The Twelfth Sutra:

On Living the Philosophic Life

cemmalar noon taaL ceeral oddaa

ammalang kaziiyi anbarodu mariiyi

maal aRa neeyam malintavar veedamum

aalayan taanum aran enat tozumee

karuturai: en nutaliRRoovenin, acintitanaay ninRa

patiyaic cintitanaakak kaNdu vazipadumaaRu

uNarttutal nutaliRRu


Having destroyed the presence of ANTIBEING within that resists the anma accessing and being in the realms of UNIVERSAL DANCE, one should be in the company of those in LOVE with BEING, worshipping the divine individuals pure in heart and full of universal LOVE and the Temples as if BEING itself is present as these.

General Intention: What is intended to advocate (as to what authentic existence is) is a way of life in which the concealment of BEING is overcome and is made to be present within one’s own Being as the most visible presence.


1. The term ‘acintitan’ means being beyond the reach of thought, of understanding and available only as the concealed presence as the unconscious. Technically this way of being of BEING is known as maRaippu or tirobava, one of the five-fold ‘activities’ of BEING. Such a concealment constitutes the stuff of transcendental unconscious and it is advocated here that the chief characteristic of authentic existence is working towards the destruction of this concealment, of the presence of unconscious in one’s understanding. This means the world as a whole becoming transparent, translucent so that understanding meets no resistances, obstructions etc. speaking hermeneutically here. The ‘patiyai cintitanaakak kaaNal’ means precisely this destruction of concealment of BEING, It’s presence merely as transcendental unconscious. When the various presentations of BEING are accessed, retained and interpretively understood so that how the world processes are constituted by the play of mantras and hence archetypes, such a destruction takes place to the measure the interpretive understanding hits upon TRUTHS. This is also the essence of genuine philosophic life, a life of inquiry, the highest form of religious life, the jnaana paatai.

2. In order to lead such a life one must be careful about the kinds of individuals one associates with. Social existence is enormously consequential for ordinary individuals and the company of those who live with genuine LOVE for BEING and therefore are genuinely philosophic will reinforce one’s own bakti and serve to deepen it by deep and sustained inquiries.

3. The authentic existence is symbolic life for only through various kinds of deep religious symbols that BEING is present. Particularly important here are those who adorn themselves courageously with the symbolic marks indicating genuine LOVE for BEING and the institution of TEMPLE itself. They must be revered as if they are languages of BEING itself, the ways in which BEING discloses itself on its own accord.

4. Authentic existence articulated here as ‘malang kazittal,’ is destroying the finitising, particularizing, cloistering presence of Darkness in understanding, the presence of ANTIBEING and the egotistical desires that come along with it. Understanding must be totally universalized in order to make it absolutistic and this can be made, as already explained, only by living full of LOVE for BEING and hence living as LOVE itself. Only pure LOVE has the power to purify, to absolve from within oneself whatever that finitizes and makes understanding cloistered and full of prejudices.

12.1 Mutal atikaraNam ( The First Thesis )


iiNdu, aaNava maayai kaanmiyam enum

malangkaLaik kaLaika enRatu


avaitaam jnanaattai uNarttaatu anjnaanattai

uNarttum aakalaan

Assertion: Now the finitising presence of ANTIBEING, the desire for the physical world and earth binding karma must all be disengaged and dropped off.

Reason: These elements, as long as they are present, distort understanding disclosing untruths and generating misunderstandings.

edutuk kaaddu 12.1.1

puNNiya paavam poruntum ik kaanmiyamum

maN mutal maayai kaaN maayaiyum - kaNNiya

anjnaanam kaaddum iv vaaNavam im muunRum

meynjnaanikku aakaa viduka

The karma that throws an individual into moralistic existence where there is always the worry of being right or wrong, the desire for the physical world form the earth to the remaining basic elements and the ANAVAM, that stuff that breeds darkness in understanding are the things that OUGHT to be disengaged and dropped off by anyone desirous of genuine philosophic wisdom.


1. The term ‘meynjaani’ is translated here as one desirous of philosophic wisdom, one whose existence centers on the search for TRUTH, absolute illumination. But this life of inquiry is not simply undirected intellectual adventure where philosophical systems are churned out as castles in the air, conceptual systems with feigned magnificence of their own. The life of inquiry that is genuinely philosophic is defined by the phrase ‘patiyai cintitanaaik kaaNal’ occurring in the sutra proper. A life of genuine inquiry is a life seeking to understand BEING, piercing through the concealment with which HE covers HIMSELF in all HIS presentations.

2. A life of inquiry is NOT simply an intellectual adventure where only the ‘head’ is involved and great adventures are enjoyed in the realm of imagination, including the transcendental. The philosophic life being advocated here is a life of self-purification, of absolving from within oneself every ignorance sustaining, prejudice producing, earth bounding desires and the metaphysical realities that are the root causes of these. It is a life of battle, of combat, of warfare in which we try to vanquish the ANAVAM, KANMAM and MAAYAI that eternally throw us to the unending cycle of births and deaths.

3. A life of philosophic inquiries as the highest form of existence ever possible for man and as the expression of genuine authentic existence is formulated here in very specific terms: One ought to strive to extricate oneself from karma that binds one to the moralistic; kill the desire for the physical that binds one to the earthly and overcome ANAVAM, that stuff that is present within from the beginning of cosmic existence and which breeds DARKNESS within understanding and on account of which man is in IGNORANCE, the ignorance of the sort that breeds egoity.

4. Philosophic life thus defined, is a refinement of religious life, a religious life in which philosophic inquiries of the most profound kind become acts of worship termed elsewhere as ‘jnaana puucei’. The ritualistic symbolic life, by its own inner dynamics evolves into a life of inquiry, where the mind absolutely free and untied to any dogma, articles of faith and so forth pursues fearlessly in its adventure to understand BEING, to understand TRUTH.

12.2 IraNdaam atikaraNam ( The Second Thesis )


inic civapattarkaLoodu iNangkuka enRatu


allaataar anjnaanattai uNarttuvar aakalaaan

Assertion: Always be in the company of Lovers of BEING.

Reason: For the others may lead you astray, pull you down to the ways of ignorance.

edutuk kaaddu 12.2.1

maRappittut tammai malangkaLil viizkkum

ciRappilaar tantiRattuc ceervai - aRappittup

pattar inattaay paran uNarvinaal uNarum

meyttavarai meevaa vinai

The company of the philosophically unilluminated must not only be avoided but their very existence battled with continuously for otherwise they will make people forget BEING and through that fall into a life of impurities. And simultaneously one should live amidst people who are in Love with BEING and do only those that are indicated by BEING by attaining genuine universality of understanding. A life thus lived secures for oneself freedom from Karma.


1. Philosophic life, the life of meynjnaani is not a life of a recluse, a life wandering in the distant woods eating the fruits, roots and leaves. It is on the contrary a life of social combat, of vigorous exertion such as those of Nayanmars. A war must be waged against the ignorant, the unilluminated so that they remain vanquished, subdued, ineffectual and uninfluential. When a jnaani sees the rise of the ignorant ones and fails to arrest their tide, people as a whole begin to forget BEING, forget TRUTH, justice, genuine LOVE and so forth and degenerate into unculture, barbarism, lust and bloody aggression. As the gods always battle with the asuras to defeat them and transform them, so should the jnaani. He should continuously wage wars with the ignorant, the arrogant and the corrupt so that BEING is never forgotten and the whole nation, nay the whole world live in active memory of the presence of BEING.

2. The vigorous life of a jnaani is not only of combat but also of promotion, of development and cultivation. The lovers of BEING, the baktas must be promoted, the number of such individuals increased so that the whole society comes to be full of such individuals. The unilluminated and the ignorant must be challenged and combated in order to convert them into individuals who live in the active memory of the presence of BEING. The ignorant must be challenged in order to disclose the truth that they are in IGNORANCE and therefore should attempt to destroy it. Genuine conversion is not concerned with enslaving an individual to a cult, a dogma but rather making him SEE for himself the presence of BEING within himself.

3. The warfare of the jnaani, the Nayanmar should never degenerate into the bloody wars of greed and self-conceit. The challenges and combats should be ‘meyttavam’, genuine religious acts that are guided solely by dictates of BEING. The war of a jnaani is NOT a war of an individual or even a group of individuals but rather that of BEING. Such wars are in fact wars fought by the gods against the asuras, the jnaanies serving as the surrogates for the gods. And because such activities are not egoistic activities with self as the agent, they fail to elicit karmic traces that further bind the anma to the worldly. They are in fact activities that FREE the individuals from karma itself for they universalize the mind.

4. The term ‘paran uNarvinaal uNartal’ discloses the backgrounding of an individual’s Being and the foregrounding of BEING in existence in the course of such combats. Unlike the earthly wars of individuals and tribes, the war of jnaani is a war that universalizes the mind by shattering all the prejudices that particularizes it and makes it tribal. It is a war against tribalism, casteism, nationalism, cultism, dogmatism and all other such machinations of the mind that make a person a cultural prisoner, and hence non-autonomous and impure. To be pure is to be thoroughly universal and to universalize all precisely in this sense is the goal of the war of a jnaani, a Nayanmar. And because of this, such a war becomes ‘meytavam’, true religious practices. 

12.3 MuunRaam atikaraNam ( The Third Thesis )


ini pattaratu tiruveedattaiyum civaalayataiyum

parameecuran enak kaNdu vazipaduka enRatu


avan maRRu iv vidangkaLil pirakaacamaay

ninRee allaata vidatttu ap pirakaacamaay


Assertion: One ought to live a life respecting and worshipping the symbolic adornments of the lovers of BEING and the temples of CIVA.

Reason: BEING makes HIMSELF present in such appearances and locations and remains concealed and hidden in others.


1. The term ‘tiruveedam’ means the wearing of rudraksa, smearing the forehead with ashes and so forth. What is meant however is the symbolic language which one shows by discarding the earthly presentations and adorning self with these. Such elements belong to the language of the Depths, the Unconscious and hence a person who wears these discloses by that his accessing and living in the Depths.

2. The term ‘Civaalayam’ though translated as temples of CIVA should not be taken in any narrow sense. What is meant is a structure in which the archetypal presentations of BEING are represented in icons of various sorts so that the building becomes a way of accessing and living in the Depths.

edutuk kaaddu 12.3.1

tan uNara veeendit tanatu uruvait taankoduttut

tan uNara tannuL iruttalaal - tan uNarum

neecattar tampaal nikazum tatiney pool

paacattaaRku inRaam pati

In order to bring about an understanding of BEING and through that authentic self-understanding, BEING stands with the selves as non absenting presence disclosing HIMSELF in various archetypal forms. For those who live in LOVE with BEING such presentations occur as gifts and because of which they attain profound illuminations, as butter emerges from milk only on being churned. For those who are still in bondage to the earthly, such presentations are not disclosed and hence they do not gain an understanding of BEING.

edutuk kaaddu 12.3.2

kaNdatoru mantirattaal kaaddattil angki veeRu

uNdal pool ninRu angku uLataamaal - kaNda urut

taan atuvaay anRaanaan tan atuvaayt toonRaanoo

taan atuvaayk kaaNum tavarkku

BEING makes Himself present when appropriate mantras are recited just as fire hidden in the wood is made to blaze forth through appropriate measures. BEING who thus emerges as various archetypal forms, takes possession of the anmas by making them projectively identify with one such presentations, makes them act out that archetype and when the purpose is attained withdraws it in order to repossess them with another and so forth. Would not BEING who thus appears in countless number of such forms also appear in the bodily adornments and monumental structures if such presentations are also desired by the lovers of BEING? HE would most certainly.


1. Authentic existence is not only a life of combat with the unilluminated and ignorant individuals but also of inner combat, a war waged against the unconscious or IGNORANCE that engulfs one’s own understanding. And this war is waged with Depth Hermeneutical efforts as the tactical manouvers, efforts directed at accessing the realms of the unconscious and destroying the ignorance pertaining to the elements there. The contents of the Depths are made available as symbolic presentations of various sorts, in the adornments of individuals, temple architecture, dreams, mythic tales, folklores and so forth. Such presentations must be understood, made elements of conscious prehension as already explained in the Fourth Sutra, so that there is no unconscious as such in the self. The whole world including the hidden Depths must be owned up as transparent to oneself, as something that one understands in order to emerge victorious in this genuine spiritual war.

2. Now it may be objected that the symbolical are not really metaphorical in which over and above the sensory there is a presentation of BEING accounting for its metaphoricity, the irreducible surplus of meaning and that they are fictions, imaginative constructions, fantasies, mental machinations of an aberrant mind and so forth. In order to counter such objections it is pointed out, as already explained in sutra two and elsewhere that the human mind is projective, always reaching outside itself, identifying itself with what one is not yet but what one certainly could be and so forth. Because of such ‘stretched-outside-itselfness’, the self is always intentional and because of that temporal. It is recalled now it is BEING as the totally Other, as the Alterity that presents certain images, models which are then seized upon by the selves and taken as images of themselves, as what they can really be and so forth. Thus it is BEING which determines human behaviour with such ‘possessions’ through archetypal presentations, producing countless number of them each made eminently suitable for the specific context in which a particular individual is. BEING is awesomely fecunditive, producing tirelessly images and models to be possessed by individuals and live as dictated by them. Now if BEING is infinitely fecunditive and awesomely productive, it is asked now: wouldn’t such a BEING also present Himself in adornments and architectural monuments if such presentations are desired by individuals who are earnest in their quest for understanding BEING? Certainly HE would, it is affirmed. What we have in symbolic are presentations of BEING and as such they are not mental constructions, weird machinations of an aberrant mind and so forth.

3. The term ‘mantra’ is used here in the sense of appropriate technology, procedure, maneuver and so forth. There is fire in the wood but which remains concealed, unmanifested till it is rubbed continuously with a piece of stick. The intense friction and consequent heating up and the wood burning with intense flame is being mentioned here just as an illustration. The idea is of course destroying the concealment and making the hidden realities available for public seeing. BEING is not only within one’s self as that which directs it’s seeings but also in the world as that which underlies its processes and developments. BEING-AS-THE-WORLD, the presence of BEING in the world, as its GROUND must also be understood in order to annihilate the opacity, the darkness that surrounds one’s understanding. A life of philosophic inquiry should not neglect understanding of the world and how BEING plays the phenomenal drama in order to instruct the creatures, each according to its own competency.

4. The chief task of philosophic existence, it is being pointed out here, is understanding BEING and through that understanding the truths about self. BEING stands as nonabsenting presence within the mind and presents HIMSELF, discloses HIMSELF continuously in FORMS appropriate to the contexts of situation and because of which His presentational forms are countless in number. While BEING is ONE, the presentational forms are countless and this cannot be understood unless these forms of BEING are taken into account in the philosophic inquiry of the genuine kind, that which seeks TRUTH and nothing else but TRUTH.

12.4 Naankaam atikaraNam ( The Fourth Thesis )


ini iv vidangkaLil vazipaduka enRatu


narambu naadi mutalaanavaRRait taan

atuvaay varum purudan, avai aakaavaaRu

ap purudanum aakalaan

Assertion: One ought to lead a life of worship in such places as the above.

Reason: The psychic entity will otherwise be forgetful of the presence of BEING and Fall identifying itself with the bodily parts such as the nerves, blood vessels and so forth . Worship will disclose the truths that the self is not the body and so forth and that the self is what it is because of the presence of BEING-AS-GRACE.


1. The term ‘purudan’ is the person, the ego that underlies the use of the pronouns ‘I’, ‘thou’ and so forth. Hence the anma that is locked up within temporical understanding, with an ego and so forth.

2. The anma as a self, as an ego identifies with the physicalistic body or body parts as its transductive vision remains closed and hence the Depths shut off. Respectful attendance to the symbolic keeps in understanding the elements of transductive perception and hence avoids the fall towards the earthly, the purely physicalistic

.edutuk kaaddu 12.4.1

atu itu enRatu atu allaan, kaNdaarkku

atu itu enRataiyum allaan - potuvatanil

attuvitam aatal akaNdamum teivamee

attuviti anbil tozu

BEING is not the entity that continuously sees the world alienly, identifying entities objectively as this and that. Now for those who understand BEING as beyond thetic consciousness as the totally above but which presents itself in innumerable archetypal forms that throws the Being-in-the-World of the anmas into projective modes in terms of ‘I am this’, ‘I am that’ and so forth, it should be known that BEING stands irreducible to these. BEING stands as the whole world as well as that which is beyond, forever irreducible to the phenomenal. Hence one should worship BEING not as something there alien to oneself but as one’s own essence, as what one can in fact be.

edutuk kaaddu 12.4.2

vinaiyaal acattu viLaitalaal jnaanam

vinai tiirin anRi viLaiyaa - vinai tiira

jnaanattai naadit tozavee atu nikazum

aanattaal anbin tozu.

Actions with self-agency, in view of its orientation towards WHOLLY-FOR-SELF will be productive of only temporical, historical understanding and hence something nonabsolutistic. Absolute illumination cannot be accessed unless such egoity is overcome. And in order to destroy such an egoity, one should desire ardently absolute illumination to the exclusion of all others. In the course of such a life, in view of the numenotropism that is instituted as the guiding passion, absolute illumination dawns as a reality. And therefore one should persist in worshipping BEING with supreme Love.

edutuk kaaddu 12.4.3

tannai aRivittut taan taanaac ceytaanaip

pinnai pizaittal pizaiyal atu - mun avanee

taanee taanac ceytum teivam enRum teivamee

maanee tozukai vali

Do not ever commit the error of forgetting the GRACE of BEING on attaining some illuminations by arrogating for self what in essence belongs to BEING forgetting that it is BEING that has instructed the selves and made it realize its true essence. BEING is forever supreme, totally the Transcendent Other despite the fact that HE stands as SAME-AS-SELF for pedagogic purposes. And to remain unforgetful of His absolute transcendence, the most effective way is to worship Him unfailingly.


1. The philosophic life outlined, authentic existence delineated as that which one OUGHT to realize in life, though a life of combat, should also be a life of worship. For the philosophic individuals are also prone to err when spiritual illuminations of a profound nature descends upon them. When they forget that such illuminations descend upon one out of the GRACE-OF-BEING, one tends to place oneself in the place of BEING and play the role of a Deity, a god becoming autocratic and demanding unquestioning obedience. A desire for self-adulation grips such individuals making them spiritual autocrats no better than political tyrants. In order to avoid falling into this pit, it is recommended that BEING should be worshipped continuously and unfailingly. The act of worship is essentially an act of submission and hence something that prevents self-arrogation.

2. The terms ‘attuviti anbin tozu’ in 12.4.1 and ‘anbin tozu’ in 12.4.2 delineates in greater detail the essence of worship in authentic existence which is genuinely philosophic. What is desired is jnaanam - absolute illumination - the END-IN-SIGHT sustaining philosophic existence in attaining the mode of Being in which BEING reigns supreme i.e. [BEING-(Being)]. Egoism is completely and totally overshadowed, backgrounded so that the Being is simultaneous with the presence of BEING; in the existence of the individual only the presence of BEING is visible. This total and absolute foregrounding of BEING in existence is what is termed ‘attuvitam aatal’, becoming SAME-AS-BEING by overcoming the alterity. The term ‘attuviti anbu’ describes the passion that desires this END, the moksa.

3. ‘tozutal’ or worshipping also means putting oneself completely at the service of BEING so that whatever one does, it is not mooted by self for self itself but issues forth as promptings of BEING itself. Every action is either WHOLLY-FOR-SELF or WHOLLY-FOR-OTHER. The latter kinds of actions are extraordinary and involves self-negation, self abstinence, pushing the self-needs to the background. While the actions of the former kind elicit karmic traces that continue to bind the individual to the earthly life, the sacrifice-type activities, in view of the fact that they are activities with possession of self by BEING, are nonkarmic in this sense and hence unbinding, liberating and so forth.

4. The life with Love for BEING as the ruling passion, sustains a life in which among the various psychotropisms, the PULL unto BEING, nomenotropism, is strengthened to the exclusion of others. Unshakable and undiminishing LOVE of BEING for the sake of absolute illumination and nothing else is the sadhana that leads one to access and be forever in the realm of Universal Dance, Thiru CiRRampalam, the HOME towards which one has been moving the moment one was thrown on the path of evolution, from that ancient moment where Darkness was violated and a faint ray of consciousness burst upon oneself.