by Pathmarajah Nagalingam

Chapter 12




Siddhanta is not different from vedanta, it is just more sophisticated in explaining the relationship of the triad, that is God, soul and the world. Which is why sages and scholars say vedanta is general and siddhanta is specific. This makes vedanta dated, passe, and well,
obsolete, as we have moved far forward from being mere simplistic.

Here is a very scintillating concise summary of the similarities and differences between siddhanta and vedanta, especially on the meaning of 'advaita' or 'not-two. As one can readily see, siddhanta is far more sophisticated, and bridges non-dual, dual and plural relationships of god, soul and the world.

Additionally, the explanations of the three-fold relationships within siddhanta gives rise to monistic theism (advaita isvarapada), pure non dualness (suddha saiva siddhanta) and pluralism, although all agree on all the points, that souls are beginningless, there is actual embodiment (sariraka) of the soul and disembodiment. It is this that gives rise to many interpretations of siddhanta and the confusion within it.

The Siddhanta View of Advaita

by Dr. Ganesalingam

According to Advaita Vedanta, God or Brahmam is the only Reality. Soul is not different from Brahman. Individual self is Brahman himself. Among the varying views in the Vedas, this view is also seen among them. “It is One only; Brahmam is without duality" (without a second), (‘Ekam eva, Athvidiyam Brahmam’) is a sentence giving this view. Sankara’s Advaita concept is consistent with it.

Vedanta is considered as the culmination of Vedas. Similarly, Saiva Siddhanta is considered as the culmination of Saiva Agamas. It is for this reason Siddhanta is sometimes referred to as ‘Agamanta’.

Unlike the Vedanta, Saiva Siddhanta considers three kind of relationship of God with the Soul. God is one with the Soul, along with the Soul, and different from the Soul. This aspect of relationship in three states (onraai, udanaai, veraai) is the Advaita relationship mentioned in Siddhanta philosophy.

The above-mentioned Vedic sentence is interpreted in this background. According to the Saiva Siddhantists, after telling, “It is One only” (‘Ekam eva’), it is not necessary to tell again “Advidiyam Brahmam” (Brahmam is without a second’); It only means that there is no Being equal to or same as Brahmam.

The three kind of relationship of God to the soul can be explained with an analogy. Soul is one with our physical body. Similarly God is one with the soul. The soul is along with the body and animates it. Similarly God is along with the soul and animates it. Yet the soul is different from the body. Similarly God is different from the Soul.

The second Aphorism of Sivagnanabodham speaks of the Advaita relationship in Siddhanta philosophy as follows:

“The primal Being, God, is non-separable from the souls, being one with them, different from them and making them to take births and deaths ceaselessly, experiencing the fruits of the twin karma. This is done by His Sakthy who is eternally in implicit union with Him.”


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