सनातन धर्म भूमिका

Meaning of "Agama, the four parts or padas>"


Agama, the four parts or padas


In General

Each Agama consists of four parts or padas which complement each other; and they all contribute towards the same objective. They all aim at the twin rewards (viniyoga or phala) of liberation from bonds of samsara (mukthi) and prosperity and wellbeing in worldly life (bhukthi).The Agama texts point out that the two aspects are equally important. They decry a person seeking salvation for self without discharging his duties and responsibilities towards his family and fellowmen. And, they therefore praise the virtuous life of a householder as the foundation which supports the other three stages of life; and as the best among the four stages. The Agama texts also give elaborate details about the theories of creation, ontology, cosmology, nature of the universe, the relations that exists between god-world- man, observances of religious rites, rituals, and festivals as also the rules of domestic rites , household life, community living , and celebration of public festivals.

Jnana Pada

Jnana pada deals with worldview and spiritual philosophy. It explains the nature of universe, cause of phenomenal world, creation and dissolution, eternal and transient principles of nature, the nature of self, the philosophy of binding and liberation. The Jnana Pada of Agamic texts can be considered equivalent to the Upanishad portion of Veda and the Vedic Darsanas. However, the summary of spiritual philosophy of Veda is seen at the end of the Veda and in the worldviews based on the Veda, which shows evolution from Karma to Jnana. In Agamic texts it is the other way, the philosophy forms the basis for practice. Jnana pada - consists of philosophical and spiritual knowledge, knowledge of reality and liberation. The jnana paad includes the philosophical principles, theoretical framework for explaining the ultimate reality, its manifestations, nature of the universe, creation and dissolution, nature of self, bondage and liberation.

Yoga Pada

Yoga Pada specifies the methods for getting into experience the knowledge that Jnana Pada expounds. It contains the procedures to be followed, through which the individual consciousness can be united with the eternal consciousness whose nature is infinite bliss. Yogic sadhana is of two forms, Antaranga (inner) and Bahiranga (external). Their purpose is to purify one’s mind, words and deeds. One can bring about the evolution of the entire being through these two kinds of practices, through which the divine principle that pervades existence is realized. The purpose of Tantra Sastra is not to simply realize the divine, but to make life an instrument of the divine, to make every action follow the divine will; that is affected when the individual consciousness is united in the eternal consciousness. Yoga Pada expounds the methods for achieving that, based on Yoga Sastra and the science of consciousness.

Yoga is of different kinds, Laya, Kundalini and Mantra. The primary emphasis of Tantra Sastra is Kundalini Yoga, and the secondary emphasis is on Mantra Marga that forms basis for invoking the energy required for pursuing Kundalini Yoga. Faith and Devotion give the necessary support for the practitioner, to remain perseverant in the path.Yoga pada - concentrates on yoga and the mental discipline. The second part (Yoga-paada) covers the six-limbed yoga (sadanga: asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dhyana, dharana and samadhi) as also the aspects of the physical (bahiranga) and mental (antaranga) disciplines and the essential purity in living and thinking (shuddhi).

Kriya Pada

Kriya Pada deals with the religious aspect such as temple construction, domestic and temple rituals, pilgrimage. It also gives procedures for worship, ritual codes and the ingredients of worship. Kriya Pada can be considered equivalent to the Srauta portions of Kalpa. The temple and individual worship prescribed in Agama are equivalent to Srauta and Grihya rituals respectively. The temple itself is regarded as a replica of Yaga Sala. Kriya pada consists of rules for construction of temples such as for sculpting, carving, and consecration of idols of deities for worship in temples.

Carya Pada

Carya Pada contains the austerity, regulations to be followed during Diksha. Charya pada lays down rules for daily worship (puja), observances of religious rites, rituals, festivals and prayaschittas. Charya pada also deals with priestly conduct and other related aspects; as also the austerity, purity in conduct; and devotion to one’s own Agama in outlook and in practice.

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Word Sanskrit IAST In General Veda Purana