The Religion and Philosophy of Tevaram (Thevaram)

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

This page describes “thiruvaduthurai or tiruvavatuturai (hymn 66)” from the part dealing with the Pilgrim’s progress (to Chola/Cola), which represents the development of Arurar’s Mysticism as gleaned from his hymns. 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 18 - Thiruvaduthurai or Tiruvavatuturai (Hymn 66)


Our poet’s preoccupation with the mythological stories inspired him with their esoteric and mystic message which he has already tried to explain in his various hymns. He has raised rhetorical interrogations suggesting that these stories have a deeper meaning. In the Thiruvaduthurai hymn, our poet points that the greatest message of these stories is the message of redemption for all; for, such is the love of God—a message which he himself confesses has inspired him to take refuge in the Lord—a message which will inspire the fallen and the down-trodden with the new hope of their certain salvation. Unfortunately, all the verses of this hymn are not available; only five have reached us.


The story of Markandeya’s conquest of death (1), of the spider becoming an Emperor (2), of Visnu’s worship with his own eyes (3), of the gift of Pasupata to Arjuna (4) and of the blessings showered on the rulers of the three burnt cities (5) are here specifically mentioned as inspiring our poet. The significance and implication of these stories lie in their inspiration leading to the self-surrender unto God, which he explains in the latter half of the verses. “I always praise you as the king and my Lord, standing with folded hands, and taking refuge in your feet with all my love” (1). “I fall at your feet coming rolling on the ground ‘(in ecstasy) and exclaiming your praises with all my love. I took refuge in you afraid of the karma rushing on me” (2). “I praise, Oh, God of Gods! your shining feet babbling your glories! I took refuge in you afraid of the consuming karma” (3). “Out of love and attachment I praise your names worshipping you and contemplating on your greatness and there melting away in love. I took refuge in your feet with all my heart” (4). Thus he expresses the change brought over him by this inspiration from the mythological stories, those good old stories which came to him thus with a new revelation.

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