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.