The Sage Thayumanavar
I N T R O D U C T I O N
Web Publication by Mountain Man Graphics, Australia
- Yogaswami, Sri Lankar
A small amount of initial research will indicate to the student of life, that there are in fact existent resources in this area. The global evolution of the mystic tradition(s), which include the basis of all world religions, should not be confused with the proliferation and perpetuation of the social customs which bedeck the outward form of the planet's religions.
Those who are keen to see themselves as the students of life, will perceive that the understanding of the nature of the inner world of the observer, is a prized possession.
In understanding the nature of the inner world of man it will become quite apparent that although outwardly different in form and code, the planetary religions are unified at a foundational level - at the level of their mystic founders.
Thus, some day hopefully, it will become apparent to the western intellect, that there exists a wealth of resource information in the recorded publications of the ancient east. For if the scientific of the west examine the outer world, the metaphysical seers and sages of the east examined, through the practices of yoga and meditation, the nature of the inner world. The content of such eastern writings extend back millennia before anything comparable was recorded in the history of European literature.
The Inner Cosmic Fire
Krishna Yajur Veda,
Katha Upanishad 1.2.24-25
It is widely recognised that most of the early western philosophers travelled broadly. It is not well recognised that there existed a deep-seated respect, inquisitiveness and wonder concerning the knowledge and wisdom of the eastern sages, such as that which might be expressed by the third century publication by Philostratus, entitled The Life of Apollonius of Tyana, perhaps to be seen by the 21st century as the finest and the last of the ancient philosophers of classical Greece, who, in the time of Christ, journeyed overland to India specifically to converse with the Brahmins.
Those who know themselves to be the students of life should allow sufficient time for themselves to become acquainted with the ancient observations of the eastern sages, in addition to the sages of their own lands, under the one sun and sky. Indeed, this is one of the primary reasons that I decided to place this publication on the net.
These Hymns of Thayumanavar are by no means ancient, in fact it will soon be only three centuries since they were first sung, but then again, there are many who hear them as echoes of the same hymns which were sung three millennia beforehand, on the pristine planetary surface of the land of the Indian Sun.
Editor of "Hinduism Today", a global publication currently based in the central Pacific Islands of Hawaii, comments on the life and work of Saint Thayumanavar:
"This work is the life work of a realized sage who,
in keeping with his Tamil traditions and his family’s lineage,
worshipped Lord Siva. More than that, the sage ultimately
knew Him in the inner recesses of his being.
Yet, his poems transcend all sectarian boundaries.
His first three songs were sung 250 years ago
before a crowd at the Congress of Religions
in Trichinopoly, south of Chennai,
where varied faiths had gathered.
His poems follow his own mystical experience,
but they also outline the philosophy of South Indian Hinduism
(and more specifically of the lineage of Saint Tirumular, ca 2,000BCE)
in its highest form, one that is at once devotional and nondual,
one that sees God as both immanent and transcendent.
Thayumanavar is one of the great articulators of Saiva Siddhanta,
the path followed today by 60 million Tamils,
the path taught by Himalayan Academy and its founder,
Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami.
We can also stress that these poems are yet alive today
in the hearts of millions.
They are sung lovingly in satsang, they are memorized,
in fact each year at the very active Yogasana Alayam in chennai,
South India, hundreds of teenagaers and elders vie in a contest
to see who can recite, from memory, the most verses.
And each year a few still succeed
in being able to recite all 1,400 verses.
So loved and revered are these spiritual poems.
That’s just to give a few thoughts.....
Editor, “Hinduism Today”
The Hearth and the Home
Great is the contribution of the sage to the environment. In any land a mountain is a vantage point from which all the surrounding land may be perceived, studied and guarded. So too, do the words of the sages offer assistance for the journeyers. In the biography of Thayumanavar we find that the sage's final advice concludes:
Live in that delight.
That Delight-Consciousness, is the God in you.
He is in every heart.
You need not go anywhere to find Him.
Find your own core and feel Him there.
Peace, bliss, felicity, health - everything is in you.
Trust in the Divine in you.
Entrust yourself to His Grace.
Be as you are.
Off with past impressions.
The Inner Nature of man extends beyond whatever boundaries of space and time, shape and form, colour and creed, that may be attendant to the cultural upbringing of that man (male or female). The freedom of thought which seeks the majesty of the nature ('physis') of the cosmos will soon determine that the beauty and depth of the Outer nature of the universe in which we apparently are embedded as living beings, also extends - as in a continuum - to the inner nature of all living beings. For such is the miracle of Life.
May your feet find the path to journey's end,
and may the Age of Information dawn within.
Mountain Man Graphics, Australia
Publications of Peace and Of Great Souls
In the Southern Winter of 1998