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Vina Venba Of Saint Umapati Sivacharyar


This is one of the Siddhanta Ashtakam composed by Saint Umapati Sivacharya. The name means a Poem in Venba met containing queries; and is in the nature of Irupa Irupahtu St. Arul Nandi Sivacharya, and contains a number of Philosophical paradoxes. The object is to bring more into prominent how Saiva Siddhanta reconciles our various difficulties in philosophical investigation. We give the text and translation with such notes are necessary.
    நீடுமொளியு நிறையிருளு மோரிடத்துக்
    கூடலரிது கொடுவினையேன் – பாடிதன்முன்
    ஒன்றவார் சோலை யுயர்மருதச் சம்பந்தர்
    நின்றவா றெவ்வாறு நீ.

    The spreading Light and darkness deep in same
    Place doth not join. In me great sinner ‘fore
    In union, Oh Sambantha of Maruthur
    By lofty groves girt round, How didst Thou stand.                (1)

The author speaks of his condition before sighting his Guru because his mala left him by the Satgurudarsana. But God dwelt in Him before, and yet he did not profit by it. His Pasa acted as a veil between him and God, as the cataract covering the eye prevents him from seeing the sun which shines all through.

    இருளி லொளிபுரையு மெய்துங் கலாதி
    மருளி னிலையருளு மானுங் கருவியிவை
    நீங்கி னிருளா நிறைமருதச் சம்பந்தா
    வீங்குன்னாருளா வென் பெற.
    In darkness doth light vanish, in Kala’s
    Joined, evil doth persist. The organs rare
    Removed, the darkness fills again Oh Lord,
    Here then of what use it Thy divine grace.                    (2)

Even in all these conditions of the soul, the Divine Grace is ever active and he creates, protects, resolves and obscures. He is ever with us, even in our worst acts and is giving us help and grace to get over our toils. When we can fully recognize His ever active Presence and submit our Will to His, then do we reach the Suddha condition and God’s Bliss.

    புல்லறிவு நல்லுணர்வ தாகா பொதுஞான
    மல்லதில துள்ளதெனி லந்நியமாந் – தொல்லையிரு
    ளானமலை யாவா றுயர்மருதச் சம்பந்தா
    ஞானமலை யாவாய் நவில்.

    The small does not become the Perfect Mind,
    Is common sense. If Perfect Mind doth rise
    Anew, it can’t be true; Oh Sambantha
    Of old faults free, Oh Rock of Wisdom, say.                    (3)

The intelligence of the soul by itself is neither small nor imperfect and it does not grow big nor perfect by evolution. It is perfect in a sense but its intelligence is covered, veiled as a crystal cleansed of dirt. And then the Light which it by Anava and when this is removed, it shines bright again, reflects is not its own but of the Lords, and It was passing through the crystal even when dirt covered, but is only reflected after the cleansing. So this Sivajnanam is neither the Intelligence of the soul, nor did it arise anew, when the soul recovered itself. These points have to be borne very clearly in mind in trying to understand the basic principles of Saiva Siddhanta; otherwise it is apt to be confused with other systems.

    கனவு கனவென்று காண்பரிதாங் காணின்
    நனவிலவை சிறிது நண்ணா – முனைவனருள்
    தானவற்றி னொன்றா தடமருதச் சம்பந்தா
    யானவத்தைக் காணாமா றென்.

    The Dream cannot be seen as dream in dream;
    If seen awake, it cannot be pursues;
    Lord’s Grace? He doth not join the avastas.
    How then, Oh Lord, do I perceive the same?                    (4)

One cannot think thought but when he rises to the Highest Suddha condition this is in a sense possible.

    அறிவறிந்த தெல்லா மசத்தாகு மாயின்
    குறிபிறந்த நின்னுணர்விற் கூடா – பொறிபுலன்கள்
    தாமா வறியா தடமருதச் சம்பந்தா
    யாமா ரறிவா ரினி.

    All that perceived by mind is Asat, so
    Thy Mind beyond all mark I can’t perceive,
    Sense organs can’t perceive by themselves, Lord
    Of Maruthur; What then am I see?                    (5)

All that we can perceive can be objective only. The object cannot perceive the subject. If we can perceive God, He should become objective to us, but this cannot be, as He is the True subject, the very Thinker of our thoughts, as the Upanishad (Brihad-II,4,13) pertinently puts it, “How should he know Him by Whom he knows all this? How, Oh beloved, should he know the Knower?”

“Thou couldst not see the seer of sight; thou couldst not hear the hearer of hearing; thou couldst not perceive the perceiver of perception; nor know the knower of knowledge. This is thy Atma (God) Who is within all. Everything else is of evil (Asat).” (Brihad.III, 4,2).

The Taitiriyopanishad declares (II.9). “From all words fall back, not reaching and mind as well.” Man can perceive God by His Grace alone. “A man who has left all grief behind sees the Majesty, The Lord, The Passionless by the Grace of the Creator.” (Svetas, III, 20).

    சிற்றறிவு முற்சிதையிற் சேர்வாரின் றாஞ்சிறிது
    மற்றதனி னிற்கிலருள் மன்னாவாந் – துற்றமுகின்
    மின்கொண்ட சோலை வியன்மருதச் சம்பந்தா
    வென்கொண்டு காண்பே னியான்.    

    If self is lost before, there is none to join;
    If self remains in part, Grace will not fall,
    Oh Sambantha of Mauthur, with groves
    Cloud-capped, with what can I perceive Thy Self?            (6)

This states the same puzzle which St. Meikandan had stated before in XI, 2, 5. In mukti union, if soul perishes before union, then there is nothing to unite with God. If it does not perish, there will be duality. Losing one’s mala, it sinks into God as the salt dissolved in water losing not its personality but its individuality, its sense of ‘I-ness’ and ‘my-ness,’ ‘நான்கெட்டு’ dedicating all its acts and Will to God, it is then he becomes One with God, or God alone becomes Supreme "நான்கெட்டு சிவமானவா", "சென்று சென்று அணுவாய் தேய்ந்துதேய்ந்து ஒன்றாம் திருப்பெருந்துறைசிவன்."

    உன்னரிய நின்னுணர்வ தோங்கியக்கா வொண்கருவி
    தன்னளவு நண்ணறிது தாதை – மென்னறிவு
    தானறிய வாரா தடமருதத் சம்பந்தா
    வானறிவ தெவ்வா றினி.

    Thy grace past Thought when It did rise, the bright
    Tattvas can’t apprehend. And my own Jnan
    Can’t sense the same. O Lord of Maruthur
    By large ponds girt, How then can I know Thee?        (7)

    அருவே லுருவன்று உருவே லருவன்
    றிருவேறு மொன்றிற் கிசையா – வுருவோரிற்
    காணில் உயர்கடந்தைச் சம்பந்தா கண்டவுடற்
    பூணுமிறைக் கென்னாம் புகல்.

    If formless God can have no form, if with form,
    He can’t be formless; both can’t apply to one,
    O Sambantha of Tirukadanthai,
    How then does God assume His blessed Form?        (8)

Rūpa and Arūpa and Rūpārūpa are all terms applying to matter. God is not matter and is Pure Chit. And all His Forms are out of Chit, out of His Chit-Sakti, of the Form of grace Divine, and He can assume any Form He likes and in which He is thought of by His Bhaktas. See verses 38 to 70 of Sutra I, of Siddhiyar and my notes thereon.

    இருமலத்தார்க் கில்லை யுடல்வினையென் செய்யும்
    ஒருமலத்தார்க் காரை யுரைப்பேன் – திரிமலத்தார்
    ஒன்றாக வுள்ளா ருயர்மருதச் சம்பந்தா
    அன்றாகி லாமா றருள்.

    Those with two Malas have not body sure
    How will Karma affect? What then of Those
    With one Mala? The Three mala covered stand
    Alone, Oh Lord, if not, How then explain?            (9)

There is often a misunderstanding that when Vijnanakalars, Pralayakalars, and Sakalars said respectively to have one mala, two and three respectively, the first two classes have no corporeal bodies. The author tries to remove this misapprehension and we had long ago tried to point this out in our table of Tattvas (Vide Studies in Saiva Siddhanta page 35). The third mala here means only Asuddha Maya and Pralayakalars and Vijnanakalars have their bodies in Suddha Maya Tattva such as Nadha, Vindu &c.

    ஒன்றிரண்டாய் நின்றுணரி லோர்மையதா மொன்றாக
    நின்றிரண்டா மென்னிலுயிர் நேராகும் – துன்றிருந்தார்
    தாங்கியவாழ் தண்கடந்தைச் சம்பந்தா யானாகி
    யோங்கியவா றெவ்வா றுரை.

    If One did part in two and one become
    True One-ness won’t result. If Two, One doth
    Become, the soul will die. Oh Kadanthai’s Lord
    How then did I become raised as Sivam.            (10)

The old puzzle is stated in another form. The relation between the two is Advaita or ananya and the soul’s nature and connection is such that it becomes one with whatever it is attached to losing its own individuality. But for this peculiar nature of Jiva, postulated in Siddhanta this One-ness is not possible.

    காண்பா னுங் காட்டுவதும் நீத்துண்மை
    காண்பார்கள் நன்முத்தி காணார்கள் – காண்பானும்
    காட்டுவதும் காண்பதுவுங் தண்கடந்தைச் சம்பந்தன்
    வாட்டுநெறி வாரா தவர்.

    The seer, the sight and seen devoid one sees
    True Freedom wont result. With seer and seen
    And sight if they do see, they are those who
    Fell not in the burning path of my great Lord.        (11)

This gives the true doctrine of Jnathuru, Jnana and Jneya. It does not mean that all such perception of God’s Power and Bliss and Presence is lost. If so, there can be no real mukti. What is meant is there is no objective Perception of God by the soul or சுட்டுணர்வு. It is when the soul loses this சுட்டுணர்வு and sinks more and more into God, it can feel His Grace.

    மென்றுமிடையி விடமில்லை – யொன்றித்
    தெரியா வருண்மருதச் சம்பந்தா சேர்ந்து
    பிரியாவா றெவ்வாறு பேசு.

    While one perform Karmic acts and eats fruits
    There’s e’er no place of his own self. O Lord
    Who present everywhere dost shower Grace
    Say how I can ne’er separate after.                    (12)

It is God that secures the deserts of each according to his karma, in bhanda, as He is with them in all their acts and in all their enjoyments. When freed also, though they perform karma it is God. That enjoys the fruits of karma and not the Jivanmukta. They are not tainted by the karma they do, as had dedicated all their acts to God.

    அருளா ளுணர்வார்க்கு அகலாத செம்மைப்
    பொருளாக நிற்கும் பொருந்தி – தெருளா
    வினாவெண்பா வுண்மை வினாவாரே லூமன்
    கனாவின்பால எய்துவிக்குங் காண்.

    With Grace one tries to know, its lasting truth
    Will appear without doubt. If other wise
    They do not care to know this Poem’s Truth
    It will be like the fool in dream drinking middle.            (13)
Praise to Saint Umapatisivam.

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