Friday, March 09, 2007

The journey begins - Thirumandiram

Sri gurubhyo namaha.

The text begins like all others with an invocation to Ganesha, the god of all begennings. This invocation is also a dhyanam and contains the aspects of Ganapathy that have to be meditated on at the start.

Following the invocation, the verses from one to one hundred and twelve ( 01 - 112) is set in what is called Payiram or proem. It deals largely with the description of the gods, particularly Shiva and details His glory and the merits of the shaiva path. It also describes the guru parampara or the spiritual lineage of which the author (Siddhar Thirumular) is a part of and gives details of his contemporaries as well. The parts of the text in bold are the actual verses translated into english by Dr. B. Natarajan and the smaller (regular) text is my commentary. Additional notes are provided enclosed in brackets.

ஐந்து கரத்தனை யானை முகத்தனை
இந்தின் இளம்பிறை போலும் எயிற்றனை
நந்தி மகன்தனை ஞானக் கொழுந்தினைப்
புந்தியில் வைத்தடி போற்றுகின் றேனே.

He who has the five hands and the elephant's face,
Whose tusk is even as the crescent moon,
The son of Nandi, the Flower of Wisdom,
Him I cherish in thought, His feet adore.
PAYIRAM - PROEM (verses 1 - 112)
01. In praise of God
ஒன்றவன் தானே இரண்டவன் இன்னருள்
நின்றனன் மூன்றினுள் நான்குணர்ந் தான்ஐந்து
வென்றனன் ஆறு விரிந்தனன் ஏழும்பர்ச்
சென்றனன் தானிருந் தான்உணர்ந் தெட்டே. 1.
1: One Is Many
The One is He, the Two His sweet Grace,
In Three He stood, in all the Four witnessed,
The Five He conquered, the Six He filled,
The Seven Worlds pervades, manifests the Eight
And so remains.
Com - The One is He Siva, who is in essence One, the Two His sweet Grace (out of compassion towards the jivas) manifests as Twofold along with Shakti (in order to initiate the creation of the worlds). In Three He stood It is the same Siva who (stands) firmly as the Three – namely, Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra, and performs the threefold actions of creation, preservation and destruction of the world system. in all the Four witnessed He (witnessed) and thus acquired the Four Purushaartha’s- (the Purushaartha’s are the four main goals of this human birth , namely Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha). Another understanding of the same line can be that, through the Four (namely the four Vedas) He made Truth/ Reality perceptible (to be witnessed, i.e. experienced by the devotee). The Five He conquered He has conquered (transcended the distracting influence of) the Five organs of Sense perception (Indriya) namely Mouth, Eyes, Nose, Ears and Skin. the Six He filled He filled (expanded and permeated) the Six – The six Chakras namely Muladhara, Swadhisthana, Manipura, Anahata, Vishudhi and Ajnya (which correspond to locations at the base of the spine, sacral cavity, just below the solar plexus, heart, throat and the spot in the middle of the 2 eyebrows respectively). The Seven Worlds pervades And after filling the six centres, He permeates the Seventh chakra, namely, Sahasrara (located on the top of the head) thus pervading the seven worlds. manifests the Eight And so remains And there he remains merged in the Eight manifestations (which are to be understood as Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Ether[which together are the 5 elements or ‘panchaboothas’] Sun, Moon and Atman (Soul).
* The above mantra describes beautifully that the One (Siva), through union with Shakti becomes two to initiate the birth of the world system. He is Himself manifest as the Three (Brahma &c) for the purpose of accomplishing the three functions (creation &c) and through the four Vedas He made the Truth be realised. He bestows the power to conquer the five sense organs (i.e. to transcend) and in His expansive form has saturated the six chakras and is present always in the seventh chakra (Sahasrara) and is externalised through His eight manifestations (see above).


Ananda said...

Aha, Beautiful!

Ondrodu ondragi,
endrum paerinbam peravendum,
Arohara! Arohara! Arohara!

Anonymous said...

Arumaiyana commentary.


Anonymous said...

Dear Shri Mooligai Sidhan

Came across your blog . I am also reading , meditating and trying to get into the inner meaning of the Thirumantiram . Would like to share my thoughts . Only purpose is to share and learn so if my understanding is incorrect please excuse me .
In verse 1 my reading of the " in all four he witnessed" is that Shiva pervades all the four states of consciousness - viz waking , sleeping , dreaming and the turiya state. Manifesting the eighth is th emanifesting of the 8th Chakra - the higher self , th egateway to the infinite , the chakra situated above the head.

mooligai sidhan said...

srigurubhyo namaha.
Welcome!Glad to know of another person meditating on the essence of the Thirumandiram.
Re your understanding of the ''in four He witnessed'' as pertaining to the four states of consciousness, it is quite apt.
With respect to the manifestation of the 8th chakra, that is off the original intent of the sage.As the siddar is talking about the manifestation or the pravritti aspect of the shiva tattva, he begins with the One state (the supreme tattvA)and slowly comes to the point of the manifest phenomenal world - this he expresses as the 8 manifestations of shivA. Conforming also to the shaiva siddanthA,the pancha bhUtAs, sun, moon and the atman(jivAtman)together constitute the 8 manifestations through which the One tattvA becomes the world of multiplicity divided by name, form,time,space,etc.