G A M A S
AND ART OF TEMPLE CONSTRUCTION
PRAGNA - Srinivasaprasad Kidambi
II - (
Popular Texts )
Stages of Theory of Creation
Stage 1: Consciousness / Energy level (like quarks and beyond)
Sat Chit Ananda - Truth Existence Consciousness
English Equivalent Example|
concious and energy States||Multi
dimensional form Brahman|
Dimensional form Durga|
of Dual Existence -both
matter and energy
Dimensional form Sri Chakra|| |
Stage 2: Systems and Subsystems
(like nebuelas, exploding
stars, black holes, milky way and Solar Family)
avarana or koshas: (Subtle
Sakthi Kosa : Energy subsystem like exploding stars nebuellas
Kosha : Intermediaries of energy and matter (Quarks, Barons, Yaxions, atoms,
3. Prasuthi Kosha: Material systems like solar family
milky way galazy
4. Prakrithi Kosha: Material Subsystems like 9 planets
within solar family etc
5. Jiva Kosha: The conscious princple that
interacts with the above systems and subsystems
Stage 3: Gross Manifestation -- nama rupa
1. Varna : (Vibrations): Para,
Vaikhari, Pasyanthi, Madhyama called Sristi -process of evolution
: (Systems): Pratishtha, Vidya, Santi, Santiatita. Prati sristhi -process
3. Pada : (Grades of Matter): Jagrathi, Swapna, Sushupthi,
-Transformation stages in the process of evolution and dissolution
4. Tathva: (Types of matter): Dravya, Guna, Karma, Samanya, Samavaya,
Elemental matter and its properties
5. Mantra : (energy coefficients,
Languages): 14 Matrikaas called Maheswara Sutraas,energy expression modes like
languages, noise, sounds of various nature, frequencies, audiable, subtle, and
the dynamics of sound light transformations (Sono Luminiscence) etc.
Bhuvana : 14 Differing planes of consciousness associated with the above 5
The ancient sages understood that the entire cosmos is nothing
but overlaying and intermixing forces/energies mediated by massive heavenly bodies
appearing and disappearing at regular intervals creating a chain of perpetual
evolutionary life forms called samsara. These evolutionary systems influence each
other far and near either in positive or negative direction and affect various
forms of manifested species differently. For the evolution to continue, it is
primary to keep the species insulated from negative influences and provide positive
energy influences to the maximum extant. That is the purpose of Agamas. This above
mentioned concept of the creation and protection of the delicate balance between
species and gross matter is elaborated through various branches of Agamas. All
these branches start with the name of a deity. It is understood that each deity
represents a specific energy state with certain parameters, and associated with
certain aspects of gross manifestation. So by mentioning the deity name as prefix,
particular Agama suggests that its scope of subject matter is limited to the energy
state symbolized by the deity and the manifested material states that are directly
or indirectly related to that energy state. The following 11 are the main branches
of Agamas. Each branch contains thousands of texts associated with it.
Saktha 2. Vaishnava 3. Shaiva 4. Ganapathya 5. Svyambhuva (Brahma)
Chandra 7. Saura 8. Pasupatha 9. Kalamukha 10. Cina 11. Jina.
first three and 7 are available now either in full and in part.
are either presumed lost or in safe custody either Nepal or China or Tibet.
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branch of Agama will have many texts and commentaries associated with it. Within
each branch or within a particular text under consideration the information will
be presented in the following broad categories.
Padam (Scientific Explanations)
Yoga Padam (Unifying methodology of the agama Process and Symbolism)
Kriya Padam (Procedural Methodology)
Charya Padam. (Brhavioural Methodology)
Gnana Padam (Knowledge and Information and explanations)
ever is discussed in the above three padas are technically and scientifically
explained in this part. All needed information like why this is done and why this
is not done are explained with from three perspectives or modes of interpretations.
1. Adhibhoutika: Purely scientific perspective
2. Adhi Daivika:
Socio Environmental Perspective
3. Adhi Atmika: Spritual Perspective
Yoga Padam (Unfying Methodology of the Process and symbolism)
the energy manifests in differing states, how to tap it, how to hold it, how
to avoid the unwanted energies and use them for the evolution of the mankind,
how to transfer the energy held in a place for the people living in that place,
by building temples, houses, ashramaas.
Kriya Padam (Procedural Detail)
to hold the energies in a three-dimensional structure, like a temple, ashramaa
or a house. It also details as how to construct the above said structures
Charya Padam (Behaviour Methodology)
the deities are carved, worshiped in temples, houses which have the compatible
three-dimensional shapes for the state of the energy in a particular place. The
special, and particular and individual and place specific worships are to be performed
given the energy content of a place. This also specifies the process of the linkage
between the dual interpretation methodology followed by Agamas called Antaryagam
and Bahiryagam of Charya Padam.
interpretation technique of Agama Padas
and every aspect mentioned in the above four broad categories have two different
interpretations associated with them. 1. Bahiryagam. External interpretation,
which is basically why this thing is done now and how this has to be done. 2.
Antaryagam. Internal interpretation, which gives a spiritual connotation to
the process performed under a particular agama category and is aimed at serious
spritual seeker. This internal interpretation suggests to the spritual seeker
that the entire external practices can in fact be taken as steps in one's spritual
progress of self-realization.
Goals of Agamas
the 11 branches of Agamas aim at 6 fundamental goals to achieve.
They are as follows:
Utchatana Vertical integration of natural energies (elecromagnetic, gravitional
etc) maintaining the balance of nature
2. Stambhana Create and increase energy
with holding capabilities of a particular place
3. Marana Destroy the negetive
energy influences over a particular area
4. Bhedana Split diferent energies
within a given area to maintain balance of nature
5. Santhi Maitaining the
balance of nature with social progress
6. Pushti Nourishing the nature and
species so that evolution progresses.
of Agama Goals
the 11 branches of Agamas will be dedicated to do one or other goals mentioned
above. The above 6 goals are devided in to 3 main groups. And they are called
by the three deity names. These names are used to indicate the extant and scope
of each group of goals. The following table summarizes the grouping and gives
reason for picking up a particular deity name for the branch.
name -- Goals Pursued -- Reason
Agamas - UCHATANA, STHAMBHANA - Devine Mother the source
Shaiva agamas -
MARANA, BHEDHANA - Responsible for dissolution
agamas - SANTHI, PUSHTHI - Responsible for preservation
same system of grouping is used to classify Agama texts. As all the six goals
are so important for the maintaining the balance of nature and for the evolution
of human beings Acharya Pingala who wrote Pingala Mata states that
panchavakthraathu gatham cha giriraajaananee
matham cha vaasudevasya cha tasmaadaagamamuchyathe"
which comes from Shiva is A and when it merges with Sakthi is GA
and the same is when approved by Vishnu it is MA thus it is called Agama.
In other words after all negetive energy forces withholding the evolution are
destroyed (A), and all positive energies and influences are put in place
(GA) then the evolution goes unhindered (MA).
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Agamas are grouped under two types. Dakshina and Vaama (wrongly used as right
and left as the literary meaning of the words dakshina is right and vama is left).
These are also called Samaya and Koula. Actually Dakshina means that which has
duality in it. So in this system Dualism is important aspect in the beginning.
Vama means that which measures by prana life force. Its approach is advaitik non
dualistic in nature. So samaya or Dakshina predominantly use Puranic methodology
of rituals and Vama or Kula use Tantric methodology of rituals. The total number
of Agama groups under the above two types are seventy seven (77).
number of Saktheya agamas are classified under 3 categories. Five (5) groups are
called Sudha or Samaya Agamaas (Dakshina Agamas dualistic in nature), sixty four
64 are called as Kula Agamaas (Vama Agamas, monoistic in nature), and the remaining
eight (8) are called as Misra Agamaas ( both samaya and vama agamas, dualistic
and monoistic in nature).
The Dakshina or Samaya Agamaas declare that Tantra is Vidya and they are part
of the Vedas. So throuhgh the deities any seeker can realize the essence of Vidya
(realization) as explained in the Vedas and merge with the supreme brahman.
Vama and Kula declare that the whole of the Vedas it self is Tantra and thus Vidya
and this Vidya is nothing but the Para Sakthi and she is not different from the
Misra takes the approach of both and preaches that in the beginning the need of
deity is there but in the end seeker becomes the deity. Ultimately the all the
three preaches the unison with the Brahman (Supreme Conciousness) perceived as
most Important Saktha Agamaas are:
Tantra Raja Tantra
2. Vamakeswara Tantra
3. Rudrayaamala Tantra
5. Bala Patala Tantra
following are the commentaries on these Agama texts by great saints.
: Name of commentary-- : -- Author
1 : Prapancha Sara -- Acharya Sankara
2 : Sarada Tilaka Tantra -- Lakshmana Desika
3 : Varivasya Rahasya
-- Bhaskara Raya
4 : Agama Vagisa Tantra -- Sara Krishnananda
: Sri Tatva Chintamani -- Poornaananda Paramahansa Parivraajaka
Commentary on Soundarya Lahari -- Lakshmi Dhara
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Shiva (Shaiva) Agamaas :
these agamaas hold shiva as supreme deity along with Para Sakthi. The purpose
of this mode of worship is to use various energy forms for destruction of negetive
influences. The Shaiva Agamaas are classified in to eleven (11) schools of thought
depending on the need and mode of usage of Energy. These are called as Sidhanthaas
or established scientific theories.
2. Pasuphatha 3. Karunika 4. Kapalika 5. Kalamukha 6. Vama
Langala 8. Soma 9. Bhairava 10. Nakula 11. Pratyabhijna.
and Langala are grouped under Nakuli Sapa Supata. The Shiva Sidhantha contains
4 sub groups. They are 1. Samanya Shiva, 2. Poorna Shiva, 3. Misra Shiva, 4. Sudha
Among the above eleven (11) only three sidhantas are available. The rest are presumed
lost or in safe custody in either China, Tibet or Nepal. The available three sidhantas
are 1. Shiva 2. Pasupatha 3. Pratyabhijna
the available Sidhantas propose worship of Shiva with 5 facets
Sadyojatha; 2. Vamadeva; 3. Tatpurusha; 4. Aghora; 5. Isana.
preach the process of self realization (shiva realization) through Vidya, Kriya
and Yoga. The objective is removing the pasu (beast) from pasa (bondage of material
worls) by pati (protector that is shiva). During this process the following 5
principles are studied
2. jiva individual jiva
3. yoga process of yoga
niyama scriptural rules
5. dhukanta. Process of practice
The above self realization or Shiva realization can be achieved by the following
approaches called Upayas.
Theya re three types of Upayas behavioural methodologies.
Anavopaya; 2. Sakthopaya; 3. Sambhavopaya.
Upayas guide in the path of Karma (action) which leads to Gnana (knowledge and
self realization) and finally lead to Vidya Supreme realization. There are 120
Agamaas in these three sidhantas available.
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the one hundred and twenty existing agamas, 28 agamaas belong to Shaiva Sidhantha
School, and are classified under 4 heads.
Kamika Agamaas 2. Karana Agamaas 3. Suprabhedha Agamaas
Vathula and Veera Agamaas.
The last one are very important in this tradition.
and Pratyabijna Sidhanta Agamas
the Pasupatha and Pratyabhigna Sidhantha (These systems are Advaithic (monoistic),
Dvaithic (Dualistic) and Dwaithaadwaithic (Qualified monodualistic). There are
92 agamaas under these sidhantas and aree classified in to 64 schools of thought.
school of thought is the most complex among them and it consists three (3) parts.
They are 1. Pratyabhigna Sasthra 2. Agama Sasthra 3. Spanda Sasthra. This Trika
is the basis of the Shivite Worship in Kashmir. This is the most exhaustive System
of the Shaiva Agamaas which is highly scientific and technical. A part of this
is followed in South India by various Shiva Acharyaas.
following are the important treatise on the Shaiva Agamaas
Name - & - Author
1 - Siva Gnana Prabhodha Sutra - by Mekanda Deva
2 - Sivagnana Bhasya
- by Sivagra Yogi
3 - Brahma mimansa - by Srikantha Sivacharya
4 - Shivakamanidipika - by Appaya Dikshitha
5 - Srikara Bhasya Srikara
- by Panditharadhya
6 - Advaitha in Shaiva Agamas - by Trayambaka
7 - Shiva Drishthi - by Somananda
8 Pratyabhigna Suthra - by
9 Pratyabhigna Karika - by Utpala Deva
Loka - by Abhinava Guptha
11 Malinivijaya Varthika - by Abhinava
12 Pratrimsika Vrithi - by Abhinava Guptha
Sara - by Abhinava Guptha
Vishnu (Vaishnava) Agamas
Agamaas are three types, 1. Vaikhanasa and 2. Pancha Rathra. 3. Sri Sasthra. The
Pancharathra accepts the mode of Vedic and Tantric worship. The Vaikhanasa accepts
Vedic worship. The Vaikhanasa system is called Ekayana. The Sri Sasthra which
is the scientific basis for the both agamas is not available now. To fill the
gap the Pancha Ratra system is vitalized with revived parts of Sri Sastra.. Actually
Ekayana or Vaikhanasa is one of the Declencions (sakhas) of the Yajur Veda compiled
under the direction of Sage Vaikhanasa, and this declension is not available and
the Agama for this declencion is existing in the form of Vaikhanasa Agama.
Vaishnava Agamas uphold Lord Vishnu as the supreme brahman along with Sri or Maha
Maya. Though these agamas are sudha dwaitik (pure dualistic) in the initial stages
they propose the Advaithic (monoistic) philosophy in their final stages. As these
agamas are for the welfare of the society they propose eloborate festival and
ritual practices which are absent in the other two systems of Agamas.
Vaikhanasa mode of worship stresses that the worship of Vishnu is to be
done with out expectation of results or benifits. The vaikhanasa proposes the
process of Karma Sanyasa (non atachment twards acton) and Phala Sanyasa (non attachment
towards result). Both Agama types stresses the importance of Gnana (knowledge),
Karma (action), and Bhakthi (devotion). The sudha dwaitha (pure dualism) system
of realization is adopted in the Vaishnava agamas in the initial stages.
Though all modes of worship 1. Japa (recitation) 2. Dhyana (meditation) 3. Homa
(ritual worship through yagna) 4. Archana (worship with lord's names) are stressed,
the Archana mode of worship is the most important for the Vaikhanasa Agamas. Vikhanasa
is the sage who revived these texts and taught them to 4 of his disciples
Atri 2. Bhrigu 3. Kasyapa 4. Marichi
these students contributed to the Vaishnava Agama thought, but unfortunately only
a portion of their works is saved. The rest is either lost or presumed to be in
safe places in Tibet, China or Nepal. .
Atri wrote 4 texts, 1. Purva Tantra 2. Atreya Tantra 3. Vishnu Tantra 4. Uttara
Maharshi Bhrigu wrote 13 texts containing 88, 000 Slokas.
are : 1. Khila Tantra 2. Pura Tantra 3. Vasanadhikara 4. Chithradhikara 5. Manadhikara
Kriyadhikara 7. Archanadhikara 8. Yagnadhikara 9. Varnadhikara 10. Prathigruhyadhikara
Nirukthadhikara 12. Prakirnadhikara and 13. Khiladhikara.
these thirteen, 6 & 8 are available in print. 3 & 7 & 11 are available
4, 5 & 9 are available in fragments, and the rest are not available.
The texts written by Sage Kashyapa and Sage Marichi are not available.