Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Throbs within - Mantra 37

Sri gurubhyo namaha.
The thirty seventh mantra of the Thirumandiram where a description and comparision is made with the lunar orb of the body.

நானும்நின் றேத்துவன் நாள்தொறும் நந்தியைத்
தானும்நின் றான்தழல் தான்ஒக்கும் மேனியன்
வானில்நின் றார்மதி போல்உடல் உள்ளுவந்து
ஊனில்நின் றாங்கே உயிர்க்கின்ற வாறே. 37
37: Throbs Within
Daily I kneel and chant Nandi's holy Name;
Envisioned, He stands, the Fire-Hued One,
Flaming like the moon in sky; into me He comes,
And throbs and breathes through my mortal flesh.
Com - Daily I kneel and chant Nandi's holy Name Everyday I will worship Siva with a steadily fixed mind Envisioned, He stands, the Fire-Hued One and on doing so, I find that, the Lord reveals Himself to me in His form that has the colour and the glow of Fire. Flaming like the moon in sky; into me He comes He manifests in my body, shining beautifully, just as the moon, with its glowing digits/parts in the sky. And throbs and breathes through my mortal flesh He resides in my body, and is manifest as the Prana (life energy/breath) in the beautiful Sahasrara lotus (crown chakra).

* The sage describes the Lunar orb (Chandra mandalam) located in the body. Hence, he uses the words ‘Flaming like the moon in the sky, into me He comes’, to compare the similarity between the moon (that arises in the actual sky) and the Lunar orb (that arises in the Akaashaa of the body). Glowing light is emitted from the Chandra mandalam (lunar orb) which is located in the Sahasrara lotus, just as glowing light is emitted by the actual moon in the sky.

Praise and be blessed - Mantra 36.

Sri gurubhyo namaha.
This is the thirty sixth mantra of the Thirumandiram.

அப்பனை நந்தியை ஆரா அமுதினை
ஒப்பிலி வள்ளலை ஊழி முதல்வனை
எப்பரி சாயினும் ஏத்துமின் ஏத்தினால்
அப்பரி சீசன் அருள்பெற லாமே. 36
36: Praise And Be Blessed
Oh, Heavenly Father, Nandi, the un surfeiting nectar sweet,
Oh, Bounteous One, Unequalled, First of Time!
Praise Him ever; and even as you praise,
So thine reward will also be.
Com - Nandi The Lord Nandi (Siva), Heavenly Father who is the origin of all life, the un surfeiting nectar sweet who is like the nourishing sweet nectar, that is never too much Unequalled who is unequalled in His splendour, Bounteous One who is ever generous in granting the wishes of those who wish, First of Time who is the primal Lord responsible for the dissolution of the world, Praise Him ever should always be praised through any method possible. and even as you praise And whichever method is employed in the worship of Siva, So thine reward will also be His grace shall be obtained, in accordance with the method followed, as the reward.

* The sage uses the words ‘any method possible’ to mean the following – That even if the Jgnayana yoga (the path of knowledge) which is considered as the best method, is not suitable to the individual, owing to its extremely subtle philosophies and difficult to attain states of mind, the seeker should employ the other methods to reach the goal. The other methods are: Charya (Order/vow), Kriya (path of right action), Yoga (path of union), Bhakti (path of devotion and surrender), etc. The methods above listed are different in their respective approach, and one among them will certainly be suitable to the seeker, depending on their individual level of accomplishment. He also makes clear that the rewards of the above methods also vary according to their disciplines.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Eight petal lotus - Mantra 35

Sri gurubhyo namaha.

The thirtyfifth mantra of the Thirumandiram - making up for lost time!

ஆற்றுகி லாவழி யாகும் இறைவனைப்
போற்றுமின் போற்றிப் புகழ்மின் புகழ்ந்திடில்
மேற்றிசைக் கும்கிழக் குத்திசை எட்டொடு
மாற்றுவன் அப்படி ஆட்டவு மாமே. 35.
35: Path Crossed
Even the Path impassable is foot-easy made,
If you the Lord praise and Him adore;
The East and West and directions all
He does transmute--and thus dances He the Lord.

ComEven the Path impassable is foot-easy made Siva, who is revealed by following the path called Sanmarga, which is not human in origin, should be praised and adored. If you the Lord praise and Him adore When so adored and praised by the devotee The East and West and directions all He does transmute--and thus dances He the Lord Siva aligns to the Isaana direction and causes the upward alignment (blooming) of the eight petal lotus (with a petal in each of the directions, viz. east, &c), which is normally facing downwards. Thus He transforms the individual - by revealing His Isaana face.

* Reference is made here to the eight petal lotus that is in the head. This lotus has eight petals (one petal radiating towards each of the eight directions) and is normally facing downwards. During this stage, the consciousness of the individual flows downwards (i.e. towards the world and sense experience). When this lotus is made to turn upwards (bloom) the consciousness of the individual flows upwards (towards subtler realms) leading to the realisation of Isaana as Light in the Sahasrara chakra.

Shivas thousand names - Mantra 34

Sri gurubhyo namaha.

After the pause in the flow of the commentary on the Thirumandiram, I feel ready to begin again. Hopefully the inspiration will keep flowing and the verses keep appearing.

சாந்து கமழுங் கவா஢யின் கந்தம்போல்
வேந்தன் அமரர்க்கு அருளிய மெய்ந்நெறி
ஆர்ந்த சுடரன்ன ஆயிர நாமமும்
போந்தும் இருந்தும் புகழுகின் றேனே. 34

34: Chant His Names Thousand
Like the fragrance of the musk the musk-deer constant emits,
Is the True Path which the Lord to Celestials imparts.
Sitting or moving, I chant the rich essence of His Name,
His thousand Names that are with spark divine.

Comthe True Path which the Lord to Celestials imparts The True Path that is imparted to the Devas (celestial beings), emits the fragrance of Siva from within, Is Like the fragrance of the musk the musk-deer constant emits just as the fragrance of musk comes out strongly from within the sandal paste (when the sandal is mixed with musk, as it is often done in India). I chant the rich essence of His Name His thousand Names And to help me travel that True Path of Siva, I chant His thousand names (sahasranamam) that are with spark divine Which is like a great glowing light, charged with the power to dispel the darkness of the mind. Sitting or moving I chant these thousand names constantly (sitting or moving) and repeatedly.

* The sage offers guidance to those trying to travel the True Path, by advising them to chant the thousand names (Sahasranamam) constantly as it helps to dispel the darkness enveloping the devotee in this world.
Each of the devatas (gods & goddesses) have their own set of thousand names and many times there are a few sets of thousand names for the same devata. Though differing in the mantras and their meanings and effects etc, a common underlying feature (that I observe) is that of the specific god or goddess being connected to the external and internal universe and is everything is seen to be a manifestation of the same. Thus through repeated chanting of the sahsranamas with awareness of their meaning and by being absorbed in those meanings (anusandhanam) the devotee gradually begins to perceive the thread that connects all the apparent diversity of this world. Seeing the devata in the planets, in time, beyond time, in seasons, stars, in other devatas, in places, rivers, chakras, worlds, animals, trees, etc (which are conveyed by the different names occurring in the set of 1000), is immensely empowering to the devotee in the sense that it projects the same (worshipped) principle onto everything visible or invisible. This in turn broadens the vision and paves the way for slow and steady chitta shuddi (purification of the mind intellect principle), which is the way forward for tattva vichara (the deep understanding and subsequent absorption into the tattvas, from the gross to the extremely subtle) to experience the undivided oneness of the atman. Here the author stresses the merit of the practise of chanting the thousand names to help one on the path, like a steady companion on the journey.