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.