Tiruvacakam
   The Tiruvacakam is the celebrated collection of hymns by the Tamil Shaivite poet-saint MANIK-KAVACAKAR. Together with the shorter poem Tiruk-kovaiyar, it forms the eighth book of the Tamil Shaivite canon TIRUMURAI. Tiruvacakam contains 51 hymns comprising a total of 3,414 lines. The hymns range in length from eight to 400 lines and show a significant variety of metrical forms, with 14 subvarieties of meter. The hymns are usually rhymically recited or sung rather than read.
   The work includes some unusual themes. Some have a woman in the role of devotee to the Lord, singing songs appropriate for playing games or doing village chores. One interesting poem is meant to be sung to awaken the divinity in the temple in the morning (a common part of Indian temple ritual). Because of its sacredness, Tiruva-cakam has no traditional commentaries attached to it.
   Manikkavacakar’s most important theme is the shadow of KARMA, which hovers over all as a specter. The poet calls to God to remove the bonds of karma and free him. He also speaks of impurity that takes him on the long road; when impurity has been removed, he becomes a slave to Lord SHIVA. (For both Shaivites and Vaishnavites, the truest devotee is often called a “slave to the feet” of the divinity.) Most importantly he asks for Shiva’s grace to escape the hold of the senses, which lead one to impurity and destruction. Man-ikkavacakar is not, in the end, antisensual, but is wary, as many renunciants are, of the pull of the unrestrained senses.
   Further reading: Ratna Navaratnam, A New Approach to Tiruvacagam, 2d ed. (Annamalainagar: Annamalai Uni-versity, 1971); Radha Thiagarajan, A Study of Mysticism in the Tiruvacakam (Madurai: Madurai Kamaraj Univer-sity, 1983); Glenn Yocum, Hymns to the Dancing Siva: A Study of Manikkavacakar’s Tiruvacakam (Columbia, Mo.: South Asia Books, 1982).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tiruvacakam — (Tamil: திருவாசகம் lit. sacred utterance ) is a volume of hymns composed by the ninth century Shaivite bhakti poet Manikkavacakar. There are 51 pathigams in total, together constituting the eighth volume of the Tirumurai, the sacred anthology of… …   Wikipedia

  • Manikkavacakar — (c. ninth century)    Tamil poet saint    Manikkavacakar is often considered the Tamil people’s most revered Shaivite poet saint, even though he is not included in the traditional grouping of 63 saints. His works, Tirukkovaiyar and TIRUVACAKAM,… …   Encyclopedia of Hinduism

  • Manikkavacakar — The 3 foremost Nayanars with Manikkavacakar collectively called the Nalvars: (from left) Campantar, Appar, Cuntarar, Manikkavacakar. Tirumurai The twelve volumes of Tamil Shaivite hymns of …   Wikipedia

  • History of Shaivism — Portal|Hinduism|Aum.svgShaivism (also spelled Saivism ), refers to the religious traditions of Hinduism that focus on the deity Shiva. [Flood (1996), p. 149.] The worship of Shiva is a pan Hindu tradition, practiced widely across all of India,… …   Wikipedia

  • Shaiva Siddhanta — Shaiva (or Saiva) Siddhanta is a Shaivaite Hindu school that encompasses tens of millions of adherents, predominantly in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka ( see Hinduism in Sri Lanka), where it has flourished since the eleventh CCE. Today it has thousands …   Wikipedia

  • List of Iyers — Main article: Iyer Iyers are Hindu Brahmins of Tamil or Telugu origin who are Smarthas or followers of the Smritis.[1] They mostly believe in the Advaita philosophy propounded by Adi Sankara.[2][3] …   Wikipedia

  • Cuntarar — The 3 foremost Nayanars with Manikkavacakar collectively called the Nalvars: (from left) Campantar, Appar, Suntharar, Manikkavacakar. Tirumurai The twelve volumes of Tamil Shaivite hymns of …   Wikipedia

  • Avinashi — The word Avinashi means that which is indestructible. It is a small town situated near Tirupur and Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. The town is famous for the Shiva temple constructed by Sundarapandiya is closely associated with the great Saiva saint… …   Wikipedia

  • Annamalaiyar Temple — Annamalaiyar Temple …   Wikipedia

  • Tirupperunturai — திருபெருந்துறை, known as Avudayar Koil , is a Shaiva temple situated near Aranthangi in the Pudukkottai district of Tamil Nadu. One of the sacred books of Tamil Saiva Siddhanta, Manikkavacakar s Tiruvacakam, originated from this shrine.… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”