Presentation by Veeraswamy Krishnaraj
14. திருஉந்தியார் - ஞான வெற்றி
(தில்லையில் அருளியது- கலித்தாழிசை)  Source: Madurai Project
Shaivam.Org  Translation G.U.Pope

Tamil scholars give different interpretations of the word Unthiyar. It seems to mean 'the players at a game resembling battledore and shuttlecock.' The word Unthi is, I imagine, used for the shuttlecock or ball which the players cause to 'fly aloft.'

In this lyric FIVE GREAT TRIUMPHS OF CIVAN are celebrated.

I. The first of these (I-4) is the destruction of the three towns, in Tami and Sanskrit Tripura, which is curiously enough made to be the name of a giant overthrown by Civan. I give an abstract of this story from Muir:-

'There were in the sky three cities of the Asuras, one of iron, another of silver, and a third of gold, which Indra could not demolish, with all his weapons. Then all the great gods, distressed, went to Rudra as their refuge, and said to him, after they were assembled: "Rudra, there shall be victims devoted to thee in all sacrifices. Bestower of honour, destroy the Daityas with their cities, and deliver the worlds." He, being thus addressed, said, "So be it;" and making Vishnu his arrow, Agni its barb, Yama, the son of Vivasvat, its feather, all the Vedas his bow, and the excellent Savitri (the Gayatri) his bowstring, and having appointed Brahma his charioteer, he in due time pierced through these cities with a three-jointed three-barbed arrow, of the colour of the sun, and in fierceness like the fire which burns up the world. These Asuras with their cities were there burnt up by Rudra.'

II. The second of these triumphs is the destruction of Dakshan's sacrifice. The story of this is told with many variations, and is evidently, as Professor Wilson pointed out long ago, of some great struggle between the followers of Vishnu and Civan: but it is neither possible to give any full interpretation of it, nor to reconcile the discrepancies in the various accounts of it. The account given below is that of the Kaci Khandam, which every student of Tamil should read.

In the Kaci Khandam, the account of Dakshan-his sacrifice, punishment, forgiveness, and penance in Benares - occupies chapters xxxviii-xc inclusive, and fills 148 stanzas. It sums up, with some inconsistencies, the whole story as given in the Sanskrit books. Dakshan (- the Intelligent) is represented sometimes as the father, and sometimes as the son of Aditi; and at other times the two are curiously said to have been reciprocally producers and produced. He is identified with Prajapati, the Creator. This almost seems like a statement that the whole universe is developed from intelligence, and might appear like a very symbolical acting forth of Hegel's system. Dakshan had many daughters married to the great saints, and especially Kacyapa(Kaciban) is said to have been the husband of twelve of them. One of his daughters was Durga, or Uma, who was subsequently born from the mountain after her voluntary death, and so received the name of Parvathi. So Civan, the Supreme, was a son-in-law of Dakshan, the Intelligence from which the Universe was developed. It is rather entangled.

On one occasion all the gods and saints made a visit to the silver mountain Kailaca. They were there received with great kindness, by the mighty one upon whose head is the Kondral wreath, whose throat is black with the poison he swallowed to save the world, and from the centre of whose forehead a third eye shines resplendent. But the deity did not recognize his father-in-law, nor rise to receive him. This fills Dakshan with disgust, and he proceeds to indulge in the most extravagant abuse of Civan. It will be seen that everything with which he reproaches Civan is used by Manikka-Vacagar as praise. Of course a mystical meaning is given to each circumstance! The following is a summary of his language:-

'He has no mother, no father, and no relatives!
He is a maniac who dances with demons on the burning-ground.
He has an eye in his brow from which devouring fire blazes forth.
He wears the skin of a fierce tiger, foul and fetid.
Race, family, caste, quality hath he none.
He wears as an ornament the skin of a serpent that causes deadly ill.
He has discarded the anointing of himself with flowery essences,
And besmears himself with foul ashes of corpses in the burning-ground.
His food is poison from the billowy sea;
As conveyance he has an ancient bullock;
He wears the skin of a black elephant;
His ruddy hand grasps a skull bereft of flesh.
If you say he is a Brahman, he has changed all rules of ordered life;
If you say he is a merchant full of wealth, he goes about begging;
He has no skill in any mystic lore.
Nor is he a Brahmacari, for a large-eyed damsel is part of his body;
He bears an implement of war, and so is not a worthy ascetic;
He wanders amid the hot desert sands, and so is no seemly householder;
He cut off the head of the flower god,
So knows not the laws of excellent justice;
The lady with gleaming brows is half of his frame,
So he is not male, or female, or sexless one.
In the day when he destroys all worlds,
Having worn as a garland the skull of flowery Ayan,
And whirling the three-headed gleaming lance
Everywhere he kills, Is it possible to call him a saint?'

After thus relieving his mind by abuse to punish Civan's discourtesy, he resolves to perform a mighty sacrifice (magam), and so gain additional powers. Civan must be dethroned or slain. All the gods are invited, and there is a very magnificent assembly on Dakshan's mountain. Then comes forth a sage Dadici, who protests that no sacrifice can be of efficacy to which Civan has not been invited; such a place of worship must become 'a burning-ground, where goblins, demons, and dogs prowl around.' His protest is answered by additional abuse, and so the devotees depart, leaving the gods and goddessess to joint with Dakshan in the unhallowed offering. And now the great mischief maker in all such legends, whose name was Naradar, the sweet lutist of the holy mount, hurries to Kailaca to tell the goddess Umai of her father-in law's projected offering. She longs to be present, and implores her spouse to permit it, but he rejects her request. Somehow or other she does however go, and with every token of filial piety meets her father and mother; and after the first greeting enquires why the great god, the lord of all, is not invited:

'It seems as though you had forgotten the greatest of guests.'

To this, abuse of Civan is the only answer.

She at once dies, puts off the body which owns Dakshan as father, and is reborn as the daughter of Himavat, whence, Civan afterwards takes her as Parvathi, 'the mountain maid.'

III. The third triumph is his bestowal of the milky sea on the son of Vasishtha. For this it is sufficient to refer to the Koyil Puranam. It is a rather confused and somewhat meaningless story as it has come down to us.

IV. The fourth triumph is given at great length in the Kaci Khandam, and is connected with the god's manifestation as Vira-bhadra. For this it is only necessary to refer to chapter xc of the above work.

In regard to the Kaci Khandam, indeed, which is mainly a translation from the Sanskrit Skanda Purana, it must be noted that there is in it much didactic poetry of a more elevated character, which characterized as a collection of legends which are uterly unprofitable, and have been worked into the devotional poetry of the Caivites to its very great detriment. The legends of Dakshan's sacrifice, of the appearance and ferocity of Vira-bhadra as a kind of incarnation of Civan, and of the unseemly disputes between Vishnu and Brahma as to the pre-eminence, occupy large portions of the book and are utterly useless in these days. We may give a summary of chapter xxxi, entitled 'The Appearance of Bhairava."

Civan, the Supreme, envelopes the world in elusive mystery, so that none know him while He is all in all. Hence, even among the gods, disputes arose as to who was the greatest. 'I am the supreme Essence,' cried Vishnu. 'I am the Self-existent,' declared Brahma from his lotus-seat. The sacred Veda, the unwritten record of mysterious truth, was called upon to decide. The divine essences whose incarnation, or manifestation rather, is the fourfold Veda spoke out: The first Vedic genius declared that since Civan alone performed the three operations of creation, preservation, and destruction, he was the Supreme and unoriginated God. The second declared that since Civan had performed arduous sacrifices and penances, so as to merit praise from the whole universe, he was the supreme. The third announced the same conclusion, but based it upon the fact that Civan fills all things with light, and is adored by all the mystic sages as the giver of wisdom. The fourth Vedic mystery declared that since Civan revealed himself in various forms exciting emotions of joy and ecstatic devotion in the hearts of his worshippers, who beheld him crowned with cassia-wreaths, he was the greatest of the gods. [It is easy to see the arguments by which the supremacy of Civan is here upheld, and there are gleams of truth which Christianity emphasises and illustrates, but the legends connected with the statements are very wonderful, and certainly obscure and confuse, rather than illustrate, the truth concerning the supreme and absolute.] Vishnu and Brahma listen only to deride. 'Civan,' they cry, 'rides on a bull; he has a matted coil of hair; he dances in the burning-ground; he smears ashes; his throat is black with the swallowed poison; he wears as a girdle a hissing snake; he is the leader of a wild demon-host, and Umai is a part of his form. This being so, how can he be the life of the soul of all ?' [These are the arguments that were urged by Jains and Buddhists, and the wonder is that they did not everywhere and finally prevail.]

Roused by these insults, Civan suddenly appears. His aspect is described in the usual terms, and he sends forth a manifestaion or incarnation of himself, or of his destroying energy, to which the name of Vairavan (Vira-bhadra) is given. This anomalous being is of terrific appearance, and endowed with all the Destroyer's terrible energy. He is followed by a host of malignant demons. Civan calls him his son, and bids him destroy all his enemies. Vairavan accordingly seizes the fifth head of Brahma between his thumb and forefinger, twists it off and throws it on the ground, performing a terrific dance which throws the whole universe and every order of sentient existence into a paroxysm of terror. This subdues the opposing deities, and Vishnu worships at Civan's feet, praising him in the most extravagant terms. The whole ends in a wild orgy, in which Civan and Brahma join. This is so often referred to in Caivite poetry, and seems so incapable of any edifying interpretation, that we have thought it necessary to give the authentic summary from the Kaci Khandam once for all.

V. The last is the victory over the Ceylon king, Ravana. This legend is perpetually referred to in the south, and seems to have a popularity among the poets somewhat in excess of its apparent importance.

After his victory over Kuvera, Ravana went to Saravana, the birthplace of Karthikeya. Ascending the mountain, he sees another delightful wood, where his car Pushpaka stops, and will proceed no further. He then beholds a formidable dark tawny-coloured dwarf, called Nandicvara, a follower of Mahadeva, who desires him to halt, as that deity is sporting on the mountain, and has made it inaccessible to all creatures, the gods included. Ravana angrily demands who Cankara (Mahadeva) is, and laughs contemptuously at Nandicvara, who has the face of a monkey. Nandicvara, who was another body of Civan, being incensed at this contempt of his monkey form, declares that beings, possessing the same shape as himself, and of similar energy,-monkeys,- shall be produced to destroy Ravana's race ( Tasmad mad-virya-sanyuktah madrupa-sama-tejasah utpatsyanti badhartham hi kulasya tava vanarah). Nandicvara adds that he could easily kill Ravana now, but that he has been already slain by his own deeds. Ravana threatens that as his car has been stopped, he will pluck up the mountain by the roots, asking in virtue of what power Civan continually sports on that spot, and boasting that he must now be made to know his danger. Ravana then throws his arms under the mountain, which being lifted by him, shakes, and makes the hosts of Rudra tremble, and even Parvathi herself quake, and cling to her husband (Chachala Parvathi, chapi tada clishta Mahecvaram). Civan, however, presses down the mountain with his great toe, and along wit it crushes the arms of Ravana, who utters a loud cry, which shakes all creation. Ravana's counsellors then exhort him to propitiate Mahadeva, the blue-throated lord of Uma, who, on being lauded, will become gracious. Ravana accordingly praises Mahadeva with hymns, and weeps for a thousand years. Mahadeva is then propitiated, lets go Ravana's arms, says his name shall be Ravana from the cry (rava) he had uttered, and sends him away, with the gift of a sword bestowed on him at his request.
வளைந்தது வில்லு விளைந்தது பூசல்
உளைந்தன முப்புரம் உந்தீபற
ஒருங்குடன் வெந்தவா றுந்தீபற. 3
I. The three cities
Bent was the bow;- upsprang the tumult;
Perished three cities! Fly aloft, Unthi!
As they burnt straightway together,- Fly, &c. (3)
ஈரம்பு கண்டிலம் ஏகம்பர் தங்கையில்
ஓரம்பே முப்புரம் உந்தீபற
ஒன்றும் பெருமிகை உந்தீபற. 6
Two arrows we saw not- in Egambar's hand:
One arrow; three cities! Fly aloft, Until!
And one was too many !- Fly, &c. (6)
தச்சு விடுத்தலும் தாமடி யிட்டலும்
அச்சு முறிந்ததென் றுந்தீபற
அழந்தன முப்புரம் உந்தீபற. 9
There was shaking of framework;- and as He moved His foot,
The axle was broken- say, Fly aloft, unthi! 
Perished three cities! - Fly, &c. (9)
உய்யவல் லாரெரு மூவரைக் காவல்கொண்
டெய்யவல் லானுக்கே உந்தீபற
இளமுலை பங்கனென் றுந்தீபற. 12
Those who won their escape- a triad of persons-He guarded.
To Him whose arrows fail not,- Fly aloft, Unthi!
Saying, He's the Tender-One's Spouse!- Fly, &c. (12)
சாடிய வேள்வி சரிந்திடத் தேவர்கள்
ஓடிய வாபாடி உந்தீபற
உருந்திர நாதனுக் குந்தீபற. 15
II. Dakshan's sacrifice.
The frustrate offering thrown to the ground-the gods-
Sing how they fled!-Fly aloft, Unthi!
To Rudra the Lord,-Fly, &c. (15)
ஆவா திருமால் அவிப்பாகங் கொண்டன்று
சாவா திருந்தானென் று தீபற
சதுர்முகன் தாதையென் றுந்தீபற. 18
Aha! Mal divine got a portion that day of the offering;
And He died not!- Fly aloft, Unthi!
The Four-faced's father!- Fly, &c. (18)
வெய்யவன் அங்கி விழுங்கத்திரட்டிய
கையைத் தறித்தானென் றுந்தீபற
கலங்கிற்று வேள்வியென் றுந்தீபற. 21
The fierce one- Agni-to consume it collected
His hands of flame. He cut them away! - Fly aloft, Unthi!
Spoiled was the sacrifice! - Fly, &c. (21)
பார்ப்பதி யைப்பகை சாற்றிய தக்கனைப்
பார்ப்பதென் னேயேடி யந்தீபற
பணைமுலை பாகனுக் குந்தீபற. 24
 Dakshan, who raised the anger of Parvathi, 
He saw and spared, what good? my dear!- Fly aloft, Unthi!
To the SPouse of the Beautiful, - Fly &c. (24)
புரந்தர னாரொரு பூங்குயி லாகி
மரந்தனி லேறினார் உந்தீபற
வானவர் கோனென்றே உந்தீபற. 27
Purandharan became a tender 'kuyil, ( Indian cucko)
And flew up a tree!- Fly away, Unthi! 
King of the heavenly ones!- Fly, &c. (27)
வெஞ்சின வேள்வி வியாத்திர னார்தலை
துஞ்சிய வாபாடி உந்தீபற
தொடர்ந்த பிறப்பற உந்தீபற. 30
The angry sacrificer's head-
Sing how it fell! - Fly aloft, Unthi! 
That birth's chain may be snapt! - Fly, &c. (30)
ஆட்டின் தலையை விதிக்குத் தலையாகக்
கூட்டிய வாபாடி உந்தீபற
கொங்கை குலுங்கிநின் றுந்தீபற. 33
The head of a sheep- to Vidhi- as his-
Sing how He joined!-Fly aloft, Unthi! 
While you're with laughter convulsed!- Fly, &c. (33) (Laugh with your breasts jiggling)
உண்ணப் புகுந்த பகனொளிந் தோடாமே
கண்ணைப் பறித்தவா றுந்தீபற
கருக்கெட நாமெல்லாம் உந்தீபற. 36
Sing how Bhagan, who came to eat, 'scaped not,
He plucked out his eye!- Fly aloft, Unthi!
That germs of our birth may die!-Fly, &c. (36)
நாமகள் நாசி சிரம்மி மன்படச்
சோமன் முகன் நெரித் துந்தீபற
தொல்லை வினைகெட உந்தீபற. 39
The Lady of the tongue lost a nose; Brahma a head;-  (= Sarasvati, goddess of arts)
The Moon-god's face He smashed!-Fly aloft, Unthi!
That ancient troublous deed might die!- Fly, &c. (39)
நான்மறை யோனும் அகத்திய மான்படப்
போம்வழி தேடுமா றுந்தீபற
புரந்தரன் வேள்வியி லுந்தீபற. 42
The god of the Vedas four, the Lord of the sacrifice,
Fell; sing how he sought the way they went!- Fly aloft, Unthi!
And Purandharan, too, in the offering!-Fly, &c. (42)
சூரிய னார்தொண்டை வாயினிற் பற்களை
வாரி நெரித்தவா றுந்தீபற
மயங்கிற்று வேள்வியென் றுந்தீபற. 45
The teeth in the mouth of the Sun-god
How He swept them broken away!-Fly aloft, Unthi!
The sacrifice came to confusion!-Fly, &c. (45)
தக்கனா ரன்றே தலையிழந் தார்தக்கன்
மக்களைச் சூழநின் றுந்தீபற
மடிந்தது வேள்வியென் றுந்தீபற. 48
Dakshan that day lost his head;
Tho' Dakshan's children stood round!-Fly aloft, Unthi!
Perished the sacrifice!- Fly, &c. (48)
பாலக னார்க்கன்று பாற்கடல் ஈந்திட்ட
கோலச் சடையற்கே யந்தீபற
குமரன்தன் தாதைக்கே உந்தீபற. 51
III. Ubamanya.
Who that day to the son gave the sea of milk;
To the glorious Lord of the braided lock,-Fly aloft, Unthi!
To Kumaran's father,- Fly, &c. (51)
நல்ல மலரின்மேல் நான்முக னார்தலை
ஒல்லை யரிந்ததென் றுந்தீபற
உகிரால் அரிந்ததென் றுந்தீபற. 54
IV. Brahma.
The Four-faced's head, who sits on the beauteous flower,
Was quickly nipt off!-Fly aloft, Unthi! 
By His nail was nipt off!- Fly, &c. (54)
தேரை நிறுத்தி மலையெடுத் தான்சிரம்
ஈரைந்தும் இற்றவா றுந்தீபற
இறுபதும் இற்றதென் றுந்தீபற. 57
V. Ravana.
His heads who stayed the car, and raised the hill,-
Sing how twice five of them perished!-Fly aloft, Unthi!
And twenty perished!-Fly, &c. (57)
The Legend of Candecuvara Nayanar: The Young Brahman Cowherd.- In a town in the Cora country, called Ceynalur, a Brahman boy was born, whose name was Vicara-carumar, who from his earliest days instinctively understood the whole Caiva creed; so that when the sages came to instruct him he met them with the recitation of the essential doctrines of the system, which he had grasped by a divine intuition. It may be permitted to repeat the articles of his creed, as these are summed up in the legend: 'All souls are from everlasting fast bound in the chains of impurity. To destroy that impurity, and to give to these souls infinite felicity and eternal release, He who is eternal is revealed. He performs the five Acts of creation, preservation, destruction, "envelopment," and gracious deliverance. He is the one Lord (Pathi), Who possesses the eight attributes of absolute independence, purity of form, spontaneous understanding, absolute knowledge, natural freedom from all bonds, infinite grace, endless might, and boundless blessedness. His name is Civan, the Great Lord. He performs his gracious acts by putting forth the energy (Catti), Who, as a person, is one with Him, and is therefore the divine Mother of all, as He is the divine Father, and must with Him be loved and worshipped. Nor can we say "we will do this in some future birth," for we are born here as human beings for this and no other purpose; and the human form in the infinite series of transmigration is hard to attain unto. Nor should we defer till to-morrow our dedication of ourselves, since we know not the day of our death. Therefore must we avail ourselves of Civan's gift of grace, studying the sacred Agamas and other works, without doubting, or commingling of perverse interpretation. This is the WAY of life!
One day, together with his school companions, he went down to the bank of the river where the village cows were grazing in charge of a man of the herdsman caste. This rustic, having no sense of right and wrong, beat one of the cows with a stick; but Vicara-carumar was vehemently stirred by this outrage, and rushing up to him in great wrath, restrained him from striking the sacred animal: 'Know you not,' said he, 'that cows have come down from the world of Civan to this earth? In their members the gods, the sages, and the sacred purifying stream dwell. The five products of these sacred creatures are the sacred unguents of Civan. And the ashes which are the adornment of the God and his devotees are made from their refuse!' Dwelling upon this idea he conceived a desire to devote himself entirely to the task of herding and caring for the troop of sacred cows; and accordingly sent away the rustic, who reverentially departed. And thus our hero became a self-dedicated Brahman. As such he easily obtains permission of all the Brahmans of the town to take charge of their cows, and daily along the bank of the beautiful river Manni, he leads forth his troop in the green pastures, allowing them peacefully to graze their fill, and supplying them with drinking water. When the fierce heat of the sun oppresses, he leads them into the shady groves, and guards them well, meanwhile gathering the firewood necessary for his household worship; and then at evening, leaving each cow at its owner's door, he goes to his home.
While things went on in this manner, the cows increased daily in beauty, waxed fat, were joyous, and by day and night poured forth abundant streams of milk for their owners. The Brahmans found that they had more milk than formerly for their offerings and were glad. The cows, tended with such solicitude, were brisk and cheerful, and though separated for awhile from their calves that remained tied up in the houses, grieved not a whit, but with joy awaited the coming of their young herdsman, following him gladly, crowding around him like tender mothers, and lowing joyfully at the sound of his voice. The youthful Brahman, seeing the exuberance of their milk, reflected that this was a fitting unction for the head of the God; and conceiving a great desire so to employ it, constructed a lingam of earth on a little mound beneath the sacred Atti tree on the bank of the river, and built around it a miniature temple with tower and walls. He then plucked suitable flowers, and with them adorning the image, procured some new vessels of clay, and took from each of the cows a little milk, with which he performed the unction prescribed for the divine emblem (the Lingam); and Civan, the Supreme, looked down and received with pleasure the boy-shepherd's guideless worship. All essentials of the sacred service he supplied by the force of his imagination. Though this was done daily, the supply of milk in the Brahman's dairy was no whit diminished.
For a long time this continued, until some malicious person saw what was going on, and told it to the Brahmans in the village, who convened an assembly before which they summoned the boy's father, and told him that his son Vicara-caramar was wasting the milk of the Brahmans' sacred cows by pouring it idly on the earth in sport. The father feared greatly when he heard the accusation, but protested his entire ignorance of the waste and democration, and asking pardon, engaged to put a stop to his son's eccentric practices. Accordingly the next day he went forth to watch the boy's proceedings, and hid himself in a thicket on the bank of the river. He soon saw his little son ceremonionaly bathe in the river, and then proceed to his minutine of Civa-worship, and then pouring a stream of anointing milk over the earthern lingam. Thus convinced of the truth of the accusation, he was greatly incensed, and rushing forth from his concealment inflicted severe blows upon the boy, and used many reproachful words. But the young devotee's mind was so absorbed in the worship,- so full of the rupture of mystic devotion,- that he neither perceived his father's presence, nor heard his words, nor felt his blows. Still more incensed by the boy's insensibility, the infatuated father raised his foot, broke the vessels of consecrated milk, and destroyed the whole apparatus of worship! This was too much for the young enthusuast to bear; the god of his adoration was insulted, and the sacred worship defiled. He regarded not the fact that it was his father, a Brahman and a guru, who was the offender; but only saw the heinous sin and insult to Civan. So with the staff in his hands he aimed a blow at the offender's feet, as if to cut them off; and, behold, the shepherd's staff became in his hands the Sacred Axe of Civan, and the father fell maimed and dying to the ground. The enthusiastic boy then went on with his worship as if nothing had occured, but the Lord Civan, with Umai, the goddess, riding on the sacred White Bull, immediately appeared hovering in the air. The young devotee prostrated himself before the holy vision in an ecstasy of joy; when the Supreme One took him up in his divine arms, saying, 'For my sake thou hast smiten down the father that begat thee. Henceforth I alone am thy father,' and embracing him stroked his body with His sacred hand, and kissed him on the brow. The form of the child thus touched by the divine hand shone forth with ineffable lustre, and the God further addressed him thus: "Thou shalt become the chief among my servants, and to thee shall be given all the offerings of food and flowers that my worshippers on Kailaca's mountain present.' His name there upon became Candecuvarar ('the impetuous Lord'). The manifested God finally took the mystic cassia-wreath from His Own head, and with it crowned the youthful saint. And so he ascended to heaven with Civan, and was exalted to that divine rank. The father too, who had been guilty in his ignorance of such impiety to the God, and had been punished by the hand of his own son, was forgiven, restored, and with the whole family passed into Civan's abode of bliss.