Composed by the poet ninth century Shaivite bhakti poet Manikkavasagar , it is a central piece of Tamil literature, ranking up there with the Thirukkural by Thiruvallavar . It contains 51 compositions and constitutes the eighth volume of the Tirumurai, the sacred anthology of Tamil Shaiva Siddhanta.
The Thiruvasagar discusses every phase of spiritual path from doubt and anguish to perfect understanding in Shiva, from earthly experience to teacher-disciple relationship and ultimately freedom from rebirth. As a devotional literature, it finds alternatives between joy and sorrow.
As the legend goes, Thiruvasagam is the only work which is signed by lord Siva.
There is a famous saying in Tamil,
|“||” திருவாசகத்துக்கு உருகார் ஒரு வாசகத்திற்கும் உருகார்”||”|
translating to “He whose heart is not melted by Thiruvasagam cannot be melted by any vasagam(saying)“
Legend has it that Manikkavasakar was appointed as minister by king Arimarttanar and sent to purchase 10,000 horses from Arab traders but spent the money building a temple in Tirupperunturai, converting the reigning monarch to Shaivism.
A rough translation of a part of Thiruvasagam by the late Canadian scholar George Udlow Pope, reads thus:
“ Victory to the foot of the King, who soothed my soul’s unrest and made me His !
Victory to the jewelled foot of Pinnagan, who severs continuity of birth !
Victory to the flower-foot of Him Who is far from those without !
Victory to the anklets of the King, rejoicing ‘mid those that fold adoring hands !
Victory to the anklets of the glorious One, who uplifts those that bow the head !”
Noted Tamil film music composer Ilayaraja had composed Thiruvasagam in Symphony from the verses of Manikkavasagar’s Thiruvasakam as a tribute to the saint and the Tamil itself. All songs are orchestral renditions of the verses of Thiruvasagam. The compositions can be found at : http://www.raaja.com/thiruvasagam.html
Enjoy this timeless classic and let your heart melt !!!!!!