Shaivism - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religious Practices

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 104 pages of information about Shaivism.
This section contains 4,937 words
(approx. 17 pages at 300 words per page)
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Hinduism: Shaivism

Overview

Shaivism is a complex body of South Asian traditions centered on the worship of the Hindu male deity Shiva, or Śiva (Sanskrit: "Auspicious One"). Together with Vaishnavism (those sects devoted to the god Vishnu) and Shaktism (those devoted to the goddess Shakti ["Creative Power"], who is also known as Devi), Shaivism forms one of the most important currents of classical and modern Hinduism.

The origins of Shaivism can be traced to at least the second century B.C.E. and to such semihistorical figures as the sage Lakulisha, though its roots probably lie much earlier in the history of Indian religions. In classical Hindu mythology Shiva is portrayed both as the destroyer, who annihilates the universe at the end of each cosmic cycle, and as the lord of yoga and asceticism. As such, he is a deeply paradoxical deity—called by some the...

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This section contains 4,937 words
(approx. 17 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Shaivism Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Religious Practices
Shaivism from Encyclopedia of Religious Practices. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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