Ongkaara Manthiram as portrayed in Tamil Saivaism

Thread started by virarajendra on 31st May 2009 10:10 PM

Author - Virarajendra

A brief study of the “Om” - the “Ongkaara Manthiram” as portrayed in “Tamil Saivaism” of Tamil Nadu - Part 1

(1) Introducton

The God Supreme of the religion “Saivaism” - of India, is identical as that of all the other religions of India and that of the World - "who is none but one". In reality "God Supreme" has “no form” and “no name” and is the supreme power of the universe, who controls the creation, salvation, and destruction, of all living beings and the nature of the universe.

The "Tamil Saiva Saint Maanikkavaasakar" very clearly states in his “Thiruvaasakam” (in Tamil), that “God Supreme“ as - Oar Uruvam Oar Naamam ontrum illaar meaning the one without any - "a form" or "a name".

(2) God Supreme represented in three forms in “Tamil Saivaism”

The “God Supreme” in Saivaism was referred to as God Siva. He in the Saivaism that developed and practised in Tamil Nadu - known as Tamil Saivaism was of three aspects. The “formless” (Aruvam in Tamil), of “semi-form” (Aru-Uruvam in Tamil), and of “human forms” (Uruvam in Tamil).

In the Uruvam form “God Siva” in the Saivaism of Nepal, North & Central India was represented as a human masculine, having - a lock of hair (kontrai) on his head bearing the crest moon and the river Gangai flowing from it, a third eye in his forehead and a blue mark around his neck, holding a trident in one hand and dressed in tiger skins with cobra snakes around his neck and arms,

However in Tamil Nadu of South India he was ‘mainly’ represented as Aadavallaan (Nadarajar), Pennoru Paahaththaan (Arthanaariswarer), Thenmuhak Kadavul (Thetchanamoorthy), Kalyaanasundaramoorthy, Uma Maheswaramoorthy and Somaskandamoorthy, among many others based on his various aspects. All these forms of “God Siva” evolved in Tamil Nadu, as part of the development of the original Saivaism of Nepal in South India.

In the Aru-Uruvam form “God Siva” was represented in Nepal, North, Central & South India and Tamil Nadu as Sivalingam that originated from Nepal, and further developed as Lingothbhavamoorthy in Tamil Nadu with the swan and boar shown above and below the standing Siva in human form, carved out within the vertical face of the Sivalingam or Lingam.

In the Aruvam form “God Siva” was represented as the “Infinite” - of no defined shape - known as “Ongkaaram” in Tamil and “Pranavam” in Sanskrit.

In Tamil Saivaism - eventhough “God Siva” was worshiped in all three forms as Uruvam, Aru-Uruvam and Aruvam, ‘on realisation of him’ by human beings - he was found to be none but one.

This is confirmed by the "Tamil Saiva Saint Thirunaavukkaraser" of the sixth century as follows:

“.......Uru moontraai unarvin kan ontraan aanaai….”

meaning: “……of three forms and on realisation one who became one.......”

6th Thirumurai - by Saint Thirunaavukkarasu Naayanaar, Thiruvaalam Polil Pathikam, Verse 3

The very fact that the God is one but was worshipped in various forms, was well known to the Tamils of Tamil Nadu as early as the third century B.C. This is confirmed by the following reference in the Tamil literary work known as Kurinchippaattu by "Poet Kapilar" of this period.

"......paraviyum tholuthum viravu malar thooyum
veru pal uruvit Kadavut perniyum
naraiyum viraiyum oachchiyum alavuttru......"

meaning: "......singing hyms and worshipping God with variety of flowers strewn to his many different forms with offering of perfumes and incense too made......"

Kurinchippaattu - of Paththuppaattu by poet Kapilar, lines 5-7

(3) The Ongkaaram form of God Siva

The “Ongkaaram” form of “God Siva”, has been referred to by the ‘third Thamil Sangam’ "Poet Saaththanaar, the Tamil Saiva Saints of Tamil Nadu - namely the Thirunaavukkarasu Naayanaar, Suntharamoorthy Naayanaar, Maanikkavaasaka Swamikal, Thirumoola Naayanaar, Pattinaththaar, the Tamil Poet Avvaiyaar and the others" - in their respective Tamil Saiva Religious Literature.

In “Tamil Saivaism” the “God Siva” was the - core essense of “Ongkaaram” (Ongkaaraththu ut porulaai nintraan). This is confirmed from the following references:

“…..Oru sudaraai ulahu elum aanaan kandaai
Ongkaaraththu ut porulaai nintraan kandaai
Virisudaraai vilangu oliyaayi nintraan kandaai….”

meaning: “……see (him) who became as one flame of seven worlds
see (him) who stood as the core essense of Ongkaaram
see (him) who remains the brightness of the spreaded flame …..”

6th Thirumurai - by Saint Thirunaavukkarasu Naayanaar, Thirumalapaadi Pathikam, Verse 10

“…..Ongkaaraththu ut porulaai ulaham ellaam pettraanai…….”

meaning: “……one who was the core essense of Ongkaaram, attained in all worlds…..”

6th Thirumurai - by Saint Thirunaavukkarasu Naayanaar, Thiruvaanaikkaa Pathikam, Verse 3

“Ongkaara meip porulaai udambin ullaal
karu eentra engal avai arivaan thannai…….”

meaning: “……as the truth of Ongkaaram, who knows our heart that came forth from foetus inside the body…..”

6th Thirumurai - by Saint Thirunaavukkarasu Naayanaar, Thiruvaalam Polil Pathikam, Verse 3

“Uun angaththu uyirp paay ulahu elaam
Ongkaaraththu uruvaahi nintraanai…..”

meaning: “…..all over the world where bodies of flesh with life are, the one who remained in the Ongkaaram form…..”

7th Thirumurai - by Saint Suntharamoorththy Naayanaar, Thiruvalivalam Pathikam, Verse 1

“…..Uyya en ullaththul Ongkaaramaai nintra
meiyaa vimalaa vidaipaahaa……”

meaning: “……for (my) salvation stood as Ongkaaram in my heart the truth, vimalaa, the one riding the Nandi (bull)…..”

Thiruvaasakam – by Maanikkavaasaka Swamikal, Sivapuraanam 33-4

“Uyyu neri kaattuviththittu Ongkaaraththu utporulai
Ayyan enakku aruliyavar aarperuvaar achchove….”

meaning: “……showed the path for salvation, the core essense of Ongkaaram the God blessed me - who will get (such) achchove……”

Thiruvaasakam – by Maanikkavaasaka Swamikal, Achcho Pathikam

Website URL of "Sivapuraanam" of 'Thiruvaasakam' sung by Tamil Saiva Saint Maanikkavaasakar - which speaks of God Siva in the Ongkaaram form as "....Ongkaaramaai nintra meiyaa vimalaa vidaipaahaa......."



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