The Eight Sutra:
The Sadhana for the Average
aimpula veedarin ayarntanai vaLarntenet
tam mutal kuruvumaay tavattinil uNartta viddu
anniyam inmaiyin aran kazal celumee
Karutturai: en nutaliRRoovenin jnaanattinai uNaru muRaimaiyinai uNarttutal nutaliRRu
THE EIGHTH AXIOM
The human beings are normally lost in the pleasures of the senses that they seek like the hunters and grow ignorant of the nonsensorial. The BEING however discloses HIMSELF in various archetypal forms and instructs as a GURU and on account of which the human beings gain illumination provided they practice the necessary austerities. And since BEING is not alien to the Being of these individuals, they naturally gravitate towards the divine presence of BEING.
The General Intention : It is intended to explain the method appropriate to attain absolute illumination.
1. Having disclosed the Duality inherent to the Being of man i.e. the possibilities of [Being-(BEING)] and [BEING-(Being)] it is pointed out that under normal circumstances the anmas exist captivated by the seductive powers of the sensorial and hence persist in existing in modes in which the presence of BEING remains backgrounded, kept there in understanding as Unconscious. An ordinary person is said to be a hunter pursuing tirelessly the pleasures of the senses and hence bound to the objective ontical ways of seeing. This fascination with the sensorial must be severed in order to plunge into the Depths and SEE there things never seen before.
2. BEING does not remain however passive and inactive. He presents HIMSELF in numerous archetypal forms, each form assumed being consistent with intellectual temper of the creature and through them instructs in various ways so that these individuals are continuously reminded of the possibilities of pleasures beyond the senses, of understandings beyond the historical, temporical etc. Because of this the whole world process can be seen as essentially pedagogic - everything we experience and learn is ultimately towards informing us of the presence of Civajnaanam, of absolute illumination and the necessity for attaining it.
3. The word `tavam’ translated here as austerities, lit. means self control, of restraining oneself etc. These are a species of fundamental sadhanas purely functional in nature and are designed to arrest the enslavery of an individual towards the pleasures of the senses. To be mindful of the worldly pleasures and only them is the FALL of man and man must be first redeemed from this FALL. His desires must not only be controlled and regulated but also turned towards the nonsensorial, towards understanding the Depths where lurks the forces that in fact play him and form him, configuring the possibilities that emerge as his own. Unless he gains access into these realms and understands what are there, he remains nonautonomous, completely unliberated and wholly manipulated. The austerities are practices that reshape the desires so that they become directed now towards the Depths.
4. Once the pull towards the sensorial is severed, the anma naturally gravitates towards BEING and seek to foreground BEING in its Being by backgrounding itself. BEING stands always nonalien (anniyam inmai), as the self itself and hence naturally attractive. The anma would realize that to allow BEING to take over one’s self completely is the most desirable and to be in modes of Being in which only BEING is manifest is what it OUGHT to desire, what it OUGHT to be.
8.1 Mutal atikaraNam ( The First Thesis )
meerkool: iiNdu iv vaanmaakkaLukku
jnaanam nikazum enpatu
eetu : meeR cariyai kriyaa yookangkalaic ceytuzi
nanneRiyaakiya jnaanattaik kaaddi allatu mootcattaik kodaa
Assertion: Unless preceded by appropriate austerities the Civajnaanam will not shine out in an individual.
Reason: The practices of cariyai, kriyai and yoga are disclosive of Civajnaanam. And BEING does not bestow moksa without first bestowing Civajnaanam.
tavam ceytaar enRum tavalookam caarntu
pavam ceytu paRRu aRuppaaraakac - tavam ceyta
naRcaarbil vantutittu jnaanattai naNNutalaik
kaRRaar cuuz collumaam kaNdu.
Those who practice austerities enter and remain within the divine world and thus existing perform various kinds of services to the public thereby severing their worldly cares and self-centredness. Whether one has in fact achieved success in this effort or not will be indicated by the nature of the desires that now begin to condition existence. When there is the emergence of the desire for Civajnaanam and seeking the company of scholarly persons well versed in it, one can say that one has practiced the right sort of austerities.
pacittuNdu pinnum pacippaanai okkum
icaittu varu vinaiyil inbam - icaitta
iruvinai oppil iRappil tavattaan
maruvuvanaam jnaanattai vantu
The pleasures attained through self-centered intentional acts are not fully satisfying. They are like eating to satisfy the hunger - once the food is digested the hunger returns. The actions in the form of toNdu or services being altruistic in nature, bring about the ascending of moral discord, help one to go beyond the judgmental ways of Being. Such actions are genuine austerities for eventually they lead towards the attainment of absolute liberation and fully saturating Civajnaanam.
1. `Jnaanam’ or what is the same `Civajnaanam’ is the ultimate not only in the hermeneutic endeavours of man but also the whole of existential struggles of all sorts. This is a state of absolute clarity, of total transparency so that there is nothing unconscious in consciousness, everything is supremely luminous. In 8.1.1 it is affirmed that it is preceded by activities that are symbolic or ritualistic in nature. The cariyai are gross bodily actions mainly of the toNdu type followed by kiriyai which are more strictly ritualistic and are directed at specific deities. Such rituals are then followed with the deeply meditative yoga exercises which in turn lead to genuine philosophic inquiries. In this progression the contents of unconscious are accessed, made familiar, reflected upon and finally made contents of consciousness. Hence these rituals are learning activities, the gamma-type of learning where the archetypes are encountered and made contents of conscious prehension.
2. A criteria is given here to evaluate the efficacy of the ritualistic practices. They are efficacious and are the right sort if they successfully rechannel the desires of the individual towards the Depths, towards seeking to understand the MYSTERY surrounding existence. Behaviorally this is to be noted by the sorts of company he seeks - now he will seek the company of philosophers well versed in the darsanas.
3. In 8.1.2 another important feature of the sadhana is pointed out. The activities of man are such that some are FOR-ONESELF and some FOR- OTHER. That which are totally FOR-OTHER are said to be the toNdu, social services of various kinds. Such toNdu makes a man less ego-centered and more altruistic.. As more and more such toNdu come to be performed, the person becomes more and more OTHER orientated. There is then a fusion of self with OTHERS so that OTHERS come to be treated as self itself. Eventually it leads to overcoming the distinction between self and OTHER, moral discord, ethical evaluations and so forth. Finally existence comes to be WHOLLY-FOR-OTHER at which BEING is foregrounded and Being backgrounded. The state of Being becomes [BEING-(Being)].
4. It is pointed out that it is only toNdu type of activities that are efficient to bring about this supremely satisfying END STATE of Being. In contrast to these, the actions that are FOR-ONESELF are unsaturating or are only temporarily saturating. But the desires remain; re-emerge, create similar wants and thus keep him forever imprisoned in the world of desires. A hungry man eats to satisfy the hunger and after some time the hunger re-emerges and he goes forth again seeking food. In contrast to such actions, the toNdu-type have the power to evaporate desires and thereby make one more autonomous from desires. Thus such activities are truly liberating, truly universalising. And hence bring a person closer to Civajnaanam.
8.1 IraNdaam atikaraNam ( The Second Thesis )
ini, iv aanmaakkaLukku tamatu mutal taanee
kuruvumaay uNarttum enRatu.
avan anniyaminRic caitanniya coruubiyaay niRRalaan.
Assertion : Now for these anmas, BEING HIMSELF may emerge as the Guru and instruct them on Civajnaanam
Reason : For HE stands nonalienly with all as pure consciousness itself.
meynjnaanam taanee viLaiyum vinjnaakalarkku
anjnaana ac cakalarkku ak kuruvaay - meynjnaanam
pin uNarttum anRip piraLayaa kalarukku
mun uNarttum taan kuruvaay mun
For the vinjaanakalar type of anma, the supreme illumination rises within on its own accord. For the cakalar-type, the anmas full of Ignorance, BEING instructs in the guise of a human Guru and hence only indirectly. For the remaining piraLayaakalar-type of anmas, BEING may confront them directly in the guise of Guru and instruct them on Civajnaanam.
aRivikka vanRi aRiyaa uLangkaL
ceRiyumaa munpin kuRaikaL - neRiyil
kuRaiyudaiya coRkoLLaar koLbavattin viidu en
kuRaivil cakan cuuz koLbavarkku.
Because the anmas are so constituted that they cannot learn unless instructed, it may be possible that they err now and then, here and there. But those well immersed in the thought of BEING, will naturally avoid listening to words that are deviant and misleading and appropriate only instructions that truly serve to attain releasement from being caught in the world of flux.
illaa mulaippaalum kaNNiirum eentizaipaal
nallaay uLavaamaal niirnizalpool - illaa
aruvaaki ninRaanai yaar aRivaar taanee
uruvaakit toonRaaneel uRRu
A young maiden though at the moment is not producing breast milk but it is there as a potentiality. And though at the moment she is not shedding tears, but the capacity to do so is there. Such capacities remain unmanifest, hidden in the Dark just like the shadow of water within the water. BEING too is unmanifest but not on that account irreal. And as such if HE does not disclose HIMSELF and appear in various archetypal forms who would ever be conscious of HIS presence?
1. The word `kalar’ is derived from the Tamil root `kal’, meaning to learn. The anmas are classified into three distinct categories in terms of the form of instruction on Civajnaanam they would need. The Vinjnaakalar are the highest and for whom philosophical discourses, instructions and so forth are superfluous. BEING is already foregrounded in their Being so that the supreme illumination rises within on its own accord like the sun rising on its own and dispelling the prevailing darkness.
2. The cakalar are the philosophically immature and though desirous of Civajnaanam are full of Ignorance. BEING instructs such anmas only through the intermediary of other individuals and things. BEING instructs them only indirectly and is present to them only as the concealed, the hidden, the unconscious. They are to attach themselves to a human guru, follow as bidden by him and learn the essence of BEING through learning the divine essence of his own guru.
3. For the higher level piraLayaakalar, those who have evolved into the divine world by severing their care for the worldly, BEING confronts them directly though again through the intermediary of a human guru. But the quality of instruction here is different from that of the cakalar. What we have here are instructions on Civajnaanam itself without disguising it in the mythical, symbolic etc. The individuals are led to bask fully in the blinding radiance of absolute illumination and through that attain the releasement that they so earnestly seek.
4. Now except for the vinjnaanakalar, the others require instructions and unless instructed properly will not ever learn. And since they can develop only through learning and in that, being what it is, errors can be made, mistakes can be committed, the wrong can be believed as the right, the false as true and so forth. But it is pointed out that the only effective way to enable individuals to AVOID such errors is to make them immerse fully in the thought of BEING, the FAULTLESS, or IDEAL. The desire to BE in the most IDEAL way of Being will ensure the avoidance of the misleading and the appropriation of the incorrect ones.
5. BEING is but remains essentially unmanifest, hidden, concealed etc. But on that account BEING cannot be dismissed as irreal, a nonentity etc. Some analogies are brought in to illustrate the point. The tears already in a woman are poured out only in moments of crisis. The breast milk, already in some form, oozes out only when she delivers a child. These are realities hidden within a woman which disclose their presence in their distinct ways at moments appropriate to them. It is so also with BEING. HE presents HIMSELF in so many different archetypal forms, each appropriate to the circumstances elucidating the disclosure. BEING though keeps HIMSELF concealed but unconceals HIMSELF where necessary in a form appropriate to the historical and personal circumstances so that the anmas can be set in the right path. A particular form of presentation of BEING remains the historical and personal apriori that configures the historicalisations.
6. It is also implied that learning involved in seeking to understand BEING is rather peculiar. It is not simply an intellectual acrobatics where only the intellect is exercised but the person remains uninvolved. Seeking to understand BEING requires total involvement which includes that of changing oneself, of metamorphosing into a higher species of self where within existence BEING is made to be more in the foreground while simultaneously ones own Being is pushed to the background. The egoism must be battled with and destroyed in a progressive manner so that eventually the anma becomes egoless. When in this way BEING is allowed to disclose ITSELF more and more within one’s own Being, there is more and more genuine UNDERSTANDING of BEING and more and more of the self-redeeming Civajnaanam
8.3 MuunRaam atikaraNam ( The Third Thesis )
ini, iv aanmaakkaL ai uNarvukaLaan
mayangkit tammai uNaraa venRatu
avai taam paLingkil idda vannampool
kaaddiRRaik kaaddi niRRalaan
Assertion: The ordinary anmas remain captured by the five fold sensorial perceptions and remain because of that, ignorant of themselves.
Reason : For the senses, like crystals that reflect only what happens to fall on them, disclose to the anmas only those which stand there as already disclosed, as already in the open.
1. The difficult term `kaaddiRRai’ is rendered here as that which remains already disclosed, hence in the open. It is implied here that the senses cannot reach and disclose for the psyche to see that which remains hidden, concealed etc. Understanding that remains trapped to the sensorial cannot fathom the Depths, the hidden, the mysterious and hence will not be able to understand itself, its own fabrication, constitution , configuration etc.
panniRang kaaddum padikampool intiriyam
tan niRamee kaaddun takai ninaintu - panniRattup
poyp pulanai veeRuNarntu poy poyyaa meykaNdaan
meyp porudkut teivamaam veeRu.
Like the crystals that diffract the light falling and display the different hues originally not visible in the pure light, the senses too diffract and distort and do not inform the individual what pertains to the objects themselves but only what they can process. Therefore it should be realized that the senses cannot avoid diffracting the original essence of the objects and hence always not to be trusted upon as undistorting disclosure of what the objects in themselves are. Those who grasp the false as false and through that the truth as truth will also see that the truths are gained not through the senses but through the GRACE of the archetypes that are nonsensorial.
1. It is implied here that `seeing’ when restricted to seeing only through the senses, gaining a true understanding of an object is impossible. For the senses are diffractive, each sense eliminating many and allowing only one form of information to reach the person. What are thus eliminated by the senses are however important for self understanding, to know how one’s own `seeing’ is constituted and hence how one is constituted as a self. This deeper information available there in the experience itself becomes available to the anma only when it realizes the diffracting character of the senses and develop ways of seeing other than the sensorial. When the `seeing’ becomes more inclusive, e.g. allowing transductive perceptions and so forth, it will be realized that only in the context of `seeing’ as constituted by the archetypes that TRUTHS are sighted.
2. This argument is directed at the cakalar type of individuals who exist entrapped to the realms of physical and hence to the sensorial and objective. The reality of this fallenness to the physical, termed maaya malam, was already argued for in great detail in the 3rd Sutra. It is recalled here in order to explain in what sense the Fallenness to the physical becomes an impediment, an obstruction in the evolutionary progress of the psychic beings. The entrapment to the physical locks them up in the unconscious and thereby prevents them from gaining a true understanding of themselves.
3. The term `poy poyyaa meykaNdaan’ discloses that only when the false is seen as false, what exactly it is in itself that TRUTH can be seen as TRUTH. In a state of confusion what is in fact false may not be SEEN as false, a truth as truth. The correct seeing for what something is really requires the grace of BEING. When seeing is constituted by the archetypal presence of BEING, the false is seen as false, the truth as truth and so forth. In this account we have the phenomenological description of what kind of seeing would see the false and truths for what they are in themselves so that mistakes are avoided.
8.4 Naangkaam atikaraNam ( The Fourth Thesis )
ini iv aanmaat tannai intiriyattin veeRaavaan
kaaNavee tamatu mutal siipaatattai aNaiyum enRatu
uusal kayiRu aRRaal taay taraiyeeyaan tuNaiyaan
Assertion : When the anma realises that it is distinct from the senses and is capable also of non-sensorial perceptions, it will gradually progress towards the Divine Feet i.e. the DANCE of BEING and be totally immersed in it.
Reason : When the cords supporting the swing are cut asunder, the swing will naturally reach the GROUND, the primordial support.
ciRai ceyya ninRa cezum punalin uLLam
ciRai cey pulan uNarvil tiirntu - ciRai viddu
alai kadalil cenRu adangkumaaRu pool miiLaatu
ulaivil aran paatattai uRRu
The anma being entrapped in the enjoyment of sensorial pleasures is like damming the river that naturally flows towards the sea. When the anma escapes from this imprisonment, it would reach the DIVINE FEET of BEING never to return just like a river bursting through the dam would reach the vast sea and subside there forever having lost the vectoriality underlying the river-like flow.
evvuruvum taan ennil eytuvaar illai taaL
ivvuruvin veeReel iRaiyallan - evvuruvum
kaNpool avayavangkaL kaaNaa ak kaNNillaar
kaN peeRee kaaNak kazal
If all archetypal forms of BEING are said to be only projective images of self, then at the point of moksa there will not be anything that enjoys it. Now if BEING is said to be totally DIFFERENT and Other from all these archetypal manifestations then HE cannot be the DIVINE BEING capable of bestowing grace to each according to his needs and in a manner he comprehends. These archetypal forms take possession of the anmas, serve as their eyes but the anmas remain unconscious of them, unaware of its own constituted nature. But however when they acquire this competency, the capacity for transductive perception, then they will begin to SEE the Depths and the DANCE of BEING there and how one is constituted by this DANCE.
aimpoRiyin allai enum anta tara civanai
aimpoRiyai viddu angku aNai cakalan - aimpoRiyin
niingkaan niirp paaci pool niingkum malakanmam varin
niingkaanai niingku ninaintu
When the cakalar type of anmas understand that the absolutely transcendental BEING is beyond the reaches of the senses, they will now endeavour to unite with HIM by seeking experiences beyond the sensorial. However this is not an easy task and it is almost impossible to avoid the sensorial for such an individual. The intrinsically binding and finitising mayaa malam and kanma malam leave the individuals only momentarily like algae in the pond at the throw of a stone. The best such individuals can do to avoid falling back to the sensorial is to immerse themselves completely in the thought of BEING, that remains within as nonabsenting presence.
1. In 8.4.1, reference is made to the psychotropisms articulated in the first Sutra on fundamental ontology. BEING pulls unto itself all the creatures and this PULL is not only the primordial but also the axial movement in which all the psyches are already involved. This is the Numinotropism, the end point of which is MOKSA, the HOME COMING. The cakalar type of individuals in being pulled towards the pleasures of the senses and remaining entrapped in it, in fact arrest their own sojourn in the direction of BEING. The movement in the direction of the WAY is obstructed, redirected and so forth. And therefore austerities which disallow this imprisonment becomes the most important sadhana for such individuals.
2. The sadhana of this sort are not utties or hermeneutic efforts that result in gaining lumen naturale and thereby a better understanding of certain matters. Prior to that, austerities must be practiced in order to install within oneself the PULL of BEING, the numenotropism. The presence of this PULL will manifest itself in activities of the religious kind. The involvement with such activities maintains oneself in the WAY towards BEING.
3. BEING, in order to maintain the cakalar-type of individuals on the WAY unto HIMSELF presents HIMSELF in countless number of archetypal images, each according to the level of maturity of the individual, meaningful to them and relevant to the contextual conditions. Such images should not be mistaken to be self-images, projections of one’s own self, that which one becomes and which subsequently stays no more. If these archetypes are mental projections, images of self and nothing else, then the notion of MOKSA and the experience of it becomes impossible - for at the point of MOKSA there will be NOTHING that experiences it as such.
4. Now if BEING is dissociated from all these archetypal forms and said to be completely OTHER, totally transcendent, then BEING ceases to be DIVINE contrary to HIS essence. BEING stands both totally ABOVE and BEYOND and at the same time the most intimate and nonalien FRIEND to the anmas. In numerous archetypal forms HE takes possession of the psyches, serves as their EYES and thus hiding HIMSELF, makes the individuals act thinking that they are acting on their own accord. But when such individuals become uneasy about their own selves, become curious about how they are in fact constituted, they slowly begin to SEE the Depths, the drama of archetypes that enacts the events of the world including that of self. With such transductive perceptions and hermeneutic efforts to understand them they acquire the competency to see the DANCE, the unending and tireless PLAY of BEING, the DANCE of BLISS of SIVA NADARAJAH.
5. The maintenance of oneself always within the WAY, sojourning in existence with the PULL of BEING firmly established is always a problem for the cakalar-type of individuals. The PULL of the world of senses is very strong. The Sadhana most important for such individuals is that which firms them in the WAY. The disclosures of BEING in such moments are only temporary - like algae that clears when the stone is thrown but covers up immediately, the prejudices that finitise the anma return immediately pulling them back to the pleasures of the world of flux. For such individuals another sadhana to prevent this fall is suggested: The maintaining of the THOUGHT of BEING, is suggested as an effective way of keeping at bay the finitising elements in the understanding. The understanding that maintains itself in the THOUGHT of BEING secures for itself the WAY forever as its OWN WAY.