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Kes temple Hymns-9

Gregg , who has done this marvelous job of presenting the kes Temple Hymns, includes as an appendix this philosophically and historically very illuminating hymn with the note that this is included "between the third and fourth stropes of the main text".

I shall render it here as the 9th hymn.
 

1.  [e ..] ni-gal si-ri an-ne mu-mah sa (Temple .... inspiring great awe, called with a mighty name by An)

*Ta. [il...]niikaL ciri ANNee moo mah col ( Temple.. greatly awe inspiring, brilliant and called with a great name by AN Himself)

(  ni Ta. nii: to stand tall and great, see nimir nivar etc.; si-ri Ta. cii, ciir , Sk sri , mah Ta. maa, mahaa Sk. mahaa; sa Ta. col: to say, call)

2. [e...ku]r-gal (d)en-lil-le nam-man-ni gal tar-re ( Temple ... whose fate is grandly determined by the great mountain Enlil)

* [il... kun]Ru-kaL eenliillee  naamannee  kaal tarree ( Temple , standing like a great mountain, and whose fame is given to be there by Enlil Himself)

( nam-man Ta. naamam: fame (retained in Sk. naamam: name and fame); gal tar-re Ta. kaal taru-ee: giving there to be )

3. a-nun-gal (d) a-nun-ke-ne un galga sum-mu  (Temple of the Anunna-gods possessing great power, which gives wisdom to the people)

*Ta. aal nunkaal aanunnaki ina un kalka cummu ( Temple of the heavenly beings with great power and who help people attain uplifting education)

a-nun-gal Ta. aal nun kaL ; un Ta. un : uplifting  as in un-natam; galga Ta. kalvi : education. sum-mu Ta. ummu: to conjoin)

4. e ki-tus-ni-dub-bu dingir-gal-e-ne  (Temple  dwelling place of repose of the great gods)

*Ta. il kiiz tunjcu nii tuppu  tingkir kaLine ( Temple the place the great deities repose and dine greatly)

( tus Ta. tunjcu: to repose dub-bu Ta. tuppu: to eat, food)

5. e an-ki-bi-da gis-hur-bi i-hur me-sikil su-ba-e-[I?]  ( Temple , which sketches the outlines of heaven and earth ...... with the pure me)

*Ta. il vaankiizbiyida kicuvaribi iivari mey sukkila cubavee- [I?]

( an-ki Ta. vaan kiiz: the sky and the earth;  hur Ta. uru, vari , varai: to sketch, form etc.; me Ta. mey: truth or the real things, the realities; sikil  Ta. cukkilam: white, pure (Sk suklam)

6.e kalam ki-gar-ra zag-zag-ra us-sa (Temple , which founds the country, which supports the shrine)

*Ta. il kalam kiiz-kaara caaka-caakai(n)Ra ucciya ( Temple brought down to the earth and with branches shrines at the top)

kalam Ta. kalam: land; ki-ga-ra Ta. kiiz kaarra, kiiz kaalla; zag=jag Ta. caakai: branches; us-sa Ta. ucciya: at the top)

7. e kur-he-gal giri-zal u-zal-zal-le ( Temple, mountain of abundance which passes the days in delight)

*Ta. il kunRu eekaL  kirisaal uu caalcaalle ( Temple , mountain of abundance, with abundance of vegetation where the food crops grow luxuriantly)

(he-gal Ta. eekaL: lofty and great;  giri Ta. kiirai: vegetation esp. creepers?; zal Ta. caal : great as in caalbu; Also note Ta. calam: water )

8. e (d) nin-hur-sag-ga  zi-kalam ki-bi-se gar ( Temple of Ninhursag, which restores the life of the land)

*Ta. il Ninoorsaangka jii kalam kizbisee kaal ( Temple of Ninhursag,  which establishes the life of the nation)

9. e hur-sag-gal su-luh-ha tum-ma nig-nam-ma-ni i-kur (Temple , great mountain worthy of the purification rites, renewing? all things)

*Ta. il oorcaangi kaL cuulooka tumma niganamanee ii kuuRu ( Temple rising like a great mountain where all people together recite the verses loudly )

( su-luh-ha Ta, culookam: verses recited ( retained as Sk. sloka), tum Ta. tummu: to eject out; kur Ta. kuuRu : say , utter etc.)

10.  e e-ne-da-nu ka-as-bar nu -ga-ga ( Temple, without whom no court decisions are made)

*Ta. il eeneeyida  nuul kaacu paRai naa gaal gaal ( Temple without which decisions are not announced)

( e-ne Ta. iinee: deictic 'this';  nu Ta. nuul: text , written judgments? ka-as Ta. kattu: to shout? bar Ta. paRai: to announce?)

11. e[    d]u kalam-dagal su la-a ( Temple, good ..... carrying in its hands the wide country)

*Ta. il... uu kalam takal cuur alaiya ( Temple, great.... carrying on its hands the wide country)

( dagal Ta. takal> taval: very large; la Ta. alai or izai: to wear)

12. e  un-sar u-tu numun (gis) isimu TUK.TUK  ( Temple, which gives birth to countless peoples, seed which has sprouts)

*Ta.  il uuN  carva utu numuL iicimuu TUK.TUK ( Temple , which generates food for all with seeds that sprout.. )

( un- Ta. uN: food ; sar Ta. carva (retained in Sk. sarvam; u-tu Ta. uti: to arise, emerge ; numun Ta. muLai: sprout ; i Ta. ii: to give, Ta. iin: to give birth)

13. [e]lugal u-tu nam-kalam-ma tar-re ( Temple , which gives birth to kings, which determines the fate of the land)

* Ta. il uLukaL utu naam kalamma taaree ( Temple that shapes (good)  kings and gives well-being for the nation)

( nam Ta. nayam, nayam: good ; tar-re Ta. taru: to give)

14 [e] bara-bara-bi su-kin-dib-be aka-de  ( Temple, whose royal personages are to be revered--)

* Ta. il paraparabi cuukaan tippee akattee  (Temple , whose lasting for generations in good shape has strong interiors)

bara-bara Ta. paramparai, paarampariyam : lasting for generations; su-kin Ta. cukam; in good shape; dib-be Ta. tippee, tuppee: strongly)

15-17 : refrain

18 [  ] -kam-ma-am  ( the [...] th temple

* Ta. [....] kaamma aam ( The [..] temple hymn)


Analysis of the Ninth Hymn

We have seen Agamism, being temple centered is INDESTRUCTIBLE because it hinges on the reality of the mantra-world , the world that is always there   and which is populated by the archetypes, the Attikaayam of the Jains , the invisible realities. Everything in the world can be destroyed but the mantra-world remains indestructible  just as the cyber world will be there even the computers are destroyed. The mantra-world is the universe of BEING, the Paraparan, He who stands absolutely transcendent to even the mantra-world but stands within as the Dancer, the Pancakritiyan. the stage director of the various plays that we call the phenomenal world. This BEING was called An by the Sumerians , a name still retained in Cankam Literature in terms of   aaN and retained to this day as the aaNdavan, aaNdakai etc.

The Temple as mantra-body
 

The Keeci temple and hence all temples are lowered by An and this notion  is repeated in several places in this collection of Hymns and following line is one of them.

6.e kalam ki-gar-ra zag-zag-ra us-sa (Temple , which founds the country, which supports the shrine)

*Ta. il kalam kiiz-kaara caaka-caakai(n)Ra ucciya ( Temple brought down to the earth and with branches shrines at the top)

(kalam Ta. kalam: land; ki-ga-ra Ta. kiiz kaarra, kiiz kaalla; zag=jag Ta. caakai: branches; us-sa Ta. ucciya: at the top)

The phrase 'e kalam ki-gar-ra" is still recognizably good Tamil : il kalam kiiz -kaalla; temple brought down to the earth.
This notion is repeated in the Theevaram Corpus also and Cambantar talks of 'viNNizi kooyil" in one his pathikams on Sirkaazi,  the koyil that has come down from the heavens.

When Thirumular says that a temple is mantra-body, it is an elucidation of a meaning of what  a temple is,  implicit already in this understanding of what is a temple, what kind of reality it is. And it prospers only when it is  blessed by EnLil, or Thirumaal , BEING as He who is manifest and present as the World and hence the Lord of the manifest Universe, the Purusha with thousand faces and so forth.

1.  [e ..] ni-gal si-ri an-ne mu-mah sa (Temple .... inspiring great awe, called with a mighty name by An)

*Ta. [il...]niikaL ciri ANNee moo mah col ( Temple.. greatly awe inspiring, brilliant and called with a great name by AN Himself)

(  ni Ta. nii: to stand tall and great, see nimir nivar etc.; si-ri Ta. cii, ciir , Sk sri , mah Ta. maa, mahaa Sk. mahaa; sa Ta. col: to say, call)

2. [e...ku]r-gal (d)en-lil-le nam-man-ni gal tar-re ( Temple ... whose fate is grandly determined by the great mountain Enlil)

* [il... kun]Ru-kaL eenliillee  naamannee  kaal tarree ( Temple , standing like a great mountain, and whose fame is given to be there by Enlil Himself)

( nam-man Ta. naamam: fame (retained in Sk. naamam: name and fame); gal tar-re Ta. kaal taru-ee: giving there to be )

We see in these lines words like 'namman" "mah" and so forth which are retained better in Sk than in Tamil. The phrase 'gal tar-re' (Ta. kaal taaree) is also very important for it shows that the word Ta. tarumam ( Sk Dharma,  Pali. Dhamma), is  ancient Tamil and it means  "being given" , the givenness of whatever man is. The 'kaal tarree" is given there to be  an element of reality, of there-being.

And this on further elucidation also means everything that is , including whatever goodness man enjoys is a Tarumam, a Dharma from the BEING, a blessing , an aruL of BEING.

Who Are the real Agents?
 

It is from the Sumerian  literature on Temple building  that it is known that ,  it is an activity which unlike others are effected by man but directed by the divine forces through dream-like states of transductive perceptions , the mamu of Gudya Cylinder. The divine  forces , always there, erupt into human consciousness , take over their psychic functioning ( related to the phenomena of possession) and dictates how the temple must be built and so forth. And from this emerges , when this aspect of being-there was recovered during the bakthi period,  the notion of "aadduvittaal aar oruvar aadaathaaree" so ably put by Appar and which delineates the essence of bakthi and humility it breeds: who can resist being played if played by BEING?

Such realities also gives arise to another philosophically important notion, also articulated by Appar: 'kaaNbaar aar kaNNutal kaaddaakkaalee" : who can see if not shown by BEING?,   the  notion that underlies the concept of TRUTH in Meykandar's Civanjanabotham. There is seeing only  because there is showing and when the seeing is such that,  that which shown is seen exactly as shown then the feeling that it is TRUTH is also feed into the understanding and in this way BEING takes man towards Absolute Understanding, the Civanjaanam.

Here we must note something important in connection with the birth of descriptive terms. Many concepts  may already be present IMPLICITLY or tacitly  at an earlier stage and only much later that such notions may appropriated linguistically and hence made an element of conscious prehension. And in this process words of an alien language may be used or even speakers of that language , after getting into the system , may through acts of reflection coin words in their language. This may be case with  Sanskrit ( though I don't think it is an alien language) where some new words might have been coined but articulating notions already implicit in the Agamism of Temple culture.  But such a phenomena cannot be used to make the people  who provided the original intuitions indebted to Sk and equating this with the Aryan and so forth turn it into a weapon of a war game in which racial superiority is proclaimed.

This hymn points out an interesting example.  There is a term 'e-ko" which is retained in Tamil as Koo-il to this day and for which Aryan parentage has not been claimed, as far as I know. But this is not the case with Yoga ( which I think is derived from Su. uz: to plough, to pierce)  . However in this hymn we have the use of the word en-kum-ene as in the following line

112. enkum-e-ne ara ki am-ma-gal-le-es ( The enkum bowed down in prayer)

The enkum-e-ne , on second thoughts may actually be Ta. eeNkamminee, those who practice SILENCE, kam enRu iruttal, requiring a special room , ara Ta. aRai for this . This shows that the practice of Dhyana , samaathi kuudal and so forth and hence Yoga as such was already there as a practice within a Temple and hence a kind of religious practice fostered within the temple. This makes us understand why temple activities are classified as Cariyai Kriyai Yokam and Njanam with a evolutionary order between them beginning with Cariyai, the ritualistic.

Now just because the word Yoga may be Sk, it does NOT follow that the whole discipline was that of Aryan folks and who intoduced it to the Dravidian folks after conquering them and driving them to the South and by way culturing them!
 

The Temple as Heaven on Earth
 

We have seen that the Temple is an unusual structure for it is not something that man erects for his needs but something that is  lowered by An himself as a way of being with the people. Thus the presence  of the temple shows that the God is with them regulating their earthly life, the political and economic, settling the disputes punishing the erring individuals and rewarding the non-erring and so forth. The court house was located at the gates of the temples.  God is NOT a white bearded grant Old Man somewhere in the sky but rather someone actively present in the world and regulating everything in life with His invisible presence. The temple is 'il-koo' or koo-il, the house of the God and therefore quite different from all else. And furthermore it is the place where the gods are present, a locale populated by the divine beings and thus the heaven brought to earth. This notion emerges in the following lines.

104. e-kes-ku KU-bi e-nun) (The holy Kes temple, whose .... is the princely temple)

* Ta. il keeci KU-bi il nun  (The holy Keeci temple (inside which?) a shrine of excellence)

105. e en-bi (d) a-nun-na-mes ( The temple , whose lords are the Anunna-gods)

*Ta. il ENbi  vaanunnaa meeyiccu ( The temple whose ruler are the heavenly beings)
 
 

( en Ta. eeN> veeN> veeL: lord, ruler etc. . veeL> veeLir: the kings of the ancient Tamil kingdoms.  a-nun-na> Ta. vaan-nunna: the beings concealed in the skies and hence the heavenly beings, the gods who are there with the invisible mantra-bodies; me-s, me-es Ta. -icu, iccu  etc. Now a singular  marker of the non person  gender as vanticcu , pooniccu etc. Also for the feminine  gender)

The heavenly beings are 'anun-na-ene' i.e. vaan nunna inam, mantrabodies remaining as the hidden realities in space and showing themselves as there in the temple. As Thirumular says because of this the temple is a mantra-body, the 'mantrat tirumeeni' as are also the heavenly beings, imperceptible to naked eyes but  very much available for vision when the Third Eye opens and transductive perceptions become possible.

It also shows that while for the njanies with the Third Open, the whole wide world becomes a Temple,  but for the ordinary individuals the Temple becomes the model and evidence of the reality of the heavenly world. And each time he enters it and participates fully in the rituals there , he gets transposed to the heavenly world and thereby purified.  The temple becomes the take-off point for an odyssey into the heavenly world.

The Temple and Economic Well Being

And because of this the very presence of the Temple and it being well maintained with festivals and so forth is also a way of getting the grace of the gods and attain the 'uru-sub-a' , the national well being which certainly includes economic well being and in those days measured in terms of good harvests.

7. e kur-he-gal giri-zal u-zal-zal-le ( Temple, mountain of abundance which passes the days in delight)

*Ta. il kunRu eekaL  kirisaal uu caalcaalle ( Temple , mountain of abundance, with abundance of vegetation where the food crops grow luxuriantly)

(he-gal Ta. eekaL: lofty and great;  giri Ta. kiirai: vegetation esp. creepers?; zal Ta. caal : great as in caalbu; Also note Ta. calam: water )

8. e (d) nin-hur-sag-ga  zi-kalam ki-bi-se gar ( Temple of Ninhursag, which restores the life of the land)

*Ta. il Ninoorsaangka jii kalam kizbisee kaal ( Temple of Ninhursag,  which establishes the life of the nation)
 

Me must notice here the WOMAN, the Ninhursag is being described as the Power that restores the life of the nation. The MOTHER or the WOMAN is the ground of regeneration, or renewal and by implication the MALE or FATHER the POWER that destroys and hence together , the Ammai-Appar the Source of destruction and regeneration, the Civa-cakthi. These lines also show that the understanding of BEING as such is essentially in the context of agrarian practices, that of harvesting , replanting and enjoying another good harvest and so forth and the continuation of life along these lines. The presence of the gods especially the WOMAN, the Ninhursag is that which makes the crops grow well and make the whole landscape luxuriant. The Earth is the  Woman for it is that which  allows the luxuriant growth of the vegetation and thereby make the hill 'giri-zal" , the mountain of abundance.

The Psychological Function of the Temple

The last few lines are quite interesting from another point of view.

12. e  un-sar u-tu numun (gis) isimu TUK.TUK  ( Temple, which gives birth to countless peoples, seed which has sprouts)

*Ta.  il uuN  carva utu numuL iicimuu TUK.TUK ( Temple , which generates food for all with seeds that sprout.. )

( un- Ta. uN: food ; sar Ta. carva (retained in Sk. sarvam; u-tu Ta. uti: to arise, emerge ; numun Ta. muLai: sprout ; i Ta. ii: to give, Ta. iin: to give birth)

13. [e]lugal u-tu nam-kalam-ma tar-re ( Temple , which gives birth to kings, which determines the fate of the land)

* Ta. il uLukaL utu naam kalamma taaree ( Temple that shapes (good)  kings and gives well-being for the nation)

( nam Ta. nayam, nayam: good ; tar-re Ta. taru: to give)
 

It is here that we locate the psychological function of the temples. The temple is not simply the location where the productive processes or the gods of these productive processes are located  --- it is also the place where great leaders are shaped and thereby good leadership is given to the nation. The Temple has  a therapeutic function, which we saw was mixed up exorcism of a kind, the function of the Lahamas but here it is mentioned that it not only cures the soul of the mental diseases but also creates outstanding leadership and thereby the nation being taken along the path of prosperity.

So here  is an interesting understanding of the  shape of good politics -- it hinges not on  institutions per se but rather on the quality of the leadership that comes to prevail. And this is NOT a matter of birth, is NOT something that one comes to have because of being born into a family but rather something accrues to one as the GIFT of the Gods , who inhabit the temples.

Now in view of this this it is NOT surprising that all great Tamil kings were great temple builders and this right from the Sumerian times. One becomes a great leader only because of the Grace of Gods and in recognition of this temples are erected as a way of expressing their gratitude.



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