14 Meykanda Sastras

14 Meykanda Sastras
The philosophy of Saiva religion is Saiva Siddhantam. Siddhantam means the ultimate truth. Elements of Siddhanta philosophy are seen scattered in Vedas, particularly the Vedantas, Agamas, early Tamil works and devotional hymns of Thirmular, Karaikkaal Ammaiyar, the four Samayacharyas int the early period but it was Saint Meikandar of the 13th century who codified these philosophical thoughts and gave them a shape as a logical system.
When over emphasis came to be laid on Sanskrit works with the various commentaries on the Brahma sutras, Meykandar of the early 13th century came on the scene like the rising Sun. He produced the basic work on Saiva Siddhanta known as Sivajnana Bodham of 12 sutras of 40 lines. This work is considered as the primary text of Saiva Siddhanta philosophy.
He pioneered the holy line of the preceptors called the Saiva Santanacharyas who produced great philosophic works in Tamil by way of elucidation of Sivajnana Bodham and preserved the traditional religious practices.


Sivagnana Bodham --Meykandar --12 sutras
Sivagnana Siddhiar --Arulnandi Sivachariyar --729
Irupa Irupakthu --Arulnandi Sivachariyar --20 verses
Thiruvunthiyar --Thiruviyalur Uyya Vantha Thevanayanar --45
Thirukalitruppadiyar --Thirukadavur Uyya Vantha Thevanayanar --100 venbas
Unmai Vilakkam --Thiruvadhigai Manavasagamkadanthar --54 venbas
Sivapragasam --Umapathi Sivam --100 viruthams
Thiruvarutpayan --Umapathi Sivam --100 kural venbas
Vina Venba --Umapathi Sivam --13 venbas
Potrip pakkrodai --Umapathi Sivam --190 lines
Kodikkavi --Umapathi Sivam --4
Nenju Vidu Thootu --Umapathi Sivam --129 double lines
Unmai Neri Vilakkam --Umapathi Sivam --6 verses
Sankalpa Nirakaranam --Umapathi Sivam --61 lines

Brief Life history of Saint Meykandar
The story of Meykandar commences even before his birth. Achyutha Kalappalar, a devotee of Thirupennagadam was childless. He sought advice from his guru, Sagalagama Pandithar. He referred to Thiruvengadu pathigam of St Thirunganasambanthar’s Thevaram.
“Peyadaya pirivu eithum, pillaiyinodu ullam ninaivu
Aayineve varam peruvar, aiyura venda ondrum,
Veyane thol umai panggan venkaattu mukkla neer,
Thoivinaiyaar avar thammait thoyavaam theevinaiye

The verse of St Thirunganasambanthar declared that one who bath (mukkulam) and worshipped the Lord of Thiruvengadu, would have all his wishes fulfilled including the birth of a son.
In due time a son was born for Achuyutha Kalappalar’s wife and was named Svethavanaperumal. He was brought up in his uncle’s house in Thiruvennainallur. Paranjothi munivar, a descendant of Kailayaparambarai saw the boy. He initiated the boy and imparted to him the divine instruction gave him the name Meykandar.
The word Meykandar means One who has realised the Truth. ‘Meykandar’ is the Tamil rendering of Paranjothi Munivar’s guru Satyangana Dharsinigal. The boy performed his tapas and gave the basic doctrines of Saiva Siddhantha in 12 Sutras named Sivanganabotham ( the knowledge of Sivanganam ). Many people who had the interest in knowing the truth ( the seekers ) gathered around St Meykandar and cleared their dobts. Sakalagama pandhitar with superiority complex came to test Meykandar’s course of spiritual instruction. Meykandar was told to define ‘Anavam’ which is the ignorance (impurity) that is enveloping the soul. Meykandar withot any hesitation pointed at Sagalagama pandithar himself to answer the question.
Realising the ignorance, he prostated at the feet of Meykandar and requested him to be admitted as one of his disciple. ( Old man became a disciple for a young man – Lord Dakshinamoorthy )

Sivanganabotham
Sivanganabotham is a work in 12 sutras, 40 lines which comprise 216 words. Thus it can be seen, the work is small but the greatness is indeed immeasurable with meanings stretches to infinity.
Written by St Meykandar is in four sections-each section having three sutras under it. Each sutra formulated a fundamental philosophic truth from the point of Saiva Siddhanta and the formulation is such as to imply two or three vital issues arising from the standpoint of the other schools of thought, then final decisions on them.
Meykandar has structured it and subdivides it under several sections called Adhikaranas. Each Adhikaranam has 3 limbs namely i) The proposition – Merkoll ii) The reason – Yetu iii) Illustration – Udharanam.
Each of these issues forms the basis for separate discussion and the discussion that centres on a particular issue is called ‘Adhikaranam’.
The controversy of opinion still exist on the originality of the text. Some scholars argue that the twelve sutras are from Raurava agama in Sanskrit while some say the works are Tamil origin.
The purpose of Sivanganabotham is to present the synthesis of truth contained in the four Vedas and twenty eight Saivagamas. The aim of this work is to prove the excellence of the Siddhanta philosophy.
It should be noted that Meykandar’s philosophy is called ‘Suddhadvaitham’ as against Kevaladvaitham (monoism) by Sankara. Now there are several monasteries dedicated to spread Meykandar’s system from this great work.
The way in which Meykandar discusses the word ‘Advaita’ in Sivanganabotham is thought provoking and subtle Advaita means ‘Non-different’. Meykandar cites relationship between the body and soul. The soul identifies itself with God as to be one though both of them are substantially different.
Sivangana Swamigal, the great commentator of this work says in his Bhasyam, “ This work investigates the contents of the Path of Divine wisdom expounded in the Agamas, it’s purpose is to clarify matter that appears to be confusing and to show the synthsis of truth as it is contained in the Agamas themselves”.
To briefly outline the points discussed in this text:
Siva is the supreme Creator, Protector and Destroyer of the universe which is an effect; He absorbs the already existing universe and then creates it and hence this universe has Siva as its source.
Siva performs all His acts – in close association with His Supreme power called Sakthi – which is non different from Him and does not exist separate from Him.
A conscious agent, the individual self, exists separately from the body-mind complex and has the continuous experience in all the states – waking, dream, deep sleep, hyper sleep and beyond. ( Jakartham, Soppanam, Susupthi, Thuriyam and Thuriyadeetham )
The self in close association with the internal organ, the mind, experiences five states of consciousness, its innate power of knowledge and action is very much restricted by ‘Mala’ – the impurity which exists in association with the self since the beginningless time.
Siva is the supreme Agent, the driving force behind all the acts of the self. On the account He neither undergoes any change nor experiences pleasure or pain. For, He performs all acts jst as the magnet activates the iron kept in its proximity without getting affected in anyway.
Siva is neither perceivable objectively by the self ( through the sense organ ) nor completely imperceptible. He is to be realised as different from both in one’s own inner self.
The material world which is inert does not shine in the presence of Siva who is supreme consciousness; nor does Siva ‘know’ it objectively as He is all knowing and omnipresent. Therefore only the individual self knows both Siva and the world of matter.
The self overpowered by the sense organs completely forgets its real nature. The preceptor (Guru) by appropriate spiritual instructions frees it from the clutches of sense organs and thereby makes it realise its actual natre which is non-difference from Siva.
Realising Siva at the highest level of its innermost consciousness and abandoning its association with the fleeting world of matter the self meditates on the holy Panchakshara Mantra
Such a realised self fully conscious of his union with Siva and existing completely under Siva’s control becomes free from all impurities.
Just as the self makes the eyes see so also Siva makes the self see; in other words, the self perceives by the help of Siva. Therefore the self should be devoted to Siva; its supreme bene-factor.
To attain to the state of liberation the self may resort to holy men, wear their attire and serve in the temples of Siva.

Sivagnana Siddhiar
Arulnandi Sivachariyar or Sakalagama Pandithar was the second great of the four Saiva Santhanachariyas out of 49 disciples of St Meykandar. He is the author of Sivangana Siddhiar; the biggest of the fourteen sastras. He is also an author of another sastra called “Irupa Irupathu”
Sivagnana Siddhiar comprises of two parts; Parabakkam and Subakkam. The former enunciating and criticizing the doctrine of twelve alien systems and the latter treating in detail the principles of Saiva Siddhanta. It follows the methods of Sivanganabotham in exponding clearly in Siddhanta truths.
Parabakkam contains refutation of not less than fourteen systems, including those which accepts the Vedas and those which do not. The Supakkam is a very clear and logical statement of the Siddhanta view point and classification of doubts. A careful study of the Supakkam and Parapakkam will itself constitute a liberal and fruitful comparative study of all the Indian Systems. The famous commentaries in Tamil is by the great Sivangana Swamigal and in Sanskrit by
It is to be noted here that Arulnandi Sivachariyar had an advantageous position to use the science of epistemology ( Alavai iyal ) in exposition of Siddhantic doctrines.
The epistemological section of the Siddhiar is known as ‘Alavai’ literally that which is known by measurement. We measure and know the several materials things by counting them or weighing them or by finding their volume or length. So also, we must find out by what means, we can get valid knowledge of the three eternal categories, pati, pasu and pasam.
Sivagra Yogi, a commentor of Sivagnanabotham in 16th Century says; ‘To interpret the verses of Siddhiar properly, we had to depend on laws and rules acceptable to reason and logic as set in the Alavai’

Irupa Virupathu
This work contains twenty verses, ten as Venbas and ten as Agavals and is truly a work of puzzles and riddles. One should take up this work only when convinced that all the other 13 sastras has been mastered. The question raised here are truly mind-boggling. The answers are no dobt contained in the work yet it is not easy to be discovered. The message is ‘Every problem contained the solution in itself’
The problem raised in this work are in reference to the characteristics and mutal relations of Pathi, Pasu and Pasam. Arulnandi Sivachariyar wants his Guru to clear the presence of delusion in him, even after going through the Njana Diksha ( initiation into True Knowledge ).
A careful reading of this work will show how devoted Arulnandi Sivachariyar to his guru. For St Arulnandi, Meykandar was Lord Siva Himself. The first verse of the work is as follows:
“ He is Meykandar of Vennainalloor; concealing
His eye in the forehead and the blue tint in His throat,
He had come forth to quell the malas of the people
On this earth poised in devotion, if people chant
His name even once, they can feel in the core
Of their heart their non-seperateness from Him”

Saiva Siddhanta affirms that souls are non-separate from Siva in their advaitic union. “Verinmai” is the phrase used by author to denote the non-dualistic.
The work opens with a portion called “Pathi Iyalpu”; the nature of Siva. This dwells on the concept of God according to Saiva Siddhanta.
This is followed by Pasu Iyalpu;
“ O Meykanda Deva! If both knowledge and ignorance
Co-exist, am I a knowledgeable person or an ignorance,
What can I say of me? What is my true state?
Pray enlighten me, after due investigation.”

The soul is not all knowing like Siva or it is totally ignorant like pasam. It cannot by itself know bt it can learn if instructed. As both knowledge and ignorance co-exist in the soul it is called Sat-Asat and Chit-Achit.
Verse 4 deals with Pasa Iyalbu; Ananvam, Kanmam and Mayai constitute Pasam.
“ O supreme teacher, when you taught me of the nature of three categories
You spoke about Anavam, Mayai and Kanmam
The qualities of Anava malam is eight; they being 1. Viyarpam ( state which the soul imagines that it is superior to all others; 2) Karpam ( ever busy proposing);
3) Krodam ( anger); 4) Moham (hankering after delusive things;
5) Kolai ( murder); 6)Agnyar (sorrowing when experiencing misery
7) Matham (pride and erogance through speech and action
8) Nagai ( insulting or jeering at men and things)”

The seven qualities of Maya are:
1) Anyanam ( failure to judge between true and false elements)
2) Poi ( falsehood)
3) Ayarvu ( forgetfulness and depression due to it)
4) Moham ( interest and attachment to baseless things)
5) Paisasooniyam (determination and evil desire to have and get more)
6) Maarchariyam ( jealousy)
7) Bhayam ( needless fear of things)

The seven qualities of Kanma Malam are:
1) Irutthal (being lazy in places)
2) Kidatthal ( being in disease)
3) Iruvinai Iyatral ( doing good and bad deeds)
4) Vidutthal ( staying away from worldly commitments- “happy go lucky)
5) Paraninthai ( negative statements about others)
6) Meval ( doing baseless things and being with unwanted men)

“These three malas, inseparably connected with me, drag me in their course, ply me in their ways, overwhelm me and cause me misery in manifold ways”
Verse 5 deals with Pasa Darisanam; verse 6 deals with Pas Darisanam
Verse 7 deals with the natre of Avastas – the states experienced by souls. They being, waking, dream state, deep sleep, the state of temporary loss of consciousness and the state beyond; the condition of protracted loss of consciousness ( Jakartham or Nanavu nilai, Soppanam or Kanavu nilai, Susupthi or Urakka nilai, Thuriyam or Perurakka nilai and Thuriyadeetham or Uyirpadakka nilai ).
Verse 8 deals with Nature of Souls; the problem relating to the existence of the soul.
Verse 9 explains Thuriya state ( Perurakkam )
Verse 10 deals with Removal of Pasam
Verse 11 deals with Souls attachement with ignorance
Verse 12 is the nature of soul’s union
Verse 13 is bodily existence ( is the body true or false)
Verse 14 deals with Karma and its bondage
Verse15 deals with Soul’s connection with Karma
Verse 16 explains the importance of experiencing the Karma by the soul.
Verse 17 deals with the subject matter of How grace is granted ( Uyirum Thiruvarulum)
Verse 18 deals with God’s interaction with Souls and His grace on soul.
Verse 19 explains the retrieval of the soul from its oceanic misery fed by Righteous deeds ( punniyam) and Deeds of sin ( paava seyal )
Verse 20 celebrates the conferment of eternal bliss ( thiruvarul paalitthal )

Thiruvunthiyar
This sastra was composed by Uyyavantha Deva Nayanar of Thiruviyalur ( near Thiruvidaimaruthur) about the middle of the 12th century. It is a small work of fourty five triplets dealing with the side of spiritual experience resulting from the pursuit of Siddhantha.
The term Thiru means holy or beautiful, and Unthi is said to signify a kind of game, where an object is thrown up and played. The word Thiruvuntiyar refers to a poem which is a call and advice by the poet to his fellowmen at play in the holy game of samsara to look up to the one way of attaining salvation.

This work and Thirukkalitruppadiyar by Thirukadavur Uyyavantha Deva Nayanar are works before the time of Meykandar. It is included in the 14 Sastras of Meykandar. Thirukkalitruppadiyar is the elaborated version of Thiruvuntiyar. The period of these two works are said to be after the period of Samayakkuravargal and before the period of St Meykandar.

Thirukalitruppadiyar
This work consist 100 venbas or verses by Thirukkadavur Uyyavantha Deva Nayanar who is said to be the disciple of Alavantha Deva Nayanar of Thiruvisalur; who is a disciple of Thiruviyalur Uyyavantha Deva Nayanar’s disciple.
Thirukkadavur Uyyavantha Deva Nayanar received the full teachings of Thiruvunthiyar from his master alavantha Devar and produced this work. The subject matter of this work is the same as the work of Thiruvunthiyar but here in Thirukalitruppadiyar it is more in detail and elaborated.
It is said that the author, in expectation of divine recognition, had placed this compilation of work on the beautiful sculpture of an elephant in front of Lord Nadaraja in Chitsabha of Chidambaram temple. The sculpture raised its trunk, took the work and placed it at the ‘gold’ feet of Lord Nadaraja. This miracle was witness by name at the spot. Thus the name Thirukalitruppadiyar, which means; placed on the seat of an elephant sculpture which then placed at the Holy feet of Lord.
This books seeks to justify under certain condition and deserves special analysis in the ethical part of Siddhantha. This book is useful as containing a daring conception of a standard of mortality in its solution of the problem of existence.

Unmai Vilakkam
The work Unmai Vilakkam ( Light on Reality ), by Manavasakam Kadanthar of Thiruvathigai; one of the 49 disciple of St Meykandar. Manavasagam Kadanthar means “ He has transcended Manam as well as words”. This name was perhaps the name given by his guru. Not mch is known about the personal life of the author. The author was not recognised as one of the four Santana Charyas. This we affirm, in no way detracts from his glory. He ia a saint in his own right.
His work is a basic text of Saiva Siddhanta. Simplicity and clarity are the characteristics of this work. A proper cultivation of this work will stand the student in good stead.
Unmai Vilakkam is a form of questions by author to his guru Meykandar. Like Irupa Virupathu of Arulnandi Sivam, this work is also in the form of questions and answers. Manavasagam Kadanthar has brought out in 53 verses or Venbas, the main points of Saiva Siddhanta. It is usual to start this book before going on to study Sivanganabotham, The Sivangana Siddhiar and Sivaprakasam. Thus the Unmai Vilakkam is the primer of Saiva Siddhanta.
Invocation ( Kaappu )
The first verse of the work is as follows “ The Agamas contain the liberating message. The work Unmai Vilakkam should have written in conformity with the Agamas. For this, the writer must have the blessing of Lord Vinayaka. The complexion of Vinayaka is reddish like the evening sky. He has the tusked mouth and the pot belly and five arms”.
The Seeking of Guru’s Grace ( Guru Muthalvarai Venduthal )
The work comprises of 53 verses and the first is invocatory in nature. Verses 2 to 53 form the content of the work. Request to Guru – “ O My Sat Guru, who resides in Thiruvennainallur, who has seen the Truth and the embodiment of Truth, who points out the false hoods, removes false knowledge and shows us the Truth, which is Sat, Chit and Anandam; here are my doubts. Kindly listen to them and clear my doubts”.

The question that covers this work are:
a) What are the thirty six tattvas?
b) What is meant by Anavam?
c) What is Karma?
d) Who am I, who appears to be not different from the above mentioned three?
e) Who are You? ( what is God / Guru )
f) What are the five fold acts of Siva; the significance of Lord Nadaraja?
g) What is the meaning of the Panchaksara or five letters?
h) What is Mukthi?
These are my questions Sat Guru ! Kindly let me know the answers.
Guru replied ( Aasiriyar Isaintharulal )
“ O My Son who is immersed in Sivananda yoga, I shall tell you the truths as given graciously by Lord Siva Himself in clear terms in the great Agamas.”
The 36 tattvas – It is a truth to say that almost all the faiths that are Indian in origin, are built on the base of Tattvas. Saivism has 36 tattvas in its doctrine. Other faiths do not cover all the 36 tattvas. A few are left out of account, which clearly indicates their incompleteness.
Tattvas according to Saiva Siddhanta are evolutes of Mayaa malam. Thirumoolar says; “ Six times six are the number of the tattvas for good and great Saivites. Tattvas are said to be in ninety six in numbers but the main tattvas are only thirthy six, the rest are subordinate tattvas.
1. Five bhoothas (elements) and their forms, colours and letters representing them, their symbols and function of each Presiding diety. -The body which the soul gets as a results of past karma is made of these Bhoothas.
2. Thanmathirai - The Five sense objects ( Pulan ). The five illusory sense objects of sound, touch, sight, taste and smell.
3. Gnanendriyas or sense organs – Senses for knowledge; the ear, skin, eyes, the tongue and nose. These are instruments of knowledge.
4. Kanmendriyas or instruments of action – The vocal chord, feet, hands, anus and the genital organs.
5. The Antahkaranas or inner instruments – Manam, Buddhi, Ahankaram and Chittam. Their functions respectively are; to conceive, to judge, to will and to reflect.
5 Bhoothas + 5 Thanmathirai + 5 Gnanendriyas + 5 Kanmendriyas + 4 Andhakaranas = AANMA TATTVAS or Prakrithi Maya Tattvas and the presiding deity of these tattvas is Sri Kandar.
The Vidya tattvas
1. Kalam ( time )
2. Niyathi ( order or rules )
3. Kalai ( activates kriya sakthi of the soul )
4. Viddhai ( activates the Njana sakthi of the soul )
5. Aragam ( activates the Iccha sakthi of the soul )
6. Purudan ( Kalam+Niyathi+Kalai+Viddhai+Aragam) = Pancha kanchukas
7. Mayai ( Asuddha Mayai )
The Siva tattvas
1. Siva Tattvam
2. Satthi Tattvam
3. Sadasiva Tattvam
4. Iswara Tattvam
5. Suddha Viddhai Tattvam
24 Aanma Tattvas + 7 Vidya Tattvas + 5 Siva Tattvas = 36 Tattvas.

Sivapragasam
Umapathi Sivam, the 4th in the lineage of Phura Santanakuravar; is a dikshitar of Chidambaram temple and a disciple of Marainyana Sambanthar. He had received many awards and government recognition during the era of Chola kings. This great saint has done eight works in Meykanda sastras called the Siddhanta Attagam. The following eight sastras are the works of Umapathi Sivam.
The other works of him includes Koilpuranam, Thiruthondapuranam Saaram, Thirumuraikanda Puranam, Thirupatigakovai explaining about 274 saiva temples and number of thevaram sung in these temples etc.
The verse or Naaval Thuthi “Pooliyarkon vepolittha..” sung by Othuvar murthigal before singing thevaram was also made by Umapathi Sivam. During the Thiruvathirai festival, he sung Kodikkavi and raised the flag.
He initiated ( Nyana abhishegam ) Arulnamachivayar from Kotravankudi and attained Sivapatham in the month of Chittirai, Hastam nakshatra.
Umapathi Sivam has been able to summarise the substance of saiva siddhanta philosophy in one hundred stanzas in Sivapragasam. The work starts with preface of stanzas dedicated for Lord Nadaraja, Goddess Sivagamiyammai of Thillai, Lord Vinayaga and Lord Muruga. The lineage of Kailayaparambarai and author’s guru Marainyana Sambanthar has been mentioned in the following stanzas.
The work describing the nature of Saiva Siddhantha is remarkably comprehensive. According to Saiva Siddhantha philosophy, the soul in the state of mukthi, identifies itself with Siva as it had indentified itself with anava mala at the earlier stage as ‘sakala’. In this stage the soul merges with Siva but without losing its individuality.
It is neither a state of becoming one nor a state of remaining as two but a state of not being two in view of close communion with Siva ( Advaita ). This is expressed in Sivapragasam Sutra 10.
Three different types of soul which are Vinganakalar Aanmas, Pralayakalar Aanmas and Sakalar Aanmas are explained together with the different ways of “Deekkai’.
The 1st sutras further explains the nature of God, purpose of forms of God and the Aintholil or the five functions.
The 2nd sutra elaborates the impurity Anavam, Mayai and Karmam. He explains how this body is obtained through the grace of God based on our Karma. The 36 tattvas are also explained further in this sutras.
The 3rd Sutra explains about the nature of souls, its intelligence and characteristics.
The 4th sutra explains the soul of Kevalam, Sakala and Suddha in the waking, dream, deep sleep, hyper sleep and beyond. ( Jakartham, Soppanam, Susupthi, Thuriyam and Thuriyadeetham )
The 5th sutra explains the realization for souls and its capabilities to know when it is taught.
The 6th, 7th and 8th sutra gives further elaboration about Nyanam ( Knowledge or Wisdom ) for the soul, the nature of Nyanam, its functions and benefits for the soul.
The 9th sutra explains why the intention of souls who obtained Siva’s grace wants to be as equal to Lord Siva ( Sivasamavathigal) in performing the five functions is not appropriate and not logical.
The 10th, 11th and 12th sutras explains the process of the soul attaining realisation and liberated from anavam and kanmam impurities. Here author also explains the greatness of Panjakshara and how it has an impact on souls when it is being recited.

Thiruvarutpayan
Umapathi Sivam after composing Sivapragasam; wrote Thiruvarutpayan to give a better understanding to Sivapragasam. Scholars used to comment that while Sivapragasam is a ship meant to sail across the seas of birth, the Thiruvarutpayan is the navigator of the ship. One should have the knowledge of Thiruvarutpayan for having better understanding of Sivapragasam.
Umapathi Sivam composed this work in ‘Kural Venbas’ form, the method used by Thiruvalluvar in Thirukkural. The Thiruvarutpayan contains ten chapters or ‘Adhikaram’ and each having ten couplets, thus forming a hundred kural verses in total.
It is a difficult task to compose a highly philosophical content in a very short form of couplet. However this great saint has done the job in an excellent way. The special preface of this work mentionds:
The inner idea of the famous Sivanganabodham,
The extention of the bright idea of Sivangana Siddhiar,
Having in mind the endless miseries of the people
Dwelling in dry terrain with bewilderment like myself,
He composed this work out of great love.

It is also said that Thiruvarutpayan had stood as companion to Thiruvalluvar’s work. Among the 14 Sastras, Thiruvarutpayan has secured the eighth place and those who learn Saiva Siddhantha should first learn Unmai Vilakkam and proceed to Thiruvarutpayan.
The first five chapters of the ten tells us the nature of the grace of the Almighty and the second five tells us the way of getting the grace.
1- PATHI MUDHUNILAI – The Supreme State of Almighty
This chapter consisting ten couplets tells the nature of Pathi, the state of Almighty. The Almighty exist everywhere. The Ommipresent nature includes the four characteristics. Being the guardian of all, Having the purest body ( Thirumeni ), Being naturally free from all bondages and Having infinite power. This couplet further adds the Almighty will stand as Wisdom which includes the following qualities. Having the total consciousness and boundless grace. The Almighty remains in eternal bliss. The Almighty is full and fractionless and He along with ‘Sakthi’ bestows His fullness to all souls. He is free from all worldly dirts, not having births and deaths. Thus He is called Ninmalan.
The essence of the first couplet, the vowel ‘A’ combines with several consonants and make them useful. God also acquaints with soul and amke their lives useful and prominent. This ‘A’ is a basic letter and without it there is no activity or language. Thus the prominence of Lord is compared to the first vowel in Tamil. He activates living and non living and He ishaving the fullest knowledge of all things existing and so Umapathi Sivam tells that He stands “ Arivaagi” ( as wisdom)
“Agara uyirpol arivaagi engum
nigarilirai nirtkum nirainthu”

2- UYIRAVAI NILAI – The State of Numerous Souls
Souls are innumerable. The assembly of souls is mentioned here as ‘Avai’. The collection or good number of souls is called as ‘Uyir Avai’ by St Gnanasambanthar. According to Saiva Siddhanta each body housed with one soul and each soul is different from another. How many souls would have got salvation in the world? Umapathi Sivam says;
The number of salvaged souls and to be salvaged
Will be equal to the number of days so far gone and to be gone


The three kinds of souls are also mentioned in this part. Those who have Anavam, Kanmam and Maya are called “Sakalars” and those with having only two, Anavam and Kanmam is called “ Pralayakalar” and those with only one that is Anavam is called “ Vinyanakalar”

The souls intelligence and capabilities were explained in the following couplets. The soul is like a stone without any wisdom because of the influences of Anava. Then how does the soul relieve itself from the births and deaths occurring continuously? Because of the endless grace, the Almighty provides a body to the soul through Maya and enhances the knowledge of the soul.

3- IRULMALA NILAI – The State of Darkening by Ego
The ego or Anavam which is called the natural ‘dirt’ or impurity to the soul is with the soul from very early times. The Anava dirt could not be wiped out completely but only with the grace of Almighty it could be possible. In this third chapter, St Umapathi Sivam describes how anava dirt prevents the soul from joining the feet of the Almighty.
The grief of birth, the eternal bliss and
The Almighty all these three could not be said non existing

The author through this couplet insists that we have to realize three things existing.
i. The grief caused by the karma which occurs in every birth ii. The eternal bliss which is to be achieved when the soul gets emancipation. iii. The Almighty which stands to redeem the soul from the disastrous desire.
People may say that all these three are not existing but only an imagination. But in truth; the level of Anava in them has brought them to a state of this thinking.
The soul which is in the grip of Anava gradually gets the light of the Almighty and slowly redeems itself from the cluthes of Anava darkness. If the soul does not realize the gracious light of the God, it will never get free from the bondage.
Until the day dawns, the light assists;
So also the Maya and alike assist the soul.

In this last couplet of this chapter, author describes how the maya and other things help the soul to salvation.

4- ARULATHU NILAI – The State of Grace
In this fourth chapter author explains how the Almighty’s grace removes the Anava and redeems the soul from birth.
Like how a man needs food when he is hungry and needs water when he is thirsty, only when God’s grace is needed to the soul to release from evil of birth, only then the grace will befall on him.
Grace is ‘Sakthi’. It never parts Sivam. It is related to all souls. It connects souls with all dirts, makes the soul to enjoy and experience the world by pleasure thus keeping it in a bounded state. But the same Sakthi gradually removes all the attachments and makes the soul fit for emancipation.
Sakthi which hides itself in the soul, induces the Anava to act. As the Anava dirt is ignorant in nature it will not act itself. Sakthi makes it to work.
Here a question rises; Why Sakthi makes Anava to work? The Anava dirt acts, and made to act because it should be weaken by working. The soul with its experience should realise that it should free from Anava.
The souls are in the domain of the Lord. He lives with the souls. But the egoistic self does not allow the souls to think of the Almighty. What does the soul have as a qualification to acquire ‘Mukthi’. It had been with the grace of God from the time of its origin but not realizing it. So it is not justifiable for liberation in origin state.
5- ARUL URU NILAI – The State of the Form of the Grace of Almighty
Souls are blinded by worldly material pleasures. Life is spend acquiring these baseless things which will not be with the souls as eternal. The body is given to soul through Maya. The inner and outer senses and organs control the soul and the soul does not realize that it is bounded by this Maya which are infact helping the soul to have God’s grace.
To be free from these bindings, one should have wisdom or Nyana which will wipe out the ignorance. Only Lord Siva can bestow the wisdom and this chapter explains it in detail.
To achieve wisdom, the soul should have a matured state. Till the Anava dirt is strong and holds the soul in its way, it could not think of wisdom. The ego should diminish, the soul must get out of its binding and only then the grace of Almighty will befall on the soul and can be experienced by it. This state when soul directs its intention towards the grace of Almighty is called ‘Sakthinipatham’.
Will one outside the house, realize the disease of one in the house.
Like that Lord only knows the suffering of the soul.

The Lord lives with the soul. Yet the soul does not know that He will redeem the soul from the disease. The soul wanders to get knowledge from all other sources which could not afford to grant real wisdom.

Author also has mentioned about Guru being a ‘tool’ for Almighty to impart the wisdom. The Anava dirt conceals the vision of the soul and makes it unable to identify Guru and the wisdom to be imparted by him. The Anava has caused a spiritual ignorance.

6- ARIYUM NERI – The Method of Acquiring the Grace
Here in this chapter author explains God’s grace under the influence of a spiritual teacher or Guru. The spiritual teacher will make the soul to get three benefits i. Liberation from worldly bindings ii. Acquiring grace iii. The eternal pleasure.
When the soul is guided by the spiritual teacher, it will come out of the delusion caused by Maya. In the light of grace provided to him; he will realize Siva. Finally he gets released from the life and death cycle. Umapathi Sivam has also explained the gains of soul that comes under the influence of the spiritual teacher.
When the two folds karma is balanced,
The soul is possible to attain the grace of God

The karma is endless. As the soul is in the influence of Anava, it goes on doing good and evil deeds, the result of which is Karma following the soul birth after birth.

When Anava is reduced, the soul gets a balanced out look of life. It considers the pleasure and pain as equal because the soul understands that this is nothing but an effect of Karma’s work in action. Such state is called ‘equalizing the two fold karma’ or Iruvinai oppu.

For attaining the above, one should have the knowledge of the six matters which are imperishable.
The one Almighty, multifarious souls, Anava, Karma
Pure and impure Maya are the six imperishable.

The soul’s connection with Pathi and Pasa is explained further in this chapter and also the involvement of soul with Karma.

The soul always stays in the influence of the senses. It goes in the way shown by the senses. As these senses are the product of Maya, they could not lead to a better destination. So first of all the soul should realize that it should keep off the senses and not to see things through them, then ignorance will not be with the soul.

7- UYIRIN VILAKKAM – The Description of the Soul
This chapter deals entirely about soul. The body, senses and other organs and things we experienced are all assisted by Maya.

Author explains the function of body and organs while being in conscious state and in ‘sleep’ state. When the senses are fully functioning to achieve knowledge, it is called the ‘Sakala’ state and when in a non functioning state it is called ‘Kevala’ state.
Even in conscious state, forgetfulness, illusion and inactiveness bind the soul and keep it in ignorance.
After receiving the teachings from the spiritual guru, the soul may think of the senses different from it. In such a state the soul gets the dharsan of the Almighty but not in a state of complete clarity. In this state the soul is not entirely relieved from the clutches of the senses and other organs. When the soul engages itself in continuous contemplation then it makes its dependence totally on Lord Siva.

Even the sweet milk turns bitter by the
tongue of a diseased, it turns sweet when the body is cured


Even the God’s grace, which is sweet in nature like that of milk may appear having a bitter quality. It is not the milk’s fault or the Almighty’s fault. When we are in illusion, under the influence of Maya; it is quite natural that we do not understand the true qualities of things. In a darkened situation, the soul when completely prevented from getting accession to Lord Siva, it is not able to get free from the ignorance.

Sees all things inlight, But thinks not of the
light; He thinks that only he has seen; it is really a pity state.


When the soul began to know things, it may think that its capacity is of its own. This is because the Anava or self ego has not been fully contained. This state of soul is pointed out by Umapathi Sivam as Really pitiable ( Veen pavam ). In such a state the soul may think “I am Brahman”. This is an initial state before proceeding towards true wisdom.

8- INBURU NILAI – The Method of Soul Attaining Eternal Bliss
When the souls attain maturity they with all humility and having the ego contained in them, follow the gracious light of the Lord that leads to immense pleasure. But when maturity had not been attained, the souls go before the light and experience the darkness and could not find out the grace of Lord.
The author also had use worldly sexual pleasures as a simile to describe the eternal pleasure. This is a conventional method to make the human beings understand the Lord’s grace.
Without death and birth yourself and myself,
To merge into a single and enjoy the eternal bliss.

The soul unites itself with Siva. The soul and God are not one; if they are then there is no need for unity. If they are two then there cannot be unity. So in ‘Mukthi’ the soul without making itself one with the God and without being separated frim it; experiences the pleasure. In this couplet, author refutes the ‘Ekanma Vadham’ and the dual concept. The soul never becomes one with Siva nor stands separated from it. They are like salt and water from ocean. They are different but mingles together.

9- AINTHELUTTHU ARUL NILAI – The Method of The Five Letter Mantra
In this chapter many rare and abstract facts about ‘Panchatchara’ are given in detail. This chapter briefs how the five letters when chanted, brings good to mankind.
The Vedas and agamas, and all the other works that speaks of the Almighty are defining the five lettered mantra. These five letters contains all the essence of the teachings and preachings of the holy texts.
10- ANAINTHOR THANMAI – The Emancipated Souls Way of Life.
In the Suddha state the soul experiences the Karma and Anava becomes weak and finally it gets released from the three dirts. Then the soul with no interruption unites with the Lord and experiences boundless pleasure.
This state of meditation gives extreme pleasure to the soul. The person who attains such meditation ( Niddhai) are called ‘Jeevan Mukthas’. They reach the feet of Lord along with their physical bodies. This chapter describes the qualities of Jeevan Mukthas.
The souls in salvation will never opt for
The five fold activities, other causes and enjoyments.

The Jeevan Mukthas, though attained the feet of Lord Siva, they will not have the desire to perform the five fold activities done by Siva. They will not even opt for the work done by chief celestials like Maheswarar, or Rudra.

Though capable of knowing all things
They know only one that is Lord Siva.


When they experienced the worldly pleasures they had only knowledge afforded by senses. Now after attaining the Jeevan Mukthi they will have the supreme Nyana which is capable of informing all the things. But however they will utilise this only to know Siva.

Vina Venba
Vina Venba is a poem of thirteen venbas, and it is as its name indicates; a book of questions containing poems in the Venba manner addressed to his Guru, who is considered to be no other than Lord Siva in human form.
It is a small work dealing with the subtle nature of knowledge, the knower and the known in the form of questions. It enlightens the readers as to how one can get rid of the bonds and attain the bliss with Lord Siva.
Some of the fundamental principles of Saiva Siddhanta are raised in this work which requires elucidation or elaboration. For someone who is a beginner will find this work deals with a number of matters which was agreed which he may not be familiar.
Author didn’t intend to do this work for such people or students but for those who have studied Sivanganabotham, Sivangana Siddhiar and Sivapragasam etc. and yet have not grasped the truth of Siddhanta. It serves as a means for such person to re-study the works where author has picked up crucial points of the Saiva Siddhanta, compiled them into a whole form of questions.
The state of the impurity; Kevala, Sakala & Suddha state; Removal of impurities, the form of God ( body or thirumeni); Vinyanakalar & Pralayakalar are some of the highlighted questions in this work.

Potripahrodai
This is a devotional poem of hundred and ninety five lines. Its central idea is ethical and relates to the activity of Lord Siva to bring about the final release of all souls, though questions pertaining to cosmology, doctrine of heaven and hell, metaphysics concerned with the essence of things are also mentioned.
Praises are showered on the divinity as being responsible for the law and order of the universe. In this work, author seems to be highly optimistic since he regards both pain and suffering as conductive to the general well being of all creatures.
In this work author has shown his great poetic talents both in imagination and feeling; for we cannot fail to see in it his mastery over language and imagery each in his own perfection.
The work opens with a beautiful poem mentioning Lord Siva’s ‘Anandha Nadanam’. Further it mentions the importance of the Five Letter mantra, the first cause of Anava, how Lord Siva protects the foetus in its mother’s womb, a new born child; here author gives a very interesting line of why a new born child cries after it is born. When the foetus is in its mother’s womb, it is in a ‘Yoga Nilai’ but when it is born in this ‘Non Permanent’ world, it loses the wisdom and cries because it has lost the natural knowledge of the soul which it has developed in the womb.
Hunger is also by the grace of God for souls; like how the mother of the child is experiencing the joy of feeding the child. God is a mother for all souls, feeding them when in hunger. Here the verse of Manikkavasagar comes into our mind.
“Paal ninainthutum taayinum saale parinthu nee...”
The Akamiyam ( present deeds), Sanjtham ( previous deeds) and Praraptham ( happiness and sorrow experienced by souls according to their deeds) is further mentioned and how initiation or Deekchai helps to remove Anava mala are some of the contents of this work.

Kodikkavi
It is a short poem sung while hoisting a flag at the Kodimaram or flag pole of Chidambaram temple during Thiruvathirai festival. It was a miracle performed by the author under the grace of Lord Nataraja.
In this work, Umapathi Sivam prayed for removal of Anava mala from his soul. There are four chapter in this work consisting sixteen lines. The chapters are; i. Purpose of the Soul ( Uyirin kurikkol ); ii. Interaction of Grace with Soul ( Uyirukku Arulum Muraimai ); iii. Requesting Grace ( Thiruvarul Venduthal ); iv. The Five letter mantra’s explanation ( Thiruvainthelutthu Vilakkam ).

Nenju Vidu Thoothu This is a devotional poem in the form of 129 double lines, where the poet sends his heart as a messenger with an important message to his Ngana Guru Maraingana Sambanthar, who is identified with God.
The whole peom is a spontaneous overflow of his devotional faith to the preceptor. The language of the poem simply rolls the hands of the poet, singing with an earnest appeal to Divinity.
Umapathi Sivam first made familiar his heart with the infinite and eternal nature of God and draws a very deep comparison between him and his own self which though eternal as God, yet goes through cycles of birth and death; then he express his sorrow over his self as seeking mere empty sensual pleasures of life.
He addresses his heart to set itself on the right course when the soul can stand in its true nature. He speaks of Siva as being transcendental over the evolutes of Maya and wants his heart to listen to his words of praises of God. The heart is further requested to take refuge at the feet of his Guru.

Unmai Neri Vilakkam
This book is a poem of six verses and as its name indicates; “ An exposition of the true path” towards mukthi. In this book there are various stages of the soul in its path towards liberation described.
Tatva Rupam, Tattva Dharsanam, Tattva Suddhi, Atma Rupam, Atma Dharsanam, Atma Suddhi, Siva Rupam, Siva Dharsanam, Siva Yogam and Siva bhogam are the important points mentioned in this work.
At first the soul is said to understand the differential of the 36 Tattuvas or evolutes of Maya in the form of the human body, the Anthakaranas etc. This discriminative knowledge of the soul is labelled as Tattva Rupa.
The knowledge of the evolutes of Maya, which are impure and known by and present in the self consciousness is called Tatva Darshana. The soul is said to undergo Tatva Suddhi ( purification from association with the evolutes of Maya ) when it gets above the hold of this material tattvas with the help of the grace of God.
Atma Rupa is the name given to the knowledge of the soul, when it overcomes the anava mala and sees its own knowledge as being due to illumination of Sivangana.
The loosening grip of the feelings of ‘I’ and ‘Mine’ in the soul due to limited and imperfect knowledge gives rise to Atma Dharsana. When the soul merges its independence of action and thought in Siva and completely identifies itself with Siva, it is reckoned to go through Atma Suddhi.
If the Atman or soul advances enough to get itself steeped in Siva so that it loses all its idea of itself as a separate entity, it is said to have Siva Dharsana. The Atman or soul can have the highest experience called Siva Bhoga, if it has a true knowledge of the nature and relations of Pathi, Pasu and Pasam; then it will be able to break up the dualism aspect between God and Soul.

Sankarpa Nirakaranam
This work made out of the controversy that took place in Chidambaram temple on the sixth day of the Aanithirumanjanam festival in 1313 A.D among the adherents of diverse systems of philosophy who had assembled in the temple.
The title of the work meaning “ Exposition and refutation of different schools of philosophy” gives us an idea of this content. The theories of the nine systems are criticized in a masterly manner. The Mayavadhi, Aikyavathi, Padanavathi, Bedhavathi, Sivasamavathi, Sankaranthavathi, Iswara Avikaravathi, Nimitthakarana Parinamavathi, Saivavathi are among of the theories.
Of the nine theories propounded and refuted, Mayavadam is an outer sect, as it does not accept the authority of the Sivagamas and the earlier portions of Vedas which deals with Dharma as an instrument to the attainment of Jnana.
Aikyavadham, though a phase of Saivism, does not believe in the existence of Anava mala, the evil principle; so it is also classed along with the outer schools of thought. All the other phases accept, as in Saiva Siddhanta the existence of God, Soul, Anavam, Karmam and Maya.
Nimitthakarana Parinamavadam differs only in expression or formulation from Saiva Siddhanta. But still it is classed as a separate theory along with the preceding five theories. Suddha Saivam or Saivavathi is almost same as Saiva Siddhantam although it is shown as a separate creed in as much as subtler truths are not adequately grasped and expressed in it.
The basic text of Saiva Siddhanta are the Sivanganabotha Sutras of St Meykandar. Arulnandi Sivachariyar wrote the Sivanjana Siddhiar which is an elaborate exposition based on the Sutras. Umapathi Sivam wrote eight works of which Sivapragasam and Sankarpa Nirakaranam are important works. The date of this work is mentioned in the text itself as Saka 1235 which corresponds to 1315 A.D.
Arulnandi Sivachariyar’s Sivanjana Siddhiar consist of two parts; Subakkam and Parabakkam. The Parabakkam contains refutations of fourteen Puraccamaya ( or outer ) schools of thought. Umapathi Sivam’s Sankarpa Nirakaranam goes a step further than the Parabakkam of Arulnandi Sivam in that it refutes the doctrines of the inner schools which are within Saivism.


3 comments:

raja said...

rush of rush saiva siddhanta blissfullyness.,

raja said...

guru moolar's blissment
through raajabaaba., yrs., bliss hail hail hail
omm sivyanmaha omm adi shankari namah omm nandhi thiruthaal pottri., guru moolar mandira m kavasam., omm peace of love (sivam-self) yrs., raajabaaaba.,

Meenatchi Sabapathy said...

Arumai. Sirappu!