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Thread: Tamil Thirumuraihal of the Tamil Saiva Saints (Naayanmaar)

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    Author: virarajendra

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    A brief study on the twelve - Tamil Thirumuraihal of the Tamil Saiva Saints (Naayanmaar & Adiyaar) - of Tamil Nadu

    The sacred “poems of Divine Praise” sung on "God - as Siva" (God Siva), by three among the four principal Tamil Saiva Saints, namely the Naayanmaar - Thirugnanasampanthar, Thirunaavukarasar and Suntharamoorthy of the period Sixth Century to Eighth century A.D. of Tamil Nadu, were known as "Thevaaram". The "poems of Divine Praise" sung by the fourth principal Tamil Saiva Saint namely the Maanikkavaasaka Swamikal of the period Third century A.D. of Tamil Nadu, was known as "Thiruvaasakam".

    With Coutesy from Lelamekala Vengidasan of You Tube

    Note: Re - "God - as Siva"(God Siva) refer my Thread in this same website titled - "The Universal Truth of God Supreme"

    "Thevaram" divides as Theva-aram meaning “garland to God”. Here it means the “garland of poems - of Divine Praise”. A group of ten to twelve Thevarams sung on God Siva presiding at different Temple Shrines in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Sri Lanka - were each known as a "Thiruppathikam", also known as "Thiruppathiyam". The collection of poems of all other Tamil Saiva - Swamihal and Adiyaar were known as "Thiruppaadalkal" meaning “sacred poems”.

    These "Thiruppathikamgal" and “Thiruppaadalkal” have been classified into eleven "Thirumuraihal". The Tamil "Periya Puranam" has been classified as the twelveth "Thirumurai".

    "Thirumurai" means a “Sacred Order”. That is the order of classification made by the Saiva Adiyar - Nambiaandaar Nambi of the available Tamil - Thiruppathikamgal and Thiruppaadalhal sung by Tamil Saivite - Naayanmaar, Swamihal and Adiyaar of Tamil Nadu, on the request of the Chola Emperor "Rajaraja Chola - 1(A.D.985 – 1014)" of Tamil Nadu. The classification of these Thirumuraihal are as follows:

    Thirumurai 1 to 3 The "Thevara Thiruppathikams" of Tamil Saiva Naayanaar –

    Thirugnanasampathar - (A.D.641-657)
    (a) First Thirumurai - 136 Pathikams on 136 different Siva Thalams
    (b) Second Thirumurai - 122 Pathikams on 122 different Siva Thalams
    (c) Third Thirumurai - 126 Pathikams on 126 different Siva Thalams

    Thurumurai – 4 to 6 The "Thevara Thiruppathikams" of Tamil Saiva Naayanaar –

    Thirunaavukkarasar - (A.D.568-649)
    (a) Fourth Thirumurai - 113 Pathikams on 113 different Siva Thalams
    (b) Fifth Thirumurai - 100 Pathikams on 100 different Siva Thalams
    (c) Sixth Thirumurai - 99 Pathikams on 99 different Siva Thalams

    With Courtesy from Dr Padmini Kapalamoorthy - Producer & PathiPasuPasam - You Tube

    Thirumurai – 7 The "Thevara Thiruppathkams" of Tamil Saiva Naayanaar –

    Suntharamoorthy - (A.D.826-844)
    (a) Seventh Thirumurai - 100 Pathikams on 100 different Siva Thalams

    With Courtesy from Dr Padmini Kapalamoorthy - Producer & PathiPasuPasam - You Tube

    With Courtesy from Dr Padmini Kapalamoorthy - Producer & PathiPasuPasam - You Tube

    With Courtesy from Dr Padmini Kapalamoorthy - Producer & PathiPasu Pasam - You Tube

    Thirumurai – 8 The "Thiruppaadalhal" meaning “sacred poems” of Tamil Saiva Swamihal –

    Maanickkavaasakar - (A.D.285-317)
    (a) Thiruvaasakam
    (1) Twentysix Pirapantham sung at Chithambaram Siva Thalam
    (2) Twenty Pirapantham sung at Thirupperunthurai Siva Thalam
    (3) Two Pirapantham sung at Thiruannaamalai Siva Thalam
    (4) Two Pirapantham sung at Thiruuththarakosamangai Siva Thalam
    (5) One Pirapantham sung at Thirukkalukuntram Siva Thalam
    (6) One Pirapantham sung at Thiruththonipuram Siva Thalam
    (7) One Pirapantham sung at Thiruvaarur

    (b) Thiruchitrambala Kovaiyaar (Thirukkovaiyaar)
    A complete work on Ahaththinai immersed in Iraiyarul - 25 chapters

    Thirumurai – 9 The "Thiruvisaippa" meaning “sacred musical poems” and "Thiruppallaandu" meaning "poems on longevity" of Tamil Saiva Adiyaar -

    (1) Thirumaalikai Thevar
    (a) Four Pathikams on Chithambaram Siva Thalam

    (2) Chenthanaar
    (a) Three Pathikams on three different Siva Thalams
    (b) One Pathikam on Chithambaram Siva Thalam

    (3) Karuvur Thevar
    (a) Ten Pathikams on ten different Siva Thalams

    (4) Poonththurutthinambi Kadanambi
    (a) Two Pathikams on two different Siva Thalams

    (5) Kandaraathiththar
    (a) One Pathkam on Chithambaram Siva Thalam

    (6) Venaattu Adihal
    (a) One Pathikam on Chithambaram Siva Thalam

    (7) Thiruvaaliyamuthanaar
    (a) Four Pathikams on Chithambaram Siva Thalam

    (8) Purudoththama Nambi
    (a) Two Pathikams on Chithambaram Siva Thalams

    (9) Chethiraayar
    (a) One Pathikam on Chithambaram Siva Thalam

    Thirumurai – 10 The "Thiruppaadalhal" meaning “sacred poems” of Tamil Saiva Naayanaar –

    (1) Thirumanthiram - Philosophic essence of Siva Agamangal in Tamil, having nine Thanthirams (chapters)

    Thirumurai – 11 The "Thiruppaadalhal" meaning “sacred poems” of Tamil Saiva Naayanmaar & Adiyaar and "Thiruppathikam"

    (1) Kaaraikkaal Ammaiyaar
    (a) Thiruvaalankaatu Mooththa Thiruppathikam
    (b) Mooththa Thiruppathikam
    (c) Thiruvirattai Manimaalai
    (d) Atputhath Thiruvanthaathi

    (2) Aiyadikal Kadavarkon
    (a) Sheththira Thiruvenbaa

    (3) Cheramaan Perumaal
    (a) Ponvannaththanthaathi
    (b) Thiruvaaruur Mummanikkovai

    (4) Nakkeera Thevar
    (a) Kaiyilaipaathi Kaalaththipaathi Anthaathi
    (b) Thirueengoimalai Elupathu
    (c) Thiruvalanchuli Mummanikkovai
    (d) Thiruvelukoottrirukkai
    (e) Perunththevapaani
    (f) Koapap Pirasaatham
    (g) Kaar Ettu
    (h) Poatrith Thirukkalivenbaa
    (i) Thirumurukaatrupadai
    (j) Thirukannappathevar Thirumaram

    (5) Kallaada Thevar
    (a) Thirukannappathevar Thirumaram

    (6) Kapila Thevar
    (a) Mooththa Naayanaar Thiruvirattai Manimaalai
    (b) Sivaperumaan Thiruvirattai Manimaalai
    (c) Sivaperumaan Thiruvanthaathi

    (7) Paranathevar
    (a) Sivaperumaan Thiruvanthaathi

    (8) Ilamperumaan Adihal
    (a) Sivaperumaan Thirumummanikkovai

    (9) Athiraavadikal
    (a) Mooththa Pillaiyaar Thirumummanikkovai

    (10) Pattinaththu Pillaiyaar
    (a) Koyil Naanmanimaalai
    (b) Thirukalumala Mummanikkovai
    (c) Thiruvidamaruthoor Mummanikkovai
    (d) Thiruvekambamudaiyaar Thiruvanthaathi
    (e) Thiruvottriyur Orupaa Orupathu

    (11) Nambiyaandaar Nambi
    (a) Thirunaaraiyur Vinayakar Thiruvirattai Manimaalai
    (b) Koyil Thiruppanniyar Viruttham
    (c) Thiruththondar Thiruvanthaathi
    (d) Aaludaipillaiyaar Thiruvanthaathi
    (e) Aaludaipillaiyaar Thiruchanbai Viruttham
    (f) Aaludaipillaiyaar Thirumummanikkovai
    (g) Aaludaipillaiyaar Thiruvulaamaalai
    (h) Aaludaipillaiyaar Thirukkalambakam
    (i) Aaludaipillaiyaar Thiruththohai
    (j) Thirunaavukkarasuthevar Thiruvehaathasamaalai

    Thirumurai – 12 The "Thiruppaadalhal" meaning “sacred poems” of Tamil Sage/Poet –

    (a) Periyapuranam - on the life histories of the - 63 Tamil Saiva Saints


    The Tamil "Thirumuraikanda Puraanam" by the Meiyadiyaar Umapathi Sivasaariyaar relates the story of how the Chola Emperor Rajaraja Chola - 1 (A.D.985-1014) on he hearing some Thevarams for the first time sung by an Adiyaar and being absorbed in same went in search of the complete set of Thevarams, of the three principal Tamil Saiva Saints.

    He finally found them written in Ola Leaf Manuscripts stacked in an old room at Chithambaram Temple, neglected and unattended for long by the Temple Priests (in preference to Vedic hyms) which ended up with white ants praying on them with many Ola leaves perished beyond recovery.

    Website Video on Rajaraja Chola's finding of the Thirumuraihal of the three principal Saiva Saints:

    Rajaraja Chola - 1 thereafter entrusted the Saiva Adiyar Nambiaandaar Nambi with the recovery of what ever remaing of these Thevarams in the undamged Ola Leaf Manuscripts, who carried out the instructions and recovered whatever possible and classified them into seven Thirumuraihal comprising 795 Thevara Thiruppathikams..

    But one of Saint Thirugnanasampanthar's Pathikam which was not found in the first three Thirumuraikal thus classified, has been discovered engraved on the Thiruvidaivaai temple walls, which has made the total Thevara Thiruppathikams in the seven Thirumuraihal to 796.

    The Thevara Thiruppathikamgal at times have also been engraved on Copper Plates in addition to the Ola Leaf Manuscripts. (This fact has been confirmed by two Temple Inscriptions, which has been highlighted for the first time by the Research Scholar - Kudanthai N.Sethuraman in his book titled "Aaiyvu Katturaikal" - first part).

    At one instance an Officer of Kulothunga Chola - 1 named "Manavitkooththan Naralokaviran" made the seven Thirumuraihal of the three principal Tamil Saiva Saints engraved on copper plates and preserved them in the Chithambaram temple. However the subsequent fate of same are now not known.

    In another instance during the period of the Pandiyan king Sadaiyavarman Kulasekaran, an Officer named "Panchavan Pirammaathiraajar" apparantly made all twelve Thirumuraihal engraved on copper plates and preserved same at the Sri Somanaathathevar temple at Aattrur. Today we are not aware of the fate of these copper plates too.

    The Rajaraja Chola - 1 who discovered the Thevara Thiruppathiyam (Thiruppathikamkal) of the three principal Tamil Saiva Saints, not only arranged them to be classified into seven Thirumuraihal and preserved, but also arranged them to be sung in Siva Temples by "Pidarer" who were subsequently known as "Othuvar".

    In the Thanjavur Rajarajeswarem temple (Periya Koyil presently know as Birahatheeswarem Temple) built by him - alone had fortyeight Othuvar who sung Thevara Thiruppathikamkal accompanied by a "Udukkai Vaasippavan" and "Kotti Matthalam Vaasippavan" as per this temple inscriptions.

    However it is now known that the practice of singing Tamil Thevara Thiruppathikamkal in Siva Temples existed as early as A.D.852 from an inscription of the Pallava king the Nanthivarman - 3 in the Thiruvalam Temple. (Refer the book titled "Kapilakkal" by Kudavaayil Balasubramanian - page 92)


    The Tamil "Seikkilaar Puraanam" by the Meiyadiyaar Umapathi Sivaasaariyaar relates the story of the circumstances under which the Periyapurnam was composed by Sage/Poet Seikilaar based on the informations on the Naayanaars and Adiyaars given in the Sundaramoorthy Naayanaar's Thevarap Pathikam titled "Thiruththondar Thohai" and the Saiva Adiyar Nambiyaandaar Nambi's "Thiruththondar Thiruanthaathi".

    The ruling king of Chola Nadu the Kulothunga Chola - 2 (A.D.1133-1150) who became very absorbed in the study of the Jain Tamil Literary work titled the Seevaka Chinthamani. The Sage/Poet Seikilaar fearing that Kulothunga Chola will deviate from the traditional religion of the Chola kings of Saivaism and might change into Jainism, related the stories of the great Tamil Saiva Saints of the pre-medieval and medieval period Tamil Nadu to the Chola king.

    These stories absorbed the Chola king in a great way and requested Seikkilaar to compose a religios work on the history and the spiritual acheivements attained by the Tamil Saiva Saints of that period, which he did and ended up with composition of the "Thiruthondar Puraanam" also known as the "Periya Puraanam" relating the life of sixty three Tamil Saiva Saints.

    From the period of Rajaraja Chola - 1 onwards bronze icons and stone statues of the sixty three Tamil Saiva Saints were installed and venerated in many big and small Siva temples in Tamil Nadu and elsewhere. Special Poosai Valipaadukal were performed to the Saints especially during the annual temple festivals and on the days of the birth star of these Saints.

    Today Mayilaapur Kapaaleeswarem temple in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, is in the forefront among all the Siva temples, in their great veneration of the sixty three Tamil Saiva Saints, during their annual temple festival in the month of March/April, with special poosai valipaadukal and the processssion of these Saints each in a seperate "Sapparam", within the vicinity of the temple.


    This thread is to be further developed, perfected and corrections made where required by the Author

    Last edited by virarajendra; 28th March 2014 at 02:41 PM.

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    Humble request

    I have created a thread long back on 63 Gnyanmarkal , could this be merged into that


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    Anbumihu Thiru Rahu avarhalukku,

    I am very pleased to note your interest on the "63 - Saiva Naayanmaars" of Tamil Nadu, and also to know of your earlier Thread on same in this Forum, which I consider as a good contribution from your side.

    I suggest you revive this Thread and bring it forward where it will give more informations on the Naayanmaars to Readers, especially to the Tamil Saivites of Tamil Nadu and elseware, who are still not aware of the Tamil Saiva Naayanmaars and of their great Tamil Saiva Thirumuraihal, but only of the normal Archanaihal done in temples by priests, with Archanai prayers recited by them being in a language not understood by the Tamils.

    Also please note my Threads are primarily meant to give an awareness among the Readers on various Subjects, and allow those who are interested to discuss on same - to do so in the respective Threads among themselves, while saving my time for more new Threads on different subjects for the benefit of the Readers.

    While I thank you for your good intention of merging my Thread with yours for the benefit of the Readers, I prefer to leave same as it is, which is only a very brief introduction on the foregoing.

    Nantri - vanakkam

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    My reply to the response of Thiru Jimano in my thread titled "Tamil Naalaayira Thivya Pirapantham of the Tamil Vainava Saints (Aalvaars)" - is also posted under this Thread due to it's relevance to same.

    Dear Jimano repeating a section of your reply:

    "....The Guru-parampara Prabhavam states, that Madhura-kavi alvar, the disciple of Nammalvar, manifested before Nathamuni and told him that after Nammalvar left his body, the local orthodox community fearing that the study of the Tamil hymns would be detrimental to the Vedic religion, threw them into the river Tamraparani......"

    This has been the fate of the Tamil Saiva Thirumuraihal and Tamil Vainava Naalaayira Divya Pirapantham, due to the Sanskritisation of the Saivite & Vainava religions by the Vedic Priests from time to time in Tamil Nadu.

    The Tamil Vainava Adiyar Nathamuni heard some Sri Vainavas reciting few Tamil Vainava Aalvaar's songs, and with great desire for same had to go in search of their complete Paadalhal - as they were not freely available - which have been suppressed by the Priests promoting the Sanskrit Vedic religion as seen in the Guru-parampara Prabhavam

    Likewise the Chola Emperor Rajaraja Chola - 1 (A.D.985-1014) who is said to have accidently heard some Tamil Saiva Naayanmaar's songs, with much liking for same had to go in search of the complete lot of Tamil Saiva Naayanmaar's songs, and finally found a set of their Ola leaf copies kept in an old room in the Chithambaram Temple by the temple priests, which with their negligence resulted with many of the Ola leaves having perished beyond recovery. These have been earlier suppressed by the Chithambaram temple priests in preferance to the hyms of the Vedic Religion. It was the Nambiaandaar Nambi the Tamil Saiva Adiyaar, on the instructions of Rajaraja Chola - 1 recovered what was remaining, preserved and classified them into 7 - Thirumurais initially.

    We can clearly see the distinct periods of the Sanskritisation of the Saivite & Vainavite religions in Tamil Nadu from history.

    The first phase of Sanskritisation of the above religions in Tamil Nadu, took place during the Pallava period, who were strong followers of Vedic religion.

    Then much resistance to same was shown in the 7th and 8th centuries by the Saiva Naayanmaars and the Vainava Aalvaars who in many of their songs have repeatedly mentioned - their great pride in composing songs of Divine Praise on Siva and Vishnu in Tamil - in their Thirumuraihal and Divya Pirapantham.

    During the medieval Chola period this re-awakening received a further boost, but with a some resistance from the Vedic Priests. It was during this period the Thirumuraihal and the Divya Pirapantham Tamil Songs of Divine praise, were commenced to be sung in the Siva and Vishnu Temples in Tamil Nadu by Othuvaars and Araiyars.

    The second phase of Sanskritisation of the Tamil Nadu Temples took place with the beginning of the Naayakkar rule, who were again great promoters of Vedic Religion.

    During this period the Othuvaars & Araiyars were gradually moved out from the Temples of Tamil Nadu, with the Tamil - Thirumurai & Divya Pirapandam songs too gradually loosing their usage in these temples. The Tamil - Saivite and Vainavite Priests were replaced by Vedic Priests. The Temples were given Sanskrit names as against their original Tamil Names, and the presiding Deities in these temples too likewise were given Sanskrit names in place of their Tamil Names. Even some of the "place names" where these temples are situated, were also changed from Tamil to Sanskrit.

    Further many Thalapuranams too were created in Sanskrit, with new "mythological" stories on the respective Thalams with Vedic background as against their Tamil - Saivite and Vainavite background, and in some cases the Tamil translations of same too came out subsequently.

    The Tamil - Saivites and Vainavites of this century should make efforts to Tamilise all forms of religious worship and rituals in all Siva & Vishnu Temples in Tamil Nadu, and give the Tamil Language it's due place of pride in these Temples.

    In these temples where the Tamils of Tamil Nadu go today for their Divine worship - the Temple Priests themselves should on their own come forward to conduct all forms of worship, poosai and other valipaaduhal entirely in Tamil, giving the due place to the Tamil - Thirumuraihal and Naalaayira Divya Pirapantham, complete with the re-introduction of the Othuvaar and Araiyar systems in these temples.
    Last edited by virarajendra; 26th December 2011 at 06:19 PM.

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    In the Tamil Nadu - Schools & Colleges, arrangements should be made by the Tamil Nadu Education Ministry, to make "Religious Studies" a compulsory Subject in their Educational Curriculam from UKG to PUE Level.

    Students of each Religious Group in these Schools & Colleges - should be made to study the Philosophy & Practice of their own Religions to infuse more spiritual outlook in their daily lives, and mould them into a well disciplined, humane, clear thinking personalities, and also for them to become more caring and helpful to the fellow human-beings in the society.

    The study of the Philosophy & Practice by the students of the respective Religious Groups, leads them to realise the truth that there is an Almighty known as the "God Supreme" (common to all Religions) who controls all the creations in this World, and to receive his Grace through the guidance of the Philosophy and Practices of their own Religions, and to lead the present life "free from" mental & physical sufferings stemmed from their past sins, by receiving his salvation by their intense worship to him, and be blessed with a happy & peaceful life, having good health and sufficient wealth - for their sustenance - during their lifetime in this world

    Accordingly the "Tamil Saivite" Students should be taught the "Tamil Saivaism" - with the study of "Tamil Thirumuraihal", the "Tamil Mei-arivu Mudivu Nookal", the Life Histories of "Tamil Saiva - Naayanmars & Adiyars" as stipulated in the Periya-puranam, and "Tamil Thirukkural" (the Tamil treatise on the Code of Ethics - common to all Religions) - to mould them in this direction.

    Trust this prime necessity - for the welfare of the younger generations of Tamil Nadu, will receive the great patronge of the Tamil Nadu Education Ministry.

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    brought forward

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