Valentine day - A Saiva perspective Written by Administrator   




Valentine day - A Saiva perspective

R. Lambotharan MD

     1.Human life has four goals (புருஷார்த்தம்) says our scriptures and literatures. They are

  • அறம்/aRam/ dharma: – Living the righteous life by helping and sharing
  • பொருள்/poruL/ arththa: – Managing our resources- personal, intellectual, material, social and political
  • இன்பம்/inpam/ kaama: – Enjoying the pleasures of life and Love
  • வீடு/veedu/ moksha: – Spiritual liberation 

     2. These four goals are set by the Lord Shiva himself. He himself revealed these to humans by instructing them to the four sages as Dakshana Moorthy, the south facing                 preaching Shiva.


அழிந்த சிந்தை அந்த ணாளர்க்கு

அறம் பொருள் இன்பம் வீடு

மொழிந்த வாயான் –அப்பர் தேவாரம்

The Lord who instructed the four goals of life

Aram, PoruL, Inapam and Veedu

To the sages attained the dissolution of mind

-      thEvaaram song by apparswamikaL

அருந்தவர்க்கு ஆலின் கீழ்

அறம் முதலா நான்கினையும்

இருந்தருளிச் செய்தவாறு–திருவாசகம்

The Lord who sat under banyan tree

And instructed the four goals starting from Aram

To the sages with great penance

-      thiruvaasakam

 3.Lord Shiva himself done a treatise on Love called இறையனார் அகப்பொருள்-iraiyanaarakapporuL. It consists of sixty aphorisms in Tamil. No other religions have the treatise of Love revealed by the God.

4.The god of Love is manmatha (மன்மதன்). He is called as cupid in Greek tradition.  He is also called as kaaman (காமன்). Praying to Kaaman was the tradition of young girls those days to get a good husband. aaNdaaL (ஆண்டாள்), one of the ten vaishnava Saints (vishNu devotees) sang devotional songs praying to kaaman, the Lord of Love for his favour to get the Lord vishNu’s Love.

5.Lord Shiva is considered as the supreme Lord of Love. In this form he is called KaamEswara. Devi seated on his lap in this form is called Lalitha. She is also called KaamEswari, the supreme Goddess of Love. Love and procreation ceased when Lord Shiva went into yogic meditation. Manmatha couldn’t do anything. He tried shooting his flowery arrows at Lord Shiva to get him to fall in Love. He was burnt into ashes. Then the Lord was with Devi, the Love and procreation began again even in the absence of Manmatha, the Lord of Love. This indicates the Lord Shiva is the supreme Lord of Love with his consort Lalitha. Many temple paintings and sculptures depict the forms of Shiva and Shakti in Loving union. No other religions are comfortable depicting their God in Love





They know not that the celestials lost their potency and felt dejected for want of sexual enjoyment when the Supreme Siva assumed yoga. They know not that when vishNu persuaded his son kaaman (Cupid) to face Siva (in order to get him out of yogic to sensual mood), the latter burnt him to ashes by his forehead eye; and then (in the absence of cupid) the Supreme however became united in love with the Gracious Mother, Uma Haimavati, all sentient creatures recovered their love and happiness. (Thus Siva is the supreme God of Love) –sivanjanasiddhiyaar 73 சிவஞானசித்தியார் 73

6. Hindus have the famous text of Love in Sanskrit called “Kaama sutra” written by sage Vaatsayana. In the introduction of this text he says it was originally revealed by the Lord  Shiva.

7. thirukuraL(திருக்குறள்) by thiruvaLLuvar (திருவள்ளுவர்)has three sections called aram, poruL and inpam. The last section on Inpam is also called kaamam (காமம்).This itself a treatise of Love.

8. Sangam Tamil Literatures praise and celebrate

akanaanooru (அகநானூறு) – Four hundred songs on Love by 144plus 3 unknown poets.

ainkurunooru (ஐங்குறுநூறு) – Five hundred songs on Love by five poets.

nattriNai (நற்றிணை) – Four hundred songs on Love by 192poets.

kurunthokai (குறுந்தொகை)– Four hundred (and one) songs on Love by 205 poets.

kaliththokai (கலித்தொகை)One hundred and fifty songs by five poets


9. kaaman vizha (காமன் விழா), the festival of love and celebration of lovers in the name of kaaman (cupid), the god of love was celebrated by ancient Tamils in the spring  during the Tamil months of maasi (மாசி) and panguni (பங்குனி) from mid February to mid April. This period is called vasantha kaala (வசந்த காலம்). Vasanthan (வசந்தன்) is another name of Cupid. “I am the spring (vasantha kaalam- வசந்த காலம்) among the seasons” says Krishna in Bhagavat Gita.

”காமவேள் விழாவாயின் கலங்குவள் பெரிதென

ஏமுறு கடுந்திண்டேர் கடவி

நாம் அமர் காதலர் தணைதந்தார் விரைந்தே”

“As she will be sad without him on the celebration of cupid

He came and joined her fast by chariot”

-      kaliththokai -கலித்தொகை 27

”மல்கிய துருத்தியுள் மகிழ்ந்துணைப் புணர்ந்தவர்

வில்லவன் விழாவில் விளையாடும் பொழுதன்றோ”

“This festival of cupid is the time for play with your lover who enjoyed you”

-      kaliththokai - கலித்தொகை 35

”உருவ வெண்மணல் முருகுநூறு தண்பொ ழில்

பங்குனி முயக்கம் கழிந்த நாள்”

“The days next to the celebration of love in the month of Panguni, on the white sand shores of the river with cool groves with honey fragrance” -Aka naanooRu -அகநானூறு 137


This festival of Love by the ancient Tamils was taken by the trading Romans. Romans are called yavanas (யவனர்கள்)by Tamils. The current Valentine day is the Roman tradition renamed after St. Valentine. The Valentine day on the February 14 is beautifully coined with the beginning of the ancient festival of Love by the Tamils from mid-February.

”யவனர் தந்த வினைமாண் நன்கலம்

பொன்னொடு வந்து கறியொடு பெயரும்

வளங்கெளு முசிறி

“The prosperous port town of musiRi,

Which have the fame of Romans bringing beautiful vessels and gold

And taking pepper and spices in their ships”

-      aka naanooRu - அகநானூறு 139

10. The oldest Tamil text Tholkaappiyam says about the feeling of love / காதல் வசப்பட்டோரின் மனநிலை:


வேட்கை, ஒருதலை உள்ளுதல், மெலிதல்

ஆக்கம் செப்பல், நாணு வரை இறத்தல்,

நோக்குவ எல்லாம் அவையே போறல்,

மறத்தல், மயக்கம், சாக்காடு, என்று இச்

சிறப்புடை மரபினவை களவு என மொழிப.

The vicissitudes of mind

As making the man and woman

In their clandestine course of love are:

Amorousness, persistent feel of one for the other,

Emaciation of the body,

Giving free vent to experiences of pleasure and pain,

Transgressing the bounds of modesty and propriety,

Every object of sight painfully, reminding one

Of the features of the other,

Self-forgetfulness, stupor and death like anxiety.

-      தொல்காப்பியம்/ Tholkaapiyam aphorism 1043

     11. Modern Tamil Poet Bharathy(பாரதியார்) praises Love in his songs.


காதலினால் மானுடர்க்குக் கலவி உண்டாம்

கலவியிலே மானுடர்க்குக் கவலை தீரும்

காதலினால் மானுடர்க்குக் கவிதை உண்டாம்

கானமுண்டாம், சிற்பமுதற் கலைகள் உண்டாம்

ஆதலினாற் காதல் செய்வீர் உலகத்தீரே!

அஃதன்றோ இவ்வுலகத்  தலைமை இன்பம்;

காதலினாற் சாகாமல் இருத்தல் கூடும்;

கவலை போம்; அதனாலே மரணம் பொய்யாம்.

By Love comes the union;

By union go all the worries;

By Love comes the poem;

Music, sculptures and other arts;

Therefore O! The people in this world, please do Love;

That is the prime pleasure in this world;

By Love one can live without death;

Worries gone; therefore the death becomes unreal.

-      பாரதியார் பாடல் / Bharathy songs, translation by T.N. Ramachandran

காதல் காதல் காதல்

காதல் போயின்

சாதல் சாதல் சாதல்

Lusting! Lusting! Lusting!

If Lusting gone

Vesting! Vesting! Vesting!

-      பாரதியார் பாடல் / Bharathy song - KUYIL PAADDU, translation by T.N. Ramachandran

Last Updated on Friday, 13 February 2015 22:49