¿õÁ¡úÅ¡÷ ¬òÁ ¯À§¾ºõ

The Spiritual Discourses of Nammaazvaar

Dear Friends, 

The genuine meaning of Saivism as expounded by the leading thinkers such as  Thirumular Appar and so forth and as philosopically established by the brilliant Meykandar is NOT a religion among the so many world religions but rather that which as the Deep Structure of all religions and hence something present in all religions. It has reached the bottom most level of metaphysics and hence articulates Metaphysica Universalis with its characteristic OPENESS  to the truths of all world religions and metaphysical thinking. The term ' meenmaik koL Caiva Niithi" in a way captures this very aptly. Caivism is niithi, a principle that is 'meenmaikoL" , that which accepts ALL goods things no matter what the historical origins are. It is a principle that keeps the mind forever OPEN and allows its reformulation continuosly and a hence that which regenerates itself when new insights demand it. 

It is against this background of genuine Saivism that now I venture to translate the first THREE patikams of Nammaazvaar, a metaphysical genious who has conquered even the hearts of many proud Brahmins and has served to create a new school of philosophy in India  that goes by the name of Srivaishanavism. But I am NOT sure whether the metaphysical insights of Nammazvaar have been truly captured by these Acariyas or theologicians and hence venture to provide my own commentaries with the presupposition that Nammazvar too articulates this universal Metaphysica Universalis albeit in a Vaishanava garb which may have some advantages of its own. 

I hope the Meykandars would cherish these translations just as they do the Thevarat ThirumuRais. 

Loga



Nammazvaar 
Thiruvaay Mozi 

1-1

¯Â÷× «È ¯Â÷ ¿Äõ ¯¨¼ÂÅý ±Åý? «Åý
ÁÂ÷× «È Á¾¢ ¿Äõ «ÕÇ¢Éý ±Åý? «Åý
«Â÷× «Úõ «ÁÃ÷¸û «¾¢À¾¢ ±Åý? «Åý
ÐÂ÷ «Ú ͼ÷ «Ê ¦¾¡ØÐ ±Ø , ±ý ÁɧÉ! 

uyarvu aRa uyar nalam udaiyavan evan? avan
mayarvu aRa mati nalam aruLinan evan? avan
ayarvu aRum amararkaL atipati evan? avan
tuyar aRu cudar adi tozutu ezu , en mannanee!

Oh my heart! Arise (replenished and invigorated ) by paying homage to the
ONE , the BEING whose resplendent FEET destroys all the existential miseries and the
ONE, the BEING  who discloses the absence any goodness beyond that which HE embodies  and the
ONE, the BEING  who provides all the illuminations and liberates the mind from all illusions and the
ONE , the BEING who is the LORD of all the celestial beings who forever regenerate the spirit

±ý ²¨Æ ÁɧÁ! ±øÄ¡ ¿Äí¸¨ÇÔõ ¾É¾¡ö즸¡ñÎ ¾¢¸Øõ ¾¢Èò¾¢ý «¾üÌ §ÁõÀð¼ ¿Äí¸û §ÅÚ Â¡Ðõ þ­ø¨Ä ±ýÚ Â¡Åý ¯É÷òи¢ýÈ¡§É¡ «Å¨É;  Á¾¢ ÁÂì¸í¸û ±øÄ¡í ¦¸¼ »¡Éò ¦¾Ç¢× ¾ÃÅøÄÅý ±Å§É¡ «Å¨É;  ÀüÀÄ ºì¾¢¸¨Ç °ðÊ ¯ÅôÀ¢ò¾Å¡Ú  ¬ýÁ¡ì¸û «Â÷× ¾¨ÄôÀ¼¡Ð ¯¾Å¢ì ¦¸¡ñ§¼ ­þÕìÌõ «ÁÃ÷¸Ç¢ý «¾¢À¾¢Â¡¸ ¡Åý ­þÕ츢ýÈ¡§É¡ «Å¨É,    Å¡ú쨸¢ý ÐÂÃí¸¨Ç ±øÄ¡õ §À¡ìÌõ «ÅÉРͼ÷ «Ê¸¨Ç ¦¾¡ØÐ °ì¸õ ¦ÀüÚ ±ØÅ¡ö! 

uyarvu aRa uyar nalam udaiyavan evan? avan: Who is the ONE who embodies all the Go´dness within and shows that there is ABSENCE of any good beyond Him, that  BEING 

mayarvu aRa mati nalam aruLinan evan? avan : Who is  the ONE who illuminates and liberates the mind thereby from all illusions, that BEING 

ayarvu aRum amararkaL atipati evan? avan : whos is the ONE who is the LORD of all the celestial beings who  forever regenerate the spirit , that BEING 

tuyar aRu cudar adi tozutu ezu: arise (replenished and regenerated) paying homage to the  resplendent Feet of that BEING that dispels all the existential miseries. 

en mannanee! : Oh ! my heart! 

Commentary.

This verse constitutes  the foundational verse of SriVaishanava Philosophy and has been extensively commented upon. The crucial phrase is  "uyarvu  aRa uyar nalam udaiyavan" which I have rendered as BEING who embodies all the GOODNESS and SHOWS the ABSENCE of any goodness beyond HIM. Thus we have a conception of BEING as the MOST INCLUSIVE TOTALITY, the ABSOLUTE in terms of CONTENT and hence that which is ALL , most inclusively. Then the question arises : what about NOTHINGNESS, the PURE EMPTINESS that gets articulated by some Buddhists of early India, particularly the Sunyavadins such as Nagarjuna and so forth?But there is no problem here  at all for the NOTHINGNESS is NOT an objective nothingness but rather an experiential nothingness,  a metaphysical experience where there is experiencing of ABSOLUTE PURITY and hence also a GOODNESS and hence  something that BEING embodies. 

This BEING who is absolutely all is also ONE who INSTRUCTS so that the anmas are freed of their IGNORANCE and enjoy supreme illumination, the essence of the psychical presence , the 'matinalam'  The BEING , though is a TOTALITY, that which is ALL is also predisposed to ILLUMINATE the humble minds suffering from all kinds confusions ,  illusions and delutions lacking is the indubitable CLEAR CONSCIOUSNESS 

And towards this end HE is also the LORD of all the celestial  beings, the deathless mantra bodies that  pervade the world enacting what we call life, the world , the universe and so forth. These celestial beings are there to stimulate and energise the creatures providing the pills of happiness each time they wither and droop in exhaustion tired of the various conflicts that are so depressing and psychically so demanding.  The celestial beings,  through making it possible to ENJOY life aesthetically romantically and so forth provide the necessary motivations to live and struggle towards higher and higher metaphysical reaches. BEING is the LORD of these celestial beings in the sense HE is the primordial source of all the GOODNESS that are meted out to thesuffering creatures in appropriate ( and small )  measures by these celestial beings. 

Now DIRECT worship of BEING as such instead of the so many little gods should  be most rewarding , most regenerating for BEING is the  SOURCE of all the GOODNESS. It is because of this Nammazvar pleads unto his heart instead worshiping the so many little gods, it should worship the ONE, the BEING of all Goodness, the BEING , the most inclusive TOTALITY to replenish itself and get regenerated very vigorously. 


Namazvar 1-2 

2.

ÁÉɸõ ÁÄÁÈ ÁÄ÷Á¢¨º ±Ø¾Õõ
ÁÉÛ½÷× «Ç× ­þÄý, ¦À¡È¢Ô½÷× «¨Å ­þÄý
­þÉÛ½÷ ÓØ¿Äõ ±¾¢÷ ¿¢¸ú ¸Æ¢Å¢Ûõ
­þÉÉ¢Äý ±ÉÛ¢÷ Á¢Ì¿¨Ã þ­Ä§É 

mananakam malamaRa malarmicai ezutarum
mananuNarvu aLavu ilan, poRiyuNarvu avai ilan
inanuNar muzunalam etir nikaz kazivinum
inanilan enanuyir mikunarai ilanee

BEING, though emerges in Lotus of Divine Illumination to dispell
The metaphysical DARKNESS within me, is NOT something that can be
Comprehended fully by the logical mind and is
Also beyond the reach of any kind of the cognitive utensils and stands
As the ONE who  is there as the IMMANENT reality  in everything that is comprehended in whatever manner and as
The ONE who does not have anyone to compare with HIM in the temporal ekstases of the future present and the past
And standing as the life of my life remains there  as the eternally unchanging  Youth who never grows old 

±ý ¯ûÇò¾¢ø ¬Æò¾¢ø ¬¸§Å «¿¡¾¢§Â þ­ÕìÌõ «ï»¡É þ­Õ¨Çô À¡Ã¢ìÌõ Åñ½õ »¡É¦Å¡Ç¢Â¡¸ Ìñ¼Ä¢É¢Â¢ý µ÷ ÅÊÅÁ¡¸¢Â Àí¸Â ÁÄ÷§Áø ±Øó¾ÕÙõ ­þ¨ÈÅý, ­þùÅ¡Ú ¯½ÃôÀÎÀŦÉÉ¢Ûõ, «ÇÅ¢Âü  º¢ó¾¨É Áɾ¡ø «ÇÅ¢ðÎ «È¢¾üÌâ «Ç× ­þøÄ¡¾Åý; À͸ýõ º¢Å¸Ã½õ ±É ÅÕõ ¦À¡È¢Ô½÷Å¢ý ÀÎõ «¨ÅÔõ «øÄý; ¬Â¢Ûõ ­þЦÅýÚ Íð¼È¢ÂôÀΞ¢ý «¨ÉòÐûÙõ «ó¾÷¡Á¢Â¡¸ ¿¢üÌõ ¾¢ÈòÐ ÓØ¿Äõ ¯¨¼ÂÅý «ÅÉ¡Ìõ; ¸¡Äõ ÌÈ¢ôÒ측ÄÁ¡ö ±¾¢÷ ¿¢¸ú×  ¸Æ¢× ±É ¿¢ü¸ «ì¸¡Ä×½÷Å¢üÌû «È¢ÂôÀÎõ ±ÅüÈ¢Öõ ´ôÒ þ­øÄ¡¾ÅÉ¡ö «¸ýÚ ¿¢üÀÅÛõ ¬Ìõ. ­ þò¾¨¸Â ¾¢Èò¾¡ø ±ý ¯Â¢§Ã¡Î ¯Â¢Ã¡¸ ¿¢üÌõ «Åý ±ýÚõ Á¡È¡ ţâÂò¾¢ý Á¢Ì¸¢ýÈ ¿¨Ã ¾¢¨Ã ãôÒ ­ þøÄ¡¾ÅÛõ ¬Ìõ

mananakam malamaRa malarmicai ezutarum: BEING emerges as the  Lotus of Divine illumination to dispell the Metaphysical Darkness within me 

mananuNarvu aLavu ilan: is NOT something that can comprehended fully by the logical mind 

poRiyuNarvu avai ilan: is also beyond the reach of any kind of cognitive utensils 

inanuNar muzunalam : but is present as the IMMANENT reality in everything that is comprehended in whatever manner 

etir nikaz kazivinum inanilan : does not have anyone to compare with in the temporal ekstases of future present and past 

enanuyir mikunarai ilanee:  standing as the life of life remains there as the eternally unchanging Youth who never grows old. 

Commentary:
========== 

It is in the commentary to this verse that  I shall depart from the standard  interpretations of the Mighty Acaryas including Ramanuja who built Sri Vaishanavism in the Tamil country and which thrives to this day. For obviously the crucial term" manan akam malam" means  (to me) the Metaphysical Darkness , the malam , in the deep recesses of the mind ( manan akam) and hence  anati, i.e  uncreated and eternal. This metaphysical Darkeness requires a cause  and the cause is aNavam, that which FINITISES the mind introducing into it DARKNESS by obscuring the visions. The anma is FINITE only because the SEEING is delimited and circumscribed and that which does this is Anavam. Now this rule of the DARK, the aNu has to be  VILOLATED and only BEING who stands ABOVE it can violate its hold and liberate the anmas from its hold. And for this purpose BEING emerges as the ILLUMINATING RADIANCE, the LOTUS of divine illumination which is actually the transmutation of the libidinal Kundalini into the Power that becomes the illumating LIGHT. or as the Saivas  would put the icca sakti into njaana sakti. 

But this agency of BEING cannot be comprehended fully by the feeble humand  mind and for all categories of understanding are derived thus i.e. as the result of such illuminations that the anmas are blessed with. BEING is the SOURCE of these categories and hence beyond the reach of the mind that forever seeks to understanding everything by categorisation. BEING simpy EXCEEDS all these, HE is forever OVERFLOWING as the SURPLUS of all categorical thinking BEING as such is also beyond the reach of the cognitive utensils whether the ordinary perceptual or the transductive perceptual for BEING as the originating GROUND of all these certainly also EXCEEDS them. HE remains always the INCOMPREHENSIBLY MYSTERY where we can only see  HIS presence but not what  He is Himself. 

Now BEING as such stands BEYOND of the temporal cosciousness. For every temproal consciousness i.e conciousness that comes along with TIME has  as a fabrique of it the  CUTTUNARVU, the  the-tic consiousness  as Meykandar has pointed out . If BEING is claimed to be an object of such thetic-consciousness then it would mean BEING is temporal and hence transient, something that comes stays and goes. And certainly BEING is NOT such an entity and obviously Nammazvar  does not say that.  In the UNDERSTANDING of BEING, the absolute consciousness there is NO TIME at all and because of which HE stands as the UNCHANGING metaphorically put here as the ONE who does not grow old and age despite remaining the life-force in the depths of all anmas. 

But despite this WHOLLY OTHERNESS and hence absolute transcendance he is IMMANENT, stands as the Artaryaami, the indweller in everything that is in the world, standing as the world and everything that populates it. This is NOT as strange as it may seem. For whatever IS is there as a violation of the DARK that would establish the objective NOTHINGNESS, the dark emptiness. And since it is BEING who as the ONE standing ABOVE this tyrannical  DARK can violate it , HE is in everything that has  presence as all such presences are VIOLATUIONS against the objective Darkness. 


Nammaazvaar 1-3



­þÄý «Ð ¯¨¼Âý ­þÐ ±É ¿¢¨É× «Ã¢ÂÅý
¿¢ÄÉ¢¨¼ Å¢ÍõÀ¢¨¼ ¯Õ×Éý «ÕÅ¢Éý
ÒĦɡΠÒÄý «Äý ´Æ¢× ­þÄý ÀÃó¾ «ó
¿Äý ¯¨¼ ´ÕÅ¨É ¿Ï¸¢Éõ ¿¡§Á 

ilan atu udaiyan itu ena ninaivu ariyan
nilanidai vicumbidai uruvinan aruvinan
pulanodu pulan alan ozivu ilan paranta an
nalan udai oruvanai naNukinam naamee 

¸¢Æ¨Áô ÀÎò¾¢ Íðν÷Å¡¸ ¿õ «È¢Å¢üÌ ±ðÎõ ±¾¨ÉÔõ ¯¨¼ÂÅý ±ý§È¡ «øÄý ±ý§È¡ º¢üÈȢŢɡø  ¿¢¨Éò¾üÌ «Ã¢ÂÅý; ¬Â¢Ûõ ³õâ¾ §º÷¸¨¸Â¡ø ±Ø¸¢ýÈ ­ þó¿¢Äò¾¢Öõ Å¢ÍõÀ¢Öõ ¾¡§É ±ÎìÌõ ¦ÅÇ¢ôÀÎ ÅÊÅí¸Ç¢ý ¯ÕÅ¢ÉÉ¡¸×õ  ¦ÅÇ¢ôÀ¼¡  ÅÊÅí¸Ç¢ø «ÕÅ¢ÉÉ¡¸×õ ¾¢¸ú¸¢ýÈ¡ý ­ þ¨ÈÅý. ÒÄý¸Ç¡¸ ¿¢ýÈ¡Öõ «ôÒÄý «È¢×¸Ç¢ø Àθ¢ýÈÅý «øÄý, ­ þ¾É¡ø «Åý µ÷ ­þø¦À¡Õû ±É¢ý «Ð×õ þ­øġР¡ñÎõ ´Æ¢Å¢ýÈ¢ ¿¢üÀÅý «Åý ¬Ìõ. ­þôÀÊôÀð¼ ̽¡¡¾¢ºÂí¸§Ç¡Î Å¢ÇíÌõ ¿Äý ¯¨¼ ´ÕÅÉ¡¸¢Â ­þ¨ÈŨɠ Àò¾¢Â¢ý §ÁÄ£ð¼¡ø Å¢ÕõÀ¢ ¦¿Õí¸¢§É¡õ ¿¡§Á. 

We approached BEING with loving devotion, the BEING who can not be ascribed as having as his  belonging any of the things that reache our the-tic consciousness or at least it is beyond our comprehension of HIM as such. But however HE is there both as visible and invisible  in the earth and sky. But because of this HE  cannot be said as the ONE who becomes availble for sense perceptions even though HE is the cause of the senses. And on account of this HE cannot be said as ONE who diasppears into NOTHINGNESS at all, HE is there firmly always. This BEING is MYSTERIOUS with all these things about HIM 

ilan atu udaiyan itu ena ninaivu ariyan:  BEING is beyond our comprehension as having this and that as HIS beloging 

nilanidai vicumbidai uruvinan aruvinan: HE is available both as the visible and invisible presence in the earth and the sky 

pulanodu pulan alan ozivu ilan : though the cause of the senses HE cannot be grasped by them but remains without ever disappearing 

paranta annalan udai oruvanai naNukinam naamee: we aproach the BEING with all this MYSTERY surrounding HIM with loving devotion 

Commentary:

BEING is a complete mystery: this is the universal consensus of the great mystics throughout world who have attempted to comprehend BEING with all their might. Nammazvar gives vent to the same sentiments here. On the way BEING may appear beyond question this and that giving rise  dogmatisms and fanatical frenzies  of all kinds but however as the metaphysical journey is  continued mystery after mystery emerges throwing one into a desparation and when the heroic individual submits meekly to the  INCOMPREHENSIBLY of BEING, He being WHOLLY MYSTERIOUS he also becomes the Bakta, one who knows only to LOVE HIM.  The individual's ego gets defeated and avoiding anymore any attempt to UNDERSTAND BEING with the intellectual resources at his disposal he withdraws from all such attempts and AWAITS for BEING Himself to inform him about HIMSELF. 

Thus we see here the enigmas that emerge in any descriptive endeavour , attempts to pin BEING to a catalogue of descriptions as we do in natural sciences. Does BEING have  this attibute ? Yes and No. HE is elusive, for HE remains ABOVE all the-tic consciousness within which arise the notions of attributes.  But is HE in the world? Yes and No again. For HE is as many archetypal forms that structure the phenomenal world but  HE IS NOT also  these archetypal presentations for they do not exhaust HIM:  again he is elusive, HE remains always a SURPLUS even here. 

And on account of the fact can HE be said to be ABSENT  sometimes as HE does not become available for sense perceptions? No it is NOT so, HE is there always though beyond the reach of the senses for HE is quite capable of CONCEALING HIMSELF and work as the COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS, supremley present but UNCONSCIOUS to the individuals. 

Nammazvar finally having understood the MYSTERY of BEING accomodate himself  to it, and giving  up all such attempts as in fact useless, just apporoaches BEING in loving devotion to be informed and formed by BEING Himself  as to what He is really. 

Here we are using the notion of Thirobava, the Transcendental Concealment as implicated here and I must point out that this notion belongs  to Saiva Siddhanta, accepted as one of the Pancakrittiyas of BEING , a notion that is not that prominent of Sri Vaishanava Philosophical thinking. 


Nammaazvaar 1-4 

¿¡õ «Åý þ­Åý ¯Åý ,  «Åû ­þÅû ¯Åû ±Åû
¾¡õ «Å÷ ­þÅ÷ ¯Å÷  «Ð ­þÐ ¯Ð ±Ð
Å£õ «¨Å ­þ¨Å ¯¨Å «¨Å ¿Äõ ¾£íÌ «¨Å
¬õ «¨Å ¬Â¨Å ¬ö¿¢ýÈ «Å§Ã 

naam avan ivan uvan, avaL ivaL uvaL evaL
taam avar ivar uvar atu itu utu etu
viim avai ivai uvai avai nalam tiingku avai
aam avai aayavai aayninRa avaree 

¬ýÁ¡ì¸û ÌØÅ¢ý ´üÚ¨Á¢ø '¿¡õ- ¿£õ" ±ýÈ §À¾ôÀðÎõ ¬¦½É ¦Àñ¦½É Íðν÷Å¢ý «Åý þ­Åý ¯Åý ±ýÚõ «Åû þ­Åû ¯Åû ±ýÚõ ŢɡŢý ¦À¡ÕÇ¡¸ ±Åû ±Åý ±ýÚ Å¢Çí¸¢Ôõ, §ÁÖõ " ¾¡õ- ¿£ " ±ýÈ Ó¨È¢ø §À¾ôÀðÎõ  ÌÓ¸¡Â ¯ÈÅ¢ø §Á§Ä¡÷ ¸£§Æ¡÷ ¬¸¢  «Å÷ ­þÅ÷ ¯Å÷ ±ýÚõ «Ð ­þÐ ¯Ð ±Ð ¬¸¢Ôõ, §ÁÖõ ¬õ þ­¨Å Å£Øõ ­þ¨Å  ¬ö¿¢üÌõ ­þ¨Å ±É ¸¡Ä×½÷Å¢üÚÁ¡¸¢,  ¿Äõ þ¨Å ±ýÚõ «¾üÌ ±¾¢Ã¡¸¢ ¾£íÌ þ­¨Å ±É×õ  «È×½÷Å¢ý §À¾ôÀðÎõ ¿¢üÌõ «¨ÉòÐÁ¡ö ¬ö¿¢üÀÐ ´ÕŧÉ¡¸¢ÂÀÃÁ§É, §ÅÈøÄ. 

It is BEING and nothing else that underlies the social distinctions of 'we-they" and the sexual differences of man-woman that comes with the the-tic consciousness he-she etc; the tribal inclusive -excusive relationship "we-them" and thesocial status differences  in terms respect and no respect, and all as the things in the processes of being produced, being preserved and being destroyed and the objects of moral approbations in terms the good and evil 

Commentary:

It is almost impossible to translate this verse and hence I have abandoned giving  phrase by phrase tranlastions. Nammazvaar in an uncanny use of  pronouns in Tamil weaves a verse so intricate and with such deep metaphysical insights into existence that unless we write  a lengthy monograph it is IMPOSSIBLE to bring out all the hidden meanings  that he encapsulates in the above four  lines that bewilders even the trained mind. 

So it is only with great reluctance that I venture to give the substance of this masterly verse in the way I see fully aware of the immense inadequacies. 

The most important message is that BEING is TOTALLY ABOVE but simultaneously ALL, a magical reality and hence BEYOND the reach of the categorical mind that always seeks and exults in bifurcations and DETERMINATENESS. No, when it comes to BEING the categorical bipolarities  do not apply and so is the determinateness. And again emerges the MYSTERY which DEFEATS the feeble human intellect and puts it in place by disclosing its own feebleness for it to understand and hence simply  become a BAKTA,one who simply LOVES BEING and leaving all else to Him, surrendering his intellect to BEING to be formed and taken along. 

We have in this encrypted and compressed verse  the whole range of EXISTENTIAL analytics, an encapsulation of millenniums of effort at existential  analysis such  as those available in Tolkaappiyam. 

BEING is the GROUND but also ABOVE all  of the social distinctions of "WE-THEY" and the "WE-THEM" the foundation of tribalism nationalism casteism and so forth. These group identities allow some people to  band together and stand as ONE and because of that understand others as the DIFFERENT. It is only because some isolate and identity themselves as belonging together with a shared identity that there emerges the distinction of the OTHERS, the Anniyar, the ALIEN and possibly  "our" enemy. 

And within this kind of thetic consciousness also arises the biological man-woman that also constitutes a fundamental categorical differentiation that is EXISTENTIALLY so meaningful. What is life if not for the presence of sexual differences that underlies the dynamics of sexual libido so important for the continuation of the species? 

Now into this purely biological and tribal is inserted the sociological distinctions of Higher -Lower and hence the HIRARCHICAL organisation among the people. In society some are higher and some are lower as evidenced by the presence of terms of address that is prevalent in society and which  INCORPORATE thenotions of Higher-Lower in status.. Sometimes it DEGENERATES into the inflexible caste and caste-like social structures. But there are other kinds of hierarchies in other fields --in politics religion education and what not and hence  a UNIVERSAL social structure that may pervade even the home. 

Now into all these is written-in also the notions of RIGHT and WRONG as the fabric of social dynamics. Every issue in social and biological existence comes along with the ETHICAL question of whether it is RIGHT or WRONG and  people always seeking JUSTICE as something they WANT and to which they submit themselves. Some are deemed as Nalam , right and good and some TiiNgku , wrong and inadmissible  and hence to be punished censored and so forth. 

But all these are THINGS that are in HISTORICAL flux, nonpermanent, they arise , are there and then somehow disappear. All these objects of THETIC consciousness are TRANSIENT, impermanent,; they slip out from our hold like the slippery fish. 

It is here that  Nammazvar ANTICIPATES Meykandar at least by seven centuries. For Meykandar too makes the same observation in the first sutra of Civanjanabotham: " avan avaL  athu enum   avai muuvinaimaiyin" The same masterly play of pronouns and to drive in the same point: that all theses objects of thetic consciousness, cuddunaRvu are objects in HISTORICAL FLUX, muuvinaiyin - arise somehow are there for a while and then disappear. 

And Nammazvaar comes to the same conclusion as Meykandar:  BEING IS all these as the NIMITTA KaaraNan, the AGENTIVE CAUSE but as the DEEPEST STRUCTURE of all,  remains unaffected and nonexhausted by these phenomenal dramas, Plays, the various kinds of  stage shows. 

The Sri Vaishnava Acaryas  seem to have missed out this point and it may be that it was because of this that Meykandar seized upon it and gave a new lease to these ancient and hard won metaphysical intuitions. 


Nammaazvaar  1-5 

«ÅÃÅ÷ ¾Á¾ÁÐ «È¢× «È¢ Ũ¸Å¨¸
«ÅÃÅ÷ ­þ¨ÈÅ÷ ±É «Ê «¨¼Å÷¸û
«ÅÃÅ÷ þ­¨ÈÂÅ÷ ̨È× ­ þÄ÷; ­ þ¨ÈÂÅ÷
«ÅÃÅ÷ Å¢¾¢ÅÆ¢ «¨¼Â ¿¢ýÈɧà

avaravar tamatamatu aRivu aRi vakaivakai
avaravar iRaivar ena adi adaivarkaL
avaravar iRaiyavar kuRaivu ilar; iRaiyavar
avaravar vitivazi adaiya ninRanaree 

ÀìÌÅò¾¢ø §ÅÚÀÎõ Áì¸û ¾ò¾õ «È¢Å¢ý ±ø¨ÄìÌ ²üÀ «ÅÃÅ÷ ÒâóЦ¸¡ûÙõ Ũ¸Â¢ø ¦ÅÇ¢ôÀÎõ ­þ¨ÈŨÉ, «ùÅÊÅòÐ ¦¾öŧÁ þ­¨ÈÅ÷ ±Éò ¦¾¡ØÐ ÓÊÅ¢ø ­ þ¨½ÂÊ «¨¼óÐ Á¸¢úÅ÷; ­ þùÅ¡Ú ´ù¦Å¡ÕÅâý «È¢×째üÈ Å¨¸Â¢ø  µ÷ ÅÊÅ¢ø ¦ÅÇ¢ôÀÎõþ­¨ÈÅý ´ÕÅ§É ±É, «ÅÃÅ÷ ¦¸¡ûÙõ ¦¾öÅ ÅÊÅí¸û ¡¾¡Â¢Ûõ «¾¢ø ̨È¡ÐÁ¢ø¨Ä: ´ù¦Å¡ÕÅÕõ ­ þùÅ¡Ú «ÕûÀ¡Ä¢ìÌõþ­¨ÈÅ¨É «ÅÃÅ÷ Å¢¾¢ÅÆ¢ ¦ºýÚ  ¿¢îºÂÁ¡¸ «¨¼Â ¿¢ü¸¢ýÈÉ÷. 

BEING discloses Himself in numerous archetypal forms to accommodate the different capacities for understanding of the people. And the people too will assume that that particular presentation of BEING is BEING itself and worship and attain Him thus.  And because each archetypal presentation is of the SAME BEING, there is nothing wrong in any of these forms. Each individual is destined to attain BEING in his own way no matter what kind of archetypal presentation he may choose to worship.

avaravar tamatamatu aRivu aRi vakaivakai: each in accordance with their own capacity for understanding 

avaravar iRaivar ena adi adaivarkaL: will worship BEING in the archetypal form presented to them and attain Him 

avaravar iRaiyavar kuRaivu ilar: there is nothing wrong in the different archetypal presentations of BEING 

iRaiyavar avaravar vitivazi adaiya ninRanaree: each in his own way worships the deity he chooses and will finally attain BEING 

Commentary:

This verse describes beautifully one of the central tenets of Agamism and which will make it conquer the world in time to come by the OPENESS it enshrines and INDIVIDUAL DIFERENCE in metaphysical pursuits  it accommodates. While tribalism favours a COLLECTIVE mentality in which UNIFORMITY is enforced even at the pain of death,  Agamism in being against tribalism favours individualism in the practice of religion. Each individual has his UNIQUENESS and intellectual and emotional needs and BEING presents Himself in a archetypal Form most suited to that individual in current predicament. Like a kind and excellent teacher who comes down to the level of the student he teaches so that an UNDERSTANDING can be brought about successfully so does BEING,  the most excellent Guru. He discloses Himself in so many archetypal forms high and low so that it would MAKE SENSE to the individual and hence somehow he kept in the understanding of BEING, no matter how primitive it is. 

So these numerous archetypal presentations are NOT TO BE SCORNED and made and object of mockery and pointless ridicule.  Certainly there are High and Low in this but however as the DEEP STRUCTURE of all such archetypes we have the SAME BEING. There are no different gods but only ONE GOD, the BEING who chooses to PRESENT Himself in countless number of shapes just to help to individuals. BEING is not only the FORMLESS and abstract Brilliance and in which he appears for the gifted but also the so many minor deities that the less gifted individuals use to understand BEING. 

Namazvar , as do Karaikkal Peyar Tirumular and a host of others, states quite categorically that there is nothing wrong at all in any one of deities.  No archetypal presentation is to be scorned at for all of them all equally the presentation of the same BEING. Behind Krishna and Rama, behind Muruka and Vinakaya or even Muniswarar, we have the SAME BEING as the Deep Structure, the underlying reality. And BEING will pull unto Himself all in His own way no matter what archetypal presentations evokes sanctity in an individual. 

There is no THE  archetype or THE way -- there is always an OPENESS , the emergence  of the historically NEW  and hence DEMAND that  we  BE OPEN. And in this way Agamism is OPPOSED to the regimenting religions that believe in conversions and collective uniformities. Such demands are a VIOLATION of the  RIGHT  individuals have to reach BEING in his own personal way. 

If not todaytomorrow this will be the demand of the people and hence the growth of Agamism. The world is moving in that direction --  againstregimentations, against collectivisation and against the standardisation of believe systems. 

What Agamism favours is INDIVIDUALISATION, allowing of PERSONAL religion, allowing each individual to be formed and informed in a way BEING chooses. It is a form of life where there is NO taking as the most authoritative a scripture or the words of a religious genius but rather BEING Himself to lead the individuals in his own way-- avaravar viti vazi and in a non collective but immensely personal manner. 

Hail to Namzvar for articulating this essence of Agamism  so eloquently. 




Namazvar 1-6 

¿¢ýÈÉ÷ ­þÕó¾É÷ ¸¢¼ó¾É÷ ¾¢Ã¢ó¾É÷
¿¢ýÈ¢Ä÷ ­þÕó¾¢Ä÷ ¸¢¼ó¾¢Ä÷ ¾¢Ã¢ó¾¢Ä÷
±ýÚõ µ÷ ­þÂøÅ¢É÷ ±É ¿¢¨É× «Ã¢ÂÅ÷
±ýÚõ ´÷ ­þÂø¦À¡Î  ¿¢ýÈ ±õ ¾¢¼§Ã 

ninRanar iruntanar  kidantanar tirintanar
 ninRilar iruntilar kidantilar tirintilar
 enRum  oor iyalvinar ena ninaivu ariyavar
 enRum oor iyalbodu ninRa em tidaree

«¨ºÅ¢¨Éô §À¡ì¸¢ ¿¢ýÈÉ÷ ±ý§È¡ , ´§Ã ­¼ò¾¢ø þ­Õó¾É÷ ±ý§È¡ , ¡Ðõ ¦ºö¡Рšǡ ¸¢¼ó¾É÷ ±ý§È¡, «¨Á¾¢ÂüÚ «íÌÁ¢íÌõ ¾¢Ã¢ó¾É÷ ±ý§È¡ ¿¢Éì¸ «Ã¢ÂÅ÷; «§¾¦À¡ØÐþ­ÅüÈ¢ü¦¸øÄ¡õ  ±¾¢Ã¡¸ ¿¢ýÈ¢Ä÷ þ­Õó¾¢Ä÷ ¸¢¼ó¾¢Ä÷ ¾¢Ã¢ó¾¢Ä÷ ±ýÚõ ¿¢¨Éì¸ «Ã¢ÂÅ÷; ­ þ¨¾¦ÂÄ¡õ ´Æ¢òС¦¾¡ýÚ¼Ûõ ¦¾¡¼÷ÀüÚ «ôÀ¡Öì¸ôÀ¡ø ´§Ã­ þÂøÀ¢É÷ ±ýÚ ¿¢Éì¸×õ «Ã¢ÂÅ÷; ¬Â¢Ûõ ±ý ¯ûÇò¾¢øµÃ¢Âø¦À¡ÎÁ¡È¡¾ ¯Ú¾¢ô¦À¡ÕÇ¡¸ ­þÕ츢ýÈ¡ý «ó¾ þ­¨ÈÅý ±ýÀÐ µ÷ ¯ñ¨Á§Â. 

The BEING who  stays as the FIRM and UNCHANGING GROUND within me  is also paradoxically ONE  who can said to be 

There or 

is not there standing with everythingin the world  or stands doing nothing or is not so , lies there unmindful of all that transpires  or is not so, is forevermoving about or 

is not so and even beyond being said thatHe remains the 

SAME unchanging reality and so forth 

Commentary

Certainly this is another deep  TRUTH about BEING that Namazvar tries to articulate in terms of descriptive paradoxes,
that arise when we try to describe BEING in terms of attributes so common among the theologians. The problem : what
is the  relation of BEING with the WORLD which is always on the move, always in the HISTORICAL FLUX as
observed by Meykandar and which  is the common presupposition of all except when they  become philosophic and begin
to IMAGINE the world  is FALSE, insubstantial where every DIFFERENCE is a mental fabrication or a projection and
hence only an illusion . This was the kind of metaphysics that was prevalent at the time of Namazvar and with which  the
bulk of thinkers of the bakthi revolted against.  The world is REAL and BEING is responsible for whatever transpires in
the world. We cannot think of anything in the phenomenal world without relating it  to the presence of BEING. The world is as GIVEN only by BEING . 

The world is true and BEING responsible for it all.  This much isclear. Then the questions arises: Can we say HE
stands along with the world , moves along with it, withdraws from it , stands along but remains  INDIFFERENT to all that
transpires? Namazavr says that it is DIFFICULT to think of BEING in terms of this.  Each answer creates a dilemma. If we   answer affirmatively then BEING becomes someone AFFECTED by the world processes and subject to DEATH when
the whole universe dies entirely cntrary to the PERMANENCE of BEING. 

Then arises the question: Can we  then DENY all these involvements  to safeguard HIS AUTONOMY and SUPREME
INDEPENDANCE ,  and say that he remains UNAFFECTED by all that transpires in the world? 

Again the answer is NEGATIVE, BEING cannot be fully understood even in terms of these negations. If we say yes  and
that BEING is  so, then BEING becomes supremely IRRELEVANT for whatever the world is and whatever transpires in it. 

Thus BEING in itself is BEYOND such categorisations, of attributes. -- Ninaivu ariyar. BEING is neither Saguna
 Brahman nor Nirguna Brahman. 

It is worth noting here that the Sri VaishNava Acariyas have been saying in their metaphysical ramblings that BEING is
Saguna Brahman in opposition to  the Advaita Vedanties who maintained that BRAHMAN is Nirguna, withour any
attributes.Namazvar is NOT with any of these schools of thought. 

However both schools agree to the changeableness of the world, each of course in their own way and Namazvar
subscribes to that. 

Because of this  another question arises: these questions presuppose that BEING is forever changing for being in the
world and being responsible for all the changes in the world HE must
also  be changing along with it even as maya sakthi and so forth. 

Here again Namazvar affirma that BEING cannot be said to be even so;  that BEING  remains the SAME , remaining
forever UNCHANGING etc. 

Then what is  it that we can  SAY of BEING? 

Namzavar seems to offer a solution for the being-becoming reality of the universe and the place of BEING in it. The
solution is simply that all these attempts to FATHOM BEING  and understand in terms of attributes positively or
negatively are fruitless, BEING is always a MYSTERY and hence beyond the feeble attempts of man  to comprehend  in
terms of these categories. But however BEING is PRESENT in the mind as the UNCHANGING and firm GROUND for
Namazvar. That much he is clear. It constitutes part of the experience of  BEING. 

What follows from this? 

Only that BEING is uncanny that he can present HIMSELF as the UNCHANGING  and FIRM GROUND for the Bakthas
who desire such a presence. Thus the SAMENESS and UNCHANGING FIRMNESS is also a presentation of BEING.
All that we can do is  to experience what is OFFERED  by  BEING, what HE chooses to let us know about Himself.   Trying
to go beyond  it is folly, trying to attain the impossible. In itself BEING is wholly MYSTERIOUS , wholly uncanny and
man with his feeble mind must accept his defeat and acquiesce  with the fact   he  cannot understand BEING more than HE
chooses to disclose to  him. We are forever at HIS mercy for an understanding about HIM. 


Nammazvaar  1-7 

¾¢¼ Å¢ÍõÒ ±Ã¢ ÅÇ¢ ¿£÷ ¿¢Äõ ­þ¨ÅÁ¢¨ºô
À¼÷ ¦À¡Õû  ÓØÅÐõ ¬ö, «¨Å«¨Å¦¾¡Úõ
¯¼øÁ¢¨º ¯Â¢÷ ±Éì ¸ÃóÐ «íÌõ ÀÃóÐÇý
ͼ÷ Á¢Ì ÍÕ¾¢Ôû ­þ¨Å ¯ñ¼ Íçɠ

tida visumbu eri vaLi niir nilam ivaimicaip
padarporuL muzuvatum aay, avaiavaitoRum
udalmicai uyir enak  karntu angkum parantuLan
cudar miku curuthiyuL ivai uNda curanee 

³õâ¾í¸Ç¡¸¢Â  ±ýÚõ Á¨È¡Р¿¢üÌõ Å¡ý, «¾¢ø ±Øõ ¦¿ÕôÒ, «¾¢ø ±Øõ ¸¡üÚ, «¾¢ø ±Øõ ¿£÷ «¾¢ø ±Øõ ¿¢Äý  ¬¸¢ÂÅüÈ¢ø À¼÷óÐ «¨Å ´ù¦Å¡ýÚõ ÀÄÅ¡Ú ¾¢Ã¢ÒüÚ ¿¢üÈÄ¢ý  «¨Å ÓØžüÌõ ¾¡§É ¿¢Á¢ò¾ ¸¡Ã½Á¡ö ¬É¡ø ¸ÃóÐ þÕ츢ýÈ¡ý þ¨ÈÅý. «Ð ±ôÀʧ¡¦ÅÉ¢ø «ó¾÷¡Á¢Â¡¸ ¯¼Ä¢ø ¯Â¢÷ ±ùÅ¡Ú ­ þÕ츢ýȧ¾¡ «ùÅ¡Ú  ¸ñ½¡ü ¸¡½ÓÊ¡РÁ¨ÈóÐ «Åý ­þøġ¢¼õ ¡ÐÁ¢ýÈ¢ þÕ츢ýÈ¡ý.  ¬Â¢Ûõ ­þÅü¨È¦ÂøÄ¡õ «Æ¢òÐ þ­øġЧÀ¡ìÌõ þ­¨Å ¯ñ¼ ¦¾öÅÁ¡ö ­þ¨ÈÅý,  »¡ÉôÀ¢Ã¸¡ºõ Ò½÷ò¾ ÅøÄ ÍÕ¾¢Â¢ø ¾¡ý ͼ÷óÐ «¨ÉÅÕõ ¸¡Ïõ Ũ¸Â¢ø ͼ÷¸¢ýÈÅÛõ ¬Åý. 

BEING stands as the  Agentive Ďause  giving structure and formto everything phen,menal  by being present  everywhere and in everything that arise from theSpace from which arise  the Fire  from which the Wind , from which the Waters and from which the Earth. HE is present as the IMMANENT REALITY concealing Himself and hence invisible to the naked eyes just like the soul  while permeatingthe wholebody, remains however invisible to senses. However HE, who dissolves the whole worldas if eating it up, presents Himself in somehow or other in a Radiant Form  in  the Scriptures   that illuminate the mind. 

tida vicumbu eri vaLi niir nilam : In the firm Space, Fire, Winds,  Waters and the Earth 

ivaimicaip padarporuL muzuvatum aay, : becomes that which pervades  and permeates all

avaiavaitoRum udalmisai uyir enak  karntu angkum parantuLan: BEING is present in each of these things  just  like the soul in the body 

cudar miku curutiyuL ivai uNda curanee: the BEING who devours all these things shows Himself  in the scriptures that illuminate the mind. 

Commentary:

The metaphysical understanding that goes by the name Saiva  Siddhanta and which I have called Metaphyisca Universalis , is the COMMON understanding that  constitutes the essence of all truly authentic religious or metaphysical and in this verse we see it very clearly. The words "curan" and "curuti" have the common etymological root "cuur", meaning that which radiates, the "cudar miku poruL" as Nammazvaar himself describes here, the common experience of BEING as LIGHT that is registered  in the mystical experiences  of all mystics throughout the world, no matter what their  mundane religious background is. 

What makes Nammazvar distinctly  a Saiva Siddhanti is the description of BEING as who devours the whole world, and which same notion is described in  Saiva Literature as sangkaram . Only the metaphors are different  but NOT the meanings. This is a central metaphysical insight  about BEING and  seizing upon this Meykandar articulates BEING as  "sangkaara kaaraNanaakiya mutal" the Primordial Power that is responsible for the dissolution of  all. But this dissolution means also that HE regenerates and sustains  it and becausethe world is present nevertheless .  He is also the ONE who regurgitates and regenerates  for only He who dissolves cam also reproduce. Thus we have the THREE functions of the Panjca Krittiyas. 

The remaining TWO are aruLal and maRaittal,  i.e. disclosing and concealing and which notions are also available in this verse. 

For as the immanent reality BEING is present everywhere and permeates all things just like the soul  permeating the whole body.  But we cannot see by whatever means the soul despite knowing somehow its presence in the body. In the same way,HE is present in the world permeanting every nook corner but   only as INVISIBLE presence. HE is there in the world as the antaryaami, the immanent presence. 

This same notion is described in Saiva Literature as Throbavam, casting a screen ,a tirai,so that  though we know HE is there but cannot see him no matter how hard we try. 

But then how do know HE is there and gain an understanding of HIM? 

And here the notion of  aruLal, He disclosing Himself  on HIS own accord in mentioned by way of describing the essence of scriptures.  I am taking 'curuti"   as a Tamil word with the etymology of 'cuur" and not  Sanskrit with the root 'sru" meaning 'hearing".  Curuti is that  whch brings LIGHT, metaphysical illuminations, a CLARITY with respect to the concealed and mystical ,a notion that is applicable to ALL scriptures  of the world and NOT simply to the VEDAS that are recited and listened to  and that  too an activity confined to Brahmins , a notion entirely inconsistent  with Nammaazvar. BEING chooses to DISCLOSE Himself, becomes a VISIBLE reality in ALL the scriptural  utterances   and hence  the ONE who can be understood and appreciated by all. 

Thus it follows that though BEING is understood as Thirumaal , Namamzvar also understands BEING as panjca krittiya and hence as Civa also. The difference is only in the name but not in the substance, in the meaning. 



Namaazvaar 1-8 

ÍÃ÷ «È¢×  «Õ¿¢¨Ä Å¢ñÓ¾ø ÓØÅÐõ
ÅÃý Ӿġö «¨Å ÓØÐ ¯ñ¼  ÀÃÀÃý
ÒÃõ ´Õ ãýÚ ±Ã¢òÐ «ÁÃ÷ìÌõ «È¢Å¢ÂóÐ
«Ãý «Âý ±É, ¯ÄÌ «Æ¢òÐ «¨ÁòÐ ¯Ç§É 

curar aRivu arunilai viNmutal muzuvatum
varan mutalaay avai muzutum uNda paraparan
puram oru muunRu erittu amararkkum aRiviyantu
aran ayan ena, ulaku azittu amaittu uLanee 

º¢Å»¡Éô À¢Ã¸¡ºò¾¢ý ÍÃ÷ «È¢Å¡ö,   °Éì ¸ñ¸Ç¡ø ¸¡½ÓÊ¡¾  «Õ¿¢¨Ä Áó¾¢Ã×ĸ¡¸¢Â Å¢ñÓ¾ÖÁ¡ö, þ­¨Å ÓØÐõ   ´ýȢĢÕóÐ ´ýÚ  §¾¡ýÚõ  Ũ¸Â¢ø «ÅüÈ¢üÌ Ó¾Ä¡¸¢  À¢ÈÌ «¨Å ­þøġЧÀ¡Á¡Ú  ¡Ðõ ±ïº¡Å¨¸ ÓØÐõ ¯ñΠ , ¬¸ ­þùÅ¡Ú  ¯Ä¸¢üÌ «ó¾Á¡¾¢Â¡ö  ¬É¡ø «ÅüÈ¢üÌ ¾¡ý «¼í¸¡Ð «ôÀ¡ÖìÌ «ôÀ¡ø ¿¢üÌõ ÀáÀÃÁ¡ö ­þÕ츢ýÈ¡ýþ­¨ÈÅý.  ­þŧɠ ¬ýÁ¡ì¸û ¬½Åõ ¸ýÁõ Á¡¨Â ±ÉôÀÎõ ÓõÁÄí¸Ç¢ý ¸¡Ã¢ÂÁ¡¸ Å¢ÇíÌõ ÓôÒÃõ  ¦ºüÚ ±Ã¢òÐ ¾£öòÐ ­þøÄ¡Ð §À¡ì¸¢ Íò¾õ ¦ºöÐ,  ­¾ýÉ¢ý ­þò¾¢Èý «¨Á¸¢øÄ¡ «ÁÃ÷¸Ùõ Å¢ÂóÐ À¡Ã¡ðÎõ Ũ¸Â¢ø  ºí¸¡Ãò ¾¡ñ¼ÅòÐ «Ãý ±É «Æ¢òÐõ ,   À¨¼ôÒ ÅøÄ «Â¦ÉÉ    ¯Ä¸¢¨É   §¾¡üÈ¢Ôõ  («Ð ¿¢¨ÄìÌÁ¡Ú «Ã¢ ±É  ¸¡òÐõ)   §¾¡ýÈ¢ ¿¢ýÈÆ¢ÔÁ¡Ú ­þó¾ ¯Ä¸¢¨É «¨ÁòÐ ¾¡ý ±ýÚõ «Æ¢Â¡Ð ¯Çý ±õ ­þ¨ÈÅý 

BEING stands as the Causative Agent for the historical evolution of   illuminating knowledge from the Mantra World that remains imperceptible for the ordinary eyes  and  also the Ground that  resolves all these into the primordial unmanifest condition i.e. swallows the  whole lot ( only to reissue again).  This BEING is also He who singes to ashes the Three   Castles of IGNORANCE as  constituted by  aaNavam kanmam and maayai and     at which  the ordinary gods  really marvel  ,  impressed by the POWER of BEING.   BEING, the Absolutely Transcendent, IS , most emphatically  who by assuming the archetypal forms  aran  ayan (and ari)  dissolves the world reissues it and maintains it. 

curar aRivu : the illuminating absolute understanding, the civanjanam 

arunilai viNmutal muzuvatum : this  and the imperceptible mantra world and all 

varan mutalaay : caused to emerge one from another 

avai muzutum uNda paraparan  :     BEING the transcendent-immanent  who  dissolves all totally  (only to reissue) 

puram oru muunRu erittu amararkkum aRiviyantu :  making even the gods marvel by singing to ashes the Three Castles of ignorance of the souls; 

aran ayan ena, ulaku azittu amaittu uLanee : who sustains the   world  as a reality in historical flux  by assuming the archetypal forms of Aran, Ayan ( and Ari)

Commentary:

We saw earlier that BEING is seen as Panca Krittiyan  by Nammaazvar  despite the  use of  different metaphors   that are not that current in Saiva Literature.  Even though BEING is Tirumaal for Nammazvaar  in many of his hymns, here he calls HIM, paraaparan, a technical term also widely in use in Saiva Siddhanta. BEING is the Totally ABOVE though also present in the world as antariyaami, the indweller in everything, the IMMANENT reality that is the SOUL of all. Combining both we see that BEING is both Transcendent and Immanent and which is the sense of param-aparam  or paraaparan. 

This same notion is enunciated by Tirumular in terms Sivan -Sataacavan. Only the technical vocabulary is different but not the metaphysical notions. 

Now where BEING is  seen Panckritiyan , there must already be the notions of Mummalam, the Anavam Kanmam and Mayai, for the Panckrityas of BEING are precisely for FREEING the anmas from the hold of the mummalams and of which the aaNavam is the most primordial and anati - unoriginated -  and the other two being secondary developments  out of this. 

And Nammazvar mentions this only metaphorically but  by using the SAME puranic lore as the Saivaites. The three Castles of Ignorance , the Muppuram , gets mentioned very extensively  in Tirumantiram Teevaarama etc. And as Tirumular says, "muppuramaavtu mummala kaariyam"  i.e. the three castles of IGNORANCE in which the non adventurous souls take refuge from the immense Brilliance  of TRUTH are the castles  generated out of aaNavam Kanmam and Maayai.  The aaNavam generates the I-ness, the EGO   because of which there results the Prabta  Karma that throws the anmas into existential repetition and Maayai , the desire for the assumption of Physical forms. 

Only BEING can destroy these castles that provide and sustain the egoistic I-ness for it is BEING who  can radiate the  curar aRivu, the Civanjanam and which is the only  LIGHT that can dispel the metaphysical  DARKNESS that  is aaNavam 

And now as to the reason  why the world is dissolved and reissued continuously: the world is there only as the VICTORY of BEING against this aaNavam that knows only to dissolve the world and make it a nonentity, an objective  NOTHINGNESS.  But should that be allowed  then the souls will not be able to enjoy the curar aRivu, the absolutely Illuminating Understanding that constitutes the attainment of REDEMPTION itself.   There will be primordial Darkness, the Objective Nothingness. So BEING standing ABOVE the flux-prone universe reissues the world destroying when necessary  but maintaining it as a reality there forever. 

Looking at   all these I do not understand why Nammazvar was NOT recognised as someone like Tirumular and who articulated the same of metaphysical insights that goes by the name of  SAIVA SIDDHANTA. 


Namazvar 1-9 

¯Çý ±É¢ø ¯Çý; «Åý ¯ÕÅõ ­þù ×Õ׸û
¯Çý «Äý ±É¢ø, «Åý «ÕÅõ ­þù «Õ׸û
¯Çý ±É, ­þÄý ±É ­þ¨Å ̽õ ¯¨¼¨Á¢ý
¯Çý ­þÕ ¾¨¸¦Â¡Î  ´Æ¢× ­þÄý ÀÃ󧾠

uLan enil uLan; avan uruvam iv vuruvukaL
uLan alan enil, avan aruvam iv varuvukaL
uLan ena ilan ena ivai kuNam udaimaiyin
uLan iru takaiyodu ozivu ilan parantee 

­þ¨ÈÅý ­þÕ츢ýÈ¡ý ±ýÚ ¯¼ýÀð¼¡ø, ¾ý¨É ­þÕôÀÅÉ¡¸ ¸¡ðÎÅý ; «Ð ¦À¡Ø§¾ §¾¡ýÚ¸¢ýÈ Àø§ÅÚ ÅÊÅí¸û «¨ÉòÐõ «ÅÉÐ ¾¢Õ×ÕŧÁ ¡Ìõ. ­þÉ¢ ­þùÅ¡Ú ¸¡ñÀ¦¾¡Æ¢òР «Åý  ¯ÕÅ¢Éý «Äý ±É¢ø, «Åý ¾ý¨É  ¯ÕÅÁüÈ «ÕÅÁ¡¸ «Õ×Õì¸Ç¡¸ ¸¡ðÊ ÂÕ¸¢ýÈ¡ý. ­þùÅ¡Ú ¯Õר¼ÂÅÉ¡¸  «øÄ¡¾ÅÉ¡¸ ¯Çý ±ýÀ¡÷ìÌõ «Äý ±ýÀ¡÷ìÌõ ¸¡ðÊÂÕÙõ  þ­ò¾ý¨Á  ­þÕ̽í¸û ¯¨¼¨Á¢ý, «Åý ±ùÅ¡üÈ¢Öõ ¡ñÎõ ­þøġЧÀ¡¸¡¾ ¡íÌõ ÀÃóРŢâó¾¢Õ츢ýÈ ¯ñ¨Áô¦À¡Õ§Ç¡õ; ¦À¡öô¦À¡Õû «ýÚ 

If you accept the reality of BEING,  then all the different archetypal forms are His forms. If you do not want to accept these FORMS then He discloses Himself in Formless Forms showing that He can be FORMLESS as well.  And HE shows Himself as capable of both Forms and Formlessness and hence on account of it a REALITY that remains pervading the whole universe, never ever absenting Itself. 

uLan enil uLan: If you accept that He is, He  shows Himself as there 

avan uruvam iv vuruvukaL:  as the  ONE  as these archetypal forms as His own 

uLan alan enil,: Now if you want to see Him as Formless 

avan aruvam iv varuvukaL: then He shows Himself  Formless with so many Formless Forms 

uLan ena ilan ena ivai kuNam udaimaiyin; And thus BEING with  these Dual capacitties for both Formness and Formlessness 

uLan iru takaiyodu ozivu ilan parantee : HE is THERE pervading everything , never absenting Himself at all. 

Commentary

Against the background of the outstandingly penetrative insights   Namazvar unfolds in this verse, the whole of the iconoclastic ideologies of many world religions and sects would appear supremely mistaken   and perhaps something that pervades only because the real depths of TRUE religion have NOT been fathomed. 

BEING can NEVER be defeated and HE is entirely capable of assuming whatever form would please the finite human mind.  He can present Himself as the ONE with various Forms and if you do NOT like to understand BEING through structural FORMS then he can WITHDRAW them and   show Himself as FORMLESS but nevertheless continue to BE THERE in Formless Forms.  No human understanding can EXCEED His competencies.   He is TOTALLY uncanny, infinitely incomprehensible and the only thing that we can be sure is that HE is THERE never absenting Himself whether you like to see him with forms or without forms. 

BEING can assume both FORMS and this is the experiential Truth.  The Allah of the Muslims is the Formless Form but not the Sathasivan of the Saiva, the Vishnu of the Vaishanavas. But BEING is capable of BOTH-- the iru takaimai and INDEFEATABLE and because of it the Praaparan. 

But most importantly he IS THERE never absenting Himself amidst both types of choices, human preferences. The desert mind, used to desert landscape may want to acknowledge the presence BEING as the SUPREMELY Formless Form and BEING obliges such individuals assuming such presentations. Another mind used to the luxuriance of the tropical paradise might want to see the presence of BEING in as many FORMS like the flora and fauna of the tropical landscape. BEING obliges such individuals too. But whatever it is, BEING is PRESENT to both types of minds in the way they want to feel the presence of BEING. 

BEING cannot be denied in whatever way and therefore ever presents everywhere. 


Namazvar 1-10 

ÀÃó¾ ¾ñ ÀèÅÔû ¿£÷¦¾¡Úõ ÀÃóÐÇý
ÀÃó¾ «ñ¼õ ­þÐ ±É ¿¢Äõ Å¢ÍõÒ ´Æ¢× «Èì
¸Ãó¾ º¢ø ­þ¼ó¦¾¡Úõ þ­¼õ ¾¢¸ú ¦À¡Õû¦¾¡Úõ
¸ÃóÐ, ±íÌõ ÀÃóÐÇý; þ­¨Å ¯ñ¼ ¸Ã§É 

paranta taN paravaiyuL niirtoRum parantuLan
paranta aNdam itu ena: nilam vicumbu ozivu aRak
karanta cil idantoRum idam tikaz poruLthoRum
karantu, engkum parantuLan; ivai uNda karanee 

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BEING is present  in  cool waters of life  regeneration   collected in various ways in this wide world;  HE is there as non disappearing  Immanent Reality in the vast cosmos, in the material stuff that gives forms to  it and  in the Space that gives locations for them to be.  HE is even in those minute locations hidden from view and in the  microscopic things that populate such spaces. And if it is asked whose is present as thus , it is Cangkaran , the BEING with the capacity  to  eat and swallow  and thus cause their total withdrawal 

paranta taN paravaiyuL niirtoRum parantuLan:   HE is there  immanent in   the cool waters  spread all over the world. 

paranta aNdam itu ena: nilam vicumbu ozivu aRak: He is there  never absenting Himself  in the vast cosmos, in the concrete objetcs there as well  as in the Space that locates them; 

karanta cil idantoRum idam tikaz poruLthoRum :  in every  hidden crevices and in the microscopic objects  there 

karantu, engkum parantuLan:  He is   present   everywhere but as the concealed 

ivai uNda karanee: BEING who is thus is Cangkaran, He who  can devour the all these  (Manifest Worlds) 

Commentary: 

Here again   we find a cosmological view  very similar to Saivism , an understanding that  I have termed Metaphysica Universalis.The "karan" is certainly  is Cangkaran  , a neutral term but because of wideuse, is more common in Saivism. 

BEING  as the immanent reality, is  the ancient Purusha of Purusha Suktam   or even going earlier  the Ningirsu of the Sumerian times, the One with very large feet and who spans the  earth and sky. The descriptive  term "uta amrtatvasyaa eesaanah" in Purusha Suktam  is also available over there in terms of : sig-ba-ni-a-su a-maru-kam ( at his feet was a tempest) 

This NinGirsu or Enlil or Seirmaal of the Sumerians  may  the Tirumaal of Vaishanavism. But Namzavar   in addition to describing  Tirumaal as suchalso goes BEYOND to the Absolute which in Sumerian times itself was understood as Nin-a  : the Great One , the Great Mother who gives birth to all  but here noted as Karan, or Cangkaran  He who discontructs the whole world. Elsewhere this Great One is also An,  that exists even now buried in theTamil terms aaaNdavan aaNdakai etc. 

This Karan is also known as Aingkaran , meaning the one  capable of Pancha Kritiyam-- the five fold activities of BEING, that  of production, sustenance, annihilation and all these  through Concealment  and  Disclosure. Thus  though Namazvar as a bakta melts in the thoughts of Krishna,   as a metaphysician he is the same as the great Nayanmars  like Appar Njanasamabantar Sundarar and Tirumular. He has the same metaphysical understanding but chooses the archetype of  Tirumaal   or Krishna  for his PERSONAL and feeling toned emotional  Bakti  but whom for him  is also the same as Karan or Cankaran.



Namazvar 1-11 

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kara visumbu eri vaLi niir nilam ivaimicai

varan navil tiRal vali aLi poRai aayninRa

paran adimeel kurukuurc Cadakoopan col

niral niRai aayirattu ivai pattum viidee

Meaning:

BEING, instead of remaining the totally above and beyond and hence inaccessible, out of immense and intrinsic LOVE, has disclosed Himself through the five basic elements - the Dark Space, Fire Wind Water and Earth that are also elements of sense perception and through them also as ONE full of Power Strength Love and Patience.I, Sadakoopan of Kurukuur having witnessed His Divine Feet of this Cosmic Dance has composed these thousand verses and organized them in a sequence that is appropriate. But among these, this First Ten is special for anyone who understands their meaning and get to enjoy the metaphysical insights available there, are sure to enjoy genuine Redemption or Moksa! 

Comments:

As already noted quite unfailingly by practically all the VaishNava Acaryas who have built up the Vishistatvaita Philosophy (but wrongly fathered upon the Vedantic texts) these first ten verses are of outstanding merits in addition to being immensely profound. In fact along with immense beauty of diction and syntax that is very poetical as well as deeply metaphysical , a vast philosophy is already being outlined within so few words that it becomes a real challenge for anyone who would seek to understand them. It is not simply the semantics and syntax, the metaphors and the various of poetical figures but the insights that are unfolded that become the real challenge.The metaphysical eyes must be wide open in order to understand and appreciate these liberating insights and which is possible only with the assistance of Divine Grace. As one ponders over the meanings fully aware that there is a MUSIC to these and that they are relevant to grasp the meanings, the mind is lifted up into an altogether different horizon where the mind loses its egotism and merges fully in vision of the Dance of Divine Feet. 

His Feet is what the human mind can witness and understand and this is what this Sadakoopan also succeeded in witnessing. BEING-in-Itself is wholly incomprehensible, immeasurable -- forever a Mystery. We can understand only what He chooses to tell us about Himself and that only if His Grace facilitates it. No matter how brilliant we are and no mater how heroic our struggles are, unless BEING graces us, we cannot understand anything of Him. And this despite the fact that HE, having torn Himself away from the ISOLATION and Aloofness intrinsic to Him, chooses to disclose Himself through the world of Space Wind Water Fire and Earth, the basic elements that go into the weaving of the phenomenal world, the historical. Like a ghost that discloses itself by possessing a human being and transforming everything available to disclose its presence, BEING also possesses the world and discloses Himself by transforming these insentient and brute matter by infusing spiritual qualities to them, the various gunas. BEING thus becomes the Purusha, the EnLil of the Sumerians, permeating everything physical and spiritualising them.

There is Strength and various kinds of Competencies (tiRal), there is Power (vali) to accomplish so many things, there is LOVE and Compassion for all (aLi) and infinite Patience and Peace of mind (poRai) among the creatures who have assumed a physical frame but who are SPIRITUAL in terms of the above gunas.

BEING is present as the manifest reality in the gunas or the spiritual qualities of the creatures. It is in human essence as well as the essence of the physical world that BEING has made Himself accessible and that too only His Divine Feet. 

The notion of Divine Feet is a metaphor more popular among the Saivites and where is connotes the DANCE, infusing MOTION and through that agitate the immense universe making it move - develop evolve change transform withdraw re-emerge and so forth. It is in these changes that the Divine Gunas are to be seen and though that some aspects of BEING Himself, BEING as the eN kuNattaan, as already announced by TiruvaLLuvar several centuries before Namazvar and which insight has taken deep roots in the Tamil metaphysical mind.For Saakoopan, it provides a away of interpreting his spiritual experiences and which are contained in these first ten verses. For unlike the other verses where there is self-abandonment in the direct spiritual experiences of BEING-as- NaraNan, these first ten are INTERPRETIVE and hence embody the metaphysical understanding, Siddhanta. Over and above the direct experiencing of BEING in the various kinds of archetypal presentations, the philosophical UNDERSTANDING, the Siddhanta stands above all of them for it is that which brightens up consciousness, makes one UNDERSTAND and appreciate BEING. And this understanding is that which will secure the final Liberation for it is that which destroys the inherent Ignorance or Blindness that throws the creatures into an endless existential repetition, samsara. 

Namazvar of course knew this and thatís the reason why he included this verse as the eleventh in the first patikam, something like a corollary. 

(The First Patikam that has been such a challenge and so demanding is now concluded - Loga) 



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