Siddhantha developed as a philosophy in the Tamil community
and is based both on the Vedas and Agamas. Its literature mainly
consists of seven major books. (i) Twenty-eight Saivite Agamas,
(ii) Saivites hymns called Thirumurai, (iii) Thirumandiram, (iv)
Periyapuranam, (v) Sri Meykandar's Sivajnana-bodham, (vi) Sri Arulnandhi's
Sivajñana Siddhiar and (vii) the works of Sri Umapathi. Its
philosophy stands between Sankara's Advaitha and Ramanuja's Bhakthi
to this doctrine, a form of monistic Theism, the supreme reality
is Siva. He is Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient, changeless,
eternal, free and perfect. He is Immanent and Transcendent. Above
all He is Love, the only quality we can comprehend. His infinite
love reveals itself through the five divine acts of creation, preservation
and destruction of the universe according to the laws of Karma,
the veiling or obscuration and liberation of souls through His Grace.
Lord Siva pervades the whole world by His Sakthi. Sakthi is the
conscious energy of Siva. She is the very body of Siva. While He
is pure conscious and the universe is pure unconscious, Sakthi is
the link between them. Sakthi is the material cause of the universe.
The universe, which undergoes evolution for the benefit of the souls,
is real and eternal. The world of matter and the soul are different
from the Body of the Lord. Souls, in their nature, are infinite,
eternal and omniscient like God; but, they imagine themselves to
be finite, temporary and ignorant. This is because they are in bonds.
To obtain salvation, we must get rid of these three bonds of Aanava,
Karma and Maya.
these can be obtained by self discipline, the help of a Guru and
above all, by the grace of Siva. When His grace sets in, the Lord
reveals Himself to us and instructs us to our true nature through
jñana. Jñana is the supreme means of salvation. The
attainment of Sivathva or Siva-nature does not mean complete merging
of soul with Siva. It continues to exist as soul in God, without
loss of its individuality. This is a form of qualified Monism like
Visishta-adhvaitham with some aspects of Advaitham of Sankara.