Thursday, April 05, 2007

The meadows they are fragrant spiced. Mantra-19

Sri gurubhyo namaha.

The nineteenth mantra of the first part of the Thirumandiram. (The rhyme and content continue from the previous mantra)

இதுபதி ஏலங் கமழ்பொழில் ஏழும்
முதுபதி செய்தவன் மூதறி வாளன்
விதுபதி செய்தவன் மெய்த்தவம் நோக்கி
அதுபதி யாக அமருகின் றானே. 19.
19: Created Universe
He, the Wisdom Primeval, He made the City Ancient
Of the seven meadows, fragrant-spiced;
He fixed the Moon, and to penance inclining,
He abides there, making that His seat.
Com - – making that His seat Siva is the Lord of the North. He took to the North, the direction of sacrifice (that will redeem one from sin). He made the City AncientOf the seven meadows, fragrant-spiced He destroyed and made into ruins (city ancient) the seven centres (meadows) that are the seats of the distracting influences (fragrant spiced) of the phenomenal world. the Wisdom Primeval He possesses the wisdom that is all encompassing and primeval (that is to say, Siva knows everything since before time). and to penance inclining Drawn by the pure penance performed by His devotees, He abides there He abides there (i.e. in those devotees who perform the pure penance) and through them shines.

* The principle (tattva) corresponding to each of the sense organs is located, in its essence aspect, in the seven chakras. The sense stimulations of the world leave impressions in these centres, which are then responsible for the birth of Vasanas (latent tendencies) leading to future births (and deaths). Siva helps in destroying these impressions at the root, so that the jiva is released from this repetitive cycle of Samsara. Note the reference to the northern direction (as in the previous mantra) and the reference to Shiva's inclination or His becoming pleased/drawn to those performing penance or tapas (refer to previous mantra for an explanation of the kind of penance). The sage draws a beautiful parallel here by terming the distracting influences of the world appearance as 'fragrant spiced' - that they (these sense impressions formed as a result of interaction with the phenomenal world) can be pleasurable as well as strong and pungent is to be intuitively understood. The destruction of the seven centres does not imply the actual disolution of these psychic energy centres, rather it hints at the destruction of the latencies or vasanaas that are in the form of impressions in these centres. As these impressions become the 'seed' for the future births and deaths, the eradication of these latencies at the very root (through the fire of knowledge/wisdom) leads the jiva into liberation or freedom from the cycle of samsara - much like how the parched (burnt) grain never gives rise to a sprout.