Today we are reminded of one of the great poets of Saiva Siddhanta, Thayumanivar. His love of Siva, so beautifully expressed, is honored today in Tamil Nadu where schoolchildren memorize ALL 1,454 of his poems, an amazing feat. We give but one today, and a quick Wikipedia background of this great soul and saint.
With love as the consecrating waters for Thy worship,
With life as the outstretched oblation,
With prana as the flaming incense and light--
Thus have I dedicated my worship,
Not for once, but as constant performance.
Thayumanavar or Tayumanavar, (1705–1742), is one of the spiritual giants and a Tamil philosopher from Tamil Nadu, India. Thayumanavar articulated the Saiva Siddhanta philosophy. He wrote several Tamil hymns of which 1454 are available. His first three songs were sung 250 years ago at the Congress of Religions in Trichinopoly. His poems follow his own mystical experience, but they also outline the philosophy of South Indian Saivism, and the Tirumandiram by Saint Tirumular in its highest form, one that is at once devotional and nondual, one that sees God as both immanent and transcendent. 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".
A few of the living gems in the sacred temple garden.
Pradeep Chand and Ryan are working this morning around Iraivan. Ryan is moving large stacks of lumber so we can begin moving soil to the Southwest side of the temple, and Pradeep is using the excavator to clear Rishi Valley. More on their work in the days and weeks ahead, as dry weather has finally allowed this work to proceed.
After over a year of having their morning meetings outside in the Banyon Mandapam, the Ganapati Kulam has officially had their first full phase of meetings in the Media Studio. Thought the studio is not fully completed, it is far enough along to have a comfortable, element-free discussion.