Monday, September 15, 2008

Bliss to Humanity - Mantra 85

Sri gurubhyo namaha.

The eighty fifth mantra of the Thirumandiram proclaims the philosophy of the siddha masters. Their compassion for mankind and their un reverential attitude towards the (then) established 'spiritual politics' makes them stand out.

யான்பெற்ற இன்பம் பெறுக இவ் வையகம்
வான்பற்றி நின்ற மறைப்பொருள் சொல்லிடின்
ஊன்பற்றி நின்ற உணர்வுறு மந்திரம்
தான்பற்றப் பற்றத் தலைப்படுந் தானே. 13.5.85.
Bliss To Humanity
All the world may well attain the Bliss I have;
Who hold firm to the Heavenly secret the Books impart,
Who chant the hymns that thrill the flesh
And swell the heart,
They, sure, take their place in foremost rank. 13.5.85

ComAll the world may well attain the Bliss I have In order to help the people of the world to attain the state of Bliss that I have attained as a result of my meditation (thinking) of Siva, Who hold firm to the Heavenly secret the Books impart when I begin to speak of the secret of the supreme Siva who resides in the Akaashaa (ether) in the form of pure consciousness, Who chant the hymns that thrill the flesh And swell the heart, it is found that it is the mantra that causes sensations in the body. They, sure, take their place in foremost rank And when one attempts to identify with those sensations (in the body) through constant practise, Siva comes and unites with them.

* Hymns that thrill the flesh refers to the mantra that causes sensations in the body. That is, when one thinks and meditates on the hidden Siva, it causes certain sensations to be felt and sensed in the head region. When we seek (desire) and attain the many sense objects that are external (worldly) we experience a sensation of joy/happiness. Similarly, when we meditate on the all pervading Lord, constantly by saturating the mind with His thoughts, there arise certain vibrations (Spandam) as a result of the union of the object of meditation (namely, Siva) and the one who meditates. These vibrations are the signs through which the Siva announces His arrival and His fixing of Himself in the mind of the devotee. [This will be explained in greater clarity when commenting on the mantra 1542 ]. Through the above mantra the sage instructs all the people of the world to constantly meditate on Siva and revel in the Bliss that is born as a result.

The philosophy ''All the world may well attain the Bliss I have'' (Yaan petra inbam peruga ivvvayagam) is perhaps the best indicator of the universal and the unbiased attitude of the siddars. They were (as mentioned in the introduction to this commentary) and still are one of the most compassionate wise men/women who at all times strived to reach out and pass on the hard earned wisdom and its miraculous siddhis or powers to all people of this world without reservations. Unlike the modern guru, they sought nothing in return for this compassion. Unlike the Brahmin hierarchy of yore, they had no bias based on one's birth and place in the caste system. Unlike their contemporaries in spiritual heights from other parts of the world, they had no elitist attitudes when it came to the crunch. Though the siddars spent most of their time away from human habituation and company (being to the most part invisible even if they walked about towns and villages) and did not subscribe entirely to the clear cut varnA or caste system, they attempted to 'reach out' to the common man plenty. The clearly visible urge and the ever present urgency to freely distribute the glories of their meditative and absorptive heights is seen from even the most cursory of glances at the siddha texts. They were also pioneers in 'de mystifying' the complex Hindu thought and practises by detailing them in a very down to earth language (as against the highly terse and aphoristic nature of the Sanskrit texts) and often using crude or 'unrefined' language in the process. This apparent disregard for the established 'norm' in such systems coupled with the kind of 'target audience' for these words became very important reasons for the Brahmin elite and other scholars to disregard the siddha thought and system (even though it was as valid and as detailed as other schools of thought).

Here the sage uses this as a first line for this mantra and highlights the concept of universal brotherhood and egalitarianism.