The Vedism of Sambantar

மரபு விக்கி இருந்து

தாவிச் செல்ல: வழிசெலுத்தல், தேடுக


The Vedism of Sambantar

Translation and commentary by Dr K.Loganathan 2004

Dear Friends

Vedism seems to have been understood differently among the different Indians and among whom the Tamils seem to be quite different. I have shown that there were Tamil Brahmins called ‘paarppaar' in CaGkam times and which does not carry such notions ‘dwija by birth' and so forth. I have also linked such people with the worship of the Sumerian ‘asimbabbar” and which probably is an ancient name of Siva or Brahma where the ritual of fire worship (Su. suluka> Ta. suulai) was central. It appears to me that this kind of Yanjna or VeeLvi was continued as an integral part of Temple Culture as was the case among the SumeroTamils. Vedism was NOT torn outside temple worship and no where in Tamil literature it is proposed that there was a Vedic Civilization Vedic Culture and so forth. The was Vedic recitals, condoned and supported not only by the general public but also the kings and all taken as an integral part of temple worship. The Vedic Brahmins were also icon worshippers.

We get a reasonably a good picture of this in the hymns of Sambantar Appar and Sundarar among whom Sambantar was a Vedic Paarppaan himself and who while practicing Vedism and singing eloquently about it, did not support the criminal VarNasrama Dharma. It may also be possible that in the deep past or even in CaGkam times, any one was free to become a Paarppaan just as the ARivar or Munivar or Njaani.

I have chosen the following Patikam from the First TirumuRai and which is a Temple Hymn on the Deity in TirucceGkaaddaGkudi to bring out the way Vedism was understood among the Tamils around 5th- 7th cent. AD.

I shall follow the usual style using the valuable comments ( the author unknown) and the publication by Tarumai Atheenam ( 1953)


The Vedism of Sambantar-1

TirumuRai 1: 6 திருமுறை 1:6

The Dance of Fire of KaNapati

I have taken “KaNapati Iccuram” here as the shrine of KaNapati and which must have been a significant part of the temple in TiruceGkaaddaGkudi. It is very significant that the Dance of Fire that belongs to Siva is ascribed to KaNapati (Ganesha) here. Perhaps it was a widespread practice at the time of Sambantar and probably a transfer from that of Siva to KaNapati who is also understood the first son of Siva-Parvati. This Dancing Ganesha is probably a novelty that links the worship of KaNapati as the Lord of AUM, the primordial Logos. It is also useful to note here that in Tamil tradition an among the Siddhas, Ganesha is the Lord of the KuNdalini Yoga , the Lord of Siddhi and Buddhi ( captured as consorts) and who takes all the souls through the Six Atara Cakras beginning with the Muulaataaram where he resides with His two consorts.

Sambantar implies that this image of KaNapati is something Siva loves and raises rhetorically as to why this has to be so by way of implicating that it is an essential function of the Maitan, Siva as the most powerful

But the most fascinating observation is that the Brahmins despite their habit of reciting the Vedas and indulging in the various Vedic studies are also worshippers of the divine feet of Siva and hence Icon Worshippers and hence belonging to the general lot of temple worshippers. The Vedism here did not establish distaste for Icon worship and hence Icon Thinking as it is made out in some recent developments of Vedism.

But why Fire Worship the Yanjna or the VeeLvi that is also emphasized in Vedism and as a part of Temple rituals?

We get an answer for this question in this verse. The KaNapati here is a Dancing KaNapati and who dances the Dance of Fire holding brightly burning flames in His hands. This of course is an icon that directly relates to the Metaphysical Fire that along with burning and purifying the souls also ILLUMINATES them with metaphysical insights so that they also become BRIGHT with Njaanam.

Let us recall here the “Dhosa Vastir Dhiya Vayam' ( Ta. Tuuci vastiree tiiya vaiyum : O Agni burn off the dirt in me and the world) “brahmanooagni' (Ta. PiramaaNam Agni: the fire that illuminates) and so forth of the Rig Veda. Earlier we have Suruppak's ‘u-ri-a ‘(Ta. uu eriya: burning light) Enhudu Anna's ‘u dalla-e-a ( Ta. uu teLLIya) etc. This is also the Egyptian and Sumerian ‘asar, asar;lugi' etc.

The Ritual of Fire or Yanjna is perhaps a ritual that brings to the attention this metaphysical insight , a device for recapturing this deep and elusive metaphysical insight along with the fact that it is a gift or blessing of BEING captured here as the Dance of Fire BEING-as-KaNapati executes tirelessly and always. The Yanjna becomes a way of resting the mind in such Icons of BEING so that further metaphysical insights are enjoyed.


அங்கமும் வேதமும் ஓதும் நாவர் அந்தணர் நாளும் அடிபரவ

மங்குல் மதிதவழ் மாட வீதி மருகன் நிலாவிய மைந்த! சொல்லாய்

செங்கயல் ஆர் புனல் செல்வம் மல்கு சிர்கொள் செங்காட்டங்குடியதனுள்

கங்குல் விளங்கெரி ஏந்தியாடும் கணபதி ஈச்சுரங் காமுறவே!


இருக்காதி நாங்கு வேதங்களையும் அவற்றைப் புரிந்துகொள்ள உதவும் நிருத்தம் சிட்சை கற்பம் சந்தஸ் வியாகரணம் ஜோதிடம் போன்ற உறுப்புக்களையும் ஓதி மகிழும் அந்தணர் தவறாது உன் திருவடிகளை பரவுகின்றனர். இப்படிபட்ட வேதியர்களையும் உன் அடி தொழ வைக்கும் வல்லமை நிரம்பிய மைந்தனாகிய எம் பெருமானே! மங்கிய மாலைப் பொழுதிலே மதி தவழும் மாட வீதிகள் நிறைந்ததும், கயல் மீன்கள் துள்ளி விளையாடும் ஆறுகள் நிறைந்ததும் செல்வச் செழிப்பு மிக்கதுமாகிய இந்த திருசெங்காட்டங் குடி எனும் இத் திருவூரில் , அஞ்ஞான இருளைப் பாரித்துப் போக்கும் வண்ணம், மிகப் பிரகாசமான எரியை ஒர் கையில் ஏந்தி ஞானத்தாண்டவமாடும் கணபதியின் ஈச்சுரம் இருக்கின்றது. அதனை காமுற்று ஆங்கு ஆகுவண்ணம் என்னதான் இருக்கின்றது என்று சொல்லாய்!


aGkamum veetamum ootum naavar antanar naaLum adiparava

maGkul matitvaz maada viiti marukan nilaaviya mainta! Collaay

ceGkyal aar punal celvam malku ciirkoL ceGkaaddaGkudiyatanuL

kaGkul viLagkeri eentiyaadum kaNapati iiccuraG kamuRavee!


The Brahmins who recite the Vedas and study the six divisions of scholastic studies that would help them to understand the Vedas (Niruttam, Cidcai, KaRpam, Cantas, ViyaakaraNam and Jothidam) worship your divine feet every day. O the Powerful One who has made even these people worship you and who adorns the temple of TiruceGkaaddaGkudi, amidst streets full of mansions and lighted by the Moon during the dusk, with rivers swelling with kayal Fish and with abundance of wealth all around, tell me why you love the shrine where KaNapati dances the Dance of Fire holding brightly burning flames on his hands and with which he dispels the metaphysical darkness in the world and in the mind of all creatures.


While the worship of Muruka is very ancient where you find hymns of Him even in Sumerian times and we have the magnificent TirukurukaaRRuppadai of CaGkam epoch, we do not have anything similar to these in relation to Ganesha in Tamil literature. Perhaps He was worshipped as the animal Icon of Elephant in the deep past. The Icon of Ganesha with a elephant head is similar to that of Narasimma, the human deity with the head of a lion. In Egyptian culture there are many such images including those animals with human faces like the Bull with a human face.

It appears to me that such humanizing animal icons or animalizing human icons was a way of accessing metaphysical depths where as distinct from the permanent unchanging absolute level, something of how these processes are also available in the human world. The absolutely transcendental i are also immanent - manifest in the world.

This may be difference between the Dance of Fire of Siva and that of KaNapati mentioned here. Siva dances at the deepest metaphysical level while KaNapati at the level of the world hence a localization, bringing into the physical what is essentially metaphysical.

The Vedism of Sambantar-2

TirumuRai 1: 6 திருமுறை 1:6

The Tantric Elements in Tamil Vedism

Right from Sumerian times the metaphysical Sun and Moon have been worshipped not only by the Sumero-Dravidians but also the Egyptians Nubians and so forth and where even to this day the term ‘eri' is still retained in Tamil. In Tantric psychology in addition to incorporating them as the radiance of the Sun ( Suuriya Kalai) , the Moon ( Candra Kalai ) respectively of 12 and 16 divisions, there has also been a recognition of a third kind of radiance - that of the Agni that results when Sun Light conjoins the Moon Light and divided into 10 divisions. In the Mantrayana of Tirumular these are linked to the Siva Tatvas Natam Bindu and their union Nata-Bindu. The radiance of Brahman is noted as belonging to this Fire generated by Natam-Bindu. The verse below contains this deep metaphysical insight



vittaanj ceka mayamaaka varaikiiRi

nattaar kalaikaL patinaaRu naaddippin

uttaaram panniraNdaati kalaitokum

pattaam pirama sadaGku paarttu ootidee


The Mantra technology for experiencing BEING as Pure Light is as follows. In the wheel of aksaras, place the Bindu, that which is the seed for the genesis of the world and everything in it. This Bindu must be represented as emerging in 16 divisions. Then above it place the Natam that emerge as the metaphysical sun in twelve divisions. When they interpenetrate each other, we have the genesis of ten different kinds of Agni one of which is Brahma Rantiram ( a shape of KuNdalini) Now precisely at the point where the Agni appears as this Brahma Rantiram, one must recite the mantra Si-Vaa-Ya-Na-Ma to gain the experience of BEING as Pure Light ( that also allows the enjoyment of Pure Consciousness)


Against this we can see that there are two kinds of symbolisms here. The first is the burning of three kinds of flames in a fire pit and safeguarding it so that they burn continuously. Clearly this is to channel the VISUAL processes and through that the mental. The second is the wearing of the Muppuri Nuul, the three-stranded white thread also on the chest of Siva Ganesha and so forth. The decoration of the body particularly the chest stands for the regulation of DESIRES and hence it would appear that this symbolism signifies a single-minded devotion for having these illuminating processes installed deep within. Now these Vedic Paarppaar-s also praise the glories of Siva, the Most Powerful and just do not end with Yanjna alone or transcendental meditation and so forth. For they knew that all these are the blessings of BEING who dances the Dance of Fire and as KaNapati precisely for this purpose. They understood that the inner fires that bring about the enjoyment of deep metaphysical illuminations are finally the blessings of BEING


நெய்தவழ் மூவெரி காவல் ஓம்பு நேர்புரி நூன் மறையாளர் ஏத்த

மைதவழ் மாடம் மலிந்த வீதி மருகன் நிலாவிய மைந்த! சொல்லாய்

செய்தவ நான்மறையோர்கள் ஏத்தும் சீர்கொள் செங்காட்டங்குடி அதனுள்

கைதவழ் கூர் எரி ஏந்தி யாடும் கணபதி ஈச்சுரங் காமுறவே!


அகத்தே மூவகை தீபங்களாகிய ஆகவனீயம், காருகபாத்யம் தட்சிணாக்கினி ஆகியவை யாண்டும் எரியும் வண்ணம் புறத்தே அக்னிகுண்டத்தில் நெய் ஊற்றி மூவகை தீயும் வளர்த்து அவை அவிந்துவிடாது காவல் ஓம்பி, தன் அகத்தே அஞ்ஞான்று இம்மூவகைத் தீயும் எரிகின்றது என்பதைக் காட்ட நெஞ்சில் முப்புரி நூல் அணிந்து இந்த வேதியர் உன் அருளை வேண்டி உன்னை ஏத்திய வண்ணம் இருக்கின்றனர். இருளிலே சுடர்விட்டு பிரகாசிக்கும் மாடவீதிகள் நிறைந்த இந்த மருகல் என்னும் திருவூரில் , வல்லமையெல்லாம் தானாகி நிற்கின்ற மைந்த என் பெருமானே ! ஒன்றெனக்கு நீ சொல்ல வேண்டும். பொய்யர்களாகப் பலர் இருக்க ஞானவேட்கையின் மெய்யான தவம் செய்கின்ற நான்மறையோர்களில் சில நல்லவர்கள் ஏத்தும் சீர்கொள் செங்காட்டங்குடி எனும் கோயிலில், கையில் தவழும் கூர்ந்த எரி ஏந்தி ஆடும் கணபதியின் ஈச்சுரத்தை நீ மிகவும் காமுறுவது ஏன்?


ney tavaz muuveri kaaval oombu weerpuri wuun maRaiyalar eetta

maitavaz maadam malinta viiti marukan nilaaviya mainta! Collaay

ceytava naanmaRaiyoorkaL eettum ciirkoL ceGkaadaGkudi atanuL

kaitavaz kuur eri eenti yaadum KaNapati iiccuraG kaamuRavee


The Vedists burn externally the three kinds of fire and pour ghee continuously to keep them burning all the time so that these three kinds of fires also burni actively in their mind. They also wear on their chest the three-stranded white thread to signify their such desires. Now these Vedists in addition to all these ritual actions also praise gloriously your divine feet to get your blessings. Now tell me o Lord, the Most Powerful and who has taken residence in the city of Marukal, full of streets with glowing mansions, why are you especially fond of the shrine of Ganesha here in CeGkaaddaGkudi and who holding on His hands the burning fire dances the Dance of Fire?


The Tamil Paarppaar-s or Vedists are NOT different from the Siddhas who practiced the KuNdalini Yoga, the Yoga that elicits KuNdalini and transmutes it into the three kinds of Fire - that of the Sun Moon and Agni. The Yanjna in the temple and wearing of the sacred thread is just another manifestation of this Tantric Yoga We do not have Aryanized Brahmanism or even the formation of caste groups and the inhuman sociology of VarNasrama Dharma here.

The three fires understood as that of the metaphysical Sun Moon and Agni are there already burning in the body and mind of all and the Siddhas and the Tamil Vedic Paarppaar-s were the metaphysically inclined and who cherish deep metaphysical illuminations more than the pleasures of the worldly life. Such a psychological disposition does NOT allow itself for the formation of caste groupings as it is mainly individual. While the concept of Siddhas retains this, unfortunately the concept of Brahmin does not.

Perhaps at the time of Sambantar the Tamil Vedism retained its Tantric basis with freedom for anyone to listen to the Vedic chants as they were recited openly in the temples where all kind of people crowded to worship the deities. Probably it was also possible for anyone to learn the Vedas and chant them as they like. The Vedic chanting and learning probably was not something exclusive for a caste called Brahmins. The Tamil paarppaar-s were NOT such an Aryanized Brahmins but were more like the Siddhas.

The Vedism of Sambantar-3

TirumuRai 1: 6 திருமுறை 1:6

The Social Consciousness of Vedic Tamils.

The Tamil Vedists who chanted the Vedas for all to hear and perhaps also allowed all to learn the Vedas appear to be the ancient Sivamuni-s who in addition to wearing the Muppuri Nuul, the sacred thread of three strands, also sat on the skin of tiger or deer , called simply the Tool (skin) here. This description evokes the image of a Sivamuni and not at all the Aryanized Brahmins who would isolate themselves from society seeking to place them above all else in the social ladder. The self-alienation of the Brahmins seems to be a later phenomenon and probably it came along after the Vedantic schools of thinking that indirectly supported VarNasrama Dharma became strong and that Vedists like Sambantar never practiced.

The Vedists at the time of Sambantar considered themselves an integral part of Tamil society and celebrated VeeLvi in the temple and for the benefit of the whole of people who lived in the city. They allowed the smoke of the VeeLvi to fill the streets of the city perhaps as a way of requesting the blessings of God for the good of all. Now considering that Rig Veda is archaic Tamil, this must have also been the initial situation where the Rishi-s sang these hymns invoking the blessings of BEING-as-Agni and so forth for the good of all. This original situation seems to have been retained by the Tamils of Sambantar's time but which seems to have been lost with the onset of Aryanization that we begin to hear even in the 13th cent AD

Now we should not fail to notice that this image of the Vedic Brahmins is an IMITATION of the Icon of Siva where He sits on the tiger skin or deer skin in pathmasana, the Lotus Posture and wearing the sacred thread on His chest. Thus another implication of the VeeLvi is that of seeking to have such an icon of Siva installed in the soul so that a person can enjoy a Sivattuvam. This requires becoming PURE and which in turn requires the BURNING of all the dirt within i.e. the Mummalam or Tol Vinai that not only Sambantar but also all other Nayanmars and Azwars sing eloquently.

Now all these show that Tamil Vedism was understood within the metaphysics of Saiva Siddhanta till the time of Sambantar at least. Perhaps deviations and distortions were introduced by the Mimamsakas both the Purva and Uttara type that disfigured this essence of Tamil Vedism, the original situation and made it Brahmanism with its alienation of the Brahmins from the rest of society and which in turn earned the hatred of the general public.

When the Tamil Brahmins later lost the social consciousness despite being parasitic on the generosity of the general public and sought to create a parallel culture with Sanskrit language and Vedas, where they also fabricated divine origins for both, they also became the target of hatred and abuse.

Now the Dance is no more here the Dance of Fire but that of the Dance of Virak Kazal, the anklets that produce various kinds of mantric sounds, divine vibrations. This dance is also linked with the economic prosperity of the city as indicated by the fish-filled streams and lovely gardens. Perhaps the chanting of the Vedic slokas is another IMITATION - that of the mantric sounds that usher in prosperity and ultimately to be traced to the foot works of the Dancing Lord.


தோலொடு நூலிழை சேர்ந்த மார்பர் தொகு மறையோர்கள் வளர்த்த செந்தீ

மால்புகை போய் விம்மும் மாடவீதி மருகன் நிலாவிய மைந்த! சொல்லாய்

சேல்புல்கு தண்வயல் சோலை சூழ்ந்த சீர்கொள் செங்காட்டங்குடி அதனுள்

கால் புல்கு பைங்கழல் ஆர்க்க வாடும் கணபதி ஈச்சுரங் காமுறவே!


அகத்தே முத்தீ வளர்ப்போர் எனக் காட்டும் வகையால் புறத்தே தம் நெஞ்சில் முப்புரி நூல் அணிந்தும் ஆசனமாக புலித்தோலை அல்லது மாந்தோலைக் கொண்டும் மறையோர்கள் கூட்டமாகச் சேர்ந்து , இந்த அறிவு அனைவருக்கும் சென்றடையவேண்டும் என்ற நல்லெண்ணத்தில் தீ ஓம்பி வேள்வி செய்ய, அதில் எழும் கரியப் புகை, மருகன் என்னும் ஊரின் மாடவீதிகள் எல்லாம் சென்று நிரம்பும். அத்தகைய ஊரினை விரும்பி ஆங்கு வதியும் எல்லா வல்லமைகளும் தானேயாகி நிற்கின்ற விறல் மிக்கோனே! நீ எனக்கு ஒன்றினைச் சொல்ல வேண்டும். , சேல் மீன்கள் நிரைந்த தண்னிய வயல்களும் சோலைகளும் சூழ்ந்த அழகுமிக்க செங்காட்டங்குடி எனும் ஊரில் , கால்களின் வீரக்கழல்களை அணிந்து அவை ஆர்க்க ஆர்க்க ஆடும் கணபதி விளங்கும் ஈச்சுரத்தை நீ ஏன் பெரிதும் விரும்புகின்றாய்?


toolodu nuulizai ceernta maarbar toku maRaiyoorkaL vaLartta centii

maalpukai pooy vimmum maadaviiti marukan nilaaviya manta! Collaay

ceelpulku taNvayal coolai cuuznta ciirkoL CeGkaaddaGkudi atanuL

kaal pulku paingkazal aarrkka vaadum KaNapati iiccuraG kaamuRavee


Wearing the three-stranded white thread on their chest showing that they are desirous of activating the three inner fires and sitting on deer-skin (or tiger-skin) the people of the hidden knowledge collect together and practice the VeeLvi where the dark smoke coming from the fire pit spread all over the streets of Marukal, full of beautiful mansions . O you the most powerful who prevails here, I have a question for you. In this temple CeGkaaddaGkudi, there is a shrine where KaNapati wearing brilliant anklets dances and dances with those anklets sounding loudly. Now tell me why do you love so much the shrine within where KaNapati dances thus?


The most important observation here is that the Tamil Vedists were essentially the Munivar type who would sit on the skin of the tiger or deer and wear the sacred thread all in the imitation of such an Icon of Siva. Thus it is clear the Vedic chanting was within Icon Thinking and hence Icon Worship. The VeeLvi was practiced within the temple and which was situated within a city. Not only were the sounds of the Vedas but also the smoke were allowed to spread the entire city so that all people would be blessed by Siva, the Dancing Lord.

Now we can also understand why such Tamil Vedists could have also been called AntaNar, like Kapilar in CaGkam times. They were NOT Aryanized yet and functioned as an integral part of Tamil society doing whatever they can, including chanting the Vedas, for the general good of all people. They did not lose their Tamil identity by forging a false identity using Sanskrit language and the Vedas forgetting that even Vedas were a species of Tamil literature.

The Vedism of Sambantar-4

TirumuRai 1: 6 திருமுறை 1:6

Free Metaphysical Inquiries and the VeLvi in the Temples

The practice of VeeLvi or Yanjna was not an end in itself and neither it is for bribing the gods for getting various kinds of boons. The Tamil Vedists were ‘naamaru keeLviyar”, people filled with metaphysical questions of all sorts and it is for getting ILLUMINATIONS that would clarify their understanding that they practiced the VeeLvi. It was not simply for the mundane interests of getting various boons that would make their earthly life prosperous.

They certainly were not the atomic minds of later days where they elevated the Vedas as the sole and supreme authority in metaphysical matters and which is certainly a degeneration. If this were so they will NOT be people of the ‘naamaru keeLviyar', full of metaphysical questions. They were questioners and hence people who were OPEN to pursue where truth leads them so that ultimately they would enjoy the Absolute Truth , the Njaanam, and nothing else.

This kind of cultural ethos is very consistent with the whole of Tamil culture from very ancient times, a culture that insisted on the movement of understanding so that it reaches the LIMITS, the Siddhantic position by an inner dynamics of its own. TirukkuRaL says (419) NuNaGkiya keeLvi allaar vaNaGiya, vaayinar aatal aritu” (Only those capable of searching metaphysical questions will also be capable of humble speech)

The attitude to raise questions after questions and MOVE along breaking every kind of fixations on the way was the attitude that pervades the whole of Tamil culture and this was what also present among the Vedic Tamils.

When they sought to define a Brahmanah as a Dwija and by virtue of birth alone and through that fostered and evil VarNasrama Dharma, a death was meted out to a vibrant culture turning it into something frozen static propagandist and arrogant. The Brahmanism that came in the wake of this degeneration, does not allow free questioning and anyone who questioned the authority of the Vedas were branded as nastikas, the Atheists

Now we see a metaphysical REASON for the practice of VeeLvi where Fire was kindled and kept blazing. In the context of metaphysical questions for which inner illuminations were NOT forthcoming so doubts and uncertainties would persist, the ritual of Fire was a means for activating the INNER FIRE that would singe to ashes the DARK STUFF that would block the burst of lumens that would allow mental clarities with apodictic certainties.

But how is this possible? How can the ritual of Fire furnish the necessary LUMENS, the CiRsakti that would dispel doubts and uncertainties?

It is possible only because BEING as KaNapati dances the dance of Elli, the pure and brilliant LIGHT that would enter through the cracks in the mind and illuminate it. A mind that imprisons itself in the Vedas or any other scriptures and establishes inner blockages, can NEVER have such cracks within and through which the LUMEN can flow and cleanse the mind.


நாமரு கேள்வியர் வேள்வி ஓவா நான்மறையோர் வழிபாடு செய்ய

மாமருவும் மணிக்கோயில் மேய மருகன் நிலாவிய மைந்த! சொல்லாய்

தேமரு பூம்பொழில் சோலை சூழ்ந்த சீர்கொள் செங்காட்டங்குடி அதனுள்

காமரு சீர்மகிழ்ந்து எல்லி ஆடும் கணபதி ஈச்சுரங் காமுறவே


நான்மறையாளர்களாகிய (தமிழ்) வேதியர்கள் ஞானக்கேள்விகள் பலதேற்றி சிவஞானம் மகிழுமா ஓவாது வேள்விகள் செய்தவாறு உனக்கும் வழிபாடும் செய்கின்றனர். பெருமை பொருந்திய மணிகள் நிறைந்த மருகல் எனும் திருவூரில் விரும்பி நிலாவும் வலிமை மிக்க என் இறைவனே! நீ எனக்கு ஒன்று சொல்லவேண்டும். தேன் நிரைந்த பூம்பொழில் சோலைகள் பல சூழ்ந்த இந்த செங்காட்டங்குடி அதனுள், சிவஞானம் அனைவர் உள்ளதிலும் விளங்குமா , மிகவும் விரும்பத்தக்க அழகிய பாடல்களை மகிழ்ந்து கணபதி ஞானவொளியை அசைத்து அசைத்து ஆடுகின்றான். இவ்வாறு அவன் ஆடும் ஈச்சுரத்தை நீ ஏன் மிகவும் விரும்கின்றாய்?


naamaru keeLviyar VeeLvi oovaa naanmaRaiyoor vazipaadu ceyyaa

maamaruvum maNikkooyil meeya Marukal nilaaviya mainta! Collaay

teemaru puumpozil coolai cuuznta ciirkjoL CeGkaaddaGkudi atanuL

kaamaru ciirmakizntu elli aadum KaNapati iiccuraG kaamUravee


The people of the Vedas are people full of metaphysical questions and seeking answers for which they not only worship the deities but also practice VeeLvi always. O the Brave One who pervades the city of Marukal where lies a jewel-like temple that is indeed great, I have a question for you. In the temple of CeGkaaddaGkudi full of honey filled flower gardens and all other natural beauties, there lies the shrine where KaNapati dances the Dance of Pure Light. Now tell me why do you love this shrine so much?


To practice endlessly the ritual of FIRE is to allow the fire within to burn and singe to ashes all the mental blocks, fixations and prejudices. It belongs to a life of FREE MOVEMENT of the mind where the individual is taken by the inner light in the direction of TRUTH and nothing else.

Now this practice of Yajnas does not entail abandoning or even ridiculing Icon Worship and Icon Thinking. For it is understood that no matter how ardently one lights up the Fire in the fire pit and keep it burn and blaze with long tongues, it is another matter whether the Inner Fire will be kindled by such rituals. That belongs to the blessings of BEING especially of KaNapati who dances the Dance of Pure Light (elli)

This also shows that the criminal VarNasrama Dharma does not belong to Tamil Vedism and certainly the original Vedism as well. The mind that allows for free MOVEMENT where the inner light takes cannot be a VarNa mind but rather that which frees itself from such mental prisons.

The Vedism of Sambantar-5

TirumuRai 1: 6 திருமுறை 1:6

The Dance of Destruction and Production of Tamil Vedism

The word Su. ‘Ezen' from which not only SK Yanjna is derived but also the Upanishadic ‘eje-maan”, the Lord of the Yanjna, means also festivals perhaps festivals of fire or light. This word might have become Ta. vizan, vizaa, festivities. What is mentioned here is that the Tamil Vedists recited the Vedas along with hymns sang to the accompaniment of instrumental music where the paadal, the songs were Tamil songs such as those in Paripaadal and so forth. Appar, a contemporary of Sambantar mentions that “: tamizoodu icaippaadal maRantaRiyeen' (I cannot recall a time where I forgot singing Tamil hymns set to music). Thus the chanting of Vedas went along with singing of Tamil hymns set to music and hence with the PaN, a certain raga such as the bulk of the hymns of Devaram and Divya Prabantam corpus.

The point is that there was no conflict and both traditions were well integrated in the celebrations and festivals each serving its own purpose.

Another point here is that it is no more ‘naan maRaiyoor' but rather ‘pan maRaiyoor' which indicates that the Tamil Vedists did not confine their study just to the four Vedas and also studied many other scriptures and which is consistent with they being described as ‘Naamaru KeeLviyar' people full of metaphysical questions. Searching questions lead to the study of as many metaphysical treatises as possible and which tradition was kept alive by the Tamil Jains and Saivites as shown in such books as Nilakeci, Civanjaana Cittiyaar, CaGkaRpa Niraakaranam and so forth. The mind must be exposed to all sorts of metaphysical insights so it is enriched by all if there is truth in such insights.

But why the festivities and celebrations with music dance and chanting?

We take for granted our presence, our daily existence - being with a body and with all the cognitive processes in tact becoming forgetful that it is a blessing of BEING. So when this forgetfulness is destroyed, we see the need to CELEBRATE just being alive. But what destroys this forgetfulness?

The Dance of Destruction of Siva and which at the level of earthly existence becomes that of KaNapati. KaNapati not only dance the Dance of Bliss but also that of Destruction and Death and which symbolically is captured as the Dance with the ghosts and goblins in the cremation and burial grounds, the Kaadu. This is the theme with which Punitavati begins her Muutta Tiruppatikam, the most ancient Devaram hymns where she identifies herself with the ghosts.

The very ordinary existence becomes a matter for celebration only when we realize that DEATH and DESTRUCTION are always there to snatch it away and that it is only because of the Grace of BEING that we live at all.

It is interesting that Tamil Vedism was well in tune with this Saivite Philosophy and so it was NOT AT ALL Vedantic in any way. Perhaps it is also the case with the essence of the Vedas themselves. Saiva Siddhanta may the true essence of the Vedas themselves, as Meykandar claims


பாடல் முழவும் விழவும் ஓவாப் பன் மறையோர் அவர் தாம் பரவ

மாட நெடு கொடி விண் தடவு மருகல் நிலாவிய மைந்த! சொல்லாய்

சேடக மாமலர்ச் சோலை சீர்கொள் செங்காட்டங்குடி அதனுள்

காடகமே இடமாக ஆடுங் கணபதி ஈச்சுரங் காமுறவே


முழவு போன்ற இசைக்கருவிகள் முழங்க, அதற்கேற்ப மக்கள் செந்தமிழில் இன்னிசைப் பாட இந்நகரே விழாக்கோலம் பூண்டுள்ள நேரத்தில் , ஒவாது பலவகையான மறைநூற்களை ஞானத் தெளிவின் பொருட்டு மறையோர்கள் ஓதியவாறு உன்னையும் போற்றுகின்றனர்.. இப்படிப்பட்ட விழா நடக்கும் போது மாடங்களில், விழாவின் பொருட்டு பூட்டப்பட்டுள்ள விண்ணைத் தடவு கொடிகள் நிறைந்த மருகல் என்னும் ஊரில் விரும்பி வதியும் விறல் மிக்க எம் இறைவா! நான் ஒன்று கேட்பேன் காண். கேடகம் போன்ற வட்ட மாமலர்கள் மன்னும் சோலைகள் சூழ்ந்த செங்காட்டங்குடி எனும் கோயிலில், அழிப்பிற்கு இடமாகிய காடகமே இடமாகக் கொண்டு தன் அழிப்புத் திரு தாண்டவத்தை ஆடும் கணபதி இருக்கும் ஈச்சுரத்தை நீ ஏன் காமுறுகின்றாய் , சொல்!


paadal muzavum vizavum oovaap pan maRaiyoor avar taam parava

maada nedu kodu viN tadavu Marukal nilaaviya mainta! Collaay

ceedka maamalarc coolai ciirkoL CeGkaaddaGkudi atanuL

kaadakamee idamaaka aaduG kaNapati iiccuraG kaamuRavee


When the people celebrate (life) singing (Tamil) songs to the accompaniment of boisterous instrumental music like that of drum and so forth, those who are busy endlessly studying many metaphysical texts, also join in the prayers for you. O the brave one who pervades this city of Marukal where for the festival they have raised flags touching the sky on the top of the mansions, I have a question for you. In the temple of CeGkaaddaGkudi, full of gardens with round and large flowers like the war shields, there is a shrine for KaNapati who loves to dance the Dance of Destruction in the cremation grounds. Now tell me why you love so much this shrine?


In this verse Sambantar juxtaposes two themes that are seemingly contradictory and inconsistent with each other - that of festivals and celebrations with music and dance on the one hand and that of Dance of Destruction of KaNapati in the cremation grounds on the other However they are NOT inconsistent for only within the consciousness that death and destruction is always there and which can bounce upon us at anytime that we become aware that the life we live so happily is raher miraculous and which cannot there without the blessings of BEING.

Living becomes such a common place occurrence that we take it for granted without realizing that it is most precious gift of BEING. When we realize this,

just the ordinary existence itself becomes a matter for celebrations as it happens here.

The Vedism of Sambantar-6

TirumuRai 1: 6 திருமுறை 1:6

The Tamil Vedists were Saiva Siddhanties and NOT Vedanties

Unlike the later times perhaps as the result of the impact of Vedanta, the Tamil Vedists became a kind of atheists who refused Icon Worship and Icon Thinking. But here we see Sambantar describing the antaNars worshipping the Dancing Lord dancing away the Dance of Bliss taking for this purpose the golden hue. In this they were not at all different from the ancient Saivites including Patanjali, the One who worshipped Siva in Tillai. These antaNars were not the Brahmins who claimed they are dwijas by birth alone and who had the exclusive privilege of access to the Vedas. The Tamil antaNars, though chanted the Vedas but were NOT forgetful of the worship of BEING as Siva Nadarajah, the dancing Lord and who dances the Dance of Bliss with Uma, a theme that has been with Tamils since the Sumerian times.

Now what can be meaning of punai azal, the yaakam or homa with use of well decorated fire pit?

From the descriptions of Yaakak KuNdam, the fire-pit or Suulai as in Tirumantiram, we see that various kinds of Yantras were drawn around them with squares, circles, triangles, lotus petals and so forth. Thus the Yanjna was probably another Tantric rite where the Fire burning intensely and radiating heat was a ritual realization of the si-kaaram, the primordial fire or the light that destroys the primordial darkness and brings into presence of the whole of cosmos.

Now this makes sense against the observation that these Tamil antaNars, like all other Saivites worshipped Siva Nadarajah of the golden hue. Seeking to become golden in body and mind is seeking to become Pure and Clean and which is possible only if the Malam, the Dark Stuff within is singed to ashes. This AaNava Malam is peculiar for only the Fire of Divine Illuminations can, not destroy it but remove it from the body and mind so that a person purified as such can enjoy the golden body of untold bliss.

This requires the active burning of the mantra si-kaaram in the bosom and for which purpose the Homa of Fire in a pit beautified with Yantras is celebrated. Perhaps the hope was this witnessing of the burning fire within the Yantras would kindle the si-kaaram within and with that dispel the inner darkness or blindness caused by the presence of Malam deep within.

Now this also discloses that antaNars were not the Vedanties but rather the Saivites who subscribed to Saiva Siddhanta with its fundamental ontology of Pati Pacu and Paacam and where among the paacams the Malam is taken as the most basic and anaati - unoriginated and indestructible, a metaphysical insight that is absent in all Vedantic schools.


புனையழல் ஓம்பும் புகை அந்தணர்கள் பொன்னடி நாள் தொறும் போற்றிசைப்ப

மனைகெழு மாடம் மலைந்த வீதி மருகல் நிலாவிய மைந்த! சொல்லாய்

சினைகெழு தண் வயல் சோலை சூழ்ந்த சீர்கொள் செங்காட்டங்குடி அதனுள்

கனைவளர் கூர் எரி ஏந்தி ஆடும் கண்பதி ஈச்சுரங் காமுறவே


மிகவும் அலங்கரிக்கப் பெற்ற ஓமக் குண்டத்தில் அழல் ஓம்பி அதனின்று எழும் புகை திக்கெங்கும் பரவுமா செய்யும் அந்தணர்கள், பொன்மேனியனாக எழுந்து ஆனந்தத் தாண்டவமாடும் உன் திருவடிகளை மறவாது போற்றி¨சைத்த வண்ணம் இருக்கின்றனர். மாடங்கள் பல உள்ள மனைகள் நிறைந்த வீதிகள் பல உள்ள மருகல் என்னும் ஊரில் நின்று அருள்பாலிக்கும் வலிமை மிக்க எம் இறைவனே! உனக்கோர் கேள்வி உண்டு. பல பயிர்கள் நலமே வளரும் தண் வயல்களும் சோலைகளும் சூழ்ந்த செங்காட்டங்குடி அதனுள், எல்லா மாசுக்களையும் அழிக்கும் கனல் விளங்கும் கூரி எரி ஏந்தி ஆடும் கணபதி இருக்கும் ஈச்சுரத்தை நீ ஏன் விரும்புகின்றாய், சொல்!


punaiyazal oombum pukai antaNarkaL ponnadi naL toRum pooRRicaippa

manaikezu maadam malainta viiti Marukal nilaviya mainta collaay

cinaikezu taN vayal coolai cuuznta cirkoL ceGkaadddanGkudi atanuL

kanaivaLar kuur eri eenti aadum KaNapati iiccuraG kaamuravee


The AntaNars worship fire in well decorated fire pits the smoke of which spreads all over without ever forgetting worshipping the golden of Dancing Siva Nadarajah with songs of praise. Now O Lord the brave and strong who pervades the city of Marukal full of streets with mansions! I have a question for you. In the temple of CeGkaaddaGkudi, of fields full of crops and flowers gardens, there is a shrine where KaNapati dances holding intensely burning fire that radiates heat in all directions. Now tell me why you love this shrine so much?

The Vedism of Sambantar- 7&8

TirumuRai 1: 6 திருமுறை 1:6

The Verse 7 is not available in edition I am using.

The Dance of the Shoulders and the Destruction of Arrogance

Sambantar and Appar never fail to sing how the arrogant IravaNa was pressed upon and made to cry when he tried to shake off Kailash itself with his broad shoulders. The broad shoulders of man stand here for a kind of body language in which the masculine physical strength is signified and which can be a source of human arrogance. The kingly persons and warriors added shoulder blades to make it appear large to impress upon others of their physical might. This physical strength can lead to arrogance and which is typified by the image IravaNa who in order to displace God himself would try to shake off Kailash itself and where Siva resides with his woman Parvati. The mythical story goes that while Parvati was frightened and clung to Siva with fear, Siva just pressed the Kailash with His toe and because of which the whole Kailash collapsed on IravaNa making him cry with unbearable pain till Siva relieved him

This kind of inflicting pains upon the arrogant individuals so that they cry, weep ,bleat and so forth is the Dance of Shoulders where BEING, here KaNapati shakes his shoulders, moves them in many bewildering ways consistent with a majestic rhythm of its own. It is not exactly the Rudra TaaNdavam but something akin to that and meant for the politically and religiously arrogant and who would displace God Himself and emplace them there. Such are one kind tyrants both in politics and religion where they want to be worshipped as god incarnate and because of which they claim they are beyond the laws of the nation, beyond the rules of Law.

In connection with this it is interesting that this dance is a danced at elli and which means the night when taken el-ili, the absence of Light, the el (<eri). This stands here for the metaphysical darkness and which is caused by the prevalence of Maalam (maal: dark) and hence absence of enlightenment. When the mind of man is filled with Maalam, he becomes ARROGANT because of IGNORANCE and this dance is danced to destroy this inner arrogance and which involves making them weep and cry.

It is also interesting that the Tamil Vedists are described as those who cherish maaN or what is the same .'MaaNaRivu' - deep metaphysical illuminations. This word is the root of ‘maaNam' ‘piramaaNam' and so forth and it is best translated as ‘Axiomatic Truths” - the fundamental truths that are there always deathless and which should serve the leading of the most authentic life. This word can also be located in the Rig Vedic “brahmaNoo Agni' and so forth and it may be possible that it is this word that has become corrupted and made a term descriptive of a caste, the Brahmins, the dwijas by birth alone.

The Tamil Vedists, called AntaNar were certainly NOT these Brahmins but rather those who were illuminated by the Axiomatic Truths, the MaaNaRivu and which has nothing to do with birth

Such people - the truly enlightened and spiritual - will certainly understand the Dance of Shoulders of Siva enacted in the world in the icon form of KaNapati as said here


பூண் தங்கு மார்பில் இலங்கை வேந்தன் பொன் நெடுந் தோள் வரையால் அடர்த்து

மாண் தங்கு நூன்மறையோர் பரவ மருகன் நிலாவிய மைந்த! சொல்லாய்

சேண் தங்கு மாமலர் சோலை சூழ்ந்த சீர்கொள் செங்காட்டங்குடி அதனுள்

காண் தங்கு தோள் பெயர்த்து எல்லி யாடுங் கணபதி ஈச்சுரங் காமுறவே


மாணறிவாகிய தெள்ளிய சிவஞானம் அகத்தே தங்க, எல்லா மறைநூற்களையும் கற்றோர், பலவகையான அணிகலன்களைப் பூண்டு ஆணவச் செருக்கால் இலங்கை வேந்தனது நெடுந் தோள்களை அவனது திமிரெல்லாங் கெட பொன் வரையால் அடர்த்திய உனது வீரட்டத்தை போற்றிய வண்ணம் இருக்கின்றனர் . இவ்வாறு அவர்கள் போற்றுதலை மகிழ்ந்து மருகல் என்னும் திருவூரில் விரும்பி வதியும் விறல் மிக்க என் பெருமானே ! உனக்கோர் கேள்வி உண்டு காண். மிக அழகிய மாமலர்கள் நிறைந்த் சோலைகள் சூழ்ந்த செங்காட்டங்குடி எனும் கோயிலில், கண்டு கண்டு மகிழும் வண்ணம் தோள்களைப் பெயர்த்து பெயர்த்து ஞானவிருள் சூழ்ந்திருக்கும் போதும் ஞானவொளி யாடும் கணபதி இருக்கும் ஈச்சுரத்தை நீ ஏன் பெரிதும் விரும்புகின்றாய் சொல்!


puuN taGku maarbil ilaGkai veentan pon nedn tool varaiyaal adarttu

maaN taGku nuunmaRaiyoor parava marrukal nilaaviya mainta! Collaay

ceeN taGku maamalar coolai cuuznta ciirkoL ceGkaadaGkudi atanuL

kaaN taGku tool peyarttu elli yaaduG KaNapati iiccuraG kaamuravee


O Lord once when the Arrogance IravaNa with broad shoulders full of golden ornaments try to shake off the golden Kailash itself, you made him cry weep and bleat by pressing gently upon hill with your toes . Now you reside in the city of Marukal where great scholars abound well versed in metaphysical treatises and well illuminated with axiomatic truths who praise your greatness always. Now I have question for you. In the temple of CeGkaaddaGkudi and in a shrine there we have KaNapati who dances in the Dark the Dance of Shoulders where He moves it in many bewildering ways. Now tell me why you love this shrine so much?


The descriptive phrase ‘maaN taGku nuun maRaiyaaLar” means in general people who are metaphysically well versed (nuun maRaiyaaLar) and who are illuminated because of MaaN ARivu, axiomatic truths. The original and Dravidian meaning of the BrahmaNa taken as a corruption of PiramaaNam may be this. The Axiomatic Truths are like axioms in Logic but metaphysical truths that are there for all to acquire and on the basis of which work out the most authentic existence.

The Vedism of Sambantar- 9

TirumuRai 1: 6 திருமுறை 1:6

The Tamil Vedists were Chaste Tamils ( Cen Tamizoor)

A number of interesting themes emerge in this verse. The first is that those who chanted the Vedas were NOT some alien IndoAryans or some foreigners to the Tamils. They are not also just simply the ordinary Tamils but rather the Centamizoor- people of chaste Tamil like CaGkam Kapilar ParaNar and so forth. This means probably they did not see any difference between the language of the Vedas and Classical Tamil and that they viewed the Rigkrit as a kind of Tamil. Now if this is not the case and it is maintained that they knew the difference in language, it is clear that they were Centamizoor nevertheless, Tamils and not an alien Indo-Aryan tribe or anything of that sort.

The AntaNar were Tamils just like all else and in this sense they were NOT most certainly Brahmins who are dwijas by birth alone. The CenTamil AntaNars who chanted the Vedas were not Brahmins of the VarNasrama Dharma but rather the metaphysically inclined individuals and who mastered the pan maRai, ( many metaphysical treatises) and nun maRai ( very scholarly treatises) etc.

Now another understanding is that the Vedic slokas were understood as a species of Mantras or at least texts that would have the same effect as the chanting of mantras like Na-Ma-Si-Vaa-Ya and so forth and about which Sambantar himself has written many patikams. This also makes it clear that Mantrayana such as that Tirumular was already very deeply understood and that the various Vedic slokas and Tamil hymns were collectively understood as simply variations on the chanting of Mantras. The Mantrayana must have provided a deep metaphysical insight that allowed them to liberate themselves and TRANSCEND the scriptures of ordinary language and see the metaphysical life in terms of mantras where not only the various processes in the world but the various scriptures and metaphysical treatises are in fact linguistic reflexes of the mantras . The Vedic slokas are Surface Structures the Deep Structures of which are mantras. In chanting the Vedas they were mindful of the mantras at the depths and hence truly metaphysical

Now this brings us to the next theme that BEING as destroyer-regenerator was unknown the Brahma of mere scriptural knowledge and Vishnu or Tirumaal of ARituyil or Yoganidra - the dream-consciousness. Those who are possessed by Brahma are captured by scriptures as words of God and do not see them as words having as DS the mantras. Now those who are captured by dream-consciousness and related forms of transcendental consciousness and remain captured by them, do not see that during MakapiraLayam, even these forms of consciousness are wiped out and only the Primeval Darkness, the Maalam come to prevail. Thus emerges BEING as Antam-aati, He who causes this MakapiraLayam and hence also that Power who reissues the whole of the cosmos.

Sambantar mentions that the Tamil Vedists, the AntaNars who are also chaste Tamils were people possessed of this metaphysical understanding and which goes with the fact that they were particularly tuned to marvel and praise the dancing Lord both as Siva and KaNapati.

Now in this verse there is no mention of the Dance but only that of Yanjna, the VeeLvi with the fragrant akil wood and hence a ritual of spreading fragrant smell around the temple. Thus the VeeLvi is not only a way of activating the Inner Fire but also a ritual of spreading fragrance all around. The fragrance like flowers is a symbol of physical well-being and joy and hence an indication that the VeeLvi as a whole is something that would bring about general well-being and happiness all around. This again shows that there was intense social awareness among those practiced VeeLvi and chanted the Vedas within the temples.


அந்தமும் ஆதியும் நான்முகனும் அரவணையானும் அறிவரிய

மந்திர வேதங்கள் ஓதும் நாவர் மருகல் நிலாவிய மைந்த! சொல்லாய்

செந்தமிழோர்கள் பரவி ஏத்தும் செங்காட்டங்குடி அதனுள்

கந்தம் அகிற் புகையே கமழும் கணபதி ஈச்சுரங் காமுறவே


அனைத்தையும் அழித்து தானே விஞ்சி இருப்பதால் அந்தமாதியாகிய இறைவனை, இந்த மகாப்பிரளயத்தை அறியாதே வேதனாகிய நான்முகனும் , பாம்பணையில் மீது அறிதுயில் கொள்ளும் திருமாலும் இருக்கின்றனர. ஆனால் இந்த உண்மையை உணர்ந்த அந்தணர்கள், வேத சுலோகங்களை மந்திரங்களாகவே எண்ணி , இந்த அந்தமாதியாகிய இறைவனை அடைந்து மகிழ ஓதிய வண்ணம் இருக்கின்றனர். இப்படிப்பட்ட திரு ஊராகிய மருகலில் விரும்பி வதியும் விறல் மிக்க இறைவா! உனக்கோர் கேள்வி உண்டு, இந்த வேத மந்திரஙகள் ஓதும் நாவர் செந்தமிழோர்கள் ஆகும். அவர்கள் நிறைந்து உன்னைப் பரவி ஏத்தும் செங்காட்டங்குடி எனும் திருக்கோயிலில், நல்ல மணத்து அகில் புகையே கமழும் வண்ணம் வேள்வி செய்யும் இந்த கணபதி ஈச்சுரத்தை நீ ஏன் மிகவும் விரும்புகின்றாய்?


antamum aatiyum naanmukanum aravaNaiyaanum aRivariya

mantira veetanGkal ootum naavar Marukal nilaaviya mainta! Collaay

centamizoorkaL paravi eettum ceGkaaddaGkkudi ataNul

kantam akiR pukaiyee kamazum kaNapti iiccuraG kaamuRavee


Brahma of the scriptures and VishNu of the Snake bed and who enjoys ARituyil (Yoganidra) remain ignorant of BEING, the destroyer-regenerator. In the city of Marukal there are those who understand BEING as such chanting the Vedas as if they are mantras. O My Lord the Powerful who prevails in this city, I have a question for you. These chaste Tamils who praise you and sing your glories in the temple of CeGkaaddaGkudi also practice the Yanjna in the shrine of KaNapati where they burn the akil wood the smoke of which carry sweet fragrance all around. Now tell me why you love this shrine so much?


This verse brings out that the VeeLvi was practiced within the shrines where it was done to spread out fragrant smoke all around. This practice still continues where even at home where Sambrani, a kind of resins are burnt. We can also include here the burning of Uutupatti, sticks with pastes that give off sweet smelling smoke on being burnt. This is over and above the burning of Suudam, camphor that gives off bright light on being lighted up. Such rituals seem to be replacements of the ancient yajnas in the temples.

The Vedism of Sambantar- 10

TirumuRai 1: 6 திருமுறை 1:6

The Celebration of Sexuality

Right from very ancient days there has been a conflict in relation to how man should handle sexuality, perhaps the most fundamental instinctual pressure in man and woman . While Sambantar is noted for the polemics he waged against the Jains and Buddhists of the time and with whom he debated vigorously, he makes a point to denigrate these people in almost every Patikam and towards the close. This Patikam is no exception - he criticizes the Jains and Buddhists of the times but for a good reason.

It appears that these religions were promoting a FALSE asceticism, a kind of asceticism that killed every sexual impulse with eating herbs barks and spices so that one can live without seeking the company of the females and hence entering the institution of family life. This also led them to denigrate the females who were said to be incapable of Moksa and that they have to be reborn as males in order to enjoy it and so forth. This also led them to disown and discourage the culture of dance and music that were seen as sexuality stimulating and so forth.

These practices though criticized severely by Sambantar, have entered Saivism and we find them to this day at least in some Saiva sects and monasteries. A compromise solution was that of IllaRat TuRavu such as that of KaNNudaiya VaLLalar and the tradition he established. They were allowed family life and believed that asceticism should emerge naturally and through a satiation of the sexual desires with unions with a female, the wife. To symbolize this they wore the WHITE dhoti instead of Saffron robes, something Arutpirakasa VaLLalar also adopted. To him moving out from sexual desires should come naturally and should not be forced with artificial means such as diet control and so forth

But what is the natural way of rising above sexual desires?

The soul remains sexual only when it remains a male or female and it rises above it only when it becomes androgynous i.e. male-female completely. This is the MODEL projected as for all human beings by the Icon Form of Arthanari- the half male and hale female from of Siva. This also means the soul having equal measures of the masculine Natam and feminine Bindu so that every thing installed by Natam is also permeated fully by Bindu. One manifestation of the union of both is that man becomes both ANALYTICAL and hence intelligent and LOVING and hence someone who cares for all., like a mother would.

True ACSTICISM is caring totally and completely for ALL and this can be the case only if the soul becomes Arthanari, both masculine and feminine with equal measures of Natam and Bindu.

Now here the dance is the dance wearing the skin of the antelope and which symbolizes the activation of sexual desires. KaNapati dances this dance at night so that both males and females of all creatures would seek out partners of the opposite sex and enjoy the Androgynous form at least temporarily in the union of body and mind in such occasions. Thus the sexual urges are of divine origins and should NOT be killed with eating dried herbs and species. We must go along with it and saturating such desires by enjoying them as blessings of BEING, rise ABOVE it through deepening metaphysical visions that would FREE the soul from the bodily attachments.


இலை மருதே அழகாக நாளும் இடு துவர்க் காயொடு சுக்குத் தின்னும்

நிலை அமண் தேரரை நீங்கி நின்று நீதர் அல்லார் தொழு மாமருகல்

மலைமகள் தோள் புணர்வாய் அருளாய் மாசில் செக்காட்டங்குடி அதனுள்

கலைமல்கு தோல் உடுத்தி எல்லி யாடுங் கணபதி ஈச்சுரங் காமுறவே


காமத்தை வெல்லும் வண்ணம் சமணர்களும் புத்த பிக்குளாகிய தோரும் மருந்து இலை துவர்க்காய் சுக்கு போன்றவற்றை நாளும் தின்று வாழ்நாளை வீணே போக்குவர். இது பிழையான போக்கு என்றும் ஆணும் பெண்ணும் இணைந்து வாழ்வதே மெய்யான வாழ்க்கை என்றும் காட்டுமா மலைமகளாகிய பார்வதியை உன் சரிபாதியாகக் கொண்டு , அந்த அம்மையோடு ஒன்றாய் இருப்பதின் காரணமாக அருளே வடிவாகி யாண்டும் அருளிக்கொண்டே இருப்பதின் எவ்வித குற்றமும் இல்லாது செங்காட்டங்குடி என்னும் திருக்கோயில் விளங்குகின்றது. இவ்வாறு நீ விளங்கி அருள்பாலிக்கும் மக்களும் பொய்த்துறவு என்னும் நீசம் நீங்கி மாமருகல் என்னும் திருவூரில் உன்னையேத் தொழுதவண்ணம் இருக்கின்றனர். இனி உனக்கோர் கேள்வி உண்டு. புலித்தோல் யானைத்தோல் போன்று கலைமான் தோலும் உடுத்தி இரவில் கணபதி ஆடும். அந்த ஆட்டம் நிகழும் ஈச்சுரத்தை நீ ஏன் விரும்புகின்றாய் சொல்.


ilai marutee azakaaka naaLum idu tuvark kaayodu cukkut tinnum

nilai amaN teerarai niiGki ninRu niitar allaar tozu maamarukal

malaimakaL tool puNarvaay aruLaay maacil CeGkaaddaGkudi atanuL

kalaimalku tool udutti elli yaaduG klaNapti iiccuraG kaamuravee


There are the Jain and Buddhists monks who spend the days eating medicinal herbs bitter nuts and spices and all to kill the sexual impulses within. But the Saivites knowing that this a FALSE way of life, dissociate themselves from such monks and live in the Great Marukal worshipping you who disclose to them with Parvati as equal half and becoming the most loving because of that . Now for you who pervade the temple of CeGkaaddaGkudi as thus, I have a question . KaNapati now wearing the skin of the antelope, dances in the dark (thereby activating the sexual desires in all). Now tell me, why you love so much the shrine where KaNapati dances this dance?


It appears that at the time of Sambantar itself (6th cent AD?) the Jain and Buddhist monks knew the art of what can be called self-mummification, a practice that was prevalent till recently in Tibet and perhaps still available in some parts of Japan. They go on a diet of barks of some trees for years and finally eating some mud that contain naturally some arsenic. In this way they bring to a still every expression of life and when death comes their body becomes a mummy quite naturally.

But this whole philosophy of life as if meant for preparing for death, a kind of prolonged suicide is NOT living at all and the Saivites revolted against it. Both Sambantar and Appar were the chief architects of this protest and deconstruction of this philosophy of life and because of which they always sang the Androgynous form of BEING , an Icon form as ancient as Sumerian times where In-Anna in one her shapes appears as thus.

Sexuality should not be feared and destroyed and because of that the females hated and avoided. It should be enjoyed and through LOVE so that both a man and woman transmute it into LOVE... Living as the an individual full of LOVE and CARE for all is the most authentic form of living

The Vedism of Sambantar- 11

TirumuRai 1: 6 திருமுறை 1:6

The Vedic Recitation Devaram Singing and Agamism

In Agamism, there is no scripture that is taken as absolutely authoritative, differing in this from the degenerate Vedism that elevated the Vedas as supremely authoritative. This is part of Metatheism that Sambantar has also described in many patikams. This theme re-emerges here and interestingly enough in the context where he sings very approvingly of Vedic chanting and VeeLvi that goes along with it. The Vedism of the Tamils (before they degenerated into the Vedantic Vedists) was very consistent with this Agamism where nothing but TRUTH and hence BEING is taken as the authority.

We should recall here that the chanting of the Vedas and performance of Yanjna were done by the AntaNar-s who were Centamizoor, the chaste Tamils and who were well versed not only in the Vedas but also all scriptures (pan maRaiyoor). They were the metaphysical souls who were eager for metaphysical insights and hence OPEN to study all texts and LEARN whatever truths that were available there.

Now this openness expresses itself in this Patikam with the claim of Sambantar that those who sing these verses with the PaN (tune) appropriate to them will also be cleansed of the dirt within , the Tol Vinai because of the metaphysical illuminations furnished by them, It is also implicated that these verses will activate the presence of BEING-as-Siva who holds the Trident, that symbol of the Metaphysical Sun that would dispel the inner darkness of the Maalam that engulfs the soul and make it BLIND, unable to SEE the metaphysical depths.

Now why would Sambantar claim such a capacity for hymns that were composed by him?

Surely he was not a SLAVE to the Vedas who claimed like the Baddacariyas and other Vedanties that only the study of Vedas would equip a man with Brahmanjaanam and with that dispel the Myttai Njaanam, the false and delusory understanding of the viyavakaarika world i.e. the understanding of normal existence. Along side the recitation of Vedas, he also recommends the singing of these hymns and which are also efficacious in dispelling the inner darkness. Thus he subscribes to the basic principle of Agamism - that there is nothing absolutely authoritative and that the metaphysical explorations of man are continuous and which takes different shapes at different times.

The Hymns of Sambantar as much as those of Punitavati Appar Sundarar, Namazvar Sir ANdaL, Poykai Azwar and so forth are just as efficacious as are the recitation of Vedas in dispelling the inner darkness by activating the presence of the Divine Forces deep in the soul. Thus there is the making of scriptures as a continuous process and something we see in the Tamil tradition to this day where important scriptures have been produced periodically and which goes on to this day in varying scales.

Another amazing fact is that this appears to be a recover of a poetic tradition as ancient as the Sumerian En Hudu Anna (c. 2300 BC) for in her magnificent Sirbiyam, an Exordium on In-Anna ,she also mentions something very similar


139 ni gi-u-na ma-ra-an-du-ga
That which I recited to you at (mid) night

Ta.nisi maiuuna maanRaan tuukka

நிசி மைஊன்ன மான்றான் தூக்க

140 gala an-NE-ke su hu-mu-ra-ab-gi-gi
May the singer repeat it to you at noon

Ta. kalai aanneekkee suur ummunRa av miiL miiL

கலை வானக்கே சொல் உம்மோன்ற அவ் மீள்மீள்

141 dam-dib-ba-za-ke-es dumu-di-za-ke-es
(only ) on account of your captive spouse, on account of your captive child

Ta. tam tiiyppa j-akee-es tamu idi jiakka-es

தம் அடைப்பஜாக்கேயிசு தமு விதி ஜாக்கேயிசு

142 ib-ba-zu ib-gu- ul sa-zu nu-te-en-te
Your rage is increased, your heart unassuaged!

Ta. evva ju ippu koL saay ju naa taNittee

எவ்வ ஜு இப்பு கொள் சாய்ஜு நா தணித்தே!


What she composed and gave birth to at the middle of the night, the singers should recite in day time so that they will also have In-Anna getting angry at the those who bring miseries to them.

Such a continuity is quite amazing, really. Long before the even Vedas were composed, there were Dravidian tradition of Hymn singing and certainly this was how the Vedas themselves were viewed by Tamils - one set of hymns composed on the way of man towards BEING and in which Devaram and so forth constitutes another perhaps more informed because they came later.


நாலும் குலைக் கமுகு ஓங்கு காழி ஞானசம்பந்தன் நலந் திகழும்

மாலின் மதி தவழ் மாடம் ஓங்கு மருகலின் மற்றதன் மேன் பொழிந்த

சேலும் கயலும் திளைத்த கண்ணார் சீர்கொள் செங்காட்டங்குடி அதனுள்

சூலம் வல்லான் கழல் ஏத்துப் பாடல் சொல்ல வல்லார் வினை இல்லையாமே


ஞானசம்பந்தனாகிய அடியேன் குலை குலையாத் தொங்கும் கமுகு ஓங்கி நிற்கும் செழிப்பினை உணர்த்தும் சீகாழி என்னும் திருநகரில் பிறந்தவனாகும். இவ்வாறாகிய யான் தெய்வ நலந்திகழும் வகையில், பாடல்களைப் பாடியுள்ளேன்.. எதனைப் பற்றியோ வெனின், கரிய மேகத்தின் ஊடே தண்ணொளி மதி தவழ்கின்றவாறு ஓங்கி வளர்ந்து சிறப்புற்றிருக்கும் மருகல் என்னும் ஊரில் உள்ள செங்காட்டங்குடி என்னும் திருக்கோயிலில், சேல் மீன் கயல் மீன் போன்ற கண்களை உடைய அழகிய மகளிர் நடமாடும் அழகு கொண்டுள்ள அதனுள், திரிசூலம் வல்லானாகிய சிவபெருமான் வீரக்கழல்களை ஏத்திப் பாடியவையே யாகும். இவற்றை பொருந்திய பண்ணோடு பாடவல்லார் , உண்டாகும் ஞானத்தெளிவின் காரணமாக தொல்லை தரும் பொல்லாத வினைகள் எல்லாம் போயகல சுத்தமாகுவர் என்பதாம்


naalum kulaik kamuku ooGku kaazi njaanasambantan nalan tikazum

maalin mati tavaz maadam ooGku marukalin maRRatan meen pozinta

ceelum kayalum tiLaitta kaNNaar ciirkoL CeGkaaddaGkudi atanuL

cuulam vallaan kazl eettup paadal colla vallaar Vinai illaiyaamee


I, Njaana Sambantan, was born in Sikaazi, a prosperous city where hang in bunches the Kamuku and so forth. I have composed metaphysical verses where divine beauties abound. And they are in praise of the Divine Feet of the holder of Trident who resides in the temple of CeGkaaddaGkudi where young ladies with eyes like Kayal and Ceel fish move about and which is situated in the city of Marukal where looms at large the full moon in the dark sky. Now any one who recites and sings these verses are sure to become free of binding karmas (by the metaphysical illuminations they provide)


In the earlier verses it has been in praise of the Dance of KaNapati and which is the earthly presentation of the heavenly Dance of Siva. But here there is no more mention of the DANCE but only Siva as the beholder of the Trident and which represents the Sakti, the Power. This is to indicate that the various dances that illuminate the human mind are in fact the different expressions of Power or Sakti and which is an integral part of Siva Himself.

Essensing the Vedism of Sambantar

The study of Sambantar's Patikam on CeGkaaddaGkudi, which mentions personal observations on the way the Vedas were used among the Tamils at that time (6th-7th cent AD) gives a picture of Vedism vastly different from the Vedocentric Brahmanism with its evil VarNasrama Dharma(VD) that seem to NOT to figure in the Vedas themselves. It appears that sometime later there were a group of Hindu-s who isolated Sanskrit language and Vedas and created VD and in which they placed themselves at the top and fooled the world by claiming that they were dwijas by virtue of birth alone and with that precipitating a cultural calamity that perhaps gave rise to the flourish of Jainism and Buddhism that were strongly opposed to VD. However in the Tamil country it appears the pristine conditions of Vedas and the way they were understood were retained only to fall in subsequent times and with which even the very ancient Vedism of the Tamils declined.

The essences of this Patikam that allows us to recover this original uncorrupted Vedism can be seen as follows:


The Vedism of Tamils was part of the general Agamism and which is the basic metaphysical insight that governs the ancient Nubian- Kemetian-Sumerian-Dravidian culture as exemplified by the pyramids and pyramidal temples. It is essentially a MOVEMENT, a metaphysical odyssey where the human soul TRAVELS and climbs up step by step towards the metaphysical peak and attain Moksa. In this and on way there can be various kinds scriptural and architectural productions but which are NOT absolutely authoritative. Such productions are what the soul has to study , understand them and pass over to something higher. Man should not allow himself to become fixated as it has happened within the deviant Vedic traditions - FIXATIONS to SK language and the Vedas where it is said only the Vedas contain the Brahmanjaanam that would dispel the Myttai, all the worldly knowledge. The whole of this Vedic-Vedantic tradition has brainwashed not only the bulk of Brahmans but also many others so that they cannot give any REASONS for their claims. Sambantar does not go along with it- for along with the Vedas he also places his own hymns as efficacious is purifying the soul , This understanding runs through the whole gamut of Dravidian scriptural tradition right from Sumerian times where hymn singing is part of the CLIMB towards the metaphysical heights and a process that will repeat itself continuously as is the case with the Tamil scriptural tradition where no single scripture has been held up as the Word of God and hence the Absolutely authoritative.


This brings us to the essence of Agamism viz. understanding metaphysical excursions as belonging to Hermeneutic Sciences of the most fundamental kind. It is scientific in sense that what conditions the whole movement is TRUTH and every scriptural and architectural monument as embodiments of such truths discovered in the way. There asat-truths and sat-truths where while the asat-truths are embodied as Texts, scriptures or temple architecture and so forth, the Sat-Truth is trans-textual and enjoyed only in Deep Silence. People involved in such metaphysical enterprises were called AntaNar in the Tamil country and at the time of Sambantar and earlier; they were Cen Tamizar, chaste Tamils and not at all the Sanskriticized Brahmins who isolated themselves from the general public as special kind of individuals. They were not only naan maRaiyoor, well versed in the Vedas but also pan maRaiyoor, well versed in all the scriptures and hence OPEN to learn truths no matter from where it came . The Brahmin community with a separate identity should have been a later development quite antithetical to the earlier non-caste sense of AntaNar. This means not only the great CaGkam antaNars like Kapilar ParaNar and so forth but also the Buddhist logicians like Dharmakirti Dignata Dharmapala and so forth were chaste Tamils but perhaps antaNars in the sense of great scholars or philosophers


Now it also appears that VeeLvi and Veda Recital were PUBLIC events and which were celebrated as part of Temple rituals. The general public was NOT excluded from participation in these VeeLvi-s and Vedic recitations. This also means that perhaps Vedic studies were accessible to all who were keen on it and not at all hoarded as exclusive privileges of the Brahmins and higher castes as it is made out to be in the Dharma Sastras. The right to learn Vedas and be proficient in them was NOT a caste constituting identity among the Tamils in ancient times and hence when we note someone as a Vedists we cannot jump to the conclusion that he was a Brahmin in the current sense of the word. When any one can learn and be proficient in the Vedas, it is clear that no caste identities can be inferred.

The VeeLvi as Temple -centered public ritual also shows that it is linked with the Agamic practices of ‘tiiba tuubam kaaddal' the showing of Pure Light and spreading fragrant smoke all around. The burning of Ghee to produce brilliant light and akil wood to produce fragrant smoke are the same except that it is done on a large scale and for the good of all the people. The antaNars were who conducted these VeeLvi's were well integrated with the society and did not perform these rituals exclusively for the Brahmin community alone in closely guarded seclusion where the non-Brahmins or lower castes , the sudras could not even hear a word of the Vedas. If this was the case the Brahmin community as such would have been rooted out from the Tamil country long ago.


The absence of animosity and presence of Vedic recitations along with Tamil hymn singing shows that probably Rigkrit was NOT seen as an alien language belonging to Indo-Aryans or a member of Indo-European family of languages. It was not also seen as Deva Bhasa in contrast to which Tamil was a Nisa Bhasa, evil language. These kinds of ideas never existed in ancient Tamilakam where as said by Tol all Indian languages were understood as CenTamil, chaste Tamil or Kodun Tamil, deviant Tamil. Perhaps SK was recognized as Pada Mozi (> vada mozi) a ‘dead' form of Tamil language itself , no more in the lips of man as was Tamil but frozen and restricted in use.


Now in almost all the verses, Sambantar never fails to mention that the AntaNars were delightful and keen worshippers of the Dance, both that of Siva and His son KaNapati. The dances of KaNapati are in fact the dances of Siva but done locally - in the world and in the soul of all. This means that they were metaphysically Saiva Siddhanties and NOT Vedanties at all. Perhaps the Advaita Vedanta did not exist at the time of Sambantar and if at all, not subscribed by the scholars who recited the Vedas. This means they were the ancient upholders of Saiva Siddhanta and who paved the way for the great developments in this metaphysics in the post Buddhist times as effected by Sambantar, Appar, Tirumular and so forth, It may also be possible that some of these ancient Saivite Tamils were ‘converted' to Vedism perhaps with the advent of Advaita Vedanta and with which begins Brahmanism in the Tamil country also with their fixations to SK language Vedas and so forth. At least some Tamils right from ancient times were always ready to embrace new religions that were introduced e.g. Jainism Buddhism and more recently Islam and Christianity



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இப்பக்கம் கடைசியாக 10 பெப்ரவரி 2013, 08:35 மணிக்குத் திருத்தப்பட்டது. இப்பக்கம் 1,589 முறைகள் அணுகப்பட்டது.