SAINT UYYAVANTHADEVA NAYANAR.
GOD THE GREAT PRECEPTOR.
1. அகளமா யாரு மறிவரி தப்பொருள்
சகளமாய் வந்த தென் றுந் தீபற
தானாகத் தந்த தென் றுந் தீபற.
As the Absolute, unknowable by any, That
In Form appeared: - Rise and fly
He, to become, blessed - Rise and fly.
Notes: - Taking form does not mean being born of the womb: He is the Unborn. A form is assumed for the purpose of instructing the soul, liberating it from bondage, and for granting the Blissful Union. The poor soul cannot be led otherwise. He appeared as Dakshana Murti (தக்ஷிணாமூர்த்தி) and instructed the Renowned Four disciples, Sanaka, Sanatara, Sanantana and Sanatkumara. The doctrine of “Avatara” does not apply to the Absolute. To be born of woman is a limitation. All forms are His and He, the indweller of all souls, and the underlying life-substance; of everything that is. Why to be born and where to be born? He the Absolute, Wisdom Pure, the Light effulgent, is beyond the ken of the senses, and the mind: words cannot reach Him. He is the Ever-present, Light, Life and Bliss. All forms will, in fullness of time become, formless, and the formless merge into Him who is beyond and behind Form, and No-Form. To speak of the Absolute as “He” is far short of the Truth: That is beyond “He” and “She”. That is ‘Unknowable’ with the ordinary instruments of Knowledge – Senses and the mind, but knowable “Realizable.” – ‘Realizable’ with Arul Jnanam – the Inner godly Light of Grace which is to be had by gradual training and preparation – discrimination, introspection and isolation. Discrimination of the Real and the Unreal, Introspection in order to withdraw from the unreal, and “Isolation” to be quite apart and aloof from all forms and instruments of Maya. The Great Preceptor instructs in divers ways-through the Elders, Teachers, Initiators, Masters of Religion and finally, when the soul is advanced enough in spirituality, He appears as Sat-Guru, Jnana-Guru-the Light-giver, and absorbs the sanctified soul into Him, and henceforth no duality, no separation and no seeking. It is all Bliss and Oneness.
That, as the Absolute, is Akanda-Sat-Chitananda-Sivam. In its Vastness of Pure Consciousness is involved the primordial substance of “Matter”- Maya (which is indestructible and eternal), unmanifest and latent. In the beginning, so to say – of a Kalpa, after the previous Pralaya. There was That, the Supreme, the Absolute, and naught else, - (manifest). Just as after a storm, there was the vast expanse of the sea only, and naught else-manifest, as all boats and crafts sank in the storm to the bottom of the deep. In that was also the Sakti Power – latent. Sakti is threefold: - Ichcha (willing), Jnana (knowing) and Kriya (acting). That, the Para Sivam willed and the Saktis began to act. Although there does not exist any difference here between the Sakti (Power) and the Sakta (Powerful) except the distinction mentally abstracted by us, as the possessed and the possessor, it is as well to distinguish the two aspects as The Lady and the Lord, as is done in our Sastras and Puranas. The Saktis, which are of the Lord and are of Sinmayam (சின்மயம்) (Sentient-Form) act on the Maya (Jada-insentient Form) imbedded in them; vibrations of the Great nada (sound) starts and evolution begins – in what manner and how is indescribable but the great Masters have given a sequence according to the operations of the various Saktis. The Jnanasakti acts on the Maya (which is to be called Suddha Maya the reason for which will be explained later) and that state of the Lord (Jnana alone) is called the Nishkala Sivam or லயசிவம், and of the Maya, Nadataram: the Kriya Sakti acts on the Maya, and that state of the Lady (Kriya alone) is called Bindu or Sakti and of the Maya, Bindutattva or Saktitattva. Jnana and Kriya Saktis acting equally, that state of the Lord is called Sada Sivam, and of the Sakti, Manonmani, and of the Maya Sadakya Tattva; of Jnana and Kriya, Kriya predominates and that state of the Lord is called Maheswara and of the lady Mahesvari, and of the Maya, Isvaratattva; the Jnana predominating, the state of the Lord is Rudra, and of the Sakti Uma and of the Maya, Suddha Viddhyatattva. In this tattva also are Vishnu and Brahma, with their consorts Lakshmi and Sarasvati. Nada and Vindhu is differentiated into Apara Nada, Apara Vindhu, Para Nada, Para Vindhu, all the four are Nishkala forms. Thus we get the nine aspects of the Lord called Navantharu bhedam (நவந்தரு பேதம்) Para Nada, Apara Nada, Para Vindhu, Apara Vindhu, Sadasivam, Mahesvara, Rudra, Vishnu and Brahma. Sadasivam is called Sakala Nishkala Sivam, and Mahesvara and the last three are called Sakala Siva. There are other names besides, Nishkala, Sakala Nishkala Sahala, Laya Sivam, Bhoga Sivam, Adikara Sivam, Sakhyukthar (Lord of Sakti) Udyaktar (exercising Sakti) Pravirthar (unfolding Sakti) respectively.
Mahesvara and Rudra forms are many and God is worshipped in those forms. The above Brahma, Vishnu and Rudras should not be confounded with the lower Brahma, Vishnu and Rudras who belong to the class of advanced souls, and who function according to the above powers of the Lord acting through them.
Dakshana Murti and other Murtis are of the Mahesvara forms. The above is a rough sketch of how the Absolute and the Nishkala – of No Form – acting on Maya becomes Sakala – of Form. It must be remembered that even the Sakala state referred to above, is Formless, Arupa – in comparison with the Prakriti forms of Maya (grossest) we are accustomed to.
TO BE FREE FROM WORLDLINESS (SAMSARA).
2. பழக்கந் தவிரப் பழகுவ தன்றி
யுழப்புவ தென் பெணே யுந்தீ பற
வொரு பொரு ளாலே யென் றுந் தீபற.
Without practicing to give up (old) habits
Why mis-conduct (yourself) dear. Rise and fly
With That One (and commune) – Rise and fly.
Notes: - The old habits of the soul are, running after sense-objects, with a longing for pleasure and an aversion to pain and sorrow, resulting in birth and rebirth: even the sanctified soul should be cautious not to be drawn into the old grooves, for as long as the body lasts, its alleged Karma (Prarabdha) will come in the form of pleasure and pain, and should the soul develop a longing or aversion, it will be caught again. The Ichcha, Jnana, Kriya of the soul (the will, consciousness and power) which were buried in worldliness should be unearthed, polished and made to reflect the Light of Sivam, so that one may will, know, and act with His Grace and be free from old habits, this should be the constant exercise of the soul. The giving up of old habits is by Discrimination, Introspection and Isolation.
CESSATION OF BIRTH AND DEATH.
3. கண்டத்தைக் கொண்டு கரும முடித்தவர்
பிண்டத்தில் வாராரென் றுந்தீபற
பிறப்பிறப் பில்லையென் றுந்தீபற.
Through the seen (Guru) they who exhausted Karmas
Will not he born in the womb – Rise and fly
No birth and death to them – Rise and fly.
Notes: - The Lord Himself who is the life of the soul, and has been immanent, now appears in visible form as Master, and through Him, all Karmas, Sanchita (accumulated), Prarabdha (commenced) and Akamiya (impending) are exhausted. The clinging to the body and its pleasures induces Karma, and the latter necessitates births: the root of Karma being “the clinging” the desire Moha: the first step towards the exhaustion of Karma is indifference to pleasure and pain, dispassion towards good and bad actions, இருவினையொப்பு, the poise of-two-fold-actions.
THE UNSPEAKABLE BLISS OF REALISATION.
4. எங்ங னிருந்ததென் றெவ்வண்ணஞ் சொல்லுகே
னங்ங னிருந்த தென் றுந்தீபற
வறியு மறிவதன் றுந்தீபற.
How it was, how shall I tell,
So it was (as realised) – Rise and fly
Not knowledge to be known – Rise and fly.
Notes: - The bliss of realisation is incomparable, unspeakable, and unthinkable. When one sees his own self and the inner self, Sivam, with the eye of Grace, and is inseparable, for experience is beyond words, and there is nothing else for comparison. Thought, word and deed are within the sphere of Maya (cosmic matter) and this experience is far, far beyond it. If one is then asked to state his experience, he can only say it was like the experience of the sanctified souls; let one be and become That.
THE LORD’S MANY ASPECTS.
5. ஏகனு மாகி யநேகனு மானவ
னாதனு மானானென் றுந்தீபற
நம்மையே, யாண்டானென் றுந்தீபற.
He that One (in you) and the many (out of you)
Became the Master too – Rise and fly
Even us enslaved – Rise and fly.
Notes: - The enlightened soul only can see the Lord in truth and in spirit. He is One as inseparable from the soul, and many as comprising everything denoted by “he”, “she” and “it” in the world outside, for to the enlightened, the world is a mirror of God and they see God and not the mirror. He is the Instructor, Preceptor and Master. The depth of his Love and Grace is to be seen in the redemption of the poor souls and securing for them the boon of lasting bliss.
THE ABSOLUTE SURRENDER TO THE LORD.
6. நஞ்செய் லற்றிந்த நாமற்ற பின்னாதன்
றன்செய றானேயென் றுந்தீபற
தன்னையே தந்தானென் றுந்தீபற.
Our agency given up and selves surrendered
Then the Lord’s acts and He – Rise and fly
Himself He offered – Rise and fly.
Notes: - If the soul is enlightened enough to be a dispassionate witness and not the doer or agent, it is said to discern its true nature – Atmadarsana. This is hard indeed to attain, for so subtle is the working of Anava that the notion of agency. Kartritvam sticks to the last and it is the inner spring of all evil. After knowing the Atma, the knower, as distinct from Anava, as it is from God, the Instructor, one attains the (darsana) discernment in ceasing to act on his initiative. The next stage is the complete surrender of self, so that neither individuality nor objective knowledge, leaves its trace behind, but there is the indistinguishable, inseparable union with Sivam. Now in the place of the Atma, the Lord himself shines and acts. In return for the surrender of self, He, who all the while eluded grasp, offers himself, i.e., the soul is in the realisation of Siva Bhoga (சிவபோகம்).
THE UNION WITHT THE LORD BY LOVE.
7. உள்ள முருகி லுடனாவ ரல்லது
தெள்ள வறியரென் றுந்தீபற
சிற்பரச் செல்வரென் றுந்தீபற.
Should the heart melt, they become unified (in Him)
Else, for search, He is rare – Rise and fly
(They) the rich in the Highest Wisdom – Rise and fly.
Notes: - The soul by dwelling on the Panchakshara and its underlying meaning as instructed by the Holy Master and on His Boundless Grace which has been ever with it, uplifting and redeeming it, from the bondage of evil, is mad with Divine Love, melts like wax and overflows, and the soul-nature gives place to Siva-nature which springs from within and it is there as Sivam. But to seek for Him with self-consciousness is of no avail. He is even behind the seeker. They who achieve this Union are in possession of the Higher Riches (of Wisdom).
THE UNION WITH THE LORD BY CONCENTRATION.
8. ஆதாரத் தாலே நிராதாரத் தேசென்று
மீதானத் தேசெல்க வுந்தீபற
விமலற் கிடமதென் றுந்தீபற.
Through the Pedestal Regions (Athara) to the Pedestal less (Nirathara) pass
And then to the Highest Abode – Rise and fly
That is the abode of the Immaculate – Rise and fly.
Notes: - The six Atharas are store-houses of energy, the seat or pedestals of certain gods or functionaries of the Lord. After meditating on the six deities at the centres concerned, i.e., after performing the Adhara-yoga to gain one pointedness, the soul is to see itself, alone, unattached to the bodily functions – Niradhara-yoga. It ceases to act, knowing its peril, and here is again Atmadarsana with its power of concentration, it flies to the Higher abode, and is unified in Sivam (Atmasuddhi). Nirmala-Sivam is thus beyond individuality and self-consciousness. Ninmalam (நின்மலம்), Vimalam (விமலம்) is applicable to the Lord alone as He is beyond Mala, the Eternally Pure, the Eternally Free, the Immaculate. The path of concentration is very helpful towards the Ultimate realisation. The mind which has been “going forth” on all things outside and dwelling on them incessantly, is too weak and dissipated to “turn within” and withdraw all its energies from their holds. The secret of spiritual strength lies in the concentration of the energies of the mind, just as the secret of Port Lights lies in the focussing of the light. If the Light diffuses its rays on all sides, it ceases to be of use to mariners at a distance, but, if by a proper arrangement of lenses, the light is shut off on all sides but one and focussed in one direction, the power is increased many fold and it dispels the darkness for many miles. The light of the mind is now diffused in all directions, and into pestiferous corners. All moral laws, religious tenets and Temple worship, Prayers, penances and services, Puja, Japa and Dhyana, are for the Purification and the concentration of the mind. Beyond these all, is the sphere of the Soul and beyond that the Highest abode of Sivam. The mind is to be led from its present surroundings, along gradual steps, from the grossest to the subtlest, until it can ponder on the nature of the Soul and God and see them both as they are; or rather that the soul may see itself and God as Jnanasvarupa (sentient form), as distinct from the grass, concrete, Jadasvarupa (material form) and lose itself in God-consciousness or Sivajnanam. That being the end, the goal of all pilgrims on the ladder of Spiritual Evolution, the Sastras prescribe the grades by which all must ascend, the weak and the strong, the young and the old, each according to his or her strength, none shall be left behind, each and every soul to move on as best as it could, till the goal is reached. Spiritual Evolution is as stubborn a fact as Mental Evolution.
Many children of God, not knowing this grand and rational doctrine of the Siddhanta, which on this account, can be the only Universal Religion and Philosophy, decry the tenets of others, who are either in a higher or lower step. It must be said to the credit of the Saiva Siddhanta that it is the only Religion that recognises all religions, and faiths and creeds as God’s – even Nihilism and Atheism given to man to suit him at each stage of Evolution, until the goal is reached. The apparent diversity of creeds is nothing but steps in the ladder – the one ladder of Evolution, it goes out of view just as the several hills and dales on the face of the earth, are lost to view beside the immensity of the globe itself when presented to the eyes.
Would that all come to realise the Truth behind the Sopana Marga (ladder way) of Siddhanta!
ATHARA YOGA IS NOT THE DIRECT MEANS TO SAYUJYA
9. ஆங்கிலங் கேயுண்டா யல்லதங் கில்லையாய்ப்
பார்க்கிற் பரமதன் றுந்தீபற
பாவனைக் கெய்தாதென் றுந்தீபற.
Caused to be, there it is, if not non est
On examination not the Highest – Rise and fly
That comes not within conception – Rise and fly.
Notes: - The meditation on the deities of the Atharas is accomplished with self-consciousness and during the meditation only, the deities exist for the meditator, and what can be achieved by this Yoga at its best is one pointedness of the mind and births in the higher spheres of existence, according to the success attained realising Saloka, Samipa or Sarupa. Beyond this is the Higher State of Sayujya, unapproachable with individuality and self-consciousness. That is Mayathitham, beyond Maya, and as long as self-consciousness lasts, one cannot leave the prison of Maya, and all Yoga with the nature of I or self is but a lower stage, although as essential as each rung of the ladder.
That One is beyond the reach of the mind – to be realised though and in God-Consciousness (Sivajnanam).
10. அஞ்சே யஞ்சாக வறிவே யறிவாகத்
துஞ்சா துணர்ந்திருந் துந்தீபற
துய்ய பொருளீதென் றுந்தீபற.
The five (bhutas) to be the five and knower, knower
Unslumbering, discerning be – Rise and fly
This is the subtle Truth – Rise and fly.
Notes: - Our bodies and worlds have the five bhutas (rudiments) Earth, water, fire, air, ether for their cause and these are the last evolutes of Maya, the inner and the outer senses having already evolved. The soul, the sentient, chit, அறிவு, being caught within them, runs with the mind and after the senses in pursuit of pleasure and identifies itself with the body. One should carefully discriminate the “five” from himself, the knower, and dissociate from the body and the senses. The light he received with the help of the senses, outer, inner and innermost, now erasing the darkness of Anavamala might again bring about the slumber of Kevala. That should be guarded against, and the full light of the sanctified soul enjoyed, i.e., the spiritual nature of Self and Sivam discerned.
Those who do not enquire into the true nature of the soul are slumbering in the lap of the world, dreaming of the perishable and the evanescent. To discriminate between the perishable and the imperishable between Jada-Prapancha and Chit-Prapancha, and to hold fast to the Truth of it, is a great achievement and rouses one from the great Peril of worldliness. Still, the same slumber will stealthily creep in and overpower the enlightened, unless they are wary and achieve i.e. unless they are in the presence of the Light of Wisdom. Hence is it commanded, Sleep not, but Arise and Discern. To know that I am not “the world” or “Flesh” that I am not for “the world” or “for the flesh”, but that I am the knower, Spirit அறிவு, whose Happiness is not in the perishing world of flesh, but in the everlasting sphere of consciousness, in the Light of Wisdom, is the great awakening of the soul.
To be liberated from the thraldom of the flesh from the modification of the mind, Chitta, Vritti, and to be watching and witnessing from the closed chambers of the Soul is the great Liberation of the Soul. To dwell on the nature of the soul and God, on His Grace and Bliss incessantly and to lose oneself in such Wisdom is the. This is the way and the secret – the quintessence of the Vedas and the Agamas. Great Communion
By whatever path one hopes to reach the goal, the dissociation from the body and its pleasures is indispensable and the conclusion of all the Sastras is to this effect; it is the established truth, and the accepted doctrine.
The inner senses are, Manas (mind), Buddhi (Intellect) Chitta (mind stuff), Ahankara (individuator).
The innermost senses are Kalai (energy-valve) Viddhai (consciousness-valve), Ragam (will-valve).
REALISATION IMPOSSIBLE WITH SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS.
11. தாக்கியே தாக்காது நின்றதோர் தற்பர
னோக்கிற் குழையுமென் றுந்தீபற
நோக்காம னோக்கவென் றுந்தீபற.
Affecting (all) and (yet) unaffected stands the one, the Most High,
Looked for, fades (into nothing) – Rise and fly
Look (subjectively) without looking for (objectively) – Rise and fly.
Notes: - As long as the notion of subject and object lasts, the realisation of Oneness with him is an impossibility: தற்போதம் the notion of I as the subject – the self-consciousness will always suggest the object and God cannot become the object, and what is presented then as object is Maya in some shape or form. Sivam is to be realised in His own abode which is beyond the sphere of Jnathuru, Jnana, Jneyam, Knower, knowledge and the known.
THE GREATNESS OF THE MASTER.
12. முலை யிருந்தாரை முற்றத்தே விட்டவர்
சாலப் பெரியரென் றுந்தீபற
தவத்திற் றலைவரென் றுந்தீபற.
Who leads to the court yard, the dwellers in the corners
Very Great One is He – Rise and fly
To the godly, the Chief – Rise and fly.
Notes: - The soul owing to its close attachment to the senses and sense-perceptions to the detriment of its power, as their master ruler, is said to dwell in the corners instead of in the free air of its throne. Besides, while it functions in the body, in five states – Pancha Avasta, it descends from its seat in the forehead to lower seats (atharas); the going from the corner of one Athara to another has become its second nature and marks its bondage. It is not to be understood that the soul has dimensions and ascends and descend by the working of a pulley or wire shoot. The soul being “Chit” – sentient – has no dimensions or form, it is omnipresent வியாபகம் in the body and out of it. The centre or athara where its powers are most manifested owing to faculties originating from there, is said to be its seat in that state or Avasta. The soul which has been in the darkness of Anava, unable to know, will or do, exercises its powers through the faculties given to it more or less according to their number. The master illumines the soul to its extent in order that it may enjoy the freedom in the court-yard of Chitakas – the space of bliss and knowledge. The one who shows the way and liberates the soul from its “corners” is great indeed – the Saviour of the soul from the whirl of Samsara. The Guru completely changes the ways of the soul, its likes and dislikes, and cuts asunder the fetters, cleanses it, anoints it, and enthrones it in the free and the flagrant atmosphere of Chitakas or Jnanakasa. His greatness can be understood only when the extent of the misery and the woes of Bondage which he removed by his gracious Touch, is realised.
THE ABODE OF SIVAM ATTAINABLE.
13. ஒட்டற்று நின்ற வுணர்வு பதிமுட்டித்
தேட்டற் றிடஞ்சிவ முந்தீபற
தேடு மிடமதன் றுந்தீபற.
The wisdom which having ceased to run (out) abides, being filled with Pathi,
Ceases to search, there is Sivam – Rise and fly
That is not place to be searched for – Rise and fly.
Notes: - The moment the soul dissociates itself from its erstwhile companions, the senses, inner and outer, and knows its pure nature, it is filled with the effulgence of the Lord and loses its self-consciousness-individuality, and what reigns instead is the God-conscious Unity. He cannot be brought within the objective perception. The Being of Siva (Svarupam) is to be seen thus, and the advanced soul which had achieved Atma Suddhi – the cessation of individuality – is thus led to experience Siva Darsanam – the sight of Siva. Siva Darsanam is an achievement of the soul, (The 8th among the 10 achievements – Dasakarya), beyond description. In this state of Jnana, the soul is bereft of the notions of “I” and “mine”, is full of the Grace of the Master to whom it has surrendered in toto, sees but His Grace in the diversity of the world around, experiences naught but His Grace in all the divers forms of “He”, “She” and “It”, acts not, but is led by His Grace in the ecstasy of God-consciousness, shuts out everything but the one experience, dissociating itself from the wily senses of triple form – outer, inner, inmost, falls not into the Sleep of Bondage, nor into the snares of the Enlightened Ego, (Aham Brahma Jnanam), but reflects the Splendour and the Light of the Lord, its Master, and Preceptor and is in the enjoyment of the everlasting Bliss. The text will clearly show the different stages of this experience, if one carefully contemplates on the first line.
ஒட்டு + அற்ற + நின்ற + உணர்வு + பதிமுட்டி + தேட்டு + அற்ற + இடம் + சிவம்.
THE LIGHT OF SIVAM.
14. கிடந்த கிழவியைக் கிள்ளி யெழுப்பி
யுடந்தை யுடனேநின் றுந்தீபற
வுன்னையே கண்டதென் றுந்தீபற.
The sleeping Dame pinch and wake
Be one with the heritage – Rise and fly
You, it absorbs – Rise and fly.
Notes: - The sleeping Dame is the Jnanasakti of the Lord which has been ever with you and near you, but unknown to you, with this only mission of saving and blessing you. Not that she is sleeping, the ever vigilant Mother, but that Her influence is latent in your consciousness, and therefore, open the way for the flow with the help of the Master; you are one with the Light, and the Lord absorbs you into Himself. The sleeping Dame is the grand old Lady, who bears in her womb all the myriads of worlds and souls; the Mother of all, the Jnanasakti of the Lord mentioned in the Sastras is திருவருள் or Parasakti and enshrined in the temples as Parvati, Uma, Sivakami. She is the source of all Power and Light, the Guide and the Saviour; sanctified souls can only realise the sweetness of her Grace and once they achieve Siva Darsanam, they see the secrets of the Mother and are unified in Her Tiruvarul. They know the folly of the souls who dream of their own power, love, and knowledge, when really there is naught but the Power, Light and Love of Tiruvarul; they know that none acts but Her command and that all the Good and the Evil, pain and pleasure, are wrought by her Hand; they consequently see and hear and touch and taste Tiruvarul and or in deep communion with Her. This is known as Siva-Yoga, the Union and communion with Siva, otherwise known as Jnana-Yoga.
15. பற்றை யறுப்பதோர் பற்றினைப் பற்றிலப்
பற்றை யறுப்பரென் றுந்தீபற
பாவிக்க வாராரென் றுந்தீபற.
(Sense) attachment-sundering tie, should you lay hold of
That tie He sunders – Rise and fly
Within imaging, He comes not – Rise and fly.
Notes: - To establish a complete unity of consciousness and the bliss of Siva-anubhavam, the soul arrives at the last stage, the tenth. It has cut asunder the attachment of the body, senses, Antahkaranas, and Prana by its union with the great Tiruvarul, it has been in constant communion with Tiruvarul, it has resigned all acts of Tiruvarul, it has been with the full blaze of Sivajnanam, but there may be the last vestige of Anava, very slight, indeed, but rendering Perfect Bliss impossible, which asserts duality – “that I am in Siva-yoga,” “I am in Tiruvarul” etc., this is tie in itself, a defect and a bondage this is removed by Soham Bhavana – “That am I” – by dwelling with the out-pourings of Love on the true nature of the Lord as Master and Benefactor, the all powerful Existence, beside which all else is as naught, and fully realising the Advaita-Anubhavam, non-dual experience of Bliss as denoted in the Panchakshara. Then there is oneness. That has merged the soul into its Being; there is Siva Bhogam, the Lord Himself acting through the soul, Karanas and body. This is the way to be and to Become Him, the summum bonum, the Final Liberator, Mukti, and the enjoyment of Sayujya. There is no other way to realise Him, to attempt it with the aid of the mind and the other inner faculties, to conceive of it and meditate is fruitless. He cannot come within the imaging of the faculties. He is behind them all and behind the soul. How can the tongs take hold of the fingers which hold it; How can the eyes see the soul which is vivifies them and at whose command they see? That which is behind everything, behind mind and soul cannot be brought within the lenses of the mind and portrayed.
Soham Bhavana or Sivoham-Bhavana has mislead many a soul into the pit-falls of Anava. The Maha Vakyas have been mistaken and abused and several treatises and discourses have been published upholding the pernicious doctrines of Ekatmavada and Mayavada. In fact, the literature of this so called Vedanta is becoming enormous and many a deluded soul fails to distinguish between the Aham Brahma Jnana and the Tiruvarul Jnana. Aham Brahma Jnana when taken hold of at the wrong end is delusion caught at the right end is illumination: Those who take hold of it at the wrong end require no further instruction than the phrase they have unwittingly added to the Tamil language – they would have themselves used it often – அவன் அகம்பிரமம்பிடித்தவன். Does this mean that he is in Brahmajnana? In Niratisaya Ananda? They know the answer to be that he is in Anava, in Ahankara. After all the toil of climbing up the hill, one careless step has brought them into the pit fall of Anava, which they have been labouring to cross over. Until they wake up from the delusion, it would be as well to meditate on the stigma on their Sadhana suggested by the expression அகம்பிரமம் பிடித்தவன் (He is caught by Aham Brahmam).
Now where does the error come in, let us try to examine ‘Aham Brahmasmi,’ – ‘I am Brahman.’ ‘Tatvamasi,’ – That Thou art, are two of the Mahavakyas often harped upon. The second is the instruction received by the qualified disciple from the Guru for meditation or Bhavana. The disciple meditates on the first ‘I am Brahman.’ In this formula, one can see the identity of two things established, I and Brahman; there must be two distinct conceptions before one establishes the unity. The disciple cannot realise the unity in his Bhavana unless one or the other is negotiated, namely that the conception of ‘I’ is not, or that the conception of ‘Brahman’ is not. In the former case while “I” is negatived Brahman is asserted and in the latter, while Brahman is negatived. “I” is asserted: these are the two ends of Aham Brahma Jnana. Which is the right end is the question? The soul which has been all the time under the influence of “I” – Aham willing, thinking, feeling and acting as “I” separating itself from the rest with the notions of “You” “He”, “She” and It, will it be free from the taint of Ahankara, however slight it may be at this stage when it asserts the “I” and negatives Brahman in the conception of the formula. Calm thinking will convince any one that to be free from the taint of ‘Aham’ one must negative ‘Aham’ and assert “Brahman”, with all force, meditate on the same Vakya ‘Aham Brahman Asmi, with this intent and force, the result is that the conception of ‘I’ disappears altogether, and you are in the realisation of oneness with Brahman, you are merged in His Being. Those who meditate with the negation of “I” and the assertion of Brahman know the play of the Tiruvarul, the Jnanasakti of the Lord. They are thus in Tiruvarul Jnanam, seeing and acting with Arul, being as Arul, naught but Arul fills their soul, and everything out of them. They see in all forms the Arul, the saving Power of the Lord, “மண்ணொடைந்தும் வழங்குமுயிர்யாவுமே. அண்ணலேநின்னருள்வடிவாகும்மே.” – they sing day to day. This is the refreshing and cool atmosphere off Jnana, to the weary Soul tired of births and samsara, a Rest and a Repose with Bliss and Joy unspeakable. Is there a mind so untutored as to think that all the evils brought about by the assertion of “Aham” will cease when the same Aham is asserted on a higher plane? It is the same thing as to assert that a haughty chief will become humble when he is crowned Emperor of all Lands and Seas or that one drunk in beer will get over it when he is plunged into a barrel of whisky; on the other hand, the other Sadhana of the negation of the “I” is a check on the natural tendency of the soul to assert itself. Stop that once for all, knowing the peril, dwell on the third person “He”, to forget the first person “I”. He is everything, he is all in all, all else is as naught beside it. St. Tayumanavar very aptly puts it in one of his verses: -
சொல்லுக் கடங்காச் சகப்பொருளை நாமெனவே
யல்லும் பகலும் அரற்றுவதென் – நல்லசிவ
ஞானமயம் பெற்றோர்க ணாமில்லை யென்பரந்தோ
மோனமய மான முறை.
Will it not set these deluded souls a thinking: To add to the inconsistency of their position, they begin their treatises with சிவமயம், திருச்சிற்றம்பலம், invoke Ganesa for aid (காப்பு), they speak of Arul, deck themselves with Rudraksha and wear sacred ashes: Arul for whom? For Brahman? They would speak of the reality of the souls and the world in the Vyavakarika and deny it in the Paramartika. They would not stop to think that absence of a thing from their conception does not prove the non-existence of the thing. When this is being written, the writer knows not that there are clothes on the body, that he is in a particular room, towards this direction, seated in this or that fashion; would it prove the absolute negation of all that: It was not in his conception. In the same way to the Jnani, the world is not, soul is not: all that he knows and experiences is Brahman. Brahman alone exists for him. Instead of endeavouring to understand this, they attempt the impossible by talking of Ekatmavada and running wild into Mayavada that there is only one Atman, what appears to be many is only illusion due to the power of Maya, just as myriads of suns appear in water when there is in reality only one. Should we press the point further? Can mind be so weak as to take in all their postulates without seeing the absurdity of the logical conclusions one is led to.
This is not the place to discuss this point further. Any impartial mind can see the advisability and the absolute necessity of the negation of the “I” is to be out of the influence of “I-hood”. Negation not of the thing itself, but as naught before the source of all Power and Grace both in Viyavakarika and Paramartika, and it is helpful here and hereafter. The Polar star is naught, however bright it may be in the full blaze of the sun. It is quite logical from any stand point of view. From their point of view it is negation with a vengeance, - “the negation of the apparent self, negation of the plurality of selves, negation of sorrow, negation of diversity, negation of form: they are all one! They appear to be many! I am That, The Sat Chit Ananda, I am not in bondage”. When there is no bondage, there is no liberation – why all the Sadhanas and Dhyanas? If they are to liberate us from the delusion that we are in sorrow etc., this delusion is a reality. We, who are the Ever-free are in bondage then!
There is no guarantee that we shall not fall into the same delusion again after once liberating ourselves, for, the Ever Free has been once under the power of Maya. Why not leave things to go on as they are, without wasting time and labour in working out our liberation, if it is only to be in bondage again. Throw the moth a hundred times away from the lamp, it will return again. Any sensible man will not engage himself in this useless work. Those and other questions do not suggest themselves to these Aham Brahma Jnanis.
Do people understand the subtle force of Anava? Its greatest power over advanced souls is seen in the domination of the Ekatmavada and Aham Brahma Jnana in them. It will not leave till the last, it follows one’s steps as does his shade. Lights all round will cause it to disappear as it does the shade, and when light diminishes on one side, the shade is thrown out again. Therefore one would do well to put himself in the centre of all light, Brahman or Sivam and cover himself with His Rays, losing his individuality in the Being of the Brahman or Sivam.\
Instead of adopting the risky method of Aham-Brahma Sadhana in which there is the natural tendency to assert the ‘I” and the laborious expansion of the little self to the full Being of the Great Self, one is instructed in “Brahma-Aham” Sadhana or Soham or Sivoham Bhavana, where the merging of one’s self in the Great Self is easily effected by the absolute resignation of one’s Ichcha, Kriya and Jnana functions, and by the great surrender of Atmasuddhi. The last trace of Anava (separation) which is to be seen, while in Tiruvarul Jnana in the feeling “I am in Tiruvarul” is also removed by this Soham Bhavana.
This is well illustrated in the Panchakshara meditation. The whole universe of matter and spirit, man and beast, God and soul is compressed in the Five mystic letters for meditation and there are various stages, and formulas according to the spiritual advance of the aspirant to Sayujya. There is the Sthula Panchakshara on the one side, and the forces of Jnana on the other, but the former being presented prominently in front as the aspirant is still casting his eyes on the world of Samsara. One step higher, the aspirant is yearning for Jnana, has turned his eyes Godward, although the forces of the world are pulling him from behind: this is aptly represented in the Sukshma Panchakshara God and the forces of Jnana in front, the world and the forces of Samsara behind, and the soul in the middle turned Godward, a step further what was behind naturally gets out of the conception of the aspirant, on the same principle as the proverb “out of sight, out of mind,” then you have the Karana Panchakshara, the soul between ‘God and the forces of Jnana’ in front and behind, or say all round on all sides, God and Tiruvarul and he in the centre. This is also called இருதலைமாணிக்கம், as in this Panchakshara, soul si represented as between two heads representing God and Tiruvarul. The next step is merging into Tiruvarul, so that only two letters are present to view – Mahakarana. This is where we are in the present verse – in Tiruvarul Jnana. We are one with the mother – Jnanasakti: The last is merging of the two letters into one, the God letter, the Siva letter – the summum bonum is reached. The truths connected with the Panchakshara are to be learnt by qualified aspirants from qualified masters who will come to them in the twinkling of the eye, and as sure as day follows night, if only they are sincere and yearn for Liberation. The lord, the Great Preceptor has his agents ready to redeem souls step by step by sending them in the fullness of time. When the bud blossoms, fragrance comes to it, it will never fail. St. Pattinattadigal willing to instruct qualified souls without breaking the restrictions of the Sastras, speaks of the Truth of Panchakshara in a verse in covered terms and that is our sanction for treating it here. Would that more liberty was given us by the Sastras and the masters to reveal to all in print the excellence and the secrets of the Panchakshara Meditation as far as understood by us however little it may be.
மாயகட் போரையு மாயாமலமெனு மாதரையும்
வீயவிட்டோட்டீ வெளியே புறப்பட்டு மெய்யருளாந்
தாயுடன் சென்றுபின் றாதையைக்கூடிப்பின் றாயைமறந்
தேயுமதேநிட்டை யென்றா னெழிற்கசகி யேகம்பனே.
St. Manikkavachakar sings to the same effect, but the commentaries so far available have not brought out the inner meaning of these verses. It is worth pondering:
உடையாளுன்ற னடுவிருக்கு முடையாணடுவு ணீயிருத்தி
யடியே னடுவுளிரு வீருமிருப்பதானா லடியேனுன்
னடியார் நடுவிளிருக்கு மருளைப்புரியாய் பொன்னம்பலத்தெம்
முடியாமுதலே யென்கருத்து முடியும்வண்ண முன்னின்றே.
முன்னின்றாண்டா யெனைமுன்ன மியானுமதுவே முயல்வுற்றுப்
பின்னின்றேவல் செய்கின்றேன் பிற்பட்டொழிந்தேன் பெம்மானே
யென்னின்றருளி வரநின்று போந்திடென்னா விடிலடியார்
ருன்னின்றிவனா ரென்னாரோ பொன்னம்பலக்கூத் துக்கந்தானே.
DISPASSION OR NON-ATTACHMENT OF THE SIVAYOGI.
16. உழவா துணர்கின்ற யோகிக ளொன்றோடுந்
தழுவாம னிற்பரென் றுந்தீபற
தாழ்மணி நாவேபோ லுந்தீபற.
Unwhirling discerning Yogis, to nothing
Stand attached – Rise and fly
Like the bell of (too) short tongue. Rise and fly.
Notes: - To the Siva yogi who is now firmly established in Siva Bhoga, no sense enjoyment can be alluring enough. The body and the Karanas have been transformed into vehicles of Sivajnana; until the body lasts, objects presented through Prarabhda Karma will be experienced through Tiruvaruljnana and will not have the power to attract them or cause attachment. They may rule as kings, be householders and deck themselves with silk, flower and rubies, yet, these have no hold on them as they have their hold on the Sivanubhavam of Unspeakable Bliss. Like the bell, the tongue of which is too short to strike the cup, yet in form like other bells, the Jnanis are like other men among them and yet they are free from attachment to sense objects. The bell cannot ring, it is dumb; the Jnani cannot sin. He is free.
The process of Enlightenment is four-fold, First – Hearing (கேட்டல்) Truths from the Guru, secondly – Pondering (சிந்தித்தல்) over what was heard, thirdly – Understanding (தெளிதல்) the true import, and fourthly – Realising (நிட்டை) in one’s self the Unity of Bliss. The Enlightened Jnani will be in the fourth stage of Communion or Realisation (நிட்டை). The lower processes are steps already trod by the Jnani, who now has no ignorance to be removed by கேட்டல், no opposing influences to be counteracted by சிந்தித்தல் and no doubts, to be cleared by தெளிதல். The passing beyond these three stages is difficult indeed. But how many souls, have not yet entered the threshold of this path (கேட்டல்) being drawn away by the wiles of the world! Comparing the worldly tendencies of the many with the godly tendencies of the few aspirants, one can safely say that the Jnani who has passed into the fourth stage is the Great Victor. He will no more have to fight the old battles.
The unenlightened soul cannot know except in union with the faculties of the body. The faculties are three-fold, the outer, புறக்கரணம், the senses, the inner - அந்தக்கரணம், - manas etc., and the inmost உள் அந்தக்கரணம் – Kalai etc. See notes on Verse 10. And according as it joins one or other, or all of these groups of faculties, the soul is said to be in certain avastas – state or condition of knowledge. When the soul is dissociated from the karanas it will be in the darkness of Kevala; while it is associated with them, it will be in the lamp light of Sakala. While it is dissociated again after Enlightenment, it is in the Sun-shine of Ninmala. While in Sakala state, the soul has its waking (Jagrat), dreaming (swapna), sleeping (sushupti), fourth (Turiya) and beyond the fourth (Turiyatita) states.
The Enlightened soul, the Jnani, will not fall back into these avastas, as he will ever be in the Ninmala Turiyatitam that is why we find in the text they are referred to as உழவாதுணர்கின்ற யோகிகள். They will neither whirl again through the Processes of Enlightenment nor toil through the various states of knowledge, they have reached the zenith of Enlightenment, no more bondage or attachment ஏகாந்திக்கு எங்கிருந்தாலென்.
THE SIGNS ON THE WAY.
17. திருக்சிலம் பொசை யொலிவழியே சென்று
நிருத்தனைக் கும்பிடென் றுந்தீபற
நேர்பட வங்கேநின் றுந்தீபற.
In the wake of the resonance of the ankles, press forward.
And the Dancer adore – Rise and fly
Directly there standing – Rise and fly.
Notes: - Those who, by the Grace of the Lord, have succeeded in subduing the turbulent senses, are free from the tumult and the row of the passions. There will be a calm and quietness which is in itself a relief and pleasure. If in this calm, the soul trained in dhyana and dharana (meditation and concentration) pauses and listens, it will hear the Nadha and Vindhu of the Lord (the primal vibrations in the Suddha Maya region) which have been ever sounding their sweet music on the deaf ears of the soul. The soul was deaf to their music, because, it was in the midst of the noisy senses; just as children fully engaged in their plays in the court-yard are deaf to the sweet call of the parents from inside the house; these children of God fully occupied in the plays of the senses heard not the inviting music of the Great Father. Once the play is over, they rise and go, direct into the house in the wake of the music which proceeds from the inner apartments where their parents are. Once in, they are in the embraces of their Mother, who presents them to the watchful eyes of the Father. The dear ones seated on the lap of the father, look up to him with hopes to receive his favour and bounty, his caresses and kisses, entirely resigning themselves to the sweet will of the Father, and forgetting their actions and activities in which they were erstwhile engaged.
In this attitude of the child is the salvation of souls. It is the great surrender, the atma-suddhi. To realise the eternal Dancer, Natarajah, as the source of all power and action, the spring of life and joys, the controller of all worlds and regions, the director and the dispenser of souls, mundane and celestial, is the way of peace; to adore him, as such, is to keep oneself constantly in his presence; and to enjoy experience of the highest Bliss. Paramanandham, even so, as the child on the lap of the Father, enjoys the sight and the bounty of its Graceful parent.
This experience is disturbed, should the child cease to look up to him, and cast its looks on the play ground and its playmates. Delusion and mis-conception are two of the deadliest diseases of the soul, hard to cure and frequently relapsing. To subdue them and keep them away one should unswervingly strait away, fix his whole attention and heart on the doctor of all diseases, Vaidya Nathan. As the effect of the delusion and mis-conception Mayakka Vihalpam, the soul will be driven to prize that which is unworthy, perishable and deceitful, as praiseworthy, permanent and charming. One requires a strong will power, proper guidance and right understanding to rise above the bewildering and enchanting advances of the power of Maya. That is why the soul is enjoined not to fall back into the old grooves of sense-enjoyment, but to go directly to the fact of wisdom, with all mind and heart, and straight away, without distractions and delusions, doubt and delay.
Adepts in yoga declare that while seated in firm concentration, as the result of constant efforts is raising the latent powers of Kundalini and forcing it through the centres of energy in the Sushumna canal the music of Natha and Vindhu is quite perceptible, and that it is the fore-runner of the subsequent calm quietude in the region of the sakti. There too, they see a light effulgent and beaming, as if it were artificially lighted with myriads of moons. These stages of yoga are not to be talked about or preached. They have to be attained by diligent application. Above this music and light is the seat of the eternal Dancer, which is to be seen through Samadhi.
Yoga is a training to the physical and mental vestiges of the soul enabling them to prepare the way to the direct vision of the dancer. In fact, all training is a form of yoga whether in the nursery or in the academy. The higher stages for the control and the purification of oneself, are not taught in colleges or universities. They are to be learnt at the feet of masters who have seen and can show the hold of samadhi, the Ashtanga yoga (the eight steps of unification) should be practised by the soul before it can attain the final Bliss.
The music in temples, the surrounding of the conch, and the gong, the ringing of the bell are but the outward emblems of the inner Nadha, which is to be heard, while in the worship of the inner Svamin.
THE KEY OF DELIVERANCE
18. மருளுந் தெருளும்மறக்குமவன்க
Delusion and (mis) understanding will die away
His Grace (you) forget not. Rise and fly
That’s the secret here – Rise and fly.
Notes: - The knowledge of and attachment to the things of the world, commonly referred to as (பாசஞானம்) Pasajnanam is one of the and perhaps the first of hindrances to the realisation of Sivajnanam. The pleasures of Maya present themselves in regular array and keep the soul captive within their walls and the soul naturally untutored as it is thinks that the highest ambition of life is the enjoyments it has been won’t to seek. It loses itself so much in the pursuits of this pleasure, that it knows nothing but the dazzle of the bewitching world, father, mother, wife and child, brothers and sisters, relations and friends, power and glory, kingdom and crown, these are too great to die from its memory: the long ties of kinship and friendship, with the powers of maya are too strong to break off from its hold. But the truth of it all is known to the truth-seekers who ask the less advanced in plain, unequivocal words “நடலைவாழ்வு கொண்டென் செய்தீர், நாணிலீர்” “O ye, shameless creatures, what have you profited by the false show of life”! To prize the fleeting pleasures of the world, and to hanker after them is indeed the great delusion of souls. It is the Mayakkam (மயக்கம்) Marul (மருள்).
While in this delusion, the soul does get glimpses of itself, in the light of which it distinguishes the perishing from the everlasting. This is certainly knowledge or understanding as opposed to ignorance and delusion. But this understanding leads one into the belief that he, the knower is a self-sufficient entity existing as if by its own powers; in short, that he is the centre and pivot of all things around. This sort of understanding is referred to as (தெருள்விகல்பம்) Therul vikalpam and is really mis-understanding, in view of the correct understanding of the truths. Neither marul nor therul will lead one to the blissful goal. This hindrance of Pasu Jnanam is as equally harmful as that of Pasa Jnanam. These two must disappear without the least trace of their existence before one can be said to be in the complete realisation of the bliss of Pati Jnanam or Arul Jnanam. But the two are formidable enemies of right understanding, a most invincible and over-powering; very few can withstand their weapons of attach. It is a case of cannon to the right of them, cannon to the left of them, cannon in front of them and what is more, these enemies lurk within in the inner chambers of the heart and mind and the rendezvous of the soul. Their subtlety and treachery are such that one more often surrenders after winning many a battle which is disconcerting and painful. The victory is soon won if one is in possession of the key of deliverance, which is true Jnanam.
One can defy the powers of maya by throwing over them the veil or Arul. They come in the forms of women, wine and wealth, position, pomp and power; by distinguishing the perishable from the imperishable, the evanescent from the everlasting, by the light of wisdom, and by firm resolution to be attached to the imperishable and the everlasting one, weans himself from old habits. Add to this that in all beings the Lord is immanent, as he, she and it, see him in all things presented to your view as he, she and it, as there is no power besides His Sakti, Arul, see all things with this conviction as Arulsvarupa forms of his Grace. Every object presented to you will then be naught but Arul, forms for worship and reverence. God whom you saw in the temple as spirit ever present there, is seen within you, is also seen without you and by a further step in Bhavana is seen as you and you realize ‘I am that’ – Aham Brahmah asmi – that full and lasting Bliss – Paripurana paramanandham – the consummation of Bhavana. Descend not from this experience to the lower stages of Bhavana and let in forces of maya; The higher you ascend in Bhavana, the lesser the forces of Maya; reach the highest stage of Sivoham Bhavana, the forces of maya cannot reach you, you are blissful but the tendency in the clutches of maya. As a preventive against this tendency to descend down, hold fast to the vision of Arul and be firmly seated in the experience of Sivoham, that is, ever be in the light of Brahmajnana - அருள் மறவாதே. That is the way and the secret – the goal is reached and you are that Tat tvam asi.
This is the fruit of Bhavana. These maxims – Mahavakyas should not be mistaken to be postulates against the existence of the Tripadhartha, the three entities. They are ever existing, and you be lost in that through the way of Bhavana, they do not exist for you in your vision except as that.
THE QUICKNESS OF SIVANUBHAVAM – GOD – REALIZATION.
19. கருதவதன்முன் கருத்தழியப்பாயு
Ere you think, He flows, ego-melting
The Unique dame’s lord, rise and fly
A rarity for thought, rise and fly.
Notes: - The one, who has trained himself to see the forms of grace all around, Arulmayam need not labour long at Sivoham Bhavana. The moment he wishes to see and realize Sivam through this eye of Grace – Tiruvaruljnanam – He, the lord of Arulsakti, overflows and engulfs the last vestige of self-consciousness which melts and dissolves instantly in his expanse of wisdom, as he has been near ever heating the hardened soul through the rays of Grace. Henceforth what is there except the Being, the Will and the Act of the Lord. Thus do you see the Lord and be with him in the great experience of Siva-Bhoga-unalloyed, everlasting, serene and blissful existence. You cannot know him through the senses and the mind; nor can you see as long as you are within the folds of ‘I’ hood however light.
Through the contemplation of the forms of the Deity, one attains that stage in which he assumes ‘I am that’ it is a bhavana – assumption – that, Aham ‘I’ am, Siva – Sivam, Siva-Aham-bhavana Sivoham bhavana. The assumption of the unity of self with the one unchanging existence –sat.
THE NECESSITY FOR CONSTANT REALIZATION.
Within the space of Bliss, devoid of night and day
Mix and permeate, Rise and fly
Fast and Fast – Rise and fly.
Notes: - The night and day are the night of Kevala and the day of sakala. The soul in conjunction with Anava is under the veil of darkness – darkness of Ignorance, absolute ignorance. It cannot know the surroundings nor can it perceive itself as an existing entity – it is in a state of unconscious aloneness. This kevala state is the night of the soul, in which it is utterly without the powers of knowing or willing or acting, like the toper in his slumber, stupefied by liquor, unable to know his state or whereabouts. This kevala state is not the assumption of Theology but a fact to be inferred and experienced. We see, we hear, we touch, we smell, we taste, we think, we infer, we conclude, we remember, we reflect; we are tired of these exercises we are at ease, thoughts loosen themselves from us, there is a blank, slumber creeps in, we cease to will or know, we know not that we are, we rise again, and know that we did not know anything in that sleep over night, we need not labour long to convince those who accept the existence of a soul within, that in these various experiences the soul functions with some or all of the senses outer and inner; now with the sense of sight again, with the sense of hearing and so on, now with the mind (manas) and again with the intellect (Buddhi &c., now with the thoughtless sphere of chitta, and again beyond the folds of the mental plane. Thus recedes the Atma from the outer and to the inner, and as it ceases to be active in the mental plane, it is in the darkness of slumber, just as the lord of the house is seated in the blazing light of the veranda and the drawing room and finally in the darkness or dim light of the bed-room. Thus the Atma knows when it is in conjunction with the instruments of knowledge and when it recedes, it is in the darkness of ignorance. This ignorance cannot be its essential quality or lakshana, for then, it can NEVER KNOW, but it knows it IS ABLE TO KNOW, therefore it is in conjunction with something which enshrouds its conscious quality. That something is called Anava. It may be argued that if Atma’s consciousness is enshrouded it should not know anything during the recession from the mental plane nor can it know anything about it afterwards. It is correct. The fact that it does know afterwards about the experience of deep sleep and its ignorance of things, shows that there must be other subtler faculties round the soul and that it is not absolutely alone with Anava. The soul’s Jnana, Ichcha and Kriya saktis are not absolutely under veil is evident from this experience; therefore it is postulated that the soul is with the subtler faculties which, to some extent, keep the dormant saktis of the soul awake. These faculties are termed Kalai (Kriya) Viddhai (Jnana) and Raga (will). These with Kala (time) and Niyati (Dispenser) form the five coats of the soul which in that state is called the five-coated or Panchakanchukan or Purushan, inclined towards the pursuit of pleasure through the outgoing energies. It is why the purusha knows that he slept well and knows that it did not know anything in that state. As the soul recedes inward from the various faculties, darkness overtakes it and it is not difficult to infer the absolute darkness in which the soul will find itself, should it recede from the five tatvas above mentioned, the Panchakanchukans which are faculties or instruments of inner-most Karanas – shaped out of maya. This darkness is the veritable night of the soul the causal state of bondage – the unconscious aloneness – Kevala avasta, the original condition of the bound soul, Pasu, before each cycle of projection, shrishti. The misery of this kevala-avasta can be imagined by comparison to the condition of the eyes in utter darkness, the next condition as Purusha is like the eyes wide open, in utter darkness, and helped with a candle light; the former is the night and the latter the dawn or day of the soul. As kalai etc., are coated over the soul, the latter is called s-a-kala (with kalai) state. In kevala-avasta the soul is lost in ignorance or darkness of Anava. In sakala-avasta the soul has but limited knowledge – very meagre indeed – in comparison to what it can attain if not for its imperfection. Both the states are mala-Avastas in which the soul is under the sway of Anava in a more or less degree and mark the whirl of samsara, the rotation of the night and day of the soul. There is still a higher state of Purity, a state of freedom and Bliss where the mala is absent, hence called ninmala-avasta or suddha-avasta.
A clear grasp of the group of ninmala-avastas, which are said to be the effects of suddha-avasta is essential for all aspirants after Freedom and Bliss for here is the culture of the spirit or spiritual enlightenment – five mile-stones in the Path.
Many are the causes of sorrow. We are attached to wealth, woman and wine, friends and relations and a host of other things. A merchant gets news of his ship sinking. He cries ‘I am lost. I am done up; the house is on fire, then again rises the cry ‘I am lost,’ I am done up; ‘wife dies,’ I am lost’ ‘I am gone’; ‘the son is no more,’ ‘a friend is drowned,’ ‘a pet horse is injured,’ ‘still the same cry of woe. To come still nearer, my silk gown is stolen,’ gold watch is lost. ‘Poor me I am done up,’ ‘I am getting lean,’ ‘I am getting old,’ ‘my hair turns grey,’ ‘my teeth are shaky,’ ‘I cannot now digest a rich meal,’ ‘my sight is dim’ and so on. ‘I am sick’ ‘I am dying’ ‘dying,’ ‘oh my wife and child,’ ‘my estates and lands and a thousand and more attachments.
Have the cries of millions ever stopped the course of events? Can sorrow cease by many more adding to the cries and wails? If the merchant is sensible be ought to know that his ship is ever under the mercy of the sea and the wind. If it escapes from these risks only, it is his so to say, then why wail over it, when it sinks, there was the risk and the ship succumbed. My wife dies I ought to know that she is mortal as anybody else; the same will happen to me; when a mortal dies, why wail over him or her, the time was up; each man, woman or child, beast or bird must have the end sooner or later. Just as the clock chimes the hours, quarters and halves, so time (காலம்) and the great Dispenser (நியதி) regulate all things. While on the beach, we laugh with the children when the bubbles rise, we laugh with them too when the bubbles burst. But we come home and sigh when similar bubbles burst. We know not that we are midst of bubbles, ourselves, bubbles, only of a harder texture than those on the waters. This awakening must come to all some day, the discrimination between the perishing products of maya and the imperishable soul, Atma. One must know that the soul is not to be tied down to one’s own possessions or body (which are jada) and that it undergoes experience with the aid of the instruments of knowledge given it by the Grace of God, that pleasure and sorrow is not in the things themselves but in the attitude of one’s mind, that freedom from sorrow is to be gained by right understanding and detachment of the soul from its old grooves of ignorance and passions; that all instruments of the soul are for the service of God; and that the soul is the master and not the slave of the senses, outer and inner. This right understanding is the first step in the spiritual path. It is termed Ninmala Jagrat – the Spiritual awakening.
Between this awakening and the actual realisation is one’s experience of his separateness from the products of maya, there is the unsettled state of running into the old grooves once and withdrawing again, a state of slumber and awakening of the understanding hence called dream state of Jnana – ninmala swapna, now with understanding and again with ignorance, now with light and again with darkness oscillating like the pendulum. But even in this state there is a distinct advance from the former step, of shutting the door against the objects of senses and examining the inner apartments of the manas, Bhuddi & c. Now a thought arises, desires propel it, all the antakaranas give it form and shape and it knocks at the door to pass out into the plane of the senses; the door is locked, it presses forward on all sides impatient of its captivity; it knows its usual path of degrees; kicks at the door with all vehemence lo! the door gives way, and it is at once in the sense plane in old company. But if one is watchful and holds the reins with understanding, and at the same time keeps the door well bolted, the thought must die of exhaustion within the closed apartment. This is the great struggle for mastery. ‘To be or not to be’ asks each thought as it jumps forward from the garrison of the chitta, the same struggle goes on, the same warfare, they die or run out according to the more or less the strength and watchfulness with which the doors are kept closed. The soul must be ever on the alert and cry enemy abroad, bolt the door’ but if the soul should act in collusion with the enemy (forgetting that in this way it gives up its mastery or kingdom) the citadel is lost and the enemy passes it and out as before. The one who has seen this warfare and fought these battles only can realise the immensity of the kingdom within and the forces required to guard it from the lurking enemies who are also within. That man who subjugates his thoughts and desires is victor indeed, the great conqueror of the forces of maya. This is the next higher step in the Path called the Ninmala-swapna, the Spiritual watch.
Watching alone will not bring Peace of mind. A child watches from the beach the rising wave in the sea and clings to the father’s hand in terrible fright and runs up to him as if the wave will devour it in his absence. The father shows the child a rocket coursing through the sky and the latter jumps about in joy and anxiously looks for the next. Even so are the children of larger growth watching the joys and sorrows of the world, whether concerning themselves or others. They are drawn away by these experiences and are fallen or bent in that direction. To them spiritual sight is hard to attain. They can neither understand the true nature of the soul nor keep vivid in their consciousness the ever present Grace of God. To go further forward they must withdraw from that attitude and stand firm and unmoved by joys and sorrows like the grand papa on the lounge watching children at play, with toys. Children get up a wedding party of toys and invite grand papa too for the feast. He joins them: the next moment it is a funeral march among them with all the paraphernalia of a military band; the grand papa has to join in this too. He does, but in all these actions he is dispassionate or unmoved. This frame of mind should be attained by those aspirants who wish to take leave of the toys of the world, wife and child, friends and relations, pomp and power, joys and sorrows. And in addition they should see themselves as chitrupa shining with the light of Grace and stand aloof from all products of maya. This state is named the Ninmala sushupti. It is really sushupti, dead slumber to the fascinations of the world outside as an unconcerned witness but wide awake to the Grace of God and himself as the Ruler within it, can therefore he said to be the Spiritual witnessing.
The curtain is now well drawn against the world and the back turned towards it. The only two subjects for consideration are himself and the Grace of God, one’s inability to act, will or know without the rays of Grace are clearly seen and therefore one’s dependence on the latter. The evil of self assertion is well brought home and the aspirant sees that in vain has he been boasting himself as the ruler within but that in reality he is the helpless blind man, led by the staff of Grace. ‘Drop the staff’ drops the man. Hence will he feel the power of Grace and resign himself to it, as his Guide and shelter. No more is he present in his own consciousness but all is arul, arul and nothing elsewhere is the aspirant now; he has retreated into the bosom of Grace. And he is said to be in the Ninmala-Thuriya state which had better be called the Spiritual Retreat.
One step and more and that is the Final. The cow that has been grazing amidst the dangers of the jungle is now on the guarded farms of her master led by the mistress of the house. She must be driven home to rest. Then is there Peace and plenty. Grace or Arul as the background of all creation, mother of all activities, should be understood as involve in the Existence, Consciousness and Bliss of that which alone persists through all time and change. All activities cease and there is an expanse of Bliss, undisturbed and unruffled. As one has been dropping off things of the world on his march onwards, he has been picking up bliss of the spirit at the same time the farther from the world, the nearer God, the nearer the light, the farther from darkness, and now the summum bonum is attained and there is only the chitakasa of Bliss, one vast expanse with nothing else to disturb or limit the consciousness.
The soul is in the great expanse of Sivanubhavam or Sivanandham. This is the இன்பவெளி referred to in the Text. It is called the Ninmala-Turiyatitam, the Spiritual beautitude.
This is the imperfect description of the state of Vimala Mauna Jnana by a venture some writer; great adepts will pardon the presumption, as, from one point of view leading one at least from the nooks of bondage to the free air of the இன்பவெளி, even by an imperfect description of the path and the destination is more desirable than leaving all to shift for themselves.
How brief the text இரவுபகலில்லா வின்பவெளியுடே and how expansive is the significance, the whole teachings of the shastras, are there in a nut shell and also the experiences of Ions and Ions of time. Can any one fail to note the toil of climbing up and also the danger of falling down. A moment of weakness will send you down many a mile of weary journey; therefore the masters who know the pitfalls, say விரவி, விரவிநின்றுந்தீபற ‘Hold fast, be firm press forward and inward into the Being of the ‘Father (who is your shelter) to be safe from the attacks of your enemy. Do not hesitate or lose time and opportunity; every ‘moment lost keeps you in the cold; therefore hasten hasten விரைய விரையவென்றுந்தீபற. Will not the sanctified, out of love cry aloud to their erring brothern, ‘hasten, hasten, danger all around, come home to rest.’