Studies of Mythology in Thirumantiram
The study of the puranic stories as referre to in Thirumantiram cannot be studied of their origin. It is however possible to refer the particular version of the story, he mentioned, as compared to other, so as to point a particular stage, the story had reached in its philosophical march. Thirumular refereed these myths to give the philosophical conceptions which is the main division in religion.
Myth and Philosophy
Myths were primeval philosophy of nature and deals
the traditional ideas also gives philosophical meaning to the
facts of ordinary life.
1. Myth of the Fiery Linga
2. Myth of the Destruction of the tree Cities
3. Myth of the Rescue of Markandeya
4. Myth of the Destruction of Daksa´s Sacrifice.
1. Myth of Fiery Linga
In Thirumular Thirumantiram, we see such reference relating religious ceremony to the story of Vishnu and Brahma searching for the head and of Siva. This form of Siva is known as Lingodhbhavamurthi in the Agamas.
The story as told in Lingapura is shortly as follows:
"There was a deluge after destruction and before creation. Vishnu was sleeping on the ocean and thereafter Brahma appeared. Both of them claimed to be a creators of the universe. A pillar of fire a luminious Linga rose in their presence. They agreed, that one who found out the crown or the root of the pillar at first, should be hailed the creator. The two divinities assumed the animal forms, Vishnu the bear, Brahma the gender. The bird winged into the heavens, the boar dove into the deep. In opposite direction, they raced but could not its attain to limit. The Lingam grew and grew. They could measure neither its height nor its depth. Then the two divinities Vishnu and Brahma bowed before him in adoration, he solemnly proclaimed himself to be the orogin of them both. He announced his superiority.
This myth was not found in Sangam age which is the earliest work of Tamil. 5 But in Tevaram the saints denoted this myth. Thirumular says in nine songs "ADI-MUDI-THEDAL"
In the same way, Manikkavasgar, the author of Thiruvasagam, quotes this reference,
In this piece, Thirumular, gave the symbolic illustrations which was very suitable. The leg of, the God-the feet of stamba is the symbol of the Grace of Siva, and the Crest denotes the knowledge of Siva. So, Thirumular has taken this myth is the origin of Linga and emphasized that Siva coming to the fore to enact independently and above all there of the great world roles of the creation, preservation and destruction.
2. Myth of the Destruction of the Three Cities
The story of the buring down the three castles of the air hascaptivated the imagination of the Tamilian. The conception of flyinf in the air has dreamt by generations of man.
The Story of Tiripuradhahanam is shortly as follows:6
"Tarakasa, Kamalaksha and Vidyunmalin, the three sons of the demon Taraka, once practiced austerities (tapas) and won the gift of immense power from Brahma. According to this boon, the three demons would live for a thousand years in three invisible - moving cities or castles (Tiripuras). Causing destruction in the universe and the castels could be destroyed only by cosmic arrow that would merge them into one and set fire to them. Siva - Mahadeva alone could accomplish the task. At the end of the thousand years the gods elements, the other cosmic forces became the various parts of such as the bow, the arrow and Siva´s chariot. With Brahma as his character, Siva went forth, shot a single arrow of fire, and destroyed the three cities."
Let us see the philosophical representation of this
myth. The Tamilian have been believing tha the eight great heroic
of God Siva including that of the Tiripuradahanam were performed
with the sacred precincts of Tamil land...
In this piece, Thirumular, is the first bold spirit who calls them idiots, those who interpret the stories literally. And he gives the mystic sginificance of Tiripura as the resultant of the three malas such as Aanavam, Maya, Kanmam (Egotism, Karma & Maya). Thirumular feels that this story have an esoteric meaning and they utilize to advise us the path to release from our bondage (Pasam).
3. Myth of the Rescue of Markandeya
The myth of the rescue of Markandeya from death deals about the fear of death for people. This myth also including the eight great heroic acts of God Siva.
The story of Markandeya as follows:7
"The childless sage appealed to Siva and won from him the boon of a son. However, Markandeya, the gifted son who was born to the sage, was given a life span of only sixteen years. Markandeya grew up as a great devotee of Siva. As Markandeya was worshipping a Linga of Siva on the day his life was destined to end, the God of Death, Yama himself came to take the boy´s soul away, but Markandeya clung to the linga and cried out to Sica. Lord Siva emerged from the linga, and kicked and killed death. Siva revive Yama on the condition that the devout boy should receive the gift of immortality".
The motive of this myth is the gain from death, and also insist the eternal life one who prays homage to God.8 Sundarar, refers this nore in his song. There is one sample as follows:
This myth trust the people that Lord Siva will rescue from death. Thirumular bestowed the philosophy of this myth Thirumantiram as follows:-
In this song, Thirumular furnished the philosophical conception which was very suitable. In this myth, God rescue not only Markandeya but also Yama for his ignorance and Anava (I-ness). Thirumular´s illustration assured the motive of people which is to explain easier way to understand the thought provoking ideals through known face. So he has taken this myth and emphasized that God forgive our sins and product from death to give external life.
4.Myth of the Destruction of Daksa´s Sacrifice
The myth of the Daksa also yiled the merciness fo God. This myth as follows:9 "The Prajapati (Progenier) Daksa, father of Siva´s wife Sati, performed a great sacrifice to which he invited all the gods expect his son-in-law Siva. When Sati went to the sacrifice, Daksa insulted Siva to her face. Unable to bear the insult, Sati immolated herself. Crazed with grief and anger, Siva as Virabhadra, or through the agency of Virabhadra - destroyed Daksa´s sacrifice and mutilated the various gods who had come to sacrifice. Ge cut off Daksa´s head and replaced its with that of a goat..."
Thirumular says the myth of Daksa in nine songs. In
these songs, he illustrate the myth as well as philosophical
In the same way, Tirunaukkarasar quotes this
This myth illustrate the eradication of bad elements and graceness of the Almighty concurrently.
1. Myths are used in order to prove the philosophical truths which from a part of the religion;
2. The saints were aware that myths were special vehicle for mystic thought;
3. Thirumular illustrate the philosophical conceptions of the myth in lucid way in Thirumantiram.