He wrote over 3,000 verses in all. This may not be accurate bythe calendar, but it is true to the spirit and quality of theTirumantiram, which has within it the wisdom of three thousand yearsof meditation. It is without a doubt the most complete andauthoritative scripture ever written. There are few before or sincehis time qualified to understand all the Tirumantiram says, muchless to improve upon it. It is that perfect and that complete.Today we hear the term "Siddhanta" and various meanings of the wordmay come to mind. For some perhaps their immediate thought would beMeykanda Devar and his interpretation of Saiva Siddhanta. For otherssome concept of a philosophy halfway between Advaita-Vedanta andDvaita, a vague area of unclarity, and for others various literaltranslations of the word such as "true end," "final end" or "trueconclusion."
Thus souls and the world are Siva. My beloved Gurudeva, Yogaswamiof Columbuthurai, said some wonderful things about this. He said,"It will not be an overstatement if I say that man is God." He alsosaid, "Nothing exists except the Lord. Everything is His action.Nothing exists apart from God. It is like the waves and the ocean."This is my belief, too.People who hold to the belief in an eternal Hell where souls burnforever for their sins will have attitudes of a more or less fearfulnature. But for those who believe that God created the soul withform and with a superconscious intelligence and that the two willultimately merge in non-dualistic union, religion has meaning. Theywant to convert others to it and have the power to do so as a boonfrom Lord Siva, God of all the realms.God Siva created the soul. How did he do this? Was it like a pottershaping clay into a pot? Was it like a carpenter creating a houseout of lumber? It was more like the tree. In order to create anothertree, the tree sends out its branches and the fruit grows on thebranches and the seed grows within the fruit. The fruit drops offand the seed sprouts and a shoot comes out; that shoot becomes atwig, then a sapling, then a small tree, and then a large tree.
The title of the scripture may be best understood with the helpof a few words read from the Introduction: "Tiru in Tamil means'holy.' The word mantiram (from the Sanskrit mantra) is used in twosenses, general and specific. In the general sense it conveys themeaning of devotional prayer composed in special words, e.g. VedicHymns.
The title he gave his book originally was Mantra Malai or'Garland of Mantras.' Here it conveys the sense of a Book of Prayer.Later in subsequent Tantras he elaborately speaks of special mantrasfor specific deities and special rituals and expounds in full themeaning of the Primal Mantra OM and Five-lettered SivaMantra-Namasivaya-and the ways of intoning it in different contexts.Literally 'mantra' is composed of two syllables, Man or 'mind' andTra or 'opening or liberation.' That is, Mantra is that which leadsto blossoming or liberation of mind or heart.The typewritten manuscript that is here with us tonight is the firstcomplete edition ever available in English, the fruits of years ofdifficult and subtle translation from the original Tamil. Dr. B.Natarajan has called the Tirumantiram "a book of Tantra, Mantra,Yantra and Yoga, of prayer and philosophy at once. It is the onlyauthentic work in Tamil on Yoga-Kundalini Yoga especially. Itexpounds the teachings of Agamas as old as the Vedas... It proclaimsthe oneness of Godhead and the means to God-becoming by man-Jivamerging in Siva, the Soul in the Oversoul.Structurally, the Tirumantiram is comprised of ninetantras-books-and a preface. Each tantra covers a different aspectof the Saivite path. The Proem or Preface commences with aninvocation to Lord Ganesha in the traditional manner and offers anoverview of the work. It may be helpful if we summarize briefly thecontents of each tantra.The First Tantra begins with a synopsis of all that is to follow inthe Saint's opus. The topics it covers include: Transitoriness ofBody-also of wealth, youth and life-Not Killing, Poverty, Dharma ofRulers, Glory of Giving, In Praise of the Charitable, Siva KnowsThose Who Love Him, Learning, Non-learning, Rectitude and others.For those who are familiar with the Holy Kural these subjects willseem familiar, and they are. The topics of this initial tantra andof the great work by Saint Tiruvalluvar are indeed similar.The Second Tantra deals with the mythology of the Deities, with thecosmology of Hinduism, how the world was created, is sustained andwill be destroyed, and of the categories of soul. It also explainsthe allegorical meanings of some of the important Saivitemythological stories and then delves into such theological mattersas the five powers of Siva and the three classifications of souls.The Third Tantra explores the mystical science of yoga, yama andniyama, pranayama, asana, pratyahara or withdrawal of the senseswithin, dharana or concentration, dhyana or meditation and samadhior Self-Realization. It is in essence the same as Patanjali'sAstanga Yoga but includes Tirumular's mystic insights into eachaspect of this ancient system drawn from his own experience. It isthus an exposition of yoga as Tirumular conceived it and lived it.Here it may be interesting to note that these two sages werecontemporaries and are said to have lived at Chidambaram at the sametime, so it is not surprising that their approach to yoga issimilar.The Fourth Tantra is a highly esoteric work on mantras and yantras.He explains how to draw certain yantras, including the Tiru AmbalaChakram (the "circle of Chidambaram").The Fifth Tantra is a very special one. It gives a resume of theessential features of the Saivite religion. This includes the fourforms of Saivism, the four stages, the four relationships the soulhas with God, the four realizations attainable and the four aspectsof the Descent of Grace. It ends with a delineation of unorthodoxpaths, conduct to be avoided, and an affirmation of approved margasor religious paths.The Sixth Tantra covers a variety of aspects of Saivism and is morereadable than most of the others. Some of the areas covered are: theSiva Guru, attainment of Grace, renunciation, the signs of sin,penance, jnana and Siva darshan in people, and a description ofworthy and unworthy persons.The Seventh Tantra is a treatise on some advanced and highlytechnical aspects of Saivism. It is partly written as an expositionof Tirumular's own realizations. It discusses the Lingam, Grace andcorresponding attainments, mudras, control of ida and pingala nadis,worlds reached by different classes of yogis on death, and the SatGuru.The Eighth Tantra covers many of the important theological elementsof Siddhanta and is certainly one of the most inspiring. Among theconcepts presented are expositions of: the five sheaths (bodies),the eleven avasthais (states), the three padarthas (pati, pasu andpasam), and how they are essentially one, the 36 tattvas and theirelaboration into 96 tattvas, the four states (waking, dreaming,dreamless sleep and turiyam or the "fourth,") and Turiyateetam orthe "state beyond the fourth," the three malas, the freeing of themala fettered soul (Iruvinaioppu, malaparipaka, and Saktinipata),the mahavakiyam of the Upanishads, advaitic realization where thesoul becomes Sivam leaving behind the tattvas, malas and allavastais, the true Siddhanta where knower, known and knowledgebecome one, the affirmation of Siddhanta and Vedanta as the same,the three gunas, the dasa-karanas, and the extirpation of desire asa necessity for Realization.The Ninth Tantra is essentially a description of the fruits ofrealization. This includes an account of the attainment of akasa,the budding up of knowledge, the bliss of true knowledge, the stateof liberation, and the Samadhi of Silence. It also containsdescriptions of Siva's various dances, the ashram of the Guru andthe meeting of the Guru. These nine tantras end with hymns of praiseto Siva and a description of Siva's all-pervading nature.Even this brief account of the contents of the tantras is sufficientto show that the Tirumantiram contains in its concentrated andconcise verbal gems all the fundamental doctrines of Siddhanta. Wehope this brief introduction helps us all to comprehend the depthsof Gurudeva's thoughts.
The Tirumantiram or Thirumantiram is a Tamil poetic work, written either in the 6th century CE or post 10th century CE by Tirumular and is the tenth of the twelve volumes of the Tirumurai, the key texts of Saiva Siddhanta and the first known Tamil work to use the term. Tirumantiram's literal meaning is "Sacred mantra" or "Holy incantation". 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 Siva. 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. 2b1af7f3a8