KumaraGuruparar Swamigal || A Motivational Story Of a Powerful Saint who was having an Astra ||

Kumaragurupara Desikar (c. 17th century) or Kumaraguruparar was a powerful saint, poet and Saivite ascetic connected with the Dharmapuram Adheenam.

KumaraGuruparar Desikar || A Motivational Story Of a Powerful Saint who was having an Astra ||

Kumaraguruparar
BornSrivaikuntam, Thoothukudi
Pen nameKumaraguruparar
OccupationPoet and Saivite ascetic
Periodc. 17th century
Notable worksSakalakalavalli Maalai, Muththukkumaraswami Pillai Tamil, Tiruvarur Nanmani Malai
RelativesShanmukha Sikhamani Kavirayar and Sivakama-Sundari Ammaiyar

 

Whenever the teachings of this important religion seemed to weaken due to different beliefs, a remarkable saint, sage, or wise person would emerge. By the grace of God Siva, they would revive and strengthen the fading light, ensuring it burned brightly. In the history of the Tamil land, these appearances of saints or sages have been continuous, like a row of banana plants. Saint Kumaraguruparar is a part of this unbroken line of spiritual leaders.

EARLY LIFE OF RESPECTED SAINT KUMARGURUPARAR DESIKAR

Kandar Kalivenba is a classic from the 17th century, written by Kumaragurupara Swamigal, a devoted Saiva ascetic. Born in 1625 A.D. to Shanmukha Sikhamani Kavirayar and Śivakami Ammaiyar, he belonged to a Saiva Vellala family in Srivaikuntam, close to the Tambaraparani River, about nineteen miles from Tiruchendur.

Kumaragurupara Swamigal faced a unique challenge as a child. Until he turned five, he couldn’t speak. His parents, who had prayed fervently to Muruga of Tiruchendur for a child, were worried. To seek a solution, they performed penance at Tiruchendur. However, even after months, the boy showed no signs of speech.

Faced with despair and a determined deadline, the parents decided to drown themselves and the child in the sea if he didn’t speak by a specific day.

As they entered the waves, going deeper and deeper, a miraculous event occurred. A figure appeared, holding a flower, and asked the child about it.

The boy-saint was blessed with the beautiful and vivid vision of the Lord Murugan “With twelve arms, the sharp spear, with handsome little feet, with twelve eyes bestowing grace, with six blooming faces and radiant crown on His six heads.” 

In that critical moment, the child began praising the Lord with the lines:

“Pūmēvu cenkamalap puttēLuntēRRiya Pāmēvu teyvap pazhamaRaiyum….”

Did you all notice one thing? Lord Murugan had replied to the child that what is this ? That means lord murugan wants to say to the child why are you not speaking purposely? Your Parents have worried so much that they Compelled to suicide into the sea.

That means the boy saint was acting so far and purposely not uttering a single word because, the saint want the darshan of lord murugan.

Actually the saint wanted to speak only when himself lord murugan came to him, this child was special to lord murugan in his previous birth that is the reason behind the scenario. This is the special language, everyone needs to understand the love towards our God.

These words marked the end of the child’s silence and became a beautiful expression of devotion to the Lord. The story showcases the transformative power of faith and the divine connection between Kumaragurupara Swamigal and Tiruchendur.

This poem, called  “Kandar Kalivenba” , is a beautiful piece that praises the Lord and shares the truths of Saiva Siddhanta. Even today, it is believed that reciting this poem with enthusiasm can protect a person from various evils.

After the amazing event in Tiruchendur, the young saint, blessed with divine powers, returned to Srivaikuntam.

The poet, Kumarakuruparar, learned Tamil from his father, Sanmukacikāmani Kavirayar, and became proficient in it with divine grace. As he grew up, he adopted a simple life, left his home, and traveled across Tamil Nadu, visiting important pilgrimage sites and composing poems about the deities there.

His devotion to God and his desire to serve others were as natural as the scent in flowers, and they continued to grow strong.

While in Srivaikuntam, he revered Lord Kailasanathar, his birthplace, through a poetic composition called Kailai Kalambakam. Unfortunately, only eight stanzas of this composition have survived for us to study and enjoy today.

The first two songs emphasize the significance of prayer and devotion to Lord Vaikuntha Kailasar, assuring us of bliss and freedom from the burdens of karma. The remaining songs highlight the beauty of nature around Kailasapuram and the cosmic dance of Lord Kailasanathar.

Driven by his divine mind, he chose not to be entangled in worldly affairs. Thus, he embarked on a pilgrimage, visiting and worshipping at famous Siva Shrines in the Pandyan territory, including Tirunelveli, Thirukkuttalam, Rameswaram, Tiruppuvanam, and Tiruparankundram.

As he neared Madurai, a large number of Saiva devotees welcomed him with great pomp. He stayed in a specially arranged Mutt with fellow devotees, worshipping the Lord of Aalavoi, who originated and presided over the first Tamil Sangam.

While in Madurai, at the request of devoted locals and fueled by his own deep devotion, Kumaraguruparar spontaneously composed a Pillai Tamil dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi.

In this poetic piece, the author portrays the divine mother as the miraculous child of Pandyan King Malayathuvajan, as described in the Tiruvilaiyadal Puranam (Divine Sports), capturing various stages of her infancy.

During this time, the renowned Thirumalai Nayak was the ruler of Madurai. In a dream, Goddess Meenakshi appeared before him and instructed him about the Pillai Tamil composed by Kumaraguruparar.

The King, astonished, learned of the poet’s presence in Madurai from his ministers, who shared details of Kumaraguruparar’s childhood, divine visions, and profound knowledge.

The King, accompanied by his ministers, approached Kumaraguruparar, conveyed the divine command of Goddess Meenakshi, and requested him to give discourses on his MEENAKSHI AMMAI PILLAI TAMIL. The poet agreed, and the King made elaborate arrangements for the discourse.

The exposition of the Pillai Tamil began in the front hall of the Meenakshi Temple on an auspicious day, with a large audience, including the King. On the fifth day, while explaining the fifth section, Goddess Meenakshi, moved by the exposition, assumed the form of the temple priest’s daughter.

She entered the assembly hall, sat on the King’s lap, and gracefully adorned the poet with a pearl garland, disappearing instantly to the surprise and ecstasy of everyone present.

Kumaraguruparar, in his heartfelt invocation, fervently prayed for eternal bliss. The Nayak King, delighted, showered the poet with gifts, adorned him with gold and gem ornaments, and requested him to stay longer. During this extended period, the poet composed MADURAI KALAMBAKAM in praise of Lord Siva in Madurai.

Later, Kumaraguruparar continued his pilgrimage northward, worshiping in Chola territory shrines, and arrived in Tiruchirappalli. There, the ruling Nayak King welcomed him with honors.

During a palace conversation with Pillaiperumal Iyengar, a vaishnava poet, the King sought their suggestions for a suitable symbol on his gold currency. While Iyengar proposed “garuda,” Kumaraguruparar suggested the “Bull,” explaining its resilience in the face of obstacles. The pleased King ordered the Bull to be engraved on all coins.

This incident sparked a religious debate between the followers of Vaishnavism and Saivism, led by Pillaiperumal Iyengar and Kumaraguruparar. Although our Saint was usually above such religious disputes, he agreed to participate in order to uphold truth and the supremacy of Saiva Siddhanta Philosophy.

In the end, he emerged victorious in the debate held by the Nayak King of Tiruchirappalli.

After some time, he continued his journey northward, visiting various sacred shrines. He reached Tiruvarur, the place of Kamalai Gnanaprakasar, the divine Preceptor of Gurugnanasambandar, the founder of the Dharmapuram Aadheenam.

There, he worshiped God Siva in the ancient Poonkoil temple and composed “Thiruvarur Naanmani Maalai” in praise of the Lord.

The history of Tamil Devotional Literature shows that this form of worship has been practiced since ancient times, even before the Sangam period. Quotes from St. Thiruvalluvar and songs in the Paripaadal, a Sangam work, attest to this.

Saint Thirumoolar expressed that the nectar of songs is as meritorious as the sweetness of milk offered in worship. This form of worship is considered the easiest, as it doesn’t require elaborate rituals. All that’s needed is the willingness to praise the Lord by repeating the devotional songs sung by saints and devotees before us.

Kumaraguruparar’s songs are a precious part of the rich collection of devotional poetry in our language.

In “Thiruvarur Naanmani Malai,” we find vivid descriptions of the ancient town Thiruvarur, once the capital of the Chola Kings. The songs cover the greatness of the temple, its history, the famous hall called Thevasiriyan where devotees gather, the grace of Lord Thiagaraja, and divine references about Him.

Notably, the work recounts an episode where God Siva intervened to pacify the anger of Paravaiyar for the sake of His friend and devotee Sundramurthy Nayanar.

Kumaraguruparar, known for his imaginative descriptions, introduces a new perspective in the eighth song by providing an interesting description of the Arthanari form of God Siva. He praises the uniqueness of the form in Tiruvarur and prays for its everlasting grace.

The poet also refers to Yama, the god of death, expressing that those devoted to the Lord will not fear death. He vividly describes Yama as a fisherman capturing souls and prays for strength to escape Yama’s grip and dwell in the waters of the Lord’s grace.

In song 24, Kumaraguruparar majestically describes the mysterious ways the Lord answers prayers, sometimes seeming conflicting to human minds. He emphasizes that the true meaning of the Lord’s divine activities is beyond human comprehension.

The poet also touches upon the concept of God Siva being free from births and deaths, noting that the Lord delays in granting requests due to His ignorance of the sufferings of mortal life. The all-pervading nature of the Lord is highlighted in song 23, stating that He dwells in Aarur, meaning He is present everywhere.

Kumaraguruparar underscores the importance of Tamil by recounting an episode from the life of St. Sundarar, where the Lord preferred a garland of words over a garland of flowers. The poet excels in emphasizing the significance of Tamil in gaining the Lord’s Grace.

It is also mentioned that Kumaraguruparar engaged in a dispute with Saivites at Tiruvarur who claimed equality of souls with God in the state of release (Siva-samvadins).

He explained the futility of their stand and later visited Dharmapuram Aadheenam, meeting its Pontiff, Masilamani Desikar, the fourth in the line of the Founder Gurugnanasambanda Desikar.

After engaging in a delightful conversation with the esteemed Desikar for some time, Kumaraguruparar was kindly asked to explain the profound experiences embedded in the song “ஆனை மலர்கள் போல” from Periapuranam.

This surprised Kumaraguruparar, not because he didn’t understand the song’s meaning, but because divine experiences are to be felt and enjoyed, beyond mere verbal description. Suddenly, he recalled the divine voice of Lord Senthilandavan and realized that Masilamani Desikar was his destined Guru, under whose guidance he should receive initiation (diksha) and divine knowledge.

In humble reverence, Kumaraguruparar immediately prostrated before Desikar and fervently prayed to be accepted as his disciple. The Desikar instructed him to visit Varanasi before initiation, but upon Kumaraguruparar’s request, he was allowed to go to Chidambaram and stay for forty days before returning.

Embarking on his pilgrimage to Chidambaram, Kumaraguruparar visited Vaitheeswaran Koil. The Lord of this temple, Vaithianathar, is known as the master-physician, curing not only physical ailments but also the incurable disease of the soul, anavam.

Devotees like Jatayu and the Vedas have worshiped here, and Lord Muruka is adored as Selva Muthukumaraswamy. Tradition holds that Lord Muruka directed Kumaraguruparar in a dream to compose “Pillai Tamil” (MUTHUKUMARASWAMY PILLAI TAMIL) in His praise, a song that holds a prominent place among such compositions.

Subsequently, Kumaraguruparar proceeded to Chidambaram after worshiping at the renowned shrine of Sirkali, the place of Saint Thirugnanasambandar.

At Chidambaram, he experienced the divine vision of Nataraja and stayed for forty days, as ordered by his Gnana-guru, Masilamani Desikar. During this time, he composed ‘Chithambara Mummani Kovai,” a collection of verses praising Lord Nataraja.

Devotees and Tamil enthusiasts at Chidambaram requested Kumaraguruparar to compose a garland of verses covering all types of songs found in Tamil Grammar’s Prosody chapter.

They sought songs related to the divine aspects of God Siva, rather than those centered on Jainism, as was common in grammar examples of that time. Responding to their request, Kumaraguruparar composed “Chitambara Ceyyul Kovai,” a garland praising God Siva, the Supreme Dancer.

An anecdote accompanies the creation of Chithambara Ceyyul Kovai. Some individuals at Chidambaram doubted Kumaraguruparar’s knowledge of Tamil grammar, as he was primarily known as a divine poet. In response, Kumaraguruparar, with a smile, advised his devotees to ignore such comments.

To fulfill the Saivites’ long-felt need and recognizing the immense benefits of singing praises to the Lord, he improvised Chithambara Ceyyul Kovai. To address the critics, he added explanatory notes after each song, describing their grammatical features.

This work stands out as a masterpiece in both literature and grammar among Tamil language enthusiasts. It is also mentioned that he engaged in a religious debate with the Ekanmavadins (monists) at Chidambaram, emphasizing that it is a grave mistake to consider the soul, plagued by ignorance and imprudence, as the all-powerful Almighty.

Unfortunately, this notion continues to captivate the minds of many, hindering their spiritual growth.

Now The Main Story begins Here, Saint KumarGuruparar left for Varanasi, to establish kashi Mutt. ( The saint on a lion )

The Vishwanath temple at Kashi was in the hands of the Muslims. No puja was held and it was locked. He went to the Nawab of Kashi and requested to hand over the temple to him.

The Nawab who was on the throne made him stand without giving him a seat and spoke. Through translators he understood what Kumaragurupara was saying. Even after understanding, he smiled arrogantly.

“Old man… I don’t understand what you are saying. It seems that you are asking for some donation. But I don’t know what donation.

If I ask in my language, I will understand. Ask me in my language… I will give you” he said and got up. The Nawab’s council laughed at Kumaragurupara. Kumaragurupara also laughed.

Sages are simple. They accept all kinds of insults with gusto. Those who are not angry. He will not speak disparagingly of anyone, be it a king, a monster, a scholar, or a learned scholar.

No sage ever asked for alms for himself. The hands of the sage always ask for charity for others. He thinks only for the town.

Gnani is simple. He should not be looked down upon for that simplicity. For many wealthy people, this simplicity is incomprehensible.

Put the stage a little higher… the world comes under him. This is the downfall of many rulers.

The rise to power is characterized by incessant trickery, countless betrayals, and riotous violence. Even if he has any of these three, he doesn’t get a good night’s sleep. How can a person with all three sleep?

How can peace reside in one who does not sleep deeply? Anyone who is restless easily insults others. This unrest is the reason why the rulers humiliated everyone.

The next day dawned. The elders of the Kashi nation gathered in the hall. Scholars who sang songs, dancing girls, reciters of poetry in Arabic, and reciters of God’s praises in that language gathered.

“Where is that Madurai old man…?” Nawab inquired.

“He has gone to study Arabic.” Someone said, and the congregation laughed.

“So… tell me he won’t return to this side even for a lifetime…” The council laughed again.

“His age has changed. He should go to God and learn Arabic.” Someone said, and again the congregation laughed.

“Damn… If I had known this, I wouldn’t have sent you empty-handed… I would have given you something for the journey…”

“What can the Nawab give on the way to see the Lord…” A great Arab poet raised doubts.

“A few whips…” a subaltern sputtered. Again the Nawab’s council laughed.

“So… you mean he’ll never come…”

“Come on man.. Hindus believe in reincarnation. That Madurai old man will die and be reborn in this same Kashi as an ox. He will carry your dirty clothes. Wait till then.

Nawab couldn’t stop laughing. “Do you mean Madurai old man will come as a beast…”

“Yes… yes…” said the cheering congregation.

A lion’s roar was heard at the door. Everyone turned around in shock. A mature Ansingham entered the congregation with fangs and fangs.. red eyes.

Kumaragurupara was sitting on the lion with both his legs hanging and holding its rump. He looked like a male lion sitting on a male lion.

His gray hair, his turban, his long white belly-length beard, his pious face, and his untamed body in severe celibacy made him look like a lion.

The male lion was followed by three lionesses and their cubs. The Nawab’s council broke up and raised its leg. The Nawab drew his sword and stood nervously.

“What is this…” he shouted.

“Yesterday you didn’t give us a seat to sit on. So we brought the seat with us.”

“This is Asana… Isn’t this a lion…”

“This is the lion. This is my seat because I am sitting on it. My throne. There is also a lion in your seat. But, puppet lion. You are the puppet sitting on the puppet. I am the life sitting on the life. Do you understand what I am saying…”

The lion leaped and stood near the Nawab to sit on an empty seat. Nawab dropped the knife and screamed in fear.

A lioness was sitting on his seat. passed urine Other lions circled the assembly. The congregation was deserted. The cheering crowd ran to save themselves. No praise in the world is near in times of danger.

Kumaragurupara called the lions, “Come here…”. Lions sat at his feet. The Nawab sat proudly at the foot of the throne.

Kumaragurupara was watching him. His eyes were smiling. Face wrinkles smile. Magazine shops laughed. The ear rings smiled. The turbans he wore as a garland smiled.

Nawab saluted. Please forgive me for speaking without knowing who you are. My impatience and the incompetence of my congregation have caused you to weigh wrongly. Again I beg your pardon…” He said Salam again.

“Please tell me, what do you want me to do?”

“The Kashi Viswanath temple should be opened. I should be allowed to build a monastery on the banks of the Ganges.”

“I said I would if you spoke my language.”

“I speak your own language now. You understand and answer me without anyone’s help…”

“Yes. You speak in Persian. You speak with perfect grammar. How… how is this possible?”

“God.”

“Which Lord… is your Lord…”

“There may be things that are yours and mine. God is common to all. All language is dust under God’s feet.”

“Did the Lord train overnight?”

“He gave it in an instant.”

“Would you kneel down and pray…”

I composed a book of poems called ‘Sakalakalavalli Malai’. I prayed to God in that poetry book.

“Salaam to you again. Is this Nawab the only one who has wild lions under his feet? Kashi Vishwanath temple is yours. It will be opened and the key will be given to you. You can worship.

We have built a mosque inside the temple and we ask for permission to keep that mosque as ours…” Nawab spoke humbly.

By reading this Story, Saint KumarGuruparar conveys one important message but before that I would like to clarify one thing about the movie Brahmastra.

In that movie, the director of that Movie tried to explain about the In ancient India, a group of sages in the Himalayas collide with the energy Brahm-shakti, which produces many celestial weapons of great power called astras. The strongest among them, the Brahmāstra, has the capacity to destroy the world. The sages use their respective astras to tame the unstable Brahmāstra and become the Brahmansh, a secret society to protect the world from the powers of astras.

So basically that one of the astra having Saint KumarGuruparar, he would be one of the Perfect Example Of Powers Of that Astra which could be able to taming animals Or You get the power to control the animals.

Setting up Kasi Mutt and Dedicated Service

When Dara, the king, asked Kumaraguruparar how he could assist him, the saint, whose devotion was solely to God, requested land in Kasi to establish a mutt and serve Saivism. The king generously offered the saint the freedom to choose a location of his preference.

Kumaraguruparar expressed his desire to restore the Kedhar Eashwaraswamy Temple in Kedarnath. He predicted that a kite (Garudan) would circle the area needed for the mutt. As foretold, a kite appeared, marking the region encompassing the Kedhar Eashwaraswamy Temple and adjacent land for the mutt’s construction. Dara willingly provided the land for this purpose.

Kumaraguruparar took on the task of renovating the Kedhar Eashwara, which had previously been damaged by religious intolerance. In the Kumaraswamy Mutt he established, he imparted teachings on the splendor of Shaivite philosophy, laying the groundwork for the subsequent restoration of the revered Lord Vishwanath and Lord Panduranga temples.

Devotees offered valuable items to the saint, who, in turn, took them to his guru in Dharmapuram. However, Desikar declined to accept these offerings, instructing Kumaraguruparar to utilize them for the spiritual upliftment of the people in Kasi. Following this guidance, Kumaraguruparar used the materials to propagate the message of Shaivism.

He visited Dharmapuram four times to pay homage to his guru. It’s noted that Kumaraguruparar delivered discourses on Kamba Ramayanam, inspiring figures like the renowned Hindi poet Tulasidas, who went on to write Ramcharitamanas. Kumaraguruparar spent thirty years in Kasi from 1658 to 1688, steadfastly spreading the glory of Shaivism and providing crucial support to Hinduism during challenging times.

He attained Samadhi in Kasi on the third day after the full moon in May 1688. Kumaraguruparar’s significant contributions to sustaining Hinduism will be remembered alongside his beautiful compositions by future generations.

Adoption of an Ascetic Lifestyle

Upon joining the Dharmapuram mutt, he delved deeply into the Saiva Siddhanta system and dedicated himself to enhancing his knowledge of Tamil. Recognizing his profound learning and sincere commitment to an ascetic life, the mutt’s leaders honored him with the title “Tambiran.”

Following his guru’s advice, he went to Kasi, spreading the Saivism message, renovating the Kedareswar temple, and establishing a mutt. He remained in Kasi until his passing. On June 27, 2010, the Indian Postal department released a commemorative postage stamp in his honor.

Literary contributions

His contributions are

  • Sakalakalavalli Maalai – In praise of Saraswati
  • Muththukkumaraswami Pillai Tamil – In praise of Murugan
  • Tiruvarur Nanmani Malai
  • Madurai Kalambakam and
  • Meenakshi Pillai Tamil – In praise of Meenakshi
  • Sivakami Ammai Irattai Mani Malai
  • Chidhambara Cheyyul Kovai
  • Kandar Kalivenba In praise of Lord Murugan

In all, Kumaraguruparar has composed 14 poems, the best of which, the Nidineri-vilakkam has been translated into English.

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