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what is a thiruppugazh ?

9:43 AM Posted by Vijayasri

Thiruppugazh (Tamil திருப்புகழ் tiruppukazh "Glory to the Lord" or "Divine glory") is a 15th century anthology of Tamil religious songs dedicated to Murugan, the son of Shiva, written by the poet-saint Arunagirinathar. The anthology is considered one of the central works of medieval Tamil literature, both for its poetical and musical qualities, and for its religious, moral and philosophical content.

Thiruppugazh is a set of songs that kindles the music of devotion in one's heart and stimulates spiritual awakening in the mind. It is an invaluable treasure; a seeker of salvation can draw inspiration from.

The poet Arunagirinathar represents a remarkable blend of Tamil literary genius, a high degree of devotion to Murugan and a musical expertise. Although music had always been an integral part of the Tamil religious hymns such as Tevaram, Arunagirinathar was one of the first poet to set all his compositions to reverberating music in the style of "Santham" which means setting the verses within a certain length to conform with rhythm (thala). Arunagirinathar was the pioneer in the art of setting his poems to the sweet sounds of music. Just like the seven octaves in music, Arunagirinathar, is known as a santhakkavi – musical poet, utilises certain repetitive phrases rhythmically to achieve movement and colour in his poems. By combining the Tamil hard or soft consonants and long or short vowels in different ways, Arunagirinathar produces hundreds of compound rhythmic words such as, tatta, taatta, tantha, thaantha, thaiya, thanna, thaana, thanana, etc . At the beginning of each poem in the Thiruppugazh, Arunagirinathar gives the rhythm notations. The best example would be the 'muthai tharu bakthi' thiruppugazh.

Arunagirinathar describes all the infinite qualities of the Lord in vivid details and hail His glory in his verses and so his works have got the name: "Thiruppugazh" Glory to Lord Muruga. There are various works of devotion that hail the glory of the Lord but only Arunagiri's works have got the title: "Thiruppugazh" as he succeeded to a great extent in bringing the glory of Muruga into full focus.

Music is divine. Music is sublime. Music is the expression of love and devotion. Music is the language of God. Thiruppugazh, which is a set of prayers, is addressed to the Lord in musical verses. This musical worship has brought devotees of Muruga nearer to their Lord. Be it a temple, a musical concert or a bhajan, a singer invariably renders a song from Thiruppugazh.

Apart from songs on Muruga, Thiruppugazh deals with 64 episodes of Lord Siva (Tiruvilayadalgal) and the power of Sakti (Parvati). References have also been made on the Ramayana and the Bhagavatam. While the first half of all songs deal with the various ills plaguing mankind, the second speaks of the mercy of the Lord, imploring Him to provide the much needed healing touch. It is also believed that Thiruppugazh reflects the message of the Vedas and the Upanishads.

check out the thiruppugazh section in Sapthaswaras to hear more.


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