The Agamas are a collection of Hindu Holy Scriptures. Agama texts describe yoga, meditation, mantras, construction of temples, worshipping the deities and various ways of pleasing him like singing, dancing and enjoying his divine beauty. These sacred texts are written in Sanskrit, Telugu and Tamil and also in various Indian languages.
The Agama texts are mostly written about the significance of Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. The Agamas are written based on Vedas and some of the texts based on bhakti, sainthood, and the Dvaita and Advaita philosophies and teachings.
Agamas were believed to have written before 1000 years. Agamas are written on the basis of the knowledge obtained from Guru Dakshinamuthy by the sages, who were surrounded around him.
The Agamas also contains Buddhist and Jainism Texts. Agamas are based on idol worship, and puja must be compulsorily done to the idols. For attaining salvation, people must properly follow Hindu customs and tradition, they must read Vedas and other holy texts, concentrate their entire attention on the god, and they should not pay attention on other worldly matters.
The four types of Agama are:
- Jnanapada – consists of spiritual knowledge, knowledge about the almighty and the ways to attain salvation.
- Yoga pada – Details of yoga, strict physical and mental disciplineobservance, along with self-control.
- Kriyapada – consists of doing of rituals, building of temples,worshipping of deities in the temples.
- Charyapada – consists of religious rites, celebration of festivals by showing our sincere attention on the god, and visiting of holy temples.
Detailed rules are laid in the Agamas with regard to the name of the sculptors, describing the place of temples to be built, the number of the deities to be installed, art and architecture of the temples, the type of the materials required for temple construction, making of proper lighting arrangements in the temple premises etc.