Icon Thinking of Punitavati 91-101



91. It is Njanam that Fulfills 92. Everything is the Grace of BEING 93. Siva Informs only TRUTHS 94&95 BEING is Always Man-Woman 96. Pure Love is the Way to See and Be with BEING 97. BEING as the Burning Fire 98&99. The Destroyer is the Most Powerful 100. The Meaning of the Bull of Siva 101. The Redeeming Words of the Ghost





Icon Thinking of Punitavati- 91


It is Njanam that Fulfills


The metaphysics that rules Saivism is Natural Metaphysics and hence something that allows individual FREEDOM - each person can embark upon a metaphysical odyssey to explore and understand the concealed and hence the mysterious and mystical world. The scriptures gurus temple worship rituals and so forth are just a help and are not binding in any way. In fact to understand the Njanam, the presupposition of all such metaphysical endeavors one must use them only as ladders to climb up and then throw them away after using them well. Those unwilling to throw away the ladders, will remain fixated and hence in ignorance. The journey is like climbing up a hill towards the peak. Having reached certain height, if one chooses to remain fixated at a certain step and refuse to ascend any further by moving towards the higher steps, one in fact chooses to be ignorant.


Punitavati is NOT certainly a person as this and the following verses discloses that. Much to the chagrin of the traditionalists, she goes well beyond all these binding and fixating ladders and having reached the condition of NO speech or a language, she enjoys the Njanam in Deep Silence. This also fulfills her completely and hence remains unruffled by the criticisms of the lesser souls.


For details see below.




ﺨ¡ 째 ǡ

Ţ ¡ӽ󧾡 - âɡ

ġ 󦾡Ƣ󧾡

ۨ ?


(- Ţ.)


- ĨԨ . - ҸƧ¡. -ڨ.




ĸ ¢ 𺢨 츢 Ƣ ¢ վ, Ż Ҹ Ũ¢ ﺨ Ħġ Ţâ ¨ Ţ 째 ǡ , ǡ Ż ¡ӽ󧾡 . ɡ š ĸ š쨸, ý ø š쨸 ġ Ţ𧼡 â . ɡ ţ Ģ Ģ Ţ.


Ţ: . â: , ã> Ţ : , ġ 츢,




tiraimaruvu cenjcadaiyaan ceevadikkee aaLaay

uraimaruvi yaamuNarn_tooG kaNdiir -teriminoo

immaikkum ammaiikkum ellaam amain_tozin_toom

emmaip puRan uraippatu en?




BEING stands as the One wearing the Ganges that refreshes the world as well as the heart of the living desiccated by the Fire and stands also spreading out fire-colored hair so that the si-kaaram of Njanam is made available to all. Now I have attained this Njanam by being at His Feet and with His grace has transcended language and in Deep Silence has enjoyed this Civanjanam. With this, you all should know I have attained the wisdom for living well the remaining worldly life as well as the life after death. As such it quite useless criticizing me at the back - avoid it immediately




The key word in this verse is urai maruvi which is ambiguous but which I have taken as transcending speech or language which fits better the context. This is NOT the first time that Punitavati mentions this anyway.


The worship of Siva Muurttam and Icon thinking centering on it has a peculiar effect on the mind. The Siva Muurttam is NOT the Avatars, the various presentational forms BEING takes to inform the anmas something about the world including the metaphysical. The Siva Muurttams, though also presentational forms of BEING but are such that they DISCLOSE the essence of BEING, the Coruubam that is concealed and NOT disclosed in His avatar forms.


Each one of the icon features of Siva- the Ganges, Golden and Flowing Hair, the Snake and so forth are graphical forms of Mantra complexes and furthermore not any mantra-complex but that of Si-Vaa-Ya-Na-Ma. BEING-as-Siva after playing out and exhausting the anmas with mantras of the type na-kaaram and ma-kaaram, slowly discloses the Njanam pertaining to Si-Vaa-Ya and finally the Si-kaaram and which is the same as that of AUM.


Punitavati declares that transcending ordinary speech (urai maruvi) and gaining the AUM to form and inform her understanding and hence enjoying the presence of Njanam like a sunrise within her understanding, and self-conscious of it, how she can be wrong and others have no rights to criticize her.


The very meaning of metaphysical odyssey of the human mind is to allow the pre-existent Njanam to shine bright in the understanding. Since it is this Njanam that is the foundation for the most Authentic Existence here and now as well as hereafter, how can she be wrong?


Certainly she is not and hence others have no rights to criticize her on whatever account.




Icon Thinking of Punitavati- 92


Everything is the Grace of BEING


One of the things that Saivism emphasizes is that BEING is wholly indeterminate with respect to Icon Forms, wholly Mysterious with respect to His essence and so forth. HE is wholly UNCANNY so much so that by THINKING we cannot capture Him completely. As one set of ideas seems adequate there emerges something else which defeats the whole philosophical exercise making such thinkers give up in utter desperation.


One can understand that HE is many, shows Himself in countless number of icon forms so that one becomes a worshipper of different deities and may remain fixated to one and so forth. But here He also shows Himself as one with no second at all so that He is the most High etc.


But Punitavati notes that even this Oneness is His showing and which has the purpose of destroying the discords not only among people of different cults and religions but also the celestial beings who are NOT free from such forms of behavior.


But in all these BEING desires only PURE and Golden thoughts and hence HARMONY among the people and the gods. When a person becomes one who understands the essence of BEING including the fact He shows Himself as the One, there will be NO discord and dislike in his heart for the gods and cults founded by them




Ԩ¡ ȡ

Ȣ¡ -

ǡ ¡ šɡ()



(-; Ţ.)


-ɡ ( ¡Ģ ... . . . . ɡ ȡ ’ -) ( ը Ȣ¡ Ƨġ- š) - . - , â)




ɡ 째 , ڦ񼾡, ɾ ¡, ǡ ׽׸ ġ Ӹ š, ġ ɡ ɡ , Ȣ¡ š , ɡ ǧ Ţ Ũ¢ Ħġ Ţ ﺨ , Ȧġ Ȣ šĸ ǡ ǡ




ennai yudaiyaanum eekamaay n_inRaanum

tannai yaRiyaata tanmaiyanum - ponnaic

curuLaakac ceytanaiya tuuccadaiyaan vaanoork(ku)

aruLaaka vaitta avan




Because I have surrendered completely and worship His Feet, He has me as one He owns. Though He discloses Himself in so many icon shapes but He also shows Himself as the One, to destroy all differences in metaphysical understanding that create discord among people. He also spreads out His curly hair that shines as of gold and very Pure so that only Pure Thoughts emerge in the mind of all. He shows Himself thus not only by way of engracing the creatures but also the celestial beings.




The crucial word here is eekam and where it is claimed BEING in addition to showing Himself in so many forms also shows Himself as the One and in that ABOVE all. This, it must be noted is NOT Monotheism for obviously Punitavati also worships Tirumaal Brahma Uma and so forth though her love is for Siva, the Golden haired Dancer and who dances the Dance of Bliss with Uma in the golden assembly, the Pon Ambalam.


What we have is NOT Monotheism but rather a Metaphysical Supremism, where amidst so many icons of BEING, the BEING Himself is isolated as the One and hence the Supreme and which is also a SHOWING of BEING.


BEING is unfathomable, wholly indeterminate, totally mysterious and as such we can understand only when He graces us with some kind of disclosure.


His disclosure as the ONE is also with a purpose. It destroys the discord that arises among the people because they get fixated to particular forms and become religiously INTOXICATED and in a way MAD in such possessions and fixations. The showing of BEING that He is ONE destroys such discords by freeing the mind from such icon-fixations and make it OPEN to all such icon disclosures.


And this applies not only to human beings but also the celestial beings for they too suffer from the same kind mental limitations human beings suffer as disclosed by the PuraNas. Each god wants to excel all other gods and become the Supreme God. The famous PuraNic lore where VishNu and Brahma seek to find the extremities of the flame of Sivalingkam and in which they failed is illustrative of this.



Icon Thinking of Punitavati- 93


Siva Informs only TRUTHS


Saivism is NOT a system of dogmas, percept, beliefs and so forth where some scriptures messiahs and gurus are taken as absolutely authoritative. While temple worship studies of scriptures the practices of yoga and the arts of dance and music and so forth are encouraged, but none of these are taken as absolutely binding and spelling out the WAY.


The WAY, the Sanmaarkkam of Tirumular, the TiruneRi of Sambantar is the WAY of TRUTH and there are always something NEW in the journey This is one of the meanings communicated by the Metaphor of Dance that the Saivites use to capture their understanding of how BEING functions in the world and promotes this WAY.


This way of TRUTH is also is also the WAY of the Good and the Beautiful. In this WAY aesthetics comes together with science in a happy balance so that feelings as well thinking move together blossoming into LOVE that unifies all creatures by destroying the alienation that exists because the FINITUDE of the mind. The source of this mental atomicity is MALAM and this is what that is subdued by the Golden Body of Siva. As long as the mind holds firmly this Golden Body , it sets itself on WAY of the Truth and which leads to LOVE


Thus worship Siva turns out to be the same as a WAY of Life where only truths are sought. These truths gained causes an inflow of Lumen Naturale and which dispels the Darkness within making the anma FREE from death-like diseases and mental depressions. There is no more atomic mind and hence anything evil and ignoble,


It is not surprising then that Punitavati resolves to remain steadfast in her worship of Siva as shown in the verse below.




šɡ áɡš




(-. .Ţ.)


- Ƹ -




! Ǣ , ¡ Ž Ŧ ĸ ¢ šɡ á š . ﺨ¡ ɧ š ġ Ţ ը 츢 . ɡ ̸ ĸ Ţ ĸ Ҹɡ 츢ȡ. ɡ 狀 ! ĸ š ȧ, ǧ Ţ š Ŧɧ Ţ .




avan kaNdaay vaanoor piraanaavaan enRum

avan kaNdaay ampavaLa vaNNan - avan kaNdaay

maittu amarnta kaNdattaan maRRavanpaal nannenjcee

meyttu amarntu anbaay n_ii virumbu




O Friends! If you reflect deeply you will understand that Siva whom I worship is also the Lord of all celestial beings. You will also understand over and above having the golden hair that spreads across the whole universe He also has a body of red-coral color and with which He dispels the hold of the Dark Killing Force and let there be only safe brilliant light of Good and Beautiful. The Poison that He dispels and brings under control and saves the world He keeps in His throat and which becomes dark because of that. O my heart! No matter what ways people chose, you should be firm in your search only for the truths that illuminate you and with that be always in loving adoration of Siva




There is play with colors here - the mai, the DARK color that stays on the throat of the figure of Siva and the Golden Color of the whole body put here metaphorically as the red color of corals. The RED color stands for the Burning Metaphysical Sun where the physical galaxies and the millions of suns there, is just a fraction of it. BEING is brilliance itself and brilliance of the cosmos is just a tiny fraction of it. Now it is through His presenting himself as thus that He dispels the Dark Killing Force, the Malam, the source of death decay and ignorance. BEING assumes a Body of Fire and presents Himself as thus in order to FREE the anmas from the hold of this Malam. This Malam being also unconfigured and just as anaati as BEING cannot be destroyed and annihilated but only reduced, made to withdraw and so forth.


This is the meaning of keeping it at the throat and because of that Siva becoming the NilakaNdan, the Blue-throated. He withdraws it and keeps it in a safe place viz, the throat. If it were allowed in the head and face, it would be active in thinking and speaking and thus create disunity and discord. If it were allowed into the belly, it would KILL the creatures.


But for whom does all these happen?


Only for the TRUTH SEEKERS for only in the understanding of such people, the RED color of Gold will become dominant and with that dispel the poisonous Malam and make it withdraw and become not absent but deactivated. Having grasped this Punitavati asserts or re-asserts that she should never FALL OFF from the Worship of Siva which is simultaneously the worship of TRUTH




Icon Thinking of Punitavati- 94&95


BEING is Always Man-Woman


Saivism distinguishes itself from among all religions and metaphysical systems including the Indian, in recognizing the Female just as fundamental as the Male and that BEING is always a Male-Female complex. It goes well beyond the Advaita Vedanta that limits itself to the vision BEING-as-Brahman and in that also blind to the fact BEYOND that vision lies the vision that BEING is Siva-Sakti complex.


But how we do recognize this?


The Brahman of Vedanties is NOT love - the Brahmanjaani is DEAD to the world, totally INDIFFERENT to the plights and miseries of mankind. Lost in the vision of ParaSakti as Supreme Radiance, and assuming that is Brahman and the highest, they remain locked up in that vision like flies that glue themselves to sparks of light refusing to go away from that. It is for this reason that Sannyasam- asceticism- is recommended and with that a FEAR of the female.


Such a misguided metaphysics is avoided by Saivism that recognizes that Siva and Sakti are inseparable and that even in the seeming ascetic shape of Mahayogi, Uma is there as the LOVE. This is also a PLAY of Siva where Sakti remains as LOVE.


It is the recognition of the Woman as the equal half of BEING that led the Saivites, as Punitavati here, to see LOVE as the most important element of metaphysics and hence a life of service to society (ToNdu Vaazkkai) and in which there is hatred for none.




Ţɡ â¸ġ¡ ȡ

ħ¡ ɡ -

ͧ Ţ¡ â Ȣ

ͧ ġ


(- . Ţ.)


- . - ¨ ; ¡ â




ɡ 쾢¡ ! ɡ ¢ â ¡¡ Ż 򾢨 Ƣ ɸ ɢ ɧ иȡ. ɢ š â Ţ šȡ Ż ħ¡ ɧš ¡ Ȣ. ¢ š ɢ ¡ ¡, ¦ Ţ Ȣ š ţâ ¡ , â Ȣ ŧǡ ġ ( ﺡ , Ȣ ¡ ܼ )




viruppinaal n_ii piriyakillaayoo veeRaa

iruppidam maru illaiyoo ennoo - poruppanmakaL

manjcupool maalvidiayaai n_iRpirintu veeRirukka

anjcumoo collaay avaL




O BEING you show yourself as Man-Woman complex! In order to impart Civanjanam to the rishies Canakan and so forth in the shape of Mahayogi, is it out of your own desire that you separated from Umai, your equal half or is it because there is no other place for conducting this? I am not clear at all. Now even if you do thus O Lord of the Pure white Bull, brilliant white like the clouds, will she ever fear being away from you? (No she will not as she is inseparable from you always)




ŧǡ ġ

ŧǡ - ǿ()

ţ âȢ£



(-: . Ţ.)


- . - . - . - ʧ, â¡ . - . Ũ âȢ£, š - ǡ.




, ġ Ǣ â () â¡ , ¡ Ţ ġ. Ǣ  â ǡ . Ţ â¡. , Ƣ â츢 ! ʦ â Ȣ£ ý ¡. Ţ Ţ ¡ Ţ Ө¢ ¡ ! ( )




avaLoor kulamaGkai aakattu akalaaL

ivaLoor salamakaLum iitee - tavaLan_ii)Ru)

enbu aNiviir enRum pirin_taRiyiir iiGkivaruL

anbu aNivaar collumin iGku aar




Uma, not only is the primordial source of all female forms and hence the greatest but also as the one equal-half of you, will never depart from you. It is this same woman who to provide moisture and hence growth, also becomes the Ganges. Hence she too will not depart from you. Now with this O my Lord ! who wears the garland of bones shining white like the sacred ashes, you know very well that you cannot stand separate from these female forms. But then tell me who among these who loves you most? (It is Uma as such)




Saivism, unlike Advaita Vedanta does not remain content witnessing BEING as Brahman- as resplendent Light -and which is actually only a showing of ParaSakti. BEING is always Man-Woman, Siva-Sakti and highest metaphysical vision is that the Dance of Bliss of Siva and Sakti. There are occasions where BEING appears only seemingly without Uma, His equal half as when He becomes the Mahayogi to instruct the Munis Canakan and so forth on Njanam through the Language of Deep Silence and Cin Mudra.


Now it is implied by Punitavati that Uma is present even here and that the separation is NOT genuine. For such shapes and activities of BEING-as-Siva will NOT be possible unless there is LOVE pervading and Uma exists as this LOVE itself. She inheres within Siva as the Pure Motherly LOVE and because of which Siva dances and among the countless games he plays He also plays the game of Mahayogi, the One who shuns all interest in sexual and related matters. But here what we have is NOT the absence of Uma but rather Her transmutation of sexual libido into LOVE as such.


Now this LOVE is so integral to BEING-as-Siva that other Feminine shapes are more distant from Uma. The Ganges, the snake and such other forms of Bindu are only expressions of Uma, the KulamakaL, and the Great One who contains all these forms within Her. But Her essence is LOVE and not the other transformations and hence it is in this form that remains an equal half of Siva




Icon Thinking of Punitavati- 96


Pure Love is the Way to See and Be with BEING


The Bakti movement of the Nayanmars and Azwars was the most important cultural revolution of not only Tamil Nadu but also the whole of India. It was a battle against the decay of culture because of the EXCESSES of the logical and rational mind and which tended to starve to death the emotional self. It also led to Nihilism such as the Buddhists Jains and Vedanties who in the name of philosophic inquiries were not doing meaningful metaphysical excursions but empty logical debates and dialogues that led nowhere near BEING.


Bakti reinstated LOVE as the most important ingredient of Metaphysical Life subsuming within it even thinking. The thinking such as Icon Thinking of Punitavati was NOT simply thinking in terms of PiramaNas but rather thinking to UNDERSTAND BEING and with that TRANSMUTE personality itself to a higher kind. The HIGHER was viewed in terms of LOVE unto all and NOT simply shining with a lot of knowledge of scriptures. Those well read in the scriptures and sastras were called the Caattirap Peey- the sastra-devils and were not respected at all. They may be very clever and intellectually sharp but not loving and kind to all and hence NOT loved in turn by the people.


What recovered Hinduism against the decadence that had set in was the humanization of the human beings that the Bakti revolution brought along with it. We see the beginnings of this trend very clearly in the following verse where Punitavati unambiguously speaks that only LOVE can make the direct witnessing of BEING possible and which carries the implication that BEING is LOVE and which came through the immortal words of Tirumular Anbee Sivam a description of BEING that was NOT available in India till then.




ġ Ũ

¾ɡ -

ɢ ﺢ

򧾡 .


(- .Ţ.)


- â¡. Ũ Ƣ š. ɡ Ȣš .




â ! ɡ 째 ġɡ 츢ȡ. Ȣ ¡ Ũ ħ Ч ŧɡ ¡ Ө , ɡ 񼡸 ɢ â¡ ¡ ¢ǡ š ɢ ﺢ Ũ Ţ ¡ ġš , š ¡ 򧾡 .




aarvallaar kaaNa aran avanai anbennum

poorvai yatanaalee porrtu amaittuc - ciirvalla

taayattaal n_aamaum tani n_enjcil uL adaittu

maayattaal vaittom maRaittu.




O friends listen! BEING stands as the One who can be witnessed only by those who truly LOVE Him. Having realized this I wrapped Him up with a blanket of LOVE and remained contended with the understanding that this is the way to have Him and be with Him. And because of the special privileges that this gives me I removed all love and desires for others and kept Him only in my heart making it exclusive for Him. And with a magical act I also concealed this from others.




Here emerges the main theme of the whole of Bakti revolution and which defeated the intellectually organized Vedantic way of life centering on intellectual inquiries into Brahman etc. BEING is LOVE (Anbee Sivam) and as such always elusive to the thinking and inquiring mind. No matter how intelligent and acute a person is, he is doomed to fail for BEING as LOVE will NOT disclose Himself to such individuals. The Thinking Mind will never reach BEING- He will be forever ELUSIVE for the conceptual apprehension.


There must be the cultivation of LOVE along with thinking for only LOVE humanizes the mind and makes one truly spiritual. The aesthetic and ethical development must come along with the philosophical and end up in LOVE for all. This is true essence of BEING and therefore only those who develop in LOVE will be slowly nearing BEING and finally get a glimpse of Him.


Punitavati is using the blanket (poorvai) as a metaphor for thinking and hence hints that it is Loving Thoughts that would allow the seeing the whole of BEING or at least the essence of BEING.


But why she has to conceal it from others?


The moment BEING becomes well installed in the heart, every search is over and in deep contentment only a silence pervades the whole personality. Perhaps it is this disposition that comes to prevail that is rendered by Punitavati as concealment from others.



Icon Thinking of Punitavati- 97


BEING as the Burning Fire


The understanding that BEING emerges first all as the Burning Fire of immense strength and to violate Darkness is a very ancient metaphysical insight of the Dravidian folks. We see this in the beginning lines of Suruppaks NeRi and which lines are repeated verbatim in many other SumeroTamil classics like Gilgames Epic and so forth. There we have BEING emerging as Mu-eri, PaNdu-eri and so forth and all to violate the Primordial Darkness - the mai-iri (= gi-iri). Perhaps the Fire Worshipping Zoroastrians and Vedic Rishies who concentrated on AGNI worship sustained this insight.


Saivism retains this ancient metaphysical insight in its true perspective - BEING plays the game of BURNING as Fire to violate the darkness and let there be LIGHT and with that PRESENCE of the entities that inhere without any shapes in the WOMB of Darkness, the Malam the Mai-iri, the pre-existent Darkness.


As part of Icon Thinking pertaining to the Icon of Siva , Punitavati attends to Icon of Siva Nadarajah where He holds Burning Fire in one of His hands to indicate all these. Among the various dances of Siva, there is one where He plays FIRE just to let there be presence of objects so that LEARNING and getting illuminated can become real.




ĸ Ƣ 򾡧¡

񼡧¡ -

â ()


(- . Ţ.)


â - (ͼŢ) Ħ . - ǡ . - âš




§! ʧ 측 ġ ĸ 򾡧¡? Ţ â ¡ ¢ š 측째 Ũ¢ 򾡧¡? ¢ , Ħġ Ţ â ɡ ġ ȡ ¢ Ȣ¡ ȡ Ȣ .




maRaittu Ulakam eezinum vaittaayoo anReel

uRaippoodu ubkaik koNdaayoo - niRaittidu

uLaintu ezuntu niiyerippa muuvulakum uLpuk(ku)

aLaitezunta centii yazal.




O Lord! Though you show that your essential form is that of Burning Fire, why you have concealed this in the whole cosmos? Is it because you are just satisfied with indicating symbolically by holding on your hand the Fire burning resplendently? The truth appears to be that in the form of Great Fire that burns feverishly you have penetrated the whole cosmos burning away all the dark forces.




As part of Icon Thinking Punitavati now pays attention to the Icon of Siva where He holds brilliantly burning fire in His hands and by which He shows as the Dancer, the Dancing Lord. What can be the MEANING of it all?


As the DESTROYER but of the forces of darkness that forever DISALLOW the presence of things, BEING first of all BURNS away these dark forces so that they are weakened and in that weakness those things hitherto in the womb of darkness begin to enjoy presence. The living creatures slowly assume a body withing the presence of things and with that also slowly LEARN, destroy the darkness within and EVOLVE into higher life forms.


But BEING conceals this form of His indicating only symbolically by the burning TORCH he holds in his hands. Punitavati is puzzled as to why BEING should conceal this form of His even though thats how He is present at the most primordial metaphysical layer.


The fact is the human mind, being very feeble, requires more human like Icons for it to be comfortable in its metaphysical excursions. This true essence of BEING is disclosed only to the metaphysical matured and as only one of His Ways of BEING in the world.




Icon Thinking of Punitavati- 98&99


The Destroyer is the Most Powerful


We have seen that the Dravidian metaphysics in being Natural Metaphysics is also a Pyramidal One, a metaphysics where there are hierarchies - with steps and stages and all leading to a PEAK, the Kailas. It is not an accident that most of the temples are built on Hill tops and this even as early as the Sumerian times where they had e-kur, i.e. il KunRu, the hill temple as is the case even now in Pazani ParankuNram Tiruppati and so forth.


There is a hidden and concealed metaphysics in all these and each time a temple is raised with a pyramidal tower, this metaphysics is also given a concrete form - it comes alive and informs and forms the understanding of the people. This metaphysical understanding being pyramidal is also hierarchical with the understanding that BEING is right at the top as the Supreme Power.


But who can be the Supreme Power? The one who DESTROYS all and hence who is also the One who regenerates all. It is this DESTRUTION that leads them to recognize the most authentic shape of BEING as FIRE, for among the natural elements it is the Fire that destroys all.


But for Punitavati, there are TWO kinds of Dance of Destruction with Fire- one the destruction of all evil forces and to delight of the ghosts and the other the destruction of aging and senility and this to the utter delight of Uma, the firm-breasted youthful maiden forever ready to copulate and conceive so that the earth will be filled with all forms of life.





ġ 󾧾

Ƹ šȡ - ġ

¡ ɢ

¡š .


(- .Ţ.)


ġ - ţ ġ - Ţ




Ƣ š ţ , , ¢ ͼâ ġ Ţ¡ Ţ¡ ! ¢ 󾧾 ɧ , ȧ?




azalaada aGkai civantatoo aGkai

azakaal azal civanta vaaRoo - kazalaadap

peeyaadu kaaniR piRaGka anal eentit

tiiyaaduvaay itanaic ceppu




O Lord who dances the Dance of Destruction along with the ghosts that eat up the dead bodies in cremation grounds with your anklets sounding loud and holding the Fire in your hands, tell me! Is it because the flames are red that your hands are read or is it because your hands were already red and because of that the Fire itself is red in color?




Ө¡ š θ()

ž š - 즸




(- Ţ.)


- š . š - š ŧ. θ- θ. ȡ - (¡ ¡) Ƣ¢




ﺢ šԨ š Ƣ Ũ¢ ¡즸 š! ¡ ǨĢŢ Ө¡ǡ š â θ ȡ š ? ġ.




ceppu een_tu iLamulaiyaaL kaaNavoo tiippaddukaad(du)

appeeyk kaNam avaitaaG kaaNavoo _ ceppenakkonRu

aakattaal aGkaantu anal umizum aivaaya

n_kaattaay aadum n_dam




O Lord who has the snake with five faces emitting Fire from their open mouths and who dances the dance of destruction, tell me! Do you dance this DANCE for Uma, the one-half of you with young and firm breasts to see or for the ghosts in cremation grounds where the corpses are singed to ashes to see?




Saivism from very ancient days has been concerned with DEATH not only of the living creatures but also the whole universe. The Power that destroys all has to be the same Power that regenerates all. Not only that - from this it follows that this BEING, called Siva is also that which self-destroys and self-regenerates and the One who no one as the Above, hence the unparalleled supreme. Saiva Metaphysical thinking rests securely with this fundamental metaphysical insight and which is also the TRUTH and hence confident that it has attained the Siddhanta, the Final Truth.


However Punitavati is puzzled, and also seems to be confused. Why BEING dances of Dance of Destruction throwing FIRE everywhere? Is it for the ever-youthful Uma to see or for the ghosts in the cremation grounds to rejoice?


If it is to please Uma, the destruction is the destruction of Death Bringing poisonous stuff and so that man or creatures in general can be forever YOUTHFUL and hence virile to the utter happiness of the ever youthful and sexual Uma, the Young Woman with firm breasts that are symbols of sexuality.


Now if it is to please the ghosts then it must be the destruction of the EVIL forces so that the good ones can prosper. The ghosts are always waiting for the evildoers to fall off in premature death so that they can devour them and appease their hunger and in that also free the world for the good ones.


Both these themes are available within the notion of the Dance of Destruction of Siva and which is celebrated beautifully in the hymns of Punitavati, who called herself, interestingly enough, the Ghost of Kaaraikkaal





Icon Thinking of Punitavati- 100


The Meaning of the Bull of Siva


It is quite amazing that there should be a continuity so striking as this between the Icon Thinking of En Hudu Anna (c. 2300 BC) and Punitavati (c. 500 AD). What En Hudu Anna attributed to In-Anna as KoRRavai, we see here Punitavati attributing to the Bull of Siva, which also existed in Sumerian times as the Bull of Heaven. What is the source of the amazing similarity?


It is certainly Natural Metaphysics - it is taking the whole of Cosmos as TEXT and reading at and seeing in the various chapters continuously being written the workings of BEING, that of In-Anna in the case of En Hudu Anna, that of the Bull of Siva in the case of Punitavati.


36. igi-hus-a-za    la-ba-su-ge-es-a
    They who do not walk(?) in your terrible glance



37. sag-ki-hus-a-za     sag nu-mu-un-de-ga-ga
    Who dare not proceed before your terrible countenance


38. sa-ib-ba-za     a-ba i-te-en-te-en
    Who can temper your raging heart?

    () Ń ¡


39. sa-hul-gal-la-za     te-en-te-bi-mah-a
    Your malevolent heart is beyond tempering

    () ǃ

The igi-hus-a and sag-ki-hus-a stand to compare with Nookkil ticai veem ( the whole world would burn if You just look at them (with fiery eyes)) and so forth.

This is a kind Historiography - the study of historical events - the natural and social and understanding them NOT as simply geographical and geological events but rather as the ACTS of BEING. The Saivites see everything in Nature including the disasters as ACTS of BEING and with that console themselves with the thought it must be for the good of mankind for BEING is gold-like - Pure and Loving.



츢 츢 Ȣ

츢 ĸ -

ȡ ȡ ɡ ()

ȡ ȡ .


(- . Ţ.)


. - . - . -¢. ȡ = â ȡ . ȡ - է. -ʧ§ȡ.




§! ¡¡ ɡ Ƣ Ţɡ ĸ Ƣ츨 ﺢ . Ѿ ŢƢ š 츢 ġ Ȣ â . ʦ Ţ , ĸ Ţ . ɡ ɡ š 츢 ħ¡ ĸ վ 츢 ȧġ? ¢â վ Ƣ Ũ¢ Ţ¡ ȡ? ¢ ǡ ǡ ƢŢ ȡ? š ƢŢ Ŧġ 째 ɡ! Ȣ ǢŢ!




n_dakkiR padi n_duGkum n_ookkiR Ricai veem

idikkil ulakanaittum eeGkum- adukkal

porum eeRoo aan eeRoo ponnoppaay n_nneeRu

urum eeRoo anRoo urai.




O my Lord who resembles the Pure Gold! When you arise from Yoga of deep contemplation and begin to walk, the whole universe shudders with fear of the impending destructions and changes. When you just look at them with your Third Eye every thing burn to ashes. When you thunder the whole world becomes eager for your pacified calm state. Now tell me which among these forms of the BULL which really that of yours? Is it the Immense Power that makes the mountains collide? Or is the Power that creates wars among the people and living things and destroy themselves in vain battles? Or is it the Power that roars as the storms and earthquakes in natural disasters?




The BULL of Siva, one of the most ancient religious symbols of mankind is a Form of Power of Siva - the Energy that He unleashes upon the world and causes destruction and regeneration. The world is never of the same structure and hence continuity and sustenance of the SAME is impossible despite valiant efforts of man to do so - to arrest change, introduce permanent structures and freeze it for eternity.


There are upheavals of all kinds - social, political, geographical, geological and what not. The world as a whole is never static - there is change and development and a kind of continuity in all these. Some fundamentals get adumbrated while others are wiped out.


Fittingly in this last verse Punitavati attends to these aspects of world history and seeks to understand them in a grand and unified vision in which the BULL of Siva comes to her thoughts as a symbol of the ENERGY unleashed. The BULL is Power, the Energy that he unleashes throughout the cosmos writing destruction but only for introducing novelties. Unless the existent is destroyed the hidden and concealed cannot be given an opportunity to enjoy presence.


While people may shudder at seeing all these expressions of Power or Energy that are destructive but they also acquiesce themselves in the understanding that ultimately all are the acts of BEING who is Gold-like i.e. Pure and full of Love for all.





Icon Thinking of Punitavati- 101


The Redeeming Words of the Ghost


In this epilogue that Punitavati herself has written, she calls herself a Ghost that roams around the city of Kaaraikkaal. We must recall that earlier Azwars (c. 5th cent AD) also called themselves Peey or Puutam, a ghost - the Peey Azwar Puutataazwar and so forth. But why ghosts and NOT the divine beings as was also the case even in ancient times where people called themselves as Agastiyar and so forth because they believed they were possessed by the deity Agastiya and so forth.


Obviously the phenomenon they allude to is that of the shamanistic experiences where through a kind of music with rhythmic drum beat and dancing, they enter into a trance and allow themselves to be possessed by the gods. They lose their personal identity temporarily and lend their body and mind to the deity that takes over. This is the phenomenon of aaveesam and which is the technique of some kind of the Siddhas to cure the sick with the help of the gods.


Punitavati becomes something like this possessed person but what possesses her is not just a deity but the whole of the Metaphysical Realm. Also it is not a trance that lasts only for a while but rather something PERMANENT. Relieved from the holds of the body, her soul enjoys a FREEDOM to roam around the metaphysical world and in that DEAD to the desires, including the sexual, of ordinary individuals.


But what distinguishes this metaphysical way of life from the shamanic is that there is Hermeneutic Interrogation, seeking out the MEANINGS of the icons and their constituents so that there is LEARNING of metaphysical truths and through that destroying the inherent and pre-existent IGNORANCE, the Anjnjaanam. The presence of Icon Thinking and meditations is that which makes Punitavati though a GHOST but also a philosopher, the genuine metaphysician who destroys the metaphysical ignorance.


It is this implicit admission of IGNORANCE and hence the desire to LEARN that makes her call herself a GHOST rather than a Rishi, a Messiah, a Jagadacariya and so forth. She is a learner of metaphysical truths and one who also informs others of what she has learnt this hard way. She dos not have any pretence to be god-like in any way as she opts to be a LEARNER and that too by seeking the Grace of BEING. She is genuinely humble by admitting her ignorance and this is the kind of attitude and enlightenment she brings the world through this collection of immensely charming verses.




¢ɡ 󾡾

Ţɡ 측 - š

á ɡ š



(- Ţ.)


Ţɡ - ո ɡ. á - . ø - ø . ׼ øâ ¡ ׼ Ȣ, ϼ ׼ è ¡ ġɡ.




¢ɡ , 측 â ¡ â , ڸ Ǣ 󾡾 ǡ  Ĩ . Ǣ ը Ǣ ɡ á ɡ ը Ǣ š ¡ žȢ¡ Ũ 즸ġ ŧ Ƣġ š.




uraiyinaal immaalai an_taati veNpaak

karaivinaal kaaraikkaaR peey coR - paravuvaar

aaraata anbinoodu aNNalaic cenRu eettuvaar

peeraata kaatal piRantu




I roam around this city of Kaaraikkaal as a ghost and in that condition out of immense love and devotion to Lord Siva has sung these songs in the an_tati VeNba meter. Anyone who studies them and sings them with full understanding will be overcome with non-diminishing LOVE for Siva and will spend their time only praising His Love and Kindness unto all.




These verses are not the usual versifications of an average individual where sexual love, bravery and such worldly things are extolled, as was the case with CaGkam poetry. Though immensely beautiful and moving on their own, but they do not serve to catapult the soul into the metaphysical realms and with that usher the anma into the heavenly sort of life where the anxieties of ordinary life, the fear of death and so forth do not assail the soul and cause mental depressions of the gravest sort.


When a person becomes a ghost, he is DEAD to the physical world and in that immensely alive to metaphysical. To be alive but without attachment to the body and hence anything physical is the condition of being a Peey, a ghost and this is the state of Being-in-the World that Punitavati has attained and because of which she calls herself a ghost.


This garland of songs, where the final word of the intial verse constitutes the initial word of the following verse, a new kind of meter that came into birth at the time of Punitavati Poykai Azwar and so forth, is the expression of her metaphysical odyssey in which she interrogate BEING particularly His Icons and through which she gains metaphysical illuminations of outstanding depths and out of which she also understand BEING-as-LOVE and that only out of LOVE for all that He does whatever that crystallize as various events in the life of individual - some painful and some joyous. But what emerges most clearly is that even the happenings that bring about immensely painful experiences in the course of ordinary existence, like Punitavati being deprived of domestic happiness, is ultimately for the good of soul. If she was not deprived of the security and happiness of the domestic life and made into a ghost, she certainly would not have indulged in this Icon Thinking and with that enjoy metaphysical illuminations that normally remain concealed.


In becoming the Ghost and venturing into this Metaphysical Odyssey, she has destroyed the inherent Metaphysical Ignorance and thus has succeeded in gaining an understanding of the very meaning of Existence. The quest is over, no more restlessness and anxiety of whatever kind. The only thing that remains to be done is to Praise BEING out of the LOVE for BEING for kindness He has shown throughout the evolutionary movement of the soul in teaching and illuminating so that the soul UNDERSTANDS the TRUTH and accommodates itself to it and in that also enjoys a Saanti, an immense contentment and satisfaction.


All these are contained in these verses and anyone who applies himself or herself arduously to appreciate and understand it all, will also end up with leading the way of life where nothing else but praising BEING would emerge as the most meaningful thing to do.