Author Topic: Kunchitanghri Sthavam - Umapati Sivam  (Read 12797 times)

Subramanian.R

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Kunchitanghri Sthavam - Umapati Sivam
« on: October 17, 2013, 04:02:25 PM »

Kunchitanghri Sthavam is a collection of more than two hundred verses composed by Umapati Sivam, who is a Saivite Saint,
who came later than the sixty three Saiva Saints.  He was a brahmin by birth, was working in Chidambaram temple doing
there pujas for six times in a day, each time after taking bath.  One day he found AruL Nandi Sivam, who was waliking on
the streets of Chidambaram, like a mad man and this man is said to have initiated him for atma sadhana.  kunchitam is the
curved foot Siva-Nataraja, who is dancing with one foot on the Ignorance represented by the demon Apasmara and the
other foot curved and the inner left hand shows that curved foot as it is the refuge and place of moksha. 

Siva has got many forms and one of them is Sarabha, a bird-lion creature, which is said to have quelled the unceasing anger
of Narasimha, after he tore open the stomach of Hiranyakasipu.   Sarabha the bird-lion, embraced Narasimha and made him
overcome his anger after that ghastly anger towards Hiranyakasipu.   The idol of Sarabha called Sarabheswarar can be seen
in a temple in Tribhuvanam, near Kumbakonam.  The idol is also seen in the Nrtta Sabha (dancing hall) of Nataraja.

I shall give one verse from this famous Kunchitanghri Sthavam today and shall, Bhagavan willing, try to cover many verses,
for which English translation is available. 

All the gods trembled in fear of Vishnu
when he took on the body of man-lion,

so Brahma sang His praises and He took on
the excellent body of Sarabha, the king of birds.

Speedily He cut him up with lips of His claws
and adorned Himself with the skin,
illuminating the world with his fangs.

He who grants the wishes of all,
Whose foot is curved,
I worship. 

Arunachala Siva.           

Subramanian.R

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Re: Kunchitanghri Sthavam - Umapati Sivam
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2013, 09:50:59 AM »

Siva is of course is synonymous with yoga.  It is He

on Whose form the best of yogis
constantly meditate in their heart-lotuses.

These specialists aside, Yoga is of universal importance:

Kunchitanghri Sthavam says:

He is the Lord and has given all creatures
two hands to worship the lotus of His feet,
two eyes to see Him,
eloquence to praise all His deeds,
and mind to meditate on Him; -
He ever protects us.
Him Who bears the Ganga as His watery crown,
Whose foot is curved,
I worship. 

Arunachala Siva. 




Subramanian.R

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Re: Kunchitanghri Sthavam - Umapati Sivam
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2013, 11:15:43 AM »
Umapati Sivam himself in the Kuchitanghri Sthavam has moments of excess in praise of his colleagues (the 3000 priests of
of Tillai Temple), in which a degree of self praise might be present for he himself was a priest earlier before he came to
AruL Nandi Sivam, for self investigation. 

He is worshipped
by the three thousand sages in Sabha -
Patanjalis in the science of grammar,

so many venerable KanAdas and AkshapAdas
in the discourses of logic,
embodiment of Vyasa in the Vedanta,
the equals of Kumarila Bhatta in Jaimini's MimAmsA,
veritable Brahmas in the Vedas -

Him the best of teachers,
Whose foot is curved,
I worship.

****

Arunachala Siva.   
BodhAyanas in the techniques of Vedic sacrifices.
 
   

Subramanian.R

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Re: Kunchitanghri Sthavam - Umapati Sivam
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2013, 11:19:50 AM »
Umapati Sivam gives equal importance to Vedas and Agamas.  However, he gives Agamas priority over the Vedas:

At the beginning of the Kalpa there first appeared
from His excellent throat two sounds
'OM, now (atha!', excellent and auspicious,
making known the meaning of the Siddhanta
Afterwards the Vedas and other sacrifices originated;
Brhama, Vishnu and the other gods; all the worlds.

Him Who faces South
the abode of the illuminating sun,
Whose foot is curved,
I worship. 


Arunachala Siva.       

Subramanian.R

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Re: Kunchitanghri Sthavam - Umapati Sivam
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2013, 09:58:56 AM »
Umapati Sivam, in the following verse says that Vedanta and contemplation of Brahman are linked with the general
practice of Saivism.  Siva is the essence of all the 'Vedanta - sarvavedAnta SAram:

Running, constantly running,
to the place that is dear to Him,

adorning, constantly adorning
their bodies with ash and rudraksha beads,

listening, constantly listening
to His deeds that are sung in Vedanta,

performing, constantly performing intently'
worship thee times a day,

the lordly ascetics, absorbed in contemplating Brahman
attain the place of Bhava, that is beyond being.

Him whose foot is curved,
I worship.

Arunachala Siva.   

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Re: Kunchitanghri Sthavam - Umapati Sivam
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2013, 11:39:33 AM »
Umapati Sivam, speaks of Siva and Parvati in this following verse.  Both are concorpoarate as per Saiva Siiddhantam.


Conquering the circle of rays
from the young disc of the sun
with the color of His lower lip --

for it was reddened
by the betel served with longing
by the daughter of the Snow Mountain (Himalayas)
in her eagerness for play --
 in His keeness to display
His skill in music
He's playing the Veena
His moving hand never quits,

Him who is made of the first rasa,
Whose foot is curved, I worship. 

The importance of betel in royal life comes out well with all the Tamizh devotional poetry.  Uma is said to be chewing betel
and spitting the remnants is described in Sri Soundarya Lahari.  Both men and women used betel leaves and nuts at the time
of enjoyment / relaxation in the Hindu civilization.  Saint Kalidasa is said to have taken the spit betel juice into his mouth,
by mother in Ujjain and this made him a great poet. 

rasa here means Sringara rasa, Siva and Uma are the ancient couple and Sringara rasa is the first to come from them.

****

Arunachala Siva.   

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Re: Kunchitanghri Sthavam - Umapati Sivam
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2013, 10:31:22 AM »
Umapati Sivam describes the dance competition of Nataraja and KAli in the following verse:

Pasupati in ancient days
once danced with kAli.

In the assembly of gods and sages,
raising up His foot
and performing the elevated dance
He defeated kAli then
as prelude to her expulsion.

And all gods and chief sages call Him Lord,
and the sinless ones worship Him everyday,
Lord of High Dance.
Him whose foot is curved
I worship.

The High Dance here means urdhva tandavam, where one leg is raise perpendicularly  high towards the sky.  kAli
could not do the same thing, since she is lady.  Thus she lost the competition.

The Tillai (Chidambram) kAli temple is about a mile from Nataraja's dancing hall.

Arunachala Siva.       

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Re: Kunchitanghri Sthavam - Umapati Sivam
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2013, 11:28:39 AM »
Kunchitanghri Sthavam speaks about Sattanatha,  an image of Bhairva in the south wall of Deva Sabha in Chidambaram.
All major Siva  temples have Bhairava and he is called Sattanartha in Chidambaram and also in Sirkazhi.

Sattanatha is also called Kanchuka Natha.  The poet speaks about this form of Siva as follows:

The god who bears the name Bhairva
and stands before a dog*
by Mahadeva's command went
to Vishnu the dwarf** when he became large
and stuck him on he chest with one hand.

Vishnu as the Dwarf
have shrunk his body'
to make his petition in Bali's*** hall of sacrifice ,
and made his body grow from earth to sky
and placed his foot  -- itself in the triple world -
on the demon's crown.

But then he terrified
the whole world with his roaring.
The hosts of gods praised Him
and he slew the dwarf
and ripped out his skeleton
and tore of his skin.
Him Whose foot is curved
I worship.

*  Bhairva always moves with a dog.

** refers to Vamana, an avatara of Vishnu.
   
*** Mahabali, the asura, who was of course a great giver of alms.

       
Arunachala Siva,

Subramanian.R

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Re: Kunchitanghri Sthavam - Umapati Sivam
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2013, 10:43:46 AM »

Kunchitanghri Sthavam speaks of Veerabhadra.  He was depicted as BhadrakAli's assistant in the beheading of Dakha.

Here the poet gives another description of this event, omitting kAli:

Vishnu's chakra lost its fire,
Brahma's heart was in a whirl,
the sun had lost his teeth,
Indra's cheeks were split, Agni lost his flame,
and everyone else lost his life --

He was satisfied
when He saw Virabhadra cut off Daksha's head
and roam the sacrifice ground with the gunas.

Him Whose heart was delighted,
Whose foot is curved,
I worship. 

Arunachala Siva.     

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Re: Kunchitanghri Sthavam - Umapati Sivam
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2013, 11:09:47 AM »
Umapati Sivam, after speaking about the violent forms of Siva, like Bhairava and Sattanatha, now describes KshetrapAla, which
means 'the protector of the holy place.'.  One can see two forms each one one side at the entrance of Siva's sanctum sanctorium.
These are kshetrapAlas. 

Holding in His hand Brahma's skull
that cannot be filled even by pouring into the stream of blood,
flowing from Vishnu's forehead;

with hounds at His side,
His spreading matted locks
reddened by the lustre of the tips of His fangs,

Bhairva as Protector of the Field, KshetrapAla,
protecting the universe from torment, worships Him.

Him, Whose foot is curved.
I worship.

***

Arunachala Siva.       

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Re: Kunchitanghri Sthavam - Umapati Sivam
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2013, 09:16:14 AM »
Kunchitanghri Sthavam of Umapati Sivam, describes another form of Bhairva called Pallisar.  Palli means lizard.


A wicked astrologer who lived on Godavari bank,
was an inveterate liar.

Reborn as a lizard, that rebirth took place
in His holy place thanks to the fraction of merit he had earned.

In order to burn up his inauspicious actions
of falling on people and making ominous sounds
He long worshipped Him with hymns of praise.

By His command he was reborn with a handsome body
and was victorious as the Protector of His Holy Place.

Him who has no equal,
Whose foot is curved,
I worship. 

The image of Pallisar is near Dakshinamurti on the west side of Mula Lingam shrine in Chidambaram.

Arunachala Siva.   

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Re: Kunchitanghri Sthavam - Umapati Sivam
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2013, 10:14:30 AM »
Kunchitanghri Sthavam describes Somaskkanda form of Siva-Uma, i.e a form where the couple is keeping the little Skanda
in between them.  This is more evident in the temple of Tiruvarur, another Siva kshetra.

Once moon crested Siva had betaken Himself
with the Daughter of the Mountain
to the parkland of Kailasa.
As He sat there underneath an indira tree,
He was all at once worshipped by a lordly monkey*

To him he gave universal lordship
and a complete armory of missiles.

I bow to the Lord,
Who wears pArijAta and all other flowers,
and Whose foot is curved. 

(* a King who was born with monkey face, later set right by Siva.  He is musukunda Chakravarti who became an emperor.)

Once it came to pass that Indra, the Lord of Heaven,
had his enemies destroyed by the king with a monkey's face*.
Indra gave him the Tyagaraja** deity
and also sent six other Thyagarajas to the king.

He worshipped these through the first born
in excellent temples at the principal site and all the seven.
I worship Him
Who is the basis of those divine forms,
praised by the throng of Sages,
His foot is curved. 

(** Thyagaraja is the name of deity - Siva Lingam in Tiruvarur) 

Tiruvarur is one place among the few where Siva and Uma are with Somaskanda. 
Somaskanda means = Sa (Siva) Uma (Parvati) and Skanda.

Arunachala Siva.         
 

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Re: Kunchitanghri Sthavam - Umapati Sivam
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2013, 04:50:28 AM »
Kunchtanghri Sthavam of Umapati Sivam describes in this verse the Dance of Bliss (Ananda Tandavam) of Nataraja.
This gives us some idea of the incredible richness of the religious contexts amid which Siva performs the Dance of Bliss.

Performing His dance
in the company of His lotus eyed Sakti,
cutting off the head of Ka, Brahma,1

slaying Time with His lotus foot,2
Love with the eye in His forehead,3
and the Cities with a smile,4
protecting Markandeya, the son of the Brahma Rishi,5
and all the gods.

the Lord praised by the gods, the Lord of Chit Sabha,6
Who has a thousand faces, Whose foot is curved,
Him I praise!   


1. He cut off one head of Brahma for having lied earlier in
Arunachala, for having seen the top of the column of Light.

2. He kicked Yama when Yama came to take away the life of Markandeya in Tirukkadaiyur.
Thus He slayed time by extending the life of Markandeya, the time that was fixed by Yama.

3.  He burnt Manmatha (representing Love, God of Love, by His eye on His forehead.   

4. He smiled and burnt Tripura, the three cities.

5. Protected the life of Markandeya

6. Chit Sabha = Hall of Consciousness, in Chidambaram, where Siva and Sivakamasundari are there.   


***

Arunachala Siva.

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Re: Kunchitanghri Sthavam - Umapati Sivam
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2013, 09:45:36 AM »
lLike Sri Manikkavachagar, Umapati Sivam also glorifies the action of Chandikeswara.  Chandikeswara is the guardian angel of
Siva temples.  One cannot leave Siva temple after the darshan of all deities and then finally praying to Chandikeswara.

Umapati Sivam sings-

A Brahman's lad, tending a herd of cows
pastured on the bank of a river, used their milk
to anoint a Linga made on earth and so please Him.

He was meditating on it
when his worship was interrupted by his father.
In his anger he cut off his father's leg
and continued his worship of Him.
He became the chief of His attendants.

I bow to Him
And worship Him
Whose foot is curved.       

*****

Arunachala Siva.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Kunchitanghri Sthavam - Umapati Sivam
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2013, 09:26:31 AM »
Kunchitanghri Sthavam describes the story of Hunter Kannappar in one of the verses.  Kannappar or later Kannappa Nayanar,
is one of the 63 Saiva Saints.  He is said to have prayed to Siva in Kalahasti and attained mukti in six days.  VaLLalar Ramalinga
Swamigal has praised his bhakti in one of his poems.

Once a certain hunter
on a mighty mountain
where the woods were thick with animals
beheld His Lordly Linga*

and performed puja to it
with mouthfuls of water,
the flowers he carried in his hair,
and the remains of meat he had eaten.

In his intense devotion
he placed his own excellent eye
as a substitute for His eye.

He went to Sivapuram (moksham)

I bow to Him
And worship Him
whose foot is curved.

* Siva in the Linga form in Kalahasti is called Kalahasti Nathar or Kalatti Nathar in Tamizh.

Arunachala Siva.