The Second Sutra:
On Moral Existence
avaiyee taaneeyaai iruvinaiyin
pookku varavu puriya aaNaiyin
niikkam inRi niRkumanRe
Karutturai: en nutaliRRoo enin, punaruRpavam varumaaRu
THE SECOND AXIOM
The creatures act as if they are BEING itself, get into the existential circulation of births and deaths as determined by the MORAL LAW, the basis of which is the undying DECREE of BEING, who stands always with them never departing or absenting HIMSELF even for a moment.
General Intention: What is intended to disclose is the truth of the continuous resurrection of individuals and the existence of moral law regulating it.
1. Having established the fundamental ontology in the first axiom, investigation now turns to the analysis of worldly existence. Here the existence is linked with cosmic existence, which only fundamental ontology and the metaphysics that grounds it unfolds as a truth. The earthly existence in a single life span is only a moment in the enormous number of such existences with one existence conditioning the form of the next and so forth. There exists a Moral Law that serves to guide the creatures to evolve into higher species. The moral sense that enables creatures to differentiate the good from the bad, the right from the wrong, the just from the unjust and so forth are expressions of this Moral Law which ultimately has its basis in the DECREE like presence of the pull of BEING.
2. It is also disclosed that the moral sense has as its basis the attachment or self-identification of the psychical entities with BEING itself; they acting as if they are BEING in themselves, they being in ‘advaitic’ union with BEING.
3. punar uRpavam: resurrection; existential repetition.
iru vinai: Lit. double action; the divisive and discriminative moral sense that judges one as good and another as bad and so forth. Also derivatively the abstract structural elements that like genetic codes determine the biological and other such conditions of a birth.
aaNai:Lit. a decree, an order. Because the presence of BEING and the magnetic pull HE exerts, HIS very presence acts on the creatures as if a decree, it is described here as so rather metaphorically.
4. The metaphysical truths of the first chapter disclose the possibilities of two distinct forms of existence i.e. Being-in-the-World viz. Being-one-with-BEING (BWB) and Being-one-with-the-World (BWW) that can also be called the heavenly and earthly existences. It is in the BWB form of existence that the moral sense is located and Moral Law is said to be regulative. The form of existence as BWW is taken up in the next sutra where the moral issues are not relevant.
5. BWB is that which makes possible a series of resurrections or rebirths. While KARMA regulates the process, BEING-AS-GRACE stands as its GROUND making available to the creatures whatever necessary to get resurrected and enjoy another span of life. BEING, it is implied, by His GRACE can annul the karma, if need be. No one needs to be enslaved by karma.
2.1 Mutal atikaraNam (The First Thesis)
iiNdu, iv vaanmaakkaL palavum mutalvan
taaneeyaai niRkum enRatu.
attuvitam enRa collaanee eekam ennil,
eekam enRu cudduvatu uNmaiyin, attuvitam
enRa collee anniya naattiyai uNarttumaayiddu
Assertion: These psychic entities though distinct from BEING, exist as if they are BEING in themselves, i.e. in a relationship of non-otherness with BEING.
Reason: If by the term ‘advaita’ a Sameness is meant, by that very act of thus indicating which is not an untruth, an illusion etc., an Otherness is implicated.
edutuk kaaddu 2.1.1
kaddum uRuppum karaNamum koNdu uLLam
iddatoru peer azaikka en enRangku-oddi
avan uLam aakillaan uLam avan aamaaddaatu
avan uLamai allanumaam angku.
When a person existing with a body equipped with tool-like organs and having a complex organization is called by name, he responds to it forgetful of his bodily abode. In his responding to the vocative, while he is distinct from the body he acts as if not. BEING though stands as not-other with the psychic entities, yet HE is not the same as them. Nor the psychic entities can ever neutralize the Otherness of BEING. Thus BEING stands in a peculiar relationship of Sameness and Otherness with the creatures and the world.
onRu enRatu onRee kaaN, onRee pati; pacuvaam
OnRu enRa nii paacattoodu uLai kaaN-onRu inRaal
akkarangkaL inRaam akara uyir inReel
ikkiramattu enum irukku
When it is asserted that BEING is one, what is meant is that though HE discloses Himself in so many different forms, HE is nevertheless the SAME. You who assert this oneness or sameness, by that very act of thus asserting, disclose yourself as a finite being enchained by desires. Furthermore this ONE is also asserted to be indispensable for the Being of the world just the primordial sound, akaaram, is indispensable for the production of the different phonemes.
paNNaiyum oocaiyum poolap pazamatuvum
eNNum cuvaiyum pool, engkumaam - aNNal taaL
attuvitam aatal arumaRaikaL onRu ennaatu
attuvitam enRu aRaiyum aangku
Like the melody present in a song, the sweetness of taste in a fruit that are understood only in reflecting upon the experiences, so is the nonabsence of BEING from everything that has Being. Because the PLAY of BEING is never absent anywhere any time, the genuine mystic literature will not assert singleness of substance but rather nonabsenting universal presence which is implicated by the term advaita (a-dvaita: non-duality or non-otherness)
arakkodu ceertti aNaitta akkal pool
urukki udangki iyaintu ninRu - pirippu inRit
taanee ulakaam tamiyeen uLam pukutal
yaanee ulaku enpan inRu
There are moments in which the psychic beings fuse themselves so totally with BEING that separation and hence experiencing as Other, the alterity is impossible. At this neutralization of alterity with BEING, the psychic entities exist as BEING itself claiming that ‘I am the world’, ‘There is nothing outside and above me’ ‘Everything is my mind’ and so forth.
1. In his very approach to philosophy- hermeneutic analysis of existence as such, Meykandar already refutes Vedantic idealism that begins philosophical inquiry with ‘Therefore now inquiry into Brahman’. He recovers for philosophy the forgetfulness of EXISTENCE that the idealistic traditions in India, particularly the Vedantic nourished and thereby killed the birth and proliferation of the sciences and the life of inquiry in general. Here the criticism is directed at the central claim of the Vedanta texts viz. ‘akam Bramam asmi’ ‘Tat twam asi’ and so forth, the so called mahavakyas. The assertorial ‘Thou art Brahman indeed’ becomes in self-claim mode ‘I am Braman indeed’. The relationship of non-otherness, self-sameness is disclosed by the term ‘advaita’ a literal translation of which is non-duality. Meykandar subjects this to an exegetical analysis on the basis of the fundamental ontology already established in the first chapter.
2. In the first argument he presupposes the presence of Hermeneutical glances for which everything would appear as a TEXT and hence with duality of structure, a Surface Structure that points beyond itself to a Deep Structure within. Both structures are co-present without one being reduced to the other that the flat, single surface objective glance will always tend to do. It is also indicated that the presence of the psychical is understood only within the hermeneutical. In order to explicate the peculiar relatedness of the psychic entities with BEING, he brings an analogy- the relationship of a psychic being with its physical embodiment. Though it is distinct (argued for elaborately in the next chapter), in the vocative contexts where it is called upon by another person, it responds forgetful of its body. At that moment there is non-otherness in relation to the body- it functions as if it is the body. BEING stands similarly with the psychic beings. Within the psyches is present also BEING concurrently sometimes in Otherness and sometimes in Sameness. The inseparable co-presence of beings and BEING is said to be the meaning of advaita.
3. In the second argument Meykandar criticises the monistic interpretations of such mystic utterances as ‘BEING is one (onRee pati) etc. Having shown the metaphysical world as inherently plural, such a monism where singleness of substance is said to be the metaphysical truth become unacceptable. Here he gives the true meaning: while BEING presents HIMSELF in countless number of forms, HE is NOT either singly or collectively these; HE stands transcendent to all these as absolutely OTHER, the ONE, the SAME beyond all these appearances. He who asserts that ‘BEING is One’, by this very assertion discloses his own finititude - that he is a bound individual aspiring to unbound himself, liberate himself. Now though BEING is above as the absolutely OTHER with an irreducible alterity, IT is indispensable for the Being of the world. The world is BEING in a sense, as the body is the person under certain conditions. Nothing can be in the world without BEING just as there would no phonemes if not for the primordial sound through modifying which the different phonemes are produced. The presence of BEING is indispensable for the presence of the world.
4. The third argument enunciates another meaning of advaita, that of ‘non-absenting universal presence’ of BEING, wherever there is Being, there is BEING along with it just as melody is with a song, sweetness of taste is with a fruit . Such invisible presences are experiential realities though apprehended and possessed as conscious prehensions only in reflective acts. The hermeneutic reflections enable the gaining of visions, of sighting what we fail to sight, recover for consciousness what remains concealed. The presence of the never ending PLAY of BEING is therefore everywhere, universally present without ever becoming absent. ‘Advaita’ means precisely this nonabsenting presence of BEING and not monism. BEING is universally pervasive, the world drama is enacted in HIS presence and because of HIS presence.
5. In the fourth argument Meykandar explicates the origins of the proneness of psychic beings for attachment, the presence of CARE as a structure of psychical existence and through that the conditions for the production of such mystical utterances. The psychic entities being intrinsically unfulfilled and unsatiated tend to fuse with an OTHER in order to escape from this painful condition and enjoy temporarily at least some contentment, fulfillment. But all such self-enclosures, a wholeness through attachments are severed, cut loose so that new and higher level attachments can be forged. The psychic entities evolving thus finally encounter BEING, fuse with IT so deeply that severance is almost impossible. There comes to prevail an ecstatic divine love, a frenzy, a madness of a peculiar sort. Completely taken over by this fusion, the person becomes forgetful of himself, identifies completely with BEING and issues forth the utterances of the sort ‘I am God’ ‘I am the world’ etc., utterances that abound in mystic literature and which are produced as evidences for idealistic monism. Over and above the contents of the claim, there is the mode of Being that issues forth such utterances. Meykandar attends to these existential conditions and by accommodating them provides a meaning of advaita philosophically more acceptable.
6. These expositions, clarifications and the articulation of the truth of BEING as nonabsenting universal presence, that also conceals itself and that while standing wholly OTHER and ABOVE also descends to a SAMENESS, a one-withness with the finite psychic entities, sets the stage for the explication of ethics and how the world processes are regulated by MORAL LAW, a truth that becomes visible only to the hermeneutic glance.
2.2 Irandaam atikaraNam (The second Thesis)
ini, iv aanmaakkaLukku iruvinai
mutalvan aaNaiyin varum enRatu
Oru nakariyaik kaappaan paadikaaval
iddaangku avai avanatu aakinai
Assertion: Now, for these psychic entities the moral sense accrues on account of the Decree that issues forth from BEING.
Reason: Because anyone in POWER, like a king of a state, would make the citizens submit to his decrees.
edutuk kaaddu 2.2.1
uLLateet tooRRA uyir aNaiyum av udalil
uLLataam muRceyvinai uLLadaivee - vaLLalavan
ceybavar ceytip payan viLaikkujn ceyyeepool
ceyvan ceyal aNaiyaa cenRu
At the point of rebirth, i.e. at the point of resurrection, a body that is already there becomes available for the inhabitation of a psychic entity. In this body there is already engraved the traces of all the previous actions of that psychic entity as if a hierarchically organised program buried within. BEING as the infinitely GRACEFUL, serves like the field that yields according to the labour exerted, provides whatever is due to each according to the actions effected. The actions in themselves are ineffectual in determining the conditions of rebirth.
edutuk kaaddu 2.2.2
av vinaiyaic ceyvatanil av vinaijnar taan cenRangku
av vinaiyaik kaanta pacaacam pool - av vinaiyaip
peeramal uuddum piraanin nukaraareel
aartaam aRintu aNaippaar aangku
The BEING that stands as the same and infinitely OTHER with the psychic entities, draws unto HIMSELF all the creatures like a magnet that would draw pieces of iron in its vicinity unto itself. This pull is ultimately the source of the actions effected by the psychic entities - 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 the BEING, as the ground of the actions that provides the outcomes, the results, the consequences of such effectuations. 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? BEING makes everything exert, move Himself remaining unmoved but providing what accrues to each according to its own actions and which is engraved as the KARMA that conditions its resurrection, rebirth.
nelliRku umiyum nikaz cembinil kaLimpum
colliR putitu anRu tonmaiyee - valli
mala kanmam anRu uLavaam vaLLalaal ponvaaL
alar cookam cey kamalattu aam
Like husk of rice grain and verdigreese in copper, on close examination they will turnout to be originary, not something that has accrued to them on the way. They have been with them, as their essence right from the beginning. Analogously the karma- the traces that are engraved by the actions effected as that which pertains to the anma at the point of resurrection - is not new, just brought into being. It has been there all along with the psychic entities clinging to them stubbornly as constraining, delimiting and form-constituting factor. But however like a lotus that blooms at the presence of the sun, but droops at its absence, psychic beings radiate in the brilliance of BEING having overcome the constrains of karma but droop or fall fully to it at its absence or concealment.
1. Above it was shown that the psychic entities stand as the SAME AS BEING when BEING is Not-Other, and Different from BEING when BEING is totally OTHER. Here an asymmetry is said to exist between the two despite this primordial SAMENESS and OTHERNESS - BEING is the most-high, the ABOVE ALL in terms of POWER and hence is that which decrees, dictates, regulates everything. The moral sense of the psychic entities, i.e. the origins of ethics as such is located in this asymmetrical power structure between BEING and others, an asymmetry similar to that between a king and his subjects. One is a citizen or a subject only when one submits to the decrees of the nation, promulgated by the POWER in authority. It is this condition that makes possible transgression or submission, violence or subordination and hence good or evil, just or unjust etc.
2. The karma is a trace engraved as that which is due to a particular psychic entity and which is so because of the actions effected by it. It is the actions that can be conforming or transgressing and the judge who decides and thus who engraves is BEING and NO other. BEING in his magisteriality is absolutely JUST and provides what is due to each strictly according to the actions effected. BEING functions solely like the field that yields only according to the labours exerted in cultivating something. Actionless existence are made known as useless by withholding the objects of desire.
3. Man on his own will cannot predetermine the forms of his own future existence. Though he can stand as the same as BEING when BEING is Not-Other, he cannot engrave his own future. He is constrained , finite and powerless to be that BEING that reserves unto itself the POWER to decree and hence to reward. All his actions are effected under the propulsions or projections provided by BEING and hence by such actions, he cannot transcend the conditions of he being thus played. Man is caught in the DANCE OF BEING, and he acts only when caught in the DANCE. He cannot by such actions, extricate himself and reach the source of actions, and thus engrave his own future. This is substance of the argument in 2.2.2.
4. It is further affirmed in 2.2.3 that Karma, the inscriptions called up by the effectuations of actions are not, metaphysically speaking, something new, something that have come to be there out of nothingness. They pre-exist hidden in the maayai and the actions effected only call them forth out of their hiddenness. Such inscriptions henceforth exist as an intrinsic structure of the Being of the entities, as that which influences the yet to come possibilities of Being , of existing.
5. It must be noted that Meykandar does not state that man is a slave to the Karma, that he is forever in the clutches of this stubbornly clinging, fate determining Karma that in itself is constraining while remaining facilitating simultaneously. An apt analogy is brought in to explain how BEING by ITS immensely illuminating presence helps the creatures escape, transgress the delimiting karmas and metamophorse into the higher. The lotus blossoms, overcoming all the negative forces at the presence of the brilliant sun, and droops or withdraws at the absence. In a like manner man blossoms into a higher kind of being at the presence of the radiant BEING overcoming the karmic constraints by breaking through the existing inscriptional derterminations, loosening their grip and evolving into a higher kind of existence. However at the absence of this inner radiance, he droops, falls a prey to the Fate-like engravings and submits himself to be completely ruled over by them. His existence becomes mechanical, unproductive, noncreative, stereotyped etc.
6. It is clear that the strong inner presence of BEING in the mind of man shows itself in actions that are liberating, that disengages him from the confounding and cloistering prejudices whether positive or negative. The self moves by the actions effected either closer to BEING or more distant. That which results in greater proximity is disclosed as the GOOD and the opposite the EVIL. The movement away from BEING, it should be noted, cannot be anything other than the movement towards the DARK, that which causes death as such. And which also is the source of depression, melancholy, despair and so forth i.e. the sources of pain and misery.
2.3 MuunRaam atikaraNam: (The Third Thesis)
Ini, iv aanmaakkaL maaRip piRantu
tooRRamum iiRum uLLataRku allatu
Assertion: These psychic entities get continuously resurrected under-going metamorphoses at the same time.
Reason: For what is there as a metaphysical reality, unless it gets to appear and disappear, cannot exist as something in the world.
edutuk kaaddu 2.3.1
kaNda nanavaik kanavu uNarvil taan maRantu
viN padarntu attuudu vinaiyinaal - kaN cevi keddu
uLLatee tooRRa uLam aNuvaic cenRu manam
taLLa vizung karuvil taan.
Like losing every experience of the wakeful state when transported to the dream-state, at the point of death the psyche loses the ears, the eyes and all the memories of the earthly existence carrying along with it only the traces, the inscriptions that it has acquired by its own actions. While thus floating it enters a body that is a product of the karmic formula, and thus gets into a womb pushed by a desire (for embodiment) as an entity subtle in its form.
edutuk kaaddu 2.3.2
aravu tan tooL urivum akkanavum veeRu
parakaayam pooy varum ap paNpum - paravil
kudaakaaya akaayak kuuttaddam enpatu
adaatu, uLLam poom aaRu atu
The transportation from a state of embodiment to that of disembodiment is similar to a snake sloughing off its worn-out skin (in order to acquire a new one) , and to that of transportation from a state of vigilance to that of dream-state. This disappearance from the world and entry into the Depths and reappearance at the point of rebirth should not be compared with the bounded space of a pot becoming the unbounded space when it is destroyed. The psyche only changes the psychical embodiment ( as a snake would change its coat) at the point of death and does not cease to be an individual even while without a body.
1. The metaphysically real, has to be in historical flux to be an existent. To exist is to be taken in flux, to acquire births and deaths continuously in an alternating rhythm. To be is to be in existential flux, be in the world, disappear into the Depths and reappear. The psyches are not just characterized by historicity but rather more profoundly by cosmicity. Temporality is a cosmical notion and Existence, against fundamental ontology, will never cease as long as there is Temporality. To be is to be in Time and this requires a movement of recurrent resurrection, registering a metamorphoses, a change of some kind in each resurrection, existential repetition.
2. Death deprives only the current embodiment and does not bring about total annihilation, the evaporation of a psychic entity into a nothingness or even a structureless dot. The change brought about by death is not to be compared, as it is done in Vedantic idealism, with the bounded space of the pot becoming the unbounded at the destruction of the pot. If this is the case, a psyche ceases to be a metaphysical reality contradicting what has already been shown in fundamental ontology. Death effects only a change of state, enables one to disengage from the existing bodily frame so that a new one, more consistent with the karma that has been acquired can be owned up as ones own. In this movement is written the evolutionary development, the metamorphoses into higher species.
3. It also follows that the body is not simply an upaati, a prison that confines the spirit forever so that it aches to be absolutely free and unbounded. The body is not simply a limited space but rather a complex machine-like entity that makes a world of experience possible for the psyche. The body acquired places the psyche in a buvanaam, a world with a horizon of its own that is lived in by the psyche. The psychical maturity of the psyches, the bodily frame acquired and the world that it can in fact experience are all well co-ordinated. Death deprives one the body and the world that comes along with karma but does not annihilate the psyche. It remains there in the Depths with the traces it has acquired as its own ready to lead another existence, possibly in a new world.
4. It should be recalled that the psyche liberated at least partially by the destruction of the DARKNESS that envelopes and atomises it, is stretched outside itself towards BEING; that BEING attracts the psychical entities in existence like a magnet would attract pieces of iron. There is then a primordial EROS characteristic of the Being of entities and because of which Temporality comes to be a factor in their understanding, in their Being. Death does not neutralize this primordial Temporality and EROS and the psychic entities continue to be in the world alternating between death and rebirth in an unbroken succession till they are neutralized i.e. Mukti is attained.
5. The terms ‘viN padartal’ and ‘parakaayam pooy varal’ are metaphorical terms for the journey into the universe of mantras. There are expanses or spaces beyond the visible, the sensorially accessible. The physical existence, Being-in-the-World alternates between these two universes, embodiment making accessible the world of senses and disembodiment the other. The bodiless psyches continue to be as a complex of mantras, in which is inscribed the traces acquired by the actions effected while in the bodily existence. Even while in mantra form the psyche is not free of desire termed in 2.3.1 as ‘manam taLLal’, being pushed by the heart, of course speaking metaphorically. As long as there is Temporality there is Eros or desire and as long as there is desire there is resurrection, rebirth and another lease of existence.
6. Mukti here is not nirvaNa or the disappearance of the substantiality of selves. Mukti neutralizes the tension ridden condition of being the SAME as BEING when BEING is Not-Other, and Different from BEING when BEING is Other. Mukti overcomes such interest conflicting existence by attaining an absolute oneness with BEING, Being-absolutely-one-with-BEING. At this point the primordial EROS is also overcome and hence along with it Temporality. The psychical existence becomes atemporical, aspatial and hence devoid of EROS.
2.4 Naangkaam atikaraNam: The fourth Thesis
Ini, niikkam inRi niRkum anRee enRatu
avan eekan aneekan iraNdum inRi carva
Assertion: Now, BEING stands forever as nonabsenting presence
Reason: For BEING is neither One nor many for HE stands as universal presence.
engkum uLan enRu aLavai OnRu anRu irandu ennil
engkum uLan anRu; evaRRu evanum - aangkaN
avai avan anRi illaip pon oLi pool iican
avai udamai aaLam naam angku
It has been disclosed that BEING is a universal presence, is a nonabsenting presence. But because BEING is that which withdraws appearances from all entities and also that which provides them, if it is asserted that BEING is not One but Dual, then HE cannot be universally present, be a nonabsenting presence. There is nothing in the world ever without HIS presence. HE has both the productive and destructive powers within HIM inseparably like a piece of gold and its luster. He possesses all and account of which we are forever indebted to HIM.
1. The destructivity and productivity underlies the world of flux. Along with these as supplementary to them are the processes of retention, concealment and illumination. This intrinsic complexity of the processes and having within Itself contrary aspects may lead to a pluralistic view of BEING -it may be claimed that BEING is not unitary but intrinsically pluralistic (eekan and uneekan). But if this were so, it is pointed here, BEING cannot be a nonabsenting presence for in being one of the plural He is not the other. If HE is one of the archetypal manifestations, then at that point HE is not the other such manifestations. To avoid this, HE is said to be One, a Unity disclosing however varied attributes and that all coexist just like goldness of gold and its luster.
2. It is also disclosed that we are absolutely nothing if not for the GRACEFULNESS of BEING. We owe whatever we are to His munificence, unbounded LOVE that HE has towards all. BEING in itself is totally altruistic; BEING is LOVE supreme.