Thirumoolar and Shaivism

 In Thirumoolar

The philosophy of yoga is based on knowledge passed down for thousands of years through sacred texts such as the Mahabarata (part of which is the Gita), the Sutras, Vedas, and, in our lineage, the Tirumantiram.

In this unit, we are going to delve into Shaivism (also spelled Saivism) because the Tirmantiram is definitely based on Shaivism. I want us to explore Shiva and other deities through the lens of Shaivism to help us gain a better understanding of the Tirumantiram, and, therefore, a better understanding of our lineage.

This does not mean that we have to be Shaivites to practice Thirumoolar’s yoga, although we certainly could be. Yoga is open to all, and we can all learn from other traditions. We experience a more well-rounded practice when we are willing to be open to learning from our sacred texts. Otherwise, we risk turning yoga into exercise only. It should be an exercise for the body, but it should be so much more.

When we follow the 8 Limbs, we are taking the sage advice of Patanjali, who also was most likely a Shaivite. See…/patanjali-the-luminous-sage

Of course, most yogis follow the 8 Limbs and they are not Shaivites. It’s the same thing with Thirumoolar; you don’t have to be a Shaivite to practice within our lineage.

As we take this journey into deeper Thirumoolar studies, remember that God is your personal God. Thirumoolar worshipped Siva (also spelled Shiva) and there is much for us to learn from the Tirumantiram, no matter what our spiritual or religious beliefs are.
The same applies across all yogic sacred texts. You may or may not believe in reincarnation, but you still probably find some nuggets of wisdom from the Gita and Sutra. Please approach our studies here with the same open mind. Take what works for you and leave the rest.
Thanks and Namaste,


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