--> Skip to main content

Suddha Maya In Saiva Siddhanta

Suddha Maya is the Saiva concept regarding the source of the world.  In Saiva Siddhanta, unlike in Advaita, maya is considered real, and the real matrix of the world. It is the material cause of the world, thereby subscribing to the theory of Satkaryavada, i.e., the effect is really contained in the cause. Shiva is the efficient cause; shakti is the instrumental cause. From maya the world comes into being and during dissolution, too, it goes back to the subtle state of maya. As the world has been created by the gracious Shiva for experiencing pleasure and pain, it becomes an impurity, since it is the product of maya and due to its association with anava or ego.

As the material cause of the world, maya is threefold – suddha (pure) maya, asuddha (impure) maya and suddha-asuddha (pure – impure) maya. Saiva Siddhanta accounts for three kinds of selves such as vijnanakalars (with anava only), pralayekalars (with anava and karma only) and sakalars (with anava, karma and maya). Accordingly, there are three kinds of worlds (to accommodate the three kinds of selves) known as suddha prapanaca (pure world), asuddha prapana (impure world) and misra prapanca (pure – impure world).

From the suddha maya, two kinds of worlds come into existence: sabda prapanca (the world of sound) and the world of objects. Sabda prapanca consists of four kinds of vaks – madhyamh, vaikari, pasyanti and sukshma.

The world of objects comprises five sivatattvas such as Siva, Shakti, Sadashiva, Ishwara and Suddha Vidya. These five categories are functioning under the direct control of Shiva and hence they are called Shivatattva; since they are the products of shuddha Maya, they are known as suddhatattvas. These categories are timeless and eternal.