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Messages - Subramanian.R

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General topics / Editorial - April - June 2017:
« on: April 08, 2017, 12:09:13 PM »

In the Bhagavata Purana, there is a famous story about an elephant named Gajendra,
which illustrates the importance of devotion and the power of the guru. The elephant Gajendra was the king of a large herd of elephants and was proud of his position. On a hot summer's day, he went down from the mountain side where the group lived to a large lake that was cool and inviting with lotuses to eat. Gajendra entered the lake and lolled around enjoying the refreshing water.  Unbeknownst to him there was a crocodile who lived there and was disturbed by Gajendra's frolicking.  The angry crocodile caught him by one leg and began to pull him down into the depths.  In spite of his strength Gajendra could not break the crocodile's grip.  He struggled hard for years but all his efforts were unsuccessful.  The Purana says that the crocodile held Gajendra's foot for over a thousand years.  In the meantime all his entourage of queens and courtiers abandoned him thinking that he was dead.  He eventually realized that he could not be released from the iron vice of the crocodile's teeth and that only God could help him. Gajendra then plucked a lotus from the pond with his trunk and offered it to the Lord as an expression of Atma Samarpana, self surrender. Lord Vishnu heard his cries and appeared before him. Lord Vishnu came down from his mount, Garuda, and hauled Gajendra and the crocodile from the water. With his Chakra he ripped apart the jaws of the crocodile and saved Gajendra. 


Arunachala Siva.                 

Verse  168:

For those who here and now contrive to be free of their entanglement with the nest and nooses which bind them -- country, town, home, wife, mother, friends and relatives, cattle, caste, wealth and the attachments of the body -- what birth can there be henceforth?

Verse 169:

If someone consume poison whilst in an altered state of mind, the effects will take hold of him, run their course and eventually subside. But the mere thought of gold will not admit of any cure. It is a great evil which, (if one succumbs to it) cannot thereafter be dispelled by medicines or the recitations of mantras.  It is a greater evil, than the desire for women.

Tirupporur Chidambara Swamigal (TCS) prefaces this verse, with a note at the end of Verse 168, in which he says that the current verse is in answer to the question of what would happen if someone renounced his household and everything else apart from gold and money.  The answer of course is that the need to take care of the gold would inevitably lead to the ruin of his austerities and he would end up losing the benefits both of renunciation and of leading the life of the householder which he had previously enjoyed.

The words 'unbalanced state of mind' translate the Tamizh word 'timir'. The basic meaning of 'timir' is numbness, stiffness, paralysis, palsy.  In Sanskrit it means darkness.  According to Winslow's dictionary, it has the sense of 'partial suspension of the bodily and mental powers from consternation, taking sweets to excess, etc.,'  It therefore indicates, in this context, a state in which the balance of the mind is disturbed through intense emotions, such as anger and grief.

If one takes poison, assuming one survives it, it will run its course and eventually subside with or without the aid of medicines or other aids.  The desire for gold, however, is a much more dangerous poison, which does not need to be touched or swallowed, but will take effect merely upon the subject thinking about it, and cannot be easily cured once it takes hold.


Arunachala Siva.                         


Chapter 7:


The subject of this chapter is Turavu - renunciation, in the sense of giving up the world entirely, including marriage and social life, to wander as a homeless ascetic, depending entirely on the charity of others.  In contrast, the subject of the previous chapter was Viratti (Sanskrit Virakti) - indifference to worldly objects, in the sense of being free of attachment to the things of the world, whether they are abandoned entirely in the physical sense, or not.     

Verse 165:

Those who are caught up in delusion, thriftily hiding away their accumulated wealth,
vainly waste the days of a life which cannot be extended by a single minute, even if they expand ten million gold coins in the attempt.  Those who are free of delusion will renounce those things, knowing them to be unreal.

Verse 166:

Having observed (the way in which the friendship of) a brood of sparrows and a litter of kittens, reared in the same house, (soon turns to enmity), it is a wonder that we remain so attached (to our wife, children, family, and so on).  What fools we are!  Will those who reflect that even the lives of Vishnu, Brahma, and Indra do not last forever,
and question whether their own existence amounts to anything at all, fail (to renounce the world)? 

Verse 167:

Even though they praise Pattinattu Pillaiyar and Bhadragiri, those poor fools will not renounce (their family and possessions).  Need we cite the case the dog who was gnawing on an old dry bone, growled at the king on seeing him pass by?

Pattinattu Pillaiyar was a famous Tamizh saint and poet of Kavirippum Pattinam whose poems are well known and much loved in Tamizh Nadu.  He gave up great riches to renounce the world.  At one time, he was falsely accused of stealing a necklace belonging to King Patrakiri (Sanskrit Bhatragiri) and was sentenced to be impaled.  However, as the sentence was about to be carried out, the stake burst into flames, whereupon the king became the saint's devotee and eventually renounced the world also to follow him.  These laudable devotees are contrasted with those who, whilst paying lip service to them, are unwilling to follow them and renounce the world, even though they have much less to give up than these two, who were formerly a rich merchant and a king respectively.


Arunachala Siva.                           

General topics / Re: Saiva Canon 1 - Tiru Jnana Sambandhar.
« on: April 08, 2017, 10:02:50 AM »
Verse  11:

பொற்றொடி யாளுமை பங்கன்மே வும்புன வாயிலைக்
கற்றவர் தாந்தொழு தேத்தநின் றகடற் காழியான்
நற்றமிழ் ஞானசம் பந்தன்சொன் னதமிழ் நன்மையால்
அற்றமில் பாடல்பத் தேத்தவல் லார்அருள் சேர்வரே.

On Puṉavayil where Siva who has Uma who wears golden bangles on one half.
Those who are able to praise Siva with the ten verses which are without poverty of ideas and are composed in refined Tamizh by Jnana Sambandhan who is well-versed in refined Tamizh and who is a native of Sirkazhi, surrounded by the sea and who is praised and worshipped with joined hands by learned people, will receive the grace of god.

Padigam on Tirup Punavayil completed.

Arunachala Siva.

General topics / Re: Saiva Canon 1 - Tiru Jnana Sambandhar.
« on: April 08, 2017, 09:58:51 AM »
Verse  10:

போதியெ னப்பெய ராயினா ரும்பொறி யில்சமண்
சாதியு ரைப்பன கொண்டயர்ந் துதளர் வெய்தன்மின்
போதவிழ் தண்பொழில் மல்குமந் தண்புன வாயிலில்
வேதனை நாடொறு மேத்துவார் மேல்வினை வீடுமே.

Buddhists who derive their name from the wood 'Poti', People of this world! Do not become depressed in spirit and be weary taking into your mind the preaching of the clan of Jains who has no good fortune. The acts good and bad of those who praise daily Siva who is the meaning of the Vēdas and who dwells in beautiful and cool Puṉavāyil where cool gardens in which buds unfold their petals are flourishing will vanish.

Arunachala Siva.

General topics / Re: Saiva Canon 1 - Tiru Jnana Sambandhar.
« on: April 08, 2017, 09:55:16 AM »
Verse 9:

திருவளர் தாமரை மேவினா னும்திகழ் பாற்கடற்
கருநிற வண்ணனும் காண்பரி யகட வுள்ளிடம்
நரல்சுரி சங்கொடும் இப்பியுந் திந்நல மல்கிய
பொருகடல் வெண்டிரை வந்தெறி யும்புன வாயிலே.

The place of the god who could not be seen by Brahma who sits on a lotus of fascinating beauty, and Vishnu who has black color and who sleeps on the shining ocean of milk, is Puṉavāyil where the white waves in the sea which has increasing good things, dash against the shore pushing oysters which are spiraling and making a sound and throw them on the shore.

Arunachala Siva.

General topics / Re: Saiva Canon 1 - Tiru Jnana Sambandhar.
« on: April 08, 2017, 09:50:54 AM »
Verse  8:

மனமிகு வேலனவ் வாளரக் கன்வலி ஒல்கிட
வனமிகு மால்வரை யால்அடர்த் தானிட மன்னிய
இனமிகு தொல்புகழ் பாடல்ஆ டல்எழின் மல்கிய
புனமிகு கொன்றையந் தென்றலார்ந் தபுன வாயிலே.

The one who had zeal and possessed a weapon like Spear etc. The strength of that cruel demon to be reduced. The place of Siva who pressed him down by the big mountain which had many forests. It is Puṉavāyil which is filled with the south breeze which enters into and comes out of, the Koṉṟai trees in the sylvan region, and which has flourishing beauty, owing to singing many kinds of ancient fame and dancing out of joy by devotees.

Arunachala Siva.

General topics / Re: Saiva Canon 1 - Tiru Jnana Sambandhar.
« on: April 08, 2017, 09:46:51 AM »
Verse  7:

பெருங்கடல் நஞ்சமு துண்டுகந் துபெருங் காட்டிடைத்
திருந்திள மென்முலைத் தேவிபா டந்நட மாடிப்போய்ப்
பொருந்தலர் தம்புர மூன்றுமெய் துபுன வாயிலில்
இருந்தவன் தன்கழ லேத்துவார் கட்கிடர் இல்லையே.

Becoming great by consuming the poison that rose in the big ocean, as nectar.
Having gone dancing in the big cremation ground when the goddess, Pārvati, who has immature and soft breasts of perfect form, sings. Shooting an arrow on all three cities of the enemies, there will no sufferings to those who praise the feet of Siva who remains in Puṉavāyil.

Arunachala Siva.

General topics / Re: Saiva Canon 1 - Tiru Jnana Sambandhar.
« on: April 08, 2017, 09:42:59 AM »
Verse  6:

வாருறு மென்முலை மங்கைபா டநட மாடிப்போய்க்
காருறு கொன்றைவெண் டிங்களா னுங்கனல் வாயதோர்
போருறு வெண்மழு வேந்தினா னும்புன வாயிலில்
சீருறு செல்வமல் கவ்விருந் தசிவ லோகனே.

Siva who wears Koṉṟai which blossoms in winter and a crescent moon, and going dancing when the lady of distinction who has soft breasts on which a bodice is worn, sings. He who held in his hand a white battle-axe fit for fighting which has an edge spitting fire. He is the Lord of Sivalokam who is in Puṉavāyil for the eminent wealth to increase.

Arunachala Siva.

General topics / Re: Saiva Canon 1 - Tiru Jnana Sambandhar.
« on: April 08, 2017, 09:38:46 AM »
Verse  5:

கலிபடு தண்கடல் நஞ்சமுண் டகறைக் கண்டனும்
புலியதள் பாம்பரைச் சுற்றினா னும்புன வாயிலில்
ஒலிதரு தண்புன லோடெருக் கும்மத மத்தமும்
மெலிதரு வெண்பிறை சூடிநின் றவிடை யூர்தியே.

Siva who has a black neck as a result of consuming the poison which rose in the cool ocean which is always roaring, who wound round his waist a tiger's skin and a cobra.
He is the god who has a vehicle of a bull and who is permanent in Puṉavāyil having worn flowers of Yarcum, Datura flowers, cool water which is always producing a sound and a waning white crescent moon.

Arunachala Siva.

General topics / Re: Saiva Canon 1 - Tiru Jnana Sambandhar.
« on: April 08, 2017, 09:35:00 AM »
Verse  4:

சங்கவெண் தோடணி காதினா னுஞ்சடை தாழவே
அங்கையி லங்கழ லேந்தினா னும்மழ காகவே
பொங்கர வம்மணி மார்பினா னும்புன வாயிலில்
பைங்கண்வெள் ளேற்றண்ண லாகிநின் றபர மேட்டியே.

Siva who wears in his ear a white men's ear-ring made of conch, the matted locks to hang low. He who held in his palm fire which is shining, and who wore on his chest angry cobras, to appear beautiful. He is the god in the most exalted place and the deity in Puṉavāyil having a white bull which has tender eyes.

Arunachala Siva.

General topics / Re: Saiva Canon 1 - Tiru Jnana Sambandhar.
« on: April 08, 2017, 09:31:26 AM »
Verse  3:

விடையுடை வெல்கொடி யேந்தினா னும்விறற் பாரிடம்
புடைபட வாடிய வேடத்தா னும்புன வாயிலில்
தொடைநவில் கொன்றையந் தாரினா னுஞ்சுடர் வெண்மழுப்
படைவல னேந்திய பால்நெய்யா டும்பர மனன்றே.

Siva who holds a victorious flag of a bull, who has a form with which he danced, the strong Bhutas to surround him, he who wears a garland of Koṉṟai fastened together into a garland, and who is in Puṉavāyil, is the supreme god who bathes in milk and ghee and holds in the right hand a white weapon of a battle-axe.

Arunachala Siva.

General topics / Re: Saiva Canon 1 - Tiru Jnana Sambandhar.
« on: April 08, 2017, 09:28:10 AM »
Verse  2:

விண்டவர் தம்புர மூன்றெரித் துவிடை யேறிப்போய்
வண்டம ருங்குழல் மங்கையொ டும்மகிழ்ந் தானிடம்
கண்டலு ஞாழலு நின்றுபெ ருங்கடற் கானல்வாய்ப்
புண்டரீ கம்மலர்ப் பொய்கைசூழ்ந் தபுன வாயிலே.

Burning the three cities of the enemies, going out riding on a bull. The place where Siva stayed with pleasure with a lady of distinction on whose tresses of hair bees settle, is Puṉavāyil, which is surrounded by natural tanks where lotus flowers grow, and where in the sea-shore garden near the big ocean fragrant screwpine and fetid cassia stand.

Arunachala Siva.

General topics / Re: Saiva Canon 1 - Tiru Jnana Sambandhar.
« on: April 08, 2017, 09:24:25 AM »
Tirup Punavayil:

Verse  1:

மின்னியல் செஞ்சடை வெண்பிறை யன்விரி நூலினன்
பன்னிய நான்மறை பாடியா டிப்பல வூர்கள்போய்
அன்னமன் னந்நடை யாளொ டும்மம ரும்மிடம்
புன்னைநன் மாமலர் பொன்னுதிர்க் கும்புன வாயிலே.

Siva wears a white crescent moon on the red matted locks, which has the qualities of lightning. He wears a loosened sacred thread on his chest. Going to many places dancing and singing the four Vēdas and repeating them often, the place where he stays with a lady whose gait is comparable to that of the swan, is Puṉavāyil where the good big flowers of the mast-wood trees shed pollen which is golden in color.

Arunachala Siva.

General Discussion / Re: Two Lovers, One Beloved - Margaret Laulor:
« on: April 07, 2017, 04:29:21 PM »
It should be remembered that Rabi'a's dates are very early in the history of Sufism.  As was mentioned earlier the environment was one of worldliness, due to the consolidation of the new empire.  The new ruling dynasty of the Umayyads displayed a secular attitude in contrast to the piety and simplicity of the four early Caliphs. There was not yet a separation between the Ulama or community, and the ascetics; however, there was among some people an emphasis on personal piety and abstinence. Those who were to become what we now call Sufis stressed a deepening of ethical motivation, and developed isolationism in reaction to political controversies, giving to religion a more personal basis in religious devotion.  The Ulama were pure theologians and legists, consequently remaining more impersonal.  We have, then, the Sufi challenge of love and pure devotion to the legists' concept of obedience and observance of the Law.  (Fazlur Rahman, Islam, Garden City, Anchor Books, 1968)

During the first two centuries Sufism was a spontaneous individual phenomenon, but as the class of Ulama evolved out of the formal disciplines of Islamic law and theology,
Sufism became tremendously popular.  The challenge of early Sufism to formal Islam was insignificant compared with later Sufism to formal Islam was insignificant compared with later Sufism after music and dance were added.  The position of the mosque as religious center was threatened.

Finally, scholars have investigated the influences of Christianity and Gnosticism on Sufism, and of Sufism on Christian mysticism.  It seems that there is basis for both beliefs. It is not entirely unlikely that the two saints we have examined in this study followed a tradition that had been influenced by the others.  It should be noted that for seven centuries Christians had fought against the Moors to keep Spain a Christian country.  After the country had finally achieved military and political power in the early sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the Spanish mystical movement, of which Teresa  was a part, flourished.  Influence of Sufism has been noted in this phenomenon.

Whatever the influences were, we have seen more that unites Rabi'a and Teresa that separates them.  It has been said that in the mystical experience of Oneness, the     
Universal is to be found. It is only in the effort to record the most profound of spiritual experiences those differences sometimes appear, as each mystic uses the language of her/his own faith.  The power of that experience cannot be denied.

'Those who could speak like this had a persuasiveness that lay not in their logic, but in themselves and their practice.  And the ones to whom they spoke listened not merely with interest of an observer but with the painstaking attention of the apprentice; the one who learned, learned something that she/he would try to do.  (Furse, Margaret Lewis, Mysticism: Window on a World View: Nashville, Abingdon Press, 1977)


Arunachala Siva.


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