The four Veda-s and the 28 Saivagama-s are the basic scriptures, the means of knowledge of Saivism. According to the tradition supported by the Saivagama-s and Tamil devotional literature [Thiru-murai-s] of the Nayanmar-s [devotees] they were revealed by Lord Siva for the welfare of the whole universe. So say the Sivagama-s and the Thirumurai-s.
The word Veda is derived from the root vid which means to know. Thus Vedas are the body of knowledge containing eternal spiritual values.
The names of the four Vedas are.
- The Rig Veda
- The Yajur Veda
- The Sama Veda
- The Atharva Veda
The whole content of each of the four Vedas can be divided into two sections namely
- The Karma Kanda
- The Gnana Kanda
The Karma Kanda
This section of the Veda-s deals with the system for the individual and for social harmony. It deals with the life style and the attitudes to be practised by every individual. Further, it contains hymns on the Lord, and it explains the methods of Vedic rituals and sacrifices and the mantra-s connected with them. The practice of rituals and sacrifice are nothing but disciplines which sustain the entire universe.
The Gnana Kanda:
Keeping the realization of god as the goal,, this section vividly analyses the nature of Godhead, the nature of the soul or [? of] the individual, the nature of the universe and the relationship between them. Meditation and a few analytical methods to derive the truth of God, the Soul, and the universe are explained here.
Human life in the light of the Vedas:
Being the science of life the Veda-s advocate every human being, irrespective of casts, creed, and religion, has to understand his/her swadhdarma- different roles to be played as citizen, father, mother, son, etc. by playing one’s role properly, one is able to tune oneself with the cosmic order. When this cosmic order is not disturbed in any manner, the welfare and the harmony of the individual and society become the by-products.