Thirumanthiram – Introduction

Thirumanthiram is a Saiva Tradition Tamil work by Thirumoolar. It contains Nine Tantras (Philosophies) and Three Thousand Songs. On an average, each Song has four lines and each line has four words totaling to 1,92,000 words. Thirumanthiram, like Thirukkural, provides its Subject Matter in an easy to read and easily understandable fashion in short and clear texts.

Thirumanthiram provides explanations on Vedas and Scriptures. It is also praised as a Saiva Scripture. Our elders has categorized Thirumanthiram as the 10th Book of the 12 Thiru Murai (Respected Ways) of Saiva Tradition. Scholars say that Thiruvasagam is for Hymns and Thirumanthiram is for Vedas. Moreover, Thirumanthiram, which says God is Love and Love is God, is considered as the first Book of Saiva Tradition.

Thirumoolar has given three highly important proverbs that are still in use today as follows:

  1. Ondre Kulamum Oruvane Thevanum (There is only One Clan and One God)
  2. Yaan Petra Inbam Peruga Ivvaiyagam (Let the World get the same Bliss that I got from our Lord)
  3. Anbe Shivam (Love is God)

The Book of 3000 Tamil verses that he wrote about 7000 years ago was originally named as “Tamizh Moovaayiram” (Tamil 3000). However, since that Book contained so many verses of Mantras and Tantras along with lot of explanation on our Physiology and Medical needs, it was later renamed as “Thirumoolar Thirumandhiram” (Respectful Mantras by Thirumoolar).

In the Thirumandhiram verses, the verse that starts with “Ainthu Karatthinai” that praises Lord Ganesha was not originally part of the Book. It was later added by changing cultures. In Thirumoolar’s time, Saiva tradition of Hinduism did not recognize any other Gods than Lord Shiva and hence will not start any important activity, literature or book without praising him at first. The devotion of Lord Ganesh came much later in history during the time of Chirutthondar (one of the celebrated Sixty Three Naayanmaars) who was known as Paranjothi when he was a King. He went on a voyage of war against old country Vaathaabi and attained victory there. He brought the deity they devoted to most as Lord Ganesha back to Tamil Nadu along with his voyage. In those times, Lord Ganesha was not visualized with a big belly which is his celebrated appearance in modern times. The proof of his original visualization without big belly can be seen today in two places such as in Thiruvaaroor Thiyaagesar Temple and the infamous London Museum of Arts and Culture.