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Tirumular on SivaliGam  ( The Seventh Tantra:1704-1711)

Ģ Ȣ

Dear Friends

 

Perhaps one of the most misunderstood notions in Hinduism is that of the meaning of Sivalingam, a central and very ancient symbol of Saivism. While it is true that it is a symbol of regenerative processes and hence in a way a union of Phallus and Yoni, but that is not all to it. The biological is just one of the meanings. The notion of Sivalingam goes well beyond this and the Saivites see it as a symbol of the whole of the destructive-regenerative processes in the whole of nature, both physical and metaphysical.

 

The most extensive and perhaps the most ancient (c. 6th cent.) scientific accounts of this notion are available in the first chapter of the Seventh Tantra of Tirumantiram and runs into about 73 verses. In this series I hope to give the original Tamil along with translations into English accompanied with meanings and elucidative commentaries. I shall at first give only the verses and break into essays when substance covered demands it.

 

It must be noted that SivaliGkam is NOT peculiarly Saivite or even Hindu. It is a universal structure available in all human beings. In the Baum Test of Agamic Psychology, one of the Access tests, the presence of this structure at the depths of human mind has been unearthed among different cultural groups differing in ethnicity language and religion. Thus it is psychological universal of immense significance for all those who are interested in understanding the dynamics of the human mind. 

I am using the text published by Ji. Varatharasan, modifying his elucidations when necessary.

 

Loga

 

 

 

Tirumantiram, The Seventh Tantra, , ơ

 

The Six Atara Cakras ȡ

 

1

 

1704

 

á

Ģ Ȣ ɡ

Ӿ

 

:

 

Ǣ, Ӿġ è ; š Ȣ è ; ø 򾢾 è ; ɢ è . ɢ Ȣ ɡڨ¾ ġ Ţ . Ȣ ġ Ţ Ȣ Ǣ, 컡 â . Ц ġ Ţ ǡ Ȣ 쾢 Ȣ, ǡ 򾢸ǡ Ţ Ţ¡츢 츢 ׽Ţ Ţ տ § ¡.

 

1704

 

naalum irumuunRum iiraintum iiraaRum

koolimeel ninRa kuRikaL patinaaRum

muulam kaNdu aaGkee mudintu mutal irandum

kaalaG kaNddan adi kaanalumaamee

 

Meaning:

 

Among the Atara Cakras (that constitute the essence of existence and which are there in the world as well as in the psychic interior) the first, the muulaataaram, has the four-petalled Lotus as its foundation, the second, the Suvaatistaanam the six-petalled Lotus; the third, MaNipuurakam, the ten-petalled Lotus and the fourth Anakatam has the twelve-petalled Lotus. Next comes Vicukti that has 16 symbolic elements (kuRikaL) over a globular structure. When one seeks and understands the fundamental principles of the genesis and evolution of these Cakras, then one enters the sixth Cakra, that of Aknja. And when the understanding goes further and locates the Siva tatvas Natam and Bindu and BEING as Civa and Sakti while in union with them and how it is only because of the DANCE of this TWO that there are eight fold Buddhies and Siddhies that install TEMPORALITY in the mind, that we really succeed seeing the DANCE of BEING. This direct vision of the Dance, the Divine Feet, must the goal of our metaphysical efforts.

 

 

Tirumantiram, The Seventh Tantra, , ơ

 

The Six Atara Cakras ȡ

 

2

 

1705

 

á

á

Ţ ɢ

¡

 

:

 

Ǣ ⸠12 ʸ ¾¢ ŢŢ Ǣ 16 ʸ ¾ . Ȧġ ʫŢ , ¡ ȢŢ ɢġ ¡ á Ȣ Ǣš. ɧ , ɡŢġ Ƣ Ũ¢ Ţ Ţ , 즸ġ Ż 츢¡ Ƣ¡ ȡ ȯ Ȣ.

 

: ǢŢ ¡ .

: + : Ǣ: . 

: + : .

 

1705:

 

iiraaRu naatattil iireddaam antattil

meetaati naataanta miitaam paraasatti

pootaalayattu avikaaran taniR poota

meetaati yaataara miitaana uNmaiyee

 

Meaning:

 

While the SUN principle as an expression of the Siva Tatva, Natam, have 12 divisions, the MOON, the expression of Bindu, has 16 divisions. When one gains all these, enjoys the experiences and illuminations afforded by them and finally transcends them all, one can meet Parasakti as the Deep Structure and who stands as original ground of it all but only when one transcends every aspect of speech. When one pursues further, taking it as the temple of metaphysical illuminations, becoming free thereby of all mental distortions, one can also attain, theCivanjaanam the Absolute Understanding where only truths shine out. 

 

Comments:

 

The SivaliGkam is the union of the Siva Tatvas Natam and Bindu where the Pillar ( tuuN or SivataaNu) stands for Natam and the circular pedestal for Bindu. When the Natam penetrates into Bindu (like in sexual copulation) KundaliNi is released and which under the transformer Natam appears as the Sun and under Bindu as the MOON and which are elements of metaphysical experience. The Sun and moon structures emerge slowly in degrees, 12 for the sun and 16 or the moon and at each stage there are illuminations or gaining of insights into the mysteries surrounding existence. Such insights gained thus illuminate the mind and develop the understanding by driving the darkness of ignorance. The mental distortions are also removed and the understanding purified.

 

When during such times one seeks the Deep Structure of it all, and tears oneself away from all kinds of speech, in the deep silence that ensues, one can witness Parasakti, the Transcendent Pure Radiance which is behind every kind of metaphysical illumination one enjoys. This is the Temple of Metaphysical illuminations (pootalayam) that destroys every kind of mental distortions or pollutions of ordinary understanding. Perseverance in this Temple further purifies the soul and at the end of which one begins to enjoy Civanjaanam, the Absolute Understanding in which there is seeing and experiencingonly truth and nothing else.

 

 

Tirumantiram, The Seventh Tantra, , ơ

 

The Six Atara Cakras ȡ

 

1706

 

3

 

á

á

ȡ

 

:

 

Ũ Ȣ Ģ, ŢŢ â측 , Ţ¡θǡ, ž , ž á Ţ¡ 츨 áɡ Ũ, ȡ Ģ Ȣ ¨ġ ¡ š .

 

ǡ: šŢ, , , , , ȡ Ǩ ĢŢ ţâ š.

 

1706

 

meelenRuG kiiz enRu iraNdaRak kaaNunGkaal

taanenRum naanenRu tanmaikaL ooraaRum

paareGkum aakip paranta paraaparan

kaar onRu kaRpakamaaki ninRaanee

 

Meaning:

 

If one sees the six Atara Cakras and the SivaliGkam that establishes them all, without separating and isolating the top pillar of Natam and the bottom pedestal of Bindu, then one can witness how the transcendental BEING spread across the whole world and gives rise to the ego sense of “I” and “mine” and the six Siva-qualities to the anmas. BEING would also appear as the Tree with the dark rain clouds that bestows untiringly whatever is desired.

 

Comments:

 

Perhaps Tirumular is describing here a technique for ascending further and enter what is called the Sahasra Talam, the metaphysical realms of Thousand Petals. For this what is required is the seeing of BOTH Natam and Bindu and as always together and everywhere. The Father of Natam and Mother of Bindu must be seen as always together and hence not avoiding or despising one in favor of another.

 

Once o person succeeds in the unitary vision of Siva and Sakti together and everywhere, BEING as Ammaiyappar, the Androgynous Reality, then one can succeed entering the Realms of Thousand Petals and there enjoy Boundless KuNdalini, the Power that regenerates youthful vitality and virility along with all the divine qualities that would ensure undiminishing joy.

 

 

Tirumantiram, The Seventh Tantra, , ơ

 

The Six Atara Cakras ȡ

 

4

 

1707

 

¡ 򾢸

ġ Ţ񦽡Ǣ

ý

ý 츧

 

:

 

Ţ ҽ¡ Ģ 쨻 š ǢŢ и Ȣ Ǣ, ĸ š쨸¢ ţ Ө ʸǢĢ Ȣ տ¢Ģ . Ц Š Ѩ Ţ , Ţ ¡ Ţ ǢŢ 16 ʸǢ , Ţ áǢ Ţ á â . Ż , Ȣ ȡ ͸ý Ţ Ż Ǣ Ÿý ý š Ƣ š , úŧɡ š ¡.

 

Ţ:

 

> Ţ> Ţ , ž> : . : ǢŢ Ţ .

: Ţ.ŧ ƢӨ ȡ Ȣ տ . : ǢĢ, ǢĢ Ţ .

 

 

1707

 

aataara cootanaiyaal naadi cuttikaL

meetaati iireN kalaantattu viNNoLi

pootaalayattup pulan karaNam punti

saataaranaG keddaan taan sakamaarkkamee

 

Meaning:

 

The SivaliGkam, which is the union of Natam and Bindu, generates the six Atara Cakras beginning with muulaataaram and ending with Aknja. When one examines and understands how they in fact configure the various instinctual pressures and hence the motivational dynamics, then one can attain being free of the Four Nadies - the Idakalai, Pingkalai, Suzimunai and Guru Nadi which is the deep structure of all these. In the course of such reflections the Bindu emerging as the Moon within will afford metaphysical illuminations in 16 degrees. At the end of this way of learning there will be the Vision of Parasakti as the pure heavenly Radiance. When the anma immerses in this field of Pure Light and loses the normal senses cognitive utensils and thoughts and acquire utensils and so forth designed to enjoy Civanjaanam, then the anma succeeds in leading a way of life which is Being-along- with-BEING (saka maarkkam)

 

Comments:

 

Metaphysical life is not only experiencing the various realms beyond the physical but also UNDERSTANDING how the elements there configure the ordinary life. These elements and dynamics remain the MYSTERY of existence, that which remain the Unconscious most of the time and hence something there but incomprehensible. The ordinary mind dismisses them as MYSTICAL thus depriving itself an opportunity for gaining a deeper understanding of self itself.

Tirumular maintains that one can free oneself from the ordinary and worldly passions only by reflectingly appropriating an UNDERSTADING of how one’s own psychodynamics are configured by SivaliGkam that establishes the Six Atara Cakras for this purpose. In the course of such a life metaphysical reflections, the Bindu within in the form of the MOON, the WOMAN, slowly unfolds the mysteries in 16 degrees and at the end of which there is the darsana of Parasakti as Pure Divine Radiance. When one maintains oneself firmly in the vision of this Pure Light, then oneis freed of the ordinary senses and mind of an ordinary person and bestowed in their place with those that would constitute a Sivanjani, one desirous of understanding Civanjaanam and nothing else. This way of life is also a life is sakamaarkkam, Being-along-with-BEING.

 

Tirumantiram, The Seventh Tantra, , ơ

 

The Six Atara Cakras ȡ

 

5

 

1708

 

¡ Ţ

§

 

:

 

ȢŢ Ȣš ĸ Ģ ¡ , ͼ Ǣ Ũ¢ â Ģɢ 쾢 , Ȣ Ҹ ȢŢ Ȣš šǡ Ȣ , ţâ ȡŨĢɢ Ц , Ƣ ġ 򾢸 Ţ Ţ¡ .

 

1708

meetaatiyaalee vidaatu Om enat tuuNdi

aataara cootanai attuva cootanai

taatu ataaramaakavee taan ezac ceytaal

aataaranj cey pookamaavatu kaayamee

 

Meaning:

 

Establishing firmly the various processes that afford clarities in understanding, one must recite the Mantra Om to further activate the KundaliNi and its flow into the psychic interiority. With eliciting psychic Energy thus, one must examine the six Atara Cakras and the various channels of cognition (attuvas: mantra, mantra-complexes, the intonations, the existential worlds, the realities and the various stages or degrees in which illuminations are attained) continuously eliciting the Libido and transforming it into various kinds of higher energies, the Gnostic and so forth. Once one succeeds in doing this then the ordinary body becomes the instrument for the enjoyment of all the Siddhies that the Atara Cakras bestow upon the anma.

 

Comments:

 

Tirumular is at pains to point out that a life of excursions into metaphysical realms and understanding how the various elements there work to illuminate the mind require tremendous psychic energy elicited at the lowest level as the sexual libido, the union of male and female. This energy is the Taatu, that which also goes into the species regeneration. While at the lower levels this may be so, at higher levels it becomes transmuted to the Gnostic and such other forms of energy that go into the various kinds of illuminations of the mind that bring about clarities in metaphysical understanding.

This union of Male and Female may also take place in the celestial word as marriages between male and female deities, a matter that is celebrated in marriage rituals, the hiero-gamos of various kinds, a practice that has been with Hinduism even from the Sumerian times.

 

However when the self frees itself from the phenomenal worldand enters fully the Pure World of the Mantras, the recitation of Om becomes the technique for eliciting the continuous flow of KundaliNi, the Coiled Power. The Om as A-U-M is the union(ma-kaaram) of u-kaaram, the Root Female and a-kaaram, the Root Male and hence the continuous repetition of it ensures the continuous flow of KundaliNi and also the maintenance of the body in youthful vitality, virile even in old age.

More details are made available in the next sutra.

 

Tirumantiram, The Seventh Tantra, , ơ

 

The Six Atara Cakras ȡ

 

6

 

1709

 

ɢ

Ȣ Ȣ

Ȣ

Ȣ 򾡧

 

:

 

¨ â š ׼, ġ 쨻 Ũ Ƣ¡ š. Ҹ Ţ Ц, ڬ Ţâ ǡ Ȣǧ.Ц š̸ , 츢 ç ġ.

 

1709

 

aaRu antamuG kuudi aakum udampinil

kuuRiya aataara maRRuG kuRikoLmin

aaRiya vakkaram aimpatin meelee

uuRiya aataarattu oor ezuttaamee

 

meaning:

 

This physical body (that we enjoy as our own) is in fact generated in such a way that the Six Ataara Cakkaras, from Mulatara to Aknja, are already there. In order to understand properly the dynamics and essence of self, we should also seek to understand these cakras as well as all those that come along with them.These Cakras that establish the WAY for the selves, are in fact generated out of the fifty aksaras and the Om, the Mantra of a single aksara, that remains the originating ground of all these.

 

Comments: 

 

With this verse Tirumular begins an account of the Genesis of the human body where he notes that, in addition to being physical with bones flesh nerves and so forth, there is also SPIRITUAL. The spiritual dimensions are already there as the essence of the living human body for right at the point of inception, the Six Ataara Cakras along with the deities that regulate them are already installed, a matter that has been investigated in greater depths by the later Siddhas of Tamil country. Thus it is NOT just the genetic factors that determine the physical characteristics of the body generated but also the spiritual elements and which are present in the form akkara-cakras, mantra complexes and the deities that ordain them.

In the formation and genesis of the embryo, these cakras and deities come to prevail in stages and only because of which the person who comes into the world as human being, comes also with such spiritual essences as speech culture religion and so forth. Thus it becomes imperative that in seeking to understand self in a nonreductionistic way, one should also seek to understand how the mental functioning is ordained by the mantra-complexes.

By way of explaining the origins of theses mantra complexes that are generated from the basic 50 aksaras, Tirumular also notes that these have as their Deep Structure or Ground, the Logos Om, the primordial single aksara where BEING is also present in His most authentic form.

 

Tirumantiram, The Seventh Tantra, , ơ

 

The Six Atara Cakras ȡ

 

7

 

1710

 

Ƣ ׼

šھ

 

 

:

 

úǡ ¸ âæǡ 츢 ǡ ž ¢ šâ¾ Ţ ׼.¢ Ƣ ¢ ¢ ׼ ý Ţ Ƣ¡ . šȡ Ҹ š Өȧ ¢ ɢ š ڸ и Ţâ Ǣ, 򾡸 ǡ Ţâ, 򾡧ȡ Ь Ȣ ׸ Ǽ츢 ȡ θ Ǣš.

 

1710

 

aakum udambum azikinRa avvudal

pookum uambum poruntiyavaaRutaan

aakiya vakkaram aimpatu tattuvam

aakum udambukkum aaRanta maamee

 

Meaning:

 

The body that becomes that which is lived by an anma, is generated from the physical (asutta maayai) and spiritual (cutta maayai) substances with the help of the mantras and by the deities that are there along with the mantra-complexes. Of these while the physical body suffers death and decay, the spiritual body survives death and remains there indestructible. Only when we seek to understand how these two different kinds of bodies come to co-exist in a well co-ordinated manner, we can see how the primordial LogosOM became differentiated into the 50 aksaras and how in union with the tatvas, the real substances, this body is generated in such a way that the six Ataara Cakras are already there along with the competency to transcend them.

 

Comments:

 

This verse is related to above where Tirumular is seeking understand the genesis of the living body where we have both the physical and spiritual functioning in good co-ordination. The living human being (and also all the living creatures) being generated out of both the physical and spiritual substances, have an inherent DUALITY, the mental and physical functioning in good co-ordination. The good co-ordination we see between the mental and physical is due to the fact that the spiritual self contains within itself SCRIPTS of mantra-complexes that act and transform the physical and spiritual substances so that there is good co-ordination between the mental competencies and physical attributes of the biological body (except in some abnormal cases). Thus the soul with scripts of an elephant does not generate the body of a human being and so forth.

In this it is only the physical body that suffers death and decay but not the spiritual self, the soul that separates itself from the body at the point of death and survives (along with the prabta karma) till it is allowed to resurrect itself and enjoy another lease of life.

 

Tirumular also notes here that the scripts available in the spiritual self also establish the Six Atara Cakras within the mental horizons and hence inner ecological regions as already available. Thus the atara cakras are NOT inventions of the mind but rather recognition of what is already made available as differentiations of the Primordial SivalinGkam, the graphical version of A-U-M. The AUTHENTIC LIFE consists in living in accordance of these inner ecologies already given and TRANSCENDING them as well and which capacity is also equally available. 

 

Tirumantiram, The Seventh Tantra, , ơ

 

The Six Atara Cakras ȡ

 

8

 

1711

â

š ɡ

Ȣ š

Ȣš Ţ

 

:

 

¢ š ŢŢ Ǣ â š ȢŢ ո Ƹ Ǣ¢ ľ , ɡ ǡ Ţ 츢. Ǣ¢ Ѩ š, Ȣ ġ θ 츢 Ȣš, Ţ, ɡ š Ţ츢. ɢ Ȣ θ 츢 , Ǣ Ш¡, Ţ Ǣ ɢ Ũ 𦸡 Ţ .

 

Ţ: ġ

 

1711

 

aayu malarin aNimalar meelatu

vaaya itazum patinaaRum aGkulLa

tuuya aRivu civaanatam aakipooy

meeya aRivaay viLaintatu taanee

 

Meaning:

 

Above the Lotus form that the Bindu takes and which establishes the conditions for living as such for an anma, lies the Beautiful Flower that would afford the most beautiful experiences in the world.. It lies as Vicukti, the Cakra above the existential world of Anakatam and with a lotus of 16 petals. Any anma that succeeds in accessing this Cakra would begin to enjoy Pure Understanding and also Bliss Supreme arising from Pure Consciousness. This understanding would on its own accord transmute the ordinary understanding of the person making existence itself as conditioned by it.

 

Comments:

 

It has already been noted that it is the SivaliGkam, as the combination of the Siva Tatvas Natam and Bindu (as the LiGkam and Yoni) that worked by the mantras generate the Existential Worlds or Atara Cakras that found the existence itself, an anma assuming a body, cognitive and other utensils and appropriate ecological conditions for surviving and sojourning as a living creature in the world till death puts an end to it.

 

There is a teleology in the movement of understanding that examines these Cakras and appropriates how they in fact configure the UNDERSTANDIING itself. One can see that one is being pulled upwards by psychotropisms, the nadies, that exist because of the inherent pull BEING exerts on the anmas. As Meykandar has observed, BEING pulls all anmas unto itself like a magnet would pieces of iron nearby. While the universal processes may NOT be teleological but rather cyclic, the movement of understanding of creatures is eminently so, there is direction and an Upper Limit to this movement and development of understanding.

 

There are TWO qualities that become more visible as the higher realms are accessed. One is BEAUTY and other is PURITY and both become eminently available in the Cakra of Vicukti that lies above Anakatam, the Cakras of painful battles with the ugly and dirt within oneself. When the battle turns inwards and bestial within is noted and vanquished, the ugly within is eliminated , one gains the access into the Cakra of Vicukti where resides the 16 petalled Lotus that breeds esthetically the supreme and ethically the most pure. There takes place a transmutation of understanding itself as if by an alchemical process, llike copper changed into the brilliant gold, the ordinary understanding is transmuted into something very PURE and because of the Pure Consciousness that becomes available for experience now, also the enjoyment of Feelings of Undying and ever pleasing Bliss of Civanantam.

 

Also as if spontaneously this PURITY becomes also an integral part of the person so that such a person also becomes a PURE individual and always happy, free of the filth and dirt that are root causes of pains and miseries of all kinds. The individual who accesses the Vicukti, is not only pure as a person but also a happy one, always full of joy and happiness.

Now it should also be noted all these esthetical aspects, the feeling related aspects of personality development, are attributed to the different forms of Bindu, the way Sakti or the Woman contributes to configuring the shape and form of human existence.


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