--> Skip to main content

Sarupya – Benefits Of Following Yoga Marga – Based On Saiva Teachings

Sarupya is the fruit or benefits of following yoga marga. Shaiva Agamas indicate the pattus (practices) leading to liberation as caryapada, kriyapada, yogapada and jnanapada. The first three constitute the religious practices of Shaivism, while the last one, viz., jnanapada, refers to the philosophical aspect of Shaiva religion, the highest attainment. Through physical exercises, such as cleaning the temple precincts, one enters the portals of Shiva known as Saloka. Devotional practices in the kritya marga involve the disciple nearing the abode of Shiva, and this proximity is known as samipya.

The fruit of following the yoga marga (also known as sakha marga or tola marga) is sarupya. This path especially indicates the attainment of divine attributes. Literally, the term yoga has been derived from the root yuj, which means union or an intimate relation between the divine and the human. This process involves moral uprightness, physical cleanliness, psychological advancement and mystical experience. In Shaivism, Shiva implies the visualization of Shiva in meditation. Shiva is the first yogi, who has shown the path of Yoga through his meditative posture.

In Tamil, the yogic path of union is referred to as serkkai or serivu. The union indicates the harmonious function between body and mind and between self and God. This is purely a subjective exercise, the sincere adherence to which will result in the annihilation of karma as well as enjoying the inner effulgence. Saiva Siddhanta categorically asserts that those who engage in Shiva yoga will be granted Shiva’s form (sarupya). The final stage of this development is sayujya.