[ Agamism 12: Is There the Right way?; Agamism 13: Pedagogy and Culture; Agamism 14: Language and Understanding; Agamism 15: The Indestructibility of Agamism]
11. The Indaism of the Sumerians and Hinduism of Indians
Indaism of the Sumerians
A few days ago you asked about the roots of Hinduism. I want to attend to this question as I have discovered something interesting in the Sumerian Mutariibiyam, a text replete with notions that are philosophically absorbing and historically very significant. It appears that Sumerians themselves called their religion 'in-di/ in-da" but in a sense which does not mean religion in the narrow sense as now but something broader with the meaning of : attempts to uplift an individual and enable him to achieve excellence
The lines of interest are the following, all from Sulgi's Mutariibiyam that I am publishing online now but in Tamil.
gis.al-gar gis.sa-bi-tum in-di lugal-la
The algar , the sabitum (which) are of the king's rite
kala-ga nig in-da-sim di-da-gim
What the strong one, the hero, may have achieved in his expeditions.
We have here the occurrence of 'in-di/in-da" which we can take as variants of 'indu" which can also occur as Hindu where the addition of <h-> as word initial is observable even today in Kannada and some other Dravidian languages but not in Tamil. This parallels the Malay" indah" meaning beautiful and Ta.intu meaning the moon. This word may also be related to Su. iti : moon. Later I will show that Sumerian has interesting lexical and syntactic correspondences with Malay and hence it may be possible that Sumerians originated from SEAsian countries.
The word 'indi" means "rites" in 164 but "high" in 293 . The word "sim" can be taken as a variant of Su: sum , to attain and which exists in Tamil as in sumattal: carrying and so forth. It may also be related to Ta. -um: to conjoin
The word "intu" means in Tamil the moon and it may that the notion of "high" is a derivative notion. So must also be the Malay indah: beautiful for the moon is both high in the sky and has always fascinated by its sobriety and beauty. We have also "induk" meaning high ideals.
Taking all these together we can see that the original meaning must have been "high achievements" achievements of the type only brave individuals are capable of, the kala-ga's, the mahaviraas. And a person becomes a lugal, lit. a great man only he accomplishes such tasks, deeds etc.
The word sum/sim with the meaning "achievements, attainments" must have given rise to the present word 'samayam" that which is used in Tamil as equivalent to "religion" but which originally meant only attainments, achievements. Gradually it must have come to be used for the PRACTICES that make possible the metaphysical heroic achievements through religious rites that are of the uplifting kind.
Thus it appears the word "intu samayam" was already in a way in use in Sumerian times itself but in a sense as above. But combining this with the Dravidian character of the deities worshipped and rituals practiced , the temple worship in which they excelled, the religion of the Sumerians in the present day Hinduism, the Hinduism that did not know the Vedas and which I call Agamism.
Even this is derivative and in a way a distortion for it DOES NOT tie down to any special practice including Temple Worship though it happens to be have been practiced along with music dance the singing of hymns and so forth. It also makes clear that Hinduism with such an earlier orientation that was essentially general psychological did NOT mean at all Vaidika Dharma but perhaps something like Arya Dharma of Buddha where Arya is not taken as racial but rather in the sense Su. a-ri-a: a noble, an excellent individual etc.
The Metaphysical Journey:
This indaism that is concerned with spiritual upliftment, of making an individual excellent and noble, the one who has conquered the bestiality in him and has allowed the spirituality to dominate his personality is the TRUE MEANING of NOT ONLY Hinduism but all religions in the world. But in the course of history this gets periodically diverted and distorted, made into a system of believes and dogmas and which are made the primary motives for CONVERTING others in the MISTAKEN belief that they are in fact doing something good. Thus huge amount of human energy and funds is spend for propagandist activities , irrational attempts to CONVERT and thus precipitating religious conflicts of most atrocious kinds where the devilish nature surface to fore rather than divine.
What Indaism, the original meaning religion as the Sumerians understood, demands is SELF CONVERSION and hence LEARNING of the kind in which the Metaphysical Ignorance gets destroyed.
Fortunately for us the Tamil scriptures seem to have retained this ORIGINAL CONCERN of religious life and most of the hymns in Tamil keep on articulating this. The following from Tirumantiram of Thirumular (~6th cent A.D.) is just one of them which I reproduce here along with my commentary.
veLiyil veLipooy viraviya vaaRum
aLiyil aLippooy adangkiya vaaRum
oLiyil oLipooy odungkiya vaaRum
teLiyum avaree civa cittar taamee
The genuinely illuminated
Siddhas are those who understand
Beyond any shadow of doubt that Being-with-BEING is like
Pure space spreading out within Absolute Space
True love getting subdued by Divine Love and
Clear Light being subdued by the transcendental Light Supreme
Metaphysical excursions which is the genuine religious life is a journey, a pilgrimage and because of which pilgrimages to sacred places have become instituted as part of the ritual obligations in all religions. It is a TRAVEL with a destination and it is in the conception and understanding of this , the end point of the travel that there are many differences over which, at least in India, there has been vigorous disputes for millenniums. And in this verse emerges a concept of it called Sudda Advaita of Saiva Siddhanta to distinguish it from various kinds of advaitas and which is distinctly HERMENEUTICAL. The end state is an UNDERSTANDING as all metaphysical journeys are hermeneutical i.e. concerned with de-finitisation of the naturally finite human understanding. And the anma does not get evaporated and become a non-entity as it is claimed in the well known Advaita Vedanta of Sankara for there is the EXPERIENCING of bliss and unless there is this anma even at this stage as the experiencer, there can be NO articulation of this experience at all.
Then the question arises: How are we to understand this end state? Thirumular addresses this question in this verse in touching metaphors and analogies to explain the matter, mindful of the hermeneutical foundations within which he moves. Only bounded space can merge and be one with the boundless when the bounding factors are removed. Here the space of the pot becoming the vast open space on being broken is an apt example. But the space of the pot stands for CONSCIOUSNESS of the limited understanding of man which become the SAME as the Supreme Consciousness of ABSOLUTE BEING when the defiling and delimiting factors are removed. There is total merger, the UNDERSTANDING is no more human , that of an anma, but that of BEING.
And now we should note that understanding has TWO aspects to it-- that of SCOPE and that of CONTENT. The above analogy applies to the SCOPE and the analogy of the little light being OUT SHINED by the larger light applies to the content. The UNDERSTANDING of BEING is supremely ILLUMINANT and therefore suffers no development or change. The human consciousness, the Light with which it sees become subdued in the face of the BRILLIANCE of BEING just as the light of stars gets subdued by the brilliance of the sun. The little light is there but it fails to OUTSHINE the larger light; for there is complete WITHDRAWAL.
Such is also the case with DIVINE LOVE where BEING is understood as LOVE itself, "anbee sivam" also articulated by Thirumular elsewhere. Just as goodness can be conquered only by a higher goodness so is with love, the little love can be conquered only by a larger and purer love by putting the former to shame. Just is the case even with the human love no matter how pure it is-- it gets conquered by Divine LOVE, the LOVE that BEING HIMSELF IS as His essence. The human love even of the most saintly person is reduced to NOTHING in comparison to the Divine Love of BEING.
Thus the END STATE of the metaphysical
journey is that of DEFEAT, the human being defeated by the Divine and hence
the human becoming totally egoless but by that divine in essence
Wounding of the Ego
When the EGO stands strong there is a refusal to LEARN and a RESISTANCE to change and instead DEFEND whatever identity one has acquired by virtue of birth or by a choice of one's own which comes with the logic: it is MINE and therefore I OUGHT to DEFEND it, PROTECT it and PROMOTE it at whatever cost. There ceases to be dialogic interaction but only confrontational encounters where one seeks to DEFEAT the opponent and make him SUBMIT. This confrontational attitude shows itself in the intellectual as well as social level with their attendant "hot wars"
What is also LOST is the REAL concern of Religion, that after all it is simply something that promotes metaphysical journey that WOUNDS the EGO and makes the person PURE by making him EGOLESS but NOT selfless.
Agamism 12: Is There the Right Way?
This question has been asked by several people and I want to explain to the best of my ability affirmatively. Yes there is the RIGHT WAY and all of us who have pulled ourselves out from the normal run of life and want something deeper are in search of it. So it has been with all the great thinkers of world , the various religious geniuses who have founded the various world religions. But these insights have been only PARTIAL insights into the RIGHT WAY and because of that have become problematic. For the RIGHT WAY is the way towards Absolute Understanding, Civanjanam (or whatever name you prefer) and it is BEYOND words and as such beyond any wordy scriptures-- the Vedas, Upanishads, Bible, AlKoran and numerous Agamas and what not. The Saivites call this the UNDERSTANDING that is communicated NOT by any individual or even THROUGH any individuals -- the prophets, messiahs, the mystics, the Jagatasariyas and what not -- but BEING HIMSELF assuming the archetypal form of Tadcinamurti( never mind about this archetypal form, assume just simply BEING )
This is the INSIGHT the Tamils were blessed with during the Bakthi period and something that still sustains their culture despite many upheavals, corruptions, distortions, dilutions and deviations. They being blessed thus is NOT surprising really for they have been thinking about it in earnest for millenniums as the Sumerian literature which is Archaic Tamil would show. The Tamil metaphysical tradition is the oldest and longest and hence very matured with a penetration into the DEPTHS built up over the millenniums, generation after generations.
Language of Deep Silence
In Thirumular Nammazvar Appar et al we find hundreds of verses outlining this understanding and extolling the need to attain Deep Silence as the FINAL state of Being-in-the- World and during which moments we are blessed with the visions of Civanjanam which is ALREADY there but which has NOT been allowed to shine forth only because of our ego pre -occupations that serve as mental blocks.
We have one such a verse below.
kaRpana kaRRuk kalaimannu meyyookam
muRpata njaana muRai muRai naNNiyee
coRpatha meevit turicaRRu meelaana
taRparang kaNduLLoor caiva cittaantiyaree (1421)
Those who attain the FINAL and IRREFUTABLE illuminating insight ( Caiva Cittaanta) are those who have learnt whatever needs to be learned and have practiced the true Yoga that comes within the different arts and sciences concerned with TRUTH and which help in the attainments of Njanam, the Absolute Illumination provided systematic reflections are practiced. And with acquiring illuminations like this and those who have transcended the limits of Language , become absolutely PURE and such people stay in the Bliss of the Direct Vision of BEING.
So we have here the first shot: The Absolute Understanding is ALREADY there in bosom of every creature, every person and hence they are EQUAL in terms having this possibility as their OWN. This is what I have called njanasamattuvam, a notion of equality much deeper than the social equality of Islam and Communism. The Civa njaanam is ALREADY there in the bosom of everyone and therefore there are NO ONE who is specially privileged -- no brahmins, no prophets , no messiahs and so forth. Such people can only HELP and that too only if they UNDERSTAND it themselves. This means they must become the genuine Mauna Guru such as those who taught Manikka Vasagar, Thayumanavar and a host of others. You can see that this criteria rules out so many who parade the world as people who understand BEING and that their understanding is the TRUTH.
The DIRECT VISION of BEING is possible only when the soul becomes pure in the special sense here -- as a state of Being-in-the- World where the mind ceases to be conditioned by language and hence any scripture whatsoever.
Transcending of Language.
Understanding as pointed out by Meykandar, is cudduNarvu -- the-tic -- as long it remains conditioned by language and the RIGHT WAY is the WAY that takes us BEYOND this the-tic consciousness, beyond this cudduNarvu which is by the way is a UNIVERSAL. No matter what language , what religion, what ethnicity and so forth, as long as we operate with language and continue to LIVE within a language , even the mantra-variety, our understanding remains cudduNarvu i.e. the-tic and hence finite. A religion that imprisons the mind within scriptures continues throwing people into finititude and hence they are FALSE religions, religions founded by the eeRRaar of Sundarar, religions formed by individuals who raise themselves or allow to be raised themselves to level of BEING. This is an act of Supreme Arrogance and as such will inevitably precipitate CONFLICTS -- BEING becomes the FIRE, the Burning Sky to destroy such false religions, as observed by Sundarar.
But is this true?
The truth of this can be understood provided we sit back and THINK metaphysically into the genesis of our finititude which is the same as accepting the fact that we are SUPREMELY IGNORANT in a fundamental way and that it is only because of this that we are PROJECTIVE---- future oriented, wanting this wishing for that hoping for that yearning for this anticipating this and that. And such a way of Being is also a universal. Just because one is a Vedic Brahmin capable of reciting the verses with the correct intonation contours , superb melody cadence rhythm and so forth, it does not mean that his understanding immediately ceases to be finite. This goes also for Muslims Christians Buddhists and others who practice something similar. These recitations may help in the DESTRUCTION of IGNORANCE but the recitations by themselves will NOT do it. For it belongs to UNDERSTANDING, and hence HERMENEUTICS
We are TEMPORAL, tied to TIME consciousness only because we are FUTURE oriented; there are no moments in our life when we do not ANTICIPATE something or other. This FUTURENESS of our Being is there only because we are IGNORANT for when we are NOT ignorant, shine forth in the Absolute Understanding, the Civanjanam , then we CEASE to be anticipatory and hence function with TIME. We transcend TIME and hence also Language for language becomes IMPOSSIBLE without the notion of TIME.
Thus we have the second criteria for the RIGHT WAY: it isthe WAY that seeks and promotes the destruction of metaphysical IGNORANCE and hence a way that would foster the learning of whatever needs to be learned (kaRpana kaRRal) and would foster the hermeneutic arts and sciences that would enable people to shine forth in TRUTH (kalai mannu mey yookam). It would also foster a life of deep reflections, the questioning of our innate prejudices so that we become pure (turicaRRu) and all these only to attain each for himself the direct unmediated vision of BEING (taRparang kaaNal)
This the RIGHT WAY and anything that does not foster a way of life such as this is a false religion, false metaphysics , false ideology and what not that will not fail to precipitate social conflicts. Such conflicts exist only because TRUTH has NOT been sighted (and there many reasons for this and in search of which the Saivites hit upon the notion of mummalam). Social conflict is SYMPTOMATIC of the fact that the way we are going about is Deviant , is NOT the Right Way.
Agamism 13: Pedadogy and Culture.
In the light of the discovery of some very important lines in Mutariibiyam (Sulgi Hymn B) I want to attend to this dimension of Agamism, viz. the importance it attaches to general pedagogy which has also been emphasized by all leading Tamil thinkers throughout the ages. TiruvaLLuvar emphasizes the need to "kasadaRa KaRRal" -- learning to destroy the dirt of ignorance within. Thirumular mentions "KaRpana kaRRu kalai mannum mey yookam"-- learning all that needs to be learned and practising the arts and sciences that afford uniting with Truth -- as very important in metaphysical studies. But long before all these and probably a few centuries before B.C. we have Nedunjeziyan who overran the armies of the Aryas ( paaNdiyan aariyappadai kadanta Nedunjseziyan) outlining the enormous importance of learning in these words:
uRRuzi utaviyum uRuporuL koduttum
piRRainilai muniyaatu kaRRal nanRee
piRappoor anna udan vayiRuLLum
siRRappin paalaal thaay manam tiriym
oru kudi piRanta palloor uLLum
muutton varuka ennaatu avaruL
aRivudaiyoon aracunj cellum
veeRRumai terinta naaRpaal uLLum
kiizppaal oruvan kaRpin
meeRpaal oruvan avan kaN padumee
It is good to learn without worrying about the future benefits, helping out the teachers and giving them whatever is necessary. Even the mother prefers among her own siblings he who excels in learning. Even in the community members it is not age that matters but rather the quality of understanding that gains leadership. And even among the main social divisions of people , if a person from the lower echelons manages to LEARN and acquit himself, it is he who makes others follow him.
This was probably the Social Philosophy of Sangam Tamils where what mattered for social leadership and respectability is NOT birth but rather the LEARNING a person manages to accomplish
Enormous Importance Pedagogy in Sumeria
Among the ancients it was the Sumerians
more than any others who contributed substantially to world culture. Interestingly
enough they were the inventors of the cuneiform script , most probably
the first script in the world that enabled so many groups of people to
commit to WRITING what remained mainly oral. It may be possible that even
in those days BEFORE they invented a workable script, there
was ALREADY an emphasize on learning and for which reason they invented
and perfected the writing system. The following lines are enormously important
to understand the essence of Agamism that does NOT allow itself for proselytisations
and conversions but only dialogic confrontations for resolving conflicts
in philosophies all within the paradigm of pedagogy. Again the development
of LOGIC, of the hermeneutic variety, as in Marabiyal ( and which became
distorted as Naiyaayika) is NOT an accident.
Sulgi mentions these institutions by way of listing the various places where his compositions were cherished and studied.
308. sig-se Uri-ma ki-sikil-la bi-mu
Down South, in Ur, in the holy place, they are sung
By Ur is meant Kumer or Sumer and by "ki sikilla" i.e.. kiiz sukkilla: pure places , the temples could have been meant. For Temples were viewed as places where people get purified ( see Kes Temple Hymns) and hence perhaps the temples were places of metaphysical discourses where public education of some kind went on.
Next come institutions that are termed" e-gestu" which is related to Ta. akattiyam
309. e gestu-Nidaba-mul en-du-ga-ka
In the "House of Learning"
of Nidaba, the resplendent , there are my songs
The word 'gestu" must mean here Divine Wisdom as it is related to the Deity Nidaba also called Saraswathy elsewhere and which remains the Deity of Learning to this day among the Tamils and other Hindus. It may be possible that the person noted for this gestu was known as "akastya" now simply understood either as a mythological figure or Siddhas of a kind. The occurrence of mul> Ta. mun, muni connects with munivar or munaivar, the metaphysically illuminated individuals. In Sumerian times we have also gestin-anna, the dream interpreter supreme, the sister of Dumuzi as mentioned in Dumuzi's Mammu, a text on dream interpretation. That it was under the patronage of Nidaba shows that it was probably a center where philosophical learnings were fostered. Or it could be that it was an institution like the convent, a place for learning exclusively for young women. For we do have people like En Hudu Anna , a woman philosopher-poet of outstanding merits.
One of the most arresting institution is
that of the school for young children that Sulgi mentions in several places.
314. e-dub-ba-a da-ri hur nu-kur-ru-dam
In the edubba they will last, things never to be changed
The edubba , Ta. il tuppu: tablet house-- is a school for young children where they learn the art of writing on clay tablets and reading (dub-sar) the tablets. Sulgi mentions this in the beginning of the hymn also : " tur-ra-mu-de e-dub-ba-a-a am" (13) " Since my (very) youth I belonged in the edubba"
This school for children, now a universal phenomenon, was quite common in Sumerian culture and which distinguishes itself from other ancient cultures (including the Greek, if I am not mistaken). Interestingly enough in Sangam literature we also note the presence of such schools in Tamil Nadu at that time.
Another kind of institution which may turn out to be the forerunners of the Greek Academies and modern universities is also mentioned.
315. ki-umun da-ri hur nu-silig-ge-dam
In the "Academy" they will be
everlasting, things never to fail
The term "kiiz umun" which means the place (kiiz) high (Ta. u> uyar) and foremost (Ta. mun) probably was an institution of higher learning, a center for scholars and which may be linked with the notion of Sangam which has as its roots Su. sag > Ta. caan; great as in caanRoor. Entry into the academy means preservation and hence acquiring deathlessness probably by getting into the special compilations as was also the case with Sangam literature which are mostly anthologies.
There is mention of "library" too that reinforces this idea.
318. gir-gin-na-ka en-du-ga-a-kam a-na mu-e-si-gal-la
Is gathered in the collection of my songs, what can there be added?
The word gir> Ta. kiir has given us the word kirantam: script and writings. Su. gin> Ta. kaN means knowledge among many other meanings. Thus "kiir-kaNNakam" means "texts that embody useful knowledge" and the 'ki" or place of such texts must have been obviously what we call now "library" , a place where texts are collected and kept by way of preserving them
Now along with these institutions a number occupations that go along with them are also mentioned.
311. sud e-kur-ra ki-he-us-sa-mu-us
In order that my homage should be established in the Ekur
The word "sud" which is certainly related to Ta. cuutar must have meant a kind of people who were occupationally concerned with singing or reciting hymns. Such people get mentioned in Sangam classics along with VaitaLikar and so forth. The word Ta. ootu may be a derivative from this and hence also the word Ta. ootuvaar now used in connection with only those who sing the Tevaram hymns.
The e-kur here which in Ta. would be" il kunRu" the temple on the Hill or Hill-like temple may be that which gets mentioned as poti-il in Sangam times, where there is semantic identity perhaps resulting from vague and ancient memory of bygone days.
The word 'saattan" and hence perhaps also 'saastry" appear to be mentioned below.
312. dub-sar he-du su-ni he-ib-dib-be
The scribe will go and take them into his hands
The "dub-sar" would be in Tamil "tuppu saaRRu" telling or reading the tablets. From 'saaRRu" we can have 'saattan' and from that 'saastry" meaning originally the reader/writer of tablets . The words 'saattiram" and hence 'saastra" are obviously related to this.
Over and above all these we have also mention of bards and minstrels who probably specialized in singing the ancient songs to the accompaniment of instrumental music.
313. nar-he-du gu hu-mu-un-ni-ri-de
The singer will go and perform them
Here we have gu > Ta. kuuv: to call out , iri> Ta. irai: to make loud voices probably meant in Sumerian times loud and boisterous singing. The word "nar" (Ta. naar) is still available with the original meaning of 'fiber" and from which the earliest musical instruments were probably made. It is also available in the puranic figure "naaratar", the minstrel who travels among the gods, carries tales and creates problems. Corresponding to such characters we have the paaNar viRali and others in Sangam times
This brief account shows that the Sumerians did not neglect any section of the community including the children, from benefiting from education., something we learn also from numerous other texts. What is however of absorbing interest is that religious life was NOT divorced from learning and that the Temples Palaces and all other important social institutions catered for the learning of the people and fostered pedagogy at all levels and with an UNDERSTANDING of its importance.
This study, no matter how untidy and brief
it may be , points out a direction for reform of Hindu Culture
and Tamil Culture in particular : re-instituting LEARNING even in religion
as the most important ingredient of social culture.
Agamism 14: Language and Understanding
My study of Saiva Siddhanta texts and some Tamil translations of Agamas from Sanskrit has disclosed to me a HIERARCHICAL view of language that seems to be quite ancient in India probably dating back to the times of Upanishads especially Chandogya Upanishad where there is mention of Udgita or AUM the PraNava, the LOGOS from which originate all languages. The Agamas adumbrate on this insight developing a hierarchical theory of language in which they recognize the Vaikari, Mattimai, Paisyanti, Suukkumai and finally the Atisuukkumai as different forms of language, the latter underlying the former as its Deep Structure.
Another view related to this is that what DEVELOPS is UNDERSTANDING and NOT consciousness per se and that there is a LIMIT to the evolution of this UNDERSTANDING and this limiting understanding -Civanjanam- is that FOR-WHICH existence is. This understanding also happens to be the understanding of BEING and hence that which provides the DIRECTION of evolution of human understanding and consciousness as such, something there permanently and unchangingly.
One important implication of this view is that ALL human beings capable of language as such are also already given this Civanjanam though they may NOT have realized it but nevertheless this possibility remains their potential and hence all are EQUAL in having this as their POTENTIALITY. The substance of Civanjanam, which is LIMITING understanding, is what I have called Metaphysica Universalis and to my knowledge this is also what is outlined in the Civanjana bOtam of Meykandar.
What is implicit here is also the view of Gadamar, the famous German Hermeneut (Truth and Method ) that understanding is inherently linguistical but with the difference that the LOGOS that shapes understanding assumes different forms and that each one of these forms are interrelated but in an hierarchical manner. The LOGOS or PraNava shapes understanding and in that it assumes the forms of Vaikari and so forth where the linguists of modern times take only the Vaikari form as language while relegating, if at all, the other forms to depth psychology and so forth.
I provide a brief sketch of this HIERARCHICAL THEORY of language following here Arunandi and as he explains the matter in Civanjana Sittiyar (13th cent. A.D.) probably the most comprehensive philosophical treatise from ancient India
1. The Metaphysics of Languages
The following verse explains the origins of human linguistic competency and the various forms of language that allows its realization
vintuvin maayai aaki maayaiyin avviyattam
vantidum ; vintut tanpaal vaikari aati maayai
muntidum; araakam aati; mukkuNam aati muulam
tantidum civan tan canniti tannil ninRee
In the vicinity of BEING emerges the language Vaikari and so forth as variants of Cutta Maayai. This itself emerges from Vintu that differentiates into Cutta Maayai and Acutta Maayai and from which emerges the Prakiriti Maayai. From the Cutta Maayai emerge Vaikari and other forms of language having DESIRE as their primordial condition of emergence which in itself emerges as imbalance in the equilibrium of the Three kuNas of Prakirti.
What is important here is that languages are ultimately INTENTIONAL and that the various languages have their origins in the primordial DESIRES that come to prevail in their understanding. This fundamental INTENTIONALITY is also something that comes to be only because of the presence of BEING and hence ultimately it is BEING who is the Agentive Cause -- the Nimitta KaaraNan -- of the phenomena of language as such.
But what are the different forms of language?
The Vaikari Form
The Vaikari is that form of language that emerges as SPEECH and it is explained as follows:
vaikari ceviyil keedpataay , atta vasanam
meytarum; utaana vaayu meevida viLainta vannam
poyyaRa adaivu udaittaay; punti kaaraNamtu aaki
aiyam il piraaNa vaayu adaintu ezuntu adaivu udaittaam.
The Vaikari form of language is that which emerges as speech audible to the ears; it carries meanings and serve to illuminate human beings with truths. It emerges with Utanan, the primordial air as it forces itself upwards and differentiates into the various phonemes and phones with an order among them. Then with thinking clarifying the thoughts and the mind becoming CLEAR without any doubts it merges with the Pure Air of breathing.
Here emerges the hermeneutic functions of language -- the functions of language to CLARIFY the mind and make understanding CLEAR i.e. devoid of uncertainties and misunderstanding. The movements of the air that differentiates into the various phones that constitute the audible language is TRUTH FUNCTIONAL -- it has as its function that of bringing truths and hence ILLUMINATING the mind
The Mattimai: the Basis of Vaikari
But this surface manifestation of language has as its basis what is called Mattimai form and it is explained as follows:
uLuNar oocai aaki , ceviyinil uRutal
oLLiyas piraana vaayu viruttiyai udaiyatu anRi
theLLiya akkarangkaL cintidum ceyalatu inRi
mellavee ezuvataakum mattimai veeRathaayee
The mattimai form emerges as distinct and voiceless but with sounds that are understood within but however emerging along with the air of breathing processes itself. This form being essentially semantical or semiological exists with the breath but remain mute -----does NOT allow itself to be differentiated into the various aksaras of phenomenal languages.
The mattimai is the form of
pure semiological functions , and so it appears that the presence
of various kinds of meanings preexist the verbal languages and constitute
the immediate basis for them to emergence and be an element of the
But here the presence of DIFFERENTIATED meanings of various kinds itself shows that is NOT the primordial and Paisyanti is proposed as that which constitutes its basis. And it is explained as follows:
veeRRumaip padda vannam vevveeRu viyaabakam
tooRrutal adaivu odukki coyampirakaasa maaki
saaRriya mayilin andam tarittidum salamee poonRu -- angku
aaRravee udaiyataaki paicanti amarntu niRkum
The Paisanti form stays in the mind just like the undifferentiated form of the seminal fluid in the egg of peacock that later evolves into the peacock itself. The paisanti is the SEMINAL form but undifferentiated yet into the various meanings and hence beyond flux or change with productions and annihilations and hence also self luminant
Now we have a self luminant form of language -- Paisanti, that is presupposed in the birth of meanings that constitutes the essence of mattimai and which translates into vaikari, the audible speech.
But beneath this UNDIFFERENTIATED form stands another that is inner radiance itself, self luminant, unchanging and eternal, the cuukkumai form which is explained as follows
cuukkuma vaakkatu uL oor cootiyaay azivati
aakkidumatikaarattiRku azivinai tannaik kaNdaal
niikkam il aRivu aanantam mutanmai nittaiyam udaittaay
pookkdu varavu iLaippum vikaaramum purudan inRu aam.
The Cuukkumai stands deep within as ever glowing luminance, always there without suffering any change but which causes the presence of all the surface level languages. It is also such that when the mind locates itself on it, it wipes out the other forms producing unchanging understanding and because of that Bliss the feeling of Primordiality Permanence and absoluteness as that pertaining to experience of self.
Thus at the lowest level of all languages we have this ever present UNDERSTANDING that glows undiminishingly and thus as the possibility for all the selves to reach and own it , EXIST in it.
Notion of Development.
With this account of language which is certainly hierarchical, we have also a notion of development that is depth psychological. While the vaikari forms constitutes the politics of language, the formations of different linguistic communities , moving towards the underlying , the basis, gradually LIBERATES the mind from such communal identities. As we move AWAY from the surface level manifestations of languages to their underlying deeper structures we also acquire an UNDERSTANDING that liberates us from narrow communal identities. And of course the mind becomes completely liberated and at the same time UNIVERSAL as it locates itself at the deepest level, the cuukkumai level which some scholars maintain as the level of PraNava or the Upanisadic Udgita.
The movement of mind in this direction is ARCHEODUCTIVE , Depth Psychological and it is this movement that enables the mind attain a way of Being in the World in Bliss, unruffled by the various patriotism of mundane politics.
Agamism 15: The Indestructibility of Agamism
This article on Agamism is inspired by the Kes Temple hymns of EnHudu Anna, certainly the most profound philosopher to come from the Third Millennium World who with her sharp and penetrating intellect has won a permanent place in the History of Human Thoughts. She appears to be the forerunner to the brilliant women saints of India such as Karaikaal Peyar and Sri Andal and many others who revolutionized Indian thinking with their Bakthi metaphysics. They introduced LOVE as an important ingredient of religious life when philosophical thinking degenerated into loveless intellectual acrobatics where spirituality was killed by the introduction of machine-like logical thinking and also loveless asceticism where the most notable and heroic achievement was considered woman hating and being successful in it.
Kes Temple Hymn
What impressed me about the Seventh Hymn was the striking similarity in the Temple rituals of those times with those that are currently prevalent. There is recitation of verses or mantras , nu-es, and circumbulating the shrines, giri-la ( kiri-valam). There were perhaps yoga practitioners the " en-kum-ene" with special rooms , ara (Ta. aRai) allocated for them in the temple itself. There was fanning of the deities, sprinkling of pure waters , the suklaam parataram, blowing the horns, playing the harp , the tigi and so forth and of singing various songs consistent with the appropriate rhythms and cadence, very closely calculated if we are believe the description given of these by Sulgi in his Hymn B, the Mutariibiyam.
There were songs sung for the welfare of the Temple and the nation, the "e-sub" and "uru-sub-a". And interestingly enough the whole society was there in the temple , including the lugal-bur-ra, the Leader of the forts , perhaps the King as also many of the priests. There were priest trainees , the "pa-ses-ene" who participated actively in the rituals , in drum beating chorus singing and so forth.
And the nation prayed for abundant harvest and for which purpose they celebrated festivals as for the gods, very much like Indra Viza of Silappatikaaram and MaNimekalai times. For only when the gods are pleased there will be their blessings in the form of good harvest etc. and the festivals are meant to make the gods be present among them.
While some things have changed the fundamentals remain the same. There are no more human or animal sacrifices (except as underground activities) and they have been replaced with flower worship and less gruesome physical punishments. Perhaps all these due to the tremendous humanizing influence of early Jainism and Buddhism.
the Rituals are Important.
In my interest in Metaphysics and Depth Psychology I somehow underestimated the enormous importance of the rituals and the cariyai types of religious practices as opposed to Yoga and Njana, the philosophical. Now I am beginning to understand why the Agamic tradition never underestimated the importance of the ritual side of religious life even when one become philosophic and why they classified all these into Cariyai Kiriyai Yokam and Njanam with a hierarchical relationship between them. The metaphysical inquiries is part of the Njanam level of being but something that cannot arise without the Yoga, which in turn cannot arise without the Kiriyai and which in term cannot arise if not for the cariyai type of concrete metaphysical praxis. Thus all these are linked up in a hierarchical order where the practice and mastery of the lower leads to the higher and the highest being the philosophical discourses, the Njana Pathai, the kinds of metaphysical dialogues where doubts and confusions are removed and truth is enjoyed with apodictic certainty.
This we see in the Kes Temple Hymns most clearly and also something that has survived despite the huge social upheavals, catastrophes natural and otherwise, migrations and mixing with other races ,many cultural invasions, political subjugation and what not.
Agamism seems to have a vitality to withstand all kinds of challenges and SURVIVE despite all these . And in order to understand Agamism, we have to understand also its tenacity.
Secret is Mantrayana
It does not take long to see the enormous importance of Mantrayana as a fabric of Agamism and along with it the believe in the mantra-world of gods and goddesses but all as expressions of the same ONE God, the An in the Sumerian times and the Praaparan of recent bakthi period. The mantra world is a permanent world populated by the gods and asuras and who are UNDYING, they the amarars, the deathless.
The scriptures may become obsolete, the temple erected destroyed , the kings and Njanaies of outstanding merits may be in the mind for centuries or even millenniums but then forgotten. But the Mantra-world remains unaffected by all these mundane events and hence whenever they choose to decent upon the world , temples are built and festivals are conducted.
The mantra-world is not difficult to understand now. It is akin to cyberspace where all kinds of files are uploaded and anyone anywhere in the world can download it and enjoy reading listening seeing feeling etc.
The Mantra World is NATURAL cyber world , always there with various kinds files already uploaded long long ago by BEING. The temples and the rituals are computers that allow us to ACCESS them and enjoy some kind of metaphysical life.
Each time a temple is raised the means to ACCESS the mantra world is made available to the people and hence they are helped out to enjoy metaphysical life that is appropriate for their taste and intellectual maturity.
Since mantra world is something there as the metaphysical reality , it is always there in the abstract Space and hence in the bosom of every person. This whole world becomes available to him when he tunes his mind towards it.
Hence Agamism is something indestructible for the simple reason that mantra world is indestructible and it hangs on as the phenomenal expression of this Mantra World.