THE SECRET TEACHING ON
(A Treatise on Adwaitic Realization)
by N.V. Karthikeyan
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|tongue, gave him a Japa Mala and commanded him to sing His glories. The Lord then disappeared. Arunagiri stood there totally transformed. He was God-intoxicated out and out, and started on a pilgrimage to all holy places, singing the 'Glory of God' (Tiruppugazh), wherever he went, enjoying various kinds of divine experience at different places.|
THE HISTORICAL ACCOUNTIn his work "Saasana Tamizhk Kavi Charitam", Rao Saheb M. Raghava Iyengar has given a detailed account of his researches, with appropriate authorities, based on certain Sanskrit works and inscriptions around Tiruvannamalai which reveal many interesting facts about the early life of Arunagiri. The salient features of his research may be summarized as follows:
It is almost an accepted fact that Arunagiri belonged to the time of Villiputturar, the author of the Tamil Mahabharatam. Villiputturar lived during the same time as the Irattaiyar (the twin-poets) whose period is the middle of the 14th century.
Arunagiri, in his Tiruppugazh, refers to two persons, --- (1) a king who ruled during his time, as Pravudadeva Maharaja; and (2) the head of a Mutt, as Somanathan. Based on Arunagiri's description of the political condition prevailing then, it can be assumed that the king referred to by him should be Pravudadeva Raya II who ruled during the earlier part of the 15th century. As regards the time of Somanathan, he is believed to have lived about 1370 A.D., based on an inscription in the wall of the Siva Temple at Puttur. It is also ascertainable that the said Somanathan was one of the foremost among the Sivacharyas, -- learned Vidvans and Gowda-Brahmins, -- who came from North India and settled in Mullandiram and Devikapuram sometime earlier. Considering the above data, the author concludes that Arunagiri's time should be between that of Pravudadeva and Somanathan, i.e., between the close of the 14th century and the beginning of the 15th century.
From other inscriptions it is learnt that from amongst these Gowda Brahmin scholars and Pandits, some were talented Sanskrit poets and were called as "Dindima Kavis". Historians*4 hold that our Arunagiri is a descendant of these Dindima Kavis and he is himself referred to as such in one of the Sanskrit works of his posterior, entitled Saluvabhyudayam, who says that his father, Arunagirinathar by name, was a "Sarva-Bhauma Dindima Kavi", an "Ashtabhasha Paramesvara", a past master in composing Chitra Prabandha, and one greatly revered by the three Tamil kings, - Chera, Chola and Pandya. Sri Raghava Iyengar proves, from internal evidences and coincidence of time, place, etc., that the Arunagirinathar referred to in the above Sanskrit work is our Arunagiri, the author of Tiruppugazh and other works.
Further, there is an inscription of 1550 A.D. in the Siva temple of Mullandiram which records the gift of a piece of land by a Brahmin lady to erect a small altar
*4 Most prominent among them being the late Sri T.A. Gopinatha Rao who has published a lengthy article in the 'Indian Antiquary' of 1918.
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