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What Is Unmai Vilakkam?

Unmai Vilakkam is a work on Saiva Siddhanta in Tamil by Manivasagam. Kadanadar is one among the fourteen Shaiva philosophical texts in Tamil, known as Meykandar Shastras (sacred literature on Truth). This work contains fifty four verses with an invocatory song addressed to Ganapathi Bhagavan. It is in the form of questions and answers. The author himself puts several questions to his preceptor, Saint Meikanda Devar, and gets the answers from him. The questions are as follows –

What is the nature of thirty six categories (tattvas)? What is the significance of egoity (anava)? What is the role of moral acts (karma)? What is the nature of the self? Who is God who appears as a preceptor? What is the significance of the cosmic dance of Lord Nataraja and how does one understand it? What is the symbolic meaning of the five-lettered holy mantra na-ma-si-va-ya (Prostrations unto Siva)? What is the nature of liberation?

The answers to these questions are expounded by the preceptor. The thirty-six philosophical categories with apt illustrations, the nature of anava (primal egoity), karma (moral acts), the nature of God, the self, the five-hold function of God as depicted in the cosmic dance of Nataraja, the nature of liberation and the role of Shiva’s grace to get it, are all given in detail.

In the state of release, the self is in an inseparable union with God similar to the fruit and its taste, flower and its fragrance, fire and heat, and the harp and its melody. In release, again, God, self and bondage exist, and are reckoned the three eternal realities. That which experiences bliss is the self. He who grants bliss in the Lord, and what enable this experience are the instruments used even while embodies.