Saturday, November 20, 2010

siddhAs ascend the thirty-six tattvAs - mantrA 125

srigurubhyO namahA

In what is the 125th mantrA since the start of the thirumandiram, the sage shines light on the importance of the correct understanding of the 36 tattvAs that constitute all of creation. He makes clear that it is the knowledge of the component tattvAs and the gradual ascension of these (as if climbing a ladder to reach a higher level) is the distinguishing feature of the sivayOgin. The yOgin through the yogic methods dissolves the lower and impure tattvAs into their preceding tattvAs and finally attains to the pure splendour of the siva state - while being 'alive' or while being in the physical body.

சித்தர் சிவலோகம் இங்கே தரிசித்தோர்
சத்தமும் சத்த முடிவுந்தம் முள்கொண்டோ ர்
நித்தர் நிமலர் நிராமயர் நீள்பர
முத்தர்தம் முத்தி முதல்முப்பத் தாறே. I.1.13.125.

Siddhas Ascend the Thirty-Six Tattvas

Siddhas they that Siva's world here visioned,
Nada and Nadanta deep in them realized,
The Eternal, the Pure, reposing in Bliss unalloyed,--
Thirty and Six the steps to Liberation leading. I.1.13.125.

Com - Siddhas they that Siva’s world here visioned, The siddhAs experience the supreme bliss (AnandA) that is the fruit of the sivalOkA (the realm/world of siva) in this world while in the physical body through remaining immersed in the state of samAdhI. Nada and Nadanta deep in them realized, They are capable of cognizing nAdA and the very end of nAdA (i.e. nAdAntA) as states within themselves. The eternal, the pure, reposing in bliss unalloyed, -- They are beyond birth and death, immortal; they are taint less, pure; and they abide in a state of pure bliss always. Thirty and six the steps to Liberation leading. The path to liberation for these siddars who have reached such incredible heights of consciousness is the set of thirty six tattvAs.

# This is an important mantrA as the sage declares here that the ‘mukthi mudal’ or the first step to liberation of mOkshA is the understanding of the 36 tattvAs. To understand this better we need to know first of all what is meant here by the word tattvA. The Sanskrit word tattvA has many meanings, ‘reality’, ‘principle’, ‘underlying truth’, ‘thatness’ etc are a few of the meanings. Though in the context that the word is used here it is to be taken to mean the internal principles that serve as the building blocks of the manifest and unmanifest universe. In the samkhyA system (which was the first to enumerate the tattvAs) they hold that the tattvAs are 25/26 in number. However in the shaktA and the shaivA system the total number of tattvAs is taken to be 36.

These 36 tattvAs are grouped into three groups : Atma tattvA group (containing 24 tattvAs); vidyA tattvA group (containing 7 tattvAs); and the siva tattvA group (containing 5 tattvAs). These three sets are also known as the ashuddha tattvA group (impure tattvAs), shuddha tattvA group (pure tattvAs) and the shuddhAshuddha tattvA group (the mixed – i.e.pure and impure tattvAs). Though it is beyond the remit of the current post to delve into the details of each of the tattvAs here, just with the reader who is not exposed to the understanding of the tattvAs in mind, I will provide a brief list of the 36 tattvAs below. The interested reader who wants to know more will find plenty of other resources that detail the tattvAs.

The tattvAs listed from the subtlest of subtle till the last and most gross is as follows (shivAdyavani paryantam - from shivA till what is known as earth) -
1. shivA
2. shaktI
3. sadAshivA
4. IshwarA
5. shuddhavidyA
6. mAyA
7. vidyA (which is really avidyA in essence)
8. kalA
9. rAgA
10. kAlA
11. niyatI
12. purushA
13. prakrutI
14. manas (mind)
15. buddhI (intellect)
16. ahamkArA (ego or I awareness)
17. shabdA (sound)
18. sparshA (touch)
19. rUpA (form)
20. rasA (taste)
21. gandhA (smell)
22. shrOtra (ear)
23. tvak (skin)
24. chakshU (eyes)
25. rasanA (tongue)
26. granA (nose)
27. vAk (speech)
28. pAnI (hands)
29. pAda (feet)
30. pAyU (genitals)
31. upastha (anus)
32. AkAshA (ether)
33. vAyU (air)
34. tEjO / agnI (fire)
35. salila / jalA (water)
36. prithvI (earth).

In the list above, the first five tattvAs (shivA to shuddha vidyA) are the group known as the siva tattvA group or the shuddha tattvAs (pure tattvAs) as they pertain to the supreme level. The next 7 tattvAs (from mAyA down) are the group known as the vidyA tattvA group or the shuddhAshuddha tattvAs (pure and impure/mixed set) as they are the means for both the shiva’s modification to jIvA in the evolution mode and the jivAs transformation into siva in the involution mode. The last 24 tattvAs are the group known as the Atma tattvA group or the ashuddha tattvA (impure tattvA) group as they pertain entirely to the manifest reality at a much grosser level where the siva appears bound and limited as jIvA.

It is worth noting here that the Atma tattvA set corresponds to the sthUla sharIrA or the gross physical body; the vidyA tattvA set corresponds to the sUkshma sharIrA or the subtle body and finally the shiva tattvA set corresponds to the kArana sharIrA or the causative body.
So through the above mantrA the sage indicates that the siva siddars are those who while being engaged with the phenomenal world in this physical body are able to experience the highest of states (bliss) by being ever immersed in the light of the self. They are liberated while alive – jIvanmukhtAs.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Who are the siva siddhas - mantrA 124

srigurubhyO namahA
The 124th mantrA reveals more about the siva yOgin.

வெளியில் வெளிபோய் விரவிய வாறும்
அளியில் அளிபோய் அடங்கிய வாறும்
ஒளியில் ஒளிபோய் ஒடுங்கிய வாறும்
தெளியும் அவரே சிவ சித்தர் தாமே. I.1.12.124.

Who Are the Siva-Siddhas

Space intermingling with space,
Nectar drowning in nectar,
Light dissolving in light--
The elect are they, the Siva-Siddhas,
Who these splendid visions perceive. I.1.12.124.

Com - Space intermingling with space To know the AtmA which is an evolute of AkAshA or space merging into the cidAkAshA or the subtle ether which is the abode of siva, Nectar drowning in nectar, To know the will (icchA) of the jIvA dissolving in the will of siva, Light dissolving in light – To know the light of the jIvA dissolving in the light of siva The elect are they, the siva – siddhas, Who these splendid visions perceive. Those who know by means of refined intellect (the above) are known as the siva siddhArs. Only they are the knowers of siva.

# The term ‘aLiyil aLipOi adangudhal’ translated as ‘nectar drowning in nectar’ refers to the combined icchA (desire/ will), j~nyAnA (knowledge) and kriyA (active energy) of the individual jIvA merging into the combined icchA, j~nyAnA and kriyA of the supreme siva. The sage comments here on those special beings who are entitled to be known as the siva siddars. Through a highly clarified intellect/ awareness which in itself is a result of many practises, the siva yOgin is able to intuitively understand the truth that the AtmA or (individual) self merges with the siva or cosmic self in the highly subtle cidAkAshA. Not only are they able to understand this, they are forever engaged in the experience of this merger.

The second line of this verse also points to the state of the siddA. When the tri fold modification of the individuals energy (as icchA, j~nyAnA and kriyA) is existent it incites the jIvA into performing actions, which in turn lead to the fruits of those actions (such as heaven, hell, re birth etc). However in the case of the siva yOgin, these energies have been elevated to the heights of siva and are then dissolved into the same icchA etc of sivA. Thus the will of siva is the will of the siva yOgin. That is, they remain without any desires or activities for themselves. Instead they act as one with siva.


Friday, November 05, 2010

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

He granted me bliss supreme - mantrA 123

srigurubhyO namahA

Detailing the state of being of the siva yOgin further this mantrA describes the transcendence of the yOgin to a realm that is beyond the control of the celestials.

அளித்தான் உலகெங்கும் தானான உண்மை
அளித்தான் அமரர் அறியா உலகம்
அளித்தான் திருமன்றுள் ஆடுந் திருத்தாள்
அளித்தான் போ஢ன்பத்து அருள்வெளி தானே. I.1.11.123.

He Granted Me Bliss Supreme

He made me see the truth that He pervades all,
Granted me the vision of the world that even Devas know not,
The vision of the Sacred Feet in Holy Sabha's cosmic dance,
Granted me His infinite Grace and the Bliss supreme. I.1.11.123.

Com - He made me see the truth that He pervades all, The lord siva made me realise that there is but the one supreme that pervades all the manifest worlds Granted me the vision of the world that even Devas know not, lord siva also granted me (through the above mentioned vision of ‘reality’) the state of unending bliss that eludes even the dEvAs The vision of the Sacred Feet in Holy Sabha’s cosmic dance, He (lord siva) graced me by firmly establishing His holy feet that are ever engaged in performing the cosmic dance in the peerless space of paramAkAshA (subtle ether) Granted me His infinite Grace and the Bliss supreme (and through that) He granted me the state of supreme bliss (paramAnandA), the result of basking in the effulgence of His grace.

# This mantrA follows on from the previous one. The term ‘ ulagengum thAnAna unmai’ or ‘the truth that He pervades all’ refers to the state of being of the siva yOgin who can see only siva everywhere. The yOgin though aware of the perception of multiplicity, is ever clear about the ultimate cause of such apparent diversity. He sees nothing but the supreme siva, the seed cause, everywhere and in everything.

The term ‘ amarar ariyA ulagam’ or ‘ the vision of the world that even dEvAs know not’ is a hidden metaphor. Rather than understanding this to be a state of being which the dEvAs or celestial beings do not experience, it should be recognised as the state of being or world that is beyond the ruler ship of the dEvAs. That is, the dEvAs here refers to the divinities / energies that operate from within the lower opening/ door of the mUlAdhAra chakra. These divinities function in a manner that regulates / limits the expansive self consciousness of the jIvA. As a result of achieving the perception of reality at a level where there is but the one supreme (advaita siddhi), the yOgin resides at a plane that is transcendent to the lower chakrAs. Through perfection of the techniques of sivayOgA, the aspirant remains in equipoise and with full awareness of reality at all times (refer to previous mantrA detailing the state of shuddha jAgrat).

The term ‘ thirumandrul AdunthiruthAl’ or the ‘ sacred feet in the holy sabhA’s cosmic dance’ refers to the attainment of the holy feet/ grace that manifests from within the golden effulgence that is present in the cidAkAshA or subtle ether.

The term ‘ pErinbatharulveli’ or ‘bliss supreme’ refers to the state where there is no distinction between siva and shaktI – i.e. before the dichotomy in the siva tattvA level leading to the Shakti tattvA. Thus is the state of bliss that is unending, as it is birthless. This is the self state where there is a sAmarasyA or complete unity of siva and Shakti tattvAs.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

SivayOgA is to attain self - lumination - mantrA 122

srigurubhyO namahA

Here in the next verse, the sage describes the state of being of the siva yOgin even further. After detailing some notable qualities of the siva yOgin in the last mantrA he proceeds to here to reveal that vivEkA or discrimination is an important trait in the yOgin. He also compares the siva yOgA to other systems like hatha yOgA and declares that this (i.e. siva yOgA) is the manifestation of the compassion of the supreme siva to help the jIvA overcome his delusion.

சிவயோக மாவது சித்தசித் தென்று
தவயோகத் துள்புக்குத் தன்னொளி தானாய்
அவயோகஞ் சாராது அவன்பதி போக
நவயோக நந்தி நமக்களித் தானே. I.1.10.122.

Sivayoga is to Attain Self-Lumination

Sivayoga it is to know the Cit-Acit,
And for the Yoga-Penance qualify;
Self-light becoming Self,
To enter undeviating, His lordly domain;
He granted me this--Nandi of the Nine Yogas. I.1.10.122.

Com - Sivayoga it is to know the Cit – Acit, sivayOgA is that where by the yOgin is able to discern, through the quality of vivEkA (discrimination), that which is possessed of chaitanyA or chit Shakti and that which is jadA or inert And for the Yoga – Penance qualify (and knowing thus) to proceed on to the path known as sivarAja yOgA, which is attained by elevating the vibrations to the crown (of the head), Self –light becoming Self, and by remaining immersed in the light of siva (self) that is revealed (through the above mentioned sivarAja yOgA)To enter undeviating, His lordly domain; (being thus immersed in the self) one remains undistracted by other types of yOgAs which produce bad results and remains united with the lord in the supreme paramAkAsha mandala or the ether plane He granted me this – Nandi of the Nine yogas. This supreme path that is verily love (sivarAjayOgA) my lord, nandI has revealed for our betterment and salvation.

* The sage provides further clarity on the nature of the siva yOgA here after describing the state of being of the siva yOgin in the mantra before. The verse is simple and can be understood easily once a few terms are understood.

All this is one. The one supreme which the wise describe as sat, chit, AnandA etc is without a second. However, for the sake of granting the fruits of actions the world phenomena is necessary. The one supreme siva Himself manifests variously as the dEvAs, the demi gods and beings, humans, animals, trees, plants, worlds etc. Due to our state of misapprehension or avidyA, we commonly see self where there is no self (i.e. thinking that the body is self) and see the non self where there is self. An important awareness that the spiritual aspirant needs to cultivate is that of discerning that which is self and that which is not. This quality of discrimination is known as vivEkA and it is a very important prerequisite for the aspirant. Once we are able to see what is chit or possessed of consciousness or chaitanya and identify that which is jadA or inert matter, we will be able to rise above the misapprehension which makes us see duality or multiplicity where there is but one.

So here the sage describes that the siva yOgin is possessed of this capacity to discern the sat from the asat or the self from the non self, (astOmA sat gamaya), the conscious from the inert, the siva from the jagat (world). Once aware of this, the yOgin is no longer drawn outward to the phenomenal world of inert matter as it loses its glitter once it is known for what it is. Now the yOgin remains focused on the chit or conscious principle which is the self and through steady practise is able to transcend the bondage due to previous actions and tendencies.

The term ‘tava yOgA’ or penance refers to those actions that are performed (without tormenting the body) through which the vibrations are channelled through the central path of sushumnA upwards to the crown of the head or sahasrArA. This process is known as rAja yOgA or the king of yOgAs. The term ‘avayOgA’ in the original refers to hatha yOgA, this the sage refers as other yOgAs that produce contrary or bad results. It is worth noting that the sage here does not disqualify the hathayOgA tradition as such - he is merely saying this here to produce a comparison between the hathayOgA (which is a very strict and difficult path to attain success in) and the siva yOgA as suggested by thirumUlar (which is sweet and natural and easy to attain in comparison). It is like the thirsty person trying to drink sea water to quench his thirst when he has a well right next to him with sweet fresh water.

Through the above mantrA the sage reveals that the supreme lord nandi, out of compassion for the jIvAs has revealed the wonderful path of sivarAja yOgA through which the jIvA is able to obtain release from this cycle of birth and death to attain the sivalOkA or realm of siva.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

sivayOgins attain turiyA state in mortal body - mantrA 121

srigurubhyO namahA
In this mantrA, the first of a few that detail the state of being of a true siva yOgin, the sage paints a wonderful picture. The terms ' sethttiruthal' or 'being in a state akin to death' and 'summAiruthal' ' simply being' are oft occurring in the siddhA texts. Here the sage makes clear that the true siva yOgin will remain in a state akin to death (i.e. unaffected by the sensory stimuli) even when awake and engaged with the phenomenal world. The yOgin cultivates no attachments towards the world and simply accepts whatever comes his way as the will of siva. He wants nothing, he dislikes nothing. He remains ever immersed in siva. He remains ever full.

வித்தைக் கெடுத்து வியாக்கிரத் தேமிகச்
சுத்தத் துரியம் பிறந்து துடக்கற
ஒத்துப் புலனுயிர் ஒன்றாய் உடம்பொடு
செத்திட் டிருப்பார் சிவயோகி யார்களே. I.1.9.121.

Sivayogins Attain Turiya State in Mortal Body

Sivayogins are they that the seed destroy,
Who, in waking state, the pure awareness induce;
Who in harmony unbroken, achieve the tranced breath,
When life, senses, body--alike simulate death. I.1.9.121.

Com - they that the seed destroy, Those who have destroyed the seed and cause of births, namely the ‘vinai’ or karma as described in the previous mantrA and have arrived at a transcendental realm Who, in waking state, the pure awareness induce; (and) those who are able to rise free from the ties that bind by attaining to the state of pure turiyA (the fourth or transcendental state) even while being in the (ordinary) waking state Who in harmony unbroken, achieve the tranced breath, those who are able to merge the senses into the pure breath and stand in perfect harmony When life, senses, body – alike simulate death . those who being in that transcendental state remain as it were in a lifeless state (without any individual thoughts or actions for themselves) Sivayogins are such a person (who fits the above description) is known as a siva yOgin.

# This mantrA follows on from where the previous verse left off. The word ‘vyAgiram’ in the original refers to shuddha jAgrat or pure waking state. It is a transcendental realm.

To understand this better, we need to be aware of the different states of consciousness. The wise realise that the sentient being has a consciousness that is in different states at different times. They divide this into five specific categories or realms and these are as below –

jAgrat avasthA – this is known as the waking state of consciousness. When we are awake and are engaged in activities, this is the state of being. Though it is beyond the scope of this post to discuss these states in greater detail, it will be wise to note that during the jAgrat or waking state, the mind is affected by the g~nyAnEndriyAs (instruments of cognition) and the karmEndriyAs ( instruments of action), manas or mind, buddhi or intellect are active. The idea of ego and the limitations of the individual are present and affect the state of being accordingly.

– this is known as the dream state. When we are asleep but not in the deep sleep state, the consciousness is in the swapnA or dream state. Here it is of note that only the g~nyAnEndriyAs (instruments of cognition) and the manas , buddhi are active. The karmEndriyAs or instruments of action cease to be active, thus we are not engaged in activity during then. But sensory stimuli is perceived (like we can see and smell touch and taste etc during dreams).

Sushupti avasthA – this is known as the deep sleep state. In this state, the consciousness is in a state akin to death. The instruments of cognition and action are inactive. The manas and buddhi too are inactive. There is no memory or experience and it is a deeply restful state. Though similar to the state of samAdhi, the down side is that the jIvA is not aware of the state that he is in. It is an unconscious state of consciousness.

Turiya avasthA – this is known as the fourth state or the transcendental state as this is not a state of consciousness that is open to all. The above three states are accessed by all beings repeatedly at different times daily throughout life. However, the turiyA or the fourth state is something that is reached only through the grace of the guru and through the fruit of sAdhanA or spiritual practices. Here everything is clear and there is no delusion. This is the state of samAdhI (savikalpA).

TuriyAthItha avasthA – there is a fifth state, that which is even beyond the transcendental. This is the supreme avasthA or state where is nothing but self, established in self. Regular practise in being established in the turIya avasthA is the method to finally reach this state of turIyAthIthA where the state of samAdhI is effortless and continuous. (nirvikalpA).

So coming back to the mantra, the term ‘shuddha jAgrat’ or pure wakeful state refers to the state where the yOgin, though awake (i.e. with all the sense faculties operating normally) is not attached to or caught up in the phenomenal reality. The term ‘shuddha turIyam’ or pure transcendence refers to the fifth state detailed above, where the yOgin is ever immersed in the light of self. The words ‘ pulan uyir otthAi’ refer to the state where the yOgins mind is not pulled outward due to the operation of the senses.

The term ‘ sethittiruthal’ or simulating death refers to the state where the yOgin remains without any actions for one’s individual self.

Through the above mantrA we get a glimpse into the state of being of a true siva yOgin. The sage mentions that they are ever immersed in the light that is born from the realisation of self. Though they appear to be awake and appear to go to sleep etc like the rest of us, there is in reality a great difference in the state of consciousness of the regular jIvA and the siva yOgin who has ‘seen’ siva. The yOgin remains unaffected by what is seen or heard or felt or tasted. Though their sense faculties are in operation during the waking or jAgrat state, the manas or mind of the yOgin is unaffected by the stimuli and thus it does not flow outward to grasp the products of the phenomenal world. Not only that, the sage further clarifies that the yOgin remains immersed in the light of self or in the turiyAthItha avasthA where the self is seen reflected as all. As they perceive siva everywhere and in everything and as they are ever content and beyond the pull of the senses, the siva yOgIs remain without any actions for themselves. This however does not mean that they just sit doing nothing – it refers to the fact that they have dissolved the sense of individual identity in the state of supreme self. Thus all their actions are the actions of the supreme, not their own. Due to this, they also transcend the fruit of their actions – as their actions are not their own, so too the fruit is not theirs.

From the words of the sage we know that the true siva yOgin remains free of the taint and delusion of the body though they are possessed of the body just like everyone else.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

He roasted the seeds of recurring births - mantrA 120

srigurubhyO namahA

I hope all of you had a wonderful navarAtri. I did! Indeed, with the overflowing grace of my guru this navarAtri was an intensely blissful experience and I am now slowly 'coming down' from the heights of the mEru parvatA.

Coming now to the thirumandiram from where we left it before the navarAtri, we will continue with the next mantrA. This is the 120th in the series and in this mantrA the sage details the purificatory effects of the 'dance' of siva.

ஆமேவு பால்நீர் பிரிக்கின்ற அன்னம்போல்
தாமே தனிமன்றில் தன்னந் தனிநித்தம்
தீமேவு பல்கர ணங்களுள் உற்றன
தாமேழ் பிறப்பெரி சார்ந்தவித் தாமே. I. 1.8.120.

He Roasted the Seeds of Recurring Births

Like unto the swan that from milk the water parts,
So the Lord, Himself, alone, in this Sabha unique,
Grasped the senses many that scorch like fire,
And thus the Seven Births unto roasted seeds rendered. I.1.8.120.

Com - Like unto the swan that from milk the water parts, Like the swan which is able to separate the water that has been added to cows milk, So the Lord, Himself, alone, in this Sabha unique, the dance of siva, beyond compare, which happens in the stage known as the cidAkAshA is capable of separating the impurities / taints from the jIvA. Grasped the senses many that scorch like fire, (due to this supreme dance of the lord) the many virtues and vice (pApa punyA) that have become imprinted in the mind of the jIvA due to the effect of the actions performed in countless births, are burnt as if scorched by fire. And thus the Seven Births unto roasted seeds rendered. And the virtues and vice that have been accumulated through countless births become like burnt seeds – i.e. they do not produce fruit. They remain powerless to sprout into further effects.

# To set the context for us to understand this mantrA, we need to first understand that the effects of the actions we perform are divided into those that are known as punyA or merit and pApA or demerit. The merit and demerit pertain to the mind/ intellect spheres and it is here they reveal their effect by producing a virtuous mind or one that is full of vice. They are recorded as it were in the manas level and they are carried over from one life to the next. Moreover they are actually responsible for the direction and experiences during each lifetime. The 15th chapter of the bagawad gItA (purushOttama yOgA) discusses the effects of these taints in the life of the jIvA and in the region between lives etc in great detail. The interested reader is directed to pursue this in greater detail there.

The swan in Indian mythology is a symbol for discrimination. This is due to the fact that when a mixture of milk and water is presented to the swan, it is able to drink just the milk and leave the water in the bowl! It is this faculty of separating the wheat from the chaff or the pure from the impure which is implied when our scriptures portray saraswati the goddess of learning and wisdom atop a swan. It leads us to infer that those that are wise are firmly established in that wisdom by the virtue of discriminative analysis. This also implies the ability to discriminate between the sat (real) and the asat (unreal), between AtmA (Self) and anAtmA (non Self), between jIvA (individual embodied soul) and siva (supreme unmanifest absolute).

In this mantrA the sage compares this legendary capacity of the swan to discriminate between milk and water (even when thoroughly mixed), to the ability of the dance of the supreme lord which produces the separation of the vAsanAs / tendencies from the mind of the jIvA. The dance of the lord is a metaphor for the increased vibrations that are produced through the meditation and other allied practises. The cidAkAshA or mental ether is referred to by the word sabhai or stage where the ‘dance’ occurs.

The tamil word ‘vinai’ refers to karma and also implies the ability to ‘sprout’ like a seed. This is because karma is understood to be the cause for repeated births. Just like a seed or grain retains the power to actually sprout into a seedling when the conditions are suitable (even though the grain remained dry for long), the manas or mind is also affected at different times by the latent vAsanAs or tendencies (which are a result of the virtue and vice accumulated over many lives). This leaves the position of the spiritual aspirant quite vulnerable as these tendencies may raise their heads at any time during the spiritual awakening of the aspirant and may then render the sAdhanA useless by dragging him down to lesser states.

The only way to ever completely ensure that these seeds or grains do not sprout in the future is to parch the grain or seed through the action of fire. Like the seed that has been cast into the fire never sprouts, the virtue and vice (punyA and pApA) that are embedded in the buddhi tattvA of the jIvA will bear no fruit. Now, the fruit of punyA or virtue is heaven and good lives and the fruit of pApA or vice is hell and bad lives. Thus the state where these do not bear fruit anymore is the place known as liberation or nirvana or mukhtI. There is no longer the time spent in heaven and hell and being cast back into the earth when the fruits of actions performed has been exhausted. The jIvA is set free.

The condensed meaning of the above verse will thus be that through the dance of the supreme lord siva, the vinai or the cause of births and its effects namely that of virtue and vice are effectively destroyed. As a result the jIvA is freed from the trans migratory cycle known as samsArA.


Thursday, October 07, 2010

He made sensory consciousness merge in god consciousness - mantrA 119

srigurubhyO namahA

In the next mantrA, the sage reveals how the ordinary sense consciousness of the jIvA is transformed into the super consciousness upon receiving the upadEshA of a sat guru and acting on the instructions of the guru.

அறிவுஐம் புலனுட னேநான் றதாகி
நெறியறி யாதுற்ற நீர்ஆழம் போல
அறிவுஅறி வுள்ளே அழிந்தது போலக்
குறியறி விப்பான் குருபர னாமே. I.1. 7.119.

He Made Sensory Consciousness Merge in God Consciousness

Consciousness hanging on to the senses five,
Knowing not its course as on deep waters drifting,--
Consciousness sensory merging in the Consciousness deep,--
Thus He pointed the Way,--He, the Guru Supreme. I.1.7.119.

Com - Consciousness hanging on to the senses five, The jIvA's consciousness (normally) is merged to the five senses Knowing not its course as on deep waters drifting,-- and in this state, it remains confounded, akin to one who has been caught up in torrential flood waters being swept by the force of the current. Consciousness sensory merging in the consciousness deep, -- However, like when the lower knowledge is absorbed and dissolved into the higher knowledge, Thus He pointed the Way, -- He, the Guru Supreme. The competent guru reveals the way by producing clarity of vision and gradually he leads/ guides the disciple to his highest potential.

# The above mantrA is quite simple and easy to understand. The five senses refer to the five types of sensory knowledge – shabda (sound), sparsha (touch/feeling), rUpa (sight/form), rasa (taste) and gandha (smell). These are also known as the tanmAtrAs or the subtle elements. It does not refer to the actual indriyAs or the sense organs/ instruments.

The day to day consciousness of the jIvA is normally entirely composed of the knowledge gleaned through the five sense instruments and would thus be broadly possessed of the attributes specified above. We do not ‘know’ something that we are not able to ‘see’, ‘feel’, ‘hear’, ‘taste’ or ‘smell’ – if the products of this external/ phenomenal world do not possess one or more of the above attributes, there is no way for us to be ‘aware’ of those products. They will simply cease to be.

But in this normal condition, the consciousness of the jIvA is confused and confounded by the varied sensory stimuli and the jIvA is deluded into imagining a varied and graded world, where as there is but One. The underlying reality of the supreme, which is the beingness (sat) that manifests variously is misunderstood and the jIvA undergoes suffering and birth and death. When one’s consciousness is coupled with the above senses, it merely leads one into the endless cycle of birth and death – samsArA.

However in contrast to this is the state of consciousness that is produced as a result of the upadEshA of a competent guru. When the consciousness of the jIvA is coupled with the greater knowledge that has been transmitted through upadEshA by the guru, then it becomes the path out of this endless trans migratory cycle and becomes the root cause of freedom.

Thus we have that the upadEshA of a guru is capable of producing a greater knowledge (siva g~nyAnA) which absorbs unto itself the lesser knowledge (of external phenomenal reality) and as it waxes, this greater consciousness becomes the agency through which one attains to the destination or goal – namely the state of siva.


Monday, October 04, 2010

He broke into my soul's silent depths - mantrA 118

srigurubhyO namahA
In the 118th mantrA the sage speaks of the five mandalAs and nandi who manifests variously in the different mandalAs and redeems the devotee at each of these spheres to bring him back to his self state by cutting the ties that bind.

மலங்கள்ஐந் தாமென மாற்றி அருளித்
தலங்கள்ஐந் தானற் சதாசிவ மான
புலங்களைந் தான்அப் பொதுவினுள் நந்தி
நலங்களைந் தான்உள் நயந்தான் அறிந்தே. I.1.6.118.

He Broke Into My Soul's Silent Depths

"All impurities we shall expell," said the Lord in Grace
And saying so, from Sadsiva of the Five Spheres came down,
In the sovereign Sabha through His Five Acts Divine,
He broke into my soul's silent depths, Knowing all. I.1.6.118.

Com - from Sadasiva of the Five spheres came down, Through the combined agency of the lords of the five mandalAs, from the pure sadAsiva, ‘’All impurities we shall expell’’, said the Lord in Grace the pAsA of the five malAs or impurities that (seemingly) bind the siva are destroyed thoroughly. In the sovereign Sabha through His Five Acts Divine, The supreme lord nandi who is the actor (playing the role of the jIvA) performing in the cidsabhA/ cidAkAshA, stopped and reversed the action of the mind which is ever flowing outward (through the medium of the five senses) and attaching itself to the products of the phenomenal world. He broke into my soul’s silent depths, Knowing all. Not only that, the beloved Lord who manifests within the heart of the devotee, also cuts asunder the vAsanAs or tendencies that lie within the deep recesses of the mind which serve to attach the mind of the devotee to a phenomenal reality, as He knows all.

# The five spheres or mandalAs are – sivasAdhAkyam, amUrthysAdhAkyam, mUrthy sAdhAkyam, karthru sAdhAkyam and karma sAdhAkyam. These can be understood as five states (of consciousness).

The five malAs or impurities are – Anava malA (taint of ego), karma malA (taint of karma), mAyika malA (taint of mAyA), mAyEyam and thirOdAyI.

The five mUrthys or lords are – sadAsiva, IshwarA, rudrA, vishnU and brahmA.

The word ‘nal sadAsivA’ means the ‘good’ sadAsivA and here stands for the sadAsiva who does good for the jIvA. That is, when the jIvA is sufficiently mature, sadAsiva gradually shifts and reverses the outward/ material inclination and provokes a more internal/ inward inclination and eventually helps in ridding the ties that bind the jIvA.

From the above mantra we can understand that the supreme Lord nandi, assuming the five fold forms (or five mUrthys) is engaged in uplifting the sentient soul in each of the five spheres of its existence by reversing the outward flow of the mind and the inclination towards the smaller and limited joys (that is a product of sensory stimuli), to provoke an inclination towards the siva consciousness and the greater bliss that is a product of knowing one’s Self nature.

The guru, who is verily the sadAsiva in a human form, guides the disciple in the process of turning or arresting the outward flow of the mind by initiating him into the mystic techniques that regulate the flow of energies in the body and mind to enable him to eventually remain unmoved in the face of much external stimuli. It is of note that the mind or the manas tattvA is able to engage with the external world only through the interface of the indriyAs or the sense instruments. By itself, the mind is the antaHkaranA or the internal instrument. In the hatha yOgA, this arresting and reversal of the outward flow of the mind and its attachment to the external products is known as pratyAhArA.

With the right guidance from the guru, the disciple begins to engage in earnest in the path of sAdhanA where he is ever aware of the changing states of mind and being. He notices the flow of the mind and its effects on his being. With careful observation and repeated practise, he is gradually able to affect this outward flow to first focus inward and then later to transcend the flow altogether so the state of being is not affected by the environment externally. Eventually, the yOgi is able to remain in a state of samAdhi or equipoise where there is total absorption in the Self.


Friday, October 01, 2010

At His glance, impurities vanish - mantrA 117

srigurubhyO namahA

The next mantrA is the 117th in the series. Simple in the way it is constructed, this verse is deeply evocative and clearly conveys the message of the import of a guru in the spiritual progress of the jIvA.

சூரிய காந்தமும் சூழ்பஞ்சும் போலவே
சூரிய காந்தம் சூழ்பஞ்சைச் சுட்டிடா
சூரியன் சந்நிதி யிற்சுடு மாறுபோல்
சூரியன் தோற்றமுன் அற்ற மலங்களே. I.1.5.117.

At His Glance, Impurities Vanish

The sunstone sleeps in cotton enclosed,
The sunstone burns not the fragile stuff;
Let but the sun's rays fall! How it shrivels and flames!
Even so the impure wilts before the Lord's cathartic glance. I.1.5.117.

Com - The sunstone sleeps in cotton enclosed, The jIvA and the impurities / pAsA that cover or enclose the jIvA are akin to the sunstone (sUryakAnthA gem) and the pure fluffy cotton that is placed around the gem. The sunstone burns not the fragile stuff; (normally) the sUryakAnthA gem does not burn the cotton that surrounds it,(though it is quite proximate and flammable). Let but the sun’s rays fall! How it shrivels and flames! But, when the sun’s rays shine on the sUryakAntA gem and then through that on to the cotton, it is quite capable of setting the surrounding cotton on fire completely. Even so the impure wilts before the Lord’s cathartic glance. And in a similar fashion, the intellect of the jIvA is capable of burning through the enclosing pAsA/ bondage (to reveal the supreme Self state) while in the presence of the true siva guru.

# In this simple yet beautifully picturesque mantrA the sage reveals the glory of the competent guru and the transformative power of his grace in the life of the seeker. First of all, to appreciate this verse better, let me explain what the gem known as sUryakAnthA is. The sUryakAthA is a legendary/mythical gem that is supposed to be formed from the condensed rays of the sun. Though it is said to be cool to the touch, the gem has the power to produce great concentrated heat when in the presence of the sunshine. The example presented by the sage can also be understood by imagining a magnifying glass in place of the mystical sUryakAnthA gem.

The term 'sUryakAnthA' gem refers here to the jIvA. The term ‘panju’ or ‘cotton’ refers to the pAsA (ties) as elaborated before. Like the ties of attachment and delusion that surround us totally, the cotton is said to be enclosing the gem. The term ‘Ariyan’ or ‘sun’ refers to the guru.

So, if we consider the example of a magnifying glass (the jIvA) which is placed above some fluffy cotton (the pAsA or bondage); the glass does not have the capacity to burn the cotton by itself though the cotton is flammable and is proximate. However, if we allow the sun’s rays to shine on the glass and then focus it on the cotton, we will find that it is possible for the glass to now set the cotton on fire by harnessing and magnifying the heat of the sun. So too the jIvA when in the presence of the guru – through the grace of the guru, the sishyA or the disciple is able to harness the necessary spiritual heat to then focus it on the pAsA or ties that bind him to a limited and delusional reality. Following on from the previous mantrA, we can see that it is only through the upadEshA from a competent guru that one is able to free oneself from the bondage or avidyA and realise the Self state or shivOham state. The jIvA, though limited (due to the effect of the pAsA or bondage) is capable of burning the pAsA that bind it when in the presence of the true guru.

To sum, the sage states that it is only through the upadEshA from a siva guru that one is able to rid the ties that bind.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

He shattered impurities three - egoity, illusion and karmA - mantrA 116

srigurubhyO namahA

In the next mantrA of this section, the sage speaks of the electromagnetic fire / energy that is generated and used to transform the limited jIvA into the unlimited siva. The process of yoking the energy generated through different kinds of sAdhanA to rid the pAsA or the ties that bind the jIvA are discussed.

வேயின் எழுங்கனல் போலேஇம் மெய்யெனும்
கோயி லிருந்து குடிகொண்ட கோன்நந்தி
தாயினும் மும்மலம் மாற்றித் தயாஎன்னும்
தோயம தாய் எழுஞ் சூரிய னாமே. I.1.4.116.

He Shattered Impurities Three--Egoity, Illusion and Karma

Like the spark that within the bamboo indwells,
So, Nandi Lord, from this body-temple flamed;
With sweet compassion gentler than a mother's,
He shattered the Impurities Three
And like unto the sun on the ocean of mercy arose. I.1.4.116.

Com - Like the spark that within the bamboo indwells, Like the fire that emerges from within the bamboo spontaneously, So, Nandi Lord, from this body – temple flamed; the lord siva who resides within this precious temple known as the body (emerges). With sweet compassion gentler than a mother’s, He shattered the Impurities Three (and then) like the mother (cow) which cleans the external dirt off its calf by licking repeatedly and with great care, He removes the three kinds of impurities that taint the jivA through His compassion and grace And like unto the sun on the ocean of mercy arose. Thus, He our Lord Nandi is verily the supreme sun which arises from the ocean of mercy.

# This is a very important mantra and there are some esoteric layers of meaning to this which need to be learnt from a competent guru. A brief explanation of sorts below –

The words ‘ vEyin ezhunkanal pOlE’ / ‘Like the spark that within the bamboo indwells’, refers to the natural phenomena whereby, when the bamboo rub against one another the friction that is generated produces a spark/fire. When the spark occurs, it immediately ignites the dry bamboo and the entire forest is soon burnt to the ground. This here is a carefully constructed and poetic metaphor for the actual ritual of initiation or dIkshA. As the effulgence that occurs in the navel area of the initiate as a result of the upadEshA of the guru burns through the forest of tattvAs and destroys them.

The words ‘ vEyin ezhunkanal’ here is the upamAna. While the next line ‘ meiyenum kOyililirundu kudikonda Kon nandi’ is the upamEyA. For the benefit of those who are not familiar with the alankAra displayed here –

upamAnA roughly can be described as that with which something is compared (for the sake of establishing a relationship/ comparison between two things).
upamEyA on the other hand can be roughly described as that whose comparison is done (with the other). Thus a known and often experienced example (the case of the fire in the bamboo) is used to describe something that is not so thoroughly or commonly known (that siva is ever resident within the gross body of the disciple).

To further elaborate – even though the fire that resides within the bamboo is not obvious to the eye normally, the fact that the power to produce a spark and erupt into flames is present within the bamboo is understood by the physical observation of the phenomena when the bamboo catches fire. In a similar vein, the siva who is resident within this body though not obvious normally (when one is inclined materially), the truth that He is ever there becomes clear when after the upadEshA of a satguru one experiences the effulgence that arises from the navel centre and rids one of the taint of misapprehension.

Very artfully, the sage has revealed the upadEsha rahasyA or the secret truth (that the supreme lord siva is ever resident within each and every one of us and that when free from the taint of the impurities, the jIvA is siva) through comparing the upamEyA to the upamAnA. Through knowing this truth, knowledge or realisation of the Self is born.

The immense Atma shaktI or Self which is within each and every sentient being is known variously through many names as a result of its different/ varied functions or action. The AtmA or self is possessed of the AkAshA (ether) attribute of the supreme. It rules this physical body through the two nAdIs or energy channels known as idA and pingalA. These nAdIs are highly subtle and are not visible to the naked eye, though they operate both within this observable and manifest physical/gross body and the imperceptible subtle/ etheric body. These nAdIs are possessed of energy impulses which are differentiated into positive and negative charges.

When one is involved in thinking/imagination etc, this energy becomes the thought energy (icchA shaktI). When one is involved with the products of the phenomenal world and is engaged in activity it becomes the active energy (kriyA shaktI). Thus we can understand upadEshA to be the process through which one is able to obtain a method to increase ones capacity to both generate and conduct high currents of this raw energy that can then be yoked to develop the inner states of realisation.

Those who follow the path of kriyA (i.e karma yOgA) hold that a certain electromagnetic force/energy is generated when one performs specific actions that are ordained and that are of this phenomenal world. The hatha yOgIs hold that this type of electromagnetic energy can be produced by uniting the two kinds of currents in the body and practise pranayama through which they merge the prAnA and apAnA. Those following the path of g~nyAna yOgA or the path of knowledge hold that this state is attainable by uniting the vision of the two eyes at the centre point. Religions like Islam and Sikhism hold that the pranavA (all causative supreme sound) can be produced by merging the sound knowledge of the two ears. The various schools like shaiva, shaktA, kashmIra shaivA, Buddhism(mahAyAnA) etc hold that it is possible to transcend the body by the sexual union of the male and female when the kAmAgni or the fire of desire has been transformed into the yOgAgni.

The important aspect to note here in all the above examples is that the frictional energy is converted/ transformed into an electromagnetic fire/ energy that helps one to transcend the phenomenal to achieve a super conscious level.Check Spelling

The condensed meaning of the above mantra thus would be that at the right time when the jIvA has attained to the right level of maturity, siva Himself appears in the phenomenal world in the body of a guru and gradually with great compassion guides the devotee to the heights of Self realisation and enlightenment by ridding the jIvA of all his taints/ impurities.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pati, Pasu and Pasa are eternal - mantrA 115

SrigurubhyO namahA

In this beautiful verse, the siddar speaks of the triad of the pati, pasu and pAsA - three very important concepts which the reader needs to get quite familiar with. The separate natures and description of each of these three as well as their interconnection are very essential principles for the devotee to recognise. This helps not only in the understanding of the temporality of the phenomenal world, but also serves to fully enable the understanding of reality or self state. These concepts are at the base of shaiva siddhAntA - so there will be plenty more description and sufficient fleshing out of these truths throughout the text. As we are currently in the upadEshA section of the text, the sage speaks of those very important truths that become as it were the foundation of wisdom in the mind of the devotee. Hence the stress on proper understanding.

பதிபசு பாசம் எனப்பகர் மூன்றில்
பதியினைப் போற்பசு பாசம் அனாதி
பதியினைச் சென்றணு காப்பசு பாசம்
பதியணு கிற்பசு பாசம் நில் லாவே. I.1.3.115.

Pati (God), Pasu (Soul) and Pasa (World) are Eternal

They speak of the Three--Pati, Pasu and Pasa;
Beginningless as Pati, Pasu and Pasa are:
But the Pasu-Pasa nears not the Pati supreme:
Let but Pati touch! the Pasu-Pasa is as naught. I.1.3.115.

Com - They speak of the Three – Pati, Pasu and Pasa; (When we consider) the three things that are known as the Pati (lit. Lord) or siva, pasu (lit. cattle) or jIvA and pAsA or bondage/tether Beginningless as Pati, Pasu and Pasa are: we will realise that, like the Pati (siva) the other two (i.e. the jIvA and the bondage) are also beginningless. But the Pasu – Pasa nears not the Pati supreme: (Though this is the case) the limitations of the jIvA hood and the limitations of the bondage do not ever accrue to the supreme pati or siva. Let but Pati touch! The Pasu – Pasa is as naught. (Thus) when the supreme pati siva becomes manifest in the jIvA, then its own pasu ness or limitations to consciousness and the bondage become removed.

# In this mantra we are introduced to the triad which is a very cardinal aspect in the kashmIra shaivam in particular and shaiva siddhAntA in general. First of all we will take a quick look at what these terms mean and what they refer to.

Pati – The word pati literally means Lord, Master, Husband etc. In the context of the siddhAntA this term is used to describe the supreme siva as He is the Lord of all. He is ever free and possessed of the various vibhUtIs or powers of omnipresence, omnipotence etc. The term also implies His supreme sovereignty on both the world and the jIvA or individual soul.

Pasu – The word literally means cattle. In the Hindu scriptures we find that this word has been used to describe people in general and in the tantrAs we can see that this term refers more accurately to a specific type or category of people. In the context of the siddhAntA this term is used to refer to the individual soul or jIvA. This is because the jIvA, unlike the supreme siva, is not free. The jIvA is tethered (much like the cow that is kept tethered to the stake) and can only move within the limits of the ‘rope’ that tethers it. The main implication of this term is that the nature of the jIvA is not free.

Pasa – This is the actual tether or bondage that limits the jIvA and keeps the jIvA from realising its true nature as siva. The scriptures variously describe the pAsA’s to be three, six, eight, etc depending on the school of thought. But keeping within the context of what we are now looking at, it is sufficient to understand the term pAsA as referring to the 3 malAs or impurities spoken of in the preceding two mantrAs (i.e. Anava malA, mAyika malA and kArmika malA). It is of note that it is this pAsA that ‘ties’ the individual soul and prevents the realisation that the jIvA without the taint of these impurities is in reality the supreme siva. To put it simply the root ignorance or avidyA (misapprehension) is what is termed pAsA.

With the above mantra we can understand that the difference between the siva (pati) and the jIvA (pasu) is that the latter is tied down to limited reality due to the effects of the pAsA (tether), while the former is ever free as the supreme lord.

Siva refers to the swarUpa avasthA (Self state) and it is unbroken/ eternal (akhandA) in nature. The word sadAsiva as the sage described in the previous section is that state (tat swarUpA). Thus we have that sadAsivA is who is known as pati or the Lord. Pasu is used to describe the jIvA as the word is indicative of being tied/ tethered by the various attachments which are collectively known as pAsA.

The words’ pasupAsam anugA ‘ means that both the state of limited perception (due to the effects of being tied) and the ties themselves do not attach to siva or the pati. He is forever in a state transcendent to them and is unbroken awareness in nature. The gathered meaning of the above verse suggests that when the akhandA or unbroken aspect of consciousness begins to manifest in the jIvA, then the pasu attitude and the pAsA or ties that bind one to such a limited reality are destroyed fully.


Friday, September 17, 2010

He planted His feet on my heart - mantrA 114

srigurubhyO namahA

In the 114th mantrA, the sage elaborates further on the topic of the inner awakening of the devotee. He describes the process whereby the Grace of siva descends through the transmission/dIkshA by the guru and cuts asunder the ties that bind the sAdhakA to this world cycle. It is evident from this mantrA that it is only when the 'eye of grace' or the 'inner eye' is open that one is really able to cultivate quietude and absorption.

களிம்பறுத் தான்எங்கள் கண்ணுதல் நந்தி
களிம்பறுத் தான்அருள் கண்விழிப் பித்துக்
களிம்பணு காத கதிரொளி காட்டிப்
பளிங்கிற் பவளம் பதித்தான் பதியே. I.1.2.114.

He Planted His Feet on My Heart

All impurity He shattered--our Nandi, Forehead-eyed,
Shattered to pieces before His opening Eye of Grace,
His Eye, at whose radiant light impurity quails;
So transfixed He His Coral Feet on heart of mine,
Crystal turned. I.1.2.114.

Com - our Nandi, Forehead –eyed, All impurity He shattered – Our Lord, the three eyed siva cut asunder the ties / pAsa (the three impurities Anava malA, kArmika malA and mAyika malA) that bind the jIvA to the endless trans migratory cycle. Shattered to pieces before His opening Eye of Grace, through the transmission of His supreme Grace He cut asunder the ties that bind. His Eye, at whose radiant light impurity quails; Not only that, through His Grace He brought forth the dawn of the sun of enlightenment (sivasUrya) to ensure that no further darkness (of the impurities) could ever attach itself to the devotee. So transfixed He His Coral Feet on heart of mine, Crystal turned. And He further imprinted the pure coral like deep red colour effulgence and transformed the crystal like jIvA.

# The opening of the Eye of Grace has the following meaning – The first step for the jIvA to attain to enlightenment is to be eligible for the same. This is what is also known as adikAri bhEdA – rather than be of the view that everyone is eligible for every kind of path or knowledge, the wise understand that the eligibility criteria differ based on the path and the bhAvA (disposition) or kind of individual. In order for one to be eligible, two things are necessary. First is the individuals own desire or liking to tread that particular path or reach that certain state. Second is what is termed ‘irai arul’ or the grace of God. It is only when these two things are achieved that one has the eligibility to attain knowledge.

Here it is good to note that the desire of the individual can come gradually (over a period of time) or it can just happen very suddenly and all at once. But regardless of whether it comes gradually or suddenly, it is always the merits (punyA) and the vAsanAs from one’s past lives that is the main reason for its manifestation. The mantrAs 1614, 1636 and 1638 of this same text will make this much clearer.

Sense knowledge (eg. Sound, sight, etc) reaches the mind through the medium of the sense instruments and the mind becomes engaged with the phenomenal world. As long as the mind remains absorbed in the external reality of the phenomenal world the inner eye or the eye of grace will not awaken/open. It is also true that when the inner eye or the eye of grace does awaken, then one is no longer absorbed in the external world phenomenon. These two opposites are states/ centres in the brain/mind of the sAdhakA.

With advanced practise a kind of heaviness (akin to the swelling of the udder of the cow prior to it being milked) ascends and develops in the front brain (the frontal lobe). When this heaviness becomes quite pronounced it arrests the five cognitive instruments (aim pulan) and their knowledge/ stimuli and a deep blue light becomes visible in the region of the forehead to the sAdhakA. And when the mind of the sAdhakA becomes immersed/ merged into that blue light, the imagination/delusion and the restlessness of the mind will cease to be.

It is this state of being that is known as the opening of the third eye or the eye of grace. And it is this eye in the forehead that is the centre for the subtle (sUkshma) vision and perception of the j~nyAni or enlightened being. Using this eye, the wise are able to ‘see’ even that most subtle state that can be termed as the kAranA or the causative state for this material and phenomenal world. It is only those who have attained to this state who are termed as ‘self-realised’ or ‘enlightened’ and it is only those who have attained to this state who can be said to have ‘known’ siva.

Thus from the above mantra we can understand that the supreme siva through the medium of His grace, first removes the cause of bondage of the sAdhakA and then will imprint the red coral like light which will pave way for the opening of the third eye or the eye of grace.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010


srigurubhyO namahA


He descended from heaven and filled me with Grace - mantrA 113

srigurubhyO namahA
May the regular reader excuse me the two week delay in getting this post out! As I mentioned in the last post, with the 112nd mantrA we came to the conclusion of the preface like pAyiram or introductory section of the thirumandiram and from this mantrA we begin the first tantrA.

Like with any other subject and like a good author, the sage set out in the first section to provide a summary of sorts of the subject material of the text and also to paint a picture that will entice the seeker into making up his or her mind that this a worthy path. With that done, the sage wastes no further time in preambles and proceeds straight into the core instructions of the shaivA school. This core wisdom of the AgamAs, he divides into nine sections titled tantrAs and gradually guides the reader to perfection. As we will be marking our entry into the first tantrA with the mantrA below, I had wanted to publish the first mantrA of this section either on the ganEsha chaturthy or following it. Obviously, I have not been able to publish it on the day! So, with the chaturthy vratAs being completed now and with the supreme mahAganapathy firmly established in my heart, I beseech Him on behalf of all of us to remove all the obstacles that stand in our way to attaining perfection. May He shower on us His wisdom and grace and fill our hearts with His radiance that we may be able to really grasp the teachings of the sage to attain to the shivOham state.

Now coming to the text - The first stage in the life of a spiritual seeker is approaching a master/ guru and being accepted by the guru as a disciple. After such acceptance, the guru then conducts the dIkshA or the initiation ceremony and renders the disciple pure and fit for the path of sAdhanA. This two fold activity of transmission of shakti and cleansing of the accumulated taint/sins in the disciple is acutely important and without it, the path becomes impossible to tread and perhaps even futile.

So here too, at the very start of the first tantrA, the sage proceeds to conduct the dIkshA of sorts by revealing the merits of a real guru who is ever established in the truth and by giving the upadEshA or divine instructions to the disciple/reader to enable them to be fit to make the journey to siva. From now onward till the very end of the text, there will be plenty of mantrAs which are possessed of multiple meanings where they are all simultaneously true. There are also plenty of mantrAs which discuss deeply subtle and highly esoteric topics and reveal the deep secret gems of the shaiva tantrAs. Let it be known that I will not be able to discuss some of those advanced topics or sampradAya rahasyAs (secrets of the lineage) on this public space as they are to be revealed to the initiates at different stages of their spiritual progress. I will however try my very best to explain the mantrAs so most of us can understand the intent of the sage. If at points, my commentary does not do a good job of explaining things properly, please feel free to email me regarding your doubts and I will try my best to explain them privately through mail to those who need to understand them better.

I also request you, the reader, to proceed now with great care and devotion; paying plenty of attention to what is actually being said as they are all great revelations. Once again, may ganapathy remove the obstacles that stand in the way of our perfection. May my guru, whose holy pAdukAs are my sole refuge guide me in this endeavour. OM.

முதல் தந்திரம்

.1.. உபதேசம்

விண்ணின்று இழிந்து வினைக்கீடாய் மெய்க்கொண்டு
தண்ணின்ற தாளைத் தலைக்காவல் முன்வைத்து
உண்ணின்று உருக்கியோர் ஒப்பிலா ஆனந்தக்
கண்ணின்று காட்டிக் களிம்பறுத் தானே. I.1.1.113.


He Descended From Heaven and Filled Me With Grace

He come down from Heaven, clothed in body,
Karma to match, stretched forth His cool Feet of Grace, planting them firm
On my head; and lo! inside me He stood, melting my yielding heart;
And filled my eyes with peerless bliss, past all compare,
All impurity dispelled. I.1.1.113.

Com - He come down from heaven, lord siva descends from the paramAkAshA (subtle ether), clothed in body Karma to match, and manifests with a form (body) that is according to the fruit of one’s past lives (i.e. according to karma).stretched forth His cool Feet of Grace, planting them firm On my head; and He (siva) plants His holy feet, full of the sweetest grace, and cooling in nature, firmly on the crown of the head to provide sanctuary for the jIvA. And lo! Inside me He stood, melting my yielding heart; (then) abiding within the innermost cave of ones being, He melts the hearts (body) and minds of the jIvA. And filled my eyes with peerless bliss, past all compare, and standing within the eye (third eye) He reveals a state of bliss that is beyond compare. All impurity dispelled. And (thus) He tore asunder the pAsA (tie/tether/ attachment/bondage) that binds the jIvA to the endless cycle of birth and death.

# This mantra as we saw above is the first mantra of the first tantrA. The section that this opens is titled ‘ upadEshA’. This term ‘upadEshA’ can be understood as initiation or transmission of knowledge. The words that are spoken by the guru to the disciple are known as upadEshA. Through this section and the teachings contained within, the sage highlights the truth that the inner eye / spiritual eye of the disciple opens only as a result of the grace of a satguru. The first and most important stage in the life of a spiritual seeker is obtaining the grace of the guru.

The tantrAs speak volumes about the importance of a guru in the path of spiritual awakening and they declare unanimously the truth that the guru is at the core of any sAdhanA. The kaplasUtrA declares ‘ sri guru sarvakArana Shakti:’ – Ones guru is All competent power and is the root cause of everything. The words of the guru to the disciple that will enable him/her to walk the arduous path of sAdhanA and provide the disciple the faculty of discrimination is what is presented in this first section.

In this and the mantrAs to follow, the sage discusses the merits of a guru and deals with the detailed description of the shaiva siddhAntA (the shaiva philosophy) and the qualities of the jIvA, his weaknesses etc. These concepts will form the back bone of the teachings and hence it is necessary that we devote ample time to fully understand and absorb these truths. They will be of great value as we proceed further along the path to attain to shiva hood.

The words ‘ clothed in body, karma to match’ refer to the truth that it is the supreme siva who manifests in the physical plane as the guru to suit the tendencies of the individual. The tendencies of the individual are a product of his/her previous lives and the fruits of the actions performed therein. Thus, based on the karmic results/ fruits of the individuals previous lives, they are born with certain strengths and weaknesses. Thus they are eligible for different methods/paths based on their character (which again is based on karma). The sage here reveals that one’s guru is non different to siva, even though he/she may be walking this world in a physical body. That body is simply to be in the same level as the disciple so that it would be possible to transmit the Grace to the disciple.

The words ‘ planting His feet firmly on my head’ refer to the act known as dIkshA or initiation. It is through this process that the wisdom/knowledge is transmitted as energy from the master to the disciple. Here the words refer to the attainment of the Grace of siva.

The reference to ‘standing within and melting the heart and mind’ is to convey the truth that once the initiation has happened, the siva/guru energy abides within the inner core of the disciple where it slowly and gradually works on the emotional, mental and physical body of the disciple. Over time, when the disciple is following the words and teachings of his guru, the sAdhanA produces certain responses in the physical and mental spheres of the sAdhakA and melts away the avidyA (misapprehension/delusion), anger, greed etc and changes the state of being of the sAdhakA.
The word ‘kaLimbu’(translated here as impurity) in tamil refers to pAsam or the taints of attachment. This is variously called, bondage, tether, tie, bind etc. In classical texts, it is also known as malA or impurity. It is apt to note here that the malA or impurity that clings to the jIvA is classified into three kinds.

Anava malA or the taint of the ego principle.
kArmika malA or the taint of karma (action) and
mAyika malA or the taint due to mAyA (illusion).

The above three are all collectively known as pAsA and it is these that tie/tether the siva to thinking and feeling that he is jIvA (embodied). So, the combined meaning of the above mantra reveals that siva manifests in the physical plane as the guru in accordance to the fruits of the individuals karma and through his grace and compassion is able to transmit the Grace of the supreme. Moreover, guiding from within, He gently takes the individual on a path that gradually cleanses the impurities of countless births that have become lodged deeply in their psyche to elevate the individual to a state of everlasting bliss. The state of Self – which is beyond compare. This state of being, is the best antidote to the impurities that bind the jIvA to the trans migratory cycle. Eventually, being freed from the bondage of the impurities the jIvA realises his true state as sivA – which is really the very purpose of the path being shown by the guru.


Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Siva is jIvA - mantrA 112

srigurubhyO namahA
We now have the 112st mantrA - which is the closing mantrA of the pAyiram or the introductory verses. In this section, the sage has dealt extensively with the idea of siva consciousness; the spiritual paramparA or lineage to which this text belongs; the reason behind the birth of this path; the virtue and spiritual merit of the AgamAs; the place and identity of the trimUrthy / trinity.

All of this sets the ground for what the sage has in mind - the true transmission of knowledge. The rest of the text is divided into nine tantrAs, each of them containing a vast treasure trove of Agamic wisdom. The sage slowly guides us like a true guru guides his disciples, compassionately and with great clarity. So, here we are, the last mantrA of the pAyiram.

தானொரு கூறு சதாசிவன் எம்மிறை
வானொரு கூறு மருவியும் அங்குளான்
கோனொரு கூறுஉடல் உள்நின்று உயிர்க்கின்ற
தானொரு கூறு சலமய னாமே. 10.9.112.

Siva Is Jeeva

In one Part, He, Sadasiva my Lord;
One heavenly Part in Heaven resides;
One Kingly Part, the spirit that the body heaves;
One His Part to all motion transformed.10.9.112.

Com -In one Part, He, Sadasiva my Lord; My Lord sadAsivA is one part of the supreme principle known as paramasiva (refer mantrA 111) One heavenly Part in Heaven resides; who abiding in the AkAshA (ether) principle pervades all tattvAs and remains also transcendent to the tattvAs at the same time. One Kingly Part, the spirit that the body heaves; The same siva resides in the body as prAnA (life current), the king (of the body). One His Part to all motion transformed. Yet another aspect/ part of this siva is in the form of spandA (vibration).

# In this mantra, which is the last of both this sub section and of the entire pAyiram or introduction section of the thirumandiram, the sage introduces us to the idea of spandA. First, the sage states that the manifestation known as sadAsiva is but a modification of the supreme paramasiva tattvA. This same principle, when pervading the AkAshA or ether principle (which is the first evolute among the bhUtAs or the elements) can be understood to be pervading all tattvAs – as the AkAshA aspect is evident in all other modifications as this is the first medium for the establishment of the worlds. This same lord of AkAshA, when within the confines of the body (sthUlA or elemental/gross/physical body) is manifest as the prAnA or life principle.

The term prAnA should be taken to mean the ten variants – the five main prAnAs : prAna, apAna, udAna, vyAna and samAna; and also the five subsidiary prAnAs : nAga, kUrma, kirukara, dEvadatta and dhananjaya. The life principle prAnA and its variants are responsible for the birth and continuity of life in the physical or gross body. Those readers who are interested to know more about the ten prAnAs and their activities, please refer to the hata yOga pradIpikA or similar texts. Thus, we have that the siva is manifest as prAnA in the body, enabling it to continue living.

The term ‘spandA’ which can be understood as vibration or motion is a very important one. It forms the core of the Kashmir shaivism or the trikA siddhAntA. The sage does not at this juncture dwell on the greater meanings of that vibration here, so I will also refrain from a detailed description of the same right now. In the main body of the text however, we will see much more of this and then in the appropriate context I will provide more details. Here, it will suffice to note that the sage mentions that another important aspect of siva is in the form of spandA or vibration/ motion (within the body). The birth of the spandA is in itself an indication of spiritual advancement in the seeker and an indicator that the sAdhakA is proceeding in the right direction.

From the above mantra it becomes clear that, the One supreme paramasiva is Himself sadAsiva and as sadAsiva He is the guide and friend to the jIvAs and is the only remedy for the disease of samsArA or entanglement in the cycle of birth and death.

This marks the end of the pAyiram or introduction phase of the text. From the next mantra, we proceed to the teachings. The First TantrA starts with the subsection titled ‘upadEshA’/ initiation.


Friday, August 27, 2010

One and many - mantrA 111

srigurubhyO namahA

The 111st mantrA of the pAyiram where we find echoes of the advaita philosophy.

பரத்திலே ஒன்றாய் உள் ளாய்ப்புற மாகி
வரத்தினுள் மாயவ னாய்அய னாகித்தரத்
தினுள் தான்பல தன்மைய னாகிக்
கரத்தினுள் நின்று கழிவுசெய் தானே. 9.9.111.

One And Many

The Supreme is one, Absolute, without lapse,
In descent thereof, Mal and Aya becoming;
Thus He, the One into many ranked;
By conscious choice a Self-deduction made.9.9.111.

Com - The Supreme is one, Absolute, without lapse, In the supreme/ transcendental state known as ‘parA’, He is One, (as) siva. He pervades all life, being both within and without everything simultaneously. In descent thereof, Mal and Aya becoming; In being the cause for the birth of desire, He (manifests) as Vishnu, while He (manifests) as braHmA during creation (of the worlds). Thus He, the One into many ranked; The One siva Himself emanates as many different dEvAs depending on the necessary function and based according to the distinction of energy or mode of function. By conscious choice a Self – deduction made. The same siva functions also as rudrA, the annihilator, keeping His real nature (of being the supreme) hidden at all times.

# Through this mantra the sage establishes that the various names like braHmA, Vishnu etc are merely descriptions of the various functions of the same siva. The reader might begin to wonder why the sage speaks of the same thing (the underlying oneness) over and over again like one who is senile, but we must be aware however that he is not merely repeating the same words. The message is the same, though the different references in the above mantrAs in this section deal specifically with the philosophical stand points that are prevalent within the dharmA (both during the sages time and now in the current time) and seek to answer the doubts raised by those stand points.

Here the sage reveals that the various names like braHmA etc are all indicative of the same person/principle, albeit speaking of different aspects of it. Just as in the case of one who is known to his children as ‘father’, and to his wife as ‘husband’, is known to his mother as ‘son’ and to his subordinate at work as ‘master’ etc is all descriptive of the same individual (with reference to his various activities/positions) here too, the same siva is known variously depending on the function. Thus we have that siva while acting as the creator is known as braHmA, while the same siva is known as Vishnu when He is involved with the preservation of the worlds that were created. The same siva is known as rudrA when he is engaged in the act of annihilation of the world at the end of time to make way for the next creation cycle and so on.

By becoming aware of this truth, the sage hopes that the seeker will have cleared a lot of the confusion that is prevalent within the folds of the Hindu thought and philosophy. This is perfectly in tune with the advaitA stand point. In the transcendent/ supreme level, where there is no activity/action per se the principle is known as siva and at this level He is One – this is the parasiva or paramasiva. The same principle when within the field of activity manifests variously according to action and is known thus through different names.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Assign nor ranks to Trinity - mantrA 110

srigurubhyO namahA
The month now being shravanA, one that is of particular merit for the devotee of siva, I have been a bit stumped for time lately. Add to that an Avani avittam and the next day's gAyatri japA and you have a perfect excuse for the delay in the next post!
Here below we see the 110th mantrA of the pAyiram where the sage laments the condition of the ignorant who, deluded by the apparent differences in form and functionality, perceive a grading/ hierarchy among the divinities when there is but One.

சோதித்த பேரொளி மூன்று ஐந்து எனநின்ற
ஆதிக்கண் ஆவது அறிகிலர் ஆதர்கள்
நீதிக்கண் ஈசன் நெடுமால் அயனென்று
பேதித் தவரைப் பிதற்றுகின் றாரே. 8.9.110.

Assign Not Ranks To Trinity

The ignorant know not, from the First did leap
The Light that flamed into Three and Five;
So blindly groping, lost in maze of words,
Isa, Mal and Aya, to graded ranks assign.8.9.110.

Com - The Light that flamed Siva, who is the great effulgence which radiates Light into Three and Five; manifests variously (according to the function at hand) as the Three – braHmA, Vishnu & rudrA, and as the Five – braHmA, Vishnu, rudrA, mahEswarA and sadAsivA. The ignorant know not, from the First did leap The many deluded people, who, without understanding this underlying reality (of siva manifesting variously) perceive these variously as braHmA, Vishnu etc. So blindly groping, lost in maze of words, Isa, Mal and Aya, to graded ranks assign And thinking them to be different (from each other and to the originating supreme), they speak of various gods. What a pitiable condition?

# In this mantra the sage points out (yet again) the non-difference between the trinity, of each of them separately to siva. The sage further speaks to highlight the transcendence of siva to the various manifestations.

The manifestations of siva as the Three (braHmA, Vishnu & rudrA) and as the Five (braHmA, Vishnu, rudrA, mahEswarA and sadAsivA) are for the fivefold activity – creation/ srushtI, preservation/ sthithI, dissolution/samhArA, veiling/tirOdhAnA and unveiling/anugrahA. These fivefold actions are necessary for the continuity of the world phenomenon and hence the One supreme siva manifests variously to fulfil the five functions.

The jyOthI or the effulgence spoken of here is descriptive of the pure ‘chit’ or consciousness aspect of the supreme. It is the light due to which all else shines. The sage finishes the mantra with an observation of the pitiable plight of the deluded common man (us, folks!). He observes that we do not know the uniting/underlying truth that it is the One siva who manifests variously. Instead, we are deluded by the apparent difference in form and functionality and consider them to be separate entities and observe a variety of names and rituals in support of this misapprehension. Thus the truth that there is but One siva continues to evade our understanding and we get stuck with a diffracted and divisive idea of this supreme principle.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

All Gods are but the One siva - mantrA 109

srigurubhyO namahA

In this the 109th mantrA the sage echoes the words of the vEdAs in declaring the supremacy of siva and describes the all pervading nature of the supreme.

வானவர் என்றும் மனிதர் இவர் என்றும்
தேனமர் கொன்றைச் சிவனருள் அல்லது
தானமர்ந்து ஓரும் தனித்தெய்வம் மற்றில்லை
ஊனமர்ந் தோரை உணர்வது தானே. 7.9.109.

All Gods Are But The One Siva

Devas here be none, nor humans that breathe,
Save for Siva's grace, Siva in honeyed-Konrai decked;
No other God could dwell in the silence of your soul,
Other Gods you worship, know they but mortals be.7.9.109.

Com - Devas here be none, nor humans that those that are known as the dEvAs (celestial beings) and those that are known as humans (us mortals) breathe, Save for Siva’s grace, Siva in honeyed – Konrai decked; cannot exist without the overwhelming grace of siva, the lord who is decorated with a bunch of beautiful konrai flowers overflowing with nectar. No other God could dwell in the silence of your soul, (Apart from siva) There is no other God who is present naturally within each and every one of us and who is self-aware as consciousness is aware of itself. Other Gods you worship, know they but mortals be. ( The truth is) It is the One siva who manifests as the Three (trinity), the Five (with mahEswarA and sadAsiva) and who exists as different and transcendent to all these (in the body). Know this to be the truth.

* Mentioning that the immortals (dEvAs) and the mortals (humans) are all existing in their respective bodies in their respective worlds only due to the grace and agency of siva, the sage reveals an important truth. He mentions that it is the One supreme principle siva, who exists as the Self in all, be they mortals or immortals.

In the mahAnArAyana anuvAkA of the purusha suktA, (antar bahishcha tat sarvam…..) we see the description of this supreme principle. Inside, outside, above, below, to the front and the back, pervading everything, the supreme is everywhere. A reflection as it were of this supreme is the jIvAtman, residing in the innermost cavity of the heart. This is siva. The sage here echoes the same truth and declares that it is the One siva who is present as the Self of all in the various worlds.

The Three as stated in a previous mantra exist in different locations within the body (manipUrA, swAdishtAnA and mUlAdhArA) and the Five occupy the same 3 seats plus the anAhatA (mahEswarA) and vishuddhi (sadAsivA). And as stated before these Three and Five are but manifestations of the One siva, who exists as all of these by pervading them and is also transcendent to the at the same time (residing in the sahasrArA or crown). It is the One siva who is known variously as Atman, Self, braHman etc. And He should be known and realised through His own grace.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Trinity are co equals - mantrA 108

srigurubhyO namahA

In this the 108th mantrA, the sage speaks of an incident that occured while he was still resident in the holy kailAsA. It is an interesting revelation to note as it gives us an insight into the level of the sage in terms of his spiritual calibre.

ஓலக்கம் சூழ்ந்த உலப்பிலி தேவர்கள்
பாலொத்த மேனி பணிந்தடி யேன் தொழ
மாலுக்கும் ஆதிப் பிரமற்கும் ஒப்புநீ
ஞாலத்து நம்மடி நல்கிடுஎன் றானே. 6.9.108.

Trinity Are Co-Equals

Lying prostrate I adored the Milk-hued One,
While countless Devas stood around in melting prayers lost;
Then spoke the Lord to me:
"To Vishnu and Brahma are I equal;
Be it Yours to give the world
The Grace of My Feet." 6.9.108.

Com - While countless Devas stood around in melting prayers lost; (Once) in the beautiful sabhai/ court in kailAsA, the hall was filled with a great many dEvAs who are immortal. Lying prostrate I adored the Milk- hued One, (while) I went and paid my respects and offered my prostrations to the holy feet of the milk hued Lord. Then spoke the Lord to me : ‘’To Vishnu and Brahma are I equal; The Lord then declared to me that I (the sage) am equal to the creator (braHmA) and Vishnu. Be it Yours to give the world The Grace of My Feet (And hence) go you to the world (earth) to become an AchArya / guru and guide the people there so they too may obtain the grace of my feet.

* What we get here is a glimpse into the life of a true siddha. The sage speaks of a time before he arrived down to earth from the lofty kailAsA and entered the body of the illiterate mUlan. To venture into that story here would be to digress from the topic at hand – so may I please refer the interested reader to an older post where this is described in detail? So, while still in kailAsA the sage speaks of an occasion when he went to the Lords court to pay his respects. The hall was filled with the dEvAs and various other denizens of the heavens, they were the immortals – who had risen to a state beyond birth and death and rebirth.

The words ‘milk hued’ are used to describe siva here as the sage speaks of the highest principle, like the dakshinAmUrthy aspect with shuddha sattvA (pure sattvA). While there in the presence of siva, the Lord declared to the sage that he was a perfected being and that the state he had reached was supreme and akin to the state of the trinity. Thus, like He had commanded the trinity to take on their respective stations (creation & c), the Lord instructed thirumUlar to also take up a divine task.

The Lord instructed thirumUlar to grace the human world (earth) with his presence and his wisdom. Please also note the earlier instances where the sage speaks of coming to the earth and composing the thirumandiram on the instruction of siva. Here he describes the incident while being on the topic of the trinity and their attributes. Thus instructed by siva, thirumUlar arrived into our world to serve as a siddha guru and guide those qualifying seekers and the rest of us through his grace into the kingdom of knowledge. The words ‘grace of my feet’ also suggest the instruction to spread the spiritual lineage, the kailAsa paramparA through the method of dIkshA or initiation.

(Such is the stature of the sage that it is no wonder that he speaks of the trinity like they are his school mates!)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Trinity are Kin - mantrA 107

srigurubhyO namahA
The 107th mantrA speaks of the similarity among the trinity and their benevolence in terms of being protective of their devotees.

பயன் அறிந்து அவ்வழி எண்ணும் அளவில்
அயனொடு மால்நமககு அன்னியம் இல்லை
நயனங்கள் மூன்றுடை நந்தி தமராம்
வயனம் பெறுவீர் அவ் வானவ ராலே. 5.9.107.

Trinity Are Kin

But if we thus the soul of truth probe and bare,
Aya nor Mal to us no alien Beings are
But Indissolubly Kin to Nandi, the Three Eyed
Blessed be ye all by the Heavenly Three. 5.9.107.

Com - But if we thus the soul of truth probe and bare, If we evaluate (the trinity) using the yard stick/ measure of the merit earned by the jIvAs (through these deities) Aya nor Mal to us no alien Beings are braHmA or Vishnu are not of a different nature to siva. But Indissolubly Kin to Nandi, the Three Eyed They (the trinity) are ever engaged in their respective duties (viz. creation & c) as divinely willed by lord of the Three Eyes, siva. Blessed be ye all by the Heavenly Three Hence, O people of the world, attain to greater states through the worship and subsequent grace of the holy trinity – the three fold aspects of siva : braHmA, Vishnu and rudrA.

* This mantrA clarifies the position of the sage, just in case the ignorant reader assume that the sage is biased and partisan when it comes to the celestial hierarchy! To first set forth the differences in the states indicated by the names braHmA & c when compared with the supreme siva, the sage spoke of the limitedness of the glories of the trinity. But here to stop the reader from getting any wrong notions, he uses a different measure (in the place of glories).

The limitations of the trinity notwithstanding, when it comes to the granting of merit and spiritual upliftment, the trinity are definitely capable of delivering. In this aspect, that of benevolence and spiritual merit, they are non-different to siva. This is because they are manifestations of the same supreme principle and are ever engaged in their duties as assigned by siva.

With this mantra the sage confirms that there is nothing wrong with the position of those mathAs or schools of thought which hold one among the trinity to be the highest. This is because the worship of the trinity is also quite capable of producing the spiritual and material advancement of the devotee. Hence their non-difference.