Sivagnana Botham of Meykandar with English Translation - Part 2

By J M Nallaswami Pillai

  • Table of Contents:

    • Chapter II. - Lakshanavial
    • Chapter III. - Sathanavial
    • Chapter IV. - Payanial



- - - - - - - - -

Sutra. The soul is not one of the Andakarana. It is not conscious when it is in conjunction with Anavamala. It becomes conscious only when it meets the Andakarana, just as a king understands through his ministers. The relation of the soul to the five Avastha is also similar.

Commentary :

This also treats of the nature of the soul and it consists of three arguments.

First Argument :

Churnika. - The Andakarana have no activity except when in conjunction with the soul. Hence there is a soul distinct from the Andakarana.

Varthikam. - As the Andakarana are only intelligent (chit) when viewed in relation to the subordinate Tatwas but are non-intelligent (Achit) when viewed in relation to the soul, it is established that the soul is not one of the Andakarana namely Manas, Buddhi, Chittam and Ahankara.

Illustration. - (a) Manas and other Andakarana have perception of permanent sensations. The soul perceives the product of the perception by the Buddhi after such mental perceptions. These perceptions by Manas and Buddhi reach the soul as the waves rising in the sea reach the shore. As the Andakarana are different from the permanent sensations, so the soul is different from the Andakarana.

(b.) While perceiving so, the soul as Chittam considers; as Manas it doubts; as Ahankaram, it wrongly concludes; as Buddhi it determines properly. As it thus apprehends differently when it is united to each, it is different from them, just as the sun, though marking the divisions of time, is different from it.

(c.) The letter ‘A’ is the symbol of Ahankaram; ‘U’ that of Buddhi; ‘M’ that of Manas; Vinthu that of Chittam; and Natham which is inseparable from all these letters, is the symbol of the soul. The five letters constitute Pranava; when examined, consciousness arises when the soul and andakarana meet, just as the tides rise and fall during the conjunction of the sun and the Moon.

(d.) Iswara and Sadasiva are the deities respectively of Vinthu and Natham; Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra are deities respectively of ‘A,’ ‘U,’ and ‘M’.

Second Argument :

Churnika. - The soul cannot see, being shrouded by the mala.

Varthikam. - It is established that the soul cannot understand when it is solely in conjunction with its inherent mala (Anava), as this mala is something which darkens the soul’s light or intelligence.

Illustration. - The soul will not know anything, unless it receives the light through its body caused by Maya, as the eye apprehends objects by the light of the lamp. Anavamala exists in the soul eternally, becoming one with it and concealing its luster as does the firewood conceal the heat or fire present in it.

Third Argument :

Chunika. – The soul undergoes five Avastha.

Varthikam. – As the soul is in a formless (Arupa) tatwa form and shrouded by the Mala, it is established that the soul undergoes five Avastha, namely, Jakra, Swapna, Sushupti, Thuriya, and Thuriyathitha.

Illustrations. – (a) In the Jakra Avastha of the soul, when it is in the region of the forehead, it has 35 active organs including the 10 external senses. In its Swapna Avastha, when in the region of the throat, it has 25 organs excluding the 10 external organs. In the Sushupti Avastha, when in the region of the heart, it has 3 organs including Chittam. In Thuriya Avastha, when in the region of the navel, it has only two, namely Purusha and Pranavayu; In Thuriyathitha Avastha, when in the region of Mulathara, it is pure Purusha having none of these organs.

(b) The soul, which in Jakra avastha is in the region of the forehead, undergoes all the five avastha in the same region. That is to say, it becomes conscious of each perception through each of the organs and, at the same time, becomes separated from them. Sutta Avastha are like these five in number.


Andakarana is a generic word, signifying all the internal senses, but they more particularly mean as here, Manas, Buddhi, Chitta and Ahankara. The proof of the proposition that the soul is not one of the Andakarana is given in the Varthika and illustrations. In dead sleep (Sushupthi) where the internal senses are at rest, the soul is not conscious. It becomes conscious only when the Anthakarana become once more active. When the soul is in Sushupti, it is in conjunction only with Anava Mala and performing respiratory function. This last function is the watchman who guards the innermost portals of the Palace of the King (Soul) when it is in perfect solitude. The Avasthas are merely the conditions of the soul when it is in relation with all the external and internal senses or with only some of them or none at all.

1. The churnika furnishes the first proof which is amplified in the Varthika. The internal senses are active; you lift your Ego to its own place as in Yoga, the Andakarana become dead and inactive, thus showing that the Atma is not one of the Andakarana.

The distinction is drawn in the following manner.

The Andakarana are the faculties of perception and reason. They perceive and reason but are not conscious that they perceive and reason. This latter function is performed by the True Ego, Atma.

The four Andakarana are distinguished in this wise Chittam takes an impression presented by the senses and considers what it is. It cannot know that it so considers. Manas takes such an impression, and double whether it is or is not this or that. It cannot know that it so doubts.

Ahankara ventures boldly that the impression is such and such. It cannot know that it so ventures.

Buddhi determines properly that the impression is this or that. It cannot know that it so determines.

(a) The Andakarana are divided into two classes as remarked above.

Manas, Chitta, and Ahankara are merely faculties of perception and they perceive permanent sensations and the language of the text is remarkable as "மன்னு புலன்கள்" exactly mean permanent sensations. Buddhi is the faculty of reason involving the sense of agreement and difference among such impressions. The product of this faculty is what is brought to the cognizance of the soul. The first three ministers merely gather statistics and prepare them. The Chief Minister, Buddhi compares the statistics and draws his conclusions and formulates the proposition to the King (Soul).

As the waves are stirred by the winds, the senses affect the Andakarana.

(b) Another distinction is that the four andakarana are four different functions, one not capable of performing the function of another or all the rest. That which stands above, cognizant of all the four, is the soul.

(c) It was before observed that the soul was of the form of Sri Panchatchara and the latter was stated as synonymous with Pranava. The symbol of Vinthu is a circle and that of Natham is a line. These two in fact, constitute the Pranava symbol o – or உ and the latter will be been is the same as Pillayar shuli. No Tamil man will begin the smallest piece of writing without prefixing Pillayar shuli. The significance being forgotten, it is thought of as a sectarian symbol, and the bigoted among Vaishnavas to whom the Pranava is as important, begin now to use ஸ்ரீ instead. Why it is called Pillayar shuli is, because God, Ganesha, represents Pure Sat, Brahm and the elephant Head is the Pranava sumbol. Cf. the popular Tamil couplet.

	பிரணவப்பொருளாம் பெருந்தகை ஐங்கரன்
	சரண அற்புதமலர் தலைக்கணிவோமே.

The popular Sanscrit slokas in praise of Ganesha also describe Him as Pranava Sorupi. The illustration contained in this stanza is a beautiful one.

(d) This contains another explanation of Pranava. Sivam was first stated as True Sat or Brahm. I have shown that the form of Ganesha shows Him to represent True Sat or Brahm. The very name of Subramanya signifies that He is True Brahm. The word Uma meaning Sakti is composed of u, m and a, i.e., Om manifested. So these different words or mantras are different modes of expressing the same Principle, the True Sat, in symbol, sound and language. So Om, Sri Panchatchara, Ganesha mantra, Subramanya mantra and Devi mantra are mere equivalents and denote the Samashti Pranava; when analyzed i.e., regarded as Vyashti, it becomes divided into Natham, Vinthu, a, u, and m. ‘a’ represents creation or origin as its place is the place or origin of all sounds. ‘u’ or ‘oo’ represents sthithi, as, when after pronouncing ‘a’ we bring it to a stand for an instant by converging the lips, ‘u’ is formed; when we close our mouths after pronouncing ‘a’ and ‘u,’ ‘m’ is formed and hence it represents Samharam. Binthu and Natham are the form and sound of these letters.

2. This explains that man’s intelligence only receives play and brightness and is capable of infinite improvement, when brought in contact with human body, by getting frequent births. That is, by evolution alone, man gets himself perfected.

3. I have not seen any objection to regarding the Soul as a separate entity more formidable that this, viz.

“If so, while I am in my objective state of consciousness, my Ego is something existing as a real entity in the physical body itself. How is it possible to transfer the same to the astral body? Then, again, it has also to be transferred to the Karana Sarira. We shall find a still greater difficulty in transferring this entity to the Logos itself; and you may depend upon it that unless a man’s individuality or Ego can be transferred to the Logos, immortality is only a name.” This objection which is stated with so much confidence will, on examination, be found to be groundless. In the first place, it is not shown, how it is not possible to effect the transference from one Avastha to another under this theory and that it is possible under the objector’s theory. Besides, the difficulty is more in the language employed, than in actual fact. And it is, often, in our experience what a fruitful source of error is the inadequate language we employ, in describing laws of thought. The objector speaks of the transfer from one body to another. On the premises already laid down in the preceding Sutras and on the view of the Avasthas as discussed in this argument, it will be apparent that there will be no transfer at all. The atma does not fly from the Sthula Sarira into the Sukshuma or astral body and leaving this into the Karana Sarira. It did not enter any new cosmic body at any one time. Its connection with Maya is eternal. And the law of mental evolution or evolution of subjective consciousness corresponds exactly to the evolution of objective consciousness. The human mind cannot evolve unless there is a corresponding evolution in its body. A pure disembodied mind or Atma is not recognized by this school. In the human as well as in the freed state (Moksha) it is connected with matter and between matter and God, the Atma is supported like a piece of iron between two magnets, the one pulling it higher and the other pulling it lower. And in the human state, the iron is in closest contact with the lower magnet, and in the Moksha with the Higher Magnet. In Moksha, the power of maya to undergo births alone is destroyed, by the Karma having been eaten up, just as a seed of grain loses its power of germination in the granary of the ant, by the sprout being nibbled off or by some other process. In human evolution, however, we find both the object and subject being evolved together and there could be no evolution of the one without the evolution of the other. In its original condition, what is here called Thuriyathitha condition, the atma is pure Purusha without consciousness of any sort, its body also being altogether undeveloped. This is the stage before evolution had commenced. The atma has no consciousness, no intelligence and no movements of any sort. In the next condition (Thurya avastha) evolution had been started, we have the first beginning of life, Purusha, in a living breathing body, without consciousness or any manifestation of any other faculties. They (mind and body) are evolved a step further in the Sushupthi avastha, and we have the first beginning of consciousness; and as such the faculty of Chittam is evolved in addition; and the objective body is then called Karana Sarira. A step further we arrive at Swapna avastha, where all the faculties (objective consciousness) except the 10 external senses (Gnana and Karma Indriyas) are fully developed and the objective body is called Sukshuma or astral body. In the final stage of evolution, where man’s consciousness has been fully developed, all the 36 tatwas formed of Maya, have been also fully developed; this is the Jakra avastha, and the body is the Sthula body. In this account of human evolution, there is no transference really. Similarly when the atma and its body undergo resolution, subjective and objective consciousness ceases little by little or is drawn in as it were, just as a spider or tortoise draws all its legs and organs into itself and rolls itself into a mass and becomes dead to all appearance. In fact, like a revolving prism of many sides, the attitude of the atma alone changes and this change of attitude or avastha is brought about, as, in the language of the text, it is in a formless (Arupa) Tatwa form enshrouded by mala i.e., not being made of matter but being chit itself and encased in matter. These five avasthas and their bodies are divided into three states Kevala, Sakala and Sutta. The Kevala state is the original state before evolution and described in the text of this sutra 'சகசமலத்துணராது' (It is not conscious when it is in conjunction with Anavamala). The Sakala state is described in the next sutra (V) and in the next one (VI) the Sutta state is treated off.

Having met a few of the most formidable objections taken to this view of the Siddhanta school, let me here state a few of the objections to the Idealistic view for which a rational answer is not yet forthcoming. Evolving Logos and Mulaprakriti (matter) from Brahm (Sat), why don’t you apply the law of causation and conservation of energy, and say otherwise that, Logos and matter are not Brahm, and why do you throw a veil between Logos and Brahm, and why do you say also that matter is not ‘Sat’ but Asat, and why should the one energy or Chaitanyam or Sakti of the Logos subdivide itself and form into different monads and acquire Karma, and become evil, and corrupt and bring sin and sorrow into this earth? If Atma is not a particle of this Chit but a mere reflection or shadow, how could a mere shadow become individualized and clothe with thought and action? And why should this shadow work out its own salvation? Will it not disappear when the substance is itself resolved. And in the same way as the Logos manifested itself in various bodies, as the sun in various pots of water, cannot the Logos itself gather up its lost energies or cannot the energy pass into the Logos as soon as the body dies, just as the sun’s reflection ceases as soon as the water pot is broken? With what grace can the objection be stated that unless the man’s individuality is transferred into the Logos itself, immortality is only a name, when for no reason or end, the human monad is evolved from Logos, and when there is an equal chance for the individual attaining immortality to evolve again as a human monad?


- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Sutra. The senses while perceiving the object cannot perceive themselves or the soul; and they are perceived by soul. Similarly, the soul while perceiving cannot perceive itself (while thinking cannot think thought) and God. It is moved by the Arul Sakti of God, as the magnet moves the iron, while Himself remains immoveable or unchangeable.


This treats of the way in which God renders good or actuates the souls and consists of two arguments.

First Argument

Churnika. – The Tatwas act with the aid of the soul.

Varthikam. – It is established that the five senses perceive only as the instruments of the soul, as they can perceive nothing when not acting together with the soul.

Illustrations. – The soul has regal sway over the five senses; these are not conscious of the soul and its sway, and the soul itself will have no consciousness except through the five Senses; but if the soul itself is not active the eye though seeing cannot see, and the ear though hearing, cannot hear.

Second Argument

Churnika. – The souls understand with the aid of Hara.

Varthikam. – As the soul cannot perceive itself, in the same way, the five senses cannot feel except with the aid of the soul, it is established that the soul also perceives with the aid of God.

Illustration (a). Thou who hast even forgotten the text of the Veda which says that the world (animate and inanimate) becomes developed in the presence of Siva, understand that the soul knows (the world) only according to its Karma with the light of Siva. As all Asat is sunya, He cannot experience Asat.

(b). Just as the stars which lose their individual light in the light of the sun and yet do not become the sun itself, so the soul receiving impressions. From all the five senses with the aid of God who is the only Truth, becomes indistinguishable and inseparable from Him (without becoming one or different from Him.)

(c). The Arul of Isa exists eternally with Him. It is His Sakti. Without Him, Sakti does not exist; and without Sakti, he cannot be. Hara (and His Sakti) appear as one to the gnanis, as the sun and its light appear as one to the eye.


This Sutra points out the essential limitation of all human senses, faculties, and the soul. The power of each is limited to knowing or perceiving the lower one and it cannot perceive itself or the higher faculty, and one faculty cannot perform the functions of another. The external and internal senses and the soul are therefore placed in an ascending order. Of these the highest, the soul can only perceive and know what is subordinate to itself. It cannot know itself nor know God. It is on this analogy and for this reason that God is imperceivable by the human senses and inconceivable by the human mind or soul; and it will be seen further that the soul cannot see God at any time by its own powers and that even the Yogi sees nothing but a figment of his own brain.

Not only are these human powers limited in their nature but there exists an interdependence of the lower over the higher. In the last sutra, it was shown that the soul does not become conscious till the Andakarana are evolved from matter; and it is here shown that the Andakarana themselves will not act unless the soul influences them and act together; and that the Andakarana have no independent action. And it is further seen that the higher consciousness exists or even predominates when the lower ones cease. That which stands therefore to the soul as the soul stands towards mind, is God, 'முற்றறிவன்', Perfect Intelligence பேரறிவன் ‘Supreme intelligence’ or as described in the next sutra ‘Siva Sat’ or ‘Chit Sat.’ And herein consists the most important distinction between God and man, and which entitles this school of philosophers to call themselves Asthika and all the rest (theistic and atheistic) Nasthika. In the latter theistic schools, their ideal of God is a purely personal or human one i.e., man raised to a God, or as in the idealistic school, God is brought down to the level of man, in either of which cases, the conception of God does not soar higher than that of man and the true ideal of God is never reached. Coming to the distinction noted above God and man do not differ in mere place or quantity or quality or in degree of power, strength or intelligence. It is not the same order of being differing merely in the amount of strength and intelligence. Man is not a particle of God, so that the requisite number of particles of human souls will make up one God. Put thus, the idea is absurd enough, yet one finds thousands of people believing in the theory. The real difference is that God and man belong each to a different order or plane or existence. Just as we ascend from the plane of objective consciousness to the plane of subject or mental consciousness and just as we ascend from the latter to the consciousness of true subject or soul, so also do we ascend from the latter consciousness to True Sat or God. The base of the lower rests upon the higher but not as effect and cause. Such expressions as உயிருக்குயிர் (Life of life) அறிவுக்கறிவு (Intelligence of Intelligences) express the relation clearly and yet we find these expressions freely used by Idealistic philosophers without any meaning. According to the latter school, God will be an அறிவு (Intelligence) and not an அறிவுக்கறிவு (Intelligence of Intelligences). When Siddhanthis use the expression "எல்லாம் சிவன்செயல்" “All actions are God’s actions,” they are also misunderstood often times, and the expression simply means that God is He who sustains our very being and actions as He vivifies our intelligence. Though there is dependence of the soul on God in respect of its Itcha (will) Gnana (Intelligence) and Kriya (action) yet the souls self action and responsibility is not destroyed. For instance when I move my arm, not only is my volition and energy (Itcha and Kriya Sakti) brought into play but the same action is sustained by and is possible only in the presence of the supreme energy (Kriya Sakti) of God. When I think also, Gnana Sakti of God is also brought into play. Only when God works, He does not work as we do. As the 1st illustration to the second argument points out, His presence produces these effects (சந்நிதிக்கே ஐந்து தொழிலாம்). And even then, He does not suffer any change as pointed out in the Sutra. Analogous are these. All the actions of the human body are supported and aided in the end by the Force of Gravity which is one and uniform, and yet in ordinary language we do not recognize its power, though a scientic account of all the causes must include it as well. Similarly, all our visual perceptions are aided by the Sun’s Light which is one and uniform. Yet I say merely ‘I see.’ Accordingly the ignorant do not recognize and feel the Power of the Lord, but the wise recognizing this Power, try to realize and feel it by withdrawing more and more from themselves and bringing themselves more and more into contact or rapport with Him, aided thereto by His Arul Sakti. And the last illustration appropriately discusses the nature of this Arul Sakti. The approximation of man to God results in the end in adwaitha relation as described in the 2nd illustration. In day light, the light of the star is completely lost to all sight and yet not lost. The light of the star blends with and becomes indistinguishable from the light of the Sun. Its identity is lost and not itself. There is no annihilation of the soul but its individuality or Egoism is lost, its Karma having been eaten. This is Moksha or Nirvana, according to the Saiva Siddhanti. Then and then alone will its action, if it has any, be in reality that of the Lord. The subject is further discussed in the next Sutra.

The limitation of the human intelligence is thus described in Sivagnana Siddhi, “The soul understands with the aid of theSupreme Intelligence as it understands through some sense or other, forgets what it has learnt, learns from others, is not conscious of itself, does not understand of itself.”

On the other hand God is described as ‘Swa Para Prakasam’ ‘He who is self luminous and illumines others.’ On this subject the same authority raises several other questions and gives beautiful replies.

If God illumines all souls, He must illumine all of them equally well. If each one’s intelligence follows his own Karma, then no God is required. The answer is that Karma itself acts through God, though God cannot change Karma. And the analogies of the earth which yields according to the labour of the peasant, and the sun who can only ripen those fruits that are matured, are pointed out.

The theory that the soul is self luminous or self intelligent is refuted by the fact that the soul is only conscious when in union with the senses; and the opponent is compared to a man who would say that a man, with the full power of eye sight, finds out objects by feeling with his hands.

Man’s intelligence is in fact analogous with his eyesight. He is not blind (non-intelligent) nor is his sight such as to make him see in the dark and dispense with the aid of the sun’s light (God’s grace.)


- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Sutra. That which is perceived by the senses is Asat (changeable.) That which is not so perceived does not exist. God is neither the one nor the other, and hence called Siva Sat or Chit Sat by the wise; Chit or Siva when not understood by the human intelligence and Sat when perceived with divine wisdom.


This treats of the nature of Sat and Asat and consists of two arguments.

First Argument

Churnika. – Everything that is perceived by the human understanding is liable to decay.

Varthikam. – As an object exists or does not exist according to one or other attitude of the soul, it is established that the object perceived by the human understanding is Asat.

Illustration. – Hear, O! thou who art ignorant of the real nature of Asat. All those that are perceived by the human faculties and senses will be found to be Asat by him who has understood Sat. O! Thou, who art not Asat. If similes are required to illustrate that the world is Asat, they are the figures formed on the water, the dreams and the cloud-car. They disappear before Him, as does darkness before the sun.

Second Argument

Churnika. – The Being so arrived at (that is not perceived by the soul) is Hara.

Varthikam. – All objects understood by us do not require a light to know them by, and all not so understood cannot be known even with a light. Hence that which is not included in these two and which is beyond the ken of human powers and is within its ken also, that is Sivam which is Sat.

Illustration. – (a) If the meaning of the expression that God is neither what can be proved and known by us nor what cannot be known is asked, he who has found the truth will say that He exists. He cannot be seen by the human understanding as He will then become Asat. He must be seen by the Arul Sakti of Siva who cannot be known by man. This Arul Sakti is His Foot.

(b). The faculties by which the soul perceives are Asat. Therefore none of them can perceive the One. Even thou, who so perceivest, cannot understand Him. If examined, what thou perceivest will be different from thee. He who has understood himself will perceive himself to be not different from Him, as he merges his personality in Him and understands through His Arul.

(c). If God is capable of being meditated by man, He becomes Asat. If He is regarded as a Being beyond human meditation, He will be a mere fiction. If He is meditated as neither, He will be a nonentity. If He is meditated as an object of meditation though He is beyond human meditation, this will be also a fiction. The Param can only be meditated with the aid of His Arul. Therefore He is not a nonentity.

(d). To be known by the soul, He is not different from itself. As He is even present in its understanding it cannot know Him. As He in fact makes the soul see, its understanding cannot comprehend and point Him out to the soul, just as the eye which the soul enables it to see and yet is one with it cannot see the soul.

(e). God is not one who can be pointed out as “That.” If so, not only will He be an object of knowledge, it will imply a Gnatha who understands Him as such. He is not different from the soul as an object of knowledge. He becomes one with the soul pervading its understanding altogether. The soul so feeling itself is also Sivam.


This Sutra contains the true and only definition of God, and all other attributes of God follow from the two given here. The way in which these attributes are derived is thus. In the first place, God must either be an object of human knowledge of He is not. If the first, everything that is perceived by us is liable to decay and change and we cannot regard God as liable to change. Therefore God is beyond human perception and hence called Sivam or Chit (Pure Intelligence). If it is not an object of knowledge, is it nonentity? Of course not, and hence He is ‘Sat’ ‘that which subsists’ ‘The only Truth.’ These two form the components of the word ‘Satchithanantham,’ so freely applied to God in the Saivite and Vedantic lore. This is our only definition of God and it is seen that any definition of God must contain these elements and the conception of God could not be simplified in any degree. Stated thus, very few religionists would quarrel with our definition of God. And yet how very few of the religions of the world even those, which charges others as polytheistic and idolatrous have an ideal of God which conforms to this definition. Their traditions, beliefs and methods of worship destroy this true idea For instance if our definition of God, that He is inconceivable by the human intelligence and imperceptible to human powers, is true how are all those religions which believe in Avatars, Christianity and Vaishnavism included, reconcileable with our definition. When God is born in the flesh, is He not a tangible thing, a thing to be seen by our eye, felt by our touch and comprehended by our senses. How can we then call Him indescribable and imperceivable. How can the Author of evolution subject himself to the laws of evolution – birth and death. Is it not therefore that our sages one and all declare that – He is 'உதியா மரியா' 'இறப்பிலி பிறப்பிலி' (without birth and death). We challenge any body to point out in the vast puranic lore, any story in which Siva is said to have been born in the flesh and the very stories which exist, only serve to illustrate the difference between Him and the so called Immortals, namely, that Siva cannot die and be born, and that all others are capable of births and deaths, and our poet says:

"எல்லார் பிறப்பும் இறப்பும் இயற்பாவலர்தம்,
சொல்லாற் றெளிந்தேம், - நம் சோணேசர்,
இல்லிற் பிறந்த கதையும் கேளேம் பேருலகில் வாழ்ந்துண்டு,
இறந்த கதையும் கேட்டிலேம்."

And every Tamil student can recall to mind the popular Stanza of Kalamegam in which he claims superiority to Vishnu who is superior to God, as Siva has no births, Vishnu’s births are ten and his own are innumerable. The Churnika points out that all object and subject (mental) phenomena are liable to decay, not annihilation, but change. They so change from moment to moment, they are so evanescent that they may almost be said to have no existence at all, 'இல்லே யெனு மாயை' and these are therefore called Asat. And to avoid further misconception, it is defined as that which exists or does not exist according to the objective or subjective attitude of the mind, bearing in mind, however, Asat here includes all the phenomena of object and subject, both being objective to the soul. Asat or Maya therefore does not mean nonexistent nor illusion nor Mitya. It simply means ‘other than Sat.’ And this definition has to be borne in mind fully, as the confusion of its meaning alone has given birth to the tortuosities of the Idealistic School. The latter School compares Asat to the imagined silver in the shell and the snake in a rope. That this is a false analogy, without any meaning, is easily shown. For the production of this illusory knowledge we must have previously possessed a knowledge of two realities both the shell and silver, and the snake and the rope and an imperfectly intelligent being, who by either defective vision or distance or fear &c. mistakes one thing for the other. The silver and snake, in themselves realities, are not in the shell and rope respectively but in a defective mind. In the genesis of the Asat, what supplies the places of silver, shell and defective mind must be shown. So far as the illusory knowledge of silver is concerned we have traced it to a defective mind. If myself and my human consciousness, objective and subjective is an illusion, who is the subject of this illusion. Inevitably, God. Such a God is itself illusory and He could not be self luminous and Intelligent. The analogy gives us no sense whatever and though the objection as stated here has often and often been pressed, yet we find no book meeting it and we find the analogy repeated often enough and even by intelligent men, parrot-like. The nature of Asat is further explained in the illustration, and the similes given are in themselves real experiences while they last, and the point of comparison is simply their evanescent and temporary character.

2. The second Varthika gives one of the many dilemmas found in this work. If God is knowable by us, it will be easy enough to know Him and we do not require a superior Light to guide us to Him. If He is not knowable, then however we might try, we cannot discover Him, and the worship of God will be all vain trouble. The meaning being that it is not possible to know with what is called Pasa and Pasu Gnanam i.e., by the human powers and by the soul itself. The Divine Light (Pathi Gnanam) must penetrate our soul and then we can discover Him dwelling in ourselves; and merging our personalities in Him, we become indistinguishable from Him and we can as it were, call ourselves even God, in name. At no time, can we therefore see God face to face as He, as it were, lies behind us, lives in us, part of our very being. Sivagnana Siddhi summarises the reasons thus:

“God cannot be perceived by the Human intelligence as He is not separate from the soul, as He illumines its intelligence, makes it understand whatever it thinks about, and as He has no such pride as I and mine, everything being in Him.”

(b) and (d) and (e). Maya is object. Soul is subject. The object cannot perceive the subject; otherwise the subject will become the object and the object subject. God is true subject, and Maya and Soul are objects and hence Maya and Soul cannot perceive God. The subject receives further elaboration in the next Sutra.

(c) This verse discusses the various conceptions of God by the Yogis, and they are reduced to either mere idols of the human mind or fiction or nonentity, in all of which cases, the meditation of God will bring no profit whatever. When the highest conceptions of God in the Yoga philosophy are thus declared to be mere material idols or myths, it need not be pointed out that any representation of the Unknown and the Inconceivable by either the eye or the ear or any other human senses will be equally material conceptions and fruitless. This then is our real reason for the objection taken to all forms of idolatry. The religions ordinarily professing hatred of idolatry are based on such narrow philosophic foundations that they simply object to the idols of the eye – namely pictures and statues, &c., but their ordinary conceptions of God conveyed by the language and sound is equally gross and idolatrous. If you object to a male representation of God in gold or marble as your Father and ‘Our Lord’ and repeat other names which are mere idols of the ear, and what benefit would it bring you the worship of these mere names? If you object to locate the picture of the eye in a temple, why do you build Him a temple in words and in your mind and say ‘Our Father which art in Heaven.’ This heaven of your mind is as unreal a representation of God’s abode as the Temple of the earth. A prayer is a mere word or sound worship, and all our mantras fall within this category. God can only be and is therefore represented by means of all the human senses, and the mental conceptions simply follow from the sensory conceptions. Of all these, however, the eye and the ear standing foremost among the most intellectual of the five gateways of knowledge, the symbolic forms of these two senses are deservedly most popular. And of these, the forms of the eye are all the varied forms of the universe, the five elements, the Sun, and the Moon, and the luminaries and all animal form chiefly man, comprised under what are called Ashta-Mukurtham; which forms are again divided into Guru, Lingam and Sangamam: Guru and Sangama comprising Living Beings and Lingam including all pictorial and sculptural representations, from the root ‘lik,’ meaning to write or describe. Cf. The word ‘Lipika,’ used in the ‘Secret Doctrine.’ The symbols presented to the ear, are sounds, words, names, and mantras, prayers, &c. And of all these the Pranava and Sri Panchakshara stand foremost. And these mantras form what is called Sabda Brahm. And how futile this worship of Sabda Brahm is when not accompanied by Pathignanam is illustrated by the Puranic story of the Rishis of the Tharukavana. Cf. the following extract from ‘Barths’ Religions of India. “Sacrifice is only an act of preparation, it is the best of acts but it is an act and its fruits consequently perishable. Accordingly although whole sections of these treatises (Upanishads) are taken up exclusively with speculations on the rites, what they teach may be summed up in the words of Munduka Upanishad “Know the Atman only and away with everything else; it alone is the bridge to immortality.” The Veda itself and the whole circle of sacred science are quite as sweepingly consigned to the second place. The Veda is not the true Brahm; it is only its reflection. And the science of this imperfect Brahm, this Sabda Brahm or Brahm in words is only a science of a lower order. The true science is that which has the true Brahm, The Para Brahman for its subject.” That is, the Vedas themselves resolve into Asat and they cannot know Sat. These thoughts are not only found in almost every page of our sacred literature, but they can be met with even in every popular song, and story. If I attempt here any quotation, these will in themselves form matter for a separate book, but I am unwilling to leave it without a few, seeing the importance of the subject. Turning over the first few pages of ‘Thiruvachakam’ we meet with these:

"பரமன் காண்க"
(Behold the Supreme)

"சொற்பதங் கடந்த தொல்லோன் காண்க"
(Behold The most Ancient God who cannot be described by words)

"சித்தமுஞ்செல்லா சேடசியன் காண்க"
(Behold The Incomprehensible Being who cannot be reached by the Human mind)

"தேவரு மறியாச் சிவனே காண்க"
(Behold the Lord unknown to the Immortals)

"சொற்பதங் கடந்த தொல் லோன்
உள்ளத்துணர்ச்சியிற் கொள்ளவும் படான்
கண்முதற்புலனாற் காட்சியுமில்லோன்"
‘He is passing the description of words, not comprehensible by the mind, not visible to the eye and other senses’ (note here the words ‘eye and other senses’)

"யுரையுணர் விறந்த வொருவ போற்றி."
(Praise be to the One who is passing speech and thought)

"வேதங்கள் ஐயா வெனவோங்கி
ஆழ்ந்தகன்ற நுண்ணியனே."
(Thou hast passed far beyond the reach of the Vedas, which called loudly for Thee)

"ஓர்நாமம் ஓருருவம் ஒன்றுமில்லான்"
He has no name, and no form and no marks whatever.

"சோதிமணிமுடி சொல்லிற் சொல்லிறந்து நின்றதொன்மை
ஆதிகுணம் ஒன்றுமில்லா அந்தமிலான்."

(His Lustrous Crown is where all speech and thought cease to enter,
He has no beginning, no attributes and no end.)

Turn to the ‘Thevaram:’

"அவன் அருளே கண்ணாகிக் காண்பதல்லால்.
இப்படியன் இவ்வுருவன், இவ்வண்ணத்தன்
இவனிறைவ னென்றெழுதிக் காட்டொணாதே."

(Unless you can see him with His Grace as your eye,
You cannot describe Him in words or picture, as this is the God possessing such and such attributes, forms and qualities).
Says our Sainted Poetess Karaikal Ammayar:

"அன்றும் திருவுருவம் காணாதே யாட்பட்டேன்
இன்றும் திருவுருவம் காண்கிலேன் - என்றுந்தான்
எவ்வுருவோ நும்பிரான் என்பார்கட் கென்னுரைப்பேன்,
எவ்வுருவோ நின்னுருவம் எது."

When I first became Thy slave I did not know Thy form,
I have not seen Thy form even now.
What am I to say to those who ask me what Thy form is?
What is Thy form? Which is it? None.

Our Thayumanavar:

"உரையுணர்வு இறந்து தம்மையுணர்பவர் உணர்வி னூடே
கரையிலா இன்பவெள்ளம் காட்டிடும் முகிலே."
"சொல்லாலும் பொருளாலும் அளவையாலும்
தொடரவொண்ணா அருள்நெறி."

"குலமிலான் குணங்குறி யிலான்."
"சுருதியே சிவாகமங்களே யுங்களாற் சொல்லும்
ஒருதனிப்பொருள் அளவையீனென்னவா யுண்டோ
பொருதிரைக்கடலெண்ணினும் புகல
கருதவெட்டிடா நிறைபொருள் அளவையார் காண்பார்"

Cf. with verse (d).

"அறியுந்தரமோ நானுன்னை, அறிவுக்கறிவாய் நிற்பதனால்
பிறியுந் தரமோ நீ யென்னைப் பெம்மானே - பேரின்பமதாய்
செறியும் பொருள் நீ நின்னையன்றிச் செறியாப் பொருள் நான்."

Having said so much, it might reasonably be asked, how is it, that the Saiva Religion whose Temples are more numerous than that of any other faith and are spread out from the Himalayas to Cape Comorin and the Islands beyond and from the caves of Elephanta to the Rock cut Temples of Mahabalipuram, tolerates these practices? This is the subject of the next chapter on Sadana and the reason is found there. This symbolic worship (sensory and mental) is required as Sadana for the human soul and these are not Sadhia i.e., the means to attain an end, the knowledge of Sat, and not the end itself; or in the words of the extract quoted above, these are acts of preparation. The human mind, if it must progress in Spirituality, must withdraw more and more from its own self and rest itself on what it considers, the Highest, the Holiest and Loveliest and bestow upon it all its deeds, riches, and thoughts ( ). By such continued practice of Altruism and love of Sivam, who is All Love, will reach true Bhakti or Pathi Gnanam, described in the last chapter on Payan. Besides when we must worship God, we must worship in that body in which He is present, and we have before shown that the whole universe, animate and in animate, forms His body; and that all forms of nature are His. And our sages praise Him therefore:

"பெண் ஆண் அலியென்னும் பெற்றியன் போற்றி."
(Praise be to the One who is male, female, and neuter.)

"பூதங்கள்தோறு நின்றா யெனின் அல்லாற்
போக்கிலன் வரவிலன் என நினைப்புலவோர்,
கீதங்கள் பாடுதல் ஆடுதலல்லாற்
கேட்டறியோமுனைக் கண்டறிவாரை
சிந்தனைக்கும் அரியாய்." 

(The sages can only sing Thy praises as the One immanent in all Nature, and withal as being the immutable and unchangeable; we have not heard of any persons who have seen Thee except in this way. Thou art beyond the reach of all thought.)

"கண்ணாலியானும் கண்டேன் காண்க."
(I have seen Thee with my eyes.)

’இன்னிசை வினையிலி சைந்தோன் காண்க.’
(Thou art present even as the Harmony in the Vina.)

"பூவினாற்றம் போன்றுயர்ந் தெங்கு மொழிவற நிறைந்து மேவிய பெருமை."
(Thy greatness in being present in one and all, like the smell in the folwer.)

"அருக்கனிற் சோதி அமைத்தோன் திருத்தகு
மதியிற்றண்மை வைத்தோன் திண்டிறல்
தீயின் வெம்மை செய்தோன் பொய்தீர்
வானிற்கலப்பு வைத்தோன், மேதகு
நீரி லின்சுவை நிகழ்ந்தோன், வெளிப்பட
மண்ணிற் றிண்மைவைத்தோன், என்னென்று
எனைப் பலகோடியெனைப் பல பிறவும்
அனைத்தனைத் தவவயின் அடைத்தோன் அஃதான்று"

(Thou art present as the Light in the sun.
Thou art present as the coolness in the moon.
Thou hast added Heat to the fire.
Thou art present even as Akas diffusing everywhere.
Thou art present even as the sweetness in water.
Thou art present even as the hardness in earth.
Thou art present in each and everything as such.
And yet art Thou not all these things.)

"பத்திவலையிற் படுவோன் காண்க."
(Thou art ensnared by Bhakti (Love).)

அருவமும் உருவமு மானாய் போற்றி.
பேராயிரமுடைய பெம்மான் போற்றி.
(Praise be to Thee who hast forms and art formless.)
(Praise be to Thee who hast thousand names.)

"கண்ணிற் காண்பதுன் காட்சி கையாற்றொழில்
பண்ணல்பூசை பகர்வது மந்திரம்.
மண்ணோ டைந்தும் வழங்குயிர் யாவுமே
யண்ணலே நின்னருள் வடிவாகும்மே."
Real seeing with our eyes is when we see Thee.
Real Pujah with our hands is when we worship Thee.
When we repeat Thy names, it is uttering manthra.
All the five elements and animate nature are Thy Gracious Forms

"வடிவெல்லாநின் வடிவென வாழ்த்திடாக்
கடியனேனுமுன் காரணம் காண்பனோ."
(Can I hope to see Thy Truth
When I do not praise all Forms as Thy Form)

"அருவெனில் உருவமுமுளை உருவெனில்
அருஉருவமு முளையவை யுபயமு மலை."
(If it is said, Thou art Formless, no, Thou hast also a Form. If it is said, Thou hast only a form, no, Thou art also formless. Thou art neither.)

And again when we picture in words or in our minds, God, say as the Creator, the protector and the destroyer, why should we not also picture Him to our eye as such? It is not that, when we speak of in words, God as creator &c., or think of Him as such, we have really advanced in any way in our knowledge of God. And it is, on this principle that the whole of the innumerable forms in Temple worship has grown among the Hindus. Each form and every detail in that form is symbolic of some idea or thought. These forms are such that if today all our philosophical works and Shastras, &c., are destroyed, it is possible to evolve, all our various Hindu Philosophical systems, Moral, Social and Religious from these images alone, provided we possess the key. This is not an idle boast, but it is want of space and fear of encumbering the subject with too much of my own views that forbid me to elaborate the subject further. However I will conclude this article by referring to and explaining in part the most important of the Saivite Forms, namely the image of Natesa and the Chin Mudra. It will be too great a detail if I proceed to describe the structure of the place or Temple called Chit Ambaram or Chit Akas, Chit Sabha and Pundarikapuram or the city of the Heart in the midst of which the Divine Dancer performs His Natak. The pose is that of a dancer. And now dance is defined as the music of motion. And when, as we have shown, God manifests Himself as the great Energy or Force or Maha Chaitanyam, when He wills that the whole universe of Mind and Matter should undergo Evolution (creation, development and Reproduction). What could be more appropriate than to regard this Grand Moving Force as a great Dancer. In the words of our sage –

'காட்ட வனல் போல் உடல் கலந்துயிரையெல்லாம்,
ஆட்டுவிக்கும் நட்டுவன் எம்மண்ணலென வெண்ணாய்.'

(Our God is the Dancer who like the heat latent in the firewood diffuses His Power in Mind and Matter and Makes them dance in their turn.) I prefer again to quote the famous author of ‘Nithineri Vilakkam’ in order to explain a few of the other Symbols.

'பூமலி கற்பகப் பூத்தேள் வைப்பு
நாமநீர் வரைப்பின் நானில வளாகமும்
எனைய புவனமும் எண்ணீங்குயிரும்
தானே வகுத்ததுன் தமருகக் கரமே
தனித்தனி வகுத்த சராசரப்பகுதி
யனைத்தையும் காப்பதுன் அமைத்த கைத்தலமே
தோற்றுபு நின்ற அத் தொல்லுலகடங்கலும்
ஆற்றுவது ஆரழல் அமைத்ததோர் கரமே
ஈட்டிய வினைப்பயன் எவற்றையும் மறைத்துநின்
றூட்டுவ தாகும்நின் ஊன்றியபதமே;
அடுத்த இன்னுயிர்கட்கு அளவில் பேரின்பம்
கொடுப்பது முதல்வநின் குஞ்சித பதமே
இத்தொழில் ஐந்தும்நின் மெய்த்தொழில்.'

Roughly translated, the passage means ‘O my Lord, Thy Hand holding the sacred drum (Damaruka - உடுக்கை) has made and arranged the Heavens and the Earth and other worlds and innumerable souls. Thy raised Hand protects the Chethana and Achethana Prapancha which Thou hadst created. All these worlds are changed by Thy Hand bearing Fire. Thy Sacred Foot, planted on the ground, furnishes rest to the tired soul struggling in the toils of Karma and eating the fruits thereof. It is Thy lifted Foot which grants eternal bliss to those who approach Thee. These Pancha Krithya are in fact Thy true Handy-work.

The curious may enquire how the hand with the drum signifies creation or creative Power. Those who have read Mrs. Annie Beasant’s Lecture on Sound will have noted that when creation is started Sound or Natham is the first product, out of which all other tatwas are evolved, and the Damarukam is probably the oldest and most primitive sound producing instruments known to the Aryans and which, the use of it still in all religious observances also points to.

The Chin Mudra found in the Person of the Divine Guru Dakshina Murthi explains the nature of the three padarthas and the difference of the Bandu and Moksha conditions. For a fuller account of this symbol, see the pages of ‘The Theosophist.’



- - - - - - - - - -

Sutra. In the presence of Sat, everything else (cosmos-Asat) is Sunyam (is non-apparent) Hence Sat cannot perceive Asat. As Asat does not exist, it cannot perceive Sat. That which perceives both cannot be either of them. This is the Soul (called Satasat).

Note. This treats of the nature of the Soul and consists of three arguments.

First Argument

Churnika. – Hara has no experience of Pasa.

Varthikam. – As, before the Perfect and Eternal Intelligence, the imperfect and acquired intelligence (falsehood) is shorn of its light, it is therefore established that in the presence of Siva Sat, Asat loses its light.

Illustration. – Hara who is not separate (from Pasu and Pasa) cannot know them as objects. So He cannot know Asat as different even when He knows it. Evil Asat ceases to exist before Him, as does darkness before the Sun.

Second Argument

Churnika. – Pasa cannot know Hara.

Varthikam. – Asat is non – intelligent as it will be found to be so when examined closely.

Illustration. – The ignorant man who follows a mirage as water, will find it to be false when he reaches it. So the soul whom God’s grace has not reached will find Asat to be Sat. As Asat does not exist, it cannot know (Sat.) Therefore learn that Asat has no understanding.

Third Argument

Churnika. – The soul lives in both.

Varthikam. – it is established that the soul which has such double perception is neither of them; as the soul is that which perceives both, understands on being taught, and exists in either condition eternally.

Illustrations. – O Thou who art engaged in deep studies, The soul has knowledge of both Sat and Asat and hence is neither of them. It does not appear as equivalent to either of them, nor is it nonentity being neither of them. Its nature is like the smell of the flower which at one time was non-apparent, though existing in the plant and at another time became apparently visible.

(2). Thou art not Sat, as thy understanding is changeful and imperfect, becoming deranged in disease and recovering its brightness when medicines are administered. Thou art neither Asat as thou hast to eat the fruits of Karma, knowingly performed by thyself, and which Asat cannot know and enjoy.

(3). Ignorance (Agnanam) will not arise from God who is the true intelligence as it is Asat (like darkness before light). The soul which is ever united to God is co-eternal with Him. The connection of ignorance with the soul is like the connection of Salt with the water of the sea.


We have proved to ourselves the existence of the three categories or Padarthas, Pathi, Pasu, and Pasa in the first chapter. We have learned to distinguish them further in the second chapter. And now what is the use of all this knowledge? All knowledge and all philosophy will be utterly useless if it will not lead us to believe that we have a better end to attain to and to action that will bring about this end. The true end or Siddhantha is what is treated off in Chapter IV and this chapter preceding it is appropriately devoted to the treatment of the action or Sadana or means of attaining the True End. Now in proceeding to begin Sadana, if we begin as the author of Vichara Sagar begins, ‘I am God, I worship myself. Why should I worship any other?’ we cannot achieve much. Unless we can distinguish ourselves from God, we cannot attempt to become God. This Sutra therefore enjoins on the person beginning his practice a further caution not to mistake himself for God, thereby distinguishing between Sat, Asat and Satasat and showing also what becomes of the lower planes when we pass on to the Higher. Asat has already been explained to mean other than Sat. This word and Sunyam do not mean non-existent and nonentity but also mean non-apparent or non-luminous or non-distinguishable (விளங்காமை, பிரகாசியாமை). The Ganges pouring from its thousand mouths into the broad sea preserves its taste and reddish colour for miles and miles beyond, but as we proceed down, the water gradually loses its taste and colour and finally, sure as anything, we cannot find it. It is lost completely. No, it is not lost. The great sea which is greater than the great Gauges has completely engulfed and covered it up and in consequence it is the sea and it’s Salt and not the Ganges and its taste that is apparent to us. Sea is Sat and the Ganges mingling with it is Asat or Sunyam . Again darkness is as real an experience of our sight as day light. We speak of darkness engulfing the whole world at night; but with the first streak of dawn, darkness has completely fled and vanished. Has it? And if so, where to? No, it has neither gone not fled anywhere nor has it become non-existent. Darkness is present in Light and is completely absorbed in it. The greater Glory and Power of the one subjugates or covers the power of the other.

We have elsewhere referred to the analogy of the sunlight and stars. The author of Sivagnana Siddhi calls this 'முனைத்திடாமை' which is explained to mean, that God cannot distinguish it as apart from Him as we distinguish one object from another. Knowledge and consciousness is only relative; and in the Presence of the Absolute, the All, there could be no relativity and no knowledge or consciousness. Hence Sat cannot perceive Asat. As elsewhere explained, in the subjective state, the object vanishes. That is in pure subjective consciousness, object consciousness merges, becomes indistinguishable, there is no knowledge of object.

2. Asat cannot perceive Sat as it cannot rise above itself in perception and as it is itself the object of the soul. So it is doubly distant from Sat.

3. This argument brings out the whole subject of Atma Darsan and shows how the soul can be seen or perceived. The soul cannot be perceived directly as this is physically and psychologically impossible. It is by learning to distinguish itself from other things that it can know what it really is. There are two such things from which it has to distinguish itself, namely, Sat and Asat. In the human condition it is one with Asat and the first step in spiritual progress is to distinguish itself and then slowly to separate itself from Asat. But it should not be supposed from the fact of the soul rising to its own plane from Asat that it is a compound or an effect or Asat itself. The soul did exist in Asat even previously though in a latent or unperveived condition and it rises out of Asat as the smell of the flower rises out of the tree or plant in which it was not perceived before. Rising to itself, the soul should not stop there, but must again learn to distinguish itself from Sat and then try its best to lift itself into the plane of Sat, with which also it was connected as the flower and the plant. "சீவனுக்குள்ளே சிவமணம் பூத்தது" (In the tree of Life (soul) the sweet blossom of Sivam blossoms out). In the banda condition, the soul appeared only as Asat, and when the banda is removed, freedom is obtained and it then appears not itself but as Sivam. So in neither condition, its own nature is subordinated to the one to which it is connected for the time being, and apart from either, it cannot find a resting place and it lives therefore in both.

Though at all times all the three existed together, yet at one time, Soul and Sat were non-apparent and Asat alone apparent like the tree before blossoming; and at another time, Asat disappears and soul is enveloped in Sivam and the brightness and sweetness of the flower alone shines out.

Cf. ‘Thirumanthiram.’

"அனாதி சிவரூபமாகிய ஆன்மா
தனாதிமலத்தாற் றடைப்பட்டு நின்றது
தனாதிமலமும் தடையற்றபோதே
யனாதிசிவ ரூபமாகிய வாறே."

(The soul which in its real condition is of the form of Sivam is confined and conditioned by its connection with Malam; when this bantham therefore ceases, it assumes the form of Sivam).

(c) The last illustration contains a favorite analogy. God is the sea or the vast space giving room to a vast volume of water and things contained in it, “the all Container” “The Sarva Viyapaka.” The water is the soul which is Vyapti and the salt of the water is the Malam which is Vyappia. The import of the analogy in this place is that though it is the sea which gives room to the water and the salt, yet the salt does not attach itself to the sea (space) but to the water. And the salt though it is always present in sea water, the water in its original or real condition, is not so connected and this connection can be separated.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Sutra. The Lord appearing as Guru to the Soul which had advanced in Tapas (Virtue and Knowledge) instructs him that he has wasted himself by living among the savages of the five senses; and on this, the soul, understanding its real nature leaves its former associates, and not being different from Him, becomes united to His Feet.


This explains the Path of attaining Gnanam, and consists of four arguments.

First Argument

Churnika. - Souls will obtain wisdom from Tapas.

Varthikam. – Moksha cannot be obtained when performing Sariya, Kriya, and Yoga, unless the supreme Gnanam is attained by Tapas effected in all previous births.

Illustrations. – (a) Those who have performed Tapas enjoy its fruits in the various Tapalokas (Heavens). And then they attain good births, so that they may get rid of even these desires, by eating the fruits of these desires, and attain Gnanam. This is what the learned in the Shasters say.

(b) The bliss secured by the much praised sacrificial acts will be like the pleasure derived by the hungry man after eating and who again becomes hungry. The soul will join its Gnana Guru when by its indestructible Tapas (Sariya, Kriya and Yoga) its good and bad Karma become perfectly balanced.

Second Argument

Churnika. – He who comes as the Sarguru of the souls is Hara.

Varthikam. – It is established that the Lord appearing as Guru will teach the souls, as not being separate from the souls, He shines in the light of the souls as His body.

Illustrations. – (a) God imparts Gnanam to Vignanakalars as they dwell in Himself; to Pralayakalars, He appears as Guru in His divine form and imparts Gnanam; and to Sakalars, He appears as Guru concealing himself in human form and imparts Gnanam.

(b) The souls will not attain Gnanam unless imparted by God in order. Those (Pralayakalar and Sakalar) who are instructed by the Perfect Lord of the world, receive such instructions in the 2nd and 3rd persons respectively. Those (Vignana Kalar) who do not receive such imperfect instruction, attain Moksha Gnanam from God by intuition.

(c) The milk and tears, which did not exist before, appear in the person of the well-adorned mother after the birth of the child as the result of her love. Who will therefore understand the Lord who is present in the soul, unperceived, like the Akas in the water, if he did not appear in the form of the Divine Guru?

Third Argument

Churnika. – The soul does not see itself when in union with the five senses.

Varthikam. – The souls, being blinded by the senses forget their real nature, as the senses do not show the soul its own nature but only put before it, its own impressions, just like the colors reflected on a mirror.

Illustration. – The soul, who, after reflection that the knowledge derived from the material senses is only material, like the colors reflected on a mirror, and that these color-like sensations are different from itself, and after perceiving such false knowledge as false, understands the Truth, will become the servant of God who is different from such Asat.

Fourth Argument

Churnika. – The soul will know itself when it forgets the senses.

Varthikam. – The soul reaches the feet of its Lord when it sees itself to be different from the senses, just as a man reaches the ground, when the rope of the swing breaks.

Illustrations. – (a) The soul which becomes bound with Pasam, like the river flood when stopped by an embankment, will not leave the Divine Feet of the Lord, who is unchangeable, after once attaining Them, on being freed from the ties of the world, like the flood which reaches the sea on the embankments being destroyed.

(b). If every object is God, then no body need attain God’s feet. If He is not everything, If He is not God. Everything cannot see Him, as though the eye sees all objects, all the other senses cannot see. Understand the supremacy of eyesight in persons who recover their eyesight.

(c). O Thou, who hast found that thou art not the five senses! The Sakala who has reached the Divine Guru, after leaving the knowledge of the five senses, yet is not separated from the five senses. If the result of Mala and Karma again surround him, as the separated moss covers the water again, a little while after a stone is thrown, Let him remove it by contemplating on Him who is never separate from him.


After showing, in the last Sutra, what the Soul has to achieve, this Sutra proceeds to explain the Sadanas and the fruits of such Sadana.

To begin with, the soul, by its practice of Tapas in all its past and present birth must have acquired sufficient knowledge and spirituality as to be able to attain Gnanam. Tapas as here used means and includes three out of the four Pathams or Paths described in this school namely Sariya, Kriya, and Yoga. Sariya and Kriya include all kinds of altruistic and Moral and Religious practices. All these three which are placed in an ascending order bring about what is called 'இருவினையொப்பு and மலபரிபாகம்' (balancing of the good and bad Karma, and the maturing of Mala before it can be dropped). The practice of these Sadanas develope in the soul, true knowledge (Gnanam) and Love (Bakti) and God who is all Love, appears as Guru and imparts Gnanam, the fourth Patham by showing it its true nature; and the Soul attaining Gnanam frees itself from Asat and reaches the Feet of the Sat. Hence the four paths, Sariya, Kriya, Yoga and Gnanam lead to four fruits or Sadhia, namely ‘Iruvinai Oppu’ ‘Malaparipaga’ ‘Sargurudarsana’ and ‘Sattinipada’ (Reaching Divine Grace). The illustrations to the first argument point out that it is possible to attain a good many powers and enjoyments by the practice of Tapas; none of which however will be lasting or lead one to freedom and eternal bliss. They only beget further Karma and further births. The true Tapasi will aim at destroying all Karma and reach his true Guru. And the second argument points out who the Sarguru is and illustration (c) shows how He is to be obtained. This Guru cannot be any other than God and except by His touch, it is impossible to obtain Gnanam. By practice of True Tapas, by intense devotion and Love, it is easy to attract God to oneself as his Guru.

"அன்பு சிவமு மிரண்டென்பா ரறிவிலார்
அன்பே சிவமாவ தாரு மறிந்திலார்
அன்பே சிவமாக தாரு மறிந்தபின்
அன்பே சிவமா யமர்ந்திருப்பாரே."

“The ignorant think that God and Love are different.
None knows that God and Love are the same.
Did all men know that God and Love are the same.
They would repose in God as Love.”

It will therefore be seen that the whole of the moral, Religious and psychical (Yoga) practices are simply preparatory acts and can never be ends in themselves and can never be of any use, unless the true end is kept in view.

As our Thayumanavar says:

"விரும்பும் சரியைமுதல் மெய்ஞ்ஞான நான்கும்
அரும்புமலர் காய்கனிபோ லன்ரோ பராபரமே."

(O My Lord, are not the four Paths from the much desired Sariya to the Gnanam like the unopened flower, the blossom, the unripe fruit and the ripe fruit). And the author of Ozhivilodukkam who is a true Siddanthi appropriately devotes three of his chapters to Sarithai Kalatri, Kriya Kalatri, and Yoga Kalatri, in which he exposes and reviles in unmeasured terms the practices of impostors, false prophets and Pharisees.

And again, the doctrine of the Divine Guru as expounded here should be particularly noted and distinguished. In fact, if one takes all the beliefs and practices of every religion and every faith all the world over, it is just possible to reduce them all to one common law and common principle. Through sheer forget fullness of this common principle and through distance of time and place, the true belief and practice has been lost sight of; and if preserved, the mere shadow of them are preserved; and when people speculate on them fresh, all sorts of theories and explanations are given. And these remarks apply with very great force to the doctrine in question. So far is true, that unless God comes down as Man and Guru and touches man with His Arul or Grace, he cannot attain salvation. But when we proceed further and ask who this Guru is, when and how he appears and acts, why and wherefore he appears, whom he purifies, and how he purifies, and how he purifies, the answers are returned as each man’s fancy dictates to him, without any reference to God’s and Nature’s laws. The doctrine of atonement is as puerile as the belief of the villager who seeks to appease his village deity by sacrificing a cock or hen; and the doctrine of mediation, admittedly based on no higher principle than that of human agency, instances of which are the Judge, prisoner and lawyer, King, subjects, and Viceroy, &c., which clearly involves the impairing of the Omniscience and Omni potency of the Supreme Ruler of the universe, is equally unsatisfactory. If the Guru is Himself God, how could he be a mediator. God is in man and can appear to him as man but cannot become man. He dwelleth in our hearts and understands all our wants and He meets all our wants. He knows our disease and our sufferings and He has a balm already prepared for us. Nobody need therefore tell Him, what we want, what our disease and pain are and to crave His mercy for us, as He is all Love and All mercy. There is no mediation. The touch of the Guru converts the already prepared baser metal into Gold. His touch is as the surgeon’s lancet which opens out and heals an abscess fully matured. Just as the loving mother runs and takes to her breast the crying child, so God reaches us the instant we lift our voice to Him. It is also seen that it is necessary for God to appear as Man, only so far, man and Sakalars are concerned; and that as far as other advanced souls, Vignana Kalars are concerned, He induced Gnanam in them intuitively. The necessity so far as man is concerned arises, because man cannot know otherwise.

Again the sinner to expect salvation, as he lisps, while he dies some dead names and words is absurd, as also to expect that some dead names will produce such effects for all time to come. Tested by the truth as laid down in this Sutra, the ordinary observances and beliefs of almost every religions, Saiva and other Hindu Religions included, will be a mere mockery and sham; but still it will be observed, that even among Hindu Religions, the Saiva Religion does not tolerate hierarchy in any form.

3. The human soul is compared to the son of a king stolen by savages, at his very birth and living among them and who can never understand his identity until informed recognized, by the King himself. The soul, in its nature, of pristine purity, develops itself only, as its cosmic covering also evolves, and will recover itself only with the touch of the Divine Guru. The soul is again compared to a painted glass or mirror in which the identity of the mirror is lost and will not be recovered unless the paint is washed away.

4. The language ‘Reaching the Feet of the Lord’ is significant. The freed soul does not become co-extensive (if we can use the word) with God. It simply becomes imbedded in it, a mere drop in the vast ocean, a mere trace as it were. Even among Saivas, not to say of other schools among Hindu Philosphers, even among the commentators of this very book, there are differences of opinion as regards the condition of the freed soul in union with God. The opinion of the author may be however taken as stated above. The soul is like the flickering lamp tossed by the wind and darkness and which loses itself completely in bright noon day light and remains still and quiet.

There is eternal joy however in such a change and passage, and it may be compared to the great joy of the person passing from darkness to light and of the blind person recovering his eyesight.

(c). This illustration points out that the bodily infirmities or the effects do not cease altogether even after the touch of the Divine Guru. These infirmities have been so firmly rooted in man and had become so strong that it takes even sometime after Surguru Darsan to remove the effects of its former association completely During this interval, the soul becoming freed is enjoined to contemplate God, and this last injunction is what is elaborated in the next Sutra.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Sutra. – The soul, on perceiving in itself with the eye of Gnanam, the Lord who cannot be perceived by the human intellect or senses, and on giving up the world (Pasa) by knowing it to be false as a mirage, will find its rest in the Lord. Let the soul contemplate Sri Panchatchara according to Law.


This treats of the manner of purifying the soul and consists of three arguments.

First Argument

Churnika. – The soul can perceive Hara only with His Gnanam.

Varthikam. – That the soul should see the Lord by its eye of Gnanam, is established by the fact that the Lord cannot be perceived by the human senses and faculties and is otherwise perceivable.

Illustrations. – (a) A person after examining the nerves, bones, pus, phlegm of which he is composed of and not finding, what he is, arrives at the knowledge that he must understand with some other intelligence; and unless he then understands his God and his own self with the aid of Hara, how else is he to understand his own self?

(b) The eye, which points out all things, cannot see itself nor can it see the soul which enables it to see. And the soul, which enables the eye to see, cannot see itself nor God who enables it to see. As God is one with the soul when it so understands, so examine the way in which he so exist in thy understanding.

Second Argument

Churnika. – Hara will appear to the soul when it relinquishes the world (Pasa.)

Varthikam. – It should be found by experience when the soul sees the world which is Asat as Asat, it will find its being, where it was, before in Gnana Sorupam; just as when the colors reflected on a mirror are understood to be colors, we can see the mirror itself.

Illustration. – (a.) Will not the Lord who is Nirguna, Nirmala, eternal Happiness, Tastparam (above all things) and beyond comparison, and appears to the soul when it gets rid of the Tatwas such as Akas, &c., will not He appear as a far transcending Wonder and as an inseparable Light of its understanding?

(b.) When thou seest all the world as Asat, then understand what remains is clearly Sat. Yet thou who hither to hadst knowledge of the world art not Sat. If thou unitest thyself to Sat and obtainest its Divine Form, Asat will altogether leave thee.

(c.) When the soul leaves Asat on finding that what he had known is not Sat, and examines the Lord of the universe in itself and perceives Him as itself, it leaves its Pasam by His aid, as the snake bitten man is cured by the Snake charmer contemplating on Garuda.

Third Argument

Churnika. – If the soul contemplates Sri Panchatchara its Vasana Mala will disappear.

Varthikam. – Understand that the contemplation of Sri Panchatchara according to Law is herein enjoined for the purpose of freeing the soul of its hankering after evil, which it does by its long association, even after attaining the knowledge of the Gneya, just like the worm feeding on the bitter margosa bark returns to it even after tasting the sweets of the sugar cane.

Illustrations. – (a) If the soul perceives by pronouncing Sri Panchatchara that it is the servant of Hara and does puja to Him in the region of the heart by means of Sri Panchatchara and performs Homam by the same means in the region of Kundalini (navel) and contemplates Him between the eyebrows, the Lord will appear to the soul and the soul will become His servant.

(b.) If the soul sees the Lord in his heart as the shadow Planets Ragu and Kethu are seen in the Sun and in the Moon, the Lord will appear as the Light of the soul, just as the latent fire appears when pieces of wood are rubbed together. The soul will then become His servant, just as the iron becomes fire when heated. Therefore contemplate on Sri Panchatchara.

(c.) If the real nature of the Heart of the Lotus is examined its stalk will be the 24 Tatwas beginning with earth; its petals will be Vidya Tatwas and Sutta Vidya; its pollen the 64 Kalas of Iswara and Sathasiva; its ovary Sakti, the essence of the Kalas; and the seeds the 51 forms Natham; and the Arul Sakti of the Lord Siva rests on it. Therefore contemplate on Sri Panchatchara.


This Sutra treats of the Sadana that is required for the Gnana padha, and during the period after Sarguru Darshan, and before becoming Jivan Mukta, and while in the human body. The necessity for any Sadana at all during this period is because as is indicated in the 3rd argument, the human soul by its long association with Asat, sometimes forgets itself even after it has found out its own nature and though it cannot do evil, there is an hankering after evil. This is what is called Vasana Malam or Thosham, evil of habit or association. The man whose sight is restored in the beginning loves to shut his eyes a little. The worm even tasting sweetness forgets it and delights to eat the bitter bark by its long habit previously contracted. The reason why it lingers is shown further on by the illustrations of the potter’s wheel which revolves even after the potter’s hand is withdrawn, and the empty asafoetida pot. The Sadana given in this Sutra for removing this Vasana Malam is the contemplation of Sri Panchatchara or say Pranavam, and here we pass into the subject of Aha Dyan as distinguished from Pura Dyan, esoteric worship from exoteric worship. There is, however, a correspondence between these two and the correspondence is that between a reality and a Symbol. The various rituals employed in Temple worship correspond to various real spiritual practices employed in esoteric worship. The subject is too abstruse even for me, especially as I am not yet an initiate, and any elaboration of it is altogether beyond the scope of this work. The object of the original work itself is to lay down and explain the foundations, the basic principles of our Philosophy and Religion and I need not pass beyond this either. The principle of this Sadana is contained in the 2nd argument and brought out more fully in illustration (c). This principle is what is called Soham bavana Soham is from the root ‘Sa’ meaning It (denoting Brahm) and Aham meaning I or Me (denoting soul). The word ‘Sivoham’ is also its equivalent; and the word means Brahm is myself or I and Brahm. This in fact is also the purport of the four Maha Vakyas in the Veda which are 4 Mantras intended for practice or Sadana and to be taught by the Guru to the initiate. Like every other Sadana provided for the first three stages which are mistaken for the end itself by Vedantists and these proclaim that they are themselves God. And the caution is therefore conveyed and repeated several times in the 1st and 2nd arguments and in the illustrations (see especially illustration 2 (b) ) that the soul practicing Soham bavana should not mistake itself for God. This practice of the Gnani therefore is as much a symbolic worship or Bavana as that of the Yogi (illustration 2 (c) Sutra VI.) But the Yogi gains certain Sadhia or Siddhis by his Bavana and the Gnani also gains something and what this is shown in the 3rd argument. The great mistake of Vedantic writers and Vedantic books consists in this that instead of treating of the Maha Vakya in its proper place and confining it within its proper scope, they discuss it, when they speak of proof or in the argumentative or expository stage. And this is what makes many of these books ridiculous. To say to ordinary mortals that he is God and he must believe himself to be God is certainly absurd when as we have seen above, to whom and by whom this instruction (Mantra) has to be imparted and even then, accompanied with proper caution. This then is what constitutes throwing pearls before swine and who is the more blame worthy of the two?

I must now proceed to explain the principle of Soham bavana contained in 2 (c). As the illustration of the Snake charmer points out, this is the under lying principle of all Mantras, by frequent practice of the Mantra, by contemplation of the principle underlying the Mantra, the person contemplating becomes converted into the Mantric idea or principle itself, i.e., the idea becomes the actuality and this also explains the Sidhis acquired by Yogis by Will-power. So when the Gnani contemplates on Sri Panchatchars and that he is Brahm or Sivam, he becomes Brahm itself. Here note again the difference. It is not total conversion. What happens is this. What was before non-apparent and in himself becomes apparent as the invisible shadow planets become visible in the Sun and Moon at Eclipse time. With this effect again, however, that the first (soul) goes down and becomes non-apparent and the other (Brahm) becomes apparent and Supreme, as the invisible oxygen always in contact with a piece of wood, when it chemically combines with the wood, altogether changes its form into its own as a living, shining fire (3rd argument illustration b). Here it is seen, it is the fire or oxygen (Brahm) that it is supreme, and not a piece of wood or iron (soul) which the former subordinates. So even in Mukti, the soul is really the servant of God.



- - - - - - - - - - -

Sutra. – As the lord becomes one with the Soul in its human condition, so let the Soul become one with Him and perceive all its actions to be His. Then will it lose all its Mala, Maya, and Karma.


This Sutra treats of the way of destroying Pasa, and consists of two arguments.

First Argument

Churnika. – Become one with Hara.

Varthikam. – It is pointed out, here, that the Soul should become one with Parameshwara as He had become one with it, as, when it does so, it joins His feet by losing its pride of self and self-knowledge.

Illustration. – When the Soul asserts its own knowledge by distinguishing its acts from those of others, the Lord losing His identity, will appear as the Soul. But the Soul which says that there is no such thing as itself and that all actions are His, the Lord unites to His feet and reveals His real self to it.

Second Argument

Churnika. – Consider all your actions to be those of the Lord.

Varthikam. – It is enjoined that the Soul should perceive its actions to be those of the Lord’s unceasingly, as it will not act, except with His Arul, and, in consequence, ignorance and Karma will not enter it.

Illustration. –(a) If the soul determines that the senses are not itself, and that their actions are not its own, and that the perceived objects are also not itself, and that it is the servant of Hara, and then arrives at the conclusion, that everything is His work, then none of the actions of the Soul which, thus, attributes every work to Him, will affect it, in whatever body it may be encased. And Praraptha Karma will also then cease.

(b.) As it is the prerogative of the great to protect those who resort to them, so God raises those who approach Him and yet bears no ill-will (to the rest). He transforms His devotees into His own Form; and the rest who do not approach Him, He makes them eat the fruits of their own Karma. These two functions He performs according to the deserts of each.

(c.) Like the smell which is present in the pot, even after the asafetida is removed, the effects of the Gnanai’s previous Karma will be felt in the material body and yet they will not furnish food for a future birth, as it, having been transformed into the Lord is fixed in Him.

(d.) Like the Siddha who, sitting in fire, is not burnt by it, and like the horseman who, riding on the fleetest animal, does not lose his hold, the Gnanis who, ascertaining the true path, fix their thoughts on the Divine Feet of Hara, will not, though, having perception through the senses, be affected by such perception, and leave their true nature.

(e.) If one, finding the truth that he is Satasat, understands only with Sivagnanam, he will not be affected by Anavamala and will become united to Sat. Then will not the affections of the senses influence him, just as the darkness will have no effect before the fierce light of the Sun.


In the last Sutra, it was enjoined that the soul should contemplate on Sri Panchatchara for the purpose of effecting its purification. The present chapter treats of the Palan or ends to be achieved by the Sadanas mentioned in the foregoing chapter. The end, it is agreed on all sides, is what is called Moksha or Mukti or “Veedu” in Tamil. The word literally means freed or freedom and it therefore imports two things. When the soul attains Mukti it is freed from ignorance or Pasam (Pasa and Pasu Gnanam) and attains Pathi Gnanam. The very act which separates the soul from Pasam (Jagat) unites it to the Pathi (Brahm) as was before illustrated by the case of the man reaching the ground by the breaking of the rope of the swing. Of these two results of Mukti, this Sutra treats of Pasatchaya or the mode by which the soul is freed of Pasa. This is achieved by the soul becoming one with God and by considering all its actions as those of the Lord. Becoming one with God means attaining Adwaitha relation is, the Sutra points out that the soul should become one with God in Mukti as God was one with the soul in its bantha condition. This relationship is further explained in the next Sutra in explaining the attainment of Pathi Gnanam. Some of the Purvapaksha theories relating to the condition of the soul in Mukti are as follows: -

Freedom or unity is reached,

1. When the Akas of the pot unites with the outer Akas by the breaking of the pot;
2. When the man mistaken for a post is ascertained to be a man;
3. When the cause of the earthen pot is found to be earth (causation);
4. When the color or quality of a thing is found to be united to the thing itself, (a thing and its inseparable attribute);
5. When the iron becomes red hot, (iron and heat);
6. When water is mixed with the milk;
7. When the charmer becomes one with the object of his Mantra;
8. When the heated iron absorbs water;
9. When the man becomes one with the devil when possessed;
10. When the fire-wood is covered up by the flames;
11. When the lamp is lighted before the midday sun;
12. When two lovers become one by the result of their love;
13. When two friends become united by friendship;
14. When two animals are one by mere resemblance or similarity such as color, &c.

It would be noticed that some of these relationships are exactly what have been already used as illustration in the preceding pages, but it should be carefully noted that they are used as mere illustrations only and nothing more. These are not to be mistaken for the actual truth itself and the only similarity in nature which approximates almost to truth itself is found in the relation of the soul and God in the bantha condition. In the bantha condition soul exists and God is non-existent; in Mukti, God exists and Soul is non-existent; yet in either case neither God nor Soul is non-existent.

The relationship contemplated in the last Sutra is what is called that of Gnathuru, Gnana and Gneya. Mukti cannot be attained of this relation is preserved and unless Adwaitha relation is established. It is not even sufficient if it becomes one, for the purpose of rooting out all Karma; and the soul is therefore enjoined to consider its actions as those of the Lord. These injunctions are of course for the Gnani attaining Mukti even in this life. So long as the human body lasts, the effects of Praraptha will sometimes linger as the smell of the asafetida lingers in the pot, or as the author of Sivagnana Siddhi adds, the wheel of the pot continues to resolve for sometime even after the hand of the potter is removed. Sanjitha Karma is destroyed by the very touch of the Gnana Guru as the seed coming in contact with fire. Praraptha continues and it is destroyed by practicing the Sadana contained in the last Sutra; and its effects or Vasana are destroyed by the condition attained by the Jivan Mukta. But so long as the human body continues, some acts will have to be performed by the Jivan Mukta, and it is shown by the illustrations, these acts will not produce any other acts or form the seed for any future Karma or Akamia and no other births will be induced.

The arguments point out why the condition attained by the Jivan Mukta has the effect of destroying Pasa. It is because the soul thereby loses its Ahankara and Mamakara or Anava and this last is the source of all evil, all Karma and successive births.

The learned commentator of Ozhivilodukkum and the author of several excellent devotional works argues out the existence of the three padarthas and the rest of the doctrine from the word Mukti or Veedu itself, in the following stanza:-

வீடென் றறைதரு சொற்குப் பொருளோ விடுதலை யாதலினால்;
வீக்குண் டோனும் கட்டுண் டோனும் விளங்கும் திடமாக,
பீடுறு கட்டுத் தானாய் விட்டுப் பெயராது இது சடமாம்,
பிணி பட்டோன் அசுதந்தரனாகும் பிணிபெயரச் செய்வோன்
நீடு சுதந்தர முண்டா மொருவன் எனுமிவ் வேதுவினால்,
நிகழ்பதி பசுபாசம் மென முப்பொருள் நிச்சய மென்றருளி,
வேடனை வெல்லும் குருவா யெனையாள் மெய்ப்பொருள் நீயன்றோ,
வேதகிரிப்பவ ரோக வயித்திய வேணி முடிக்கனியே.

“As the word Mukti or Veedu means freedom, it imports clearly a Free Being and an unfreed or fettered being. The fetters can never become removed of themselves. Hence this Bantham is Jatam or Asat. So saying, O Thou Healer of Sins! Thou hast appeared to me as my Sar Guru, the victor of the savages (of the senses) and hast taught me to infer for certain the three Padarshas, Puthi, Pasu and Pasa from the word Mukti and hast graciously taken me as thy servant.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Sutra. – As the soul enables the eye to see and itself sees, so Hara enables the soul to know and itself knows. And this Adwaitha knowledge and undying Love will unite it to His Feet.


The Sutra treats of the way by which the soul unites with the sacred foot of the Lord and consists of two arguments.

First Argument

Churnika. – Hara feels what the Gnani feels.

Varthikam. – It is proved that the Lord knows whatever the soul knows, as the soul cannot perceive anything, except with the aid of the Lord.

Illustrations. – (a) As the soul becomes conscious of such objects only as it comes in contact with each of the senses separately, it cannot apprehend all the objects of the five senses at once, but apprehends them only one by one. But God sees and understands all things at once.

(b). When the soul unites itself to God and feels His Arul, God covers it with his Supreme Bliss and becomes one with it. Will He not know Himself who is understood by the soul through the intelligence of the soul?

Second Argument

Churnika. – If the Gnani has unfailing Love for Hara, he will become united to Him.

Varthikam. – It is shown that the soul unites with the Feet of the Lord, through unfailing Love, as He, dwelling in each man inseparably, metes out to each, according to his desert.

Illustration. – (a) The blind will only see darkness even in the presence of the Sun; just so, the soul entangled in Pasa cannot see Isa (though he is present in everything), Just as the Sun only opens the Lotus flower (when it is matured), so the darkness of those who understand Him by their Love will be removed by his Arul.

(b). As the Moon dispels the deep darkness, so God, who is connected with the soul from eternity, in His Love, removes the Mala of the soul and attracts it to Himself, just as the magnet attracts iron and brings it under control. While so operating, He incurs neither weariness nor change.

(c). When becoming one with God, if the soul perished, there will be nothing to unite with God, as it perishes. If it did not perish, it cannot become one with God. Just like the salt dissolved in water, the soul, after loosing its Mala, unites itself to His Feet and becomes the servant of God (looses its individuality). Then it will have no darkness (no separation.)

(d). Just as the rising Sun is enshrouded by the clouds and then appears, little by little, and when all the clouds are driven away, spreads its shining rays everywhere, so the soul’s intelligence is enshrouded from eternity in Mala and brightens a little from its experience of the world; and getting rid of its Mala altogether, recovers its original intelligence and unites itself to the Feet of God.


The last Sutra treated of Pasatchaya and the present one treats of attaining Pathi Gnana or Anubava. Leaving the case of those who postulate utter annihilation at this stage, in which case of course there could be no union (illustration 2c) and of those who postulate no Anubava at all, this Sutra points out how this Anubava arises. This Anubava is an Anubava of the soul in one sense, though not so in another sense. Here there is Adwaitham again. Dr. Bain instances the case of a man enjoying the keen pleasures of a warm bath as one of pure objective feeling or attitude; or as we would put it, it is the case of the man enjoying the pleasure of a cool bath during a hot day or what comes to the same thing, of the man who gets under the cool shelter of a spreading banyan tree (அடி நீழல்) after a hot and weary walk during the midday sun. Now substitute for the mind, the soul freed of Pasa and for the cool bath or cool shade, the Glorious Divine Light and its effulgence which permeates the soul through and through and diffuses all round it and completely bathes it in its Arul, and conceive then the soul’s feeling of pleasure, its Anantha, Bliss. It is the soul that no doubt feels primarily but it ceases to live as such, and that very moment it becomes transformed into the Divine Feeling or Anubava itself. Just as the mind, when enjoying the pleasure of a bath, becomes purely objective, the soul becomes purely Divine when it feels His Arul and God covers it with Bliss (Illustration 1 b). As you feel the coolness of the bath or the shade more and more, your pleasure increases, so, as the soul feels His Arul more and more, its love of the Lord increases. So it is this (அயரா அன்பு) undying love, True Bhakti, that is the cause of the Soul’s Supreme Happiness, Bliss and Pathi Gnanam. And in this Adwaitha Anubava, do we get the true definition of Love or Bhakti and see the profound meaning there is in the simple Mantra ‘God is Love’; and now let us read again the Divine Mantra (which can bear repetition).

"அன்பும் சிவமும் இரண்டென்பர் அறிவிலார்
அன்பே சிவமாவ தாரு மறிந்திலார்
அன்பே சிவமாவ தாரு மறிந்தபின்
அன்பே சிவமா யமர்ந் திருப்பாரே."

Herein we have the true Bhakti Marga, or the true Dasa Marga which at the same time is seen to be the true Gnana Marga. Herein is seen no conflict between Bhakti and Gnanam. Yet how often do we see the followers of the so-called Bhakti Marga sneer at the follower of the so-called Gnana Marga and vice versa, when neither party have the least title to either name. The words, Bhakta, Gnani and Mukta are synonymous and the condition of the Bhakta involves and implies the passing through of the stages of Suriya, Kriya and Yoga, and it was a bad day for us when a wave of false devotion spread from the north to the south, thus undermining all principles of true progress by the practice of True Tapas and spreading instead, gross superstition and absurd rituals and ceremonies.

I cannot conclude this Sutra without pointing out an example of the exhibition of True Bhakti by a Jivan Mukta from the annals of the Saints recorded in our Bhakta Vilasa. Whom could I mean other than our Saint Kannappa?

"கண்ணப்பன் ஒப்பதோர் அன்பின்மை கண்டபின்"

Says our Saints Manika Vachaka, whose Divine words are sufficient to melt even the heart of stone to tears, and where he has chosen to praise, why need I refer to the host of other sages and writers who have loved to sing the praises of our Kannappa.

Says our Sri Sankaracharya also in his Sivanantha Lahiri.

“A pair of wooden shoes, worn out in paths becomes a bunch of holy grass to the person of Siva; the spetting of water raising the mouth, a holy bath; a mouthful of flesh partly eaten, a fresh oblation; and a forester, a great Bhakta; for nothing is impossible for Bhakta.

I dare not follow the subject any further.

Says, our Thayumanavar.

"அத்துவித அனுபவத்தை அனந்த மறை யின்ன மின்னம்
 அறியே மென்னும்."

(d). This is a most beautiful analogy and this being the last, sums up briefly the whole of the doctrine expounded in all the preceding chapters. It exhibits in clear and unmistakable language the passage of the soul through the Kevala, Sakala, and Thurya Avasthas. As the first part of the illustration stands, it would appear that it is the Sun that is enshrouded and that which appears little by little and then shines brightly. No, the language will be unmeaning from the stand point of the Sun. From its position it knows of no covering or shrouds or shining less or more. It is ever bright in itself. It is from the stand point of the human eye that all this language is employed. It is the eye that is enshrouded by the clouds and prevented therefore from seeing the glorious Sun and when the clouds are driven away little by little, the view of the Sun becomes better and better till at last, during the midday, the full refulgence of the glorious Sun is felt. The brevity of language, thus employed, in many of these analogies, have often misled many a thinker and we find the Hindu idealists use this very analogy to establish their theory of Ekathma Vatham. As they put it, the clouds proceed from the Sun and then enshroud it, so Maya starts from Brahm and throws a Veil over it and then they proceed to build the whole fabric, in the first place an analogy to have any probative effect must be true in itself, i.e., the same sequence and consequence must exist in the thing compared as in the thing sought to be proved or inferred. Here, in the illustration, if it be true that the clouds proceed from the Sun, then we can say truly that the Maya proceeding from the Brahm serves to veil it. In no sense is the Sun the material cause of the cloud as the Brahm is said to be the material cause (Upadanakarana) of Maya, Mulaprakriti, Jagat or the universe. This essential condition failing, the whole superstructure must therefore tumble down. But let me elaborate the analogy properly and see what results it yields. Well, the Sun (Brahm) is not the material cause of the clouds (Mulaprakriti) but yet it is a cause of clouds. It is by the action of Sun’s heat (Kriya Sakti) the clouds (Mulaprakriti) are formed out of water (Maya). Water itself cannot pass off into vapour and clouds but by the action of the Sun. So Maya cannot evolve into Jagat or the universe but for the Kriya Sakti of the Lord. No doubt, when the clouds are formed by the action of the Sun, these clouds do enshroud, well, not the Sun but the human eye. The very instant you use the word shrouding or veiling, you imply a third thing placed on the other side of the veil. The human eye can no more be derived from the Sun than the soul or human monad from Brahm. Though in either case the eye or the soul can only see or know but with the dim or full light of the Sun or God, Brahm. The greater or less dimness is caused by the thickness or lightness of the clouds or Maya coating. And as the eye and the Sun approximate nearer and nearer, the clouds are dissipated away, and so, as the soul comes nearest to God, Maya vanishes.

Take another example of Analogy used by the same school of thinkers; and this is a most favorite one with them. It is the simile of the Sun shining in many pots of water, serving to illustrate the principle that the souls are derived from God. Here the resemblances are not exact and the consequence does not follow. In the one case we have only Brahm from which we have got to derive many souls. On the other hand, we have on Sun and many pots which are also filled with water to reproduce not many Suns but merely the shadow or reflection of the Sun. Neither is the shadow the same as the Sun nor are the pots and water derived from the Sun. but let us view the analogy from another point and see how pregnant it is. The Sun is Brahm, the pot is Maya or Pasa binding the naturally expansive water or the soul. And the reflection of the Sun is God’s presence in Man and the Sun’s reflection or light passes through the water and lies on it and yet is not contaminated nor touched by it. So God being a Gnana Sorupi, chit or Mahachaitanyam, though in contact with the world and souls, are not tainted by it and feels no weariness nor change (illustration 2b). And the breaking of the pot, Pasatchaya, releases the water from its confined condition and it vanishes into invisible vapour before the heat of the Sun. (Arul of God). In the same way, almost every analogy employed by the Hindu idealists can be easily shown to falsify their own position and support the position herein established.

Analogy I may say is largely used in this work as a method of proof, as any other kind of proof is hardly possible when dealing with the nature of the very ultimate of all existences. The conjunction of the mind and body, it is admitted, is a unique phenomenon in nature. Its conjunction cannot be proved, being the very ultimate of all facts; and the position can only be proved or illustrated by various analogies, say for instance, the analogy of vowels and consonants (Vide Sutra No. 2). So we pass on from this conjunction of mind and body to that of Soul and mind and to that of Brahm or God and Soul, and the unions in all these cases are analogous.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Sutra. – Let the Jivatma, after washing off its Mala which separates it from the strong Lotus feet of the Lord and mixing in the society of Bhaktas (Jivan Muktas) whose souls abound with Love, having lost dark ignorance, contemplate their Forms and the Forms in the temples as His Form.


This treats of the mode of finding and worshipping the Pathi who cannot be seen and thought of, and consists of four arguments.

First Argument

Churnika. – Get rid of the three Mala.

Varthikam. – It is pointed out that the three Mala should be got rid off, as they will only beget ignorance or evil, instead of wisdom.

Illustration. –Let the true Gnani leave alone the three Mala, namely, Karma, which is the effect and cause of good and bad acts; Maya, from which is developed the tatwas from earth to motive; and Anava, which begets Ahankara, as these will harm him.

Second Argument

Churnika. – Join the Society of Sivagnanis.

Varthikam. – It is pointed out that the Society of Sivabhakthas should be sought, as others will only impart evil.

Illustration. – The Karma will not affect the true Gnani who leaving the Society of ignoble persons (who forget themselves and suffer in Mala), join the Society of Bhakthas and understand with the Light of God.

Third Argument

Churnika. – Worship Sivagnanis and Siva Linga as Siva.

Varthikam. – It is enjoined that the forms if Bhakthas and the Siva Linga should be worshipped as Parameshwara as He shines brightly in these Forms, though He is present in everything.

Illustration. – (a) The Lord Pathi wishing that all should understand Him gives His Form to His Bhakthas who desire to know Him and makes them know Himself and keeps them in His own self and makes Himself visible, as butter in curds. To those entagled in Pasa, He is invisible as is butter in milk.

(b). As the fire appears distinct from the pieces of wood rubbed together, So the Lord who exists in all visible forms, and yet is different from them, will be present in a visible form composed of Mantra. To those who can view the Form itself as God, will He not appear as that Form itself.

Fourth Argument

Churnika. – Cease not to so worship Him.

Varthikam. – The worship of Him in these Forms is enjoined, as though these Forms are not Himself, yet He is in these Forms; just as man, though constituted of muscles, bones, nerves, &c., yet is neither muscles nor bones, &c.

Illustration. – (a.) To the Seer, God is neither different from all things, nor is He one with them, nor one and different from them. He is in the general Adwaitha relation with them, and everything is His form; and yet let the Adwaithee worship the Form which excites his Love most.

(b.) As acts only lead to ignorance unless the previous Karma is removed, Gnanam will not rise. This Karma will cease and Gnanam will rise when the Society of Gnanis is sought and they are worshipped. Therefore worship them in all Love.

(c.) To forget the Lord, who made him know himself and transformed him like unto Himself, is an inexcusable sin. Though he, who was always a servant, is now transformed like unto Himself, yet he continues to be only His servant. Hence his strength consists in the worship.

(d.) O thou student of Saiva Siddhanta, those who have one and two mala, namely, Vignanakalars and Pralayakalars, lose their mortal nature and attain the Divine knowledge, by respectively being taught intuitively by the innate God, and by being purified by the eye &c., of the Divine Guru. This book is intended to be taught to Sakalars who have three Mala by their Supreme Guru.


In Sivagnana Siddhi, the purport of this Sutra is given as Adiavar Lakshana or Bhakta Lakshana. The Jivan Mukta, even after he has obtained the Anubuthi as described in the last Sutra, cannot afford to indulge in Karmic acts so long as he is encased in the flesh. There is no playing with fire. If he does, he is sure to be brought back again into the Cycle of Karmic evolution. Hence the caution conveyed in the first argument, but if he should do anything or wish to do anything, let him join the Society of Bhaktas, and avoid the Society of sinners. He is also directed to love them and worship their forms and the forms in the temple. In this mode of worship, is pointed out the way for other mortals, of worship of God who surpasses powers of thought and speech. In the preceding pages, I have pointed out why it is not possible to know God. Yet in our own heart of hearts, we yearn to worship and glorify Him, and this necessity is also provided for. The principle of it is found in the fact that God is Omnipresent and is one with or in Adwaitha relation with everything, animate and inanimate. We must worship Him as one of these. Hence it is, in the Veda, in Sri Ruthram, God is addressed by naming every object of creation. The Gnani who sees the objects, does not see them though, buy only God’s presence. However for mortals, they have got a choice. God, though He is present in everything, is non-apparent as the ghee in the milk. But there are forms, in which we can feel His Presence more apparently like the butter in the curds.

"விறகிற்றீயினன் பாலிற் படுநெய் போல்
மறைய நின்றனன் மாமணிச் சோதியான்
உறவு கோல் நட்டு உணர்வு கயிற்றினாள்
முறுக வாங்கிக் கடையமுன் னிற்குமே."

“Like the fire latent in wood and the ghee latent in milk, the Great Jodhi (Light) is non-apparent. But with the churner of Love and the rope of knowledge, on churns the milk or rubs the firewood, butter or fire will become apparent.”

So it is in the body of Bhaktas that God’s Presence is a living Presence, and it is by reason of this, the divine word that “Ye are the Temple of God,” is pre-eminently true. So when we want to worship Him, we must worship Him in the Bhakta. But it is not the whole truth to say that we are alone the Temples of God. He is everywhere and especially in forms which excite our Love most (4a). This is the general rule for all. It does not matter what form people choose, provided it is that which excite their Love most. Passing beyond this law, is the principle that all the forms in the temples are what are said to be Mantra Sorupam. The Form adopted is not an unmeaning stock or stone but one full of meaning and of the Divine Idea. I have elsewhere enlarged upon this subject, and it may be here sufficient to remark that mantrams are symbolic representations of the Deity by the ear and when the same are converted into symbols of the eye, we get the Forms in our temples. (3b) let the ignorant, therefore, not sneer at our temples. The various cautions conveyed in the arguments and illustrations of this very sutra, not to mistake the symbol for the truth, and not to suppose that God is only present in these Forms, will clear up all doubts that may exist in the matter. Then, again, of all the Forms, that are to be met with in our temples, from Gouri Shanker (Mt Everest) to Cape Comorin and beyond, and from the Caves of Elephanta to Mahabalipuram, the form of the Linga is the most universal and frequent; and not only so, it is, in fact, the most ancient form of worship. It may be noticed that the Linga For of worship is the one most met with in the pages of the Mahabaratha; for instance, see the conversation which takes place between Vyasa and Ashwathama after the latter was defeated by Arjuna, in which Vyasa points out that the real cause of superiority in Arjuna, consisted in his worshipping the Linga Form of Siva, whereas Ashwathama worshipped a Personal Form of Siva. But it is not only in the pages of Mahabaratha and Ramayana that this form of worship is met with, but hundreds of passages from the Veda and Upanishads may be quoted to prove the worship. The reader is further cautioned not to mistake the Linga for any phallic symbol, as is ignorantly supposed. See the pages of ‘the Secret Doctrine’ for an explanation of the ‘Lipika,’ which almost applies to the Linga.

Cf. The words of the Great Poet:

“There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth, and every common object,
To me did seem,
Apparell’d in Celestial light,
The Glory and the freshness of a dream.”

This is as regards the recollections of the child; but scientists may or may not agree with the poet, if the child does possess any thoughts at all at the time. The poet had yet to rise to the thought that to the True Bhakta or Gnani the earth and every common object will appear appareled in celestial light; and more, the earthly aspect will altogether vanish before him and the Divine Presence alone will be felt.


The Saint Meikanda Deva has translated together with reasons and illustrations for the benefit of mankind, the great Sivagnana Botham which was graciously given out by Nandi at the earnest entreaties of my master Sanatkumara.

Let me worship the teacher who has translated, in Tamil, Sivagnana Botham which, like the mirror reflecting a great mountain, contains in itself all the truths contained in all the learned Shasters.

You would be interested in:

Sivagnana Siddhiyar in English

Sivagnana Siddhiyar - Gordon Matthews

சிவஞான போதம் (தமிழில்)