s teeth, take bath, consume vegetarian food, apply vibhuti, wear rudraksha malas, maintain a Shiva jata and what one should do till one goes to bed.

Kriya is a spiritual process to make anything one wants into reality. If one wants to bring rain, or bring or stop the sun, there is a kriya and process. If one wants to invoke God into a stone, there is a kriya and process to do that. Kiya involves doing all those auspicious acts to achieve spiritual experience and spiritual powers, such as, homas (fire rituals), prana pratishta (consecration) of deities and pujas.

According to Him, Mahadeva’s definition of yoga is, experiencing oneness with oneness itself and by practicing asana (postures), pranayama (breathing techniques), dharana (single-pointed focus and concentration), dhyana (meditation), etc., one can truly unite with the divine.

Lastly, he says, “enlightenment about everything that exists, is Jnana.”

The science of Agamas is such that, every moment of one’s life makes one more powerful, intelligent and energetic. Also, anyone who practices all the tenets of the Kamika Agama with sincerity, will develop immense self respect which will always be based on powerfulness. This self respect for oneself is not and can never be ego. Practicing the Kamika Agama is equivalent to eating, living, and breathing according to Mahadeva – It is, in Paramahamsa Nithyananda’s words, the lifestyle of Shuddhadvaitam (pure and absolute oneness).

References

  1.    27th Feb 2016 Satsang of Paramahamsa Nithyananda
  2.   https://www.himalayanacademy.com/site/search/title/agama/tags/Agama

By – Prerna Dusija

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