At the outset, siva, by his own will, bestows his grace on the competent liberated souls and installs some of them, in consideration of their evolution, in an exalted "authority-wielding" state related to the highest realm, Siva tattva. He installs them in this state, having made their power of knowing and of doing to be fully unfolded and to have unobstructed brilliance. He installs some others who are omniscient and omnipotent in the planes, or tattvas, immediately below Siva tattva--Sadasiva or Bhoga, Ishvara and Vidya. All of these liberated souls are the knowers of all and possess great vigor and strength.
Those who have reached Bhoga tattva become endowed with all the qualities of Sadasiva. They experience multitudinous enjoyments as desired by them. As willed by Lord Siva, they become very active in performing all the functions of the Lord. Those who have reached Ishvara tattva are specially endowed with strong control over their cognitive power in view of their works concerned with Ishvara tattva. They become endowed with the qualities of Ishvara, who presides over the Ishvara tattva. They evolve into the most superior lords in wielding their power in the regions pertaining to them.
Among those who have reached Ishvara tattva, eight predominate: Ananteshvara, Sukshma and others. Of these, each preceding one possesses one attribute more than the succeeding one. They are with great beauty and charm, with their mind ever kept in an unconstrained state. Those who have reached the Vidya tattva are known as Vidyas (mantras). They are seventy million in number. All of them are great evolved souls with exceeding brilliance.
Eventually non-attachment arises in the mind of one of these Vidyas as the question "What use and significance is this authoritative state which is opposed to the beatific and blissful state? Enough with these activities." He is then favored by Lord Siva. Duly considering his highly mature state, the Supreme Lord bestows His grace upon him through His compassionate look, which itself is capable of granting the ultimate liberation. Then the all-pervasive Supreme Lord bestows his grace upon the next Vidya who is in the nearest state of getting liberation and installs him in the exalted state occupied previously by the Vidya who has now attained final liberation. Consequently, the Lord lifts up another Vidya who is competent enough and installs him in the higher state occupied so far by the preceding Vidya.
It should be known that anava mala is sevenfold--moha, mada, raga, vishada, tapa, sosha and vaichitrya. These seven effects of mala are found to be in their full play in all those persons who are shrouded by the bondage of mala.
The mala known as moha [heavy delusion] is connate to the souls. Being a primal impurity, it serves as the cause of all six other impurities. Due to its existence, there occurs delusion in respect of women and worldly things, even for those who know what is to be abandoned and what is to be pursued.
That because of which a person praises even the woman already obtained, saying "There is no one equal to her, she is such a beautiful woman," is called mada [insatiable desire]. Ever increasing insatiable desire is called raga. On the disappearance or on the death of the already obtained woman there occurs great despair to him, making his eyes fill with tears. Such occurrence of grief is due to the mala called vishada which affects all the embodied souls. Thence arises excessive lamentation which occurs due to the mala known as tapa [being scorched by attachment]. Consequently there arises a stupefied and paralyzed state due to the mala known as sosha, which is very difficult to overcome.
Vaichitrya mala produces diverse conceited thoughts, such as, "This is my relative, this is my wife, these wealth and lands are plentiful and therefore I am the one who has fully achieved his goal;" or "Who is there who could protect my family?"All these together are called the co-born malas, seven in number, and are present in those who are shrouded by anava mala.
The experience of time and other categories of existence (tattva) occurs to the soul due to the existence of anava mala. Once present, these seven impurities--moha, and others--proceed to bind the souls. These seven co-originate with the souls which are shrouded by anava mala.
Dr. S. P. Sabharathnam Sivacharyar, of the Adisaiva priest lineage, is an expert in ancient Tamil and Sanskrit, specializing in the Vedas, Agamas and Shilpa Shastras. This excerpt is from his recent translation of the Paushkara Agama.