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.