The collections of revelations that have come from Lord Shiva. Often regarded as tantric texts.

Word "Agama" comes from Sanskrit verb "gam" (to go, to comprehend) and means the knowledge  descending from the Supreme Deity.

There are Shivaite, Shaktist and Vaisnava agamas. Shiva is proclaimed as the supreme reality in the Shivaite agamas. In the sakta-agamas (nigamas, Tantras) Shakti, the wife of Shiva and the divine mother of the universe, is worshipped as the supreme Deity. Vishnu is declared as the supreme God in the Vaishnava agamas.

The Shivaite and Shaktist agamas are written in the form of dialogues of Shiva and Shakti, where in agamas Shiva appears as Guru to Shakti, and visa verse in nigamas - the Goddess herself explains the tantric teaching to Shiva, answering his questions.


Initially, there were five classes of agamas:

  • Bhuta-agamas
  • Garuda-agamas
  • Vama-agamas
  • Dakshina-agamas
  • Siddhanta-agamas

Bhuta-agama and Garuda-agama were lost very early.