Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The dance of Light particles - mantra 74

Sri gurubhyo namaha.
The second mantra in the section dealing with the history of Thirumular is also the seventy fourth mantra in the entire text when taken from the start. In this mantra the sage describes the subtle and esoteric practise where the dance of the light particles is seen and realised. This mantra could do with a lot more explanation - however, I am limited by the fact that many metaphors and words used to describe this process is beyond the scope of normal language and is to be understood by experience.

செப்புஞ் சிவாகமம் என்னும்அப் பேர்பெற்றும்
அப்படி நல்கும் அருள்நந்தி தாள்பெற்று
த்தப்பிலா மன்றில் தனிக்கூத்துக் கண்டபின்
ஒப்பிலா எழுகோடி யுகமிருந் தேனே. 2.5.74.

Witnessed Divine Dance
Flashed in my mind the mystic name of Sivagama;
Straight I rose to Arul Nandi's Holy Feet;
These eyes witnessed, enthralled,
The surpassing Dance in Holy Sabh;
Thus I lived and joyed for seven crore Yuga. 2.5.74.

ComFlashed in my mind the mystic name of Sivagama I attained the competency to befittingly narrate the SivAgama, Straight I rose to Arul Nandi's Holy Feet I attained to the holy feet of my Guru, who bestowed on me the competency to befittingly narrate the SivAgama. These eyes witnessed, enthralled,The surpassing Dance in Holy Sabh After I witnessed the beautiful movement of the incomparable light particles in the pure and complete Akaashaa (ether) on the top of my head, Thus I lived and joyed for seven crore Yuga I remained with all the seven chakras radiantly manifest.

* The dance in the holy ground refers to the motion of the many light particles that are dancing in the Chidaakasha or the ether that is present on the top of the head. The seven chakras and the solar and lunar currents function in the body. The Solar digits (Surya kalai) which are twelve in number function by channelling energy from inside the body to the outside world. The Lunar digits (Chandra/ Soma kalai) which are sixteen in number function by channelling the energy from outside to the inside. Those who think and assume that they are just the body are not aware of these subtle energy centres. But those who are practise Siva yoga are aware of the movement of rays of light (energy) both around and inside the body, through which the inside and the outside merge into each other everyday at all times. It is the fact of awakening the seven chakras and aligning them through the rays of light mentioned above and thereby attaining the state of equilibrium of the inside and outside, that is meant by the words lived in light for seven crore yuga. [Particle physics, astronomy, astrology, yoga – all in the most beautiful poetry – is discussed in the above mantra]. Thus the author confesses that he remained merged in the light of the awakened chakras as a result of his witnessing (and realising) the movement of the light particles as mentioned above.

A hundred and sixty four visits?

Sri gurubhyo namaha.

The much anticipated Guru Purnima came and bought with it plenty of streams of pure Grace from the lineage of the masters. Slowly, I am recovering from the internal impact of the day. Coming back to the earthly realms and sitting at the computer I am sad to know I have unwittingly disappointed plenty. One hundred and sixty four people to be precise!!

The site meter tells me that in the two days preceding Guru Purnima, one hundred and sixty four visitors were directed to this blog as a result of their search words ' Thoughts of / on Guru Purnima'. And all they got was a post written before the guru purnima of 2007. I wanted to post something about the guru and more thoughts on the special day a week or so back. But one thing after another and I was quite caught for time. Result - no post this year for the guru purnima. Effect - perhaps quite a few people disappointed by being 'fed' something from last year.

It is quite encouraging though to know that so many had their minds occupied by the thoughts of the day that they spent a few minutes grazing the site for what its worth. I will remember it the next time. Two of the busiest days in terms of visits to my site - and I did nothing to feed them.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Visions of the master

Sri gurubhyo namaha.

The strongly sensuous fragrance of heavy Frangipani (plumeria alba) riding the gentle breeze held my inner demons in thrall. Evocative, enchanting, bewitching, deluding and stupefying all at the same time, this strange garden was verily the physical manifestation of the essence of the Erotic sentiment (sringAra rasA). My heart races and in its hyper accented rhythm it skips plenty beats. My body feels as though it is made of air and will float away into the vast open space in front of me. There seems to be no heat in the sun, who is midway on his daily journey. The air is cool but not cold. An abundance of birds of various kinds with plumage so exotic makes me realise that the colours I see are not those I have seen before. Their call, so poetic - now a crisp Haiku, now a long Ballad - conjures visions of millions of lovers, lost in the bliss of the other.

The sweet and indistinct murmur of a thousand bees from somewhere behind makes me turn around. At first there appears to be no one or nothing that could be responsible for the sound. Within seconds however, I can see the beautiful form of a woman who seemingly just appears out of thin air. Her skin glows, radiant, and she is incredibly beautiful. Her poise and the proportions of her body suggest a kind of grace almost unseen in the world and something about her reminds me of my self. Her eyes, deeply piercing scan me almost as if taking in more of me than I even knew existed. Then she smiled.

Without words she makes it clear that she is a Duti. A very essential link in the masters journey to higher realms. In a few moments I can see nine women, all Dutis - each looking as beautiful as the one beside her. They smile in unison and I know instinctively I have come to the right garden.

A man appeared from my right - I say man, for he had the face of a man. His body below the neck was quite unlike what I would refer to as man. Indeed he had the body of what resembled a snake with two disproportionate claws. Upon his arrival a sudden silence and a sense of anticipation became tangible. The song birds held in their breath. The leaves held still their gentle sway. The nine Dutis disappeared as suddenly as they appeared. A sharp note from a conch preceded the entry of the master. That and an internal calm that spread through to my very being. The master was approaching where I was stood. As he came closer I could see that his eyes were red and showing signs of being intoxicated. Was it Ecstasy or rapture? Verily he looked like another Unmatta Bhairava.

I could feel my legs getting lighter and my spine stretch. When I looked down I could see that my legs were not on the ground. In fact, they were a couple of feet above the earth - hovering there. I was floating. I was flying. I was dissolving.

I was nothing.

I was everything.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Shade or Shadow

Sri gurubhyo namaha.

'' While you are busy searching for shade
I hunt for the Shadow.
The shadow that follows all, doggedly
And without fail.

Shadow the realm of the Dream,
Shadow the truth of the realm.

Of what use is shade to one
When chasing shadow is better fun ? ''

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

In meekness and prayer - mantra 73

Sri gurubhyo namaha.

This is the start of the next section in the Thirumandiram titled ' திருமூலர் வரலாறு' or 'The history of Thirumular' and it heralds the 'start' of the aagamaa otherwise called Thirumandiram. In the previous four sections the sage dealt with the context and after setting the scene, he now begins to journey deeper.

Please note that in this mantra, the two major divisions of the paths (ie bhakti and jnyana) and the two major divisions of the energy channels (ie ida&pingala, and the sushumna) are spoken of. If the commentary attached is not sufficient in its depth to explain the metaphors thoroughly, I am totally open to teasing it out in the comments box by way of Q&A's. Feel free to drop a line with your comments/questions if any.

நந்தி திருவடி நான்தலை மேற்கொண்டு
புந்தியின் உள்ளே புகப்பெய்து போற்றிசெய்
தந்தி மதிபுனை அரனடி நாள்தொறும்
சிந்தைசெய் தாகமம் செப்பலுற் றேனே. 1.5.73.
In Meekness And Prayer
High on my bowed head Nandi's sacred Feet I bore,
Intoning loud His Name in my heart's deepest core,
Daily musing on Hara wearing high the crescent moon,
Thus I ventured the Agamas to compose. 1.5.73

ComHigh on my bowed head Nandi's sacred Feet I bore I raise to the top of my head, the two holy feet of my Guru Nandi and place them there Intoning loud His Name in my heart's deepest core and keeping Him firmly fixed in my consciousness, I worship Him. Daily musing on Hara wearing high the crescent moon And meditating daily on the holy feet of Siva, at the junction where the three roads meet, who wears the crescent moon on His matted locks, Thus I ventured the Agamas to compose I begin to narrate (compose) this Agama called Thirumandiram.

* The holy feet of the Guru and the Holy feet of Siva refer to the sun and the moon (i.e. the Ida and the Pingala nadis which are the lunar and the solar channels). The worship of Siva is divisible into two kinds, namely the Bhakti path and the Jnyana path. The Bhakti path relates to the worship of Siva who is of form. In this method the respective form (manifest) is visualised and meditated on in the Anahata Lotus (heart chakra).The Jnyana path relates to the worship of Siva as Light without any form. In this method, with the grace of Siva and the through the path shown by the guru, the awakening of the third eye (wisdom) is achieved. The reference to meditation on Siva’s holy feet at the place where the three roads meet refers to the third eye where the three channels (Ida, Pingala and Sushumna) meet. To illustrate the fact that the worship of Isaana (in the form of light) happens at the place above the third eye (i.e. the top of the head), the author uses the words high on my head Nandi’s sacred feet I bore. Note the beautifully rich and clever use of words, which gives different layers of meaning. Through the above mantra the author conveys that he is commencing the narration of Thirumandiram (from here) through the grace of Siva.

The hue of red coral - mantra 72

Sri gurubhyo namaha.

The seventy second mantra of the Thirumandiram and the sixth mantra in this, the fourth section of the first tantra, forms the last mantra in this section dealing with the guru hierarchy in Thirumulars stream. The next mantra and few that follow will deal with the history of thirumular.

எழுந்துநீர் பெய்யினும் எட்டுத் திசையுஞ்
செழுந்தண் நியமங்கள் செய்யுமின் என்றண்ணல்
கொழுந்தண் பவளக் குளிர்சடை யோடே
அழுந்திய நால்வர்க்கு அருள்புரிந் தானே. 6.4.72.
Nandis Attain Celestial State
"The Heavens in eight directions may rain,
Yet shall you the Holy rites and pure perform;
"So spoke He of the matted locks and coral hue,
And His Grace conferred on the steadfast Four. 6.4.72

Com – "The Heavens in eight directions may rain Even during terrible times, where incessant rains batter the eight directions (i.e. even during the period leading to the pralaya or cosmic dissolution) Yet shall you the Holy rites and pure perform the Lord Siva instructed them (the four – see previous) to continue the performance of the practices (meditation, prayer &c) that lead to spiritual growth. the steadfast Four So the four remained steady in their love, So spoke He of the matted locks and coral hue fixed on the beautiful matted locks of Siva, glowing with cool light the colour of fine coral. And His Grace conferred Thus the lord Siva bestowed His grace on the four (Sanakar &c).

* The reference to being fixed in Siva’s matted locks glowing with the fine light of coral is to convey the practise whereby yogis remain fixedly submerged (in meditation) in the cool reddish light that is seen in the top portion of the head. It is also noticeable from the above mantra that Siva instructed the four to continue without pause, their respective sadhanas that lead to the highest state.

Here ends the fourth section of the Payiram (Proem) titled ‘The Guru Hierarchy’.