Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Secrets of Vinayaka Agaval : Poet Avvaiyar Reveals Science of Yoga

Considered to be one of Poet Avvaiyar's greatest compositions, Vinayaka Agaval contains some of the deepest revelations of the yogic system.It poetically glorifies Lord Ganapati and the science He reveals to Poet Avvaiyar.

I have dissected some verses from this composition.

The entire hymn is mind-blowing by itself. It would be too lengthy should I include them all. Hence, I have condensed the best-picks of mine.

Nevertheless, I encourage you to go through the entire hymn and meditate upon it.

Kanchi Periyava has emphasised the importance of this hymn and has venerated it eminently.

Let's look at the verses : 

சொற்பதம் கடந்த துரியமெய்ஞ் ஞான
அற்புதம் நிறைந்த கற்பகக் களிறே

Sorphadam kadantha thooya mei jnana
Arphudam nindra karpaga kalire

Meaning : Beyond words,Lord Ganesha was present in the state of Turiya

Turiya is the state of absolute consciousness.The core motive of the Vedic tradition is to drive one towards enlightenment - the state of realisation that one is the same as the universal consciousness.We colloquially refer to this state as 'merging with God'.

Poet Avvaiyar quotes pure consciousness as Lord Ganesha.In other words,God is realised in the state of Turiya - which is what Yoga is defined by.Yoga simply means union.Union with absolute consciousness.

ஒன்பது வாயில் ஒருமந் திரத்தால்
ஐம்புலக் கதவை அடைப்பதும் காட்டி

Onbadhu vaayil oru manthirathaal
Aimpula kadhavai adaipathum kaati

Meaning : The body has 9 openings.Lord,please teach me the mantra in which my 5 senses are controlled.

The 9 orifices in the body include 2 ears,2 eyes,2 nostrils, 1 mouth , 1 urethra and 1 anus.

In the yogic system, these are referred to as the Nava Dvaras ( 9 Gates ).Shri Krshna mentions about these gates in the Gita.

By shutting the gates,one can raise his spiritual consciousness.

In simpler words,the 9 openings are linked to our 5 senses.We taste with the mouth,smell with nose,look with the eyes etc

By controlling these senses and mastering them,a yogi establishes his path to enlightenment.Poet Avvaiyar beautifully links the 9 orifices with the 5 senses by requesting a mantra from the Lord

ஆறா தாரத்(து) அங்குச நிலையும் 

பேறா நிறுத்திப் பேச்சுரை யறுத்தே

Aaraathaarathu angusha nilaiyum
Perra niruthi pechurai aruthae

Meaning : Upon revealing the 6 chakras and their qualities,lead me to the 7th

The yogic system recognises 7 main energy centres ( a junction where the nadis meet - nadis are energy circuits in the body ).They are known as chakras.

Each of these 7 chakras have their own quality.Muladhara is located at the lowest point and Sahasra - at the highest.A person who has his energies centralised in the Muladhara will have his life revolve around food and sleep - a life of low frequency,like an animal.

One who has it centralised in sahasra is in complete bliss and a god-realised state.

A yogi has to transcend through these chakras to reach the top.In the yogic system,sadhana ( spiritual practice ) can help one move to the 6th chakra - the agna ( third eye ).However,to jump to the 7th which is sahasra,one needs to have complete surrender ( to guru ).Only ultimate surrender can help.

Poet Avvaiyar hints this in the verse by requesting the Lord to take her to the 7th chakra,after revealing the other 6.

This is the reason why Guru-Shisya lineage is so important in the Vedic tradition.We always knew that a Guru is a must for enlightenment.

இடைபிங் கலையின் எழுத்தறி வித்துக்
கடையிற் சுழுமுனைக் கபாலமும் காட்டி

Ida Pingalaiyin ezhthu arivithu
Kadaiyir suzhumunai kabalum kaati

Meaning : Upon explaining the science of Ida and Pingala,You reveal the sushumna which leads to sahasra ( enlightenment )

The Ida and Pingala are two Nadis ( energy circuits ) in the spine.They represent the dualities - ShivaShakti,YinYang,Masculine feminine or other parallels to it.

Sushumna is attributeless.It is emptiness through which anything can be manifested.Once someone activates the Sushumna,He expresses Vishnu-tattva ( all pervasiveness ).He becomes everything and anything.A boy amongst boys,a woman amongst women, and God ( pure consciousness ) when alone.

மூன்றுமண் டலத்தின் முட்டிய தூணின்
நான்றெழு பாம்பின் நாவில் உணர்த்திக் 

Moondru mandalathin mutiya thoonin
Naan ezhu paambin naavil unarthi

Meaning : You awaken the dormant kundalini in the Muladhara.

The Muladhara is the root chakra.As per Ganapati Upanishad of Atharva Veda,Lord Ganesha presides in this chakra.

Being the root chakra,its activation sets initiation to ultimate awakening.

அமுத நிலையும் ஆதித்தன் இயக்கமும் 
குமுத சகாயன் குணத்தையும் கூறி

Amudha nilayum aadithyan iyakkammum
Kumudha sagaayan gunathiyum koori

Meaning : Teach me the Sun and Moon channels and the state of enlightenment

A direct revelation of Hatha Yoga.Ha means Sun and Tha means moon - the basis of Hatha Yoga is about utilizing the source of Life directly - the Sun and moon.

In the Vedic culture, Manu is the progenitor of human race.He is the son of Sun ( Surya ).One of his sons,Ikshvaku pioneered Suryavamsha.Ikshvaku's sister Ila married Buda who is the son of Moon ( Chandra ).This created Chandra vamsha.

Everyone is carrying the genetic makeup of Surya or Chandra.Hatha Yoga is about directly connecting to the source of life on this planet - the origin of the DNA chain

அணுவிற்(கு) அணுவாய் அப்பாலுக்(கு) அப்பாலாய்க் 
கணுமுற்றி நின்ற கரும்புள்ளே காட்டி

Anuvikkum anuvaai appaallukum appaalaai
Kanu mutri nindra karumbulle kaati

Meaning Revealing the atoms within atoms and distance beyond distance, within the sugarcane.

Sugarcane here might refer to the spinal column.Importantly,Poet Avvaiyar talks about how time and space are relative - as propounded by Einstein.

In Vedas,we always referred to pure consciousness ( God ) as being beyond time and space.

tvam kaalatrayaatiitaha ( thou art beyond time ) - So says the Vedas

Time and space are units that act only on the physical plane.The body ages,not the Atma ( spirit )

In the spiritual realm,time and space do not exist.Therefore,one who has awakened his spiritual awareness through the spinal cord is beyond time and space - be it the space between atoms or the distance between galaxies.

An enlightened being with no doubt,Poet Avvaiyar creates a masterpiece that gives the essence of the entire Vedic and Yogic system.

It is indeed a shame that we do not heroise such icons.Trending Tamil Movies make a mockery out of her.We can only regain our pride when we start revering the contributions of such icons.


(1) The Significance of Ganapati Upanishad of Atharva Veda


  1. Beautifully explained. Maybe a full explanation of all the verses in the future.

  2. Grateful for this interpretation.

  3. Grateful bro for this post :)

  4. Indeed a great insight into Avvaiyars splendid verses