This work made out of the controversy that took place in Chidambaram temple on the sixth day of the Aanithirumanjanam festival in 1313 A.D., among the adherents of diverse systems of philosophy who had assembled in the temple.
The title of the work meaning “Exposition and refutation of different schools of philosophy” gives us an idea of this content. The theories of the nine systems are criticized in a masterly manner. The Mayavadhi, Aikyavathi, Padanavathi, Bedhavathi, Sivasamavathi, Sankaranthavathi, Iswara Avikaravathi, Nimitthakarana Parinamavathi, Saivavathi are among of the theories.
Of the nine theories propounded and refuted, Mayavadam is an outer sect, as it does not accept the authority of the Sivagamas and the earlier portions of Vedas which deals with Dharma as an instrument to the attainment of Gnana.
Aikyavadham, though a phase of Saivism, does not believe in the existence of Anava mala, the evil principle, so it is also classed along with the outer schools of thought. All the other phases accept, as in Saiva Siddhanta the existence of God, Soul, Anavam, Karmam and Maya.
Nimitthakarana Parinamavadam differs only in expression or formulation from Saiva Siddhanta. But still it is classed as a separate theory along with the preceding five theories. Suddha Saivam or Saivavathi is almost same as Saiva Siddhantam although it is shown as a separate creed in as much as subtler truths are not adequately grasped and expressed in it.
The basic text of Saiva Siddhanta are the Sivanganabotham Sutras of St Meykandar. Arulnandi Sivachariyar wrote the Sivagnana Siddhiar which is an elaborate exposition based on the Sutras. Umapathi Sivam wrote eight works of which Sivapragasam and Sankarpa Nirakaranam are important works. The date of this work is mentioned in the text itself as Saka 1235 which corresponds to 1315 A.D.
Arulnandi Sivachariyar’s Sivagnana Siddhiar consist of two parts, Subakkam and Parabakkam. The Parabakkam contains refutations of fourteen Puraccamaya (or outer) schools of thought. Umapathi Sivam’s Sankarpa Nirakaranam goes a step further than the Parabakkam of Arulnandi Sivam in that it refutes the doctrines of the inner schools which are within Saivism.