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|The twelve volumes of Tamil Śaiva hymns of the sixty-three Nayanars|
|8|| Thiruvasakam &|
|9|| Thiruvisaippa &|
|Paadal Petra Sthalam|
|Paadal Petra Sthalam|
Tirumular (Tamil: திருமூலர், romanized: Tirumūlar), 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 dates of Tirumular's life are controversial, and because his work makes reference to so many currents of religious thought, the dates that different scholars assign are often appealed to for anchoring the relative chronology of other literature in Tamil and Sanskrit. Verse 74 of the Tirumantiram makes the claim that Tirumular lived for 7 yuga s (ages) before composing the Tirumantiram.
Some are therefore inclined to place his composition well before the Common Era. The scholar and lexicographer S. Vaiyapuripillai, however, suggested that he probably belonged to the beginning of the eighth-century CE, pointing out that Tirumular could not very well be placed earlier given that he appears to refer to the Tevaram hymns of Sambandar, Appar, and Sundarar, that he used "very late words" and that he made mention of the weekdays.
Others wish to push the date still later: Dominic Goodall, for instance, appears to suggest, on the grounds of religious notions that appear in the work with Tamil labels for which a certain historical development can be traced in other datable works, that the Tirumantiram cannot be placed before the 11th- or 12th-century CED. [ citation needed ]Yet another view, alluded to for instance by Vaiyapuripillai (ibid.), is that the text may contain an ancient core, but with "a good number of interpolated stanzas" of later date. Whatever the case, allusions to works and ideas in the Tirumantiram cannot, at least for the moment, be used as useful indicators of their chronology.
Suntaranāthar,as the saint was known, was a yogi originally from then Madurai. According to legend, he is believed to have travelled to Mount Kailash, where he was initiated by the deity Shiva. After spending 5 years at Mount Kailash, he undertook a journey under the order of Shiva to Tamilakam to meet his contemporary, the sage Agastya in Pothigai Hills. After meeting Agastya, he went to Chidambaram, and after worshiping Shiva at the Nataraja Temple, he was about to return to Mount Kailash. During his journey, near Sathanur village (a village near Aaduthurai), he saw a group of cows crying. He discovered that their cowherd, Mulan, was dead, having been bitten by a snake. Touched by the sight of the cows, he decided to use his yogic powers and move his soul from his body to that of the dead cowherd's, leaving his own body inside a log. On waking up in the body of the cowherd, the cows became happy; he then motioned them towards the village. When the saint wished to return to his own body, he was surprised to find that it was nowhere to be found. At this moment, he heard a divine voice from the sky, that of Shiva, who told him that he had been behind the disappearance of the body. The deity told him that he wished the saint to spread his teachings through the body of Mulan, allowing him to preach to the common folk in the vernacular Tamil spoken by the cowherd, as opposed to the literary Tamil in which the saint was well-versed. Suntaranāthar was henceforth called Tirumular, tiru meaning an epithet indicating respect. The saint is regarded to have engaged in meditation under a peepal tree in Thiruvavaduthurai, receiving holy hymns in Tamil. These three thousand holy hymns were compiled to become the book called the Tirumantiram.
Agastya was a revered Indian sage of Hinduism. In the Indian tradition, he is a noted recluse and an influential scholar in diverse languages of the Indian subcontinent. He and his wife Lopamudra are the celebrated authors of hymns 1.165 to 1.191 in the Sanskrit text Rigveda and other Vedic literature.
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.
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, known in their collected form as Tirumurai. Tirumular is considered to be the propounder of the term Siddhanta and its basic tenants. 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.
The Tirumantiram 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.
Sambandar, also referred to as Tirugnana Sambandar, Tirujnanasambanda, Campantar or Jñāṉacampantar, was a Shaiva poet-saint of Tamil Nadu who lived sometime in the 7th century CE. He was a child prodigy who lived just 16 years. According to the Tamil Shaiva tradition, he composed an oeuvre of 16,000 hymns in complex meters, of which 383 (384) hymns with 4,181 stanzas have survived. These narrate an intense loving devotion (bhakti) to the Hindu god Shiva. The surviving compositions of Sambandar are preserved in the first three volumes of the Tirumurai, and provide a part of the philosophical foundation of Shaiva Siddhanta.
Om Namah Shivaya is one of the most popular Hindu mantras and the most important mantra in Shaivism. Namah Shivaya means "O salutations to the auspicious one!", or "adoration to Lord Shiva". It is called Siva Panchakshara, or Shiva Panchakshara or simply Panchakshara meaning the "five-syllable" mantra and is dedicated to Shiva. This Mantra appears as 'Na' 'Ma' 'Śi' 'Vā' and 'Ya' in the Shri Rudram Chamakam which is a part of the Krishna Yajurveda and also in the Rudrashtadhyayi which is a part of the Shukla Yajurveda.
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.
Appar, also referred to as Tirunāvukkarasar or Navukkarasar, was a seventh-century Tamil Śaiva poet-saint. Born in a peasant Śaiva family, raised as an orphan by his sister, he lived about 80 years and is generally placed sometime between 570 and 650 CE. Appar composed 4,900 devotional hymns to the god Shiva, out of which 313 have survived and are now canonized as the 4th to 6th volumes of Tirumurai. One of the most prominent of the sixty-three revered Nayanars, he was an older contemporary of Thirugnana Sambandar.
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.
Manikkavacakar, or Maanikkavaasagar(Tamil: மாணிக்கவாசகர், "One whose words are like gems"), was a 9th-century Tamil saint and poet who wrote Tiruvasakam, a book of Shaiva hymns. Speculated to have been a minister to the Pandya king Varagunavarman II, he lived in Madurai.
The Tevaram, also spelled Thevaram, denotes the first seven volumes of the twelve-volume collection Tirumurai, a Shaiva narrative of epic and Puranic heroes, as well as a hagiographic account of early Shaiva saints set in devotional poetry. The Tevaram volumes contain the works of the three most prominent Shaiva Tamil poets of the 7th and 8th centuries: Sambandar, Appar, and Sundarar. The three poets were not only involved in portraying their personal devotion to Shiva, but also engaged a community of believers through their songs. Their work is an important source for understanding the Shaiva Bhakti movement in the early medieval South India.
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.
Tamil mythology refers to the folklore and traditions that are a part of the wider Dravidian pantheon, originating from the Tamil people. This body of mythology is a fusion of elements from Dravidian culture and the parent Indus Valley culture, both of which have been syncretised with mainstream Hinduism.
Sattainathar temple, Sirkazhi is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva located in Sirkali, Tamil Nadu, India. The temple is incarnated by the hymns of Thevaram and is classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam. It is an ancient temple complex with three different Shiva shrines in three stories.
Kalyanasundaresar Temple, Nallur or Thirunallur is a Hindu temple dedicated to the deity Shiva in Nallur, Tamil Nadu, India. It is located 10 km (6.2 mi) away from Kumbakonam, 6 km (3.7 mi) east of Thirukkarugavur, and 30 km (19 mi) south of Thanjavur.
The Taamaraiyaal Kelvan Perumal Temple or Thiruppaarththanpalli is located close to Thirunangur, a small village, 8 km east of Sirkali en route to Thiruvenkadu and is dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, the temple is glorified in the Nalayira Divya Prabandham, the early medieval Tamil canon of the Alvar saints from the 6th–9th centuries CE. It is one of the 108 Divya Desams dedicated to Vishnu, who is worshipped as Taamariyaal Kelvan and his consort Lakshmi as Shegamalavalli.
Masilamaniswara Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Hindu god Shiva, located in the village of Thiruvaduthurai, located 22 km from the South Indian town, Kumbakonam and 14 km from Mayiladuthurai, Tamil Nadu. It is one of the shrines of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams. The temple is referred to in the verses of Tevaram, the 7th century Tamil Saiva canon by Tirugnana Sambandar, Appar and Sundarar. The temple is associated with the legend of Saivite saint Tirumular.
Kutruva Nayanar, also known as Kootruva , Kutruva, Kutruvar, Kootruvar, Kurruva Nayanar, Kurruvar, Kurruvan, Kutruvanar, Kurrrruvar, Kalappallan and Kalappalar, was a chieftain of Kalandai and a Nayanar saint, venerated in the Hindu sect of Shaivism. He is generally counted as the 39th in the list of 63 Nayanars. Kutruva is often described as a Jain, who became a devotee of Shiva, the patron god of Shaivism.
Vedapureeswarar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the deity Shiva, located in Thiruverkadu, a Municipality in Tiruvallur district in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Shiva is worshipped as Vedapureeswarar, and is represented by the lingam. His consort Parvati is depicted as Balambigai. The presiding deity is revered in the 7th century Tamil Saiva canonical work, the Tevaram, written by Tamil saint poets known as the Nayanars and classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam.
Meykandar, also known as Meykanda Devar, was a 13th-century philosopher and theologian who contributed to the Shaiva Siddhanta school Shaivism. His literary work known as Siva Gnana Bodham(in Tamil) on Shaiva Siddhanta has enjoyed great vogue and prestige among Tamils compared to vedic Hindu philosophies such as Advaita of Adi Shankara and Vishistadvaita of Ramanuja.