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Prayer service translation and commentary

Om Nama Si Vaa Yaa - Om Nama Si Vaa Yaa
Nama Si Vaa Yaa - Nama Si Vaa Yaa
Nama Si Vaa Yaa - Nama Si Vaa Yaa

Om is the creative primordial sound Namasivaya representing and incorporating the five elements, Earth, Wind, Fire, Water and Space.

Namasivaya is everything, everything is Namasivaya, the five elements are everything therefore He is everything

Anbe Vadi-vaay Nin-draay Portree
Loving form of love (Namasivaya), praise to you
Anbar Thu-yar Thannai Theer-paay Portree
Out of love (Namasivaya) who removes suffering, praise to you
Inbame Than-thu Kaapaay Portree
Giver of joy and protection (Namasivaya), praise to you
Inba Vadi-vaana Kadavulhe Portree
Form of immense joy (Namasivaya), praise to you
Thaayum Thanthaiyum Neeye Portree
You are the Mother, Father (Namasivaya), praise to you
Vaazh vum Selva-mum Neeye Portree
You are life and richness (Namasivaya), praise to you
Mann-hu Vin-nella Neeye Portree
You are everything in Earth and the space (Namasivaya), praise to you
Kannull Aaadum en Kadavulhe Portree
Dancing in the depth of the eye (Namasivaya), praise to you
Muthale Portree Moo-vaa Portree
The prime Lord of creation, preservation and dissolusion (Namasivaya), praise to you
Vuru ve Portree Aruvaa Portree
You are both form and formless (Namasivaya), praise to you
Kaa-tre Portree Kanale Portree
Wind and fire form (Namasivaya), praise to you
Arulhe Portree Yen Kada-vulhe Portree
Praise to you, the grace, my God, praise to you

In this vakkiyam our Master starts to lay the ground rules for all that is forthcoming. Leading on from the first vakyum our Master makes it clear that Sivaperumaan is everything. Special note must be made in that He mentions Sivaperumaan as our universal Mother - Father and not Mother and Father. This clearly denotes that there is no gender separation of Sivaperumaan. The Master also states that Sivaperumaan is the giver of joy, protection, wealth and love, this also impacts in our conscious and subconscious that for all that is positive in our life we owe to Sivaperumaan. Another important aspect we must take note of is that our Master clearly states that Sivaperumaan is both form and formless. For all that is stated the overriding philosophy is one of praise to the Supreme. Let's take that a step further as it leads to the basic principle of Saiva Sithantham which is to get rid of one's ego. Praising another is one way of saying that I am lower or beneath You and therefore You are better than I am, by saying this and meaning it we are consciously lowering our ego which is the ultimate barrier in realising Sivaperumaan.

Om Namasivaya Intha Saga-mel-laam Nin Mayame
Your all pervading presence in the universe (omnipresent)
Om Namasivaya Nal-in-bang-gall Nin Mayame
You are the embodiment of bliss and joy
Om Namasivaya Naan Marrai Yel-laam Nin Mayame
You are personified in the 4 scriptures as charity, substance, bliss and salvation
Om Namasivaya Natru-nai Yaa-vathum Nin Mayame
Realised souls visualize you everywhere
Om Namasivaya Nal-lavar Kaann-bathum Nin Mayame
Good devotees see you everywhere
Om Namasivaya An-barai Kaa-pathum Nin Mayame
You protect your loving devotees everywhere
Om Namasivaya Arull Aa-nantham Nin Mayame
Your grace and blissful joy is everywhere
Om Namasivaya Yaan Kann-dathum Nin Mayame
Your beautiful sight (vision) is everywhere

The philosophy here is one of Siva's grace or the bestowing of his grace on his devotees. The devotees referred to are those that are realised souls or the good souls. The point our Master makes is that one has to live a good life in praise of Sivaperumaan to become realised souls as only realised souls can see Sivaperumaan. It is also stated that the realised souls will receive his protection. All of his attributes are all pervading.
Devotion brings about realisation.

Om Pran-hava Porulhe, Prag-gaassa Porulhe Vino-tha-maa-ga
The primordial sound, the vital breath, effulgent light, loving countenance
Villay Yaar-dum Aanantha Suththa Porulhe

The player of unique sport, the blissful and pure Substance
Thei Veega Maai Thoandrum Yennam Wu-ru-ve
Your divine sport, pure bliss, your divine presence and form can be visioned
Ini-Mai-tharum Aagaara rassame Ull-purram
Iren-dilum Magit-chi Koduk-kum Aum Namasivaaya-veh
Your tasty sweet juice doubled my immense happiness within
Yeng-al-lu-daya Rat-cha-ga-raai Irup-paai Saga Seeva Param Porulhe
You are the embodiment of souls, give us protection
Anna Maya-maai-yum Praana Maya-maai-yum
Manho-maya-maai-yum Vin-jnaana-maya-maaiyum
Aanandha Maya-maai-yum, Thondrum Yengall Kada-vulleh,
You appear as the sheaths of food, vital breath, conscious and intelligence, our universal light
Moolaa-thaa-rum, Swaa-thi-ttaanum,
Manni-poo-ragam, Anaa-gatham, Visuth-thi Aag-nai Aagnai
Aar-raa Thaar-ang-all-lil Nada-maa-dum
Nithia Poruleh, Naan-gall Intha
Maani-lath-thil vulla-varrai-yil Sugang-gall Than-tharul Vaai-yaa-ga
Peh-rari- Vaa-nandha Porulhe
Spiritual centres, base of spine, sacral plexus, navel, heart, throat, pituitary gland, pineal gland, you dance in these centres
Grant Your bliss O Mighty One. The permanence that directs us in this world

Our Master speaks about the vital breath, the vital sound and effulgent light which are the attributes of Sivaperumaan and in doing so praises Sivaperumaan as he does in all his compositions. The philosophy of one's ego comes into play again. The spiritual centres and the dancing of Sivaperumaan in these centres is our Master's urging devotees to awaken these centres in our body. Therefore the secret of knowing Siva or realising Siva is within each one of us.

Paarellaam Ni-rainthu Thiru-vilhai Yaa-didum
Parama Sugaa-nantha Porulhe
Your omnipresence and divine play bring forth immense joy and bliss
Karma Paa-sathile Varun-thidum Engall
Karma Thun-bangall Azhi-theve
Give us boon from bondage and get rid of our sufferings
Nin-perumai Ari-yaatha Adi-yengall Aga-thile
O famous one, we the unrealized devotees, do not leave us
Kalan-thaadum Arut-perum-jothi
In-ba-mozhi Paga-raayo Nin-olli-yaik Kaat-taayo
Niththane Niraa-maya Theve
Most gracious light dancing within me, you've declared your joyous words, showed your luminous light, eternal One.
Nin-paatha Sev-vaiye Naa-di-vantha Adi-yaarin
Agam Vittu Aga-laatha Sivame
Do not leave our minds, we are here to serve your holy feet, come dancing to us Your devotees.
Thinn-ha-maay Nin-paatham Nambuam Adi-yaar-gal Manam
Punn-padha Thiruka Thinam Kaaraai Nin-paatha Ser-vaiye Nitham Ni-nainthu vuru-kum Adi-yaarin
Thuyar Theer-ppaai Sivame
Your unwavering feet we devotees trust, do not hurt our minds, grant protection daily, your holy feet we serve, our minds melting eternally, get rid of our sorrows.
Pun-patta Engall Manam In-butru Vazhave
Thun-nai-yaagie Nada-maadu Theve
Our minds are sore, shower us with blessings and protect us O God of divine dance.
Nin-paa-tham Thuthi-ppa-thaal Ninathu arull Wun-den-pa-thaik
Kaa-ttu-vaay Karu-nai Kirik Koove
We worship your golden feet, shower us your grace and compassion O mighty One.
Pon-nolli Veesum-nin Pot-paatha Silambu olli
Asainthu aattu Inba-mura Sivame
Your golden light spreads everywhere and the sound of twinkling bells of your anklet feet, the rare dances bring great joy Siva.
Man-nilhe Poon-dile Marath-thile Wuda-lile
Ni-rain Thiru-pathai Ingu Kaatte
You are in the earth, shrub, trees and the body, show me your twin feet.
Son-maa-lai-yil Aadum Sun-tharaa-dhee-bame
Sithantha Muththiye Muthale
Your garlands of words and dance, the beautiful splendorous light O primordial source who ripened Sithantha.

By stating that Sivaperumaan plays mystic games our Master acknowledges the fact that Sivaperumaan cannot be fully understood. Even after acknowledging that our Master still asks Him to wash away the sins of His devotees. This illustrates to the devotees that the chain of births and deaths can be snapped by Siva Himself. Our Master also cries out to Siva not to leave the hearts and minds of His devotees. Our Master also tells us the devotees of Siva that through love and worship of Siva even our sorrows and unhappiness can be eradicated. The last sentence is of utmost importance as here our Master states that Sithantham is the primal path to follow.

Om Saga-la Mangal-laa Nantha Saga Seeva Param Porule Kaarai Kadavulle
Primordial sound, omnipresent, auspicious, joyful, partner of all souls, the universal One, protect us
Om Sagala Sauk-kiaa-thee Vai-bhoaga Baakee-yeng-galay
Nam-bin-noar-gal-lukku Than-thar-rulum
Aanantha Jnaane-wuruve Neeye Thunai Karu-naa-gare
Kadavulle Neeye Thunai
O creator of the cosmos, primal sound, most handsome
omnipresent Siva bless us with your fortunes, to your believers shower us with grace. Blissful, wisdom form, you alone are our protector.

Here again our Master praises Sivaperumaan with the addition of creator of the entire universe. Once again he offers repetition of praise and its significance regarding the protection from ego by Siva.

Samarasaa Jnaana Thayaa-laa, Samarasaa Seevaa Thaaraa
Harmonious and the One of equality, Divine and merciful compassionate God is the supporter of all souls.
Samarasaa Jnaana Selvaa
The One rich in divine wealth
Samarasaa Aanantha Kaaraai
The One God of protection and bliss.

Our Master brings into focus the merciful and compassionate side of Siva, this is opposed to the common belief that God is supposed to be feared or that Siva punishes.

Om Parama Kiru-baa-kara Moor-thiyeh
Sound of creation, universal merciful, gracious benevolent form
Anu-thina-mum Yemmai-yaallum
Be there for us every fraction of the day
Aanantha Suththa Nithi-ya Porulle
Blissful pure permanent One
Nin-nathu Thiru-vadi-galhe
Your holy feet
Satha-mendru Nambum Adi-yaar-gall Thuyar Neekkum Sivame
We are eternally as refugees, we trust as devotees for you to get rid of our sorrows our Siva
Yentha Ner-rath-thilum Yemmai-yaalum Kadavule
At all times our God
Than-ja-mena Unnai Adain-thoam
Than-ja-mendru Aa-dainthoar Thuyar Neekkum
Support us as we have surrendered to You. Those devotees, who surrendered to you, remove their sufferings.
Om Namasivaaya ve Nin Pon Adigall Vaazhga Vaazhga
Our Namasivaya praise to your golden feet.

Our Master refers to Siva as the permanent One and because of His permanence He requests Siva to never leave us for a fraction. Again our Master appeals to Siva to get rid of the sorrows of those that are devoted. Our Master makes special mention of the golden Feet of Siva. In our culture touching one's feet is acknowledged as showing great respect or reverence. This may also refer to as devotees to Siva we are only worthy of touching His feet as He is so immense. In reality Siva does not have anatomical feet but the mental picture drawn by our Master is clear enough.

Inba-kazha-le Saga-jeeva Param-porulle
Joyous anklet feet, embodiment of all souls
Yega Perol-liye
The one supreme light
Yaangall Im-maani-la-thil vulla-varay-yil Noy-yillaa Vaazh-kkai-yum
Kurai-yillaa Sel-vang-galhum Ini-the-Petru
We who have come into this world, let us not suffer from disease and be short of wealth, you have created us out of sweetness
Ellaa Seevaathmaak-kal-idum
Anbum Kaa-runn-hiya-mum Kaatti
To show love and compassion to all souls
Yaan-gull Ivvul-lagil Vaazha
Neeye Vazhi-kaatti-yaay
Irunthu Engal-haip Pari-suth-tha-maana
Guide us to live in this world the path of purity.
Vazhi-yil Nadathi Kar-tharula Venn-dum
Karun-naiye Umai Kadavule
We pray for your protective grace and compassion, Mother Father praise to you.

Our Master clearly refers to Siva as the One Supreme Light. In the Sithantha philosophy there is but one God and that is Sivaperumaan. Here our Master appeals for a disease less life and for undiminished wealth. This may refer to wealth to enable the good devotee to continue his devotion to Siva and to live a good life. Our Master also appeals to Siva to grant the good devotee compassion and love which the devotee must then show to all living beings. An appeal is also made to Siva to guide the devotee in life on a pure path. Our Master ends by praising the genderless Siva by saying Mother Father.

Om Mithi-ra-raagi Varun-na-naagi Ari-ya-maa-vaagi
The Sun, God of clouds, rain and the rest of the celestials.
Inthi-ra-raagi Pragas-pathi-yaagi Om Vishnu-vaagi
King of Godly beings, preceptor of the Gods, God Vitnu God of protection-water
Om Ruk-ki-ra-maa-gi Brahma-maagi Soori-ya-raagi
Form and shape causing distress, creator mother, Sun-heart
Aath-maa-vaagi Para-maath-maa-vaagi Om Para-mes-wa-ra-raagi
Soul, Universal soul, Supreme God Goddess
Om Savi-thaagi Thev-vaagi Kuber-ra-naagi
Elaborate exhaustive, angel, treasure of the Gods
Prithi-vi-yaagi Sala-maagi Om Aa-gaas-sa-maagi
Earth, Love joy, water, sky
Om Anna-maagi Vasu-vaagi Rudh-ra-raagi
Food, God of fire, God of dissolution
Naar-raay-ya-na-naagi San-thra-raagi Om Mang-gala-naagi
Vitnu, moon-shoulders, happiness joy
Om Bhu-tha-naagi Guru-vaagi Sukki-ra-naagi
Throat, navel, face
Sani-yaagi Raagu-vaagi Ke-thu-vaagi-ya
Saturn thighs, knee ascending, feet descending
Sivame Kaaraay Anu-thina-me
Oh Siva protect us daily

Our Master mentions or refers to other celestial beings as well as the planets and connects them to our body parts. This is to clearly illustrate that the planets are represented in the body form and not be to confused by praying to the planets. Mention is also made of the 5 elements earth, water, space, fire and air. What is interesting to note is that our Master mentions all of the above i.e. other celestial beings one of them being Vitnu and the planets but by ends this vakyum by mentioning only Siva when He states Siva protect us daily. The inference may be that even if there are demi gods or semi gods it is only Siva that can grant protection.

Om Agara Muthal Ezhu-thukku Yellaam Aathi-porulle-
Om Sakthi Siva Jnaana Ol-hiye
Aum as creator, the foremost primordial one as letter A, O ancient one before anything was recorded the light of wisdom of Siva Sakthi Prevailed.
Vuna-thu Aru-laal Iv-vula-gil
Thoandrum Bak-thar-gal-hukku Pala Vazhi-gallil Thunai
Puri-ya Arrivu Theiva-maagi
In this world your devotees of different walks of life need protection and grace.
O divine one you impart pure knowledge
Nalla Arrivu Unar-ththum Nava-maniye
Neeye Yen-gal-hukku Yen-naal-hum Thunai
Good knowledge, one like the shining planets protect us at all times.

Our Master states that before all creation, before anything at all there was only SivaSakthi, therefore the creator of everything was none other than Sivaperumaan. The philosophy may mean that as creator then only Siva can grant grace, protection and knowledge.

Sinthaa Maniye Siva Kaniye
Divine gem, fruit of sweetness
Enthaay Irraai-viye Yeka Wolhiye
My mother goddess of supreme light
Thanthaai Thava-thaal Intha vudale
Mother Father this body I attained through penance-prayer
Koon-tha laam Pala-kumari Kaaraai Thiname
With flowing tresses maiden protect us daily
Ong-kaara Meaday-yile Nada-maadum Maniye
Doing the holy dance in the form of Aum on the raised platform
Yea-ngi-varum Maan-thar Thuyar Neekkum Arull Maniye
We as weeping suffering human devotees seek your grace o gem
Thun-bamini An-hu-gaa-mal Thunai Irun-thum Arulle
In suffering be near us to protect and shower your grace
Thondar Yem-mozhigall Thiru Ullham Konndaa-dum Arulle
Our prayer is to you to enter us and shower your grace
Om Namasivaaya Endra vudan Vaa Vaa Kadavulle
Namasivaaya come unto me
Om Namasivaaya Endra vudan Kaatchi-thaa Kadavulle
Namasivaaya come unto me as light
Om Nama Sivaaya Endra vudan Inbam-thaa Kadavulle
Namasivaaya come unto me as bliss
Om Namasivaaya Enba-varai Sathaa Kaaththum Arule
Namasivaaya come and remove the defect and protect with grace
Namasivaaya Om Linga Perumaan
Namasivaaya God of the Sivan Silai
Namasivaaya Om Aanantha Perumaan
Namasivaaya God of bliss
Namasivaa Om Nadaraasa Perumaan
Namasivaaya God of the holy dance
Namasvaaya Om Nadanam Aadea
Namasivaaya perform your holy dance
Arul-laanai Aru-marai Vaguth-thaanai
Gracious One You have revealed the rare scriptures
Thiru Aanai Thiru-vaala- Vaa Yaanai
Holy One, dwelling in the Aalavaai Temple in Maduray
Preumaanaip Perum Pugazh Padai-thaanai
Great One, the great famous creator
Marull Nenje Mara-vaamal Iruppaaye
Make us not to forget our Beloved Lord, O impure ungracious mind

Our Master here again describes Siva as his Mother but then in the next line he qualifies that statement by stating Mother Father. The inference is that Siva is both Mother and Father but also genderless. In this statement (vaakkiyum) our Master implores Siva to enter us, in this case us being filled with suffering, deceit and impurities. Here our Master implores Siva to enter us as light which could mean to fill us with enlightenment, to enter us as bliss, to enter us and remove our defects and to enter us as and give us grace. The imploring to Siva to enter us could very well mean that we need to become pure internally so that we gain all that our Master implores Siva to do. Our Master also states that Siva is bliss, grace, protection and the Sivan Silai or Siva Lingam. The reference to the holy scriptures could well mean our very own prayer book as our Master states Mother Father this body I attained through penance-prayer, could it be that our Master cleansed himself by living the ideals he professes and thereby gained the spiritual knowledge he espoused or through Siva's grace all the agamas and all scriptures were written?

O, Soma Sunthara Kadavule, Mannaagi, Neeraagi,Velli-yaagi, Wolhi-aagi, Kaat-raagi, Inba, Thun-bangal-hukku Moolamaagi
O loving ambrosia substance, you are the 5 elements earth (body) water (blood) space (mind) light (heart) wind (lungs) and root cause of pleasure and pain
Ella Seeva Rasi-gal-hukkum Ammai Aappa-naagi,
To all souls you are mother father
Marrain-thu Thoandrum Thei-veega arrive
Yet lay hidden near the third eye to see Siva- eye of knowledge
Neeye It-chaa Sak-thiyaa-yum, Kiri-yaa Sakthi-yaayum, Yoga Sakthi-yaayum, Jnaana Sakthi-yaayum, Thiru Vilhay-aa-dall-gall Seiva-thaalum
Divine knowledge you are love and desire, internal and external worship, meditation (introspection) divine knowledge through your divine play.
Om Namasivaaya-ve, Neeye Thunai, Neeye Thunai
You are our support and protector

Our Master again makes reference to the 5 elements as well as Siva being the Mother Father of all souls. Making reference to Mother Father could be our Masters way of telling us that Siva is a loving parent but to see Him in that light one has to open the third eye of wisdom through the varying stages to Sivahood, cleaning the temple, learning the mandhirams, practicing yoga and meditation. By doing all of this we will have the support and protection of Siva.

Om Sathu Sithu Aanantha Porule,
You are the attributes of truth (reality), conscious, bliss and substance
Yennaa-yi-rak-Kanna-kkaana Seeva Raasi-gal-hukku
For thousands of years which cannot be counted for all souls you have provided
Ini-thea Amu-thalik-kum Muzhu Muthal Porule,
Sweet ambrosia, you the primordial and foremost one
Pallaa-yi-ra Aandu-gall Aadi-ya-thanaal,
For thousands of years you have danced (omnipresent)
Pallai-yira Naa-mangall Petru,
For thousands of years you have earned many names
Pallaa-yira Aandu-gall
Ini-mea-lum Pala Thiru Vilhai-yaa-dal-gall Seyya Iruk-kum
For several thousands of years your divine play will be witnessed
Sugaa-nantha Kadavullea Yengal-haik Kaarpaay Yaaga
God of joy and bliss protect us.

Our Master makes us aware of the permanence of Siva, He has been here for thousands of years and will be here for many more thousands of years and in all that time he has provided truth, bliss, substance, protection and wisdom for all souls. The reference to thousands of names may also mean that Siva is prayed to by all religions as he is known and called by so many different names.

Another unique concept in the Sungum is the reciting of mandhirams by the Guru and the repeating thereof line by line by the congregation.
Aum Pari suththa maana Niraamaya Dheyvameh
Inthap panja pootha wulagil, arriyaamayaal seytha
Pizhai gallukaaga yengallai mannithu, kaatharul vaai Kadavulle
Aum aadhi muthal porulleh, yellaa Seevath maakkall wullangalil
Nirraintha Ammai Appanea, kirubaakara moorthiyeh
Naangall vaazhum intha poomanndala maanadhu
Inbangallaalum thunbangallaalum nirrainthu irupathaal
Aum karunaagara Kaduvullea yengallukku thunnai irunthu kaappaayaaga
O Yehgamba maana porulleh, unnarullaal petre, kann gallaalum
Kaat gallaalum, sevigalaalum, manathaalum, arrivaalum
Naavaalum, kaigallaalum, wudalaalum, arriyaamai yaal nerntha
Pizhai galukkaaga manniththu, aram, porull, inbam
Veedu yennum naangum yengallukku arulli, thunnai iruppaayaaga
Aum Namasivaaya Namasthea

Philosophy: In essence the meaning of this Guru prayer
Aum Absolute Pureness, disease less Siva
In this world compromising of five elements
Forgive us of the blunders committed by us due to ignorance
Protect us, Oh Siva, Aum the first and foremost Substance
You are filled in the hearts of all souls as Mother, Father
Oh the gracious Siva
As the earth inhabits us is filled with pleasure and pain
Aum the gracious Siva
Protect us by being with us as a Guide
Oh! the presiding deity at Kancheepuram
Through Your grace we obtained these
eyes, legs, ears, mind, knowledge
tongue, hands and body, but pardon us for the follies of the above
and grant us virtue, wealth, happiness and liberation
and be with us as a Companion
Aum Namasivaaya, Namasthe