Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Mantra 33 - Adore Him

Sri gurubhyo namaha.

Now that I am on the site, I might as well spend a few minutes on the next post or two! A little something to tide you over the next period without updates (seeing as its nearly Navaratri time of the year now). Here is the next installment in the Thirumandiram series, the 33rd mantra.

பதிபல வாயது பண்டுஇவ் வுலகம்
விதிபல செய்தொன்றும் மெய்ம்மை உணரார்
துதிபல தோத்திரம் சொல்ல வல்லாரும்
மதியிலர் நெஞ்சினுள் வாடுகின் றாரே. 33.
Adore Him
Many the Gods this hoary world adores,
Many the rituals; many the songs they sing;
But knowing not the One Truth, of Wisdom bereft
Un illumined, they can but droop at heart. 33.
Com - Many the Gods this hoary world adores Since time immemorial there have been many Gods in this world, to whom the people direct their worship Many the rituals and many are the forms of worship (rituals) and many the rules that govern such worship But knowing not the One Truth and because of this they (the people of this world) do not understand the one truth which is Siva. many the songs they sing Even those that sing many songs in praise of the Lord, of Wisdom bereft Un illumined are bereft of the true wisdom, which can only be realised by being merged in Siva- and not obtained through the mere words of the songs. they can but droop at heart As a result; they suffer by being without peace in their minds.

* The sage expounds the Siddha view, which holds that all actions (rituals, prayers, worship etc) when performed without realisation of the one truth (the union with Siva) do not have the power to confer the wisdom or peace that is sought by the performer of such actions. Without wisdom, they are but mere words and as such are powerless. Here I have to note that this is not a view restricted to the siddhas alone - many sampradayas (spiritual traditions) hold the same view. Refer for example the words of the great Bhaskararaya in Varivasyarahasya where he notes that '' the utterance of the mantra without the full and complete understanding and absorption in it, is but like offering Havis (a sacrificial offering of cooked rice mixed with ghee) into the fire pit that has only the ash (and no fire)'' - meaning that such offering will not be consumed by the fire (as there is an absence of fire) and thus taken to the gods it is intended as an offering for. It is to be understood that the awareness and intelligence is what makes a sound of group of sounds into a mantra, or a stone or a piece of wood into a living deity - without that crucial awareness and absorption in that awareness (union) the sounds remain merely sounds and the idol merely stone or wood.