Sects of Shaivism
According to religious texts and experts there are 6 main sects of Shaivism. The sects are discussed below:
Named after Gorakhnatha, this sect is also known as Siddha Siddhanta. This school is basically ascetic and has revealed many untold secrets of samadi, kundalini yogi and hatha yogi. The followers are called yogi or jogis.
2. Ganapati Sect
This particular sect is a departure from the main theories of Shaivism. It is very close to the tantric form of worship and is similar to Shaivism. Lord Shiva is known to be the ultimate creator and his followers believe that he is the creator, preserver as well as the destroyer.
3. Pasupatha Shaivism
This is an ancient sect of Shaivism and dates back to the times of the Indus Valley Civilization. Experts believe that it is the most controversial sect among all others. Religious experts and texts say that Lord Shiva himself was the founder of this particular sect and it was He who passed on the knowledge thenceforth.
4. Saiva Siddhanta
This is the oldest schools of Shaivism, about 2000 years old. This sect is popular in Kashmir and parts of South India. According to this school, the soul that is created by the Lord is meant and fated to merge with Him. It also states that Lord Shiva is beyond beginning or ending.
5. Vira Shaivism
This sect believes that God and soul are inseparable. And ‘Shakti’ or Power is an indispensable part of the Lord. The teachings of this sect explain that Shiva remains immutable and it is the Shakti which manifests the world in its own sense.
6. Kashmiri Shaivism
This sect is also known as the Pratyabhija Darshan. The teachings and ideologies explain the creation of the soul and the world. It states that Lord Shiva has a dynamic pulse; He is divine and is also the ultimate power.