Thursday, December 06, 2007

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.