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Salokya – Divine Abode In Saiva Siddhanta

Saiva Siddhanta envisages a four-fold path for aspirants to annihilate the evil influence of impurities and to elevate the illumined atmas to enjoy the everlasting bliss of Shiva and to establish an inseparable union with him. They are – carya marga, kriya marga, yoga marga and jnana marga. These margas or paths are based on the ability, as well as the temperament, of the devotees. Those who are interested in serving Paramatma and his dwelling places by means of cleaning the premises, gathering flowers to weave garlands for the images of Shiva, offering oil, incense items, sandals etc., are said to be the followers of the carya patha. Those who praise the glory of Paramatma in the temple after temple are called the followers of the kriya-patha. Those who follow the yogic-patha are advanced in physical training and spiritual experience. The jnana marga is the culmination of this process, wherein the aspirant establishes an intimate rapport with Shiva and enjoys his perennial bliss.

The adherence to the carya-marga (silam) is also known as dasa marga, wherein the devotee is a good servant to the master, Paramatma. All the requirements of the master are carried out with dedication and devotion. This practice involves physical exercise and bodily service. The resultant effect of this path is saloka, which means the divine abode. The external services rendered by the devotees make the devotees egoless and focus on Shiva and his devotees. As a result of these Shaiva services, no karmas accumulate. As a dutiful servant of Shiva, the devotee freely moves into a new domain called saloka (Shiva’s abode). Implicitly, this domain means that the enchantments of this world caused by maya are annihilated and all flora and fauna of this world are considered the manifestations of Shiva.