ta The Nectar of Thiruppugazh: Sivam in Thiruppugazh–Part 1

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Sivam in Thiruppugazh–Part 1

What is the goal of Bhakti? Our individual souls/consciousness are under bondage because of ignorance and limiting adjuncts such as mind, body and senses. We are assailed by cravings, desires, egoism, pride, greed, lust and likes and dislikes that keep us from realizing the divinity within. The ultimate goal of bhakti is to help the individual soul to merge itself in the Supreme Soul or Paramatman that is Infinite, Omniscient, Omnipotent, and an embodiment of knowledge and bliss. The Supreme Soul is self-luminous and illumines everything; it is formless, all-pervading indivisible, decayless, timeless, Eternal, and Immortal.

What prevents us from seeing ourselves as we truly are – as Pure Consciousness – are the three malas or cloakings that prevent us from recognizing the unifying spirit in all beings and make us feel separate and different. This experience of differentiation comes from a power called Maya which is a mala that our bodies are subject to. Mala means taint or impurity, a limiting condition that hampers the free expansion of spirit. It is of three forms, anava mala, maya mala, and karma mala. These Malas are part of our existence, part of the fabric of who we are.

Anava mala is the root mala, the primal limiting condition which reduces the universal Consciousness to a small, limited entity. It is a cosmic limiting condition over which the individual has no control. It is owing to this that the jiva (individual soul) considers himself a separate entity, cut off from the universal Consciousness. Maya mala springs from Anava mala.It is that binding condition that causes you to see yourself as separate from others and causes you to perceive people, places and things as being different from each other and different from yourself. Karma mala evolves out of Maya mala. It is the limiting conditions created by samskaras/vasanas of your past and present lives. It is the condition in which you believe yourself to be the body and you attribute all your actions to the limited "I" consciousness of your own ego.

In Thiruppugazh, we have several poems that sing the glory of Lord Shiva, His Form and His dance. But in this post, we will take excerpts from poems that glorify Siva as the all-pervading, Universal Substance.

In the poem kANoNAthathu, Sivam or the Universal and Infinite Matter is something which cannot be seen but is omniscient; cannot talk but makes one speak; it resides in the body made of five elements but remains imperceivable by it; it conforms to all worldly aspects of unity and diversity; it is known as the Cosmic Union of Shakthi (bindhu) and SivA (nAdham).
காணொ ணாதது உருவோ டருவது
பேசொ ணாதது உரையே தருவது
காணு நான்மறை முடிவாய் நிறைவது   பஞ்சபூதக்
காய பாசம தனிலே யுறைவது
மாய மாயுட லறியா வகையது
காய மானவ ரெதிரே யவரென    வந்துபேசிப்
பேணொ ணாதது வெளியே யொளியது
மாய னாரய னறியா வகையது
பேத பேதமொ டுலகாய் வளர்வது   விந்துநாதப்
பேரு மாய்கலை யறிவாய் துரியவ
தீத மானது வினையேன் முடிதவ
பேறு மாயருள் நிறைவாய் விளைவது    ஒன்றுநீயே

Sivam or the Universal Matter is that unique Entity that encompasses and imbibes – all the fifty-one letters of the alphabets; all the arts in the world; the ultimate vision experienced by Yogis (sages) in trance; the purest substance without a beginning, a middle or an end. It is more subtle than the minutest particle of an atom and manifests in the heart of those who have gotten rid of the three slags (namely, arrogance, karma and delusion). It is beyond the four aspects of mind (namely intellect, free-will, egoism and desire), the three qualities (namely sattvam, rajas and thamas). It is beyond the 36 tattvas too. A tattva (or tattwa) is an element or aspect of reality/deity/god. They form the basis of all our experience. Consider the song agara muthalena

அகரமுத லெனவுரைசெய் ஐம்பந்தொ ரக்ஷரமும்
அகிலகலை களும்வெகுவி தங்கொண்ட தத்துவமும்
அபரிமித சுருதியும டங்குந்த னிப்பொருளை எப்பொருளு மாய
அறிவையறி பவரறியும் இன்பந்த னைத்துரிய
முடிவைஅடி நடுமுடிவில் துங்கந்த னைச்சிறிய
அணுவையணு வினின்மலமு நெஞ்சுங்கு ணத்ரயமு மற்றதொரு காலம்
நிகழும்வடி வினைமுடிவி லொன்றென்றி ருப்பதனை
நிறைவுகுறை வொழிவறநி றைந்தெங்கு நிற்பதனை

The Ultimate Reality is a source of limitless joy. Wouldn't you like to merge with the Super consciousness called Sivam and experience the ananda? Here's thenundu mukkanigal, which says that Sivam's Grace is a sweetness that surpasses the sweetness of honey, the three great fruits (mango, plantain and jack fruit), milk, reddish sugarcane and coconut water.

தேனுந்து முக்கனிகள் பால்செங் கருப்பிளநிர்
சீரும் பழித்தசிவ மருளூறத்
தீதும் பிடித்தவினை யேதும் பொடித்துவிழ
சீவன் சிவச்சொருப மெனதேறி
நானென்ப தற்றுயிரொ டூனென்ப தற்றுவெளி
நாதம் பரப்பிரம வொளிமீதே
ஞானஞ் சுரப்பமகி ழாநந்த சித்தியொடெ
நாளுங் களிக்கபத மருள்வாயே

Here's another song suruthi mudi monam that could at best be described as the essence of advaita philosophy. Sivam is the omniscient, Supreme non-dualistic god who resides at the crown of the vedas, preaches tranquil silence and is the manifestation of Bliss and Wisdom with the form of Saivite body. It is the primordial, formless and effulgent light, an embodiment of grace residing in the lotus-heart of the liberated souls who have attained Self-Realisation (turiya).

சுருதிமுடி மோனஞ்சொல் சிற்பரம ஞானசிவ
சமயவடி வாய்வந்த அத்துவித மானபர
சுடரொளிய தாய்நின்ற நிட்களசொ ரூபம்
துரியநிலை யேகண்ட முத்தரித யாகமல
மதனில்விளை யாநின்ற அற்புதசு போதசுக
சுயபடிக மாவின்ப பத்மபதம்
ஒருநியம மேவிண்ட சட்சமய வேதஅடி முடிநடுவு மாயண்ட முட்டைவெளி யாகியுயி ருடலுணர்வ தாயெங்கு முற்பனம்

There is no dearth of similar songs in Thiruppugazh, each surpassing the other in beauty. In the following song nyaanam kol. Saint Arunagirinathar entices devotees, painting a delectable picture of the divine bliss of Sivanubhuti. He prays:
All my organs that perceive knowledge must converge; they should reach the cosmos that is bright without a sun or a moon. Then they should climb to the top of the Mount NamasivAya. The waterfall of bliss should flow sweetening my tongue; In that Siva-yogic trance, they should mingle with several sounds and play around. Consciousness about the body that lusted over transient sensual pleasures should be gone. It should take the form of the effulgent PraNava ManthrA "OM", and both of us should merge as one! Then I should mount on the horseback of True Knowledge and majestically go around all the world by Your Grace.

ஞானங்கொள் பொறிகள் கூடி வானிந்து கதிரி லாத
நாடண்டி நமசி வாய   வரையேறி
நாவின்ப ரசம தான ஆநந்த அருவி பாய
நாதங்க ளொடுகு லாவி    விளையாடி
ஊனங்க ளுயிர்கள் மோக நானென்ப தறிவி லாம
லோமங்கி யுருவ மாகி   யிருவோரும்
ஓரந்த மருவி ஞான மாவிஞ்சை முதுகி னேறி
லோகங்கள் வலம தாட  அருள்தாராய்

Continued in the next post....

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Transliteration in Tamil available. தமிழில் டைப் செய்யவும், மொழி மாற்றத்திற்க்கும் CTRL+g உபயோகிக்கவும்.