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Appar on Metaphysical Life

 

Eng translation and Commentary by Dr K. Loganathan, 2004

 

 

 

 

Appar on Metaphysical Life-1

 

As I pour over the wide range of scriptures in Hinduism both in Sanskrit and Tamil, it appears to me that the true spirit of Hinduism is better available in Tamil sacred lore than in Sk. Against this it is unfortunate that the Hindu world is ignorant of these treasures that combine Bakti with profound metaphysical insights. They are also free of the obnoxious VarNasrama Dharma that runs through almost every treatise in Sanskrit. What we have in Tamil scripture is a purity, humanity and humility that sooths the heart beyond measures. The struggle is very brave and individual and which does not seek to enslave the commoners to the Brahmans of gurus. They seek to INDIVIDUALIZE the spiritual struggle so that the question as to what religion a person belongs become quite irrelevant. Finally man is ALONE in his encounter with BEING, torn away from traditions, political collectivities cultic affinities and such other irrationalities and the spirit of the liberated man rejoices in the visions of BEING and with that enjoy genuine redemption.

 

I renew my studies of Appar but now I focus upon the hymns that are immensely personal and which touch upon raw metaphysical experiences and not simply vain scholastic regurgitations like of the present day heartless acaryas who are more contemptible than lovable.

 

The Patikam I have chosen is The Potu number 76 of the Fourth TirumuRai. My study and translation is based upon the edition published by Tarumai Adheenam (1957) with notes added by Vidvan Muttu. S. SubramaNiya Mudaliyar.

 

Loga

 

 

 

 

š Ө 76:

 

Appar Teevaaram Fourth TirumuRai Patikam 76: Potu

 

The Dawn of Wisdom

 

The religious world is full of frauds who create cults religions and so forth not to liberate the mind of the rest but to enslave them and in that enslavery enjoy some kind of ego satisfaction. An Acarya, a Messiah and so forth want to be worshipped like a walking God by the commoners. The world of religions is the most barbaric and where you see more hatred than love.

 

Against this the metaphysical experiences of the truly religious such as Appar stands out as a fresh garden of beautiful blossoms - so deep, so moving and so humble. There is deliberate self-humiliation not as a poetic artifact but rather expressions of true wisdom.

 

The metaphysical poetry of Appar also illustrates that finally it is NOT the religious man who enjoys the redeeming wisdom but rather the one who has liberated himself from madness and insanity of religion. The mind must be FREE of religions in order to reach the true metaphysical depths and become fit with that to enjoy the DIRECT visions of BEING particularly the DANCE of Siva.

 

Our existential struggles have only ONE meaning - that of recognizing how evil we are because of an inherent ignorance and blindness and that it is only the direct vision of the DANCE that can allow us to enjoy the Njaanam that will free us from all sufferings.

 

1.( 736)

 

š ɡ ¢ġ

š ̦ ¢ Ʀ

š ھĢȢ ﺢ

š š Ч

 

:

 

է ɡ, Ȣ ġ ¢ɡ ը ġ  . ը, ͼâ ¡ 즸 Ĩ, šȡ , ھĢȢ ﺢ š ¢ âЦ Ţ š , Żø ¡ 󾧾!

 

1(736)

 

maruLavaa manattanaaki mayaGkineen matiyilaateen

iruLavaa aRukkumentai yiNaiyadi niizalennum

aruLavaap peRutalinRi yanjci naan alamanteeRkup

poruLavaat tantavaaRee pootupooy pularntatanRee

 

Meaning:

 

Out of the inherent metaphysical ignorance that afflicted me I lived a life of immense confusion without the slightest wisdom and desired whatever met my eyes. There is the Divine Feet that dances untiringly illuminating all the minds by destroying the inherent darkness but having not gained the Grace for witnessing and living in the cool shadows of this Dance, I lived a life in immense confusion and anxiety. But then He graced me with that vision as part of my experiences and Lo! The darkness disappeared and the Light of Njaanam dawned!

 

Comments:

 

Appar here is not talking as the Caattirap Peey, the sastra devils that would seek to enslave the whole world to the scripture they admire and identify with and make a religion out of it. He digs into his own metaphysical experience and recounts how the Njanam dawns from within and in shedding light also destroys all the metaphysical confusions and bewilderment. He is NOT thinking logically and deducing truths on the basis of some PiramaaNas and enjoy the Metaphysical Clarities that relieves him of the existential torments and bewilderments. He experiences the Njanam as a break within like the dawn of the sun that kills the prevailing darkness.

 

He recognizes the presence of Metaphysical darkness within him and which is also the root cause of all his confusions, bewilderments and anxieties. He also realizes that it is NOT studies of scriptures and what not that would free him from these torments but rather the witnessing of the Dancing Feet of BEING and which is spoken of as the Cool Shades in view of the fact that metaphysically that vision cools the heart and pacifies it beyond measure.

 

And he also realizes that this vision is a blessing and NOT something that one can attain by ones own efforts. It is like the dawn of the sun in the world, a happening in the inner metaphysical world of an individual and as a BLESSING of BEING.

 

 

 

Appar on Metaphysical Life-2

 

š Ө 76:

 

Appar Teevaaram Fourth TirumuRai Patikam 76: Potu

 

Learning the TRUTH and Gaining Moksa

 

TRUTH is something objectively there in the world accessible to all and as deathless. Because of this any culture that organizes itself as for seeking TRUTH also becomes DEATHLESS. The social philosophy promoted is also one of EQUALITY where no one is denied accessing and enjoying the TRUTH that hovers in the horizon as belonging to all. The TRUTH is NOT trapped inescapably in any of the scriptures or the mind of the messiahs. The Tamil culture has disallowed this enslavery of the mind and this is the secret of its survival and which we realize now in that it is one of the most ancient cultures of the world that still survives with a vitality of its own. When a culture is founded upon TRUTH, everything on the way can be thrown out and new insights installed and thus the culture maintained with CONTINUITY amidst even fundamental changes.

 

It is quite amazing that what Appar declares as the essence of Metaphysical Life as distinct from the religious life of fanaticism and hatred was also declared by Suruppak around 3000 BC and in a language that is quite clearly Tamil: nig-nam kal-kal-en nig-a me kal-kal (nikaznam kalkaliyen nikavee mey kalkal) i.e. learning should be the learning of TRUTHS and that this will be realized if one studies the great happenings around.

 

This is NOT religion in the typical sense of the word for what is promoted is LEARNING and a FREEDOM of the mind that comes along with it and which is NOT something that would be condoned by any religion. One must escape from the hold of the world religions in order to live a truly Metaphysical Life.

 

This has been the Metaphysical Way of Life of the Tamils from very ancient times and Appar in the following verse describes it with an unsurpassable elegance and beauty using a metaphor that is most suited.

 

2(737)

 

¡ ƨ Ţ Ţ Ţ

¡ Ǩ š Ȧ 

츢 Ģ¢

á Ÿ Ţ

 

:

 

¨ Խ , ȧ Ţ Ţ Ţ ħ , Ц ŢǸ ¡ Ȣ , ȡ, ̽򨾧 ը á  , ġ Ŀɡ Ũ 츢 , 󾨾 § Ţ츧 Ģ¢ ¡ 򦾡 ššá Ÿ 쾢 ǡ Ţ.

 

 

2(737)

 

meymaiyaam uzavaic ceytu viruppenum vittai vittip

poymaiyaaG kaLaiyai vaaGkip poRaiyenum n_iiraip paayccit

tammaiyum n_ookkik kaNdu takavenum veeliyidduc

cemmaiyuL n_rparaakiR civakati viLaiyumanRee

 

Meaning:

 

One should plough the field of ones own thoughts so that only TRUTHS are allowed to grow as the crops. Then one should plant the seeds of desires that allow only such crops to grow and when amidst these the crops of falsities grow as well on their own, then one should identify them and remove them from the field. Now as the result there will be the water of LOVE and one should then water the field only with this water so that the plants of truth will grow well. The one should seek out the vision of BEING who is really the GROUND of all and establish ethical boundaries with the resolve not to do anything inconsistent with BEING. Should one live well with these great principles then Sivakati or Moksa will blossom on its own

 

Comments:

 

It is really amazing how beautifully and simply Appar manages to describe the RIGHT kind of metaphysical existence and which is NOT the typical religious life where there is more mental slavery than anything else. The Metaphysical Life is NOT a religious life but rather life of immense FREEDOM where the person should be after TRUTHS and prepare his mind only for the truths. Appar uses the metaphor of plowing the field and cultivating crops to explain how the metaphysical mind must be cultivated.

 

Center to all remains the search for TRUTHS as that which must be sought after and hence a hermeneutic scientific way of life. It is NOT a way of life where authorities of Vedas Agamas or such scriptures are accepted and the RIGHT WAY understood as RECITING them with the appropriate intonation contours and so forth and living in accordance with such words of God . There are no recommendations to accept anyone as a MahaGuru, the Jagadacariya or Messiah and become a slave to his dictates.

 

The right WAY is the way where one searches relentlessly for TRUTH and a willingness to discard any falsities that crop up on the way. It is this way of TRUTH that by the illuminations it brings about make the heart also FULL OF LOVE and which in turn nourishes the mind in its search for even deeper truths.

 

But this search for TRUTH is NOT moving in a blind alley for there is BEING as the foundation of it all and one should seek a VISION of this BEING for it is only in the context of this vision that we know what is RIGHJT and what is WRONG and thus manage to establish ethical boundaries where those that OUGHT NOT be done are put aside. What is RIGHT is what is consistent with BEING and what is WRONG are those which are inconsistent with BEING.

 

The soul becomes a GOOD soul if it happens to live in accordance with these principles and should one continue to live as such, assures Appar, Sivakati or Moksa will blossom on its own.

 

 

Appar on Metaphysical Life-3

 

š Ө 76:

 

Appar Teevaaram Fourth TirumuRai Patikam 76: Potu

 

BEING Possesses the Pure Anmas

 

The humility and self-abasement of Appar conceals the fact that he was one the greatest warriors India had seen for single-handed he battled with the greatest emperor of his times, Mahendra Pallava and who on being vanquished became a Saivite leaving behind Jainism that he followed. Appar was not a martyr in the Christian sense but rather a social reformer who lived to the ripe old age spending most of his time not in penance and vain philosophical disputes and so forth but rather in meaningful social service.

 

But what gave him the courage for battling with the Emperor and all by himself?

 

We can put it this way: the believe that whatever he was doing was NOT his actions but that of BEING. He was just played into doing whatever he was doing and hence he was NOT the agent of such actions but only BEING. He was just an instrument for the actions of BEING. This divine instrumentality is that which constitutes the essence of genuine metaphysical life where by such actions a person LEARNS what he cannot either from scriptures or the rishies messiahs and so forth. There can be no effective substitute for the DIRECT relationship with BEING and genuine metaphysical life thrives on it.

 

This also requires that one FREES oneself from all the shackles of traditions and religions and keep the mind PURE and FREE for only then there will be inner space for BEING to enter into the body and soul of a person. As long as the mind remains impure with the dirt of so-called religious dogmas and percepts, there remains a BLOCKAGE for BEING to enter and take over the soul and later incorporate it as an integral part of His own body.

 

3(738)

 

á ȧ ۧ Ȣ

á š ƢŨ

á ۧ ȡ

á ɢ ġ Ƨ§

 

:

 

ɧ¡ , Ŧġ á Ƣ¡ . ¡ Ȣ¡ á š ¡ Ƣ Ǣ . š Ǣš , ս , Ǣ§ ¡, ǧ ɢ ̦ȡ, á ɡ Ƣ¢ , Ƨ§? (ġ š)

 

3(738)

 

empiraan enRatee koNdeen ennuLee pukuntu n_nRiGku

empiraan aaddavaadi yennuLLee yuzitarveenai

empiraan ennait pinnait tannuLee karakku menRaal

empiraan ennin allaal en ceykeen eezaiyeenee

 

Meaning:

 

Among the scriptures messiahs and so forth as the sources of Divine Truth I held on to BEING alone steadfastly as the most meaningful. Unknown to me BEING has entered into me and I played out exactly how He played me and with that developed as an individual learning deep metaphysical truths on the way. Now if BEING would incorporate me as part of Him and conceal me there when I become sufficiently pure, then what can I do if BEING chooses not to be with me at all and thus deprive me of this possibility?

 

Comments:

 

To be with BEING and nothing else is the primary feature of genuine metaphysical life. We must throw away all religions and the scriptures, the words of messiahs and rishies that pretend to Divine Truth. The TRUTH is NOT in the books or in mind of the so-called messiahs but only with BEING for it is only BEING that is TRUTH. Once one lives this true metaphysical life free from all religions, BEING enters the soul and body of a person and taking over the sources of MEANINGS, regulates behavior itself through providing a graded series of MEANINGS.

 

Appar is very famous for the discovery of this and his dictum aadduvitaal aaroruvar aadaataaree - if played by BEING Himself who can refuse to play?

 

Whenever we act in accordance with meanings BEING Himself provides, such actions are not only good but also something that TEACHES one some deep metaphysical truths. Thus as one proceeds playing exactly as played by BEING, one learns to destroy the metaphysical ignorance and in that also DEVELOP as an individual. The personality changes - there is not only genuine wisdom but also more Purity of the soul with LOVE unto all.

 

When the soul is sufficiently Pure, notes Appar, something drastic happens - the person is transported into the very body of BEING and hence into a celestial world free from all the miseries that afflict one in the earthly life.

 

This is a possibility that hovers there as the possibility of the genuine metaphysical life, something that is possible only if BEING wills it or graces the soul with it. Against this Appar shudders at the thought of BEING forsaking him, of becoming forgetful of him. He will be LOST not knowing what to do to escape from the miseries of bodily existence which remains as the already given.

 

 

 

Appar on Metaphysical Life-4

 

š Ө 76:

 

Appar Teevaaram Fourth TirumuRai Patikam 76: Potu

 

Its Loving All that is the True Ritual

 

The phrases that occur in this verse Kaayameek Kooyil (the body is a temple) and Vaaymaiyee Tuuymai (it is the TRUTH that is Purity) should be isolated and made the slogans of True Metaphysical Life. Appar as the truly liberated individual and as one who has seen the essence of Metaphysical Life describes in a nutshell what OUGHT to be the genuine rituals of metaphysical life.

 

What he emphasizes is a life where LOVE unto all pervades and he claims this is the genuine ritual prayer worship and so forth. It records an ADVANCE of temple worship and going beyond it where instead of offering arccanas for the Icons installed in the temple, the body itself is sought to be elevated to that of the TEMPLE and installing the SivaliGkam deep within. Thus the genuine metaphysical life is transmutational - destroys the physicality of the physical body and transmutes it into something metaphysical - a locale fit enough for the gods to come and stay. What is done by the shaman priest occasionally where he allows his body to be possessed by the gods, here we have a more drastic transformation - that of transmuting the body PERMANENTLY as the abode of the gods and where at the deepest recesses the SivaliGkam is installed.

 

With this turn to metaphysical life, what happens to rituals and so forth?

 

They become Social Actions that are prompted by LOVE unto all.

 

For details see below.

 

 

4(739)

 

§ ¢ġ ʨ¡

š ¡ Ģ

§ ġ ¿ š

⺨ ɡ Ȣ Ţ ʧɡ

 

:

 

ɡ ⺨ Ȣ Ţ ¢ ¡ɢ, ǡ 째¢ Ũ 째 ʨ¡츢, Ģ Ģ § š , ¡ Ģ Ţ Ũ , ǡ ¡ š ¢ ¢ ¡ š šŧ¡.

 

4(739)

 

kaayameek kooyilaakak kadimanam adimaiyaaka

vaaymaiyee tuuymaiyaaka manamaNi ilingkamaaka

neeyamee n_yyum paalaa n_iRaiyan_iir amaiyavaaddip

puucanai iicanaarkkup pooRRi avik kaaddinoomee

 

Meaning:

 

What is the essence of genuine metaphysical life? It is taking the physical body as capable of becoming veritably a TEMPLE and in order to install BEING there , making the mind a slave to BEING and nothing else. Then one must live seeking only TRUTHS and nothing else as the way to be PURE and installing the SivaliGkam in the heart as the most beautiful thing to do, then living showing LOVE unto all as the ghee milk and pure waters one pours over the SivaliGkam as the genuine prayers praises and the sacrifices one makes towards BEING.

 

Comments:

 

Here emerges most elegantly the TRUE meaning of Metaphysical Life, which is LOST among the Hindus today and mainly because of the pernicious hold of VarNasrama Dharma, and Vedism that supports it directly and indirectly. As long as there are discriminations on the basis of caste and where some are deprived of their natural rights to be with BEING and enjoy a spiritual life of their own choice. Where there are DISCRIMINATIONS even on the basis of sastras , there is NO genuine metaphysical life. But what are the elements of genuine metaphysical life?

 

First the physical body is NOT TO BE ABUSED, tortured and hated. It holds the possibility of becoming a TEMPLE and hence an abode of BEING Himself. Once this becomes a reality then one can lead the healthiest life on earth, free of diseases of any kind. But this is possible only if the mind becomes a slave of BEING, i.e. something that is NOT skeptical and nihilistic- it must always meditate and contemplate on BEING.

 

The second is to realize that this can happen only if the heart becomes PURE and that it is seeking out and installing TRUTHS that can do this. It is the Lumen Naturale that floods the mind on seeking out and installing truths that can do this.

 

But how exactly BEING is present in the body?

 

As the SivaliGkam installed in the deepest chamber of the heart and where the SivaliGkam is the Way BEING is present as the Natam-Bindu Complex, the Yin-Yang and Siva-Sakti and so forth.

 

And what are the true arccanas - prayers worship and so forth?

 

Not the typical and elaborate rituals of the religious but rather LIVING showing LOVE unto ALL. It is this Social Action that is founded upon LOVE unto all that is the TRUE ritual of metaphysical life.

 

All those lost in rituals and so forth and remain BLIND to cultivating LOVE unto all, remain mental slaves to religions and hence lead a life that is supremely INAUTHETIC or FALSE.

 

 

The Body is a Temple

 

Thanks to the contributions of scholars like Sathiya Dr Winters and many others, it is becoming clear to me that human civilization began as Temple culture and where the TEMPLE itself was pyramidal and immensely large. So it appears to me to be very reasonable to talk of pyro civilizations pyro cultures and pyro languages and which incorporated as part of this the Notion of Homo Hierarchicus, a Pyramidal Organization of society in which among the creatures there is hierarchical difference including the humans. However there is also NO DENYIING the climb, the movement from the bottom to the top to any body- all are equally privileged in this respect and constitutes the basis of human equality. This equality and the inherent right to climb to the very peak of the Social Pyramid through metaphysical efforts is that which is DENIED by VarNasra Dharma, which unfortunately emerged as part of Vedism. It is also equally unfortunate that this was revived as part of the appropriation of Sanskrit language as belonging to the Indo-European family of languages where as a matter of fact it is not - it is just a variant of Tamil and hence as much Dravidian as Malayalam Telugu Kannada and so forth.

 

But fortunately for us the Tamil culture remained faithful to genuine Pyro Culture and has battled vigorously with this inhuman VarNasrama Dharma and kept alive the original spirit of Hindu culture and because of which the Tamil literature as a whole has a distinct flavor of its own and where genuine HUMANITY reigns supreme.

 

And I suspect it is all because they kept alive the TEMPLE as the basic organizing center of their culture and in which the primitive Shamanism, an integral part of Pyro Cultures was transmuted into a science, something like an alchemical science in which the body is transmuted into a TEMPLE and with that the soul transported into the heavenly existence.

 

Thus we can see TWO stages in the way the TEMPLE configures human personality.

 

At first the entry into a temple, participating in the rituals and READING the meanings of the icons and rituals and so forth, the mind is catapulted into the heavenly world for simply the TEMPLE is the heavens lowered down into the world by BEING Himself to spiritualize the humans. This was understood quite well even in Sumerian times where the enormously profound En Hudu Anna, the eldest daughter of Sargon the Great, mentions this in the following lines of the Kes temple Hymn, a hymn probably to Siva, the Keeci, the One with Long flowing hair (Ta. keecam: hair on the head).

 

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

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

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

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

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

Note: zag-zag-ra could be Ta, sakam-sakanRa: on the worlds of people

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now SECOND stage comes as a NATURAL development of this - the transmutation of the BODY itself into a TEMPLE, a notion that took firm roots in the words of Appar Tirumular and so forth during the Bakti revolt (c, 5th -6th cent AD). The following verse of Appar from the Patikam where he outlines brilliantly the Genuine Metaphysical Life, records this kind of development.

4(739)

 

kaayameek kooyilaakak kadimanam adimaiyaaka

vaaymaiyee tuuymaiyaaka manamaNi ilingkamaaka

neeyamee n_yyum paalaa n_iRaiyan_iir amaiyavaaddip

puucanai iicanaarkkup pooRRi avik kaaddinoomee

 

Meaning:

 

What is the essence of genuine metaphysical life? It is taking the physical body as capable of becoming veritably a TEMPLE and in order to install BEING there , making the mind a slave to BEING and nothing else. Then one must live seeking only TRUTHS and nothing else as the way to be PURE and installing the SivaliGkam in the heart as the most beautiful thing to do, then living showing LOVE unto all as the ghee milk and pure waters one pours over the SivaliGkam as the genuine prayers praises and the sacrifices one makes towards BEING.

 

The most arresting phrases here are Kaayamee Kooyil (the Body is a Temple) and Vaymaiyee Tuuymai (Real purity is TRUTH). The frail and physical human body holds within it the possibility of becoming the veritable TEMPLE itself and the WAY is the way of TRUTH and hence Hermeneutic Science.

It is clear that such a philosophy deals a deathblow to VarNasrama Dharma where a person is cast as the despicable SUDRA just because he comes into the world with a certain biological origin over which he has no control. What we have is NOT genuine religion but rather the exploitation and degradation of one group of human beings by another and hence a CRIMINAL ACT all done in the name of scriptures.

Appars message is clear: Whatever the biological origins of this physical body, it can become a TEMPLE, an abode of the gods provided on lives the WAY of love and truth. This philosophy does NOT deprive anyone trying to make his own body a TEMPLE itself and with that enjoy a heavenly existence on the Earth itself.

Here I want to raise a question: Why is that this philosophy is NOT projected as the ESSENCE of Hinduism?

 

Appar on Metaphysical Life-5

 

š Ө 76:

 

Appar Teevaaram Fourth TirumuRai Patikam 76: Potu

 

Becoming Pure by Serving Society

 

Service to society is service to God (Makkad toNdee Makeesan ToNdu) was the Great Word that emerged during the Bakti revolution that recovered Hinduism and gave a new impetus transforming the spiritual map of India. Appar was one who LIVED out this life and which is cherished to this day by representing him with the Uzavaarap Padai, the scrapple that he used to clean up the temples. He also encouraged all forms of social services to people through the crowd of devotees who gathered around him.

 

In this verse he brings out the metaphysics of the life of service of society making it the essential element of Metaphysical Life where there is NO RELIGION at all. Where there is religion there is NO genuine service but only a show of it and that too with the intention to CONVERT people of other religions into ones own. This is FALSE social service, a kind of DECEIT for it does NOT serve to MELT the heart and make it truly LOVING.

 

Such pretenders, implies Appar, will surely face not just death but something worse than that - the FEAR of death which is more painful than actual death. The person will cry out at this point to BEING as the Blue-Throated Siva to spare him the pains of the death appreciating at the same time the need to serve people, become pure and have BEING install Himself in the body and soul and with this possession destroy such fears.

 

(5) 740

 

ﺸ Ҩ§ɨ Ƣ

ﺦ ը

ﺸ ɢ

 

:

 

§! ơ ̽ ﺸ Ҩɡ , ġ Ƣ¢ Ũ , Ӿ š쨸¢ . ɡ 𦸡 狀 狀 Ȣ . ը Ţ ġ ը . ġ 츢 ý, ﺸ ɢ š , . ɡ ġ ﺡ 츢 . ﺢ ĸ ר Ȣ ըǧ .

 

5(740)

 

vanjckap pulaiyaneenai vaziyaRat toNdiR puuddi

anjcalenRu aaNdu koNdaay atu un perumaiyanRee

n_enjcakaG kaniya maaddeen n_nnaiyum uL vaikka maaddeen

n_njcidaG koNda kaNdaa vennena n_namaitaanee

 

Meaning:

 

O Lord! I am false low and immensely deceitful. You showed me the way of service to society as the way to make myself pure and good and at that point possessed me and informed from within that there is nothing whatsoever to fear. This just goes to announce your immense greatness. However despite all these my heart remains hard like a stone refusing to melt and become wholly dominated with Love and Kindness unto all. Out of ego I also refuse to install you deep within and live according to your dictates alone. Now I am sufferings for all these and invoking : You are the Blue-throated where you keep the Poison under control within your throat and so forth seems to be the best thing to do now.

 

Comments:

 

Without any pretence to greatness and without any false humility, Appar declares here how rotten he is really as a person and shows by this a true HONESTY in self-appraisal. All of us are rotten to the core because even at birth we already infected with the Mummalam - we do not fall because of evil environmental influences and so forth but come into the world as already fallen and who has to be redeemed.

 

BEING shows the WAY and which is selfless service to society. Among all actions, the social services, ToNdu, stand out as those which KILL self-concern and hence the EGO. The egoless self also becomes PURE and hence a TEMPLE fit enough for BEING to emerge and take possession of the soul and body and in that also informing from within that there is NOTHING to FEAR including DEATH.

 

Appar knows this, understands this but finds it difficult to APPLY and live accordingly. So the heart remains hard like a stone, merciless and cruel and also because of this unable to install BEING within. Appar may in fact project onto himself the personality of the average person. But the fact is if a person continues to live heartless without showing any mercy, DEATH not only comes but also comes creating a mortal FEAR, a phobia of the worst kind. It is at this point that such people realize that it is BEING who can bring into control the death bringing Malam and for which purpose BEING assumes the shape of the NilakaNdan, the Blue-Throated and where at the throat He keeps the Poison of Malam.

 

 

 

Appar on Metaphysical Life-6

 

š Ө 76:

 

Appar Teevaaram Fourth TirumuRai Patikam 76: Potu

 

BEING can Cure

 

The Siddha medical system is not founded exclusively on swallowing pills surgery and so forth. There is recognition of the fact that if a person becomes someone like a shaman, i.e. someone who allows the body to be possessed by the gods, then a natural kind of HEALING is possible. Perhaps this constitutes the scientific basis of the alternative medicine where the gods do the curing.

 

But how?

 

When the body is made a temple, i.e. a place of residence of the gods, there come to be thousands of SNAKES and which pour out the Libidinal Energy that serves to keep the body youthful as well as healthy. Appar also notes that even past this stage there is the ARUL of BEING where His GAZE alone is sufficient to ward of diseases.

 

Thus the medicine he suggests is the GAZE of LOVE of BEING and which requires that we be LOVING unto Him. In addition to being a shaman who allows the body to be possessed by the gods, we have also to be KIND and LOVING unto all so that we gain the Gaze of LOVE of BEING so that BEING will ward off any impending disease.

 

Thus the genuine Metaphysical Life is also a life of good mental and physical health.

 

6(741)

 

¢ 𧼨 Ȣ ¡

¢ Ӿ Ӿ

Ԧ ﺢ ġŢɡ ġŢ

¨ 츢 š

 

:

 

̸ 󾾡 Ǣ â ¢ 𧼨, š! Ĩ 츢 ȡ. Ц ¢ Ģɢ 쾢 Ч, Ӿ ġ Ӿ š ﺢ ¡ Ţġ âȡ. š ġŢ , ġ , 츢 §.

 

6(741)

 

naayinuG kadaipaddeenai n_nneRi kaaddi yaaNdaay

aayiram aravam aartta vamutanee yamutamottu

n_iiyumn n_njcinuLLee n_laavinaay n_laavi niRka

n_yyavai caarumaakil n_ookki n_ii aruL ceyvaayee

 

Meaning:

 

Even though I am filthy with the dirt of Mummalam, the three dark forces and hence lower than dog, you possessed and showed me the Right Way staying within. Like thousands of snakes that pour the ambrosia of KuNdalini into my body, you stayed moving in body comparable to them, pouring the Ambrosia (the sakti for me to live well) Now as you stay with me thus, I beseech you to help me out with your GAZE when diseases approach me and try to overpower me.

 

Comments:

 

Appar brings out another aspect of True Metaphysical Life that also serves as the foundation of Siddha medical system. The body when spiritualized through appropriate way of life become the place where thousands of KuNdalini snakes crawl and spill out the Libidinal Energy that serves not only the sexual arousal and enjoyment of sexual bliss but also as the MEDICINE that serves to fend off the disease carrying germs and so forth. The Sakti or Psychic Power becomes the pill that battles with the diseases and keep the body healthy and FREE of diseases.

 

But this is possible only if the body is seen not simply a physical system but something capable of becoming a TEMPLE, a place of residence of the divine powers.

 

But the presence of the sexual snakes is NOT permanent. What happens when the youthfulness departs old age sets in and sexual desires are transmuted?

 

In some cases BEING-as-Siva renews the body chemistry so that youthful virility returns. But even this has its limitations. The Dark Force, the MALAM, the Primordial and uncreated DARKNESS is very powerful and will eat up even this renewed virility. What can happen at this point?

 

This is what Appar address here. At his point BEING becomes a substitute of the KuNdalini snakes and pours something equivalent to the Amutu, the ambrosia, the Nectar that functions the same way as KuNdalini. There need to be the Gaze of Love of BEING and as long BEING graces with that GAZE, no disease will attack the body.

 

 

Appar on Metaphysical Life-7

 

š Ө 76:

 

Appar Teevaaram Fourth TirumuRai Patikam 76: Potu

 

The Pyramid of Desires

 

To describe the Metaphysical Way of Life that has as its method the Hermeneutic Sciences, we can use the notion of Pyramid but the Pyramid of Desires. This appears to be the essence of the following verse of Appar where he laments that BEING remains mostly concealed and hence beyond direction vision even for the mental eyes. BEING conceals Himself and for the Saivites this constitutes on of His Five Fold basic activities - that of MaRaippu or Tirobavam, casting a screen so that He remains for the most part INVISIBLE. But His presence but as INVISIBLE itself becomes the MOTIVATING factor - that which urges on the anmas to OPEN UP their eyes so that the vision becomes larger, deeper, more comprehensive and so forth. But this requires the TRANSMUTATION of desires and ascending from the worldly to the higher.

 

The metaphysical odyssey is a life of transmuting desires from the worldly and physical to the genuinely metaphysical where the SEXUAL LOVE gets transmuted to Universal Love like that of a mother unto her children where there is nothing like expectations but only that of CARING.

 

BEING remains a hidden reality as long a person persists in ego pursuits and which comes along with desires for oneself. The self is capable of sat-self and asat-self, the Pure-self and the Ego-self. It has to climb up the Pyramid of Metaphysical Life so that it can reach the peak by slowly destroying the Ego-self, the Asat-self and become the Pure-Self or Sat-Self.

 

The Sat-Self sees BEING in itself for BEING takes complete possession of the self and conferring Moksa at the same time.

 

7.

 

Ţ Ţ ¡

š ʼ

Ȣ ¢ҧ վ

Ȣ

 

:

 

ĸ Ţ Ǣ ɡ, Ǧ š Ǣ о Ţ츢 . š ȡ ɢ, ¢ ħ š ާ, Ǣ Ǩ ȡ §! ɡ š .

 

7.

 

viLLLattaan onRu maaddeen viruppenum veedkaiyaalee

vaLLatteen poola nunnai vaay maduttu uNdidaamee

uLLattee n_iRriyeenum uyirpuLee varutiyeenum

kaLLattee n_Rriyammaa veGGanam kaaNumaaRee

 

Meaning:

 

Caught by various kinds worldly desires, I refuse to drink the vast honey flow of deep metaphysical illuminations that you are kind enough to bless me and because of which I remain unable to explain and illuminate others. Even when you stand in my heart and come into my breathing to provide me good health, but how can SEE you with my mental eyes when you CONCEAL yourself always like a thief?

 

Comments:

 

BEING concealing Himself takes possession of the soul unknown to the self. This understanding is something shared by all Saivite Nayanmars and constitutes the understanding with which the famous Sambantar composed his first verse where he describes BEING as uLLaG Kavar KaLvan, the stealthy thief who robs the heart unknown to the self.

 

This is metaphysically understood as the Tirobavam, BEING concealing Himself, casting a screen across Himself so that He remains an INVISIBLE reality for the most part.

 

There are stages in the Way BEING presents Himself when He shows Himself completely at the final stage thus destroying the Tirobavam, Moksa is also conferred. When there is NO MORE this transcendental concealment, there is also NO MEANING for Existence and at which point being born again into the phenomenal world also becomes irrelevant. Thus till the soul is ripe for this, BEING shows Himself but only INDIRECTLY. We can feel His presence when in our metaphysical exercises we see the DANCE in everything that transpires as world events. We can recognize His presence in the dream experiences where the yet to happen is told right now in a symbolic way more to help us to lead the right sort of life. We can also recognize His presence in those experiences where when we feel death is already approaching, something miraculous happens and our breathing improves by leaps and bounds and we escape the untimely death.

 

Such indirect experiences are what most of us are capable of and that too if we follow the way of Hermeneutic Science where in stages our vision is made larger and more inclusive to the point where we can INTUIT the workings of BEING and have beliefs that are well founded.

 

 

 

Appar on Metaphysical Life-8

 

š Ө 76:

 

Appar Teevaaram Fourth TirumuRai Patikam 76: Potu

 

A Life of Praising BEING

 

It is interesting that the Bakti movement in recovering genuine Metaphysical Life also recovered singing hymns about the temples and deities very much as it was during the Sumerian times. While Yoga and Dhyana practices are mentioned here and there, it is SINGING the glories of the gods that is seen as the most authentic metaphysical life, in addition to a life of active social service where unconditional love is shown to all.

 

But why NOT Dhyana where, as among some Buddhists and Vedanties, there is every effort to STILL the mind so that there are NO thoughts at all?

 

To be happy is to be NOT without thinking but to be thinking but only of the gods and their games. The gods must be taken as almost the living and songs of LOVE must be sung to them so that soul is always in their company. Happiness is matter of being-with the gods and hence BEING and in order to maintain that way of being one must always THINK of the gods and SING about them. Such an activity keeps the soul in the accompany of the gods and hence always in a condition of LEARNING and hence destroying IGNORANCE.

 

A mind that has frozen thinking is NOT a learning mind and hence not an activity that can bring about personal development though there may temporary satisfaction.

 

8.

 

ɡ

ġ šǡ Ƣá

Χ

 

:

 

ĸ Ģ ¢ڸǡ Ȣ Ţ ȢȢ Ţ ġ ǡ ¢ š â ɡ Ǣ Ƣ Ӿ šá â. 򾨸 Ƣ Ƣ, Ǣ ɡ Ħġ Ǣ ţ Ȼ Ȧǡ ! ! Ȣ¡ ؾš š ٸ!

 

8.

 

aacai vanpaacam eyti aGkuReen iGkuRReenaay

uucalaadduNdu vaaLaa uzantu n_aan uzitaramee

teecanee teecamuurttii tiumaRaik kaadumeeya

iicanee unRanpaatam eettumaa aruL emmaanee!

 

Meaning:

 

Caught up by the strong ropes of worldly desires I run hither and thither like a swing, lost in useless preoccupations and hence not developing at all with gaining metaphysical illuminations. O Lord Thou art Brilliance itself and rules all the lands and especially the forest of Concealed Wisdom. Help me out destroying this way of life and installing a way of life where I sing your glories endlessly.

 

 

Comments:

 

What is the shape of authentic Metaphysical Life? appears to be the question that Appar poses himself here. The ordinary life of passions and ordinary desires, the strong CHAINS that bind one to the physical and hence the worldly is life where one kind of desire is replaced with another and where there is NO ASCENDANCE by transmuting the desires, the climbing the Pyramid of Desires and where the physical gives way to the metaphysical, the earthly to the heavenly, is not a life that brings real development. In a life caught up with worldly desires there is NO personal development no matter how successful one is in economic and political well-being.

 

For real contentment satisfaction and hence good mental and physical well-being are matters that belong to Metaphysical Understanding and the way of life that avoids it quite useless and vain. Projecting himself into the state of such a person, Appar laments that people should be like this.

 

But can one transpose oneself to the metaphysical life just by his own efforts? No, says Appar. To be free of earthly passions and ascend to the metaphysical realms is a matter of a BLESSING of the gods for it is only they who can severe these ropes of strong passions and transport the person into the metaphysical.

 

But once transported what should one be doing to gain illuminations after illuminations?

 

Here comes the most ancient of the religious practices - singing the glories of the gods, the various presentational forms of BEING. Each time a person sings the glories of the gods, he KILLS his ego and the destruction of the Ego-Self is the precondition to enjoy divine illuminations. The Ego strong individuals lock themselves out from the heavenly world where the gods reside.

 

 

Appar on Metaphysical Life-9

 

š Ө 76:

 

Appar Teevaaram Fourth TirumuRai Patikam 76: Potu

 

The Body is a Prison

 

We have the most unusual phrase occurring here ciRai illeen - I am one living in the prison of the body and which only the metaphysically ripe individual can make. For the normal person is attached to body, sees himself/herself as the body itself and in no way feels that he/she is restricted by the embodied existence. The notion of FREEDOM too is very much like Western- a kind anarchism where any CONTROL over the actions is not tolerated. To be Free is to be FREE to do whatever one likes-to put it very crudely.

 

For Appar this is FALSE freedom for acting on the dictates of the bodily needs - the various gratifications of body - sexual social political economic and so forth, is NOT true freedom but rather the actions of the prisoner of passions induced by the body and which is ultimately karmic.

 

To be FREE in the metaphysical sense is to lead a life unaffected by the body and mental mechanisms that come along with it. The true metaphysical life is a battle or struggle between two forces - the anma is pulled in the direction of BEING as well as the BODY. Thus in order to be with BEING intimately and forever, the body remains as OBSTACLE. Initially the body is a help for it facilitates perceptions and THINKING including that of the gods. But later it becomes an impediment for to be with BEING and hence enjoy Moksa, one has to be a bodiless Pure Spirit and this is what the body makes impossible even when it becomes a TEMPLE.

 

 

9

 

Ţ Ţ Ţ¢

Ţ Ũ

Ŧ Ţ

̨Ţ á ȧ ¢ɡ

 

:

 

ǡ Ǣ ɨ ǸǢ ¡ Ģ ǢȢ š 󨾧¡ ġ ¢ ɡ ǧ ġ â ¢Ģ Ţ Ģ! š ¡ ؼ . Ģ 즸ġ âǡ ? ġ ¢ § Ǣ Ũ¢ Ĩ ¢ɡ, ̨ġ Ţ Ũ š ŢŢ Ţ.

 

9.

 

n_Raivileen n_eecamilleen n_ninaivilleen paaca

maRaivilee puRappaddeeRum vakaiyenakku aruL emmaan

ciRai ileen ceyvatennee tiruvadi paravi eettak

kuRaivileen kuRran tiiraay KonRai ceer cadaiyinaanee

 

Meaning:

 

Not knowing how to free myself and escape and ascend from the hold of karmic chains, I am restless, loveless and with no steady thoughts of the gods. O Lord you must teach me how to escape from these karmic chains and bless me with true freedom. I feel I am a prisoner in this body and hence quite helpless not knowing what to do to keep on doing only the good. O Lord who wears the KonRai flowers on your tuft indicating that you bring happiness to all, seeing that there is no defect in my singing of your praises, free me of this defect and let me enjoy happiness.

 

Comments:

 

Earlier Appar was moved to say the Body is a Temple (kaayamee kooyilaaka) but now, strangely enough, it is seen as a prison (ciRai illeen) that he is forced to assume as his home. Now what kind of understanding of the relationship between the body and soul moves Appar to despise the body as a prison?

 

Certainly there is an understanding on the condition of Moksa- the liberated soul exists in Paradise or somewhere without a body and hence without any finitude. The soul has its POTENTIAL way of Being-in-the -World just a Pure Spirit free to move and be anywhere it likes just like the magnetic waves. Against an understanding of this potentiality, being with a physical frame and living as dictated by the needs of the body becomes an immensely RESTRICTED way of Being-in-the-World, a prisoner of the body.

 

But why this?

 

Here we have to resort to the Fundamental Ontology of Saiva Siddhanta - that it is not BEING alone who is anati but also the anmas and the various fetters equally preexistent just like BEING. Among the fetters we have the most primordial - the aaNavam called simply Malam, that which introduces BLINDNESS or absence of vision and hence IGNORANCE. To offset this IGNORANCE, there comes the karmas, various kinds mantra-complexes which interacting with Maayai, another of the fetters, the source of the physical bodied, generates various kinds of bodies and with that launch the anma into phenomenal existence.

 

This karma permeates not only the body but also the mind and hence ordains the THINKING setting BOUNDARIES for what an anma can attain with thinking and enjoy metaphysical illuminations. Thus bodily existence is a kind of prison life - in being in tune with bodily needs like food sex and so forth we are DEPRIVED of those moments of deep contemplations of the gods. Now even when free of the bodily needs the THINKING itself remains BOUND, the anma cannot push beyond those boundaries provided for by the karmic scripts that regulate the thinking itself.

 

Now can the anma FREE itself form such karmic scripts?

 

It can but only if BEING blesses the soul and which happens only when the anma is seen to be fit. Appar feels that he is fit for such a blessing for he has been PRAISING the gods or more particularly BEING-as-Siva to deserve this. So it would appear that praising and singing the glories of Siva is the most apt metaphysical activity that would gain for the anma freedom from the karmic scripts.

 

 

Appar on Metaphysical Life-10

 

š Ө 76:

 

Appar Teevaaram Fourth TirumuRai Patikam 76: Potu

 

Death and its Metaphysical Meaning

 

Appar appeals to us by his immense humility where he goes out of the way to communicate how lowly and ordinary he is though as a matter fact he is one of those rare souls with outstanding metaphysical reaches that have helped to shape the huge metaphysical system that goes by the name of Saiva Siddhanta, certainly the most magnificent accomplishment od metaphysical thinking of the world. He does not claim to be a Prophet a Messiah Jagadguru a Rishi a MahaGuru, a Brahmanah (by birth) A Bodhisattva, a Tirtangkara and so forth. Fully devoid of such pretences where the simple human-ness remains covered up, he unashamedly sings eloquently all his sufferings with a frankness that becomes of a pure soul that rejoices only in truth as he says it himself vaaymaiyee tuuymaiyaaka (it is in being in truth that one is pure). The truth is that any person born embodied is a just ordinary man.

 

But what can be the elements of his understanding that helps him to avoid such grandiose pretences of godliness more to enslave people than to illuminate them?

 

He encounters DEATH and notes its inevitability and how human it is . All pretences to contrary shatters at the face of this simple truth. How can one who is sure to die and lose the body to the fires or worms can pretend to be anything more than miserable creature full of defects and dirt and because of which he is thrown into physical existence to LEARN and become illuminated?

 

Appar shows himself as one who does not pretend, set himself up as the savior of mankind but in that act itself disclose the reality of Metaphysical Life where anma can exist as a pure spirit without any inclination to become embodied again.

 

 

10.

 

Ţġ Ȣ¦š

ž ġ

ġ ɢ š쨸

Ţ ǦáǢ ¢ɡ

 

:

 

⾸â ĸ ¢á š, ¡ Ȣ¡Ũ¢, ¡ վ Ȣġ ý , ¢ 츢 ý򨾸 ¡. ýžɸ ¡ ڸ. ¡ ¡ ŻǢŢ ǦáǢ Ţâ ! ýžɸ ɢ Ȣ , , Ƣ ġ Ȣ .

 

10.

 

n_duvilaak kaalan van_tu n_Nukumpootu aRiyavoNNaa

aduvana anjcupuutam avaitamakku aaRRalaakeen

paduvan palavuG kuRRam paaGkilaa manitar vaazkkai

keduvatu ippiRavi ciicii kiLaroLic cadaiyinaanee

 

Meaning:

 

While living as embodied with a physical frame, death comes unknown to me and where there is a battle among the five basic physical elements leaving me totally helpless to avoid the pains and sufferings. O Lord who spreads out metaphysical illuminations throughout the universe for all creatures to get illuminated by dancing with brilliant flowing hair! I understand now this human life is not only full of evils of all kinds but also that which gets destroyed and hence despicable (as it is impermanent)

 

 

Comments:

 

In this last verse of this remarkable Patikam, Appar talks as a man who is experiencing the impending DEATH and the impact it has on his metaphysical thinking. For the non-metaphysical earthly person, death does not exist and even experienced as such among friends relatives and so forth, the metaphysical thinking about DEATH is avoided by various tricks of mind. However for the philosophically inclined the inevitability of death and physical pains and sufferings they occasion, it constitutes an event they CANNOT refuse to contemplate and understanding, no matter how painful it can be.

 

It is by NOT avoiding the phenomena of DEATH that Saivism has recognized the fundamental processes in nature - destruction and regeneration - as the processes that remain INVARIANT among all those which come stay and depart. The phenomenal world is one of Historical flux, where one emerges only at the death of another and which surely dies when the times comes giving birth to another at its own death.

 

An embodied life is a life of this Historical Flux where the very embodiment shows the soul being caught by this gigantic machinery of assuming a physical frame and then losing it at the point of death only to assume another in its resurrection or existential repetition.

 

Thus embodiment and the inevitable DEATH that comes along with it show that embodied soul is full of defects or evils (kuRRam) and all because of the Mummalam. No soul that assumes a physical body can be PURE for if already pure, embodied existence becomes irrelevant.

 

This realization along with the helplessness that accompanies the sufferings of death, drives Appar to view this human existence itself in utter disgust (ciicii) something contemptible and hence something not to be desired. Thus one should pray for and seek out a bodiless way of Being-in-the-World, not caught by the gigantic machinery of historical flux and perhaps simply existing as mantra-complex (mantirat tirumeeni) Pure and Fully Illuminated so that the need to become embodied again does NOT arise

 

 

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