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The Tirumantiram (Tamil : திருமந்திரம்) or Thirumantiram is a Tamil poetic work, written either in the 6th century CE or post 10th century CE by Tirumular. It is the tenth of the twelve volumes of the Tirumurai, the key texts of Shaiva Siddhanta and the first known Tamil work to use the term. The Tirumantiram is the earliest known exposition of the Shaiva Agamas in Tamil. It consists of over three thousand verses dealing with various aspects of spirituality, ethics and praise of Shiva. But it is more spiritual than religious and one can see the difference between Vedanta and Siddhanta from Tirumular's interpretation of the Mahavakyas. According to historian Venkatraman, the work covers almost every feature of the siddhar of the Tamils. According to another historian, Madhavan, the work stresses on the fundamentals of Siddha medicine and its healing powers. It deals with a wide array of subjects including astronomy and physical culture.
Tirumantiram's literal meaning is "sacred mantra" or "holy incantation."
|The twelve volumes of Tamil Śaiva hymns of the sixty-three Nayanars
| Thiruvasakam &
| Thiruvisaippa &
|Paadal Petra Sthalam
|Paadal Petra Sthalam
The Tirumantiram is divided into nine chapters, 9 tantras (tantirams):
The poems have a unique metrical structure, each line consisting of 11 or 12 syllables depending on the initial syllable. Tirumular discusses the four steps of spiritual progress; Charya, Kriya , Yoga and Gnana, the Shaiva Siddhanta concept of Pati, Pasu and Pasa where Pati stands for Shiva, Pasu stands for the humankind and Pasa stands for Maya (the desire), sadhana, Vedanta , the Upanishadic Tat tvam asi and other Vedantic concepts, the transcendental reality as emptiness (Sunya) devoid of any attribute and Tantrasastra (Shakti worship), chakras , magic spells and their accessories.[ citation needed ]
The section on Yoga, called "Shiva yoga", offers details not found in the Sanskrit text of Patanjali. The Tirumantiram describes means of attaining an immortal body (kaya siddhi), advocating a theory of preserving the body so that the soul would continue its existence (Udambai valarthen uyir valarthenae).[ citation needed ]
Tirumular is not only one of the 63 Nayanmars (Nayanars) but also a significant one among the 18 Siddhars. Tirumular has been referred to as "Nampiran" (meaning: nam-Our, piran-God, thus thirumular has been called as a leader or god to all the remaining Nayanars) by Sundarar in his thiru thondar thogai (the earliest song which mentions the names of 63 Nayanars). Tirumular as a moral philosopher teaches the ethics of non-violence (ahimsa), abstinence from slaughtering, meat and alcohol. He condemns coveting another man's wife. He declares that "love is God", proclaims the unity of mankind and God and stresses the acquisition of knowledge.[ citation needed ]
The final section of the Tirumantiram, named Sunya Sambhashana ("Colloquy on the Void"), is full of metaphorical sayings communicating mystical and speculative thoughts, for example;
பார்ப்பான் அகத்திலே பாற்பசு ஐந்துண்டு
"There are 5 wandering cows, without a cowherd and impossible to milk them"
Shaivism is one of the major Hindu traditions, which worships Shiva as the Supreme Being. One of the largest Hindu denominations, it incorporates many sub-traditions ranging from devotional dualistic theism such as Shaiva Siddhanta to yoga-orientated monistic non-theism such as Kashmiri Shaivism. It considers both the Vedas and the Agama texts as important sources of theology. According to a 2010 estimate by Johnson and Grim, Shaivism is the second-largest Hindu sect, constituting about 253 million or 26.6% of Hindus.
Hindu philosophy or Vedic philosophy is the set of Indian philosophical systems that developed in tandem with the religion of Hinduism during the iron and classical ages of India. In Indian tradition, the word used for philosophy is Darshana, from the Sanskrit root drish.
Bhakti yoga, also called Bhakti marga, is a spiritual path or spiritual practice within Hinduism focused on loving devotion towards any personal deity. It is one of the three classical paths in Hinduism which lead to Moksha, the other paths being Jnana yoga and Karma yoga.
Shaiva Siddhanta is a form of Shaivism popular in South India and Sri Lanka which propounds a devotional philosophy with the ultimate goal of experiencing union with Shiva. It draws primarily on the Tamil devotional hymns written by Shaiva saints from the 5th to the 9th century CE, known in their collected form as Tirumurai. Tirumular is considered to be the propounder of the term Siddhanta and its basic tenants. In the 12th century, Aghorasiva, the head of a branch monastery of the Amardaka order in Chidambaram, took up the task of formulating Shaiva Siddhanta. This is an earliest known Aghora Paddhati system of Shaiva Siddhanta of Adi Shaivas Maths in Kongu Nadu which rejects the Meykanda Shastras as a later addition. Meykandadevar was the first systematic philosopher of the school. The normative rites, cosmology and theology of Shaiva Siddhanta draw upon a combination of Agamas and Vedic scriptures.
Tirumular, also known as Suntaranāthar, was a Tamil Shaivite mystic and writer, considered one of the sixty-three poet-saints called the Nayanars, and is listed among a group of 18 sages called the Siddhars. His magnum opus, the Tirumantiram, consisting of over 3000 verses, forms a part of the key text of the Tamil Shaiva Siddhanta compilation called the Tirumurai.
The Siddhar in Tamil tradition is a perfected individual who has attained spiritual powers called siddhi.
Tirumurai is a twelve-volume compendium of songs or hymns in praise of Shiva in the Tamil language from the 6th to the 11th century CE by various poets in Tamil Nadu. Nambiyandar Nambi compiled the first seven volumes by Appar, Sambandar, and Sundarar as Tevaram during the 12th century. During the course of time, a strong necessity was felt by scholars to compile Shaiva literature to accommodate other works. Tiruvasakam and Tirukovayar by Manickavasagar are included as the eighth, nine parts are compiled as the ninth Tirumurai out of which most are unknown, and the tenth as Tirumandiram by Tirumular, the famous Siddhar. The eleventh is compiled by Karaikal Ammaiyar, Cheraman Perumal and others. The contemporary Chola king was impressed by the work of Nambi and included Nambi's work in the eleventh Tirumurai. Sekkilar's Periya Puranam, composed a century later, contains the life depiction of all the 63 Nayanmars. The response for the work was so tremendous among Shaiva scholars and Kulothunga Chola II that it was included as the 12th Tirumurai. Tirumurai along with Vedas and Shaiva agamas form the basis of Shaiva Siddantha philosophy in South India and Sri Lanka.
Kashmir Shaivism or Trika Shaivism, is a nondualist Hindu tradition of Shaiva-Shakta Tantra which originated in Kashmir sometime after 850 CE. Since this tradition originated in Kashmir it is often called "Kashmiri Shaivism". It later went on to become a pan-Indian movement termed "Trika" by its great exegete, Abhinavagupta, and particularly flourished in Odisha and Maharashtra. Defining features of the Trika tradition are its idealistic and monistic Pratyabhijna ("Recognition") philosophical system, propounded by Utpaladeva and Abhinavagupta, and the centrality of the three goddesses Parā, Parāparā, and Aparā.
Nandinatha Sampradaya is a denomination of Shaivism sect of Hinduism that places great importance on the practice of yoga. It is related to the broader Nath Sampradaya. The self-styled living preceptor and 163rd head of the Nandinatha Sampradaya's Kailasa Parampara is Bodhinatha Veylanswami. It is most popular among Tamil Hindus.
Nandi, also known as Nandikeshvara or Nandideva, is the bull vahana (mount) of the Hindu god Shiva. He is also the guardian deity of Kailash, the abode of Shiva. Almost all Shiva temples display stone images of a seated Nandi, generally facing the main shrine.
Sundarar, also referred to as Chuntarar, Chuntaramurtti, Nampi Aruran or Tampiran Tolan, was an eighth-century poet-saint of Tamil Shaiva Siddhanta tradition of Hinduism. He is among the Tevaram trio, and one of the most prominent Nayanars, the Shaiva bhakti (devotional) poets of Tamil Nadu.
Thayumanavar or Tayumanavar (1705–1744) was a Tamil spiritual philosopher from Tamil Nadu, India. Thayumanavar articulated the Saiva Siddhanta philosophy. He wrote several Tamil hymns of which 1454 are available. His first four songs were sung 250 years ago at the Congress of Religions in Tiruchirappalli. His poems follow his own mystical experience, but they also outline the philosophy of Hinduism, and the Tirumandiram by Saint Tirumular in its highest form, one that is at once devotional and nondual, one that sees God as both immanent and transcendent.
Thirunaraiyur Nambiyandar Nambi was an eleventh-century Shaiva scholar of Tamil Nadu in South India who compiled the hymns of Sambandar, Appar and Sundarar and was himself one of the authors of the eleventh volume of the canon of the Tamil liturgical poetry of Shiva, the Tirumurai.
The Agamas are a collection of several Tantric literature and scriptures of Hindu schools. The term literally means tradition or "that which has come down", and the Agama texts describe cosmology, epistemology, philosophical doctrines, precepts on meditation and practices, four kinds of yoga, mantras, temple construction, deity worship and ways to attain sixfold desires. These canonical texts are in Tamil and Sanskrit.
Marshall Govindan is a Kriya Yogi, author, scholar and publisher of literary works related to classical Yoga and Tantra and teacher of Kriya Yoga. He is the President of Babaji's Kriya Yoga and Publications, Inc., and the President of Babaji's Kriya Yoga Order of Archaryas, a lay order of more than 25 Kriya Yoga teachers operating in more than 20 countries, and ashrams in St. Etienne de Bolton, Quebec, Bangalore, India, Colombo, and Sri Lanka.
The main shrine of the Sudarkozhundeeswarar Temple, Pennadam, dates to the period of the Early Cholas shaped in the form the back of an elephant, called Gajapristhakara. Shiva's vehicle Nandi faces East, away from the shrine. Subsidiary shrine on artificial hill, dedicated to Shiva as Shri Javanteeswarar. The Nandi faces East, with its back turned towards the shrine.
Kripapureeswarar Temple in Thiruvennainallur, a panchayat town in Villupuram district in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. The presiding deity is revered in the 7th century Tamil Saiva canonical work, the Tevaram, written by Tamil saint poets known as the Nayanmars and classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam. The temple is closely associated with Sundarar, the saivite saint of the 8th century, who started composing his Tirumurai starting with "Pitha Piraisudi" verse in this temple.
Meykandar, also known as Meykanda Devar, was a 13th-century philosopher and theologian who contributed to the Shaiva Siddhanta school of Shaivism. His literary work known as Śiva Jñāna Bodham on Shaiva Siddhanta has enjoyed great vogue and prestige among Tamils comparable to other works of Hindu philosophy from the Advaita of Adi Shankara and Vishishtadvaita of Ramanuja.
Abirameswarar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the deity Shiva, located in thiruvamaathur, a village in Viluppuram district in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Shiva is worshiped as Abirameswarar, and is represented by the lingam. His consort Parvati is depicted as Manonmani Amman. The temple is located on the Chennai - Villupuram highway. The presiding deity is revered in the 7th century Tamil Saiva canonical work, the Tevaram, written by Tamil saint poets known as the nayanmars and classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam.