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135/365 – Thirumanthiram

The Tirumantiram, is a Tamil poetic work written in the 5th CE by Tirumular and is the tenth of the twelve volumes of the Tirumurai, the key texts of Tamil Saivism.

It is the first known Tamil work to use the term Shaiva Siddhanta and the earliest known exposition of the Saiva Agamas in Tamil.

It consists of over three thousand verses dealing with various aspects of spirituality, ethics and praise of the God Shiva. But it is more spiritual than religious and one can see the difference between Vedanta and Siddhanta from Tirumular’s interpretation of the Mahakaavyas.

Tirumandiram, strongly emphasizes on Love is God, (Anbey Sivam).

The Tirumantiram is divided into nine chapters (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 Lord shiva, Pasu stands for the human kind 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.

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).

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 but declares that “love is God“, proclaims the unity of mankind and God and stresses the acquisition of knowledge.

To Read: http://www.tamilvu.org/library/l4100/html/l41A0ind.htm

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tirumandhiram

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