PANCHA KRITHYA – THE FIVE COSMIC ACTS OF SIVA
Saiva Siddhanta Peedam, Canada
Creation, sustenance, dissolution, obscuration and liberation in relation to the world constitute the five-fold action of God Siva alone. These are associated with their cause (Sakti, the Grace as the driving force and the māyā as the material). The term ‘world’ in the verse refers to the living beings.
-Sataratnasangraha of Saint Umapati Sivācārya, Sutra 17
CREATION: māyā is the primal principle and evolute thereof, the world with all the objects of experience is created for the benefit of the souls that are born in different strata of life.
This act of Creation by Siva is of the higher order uses suddha māyā (bindu) as material. He creates the Suddha tattvās ( 5 siva tattvās) and the higher worlds from these for the souls of the higher order which are in the state of penultimate liberation with tangible traces of fetter – āNava. Here aNu-sadāsivas, GaNās like nandi and Videsvarās dwell. Their body is made of suddha māyā (bindu) tattva as such is called baindhava sareera.
In the lower order of creation, asuddh māyā (mān)is used as the material. Ananteswara, who resides in the higher suddha māyā world is ordained as the controller of these lower worlds by Siva. Body for the souls in these worlds are made out of 7 vidyā tattvās like kalā, as such is called kalāthi sareera.
In the very lower order of creation, prakriti māyā (mohini) is used as the material. SrikaNda, who resides in the higher asuddh māyā world is ordained as the controller of these prakriti māyā worlds. He operates thorough the Hindu trinity of Brahma – the Lord of creation, VishNu – the Lord of Sustenance and Rudra – the Lord of destruction, all reside and operate from prakriti māyā worlds. 24 ātma tattvās constitute these prakriti māyā worlds.
SUSTENANCE: The act of sustenance is to preserve and maintain the associated products – world(s), objects therein, bodies and instruments therein made out of combination and permutation of basic elements of 36 tattvās for the needed period. In this state the souls are associated with the different elements with a view to secure for them the different ends of life. The souls stand in relation to an action as agent or object or instrument or locus and so on.
DISSOLUTION: The act of Dissolution is a process of involution. Bodies, senses and worlds go back to their source of prakriti, asuddha and suddha mayās, in a cascading manner in the reverse order of creation. both then higher and lower order of creation, viz. “bindu” and māyā. The souls that are fatigued as consequence of these countless journeys through births and deaths are given their well-earned rest. Its indeed a benevolent act of God. This dissolution is of five kinds.
NAIMITYA PRALAYA – This lower dissolution occurs at the end of the period of each Manu (manvantara), the preceptor of our mankind. These are the breaktimes for the creator Brahma at his work. Our Bhulōka ( milkyway galaxy) alone get dissolved in this dissolution which happens every 71 cadur-yugas. One cadur-yuga consists of 43,200,000 years. After a period of 1.728,000 years break, a new Bhulōka is created again by Brahma and the cycle of next Manu starts.
NITYA PRALAYA: This dissolution occurs at the end of each kalpa, the day of Brahma when he goes to sleep. One kalpa consists of 1000 cadur-yugas which is 432,000,000 years. Our Bhulōka ( milkyway galaxy), Bhuvarlōka (andromeda galaxy) and Swarlōka (Triangulum galaxy) get dissolved for the period of one kalpa (1000 cadur-yugas).
MADYAMA PRALAYA / INTERMEDIATE DISSOLUTION: All the galaxies/ worlds in our prakrti māyā get dissolved into asuddha māyā elements/ tattvas by Srikanda Rudra, who resides in higher asuddha māyā world. He is the controller of the Hindu Trinity Brahma – the creator, VishNu – the protector and Rudra – the destroyer in the lower (prakriti māyā) worlds.
AVANTARA PRALAYA/ PENULTIMATE DISSOLUTION: When the asuddha māyā worlds get dissolved into suddha māyā elements/ tattvas by Ananteswara, it is called avāntara pralaya.
MAHA PARALAYA/ ULTIMATE DISSOLUTION: When all the suddha māyā worlds including their deities and Lords get dissolved by the Supreme Parasivam/ Parabrahmam, it is called mahā pralaya, the ultimate dissolution.
Everything dissolved unto Siva will come back again in the next cycle of creation by the reverse order from suddha māyā to asuddha māyā to prakriti māyā worlds with their operating deities and heads with their respective functions ordained by Siva.
So, Siva is the Ultimate Controller of Everything; Ultimate Cause of Everything and Ultimate End of Everything.
OBSCURATION: The act of Tirobhava or Obscuration is explained as an act of Divine justice whereby getting the souls going through the worldly experiences in conformity with the fruits of their karma. It is really for the maturity of the intelligence of the individual soul to get it ready for the mukti, the ultimate liberation afforded at the end, for each and every soul.
GRACE: The act namely Anugraha is an act of Grace when the bonds are sundered and souls earn their individual intelligence and matured by their education and experience through their multitudes of births. Liberation is characterized as being limitless, full, free, beyond everything and all pervasive with none higher than the released except the God. There are intermediate and penultimate states of liberation on this way, in which the souls are dependent and their powers constricted due to remaining fetters.