Thursday, February 19, 2015


    Extract from the "International Review of Missions" Vol. II, No.7, pp. 586, 587: -

    Of the many systems into which the Saivite stream of Vedanta teaching has spread out the Saiva Siddhanta possesses by far the richest literature, and holds the greatest place in the life of South India. The sect accepts the canon of the Vedanta as interpreted by Nilakantha, and looks back also to a series of Sanskrit works called Agamas, which regulate the worship and practice of Saivites, and to a group of poet-saints, whose Tamil hymns are sung in the temples. The teaching of the Siddhanta was systematized in fourteen theological works written in Tamil in the thirteenth and following centuries. The Rev. H. W Schomerus, who for some eleven years has been a missionary in South India, has explored this Tamil dogmatic, and Der Saive Siddhanta is a full exposition of the teaching contained in it. Hitherto our information about the sect has been very fragmentary, and has had to be gathered from a number of books and innumerable articles. The present work will now obviate that necessity for all who read German. Mr. Schomerus is to be congratulated on the care and thoroughness which characterize his work throughout. He follows his authorities with the utmost faithfulness, and is a clear-sighted and most sympathetic expositor. His book is a most valuable addition to the literature of Hinduism, and will be heartily welcomed by all scholars.

    Mr. Nallasvami Pillai is a leading modern exponent and defender of the system. His Studies in Saiva Siddhanta, if taken along with Dr. Pope's Tiruvasagam, form the best help available in English for understanding the sect; and they have the further interest of showing us the system battling for life amid the storms raised by western thought.


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