The Info List - Manikkavacakar

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or MaanikkaVaasagar was a 9th-century Tamil poet who wrote Tiruvasakam, a book of Shaiva
hymns. He was one of the main authors of Saivite Tirumurai, his work forms one volume of the Tirumurai, the key religious text of Tamil language
Tamil language
Siddhanta. A minister to the Pandya
king Varagunavarman II (c. 862 C.E. – 885 C.E.) (also called Arimarthana Pandiyan), he lived in Madurai. His work is a poetic expression of the joy of God-experience, the anguish of being separated from God. Although he is a prominent saint in Southern India, he is not counted among the sixty-three nayanars.


1 Life 2 Literary work 3 Associated temples 4 Notes 5 References


Manikkavachakar statue in tribhanga holding Palm leaf written "Om Namah Shivaya" in Tamizh script on it. Statue is in AP State Archeological Museum.


The twelve volumes of Tamil Śaiva hymns of the sixty-three Nayanars

Parts Name Author

1,2,3 Tirukadaikkappu Sambandar

4,5,6 Tevaram Tirunavukkarasar

7 Tirupaatu Sundarar

8 Tiruvacakam
& Tirukkovaiyar Manikkavacakar

9 Tiruvisaippa & Tiruppallaandu Various

10 Tirumandhiram Tirumular

11 Various

12 Periya Puranam Sekkizhar

Paadal Petra Sthalam

Paadal Petra Sthalam

Raja Raja Chola I

Nambiyandar Nambi

is said to have born in Vadhavoor (Thiruvadhavoor, near by Melur in Madurai
district), seven miles from Madurai
on the banks of river Vaigai. He belonged to the Pandithar saivite temple priest guild. His father was a temple priest.[1] The group wore a top tilted knot to denote servitorship to Lord Siva like sambandar, etc. A mural and statuette of Manikkavacakar
with head knot is seen in Tirupperunturai
near Pudukkottai. A poetic and elaborate hagiography of Manikkavacakar
and his works was written in the 16th century and is called Tiruvilayadal puranam, meaning "An account of divine deeds". The same is not available now in its original form. Another called Vadhavoorar puranam and yet another Sanskrit
work of the 12th century CE on the same saint is now missing. According to accounts the king of Pandyan dynasty had selected Manikkavacakar
as a part of his legion after seeing his military acumen and had once entrusted him with a large amount of money to purchase horses for his cavalry. On his way he met an ascetic devotee of Siva, who in fact was Siva himself. Manikkavacakar
received enlightenment, realised that material things are transitory and built the temple of Shiva in Tirupperunturai
with the money.[2] King Varaguna also was preached with knowledge of reality and blessed with mukthi after Lord Shiva made him realize his small worldly mistake. Varaguana maharaja immediately gave up his throne and attained mukthi at the feet of Lord Shiva. Manikkavacakar's birth name is unclear, but he was known as Vadhavoorar after his birthplace. Manikkavacakar
means 'man with words as precious as Manikam'. According to Ramana Maharshi, it is said that when Manikkavacakar died, his body dissolved in a blinding light without leaving a corpse behind.[3] Literary work[edit]

Manickavackar (Wooden Image), ASI Museum, Vellore

Thereafter Manikkavacakar
moved from one place to other, singing and composing devotional songs. Finally, he settled in Chidambaram. His Tiruvasakam
is placed near the murti of Shiva there. Several verses of Tiruvasagam including the accho patikam after singing which he attained mukti at Thillai Natarajar's feet are also engraved in the walls of the chidambaram temple. The tiruchazhal hymn after singing which the communal Buddhists were exposed is also engraved in one of the prakarams. The work tiruchitrambalakkovaiyar was sung entirely in thillai chidambaram. Throughout his work he discusses how important it is to forego attachments and cultivate dispassionate, devoted, sincere and simple hearted love to lord Shiva in order to attain his beatitude and also that the five letters of na ma si va ya alone give one mukti. Manikkavacakar's work has several parts. The Tiruvembavai, a collection of twenty hymns in which he has imagined himself as a woman following the Paavai Nonbu and praising Shiva. The twenty songs of Tiruvembavai and ten songs of Tiruppalliezhuchi on the Tirupperunturai Lord are sung all over Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
in the holy month of Margazhi ( The 9th month of the Tamil calendar, December and January). Manikkavacakar
is believed to have won intellectual arguments with Buddhists of Ceylon
at Chidambaram.[4] His festival is celebrated in the Tamil month of Aani (June - July). Manikkavacakar's hagiography is found in the Thiruvilaiyadar Puranam (16th century AD). In 1921, an English translation of Manikkavacakar's hymns was done by Francis Kingsbury and GE Phillips, both of United Theological College, Bangalore (Edited by Fred Goodwill) and published in a book as Hymns of the Tamil Śaivite Saints, by the Oxford University Press [5] Associated temples[edit] Manikkavacagar visited various temples in Thanjavur, North Arcot, Chengalpattu, Madras, Tirunelveli and Madurai
districts and revered the deities.[6]

Sculptures illustrating his life are found in the Minakshi-Sundaresvara temple at Madurai.[7] Manikkavacakar
is said to have built the temple of Siva in Tirupperunturai. He is said to have lived at Chidambaram
Tamil Nadu. He is closely associated with Tiru Uthirakosamangai.

Tiruvembavai is sung along with Andal's Tiruppavai widely across the temples in Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
during the Tamil month of Margazhi (December - January).[8] Notes[edit]

^ Nayanars ^ B.S. 2011, p. 77 ^ Talks with Ramana Maharshi- chapter 215 ^ B.S. 2011, p. 162 ^ Kingsbury, F (1921). Hymns of the Tamil Saivite Saints (1921) (PDF). Oxford University Press. pp. 84–127. Retrieved 8 July 2014.  ^ B.S. 2011, p. 36 ^ R.K.K., Rajarajan (2006). Art of the Vijayanagara-Nayakas: Architecture and Iconography. Delhi: Sharada Publications.  ^ B.S. 2011, p. 74

[1] References[edit]

B.S., Chandrababu; S., Ganeshram; C., Bhavani (2011). History of People and Their Environs. Bharathi Puthakalayam. ISBN 9789380325910.  Dallapiccola, Anna. Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend. ISBN 0-500-51088-1. 

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 50250098 LCCN: n80013627 ISNI: 0000 0000 1670 998X GND: 109232372 SELIBR: 353951 SUDOC: 059888709 BNF: cb12021799x (data)

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