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Mysticism of Poet-Saint Thayumanavar

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Dear Friends,


The following are a few verses from the composition of Tamil saint

Thayumanavar, recommended by Ramana Maharishi to be read by the devotees,

Ramana having held in high esteem this saint. Thayumanavar, not being

identified with any school of thought, pours out his articulations. The

Saiva-Siddhantha schools relate his teachings to their thoughts, the vedantins

identifying his teaching with Advaitha Vedanta. Whatever it be, it is clear

from his writings that he is a great teacher. The translation has been made by

an Australian Saiva devotee, being available in the following website.

with warm regards






As the hauteur that is ''I''

Affects and harasses you,

The maya that pertains to the world

Takes diverse forms and pursues you,

As flesh, body, organs external and internal,

As sky, wind, fire, water and earth,

As mountain and forest,

Thus is the ocean of sorrow

That grows out of this -

Who can describe indeed?

Sights visible, as mountain after mountain,

Sights not visible at all to the naked eye,

Forgetfulness and remembrance,


Sorrows and joys that come as waves from the ocean of maya,

And the karmas they bring in their train,

And the numerous faiths to end them,

And their respective gods,

And their devotees,

And the numerous paths that claim to be their witness,

And the doctrines and logic behind them,

Oh, how many, how many are they?

Well may the sands of the sea,

Easier reckoned be!

All that are rare to see

Will of themselves occur en mass.


And to show that all these

Are but transient and illusory

Like the camphor mountain in blaze -

He comes.


Eating and sleeping,

Experiencing sorrows and joys

And possess of habitation and the rest,

As unto me He takes the form.


And as with deer the deer is trapped

He comes as the compassionate Mauna Guru

To cleanse me of my impurities.




Coming thus

He takes hold of my body, life and possessions

In his own hands

And following the adhava path

He points out:

"You are not the five senses.

You are not the five elements.

You are not the several organs.

You are not the gunas

Nor are you this body

And the knowledge and ignorance

That pertain to it.


You partake the nature of that around you.

You are unto the crystal

That reflects whatever is near to it.

You are the chit

That awaits its bonds to sunder -

And I am the Teacher who imparts the wisdom

Appropriate to your ripeness."







If you desire to be enlightened,

Transported into bliss,

Attain the everlasting state

And reach the all pervasive Goal Absolute,

That is the Temple of Compassion,

I shall tell you in order

What you should do. Listen.


"May you reach the heart and state

That knows no attributes

And so live long!


May all the dense ignorance lifting,

You attain knowledge bliss!

May your bonds break asunder!"

He imparted the silent way of true knowledge

Of sundering the bonds.

That way is devoid of thought,

Devoid of I-ness,

Devoid of space, time and direction,

Devoid of attachment, separation and the rest,

Devoid of speech,

Devoid of day and night appearance,

Devoid of end, beginning and middle,

Devoid of inside and outside,

Devoid of things all.

''Devoid, devoid'' does not mean

Nothing there is.


There it is, natural and ever

Indescribable is that nature,

Appearing not as ''I'' and ''Thou,''

Form manifestness that comprehends all;


Consuming all ignorance

Like the day that has consumed darkness

Himself successfull

Consuming your own knowledge

And making you as Thine.


As Light within

In silentness will He shine.


Nothing will it permit to appear

Except it be of its own essence.


Even if one appears

It will disappear like the flame of camphor

Without another land of its own to lodge.

The knower devoid of knowledge

And the object of knowledge

Will slip and slip not away.


Oh! Who shall relate its greatness to whom?

He that has become It,

That alone can say.


If you say ''it,''

The question arises ''what.''


And so giving up ''it'' totally

King Janaka, Rishi Sukha and others

Lived like the bee that drank of the nectar.

This is the nature of Godhead.


As Thou accepted me in Thy service

Grant me the Grace

To attain the supreme bliss

Throught transcendental samadhi!

Without reaching this goal

I will not sleep,

I will not do work any.


I shall make a picture of Thee

And mount the thorny fibre-horse

In the classical Madal way,

Vowing never to dismount until Thou accept me.


I will cry aloud for Thee, saying:

''Will Thou not come?

Thou the Lord of my life?''


Encircling me from directions several,

Thou made me all Thine own.


Letting myself not investigate

And knowing further,

Like the wounded at heart

I wept in silence,

Shedding tears in profusion.

Sighing and sobbing

So did I stand transfixed.


To the horror of Thine devotees

That have attained jnana and have tasted bliss,

Becoming one with Thee,


Some espoused faiths that taught cruel ways.

Them I made think clear

And turned them back.


I sought forest, sea and mountain

In search of fruits, weeds and withered leaves

That I may eat to keep life going.


Straight seeking the mystic moon's beams as goal,

I lie agitated,

Like the tower crest of a temple

Fallen at the portal front.


How shall I speak of His greatness?

Thou, night and day!

He made you come so regular,

Failing never.


Thou, wind! By whom are you blowing?

By whom are you circling incessant?

Pray, speak!


Thou, the clouds that pour!

What is it that you specially perform

Which makes you rain bounteous

Like the mercy of my Lord!

Pray, speak!


Oh! Thou Expanse Vast

That defies thought!

Thou art pervasive full.

But what will be the nature of that

Which will at our terminal be?

Pray, speak!


Oh! Thou Earth!

What will it be like

At your end?

Will not the serpent king, Sesha,

That is of perfect awareness,

The Truth reveal?

Pray, speak!


Oh! Thou Scriptures!

Do you not reveal the Truth

Equally to all?

What is it that is your finding?

Pray, speak! Oh! Thou, the ocean

Of indescribable dimension

That extends your wavy hands

And roars incessant!


Who is it that placed you

Surrounding this globe

Without banks any?

Pray, speak!


Oh! Thou, the green parrots of the wild!

Oh! Thou, the bees of striped wings

That resort to the lotus!

Oh! Thou, the swans!

Hath not carrying message been

What you have been doing

All this time?


Have you ever seen and talked

To the Great Object that is Perfection?

Pray, say for once!



Foolish I am, unto one,

Who wishing to drive away the elephant

Makes motions of it with his hand inside a pot.


Hoping to unite indissolubly with Thee,

I dissolve salt in water,

Burn camphor in fire,

And stand disappointed!


When Thou, the Being Supreme of compassion great were,

Then was I, too.


But only to me are the bonds of

Anava, karma and the rest.

Did not thus limiting me,

The holy scriptures speak even then?


From that day to this

What did the millions and millions

That were born get?

Except to perish in sorrow?


Not until this day has mukti been attained.

When this body is not to be,

I do not know.


So even now,

Will you not accept me -

This vile cur - in your service

That my distress be wiped out?


Thou, the Lord of Sikali!

Thou, of Navalur

That went as messenger to get gold!

Thou, that hailed Thine devotee as ''Our appa!''

Thou, the Lord

Of the treasure house of compassion limitless!



Thou, Vadavur Deva!

Thou, Tirumula Deva!

Thou, Siva Vakya Master,

That came to kindle the desire for mukti

In men of this world!


Thou, Arunagiri of fame great

That taught the way of

Obtaintaining Grace, sitting impassive!

Thou, the Saints great -


Thus I invoke them all.

Thus I stand transfixed,

Like the faultless image painted

That my sorrows indescribable vanish

Before I relate them full.

Is there none like the peerless Sukhar

To enquire why, why - so I ask.

Will not a silentness be born

That destroys difference and nondifference?


Will not the Lord that

Observes the grand silentness

Under the wild banyan tree

Come to see the world for once -


Thus my thoughts running

I became like the yearning cow.

I pined like the love stricken maiden.


It is your duty to understand and protect me.

This I say again and again.


Long may Thy Grace live!

Long may Thy Nature live

Into which is fused time, space and matter!

Long may the tradition of love live

That espouses holy faiths like Saivam

And transcends those faiths, too!


Long may that Compassion live

That made this humble one

Petition thus as length!


Long may the Supreme Guru

At the foot of the banyan tree live!


Long may Thy devotees

Of infinite Grace live!








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Thank you Sri Sanakararaman-ji for bringing to this great forum the

verses of Saint-poet Sri Thayumanavar! Just a few posts ago , i had

mentioned Sri Thayumanavar's name in another context.


What is the meaning of the word 'Thayumanavar'- it is a Tamizh word

which literaaly means 'One who became a Mother or one who assumed the

form of a mother ' !


Here is the legend surrounding the Original Thayumanavar, Lord Shiva



While on a pilgrimage trip to South Indian temples in the winter of

2002/2003, One of the temples i visited in Tiruchi located in the

heart of the city is the 'Ucchi Pillaiyaar' kovil on top of a Rock

so called because of the higher elevation of the temple.


At the base of the Rock temple is another temple dedicated to Lord

Shiva known as 'Thayumanavar' temple. I


The Legend of Thayumanavar


This story is about a great Shiva devotee who was living on the other

side of the river Kaveri. This woman devotee was pregnant at that

time but she never failed to visit the Shiva temple daily to offer

her prayers to her Ishata-nishta Lord Shiva. One day while she was

visiting the temple and after concluding her daily puja, the pregnant

woman found to her dismay that she will not be able to return home !

The river Kaveri was in spate and there was no sign of the waters

receding for the woman to safely cross the river. Meanwhile, the

woman experienced acute labor pains and there was no one to attend to

her. But suddenly,, her mother appeared from nowhere on the scene and

assisted the lady during labor . As a result, the baby was delivered


It is believed Lord Shiva himself had assumed the form of

the 'Mother' to help his devotee in her hour of need ! It is for

this reason the Deity here is called 'Thayumanavar' ( the one who

became a Mother) !


This legend is beautifully depicted on the temple walls ! It is so

picturesque ! Shiva in the form of a Mid-wife Mother!


" Thanthaiyum Neeye ! Thayum Neeye! Arul Purivayzh! Enn Karunai

Kadale! Enn Siva perumane! Ellam Siva-mayam "


"Oh! Lord Shiva! Ocean of Compassion! Thou art my father ! Thou art

my Father ! Thou Art everything! "



Our respected Sankararaman-ji has given us the url for Sage

Thayumanavar where you can read the entire biography of this great

siddha saint and his Divine compositions. tHE SAGE WAS SO NAMED

BECAUSE HIS PARENTS WERE DEVOTEES OF Lord Thayumanavar of the rock

temple at Tiiruchi!


To Know more about sage Thayumanavar's influence on Sri Ramana

Bhagwan go to




It is interesting to note that Sri Ramana Bhagwan's 'atma-vichara'

path followed the 'vedantic' philosopy and Sage Thayumanavar's

philosophy was that of 'Shaiva Siddantha'! However , both the saints

agreed that 'in the experience of the 'SELF', all philosophical

divisions and distinctions are dissolved!


Sage Thayumanavar wrote :


Since 'my' own actions are forever 'YOUR' actions


Since the 'I' nature does not exist apart from 'YOU'


'I' am not *differnt' from 'You '


This is the state in which Vedanta and Siddanta are harmonised !



" 'I am (in effect) doing nothing at all!' -- so The disciplined man

should think, knowing the truth, When he sees, hears, touches,

smells, Eats, walks, sleeps, breathes," Bg Ch V



with love and blessings


os : sankararaman-ji, keep posting such beautiful verseS! a feast to

the eyes and a delight to the ears! in Tamizh , it sounds even more














advaitin, Ganesan Sankarraman <shnkaran>



> Dear Friends,


> The following are a few verses from the composition of Tamil

saint Thayumanavar, recommended by Ramana Maharishi to be read by

the devotees, Ramana having held in high esteem this saint.

Thayumanavar, not being identified with any school of thought, pours

out his articulations.

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