[Agamism 7: Personalism and Bakthi; Agamism 8 : The Metapolitics of Appar; Agamism 9: Rationality Hermeneutic Science and Religious Life; Agamism 10: The Way is the Way of Gods]
Agamism -6: Personalism in Metaphysics
One of the central metaphysical views that
is implicit in NonVedic Hinduism and which constitutes a central
insight thatconfigures the esssence of Agamism is the understanding that
BEING is ONE-MANY , that BEING while being ONE in itself is
also MANY in his presentations. Thus in Sumerian times itself we
have the dichotomy of An- Enlil where An isthe absolute BEING,
the BEING in itself while Enlil is BEING as the world and all in
it. This dichotomy is present inSaivism as Prasivan-Sathasivan and
in Vaishnavism as MahaVishnu- Narayanan. Thirumular while asserting BEING
isone " onRavan taanee!" continues saying 'irandavan innaruL" i.e He is
DUAL when with Grace etc (the first verse of
And Karaikkal pEyar ( ~600 A.D) communicates very forcefully the same message in the following verse:
¿£ÄÁ½¢Á¢¼üÈ¡ý ¿£÷¨Á§Â -- §Áø ¯Äó¾Ð
±ì§¸¡ÄòÐ ±ù×ÕÅ¡ö ±ò ¾Åí¸û ¦ºöÅ¡÷ìÌõ
nuulaRivu peesi nuzaivilaar tirika
niilamaNimidaRR¬ý niirmaiyee -- meel ulanta
ekkoolattu evvuruvaay et tavangkaL ceyvaarkkum
akkoolattu avviruvee yaam
Let those without deep insights continue
with their vain chatter of bookish knowledge
For all those who worship with sincere devotion whatever deity and in whatever form
It is BEING-the-BLUE- Throated who appears as that deity and with those qualities
Here again it comes out forcefully that BEING in ONE and that HE presents Himself as many in order to redeem thedifferent individuals in ways that are consistent with their own capacities and needs.
But this view gets expressed most eloquently and with profound insights by Namazvar in the following verse which isgiven below with the commentary I have written.
¾Á¾ÁÐ «È¢× «È¢
«ÅÃÅ÷ ¨ÈÅ÷ ±É «Ê «¨¼Å÷¸û
«ÅÃÅ÷ ¨ÈÂÅ÷ Ì¨È× Ä÷; ¨ÈÂÅ÷
«ÅÃÅ÷ Å¢¾¢ÅÆ¢ «¨¼Â ¿¢ýÈÉ§Ã
avaravar tamatamatu aRivu aRi vakaivakai
avaravar iRaivar ena adi adaivarkaL
avaravar iRaiyavar kuRaivu ilar; iRaiyavar
avaravar vitivazi adaiya ninRanaree
ÀìÌÅò¾¢ø §ÅÚÀÎõ Áì¸û ¾ò¾õ «È¢Å¢ý ±ø¨ÄìÌ ²üÀ «ÅÃÅ÷ ÒÃ¢óÐ¦¸¡ûÙõ Å¨¸Â¢ø ¦ÅÇ¢ôÀÎõ¨ÈÅ¨É, «ùÅÊÅòÐ ¦¾öÅ§Á ¨ÈÅ÷ ±Éò ¦¾¡ØÐ ÓÊÅ¢ø ¨½ÂÊ «¨¼óÐ Á¸¢úÅ÷; ùÅ¡Ú´ù¦Å¡ÕÅÃ¢ý «È¢×ì§¸üÈ Å¨¸Â¢ø µ÷ ÅÊÅ¢ø ¦ÅÇ¢ôÀÎõ ¨ÈÅý ´ÕÅ§É ±É, «ÅÃÅ÷ ¦¸¡ûÙõ ¦¾öÅÅÊÅí¸û Â¡¾¡Â¢Ûõ «¾¢ø Ì¨ÈÂ¡ÐÁ¢ø¨Ä: ´ù¦Å¡ÕÅÕõ ùÅ¡Ú «ÕûÀ¡Ä¢ìÌõ ¨ÈÅ¨É «ÅÃÅ÷Å¢¾¢ÅÆ¢ ¦ºýÚ ¿¢îºÂÁ¡¸ «¨¼Â ¿¢ü¸¢ýÈÉ÷.
BEING discloses Himself in numerous archetypal
forms to accomodate the different capacities for understanding of thepeople.
the people too will assume that that particular presentation of BEING is
BEING itself and worhsip and attainHim thus. And because each archetypal
presentation is of the SAME BEING, there is nothing wrong in any of theseforms.
Each individual is destined to attain BEING in his own way no matter what
kind of archetypal presentation he may choose to worship.
avaravar tamatamatu aRivu aRi vakaivakai: each in accordance with their own capacity for understanding
avaravar iRaivar ena adi adaivarkaL: will worship BEING in the archetypal form presented to them and attain Him
avaravar iRaiyavar kuRaivu ilar: there is nothing wrong in the different archetypal presentations of BEING
iRaiyavar avaravar vitivazi adaiya ninRanaree: each in his own way worships the deity he chooses and will finally attain BEING
This verse describes beautifully one of
the central tenets of Agamism and which will make it conquor the world
in time tocome by the OPENESS it enshrines and INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCE in
metaphysical pursuits it accomodates. Whiletribalism favours a COLLECTIVE
mentality in which UNIFORMITY in enforced even at the pain of death,
Agamism in being against tribalism favours individualism in the practice
of religion. Each individual has his UNIQUENESS and intellectual and emotinal
needs and BEING presents Himself in a archetypal Form most suited to that
individual in current predicament. Like a kind and excellent teacher who
comes down to the level of the student he teaches so that anUNDERSTANDING
can be brought about succesfully so does BEING, the most excellent
Guru. He dislcoses Himself in so many archetypal forms high and low so
that it would MAKE SENSE to the individual and hence somehow he kept in
the understanding of BEING no matter how primitive it is.
So these numerous archetypal presentations are NOT TO BE SCORNED and made an object of mockery and pointlessridicule. Certainly there are High and Low in this but however as the DEEP STRUCTURE of all such archetypes wehave the SAME BEING. There are no different gods but only ONE GOD, the BEING who chooses to PRESENTHimself in countless number of shapes just to help individuals. BEING is not only the FORMLESS and abstractBrilliance, Brahman, and in which he appears for the gifted but also the so many minor deities that the less gifted individuals use to understand BEING.
Namazvar , as do Karaikkal Peyar Thirumular and a host of others, state quite categorically that there is nothing wrong atall in any one of deities. No archetypal presentation is to scorned at for all of them all equally the presentation of the same BEING. Behind Krishna and Rama, behind Muruka and Vinakaya or even Muniswarar, we have the SAME BEING as the Deep Structure, the underlying reality. And BEING will pull unto Himself all in His own way no matter what archetypal presentaion evokes sanctity in an individual.
There is no THE archetype , THE God-- there is always an OPENESS , the emergence of the historically NEW andhence with a DEMAND that we BE OPEN. And in this way Agamism is OPPOSED to the regimenting religions that believe in conversions and collective uniformities. Such demands are a VIOLATION of the RIGHT individuals have to reach BEING in his own personal way.
If not today tomorrow this will be the demand of the people and hence the growth of Agamism. The world is moving in that direction -- against regimentations, against collectivisations and against the standardisation of believe systems.
What Agamism favours is INDIVIDUALISATION,
allowing of PERSONAL religion, allowing each individual to beformed
and informed in a way BEING chooses. It is a form of life where there is
NO taking as the most authoritative ascripture or the words of a religious
genius but rather BEING Himself to lead the individuals in his own way--"
avaravarviti vazi" and in a noncollective but immensely personal manner.
Why the Many?
If BEING is one why not He present Himself always as ONE so that the so many cultic, religious and casteic distinctionswould not arise? Isn't because the presentations of BEING in so many bewildering archetypal forms that there areDIFERENCES among people and which sometimes degenerate into violent quarrels and so forth?
This question has been addressed by his
characteristic penetration by Meykandar in the following verse ( the second
onRu enRatu onRee kaaN, onRee pati; pacuvaam
OnRu enRa nii paacattoodu uLai kaaN-onRu inRaal
akkarangkaL inRaam akara uyir inReel
ikkiramattu enum irukku
"When it is asserted that BEING is one,
what is meant is that though HE discloses Himself in so many different
forms, HE is nevertheless the SAME. You who assert this oneness or sameness,
by that very act of thus asserting, disclose yourselfas a finite being
enchained by desires. Furthermore this ONE is also asserted to be indispensable
for the Being of theworld just asthe primordial sound, akaaram, is indispensable
for the production of the different phonemes."
BEING presents as MANY only because we as FINITE individuals DIFFEREING in various ways in our spiritualmaturity REQUIRE in an immensely personal way a presentation of BEING in a form that makes SENSE to us, BEINGbecoming meaningful to us. No matter how low and downtrodden we are when BEING presents Himself in archetypalforms that makes SENSE to us then we are assailed by the notion of the SACRED and which serves to breedSANCTITY in us. The presence of the notion of the SACRED has a purifying function, that of lifting us up no matter how low and evil we are. It has the power to REDEEM us.
Agamism in allowing this PERSONALISM also turns out to be MOST TOLERANT and SUPREMELY KINDwhere the fanaticism to kill people because they differ in their religious pursuits is wiped out at the roots itself.
7: Personalism and Bakthi
The human beings are inherently TRIBAL, they gang up as a unit in terms of a common identity that may be derivedfrom language religion ethnicity trade and what not. There is a COLLECTIVITY or community with theircharacteristic mob dynamics. While ordinary religions in the world go for collectivisation, the formation of collectivitieswith mob dynamics, Agamism, while understanding this , fights against it and goes for INVIDUALISATION, a personalkind of metaphysical life. Ultimately the relationship between man and God is personal and it is this personalism thatAgamism supports and fosters. We see this in the temple practices everywhere : the arcanas are PERSONAL and thepriest is there only to recite the mantras on behalf of the person who does the arcanai.
We have to ask: Why the individualism and personalism in temple worship?
And here we find two features that go together : that BEING is ONE-MANY and that the final relationship between manand God is Bakthi, LOVE unto BEING. The individualisation is there only because BEING discloses Himself ininnumerable archetypal forms and where different individuals may be attracted to different archetypes, depending on their philosophical and cognitive maturity. It is recognised that each individual has his own RIGHTS to worship the archetypal form that evokes the feeling of sanctity within him.
Bakthi is there also with the recognition that it is NOT intellectual acumen that gains divine disclosures but only LOVEunto BEING. The FEELINGS must be cultured for gaining divine illuminations and LOVE unto BEING is that whichcultures the FEELINGS, so notoriously difficult to culture otherwise. He who is incapable of LOVE as such cannotNEAR BEING for BEING is LOVE itself ( anbee sivam). Arid intellectual dissections and building epistemologiesand such other socalled philosophical exercises are useless unless they touch upon the FEELINGS and cultures them.
One of the most ancient ways in which this LOVE unto BEING was shown was NamavaLi, the praising of the deity inendearing terms and in an immensely personal way. We see this NamavaLi even in Sumerian times as we shall showbelow.
The ThirumuRai and Thivviya Prabanthams are hymns of Love par excellence, the best the world has ever seen, asmany scholars have attested. But this is NOT an accident for behind it lies millenniums of efforts in this direction. We see some of it in some Paripadal songs dated around the 3rd cent. B.C.
For example from the second song for Thirumal we have:
talaiyuRa vanagkinoom, paN maan yaamum
kali il nenjsineem eettineem vaazttineem
kadumpodum kadumpodum paravuvutum--
"kodumpaadu aRiyaRka, em aRivu!" enavee
We bent our heads and pray
unto your Divine Feet
praising and extolling with pure heart so that my understanding
does not get twisted into violence and so forth.
And in the fifth hymn for Murukan we have:
annoor allatu innoor
ceervar aatalin , yAam irappavai
poruLum ponnum pookamum alla; winpaal
aruLum anbum aRanum muunRum --
uruL iNark kadambin oli thaarooyee!
O thou of garland of
rustling kadambu flowers ,
what I implore from you is NOT wealth gold and pleasures in life but
rather Grace Love and Righteousness for it is these that are
I can go on but sufficient has been given to show that these are NOT simply hymns sung in an impersonal way butrather sung as PERSONAL APPEALS unto BEING
We see this personalism well developed even during the Sumero Tamil as the Sirbiyam of Enhudu Anna (2200 B.C)would amply show.
in Sumero Tamil
En Hudu Anna, the eldest daughter of Sargon
the great , when encountered untold miseries in life, composed thisexordium
which points out the elements of Bakthi and personalism even in those
ancient days long long before theVedas were even composed. The following
lines taken from the Exordium makes it clear that she composed thisimmensely
personal and moving Hymn as a way of APPEALING for the Grace of BEING,
here BEING-as-WOMAN, In- anna, the Punaambikai.
diri-ga-ta nin un-gal ma-ra-tu-ud
With "It is enough for me, it is too much for me! I have given birth, oh exalted lady, (to this song) for you
139 ni gi-u-na ma-ra-an-du-ga
That which I recited to you at (mid) night
140 gala an-NE-ke
May the singer repeat it to you at noon
(only ) on account of your captive spouse, on account of your captive child
142 ib-ba-zu ib-gu-
ul sa-zu nu-te-en-te
Your rage is increased, your heart unassuaged!
The composition of the Hymn was like
given birth to a child; the bringing out the Divine Self that has
been within butremained UNDELIVERED so far. Writing such Hymns is an act
of self-realization, annihilation of the existing self andthe
installation of a new and more developed self. Such compositions and
the recitaitions of others draw BEING closerand makes BEING rage
with anger in sympatthy with the pleading soul
NamavaLi in Sumerian
Another element of Bakthi is the
LOVE unto BEING that is disclosed in terms of PRAISES for BEING. viz. theNamavaLies.
The Bakthi literature is full of such NamavaLi with mantraic recitations
that end up with pooRRi! Vazka!and so forth. Praising BEING is a way ENDEARING
oneself to BEING and interestingly enough we find this element too
in Sirbiyam of EnHudu Anna as given below.
nanna li-bi-in-du-ga za-a-akam bi-in-du-ga
That one has not recited as "Known! Be it Known!" of Nanna , that one has recited as a "Tis Thine!"
123. an-gim mah-a-za
That you are lofty as Heaven-- be it known!
124 ki-gim dagal-la-za
That you are broad as the earth -- be it known
That you devastate the rebellious land- be it know !
125a kur-ra gu-de-za
That you roar at the land - be it known!
That you smite the heads- be it known!
127 ur-gim adda
That you devour cadavers like a dog -- be it known!
128 igi-hus- a-za
That you glance is terrible - be it konwn!
That you lift your terrible galance -- be it known!
That your glance s flashing -- be it known!
That you are ill-disposed towarsd the .....-- be it known
132. u-ma gub-gub-bu-za
That you attain victory -- be it known!
133. nanna li-bi-in-du-ga
That one has not recited (this) of Nanna, that one has recited it as "Tis thine!"--
134 nin-mu ib-gu-ul-en
(That) Oh my lady, has made you great, you alone are exalted
Oh my lady veloved of An, I have verily recited your fury!
The descriptive terms in this exordium make it abundanatly clear that Inanna is being praised here as KoRRavai orDurga for it is clear that it is only Inanna as KoRRavai who can destroy the evil forces that have brought so muchaffliction to En Hudu Anna. It is also clear that there is an UNDERSTANDING that BEING is ONE-MANY for throughout EnHudu Anna is NOT saying that she is praising DIFFERENT gods but rather the SAME Inanna who appears as KoRRavai etc.
What is interesting is that this SAME act of En Hudu Anna is continued even today in almost every temple. People offerspecial prayers to Durga or Kali precisely for this Purpose and with same kind of INTENTIONS as En Hudu Anna.
The above citations from Sumerian sources are sufficient to show that Bakthi is Pre-Vedic and that it is INHERENT toAgamism because it is founded upon Personalism and Individualism in the worship of BEING. Vedism must beunderstood as an offshoot of this Agamism with focus on yajna and probably arose as a cult for the royal families. Itnever affected the LIVING FORCE of Agamism except perhaps among a narrow bands of brahmins.
Each time a temple is erected what comes
to life is NOT Vedism but Agamism, the most vital force that has shaped
theTamil Culture from the very ancient times.
Agamism 8: The Metapolitics of Appar.
There are many calls that religion should not be mixed with politics on the presumption that these two are concerned with different aspirations and that there is no meeting ground at all. But despite this there is a continuous presence of religion in politics in various ways-- directly, indirectly and so forth. Even the "secularism" of India is in a way religious- it simply says there is NO FAVOURED religion in the politics of the nation and which means they acknowledge the continuous presence of the many religions and the rights of individuals to practice their own . But we must note that this 'secularism" remains open to be displaced by some other political philosophy by the democratic process and in which even this secularism can be set aside.
We have from Islam the notion of UMMA, the world of muslims, a world community of the followers of Nabi (sal) and which is transnational and hence something that creates a fissure and discord between "nationhood" and "ummahood". Similarly we have the "Kingdom of God" of the Christians which is distinctly political and it may be possible that the "kingdom" of the Vatican Council with the Pope enthroned as the King is representative of this notion, an expression of the desire to convert the WHOLE WORLD into a Kingdom such as this with the Pope as its King.
A similar notion is also available in the Saiva Atheenams in Tamil Nadu which appear to be modelled on the notion ofspiritual kingdom and in which the head functions almost like a king, spiritual monarch, with AruL Adsi, the Rule ofGrace and where the Kavi dress along with the Rudraksa but in gold chains become the symbolic elements of thisspiritual monarchy.
All these politico-religious institutions have a common feature: that of disnationalising an indvidual through making him transnational in a way and thus weaning him away from his national and political identity.
These attempts appear to be incomplete or corrupted versions of what can be called METAPOLTICS such as that of Appar.
What is Metapolitics?
The word "naam aarkkum kudi alloom" has encrypted within itself the central notion of metapoltics -- that " no one issubject to anyone" and all because the genuine citizenship is only towards the Sivalokam, the metaphysical realms asregulated by BEING. The BEING is the MOST POWERFUL and the most BENIGN ruler and that our REALcitizenship is ALREADY towards BEING but only that we have forgotten it because of our ignorance. Once ourignorance is destroyed and we begin to see TRUTH, it will dawn that we are ALREADY the citizen of this metaphysicalworld! This is what Appar proclaims and on the basis of which defies the Powerful Monarch of the times saying that hehas no suzernaity over him because he is already the citizen of this Civalokam.
It is this Civalokam that resembles somewhat the Kingdom of God of the Christians and the Umma of Islam but however metaphyscially far more superior to them in that NO CONVERSION is demanded to gain entry into this meta-world.
For this metaworld is the MANTRA-WORLD which is ALREADY in existence and anyone can enter it provided heacquires the necessary qualifications. This is the "su-bar-ra" of Sulgi as in the following line in mutarIbiyam (Hymn B)
109: Sul-gi -me-en dug su-bar-ra-gin mas-am-mi -ib-dib-be-en
Where "su-bar-ra" is taken as "lightning" but connecting it with " suvaram" can be taken more appropriately as the"sound" and here dug ie. tungka, a noble kind of sound and which is a clear reference to mantra-related notions. Anyway there are many places where this mantra-world is mentioned directly or indirectly and because of which vocal andinstrumental music became the central elements of religious rituals. Clearly the assumption is that these divine arts arecapable of transposing an individual into the su-bar-ra which word has given us also the 'suvanam" popularly understood as the paradise.
What is clear from this sort of Sathana towards entry into the metaphysical world is that it is NOT conversion but ratherBECOMING PURE in heart as that which is required and as such AVAILABLE TO ALL irrespective of the religiousfollowing. It is this aspect that distinguishes the metapolitics of Agamism from that of the Muslims and Christians andmakes us think that it is this notion that will come to rule the world because of the thorough and uncompromising universality it promotes.
and Local Politics
According to Appar, the local politics that drives people towards a nationhood that is restricted and local is our DESIRES, desires for Power, Social Prestige and Economic Prosperity and which are also linked with the desires that found the family. A person submits himself to local politics only because he wants to play the game along with the local politicians to satisfy his needs in terms of wealth power etc. And the local politicians, in order to sustain himself begins to control the state machinery in such a way his kinghip/ leadership continues: will favour only those who help him out and punish even with death those who would become a threat to his leadership and continued holding to the reigns of Power. The immensely astitude Appar locates the sources of the human weaknesses in the Sexual desires of man, the desires to live a family life with a woman of large breasts. As long as the sexual desires are allowed to reign supreme, a person will NOT become the citizen of Civaloka and defy the Powers that deviate him from this true his vacation. He will lack the necessary courage to defy the ruling powers and work towards rechanneling the political processes in the right direction.
Appar was forced to battle with the political powers of the times and for which reason , he rooted out from his heart thedesires for stable family life which, according to him, will interfere with the enjoying the elements of metapolitics andhence supreme individual freedom.
Now does this mean that economic prosperity and so forth are IRRELEVANT? Certainly NOT and he does not say that.
Politics become MUNDANE politics when the economic wellbeing is projected as the MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENT and thus made more important than it is. Economic prosperity, though NECESSARY for happiness, but it is NOT the only thing in life or as they say " money cannot buy everything". Wealth is only an INTSRUMENT and it should be used for LIVING the metaphysical life. What Agamism would NOT sanction is the organisation of the politics SOLELY for economic prosperity and in which it becomes INDIFFERENT to metaphysical needs of man. For local politics , because of GREED it presupposes and sanctions , will only create and sustain greedy political leaders and hence a leadership that will NOT CARE for the general wellbeing of the people. There will be mainly selfishness and the Machivillian or CaNakkiyan kind of political practices and manouvres and which are more in the nature Power Play than in the nature of doing good for the general upliftment of the people as a whole.
Against this, genuine metapolitics becomes that which envisions as central and as the most important, the uplifting of the poeple towards the metaphysical world and hence a politics where EDUCATION that LIBERATES the mind and NOT WAR that becomes the ruling passion, the primary motivation that guides the political processes, the creation of wealth and its expenditure.
Let me conclude with essay this commentary on Appar 1-9
"Appar continues his tirade against the local political system and now directed at the POLITICAL MACHINERY thatsustains an individual as the King. A king can continue to be a King only in a political system that is sustained by an army of different types of individuals. Thus the POWER of the King comes to be only because of the COMPLIANCE of thepeople who opt to become his servants doing as bidden by him and who bids in such a way that the political systemcontinues to survive and he as the king. But this kind of life is a life in worldly snares, a life that perpetuates themetaphysical ignorance in which people are already. Thus it does NOT constitude a life where actions that LIBERATEthe soul can be effected. Such actions will certainly be DISALLOWED and worse still even discouraged severely.
The citizenship to metaphysical world of
BEING provides for him an alternative, that unlike the socio-political,
LIBERATES the individuals and where only actions that are liberating will be strongly favoured and fostered. This isanother system that is also available in existence-- that of metapolitical system with all kinds of armies of BEING.
First BEING is there whereby as the Pancakritiyan , HE conceals and reveals and in revealing produces, sustains anddestroys. He is also the MALE-FEMALE and hence the POWER underlying the sexual dynamics and hence HE whocontrols the sexual libido and hence the happiness in general. In this HE also burns to ashes the impurities and replenishes the anmas with the much needed psychic energy that reactivates the sexuality and infuses new dynamics. HE is also the BULL of VIRILITY that provides a healthy and youthful body and hence the GROUND of good health. And also HE is he supremely ETHICAL who bounces upon the immoral like a tiger but would and at the same time GRACE those who repent and reform with kindness and gentility like the sanguine deers These are the TANTRAS, the strategies in the WAR GAME that HE conducts throughout and to which all of us are subject to whether we like it or not.
The ordinary political processes and the machinery that maintains it, sustains only the life of ensnarement and does NOT have the powers such as those of BEING to work towards liberation. BEING has control over the FUNDAMENTAL PROCESSES of life where else the king only over a small fragment of it and that too with a very fragile hold on it -- it lasts only as long as the people consent to be his army.
Weighing both, APPAR opts for the Universe of BEING-as-Civa as that which is beneficial to him as it is to all."
9: Rationality Hermeneutic Science and Religious
One of the things that fascinates me about Agamism is that it is immensely RATIONAL and that the fundamentalTRUTHS are NOT dished out as God given etc. They are stated as TRUTHS that any one can also SEE for himselfprovided he practices certain Sadhana. TRUTHS are experiential and any one can experience them provided certainSadhanas are practiced. There are NO privileged individuals in the eyes of BEING who loves all equally.
The Sadhanas, and TEMPLE worship with its installation of Murthies and offerings of archanas and so forth to thesemuurthies (Please note : NOT to the idols of copper stone clay etc) is a TECHNIC for God realisation and somethingANYONE can practice and see for himself the efficacy of such praxis. So are the singing of Hymns, the recitation ofmantras , the practice of various kinds of Yoga etc.
This is RATIONAL for NO dogmas are involved, no coercive authorities involved and in which it differs from Vedism Islam and Christianity ( at least in their popular versions)
Meykandar's CivanjanabOtham is peculiar in the Corpus of philosophical treatises in India. He DOES NOT QUOTEVedas Vedanta texts or Agamas for establishing what he wants to establish but rather begins his enquiry fromcudduNarvu, the the-tic understanding that ALL US HAVE, a UNIVERSAL for all humanbeings are the-tic, functionwith an understanding that is FINITE, the finititude of which is noted in terms of the presence of TEMPORALITY, timeconsciousness. Every form of understanding with TEMPORALITY present is acattaRivu, an undersatnding that is NOT flux immune but which because of it shows towards the Catt aRivu, the flux immune Absolute because FREE of Temporality. The sadhana of metaphysical life is directed towards gaining freedom from Acattu ARivu and shining in CataRivu.
Into this is woven a concept of science that I have called Hermeneutic Science and which gets formulated quiteunambigously in Marapiyal, a Text that is appended to Tolkaappiyam and which I have dated tentatively to the 400 B. C.
is Hermeneutic Science?
Human rationality shows itself as the positive sciences and hermeneutic sciences and in which while the HermeneuticSciences can Understand the positive and incorporate that as suitable only for the physical , the positive sciences remainBLIND to the possiblities of the Hermeneutical.
Though it may sound very sweeping but we can say that : rationality was developed in India more as HermeneuticSciences rather than the positive and furthermore the best of Tamilian metaphysical traditions have been more thoroughly hermeneutic scientific than perhaps the Vedic that succumbed to the Varnasrama Dharma which is inconsistent with the notion of science in which there are NO privileged position to any body including the scriptural texts.
Below a brief account of what I mean by Hermeneutic science.
There has been many requests that I explain what I mean by Hermeneutic Science in a languge as simple as
possible. I will try again with a new way of looking at it. When we look at the positive sciences, we can see thatthere are theories and APPLLICATIONS based upon these theories. The scientific approach has come tomean having theories and developing technologies as ways of realising the truths of the theories. Now
something similar is available in the Hermeneutic Sciences as well and I will use the terms theoria and technia
to describe them.
Now theorias are TRUTHS and technias are
ways of life that would enable anyone to sight these TRUTHS. Thehermeneutic
sciences are concerned with TRUTHS and hence the AVOIDANCE of falsities
prejudices, misperceptions. misunderstandings, illusions, delutions etc. In this the most fundamental
Hermeneutic Science is metaphysics and which incorporates into itself the religious forms of existence as a
form of Depth Psychology. This fundamental Hermeneutic Science has as its theoria Fundamental Ontology
and as its technia ways of life consistent with this Fundamental Ontology(Ta. anaathip poruLial) Since all the
hermeneutic sciences are concerned with making a person SEE the truths FOR HIMSELF, the technias are
practices of a kind that would OPEN UP THE EYES of a person so that he begins to avoid untruths and see truths and only truths.
Now while the notion of OBJECTIVITY in the postive sciences is related to that of intersubjective confirmation ,irrefutability etc this is NOT so in the hermeneutic sciences. Something can become OBJECTIVE in thepositive sciences only if it is measurable. The theories allow the generating of Hypotheses that allow testingthrough experimentation, modelling, simulation etc. The idea of REPLICATION and statistical measurementsremain vital here. What does not allow replication does not allow testing of some kind and hence the possibiltyof intersubjective confirmation and hence objectivity.
In the hermeneutic sciences the notion of
objectivity is related to the notion of SEEING. When the seeing is
prejudice-free, what is seen is Objective; it cannot be false but only true. Such an understanding is an
undrstanding of something objective. This is the "vinaiyin niingki viLangkya aRivu" of Tholkaappiyam, where "vinai" means the constraining or distorting prejudices. When the seeing is prejudice-free what is seen is NOTidiosyncratic but objective. And the evidence for this is the POSSIBLITY of AGREEMENT with many others , anagreement that arises because of the SAMENESS of SEEING. When many independent individuals can cometo see the SAME WAY, what is seen cannot be idiosyncratic but objective.
Because of this there is NO EXPERIMENTATION
but only making another SEE what one has already seen..
This SHOWING others what one has seen takes the form of KANDIKAI urai of Tholkaappiyar. There is a logic ,NOT linear but citrcular.
And the scientific character emerges here
with the recogniton that what are analysed in the hermeneutic
sciences are NOT brutal facts, verious pointers in the instruments used but rather TEXTS. Whatever is seen
and taken as Texts or text anlogues do not demand measurements for understanding them but only
Among the hermeneutic Philosophers
in the West (Heidegger, Gadamer, Ricouver, Derrida, Habermas etc)
there are different views about the meaning of TEXTS and INTERPRETATIONS. I equate it with the notion ifUTTI in Tol. and call it ONTO-PRETATIONS. A text is taken as something that has a DUAL structure , theSurface and DEEP. The surface structure features enable us to note a puzzle, or problem; something that weDON'T UNDERSTAND and hence through that EXPOSE our ignorance. We destroy this IGNORANCE bymoving towards the DEPTHS and identify the elements in the DEEP structure that agentively and causally
determine the surface structure features. When we are not mistaken in this we UNDERSTAND the TEXT andwhich ceases to be enigmatic any more.
This kind of movement of the mind is metaphysical
and the kind of thinking the meta-thinking Each
meta-movement destroys the INNER darkness and as we persists bravely and reach at the deepest level, this
forms of existence become genuinely religious. The deepest kind of Metaphysical science is that which
underlies ALL religions and the understanding it fiurnishes Metaphysica Universalis.
The best of Dravidian metaphysical traditions have been cutivating this kind sciences and which constitute the
central orientation of Agamism
10: The Way is the way of Gods.
Thirunjanasamabantar, was a Vedic Brahmin of the Kaundiya Gotra but who while not denying his lineage from the tribes of Kaundiyas, boldly castigated Vedism and the practices that come along with that tradition asFALSE religions and sang what he himself called the TiruneRiyat Tamiz, the Tamil that sings TiruneRi, the truelydivine Way andin this falling in line with the age old concept of the WAY as the way of Gods that has been centralamong the Tamils at least from the Sumerian times. The Gods SHOW the WAY and as long as one functionsalong the lines as indicated by the Gods, not only one cannot be wrong and but also one attains success. inwhatever one undertakes. The WAY of Gods is the RIGHT WAY, the TiruneRi of Sambantar and Sanmaarkkamof Tirumular.
It is surpisrisning to learn how ancient this notion is for Sulgi in his Mutariibiyam (2000 B.C.) describes this WAY quiteeloquently without being ashamed of the Polytheism that it presupposes and promotes.
Mutariibiyam(sulgi Hymn B)
39. im-zi-ir kur-re
And I imposed the reins on the country
My "comrade-at-arms" was the (young) hero Utu
41. ki zi-sa-ga-la-ka
(And) in the "place of the living" having gazed upon him
42. Sul-gi-me-en dalla-e-bi-a inim mu-un-da-bal-e-en
I, Sulgi, when he went forth in glory, conversed with him
43. dingir igi-sag
The God with encouraging looks was (present) at my engagement
Here we have Sulgi claiming to converse with theSun God, Utu (Ta. uti: sun rise) whom he also claims to be his "childhood friend" which is the real meaning ses-kuli ( ses. Ta. cicu: child ; sisya: student). In other lines he also mentions the help rendered directly to him by An ( Ta. aaN , aaNdavan) Enlil Innana and many other gods. Here in line 43 he claims that all in his battles and other such major engagements, the Gods ( dingir>dimmer> diwer> Ta. teyvam) were ACTUALLY present guiding his actions and because of which he was successful and accomplished whatever he undertook.
This insight into the roots of how one achieves success in any major undertaking, expressed around 2000 B.C. the time of Sulgi , is repeated by Sambantar in essence around the 6th cent. A.D. in the following verse.
umaiyodum veLLai vidaimeel
murukalar konRai tingkaL mudimeel aNintu
en uLamee pukunta atanaal
tirumakaL kalaiyatu uurti ceyamaatu puumi
ticai teyvamaana palavum
aruneti nalla nalla avai nalla nalla
adiyaar avarkku mikavee
BEING in HIS ever
growing radiant form ,wearing the glowing ashes that indicate
absolute purity andbecause of whichHE has the WOMAN as His half riding
the PURE BULL of undiminishing Virility, and wearing the golden konRaiflowers
that signify happiness through metaphysical illuminations and the crescent
moon that bestows youthful virility has implanted Himself as such
in my heart. And hence the POWER that blesses one with all the happiness,
the Laxmi, the POWER that grants success in every undertaking, the
Durga who rides the male deer and all other divinities thatpopulate
the world will do only the good for the devout people for trust in these
divinities can lead one only on the right WAY that remains something rare
for the most.
We must recall here the words of Thirumular who says that the true metaphysical WAY, the WAY that leads everycreature to be ONE-WITH-BEING and hence attain moksa is ALREADY THERE as a fabrique of the world, the waythat is established as for the creatures by BEING Himself. This WAY is that in which we move subject only to themagnetic pull that BEING Himself exerts on the anmas. This constitutes the RELIGION, the religion of religions, thatwhich is NOT FOUNDED by any individual but by BEING HIMSELF, the Dharma that preexists even the thinkingmind. The various world religions, metaphysical systems, idealogies and what not and which are the fabrications of men are various kinds of INTERPRETATIONS of this primordial religion that is already there.
Sambantar calls this the THIRUNERI, the CivaneRi and Thirumuular the Canmaarkkaam, meaning the WAY that leadsone in the directin of absolute illumination.
But what is the relevance of this to the theme of this pathikam?
Believe in Asrology and Cotidam and so forth are FALSE religions, religions that can only MISLEAD one and hencesomething that should be discarded by the truly devoted and who should trust only the gods.
But why this so? What explanation does Sambantar provide for justifying this claim?
This WAY is the WAY of the Gods, the WAY that is SHOWN by divinities, the divine powers and NOT by the humanbeings, the siddhas , the prophets, the mystics, the rishies and what not. The divine powers endowed with variouscapacities are there in the world to guide along the individuals along the WAY and provided they pay heed to thesearchetypes and AVOID the words of men, will never FAIL in whatever tasks they undertake and success is assured. TheLaxmi guides along towards the enjoyment of worldly riches and homely pleasures. The WOMAN of VICTORY assuressuccess for those who really strive along the lines indicated by the divine powers and hence ACHIEVE whatever theyaspire and enjoy happiness through such achivements. The divine powers DO NOT FAVOUR the superstitious the lazy and the cunning and the deviant who seek shortcuts ad devious ways to earn these riches.
One has to move along the WAY and it is this journey that is favoured by the gods and only those who move along thisWAY, no matter how challenging it turns out to be, who really attain success and through that enjoy the pleasures of life.
But what is the WEALTH in this journey?
Youthful vitality and undying VIRILITY as the favour of the BULL, mental and physical health as favoured by thecrescent moon, metaphysical illuminations that really please the soul and become the source of boundless happines as indicated by the brilliant KonRai flowers and growing PURITY of the mind and Supreme BLISS that emanates from thisas indicated by the glowing ashes and the evergrowing radiant Form of BEING.
In all humility we must submit ourselves
to be guided along by the divine powers for only they can guide us along
is the Way and the TRUTH
At the moment in the West there is a growing interest in what is called Philosophical Paganism which is perhaps anattempt to go back to the times of the ancient Greeks before they became monotheistic Christians. These people appear to be tired of the strict monotheism of traditional Christianity.When the mind becomes free of forced dogmas and explores on its own its essence , there they will come to recognise the presence of archetypes, numerous Imago Dei guiding their cognitive functioning unknown to themselves and which is investaigated by the Jungian psychologists. The Access Tests in Agamic Psychology also disclose the presence the archetypes and quite a number of figures like the yantras of the Tantra tradition and Srividya tradition in India and behind which are the divine forces.
We can see by empirical investigations that those who have Yantras in their Unconscious are not only quite intelligent but also have a personality MORE STABLE compared to those who fail to draw such figures in their Tests.
So it appears that a hermeneutic scientific examination of Unconscious factors underlying our persoanilty traits , cognitive functioning and so forth are regulated by the archetypes-- numerous Imago Dei and that this is an empirical TRUTH and that whether we are open to accept it or not the Gods are there helping us all along as described by Sulgi Sambantar and a host of others.