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Sumerian Incantations -2

The following incantation of absorbing interest for understanding popular Hinduism and Siddha tradition ,  is given as the first in the book 'Forerunners to Udug-hul" by Geller. In this incantation we have  the occurrence of some technical terms such 'pap-hal' ( Ta. paavangkaL), sid (Ta. sittu, > vid> veeda, vittai etc.). Also we see here the karma doctrine very clearly spelt out, where a person  is taken to suffer many disasters in life like diseases and so forth  because of the evil actions  he has done in the past  lodged as evil karmic deposits and now become active and operative and because of which he suffers in many ways.

(note: because of the wide interest it has aroused among Tamil scholars, I have included, with apologies to others, also renderings in Tamil Fonts( TSCII). )

I present this Incantation in the same style as the earlier.
 

1. en e-nu-ru  (enuru incantation)
 

2. nam-tar-lil-la an-na mu-un-nigin-nigin-na  ( The Namtar spirit was wandering about in heaven)

3. a-sag mir-gin ki-a mu-un-du-du-a ( The Asag demon was prowling around like a storm on earth)

4. udug hul-gal-e sila mu-un-gur-gur-ra ( The evil Udug demon was running amok in the street)

5 (d) alad hul-gal-e u-lu-gin mu-un-da-dul-dul-la ( while the evil Alad envelopes )him) like the Ulu demon

6. lu-ulu pap-hal-la mu-un-da-ru-us lu-ulu-bi ba-an-gaz-es ( (these demons) agitated the distraught man, and struck that man)
 

1. *Ta. en en uru ( The incantation for recitation)

2. *Ta. Tarnam liilla vaanna mun nikkin-nikkinna  (The Playful Fate hovers around the sky)

3.  *Ta.AsaGku maariGin kiiza mun edueduva ( The oppressive evil spirits  roam around the earth like the storm)

4. *Ta. odukku olkaLLee saalai mun kuRukuRu-a ( The evil and death bringing (spirits) approach  the streets)

5.  *Ta. allaadu olkaaLLee uluGin mun idu tooltoolla ( The very evil  spirits that arrest movements enveloped (him) like breeze)

6. *Ta. uLu-uLu paavakaLLa muntaru-yis  uLuuLubi paN kazi-yis  ( The very unethical (karmic) deposits came to the fore and attacked him )

1.

2. ģ š 츢 츢

3. â α

4. -

5. - ĨŹ

6. ¢ Ƣ¢

Comments.

2. namtar lil-la an-na  : tarnam liilla vaanna  : this must be taken as the  the Playful Fate Hovering the sky ; lil-la Ta./Sk liilai: Play as in KaNNa liilai, Civa liilai etc. an-na> Ta. vaanna ; in the sky> the" -a" is the locative case suffix well attested in CTamil as in   'manR-a maraatta' -- at the tree in the courtyard;  ( Ku. 87), 'nin-n-a kaNNi ' --  at your Head garland (puR. 45)  ( see :Dr  Sakthiveel ( 1984) : Tamiz Mozi varalaaRu (henceforth TMV). It can also function as genitive case marker.

nigin: Ta. nikku-in : to stand dominant. Su. nig> Ta. miku : to overpower, to be excess

3. asag > Ta. asaGku> ta. aNaGku : an oppressive deity. Also asag< na-sag : something not good. mir-gin > Ta. maarGin: Ta. maari : heavy downpour, storm; gin>Gin> in : a particle of comparison , also taken as a case marker.

4. udug > Ta. utukku odukku: see Incan. 1 gurgur-ra > Ta. kuRu kuRu : to come close by -kuRukutal

sila> siilai> Ta. saalai: street.

5. alad > Ta. al-aadu? : to eliminate movements; ulu > Ta. ulavai: breeze , normally cold winds dul-dul-la > Ta. tooltoolla.; Ta. tool: the skin that covers the body.

6. pap-hal mu-un-da-ru- us: the karmic deposits of evil action becoming active; This is most important concept here and which parallels the notion of 'uuzvinai vantu uRuttum' -- the effects of the past action that remain as karmic deposit will emerge and overpower. The "mu-un-da-ru" ( Ta. muntaru : given forward ) makes it quite clear that the pap-hal being talked about is the karma of the past evil actions. More details about this in later lines.

gaz> Ta. kazi : to eliminate
 
 

The following lines of this incantation contain many details about the medical knowledge and practices  of the ancient SumeroTamils and which are still retained among some Siddhas who seem continue this tradition while having advanced considerably in their understanding of the human anatomy, causes of diseases and so forth.
 

7. sa nigin-na-bi nu-un-zu ki tu-ra ba-nu` ( He did not know his own anatomy, where illness crouched)

8. ga-e lu (d)en-ki-ga me-en (I am Enki'a man)

9. ga-e (d)dam-gal-nun-na me-en (I am Damgalnunna's man)

10. en-gal (d) en-ki-ke mu-un-si-in-gi-en-am (the Great lord enki has sent me)
 

*Ta. caa nikkinnabi naa-unju kiiz tuRai ba nooy ( He did not know where they were , where illness was located)

*Ta. Gaaee aaLu ENkiizka maan ( ")

*Ta. Gaaee tamkaLnunna maan ( " )

*Ta. ENkaL ENkiizkee mun-icin-miiN aam ( ")

츢 Ш

 

 

Most of these words and expressions have already been discussed. Something new here is Su. nu` which is certainly Ta. nooy : diseases as well mental ailments. It is claimed that an average person  , though knows that the diseases are caused by various kinds of elements  -- evil winds, worms insects and so forth -- and which the translations mistake   for "demons", there is already the practice of examining the anatomy and locating the specific location of the disease ( ki tu-ra ba-nu` )  hence  a scientific bent towards understanding the nature of the ailment.

11. lu-tu-ra-se mu-un-si-in-te-ge-en-na ( It is I who was approaching the sick man)

12. e-na mu-un-si-in-ku-re-en-na  ( when I entered the house)

13. su-mu sag-ga-na mu-un-si-in-gar-re-en-na ( and it was I placed my hand upon his head)

14. sa-a-su-giri-bi mu-un-zu-zu-un-na ( and was carefully examining the sinews of (his) limbs)

15. nam-sub eridu(ki)-ga mu-un-si-in-gal-en-na ( and I who recreated the incantation of Eridu for him)

*Ta. aaLu tuRaisee mun icinteeykenna ( In order to approach the location of that (sick) man)

*Ta. il-anna  municinkuuruyenna ( I entered his home)

*Ta.  suurmoo caangkanna mun icin kaalliyenna ( I placed my hands on his head)

*Ta. caay aasu kiribi muncuucuuvunna  ( I examined the his hands to see why they are becoming weak)

*Ta. cubanam Erituaka  mun icin kalyinna( Then I sang the song og good health of Eritu)

Шȧ

- â

Ģ

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Comments

 11. si-in > Ta. icin : particle of the verbal complex in CTamil which I think has the meaning " effect being there" and which in contrast to Su. si  (> Sk shi Ta. cii, ci ) has the sense of 'being there".  The Su. '-in' that corresponds with Ta. ini, in : now,  brings in the temporal notion and hence making  the whole complex a verb . The Su. mu-un that exists in Ta. as mun : to intent, go forward etc. carries the intentional sense. Thus the complex 'mu-un-si-in-te-ge-en-na'  can be taken as 'municinteeykinna" would mean : I intentionally approached /touched him .

12. ku-re> Ta. kuur: to advance, go forward

14. sa-a-su giribi: giri> Ta. kiri : something that is extended out . See Ta. kiirai : greens, kiri: mountain foot path. Also Ta. karam: hands

15. nam-sub : Ta. cubanam  Ta./ Sk subam, cubam: good, healthy; gal : Ta. kal ; to sing, converse
 
 

16. lu-tu-ra nam-sub  mu-un-si-in-sum-ma-ta  ( After I have administered the incantation to the sick man)

Gap of 14 lines filled with lines from a later text (omited here)

17 en-lil-la lugal kur-kur-ra-ke e-ne-ne-ne lu-kin-gi-a-mes  (They are the messengers of Enlil, the lord of the lands)

18 udug hul edin-na lu-ra ba-an-gaz (The evil Udug of the stepe killed the victim)

19. a-la hul-gal-e tug-gin ba-nai-dul-la (and the evil Ala covered him like a garment)

20. gidim hul gal-la hul su ba-in-dab-dab-ba  ( While the [evil ghost] and evil Galla seized his body

21. dim-me (d) dim-a su-na ba-an-gig-ga ( and while the [Dimme] and Dima infected his body)

22. lil-la tus-edin-na i-bu-bu-de-es (the Lil demons, in hospitable winds of the steppe, swept along)

23. lu-ulu pap-hal-as bar-se mu-un-ne-te-es ( approached the distraught man's side)

24. a-sag tu-ra su-na mi-ni-in-gar-es ( and set the asag-disease in his body

These lines contain an analyses of how diseases originate spread and kill people , which also show that they were linked with the notion of evil actions and hence the Karma doctrine as  is the case with the Siddha Medical Science.

The Tamil reconstructions with re-interpretation of some of the lines is as follows.

17.* uLu tuRai subanam mun-icin cummata ( after I recited some verses of well being to the sick man)

18. *ENliilla uLugal kunRakunRakkee iineenna uLu kaaNkiyameeisu ( They are spies of EnLil, the King of all the lands)

19* odukku ol eetinna uLu(n)Ra baNNu kazi ( The evil Udug of the steppe killed the victim)

20*  alai ulkaLLee tukilGin baNNin toolla ( The evil wave-winds covered his body like garments)

21* kiidam ol gaLLa ol suur baNNi tabutaba ( The thieve-like insects and germs? arrested his  limbs)

22* timmei tiima suu-ana baNkaiku ( The spirits that give the bad things made his limbs dark)

23* liilla  tunjcu eetinna iibuubuuiduyisu ( The bad winds  that dwell in the outskirts blew in)

24.* lu-ulu pap-kaL-La-as puRam-se munnateeyisu ( They approached the sides of the people full of really evil karma)

25* aNangku tura suurna minin kaarisu ( and set the grievious diseases due to the oppressive spirits in his body)

Ш -

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Diseases and Treatments.

1.

Here we see the beginnings of the Siddha Medical System that combines a scientific diagnosis but resorts to building up the IMMUNITY system as a defense against the diseases. We do not  find the ready prescription of medicines ( perhaps available in other texts) but rather the recitation of mantras for recovery. There must have been  different types of mantras - the nam-sub ( subanam: the well being) - and the treatment consists of selecting the appropriate mantras and either being recited ( summata: Ta. cummai> kummai Ta kavvai :  noise) by the patient or by the priest. We see that this is a general practice for in Kes temple hymns we also hear  of mantras for uru-sub and  e-sub i.e. for the well being of the city and temple. The believe appears to be : by the continuos recitation of the appropriate mantras the disease bringing evil spirits and others can be made INEFFECTIVE and this by the presence of the divine forces within the body. The active presence of divine powers provide the Kavasam or immunity against all the disease producing agents.

We should also that this notion is available even now among all world religions where the verses from the sacred lore is taken as mantras  and also  recited to ward off evil spirits believed to be the cause of diseases and miseries in life.

2.

Philosophically the most important concept is that of  "pap-hal" ( Ta. paavam-kaL) which is a karma concept. The incantation implies that disease bringing evil winds, spirits insects and germs and so forth   attack only the people full of 'pap-hal" i.e. the karmic traces of really evil actions , those that morally objectionable ( which are listed towards the end of the incantation) Thus again it appears that the evil actions that people do like lying , cheating stealing and so forth, by increasing the evil karmic deposits REDUCE the IMMUNITY and thereby make a person an easy victim to disease carrying agents that are always all around.

(
The following lines contain an interesting analysis of the karma concept where becoming sick is related to various kinds of evil deeds that are  done and which in fact are the socalled "demons"

26.  hul nam-erim-ma su-na gal-la-na  (Since his body contained the evil of the broken oath)
.*Ta.  olu erimmanam suurna kaallana  ( the evil irritation stood in all his limbs)

27. u-mu-un hul-a-ni bar-ta im-mi-in-gar-re-es ((the demons) injected his bad blood separately
.*Ta. oomun ol aanin puRattu immin kaaricu  ( The emerging his evil karma showed itself in the open)
 

28. nam-tar hul-bi-ta su-na gal-la-na (Since his body contained the evil Namtar demon with its evil)
*Ta. tarmam olbitta cuurna kaallana ( His evil dharma stood on his limbs)

29. us hul-bi-ta su-na gal-la-na (or since his body contained its venomous evil)
*Ta.  usu  olbita cuurna kaallana ( Like poison it stood on his limbs)

30. as-hul su-na u gal-la-na (or since his body contained an evil curse)
*Ta. aaci ol cuurna kaallana ( The curse he inherited stood on his limbs)

31. hul nam-tag-ga su-na gal-la-na (or since his body contained the evil of punishment)
.*Ta. ol taakkunam cuurna kaallana (The evil things stood there on his limbs to attack him)

32. us nam-tag-ga ugu-na gal-la-na (or the venom of misdeed hung over him)
.* Ta.  usu taakkunam uungkuna kaallana ( To inject poison they hung over him)

33. hul-a mu-un-ga-ga      ( thus they have (the demons) wrought evil.
 *Ta. olla munkaalkaal  (thus they brought sufferings)

34. lu hul igi hul ka hul eme hul ( The evil man, evil eye, evil mouth, and evil tongue)
* Ta. aaLu ol imi ol kaa ol immee ol ( " )

35. [.........] x hul u-a mi-ni-in-gar-re-es (the evil [.......] worked woe in him)
*Ta. [........] x ol oova minin kaariyicu ( The agents of sufferings stood there to ride over him)

36. kur-re sahar-ra-gin ara mu-un-da-ab-gi-gi (They roared at him from the mountain like(wind in) a porous
pot.)
.*Ta. kunRa sakaRRaGin aRai munidu av miimii ( Like the dust of the hills, they roared at him repeatedly)

37. nig-AK-a nig-hul-dim-ma ka mu-un-da-ga-ga-as (The destructive acts bound the mouth)
. *Ta. nika-AK-a nig-ol-timma kaa munidu kaalkaalas ( The destructive acts  bound the mouth)

38. us-dug hul-bi-ta eme ba-ni-dab-dab-be-es (and the spells through their evil seized the tongue)
* Ta. oocutuuku olbita immee baNin tabutabiyiscu (  " )

Diseases and the Evil Deeds
 

Here Karmic analysis of diseases are quite clear. We can see that there Direct agents of diseases that the dust or winds that blow around.  But it is the evil acts done in the past that  emerge from the depths (u-mu-un)   hover over the man ( ugu-na gal-la-na ) in order to inject something like a poison( us tag-ga). These deposits of evil deeds act like demons . emerge to the fore at a certain time and attack the person bounding his limbs mouth and so forth and thus make him suffer with diseases and finally encounter death. Thus here again we see that what is the focus of analysis is the WEAKENING of the immunity system of the body and that being related to the karmic deposits of evil actions of the past.

Included here , it would appear,  the CURSES ( as-hul) a person receives from other people. The  "aasi' (as) in itself is a blessing, however as-hul becomes the evil blessing and hence curses. The curses of people somehow ACT on the person cursed and it is believed here that it weakens the immunity system.

What connects this incantation with the magical is the expression oocu-tuukku ( us-dug) which exists in Siddha literature as uccaadanam, exorcism. However as there is analyses and liking with Karma, we can see the incantations here are NOT the primitive magical though there are certainly elements of it.
 
 

In these lines emerge the method of cure that still survives among the commoners in India and which borders the magical or mantravaatam as they call it.

39. en-gal (d) en-ki-ka e-a dingir hul-gal-e (As the great lord Enki left, there was the evil god)

*Ta. eeNkaL eeNkiizka eeya tingir olg kaallee ( " )

40. kaskal dagal-la-ta lu-ulu-bi ba-an-ru-us ( The demons plagued that man at the main crossroad)

*Ta. kasikaal takaLLatta uLuuLubi baNuRuvus ( The evil spirits attacked people in broad roads)

41. ga-e lu (d)en-ki-ga me-an ( I am Enki's man)

42. ga-e kin-gi-a-ni me-en ( I am his messenger)

*Ta. Gaayee uLu ENkiizka maan ( I am Enki's man)

*Ta. Gayee kaaNki aani maan ( I am his deputy)

43. nig-tu-ra-a-ni lu til-la-ni-se ( To heal the man in his illness)

44. en-gal (d)en-ki-ke mu-un-si-in-gi-en-am ( the great lord Enki sent me)

*Ta. nika turra aani uLu tillanii se (To cure that man from his severe afflictions)

*Ta. ENkaL ENkiizka municinmiiLen aam ( The great Lord Enki impelled me to return to him)

45. tu ku-ga-a-ni tu-ga gal-la-am ( Since he made his holy incantations into my incantations)

*Ta. too kooka aani tooGaa kaalla aam ( " )

 (Gap of 3 lines restored from other tablets)

45^ ka ku-ga-a-ni ka-mu gal-la ( causing his pure mouth to be my pure mouth)

*Ta.  kaa kooka aanii kaamoo kaalla ( causing his divine mouth to be my mouth )

46^ us ku-ga-a-ni us-mu gal-la-na ( his pure spell to be my pure spell)

*Ta. ussu kooga aani ussumoo kaallana ( His divine breath to be my breath)

47^ su ku-ga-a-ni su-mu gal-la-na ( his pure prayer to be my pure prayer)

*Ta. cuur kooka aanii cuurmoo kaallana ( his divine hands to be my hands)

These lines contain a lot of fascinating information that  throw  immense light on the origin of the Siddha medical system where such medical practices are still prevalent and from which have emerged a distinct kind of Siddha philosophy that has interacted with Saiva Siddhanta from ancient times.

Dingir hul and Devil

We can see that the word 'devil' is probably not an Indo-Iranian  corruption of  Sk deva but rather a rendering of a  late variant of 'dingir hul' that perhaps got changed into 'diwer hul' and then to devil.  The line of development may be  : dingir hul> dimmer hul> diwer hul > devil.

It is clear that for the SumeroDravidians  the dingir or the heavenly beings are both good and evil , the suras and asuras ( sur: bright, resplendent) and that while good dingirs bless the anma with good health happiness prosperity and so forth, the dingir huls do the contrary. What is also clear from the line 39 above is that they DON'T COEXIST and that once the great gods depart then the vacuum created by their departure  is filled up with the dingir huls or  the evil spirits.

The Evil Spirits in the Squares

This is  a very common notion a description of which is available in maNImekalai ( 5th cent) and constitutes elements of popular belief to this day. The dark streets and town squares, the evil winds and so forth are the places  where the evil spirits ( puutam in Tamil) lurch and bounce upon the people, called  in Sumerian the papkal, the ones who have  evil actions and hence elicited karmas to that effect. This perhaps is  a rudimentary and primitive  way of putting the idea that immoral actions cause the breakdown of the immunity systems and hence such  become easily victims of various disease carrying agents ( the evil spirits) in the air and in the streets

The Cure as Restoring Immunity

We can see in these incantations that  what is being done to cure is a kind of exorcism, the driving away the evil spirits  through  reciting certain mantras. However the main purpose appears to be to re-install the presence of the Great Gods so that the evil spirits will not be there anymore. And this is NOT something any body can effect. There are Shamans ( Su. sangu > Shaman?) who become the kinki ( Ta. kaaNki), the seers or deputies of Enki, the Lord of Earth and as  whose agent,  he acts. He becomes the POSSESSED individual so that his mouth, his breath and hands are no more his but that of the Great Deity itself. The sangu becomes a MEDIUM for the manifestation of Enki and because of this whatever he utters becomes effective in driving away the evil spirits and hence cure the sickly man.
 
 

The following lines which constitute the final part of this incantation contains refrences to Agastya ( Gestin Anna)  where interestingly enough the word  'sid' also occurs linking again with the Sddha Traditon of the Tamils who combined the cure of the diseases with the cure of soul and developed religion alomg these lines.
 

48. zag-mes he-em-ma-an-hul-a lu-tu-ra su-na gal-la-na ( That which surely attacked the limbs is in the sick man's body)

*Ta. caaka-meeyisu immaan olluva aaLu turra suurna kaallana ( That which stayed in this sick mans limbs to bring about death)

zag Ta. caa, caaku: to die

49. tu du-ga inim (d)en-ki-ka-ke ( It is effectvie incantation, [the word of Enki])

*Ta. too tuGka enam ENkiizkakkee( The words of Enki is very precious prayer)

tu Ta. tuti, too-t-tiram etc ( Sk stotra)

50. e-ne-ne-ne hul-a-mes he-em-ma-an-bu-re-es-am ( They were the evil ones who were indeed uprooted)

*Ta. inee inee ollameeyisu immaan puRayisu aam ( These evil spirits were indeed chased away)

mes = me-es < mu-es where 'es' apears to be a plural marker that exists in Ta. as iccu but as pronominal marker of the neuter singular.

51. (gis) ma-nu (gis) tukul-mah an-na-ke su-mu mu-un-da-an-gal ( In my hand I raised the manu-wood , the exalted instrument of the heaven)

*51. manu tukaL maah vaannakkee cuurmoo muntaan kaal ( ")

Note: The word 'manu' occurs in Tamil tradition in the story of Manuniitic Cozan who sacrified his flesh to do justice to a pigeon that was wronged. It also occurs in Manu Dharam Sastra. It is intersting that in both cases it occurs in conjunction with the notion of Justice. Te staff of the heavens is highly symbolic and is part of not only the the Shamas but also kings and the Nadduvanaar, the dance masters. There is reference to this in many treatises on Dance such as Sillappitikaram.

52. (d) pisan(sanga)-unug nimgir kullaba-ke nam-ti silim-ma-mu ( Pisangunu, the herald of Kullaba, walks behind me while I enjoy good health)

*52. peesan-unnu nimkiir kuvalayakkee nanti ciilamma moo  egir-mu DU-DU-de(Peesan-unnu , the great devil driver, stands by me for my security and well being as move ahead)

pisan Ta. peey-san : driver of devils? kullaba> Ta. kuvalayam: universe; nam-ti > Ta. nantu. Also Malay : nanti: to stand. The term 'nanti' for both the heavenly and bull and siva may be derived from this)

53. udug sa-ga a-zi-da-mu mu-un-da-an-gen-na ( As the good Udug walked with him on my right side)

*Ta. udukku saaGka aal sittamoo muntaan miiNNa  ( The hand divine hand drum? was on my right as I progressed)

udug Ta. udukku : a hand drum that is used till today by the village priests; also a symbol of Siva, muundaan> muntaan. munti : going forward

54. (d)lamma sa-ga a-gub-bu-mu mu-un-da-an-gen-na ( and the good Lamma walked with him on my left side)

*Ta. Raama saaGaka aalkuppumoo muntaan miiNNa ( and the divine Rama was on my left side as I progressed)

Lamma> Raama: the warrior deity that privides security for people; also that which reighns over the war weaiopons.

55. (d)gestin-an-na-ka dub-sar-mah arali-ke sir-ku nam-sub ku-ga mu-un-da-an-sid ( Gestin-anna , the great scribe of the Netherworld, recited with each of them the liturgy of the holy incantation)

*Ta. Kestin vaannaka tubbu caaRRu maah aralaikkee cubanam kooka muntaan cittee ( Agastya, who is in the heavens, the great scribe of the seas, recited divine songs and  divine hymns for the wellbeing as I progressed)

gestin an-na > Ta. agastya, the rishi who emerged from the pot and hence the Kumba Muni; the patron of all the Siddhas; arali: Ta. aralai: the sea, fort etc; here the water world. sid Ta. cittu ; to recite. Note sid> vid> VeedaThe notion that Agastya is the great scribe of the water world is retained in tamil tradition where Agastya is noted as the one who formulated the grammar of Tamil language , sitting in the First Academy)

56. (d)nin-gir-su lugal (gis)tukal-ke he-e-pa (Ningirsu, the lord of the weapon surely adjured you)

*Ta. ningiirsu uLukaL kisutukaLkkee eeyi poo ( " )

ningirsu> ningiirsu: the deity with long legs  -- perhaps here Vishnu as Purosottama; perhasp also the later Hanumaan or Anjaneya. gir . Ta. kiir: extended as in kiirai, kiiRu etc. Also note sukkiriiva , a figure in Ramayana, where the name literally means "one with divine feet)

57. e-ne-ne-ne hul-la-mes su-ga nam-ba-te-ge-e-de ( May they who are the evil ones not approach my body)

*Ta. inee inee ollameeyisu cuurGa naam pa taGiyidee ( May these evil spirits not stay in my limbs)

te-ge Ta. taGku : to stay; also Ta. teey: to approach, rub off etc

58. egir-ga nam-ba-su-su-ge-es e-ga nam-ba-ku-ku-de ( nor go behind me, nor enter my house)

*Ta. etir Gaa naam pa cuuzcuulkisu ilGaa naam pa kulkulyidee ( Let them not surround me in future , let them not crowd my house)

su-su Ta. cuuzcuuz: to surround; ku-ku Ta. kulkul: to assemble ; kul> kulam ; a crowd, tribe

59. ur-ga nam-ba-da-an-bal-e-de e-ki-tus-ga nam-ba-gir-gir-de ( nor climb my roof, nor slip into my dwelling)

*Ta. ooramGaa naam paddaan paalyidee il kiiz tunjcu naam kiiRukiiRuyidee ( Let them not cross over my side; let them not scratch my sleeping place)

ur Ta. ooram; the sides; bal Ta. paal: to cross over' ki tus Ta. kiiz  tunjcu : the resting or sleeping place. gir-gir Ta. kiiRu kiiRu : to scratch, tear etc)

60 zi an-na he-e-pa zi ki-a he-e-pa ( Be you adjured by heaven, be you adjured by earth)

* Ta. jii vaana eyyi poo jii kiiza eyyi poo ( Be you adjured by the Power of heavens, be you adjured by the Power of the earth)

zi Ta. cii, jii : here sakti, power, that which activates everything.
 

Agastya and the Siddha Tradition

In this part of the incantation line 55 is historically the most important. Here we have the essential of the Siddha tradition including the occurrence of the 'sid' as incantation along with the mention of Agastya ( Gestin Anna) , the scribe of the Nether World where the term 'arali' is retained in tamil as 'aralai' meaning the seas , the for etc. Agastya in Sumerian is also a woman, the most skillful Dream Interpreter and hence one understands the mythical themes. Hence the Arali here is the metaphysical world, the world of Mantras.

A more careful study will follow later.


The Word-Magic of the Sumerians-1

At the conclusion of studies of some Sumerian incantations, it becomes a bit clear to me that over and above the use of language for a variety of practical purposes that Tolkappiyar studied as belonging to KuuRRiyal, the Science of Speech Acts that J.L Austin initiated recently in the West, we have also the magical uses of it especially in connection with curing diseases both  physical and mental. It appears that the Sumerians not only discovered the Mantric  Powers of certain words  but also cultivated it to the level of a science and which flourishes in Hinduism to this day. The various of Kavasa literature and the Mantrayana of the Tamil Siddhas ( the poets of Power) is a testimony to this. This is NOT specific to Hinduism -- it is prevalent in all religions, including the primitive where even therapeutic applications are available. The soul-curing effect of certain mantras seems to have been  the strategy of the witch doctors all over world  in the deep past as well in the present. In TamilNad we have the use of Koranic verses as mantras of this sort. In Malaysia the Muslim bomohs -- the magicians -- use ancient Sk slokas to ward off evil. In Sumatra we have the Jaggamma mantras still in use ( I have a collection of these mantras  written on bamboo slits)

The question that I want to address is : How is that some words have Mantra qualities about them or at least people belief so?  Another related question is : why this is part of the sacred  lore of mankind?

Sid, Vid and Veda

Let me begin with an analysis of an important word 'sid' that connects the Sumerians with the Tamil culture and   Vedic culture and hence Hinduism in general. This word has many occurrences and the following is crucial.
 

55. (d)gestin-an-na-ka dub-sar-mah arali-ke sir-ku nam-sub ku-ga mu-un-da-an-sid ( Gestin-anna , the great scribe of the Nether world, recited with each of them the liturgy of the holy incantation)

The verbal complex "mu-un-da-an sid" ( Ta. mun-taan cittu) can be taken to mean : he ( taan) brought forward (mun) the incantation. And the incantations are divine songs that would secure well being. ( sir-ku  nam-sub Ta, ciir koo cubanam) . And it is NOT the priest, the sangu ( >Ak. samu, Ta. caami) who recites it but rather Gestin Anna ( Ta. Agastya)  who is the Great Teacher  ( dub-sar- mah) of the concealed metaphysical realms ( arali Ta. aralai: the seas, the fort etc.). Thus we have a practice where the priest, the Caami, becomes only the mouth piece for the action of Agastya who would  take possession ( Ta. aaveesam) of the person and making use of his mouth would recite the mantras that would drive  away the evil spirits that afflict the person and make him suffer physical and mental illness.

The word 'sid' which as  a verb means 'to recite",  as a noun means the school curriculum as well as the promulgation of a king, the laws of the country as in the following sentences:

17. ji-ji-i ga-ga sid-nig-sid-de / zag im-mi-til-til ( And striving and toiling went through their course in all the science of numbers)

*Ta. jii-jii-i kaal kaal cittu niga cittee / caakai immee tiir-tiir  ( They established working very hard to attain the limits of understanding all knowledge, great knowledge
 

The context of the school and 'sid-nig-sid' as what was taught and learned as gestu-gizzal-la ( kattu kiiccaalla) i.e. through recitations  should mean " knowledge, great knowledge"

We have another occurrence of the word with a different semantic twist below:

220. gal-zu nam-lugal an-ta-gal-bi-me-en ( Being intelligent, I am (at) the peak of kingship)

221. sid-nig-sid-mu uku sag-si-ga ( To my administration peoples spontaneously acquiesced)

In connection with knowledgeable kingship ( nam-lugal Ta. uLukaLnam) the word 'sid-nig-sid' is better taken as "political promulgation" and in which we see the beginnings of the institutions or the notions of LAWS of a country.

Thus "sid" means as a verb recitations and as  a noun the contents of such recitations and which is  the accumulated understanding that is transferred to the next generation through being taught is a school and which in another vein become the law-like elements of a country.

With these preliminaries we can see that the word Veda is a late variant of this : sid> vid> Vittai, Vidya,Veda etc. where we have the disintegration of the inital s- that is frequently met with.  Thus Veda as verb means 'to recite, to sing loudly etc." and as contents of what is recited, knowledge understanding especially the metaphysical type and which can serve almost as the laws of the country.

Sangu , Ak. Samu and Brahmanah

The word for the priest ( among many others ) is Sangu which appears to have become Ak. samu and in which form it exists in Ta. caami, the divine person especially the Brahmanahs also called aiyer ( Tol .aiyar yaattar karaNam enpa : they say the aiyers created the various rituals)

Thus at least among the Tamils, the brahmanahs as Caamies and Aiyers preserves a tradition of this ancient incantors of mantras , the Sangu of the Sumerians. Such people as the ones who can become possessed by Agastya , become divine in themselves , at least during those moments  the recitation is effected.

Thus Vedas , though immensely sophisticated in their understanding of astrophysical and physical realities , are ultimately  later developments of the Sumerian Udug Hul,  Er-S Semma ( Ta. eer Cembu) and such other incantations that were very popular during the Old Babylonian period. It may be possible that it is the Mantra Quality of these Vedas that led to isolate them and a group of people instituted for its preservation with exclusive rights over them  preci[iatating perhaps with Varnasrama Dharma


The Word-Magic of the Sumerians- 2
 

In these incantations there is an analysis of an interesting sort  that  is  quite useful even today to understand the religious phenomenon and why it is double-edged --  ennobling on the one hand and  dehumanizing  on  the other. While it is true that there has been a lot of atrocities the crippling of human freedom and so forth in the name of religion,  it has been also the most civilizing force that transformed the beastly man  into  the loving and who extends love even to animals and vegetation.

The Incantations disclose that the priest of those ancients days well understood the phenomenon  of "possession' that we see to this day in the religion practices  of the average person  and in all religions. There is a  magical substratum in all religions and which appears to extend even to the higher metaphysical.  The Power of words to cure and hence certain utterances becoming potent healers of both mental and physical ailments and in some cases even mental aberrations  is understood in terms  of the phenomenon of various spirits taking possession of the person,  where the spirits are either benign ( dingir ) or evil ( dingir hul> diwer ol> devil?). The incantations are meant to drive away the evil spirits and install the good ones and hence certain chants nderstood to have this POWER to cure and so forth

The Suruti as  the Words of the Possessed

There is a whole range of sruties in the Indian circles  and which are said to be words of the Gods and hence auprushiya, not the language of the human but rather the deities. The terms such as "Bagavath Gita"  "Siva Gita" "Upanishad" ( Upa-ni-caRRu : utterance from the heavens) the Tantras or Agamas  as discourses  between Siva and Sakti  or Siva and Kumara and so forth betray such an understanding of a certain species of literature. KaNNudaiya VaLLal recognizes this quality in his definition of Sruti ( Ta. sur-uti: that which causes the emergence (uti)  of metaphysical illuminations ( sur) )The following verse captures this notion. In taking about the Suruti character of the verses of Thirunjana Sambantar he says the following:

ozivil odukkam -10\

 caayaa purudanaip pool aanantamee taditta
maayaa vayiri manamaaNda -- neeyavurai
aaveesar viirar aracar madlaaLar
caavaanantarkku cari:

Like the mirage-like archetypal forms that emerge from the formless Metaphysical Space,  the possibility of the experience of infinite bliss descends down and taking over the mind  serves as the dispeller of confusions and uncertainties. The words of such gurus are similar to the actions of the possessed individuals ( aaveesar), great warriors ( viirar), great monarchs ( aracar) , the ones who are ready to die to get  their loved ones ( madalaaLar) and for  whom even death is something blissful

Thus the phenomenon of possession is not just  something that is experienced by the Shaman ( Su. sangu Ta. caami) but rather by anyone who is extraordinary and in that also abnormal

The Sangu ( cammi) as the Possessed

In the incantations we have studied we find a clear reference to this phenomenon in the following lines.

41. ga-e lu (d)en-ki-ga me-an ( I am Enki's man)

42. ga-e kin-gi-a-ni me-en ( I am his messenger)

*Ta. Gaayee uLu ENkiizka maan ( I am Enki's man)

*Ta. Gayee kaaNki aani maan ( I am his deputy)

43. nig-tu-ra-a-ni lu til-la-ni-se ( To heal the man in his illness)

44. en-gal (d)en-ki-ke mu-un-si-in-gi-en-am ( the great lord Enki sent me)

*Ta. nika turra aani uLu tillanii se (To cure that man from his severe afflictions)

*Ta. ENkaL ENkiizka municinmiiLen aam ( The great Lord Enki impelled me to return to him)

45. tu ku-ga-a-ni tu-ga gal-la-am ( Since he made his holy incantations into my incantations)

*Ta. too kooka aani tooGaa kaalla aam ( " )

 (Gap of 3 lines restored from other tablets)

45^ ka ku-ga-a-ni ka-mu gal-la ( causing his pure mouth to be my pure mouth)

*Ta.  kaa kooka aanii kaamoo kaalla ( causing his divine mouth to be my mouth )

46^ us ku-ga-a-ni us-mu gal-la-na ( his pure spell to be my pure spell)

*Ta. ussu kooga aani ussumoo kaallana ( His divine breath to be my breath)

47^ su ku-ga-a-ni su-mu gal-la-na ( his pure prayer to be my pure prayer)

*Ta. cuur kooka aanii cuurmoo kaallana ( his divine hands to be my hands)
 

The meanings are quite obvious. The priest in his capacity as the Shaman , the Caami , is NOT functioning as the ordinary individuals but rather as the DEPUTY , or the Nabi, the messenger,  as said elsewhere, and  Kin-gi, the supervisor  as above  -- one who is POSSESSED by a deity , here Enki Enlil and so forth and made to deputize Him and so forth. Though the hands body the mouth and so forth remain as  of the priest  in way but during moments of possession they become that of the deity that takes possession of it. The mouth becomes the divine mouth of the the deity as  do the hands feet etc.

But what is the importance of this for curing the sickness?

The words that issue forth during such possessions where the priest remains simply a media become  divine incantations ( Su. tu ku-ga> too  kooka ). It also appears that there  can be pretenses to this and hence such gitas not really divine. However when the possession if total and complete, where the individual self is caused to withdraw completely such pretenses do not  exist, the words that emerge are really the words of the Deity.  The deities'  pure prayer becomes the priests pure prayer and hence efficient in driving away the evil spirits from the mind and body.
 

The Possessed nature of the Religious

Such an understanding of the religious  where it borders the magical exists till today  not only in Hinduism ( I have witnessed some such sessions  in Malaysia where the practice is quite widespread)  but in all religions. The caamis who practice Caamiyaaddam or the VeRiyaaddam of the Cangkam epoch are trusted by  the nonphilosophic individuals  and some of  the priests  exploit  the credulous by pretending to provide cures for their miseries. And as is the case in aal  departments of human life, there are the genuine as well the greedy pretenders  and KaNNudaiya VaLLal has described in his book the  IlakkaNam, the identifying characteristics of the genuine caamis from the false.

The Deities and their Words.

Another interesting implication of the Sumerian analysis and understanding of the incantations and their efficacy is this. There are words spoken by ordinary individuals  and which are simply discourses  in the stream of ordinary life. Bit these incantations are different - they are not only Mantras, magical but they so only because  they are words of the deities --  divine words which are auprushaya because of that.  The deities or archetypes that take possession of the mind and body of  a priest or an individual  SPEAK and it is such speech that  are the mantras that have the capacity  to drive away the evil spirits. In other words the meanings of such mantras are NOT the ordinary intentional meanings of the priest-person but rather the  the Divine-Utterance and hence BEYOND being questioned etc.

We can see now why such utterances produced at historically different times and different contexts are complied and revered as the words of God Himself and kept away from the rational analysis and so forth,  and some individuals bunching together  creating various religions by a process of fixation and regimentation with the believe that such words cannot be false as they sacred etc.


The Word-Magic of the Sumerians-3

Islam and Hinduism: What is the Difference?

An unexpected bonus of this course of study is the discovery of the Arabic word Kafir, an important word in the religious psychology of the Muslims as ultimately Sumerian in origin. We must recall here that the Middle East was practicing the Babylon religion which is actually a degenerate form of Agamic Hinduism as was practiced by the Sumerians during the classical period and as evidenced by such great philosophers of the Third Millennium world as Suruppak, Enhudu Anna, Sulgi and a host of others. After the sacking of the Sumerians and who appeared to have migrated to India especially to the South and continued the culture, in the Middle East the Babylonians appear to have continued it but in degenerate form where incantations of the type we are studying became very famous and the most important element of religious life.

We must note here many technical terms of Islam are in fact Sumero Tamil  The word islam itself is  from the root Su. es meaning divine and which is retained in Tamil as iican and hence es-lam probably means a way of live where God as Ica is worshiped. Another important word is Nabi, the messenger of God, a concept very widespread in Sumerian literature. We can also add to this the Su. tu which means to recite and which exists as arabic Do'a, to recite and pray and which also exists in Sk as Stuti and Tamil as tuti. The word Toottiram ( Sk stotra) appears to have the same roots.

So we cannot rule out  the possibility of some Sumerian words having entered the Middle Eastern language and served to formulate their religions and philosophies.

Kapirig, kafir and Kavi

In this connection one of the interesting phrase is that of " ka-pirig me-en" meaning I am an exorcist ( line  146)  with a parallel term "tu-gal me-en" meaning " I am the incantation priest" etc (line 147). Thus we have a kind of individual who would chant away or recite mantras loudly (tu-gal) and thereby drive away the evil spirits inhabiting the body of the sick and thereby cure him and which point he becomes the ka-pirig, the exorcist. In actual pronunciation this word would sound 'ka-piri" where the final 'g' is simply is for  conjugations. This taken as archaic Tamil would mean literally opening wide ( Ta. piri> viri) the mouth (Su. ka> Ta. vaay ) We can thus conclude that the Kapiri are those who sing out loudly the mantras as opposed to reciting or murmuring inaudibly as is also done in some cases.

It appears that it is this kapiri which has become the Arabic Kafir but now used in a distorted sense meaning the 'unbeliever in Islam" "the idol worshipper " and so forth. This perhaps is a deviation from the sense perhaps current at the the time of the Prophet where the religion of the times must have degenerated into the predominantly MAGICAL with the absence of true spirituality and which fact must have prompted the prophet to eradicate it even with violence.

While these attempts of the prophet are in fact laudable as seeking to recover true spirituality and rationality, tearing away the mind from the magical, something must have gone wrong somewhere whereby this meaning at the time of the prophet has undergone semantic transformations whereby it has become simplified and overgeneralized to mean anyone who worships an idol or image. It may be possible that the actions of the prophet himself has something to do with for the Mosques do not allow archetypes and figural representations of whatever kind are prohibited within the mosques and because of which they have become simply geometrical, certainly with their beauty and elegance.

It is interesting that while in the Middle East this was the history of the word Kapiri, in India it seems to have been rather different. The word Kaviri has become "kavi" meaning a hymnologist  a rishi in Rig Veda and during the classical period,  the poet. The incantation priest seem to have evolved into the hymnologist and then the poet and in this evolution also registering the transmutation of the magical into the spiritual but still retaining elements of the earlier magical ethos. We must note that such terms as 'Upanishad' ( Ta. uppa-ni-caaRRu; disclosures from the heavens ) Bagavath Gita ( the words or hymns of God Himself) are similar to the utterances of the kaviri or tu-gal, the one who allows being possessed by the gods and who then speak through him, i.e. using him as the medium.

The important term in Rig (I1:4) kavikaratuh ( Ta. kavi karaitu : the calls of the Kavi) is intermediate between the exorcist sense and poet sense. The Kavi here is not exactly the poet of the classical period nor the primitive incantation priest but rather a rishi.

Thus it appears that in contrast to the degeneration the notion suffered in the Middle east, in the Indian soil it appears to have recorded a transmutation and development that would have pleased even the Prophet had he seen it. For after all it was this kind of transmutation, the lifting up of the soul from the magical into the spiritual that he too aimed at and succeeded somewhat in his own way.
 

One important point to note here is that in this transmutation there is NO giving up of image worship or destroying temples because they use images of archetypes as a help towards the spiritualizing the beastly soul . When incantations develop into hymns  of magnificent metaphysical insights, the Bakti towards the many archetypal presentations of BEING is necessary as an important step on the way. But in the end BEING in Himself is attained and at that point no archetypal presentations are worshiped. The anma appears to leap to a state of Being beyond any archetypal founding of the metaphysical life.

Now this appears to be also the GOAL of Islam and as meassaged in the architecture of the Mosques. So it baffles me as to why there should be conflict between Hindus and Muslims. Perhaps the root cause of it all is ignorance and lack of mutual understanding.


The Word Magic of the Sumerians-4

An insight into the essence of Yoga Practices

One of the most useful insights that I have gained in this course of studies is that there is a link between spirituality and the magical and that both are transpersonal, i.e. apurushaya. The link appears to be that the magical when transmuted become spiritual and this transmutation process, the essence of yoga, has something to do with what we call human rationality and which transforms the magical incantations into hymns and poetry of excellent esthetic qualities and the mantra recitals where just simply murmuring (Ta. munumunuttal) becomes important.  The dynamics of culture appears to be this transmutation processes failing which the people will fall back into the magical and believe in astrology ( as distinct from understanding the heavens by astronomical studies) and shamanistic practices which we find as integral parts of all religions even to this day.

Let me elaborate this from the Sumerian literature itself. The Sumerians have distinguished themselves by presaging practically all that go around the world as human civilization and culture. The society was overall organized as for pedagogy and because of which they had schools even for young children, and for the adults colleges (u-mun) and libraries ( kir-ginna) in the temples and palaces. Even a king has to compete with others in scholarship and wide learning including the study of different languages and to be able to converse in them, a quality that was cultivated extensively as we gather from the words of Sulgi himself in his Hymn B

But let me recapitulate just three different varieties of Sumerian literature. We have the neRi  of Suruppak where , as I have already explained, we have the origins of the later Mutumozi, words of wisdom but supported with reason and which eventually led to the birth and development of Hermeneutic Logic in India and the sutra style of writing which was somewhat distorted in the hands of Naiyayikas but retained in its essence in the Marapiyal of Tolkaappiyam. Then we have the enormously moving Bakti poetry of Enhudu Anna, a personal appeal to Inanna to interfere in her personal life  and relieve her of the troubles and sufferings. Then we also have the Hymn B of Sulgi , immensely philosophical and analytical touching upon almost all the different departments of knowledge at that time.

As distinct from the NeRi ( Su. nari, Ta. neRi which is retained to this day as nanneRi. There is even an ethical treatise by that name) we have the Hymns of Endu Anna and Sulgi. Fortunately for us we have classificatory terms coming fro these people themselves. Thus Sulgi calls his composition 'sirbiam' ( Ta. ciir: song) jamibiam ( Ta. caami : praise, worshiping almost as god) and the term mudaribiam which means an everlasting record ( Ta. mutu-ari-biam: that which destroys historical oblivion). Thus we have perhaps the birth of the art of ( god and self-) glorification which became institutionalized by the kings and the wealthy during the Cagkam epoch. However the following lines from En Hudu Anna stand out as something universal and truly spiritual

Ciirbiyam

62. gal-zu igi-gal nin-kur-kur-ra

63. ji-gal-uku-lu-a sir-ku-zu ga-am-du(g)

Omniscient sage, lady of all the lands

Sustenance of the multitudes, I have verily recited your sacred song

*Ta. kalcuu imikaal ninkunRakunRa

*Ta. jiikaal okkaluva ciirkoo Gaan aam tuukku

We have some interesting parallels to these lines in CaGkam poetry and the following is one of them.

PuRam 14

5-7

tiNdimil van paratavar
veppudaiya madduNdu
thaN kuravaic ciir tuungkuntu

The seafaring brave fishermen ( van paratavar)
having drunk the stringent pungent alcoholic beverage
sing in groups the cooling songs

Singing Hymns  and Reciting Incantations

Thus there is  a difference between 'kapiri' or 'tu' and  "sid" despite the possibility that the word 'tu' is also a variant of du(G) and from which we have Ta. tuti, tuukku, tuungku, toottiram  and Sk Stuti, Stotra etc. The people who sing the hymns are " lu-sir-ra" ( . Ta. ciir-aaL : the one who sings) and 'nar"' ( Ta. naaratar: the one who sings to the accompaniment of instrumental music) and hence are not the kapiri or tu-gal, the incantation priests, the sangu or the shaman ( Ta. caami) Neither En hudu Anna nor Sulgi can be considered incantation priests who would recite mantra to cure the mentally and physically sick

One difference is that the kapiri are the POSSESSED and they induce this being possessed by the gods by beating the drums and singing ( er semma : singing beating a copper drum; eer cembu> cembu vari) as it is done even today in the rural areas of Tamil Nad where the shaman priest would beat the Udukku to get into the state of trance i.e..being possessed by a deity.

In contrast to this we have the hymnologist like En Hudu Anna, singing with self-conscious awareness but holding in vision the Deity of their choice , Inanna for En Hudu Anna , and for  Sulgi his own self.  Thus we have En Hudu Anna praising and eulogizing Inanna, by recounting all the glorious epithets, the mey that pertains to her and for Sulgi the majesty of his own achievements in the battle ground as well in scholarship. The hymnologist is born with NamaavaLi, praising the deity of his choice composing a song and singing to the accompaniment of instrumental music appears to be a way of PLEASING the deity ( or the king) in terms of APPRECIATION and hence by that strategy to be CLOSE to the deity praised.

This is what bakti is and certainly it is NOT something present in the incantations of the Shamans. Here there is NO self conscious awareness and whatever uttered during the trance, the state of being possessed by a deity, are words of the Deity itself and hence  a species of Bagavath Gita, Siva Gita and so forth; the oracles, prophesies and so forth that the Sumerians termed es-bar-kin, the utterances ( es> Ta. icai) of metaphysical perceptions ( bar> Ta. para; kin. Ta. kaaN: to see)

What is the Essence Yoga Practices then?

This brings us to the important question as the nature  of yoga practices in relation to these . The murmuring of mantras, dhyana and so forth are not expressions of bakti or allowing the possessed deity to speak or sing out to exorcise and evil spirit. It is akin to Bakti poetry for there is self conscious awareness but also akin to incantations in that a CURE is sought but not for others for self itself. The psychotherapeutic element is common to incantations and mnatra recital. Thus it appears to me that that yoga practices are self-transmutational , alchemical exercises in which through continuos and repetitive recitation of mantras of a particular kind, , one allows oneself to be spiritualized, being possessed by a deity and effect a cure within self. There is through this recitation the effacement of the Ego so that the hidden divine forces take over the mind and body and make it the place of their presence.

Now we understand why Tirumular believed that the human body can be made into a Temple ( uun udambu  oor aalayam)  aplace where the gods reside and as result of which a life of good mental and physical health comes to prevail.


The Word magic of the Sumerians-5

The Inward Turning and the Beginnings of Yoga

Through this study we have a number of important insights ( I believe) into the functioning of the human mind and the emergence of Yoga through an inward turning, a event that has given the essential character to the Indic Traditions. This has developed  from  the Shamanistic practices of exorcism ( Ta. uccaadanam) through the recitations of mantras, not  the formulaic but rather those words of the deities themselves that they utter during moments of seizure and possession of the priest, the sangu,  by virtue of which he becomes the kapiri(g) and tu-gal that we saw has become the kavi of Rig Veda and kavinjan , the  poet during the classical period. Thus in one of line development we see the emergence of the tradition of poetry also from this primitive shamanistic practices through a processes of esthetic sophistication ( This will be taken up as a separate study later) while in another we have the inward turning that became the institution of Yoga -- the yoking of self with the divine forces and thus making the body itself a temple .

In this essay I want to attend to the presence of Yoga practices in Sumerian literature which will go to show that along with the presence of Yoga in the Indus ( as evidenced by the Proto Siva images in Padmasana posture ) it was quite widely prevalent in Sumerian society along with  bakti -induced Temple worship, probably indicating that the religion in both centers were the same.

The Act of Exorcising

Let us note some features of the following lines:

51. (gis) ma-nu (gis) tukul-mah an-na-ke su-mu mu-un-da-an-gal ( In my hand I raised the manu-wood , the exalted instrument of the heaven)

*51. manu tukaL maah vaannakkee cuurmoo muntaan kaal ( ")
 

52. (d) pisan(sanga)-unug nimgir kullaba-ke nam-ti silim-ma-mu ( Pisangunu, the herald of Kullaba, walks behind me while I enjoy good health)

*52. peesan-unnu nimkiir kuvalayakkee nanti ciilamma moo  egir-mu DU-DU-de(Peesan-unnu , the great devil driver, stands by me for my security and well being as move ahead)

pisan Ta. peey-san : driver of devils? kullaba> Ta. kuvalayam: universe; nam-ti > Ta. nantu. Also Malay : nanti: to stand. The term 'nanti' for both the heavenly and bull and siva may be derived from this)

53. udug sa-ga a-zi-da-mu mu-un-da-an-gen-na ( As the good Udug walked with him on my right side)

*Ta. udukku saaGka aal sittamoo muntaan miiNNa  ( The hand divine hand drum? was on my right as I progressed)

udug Ta. udukku : a hand drum that is used till today by the village priests; also a symbol of Siva, muundaan> muntaan. munti : going forward

55. (d)gestin-an-na-ka dub-sar-mah arali-ke sir-ku nam-sub ku-ga mu-un-da-an-sid ( Gestin-anna , the great scribe of the Netherworld, recited with each of them the liturgy of the holy incantation)

*Ta. Kestin vaannaka tubbu caaRRu maah aralaikkee cubanam kooka muntaan cittee ( Agastya, who is in the heavens, the great scribe of the seas, recited divine songs and  divine hymns for the wellbeing as I progressed)
 

These lines indicate that the shaman priest was ACTIVE not only moving along with the gods but also carrying a STAFF , the  "manu tukal-mah" (Ta. manu tukaL maa : the great staff that would destroy the evil powers? ) The 'manu' that also occurs in such expressions as "manu niiti" etc. may be derived from Su. ma meaning a tree, hence manu a branch , something emerging ( nu Ta. nuti, nutal: to project out ) from a tree (ma Ta. maa,maram) so there must have brandishing of this staff as a way of signaling the arrival of the divine forces for the staff is the  "exalted instrument of the heavens"

The Inward Turning and Yoga

Now Yoga practices though share with Shamanism the bringing into the body the divine forces but certainly it is NOT for curing others but rather the self itself. Thus we see Yoga must have arisen from such Shaman practices by way of INWARD TURNING  into self itself  and not the other and conjoining the self with the divine forces in order to solve ones own problems, effect a cure on self itself. Thus perhaps issued forth some PRACTICES that are distinctly different from the Shamanistic  and certainly  in the direction of yoga practices.

I shall provide now some evidences from the Sumerian literature  to substantiate this claim.

The Postures.

The following lines  from  "a-ab-ba hu-luh-ha : O Angry Sea " are highly pertinent to the issue.

103 B gu sa-an-zu-a du bi-du-la (You, who covered your neck and head with a cloth)

    C. mu-lu sag-zu-a tug ba-e-dul-la ( You , Master who covered your head with a cloth)

104 A. gu-zu ur-ra ba-e-ni-mar-ra si-mah-en ( (you) , who placed your neck between your thighs, ; you are likewise exalted

*Ta. koo saanjuvva tukil baayee toolla ( ")

*Ta. kavju uur-ra paayee nii maRai cii maahyen (")

Here we have the mention of perhaps the wearing of turban, a kind of headgear that is widely prevalent in India and Middle East to this day. It may be that this  tying  up the ( long?) hair was necessitated  to avoid  disturbances of intense concentration . Symbolically it can mean also the control of sexual desires as the flowing symbolises the active seeking of sexual happiness.

In line 104. there is unmistakably a description of the one of the  asanas, ( kukkudam?) that of bringing the head down to the thighs ( Ta. uur: the thighs) perhaps while sitting cross-legged as in the Padmasana Posture.

The word mar-ra is certainly Ta. maRai: to hide and therefore it may be a posture of "forgetting the head", i.e. that of putting aside various kind ordinary thinking, rationalizations, fantasizing and so forth.

Some other lines  related to this are  the following:

106. sa-zu pisan-gin em-ba-e su-a ( (You) who covered your heart as (one covers) a basket)

*Ta. saayju peesanGin iim baayee suuz-a (  You envelop or encircle your heart like a demon?0

107. e-lum mu-us-tug-zu ur-ra mi-ni-ib-us-si ( dignitary , you leaned your ear on your lap)

* eezum muuccu tuukkuju ooram  iv-oocci-mini ( You control your breathing by casting it aside)

The word 'pisan' also occurs in the incantation texts as an the herald of the divine world  (see above line 52) and from which the Ta. peeyan might have developed. The reference here may be to the control of the heart and hence  desires, one of the Niyamas associated with Yoga practices.

I am not clear as to the meaning of "mu-us-tug" which is translated  here as the "ears". It could be Ta. muuccu tuukku and hence the  strong breathing. Assuming here  'ur-ra mi-ni-ib-us-si' the way as I have rendered , it may mean the practice of breath control which remains even now as the PraNayaama, an integral part of what goes by the name of KuNdalini Yoga.

All in these lines indicate that the Sumerian Yoga was already concerned with the control of the mind and  heart as well as the breath as a way accessing the metaphysical realms that remains always a possibility provided one manages to extricate oneself from the bodily attachments that ties down one to the physical world.

( to be continued)5


The Word Magic of the Sumerians- 6

The INWARD turning that we saw was  so widely prevalent in Sumeria  was  essentially Yoga and hence in Sumerian times itself, the Agamism of the Sumerians in addition to having Temple worship and Shamanism of a kind also had Yoga practices as integral part  to it to disclosing that even in the  Third Millennium B.C. Hinduism as Agamism was already well formed and the later historical, despite many upheavals,  are simply developments of the impulses already available there.

In this posting we shall bring to the attention the notion of Nutal Vizi Naaddam or the Vision of the Third Eye, the Transductive Perception as that which constitutes that which the Sumerian Yogis sought in the practice of bodily and mental controls o Niyamas and which remains the central theme of Sivayoga throughout India.

The Vision of the Third Eye.

The inward turning appears to be NOT introspection of a kind but rather the witnessing of a deeper reality, the metaphysical as opposed to the physical. It is something like gaining an X-ray vision of the natural, accessing the Deeper layers of the physical so that a metaphysical understanding of the natural  can be gained.

In the following account of the Flood that has become a central motive in the Old Testaments and hence something very ancient,  we have the occurrence of the interesting phrase "ma-mu-nu-me-a" ( Ta. mammu naa meyya"  and which means  dream but not really a dream.

Gadd ( p. 131)

1. u(d)-ba ( At that time) zi-u-sud-du (Ziusuddu) lugal-am ( being king) AN.SAG-gu(r)-gur ( a mighty ...)

2. mu-un-di(m)-dim ....... nam-bur-na  ( in humility)  ka-si-si-gi (abasing (himself)

3. ni-te-ga (reverent [he was] . u(d)-su--us-e  sag-us (slowly)  gub-ba (settling down)

4. .... ma-mu-na-me-a ( a dream that was not)  e-de (coming forth), gu-(mu-un-de)

*Ta. uuba jiivasuudra uLugaL-aam AN.SAG. koorkoor

*Ta. muntiimtiim puurNanam kaci singki

*Ta. noor teeyka uu suuzseeyis sangisu kuppa

*Ta. .. mammu naa meyya eeyidu kuu muntee

Thus the experience here was not the normal dream experience  but something like it, perhaps something like the lucid dream of modern psychology, a dream-like experience but while being awake and which we call here transductive perception, called  also Yogak Kaatci or  Vinjnjanak Kaatci in Agamic texts and which is linked with Sivayoga,  said to be attainable by a process of self purification ( malangkaL vaaddi -- Cittiyaar)

We should note here that  Line 2 above allows for an interpretation quite different from that given above. It can be taken to mean : He approached ( muntiimtiim = muntiiyim) dipped in the waters ( kasi : Ta. kaci: that which flows out ,  si-gi > Ta. singki to dip?) completely ( nam-bur-na> puurNam: completely). This practice of dipping  into tiirtta kuLam, the temple tank,  was perhaps an act of purification, a practice still available in India.  It is also present in Christianity and Islam though its link with Yoga appears to been lost in the transfer.

Another evidence comes from "a-ab-ba Hulluh-ha" and which appears to be a text about VishNu called Enlil or Se-ir-ma-al (>Ta. Tirumaal)  by the Sumerians. I give two lines which are interconnected.

6. a-a mu-ul-lil i-bi-du ni-te-na ( Father Enlil, the One Inspecting for Himself)

*Ta. ayyaa moo uLLiil  imaiyidu niiteena (  Father , the One of inner breath , seeing (everything) for Himself

8. a-a mu-ul-lil u-lul-la ku-ku ( Father Enlil Who sleeps a False Sleep)

*Ta. ayyaa moo uLLiil uuzalla kokku (")

The word 'ibi' appears to be a derivative of 'igi' (= iGi, ingki) and from which we Ta. imai, akki ( Sk aksa) etc. It appears that we have a change in the morphology along the line: iGi> imi, ikki> imai, akki > ibi Sk aksa etc. The 'du' in 'ibi-du' is the auxiliary verb " to do"  that is retained in Ta. as idu. Thus ibi-du is the same as imai-yidu (> imaittu) meaning " to see" and hence we have here  the notion of an all seeing God. The  False Sleep , the 'uuzalla kokku' appears the same as the notion of aRituyil, a sleep in which the seeing persists as in dreams and transductive perceptions and hence the sleep is false ( uuzal-la) sleep.

We should note here that in the ancient days,  Yoga was very closely associated with Vishnu as it was also with Siva, the arch Yogi, Maha Yogi.

This seeing along the lines of dreaming, an access into the metaphysical realms, the depths, attributed here to VishNu, also became that which people seek with their Yoga practices, a seeking that was already available in Sumerian times itself.

The following lines from Kesi temple Hymns, the Hymn of En Hudu Anna to Kes, the Keeci or Siva ( Keeci> Kaaci?) can be given to substantiate this.

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

*Ta. eenkumminee aRai kiiz kaalisu aamma ( The practitioners of silence settled down in lower rooms)
 

Crucial here is the word 'kum' that also occurs as 'gam" as below.

a-ab-ba

36. sipa nu-gam-ma e-ze i-ni-gub ( A shepherd who would not lie down he installed over the sheep)

*Ta. siva naa kammu ilcee ii nii kuppu ( A savior who not remain inactive you placed at the temple)

The kum/gam  in Su. that corresponds with Ta. kam : to remain withdrawn or silent,  shows that the practice of Dhyana was already available and there were special rooms ( ara Ta. aRai) for this purpose and that those who practiced SILENCE, or Dhyana were called enkum-e-ne.

Now allowing for the interchange between k- and s- we can also note that "kum" can become "sum" and hence the notion of "cumma iruttal"  the state of being without any intentions, desires wishes hopes and so forth, i.e. intentionalities. This dhyana may be then what became highlighted of Nagarjuna as the gaining the vision of Nothingness, the Sunyata . We should note here that Nagarjuna who hailed from the present day Andhra gained this information from the Nagas of the South and where in Sumerian the nagas are a kind of priests.


The Word Magic of the Sumerians - 7

As we attend to the relevant Sumerian literature a flood of light is thrown into the genesis of what goes on as Hinduism especially Agamism or Tantrism that is noted throughout the length and breath of India as well as in the countries where Hinduism spread. Within the framework of a Temple centered culture it gave rise to the various trends that survived and continuos to survive only because they possess an inner vitality. We have seen the beginnings  of Yoga with its asanas dhyana practices  and so forth all directed towards gaining a DEEPER and MORE INCLUSIVE vision of reality, the Visvatarisanam, the Alayavinjnjaanam or the Vision of Third Eye inSumerian times itself.  This is Sivayoga and it was already quite well developed  within the Sumerian Yoga and as part of Temple Culture.

The Aryan or Indoaryan bias that permeates the whole gamut of the current Indian thinking seems to generate a prejudice that serves as mental blocks to appreciate such historical truths and accommodate ourselves to it.

Now I want to point out the birth of Hermeneutic Science  within the framework of the Sumerian Shamanism and elsewhere and which constitutes the essence of the Scientific Mentality so widely prevalent as a fabric of Hindu thinking when it frees itself from the Vedic Authoritarianism, something that been continuously challenged from the days such authoritarian attitude was developed and  which is really quite inconsistent with the general import of the Vedas themselves.

The Sumerian Kapirism and the Birth of Hermeneutic Science.

A more careful study of the Sumerian incantations ( and there are hundreds of them) disclose that they have already evolved beyond the primitive Shamanism that was concerned essentially with exorcism, the Ucaadanam unmindful of how it all works.  I call  the refined Shamanism of the Sumerians as Kapirism taking the clue from the Su. kapiri: the one who chants away the mantras.

In the Sumerian incantations we can see the birth of THEORETIC THINKING and the PRACTICES understood within this THEORY and hence  they becoming the Sadhanas. This I believe is the essence of Hermeneutic Sciences, the presence of RATIONALITY within the psychological or the  Human Sciences.  The Human Sciences are directed at solving problems and therefore the centrality of the  use of Sadhanas, the Spiritual technologies and their JUSTIFICATION  in terms of a THEORY.

Let us look at the various steps in this as is available in the incantation texts we are studying  and which are concerned with curing the sick and where the mantra recital is practiced as the sadhana.

1. Examining the Sick

11. lu-tu-ra-se mu-un-si-in-te-ge-en-na ( It is I who was approaching the sick man)

12. e-na mu-un-si-in-ku-re-en-na  ( when I entered the house)

13. su-mu sag-ga-na mu-un-si-in-gar-re-en-na ( and it was I placed my hand upon his head)

14. sa-a-su-giri-bi mu-un-zu-zu-un-na ( and was carefully examining the sinews of (his) limbs)

The phrase 'mu-un-zu-zu-un-na ' ( Ta. muncuucuu-anna) means also thinking carefully and deeply ( Ta. cuuz). This is something like the preliminary medical examination -- looking at the bodily features -- color, temperature, pulse beats and so forth and weighing with respect what disease prevails.

1. Surface Level Theoretical Reflections

This begins when one begins to seek the CAUSAL ground for the observed features and going to the Depths in an immediate way.

18 udug hul edin-na lu-ra ba-an-gaz (The evil Udug of the stepe killed the victim)

19. a-la hul-gal-e tug-gin ba-nai-dul-la (and the evil Ala covered him like a garment)

20. gidim hul gal-la hul su ba-in-dab-dab-ba  ( While the [evil ghost] and evil Galla seized his body

21. dim-me (d) dim-a su-na ba-an-gig-ga ( and while the [Dimme] and Dima infected his body)

22. lil-la tus-edin-na i-bu-bu-de-es (the Lil demons, in hospitable winds of the steppe, swept along)

Here the interpretations as demons or evil spirits may be  inaccurate if we look at the meanings of the different words for the demons.  The Udug Hul is a variant of Ta. odukku kol , that which causes the complete WITHDRAWAL and hence something that INCAPACITATES a person and makes him incapable of normal active life.  The Ala is Ta. alai, that which spreads out , a meaning also implicit in the comparison made to the garment. So perhaps  they were referring  to the VIRUS infections which spread like this. The "gidim hul"  may be the black ones, that which are INVISIBLE but nevertheless there,  an interpretation also supported by the fact that  they described as gallas, (Ta. kaLLar ; thieves who hide themselves) perhaps an allusion to germs.  The word 'dim-me' may be related to Ta. tummu, to cough and dim-a to Ta. tiimai, just something evil in general. The "lil", still retained in Ta. /Sk liila is the wind born disease germs something in the air,  considered a ghost of a kind because of the disease producing capacities.

3. Metaphysical Level  Theoretical Thinking

But now the question must have arisen: these disease carrying agents, the evil spirits(?) are there everywhere but AFFECTS only some and not all. Some people are PRONE to be attacked while others remain IMMUNE to it. Why is it so? The answer is very fascinating and constitutes the substance if Hindu thinking to this  day both at the popular level and philosophical level and which has a link with the Karma doctrine.

23. lu-ulu pap-hal-as bar-se mu-un-ne-te-es ( approached the distraught man's side)

The most important word here is pap-hal-la ( or pap-kal-la ) where the pap is the Ta./Sk paava(m) and which exists in almost all Indian languages just as "paab". We can consider the hal/kal as Ta. kaL, kaN meaning 'great". Thus these disease carrying evil spirits approach only those individuals who have done many evil things, immoral and unethical and because which they are attacked by these disease bringing evil spirits.

We must recall here that such disease are classified as " kanma nooy" by the Siddhas and said to be INCURABLE by medicine but only by religious rituals.

This also necessitates an analysis of the unethical and immoral actions and which are available in such texts. The following is an example of it.

26.  hul nam-erim-ma su-na gal-la-na  (Since his body contained the evil of the broken oath)
 

27. u-mu-un hul-a-ni bar-ta im-mi-in-gar-re-es ((the demons) injected his bad blood separately
.
 

28. nam-tar hul-bi-ta su-na gal-la-na (Since his body contained the evil Namtar demon with its evil)

29. us hul-bi-ta su-na gal-la-na (or since his body contained its venomous evil)

30. as-hul su-na u gal-la-na (or since his body contained an evil curse)

31. hul nam-tag-ga su-na gal-la-na (or since his body contained the evil of punishment)

32. us nam-tag-ga ugu-na gal-la-na (or the venom of misdeed hung over him)

33. hul-a mu-un-ga-ga      ( thus they have (the demons) wrought evil.

34. lu hul igi hul ka hul eme hul ( The evil man, evil eye, evil mouth, and evil tongue)

35. [.........] x hul u-a mi-ni-in-gar-re-es (the evil [.......] worked woe in him)

36. kur-re sahar-ra-gin ara mu-un-da-ab-gi-gi (They roared at him from the mountain like(wind in) a porouspot.)

37. nig-AK-a nig-hul-dim-ma ka mu-un-da-ga-ga-as (The destructive acts bound the mouth)
.
38. us-dug hul-bi-ta eme ba-ni-dab-dab-be-es (and the spells through their evil seized the tongue)
 
 

The evil or unethical actions are 1. breaking an oath or promise,  2. doing something so that one gets CURSED by others, 3. punishing others or being aggressive and violent. 4. misdeeds of various kinds (like stealing, rape, adultery  etc. ). There is also an analysis of these matters in the enormously interesting Suruppak's NeRi ( that goes in the name of Instructions of Suruppak)

Thus it was understood that are KARMAS that one elicits by effecting the evil actions and because of which the IMMUNITY SYSTEM gets weakened making the person  prone to the attack of disease carrying "evil spirits"

4. The Sadhana as the Actions that Cure

For the Kapiri, the INCANTATION was the Sadhana for  curing the sick and restoring him to normal health. But why the incantations?

The incantations are MANTRAS (they haven't started using this word yet, as far as I know) and why the kapiri recites them is that they  actually the deities reciting them taking over  of bodily facilities especially the tongue for this purposes. It is understood that only the deities can drive away the evil forces and restore good health.
 

48. zag-mes he-em-ma-an-hul-a lu-tu-ra su-na gal-la-na ( That which surely attacked the limbs is in the sick man's body)

49. tu du-ga inim (d)en-ki-ka-ke ( It is effectvie incantation, [the word of Enki])

50. e-ne-ne-ne hul-a-mes he-em-ma-an-bu-re-es-am ( They were the evil ones who were indeed uprooted)
 

The  Ta. toottiram, tuti , Sk Stora, Sk stuti ( <Su. tu, dug etc.) , the words of enki ( inim (d) en-ki-ke) is actually the effective sadhana ( tu du-ga : Ta. too tunGka) because the evil ones are uprooted and good health restored (  he-em-ma-an bu-re-es am : Ta.immaan pariyisu aam )

Without going into the details we can see the following elements: an observational study that takes note of the symptoms, a theoretical study that seeks to understand the immediate cause of the diseases , a deeper metaphysical reflection as to the conditions of the subject that makes him prone to the attack of the disease carrying agents  a prescription in terms of a choice of Mantra to be recited  and ensuring a cure has been effected.

This frame exist in various  ways to this day in the thinking of Hinduism . An example will be Civanjanabotam of Meykandar  where the second book is on Sadhana and the Outcomes ( sathanaaviyal, payaniyal) and first book on the theoretical reflections on Fundamental Ontology that answers the questions: what are really there and the ilkkaNaviyal,  that answer the quation: what are the essence of the fundamental entities?

This framework, I believe , exists in almost all major Indian texts making them all texts in Hermeneutic Science.

We shall see next how it was in other areas of Sumerian literature presaging the essence of Hinduism in greater depths.


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