Please read the main 3 questions, additional are secondary questions.

The Shaiva Agamas, 28 in number, having 204 supporting Upagamas, are said to be revealed by the five faces of Rudra Bhagavan himself.

Now it seems there’s a tradition of referring to Agamas as Upabrahmanas, or texts that explain the meaning of the Vedas. In other words, the Agamas are supposed to complement the doctrine of the Vedas. Just as the Pancharatra Agamas are linked to the Shukla Yajurveda, the Shaiva Agamas seem to be linked to the Atharva Veda. As per this site:

....the original doctrines of the sect seems to have been contained in the four Samhitas of the Atharvaveda compiled by Ruru, Dadhici, Agastya and Upamanyu respectively. The Atharvasira Upanishad contains references to the Pasupatha Vrata...

Since the Agamas complement the Veda the concepts must be the same in both. But, in the Brahma Sutra bhashya of Adi Shankara, it is said that in the Shaiva Agamas, Brahman is only the Nimitta Karana of the jagat, which, as per this question is a misinterpretation (and more rightly so since it’s linked to the Vedas and revealed by Shankara Bhagavan himself). Therefore the following questions:


  1. What is the concept of Brahman in the Shaiva Agamas? Is he only the Nimitta Karana or the Nimitta Karana as well as the Upadana Karana both?

    Please provide a even a one liner quote from the Agama saying I’m Purusha and Prakriti both (unless secret).
  2. Which Veda and Shakha are the Shaiva Agamas linked to? Do they also have their own Shakha’s sutras?
  3. Briefly describe the suggested method to attain Moksha. For example, is weight-age given to Karma, Jñana or Bhakti Yoga or even any of these coupled with Sharanagati?

    As per one site, there were two methods pravritti (chanting the Panchakshari mantra and remaining a Grihastha) and the other, giving up society, fortunes, etc. Please explain the actual philosophy very briefly and which category of the 3-4 methods (or combination) it fits in.

Additional Qs

  1. As per this site, the 28 Agamas belong to four schools, Pashupata, Kalamukha, Kapala and Shaiva. Please confirm whether all were revealed directly by the five faces god or only one of the doctrines (not by Lakulisha or any other person, not god)?
  2. Also do the above philosophy, Veda shakha, apply to all 4. (Like Pancharatra is linked to Shukla Yajurveda and Vaikhanasa to Krishna Yajurveda). please clearly clarify and differentiate.

Note: Also I don’t want information about other Shaiva philosophies. Only these Shaiva Agamas, linked to the Vedas and Shiva (Vayu) Purana.

  • 1
    Very good question. However, one comment. Just as different statements in the upanishads support advaita, dvaita etc., it is possible that there are statements in Saiva Agamas that support different points of view - on whether brahman is just efficient cause or both efficient and material cause.
    – user23407
    Commented Aug 3, 2021 at 12:34


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