P. Narayana Aiyar, B.A., B.L., High Court Vakil, Madura, writes as follows to Mr. J.M.Nallasvami Pillai, B.A., B.L.,
My dear friend,
I read the first installment of your article on, "The Svetasvatara Upanishad" in the Madras Review for November 1900. I am glad to find that in the midst of your office work you are able to spare time for your beloved subject.
I may say a word or two on the subject itself. There is the incompatibility as some think between the idea of God being represented as Rudra (destroyer) and the idea of his being represented as Siva (mangalam – bliss). In this universe, lower forms give place to higher forms. Destruction of lower forms is closely followed by elevation of other forms. That is the theory of evolution on the form side. Moreover Rudra aspect precedes most naturally the Siva aspect. Before the destruction of the lower nature of man, how can he be enabled to behold Siva – all love, all harmony, all bliss, all wisdom. The form side must be destroyed i.e., the idea of separateness must be extinguished before unity, unification, harmony or oneness can be attained by the soul-Jiva-Atma. All ideas of separateness belongs to the lower nature of man. We generally compare the various degrees or stages of love or Bhakti to our social relations of different grades. There are generally four degrees of Bhakti. The first is that of Dasa (servant) and master, exampled by Saint Appar. The second is that of father and son – exampled by Saint Gnanasambanda. The third is that of friendship – exampled by Saint Sundarar. The fourth the highest is that of husband and wife – exampled by Saint Manikavachagar. Now you see that in the lowest the idea of duality exists. It is vanishing little by little as you rise to the higher and higher stage of Bhakti and at last it vanishes into nothing. Unity is reached. When that last step is reached by the Jiva –Atma, then it ceases to be Jiva Atma. Then "the sun light comes and dew drop falls into the shining sea;" then the "Sivam" is reached. In all our sacred books this grand idea is given in all manner of graceful similes and symbols. How can one be fit to attain wisdom from Dakshina Moorthi – the great Mahadeva as spiritual teacher – when the heresy of separateness still clings to him. This must be destroyed before the aspirant gets this highest state. The story of "Tripura Dahanam" denuded of its veil of symbology is this teaching of the slaying of the lower nature – the destruction of the form – and the consequent blaze of wisdom –light. Our bigoted Vaishnava sectarians, or the non-metaphysical Anglo Saxons cannot dream to understand, much less realize the several aspects of Siva. In the five Murthams of Siva, we have five aspects of the godhead –
(1) Satyojatham corresponds to creative aspect (Brahma)
(2) Vamadevam corresponds to the protecting aspect (Vishnu)
(3) Agoram corresponds to destructive aspect (Rudra).
(4) Thathpurusham corresponds to Throdhana aspect (Iswara).
(5) Isana corresponds to Sadasiva aspect (i.e. Para-Brahmam).
Vide Narayana Valli in Ambasyapasai. If you go on in this way, I am sure that you will find correspondences throughout. Sectarianism which divides man from man, and creates a good deal of exclusiveness for each is the cause of all theology.
When I began this letter I had no idea to dilate at such length on this subject which is near my heart. You will excuse the length. I do not know how far you may agree in the ideas herein shadowed forth.
With my best wishes,
P. Narayana Aiyar.