The name “Thayumanavar”, is formed with the two words, “thaayum” and “aanavar”. It means “one who also became the mother”, depicting God’s Kindness and Love.
Thayumanavar or Tayumanavar, Tamil: தாயுமானவர் Tāyumānavar (1705–1744), was a Tamil spiritual philosopher from Tamil Nadu, India. The greatness of the Sage is well-known to earnest spiritual seekers in India, especially in Tamilnadu, and all over the world too.
Thayumanavar was a respected scholar in both Sanskrit and Tamil and was a minister to the King in Trichinopoly in South India. His name hails from the name of the deity of the Rockfort Temple in Trichinopoly. When he became god-minded he quit his job and began roaming, preaching Shaiva-siddhanta philosophy and Shiva worship. His songs are full of the divine bliss which he enjoyed and transmitted in abundance. The songs on the theme of the Atman craving for the union with the Supreme, are famous for their authenticity, simplicity and easily remembered language. He is also known for his unceasing emphasis on the unity of all paths to God and of all religions, and, in particular, on the unity of Vedanta and the Shaiva siddhanta.
Thayumanavar articulated the Saiva Siddhanta philosophy. His Hymns also expounded the Supreme Reality beyond attributes. The Hymns of this Sage contain his Teachings in a blend of Rational Thinking and Devotion, the blend of the Head and the Heart.
Enlightened Sages don’t think and write their poems. Their inner Realization pours out in the form of Hymns.
Thayumanvar offered several Tamil hymns of which 1454 are available. His first three songs were sung 250 years ago at the Congress of Religions in Trichirappalli. His poems follow his own mystical experience, one that is at once devotional and non-dual (advaita), one that sees God as both immanent and transcendent.
They also outline the philosophy of South Indian Hinduism, and the Tirumandiram by Saint Tirumular in its highest form.
Thayumanavar’s key teaching is to discipline the mind, control desires and meditate peacefully. He went on to say that “it is easy to control an elephant, catch hold of the tiger’s tail, grab the snake and dance, dictate the angels, transmigrate into another body, walk on water or sit on the sea; but it is more difficult to control the mind and remain quiet“.
The Wonderful Hymns of Thayumanavar are powerful, profound teachings. But they are easy to understand and follow. They provide deep insight to any sincere spiritual seeker who is interested in lasting happiness, meditation, self-enquiry and the highest goal in life, Self-Realization. The Sage Thayumanavar’s hymns provide a beautiful, clear presentation of his Amazing, Profound Teachings.
Sri Ramana Maharshi often quoted the words of Sage Thayumanavar.
Here is one of Thayumanavar’s Hymns
Let us in Meekness Worship (1/3)
What is It?
What is That Which Is,
Which is not just here or there but Is everywhere,
as unrestricted shining effulgence,
Filled with perfect bliss,
Filled with grace and divine love, —
What is it, which willed
To contain the countless universes
In boundless space
And there flourishes as Life of life, –
What is it, which stood
Transcending thought and word,
What is it, which remained
As the ever contentious object
Of countless faiths claiming,
”This, my God,” ”This, our God” —
What is it, which exists as
and Eternal –
What is it, which knows No limits of
Night and day –
That indeed is what is agreeable to thought,
That indeed is what fills all space in Silence.
That indeed is what we in meekness worship.
Anyone who comes across the teachings of this Great Master and Guru is extremely fortunate and blessed with God’s Grace.