Saturday, June 21, 2008

The paths revealed - mantra 71

Sri gurubhyo namaha.

In the seventy first mantra the sage describes the two separate methods or paths : that of renunciation and that of complete being. He conveys that the paths though different in their premise or approach, aim eventually to take the jiva to a state of liberation from the repeated cycle of birth and death.

மொழிந்தது மூவர்க்கும் நால்வர்க்கும் ஈசன்
ஒழிந்த பெருமை இறப்பும் பிறப்பும்
செழுஞ்சுடர் மூன்றொளி யாகிய தேவன்
கழிந்த பெருமையைக் காட்டகி லானே. 5.4.71.
Lord Transcends What He Revealed
The Lord it was who spoke to the Three and to the Four,
He spoke of Death futile and of Birth according;
At once of God and the three Radiant Lights;
Yet His surpassing greatness ne'er fully revealed.5.4.71

ComThe Lord it was who spoke to the Three and to the Four The path that was revealed to the three, namely Sivayoga Maamunivar, Vyaghrapadar and Patanjali and the four, namely Sanakar, Sanandhanar, Sanatanar and Sanatkumarar, by Siva He spoke of Death futile and of Birth according is the great path that is capable of destroying the cycle of birth and death. At once of God and the three Radiant Lights The supreme Siva, who is in the radiant form of the Sun, Moon and Fire, Yet His surpassing greatness ne'er fully revealed is not one who bestows small grace (i.e. He is the one who reveals the supreme truth)

* It is to be observed and understood that the path revealed by Siva to the four (Sanakar, Sanandhanar, Sanatanar and Sanatkumarar) is the path of Renunciation. The path that was revealed to the three (Sivayoga Maamunivar, Vyaghrapadar and Patanjali) is the path of being in the world and through that guiding the people of the world. That is why the author separates the two kinds of masters as the three and the four. It is to be mentioned here that although the two paths are different in their means, they both attempt to reach the common end – namely that of ridding the cycle of birth and death (I.e. Liberation). And now seems to be the best time to highlight the fact that the path of Thirumoolar is the bridging (synthesis) of the above mentioned two paths.

The four gurus - mantra 70

Sri gurubhyo namaha.

The seventieth mantra here has been posted sometime in the back in reply to a query from a reader regarding the four masters mentioned here. Please refer to the other post here.

நால்வரும் நாலு திசைக்கொன்று நாதர்கள்
நால்வரும் நானா விதப்பொருள் கைக்கொண்டு
நால்வரும் யான்பெற்ற தெல்லாம் பெறுகென
நால்வரும் தேவராய் நாதர் ஆனார்களே. 4.4.70.
Four Nandis
The Four, each in his corner, as Master ruled,
The Four, each his diverse treasure held,
Each in his turn spoke, "Take all I've;
"And thus, Immortals and Masters became. 4.4.70.

ComThe Four, each in his corner, as Master ruled The four gurus namely Sanakar, Sanandhanar, Sanatanar and Sanatkumarar took to each of the four directions (of the earth). The Four, each his diverse treasure held Each of the above named four gurus gathered immensely varied and deep experience of the various tantras and other texts. Each in his turn spoke, "Take all I've;" And the knowledge that they gained through all their respective sadhanas, they freely shared with the people of the world by explaining the esoteric texts and by initiating disciples. And thus, Immortals and Masters became Thus the four, rose to the position of being Gurus of the world. (as a result of their deep wisdom and the compassion they had for the people of the world)

* Through the above mantra the sage explains the method through which the above named four were elevated to being teachers of the world. Note that the importance attached to personal experiences with regard to spiritual knowledge and its further dissemination to others.The above mantra comes in the section detailing the guru parampara of Thirumular and traces the lineage from the Guru Nandi down. The four (Sanakar & c) are the four disciples who are evident in the image of Dhakshinamurthy (the guru of gurus) and are the mind born sons of Brahma. Another interesting (and unique aspect of the siddha masters) point that is evident in the above mantra is the siddha policy of sharing their wisdom for the betterment of humanity. (Yaan petra inbam peruga ivvayagam - let the universe obtain the bliss that I have obtained [through sadhana and intense spiritual practices] ) Like mentioned elsewhere in this blog, the siddha masters possesed extra ordinary social consciousness and never hesitated to use their tapas, magic, consciousness, wisdom etc for the upliftment of the 'common man'. Here the sage conveys that above and beyond the incredibile wisdom and enlightenment possesed by the four (sanakar & c), their compassion and love for mankind is instrumental in them being elevated to the seat of being the teachers of the world.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Know thyself?

Sri gurubhyo namaha.

'Know thyself' the wise master says. 'Know thyself' the scriptures affirm. 'Know thyself' my intuition screams.

Is the Self 'knowable'? Does not the Self defy all notions and perspectives by being non substance? Knowing the self in terms of its qualities or its size etc is not possible as the self is in possession of no attributes. It is like water or air, having for itself no shape or form, yet readily taking the shape of the container it is placed in. It is beyond gender or race and as it exists even beyond the temporal or spatial dimensions it is ageless too.

What is there to know about the Self? And if we consider that the Self exists eternally as the absolute witness, setting the context and being the constant background for everything how could one know the self? Can a mirror reflect itself?

Is the knowledge that there can be nothing known about the Self, the true self knowledge? The self or the atman existing as such. Without any justifications for its existence, without any attributes and beyond all modifications, it merely Is.

How then is the Self knowable?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Is there a distance?

Sri gurubhyo namaha.

A verse by the poet, saint, mystic and rebel Kabir that says lots -
'' Path presupposes distance;
If He be near, no path needest thou at all.
Verily it maketh me smile
To hear of a fish in water athirst. ''

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The seven disciples - mantra 69

Sri gurubhyo namaha.

The sixty ninth mantra of the Thirumandiram details the names of the seven disciples of Thirumular who form part of his parampara or lineage.

மந்திரம் பெற்ற வழிமுறை மாலாங்கன்
இந்திரன் சோமன் பிரமன் உருத்திரன்
கந்துருக் காலாங்கி கஞ்ச மலையனோடு
இந்த எழுவரும் என்வழி யாமே. 3.4.69.
Seven Disciples
By merit of instruction imparting,
Malangan, Indiran, Soman and Brahman,
Rudran, Kalangi and Kancha-malayan,
These seven in my line successive come. 3.4.69.

ComBy merit of instruction imparting The lineage of those, through whom, the Thirumandiram has been initiated is as follows. Malangan, Indiran, Soman and Brahman, Rudran Malangan, Indiran, Soman, Brahman, Rudran, Kalangi and Kancha-malayan the unshakable Kalangi, and Kanjamalayan. These seven in my line successive come The above named seven are the students who have followed in the same lineage as me.

* Through the above mantra the sage names the initiates who have followed in the same lineage. Here in this mantra the sage lists the names of seven disciples who followed him and who were initiated into the wisdom and science of the Thirumandiram. In a separate verse earlier the sage detailed the names of the masters who formed part of the parampara or lineage of gurus before him. Here he details the masters of the same lineage who came after Thirumular.

The eight nathas - mantra 68

Sri gurubhyo namaha.

Back again to the Thirumandiram and my apologies to the regular readers for the delay in this the next instalment. In this mantra the sage refers to the science pertaining to the ascension of kundalini.

நந்தி அருளாலே நாதனாம் பேர்பெற்றோம்
நந்தி அருளாலே மூலனை நாடினோம்
நந்தி அருளாவ தென்செயும் நாட்டினில்
நந்தி வழிகாட்ட நானிருந் தேனே. 2.4.68
Eight Nathas
By Nandi's Grace I, His Masters elect,
By Nandi's Grace I Primal First sought;
By Nandi's Grace, what can I perform not?
Nandi guiding, I here below remained. 2.4.68

Com – By Nandi's Grace I, His Masters elect It is only through the grace of Siva that I attained to the state of being the Guru (master). By Nandi's Grace I Primal First sought It is only through His grace that I approached the Siva called Rudra, present in the Muladhara lotus (Root chakra). By Nandi's Grace, what can I perform not? In this world, there is nothing that can not be attained or accomplished with the grace of Siva. Nandi guiding, I here below By Siva Himself showing me the path, I was able to ascend from the Muladhara (at the root) to the Sahasrara on the top of the head. remained And there (in the Sahasrara) I remained.

* It is to be understood from the above mantra that the reference to the ‘Mulan’ (Primal First) signifies the Deva present in the Muladhara or Root chakra. Each chakra has its own presiding divinity – and Rudra is present as the Swayambhu (self originated) Lingam in the Muladhara lotus. The sage comments on the ascension of the Kundalini, from Muladhara to the Sahasrara, mentioning that with the grace of Siva it is possible for the sadhaka to proceed from the root to the top of the head and remain there merged in the bliss of union with Siva. The deeply mystical and often concealed science pertaining to the awakening and the subsequent ascension of the kundalini is referred to here and the sage further mentions that such a process becomes natural and free from fear where Siva Himself assumes the role of the guide.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Butterfly heartbeat.

Sri gurubhyo namaha.

Like the Phoenix, like Desire (Kama) thwarted, I rise again from my ashes. With my vision expanded and my neurons re wired, here I am, in all my glory!

Come here, ye mad ones and behold the magic. White, black, yellow and brown, believers and non believers, sentient ones and the siddhas - come. And behold the Magic!

In a journey that is as old and expansive as the infinitely unfolding universe, a moment as minute as the flutter of a butterfly's heart beat holds me captive. In an ocean of stars and galaxies I am held by a single particle of light. The fast dissolving consciousness moves onward into absorption and as it rushes past the constantly moving boundaries, a magnification of sorts is achieved. Albeit temporarily.

The butterfly heartbeat. Silence. The butterfly heartbeat. Silence. The butterfly heartbeat.

Visions of an expansive past and the knowledge of an immortal future suspend me in a state where time dissolves. And with it dissolve the notions of tomorrows fear.

Is it still light outside? Or is it dark? What time is it? Why do none of these bother me?

Immortality through death? Revelations via madness? Or is this how a 'dream within a dream within a dream' feels?

The soft beams of soothing moonlight kindle my being while a distant falling star sings an intimate song. Evocative, though the last words of the rapidly disintegrating star. The trail of its light and fire extinguishing itself in the sweet embrace of the earths atmosphere, the star leaves no trace of itself in the skies. The echo of its sweet song traces a pattern in my soul and the star is now immortal.

Like the Phoenix, like Desire (Kama) thwarted, I rise again from my ashes. With my vision expanded and my neurons re wired, here I am, in all my glory!