The Saiva devotional works are based on devotion or bakthy. The philosophical works are based on knowledge or gnanam. While the first category is called Thothiram, the second category is called Sathiram. The Thirumanthiram works is considered as thothiram book and classified as the tenth thirumurai volume. However, because of the philosophical views in it, it is also seen as a sathiram book.
Thirumanthiram contains three thousand verses, divided into nine chapters called Thanthirams. It begins with inovation to God as its preface or Payiram, which speaks of vethas, agamas etc,. The first verse beginning as 'Onravan thane' speaks of the nature of the divine.
The First thanthiram called the upathesam part expresses Saiva Philosophical views and divine experience. It also has verses speaking about impermanancy of the physical body, love, education etc,. The Second thanthiram contains verses relating to Siva's glory, His divine acts, classification of souls etc,. Yoga practices and applications find place in the Third thanthiram. Details dealing with manthiram, thanthiram, etc., are given in the Fourth thanthiram.
Various branches of Saiva religious cult and the four paths of chariyai etc., are given in the Fifth thanthiram. The Sixth thanthiram gives details such as Siva coming as Guru and bestowing His grace, the required related practices to recieve His grace etc,. Various images of Sivalingam, Siva poosai, control of the five of senses etc., are expressed in the Seventh thanthiram. The Eighth thanthiram deals with the experiential stages of the soul. The Ninth thanthiram gives details relating to Panchadsara manthiram, Siva's dance, state of samadhi, etc.
Thirumanthiram book contains many Saiva Siddhantha views. It is the first Tamil work to carry the phrase Saiva Siddhantham. Like God, the Souls, and the materials of bondage called pasam are eternal. Soul is freed from pasam when it receives God's Grace. As Thirumanthiram gives such views, it is also viewed as a sathiram work.