Psychogenetic Theories, Meditation and Saiva siddhantha


The Psychoanalytic process evolved over a period of hundred years now, with its countless ramifications and therapies, have given a fresh hope to man. Freudian theories continue to be a source of inspiration to doctors in mental health profession. Later we see the developments in the study of cognitive, ethical and identity development in the children in the other schools also.Psycho genetics is a branch of psychology dealing with the developmental stages of child. Freudian superego maturation, Lawrence Kholberg's moral development(self accepted morality), Jean Piaget’s abstract thinking and Eric Eriksson’s identity development, all points to  fulfillment of man as an independent entity-the adulthood.


Man's metaphysical striving begins after achieving adulthood and then a long drawn process of realization of his concept in cosmos proceeds, perhaps indefinitely all through his life. Freudian super-ego maturation, results in search for his fulfillment, the strive for social ethics, the need for knowing the appearance and reality, supernatural phenomena, man's lack of control over the nature, the inevitability of death..etc.  All leads to the study and search for understanding of the god.


Anna Freud: by the early adulthood intellectualism and asceticism are commonly used defenses with   origin of super ego punishments. Intellectualism leads to involvement in books and   ideas. Asceticism leads to renunciation of bodily pleasures.


Jean Piaget: Hypothetico-Deductive Reasoning:(formal operations):thinking becomes                           abstract,conceptual,future oriented. remarkable creativity, humanitarian                          pursuits,morals,ethics,and religion dominates this stage.


Erik Eriksson: achievement of ego identity, as awareness of who one is and where he is going. by  young adulthood superego is established. Questions related to who am I ? and what am  I doing? are begun to be answered in his efforts.


Lawrence Kohlberg: self accepted moral principles in which the person has a moral obligation to abide by established norms but only to the degree that they serve                               humanitarian ends.


The self identity, abstract thinking, self accepted morality and super ego development occur simultaneously and continues to refine further. Man at this juncture is confronted with his limited powers, the omnipotent qualities of god and materialism-social and ethical conflicts. Thirumanthiram comes to rescue man at this juncture. The thirumanthiram begins its initial verses with the mythology of god and his omnipotence.


The God:

verse-1: there is one Siva

         he is two with sakthi

         three with the soul

         he knows the four qualities

         controls the five senses

         expands him selves as six states of universe

         he is beyond the seven worlds

         oh!my heart strive to reach him.

verse-85:the Veda are the greatest source of knowledge

         they have all that are required to be taught to men

         knower of this fact do not argue

         they read Veda and achieve the god

Then it explains mans qualities and his limitations.

verse-261:he creates the life

          above the basal point, below the spine and

          the place where the heat and cold meets,

          by the decision of its fate he fixes the position,

          protects for ten months till it is expelled to world.

verse-318:the people gather one day and cry aloud

          call him a corpse, burn him in the outskirts

          take bath and leave his thought.


Then the ethical issues  takes brief mention.


verse-416:never deviate from righteousness

          never steal others possessions

          receive the great men to your house

          digest what they say

verse-420:donate a leaf for the god

          donate a mouthful of herbs for the cow

          donate a handful to the hungered

verse-447:he knows you

          he knows what you possess and what you not

          he knows who loves

          he helps those who loves

          it is the love which creates the benefaction.


Then it goes to explain the man's need for submission to these super-ego qualities.


verse-536:the god with locks of hair,

          with fame wherever,

          man who reaches his feet,

          keeps quiet,

          looks his inner feelings and seeks the truth,

          through the help of devoted great men who follows him.


Then it goes to explain the need for introspectiveness. the process of absorption to self. that is called yoga. Thirumoolar describes eight stages of it. The iyamai, niyamai, adhanam, pranayama, prathyakara, dharanai, dhyana and samadhi.


verse-545:instead of thinking about various directions'

          our own body alone is enough,

          devote yourself to it and concentrate,

          learn the technique of yoga,

          move in the right direction.


 There is mention of choice of posture.


verse-553: the clean right feet on the left knee,

           with both hands over the knees

           erect sitting posture

           the badra asana



This meditative self absorption is regression by psychoanalytic terms. Regression is a defense mechanism by which  the ego  adopts to earlier phases of coping. The guru, posture, calmness, solitude..etc  promotes regression to earlier stages of development, to

meditative state, promoting healthy regression and narcisstic strengthening of the ego. There by the individual develops psychological well being. After these, when the person proceeds further, he is able go deeper to breathing control and mastery.


The pranayama.


verse-560: the breathing air directed inside appropriately the life energy stabilizes,

           then the state life and death becomes stable,

           hence in a meditative state do it,

           achieve the sublime status.


Hence pranayama helps control the existential anxiety. Higher states of pranayama and meditation takes the individual to a fetal state, where the breathing related and external world related physical penuries are absent. Freudian early anxiety theories describe this breathing and its relationship with human anxiety. When the child is delivered it undergoes terrible physical trauma and takes its first breathing. This breathing-trauma conditioning acts as a replicate for all future anxieties. Freud called it as signal anxiety. By meditating and breathing control, one conquers anxiety. Hence Thirumanthiram advocates it. This introversion is a form of yoga. Introspection into dhyana. It leads to autistic state.



verse-597:keep your eyes in between the brows your life stabilizes,

          truth is right there-nowhere you need to go,

          your self disappear and absorbs itself into god.

verse-624: the thought stops, the breath stabilizes,

           the god of creation is seen,

           in the point of forehead in which he lies,         

           that state is samadhi(autistic state)


Autistic state: preoccupation with inner and private world where mental activities are not concordant with logic or experiences of external world.


Embryonic mind: when the continued meditation takes place it is possible to get the thoughts of the embryo. the embryo follows the evolutionary pattern of development of animal kingdom.(ontogeny follows the phylogeny). thus at ninth month it is like a mammal, prior to that a marsupial, a reptile, an amphibian, an aquatic and still earlier a  primitive multicellular organism. the nervous system develops initially from the neural tube. then it progress further cranially and develops a brain and at last a forebrain. the fore brain is situated right beneath the point between the eyebrows. the meditating man can have the memories of these and the raising feeling of the nervous system from sacral region to the point between eyebrows. these may be interpreted as another birth states and kundalini. then further they may lead  to prior life experiences and kundalini phenomenologies. these leads to a state of realization of self. this introspectiveness leads at last to this state of realization of self in the cosmos, as a an automaton into an existential awareness. this awareness leads to meditation practice and the various onward(forward) approaches to the understanding of psycho genetics, as studied by Freud in the psychoanalysis. thus the initial work of moolar teaches us the technique of going into our own mind,(perhaps till the verse of 905).


The chapters related to attamasidhi, kalainilai, sareerasiddhiubaya, kalachakra, varasaram, kesari yoga, pariyangayoga, amuridharanai, chandra yoga and asabai are more concerned with physiological and bodily regulations, besides various methodologies and achievement of physical powers. They are not exclusively psychological in nature.


The superego drives of adult leads to regressive meditative states, this leading to oral stage of the individual and possibly strengthening it. Then further pranayama leading to anxiety control and fetal-autistic state(samadhi). This process of reaching to earlier psychogenetic developmental stages can be understood, when we go to the descriptions of early infant psychology and major personality developmental theorists.


John Bowlby: 0-12 weeks: reattachment: baby orients to mother and reacts to her voice.

             3mo-6mo:attachment in the making, the child learns to attach with others.

             6-24 mo: clear cut attachment, the child shows distress when separated from                           mother.

             2yrs+: mother figure seen as independent entity



Freudian oral stge:0-1 year: gratification of lip, mouth and tongue.


Margaret Mahler :normal autistic state from birth to four weeks.

                   homeostatic equilibrium with environment .


                   normal symbiotic state:1mo-5mo:infant still functions in a                                                      undifferentiated fusion with mother.


                  differentiation: 5mo-10mo: hatching from the autistic shell

                  comparative scanning of care giver, curiosity and origin of                                      fear.


Jean Piaget's sensory motor state:0-1 year:  intelligence based on schemata of pattern of                                                     behavior to environment (object permanence)

                                  1-1.5 year: mastering environment by assimilating new stimuli                                              and accommodation by modifying its behavior.                                                  (symbolization) 


Erik Erikson's trust vs. mistrust:0-1year:ease of feeding, sleep and bowel relaxation.

                                         consistency and sameness of caretaker.

                                         teething and biting” getting to taking"

                                         if trust based on these are strong the child maintains                                           hopeful attitude in future.


The various styles and methods of meditative self absorption is described(from verse905). From then onwards the feelings of the meditator moves towards psychogenetic maturation pathways analogous to psychoanalysis. The yogin moves forward and not backward towards fetal or embryonic states. They all needs prolonged posturing and concentration. The emphasis here appear more towards staying in a particular state longer and not to go deeper into inside. The meditative charts have several rooms and an order to go around it. In each room a sound is mentioned and that has to be concentrated. The duration of meditation may vary several hours a day and may need fewer to several years to achieve appropriate results.


verse-894:by uttering the na-ma-si-va-ya, one get fulfillment and along

          with ohm, sreem and hreem, the soul is merged with god.

verse-903: the thiru ambala chakra has 25 rooms,

           the namasivaya has five layers in each room.

verse-905: chakra-1 has 121 rooms and in the center lies "si"(Siva)

verse-978: another chakra has 49 rooms with central room "ohm".

verse-981: sub chakra has36 rooms, each has different sounds and to finish each with "u".


The meditative charts are more and different styles of practicing are evident from looking at different commentaries.


The initial thousand verses(1034) can be concluded to be the approach to the oral stage representation of Freudian childhood memory theories, where the infants preoccupation is to its own self. This is what the initial thousand verses of Thirumanthiram is possibly be.


The study of SadhasivaAgama by Moolar helps us to understand saiva schools in a better way. The Yoga schools contribute substantially to the origin of saiva schools. The concept of metaphysics and the mythology in them points to the vedic elements in saivasiddhantha. There is need for systematic study of Vedas and Yoga along with siva doctrines.