Sunday, June 24, 2012

As much as you strive, so much His grace bestowed - mantrA 130

srigurubhyO namahA |

This is the 130th mantrA and through this the sage indicates that the formless siva, the Adi guru, the ancient, will descend to the level of the disciple and taking on the form as appropriate to the individual, will reward him with the just fruit of his actions. Here is it is apt to notice the colour of the flaming ruby (deep red) is being used to describe siva - as in the next few mantrAs, the same metaphor is used to describe the changes occurring in the energy body of the yOgi and how eventually the jIvA state is lost due to the saturation of siva. This is a yOgic process involving the subjugation of the energies of the different mandalAs and merging them finally into the chandra mandalA, where the state of unmani avasthA (the transcendent state) is experienced.

எவ்வாறு காண்பான் அறிவு தனக்கெல்லை
அவ்வாறு அருட்செய்வன் ஆதிஅரன் தானும்
ஒவ்வாத மன்றுள் உமைகாண ஆடிடும்
செவ்வானிற் செய்ய செழுஞ்சுடர் மாணிக்கமே. I.1.18.130

Even as you strive to reach Wisdom's bounds,
Even so on you, Hara, the Being First, His Grace bestows,
In Sabha unique He dances for Uma to behold.
Like a Flaming Ruby in the Flaming Sky. I.1.18.130.

Com - Even as you strive to reach Wisdom's bounds, According to the method or path through which the devotee approaches that which is transcendent to and is the limit of wisdom, i.e. siva, Even so on you, His Grace bestows, the supreme siva will bestow His grace in the appropriate form and manner. Hara, the Being First, In Sabha unique He dances for Uma to behold. (Though He Himself is) the ancient and the originator and is ever engaged in the Dance, in a stage (sabha) so unique and beyond compare, with Uma His beloved Shakti being the eternal audience. Like a Flaming Ruby in the Flaming Sky. His form is like a flaming ruby, dazzling and radiating such reddish brilliance that even the fiery evening sky would pale in comparison.

# We must note that we are in the section titled ‘guru upadEsham’, where the sage has been describing the qualities of the siddars, of the suitable disciple, the highlights of the practise etc. Hence there are a lot of important elements which form the back bone of proper sAdhanA and which will essentially bring out the relationship between the philosophy and the practise of the elements of the sAdhanA being introduced in this section. Like any good author of a big and extremely important work, the sage is initially introducing us, his disciples to the entirety of the system in bite size segments. Setting the ground as it were and in the tantrAs to follow he will elaborate on all these elements in greater detail. Hence I am not spending too much time explaining the concepts and practise details here and will wait till the sage himself speaks about them to explain those elements.

The term ‘OvvAdha mandru’ in the original which can be translated to the ‘incomparable stage/ sabhA’ is used here in a technical sense. It refers to the Chandra mandalA or the lunar orb. Within the sUkshma sharIrA or the subtle body, there are specific zones/ areas known as mandalAs – they are the agni mandalA or the Orb of Fire, sUrya mandalA or the Solar Orb and the Chandra mandalA or the Lunar Orb. As mentioned above, we will look into these in detail in the relevant sections. The yOgIs know to merge the agni mandala into the sUrya mandala and then the sUrya mandala into the Chandra mandalA.

The term ‘In Sabha unique He dances for Uma to behold.Like a Flaming Ruby’ when taken together indicates that the supreme siva radiates His reddish brilliance into the AtmA , here described as shaktI. In the lalithA sahasranAmA there is a nAmA ‘nijArunaprabhApUramajjatbraHmAndamandalA’ indicating the brilliance of the reddish hue which engulfs and saturates the millions of universes and worlds in the immense brahmAndAs. There is also another nAmAmahAkAmEshamahAtAndavasAkshinI’ which means that the final and only witness to the great dance of siva is shaktI. We will not digress further at this juncture, however the interested reader can follow the above leads to get an idea of the meaning behind the symbols and words used here.

The first two lines of this mantrA indicate that there are different methods or paths to the supreme as there are different types of seekers with different levels of spiritual maturity. This is a cardinal aspect of the tantrAs – known as adhikAri bhEdA or different specific changes to suit the individual in question based on his or her eligibility for what is sought or taught. And based on the path that is chosen by the devotee or the spiritual seeker, the supreme siva who is ever transcendent to mind and word, will however take on the appropriate form to descend to the devotee out of His compassion and bestow His grace in the appropriate manner. That is, though formless and transcendent, He appears in the form of the upAsanA dEvatA mUrthy, as guru, as the guarantor of the fruit of action of karma, etc to impart His grace and lift the seeker ever closer to Himself. The previous mantra which described the gradual stages in liberation and this together indicates the truth that as much as the effort put into the spiritual practise in that much the just rewards of that are bestowed on the seeker by the supreme siva.

Yat bhAvam tat bhavati.’ – As you perceive so it is. In a similar fashion, siva grants the jIvA the just rewards based on each individuals spiritual maturity. This is the reddish brilliance that will slowly infuse and saturate the jIvA so as to eventually merge him into siva and to lift the jIvA into sivahood. 

thirucchitrambalam |