Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Basic spiritual categories - Thirumandiram mantra 90

srigurubhyO namahA

Here we are! As prompted by a rush of pure spiritual inspiration, I return to the project started a long time back. The english commentary to the wonderful text called Thirumandiram. A bit more than a year back (april 2009 to be exact), for reasons too numerous to explain here I had to discontinue work on the english commentary of the text. I am afraid I might have lost the interest of quite a few regular readers in the meantime due to lack of activity in this blog. There were a good few readers who visited the blog frequently in the hope that there would be more of the mantrAs translated, but their hopes were in vain. A general lack of creativity and more particularly a taste for silence in the interim are to blame, if you must point the finger at something.

I begin from where I left off so abruptly - Just in case the passage of time has clogged your memory, we were on the 89th mantrA of the invocation (17.5.89) - as if it was only yesterday! Here below is the next mantrA in the series.

நேயத்தை ஞானத்தை ஞாதுரு வத்தினை
மாயத்தை மாமாயை தன்னில் வரும்பரை
ஆயத்தை யச்சிவன் தன்னை யாகோசர
வீயத்தை முற்றும் விளக்கியிட் டேனே. 18.5.90

Basic Spiritual Categories
So impelled, streamed out of me in measures full
The Jneya, the Jnana, and the Jnathuru,
The Maya, and the Parayaya that in Mamaya arise,
The Siva and the Agochara Veeya. 18.5.90

Com - The Jneya that which is known, the Jnana that intelligence which knows (i.e. the knowledge), and the Jnathuru the knower, The Maya the true nature of the power known as mAyA and the Parayaya that in Mamaya arise, and the multitude of the different shaktIs/powers that arise out of the shuddha (pure)mAyA mAmAyA The Siva and the sivA who is manifest in the above mentioned collective of shaktIs and the Agochara Veeya and the unmanifest sivA in His own self nature who is as a seed to all the later manifestations So impelled, streamed out of me in measures full have all been thoroughly detailed and explained by me in this book.

* mAyA here refers to that which is known as ashuddha mAyA or impure mAyA. To those who are familiar with the tattvAs as ennumerated in the sankhyA system or as followed by the srividyA traditions, this is the level of mAyA as kanchukA (cage bars) which due to its powers of veiling and distorting etc results in the delusion of multiplicity/duality etc when there is but one. Hence it is termed as ashuddha or impure mAyA.

The word agOchara vIyA refers to the unmanifest and untangible energy that is at the very root of all manifestation, like a tiny seed. This is otherwise known as swarUpa sivA - i.e. sivA in His own self state.

From the above mantrA it becomes clear that the sage intends to reveal to us the very essence of all knowledge - the tattvAs. These are the basic categories/ units and understanding and working through these is a must for spiritual progress. The knowledge of these tattvAs will eventually enable the distinction between the knower and the known to dissolve making knowledge free from any limitations. It can also be inferred from the context of this mantrA that the sage has himself recieved this knowledge in the appropriate manner (i.e. through dIkshA) and is thus capable of transmitting the same to his disciples through the medium of dIkshA and further instruction through this book.

Here ends the 90th mantrA of the invocation of the thirumandiram.