The Icon-Thinking of Punitavati-41-50





41.The Icon Indeterminacy of BEING 42. The Conflict between Sakti and Siva 43. BEING as the Beggar ( Piccaatana Muurti) 44. Only BEING is the Real Leader ( and NOT the Acaryas and Gurus) 45. Seeing BEING is the Essence of Religious Life 46. Siva Consciousness and Its Curing Capabilities 47. Understanding with Love is the only to Way towards liberation 48. Punitavati and Freud 49. Deaths, DEATH and Supreme Bliss 50. Dance and Music in Metaphysical Life




41.The Icon Indeterminacy of BEING


The icon thinking promotes undivided LOVE and hence fervent devotion unto a particular icon or a family of icons and because of which there comes to prevail a cultic identity - Saiva VaishNava Sakta and so forth. But the following very interesting verse discloses that there are processes within icon thinking that dissolve such identities making the understanding reach a horizon ABOVE such a plane of existence, towards a bakti of higher sort.


This appears to be the function of what can be called mixed icons, the icons where you find Siva VishNu and Sakti together merged into a meaningful mosaic of a sort. The mind that was tuned in ardent devotion only to Siva or only to VishNu or only to Mother gets baffled at witnessing such mixed icons and which certainly are NOT the creations of the human mind. Having taken the anma into a pilgrimage of the celestial world where only a certain unified range of icons were presented, now we have a situation where there is mix of icons that throws the soul out of gear forcing it to think afresh about the meanings.


Punitavati here is baffled - the BLUE VishNu and also the Woman, Uma and who is also Dark or Blue cover the Golden or Red Siva icon. The red and fiery Siva is submerged in the Blue and she is bewildered. But then she locates in the Lighting Flashes the emerge as if from the dark clouds and in which she begins to recognize that BEING is neither the icons of Siva, VishNu or even Sakti but something ABOVE all and just a Pure Radiance!


And with the birth of this understanding is also born a genuine universality of the mind!


More below.





ĸ ɡ

ǡ ȡ -

ɢ â 𧼡



(- .Ţ.)


() â 𧼡. ħ Ţ էš ۨ . š




Ǣ , ĸ ȡ 츢 ¡ Ǣ ĺɡ , ǢȢ ¡ ڸ §! ? էǢ ŧ ?




orupaal ulakaLanta maalavanaam maRRai

orupaal umaiyavaLaam enRaal - irupaalum

ninnuruvamaaka niRanteriya maddoomaal

ninnuruvam minnuruvoo neerntu.




O BEING who discloses Yourself in so many archetypal forms! When you disclose yourself in a complex figure in which one half is Vishnu who measured the whole world and the other half is the Umai, the Woman and both in Blue, you are lost in these figures and I fail to distinguish you as different from these two. Tell me, is your true form that of the lightning that flashes between the dark clouds?




The metaphysical life such as that of Punitavati is one of DIRECT experiencing the deeper reaches of the metaphysical horizons taken there NOT by books scriptures the words of gurus and so forth but by BEING Himself. Having graduated from all these lower levels through the dint of her tapas, she is taken to the genuine Pilgrimage by BEING Himself where He teaches her through various devices in which presenting Himself in some archetypal forms and make her contemplate on the MEANINGS encrypted into those dumb images and understand them. We have seen how she has contemplated and succeeded in wresting out many metaphysical truths through such efforts.


So far the matter was clear: the archetypes were those of Siva and hence a kind of unity despite differences. However now emerges a situation where various cultic dichotomies and differentiations BREAK down. Siva discloses as Tirumaal, or VishNu and at the same the Woman and both in BLUE as opposed to His natural Red or Golden. Thus the cultic mind is made to be confused and bewildered with respect to the identity that has been promoted so far: the distinctions of Saiva VaishNava Sakta and so forth BREAK DOWN when BEING discloses Himself as all these and also a SURPLUS.


While at the lower levels strong emotional ties to certain archetypal forms may be promoted but as one progresses in the metaphysical journey, there comes a point where such singular and definite archetypal forms are made MERGE and thereby confuse the identities by way of FREEING the mind from cultic possession by the archetypes. At such levels of metaphysical reaches, the person is NOT anymore a Saiva a VaishNava or Sakta or whatever. All such identity-conferring archetypes merge into each other making all these emotionally powerful cultic identities rather ridiculous.


It is also shown at the same time that BEING is forever a SURPLUS, the ONE who cannot be given definite form and function and thus made a determinate entity. Each time the mind conceives of Him as such and such and is very sure about it, there emerges something that would shatter that confidence and thereby catapult the soul into a realm where BEING is contemplated in His Supreme Indeterminacy.



The Icon-Thinking of Punitavati-42


42. The Conflict between Sakti and Siva


It may be possible that at the beginning of civilization in distant and deep past it was BEING-as-Woman who promoted culture and hence the female deities playing a more important role than the male deities. This seems to be the case at least with the ancient Dravidians as evidenced by Sumerian literature where we find In-Anna Nina and so many other female deities for whom temples were built and worship offered. This continues to this day at least in the villages where the Amman is worsiped in so many different shapes. In Sumeria we have women, like En Hudu Anna leading the religious life as head priestess of the major temples and so forth. However in course of time the Male elements took over submerging the Female and disallowing their presence in religion under various kinds of excuses. Perhaps to this trend of thinking belongs the growth of Jainism and Buddhism in India with their emphasize on Logic which is Natam dominated and left hemispherical functions. To this we can asceticism being promoted as a virtue rather than a punishment by Kamatci Amman, who according to En Hudu Anna, can make the arrogant males impotent.


The Saivism of Bakti period saw not only the RECOVERY of the Female but against Saktaism that gave way totally to the Woman, the Mother, only a subservient presence to it. The mind must be allowed to be formed BOTH by Natam and Bindu with REASON promoting Natam dominating metaphysical thinking.


Punitavati, a woman herself, a brilliant one at that implies that the Moon on the head of Siva is destined to remain forever only the Crescent Moon and NOT the Full Moon because of the requirements of BEING Himself as such.


But this appears to be an ancient metaphysical insight, as old as that En Hudu Annas Sirbiyam (C. 22ooBC) for there she says:


14 an-ne me-si-ma nin ur-ra u-a

Endowed with me's by An lady mounted on a beast

¢ ׫

15. inim-ku-an-na-ta inim-du-du

Who makes decisions at the holy command of An

She as Durga who rides over the lion ( nin ur-ra u-a) is given powers by An Himself ( an-ne me-si-ma) and also effects or says whatever she has to ( inim- du-du) but only as commanded by An ( inim-ku-an-na-ta)


But is there a REASON for it all?


See below and please note that the terms Male and Female should be taken as Natam and Bindu and NOT the biological male and female . It is possible for a biological woman to be dominated by Natam and hence be psychologically a male.







ǧ 򾡧¡ --

Ţ 𼡧 ɡ

Ţ ?


(- .Ţ.)


- . Ţ - Ţ


§! ú ¡Χ Ӿá ¡ ý ? Ӿ Ч Ģɢ Ţž š ڸȡ? ¡ ¡ ŢŨ ú ¡ ¡ Ţ 򾡧¡? ġ ո ɡ Ũ¢ 𼡧? ¡ и ¡ ¡ ?




neerntu aravGkoLLc ciRukiRRoo nii atanai

iirntu aLavee koNdu icaiya vaittaayoo peerntu

vaLaG kuzacit taay vaLara maaddaathoo ennoo

iLaGkuzavit tiGkaL itu?





O Lord! Why is that the moon you wear on your tuft remains always a crescent moon? Is it because the snake of KundaliNi swallows it thinking that it is ambrosia? Or is it because you cut it to size and let it be there always only as partial? Does it mean that the Woman who generates all, is not allowed to grow into fullness and thereby overshadow you? What is signified by the fact that moon on your tuft remains always the crescent moon?




This verse as so many others in this immensely beautiful text in metaphysics shows the power of what can be called the icon-thinking as a central feature of metaphysical learning. Each icon such as Siva wearing a snake, a crescent moon, being blue-throated and so forth and which are contemplated here UNFOLD metaphysical truths that are contained within. This icon-thinking may be related to the wearing of talismans, the worship of totems and so forth so widespread in the ancient world. Such icons ENCRYPT deep metaphysical truths, which are to be gained as elements of conscious understanding by seeking out their meanings.


Punitavati has composed many verses on the meaning of the MOON and this is another one of them where the MOTHER, the creatrix of the Universe, the In-anna of the Sumerians, the Puvaneswary of present day Hinduism is identified as the MOON. Against this she is puzzled as why the moon worn by Siva remains always the crescent moon and never the Full Moon, which is the MOTHER as a whole.


Saivism is NOT Saktaism where Siva is made unimportant and useless, the Savam, the lifeless corpse over which the Woman as Kali dances joyously. This is NOT allowed is Saivism where while accommodating the Woman, She is made always subservient and under control and because of which the MOON, the symbol of the Woman is allowed to be only the partial crescent moon.


And there is a good reason for it. The Sun and Moon, the Siva Tatvas Natam and Bindu not only must coexist interpenetrating each other, but also be such that the Natam dominates over Bindu. The Natam stands for REASON, the presence of RATIONALITY and the Bindu for passions, the feelings or the non-rational. If the Bindu dominates and overshadows the Natam, then there will the dominance of FEELINGS, Passions and hence irrationality, the absence careful and meaningful thinking with the goal of seeking and enjoying TRUTH. A culture of blind emotions will come to prevail resulting in irrational approach to everything, a blindness in which the differences can be solved only by irrational conflicts and NOT with the application of REASON.


Siva the BEING, prevents such a turn of events by ensuring that the Moon remains always the crescent shaped disallowing it grow to become the Full.




The Icon-Thinking of Punitavati-43


43. BEING as the Beggar ( Piccaatana Muurti)


When we study the practical life of the Hindus, it is obvious that they are moved by icons and practice to various degrees of sophistication the Icon Thinking. Even the least educated villager deeply in love with Muniswarar, Ayyanaar and so forth are already practicing this Icon Thinking and enjoy spiritual satisfaction of a deep kind sometimes that even the so-called Acaryas with their erudition do not enjoy. There is more of natural and pure humanity among such simpletons who are actually more spiritual than the Acaryas and Atheenams, more bent on Will to Power the masses by various kinds gimmicks.


Punitavati in this interesting verse, analyzes the Icon of Piccatana Muurtti, BEING as Beggar, one of the strange icons in Saivism. Siva assumes the shape of a beggar to install CHARITY as part of metaphysical life and hence part of temple culture and religious life. There are various selfish motives installed by BEING in the bosom of man so that he would act, execute various kinds of praxis for unless actions are effected there is NO LEARNING at all. There is already the darkness of IGNORANCE in man and unless he acts and gains lumens, he cannot destroy that inner darkness. This is another meaning of the Beggar Icon of Siva - He makes people act and in that takes as the alms, the darkness of Ignorance in the bosom of the individuals.


But in this verse Punitavati is concerned only with such pedagogic games BEING plays using the Crescent Moon as his tool. What does He beg away with this game and why Punitavati feels the celestial beings may be of no help here?


Read below.




Ģ즸 â

- Ǣ

šɡ Ţ측 ¡ Ţ ħ



(-: . Ţ.)


Ģ: 


(: ĸ)


ؾ¡ ġ ̨ Ţ¡ , Ģ 𨸨 ¡ ̨ Ũ ġ â â , Ǣ š Ţ ¡ Ţ, ġ Ȣ¡ Ȣ , ɢ š žɨ Ţ ġ, !




tiGkaL itu cuudic cilpalikkenRu uur tiriyeel

eGkaL perumaanee enRu irantu -- poGkoLiya

vaanoor vilakkaareel yaam vilakka vallamee

taanee aRivaan tanakku




Even if the bright celestial beings do not pray and implore BEING that He should not go around the world seeking as alms the little sexual pleasures afforded by the Crescent Moon and with that put an end to this Play, to this BEING who knows everything on His Own, I would implore and I am capable of that.




One of the strange icons of Saivism is that of Piccaatana Muurtti, BEING as a beggar and as such promotes charity as part of religious life, a phenomenon quite common in all religions even if they do not have a metaphysical understanding of it. The human beings have to learn to give away, to donate to others what is valued by them and this by way of learning to CARE for other as well. When the mind ceases to be charitable even wearing all the garments of religions and with outward show of ritual proficiency, the person is NOT genuinely religious. Such individuals are the spiritually dead but who pass by as religious by the veedam only, the disguise only and thus cheating the public and credulous and cheating themselves in the course of it.


BEING promotes charity and religious institutions as charitable institutions by way of educating the individuals who normally live as the selfish all-solely -for-oneself-only as opposed to all-for-others-only. This dichotomy of Wholly- Forself-Itself and Wholly-For-Others constitutes part of the source of existential conflict that can create anxiety, depression and melancholy. And so forth. BEING comes down as the BEGGAR, to beg away the former selfishness and install the latter, the altruism. To give up all and be fully altruistic is a precondition to be with BEING and gain the heavens itself.


But Punitavati is NOT dealing with this general theme of this icon but rather the specific one pertaining to the GAME He plays using the Crescent Moon as His tool, the Tantiram or divine pedagogic strategy of a specific kind. The Play that she deplores and would tell BEING Himself to remove from the surface of the Earth is the pressure towards seeking sexual pleasures as the way for gaining the nectar, the Soma Juice that is afforded by the Crescent Moon, as it was noted also in Sumerian times as the gift of Nanna-Suen, the Moon God.


Having suffered immensely by the breakdown of family life, we can understand the enormous mental torture in being thrown into marriage and suffering the break down and all because of the pressures for sexual gratification the Crescent Moon implanted within her in the deeper layers of unconscious mind, generated.


Now she also knows that the ever bright celestial beings would not implore BEING for the removal of this torture for they are Pure and hence beyond sexuality and as such free also of the anguish the mere humans suffer because of it.






The Icon-Thinking of Punitavati-44


44. Only BEING is the Real Leader ( and NOT the Acaryas and Gurus)


The human mind is thick with metaphysical ignorance and all because of the presence of Malam that blinds the anmas so that visions are obstructed and what ought to be seen and enjoyed remains unseen. There is ignorance as long there remain things that are NOT WITNESSED and which shows the continuing presence of malam, the finitizing or atomizing aaNava Malam.


Now what is if this Malam is dislodged and the anma is freed of it and made PURE: will Moksa be granted immediately?


Punitavati observes that this may NOT be so in that also the fact that the attainment of Civanjanam is peculiar. Among the Praxis there is this Tirobavam, the casting a screen by BEING Himself and about Himself. BEING hides and plays the AS-IF Game so that the anmas will be egoistic and effect actions in terms I am doing this, out of my own will and in order to attain this etc. The ego functioning including god claims such as I am Brahman indeed are products of such ignorance, ignorance NOT because of Malam but because of the Tirotakam of BEING.


But why this Play?


There is desire among all to imitate God and BEING allows for this for with such imitations, there is LEARNING about higher god-like possibilities of oneself. This is the Sivokampaavanai of the Saivites, thinking and behaving AS-IF one is Siva so that in the course of such an existence the Siva qualities come to prevail. It is only at the end of such a learning that BEING slowly removes the Transcendental Concealment, the Tirotakam, the MaRaippu and as it progresses the anma learns that it is NOTHING if not for the blessings of BEING. With such realizations the ego-self becomes the pure-self and forgetful of itself remains the SAME as BEING as far as the understanding goes.




째 ɡ š

째 ǡš - 츢ɢ

á š ɢ

á šɡ á.




ɾ Ǣ ġ ոɡ, 򾢨 쨸 ɡ, ǢĢ 츨 ŢŢ ɢ áɡ, šۨ ɡ Ŧ, ĸ ɡ ȺȢ â ú â¡ ɡ ġ 째 ǡ ŧ š ȡ Ż ǡš á ţ ?




tanakee adiyanaay tan adaintu vaazum

enakkee aruLavaaRu en kol - mankkiniya

ciiraaLan kaGkai maNvaaLan cemmeenip

peeraaLan vaanoor piraan.




BEING-as-Siva is the One who blesses all with everything good and beautiful, remains the spouse of GaGka, the waters of life renewal, and the great One of Red Body who would singe to ashes all the bondages and free the souls enabling them enjoy Absolute Purity. Now why should such a BEING still conceal from me the liberating Civanjanam despite the fact I live taking not the kings or Acaryas as my leader but only Him, and continue living taking only Him as my sanctuary. I just dont understand it all.





We see here the emergence or reference to Tirotakam, the casting of a screen (Ta. tirai: screen), which is taken as one of the FIVE universal Praxis of BEING. BEING can present Himself (aruLal) or HIDE himself (Tirotakm, maRaittal) and in presenting Himself also cause there to be production sustenance and dissolution. These are the processes already in the universe and which are appropriated and made the actions of individuals by the egotism that comes along with metaphysical ignorance of all these. Only when the anma realizes that even the I-ness and My-ness it enjoys if because of the AS-IF Play of BEING, that it would be egoless and a Pure Self and at which point it would also enjoy the Moksa granting Civanjanam.


The ego-self kills its egotism and become the Pure egoless self only to the extend BEING removes the screen and discloses Himself to the anma. The egotism dies off only by the visions of BEING Himself and an understanding of His AS-IF Play. Now in this verse Punitavati, having understood all these, wonders why BEING does not grant her this possibility despite she taking only Him as her Leader and the real sanctuary.


In saying tanakee adiyanaay she brings out a very important point that runs through the whole of Bakti literature. The highest level of development in spirituality is living with only BEING as the Leader, the Guide, the Guru and so forth and having Him only as the sanctuary. Any individual less than this is NOT sufficiently ripe and hence still thick in metaphysical ignorance. Now the problem she raises is: How is that even when one lives as thus, BEING still conceals himself and despite being adorned with all the powers for life renewal, freeing the mind and so forth.


It is a MYSTERY and with which one has acquiesce oneself with the hope that one day BEING will see oneself as fit for such a disclosure




The Icon-Thinking of Punitavati-45


45. Seeing BEING is the Essence of Religious Life


One of the central differences between Hinduism and the religions of the books and even within Hinduism between the Agamic and Vedic, is the notion of Darsana, the SEEING of the gods and which are different ways one and SAME BEING shows Himself to people. The celestial beings are just as true as the hills and rivers, the trees and flowers only that normally our perceptual processes are such that such mantra bodies are NOT accessed and darsanas gained. As the Saivites put it, we live in Sivaratri, the night time of Siva, in the twilight zones where we have not yet developed our capacities for distant viewing, transductive perceptions.


The Temple is Mantra Body of a peculiar kind and in that it creates through the idols, Yantra diagrams Mantra music and so forth an ecological environment where the Third Eye is opened, at least an equivalent kind of experience is facilitated.


The kind of religious life that is organized to destroy this Inner Darkness, the Sivaratri is the genuine religious life, all else being psychopathological displacements, a mere mimicry but which are useless in themselves. A single visit to a temple with the appropriate mental conditions is spiritually more effective than thousand years of Vedic chanting or any thing similar to that.


This understanding of the essence of religious life constitutes the substance of Punitavatis understanding as expressed in the verse below and which is something that has been implicit as part of Agamism even during the Sumerian times.


Such a way of life is indestructible for even if the concrete temples are destroyed, one can build a magnificent temple in the MIND ITSELF and worship BEING in some shape or other installed there as was done by one of the Nayanmars.







á Ũ զȢ

á է - á Ũ

ȡ š ¢

ȡ Ǣ.




š쨸¢ Ţ Ȣ ѨŢġ â Ţ, Ũ Ţ Ǣ Ȣ զȢ , 즸ɢ ¡ է šظ 츢 ȡ , âŢħ ɢ, ! Ч š ¢ ȡ Ȣţ; ɧ զȢ š Ǣ !




Piraan vanai nookkum peruneRiyeep peeNip

Piraan avan tan peeraruLee veendip - piraan avanai

EGkuRRaan enpiirkaL enpoolvaar cintaiyinum

IGkuRRaan kaaNpaarkku eLitu!




I live a way of life in which witnessing BEING in whatever presentational form He chooses to show Himself as the Great Way and seeking during such moments only His Magnificent Grace and nothing else. Now when I live as such, if you ask me where is the BEING, what I can say except that BEING makes Himself present in the thoughts of people like me and which is easy for people who cherish this way of life!




History shows that Hinduism has survived and continue to survive mainly because of the institution of Temple worship that has continued to characterize Hinduism from very primitive times when the sacred was witnessed in the beauties and unusual phenomena of the natural where caves, springs, trees and so forth were worshipped. While this habit continues, great temples came into existence when the deities disclosed themselves for the mental eyes of some gifted individuals and great Temples were built as a way of retaining or regaining the visions of such deities. To witness the celestial beings and which are the different shapes of BEING, is the PRIMARY PURPOSE of metaphysical life and which became dislocated into studying various scriptures like Vedas, Bible, AlKoran, Talmud and so forth. Instead f taking these scriptures only a means to witnessing BEING directly and then discarding them afterwards, the religious people continue with idolatry of letters and imprisoning their mind from a free and meaningful exploration of the metaphysical realms. Those who cannot give up on the scriptures, disqualify themselves from a direct vision of BEING.


Punitavati is very clear - the religious life that is organized as for witnessing BEING directly in whatever shape He chooses to show Himself is the PeruNeRi, the Great Way that she cherishes and because of which BEING out of His Grace locates Himself in the mind of Punitavati and thereby becoming easy to SEE BEING for her and people like her.


The temple worship is that which concretizes this PeruNeri, a great tradition that OPENS spiritual experiences to ALL individuals where conditions of birth, attainments in scholarship, material wealth, political power and so forth are completely irrelevant. BEING locates Himself in the mind of all provided they are PURE and show genuine Bakti unto BEING.


The temple-centered Agamic Hinduism has survived not because of Brahmanahs who kept alive the Vedas and Sivacariyas who kept the Agamas but because there was Temple building by ordinary people and often stimulated by BEING Himself. Hinduism is kept alive not by books but by BEING Himself and who stimulates Temple building as way in which ANYBODY can witness the gods and enjoy their blessings.





The Icon-Thinking of Punitavati-46


46. Siva Consciousness and Its Curing Capabilities


This verse of Punitavati may serve as an antidote to the dominance of Western Civilization and because of which prosperity is measured in terms of economic prosperity and hence gross national income and so forth. The thrust of Western Culture with its dominant materialism has led finally to Nihilism and hence to a deep kind of desperation and uncertainty. The protestant movements in Christianity have become imperialistic where over and above political colonialism; we have also religious colonialism and where every opportunity is taken to convert the Non Christians into the Christian fold as if thats the highest religious duty on earth.


This is a disease of the mind arising because of the displacement of real religious life from metaphysical excursions into believing certain dogmas or self imposed slavery into Biblical revelations.


It is a disease of the mind and all because of metaphysical ignorance, the dominance of Malam, the Dark Stuff and which according to Punitavati can be cured only by gaining the visions of some Siva archetypes and live a life of Icon thinking centering on these. The Siva Consciousness as founded by Icon Thinking centering on the Siva archetypes holds the medicine that would cure the soul of this malaise and by destroying the egotism thats the root cause of it all and at which point the immense poverty of the materialistic mind will also emerge.


But how the Siva archetypes can accomplish this?


Read below for an explanation of it.




Ǣ Ƹ ¡

Ǣ£ ȢŢģ - Ǣ ()


á š


(-, Ţ. )


Ǣ£ - ŧ, տ , Ũ. á- . () Ǣ


( - ĸ)


Ţ 츢, Ǣ տ ¡ Ģɢ 쾢 Ũ¢ ý Ũ, ǡ Ǣ á š Ǣ . ɡ 즸 즸 â Ũ ¡ ¿ šȣ! ɡ Ǣ ġ ǡ Ƹǡ šȣ !




eLiyatu ituvanRee eezaikaaL yaatum

aLiyiir ariviliir aa aa - oLikoL midaR(Ru)

entai araap puuNdu uzalum uL ninainta

vazum cintaiyaraay vaazum tiRam.




BEING who shows Himself as the Blue-throated and hence as One who can dissolve the whole universe in the Black Hole also shows Himself as the wearer of the Snake, the Power of KuNdalini that can violate the hold of this Darkness and because of which He functions like my father providing all the securities and comforts I need. But despite all these it is NOT easy to hold Him thus in the mental vision and lead a life of metaphysical thinking where Siva figures. It is only because you have NOT attained this that you are acquisitive selfish and miserly refusing to anything to any body. Actually this metaphysical ignorance makes you extremely poor and you better understand that.





The dawn of metaphysical illuminations is the precondition for the destruction of egotism that underlies acquisitiveness greed miserliness and so forth. Anyone without the wealth of metaphysical understanding is actually very poor for he is IGNORANT and not illuminated at all. The real wealth is the wisdom one acquires and that too by the dint of metaphysical illuminations one gains for it is that which saturates the mind and brings about the enjoyment of real joy.


This much we can understand and certainly a common theme in many religions - no religion advocates greed as a desirable quality to cherish and develop. But why should Punitavati bring in the Icons of Siva and specially the Blue-throated and the Wearer of Snake in connection with this?


There is metaphysical wisdom to be gained by the Icon Thinking centering on them, holding them not as idols in the temples but having them in the mental eyes as the archetypal manifestations of BEING.


BEING dissolving the whole universe and re-issuing it, is a cosmological understanding common to both Saivism and VaishNavism though they bring in different metaphors to describe it. Here the Dark Spot on the neck of Siva, of the golden or red complexion, stands for the Malam, the Black Hole that can swallow everything and thus cause the absence of the whole cosmos. Siva keeps this, also the most potent poison, another metaphor, safely on His throat to show that even this is under His control, that the Malam dos not have a power beyond that of BEING.


But how does He show positively this Power even to violate the Dark Stuff?


It is here that that He wears snakes become highly relevant. For the snake represents of the streaming out of ENERGY or Sakti from the cauldron of Power, the ParaSakti and which can violate and destroy the hold of the Dark stuff that works always for the ABSENCE rather than the presence of things!


Now against this Punitavati notes something psychologically very interesting. Men are greedy and acquisitive only because they are IGNORANT of this metaphysical truth; it is blindness with regard to such workings of BEING that makes men very egoistic and acquisitive and hence really poor, the eezai!



The Icon-Thinking of Punitavati-47


47. Understanding with Love is the only to Way towards liberation


The Tamil Saivism has many peculiarities that are of universal interest. One of them is the cultivation of Icon Thinking in which BEING is represented as Ardhanari, the Androgynous Reality where the Man and Woman are equally present. Though superficially it may indicate the accommodation in understanding the joint presence of both the feminine and the masculine in everything and which go back to the Siva Tatvas Natam and Bindu, they have also other meanings one of which is brought out by Punitavati, the brilliant women of outstanding metaphysical daring, in the following verse.



She virtually says that one has to build up ones own spiritual competency by ones own efforts to be competent to receive Moksa that can be granted only by BEING.


But how does one acquire this competency? By the study of Vedas, Al Koran, Bible and such other scriptures? By ardent prayers, worship, mantra recital and such other practices of rituals? By the practice of vegetarianism and such other vrathas or self-deprivation of pleasures of life?


May but the essence is that of developing the njaanak kaN, the eyes of metaphysical wisdom along with also the aruTkaN, the eyes of LOVE unto all and where even if there are glaring differences , they are NOT SEEN at all. The aruTkaN does allow the seeing of difference and hence alienness.


Moe below.




狀 žġ

¡ -



(- Ţ.)


- . - ǢԨ Ÿ Ԩ Ţ¡. - ȡ ¡ɢ ¡. ¡ - Ƣ¢ ھ



(- ĸ)


ﻡ Ǣ 狀! Ƹ Ţ Lai ɢ Ũ, Ӿ ġ Ƣ¢ ţΧ Ţ š¡? ȡ š.




tiRattaal mada wencee cenRu adaivatallaal

peRattanum aatiyoo peetaay - niRatta

irivadik aN eezaikku orupaakam iintaan

tiruvadik kaN ceerum tiru?




O my heart filled with ignorance! How can you think you can attain the feet of BEING who has given an equal half of Himself to Uma, of beautiful long and lashing eyes, unless you develop your metaphysical competence and make yourself fit for such a blessing? You cannot really.




Saivism and particularly Tamil Saivism distinguishes itself by looking at everything including the natural as events that are essentially pedagogical and because of which they are NOT prepared to negate the world as some kind of irreal thing that should be dispensed with and avoided. The physical is Maya tanu ViLakku as they say i.e. the physical as a whole is a kind of LIGHT in that it serves to illuminate the mind. The mind illuminated is the mind that has the right pakkuvam or readiness for enjoying Moksa. This is the essential point that Punitavati makes in this verse.


Now this may not be peculiar to Saivism for there are many Hindu traditions that emphasize Njaanam as an important ingredient of genuine spirituality and because of which there is considerable intellectual freedom as the fabric of Hindu way of life. She brings the meanings of the Ardhanari, the Androgynous Icon of Siva to bear upon the issue and add something to the general OPENNESS of the mind that Hinduism in general promotes.


The Woman Half stands for the GENERATIVE processes as well the esthetic that cultures the feelings, so notoriously difficult to culture and develop. And on top of that the Woman is described as the One with large (iru) beautiful and lashing (vadi) eyes and which is different from the Third of Eye of Siva that emits intense fire and singes to ashes everything in front. Certainly the eyes of Uma do not do that. But what is their function?


The eyes of BEING are also understood as aruTkaN, the eyes that are filled with AruL - Love and Grace. This eye, the Eye of Love and Grace belongs to Uma and also Siva but virtue of holding Uma as His equal half. Thus it is in a way more distant than the Third eye but nevertheless the eyes of Siva Himself.


And there is a connection between this and the human beings becoming ripe enough to be blessed with Moksa through developing the metaphysical competence.


BEING shows the aruTkaN through Uma as that which also must be acquired by the human beings in developing their spiritual competency. Developing the innate potentials and ascending towards higher kinds of personality involves not only acquiring a wide knowledge but also LOVE unto all, a LOVE that does not see any alienness among creatures. There must be, as Meykandar says, attuviti anbu, a love that installs a non-alienness with all and where even if there are differences, they are not harped upon but overlooked.





The Icon-Thinking of Punitavati-48


48. Punitavati and Freud


The following verse is quite interesting for it communicates some aspects of Depth Psychology with particular reference to Id and hence something quite similar to Freud. Of course she couches her understanding as part of Icon thinking and sees these notions in the symbols of the snake , the tusks of the swine and the Crescent Moon of Siva where the snake fails to notice a difference.


We should note that Bakti that centers on Icon Thinking is NOT simply singing bajans, being carried away by the rhythms into various kinds emotional states, chanting Vedic hymns with the appropriate intonation contours and enjoying a kind of transportation into a phonic world. The Bakti of Icon Thinking comes along Depth Psychological questions, where the spiritual struggles are towards gaining illuminations into the mystery of existence. It is simply NOT NuulaRivu, empty knowledge of sastras which can be a way of concealing real understanding by extensive quotations. The understanding that accompanies Icon Thinking is prompted by metaphysical questions that emerge in existential crises, from the very depths of the soul, such as that Punitavati faced when her family life was disrupted.


In the context of the personal quest of a profound kind where the intellectual accomplishments of the past are thrown off and new and meaningful insights into the mysteries surrounding existence are sought earnestly. And this is what is done here: She notes the snake looking at both the Crescent Moon and the tusks of the swine as if the same and which becomes the issue: Why his blindness of the snake? The insight she gets makes one UNDERSTAND the dynamics of Existence by unraveling aspects of psychodynamics and a new literature is born out of it and with so much insight meanings packed into it.


Thus it is not an accident that quite a number of Saivites or Siddhas have written texts that are comparable to the Depth Psychological traditions in the West, a comparative study of which will be worth undertaking. The meaningful questions in life are essentially Depth Psychological.





- տ

ȡ ȡ()

¡ Ȣġ á.


(- Ţ. )


- Ȣ¢ Ƹ ; - . ȡ - Ǣ¡. ¡ ġ; á - . á, ; 󾡸 è ; Ч â Ţ. ý á ¢. á, Ȣ Ч .




𨸨 Ŧ Ǣ Ǣ Ȣ ¡ . ɡ Ŧ Ũ , Ȣ¢ Ũ Ҹ . è , Ȣ¡¢ɡ , Ȣ¢ ġ ȡ .




tirumaarbil eenac cezumaruppaip paarkkum

perumaan piRaik kozuntai nookkum - orunaaL

itu matiyenRu onRaakat teeRaa(tu)

atu matiyon Rillaa araa.




The snake, that which is a symbol of sexual libido, does not have the ability to discriminate because of ignorance. Thus while seeing the Crescent Moon of Siva, it would also see the tuska of the swine as if no difference between them. When it sees the Crescent Moon it fails to see that is symbolic of something higher.




There are many Depth Psychological elements in the Icon Thinking of Punitavati where she struggles to see the different metaphysical significance of the Crescent Moon, the Snake and now the tusks of the swine that outwardly resemble the Crescent Moon.


The snake is quite obviously the Id, the sexual libido, something like that of Freud where it is BLIND lacking in any of the Ego functions. So it can be a symbol of lust and hence incapable of differentiating between even incest and the normal love-sex. The Id, in its blindness sees lust and love-sex as if the same, unable to differentiate and see that love-sex is higher and hence one should choose that instead of the bestial lust.


The swine stands here for filth and immoderate greediness. The Id that emerges here is without any culture and hence stands for animal lust.


The Crescent Moon, by contrast stands for Love-Sex and something that emerges with mutual consent. Since it is ultiamatel a blessing of BEING it is also tha gaining of amutu, the nectar of life renewal and rejuvenation. This is what ought to be desired by all but there are cases where this is not so and all because of swine-like character or personality trait.


This seems to the message of Punitavati in this verse, something that touches some aspects of Freudian Psychology




The Icon-Thinking of Punitavati-49


49. Deaths, DEATH and Supreme Bliss


Saivism, more than any other religion of the world, has analyzed to great depths the fundamental processes of life - that of DEATH and Life Renewal which come together. All creatures are born only to die when the time comes. Though the exact moment of death may be unpredictable most of the time, but everybody knows that it will come sooner or later, bringing about not partial deprivations but total deprivation of existence itself. But as TiruvaLLuvar has noted such deaths where the phenomenal presence of self is NOT deprived but only the existential presence, can reoccur for rebirths are not possible but will certainly take place. Existential death is like going to sleep, and enjoying a rebirth is like waking up.


For the whole evolutionary mechanisms as work in the cosmos are already directed towards taking the selves into Mukti and which is the DEATH of the phenomenal presence itself, the very condition of assuming countless number of births and deaths.


While existential deaths can be countless in number, the phenomenal death, that which provides Moksa can be only one!


In this verse Punitavati draws out this distinction already implicit in the world processes themselves.


BEING manages the cosmos with His dance where His long golden hair flows out majestically and in which the soft rays of light radiating from the Crescent Moon mingle with it as if silver streaks.


The Moon, as we already know, is Bindu and the Crescent Moon Siva wears is carved out of it and curved so that remains submissive. Thus while the KuNdalini coming from the Moon provides the sexual and related pleasures and which makes living desirable, the Golden Hair of Siva gives the Bliss of Final Redemption, that of Moksa.


Thus there is an interesting Play in the world processes: one kind seeks to install the desires for the celebration of life and another that slowly causes a cessation of it so that PiRappu ARuttal, severing of all propensities for existential repetition is promoted. While the former belongs to the Moon of silver rays the latter to the golden rays of Sun, the flowing hair of Siva.




áŢ Ũ Ţ

Ţá Ţ⧚ - Ţá׾ġ

ɡ Ǣ â â ħ



(-: Ţ.)



áŢ Ũ - áŢ ŨǾ. Ţá -- . Ţá׾ġ - ġ. â â - â. ɡ -- ۨ. ¡ ɡ Ǣ â â ħ.



( ĸ)


! è ǧš Ũ š Ŧ ú , 񸾢 Ţâ ġ, ¡ ġ ɡ Ŧ Ţâ ¢ Ǣ Ƨ ڸ !




araavi vaLaittaanaiya agkuzavit tinGkaL

viraavu katir viriyavoodi - viraavutalaaR

ponnoodu veLLip puri pirintaaR poolavee

tannoodee oppaan sadai!




BEING wears on his hair the Crescent Moon that appears as if sawn off from the full moon and bent into a curve. Now the soft rays of light that radiates out from this Crescent Moon spreads out and expands into the flowing hair of Siva and gives the impression that there are also silver streaks along with golden ones there!




Having compared the Crescent Moon in various ways with snake and so forth and thereby brought out the hidden and concealed metaphysical meanings of these symbolic elements in the ICON of Siva, now Punitavatis attention shifts to the dazzling hair that flies in all directions, golden in color as Siva dances the Dance of Bliss.


Among the various icons of Hinduism, the long hair has been associated with Siva more than any other icon and this perhaps from the Sumerian times itself. The Kes Temple hymn of En Hudu Anna may actually be a hymn for Siva where He is known as Keeci(< kes?), the One with long and flamboyant hair more popularly known as Sadaiyan, also meaning the same.


Now we also know that to be with shaven head, as among the Buddhists and others, is to be DESIRELESS and hence ascetic. The hair is a symbol of sexuality and the Hindu habit of shaving off the head of widows is probably forcing them to be celibacy and practice austerity and penances at the absence of the wedded husband on the assumption that in a certain life span a woman cannot remarry.


Against this Siva dancing away in frenzy with His hair flying flamboyantly across the whole of space can only mean the celebration of LIFE and NOT the suffocation of it. Siva dances the mad dance swirling all around with His long hair reaching every corner of the world so that all creatures have the WILL to LIVE and hence have the spirit to fight against death, struggle continuously to SURVIVE.


Thus the meaning of this mad dance and flowing hair is actually installing the zest for living, struggle against all odds to survive and procreate itself so that there is species generation. Every species of living creatures seek to regenerate itself, multiply itself and which fact is related to the enjoyment of SEXUAL pleasures. Once this basic instinctual desire is killed, the person loses every interest procreation and hence also in living. Thus celibacy with abstinence from sexual pleasures is actually being dead while alive and this appears to be the condition imposed upon the widows and the ascetics.


Such a way of life, it would appear, is NOT part of True Saivism, at least from the point of Punitavati here. The long and madly flowing hair of Siva as He dances in the world i.e. manages it, is golden, meaning that which brings joys of a profound kind, the Civanantam. Siva Himself as the golden-bodied is BLISS itself, Cat-cit-anantam, as they say and as He dances away effortlessly and untiringly.


But where does He get the energy for it all?


He carves out from the Full Moon, the ParaSakti and in the shape of the Crescent Moon, keeps always on His hair, pinned up as an ornament. But Punitavati sees that the energizing soft rays spread out and permeates even the golden giving the impression that hair also has silver streaks along with the golden!


The Crescent Moon is the Amutu, the nectar of life-rejuvenation, that which underlies the presence of sexual desires in the first place as the primordial impulse of species regeneration.


Thus Punitavati accepts, though she herself was deprived of this life of species regeneration, as a fact of life just as divine as any other.


It is this view of sexuality that has made the Saivites look at it just as divine as any other and enjoy it without any feelings of guilt. Ultimately it is also overcome but only at the point of attaining Moksa and enjoying Sivanatam!



The Icon-Thinking of Punitavati-50


50. Dance and Music in Metaphysical Life


Saivism has learnt its lessons especially from Buddhism and Jainism that emphasized asceticism and made it the central feature of religious life. These religions are noted for abstinence from all enjoyments including the sexual. These religions never promoted music and dance and which was one of the reasons for their downfall in Tamil Nadu. They created a vacuum in the spiritual life of the Tamils by the exclusion of these fine arts as part of religious life and which vacuum was filled by Nayanmars and Alwars with their hymns which were SUNG to the accompaniment of instrumental music and with appropriate PaN or Ragas. Thus was recovered Tamil Music, quite vibrant during the CaGkam epoch but which declined during post CaGkam period because of ascendance of Jainism and Buddhism.


There is a reason why Jainism and Buddhism discouraged these arts. For certainly ultimately they are sexual and perhaps are related to sex rituals available even among animals. The male cockerel has to do an impressive dance before it succeeds in mating with a female. This applies even to human beings where it is sexual interest that underlies the production of mundane poetry and boisterous songs and dances. However it is also a fact that there are higher kinds of fine arts that are more spiritual than sexual and would serve to UPLIFT the soul into great mystical heights by a collective impact of tones cadences rhythms and meanings. Thus the Nayanmars and Azwars sang this kind spiritualizing hymns and thereby reinstalled Saivism and VaishNavism but of course with new philosophical depths.


This tradition still survives with the Saivites still retaining the original Ragas but with the VaishNavites losing it and adapting it to the recitations that are closer to the Vedas than to Tamil Isai.


But what is the metaphysics of it all? In what way can we understand the presence of such esthetic arts as parts of religious life?


Punitavati sees this as belonging to the contributions of Uma, the World Mother and also the Other Half of Siva.


Read below for a description of it.






ҨŢ ɧ - ʧ



(- , Ţ.)


- . -¡. - ¢. Ҩ - ո. ɢ ..


( : ĸ)


Ŧ ¡ ¡, ĸ¡ â¡ ǡ. ¢ 츾, Ƹ ǡ. ¢ ¢ ǡ ɢ Ţâ ڸ !




cadaimeelak konRai tarukanikaL poontu

pudaimeevi taazntanavee poolum - mudimeel

valappaalak koola mati vaittaan paGkin

kulappaavai niilak kuzal!




BEING (Siva) has as His equal half the Great Woman, the World Mother. And on the right of His hair He also has fixed the Crescent Moon. Thus it appears to me that it is Her curly and black hair that appears as the KonRai flowers and the fruits of the eternally productive Tree that overflow both His sides.




Saivism remains perhaps the only religion that has accommodated itself to the undeniable fact REALITY is both Man and Woman, that Natam and Bindu penetrate each other and in myriads of combinations and permutations produce the Cosmos and everything in it. And in this the Woman has Her Own distinctive contributions to make and we should take account of it all without denying this equal half of the world.


The fruits and flowers pertain to TASTE and are symbolic of the esthetical that is also equally available in the world. There PLEASURES of all kinds not only associated with music dance and such other fine arts but also food, human relationships, sexual bliss and so forth and which living desirable. Death remains also a possibility but normally all living creatures struggle to survive only because there are PLEASURES to enjoy especially the sexual and family related.


These are the contributions of the Dark and Curly Hair of Uma and which is different from the Golden Hair of Siva that burns and purifies. Thus we see complimentary processes in nature: the Golden Hair of Siva activating the ascetic processes whereby the desires are burnt off and thereby the soul freed from the bondages, the Paacaas, that bind the soul to phenomenal existence. But over and above this burning and freeing, very painful, almost death-like, we have also the complimentary processes of whereby pleasant tastes and joys of all sorts are also provided. While the former are attributed to the Natam dominated Siva, the latter to Bindu dominated Uma.


Thus together they manage the world, with Siva burning and purifying and with Uma cooling pacifying and binding with making available all kinds of joys. While the jest for living comes from the Dark Hair of Uma, the desire to give up and become FREE comes from the Golden Hair of Siva.