Shaivism is a widely followed sect of Hinduism, which reveres god Shiva as the ‘Supreme being who is All and in all’. In other words, Shiva is the creator, preserver, destroyer, revealer and concealer of all that is. Followers of Shaivism called ‘Shaivas’ and are firm believers in the processes of self-purification.
Though Shaivism is widespread throughout India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, but is also practiced in some parts of Southeast Asia like Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. For some time, Shaivism was most preferred branch of Hinduism as it undermined the dominance of Brahmins who had been asserting themselves through Vaishvanism and presiding over the ritualistic aspects of Hinduism.
Saivas are more attracted to asceticism and are found wandering around with ashen faces or tilak. They perform self-purification acts and practice yoga striving to become one with the transcendent and the immanent Shiva within. It is believed that all creation has an ultimate aim of the creation and final return of soul and cosmos to Shiva. The process of salvation in Shaivism is likened to bubbles arising and returning to water.
Shiva is considered supreme and beyond His creation and it is believed that souls shares with Him all those qualities He represents which are meant to be achieved through self-purification or asceticism as a tool for understanding and practicing the way of Bliss.
A: Asceticism or being yogi is the essence of human life
B: Bondages are materialistic and confine the soul to earthly existence and it may be saved through self-purification
C: Concept is to get rid of soul’s materialistic bonds and gain shivatva or ?the nature of Shiva? or Bliss
D: Deeming Soul as an infinite, pervasive and omniscient, but due to its association with impurities or sense-objects bonds, it experience themselves as finite, limited and ignorant.
E: Endowment of the soul with a psycho-physical organism or body-mind combine and its dominance cause materialism or pursuit objects of sensual enjoyment leading to impurities.
Thus, according to Shaivism, the birth and world process is for the sake of the soul’s release. Shiva remains the same whether the world evolves or not. In other words, Shaivism does not favour the doctrine of Avatara or incarnation of the Supreme. In a nutshell, the main tenet of shaivism is that remove your vices, the good will automatically be done.