(On Spiritual Technology)
The Seventh Sutra:
On Spiritual Technology
yaavaiyum cuuniyam cattu etir aakalin
cattee aRiyaa, acattu ilatu aRiyaatu
irutiRan aRivuLa iraNdalaa aanmaa.
karutturai: en nutaliRRoo enin, meelataRku oor
puRanadai uNarttutal nutaliRRu
THE SEVENTH AXIOM
Because there is nothing as an Other in the context of absolute illumination, BEING cannot be said to perceive in the ordinary sense. The Non-Being, because it is NOT-THERE absolutely, can never be conscious of the possibility of absolute illumination. Hence there is something different from BEING and Non-Being with the capacity for both i.e. with a Being that is [Being-(BEING)] and which on account of that does not cease to be a single individual.
General Intention. What is intended here is to develop further our understanding of the essential nature of psyche.
1. By spiritual technology or Sadhana is meant the practices that would lead to the attainment of nontemporical Absolute illumination, the presupposition of all hermeneutic endeavors of human beings. Hence they are a species of hermeneutic pracrices that would enable the individuals to BE in Modes of Being that are transhistorical, beyond the flux-prone historical involvements and existential engagements.involvements and existential engagements.
2. The Sutra establishes very clearly the essence of human Being-in-the-World i.e. EXISTENCE as inherently dual, that it is characterised by [Being-(BEING)] i.e. Being in which there is an understanding of BEING. The human beings, though they share existence with the lower creatures, their essence however is different. Among all creatures that exist, it is given only to the human that in their understanding, there is already an understanding of BEING. This is the peculiar human essence - while creatures exist completely in the shadow of BEING, it is the human beings who are also given an understanding of BEING and hence essentially a spiritual nature.
3. The psyche is inherently DUAL as it has an understanding of the ahistorical, atemporal BEING and simultaneously the temporal, the historical ways of Being. The human understanding is simultaneously absolutistic and nonabsolutistic, it is always caught between the two but on account which it does not cease to be a single individual. That which enjoys the flux-prone, nonabsolutistic historical understanding of all sorts is also that which understands the absolutistic and aspires towards it.
4. The Being of man is [Being-(BEING)], existence is ways of Being in which there is an understanding of BEING but which remains backgrounded. In the course of spiritual development, that which remains in the background comes to the foreground pushing the purely human to the background i.e. it assumes modes of Being that are [BEING-(Being)]. The RIGHT spiritual technology is disclosed as that which brings about this REVERSAL, the subjugation of the purely human and triumphant presence of the purely divine so that eventually man becomes DIVINE and nothing else but divine in Being.
7.1 Mutal atikaraNam: (First Thesis)
iiNduc cattinidattu acattup pirakaasiyaatu enRatu
meyyinidatttup poy appirakaasamaay niRRalaan
Assertion: Now in the presence of absolute illumination, the nonabsolute absents itself.
Reason: In the presence of TRUTH, the untruths do not shine forth.
anniyam ilaamai araRku onRu uNarvinRaam
anniyamilaan acattaik kaaNkuvaneel - anniyamaak
kaaNaan, avan mun katirmun iruL poola
maaNaa acattu inmai maRRu.
The BEING because always in a state of no alterity, nonalienness with everything, does not have thetic consciousness i.e. consciousness reaching outside itself intentionally. Now if BEING who has no alterity sees the nonabsolute, HE would not see as a `that’ and so forth. Like darkness that disappears in the presence of daylight, that which is an untruth does not present itself for BEING. There is absolutely no falsity in the context of absolute illumination.
1. We have here the epistemological principles pertaining to the notion of TRUTH that is quite distinctive of Saiva Siddhanta. BEING sees no untruth and hence in the atemporical, ahistorical absolute illumination, which is THE understanding of BEING there is only TRUTH, nothing else but TRUTH. Whatever that is in absolute illumination is TRUTH. But this absolute illumination is non-thetic, nonintentional. There is no an Other towards which understanding is trying to reach out and in the course of which it LEARNS. BEING is absolutely one-with everything, it remains everything in itself and hence nonalien to everything. Such an understanding is not objective, projective, thetic etc.
2. The experience of TRUTH of individuals, it follows, is possible only when they manage to extricate themselves from the world of flux , stay one-with BEING and see in the way BEING sees at least within a certain limited domain. In such moments an individual sees with what are called arutKaN, i.e. with the eyes of BEING itself. Such seeing is, however circumscribed and limited. TRUTHS seen within such glances and accumulating such TRUTHS so that essentially one is full of such TRUTHS, is the genuine goal of spiritual technologies.
3. The centrality of SEEING TRUTHS and through that ascending towards seeing the way BEING sees and the fact that this is possible only by the destruction of alterity, the alienness underlying thetic consciousness is established here as the central principle of authentic existence, what sort of existence one OUGHT to follow, secure for oneself.
4. An important principle that is also pointed here is that the FALSE would appear precisely as FALSE only in the absolute illumination, in absolute understanding. This means that only he who has absolute understanding will understand unmistakably the FALSE as FALSE. This also implies that under normal circumstances we are prone to mistake the TRUTH as FALSE the FALSE as TRUTH etc. BEING also sees the untruths but HE always sees them as untruths, there is never any mistaking and hence no uncertainties whatsoever.
5. The notion of TRUTH outlined here emphasizes the notion of ARUL, of being-one-with that which we seek to understand. Thus the casting everything into the objective glance and constituting things and individuals as objects with the inquiring self as a subject is not recommended as that which would give us a true understanding. In addition to the intellectual, rationalist thrusts, there must also prevail LOVE for otherwise the destruction of alterity, the that-ness of objective glance cannot be overcome. The emotion of LOVE brings about a psychic fusion only which can destroy the alienness of individuals and things. The true Sadhana is that which develops both - LOVE and through that true understanding. Both the rational capacities and emotional propensities must be simultaneously developed to enable one to see TRUTHS and through that gain Absolute illumination.
7.2 IraNdaam atikaraNam ( The Second Thesis )
Ini acattinukku uNarvu inRu enRatu
atutaan niruupikkil inRaakalaan
Assertion: That which is absolutely inexistent does not enter absolute understanding.
Reason : For when we try to affirm the absoluteness of such things, it turns out to be impossible
peeytteer niir enRu varum peetaikkku maRRaNainta
peeytteer acattaakum peRRimaiyin - vaayttatanaik
kaNduNarvaar ilvaziyiR kaaNum acattinmai
kaNduNarvaar illatenak kaaN
The illusoriness of a mirage is learnt as so only when its disappearance is experienced. The illusory is not seen as illusory till its falsity is experienced by someone. In a manner similar to this, the absolutely inexistent is seen to be so only when it is experienced by someone as so. When no one experiences the inexistent as inexistent then it’s nonabsoluteness remains ungrounded.
1. The notion of illusion to be a truth, must be experienced by someone. The mirage is NOT SEEN as a mirage till its disappearance is experienced by someone. Not all appearances are mirages and hence we cannot condemn every understanding to be a dream-like reality, a groundless fabrication of the human mind and hence to be distrusted as embodying only untruths as it is taken in Vedanta and other idealistic traditions. The `peeytteer’ i.e. a mirage of water does not disclose its mirageness at the beginning itself. The person having this mirage does not believe so at the beginning itself; he takes it as a serious possibility, acts as if it is true. Only on reaching the spot and seeing no water does he realize that he has been misled, that what he thought as true is not in fact so, that he was mistaken in his believe etc. The notions of `illusion’ `falsity’ `dream-like reality’ and so forth emerge only in the contexts of certain experiences where some believes turn out to be false etc. The understanding that certain things are absolutely inexistent belongs to such experiences; it has to be seen to be so by someone. If there is no one who sees certain things disappearing precisely at the point they approach it, then the notion of `absolutely inexistent’ would have no linguistic currency.
2. The UNTRUTH has to be seen by someone as an UNTRUTH. Hence such a notion belongs to the human understanding and not to the absolute understanding of BEING in which being mistaken thus is impossible. BEING sees the untruth as untruth and hence the notion of illlusoriness is unavailable there. It is man who takes a notion as TRUE and learns that sometimes he is mistaken and generates the notion of illusion etc.
7.3 MuunRaam atikaraNam (The Third Thesis)
ini irutiRan aRivuLatu iraNdalaa aanmaa enRatu
iv iraNdinaiyum aRivataay upateesiyaay
ninRa avvaRivu iraNdan paalum uLataayuLLa
atuvee av aanmavaam enRatu
Assertion : The psyche stands as the unitary entity capable of both the absolute and nonabsolute forms of understanding.
Reason: That which learns both forms of understanding and which learns only on being instructed stands as something capable of both forms of understanding and discloses itself as a psychic entity (distinct from BEING)
aruvuruvan taan aRital aayizaiyaay aanmaa
aruvuruvam anRaakum uNmai - aruvuruvaayt
toonRi udan illaatu toonRaatu nillaatu
toonRal malar maNam pool tokku
Now my dear lady, if the anma is said to be structureless because it understands the absolutely unitary non-differential absolute illumination, then that is not true, it has a structure and a form of it’s own. Neither can it be said to be something that discloses itself as formless and disappears (so that its essence cannot be grasped). The anma stands always disclosing itself but however the way it discloses its presence is like that of fragrance that accompanies sweet smelling flowers - it indicates its presence by symptoms of various kinds
mayakkamatu uRRum maruntil teLintum
peyarttuNar nii cattaakaay peecil - acattumalai
nii aRintu cey vinaiKaL nii anRi veeRu acattut
taanaRintu tuyyaamai taan
Thou art one that faints, loses consciousness and regains it through taking medicinal tablets. Hence thou who thus loses consciousness and regains it through such treatments and progresses thus cannot be the BEING that is absolutely motionless. But because of that thou art not simply an entity that appears and disappears in the World of flux. For in you there is an understanding of BEING and every action effected by you is measured by you in relation to Being-with-BEING. That which is impermanent certainly cannot be capable of this.
meyjnaanam tannil viLaiyaatu acattaatal
anjnaanam uLLam aNaital kaaN - meyjnaanam
taanee uLa anRee taN kadal niir uppuppool
taanee uLam uLavaayt taan
In the presence of absolute illumination that is beyond the flux prone historical, the temporical forms of understanding, the thetic consciousness will not arise. But however it is a fact that anma attains also such forms of understanding. The absolute illumination has already been there from beginningless times though not fully allowed to shine forth. Like a lump of salt in the sea dissolving and spreading out fully so that it is present wherever water is, if the anma loses the finititude, unties itself and spreads out its understanding uninhibited throughout the whole world so that nothing remains alien, it will also be drawn to absolute illumination, absolute understanding.
1. The anma is not a nonsubstantial entity, something like bubbles in water, that gets formed in the world of flux and destroyed likewise. It is distinct and has a personality of its own, an essence of its own. Its substantiality is shown by the fact that it understands BEING. BEING is not only present in man, there is an understanding of the presence of BEING in the Being of man. That which is a vapour, a cloud formation that disappears as it is formed will be incapable of anything absolutistic such as this.
2. The anma though invisible to the naked eye and remains unrecognised within the objective glances, nevertheless is a substantial entity with a distinct essence of its own. It discloses it presence symptomatically and hence its presence gets recognised only within the hermeneutical glances, a way of seeing in which the surface structure elements are seen to be causally related to some Deep Structure elements. A person is a TEXT in which the deep structure is the anma. And furthermore the anma is a TEXT in which one of the deep structure elements is not just the mere presence of BEING but a psychical understanding of the presence of BEING as such.
3. As it is explicated in 7.3.2, it is this understanding over and above the historical that discloses the DUAL structure of anma. The anma is cat- acat, something capable of absolute and the nonabsolute understanding simultaneously and on account of which it is able to judge an action as ethically acceptable or not. That which is temporical cannot enter the atemporical, have an understanding of it and judge the ordinary actions in terms of such an understanding.
4. Once we identify the self only with the cognitional processes where there is a continuous fluctuation of consciousness, a flow of consciousness where there is fainting, forgetting, confusing, confounding etc. and recovery from all these, we see the self as distinct from BEING as BEING is beyond such fluctuations. But on that account we cannot also dismiss the self purely as such a stream of consciousness. For within that self there is an understanding of BEING, an understanding that serves as the GROUND for judging the ethicality and desirability of actions effected. Unless the self is oriented towards ethical developments, moving in its Being towards a closeness with BEING such evaluative competencies will not be available.
5. There is already a preunderstanding of the presence of BEING in the understanding of man - and this is his essence. This understanding unlike the historical is not LEARNT, acquired through the cognitive processes where a reduction of the hold of anavam or DARKNESS is effected. There is no acquisition and hence no forgetting. As man progresses the pre-existent CIVAJNAANAM comes to glow more and more radiantly till finally it completely outshines all others. A man must be like a lump of salt that dissolves in the ocean and is present wherever water is. The understanding of man must be in a similar manner loosened, liberated, definitized, freed of every delimiting prejudices so that it comprehends all in a manner that is authentic, grasps everything as it is, as it shows itself from within itself.
6. The Being of man is DUAL, he is torn between [Being - (BEING)] and [BEING - (Being)]. There is a direction of movement in the existence of man, in his Being he is to grow from backgrounding the presence of BEING to foregrounding IT. He is to move from being mere human to being divine. Man holds within himself the possibility of disclosing totally the being of BEING in his Being. There is a pressure within him precisely to bring about this reversal and on account of which there are ethical principles guiding his actions.
7. It is the inherent duality of man and the fact that there is already a pressure towards realizing Being-in-the-World characterised by the foregrounding of BEING and correspondingly the backgrounding of Being i.e. [BEING- (Being)] that we have a foundation, a REASON for Sadhana as such. The Sadhanas are practices which would accomplish this and hence the kinds of behaviour that would constitute authentic existence.