Thirumandhiram, is a Tamil Hindu poetic work written in the tenth century BCE by Thirumoolar. It contains 3047 verses that deals with various aspects of ethics and praises of the Hindu God Shiva. Sekkizhar, the author of Periyapuranam, described Thirumandhiram as "Tamil Moovaayiram".

These poems by Thirumoolar are known as Thirumandhiram and are classified as the tenth of the twelve Tirumurais of Saivism. In Tirumantiram the various yogas such as Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga, Karma Yoga, Tantra Yoga, Mantra Yoga and Daya Yoga are explained. His Saiva devotional works are based on bhakti (devotion), also known as Thothiram in Tamil, while the philosophical works are based on gnanam (knowledge), known as Sathiram.

Scope of Thirumandhiram

Thirumandhiram is divided into nine chapters known as Thanthirams. The First thanthiram, upathesam expresses Shiva philosophical views and divine experience. It also has verses speaking about impermanency of the physical body, love, education etc. The second thanthiram contains verses relating to Siva's glory, His divine acts, classification of souls etc. Yoga practices and applications find place in the third thanthiram. Details dealing with manthiram, thanthiram, etc., are given in the fourth thanthiram. Various branches of Saiva religion and the four paths of chariyai etc., are given in the fifth thanthiram. The sixth thanthiram describes Siva as a teacher (guru) bestowing his grace and what the devotees need to do to receive His blessings. Various forms of Siva linga, Siva worship, and ways to control one's self, are expressed in the seventh thanthiram. The eighth thanthiram deals with the experience stages of soul. The ninth thanthiram gives details of Panchadsara manthiram, Siva's dance, state of samadhi, etc.

These poems have a unique metrical structure, with each line consisting of 11 or 12 syllables, depending upon the initial syllable. This is the earliest known exposition of Saiva Agamas in Tamil. Thirumular discusses on the four steps of spiritual progress namely, Karya, Kriya, Yoga and Gnana, the concept of Pati, Pasu and Pasa and the fourfold sadhanas, Vedanta, interprets the Upanishadic Mahavakya, Tat tvam asi (Thatthuvamasi) through the grammatical technique of Lakshanatraya. The Vedantic concept of sevenfold adjuncts (Upaadhi) of Jiva and the same number of Upadhis of Isvara, the absolute and transcendental reality as Sunya devoid of any attribute. There are portions in his treatise, identifiable as Tantrasastra, as they are rich in materials on basic principles of Shakti worship, Chakras, magic spells and their

Thirumandhiram Text

Tantram 1 & 2 (verses 1-548)

Tantram 3 (verses 549-883)

Tantram 4 (verses 884-1154)

Tantram 5 & 6 (verses 1155-1704)

Tantram 7 (verses 1705-2121)

Tantram 8 (verses 2122-2648)

Tantram 9 (verses 2649-3402)



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