It is the branch of Hinduism that worships Lord Shiva as the supreme god. Originating in India, Shaivism has wide appeal throughout the country and is particularly strong among the Tamils ​​of South India and Sri Lanka.

Some traditions credit the spread of Shaivism in South India to the great sage, Agastya, who is said to have brought Vedic traditions along with the Tamil language. Nayanars (or Nayanmars), saints from South India, were the main responsible for the development of Shivaism in the Middle Ages.

Shaivism is a form of non-dual spiritual practice and philosophy that originates from India.

His followers believe that all of creation is both an expression of the conscious divinity and is not different from that divinity they call Śhiva. Because he is simultaneously the creator Shiva is both immanent and transcendent. This concept contrasts with many Semitic religious traditions in which God is seen as fundamentally different from creation and transcendent, or “greater” than creation. As in all Hindu denominations, Shaivism recognizes the existence of many other deities. These deities are expressions of the Supreme. This type of spiritual vision is called Monistic Theism: the cosmos is a “monad” or single consciousness that expresses itself dualistically, but is fundamentally one.

As a very broad religion, Shaivism encompasses philosophical systems, devotional rituals, legends, mysticism, and varied yogic practices. It has monistic and dualistic traditions.

Believers of this religion believe that God transcends form, and devotees worship Śhiva in the form of a lingam, symbolizing the entire universe. God Śhiva is also worshiped in Shaivism as the anthropomorphic manifestation of Śhiva Nataraja.

There are innumerable temples and shrines for these believers, with many shrines also accompanied by murtis dedicated to Ganesha, Lord of Ganas, followers of Śhiva, and son of Śhiva and Śakti. The twelve Jyotirling, or “golden lingam”, shrines are among the most esteemed in Shaivism. Varanasi is considered the holiest city for all Hindus, but especially for Shaivism believers. A highly revered temple is the ancient Chidambaram in South India.