Although Hinduism is generally thought to be a polytheistic religion, there is a monotheistic branch of it called Saiva Siddantham, found among the Tamil people of South India and Sri Lanka. The Rev. Edwin Savundra, visiting professor of philosophy at St. Thomas, will consider this religious and philosophical system in a philosophy colloquium at 11:45 a.m. Thursday, April 13, in Room 301, Aquinas Hall. The title of his presentation is: “God in Hindu Philosophy: Saiva Siddhantham.”

Two works by the sages of Saiva Siddhantham, the Sivananapotam and the Sivanana Sittiyar, argue philosophically for the existence of God and for the attributes, like omniscience and benevolence, which characterize the divine essence. After situating these works within Saivism and Hinduism generally, Savundra will examine their teaching and compare it with that of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Savundra is a Tamil and a native of Sri Lanka. He has studied the writings of Saiva Siddhantham extensively and in the original language. His book, Structures to Behold: The Philosophy of God in Saiva Siddhantham, was published in 1996.