The name of Rudra is scarcely ever applied to Civan in the south, yet it would seem as if the idea of Civan had been mainly developed from the Vedic Rudra, the god of Storms, the father of the Maruts, of whom so many stories are told which now are the accepted legends of Civan. It may safely be said indeed that all the Vedic Rudra’s acts and attributes are given in the modern Caiva system to Civan. One of these is connected with the legend of Arunachalam, so often referred to in Tamil Caiva poetry. According to the legend contained in the Linga Puranam, it is related that Brahma and Vishnu disputed regarding their respective claims to superiority, and thence a terrific fight arose. At this time to quiet their contention, Civan, or Mahadeva, appeared as luminous lingam , a pillar of fire, ‘equal to a hundred final mundane configurations, without beginning, middle or end, incomparable, indescrible, undefinable.’ Hari determined to examine the source of this fiery appearance, and took the shape of a boar whose description is very wonderful. Speeding downwards for a thousand years he beheld no base at all of the lingam. Meanwhile Brahma took the form of a swan purely white and fiery eyed, with wings on every side, rapid as thought, and went upwards to see thelingam’s top; but both failed, and at length united in a hymn of praise to Civan as supreme; which so pleased the god that he offered them a boon. They asked that they might both obtain an eternal devotion for him, which was granted. ‘Thenceforward the worship of the lingam has been inaugurated in the worlds. The pedestal is Mahadevi, and the lingam itself is the visible Mahecvara.’
1) Civan as a Guru.
Mal’s self went forth a boar; but failed His sacred Foot
To find, that we His form might know, a Sage He came,
And made me His! To Him, Who hath nor name, nor form,
A thousand sacred names SING WE, AND BEAT TELLENAM! || 4 ||
2) I saw Him; thenceforward my soul worships Him unseen.
The Lord in Perun-turrai’s ever-hallowed shrine
Who dwelt, my birth with all its germs destroyed; since when
I’ve none else; formless is He,- a form He wears,
The Lord of blest Arur SING WE, AND BEAT TELLENAM! || 8 ||
To Hari and to Brahma and to other gods
Not manifested, Civan came in presence there,
Melted our hearts, received our service due; that all
The world may hear, and smile, SING WE, AND BEAT TELLENAM! || 12 ||
From sinking in the vain abyss of worthless gods,-
From birth’s illusions all,- the LIGHT SUPERNAL saved
And made me His. Soon as the new, pure Light, was given
How I in Bliss was lost: SING WE, AND BEAT TELLENAM! || 16 ||
To wildered gods, to Ayan, and to Mal unknown,
Civan assumed a form, that men on earth should joy.
That germs of birth consumed might die, with gracious glance,
How to my soul He came, SING WE, AND BEAT TELLENAM! || 20 ||
The Lord, Who shakes the serpent dancing round His waist,
With His Hill-partner, came to earth, made us His own;-
Say thus, soul-lighted, eyes like full bright lotus flowers,
Pouring forth floods of tears, and SINGING, BEAT TELLENAM! || 24 ||
Civan unknown to Hari, Ayan, heavenly ones,
On earth drew even me; ‘come, come,’ said He, and made me His!
When imprint of His flow’ry Feet was on my head impressed,
How grace divine was mine, SING WE, AND BEAT TELLENAM! || 28 ||
Like rustling palm-leaves is this frame! Its births and deaths,
With dread of good and ill, He swept away, and made me His;
He gave me grace, though I, all else forget, ne’er to forget
His Foot; Whose mighty dance SING WE, AND BEAT TELLENAM! || 32 ||
As though some stone were made sweet fruit, the Lord in grace
Gave ev’n to me His golden Foot, and made me His.
O ye with slender waist, red lips, and winsome smiles!
‘Lord of the Southern-Land,’ call Him; AND BEAT TELLENAM! || 36 ||
Even in a dream His jewelled Feet ’tis hard for gods to see,-
With Her like laurel tree with jewelled arms,-entering in grace,
In waking hour He took, and made me His! With loving souls
Your art-like eyes be filled with tears, AND BEAT TELLENAM! || 40 ||
When He, Her spouse whose eyes shine bright, mixt with my soul,
And made me His, deeds and environments died out;
Upon this earth confusion died; all other mem’ries ceas’d;
How all my ‘doings’ died, SING WE, AND BEAT TELLENAM! || 44 ||
Ascetic bands sore languish’d, longing for release.
Grace to the elephant he gave, made me His own;
The light suprene deep plunged me in devotion’s sea!
How sweet His mercy is, SING WE, AND BEAT TELLENAM! || 48 ||
Not those on earth, nor in th’ abyss, nor heavenly ones,-
To none beside, so near He drew; He made me His!
To sing His advent, or Him, th’ only Great, conceive
Is hard, His glory-song SING WE, AND BEAT TELLENAM! || 52 ||
Mal, Ayan, all the gods, and Sciences divine,
His essence cannot pierce. This Being rare drew near to me;
In love He thrilled my soul! WIth this remembrance moved,
Let your bright eyes with tears o’erflow, AND BEAT TELLENAM! || 56 ||
The spreading sea of grace superne that melts and swells,
From which ’tis sweet to draw and drink, we gather round.
The Feet of the bright southern Lord call we to mind,
His slaves, praise we His sacred grace, AND BEAT TELLENAM! || 60 ||
Buddhan, Purandaran, the primal Ayan, Mal, praise Him,
The One-distraught, Who dwells in Perun-turrai’s shrine, -the Sire
Who made births cease,-Lord of fair Tillai’s porch, His gracious Feet
How in my soul they entered, SING, AND BEAT TELLENAM! || 64 ||
I lay bewildere’d in the barren troublous sea
Of sects and systems wide discordant all;-
My care He banished, gave in grce His jewelled Feet;
Praise we His gracious acts, AND BEAT TELLENAM! || 68 ||
Though Ether, Wind, Water, Earth should fail,
His constant Being fails not, knows no weariness!
In Him my body, soul, and thought, and mind were merged.
How all myself was lost, SING WE, AND BEAT TELLENAM! || 72 ||
Prime Source of heavenly ones, the Germ of those beneath,
Earth’s Balm; Mal’s, Ayan’s Treasure, open eyed
We saw, SING YE, His gracious feet, Who dwelt with us!
Call Him ‘Lord of the Southern-Land,’ AND BEAT TELLENAM! || 76 ||
Sing His race; sing the heron’s wing; Her beauty sing
Who wears bright gems; sing how He poison ate; each day
In Tillai’s temple court He dances, where the waters play;
His tinkling anklets’ music SING, AND BEAT TELLENAM! || 80 ||