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Chapter Eleven
Saiva, Vaishnava and Christian Teachings


Anyone who reads through the vedas and vedanta will be struck by the utter discontinuity between the two.  The very name vedanta does not mean the crux and essence of veda, but actually means end of the vedas.  Vedanta actually destroyed all vedic roots and came into existence out of a new and fundamentally different source of power - none other than the Christ as preached by Thomas the Apostle of India.

Siva is usually associated with Rudra of the Veda.  According to Saiva Sittanta, Siva is a Supreme loving God who took the form of a man and suffered to save the human beings. Whereas in the Vedas, Rudra is portrayed as one of the minor deities, and he is the god of storms. Likewise Vaishnavite Vishnu is nothing to do with the Vedic Vishnu. In the Vedas, Vishnu is the sun god, a creature whereas Vishnu is the Prime God in Vaishnavism 

“Saivism and Vaishnavism are the offshoot of Early Indian Christianity. Early Indian Christianity observed the elements of Dravidian worships that prevailed in the pre - Christian era, and developed as Saivism and Vaishnavism.   Saivism and Vaishnavism developed as a Bhakti movement around 6th, 7th c. A.D. in South India and spread to the North. Since it is now totally camouflaged by the Brahman concept under the name of Hinduism, it is generally thought that the Vedas are the basis for the development of this Bhakti Movement. Generally Saivite Siva is identified with Vedic Rudra and Vaishnavite Vishnu is identified with Vedic Vishnu. An in-depth study of the Vedas will unveil the hidden truths. Saivism and Vaishnavism have nothing to do with the Vedic Rudra or Vishnu.”

Thus Dr. M. Deivanayagam  and Dr. D. Devakala in The Revival Movement of Dravidian Religion lists the follwing factors which emerged independent of Vedic influence.

1.       Emergence of the basic doctrines of Saivism and Vaishnavism            depending not on Aryanism or the Vedas.

2.       Development of these doctrines which are not seen in the Vedas

3.       Emergence of new Agamas, totally contrary to the Vedas

4.       Emergence of temple worship, contrary to the Vedas.

5.       Emergence of Nayanmars and Alwars who did not belong to the Vedic religion.

6.       The doctrinal explanation of Sankara, Ramanuja and Mathva which are contrary to the Vedas.

7.       Emergence of the names of Gods viz. Siva, Vishnu, Brahma, Sakthi ....who are contrary to the Vedic deities.

8.       Emergence of the worship of God in Triune form instead of worshipping the Vedic deities'.17

They conclude thus:

When Christianity came to India, the New testament was not compiled at that time. Naturally this would lead to the lack of historicity. The need of presenting Christianity at the grass root level in the later period led to the development of myths. Since the doctrine of trinity, doctrine of avatar, and the doctrine of fulfillment of sacrifice have to be explained in the mythical aspect at the grass root level, mythical Christ is seen in the Indian religions in different languages in different terms.

Though the terms are different and seem to be different Gods and Goddesses, they all refer to one God. An unbiased examination of myths would unveil the hidden Christ.

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Ithaca/1412/origin.html

Saiva Sidhanta
The basic creed of the saiva sidhantha is given by the Saiva Sidhantha Church as follows: 

 

“A Creed of Saivite Hindus

1.                   We BELIEVE Lord Siva is God, whose Absolute Being, Parasiva, transcends time, form and space.

2.                   We BELIEVE Lord Siva is God, whose immanent nature of love, Parasakti, is the substratum, primal substance or pure consciousness flowing through all form as energy, existence, knowledge and bliss.

3.                   We BELIEVE Lord Siva is God, whose immanent nature is the Primal Soul, Supreme Mahadeva, Paramesvara, author of Vedas and Agamas, the creator, preserver and destroyer of all that exists.

4.                   We BELIEVE in the Mahadeva Lord Ganesa, son of Siva-Sakti, to whom we must first supplicate before beginning any worship or task

5.                   We BELIEVE in the Mahadeva Karttikeya, son of Siva-Sakti, whose vel of grace dissolves the bondages of ignorance

6.                   We BELIEVE that each individual soul is created by Lord Siva and is identical to Him, and that this identity will be fully realized by all souls when the bondage of anava, karma and maya is removed by His grace.

7.                   We BELIEVE in three worlds of existence: the Bhuloka, where souls take on physical bodies; the Antarloka, where souls take on astral bodies; and the Sivaloka, where souls exist in their own self-effulgent form

8.                   We BELIEVE in the law of Karma — that one must reap the effects of all actions he has caused — and that each soul continues to reincarnate until all karmas are resolved and moksha, liberation, is attained.

9.                   We BELIEVE that the performance of charya, virtuous living, kriya, temple worship, and yoga, leading to Parasiva through grace of the living satguru, is absolutely necessary to bring forth jnana, wisdom

10.                We BELIEVE that there is no intrinsic evil.

11.               We BELIEVE that religion is the harmonious working together of the three worlds and that this harmony can be created through temple worship, wherein the beings of all three worlds can communicate.

12.               We BELIEVE in the Panchakshara Mantra, the five sacred syllables “Namah Sivaya,” as Saivism's foremost and essential mantra.”

http://www.siddha.com.my/saivism.html

Compare this with the Nicean Creed of the Chrsitian Churches outside of India in which one of the Indian delegate also was present.

The Nicean Creed

" We believe in one God, the Father All-sovereign, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

We believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, and the only-begotten Son of God, Begotten of the Father before all the ages, Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten not made, of one substance with the Father, through whom all things were made; who for us men and for our salvation came down from the heavens, and was made flesh of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man, and was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried, and rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures, and ascended into the heavens, and sits on the right hand of the Father, and comes again with glory to judge living and dead, of whose kingdom there shall be no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and the Life-giver, that proceeds from the Father, who with the Father and Son is worshipped together and glorified together, who spoke through the prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church.

We acknowledge one baptism unto remission of sins.

We look for a resurrection of the dead, and the life of the age to come. “

What is expressed in both the creeds are identitical and we know that this was the faith that existed until the third and fourth centuaries in India when the idol worship became prevalent and the inner core of faith was lost to the general public.

Taproot of the Hindu religion:

  • Doctrine of Avatar - God becoming a man in order to redeem human beings. (Unborn Prime God was born in order to give us eternal pleasure)

  • Trinity or Triune doctrine - God in triune stage - Appan, Ammai, Makan (Saivism); Siva, Vishnu, Brahma (Vaishnavism)

  • Doctrine of fulfillment of sacrifice - The offering of sacrifice has ceased even though there is sacrificial altar in the temple. People do not offer sacrifice while they worship God.

  • Doctrine of forgiveness of sin - There is forgiveness for the sins of human beings by the grace of God and this doctrine is totally controversial to the saying that ‘the actions of one person would definitely yield its fruits’.

  • Doctrine of bhakthi - Appreciating the bhakthi which is in ones heart irrespective of one’s appearance, color, culture etc. (Kannappa Nayanar)

The Revival Movement of Dravidian Religion Dr. M. Deivanayagam, Dr. D. Devakala

Pillayar Concept

In the savite trinity of Appan, Amma and Makan – while the concept of Appan (Father), Amma ( Sakthi – Holy spirit) and Makan ( Son) we oftern confront the son in the form of the Elephant.  Pillaiyar is depicted as Gana Pathy which in itself simply means Lord or Saviour of People – Emmanuel.  Yet the Elephant figure have come to dominate the religious ceremonies.  Though it blows off the stretch of imagination, this was a natural development of the concept of incarnation.  It is a sybolisation the “The only begotten Son of God” as the following research indicates.

In “The Wonder that is Pillaiyarpatti” Sivashankar Chandrasekaran describes this original concept thus:

Pillaiyarpatti is a small town twelve kilometers from Karaikudi, near Madurai, in the Sivagangi District of Tamil Nadu.  The town is named after the Ganesa Temple that adorns it.  Here, Lord Ganesa is known as Pillaiyar, Tamil for revered and noble son, and 'Karpaga Vinayakar', Lord who offers his blessings like the celestial tree Kalpaka whose specialty is ' you ask and it will be given'.

This temple is 1,600 years old.  It contains fourteen stone inscriptions dated between 400 AD and 1238 AD that reveal that the place was known as 'Ekkattur', 'Thiruveengaikudi', 'Maruthankudi' and 'Raja Narayanapuram' before it became to be called Pillaiyarpatti.  An inscription dated 1284 AD, on the right side wall of the Thiruveesar sanctum, suggests that the original name of the Ganesa was 'Desi Vinayaga Pillaiyar',

Pillaiyarpatti Temple is a rock cut temple. The image of Karpaga Vinayakar and that of a Siva Linga were carved out of stone by a sculptor called 'Ekkattur Koon Peruparanan' who put his signature on a stone inscription found even today in the sanctum. He put his name in the ' Tamizhi language' which was in use between 2nd and 5th century AD. It can concluded that the icon of Karpaga Vinayakar must have been carved around 4th century AD

                            

This is an image of the rock cut Karpaka Vinayakar Shrine at Pillayarpatti near Karaikkudi at one of the oldest Cave Temples (Rock Cut) temples of Tamilnadu. Pillayarpatti is situated between Pudukkottai and Karaikkudi.

 

Karpaga Vinayakar is one of the oldest Vinayakar images in the world for it has only two arms. The significance of the two arms is that the first god evolved by ancient man was in the shape of man.  This male god created out of stone was called Yaksha and the female god was called Yakshi.  Later on to show the superiority of god to man the head of the man was removed and in its place a head in the shape of OM was fixed.  The OM head was similar to that of an elephant. There are only two images of Vinayakars with two arms in the world.  One is at Pillaiyarpatti the other is in Afghanistan.  The one at Afghanistan must have been made later, for it is in a standing posture and has a number of ornaments adorning it.  The one at Pillaiyarpatti is in a sitting posture mediating.  He does not have Modakam (the most favourite sweet of Pillaiyar) but a Siva Linga in his palm. He mediates for the well being of the people and so their prayers are answered immediately.

Both Arjuna and Krishna worshipped Him and obtained favors from Him. In the Ramayana too we come across several references to Him. Sage Valmiki depicted Ravana, the demon king and chief villain of the epic, as a great

devotee and daily worshipper of Lord Shiva. It is believed that worship of His icons was widely prevalent as early as 2nd or 3rd Century B.C.,.

The concept of Son of God is clearly indicated in this icon represention where the word Om is superimposed on the Formless Form of Sivlinga to represent the incarnate God who mediates between God and Man.  God reaching down to man.

Heb 10:5  Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, But a body didst thou prepare for me;

In fact the similarity goes much deeper as explained in detail by  Dr. Devakala in Theological Foundation of
Hindu Religion
(http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Ithaca/1412/theology.html )

”Saivism and Saiva Sittantha

The devotional literature of the Bhakthi movement is known as 'Panniru Thirumurai' and the fourteen Sastras of the theological exposition are known as 'Saiva Sittanta Sastras'. Sivagnanapotham by Meykanta Tevar is regarded as the basic text of the Saiva Sittanta Sastras. The Saiva Sittanta Sastras are also known as the Meykanta Sastras.

Sivagnanapotham, the basic text of Saiva Sitthanta explains from the creation of man to salvation.

To quote a few examples from the first book of Saiva Sittanta Thiruvunthiar:

Neelakhanda
One who drank the poison of cosmos  which otherwise would have killed all the living

 (i) Sin
“Avan aval athu yenum avai moovinaimaimayin Thotria thithiye odungi malaththulathaam anthan aathi yenmanaar pulavar

In the beginning god created man (avan), woman (aval) and the world (athu) in three different actions and they were holy.  . But later they fell into sin  (malam)  which end the life of holiness and was the beginning of sin say the scholars. ( Sivagnanapothan –1)

“Muththi mutharkodikkae mogk kodi padarnthu aththi paluththathu yenru vunthee para appalhan vunnaathaw vunthee para”
Among the creatures which were holy, on the first creeper, the creeper of sin crept over it and bore the fruit of evil.  Speak this forth.  Do not partake of that fruit.  Speak this forth.

(ii) Avatar
'The hitherto unknown God came down as one of us and gave up Himself to save us from evil'.

(iii) Salvation through His sufferings
'He who has accomplished the works of salvation through His sufferings will not come again in His body, He has no birth or death again'.

(iv) Eternal life
'If you join Him who shared His home with the thieves you will attain the heavenly abode which is light'.

Songs from other literature are also quoted. In defining the Trinity as three persons in one God head:

(v) Trinity and Avatar
" The eternal God( Siva) and the Ornamented one (Vitnu).

And the eternal one on the Lotus (Brahma).
If examined are one and the same
But the ignored are confused".

In Saivism God is visualized in three forms as 'Aruvam' (God without form), 'Uruvam' (God with a form) and `Aruvuruvam' (God with semiform).

'The Triune Prime God'

sings Thirugnana sampanthar in Tevaram.

The author of Potripahrotai sings

"Iravaa Inpathu Yemai iruththa vendi piravaa muthalvan piranthaan."

(To give us eternal pleasure, the unborn prime God was born). He delivers us from our original sin (Sahasa malaa).

(vi) Sacrifice

The Godhead had lost all his glories and offered himself as a 'Sacrifice', so that mankind could be restored to a new life leaving the inherent qualities of leading a sinful life. In short, he gave himself as 'Sacrifice' for the remission of sins of the mankind. This is sung by Thirunavukkarasar in Tevaram as follows

'Aviyumaahi'
(He offered himself as sacrifice)

"Aviyaai aviyumaahi arukkamaai Perukkamaahi Paaviyar paavam theerkum paramanaai brahmanaahi"

(He being the sacrifice he offered himself as Sacrifice, decreased yet multiplied, he is the Transcending Brahman who washes away the sins of the sinners.)”

This similarity is not restricted to Saivite theology but extends to Vaishnavite theology as well. Dr. Devakala summarises this also:

Vaishnavism

 
        

Doctrine of trinity, doctrine of avatar, and the doctrine of fulfillment of sacrifice are fundamental doctrinal aspects of Vaishnavism.

 

 (i)Trinity

'Moovaraahiya Moorthiyai'  (Triune God)
'Moovaraahiya Oruvanai'  (Triune person)
'Udambu Uruvil Moonronroi'
(One in Trinity in the bodily appearence).

Also He resides in our heart
'Ullaththae Uraiyum maal'
( The one who resides in the heart)

(ii)Sacrifice

'Thaanae thanakkumavan than uruve evvuruvum thaanae Thava Vuruvum'
(He himself is his comparison,all images are his images, He himself is the image of sacrifice)

'Vanakkudai thava neri vali ninru'

(By following the adorable path of the one who sacrificed himself )
Thavam means 'Thannuyir thaanara peruthal (offering once own self as sacrifice) says Thiruvalluvar which means sacrificing ones ownself.

(iii) Deliverer
There are references about Original Sin (Janma bhandham) and individual sin (Karma bhandham) in Bhagavad-Gita. And God delivers us from these

"I will deliver thee from all sins"

All documentary evidence thus suggest that both Saivism and Vaishnavism are the offshoots of Early Indian Christianity. 

 According to Shaiva Sidhdhaantha the God is formless (arUpa) . But for the salvation of lives He took the form of lingam - meaning symbol (arUpa rUpa = formless form). lingam can be considered both as form as well as formless symbol. This murti is called sada shiva murti. This Sada Shiva murti, for the benefit of living beings,   took many forms which are called maheshwara murtis.   Usually in the temples, Sadha Shiva murthi (Shiva lingam ) will be in the Sanctum Sanctorum while the maheshwara murthis will be in the Praahaaram. (Outside the Sanctum Sanctorum).

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/2583/maahesh.html

Dr. S.Radhakrishnan  defines Bhakthi as the "conscience recognition of wholehearted response to the source of all goodness, the Divine. It is in this world, not vows, not pilgrimages, not yoga practices, not study of Scriptures, not sacrificial rites, not philosophical discourses; only devotion can give us freedom."

The basic philosophy of the Saiva saints is known as Saiva SitthAndham. It is believed that pasu , living things, can attain the realization of the Supreme ,pathi, by getting rid of pAsam ,attachment. In practice this is accomplished by concentrating the mind on the Supreme through devotion and music.

The four components of the Bhakthi pathway are therefore the Absolute Being or the Divine, the paths to attain it, the devotion and finally the devotional experience. The Absolute Being or the Divine has been referred to as Vishnnu, by the Vaishnavaites  and Sivan by the Saivaites.   

All the saiva saints  stress the oneness of the Supreme.  "For One who does not have any name or any form, why not we give thousand different names and hail His greatness.”-  Manikkavachakar Thiruthellam Thevaram poems

Even today if you read through the Saiva Sidhanta Church teachings except for the names, you would not be able to distingusih it from Chrisian teachings in almost all matters. 

 

Today what is seen in Hinduism are the Six-fold religions based on Siva worship and are linked through the names of the family relationship of Siva. According to mythology, Siva has two sons through Sakthi and two sons through Vishnu and totally seven members are mentioned in the family of Siva. They are Siva, Sakthi, Kumarakkatavul, Pillaiyar, Vishnu, Brahma and Ayyappa. Amongst the seven, Brahma was cast away as a cheat and a liar, and according to tradition there should not be any temple or worship or religion in the name of Brahma. Discarding Brahma, there are six religions in the names of the rest, and thus the name Six-fold religion.1

Siva's roots are from Isa, but today the religion is highly corrupted and syncretised. In the 8th c A.D, Adi Sankara amalgamated the Six-fold religions, Saivism, Vaishnavism, Saktham, Gaumaram, Ganapathyam and Sauram, by using monism and the caste system. His motive was to pave the way for the supremacy of the Aryan Purohitas under the guise of religion.

Since Adi Sankara's time, the people of India and the world have been deceived by the Aryan Purohitas that they are the forefathers of Hinduism. They portrayed Hinduism as being very ancient originating from the Vedas and the mother of all religions. The Vedas have absolutely nothing to do with today's Hinduism, the deities of the Vedas lost significance in the 1st c AD when Christianity entered India. Over the years history has been warped and evidences destroyed to hide these facts. However, in these last days God is exposing these lies and enabling His people to tear down all the false foundations.

In the West, the Church today is similarly being threatened by the New Age movement. Satan used Monism and Cycle of Birth to enslave the early Indian Church and these are the key deceptions of the New Age movement.

Extracted from '108 Questions to Sankara Mutt', by Dr. M. Deivanayagam, The Revival Movement of Dravidian Religion, Chennai, India.

The architecture of the ancient churches bears witness to this fact.  

 In the early period the Christians of Kerala seem to have built their churches after the model of Hindu temples, as is evidenced by the alleged action of Vasco-da-Gama in entering a Kali temple at Calicut mistaking it for a Christian church. They adopted for their churches the temple plan comprised of a four-sided sanctuary with a large pillared hall in the front. The church had also a tower which, like the Sikhara above the Garbhagriha of the temple, soared to the maximum height. The indigenous tradition which influenced church architecture continued without break till the coming of the Portuguese in 1498 AD. As part of their policy of Latinisation of the Church is Kerala, the Portuguese introduced innovations in the design of church buildings.

Department of Public Relations, Government of Kerala  http://www.prd.kerala.gov.in/prd2/art/architec.htm