Synopses of papers for presentation at the Third Murukan Conference, Kuala Lumpur 2-5 November 2003
In alphabetical order of presenters
- Prof. Malati Agneswaran: "Dance Representations of Bala Murugan in Kunruthoradal Temples of the Western Ghats region of Tamil Nadu"
- Dr. R. Alagappan: "The Glorious Names of God Muruga: A Bird's Eye View"
- Amirthalingam Selliah: "The Growth of Awareness of God Murukan among Tamils"
- Prof. Padmaja Anantharaman: "Murukan, The Protector And Healer"
- Dr. S. Andal: "Scientific and Symbolic approach to Palani and Tiruchendur"
- Va. Mu. Se. Andavar: "Social Development and Tiru-vi-ka’s Murukan Arul vettal"
- Dr. P. Anuradha: "Worship of Lord Muruga-> pattu/togai=tamizh panpadu?"
- Dr. R. R. Aravendhan: "Murukan Worship: A Sociological Approach"
- Dr. Azhagammai: "Transformation of the God of Kurinji to the Tamil God"
- Dr. K. Balachandran: "Uttara Swamimalai Temple, New Delhi"
- Dr. Prof. Mrs. V. Balambal: "Murukan, Dionysus and Dancing Shiva as Religio-Aesthetic Symbols"
- Prof. B. Balamurugan: "Worship of Lord Murugan: Its significance for human beings"
- Dr. B. Om Boothalingam: "Travancore folk traditions about Valli and Murukan"
- Carl Vadivella Belle: "Pan Hindu Pilgrimage Traditions, Batu Caves and Murukan Worship"
- Dr. K. Chellappan: "Murukan, Dionysus and Dancing Shiva as Religio-Aesthetic Symbols"
- Dr. R. Chandrasekaran: "Worship & Festivals of Arulmigu Senkottu Velavar Temple, Tiruchengodu"
- S. Chandrasekaran: "Muruka in Traditional Bhajana"
- Mrs. Alamelu Chockalingam: "The abodes of Ciruvapuri Murukan"
- Mrs. Sivanandini Duraiswamy: "Hindu Art with special reference to Murukan"
- Mr. K.C. Evison: "Lord Murukan and Modern Media"
- Dr. Moses Michael Faraday: "Kadamba Maram in Murukan Worship"
- Dr. Gnanam Ganapathy: "Lord Murukan as celebrated by Kumarakurubarar"
- Prof. S. Ganesan: "The Cult Of Murugan In Cilappatikaram"
- Dr. Ronald Geaves: "Establishing Murugan on the High Places: The Role of Murugan in the Development of Tamil Communities in the UK"
- K. Gurusamy: "Skanda-Murukan: A Historical Perspective"
- Vadivel Jayachandran: "Murukan Allathu Azhaku"
- A. Jayaraj: "Murugan and Tamil"
- A. Kaliammal: "Significance of Murukan Worship in Tamilnadu"
- Dr. K. Kalimuthu: "Murukan In Tirumurukatrupadai"
- Dr. P. N. Kamala: "The Murukan Cult in Chembur, Mumbai"
- Dr. T. Kamali: "Kanta Sashti Kavacam and Shanmuka Kavacam – Psychological Background"
- Prof. J.G. Kannappan: "Lord Murukan - The God of Medicine"
- Smt. Vasuki Kannappan: "Themes in Kanta Puranam"
- Dr. S. Kanmani: "Categorisation of the Ancient Temples of Lord Murugan"
- Angumuthu Karunakaran: "Two Great Mystics: Ramana Maharshi and Arunagirinathar"
- V.K. Kasthurinathan: "Murukan Worship in Villages"
- Dr. Werner And Katy: "Origin of Hindu Religion from Christianity in India"
- C.R. Krishnamurti and P. Rathanaswami : "The human interface between Polytheism and Absolute Reality: The rhythmic beats of Tiruppukazh"
- Dr. P.S.S. Krishnamurthy: "Murukan Worship – Festivals"
- Dr. Vimala Krishnapillai: "Kataragama Glorified by Siddhas and Saints"
- Dr. V.S. Vandar Kuzhili: "Arunagirinathar and Thirumular: A Comparative Study"
- Dr. N. Kanthimati Lakshmi: "Arupadai Veedukanda Arumukan"
- Dr. S. Lakshmi: "A study of the impact of festivals associated with Lord Murukan"
- Dr. S. Mangayarkarasi: "The Concept of Murukan in Devotional Literature"
- Dr. V. Manickam: "Murugan Worship in Panchalamkurich Folk Traditions"
- Dr. P. Marudanayagam: "The impact of Cankam classics on Kalidasa's Kumarasambhava"
- Cavalier M.S. Mathivanan: "Bhogar Who Attained Eternal Bliss on Earth"
- N. Murali: "Worship of Murukan: Evidence from Cankam literature"
- Dr. M. Murugesan: "The Concept of Mystical Oneness: A Study of Arunagirinathar’s Kandar Anubhuti"
- Dr. Muthulakshmi: "Kandavel of Kacciyappan"
- Dr. G. Nachinarkkiniyar: "Veriyattu in Tamil Literature"
- A. Natesan: "Kumarakuruparar: The Saint who glorified god Murugan"
- Dr. Sarres Padayachee: "Kavadi in the South African Cult of Murukan"
- Padmanabhan: "Velimalai, The Fourth Abode of Lord Murukan"
- Dr. P. Pandian: "Aumkara Tirunutranthathi"
- Prof. A. Pandurangan: "Murukan Cult in Cilappatikaram"
- Dr. Sivagami Paramasivam: "Devaraya Swamigal’s Inspiring Divine Contributions Towards Murukanism"
- Prof. K.A. Rajaram: "The Great Name of Murukan"
- K. Ramaswamy: "Worship on Arumuga and His Abodes"
- T.S. Rukmani: "Skanda/Murugan and Krsna/Vasudeva as Pan-Indian Divinities: A Comparative Study"
- Dr. J. Rāmachandran: "Arunagirinathar's Tirumurukātruppadai"
- Dr. Sarala Rajagopalan: "Lord Murukan as Depicted in Kalladam"
- N. Rajagopalan: "The Origin of Murugan Worship"
- M.C. Rajamanickam: "Vel – The Unique Lance of Lord Murukan"
- Mrs. Rathinambal Rajamanickam: "Valli – The Consort of Lord Murukan"
- K. Ramaswamy: "Worship of Arumuga and His Abodes"
- K.V. Ramakrishna Rao: "Worship of Murukan and the Zodiac"
- K.V. Ramakrishna Rao: "The Concept, Evolution and Development of Valli and Teyvayanai Myth in Cankam Literature"
- K.V. Ramakrishna Rao: "A Numismatic Study of Skanda-Karttikeya"
- Dr. Alarmelu Rishi: "Tiruppugazhil Tirumal"
- S. Ravi: "Leadership Qualities of Lord Murukan in Tirumurukarrupptai"
- Dr. M. Sadasivam: "The Concept of Muruka according to St. Ramalinga Swamigal"
- Dr. K. Sadasivan: "From Tribalism to Culturalism: A study of the transformation of Velan to Murukan"
- Dr. S. Sasireha: "South Tamil Nadu temples of Lord Muruka"
- Dr. T. Sentamil Selvi: "Pamban Swamigal"
- Mrs. Uma Shankar M.A.: "Revival of Lord Murukan Worship during the period of Kanchiappar and Arunagirinathar"
- Murugu S.N.P. Shanmugam: "Renaissance in Murukan Religion and Tamil Thendral Tiru.VI.KAW."
- M. Shanthi: "The Wedding of Valli and Murukan in Tamil Literature"
- Dr. A. Singaravel: "Kavadi Cult in Murugan Worship"
- Prof. S.K. Sivabalan: "Reflections of Saiva Siddhanta in Tiruppukal"
- Dr. Ahila Sivaraman: "Kanda Puranam: An Appraisal"
- Mr. Ramanujam Sooriamurty: "On Knowledge of Murukan"
- Mrs. K. Subbhulakshmi: "Source Material for Murukan Worship in Tolkappiyam and Cankam Literature"
- P.R. Subramanian: "The Sixteen Forms of Lord Muruka"
- Dr. S. Sudhakaran and V. Sivasankari: "Herbs and the Hero of the Hills"
- Dr. A. Velusamy Sudhandhiran: "The Temple of Murukan at the Great Temple of Thanjavur"
- Dr. S. Shanmuga Sundaram: "Murugan Worship in Valliyur: A Historical Study"
- Dr. V. Abhirama Sundaram: "Kumara Tantra: A Study"
- Tmt. L. Sundaram: "Five Abodes of Lord Murugan"
- Sundaravalli Suresh: "Murukan Worship as Found in Tamil Kaviyas"
- Dr. Kumaraswamy Tambiran: "Kuruparar Porriya Kuruparan"
- Mrs. K. Thangeswary: "History of Muruka Worship in Sri Lanka"
- Mrs. B. Bala Tripurasundari: "Murukan-Skanda Beliefs: Traditions and Culture"
- Dr. Saraswathi Venugopal: "Traits of Lord Murukan as Revealed in Tamil Lullabies"
- Dr. R. Vijayaraghavan: "Kumarakuruparar, The Tamil Saint associated with Murukan"
"Dance Representations of Bala Murugan in Kunruthoradal
Temples of the Western Ghats region of Tamil Nadu"
Prof. Malati Agneswaran M.F.A., Ph.D.
Concepts of divinity are derived through meditation, inspiration through intense bhakti, or
divine revelation - all these psychic processes may be the same stream of
consciousness. What differentiates them from other thought processes is the
feature that they are not the result of logical process of reasoning.
Logical reasoning is the ultimate test for acceptance of a conclusion, for deductive
thought is derived from premises and knowledge that has already been accepted.
The internal consistency of any argument is based on the deductive mode of
Yet there is the other uncharted course of thought, which is inductive in nature. All scientific
inventions are through inspired ideas some of which have been 'proved' in the
deductive sense and others are hypotheses that have been accepted because they
are useful, although they are yet unproven.
The concept of God is mentally apprehended as an energy in any theological system. This
cornucopia of energy is sought to be represented concretely by the artist - the
sculptor, painter, dancer, poet - and the divine inspiration that activates them
all is the same source of energy.
The Siva concept or Sivatvam is one that is manifested mainly in an abstract form in the
monolith or linga that symbolises energy. However, iconographically there have
been other representations of Sivatvam in the form of Natarajar,
Ardhanarisvarar, Dakshinamurti and so on.
The concept of Siva is also continued in the iconographic references of his Son, born of the
sparks from his third eye (which is the representation of Siva's subtle
energy), namely, Murugan. Murugan is worshiped as a independent major deity,
and yet his association with Siva is seen in the ancient name of Ceyyon by
which he was known during the Sangam period of Tamil civilisation.
The concept of Murugan, through the concept of Siva is linked to the concept of Surya and
energy. The ancients 'saw' with their inner eye or concentration, the concrete
symbols of the divine concept and this was immortalised in iconographic
representations that are worshipped in temples, in the sannidhis of the
different deities. These representations of divinities have in their turn
inspired the artists of other media who have written devotional songs (Appar,
Sambandar, Sundarar, Arunagirinathar and others), and in dance have followed
the iconographic details.
The present paper seeks to introduce the iconographic pattern and demonstrate through
choreography in the dance form of Bharata Natyam, the expression of divinity as
Bala Murugan to be seen in the temples of western part of Tamil Nadu,
specifically in the mountains of the Western Ghats. Murugan is the god of the
hills, who is said to dance on the mountaintops, symbolizing the rising of the
sun on the mounts at dawn.
Prof. Malati Agneswaran M.F.A., Ph.D.
Reader & Head of Dept. of Bharatanatyam
Nalanda Nritya Kala Mahavidyalaya
Plot A-7/1, N.S. Road
No.10, J.V.P.D. Scheme
Ville Parle (West), Mumbai - 400 049 India
Kanda Puranam: An Appraisal
Dr. Ahila Sivaraman
By the abundant grace of God Almighty the greatest gift is being born in the human species. We are endowed with divine knowledge to be His devotees, singing His praise day in and day out, amidst our various routine chores. Many illustrious sages and saints have passed on their knowledge & wisdom their inimitable works of devotion which elevate our souls from the myth of worldly attractions. One such great work is 'Skanda' in Sanskrit which details Lord Muruga's greatness from his birth onwards. Kanchiappa Sivachariar has rendered it in Tamil in an exquisite poetic form. In order to make even the common man comprehend & enjoy Lord Muruga's grace, it has been given as a prose work by ' Karthikeyan'. I had the great fortune to translate it from Tamil to English, so that devotees from all nooks & corner of the globe can get the benefit of the divine message. I propose to talk about Lord Muruga, but also of the origin & development of Tamil Language and literature. Lord Muruga & Tamil are so inseparable that His worship speaks far and wide in the Tamil region, not only in India, but in Ceylon, Malaysia & such other places.
The Glorious Names of God Muruga: A Bird's Eye View
Dr. R. Alagappan
This paper discusses the origin and development of Murukan worship starting from the Sangam age to later period. Simultaneously, the various name of Lord Murukan both in the little tradition and classical tradition are taken note. The author has made detailed mention about the books that speaks about various names of the deities in the Hindu pantheon and spoken about the different attributes of Lord Murukan. He has chosen twenty different notable names of Lord muruka and given their meanings with the mythical and devotional background. Each name has got its unique significance both in the Murukan mythology as well as in the devotional tradition. Some of the attributions are connected with the measureless powers of the Lord whereas few others are related to either the place of worship or the types of worship. These semantic and cultural interpretations form a significant part of Murukan religion, literature and worship.
Murukan, The Protector And Healer
Dr. Prof. Mrs. V. Balambal
In the Hindu panthon of gods and goddesses, Lord Murukan occupies a prominent position. He is known
for his beauty, valour, strength, courage, compassion, love for Tamil etc. He
is a great protector of his devotees and healer of physical and mental ailments
with his powerful spear of different kinds. He protects each and every part of
the body of his devotees and even the powerful navagrahas would be submissive
to them because of his grace. They could be free from all diseases and from the
folds of evil spirits and ghosts if they show real devotion to the Lord. In
this world of uncertainty, terrorism, tyranny, horror, disloyalty, noncooperation,
backbiting, mudslinging, lack of human values etc. , it is the grace of Lord Murukan
which would come to the aid of the devotees. He comes down to their level to
protect the man heal them. Unquestionable surrender and devotion to the Lord
would be the tool with which a devotee could have Himas His protector and
healer. Though there are innumerable source materials to know the power and
glory of Murukan, Arunagirinathar's Tiruppukazh, Devaraya Swamikal's Kantasastikavacam
And Pampan Swamikal's Canmukakavacam give a detailed account of the way Murukan
would protect and heal his devotees in times of need Apart from these sources
many other works on Murukan are used to make the present study. An indepth
study reveals that the confidence a devotee has on his Lord would lead him to
Dr. Prof. Mrs. V. Balambal
Prof. of History (Retd.), University of Madras
Chennai-600 078, India
Hindu Art with special reference to Murukan
Hindu art is deeply inspired by philosophy and religious teachings. A true artist creates a 'beauty' which is 'a joy forever.' It is concerned with the realisation of the Infinite through the finite and the artist reaches that Infinite through his compositions. Art and religion are closely related. Art is a sharing of experience and religion is an awakening of experience. The key expressions of art are the creative forms of poetry, sculpture, architecture, music, dance and painting.
Historians consider the Indus Valley civilisation of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa as the dawn of the cultural history of the Indians. The culture is essentially Dravidian and the religion of the Indus people could be the lineal progenitor of Hinduism. This paper will examine art and architecture associated with Murukan and His Six Battle encampments: the temples and the mulamurtis, including Murukan in Badami, Puri, Cambodia, Murukan of the Gupta age.
Dr. Alarmelu Rishi
All those great souls like Nayanmars, Alwars, authors of Tevaram and Tiruvacakam have had contact with Almighty during their lifetime and poured out their wonderful experiences in their pasurams to guide us in the right path. One can add Saint Arunagirinathar to this line of great men for his beautiful work "Tiruppugazh". The beauty of Tiruppugazh is unique for its rhythmic pattern and no other literature in Tamil can be compared with it. Arunagirinathar has exhausted the varieties of rhythm in permutation combination type and singing them with its ragam and talam is a feast for ears.
Normally a Saivaite will praise Lord Shiva and a Vaishnava will praise Lord Vishnu. But the singing of Lord Murugan by Arunagirinathar is unique. He accepts both Advaita (jeevatma and paramatma are one) and Siddhantam of pati, pasu and pasam (jeevatma and paramatma are different). His accepts these two in his Tiruppugazh like this: "Eka bogamai neeyum nānumai irugum vagai parama sugam." In his Tiruppugazh songs he addresses Lord Murugan as the nephew of Lord Vishnu and each song ends with the word Permale. Usually Peruman refers Lord Shiva and Perumal refers Lord Vishnu. Arunagirinathar in his Tiruppugazh praises Lord Murugan and still ends the song with Perumale thereby emphasizing the uncle nephew relationship between Vishnu and Murugan.
The international recognition for Tiruppugazh is acclaimed by the group singing of Tiruppugzh devotees in large numbers with ragam and talam and the beauty of its systematized rhythm. This paper highlights those songs where important instances of the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu are referred.
Dr. Alarmelu Rishi
A History and Literary Study on Worship & Festivals of Arulmigu Senkottu Velavar Temple, Tiruchengodu, Tamilnadu
by Dr. R. Chandrasekaran †
Among the seven famous Shiva temples of Kongunadu of Tamilnadu, Tiruchengodu is a
famous pilgrim center. In Tamil literature it is also known as "Tirukkodi Madachengunrur".
Many famous saints, savants and devotees of Tamilnadu have praised it in songs
and poems. Thousands of people in and around this temple town gather here to
worship Him and get his blessings on new moon and full moon days.
Sengottuvelavar Sengottuvelavar is the incarnation of Lord Shiva. Only after the worship of
this Lord known as Sengodan, one may reach the sanctum of Lord Ardhanāreeshwarar.
Murugan, Kandan, Kadamban, Shanmugam, Arumugam, Velavan, Karttikeyan, Mālmarugan
and Senthilandavan etc., are his other names. He is regarded as the Tamil God (Teyvam).
The ancients divided the Tamil country into five types known as Ivagai
Nilangal. Kurinji is the hill area with Murugan as its God, also known as Kurinji
Aandavan. With his inspiration, Kumarakurubarar and Arunagirinathar composed
immortal rhythmic poems. Sangam texts like Paripatal and Tirumurukatruppadai
(and also Cilappatikaram) provide ample evidence that his worship has prevailed
since the Cankan Age.
Sengottuvelavar appears with pleasant smile and attracts all devotees. He holds his cock-flag (ceval
koti) in one of his hand and the lance (sakti vel) in the other hand. His shrine
is in the eastern side of the hill temple complex. The poet, Arunagirinathar is
not satisfied with his two eyes and demands four thousand eyes from the Creator
for him to reach, see and worship him, such is the beautiful appearance of Lord
Sengodan. Around him are the green fields full of fish with a boundary of thick
All the following festivals specially for Murugan are celebrated earnestly:
- Vaikasi Vicakam
- Karttikai Deepam
- Pankuni Uttiram
- Monthly Shasti and Kiruttikai days.
At the foot of the hill begins the stairs there is a temple known as Aarumugaswami Temple. In front
of this deity, Aarumugam weddings are solemnized. Murugan's Vel (lance) and peacock
(vahanam) show the right directions of life to his devotees.
Dr. R. Chandrasekaran, Lecturer in Tamil
K.S.R. College of Arts & Science
Tiruchengode - 637209 Namakkal Dist. Tamil Nadu, India
Muruka, Dionysus and Dancing Shiva as Religio-Aesthetic Symbols
Muruka the Tamil God has significant affinities with Dionysus the Greek God of frenzy and art as well as
the dancing Shiva. In the early phase Muruka is closer to Dionysus whereas later he is closer to Shiva: he becomes a synthesis of Dionysian frenzy and
In Cilapatikaram Muruka the deity off the hunters evolves from a regional god into a national god of Tamils
absorbing the qualities of mother goddess and Kannagi standing under the vengai
tree sacred to Muruka is identified with Valli and she is very much like
Oedipus at Colonus. The apotheosis synchronizes with the destruction of
spiritual pride of Kannagi as well as the sublime aesthetic experience of the
epic. In Cilapatikaram the folk perform the role of the chorus in Greek tragedy.
In Tirumurukatrupadai also we see Muruka linked with folk dance as well as mystic experience. When it
refers to 'Anankusal uyar nilai' it refers to terror and when it refers to 'Teyvattu
Ilanalam' it reveals his beauty. Through identification with the principle of
terror and beauty the devotees experience divinity as beauty.
Muruka has its roots in the eco-poetics of Tamils and in Tirumurukatrupadai he embodies sacred geography as
well as time. The journey to six sacred places is a journey in cosmic space and
time. In the dance of Nataraja also we find the creation myth evolving into an
aesthetic symbol & there is a space-time synthesis. Probably in the dancing
Shiva there is the absorption of the Tamil God of beauty. The concept of Shiva
as an abstraction and cosmic space merges with Muruka as fertility and beauty.
Dr. K. Chellappan
Lord Murukan and Modern Media
In June of 2003 an audio guide service was started at Batu Caves Temple. This service provides visitors with a hand held electronic player that contains an audio description of the caves, temples, and deities. The narrative includes sound effects and music to take the listener into another age and culture.
The tour is in two parts, one of the upper Temple cave of around 20 minutes and the other is in the Art Gallery of around 25 minutes (depending on language). Both segments have been designed so that they can be taken separately or jointly.
Six languages are available currently:
- Bahasa Malaysia
In this paper the author will explore the way modern media was used to create the Audio Tour at Batu Caves Temple. From original concept to visitor feedback the author will walk participants through the process of producing the tour and discuss:
Objectives of the project
Internet as a research tool
Creation of the audio script
The format of this talk will be informal and of a practical rather than academic nature. It is intended to show how the careful use of modern technology can increase the awareness of Hinduism and Lord Murukan.
K.C. Evison, Director
Audio Tours Asia Pacific
Devaraya Swamigal's Inspiring Divine Contributions Towards 'Murukanism'
Many a philosopher and religious thinker from time immemorial has tried to reconcile the issue of
freedom of the individual and a determined destiny. They investigated the cause
and effect relationships in the human life. Determinism is usually associated
with the belief in God. God's supremacy maintains order and harmony throughout
the universe. God is the sovereign of the world. He is the prime mover; Not a
dictator. According to the various religious faiths, different Gods are being worshipped
by different peoples. In Hinduism we come across Vinayaka, Muruka, Siva,
Vishnu, Sakti, Durga, Kali etc. as important Gods and Goddesses. These gods and
their greatness are studied through scriptures. As such scriptures are
indispensable to all religions. They save religions from mutation and from
extinction too. The faith that has no gospel for its guidance gets lost, but a
faith that draws sanction and inspiration from sacred persons books is able to
hold its own. For the study of the divine qualities of Lord Muruka, his
specialty, fairy friendliness, greatness, guidance, sympathy towards his wards
etc. and a real devotee to indulge in spirituality, delight, reward, seek the Kingdom
of Heaven etc. quite a large number of Saints have contributed scriptures
immensely. Mention may be made about aruna Girinathar, Pamban Swamigal, Kumarakuruparar,
Dandapani Swamigal, Vallimalai Swamigal, Devaraya Swamigal and a host of others.
The aim of this research work is to discover and throw right on the inspiring and divine contributions
of Śrī Devaraya Swamigal towards 'Murukanism'. For which his 'Skanda Shasti Kavasam',
'Satru Samkaravel Patigam' and 'Subramaniyar Virutam' have been taken into
account and a thorough study is undertaken to bring out how his verses have
inspired the devotees mind and heart when one recites them. He has utilised the
style of 'Nerisai Venpa', 'Kural Venpa, 'and Nilai Mandila Asiriyapa in his
verses that form 'Skanda Sasti Kavasam'. In 'Satru Samkaravel Pathigam' one may
find 'Kappu' and 'Nool' where he has detailed the sacred service and power of 'Vel'
and 'Mayil'. In 'Subramaniyar Virutam' the saint addresses Lord Muruka with
enormous titles namely, friend of poors, Saravana Perumal, Siva Subramaniyan, Muthan,
Muthalvan, Mudiyan, Vedar, leader of Sapta rishis, Tamil Kadavul, Mayilon, Velon,
Shanmugan, Kumaraguru, Arumugan, Lord with twelve arms, Iru Muntru Mudiyan. Iniya
Kanivayalagn, Kalugachalan, Siddhan, Kandan, Ayyan, Guhan, Kon and King of Palani
Hills, and prays for his blessings with benovalence.
He requests Lord Muruka to safeguard his devotees who recite these verses with real faith and full
devotion. Each and every line of his verses is more powerful enough to bless
the devotees with divinity. They show the right path to lead better and
peaceful life, destroy the enemies, converse with Muruka and blessed are the
devotees with Magaperu, fulfilling the request of devotees, sooth their
illness, saves them from sins, gives long life, courage, Siddhi & Mukthi. In
short, one is made to realise his own instrument through which the God plays
the song of his own will which makes Him to be the supreme power, having the
motherly affection. Let us all be blessed by Muruka to carry on the mission 'Murukanism'
far and wide.
Dr. Sivagami Paramasivam, M. A. , M. Phil. , Ph. D. , M. Ed. , Pgdtm, Reader in History (HOD)
Government Arts College
Salem-8, Tamil Nadu, India
The Cult Of Murugan In Cilappatikaram
'Cilappatikaram' is an encyclopaedia
of Tamil arts, cults and traditions. No wonder it contains detailed
descriptions of the cult of Murugan in the Second Century A. D. in Tamil Nadu. Elango,
the poet, is the first Tamil poet to experiment with forms of poetry. His hymns
to Murugan are the earliest devotional songs in Tamil and in India. He lovingly dwells on, in detail, the dance of the hillsmen
in praise of Murugan, the Lord of the Hills, adhering to the poetic canons of
the Sangam Age. The Sangam poetry refers to the 'Kuravai' dance of the hillsmen.
But it is only in 'Silappatikaram' that we find a detailed description of the 'Kuravai'
dance and its component songs. The 'Kunrakuravai', the 24th canto of 'Cilappatikaram'
is thematically integrated and woven into the plot of the epic. The hillsmen
worship Kannagi, the heroine of the epic, as their Valli, one of the consorts of Murugan.
The epic depicts the cult of Murugan as practiced in the Sangam Age combining both Tamil and Sanskrit
legends. It refers to 'Velan', the Shaman and his 'Veriyatal' the dance of the
possessed. It refers to 'Verkottam' the temple of the spear, that is, Murugan. It
suggests that the temple of Murugan formerly housed the 'Vel', the spear, as the object of worship. Even today, in
'Tiruparankunram', the spear is the object of worship and the ritual 'abhishekams'.
The modern ritual of 'archana' is called 'Poopali', the offering of flowers by Elango.
The poet refers to the abodes of Murugan, Senthil (Tiruchendur) , Chengodu (Tiruchengodu) , Venkunram
(modern 'Dhavalagiri', sanskritised form of Venkunram) , and Eragam (Swamimalai)
. He also refers to the 'Sudarilai Velavan Kunram', that is 'Surulimalai' where
Murugan dwells near the falls. It is near this area Kannagi stands under the kino
tree before her ascension into heaven and it is here the Kannagi temple, the 'Mangaladevi Temple' stands even today though in a
Prof. S. Ganesan
Chennai – 90
Tel: 91 44 446-8621
Establishing Murugan on the High Places: The Role of Murugan in the Development of Tamil Communities in the UK
In the last two decades, a
significant number of Tamils from both Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka have migrated to Britain. These migrants are both economic and political depending
on the place of origin. Over the same period both communities have moved
rapidly to develop religious and community infrastructures based around Murugan
temples. Initially these were founded in London but are now appearing in other centres
of Tamil settlement. The paper will explore the historical development of the
communities and assess the role that Murugan worship plays in maintaining
religious, ethnic and cultural manifestations in the British diaspora. In
particular, it will explore adaptations that have been necessary in Murugan
worship in order to transmigrate to Britain and demonstrate how maintaining
authenticity of traditional processions, festivals, forms of worship and temple
architecture have been important in aiding the migrants to feel settled in a
new territory. In this respect, the paper will particularly focus on the
manifestations of sacred space and their significance to the community. This
will focus not only on the development of Murugan temples fro the respective
communities of Tamils but also on the impact of Skanda Vale in South Wales
becoming a local centre of pilgrimage for Tamils on festival occasions and
weekends and show how the presence of western monks has enabled the Tamils to
fell both continuity with the host community but also demonstrated the
universality of Skanda/Murukan.
Dr. Ronald Geaves,
The Murukan Cult In Chembur, Mumbai
I Area of Study
- The locality of Murukan Temple in Chembur.
- Before the erection of the temple how they worshipped the Lord.
- The year in which the temple was built for Murukan in Chembur.
- The structure of the temple.
- The structure of the idol of Murukan and the other idols in the temple.
- Management of the temple.
- The local people who worship Murukan and the other people who come to worship him and the languages
they speak and the states to which they belong.
- The method of worship - Vedic, Agamic or folk tradition.
- The celebrations and festivals of Murukan and how they celebrate them.
- The beliefs of the people.
- Divine songs, cultural activities and folk-arts in praise of Lord Murukan or connected with the Lord Murukan.
II. Problems of the study
- Murukan is the Lord of the Tamilians. What reasons led the people of Chembur to build a temple for
Lord Murukan in the Maharashtra State – Whether in search of their language identity, religious identity or cultural identity.
- To find out whether the Karttikeya cult of the eastern India has its impact on Chembur Murukan cult.
- To find out whether the Skanda cult of northern India has its impact on Chembur Murukan cult.
- To find out whether the influence of Shakti cult during the reign of Shivaji had its impact on Chembur Murukan cult.
III. Methodology Adopted
- Sociological Approach: Feudal society and industrial society
of Mumbai – temple centred activities of the society - social get together of
- Psychological Approach: Whether alienation and isolation of the
city life – cause for building the temple.
- Mythological Approach: Myths connected with the Lord Murukan
- Philosophical Approach: The merger of Vedic, Agamic and folk
tradition – philosophical background for the Chembur Murukan cult.
IV. Sources of the Data
- Primary Source Materials – Data gathered from a) Fieldwork b) Questionnaires c) Inteviews with the people.
- Secondary Source Materials – Data collected from books on Chembur Murukan.
- Tertiary Source Materials – Data from magazines, newspapers, pamphlets etc. connected with Murukan will form the
tertiary source materials.
Thus an exhaustive study of Chembur Murukan cult – to be presented in the paper.
Dr. P. N. Kamala, H. O. D. of Tamil (Retd. )
14 N/3A, Periakaruppan Road
Categorisation of the Ancient Temples of Lord Murugan
There are four types of
temples mentioned in the ancient Tamil literature. They are the koyil, kottam, Niyamam
and the Nagaram. Ilangovadihal the author of the epic Cilapatikaram has listed
the above-mentioned four types of temples situated in the city of Puhar. The ten idylls and the eight anthologies also speak
about the above-mentioned types of temples in various places.
The aim of this research paper is to categorise the ancient temples of Lord Murugan mentioned
by Nakkirar in Tirumuruharupatai. Though the commentators don't mention the
difference between the four types of temples the early Tamil dictionaries (nikanduhal)
show the difference clearly. There are controversial ideas about the number of Tiruparankunram,
Tiruciralaivai and Tiruavinankuti. There are two schools of thought in
identifying Tiruveraham. The concept that Palamutirsolai denotes the Murugan
temple on Alagarmalai is still questioned by researchers. While Dr. Tamilannai
read a paper 'The six temple camps of Lord Murugan' in the first International
Conference Seminar on Skanda Murugan a serious debate broke out in the seminar
hall about the number; whether it is six or four. The traditional descriptive
approach is to be followed. The major proponents are:
- Defining a Koyil, Kottam,
Niyama and Nagaram.
- Describing Tiruparankunram
and identifying its category.
- DescribingTiruciralaivai, Tiruavinankuti, and Tiruveraham and
identifying their category.
- Describing Kottams and
- Study about Palamutirsolai.
Tirumuruharupatai serves as
the primary source. Invariably the secondary sources are the literature-which
belong to the Cangam period and the epics Manimegalai and Cilappatikaram. Categorising
these temples may throw some light on the truth about Palamutirsolai.
Reader, Tamil Dept.
S. F. R. College, Sivakasi.
Origin and Development of Murukan worship in Tamilnadu at Tiruchendur
The aim is to bring to light the worship of Skanda–Muruga in Tamilnadu for it has become widely
popular. Day by Day the belief and devotion to Skanda–Muruga is in the
ascending order. The object of this paper is to trace the origin and
development of Skanda–Muruga cult. The ancient mode of worship with its
transformation resulting in the modern method of worship is dealt with. The
amalgamation of the old and new ways of worship has reached the zenith of the
devotion (bhakti) cult of Skanda–Muruga. Recently the present system in vogue
has been discussed from religious, spiritual and social points of view. As a
result an intensive study of the celebrated shrines of Muruga known as "Arupadai
Vitukal" (six army houses) has been chosen focusing attention mainly on 'Tiruchendur'
also known as 'Tiruciralaivoy'. A close study of the salient celebrations with
a keen involvement of the votaries has been done. Naturally this branch of
knowledge will not be completed unless a detailed account of the austerities
and penances undertaken by the devotees in depicted. The grand festivals like skanda
Sasti, Thai Pusam, Vaikasi Visakam are brought to lime light. Besides, the
great temple festivals held in the Tamil months of Masi, Avani and Aippasi are
narrated briefly. The shrine of Tiruchendur is believed to be liked by Subrahmanya
and has been given the second place among his shrines in Skanda Puranam, the
first being Palani. A number of festivals are celebrated through out the year
and therefore Tiruchendur has become a great pilgrim centre. The Tiruchendur
temple is the celebrated sea – shore temple of Lord Subramanya.
It is situated in the Tiruchendur Taluk in Tirunelveli District. The temple is
on the shore of the Gulf of Mannar. The surging cool tides are gentle and shallow and also safe for the holy dip of sea bath. According
to sthalapuranam the bathing ghat contains nine teerthams. On the south of the
temple there is a natural phenomenon of a small square well containing good
On the north of the temple there is a Valli's cave cut inside the natural sand – stone rock facing the sea.
There are two images, one dedicated to valli and another to Dattatreya. The sanctum
sanctorum is of Lord Subramanya facing east in the form of a young
beautiful ascetic rapt in contemplative worship of Siva. By his side there is
another sanctum for Arumuka or Shanmuka facing south.
Skanda or Karttikeya is the god whose worship was extensively practised in the ancient times but is now
rare. The general belief is that he was the son of Siva and Parvati. In Ramayana he is represented as the son of fire and Ganga (I chaper 37) . The fetus was thrown by Ganga on the Himaivat mountain and it was nourished by six stars constituting the constellation called Krittika (Pleiades) and so was
called Karttikeya. In Mahabaratham he is represented as the son of fire but the mother was Agni's wife Svaha. She is said to have assumed the wives of six rishis whom Agni loved. There are other stories in connecting him with Siva and Parvati as his parents. Whatever the legend be, there is no question that he was connected with Siva and was the leader of one of his ganas. Skanda is the God of war and the fostered child of Pleiades. Skanda means the Effused and is said to drain the valour of the enemies. The lance of Karttikeya pierced the tree in the form of demon into two as peacock and cock. The former was accepted as Muruka's vehicle and latter on his banner as an act of forgiveness.
Patanjali seems to have regarded Skanda and Visakas as separated deities. In course of time they were
identified with one another and in South India with the transparently indigenous Tamil deity known as Murukan or Velan. While the
entire mythology of Karttikeya–Skanda of the north is fully accepted in the Tamil
country but there exist other traits peculiarly Tamil in origin. The term Murugan
is a word of unknown affiliation in Tamil. Muruku means tenderness and youth. Lord
Muruga is known to have two consorts, valli and Deivayanai. But in Northern
India Karttikeya is called Kumara or Bachelor of God. In order to free the devas
from the troubles of Surapadman, Karttikeya the son of Siva left Kailasa and
came to the south. He halted at Tiruchendur with his army to vanquish the
demons. Fighting for six days with Surapadman and hordes of demons, Subramanya
won the battle.
Ritualism has an important
social function. Religion comes to us in our early years as a social product. It
reaches man in the form of rituals with meaning behind. Undoubtedly Ritual is
the embodiment of faith that binds together large masses of believes. As a
historical function it ties up the different units of society for several
generations in a race. It binds the present with the past and secures a visible
continuity for religion. But the chief function of Ritualism is determined by
its symbolism. Man's humble service and offerings to god are visualised in
temple worship where god is treated as an earthly king and royal honours are
paid to him. Ritualism has an obvious psychological function of providing an
outlet for religious emotion tinged with the sense of aesthetics. But at the
same time its moral and mystic functions cannot be ignored. Yet it has its
limitations and dangers Ritualism tends to make religion not only mechanical but
also static. According to the Hindu view the ultimate object or ritualistic
worship is the realization of god to be achieved by the gradual transformation
of the worshipper into the likeness of the worshipped. He chooses a particular
form of the divinity as Ishtadevata with a particular set of attributes. As upanishand
says 'A man becomes what he thinks. 'The Hindu rites may be divided into four
- Those pertaining to the
stages of life.
- Those pertaining to
times and seasons.
- Those pertaining to
public worship &
- Those pertaining to the
In the case of Muruka worship all these rites are observed well by the votaries. The observations
done privately make public worship in spite of the milling crowd on Kanda Sashti
day for instance. At all the stages of life devotees undertake the penance with
rigidity and firmness. The rites associated with particular times like
observing vrata without taking a morsel of food on the sixth day called Sashti
in every month of the Tamil calendar. In big temples the Deity is treated as
the Kings of kings. The mystery play of everyday life reaches its climax in the
royal and divine wedding which is an annual function performed as a culmination
of Kanta Sashti attended by huge crowds.
At present crowds of devotees throng to Tiruchendur observing the austerities strictly and severely.
The prevailing atmosphere and the modern temples induce as well as inspire the
writer to present this paper with a graphic account of the development of
Skanda-Muruka worship in the Tamil country with special reference to Tiruchendur.
Mrs. Padmaja Anantharaman, Prof. of English
The MDT Hindu College
E-mail: padmaja_ananth@yahoo. com
Origin of Hindu Religion from Christianity in India
Amongst the Dravidian religions, the six-fold religion, which is hidden under the name 'Hindu religion'
is briefly analyzed here. The religious sects that are in the six-fold religion
are Saivism, Vaishnavaism, Saktam, Gomaram, Kanapatyam and Sauram. Since these
are the denominations of one religion, altogether these are known as 'six-fold
religion'. This six-fold religion is the development of two major sects viz. Saivism
Though some form of worship existed during the pre-Christian era, Saivism and Vaishnavism developed into
religions only in the post-Christian era. Doctrine of Trinity, doctrine of
Avatar and the doctrine of fulfillment of sacrifice are the basic doctrinal
aspects of Saivism and Vaishnavism. A fundamental question is, how did these
doctrines become the foundation for the religions that developed in the
post-Christian era? Also, can these doctrines be seen in the worship and
religions of the pre-Christian era? The answers to these questions can be
obtained by analyzing the worships and religions in the pre-and post-Christian
eras in India.
The doctrines of Trinity, of avatar and of the fulfillment of sacrifice are the basic doctrines of
Christianity. It has already been shown that the religious contribution
(memorial stone) had taken place amongst the Dravidian religions. It could be
concluded that these Christian doctrines have contributed to the Dravidian
religions developed in India in the post-Christian era. "Vaishnavism
has more common ground with Christianity than any other form of non-Christian
'Pandita Ramabai felt that by becoming a follower of Christ, she had not betrayed her ancient culture and
tradition. But on the other hand, she learnt that her ancient religion become
more meaningful and enriched only with her experience in Christ.
'Christ of the history has reincarnated in the mythological India and He has become the Nishkalank
Avatar (sinless incarnation) , jivan mukta, Sachidananda and Karma yogi'.
Fr. Reymond Panickar in his commentary on the Brahma Sutras says; "That form which the world comes
forth and to which it returns and by which it is sustained, that "that is
Christ" Like this so many scholars find similarities among these religions
(Early Indian Christianity and Europeanised Indian Christianity) .
When Christianity came to India, the New Testament was not compiled at that time. Naturally
this would lead to the lack of historicity. The need of presenting Christianity
at the grass root level in the later period led to the development of myths. Since
the doctrine of trinity, doctrine of avatar, and the doctrine of fulfillment of
sacrifice have to be explained in the mythical aspect at the grass root level,
mythical Christ is seen in the Indian religions in different languages in
Though the terms are different and seem to be different gods and goddesses, they all refer to one
God. An unbiased examination of myths would unveil the hidden Christ. Unless,
the Saivite and Vaishnavite philosophies, theologies and hymns are analyzed
deeply without any prejudice the hidden Christianity would not be unveiled.
Dr. Werner And Katy, Visiting lecturer
Institute of Religious Studies
God Murugan Worship in Panchalamkurich Folk Traditions
Panchalamkurich, a place of historical significance, is situated 18 kilometers north west of the harbour city Thoothakudi in Tamil Nadu, South India. During the later half of the 18th Century, when the East India Company was attempting to establish their authority in the southern part of India, the Panchalankurich Chieftains put up a stiff resistance. In the end Panchalamkurich Chief Kattabomman and his brother Umaidurai were hanged to death. Numerous ballads praising the great heroic deeds of these freedom fighters came up.
The Panchalamkurich poligars (Dukes) had a sincere devotion towards the god Murugan, the famous deity at Tiruchendur. From the folk traditions such as ballads and stories, we get a lot of information about the affinity of the poligars for the Lord Murugan.
The poligar Kattanbomman made a precious golden locket for his wife. That night Lord Murugan appeared to Kattabomman in a dream and asked him to offer that locket to the goddess Valli Nayaki. With great pleasure Kattabomman along with his wife went to Tiruchendur temple and offered the locket to Devi Valli as commanded by Lord Muruga. Such pieces of information are available in the folk traditions.
Traditionally the Nayakars worshipped Lord Vishnu as their Supreme God and Sakkammal as their family mother-deity. This paper highlights the reasons why Kattabomman Nayak a staunch Vaishnava was attracted towards Lord Murugan, and this paper also discusses the following:
- Historical evidences for the folk stories and ballads about the worship of Lord Muruga.
- Close link between the celebration of Panchalamkurichi Sakkammal festival and Tiruchendur Murugan temple.
Dr. V. Manickam
Department of Tamil
St. John’s College
Palayamkottai - 627 002
Tel: +91 (462) 257-6934
The impact of Cankam classics on Kalidasa's Kumarasambhava
In his nature poetry in Tamil, Thani Nayagam identified some
common descriptions of nature found in Cankam poems and Kalidasa's
Rtusamhara and Meghaduta. Jaroslav Vacek, a Western scholar, has now
convincingly shown that there are certain parallels between the Tamil
Neytal poems and the Sanskrit message poem. The present paper is an
attempt at tracing the impact of Cankam classics on Kumarasambhava with
regard to its content and style.
Dr. P. Marudanayagam, Director
Pondicherry - 605 001
Kavadi in the South African Cult of Murukan
The indentured Indians who left India, the cradle of Hindu culture and mother of Hindu tradition, arrived in South Africa during the second half of the 19th Century. They brought with them a historic culture which was distinct from the dominant Western and indigenous black cultures in modes of worship and philosophy. Thus were the seeds of Hindu religio-cultural expression, which embraced a plethora of oral traditions, rituals and festivals, transplanted into a fecund African and colonial environment.
Despite their lack of literacy and schooling, the influences of Western and other cultures, the strictures and obstructions of the colonial and apartheid eras, and a profusion of socio-political and economic difficulties, these custodians of Hindu culture have retained their identity. These pioneers could not have imagined how their simple wood and iron temples would mushroom into major religious monuments symbolizing ultimate enlightenment.
Their committed perseverance gave rise to the birth of many Murugan temples which today stand as beacons of Hindu culture catering for the religious needs of the Murugan worshippers in the Kwa Zulu-Natal, Gauteng and Cape Provinces of South Africa. Amongst the many Murugan Temples in South Africa, the Śrī Siva Soobramaniar Temple in Brake Village, Tongāt, and the Shree Siva Subramaniar Temple in Melrose truly enjoy the status of "pilgrim centres" where devotees assemble to pay homage to Lord Muruga.
Today, 142 years later, the unbroken continuity of the Murugan cult in South Africa has become an important component of popular Hinduism. This is evidenced when a vast assembly of Murugan worshippers from all walks of life gather to pay obeisance to Lord Muruga and fulfill their vows during the Tai Pucam, Sithirā Paruvam and Punkuni Uttiram Kavadi festivals. The growing popularity of the Kavadi festivals also attracts observers from other ethnic milieus in a multi-cultural South Africa, including devotees from the black community. Devotees ascribe the growth of kavadi to the benefits that the kavadi bearer experiences in the form of better health, which many call a "new life", spiritual attainment and material prosperity.
This paper will investigate the Murugan cult in South Africa with special emphasis on the kavadi ritual as practiced at two historic temples viz. The Panguni Uththiram Kavady Festival as practised at the Śrī Siva Soobramaniar Temple in Brake Village, Tongāt, KwaZulu-Natal and the Tai Pucam Kavady Festival as practised at the Shree Siva Subramaniar Temple in Melrose, Gauteng. In this context the pre-Kavady rituals, the main kavadi festival and the post-kavadi rituals will be dealt with. The paper will also include a brief synopsis of Skanda Sasthi as well as other Murugan cult practices not undertaken at the above-mentioned temples. The presentation will include visual information on the important Murugan shrines found in South Africa. A documentary video-recording of the kavadi festival and its component rituals as practiced at Brake Village will form part of the presentation.
Dr. Sarres Padayachee
Brahma the creator could not explain the meaning of the pranavam with which he performed his function. As he did not know the meaning of Pranava God imprisoned the Creator and he himself began to perform the duty of the creator. When Lord Parameswarar asked Murugan whether he knew the meaning of Pranavam, god Murugan disclosed the secret of the secrets to Lord Parameswarar in his right ear.
This research paper tries to penetrate this topmost mystery. The sixteen aspects of pranavam and the intricate implication of each aspect are explained in verse. What is important is the tryst with this pranava or logos, which is a monosyllable that is beyond time space and causation.
Even an overall view of this mighty epical verse as if a bird's eye will ensure wisdom and freedom from the bondage of the three vinais. A deep study with devotion of this epic will usher in the vision of Lord Murugan in dream or in a dreamless vision.
Dr. P. Pandian, IAS (retd)
Murukan Cult in Cilappatikaram
The ancient Tamil epic Cilappatikaram vividly describes the worship of Murukan by the hill tribes of the ancient Cera country. The cult of Murukan is laid in the background of Kannaki’s worship as Pattini, the goddess of chastity.
After putting into flames the unjust king with his capital, Kannaki arrives at Cera Country. The enraged and tired woman stands at the foot of a Venkai tree. The maids of the hill tribes who were playing there see the agonized lady; for them she looks like Valli, the consort of Murukan. They enquire about her whereabouts. Kannaki narrates to them her tragic story. While they are listening with awe and wonder, they see Kannaki ascending to heaven in a divine chariot along with her slain husband. They narrate this supernatural event to their elders. The elders of the hill tribe decide to worship her as their goddess. After offering prayer to Kannaki, they conduct a festival for Murukan who is their guardian and traditional God.
Young men and women join hands in a circle and perform the traditional dance, Kuravai with songs. The songs glorify Murukan’s birth, his manifestation and victorious deeds. They also perform veriyatal, the ritual dance to entreat Murukan’s presence. The songs express the anguish of the companion of the love-sick heroine when her parents try to unite her with an unknown lad in a settled marriage. They declare that if Murukan comes there, they will entreat him to unite Kannaki with her lover. The songs end with the worship of Kannaki.
Though brief, the songs of Murukan take us to another plane. Cankam classics celebrate human love whereas poems in Kunrakkuravai portray the bridal mysticism of the God and the soul. It is to be noted that Valli alone is described as the consort of Murukan. This is a notable departure.
A. Pandurangan, Professor Emeritus
Skanda/Murugan and Krsna/Vasudeva as Pan-Indian Divinities: A Comparative Study
It is interesting to study the dynamics of the assimilation of Krsna/Vasudeva and Skanda/Murugan as divinities in the
Hindu fold though both Krsna and Murugan are considered not part of the early
Vedic group of deities worshipped. This paper examines the dynamics of the
assimilation as also the differences that can be gleaned in the assimilation
itself. For instance while Krsna/Vasudeva has found a place in the
philosophical Bhakti Vedanta schools as the highest theistic expression, the
same cannot be evidenced for Skanda/Murugan. Similarly while the indigenous
modes of worship like kavadi and firewalking are still very much in vogue for
the Skanda/Murugan cult there has been not much of a trace left of the original
Krsna/Vasudeva worship as such. These and other questions pertaining to both
the deities will be examined in this paper.
T. S. Rukmani
The Tirumurukātruppadai of Nakkeerar is very famous and popular among Tamils for various reasons. Nakkeerar is still a living sprit among Tamils. His famous statement “netrik kannai thirappinum kutram kutrame” is used even today in verbatim. Nakkeerar's Tirumurukātruppadai was the first ever work on Murugan which was totally devoted to Murugan. Tirumurukātruppadai of Nakkeerar is unique in another way also. This work is completely devoid of any mythological description. Murugan is no doubt treated as God supreme but at the same time He was portrayed as normal person without unbelievable features. The portrayal of Murugan with six faces alone is something unnatural. Otherwise Murugan is treated like any other human being.
Some months ago when I was in Palani, I happened to come across a copy of Tirumurukātruppadai, but to my surprise I found the author name was Arunagirinathar. Until that date I never knew such a work existed. In this paper I propose to discuss this work trying to find the authenticity of the same. In fact, at the end of my research I conclude that the above work is not by Arunagirinathar of Tiruppugazh fame but by some one with similar name. The paper gives the entire work with detailed discussion on various aspects.
Dr. J. Rāmachandran
Department of Applied Mechanics
Indian Institute of Technology
Chennai 600036 India
Worship of Arumuga and His Abodes
This deals mainly with the six abodes of Murugan with adequate importance of worship in Murugan temples in all the six abodes under the two titles:
- Importance of place as stalaccirappu or malaiccirappu in the six abodes.
- Worship importance
According to Kunrutoratal in the fifth abode not only Tiruttani but some others like Vaittisvaran Koyil, Kunrakkuti, Tirumalai, Viralimalai may be included.
Dr. K. Ramaswamy
The Concept of Muruka according to St. Ramalinga Swamigal
St. Ramalinga Swamigal was one of the greatest devotees of Lord Muruga. Only in this later years he propounded the Universal Self-hood (ānmaneeya orumaippāTTurimai) and worshipped the God only in the form of Light and called Him ‘Arutperunjoti Andavar’.
Even at the young age of nine, Ramalinga Swamigal began to meditate on Lord Muruga in a mirror and sang sweet songs in praise of Lord Muruga.
The whole Tiruarutpa, sung by St. Ramalinga Swamigal contains about 6000 songs. On Lord Muruga alone there are about 560 songs. In these songs he has described Muruga in about 200 different terms. When all the terms are put together the complete concept of Muruga according to St. Ramalingam can be evolved. This paper gives to vivid picture of Lord Muruga as exemplified by St. Ramalingam.
St. Ramalingam has personified Muruga in the following words: He is our Relative, our Fortune, our Friend, Lover, Lord, Servant, Eye, Pupil of the eye, Jewel, Pearl, Gold, Diamond, Ruby, Fruit, Sugarcane, Milk, Honey, Wine, Nectar, Flower, Virtues, Penance, Boon, Truti, Justice, Goodpath, Pure person, Sweet person, the immortal one, Everlasting Joy, Wonder of Wonders, Grace, Soul, Beautiful person, Divine Wisdom, Poet, Great man, New man, unparalleled person, Ocean, Feast, Seed, Perfection, Wealth, Life, Munificent Lord, Person of the above world, Light, Great person, omnipotent person, King, Warrior, Hero, etc. From the above terms, St. Ramalingam’s concept of Lord Muruga can be remunerated.
Dr. M. Sadasivam, Erode
Kavadi Cult in Murugan Worship
Religion is an inseparable part of human life. Right from the beginning of the human civilization,
religious beliefs coupled with practices were noticed in obscure sketches drawn
on walls dugout from the ground. These sketches reflect mystic philosophy of
creed. India has a glorious heritage as far as
origin of religion is concerned. Therefore, the religious pundits in general
and historians in particular see India as a holy land, punya bhumi and
is a mother of many religions. These religions have earned world wide fame and
glory. Among the Hindu pantheons Lord Murugan has been identified as a god of
Tamils. The Tamil classic Tolkappiyam clearly mentions Lord Muruga the god of Kurinci
land it means Lord Muruga has been a popular god among the Tamils since the
In order to worship Lord Muruga the people have been performing different cult practices. The Kavadi cult is
one among them. The Kavadi bearing custom has been a age old popular custom in
the Tamil society. Properly an object called kavadi in the form of a segment of
a circle was made, decorated with multi flowers, designed coconut leafs along
with pooja items to enrich the cult. The word kavadi is a combination of two
words ie kava and adi intended to mean the vow made
to walk from the distance to the place of pilgrimage on foot. This cult is
observed to achieve particular objectives. It is necessary to note that some of
the kavadis do not have this kind of shape, but named them as kavadi. The
intense religions faith or the untired, involvement in the cult practices
ensure the boundless happiness and peace of mind to the devotee.
In this paper an empirical attempt has been made to collect information pertaining to core ideas to kavadi
cult at different places on different occasions in Tamil Nadu. The different shape
of kavadi bearing, practice of fast preceding the kavadi are discussed. Further
a new approach is made to present the shapes of different kavadis to the
Dr. A. Singaravel
Centre for History
Tamil Nadu, India
On Knowledge of Murukan
Tamils and non-Tamils alike pray to and worship Murukan. Most Tamils, especially in Mauritius,
tend to identify, in a most naÔve and simplistic manner, with Murukan, without really
asking questions that should be raised. However, given the permanence, albeit
the changes, transformations, accretions, adaptations and syncretisms of
Murukan, it would be most interesting, if ever that were possible, to try to
understand how Murukan, and through Murukan, Ceyyon, and perhaps Kantu as well,
is particularly meaningful to the Tamil spirit, the Tamil collective unconscious.
The devotee's life is entirely, or should entirely be dedicated to the deity he has
chosen and adopted. But who is it that he is praying and adoring? What is the
real significance of the cult? How are we to account for the symbolism? What is
the role of the various rituals in our understanding of the deity? Without as
clear an understanding as possible of what he is doing, the devotee's action
may simply boil down to mere mechanical and void repetition of what has been
handed over to him/her by tradition. For sure, tradition is never to be simply
and foolishly discarded; but surely an effort should be made to understand the underlying of the tradition.
Is it possible to attain knowledge of Murukan? If so, how are we to reach that
knowledge? What is its nature? Is it to be attained through revelation? Asceticism?
Study? Faith? Submission? And how are we to reconcile this knowledge with the transcendental
nature of Murukan, his alterity? And, finally, what kind of incidence is this
knowledge to have on the Tamil view of life, on the daily life of the Tamil, both
from an individual standpoint and at the collective level?
Key words: faith, worship, submission, identification.
Mr. Ramanujam Sooriamurty
Herbs and the Hero of the Hills
If one thinks of Lord Murugan, the hills, mountains and higher
altitudes will be focused in one's mind. The mountains and the land
slides are the gift of the Nature, which includes not only the rocks
and valleys, but also the rich vegetation of human importance. People
living in higher altitudes not only worshiped Lord Muruga but also the
nature especially the herbal wealth of their native. Whatever the
health problem and ailment they try to cure using the local herbs.
Around the Earth, people worship Muruga and other deities with some
special kind of offerings (flowers, leaves, fruits, etc.) and they
considered such things as a divine trust. Tamil literature is
adorned with such plants and plant parts to praise Lord Muruga. The paper deals with such important herbal plants
and their medicinal value and cultural heritage.
Kuringi: [Kuringi vazhum maravar nayaga… 5th padai veedu, Tiruppukal]
Strobilanthes (Acanthaceae) A large genus of herbs and shrubs grown for
their attractive foliage and flowers. It is mostly native to Indonesia with
only a few species occurring in India. The plant flowers in 6-8 year
intervals. Pounded leaves are rubbed as a coolant on the body during the
cold stage of intermittent fever.
Valli kodi: [Valli padar saral, Valli malai mevum… 5th padai veedu,
Tiruppukal] Ipomea (Convolvulaceae), antidiuretic, antidote
to snake poison. Roots are used as aphrodisiac, purgative, cholagogue
and used in scorpion sting.
The Lotus: [The birth of Karttikeyan is on the lotus flowers of
saravanapoigai….] Nelumbo (Nymphaeaceae) A very small genus of aquatic
herbs distributed in Asia, Australia and America. The milky viscid
juice of leaf and flower stalks is used in diarrhea. Saline extracts
of stem, possess bacteriostatic function.
Konrai: [Konrai thadhu valar solai thunri….4th padai veedu,
Tiruppukal] Cassia (Ceasalpiniaceae) Cultivated as an ornamental tree
for attractive yellow flowers. Roots, bark, seeds and leaves as
laxative. Fruit is applied in rheumatism, snake bite. Seeds emetic.
Juice of leaves is applied in skin diseases. Root astringent, tonic
Venkai: [Kani nar sorubathaiyetuthu malaikaniyai kaniyurtriduvonae…
3th padai veedu, Tiruppukal] Pterocarpus (Leguminosae) Found in hilly
regions throughout the country. Kernel of the fruit emetic, used for
toothache, skin diseases. The bark is used as an astringent and as
cooling external paste for inflammation and headache.
Kanthal: [Sudar poong kanthal perunthankanni…..Tirumurugatrupadai]
Kandelia (Rhizophoraceae) The oil of which contains eugenol ≠ a
potential and cheap source of clove oil. It is distributed in Kerala,
Jammu, USA and West Africa. Bark mixed with dried ginger or long pepper
and rose water used as a cure for diabetes.
Tumpai: [Kuravumaru kungarum, Thumbaiyum, Konraiyum kamazh kadila…..
Tiruppukal] Leucas (Lamiaceae), Plant is antipyretic, insecticidal,
Juice of leaves applied in Psoriasis. Scabies, chronic skin eruptions.
Leaves are considered useful in chronic rheumatism.
Dr. S. Sudhakaran and V. Sivasankari, Tiruchengode
Murugan Worship in Valliyur – A Historical Study
Murugan worship is quite an ancient practice throughout Tamilnadu, in particular Tirunelveli District. Tiruchendur
is one among the Arupadaiveedu. Valliyur, forty kilometers away from Tiruchevdur
is one of a few places bearing the name of Valli in Tamilnadu.
History of Valliyur
- Pandiya Kingdom
- Nayaka period
- Kulasekara Pandiyan period
Valliyur murugan in Folk Ballads and Songs
- Ivar Rajakkal Kathai
- Meccum Perumal Pandian Kathai
- Veenathi Veenan Kathai
- Kummi Pāttu
Folk Beliefs About Valli and Murugan
- Valli's hiding cave
- Murugan ran after Valli
- Valli used turmeric and took bath in rock side
- Murugan driving motor cycle on the rock to catch Valli
- 'Mathantham' for child and wealth.
Festivals in Valliyur Temple
- Theppam Festival
- Therottam Festival
- Thai Poosam
- Vaikasi Visakam
Dr. S. Shanmuga Sundaram
Prof. and head of Tamil
St. Joseph's College,
Res. Ph. (080) 525-1095
Kumara Tantra: A Study
Kumara Tantra is an agamic text which is considered as a part of Lalitagama, one of the famous 28 Mula Saivagamas.
The unique feature of this work is that it deals exclusively with the rituals
and festivals connected with Lord Subrahmanya. This work consists of 3500
verses in 51 chapters. It was told by Lord Siva to sage Kausika. Though there
are some references regarding the worship of Kumara in Mulagamas like Kamika, Karana
etc. , the details which were left out are given here.
For the upliftment and for the betterment of the kingdom, three types of worship of Skanda are explained
viz., Nitya, Naimittika and Kamya. If there is any mistake in these it leads
to the destruction of the kingdom and hence Kumara should be worshipped
properly as given in Kumara Tantra.
The main paper throws light on the content of this valuable treatise, which is a unique Sanskrit source for
the worship of Skanda in temples.
Dr. V. Abhirama Sundaram
Reader in Sanskrit
Ramakrishna Mission, Vivekananda College
Mylapore, Chennai-600 004 India.
Five Abodes of Lord Murugan
Since the term Murukan denotes the Beauty of Nature, the abodes of the Lord Murugan are also enriched by the same beauty of nature. Lord Murugan is worshipped in many such places. Among the six abodes, Tiruchendur is situated in the seashore. All others are situated in hilly regions. Information regarding Tiruttani Murugan and Tirupparankundram Murugan is presented elaborately. Avinankudi, Palani, Idumban Malai, etc are also discussed with regards to Murugan. In this paper, discussion on Porur Murukan, Kanda Kottam Murugan, etc. also find a place.
Tmt. Lalitha Sundaram
Chennai - 600 050
History of Muruka Worship in Sri Lanka
Muruga worship in Sri Lanka is unique. Since Sri Lanka is a piece of land that escaped from
the sinking of the continent of Lemuria, Muruga worship followed by the
Dravidians had continued in this Island too.
This is proved by the following
- Evidence of Muruga worship that
prevailed during the Mesolithic periods.
- symbols and names found in Brahmic
- Incriptions that contain symbols of Muruga
worship & Hindu Traditions.
- Symbols of Muruga worship found in
the Hill country.
Later the Muruga worship was well established at Kataragama. This place is of International importance. It has
become the Mecca of Muruga devotees, all over the Island. Kataragama is
mentioned in Mahavamsa, the foremast Historical document of Sri Lanka. Mention
is also made of (a) Singhala Kings' Worship at Kataragama and (b) the planting
of pious white Bo-tree at Kataragama.
During the 4th century A. D., Tamil Kings of Pandyan origin ruled in the Kataragama Region and they were known as
Kataragama Kshatriyas due to their connection with Kataragama. Their dynasty
continued for five generation. This is also mentioned in "Mahavamsa".
There are several ancient Muruga Temples in the North and East Provinces of Sri Lanka. These are Tamil
Provinces, where the people are predominantly Hindus. The following are some of
the important Muruga Temples in these Provinces:
Temple in the Batticaloa District.
- Tiruppadai Kovils (Similar to the "Arupadai Veedu Temples in South India).
- Murugan Temples in Trincomalee District.
- Murugan Temples in North Ceylon.
- Murugan Temples in Hill Country.
Traditions of Muruga worship in Sri Lanka too is unique. They are:
- Ancient traditions with 'Vel' worship.
- Worship of Images.
- Buddhist worship of Muruga.
- Different ways of Prayers in the Villages.
Rituals in Muruga worship in Sri Lanka are also unique, viz.:
Katargama Esala festival is another unique form of worship in Sri Lanka. Pilgrimage to Kataragama, the massive coneoeqal, the fire-walk and the water cutting ceremonies are also unique in Sri Lanka. This is depicted in ample measure in the book written by Mr. Patrick Harrigan namely Kataragama The Mystery Shrine
K. Thangeswary (B.A.)
District Cultural Officer
Batticaloa, Sri Lanka
Pan Hindu Pilgrimage Traditions, Batu Caves and Murukan Worship
Within the generic Hindu tradition, pilgrimage is known as tirtha-yatra; that is, a journey (yatra) to a
ford or crossing place (tirtha) . While some tirtha-s many actually consist of
river crossings, the term may be more literally interpreted to incorporate any
recognized pilgrimage centre any one of a broad range of liminal median
locations in which the boundary between human and divine worlds is both
permeable and negotiable. In a general sense, then, a pilgrimage many be viewed
as a journey to a destination ("crossing place") where deities
normally transcendent are both imminent and accessible.
A pilgrimage centre may be conceptualized as an axis mundi, a central pivot of the cosmos which is outside
mundane space and time, even though it is a visible site on earth as well. The
shrine is idealized as a ritually ordered universe and is demarcated from the
chaos and sorrow of the Kali Yuga (current age), by a succession of clearly
stipulated boundaries. The gatekeeper marks the point of transition from the
outside world to the otherworldly shrine. The heart of the shrine is suffused
with sacred power which forms a dense and patterned representation of ritual symbolism.
Tamil purana-s consistently localize mythic action, so that pilgrimage sites are firmly linked to a
particular phase of a given deity's history. Despite the multiplicity of pilgrimage sites in South
India, each shrine is viewed as the centre of the universe, the one place that is directly connected
to the other worlds. Jut as localization establishes a nexus between place and
mythic action, so it determines and prescribes the forms of ritual worship
considered appropriate at each specific pilgrimage centre.
The journey from the periphery, from the mundane world of the Kali Yuga, to the centre, the axis mundi.
Where direct communication can be made with the imminent deity is an integral
defining aspect of pilgrimage. The journey is initiated when the aspirant
commences a set of purificatory rituals which place him/her outside mundane
societal routines, and culminates with the direct and personal approach made by
the pilgrim to the deity.
This paper will explore these concepts and their observance within the context of the Murukan festival
of Tai Pucam as it is commemorated at Batu Caves, Malaysia. This paper will trace the development of Batu Caves as a recognized Malaysian Hindu
pilgrimage destination, dedicated to the deity Murukan, and document its
enduring association with Tai Pucam. It will demonstrate that although both
pilgrimage traditions and the festival of Tai Pucam itself have been closely
modeled upon the mythology and ritual celebrated at Palani, Tamil Nadu, the
processes of adaptation have endowed the observances with attributes and an
orientation which are distinctly Malaysian.
The paper will argue that the mythology of Murukan and Tai Pucam cumulatively prescribe ritualized
patterns of worship which at Batu Caves find central expression in the bearing of kavati-s. It will further contend that kavati worship constitutes an act of
pilgrimage which clearly embraces all the major elements which comprise the pan-Hindu tirtha-yatra paradigm. The paper will conclude that while kavati
worship provides layers of meaning to Malaysian Hindus, its adaptation at Batu Caves signals a diversity of allegiances,
including a broader identification with an imagined wider and enduring world of pan-Hindu civilization.
Carl Vadivella Belle
Post Graduate Student,
Deakin University, Australia
Kumarakuruparar, The Tamil Saint associated with Murukan
Kumarakuruparar was born in a small hamlet Śrī Kailasam, near the town Śrī Vaikuntam, situated in the
northern bank of Tamiraparani river of then Pandiya kingdom and at present in Tirunelveli
district of southern most part of Tamilnadu. His parents were Canmukacikamanik Kavirayar
and Sivagamasundari. Until the age of five Kumarakuruparar was unable to speak
and remained dumb. His parents took him to Tiruchendur, the abode of Lord Murukan
and prayed for the removal of the child's deficiency. Finally Lord Murukan
blessed the child with the elimination of its dumbness. Kumarakuruparar after
attaining the ability of perfect speech, rendered songs on Chendil Andavan,
another name of Lord Murukan at Tiruchendur and those songs were compiled and
named as Kandarkalivenpa.
The broad objectives of this research paper are as follows:
- To know the historical facts of Kumarakuruparar.
- To know the list of the works rendered by Kumarakuruparar.
- To study the importance of Kandarkalivenpa with special reference to the devotion of Kumarakuruparar
- To study the basic principles of Saiva Siddantham as enunciated by Kumarakuruparar in his famous
- To study the interrelationship between Kandarkalivenpa of Kumarakuruparar and other renowned
works on Murukan.
- To study and appreciate the literary beauty of Kandarkalivenpa.
The source material for this research paper will be mainly the literary work Kandarkalivenpa and the
history of Kumarakuruparar collected from different sources.
Dr. R. Vijayaraghavan, BTech. , MIE, M.A. , M.Ed. , Ph.D. ,
Dept. of Language Education (Tamil)
Regional Institute of Education (NCERT)
Social Development and Tiru-vi-ka’s Murukan Arul vettal
by Va. Mu. Se. Andavar
A research paper in Tamil that
discusses at length about the social development as stated in the Tamil book
namely “Murukan Arul vettal” (Seeking the Grace of Lord Murukan) by the
celebrated Tamil writer Tiru-vi-ka. This paper speaks about the revival in
Murukan worship in 20th Century as well as the involvement of reputed scholars
in this direction. Tiru-vi-ka’s contribution in this great revival is
objectively evaluated with number of illustrations from his writings. It also
speaks about the sacred shrines of Lord Murukan enumerated in Tiru-vi-ka’s
works. Murukan has become a metaphor for the ideal Tamil society envisioned by
the Tamil scholar Tiru-vi-ka.
Lord Murukan - The God of Medicine
by Prof. J.G. Kannappan
The concept of
God as a doctor in Tamil and Sanskrit traditions is discussed with a focus on
the famous temple near Chidambaram known as Vaitheeswaran Koyil. Here, Murukan
is worshipped with Siva and his consort for getting remedy from bodily ailments
and mental agony. There had been many earlier and present incidents when Lord
Murukan (Muttukumaraswami) had rendered pain relief and wound healing. Lord
Murukan is not only an omnipotent blesser of goodness but also a medical
Though Lord Murukan at Palani is
installed for spiritual and philosophical basis, but materialistically, a
procedure in turn helps to improve the health of devotees. This paper
establishes the fact that the ancient Tamils have proposed Saivism on
Scientific basis and the creation of Gods and their blessings in towards the
welfare of mankind.
Worship on Arumuga and His Abodes
by K. Ramaswamy
This deals mainly with the six abodes of Murukan with adequate importance of worship in Murukan
temples in all the six abodes under the two titles:
- Importance of
place as stalaccirappu or malaiccirappu in the six abodes.
According to Kunrutoratal in the fifth abode not only Tiruttani but some others like Vaittisvaran koyil, Kunrakkuti,
Tirumalai, Viralimalai included.
Kuruparar Porriya Kuruparan
Srimat Dr. Kumaraswamy Tambiran
This deals with
Kumarakuruparan’s merit as a devotee. He is the master of cirrilakkiyam and
praised as Kutti Tiru jnana Campantar.
He has very
clearly expressed that Lord Murukan is not a very different lord from Siva. He
has been compared to Lord Siva in literatures and they are will indicated here.
The dealing of Murukan and Tamil has a clear exposition in the article. Similarly
the relationship of Murukan with three concept of tiriveni cankamam, mukkunam,
muppolutu etc are well explained. The origin of Murukan along with the
connected mythology are also dealt with in detail.
As he could not
speak up to his 5th age and only after the grace of Lord Murukan he could able
to speak and so with all loyalty and gratitude Kuruparan expounded the
greatness of Murukan in a clear way of expressions.
His words of praising Lord Murukan
is worth praising for our elevation of life. As rightly pointed out by him, “aliyata
vitum tarakkatavan ivan” The devotees of Murukan will be abundantly
benefited both in immai and marumai by worshipping him.
Themes in Kanta Puranam
by Smt. Vasuki Kannappan
It is in
mythology of Lord Siva the right eye is sun, left eye is Moon and third eye is
fire and correspondingly there are three mythological works namely Periyapuranam,
Tiruvilaiyatal Puranam and Kanta Puranam respectively. Since the text of Kanta
Puranam is correlated to fire, there is ample relevance of mythology of Murukan
originated from the fire of the third eye of Siva. Among the Cera, Cola, Pantiyas
the Ceras belong to fire and the others Colas and Pantiyas belong to sun and
moon respectively. The three mythological works relating to these three are:
Periya Puranam =
Tiruvilaiyatal Puranam =
Kanta Puranam =
All these have central themes. Service
to human is more valuable and by doing so the grace of god can be felt. Depending
on the deeds, the fate is ruling man, Acura, Deva and all. So doing or helping
good deeds only stand. Man should not live without the sense of gratitude and
this is emphasized in Kanta Puranam very much. The story of Dakshan and Surabadman
are very important to analyse how to live a life.
Worship of Murukan: Evidence from Cankam literature
by N. Murali
Many gods were worshipped in the
olden days, in particular Murukan - The Lord of Kurunji land has been given
great importance owing to his familiarity among the people of Kurunji land. Tirumurukuattrappadai and Paripatal gives us a glimpse of the procedures adopted in worshipping lord Murukan.
The Kuravas who are the tribal people of kurunji land adopted the way of
offering goat sacrifice and other eatables to please Lord Murukan. They use to
worship lord Murukan with flowers and rice soaked in goat’s blood. Veriyādal a
situation where Lord Murukan is believed to enter into the soul of a man and
thus is believe to bless the kuravas community through that man. Kuravai korthu
method of worship to please Murukan was performed by the men and women of Kurava
community. These worshipping methods include dancing and singing under a
particular tree of Kurunji land. Singiyadital is another mode adopted to
worship Murukan by Kurunji people. This included beating up of the ribcages
with his elbows.
The Brahmins of Cankam period had a different way of
worshipping Lord Murukan. They used flowers to worship Murukan and recited
mantras in a low tone. It has been that Lord Murukan was pleased with the forms
of worship and in turn bless to the people of Kurunji land lead happy and
The forms of worship by all sects of people in the Kurunji
land, their faith in lord Murukan, the culture of the Kurunji land people and
Lord Murukan response to their prayers are addressed in this article. Special
emphasis is given on the appearance of Lord Murukan on each occasion. Places of
worship of Murukan such as Tiruchendur, Tirupparankundram etc., are given
special emphasis to explain devotion of people towards Lord Murukan. Quotes
from Parippadal and Tiru are given where ever necessary. An attempt has been
made to make the prospective reader fully aware of the Murukan worship during Cankam period.
The abodes of Ciruvapuri Murukan
Mrs. Alamelu Chockalingam
This article discusses at length
about the importance of the sacred abode of Lord Murukan in Ciruvapuri, a
village near Ponneri in Tamil Nadu. The puranic tradition traces the origin of
the temple to the period of Ramayana while the historians consider this as
belonging to the age of the Pallava kings. Legends relate this place with the Acuvamita yagam in Ramayana and explain the etymology of this village. This place was immortalised
by Saint Arunakirinathar in his devotional songs. This paper deals with the
structure of the temple, its rich mythological background and the various
From Tribalism to Culturalism: A study of the
Transformation of Velan to Murukan in the Tamil Tradition
by Dr. K. Sadasivan
627 012, Tamil Nadu
die hard is an old saying, much often spoken in the intellectual context. In
fact, it is not always true. Old orders give way to new orders. This is mostly
true in the case of the traditions of early Tamilaham, which had undergone vast
changes in the process of absorption and assimilation of new ones.
Appropriation of many original or tribal or folk traditions had taken place in
the long tradition of Tamil history, which has been transformed into the
systematic ones. In fact, the process of accommodation necessitated the death
or transformation of the original, may be the tribal ones. In any such
interface the casualty or victim would be the minor order i.e. the local or the
indigenous or the tribal. In this, sometimes the ferocious indigenous or tribal
ones are transformed into the cultured and the benign.
One such a
tribal tradition that had undergone transformation to become the cultured is
that of Velan to Murukan. In the process of change Velan, the spearman, the
ferocious, the malevolent and the fierceful, had been transformed into the most
benign, the loving and the lovable youth, the god of fertility, Murukan, the Cey,
the child of Civa and Parvati of the major system.
It is not known
when and how did this transformation take place. It is also not known whether
it is the two faces, the malevolent, and the benevolent of the same God. This
paper therefore makes an attempt to study the time and processes of the
transformation of Velan from the tribal to the cultural Murukan.
This study has
been made drawing and information from both the primary and secondary sources. Primary
sources include some of the Cankam classics, (Purananuru, Pattinappalai, Ainkurunuru,
Kurunthokai, Maduraik-kanchi, Paripatal and TiruMurukantruppadai), Tolkappiyam,
the extant Tamil grammar, post-Cankam classic, the Cilappadikaram, the
archaeological remains from Adichchanallur and other places. The secondary
sources consulted include the works of Tiru. Vi. Kalyanasundaranar, Professor
K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, KK Pillay, C Thandapani Tecikar, Kamil V Zvelebil, PT Srinivasa
Iyengar, N Subramaniam, AL Basham, Gustav Oppert, VR Ramachandra Dikshitar, Rt.
Rev. Henry Whitehead, etc. The method applied is cultural anthropology and the
approach is critical analysis.
By making this study, it is hoped
to throw light on the socio-religious history of Tamil Nadu of the remove past.
Murukan, the hill-god had become the most popular and powerful deity of the
Tamils, whose abodes are great centres of divine worship and pilgrimage of the
Tamils of all sections.
Murukan Worship in Panchalamkurich Folk Tradition
a place of historical significance, is situated 18 km north west of the harbour
city Tutukudi in Tamil Nadu, South India. During the later half of the 18th
Century, when the East India Company was attempting to establish their
authority in the southern part of India, the Panchalankurich Chieftains put up
a stiff resistance. In the end Panchalamkurich Chief Kattabomman and his
brother Umaidurai were hanged to death. Numerous ballads praising the great
heroic deeds of these freedom fighters came up.
poligars (dukes) had a sincere devotion towards the God Murukan, the famous
deity at Tiruchendur. From the folk traditions such as ballads and stories, we
get a lot of information about the affinity of the poligars for the Lord Murukan.
The poligar Kattanbomman
made a precious golden locket for his wife. That night Lord Murukan appeared to
Kattabomman in a dream and asked him to offer that locket to the Goddess Valli Nayaki.
With great pleasure Kattabomman along with his wife went to Tiruchendur temple
and offered the locket to Devi Valli as commanded by Lord Murukan. Such pieces
of information are available in the folk traditions.
the Nayaks worshipped Lord Vishnu as their Supreme God and Sakkammal as their
family mother-deity. This paper highlights the reasons why Kattabomman Nayak a
staunch Vaishnava was attracted towards Lord Murukan, and this paper also
discusses the following:
evidences for the folk stories and ballads about the worship of Lord Murukan.
- Close link
between the celebration of Panchalamkurichi Sakkammal festival and Tiruchendur Murukan
Ph: 0462 – 2576934
Scientific and Symbolic approach of
Murukan’s Holy Places Palani and Tiruchendur: A Comparative Study
Dr. S. Andal
Reader in English
Sree Meenakshi Govt. College for
The aim of this paper is to
bring out the fame of Lord Murukan through scientific and symbolic approach to Murukan’s
holy place Palani and Tiruchendur. In this paper we will make use of the
technique of comparison and contrast. This paper will have two parts. The first
part will discuss the scientific ideas which could be associated with Lord Murukan’s
holy places – Palani and Tiruchendur. And the second part will deal with
symbolic ideas which could be associated with Palani and Tiruchendur.
Regarding the scientific approach
to Palani Hill, the essay will speak about the role of Pada Yatra (reaching the
Palani Hill by walk) which is followed by Hindus during Thaipusam festival. Here
we will discuss clearly how Pada Yatra acts as a nature cure to pilgrims. As a
next step we will discuss how girivalam (going round the hill by walk)
helps the devotee to have good health. As a third step we will bring out how
the steps in Palani Hill help the devotee to get normal blood circulation. Next
we will try to point out how the idol of Palani Andavar could give good health
to the devotee. As a fifth step we will point out how Kanta Sasti festival
which is celebrated by the pilgrims in the name of Lord Murukan helps the
devotee to have good health.
To conclude we can say that both Palani and Tiruchendur suggest that we can have our aim as high as
Palani Hill or as vast as Tiruchendur sea. To attain our aim let us pray both
to Bala Murukan who is standing in the shape of small child in Palani Hill and
also to the beautiful, elegant and triumphant winner of SuraPadman – Arumugam
Karttikeya Worship in contemporary North India: Uttara Swamimalai Temple, New Delhi
Dr. K. Balachandran
Professor of English
Annamalai Nagar – 608 002
In North India, temples for Durga
(Kali), Śrī Ramar, Śrī Krishna and Siva are famous. To find a temple for Lord Murukan (Karttikeya) is a rare feature. The 70s saw the fulfillment of the dreams of
South Indians in New Delhi in the form of Murukan temple in the VIIth sector,
We know the six Padai Veedus – the
six important shrines of Lord Murukan – Swamimalai, Palni, Tiruttani, Tiruchendur,
Tirupparankunram and Pazhamudircholai. New Delhi Śrī Swaminatha Swami Temple is
considered to be the seventh Padai Veedu. It is situated on the top of the 90
feet hillock. It is said that Lord Swaminatha Himself indicated in a dream to a
devotee this place of His abode. It was in the heart of a vast thicket of berry
trees and in the vicinity of a tiny village Vasant Gaon.
The paper analyses the various
details about this temple which is called ‘Malai Mandir.
Arupadai Veedukanda Arumukan
Dr. N. Kanthimati Lakshmi
Head of the Dept. of Tamil
A.P.C. Mahalaxmi College
Tuticorin – 628 002
The Ancient Tamilians praised Lord Murukan
as “Arumperal Merabil Perumpeyar Murukan” He was considered a beautiful deity
as the World. “CRUCIL” suggests held Murukan who is the first deity of Senthamish,
has been worshipped from ancient times.
“Ceyon meya mai varai ulagam”
(Tolkappiyam) states Tolkapianurpa. TiruMurukantrupadai which servies as
invocation, for pathupattu deals entirely with Lord Murukan. Other Pieces of
ancient times – Akananooru Madurai Kanchi, Perumpanatrupadai, Kurunthohai all
contain references to Lord Murukan. This essay analyses the famous six shrines
of Lord Murukan that have been celebrated in ancient works of Tamil literature.
How the name originated: People
considered nature as god so they names their god ‘Murugu’ and added the suffix
‘an’ and worshipped in the name of Murukan Padaiveedu generally refers to the
citadels of war. In that way only Tiruchendur can be considered Padai Veedu as Murukan stayed these to kill surapatuman in a battle. Why other shrines are also called
padai veedu can be classified, for these exists reasons.
In Cankam period a poet who has
prospered under the patronage of one, would ask another of his tribe to
approach him and benefit just like him. This mode is known as attrupadai.
Nakeerar benefited by Lord Murukan so he advises other to reap similar benefits
by worshipping Him in the way Nakeerar did. So was TiruMurukantru Padai written.
Arupadai Veedu: of the six
kinds of religious sects, ‘gowmaram’ is the one in which Lord Murukan is
considered God of the entire universe. The Lord with the six letters (Tamil) ‘Saravanabhava’
has six faces are and resides in six shrines. One of the most important
festivals connected with Murukan is Kandasasti, that lasts for six days. So in
many aspects he bears the number six in a unique way.
“Tiruparamkundrathu Arase! Seeralaivai
muthey’ Pazhanimalai Kāna Mani Vilakey, Erakatinperu Vazhvey, Kundruthoradal Peruvazhvey,
Pazhamuthircholai, Pazhamuthircholai Paranai” observed Arunagirinathar.
Tiruparamkundram: It is about 6 miles of Madurai the capital of Pandya
Kingdom. It is a hill in the south west of Madurai. As lord Murukan stayed
there it was called ‘Skanda Malai’ Many sangam pieces celebrate Lord Murukan of
Tiruchendur: This is
situated in the eastern seashore of Tamil Nadu. In Sangam period as well as in
the period that followed it was called ‘Alaivai’ since Lord Murukan won a
battle, this place is called ‘Tiruchendur’ meaning place of victory. Tiruchendur
Aksval, Tiruchendur Kalambakan are some of the famous literary pieces which
celebrate this shrine.
shrine lies between Varaka hill and Kodaikanal hill. Avinankudi which was
celebrates by the great poet Nakeerar is at the base of this mountain. In one
and the same place there are two shrines for the Lord and this is a special
feature. It is also called Pazhani.
Tiruverakam: This is the fourth
padaiveedu and is presently know as Swamimalai. Since he was the guru for his
father in this spot, the god is known as ‘Swaminathan’ in this shrine. It is
about eight kilometers from Kumbhakonam.
Kundruthoradal: It doesn’t
stand a single shrine, but includes all hills, and hilly areas which possess temples
of Lord Murukan. This is evident from Nakeerar’s remark, “Kundruthoradalum Nindrathan
Panbey” Kachiappan’s observation: "Kundrathordiya Kumarapattruvām” are proofs.
Pazhamutircholai: In the
north of Madurai about 19 kms away lies this shrine. This has a feature which
is distinct from the other padaiveedukal. This Murukan shrine is a combination
of Saivam and Vaishnavam. So it stands for the unity of the two different sects
The Lord of the Arupadaiveedu,
stands as Pranavam swarupam embodiment of Pranavam and dominates Tamil
hearts because of his immense mercy.
A study of the impact of festivals associated with Lord
Murukan on Modern Society
Dr. S. Lakshmi,
Professor of Economics
Tiruchirappalli - 620 024 Tamil
Festivals associated with Lord Murukan
are having economic, social, environmental and other impacts on the society.
Whenever and wherever the festivals are celebrated there one can see a mushroom
growth of petty shops. Temporary hotels and restaurants will also come up. All
these activities will lead to the creation of avenues for the people to earn a
living. Again infrastructure development will take place. For instance, various
modes of transport will get a fillip during the festival season. Pilgrim
centres will get a face-lift during the festival period since the Government
has taken steps to ensure integrated development of infra structure facilities
including basic amenities in the identified pilgrim centres.
can be used as a place for the dissemination of information on all aspects for
the welfare of the people. Steps can be taken to create awareness among the
pilgrims about the significance of the cultural values and thereby to bring
about much needed peace in the society. In sum it can be stated that festivals
associated with Lord Murukan will help to achieve the desired goal of peace of
mind and spirit along with overall development of the economy.
The Wedding of Valli and Murukan in Tamil Literature
Tamil lecturer, Mayiladuthurai
This research paper focuses on the
marriage metaphor in Murukan worship which is a continuity of the traditional
Tamil Akam poems of Sangam literature. Starting from the reference II Valli in
Tolkappiyam, the author discusses about Valli, the daughter of the hunting
tribe described in Paripadal, Natrinai and other classical literatures. The
association of Valli, with the Venkai tree as mentioned in Cilappatikaram is
also discussed in detail. The 247 songs about the marriage of Valli and Murukan
in Kanda Puranam is also discussed vividly. A historical approach of this
marriage metaphor has been undertaken by the author basing on the various
literary and dramatic works as well as the rich folk traditions of the Tamil
Murukan Worship in Villages
This research paper in Tamil
discusses at length about Murukan worship in the villages. He speaks about the
place of Murukan in Saivite worship as well as the description of the Murukan
cult in the classical Tamil literature. It also speaks about six sacred abodes
of Lord Murukan. The main focus is on the Murukan temples in various places
like Sikkal, Kundrakkudi, Kudumianmalai, Viralimalai and other places. The information
obtained by field study is also presented in detail. It also speaks about the
various varieties in worship, faith, festivals and other aspects of the Murukan
Lord Murukan as celebrated by Kumarakurubarar
Dr. Gnanam Ganapathy
Department of Tamil
This paper in Tamil views the
greatness of Lord Murukan from the point of view of Kumarakurubarar, one of the
most famous devotees of Lord Murukan. It speaks at length about the mission of Kumarakubarar
who carried the Murukan devotion to various shrines and composed wonderful
poems on Him. A contemporary of the Nayak king Tirumalai Nayakkar, Kumarakubarar
traveled up to Benares and worked for the promotion of Murukan devotion. This
paper discusses various techniques adopted in the poems of Kumarakurubarar in
his devotional poems. The unique place of the poems composed by Kumarakurubarar
in the whole corpus of Murukan literature has been evaluated objectively by the
The Great Name of Murukan
Prof. K.A. Rajaram
Formerly Prof. and Head,
Department of Tamil,
Govt. Victoria College,
This research paper in Tamil has its
own title, from the celebrated lines of Tirumurukatrupadai which forms an
invocation to Pathupattu, an anthology of Sangam poetry. According to the
author, this is the first work in Tamil with the attribution ‘Tiru’ (sacred)
.The entire paper is a criticism of Tirumurukatrupadai with new
interpretations. The author is of the opinion that this work is the unique
contribution to Murukan literature and the speaker in detail about the
greatness of six abodes of Lord Murukan with all its mythological,
philosophical and iconographical details. The landscape of all the six abodes
are highlighted and analyzed in harmony with the main theme of the poem.
Source Material for Murukan Worship in Tolkappiyam and Cankam Literature
Mrs. K. Subbhulakshmi
APC Mahalakshmi Lakshmi College, Tuticorin
This paper in Tamil is devoted for
the study of source material available for Murukan worship in the classical Tamil
literature starting from Tolkappiyam among the five-fold classification of the
landscape the mountain region namely Kurinci occupies the first place and the
red God Murukan is considered to be the presiding deity of Kurinci. Consequently,
He was the God of hilly tribes mainly the hunters. Kalithohai speaks about the
pounding of the grains by the women folk of Kurinci singing the glory of the
deity Murukan. This shows that Murukan has become part and parcel of the life
style of people lived in Kurinci.
There are eight long poems in Paripadal
that glorify Lord Murukan and these devotional songs form the origin for the
whole corpus of Murukan literature in Tamil. There may be lot of variations in
the myths pertaining to Murukan and they form basis for research in depth on Moroccan
lore. Tirumurukatrupadai provides lot of information and it serves as an
encyclopedia for Murukan studies.
Murukan Worship – Festivals
Dr. P.S.S. Krishnamurthy
†This article in Tamil describes at
length the symbolical meaning of Murukan worship as well as the rituals and
festivals associated with the Tamil God. According to legend, Lord Murukan came
to this earth in the form of fire, to destroy the asuras. The story that
Murukan came round the earth for a mango fruit, also has number of underlying
meaning. The mantra ‘om’ represents Murukan’s journey around the cosmos.
†The six phases also represents six
different types of vayus. This paper also gives new interpretation to the
sacred abode Tiruchendur where presiding deity looks at the southern direction.
†Murukan forms the basis for Tamil
language and the Tamil letters have symbolical connections with Murukan. The temples
of Muruka symbolically represents the macrocosm. In this way there are a number
of interpretation for various rituals connected with Moroccan worship. Even the
kavadi is a symbolical representation of lifting the space. Consequently, the
myths and rituals have deep underlying meanings which have to be properly
studied and understood. This will help us to realize the scientific as well as
metaphysical basis of our ancient religious tradition.
Dr. T. Sentamil Selvi
Lecturer in Tamil,
SDNB Vaishnavait College for Women,
†This paper in Tamil is devoted for the study of St.
Kumarakurudasar who is popularly known as Pamban Swamigal. The contribution of
Pamban Swamigal to the corpus of Murukan literature is indeed immense.
Born in 1850, Pamban Swamigal was
named as Appavu. From his younger days he was a very ardent devotee of Murukan
and composed one hundred poems. In the year 1981 he composed the famous work
namely Shanmuga Kavacam. Pamban Swamigal’s contributiion in 6,662 stanzas has
given a rich corpus of devotional poetry to the Murukan worshippers. In
addition to composition in verse he has also written prose texts such as ‘Theeva
Gnana Deepam’. This paper is devoted to the study of the life and work of this
great saint of Murukan.
Skanda-Murukan: A Historical Perspective
This paper in Tamil studies two aspects of Murukan-Skanda namely the antiquity of Murukan-Skanda as well as the Murukan-Skanda worship. The other traces the origin of this worship from the period of Agastyar. According to him, the origin of this cult especially the slain of Surapatman is narrated elaborately in Tiruppukazh by Arunagirinathar. The worship of Murukan-Skanda has been explained under two broad heads namely idol worship in the temple as well as the worship of Murukan in the abstract form.
Murukan In Tirumurukatrupadai
Dr. K. Kalimuthu
Lecturer in Tamil,
A.V.C. Autonomous College, Mayiladuthurai
This paper in Tamil discusses
Murukan as the protagonist of the Tamil text Tirumurukatrupadai. The Tamil word
katavul literally means transcends and it represents the omnipotent Lord
who transcends everything.
Ancient classical literature speaks
about the four fold division of landscape and Lord Murukan is the presiding
deity of the hilly tract popularly known as Kurinci. The people of the hilly
region worship Murukan by offering animal sacrifice and dancing the Kuravai.
The high priest of the Murukan temple was named as Velan. Murukan is a symbol
of beauty and youth and he represents the beauty of the cosmos in the form of a
child. He is also a God of war and a God of protection and compassion as
described in Tirumurukatrupadai which is in the form of a guide, poetry where
the devotee who got the grace of the Lord directs another devotee to go and
meet Murukan and get His grace in abundance. The rest of the paper speaks about
the various aspects of Murukan devotion, myths and sacred place that find
expression in Tirumurukatrupadai.
Kanta Sashti Kavacam and Shanmuka
Kavacam – Psychological Background
Dr. T. Kamali
Reader, Mother Teresa University
This paper in Tamil discusses about
two works namely Kanta Sashti Kavacam and Shanmuga Kavacam which are considered
to be a source of protection to human beings from the evil forces. Lord Murukan
has been a source of protection and all the poems in the above work ends with
the word ‘May He protect us.’
The word Kavacam in Tamil means armour and
these books are considered to be the armour which protect the devotees from
earthly fear. The poems of these works are intended for daily recitation.
Murukan is a God who gives refuge to all His devotees and the recitation of
these poems invokes the mercy of the God. The recitation of the songs have some
psychological powers in reducing fear.
Consequently, this paper makes a
thorough study of the devotees who recite their songs, the object for singing
these songs, the age group which prefers the song and other background details.
Kavacam has become a separate literary form in Tamil and it has become an
integral part of the devotees. This paper studies the psychological aspect of
the recitation of the songs of kavacam in a detailed manner.
The Revival of Lord Murukan Worship during the period of Kanchiappar and Arunagirinathar
Mrs. Uma Shankar M.A.
When we speak of the revival of a movement, then there should be a zenith as well as nadir for that movement. This leads to the study of the origin. As god has neither a beginning nor end, it is impossible to give the exact date of the emergence of the movement.
But its existence can be stated with evidence. Cankam period in Tamil literature was a golden period. It is reported that Lord Murukan was one of the presiding members of the first Tamil Cankam. But no evidence as to mode of worshipping him is evident in the words of that period.
However we have solid proof in ‘Kadai Cankam’ period: the episodes in the life of Ouvaiyar and Nakeerar’s ThiruMurukantmpadai. The latter gives how Lord Murukan is worshipped in Arupadaiveedu. His tani pakkal also shows how the deity was considered:
“Unai Oruvar Izhia Oruvaiaiyum Nambukilein
Pinnae Oruvarai Yān Pinselein:
Vānor kodia Vinai Teermarulum Velapa”.
Nakeerar Kodia Vinai Teertarulum Velappa”.
Nakeerar lived in K. Cankam period (1850 B.C.) when Tamil literature was at its zenith. In the third century came the decline. Life was ruined. Changes crept in due to alien rule. Automatically literature, which is the mirror of life also deteriorated. Due to the invasion of Kalapirar, Tamil culture was at its nadir. Consequently the worship of Lord Murukan a too was as the decline. Why?
During 600 A.D. the Pallavas defeated the Kalapirar and occupied Tamil Nadu. So in their period which lasts till 800 A.D. Saivam and Vaishnavam, two religious movements, came to the fore. The worship of Lord Murukan could have been at that time for it is a period of Saivam, but there is no evidence.
With the advent of Cola period 800-1200 A.D. came to revival. Kacciyappar wrote Kandapuranam during the Cola era. However it does not deal at length the mode of worship, though it speaks of ‘His” greatness. It was the Nayakkar era that earmarked the revival.
Arunagirinathar was blessed by the Lord to write poems. While other poems confine to a particular area, Arunakiri pieces reveal how Lord Murukan exists in every hill.
The Worship of Murukan and the Zodiac
K. V. Ramakrishna Rao, B.sc., M.A., A.M.I.E., C.Eng(I)., B.L.
A study of number and figure myth associated with Murukan / Kanda / Karttikeya / Subrahmanya worship shows the connection of it with time reckoning, as the related concepts revolve around the movement of planets, change of seasons, repetition of day and night in conjunction with the celebration of rites, rituals and ceremonies in the specific seasons. Though, the Tamil poets appear to be over imbibed with the theme of love, love-making, fondling etc., the meticulous metaphor of time reckoning behind such background is very interesting and informative. The symbolization of the Hexagram / hexagon / double triangle / two crossed triangles / star / six limbs with that of Shadmukha / Shanmukam / Murukan is significant as it is nothing but zodiacal representation in the astronomical connotation. As they have concealed such facts with their love theme, they have to be decoded and deciphered properly to understand the hidden meaning in astronomical perspective. This aspect is dealt with in this paper based on the literary evidences of the Cankam literature.
That the ancient Tamils of Cankam period had conscious observation of movement of planets, eclipses, day and night time reckoning, growing of trees, flowering of plants and trees at a particular season, connected animals and their survival on the nature etc., are well established in the references available in the Cankam literature. The division of land into five tinais, their respective, Gods, trees, plants, flowers, animals, music, musical instruments etc., are also closely connected with such observation of planetary movement and recording time reckoning in the natural code. The festivals celebrated according to Tamil months are studied to note that they fall exactly on Full Moon or New Moon day coinciding with the respective stars. This also clearly proves that they are celebrated based on astronomical significance with the past observations. Though the astronomers and connected scholars do the calculations, the common people are made to keep the importance of nakshatras, week days, fort night, month, six months, year etc., in their minds in a systematic way.
Thus, it is evident that the people of Tamizhagam have definitely incorporated the zodiac idea in Inthinai. The poets might have also mentioned or indicated the rasis and nakshatras relating to each Tinai. As the commentators and modern day scholars have evidently left out other factors, the alignment of the Inthinai-zodiac with the modern-zodiac poses some problems or shows variations. The scientific study of the Cankam literature is imperative and such research could only rectify, correct and refine the Inthinai-Zodiac constructed. It is also suggested that the ancient Tamils might have followed a Jupiter cycle.
K. V. Ramakrishna Rao, Director,
Institute for the Study of Ancient Indian Arts and Sciences,
25 (old. 9), Venkatachala Iyer Street, West Mambalam, Chennai – 600 033.
Ph: 044 – 2471 6580
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
The Concept, Evolution and Development of Valli and Teyvayanai Myth in Cankam Literature
K.V. Ramakrishna Rao B.sc., M.A., A.M.I.E., C.Eng(I)., B.L.,
The association Valli and Teyvayanai with Murukan has been considered by scholars in different angles. They can be grouped as follows:
- The concept, evolution and development of muruku myth are closely associated with Valli and Teyvayanai myth.
- The association of Valli with Murukan is the first and original to be developed turning into a favorable story.
- The association of Teyvayanai with Murukan is the Aryan intrusion.
A careful study of Cankam literature, however depicts different picture. The Tamil poets have sung songs perhaps spontaneously responding to nature and happenings observed carefully in nature. That is why they could have recorded different aspects in their literature covering various subject matters – social science, psychology, aesthetics, art, architecture, science, technology and so on. The noting of natural phenomenon, flora and fauna has been unique. In the case of the development of myth associated with muruku, valli and Teyvayanai certain processes are clearly noted:
- Originally, the muruku / Murukan myth was developed as a women related psychosomatic changes / diseases / pregnancy connected with the myths of Sur / Anangu.
- Then, it is related to Kandu / Kanda / Kandazhi / Kadamban myth in the tree worship.
- It is linked with Valli - plant myth.
- The tree-plant / Kadamba-Valli myth is turned into Murukan-Valli myth.
- The unification of Murukan and Valli through Yanai / Elephant is then turned into Teyvayanai myth.
- The Yanai is conceived as the Elephant God - Vinayaka and thus the brother of Karttikeya in one angle. The Yanai is considered as a Teyvayanai, the daughter of Indra in another angle.
Here, the word myth is used not to convey that what are studied are unhistorical or legends, but the poems concealing certain historical facts, which are to be unveiled by demythologization processes.
K. V. Ramakrishna Rao, Director,
Institute for the Study of Ancient Indian Arts and Sciences,
25 (old. 9), Venkatachala Iyer Street, West Mambalam, Chennai – 600 033.
Ph: 044 – 2471 6580
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
A Numismatic Study of Skanda-Karttikeya
K.V. Ramakrishna Rao B.sc., M.A., A.M.I.E., C. Eng(I)., B.L.,
Scholars have discussed about the “Karttikeya type” of coins in the Journal of the Numismatics Society of India and other works. The depiction of Vishaka, Kumara and Mahasena prominently on the Yaudheya, Kushana, Kumara and Kuninda coins during the second centuries of before current / common era and after is very interesting in numismatic studies. They have interpreted the depiction with other figures and symbols in the western and Sanskritic interpretation. Here, they are interpreted based on the ancient Tamil literature or Cankam literature. The transfer of characters of Hariti to Karttikeya is also better interpreted and understood by the superimposition of Sur / Anangu with muruku / Murukan. From the punch-marked and other coins, the figures taken for interpretation with the aid of Cankam literature as follows:
- The human figure representing a deity holding a staff / spear and a bag. Originally the protector / giver of wealth was associated with Hariti, a goddess and then, it was transferred to Karttikeya. Thus, the bag carrying characteristic is interpreted as the custodian of wealth. In some other coins, he is depicted standing near or with a deer / stag / antelope. This animal is symbolically associated with Lakshmi and wealth.
- The six headed figure appearing on the coins clearly point to Karttikeya / Shanmukha / Arumukam. The six headed female goddess is considered as Shanmukhi / Shashthi / Devasena.
- The figure with holding spear / lance / vel in the right hand and left hand placing on the hip with the peacock on the left clearly point to Velan / Karttikeya. The figure has been so nicely minted adorned with jewels – headgear, ear-rings, necklace, waist-ornament, thick bracelet, anklet and dress.
A unique silver coin of Yaudheyas, the observe has six headed Karttikeya and reverse Lakshmi standing facing on lotus between two symbols with a river below, all symbols found on the reverse of the Kuninda coins, while the goddess appears in the same attitude on the obverve of the latter.
- In some coins, Laksmi and Karttikeya change positions. The association of wealth with Laksmi / Hariti and its transfer to Karttikeya is noted above. It is not just Laksmi, but Laksmi-Devasena, the female counterpart of god Skanda.
- In some other coins, Karttikeya is replaced with Siva holding trident. This can be interpreted as the growing popularity of Son (Kumaran / Skanda) over Father (Siva).
- Thus, the inscriptions on the coins connect the relation between Brahmanya or Subrahmanya, Kumara and Karttikeya.
It is also pointed out as to how some of the figures depicted in the megalithic rock paintings resemble the figures of the above mentioned punch-marked coins.
Murukan Worship: A Sociological Approach
Dr. R. R. Aravendhan
This article in Tamil is a sociological perspective of the historical development of Murukan worship in Tamilnadu. When a particular religion is not able to fulfill the demands of its social milieu it gets lot of expansion and revival. Old religious order dies away giving place to new changes. Murukan worship also underwent lot of changes when there was change in the Tamil social structure.
The significant example of this change is the synthesis between the traditions of Murukan and Skanda. The akam tradition was in the background of early Murukan worship. This is obvious from the early classical literature. But, new ramifications arose in the period of Tirumurukarrupatai and other literary works. This paper analyses the Murukan worship in harmony with the social and literary developments.
Dr. R. R. Aravendhan
Lecturer in Tamil
Bishop Heber College
Trichy – 620 017 India
Devaraya Swamigal’s Inspiring Divine Contributions Towards Murukanism
Dr. Sivagami Paramasivam
Many a philosophers and religious thinkers from time immemorial have tried to reconcile the issue of Freedom of the individual and a determined destiny. They investigated the cause and effect relationships in human life. Determinism is usually associated with the belief in God. God’s supremacy maintains order and harmony throughout the universe. God is the sovereign to the various religious faiths; different gods are worshipped by different peoples. In Hinduism we come across Vinayaka, Murukan, Siva, Vishnu, Sakti, Durga, Kali, et al. as important gods and goddesses. These gods and their greatness are studied through scriptures. As such scriptures are indispensable to all religions. They save religions from mutation and from extinction too. The faith that has no gospel for its guidance gets lost, but a faith that draws sanction and inspiration from sacred persons books is able to hold its own. For the study of the divine qualities of Lord Murukan, his specialty, fairy, friendliness, greatness, guidance, sympathy towards his wards etc. and a real devotee to indulge in spirituality, delight, reward, seek the kingdom of Heaven etc, quite a large number of saints have contributed scriptures immensely. Mention may be made about Arunagirinathar, Pamban Swamigal, Kumarakuruparar, Dandapani Swamigal, Vallimalai Swamigal, Devaraya Swamigal and a host of others.
The aim of this research work is to discover and throw right on the inspiring and divine contributions of Śrī Devaraya Swamigal towards Murukanism. For which his ‘Skanda Shasti Kavasam, ‘Satru Samkaravel Pathigam and Subramaniyar Virutham have been taken into account and a thorough study is undertaken to bring out how his verses have inspired the devotees mind and heart when one recites them. He has utilized the style of Nerisai Venpa, Kural Venpa, and Nilai Mandila Aasiriyapa in his verses that form Skanda Sasti Kavasam. In Satru Samkaravel Pathigam one may find kappu and nool where he has detailed the sacred service and power of vel and mayil. In Subramaniyar Virutham the saint addresses Lord Murugka with enormous titles namely, friend of the poor, Saravana Perumal, Siva Suramaniyan, Muttan, Muttaivan, Mudiyar, Vedan, Leader of Saptarishis, Tamil Kadavul, Mayilon, Velon, Shanmugan, Kumaraguru, Arumugan, Lord with twelve arms, Iru Muntru Mudiyar, Iniya Kanivayalagan, Kalugachalan, Siddhan, Kandan, Ayyan, Guhan, Kon and King of Palani Hills, and prays for his blessings with benevolence.
He requests Lord Murukan to safeguard his devotees who recite these verses with real faith and full devotion. Each and every line of his verses is more powerful enough to bless the devotees with divinity. They show the right path to lead better and peaceful life, destroy the enemies, converse with Murukan and blessed are the devotees with Magaperu, fulfilling the request of devotees with Magaperu, fulfilling the request of devotees, soothe their illness, saves them from sins, gives long life, courage, siddhi and mukti. In short, one is made to realize his own instrument through which the God plays the song of his own will which makes Him to be the supreme power, having the motherly affection. Let us all be blessed by Murukan to carry on the mission Murukanism far and wide.
Arunagirinathar and Thirumular: A Comparative Study
Dr. V.S. Vandar Kuzhili
This paper written in Tamil makes a comparative study of the great Muruga devotee Arunagirinathar who has composed wonderful corpus of devotional poems on Lord Muruga as well as Tirumular, a leading exponent of Saivasiddhanta and the author of Tirumantiram.
With an introduction of brief the author presents the similarity in the biological elements of the above two great poets where as Arunagiri received the religious lessons from Lord Muruga. Tirumular got the same form Nandi. The results of their mystical achievements as well as the merit of their compositions have been studied at length. The author makes elaborate comparison in the techniques adopted by these two devotional poets and evaluates their contribution to Murukan bhakti and Saivism.
The Concept of Mystical Oneness: A Study of Arunagirinathar’s Kandar Anubhuti
Dr. M. Murugesan
The faith in the absolute is the basis of religion. The term ‘religion’ derived from Latin ‘religare’ means ‘to bind’ and it means the binding of the human soul to God. The Oxford English Dictionary defines religion as the recognition on the part of man of some higher unseen power as having control of his destiny, and as being entitled to obedience, reverence and worship. The recognition of the binding of the soul with God makes one maintain appropriate emotional attitudes, a sense of sacredness and an attitude of humility or reverence. The religious temperament provides man with the medium by which he can have an experience of the Ultimate Reality. In other words, the religious person tries to attain the unique experience by means of religious practices such as rites, rituals, prayer and devotion.
The term ‘mysticism’, derived from the Greek term ‘muein’, means to remain silent (Louis Depre, p. 245). This implies not only switching off the external world but also silencing the mind. As soon as the mind is stilled, the mystic experiences oneness with God. Therefore, mysticism may be defined as an immediate experience of oneness with God by means of ecstatic wordless contemplation. In other words, the mystic tries to attain oneness with God by transcending the senses, by becoming more inward and more contemplative.
The Tamil concept of designating the land into four physiographic regions as mountains (Kurinji), wooded forests (Mullai), rivers and fertile lands Marutham), and the seashore (Neythal) signifies certain notion of union with nature and harmonious living. The four respective protective gods of these physio-graphic lands are: Ceyon, Mayon, Ventan and Varunan. The god of mountain region is ‘Ceyon which means the Red One. He is also Cevvel, Morgan, Cey, Velan, Kandan and Subramaniya. The respective human behaviour for the mountain region is ‘punarthal’ which means the ecstatic union of the lovers. Extending this human behaviour to the realm of religion the very term Kurinji or Murukan denotes the union of human soul with God. In this context, it means the merging of the individual soul with Murukan or Ceyon.
Tamil literary texts from Paripatal and Tirumurukatrupadai down to Chendrasekaran’s Morgan Ezhil malai portray the prayer of the human soul and Murukan's grace on the devotee. In other words, these religious literary texts have portrayed the individual’s fervent prayer of God and God’s grace on humanity. The union of the soul with or the merging of the soul into God has been portrayed for the first time by Arunagirinathar in his Kandar Anubhuti. The very term ‘anubhuti’ suggests God-experience.
Arunagirinathar before making God-experience as the subject matter of his mystical work Kandar Anubhuti has been blessed with ‘Astama Siddhi’ by Murukan at Viralimalai. On the slopes of Viralimalai hill there is a holy place called Santhana Kottam where it is believed that Murukan showered His Grace on Arunagirinathar with Astama Siddhi. One who blessed with ‘Astama Siddhi’ is endowed with the potential of entering another soul or body. This has been explicitly stated by Arunagirinathar in Tiruppukal v. 355 as mativala Santhana Kotin Vazhii Arulin peru kattiya Virlimalai maruvam.
On account of the ‘Astama Siddhi’ Arunagirinahtat has attained the mystical oneness. It is believed that Arunagirinathar sang this Kandar Anubhuti becoming one with God Murukan.
Murukan has been worshipped as God, superior hero and spiritual guide during the Sangam Age, the Epic Age and the modern age respectively. In other words, Murukan worship has been diachronically changed gradually from protector, hero and guide down the ages. Viewed from another perspective Murukan is treated as a third person – Self in the Cankam Age. This means in the modern age Murukan has been treated as one’s Self or experience itself which is eternal. Indeed it has become the way of life and the merging is the presence of Murukan in the Self as Self itself. This state of ‘be’ or ‘being’ is the subject matter of Arunagirinather’s Kandar Anubhuti. This is statedexplicitly as asanikilam Tukilayin pin / pesa anubhuti pirantature’ (v.43) (Destroying the ego, the inexpressible unitive experience welled up) and Summa iru solara enralume amma porul ondrum arinthilane’ (v.7). (At the command in wordless contemplation be without thought I lost myself without realizing anything).
Arunagirinathar has succinctly mentioned the stages of attaining the state of oneness with the Divinity in Kandar Anubuti stating that expressing God-experience is the aim (v.1) the saint states surrender as the primary thing (v 2,3) by which he becomes a member of God’s family (v 4,5). Purification, chastity and contemplation are the ways to quicken the process of Oneing (v 6, 7), Murukan comes as Guru to be the companion of the seeker (v.8). The obstacles are overcome by the Grace of Murukan (v 9-13). Turning the mind to Murukan without interruption through japa, viveka and meditation and ceaseless practice the seeker is amidst cosmic consciousness. (v. 14-28). At times there may be a tussle between the Real and the unreal which is overcome by the Grace (v.29-32). At this state the Guru pushes the consciousness inside and pulls within to abide in the heart and simultaneously the external Om wells up in the heart (v. 33-38). In other words, the death of the phenomenal consciousness bestows the birth of the spiritual vibration within the heart. With this uninterrupted God-experience the liberated is absorbed in the SELF as anubhuti (experience). Similar experience of mystic oneness has been expressed by Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi the twentieth century mystic.
Hence, this paper attempts to deal with (i) the concept of oneness with Kandar, (ii) Viralimalai Murukan and Arunagirinathar (iii) the mystical oneness as expounded by Arunagirinathar in Kandar Anubhuti, and (iv) finally the experience of mystical oneness that has been made as the subject matter by Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi, a twentieth century mystic and mystic poet. The focus overall is on the mystical oneness as seen in the light of Arunagirinathar’s Kandar Anubhuti.
Renaissance in Murukan Religion and Tamil Thendral Tiru.VI.KAW.
Murugu S.N.P. Shanmugam
This article in Tamil is devoted to the study of the renaissance in Murukan religion and the part played by the famous Tamil writer Tiru-vi-ka in this movement. The first part of the essay briefs in about the Evolution of the devotional literature, the Saiva Siddhanta Philosophy as well as the six fold religions popularly known as Aruvakaiccamayam. It also discusses about the contribution of 63 Nayanmars and 12 Alwars to the corpus of the bhakti movement.
This is followed by the celebrated saints who have composed large number of poems on the Tamil deity Murukan as well as evolution of Murukan faith as a separate cult. The other speaks about the political changes and the decline of the native religious faiths. According to him the European civilization coupled with the industrial revolution and the world market were responsible for the decline of Tamil culture and six fold religions. In the background of freedom struggle there was a trend to revive the religious and cultural heritage and the part played by Tiru-vi-ka in this renaissance is in deed immense. His monograph entitled Murukan or beauty is one of the significant contributions to this renaissance. It forms the basis for the revival movement in Murukan faith which is witnessing now.
Kandavel of Kacciyappan
This paper in Tamil deals at length about Kacciappar, the author of Kanta Puranam. There are two poets in the same name Kacciappar in addition to the author of Kanta Puranam.
Kacciyappa civaccaiyar has composed the most fascinate epic entitle Kanta Puranam. The biography of Kacciyappa civaccariyar is discusses in the first part of the paper where as the structure of Kanta Puranam is discussed in the second part. The third part speaks about Kacciyappa Munivar, the disciple of Sivagnana Munivar and he is the celebrated author of Tiruttaniyarppuranam. This paper also discusses about the literary merit of this great work which glorify Tiruttanigai one among the six sacred abodes of Lord Murukan. The author concludes that Kanta Puranam and Tiruttanigaipuranam form two major components of the mystical traditions of the Murukan faith.
The Transformation of the God of Kurinji to the Tamil God
This paper in Tamil aims at studying the evolution of Lord Murukan, the God of Kurinji to become the god of Tamil. This study is undertaken with a sociological background basing on the information about Murukan available in Tamil Classical literature. The primitive form of Murukan worship is analyzed with the sociological and geographical background. The shift in this worship from earlier literature to Tirumurukatrupadai as well as the gradual development of Murukan cult in harmony with Tamil social development is analyzed. The primary data is drawn from the Eight Anthologies and the ten idylls. The secondary sources are mainly sociological studies pertaining to Tamil culture. Tamil scholars like Tiru-vi-ka N. Vanamamalai are the forerunners in this study. This essay concludes that Murukan is the god of the Tamils.
From Tiruciralaivay to Tiruccentur
This paper presents in Tamil a descriptive survey of the temple Tiruccentur. The introduction presents the topography of the temple which is followed by a detailed presentation of the development of the temple, the gopuram etc. The rites and rituals form the third part of this paper while the forth part is devoted to the study of devotional poems centred on this temple. The greatness of the presiding deity Lord Murukan is described in detail.
The human interface between Polytheism and Absolute Reality:
The rhythmic beats of Tiruppukazh
C.R. Krishnamurti and P. Rathanaswami
Among the several elements of organized human societies, language and religion appear to have exerted a profound influence on peace and equilibrium within the individual and harmony in the community. In recent years these same forces, instead of creating more disciplined societies, have created tension and chaos in different parts of the world. It may well be that, despite the best communicative tools at our disposal since the dawn of civilization, we are not communicating with each other effectively. This applies particularly to religious concepts which are difficult to be proved using techniques commonly employed in scientific investigations. The object of this paper is to study the interface between man, god(s) and the Absolute Reality as could be seen in the rhythmic beats of Thiruppukzh verses and other Tamil literary works.
The Concept of Murukan in Devotional Literature
Dr. S. Mangayarkarasi
The main theme of this research paper is the historical evolution of Murukan from Cankam literature to the period of devotional poetry. In Cankam society, which is matriarchal in character, Moroccan, the God of the hilly tract, is portrayed as the son of Kali. There is no evidence in Sangam literature regarding the father of Murukan. Throughout the Sangam corpus Murukan is described as a war god, a god of beauty, a god of anger, and the son of Goddess Korravai. Sangam literature also speaks about the frenzied dance performed by Velan who is the priest of Murukan.
With the gradual encroachment of the North Indian civilization where is mainly patriarchal in character, the mother Goddess kali has become the wife of Lord Siva. Consequently, Murukan the son of Kali has described as the son of Lord Siva. This is obviously reflected in the Somaskanda portrayal with the trinity namely Siva, the father, Uma, the mother and Murukan, the son. From this period onwards, Murukan is mainly glorified as the son of God. With a synthesis between North Indian Skanda who is either the son of Agni or Rudra and Murukan, the son of Shiva. The wife of Skanda namely, Teyvayanai has become the second wife of Murukan. This historical development coincides with the social development in Tamil Nadu. The God remains the same; but the concept gets new interpretation and new dimensions.
Dr. S. Mangayarkarasi, Head
Department of Tamil
D.G. Govt. Arts College (Women)
Mayiladuthurai- 609 001
The Growth of Awareness of God Murukan among Tamils
This study attempts to highlight the gradual historical growth of awareness of murukak katavul, "God Murukan", among Tamils. The first section briefly explores the rediscovery of Tamil civilization with special reference to Cuvaminatha Aiya''s awareness of Murukan in his research. It is important as a historical background to investigate the problematic issue of the periodization of the historical development of the worship of God Murukan in terms of Murukam, “Murukaism”, in general. Subsequently, in a chronological sequence, on the one hand, I point out how the period of continuity and change in the adoration of Tirumurukan, “Holy Murukan”, irrespective of the place of Tamils' habitation and migration. The development manifests distinct characteristics of the worship of Murukan as Redeemer / Liberator in the sociopolitical condition of the colonial and post-colonial independence of many countries in the world. On the other hand, the Research Conferences since 1966, the World Hindu Conference since 1982, and the International Centre for the Study of Murukan since 1998 continues. Thus the awareness of Murukan in the encounter of religions of various communities of multi-ethnic-lingual diversity and unity, not only "crosses a millennial milestone", but also the theme of the murukak katavul calpu, “the excellence of God Murukan”, of camaya neri, “the way of religion”, of Tamil civilization remains a topic of vital interest in the present millennium.
Vel – The Unique Lance of Lord Muruka
This paper in Tamil mentions about the various weapons used by the deities of the Hindu pantheon. But among there weapons the lance is unique to Lord Murukan. In some of the temples instead of the idol of the presiding deity, only Vel alone is worshipped. All Tamil literature glorifying Murukan, celebrate the uniqueness of Murukan's lance. Although Arunagirinathar glorifies lance in his other significant works he has composed three unique poems, on Murukan's Vel. The entire paper devotional hymns of Murukan. The author dealt at length on various aspects of the Vel as described in the devotional poems on Murukan. Vel is not only a weapon that destroys evil forces but also a tool that protects devotees. The Vel is compared to the bright eyes of Valli and it has the power of performing the five divine duties as creation, protection, destruction, hiding and bestowing mercy. The Vel itself is a symbol of the five sacred letters of Lord Siva.
Valli – The Consort of Lord Muruka
Mrs. Rathinambal Rajamanickam
This paper written in Tamil describe the two wives of Lord Murukan namely Valli and Teyvayanai, as symbolical representation of the two powers namely icchai (love) and Kriya (action). There two power are depicted on both sides of Lord Murukan.
The mythological background about Valli and Teyvayanai in their previous birth is narrated briefly. As per the blessings of Murukan, the two daughters of Vishnu have taken birth as Valli and Teyvayanai according to Kanda Puranam. While speaking about the beauty of Valli as well as the love between Murukan and Valli, Arunagirinathar excels Kacciyappar, the author of Kanda Puranam.
This paper concentrates on the beauty of Valli as well as the love episode which is portrayed in Murukan literature in harmony with the akam tradition of the ancient Tamils. The whole drama of love is portrayed the background of the hilly region popularly known as Kurinchi with the hunting tribe of Tamil Nadu as the backdrop of the drama.
Lord Murukan as Depicted in Kalladam
Dr. Sarala Rajagopalan
This paper in Tamil discusses at length about the structure and uniqueness of the Tamil work, Kalladam. It also speaks about the greatness of Lord Murukan as depicted in Kalladam. The interpretation for the name Karttikeya, the mythical episode of the imprisonment of Brahma, Lord Murukan as the teacher of Shiva, Murukan teaching the scriptures to Agastya etc., and vividly described. The episode on the commentary of Kalavial, His greatness in defeating Surapadma, the glory of His lance and the Mount Peacock, His flag with the rooster etc, are narrated at length. Kalladam also speaks about Murukan's wedding to Teyvayanai as well as Valli. The frenzied dance performed by his priest Velan, the flora and faunae of His sacred about Tirupparankundram are described at length.
Two Great Mystics: Ramana Maharshi and Arunagirinathar
This paper in Tamil discusses in detail the role of mysticism in religion as well as the tantric text that emerged after 4th century AD in North India. According to the author the Tamil text Tirumantiram of 6th Century AD had elements of tantric texts. This work also deals with the book namely Aparoksha Anubhuti by Adi Sankara. This book speaks about the various ways of attaining the state of anubhuti in 144 slokas.
The two texts namely Kandar Anubhuti and Kandar Alankaram deals with the mystic experience namely anubhuti basing on devotion. The poems of Arunagiri excels all the mystic texts. There poems are addressed to Lord Murukan, the mind of the devotee who recite the songs as well as the audience who listen to the songs. In this respect Arunagirinathar has given a new dimension to mystic poetry. The later poets like Tayumanavar and Vallalar are highly inspired by the songs Arunagiri.
The three works Arunachala Atchara Manimalai, Ullatu Narpadhu, and Upadesa Undhiyar composed by Ramana Maharshi can be treated as mystic poems which are continuation of the songs of Arunagiri. There are close similarity between Ramana Maharshi and Arunagiri in composition of mystical poetry. The tradition of mystical poetry started by Arunagiri attained new dimensions in Ramana Maharshi. The poems of Ramana are examples of mystic poetry written in simple, elegant Tamil without symbolism or too much philosophical exuberance.
Murukan Worship as Found in Tamil Kaviyas
The evolution of Tamil kadavul Murukan as said Kanda Puranam & Kanda Kalivenpa – The significance of the birth of Lord Murukan – The definition of saravana bava, the six lettered mantra as found in puranas. Worship of the Lord Murukan in Tamil Nadu as per kaviyas such as Tirumurukatrupadai written by Nakeerar, Tolkappiyam etc.
How the worship started from the mountains (Kurinji) and spread over the forest (Mullai) followed by the fields Marutham and ended in the sea Neithal. How the Tamilians or athidravidians started living in the hills and then came drown to forest and fields and at last inhabited the area near the sea.
The meaning of padai veedu – what are the six padai veedus in Tamil Nadu as per kaviyas. Analysis of the various meanings of the term Aruppadai. Detailed history of the temples of all six Padaiveedus. Tiruchendur, Tirupparankundram, Pazhamutirsolai, Tiruvarinamgudi, Suvamimalai and Tirutanigaimalai, with reference to the songs of Arunagirinathar, Nakkirar, Kumarakuruparar, Kripanandavariyar, Kandan Anubhuti, Kandapuranam, Marugatruppadi and Kalingathuparani, Various types of worship prevalent in Tamil Nadu Murukan temples in general.
Velimalai, The Fourth Abode of Lord Murukan
The renowned Tamil epic Cilapatikaram of Ilango Adigal points out Centil of Pandyanad, Centil of Pandyanadu, Cenkodu of Kangunadu, Venkunru of Colanadu and Triveragam of Ceranadu as the four sacred places manifesting the glory of Lord Murukan. With the blessings of the Lord, Nakkirar, a great poet of Sangam Literature, pictures the Arupadaiveedugal (six abodes of Lord Murukan) Tiruparankundram, Tricheeralaivāy (Chenthil), Tiruvavinankudi (Palani), Tiruveragam, Kuntruthoradal and Palamuthirsolai in his Tirumurugattupadai an eulogy on Him. To all those places pictures by Ilango Adigal and Nakkirar, Chenthil and Tiruveragam are common. It is said that Tiruveragam is Swamimalai in Tanjavur District. But we have evidences to prove that the above mentioned Tiruveragam is nothing but Kumarakoil at Velimalai in Nanchilnadu, a part of ancient Cheranadu. Now it is in Kanyakumari District.
Arumpathavuraiasiriyar, the first commentator of Cilapatikaram, writes that Venkuntru that has been depicted in Kuntrakuravai in Cilapatikaram is nothing but Swamimalai and Tiruveragam is one of the sacred places in Malainadu. This has also been corroborated by Nachinarkiniar in his commentary of Tirumurugattruppadai. From these facts it is very clear that Venkuntru is Swamimalai and Tiruveragam and Swamimalai are quite different places of worship. Epigraphical evidence is clear that Velimalai and the surrounding area were a part of the erstwhile Malainad. Tiruvattar and Tiruppathisaram in Kanyakumari District are considered Tiruppatis of Malainadu for Vaishnavites.
The legendary importance of Velimalai is an interesting one. According to local tradition Lord Murukan married Valli and Velimalai. The very name Velvimalai is derived from Velvimalai which means the place where the love marriage of Lord Murukan with Valli took Place. In Malayalam Veli means marriage.
From all these facts it can be surmised that the divine marriage of Lord Murukan with Valli took place at Velimalai in Nanchilnad and in every respect the sacred place can be claimed the fourth abode of Lord Murukan’s Arupadaiveedugal.
Traits of Lord Murukan as Revealed in Tamil Lullabies
Dr. Saraswathi Venugopal, Pondicherry
Lord Murukan, the favourite deity of the Tamils smiles at His devotees as a child (of Uma), handsome youth, hero, lover of Valli, destroyer of evil and so on ; all these traits of the Lord are described in the Tamil oral lullabies which were collected from women of different castes in and around Madurai. Many of them may be illiterates and some of them may be educated. The lack of education does not affect the beauty of the song; in fact it adds beauty to the song in its own way.
This paper tries to analyse how the women of nine castes describe Lord Murukan, what features have attracted them, the names of Murukan, the similarities and differences etc., As lullaby is not only an important and old genre of oral literature, but exclusively feminine, it is hoped that the inferences of this paper will be fruitful to the researchers in the cult of Murukan.
The Sixteen Forms of Lord Muruka
Mr. P.R. Subramanian
This paper in Tamil speaks at length about the birth of Murukan as well as the background for his birth. The introductory portion speaks about Murukan’s association with the hilly tract as well as the various meanings of the lexical item Murukan. Two versions are extent in Tamil about the birth of Murukan. Here the story narrated in Tirumurukarrupadai is closely followed. The North Indian Sources about the Skanda are also mentioned. The Sanskrit text Kumara Tantra speaks about the many forms of Murukan. But Kacciappar the author of Tanikaip Puranam speaks about the sixteen forms of Murugan. The author also discusses about various names of Murukan and various puranic episodes which highlights the greatness of Lord Murukan.
Kadamba Maram in Murukan Worship
Dr. Moses Michael Faraday, Chennai
The purpose of this paper in Tamil is to collect all the relevant material about Kadamba tree in the comparative historical and scientific perspective. From time immemorial the Kadamba tree has become an integral part of Murukan worship.
From the very early times, the Tamils follows the nature worship and that trees have been given prominent role in their religion. The early Tamils believed that God dwells in trees and hence different trees have been allotted to different deities.
The relationship between Murukan worship and the Kadamba tree have been illustrated with examples from Sangam literature as well as post Sangam literature. This also discusses in detail about a clan namely Kadambas as well as Kadamban, the priest of Lord Murukan. The recent views of scholars on Kadamba tree also has been presented for a better understanding of this sacred tree of Lord Murukan.
Kumarakuruparar: The Saint who glorified god Murugan
A. Natesan, Tuticorin
This paper written in Tamil is about Kumarakuruparar who glorified Lord Murukan is his poetical compositions. Kumarakuruparar lived in seventeen century when Tamil Nadu was under British role. Born in 1625, he was dumb for five years and the grace of Murugan he started composing poems which includes Kandar Kalivenpa a poem on Murukan. Kayilai Kālampakam a beautiful work of Lord Siva and Meenakshi Ammai Pilaittamil, a celebrated work on Meenakshi, the presiding deity of Madurai Meenakshi temple. Kumarakuruparar composed Muthukumaraswami Pillait Tamil, a poem on Lord Murukan on Vaitheeswaran Kovil. He established a math on the banks of the River Ganges. His work Kandar Kalivenpa was composed before the sanctum sanctorum of Lord Murukan at Tiruchendur one among the six secret abodes of Lord Muruga. It speaks about the greatness of Lord Murukan in an elegant style of verse embedded with simile, metaphor, and other figures of speech. He is considered to be one of the famous devotional poets of Lord Murukan. His work Muttukumaraswami Pillait Tamil glorifies Lord Murugan is one hundred unique Tamil verses.
Worship of Lord Murugan: Its significance for human beings
Prof. B. Balamurugan
Why should we pray to Lord Muruga?
When we pray Lord Muruga, there is Dwaita Bhava, i.e.
a feeling that we are different and also the
implication is that we are adopting child ego state
and are putting God on a higher pedestal (like a
Father figure). The prayers that most of us put up to
God are derived mostly from Rig Veda and are well
suited for us, when we are confused, frightened,
anxious, or feel unequal to the situation.
pray, we are trying to access the Saguna form of God,
whereas when we philosophize, we try to understand the
Nirguna form of God. Both are relevant to the
respective situations. The Advaita logic leads to
Nirguna, whereas Dvaita and faith lead to a paternal,
divine, omnipotent, omniscient (all knowing),
benevolent form of God. Praying to Lord Muruga is a good
feeling and experience. Lord Muruga is different from
other gods, as He always interested in testing the
involvement of devotees. Lord Muruga has wonderful
history, which is quite interesting and different from
The Tamil speaking populace
holds Karttikeya or Murugan in special reverence.
Skanda has been eulogized by 2000 year-old Tamil
Sangam literature and by the Sanskrit hymns of Aadi
Sankaracharya & Kalidasa.
Poet Nakeerar of the Sangam Age sang many songs in praise of the Lord,
among them the well-known composition
Tirumurugartrupadi that describes the six most
important abodes of Lord Muruga (Aarupadai Veedu).
- Tiruttani and
To become successful ,one has
to totally dissolve one’s ego, and if one is
successful in that, it will be a good beginning for
the continuous success. Since we can’t totally get rid
of our ego, we need to pray, God particularly Lord
Muruga to overcome all our sins and problems.
Prof. B. Balamurugan
Department of M.B.A
K.S.R.College of Arts & Science
Tiruchengode ≠ 637 209
Kataragama Glorified by Siddhas and Saints
Dr Vimala Krishnapillai
The glory of the sacred spot Kathirkama situated in Sri Lanka rests undoubtedly on the multi faceted composite supreme divinity Skanda-Murugan the Kathirgama Teyvam who abides there. In spite of the infliction of the modern age, His sannithiyam the divine presence continues to exert its mystic lure far and near on the multitudes. The earnest seekers of the Divine, the highly venerated beings, siddhas, sages, saints; devotees, Kings, poets and bards are no exception to this. From times of great antiquity Kataragama Teyvam’s (deviyo) arulmigu call of overflowing divine grace lead them across the ocean and thick forests to reach this sacred spot. Their hallowed presence both in physical and subtle forms glorifies and sanctifies this unique spiritual sanctuary.
The mystical foundation laid by them adds to Kathirgamam’s fame as a shrine of miracles. They enhanced the sacred power, which evokes not only the awe and reverence of millions of Hindus but also those of the multi religious communities, belonging to diverse ethnic and religious communities Veddas, Hindus, Buddhists, Christians and Muslims.
A comprehensive attempt is made here to document the association of these holy beings, who glorified and enhanced the sanctity of Kathirgamam.
Data collected and presented on this subject include:
- Factual evidence from the primary source, authentic documentary Historical records and Texts.
- Material culled from literary sources, puranams, folklore oral traditions subjected to comparative critical analysis.
The relevant data to be presented will consist of factual evidence to prove the close association of sages of great tapas, including: Kalyana Giri, Kesapuri and many others of the lineage of the Giri order of Dasanamis, Balasundari of royal lineage; Sivayoga Swamigal and his disciples.
The association of Siddhar Bhoganathar, Sage Arunagirinathar, Sikkandi Munnivar, Kriya Baba and numerous other hermits who have visited and pursued the path of tapas and bhakti in this sacred punya bhumi.
The Buddhists tradition venerating Kathiragama deviyo Skanda Kumara as their guardian deity for their presence there now out number the Hindus. The luminaries associated with the sacred Bo tree and the Kiri Vihara.
A mysterious being al Kadhir too associated by Muslims with Kathiragama and the shrine established there. Christian earnest seekers of the divine from the West too have been attracted and enraptured by the mystic sanctity of this spot.
Leadership Qualities of Lord Murukan in Tirumurukarrupptai
Tirumurukarruppatai is one of the ancient classics of the Tamil Sangam corpus under the anthology of the ten idylls popularly known as Pattuppattu. This work composed by the celebrated poet Nakkirar falls under the traditional Tamil literary genius namely arruppatai (a guide poetry) wherein a bard is guided by another bard to visit a benevolent chieftain or king who bestow upon the bard valuable presentations. Here, the bard is replaced by a devotee and the chieftain by Lord Murukan, the omnipresent God who resides in the six sacred abodes namely patai vitu which literally means war camp.
Murukan’s leadership is portrayed in line with the heroic tradition wherein he is an archer of the first order who defeats the enemies and give protection to the devotees.
Here, martial heroism and moral heroism are the two important aspects of His leadership. There are clear description about his leadership in the battlefield wherein he is like a scorching sun with radiant rays surrounded by his well trained warriors and lieutenants. The other aspect of the leadership is obvious in his dealings with the meek, the destitute and the needy where in he resembles the moon with tender rays, the god of amiable native who gives refuge to the devotees and administer efficiently all under his control.
The paper aims at exploring the similarities and dissimilarities in leadership qualities as envisaged in the classical Tamil work and the modern scholars and contemporary thinkers in this direction. Literature is a part of the superstructure of Society and Tirumurukarruppatai as a classical literature provides ample evidence for the life style of the ancient Tamil society and its conception about leadership qualities
A comparative study of this with the thoughts of the modern thinkers will help to understand in a better way the ideal values of this different social structure.
Muruka in Traditional Bhajana
The article brings out expressions of different composers/bhaktas on ‘Muruka’. The unique characteristics of Lord Muruka are brought out. The special sanctity attached to the worship of Lord Muruka is also presented. Bhajan tradition in India is known crowd-puller and how music as a tool of Muruka worship has become so popular is presented.
This form of worship has contributed in disciplining the society and the dedicated groups have become a fabric jewel in the society today and Muruka bhaktas all over the world are united this form of worship through ‘music’. They stay connected wherever they travel and never miss the bhajan-sessions even if they have to miss their meal. This tradition of worship is growing and would keep the Muruka bhakti expanding in its dimensions.
South Tamil Nadu temples of Lord Muruka
Dr. S. Sasireha
India, right from ancient days until today, is very rich, though not monetarily but in culture and civilization, especially in aesthetic aspect. As the name of the country specifies, Hindu religion predominates others and Hindu gods are adorned in temples.
Especially in South India, Tamil Nadu is very famous for ancient temples and Madurai located in the heart of Tamil Nadu, is recognized as temple city.
Lord Muruga, younger son of Lord Shiva is very famous and powerful deity for most Hindus in Tamil Nadu. Numerous temples are built throughout Tamil Nadu wherein Lord Muruga is incarnated. Every day hundreds and thousands of devotees worship Lord Muruga in temples.
To present the reverent audience we have selected a few elegant and inspiring temples of Lord Muruga wherein simplicity is predominant but the temples are in lively and beautiful locations and Lord Muruga incarnated there is believed to be more powerful in giving his blessings to his devotees. A few of such temples taken for our research are:
- Mavootru Śrī Velappar Swami Tirukoil in Theppampatti,
- Arulmigu Viruppatachi Arumuganayanar Tirukoil in Kodangipatti,
- Śrī Kumara Kadavul Tirukoil in Melakkodumalur; and
- Arulmigu Ranabali Murugan Koil in Peruvayal.
The location, history and the structure of these temples, the festivals celebrated, the cult, special aspects and the name & fame of them are explained in a nutshell in the paper, to be presented.
Dr. S. Sasireha, Reader & Head
Department of Communication
School of Information and Communication Sciences
Madurai Kamaraj University
Murugan as viewed by Vallalar
Dr. Puricai S. Natarajan
This paper concentrates on the Murugan worship as propagated by Ramalinga Swamigal, one of the harbingers of the renaissance movement in religion. Vallalar has followed certain pattern of worship and this is very unique. His poems enumerate at length the greatness of the sacred abode as well as the beautiful physical form of Lord Muruga. It also speaks at length about the grace bestowed earlier to the devotees. The next part of the poem is always in the form of extending thanks to the Lord for having protected him. Some of the poems have the bridal mysticism as the basic motif. According to Vallalar, Tirujnana Campantar is an incarnation of Lord Muruga. To him, Lord Muruga and Lord Siva are one and the same. In this respect Murugan is the omnipotent and omnipresent god.
Murugan and Tamil
This paper in Tamil traces the origin and development of the idea that relates Murugan with Tamil. Starting from Tolkappiyam the author makes the historical analysis of the Murugan-Tamil relationship. The Tamil consonant is divided into three broad categories namely soft (mellinum) medium (idaiyinam) and hard (vallinum). These three categories are represented in the word murugu. The author relates the 12 vowels with the 12 hands of Muruga and the 18 consonants with his 18 eyes. The Ayudham phoneme represence His lance. The two divisions of marriage namely kalavu and karpu are represented in Murugan’s marriage with Valli and Devayanai respectively.
Veriyattu in Tamil Literature
Dr. G. Nachinarkkiniyar
This paper in Tamil is a descriptive study of the frenzied dance that is a component of Murugan worship among the hill tribes. Cankam literature speaks about Veriyattu in detail. The high priest of the Murugan temple namely Velan used to perform the frenzy dance. This was very popular in the Cankam period among the people of the Kurinchi land. The word veri itself denotes deity and in certain places according to the commentator veri means the natural fragrance peculiar to Lord Murugan. This frenzy dance is closely associated with Murugan worship. The god possession of the priest who will become the mouth of revelation of the god himself. The priest Velan used to perform this dance with the flower kantal on his head. The author quotes large number of poems from Cankam literature to explain this type of worship. Veriyattu is closely connected with the theme of Kurinchi poems.
Travancore folk traditions about Valli and Murukan
Dr. B. Om Boothalingam
In many of the documents of the Temples of the Nancilnatu in Kanyakumari district the signature of one Arumukapperumal is seen. This name is nothing but the name of the Tamil deity Murukan. This has been described in detail by the Tamil poet Kavimani in one of his articles.
Most of the deities of this area are connected either with Siva or Mount Kailasa. Except Siva, the deities of the little traditions are connected with Murukan. These traditions are available in abundance in the folk performing art, and ballads. Among the collections of the folksongs in Travancore, the songs about Murukan-Valli are very rich. This story is highly prevalent among the so-called lower castes namely the campavar and the paraiyar. Singing the song of Valli while removing the weeds in the paddy field was highly prevalent up to 1930. These songs describe Valli as hunter and Teyvayanai as a woman of the fishing tribe. According to these stories Valli is a native of Nancilnatu while Teyvayanai is from the Pandya country.
Kavadi, Mayilattam, Kaliyalattam, Kurattikkali are the folk performing traditions associated with the deity Murukan. This article discusses at length about the various folklore forms associated with Valli and Murukan. The folk ballad Kurattikkali and Valliyamman Katai are very lengthy narrative poems; the latter is in 1432 lines written in palm-leaf in 1798 sung in the ‘bow-song’. The quarrel between Valli and
Teyvayanai is portrayed humorously in this work. These stories are popular among the common man, especially among the lower strata of the society because of the reason that Murukan married Valli, a kurava woman of the lower caste.
The Origin of Murugan Worship
N. Rajagopalan (Malayaman)
This paper in Tamil traces the very origin of the Murugan worship. According to the author, great people who lived a valuable life in this earth will be deified after their death. The custom of hero stones and the worship of hero stones prevalent in Tamilnadu is a standing example of this concept. The Sangam Literature and Tolkappiyam speak in detail about hero stones. According to this author, Murugan was a great hero and a historical person. He traces the etymology of the word Murugan to the word muruku which means “destruction (in war)”. Murugan is portrayed as an archer of the first order in the Tamil classical literature. He is very strong and successfully defeating enemies at whatever he aimed. Since he possessed the strength and valour of six heroes, he might have been called Arumugam in the early period. Since he was always in the battle field with blood tinged body red became his colour and he was called Ceyon. He married Valli according to the
Tamil convention of marriage and when the North Indian society accepted Him as a deity he became the husband of Teyvayanai.
Reflections of Saiva Siddhanta in Tiruppukal
by Prof. S.K. Sivabalan
This article in Tamil discusses in brief about the greatness of the Saiva Siddhanta philosophy which evolved in the Tamil ethos. It is one of the earliest religions of the world. The ideas of the Saiva Siddhanta are seen in many of the poems in Tiruppukal composed by Arunagiri. The impact of Saiva Siddhanta is so deep that Tiruppukal comes very close to the devotional corpus of Saivism. This paper aims at showing with illustrations the impact of Saiva Siddhanta philosophy on Arunagiri.
Worship of Lord Muruga-> pattu/togai=tamizh panpadu?
by Dr. P. Anuradha
The civilization of the Tamilians is quite ancient and at the same time it is highly refined. This is revealed from the fact that the Sangam literature, while dealing with the Tamil civilization shows the life conditions of the Tamilians in detailed ways. Our approach however different it maybe, towards this literature assures us of the prevalent basic rhythm of their life. This rhythm which was natured to them was reflected in their religious ideas too. Their involvement in nature made them feel the presence of God in nature and their way of worship also depended on it.
In the worship of nature they were not influenced by fear but the concept of love had the upper hand over them. In this way they could see the communion of God in nature. ‘Paripatal’ which is included in Sangam literature can be quoted as the best example, when it deals with the worship of Lord Muruga. Before two thousand years Tamil society lived in accordance with the above mentioned idea.
The case of the present society is a different one. In those days when man in general was not highly civilized, Tamil society could behave in a cultured way. But the present generation is affected by the ideas of fear.
The ancient myths influenced the ideas of people by emphasising on religion and the rituals pertaining to it. ‘Murugatruppadai’ which is placed in the top of ‘patuppattu’ can be shown as the first example of this influence in Sangam literature. This made the people deviate from Nature and thus we are forced to the present condition of poverty.
To realise the depth of this influence and to rectify its impact it is necessary to compare both the ‘Paripatal’ and the ‘Murugatruppadai’ on the basis of worship of Lord Muruga. This will lead to realise the changes of the Tamil culture.
Significance of Murukan Worship in Tamilnadu
Murukan worship in Tamil Nadu has a hoary past. People from all over the Tamil Nadu visit the six abodes of Lord Murukan. Devotees adopt many methods to offer their prayers to their Lord. Some go to the temples situated in various places on foot. Some carry kavadis, a few torment themselves by treading of fire, some pierce their cheeks with needles, and so on. This paper argues that these practices have curative effects on some psychological and physiological ailments. Murukan worship in Tamilnadu has spiritual, philosophical, psychological, cultural and economic connotations.
The Concept of Mystical Oneness: A Study of Arunagirinathar’s Kandar Anubhuti
The Tamil concept of designating the land into four regions as mountains (kurinji), wooded forests (mullai), rivers and fertile lands (marutham), abd the seashore (neytal) signifies certain notion of union with mature and harmonious living. The four respective protective gods of these physiographic lands are: Ceyon, Mayon, Ventan and Varunan. The God of Mountain region is Ceyon, which mean the Red One. He is also called Cevvel, Murugan, Cey, Velan, Kandam and Subramanya. The respective human behaviour for the mountain region is ‘punartal’ which means the ecstatic union of the lovers. Extending this human behaviour to the realm of religion the very term Kurinji or Murugan denotes the union of human soul with God. In this context, it means the merging of the individual soul with Murugan of Ceyon.
Tamil literary texts from Paripatal and Tirumurugatrupadai down to Chandrasekaran’s Murukanalai Ezhil Malai portray the prayer of the human soul and Murugan’s grace on the devotee. In other words, these religious literary texts have portrayed the individual’s fervent prayer to god’s grace of humanity. The union of the soul with or the merging of the soul into God has been portrayed for the first time by Arunagirinathar in his Kandar Anubhuti. The very term ‘anubhuti’ implies God-experience.
This paper attempts to deal with (i) the concept of oneness with Kandar, (ii) Viralimalai Murukan and Arunagirinathar, (iii) the mystical oneness as expounded by Arunagirinathar in Kandar Anubhuti, and (iv) finally the experience of mystical oneness that has been made as the subject matter by Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi, a twentieth century mystic and mystic poet. The focus overall is on the mystical oneness as see n in the light of Arunagirinathar’s Kandar Anubhuti.
Murukan-Skanda Beliefs: Traditions and Culture
Mrs. B. Bala Tripurasundari
This paper in Tamil deals with the origin of Murukan, the meanings of His various names and how the God of hilly region was worshipped by all people. It also discusses the mount of Murukan, His garland and the various objects dedicated before him. It discusses at length about the various beliefs about Murukan existing both in North India and South India. It also differentiates the earlier stage of Murukan worship from the later stage. The various festivals of Murukan, their background, particulars about his fight with Curan etc., find detailed expression. The paper also discusses about the various forms of Murukan as well as the different devotional poems on this God.
The Murukan Temple in the premises of the Great Temple of Thanjavur
Dr. A. Velusamy Sudhandhiran
The Murukan Temple in the premises of the Great Temple of Thanjavur belongs to the period of the Nayakars. The temple is in the form of a chariot, drawn by the horses. There is no such structure of Murukan temple anywhere in India. In the sanctum and sanctorum there is a statue of Murukan with twelve hands and six faces. There are beautiful sculptures of the gate guard with sword and armour. The walls of the temple have beautiful carving of events from Kandapuranam. There are beautiful carvings about the episode of Murukan holding the hand of Valli in the form of a old man. There are carvings of Lord Shiva and Nandi worshipping Muruka which shows that Murukan is an omnipotent God. In the tower of the temple one can see Murukan sitting on an elephant. This reminds of the lines of Purananuru which portrays Murukan riding on elephants.
It is significant to note that there is no carving of Teyvani. There are carvings associated with Vaishnavism which shows that Murukan is a common God for Saivism and Vaishnavism.
Bhogar Who Attained Eternal Bliss on Earth
Cavalier M.S. Mathivanan
Bhogar lived as a mystic on this earth. He was a source of refuge for the devotees of Murukan. In a way he himself was Murukan.
The term arumukan in a way means human mind with six different characters. Care, compassion, affection, wisdom, valour and peace are indicated in the portrayal of Murukan. It is said that Bhogar has taken kayakalpa, meaning that the meditation of Bhogar has ultimately led to a stage of a metal. Bhogar made statue of the Hindu Trinity and he also mingled with the statues.
The power of Bhogar is present wherever the sacred name of Murukan echoes. The soul is His body is omnipotent. It is confined not only to Palani and Pazhamudhircolai, but it is everywhere. Bhogar attempted to render all possible helps to humanity. When he found that His good deed met with obstructions, he went to the forest and did great penance. In the forest he did lot of mystical deeds and miracles including floating of the body in the air.
Murukan Allathu Azhaku
Lord Murugan has crores of devotees, but He has blessed in person only a few, like Nakeerar and Arunagirinathar. Tirumurugātrupdai sung by Nakeerar is the first epic on Lord Murugan. What did Nakeerar do that made Lord Murugan give him His blessings in person? Nakeerar begins his epic with the scene of rising sun over the vast blue ocean. He sees the blue winged peacock of Lord Murugan and the rising sun appears to him as if Lord Murugan is coming seated on a peacock. In nature’s beauty Nakeerar sees his Lord Murugan. Nakeerar ends his epic with the scene of the waterfall in the Pazhamudircolai hilltop where Lord Murugan first appeared before His devotee with all his youth and beauty. What Nakeerar describes is the beautiful environment. In the unpolluted beautiful nature Nakeerar sees his Lord Murugan, and Lord Murugan blesses Nakeerar in person. This paper described how God blesses in person those who adore and guard the environment.