canon of "saiva siddhaanta

Wed Apr 22 13:29:40 UTC 1998

Following are the arguments by Prof. N. Subrahmanian
for dating Tirumuular in early 6th (or even late 5th)
century CE. NS is a descendant of V. K. Suryanarayana
Sastri (paritimAR kalai~nar) and a historian of repute.
It comes in a foreword to a book by
his student. (R. Venkatraman, A history of the Tamil
Siddha cult, Madurai, 1990. BTW, RV dates Tirumuular in
10th century, positing two Tirumuulars.).

"A totally unacceptable value frame can make no headway in an
unresponsive society. It will therefore be in order to expect that
in the Tamil society, there already existed a cross-section
which enjoyed somewhat at least of the Siddha ways. It is
interesting to note that one does come across such a people
in the pre-bhakti age of the Tamils. They were known as the
aRivar (tolkaappiyam, puRattiNai iyal 75). Commenting on
a suutram in the tolkaappiyam which mentions aRivar,
naccin2aarkkin2iyar says:

   *kalaca yOkiyaakiya akattiyan2 mutaliyOrum aRivar en2Ru
    uNarka*  and

  *yOkikaLaay upaayaGkaLaan2 mukkaalamum uNarnta maamuular
   mutaliyOr aRivan2REyattu an2ainilai vakaiyOraavaar*

It is significant that in this context, the medieval commentator
should refer to Tirumuular as Maamuular. The prefixes, maa and
tiru are interchangeable as can be seen in the usages of
maaallikkENi for tiru allikkENi by aazvaars, maamayilai
for tirumayilai in tEvaaram. (maa and tiru both mean

These aRivar were a category of wise men who already existed in the Tamil
society and they find mention in the pre-6th century literature of
the Tamils.The kalittokai anthology speaks of aRivar who are
explained as kaNi or the astrologers. The Siddhas who come later
are also noted for their aaruuDam or astrology (retelling). ..."

NS dates Tirumuular in late 5th-early 6th century CE.
KZ also says that "Legend says that Sambandhar discovered
Tirumuular's works in TiruvaavaDutuRai temple".
So, did Tirumuular belong to pre-bhakti, pre-sambandhar
days? ie., pre-7th century.

KZ dates him to be in late 6th-early 7th centuries CE.
I gave the relevent writings earlier.

N. Ganesan


mahaavAkyas from Tirumantiram

Tirumuular's sayings have become proverbs over the centuries.
Secularism is enshrined in them.

an2pE civam
    -  God is Love

yaan2 peRRa in2pam peRuka iv vaiyakam
   - May this World share the bliss that I have enjoyed.

on2RE kulamum, oruvan2E tEvan2um
   - The entire humankind  is one family, and
      the Lord we all worship is only one.

uTampuLE uttaman2 kOyil koNTaan2 en2Ru
  uTampin2ai Ompukin2REn2E
   - Our body  is the Temple of the Lord,
      to take care of it is Sacred.


N. Ganesan

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