Home >

Scripture >

scripture >


Sivagnana Bodham with English Translation - Part 1 - J M Nallaswami Pillai

By J M Nallaswami Pillai

Table of Contents

Part 2


A few words will suffice to introduce the book to the public. The original work is regarded as the Muthal Nul, Revealed book of the Saiva Religion and Siddhanta Philosophy. When I first began the translation, I was rather diffident about the sort of reception it will meet with in the hands of the public; but, since, I have been able to discuss some of the subjects herein contained with many intelligent persons, belonging to all shades of opinion, Hindu and Christian and all of them have spoken appreciatively of the work. I have also received assurances from several valued friends about the importance of the work. Besides, from the facts I set out below, I am led to believe that the time of appearance of this book is quite opportune. Within the last two or three weeks I have come across three important publications, which have prepared the public mind, here and in England, for an appreciative study of the Tamil, Moral, Religious and Philosophical writings. I refer to the Rev. Doctor G. U. Pope’s paper on ‘Ethics of Modern Hinduism’, Professor P. Sundram Pillai’s ‘some milestones in the History of Tamil Literature’ or ‘The age of Tirugnana Sambantha’ and the recent article of the Rev. G. M. Cobban in the Contemporary Review, entitled ‘Latent Religion of India’. Of these, ‘Some milestone’ contain an elaborate critical resume of the History of the Saiva Literature in Tamil from the 5th century down to the 13th century ; and the other contributions contain a review of the Saiva Ethics and Religion and Philosophy of about the same period. Doctor Pope in referring to the Tamil Kural observes, “In this great and ancient language, there exists among much else, that is interesting and valuable, an ethical treatise, not surpassed (as far as I know) by anything of the kind in any literature”. And in pages 3 and 4 of his paper, he discusses the Siddhanta doctrine of the three Padarthas, Pathi, Pasu and Pasa, on which this Ethics is based. And in the end, the Rev. Doctor is forced to confess, even after making all sorts of reservations and qualifications that “it is evident from what has been said above, we have in Southern India, the outlines at least of a doctrine of ethics, which in a Christian point of view is nearly unexceptionable”. And he is good enough to add, ‘to meet thoughtful Hindus in a spirit of dogmatic antagonism, or to treat them with contempt or to speak of them as the perishing heathen is absolutely unfitting. We have even something to learn from Hinduism’. But the deeply implanted prejudice lingers, and it leads him to say that truth found in the Kural must have been derived from a Christian source. The Rev. G. M. Cobban is more generous in this respect. He says, “First I think we should insist on the cordial recognition of these truths, and cheerfully acknowledge their kinship to Christianity, for all truth is akin. The Hindu poet knows what to say of it. He says ‘the heart is made pure by the truth’. If I am asked whence these truths came, I would say from Heaven, from Him who is the Truth. But, whether they are the direct gifts of God to the Hindus, or whether as boulders, they have drifted and have travelled to India, I cannot tell; the evidence on this point is incomplete. If any urge that, although Hindus recognize their authority, they are uninspired, and not really authoritative, I would say truth is authoritative, because it is truth, not because it came in a particular way. And all truth is from God”. The Siddhantis not only believe that ‘the heart is made pure by truth’, but that no truth should be thought as faulty, even if it is found in an alien book.

"அந்நிய நூலின் விதி யவிரோதமேல், உன்னேல் பழுதென்றுளத்து"

The article in question, after reviewing briefly the attitude of Missionaries towards Hinduism from time to time proceeds to state, “we find much truth both in books and men; so Christian teacher”. The article gives a brief summary of the Siddhanta doctrines and quotations from nearly all the Siddhanta Sastras and other works referred to by me in the body of the work. After these quotations, follow a remark, “If we give to the truths enumerated and illustrated above, our careful consideration, we shall admit that they indicate a clear advance on the teaching of the Vedas or the Pantheism of the Upanishads”. But that is an issue raised between Siddhantis and other Vedantists as to what the Vedas and Upanishads really teach, which I explain further in my introduction. I am afraid that Hinduism has lost more than what it has gained by an onesided representation from within and from without; by translating and publishing such works and interpretations only as accord with the Idealistic School of Hindu Philosophy. No doubt the truth is here, but not in the latent condition as the Rev. Gentleman supposes. This is the truth which has been taught to me and which I have learned from my earliest years; and neither my parents nor my teachers have ever taught me to mistake a stock or a stone for God. The truth is here and it is not kept concealed as is supposed; and the words have gone forth, thrice,

(1) "ஒன்றாய்ப் பலவாய் வுயிர்க்குயிராய், ஆடுங்கருணைப் பரஞ்சோதி யருளைப் பெறுதர்கு அன்புநிலை, தேடும் பருவமிது கண்டீர் சேரவாரும் சகத்தீரே." (2) "பொய்வந் துழலும் சமயநெறி புகுத வேண்டாம் முத்திதரும் தெய்வ சபையைக் காண்பதற்குச் சேரவாரும் சகத்தீரே." (3) "அகண்டாகாரசிவ போக மெனும் பேரின்ப வெள்ளம் பொங்கித் ததும்பிப் பூரணமாய், ஏகவுருவாய்க் கிடக்குதையோ, வின்புற்றிட நாமெடுத்த தேகம் விழுமுன் புசிப்பதற்குச் சேரவாரும் சகத்தீரே."

and let them who have ears to hear, hear.

The worst feature of modern Hinduism is pointed out to be its idolatry; and the Rev. Gentleman would persist in calling it the substitute for truth and not truth’s symbol. I have discussed the pros and cons of this question in my notes to the Sixth Sutra; and so much prejudice and ignorance prevail in regard to this question, that all that I would crave for, is a fair and patient hearing. I refer the reader also to an excellent Tamil book brought out by Sri la Sri Somasundara Nayagar Avergal of Madras entitled ‘Archadipam’ in which this question is also more fully treated.

(1) O! Come Ye together from all parts of this world! See, this is the time for finding that condition of Love which will secure us the Arul (Grace) of that Gracious, and Supreme Light, which is One, which is All, and which is the Life of life.

(2) O! Come Ye together, to see the Divine Presence, which will give Moksha; and don’t enter the paths of those religions which wallow in untruth.

(3) Oh! That Great Flood of Joy of Limitless Sivabhoga is rising and flowing over; and It is filling everything and yet remains One! Come Ye together to partake of It, and obtain bliss, before ever our bodies perish!

Before concluding, I cannot resist the temptation of indulging in one more extract from the valuable article of the Rev. G. M. Cobban, the appropriateness of which the readers will easily perceive.

“I once spent a few days with a fakir on his way to Rameswaram as a pilgrim. We travelled together and having come to be friends, he told me how he had spent four years in the jungle as the disciple of a celebrated religious teacher (Guru) and Saint. ‘And what did he teach yu during your first year,’ I asked. ‘The Sacredness of truth,’ was the reply. ‘How did he teach it?’ By teaching me nothing during the year. He was testing me to see if I was worthy to receive the truth.’ ‘And what did he teach you in the succeeding years.’ ‘He spoke to me seldom, and taught me in all twelve Sanskrit Slokas.’ (24 lines). The instruments of the disciples culture were few and simple, and its area small. Half a page of Sanskrit does not seem an exhaustive College Course. But the slokas stretched to infinity as the student gazed on them with the inner eye, and in a narrow space, and on the strong food of this small curriculam, he had grown to be an acute and strong thinker. But had he failed to show himself worthy to receive the truth, the Guru would not have taught him.”

The twelve slokas, the Hindu fakir referred to may or may not be the twelve Sutras of Sivagnanabotha, but nevertheless, the above remarks are equally appropriate.

Compare the words of Thayumanavar in praise of the author of Sivagnana Siddhi,

  "பாதிவிருத் தத்தாலிப் பார்விருத்த மாகவுண்மை, சாதித்தார் பொன்னடியைத் தான் பணிவ தெந்நாளோ,"

“O for the day ! when I can worship the golden feet of him who declared the truth, in half a stanza by which I lost all my illusions.”

In conclusion, I have to tender my thanks to Pandit Murugesam Pillai Avergal, who assisted me in my study of the Tamil Commentaries and to M. R. Ry. Tandalam Balasundram Mudaliar Avergal, who rendered invaluable help by his suggestions etc., while these sheets were passing through the Press and to Messrs. G. Ramaswamy Chetty & Co., who have displayed very great care and taste in the get up of the book.

  Tripatur -TRIPATUR    J. M. N 6th July 1895


- - - - - - -

The system of Hindu Philosophy which is expounded in the following pages, and its name will be altogether new to many an English educated Hindu who is content to learn his religion and philosophy from English books and translations and from such scraps as turn up in newspapers and magazines and from such scraps as turn up in newspapers and magazines. Yet it is the Philosophy of the Religion in which at least every Tamil speaking Hindu is more or less brought up and the one Philosophy which obtains predominance in the Tamil Languages. This Philosophy is called The Siddhanta Philosophy and is the special Philosophy of the Saiva Religion. The word means True End, and as used in logic, it means the proposition or theory proved as distinguished from the proposition or theory refuted, which becomes the Purvapaksham. The Saiva Philosophy is so called as it establishes the True End or the only Truth and all other systems are merely Purvapakshams. The system is based primarily on the Saiva Agamas. But the authority of the Vedas is equally accepted and the system is then called Vedanta Philosophy or Vedanta Siddhantha Philosophy or Vaithika Philosophy.

"வேதாந்த சித்தாந்த சமரச நன்னிலை பெற்ற, வித்தகச் சித்தர் கணமே." "ராஜாங்கத்தில் அமர்ந்தது வைதிக சைவ மழகிதந்தோ."

Thayumanavar). This Philosophy is also spoken of as Adwaitha Philosophy in all the Tamil works and it will be seen from the very large use of the word and its exposition in almost every page of this work what important part it plays; and it strikes, in fact, the key not of the whole system. Meikanda Devar who translated and commented on Sivagnana Botham is called “Adwaitha Meikandan” (அத்துவித மெய்கண்டான், one who saw the Truth of Adwaitha) by Thayumanavar. However it is the Agama which gives the Philosophy its form and language. Very absurd notions are entertained of the Agamas or Tantras, specially derived from the low practices of the Right-hand followers or Vamabahinis of Bengal and proceeding from ignorance of the real works, through want of published books and translations. The books followed by the Left-hand Section or South Indian Sects are altogether different and I give a list of them below. Very little notice is taken of them by Oriental Scholars and of the existing works the Karma Kanda are alone preserved to us. There are several of these works in the great Mutt at Thiruvavaduthurai ; and an excellent commentary on one of the Upagamas, Paushkara, by Umapathisivacharya is also preserved there. Like the Veda or Mantra, the Agama or Tantra is divided into Karma Kanda and Gnana Kanda and there were a large number of Upagamas corresponding to Upanishads, of which Mrigendra is very largely quoted by Sayanacharya in his Sarvadarsana Sangraha. The true relation of the Agama to the Veda is pointed out by Swami Vivekananda in his address to the Madras people and I quote his observations below. “The Tantras as we have said, represent the ‘Vedic rituals’ in a modified form, and before any one jumps into the most absurd conclusions about them, I will advise him to read the Tantras portion. And most of the ‘Mantras’ used in the ‘Tantras’ will be found taken verbatim from these ‘Brahmanas.’ As to theirinfluene, apart from the ‘Srouta’ and ‘Smarta’ rituals, all other forms of ritual observed from the Himalayas to the Comorin have been taken from the ‘Tantras’ and they direct the worship of the Saktas, the Saivas, the Vaishnavas and all others alike.”

I am also informed that the sources of the rules for the rituals followed by Smartas and which are now taken from some manuals and compilations of very recent origin are really found in the Agamas or Tantras. However, the Agamas are held in very high repute by the Non-Smartha populations of Southern India; and the Agama is as much held to be the word of the Deity as the Veda, the word literally meaning “The Revealed Word.”

Says Saint Thirumular:-

"வேதமொடு ஆகமம் மெய்யாம் இறைவனூல் ஓதும் பொதுவும் சிறப்பு மென்றுன்னுக நாதன் உரையிவை நாடில் இரண்டந்தம் பேதம தென்னில் பெரியோர்க்க பேதமே."

“The Vedas and Agamas are both of them true, both being the word of the Lord. Think that the first is a general treatise and the latter a special one. Both form the word of God. When examined, and where difference is perceived between Vedanta and Siddhanta, the great will perceive no such difference.”

Says Sri Nilakanta Charya:-

“Vayanthu Vedasivagamayorbhedam, Napasyamaha Vedopisivagamaha.”

(I don’t perceive any difference between the Veda and the Sivagama. The Veda itself is the Sivagama.)

It is needless to observe that Sri Nilakanta or Sri Kanta Charya belongs to the Saiva School; and it is no less surprising to see so little notice taken of him and his works by Oriental Scholars in their general account of Hindu Religious and Philosophies. And strange it is that even the learned Swami whom I have quoted above does not mention his name, though he mentions Sri Sankara, Sri Ramanuja and Sri Madvacharya and a host of other names small and great. Sri Kanta was a friend and contemporary of Govinda Yogi, the Guru of Sri Sankara and his Bhashya of Vyasa Sariraka Sutras according to most accounts was anterior to that of Sri Sankara’s Bashya itself. And though he does not call his Vedanta Bashya as such, it is popularly known as Visishtadwaitha Bashya or Sutta Adwaita Bashya. And the work is published in parts in the Pandit Vols. 6 and 7. This commentary of Sri Kanta Charya, the learned translator of the Vedanta Sutras, Mr. George Thibaut does not seem to have come across, and he nowhere alludes to it by name; and yet the results arrived at by him as to the teachings of the Sutras after a lengthy discussion and comparison of the respective interpretations of the texts by Sri Sankara and Sri Ramanuja, exactly fall in with the interpretation of the Sutras by Sri Kanta Charya. The learned translator observes (Introduction p. c.) “If, now, I am shortly to sum up the results of the preceding enquiry, as to the teaching of the sutras, I must give it as my opinion that they do not set forth the distinction of a higher and lower knowledge of Brahman; that they do not acknowledge the distinction of Brahman and Isvara in Sankara’s sense; that they do not hold the doctrine of the unreality of the world; that they do not, with Sankara, proclaim the absolute identity of the individual and the highest self.” These are exactly points where Sankara and Sri Kanta differ. The translator further remarks that he agrees with Ramanuja’s mode of interpretation in some important details, for instance, in regard to the doctrine of Parinama Vada and interpretation of fourth Adhyaya. These are also points where Ramanuja agrees with Sri Kanta. But Sri Kanta differs from both in their interpretations of the passages referring to Nirguna and Saguna Brahm, and follows the doctrine of the Siddhantha School. And the doctrine of Parinama Vada is the only distinguishing mark of Sri Kanta’s Vedanta Philosophy as opposed to the Siddhantha Phiolosophy; and it is this Vedanta and not Sankara’s Vednata, that is referred to approvingly by all Tamil writers and Sagas, as in the passage of Thirumular and Thayumanavar above quoted. The ground work of Sivagnana Botham is the one adopted by Sri Kanta for the Vedanta Sutras, and as far as I have been able to compare, they exactly tally, except where Sankara’s forced explanations enter; and the passages will certainly lose their meaning unless it is viewed in its proper place, as for instance, in regard to the purport of the 2nd Sutra of the first Adhyaya, the objection of the translator (p. xcii), which is perfectly cogent, will lose its point, if it is not taken as a definition of God but as involving the proof of the existence of God. The Sutra, “Brahman is that whence the origination and so on (i. e. the sustentation and reabsorption) of this world proceed,” is exactly the same as the first Sutra of Sivagnana Botham and the same meaning is conveyed by the first Kural of Thiruvalluvar also. In passing, I may refer the render to the Swetaswatara Upanishad, translated by Dr. Roer, the philosophy of which is exactly the same as herein expounded, though the learned doctor puzzles himself as to what this philosophy could be which is neither Vedanta, nor Sankhya nor Yoga and yet reconciles or attempts to reconcile all these doctrines.

Coming back to the Agamas, very little is known regarding its antiquity from the point of view of the European Scholar. The Nyayikas use the word Agama Pramana, where we would now say Sruti Pramana, meaning Revealed Word, the word of God or of the highest authority. So that the Agamas should go back for behind their time. As the popular phrase runs, Vedagama Purana Itikasa Smrities, its period should be fixed after the Vedas and before the rest of the group. Observes Rev. Hoisington, the first translator into English of Sivagnana Botham, “the Agamam which contains the doctrinal treatise given in this work, may safely be ascribed to what I would term the Philosophical Period of Hinduism, the period between the Vedic and Puranic Eras. These doctrines can be traced in the earlier works of the Puranic period, in the Ramayana, the Bhagavat Gita, and the Manava Dharma Sastra. They are so alluded to and involved in those works, as to evince that they were already systematized and established. We have the evidence or some Tamil works that the Agama doctrines were revived in the south of India before Brahminism by which I mean Mythological Hinduism obtained any prominent place there. From some statements in the Ramayana, it would appear that they were adopted in the South before Rama’s time. This would fix their date at more than a thousand years before the Christian Era, certainly as early as that of the Ramayanam.” Adopting another method, it can be very easily shown that they go far behind the date of Buddha, and though it is said that the religion of the Hindus at that time was Hinduism (a meaningless word from the stand point of the Hindu) the only religion which stood against Buddhism and Jainism in their palmist days and into which they finally merged themselves, without leaving a single vestige in India, was the Saiva Religion. The struggles between Buddhism and Jainism and Saivaism are celebrated in the annals of our saints, Upamanya Bhakta Vilasa and the Tamil Peria Purana, and of these saints the great Manickavachaka, the famous author of Thiruvachakam belonged to the Buddhist period and the great Gnana Sambantha and Vakisa, the authors of ‘Thevaram,’ belonged to the Jain period, though our learned Swami Vivekananda seems to know very little of them, in spite of the fact that all our temples in Southern India and not a few in the utmost bounds of Mysore Province contain their images and all the principal festivals in Madras and in the mofussil are celebrated in their honor, I refer to the Makiladi feast in Thiruvottiyur, Aruvathumuvar feast in Mylapore, Aruthra feast in Chidambaram and Avanimula feast in Madura, not to speak of innumerable other feasts connected with every other temple. Such is the paucity of knowledge possessed by foreigners and conveyed in the English language regarding south Indian Chronology, language, religion and Philosophy, chiefly through want of patriotism and enthusiasm on the part of Tamil speaking Indians of the South. Regarding the antiquity of the Saiva Religion itself, M. Barth after observing that the genesis of the Religion is involved in extreme obscurity says that “the Vedic writings chance upon them and as it were go along side of them, during the very period of their formation.”

Of course the difficulty will appear to those who study these writings and the Philosophy contained in them apart from the Religion and Religious beliefs of the people and the religion and beliefs of the people apart from the writings and the Philosophy contained therein, and the difficulty will certainly vanish when the two are studied together and it is perceived how intimately the two are connected together and how the one enters into the very whoof and warp of the other. Coming now to the work in question, the twelve Sanskrit Sutras in Anushtup metre form part of Rourava Agama and have been separately styled and handed down as ‘Sivagnana Botham.’ The Saivas believe that this is the very book which was in the hands of the Divine Guru, Dhakshanamurthi and these were the very doctrines which He taught to the Great Vedic Rishis, Sanaka, Sanathara, Sanantana and Sanatkumara. At any rate, as an example of such close and condensed reasoning, embracing as it does the whole of the field of Religion and Philosophy, the work is unparalleled. The Sariraka Sutras of Vyasa, which contain the same four divisions as the present work, consist of 555 sutras. There can be no doubt that the Tamilians, having very early secured a translation of this work through Meikanda Deva with his invaluable commentary, cared to possess no translation of any other work on Philosophy from the Sanskrit, and in spite of the great praise that is bestowed on the Bhagavat Gita, the Tamil reader knows nothing about it, and it is only recently a Tamil translation has been got out. Of the merits of this Philosophy, which is discussed here as the Adwaitha Philosophy, the word Visishtadwaitha having never come into use with the Tamil writers, I need say nothing here following the example of the first translator Rev. H. R. Hoisington who neither says a word in blame nor in praise of it, leaving the readers themselves to form their opinions. It is more than 40 years since he published his translation of this work and of two other works in the Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. No. IV. And I am not in a position to know what criticism it elicited then. Probably it was shelved as offering no points of attack. The objections usually taken by Missionaries and Oriental Scholars against Vedantism fall flat if urged against this theory, as herein expounded. Of the Rev. H. R. Hoisington and his translation, I must say a few words. He was an American Missionary attached to the Batticotta Seminary in Ceylon. He came to know of the work early and it is almost pathetic now to read after 40 years, what difficulties he had to contend with, before he was able to master the subject and complete the translation and no meed of praise is sufficient for this and other disinterested seekers after the truth, wherever it may be found. Nor are these difficulties even vanished to-day. Consequent on the extreme terseness of diction and brevity of expression employed in the work, even the ordinary Pundits are not able to understand without proper commentaries; and very few Pundits could be found in Southern India who are able to expound the text properly even now. For several years, it was in my thoughts to attempt a translation of this work, and time and place not permitting, I was only able to begin it about the middle of last year and when I had fairly begun my translation, I learnt from a note in Trubner’s Sarva Darsana Sangraha that a previous translation of this work existed and hunting out for this book, I chanced upon an old catalogue of Bishop Caldwell and I subsequently traced out the possession of Bishop Caldwell’s book to Rev. J. Lazarus, B. A., of Madras who very courteously lent me the use of the book and to whom my best thanks are due. I have used the book to see that I do not go wrong in essential points and in the language of the translation. Rev. Hoisington’s translation is not literal and is very free and was evidently made from a very free paraphrase given of the text by the pundits. I do not find anything corresponding to the Varthika commentary of Meikanda Deva in his translation; and in the elucidation of the text and original commentary, I have followed the excellent commentary of Sivagnana Yogi, which I think was not available to Mr. Hoisington, in print then. I must say here that it gave me very great encouragement and pleasure to proceed in the task to hear from a well known Professor of the South, who wrote to say, “It gives me very great pleasure that the Saiva Siddhanta Philosophy is after all, to be written in English. I should myself have undertaken the work gladly, if my health had permitted the task. As it is, I am happy you have found time to undertake the difficult though laudable task of translating into English, the Philosophic teachings of our Siddhanta Sastras.”

I hope the notes which I have added will be found of use to the ordinary reader in understanding the text and I have also added a Glossary of most Sanskrit names and words used in the work. Contrary to the usual practice I have indulged in Tamil quotations, for which, I hope the reader will excuse me. I have largely drawn on ‘Thayumanavar,’ for the simple reason that he is read by all alike and there is no one in Southern India who does not know him. It is also my object to show how the Philosophy herein expounded has passed into the current thought of the people and their common language, for it might be taken as true that no religion of Philosophy is entitled to be called a living one which does not enter into the common thought of the people and their language. I may also say that my explanation of the text has the full approval of several Orthodox Pundits, of whom I can mention Sri la Sri S. Somasundara Nayagar of Madras, to whom I am largely indebted by means of his lectures and books and pamphlets, for the little knowledge of Saiva religion and Philosophy which I may possess. Of course, I must not omit to mention my obligations to Brahma Sri Mathakandana Venkatagiri Sastrigal, the great Saivite Preacher of Malabar who is a Siddhanthi and a follower of Sri Kanta Charya.

His Holiness The Pandara Sannadhigal of Thiruvavaduthorai Mutt and His Holiness, Rai Bahadur, Thirugnana Sambantha Pandara Sannadhigal of Madura Mutt have also been pleased to go through portions of the work and to express their great satisfaction.

In the next note, I will refer briefly to the life of Meikanda Daver who translated the Sutras into Tamil and added his commentary to it and that of some of his followers and commentators.


- - - - - - -

“He who translated and commented on Sivagnana Botham, whose knowledge was imparted by Nandi and his disciples, for the purpose of obtaining Salvation, by pointing out the way to proceed from the knowledge of the body full of sorrow, to the knowledge of the soul, and thence to the knowledge of the Supreme Spirit, enshrined in the Maha Vakya, just as the glorious sun, enables our sight by dispelling the deep darkness from the vast surface of this earth;

“He, who under the name of Swethavana lived in Thiruvennainallur, surrounded by the waters of the Pennar;

“He, who left all false knowledge knowing it to be such and was therefore called Meikanda Deva;

“He is the Lord whose feet form the flower worn on the heads of even the holiest sages.”

Such is the brief Sirappu Patiram which is usually affixed to the Tamil edition of the book, giving particulars of the name and place of the author and the merit of his work.

The author who translated in Tamil, Sivagnana Botham and commented on it was called in early life Swethavana and after he attained spiritual eminence was called Meikanda Deva (meaning Truth finder) and he lived in Thiruvennainallur situated on the banks of the lower Pennar, about 20 miles from Panruti on the S. I. R. line. To this brief account tradition adds the following particulars. One Atchuthan of Pennagadam Village near Thiruvenkadu or Swethavana in Tanjore District, was long childless and he prayed incessantly to Swethavana Ishwara for the boon of a child. One morning he went early to the temple tank and bathed in the tank and when he got up finishing his prayers, he discovered lying on the steps of the tank a new born babe whom he at once pressed to his bosom, and praising God for his merey to him, took it home and gave it to his wife. And these two were bringing it up. Being the gift of Swethavana Ishwara, the child was named Swethavana. In course of time, however, his caste people began to murmur against Atchutha, saying that he is bringing up a low born foundling. The parents were in very deep sorrow on this account, and when Atchutana’s brother-in-law had come to him on a visit from Thiruvennainallur and he offered to take the boy with him and bring him up, they glady consented and the babe’s home became Thiruvennainallur from its 3rd year. It happened, however, that the child was dumb from its birth, but the bent of its mind was discovered in its very play which consisted in making Sivalingam of sand and becoming absorbed in its contemplation. One day, a Siddha, a Jivan Mukta, passing by that way, saw the child in its play and was at once attracted towards it, and observing the child’s advanced spiritual condition, he touched it with Grace, altered its name to that of Meikanda Deva, and instructed the child with the Divine Philosophy contained in Sivagnana Botham, and ordered it to translate the same in Tamil and let the world know its truth. The sage, however, retained his silence till his fifth year was past, during which interval it is stated he was receiving further instruction from God Ganesha of Thiruvennainallur, who was called Polla Pillayar, and the abstract of the Sutrams and the various arguments called Churnika is said to have been imparted to Meikanda Deva by Polla Pillayar. However, after his fifth year, he began to speak out and preach his Sivagnana Botham and he attracted a very large body of disciples. In those days, there lived in Thiruthoraiyur, a famous pundit and Philosopher named Arulnanthi Sivachariar, well versed in all the Vedas and Agamas, and hence called Sakala Agama Pundit. He, with his disciples, came on a visit to Thiruvennainallur; and while there, his disciples became attracted by the teaching of Meikanda Deva and gradually began to desert their former teacher. Arulnanthi Sivachariar came to know of the cause of the desertion of his pupils and went to meet and vanquish Meikanda Deva, face to face. He went there, and the moment the eye of Grace of Meikanda Deva fell on him, he felt his Ahankara or Agnana leave him and feeling vanquished fell at his feet and sought his grace and from thence became his most prominent and devoted disciple. Here a fact has to be noted. Meikanda Deva was a Vellalah; at least his foster parents were so, and yet Arulnanthi Sivachariar occupying the highest position even among Brahmans did not scruple to become his disciple. Under Meikanda Deva’s inspiration Arulnanthi Sivachariar composed a philosophical treatise called Irupa Irupakthu (இருபா இருபஃது). Under his direction again, Arulnanthi Sivachariar composed Sivagnana Siddhi, as an authorized commentary on Sivagnana Botham, two works which have been rarely paralleled even in Sanskrit. If the genius of Thiruvalluvar gave to the Tamil language all the teachings to be found in the Vedas, Agamas, Upanishads and Dharma Sastras, on the first three Purusharthams, Dharma, Artha and Kamia or Aram, Porul and Inbam, in a thoroughly systematized form, the genius of Meikanda Deva and Arulnanthi Sivacharyar gave to the Tamil language, all the teachings of these books on the last Purushartha namely, Moksha or Veedu, in a similarly condensed and systematized form. The plan of the first work is this. The twelve Sutras are divided into 2 Chapters of 6 Sutras each, general and special. These chapters are divided into two ‘Iyals’ each. Making a total division of the book into four, of three Sutras each. I have, however, divided the work into four chapters, indicating at the same time whether each belongs to the general or the special division.

The first chapter treats of the proof of the three entities or Padarthas, the second dealing with their further attributes or relationship, the third dealing with Sadana or modes of attaining the benefit of the knowledge of the three Padarthas, and the last dealing with the True End sought after by all mankind. The reader of Vyasa’s Sariraka Sutra or Vedanta Sutra will observe that the divisions adopted in the latter work are the same as in Sivagnana Botham. Further each Sutra is divided into separate theses or arguments and Meikanda Deva has added his commentary called Varthika to each of these theses or arguments or Adhikarana as it is called. This Varthika commentary is in very terse prose and is the most difficult portion of the work. Meikanda Deva has added Udarana or analogies in verses of Venba Metre to each of the Adhikaranas. These Udarana are not similes of rhetoric but are logical analogies used as a method of proof. The reader’s attention is particularly drawn to these analogies and he is requested to test these analogies with any rule of Western logic, and at the same time test the analogies ordinarily set forth in works on Hindu Philosophy published in English. Sivagnana Siddhi is divided into two books, Parupaksham and Sapaksham. In the Parapaksham, all the Hindu systems from Charvaka Philosophy to Mayavadam are stated and criticised and it is similar to Sayana’s Sarva Darsana Sangraha, and yet a cursory comparison will show the superior treatment of the former. The subject which Sayana or as he is better known in Southern India, Vidyaranyar has compressed in one chapter in a few pages, under the heading of Saiva Darsan, is treated by Arulnanthi Sivachariar in his Supaksham in 300 and odd stanzas, and the printed works with commentaries comprise about 2,000 and odd pages. The ground plan of this work is the same as that of Sivagnana Botham but it contains in addition a chapter on ‘Alavei’ or Logic, an abstract of which has been also translated by Rev. H. R. Hoisington and published in the American Oriental Journal, Vol, iv. Though this is based on Sanskrit works on logic, yet an advance is made in a new classification of logical methods, predicates, &c. And this I might say of the genius of Tamil writers generally, though they have borrowed largely from Sanskrit, the subject receives altogether an independent and original treatment. As my old teacher used to observe, no doubt Gold from Sanskrit source is taken but before it becomes current coin, it receives the stamp or impress of the Tamil writer’s genius.

Then about the date of these works, there is no data available to fix the exact time of these works. But that they must have been very old in manifest from the fact that they have supplied the form and even the language for nearly all the Tamil writers on philosophy and religion, excepting in Thevaram and Thiruvachakam and other works included in the Saiva Thirumurai. And there are also clear data to show that these works were anterior to the establishment of any of the great Saiva Adhinams or Mutts in Southern India and the great Namasivaya Desikar, who founded the Thiruvavaduthurai Adhinam about 600 years ago claimed to be the fifth or sixth in succession from Meikanda Deva and the disciples of this Mutt and Saivas generally call themselves as belonging to Meikandan Santhathi. One other fact which fixes this much more approximately, I must mention. Umapathi Sivachariar who is fourth in succession from Meikanda Deva, gives the date of his work, Sankarpanirakaranam in the preface of the work itself as 1235 of Salivahana Era. This will make the work therefore 582 or 583 years old and giving a period of 25 or 30 years for each of the Acharyas, the date of Meikanda Deva will be about A. D. 1192 or 1212 or say about A. D. 1200. These facts therefore furnish us with a positive data that these works could not have been at least less than 650 years old. I have not been however able to investigate the matter with all the available sources of information, for want of time and opportunity and I must leave the subject here.

A few words about the commentators on these works are also necessary. There are two short commentaries published on Sivagnana Botham. One is by Pandi Perumal and it is a very clear and useful commentary for the beginner and nothing is known about the writer and about his life except his mere name; but from the way he describes himself, he must have lived very near the time of Meikanda Deva. The other commentator is a well known person, Sivagnana Yogi or Muniver who died in the year Visuvavasu before last, 1785 A. D. The famous Adhinam at Thiruvavaduthurai has produced very many great sages, poets and writers in its days but it produced none equal to Sivagnana Yogi. The Tamil writers do not think that any praise is too lavish when bestowed upon him; and I have heard pundits of even other faiths speak in awe and respect of his mighty genius. He was a great Poet, and Rhetorician, a keen Logician and Philosopher, and commentator and a great Sanskrit Scholar. He with his pupil composed Kanchipuram which in the opinion of many surpasses many of the Epics in the Tamil language, so far as the imagery of its description and its great originality and the difficulty of its style and diction are concerned. He is the author of several commentaries and works on Tamil Grammar and Rhetoric. He has translated into Tamil the Sanskrit Tarka Sangraha and his commentaries on Sivagnana Botham and Sivagnana Siddhi have been rarely equalled for the depth of perception and clearness of exposition and the vastness of erudition displayed by him. His short commentary on Sivagnana Botham is the one now published and his other commentary called the Dravida Bhashya has not been published yet. The original manuscripts are in the possession of His Holiness the Pandara Sannadhigal of Thiruvavaduthurai and very many attempts were made during the life time of His Holiness the late Pandara Sannadhigal to induce him to publish this work but without success. I have interviewed His Holiness the Present Pandara Sannadhigal, and he appeared to me to be very enlightened in his views and sentiment and I have every hope that His Holiness will have no objection to publish the work provided he sees that the people are really earnest about its publication. A few glimpses that have been obtained of the work here and there fully justify the great expectations entertained of it as a work of very rare merit. Sivagnana Yogi has fully followed in his dialectics the dictum laid down by the author of Sivaprakasam that everything old is not necessarily true and that everything new is not necessarily false. This view accounts generally for the greater freedom of thought displayed by Tamil Siddhantha Philosophers in the treatment of their subject without being tied down too narrowly by any Vedic Text, &c., than Sanskrit writers.

In these days of boasted toleration, and the proclamation of universal truths and universal religions from every little house top, it will be interesting to note what an ideal of toleration and universal religion the Siddhanta writers generally had. Says the author of Sivagnana Siddhi, “Religions and truths as professed in this world are various and differ from each other. If you ask, which is then the true religion and which is the universal truth, hear! That is an universal Religion and Truth, which without contradicting this faith or that faith reconciles their differences and comprises all and every faith and truth in its broad folds.” The gist of this is contained in the phrase 'எல்லாமாய் அல்லவுமாய்' “all and not all or above all” which again is the Lakshana of Adwaitham, as I have elsewhere explained. In India, at the present day, certain phrases or forms of Idealism are put forward as expressing universal Truth and a large body of ignorant and credulous people are misled by it. Idealism is being exploded and discredited in Europe, and as M. Barth truly observes, Idealism when pushed to its logical conclusions leads one to Nihilism.

The Siddhanta Sastras are 14 in number. The first is Sivagnana Botham of Meikanda Deva; and two works of Arulnanthi Sivachariar I have already mentioned. Another of Meikanda Deva’s pupils by name Manavasakam Kandanthar composed a treatise called ‘Unmai Vilakkam’ ‘Light of truth’ and this little work contains an explanation of many a profound truth in Hindu Philosophy. Two works, Thiru Unthiar (திருவுந்தியார்) and Thiru Kalitrupadiar (திருக்களிற்றுபடியார்) are ascribed to a Sage Uyavantha Daver, who is said to have come from the north; and eight works were composed by Umapathi Sivachariar, the principal of which Sivaprakasam has been also translated by Rev. H. R. Hoisington. The authors of these treatises together with Maraignana Sambanthar are regarded by Saivas as their Santhana Acharyas, expounders of their Philosophy and Fathers of the Church as distinguished from their Samaya Acharyas, Thirugnana Sambanthar, Vakisar, Sundarar, and Manickavachakar who were authors of devotional works, and maintained the supremacy of their Vedic faith and Religion against Buddhism and Jainism, and but for whom the modern Hindus would be reading the Thripitaka and Jataka tales instead of our Vedas and Upanishads and works founded on them, and would be one with the Atheistical Siamese or the highly idolatrous and superstitious Chinee. And here I might take the liberty of addressing a few words to my Hindu countrymen, at least to those whose mother tongue is Tamil and who are born in the Tamil country and are able to read the Tamil language. It is not everybody who has the desire to study Philosophy or can become a Philosopher. To these, I would recommend the devotional works of our Saints, whether Saiva or Vaishnava. Unlike the Hindus of other parts of this vast Peninsula, it is the peculiar pride of the Tamilian, that he possesses a Tamil Veda, which consist of his Thevaram, Thiruvachakam and Thiruvaimozhi, and this is not an empty boast. As Swami Vivekananda observes, Vedas are eternal, as truths are eternal, and truths are not confined to the Sanskrit language alone. The authors of the Tamil Veda are regarded as avatars and even if not so; they were at any rate Jivan Muktas or Gnanis. And as I have explained in my notes to the Eleventh Sutra, these Jivan Muktas are true Bhakas and they are all Love. And the Tamil Veda is the outpouring of their great Love. My old Christian teacher used to observe that the Dravidian is essentially and naturally a devotional man; and is this not so, because they had early received and imbibed the Great outpourings of Love of our Divine Saints? To the student or enquirer who is more ambitious and wishes to fathom the mysteries of nature, I cannot do better than recommend these very books as a first course and the conviction will surely dawn upon his mind as he advances in his study of Philosophy and compares what is contained in the Tamil Veda with the bare bones of Philosophy that he has nothing better for his last course than what he had for his first course; and as the Divine Tiruvalluvar says, what is the use of all philosophy and knowledge if it does not lead one to the worship of his Maker in all truth and in all love? However, as a course of philosophical study, the Siddhanta works contain the most highly developed and logically systematized thinking of the Hindus. And if it is thought necessary, a study of the Vedas and Upanishads may follow. Without this preliminary course, a study of the latter will only end one in chaos and confusion. I address these remarks as a student to a student, as one enquirer to another and I claim no more weight to my words.

I give below a stanza which shows in what high estimation, Tamilians hold the present work and other works referred to above.

"வேதம் பசு அதன்பால் மெய்யாகமம் நால்வர் ஓதும் தமிழ் அதனி னுள்ளுறுநெய் - போதமிகு நெய்யினுறு சுவையா நீள் வெண்ணெய் மெய்கண்டான், செய்த தமிழ் நூலின் திறம்."

(The Veda is the cow; the Agama is its milk; the Tamil (Thevaram and Thiruvachakam) of the four Saints, is the ghee churned from it; the excellence of the well instructive Tamil (Sivagnana Botham) of Meikanda Deva of Thiruvennainallur is like the sweetness of such ghee.)


சிவஞான போதம்
- - - - - - -

சூத்திரம் :

॥ शिवज्ञानबोधं ॥

 स्त्रीपुन्नपुंसकादित्वाज्जगतः कार्यदर्शनात् ।
 अस्ति कर्ता स हृत्वैतत् सृजत्यस्मात् प्रभुर्हरः ॥ १ ॥

 अन्यस्सन्व्याप्तितोऽनन्य: कर्ता कर्मानुसारत: ।
 करोति संसृतिं पुंसां आज्ञया समवेतया  ॥ २ ॥

 नेतितो ममतोद्रेकादक्षोपरतिबोधतः ।
 स्वापे निर्भोगतो बोधे बोद्धृत्वादस्त्यणुस्तनी ॥ ३ ॥

 आत्मान्तःकरणादन्योऽप्यन्वितो मन्त्रिभूपवत् ।
 अवस्थापंचकस्थ: स्यान्मलरुद्धखदृक्क्रिय: ॥ ४ ॥

 विदन्त्यक्षाणि पुंसार्थान्न स्वयंसोऽपि शंभुना ।
 तद्दिकारि शिवश्चेन्न कान्तोऽयोवत्स तं नयेत् ॥ ५ ॥

 अदृश्यं चेदसद्भावो दृश्यं चेज्जडिमा भवेत् ।
 शंभोस्तद्यतिरेकेण ज्ञेयं रूपं विदुर्बुधा: ॥ ६ ॥

 नाचिच्चित्सन्निधौ किन्तु न वित्तस्ने उभे मिथ: ।
 प्रपंचशिवयोर्वेत्ता उअस्स आत्मा तयॊ:पृथक् ॥ ७ ॥

 स्थित्वा सहेन्द्रियव्याधै: त्वां न वेत्सीति बोधित: ।
 मुक्त्वैतान् गुरुणानन्यो धन्य: प्राप्नोति तत्पदम् ॥ ८ ॥

 चिद्दशात्मनिदृष्ट्वेशं त्यक्त्वा वृत्तिमरीचिकाम् ।
 लब्ध्वा शिवपदच्छायां ध्यायेत्पंचाक्षरीं सुधी: ॥ ९ ॥

 शिवेनैक्यं गतसिद्धस्तदधीन:खवृत्तिक: ।
 मलमायाद्यसंस्पृष्टो भवति स्वानुभूतिमान् ॥ १० ॥

 दृशोर्दर्शयितश्चात्मा तस्य दर्शयिता शिव: ।
 तस्मात्तश्मिन्परां भक्तिं कुर्यादात्मोपकारके ॥ ११ ॥

 मुक्त्यै प्राप्य सतस्तेषां भजेद्वेषं शिवालयं ।
 एव विद्याच्छिवज्ञानबोधे शैवार्थनिर्णयं ॥ १२ ॥


சிவஞான போதம்
- - - - - - -

அவன் அவள் அது எனும் அவை மூவினைமையின்
தோற்றிய திதியே ஒடுங்கி மலத்து உளதாம்
அந்தம் ஆதி என்மனார் புலவர்.     1

அவையே தானேயாய் இருவினையின்
போக்கு வரவு புரிய ஆணையின்
நீக்கம் இன்றி நிற்கும் அன்றே.     2

உளது இலதென்றலின் எனதுட லென்றலின்
ஐம்புலன், ஒடுக்கம் அறிதலின், கண்படில்
உண்டிவினை யின்மையின், உண்ர்த்த உணர்தலின்
மாயா வியந்திர தனுவினுள் ஆன்மா.    3

அந்தக் கரணம் அவற்றின் ஒன்றன்று,
சந்தித்தது ஆன்மா சகசமலத் துணராது
அமைச்சுஅரசு ஏய்ப்பநின்று அஞ்சவத் தைத்தே.   4

விளம்பிய உள்ளத்து மெய்வாய் கண் மூக்கு
அளந்தளந்து அறியா ஆங்கவை போலத்
தாம் தம் உணர்வில் தமியருள்
காந்தங் கண்ட பசாசத்து அவையே.    5

உணருரு எனின் அசத்து, உணராது எனின்
இன்மையின், இருதிறன் அல்லது சிவசத்தாம்என
இரண்டு வகையின் இசைக்கும் மன்னுலகே.   6

யாவையும் சூனியம் சத்து எதிர் ஆகலின்
சத்தே அறியாது அசத்து இலது அறியாது
இருதிறன் அறிவுளது இரண்டலா(த) ஆன்மா.   7

ஐம்புல வேடரின் அயர்ந்தனை வளர்ந்து எனத்
தம்முதல் குருவுமாய்த் தவத்தினில் உணர்த்த விட்டு
அன்னியம் இன்மையின் அரன்கழல் செலுமே.   8

ஊனக்கண் பாசம் உணராப் பதியை 
ஞானக் கண்ணினில் சிந்தை நாடி
உராத்துனைத்தேர்த்து எனப் பாசம் ஒருவத்
தண்ணிழலாம் பதி, விதி எண்ணும் அஞ்செழுத்தே.  9

அவனே தானே ஆகிய அந்நெறி(யின்)
ஏகனாகி இறைபணி நிற்க
மலமாயை தன்னொடு வல்வினை இன்றே.   10

காணும் கண்ணுக்குக் காட்டும் உளம்போல்
காண உள்ளத்தைக் கண்டு காட்டலின்
அயரா அன்பின் அரன்கழல் செலுமே.    11

செம்மலர் நோன்தாள் சேரல் ஒட்டா
அம்மலங் கழிஇ அன்பரொடு மரீஇ
மாலற நேயம் மலிந்தவர் வேடமும்
ஆலயம் தானும் அரனெனத் தொழுமே.    12


in English
- - - - - -

I. As the (seen) universe, spoken of as he, she and it, undergoes three changes (origin, development, and decay), this must be an entity created (by an efficient cause.) This entity owing to its conjunction with Anava Mala has to emanate from Hara to whom it returns during Samharam. Hence, the learned say that Hara is the first cause.

II. He is one with the souls (Abetha). He is different from them (Betha). He is one and different from them (Bethabetha). He stands in Samavaya union with His Gnana Sakti and causes the souls to undergo the processes of evolution (births) and return (Samharam) by including their good and bad acts (Karma).

III. It rejects every portion of the body as not being itself; It says my body; it is conscious of dreams; it exists in sleep without feeling pleasure or pain or movements; it knows from others; This is the soul which exists in the body formed as a machine from Maya.

IV. 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.

V. 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.

VI. 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.

VII. In the presence of Sat, every thing 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).

VIII. 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.

IX. 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.

X. 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.

XI. 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.

XII. 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.


- - - - - - -

The Good will crown their heads with the two Feet of Ganesha who was begotton by the Great Teacher, who sat under the Sacred Mountain Banyan tree and removed the doubts of the Great Nandi.

Notes :

Ganesha is the representation of Brahm and is of the Form of the Samashti Pranara. If the letters ‘a,’ ‘u’ and ‘m’ represent severally ‘Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra,’ Ganesha represents ‘Aum’ or ‘Om’; and He is by preeminence therefore the Diety of the Pranava; and His Temples are therefore True Pranava alayas, without which no place, however insignificant, it may be, is found to exist throughout the length and breadth of India. As Pranava is the chief Mantra of the Hindus, and as nothing can be done without uttering it, hence the universal practice of invoking Pillaiyar before beginning any rite or work or treatise. ‘Pillayar Shuli’ which heads this page is of course the Pranava symbol. The two feet here described are His Gnana Sakti and Kriya Sakti. The God is given the Elephant head as that is the one figure in nature which is of the Form of Pranava. See the subject further discussed in the notes to fourth Sutra. The author of ‘Dravida Bhashya’ points out how this couplet in praise of Ganesha or Ganapathi comprises in itself the subject matter of the whole of the Twelve Sutras. The two couplets indicate the subject into two chapters, general and special, and the four divisions of the two lines indicate the sub-division of the subject into four ‘Iyals’ or ‘sub-chapters’ and the twelve words the couplet contains indicate the twelve sutras and it is then pointed out how the subject matter is itself compressed in these words.


- - - - - - - - -

Those who know their Lord from the knowledge of themselves (their true nature), will not revile me and my work, as I am their own slave. Those who do not know themselves cannot know their Lord, and of course cannot agree among themselves. Their abuse I hear not.


- - - - - - -



- - - - - - - - -

Sutra. As the (seen) universe, spoken of as he, she and it, undergoes three changes (origin, development, and decay), this must be an entity created (by an efficient cause.) This entity owing to its conjunction with Anava Mala has to emanate from Hara to whom it returns during Samharam. Hence, the learned say that Hara is the first cause.

Commentary :

This Sutram establishes by an inference that this universe has Hara as its First cause and it consists of three principal arguments.

First Argument :

Churnika. - The universe undergoes the three changes of original production, development, and decay.

Varthikam.-As an existing object has its origin and decay, it is shown that the cosmic entity which is spoken of as he, she, and it is subject to origin, development and decav.

Udarana.-The world, if it exists, is followed by destruction and reproduction. Having seen that particular species in nature have particular seasons of reproduction, development, and decay, will not the wise argue that the world also undergoes periodical changes?

Second Argument :

Churnika. - These changes are caused by Hara.

Varthikam.-Objects not in existence (unreal) do not come into visible being; hence the seen universe must be an entity. As products of industry cannot be produced except by an artisan, so the world which appears as a product has a Creator or an Efficient Cause. And the cosmos can only be developed from the condition into which it had been dissolved previously in Samharam.

Udarana (a). The world which has been resolved into Hara must emanate from Him. The dissolution is required as rest for Karma Mala, and the reproduction for the removal of Anara Mala. All will admit that things will be reproduced from what they had been resolved into. If you say that the world resolved into Vishnu whose form is Mulaprakriti, then all the higher products of Maya above Mulaprakriti will not be dissolved. All the products of Maya become resolved along with Vishnu and Brahma into Hara who is the author of both.

(b). Just as a sprout appears when a seed is embedded in moist earth, so the world is created from Maya by the Sakti or Light of Iswara, whose creation is in accordance with the unchangeable laws of Karma; and Lo! The Power of Sakti!

Just as, when not sprouting, the seed is concealed in the earth, so Maya exists in God when not differentiated. And he gives each his form as he desires it, just as the worm in a wasp’s nest gets the form it desires.

(c). Just as Time the producer of all changes, itself remains without change, so God who creates, develops, and destroys the world without any mechanical means and by his mere will, remains without change. He has in consequence no ties (Pasa Bantham) just like the mind having certain impressions, itself remains different (i.e., does not become changed into them) and like the man who has learnt the truth in the waking state will not be misled by the dreams he has had.


God is eternal and like Time is without change when with His mere will and without any mechanical means, He creates, develops and destroys the world. His creation is without any purpose to Himself as the dreamer finds no benefit in his dreams in his waking state.

Third Argument :

Churnika. - The other two (Vishnu and Brahma) are also subject to these three changes.

Varthikam.-As the known cosmic entity has no power of action except through the unknown author of Samharam, this author, Hara is the only supreme God.

Udarana.-Hara who is neither the one nor the other in the Universe of mind and matter, is the only Supreme being of the said Universe, as the Universe of mind also becomes dissolved in Him in the same way, after they (minds) had been created and developed. The said Universe of mind which like Him is eternal is subordinate to Him even in Moksha.



The argument proceeds from a Prathiatcha fact admitted by the Lokayitha or materialist. This fact, the seen universe which can be described under the terms He, (masculine gender), She (feminine gender) or It (neuter gender) or as Thanu (animal Bodies), Karma (internal and external organs) or senses, Buvana (worlds) and Bhoga (sensations) is then shown to be capable of change or evolution. Its present condition is itself the product of causation, evolved from its primordial nature; and its decay is its resolution into its primordial state. This primordial substance is what is called Maya or cosmic matter. This Maya is not a nonentity nor is it caused from God or Atma (soul) as will be shown later on. The definition of Maya and its treatment will include all the phenomena noted by the present day Materialist and Biologist in the field of Physics and Biology. It is best translated by the word “object and object consciousness.” This “Maya” therefore undergoes Srishti, Sthithi and Samharam; Samharam is not destruction and the chain of evolution does not stop but it proceeds; and the reason for this successive change i. e. recreation and rebirths is given in the text ‘மலத்துளதாம்.’ it is caused by or necessitated by its conjunction with Anava Mala. The word Anava is derived from the root “Anu” meaning exceedingly small and the word Anu which is a synonym for soul, is so called, as the soul which is a Vibhu in its real state is made Anu (small as an atom) by its conjunction with Anava Mala. This Anava Mala is the imperfection or ignorance or impurity or darkness which covers or conceals the intelligence or light or purity of the soul. It is the presence of this imperfection or impurity in nature, which necessitates Evolution or Successive Recreations and Rebirths, as it can only be removed by such evolution. Maya is therefore evolved but not by its own inherent power. Maya or Matter is capable of motion but cannot move itself; just as a wheel capable of motion cannot move unless moved by some other person or thing or by the force of gravity, or just as products of industry cannot shape themselves except through an artificer and his instruments or tools, though they possess such capability. This grand Force, then, which moves and evolves the whole universe is the First cause, and the grand Artificer, the Supreme Being. Maya is the material cause, Upadana Karma of the universe, supplying its form and matter; God is the efficient cause or Nimitha Karana; and the Thunai Karana, Sahakari or instrumental cause is His Chit Sakti which is defined in the second sutra.

The inference employed here is an inductive inference and the argument is represented by two syllogistic Forms called Kevalanvayi Anumanu and Anvaya Vyatireki Anumana. The first syllogism is represented like this.

(1) Pratidgna - Proposition. This universe has a Karta. (2) Hetu - The reason. Because it has been evolved into forms such as he, she and it. (3) Utharana - The instance. A pot is made by a potter. (4) Upanayam - The assumption. The universe is such a product as a pot. (5) Nigamana - The deduction. Therefore the universe has a Karta.

For further forms see the commentaries of Sivagra Yogi on Sivagnana Siddhi.

The word Samhara which means change connotes both Srishti and Sthithi and hence Hara who is Samhara Karta represents in Himself the Powers of Srishti and Sthithi Kartas. In fact when we look at the universe and postulate God, the one idea we have of Him is as The Supreme Evolving Energy or Force working for the perfection of Salvation of the world of Mind and Matter. The root meaning of Hara is change producer or destroyer. He evolves the world and removes darkness or Agnana.

An adhikarana or argument comprises (1) Vishaya - The proposition (2) Samsaya - The doubt or objections (3) Purvapaksha - The Theory refuted, (4) Siddhanta - The Theory proved or established and (5) Sankathi - The sequence in the argument.

And it is a point worthy of note how in the treatment of the whole subject, the argument proceeds step by step one based upon or following the first without a single break in the chain. And it is also possible to exhibit each argument in the five modes abovementioned; but it is unnecessary to do so.

Churnika is a particular style of expression. It expresses in a short sentence the substance of the whole argument.

Varthikam means an explanatory note.

Udarana or analogy is here used as a method of inductive proof and should be distinguished from the various kinds of Upamana Polis or false analogies and figures of rhetoric. The sole condition of a real analogy is, as stated by Dr. Bain, that the sameness apply to the attribute found by induction to bear the consequence assigned.

1. The first argument needs no comment; no body now denies that Cosmos undergoes successive evolutionary changes.

2. The second argument in fact consists of three arguments. The first argument refutes the theory of Buddhists and Mayavathis (Idealists) who assert the non-reality of the universe. The 2nd argument refutes the theory that world can evolve of itself; and the third deals with the mode of evolution i.e., by dissolution and reproduction.

(a.) The first illustration shows the reason why dissolution is required. It is as rest for Karma; just after the exertions of the day, we require rest during the night for undergoing the struggles of tomorrow, so death gives us a prolonged rest to the human monad to enable it to eat its previous Karma in the next birth. Why should it have a next birth? Because it must eat the fruits of previous Karma and unless it does so, its Anava Mala or Ignorance cannot be removed. This latter then is the reason for reproduction.

(b.) The seed is the Maya; the sprout, the Karma; and the tree, the world; and the Earth, God; and its moisture and heat, the Sakti of God. God is “Viyapaka.” Souls are Vyapti and Maya and other Mala are Vyappia. Sea is Vyapaka, water is the Vyapti and the salt is Vyappia.

The text of the Veda.

“That the worlds are created out ‘of Brahm.’” is to be under stood as when we say that the tree sprung out of the earth: of, also the word Pangaja meaning sprung out of mire.

It is Karma that determines the number of successive births and creations and the forms in succession, and not God. Though it is the worm which passes into various forms before it becomes the wasp, yet without the aid of the parent wasp which affords it warmth and food, the worm cannot obtain its full development, so God adjusts the birth according to Karma and makes the souls eat the fruits thereof. Without His Divine Presence and Energy the soul cannot take for itself its own material body and it can have no progress unless when it is in conjunction with its material body. It is in Him we live, move, and have our very being.

(c.) The question arises whether God in producing these changes does change in any way. When one man reaps good and another reaps evil, does God like the one and dislike the other?

This is answered in the negative, in the illustration. He is Nirvikari. He has neither likes nor dislikes. (வேண்டுதல் வேண்டாமையிலான் - Kural).

One other illustration given in the 2nd Sutra and elaborated by the commentator of Ozhivilodukham is as follows: “The sun shines without any desire or intention or volition on its part, yet in its presence, the lotus plant receives its development and while one flower is still a bud, another has fully blown out and a third is withering; So, in the Divine Presence, Maya undergoes changes and so the author says “சந்நிதிக்கே அஞ்சுதொழிலாம்.” (His Presence possesses five functions).

One other peculiarity in the nomenclature of God employed by the various schools and affecting the various ideals formed, deserves to be noted here. The Vaishnava would hardly describe God in any other form than masculine. All specific names of Vishnu are masculine and they cannot be declined in any other gender and even when so declined they will not denote Vishnu, e. g. Vishnu, Vaishnavi, and Vaishnavam and Narayana, Narayani, and Narayanam. And of course, the image which the use of the word calls up is a male form. A follower of Sankaracharya would prefer to use a neuter form of expression and calls his God, Brahm, Param and so on, though with his peculiar adaptability he would also use such words as Narayana, Iswara, Isa, &c. the Saiva however uses all the three forms. ‘He, She and It’ in describing God, and all the specific names of Siva are capable of declension in all the three forms without change in its denotation and connotation. Siva, Sivah, Sivam; Iswara, Iswari, Iswaram; Sankara, Sankari, Sankaram; Para, Parah, Param and so on. And accordingly the images which he employs in his temples correspond to these forms. All nature is comprised in the three forms he, she and it. And when we use human language and forms of Nature to describe Him, there is no reason why one form should be preferred to the other, when all forms of Nature are His.

I may note here another peculiar doctrine of this School.

In fact if there is any one doctrine which is more insisted on in this School than any other, it is this that God cannot be born in the flesh and He cannot have human Avatars. It is the height of absurdity to suppose that God who is the inconceivable and the unknowable and indescribable (வாக்குமனாதீதம்) can be born as a man when He ceases to be such. (See notes to sixth Sutra for a further discussion of the point).

3. This argument eatablishes the supremacy of Hara and the One-ness of God.

The commentaries here discuss why God is not Brahma or Vishnu or Atma or the rest, the answer being that these latter are all liable to change and possess no Swathanthram; and why there should not be too many Gods as Aneka Iswara Vathis assert and several other questions besides.

It should here be noted that Hara or Siva or Isa or Iswara as used in the text is not to be identified with one of the Hindu Trinity bearing the same name. In the whole of the sacred literature we find Him described as the Lord of the Trinity, and as One who cannot be known even to the Trinity. The Trimurthis are themselves regarded as Mortals, being born at the beginning of each Kalpa and dying at the end of each. And the Vishnu of the text means only the Puranic Vishnu, clothed with such attributes and personal qualities as are ascribed to Him and capable of Avatars and the Vishnu of the Trinity representing Mula Prakriti and the function of Sthithi.

Concluding remarks

The first Sutra therefore establishes the existence of the three Mala, (Maya, Anava, and Karma) and of God. In the terminology of this School, the three Mala are called by a generic name Pasa and God is called Pathi. Pasa means, a bond or tie or shackle, or Bantham, and the three Banthams are distinguished as follows:-

Anava Pasa binds or limits the Omniscience or Perfect Knowledge of the Soul and hence called Prathibantham.

Karma Pasa like an unceasing flood follows the Soul and drives it to eat the fruits of karma (Bhoga) without permitting it to seek Moksha and hence called Anubandham.

Maya Pasa limits the Omnipresence (Vyabaka) of the Soul and confines it to a Particular body and hence called Sambantham.

Atma in the terminology of this School is called Pasu as a thing bound by Pasa. The terminology employed by the Ramanujas for these Thripadarthas is chit, achit and Iswara and that by the school of Sankaracharya is Jagat, Jiva, and Para.

The next Sutra proceeds to define Chit Sakti by which alone the relation between God and Atma and Mala is established and by whose Power alone Re-births are induced.



- - - - - - - -

Sutra. He is one with the souls (Abetha). He is different from them (Betha). He is one and different from them (Bethabetha). He stands in Samavaya union with His Gnana Sakti and causes the souls to undergo the processes of evolution (births) and return (Samharam) by including their good and bad acts (Karma).

Commentary :

This treats of the subject of Rebirths and consists of 4 principal arguments.

First Argument :

Churnika. - Hara exists in all the souls inseparably (as one with them.)

Varthikam. - The word Adwaitham cannot mean oneness or Ekam; as without a second, no one can think of himself as one, and as the very thought implies two things. The word simply denies the separate existence and separability of the two. In this sense, it is said here that the souls exist as one with the Lord.

Illustrations (a). The soul, standing in its body composed of bones, muscles, &c., and in union with the senses, answers to the name given for its body, when any body addresses it, and identifies itself with the body. Similarly though the Lord stands in a similar intimate relation with the soul, He is not the soul, and the soul cannot become the Lord. In the human state, He is one and not one with the soul.

(b) The vedic Text, ‘Ekam evadwithiyam Brahma’ ‘Ekam Eva Rudra Nadwitiyaya thas theh’ means that there is only one Supreme Being without a second. And this one is the Pathi and not the soul. You who say (ignorantly) you are one (with the Lord) are the soul and are bound up with Pasa. As we say that without (the primay sound) ‘A’ all other letters will not sound, so the Vedas say “without the Lord, no other things will exist.”

(c). The Arul Sakti of the Lord which pervades the whole universe is inseparably and eternally connected with the world, just like the sound in the tune and the flavor in the fruit. So, the rare Vedas declare that Brahm is Adwaitham and not Ekam with the universe.

(d). Just like the whetstone composed of gold, wax and sand, God is one with the world and is different from it and He is neither (Bethabetham). When God enters my soul, when I am freed from Pasam, I identify myself with God, and say I am all the world.

Second Argument :

Churnika. - Hara makes the souls eat the fruit of their Karma.

Varthikam. - The soul’s good and bad Karma are induced by the Gnana Sakti of the Lord; just as a king protects his town by appointing watchmen to guard it and thus exercises his authority.

Illustrations (a). The soul joining the body caused by its previous Karma eats the fruits thereof. Similarly our present actions (Karma) furnish the seed for our body in the next birth. God the all bountiful makes the soul eat the fruits of previous Karma (without suffering any change) just as the soil makes the cultivator reap as he sowed.

(b). Just as iron is attracted to the magnet when a person brings it in position, so the souls performing Karma join the body in which the Karma is effected and eat the fruits by the Arul of God. If they do not so enjoy by His Arul, who else could know and make them eat the fruits of Karma in the most unchangeable manner, in that condition, where they lie helpless, without self knowledge, and self action, enshrouded by Mala.

(c). The husk of the paddy or the rust of the copper is not new but co-existed with the grain or copper; so the three Mala, Maya, Karma and Anava co-exist with the soul and were not acquired by it at any intermediate time. These undergo change in the presence of God, just as the Sun’s rays cause one Lotus to open and another to close.

Third Argument :

Churnika. - The souls are subject to re-births losing their previous forms.

Varthikam. - The souls are re-born after death as birth and death are possible only to things existing eternally and changing continually.

Illustrations (a). The soul passing at death from its Sthula Sarira composed of eyes, ears, &c., into its Sukshuma Sarira which it had already, undergoes its experiences in Heaven or Hell; and forgetting such experiences, just as a dreamer forgets his experience of the waking state, passes as an atom in its Sukshuma state into a suitable womb at conception time, impelled thereto by the desire created by its previous Karma.

(b). The analogies of the serpent passing out of its old skin and the mind from the conscious into the dream condition and the Yogi into another body are often properly pointed out to explain the passing of the soul from its Sthula into the Sukshuma Sarira. Against this view, the analogy of the air of the pot passing into the atmosphere after the breaking of the pot, is instanced to support the view, that the soul takes no other body after death. This does not serve; it only illustrates the fact of the soul passing from the Sukshuma Sarira itself.

Fourth Argument :

Churnika. - Hara is omnipresent.

Varthikam. - He is one with His chit-sakti, as He is omnipresent without being one or different from the world.

Illustration. - If God is all-pervading (one with the souls and matter), He cannot be one. If he is two, He cannot be all-pervading. (He cannot be said to be not all-pervading as) there is no body or soul which exists without Him. He pervades everything by His chit-sakti, just like the light of the Sun. the whole universe is His property and the souls are His servants.



This Sutra discusses the most important and peculiar doctrine of this school, namely its theory of Adwaitham or the relation between God and the souls. Three Relations are possible.

(1.) Succession or causation. When one thing is the cause and the other is the effect, there is no difference whatever. It is Abetha; just like gold and ornaments made out of it (பொன்பணிபோல் அபேதம்).

(2.) Co-existence with mutual exclusion. Here one has no connection whatever with the other. One is totally external to the other. It is Betha like darkness and light (இருள் ஒளிபோல் பேதம்).

(3.) Co-existence without mutual exclusion or externality as when two different things are connected inseparably like the association of ideas. It is Bethabetham; just like the word and its meaning. Here the word is either a sound or a symbol and is distinguishable from the connotation of the name yet both the symbol or sound and the connotation is inseparably and indissolubly associated with each other. This relationship is not postulated by any other school. Under the first division comes in both Idealism (Mayavatham) and Materialism (Nasthikam and Boudha Vadham). In both the schools, causation is postulated whether it be that matter is derived from mind or the universe of mind and matter is derived from an Absolute or mind is derived from matter or a combination of Skandas. From the theory of causation, when you derive matter from mind, it will be as easy to derive mind from matter. And the objections we can take against the Materialist will equally be applicable to the theory of the Idealist, as is pointed out by Prof. G. J. Romanes in his article on Mind and Body. In fact, Idealism is regarded by the Siddhanti as Nastikam or Nihilism and the term Prachanna Bouddha Vadham is freely applied to it. The Hindu Idealists are also fond of giving two other analogies. The Spider and its web and the fire and its spark. It is easily seen that these are identical in substance and the web is merely the product of the material body, the glands of the Spider and not of its life Principle. The Siddhanthis therefore reject these relationships or at least the relationship pointed to by these analogies. The Vishishtadwaita of Ramanujacharya and theDwaitha of Madhwacharya may be placed under the second head or even the third head as some sort of relationship is said to exist between God and Man. In the Moksha of a Ramanuja, each atma retains its personality distinct from God but there is a union between its spirit and the universal spirit and according to the Madhwa the relationship is similar to that of a Guru and Sishya or that of a parent and child.

I said before that the Siddhanti rejects all these relationships in this sense that he does not affirm causation nor separable or inseparable co-existence as explained above. Yet in the Sutra God is called Abetha; the connection is such that an identity is perceived and the best illustration of this relationship is that of the body and life or mind (உடல் உயிர்போல் அபேதம்). The objective and subjective phenomena are quite different and yet a sort of absolute identity is established. He is Betha and this is illustrated as follows:-

An act of Perception is one and indivisible. Yet the perception is caused by two agencies the Eye and the Sun or Light. The Eye cannot perceive without the aid of the light, and though both the light of the Eye and the light of the Sun combine together, the combination is perceived as one. Here there is no causation as between the Eye and the Sun (கண் அருக்கன் போல் பேதம்). He is Bethabetham; but the tamil equivalent of the latter word உடன் or உடனுமாய் is perhaps more expressive. This relationship is similar to that of the soul or mind and the sense of sight or eye (கண்ணொளியின் ஆன்மபோதம்போல் பேதா பேதம்). Though in all these cases an identity is perceived a difference in substance is also felt. It is this relation which could not easily be postulated in words, but which may perhaps be conceived and which is seen as two (Dwaitham) and at the same time as not two (Na Dwaitham); It is this relation which is called Adwaitham (a unity or identity in duality) and the Philosophy which postulates it, the Adwaitha Philosophy. And the 1st argument deals with the meaning and force of this word.

1. God is all (Prapancham) but all is not God. He is therefore all and not all. He is immanent in everything and yet above everything. This doctrine is very popular in nearly the whole of the Tamil Literature, and it is most vividly expressed in the favourite phrase (எல்லாமாய் அல்லவுமாய்). The Hindu Idealists stop with “எல்லாமாய்" “He is all” and do not proceed to postulate “அல்லவுமாய்.” “He is not all” or “He is above all.” All objective phenomena may be in a sense mental or subjective but all the subjective phenomena are not objective.

Adwaitham does not mean ஏகம் or Monism. The negative prefix a or na does not negative the positive existence of one or other of the two (Dwaitham). It is not used in the “Abhava” or இன்மைப்பொருள். If it is so used, it will not only negative one thing or other but it may negative both, and end in Nihilism; and it may not only mean one “Ekam or Monism” but may mean more than two i.e., three or any number. As the learned Commentator Sivagnana Yogi points out, when the negative is prefixed to the numeral, in common usage, it does not mean இன்மை or அபாவம். For instance when we say “There are not two books in the room” “அரையில் இரண்டு புஸ்தகமில்லை" it may mean that “no books are in the room” or that “only one book is in the room” or that “there are more than two books.”

If the negative prefix in Adwaitham does not mean “Abhava” what does it mean? It is used in the "அன்மைப்பொருள்" or அல்ல ‘non-dual sense.’ The querist sees or fancies he sees two objects and asks ‘are they dual’? The answer is ‘They are non-dual’ - இரண்டு அல்ல not meaning one. Adwaitham therefore means literally Nondualism and not Monism. Cf. The word ‘Anekam’ which does not mean obviously ஒன்றில்லை (nothing) but 'ஒன்றல்ல' 'பல' (many). In Sivagnana Siddhi, Adwaitham is defined as ஒன்றாகாமல், இரண்டாகாமல், ஒன்றுமிரண்டுமின்றாகாமல் (neither one, nor two, nor neither). The position seems to be a negative than a positive one. All this language is adopted so as to illustrate that the relation is such that it is not possible to adequately to examine or illustrate and we find the author of Ozhivilodukkam enjoin "ஏகமிரண்டென்னாமற் சும்மாயிரு." (Don’t say one or two). Another popular verse runs as follows. "சும்மாயிரு சொல்லறவென்றலுமே அம்மாபொருளொன்று மறிந்திலனே." The subject is more fully treated in the subsequent chapters. If there is only one Absolute, the very idea of duality is impossible. The word Adwaitham implies the existence of two things and does not negative the reality or existence of one of the two. It simply postulates a relation between the two.

(a) This contains the illustration of body and mind. As in a purely objective state no subjective feeling is present, so in the human state, the soul is in a purely objective condition, and is not cognisant therefore of its subject God. The Atma is capable of a double relation; it has two kinds of Adwaitham. It is in Adwaitha relation with Maya and at the same time in Adwaitha relation with God. I may call the first its objective relation and the other its subjective relation. When its objective relation (its connection with Thanu, Karana, &c.) predominates, it is in Banda, it is the embodied human soul. When its subjectivity predominates, it is itself, it is in God, and it is God (Moksha). In its first condition we don’t see the soul but its object side, physical body and organs, mind, (manas) chittam, &c., and sensations and the worlds. In its second condition we don’t see the soul either but God with which it had identified itself. The important point to be noted is that though in the one or the other condition of the soul, one thing (God) or other (Maya) is not present, yet its existence or reality cannot be denied. In as much as we cannot see God now, we cannot deny His existence and call him Mitya (illusion) and when the world therefore disappears in the other case, nor can the world be called Mitya. Cf.


"ஆணவத்தோடத்து விதமானபடி மெஞ்ஞானத் தாணுவினோடத்து விதமாகு நாளெந்நாளோ."

‘O for the day, when I will become one with the Being of True knowledge as I am now one with Anava.”

The subject receives further elaboration as we proceed.

(b) The illustration herein contained is the same as in the first verse of the sacred Kural, though its significance is not often understood. The point of comparison is not the position of the letter ‘A’ in place. Its place is to be sought in its origin and its power of determining other sounds as herein indicated. The most primary sound that the human organ can utter is ‘a’ and the other vowels (that can be sounded of themselves) are formed by modifications of ‘a’; consonants on the other hand do not have the same origin as ‘a’ but they cannot be pronounced except with the help of ‘a’ and its modifications. So, though God and Man are distinct eternal entities, one(man) cannot exist except in God, but man does not originate from God as consonants do not originate from vowels. The same applies with regard to soul and its body (உயிர், மெய்) and it is this philosophic thought that underlies the Tamil equivalents of vowel and consonant (உயிர்மெய்).

The embodied soul or mind is the உயிர்மெய்.

(அ' 'a') is the soul (K' 'க்') is the human body. In (க) embodied soul we see only the (body) consonant and not the vowel (soul). (அ 'a') again is God; 'க்' 'K' is the soul; In 'க' 'K' Human Soul, we see only the consonant (soul) and not the vowel (God though) you will realise both when you pronounce it (attain Gnanam).

God is the Life (உயிர்) and the Soul is His body and not a particle of The Life, (God) nor a spark from it, nor its reflection nor shadow nor the imagined silver in the oyster shell. In the latter case the soul is either a nonentity or there is no difference in kind or substance though there may be a difference in quantity or quality. In the former case, there is a difference in substance but an identity in fact as the two exist together.

(c). Sakti literally means power. And the Sakti of the Lord is therefore His Energy or Power, His Will and His Light or Grace or Knowledge. Hence we have Three forms of Sakti, Kriya Sakti, Itcha Sakti, and Gnana Sakti, or Arul Sakti. God by his first two Powers evolves the universe from their undifferentiated condition. By the last He links the whole world to Himself. It is the Arul Sakti which connects God and Man. It is this Gnana Sakti which gives life to inanimate beings, harmony to things without harmony and to each and everything its peculiar beauty or taste or brightness. Without It everything else would be void, lifeless, actionless and darksome. This life of life, This Light of Light, This Chit Sakti is not the Light which Mr. Subba Row says enters some mechanism and becomes converted into a Human monad, man, and then becomes clothed with all the laws of Karma, &c., (Notes to Bag pp. 16 and 17). If so, what is it worth? Nor is Mr. Subba Row’s Ishwara which he derives in a mysterious way from Brahm, the Ishwara of the Siddanthi. His Ishwara is Brahm and the Sakti is the Maha Sakti or Mahachaitanyam. The relation of Ishwara to Sakti to all other life is well illustrated in the Puranic story of Kumara Sambhava. God separated from his Sakti. He was then in a condition of a Yogi. Then all life did not become extinct but all life became lifeless, from the immortal Gods to the lowest things in the order of creation. The immortals became aware of this and of its cause and then planned a scheme to bring together Siva (sat) and Sakti (chit) as though they could do it. The very attempt proved a disastrous failure. They ignorantly thought, judging from their own stand-point that the God’s Love was something akin to man’s gross love. They therefore induced Manmatha or Kama Deva, the Human God of Love to aim his shafts at Siva. He did so and he was burned to ashes the very instant from a spark from His nether Eye. He was however moved to pity at the sad plight of the so-called Immortals, became united to His Sakti, i.e., became all Love and begot Kumara who represents again Action or Energy and Gnana (His two Saktis) and who trampled under His foot Surapadma (All Evil) and released the Immortals from their bondage. This first Light (Adi Sakti) is Gayatri. (See the elaboration of this subject in Devi Bagavata Purana).

(d). (1). This contains another illustration. The whetstone is God in union with the world. The Gold wax is God, which holds and binds in itself the sands which are souls.

(2). The second portion of this stanza illustrates the principles of Sohambavana which underlies every Mantra from Pranava downwards. The devotee (Jivatma) is made to contemplate (“I am the Atma, God”), and he becomes one with God (Adwaitha). This is the process of identification. The author points out when he can be able to say “I am all the world.” This is also the principle which underlies the teaching of Bagavat Gita, Krishna is the Jivan Mukta who by his holiness has identified himself with God, Iswara. He as Guru imparts teaching to his pupil Arjuna; and Sivagnana Yogi observes, “Is it not by this process of Sohambavana that Krishna when teaching Gita to Arjuna says ‘I am all the world’ and shows the Lord’s Vivaswarupa in himself and teaches him to worship him and him alone leaving all other Gods; and Arjuna who believed in him firmly and understood the true significance of his word, performed Siva Pujah till his life’s end, and the flowers showered by him on Krishna in Divine worship appeared on the sacred person of the Lord. Krishna as one who received Siva Diksha (initiation) from Upamanya Maharishi and had perfected himself in the knowledge of himself and his Lord, had perfected himself in Sohambavana.”

The author anticipates here in fact what is elaborated in the third chapter, on “Sadana.”

2. The good and bad Karma are what the soul had acquired during its previous birth which now lie at rest bound up with the resolved Maya. To quicken them into being again, the Chit Sakti of the Lord as the instrumental cause (துணைக்காரணம்) operates. This Sakti is likened to the authority of a King, hence called Agnja Sakti. It is in fact the source of all Authority and of all Law. A king exercises his authority by moving his limbs of the law, his officers; such a limb of the Supreme Law is the law of Karma. A king covers himself under the shield of his law from any imputations of partiality, &c., when he metes out reward or punishment. So also God is not open to this charge. The universal Law determines the Law of Karma and the latter determines what each should undergo, either pleasure or pain, the working of this law is shown in the illustrations.

(a). The simple statement of this law of Karma is that he reaps as he sows and follows the laws of causation and conservation most rigidly. As no effect can be produced without a cause, a man’s body in his present life and his actions could not have been got adventitiously. Of course God would not have given it of His mere will, as opposed to His Law as otherwise he would be open to the charge of partiality and lacking in Swathanthram. A being which is at the command of caprice has no control of itself. This therefore brings out the phrase 'உள்ளதே தோற்ற' in the original, (What existed before appears now) and which I have simply translated as ‘Previous Karma’. The seed which one gathers in the previous existence developes and matures in the soil (Lord’s Power) becomes a tree (body) and bears good or bad fruits (pleasure or pain. Punyam or Papam). Without the soil the seed will not bear fruit; so without God, the past Karma will not bear fruit.

I may note here a definition of Punyam and Papam given by the late Sankara Pandithar of Jaffna. “Punyam” is "உயிர்க்கிதம் செய்தல்" - acts tending to give pleasure to sentient beings ‘Papam’ is 'உயிர்க்கதம் செய்தல்' acts tending to give pain to sentient beings.

The fruits of previous Karma eaten in this life form Praraptha Karma. In the process of eating, other acts are performed which form the seed for a future crop. And these acts form Akamia Karma; the seeds gathered for a future crop when sown become Sangchitha Karma. What is Akamia in this life is Sangchitha for the next.

(b). The last proposition in the last stanza is that the actions themselves will not bear fruits and make the soul eat them. The question is now asked why should not the soul choose its own actions and reap the fruits. This is answered in this illustration. It has not got the power of taking its body, whereby the Karma has to be performed. This has to be done by God. The cultivator (soul) cannot himself produce the tree (body) however he might try. He requires for this the medium of the soil (God). This inability is caused by the soul’s want of self-knowledge and self-action, being covered by Anava Mala. In plainer language, no man would do a particular act tending to produce evil if he had the full knowledge to calculate all its consequences. It is therefore man’s ignorance that is the cause of all evil. The only assumption here is that man in his original state is ignorant or imperfect or is shrouded by Agnanam or Anava. Grant this; and start the soul in the cycles of evolution, then the whole law of Karma comes into operation. This doctrine therefore is not to be confounded with the doctrine of Fate or necessity. Evolution or births are the only modes provided for attaining perfect knowledge; and for getting births or setting us on the wheel of Evolution we require God’s help. This original assumption is treated of in the next illustration.

(c). That man is ignorant in knowledge (சிற்றறிவு) and is imprudent in his actions (சிறு தொழில்) is a fact and is taken as a fact by this school and is not converted into a Myth or Athyasam by a process of verbal jugglery. The explanation offered by the Idealists is no explanation at all, as after all the explanations offered, the final fact to be accounted for, still remains unexplained, namely Ignorance or Agnanam or Aviddhei, the cause of all evil, of all pain. We can explain a joint effect by assigning the laws of the separate causes; or we may explain an antecedent and consequent by discovering the intermediate links; or the explanation may consist in reducing several laws into one more general Law. None of these modes are adopted by the latter school but the explanation attempted falls clearly within one or other modes of fallacious or illusory explanations; and as Dr. Bain points out, the greatest fallacy of all is the supposition that something is to be desired beyond the most generalized conjunction or sequences of phanomena; and instancing the case of the union of body and mind, he observes that the case does not admit of any other explanation except that body and mind are found in union. When we arrive at a final fact, it is absurd to attempt a further explanation. What I have therefore treated of as an assumption in the concluding sentence of the last Para is no assumption at all, but a final fact of our nature. Our nature as it is, is imperfect, or adopting the language of the text, is enshrouded in impurity, Mala, Anava Mala. Law of universal Progression or Progressis another law of Nature; and Evolution or births we require an Omnicient and Perfect, Ninmala Being. In the whole chain of argument, this last is the only thing assumed or inferred. But see the argument on the other side. There is one Brahm. Ishwara is generated from the Brahm. Mulaprakiriti is produced between them. Light or Energy proceeds from Ishwara and a particle of this Light becomes evolved into a man, or an ass, or a worm. All these are assumptions pure and simple. Mere hypothesis, it is admitted. Does this Hypothesis stand to reason? Does it furnish us any satisfactory reasons for all this evolution from Brahm to man or brute. Mr. Subba Row after stating that the First cause which is Omnipresent (what this really means is explained in the next argument) and eternal - is subject to periods of activity (Srishti) and passivity (Samharam) observes “But even the real reason for this activity and passivity is unintelligible to our minds” or as a learned Swami more explicitly and honestly puts it “Why should the Free, Perfect and pure Being be thus under the thralldom of matter? How can the Perfect soul be deluded into the belief that he is imperfect? How can the Perfect become the quasi perfect; How can the Pure, the Absolute change even a microscopically small part of its nature? The answer is ‘I do not know.’”

You assume that evil or impurity is produced out of good or Purity and then parade your honesty and admit that you don’t know why it is so. Don’t you think that the fallacy lies more in your assumption than in any real difficulty? Why should you assume that evil is produced out of good. The thing is impossible; you must take things as they are. You find Good and Evil together. Man is impure and weak; it is just possible there is a Being who is pure and strong enough to lift him from the bottomless pit. And herein is the real reason "மலத்துளதாம்"் as the Text says. God is active or passive as it is necessary for man to be set on the wheel of Evolution or to rest. Neither will it do to assume that God created Man at a particular moment and that he committed sin, and sin came into the world after the creations of Man and the world. Man committed sin, because he had not the understanding to see that his good lay in obeying Gods words and he had not the free knowledge or intelligence to foresee all the evil he was to bring upon the earth by his disobedient act. That is to say, he, as created, was an imperfect being. Laws are made as man is weak and erring. And we cannot impute to God the defects of a bad mechanic, want of knowledge and skill. Man’s reason does not accept the other explanation (no explanation at all - merely a confession of ignorance) that God’s ways are mysterious. Why say at all that God made such a bad job? We don’t thereby pull Him down from the position of the Creator and the Supreme Lord of the universe. In what sense He is the Creator is clearly explained in this book and is consistent with modern science. We cannot therefore say that man has an Adi - beginning. We simply deny that and say he is anadi (அநாதி) without beginning - eternal i.e., more simply that he exists. His existence is taken as a fact and admitting of no other explanation. So his imperfection, Anava Mala and other Malabandas in union with him are also anadi - eternal. And the illustrations give some very apt analogies showing such mutual relationship and union. Paddy and Copper are the examples. A paddy grain appears as one; still, it is composed of the husk, bran, rice and the sprout, and all these are united together at the same time. Just as the physical covering of man completely hides his real self, so the husk may conceal the rice. There is one more thing which conceals the whiteness and purity of the rice (soul) and that is the dark bran (anava) more intimately connected with it. And then there is a sprout (Karma) but for which the grain will not germinate (attain births). And what is the use of the husk? Remove it, the seed will not germinate and grow into a plant (attain bodies) and when you want to get at the rice (the real self-soul) it helps by friction (by successive births - evolution) to remove the dark bran (Anava-ignorance.)

Take Copper again. As we find it imbedded in the bosom of a rock (God) it is a darksome ugly thing (man with his imperfections). What is it that makes it ugly, dims its real lustre? Its rust. When did it become covered with rust? It was always so. It is not a mere covering. The rust is in its very core. Was Copper (soul) derived from Gold (God)? No. Can its rust (anava) be removed and can it become Gold? We will see. Bring it into use (births) and by friction applied by the hand or tamarind (Maya) it brightens a little (becomes intelligent and active.) Lay it at rest, (resolution) the rust covers it again. And it is the Alchemist’s belief that after an innumerable number of Putams (fire and friction) and when it had reached a certain kind of tone, a touch of the Parisa Vedi (Alchemist’s. stone) will turn it at once into Gold. And our belief is that after we had undergone a sufficient number of births, and we had reached malaparibagam (மலபறிபதம்), God’s grace (சக்திநி பாதம்) will touch and convert us into Himself. The Alchemist may or may not have succeeded in his life-long hope; at least there is no harm for us if we believe that we will reach perfection, Divine hood. At any rate we are sure of reaching perfect manhood.

Cf. "கருமருவு குகையனைய காயத்தின் நடுவுள்         களிம்புதோய் செம்பனையயான்   காண்டக இருக்கநீ ஞான அனல் மூட்டியே         கனிவுபெற உள்ளுருக்கிப் பருவம தறிந்துநின் னருளான குளிகைகொடு         பரிசித்து வேதிசெய்து   பத்துமாற் றுத்தஙக மாக்கியே பணிகொண்ட         பஷத்தை என்சொல்லுகேன்" "அருளுடைய பரமென்றோ அன்று தானே      யானுளனென் றும்மனக்கே ஆணவாதி பெருகுவினைக் கட்டென்றும் என்னாற் கட்டிப்      பேசியதன் றேஅருள்நூல் பேசிற் றன்றே." - (Thayumanavar).

(b). The 2nd illustration of the Sun and lotus shows that God is unchangeable - Nirvikari and impartial and just. His justice and mercy are not incompatible things. Out of His Supreme Love He lifts the souls from the deep darkness of Anava and puts them into the cycle of births, whereby they can obtain salvation sooner or later, according to their deserts, without any further interference on the part of God, showing us however the ways by which we can reach the goal. A physician can cure a man’s bad sight, but if after that, he carelessly falls into a pit the physician cannot be blamed; or again a man has his sight - he can see with his eyes. But could he see without the light of the Sun? If we see wrong or do not carefully note the pitfalls, &c., and come to a mishap can we blame the Sun? We have our own intelligence to guide us, though the Divine Light surrounds us and enables us to use our intelligence. Man therefore cannot shift on his moral responsibility to God.

3. This argument removes the doubt whether death is a final ending, - annihilation. The strongest point in the doctrine of this school is the principle that “nothing can come out of nothing” and that no effect can be produced without a cause, following the principle of conservation that nothing which is, can cease to be so. If the Prapancha (Body and mind) is an entity, it was established in the first Sutra that it was produced out of some primordial substance. It could not therefore cease to exist when it undergoes ordinary deaths. Deaths must necessarily therefore lead to re-births. So it is laid down that Births and Deaths are possible only when a thing is eternal. But what is that in it which brings about births and deaths. It is the Law of change - Continual change, Evolution. This eternal and continually changing ego undergoing births and re-births should not be confounded with the vaguely apprehended and feebly postulated ego of the southern Buddhists, a mere product of the Skandas, eking out some kind of continued existence, failing when the Skandas fail, and becoming annihilated also. We postulate also Nirvana and the word is used in such conjunctions as Nirvana Diksha, &c., but in what sense they are used will be shown later on. It does not mean annihilation.

(a & b). The illustrations explain how the soul and its inseparable and eternal body undergo birth, death, and rebirth. Man’s visible body (Sthula Sarira) is only resolved into its cause Sukshuma Sarira, as water passes into invisible vapour. So the soul passing from its Sthula Sarira to its Skshuma Sarira as illustrated in (b) experiences some pleasure or pain, as in sleep, the death of every day (Nithya Pralaya), the man experiences pleasant or unpleasant dreams, according to his experience of the previous day or days. When the soul had therefore eaten of its Karma in part and had received sufficient rest, its Akamia Karma induces it again to get a Sthula Sarira. Heaven or Hell are merely states or conditions of the soul’s existence in Sukshuma Sarira. These have no local or space existence.

When the soul is in its Sthula Sarira, the faculties are active and receive full play. In its Sukshuma state, all the faculties are paralysed and inactive; though it is capable of certain experiences owing to the past experiences vaguely reproducing themselves. The dream condition is exactly its parallel. We don’t remember all our days, experiences in sleep or dream; nor do we remember the numberless dreams that we dream in a night, when we wake up, unless it be very vivid or strong. Even when we are awake. We do not remember all our past actions, though sometimes they be a day old. Man is therefore not able to remember his life in a previous state or birth, through the changes in his mental and physical conditions and through his feeble powers of retentiveness.

4. It was already shown how God was in Adwaitha relation with the world. And this is not possible but for His Chit Sakti. And the relation of Himself to the Sakti is described as a Samavaya relation. This inseparable association is one and the same thing but we can regard the one in two different aspects. When we regard God in Himself apart from the world, He is Sivam, Pure Sat. When we regard Him in relation with the world, He is Sakti (Light, Energy, Chit.) When we regard the Sun as a great Luminous Body, we speak of him as the Sun; when we regard it as shining on the whole earth, we speak of its light. And how His relation with the world is what is called Omnipresence. This word though used by every religionist is not understood properly. Its true significance can only be understood when we understand what Adwaitham means. It is in fact synonymous with it. Inasmuch as there are some who understand Adwaitham as oneness, this word is used to mean that he is everything and that there could be nothing but him and there is no second thing as mind or matter. And the simple logic by which this position is established is stated in the following sentence.

“Were we to exclude the Omnipresent Principle form one mathematical point of the universe or from a particle of matter occupying any conceivable space, could we still regard it as infinite”? What does this mean? Omnipresence means a space relation. It is capable of extension, measurement. It can be viewed as a mathematical quantity.

If we suppose one unit of quantity occupies one unit of space, and the Omnipresent Principle and Matter being regarded in units of quantity, of course it is impossible for one unit of God and one unit of Matter to occupy one unit of space. This is mathematically and logically certain.

But is this position tenable? Are we to regard God as occupying space, a quantity, a thing with length and breadth i. e., capable of extension i.e., as matter. But there are people who do so regard it; but they can’t prove it by saying that God is Omnipresent. Then the argument will be in this form:-

God is matter.

Because God is Omnipresent. And Omnipresence means matter;

Which will be arguing in a vicious circle, there being really no major premise to this syllogism.

Even the broad distinction drawn between mind and matter is that the matter is what is capable of extension and mind is not. Can we therefore regard the Universal Mind as a thing capable of extension? Then what does this Omnipresence mean and imply? And how is, it God is Omnipresent? As was observed before, Omnipresence means a space relation, the notion of space is impossible apart from things co-existing. If we regard God as the Absolute and the Infinite, He could not be Omnipresent. Infinite space is a contradiction in terms. Omnipresence therefore implies a co-existing object. If God is a Principle diffusing and soaking through and through, it must diffuse and soak itself in another thing. If it fills what does it fill? If it fills itself then you must regard it as finite. As the Hindu Nyayikas put it, there could be no Vyapakam, (Omnipresence) all container, without things capable of Vyapti, (things filled). It is therefore established God is Omnipresent and His Presence is felt in other things and that God is not space, nor matter, nor the universe. Then how does He fill the universe? According to the text it is by His Chit Sakti or Gnana Sakti. God is all Gnanam. He is Gnana Mayam, and Gnanam is not space nor Matter nor Malam. And it is therefore possible to fill one unit of space with one unit of matter and one of Gnanam or God. He is then neither one with matter nor apart nor different from it. It is in this way He is Omnipresent. It is His great Chaitanyam that fills His body (Souls, and Mala or Matter). It is in us He dwells and it is in this sense and sense alone “that ye are the temple of God.”

"அறவையேன் மனமே, கோயிலாக்கொண்டு ஆண்டு அளவிலா ஆனந்தமருளி."

(Manicka Vachaka). In the same way as our Sakti - intelligence fills our body, so God’s Sakti (Maha Chaitanyam) pervades our souls and lightens our darkness (உள்ளத்தொளிக்கின்ற ஒளி) and He is then truly “Our Father in Heaven” ‘whom’ we are cognisant with us, in our heart and Spiritual consciousness.’ If otherwise we are God, how could God be itself cognisant of itself in its heart and spiritual consciousness. In fact consciousness is a thing which cannot be predicated of the Absolute. Of course, we can hardly conceive how mind fills matter and from want of the adequate idea, an inadequate word is used; Omnipresence is not at all the best word to be used to bring out the idea and it is this improper use of the word which has caused all the mistake and confusion; as many another word has done.

The illustration states a paradox. If He is all-pervading He cannot be one, and if He is two, He cannot be all-pervading. All that is meant is, He cannot be regarded as a finite being, a thing capable of extension, &c., He is all in all. He is all and not all. Our intelligence and action is nothing when compared with His Supreme Gnanam. We are entirely subordinate to Him. Before His Supreme Presence, every matter is nothing. It is like His property. It is in this sense our Thayumanavar exclaims:-

"எல்லா முன்னுடைமையே எல்லா முன்னடிமையே எல்லா முன்னுடைய செயலே."

Compare also the definition of Pari Puranam (பரிபூரணம்) given in Ozhivilodukkam

"உதியா துளதாகி ஓங்கிப்பேராமல் அதிசூக்குமங் குறைந்தாகாமல்-பதையாத ஆகாயமுங் காலும்போல அசைவற்ற தே காண் பரிபூரணம்."

It has no origin. It is Sat. It transcends all the 36 tatwas. It is unchangeable (Achalam.) It is adisukshuma (the least of the least,) as it is in everything and yet out of it. It could not be lessened nor increased (Akandaharam - Infinite.) It is immoveable in relation with the universe as the Akas is connected with air in perfect calm. This then is Pari Puranam - Omnipresence.



- - - - - - - - -

Sutra. It rejects every portion of the body as not being itself; It says my body; it is conscious of dreams; it exists in sleep without feeling pleasure or pain or movements; it knows from others; This is the soul which exists in the body formed as a machine from Maya.

Commentary :

This treats of Atma Praksa and consists of seven arguments.

First Argument :

Churnika. - An intelligent soul exists, as its intelligence is exercised when it says “this is not the soul, this is not the soul.”

Varthikam. - As there exists something after it rejects everything else as not being the soul, it is established that this something is the soul.

Illustration. - Standing in intimate and inseparable connection with each and every part of the body and its organs, an intelligence of the form of Sri Panchatchara is found to exist which is not one or other of these. That Thou art. Thou art not Maya, with which thou art united, as it only enables thy understanding to shine better as the eye-glasses make the eye see better. Thou art neither the Supreme Being (Tat Param) who is above thyself and Maya. Thou art different from both.

Second Argument :

Churnika. - As the phrase “my body” is used in a separate possessive sense, there is a soul different from the body.

Varthikam. - As something exists apart when it says ‘this is my arm’ ‘this is my leg’ as when it speaks of my town, and my house. It is established that this something is the soul.

Illustration. - As thou speakest of thy wife and thy house as thine and as identical with thyself, so thou speakest of thy hands and thy feet and thy impression and sensation, as though they are not different from you. If examined deeply, thou wilt find the body, arms, &c. to be different from thyself.

Third Argument :

Churnika. - As he understands all the five different sensations, he is different from all the five senses which can only feel each a particular sensation.

Varthikam. - As among the five senses, one cannot feel what another can feel, and as there exists something which feels all the five classes of sensations by means of all the five senses, it is established that this something is the soul.

Illustration. - If there is something which understands the actions of all the five senses in the body which are moved by Sri Panchatchara and of which when experiencing the sensations, one sense does not feel what another sense feels, that something thou art. As these senses except feeling each differently have no thought that they feel, understand that thou art not one of them.

Fourth Argument :

Churnika. - As it passes from the dream conditions into the waking state, there exists a soul different from the body in the dream condition.

Varthikam. - As something experiences in the waking state that it had dreams in sleep, it is established that this something is the soul.

Illustration. - When, in sleep, the senses which are alive in the body, lose their action and the body loses all its external actions, thou enterest another body, (Sukshuma Sarira) inside thy own, in dream and undergoes other experiences of sight, hearing and the like, pleasure, and pain and the like and then changest it for the visible body (Sthula Sarira) when waking. Thou art not therefore the Sukshuma Sarira; Thou art different.

Fifth Argument :

Churnika. - As the body has no feelings or movements in profound sleep, though respiration in kept up, the soul is different from the respiratory organ (Pranavayu).

Varthikam. - In profound sleep (when all the functions of the body except respiration are suppressed), feelings of pleasure and pain and movements are absent in the body; and in the waking state, when all the faculties are in working order, these feelings and movements are present. It is therefore established that something (which thus suppresses the faculties or brings them into play, causing the absence or presence of the feelings and movements) is the soul.

Illustration. - (In profound sleep) the body, which has cognition of the world, losing it, has no feeling of pleasure or pain and no movements, though the breath (respiration) fully plays. Hence, there is an intelligence which has such perception other than breath. Understand that when the soul is active in the body, it has such feelings and movements.

Sixth Argument :

Churnika. - The soul becomes conscious of one thing when it forgets another. Therefore the soul is different from Hara, whose consciousness is not subject to such change.

Varthikam. - As it can only understand when taught by its Guru that it is different from God whose understanding is perfect, it is established that this is the soul (and not God).

Illustration. - When becoming conscious of objects, it only apprehends one at a time, and when proceeding to apprehend another, becomes unconscious of what it knew before, and when it undergoes the five avasthas it becomes perfectly unconscious of everything. What is it which so apprehends? It is not Intelligence (Arivu). If the truth seeker examines, it is the soul whose understanding becomes identical with what it becomes united to.

Seventh Argument :

Churnika. - The soul is different from all the various tatwas as each is called by a separate name.

Varthikam. - It is established that the soul is different from the body, as each of the five senses instead of being called soul receives each a different name.

Illustration. - If the intelligence is the result of the conjunction of the bodily organs and (senses) these, on examination, resolve themselves into the Tatwas which begin with Kala and end with earth, and these are products of Maya which earth, and these are products of Maya which is not permanent (changeable or destructible.) If, after understanding attentively the nature of intelligence, this combination is examined, it is simply the body (Sthula) and (Sukshuma) which is to the soul what the lamplight is to the eye. Hence the soul or intelligence is different from the body.


This Sutra is a remarkable example of condensation of thought and brevity of expression. This contains 7 arguments on a most important subject and yet there is only a word or two to express each argument and there are not more than 20 words in Tamil or 14 words in Sanskrit. The first Sutra established from the fact of the objective universe and its undergoing evolution, the existence of Sat. In the next Sutra the nature of Chit by which this evolution is brought about and which is all Love is explained. Now God need not be active and be all loving, if nobody is to be benefited by it. He could not desire anything for Himself, as He is "வேண்டுதல் வேண்டாமையிலான்" (has no likes nor dislikes). Every act of His must be construed as Para-Prayochanam and not Swaprayochanam. We have therefore to postulate a separate entity as Soul which requires the support of the Supreme Intelligence and Love. This Sutra therefore proceeds to the proof of its existence.

1. The first argument is directed against Suniyavadis according to whom there is no Atma at all. The subject though it identifies itself with every part of the objective body, organs and sensations yet it exercises its sense of difference and distinguishes itself from one and all of these. Therefore that which so discriminates could not be a not-entity. This discriminating subject is the Soul of Atma. Even if we were to think we do not exist, the very thinking so, proves the existence of the thinking beings. The illustration further enjoins a caution that this thinking intelligence, being no other than Atma is not to be confounded with Divine intelligence, when we see it is not Maya or objective consciousness. The Atma occupies a place different from the other two i.e., a middle position. God is Sat; Maya is Asat; hence Atma is called Satasat (சதசத்து). The author of Ozhivilodukkam calls it Ali Arivu (அலியறிவு - Hermaphrodite intelligence) comparing the Divine Arivu to male and the Maya Arivu to female intelligence. Though all these are intelligences, they are of different orders. There is a dependence of the lower intelligence on the higher and when viewed from the stand-point of the higher, the lower ceases to exist as it were, the latter becomes Asat. Maya is Sat, but as compared with Atma, it is Asat. Atma is sat but as compared with God is Asat; Maya could not be compared with anything lower, nor God (Sat) with anything higher. So these latter occupy extremes Asat and Sat and the middle one is called Satasat, partaking of the nature of both and not being both. When it identifies itself with Maya, (as in man) it is hardly distinguishable from Maya and when it becomes identified with Sat, its presence cannot also be seen. So it is an Ali.

One other distinction between Sat and Satasat is that Sat is காட்டும் அறிவு or அறிவிக்கும் அறிவு (intelligence that induces Perception) or Light that removes darkness and the latter is காணும் or அறியும் அறிவு (Intelligence that perceives after the darkness is removed by Sat).

The relation of God, Atma and Maya is illustrated by the following analogy. Atma is the eye which is affected by a general disability and a particular defect. It cannot see in darkness nor when its eye sight is defective. God is the Sun, the dispeller of darkness, thereby giving light to the eye and other objects and enabling it to perceive. Maya is like the eye glasses which afford temporary relief to defective sight. By continued use of the glasses (births) and by a touch of the Surgeon’s lancet (God’s Grace or Arul Sakti) the defective eye sight (Anavamala) may be permanently cured. But the defective eye sight could not be cured by the Sun however powerful it may shine, and it shines ever before and after the eye sight is cured. And yet at no moment could you compare the light of the eye to the light of the sun, the one is the dispeller of darkness and the other is subject to darkness inherently. Sri Panchatchara is synonymous with Pranava. See further treatment of the subject in the subsequent chapters. Cf. Thayumanaver.

"ஐந்துபுலன் ஐம்பூதங் கரண மாதி      அடுத்தகுணம் அத்தனையும் அல்லை அல்லை இந்தவுடல் அறிவறியா மையுநீ யல்லை      யாதொன்று பற்றின்அதன் இயல்பாய் நின்று பந்தமறும் பளிங்கனைய சித்து நீஉன்      பக்குவங்கண் டறிவிக்கும் பான்மை யேம்யாம்."

2. This is an argument gathered from a habit of speech to prove that the Soul is different from the body as against the Theganma Vadis. The different forms of speech I and mine involve a difference between the non-Ego (body) and the Ego and asserts the separate existence of the Ego. Such usages as ‘I am the body’; ‘I am the leg or arm,’ &c., are not in existence.

3. This argument is against regarding the soul as identical with the five external senses. Each sense stands apart and cannot feel a different class of sensations. So the Soul can neither be one nor all of them. Even when the sensations are experienced, there is simply the feeling present and no thought of any such feeling. The eye sees no doubt, but it does not think that it sees. This is of course the distinction between subjective thought and objective feeling. The objective feeling or object is not the subject mind or Atma.

4. This argument is against the view that Sukshuma Sarira is itself the Atma. That it is not so is proved by the fact of the Soul passing in the waking state into the Sthula Sarira remembering its experiences in sleep and remembering them not clearly even.

In fact, it is in the Sthula Sarira, all the faculties are present and in full play; and in the Sukshuma Sarira 10 of the Tatwas (5 elements and 5 senses) are wanting. In dream, there is merely reproduction of ideas as determined by the previous Karma (experiences) and without the command of reason or will. This sensorium and blind reproduction is not the subject. It can be so, if in that condition the Soul is in its full working order.

5. Nor is the Soul in its full working order and undergoing movements, feelings, &c., in dead sleep and hence the respiratory organ is not the Atma. In Jakratha, respiratory function is working but in conjunction with other organs, external and internal senses, and certain sequences follow, feelings and actions. If the first is the sole cause or Atma, then we must eliminate other antecedents and see if the sequences still continue. In Sukshupthi, the other antecedents are absent and the respiratory function is the sole function present and it is not accompanied by the sequences. This is the inductive method of elimination of antecedents as causes which are not followed by the same effects. This same method is also used in the last argument.

6. The law of human consciousness as here stated is the same as that postulated by Dr. Bain, “change is essential to consciousness.” Unless we change our thought to another, our consciousness of the thought ceases. To be conscious of the next we must forget the present. So the Tamil axiom is stated as "நினைப்புண்டேல் மறப்புண்டாம்" “When we are conscious we are also subject to forgetfulness.” When we continue to think of a particular object or idea for a time and do not change it, we in fact do not continue conscious of it. Our mind becomes incapable of thinking, owing to its inherent weakness. Man’s intelligence therefore is weak or changing; and it is this which distinguishes it from God who is all Intelligence, who is cognizant of all at the same time. One other distinction is Human Intelligence requires to be taught, improved and developed; it is imperfect and needs the support of a Perfect Intelligence.

7. This argument sums up all the previous arguments, and points out one distinction between the bodily senses, Sukshuma and Karana Sariras which are all products of Maya, and the Soul. The distinction is that whereas these products of matter are ever changeable and changing and hence called Asat or false, the soul is unchangeable and hence called Sat. This sat however becomes Asat when in union with Asat or Maya and Sat when in union with the True Sat or God and hence it is called Satasat. The definition of Asat is given in the first Varthika of the sixth Sutra. It does not mean non-existent, but one perceivable in one aspect or objective attitude of the soul and not perceivable in the subjective attitude of the soul.

This finishes the chapter on proof. I have already pointed out that Maya (Cosmic Matter) and Anava (Imperfection in nature) are taken as facts and not capable of further explanation or resolution into any other cause, and that matter undergoes evolution, and that there is some method in this and this method is determined by Karma (Law of Causation.) And matter not being capable of Evolution itself and the individual Ego not being able to determine the Evolution, we require a Superior Force, a Grand Energy and this is the Unknowable. Its relation with mind and matter is Adwaitha and its Omnipresence is brought about by its Maha Chaitanyam. The reason for separately postulating a soul is then shown and this soul could not be confounded with Buvana and Bhoga, and is proved to be other than the body, the five senses, and Sukshuma Sarira and Karana Sarira; That is, it is different from Maya as well as from God. one group of Phenomena or faculties have been omitted from the consideration of these questions and that is, the four internal senses, Manas, Buddhi, Chittam and Ahankaram and these four answer to the Mind of the Western Philosophers. These are also shown to be distinct from the soul and as the subject requires a fuller treatment it is discussed in a separate Sutra. It will be seen from what follows that these occupy a middle position between the Soul and the objective Phenomena (Thanu, external senses, and Buvana, and Bhoga); and there is thus involved a triple division of man, as soul, mind and animal life (body). As between mind and body, body is object (Asat) and mind is sat; as between the soul and the other two, the last two are objective (Asat) and the soul the subject (Sat). As between God and Soul and the rest, God is the True subject (Sat) and soul and the rest are objective (Asat) This relationship is discussed in the subsequent chapters and must be borne in mind. It is a point for the Scientific Inquirer to consider if the proof adduced in this chapter is sufficient and convincing, or if the statement is taken as a mere theory or hypothesis (and in these grand question it is not possible to arrive at more than a true hypothesis) whether it is a true hypothesis i.e., whether it explains all the phenomena of human existence and satisfies all human aspiration or whether it omits any facts unexplained and contradicts any facts of our existence. It is also a point worth notice that in the elucidation of these principles, nothing is made a matter of mystery - no real difficulty left unexplained by being consigned to the realms of the mysterious, and language is not used to puzzle man and baffle argument. When once proof is attempted, so far as the human mind is capable of grasping and proving these things, one must confine oneself to strictly human logical tests, and if the theory fails on the application of these tests the theory must be condemned by human reason. If after all the trouble taken to postulate a theory, adduce proof &c. a man is going to plead his own ignorance and God’s mysterious ways, it would be far better for him to confess his ignorance at the beginning and attempt no explanation at all.


Related Content

Sivagnana Botham of Meykandar with English Translation - Par