The Religion and Philosophy of Tevaram (Thevaram)

by M. A. Dorai Rangaswamy | 1958 | 410,072 words

This page describes “(h) symbology of shiva’s eyes” from the part dealing with Nampi Arurar (Sundarar) and Mythology, viz. Puranic stories and philosophy. The 7th-century Thevaram (or Tevaram) contains devotional poems sung in praise of Shiva. These hymns form an important part of the Tamil tradition of Shaivism

Chapter 4.6 - (h) Symbology of Shiva’s eyes

Shiva is represented as having three eyes, the three lights of the three worlds. Our poet speaks of the Lord as “Mukkannan”. In another place, he speaks of Him as “Mukkan iraivan”, “Mukkan”, “Munru kan utaiyay”, “Mukkanninan” and “Kan munrutaiyir He mentions this as the emblem of divinity, “Kannu munrum utaiyay oru Nampi, probably having the three great lights symbolized by the three eyes; the poet speaks “Periya kan munrum utaiyan” —‘the Lord of the three great eyes’. The two eyes are in their ordinary places but the third eye is found represented in the centre of the fore-head; because the third eye is really the distinguishing mark, our poet describes Shiva as the Lord of the eye on the fore-head, “Nerri-k kan utaiyan”. “Kannutalon” or “Kannutalan”, “Kannar nutalar” The appearance of this third eye in addition to the ordinary eyes is indeed a curious sight and our poet describes it as the one eye above the eyes, “Kannin meloru kannutaiyan”, “Kanmel oru kannan”. Our author is so immersed in the poetic mood, that he addresses pathetically to this form in a moment of distress when he had lost his eyes—‘Oh, Thou Lord, who are possessed of three eyes! Ts it fair that you should deprive your servant of his eyes?’—“Munru kannutaiyay atiyen kan kolvate”; it is this third eye which winked at Kama and burnt him to ashes—“Kamanutal veva-k kanal vilitta Kannutalon”.

A story is told how the Lord came to be possessed of this third eye. “The damsel of the mountain was playing with the Lord.

She became so intoxicated in the playful sporting of the Lord that she closed His eyes with her hands where danced the bangles, perhaps little thinking what will be the consequence of her act, for His eyes are the lights of the world. The whole universe was enshrouded in dense darkness.

The God, to save this world and for making this darkness run away and disappear, created a single eye in His forehead and became Great, the best of men, probably because of His sympathy for every living being”.

Malaimatantai vilaiyati valaiyatu karattai
Makilntavalkan putaittalume vallirulay ella
Ulakutanran mutaviru lotumvakai nerri
Orraikkan pataittukanta uttaman”,

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