Anava Mala; 1 Definition(s)


Anava Mala means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Anava Mala: It is an innate impurity in connection with the status of the soul being an anu or limited or atomic (small); If Siva's Consciousness is a humongous mountain (Kailas), the human consciousness is an atom (anu). This curtails the Siva Consciousness in man to the extent that he feels imperfect. Anava means also pride, self-will. It appears that Jains have more to say about Anava Mala. It obscures knowledge and action of the souls. It gives a false sense of freedom to the soul. It is like Verdigris on copper. It is like the chaff on the rice grain. It is like salt in brine. It is beginningless. It is integral to soul. Darkness does not mask itself. Anava mala masks itself as well as everything else. It beclouds the soul from exposure to knowledge. Anava Mala has no direct perception of knowledge but needs organs to gather knowledge. It is the cause of spiritual ignorance. Whatever knowledge it gets from sense organs is faulty and inaccurate. adapted from Saiva Siddhanta--Schomerus.

Trika view of Anava: There is no fullness in Anava Mala (apurnata - no fullness). This lack of fullness creates proportional increase in desire to make it complete. This Mala is Anadi, beginningless and eternal and expunged only by the Grace of Siva. Soul, Anava Mala and Siva exist together. Siva is not affected by either of them, as the sun is not affected by the umbrella. "Anava Mala does not hide Siva, but only the faculty of the knowledge in the souls. He is the Lord of Anava Mala, having the power to free souls there from, and also because Anava Mala cannot begin to act without Him. Siddhiar 2.87 says that Siva and Sakti keep the three Malas active. This is Vilaya or veiling.

Anava Mala: Anavam comes from the word ANU, meaning atom, smallness, finitude. This impurity is congenital, intrinsic, and innate to every soul; there is no embodied soul without it, Brahma and Vishnu included. As the individual soul splits off from the Great Soul (chip of the Old Block), it immediately feels like an orphan separate from the Great Soul, God. The orphan soul feels its smallness, limitation, imperfection, ignorance, dependence and darkness and seeks knowledge through the senses of the body, forgetting its connection to and origin from the all-knowing Great Soul. This smallness and orphan status make the soul feel apart from its Father, thereby acquiring the feeling of I, Mine, Me, My, pride, individual identity, will, limited knowledge and action (Iccha, Jnana and Kriya), which lead to other malas and accumulation of Karma. It is darkness (irul), causes confusion (Marul) and ignorance (Avidya), and remains antithetical to Grace (Arul). Here the soul feels like an orphan, as if it is not connected to the Great Soul, Pure Consciousness or God. It is due to ignorance and matter enveloping the soul, preventing vision of the Great Soul. It is full of ego. It is a case of I, Me, My, and Mine, a quadrilateral corral for Pasus. Anava Mala is compared to verdigris covering copper or husk covering rice (Anava Mala covering soul). Siva is One but has the urge to be many; this split into many souls (without diminution of the Great Soul) have consequences and Anava Mala is that consequence. (There are some who believe that the anava-laden soul cannot be traced back to Siva, because Siva being pure cannot have produced an impure soul. The Mala is beginningless. Siva is the only I in this universe; the souls that came off from Siva (Siva Sakti) mistakenly took that identity from Him; each one of them calls himself or herself, I. I = the nominative singular pronoun, used by a speaker in referring to himself or herself.

(Source): Kashmir Saivism
Shaivism book cover
context information

Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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