Thursday, August 05, 2010

Seven Holy Orders - mantrA 101

srigurubhyO namahA

With the 101st mantrA of the pAyiram section, the author begins the next sub section - the one titled 'guru mada varalAru' or ' tracing the spiritual lineage'. This is a very short section and contains only two mantrAs and serves to 'authenticate' as it were the teachings contained in this text by bringing to our attention the lineage or spiritual paramparA that is the very source of these teachings. The kailAsa paramparA, to which the sage belongs, is a very well known and accepted lineage and has been the traditional lineage from which many great masters have arisen to grace this world or ours. Here the sage mentions them very briefly.

குரு மட வரலாறு

வந்த மடம்ஏழும் மன்னும்சன் மார்க்கத்தின்
முந்தி உதிக்கின்ற மூலன் மடம்வரை
தந்திரம் ஒன்பது சார்வுமூ வாயிரம்
சுந்தர ஆகமச் சொல்மொழிந் தானே. 1.8.101.

Seven Holy Orders
Seven are the Holy Order, spiritual and true;
Mula, of the first, from the Himalayas sprung,
In the Tantras Nine and Hymns Three thousand
Propounds the Word of Agama in beauty light. 1.8.101.

Com - Seven are the Holy Order, spiritual and true;from the Himalayas sprung The seven spiritual orders or matA’s that stem from the holy kailAsa paramparA are all engaged in the sanmArgA (i.e. they are all valid spiritual lineages under the sanAtana dharma) or the true path.Mula, of the first, Of these seven orders, the order of mUlA to which the sage belongs, is one among the oldest orders. (In that path)Propounds the Word of Agama in beauty light The words of the AgamAs (tantric spiritual scriptures) in their entirety have been expounded beautifully (by the author) and most lucidly In the Tantras Nine and Hymns Three Thousand in the form of the nine tantrAs and the three thousand mantrAs contained therein. (so that the people of the world might be able to follow the instructions of the AgamAs.)

* This mantra sets the context to reveal the validity of the content of the thirumandiram and goes on to establish its position in the spiritual hierarchy of the paramparA or lineage starting from nandhinAthA. If we look back to the fourth sub section (mantrAs 67 – 72) dealing with the sage’s guru paramparA, we can recollect that he belongs to the hallowed kailAsa paramparA. Here he details the seven matAs or orders that stem from the kailAsa paramparA and also establishes that the mutt of mUlA to which the sage belongs is one among the oldest in that lineage.

We are also told that the teachings and practises of this order are elucidated here in clear detail in the form of nine tantrAs composed totally of three thousand mantrAs in the form of the thirumandiram. The words of the AgamAs and their various teachings and the esoteric transmissions that enable the seeker to proceed on the path to siva are all concentrated here in the thirumandiram – like the nectar of a million different blooms contained within the honey.

The grace of thirumUlar and his compassion for the regular human being along with the far reaching wisdom and compassion of nandI has resulted in this divinely inspired text, where the diverse teachings of the shaiva tradition have been condensed to become one smooth path to the supreme.