From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Significance of Pauṣkarāgama[edit]

The Pauṣkarāgama is a minor work and is said to be a supplement to the Pārameśvarāgama, which is listed as the 26th of the major Śaivāgamas. Though it has been quoted in some other important works like the Sarva-darśanasañgraha of Mādhavācārya,[1] the full text has not been secured till now. The origin of the title Pauṣkarāgama seems to be rather obscure.

Sections of Pauṣkarāgama[edit]

Out of the four pādas which every āgama is said to contain, this work available in print today has only the last section. These four sections are:

  1. Kriyāpāda
  2. Caryapāda
  3. Yogapāda
  4. Vidyāpāda or Jñānapāda

Vidyāpāda or Jñānapāda[edit]

The present text is in the form of a dialogue between Lord Śiva and some sages. There are eight paṭalas or sections containing a total of 971 ślokas or verses. The contents may be briefly summarized as follows:

  • There are six categories out of which Śiva is pati or the Supreme Lord.
  • The jīvas or individual souls are paśus.[2]
  • Bindu is the manifold creation shrunk into a point as it were, after pralaya or destruction.
  • When Śiva wills for the next cycle of creation, this is called ‘saṅkalpa’ in the āgama, his Śakti[3] operates on the bindu which actually is the material cause of this universe.</ref> and makes it evolve into this world.
  • The jīvas or individual souls are eternal. But they have got into bondage[4] due to malas or impurities such as:
  1. Moha - delusion
  2. Mada - arrogance
  3. Rāga - attachment
  4. Viṣāda - sorrow
  5. Others
  • General yogic practices including yama and niyama help the jīvas to be cleansed of the malas and regain their original state fully.
  • The work also devotes some space to describe four pramāṇas or means of knowledge. They are:
  1. Pratyakṣa - direct perception
  2. Anumāna - inference
  3. Śabda or Āgama - the Vedas
  4. Arthāpatti - presumption

Commentary of Pauṣkarāgama[edit]

Umāpati Śivācārya[5] has written a commentary. From it, one can safely presume that the full text of the Pauṣkarāgama was available at that time and was quite popular.


  1. He lived in A. D. 1297-1386.
  2. Paśus means animals, the bound ones.
  3. Śakti is inherent in him.
  4. Bondage means pāśa.
  5. He lived in 14th cent. A. D.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore