The Sixth Sutra:
On Transcendental Phenomenology
Unar uru acattu enin, uNaraatu inmaiyin
iru tiRan allatu civacattaam ena
iraNdu vakaiyin icaikkum man ulakee
karutturai: cattum, acattum varai ceytu
THE SIXTH AXIOM
If whatever apprehended is nonabsolute and if not apprehended at all then it is a nothing, the understanding of BEING, it should be noted is not either of these. It is understood however in a way distinct from the above too. The world is understood and articulated in terms of these two distinct modes of understanding, i.e. understanding the civacat and acat.
General Intention: It is intended to explain the differences between the absolutistic and nonabsolutistic understanding.
1. With the destruction of World-Time, the human finitude is destroyed, the experiences thereby becoming completely universalistic in nature. Existence moves in universals without ever descending to the particularistic spatio-temporal perceptions. Such ways of Being constitutes the essences of transcendental phenomenology where every mode of consciousness is universalistic. Though World-Time is no more, Temporality however, is still there. There is a distinction between Being and BEING , where in every mode of Being, BEING stands as a THAT, the Other, the Alterity. The dynamics of transcendental consciousness is constituted by BEING standing as an Other to the consciousness thus still throwing the psychical existence as awaiting for something outside itself and hence temporal. The mahavakya ‘Tat twam Asi’ rightly captures the dynamics of transcendental phenomenology in that Tat is BEING as Other, twam is the universalized psyche, as that aspiring towards BEING.
2. BEING does not stand as an object of hermeneutical understanding. If it were so then IT would also be in historical flux - impermanent, displaceable, subvertible by another understanding and so forth. And also Temporality as a condition of existence at this level will be impossible. But however if IT is not known at all, it would be deemed a NOTHING (sunyam). BEING is known, it is explained below, by its own disclosures and which we can receive only by abandoning every effort to know, to understand.
3. All understanding is now classified into civacat and civaacat or simply acat. Whatever is known within the modes of Being in which it is open to an Other, within which there is Temporality, is said to be acat -displaceable, subvertible etc. In contrast to this is knowing atemporically, aspatially; knowing through freeing oneself of any impulse to know, to understand. When one frees oneself from any orientation towards an Other, awaits without waiting, remains fully OPEN to receive and only to receive, there dawns an understanding of BEING that is absolutistic. Because such an understanding is nontemporical, it cannot be put into the flux. It remains unchanging, unsubvertible, indisplaceable, the SAME and so forth. Beyond the flux, beyond the incessant flow of forms, ideas, notions and what not there remains BEING and an understanding of BEING as the SAME, as the CAT, the Nittiyam - as that which stands absolutely unchanging. This two fold nature of human understanding emerges most clearly only in the realm of transcendental phenomenology where only BEING stands as the Other, the Alterity, the Different.
6.1 Mutal atikaraNam (The First Thesis)
iiNdu, aRivinaal aRiyapadda cuddu
avai taam pirakaasamaay ninRee appirakaasamaay
Assertion: Whatever that is understood as a That, is nonabsolutistic
Reason: For such an understanding, in disclosing something remains undisclosive of something else.
edutuk kaaddu 6.1.1
acattu aRiyaay keeL nii; aRivu aRinta ellaam
acattaakum meykaNdaan aayin - acattu alaay
niiril ezuttu(m) nikaz kanavum peeytteerum
oorin ivai inRaamaaRu oppu
You who is not clear about what is acat, understand that whatever you have understood and value as knowledge become acat only when you become the MeykaNdaan - one who has seen TRUTH. You who gets to see thus are not an untruth and note that such a transportation of Being is not to be compared with the disappearances of words written on water, dreams disappearing on waking up, a mirage vanishing on nearing it etc.
1. The theme of the meaning of advaita discussed in the second sutra is taken up here again but within the framework of transcendental phenomenology as constituted now purely by the notion of Temporality. Because even within this there is time consciousness in the form of awaiting for, an existential fixation with an Other, whatever emerges, understood, linguisticalized and so forth cannot be absolutistic, that which stands outside the historical flux. Because there is ‘cuddu’ - here certainly not the referential but an Other - there remains still abconsciousness surrounding understanding. What is disclosed contains within itself a concealment, the tirotakam pertaining to Civajnaanam, the absolute consciousness. Every form of universalistic consciousness attained within a That, within in the structure of ‘Tat Twam Asi’ holds also within it a concealment, a tirotakam that remains the cause of the dynamics of transcendental phenomenology.
2. It is emphasized in the edutukkaaddu that on account of the flux prone nature of ordinary understanding, including the transcendental, they are not to be thrown aside as illusions, fantasies, a maaya - a whimsical play of intellect to be avoided at any cost as it has been advocated by Vedantic philosophers and idealists. Ordinary understanding should NOT be compared with the immediately disappearing writings on water, or one state of consciousness not being available on transition to another or even the disappearance of an illusion or mirage when the perceptual conditions change. The acat is not ILLUSORY, it is NOT MAYA. They remain stable experiences of Truth but which become unavailable for an individual on ascending to a mode of Being where BEING ceases to be an Other, state of Being which can be rendered as [BEING (Being)] i.e. the presence of BEING foregrounded simultaneously with Being backgrounded.
3. [BEING (Being)] pertains to the Being of a psychical entity, its existence. BEING continues as it is, as ever but now fully radiant in the Being of a psyche. That which has a way of Being as [BEING (Being)] ceases to disclose anything individualistic; whatever it discloses in its Being, only BEING is available. Like a star withdrawn in the brilliance of the Sun so that only the radiance of the Sun is available for seeing, in this end state of Being, only BEING is available for scrutiny, the individuality of the psyche completely overshadowed. The psyche never disappears, it is as in the state of [BEING (Being)], i.e. nondifferent in being with BEING which is the true meaning of advaita, an enunciation termed suddhadvaita to distinguish it from other interpretations. The state captured as [BEING (Being)] is the end state of psychic existence, that towards which an anma has been moving all along in its long long cosmic history. It is the END state in the evolutionary history, the MEANING of existence with countless deaths and rebirths.
4. The changes in understanding can be considered a species of deconstruction, a deconstruction of a peculiar kind in that temporality itself is overcome at long last and understanding reaches a form where further deconstructions are not only impossible but made absolutely unnecessary. Civajnaanam, that which overcomes every form of concealment- tirotakam - does not require any more destruction . It is the GROUND where the deconstructive impulses die out naturally and because of which it is termed cat-cit-ananda, a state of supreme Bliss of Absolute Consciousness.
5. It would follow that understanding is deconstructive and it is so to reach the absolute ground. In deconstructing, there is an attempt to subvert, displace, to put into flux and so forth. This process continues till it reaches an understanding that resists further deconstructions. It would also follow that the effort to deconstruct any understanding whatsoever presupposes the being-there the absolute understanding, the Civajnaanam, that would not only resist but also make deconstruction unnecessary.
6. It is being emphasized here that deconstruction does not cause the disappearance of the deconstructed. It does not cause the deconstructed evaporate, just as a momentary existent, a fantasy, a dream-like experience, an illusion, a mirage etc. The deconstructed is transmuted, reappropriated with the ignorance hiding beneath it removed, purified hermeneutically and made to shine out more TRUTH. The individual who thus deconstructs and appropriates as his own the deconstructed, experiences a metamorphosis in evolutionary development the end point of which is the attainment of Civajnaanam. What the individual undergoes here is a metamorphosis, the final refiguration of Being. And only on undergoing this, the understanding that has been his and which appeared beyond deconstruction, will be seen now as eminently deconstructible and hence prone to the flux, displacement, subversion etc. i.e. civa-acat.
6.2 IraNdaam atikaraNam (The Second Thesis)
Ini, iv viraNdu tanmaiyum InRi vaakku
mana atiita koocaramaai ninRa atuvee
cattaayuLLa civam enRu uNaraR paaRRu
veeNduvatu inmaiyaanum appirakaacattinukkup
Assertion: CIVAM, the BEING is neither cat nor acat but rather something beyond that stands as the enveloping GROUND of everything, unreachable either by any form language or cognition.
Reason: A LIGHT that is resplendent does not require to be illuminated, and what is not LIGHT has no radiance whatsoever.
1. BEING is absolutely transcendent and therefore unreachable either by temporical or atemporical understanding. The word ‘koocaram’ is translated here as the enveloping GROUND and hence a WHOLENESS that includes everything phenomenal within it.
2. The understanding of BEING is already there and hence does not require any appropriating efforts. It is shining within always though not apprehended by human understanding under ordinary circumstances. The things which are not iridescent require a light to be thrown upon IT to be seen. BEING, being LIGHT itself does not require such a light being thrown upon it to be seen. What is not LIGHT, has no luminance whatsoever and because it also absorbs all light thrown, remains forever in the DARK, as the covered-up. It cannot disclose or reveal itself on it’s own accord.
edutuk kaaddu 6.2.1
eNNiya cattu anRu acattu anRaam enRaal en
kaNNi uLatu enRal, meykaNdaan - eNNi
aRiya iraNdaam acattu aatal, cattaam
aRivu aRiyaa mey civan taaLaam
If what is thought is neither the atemporical cat nor the temporical acat then the question arises as to how something can be said to be there. Now an understanding of BEING is not a product of hermeneutic efforts for whatever that is attained by such efforts exist within the differences of cat and acat, the temporical and atemporical. The understanding of BEING is beyond such a difference constituted understanding.
1. Whatever is attained by deconstructive efforts of human understanding cannot escape difference - even the atemporical exists only by contrasting itself with the temporical. The understanding of BEING or only HIS DANCE, the workings of HIS tirelessly moving feet - civan taal - the productions of HIS pure presence is already there as a giveness requiring only to let it shine forth. The state of being as [BEING (Being)] is this allowing the preexistent understanding to shine forth unimpeded or unobstructed. This requires the cessation of every hermeneutic efforts, the withdrawal of every self exertion. Every hermeneutic exertion is an obstruction against the glow of BEING.
edutuk kaaddu 6.2.2
uNarba acattu aatal onRu uNaraatu onRai
unaru nii taan uNaraai aayil - uNarum unil
taan iraNdaam; meykaNdaan tannaal uNartalaal
taan iraNdaayk kaaNaan tami
The difference exists only in you who is trying to understand. That which is understood becomes subverted and hence an acat only because in understanding something, it is felt that there is something else which is yet to be understood, yet to be lighted up. When such efforts are subdued and the TRUTH BEHOLDER is allowed to glow from within there is understanding beyond the difference
1. The term ‘MeykaNdaan’ is translated here as the TRUTH BEHOLDER, one who allows BEING to shine out completely in his Being, i.e. one who enjoys the state of [BEING (Being)]. This is a possibility that lies deep within every individual but which becomes realizable however only when the realms of transcendental phenomenology is accessed. As such meykaNdaan is not the Atman, the pure witness of Vedanta that is identical with Brahman, the BEING as LIGHT.
2. The deconstructional efforts issue forth only because in the individual who enters into this task there lurks the conscious-abconscious distinctions or difference. It is the individual who brings the difference, it belongs to hermeneutics, to human understanding. When such efforts are subdued and the resplendent within as already there allowed to glow, there emerges an understanding without this divisive difference. In such a way of Being one simply glows like a piece of iron ball glowing when fully in fire. In Being, there is radiating, showing, displaying etc. of BEING and knowing BEING in such ways of Being. Such a way of knowing is this non-differential unitary way of knowing.
edutuk kaadu 6.2.3
paavakameel taan acattaam ; paavanaa tiitam enil
paavakamaam; anRu enil paaz atuvaam - paavakattaip
paavittal taan ennil paavakamaam; tan aruLaal
paavippatu param il paaz
Now if the movement towards [BEING (Being)] i.e. allowing BEING to radiate fully in Being is said to be not so but rather a paavakam, a metaphorical projection of self in which BEING is simply posited as That, then the self itself becomes acat. To avoid this implication if it is asserted that That is beyond the metaphorical, then it still remains metaphorical for it simply arises from a negation of the metaphorical assertion. Now if it is said that ‘That I am’ is not at all metaphorical, then it becomes meaningless. Now to avert this, if it is said now that the self only posits the metaphorical and seeks to understand something by it, then we return to the initial assertion of metaphorical positing. Thus it cannot be denied that in transcendental phenomenological experience there are such metaphorical possibilities but which arise on account of the ARUL of BEING and not because of the hermeneutic efforts of self. BEING projects a That, presents Itself as an Other for a psyche to own That as its own. Hence at the end, the self remains though universalistic, distinct from BEING trying in various ways to become BEING.
1. The ‘That thou art’ i.e. `BEING I am’ sorts of discourses, characteristic of the dynamics of transcendental phenomenological experiences is subject to a penetrating deconstruction aimed at the interpretation given to such expressions in the Vedantic traditions. The term ‘paavakaam’ is noun arising from the verb ‘paavittal’ which means understanding something metaphorically. In Tolkaappiyam metaphors were termed as ‘uLLuRai uvamam’ as distinct from the ordinary analogies, similes and so forth. In metaphorical descriptions the abconscious is accessed somewhat and is related in a comparative way with something already known, understood. Thus in the metaphorical assertions there is reaching beyond the present horizon of understanding of Being. In Vedanta BEING is said to be such a state of Being, that which a self is but which it is not-yet. Now if this account is true then it would follow at the point of realization, i.e. mukti, the self will not be an entity but only BEING contradicting the indestructibility of the psychic entity already established in the fundamental ontology in the first sutra itself.
2. ‘paavanaatiitam’ means beyond the metaphorical, a transcendent to the metaphorical ways of thinking. But here there is no escape at all from the metaphorical thinking for the notion of ‘paavanaatiitam’ is parasitic on ‘paavanai’, it cannot be arrived at independently. Like the notion of in-finite which presupposes the finite, so does this. And furthermore to say thus itself is metaphorical as nothing non-metaphorical is being asserted at all. In ‘That thou art’, if by ‘That’ the BEING is meant and is said to be transcendent to the metaphorical, the assertion ‘being transcendent to the metaphorical’ does not cease to be metaphorical in itself.
3. Now to avoid all these difficulties if it is said that such assertions are not all metaphorical, then they become meaningless and hence useless in the realms of transcendental phenomenological experiences, which again is obviously not the case. There are such metaphorical assertions and they constitute the essential dynamics of such universalistic experiences. The phrase ‘paaz atuvaam’ is interpreted here as ‘meaningless’.
4. BEING as the metaphorically projected state of Being has been denied; the claim that it is transcendent to the metaphorical has also been shown to be untenable. The denial of their metaphoricity has also been shown to be incorrect. Now another possibility is envisaged. It is said now that it is the self that beholds ‘That thou art’ ‘That I am’ without thereby implying that BEING is in fact the That in such assertions. This in fact is the case, it is admitted and at the same time shown that nevertheless the claim remains metaphorical, a paavakam. There is metaphorical projections in which the self sees itself as BEING but such projections arise only because of the ARUL of BEING. It is the BEING which promotes such projective identifications to constitute the dynamics of transcendental, the genuinely metaphysical experiences. When the Being of the psychic entity, the self becomes through such experiences [BEING (Being)], the self does not vaporise, become a ‘paaz’, a Nothing. It is, as that which radiates totally and only the presence of BEING and not at all its own individuality.
edutuk kaaddu 6.2.4
aRiya iraNdu allan; aangku aRivu tannaal
aRiyap padaan; aRivinuL uLLaan - aRivukkuk
kaaddu aaki ninRaanaik kaN aRiyaamey ennak
kaaddaatu aRintu kaNdu
BEING cannot be posited as an Other and thus understood. No matter how the understanding tries to understand HIM, HE remains always the INACCESSIBLE, the UNDIMINISHING SURPLUS. But on that account HE is not a NOTHING; HE is IN the understanding as its unalienable GROUND. That which remains the GROUND for every hermeneutic endeavours can not only be encountered in experience, but also in principle thus unencounterable.
1. The term ‘kaN aRiyaa mey’ lit. means the TRUTH that is not encountered in perceptual experience i.e. a reality that remains invisible or absent. The BEING cannot be asserted as that which is invisible, absent etc. BEING is most certainly but not as a Reality that is encountered in hermeneutic endeavours.
2. The phrase ‘aRiya iraNdu allan’ describes the impossibility of positing BEING as a That, as an Other i.e. bringing into being an element of transcendental consciousness as constituted by pure Temporality. Even here HE remains the GROUND, the PLAYER of the transcendental phenomenological experiences, concealing Himself without over absenting.
3. The term ‘kaaddu aaki niRRal’ means that which shows and on account of which there is seeing. That which remains forever showing and on account of which there in seeing and hence understanding cannot itself be seen within such seeings.
edutuk kaaddu 6.2.5
atu enum onRu anRu, atu anRi veeRee
atu enRu aRi aRivum uNdee - atu enRu
aRiya iraNdu allan, aangku aRivul niRRal
aRiyum aRivee civa maam
BEING is not a That or an Other. IT is beyond such alienated posits. But nevertheless there is an understanding that understands BEING thus. BEING is not an alienable presence that can be posited as a That. But HE stands within understanding as an unalienable and nonabsenting presence. Understanding BEING occurs when we stand within understanding without any efforts to see.
1. Here begins a positive account of the meaning of ‘That thou art’ and so forth. It is pointed that BEING is not the ‘That’ in such discourses but rather something different. Such positings are metaphorical presentations which are not devoid of representational maneuvers. BEING is beyond such representational grasping, even of the metaphorical kind even though HE is the GROUND of metaphoricities.
2. But there is a psychic entity that endeavours to grasp BEING metaphorically. Such claims and the temporality that accompanies such claims disclose the truth of the psychic entities endeavoring thus. This entity in the realms of transcendental phenomenology remains forgetful of its own essence and identifies itself with its own metaphorical projections of what BEING is.
3. BEING stands within understanding making understanding itself possible. It is the GROUND for every phase of understanding to arise and be a reality. BEING should be understood as that which shows and on account of which there is seeing and hence understanding as such. BEING remains the EYE of the eyes, the EAR of the ears and so forth.