Published:28 Jun 2021 9 PMUpdated:28 Jun 2021 9 PM  Sakthi Vikatan


  1.   Sacred sports by Sivaperuman were a multitude, and He conferred grace to the four Saiva saints: Kāl to Mānikkavāsakar, Sūl to Tirunāvukkarasar, Pāl to Tiruñānasambandar and Ōlai to Sundarar. Sacred sports by Sivaperuman were a multitude, and He conferred grace to the four Saiva saints: Kāl to Mānikkavāsakar, Sūl to Tirunāvukkarasar, Pāl to Tiruñānasambandar and Ōlai to Sundarar.  கால் – சூல் - பால் - ஓலை  = Kāl-Sūl-Pāl-Ōlai = Foot – Trident – Milk – Palm leaf Document. 

2.    கால் = Kāl = foot of Siva

3.    Manikkavasakar went to buy horses for the King. On his way, Siva seated in the guise of a Guru under the Kuruntha tree in Avudaiyar Temple, gave Diksha with his foot on his head.

4.    சூல் = Sūl = Trident of Siva

5.    Tirunavukkarasar once was a Jain. Siva gave him sharp abdominal pain as if caused by the trident. Not knowing what to do, Tirnavukkarasar begged, pleaded and worshipped Siva, and found relief. 

6.    பால் = Pāl = Milk 

7.    Sambandar cried from hunger as a tender child. Siva and Ambal  enslaved him by offering milk (Milk of Spiritual Wisdom). 

8.    ஓலை = Ōlai  = Palm leaf document

9.    Sundarar was about to get married. In the guise of a ripe old man, Siva showed him a palm-leaf document that said he was his slave. 


10. Manikkavasakar was the first favorite of Siva among these four. Siva sustained flogging by cane from Pandiya king. 

11. Siva wrote Manikkavasakar’s Tiruvasakam by his holy hand. That shows the greatness of Manikkavasakar. 


12. In celebration of the coming Gurupujai on July 13, 2021, we will discover Manikkavasakar's prominence. 


13. Mannikavasakar was born in Tiruvathavur 15 km south of Madurai. His natal name was after the place of his birth: Tiruvathavur. 

14. Before he was sixteen, he learned all the sacred books and immersed himself in Siva Bakthi. His fame spread widely.


15. The King knew his scholarship and appointed him as his minister. He met his challenge. 

16. Tiruvathavur, on the command of the King, went to buy horses for the King. As he neared Tirupperunthurai, he heard the sweet sounds of Hara-Hara-Hara-Hara. He rushed toward the sound and saw 999 persons under the Kuruntha tree with Sivaperuman himself in the guise of the Guru. Kuruntha tree = Atalantia racemose = Wild Lime tree


17. When Manikkavasakar saw Siva wearing Rudraksha on his head, ears, chest, and neck, Manikkavasakar was so overtaken by Siva that he fell at his feet and paid homage. 


18. Gurumurthy looked at the prostrate Manikkavasakar from his head to his toes and said, "Vadavura! We have come to take you into my good graces." The Guru instructed him on the five-letter Mantra, conferred on him Tiruvadi Dīkshai by applying his feet on Manikkavasakar's  head.

19.  That second, Manikkavasakar's body and soul melted, there rose an inner sound, and a flood of ecstasy ran over and manifested as poems explaining his helpless state. 


20. The poems he composed were like, "Long Live Namasivaya… Let Lord's feet live long." 


21. The supreme Siva, pleased with the poems, felicitated him with the name 'Manikkavasagan' as the world would know him.   Manikkavasagan = Man with words like Rubíes.

22. What next? As the magnet draws a pin, Manikkavasakar, drawn by the Supreme Siva, spent the King's money constructing the Tiruperunthurai temple. We know what happened after that. 

23.  Once Manikkavasakar was the subject of royal punishment, God morphed the 'Naris to Paris' (நரிகளை பரிகளாக்கி = the foxes into horses). Later, when the Vaigai river broke the banks, God carried mounds of earth to fill the fissure in the river bank for steamed cake (as his wages) and sustaining lashings from the King for poor work performance, which we all know.

24. Once the King realized the God's Grace-play, he searched for Manikkavasakar and fell prostrate at his feet and asked for pardon. 

25.  Pardoning the King, Manikkavasakar went to Tirupperunthurai with five thousand Siva servitors, to whom Siva appeared as Jyothi in Agni Thirtham and conferred Mukthi. 


26. Siva sat Manikkavasakar on his lap. Manikkavasakar paid homage to Siva as Sivagurunathar and sang ten songs of Athma Nivedhanam. Siva addressed him, "My Child! I will confer on you Mukthi in Chidambaram and give plenty of meritorious fruits to those who say your name." Saying thus, Siva disappeared. 

27. Manikkavasakar went to Chidambaram, received Darsan of Lord Nataraja, sang songs of Tiruppathikam, and stayed in the outskirts, Tillai Vanam. An event took place in Sri Lanka at that time.



28. A Siva servitor went to Sri Lanka. His oft-repeated phrase was "Tirucchirrambalam Thunai (Chidambaram Chit Sabai's protection = a greeting by Saivites). A Buddhist Guru, knowing this, complained to the King in Lanka. The King issued orders to the Sivanadiyar to appear before him. 

29. The Sivanadiyar told the King, "O King! Uttering Tirucchirrambalam once is equal to saying the Five-Letter Mantra 21,600 times (15 breaths a minute, 24 hours a day amount to 21,600)." He went further explaining Chidambaram's and Siva's greatness.

30.  Buddha Guru could not tolerate what the Sivanadiyar said to the King. He said, "I will go to Chidambaram and establish the superiority of Buddhism and convert Chidambaram Nataraja Temple into a Buddhist seminary and temple. The King and his daughter, with congenital muteness, along with the Buddhist Guru, went to Thillai.  

31.  All came to Thillai. The Buddhist Guru invited the learned pundits of Thillai for a debate. The Saivite pundits lost the debate to the Buddhist Guru. 


32. According to Siva's command, the losing team went to the Thillai forest and invited Manikkavasakar to debate the Buddhist Guru. Manikkavasakar agreed to debate the Buddhist Guru. 


33. The debate ensued, and the Buddhist Guru used many strategies, including vituperation, to advance his cause. The result? The Buddha Guru and his students became speechless (dumb). 

34.  Watching all these happenings, the Ceylon king, in a state of horripilation, paid homage to Manikkavasakar and said, "Swamy! The former speakers turned speechless, Kindly, by your divine grace, make my daughter with congenital muteness to speak."


35. Manikkavasakar's mind felt compassionate, made her sit in the assembly hall, and said to her, "Dear girl! Please answer all the questions posed by these elders." What a surprise! That moment, her aphasia disappeared, and she spoke. She answered the questions of the debaters besides the 20 questions posed by Manikkavasakar. This episode was the substance of the Tirucchazhal chapter. 



36.  What is next? 

37. The King and his daughter paid homage to Manikkavasakar and became Saivism followers. The Buddhist Gurus, defeated by Manikkavasakar, paid their respect to Manikkavasakar and regained their speech. 


38. Let us consider another wonder in the life of Manikkavasakar.

39.  A ritually pure Vedhiyar approached Manikkavasakar and said to him.


40. "Manikkavasakare! I have the zeal to write down Tiruvasakam as you dictate them to me without any delay or hesitation on your part." Manikkavasakar agreed and narrated the songs without interruption, as the Vedhiyar wrote them down as an amanuensis.  


41. The transcription was over; the Vedhiyar moved out of there and disappeared into thin air. Manikkavasakar stood there in silence and realized the scribe was no other than Ambalavanar. Manikkavasakar was ecstatic. 

42. Ambalavanar placed his script on Chirrambalam's golden steps, and the next day at the break of dawn, the hereditary priests found them on the steps. 


43. The priests saw God's writing and signature on the manuscript, "As Manikkavasakar dictated, Ponnambalavar scribed the poems. "The priests were taken aback to see the handwriting of God. They uttered the poems but did not understand. They went to Manikkavasakar and begged him to interpret his poems. 

44. Knowing the divine mind of God, he invited them to the presence of Ambalavanar and said, "Let me explain the poems before Ambalavanar." All the priests assembled at the place. That was on the month of Āni, Maham Nakshatra. Manikkavasakar approaching Ambalam, said, "He is the meaning of these poems." He entered Ambalam. A flood of light rose. Manikkavasakar entered the light, merged, and became one with Ambalavanar. 


45.  The temple bells spontaneously rang, "Om-Om."

46. Let us read daily Tiruvasakam poems replete with marvels. Let us pay homage to Manikkavasakar and worship Mahesa. Tiruvasakam's divine grace will give us a good turn in our life.