Our Core Beliefs
A creed is an authoritative formulation of the beliefs of a religion, of religious communities and, by extension, of individuals. Historically, creeds have developed when a religion is transmitted from one culture to another. Below is a Creed for Saivite Hindus. It constitutes the theological bedrock of our Saiva Siddhanta Church. Creeds serve to maintain continuity and purity of the original, verbally expressed doctrines and give strength and guidelines to individuals seeking to understand life and religion.
1. On God's Unmanifest Reality
Siva's followers all believe that Lord Siva is God, whose Absolute Being, Parasiva, transcends time, form and space. The yogi silently exclaims, "It is not this. It is not that." Yea, such an inscrutable God is God Siva. Aum.
2. On God's Manifest Nature of All-Pervading Love
Siva's followers all believe that Lord Siva is God, whose immanent nature of love, Parashakti, is the substratum, primal substance or pure consciousness flowing through all form as energy, existence, knowledge and bliss. Aum.
3. On God as Personal Lord and Creator of All
Siva's followers all believe that Lord Siva is God, whose immanent nature is the Primal Soul, Supreme Mahadeva, Parameshvara, author of Vedas and Agamas, the creator, preserver and destroyer of all that exists. Aum.
4. On the Elephant-Faced Deity
Siva's followers all believe in the Mahadeva Lord Ganesha, son of Siva-Sakti, to whom they must first supplicate before beginning any worship or task. His rule is compassionate. His law is just. Justice is His mind. Aum.
5. On the Deity Karttikeya
Siva's followers all believe in the Mahadeva Karttikeya, son of Siva-Sakti, whose vel of grace dissolves the bondages of ignorance. The yogi, locked in lotus, venerates Murugan. Thus restrained, his mind becomes calm. Aum.
6. On the Soul's Creation and Identity with God
Siva's followers all believe that each 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. Aum.
7. On the Gross, Subtle and Causal Planes
Siva's followers all believe in three worlds: the gross plane, where souls take on physical bodies; the subtle plane, where souls take on astral bodies; and the causal plane, where souls exist in their self-effulgent form. Aum.
8. On Karma, Samsara and Liberation from Rebirth
Siva's followers all 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. Aum.
9. On the Four Margas, Stages of Inner Progress
Siva's followers all believe that the performance of charya, virtuous living, kriya, temple worship, and yoga, leading to Parasiva through the grace of the living satguru, is absolutely necessary to bring forth jnana, wisdom. Aum.
10. On the Goodness of All
Siva's followers all believe there is no intrinsic evil. Evil has no source, unless the source of evil's seeming be ignorance itself. They are truly compassionate, knowing that ultimately there is no good or bad. All is Siva's will. Aum.
11. On the Esoteric Purpose of Temple Worship
Siva's followers all 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. Aum.
12. On the Five Letters
Siva's followers all believe in the Panchakshara Mantra, the five sacred syllables "Namah Sivaya," as Saivism's foremost and essential mantra. The secret of Namah Sivaya is to hear it from the right lips at the right time. Aum.
Affirmation of Faith
Creeds are often distilled into a single, simple statement, called an affirmation of faith, which summarizes the beliefs and doctrines of a religion. Ours gives the essence of the enlightened monistic Saiva Siddhanta philosophy. It is what you have when you take the milk from the sacred cow of religion, separate out the cream, churn that cream into butter and boil that butter into a precious few drops of ghee.
Siva's followers hold as their affirmation of faith Anbe Sivamayam Satyame Parasivam, in Tamil, or in Sanskrit, Premaiva Sivamaya Satyameva Parasiva—"God Siva is Immanent Love and Transcendent Reality." This is a perfect summary of Saiva Siddhanta's exquisite truth.