Avvaiyar - Auvaiyar - ஒளவையார்

தமிழ்த் தேசியம்

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."

- Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

Home

 Whats New

Trans State Nation Tamil Eelam Beyond Tamil Nation Comments Search
HomeTamil Language & Literature > Auvaiyar & her  Writings  - ஒளவையாரும் அவர் நூல்களும் > ஒளவையார் பெருமை >  Athisoodi with English Rendering - ஆத்திசூடி > Konraiventhan - கொன்றைவேந்தன் > Muthurai  - மூதுரை >  Nalvazhi with English Rendering - நல்வழி

CONTENTS
OF THIS SECTION
Last updated
12/12/08

Real meaning of `Paalum Theli Thaenum`  - You Tube
Auvaiyaar Works: AticuTi, konRai vEntan, mUturai and nalvazi - Unicode - PDF
விநாயகர் அகவல் (மூலமும் பு.பா.இரசபதி உரையும்) - vinayakar akaval of avuaiyAr with the commentary of Guhasri Racapati - also in pdf
ஔவையார் அருளிச்செய்த "குறள்மூலம்"kuRaL mUlam of auvaiyAr - also in pdf
ஒளவையார் பெருமை - A short introduction on Auvaiyar  - Dr.S.Jayabarathi
ஆத்திசூடி
On Athisoodi - Singai Krishnan
கொன்றைவேந்தன
மூதுர
நல்வழி
Sadhvi Auvaiyar Ma in Loving Ganesa, Himalayan Academy
Saint Auvaiyar's Approach to Vinayaka -  Ratna Ma Navaratnam

Mu.Varadarajan in A History of Tamil Literature, translated from the Tamil by E.Sa.Visswanathan - Sahitya Akademi, 1988 -

"There seem to have lived (an) Auvaiyar during the period of Kampar and Ottakkuttar. In the minds of Tamils she lives as a grand old lady. She was the most famous among the Auvaiyars in Tamil literature. The first one who lived in the Cankam period had been the court poet of the rulers of the country. The medieval period Auvaiyar was the court poet of the Chola monarch. She moved very closely with the chieftains of the Tamil country.

Besides, she travelled from one part of the country to another and from one village to another, sharing the gruel of the poor farmers and composing songs for their enjoyment. She is till now praised for living with the toiling masses and sharing their frugal fare. She was nick-named as 'the poetess who sang for the gruel'.

She found great happiness in the life of small children. Her works, the Athisoodi and konraiventhan.htm written for children (of primary classes), are even now generally read and enjoyed by them. There is none among the Tamils who does not know these two works, or at least a few lines in them. Her two other works, the Mooturai and the nalvazhi.htm were written for (secondary) school children. All the four works are didactic in character. They explain the basic wisdom that should govern mundane life. ... Auvaiyar's ethical works are deservedly popular among a large section of people in the Tamil country."

Avaiyar's Vinayagar Agaval - English rendering by Layne Little
An introduction to Auvaiyar’s Vinayagar Agaval - Tamil Guardian
Auvaiyar - 'the subtle tongues of poets skilled in the search for good words'..
Auvayar at Universty of Toronto
The Avvai of the Sangam Anthologies - M. S. H. Thompson, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Vol. 12, No. 2 (1948), pp. 399-402
Avvaiyar - Andru Mudal Indru Varai: Dr. Thayammal Aravanan

Library
Visit the
Literature Section of
Library

 

Auvaiyar & her Writings
ஒளவையாரும் அவர் நூல்களும்

"சுருங்கச்சொல்லல் விளங்க வைத்தல்"

" By considering universally acceptable values in just one line Auvaiyar even excelled ThiruvaLLuvar's brevity and succeeded in making them stay in memory for the rest of one's life... (she) directed her moral instructions at children who have open minds and are more receptive.."

'அரியது எது?' என்று ஔவையை வினவினான் முருகன். ஔவை ஒருக் கணம் யோசித்தாள். 'எது அரியது?' 'அரிதரிது மானிடர் ஆதல் அரிது மானிடராயினும் கூன்குருடுசெவிடு பேடு நீங்கிப் பிறத்தல் அரிது ஞானமும் கல்வியும்நயத்தலரிது'


Professor C.R.Krishnamurti on Auvaiyar in Tamil Literature through the Ages ..

AuvaiyarIn Thamizh literature there are many poetesses with the name Auvaiyar (ஓளவையார்). One of them lived during the Sangam period and was a close friend of the Kings, PAri and athikamAn (பாரி, அதிகமான்). She wrote 59 poems in PuRa n^AnURu (புறநானூறு).

The other Auvaiyar (ஓளவையார்) was a contemporary of Kampan and ottak KUtthar (ஒட்டக்கூத்தர்). She was the elderly figure most familiar to Thamizh people (தமிழ்மூதாட்டி). Anyone who was educated in the Thamizh region would have studied and memorized ouvaiyAr's poems early in school. Her list of Do's and Don'ts, useful for daily life was arranged in simple and short sentences. The recital of these poems by groups of children with a characteristic melody would always bring nostalgic memories of childhood days.

One of the major criticisms of Thamizh poets and authors is that, in their zeal to display their literary skills, they made their style very difficult. Only after attaining a certain level of proficiency, one would be able to understand the meaning or appreciate the finer points of literary maneuvers. In these days of technical specialization, many do not ever reach this stage so that our own literary treasure becomes a closed chapter for them. ouvaiyAr's motto can very well be phrased as short and effective following the n^annUl addict

"சுருங்கச்சொல்லல் விளங்க வைத்தல்"

Secondly ...all the social reformers up to this time were focusing their efforts in conveying ethical messages at adults with varying degrees of success. Auvaiyar followed a different strategy and directed her moral instructions at children who have open minds and are more receptive. Her important works are Athisoodi  ஆத்திசூடி, Konraiventhan - கொன்றைவேந்தன, Muthurai  - மூதுரை and Nalvazhi  - நல்வழி

7.4.1.3. Salient Features of ouvaiyAr's Literary Works
a) By considering universally acceptable values in just one line ouvaiyar even excelled ThiruvaLLuvar's brevity and succeeded in making them stay in memory for the rest of one's life. The following quotes from Atthi ChUdi (~tftiVF) will illustrate the simplicity of her style and profoundness of the messages:

ஆத்திசூடி
அறம் செய விரும்பு Enjoy giving alms
ஆறுவது சினம் Anger is to be controlled
இயல்வது கரவேல் Never stop learning
ஈவது விலக்கேல் Don't prevent charity
உடையது விளம்பேல் Avoid injurious words
ஊக்கமது கைவிடேல்  Don't give up persevering
எண் எழுத்து இகழேல் Don't despise learning
ஏற்பது இகழ்ச்சி Accepting alms is despicable
ஐயமிட்டுண் Eat after donating
ஒப்புர வொழுகு Act virtuously
ஓதுவது ஒழியேல் Don't give up prayers
ஒளவியம் பேசேல் Don't carry tales

b) It is difficult to match ouvaiyAr's similes for their appropriateness or simplicity. The first two lines in the following MUthurai (மூதுரை) poem give the upamAnam (உபமானம்), the example in the simile taken from the social environment and the next two lines state the upamEyam (உபமேயம்), the concept to be simulated.

நெல்லுக்கிரைத்த நீர்வாய்க்கால் வழியோடி
புல்லுக்கும் ஆங்கே பொசியுமாம்- தொல்லுலகில்
நல்லார் ஒருவர் உளரேல் அவர்பொருட்டு
எல்லோர்க்கும் பெய்யும் மழை
(மூதுரை)

In the next example the first two lines depict the concept and the next two denote the simile. When you do a good deed to someone else, you should do so without expecting when it will be repaid. The analogy is the coconut palm tree which takes in water from the ground and gives it back through the coconut milk without expecting any thanks.

நன்றி ஒருவர்க்குச் செய்தக்கால் அந்நன்றி
என்று தருங்கொல் எனவேண்டா - நின்று
தளரா வளர்தெங்கு தாளுண்ட நீரை
தலையாலே தான்தருத லால்.
(மூதுரை)

c) Auvaiyar used the same literary format even to drive home certain weaknesses in the society. In the following example, the evils of the caste distinctions were pointed out in the clearest possible manner. She states that human beings can be divided only into two divisions, high and low, depending upon how much they are willing to share their fortunes with others.

சாதி இரண்டொழிய வேறில்லை சாற்றுங்கால்
நீதிவழுவா நெறிமுறையின் - மேதினியில்
இட்டார் பெரியோர் இடாதார் இழிகுலத்தோர்
பட்டாங்கி லுள்ள படி
(மூதுரை)

Two lessons could be learnt from this 12th century poem:

i) the caste distinctions were in existence for a long time and people realized how it could be a source of social turmoil and

ii) the word mEthiniyil (மேதினியில்) would extrapolate the application of these concepts to the whole world. The stratification of people into high and low was not desirable whether it was based on caste, religion or wealth.

The pulavar (புலவர்) community, like so many other segments of the society, was a male dominated one even in those distant days. When Kampan tried to put Auvaiyar on the spot with some disparaging remarks, she proved that she could be as ruthless as the next person. Without actually calling him names, Auvaiyar recited a poem which, on the surface, gave the impression that she was praising Kampan.

எட்டேகா லட்சணமே எமனே றும்பரியே
மட்fடில் பெரியம்மை வாகனமே - முட்டமேற்
கூரையில்லா வீடே குலராமன் தூதுவனே
ஆரையடா சொன்னாய் அடா.

(எட்டேகாலலட்சணம் = அவலட்சணம்,
எமன்ஏறும் பரி = எருமை,
பெரியம்மைவாகனம் = கழுதை,
கூரைஇல்லாவீடு = குட்டிச்சுவர்,
குலராமன்தூதுவன் = குரங்கு)

Auvaiyar had a tremendous capacity in expressing profound concepts in a simple but convincing manner. She said,

"art can be mastered by practice; Thamizh can be mastered by speaking; one can become learned by cultivation of mind; good behavior can be developed by practice; but friendship, grace and philanthropy are inherent".

சித்திரமும் கைப்பழக்கஞ் செந்தமிழு நாப்பழக்கம்
வைத்ததொரு கல்வி மனப்பழக்கம் - நித்தம்
நடையு நடைப்பழக்க நட்புந் தகையும்
கொடையும் பிறவிக்குணம.f

It is amazing that with a short but effective minor poems, Auvaiyar gained fame and remained in the hearts of people for over a millennium, a feat not accomplished even by poets who have great literary works to their credit. The fact that this was done by a woman is something Thamizh people can really be proud of. The surprise is why her advice has fallen on deaf ears.


Sadhvi Auvaiyar Ma in Loving Ganesa, Himalayan Academy

 A long time ago in the ninth century, there lived in the south Indian Tamil land a woman saint known as Auvai or Auvaiyar, a Tamil appellation for a respected senior mother or lady. Abandoned by her parents at birth, Auvaiyar was raised by a family of Panars, who were wandering minstrels.

As a young girl, she was deeply devoted to religion and literary pursuits and wanted to serve the people. Known for her intelligence and extraordinary beauty, she had many aristocratic suitors, and pressure was brought to bear for arranging her marriage. While most young women would welcome such attention, it was for Auvaiyar more threat than opportunity.

Her interests were philosophical and devotional, and her life revolved around her love of Siva. She did not want to make a man the center of that universe. Faced with the impending marriage that her family would surely arrange, Auvaiyar wept and prayed before her chosen Deity, Vighneshvara, to save her from this fate:

“Oh, my Lord, these people are only after my youth and beauty; but I want to dedicate myself to the Goddess of learning and to the spread of learning. Please take away my youth and my beauty so that I can have peace and follow my chosen way of life.”

Ganesha heard her prayer, and in the days that followed her skin wrinkled, hair grayed, eyes dulled, limbs stiffened and breasts sagged. Looking at her reflection in the village well, the maiden was overcome with joy, knowing she was safe from the world, knowing that her loving Ganesha had graciously answered her prayers.

Auvaiyar left the shelter of home, where most people find security, and wandered far and wide in the palmyra-covered Tamil kingdoms of Chola, Pandya and Chera. Her life was simple, dedicated to the practice of yoga and to following her guru's instructions. As her spiritual sadhana bore fruit, she slowly matured into spreading the tantras, the mystical teachings of the siddhars, the wisdom of God Siva and the Gods. Her innumerable literary and philosophical works, for both children and elders, cover the entire gamut of human experience and testify to her profound wisdom.

Her royal benefactors, among whom were Shri Shri Shri Adiyaman, Pari, Kari and Seraman, are historical figures distinguished by their bravery and benevolence. These maharajas patronized her cultural works so that her fame spread far and wide. She is now acclaimed as the wisest woman of all ages in the chronicles of Indian culture.

Auvaiyar Ma was a contemporary and close associate of two noble Siva bhaktas, Sundarar and Seraman Perumal, ruler of the Chera kingdom, both extolled as great Saiva saints in Sekkilar's epic hagiography, the Periyapuranam.

One day, near the end of her life, it is said that Auvaiyar was in the midst of her daily worship of her beloved Ganesha. She had a vision in which Saint Sundarar was proceeding to Mount Kailasa, Siva's abode, with his comrade, King Seraman. Sundarar was riding a white elephant, and Seraman was on a white horse. They were as aware of her as she was of them. She became disturbed and tried to rush her worship, filled with a yearning to join her spiritual friends on their last journey.

But Lord Ganesha appeared and told her to finish her rituals calmly and without haste, with the promise that she would be taken to Kailasa ahead of her two friends. Thereupon she entered her trance even more deeply and sang the renowned hymn of praise entitled Vinayaka Ahaval. (This great song of religious devotion to Ganesha is sung to this day throughout the Tamil land at the time of Ganesha worship, particularly during the annual Ganesha Chaturthi festival.)

As she finished her worship and placed the sacramental offering at His gracious feet, Vinayaka appeared before her, lifted her in His gentle trunk and delivered her to the Sivaloka, to Mount Kailasa, before the two friends arrived. When Seraman Perumal inquired how it was that she had arrived ahead of them, she sang this in her unique and charming Tamil:

O king, is there anything unattainable
To them who intensely contemplate
On the fragrant feet of the son
Of Ummaiyal, of sweet and comely speech?
The thunderous thud of the swift elephant
And that of the agile horse must give place
To that of the rider of this old dame!
He is none other than the mighty Mahaganapati.

Vinayaka Ahaval, Adoration to the Remover of Obstacles
Translated from Tamil by Tiru K. Swaminathan, (From Om Ganesha, the Peace of God)


Cool, fragrant lotus feet
with anklets tinkling sweet,
gold girdle, flower-soft garment
setting off the comely hips,
pot-belly and big, heavy tusk,
elephant-face with the bright red mark,
five hands, the goad, the noose,
blue body dwelling in the heart,
pendulous jaws, four mighty shoulders,
three eyes and the three required marks,
two ears, the gold crown gleaming,
the breast aglow with the triple thread,
O Being, bright and beautiful!
Wish-yielding elephant, born of the
Master of Mystery in Mount Kailasa,
mouse-rider, fond of the three famed fruits,
desiring to make me yours this instant,
you like a mother have appeared before me
and cut the delusion of unending births.
You have come and entered my heart,
imprinting clear the five prime letters,
set foot in the world in the form of a guru,
declared the final truth is this, gladly,
graciously shown the way of life unfading.
With that unfailing weapon, your glance,
you have put an end to my heinous sins,
poured in my ear uncloying precepts,
laid bare for me the clarity
of ever-fresh awareness,
sweetly given me your sweet grace
for firm control of the senses five,
taught how to still the organs of action;
snapped my two-fold karma and dispelled
my darkness, giving, out of grace,
a place for me in all four states;
dissolved the illusion of triple filth,
taught me how to shut the five
sense gates of the nine-door temple,
fixed me firm in the six yogic centers,
stilled my speech, taught me
the writ of ida and pingala,
shown me at last the head of sushumna.
To the tongue of the serpent that sinks and soars
you have brought the force sustaining the three
bright spheres of sun, moon and fire --
the mantra unspoken asleep in the snake --
and explicitly uttered it;
imparted the skill of raising by breath
the raging flame of muladhara;
explained the secret of immortality,
the sun's movement and the charm
of the moon; the water lily's friend,
the sixteen states of the prasada mantra;
revealed to me in thoughtful wisdom
the six-faced form and the meanings four;
disclosed to me the subtle body
and the eight separate modes of being;
the orifice of Brahman opened,
giving me miraculous powers,
by your sweet grace, and mukti, too;
revealed my Self to me and by your grace
swept away accumulated karma,
stilled my mind in tranquil calm
beyond speech and thought;
clarified my intellect, plunged me
in bliss which is the common ground
of light and darkness.
Boundless beatitude you have given me,
ended all affliction, shown the way of grace:
Siva eternal at the core of sound,
Sivalinga within the heart,
atom within atom, vast beyond all vastness,
sweetness hid in the hardened node.
You have steadied me clear in human form
all besmeared with holy ashes;
added me to the congregation
of your servants true and trusty;
made me experience in my heart
the inmost meaning of the five letters;
restored my real state to me;
and rule me now, O Master of Wisdom,
Vinayaka. Your feet alone,
O Master of Wisdom, Vinayaka, your feet alone, are my sole refuge.


Saint Auvaiyar's Approach to Vinayaka -  Ratna Ma Navaratnam

Saint Auvaiyar's ode to Vinayaka is one of the most popular canonical hymns of adoration, noted for its poetic diction, vivid imagery and yogic insights. It is a work of paramount importance, as it communicates the quintessence of the worship of Ganesha. He confers power and peace of the Supreme Para-Siva to His votaries.

In the Ahaval (p. 329 -- 331), lines 1-14 delineate the form of Vinayaka. Lines 15-72 depict the detailed action of divine grace bestowed on His devotees. In the whole poem Saint Auvaiyar addresses Ganesha in three places only. "O... wish-fulfilling elephant!" is followed by "The one who rides the mouse," and finally comes "Peerless Vinayaka, Master of Wisdom." She describes in great detail the way His grace worked on her and transformed her life. She shares her enthusiastic experience of grace with the world just before she departs from this life.

The symbol of divine grace is conveyed by the image of the feet of Ganesha. She commences her poem by extolling the feet in words that vibrate with melody. In the middle and at the end of the poem, too, we find the allusion to the sacred feet of grace, signifying that the poem has been based on the foundation of grace, outflowing from the elder son of Siva, Vittaka Vinayaka.

Thus the hymn Vinayaka Ahaval is a highly mystical work. It consists of seventy-two lines of poetry. The author begins the poem with a salutation to the holy feet of Ganapati. His feet are mystically placed at the tail end of the spinal column called muladhara, which generates the heat necessary for the functioning of the inner organs. His feet guard, as it were, the source of the bodily energy from extinction and are a symbol of grace. From His feet emanate the seven modulations of the musical notes, giving rise to the succinct vibrations of mantras.

The primordial vibration from the muladhara, the eternal substratum, gives rise to the cosmic dance full of dynamic motion around and within. So potent are His lotus feet of grace. Meditating on His feet, the poetess describes the vision of the beauteous formation of the body of Ganesha, so symmetrical and subdued, radiating light with the golden hip-chain and white, silken attire. He is a living presence to Mother Auvai and not an image of stone.

Ma Auvai sees, in her yogic perception, the impressive nature of Vinayaka's countenance. She sees one tusk broken and kept in one of His hands, while the other tusk adorns His comely elephant face and is the source of mitigating countless malicious forces. Eka dantaye vighna vinashine. Ganesha's elephant face, adorned with the red mark on the forehead, beams with beauteous smile at the votary who sings His praise. The twinkle in His eye symbolizes His auspicious nature. His five hands signify the five-fold activities of the manifested cosmos. There is ceaseless creation, vigilant preservation followed by dissolution of all that is transient. Then occurs the phase of involution, a subtle veiling leading to the stage of anugraha, revelation. It is the reemergence, through grace, with sound and light. It permeates the outer cosmos as well as the inner realm of "Being."

In this context, the divine mother views Ganesha's five arms. She sees in one hand the displaced tusk ready to be used as a writing stylus, symbolizing the creative function. The other hand, holding the modaka sweet, indicates the ever-watchful, protective care and the assurance of the reward of fulfilment. The goad and the noose in the other two hands are the deterrent weapons to safeguard man from the pitfalls of disillusionment caused by pernicious desires and egoism. The lofty trunk is the fifth hand, which holds the water pot in an act of oblation, signifying His perennial grace and the Pure Awareness of the One in many.

His countenance glows in sky-blue hue. His shoulders appear strong and balanced. The gleam of the sun, moon and fire emanates from His triple eyes, illuminating the caverns of the heart and the crevices of the outer world. The light of Truth radiates in His countenance as the principle of delusion recedes, leaving its pronounced marks on the face of Ganesha.

How wonderful are His expansive ears, reminding us that, "Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter." So muses the saintly poetess who experiences the wordless music of the primordial Aum, wafting from His fan-like ears and awakening her to the sublime awareness of Reality. The splendor of His crown and the insignia of the triple strand of initiation on His chest mark the extending vistas of light and sound mingling in the oneness of Ganesha.

Auvaiyar Ma thus is transported in bliss at the vision of the wish-fulfilling elephant-faced form of Vinayaka. Lest the grandeur of the supernal light dazzle her, she turns her gaze at His immanent form again. Ma views Him enjoying the triple delicious fruits and is amazed at the incongruity of Pillaiyar's riding on His rat mount! It reminds her that life is a bundle of contradictions and contrasts. The massive elephant with His immense strength and prudence is no less important than the humble mouse.

All come within the purview of the all-knowing God Siva and are either scourged or saved by their own actions. His main intent is to wean the heart of man from the darkness of ignorance to the light of wisdom and Truth. The divine mother recollects the immense love bestowed on her by Ganesha. He pointed the way, and fortified with the mystic mantra of the guru, she communicates the inevitable bliss of realization when she exclaims "He, my true Self, filled my whole being."

In this poem, Mother Auvai melts in love, like Saint Manikkavasagar, as she recalls in tranquility her yogic vision and the experience of the inner self mingling in the greater Self! To experience the Reality of the Supreme Self and communicate it to the world of suffering humanity -- here where men sit and hear each other groan -- is the noblest service of all the realized seers in the fold of Hinduism.

Problems arising from the origins of Lord Ganapati, son of Siva, His place in the Hindu pantheon and the truth of the many legends that have grown up around Him all pale into insignificance before the living testimony of the noble poetess Auvaiyar in her wonderful praise of Vinayaka. Who can deny the truth of her awareness of the Supreme Being and dismiss her translucent experience as ephemeral outpouring of an overworked mind?

Mother Auvai is the witness, and her poem is the living testament of Ganesha's grace and how He came into her inner being as a guru and endowed her with insight of truth by placing His gracious feet on her head. Faithfully has she recorded the steps of the religious practice (sadhana) that took her from the grip of the mundane world to the absorption in bliss divine. Deep concentration is the secret of mastering the avenues of the deluding senses. And the more she meditates on the oppressive limitations exercised by the principles of time and space and the sway of the thirty-six categories (tattvas) of manifestation, the deeper is her withdrawal into the interior of her being, where the phantom of duality ceases to lure her. The mystic mantra Aum permeates her whole being. Her japa is impregnated with ceaseless remembrance of the vibrant word.

We follow her from behind, rapt in mute wonder, as step by step she leads us into the mysteries of the yoga marga, so ably propounded by sages like Patanjali, Vasishtha and Narada. The dormant shakti, once ignited by the grace of Ganesha, floods all the six psychic centers of consciousness within Auvai Ma and consummates the supreme awareness of the Self. Such is the mystic import of the mother's poem on Vinayaka, which starts like a catalog of His iconographical details and consummates in the highest communion with Aum Ganesha.

From lines fifty-five to the end, the pendulum of the individual being swings in harmony to the symphony of the universal being. Neither discord nor limitation nor separation can be sensed in the experience of the divine mother from this stage. Auvai Ma's descriptions of illumination are highly mystical and elude the comprehension of those who have not yet experienced such yogic fulfillment. Yet, her communication of the intangible rings of sincerity and sublimity.

The steps to control the inhalation and exhalation by suitable chanting of mantras, leading the vital force from one center of consciousness to the other centers gradually, have all been made so vividly clear to Mother that her perception intuits through the yogic cord to the highest center at the crown of the head.

The serpent power, kundalini shakti, as this subtle fire is termed, once awakened can effect wondrous transformation in the personality. The tongue is made so potent as to experience infinite power of expression. Yet, at the same time, the inexpressible, inaudible mantra known as ajapa is also made vividly clear to her as the gravitational prana, or life force. Beyond Aum is the silent melody of ajapa, heard and yet unheard, in the vibration of inhaling, retention and exhaling of the life breath every fractional second of our existence. That is He: the ever-elusive, life-giving, immortal and immaculate Ganesha.

Many have been the expositions on this aspect of meditation by the rhythmic modulation of the life breath. Mother Auvai reveals in unmistakable terms of poesy the indefinable and subtlest of the subtle aspects of experiential awareness of the Supreme Sat. The fire in its dormant state has been ignited by the spark that blazoned from the inhaling breath. We perceive the awakened kundalini in Auvai Ma arising as a coiled snake at the touch of the flame. It ascends up the mystic center of consciousness, experiencing the most inexplicable powers at each of the centers.

Finally, it reaches the zenith, where bliss ineffable transmutes her whole being into the radiance of light eternal, whence the light of the sun, moon and stars appear but reflections of the true glory of the effulgent Self. Blessed is the saint whose attainment is so absolute and perfect.

The Mother resumes her normal consciousness and recalls her vision of ecstasy. What has my Ganesha done to me? She ponders and is filled with an unquenchable devotion, as she proclaims the greatest of her utterances in the whole of this magnificent poem:

Given me miraculous powers
by your sweet grace, and mukti too;
revealed myself to me,
Stilled my mind in tranquil calm.

The perplexing question of who am I, which has baffled humanity down the ages, has been solved by Saint Auvaiyar:

By His grace beatific, He makes me know my Self.
That art nondual, eternal, real, pure existence,
pure consciousness and everlasting bliss.

Gone forever are the network of limitations exercised by actions of past births, and the roots are exterminated forever and ever by the power of Ganesha. Mother Auvai finds herself in tranquil quiescence: "speechless, mindless, immersed in the glory of illumination within." No more opposing factors of dualism, no more darkness in the transcendent luminosity of Ganesha!

Absorbed in divine bliss, afflictions recede. It is the way of grace, and we follow her from afar as she ascends on wings of self-knowledge. The immanent and all pervading intermingle in Auvaiyar Ma's cosmic vision as she swims in the ineffable experience of the undifferentiated Supreme. She can only communicate with us in the language of symbols. "Sweeter than ambrosia and subtler than the subtlest of the atoms is it."

Who can know the Real? Only those who have experienced it. Having entered into the beatific bliss of the "liberated," it is the nature of such experience to seek and abide in an everlasting allegiance with all who have attained. Their insignia of renunciation and purity are self-evident. Saint Auvaiyar's outpourings, embodied in the purest form of poesy, tug at our heart strings, as her worship of the image of Ganapati transcends from the physical and subtle phases to the state of supreme awareness of Oneness. The radiant wisdom has been her priceless boon from the one-pointed worship of Ganesha.

 It overwhelms Auvaiyar with such a surging love for humanity that she communicates the incommunicable by the assurance so positive and veritable to take up the incantation of the mantra of Five Letters, Panchakshara. It is the panacea for the ills of human existence.

Ganesha will be the illuminator, the guru, who can effect this transfiguration. Therefore, the mother bids one and all to surrender all at the gracious feet of the Lord of Wisdom. All the Hindu seers proclaim the one supreme Truth of realization by the act of self-surrender before the self-luminous Siva -- one of whose rays divine is Pillaiyar, the honored son with manifold names who is testified in diverse forms of worship. Thus the worship of Aum Ganesha by the renowned seer Auvaiyar reveals the wondrous Truth that the self has been illumined by the Self and abides in the Self. Then all appearances of otherness and of dualism (dvaita) vanish. There only remains the real Self within as well as outside the ego-self.

Divine Mother Auvai's poem on Vinayaka gives a super experience (anubhava) of reality by means of the spiritual practice enjoined in the yoga pathway. The sun is hidden from our sight by the clouds. So, too, the reality of the Self is obscured by illusion. The ego can hide our real Self from our consciousness. Yet, human life cannot exist without our real Self, even though apparently hidden, just as day cannot exist without the diffused light of the sun, however hidden by fog or mist. The dominance of the ego by thoughts raised by the mind (manas) can conceal the real Self from our consciousness.

The ego is the I-maker (ahamkara) and is inseparable from the Self (atma). Aum is the symbol of reality when we start from the inner being, and Namah Sivaya is the reality when we start from man's experience of the outer world. The Mother's incantation in her immortal poem validates her experience of the truth of Pashu-Pati. Their common symbol is Aum, and the form is that of Ganesha.

Mother Auvai explains in her poem that Ganesha is the Deity of yogis. He typifies the coupling of two mutually complementary elements yoked together with a view to obtaining unity in being and in action, the unification of the respective individual and universal aspects, of the jivatma and the Paramatma. It is the drawing together of man to his inner ruler (antaryamin) enthroned in his own Self.

The theme of kundaliniis intimately connected with the cult of Ganapati worship. The human body consists of the five elements, and these merge into one another by the control of the breath, and through the reciting of the formulae, until consciousness dissolves into the original matter.

Yoga is the disciplined effort that draws the individuality of man, united with his personality, to the Lord (Isha) pervading beyond and to the all-Knower (ayamatma) who comprehends from within. He who reaches this end is a yogi. According to Auvaiyar Ma, consciousness in the form of a serpent sleeps within the body and can be awakened by japa techniques to penetrate, one after another, the six chakras, or superimposed circles of the body, until it reaches the opening of brahmarandhra, on top of the head, where it brings about the union of the being with Siva. The vital power of the vibration of the litany of Omkara, the word symbol of Ganesha, brings about the cooperation of the Divine and effects the union with Siva at sahasrara. It is the goal of all types of yoga. The way of yoga leads to the immortality of the liberated one, supplemented by the infusion of bhakti. Saint Auvaiyar Ma attempted the yoga, the bhakti and the jnana pathway in the worship of loving Ganesha in order to gain the apperception of Reality.

We discern in the poem on Vinayaka the underlying principle of the One in the many, and the many converging into the One. The iconography of Lord Ganesha accentuates the resonance of the sacred syllable Aum, culminating in the experience of the oneness of Truth. Rishi Tirumular, who lived before Saint Auvaiyar, had given immortal expression to the efficacy of the mantra Aum in a gem of Tirumantiram.

Omkara abides as the Primal Word.
Omkara manifests in the many forms.
Omkara activates all true experiences.
Omkara leads to final liberation.

By the Grace of Ganesha, the Supreme is revealed to Auvaiyar as self-luminous and self-evident. His grace is the alchemy that transforms the wise language into wisdom itself, where all means of expression merge into "That which is," Aum Tat Sat. The divine mother Auvaiyar attained the goal of the highest awareness of the Supreme Siva by her earnest worship of Vinayaka. In the footsteps of this votary, let us, with one accord, sing her litany of love and walk in the presence of Pillaiyar, the Son of Siva, and realize His grace within our own real Self.

எல்லை யில்லா ஆனந் தம்அளித்(து)
அல்லல் களைந்தே அருள்வழி காட்டிச்
சத்தத்தின் உள்ளே சதாசிவம் காட்டிச்
சித்தத்தின் உள்ளே சிவலிங்கம் காட்டி
அணுவிற்(கு) அணுவாய் அப்பாலுக்(கு) அப்பாலாய்க்
கணுமுற்றி நின்ற கரும்புள்ளே காட்டி
வேடமும் நீறும் விளங்க நிறுத்திக்
கூடுமெய்த் தொண்டர் குழாத்துடன் கூட்டி
அஞ்சக் கரத்தின் அரும்பொருள் தன்னை
நெஞ்சக் கருத்தின் நிலையறி வித்துத்
தத்துவ நிலையைத் தந்தெனை யாண்ட
வித்தக விநாயக விரைகழல் சரணே!

Mail Us up- truth is a pathless land - Home