By Swami Harshananda
Significance of Pauṣkarāgama
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, the full text has not been secured till now. The origin of the title Pauṣkarāgama seems to be rather obscure.
Sections of Pauṣkarāgama
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:
- Vidyāpāda or Jñānapāda
Vidyāpāda or Jñānapāda
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.
- 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 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 due to malas or impurities such as:
- 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:
- Pratyakṣa - direct perception
- Anumāna - inference
- Śabda or Āgama - the Vedas
- Arthāpatti - presumption
Commentary of Pauṣkarāgama
Umāpati Śivācārya 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.
- He lived in A. D. 1297-1386.
- Paśus means animals, the bound ones.
- Śakti is inherent in him.
- Bondage means pāśa.
- He lived in 14th cent. A. D.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore