Tamil language is a great treasure – house of spiritual knowledge and literature. It abounds with treasures of priceless value and such a one is the “Thiruvasagham”, written by the Saivite Saint Manickavasaghar. It is his masterpiece and is undoubtedly the forerunner of all devotional songs in the Tamil language and in any language for that matter. It has 51 chapters. “Thiruvasagham” is, to put in a nutshell (656 verses), the pilgrimage of a soul from its pre-natal state to its final state of perfection – how the soul is born, first its inertness, its inability, then its meandering into wanton ways, its realization and then finally the merging with the rapturous bliss. It has been translated into English (prose) so that the nectar of spiritualism can seep into the heart of every aspirant, to raise him from this mundane plane on to a plane of Perfect Bliss.
Though he is a graduate (science) his ardent faith upon self – realization and Literature makes him not an ordinary man but as a well – versed preacher of spiritualism. His slogan is “Trumpeting Vedanta into Thine Heart”. He is not engaged with any physical designation but he has dedicated his life to render service to all, through proper understanding of spiritualism.
He is also a versatile orator and has delivered more than 4000 spiritual lectures in several temples. Athamanandam, Narayaneeyam, Abhirami Andhathi – notes, Hindu Dharmam are published. Now, his “Manamum Thianamum”, “Vedhanthamum Nadaimuraiyum”, “Aranericharam & Avvaikkural – notes”, “Nathaupasanai – 400 Tamil krithis with ragas and thalas”, “Thirumanthiram – notes”, “Sree Mookapanchasathee – notes”, “Theerkadharsanam” (Tamil) and “Emancipational Commentary on Srimad Bhagavad Gita – English notes” books are in press.
Subramanian (42) is the son of Sri Arumugam Achari and Srimathi Subbammal, native of Dindigul, one of the ancient towns of Tamil Nadu. Subramanian was blessed by his Guru and the Guru called him as “the lover of God and God’s love is his”, in this sense, he is called as Iraianban and his admirers respectfully call him as Swamiji.
Happily married to Mrs. A. Maragatham, Subramanian is blessed with 2 boys (Ramalingam, Balaji) and 1 girl (Chellamariammal). Truly, he is an outstanding personality, but he is not interested to show his eminence to all.
Swamiji Iraianban is not only a writer, poet, orator, he is well versed with palmistry, astrology, music and he is supposed to be a twinkling lamp which is in a pot. It is hoped, his entry in Delhi will make him prosperous and thus so many people will have the light of spiritualism.
He oftenly says, “The highest learning is that by which we know God; all else, the sacred books, grammar, literature etc., only load and puzzle the mind.” Typically, he is living a full – fledged life and through “IRAI” Institution of Self – realization, he is rendering his earnest service to all in spiritual and universal ways.
“Thiruvasagham” is the most sacred literature in Tamil which glorifies the manifestations of Lord Shiva. It is kept as the first reference book in Lord Shiva’s library itself. The “Gita” is told by the Lord to man (Sri Krishna to Arjuna). The Thirukkural is recited by a man to Mankind (Thiruvalluvar) and “Thiruvasagham” is recited by a man (Saint Manickavasaghar) which is head and pleased by Lord Shiva Himself.
“Thiruvasagham” is a treasure of priceless value. It is a devotional hymn which occupies the highest place in the hymnology of the literature of Saivites. It is a masterpiece and is second to none in the whole range of Tamil literature. “Thiruvasagham” is the only work which, according to tradition, had been written by the Lord Himself. It is the Gita of the Saivite world. It is an immortal classic which melts the hearts of its readers and mellows even a stone.
We have become eternally wedded to this sacred “Thiruvasagham” either due to our parentage or due to our past Karmas. Our humble self has soulfully dedicated itself to this spiritual storehouse of Tamil. It has been further consecrated by our having committed memory all the 51 chapters. Our overwhelming devotion to saint Manickavasaghar first of all blossomed into a Tamil anthology called “Manickavasaghar Maalai” or “A garland of praise of Manickavasaghar” – a hundred Tamil verses praising the saint and commenting on his teaching. It is needless to point out here that this new and interesting English version of Thiruvasagham took our soul by storm and pinned us to the pleasant task of reading it, from wrapper to wrapper.
Tami literature is extremely rich in devotional poetry which has no parallel in the literature of any other language. Unfortunately, those who have no knowledge of the Tamil language and even many whose mother tongue happens to be Tamil are not today fully aware of the beauty and greatness of this class of Tamil literature. The name of the Saivite Saint Manickavasaghar is one of the greatest in the history of the Tamil devotional literature. “Thiruvasagham” is his greatest musical composition.
It is the peculiar glory of Tamil literature that its great treasures are enshrined in devotional songs. These devotional songs emanated from such illustrious saints and sages as Manickavasaghar, other Nayanmars and Azhwars, besides eminent poets and philosophers like Sri Sankarar, Ramanujar, Thiruvalluvar, Sekkizhar and Kambar who were all immersed in religious knowledge and fervour. The value of the songs cannot be overrated. For they are the outcome of intense devotion of a great saint to whom God manifested Himself in visible form. Great scholars dedicated themselves to the task of translating the songs of Thiruvasagham, but found a number of passages beyond their capacity. In 1900, Dr. G.U. Pope, a Christian missionary, translated “Thiruvasagham” in English. It is the first and indubitably an excellent and scholarly piece of work. It is odd but true that many Indians including persons whose mother tongue is Tamil could realize the greatness of Manickavasaghar’s Thiruvasagham only after reading Dr. G.U. Pope’s translation in English. This reverent Christian has been included by us among the canonized saints of Saivites. We think of him with love and gratitude, are proofs that he is deemed by us not only as a doctorate of divinity but also as one who has divinity of a doctorate.
English occupies a unique position among the languages of the world. It is spoken and understood by the largest number of people in the world. So any literary production which seeks to make a universal appeal should be translated into English. It is the most gratifying to know that there is already a German translation of Holy Thiruvasagham. Even French scholars are said to be eager to take advantage of the English translation of this great work. It is our sincere wish and earnest prayer that this book will soon be translated in other languages also, so that the message of Saint Manickavasaghar will reach every corner of the world.
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