From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

It is one of the chief basic texts of the Pāśupata. Śaivism is the Pāśupatasutras[1] with the bhāṣya[2] of Kauṇḍinya.[3] Since five subjects have been discussed, this work is also known as the Pañcārthasutras. These subjects are:

  1. Kārya - effect
  2. Kāraṇa - cause
  3. Yoga - meditation and union
  4. Vidhi - behavior
  5. Duḍkhānta - dissolution of sorrow

Only a brāhmaṇa with keen senses was considered to be fit for the path of spiritual discipline described here. The work lays a great emphasis on ascetic forms of the discipline. Paśupati’s or īśvara’s grace is absolutely necessary to attain duhkhānta.[4]


  1. It is the 2nd cent. A. D.
  2. Bhāṣya means the commentary.
  3. He lived in the 4th to 6th cent. A. D.
  4. It is same as mokṣa.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

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