Shaivas interested in studying scriptures often ask questions like
-Where do I start?
-Which texts should I study?
-How deep should I go? etc.
Unlike certain sampraydas which have central texts(for ex.The BG or a Purana),Shaivism has many traditions and each one emphasises different scriptures. In spite of this, I propose that we should develop a list.
Some texts are easily understood whereas some require more effort.For example,one can't suggest a Saiva Bhasya on Brahma Sutras (say,Neelakanthiya Sivadvaita),Shvetasvatara Sruti or the Saiva Agamas to a student who has just began studying Saiva Dharma.It would be practical to separate texts into categories such as: 'For Entrants’, ‘Advanced Texts’, ‘Bhakti oriented’,‘Lengthier Texts’, ‘Works by Sivacharyas', etc.
To build a list is by no means an easy task as knowledge about the vast amount of Saiva scriptures and allied literature is required.I don't think my knowledge of Shaivism is encyclopedic, yet since the questions I mentioned in the beginning of the post appear frequently in HDF I strongly feel that we should have a list at hand. Initially this list may not be exhaustive but as time passes it can be updated/modified.
Summing up, the two compelling reasons to have a list of Saiva texts are:
1. A list would give an idea of the scriptures and help aspirants to take a step forward by enabling them to select a text for study.
2. Those who weren’t interested in studying scriptures previously or were put off by the vastitude or complexity of scriptures might chance upon a text or even a portion of a Saiva scripture and studying it will benefit them greatly in their spiritual practice.
This list and the classification scheme I put forward are rudimentary but before proceeding further I request members to give their opinion/suggestions regarding this idea.