By Swami Harshananda
Sometimes transliterated as: Samayacaryas, SamayAcAryas, Samayaacaaryas
Samayācāryas (‘teachers of [Śiva] tradition’)
Śaivism is a very ancient religion (or sect) of India. The sixty-three Nāyanmārs (‘servants of God’) of Tamil Nadu as also the Śivaśaraṇas of Karnataka are its prominent teachers.
The four most important ācāryas or teachers of Tamil Saivism are generally known as Samayācāryas (‘teachers who knew the samaya or tradition, best’). They are: Appar, Jñānasambandhar, Sundara-mṅrti and Māṇikkavācagar.
(See under each name for details.)
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore
Samayācāryas (‘teachers of [Śiva] tradition’) Śaivism is a very ancient religion (or sect) of India. The sixty-three Nāyanmārs (‘servants of God’) of Tamil Nadu as also the Śivaśaraṇas of Karnataka are its prominent teachers. The four most important ācāryas or teachers of Tamil Śaivism are generally known as Samayācāryas (‘teachers who knew the samaya or tradition, best’). They are: Appar, Jñānasambandhar, Sundara- mṅrti and Māṇikkavācagar. (See under each name for details.) Samayamata This is another name for Samayācāra. See under TANTRAS. Sambandhar See JÑĀNASAMBANDHAR. Sambandhavārttika (‘brief commentary on the relation’) Sureśvara (A. D. 800) was one of the four chief disciples of Śaṅkara (A. D. 788-820). He has written two vārttikas or sub-commentaries on the bhāṣyas of Śaṅkara on the Brhadāranyaka Upanisad and the Taittirlya Upanisad. The first one is one of the longest works (spread over 11,151 verses) in Indian philosophy. The introductory part of it consisting of 1135 verses is known as Sambandhavārttika. It tries to establish the sambandha or relation between the Karmakāṇḍa portion and the Jñānakāṇḍa portion of the Veda (which deal with rituals and knowledge respectively). The work is highly polemical. Sāmbapurāṇa This is an upapurāṇa (minor or secondary purāṇa) belonging to the Saura group (devoted to Sun-worship). It might have been composed during the period A.D. 500-800. Sāmba was the son of Kṛṣṇa from his wife Jāmbavatī. He is said to have established a temple for Surya or Sun-god at the city Sāmbapura built by him. He brought eighteen families of Magi priests from Śākadvīpa and handed over the regular worship of Surya to them. This work contains many interesting stories. Other details dealt with are: creation; the solar system; eclipses; geography of the earth; description of the deity Surya and his attendants; on images of these deities; some details about yoga; on mantras and their use; customs and manners; certain rites and rituals; results of actions. Sambarāsura He was one of the four sons of Dakṣa from his wife Danu (and hence a dānava or demon by nature) and lived in pātāla (nether world). See PRADYUMNA for more details. śāmbhavimudrā (‘mudrā related to Śambhu [Śiva]’) It is fixing the gaze on the light of the ātman, in the space between the eye¬brows (vide Gheranda Samhitā 3.64-67), ultimately resulting in ātmajñāna. Such a yogi becomes like Ādinātha (Primeval Lord) or Nārāyaṇa. According to another definition it is aiming at Brahman inwardly though the gaze of the eyes is fixed outside, but seeing nothing. This technique learnt from a guru, through his grace, will lead to the realisation of the Śambhutattva or Siva CHathayogapradīpikā 4.34-37). The correct methods have to be learnt from a competent guru.