Tirumantiram is more than 3000 verses in Tamil written by Tirumular in about 5th Century. In the 1st verse of Tirumantiram he writes:

1: One Is Many

The One is He, the Two His sweet Grace, In Three He stood, in all the Four witnessed, The Five He conquered, the Six He filled, The Seven Worlds pervades, manifests the Eight And so remains.

How are the figures one, two,  three, ..etc. interpreted here?

In my speculation:
One = Param Shivam

Two= Shiva and Shakti

Three = 'Jeeva, Jagat and Ishwara' or 'Pati, Pashu and Pasha' or 'Sthoola, Karana and Sookshma'

Four = Jagrat, Swapna, Shushupti and Turiya.

Five = Five senses or Pancha Chakra of Kãla.

Six = No Idea

Seven = Seven worlds.

Eight = AshtaMurti forms mentioned in Brahmanas of Vedas.

Some points may match with my speculation above. Also I have no idea about some figures above.

So, are there any commentaries or interpretation of 1st verse of Tirumantiram by someone ?

  • 6: possibly the six forms of physical matter?
    – kamala
    Commented May 2, 2017 at 20:54
  • @kamala what are the aix forms of physical matter... ?..
    – Tezz
    Commented May 3, 2017 at 3:14

1 Answer 1


Here is how B. Natarajan explains the numbers 1 through 8 in this excerpt from his translation of Tirumular's Tirumantiram:

The One - The Uncreated Eternal Being-Sivam.

The Two - Siva/Sakti. Sakti is the dynamic aspect of static Sivam. She confers grace on the Jivas.

The Three - Triads are many: Primal Sakti evolves into three subsidiary Saktis: Iccha (desire), Jnana (knowledge) and Kriya (action);
the three Gods - Brahma or Aya (of creation), Vishnu or Mal (of preservation) and Siva or Rudra (of dissolution);
the three primal gunas-Rajas, Tamas and Sattvas;
the entire creation represented by the three genders, he, she and it;
the three theological categories-pati, pasu and pasam.

The Four - the four Vedas: Rk. Yajus, Sarna, AtluJrvana;
the four steps to God­ realization: Charya and Kriya, Yoga and Jnana.

The Five - the five senses;
the five acts: creation, preservation, dissolution, obfuscation and liberation.

The Six - the six schools of philosophy; the six Adhvas or steps to final realization: padam (sound), ez.huthu (letter), mantram (syllable), kalai (light), tattvam (principles ofmatter), and bhuvanam (world);
the six adharas or plexuses (chakras) : muladhara, svadhisthana, manipuraka, anahata, visuddhi, ajna.

The Seven - the seven worlds: Bhuloka, Bhuvarloka, Svarloka, Maharloka, Tapoloka, Satyaloka, and Sivaloka For an elaborate and esoteric account of the lokas (worlds), see the Vishnu, Bhagavata, Vaya and other Puranas. See also Introduction to Tantra Sastra by Sir John Woodroffe (Ganesh & Co., Madras) pp. 25 ff.; the seventh chakra, sahasrara, located above the cranium.

The Eight - pervasiveness through earth, water, fire, air, sky, sun, moon and Jiva.

  • Who is B Natarajan?
    – The Destroyer
    Commented May 1, 2017 at 16:05
  • @TheDestroyer B. Natarajan was a Shaiva Siddhanta scholar who wrote a translation of Tirumular's Tirumantiram. Commented May 1, 2017 at 16:24

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