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Aghora Shivacharya – A Great Teacher Of Dualistic School Of Shaiva Siddhanta

Aghorashivacharya was an author and great teacher of Dualistic School of Saiva Siddhanta. Aghora Shivacharya belonged to Kaundinya gotra and was a native of Tamil Nadu. He was a disciple of Narayana Kantha. He was one of the spiritual heads of Amaradeva Matha. Kriyakramadyotika by Aghora Shivacharya is a ritualistic text popular in Tamil Nadu and followed by a large number of temples.

There are 28 Shivagamas and prominent among them are Karana, Kamika, Raurava, and Paushkara. These deal with temple construction, selection of site, daily worship, festival, atonement of deficiencies, etc. Agamic literature on temple building and worship is vast and rarely do priests and administrators study them in their entirety due to constraints of time, resources and teachers. In order to help them grasp the essentials, Paddhatis (manuals of procedures) of temple worship were written.

Paddhati written by Aghora Shivacharya is popular one among the manuals. He called it Kriyakramadyotika and was composed in 1156 CE. It has been the most authoritative guide for ritual practices of Shaiva community in Tamil Nadu since it was composed. It has come to be known as Agora Sivacharya Paddhati.

Aghora Shivacharya wrote his commentary on Tattva-Prakasika to attack the non-dualistic commentaries on the work, and to explain the true knowledge of siddhanta quoting Agamic literature. He seems to have been an influential teacher even during his lifetime. He refers to the deity at Chidambaram Temple. Aghora Shivacharya matha on the western border of Chidambaram is supposed to have been founded by the teacher himself.