Re: Significance of Siva Linga

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian wrote:
> As far as I know the official shaiva siddhaanta maTas do not endorse advaita.
> They are more similar to vishistaadvaitins in the the sense that they claim
> everything is an amsa of shiva (I am trying to state things in a simple manner,
> so vishishTaadvaitins, please bear with me :-)). It has been my understanding
> that it is not as monistic as kaashmir shavism. 

You are right. The Saiva siddhanta organizations do not endorse advaita
vedanta, and Saiva Siddhanta is not as monistic as Kashmir Saivism, but
ever since the time of Appayya Dikshita, I see a tendency to emphasize a
more monistic outlook, even among Saiva siddhantins. Of course, this is
also helped by the overall monistic outlook of the Saiva scriptures

> As far as the criticism of shaMkara by maaNickavaachakar, it may be due to more
> mundane reasons. I am at present reading a book "Caste and politics in India"
> by Ghurye, and the behavior of the brahmins in those days could at best be
> described as nauseating. 

Quite possible, but mANikkavAcakar's objections to advaita in the
tiruvAcagam is on more philosophical grounds. It is the familiar
objection to mAyA, that one finds from other schools also. 

> Actually another curious thing is that the shaMkara maTas originally were at
> loggerheads with the kaashmiir shaivites, but now endorse the yoga vashishhTha,
> the canonical text of kaashmiir shaivism.

One Sankara-vijayam says that Sankara debated with navagupta, a
tAntrika. This navagupta is usually identified as abhinavagupta of
Kashmir by many people. However, the text says that navagupta was from
the region of kAmarUpa, which usually refers to Assam. I am unaware of
any other reference that discusses the relationship between Sankara
maThas and Kashmir Saivism. I would appreciate any leads you have. 

Madhava's sarva-darSana samgraha lists Kashmir Saivism as the
pratyabhijnA darSana. I am not aware of any particular polemic against
Kashmir Saivism even in this work. 

Giri wrote:
>         I think you are referring to tiruvackam 4:54-55. This is one of the
> reasons that modern Indologists place mANikkavAcakar in the 9-10th century,
> while Saiva Siddhanta practicioners like G. Vanmikanathan {refer his books
> on tiruvachakam and periyapuraNa} place him in the 3rd century BC.

Which might still be okay, if Sankara's date turns out to be the 5th
cent. BC! Personally, I am convinced that the 5th cent BC date cannot be
upheld at all, but others could dispute the 9-10th cent. date for
mANikkacakar on the basis of a 5th cent. BC date for Sankara. 

> > although the south Indian Saiva siddhAnta, like Kashmir Saivism,
> >is pronouncedly monistic itself.
>         Vidya, I request you to explain this for me. Saiva Siddhaanta has
> the classification of 'pathi, pasu and pasaam' {all Tamil words :-)}.

The words pati, paSu and pASa are relics from vedic ritual actually, so
they have a Sanskritic origin. And all Saiva schools use this
terminology quite frequently. 

>         On an another topic, it was mentioned that women are now allowed to
> take sanyas, which is good. I was wondering whether women (and shudras) have
> been allowed to recite the vedas, more specifically under the guidance of
> any reigning Shankara-acharyas of various maths. Since teaching by the
> Sringeri math head was mentioned, was the teaching involving recital of vedas ?

I don't know the details of this, so I can't answer this. But I would
expect the maThAdhipatis to take a conservative attitude in this regard.

S. Vidyasankar