|Having brought out the fundamental place of pedagogic hermeneutics
to understand the dialectics of existence in which there is the phenomenon
of archetypal installation and displacement, all in the interest of destroying
the DARK light within tha's the root cause of all the problems in life,
now attention shifts to morality and ethics which are integral parts of
earthly existence. Morality and dilemmas associated with it, come along
with the assumption of corporeal presence , a bodily appearance in the
world so that the anma is caught up in the historical flux suffering deaths
and existential repetition- puNaruRpaththi- from which they try to extricate
themselves and attain mukti. Arunandi begins now interrogating this fact
of phenomenal presence, the existentiality of anmas themselves.
é¹þ°'Ë Ì«è ÖÒ'Å î¢
iRan-thOy karaNangkaL ellaam enakkuch
Thou art ONE who understands without any utensils and because of that always exceeding my humble self in everything. But if pedagogy is the essence of existence , then why is that I am thrown into corporeality and incorporeality in an unending succession through cycles of births and deaths? This activity of Thee is like that of the shepherds who cut the distant branches of a tree and tie to a post so that they are within the reach of goats.
Notes: Corporeality because of which bodily presence in the world is made possible, allows ENJOYING empirical experiences of various kinds which are impossible without assuming a physical body that is machine-like ( maayaa iyanthirath thanu, as MeykaNdaar would put it) and comes already structured towards accessing certain worlds and existing in them. Such an empiricity that corporeal presence locates for the selves, appear incomprehensible in terms of the meaning of existence as Being-one-with-BEING, where BEING understands everything non-interpretively and hence without any cognitive utensils. The interrogations now turn towards the notion of <iruvinai>, that which fabricates corporeality for the anmas and which is linked with moral judgements. Because all judgements involve acceptance and rejection, it is called <iruvinai> meaning double action. There is <mUla karma> as part of the constitution of the psychic entities and because of which corporeality as its nature become unavoidable.
< aayan kol paathavam>: the distant and juicy branches cut by the shepherd and tied to a post that is within the reach of the goats. Here the reference is to the elements of the physical world made available for the ENJOYMENT of the anmas through appropriate karmas.
aRRathen paacham uRRathu un kazalE
Oh! Thou the divine who hast seen TRUTH, because of thy GRACE, I have transgressed the chains that bind me to the worldly and attained the realms of Thy DANCE. Oh! Thou who resideth in the SPACE OF ARUL and discloses Thyself as the excellent in all kinds of taste, it is because of Thy grace that I have overcome the alienation and gained for myself Being the SAME as Thee,
Notes: kazal, though means the anklets but metaphorically stands for the DANCE, the sivaththaandavam.
ÏØî òº³ òî-'Ö ÏäÆ
iruvinai enpathu ennaikol aruLiya
Now I have some questions pertaining to iruvinai or mUlakarma. If it is said it is none other than the pleasant and unpleasant experiences that are produced by effecting actions bodily, mentally or verbally, then it would mean that karma is something ephemeral; that which gets destroyed immediately after the onset and hence not something that accompanies one firmly as a help in self development throughout the whole of existence.
Notes. < thin>thinai >: that which affords illuminations and hence development.
'Ì«Å ¥Å 'ÍÆÅ °'Ö
kaaraNam chatam kaariyam aqthaal
The mUlakarma, as the DEEP STRUCTURE element that constitutes the moral competence that allows the discriminations of the right and the wrong, is physicalistic or non-sentient. And how does it come about that I am led to suffer miseries, the pain of guilt and so forth by something that is non-psychical? In other words, how can something non-psychical affect the psychical?
-ÆÖ î°'ÇñÅ -ÆþÒ ×'Ì'³
cheyal enathaayinum cheyalE vaaraathu
Now if it said that miseries and exultations accrue to me as a result of my actions and that these are consequences of my actions, then it would mean that the actions transform themselves into the existential feelings and emotions both positive and negative. But praxis as such, the labours in themselves do not transform into guilt and such other morally tinged emotions; it is not the actions per se that breed such feelings (but rather the intentions)
ÆÀò -Ë± °í-ïò ÀÚÅ
iyaman cheythi ithaRkenin amaivum
Now in order to overcome this problem, if it is contended that it is the archetype Yama, the God of death and miseries who in fact metes out punishments in the form of guilt and mental tortures depending upon the actions effected, then it would follow that such a functioning is not continuos and always there inalienably as archetypes are sometimes present and sometimes absent.. And furthermore if what is done by Yama in the form of punishment or revenge that individuals certainly deserve on moral grounds, then the pedagogic functioning of archetypes in general do not become available anymore. The moral consequences of actions effected, the moral competency in general, are divorced from the general pedagogy for which existence is.
Maiyal thIr vazakku: a form of functioning in which the Darkness of
ignorance is violated through inner radiance, illumination that clarifies
And furthermore there is the political leader, the King or community or religious leader to punish the erring individuals in terms of the legal codes whether conventional or promulgatory. Such social forces are sufficient to correct the individuals and put them on the right course. The functioning of the archetypal Yama becomes then redundant and hence supremely unnecessary.
And Thou as BEING standeth there as the supremely GRACIOUS with KINDNESS beyond measure. Within Thy presence, if it is totally unavoidable that one should suffer the painful consequences of one^s own evil and immoral actions, then Thy presence becomes useless, ineffective and irrelevant. As BEING thou art no help at all.
Notes: amainthathu thuyththal : suffering or enjoying the consequences of one^s own actions that one deserves aNaivu: a support for escaping from the evil consequences that are impending and appear unavoidable
èã³ þº''³ ÖÒ³ ×'Ì'³
uLLathu pOkaathu illathu vaaraathu
Now it can be said that in accordance with satkariya vada, what has Being cannot disappear and be a nothing and what has no Being cannot ever appear, the punishments people suffer are NOT NEW; it was ALREADY there as such only that it now SHOWS itself and hence existentially suffered or experienced. But this view too is not without problems. For if this is the case, then my contemplation of Thine infinite munificence itself may be sufficient to escape such transformational presence of the primordial unmanifest root cause of the evil. And hence there is no necessity for the existence in bliss, free from suffering to be obtained as a GIFT, as a dispensation from Thee by efforts that are deserving, by the effectuation of actions that are meritorious, virtuous, just etc.
ÇñÅ òî Ï¹³ÆÑ º¨´°
aayinum ennai arun-thuyar patuththa
Oh Lord ! The supreme BEING! Thou must dispel the doubts that I have
about karma and my bondage to it. Thou must clarify my humble self as to
how and why karma accrues to me so stubbornly causing me to suffer immense
pain and distress , remaining in itself something uncanny and mysterious.
1) If Chapter 6 was concerned with the phenomenon of archetypal possession of the anmas which is an expression of ARUL, the GRACE inherent to BEING and because of which occurs the destruction of IGNORANCE and releasement from the mummalam, now inquiry turns towards the sources of human suffering, miseries and distress. The question: Why is there SUFFERING as a factor in human existence? becomes now the main question. This question translates into the metaphysical question of the REALITY of karma as a factor in the psychic constitution and the fact that it serves as a FETTER so difficult to disengage.(karumamum karma panthamum) How is that karma that is the cause of human corporeality and hence suffering, is there as a factor at all in the psychic constitution DESPITE the fact that BEING is also simultaneously present and because of which there is the experience of happiness, contentment and the esthetically beautiful and pleasant? The simultaneous presence of both BEING and karma, somewhat contrary in their effect upon the anmas, becomes the problematic in this chapter.
2) The word <karma> is derived from Tamil< kaal> which also occurs
in Sumerian which is archaic Tamil. There are several meanings to it but
that which is the most suitable here is that of: to establish, set up,
effect an action, derivatively the action itself and etc. Derivatively
and metaphysically it has come to mean that which underlies the anmas assuming
a bodily presence in the world and existence or Being-in-the- World as
such. This thrownness of self into worldly existence of a sort appears
to be like a shepherd feeding the goats by cutting off the distant juicy
branches of a tree and placing them within the reach of the goats. Something
distant and not normally available is made available and experiential by
making it possible for an anma to exist in the world through assuming a
bodily presence. The problem however, is in the understanding about the
REASONS for such karmic dispensations. The bodily presence, viewed along
these lines would mean, is for a PURPOSE, and hence the REASON underlying
it instrumental, even that of learning. Such an instrumentality, it is
noted, is inconsistent with the essence of BEING, who is beyond such purpose
related instrumental reasoning. The REASON for the bodily presence of the
selves cannot be anything instrumental , including the pedagogical.
4) Against such background assumptions, Arunandi raises two fundamental questions that are interrelated. The first is: iruvinai enpathu ennai kol? What is really the meaning of moral judgement? What is really the moral competence that allows or compels human beings to JUDGE in terms of MORAL VALUES so that a yes or no decision is made in connection with certain courses of action. The second is : karumamum karuma panthamum vanthavaaRu theruLal: a demand to clarify the meaning of karma and how the anmas are infected by it and because of which not only there is bodily presence but along with it, there are morally related existential anguish and untold misery. The moral competence comes along with the assumption of bodily existence, an existence ruled by the dialectics of materialism, an existence that is constraining in numerous ways. What makes such an existence miserable and painful on the one hand and happy and joyous on the other, is the presence of value judgements that accompany everything that is done and effected in the world. If the competence to JUDGE is not there in the bosom of man, events will remain simply events , happenings simply happenings- everything will be attended by a neutrality so that nothing is pleasing or displeasing, acceptable or unacceptable etc. The karma that binds the anmas to historical modes of Being is also that which provides the competence and need to discriminate and judge.
5) The first possibility that is considered and which is quite ancient as well as common, is that of the lokayathas, the materialists who do not see anything beyond the sensorial and dialectics within it. Existence is full of praxis which are mainly bodily labour, speech acts and mental acts related to them. It is claimed that the moral competence is none other than the ability to discriminate the pleasant from the unpleasant that follows or emerges as a consequence of the actions of the above sorts. All actions , including the mental, are productive of a change of some kind or other which may be pleasing or displeasing to the individual. What is pleasing to one may be displeasing to another but nevertheless they are seen as pleasing or displeasing. In other words the moral is the same as the esthetical and hence it pertains to feelings, taste and other affective elements. But this view is criticized and thrown out on the basis of the observation <kaNaththidai aziyum thinaith thuNaiyaakaa>. The moral competency is something that gets continuously dispersed and reformed, disseminated and reassembled, disintegrated and reintegrated etc. For what is pleasant or unpleasant varies continuously , now this now that, no more this and no more that etc. But moral competency, as distinct from various expressions of it, remains undispersed , undisplaced etc. It stays with all individuals as a competence that is not lost or regained, something that departs and reenters rather mysteriously, gets dispersed disseminated and then recovered etc. Despite these tumultuous episodes of the esthetical, the moral competence remains untouched by the ruling tastes and fashions. It has a permanence and universality of its own; though productive of happiness and misery, in itself it is a distinct reality , a deep structure of the psychic constitution that stays almost permanently with it, guiding it all along towards the RIGHT and the JUST. The moral sense is DIRECTION GIVING so that existence follows a certain definite course and deviancies are recognized as such and avoided. One can say, following Kant here, that the moral sense exists in terms of certain categorical imperatives that adhere to a person rather stubbornly so that not that easily dispersed.
6) Another line of reasoning accommodates dialectical materialism and raises serious and rather damaging doubts over it. The phrase < kaaraNam catam> discloses that within this understanding all processes are physicalistic or materialistic. That which prompts, locates and configures actions- bodily, verbal and cognitive- are material and hence it becomes problematic on this view to explain the presence of pains and miseries: <aar aNangku> How can the material processes produce pains and miseries that are in fact psychical? The dialectical material processes though can disintegrate, reassemble, suffer flux, change in state etc, it is not clear how such processes can be disappointing, worrying, miserable, painful, disgusting, annoying etc unless there are psychic entities that perceive them and value them variously in terms of their interests, hopes, desires, expectations etc. The physicalistic cannot act upon another physical system and cause the above psychical effects.
7) Now if it is asserted, to overcome this dilemma, that there are psychic
entities and that it is the actions themselves independent of the anmas
that somehow reappear as pleasant, unpleasant etc, the problem is not solved
yet. An action effected is an event in the historical flux that somehow
punctuates it and introduces discontinuities of various kinds. But it is
NO MORE as such after it is effected and completed. What gets transmitted
in history as tradition ( marapu) or habit, a routine etc, is not the action
itself for the action-event is unique. Also in itself it does not enter
or make connections with the subterranean or the unconscious and emerge
into consciousness as the painful, torturous, miserable etc. Also though
it may be deposited in memory, the recollection of the action-event, its
reemergence in consciousness, need not be pain producing etc. The actions
effected, though can agitate the cognitive mechanisms, they do not , on
their own accord, assume a form that would inflict pain, pleasure etc.
If this were possible, then on my own, I can choose those actions that
would avoid pain and produce pleasure so that in the end everything I do
is pleasure producing; moral dilemmas , guilt , shame and so forth will
not emerge at all. But facts of existence show that this is an impossibility,
only a fond hope or wish or pretension. We do not seem to know exactly
what actions bring about what kind of moral and ethical outcomes ; they
not only vary from context to context , from individual to individual,
but also there is a mystery surrounding them. There are always actions
that are novel and hence outside tradition and hence beyond the existing
value systems. The anmas have no absolute POWER over pleasure/pain producing
capacities of actions.
9) Because of such an understanding, the dialectics moves towards the
subterranean forces, to the elements that lurk in the unconscious . in
the DEPTHS, in the ABYSS of the anmas possibly in the form of archetypes,
that we have already seen, take possession of the anmas and dictate their
behavior. There is perhaps Iyaman, the God of Death, an evil Power that
take possession of the anmas and inflict pains and miseries each time an
unethical and immoral action is effected as a sort of punishment so that
in future such actions are avoided. This Iyaman, is not insentient brute
physical stuff but rather a conscious POWER lurking , unknown to the individuals,
in the Depths , always watchful so that each time something unsavory is
effected, an immediate feedback in the form of something painful is forced
to be experienced. The Iyaman is the negative moral reinforcer, always
alert and ready to punish anyone who effects something immoral, unethical
11) Now at last, the presence of BEING is brought in as the ultimate source of moral competency that is already there with ALL individuals. Meykandar likens BEING to a mighty good King who regulates his country through his DECREES. Such a inner regulation is possible only because of the presence of a FUNDAMENTAL DECREE- the aaNai- that already exists in the bosom of all creatures and the whole world providing unfailingly a DIRECTION for the journey that is existence. This aaNai is that which is interpreted by the philosophers and saints, the ordinary individuals and the political leaders, each according to his own hermeneutic competence. The moral principles of philosophers, the indictment of Saints, jurisprudence and such other legalities, the unwritten laws of traditions and cultures are all INTERPRETATIONS of this fundamental decree that pre-exists all of them. So ultimately it is BEING and no other who serves as the source of moral competence . Even the punishing POWER , Iyaman, is not an autonomous being but rather a phenomenal presentation of BEING itself necessitated by certain circumstances all for the GOOD of the anmas.
But even here Arunandi is not satisfied: sees intriguing problems of acute sorts. The phrase < amaiththathu thuyppin emakku aNaivu inRaam> brings out the problem. If BEING functions purely as the Intelligent GROUND that provides sufferings and enjoyment purely as consequences to the actions an individual effects, then it is not clear how proximating BEING and living in its SANNIDHI, Its direct presence, glow in Its RADIANCE, is ever possible. If BEING is not pedagogic and/or absolving of impurities, then the selves are condemned eternally to existential nihilism of a kind, forever thrown to phenomenality, existential repetition or historicity, forever enduring sufferings and enjoyments in an alternating rhythm. The view of Meykandar < ceybavar ceythi payan viLaikkum ceyyE pOl> is that which is being made problematic here. If BEING as the GROUND is purely cybernetical, providing the necessary feedback when actions are effected, then BEING as that which guides the anmas in the direction of emancipation is made impossible. There cease to be a pulling to higher modes of Being.
11) Another objection is raised in terms of Satkarya Vadam, which is
axiomatic in Saiva Siddhanta. Nothing issues forth from nothing; everything
, in a sense , is ALREADY THERE and phenomenal presentation is simply a
change in the mode of Being- from Being cUkkumam, i.e. unmanifest, it becomes
thUlam, manifest and phenomenal. From being concealed, it is allowed to
be PRESENT as a phenomenal reality. What IS (uLLathu) cannot become a NOTHING
(pOkaathu) and what has no Being (illathu) can never become a phenomenal
reality (vaaraathu). Only that which has metaphysical Being can become
an experiential reality, something that can be understood as there.(uLLathE
uLLathu) Now if this principle is applied to the issue of sources of moral
judgement, the thrownness to praxis and bondage to it, then it is not a
special dispensation or GIFT emanating from BEING as if spontaneous. (vaLLanami
elaam unnita amaiyum, IyavEndum enum vithi inRaam) The notion that emancipation
can issue forth as a GIFT, as an expression of His ARUL. His GRACE or LOVE
seems to be contradicted by this Satkarya Vadam.
1. The articulation that would silence such interrogations is seen by Sikaazi Tattuvanathar, one of the commentators , as the following:
-Ë×'ò Øî êÆ'ò -Ë°Øî °'îêÆ'
cheyvaan vinai aRiyaan cheythavinai thaanaRiyaa
Whoever effects an action, he does not have a full understanding
of that which configures the action-event; the structural elements of the
action-event are not in themselves self-conscious as to their moral worth.
No individual can, on their own accord unbound or transgress the constraining
principles that impel them into action. Even the social leaders are not
exception to this- even in their political activities, there is no full
understanding of the action-configuring elements and why they are constituted
as such. Against this universal hiddenness of action -configuring agencies,
there are no values or criteria of universal application in terms of which
any action can be judged as to its moral worth. There are NO ethical principles
of universal validity. However BEING stands as THAT which understands each
and every individual and all their actions and INFORMS as to the moral
worth of the actions effected.
ÜØîÆ¢ -Ë×°ïÖ ÜØî£Ñ °'Å -òé
avvinaiyaich cheyvathanil avvinainyar thaam chenRangku
BEING stands as the SAME and infinitely OTHER simultaneously with all the anmas, draws unto Himself all the creatures like a magnet would draw unto itself pieces of iron in its vicinity, which shows itself in the form of various psychotropisms that we have already considered, the most fundamental being muktotropism, the GURU NADI according to Siddhas. This tropism or PULL is ultimately the source of the actions effected by the anmas- they will be incapable of actions as such if not for the propulsions established within them by the presence of BEING. And hence it is BEING and no other that provides the outcomes, the consequences of the actions effected and so forth. Since metaphysically there is nothing else other than BEING that can understand the meaning of the actions effected, their moral worth etc, who else or what else can thus engrave? Asks Meykandar. BEING makes everything exert themselves and effect actions or at least move this way or that way, Himself remaining unmoved but providing what accrues to each according to his own actions . This is engraved as the KARMA that conditions its resurrection, rebirth, modes of existence , the pleasures and sufferings , successes and failures and so forth.
2) There is the GENERAL PRAXIS , the pancakritiyams, the five fold activities of production, sustenance, annihilation and through them the disclosing and concealing of BEING, as the PRAXIS of BEING itself, universal, enduring and WHOLLY- FOR-OTHER and spontaneous , without any economic calculations. This is the natural, the pre-existent and that which configures all the events that that are historical and evolutionary , in short the magic play of the bewildering phenomenal world, the world of Maayam, magic, uncanny and mysterious. They penetrate the whole world, the open and the hidden, the manifest and unmanifest, the phenomenal and noumenal. Over and above this and because of their availability, emerges the HUMAN PRAXIS by diverting the processes of GENERAL PRAXIS as WHOLLY-FOR-ITSELF, for its own end, purpose etc. Thus emerges the purposive and instrumental actions of the finite creatures specially the human beings. In the effectuation of such actions, there is an appropriation as for itself the universal praxis against its own essence. The FOR-SELF-ITSELFNESS of human praxis CONTRASTS with the WHOLLY-FOR-OTHERSNESS of the universal praxis of BEING. This contrast is ultimately the source of MORAL CONFLICT, the more the element of FOR-ITSELFNESS the more acute being the moral conflict. The human beings are AWARE, no matter how dimly the presence of BEING and along with it the pancakritiyams, and the selfishness of the actions effected makes them aware the DIFFERENCE and through that the emergence moral conflict. The pains and miseries that follow, the feelings of guilt that emerges, the conscience calling now towards the right etc are elements of moral conflict that will never cease till such appropriations are not indulged in. Each time the an anma stands non-appropriating and does actions totally consonant with the universal praxis, the actions are not that of the anmas but rather the SIVACCEYAL, the universal praxis itself, and because of which moral conflict cease to appear and anma is led to feel that something GOOD and NOBLE has been done. This is the stage of iruvinai oppu, going beyond the stage of moral conflict. While the deviant are felt as ahitham or paavam, the consonant are felt as itham or puNNiyam. These feelings are those that serve to dissolve egotism and usher in its death and hence serve as the thinaithuNai, a help in gravitating in the direction of BEING, moving closer and closer to Him and ultimately be ONE-WITH-HIM so that ego-actions are totally and spontaneously avoided.
3) Now this view of the genealogy of moral competence does not, it must be noted, conflict with Satkarya Vadam as nothing ontologically NOVEL, the notion of nothing becoming something, is being asserted. The human praxis is not anything other than the pre-existent universal praxis; its appropriation for self i.e. the generation of instrumental actions is because of the finititude of the anmas, something primordial and the root cause of which is the aaNava malam which is already there with the anmas as anati, non-originary. Karma is not anati as BEING, the anmas and aaNava malam; it is , as it is said in Saiva Siddhanta, an aakanthuka malam, something derivative, a distortion of that which already exists within the universal praxis.
4) Now PURE LOVE , a love that does not calculate in economic terms
is that condition that secures the coincidence of human praxis with that
of UNIVERSAL PRAXIS. This PURE LOVE transcends moral values, esthetical
tastes, social norms , the legal provisions and so forth. There are no
norms that guide judgement as such, in fact there is no judgement at all
but only uncalculating pure spontaneity, that which does not care for anything
expect for the uninhibited pure expression of LOVE. The personality of
the person comes to be ruled by GRACE and in that the person is SAME as
BEING. The moral competence exists towards culturing a person towards becoming
this GRACE itself and ceases when it is attained. The moral competence
as such exists only as far there is DIFFERENCE with BEING and once this
difference is overcome , it ceases to exist also. More fundamental than
morality and ethics id LOVE which when universalized and purified from
its erotic character, becomes that which liberates the anma from moral
and ethical preoccupations. This is the reason why, in Saiva Siddhanata,
the notion ANBEE SIVAM, LOVE is BEING has been rather axiomatic, something
central and fundamental. The development of LOVE and the gradual universalization
of it, is liberating; it liberates one from moral conflicts and thereby
provides immense peace of mind, a liberation from self torture that is
|This page is created and is maintain by Suba. Copyright Suba - 26/11/1998|