Monday, April 30, 2007


The first verse of the Tirumantiram, the foundational scripture of Saiva Siddhanta, speaks of Shiva in the most profound manner:-

The One is He, the Two His Sweet Grace
In Three He stood, in all the Four witnessed,

The Five He conquered, the Six He filled,
The Seven Worlds pervades, manifests the Eight.

~Tirumantiram, Invocatory Verse 1

What is that One, the Two, the Three, the Four, the Five, the Six, the Seven, and the Eight?

The One is He : The One is Shivam, the Eternal Auspiciousness, the Absolute, One without a second.

Two His sweet Grace : The Two is the inseparability of Shiva and Shakti - the Absolute Reality and the Pure Being of Consciousness and Bliss (Sacchidananda). Shiva is manifest through Shakti, His very Grace.

In Three He stood : The Three is the triplicity of conceptualized Godhead representing the triad functions or powers of creation, sustenance and dissolution personified as Brahmā, Vishnu and Rudra.

In all the Four witnessed : The Four are the four books, the holy Vedas – Rigveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda, and Atharvaveda, knowing the essence of which one knows Shiva.

The Five He conquered : The Five are the five enemies of mankind – lust, anger, greed, ego, and attachment. He is to be found once one overcomes or conquers the five enemies from within.

The Six He filled : The Six are the six philosophies associated with the Vedas – Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Sankhya, Yoga, Purva-mimamsa and Vedanta.

The Seven Worlds pervades : The Seven are the seven higher worlds of existence – bhuloka, bhuvarloka, svarloka, maharloka, janaloka, tapaloka and satyaloka, associated with the seven higher chakras.

Manifests the Eight
: The Eight are the eight ‘elements’ of ancient Vedic scheme – earth, water, fire, air, sky/space, the sun, the moon and the asterisms (nakshatras).

In this one invocatory passage, Mahasiddha Tirumular has plainly declared that Shiva is alone is all this. It is Shiva alone that is the various forms, the various worlds, the various manifestations. It is from the Bliss of Shivam that we unfurl into existence; it is in the Bliss of Shivam that we live in a temporary duality; it is in the Bliss of Shivam that we merge back into Oneness.

|| ॐ नमः शिवाय ||

Invocation Prayer

aum gaNanAtva ganapatim havAmahe
kavinkavInAM upamaSravastamam

jyeShtarAjaM brahmaNAm brahmaNaspata

AnaH Sr^NvannUtibhiH sida sadAnam
Holy Rigveda II.23.1

Aum! May we worship Ganapati,
The Protector of the Noble people
The Best of poets, the Most Honorable
The Greatest of Rulers, the Treasure of all knowledge
O Lord, do Thou listen to us, and take Your seat in our hearts.

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