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Śaiva Āgamas: The Four Pādas and Thirty-six Tattvas
(9,129 words)

The Four Padas

The four broad categories of subject matter that the āgamas are ideally supposed to contain are the following:

1.  vidyā (knowledge) or jñāna (doctrines);

2.  kriyā (rituals);

3.  yoga; and

4.  caryā (right conduct).

Accordingly, each āgama is divided into four pādas (quarters): Vidyāpāda (or Jñānapāda), Kriyāpāda, Yogapāda, and Cāryapāda. Though there is some sort of u…

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Ganesan, T., “Śaiva Āgamas: The Four Pādas and Thirty-six Tattvas”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online, Editor-in-Chief Associate Editors Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 26 October 2021 <>
First published online: 2016

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