The Phallic World
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“The Saiva Philosophy,” says Dr. S. N. Shastri, “is typical of the entire range of Hindu thought.” This appears to be true. Like all other systems of Hindu thought the Saiva system too had to pass through the close scholarly enquiries which are no characteristic of the subtle Hindu mind. Śaivism as a system of spiritual metaphysics, through the centuries, pendulated between Idealistic Monism and Realistic Pluralism.
Whilst this could be so for Hindu thought in general, and of Saivism in particular, it need not, however, cause any surprise. Any system flourish- ing over centuries at a stretch without any break, and which had to absorb, like a flowing river, a number of tributary opinions which typify different ages and people, is expected to contain signs of different grains of thinking.
The basic teachings of Saivism, like those of the Upanisads, enjoy, in this way, a freedom from dogma; these are distinguished by a rich variety of forms. Various explanations have been offered from time to time for justifying Saivic stoicism on the one hand, and elaborating its mystic recensions on the other. Naturally, therefore a number of schools, all sheltered under the umbrella of Saivism, has left a library of spiritual literature and religious forms, all inspired with the fulfilment of transcendental realisation. Most of these seek the abstract; some of these attempt to reduce the abstract to mythological objectivity; andvery few indeed, persist in their phallic forms reminding of their primitive fertility motifs.
The pure monists believe in an idealised Siva-concept. These are the Kashmir Siddhantins, who hold on to monism with a Vedantic conformity. These are the propounders of Sphota, Spanda, Pratyabhijñā and Trika. All these schools belong to a heritage of metaphysical rationalisation, leading to knowledge and realisation. This is not to say that all Śaivas are pure monists. The Southern Siddhantins and the Lingayats are not. The other extreme of realistic pluralism is held by obscurantist sects like the Pasupatas, the Mahāvratas, the Kapālas, the Bhairavas, the Vāmās, etc. By and large in the sophisticated Hindu Hierarchy of systems, these latter are considered as mystically remote, and formally obscure, and at most times ethically abhorrent. The phallic primitivity in Siva worship has never been seriously considered in Hindu metaphysics.
These extremes of popular religious practices range from paleolithic adoration of crude nature in tooth and claw, to abstract meditation and aesthetic dedication. Extremes of religious faith characterise extremes of metaphysical arguments. The presence of such extreme opinions with- in the Saiva schools of thought go to show (1) how ancient Śaivism is; (2) how widely popular is its universal influence; (3) how many trends of opinions have found accommodation in Saivism; and lastly (4) how liberal is the term Śaivism as different from the codified rigidity of Brāhmaṇical Vedism. Śaivism ranges from strict conservatism to liberal, even communistic proletarianism. Šiva happens to be the most popular 'god' of the Hindu faith; he also enjoys the distinction of being adored by all, irrespective of castes. He is adored by the Danavas, Yakṣas, Rākṣasas, Kinnaras, Ganas, Guhyas, Siddhas, who are not the Devas, or the elect.
The monistic form of Saivism leads towards individual rigours, most of which prove to be very trying. All of these are strictly ascetic. Śaivism being closely attached to Yogism has to be ascetic. Śiva has been termed as the Prince of the Yogis, Yogiraja, or Yogesvara. But it is not so with the dualistic Saivism. Dualistic Saivism leads to the Tantric practices, where the acceptance of Mother-image permits bi- sexual participation, and encourages to live the life of a householder. This would not be permitted to a monastic and a monist, who must conform to the rigours of asceticism.
There is still another form, the realistic pluralism which is diversified by a number of sectarian ritualism to be discussed later. It is permissive and congregational. Its mystic obscurantism, and its crude eroticism have always drawn scorn from a section of spiritualists. Quite a large section of this class like the celebrated Freemasons, thrives under a cover of underworld mysticism. But to call this mysticism would behighly erroneous. Of all forms of worship current in the Hindu fold, this one particularly appears to bear a distinct stamp of alien origin. It appears to be so because it appears to be dependent on the riff-raffs of spiritual dilettantes, who have little need either for a metaphysical base, or a philosophical content. At its best the form could only relate it to some primitive forms.
A study of history, as of philosophy, has been regarded by scholars, specially of the last two centuries, as antagonistic to religious beliefs. But modern history-writing itself has grown into a philosophical exercise of its own kind. Acceptable justifications for religions demand for Ex- their sustenance some philosophical base, and historical support. treme empirical claims have been found to mislead the mind. Unrestrict- ed emphasis on empiricism leads to scepticism; and a sceptic mind falls an easy prey to a cynical vacuum of spirit. Faithlessness is not always a particularly helpful guide for man to live in peace with himself.
Religion and Philosophy
In spite of it all, most modern minds find it very hard to accept a religion to respond to their inner quest for peace, specially when they associate religion with mere dogmas and forms unrelated to any sub- stantial content. The modern mind has lost its faith in faith as a performer of miracles. Those who still advocate the gifts of faith have been stigmatised as weak minded individuals, victims of regimentation and euphoria. Reason and analysis must fill in the emptiness created by the interrogative man, who is so well packed with a variety of cheap informa- tion, for good or bad, from all over the world.
In a developing culture, and in our present state of sophistication, philosophical thinking becomes more than ever an integral part of the true life of religion, and a condition of its effective renewal and perpetuation in a form we can wholeheartedly acknowledge and find adequate to the needs of our times at all levels.1
Of course, we fully appreciate and endorse this view of Dr. Lewis in a world where demands of self-expression, socialism and democracy have successfully removed authoritarian autocracy and monarchical despotism. That the authoritarian and dogmatic stand of churches and church-heads would be successfully challenged, or even denounced, is quite understandable. The progress of reason in defiance of dogma is correlative to the progress of the people in defiance of autocratic authority. Religion, in order to fully satisfy the human craving for spiritual peace, must be substantiated by a rational and philosophical content. Religion too calls for its dialectics. Hindu thought fully supplies it, and in profusion.
Hence the Six Systems; the Upanisads; hence the correlation between Hindu Grammar, Hindu logic and Hindu philosophy. Even the grammar of Hindu Music, Dances, Sculpture, Architecture, nay, even the Hindu alphabets (very difficult to believe it) are correlated to metaphysical con- tents leading to the quest of the inner spirit. Nothing is left to guess, hypothesis or dogma. Herein lies the secret of the success of this most ancient way of life, known as the Hindu life.
Theologians, for their own reason, and communists for theirs, are expected to contradict the above view. In the eye of one, religion without philosophy is as reliable, as in eye of the other, both religion and philosophy, are obstructionist and redundant to the ultimate social fulfilment of the common man. Both these views lack the objectivity of the dispassionate; and are open to prejudices that single-track minds often find themselves led to.
Life without wonder and without the joy in wonderment, could become boring as an existence without meaning and purpose. Mere vegetation- existence is continuity without meaningfulness. Any attempt to discover this meaningfulness in life calls for a dedicated emotive subjectivity. To consider matter alone, or materialistic causation alone, out of the context of Reality, is an absurdity. Life has a purpose. To discover it is Dharma; to act on it is Karma; to benefit by it is Kama; and to be finally liberated from it through fulfilment is Mokṣa.
Thus the need to feel, to participate and to react becomes imperative for the growth of an individual who could relate existence to meaningfulness and purpose. The appreciation of the full state of manhood of an individual in a clan or community adds confidence to life. This inherent subjectivism of living distinguishes man with the stamp of individuality. The biological human entity is not the psychological man; and the psychological man is not the metaphysical thinker. Man is biologically a machine; metaphysically a thinker; and psychologically an individual. His identity demands a recognition of all the three. He could be happy only spiritually. Modern studies of mind and feelings, of matter and nature of matter, have been gradually breaking down the barriers that had kept religion and philosophy so long apart. To think is to take recourse to philosophy. Science has progressed along the path of analysis; but philosophy releases the charm that synthesis provides. Philosophical thinking has been disciplining gradually the unchartered boundaries of man's mind-boundaries which are laid down by well intended beliefs- religious, social or political. All our views regarding material existence are being highly influenced by how we think about the material world we live in, which alone could help us to know the very nature of existence. If we want to be happy, we have got to be aware of our inner personality where we are essentially alone and spiritually accompanied.
The ethical man needs moral thinking, that is, a training in correct appropriation and allocation of values. The full enjoyment of our happiness is inextricably involved with our sense of good and bad, right and wrong. In what we call our practical life, we may succeed in by- passing philosophical scruples at certain times; but in arriving at practical decisions, we could be nobly and profitably assisted by a scrupulous evaluation of choice, and discriminating logic of consequence. Our failure to do this could lead to lamentable tragedies. To attend to such fore- thoughts is to develop patience for the mind, and toleration for behaviour. Insistence on achieving these, develops our personality on the one hand, and engenders on the other in us the very rewarding virtue of collective responsibility.
Sense of responsibility affects sense of duties; and sense of duty may undergo variations according to varied situations. When we are called upon to decide on declaring a war on cholera, we do not put exactly the same set of logic to test, as when we are called upon to decide on declaring a war on another country or people.
Philosophy, then, can make a considerable difference in some ways to the activities or other subject matter which the philosopher investigates and I believe that sound philosophical thinking can- not only prevent us from falling into misleading errors, or provide us with illuminating distinctions, but in other ways extend our sensitivity, and deepen our experience in such matters as aesthetics, ethics, or the pursuit of science. The notion that philosophy influences nothing beyond itself is the product of a very negative and narrowly formal conception of the task of philosophy current today.2
In no other field the truth and the wisdom of the above view (of a noted philosopher and scholar of comparative religion) proves so true as in religion. The view that religion and philosophy are opposed to each other is, thanks to a subtle, refined and thorough study of the East by the West, and vice versa, being entirely replaced by the realisation that all great religions are fundamentally based on philosophy. Religions, which have been surviving on authorities of voiced truth, fall victim to dogmas which are being found more and more untenable. Such religions are realising the need for a re-visioning of their earlier stands. Practising dogmatic religions based on words of prophets are gradually readjusting their positions, so that these could answer the insistent demands of the over-growing national claims of a highly informed generation. A slant of emphasis from rituals to ethics, from sectarianism to ecumenism, from prejudice and authoritarianism to logic and understanding is now being happily noticed all around. Religion is being re-claimed through the application of philosophy to a scientific reassessment of history, which includes anthropology.
Compared to these, those religions which draw from truths realised, and statements made by a number of masters of the spiritual world, and others based on a consideration of man's eternal query about the logic and nature of things, are being revalued and rejudged as sources for rational approaches to the nature of god and creation. Today, more than ever, theological scholars need the assistance of philosophical thinkers. Religious contents have to be rationalised for easier acceptance and assimilation. Growth of democracy is not very conducive to citations of authorities in matters of conscience, ethics and morals.
Dogma and democracy are the opposing poles of the human mind. Any faith founded on an individual mind which has subjected itself to a personal acceptance, has to await the matured blossoming of an under- standing. To a large extent it has to await and appropriate historical situation. Faith, flourishing against a conducive force, and background of history alone, is expected to produce the desired results. This is as true of the religion of spiritual progress, as of the religion of Marxian dialectics. The faithfuls of the society have to choose their time for taking pains in training the society through individuals trained and tested for their spiritual contents. Religions, to be effective and fruitful must draw faith from understanding. This observation could be true of a spiritual, social or political religion. It is Dharma for the convinced; not for the zealot. Even the so-called mystic religions have to turn back at some stage, and face obstinate quests from individuals regarding the prognosis and the rationale of their rites, practices, dogmas and motives. This fundamental principle was inlaid in the Hindu mind. By attaching religion with philosophy it liberated all dogmas through the sabrecuts of reason. In Hinduism religion and philosophy meet inextricably. Hinduism, strictly speaking, is more a well thought out practical way to attaining peace, than a 'religion'. This accounts for its perpetuity. This accounts for its faith in coexistence. This also accounts for its insistence as being called a Dharma. Mokṣa or liberation from doubts, from worries, from depression, from complexes, in Hinduism is more important than Heaven. This, socially and individually speaking is the chief difference between Hinduism and Vedism.
This has nowhere been as rigidly laid down as in the ancient treatises of the Hindus. The Vedas provide the pasture from which the body of the Upanisads draw their sustenance, and collect the milk of thought; and the Gita draws all the milk to feed the common man with spiritual awareness. In the history of human analysis of the transcendental, the place of the Upanisads ranges very high indeed. Herein for the first time, attempts have been made to present a synthetic rationale about a central conscious subjectivity. For the first time reference was made to the cosmic conscious field. This central conscious cosmic field was presented as asubject-object mystic complex. The full realisation of this knowledge, realised, through meditation alone, could lead to the Supreme Entity, from which proceed thought, thinker and thinking.
Thus, from the very remotest of times spiritual guidance of an utmost technical nature had been laid down for the benefit of posterity. The cult of realism which led the Western mind for over a century to acquiesce to the acceptance of cold materialism has only lately received some shock through modern military threats. The apparent urgency for peace is really inspired by the fear of a total annihilation as an alternative. Such an approach lacks the spirit of ethical alertness. A reassessment of the cult is gradually turning the disillusioned and the frustrated to look for saner counsel in the idealism of Hindu and Buddhist thoughts. Even the age-old Greek heritage of Thales, Plato, Parmenides, Pythagoras is being reassessed in this light; and the antiquity of Hindu idealism is being gradually recognised. Scholars are getting keen and earnest in re-discovering some possible means of communication between the minds. The discovery ancient Upanisads, and the contemporary of the Essene scrolls has added urge to such scholarly approach. Mere dogmatic assertions in favour of a 'chosen people' or 'chosen faith' is no longer viewed by the scientific and interrogative man as the finality of judgment. In order to 'be' the best, it is no longer enough to die and claim to be the best; but it is required to live in essence of reason and understanding, and by living to 'prove' to be the best.
Philosophy, to be effective through practice has to work through forms. Exciting forms, for appeasing the mystery of the supernatural, took the shape of superstition and mystic cults. But these cults had forms of their own; and the forms had run so deep into the social traditions that it has become very hard to be got rid of them. Force was tried, only to fail. Forced suppression of forms drive superstitious practices to the underworld of mystic magic and sorcery. Clandestine practices are no Cults and their forms sublimate answer for healthy spiritual pursuits. into religious forms when these get wedded to the vitality of philosophy, and metaphysics.
Just through a great piece of luck the Hindus were to be associated with the traditions of the Vedas and the Upanisads which emphasised so much on psychology, art of relaxation, transcendental meditation and the fundamental mechanism of the relation of individual personalities with the Cosmic. This lucky tradition permitted the Vedic people, later, to accommodate many of the religious trends with a variety of gods without much ado. Restrictive opposition to beliefs leave contrary effects to social mind. A spirit of defiance to authority counteract the basic spirit of universal peace. This Aryan process of accommodative acceptance of the popular along with the knowledge of the Cosmic, made itpossible for the Vedic mind to merge philosophy and religion into one.
One of the forms of such interpretative acceptance of the ancient and traditional into the sophisticated Vedic culture was what is known to be Śaivism, the worship of Śiva, not only in the Linga form, but also in anthropological and Zoomorphic forms. Legends gained honoured places in myths; and the Siva tradition developed into a unique philosophy all its own.
The Three Branches of Saivism
This shall be studied now. Śaivism as a philosophy has been cultivated earnestly in Kashmir. It has its own interpretation and analyses, mainly Vedantic. Its emphasis on metaphysics has given it an esoteric obscurity which, when understood properly, reveals the intellectual subtlety and spiritual sublimation underlying most Hindu theological forms, but particularly the much maligned Śiva-worship.
The next study refers to the ancient Agama Literature of the Tamils. The emotional content of this form of Southern Saivism is overwhelming in piety and ecstasy. That does not mean that it has no roots in philosophical profundity. It follows a materialistic analysis of the concept of Siva, and leans principally on the Samkhya and the Yoga systems.
Apart from these two, there is a highly challenging revolutionary and reformative school of Saivism, known as the Jangama, or the Lingayata Sect, which, like the Siddhantins, accepts a materialistic approach to the analysis of the Sublime Cause of all events. This materialistic approach together with its spiritual content cuts through a rigidly guarded Vedic caste system, which had degenerated into the practice of denial of privileges to a vast section of the people, inclusive of women in general. Verses in the Manu Samhita on the status of women apropos of spiritual companionship provide ample testimony in justification of the revolutionary stand of the Jangamas. Prince Vasava was its leader. Such degradation of social and religious position of women was the general feature of the expanding patriarchal domination over such areas of culture where previously matriarchal leadership prevailed. Vasava's system of the Jangama Saivism laid the axe at the root of such encroachments of Brahmanical authority over privileges and disabilities. But all these three systems were, more or less, expressions of their times. Forces of history had been operative in bringing them to the fore.
Besides these three, there is also a variety of Tantric and tribal forms practised under the colourful umbrella of Saivism. The phallic overtones, naturally found in these forms cannot be denied. But these have remained all along, like witch-craft or Druid-forms, the pursuit of an underground clandestine section of tribes and downright social degenerates.
A Reassessment of the Hindu Approach to Religion
In a remarkably frank passage Dr. Lewis acknowledges the possible gain that Western scholars could derive from a study of Eastern thoughts. "But however the relation of the finite self to Eternal Self is conceived, and whatever variations of emphasis we may find in the account given of the relation of the one to the other, and of degrees of reality accorded to finite things, the transcendent character of the absolute reality is always very clearly understood in a way that not only lends special interest to these early anticipations of later attempts to conceive the relation of the finite to the infinite, but which also proves exceptionally instructive to those who wish to consider the problem of transcendence as it presents today."3
The italics are mine. I want attention to be drawn to the two facts: one, the phrase 'early anticipation of later attempts'; and two, the phrase 'the problem of transcendence as it presents today'. I want attention to be drawn to the fact that in discovering the Ideal state of transcendence of experience, in discovering the metaphysical correlates of experience, cognition, perception and expression of the nature of Ultimate Reality, modern mind, with its empirical diversion and materialistic limitations, has not been able to surpass either the skill, or the conclusions of what these ancients in the East had been studiously, religiously and conscientiously arriving at with a dour and persistent application of self-analysis. To hold the 'self' in the 'I' as an object of analysis, and sublimate it to a subjective state, has been the greatest achievement of this process.
This approach to the discovery of Truth is known today as the famous 'Hindu approach'. Not too long ago it used to be a scholastic fashion to call it 'speculative, obscurantist and abstractionist'. Much circumvention and guile, a mountain of deliberate bluff and hoax were brought up by the application of 'studied' opinions to support such a view applied with political designs. As a justification of imperialistic expansionism, commercial exploitation, along with the egoistic self-approbation contained in the phrase 'whiteman's-burden', such propagandist misrepresentations proved profitable. The over-enthusiastic evangelists only added more fuel to this fire by dumping all other religious forms as contrary to the True Religion. A new spirit of rededication amongst the Western scholars, specially amongst the regenerated post-war Universities, has succeeded in reallocating the ancient works of the forgotten authors, and reassessing their values. This reassessment has strikingly propagated an intellectual renaissance in the area of metaphysical and spiritual thought which has succeeded, in fact and form, in inaugurating a spirit of real ecumenism amongst the leading world religions, in spite of the embarrassment such scholarly honesty has been causing to some of the protagonists of evangelical and institutional religions, which thrive within anorganisational system of imperialistic bureaucracy. Because of the permissive wave of such democratically inspired sanctions a reassessment of sorcery and magic too is being made as religious studies.
Condemnation of the Siva-worship as a phallic trait and form is just one of those half-truths which are deliberately designed for misleading in the interest of a conversion. In fact such deliberate propaganda has been assisting a fast growth of empiricism, cynicism, hedonism, imperial- ism and commercial expansionism. By causing embarrassment to the gullible, it injects degeneration of faith. It is like brushing sugar to beet roots so that ants destroy everything. Such sententious generalisations, with conceited overtones of condemnation and spite, do not display ignorance alone, they also display something more injurious to the faculty of human understanding and judgement. It displays prejudice of opinion, scantiness of education, perpetuation of vanity, false pride in assumed superiority, misdirected zeal for self-love, and above all, a lamentable exposure of spiritual emptiness. This calamitous attitude could interest, or even profit, a few; but in the ultimate reckoning this deplorable lack of catholicity has shocked the post-war youths, who have discovered that one of the most important motives of Western patterns of religious propaganda has been to accumulate material gain to the establishment, even at the cost of truth and fair play. In this way the established religions have come to suffer much more through their own weapons, which have misfired.
Fortunately, such dogmatic misunderstanding of the Universal Man and his spiritual aspirations, is now being effectively counteracted by scholars of comparative religion, whose objectivity of approach, and subjectivity of scholarship, is gradually succeeding to bring home to the deluded the fact that the spirit of the West has much to learn from the wisdom of the East, which has much to offer to the art of good living, and science of happiness, as laid down positively in their works, which have yet to be studied with an honesty of purpose. The study of comparative religion has been ably assisted by the progress of linguistics, the propagation of tests through translations, the discoveries of archaeology and the disabusement of the imperialistic possessiveness and political gangsterism.
With the spread of democracy and socialism, with the rise of the Common Man, the theory of the 'chosen nation' and the fraudulent idea of the 'whiteman's burden' is being fast exposed. Man is getting busy now to reach the real religion of the soul, a religion for the society, a religion for the peace of man through a perennial philosophy. Such a religion has to rise above the man-made churches, well-stocked establishments, joints of internationally organised systems of brainwashings in the interest of an accumulative society, which are privileged to hold on the capitals of different nations, and above the dogmatic stand on mere revelationswhich stem from some Semetic antiquity. All of this has got to face today the intellectual enquiry of both empiricism and materialism. The religion of the dictator is giving way to the religion of experience, the religion of personal content. A personal god has been forced to get interpreted and represented in the light of personal experience. If this be called mysticism, it is decidedly going to be the future religion of the universal man.
Saivism and the 36 Tattvas
Towards this end, a study of Saivism has much to contribute, because in Savism whatever form emerges as concrete, or iconic, or symbolic, has been reasoned as a projection of an inherent subjectivity into an objective expression. A study of Saivism is basically a study of the nature of Reality.
It is, in a sense, typical of the Hindu idea that religion, divinity, ritual and philosophy, nay, even life and after-life, must of need be linked in a single symphony. For the Hindu, philosophy and religion as well as religion and life are inseparable. The chain of ideas known together as 'Life' at the one end, and 'God the Unknown' at the other end, makes up man's world of form and spirit. The 'Bond', between the two, namely, the known and unknown world, is provided by 'Soul'. The Soul provides the force that links the world of matter with the world of spirit, otherwise known as Siva and Sakti respectively.
These three then, are the primary Constituents (Padarthas): God (Śiva), Bonds (Pasa) and the Soul (Atman).
These are to be studied in the light of the 36 principles, 4 (1) known as Tattvas (Tat=That and Tva-ism. Tat-tva-the 'Ism' of 'That', or more simply 'the final principle that makes That, That') Tattvas are active. They are principles that justify further emanations as evolutes from them, of which they become the causes.
The Tattvas remain firm, but Saiva metaphysics itself, as whole, has its variations. These range from idealistic monism, to pluralistic realism. The variance differs in accordance with the independence attributed to 'Soul' or 'Matter'.
In essence the exercise of determining the degree of interdependence of Soul and Matter is not speculative. Such an exercise has a purpose. is to get to know 'What is life for?' This knowledge leads This purpose to a freedom from the chain of 'cause and effect' 'sequence and consequence'. Without their freedom there is no peace. It is a freedom from inhibition, tradition, reciprocation. Without peace, there is no happiness. Without attaining peace and happiness it is futile to try to serve others, and contribute to their peace and happiness. A perfectknowledge of the self alone leads to the perfection of peace and of peaceful service to the self, as well as to others. This knowledge has to be experienced. Such experience is the fruit of meditation. Hence the quest of the nature of the soul that connects God with the World is vital for the Hindu thought: vital, positive and challenging.
Whereas the mechanics of meditation are supplied by the Yoga- system (discussed before), Śiva-Tattva alone leads to the perfect knowledge of the nature of Soul and Matter, and of the relation between the two.
Variations of the Śiva-Theme
The Saivic orthodox forms deal with the variations of this philosophy. The orthodox form of Saivism does not include the Pasupatas, Maha- vratas, Kāpālikas and Bhairavas, who are regarded by many as hateful and obnoxious. These are the Vama-Märgis-the followers of the 'contrary' way: contrary to the accepted orthodox way, which relate to the Systems. The Vāmas are really not as useless or as misguided. Truth of Reality might not be theirs, but they are very near to the proper destination. Like the Upanisads themselves, like the differences in Jainism, Buddhism, Christianity or Islam, some polemical differences in Saivism were inevitable. Schism is the inevitable after-growth and by-product of metaphysically oriented points of view, specially when such points of view, due to the external preconditions, of history, geography and culture, are inevitably influenced by local faith, prejudices and traditions. When such points of view are exposed to alienated areas of comprehension, when these had had to pass through long run of commonly held contrary opinions through ups and downs of historical shocks, several diversifications of a parent idea become almost inevitable over the centuries. Time alone has a dissolving influence. Such schismic diversifications of a central parent idea, therefore, have characterised even some of our comparatively modern religions. It is no wonder that Śaivism, which has been indirectly related to the most primitive of faiths, and which claims to be related to as ancient a tradition as the Vedas, if not to even earlier times, must have had several forms. Kashmir Saivism, known as Pratyabhijñā (Theory of Pratyabhijña Experience), had Abhasavada (Luminism) and Spanda (Thrill), as its two cardinal lobes. The Trika (as, the three together is known) developed into a synthetic philosophy, on which the thought-currents of the ancient Aryan and pre-Islamic Atharvan traditions of Persia, Parthia and Bactria made deep influence. In its monistic emphasis it was a challenge to Samkhya, and favoured the Vedic. This was, of course, due to a cultural and geographical contiguity. The same syncretic reason accounts for the mysticism present in Kashmir-Saivism, which is felt through its metaphysical abstractions onthe one hand, and its physical and emotional symbolism on the other. This abstractionist symbolism, however, was not so emphatic in Southern Saivism known as Saiva Siddhanta and Vira-Saivism. Both of these, as off-shoots of the Agamas, believed in the dualistic emotional ecstasy of Bhakti. Both of these developed in the Southernmost part of India. As the earliest source available in Saivism we shall deal with the Agamas first.
Agamas: Sources and Propagation
Discussing about the sources of knowledge Rāmānuja considers that Aitihya or Traditions are dependable sources of knowledge, specially when the sages (of later times) vouch for their credibility from their respective experience. These are the Agamas; and when these are not supported by direct experience, and when these are mere products of feeling or inference, then they are known Agamābhāsa.
Agamas (although said to have been records of dialogues between Śiva and Śakti), are also reputed to have been put to practice by the great Vasudeva himself. As such the Vaisnava Agamas enjoy a prece- dence over the Saiva Agamas, which came later. But both support two points: both support Dualism in adoration; and both support admira- tion or Bhakti, and all that is associated with its practice, to be absolutely necessary for achieving the Parama-pada, or the highest state.
The Pallava king Rajasimhavarman leaves an inscriptional record in the Kailāśanatha temple of Canjeevaram, and mentions 28 Agamas, all of which refer to Siva (5th cent. A.D.). Of these Kamika Agama is the most important. Tirumurai, a compilation of Saiva hymns by Tirumurai (1000 A.D.) is included amongst the Saiva literature. Thus between 500 and 1000 A.D. the Siva Agamas have been persistently referred to by the Acaryas. The Agamas have indeed been quite ancient. Śaiva Siddhanta depends on both the sources of the Vedas and the Agamas. Nilakantha, a fourteenth century commentator on Brahma Sutra, undertook the task of reconciling both the Agama tradition and the Veda traditions in establishing the contents of the Siddhanta. Saiva saints and poets known as the Acaryas like Manikkavasagar, Sundarar, Nambi Andar, Nambi Sambandar and Appar together constitute the core of the exposi- tionists of the Agama traditions.
Some of the hymns of the Agama tradition have been collected in the appendix (q.v.). Even in translation the spiritual content of the emotional compositions are unmistakable.
But the earliest Upanisad which is considered to be the first document of the Vedic tradition in Saivism is the great Svetasvatara Upanisad. Without dealing with its contents at this place we propose to add in the appendix a comprehensive translation of Svetasvatara. To understandappropriately the spirit of Saivism a reading of this Upanisad is indis- pensable.
Two Types Saiva Agamas
The dualistic teachings of the emotive Agama literature was popular in the Tamil-lands; but Samkara preached his Advaita; and the Advaita Saivism found popularity in Kashmir, where it substituted the Agamic dualism. But in the South the fervent appeal of the Saiva hymnal treatises, the Tevaram and the Periya Puranam held the devotees' heart and soul. Soon it was able to attract the support of the Pallava Kings and the Chola Kings, through whose mighty empire Saivism spread beyond the seas to Indo-China and Malaya and Eastern archipelago. Since the sixth century Saivism enjoyed a rare patronage which completely eliminated the influences of the godless Buddhists. Saiva Siddhanta was a much later development (13th and 14th cents.). In 1160 Vasava, the Brahmin Minister of the Chola King Bijjala, took up the traditions of an obscure form of Saivic rites popular amongst some of the tribes, and gave it an intellectual basis for expounding a very reformative and revolutionary form of Saivism known as Vira Saivism. This form of Saivism was responsible for driving away the influences of Jainism and Buddhism from the deep South and the Kannada districts. Because of the Athan- asian variety of strict moral code followed by Vasava many relate his movement to the Egyptian influence. But of that, later on.
Besides the Agamas there are several Upapurānas which have contri- buted to the Siva-literature. Sivapurana, Saurapurana, Sivadharma, Sivadharmottara, Sivarahasya, Ekamrapurana, Parasara-Upapurana, Vasistha- Lainga-Upapurana, Vikhyada-Purana, etc., etc., are the later Upapurānas on which the history of Saivism has to rely. But the most important docu- ment in this category is the Vayu Purāna. Besides being one of the most early Puranas, the Vayu has the distinction of being the least inter- polated of the Purāņas. On this Purana Saivas have to depend the most (besides the Svetasvatara Upanisad) for their references in the strictly Brāhmaṇical canonisation of the Vedic Rudra into the popular Śiva, who as the co-partner of Sakti contained the ancient and the modern, the past and the present, the Vedic and the tribal, the Yogic and the ritualistic into one system, the Saiva system.
Who were the original compilers of the Purana form? Some say the Ksatriyas, and others say, the Brahmanas. The Kṣatriya supporters mention that Lomaharṣaṇa, a Sûta, and so a Kṣatriya, has been thenarrator of most of the Purānas. But was Lomaharṣaṇa a composer, or merely the transmitter? Bṛhaddevata mentions the custom of reciting Mantras, and the history of the Mantras formed an imperative part of the Brahmanical Yajñas; and the reciters were invariably the Brahma- nas. There is little doubt about the fact that many of the Purāņas contained in the Brahmana such texts as were inherited by the Vedic This view is amply supported by the priests from the ancient ancestors. Brahmana texts, which abound with incidents and anecdotes which provided the germs for the future growth of the Purāņas. But there is little doubt that the Suta, as a royal chronicler, and enjoying a position in the court only next to a ruling monarch's brother, as a friend and accompanying hero, was the accepted authority for any type of historical reference, ancient or current. Satapatha Brāhmaṇa, Yajur Veda and Pañcavimśata Brāhmaṇa support this view. This is the reason why Atharva Veda, and Bṛhadaranyaka Upanisad, both of which were later authorities, gave to the Puranas as holy a position as the Vedas. Between 600 and 300 B.G., when Apastamba had ended his life, the Puranas, or the better part of them, had been in vogue, because we find the Purāņas quoted in the Apastamba Dharmasûtra.
But we are concerned with the Vayu and the Siva Purāņas, of which the former one is much the earlier. The Vayu is one of the most ancient of the Puranas. Vayu, the Wind, was no Purana-Deity. He could not be given any form. The flag alone, which moved, proved his objective emblem. How Vayu as a Vedic god was being gradually replaced by formed deities like Śiva, Visnu and Agni, principally occupies the space in this Purana. It marked the bridge between the Vedic and the Paurāṇic cultures. The social cause why the new form of literature known as the Purāņas at all came into being supports our previous views regarding the changing Vedic and Brahmanical society in India. These changes, we said, were due to (a) the rise of the heretical Jainist and Buddhist forms, and (b) the periodical insurge of non-Indian Aryan and non-Aryan races into the cultural body of India. Brāhmaṇical systems had been fading away against foreign impacts. Moreover, the post-Buddha social conditions did not give back to the Brāhmaṇical domination the power it had once enjoyed. The new trends were more permissive, and the entire arrangement of Vedic caste-division was in jeopardy. New Smṛtis, Purānas, Grhya Sûtras attempted to lay down further rigidities, but had to evolve a thousand ways through which the powerful foreign trends, most of them supported by the force of arms, could be accommodated, up to a point! Thus came the time of the complex mosaic of the caste zig-zags, and their tenuous connections with heredity. All of it concerned 'purity of blood'; the criterion of Guna and Prarabdha (Karma) had become obsolete.
"Besides the staunch followers of the religious systems, there was another considerable class of people who were rather of a mixed type with a synthetic attitude of mind."4a This was the time also for the emergence of a thousand deities, for whom passages and chapters were being incorporated within the body of the Puranas; even new Purāņas were being written; and a number of Upapurānas came into being, all dedicated to the task of establishing such gods and goddesses who could displace the Vedic gods, and make room for them. On the one hand these sec- tarian deities received the highest homage through the Bhakti system, and on the other hand the systems of Samkhya and Vedanta were also upheld with utmost vigour. This accounts not only for the Tevaram, the Agama and the Pañcarātra literature, but also for the complex abstractions of the intellectual hair-splittings of Samkara, Rāmānuja, Vallabha and Madhava on the one hand, and Vasugupta, Bhaskara, Kṣemaraja and Abhinava- gupta on the other.
The rise of the other systems and forms proved fatal to the Brahmanical system. The Vedic works of the time, up to the time of Manu, envisage this gradual decay until the Vedic Yajñas were completely pushed out by the more permissive Agamic ways. This was the Bhakti way.
"The various sects and systems of religion created an atmosphere which did not in an orthodox way conform to Vedic or Brāhmaṇical ideals. This atmosphere was further disturbed by the advent of casteless foreigners such as the Greeks, Śakas, Palhavas, Kuṣaṇas, and Abhiras, who founded extensive kingdoms and settled in this country. Though these foreigners accepted Buddhism, Saivism or Vaisnavism and were soon Indianised, there non-Brāhmaṇic manners and customs could not but influence the people, specially their brothers in faith. Most of these alien tribes being originally nomadic, can be expected to have had a variable standard of morality which must have affected the people living around them."4b The social fabric must have been seriously disturbed to the very roots; and the new faiths which accommodated the emotive trends, and accepted some of the forms of image worship, alone by their liberal interpretation of the Sastras and the Vedas kept alive the ancient Sanatana system of the Vedas. The Agamas are thus saturated with Bhakti; but they also retain within their emotive language some of the spiritual sublimi- ties which Yoga and Vedanta aim at. The devotee's place, apropos of the deity, was as secured as the Brāhmaṇical sage well-versed in the Vedic rites.
Vayu Purāna gives a rather detailed indication about this change. This basic book on Saivism refers both to the Mahabharata and Hari- vamsa; although some of its chapters were added later, mainly this Purana keeps its form intact. In the beginning of the 7th cent. it was a popular source for the Pasupatas. Vayu, Brahma, and MärkandeyaPurānas deal with Siva and Sakti worship.
The Agamas have been divided into three classes. These are the Vaisnava, the Sakta and the Saiva. In this way they between them accommodate the Vedas and the Tantras. This accommodation is the greatest contribution of the Agamas. The next contribution is, of course, its Bhakti spirit, which brings within the Hindu fold all the people, caste as well as non-caste. Considering that individuals are conducted by their innate Gunas, the Agamas make room for all types. Any individual could follow the Agamic way.
Agamic rites believe in the stages of Patanjali. Thus Yama, Niyama, Asana, Prāṇāyāma, Pratyāhāra, Dhyana, Dharaṇa are prescribed to reach Samadhi or Tadgati. The names differ at times, like Sila and Acara, Sevä and Ārati, Salokya, Samipya, Sarûpya, Sayujya and Tadgati. But the structure on the whole remains intact. Agamas however, recommend the Vigraha (Image), either in the iconic forms (Salagrama: Śiva Linga) or in the anthropomorphic form; and they also recommend a complete dedication to these Vigrahas as a part and parcel of the self.
Śalagrama is the Arûpa (abstract) aspect of the Deity; and its Sarûpa (Image) aspect is represented by the image of Visnu in the Anantaśayana Mûrti. We have not to concern with this murti now. We have to deal with the Śiva images as divined by the Dhyana (Spiritual insight) of the Agamic sages. The Arûpa Siva image is, of course, the Linga-murti, and its Sarûpa Mûrti is Tamomaya (Dark) Śiva consorting with Sakti. Śiva represents here the Yogi form. He is very popular with the Yogis, for whom He is Işta Devata; and the five-lettered Namah Sivaya is the Mantra form of this concept.
Thus for the Agamas the Sattva in Mûrti (Image) is Visņu; the Tamas in Mûrti is Siva; and the Rajas in Mûrti is Prakṛti, Durgā, Uma or Mahiṣamardini. The forms this Agama worship takes are known as Japa (chantings), Homa (Fire offerings); and Tarpana (worship with water, flower, food, etc.). Śiva Japa is: 'Namah Sivaya'; Visņu Japa is: 'Namo Nārāyaṇāya'; and Sakti Japa is: 'Ka Ai La Hrim, Ha Sa Ka Ha La Hrim, Sa Ka La Hrim'. Together with Präṇāyāma this is the Mantra-japa which leads to Siddhi (final success). Homa, which is reminiscent of the Vedic sacrifice, is done by offering 'ghee' in fire. Except in the case of Ganapati-worship it is very rare to do Homa in the course of Agama Vidhi. The last, Tarpana form is the most popular with the temple devotees. They offer flower, water, incense, lamps and anything else for food. This is the general pattern followed in all the Hindu temples; and this, of course, shows a large deviation from the early Vedic rites. All this isAgama.
Samkara explains these offerings in the following manner: Puruşa, the all pervading, himself is Bhāgavata (that is to say that the immanent essence of totality is itself congealed into the deity-form), the unqualified in the qualified form. Hence the image or the Vigraha is fit to be wor- shipped. In fact, at the time of the actual worship the worshipper conceives himself as the deity; without conceiving of this oneness there is no symphonical harmony created for offering an object to an object. Subjectivity alone could lead to the absolute.
Before finishing the topic on Agamas let us indulge in a rather long quotation from Dr. Hajra:
"Men may be grouped into three classes: those in whom the faculty of intellect and reasoning is dominant; those in whom emotion plays the highest role; and those that are controlled by their impulses and instincts. To those who belong to the first group, abstract thinking is easy, and they find satisfaction only in rational philosophy. This class is, naturally, a small group. For them ritualistic ceremonial religion is not suited; in other words, the members of this group are not Adhikarins (competents) for ritualistic religions. The last group is composed of children and those with childish mentality. They cannot think; nor are their emotions developed. They can be trained to follow a routine which, in due course, may help them to enjoy a form of vegetative satisfaction, to borrow a term from biology. As children grow up, and acquire emotional factors and capacity to think, the permanent members of this group are few and limited to those of lower mental capacity. The bulk of humanity lies between these two, forming the second or the intermediary group. In them emotion predominates; they are also capable of abstract thinking, but to a limited extent; and most of them would also require material and mechanical measures to stimulate their emotions to the desired strength. Bhakti Märga or the emotional way of realisation of God is for them. And Agama ritualism is designed to satisfy the needs of this class. The most important thing to understand in Hinduism is that everything taught there is not intended for everybody; there is no definite question of suitability, or Adhikari Bhāva. The greatness of Hinduism lies in the fact that it supplies forms, methods, and measures to suit all possible types of men."4c
Agamas: Revealed Texts
It is remarkable that Saivism in Kashmir, as well as in the Deccan claims to derive its authority from the Agamas. Both the forms claim the Agamas as being independent of the Vedas.
The Agamas which are said to have been propagated by Vasudeva,are also claimed to have been revealed by Siva (the Father) to Śiva (the Mother), or vice versa. As such, these are texts revealed to seers directly from the Godhead. In other words their authority is derived from inspirational experience, and no other. It is remarkable that the laws are recorded in the form of a dialogue. Most records that different prophets have left, follow this form. Plato's dialogues, although not pro- phetic or mystic, follow this convention. The Bible makes use of such phrases as, "and the Lord said unto Moses, 'Thou shalt not'," etc.; so in the Buddhist texts,-"The Lord spake". In the Buddhist texts or in Plato's dialogues or in Srimad Bhagvad Gita, it was a physical being who was held responsible for talking to another, who for the time being was inspirationally attuned. "Thus Spake Zarathustra" has become a familiar phrase, thanks to Nietzche. That accounts for Zoroastrianism. The chronicler attempted, thereby, to maintain a glimpse of some historical perspective. Mystically explained, such texts of 'Revealed Utterances' hold much of the Mystic Truths. The Revealer reveals what is beyond personal training and education. Unless spiritually inspired in content and form the compositions of the Revelations bear no logic with the mental preparation of their authors. Such revelations are only plausible in the mystic sense. The Vedas are known to have recorded truths as 'Realised' by the 'Author-Seer'. They are not composed by skillful authorship; but by the virtue of transcendental transmission of sublime truths. In perfection of forms and content they appear to be beyond human achieve- ment. Hence the Vedas are celebrated as Apauruşeya, trans-corporated, 'Realised'. Hence, they are known as the 'Vedas', i.e., Truths Realised. Revealed Texts are not peculiar to the Vedic traditions. All religious scriptures more or less claim 'Revealed' inspirations. Some of these, like the Vedas, are said to be directed without any intervention. Some, like the Koran or the Mosaic Laws, have come to us through a specially chosen intermediary. Yet some others have been recorded as dialogues. The recorded texts of the Buddha-canon, the new Testaments belong to the last category.
The Puranas and the Agamas have basically followed this method. Such is also the pattern followed by the Epics, the Mahabharata and the Rāmāyaṇa. All of these are 'narrated' texts. The peculiarity of the Agamas, as distinct from the Purānas and the great Epics, is that the dialogue in the Agamas are contained between Siva and His Consort Pārvati (Śiva) Herself. It is a dialogue between the Positive and Negative aspects of complete knowledge, a Female-Male team to produce a totality.
Therefore, in a sense, the Agamas could be described as the Revealed Texts of the first category. Revealed as they are, the Siddhantins try to relate the Agamas to the Vedic text. This gives the Agamas the addedvalues of reconcilement, and authoritative verification. The Siddhantins accept the Vedas as authority. The Trika finds the Agamas quite enough for their own reference.
The Agamas are traditionally referred to the Sangam Age in Tamil literature which go back to a hoary past. Historically, however, the age has been fixed by Dr. V. R. R. Dikshitar and Dr. M. A. Mehendale as ranging between 500 B.C. and 500 A.D. But there are strong opinions in favour of placing the earliest Sangam, in the available forms at about 3000 B.C. at the least. The present available forms, of course, are much later in date than the tradition they record. In any case the origin of the Sangam, whether viewed traditionally or historically favours independent growth without disowning Vedic contacts. How far independent it is, is to be examined.
Adiyars, Tevarams and Acaryas
The origins of the Agamas, and therefore of Saivism, relate to the Dravids and Tamils of the Deccan. The earliest development of Saivism is traced to the Adiyars and the Acaryas. The sixty-three canonical saints, known as the Adiyars, illustrated by their writings the spiritual distinctions of Saivism. The first four saints composed Siva-hymns known as Tevarams, emotionally inspired, spiritually sustained, and universally appreciated as poems of a sublime content. The Tevaram is considered to be the honoured treasure of the Saivic texts. But the Philosophical sub- stances of Saivism were expounded later by the Acaryas or teachers such as Moykanda-deva, Arundi-Śivacārya, Maraujñam-Sambandha and Umapati Sivācārya. The exposition of the Siddhanta system principally rests with them.
As in the case of the Agamas, here we take a quick glance at the other orthodox form of Saivism: the Siddhanta. We will reserve for a later chapter a more elaborate treatment of the Agama metaphysics.
Saiva Siddhanta is categorised into three principal concepts of Pati (Lord), Pasa (Rope or string for trapping) and Pasu (animal). Pati is the Lord, the Ultimate Reality; perfecting knowledge; Paśu is the material being; Pasa is the ignorance of the material being, because it ties it, as in a trap, to the unreal, so that the Pati is deprived of its real consciousness to feel one with the cosmic consciousness.
The Siddhantins simplify the problem itself in order to provide a simple solution. The problem is reduced to extreme simplicity. Beings given, a source or a Primal Cause of the being becomes incontrovertiblyimperative. The Primal Cause in this way becomes the Primal Origin of Beings. Why then is there any difficulty to know the nature of Primal Origin? Why and how is the 'Being' kept so disengaged from its source when it is so difficult to recall and remember our pre-natal state? When does such an exercise appear to be even irrelevant and inconsequential? Why the Cause of Creation is not obvious? In other words, why does the cause of 'Being' appear to suffer from an inertia, as it were, in its attempts to relate its existence, and the purpose of existence, to the cause of its existence? Unless the cause of 'Being' is appreciated, the purpose of 'Being' cannot be comprehended. An uncomprehended continuity of existence is no better than a blindman's buff sort of living. Whereas such a state of impotent acceptance could be imagined in inert beings, in conscious beings the same state would indicate a depraved state of inertia, an innate indisposition to knowledge, or Tamas. It is this Tamas (Darkness, as opposed to Light, which is Sattva) which, as ignorance, creates dullness, drabness, inertia to intellect and will. Consciousness, which by nature should be crystal-clear, confronts a false cover. It is reduced to an opaque state through which light cannot penetrate. Hence it becomes imperative for the cultivation of knowledge to dispel this Tamas. Such a complex state of confusion in consciousness is created by these attachments and ties keep bound to surrounding objects through artificial correlates. It binds the apparent to the apparent; and keeps the fundamental away. Gradually the mind, accustomed to the torpor, does not even bother to seek the fundamental. Ignorance and false attachments, together, form 'the Bonds' or the Pasa. Therefore, the only reasonable way out is to cut away the Bonds. The Vedas say Pasan-s- chindhi (cut the traps).
The Pati, Pāśa and Paśu, a triumvirate, make the Siddhanta a philosophy of pluralistic realism. 'Hara' is the way to reach the first Cause of Beings, i.e., Śiva. 'Hara' means 'remove'. The Hara-way is the way of the removal of Pāśa, or ignorance. Without Hara's favour, and without cutting the trap, the removal of ignorance is impossible.
All beings are results of 'Anu' or atom, a product of pure energy and impure inactivity, i.e., gross matter. Streams of these impurities as 'āṇavamala', atomic impurities, spiritually polluted substances, appear as 'beings'. (Students of nuclear physics would discover the underlying truth of this stand in the process of discovering the origin of matter). 'Hara' which means 'remove' or 'make disappear', is invoked with the prayer of removing the impurities of beings, so that pure energy, the Real-Cause in its essence, is realised. Thus 'Hara' becomes the Primal Cause.
The essence of perceiving this Primal Cause supersedes all effects. This is Hara, Siva, the Lord or God. He is the creator in the sense that in relation to all that is created, the concept of a creator suggests itself automatically and irresistibly. Human understanding is limited to personal capacity, which in its turn is related to experience, which, to begin with, is naturally limited. Yet the fact is that by nature human capacity is unlimited. The potential limitlessness of human capacity becomes limited in individuals in accordance with the person's innate unique individualism which is formed by the proportion of the 'Gunas' inherent in the beings. These impose restrictions on different strata of personality -the personality that naturally seeks purity and peace, yet gets not; the personality that lies apathetic, and refuses, and thereby learns not, because it remains ignorant on account of the inertia acquired through disguise. As a result, mind remains unreceptive and impenetrable. These three-in-one feature of each personality, i.e., the personality that remains unreceptive is the chief distinguishing characteristic of all matter-in-being, from a grain to a star, from an idiot to a seer. In proportion to the level of consciousness attained through a purposive effort, and through one's application towards winning the objective, each being differs from another. Consciousness is the one enveloping expression of the Supreme Cause; and in proportion to its 'Will' to awake or not to awake, does it indicate its purity of substance. Freedom from the Bonds depends on elimination of the Gunas. Gunas could be eliminated by a Free-Will alone.
What then are the Gunas? We had occasion to explain the Gunas casually in another context. But the concept calls for more clarification. Guna is Will's Modes of progress, ranging from Light to Darkness. All substance has a pure state; an impure state; and a state where pure and impure are in a state of flux. The pure is Sattva; the impure is Tamas: and the intermediary state in flux is Rajas. The most enlightened of these bonds is Sattva, which leads to perfect peace and bliss. The ever- striving, agitating, unpeaceful state of personality is due to Rajas; and the unagitating slothful ignorant state of personality is due to Tamas. All personalities have been categorised into three divisions according to the volitional impetus inherent in the nature of the being. In this way one category is called spiritual (a category attainable by human consciousness alone); the second category is mundane (a category that involves all beings having life); and the third category is ignorant (a categorywhere effortlessness is the chief characteristic). Sattva is Progress; Rajas is Activity; Tamas is Retardation or Regress. Sattva, Rajas and Tamas are the 'bonds' (Gunas) that keep the Pati, the Supreme, away from an individual's full realisation. Hara removes the bonds, by removing the impurities. In order to have a full experience of a beatific realisation one must exceed even the bond of Sattva.
We have been talking in terms of the Cause, and the Caused. We have to, because of the limitations of the human language and power of comprehension. Though we are talking of the Cause and the Caused as two, yet it is defective to consider Śiva, the Caused, and Sakti, the Primal There is no duality. The Cause as two. In reality these are not two. Cause and the Caused in the final analysis are but two in conceptual classification alone. It is so termed in the interest of conceptual facility. (The two are really one, like the Moon and the moonlight.) Human concepts, too, are limited by Gunas, to begin with. Till all impurities are removed the Oneness of the two could not be entirely realised. So long as we cannot penetrate that area, we have only to talk; and as long as we talk, we have to talk in terms of 'More-than-one'. The One is to be Realised and cannot be talked of. Till it is realised, one has got to talk about it in human language.
Realisation of bliss (Anandam) is an experience beyond the scope of speech. The realised actually experiences this linguistic duality just as one single experience. The Yogî Seer Ramakrishna illustrates the point by a gram-seed. The two halves of the seed are enclosed as one within the shell. The shell is Maya. It is, and is not in the sense that the 'two' within is, and is not; because the 'Two' are really One. The 'Life' of the seed, i.e., its generative substance and principle, is sustained by the apparent two-ness of the Real One, which is enveloped within a shell. The shell is Māyā (Because it is due to the cover of the shell that the two halves appear as, two, and hide the face of oneness); the two halves are Śiva's static state; Śiva, unnoticed, activises the generative property enveloped by the two lobes. The entire underlying principle of this unified activity is the Prapanca (the manifest world form). One emanates from, and stays in the other at the same time. It is both inactive and active, for such is the nature of matter, in its final analysis, that in it both activity and inactivity are inherent. Activity is potentially dormant in matter, yet its mutative cycle of change is operative. Look at the 'lobes' of the gram; inactive. Look at the sprouting gram, active. Nuclear physics, too, while defining the relation of electrons to protons, emphasises the conceptual existence with reference to atom. The final explanation is still mute to science.
The two aspects of activity, active-activity and inactive-activity are known popularly as negative and positive respectively. Mathematics accepts the Negative as much a quantity as the Positive. This in meta- physical concept is termed as Sakti and Siva respectively, so the same two aspects again for the convenience of the limited power of human concept, are also known as female and male; but only as concepts, not as genders as we know them in the empirical sense. Therefore the Saiva Siddhantins have evolved the half-male, half-female (or, half-Śiva and half-Vişnu) iconographical representation of this idea in the celebrated, or else much abused, 'half-male half-female' (Ardhanari'svara) image (see Plates 38, 41). Thus the Primal Cause is a composite concept of Power and Form. It is significant that in Sanskrt the word Siva could be used as masculine, feminine, or neuter gender. The 'Cause' is 'It-She-He' all combined. No single gender is assignable to it. Concepts are abstract, and have no gender. For adoration alone such concepts are reduced to Image forms. Some choose a Father-image; some a Mother. This again depends on the matriarchal or patriarchal culture-form. We have discussed this in the first chapter and in the chapter on the Mother. Thus a Great Agama sage says, "Behold; the male, the female and the neuter in One image." We are told that in nuclear physics too an atom-structure is a composite of electron-proton-neutron. This abstract concept is the very antipodes and antethesis of the primitive fertility cult of which Phal- licism is an expression; and which is mistakenly confused with Saivism. Hindu metaphysics, may this be remembered, throughout its long tradition maintains this concept of 'two-in-one' as a treasured postulate.5 The images, to illustrate idealistically this postulate, are also idealistic, as has been shown in our plate. Such images are quite distinct from the realistic (physically erotic) images sculptored during the Greek and Roman times, at least one of which is a treasured specimen preserved in the Louvre, Paris.
So far about the bi-sexual image. What about the three-in-one images so high-lighted in the photographed expressions from Ellora, Elephanta and other ancient Saiva shrines?
As in the case of the two-in-one Ardhanariśvara, so the concept of the three-in-one image, the Trimurti, has provoked minds unused to Hindu images, and led them to regard these as grotesque phantasmagoria. Of all types of fanaticism that of the conceited-wise is the most detrimental to clear thinking. The concept of Ardhanariśvara represents the conceptof the emergence of Being from the Matter-Energy state of evolution; and the concept of Trimurti represents the functional aspect of the matter in relation to being. Of course, this concept of finding in one body the cause of the matter, the caused in the matter and the neutral witness, reminds one of the symbols that the physicist uses like, +,- and 0, which indicate proton, electron and neutron. The Atom is the first 'Being' in the material world. It contains properties of (a) the energy energised, and abides by the law of functioning; (b) the actor, the acted and the witness; (c) creativity, stability and the neutral blank; and (d) the beginning, the middle, and the end (where the end and the beginning meet at a neutral point). This concept of matter, or atom is found symbo- This Trimurti lised in the image-representation known as Trimurti. is known as the aspects of Srsti, Sthiti, and Pralaya, represented by images known as Brahma, Visnu and Siva. No one is a unit without the other two. It is an imaged statement of the cyclic functioning of the Life-force within the World phenomenon. The functional energy which assumes different expressions, with different effects permeates and sur- charges the cosmic egg (Brahmanda) floating in an ocean of conscious Will. Due to the indeterminate imbalance of the gunas, evolutes assume different expressions, with different effects and consequences. Yet cosmically speaking all this, together, is a Whole, Brahmanda. Lest the variegated aspects of functional expressions delude the mind, and take the variations as different, the three-in-one form (Trimurti) images the idea in concrete shape. These functions are (a) emergence, (b) progress, and (c) disintegration; in other words, Creation, Sustenance and Dissolu- tion. Throughout, the entire process is one of Mutation, which disinte- grates to integrate. Lest by any chance-misconception the three are taken as three different units, and not as aspects of one single unit, as a precautionary measure, the three are put together into one figure. This is the Trimurti. It is adored as the manifestation of the true Rudra, the Red one, the terrible one (the hot heat of disintegration). He is not really so terrible, if one considers it entirely. "Rudra is truly one, for the knower of Brahma does not admit the existence of a second. He dwells as the inner Self of every being. After having created all the worlds, He, their Protector, takes them back into Himself at the end of Time."6
Thus, bonds do not bind the Supreme. He is freedom of bliss itself. So Siva is unbonded (Nirguna), free of impurities (Nirmala), beyond all 'that' (Tatpara) and incomparable (Asāmānya). Siva cannot be des- cribed by language (anirvacanîya). In the field of consciousness he neither is the awakened state (Jagrat), nor the dream state (Svapna), nor the sleeping state (Suşupti). He is the fourth state, the sublime (para) state, the Beyond (turiya) state. We note here that the Siddhanta concept of Siva, the Brahma concept of the Vedanta, the Puruşa of Samkhya almostconvey one and the same idea as Plato, Socrates or Pythagoras attempted to mean. As such Saivism is the extreme of Idealistic realism. It is a blunder to equate it with any cult, and the least with the fertility cult, or phallicism.
(a) The Spiritual Eight
Included in the Siva concept of Siddhanta is the graduated concept of spiritual attributes. "Having no sense organs it is unaffected by the bonds cast by senses." These attributes are eight: independence, purity, self knowledge, omniscience, freedom from impurities (mala), boundless benevolence, omnipotence, and bliss. He is Cit: Sat, i.e. a concept of reality which is entirely conscious. As such part-consciousness, or fettered consciousness cannot be fully aware of it, in the sense that pure consciousness is just one stream, one field, one overwhelming experience. Siva is totality. It is not a fraction.
(b) The Perceptual Eight
Śiva or Pati is both immanent and transcendent. His transcendental aspects have been described above. His immanent aspects, which are altogether expressed in eight perceptual forms, are as follows: Earth, Water, Air, Fire, Sky, Sun, the Moon and the Sentient man. This group of eight, together with the previous group of eight, make eight an esoteric numerical in Saivism. Thus Śiva is known as the eight-formed one, or the eight-in-one (Aṣṭamûrti) which sometime is iconographically represented as one with eight heads, or eight hands.
Aṣṭa (eight) Vajras (weapons) are to be united for emancipation. (cf., the legend of the liberation of Aśvini in the Dandiparvam, an appendix to the Mahabharata.) Asta (eight) Dhatus (metals) are melted to mould a metal statue of Siva, or of Sakti, as Kalî or Durgā. The Yoga system is known to have eight parts, Aṣṭānga Yoga.
The Five Principles
Śiva has been described as having the three functions of integration, sustenance and disintegration. Whereas this is true about the conceptual and transcendental world, in the immanent world two more functions complete the correlates between the transcendental and the immanent. These are functions of Grace and Obscurity, i.e., Expression and non- Expression of Grace; Grace-descending, and Grace withheld.
The Saiva concept of Grace might very well bear comparison with the later evolution of the concept amongst the Essines and the Christians. What would remain of Christianity once the concept of Grace is takenaway from it? The great and original contribution that Jesus made over and above the doctrine of John the Baptist was the freshness of his concept of Grace and Love: Yet, Grace as a divine immanent concept has been the original contribution of the Saivas. It is not in vain, really that there exists amongst some of the sects of important and orthodox Hindu ascetics a fond faith that Jesus Christ as a disciple of John the Baptist was a living example of a Saiva Brahmacarî Sannyasî, i.e., an ascetic mendicant, who was an indisputable and illustrious example of mind over body, as well as of the Saiva-Principle of Grace. Egypt and the Egyptians were very conversant with a similar creed as we will see.
Blessed art thou, O Lord, God of mercy and abundant Grace,
For thou hast made known Thy wisdom to me
That I should recount Thy marvellous deeds,
Keeping silence neither by day nor by night : For I have trusted in thy Grace.
In thy great goodness.
(Hymn from Dead Sea Scrolls-C. Vermes-Pelican, p. 16.)
Philosophically the Siddhantins consider 'Existence distinct from Sakti' in the same manner as they consider 'Existence distinct from consciousness'; or Sat distinct from Git. Śaiva Siddhanta speaks of Siva, the Pati, having the five functions of obscuration (Tirodhāna), creation (Sṛşti), preservation (Sthiti), destructions (Samhāra) and grace (Anu- graha). Hence Siva image has five faces representing Five Facets. We shall elaborate on these a little later. To realise the facets let us recall that the same gracious sun that causes the blossoms to bloom and sets aglow the countryside with splashes of colours is also responsible for the decay of the thousand other petals that drop and die. As flowers they die, but as fruit they preserve the seed of the life-cycle. Life's very growth is a guarantee for its race towards the end. He, who considers these as two different functions, is confused. He is ever and ever merged in a Buddhistic melancholy of suffering and sorrow. Happiness or peace is his who regards these as the aspects of the one and the same Grace. It is Śiva that unmoved moves all; remaining unaltered, presides over all alterations; remaining unaffected, witnesses all affections. Such is the nature of the Absolute Truth and Reality that is Śiva.
Therefore, it stands to reason that Siddhantins insist that Śiva could not be subjected to the rigours and humiliations of birth and death in the worldly way. Śiva is not born to die, or is not subject to alter with thealterations of time. Hence reincarnation cannot happen to Śiva. Although reincarnation is ruled out in Saivism, so far as Siva is concerned, it is however held to be possible for a Saiva mystic to realise Śiva in any particular form in which the devotee is accustomed to have thought of Him. Such mystical transfiguration is not unknown to spiritual history. It is a case of the cosmic consciousness crystallizing before the perceptual apprehension of the realised being. Transfiguration is not to be confused with incarnation. God cannot be subjected to birth and death, although Godliness could assume a transfigured state with respect to the sub- limated. The perceptual capacity of a Dhruva, a Dattatreya, a St. John on the Cross, or a St. Bernadette enjoyed much more awareness. This was due to their spiritual personality. Siva appears to the mystic devout as and when the intense demand of the soul makes transfigurations irresistible; but the particular form that Siva would then assume, would depend on the habitual form in which He had been conceived of by the inner spirit of the devotees. "God does not take the body in the way a trans- migrating soul does. This does not mean that God does not appear in bodily form. He does assume the form in which he is worshipped by His devotee and also in the forms that are required to save the soul. But all such forms are not made of matter; they are the expressions of His Grace.""
Speaking of incarnations, Śiva-philosophers regard the transcendentalised in flesh as an incarnation. This preference is inspired by the sense that Grace has davned on a person in its fullness. Such a person is an ascended being, a Saint. The ascension of Jesus, regarded in this ethereal and cosmically unified state is an honoured faith amongst very many Hindu devouts. Such an assumption enjoys, however, a traditional mystic support.
Apart from the incarnation of Spirit into form, the Saiva ascetics in general take pleasure in assuming all possible physical embellishments that distinguish Siva from other Vedic gods. There is a sect in India known as the Nathas who bear, or try to bear, all the embellishments of Siva on their bodies. Besides them, ascetics in general, whose ideal is Śiva, are known for using skin of animals as wear, straw-strings as belts, a trident or a spear as staff, a shell or a simple bowl as their only vessel. They wear matted locks; smear their bodies with ash; speak in a high voice; assume rough and ready ways; and honour abstentions from passionate sensuous behaviour. They seek solitude; eat vegetarian food; avoid contacts and congregations, and keep to the woods.
The next important link of the Saiva Siddhanta is the Paśu, i.e., the 'being' itself. What or who is this 'Being'? A passionate, emotional,limited, qualified identity, known as an individual. This individual is identified, recognised, given a name and a class or category. The factors on which these distinctive differentials depend are many and various. Ultimately by this process the One appears to be many. But it is a delu- sion. All really, are the variants of the One real. As such, the distinctions are due to an obvious delusion of mind; it gives rise to an illusion in concept. It results in an irresistible mental projection which by its nature is unsteady and ever shifting. It is called Mäyä, which we have discussed in the previous chapter under Vedanta.8
Maya and Visrsti
Māyā, too, is a cause, as there is a cause to a mirage. The cause of the mirage is enrooted in a principle which is more real than the mirage. The same mirage is not the same from two different points, at two different times, if seen by two different persons. But the cause of the mirage re- mains the same. According to the theory of Satkāryavāda of the Siddhan- tins, Māyā is the material cause of the Universe. It creates an illusion of many-ness, when really there are not many."
Materially, the many and their distinctive attributes, are caused from Māyā, because Śiva-Sakti is the primal-absolute-spiritual cause. God alone is intelligent. Therefore, a non-intelligent cause is being postulated by the word 'Māyā' which etymologically means 'resolved into it, and evolved from it'. Māyā gives more than a body to the soul; it gives also the instruments to the body, so that the body might function. These instruments are the active organs. Māyā gives the body environs, so that body's existence is relatively realised. Māyā gives to bodies other bodies, and makes the two sets reciprocally inter-dependent as objects enjoying objects, and subjects that make objects enjoy. Enjoyment adds zeal to bodies and senses, so that they function more, desire more, get more and more entangled, thereby limiting freedom into a total bondage. Tanu (body), Karna (organs), Bhuvana (environs) and Bhogya (objects of enjoyment) are the Visṛṣți evolutes of Maya, the material cause that covers intelligence and clear-thinking. We shall deal with them later, in more detail.
It would be wrong to think, according to the Siddhantins, to consider the phenomenon of Maya as a totally deluding factor in the Being's progress. The deluding principle in Māyā activates the Being, and assists it to choose friends as well as enemies. The faculty of distinction and selectiveness opens the scope to adopt a course of progress which encourages Will to cast aside delusion, and reach for a cleaner, purer way.
Evolution of Maya according to the Siddhantin, takes, thus, distinct routes. two The adoption of the purer ethical routes is prompted bythe Suddha (pure) Māyā; it helps the 'Being' to get clear of the paŝa (bondage) faster.
It is a route by following which the soul finds purer impetus to counter- act the Anava impurities which affect consciousness. The residual effects of Karma gets blunted, and are rendered ineffective. This is the evolu- tionary path or Suddha Māyā. The idea is very similar to what has been said as Suklagati in the Gîta. 10
The other path is that of Asuddha Maya, where the Anava impurities as well as the momentum of Karma retard the forward march towards liberation. The evolutes of Maya gather more and more Anava, which is the gross element in an atom of which all material body is made. Presence of Anava-mala inevitably, confuses the mind. These are the vikṛtis (deformities) of the 'being'. Vikytis prevent it from following the correct path, and acquire correct tendencies. As a result it gets pulled down to grosser levels. This has been referred to as Kṛṣṇa-gati in the Gîtǎ.11
Other names of Suddha-Maya are Mahā Māyā and Kutilai. There are five evolutes of Suddha Maya. Of these we have to speak later on.
Of the three principles of Saiva Siddhanta we have thus noted two: Pati, the Lord, His nature and function; and Paśu, the material being, which emanates from the Pati, and is imbued with .he Pati's Power. All beings are evolutes of Pati, also known as Sat-Cit. The factor that keeps the Pasu forgetful or unmindful of Pati is Māyā, which through its evolutes confuses Pasu or the Being.
Now we shall try to study the theory of Pasa, or the factors that keep the Pasu 'tied' to its confused state. In other words we shall see how the Being-which derives its existence from the Cause, and yet which forgets the Real origin of its state of Being, is subject to this confusion due to the delusion caused by Mãyã acting through Pāśa. Of these the most important Pāśa is Māyā herself with her thirty-five evolutes. Therefore, Maya, which deludes knowledge, is called A-sat, i.e., contrary to the way of the Real. To translate Māyā as un-real or non-existent would be a mistake.
The point becomes clearer with the appreciation of the omniscient pervasive, limitless and eternal. Soul is considered to be limited and finite only due to Tamas (ignorance), which is the effect of the presence of impurities in the construction of being, i.e., Anava-effect. 'Anu' literally means an atom; Anava, therefore means atomic. Anava-effect engenders impurities leading to confusion, or absence of composure andpeace. Impurity in this context means any obstruction to real knowledge, i.e., obstruction to consciousness about the nature of the self. Therefore, the Anava impurity suggests that atoms by nature suffer from a restlessness which develops a force contrary to spiritual consciousness. These are the Malas, i.e., Pāśas, i.e., impurities in the body; and these form the bondages of the spirit, and keep the Pasu bonded to the Pāśa. Without getting them detached, none is free of the other. The result is a cyclic interaction within the soul in spite of changes in the body. As long as thirst is not contented, the thirst itself would seek new cups; in the event of a particular cup getting broken, another cup is ready at hand. Breaking of a cup has nothing to do with the satiation of the thirst, which remains; and remaining, eagerly searches for, craves for, and awaits satiation by securing another cup. Between a cup and a cup this thirst of the Soul maintains an unbroken bondage.
Saiva Siddhanta points out three such bondages: Aṇava, Karma, and Māyā. Anava is the original impurities inherent in the molecules, even in their elemental stage. (In terms of modern physics it is the effect of the electronic ratio to protonic stability). It is an indeterminable factor and distinguishes coal from diamond. In spirit's language this is Mystery. Yes. Mystery to the layman; but not so to the seers. To them the Mystery is not Mystery. But they do not explain, as they point out that it is beyond language, and only the 'prepared' and liberated souls could be in the know.) Mala or impurity is the imbalance created by electronic disproportion which seriously affects the very ingredients of Prakrti and Vikṛti (Nature and Nature-effects) in an object. Again, that case of coal and diamond illustrates the point.
The imbalance of the Anavas in Maya, as of the Gunas in Prakṛti, project further categories comprehensible in the abstract alone. These are named as (1) Nada, (2) Bindu, (3) Sadakhya, (4) Mäheśvarî, (5) Suddha-Vidya, (6) Para, (7) Pasyanti, (8) Madhyama, (9) Vaikharî, (10) Asuddha-Māyā, (11) Kāla, (12) Niyati, (13) Kala, (14) Vidya, (15) Raga.
We shall briefly touch upon their nature before going into further details later on.
(1) Nada (Cosmic sound) is an evolute representation of pure knowledge, Jñana Śakti; Power as knowledge; it knows the pure. It It comprehends and understands.
(2) Bindu (Point) as an evolute represents action (Kriya Sakti)— Power as volition, or action.
(3) Sadakhya (Nominal Real) is an evolute which represents the action of (a) Nada on (b) Bindu. Knowledge at this stage gathers urgency of fulfilment. At this stage Suddha-Māyā does not retain any more the calm of Nada. It is an agitated stage of Nada and Bindu combined. It grows into the dynamic state of knowledge activised into an aroused sensitive state, known as Sadakhya.
(4) Maheśvari (The Supreme manifesting Spirit) is an evolute of Sadakhya with an added ability of vigorous action (which is a purely activised state of Nada when operated by Bindu).
The Nada+ Bindu+Sadakhya+Maheśvart combination has opened up, as it were, like the petals of a bud into a full bloom, absorbing with all its body the light and warmth of the sun of knowledge. This intensified state of Sadakhya leads to the final stage of Suddha-Vidya.
(5) Suddha-Vidya (Pure learning) evolves finally the whole system of expression through the medium of Sounds which are of four types (6) Pară (Super Beyond), (7) Paśyantî (Appearances), (8) Madhyama (Middl- ing), and (9) Vaikhari (Manifested Power). Agitated and activised knowledge intensely aware of the nature of 'itself' expresses realisation through sounds for communication with kindred spirit. The sounds also have their evolutes.
(6) Para is sound at its sublimest state (Supersonic; cosmic), like the wish of the peahen to evolute as an egg, in an egg form, its physical capacity becoming instrumental to the fulfilment of the wish. (At this stage the Yogin, the Saint, in trance becomes faintly aware of something that urges his soul to experience more intensely.)
(7) Pasyanti (cognisable; but not fully appreciable), too is indis- tinguishable, but it is more gross than Parā, like the colours of the peacock within the contents of the egg of the peahen. (At this stage the Yogin- seer, often called the Son of God, by virtue of his exclusive power to communicate with the Cosmic Supreme, becomes aware of his task to listen to something specific, which, as a phenomenon, is taking shape with- in. He becomes aware of some potentiality striving to emerge into a perceptual fact.)
(8) Madhyama (Half-way to understanding) is not yet articulate, but nevertheless, is as a stage, more advanced than (7) above. In continuation of the imagery it could be stated that the colour of the plumes are not yet 'articulate'. They cannot yet proclaim themselves as loudly as the matured colours of the peacock might do. But the plumes, even as they are, do proclaim a grey colouring that has the potentiality of future expression. (This is the state when the Truth to be revealed takes a definite comprehensive form in the mind of the Saint-seer, who realises himself as the Son of God; as one on whom the Father's inheritance has devolved; as One who has been charged with a responsibility through adirect command. He thereby feels himself to be God's son, God's Messenger,12)
(9) Vaikhari (Articulated): "This is the stage when the sound is eloquent, clear, expressive and suggestive. This is the stage when Truth, revealed to the Saint-Son, is recited by the Saint-Son in a common understandable 'human' language), "13
But all words and sounds do not convey the same meaning to all. The capacity of deriving the benefit of identical comprehension form accurate sound varies with individuals. Hence an alphabet might mean more to one, than a sentence to another; a sentence might mean more to one, than a whole page to another; and so on. Alternately, one could express more through a word, than another could through a sentence, and so on.
It is in this context that the uses and appeal of symbolism should be viewed. Śakti is inherent in expression. Each of the media, alphabet, word, sentence, paragraph or page is charged with this inherent Sakti. But the power of receptivity differing, their impact too, must differ. Śakti works in each alphabet through the sound of the ending vowel (of the consonants). The letter B, is pronounced as Bee; F is pronounced as Ef; R as Aar, and so on. In these pronunciations Sakti lies in the 'vowels' such as E, E, and A respectively. Articulation of symbols is an expression of Sakti. Sakti 'is' the articulation in the sound, if not its form; symbol-figures are mere shapes of the sound. Most of the shapes are conventional; but ideas are universal and abstract. Any shape or form is meaningless when not understood, as inarticulate consonant structures are (like K articulated as Kay is with the ay). Images are mere inarticulate figures; unless approached in full spiritual communion. So are the chanting syllables, unless fully comprehended.
(10) Aśuddha (Impure) Mãyã is known as Adho (downward) Māyā because it exerts a downward pull. The gross becomes more gross. Because it deludes more and more at each grade, it is called Mohini (en- chanting, confusing) Power, or the Deluding Power. There is an interest- ing legend recorded in the Mahabharata about the Mohini Power. Śiva was once deluded by the Mohini Power of Visnu when the drink of im- mortality, Amṛta, was being distributed amongst the Suras and Asuras. As the truth of Suddha-Maya leading to Sat-Cit-Siva realisation was being enunciated amongst the select group, another group was being led astray by the charms of the deluding Mohini-Sakti. The pull of physical charm was contrary to the knowledge of Immortality. It was impure. The excess of this delusion created by Sakti deluded the Sadha- kas. The deluded missed the drink of immortality. Although so deluded, the Sadhaka still retained Sakti's aid and Śiva's Grace to an extent. These are known as Aśuddha Maya and Sadasiva. Sadasiva andAsuddha Mäyä help the three evolutes: (11) Käla (Time), (12) Niyati (destiny), and (13) Kala (particles forming into groups so as to consti- tute a being). We reserve here our discussion on Nada as a meta- physical principle to be taken up a little later.
Other Evolutes and Pañca-Kosa
From Kala (Time), therefore, other evolutes appear. (14) Vidya (correct technique) which, if held on to, and practised, forms the earliest bridge to cross over to Suddha Mãyã, and get rid of Asuddha Māyā, and reach salvation. From Vidya or 'Right technique' springs up an inspiration to achieve. This is called (15) Räga or attachment. If on the contrary detachment is practised, it helps along the path of salvation, without binding the 'being' to material grossness. But this is not to be. Raga attaches to desire, and creates pangs, pains and frustrations in proportion to the distance created between desire and contentment. Thus (A) Kala (Time); (B) Niyati (Destiny); (C) Kalā (particle); (D) Vidya (Right technique) and (E) Raga (attachment): these five form together the Pañca-Koşa or Kañcuka (the five sheaths: like the Chinese box, one within the other, wherein lies in the last box the legendary Bee, which is humming for release; with the release of which the sleeping princess would awake). The Pañca-Kosa keeps the Soul captivated, as if in a deluded trance, or under a spell.
These, in brief, constitute the principal tenets of the Siddhantins. Further on we shall examine the tenets more fully in order to absorb the esoteric implications. Śaivism, as practised by the Hindus, invariably follows, by and large, this Siddhantin pattern, the images adopted ex- pressing the tenets in symbol forms. Hundreds of legends, many more hundreds of psalms, indeed a vast treasure of every form of art expressed the Siddhantin view of Saivism. The various forms of Siva, the Lord, and Parvati, Uma or Kumari, the Sakti, along with their decorations, ornaments, camp-followers, family members, pets and rides, along with their expressions in many heads and hands, which make us wonder about the grotesque multiplicity of Hindu polytheism, are but attempts by the yogis to determine the abstract's subjectivity in objective subjectivity. To explain them just as symbolism is over-simplification. To understand the legends and these Hindu images and the secrets of Hindu polytheism an insight into the 'systems' is essential. This leads us to a closer study of the Siddhänta.
Both Samkhiya and Yoga propound 25 Tattvas (principles). Siddh- anta propounds 36. The increase is ascribed to (a) a developed stage of Saivic enquiry, and (b) further subtleties in the Saivic analytical probe. The more a subject is analysed, the more subtle becomes its forms. It also reaches further perfection. This observation, which appears to be sound enough, does not, however, go unchallenged. The Samkhya scholars scorn at the Saiva subtleties as redundant appendages. The first Five of these so-called appendages are the Mahabhutas (gross elements) Earth, Water, Heat, Air and Ether. Of these five, Earth is further sub- divided into Five-subtle responses of the sense-perceptions. These are known as the Tanmatras: Sound, Touch, Colour, Taste and Odour. We had occasion to refer casually to the Tanmatras before. The under- standing of this vital principle deserves a fuller study. Like the Earth,
Water possesses the first 4 of the Tanmätras;
Heat “ “ “ 3 “ “ “ “
Air “ “ “ 2 “ “ “ “
Ether “ “ “ 1 “ “ “ “
The above is the way in which the Tanmätras have been disposed of in the Bhútas. There is no Bhůta without the qualities of Tanmätra distinguishing it. It is the Tanmatras that cause the Gross Elements, the Bhûtas, and not the reverse. How Sound could cause Ether, or how sound and touch together could form a casual stage for the evolute of Air, leads to a pattern of thinking which could cause a great confusion in the minds of those who are untrained to relate subtleties with the Gross. More or less a similar stand is taken by such existentialists as Kierkegaard, Heidegaar and Sartre in establishing their theory. But to think the opposite, namely, to think that it is ether that causes sound, is not only erroneous, but even something more. It becomes prejudicial. Every- thing is grossly speaking, matter, or body; but the difference between one substance and another is caused by such 'qualities' as individualise the substances. Thus 'qualities' cause individualities of substance. The world of 'names' limit classification or categorisation by discovering special inherent subtleties. The presence of these subtleties acts as 'the cause' for categorising a substance as within a given nomenclature. The whole concept could be crystallised into the general statement that matter being one, the various forms of gross elements are 'caused' by the Tanmatras.
What causes a cup, a bucket, a gas-tank, a ship hold? Is it the metal, viz. iron? If so, a nail, which is caused by iron is a cup. Is it not the Tanmätra, the 'quality of the distinctive use for the object' that makes or causes it to be. In trying to 'have' a cup made one must have the cause for the cup first. This cause for the cup differs from the cause for the ship. One is to fill and hold liquid for my drink; the other is 'not' to fill, and 'not' to hold the liquid, so that I could be in it and ply it through liquid. This, the concept-demand and the sensual-perception, becomes the 'cause' of the object; and not the metal. The subtle is the cause for the gross. Thus is existentialism in truth. The Śiva-Linga as Spirit-Cosmic 'exists' before the gross form existed. The same 'Linga' could also exist as 'phallus', if the form has been caused by such thought. God or penis depends on the Thinker's pre-existing causation.
The Tanmatras supply the causes for the gross elements to be categorised into the five gross names, known as the Bhutas. Thus there cannot be a substance without one or more subtle qualities which classify it as distinct from others. One of Siva's popular names in Bhutanãtha: the Lord or the Spirit of the Material Form; the tangibility of the Tanmätras.
This is an idealistic view of substance defined in Pauskara Agama, and Sivajñāna-mapadiyam. In his Lowell Lectures, Lord Bertrand Russell exposes the same view in his own way. The similarities are remarkably engrossing.
Bhuta and Tanmatra
Thus we get the 5 Mahabhutas and the 5 Tanmatras. The Tan- matras help in individuating matter, and define the Bhutas. But the Tanmātras themselves are evolutes of a variety of individuation known in Saiva Siddhanta as Ahamkara. Ahamkara is a quality in an individual to accept himself as distinct from others. The sensitive subtle feel which makes a thing feel distinctly what it is, is Aham-Kära (E-go). Ahamkara is overwhelmed by Tamas or Darkness (Ignorance), which is one of three Gunas. This Tamas-Ahamkara or gross negative individuation, which knows only by distinction, is also known as bhûtädi, the Source of the Bhutas. Since it causes the five gross elements of 'Mahabhûtas', it is the Source or Adi. (We should see or feel here how Ahamkara which dis- tinguishes and keeps apart, is the opposite of unification and liberation. Hence Ahamkära (Ego) is the enemy of Mukti or Liberation.
But this function of individuation need not always be gross, dull or dark, i.e., it need not always be inert. It could be a source of positive delight. But in that case the process of Individuation must also become a process of recognition and realisation. To be able to recognise, orrealise calls for effort, energy or progress, which is just opposite to inertia. The nerve and buoyancy of the spirit leading to recognition, leads to perfect knowledge. This gives the realiser a feeling of totality, wholesome- ness, goodness. This buoyant characteristic of Ahamkara is called Sättvika-Ahamkära. We could call this spiritualised individuation: individuation actuated by spiritual urge.
As these two fall into two extreme forms of individuation, gross and sublime, dark and illumined, ignorant and realised, there must be a mid- region wherein the extremes meet and form an area of flux undefined. This area is called Rajas or Vikyti. (Vikara in English means 'change' of one substance into another-Mutation).
1. Tamas-Ahamkara-Individuation by inertia (Dark)
2. Rajas-Ahamkara - Individuation by restlessness (heated agitation).
3. Sattva-Ahamkara - Individuation by contained calm (Enlightened activity in quietude).
In the first, knowledge is dull, or insight is dark.
In the second, knowledge is confused, or insight is blurred.
In the third, knowledge is realised, or insight is illuminated.
In Saiva Siddhanta Tamas called Vaikṛta, and Sattva is called Taijasa. Rajas is change in flux: hence Vikara is inherent. Sattva is enlightening, hence Tejah, or light, illuminates.
Sättvika-Ahamkara, according to Samkhya inspires the evolutes of (a) the 5 organs of Jñana (sense): eye; ear; nose; tongue (taste) and touch; and the evolutes of the 5 organs of Karma (action) are: tongue (speech); hand; foot; the excretory and reproductive organs.
Apart from these there is another evolute, Manas, or the Mind.
Šaiva metaphysics differs here from Samkhya. It accepts the sense organs and the Manas (mind) to be the evolutes of Sattva; but not the action organs. Activity denotes heat and passion; tension and conflict. Hence the sense organs are derivatives of Rajas, and create Vikara (a state of agitated disturbance). Mind alone could bring this to order, pacify, organise and direct. Left to themselves their nature is to run away with teh Mind. Thus mind is sustained by Sattva potentiality which could influence the organs of action.
The three evolutes of Ego (Ahamkara), therefore, are known as Taijasa (the faculty of deriving perceptual knowledge): Vaikṛta (the faculty of executing action), and Bhútadi (the faculty of relating subtle to the gross through the establishment of a link between organic enjoyment and spiritual or emotional consummation of the same organic habits). Naturally, Taijasas evolute into the Jñanendriyas or Manas, or sense organs, which are five in all; the Vaikṛtas evolute into five Karmendriyas, or organs ofactivity, and the Bhútadi evolute in Tanmätras the subtle elements to which the subtle derivations of sensuous correlates are interlaced. Those subtle faculties together with the correlated subtle elements (five+five= ten) are evolutes of "Tanmatras' (Subtle sense qualities that lie behind the scope of ordinary faculties of perception).
The Twenty-five Evolutes
(Faculties of Bhutadi
Karmendriyas (Active limbs)
Bhutadi Taijasa Vaikrta
Vedanta's stand regarding organs of action is still more elemental. Vedanta states that organs of action are grossly involved, in a gross world, and have to be the derivatives of the gross elements, or the Bhutadi. This Vedanta-stand is, however, neither accepted by Siddhanta nor by Samkhya. Both defend their classification by insisting that the Karmendriyas are inspired by Ahamkara.
Ahamkara and Original Sin
The idea of the 'original sin' appears to have grown out of the theory of Ahamkara. Metaphysically speaking self-interest supplanting self- awareness actually leads the Soul of Man to a 'fall' from Sattva to Tamas. The nearest word used in English for what in the Hindu Meta- physics is known as Ahamkāra, is Ego. Yet Ego and Ahamkära are not identical. But human frailties which mislead mind to selfish sensuousness are evolutes of Ahamkara.
Characteristically the idea of Ego in Western psychology relates not so much to consciousness as to identification. It is the personal tendency to derive satisfaction from a distinction sensed by a self-identity in pre-ference to, or in abrogation of other identities, if any. It leads to a miserable degree of self-love (or self-pity) which proves to be a hindrance to the spiritual development of the self. Sublime spiritual development must overcome ego for which an abstract comprehension of the distinction between actualities of the seeming world of senses, and the realities of the eternal principles of the world of the subtleties is absolutely necessary. It reacts Thus Ego reflects through the cults of personality. through creation of distinctions in the world of sense perceptions. Ahamkara is more fundamental. It is a principle of the creative energy. It distinguishes without desire.14 In the process it collects grossness without being able to avoid it all the time.
Thus Ahamkara, although a basic principle, is a driving force, which, according to qualities inherent in the material basis of an object could be classified as Tamas-Ahamkara, Rajas-Ahamkara and Sattva-Ahamkara.
The ancient Semetic Seers who warned against the 'original sin' probably wanted to convey the same principle of Ahamkara. Sattvic ahamkara identifies the self with the self, and claims that the cosmic, incompre- hensible, but Real, is identified in the self of the conscious man. This, probably, leads to the popular Christian Idea, contained in the saying that 'the kingdom of Heaven is within' us. The Heaven referred to appears to be the Paradise subsequently lost to the Tamas-man. Lost indeed; but the state lost to Tamas is redeemable by Rajas and Sattva. Man alone, by his efforts, could resurrect himself from this lost state. His task of recapturing the lost state is made hazardous by the grossness that he happens to collect, and fails to shed off during his pre-natal molecular state. By 'nature' he is gross; he is kept engrossed. His lack of en- lightenment and spiritualism keeps him handicapped in life. But through 'efforts' and 'will' alone he is able to shake off his grossness of the Tamas- state, and attain the spiritual state of Sattva.
The idea of Ahamkara and the idea of the original (pre-natal) sin (gross) could have got, in this way, somewhere mixed up during the migrating movements which took place in the hoary past; and this mix up could have evoluted in other ideas, such as penance, absolution, resurrec- tion and beatitude. These are ancient codes known as Yoga, Mukti, Prayascitta, Atma-bodha and Samadhi respectively.
Ahamkara and Ego differ in equivalence. Like most of the other terms cited in the previous paragraph, they appear to be alike, but they are not. Ahamkara is a principle in Hindu metaphysics, ego is a characteristic of the human personality, and concerns the science of mind alone. Aham the I-ness, Asmita, is a distinguishing feature of the Mind that relates one to another. Aham relates; Maya binds. Both together act hand in hand. That faculty which does (Kara) the Act of distinction is Aham-kāra. It is not the My-ness which is Ego's speciality. Ahamkara leads to spiritualidentity of the inner self; ego leads to worldly identity of the extrovert man. Ego only relates; Ahamkara assists in guiding to the Absolute too.
'Manas' or the mind, both in the Samkhya and Saiva systems, is recognised as an organ. It functions in both sensing and acting. Mind senses; mind feels; mind acts. Mind has a feeling which no sensory organ has. Its feeling involves a 'sixth sense'. It feels in a way which could be explained by the cosmic alone. Mind acts even when all the acting organs are at sleep; and all the sense organs are dead like off-switch electronic wires. So intricate and mystifying are ways of the mind that we have to leave the subject here, only to be taken up later on.
Ahamkara is derived from Buddhi (intellect) which is the faculty that determines after distinguishing, selecting and choosing. It is a derivative no doubt; but what is it derived from? Saiva works differ about the answer.
One opinion says that Buddhi is derived from Citta. Citta is a reservoir of the three Gunas when in equipoise; else, in a state of imbalance of the three Gunas, Citta suffers from imbalance and collects Grossness (Mala, Tamas). Citta and Guna are derivatives of Prakyti, the cause of the Gunas. All that is manifold and non-intelligent must be caused. Gunas are both manifold and non-intelligent. Hence the Gunas have to be caused; and the cause is inherent in Prakyti, which is not the poised state of the Gunas.
The Siddhanta analysis of Prakyti, Guna and Citta has not been uni- versally accepted. The objection raised insist that the Gunas and Citta are not at all necessary to be viewed apart from Prakṛti. For them Citta and Prakyti are one and the same. If Prakyti is the source of the Gunas, and Citta is also the receptacle or the flux state of the Gunas, it surely means that in both Prakyti and Citta are subject to the Gunas. As such there should be no difference.
There appears to be a fallacy, however, in this method of exposition. Gunas, like rivers, may flow out of the same mountain range; and the ocean may receive the rivers as a receptacle; or a lake may receive the three flows coming out of the same mountain. This does not mean that the mountain and the lake are functioning equally, and are the same. Prakyti is the Matrix from which the Gunas are derived. As Gunas these are different, with different characteristics. Citta is the womb where thetriplet could grow as three babies with three complexions and three personalities; or even as identical personalities with identical character. The first, like the legendary hundred sons of Gandhari, could cause disaster, because of gross behaviour. The second, like the legendary Asvins, could act as one, and contribute peace. Gunas in the unidentified state could be Prakṛti; and the same Gunas at a peaceful poise could be Citta; but three different evolutes of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, could be traceable to them one way or the other. The three could upset Citta's balance by refusing to come to a harmony.
A third Saiva opinion calls Citta as a variety of functioning of the Manas. Manas functions through Citta as a faculty known as Dhyana (attention), which is not the same as to call Citta a separate principle. Moreover, the evolutes which are derived as principles from Prakṛti, are traditionally known to be twenty-four. Citta makes it twenty-five; but it is untraditional addition. Hence it is redundant.
Which of the opinions is true, might be adjudged by the competent. We are to note only the existing opinions, and show (a) that Śiva- metaphysics has diverse schools; (b) that each of the schools is based on a rational system of analytical enquiry; (c) that none rests on pristine dogmas or ecclesiastical authoritarianism or dictatorship; and (d) that the basis of Śiva-metaphysics cannot be confused with the gross and rude forms of primitive objects of worship considered phallic. A set of principles which at the very elementary stage of enumeration could give grounds for developing into so many diverse schools, has to be regarded without any doubt, to have attracted a profound attention, and provoked a universal urge of spiritual inquiry. The development of Saiva philo- sophy must be running through a highly responsible tradition of spiritual exercise. The intellectual profundity, and spiritual concern cannot be confused with the primitive adoration of nature. Elemental pantheism inspired by a sense of awe, surprise, mystery of fear could not have developed into the highly sophisticated system of Saivism. Purely analytical understanding cannot suffer either dogma or superstition. This makes Saivism so sublime in the metaphysical texts of the East. Śaiva philosophy itself bears an eloquent testimony against the phallic aspersions current about it.
Buddhi, Ahamkära and Manas (and Citta where it is recognised). together, form the set of internal organs which influence judgement. Because of the imbalance caused by the Gunas, most of the time these upset correct judgement. Those who accept Citta, include it too in the set. The mechanics of perception, cognition and presentation of sense-objects have thus been carefully laid down in Saiva metaphysics.
Senses come into contact with objects, which become cognised without being fully defined. The faculty of defining, classifying and determiningbelongs to 'Manas'. Fastening of cognition in the undetermined stream of experience involves the Citta, classifying and determining is the act of Manas. The attempts for determination and classification lead the data of the objects to differing strata and substrata, diversifying and qualifying genus into species, and sub-species. Specification becomes a possibility through the innate faculty of Manas, which is an inner organ. The qualifying determinate or 'Višeşa' (Noun or nomenclature) differentiates the identity; that which aids in the differentiation is the qualifying factor of Visesya (adjective). In the conflict of actual determination between 'this' and 'that', the selective sense is provided by Ahamkara, which determines; but the actual acceptance of the classification is performed by Buddhi.
Buddhi is disposed into eight modes or states; four positive, and four negative. These are Dharma (virtue); Jñana (knowledge); Vairagya (dispassion); Aiswarya (authority); and the reverse of these four: that is, A-dharma (non-virtue); A-jñana (non-knowledge); A-vairagya (want of dispassion); Anaiśvarya (want of authority). There are further sub- divisions of these eight, and still further divisions of those sub-divisions. Analytical subtlety carries both Saiva and Samkhya systems to 612 categories known as Pratyayas. Analysis, and yet more analysis holds the key to the special method followed in Hindu metaphysics, of which religion and gods form just a tangible exposition.
The Sibkect’ or Bhojyaitri: Kala-Niyati-Kala
Prakyti in a pure state is the 'causa causans' the cause before any that could have a cause. As soon as Prakṛti as 'the cause' gets into the act of causing, it is known as Mala (Root)-Prakṛti. By its very nature of getting into an evolute it inheres and signifies valuation; and this very tendency of functioning ascribes to it something which is, by nature, voluntary. It is it. To say that volution belongs to it is to commit the fallacy of saying moon-light belongs to moon, liquidity belongs to water; or colour belongs to light. This is Mayata (inherence). Thus this state of Prakrti is distinguished from Múla or Parama or Maha Prakṛti as Asuddha (impure) Prakṛti, i.e., Prakṛti with the inherent faculty of evoluting into many. Maniness cannot be the property of the Pure. This phenomenon of evolving into 'something' other than 'it' involves three factors. These are time, inevitability and particleness, known respectively as Kala, Niyati and Kala. Kala involves the concept of Time, which being other than Prakrti (and being from 'Prakṛti") has a beginning and an end. Endless time is an idea; and is known as eternity. Eternity, therefore, could only mean 'time as much as one could conceive of, and beyond'. That which is in Time has to go out of it when time comes. Kala or Time is thus less than Prakyti.
Niyati follows the law of inevitability through the cyclic chain of cause and caused, sequence and consequence, cause and effect. This law of inevitability differs from the popular idea of 'destiny' in the sense that popular destiny is accepted as blind. Such a concept of fatalism goes out of line with Saiva metaphysics. Fatalism is a callous submission to destiny. It is contrary to Hindu metaphysical meterialism, because it suggests arbitrary authoritarianism. Such intervention from an unprincipled autocratic power-head is irrational and not spiritual. Our spiritual incapacity, to be able to look before and after, to be able to link up cause and effect, should not be side-tracked as destiny. If a myopic person stumbles against a lamp-post, the blame belongs to the insufficiency of the functioning power of the eye. In the case of inner sight of knowledge, it could be developed and used. Prophets do not fall victim to destiny. They could see the past and present, and decide. Jesus knew of the events that lay ahead, He did not say to Peter, 'You will deny me three times before the cock crows' just as a miracle. He knew, he saw, he heard which we do not. That makes what is known as a Son of God, a prophet who can look before and after. But a thing in Time has to cycle on and on along the chain of Cause and Effect to its 'destined' end. This positive role that the concept of 'Destiny' plays in Hindu thought bears an ethical responsibility which does not have to suffer as does the Greek idea of Nemesis. In order to appreciate the firm basis of Hindu attitude to the life after life, this explanation of the Hindu view of Niyati (destiny) has to be absorbed. We shall have to come to this subject back in a while.
Besides Käla (time) and Niyati (Destiny) there is yet another factor which concerns the projection of an object into being. This is a 'parti- cular' being, which, as the adjective denotes, has to have a 'particle' as its nucleus. This 'particle' is a part from 'Prakrti', and a particle nucleus breathes Prakṛti's spirit. Because of its involvement in Time (Kala) and Destiny (Niyati), this Being is a victim of consequences. (Once the 'Being' could, by some process, break through this bondage or limitations of Time, Destiny and Particled condition, the 'Being' would reverse to the original Prakṛti-force, and shed the impurities of Mala. This leads to the contiguous ideas of emancipation, sublimation, salvation, liberation, or, even resurrection).
Time is independent as a principle. Despite the physical presence of all the other causes (as in the ripening of a fruit, or boiling of rice, or hatching of an egg), some effects have to await an unavoidable factor. Time itself has a maturing power. Time does not connote just a passage, like the flight of a bird; or a continuity, like a line. Therefore, though it is a unit made of many units, as a line composed of many points, yet Time is a constituent of multiplicity. Thus Time is multiple and non-intelligent.
As it is multiple and non-intelligent, so it is a 'product'. Like all products it cannot be eternal. Researches in modern physics support the Hindu theory of limitations of time.
Mahakala: The Time-dimension
Hindu concept of Mahakala, represented in the anthropomorphic form as Šiva in a perpetual dance is also dark, symbolising its non-intelligent character; and the many heads, the garland of many skulls represent the other characteristic of Kala's multiple-ness in a unit. As a symbol of Sakti (Power) Time's annihilating, disintegrating aspect is sculptored and worshipped as a female, Kāli or Camunda (see Plate 25). In the. Kala-form Siva wields a two-sided swinging drum, representing the principle of perpetual change inherent in time, as well as the change from cause to effect and effect to cause, through the physical law of integration and disintegration. This has been imaged in the anthropomorphic forms of Siva Nataraja (see Plate 39), or Bhairava-Kala. Šiva has the 'third eye' pointing clearly to an ability of transcendental vision. Siva's cosmic vision pervades all knowledge.
Destiny is the principle of leading the effect-evolute from cause to effect and from effect to cause. It is non-intelligent. It acts as a physical law; but the particle-part which leads from 'now' to 'then', present to future, could be invoked with intelligence through the energy of the Lord (Śiva-Sakti), a factor that activates all particles according to their destined end. Śiva-Sakti acts on different particles, different beings and different objects as an activising urge set on various errands.
Hindu View of Karma: Kriyamana-Sañcita-Prarabdha
A digression at this point on the subject of the so-called fatalism and passivity of the Hindu may not be regarded as an imposition. Since Hindu metaphysics regards Niyati as an essential evolute, this has often been judged at par with what the West in the Greek tradition, habitually worships as Destiny.
The Hindu is not fatalistic because he is not blind about the past; his positive conviction of Destiny or Niyati grows from his strong views regarding his past. His views of the present are sprung out of his views of the past. He may not be able to view his past. That is due to his spiritual shortcoming. But he knows that he had a pat, and his present is a product of the past. Hence he has a role to play, and to conduct himself either in fulfilment of, or in atonement of the same past. This view does not permit him to remain passive. 'Constant activity makes the man', is an opinion in line with the Caraiveti Sutra of the Aitareya Upanisad.
He is not, and cannot be passive. The way of Yoga is, the way of continuous preparation. His relaxed acceptance of Life as a consequence is misunderstood as passivity. He is not passive; he is partly relaxed, partly determined to face the future, without forgetting his past. Medita- tion in itself is not less active than a Marathon race. In fact, it is much more trying, and demanding of masculine vigour.
The point needs further elaboration. The Hindu theory of Karma is closely bound with the Hindu idea of transmigration, and continuity of the life cycle. Ancestor-worship, paying homage to the dead, and practice of virtuous deeds, form links to the same chain of the continuity of Time and the continuity of the consequences floating in Time, Karma is not the same as Kismat, Nemesis or Fate. Karma denotes the consequences of acts committed. Positive action, with positive sequences. These are the Kriyamana (unfinished)-Karma-links. Those acts done in this or in the past lives might have ostensibly gone out of the immediate view of time, but the chain of sequences continue to influence the chain of events which run into full circles. Those events, like clouds in the sky, or currents in ocean, do not wait our viewing. In running these circles, these might trigger off chained reactions in a variety of forms, noted or not noted. No man could escape the past or its consequence. To deny this is to deny the logic of chained reactions. Sañcita-Karma (Effects of past acts) does not render us helpless, more than an attacking enemy renders us helpless. It is up to us to play a foolhardy escapist vagrant who by riding the tiger feels to have secured freedom. The theory of Sancita-Karma educates a Hindu to be positive and face the issue. Arjuna was made aware of this when he considered himself to be the master of the events as the killer. His way of thinking was termed 'uncultured' (Anarya). To stand and give battle to Life's demands is the final message of the Hindu idea of Sañcita Karma. Life assumed some duty from society; but life is born along with certain implied duties too. Duty is inherent in the trust that life lays on a person, by allowing him to grow and try educating him; and duty is inherent in fulfilling the expectations laid down as trust. Life means duty to life. Prärabdha is what has already been started; and as action already started this too is productive of commitals from which there is no escape. But future actions could so be adjusted as to make enough atonement, and save it from becoming sañcita, and thereby assist life here and hereafter from becoming unworthily burdened and handicapped.
Kriyamana Karma (Action in progressive chain of consequence) as action in the process of being acted is yet under control to be moulded, planned and set right. This may be adjusted to balance against Sancita, ad atone for Prárabdha. Never could a Hindu provide to become fatalistically passive. He is to be ever alert and doing. This is the effectof his understanding the proper principles behind Karma. His is the relaxed state of the dedicated happy soldier. He has to act ever and ever. "Niyatam kuru karma tvam" ("Act perpetually, Oh Arjuna").-Gita, III: 8.
Kala means a 'part', as is a crescent to the moon, a ray to the sun. It is not material like electrons or protons are. It is a spiritual evolute of Prakṛti, which has the gift of enlightenment. Prakrti, the reservoir of all material and spiritual being, the Womb of Creation, is composite of all the Gunas: yet it retains within it, even in an infinitesimal degree, the ability to spiritualise and purify.
St. Theresa of Avilla speaks of the 'Spark'.
This prayer is a little spark of true love for Him which the Lord begins to kindle in the Soul. He wishes this soul to come to understand the nature of this love with its attendant joy. This quiet and this little spark... is not a thing that can be acquired, as anyone who has experience of it must immediately realise.15
This power in Prakṛti is able to remove, as St. Theresa's 'Spark', the enveloping Tamas, or darkness or ignorance, that overcomes the Being. It is able to remove ignorance of its own accord; for bringing it up to its peak of power an effort is called for. A soap is a soap because it 'can' clean. Yet it does not clean unless certain other facts put it to its maximum ability to work for cleaning. Kala has to be invoked. It is at this point that the role of Yoga leading to Samadhi comes into play.
Yoga: A Neutral System
Commonly, Yoga is confused, with Hinduism, as a religion. This is another common error, a fallacy that interested churches have propagated for their narrow ends. It is only a Hindu way of reaching the meaning- fulness of life. Like Hindu mathematics, Hindu music, Hindu art, Hindu astronomy or Hindu medicine, it is an independent contribution to the efforts of reaching spiritual transcendence. It is a way of transcendental meditation with all its delight and rewards. Yogis indeed are suspects to the religious technocrats as atheists; they are at times posed even as standing challenges to religious conformity. Like Kabira, Śamkara, Spinoza and Descartes, the saints, the metaphysicians and the philosophers, communicate and associate beyond the brotherhood of religion. The Yogis form a brotherhood by themselves. Toga is a subjective method of concentration of the mind leading to transcendental realisation, through successful meditation. It has no religious overtone at all. All it insistson is a code of formal discipline. What makes it appear as Hindu is the fact that Hindus alone have preserved and practised this ancient system. In this sense the Ganges is a Hindu river, the Sitär is a Hindu musical instrument, and capäti is a Hindu food.
The role that personal effort plays in Yoga, and the elaborate emphasis that is laid on the discipline of efforts, misleads some into thinking that by laying absolute reliance on personal efforts and external mechanics the Togi excludes the idea of Divine Grace. To the Yogi's eye Jesus Christ, Hazrat Muhammad, or St. Theresa was as much a Yogi as Kapila, Dattatreya, Nanak or Mirabai.
So far as Grace (Karuna) is concerned, the relation that Prakrti has with Kala (Time) clearly indicates that Prakyti is supreme as the source of Energy, Will and Consciousness. How this thought becomes the unifying factor of the various gods and goddesses that crowd the Hindu pantheon has been treated already in the previous chapters on the Hindu Systems of Philosophy, particularly in the chapters on 'The Mother', and 'Bhakti". Without Prakṛti's Karuna (Grace) not a drop of dew would descend to activise germination, or cool the thirst in a cup of pollens and make them matured for further continuity of life. Water would lose its life, air would lose its breath. Science explains. Grace creates. This is how Grace and Prakrti become part and parcel of the same subject-object function.
As Kala's (Time's) anthropomorphic image inspires the devotees to the worship of Śiva, so the innate idea of Prakyti gives form to the image of the Mother. It is only at the emotive level of Bhakti that the idea of Grace presents itself in all its profundity. Yoga proper conducts the application of the mind to the objective of Transcendental Realisation. Bhakti-Yoga is also a Yoga, and is attainable through much of the prescribed forms as presented in the Yoga system.
So far as the idea of God is concerned, Yoga neither proposes a new God (nor a Hindu God), nor does it militate against, or antagonise, or counteract, any accepted theism based on God-Reality. It does not propose a God; it does not impose a God; it destroys no God; it does not even remove or touch any given God. Yoga as a system supports no theology in particular.
It remains neutral, as all principles must. As a result, it brings home the fact that the Real being one and the same, despite difference of approach, God is one. Thus understood God-Realisation becomes an inescapable challenge to any fully conscious person. It purports to declare, "The divine is within this body, every body;" "I am He;" "TheAtman is the Brahman;" "The Kingdom of God is within us;" "Thou art
The Ailing World and Yoga
The latest evaluation and reassessment of Hinduism in the West rests mainly on this Hindu insistence on rationalistic realism for discovering the realms of spirit and Universal peace. Nineteenth century European Thought had fallen under a spell of cynicism and empiricism. This led to a spiritually deserted area of cavility, where philanthropy struggled with misanthropy, and spirit fought with form. Extreme demands of democracy guided mind to achieve a father-figure, a superman idea; the idea of a champion for an acquisitive society. It inevitably opened the way to military adventurists, and dictators, in suppression of love, understanding, law and ethics. Under a strong spell of materialistic charm for immediacy, a vicious form of nationalism rocked human efforts; racism, colour-prejudice, commercial interest, even religious bigotry split humanity wide apart. A severe race for acquisition and expansion through power and tricksterism fostered chauvinism of every stamp. Love languished in a wilderness of banishment. Great thinkers like Rolland, Marx, Croce, Tagore, Shaw, Lenin, Hesse, Laski, Russell, Einstein were being frowned upon, discouraged, challenged, even threatened. Many were dubbed pacifists; and some as the all-time 'dangerous' communists. For mankind no more complex time ever passed; and we are still struggling under the vaunted legacy of nationalism, parochialism, communalism and jingoism of every brand. And we nurse them to the delight of authoritarianism, commercialism, fascism and capitalism. Eversince, principally through the instrumentality of Western political thinking, the world has been kept under the grip of a kind of subjective gangsters who hold peace and prosperity at a ransom. In the commerce-mad, market-hungry Industrial culture, super-barbarous theories succeeded in getting anarchism, patriotism, terrorism, militarism, socialism and communism grievously mixed up.
Fortunately, the panic has quietened down. But only the panic; the fear is not over. Only we are getting used to international gangsterism and fear. The menace still looms large. Fear for another World War has brought about a hazardous atmosphere of pacification, which is not Peace. Nothing negatively treated, and negotiated through fear is positive or good. But even the worst nationalists are being compelled to own the inefficacy of their policy. New minds are attempting to dis- entangle this dangerous mix up. The New-Asia is making the New- America reorient its hasty onrush into the arena of world-peace. The clever camouflage of covering commercial interests with the traditionalliberalism of Christianity and what was known in the nineteenth century as the American-spirit, is being brought to the fore once again by some of the versatile young Americans and Europeans. This has, in its turn, led to a reassessment of the poised life of the Orient, specially of the Hindus.
Hinduism today is realising more and more the values of Vedanta and Yoga. This neo-Hinduism has become conscious of its real spiritual heritage. This new trend in Hinduism is becoming far more effective, because gradually the Hindu youth is becoming convinced of the superiority of this subjective approach to the mere emotional servility to traditional priestism and ritualism. The growing urban hysteria of crowding around 'sponsored' and 'promotioned' Yogis, glorified miracle-men, are sympto- matic of the dying tremors of a panicked society madly seeking a convenient 'spirit-raid-shelter' to hide from its chasing sense of guilt and shame. Social criminals, who bathe themselves in borrowed and sham glory, who feel puffed and inflated through snatched and temporary powers, are on the rampage, for justifying their conduct through a false association with ethics and spiritualism. They are on the run; but they need to main- tain a brazen faced facade.
As a result, prophetism and miracle-mongering has been growing. These are having a field-day. This is not the first time in history that this has happened. It happened every time a great but aged and palsied culture writhed in its death-spasms like a noble python, or a grand octopus, grown out of size, but breathing its last. It happened to such greats in culture as the Egyptian culture, the Sumerian culture, the Greek culture, the Iranian culture, and even to the Roman, the Manchurian and the Mughal cultures. Prophetism is a profit making occupation that thrives in a society charged with a sense of insecurity. This is not Hinduism, although the changing Hindu society, true to historical form, has been patronising it, specially in the urbanised population. A revaluation of Hindu thoughts is bringing up a crop of young minds which successfully questions, and if necessary, defies authority, attacks jingoism, challenges dogmatic adherence to forms, and breaks up fraudulent institutions of magnified pseudo-glory based on pomp, dramatised by legends and fads, reserved through snobbery, highlighted by showmanship, and dished with spiced cliches.
The frustration of efforts and the emptiness of spirit experienced in the second decade of this century has at last turned the minds of Western scholars to undertake a serious study of comparative religion. Honest attempts are afoot to reassess the Eastern mind. Even die-hard politicians are taking a second look at problems like Common Europe, Communion, relations with China, Russia and Cuba. The humiliation of America's mighty power at the hands of a tiny people's will has opened the eyesof the self-applauded greats for other values and other assessments, This augers, happily, a climate of better understanding for spiritual thinkers in particular, but for mankind in general. It is, in the light of the above, expected that much of what is being now practised in the name of Hinduism, but in reality in the interest of quackery and commercial gains, shall fade out like the Beetles, the Jazz and the Wood- stock. The storm of irreverence blowing against forms and classics shall eventually pass. A degenerating movement is a denial of the source of process of life. Such movements do not outlive their days of excitement. This automatically makes man think of an Eternal Cause, a primum mobile, a vera causa, about which religions are either silent, or dogmatic, or, paradoxically, both. The only non-dogmatic rationalistic approach, a psychologically rewarding and logically viable approach, is provided for in the Hindu metaphysics specially in the system of Yoga. Once this metaphysical process, with its principles is fully appreciated, the mis- conception regarding Hindu polytheism should stand explained. The multiple gods cease to exist in their multitude. The many ideas become reconciled. They begin to convey the one and the same Idea. To attach spiritual, emotive or sentimental forms to a cherished Idea is primarily due to a natural weakness of man for embellishing the object of his adora- tion. Man creates the god he is most fitted to fall in love with. Gods emerge to provide human adoration with a home and a refuge.
God in Yoga
Thus Yoga, instead of militating against religion, or God, or churches, actually help everyone, irrespective of church, or religion, to recognise the inescapable necessity of living with some spiritual goal. Such a spiritual goal is not bound to exist in denial of a material goal which is equally vital for existence. This goal is God. Each man has his God. So viewed, there is none who does not worship, or who lacks a religion. To think is to philosophise: to pursue that truth through unflinching actions is to worship. To hit upon one's appropriate God is to understand Prakṛti. Pursuit according to Prakṛti's innate ability is to advance towards a spiritual realisation.16
Pañca-Kosa: The Five Sheaths
Prakṛti understood, Kald or the 'particle', 'the spark', becomes easy to be appreciated. Although it is an innate spiritual function of Prakrti, although it is universal to life, although all living beings are born with this innate quality of Prakṛti, yet all may not be fortunate enough to get the touch of Kala. Conceitedly we happen to feel that we distinguishwhat we call the 'lower' species of life as different from human species. We also distinguish the 'lower' from the 'higher' on the basis of what we call consciousness. But we do not like to stop and think if we ourselves are fully conscious. Full consciousness is rare in man. All of us are partially conscious. Kala's touch lies beyond our grasp until we are fully conscious. Many live and die without ever feeling what is this consciousness; what is its exact function; what benefits does it potentially store for us; or what must be done to derive the utmost benefit from its presence in us. The benefits Yogis receive from divine Grace is to get into touch with Kala, the very root of Consciousness, which gives, as it were, purpose and life to awareness. We as men call ourselves superior to animal, birds and insects because we suppose that we derive more benefit from consciousness. But do we? All of us? Consciousness fully made aware could lead us to the utmost of Power. fully aware?
Yes. But are we
The fact remains, whether we cognise this spark in us or not, whether Caitanya or Kala invokes in us ecstasy of 'saturated identity' (Tanmayata) or not, it 'is' there. Its invocation may or may not become the goal of our life; but it is there. The 'spark' in the match-stick is there. It is for us to get it alight for us.
But Kala (Time) is not Kala (spark). Both lie covered behind a curtain of Tamas (inert dullness). Both are overwhelmed by a complete lack of knowledge about 'before and after'.
Kala (Particle: Spark) functions in two ways. The first way depends on the congenital impulse of the Mala-Prakyti, which is the most active source of creative energy. If the Matrix, the very Source, at the very first touch of a creative stir, gets along the way of reaching its transcenden- tal enlightenment, due to, may be, a life long meditative application; or, more fortunately, due to, may be, a lucky placement in life within a conducive environment; or, may be, due to the forces of actions performed in previous lives, because of which the subject, the Sadhaka, has no cause to adopt other ways. He is congenitally awakened and enlightened. Helped by Prarabdha Kala (spark) he functions along an easy natural course. This is the first way.
The second functional way of Kala lies through the processess of Vidya and Raga. Vidya generally means technical knowledge; and Raga, attachment.
Vidya and Jnana both mean 'knowledge' in English; and are, therefore, apt to be confused. But, in fact, the two concepts are quite different. Jnana is the knowledge of understanding. It is primarily theoretical. It is directly intellectual. It is Realised knowledge. Vidya is the knowledge of the techniques. It is essentially practical. Guru could give Jhana: but Vidya has to be acquired by practice. Jnana could be 'taughtand imparted; Vidya, which could be demonstrated is an acquisition of the Self. A person of Jnana may become an educated and 'Wise' being; the person who has attained Vidya, although unlettered, could be a man of peace and love. By his very presence he conveys much more than speech or writing could. He has Vidya, which is more than Jñana.
Similarly Raga which means 'attachment' is confused with 'A-Vairagya', which means 'non-detachment'. Raga is to feel attached to a degree where personal identification is totally merged into the impersonal joy. A-Vairagya is refusal to be detached from the objects, which, by their nature, stand detached, and inevitably have to be detached from. The evergrowing nail or hair, once detached, becomes dirt. Growing property, growing family, growing material possessiveness, inevitably has to get detached. Not to bear this in mind is to suffer from the mental failing of 4-Vairagya. To feel attached to matter is not the same as to feel attached to the spirit.
Vidya and Raga are intellectually cognised, but spiritually consummat- ed. Jnana and A-Vairagya keep materially interested and involved, but they lead to a cynical coldness of unreality. The first two are relished through direct spiritual involvement; the last two call for media, material objective media, for their fulfilment. Thus it must be a second grade of enjoyment, because it is not independent. It must lead to sorrow, because man, who has no control over his own self, can never aspire to control a medium on which his happiness depends.
If the cognitive energy of the Lord were directly active, bliss alone should be recognised, as pure bliss is of the nature of that energy; in order to account for our experience of pleasure and pain, Vidya has to be admitted as an intermediary. Similarly attachment appears in the intellect, only as controlled by the emotive faculty, which needs to be manifested by Siva-Sakti, through an appropriate instrument. This instrument is Raga.17
The five Kancukas: Kala, Niyati, Kala, Vidya and Raga. These are the Panca-Kancukas (five sheaths) which form together the personality of the Being. We have already studied them as Tattvas. These in their turn cause the five types of Klesa or suffering. The Five Klešas (sufferings) are: Avidya (Ignorance), Asmi-ta (Egoity), Raga (Attachment), Dveşa (Aversion), and Abhinive'sa (Clinging to life). The overcoming influence of these retarding experiences become too difficult to bear. As a result, an inner craving for liberation from sufferings, keeps our efforts moving towards reaching the Malaprakṛti, where peace is. The Five Klešas to- gether are called Pumstva-Mala, and the suffering soul is known as Puruşa Tattva,18.
Adhvans: The Paths
Thus we have the seven principles again. These are: (1) Asuddha Maya; (2) Kala; (3) Niyati; (4) Kala; (5) Vidya; (6) Raga; and (7) Purusa.
The 24 principles discussed before are Impure; these seven are said be mixed. There is a set of pure Tattvas comprising of another five principles to be discussed later. Thus there are 3 sets of Adhuans (ways) in Śaiva Siddhanta:
(1) Abuddha-Adhvan (Impure Way) of 24 Tattvas;
(2) Misra-Adhuan (Mixed Way) of 7 Tattvas; and
(3) Suddha-Adhvan (Pure Way) of 5 Tattvas.
The first set is known as Bhojyaitri-Kanda (the section dealing with the enjoyers); the second set is known as the Preraka Kanda, (the section dealing with the promoters of enjoyment); and the third set is known as the Bhogya-Kanda (the section dealing with the objects to be enjoyed). The first is fully conscious and volitional; the second is also totally conscious but instrumental; the third is the actual object that inspires consciousness to its zenith, and acquires the property to deal directly with the Real.
Prakrti as a principle is supreme over other principles because all activity emanates from Prakṛti. All the other principles evolute from it, and all are subject to change. Even the principle of change is inherent only in Prakrti.
Since the other principles are subject to change, they are mutable; and mutability prevents them to become all-in-all, and complete in itself. Therefore it stands to reason that for the eternal, changeless, 'all-in-all' principle, 'the beginning of beginnings without end', 'the Alpha and the Omega', 'the all pervasive, and beyond', we have to look to another Principle.
This is Siva. It is the idea that as a Principle of Principles is both conative and cognitive. In it stops the classical cycle of the 'chick and egg' query. In this Tattva all queries end. This is the Paravara of the Upanisads. The Immensity of the Idea could only be Realised (not explained); but for our understanding this idea has to be translated within the limits of human understanding. The intangible and the im- manent has to be made suited for the comprehension of the poorer intellect of men. Here comes the usefulness of expression of the inexpressible. This expression could be linguistic, literary, symbolic or imaged in human shape, irrespective of the medium the expressed form itself is regarded as an embodiment of the Ideal Siva. Śiva congeals into shape the abstract idea of the Principle which as the Lord of Prakṛti finalises the Cause andthe Caused. It is Šiva. Pure delight in the fullness of its final saturation. Šiva-Tattva is inviolable. It is not subject to any formation other than what it is. It is not liable to transformation. Even Sakti is not it; Sakti is of it, Sakti is there inherent within the Siva Tattva.
Mala-Prakyti or Prakṛti-Maya, as we have noted before, is evolved from Asuddha Maya. We have noted that this power of 'assuming' forms confers on Sakti the conative of Maya-ta or the quality of Maya. Why then is it called Asuddha Maya? Impure Mäyä? What are the impurities? The property of change cannot be termed an impurity.
We have noticed that with the assumption of forms, limitations are assumed. These irresistible limitations are Kala, Niyati and Kala. All emanations from Prakṛti are subject to change, and are affected by the three factors as the subjects evolute through the whirls of Maya.
When Maya is free from Kala, Niyati and Kala, it is immaculate, and is called Suddha-Maya. The experience of Asuddha Maya is a daily affair. Our entire involvement with the fascinations of life and its environs is due to the interplay of hopes and fears, emotions and sentiments, which are the effects of Maya's bonds. But beyond this immediate material existence there is a transcendental existence. That transcendental existence is a projection of this very existence, but remains to us a mystery. Thus the process of Life mystifies us. The experience of that transcendental life is not within the reach of all and sundry. He who experiences it also experiences the immaculate nature of Suddha-Maya, the fascinating- involvement of the fraction with the whole, without any limiting property; free from all kinds of bonds. Not by polemics, dialectics, casuistry is this experience attainable; neither is it possible to speak of it. It is an experience beyond the expression of language or comprehension. It is a state cognisable to the feeler and the felt. There is no third in it.
This thrill of the two, the knower and the known, is, and ought to remain a mystery. It is made viable to the Third-eye' alone; i.c., to the inner vision. When reduced to form, form of sound, shape, picture, image, suggestion, implication, to any kind of dimensional limit of time or space, the nature of the eloquent silence of Immaculate (Suddha) Mäyä becomes subject to the limits of Kala, Niyati and Kala. This makes it Aluddha, impure Maya. From steadiness it becomes transitory; from reality shifts to illusion. Its changefulness gives it the illusiveness for which it is so much feared.
We have already seen that Mäyä is not Illusion. Yet we use the word illusion to signify Maya for the sake of convenience. To appreciate the difference between Suddha and Asuddha Mäyä is to learn the art of look-ing at all things in their true reality. This knowledge has been called the Prince of Knowledge, Prince of Mystery. (Raja-Vidya and Raja- Guhyam). It could be known only through experience (Pratyaks-ā- vagamam).
Siva-Tattva emanates from this knowledge. The power acquired is thus known as Śiva-Parigraha-Sakti, the power that leads to the under- standing of the Real Nature of Śiva.
The Immaculate Suddha-Maya or Mahamaya is not the Lord; neither of the Lord. This is explained through a classical illustration of a slab of pure crystal and red hibiscus flower. When we bring a coloured object near a crystal, and place the same on it, the crystal 'assumes' the colour, but is not coloured thereby. As the object is removed, the colouring vanishes without leaving any reactive sequence at all. So, in no sense the slab could be said to be coloured. Round crystal paper-weights often display kaleidoscopic colourings like this, a power assumed, taken on, Parigṛhita.
Śiva emanates this Sakti as the first evolute of the set-of-four Sina- Tattvas. The second one is known as Sadasiva, which emanates from Šakti- Tattua. In this concept we could image a state where the conative and cognitive powers are at peace, a state of equipoise.
This, however, is different with regard to Isvara Tattva. Isoara-ta, or the functioning of Isvara-Tattva operates objectivity the conative state in Isvara Tattva becomes supreme. The cognate becomes second. Mere knowing, or understanding becomes contemplative. Expression becomes the goal. Power to participate consciously through application of will drives towards a definite goal. This goal is to achieve expression. All 'expressions' are emotively involved; so is Isvara-tattva. But Siva is free from emotion. Isvara Tattva becomes an imperative state for perfection of subjective contemplation.
Nature of Pure Knowledge: Suddha-Vidya
Such conative application of Will over cognitive, does not constitute the function of Suddha-Vidya. In its application the cognitive in Suddha- Vidya dominates the conative. Suddha-Vidya knows, perceives, feels, conceives, but does not express or proceed in a way characteristic of the emotive function of Isuara.
Knowledge gained through the purity of subjective realisation is not the same as knowledge gained through attachments to objects, and known as practical knowledge. Truth is realised through contemplation and meditation. Vision gathered through the application of a hypersensitive inner set of faculties engenders more sustaining confidence. Knowledge inferred through readings of data and logs collected from sensual reliance on mechanistic devices and functional apparatus fails in contrast to inspiresimilar subjectivity of confidence. Such knowledge is subject to loss or gain, decay or progress, falsity or correctness, pain and despondence. The inevitable limitations of time or destiny continue to dog the inferences made. Castles built on shifting sands do not provide the best form of security.
In contrast, knowledge gathered through subjective realisation is not open to change, being abstract by nature. It relates to the Ultimate. It is a realisation of the sumum bonum. It is an 'experience-in-itself'.
"Since time belongs to the clan of inferior impure evolutes," says Dr. S. N. Sastri, "it should follow that the pure principles are timeless and that there is no question of priority or posteriority among them."19
Aghora Siva in his Tattvaprakasika objects, however, to Maya being interpreted as a Parigraha Sakti. The realistic and the idealistic schools of Agamas argue this point with such subtleties as should not interest any but the actual Sadhakas (aspirants) themselves.
The systematisation of the evolutionary analysis of matter and con- sciousness makes the Siddhanta-Siva-Tattva a formidable school of metaphysics on its own right. According to this, Siva-Tattva relates to the phenomenal world, as the Mahāmāyā Tattva relates to the underlying principle of changes in phenomena. It is a system which has taken some pains in explaining the intricacies of the phenomenal changes in the nature and form of beings. The roles of Suddha Maya and Mahāmāyā, as explained before, attempts to clear up the phenomenon of Unchange in Change.
The reason for this great care is obvious. It only makes us understand the Principle of Siva, the Siva Tattva, more clearly. For further aids in this exercise of clarification the Siddhantins have gone into the analysis of yet another area, the area of Sound, and called it Nada Tattva. Näda is the cosmic Sound; and this very Sound ultimately expresses itself as articulation. Yet by our conscious efforts we have utilised the faculty of articulation to picture our thought sequences, and used this natural pheno- menon, namely sound, as a means of communication, not only between two different identities, but also within our own selves. Many a time we ourselves get confirmed in our thought sequences, or emotional upheavals by some sound which expects no witness, or audience, exceptourselves to hear.
The world of thought being transformed into sound, words, and their meanings, grows into a mystic world by istelf. The entire process involves perception, comprehension and volition, and includes a complex process of mechanical co-ordination between thought and utterance. The Siddhantins have engaged their minds to this area of human effort, and discovered a great metaphysical implication in the mechanism, which permits them to discover the deep mystery of the relation between Will and Expression; Wish and Achievement; Being and Power; Śiva and Sakti. To follow carefully the Näda Tattva of the Siddhantins is to be able to follow the Siva Tattva still more clearly.
Is sound always articulated? Is all sound cognisable? Is all thought translated or translatable into sound? Is silence a feature of articulation? The heard sounds are sweet; but those unheard, are they really sweeter as the poet suggests?
Change so far, as we have seen is a function of the Will of Suddha- Mäyä, otherwise known as Mahamaya. This evolutionary change concerns the world of things, or of beings. All these material-changes are infused, with the Mayata of the Maya, which inspires all with different categories of Consciousness.
Nada-Bindu-Tattva: The Sound World
There is also a changing world of Sounds which has been indicated before. This is Sabda Prapanca (the World of Sounds), as the former one is known as Artha-Prapanca (the World of Meaning).
That Sound is a quality inherent in ether, and that its communicating medium is the waves in the ether-sea was a fact known to the ancients. They knew that Sabda (sound) was the property of Akasa (ether). They also knew that a sound drops into the ether-sea, like stone dropping in a pond; similarly it creates waves which expand gradually in a circular form, leaving the particular point as its centre. Sound-Areas are contained within the circular Field created by this 'Drop (Drop-Linga; Field-circle-Gauri or Śakti-Patta).
Sound in Sanskrt is also known as Nada, but Nada denotes the total sonic action that envelops the Field of the sound, and not merely 'the' sound. And Drop in Sanskrt is Bindu. The philosophy of Sound in Siva- Tattva is known as the Nada-Bindu-Tattva. It is a systemisation of the per- ception of the phenomenon of Sense-Sound transformation through the mechanism of articulation. This process suggests to the Siddhantins a great symbolism which conveys and clarifies the Siva-Sakti concept.
We must not forget that our chief objective in this research is the discovery and purpose of the ultimate state of Peace. Gods, Grace,meditation, prayer, all become but means for attaining this end and no other. In the Hindu way of thinking the Mantras, or the mystic sounds, syllables and words, become symbolic of cosmic sense. Hence a 'Mantra'. A Mantra is a living God. Chanting of Mantras is living in God. Hence the understanding of the sound, its relation with the conceived idea on the one hand, and with the sense-symbolism of expressed thought on the other, is vitally significant to the Sadhaka, we would very well like to know why a sound like Om, or Hring, or Kling would become so important to his spiritual quest. Saiva-Siddhanta offers the theory of Nada for the removal of such doubts.
The second objective in analysing the Nada Prapanca offers a sublime symbolism through which the actual concepts of Siva-Sakti or Siva-Māyā, or Purusa-Prakrti become further illustrated. Since the tradition of yogis is a very ancient one, from time to time, great seers, in attempting to explain the Mystery, have used a variety of ways. Each of the explana- tions has used its own language, own symbolism, own illustrations. There has accumulated over the years a number of standing classical illustrations: moon and light; crystal and hibiscus; lamp and light; vessel and air; etc. This sound-sense compact illustrates in the Nada theory yet again another way of fully appreciating the importance of Mantra in connection with the goal of realising the final Truth which the Siva-concept projects. The correlates of the sublime Šiva-Reality and the correlates of the Sense transforming itself to Sound are so similarly placed as to help each other in understanding the metaphysical basis.
How is this done?
We are aware of the articulated sounds; but we are not so much aware of the inarticulated sound. Those acquainted with the views of Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir know that such an inarticulate state is the essence of existentialism. Existentialism attempts to spell the death of existence. In other words Existence of an idea exists much before its physical existence. As a matter of fact, despite a physical existence the idea-existence, i.e., the 'existence' before existence does not end, die, or continue. This is because an Idea is nearer the subjective 'per- fection' than a physically existent form of the Idea. Idea and Reality are eternal; not actuality. The fact that (a) it is not perceived by the thinker himself except in the thought, i.e., it is not perceived by any sensual organs, and (b) the fact that this inarticulated (or undefined) state is yet beyond the scope of communication, does not mean that it does not exist. It is a medium in solitude, and refuses to part with it except through silence. Truth lies in subjectivity. Existence of the Reality survives on an intensity of feeling. To expose a feeling felt is to amputate it. The Sadhaka in whose mind the feel of an idea is alive and intense, forms first an intense and infinite relationship with it. As an effect of this he formsan infinite relation with himself. Thus an individual aspirant feels and forms his idea much before taking action for the execution of an idea into an act in order to produce a perceptible result. Inarticulated 'sound- forms' are as much a possibility as inarticulated forms of touch, sight, smell, etc., etc. In fact, it is an imperative and unavoidable stage in all types of articulation. This stage could be missed by a dull person. Many, in fact most of us, live apparently, without ever experiencing living intensely. We exist because we think. But how many of us feel our existence in our thinking?
The aspirants have to live in their intensity; in their solitude; their subjective individuality. They are in pursuit of the self. Hence they are the ones who perceive inarticulated feelings. The inarticulated sounds are perceived by all. Perceived only; we are not speaking that the perceived is automatically understood. That is a different matter altogether.
But besides the articulated sounds there is an area of the inarticulated. This area is again subdivided into three sections depending on the expres- sion of the potential power of expression and communicable knowledge of each. These three are (a) Pară; (b) Pasyanti; and (c) Madhyama, which have already been dealt with a little before.
Speaking now, in terms of Mantra, the sounds of a particular Mantra are selected by the Sadhaka in the Para state, where the meaning and the purpose, as well as the forms, of the sound are all mixed up; and the Sadhaka is only attempting to distinguish the proper articulation of the unarticulated. At the second state (Pasyanti) the Mantra is taking shape, and is about to prove fully congruent with the concept in the Idealistic stage. But in the third stage of Madhyama the Mantra is formed, and the Sadhaka knows it to be what it is, and what it should be. But yet he does not part with it, and give it an utterance. It is intimately his and his alone.
It would be cleared up and manifested in the next stage. That is the Articulated stage. The Inarticulate state had three subdivisions.
The articulated state has two subdivisions.
The Articulated Sound is Vaikhari. This too has a subtle and a gross form. The subtle, of course, would deal with the idea of Ituara, which is a manifesting form, next to Siva, the unmanifest, and could be brought within the range of communication. Siva as Reality can never be brought within the range of communication. Siva is 'In Itself. The individual's personal intimate realisation alone is Siva's quiet inarticulate abode. Isvara alone emerges as manifest. Vaikhari's first Tattva is thus Isvara Tattva. That which is more expressed and communicable, that which is 'card, seen and felt in the light of purity, the subject-object expression of Realised Truth, is the Suddha-Vidya-Tattua.
Similarly, Madhyama denotes Sadasiva-Tattva: and of course, Pasyanti denotes the full-fledged Sakti Tattva.
Sakti and Sakti Tattva, as already pointed out are different concepts. Sakti is Suddhamaya; but not Sakti-Tattva, which is an evolute of Suddha Maya. The same distinction for the same reason should be maintained between Bindu and Bindu-Tattva.
With particular reference to this topic of Nada and Bindu principle, a digression may be indulged in at this point. Pakyanti is Bindu in the analysis of Sound. Para, likewise, is Šiva. These two constitute the famous Nada and Bindu: symbols of the circle and the dot, or the half circle and the dot. Yet these have been confused with the phallic symbolisms of the fish sign, or with the frank vaginal forinations, as found in the Osksey church, near Cirencester, or the Kilpeck churches in Hertfordshire (both in Eng- land), or the Shelah-na-Gig (see Plates 7, 8, 9, 9A) statues of Ireland, or similar representation found in Sicily, Cyprus and other Mediterranean countries. It is not at all my claim that the Phallic signs, the phallic sym- bols, the phallic images have not been traced to India, and even to the Hindu cults [From Mohenjo-daro to Parasurameśvara images (see Plate 10) a tradition is evident]; but I intend to point out that the Siva Tattva and the Nada-Bindu symbol is independent of the phallic designs. The con- fusion or the misconceptions arising from some similarity of designs bet- ween Nada-Bindu symbols, Siva-symbols and phallic symbols are acci- dental, and not coincidental. The grievous effects of over-simplification indulged in by writers, having little knowledge of Siva system of meta- physics, serve no good purpose either for the study of the phallic, or for that of Saivism. (For Nada-Bindu see Plate 33; and for the simple Linga form as used by the Hindus see Plate 11.)
The understanding of the theory of sound (Sabda-Nada-Bindu) leads Śaiva metaphysics to the celebrated system of Sphota.
Sphota and Realisation
Sphota is a technical term. In his famous grammar Panini uses it in an extremely restricted sense. This sense is sensitively aware, and sub- jectively actual.
The theory challenges the actual point of time when thought, commu- nicating through sound, struggles to bring out and complete a sense-unit, for which it depends on a mass of previous experiences classified as data- symbols. This is carrying existentialism to a further subjective scrutiny, and carry out the subtlest anatomisation of as subjective an area as evolves sense from sound and sound from sense.
What part does an alphabet play in the exposition of (a) a sound; (b) sense? When and how is a sound a completed sound? At whatstage exactly does a sound phenomenon become a meaningful word? When does a 'sound' detach from the apprehensible with the quality of 'sense'? 'How does' is not so important in Sphota as 'When does'. When does the configuration of Water, or Moss, or Iron, or an Ape or a Cabbage or a Camel crystallise from Isvara, and where does Isvara exist without such configuration? Who or what, then, exists? Isvara or a Cabbage? Sense or Sound? Yes, the theories of Satkaryavada or Pariņāma-vāda (q.v.) do indeed explain changes from sequence to consequence, cause into effect, or evolution,-but that is neither all, nor final. 'A' given, 'Y' is a change from 'A'; but between 'A' and 'Y' when exactly in "Time" the change comes, and in what shape before 'A' has become 'Y', and after 'A' has left 'A' or ceased to remain 'A'? An abstruse question; but a relevant one, a pertinent one.
Sphota is that configuring moment in the Time-current when sense configures as sound form; when the phenomenon of comprehension bubbles as apprehension; when that which existed, becomes that which gets in- volved. In the Time-current this must be a point-in-time, when the actual fulfilment reaches, but shuns to stagnate, and passes on to the next Sphota. Thus Sphota is a creative moment in silent eternity.
In the same way, what part does a word-sound play in transfiguring into a sentence-sound? And a sentence-sound to an Idea; and an Idea to an Ideal? In other words did Śiva transform to Isvara, and isvara to Sadasiva? It is a grammarians' syllogism. This has been used in meta- physics in analysing the spiritual (and esoteric) involvement of sound with the Cosmic knowledge, and of knowledge with the Idea. The power to acquire the necessary keenness for such apprehension is Yoga. Sound, and the mysticism of Mantra. Vasugupta and Abhinavagupta are the celebrated exponents of this system, which has, because of its esoteric contribution to the subtle apprehension of Mantras, demanded time- tested veneration from the Yogis of all times.
Here, a word for the Yogis. The term Yogi has often been used to mean comprehensibly anyone between a careerist mendicant, a physical culturist with some skill in gymnastical posturing, a manager of a massag- ing club or meditation club, or a relaxing centre, to a spiritualist and a Realised Man. It is often forgotten that Patanjali, the Master, who left the first systematised instructions on Yoga, talks of Yoga as a method of exerting control over the mind, so that the power of Will becomes free of emotional tensions, and attains perfect objective freedom to be applied for the attainment of a given aim. Thus, again and again, the archer's illustration has been used in making the aim and the mechanics of Yogapointed-sharp. Single-mindedness is the first essential to Yogic success. It is not enough to take into consideration merely the target, or the 'hit' itself. Yoga includes a number of preparatory and technical points to be taken care of for success. For instance, the technical care taken for shaping the bow, testing the string, making the arrow, sharpening the arrow and the bow, selecting length of the arrow and the bow in proportion to the distance from size of the object of the hunt, the speed, direc- tion and nature of the wind which the arrow has to cut through, and the behaviour of the feathers or any other material that would assist in direct- ing the progress of the arrow from the point of discharge to the point of impact; all this, and many more subtle points, have to be taken into consideration before an experienced archer could bring his training into full force for achieving his objective without fail. The size, weight, length and tension of his bows and arrows would not be the same whilst shooting a bird, a deer, or a tiger. He often goes to kill a tiger with only one arrow in hand. The second, third or the hundredth arrow in his quiver, would be of no use to him any way, as any tiger-hunter would agree. His failure in hitting means his end anyhow. The author had the experience of one such hunt by an Amerindian youth of the Wai- Wai tribe. He had gone out to kill a Jaguar with only one arrow in hand. He brought the dead Jaguar back to the camp.
The Yogi trains his faculty of attention. This is his weapon, his armour's deadliest, surest 'killer'. It is not an atmospheric or environ- mental attack. It is pointed; it hits a point. the point, where the alter- native of a 'second' is not possible. With attention sharpened to a point, as the tip of an arrow, he hits his 'Aim' (whatever it is), and the 'objec- tive' is his. Here is no place for subjectivity, metaphysics or mystery. Thus the Togi cannot afford to be 'vague' or lacadaisical. He has to be 'on the point', dead sharp, all the time. He has to be objective and objective alone. Yoga is a process of sharpening the Will. Yoga is attaining a perfect skill.
Thus the mechanics of Yoga depends on objectivity. Gila says "Toga is the skill in attaining objectives;"20 but the Yogi's object of attainment is the faculty of realising the One in all, the faculty of treating all lives as dearly as one's own; development of an attitude towards life, through which mere success in personal acquisition and proprietorship would appear as childish indiscretion. This state of subjectivity of mind is the objective of the Yogi; and Yoga is the skill one attains in mastering this process, the process of living in a state of pure subjectivity, of realising the ultimate facts about the first-person singular number. It is in thissense that a Yogi attaches supreme value to perfection. He has to be dead right. He has to be dead right about the Mantra he contemplates. He has to be dead right in its pronunciation, as well as in its enunciation. The Mantra is reflective of his aspirations. The Mantra is the trans- figuration of his existence, and the values of the existence. And the Mantra is sense transfigured into sound. Sound, and sound pronunciation, are of vital importance to him. Hence the knowledge of Sphota is important to him.
Mandana Miśra (of the Brahmasiddhi) accepts Sphota as a firm belief in the unchallenged supremacy of sound. When great Advaitins (monists) like Samkara believed in (Brahmadvaita) Brahma being the Supreme Single Real Truth, Mandana Miśra believed, "The word is Brahma, the word is all."23 This was later refuted by Sureśvarācārya, another great follower of Samkara. Their debate on Abhāsavāda and Pratibimba-vāda is well known in Saiva-Advaita metaphysics. But, in this context, we could very well do without it.
'Sphota', as has been said, originally was a grammatical concept dealt by Panini with reference to etymology. The idea was so novel, so engrossing, that both the Nyaya and Mimänsä systems made use of this. We have seen that the monistic system of Vedanta holds Sphota's conclusions as supremely significant in as much as it points that Sound alone is the single reality, which, when translated, would mean Nada is Brahman (Sound is the Immense).
Speaking of Sphota, under his exposition of the Nyaya system, Dr. Radhakrishnan comments :
The fact of meaning is explained by the grammarians on the theory of the Sphota. According to it any single letter, C, O, W, or all the letters, cow, cannot produce the knowledge of a thing corresponding to the word, since each letter perishes as soon as it is produced. Even if the last letter is aided by the impressions left by the preceding ones, a number of letters cannot explain the cognition of a thing. There must be something over and above the letters by which the knowledge is produced, and that is the Sphota, or the essence of sound revealed by letter, word or sentence. This sound-essence produces the cognition of the thing. A single letter, unless it is a complete word, can signify anything. The advocates of Padaşphota (evolution of word-sense from sound) argue that only a pada, or a word, can signify a meaning, while those of Vakyasphota (evolution of sentence-sense from sound) hold that only a Vakya, or a sentence, can signify a complete meaning. According to the latter, a sentence is the beginning of speech, while words are parts of sentences, and letters parts of words. Sphota, or sound-essence, is said to be eternal and self- existent (in principle) bearing a permanent relation to the thing signified by it. Letters, words and sentences manifest but do not produce, the eternal meanings. The Naiyayikas hold that what-ever is significant is a word; and we become cognisant of its signification when we hear the last letter of the word. On hearing the last letter 'W', we recollect the previous ones, C, O, and grasp the whole word by the mind; and we cognise the object by means of the conventional association between the word and the object,24 (The comments within brackets are the author's.)
Mere casuistry? So it appears. Yet, it is not. All types of analysis, at a subjective state, appear to be casuistry to (a) the impatient; and to (b) the materialists' propensity for hurry, short-cut and 'practicalness'. Yet the thought machine's accuracy depends on refinement; and refine- ment depends on subtle distinctions of subjectivity, which is so bafflingly brushed aside by an accusing outburst-'casuistry'!
This poses a challenge to the mechanics of comprehension: com- prehension of letter, to word, to sentence, to thought chain, logic and syllogisms. Comprehension is a natural process only at the start. But, later on this faculty has to be refined, brushed, cut into shape, rendered more sensitive than even computers and seismographs. Suggestiveness, inferences and gestures gain expressions through alert comprehensive awareness. Most of the world's misery is traceable to the modern gap of communication between family members, social members, and in the political field between the ruling few and the ruled multitude. Our articulated language must be comprehensible, realistic and fruitful.
How from a set of mere alphabets different thought-links transfigure into comprehensible units and how those units get arrayed in an order, and complete a thought unit, is an amazing discovery of the Hindu mind. To pause and think on this phenomenon called for an extremely sensitive faculty of honesty of purpose. Such dedicated application could be mastered only by those who could reach a mediative awareness of sub- jective responses.
The 'moment', when sense transfigures from component sounds, and becomes self-articulated-the moment of 'bubbling', 'blooming', 'coming into meaning', is the moment of Sphota. It is Sphota. Articulation. The bud blooms into blossom by passing through Sphota; the chick winglings of the wren or of the cuckoo break the bar of dumbness and reach sound before articulated cooings by passing through $phota; the dawn aurora long before the appearance of the sun fills with faint blushes of the hesitant articulation of colours, and light passes through the stage of Sphota. As a line is filled with points alone, so is Sphota filled with the urge of meaningfulness. Some of these pin-points of conscious efforts are comprehended; some not; some realised, and articulated; some not; in the ever winding Sense-Time-stream some moments of sense become realised, and articulated, some remain unrealised, and mute.
It has been recorded by biographers of Shelley, on the basis of evidenceprovided by his most intimate relations and friends, that it was one of the characteristic of that strangely sensitive poet to put himself all out, even to the point of suicidal peril, to grasp the exact 'moment' when life passes out, and death ushers in (Symonds: Shelley; Maurois: Ariel). It has often appeared to me, similarly, as something very remarkable, how mere sound could be used for perfectly meaningful communication. When does sound cease to be sound; and come to be charged with meaning?
Simple familar words like 'put', 'walk', 'might', 'light' convey un- familiar and sublime thought images, and prove that words might be formed of the same alphabets, and arranged in the identical way, yet the same words change their meaningfulness both in time and space dimen- sions. Othello says, "Put out the light, and then put out the light," and the word 'put' fills dumbness with a new meaning. Or when Macbeth cries in suppressed agony, "Life is but a walking shadow" the simple verb 'walk' assumes new dimensions. In
"The desire of the moth for the star,
Of the night for the morrow"
the meaningfulness of the concept of 'Night' assumes quite unknown dimen- sions. Or, the nuances of the word Light in Goethe's 'Light, more Light' are quite beyond what the dictionary authorises the word light to articulate. Sound is a miracle, with a miraculous power of conveying sense, the modulations of its meaningfulness depends on the transcendental plans from which its author pulls it out, as it were, from the wombs of silence. Meanings of words and sounds of the same words, says Kālidāsa, are as intimately related as Šiva and Sakti.
Even silences have communicative value, and meaning. Silence could be most articulate. When does the moon cease to be a moon, and become light? When does an animal, reproducing another, cease to be an animal and become an involved concern, e.g., a mother, or a father? When does the home, the world, the mind cease to be objective units, and fill themselves with a subjective involvement? When does thought become memory; and memory become a song or a curse; a song or a curse become penance or poison to my living? When does a piece of stone become a god; a river become a mother; a country become pride; a book become a matter of life and death; a blade of grass become poetry; a peasant become my brother; a worker my blood?
As I think of these, I also refuse to get lost in sentimentalism. I want to probe into, to dig into, to analyse, to understand. And this theory of Sphota assists me tremendously in comprehending how much does the 'seen' depend on the 'felt'; how much does the 'felt' depend on the 'comprehended' and how much, how very much, does the 'comprehended' depend on a bubble of apperceptivity blooming in its multi-coloured senseon the void of a moment, the moment of Sphota. Apprehension becoming comprehension is an engaging enquiry.
"No word is conceivable as elementary, as the Sphotavadins would have it". No 'proof' in support of this could be final. Feeling is the only proof. In all essential comprehension the personal faculty alone supplies the last judgement. To ignore, is to enter the deluge. (Savara Svämin, the famous commentator on Jaimini, mentions no proof. He only quotes the name of Upavarṣa as his authority regarding Sphota.)
Sphota, a grammatical necessity in establishing etymology, came handy also to the Hindu logicians (Navya-Nyaya) in classifying genus and species, and in establishing synonyms and antonyms. The Miman- sakas, too, found the theory quite revealing in commenting on the ratio- nale behind uttering a chant (Mantra). We have already shown that Mantras alone, without their Sphota comprehension, are of no use. Such Mantras bear no results. In other words the Mimänsakas esta- blished the verity of the relation between the uttered sound and the consequent spiritual effect. Such effects form a cosmic communicative force, and relate the seen with the unseen, the felt with the unfelt. This explains the reason why great spiritualists insist on the correct way of pronouncing a given Mantra for Japa. "Mimänsakas generally maintain that no part of a word or sentence by itself, or along with the rest, can produce the whole meaning of a word or sentence, which is unity. So this school says that over and above these sounds there is what it called Sphota, the essence of a sound, of the word (or sentence) as a whole, which brought up into consciousness by the different sounds of the word (or words of the same sentence) produces the cognition of what is meant by the word (or sentence) as a whole." In other words a Mantra becomes a living sound; that sound becomes meaning; meaning becomes Truth, and Truth becomes Realisation.
The sound Aum, for instance, in Sphota conveys a realisable living truth. Without Sphota, it is a mere sound; and as such it could never mean anything to the inner spirit, that seeks. It is in the vivified enlighten- ment of the fullest knowledge of the sound structure of Aum that the thrill of revelation lies. This particular moment of thrill of comprehension has been developed further in another school known as Spanda which we discuss later on. But it is very much dependent on the understanding of Sphota. What is Sphota in the world of sounds, is Spanda in the field of revelation. Of that later on.
In conclusion a passage on Sphota from Dr. S. N. Sastri's 'Philosophy of Saivism', may be quoted:
The contention that the residual impressions of letter-cognitions persist, and that they may have this function, is of no avail, sinceresidual impressions are known to have the functions of recalling their own causes (here the letter-cognitions); and there is no justification of imposing another function on them. Though Sphota or Sakti or Nada is manifested by each letter, meaning as a whole is not fully manifest therewith; for it is manifested bit by bit by each succeeding letter as occurring in a particular sequence; the manifestation by the preceding letter, or set of letters, is a preparation for the manifestation of the succeeding letter, till the word is completed. Similar is the case in the expression of mean- ing by the words of a sentence. The Siddhantin thus favours not a mere diversity but a unity progressively manifested in diversity."7
Iconic Use of Nada and Bindu
Human realisation on unity has to be an outcome of diversity. To the materialist, as well as to the sentimental, this unity is lumped together as one, which does not solve the problem of arriving at a peaceful con- clusion. To the transcendental realist the process of arriving at the final unity leads through a logical method of analysis of the nature and function of matter and spirit. The Siddhantins follow the latter course and call this unit as Śiva. Śivată connotes this finality of Oneness, often confused as Sameness.
The Theory of $phota has indeed a great bearing on Saivism. It explains the impact of Sphota on the process of understanding this fact of reaching Oneness through a series of diverse entities. It explains a moment of illumination, bursting into a fullness of meaning and purpose. A meaningfulness dawns on the minds, as it were. It explains what the Yogi seeks in Samadhi, and terms as Siddhi or the moment of 'success'. Liboration takes a new meaning: it is the conscious grasp of the fact that Joy is One; Joy and Sorrow is One. All numbers proceed from One. Besides contributing all these significant theses to the mental and spiritual world of Absolute Realisation, a world of transcendental peace, where all problems reach a quietude of solution, the theory of Sphota also makes a far more meaningful contribution, as we have noted, to the understanding of the Saivic signs, icons and symbols. The Nada and the Bindu icons are expressed in the Lingam and the circular plate or pattam.
Emergence of Saivism and Foreign Influx
Let us at this juncture reiterate what has been stated again and again in our study of the cultural history of the emergence of Saivism. The ritualistic forms of the images used for ritualistic purpose had been subjected to a lot of alien influences to which India has been exposed during the period 1100 B.c. to 1100 A.D. The political upheavalssuffered by the Greco-Oriental empires during this period made large populations seek shelter in more peaceful India. Gradually they established their community, empires, laws; and through these changes, the religious life of the Vedic Hindus too underwent changes, not always approved by the strictest forms of the Vedas. The various Smrtis and some of the Upanisads confirm this. We have noted the flush of new literature that flooded the socio-religious life of the Hindus. We have the Grhya Sûtras, the Smrtis and the Upanisads. It is quite expected that such powerful religions as had projected Moloch, Marduk, Ishtar, Osiris, Isis, Aphrodite, Tanit, Ba'al as gods and goddesses must have had their own sway, particularly when the new empires such as those of the Răştrakutas, Chelas, Cholas, Gurjaras, Huns, Kushānas, Palhavas, Kalachuris, Sungas, Kanvas, Śiśunagas, and many others of the Parthian and the Greek origins had established, or trying to establish, their own ways. It is not at all surprising that at this time new forms of religions had been trying to push out the established Vedic Brahmanism, and create and establish its own caste aristocracy. The new Brahmins like the Cit- pāvanas, Bhumihāras, Acāryas, Migras and the Magas, the new Ksatriyas like the Ugra-Ksatriyas, the Rajputs, the Rajavansis, Šaka-Sinas, Bundelas were making caste system narrow, rigid, clannish and complex [cf., Legend of Sarasvati in Devi Bhagavatam, Skanda Purāņa (Reva-Khanda)].
It is not at all surprising that they found Saivism the easiest medium to promote their phallic images and forms. They knew that Vedism would not absorb them; and Buddhism was out of their grain. It is not at all surprising that whilst the purer form of Rudra and Siva worship had traditionally been engaging the attention of the devout, the Greco- Oriental phallic forms too were trying to carve out a place, and claim recognition, as well as acceptance, in such forms of theology as came to be known as the Käpälins, Mäheśvaras, Pasupatas, Vaikhanasas, Aghoras, etc. We hear of semi-Aryan races as the Pisacas, Guhyakas, Siddhas, Gandharvas, Nagas, Asuras, Daityas, and the other sectarians as Kala- keyas, Mauryas, Haihayas, Damaras, names quite foreign to the Vedic Aryan traditions, but quite frequently mentioned in the Puranas with strange legends attached. Bhakti was known to the Hindus, who had the training of the Agamas, and the Nigamas; Śaivism too was known to them; but the sudden treatises that advocated and laid down rules for temple-building, image-making and metal-casting for the obvious purpose of a new form of worship, gave us the famous Sun-temples of Kashmir, Indraprastha, Pushkar, Puri, Somnath, etc. Sukra-Smrti, Brhatkatha, Devala-Smrti, and a number of sectarian Purāņas support the above view.
Thus we have to recognise that a vast area of phallicism with phallic rites and phallic images was being covered under the umbrella of Saivism. This is the reason why we hear of drastic warnings againstsome of the Siśna (Phallus) worshippers, Kāpālins, Pasupatas and Aghoras. The warnings are sounded unbrokenly from the Ṛg Vedic days to the Purana days. The Phallic in Hinduism is a historical fact, but it is also an entirely denounced fact. Śaivism is quite away from the phallic in spite of many formal similarities which could legitimately create confusion in uninitiated minds. I shall refer in this connection to only three archaeological evidences and try to bring out the point. (1) At Thuburbo Majus near Carthage amongst the ruins has been found a plaque with a great Crescent symbol, a Damarů or Vajra Symbol, with the tridentic motif and a symbolic female forms (see Plate 33). This and (2) the stone form of the stele of Hammurabi-code (see Plate 29A) leave no doubt about the fact that at least a section of the phallic forms found now in India are the evidences of the infiltration of Greco-oriental trends, trying to build a home in the world of the Hindus under the embracing philosophy of Saivism. But the attempt did not succeed. The rock of Saivism proved too strong. (3) A comparative study of the carved god Cernunous on the Gundestrup Bow130 (see Plate 13), and the Śiva Pasupati figure discovered at Mohenjo-daro (see Plate 12) similarly, show how theological images of phallic symbolism moved from end to end of the Eurasian land formation. Śaivism has been a thing apart from these formal phallic images.
To come back to our description of the design of Nada and Bindu, and to the Spanda-theory. The Nada-Bindu theory of Spanda, we have already noted, has given the iconic sign of the crescent and the star so well known as Siva's decorative moon-sign. It also signifies Nada and Bindu: the crescent (a part, a kala), the Nada sign; and the star the Bindu sign. The gradually tapering horn-like ends of the crescent signify the ultimate abstraction of all knowledge about matter; its coming into being, and its going out of being.
Sphota as a theory fully explains such descriptive names of the Siva idea as Svayambhu, that which came into being by itself. Meaning does. Speech, Sound and Meaning are so compact in oneness that meaningful- ness must be described as 'coming by itself'. All Nadas find meaning, and reach a Bindu, a form, the form this time is $phota, a meaningfulness. Thus Siva, the Quiet One, is 'of itself', Svayam-bhů. He is Siva; he is Svayam-bhu; he is Aum, the meaningful sound; Sarva, the 'All'; the master-sound, the master-speech, the master-articulate, Gih (speech)-Isa (lord), i.e., Girisa.
Apart from the Sphota theory and its contribution to the world of the Siddhantin, there is another theory of Pasa-Pašu and Pati: we have ex- plained this before. But as we have to return to it again when we discuss Vira-Saivism of Vasava, we postpone this topic.
Souls are by nature beyond any limit, yet souls gather experience with- in limits. Souls, infinite by nature, find that infinity is curtailed in life, as souls are bound to act from within the limits of the body-experience or sense-experience. Thus Souls consider the bodies as traps. They feel limited. They feel their freedom curtailed. Soul and body form a naturally conflicting relationship (Nitya-Vairî).
The Hindu concept of this Nitya-Vaira relation, a relation of challenge to the existence, a source of congenital conflict, makes the Hindu meet Life as a fighter. He knows that through the very process of birth Man has been destined to solve a conflict, "Am I for here and now, or is there a Beyond for which life is a preparation?" Unable to face this problem some succumb to it and perish; whilst some seek help, and pray for mercy; some, like Kṛṣṇa, say, "Fight; stand up and meet the challenge; fight with a passion of duty, and without a passion for ulterior selfish gains." The concept of 'constant challenge' is totally different from the concept of 'Sin'. There is no word in the Vedic Sanskrt for exactly translating the semetic concept of Sin. Sin is translated in Sanskrt as Papa; but the concept of Papa in Hindu thought is a fundamental constitute of the 'being', and not an acquired defect inherited from any 'fall from com- mand'. How this vigorous concept of 'challenge' and 'fight' has been tamed into the existing Hindu acquiescence to meekness, subser- vience, and prostration is a quite different tale of successive misfortunes and cultural disasters. Hindus of the pre-Buddhist and post-Buddhist
The Alphabetic achievement of Sphota has been most significantly expressed in expressing the sound A-u-m in a single letter-design con- taining the sign of crescent-and-dot, i.e., Nada and Bindu. The letter a in the Nagari script is a combination of the two vowels-A and U or A and O. To complete this sound for representing A-u-m the sign of has to be added to it. It may be written as a or or or ; but the inevitable sign of Näda and Bindu has to be present in all cases, and denote that the letter combination retains the sublimest meaning of all sound-meaning combination. This letter-design holds within it the Nada-Bindu truth of the Siva-principles. The Siva icon, the Siva Lingam or the Siva-sound all three represent the truth of Nada and Bindu.
era, the societies of pre-Alexander and post-Kanişka, were as different as Europe before and after Attila. We must not forget that in the old world the cultural influence of the Indian subcontinent was immense, overwhelming and of an abiding nature. Such vitality, vigour and dynamism cannot be associated with the guilty-minded defeatism of the concept of 'Sin'. "You are the progenies of Immortality," cried the vigorous Rg Veda. "You are the tenants of a spiritual habitat." In contrast to the concept of Sin, the original Hindu concept of the Nitya- Vairi state, or the concept of 'constant challenge', charges life with a responsibility for preparedness against a natural foe which, left unattended, is bound to spell disaster to the very purpose of Life. "Rise up; awake; be at peace, only after realising what you are to realise."31 The Hindu before the Buddha and the Hindu after Kanishka present indeed a metamorphosis of a Perissodactyla turned into a horse.
For a full picture of the Hindu concept of Sin one has to go into the Hindu concept of the Gunas, the Bonds, the Pāśa. The body is bounded by its limits. Limits are imposed as snares as animals, or a rope around a cow, or brakes to a car. These limitations of the sense-perceptions and emotions are known as the Bonds or Pasa. These are 'cut through' by effort. Self-effort. But the degradation implied in Sin expects us to kneel, pray, and beseech pardon against atonement, and suffering sacrifices.
As we speak of copper, we also speak of verdigris. Don't we? As we speak of paddy, we speak of the husk also; as we speak of water, we speak of something other than just H,O. Innate in the thing itself the impurities (the non-things) are inevitably present. Šiva is the only 'Pure- in-Itself', 'It-in-Itself', Sattva. So, speaking of the man, we presuppose that which unmans the Man. Man, the son of Light, is also darkness. Man, the creation of the Perfect, also imperfect; charged with the 'original' sin as it were. This is the original Papam, Kalusa, referred to in the Gîtä as Nitya-Vairi,32 It is something present in the thing itself as other than the thing; but not it; it is rather a denial of its spirit. By its presence it hampers the thing being called purely 'it'. The humans are not men because of some contraries; light is not full, because of obstructive elements. This innate impurity is material; and is called Anava, cogenital, atomic. The presence of this limitation hampers the soul to cognise its own pure nature. This could also be Taijasa, or spiritual.
Soul is pervasive, or Vi-bhů. This pervasiveness becomes limited due to the presence of Anava-Mala, or Anava-Paka, or material atomic 'bonds' known as 'impurities'. The presence of this original set-back in the form of 'impurities', demands action for purification; else its very presence would discharge chained reactions as consequences, as toxic reactions from poisonous presence, like the presence of a touch of brass, or copper, or water in pure iron. What the consequences wouldlead to, none could adequately anticipate. By thinking clearly, and acting along the right path, for gaining experience alone, the Anava-Mala could be removed; in other words, freedom from Anava-Pasa could be attained. Righteousness is not merely a virtue, not even a medicine, but the just weapon to cut through the underbush that the mangrove-area of Life's outer shores present. No progress without righteousness.
Attempts made by man to effect this freedom, or liberation are directed through action, known as Karma. Karma, by its nature, is limited by bonds or Pasas. The consequences of Karma are too many, coming at many stages; and releasing a chained series of reactions. These, as Bonds, hamper progress although these are meant for progress. Able and correct guidance of Karma is called for achieving progress. Failure of choosing the right way, instead of liberating, binds closer and closer. This is known as Karma-Pasa. This concept of Karma, as we now see it, is a far distant cry, a horse of a different colour, from the usual connotation of Karma as Fate. Hindu theory of Karma has the least to do with the Greek idea of Nemesis or Destiny. All effects are but sequences of Karma, and there is no escape from consequences of actions taken. Karma has to be; action is inherent in life. The one who is lazy, and does not act, is still acting by non-acting; and he, of course, derives the consequences of non-acting. The one who is engaged in acting contrary to others is also acting. He too is subject to consequences. He who suffers wrong- doing is as much subject to consequences as the one who acts wrong, or the one against whom the wrong is acted. There is no escape; no running away.
The success of Karma engenders joy; its failure engenders sorrow. Joy and sorrow by their nature discharge energy or inertia, vitality or sloth. The organic impurity calls for active participation; participation calls for action; action engenders feeling and mental reaction; mental reaction involves a sense of identification. The identified alone enjoys the vigour of energy. This involvement in mental reaction of the subjec- tive attitude to an objective phenomenon is known as the third bond, or the third Pasa. It has the special name of Maya Pasa, the 'bond of involvement'.
Yet this involvement leading to identification might lead to identifying the purity of Anava with soul. To realise the pervasiveness of Vibhů, is to expound the Self from the 'limited' experience to reach the 'unlimited', and transcend the sense-faculties to omnipotence and omniscience. The acquisition of these two powers are, however, open to the tempting games of Maya. Yogis often delight in miracles, and by doing so losethemselves in worldly praise. Vijñāna Bhiksu, the commentator of Patanjali enjoins 'silence' for the Yogis, regarding his powers.
Thus there are two aspects of Maya: Maya that binds, and Maya that liberates. Love that becomes selfish and narrow; and love that becomes liberal, expansive and spiritually universal. We know of these as Asuddha- Maya (Maya-in-complex), and Suddha-Maya. Suddha-Maya illuminates and liberates; and the lack of it, leads to ignorance; and ignorance creates the Anava Pāśa.
Though Asuddha-Maya (Maya-in-complex) too brings about knowledge and action through Kala etc., it serves only to delude, since that knowledge is of the particular, and leads to the super- imposition of the self on the not-self, whereas the knowledge brought about by the Maha-Maya (Suddha-Maya) is extensive know- ledge of all things together; further, the latter is of pure entities like Siva, and comes through knowledge imparted by doctrinal works; hence Suddha-Maya produces real wisdom.33
This means that in realising the Ultimate and the Supreme, the impurities (Anava) have to be sublimated, and made 'Pure'. In turn, this assists the recognition of the Idea as Reality. Failing this a fall from the Ideal is inevitable. This leads the Siddhantin very close to the Vedantic Advaita or monistic idealism. It is in this sense that the followers of Samkarācārya call themselves Śaivas.
There are souls which are limited by all the three kinds of Pasa. Such souls are known as Sakalas. Sakala becomes Pralaya-Kala by getting over the bond of Maya, but retaining Karma and Anava. When Karma impurities are done away with, what remains is Anava alone. Anava alone is Vijnana-Kala which is Suddha-Maya's natural abode.
The Saiva Siddhanta's concept of 'Sin' is this bunch of the three bonds: Anava (or Avidya or Ignorance); Karma and Maya. This is innate and unavoidable in Matter and material body, which is purified by consciousness, which is a property of the soul. Soul and Matter together is the world, which may well be a challenge, but not an illusion.
O lovely visage: I never said that an illusion has to be worshipped. It is the conscious support of the illusion which deserves worship. Illusion, energy and other like-words merely point to a particular- ised state. It is the worship of the Immensity which is aimed at through such words as 'illusion',
The Samsara is beginningless, and is made of such realities as matter and soul. Life has a meaning, and existence a purpose. It is to meet the challenges of Avidya or ignorance, and resurrect the purity of the be- muddled soul. Will is the helper. Will assists in man's efforts. Yet,after all his efforts Man still needs a higher transcendental encourage- ment, a dynamic inspiration. This is Grace. Without Grace human efforts could not be enough. Life's impurities chase life's efforts. The chimney cannot work itself clean. Grace has to be prayed for. A stage has to be crossed. A Koşa has to be shed behind. Śiva expects every man to exert, and realise through his own efforts.35
This Grace emanates from the Real Sattva. Its Grace alone is Grace. Śiva is the Reality conceding this Grace. Hence we accept Śiva as God in Reality. He blesses. He helps. He is Grace in form. He seeks our love. It is a personal tie between the devotee and God. Grace of God is essential. Personal effort alone, though the drive comes from God, is not enough.
Spiritual grace originates from the divine ground of all beings, and it is given for the purpose of helping man to achieve his final end, which is to return out of time and selfhood to that Ground.
God's blessings are necessary. The blessings shower on innocence. Innocence is attained by abject, open, unreserved devotion, of which much has been said in the chapter on Bhakti. We shall return to the Śaiva hymnals and their emotional motive towards this abject hankering for the grace of the great personal God, Śiva.
It is notable that Saiva metaphysics bases itself on the intellectual per- ception of metaphysical mysteries. It probes to a great depth and with infinite subtlety such subjective ideas as the Sphota theory conveys. It takes into account the materialistic analysis of Samkhya, and the idealistic monism of Vedanta. Yet ultimately it resorts to the personal appeal to a God who could be befriended. Saivism as the apex of Bhakti fervently depends on the Grace of the Divine Will, so that all our activities finally could lead us to reducing our own selves to a state of humbleness throughout life's active involvement and participation. Cultivate the modesty of the 'able'; not of the servile.
Intellectual analysis as a process is too terse to sympathise with human weakness and afford it the desired sustenance. Materialistic approach, equally, is forbiddingly rigid. Pure spiritualism borders asceticism. The common man needs some god who could prove to be of some benign influence on the day-to-day domestic sorrows and pains, failings and falls, of which life is full. Who is this God? What is He? How Real is He? Questions throb like stars in a dark night.
1. The idea of God has been differently discussed in the different systems. Gautama in his system of Nyaya accepts God as a personal being. He possesses the three substantive qualities of being Sat-Cit-Anandam (Reality-Consciousness-Joy). There is no demerit (Adharma) in God; he is devoid of false knowledge (Mithya-Jñana) or mistake. Merit, Knowledge and Equanimous Poise (Dharma; Jnana; Samadhi-Sampad) are inherent in God.
He is the Act and its fulfilment; and He it is, who continues to act through beings created through His acts, as a father does through his child- ren, who are the consequences of his act. He is omniscient, intelligent and endowed with eternal cognition. He is much more than the power which the Yogis attain; the mystical perception which the intelligent acquire. He apprehends with an unflinching, non-dependent and non- reacting intelligence, which, remaining steady, steadies the unsteady in the flux of Samsara. For this He has to be approached; because He has His desire, the desire to be in His acts, and in the activated beings; and to watch the beings engaged in the act. He is the act, actor and active power; the rest, by remaining passive to be acted on, fulfils the divine Will.37
2. Kanāda in his system of Vaiśeşika supplies the mechanics of analysis, and does not go beyond what matter is; what are its nature and constituents. Of course, this kind of analysis, mostly metaphysical, as distinct from the physical, is going to be subjective. But neither in ancient nor in modern times has the atomic theory been 'proved'.38 To the uninitiated common man nuclear theories are subjective. We are grateful to the ancients in the sense that the modern is its outcome. Atomism, which considers an atom not as a 'thing', but as a 'system', looks upon the atom as a solar-system in miniature, where a cultural mass keeps the floating masses busy around it through the same 'force' which we call gravitation. The 'character' of the atomic unit is supposed to be a contribution from 'ether', again, a substance, the nature of which is a grand-guess from inferences. No verification is possible. But through this discovery the ancient idea of animism has received a shock. Yet, its acceptance is more conceptual than perceptual. As a principle it has been found workable, but most of it remains a mystery still. Until this mystery is solved, Vaiseșika remains open to a God-concept. Dimension, conjunction, individuation, sequence, heaviness, viscidity, all being attri- butes to this system (supposedly final) of atom, the ultimate question re- mains, whence all these, and how the primal selection before individuation is de ermined, and by what? Only a subjective meditative knowledge with powers of omniscience could reveal the secret.
3. This takes us to Yoga. Yoga says that the ultimate Truth is sub- jectively attainable through the faculties of meditation and concentration. Its language is silence; and it is impossible to communicate this realisation to others. The Yogi experiences and expresses it through skilful acts. Words remain mute.
4. And we stop at a blind alley. This alley's end is reversed by Kapila in the system of Samkhya. Samkhya's conception of liberation means a release from the phenomenal world; release from its bondage and appearances; release from the conjunction and disjunction of Puruşa and Prakṛti. Yet, Samkhya's Purușa, as well as all the relatively phenomenal aspects of the Puruşa, connote, in the sphere of mystic delight, nothing but the ephemeral concept of God. Samkhya's Puruşa is supposed to be indifferent to Samsara. This view resembles the Buddhistic theory of detachment. But this indifference does not solve other difficulties. This indifference may be logically understandable; it also proves to be very useful for a rational approach to Truth through logic. But indifference does not solve the mystery of involvement. How to explain that?
The atomic theory of Kanāda tries to explain by introducing an ethereal hypothesis. The fact is that truth is a transcendental realisation. Something, in which the finality of causation is reached, has to transcend form, matter and phenomenal changes. There is not only something changeless and causeless, but also ultimate in conscious will and interest. Mere validity is not even filling; most certainly it is not fulfilling. Intuitive awareness alone does not fill up the gap between intelligence and feeling, matter and consciousness.
Reason is subordinated to intuition. Life cannot be compre- hended in its fullness by logical reason. Self-consciousness is not the ultimate category of the universe. There is something transcending the consciousness of self to which many names are given- Intuition, Revelation, Cosmic Consciousness and God-vision. We cannot describe it adequately, so we call it Super-consciousness. When we, now and then, have glimpses of the higher form, we feel that it involves a purer illumination and a wider compass. As the difference between mere consciousness and self-consciousness constitutes the wide gulf separating the animal from man, so the difference between self-consciousness and superconsciousness constitutes all the difference between man as he is and man as he ought to be. The philosophy of India takes the stand on the spirit which is above mere logic, and holds that culture based on mere logic or science may be efficient, but, cannot be inspiring.39 (The italics are mine.)
It is not enough. A culture tired of its own efficiency is now crying, "Enough is not enough." It wants something more. This cry finds a solace in God, which Yoga says is attainable as transcendental peace,and Samkhya speaks of as release, and the Buddhist calls Liberation and
Samkhya's need is for an administrative drive behind the arranged logic; an inspiring will to make the drive purposive and consciously participating. This is Isvara, Samkhya's God, a name attributed in Hindu mythology to Śiva alone; and Prakrti is Iśvari.
5. The Siddhantin's concept of Siva as the Positive Absolute that transcends the Gunas, fits in with Samkhya's Isvara, as with the God of the early Christians, for whom God, the Son, had not yet overwhelmed, and pushed back God, the Father. Further, Sämkhya's dualism of Puruşa and Prakyti fits in with the Siddhantin's dualism of Isvara and Isvari, Śiva and Sakti, or Siva and Sati, or Sat and Cit. But Samkhya does not factually mention God, because Samkhya believes in the infinity and eternity of the souls moving in an uninterrupted chain. Samkhya speaks of the subtle bodies that move with the subtle souls in interminable chains, and of these bodies, which in material gross form the ultimate, are known as Linga-Deha.
This Linga-Deha of Samkhya has been described in the Hindu myths. The legend of the curse of Bhrgu, included later in the chapter on Śiva- Myths, explains the Linga-Deha. In the Yoga-Vasistha,40 Rși Vasistha asks of Śiva about the forms of worship. Śiva advises Vasistha that of all forms of worship Anta-r-Linga worship, or worshipping mentally the Ultimate Reality in its subtle formlessness with spiritual accessories and offerings alone is the best. The conceptual Reality so worshipped is the Linga. Linga and Siva connote thus, a transcendental idea, and not what is rudely disposed of as phallic forms. Over-simplicity and in- stant analogies confuse metaphysical issues. Except in the case of those who have attained freedom, the existence and rebirth of Linga last for a whole world-period, at the end of which come quiescence and equili- brium.41 This Sämkhya concept as explained by a great scholar accounts for Siva's title as Kala (Time), and Pralaya-m-kara (Bringer of the end of things), and Sambhu (where things reach quiescence and equilibrium).
6. "Jaimini does not so much deny God as ignores him."42 This is because the Vedas speak of many gods, and never bother about 'the' God; and because Jaimini in Mimänsä is engaged with the rites of the Vedic gods. Dharma is real, Veda is eternal, and so Vedic gods are enough. Rites and sacrifices by their nature produce results. No beneficent God is really needed for bringing Dharma and Karma to perfect fruition. Life is produced by life, without divine interference. Atoms are not gods. An effortless God might or might not exist. If effort is eternity, what is God? Dharma and Adharma both could not be the characteristic of one. The great scholar Kumärila (8th cent.) criticises the logical view of Nyaya and rejects the necessity of a God; finds no utilityin it; and cannot accept any substantiation for a reasonable divine existence. In his 'Devatasvarupa Vicara' Apadeva asks, if atoms move by 'His' will, where from the will?44 If this be Adrsta (unforseen, or fate, or destiny), better we do not see it or think of seeing it, and know Adṛṣṭa itself to be God. Gods of the Vedas have corporeal descriptions by way of linguistic decorations of praise. Deities are images; their descriptions are imaginary; the only reality to be really attended to is the Mantra.45 For the most vigorous and authentic exposition of gods, as means and not ends, one should refer to the words of Siva himself in the Yoga- Vasistha (dialogue between Vasistha and Maheśvara in Nirvana Prakaraṇa, First-half).
This again reminds us of the importance attached by the Sphota theory to the 'Realisation' of Mantra. Dr. Radhakrishnan laughs at a recent attempt by Dr. P. Sastri (Půrva Mimänsä, p. iii) to attribute to Jaimini the admission of God as a creator, though he admits that Jaimini does not accept God as a distributor of rewards. How could 'Karma' be the cause of 'Fruit' if God were to distribute the 'Fruit'? The position indeed would be untenable.. Thus later writers, realising the want of reality in Jaimini's stand, attempt to smuggle in God into Mimänsä. Law of Karma and God both cannot be confirmed by any kind of meta- physical somersault.46 Vedanta's God is the finality of Good; so Mimänsakas of later dates (like Laugakṣi Bhaskara) attempt to cover up by saying that sacrifice is dedicated to honour the Supreme God. But then, Who is He according to Mimänsä of Jaimini?
7. For Vädarayana, the author of the Vedanta system, God is not required to be discussed, as an author is not required to be discussed when his creation itself is there. This is so because both the creator and the created is one single truth, although seen through in a variety of shades. The world is Brahman's, and Brahman is the world. (How very similar to the idea of Logos!) We know how the analogy of the spider and its web is given by Samkara to expound this very relation between the cause and the caused. The web comes out of the spider; and goes back into it with natural facility inherent in it. Other effects need a cause; but the ultimate cause swallows up cause and effect in a gulp. It becomes cause and effect compact in One. He distinguishes between a qualified Brah- man and an unqualified Absolute state of Oneness. The qualified state of Brahman supplies the cause of being to be springing out of its assumed qualities (Gunas). This Saguna Brahman is Isvara, the creator in the role of creation. Like Kant he proves the presence of Isvara. "The ideal of logic compels us to assume the reality of a perfect subject, to whom all existence is related as an object." Samkara, like Kant, hits hard on the question of the futility of advancing proofs for the existence of God. If religion is what man thinks in his loneliness, God too is essentially the thinkers' secretthrough his own love. "He that loveth not, knoweth not God. For God is Love."48 "God I make my Love; Love I make my God; I know not else." It is not the passionate feeble empirical love that leaves the body tired, and spent out, and the mind in a state of flushed depression; such subjective Love does not send emotions screaming through a chaos of chain- ed series of outbursts of counter-actions and counter-feelings. God means a deep sense of quiescence and equilibrium that leads from strength to strength and creativity to creativity. This sense adds vigour to confidence, and confidence to life. Yoga-Vasistha has to relate the legend of King Padma and his queen Lila to bring home the point.
Love makes God personal; and this is Ramanuja's stand; the stand of Bhakti. Reality must have substance. It must be more than mere identity and subjectivity. Not logic alone, but experience, where the thrill of experience emerges as the subjectivity of the object and objectivity of the subject. Like the spider becoming the creator-created, God becomes the Subject-Object. The experience cannot become the experiencer. If it does, it attains an impossible state of non-entity. The character of Brahman is Real in being the abode of Sat (Reality), Cit (Consciousness), and Anandam (bliss). This realisation does not depend on the physical 'senses'; it is self-dependent and self-illuminating. It transcends all limits of senses. That which, like the world, has been created out of Love and Grace (Karuna) seeks to maintain the links of reciprocity alive and active, so that the aim of creation, as that of life, Icould be stated to have reached perfection. In this longing for seeking to be more perfect the mood of religiosity finds its meaningfulness.
Thou art That
In the Vedantic sentence Thou art That' an inherent illogic is pointed out by the Bhakti dualist Rāmānuja. He does not see in the statement Thou art That', any identity of singleness. He does not see that the sentence 'S is P' means S is S or P is P. As long as S is S and P is P, the sentence S is P is either redundant or complex. S is a subject; P is a predicate. A distinction is inherent. This distinction is the result of a judgement. The judge and the judged cannot be in reality the same, for all judgement presuggests distinction. In actual prayer and devotion, besides 'I' there must be the 'other'. The lover must feel a beloved.
Devotional religion is born of this haunting sense of otherness. We may know God, but there is always a something still more that seems unknown, and remains unspoken.... The difference bet- ween the Supreme as spirit and the Supreme as person is one of standpoint and not of essense.... Even those who regard personal-ity as the ultimate category of the Universe recognise that God is vast and mysterious, mighty and ultimate.50
Rāmānuja's explanation of Vedänta ends in finding and establishing a personal God. This is very important for our next stage in the stand of Saivism, namely in the study of Pratyabhijñā, a Kashmir Šaiva tradition. This we shall study in due course. Here we have seen how a Hindu arrives at the faith for a personal God underlying almost each system. Most of them suggest it; but some speak boldly. Rämänuja, Nimbärka, Mädhava, Caitanya do, like St. Augustine, St. Aquinas, St. John on the Cross, St. Theresa and the Shepherd of Hermes, Fenelon and many others like the great Sufis. So did the Tamil Acaryas of Agamas. For them Śiva was not merely an idea but a form.
In this connection we quote two memorable passages from two seers: Vyasa and Ramanuja. Vyasa says:
Lord of the World may pardon my three faults perpetrated through common frailty. I'imaged the intangible into form on the basis of Dhyana; I composed psalms, and qualified thereby the unqualified; and lastly, by suggesting special pilgrimages I tampered with God's omnipresence.
The Parama-Atman, Śrinatha and Rama, the Lord of Janaki are one and the same, I know; yet I consider my all to be that lotus-eyed Räma, and no other.
These venerated exponents of Monism, as if to provide living illustrations of what Yoga Vasistha and Bhagavata Purana says about the use of images, and what Patanjali himself supports in his Yoga Sutra, break themselves away from their intellectual subjectivity, and proclaim how much they owed to their individual deities to which they had readily submitted so devotedly. This provides the greatest support to the efficacy and purposiveness of Bhakti.
Where then do Samkara and Rāmānuja converge? Once these two giants do, the rest would follow suit.
Samkara's statement "Brahman is the Truth; the world is an illusion," has been criticised again and again by all and sundry, be he a whale or a minnow. The Gitä has been interpreted in a hundred ways because of the diverse advocacies offered in this regard by these two.
Yet Samkara himself offers an explanation: (a) That', the Brahman, is "Thou', the 'Self'; and (b) 'Brahman' is the 'self'. Both these are Samkarite statements. The spirit that upholds the cosmos is numericallyidentical with the immortal element residing in individuated beings. The liquid he happens to swim in, and the moisture within the body of the swimmer, bear the same cosmic universality. "The air within the pot is the same free air outside," says Yoga-Vasistha. "But the independence of air has been subject to rise and fall because of its adherence to the pot." The functioning respiratory system does nothing more than main- tain steadily a link between the air without and the air within the breather. What we call the Mind is yet another link between the individual self, or 'T' (Uttama-Puruşa in Panini grammar, i.e., First Person) that is aware, on the one hand, and the cosmic universal 'T' (Uttama-Puruşa in Samkhya, i.e., Purusottama of Gîta), which is awareness itself, on the other. I am conscious by the Power that makes all beings conscious. It is the Source of Universal consciousness.52 In this sense "That art Thou' is meaning- fully indicative of perfect Oneness. It is the truest statement about an established Identity.
Then how to explain this flux known as the world, the Prapanca? Samkara says, 'Māya', translated (imperfectly) as Illusion. How could all this be due to mere Maya? Samkara's answer is interesting.
This world is. And it could be, therefore, seen from two points of view: either (1) the Brahman's; or, (2) the Self's. Seen from Brahman's point of view the world is Maya, a something apart, yet not perfectly so, as it is saturated with the spirit of Brahman, howsoever infinitesimally it may be. This Maya-ta, saturation (in the sense that a swimmer swim- ming is not water, yet he is in water, bearing water in and out) makes the Prapanca-World Maya, which Brahman alone could explain from Brah- man's point of view. Maya-ta nearest emotive synonym we have chosen to be Involvement. That which is described as Māyā appears to be an illusory knowledge of things from an empirical point of view. This state of immature knowledge is philosophically called ignorance, anti-knowledge (Avidya or Ajñāna). Like the embryonic fluid, this Avidya covers the germ of life in the foetus,53 Life is disturbed by confused thinking caused by Avidya. Looking from Brahman's point of view it is Mäyä but looking from Self's point of view, it is Avidya. Brahman's immensity being known to Brahman alone anything less than Immense, would clearly appear to be a plaything engaged in temporary games which begin to end, and end to begin. But each unit of self looks out of the self and sees many selves, mani-ness. Self's surroundings are covered with selves. Each is a unit. For a while the Self cannot imagine Immensity. This is Self's imperfection. This is Self's lack of knowledge, Avidya. Thus knowledge itself is divided in Vidya and Avidya, spiritual and empiricalknowledge. All knowledge is not perfect knowledge. "It is not a distinction between higher and lower knowledge. But it cuts through religious doctrines."54 Truth in its higher form has no attribute. Sat-Cit-Ananda is the Being or the Brahman. The secondary state of the same Truth (Truth with Mala as the Siddhantin would say), or Brahman, appears as 1svara. He is the Lord, with attributes.
What is said to be Brahman in the Vedantin's language is Śiva in the Siddhantin's. Śiva is also known as Išvara, with Isvart as an alter-ego; this is the same as Śiva and Sakti of Tantra.
The abstract form of the Siva-concept is crystallised in the Linga, which, as a word, we have noted, means subtle, symbol or index. We have also seen a little while ago how both Samkhya and Yoga-Vasistha use the word in the sense of 'subtle'. The subtle concept of Siva could be imaged through symbolism alone. The Nada-Bindu and the Sphota theo- ries, as well as the Spanda theory imply a subtle projection of the idea in a concrete form. This symbolic abstract form of a subtle idea is the Linga index with a Nada-field, and a Bindu central-piece. The material used for making a Linga might be stone, crystal, metal, even clay. A pebble could be accepted as Linga. Its shape, often confused with the Phallic, is not particularly phallic, and is in no way reminding of any offensiveness. Yoga Vasistha explicitly states that the Linga-Atman is a "mental-contemplation; as the contemplation of an ideal totality is much too hazardous for the Jiva (personal being), the Linga-Atman in the Linga-form is of some assistance."55 In spite of these, positive authorities, prejudice and bias impose erotic meanings to Linga. Most of such confusion was created by ill-advised interested propaganda, some by poli- tical zeal, and not a little by self-projection of the depraved. Of course, in some cases, as we have noted, due to historical and cultural coincidence it may not be difficult to find the Phallic and the Saivic together.
"Weaker minds could easily fix their attention in meditation when using a Linga-form.... Real worship, however, could never be offered to image-forms." And in course of time, these Linga-forms were developed and elaborated into anthropomorphic forms for assisting still more weak minds. If we study the methodised ornamentations (Abharanas), the weapons and decors (Ayudha) of these elaborate forms, we read clearly in them, the objective representations of the very subjective principles found discussed in Śiva or Sakti Agamas.
As the mind cognises an alter-ego, so the Image-forms had also to be elaborated into their alter-egos. These developed as the consorts of the God-beings, Devas had their Devis; Siva too had Sakti as a counterpart,a complementary. So the 'rides' or the Vahanas, or the symbol-birds and animals are subject to interpretation. Most of these synthesise the pagan with the metaphysical.
The Hindu images (Múrti) are thus the tangible featurisation of the ideals attributed to the Brahman's emergence into many through its creative state (livara-la). For a full appreciation of these 'grotesque' representations it is essential that the student makes a thorough study of Samkhya and Vedanta; and in the case of the Siva images, of the Siddhantas.
Hindu myths, unlike the Greek myths, contain more than mysticism. The Matrix of the origin of Hindu gods is invariably traced to some basic subjective idea derived through a seer's interpretation of some spiritual aspect. These convey in form what is incommunicable in spirit. More- over the forms themselves are spiritual aids, although to the devotees their divinity is Real.57
Since all energies at the origin of the forms of manifestation are but aspects of the divine power, there can exist no object, no form of existence, which is not divine in its nature. 58
According to the latest evaluation of this Hindu attitude to poly- theism, (in spite of the rigid monism supported by Hindu thought), Hinduism's survival, compared to other religions, is both assured and understandable.
All religions are based on the recognition of a super-sensorial reality. Very rarely can we find in any religion a positive assertion which is not to some extent justifiable. Error and conflict arise from exclusion from negative elements.... A religion reduced to a faith centred around fixed dogmas, and refusing to equate its data with those of other creeds, is to religion what the art of the medicine- man is to medical science, the mere practical utilisation of some elements of knowledge accidentally assembled and used more for social supremacy than for real cure. This remains very short of the total search for the whole truth.... This dilemma does not arise for the Hindu, for Hinduism does not claim any of its discoveries to be more than an approach. It rejects all dogma, all belief that reason and experience cannot justify; it remains ever-ready to accept new and better expressions of the universal laws as they can be grasped through individual experience.... The principle of a multiple approach, the recognition of the fundamental right of the individual to follow his own gods, his own code of behaviour and ritual practice, has spared India so far the standardisation of beliefs, which is by its nature the greatest obstacle on the path of Divine discovery,50
Thus on the path of Divine discovery the crowd of Hindu gods become fellow-passengers who add delight, confidence and directives for venturing into the unknown. Each god becomes a self-expression, a wish fulfilled, a poem completed. This is Isvara-ta or Bhagavat-tà, the manifestations of the Om Supreme, Brahman in form. In the sense that the idea of the poet assumes the shape of a poem without ever capturing in full the poetry he wanted to express, Brahman becomes Isvara, and Isvara becomes Bhagandns. The empirical validity of knowledge about Brahman remains intact in spite of the acceptance of Isvara. Higher and lower knowledge are distinct.
God, the Formless
Brahman, accessible through higher knowledge, is the fruit of pure (Nirmala) knowledge; Isvara-knowledge has impurities of Ajnana and Avidya that engenders the emotive diversions which accept Mäyä itself as Real. Similar distinctions are found between the Theravada and Zen systems of Buddhism. "All beings have the Buddha nature," claims the Soto Zen master Dogen; he explains this to be the same as "All beings are the Buddha nature" meaning, "the Buddha-Nature is everything." Replacing Buddha nature by Brahman the claims of spiritual aphorisms like Tat-Tuam-Asi (Thou art That) and Sarvam khalu idam Brahma (All this is but Brahman) are easily discernible in Zen Buddhism. To the Vedäntist of both Advaita-monist and Visistädvaita (Qualified Monism) schools, the above, like Hinduism, does not reflect pantheism or pantheistic mysticism at all. Zen ends with a Void (Sanya), and talks of Nirvana. The Vedantin is positive and speaks of Brahman, and he talks of Liberation or Mukti. He disagrees with Eckhardt's statement: "The godhead is as void as if it were not." Rudolf Otto's great work 'Mysticism East and West' refers to Eckhardt's mystical experience. He brings in there the element of grace, an element which, Rämänuja, along the tradition of the Nigama Saints, reserves as the special attribute of the Godhead showed as benediction on the deserved devotee.
Grace and Realisation
Grace, as we had time and again pointed out, forms its own mysterious zone within which it acts in love, in charity, in forgiveness, in benediction; and the very sudden unexpectedness of its appearance overwhelms. Like Siva receiving the tidal Grace of Sakti, like receiving the celestial stream of Ganga on his matted looks, Grace descends in tidal torrents on highly deserving Yogins who are fit to absorb the rich benediction, and pass on the same to the world of the common. Śiva in the anthropomorphicimage transfigures a great Yogi who 'drinks the nectar of the thousand- petalled lotus'. Kapila, Vyasa, Nárada, the Four', ie., Sanat, Sanandana, Sanatana and Sanatkumāra, Raghupati Rama, Vasudeva Krsna, Jesus, Muhammed, Buddha, Samkara, Caitanya, Tagore, St. Theresa, Aurobindo, Ramakrishna and a host of others received this Grace, and passed on the tradition. Grace incarnates in the human machine the divine awareness which sparks off a new generation of consciousness. It unites the individual with the cosmic.
From this first and fundamental contact between the god and the human race-which means in virtue of the penetration of the Divine into our nature-a new life was born: an unlooked for magnification and 'obediental' extension of our natural capabilities, -grace.... Grace is the unique sap that starts from the same trunk and rises up into the branches. It is the blood that courses through the veins under the impulse of one and the same Heart, the nervous current that is transmitted through the limbs at the dictate of one and the same Head; and the radiant Head, that mighty Heart that fruitful stock must inevitably be Christ,61
"The Anointed One', i.e., the Parnabhişikta-yogi (Parna-complete, full; and Abhişikta=Anointed). There have been many such incarnated cosmic beings in the mystic world of the yogi, for whom Śiva represents the Ideal form of Yogi.
"God is bound to act," says Eckhardt, "to pour himself into thee as soon as He shall find thee ready."": He found Caitanya, Tagore and Aurobindo ready, and poured. In all mystical utterances there is an inescapable element of unanimity regarding grace, love and union. "There is really a union.... It is plain enough what union is; in union two separate things become one."'63
In this realisation through Grace, in this union through Bhakti, the absolute monism advocated by Vedanta, and the relative dualism, or qualified monism advocated by Ramanuja converge, and make the fasci- nating Hindu system of Saivism and Saiva-Siddhanta not merely a theo- logical form, or a religious belief, but a metaphysically illuminated method of thinking, as well as a mystical experience of the divinest spiritual significance. In Saivism traditional Hindu India receives a finality that attributes a new meaning to the name 'God of gods' (Devadeva), or 'Great God' (Mahadeva).
The Saiva Siddhanta offers a special place to Grace (Karuņā) in developing its approach to the ultimate transcendental realisation. To the Siddhantins Siva is God in the absolute sense in spite of his forms, icons, weapons, decorations, rides and the family-members. If God is pure, omnipotent, omniscient, gracious, eternally free from bonds-sois Siva. Šiva has the five functions of creation (Srafi), preservation (Sthiti), destruction (Pralaya), concealment (Tirodhana) and Grace (Karuna). In Grace Śiva fulfills himself. "He is the king of the world, the Lord of tears, the great seer from whom the gods are born, and into whom they emerge in the end." "From his breath sprang the eternal word (Aum) and from the word, the Universe."65 "He is the Ruler (Isana) master of all forms of knowledge. He is the Law of all elements," Cosmologically speaking Maheśvara is another name of the Aksara-Purusa, the Being of beings. He is the deity of transcendental knowledge. The three aspects of cosmic sacrifice mentioned in the Vedas. Might (Indra); Devourer (Agni); and the Devoured (Soma) unite in him.
The Five Powers of Śiva
Souls in essence are pure; same as God; but the Anava-Mala hide their potencies. God functions in removing this confusion. Hence his name: Hara, the Remover. For this Tapas, or austerity, is called for. The human body becomes instrumental for Tapas. To Tapasya, or austere practices, the world around, as Aśuddha Māyā, becomes so very purposive. This world, under the influence of Tapas induces Karma, and removes the Anava. Easily explained; but the process is not, actually, as easy. The progress differs in individuals, and is often befouled by retardation, sloth, temptation, vanity or even excess of austerity. The hazardous and confusing process of transmigration becomes a challenging faith; as between evolution and evolution, souls could succumb to inertia, and take it to be 'peaceful quiescence', and then rot till doomsday. This is exactly what happens to those bravadoes who under the spell of drugs claim transcendental peace. The situation, then, is handled by the powers of Asuddha Māyā. A flood of energy springs out and creates hallucinations. Śiva, even as Death and Destruction, opens doors to souls, which continue to evolve and advance. Death itself becomes benediction under the circumstances. Souls graced by Siva can fight through the inert dullness of Anava. Souls are made to act, and participate in worldliness. They are made to accept pleasure as happiness, the limited as unlimited, and the ephemeral as eternal. Even in this concealment of spiritual realisation (Vidya) and informative knowledge (Jana) the concealing power (Tirodhana) of God displays in graceful companionship of souls. The original impurity (Mala) is stirred, made active, before being filtered, neutralised and removed. Concealment is the fourth power of Siva.
Siddhanta's final aim is Salvation (Mukti). Experience alone educates souls about where good lies. A soul acquires indifference as a positive quality. This type of indifference releases a soul from Karma,and makes it acquire the supreme quality of Sannyasa (abnegation) through experience. This type of indifference and detachment does not reflect passivity. Submission to a nobler power is a chastening act. In order to be able to grasp a knowledge in its objectivity, so that the fundamental subjectivity about the source of power is fully mastered, an objective detachment has to be cultivated. For the practising Yogi "renunciation of action is not approved. It is an expression of inertia indulged through a confused state of the mind." So understood and practised, to renounce becomes a kind of fulfilment and enjoyment. The soul takes no account of a confusing attachment (Asuddha Maya), and claims real intelligence as a matter of right.
Three Stages of Descension of Grace
Next comes the stage when the divine Grace is ready to descend. It descends, but it is accepted according to the varying capacity of the soul. The Lord then reveals himself, and acts as the instructor to the soul. The soul receives the Vijnana-Kald as its inner light; against this light he is able to distinguish the Pralaya Kala, not as light, but as a divinity in a supernatural form. Only the Sakala form appears as identical with the soul, but acts as a preceptor alone. St. Theresa speaks of all these three stages as she narrates her experiences of the stages of prayer reaching the union. She had her guide, her preceptor. This Yogini's experiences conform fully to the advice contained in the Siddhanta. Such instruction from the preceptor is called the initiation into the purifying state of the spirit, or Dikd. The formal rite of baptism appears to be elementary when compared to Dikṣā.
Initiation: Dikṣā: Guru
Diksă removes the spiritual Impurities (Mala). Knowledge is an entity; so is lack of knowledge, or ignorance. The impurities of the soul (Mala), another entity, inherent in all things born, are removed by Knowledge: yet another entity. Freed of Mala the soul recovers itself from its material state, and rejects its sense of atomic finiteness. In this state of atomic finiteness Saivism is monistic. But it does not turn its Face from the manifest existence of duality or plurality. It asserts that due to untrained and indisciplined perception, an uninitiated view of the world (subject to the calls of the flesh and indisciplined sense-faculties) inevitably falls under the delusion of accepting this world of many as the one to be realised. Yet it is strange that at times one becomes happy to accept the Spirit to be One. This seemingly funny situation arises due to the mental inertia that naturally accepts thingsas they are; minds untrained declines any effort to probe, although it appears to concede that the Real cannot be transitory.
The subject is in search of an object. Away from itself, as long as it fails to perceive that the dual concepts of a subject and an object are based on a substantial error, form-concepts impose their rigidity on the perception of the Spirit. All forms are contained, all are restrictive. Spirit alone is free. This spirit cannot be many, although forms may delude to make one feel so. Here mind acts as an enemy of clear thinking; and feeling operates as a defective instrument, which misguides like the winds, or the stray-currents on the open sea. Mind is known for delusion. Discipline of the mind becomes therefore, essential for concentration (Dhyana). Mind, once disciplined, is able to cut through errors arising out of emotional imbalances. Thus the system of Yoga becomes an indispensable part of discipline and mind-control.
Names of Śiva
Śiva means the Ultimate Reality, the One, the Cause-Effect-sustaining principle, of which the creation with its manifoldness is just a manifested form (according to a Saiva). Form or the forms, however, are contained in Him, and is neither addition to Him, nor separation from Him. His Grace overwhelms all that is manifest or unmanifest; and it has a 'name'. As 'He', it is Śiva; as 'It', it is the pure Consciousness, the Supreme Consciousness, the Supreme Reality.
Let us examine some of the more important names by which the Śiva- Idea is contained and expressed. "Siva' or 'Sambhú', the Supreme God (Mahadeva), is the Supreme Reality, the Atman, the Self, of all beings; Śiva is Immutable and ever-perfect. He is pure Consciousness (Caitanya); Absolute Experience (Para Samvit); and the Supreme Lord (Parameśvara). Conceptually, Siva is Time, 'Kala', Eternity (Mahākāla), that which was before Being, and would stay on after Beings disintegrate and dissolve into no-Being. He is the Form-Basis of existence (Sthanu), Immobile (Jada), Beginningless (Anädi, Adinatha) and Subs trata of Beings (Bhâtela). He resides in all beings (Sarvatra-gama); i.c. transcends Time and Space (Digambara), and all that mind becomes aware of (Sarva). He is both Immanent and Transcendent.
The ideas contained in the names should be familiar by now. These conform to the Vedic or the Upanisad concepts of Reality. Otherwise, Reality cannot be given a name, neither could the God-experience be described. Expression of Experience of any kind suffers from inadequacy of identity.
Social Resistance to the Universal Concept of Siva
Yet this inexplicable Experience, too joyous to be kept contained, is communicated by the seers. The aid of language, limited as it is, is sought. Thus reference is made to two forms of the same Brahman. One of them is then the Supreme Reality beyond description, and is named Nirupadhika or Nirguna; (without epithets and unqualified) and the other is qualitative and cognisable (Saguna). Together with the person seeing' or 'realising' the qualitative and the unqualitative, the Saguna and Nirguna form a trio. In a sense it could be called a Trinity. Of these three the cosmos of Experience is made. Similar trinities are referred to in many other systems. In Samkhya it is Puruşa and Prakṛti; in Christianity it is the concept of Father, Son and Holy Ghost; in Hindu theology as Brahma, Visnu and Siva; in Sufism, Aashiq, Mashooq and Ishq; in Vedanta, Sat-Cit-Anandam; in Upanisad, A-u-m. All these ultimately lead to the same fundamental idea: the Absolute Reality is unqualitative and perfect. It is the tranquil-state known as Śiva. Yet, the qualities such as catalepsy and dynamism, stuffiness and will, are in- herent in the One; and the two aspects, stillness and agitativeness are really like the two wings of one bird, the two lobes of one lungs, the two sides of one thing. But it denotes a centre, which as a point 'Is', and has no dimensions or limitations. Of course, this 'is' has not the same meaning as the 'is' in the sentence "This is', or 'A table is'. On the circum- ference any point is both a beginning and an end; the selected one to be used depending on the direction of the projected movement. Similarly the twoness of the one is merely a directional difference that does not deny the Oneness of the Subject. These two, and the One, together, account for a metaphysical unit of the three (Trinity), out of which the theological Trinity originates. The simplicity of theology accommodates the simple minds according to their convenience. The necessity of making room for the qualified, or unqualified God-concept has been enjoined in the Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali (Dhyanābhimata).
The concept of Siva, rightly understood, makes the acceptance of a universal God easier. A form of Brahmanism which was built up on a privileged class superiority, aristocratic hierarchy, and vested interests was severely opposed to this universality in Saivism. The flood of alien forms, already referred to, was being antagonistically resisted. The story of this resistance fills the pages of the Purānas as a mortal struggle between Śiva and Daksa, Asuras and Suras. The Siva temples and Siva-offerings were taboos to Brahmins for a long time. Many of the orthodox still do not accept Siva-Prasada, the food offered to Śiva. Follow- ers of Śiva were known as 'Ganas', the most dreaded enemies to the sacrifices which the ancient Aryans used to perform.
The Two Trends: Saguna and Nirguna
Šiva continued for a long time to be a god of the proletariat. This position was later found to be militating against the interest of so-called good-living. The position called for a reassessment of theological values. And this was done through the hard work of the Saiva metaphy- sicians. The days of conflict between the Vedic and the Agamic were over.
Some traces of it remain still. The discerning could yet find that in Hinduism there flows side by side two streams of Saivism. One of them is the spiritual Saivism which forms a part of theological culture, inclusive of Tantra. In this form Śiva in the Linga-form is worshipped with Sakti; or he is worshipped in any anthropological form as a family- man. But there are also many forms of cults practised under the large umbrella of Saivism. These cannot be strictly said to conform to an ascetic, restrained and philosophical form of worship. Yet these are Śaivas. Their tradition and continuity confirm the presence of non-Aryan and alien cults in Hindu Śaivism. There is also a type of devotees who follow Śiva as a lover of family, dances and music. The cultish followers still follow a phallic sex-trend, although under a camouflaged form, because they want to avoid the majority view of the orthodox Saiva Siddhanta. The last category of clandestine cult-forms indulge in excesses of rigours, wine, flesh and sex. They are tolerated in the body of Hinduism; but are kept away from the strict Śiva Forms.
The two streams of Austerity and Gaiety find their respective authority from Nirguna and Saguna concept. But the extreme forms, above referred to, such as Pasupatas, Pisacas, Aghoras, Maheśvaras, Kāpālins, etc., excuse themselves as Saguna worshippers (worshippers of a qualified Śiva), but really continue the cults, and practise their mystic rites well under cover. The class-Hindus never consider them as part of the orthodox.
The entire question of Saguna and Nirguna forms of worship, thus, finally rests on the fact of Experience: experience of the abstract; and experience through form; the subjective Thrill, or the objective satisfaction. Pablo Picasso in explaining his art spoke of this. To understand was less important to him than to feel. Like listening to the songs of a bird the abstract is to be participated in, without being bothered about understanding.
This mystery of enjoying through actual confrontation, actual realisa- tion is the mystery of Pratyabhijñā as exposed in the Kashmir system.
Naturally it had to be searching and analysing, probing and scrutinising. It had to be subtle, sensitive and personal. It demanded the most impersonal in man's intellect to appreciate its stand; but the act, as well as the fact of appreciation have to be intimately personal.
Pratyabhijña and Genesis
Pratyabhijñā explains, through an analogy, how creation evolved out of Siva. "As in the orb of a mirror pictures such as those of a town or village shine, which are inseparable from it, and yet are distinct from one another and from it, so from the perfectly pure vision of the supreme Bhairava (The training that makes the Soul fearless through the discipline of the Terrible) this Universe, though void of distinction, appears distinct from that vision." (Those who are interested to compare might read Tennyson's poem 'Lady of Shallot' in this light, and appreciate the sensitive poet's acquaintance with Eastern thoughts.) The same idea has been again explained through another analogy: "As syrup, molasses, jaggery, sugar-balls, candy, etc., are all alike juice of the sugarcane, so the diverse conditions are all of Sambhů, the Supreme Self." Their distinct- ness becomes a matter of personal taste and preference. The wind, otherwise one in a flute, takes six distinct notes through six holes. So the one appears as many; but each of those many is distinct to the individual who feels it. None can accept many at the same time, yet be distinct. We shall have to deal with the phenomenon of Pratyabhijnä along with Abhāsavāda in greater detail when discussing Kashmir Śaivism.
Vedanta and Creation
This leads us to an explanation of Creation. The One is one; not many. The maniness of the one is many when awareness becomes limited to forms alone, but remains unaware of the Spirit. This explanation, viz., to regard creation as something evolved out of One, and as such as something real, although not final or whole, clearly contradicts the familiar explanation the Advaita (Monism) of Vedanta, which considers all empirical experience as being the effect of an involved misconception. An acute thirst creates consoling images in a mirage; a previous experience creates the illusion of a snake for a piece of rope; drops of dew reflect the whole sky; so, desire, which acquires more and more demand, life by life, makes the flesh draw towards the unreal as a reality. It was, as it were, a yawn between a sleep and a sleep of the Eternal Reality. Brahman alone is the Real; all else is just a baby's pastime of playing with his own hand, going round and round, up and down, whilst lying in his little cradle. Despite the smallness of his crib, the little monarch yet enjoys very muchthe situation he creates, now laughing, now babbling, now crying, holding on to all his experiences as real and substantial. Complete involvement sends him along these unfounded spirals of joys and sorrows. When we become ignorantly involved in self-seeking exercises we act only as infantile busy-bodies. The Brahman, thus, plays at itself; and all expres- sions that emanate are as real in respect of the Brahman as the play- moments and their resultant reactions are on the child. The player, the play, the play-objects, the play-images, and reactions all proceed from the One. The evolute and involute, emanate from and disappear into One. The rest that comes out of the One is but causal, transitory and illusory.
Indeed the theory of Pratyabhijnä school of Saivism is not as subjective and unsubstantial as one might infer from the foregone paragraphs. In order to explain Pratyabhijñā Abhinavagupta enunciates a theory, known as Abhāsavāda. It claims that as it proceeds from the Real, the Universe, however, tiny, transitory, ephemeral, is certainly not quite unreal. The apparent illusoriness is ingrained with a universal realism. What is 'unreal', cannot proceed from the Real. There is nothing like pure unreal. The real may be hidden like a needle in a haystack, but it is there. One may take years, and live from life to life, before one finds out the needle by carefully and patiently removing all the straw one by one; or one could get at it much more easily through the magnetic assistance provided by a Guru. But never should a Saiva say that there is Unreal anywhere in a perfect state, for then that state would be the One where the Omnipresent is not. This would become self-contra- dictory. The Saiva, thus, like the Samkhya-yogî, is a Realist, whereas the Vedantin is an idealist for whom the only real is the Ideal. A scholar of comparative religion and philosophy would find traces of neo-Platonic Idealism in the theory of Abhāsavāda. We will have the opportunity to compare the thoughts of Plotinus, Philo, Dante and Shelley with those expounded in Pratyabhijñā.
The Buddha is said to have convinced a bereaved mother about the realism of death and suffering by asking her for a handful of mustard seeds from a home where none had died in the family. Buddhism sees Death as a Reality. It is a philosophy of suffering, breathing, despair. The Stoics and the early Christians came under its spell. After Roman excesses this kind of sentimental despair and ascetic self-chastisement was an expected reaction. A sense of guilt could damage the life of an individual, a nation, a culture. It is necessary to remain upright. Śaivism sees life and awareness as Reality. For the former Samsarawas moth-eaten; for the latter, it was a temporary child-play. Hindu positivism could best be understood by following this contrast. The Neo-Platonist, or the Athanasian creeds came much nearer to Saivism, Grace and Śakti-Nipäta. Of that later on.
What then aids the still, quiet, unagitated Śiva to be manifested? The Pratyabhijnä-school answers the question by saying that Siva is Siva; and is not to be taken as Śava, i.e., a dead-body (Dead-Matter). Siva is quiet; tranquil; like the eye-balls in a state of sleep; but not without animation. Śiva is the tranquil state of power. Power and Śiva are one. There is Śiva in Sakti and Sakti in Śiva. They are, as we know, the two- in-one, as the moonlight in the moon. "All physical beings are organised in Power known as Kulakundalini. The Union of this Power with Śiva is known as conjugality [Con+Jugum (Yoke) L. or Tuga (s); Yugala(s) = a pair).
Power is not different from the possessor thereof. The energy inherent in Being is Becoming. Being is Siva; Becoming is Sakti. Thus Power is Reality itself, as Becoming. In Life and its manifestations, in mind and its expressions, in matter and its formations, in the law of continuity and eternity, the Power, in conscious, unconscious, subconscious of supra- conscious states, is Becoming. This power which results from urge, pro- jects manifestations. It is the neutral Immensity projecting itself into the three basic-tendencies (Gunas). Inherent in the hundred legends in the myths of all times and all lands this inseparability of the electronic bond between the two forces of positive and negative, as male and female counterparts, has crystallised into great love-stories.
Power is conventionally accepted as Female and Negative, and Being as Male and Positive. Becoming is Šakti; Being is Siva. Becoming is Rädhä; Being is Krsna. Becoming is Mary, the eternal Virgin; and Being is the Christ, the eternal Son. Becoming is Isis, and Being is Osiris. Becoming is Istar, Being is Marduk. So on, the metaphysical correlates continue in the legendary figures of Tammuz and Astarte, Ado- nis and Venus, Persephone and Demeter, Sîtā and Rāma, Savitri and Satyavan. How close these legends kept to their original structures might be compared through tracing only one of the series.
Let us compare the legends of Purúravas and Urvasi (Veda); Savitri and Satyavan (Purana), Venus and Adonis (Greek Myths). Demeter and Persephone (Cretan Myths), Tammuz and Astarte (Sumerian Myths). All these legends grew up in different countries, different cultures at different times. Yet a strange similarity runs through all of them. The basic symbolism of the legends grow fainter before the intense dramaof the emotional content of the stories. Gods and goddesses emerged out of human sentiments and emotions contained in these legends, which really held a basic truth.
Power and its Forms
As such, this Becoming-Power (Sakti) acquires modes, basic tendencies in relation to its functional demands and properties. The power of self- luminosity (Cit), the power of transcendent consciousness, shines by itself, irrespective of recognition or visualisation. Human recognition the bonds of Pasa and the state of Pasu (animal) are sublimated. The Soul comes into its own, and realises its full significance; it attains Šivata, i.e. turns its faculty of cognisance to seeing all as the One, and the One as all; Śiva in all, and all in Siva. St. Theresa writes a whole chapter on Rapture through union to establish this Šivatd. The cogniser and cognised having become one, becomes a Mukta-Jiva, or equivalent to the state of Śiva Himself. This is liberation, release, salvation or Mukti. Despite the fact that the material body continues its individual existence, the material laws of existence do not affect the spiritually liberated absolute knowledge, which continues in complete unison with Siva.
Peace and Eastern Religions
This feeling of Oneness has been the characteristic of the Eastern religions. The great spiritual master-minds of the East, the Vedic sages, the Buddha, the Christ and Hazrat Muhammad, to mention just a few, set the supreme quest of the human mind towards an ever-expanding introspective orbit which gradually bears away the ego-conscious self out of its atomic-limits, until it reaches the expanses of the freedom of cosmic apprehension. Unfortunately this has not appealed to the West.
The West has been naturally involved in materialistic success down the ages. Except for the brief, but brilliant, times of the Christian mystics, the West has always sought the suffocation of accumulated pelfs. Organisation and social order impressed the West as a creed; the life- rhythm in the West found the worship and adoration of organisational discipline and domination by power to be more a purposive, if not nobler or higher way of living, than adopting the righteous path of self-discipline and sublime peace with its prize of inner contentment. Nothing is more illustrative of this fact than the present state of the Christian society as a whole. The filling nobility of the spirit that Jesus breathed, is found missing in the hollow organisation known as the Church. Order, hierarchy and bureaucracy have usurped the place of God, humility and Love. A dogmatic insistence on organisational allegiance, and pro-fessional loyalty betrays, more than anything else, the militant spirit of the Roman Caesar. The freedom and expansiveness, the proletariat concern and the benign humanity that moved the Son of Mary to bring a new message of mass-love in a society of the most gruesome class-oligarchy, nas gradually been superseded by a cynically snobbish class-consciousness. The Spirit of Man had chosen an abandoned stable for its incarnation; but this has been gradually stifled by the palatial masonries of pride and pomp. The Pope wears the mark of the Cross on his shoes!
The agencies of Greek dialectics and Roman Law threw out gradually the Jew concern for spiritual individualism and the economic equality of socialism. Paul, the Greek, superseded Jesus, the Jew; Paul the organiser, superseded Jesus, the Spirit; Paul the order, superseded Jesus, the revolu- tion. The pious and moral value of godliness was shattered into many sensual fragments for the chosen to indulge in. The courts and the court-ministers of the Roman church offered its powers as abetment for a strangling imperialism which to-date characterises religious exercises generally, and the Christian church in particular. Speculation more than introspection, casuistry more than active participation, dogma more than faith, law more than ethics, words more than spirit, tyranny more than love, brought out in the open the characteristics of an organisation. The Order of Jesus Christ had hardly succeeded to transport itself across the waters of the Galilee. The dusts of Jerusalem have been drenched with the blood of the aggressors; but the true discovery of Jerusalem has not yet begun.
Jesus insisted that man could meet his Father. Buddha insisted that the individual sense of fractional existence could be identified with a totality. The Upanisads insisted that all is from Brahman, and to Brah- man all is directed. The Gîta says that the Yogi's being is cosmic as he sees one in all and all in one. The message of the Eastern spirit of religiosity is not merely moral; it transcends morality, and becomes a basis for universal peace. The spirit of Hinduism demands this equality. It acts against personal self. A personal peace is no peace. Political peace is a chimera. Social peace is the peace of a dead womb. The right type of peace has to be impersonal and impersonal alone. It is the peace that turns the mother's vitals into milk. It is the peace that boils my broth in the kitchen where my mother stirs the ladle in the pot, and croons a melody. It is the peace that the farmer builds up while digging up the quiet earth for the crop of the next autumn.
This perception of quiet-in-agitation is Šivata or Tanmayata. In our discussion on Samipya, Sarapya, Salokya and Sayujya we have already analysed this. It is the hidden sense of a paradox; the naval string that binds the contraries; the union of opposites; the dynamism between the poles. The sacred stream of spiritualism overflows the banks of religion,and spiritualist-mystics form a universal brotherhood. The Bhakti theory of union leading to the Realisation of the Absolute was not some- thing unknown to the non-Hindu spiritualists. We have evidence from experienced authorities about this monistic dualism and dualistic-monism. Here are some:
(a) "Who knows whom, when all becomes the same I?", asks the Eastern sage in his joy for having reached this peace. Similar utterances follow one after the other.
(b) The reborn soul is the eye which, having gazed into the sun, thence-forward sees the sun in everything. -Eckhardt.
(c) He reaches transcendence who does not hurt others, since all are but the same 'I' which exists in all as the same Lord (who acts through all). -Gitä.
(d) And my own being is found in union with others.... The Inner Light is beyond praise or blame; like space, it knows no boundaries. -Young-chia Ta-shih
(e) Behold but One in all things; it is the second that leads you astray. -Kabir.
(f) I knocked from outside the closed door,
And begged for entry.
Who are you? came the question.
"It is I"-I said, and knocked again.
The door remained closed.
"Who are you," the question was flung again at me.
"It is You," said I.
The door opened!
Union and Doubt
The essential difference between the two schools of Śaivism, the Kashmir Trika and the Southern Pratyabhijñā, is that Kashmir Śaivism idealistically speaks of Oneness as the highest goal of Śivată. The Southern Tamil school of the Siddhanta realistically keeps aware of the Loved and the Beloved. Advaita, for the Siddhantins, does not deny dualism; it confirms Two. It is not true to say, according to the Siddhantin, that 'there are not two'; there are; but the two are not two 'ones'; they are the One, but only in two. There are two; but the two are one; yet one, up to a point.
The Beloved is all in all;
The lover really veils Him;
The Beloved is all that lives;
The lover is a dead thing.
Thus we note that both the schools believe in Advaita. One proposes for its goal an open march forward to attain and realise the thrill of Advaita (pure monism); the other chooses the humbler position, whereby Love and Service are sought for as privilege and Grace to be put to the use and service of the same One present in all. One is purely subjective, and leads to a reclused life away from massive involvement. The other is objectively dedicated to an arduous programme of perpetual service to even the meanest, commonest, filthiest being, taking them to be yet another abode of the same One. This is the Cross that the dedicated must always be prepared to bear; this is the 'yoke' under which the dedicated toils. An enemy to this approach is an enemy of society, and the enemy of the One. To be able to assist in destroying the innate ignorance in Man becomes his mission, even if the mission calls for prices in blood. Śiva does not hesitate. In destroying the offending Devas like Dakṣa, or the Asura, like 'Tripura', he did not hesitate to wield his terrific trident and invincible Bow, Pinaka (see Plate 40).
The realist cannot conceive of a merging unity with Śiva. Souls released are yet souls. It is only in a released state that the souls could enjoy. If the enjoyer and the enjoyed become one, what was the point of enjoyment? The Visistädvaita (Qualified Monism) school of Vaisnavism too accepts a similar position of the servant and the served; but with them insistence on servility wafts them further and further away from the subjective state to the objective. The excess of fervour in itself poses new obstructions. These emotionally activised and dedicated persons should bear in mind the true nature of emotion and Māyā. Even though tamed, a tiger is a tiger. It is good to bear that in mind. Too much fervour could lead to a state of qualified projections, which could create an altogether new world of Prapanca. As a result, the immaculate tran- quillity of Truth could be easily interfered with. The Siddhantin concen- trates on the unqualified soul, and soul alone. This Soul, plus the body- bonds (Pasa) constitute the Being; and the Lord of Being is Pati; what has to be sacrificed for release from bonds is the ignorance formed of impurities (Mala); and this is the 'animal' (Pasu). The Being which used to expe- rience through Paša, after illumination, experiences Pati; no longer 'through' the physical being (Pafs), as the Vilistädvaita (Qualified-monist) school would claim. In the illumined state the Pasa-Realisation becomes the Pati-realisation.
But to the idealist this still remains to be a stage where another stage is suggestively present, a stage higher and more subtle, viz., that of Pati.
The Pati in Tantra is Sakti or Power. She is Brahman (often sung in the hymns as Brahma-Maya). Cit is her manifestation, and Cit as consciousness manifests itself in many forms like perception, inference, analysis, judgement, etc.68 These facets of Consciousness are imaged as the instruments, wea- pons (Ayudhas) of the same Sakti, or Mother Goddess, who is found endowed with many hands, many faces, an many companions. Maya is just another assumed attribute of the same conscious Sakti, i.e., Cit. The ques- tion of emergence of Maya from Cit as shown before, raises to the sensitive seeker the special problem of Emergence of Conscious-Concepts in rela- tion to Time, known as Sphota. We have spoken of Sphota already.
Jiva or Soul is essential; yet less so than Siva, the Real. Hence Jiva is Real-Unreal (Sat-Asat). The crystal state that nears a red flower, looks red; yet it is not red. The wine glass filled with wine loses its pure trans- parency. It looks red, gold and white according to the contents it happens to hold. But it is not at all affected, even though it looks to be so. Thus Jiva's impurities too, are but circumstantial, environmental, and ephemeral. These are not substantial or real. But this knowledge about the realities of the nature of Jiva has to be first acquired for countering ignorance. No quarters to the dark forces of ignorance; no pity. Acquire Power's Grace to be able to cut it to pieces. "Like a broad sword severing the buffalo, your power severs the dark ignorance in twain," says Tagore.69 "Knowledge burns out (impurities) like fire....70 Death to the doubter...." With the sword of knowledge sever this doubt that is raised by sceptic doubts that lurk in the conscious self.72
Ways of Removing Doubts
Removal of this scepticism born of ignorance has to be processed through discipline and practical attention (Carya), action and rites (Krid), and lastly through devoted application of a determined and disciplined will (Yoga). Of course, over and above these three, the all-important factor of Grace will always remain supreme. Obeisance (pranipata), correct question (pari-prasna) and devotional attendance to serve (seva) are instru- ments of Knowledge.73 All rites to be rites must be based on Knowledge. The Tapas of Jnana purifies a false sense of egocentric sensuousness, and cleanses the soul of desire, passion, pleasure or sorrow. Actually this process of purification of the soul is but the starting point of a cycle of migration from a gross state of bounded imprisonment to a subtle state of complete freedom; and the time-span of just one physical existence may not prove to be enough for the process. A transmigration from one physical state to another physical state shall be called for. According to the French mystic Teilhard de Chardin, this is a cosmic incarnation of the Spirit into the Realised.74
The results of discipline, and of the rites and observances already acted upon, shall influence the transmigrated soul, which would seek its appropriate helpful environment for carrying out its process of freedom. Like the lion brought up with lambs, the manikin brought up with apes, or the princeling brought up with woodcutters, the transmigrated soul may remain for a while unaware of his intrinsic birthright; but when made aware of the 'Kingdom' that is slipping out from his rightful claim, he would spring back into his own, and advance. Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, Samkara, Caitanya, Aurobindo, Ramana are glaring instances of such rude awakenings leading to the glory of the Kingdom."75
The agency which generally proves of help in the awakened second stage of awareness (which is really the first, for the subtle-self is known as the preceptor Guru). His main function is to assist in the process of In the illucidating the nature of ignorance from which the soul suffers. process he gives aid for the removal of ignorance. He guides.
Release is attainment of a non-discriminatory intelligence and arriving at the wisdom that views the One in all. "To see Me as the One abiding in all Being, whether in pain or in joy is the Yogi's supreme state."76 "It is unlikely for a person confirmed in Me, through knowledge as well as Realisation, and set at peace and love with the beings around to enter into the confused state of Samsara again.77
Of course, this is subtle; this is transcendental. It is far removed from the empirically informative knowledge; far removed from the knowledge that technocracy, commerce or defence needs. Such knowledge is depen- dent on pasa-jñāna. The knower is pasu (the confused being); and the knowledge itself by nature is unreal (Asat). Like writings on water, feelings in dream, or certainties acquired through mirage, wasteful in- formations gathered through book-knowledge alone are futile, chimeral, unavailing and wasteful. Such empirical knowledge about 'practical' life invites frustration, increases despondence, and degenerates the stamina of the Will-Power to take up a bold stand, and challenges, and perseveres against neurotic ills and nervous exhaustion. The so-called practical world is a world of panic and tension, speed and bluff. It leads to a 'cat-eating-cat' life.
But to the Siddhantins even the Asat is useful, inasmuch as it stores within it the potential Sat. In every 'cause' is hidden the 'effect' that is to emerge. All actions have Sat's seed in them: and this is the Satkarya- vada of the Siddhantin. Asat too is existent, as cause for effect is; but Asat is not sat, as the effect is not the cause. The subtlety of the indeter- minable positive (Aniracaniya) postulated by the Vedantin is very close tothe subtlety of Satkaryanada of the Siddhantin. An Advaitin fully practises on the basis of Satkāryavāda, and to that extent is a close relative of the Siddhantin.
In order to illustrate Satkāryavāda let me state a personal incident. A great Canadian Presbyterian Minister who used to visit my home once asked me in great love and affection, "Tell me, why are you not a Chris- tian?" He had passed his eightieth birthday a few days back. His eager solicitude moved me; and I asked, "Who is? Are you one?" He stopped to think; and stared at me with beady eyes. I was sincerely moved by his great regard and love for me. I reminded him, "You, of course, remember why St. Peter preferred to be crucified with his head downwards. Which of us is a Christian without the Christ's Grace. He is the Guru." "So it is; yet Baptism is necessary," the old reverend insisted. "Go ahead," said I. "You are not going to convert me with drops of water without His Grace. I do not mind the water. But I continue to pray for the Grace of the great Yogî that he had been, a Purņa- bhişikta! What if the water is not there? What, if it is?" I was supremely relaxed. I could receive the water that consecrates.
"Without Baptism, we think... ," and here the loving old man stopped. Of course, he could not proceed.
I helped him with a smile, and continued, "... you think, without Baptism, I shall be in Hell. Is that it?"
His silence meant many contradictions fighting with many dogmas.
And I asked, "Reverend, please tell me if you believe that God is everywhere."
"With as much faith and firmness as I am master of."
"I agree with you. Is there any place where He is not, or cannot be, or is not allowed to be?"
He shuddered. His voice trembled with emotion. He said, "Who to sanction Him; Who to obstruct? He is all in all!"
"Tell me Reverend if He is in Hell; and in Satan too!"
The old man looked at me. His eyes were no longer beady. The drops of tears were quite frank and too full of love for his great faith in Christ.
I felt to console him, and told him, "This is the Hindu's obstinate faith. He being all in all, I cannot regard Hell as Hell, Satan as Satan. I only know that very few have earned the Grace to see him within; but some, like Satan suffer as the have-nots. The Christ alone holds the secret. Who are we? Let us love and admire, work and serve."
This view I owed to Satkāryavada's immensely hopeful postulation.
In release or Mukti knowledge is not enough; realisation is not enough; but the actual elimination of all Pasas and the spiritual sacrifice of all Pafu-ta has to be effected. Then Pati and Pati alone is realised. Not the body and its rude bonds; not the self encumbered with ego, passion and desire, but the transcendental. Real alone should constitute a totally (Bodhi or Jadna) consummate Realisation. Such a Realised-being is busy in his laziness; crowded in his loneliness; lonely amidst crowds; and active without movement. This is the state of sublime impersonal ecstasy (turiya).
In our wordly way of life we have been so enslaved to the empirical method of arriving at acceptable conclusions through a process of rationalisation and data, that our psyche has also been set to the same tune of observation, data, classification and conclusion. This formula, so effective to the discoveries and inventions of materialistic knowledge, does not act beyond matter; hence it is of no use to the world of spirit. This standard method of processing, unfortunately, is not applicable to the experiences of divine knowledge.78 "Religious experiences possess their own distinctive character and we seem to be in touch with reality other than that of matter, life or mind. We cannot say we know matter, life or mind, and not God or ultimate spirit."79 We do not know what matter and life is. We know that although their real nature is hidden from us, we have to accept them as objects of experience. The same is true about religious experience. A knowledge of atom leads us to various kinds of use for the same knowledge. Those who accept God, and experience God, and go on contributing strength to the weak, solace to the demoralised, courage to the frustrated, peace and tranquillity to the worried and harassed. "Creation has been made possible through the continual self-surrender of the unit to the universe."80 They add substance to life's meaning, and provide answers to the riddles which like eddies come out of the mind, and lead the mind to chaos and doom. They experience, and interpret. "The idea of God is an interpretation of Experience."
This experience hums in the Upanisads. "It comes to those who are chosen by Him," says the Upanisad." And those chosen speak of the experience in many ways essentially conveying the same truth.
Many are the voices. Let us listen to some:
(a) The Known who knows does not define. He plays in Self; he unites in self and acts as he should.
-Mundaka, III: 1:4.
(b) I pray God the Omnipotent to place us in the ranks of his chosen, among the number of those whom He directsto the path of safety; in whom He inspires fervours lest they forget Him; whom He cleanses from all defilement, that nothing may remain in them except Himself; yea, of those whom He indwells completely, that they may adore none besides Him. -
(c) He adored God and His mysteries as they are in themselves, and not as he understood them. -Amelote.
(d) As the Godhead is nameless, and all naming is alien to Him, so also the soul is nameless; for it is here the same as God. -Eckhardt.
(e) All that the imagination can imagine and the reason conceive, and understand, in this life, is not, and cannot be, a proximate means of union with God.
-St. John on the Cross.
(f) I will have nothing to do with a love which would be for God or in God. This is a love which pure love cannot abide; for pure Love in God Himself.
-St. Catherine of Genoa.
(g) Indeed, I tell you the truth, any object you have in your mind, however good, will be a barrier between you and the inmost Truth. -Eckhardt.
(h) The Astrolabe of the mysteries of God is love. -Jalal-ud-din-Rúmi.
(i) Love is infallible; it has no errors, for all errors are the want of love. -William Law.
(j) O friend, hope for Him whilst you live,
Know whilst you live,
understand whilst you live;
for in Life deliverance abides.
If your bonds be not broken whilst living,
what hope of deliverance in death?
It is but an empty dream that the soul shall
have union with Him
because it has passed from the body;
If He is found now, He is found then;
If not, we do but go to dwell in the city of death. -Kabir. (k) What is man? An angel, an animal, a void, a world, a nothing surrounded by God, indigent of God, capable of God, filled with God, if it so desires.-Berulle.
(1) Thou must love God as not-God, not-spirit, not-person not-image, but as He is, a cheer, pure absolute One, sundered from all two-ness, and in whom we must eternally sink from nothingness.-Eckhardt.
(m) Indian scriptures give cases of teachers who dispelled the doubts of their pupils by assuming an attitude of silence. --Aldous Huxley.
(n) Why do you ask? how I felt? Each word that describes, ever and ever renews it. -Vidyapati.
(0) Love of God is better than knowledge of God. -St. Thomas Aquinas.
(p) I come to ask thee to give me Thyself. -Ansari of Herat.
(q) The identity out of the One into the One and with the One is the source and fountainhead and breaking forth of glowing Love. -Eckhardt.
(r) What happened then? If I could tell that, I should tell a secret indeed.... I know I was not alone, that I never could be alone any more.... In some way that for which I had sought in vain for so many years, I belonged, and because I belonged, I was no longer I.... -Middleton Murray.
(s) Having realised the Super-Being the cords of heart give way; doubts come to an end; and actions stand still. -Mundaka, II: 2:8,
Thus the realiser does not describe. "The Tao which can be expressed is not the unchanging Tao; the name which can be named, is not an unchanging Name," says Lao Tze. They describe, like St. Theresa, in a language vibrant, distinct, passionate and real, yet mystically profound, and literally remote. They describe without prescription; and prescribe without any description at all. This mystery of Union is the sublimest of mysteries. 'Tato vāca nivartante', from where speech turns back baffled. Knowledge implies two, the Knower and the To-be-known; and so is imperfect. The perfect in order to be perfect must of necessity be One and be just an Experience. Both the systems, Kashmir's Trika, and Siddhantin's Pratyabhijñā agree here. The seeker for release alone need consorting with saints, and visiting temples. The released himself is the end of all rules and injunctions. That which sets all lights hollow, is indeed the sun, and no other light. That body which realises itself to be a temple needs visit no other temple.
Śivata and the Śiva Image
Those who are on the path of Śivata visualise Śiva as a subjective entity, and strive for that supreme knowledge which ends in Realisation and 'Liberation-in-life' (Jicanmukti). This highly mystic system expects the spiritualist's maximum energy to be set at a point as sharp and pointedas the tip of an arrow. At the top there is no place for two; no place for another point. All lines meet at that apex-point. Hence the conceptual form of Siva is pyramidical, vertical, though widely based The wide base is this material-world of plurality and abundance; but all progress from here aspire to reach a summit, form a vertex and meet a point. The crude many converge into the subtle One. This vertically lifting pyramid is representative of the Siva-aspiration. The Prakyti or Sakti manifestation stands as a complementary opposite. It is the Creative Urge. It spreads the One into many. The single vertex point, showing into the multi- motived world of changes and counter-changes, through the evolution of Prakṛti and Maya, is represented as a triangle balancing on its vertex- point, as a whirlpool does, with the wider base up. The mystery of the double triangle is the graphic presentation of the Siva Mithuna, the pairing principles of peace and urge; absorption and creation; immutability and mutability; state and stir, or vertex and vortex.
The initiated reads the Rosetta-Stone; the astronomer, the stars; the mariner, the nautical compass; the physicist-technician, the computer; the statistician, the figures and line. The world of technique' is meant for the initiates. Techniques and aids are indispensable for the young novice; only charlatans and snobs, due to their cynically abusive tempera- ment, find them ridiculous and insane, suggestively naughty and sicken- ingly redundant. This is not so. They only project their ignorance, demonstrate their impatience and intolerance. Spiritual knowledge depends a great deal on a language that does not speak, yet expresses a host. This is symbolic; or a sign, or a Linga-language.
Hindu Saivism based on the highest spiritual truth is, thus, mistakenly confused with primitive phallicism and oriental eroticism because of a lamentable lack of information, and a more lamentable want of patience and sympathy.
Further study of the Siddhantin's stand, as different from the system of Kashmir Saivism and Vira Śaivism, should make this further clear. Besides the Siddhanta, these last two are the most celebrated of the Sina metaphysical studies. To Kashmir Saivism, Pratyabhijña, Spanda and Trika now.
In Kashmir, Śaivism expressed itself in three different ideological systems. These are known as Sphota, Spanda and Pratyabhijña. These are three distinct systems of Saivic metaphysics, and are in no way to be equated with the dogma of Trinity. Together, the three are famous as Trika. We had occasion to touch of these three technical aspects of the Siddhanta while studying the Southern Saiva Siddhänta. But actually these three, known together as Trika, have been thoroughly treated in Kash- mir Śaivism. Trika is a unique contribution to metaphysics and has to be studied with a little greater thoroughness. This we propose to do. Trika accepts three principles to constitute one whole. These three principles are: Siva-Sakti-Agu (comparable to Pati-Pata and Paju of the Siddhantins already described). But this is not the only explanation. There are several others offered as explanations of the word Trika.
Though the other schools of Saivism accept similar three principles, Kashmir Saivism reduced the three into one. The World, the Soul and the Siva are spiritually identical, it said. Two of the words used in this system, Spanda and Pratyabhijñā, are technical, and calls for explanation. Spanda: The Absolute, the One, that manifests itself into many. To realise the presence of the One Real in all the created world is to have a unique experience. Herein experience, not understanding, holds the key. To realise maniness dissolve away, and a supreme sense of Oneness prevail is indeed to experience a cosmic thrill. One change, one move- ment, one principle acting as forces of integration and disintegration, must be an electrifying realisation. An experience of this Oneness, despite the multiple forms and changes, is Spanda, Thrill. Pratyabhijñā: It really means 'recognition'; to recognise the idea in realisation. The way as to how this realisation could be achieved has been systematised in the philosophy of Pratyabhijñā. For further elaboration of the experience of Spanda, and the recognition of Pratyabhijñā we have to wait.
History of Pratyabhijñā
In the last years of the eighth century A.D. in Kashmir lived aninspired sage by name Vasugupta. The particular system he followed for his experience of transfiguration and beatitude was called by him as the Grace of Siva. Under the influence of transfiguration, by the Grace of Siva he recorded some aphorisms. He called it Śiva-Satra. Later, Vasugupta himself explained these aphorisms to a disciple named Khallata (Spanda-karika). He, in turn, explained the Siva-Sutra, in his book Spanda- Sarvasva. Somānanda, probably another pupil of the Vasugupta, wrote two more books on the same subject. These three together form the basis of Kashmir Saivism. But equally great writers, flourishing more or less about the same century, contributed to the realised aphorisms of Vasugupta, and elaborated on the mysticism involved. What resulted, developed into a system which came very close to Monism of Samkara.
The geographical position of Kashmir, and its politico-commercial situation during the first eight hundred years of the Christian era was such, as enforces a research in this area for a proper, in-depth appreciation of the sudden emergence of yet another subjective analysis of the metaphysical basis of Śaivism. We shall have time to investigate more fully later. Let this suffice to say now that the rise and spread of the Magi, Mithra and Zarathustra traditions in Iran as well as amongst the Selucids and Sassanians of the Persian Empire could not have left Kashmir, Gandhär and Bactria untouched.
Of these later writers on Vasugupta's aphorisms Uppala, Ramākantha and Abhinavagupta (960 A.D.) are famous, particularly Abhinavagupta, who had been a prolific writer. He, a grand pupil of Utpalācārya, was an encyclopaedic scholar, as well as a man of the highest spiritual attainment. He very often speaks of himself, and mentions the dates and places of composition of some of his works. If we are able to write a fairly accurate history of Monistic Śaivism, it is primarily because of this distinctive feature of Abhinavagupta's works.84
Sources of Saivism: Agamas"
In all he has been known to have left forty-one books covering a vast range of subjects, such as aesthetics, poetics, music and metaphysics in its various aspects. His main contribution was monistic Śaivism. In establishing his theory, he refers to the sixty-four Saivagamas and quotes Agamic passages.
We have already spoken of the antique heritage of the Agamas. It is formally believed as a convention that Śiva himself explained theAgamas to his consort Sakti. The Agamas contains the "Vasudeva philosophy as explained by the Five faced One to the daughter of the Mountain." As such no Śaiva philosophy could be established without reference to the Agamas. Abhinavagupta wrote commentaries on the sixty-four Agamas; and also left a comprehensive book of exhaustive directives on the mystical, theological, ritualistic, epistomic, psychological and philosophical aspects of all the Agamas in a book called Tantraloka. In the Eastern intellectual treatises Tantraloka is a unique work, the like of which is not to be found in the philosophical heritage in any language.
Pratyabhijñā as a philosophy is highly mystic. Metaphysically the system follows a rationalistic approach. This system respects the authority of both Agama and Veda; yet at the same time, by emphasising the final requirements for the release of free-will, it avoids dogma, ignores predetermination, and supports voluntarism. In fact, it attempts to synthesise the contemporary philosophic trends. The Kashmir Śaivism, or Pratyabhijña, accepts 'Maya' of Vedanta, and the twenty-four Tattvas (categories), together with the Purus of Sämkhya. Added to these, Pratyabhijñā admits of ten more Tattvas (principles, evolutes or catego- ries). Five of them are transcendental, and five are the limitation of the manifest. At the apex, of course, there is the inevitable One, the Absolute, the Siva. In fact no important system of contemporaneous thinking was ignored by the Kashmir system. The PratyabhijñāŚaivism, which we are about to elaborate, takes a careful note of all the best in Indian thought. It contains within its elaborately constructed system of metaphysics the realism of Buddhism, the mystic forms of Jainism, the rationalistic analysis of Nyaya, the Impressionistic approach of Vijnana. Vädin theory, the perfect monism of Vedanta, the Purusa-Prakyti concept of Samkhya with its range of properties, particularly the Gunas, and the aesthetic self-discipline of Yoga. Although it did not ignore Mimänsä, its open liberal view regarding the use of forms in worship reminds one of what later became known as Sufism and Sahaja. It does not despera- tely attack the Vedas and Brahmanism as Buddhism does; it does not uphold the priestly order as such; yet, while paying reverence to both the Vedas and the Brahmanas, it cuts through the caste system, and opens the spiritual world to all, through the authority of the Guru, or an emanci- pated teacher. The Supreme Light of Consciousness is self-luminous, independent and unlimited. This luminosity creates the coveted state of Bliss (Anandam). This Ananda-Sakti too is unlimited and unqualified. Besides these two manifest modes of Power there are three more: the Will-power (Iccha); the Power to comprehend and realise (Jnana); and the last the power that drives to act (Kriya). It manifests itself as effort, and is inspired to act against sloth. At a later stage opportunity will befound to examine these five forms of power in Greater detail.
The Universe as we know, and those Universes which we do not know, together, are Śiva manifested in His Sakti, much in the same manner as the darkness of space manifested the light of the stars, and the stars manifest the darkness, or the moon manifests its light and the light manifests the moon. Śiva manifests out of His Will, and the manifested are jointly and individually His substrate. That is to say, the Will, the manifestation, the state before the Will, all are in Śiva. It is refreshing to recall that both Plotinus and Philo would be only too happy to know that in the Hindu system they would find their most fervent support.
If all are Śiva, why then this world of multiplicity, distinctiveness and discrimination? Sine-systems answer that the knowledge of multiplicity and distinction is due to Avidya, defective knowledge. To see the One as many is due to our failure in accepting and adhering to certain basic principles of knowledge. To know that is to get liberated from the ten- sion of multiplicity. Our minds are untrained and disorganised because of this lack of principles. Pratyabhijña is the power to realise these principles, so that the mind could comprehend the principles of Being and Becoming as two in One.
The realisation of a Perfect-Oneness leads Consciousness to experience a sensational stir. In the language of the Tantra of Cakra Sadhana, the 'sleeping serpent' uncoils itself from its long winter hybernation. Then does the nature of the Universe truly manifest itself. Then could one fully realise that, like the serpent coiling and uncoiling, the union comes into being, and goes out of being. The material universe integrates and disintegrates. The One principle remains constant. Modern Astrophysics shows awareness of the phenomenon of the cosmic process of formation, projection, dissolution and absorption of total solar systems.
Saivism, as has already been noted, accepts thirty-six primal properties, known as 'categories' or Tattvas. Scientifically these might be called substrates. These substrates include both matter and mind. Thinking of matter without mind is a primal illogic. Modern scientific thinking has yet to accept this fact before attaining truth in its sublimity. Kashmir Śaivism, accepts the thirty-sixth as the Apex of a gradual ascension. It pictures this apex as the primal root of an upturned tree, of which the manifested world and its forms are but the branches, leaves, blossomsand fruits, with further secondary roots shooting down from the existing branches. Roots upon roots form bonds upon bonds. The manifest world of forms get tied up in dormancy and sloth. The Ultimate Reality, Śiva, reserves the secret. Creation emanates as a mystery. Beyond the mystery is Šiva, proving that all manifestations project from the One.
The thirty-five modes are but the projections of the five principal modes of Sakti above referred to as Self Luminosity (Cit), Bliss (Anandam), Will (Iccha), Knowledge (Jhana) and Action (Kriya). Therefore, next to Siva in importance is Sakti, the reservoir of the Five-Modes. Sakti is the thirty-fifth mode; and Siva, as the thirty-sixth one, forms the final apex. Sakti is really neither the second to Siva, nor away from Siva. The more Sakti activises, the more Śiva's Reality gets blurred, in the same way as the clarity of water in a pond gets blurred when it is subjected to vigorous stirring. The Real Luminosity (Cit) gets dimmed due to the display of Sakti. The fact is that, Śiva and Sakti are not two. But, for the understanding of the Tattvas the two are numbered as the thirty-sixth and the thirty-fifth. Sakti separately quests; Ananda separately sleeps; till Sakti awakens it. For our formal com- prehension we see matter and energy as two; we feel that matter's sloth is agitated into energy and energy without matter is idle talk. Thus not only both of them are transferable; even more; they are inseparable.
For the other thirty-four Tattvas we have to wait. Without a Guru the way cannot be known. He baptises; he initiates; he administers the Dîkṣā. He admits to an order, and indicates the Way. Then the results of Spiritual knowledge gradually dawn on the mind of the lucky deserv ing, and the Soul gets free of bondage. In the Pratyabhijñā-system, as in the Vira-Saiva-system, the need for having a Guru or spiritual precep- tor, for the removal of ignorance, is indispensable. Together with the Guru's directional aid, the individual's intuitional skill is also important. But with all his intuitional skill, without the Guru's aid he remains zero. It is the Guru who, intellectually speaking, is in the nature of Reality, to be absorbed through the understanding of the seeker. In fact, the Pratyabhijaa system emphasises on the acquirement of true knowledge with the aid of the Guru. Without knowledge what could happen, has been illustrated in Sarvadarśana Samgraha by Madhavacharya through the following story:
A young girl fell in love with a young man whom she had never really seen. She had been hearing many reports about him from various quarters. As she listened; she got more and more enraptured about this young man, although she had to meet him yet. A time came when the idea about the young man grew into a fixation for her, and she could hardly contain herself from meeting him. She became love-lorn, and love- sick. She longed to 'meet' him.
She began to write to him. Eventually he replied. The language and the manner of the letters added to her longing for him. Her girl com- panions, realising her condition arranged for a tryst between the two.
The meeting proved to be a disappointment. Where was the man of her dreams? Where were the charm, the beauty, the polish, the irresisti- bility she had been imaging to herself, and she had been shaping herself for? This was an everyday man of life, common, and drab. The girl could not bear the disappointment and broke down.
Then the companions intervened. What had happened after all? The young man was the very person she had been hearing of, she had been dreaming of, and she had been writing to. Why then this tragedy?
When she explained herself, the companions laughed at her. "The full knowledge of a personality is a process of an eternal discovery. It takes time to discover in person," they said, "what one idolises in a being. In spite of the fact that qualities are present, one has to be trained in the faculty of reception; and then alone one could expect the inspiration and thrill one had ideally composed and formed in the world of fancies. For the ideal to be real guidance was an imperative requirement."
The companions now joined their company, and a brisk conversation followed. A gay thrilling and electrifying period gave the girl all she sought to find in her man of dreams, thanks to the aid and guidance of the companions.
Similarly the talk, that the personal self is but the manifestation of the Universal self, does not appeal to those, who, in absence of guidance of skilled identifications, fail to recognise the Universal self in the personal self. This calls for a special training, which a Guru alone could give.
Such human efforts by themselves alone are not enough. The disciple, the preceptor and the blessings of the Divine Will, all three are essential for realising salvation. Without the Divine Will no personal effort by itself, could suffice for spiritual progress. Besides the powers of creation, sustenance and destruction of the Universe, God has powers of Conceal- ment and Grace. In fact, the other three powers are eternally and continuously enveloped in these two later powers. Grace is essential for revelation. The real nature of a person lies concealed in him; and as God's Grace descends on him, he finds, going along the path, the guide in the form of a Guru, who leads him to his heaven and salvation (Mokṣa). The technical term used in Kashmir Saivism for the descent of Grace is Sakti-Nipata. We shall hear more about it later. Ascension is impossible without descension. Eternal Grace descending, a person becomes an inspired Messiah, for whom alone Ascension remains a reserved transcen- dental mystery. Similar chain of thought provided a basis for Philo, for the concept of Logos and for the stand that the Pauline Churchassumed; and, of course, the Neo-Platonics, apparently in line with Pythagoras had been very emphatic about it.
In Christian theology much is heard about Ascension, which has acquired an Empirical meaning, more or less blindly believed. Nothing however, is heard about Descension, which is the underlying principle of Śakti-Nipata discussed above as descension of Grace. It is unfair to the believers to make them swallow Ascensions without the knowledge of Descensions. Had that been done, Christianity would be more a living faith, which it ought to be, than of a spreading faith, a dogmatic credo, which it is anxious to prove itself to be. The expansionist urge of the European culture has enforced Christianity to be lost to a feverish race of expansion even at the cost of underrating the great necessity of a Guru. The ascetic stories of the days of the Alexandrian Church knew better, and produced celebrated saints. Guru's importance cannot be exaggerated. Hinduism in contrast is a vibrant challenge, a rational proposition, a knowledgeable way towards achieving a transcendental peace for others. It cannot be spread as it has to be understood; and to understand, needs effort; and degrees of effort individualises the person. Propaganda and cam- paign could prove effective in popularising a trade-mark, a tooth-paste, even a religious following; but the conquest of Peace and Happiness has to depend entirely on self-discipline, in-depth understanding and correct guidance.
Mokṣa according to the Pratyabhijñā system is the ideal Resurrection, a perfect freedom; it is going back to the original state, and be one with the original being. It is a return to the state of perfect purity, a stage of pure and chaste consciousness. "When thus the imagination of duality has vanished and he (the released soul) surmounts the illusive Māyā he is merged in Brahman as water in water; milk in milk. When thus through contemplation the group of elements is resolved into the substance of Śiva, what grief, what delusion, can befall him, who surveys the Universe as Brahman?"87
Pratyabhijña-Vedanta and Samkarācārya
It is evident from the above doctrine of Pratyabhijñā as expounded in the Kashmir mode of Saivism that it is more akin to the monistic idealism of Vedanta. It is almost the Advaita system repeated through Śaivistic arrangements of Tattvas. There is a strong opinion current amongst scholars that the exposition of the Pratyabhijñā system, in the manner it has been handed down to us, was much influenced by a visit paid by the saint scholar Samkarācārya (788 A.D.) to Kashmir. Others say that he never visited Kashmir. Samkarācārya was a resident of Kerala in South India. As such he was expected to be influenced by the Agamic Bhakti devotion. But he was a strong Vedantin. When in South India therealism of Samkhya had been sweeping every other system of philosophic thinking, when ritualism and Brahmanism reacted against the atheistic Buddhism, it was Samkarācārya who by propounding the Advaita system reconciled the Buddhist anti-caste laws with the Brahmanical system of specialisation and privilege. In the south the philosophy of Śaiva Siddhanta, which later propounded Vira Saivism, tended towards the Samkhya system, in spite of Samkarācārya. Paradoxically it was in the North that through the Pratyabhijñå system Vedantic Monism (Advaita) gained importance.
Mysticism in Kashmir-Śaivism
Another remarkable feature that distinguishes the Kashmir-Saivism from the Vira-Saivism of the South, or from the Saiva Siddhanta, is its mystical tendency. The urbanised Iranian culture helped to spread over the area between Mesopotamia and Kashmir a delicately woven fabric of spiritual mysticism. It wore an aroma of sensuous ecstasy that reminds one of the roses of Arabia and Ispahan; its exclusive transience was like the tender grossameres that floated over the gardens of Baghdad, Bokhara and Samarkand. It had magic in its tendrilled utterances, colour and romance in its images and music. It affected philosophers and scholars alike. New poetry grew; new sects flourished. The mystic North, engaged in patterning a novelty in the area of ancient Śaivism, could not remain unaffected either. The Kashmir version of Saivism became mystical and delightful, aesthetic and sublime.
An idea, like a flash, disturbs this rather poised state of Saivic research. Kashmir, Iran, Sufism, pre-Islamic Arabia-in a chain takes the mind to Pythagoras, Plotinus, Plato, Philo and the Alexandrine stoics. Was it entirely impossible that the ideas between Egypt, Iran and Kashmir moved along the same channels as the commodities like saffron, sugar, silk, spices, ivory, camphor and frankincense moved? Of that later.
Mysticism must be free. The most free expression of the soul must be inspired, and must inspire cultivation of free-will. It does not count much for determination. Mysticism and free-will acquire, through inspired guidance, a spirit of synthesis. A mystic does not flourish in arguments and polemics. The nature of a mystic finds no impetus for counter-acting or contradicting. It enfolds all differences to resolve into a synthetic whole of universality and oneness, Synthesis is, therefore, another virtue of Kashmir Saivism. It rejects all forms of dualism or pluralism. It seeks introversion, meditation, individuality and solitude. The self and the non-self, according to it must be unified in order to attain a state of perfect bliss. This is the Ultimate Reality, anuttara of Saivism,or, 'Siva' as it is called. Beyond Siva there is nothing. It is the 'given' of Berkleys' subjectivism; it is the 'external' reality of Kant ("Thing-in-itself).
Siva, therefore, is indefinable. It is not to be questioned; it does not provide an answer in speech, 'Vak' or 'Vaikhari'. It is untouched by Sputum Anucchiṣṭam'. "What is his name?" cried Moses before the bush fire. "What shall I say?" The reply might be carefully remembered:
"And God said unto Moses, I am that I am: and He said, thus shalt thou say unto thy children of Isreal, 'I am' hath sent me unto you.' Here I and you the personal self and the cosmic Self become one. "He is the name given of all," says the Veda. "In Him alone all beings resolve. He is the single reply to all questions."89
Universality of Mystic Realism
That this Realism could be realised by Self-discipline alone is em phasised in Saivism, in Vedänta, in Sämkhya, in Buddhism; this emphasis is similar to what could be traced to Moses enjoining rigorous self- discipline on his society as being the only means of attaining God." The mystic delight, the mystic bliss is not congregational. It is subjectively personal. Without discipline this delight of inner glory is unattainable. Has not Plotinus spoken of the One as too transcendent to fall within the reach of mind and speech?
"Blessedness and God are both the chiefest good, and are, therefore, identical. Men are made happy by the obtaining of divinity. They who obtain divinity become gods (a theory, we shall later note believed by the Jangama Saivas). Wherefore every one that is happy is a God, but by nature there is only one God, but there may be many by participation (a typical Jangama view again)." These lines from Boethius (524 A.D.) leave us with no doubts about the Śiva idea spreading between the Nile, the Euphrates and the Narmadă, inclusive of the Byzantine cultural area of Eastern Europe. "All these forms are bathed in the luminous nectar of Blessed Joy," says the Upanisad. "From Joy alone spring all these Beings;" "The Real, the Conscious is the Joyous;" "He is but the Blessedness;" the Upanisad is a store-house for such remarkable utterances. To the joys of Siva-Agamas and the Siva-concept the same concept of identifying divinity with Grace, Blessedness and Joy has been engaging the mind of the world where Oriental mystic traditions prevailed. Sufism was just another form of the same philosophic trend.
Mystic ecstasy is the only form of this Realisation as has been evidenced by scores of mystics, irrespective of theological distances and divergent forms. Religious languages do differ; but not the spiritual experiences. In Experience, Realism and Idealism meet. Realism believes in an external Reality, which Śiva represents. Idealism maintains thatexperiences are products of form of thoughts, and as such are essentially intellectual and independent of the mind.
Kashmir-Śaivism is Realistic-Idealism
Realistic Idealism accepts all that is valid in subjectivism as well as realism. Subjectivism holds that materialism is impossible, and that reality is inviolable. And realism holds that the objective world exists independent of the individual mind. Realistic-Idealism holds both the views, and says that the world in which we live is merely a manifestation of the universal mind, and as such, is mental. But it existed independent of the individual mind and therefore it is real. It is very close to the 5th cent. controversy of Nestorian Monophysites.
Both mind and matter are, in the Spinozistic sense, attributes of the Real. 'Attributes' are the ways of looking at things. In this sense the Real itself could have no attributes, which are real. Yet through the ways of looking at the Real, attributes could be assigned, specially for giving speech forms to an inexpressible realisation. Real having no attributes could neither have mind, nor be of matter. Difference exists because of our self-reference. But from the point of view of Real, their differences are not the same as perceived by us. Hume was basically right in think- ing that whatever is distinguishable is divisible. But his entire approach is charged by objectivity, and is true only in so far as we are concerned. That which is referred to as the ineffable Real is not conditioned by our images of Him or Her, specially when He or She is the condition of all that is conditioned. This has to be fully understood yet.
What is Pratyabhijñā? It is an experience becoming The Experience Once in a life the moment comes, too subtle, too transient, too intimate to be recorded except by the few fortunate. Once travelling through the deep forests of South America I had unexpectedly met a tribal youth. As happens in such chance-meetings in completely segregated, but mystically lonely surroundings, we both stopped, and looked at each other. No suspicions, yet, no welcoming either. We stood on the threshold of recognition. We had no common language between us. Yet we succeeded in communicating, and passed some time together.
In the course of our 'conversation', the young man spotted out a small- bony piece tapering in one end, the whole piece being not more than three inches long. Ring after ring of bones appeared to have been stuck to- gether, the blunt end being about the shape of a pea. The boy insisted on my holding it on the palm of my hand. As I did so, I felt a vibration passing through my nerves. It appeared to be much more eloquent than just a reflex: more subtle, but entirely physical. This was, as I came to learn, the tail-piece of a South American rattle-snake which the boy had killed a day before. I was surprised to note the presence and continuity of the reflex motor-action so vibrant over such a length of time after the loss of life of its parent.
I thus confronted two kinds of vibrations: one of the unexpressed words vibrating into meaningfulness; the other of the dead tail wherein life's motor had not completely shut down; one, abstractly based; the other physically based; but both were actively playing on my conscious being, and both were communicating in their own way. Vibrations shooting in waves of thrill relating life to life.
As I confront the basic Idea of 'Pratyabhijaa' I recall these experiences, only in an intellectually alerted field first; and then suggesting a reciprocal experience in the spiritual field of my deeper consciousness that transcends Being and Matter.
If the Buddha were asked about his moment of Bodhi (realisation), of the exact nature of the reflexive experience in his spiritually alerted transcendental being, he would perhaps remain silent to express himself, and that moment could be termed as the moment of Pratyabhijña, and that illuminating experience of liberation could be called Pratyabhijna. It is essentially an experience, and experience alone. Not a 'vision', but an experience. Let us examine, in this connection, two extracts:
(1) I sought a soul in the sea
And found a coral there;
Beneath the foam for me
And ocean was laid bare.
Into my hearts' night
Along a narrow way
I groped; and lo the light!
An infinite land of day !92
(2) All at once, without warning of any kind, I found myself wrapped in a flame-coloured cloud. For an instant I thought of fire, an immense conflagration somewhere closeby in that great city; the next instant I knew that the fire was in myself.
Directly afterward there came upon me a sense of exultation, of immense joyousness accompanied or immediately followed by an intellectual illumination quite impossible to describe. Among other things, I did not merely come to believe, I saw the Universe is not merely composed of dead matter, but is, on the contrary, a living Presence; I became conscious in myself of eternal life.93
Pratyabhijña etymologically means 'Perfect cognition'. In more intimate exposition Pratyabhijnd is the Experience of experiences. Percep- tion, conception and cognition are the three aspects of the total purpose of man's quest for arriving at an understanding with the self, vis-a-vis the world and the universe. In this quest the ultimate knowledge, claims Pratyabhijñā, is to realise that the soul and God are one and the same. In the language of St. John on the Cross, "the Union after Betrothal."94
No knowledge is worth the name without realisation. A realisation is not real unless attained through some practice. Mere subjectivity of knowledge has little relation with life unless that knowledge is put into action. Knowledge thrives on action. Speculation as an intellectual exercise contravenes the very ethics innate in the concept of Śiva, which has to be identified with a public weal, a public spirit, a public entity symbolising the fullness of Goodness.
Naturally, such an approach reminds one of Samkara's Advaita. The "Trika' philosophers of Kashmir worked along Samkara's inescapable way of spiritual guidance. We have already noted on the principal literary bibliography that survives as the accepted authorities of the Trika. Of these the Siva-Sutra the earliest treatise on Pratyabhijñā was discovered by Vasugupta in the 8th century. Vasugupta introduced Śiva-Sutra in his book Spanda-Kärikā. Later literature include Somānanda's (930 A.D.) Siva-Dreti (900 A.D.); Utpalächärya's Pratyabhijna-Satra; Abhinava- gupta's (960 A.D.) Paramathasara, Pratyabhijña-Vidhayint and Tantraloka: and lastly Siva-Sutra-Vimarşini and Spandasandoha by Kṣema Rāja.
Very little work has been done on modern lines on the subject of Pratyabhijñā, specially on its possible contribution on psychology and spiritual contentment in a materialistically motivated world. The in- depth appreciation of Pratyabhijñā and Spanda has a great message for students of meditation. Surprisingly enough, a proper study of Pratyabhijñā, in the light of two different sources of modern revolutionary thought, each a contradiction of the other, namely, existentialism and a materialistic dialectics, would yield startling results.
The first one enters deeply and profoundly into the dialectics of idea and existence with their respective sequence, and arrives at the conclusion that freedom, to be real, has to be absolute. Realisation ofhimself makes a man realise an individual type who is free to himself. To be free is to be absolute. The latter insists on the rights of an individual to demand complete existence as a unit within a social unit, by virtue of his honesty of purpose and pursuit. It grants, as a necessary corollary to this, the other the right to consider all opposition to this as reactionary and obstructive. Their removal, thereby, becomes a virtue. It believes that those who kept their experience hidden from themselves because of such excuses as predestination and predeterminism, are cowards. The courageous alone could act according to convictions. Realisation must be translated into action. Action for achieving freedom, generally, must be the 'religion' of those who feel free through realisation of liberation of the self. Material life is as much concerned with the Real life, as the latter has to be concerned about with its material balance.
The relations that Reality tries to establish with Experience, Ex- perience with Action, and Action with Perceptual knowledge form the subject matter of Pratyabhijña for which God-Realisation is not merely a spiritual end in itself. In this, Kashmir Saivism, and its emphasis on Realisation and Experience, is distinct from the thrilling emotion of the Bhakti system of the Siddhantins of the South. Aware of the subjectivity of Monism, they, in recognition of their need and spiritual limitations, adhere more firmly to the Dualism of Siva-Sakti, Puruşa Prakyti, even inclusive of such important diversions as the Skanda-cult and the Ganapati-cult.
Although along the Himalayan belt, specially in the Eastern part of Bengal and Assam, the influence of Tibetan Tantra has remained an influential force, and although room for a Siva-concept has been found. within the Nätha and Pasupata cults of the Tantra-family, Pratyabhijnä retains its stern rationalism and materialistic analysis in propounding its spiritual content. The contribution of Pratyabhijñä to the spiritual delight of realising a fullness within the Self is a thrilling experience that adds meaningfulness to existence in body, spirit and mind. It can safely be said that the field of Pratyabhijñā still contains for the thinking man a virgin scope for a revealing and rewarding research.
Why is Trika called Trika? Obviously, this method of study of the Self's relation to the empirical world (Prapanca) has been laid out in three sections; hence Trika. But what are the three sections? There are several answers.
(i) One of them says that out of the ninety-two Agamas Trika recognises only three to be the most relevant and significant. These three are Siddha (Realised); Namaka (The Name world);
and Malint (The Garland).
(ii) Another school of thought regards Trika to be the analysis of the three concepts of (a) Sina (God); (b) Sakti (Power); and (c) Anu (Atom).
(iii) Yet a third school divides the concepts into (a) Siva (God); (b) Sakti (Power); and (c) Nara (Man).
(iv) There is a fourth group which makes a metaphysically mystical analysis which groups it into (a) Pará (Metaphysical); (b) Apara (counter-physical); and (c) Pardipard (Beyond metaphysical). (v) The fifth school of study of Trika classifies the knowledge into the three modes of knowledge of Reality into (a) Abhede (to know reality as non-Distinct); (b) Bhedabheda (to see Reality as one in the light of distinction); (c) Bheda (to see Reality as Distinct).
Trika, as a system has made two great contributions: Spanda, which has been partly discussed; and Pratyabhijñā. Together, these constitute the Kashmir system of Saivism, which coming much after the Southern Agamas, accepts the authenticity of the Agamas; but it came also after some of the most remarkable systems of thought which could be described as a precious human heritage derived from the Hindu metaphysical thinking. The Buddhistic Nirvana-vāda, the Jainistic Śúnya-vada and then the great tradition of Vedanta itself contributed much to the process of thinking which led to what is known as the Trika.
How did the Trika of Kashmir Saivism develop as a Metaphysical vintage apart? What actually had inspired the North Indian Himalayan thinkers? It has its own history.
The Cultural Syncretism
Let us halt awhile for taking a look at the Western frontiers of Asia immediately preceding this period, and find out the antecedents of this highly subjective method of thinking, which posed for its aim the ideal of arriving at the Reality of Causational World. This was not new to India. This was not new to Greece. Due to cultural, commercial, and above all historical reasons the thoughts of Greece and India found an opportunity for syncretic assimilation. This was new.
We have seen that the time of Vasugupta is late 8th cent. A.D. And we have noted that Vasugupta says that the Siva-Aphorisms known as Siva-Sutra has been conveyed to him through ancient traditions! The treatise Sisa-Satra as a compilation of aphorisms does not thus appear to be fundamentally Vasugupta's own system. His disciple Khalläāta (not a very Aryanised name anyhow like Nahapana, Castana) had compiled it in the name of Vasugupta. Then the system was elaboratedby later philosophers and scholars like Somānanda, Ramākāntha and Abhinavagupta. The date of the last was 960 A.D. Vasugupta's own book was named Spanda Sarvasva. And about the aphorisms compiled as Siva-Satra, in his name, Vasugupta himself says that he got them by the grace of Siva. In other words he ascribes their find to some divine inter- vention. Whatever that might mean, and in the accepted meaning of that probability he could have the Sûtras composed out to him in a moment of trance, it is clear that for their cogency and novelty, for their subjective finesse and subjective realism they had to be novel approach in Indian philosophy.
The Greek Influence
Dr. Radhakrishnan has referred to Neo-Platonism in connection with Kashmir Saivism in general, and with Trika in particular. We have in a former chapter dealt with certain main trends of the Greek metaphysical thought. We are about to deal with Neo-Platonism and Plotinus in some detail. We have to keep ourselves aware of the fact that this area, namely the Greco-Oriental area, inclusive of Egypt, and inclusive of Iran (Persia) with parts of central Asia influenced by Zarathustra and the Magi, had been under the subjugation of the Greeks. Alexander had started it. But that was 330 B.C. From 330 B.C. to the rise of the Achaemenids (558 A.D.) the Greeks had spread themselves out in this area in colonies after colonies. They had even built up their own cities, now known to the archaeologists under different names. Places like Ishpahan, Samar- kand, Bokhara were originally Greek cities with Greek names. 95 The dominions of the Parthians and Bactrians had been Greek. In India itself these Greeks had come to settle. Chandragupta Maurya had Greek soldiers in his army;96 and we hear of the Greek occupation of Mathura and Saketa in Panini.97 Indo-Greek marriages were a common feature sanctioned by the royal lead given by Chandragupta Maurya himself.
And the Iranians themselves were of Aryan stock. "That the Iranians have come from the East to their later home, is sufficiently proved by their close relationship to the Indians, in conjunction with whom they previously formed a single people."'98 Cox and Williams present both numismatic and philological evidence in support of this theory. In view of the Purana legends, where lives of Krsna and the Yadavas, or the miracles of Śiva have been described, we find mention of Persian names of persons, places and gods. Karusha, Palhavas, Gandharvas, Ayus Takṣakas, Nahuṣas are names quite familiar to the Purana reader. For the study of the culture of the Vedas and that of India it is a great error to consider Persia (Päriva Desa), Afghanistan, Baluchistan as 'different' countries; in that case Kashmir too would be considered different. Theadvent of a Central Asian Turko-Mongol chief Kanishka, his acceptance of Buddhism, and the acceptance by his descendents of Saivism, all go to show the influence of Hindu thoughts in these regions.
But during the period under our study, the same regions were under the political suzerainty of the Greeks. "In the first and second centuries before Christ, Syrians, Greeks and Scythians poured down into the Punjab, conquered it, and established there for some three hundred years, this Greco-Bactrian culture."99 As a result it was quite an easy affair to have the Greek metaphysical ideas influence the Vedic Hindu ideas and forms. Not only their thoughts did meet; but even their Gods. This was the reason why we had prepared ourselves so painstakingly to study some of the Greek, Syrian and Babylonian Gods: Helios, Apollo, Zeus himself Marduk, Artemis, Gaea, Mithra, Proserpine, Bacchus and many others. We learn from Brihaddevata the extent to which the Greek fancy for images had been passed on to the lands of the Vedas. We learn from Huen Tsang the influence of the temple-culture in Northern India superimposing the Aranyaka and Buddha cultures.
The Achaemenids gave way to Alexander; Alexander's Greeks gave way finally to the Sassanians, when Ardesir wrested powers away from the decadent Selucids (224 A.D.). In the meanwhile the scene in India had undergone a great change. The Kushana empire had given a new mould to Buddhism, and the Imperial Guptas had stepped in. It did not take even 500 years to carry the Indian scene of Vedic purism, and Buddhist monasticism to reach the gorgeous apex of the Kailasa temple of Ellora, where the sudden outburst of Saivic sculpture and architecture blossomed to amaze and fill the soul like the sudden outburst of spring after a white winter. Had the Islamic fanaticism spared Mathura, Saketa and Kasi, according to the records left by Huen Tsang, similar treasures of art would still be extant in North India, inclusive of Kashmir.
This was the time when in its Iranian home, and specially in Persia, the religion of Zarathustra lived a quiet life undisturbed by the proceedings of the outside world. Here the poems of the prophet (Zarathustra) and fragments of ancient religious literature survived, understood by the Magians and rendered successful by the faithful laity through the use of a modern dialect (Pehlavi). Here the opposition of the good spirit of Light and the demons of Evil-between Ormuzd and Ahriman-still remained the principal dogma of the creed; while all other gods and angels, however estimable their aid, were but subordinate servants of Ormuzd, whose highest manifestation on earth was not the sun-god Mithras, but the holy fire guarded by the priests. Mithra on horseback as a War-Godgives form to the iron-mailed Sun-God on horseback as is found in the temple of Konarak, and elsewhere.
The religion spread more and more. The Indo-Scythians in India clung to these gods, and spread the religion throughout their empire. In Armenia, Cappadocia, North Syria, Asia Minor, the cult Mithra with its mysteries, and the theology of Zarathustra, became the rage of the Latin speaking Empire of the Romans. The Solin Victus Mithras became so honoured a cult that for a while it was about to be considered the official religion of the Caesars. Nowhere the syncretic tolerance of the different religions is so pointedly observed as in the Persian religion of the time and in the Hindu religion, which liberally accommodated the religions of their cousins in political distress.
For at no time the immigrations of the ousted faithfuls were so large, or so frequent. Just when the Sassanids were continuing in power in Persia, just when the rage of the Mithraic religion and the Zarathustra philosophy had been sweeping over this vast area, two very important movements had been developing in the Greek world.
One of them was the movement of the Sophists. Zeno's date is third century B.C. But the men who really made Stoicism something vibrant lived much later. Seneca, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, who, belonging to the first and second centuries of the Christian Era, were not only contemporary philosophers of the times of the Sassanids of Persia, but had most certainly been fully conversant with the Buddhistic doctrines. "Nearly all the successors of Alexander-we may say all the principal minds in existence in the generations following Zeno-professed themselves Stoic."100 Stoicism became fashionable amongst the aristocracy. This is no place to enunciate Stoicism; but a student of Stoicism could easily discern in it two important functional traits: (1) Buddhism (except that, as the Stoics believed in God, the Buddhists did not have to bother with God); and (2) Saivism of the Kashmir pattern. If the earlier Stoics were more ethical than religious, later men like Chrysippur, Panaetius, Posedonius, Seneca and Epictetus gradually fell to the charm of Platonism. Who is a Stoic? Let us listen to Epictetus:
Show me a man moulded to the pattern of his judgementsthat he utters in the same way as we call a statue Phidian that is moulded according to the art of Phidias. Show me one who is sick, and yet happy; in peril and yet happy; dying and yet happy; in exile and happy; in disgrace and happy. Show him me; and by the gods I would fain see a Stoic. Nay, you cannot show me a finished Stoic; then show me one who is in the moulding; one who has set his feet on the path...let one of you show me the soul of a man who wishes to be at one with God, and to blame God or man no longer to fail in nothing, to feel no misfortune, to be free from anger, envy, jealousy-one who (why wrap up my meaning?) desires to change his manhood for godhead, and who in this poor body of his has his purpose set upon communion with God. Show him to me. You cannot.
Yes we can. We the Hindus who have the Gitä. The lines above could be taken from any part of that great book, which is said to be the Cream of the Upanisads.
But something compromises my enquiry. Before we proceed, we pro- pose to draw the reader's attention to two of the phrases from Epictetus relevant to our subject. One, 'who wishes to be at one with God'. One with God, or So A-ham, Aham Brahmasmi are ideas peculiar to the Saiva Advaita-vadin. The Saiva-Monist subjectivises his spirit to the limit of total identification with the Supreme. The second phrase, 'to change his manhood for godhead'. Whatever was originally meant by Epictetus, in line with the early pagan practices of self-emasculation, so prevalent in the Greco-Asian and Egyptian world, it had been meant for that meaning by many of the later philosophers, who actually emasculated themselves in accordance with this injunction. The Hindu Saiva saints too follow rigidly the inner injunction of not only complete celebacy, but a hundred per cent sublimation of the libido in the interest of immaculate self-surrender leading to an immaculate experience of Joy. Doing without the limb of manhood by knifing it out is easier than eradicating, or living without the desirous lustful vision of sex.
The quest for Good alone in rejection of the worldly goods opens the Western Stoics to the pitfalls of deciding what is Good. They in their own way, attempt to decide by bringing in the subject of will as a driving force of good. (Note, gentle reader, the innate concept of Saivism here, Sakti as the driving force of Siva). But Will in itself is indifferent, or appears to be so; so the goodness of the Will is determined by the end it is engaged in pursuing. There apears to be a fallacy in this stand. It is begging the very question of what is Good. Russell calls it "an elemtent The Hindu law of the fundamentals of of sour grapes in Stoicism."101 the Gunas leaves the situation open; and man secures his own Good acting in consonance with the drive of his Gunas. Meditation alone would secure him from the tension of the Gugas. "When the divine part of a man (Satta) exercises Will virtuously, this Will is part of God (Sa): which is free; therefore in these circumstances the human will is also free. "102
Plotinus and Neo-Platonism
The philosophy of Stoicism, which was very prevalent during those centuries when the Western part of Asia had been undergoing great political stress and strain, had also influenced the Greek colonies out- lying the immediate frontiers of Kashmir. But something more dynamic and more contemporary was affecting the religious and the philosophic life of this period. This was the philosophy of Plotinus. He was the father of Neo-Platonism, a system which was only too close to the Vedantic monism, and particularly to Abhásavāda, Pratyabhijnä and Spanda. In order to be convinced about this similarity we shall take the indulgence of quoting at length from some of the passages of Plotinus and his followers. Our study of the Persian history, Mithraism, Zarathustraism, Manichaeism becomes relevant now, as we notice this similarity. Our study of the large scale immigration of the people of this area, too, now gathers meaning.
Plotinus was living in 204 A.D. Between 204 and 430, when St. Augustine died, Europe had faced its worst catastrophe, which threw the great continent into the Dark Ages. All this was due to those devastat- ing attacks of the Asiatics and of the constantly threatened Goths who cared very little for the so-called invincibility of the Roman arms, or the superiority of a civilisation which used its might for expansionism, and used its own way of life for dehumanisation of the most enlightened sections of the world; where slavery was a proprietorial right; and franchise was carefully limited to carefully arranged vested interests. Under the attacks of these virile horse-riding people from Asia the Roman empire, and with that the vaunt of European superiority, crumbled like a pack of cards before a tropical storm. The best of the minds, naturally sought for shelter. They had to run for safety to India and Persia. And the Persian Emperor gave them immediate shelter. The Greek colonies were in great need for fresh blood from the motherland. They actually welcomed the surge of the scholars in these Persian colonies of the Greeks. This leaves us without any doubt that at this period a new wave of Greek thought had percolated through the Greek colonies of Asia, and reached India through Kashmir and contiguous states of Gandhär and the Punjab. This area, like Egypt in the West, was a centre of syncretism, where alien thoughts were subject to a commercial give and take. We shall specially refer to the works of St. Cyril, Boethius, Philo and Origen, and examine how close Neo-Platonism sounded to the Kashmir Trika.
The father of Neo-Platonism, a Greek theory of the greatest importance for our understanding of the Kashmir Saivism, was actually an Alexandrine of third century (204-70); and for three centuries this last and final blossom of Greek thought continued to exercise the minds of the world. Many consider Ammorius Succus to be the master mind behind Origen, Philo, Boethius, St. Cyril and partly St. Augustine, all of whom had been affected by Neo-Platonic ideas. The area over which Neo-Platonistic ideas had spread its influence covered almost the entire old world, specially the world over which Greece and Rome had their sway. It was, in a way, a revival of Platonism and Pythagoreanism; a studied combination of the best of the old and the new.
It laid stress on (a) hope of salvation from the ills of earthly life; (b) a rationalistic understanding of the Divine Principle; and (c) lastly, to love this Principle, and seek union with it. Like Plato it did not define any God, nor did it allocate any habitat for such a God. Neo-Platonism demands a greater intimacy between soul or souls and the abode of the godhead. The days are gone when Neo-Platonism could be brushed off as 'fantastic thaumaturgy', or 'a hybrid between Hellenic mysticism and Oriental superstition'. Mysticism is no longer regarded as something to be laughed at. Many regard Mysticism as the future religion of mankind.
Plotinus, originally an Alexandrian, taught in Rome, and the books he left are known as Enneads. At the time he had been teaching, hardly any doubted how far-reaching would be his inferences and conclusions, which gathered together the best of the Eastern and the Greek thoughts.
Eversince the intellectual world had been engaged in analysing the nature of world and man, its thinkers had been following two different tracks: one, Man, the feeling personality, the sufferer, the enjoyer, and the machine driven by his senses; the other was Man, who lives an eternal life beyond his body; who is a Spiritual being; for whom suffering or enjoyment is just a temporary disturbance created over an ocean of cons ciousness, the innate nature of which is Sublimity. This division between the sensible and the spiritual, we know, is best described by the two Hindu systems of Samkhya and Vedanta; and is a corollary, or better still, a supplementing authority to the theoretical Samkhya, and the practical Yoga aphorisms of Patanjali.
Platonism seeks to cut through this controversy; and makes a con- vincing compromise between the two. "It is necessary," says Plotinus, "that each principle should give of itself to another; the good would not be good; spirit, spirit; soul, soul; if nothing could live dependent on the first life." This declaration provides the sheet-anchor to Neo-Platonism. The universe in its totality is harmonious and Good, and all that is discordant in it is due to fragmentation, and failure to consider this total good. The world of senses, according to Plotinus, is not really real. but could be taken to behave as such, only up to the limits of our limited senses. The whole takes thus the position of appearances, which though not illusory, yet are only partially real. Are our sense faculties not partially aware? Partially, and individually? Is not 'difference' inher- ent in our sense faculties? This partial and incomplete sensibility, hindered by the limitations of senses is the cause of ignorance, suffering and lack of wisdom. To comprehend the immensity of this knowledge, mental powers do not suffice; spiritual power has to be sought for. The immensity of the comprehension of the Real is total; similarly, in the mental world too, the mind, and the object that the mind perceives, at the moment of realisation together form an inseparable experience. This theory, brings us only too near Pratyabhijñā.
Herein lies Plotinus' great abhorrence of dualism of any kind. Things exist because mind comprehends them. Mind makes and finds what it makes. Things have no reality except what mind makes out of them. In the whole of Greek philosophy, before Plotinus, the doctrine of subjective idealism cannot be traced; yet as a basis of Vedanta and specially of Yoga, the Indian thinkers insisted on Thou art That: the -ism of a substance is your Self; it is how you make it, and see it, and understand it; and you don't until you become it. It is, at that moment, not for you; but even more; it is you. If there is an imperfect apprehension, the seed of the imperfection lies in the imperfection of the being of the object itself. The imperfection of knowledge about an object is in strict proportion to the imperfection underlying the object, which is what it is, by 'betraying' its subjectivity; by 'not' being what it should have been.
The doctrine comes even closer to Abhasavāda when it uses the same simile. "The sense world is real, not because it is known by mind, but by the grace of the creative soul informing it. It is the mirror that reflects, though in a glass darkly, the world of spirit. Things that 'are' have been in the soul; what is happening is only Recognition" (Pratyabhijñā),104
The 'Source' in Neo-Platonism
Our experiences only point us to a Source. The concept of Mala (impurity) and Nirmala (Purity) in Saivism has its correspondence with Neo-Platonic concepts of gradations according to 'perfections' and 'imper- fections'. These gradations are related to the degree of activity; for every- thing is active in proportion to the imperfection underlying it. This is again the theory of Tamas and inertia of Samkhya. Only the Perfect could be Tranquil. The principal gradations of beings, according to Saiv- ism are Sattva (light), Rajas (Agitation) and Tamas (ignorance and inertia). The Cause, therefore, has to be more perfect than the effect. And the effect to be perfect, has to reach nearer and nearer to the Cause of all causes, i.e. the Source. There is a line in the Gita which says: Even a little of this principle saves from fearsome degradation.105 This exactly appears to be the view of Plotinus. He too said that in this progress from effectual degradation to more perfect causes there is only going from a state to a less degraded step. No reactionary draw-back keeps the progress halted. It is a fact that all results are products from causes. There is no doubt whatsoever that the final Cause is the True Home of all progress, "Like is known by like, and draws like to itself. The creative source is always the final goal. The One is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega of the universe. The whole creation 'groaneth and travaileth together' in a desire which the rest in the One alone can satisfy."
Release from the Bondage (Pasa) had almost been the craze of the age. Every other philosopher mentioned that to be the aim, as they also mentioned of an upward progress. The Kundalini Yoga of the Cakras also mention this upward progress: Body is a sensible prison-house; and the Soul, although individual, is not of matter, and its realisation belongs according to a supersensible sphere. It is essential and abstract; but is aware of all changes without itself changing. Merged in carnality, and all the confusion that it implies, it retains its purity, which ever and ever awaits a final redemption. Whatever is created is in God; and finally is to be one with God. Hence 'longing' is a feature of the Spirit.
Longing for the Beyond: Ascendance
Cetak Samutkanthate, says the mystic lady Sila Bhattärikä (my heart is longing and longing). "Not a moment more could I linger without Him, my Hari," says Mira, the Saint of Rajasthan. St. Theresa, who refers to the ascending stages before the final union, also 'longs' for the Union. So says Plotinus. The wanderer from God, the soul,like an amphibiousbreath, lives an immortal life within a mortal garment. His progress towards the great illumined Source lies through a process of continuous detachment. Reminding us of the steps of Patanjali, Plotinus says: first the senses, then the body, then the objects of the senses, then even the conscious self (Armita); finally, leading to the Ocean of Consciousness alone, self-effulgent, and self-aware.
Where the seer and the seen are one.... Strip thyself of every- thing.... In this state the seer does not see, or distinguish, or imagine two things; he becomes another, he ceases to be himself and to belong to himself.... We ought not even to say that he will see, but he will be that which he sees.... If then a man sees himself becomes one with itself, he has in himself the likeness to itself; and if he passes out of himself, as an image to his archetype.
he has reached the end of his journey.... Such is the life of gods, and of godlike, and of blessed men, a liberation from all earthly bonds, a life that takes no pleasure in earthly things, a flight of the alone to the Alone.106
Plotinus could follow this classification only deviating from his master Plato. For Plotinus objects do not have existence apart from the Spirit. That is to say in the least of the things there is the presence of the Spirit. It is a question of being aware of the Perfect Spirit un- encumbered with the atomic objectivity, which form only the 'prison, house', the body. To be free from it, and realise the perfect Union, is Liberation.
Plotinus analysed the ascendance of the soul from its body-prison through three stages, called Hypostates. The first one of these takes the soul as the general consciousness underlying the gross physical bodies. It is the Universal soul. At this stage the Soul abides with the formative principles (Known as the Logoi which account for the generative causes: Prakrti or Müla Prakrti of the Hindus). This could be the Sakti of the Saivas. The second Hypothesis assumes a cosmic Mind, a divine mind. This mind for the first time recognises the oneness of the subject and the object. 'I am It is the feeling attained through this state. "The distinction of thinker and thought implies even in perfect self-consciousness, a difference of aspect, and points to a yet higher principle of absolute simplicity called by Plotinus 'The One', the Father, the Good;"10" which last is called by the Pratyabhijña Saivists as Šiva, which also means, of course, Good. When it is one, it is a source of unity (Suddhavidya); as Father it is Primal cause of all existence (Sadasiva); and as Good it is the Supreme, Final, Apex (Siva). At this stage no words could describe It; all that could be attempted in language for its description is bound to be negative.
Compare Brhadaranyaka II: 3: 6:
The form of this person is like a saffron coloured robe, like white wool, like the 'Indragopa' insect, like a flame of fire, like a white lotus, like a sudden flash of Lightning. He who knows it thus attains splendour like a sudden flash of lightning. Now, therefore, there is the teaching, not this, not this, for there is nothing higher than this, that He is not this. Now the designation for Him is truth of the truth. Verily the vital Breath is truth, and He is truth of that.108
We note with some amount of surprise that it is not only in the Negative description of not this that the Kashmir Siddhanta, Plotinus and the Brhadaranyaka Upanisad are one, but the remarkable phrase of Brhadaranyaka, viz., attains splendour like a sudden flash of lightning, is a symbolic idiom, which any student of Plotinus would recognise imme- diately to be his favoured expression.
This description of the Brahman as not this is not peculiar to Plotinus alone. This Upanisadic teaching finds favour with the Fourth Gospel, in its insistence that God works in the world through Logos...who is himself God though not the Godhead (Prakrti?). "The absolute Nothing which is above all existence" (Pseudo-Dionysius); "God because of his excellence could rightly be called Nothing" (Scotus Erigena); "Our soundest know- ledge is to know that we know him not" (Hooker),109 If there are contradicting opinions regarding this view in Christianity, there are contradictions to this view amongst Hindu philosophers too; Ramanuja for instance. But we are not out here to prove who is correct, but to survey the extent and influence of the Indian Saivic metaphysics and the fact of its closeness with the early Christian philosophers.
Shelley in his Adonais speaks of this theory of the soul's progress towards light through shedding the atomic load of matter, grade by grade:
That light whose smile kindles the Universe
That beauty in which all things work and move
That benediction which the eclipsing curse
Of birth can quench not, that sustaining Love
Which through the web of being blindly wove
By man and beast and earth and air and sea,
Burns bright or dim, as each are mirrors of
The fire for which all thirst; now beams on me,
Consuming the last curse of cold mortality.
But apart from any academic controversy on Neo-Platonism, it is indeed a deeply satisfying experience for the student of Saivism to listen to kindred spirits in other climes, and times, and in other churches. Historians would, inevitably search for the dates, and exercise unnecessari- ly the ego of chauvinistic sectarianism, but the fact stands that the tradi- tion of Siva-ism runs straight from the Vedic Rudra, and the Svetasvatara Upanisad; and that the bases for the Saivic doctrines in Hinduism are drawn from the Agamas. A fifth-century-A.D.-Pallava inscription of Conjeevaram mentions the existence of the Agamas. And the texts of the Agamas project so much spiritual maturity, and dependence on ancient traditions (Gurus) that there could be no doubt whatsoever that from the Vedas to the beginning of the Christian era an uninterrupted Saiva tradition had been enriching the metaphysical world of Indian thought. Even Alexandria's interest in it is reflected in the Saivic archaeological evidences found in Abyssinia, Somalia and the Upper Nile (see Plates 1, 2).
Advaita in the Arabic World
Throughout this period we notice minds engaged seriously in the task of probing into the nature of God in its relation to man. During this period Man has been found to be trying to elevate himself, and rise to the level of the Source, by the dual forces of knowledge and love. The thought that surprises and intrigues many a scholar is how the One could have any desire, even of descending into the many forms which together make the world. The answer is given in the Upanisad, "The One' desired to be Many, And this very answer is heard from Plotinus when he says, "The One could not be alone". Few suspect this thought to be of hundred per cent identity with the Upanisads (Brhadaranyaka). "The Word (Legos) was made flesh, and dwelt amongst us" (St. John), St. Augustine expresses surprise at this statement;11 but St. Augustine had not studied the metaphysics of Sakti and Siva, and the question of the five stages leading to the stage of Parnahanta. Only Kashmir Šaivism gives it.
The Cultural Syncretism:
It will be interesting to halt here for a while, and observe some historical sequences which could have important bearings on the develop- ment of the Trika. The Trika as we have noted, flourished between 800 A.D. and 1000 A.D. During these two hundred years, and for another four hundred years of Sassanian rule in Persia, Kashmir had to absorb a number of influences from Parthian, Bactrian, Persian, and what is now known as, Afghan territories, and which was then known as White-India. 113
Al-Mansur, the Arabic scholar of Baghdad, got the Siddhantas translated into Arabic. The fact that a West-Asian cultured language like the Arabic had translated the Saiva Siddhanta, and that the translator was no other person than the encyclopaedic Al-Mansu., shows that, more than Neo-Platonism, it was on Saivism that the Arab world relied on as original source for the Neo-Platonic monistic approach to God as love and Good.. The use of Sifer' or Zero (Cypher) as a numeral was a contribution of Hindu mathematics. It proves, amongst many other facts, the continuity of commercial links between India and the Middle East, which also in- fluenced the cultural life of the region. Al-Baruni, Avicenna and several other Sufi mystics admit of their indebtedness to Hindu thoughts. Chris- tian mystics like Oregon, and Philo made Christians take a second look at the Gospels. For doing so St. Cyril was almost being excommunicated; and St. Augustine set forth many problems. So was the case with the Koran "What might be called the Moslem Enlightenment had its proximate origin in a strange dispute. Was Koran eternal or created? Philo's doctrine of Logos as the time-less wisdom of God (compare Vaikhari of Saiva Siddhanta), the Fourth Gospel's identification of Christ with the Logos with the Divine Word, or Reason, that was 'in the beginning.... God', and 'without which was not anything made that was made', or of the Gnostic and Neo-Platonic personification of Divine Wisdom as the agent of Creation; the Jewish belief in the eternity of the Torah-all conspired to beget," (as in orthodox Islam, so in Hindu thinking of the contiguous region of Kashmir) a correlative view that Word as Nada had always existed. Word is Sound, Sabda; and Sound is eternal. Logos is Word; Word is Vaikhari; Vaikharf is the vocal expression of Cosmic Consciousness, which is the One, God, Śiva.
We could discern here the beginnings of the analysis of Sound, Speech and meaning as expounded in the theory of Spanda. The Hindu philo- sopher with the aid of Hindu grammarians attempted to rationlise the con- troversy through the traditional references to the Vedas. But we could see that the emergence of Spanda in Kashmir was not entirely sudden, or unconnected with correlated historical events of the region.
The same could be said of the Pratyabhijaa theory also. Near about 803 A.D. in the town of Kufa in Mesopotamia was born a genius of great versatility, known for a wide range of erudition. His name was Abu Yusuf Yakub-ibn-Ishaq al-Kindi. He was acquainted with Plato's thoughts, and wrote 'An apology for Christianity. His 'Optics' was translated by Roger Bacon. Al-Kindi revived the Neo-Platonistic idea of the spirit, having three stages of purified consciousness a strange reminder of a similar gradation in Pratyabhijñā and Trika.
The ferment of Philosophy made Baghdad the Mecca of divine specula- tion during the 9th and 10th centuries. The impossibility of maintaining any open-mindedness regarding the Koran and its underlying beliefs could neither altogether silence active thinking, nor block an intellectual school of thinking from discussing the danger of submitting faith to beliefs without appeal to rationality. In a society where the law, the government and the ethical individuality are submitted to an unified centre of power, totalitarianism smoothers the free growth of public-opinion and cultivation of reason. Terrible purges in our times have been justified by political expediency.
In those fervent years of Baghdadian controversy sheer force of the Arab conquest decapitated many a wise head. Greek gnostics, Christian rationalists, Persian patriots, Magdakite communists, the ascetic Mani-s all were brought down to the single level of conformity through the imposition of Islam, which, at that early stage, had the argument of the sword to support it. It had no choice. It had gone tired of polemics and casuistry. But the fact is that its monistic equality of classes in Allah's eyes set free millions of slaves and serfs who hoped to breathe an equal air in a society of justice and plenty. The union of the Meccavites and the Baghdadites was a historical impossibility. The East stuck to their old way of disputation. As a result the Shiahs of Persia were made an example. The Shrine of Hussein was destroyed (851 A.D.); Jews and Christians were asked to wear distinctive dress to mark their alienism from Islam. They saved themselves from annihilation at the cost of humiliation. Predeterminism and Post-mortem of divine justice confined the brief cycle of life to the strict capitulation to faith and faith alone. If the Arabic culture still retained a harem and a slave- market it was because the commercial interests always prove to be of more value to ruling monarchy than mere ethical or religious values. Islam preached equality; commerce meant affluence of a few.
Naturally philosophical questions regarding God, Neo-Platonic Ideal- ism, Pagan pantheism, or Zoroastrian asceticism, fled the land, and escaped to the liberal habitat of Hindu India's open valleys. (In those early days, long before Rousseau or Nietzche, a great controversy raged in the Islamic world.) The controversy really centred around the proof for a necessity of God, and a rationale regarding God, and the mechanics through which God could operate. Scholastic Islam spoke through Abul-Hasan-al-Hasari (873-935), Muhammad Abu Nasr-al-Farabi, Saifu'l-Dawla, the great Abu Yusuf Yakub-ibn-Ishaq al-Kindi, Ibn Hanbal, and above all Avicenna (Ibn-Sina) who came to India 'for a more complete learning'. Inter alia these scholars took courage to raise such fundamental queries as immortality, nature of God, Logos and Soul.
Al-Kindi believed in the three grades of spirit: God; the Creative World-soul (Logos) (Siva-Prapanca-Sakti); and its emanation, or the Soul of man. This reflects Trika; and this is what the Jangama-Saivism would later propound strongly. Al-Farabi spoke of the First Cause. He men- tions, like Sämkhya and the Greeks, a Prime Mover without having to move (Siva and Sakti); and that unity is presupposed by multiplicity. The ultimate aim of philosophy is knowledge (Jnana) about Sat (Real), or Siva (Good), the first Cause.
What happened in the Islamic revolution, was repeated again and again, more mildly through the presence of Confucian and Buddhist strains which were cultivated in the various important colonies spread throughout the Si Kiang, and the Amu-Dariya valleys. This was precisely the area where the Parthian and Bactrian Greeks had ransacked a more ancient heritage. Large Vihāras (monasteries) and Universities in and around the frontiers of India made Kashmir an important base for experi- menting with such theological tenets as would effectively challenge the Vedic polytheism, priestism and the imposed rigidity of the caste hierarchy. Upanisad and Vedanta gave the answer. Hence the great Kashmir school of Saivism developed along Vedantic monism and evolved such subtle theories involving the mental personality of man as Abhasavāda, Spanda and Pratyabhijnd (ie., the Trika). Although the Siddhantas, as the ancient treatises on Saivism did receive their due and full regard in Kashmir, yet, in interpreting the Siddhantas, the Kashmir tradition adopt- ed a unique favour for monism which is characteristic of Vedanta, Šamkara, Neo-Platonists and Islam.
No one could yet be definite about the subjective relation between the Pratyabhijna and Trika, and the abstractions of the Babylonian school of Islamic philosophy; but to the student of comparative religion the geographical continuity appears to be remarkable, especially when Kashmir has remained one of the foremost habitats of the Hamadani school of Persian Sufism and Babylonian philosophy, together with Monistic Vedanta and the mystic Neo-Platonism.
"The wisdom set forth in the Trika philosophy is originally the self- knowledge of Reality expressing itself, though distorted and deformed, as the Sastras as we know them" now. The Real could be realised in the Real alone. No unreal could substitute the Real. Anything out- side of the Real could not 'explain' the Real. Real alone is its own know ledge. The knowledge of Reality is thus a 'thing in itself"; "knowledge in itself. It is 'It experiencing it'; 'I experiencing 1'. This type of knowledge is the Prophet's domain. He declares it to be 'Revelation'; his words constitute 'Revealed Knowledge', Veda, Svayamprakasa (Self-enlightened), Apauruşeya (Super-human). In this sense only the prophet could say and accept that the Vedas have no authors; and the prophet is a Messenger, or a Son of God,
This Reality has been variously described by various terms in various systems of thought. Some of these are quite interesting; and all of these are used to refer to 'Siva'. We examine here some of these precious terms.
Anuttara-That which has no 'next' or 'further'; Cit Perceptive intelligence; Caitanya-Consciousness; Siva-Good; Para-Samvid-Ulti- mate intelligent consciousness; Paramesvara-The Paramount Immanence. Thus the Siva-concept includes Soul or Atman, Bliss or Anandam, Lord or Pati. The transcendent aspect of Reality is Šiva, and the immanent form is Siva, which, as Power, is always in the state of perfect identity with Sakti. The two could be separately conceived only as Life and Matter, or Time and Space; or the Moon and its light. When we are forced to speak of Siva and Sakti separately, as light and heat (of fire), we become aware of the limitations of the Pasyanti (articulate language), and the excellence of Para, Vaikhari (the sound beyond language). Limitation of language alone forces us in the interest of Self-preference to speak in terms of duality about the unit Siva. Šakti is this 'spoken'-form in Isvara-Pratyabhijñā, as the heart (Hrdaya), or the essence (Sara) is Šiva.11 Sakti, the spoken, is the Logos; and Siva, the reality, is God. "Śiva is the Reality inherent in all, and is not one among many deities, or a decorated image which is only a help to the uninitiated." That Siva has been named as the Primal God (Adideva), or the God of the gods (Devadera), or the Supreme God (Mahadeva) is quite significant to the Hindu..
Cit is conscious perception that Illumines, brings light over ignorance, and removes all doubts. It must, therefore, also be intelligent. It augurs intelligence, consciousness, Caitanya. Cit is also Caitanya. If Cit is the Pure-Siva aspect, Caitanya is the Sakti aspect. Caitanya is the mirror on which Reality finds itself reflected. He is never the reflection; the reflec- tion is not He.
It is customary in Hindu Bhakti Sastras (religious ritualism and emotional spiritualism) to regard Sakti and Caitanya as feminine; and Šiva as masculine, although it is admitted that these concepts are eternal and limitless and genderless. No limit, either of time, body, or sex, or nature, could affect the abstract spiritualism of the Siva-Sakti concept.
The female Śakti is called Cit-Soarûpa, (Cit in form); Cit-Asraya (Resorting to Cit). This aspect contains some active or activising proper- ties such as Cit (Conscious perception); Ananda (Joy); Iccha (Will); Jñana (Knowledge); and Ariya (Activity); the five aspects which counter-balance the five aspects of Śiva already described. Sati is Šiva's part and parcel, but not Śiva's subordinate. As Will she is here; independent; Swatantra (Independent), Suairint (Self-owned), Icchamayt (Woman of Will). (Because of the knavery and roguishness of some fraudulent spiritualists (sic!) the metaphysical import of these words have been designedly twisted to mean association of prostitutes and loose women as imperative in certain Tantra practices. Yet at the same time, such misuse of the texts could not debar any person from undergoing the spiritual discipline of either Tantra or Trika because of any sex distinction.)
Vimarṣa: Abhasa: Spanda
As the Lady-in-Will (Techamayf) she is the Source-Will, the Will-Power. She wills to be. She wills to split into many. Her emanations in forms do not interfere with her intact and inviolable totality. Emanation of Will into many is known to be due to Vimarsa, or the vibrations of her Will- Power. Vimarsa is the metaphysical phenomenon of the One's being also various at the same time. In ten buckets of water the one moon appears to be ten; in one fire, the same fire becomes a hundred flames of a hundred shapes; and it undergoes a hundred changes. Change is Vimarsa: variety is Vimarça. Šiva is aware of himself in his comprehensive ego through Sakti's Vimarsa. Mutability is not multiplicity, plurality, changefulness or disintegration. The sense of 'I' is nothing but the sense of Reality emotionalised as a distinct individual; and this happens when Siva notices his reflection in Sakti. The awareness of its own potentiality for issuing forth into a variety of power and form creates the all-pervading ego known as 'I' which reflects Siva on Sakti. As this is a distinct feeling that is not Real, but which just 'Reflects', it is known as 'Bimba'; and as the universe is a projection out of this 'Bimba', it is known as Pratibimba, or reflection (as in a mirror), or Abhara, a secondary reflection, like shadow or a mirrored form. This system of the Trika metaphysics is, thus, known as Abhasa-vada or Pratibimba-väda, the system of understanding the Reality through the analogy of reflection and light,117
The Trika philosophy accepts the Universe as Abhasa; a system of sub- jects and objects. Unless one is aware, there is no existence. Existence and its meaning is dependent on awareness. Trika calls the subject received as (Grahana); and the objects as the received (Grahya). All that 'T', as subject, is aware of, is only a reflection of the source of all awareness, Siva. 'T' exists only in relation to 'Not-l' or "That' or 'It'. In a world without 'It' (or the world), 'I' depends on the presence of 'Not-1'. 1, the apprehender, can apprehend, only when something apprehensible exists. This distinctive 'throb' of apprehension, the actual coming into shape of an individual object from out of an ocean of awareness, is known as the Spanda, the vibrating thrill of Vimarsa, or the Realisation that "I am; because I find that I am facing the many" all of which are enlightened by the same apprehension. In simple words this has been stated in Bhakti as "To see all in one, and one in all;" or, in a mystic's language,
To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild-flower,
To hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.-Robert Blake.
This leads to the supreme Truth. To Realise I' is to Realise and substantiate Siva, which alone is the Reality.
Siva is the 'still' (Sthanu); 'Sakti' is the 'urge' for change (Vimarga). Once conceived, it is not at all difficult to apprehend Sakti together with the inherent property (dharma) of Siva. This 'inherence' or 'innateness"
is called Tadatmya. This Sakti is the womb or Toni or Mahad-Brahma; out of this 'Matrix' spins out Samsara, the whirl or flux of creation, so that no substance is away from Sakti, and all substances retain Sakti in alert or inert proportions. As in mathematics a negative is also a quantity, so in spirit even apparently inert objects like a stone or plants, or 'dead' bodies are not entirely 'free' from Sakti. He who believes that a dead body is free from change does not fully comprehend the necessary meaning and func- tion of change. As long as 'existence' is, Sakti is. Expression, multiplica- tion or plurality is Sakti's inherent attribute, and property. Attributes are expressions of Sakti. (In iconographical language, as already explained before, attributes are often expressed through symbols, such as weapons, extra-limbs and decorative ornamental details.)
In the Prakasa (Revelation-Light)-state the same Sakti finds herself expressed; and such revelations (Prakasa) point out to the Unity of 'One in. All'. As soon as we discriminate, we are under the power of Sakti's state. (Vimarsa Refraction; straight, easy, normal progress halted and reversed by outside obstruction or accident; catastrophe that obstructs progress; obstruction that reverses light's progress; mutation.) This Vimarsa state causes us the spiritual obstruction against looking at things without discrimination. In other words, clear sighted revelation gets confused through the superfluous changes that occur to Sakti through
Self-Consciousness assists Vimarga to flourish as emphasised, or blown-up Ego, before which spiritual knowledge, realisation, submits as light before obstruction, or river before rocks. One river becomes many because of these obstructions. That which has the sense of 'T', is subject to Vimarsa. The inanimate has no Vimarsa. Mere animation has not enough Vimarsa. When self-consciousness becomes fully developed ego, Vimarsa is at the apex. The sense of wonderment (Camatkyti) is Vimarsa's refined expression. We see things as we would 'like' to view them. In indulging in descriptions and adding epithets we but project our self-conscious individual ego. "The-thing-in-itself' gets covered up with ensembles we ourselves design. The one becomes many out of Will; and the 'many' becomes 'many more' because of the egoistic sensitivity that discharges interpretative attributes.
O Lady! we receive but what we give,
And in our life alone doth Nature live;
Ours her wedding garments, ours her shroud. S. T. Coleridge
Five Aspects of Conscious-Power
The principle of manifestation inherent in Sakti assumes the five aspects of self-consciousness. This power entails (1) wonderment (Cit);
from which the state of bliss, or (2) joy (Ananda) is realised. The realiser is Siva, the Still and the Inert. That which 'is' realised, the feeling, is Sakti's attributes or aspect. Since this wonderous, satisfying ecstasy has a tonic effect on consciousness, it accumulates the urge to evolve, spread and grow, which provokes (3) Will or Iccha, the basic Power that procreates. It is the substantial base of all creativity, all art. "From Ananda is the universe created." But the Will to create for Anandam is dependent on the knowledge of good or bad, proper or improper. Hence (4) Jñana or knowledge is the fourth aspect which initiates (5) Action or Kriyd. The world of mundane mind depends more on such powers as Will, Knowledge and Action (Iccha, Jñana and Kriya Saktis) than on the first two powers: Cit and Ananda. These first two therefore retain the ultimate spiritual fascinations; and together with the Real become the Ultimate Siva or Saccidanandam. (Sat+Cit+Anandam Real+Conscious+Bliss.)
On this identity with the Ultimate rests the spiritualists' supreme quest. Identity with the Reality, Identity with Sacchidanandam, identity with Siva is the spiritualist's Samadhi, the ultimate trance of self-in-Self.
Again, this kind of Saivism to which the Hindu mind submits with devotion has little in common with the Mediterranean adoration of the phallic. Again, the appearances of objective similarities become decep- tive. The Mediterranean phallic religions and cults, powerful in their appeal and practice, as we have noted, and shall note further on, were not quite unknown to the Indian and Hindu theological complex; but their spread failed miserably, and did not leave any remarkable impact on the age-old ancient spiritual content of Saivism. The Mäheśvara, Pasupata, Käpäla, Näkulin who pass as the Saiva sects have been denounced as hypo- crites and frauds (Pasandin: Palvacāra),119
Reality is Siva. Šiva is both static and dynamic because Sakti is Siva's aspect, an inherent (Tadatmya) property of Siva. In the expression of dynamism Sakti acts as a great oak acts its way out of the seed. Śakti's blows up itself to become'; and Sakti's Vimarsa expresses the universe. This is not to mean that Sakti without Śiva, or Siva without Sakti supplies the cause or the action to become. Both being together, the reservoir of dynamism and field, both together, get expressed, and none without the other could operate separately. The material and instrumental causes, here, unite in one and the same Šiva, or the Śiva-Sakti unit. Śiva is the form, and Sakti is the mirror-reflection; the Abhasa or the Bimba; she is the emerged ego, or 'I'.
Five Aspects of Siva
This is, therefore, the starting point of the Universal manifestation, or of the Prapanca. These constituents or components together are 'Siva-Sakti. All is Šiva. Nothing is out of it. The Universe being composed of these 'constants', remains constant, despite changes, integration, disintegration, metabolism, assimilation, decav and destruction. The constants, are also variants; and phenomenon-variants are constants; and thus the phenomena of (Srati) coming into being and going out of being (Pralaya) operate, again constantly, within the principles of non-variant- constant-variations. These variations of the constants within the constant are known as categories, or Tattvas of which, we have spoken elsewhere. These Tatteas in Kashmir Saivism number thirty-six.
We have already enumerated the five categories of expressions of Śiva. These, as we know, are: Limitation (Tirodhana), or the very functionalism of Siva within a limited form by giving up its assumed quality of limitlessness. Thus the first category is one of Expression within limits. Then comes the 'Being', or 'Creation (Srapi). This is the actual entry in the cycle of pro- creation. This calls for duration of the created 'being'. This is preserva- tion (Sthiti). The created after its due stay, starts disintegrating, and loses its form, which is destruction (Pralaya). The last function being over, the cycle continues, unless, as Siva's final expression descends as Grace (Anugraha), which leads to liberation from the cycle.
Does Siva see the universe identical with himself? Certainly not; because Śiva has no Vimarsa. Since there is no Vimarsa, so there is no change, and no Ego. Naturally, then Siva does not see himself and the universe as "Two', or the 'feeler' and a 'felt. Śiva is devoid of such distinctive ego. Ego is Cit's function or Sakti's attribute. He is capable of Consciousness without feeling, 'I-ness', or independence; he is, of course, independent (Soatantra) without having the conscious feeling of such in- dependence. Active expressions of these must manifest through Sakti's attributes. Integral self-consciousness belongs to Siva only in the sense that it is also an expression of Power, Sakti. Since the Universe is Sakti's manifestation Prapanca, originally, we can say, self-consciousness becomes static, and renders itself sterile of creative power; and Power becomes blind without awareness of Her being Consciousness itself. The situation is well-described as an ancient soul and a somnambulist force'. Sri Aurobindo describes the same in Savitri as "The Vision and the Boon".
Does not the Atom illustrate the point? Is it not both an awareness without power, and a power without sense? Is it not true that in the making of an atom selection is effected without will, expressed without choice? Is it then, not operative as expression of inertia, awareness, automatism and power? The relations between electrons could be under- stood only when regarded as a whole, and never as abstract individuals. Mere subjectivity fails to explain the total relationship that exists within the family group that moulds the atom. The same electron within and outside of a living body is a different individual. The characteristic properties (Gunas and Tattvas) are determined by the very complex structures and behaviour of the molecules. "Reality is not a collection of independent things, but a whole, and as such it has a structure which prescribes the relations as well as the properties of the parts." Some myste- rious inter-relations form within the family of the molecules which form an atom. These project to the physicist some inferential surmises; but the inter-relation of Siva and Sakti, and the different Tattvas, to the spiritualist's subjectivity, project a Realisation which transcends the physi- cal plane, and attains the knowledge of abstract Reality and its immediate inescapable concomitant-Truth.
Kashmir Šaivism calls 'Anutva', or the atomic-state of matter, as a limitation of Siva (Reality). After the Anutva, a secondary limitation caused by Maya brings Siva to what the Samkhya calls Purusa. (One has again to note that Maya in this context is not to be explained by what the West bluffs away by calling mere Illusion.) Šiva's omnipotence, eternity, all-pervasiveness have been limited in Puruşa, i.e., Siva gripped under Mayd-limitations, which act at the basis of the creating and created universe. Together with the idea of Ego, or 'T', or the Self-Conscious Cit, Siva, the integral Reality', watches Creation coming into being without any change in Siva, or without Siva's getting created, or without Siva's having to create. A polarity of subject-object 'T' and 'It', (Ahamidam) emerges because of the self-imposed self-limitations of Siva. This dichotomy of subject-object is a stage in the process of enfoldment of the One into the many; and at the outset, is merely an idea. It does not, however, remain so, because the nature of manifestation urges it to come into being, and ultimately the material being with its five facets emerges. Sakti has had her full play. The two are so diverged as to appear as 'two' and distinct. Reality and its subjectivity of Oneness gets blurred by the facets, multiplicity and variety. Vimarga has blurred Cit.
Matter is essentially symbolic in character, and its processes are irreversible. That is why it is regarded as the mother of the Universe. Creativeness is not confined to the vital and psychological aspects, but matter also is creative change.... Existence is a continuous miracle (Of Srifi; Sthiti and Pralaya above). Physical science fails, if it attempts to transform a miracle into an equation. It describes the way in which bodies behave, and not why they do so. Our physical and chemical symbolism is a necessary working instrument which is exceedingly useful. But it is only a rough representation of Reality in one of its aspects. We may feel that we know all about matter, that its existence is undoubted, and that its nature is intelligible, but all that we know about it is the effect it produces on us (Notice how close is this use of the word Effect to the Abhdsandda's theory of Reflection). When we come to think of it, it reduces itself to certain feelings and relations. (Compare the theory of Spanda's vibrational responses) among them. It is experience, and possible experience."
-Radhakrishnan, An Idealist View of Life, p. 241.
(Parenthesised comments author's)
This variety or multifariousness is caused by the activity of limitation known as Maya, which at this stage is called Asuddha-Maya. It is a shroud that hides Šiva's totality. This 'shroud' or Kancuka is again classified into five: Kala (Light in phases); Vidya (Self-conscious awareness); Räga (Emotive traits); Kala (Time-bond); and Niyati (Destiny). Maya is the creatrix of subject-object difference; and because of Maya we get the Prakṛti and Puruşa concepts. These two through simultaneous activity bring creation into being. (These technical words used in Saiva- Siddhanta are being retained here in the context of the Tattvas in the Trika.)
How simple it is to symbolise empirically this Prakyti-Puruşa-concept as a male-female copulation, and then go on to ascribe eroticism or phallicism to the Hindu concept of Sina-Sakti. Yet how distant are these Siva-Sakti concepts, and the Saiva metaphysics, from the Greco-Oriental phallic cults. This illustrates again the dangers of over-simplification.
In bringing this creation into being Maya deals with the five Kancukas (sheaths), as well as the twenty-five categories (Tattvas) of Samkhya. Thus together with Mäyä, the Kancukas and the Samkhya-categories make up the 31 Tattvas of the finite empirical world of Matter.
Whilst absorbing this analysis one has to remember that the states of Siva and Puruşa are not the same. Purusa also known in Śaiva Siddhanta as Paju transcends into Śiva, and the difference is realised only through transcendental perception. Puruşa is Šiva immanent. Śiva, the Absolute, is transcendental. This process of transcendence has to avoid the five Kancukas of Ahuddha-Maya, and then to pass through Suddha (immaculate) Maya.
The five categories of Suddha-Maya together with the previous 'thirty- one' form the 'thirty-six' tattvas of the Kashmir system of Pratyabhijna. The five categories of Suddha-Maya are Suddha-Vidya or Sad-Vidya (as opposite to Avidya); Sakti and Siva. These together represent the union of Bodha (intelligent cognisance), and Satantrata (independence), men- tioned already. Mäyä differentiates between the Idea and the Object, so that the Object always falls short of an idea. This is due to Avidyä, the shroud which is one of the Kancukas. Souls of the Conscious-self are bound by these limitations, or bonds. Śiva being awareness, liberation from bonds means attainment of free awareness, which is Šivata. Mäyä, as the separating force, prevents souls to realise union. It prevents the realisation of Oneness. Soul is bounded by Maya; but not in Suddha-Maya, which renders the senses of 'I' and 'It' merge into a sameness. Suddha-Mäyä emphasises 'It' more; hides 'ego', and thereby reaches a kind of Oneness through ignoring, if not eliminating, the Ego-part of the self (as it happens in Love in the Bhakti-system). Suddha (Sat)-Vidya aids 'It' (my Beloved Krsna or Christ) to emerge, and 'I' to submerge. In Saivism the entire process is subjective and abstract. In Bhakti; too, it is subjective, but not abstract. It is emotionally motivated to eliminate the 'T' into the objective-Love of "Thou' or 'It'. (I love Siva, whatever I do is all but for Siva and Siva alone.) "In Sad-Vidyd or Suddha-Vidya, though 'T' and 'It' are not separate, still the 'It' is more prominent." Identity in spite of separateness is fact to be recognised in thought. We do so when we speak of the Man and the Head of the Man. The two are one, yet not one, as is the case with the body, and the weight of the body.
Isvara-Tattva is a progress from the previous state of prominence of one in suppression of the other. An eara-inspired soul hits a balance between the two, and considers the two making a complete whole. (Com- pare the Rädhä-Krsna, Hara-Gauri, or Ardha-närisvara, or the Mithuna concepts.)
Sadatica is a still higher stage where the soul rests at peace 'in' the subject. It is experiencing I's being 'something'. It experiences 'I am Siea', 'I am Brahma', etc. Experiencing subjectively signifies objec- tivity. When the wave realises its Ocean-ness, it is no longer bounden by its wave-ness, once it submits its individual form to the vastness of its cause for being. In the Isvara stage it was just at a state of equipoise; here is peace. This stage of Sadašina is important, basic, but passingly temporary, nominally existing only to pass off to the next stage. It is just like the artistic mental sketch of a line or outline of the basic plan along which a future painting is going to take shape. As it clears up into something tangible and communicative object-sense, it owes its being to the Siva-Tattva. Sakti is the nursery for the seed to sprout. Siva's ideas find expressional rootings in Sakti. In the Sakti-field the Siva-seeds of subjectivity start becoming objective entities.
Ascension of 'I' to Samadhi
The five Sakti-Tattvas (Cit; Ananda; Iecha; Jnana; and Kriya) work from one to the other, the last being dominated gradually by the previous ones. Finally the pure subjectivity of Cit is reached where the primal stirrings of Siva emerge as pure conscious awareness of Self as Self. The Five Sakti categories are respectively influenced by the five Siva categories. Thus, as Cit is characterised by Siva's predominance, so Ananda is characterised by Sakti's Iecha by Sadativa's, Jhana by Tiara's, and lastly, Kriya is characterised by the predominance of Suddha-Vidya. Thus the absorption of the final Šiva-Tattva of the stirrings of Self- awareness within the Self without any objective dependence, the gradual elevation from the fifth and last Suddha-Vidya-Tattva of Kriya-Sakti (simple power to act) is a gradual process. The aspiring soul endeavours to absorb the objectivity of the world gradually and integrates the sense of duality into the pure subjectivity of Siva by stages of ascension. The Pratyabhijnd stage ascending to the pure Spanda stage is also a gradual ascension of the empirical knowledge to a transcendental spiritual knowledge. Again we note that in acquiring a perfect transcendental state of tranquil joy of Oneness the start has to be purely objective.,
Lila: The Cosmic Game
When an aspirant 'recognises' himself as Šiva, he passes through Abhasa and Pratyabhijnd to Spanda, and the stirrings end in perfect peace. This is sleep and awakening of Siva, which is the basis, the core, the root of the Universe. The journey of the empirical to the transcendental is called ascension; or, the dawning of the Siva-sense of the Siva identity; or, the final Identity of Siva and I. This ascension could only take effect with the descension of Siva's Grace. Šiva descends on the Self, and a sense of identity dawns.
If this is so, why then all this effort on poor Śiva's part? Why this playful swing of ascension and descension if the emerged universe has ultimately to be identified? The spiritualist knows. He answers from his experience and says, "The Lord thus plays with Himself." The Power that be, irresistibly remains in Force as Power, and has to play for its own sake. Such is the inherence of the nature of Siva. He imposes on Himself His limitations. The spider making and unmaking his web; the infant in the cradle playing with his own hand: the cat trying to chase her own tail; the spider-monkey engaged perpetually in looping and unlooping-how engagingly absorbed are these in their own games! Such is the Game, the Playfulness (the Lhadini-Sakti's innate and irrepres sible expressionism); the Cosmic-Lila of Śiva.
The Concept of Original Sin in Trika
Šiva manifests Himself through Sakti. He becomes through Sakti and her limitations, the knower, the knowable and the means of know- ledge. These three emerge from one, and go back to the one.
All that emerges gathers the deliberate limitations, or bondage, which work as the inherent set-backs, or impurities (Mala), or drags against a free progress towards Realisation. We have noted these, as sheaths, or obstructions (Kancukas) for recognising the ultimate identity. The five sheaths (Kancukas) already spoken of are burdened with the drags inherent in the selective operation before an atom (Anu) is formed; these 'drags', Kancukas are referred to as Anava-Mala, or the inherent impurities in atomisation. Then alone the drag created by the communicating urge of adherence between objects that reflect or react as like or dislike becomes operative, and gradually develops as Anava-Mala, and Kaneuka. This kind of selectiveness create separatism, and acts as deterrents to purity of thought and purity of conception. This, as the original 'sin', the original atomic defect, acts against soul's progress towards Realisation. It spreads totally, from subjective ideas to the universal phenomenon; from the world of the Abstract and Subjective, to the world of Matter and Objective. It is the Maya-Mala, the drag of impurity inherent in adhe- sion (of atoms into a material fact), and communication from matter to matter, mind to matter, or mind to mind. According to the Trika, thus, even mind and mental faculties, and their mutual operations are atomic. The third Mala is the Karma-Mala, i.e., adherence to impurities inherent in getting involved in action's cycle. All participations are Atomic, and are subjects to Karma-Mala. Because of this subjective Atomic activity Purusa, the Actor, acquires the special power of ethical selectiveness, i.e., distinguishing bad from good, and perfect from imperfect. In making this selection, It has no choice. In making a 'choice' to distinguish, Purusa has no choice. In operating It's will Puruşa has no will. Thus the five Kancukas are the five shrouds that make a full union impossible and the three Malas affect Matter and Material Body from the subjective thinking to experiencing objective achievements. The world of Life's action thus becomes shrouded in eternal mystery, and is harassed by such pitfalls as remain beyond explanations, which in human language we ward off by the use of such terms as 'accident', 'destiny', 'fate', and 'luck'.
The Soul which suffers from Anava-Mala alone, and remains free of other two Malas, is called Vijnana-Kald. Whereas Vijnana-Kala is free from the 'two' Malas, Anava-Mala and Karma-Mala, Pralaya-Kala is free from only one Karma-Mala. Where the three Malas operate, the Jiva or Soul is a Sakala. This is the last and the least of the Kald-s. But when the universe disintegrates into the great chaos again and Pralaya becomes Maha-Pralaya, all attributes, all Tattwas get absorbed in Maya which still would have functions left for her.
Sin and Grace: Sakti-Pata
Finding it hard to follow? Perhaps. But without a Guru it is bound to be so. The book says this again and again. Our ignorance prevents us to acquire the necessary poise to understand such an analysis of the empirical universe. This ignorance is inherent in our very being. The Trika warns against this catastrophe. It is Anava, or atomic. The Anava- Mala limits the individual; and he suffers from ignorance, which has two forms: Paurasa-ignorance, and Bouddha-ignorance. Paurusa-ignorance concerns the Puruşa or the very Being. It regards the self as non-self, and causes thereby an imbalance in comprehending the true order of things. Without Siva's Grace (Anugraha) this innate ignorance cannot be removed. Šiva's Anugraha is known as Sakti-Pata. (The power that descends on the Realiser's consciousness.)
The Siva system, therefore, discusses the theory of Original Sin in a methodical way, and welcomes the element of Grace subjectively. Such descent of Grace helps the removal of bonds (Pala-Kaya), restoration of the original purity, and, finally, attainment of the Immaculate Conception (Šivatva-Yojana). This is 'to Realise'; and calls for intelligence or Buddhi. Hence the two defects which get removed by Grace-are Pauruşa (Atomic) and Bauddha (Intelligent): that is to say the first defects to be removed are constitutional defects inherent in the very essence of the matter which shaped the body of the individual; and the second defects are those of consciousness which by nature seek classification and enlightenment, but are disturbed by lack of proper and controlled mental balances. 'Grace' could ignore these middle states, and pierce through all strata, and lead to the Immaculate Identity. The great luck of obtaining direct Grace, and being 'pierced' by the sharp rain of Grace (Drdha-Sakti-Nipata- Viddha) as a fact in transcendental meditation is extremely difficult. Those who achieve such direct contact, are regarded as the Messiahs and the Avataras, super-Yogis, to whom Yoga comes as swimming to fish, or to ducklings.
In connection with the topic on Bhakti we have elaborately dealt with this aspect of Krpa or Karuna or Grace. Since this aspect of Grace, much like 'the quality of mercy...', 'droppeth, as the gentle rain from the heavens upon the place beneath', it has been often equated with the blossoming of Love. Spiritual Love seeks the union of Spirits. The seeker of Love strives and approaches, prepares and expects; the response comes as a blessing, a gift, a reciprocation that more than equalises; it absorbs and assimilates. This is the reason why the seeker is imaged as the feminine part of spirit; and the reciprocator is imaged as the mascu- line part.
From the earliest times this Male-Female image in spiritual aspiration has been symbolised in legends, forms, songs and poems. Radha and Kra' in spirit is just one of the hundred ways in which 'Grace as Love' has been expressed. St. Paul expressed the same as 'psyche and pneuma'.
The mystic idea of 'alter-ego' evolves out of this very concept. Lao Tzu
The valley spirit never dies
It is called the Mysterious Female..
Readers of the Song of Songs, or those of the Rasa-Pancadhyaya or of the Gita-Govindam are fully aware of this mysticism that pervades the area of Grace as the Dawn's awakening through a misty, foggy night's haze. Allegory becomes a natural expression for conveying such tender, delicate, incandescence as the perfumed experience of spiritual Grace conveys. It is, however, remarkable that saints who claim transcendental union, and describe it, at times in detail, when female, imagine the corresponding power as male; and when male, vice versa. The recipients of Grace image the source of Grace in contradistinction of his or her own personality. This is the expression of the emotionally vibrant language of Love or Bhakti. The Siva-Grace or Sakti-Nipata has to transcend the personal sense of distinction and thrill in the sense of Oneness, not union. This is the reason why the Siddhantin of the Agamas sing of Siva and Sakti in a consorted unity, and not in a union. The difference, though subtle, is very real, and distinguishes the Siddhantin (Bhakti) from the Trika (Spanda).
Grace has often been confused with the awakening of consciousness to its fullest effulgence. This psychological approach to analyse the personal self does not reveal a full picture however. A feeling of biological contentment in the immediate and mechanical relationship of the body with the outer world could be termed as grace as manifest in the animal strata of the self. This animal grace is common in the animal world.
This is not the case with the self's relationship with the social sur- roundings, where one is subject to the interplay of relationships emerging out of behaviour patterns. The child's relationship in and around the cradle and nursery, expands into the world of friends. This friendship evolves into a very close personal relationship as man and woman, often termed as Love. But it is remarkable that one of these relationships bestows that fullness of contentment which the soul seeks through Grace. It is remarkable that a lack of satiety haunts all forms of love except the spiritual.
So with Human Grace. But, also, being mortal, in the mortal world, the fate of all human Grace is found to be limited. In human body the soul remains unfulfilled.
(a) Rain on the windows, creaking doors,
And the blasts that besem the green,
I'm here and you are there,
And a hundred miles between.
(b) I searched for him but I found him not;
(e) Our sincerest laughter with some pain in frought;
(d) Kanthaileşah pranayini-jane kimpuna-r-darasamsthe.
(With the arms of the Beloved thrown around,
The Heart yet longs for something else);
(e) Reva rodasi vetasi tarutale cetah samut-kanthate.
(The Reva murmurs in suppressed anguish, and flows through the reed-beds; and my soul longs for the unknown.)
Human tongue abounds in similar expressions in all languages of the world. They all picture the same inadequacy of human love reaching the 'unbodied joy'.
On the spiritual plane the only human relationship that fills the most is that which exists between the Guru and the disciple, where, most of the communication, if not all, relates to a spiritual plane. This very relationship has been idealised in religions as one existing between the spiritual preceptor and the novice; between the images and worshippers. In a previous reference to Guru in this chapter insistence has been already laid on the great importance of a Guru in the spiritual life. The basic reason why a Guru must hold the key to spiritual success, is this funda- mental relationship that Grace demands between two persons bounded in a deep understanding as spiritual as love.
To accept a saint, an Avatara, an image, a symbol as the pinnacle of spiritual contentment is the highest that Grace could achieve in the human plane. In very rare cases, however nothing at all is required for deserving this Grace, except worthiness.
Ramakrishna Paramhamsa effected such a relation with his Mother- goddess Kali; Mira Bäi and Śri Caitanya did the same with Krsna; or Jnanadeva with Viththala of Pandharpur; Theresa, St. John on the Cross and Catherine with Jesus. Love is the supreme bond between Man and God.
But, this stage too exceeds itself, and eliminates the last traces of ego even as the receiver. Complete dedication follows. "The desire to give, the gift, the flames in which the gift is offered, the giver, the goal where the gift is to reach, as well as the object of the fullness of dedication to and for the One are in effect all compact. Such an 'All-to-All' desire, indeed, must close up the area of consciousness of the self, and pin- point it to a single purpose from objects and objectives around. But this does not mean that such pointed attention closes the mind to things and events around. The objective of spiritual liberation is not selfish possessiveness. On the contrary, it opens up the world around in their fullness of meaning, purpose and limitations, and tunes up the inner self to keep ready to receive all reactions within the limitations of the chang- ing world. Detachment of the spirit is not to be confused with the cynical disregard of values. That Spiritual Grace which all Yogis seek is never sought for a selfish purpose. It is always sought for the good of the world around. The highest achievement of enlightened self-consciousness lies in the field of service to man. Thus the spiritually awakened finds himself involved both in the animal and the Human world; and in the descension of Grace on his spirit, he finds himself in possession of the one light, by the help of which he could remove human confusion and human suffering. Spiritual Grace could be ignored by none, not even by the materialistic philosophers. As long as man finds himself involved in happiness, contentment and grief, man is involved in Grace and Spiritual Awakening.
St. John on the Cross says, "All our goodness is a loan." The Source is God. "God works; and his work is God." Gitä says, "Even (yogis like) Janaka and others achieved liberation through involvement in work, action."
Grace is direct. Grace depends on absolute sincerity, and completest dedication. To be sincere one needs something to be sincere to. Supreme spirit to be dedicated may better be acknowledged. When ack- nowledged, this is Siva. Once this spirit of dedication to Siva is complete and unhesitatingly final, Grace descends. It descends to the poorest, meanest, the least learned, the unlettered, the unguided. Pages and pages of pedantry, casuistry, logic and debate, forms and forms of ritualistic hazards, penances, fasts and pilgrimages, prove as mere chaff before this sincerity as illustrated in the spiritual lives of Dhruva, Närada, Sudāmā, Rumi, Al Gazali, Ramakrishna. In Saivism, and in the final analysis, in dedication to Siva, this emphasis on Grace elevates it above the Vedic rigours and forms, the Brahmanical ritualisms, and above the debates of the learned, as above castes and privileges, 123
It is the element of Grace that welcomes to Saivism the vast human world of the deprived. the unlettered, the exploited and the excluded. Spiritual contentment is the birthright of all; and is not the special privilege of the learned, the heroic or the moneyed alone. Those who worshipped within the temple of Borobudur or Angkor Vat might have their spiritual delight; but no less was the value of the delight of those spiritual artists, artisans and masons who had created over the centuries those mammoth temples. They were no doubt exploited, for human glorification of a class of people; yet whilst they created they also derived a taste of Beauty and Grace, without which no art senses finality. Saivism, by introducing the element of Grace, cuts through the vast forestry of Brahmanical casuistry based on rites, books, learnings, knowledge and privileges. But not so the Guru. The Guru could not be ignored. His assistance holds good and fast all the time. On the spiritual path the Guru is a must.
Grace and Union
But to confuse this Realisation, attainable through Grace, with transcendental Identity, would be erroneous. To have the essence is not to be the flower. To have Sirata is not to be Siva. To be moon-lit is not to be the Moon. For the ultimate Union Sakti alone is helpful. Even Siva's help is to descend through Sakti-Nipäta. It needs removal of the original sin of atomic impurity; and the impurities are removed by the stirrings that Sakti induces. As Sakti helps, the soul-Atman, Jiva, the Essence becomes free of the last impurity, and attains the title to a full Union. Now, when this state prevails, it is called in relation to him, who experiences it, Extinction; nay, Extinction of Extinction, for the soul has become extinct to itself, extinct to its own extinction; for it becomes unconscious of itself and unconscious of its own unconsciousness. Were it conscious of its own unconsciousness, it would be conscious of itself. In relation to the man, immersed in this state, the state is called, in the language of metaphor, 'Identity'; in the language of reality 'Unification',114
In the Tibetan Mahayana and Vajrayana Tantric images such actively inspired couples represent the thrill of union, even as the hundred heads and the thousand arms of the encoupled figures, with the universal weapons, appear to roll about; even as the lotus of full knowledge, and the heavenly light of full illumination appear to be keeping the couple afloat. The Jivas coupled in the cosmic union (where each becomes One) of the subjective opposites, even whilst lolling within the world of many forms and passions, are capable of attaining a thrill where all thrills and stirrings come to a transcending tranquil state. It is more than peace; more than poise; more than void; and more than a pass-out. It is cosmic Bliss, Sat-Cit-Anandam; it is Siva. "I live; yet not I; but Christ liveth in me," said St. Paul.
The personal soul is but a descension from Siva to the sphere of Akuddha-Maya (the world of fascination). This soul wants to be worldly. Having lost its subjectivity this descended personal soul, the Jiva, is considering its object form as 'I', and imputes to the object a subjectivity which is neither full, nor accurate. This is due to Maya (the bonds that tie up knowledge). In this state too the Jiva, according to Trika, functions within the five primal and eternal bondages (conceal-ment, creation, preservation, dissolution and grace). Without these, the bonds, the retrieving of the way back to Siva, would be rendered difficult. Even as bonds, the bonds are aids. Even the much condemned human body and human life and human passions are helpful to the spiritualists. Jiva and Mäyä together assist each other in reaching Realisation. To attain Siva-hood the Jiva, or soul, must realise the nature of 'I'-ness without falling into the trap of Egoism. The emphasis to know 'thy-Self' is not an empty adage. To be selfish is not to be the Self-known person. Maya binds the former; Sakti releases the latter.
Guru and the Knowledge of Yamala
Such knowledge of geting rid of Maya, and seeking shelter of Sakti comes from initiation of Diksa (Spiritual initiation like Baptism, but of a far more personal and involved nature). Diksa has to come from a Guru; and the meeting with a Personal Guru is in itself an act of Siva's Grace, a result of Sakti-Nipata. The Parnahanta, one with a sense of total I-ness, and with the gift of the resultant bliss, is a product of Diksä. Without Guru, without Diksä, this bliss shall remain unattained. The role of a Guru becomes thus an all-important question for the Sadhaka, devotee. This realisation is the first step towards cleansing the original sin (Anava-Mala). The Soul gets beyond his intelligent self, and liberates itself from both Pauruşa and Bauddha knowledge of the Self, and attains liberation whilst alive (Juan-Mukti). The Jivan-Mukta (Liberated in physical life) is a person of spiritual Realisation. He has known of the spirit from the spirit, of Siva from Sakti, and of Sakti from Siva, so that he is Šiva's Own, as Sakti is. This is the knowledge of the two in One and One in two, the knowledge of Tamala or copulation', or coupling the two as one, and one as two.
To cast an overtone of eroticism in this spiritual knowledge depends on a deliberate skill of interpretation, from which even the Hindu esoteric science and spiritual observations have not been entirely spared. From age to age, and from people to people, much of the carnal practices, even in temple organisations, the spiritual and esoteric rites have been allowed to get degenerated to the glee and for the erotic consummation of the pervert characters, the ogres and the rascals. What night-clubs have done to the fine-arts, what prostitution has done to love, has been done to the Saivic way of thinking by empiricists, sophists and quacks, specially by the sick psychiatrics obsessed with erotic images and carnal desires. On the other end knavish spirits of darkness, for continuing their lustful malpractices, have been using religion and religious forms as convenient covers to justify their acts, and to mesmerise and delude the helpless credulous and the feeble-minded victims.
I am Śiva
Dawning of Grace and attainment of Śivată has to be enjoyed. For this the Jiva has to adopt various means. Jiva has achieved; does the Jiva know the art of its full use yet? To get married is not to ensure a fully purposive marital happiness. The essence of Divinity is indicative of the Divine presence, but for the realisation of its full potentiality further attempts are required. Becoming Śiva is possible only when the last particle of impurity is removed. The full knowledge of Reality is only possible when Jiva fully achieves the likeness of Śiva (cf., Samkara's Hymn on 'I am Siva'.) As long as the least sense of 'I' or subjecthood is present, attaining to a likeness of Siva is impossible. Asuddha-Mäyä causes the subjecthood to remain adamant, and prevent further advance. It has been said that I-ness and selfishness are not the same, as subjectivity and egoism are not. As long as the sense of 'that' (Idamta) is present, the sense of 'I' (Ahamta) is also present. Ahamkära or egoism is produced by Maya. Ahamta or 'subjecthood' is free from Mäyä. Mäyä creates the sense of 'that' (Idam) as different from 'I' (Aham).
Bauddha Jñana and Paurusa Jñana
This confusion is set at nought by a day-to-day guidance, intimate care and personal interest, as could be bestowed only by a Guru, and it becomes, thus, essential to be initiated by him. The aim is to realise the ecstasy of the Parnahanta, the complete subjecthood free from all attach- ments or defilements: freedom from the least material duality. Thus dawns the pure Pauruça-Jnana, which has cut through the entanglements of Bauddha-Jnana. Bauddha Jnana is often confused as intellectual know- ledge, or book-knowledge. This is better described by the term Bauddha- A-jñāna. Bauddha-A-jñana springs from a claim to knowledge because of collected informations from books, and scriptures. Such storehouses lead to pedantry. Pedants are subject to learned-foolishness.
As distinct from the pedants there are intelligent scholars whose know- ledge is more perceptive, and acquires more depth. Although these too hold scriptural tradition as of high value, actually they attach much greater importance to mental discipline and deeper understanding. This latter form of matured book-knowledge of Bauddha Jñana alone removes Bauddha A-jñana. Such a process leads to 'liberation in lifetime', or Jivan-mukti. The soul, like the fowler in the Sivaratri legend (see Gloss.), has cut through the deep forest-growths, and passed through the opaque nightly darkness of Bauddha-Jnana into the open, free light of Pauruça-Jnäna.
This liberation-in-life (Joan-mukti) helps the soul to attain a state of perfect equilibrium and peace. Knowledge is identified with experience;
joy with creation; ideal with action. Realisation of the perfect and sup- reme delight of spiritual identity in its fullness is Parama Sivata, fullness of the two becoming one. Sakti and Siva become One; togetherness or Tamala has been attained (Expression), Prakdia and Vimarça (Depression) are poised in balance. This leads to the mastery over Sakti-Cakra (The cycle of Energy). Spiritual knowledge gradually advances towards consummation; and in between the start and the finish, grade by grade, in phases Sakti-modes attain development, until the same Sakti in its fullness exhilarates and thrills in the ecstasy of consummation. Each step forward is Šakti in a special mode. In this way atomic impurity loses much of its perceptible taints; but its total elimination is yet to be. These impurities impel as Samskara from stage to stage.
The Goal is yet to be attained. There are four 'means' (Upayas). The Trika-Saivism of Kashmir gives the highest honour to the realiser who reaches the coveted goal without having to take recourse to any 'means' whatsoever. This is quite possible and fits in with the sublime theory of the Descent of Grace (Šakti-Nipäta), which has been already discussed. The ever-compassionate Sakti chooses its fitting subject; and the objective of attainment is bestowed as a matter of simple Grace. This needs no 'Upaya' (means), and is known as Anupaya (non-means) or Anandopaya (the Blissful means). Śakti's Grace is just enough for a thorough cleansing of all types of impurities (Malas). No special effort no book-learning, no rigours, no practice is called for; only the Guru's simple guidance; and then, Grace descends from Sakti like rains from heaven, like the 'fall of the immortal. nectar from the bloom of the thousand petalled lotus'. The transcendent nature of the Soul is recognised in its full glory, and the integral 'I' pervades the world where nothing but the same 'I'-ness prevails.
But those who are not so placed as to deserve this Anupaya descension of Grace, must find other means (Upaya). For them Guru and Diksä (Initiation from preceptor) become an unavoidable process. Neither plurality, nor multiplicity, nor variety is the inherent attribute of Siva. The multitudinous exuberance of creation belongs to Sakti. Siva-concept is ultimate, integral, absolute and total. Šiva transcends even the idea of unifying the many into One. Šiva is away, above and disaffected by the distinguishing ideas of 'this' and 'that': Siva has no 'alternative' (Vikalpa), and is Nirvikalpa (the Only, without an alternative). He is Parama-Siva. The knowledge regarding this Nirvikalpa-Siva is attained through the Guru. (1) Guru is the first means. A Guru, firstly, administers Dikṣā, as Visvamitra to Räma, John to Jesus, Totapuri to Ramakrishna. He undertakes to initiate after studying the requirements, aptitude and capacity of the initiate seeker. (2) Thus Diksa becomes the second means. (3) Saktopaya is third means. It is a positive approach. We have mentioned about the Vikalpa (alternative) in the previous paragraph. Each Vikalpa is a conceptually determined entity, as different from another. To attain to the Nirvikalpa stage from this stage one has to proceed carefully and logically along the path of illumination, and not elimination. The Gita in the 18th chapter has clearly warned against the path of crude renunciation or elimination. The path of spirit does not cross the wilds of rigorous repression and abstensions. Illumination and understanding through expert guidance and determined self-application alone is of help. To understand is to be on the path of attainment. The positive approach is the ultimate real approach. Simplicity of mind has been imaged in a naked child's naked smile. Freedom from complexes is essential for spiritual enlightenment.
Doubt and Faith (Sattarka: Samvid)
This enlightenment through understanding depends on three factors. (1) Intuition in the most liberated form. It points correctly towards a choice in a case of alternatives. It correctly guides in a state of discrimina- tion. Because of this ability of correct selection (Sattarka) the process of understanding could be assisted by a natural ability of grasping without the hindrance of cynical gloom, or of counteracting doubts. The ability of correct choice develops faith in the self. Confidence accelerates progress, and plants the roots of faith. Knowledge is attainable to the 'faithful' alone. Failing in faith, one remains a victim of the swaying influences of senses. To control the senses a rigorous course of discipline has to be undertaken. To the disciplined alone the senses remain controlled. All this becomes quite unnecessary for a man of faith. Faith gives confi- dence, and confidence leads to correct knowledge and realisation. Such knowledge frees from doubts. Doubts act as germs for a split-minded dual personality. Freedom from split-mindedness alone leads to the sobriety of poise, and to the tranquillity of finality. "The ignorant, the cynic, the doubtful and suspicious destroy their own selves. Such are smitten by their inner conscience; neither in this nor in any other life Gità calls such faith Sraddha: and the could they claim 'I am happy'."5 lack of it Sambaya; and suggests the former to be the door to 'heaven', and the latter to be the door to 'hell'. The split-personality lives a hell in life.
This enlightenment through Sattarka (correct choice) comes through the guidance of the Sad-Guru, the perfect preceptor. Through his guidance the knowledge of the traditional scriptures (Agamas) become familiar, and the world of conceptual determination dissolves gradually into the simplicity of the singleness of the Real. Sattarka has been described in the Trika philosophy as the 'gateway to the joy-fountain of absolute Apprehension (Nirvikalpa-Paramarasa-Torana) free from determinal con- cepts. The eight steps suggested by Patanjali in his Yoga system by themselves are not enough, according to Trika, for attainment of the full apprehension (Samid). Samvid metaphysically is referred to the aware- ness in consciousness which functions, according to Patanjali, through the body-mechanism, the vital-breath of Prana and Buddhi, the intelligent power of comprehension. Patanjali through Yoga attempts to discipline these for attaining Samvid. But Trika brushes aside these rigours, and claims Samrid to be the only Reality where knowledge, the known, and the knower cease to be different identities. Samoid by nature is One, Real and Nimikalpa. Samrid is spontaneous liberation. By denying intuitively its own nature it attains its independent and final fullness. Not Yoga, but Sattarka causes it directly through the intuitive capacity of Life. Sattarka which refers to the innate intuition in man has to be refined, polished and activised through sacrifice or social deduction through self- denial (Tydga), oblations offered through the medium of fire (Homa), penances and vows (Vrata), repeating constantly a given meanful seed- sound conveying a purposive idea (Japa) and keep attention steadily fixed, and lastly disciplining all habits and senses (Yoga).126
But Sattarka or intuition is not just a wishful entity. There are categories of men in whom even Sattarka awaits some effort or practice that prepares. Such personal efforts are dependent on self-confidence and efforts (Puruşakāra), and await discipline. Patanjali prescribes his 'eight' means (Arfanga-Anava-Upaya), which enjoin personal efforts too as one of the means, and which are processed through four forms dependent on three instrumental means for keeping the body and mind in shape.
The first of these four processes (similar to Patanjali) is Dhyana or meditation. Of course, the heart is the seat of meditation where the knower, the means of knowledge and the knowables are all dissolved into the consciousness of the knower. This in reality would mean an absorption of the universal-self in the personal-self. The transcendental awareness of the Oneness gradually developes into a sense of 'allness'; and pure consciousness floats in absolute oneness. 'Beyondness' ceases. Apex, vertex and space all become one. The Space, the Time, the Dimensions all fade away in the pervasive awareness of 'T' or 'It'; ie, the awareness of One, silent, thrilling Joy without expression. Directions and continuity become 'that in itself. It is Anuttara.
All manifestations cease into a Siva-feeling; and from this very state alone manifestations could logically evolve. The state is Sivata; the realiser's state is Siva-state. Re-manifestations, as processes, are quite mysterious. Šiva, the pleasant one (Kalyana-murti), or Siva, the annihilator (Antaka-můrti), to him appear as ends of the same truth. These opposites no longer inspire mystery, or terror, or duality in him. Like the swing of the two-faced hand-drum (Damara) in Siva's hand, he considers the processes as those which make Siva what He is, the only Reality.
The second means (Upaya) is Uccara. It is the control and direction of the vital breath Prana. Control of Prana or Pranayama assists in conservation of vital powers of the body independently of extraneous aids and assistance. By reserving an abundance of the vital power independent of external aids, consciousness becomes free to meditate for long hours without submitting the body-machine to mechanical reflexes that the body as a machine requires man to respond to. The aim and utility of this meditation, of course, is Samvid (Transcendental Awareness), the final goal already referred to.
The third means (Upaya) is Varna, which involves the practice of the subtle-vital-breath or the Sukama-Prana, which permeates the body and beyond the body, the atmosphere. Varna is the control of these subtle- Pranas which subsist, and can subsist without bodies. As a means of (Dhyana) meditation and (Sadhana) practice, these vital forces have to be taken care of. While Uccara is being practised, a kind of sound (Dhani) becomes cognisable; this leads to Varna, a special soul shaping into a special form. This congealed sound-form obtained through Dhyana is, to the Sadhaka specially and personally 'his'. This one is 'his' seed-word, the Bija, which to him communicates his abstract subject, his God, 'his Siva', his 'One'. It is he who has created this. It 'speaks' to him-the Bija must fit in with an aspirant's meditation. The seed-word for the aspirant is a storehouse of Power. It is his last and ultimate means. These Bija-s have been referred to as the Garland of Letters in Tantra. These Beja-s depend on Dhani (sound), and Dhvani congeals into the alphabetic Varna-form, and alphabets congeal into a special pronunciation (Uccara). But esoterically all these depend on purification of the self through Sadhana. The repetition of Bija leads to Samvid.
These have been the Means or Upaya-s in Trika. By following these, even the most helpless and ignorant aspirant could set himself on the right path, and ultimately become a conqueror of Samrid. Siva is there, all the time, unbrokenly. The fact is that the individual is not aware; he is not alert. He, as it were, has broken the links of communication. He has been so much used to the state of broken links that he accepts this to be the natural state, and forgets that he is in Siva. Apprehension of Sina is no longer his. "When the much desired attention falls on the apprehension of the Self, which is no other than Siva, there is Pratyabhijña, or recognition of the fact that 'I am everything, and simul- taneously transcendent of everything, that is, nothing in particular, and yet all things together',127
We had occasion to refer to Vasava, the Prince-Brahmin leader of the South of India, who had brought about a revolutionary change or attempted to bring one about, through the sublime teachings of Saivism, and what in reality it meant to convey.
There exists within the folds of practising Saivism some of those austere but human traits, which, but for the teachings of Jesus (not what the present Christian Church practises), no other religious system offers. Yes, Buddhism too had reached for that noble passion of mass-, good in terms of both spiritual and material growth and fairplay. But the solid self-interest of both political and priestly leaderships successfully wiped out these noble attempts, and brought back the society to the bar- baric self-hunting for accumulation of Power and Wealth, using all the time the mass as fodder for the monster of War, which was a very popular practice amongst the power-hunters and wealth-seekers.
By the middle of the 12th century of our time Vasava had become convinced of the potential power underlying the sincere practice of Saivism. It was through his teachings that those who were dispossessed of the rights of entering the society as Men, the temple as Devotees, the marketplace as equals were made to regard the body itself as a temple, and the In-dweller of the Body as the Supreme Lord of all. Śiva and His Consort, the Mother-Power are aboded within the temple-body as the Soul and the Mind. To remind constantly how true and perma- nent, how immovable and solid was this confirmed conviction, he had ordained to bear the insignia (Lingam) of unalterable Firmness (Sthanu, Mrda) on their body. (Much has been written in the Western world about these stone-form-bearing sects of the South as devotees who bear the sign. of the phallus on their body.) The Western criticism of this sect offers one of those typical instances of mis-readings, which, instead of fulfilling the divine task of bringing men together has spread more and more conflicts and misunderstandings. The fact is that throughout the Western world, specially in the Mediterranean societies, eversince the Priapic-age, the custom of wearing the Phallus as a talisman prevails; and this causes the Western religious-observer to pronounce upon the sublime intentions of Vasava with roughness characteristic of their missionary zeal demonstrated in the countries of the Northern Mediterranean and Egypt.
Sivanubhava Mantapa has been a monumental creation of Vasava. This was an institution he had organised under the leadership of a great saint, Allama Prabhu. It was at this institution that he had organised those very reforms which were considered to be unorthodox, revolutionary and downright attacks on the Brahmanically dominated society, for which his life was forfeit, his honour was calumniated and his followers were often barricaded, barracked, harassed, condemned and pilloried. In spite of all this he not only was followed by the mass, but his reforms and spiritual leadership successfully left for the Hindu heritage a number of celebrated saints, quite a few of whom have been women, with Akka Mahadev leading them all. The treasure house of the Vacana literature of Kanada is a proud bequest left by the Jangamas (Jangama -mobile matter), as the followers of Vasava were generally called, because of their belief that the human body is a moving temple of the Lord, and must be maintained and regarded as such, and consequently kept in a perpetual state of purity and sublimity.
Its canonical dogmas depend upon what has been called as Pañcācāra (the Five rituals), and Astävarana (the eight-fold shields) to protect the house of the Lord, i.e., the Body. These are:
1. Lingacara -Daily worship of the Siva-Lingam.
2. Sadacăra- -Good conduct towards all men, but particularly towards the members of its own sect. It enjoined on all its members the ethical and material tenets of what Socialism in practice contains.
3. Sivacāra--enjoins on its members intercommunal dining and intercommunal marriage irrespective of caste dis-tinctions.
4. Brtvacāra -It enjoins the subtlest tones of humility towards all ani- mals and men as if men were duty bound, as servants are towards other animals, and Life.
5. Ganacara-Enjoins the entire Community to rise up en-masse to rebutt, refute and, if necessary, retaliate any unfounded adverse criticism or attack on the tenets and practices of the community.
The Aftavarada, or the Eight-Ornaments are as follows:
1. The Guru is the first protector as the spiritual Leader.
2. Linga -Then comes the constancy with which one should regard the Lingam on the body and in the Mind. This constancy, to regard the body as the holy of the holies, the Abode of the Lord is held very dear to the sect
3. Jangama -A firm knowledge of the metaphysics of the principle of Dynamism underlying all Divine feeling; for nothing Divine could be still; stillness being contrary to the Divine Will These first three, could not be followed by the devotee in parts; but to be successful, one has to devote oneself to one and all of them with concurrent submission.
4. Padodaka-is a protection against all pride and vanity, because this could be the washings of the Lingam, or the feet of the Guru. It should be sipped.
5. Prasada -or the food offered to the Lord or to the Guru. No food must be taken without first being offered to the Guru or to the Lord.
6. Bhasma- is the Ath left over from the fire-sacrifice. This should always besmear the forehead, at least, if the whole body could not be covered by it, as a reminder that the Body is actually nothing but a handful of dust and ash.
7. Rudrakya- the seed has to be borne in the form of a bead-garland, rosary, for chanting (see Gloss.),
8. Mantra -the chant itself is Namah Sivaya the great Five-vowelled Mantra.
In the phenomenal world man finds himself only as a part. His faculty of perception alone establishes his awareness of the immediate environs, from which his mental awareness projects only to be aware of, the world and things beyond his immediate environs. Thus his knowledge of the world is a composite result of immediate perception in inferential conception.
It is the nature of human mind to relate the immediate perception to some abstract cause, and expect from the cause different abstract possibilities. Of course, such an impulse to pursue the immediate, does not come to everyone, and at all time. Mind has to gain a certain deve- lopment to be capable of comprehending both the question and the answer. Philosophy results from such attempts by a developed mind, answering, or attempting to answer, these questions. As the perceptive world un- folds its mysteries, philosophy gathers meaning: and mind pursues a philosophical course. The gradual discovery of the reaches of the human mind and its aspirations form substantially the content of psychology.
The phenomenal world has to be known. Who knows? Of course, the mind knows. The knower' being the mind, the 'to-be-known' being the phenomenal world, that is, the subject being the mind, and the object being the perceptive experience, the question now arises, what is the nature of knowledge? At what stage and how the unknowing knows? That which knew not, knew. Of course, this is a change of state. When precisely does this change occur? What causes the change, and how?
The Process of Knowing
With Vasava this was the main problem, the discovery of the psycholo- gical process of 'knowing'. He was not so much engaged about the cos- mological principle underlying the nature of the Ultimate Reality. If the process of knowing is once discovered, once the strictly accurate moment of knowing is grasped, he thought, he would be able to grasp accurately what has to come. Hence his insistence on the psychological approach. He for the first time engaged his mind in investigating the principle of 'Knowledge' rather than the principle of 'Being'.
Man depends on his consciousness for being aware of the objects. Man is essentially a conscious being. As he becomes self-conscious, before he became conscious of an object outside his self, he undergoes a change from self-consciousness to consciousness towards some object other than his self. (See Patanjali: Yoga-Sútra: Kaivalya-Päda.) The awareness of this 'otherness' itself causes a change in consciousness. He, from absolute 'self', becomes relatively conscious. He relates the knower to the known by becoming aware of a change in the nature of his con- sciousness. Human experience, according to this analysis, therefore, is not merely a psychological change it is more than that; it is more than merely being an event in itself; it promotes a volitional phenomenon known as recognition. He recognises as a result of the psychological awareness of a conscious change from a self-conscious state.
Sublimation of Recognition
Apprehension of an object which is more than a fact, becomes a recognised fact. This becomes à subject-object relation which the Pratya- bhijña theory of Kashmir Saivism accepts. This subject-object relation does not stop anywhere even in respect of a single object recognised. The limit of recognition ordinarily never reaches an end. Gradually, as time passes on, and as mind works on it, recognition unfolds itself from more to more and consciousness too gradually recognises more and more attributes in the same object. Thus knowledge, activised by the mind, with relation to an object, over-reaches the realm of mere objectivity, and transcends mere recognition; it becomes abstract subjectivised, in short, spiritualised. The progress of knowledge, therefore, utilises consciousness intuitively for recognition, and surpasses the limitness of the experience, till it transcends sense-perceptions, and gives to obvious realities a state of vivified spiritual idealism. Since this change is intuitively existing in all types of experience, the emergence of an idealistic state from realistic presence is natural, universal and inevitable. Of course, the principal cause for this change, may it be borne in mind, is Self- Consciousness or Cit, which is God, connoted in Vira-Saivism as 'Sthala'.
Sthala: The Original Cause, or Cit
Sthala literally means Space, the occupied space of a position. In Vira Saivism it denotes the original 'Cause' of the phenomenal existence as well as the final goal. In other words, Sthala is the occupied space, the Source, for the phenomenal object from its coming into being, to its going out of the being. It denotes and includes the entire evolutionary phase of an identity; it is a process that includes the empirical time, with- out touching the Cosmic Time which is outside its pale.
Cosmic time is flat, but dynamic. But during the course of evolution when beings appear in phenomenal sense, and objects appear, existence occur the event is related to Time. All existence is in Time; so is all dissolution in Time. Thus, it follows that the state of Eternity could only be a state of Non-Existence. To be Non-Existent is to be Time-less. The Eternal Consciousness, the Samvid of Sthala related to time is an expression, a phenomenon, a being. It is an event in Time. But Sthala is not in Time. It is the Rest, the Peace, the Santam. It is static flat dynamism. It is the power asleep, but not dead. The ultimate expression of Sthala is Self-consciousness. It is the Unity of Apprehension of Kant.
If, then, from this ultimate unity of apprehension, from the Conscious Self, from the Absolute, from the Subject the objects of realisation: emanate, would it be correct to say that this field of Consciousness had reserved within it the incidental contingency of that which becomes conscious? Vira Saivism says that it is impregnated with that contingency.
Eternity and the Material Moment
Consciousness as Absolute is synthetically charged potentiality. It is a composite entity of object-subject, real-ideal, logical-illogical description. Logically derivable, Consciousness reserves the illogical 'I'-ness, ahamta, without which logicality could not be apprehended or recognised. This 'I'-ness constitutes what is in matter more than matter, its identity, its Being. Metaphysicians of old, according to Vasava, did not comprehend this material moment in Time while discussing the ideal Eternity of Cons- ciousness, the Conscious Strata, the Field, the Stream. Out of the time-less Spirit of Consciousness emerges the material moment of I-ness in Time.
Consciousness and Ego
Instead of abstracting the thought of the formal and the material moments Vira Saivism insists that without the formal moment, i.e., the 'actual' moment in time it would have been impossible to experience even the conscious aspect of Śiva.
This is Siva in Eternity. 'I' must be in Time. Only then a recogni- tion is possible. Therefore the Conscious mind is a constituent moment in time, evolved out of the Eternal Consciousness with the faculty of being beware of things one has to be bewared of, not excluding the Supreme Being, the Eternal Time. This is Siva-Sakti. Sakti is the name given to the formal moment in Time. Thus Sakti is not T-ness (Ahamta), the Ego; Sakti is Time-Consciousness, i.e. Ego's consciousness that is Ego. Ego it must be remembered, is not consciousness, or an evolute of consciousness.
Certainly this is a novel approach in Indian Metaphysics. If we remember the date (1160 A.D.) we should be able to connect this to the great period of Arabic learning, the teachings of the Neo-Platonists and the inescapable impact of the social philosophy of Islam. I want to draw a closer attention of the reader to the Pancacara and Astävarana canons of Vasava, and compare these to the Islamic canons, and make their own conclusions. A closer study of the Jangama Acaras and Abharanas, their heavy learnings on a monolithic rebel organisation tempts one to believe that the reforms of Vasava, both spiritual and social, had a modern slant on which psychology, social order and material considerations played a notable part. Recognition of the phenomenal world, and relating it to a metaphysical enquiry based on the Power of Consciousness automa- tically takes our mind to the development of the system of Tantra, which by this time had attained to its fullest maturity. If our theories about the migratory influx within the Hindu fold bear the test of history, then we must necessarily admit that the development of Vira Saivism, the training and followings of Väsava were restricted within the area strongly under the influence of the traditions of these migratory beliefs and practices.
In Tantra, Caitanya as Consciousness, is an indispensable source of Power for any metaphysical enquiry leading to Realisation. Thinking, Dhyana and Dharanã are impossible without Cif, or Consciousness, i.e., Siva. This cosmic Consciousness is charged with the powers of knowing and Being, Cit and Sat respectively; i.c., Sakti and Siva.
This is the Visistädvaita of the Säktas, and the Sakti-Visistädvaita of the Jangamas. It is an ultra realistic stand, and is known as Realistic Idealism.
Now for accepting the Lingam as a symbol. Already a passing reference has been made for the rationalisation of the use of the Lingam at the beginning of this section. We shall attempt now a metaphysical explanation based on etymology. Lingam is made of two parts: Li (to dissolve) and Gam (to move on). Etymologically, therefore, Lingam denotes the phenomenon of appearing into Sthala, or Space, as Being, and then disappearing into the Cosmic again. The Lingam is a constant reminder of this underlying philosophy. It is a total and plastic remin- der to the mataphysics of Sthala. The Lingam, the Sthala, is thus the Absolute, the Potent Cosmic in stillness; the Sivam.
From Sthala, to Gam to Li, and to Gam and to Li again, and so on and so on. The Cosmic theme is introduced to be withdrawn again and again to Time's end, till Time too goes to sleep. In spite of its static exterior it contains a dynamic philosophy. Jangama' means perpetual movement. It reminds of 'Caraineti' of the Aitareya, and Bergson.
What then is the aim of this dynamism? Of course, the fullness. This fullness does not denote a becalmed spirit, a stilled peace. That would not be Vira Saivism. All that it aspires to achieve is to bring about a complete maturity in the being's fullest meaningfulness. "To attain to a complete view of the world is the end of philosophy. The philosophic sense and intuition, therefore, present Reality in its comprehensive totality and concreteness. Changes it accepts; but it integrates them into Reality, for changes are conceived in Time."
Time for Vira Saivism has two distinct forms: the Metaphysical and the Mathematical Time. In mathematics changes occur, change being the inherent purpose and calling of mathematics. There would be no meaning in change without Time. This mathematical Time changes, while metaphysical Time continues, The river Thames continues, although the water below the Westminster Bridge changes. Totality continues; fractions undergo changes. Life continues; individuals change. In philosophy Reality is integral continuity. Integers as products of change are not themselves products of integers. Products of integers form continuity.
1. Tantra: Magic and Mysticism
Besides the three main streams of orthodox Šaivism, already discussed there are several minor sects. These are not considered orthodox, due to their being contrary to the Vedic tenets, even to the Vedic culture (in) certain cases). One of these, however, Tantra, is indeed a great stream, within which falls the majority of the rites known as the Saivic rites. Although included under the minor sects, Tantra is in no way a minor stream; indeed it is a major stream, and the most influential stream of mystic rites in Hinduism. Its influence is both deep and widespread. Some regard Tantra to be the earliest indigenous system of adoration, and mystery-rites. It is categorised both as orthodox, as well as being outside the pale of the strictly Varnäsrama system. From a study of languages scholars have come to conclude that the canonical records of Tantra are post-Vedic; some of them indeed are as recent as to contain references to Radha, Caitanya,120 Vignugupta,10 Nityananda and even to London. This encroachment on modern times may not add authenticity to the texts, but it unmistakably shows, however, (a) the continuity of the system from even a pre-Vedic past, and (b) its universal popularity. In fact, the mystic in religion has been the earliest characteristic of fascination for rites and religions.
No other religious system has been so popular and universal as the religious mysticism of Tantra, or the cult of the Mother, in which all forms of magic, mystery, Nature-worship, Obeah, Voodoo, Shamman, and other similar rites from all parts of the Andes and the Himalayas, from the Elburz and the Pyrenees are included. In connection with our story of the Mother we have discussed the idealistic part of this system, of which Siva forms a father-figure, and the negative counterpart.
We have hinted at the fact that the primitive religious forms, although discarded as mystic, maintain a deep spiritual and religious significance, which scholars have now recognised specially after a closer study of com- parative religions. "The mystery gods arise out of those instincts, emotions, desires which attend and express life; but those emotions, desires, instincts in so far as they are religious, are at the outset rather a group than of individual consciousness. The whole history of epistomology is the history of clear, individual rational thought, out of the haze of collective, and sometimes contradictory representations." We must note the emphasis laid in these lines on the social and group emotions and thought, as different from individual experience and representation.
To my mind it is this difference between the group and the individual that distinguishes the tribal cults and the spiritual experience. What is practised as mysticism all over the world, in this way falls apart into two categories: the group experience, and the individual realisation. Both of these fall under the term Tantra, which as a word means a thread, a yarn, i.e., the continuity of a cord, tradition, or system. All rites are born of Tantra; all religions are born of Tantra.
The meaning of this system, and the appropriateness of the word becomes significant when we remember that around a Mother, Moon Goddess, a Candra, or a Candrasekhara (the Moon-crowned God) loops and loops of mysterious practices have been observed all over the human society of all times known to man from the prehistorical days of human culture. The extent and universality of Tantra in this way ranges beyond accountable times.
Primitive religion was not, as I had drifted into thinking, a tissue of errors leading to mistaken conduct; rather it was web of practices, emphasising particular parts of life, issuing necessarily in representations, and ultimately dying out into abstract con- ceptions, 134
The writer has been inspired, thus, under the spell of Bergson's theory of Duree, which emphasises the principle of continuity of life-mysteriously, incessantly, continuously, indivisively and imperceptibly. To those who are acquainted with the theory of Mahakala and that of the Hindu Tantra-system, this inspired eloquence based on Bergson, and the pro- found truth that underlines it, should pose neither a surprise, nor a problem. A student of the Hindu systems of Patanjali or Kapila finds himself in a better position to appreciate the very correct conclusion of the learned scholar about 'representations', and its value to the Yogic Sadhana. Grasped in this light of the vibrancy of the living phrase, the application of 'dying abstract conceptions' becomes eloquently clear. The way of Yoga and Tantra, and the urge that arouses the Kundalini, countenance no kind of death at all. So understood, and followed, Tantra becomes a process of adding life; adding vigour and courage, and putting Life into life, and making all abstract ignite with a flame of energy. Energy is the only Reality in the Abstract. Energy is Sakti; Energy is Life, Kundalini's release means release of the fountain-head of Energy.
What we today are proud to reject as magical, often contains mystic values, unless we are talking of professional charlantans. "Ancient magic," says Dr. Frazer, "was the foundation of religion. The faithful who desired to obtain some favour from a god had no chance of succeeding except by laying hands on the deity."136
Inadequacy of Anthropology
Dr. Fraser working on this theme has elaborated that men having discovered the emptiness of magic still stood helpless against the whims and diabolic mysteries of nature, and created nothing to plant confidence to his bewildered sense of insecurity. Such a vacuum being an absurdity in nature, religion was introduced to fill in the gap. This is a perfectly tenable theory inasmuch as one finds the answers to the quests of one's soul in the study of anthropology. But anthropology is more or less a study of human behaviour in response to the material world. If there is any subject with which it is least concerned, it is spiritualism. Anthro- pology does not bother with it, neither does it bother about man's need or longing, for the spirit's understanding.
"Most of these writers have other ends in view, and have consequently not been concerned to pose the sort of questions which the social anthro- pologists automatically ask. Few of the more substantial works in this area of comparative religion pause to consider how the production of this religious ecstasy might relate to the social circumstances of those who produce it; how enthusiasm might wax and wane in different social conditions; or what functions might flow from it in contrasting types of society. In other words most of these writers have been less interested in ecstasy as a social fact than in ecstasy as an expression.... And where they have ventured outside their own native traditions to consider evidence from other cultures their approach has generally been vitiated from the start by ethnocentric assumptions about superiority."
If men were prepared to enter into different religious rites with as open a mind as they study different alphabets, or different languages, their efforts would produce more fruitful harvests in the store-house of human understanding. Contrary to its purpose, religious faith and solidarity have always been allowed to act as a deterrent to a liberal view, resulting in an unhealthy accommodation and tolerance. To this general handicap obsession in favour of the mischievous and artificial theory of a superior race has effected summary rejections, or even damnation of other religious views. Most world-religions speak of the same Ideal as God; but their differences in eschatological details, or ceremonial rituals bear the stamp of their times, and the places of origin. The demand of the soul of Eskimo would seek heat; and his heaven would be a sunny warm place. Not so of a Bedouin. His heaven has to be cool and moony. A religion of an oppressed community under the Imperial Romans would crave for peace; but these Romans, seeking glory in the far-flung battle-fields, and in bringing home the spoils of war under the pretext of Pax Romana would forge into shape a Mars or a Minerva or a Saturn as a divinity par excellence.
Apart from the human behaviour in response to the natural demands, man's soul hungers for the answers to some vital questions, which, together, constitute his spiritual world. In other words he longs to be free of the tyranny of the physical demands, which keeps him bonded all his life as a slave to work for its satisfaction. He legitimately asks the question, "What is behind all this? Where is its beginning, and where its end? Why is it that if the poor is not happy, neither is the wealthy? Why is it that the temptation of playing false, or deceiving the credulous, the desire to possess even at the risk of life, truth, crime, murder, theft, cruelty, faith, loyalty duty, friendship must grip, as in a vice, even the highest in state; the wealthiest in society? Why is it that the wealthiest and the most powerful nations of the world are also the most morbid, obsessed, opaque, cold and demented? Why man must be donkey for getting loaded and loaded, for possessions and more possessions, without being able to solve thereby a single problem that affects his own inner life of joy, his own relaxation? How could such pitiable creatures presume to solve the difficulties of other nations and individuals by carrying the loads from one end to the other? What compels even the highest persons in society of the most powerful peoples to a situation where they are tempted like ordinary criminals to seek deliverence through a deliberate travesty of facts, and thereby become the laughing stock of the world opinion? Why?"
Anthropology observes, analyses, infers, theorises, and suggests what the social worker could work upon in the name of organisation. But anthropologists bypass those vital questions, and delegate them to the philosopher, who again is a theorist. He is logical, rational, in- tellectual, controversial, but not at all practical! He does not suggest a method for liberation. This has been tried by religion, and religion alone. But again, religion betrayed itself by seeking to make a capital of this calling and faculty through organised pressure-techniques, systematised brainwashings, and calculated dehumanisation of the humans, and de- spiritualisation of the spirit. The secretariat and the machinery of religious organisations introduced such reservations to free thinking and intellec- tual freedom as dogma, commandment, bull, rites, clerical bureaucracy, clerical commissions and propagating evangelical campaignings. Priestism has been known to hold at ransom a suffering man's inner peace, or a dying man's last hopes. From such an order of things it is not far to fall into the traps of war, politickings, tension-building and finally destruction, frustration and mutual hatred and filth-slingings. From religion to tension and lack of peace. This is the tragedy. Actual liberation again becomes engulfed within controversial sects, rites and dogmas.
It was only in the system of Yoga that an attempt was made to analyse the causes of human tension, and the methods of getting liberated from them. It was complete in theory and practice without interfering with religion at all. Buddha, the apostate, had been a great Yogi.
Universality of Tantra
The mystic and ancient system of Tantra provided an answer to this situation. Origen knew about it; so did the Eleusians. Because this has been a universal problem, the system of Tantra too has been universally enquired into, and practised. Because it wanted to keep away from the warring churches, and the various complexities of the organised religions, because it decided to make itself meaningful to the 'mass' of mankind, it decided to remain direct, open, proletariat, traditional, preceptorial and extremely 'vulgar', without any need for any type of sophistry. Tantra is the most catholic of religious forms.
The decline of mysticism amongst the cultured urbanised prudes is due to the same mental ailment which acts as a deterrent for the pseudo-civilised snobs who blare such words as 'science' and 'scientific' in order to underrate, and even ridicule, religious practices as a whole. This type of cold indifference typifies an ailment; and it is traceable to an ego-centric self-consciousness which almost infallibly turns to such acquired haloes as 'social status' and 'public opinion' as if these were deep-delved fixations.
If Tantra has adopted any names for gods and goddesses, the qualified Tantric knows these names and forms as representative of certain Tantric ideas; and for actual practices these named gods and goddesses have been found to be the most helpful for concentration. Not only the deities, but even such objects as signs, forms, diagrams and such perceptual contacts as sights, sounds, tastes, even seating postures have been taken into account, and recognised as efficacious for contributing to concentration. The Tantric way is a thorough way, and a total way. Of the gods and goddesses of its 'making' (through Dhyana and Dharand), the easiest and the most universal are, and could be only two-the Mother and the Father. The latter is not so emphatically adhered to as the former. Power alone is the Matrix of all. From Energy springs forth Creation. Urge is the Source. From urge and power proceed all; to that alone would all finality converge. This supreme quality of Energy-in-Matrix of radiating and converging, of centrifugality and centripetality, makes the Mother an Eternal source of perpetuity, a Power-Stream without end.
"We pray to the Para-devatä united with Śiva, whose substance is the pure nectar of bliss, red like unto vermillion, the young flower of the hibiscus, and the sun-set sky, who having cleft her way through the mass of sound issuing from the clashing and dashing of the two winds in the midst of Susumna rises to the brilliant Energy which glitters with the lustre of ten million lightenings. May She Kundalini, who quickly goes to and returns to Siva, grant us the fruits of Yoga! She being awakened is the Cow of Plenty to Kaulas, and the Kalpa Creeper of all things desired for those who worship her."139
The words Siva, Cow of plenty, Kalpa-creeper (1), or even Susumna have to be understood only in the sense that a Tantric understands. These ideas have other words in other languages, 'Cleft her way through the mass of sounds' for instance has been contained in the famous words at the opening of John; At first there was the word, etc., etc. The hymn of the Kouretes found at Palaikastro (1500 B.C.), the Popul Vub system in the Maya Scripture, Zunis (partly translated by James Price in the theosophical journal Lucifer), the Serpent-motif used in all Tantra practices, indicate the universality of the language of Tantra. The Mother-motif, and as her alter-ego, the Father-motif, remain universally the One-in- Two as Sound and Ether, Form and Substance, Word and Meaning, Matter and Energy. Emotion as a means of concentration being of great assistance, the Mother image, the supreme projection of the most binding of emotions, has been universally used and accepted.
Thus the system of Tantra is not peculiarly Hindu, although a large collection of ancient scriptures, rather treatises, on Tantra-experiences and methods have found their way to India from all over Asia, collected from various languages, from the earliest days of written words, and unwritten traditions. The Semetics, the Iranians, the Chinese, the Tibetans, the Japanese, the Indonesians and the Indo-chinese all have contributed to the vast knowledge of Tantra. The Tantra traditions of the Mediterranean and the Aegean worlds, of Anatolia, Thrace, Egypt and Abyssinia have found their way to this centrally situated ancient land of India. This is why we could discover the phallic motif and the sex- images in Tantra in Tantric rites everywhere. All that has to be ancient and traditional has to be uninhibited. Inhibition is a necessary curse of civilisation. Our abhorrences of today had been the adoration of more innocent and natural times. The worshipper very often sought for the supreme experience putting himself in the role of the female, and describ- ing the impact in a language highly loaded with erotic symbolism. In a later chapter we have separately discussed the basis and the rationale of the use of the erotic images and erotic metaphors in mysticism.
Trance and Erotic Symbolism
Christianity, perhaps under the pressure of a repressive attitude towards sex, or its natural lack of confidence in anything other than its canonical dogmas, always thought little of mysticism, and of the Yogic way to tranquil trance. Christians have a strangeabhorrence about the pheno- menon of trance, which they almost always confused with what they termed as 'possession'. But devout Christians like Origen, Plotinus, St. Augustine, St. Theresa, and in our days Teilhard de Chardin would have other opinions. Persecutions on the basis of trance experiences have not been unknown to Christianity. "Orthodox Christianity has generally sought to belittle mystical interpretations of trance where these were claimed by those who experienced them to represent divine revela- tions.... Sanction of heresy has proved to be powerful deterrent in curtailing and discrediting wayward personal experience."140
One of the reasons for such attitudes towards trance-experience is the erotic emphasis that is underlined by the subjects of such trances, and the subsequent expressions that such subjects as had experienced the trance made use of. Invariably such expressions adopt a language with over- tones of eroticism, using for the most part an erotic symbolism about the union of the worldly with the cosmic. Those who have been acquainted with Asvaghosa's Buddhacarita, Jayadeva's Gita-Govindam, the Natha poems, the Carya-padas, the Vaisnava and the Baul lyrics, Ananda Lahari hymn of Samkara, the poems of St. John on the Cross, the confessions of Theresa on the subject of Union (to which we have referred again and again), the poems of Tassso, Pindar, Sappho and Petrarch, should have reasons to entertain other opinions. Further substantiations in favour of a general practice of erotic expressions in mystical language is unnecessary. The Greek oracle at Delphos was mounted by the god Apollo; in Haiti the Voodoo cult expects the subject to undergo the transformation of a temporary death, as one does at the apex of an erotic consummation. All 'seizures' have been looked upon as interpretative of a voluptuous enjoyment of the erotic. Mystical sexual intercourse forms the very basis between the thrilled subject and his or her active thrill-giver partner, who is the possessing Spirit. The 'Hornbill-Watersnake' mystic rites, popular amongst the Dyaks of Southern Borneo is explicitly interpretative of sexual intercourse. They believe it to be a divine coition between the two supreme deities of the cosmic worlds. Dr. Lewis quotes from H. Scharer a part of the actual hymn: "The journey of Jata in her golden boat is ended. Mahätala has arrived in his boat of jewels. They let down the boat in the vagina of Jata, the Watersnake; they lower the staff of the Hornbill, Mahätala, into the open gong." Idioms of sexual union express spiritual union. It could easily lead to incest, as it does in some of the tribal Tantric rites (The priests of Puri Jagannatha at the annual Ratha Yatra festival openly accuse the divine Jagannatha of incest with his sister-alter-ego Subhadra; the Puranas refer to incestual relations between Brahma and Sarasvati), or even to homosexuality, as students of Homer, Strabo and Hafiz would know.
Christianity itself admits of this sexual relation existing between the Church and the Christ, out of which has grown the grand peons of the sublime Song of Songs of Solomon. The Idea of the sacred Bridegroom is emotively charged in the mind of most of the devout Catholics, many of whom still have them dressed up in feminine fineries inclusive of the long gowns bedecked with laces and similar riff-raffs. Many like St. Bernard and St. John regarded the Christ as the Soul's Bridegroom. The Radha-Tantrics in a school of Vaisnavism transform themselves in the skin of Rädhä, the central Matrix in the Radha-Tantra-Cult, and sup- posed to be the sole spiritual alter-ego of Krsna the Yogesvara. These attain their Samadhi in feeling a perfection of union with the Yogeśvara Krsna whilst they remain in the role of Rädhä Räseśvari. In Islam, particularly in Sufism, such a relation between Maashuq and Aashiq is still held in very high esteem.
"Ecstatic communion is thus essentially a mystical union; and, as the the Song of Solomon and other mystical poetry abundantly illustrates, experiences of this kind as are frequently described in terms borrowed from erotic love. Indeed as Earnest Jones has justly observed, 'the notion that sexual intercourse can occur between mortals and supernatural beings is one of the most widespread human beliefs'."142
This is the reason why the practice is called mystic, and why the knowledge is not parted except to the very capable and reliable initiate, whose ability has been again and again tested. The use of drugs and promiscuity characterise some of the rites and forms; whilst some others meticulously abstain from any unethical and toxic indulgents. It is no wonder that in the name of Tantra a host of charlatans, braggarts and rascals flourish behind a facade of spirituality only to fulfil their sexual and carnal appetite. Any idea entertained about an instant religion must be looked down upon with deserving scorn.
Antiquity of Tantra
The earliest evidences of Tantric practice in India indicate the uses of Symbols and Signs. Indian coins of the pre-7th and 6th cent. B.C. bear some of these mystic signs. The Vedas also refer to such mysticism, specially the Atharvan. A Tantra-Master emphasises that Tantra rites accept the Vedas as Germinals. The Saubhagya-Kända of the Atharvan is often quoted in support of the claim.
There are other evidences to indicate Tantra's connections with the Vedas. Kulärnava Tantra (Nepal Library) begins with the sentence: So said the Deol in the Atharvan Samhita. She has been called Atharvaśäkhing (Rudra-Yamala). The 32nd verse of Samkara's famous hymn Ananda- Lahari demands references to the Vedas and Brahmanas (see commentary of Lakṣmidhara). Taittiriya Aranyaka, Atharvan, and Aitareya Aran- yaka (IV: 27) refer to Tantra Cakras and Mantras. Kulärṇava Tantra (11: 10:11: 85) not only claims that the Tantras have the Vedas for their soul, but actually quotes some Vedic verses.14 This includes references to the uses of intoxicants in such sacrifices as Śrautamani and Vajapeya. Of course, the sacrifices of animals: horses, bulls, lambs and goats, which Tantra admits in some of its rites are also supported by the Vedas; but this does not mean that Tantra had to depend for its popular acceptance on the Vedas, and had no independent status. In fact, the development of Tantra has always been not only independent of the Vedas, but in many instances, even in spite of the Vedas. But it is good to know that because a rite is Tantric, it need not be considered as unorthodox by those for whom Vedas and Vedas alone deserve to be called orthodox.
Both Buddhism and Jainism are known to be unorthodox. Yet most of their rites have Tantric overtones. No religious system is entirely free from the charm of Tantra. Tantra is ritualism, and ritualism is Tantra. Jesus himself has been regarded, along with Gautama Buddha, and with the Monist Samkara, to have been a great Tantric Master. Consult for example the Tevijja Sutta, and the Brahmajäla Sutta, and the Miracles of the Christ. Samkara has been known to have entered into the body of a dead King, and practised those physical acts, which as an ascetic he was forbidden to make his body suffer.
Though the Tantras have their remote connections with the Vedas, and the Vedic Literature, it is very doubtful if the literature of Tantra is as old as the Vedas. The language, for instance, betray a time when the Anuştup-rhythm had been well formed, and the epic forms had introduced a standardised treatment for religious treatises. All that have reached our hands, from linguistic evidence, indicate a post-Vedic development of the Tantra canonical literature.
But Tantra had its adversaries all the while. As a matter of fact, the history of the survival of Tantra against perpetual schismic and canonical opposition, which sometimes assumed the awful proportion of political disfavour, proves the diehard tenacity of a system which held strong bonds amongst not only the reserved and almost charmed circle of the four castes, but also amongst the non-Aryan tribes and hordes. periodical influxes of foreigners who made India their adopted home from time to time fell to the easy charms of Tantric rites. Tantra treatises date as far back as the 10th and 11th cent. A.D.; and in the Agamas of the Tamils (9th cent.) references to Tantra have been unmistakably traced. The Chinese pilgrim Fa-Hien used to recite the Surangama Sutra, which is as old as the 1st cent. A.D. The Buddhist Tantra literature is both more ancient, and more extensively known. These were known to China (Amoghabajra 746-771 A.D. translated 77 texts of which some had been Tantras), Tibet and Japan (Hariuji Pagoda has some of the ancient texts).
This does not mean that all Tantrics were favourably disposed towards the Vedas. Tantrics themselves suffered from the inevitable pressure of schisms. These were divided on the forms of general acceptability of rites, most of which changed according to personal experiences of the Siddhas (liberated Souls), and the Gurus. Much ink and breath were wasted on denouncing and counter-denouncing the differing ways. Like religious schisms anywhere a terrific amount of pamphleteering appears to have been the order of the day. It is in this connection that we hear of the criticisms of such sects as the Pañcaratras, Pasupatas, Mäheśvaras and Käpälas, as well as of the Vedas. Of the first two we shall learn later, but about the criticism of the Vedas we note here that some forbid the Tantra sects to keep away from the Vedic rites 144 "The Vedas are too old to be of any effective assistance for realisation." (Kaka-Candelvari: Nepal Library.) "Like the common prostitutes the Vedas, Puranas and Smrtis are for all and sundry; but this Vidya from Sambhú (Tantra) calls for intimate privacy, as would do a lady of class." Kulluka Bhatta quotes Härita as saying that both Tantric and Vedic Smrtis are orthodox.146
Howled the Vedists back at the Tantrics. Obviously they attacked, as we ourselves would do (hypocrites as we all are more or less), the anti- social aspects of the Tantric rites, such as eroticism, promiscuity, drugs and alcohol, and of course, the uses of meat and fish.
If we have noted some of the facts stated in previous chapters, we could easily appreciate that the phallic trends in the tribal sectors were as popular in the Indian subcontinent as in the later alien trends which had been trying to secure a foothold amongst the Hindus. But the Vedic, and specially, the Vedantic way of life, which had become synonymous with the Indian way of life, studiously avoided to be involved in anything phallic. For this Orthodox Hinduism, which always and invariably held on to the Vedic ideas and ethics, sharply reacted against the phallic trends. Tantra, and Saivism by their practices so much resembled the phallic, that the real phallic worshippers greeted the opportunity with glee and excitement, and under the cover of Saivism and Tantricism prepared to gain grounds. They wanted to push on the phallic, as the Mäheśvaras, Somas and the Käpälikas did, under such leadership as was given by Uditācārya and the Guptas, and Varahamihira. The experts and the scriptural writers were only too vigilant to let it grow. In this regard the Haihayas of Tripuri, and Banabhatta of Kashmir adopted almost an ascetic course, which was the accepted form of the Siddhantins. This could further be studied from the great acidity with which the con- troversy on phallicism was carried on. Students of the Mahayana and Hinayana schools of Buddhism know that the Buddhist schism was mainly based on erotic mystic rites. Because of certain writings of Samkarācārya, he too, has been denounced in some quarters as being lukewarm towards the 'heinous' trends of the phallic in Saktism.
"An upstart by the name of Mäheśvara, taking advantage of the accidental similarity of names, has been preaching anti-Vedic Tantricism, and named it to be directly derived from Mahadeva himself!" This statement of Vedottamã reminds of another similar attack on the opposite camp. "We are of the opinion that a cheat by the name of Vasudeva, taking advantage of a coincidence of names, has concocted those Tantra rites, and attempted to get it popularised."14" The Sattvatas in Kürma Purana too have been similarly condemned for attempting to pack the orthodox religion with fraudulent phallic trends.
Tantra as a class has offered traditionally a highly spiritual way to the Sadhakas, and the treatises going by the names of the innumerable Tantras record what is only the special and personal experiences of each of the Sadhakas. The Yoga aphorisms of Patanjali clearly mention that for a Yogi the selection of a Mantra, or that of a deity depends on personal choice.149 Naturally, each of the Sadhakas shall have to have his or her own experience; and this has to refer to a special Mantra or Deity, or even to a special type of rite, which is to be responsible for the success of the individual. In this way the Sadhaka's own experience becomes his or her Tantra.150 And such records are indeed innumerable.
Yet there are some standard works. These are named after Siva or Sakti. These are, as we should know by now, the Agamas and Nigamas. This is the nucleus of orthodox Tantra. We have referred to Vasugupta's Sivasútra. He himself has stated that he 'got it from Šiva'. Śree-Mato- ttara Tantra, supposed to be the direct heritage from Śiva, has for its author the celebrated Tantra Sadhaka Sri-Kantha-Nätha. Dr. Chinta- haran Chakravarty considers that Tantra prcedes all other forms of rites in an antiquity, and even its extent written records are much earlier than the dates of the Puranas.141 We find mention of the Pasupatas (Śiva), and the Pañcaratras (Visnu) in the Mahabharata.
But the Tantra writers, and the Tantra commentators have always been trying to prove the orthodoxy of Tantra by referring its main tenets to the Vedas. The remarkable thing to be noted in these contro- versies is the fact that the main body of Hinduism abhorred and discarded vehemently all phallic and erotic trends attempting to infiltrate into it under the pretext of either Tantricism or Saivism. We have taken up the subject of Tantra within our study of Saivism with a view to note that Saivism itself admits of Tantra, because it admits of Agama and Nigama. But in the name of Tantra and, therefore, in the name of Saivism, phallic trends did attempt to alienate the orthodox Saivic Idealism. But the records are straight about the condemnation of the phallicists. Tantra itself was non-Vedic; but the people accepted it. Yet phallicism they rejected. This is remarkable. Puranas clearly mention Tantra as being non-Vedic. But it is indeed significant that Tantra itself, while main- taining its phallic overtones, condemns phallicism!
The Tantra Doctrine
The system of Tantra is based on a sublime exposition of metaphysical analysis of the most sophisticated type. It reveals the relations between Matter, Spirit and Consciousness. Even its rites are inspired by an urge for transcendental aspirations. It aims at one objective: the ultimate union of the seeker and the sought. This phenomenal world is nothing but an ephemeral expression of the eternal, playing with its own playful and sportive inspirations. This is the Will; this is the Mother, the Matrix of the World-phenomenon. This is the Power, the Sakti. It is inlaid within all the objects in the material world, more so within the human frame, which is Consciousness. Human consciousness has immense possibilities, about which the average man is not even aware. Once this is impressed on the mind, and once mankind becomes aware of the profundity and range of this consciousness, man would not spare himself in reching the apex of this Power. And for this he has to arouse it. Once this is aroused, from what is known as a sleeping state, it grows and grows, until the Power appears to pervade both Time and Space and engulf the world of the many into an experience of the One. A person who has mastered this immense Power is a Yogi. He alone is Superman, and is capable of achieving liberation not only for himself, but for all. He is the chosen One; the Godsend One; the Messiah. He bears the badge and the message of authority directly received from the Supreme.
Antaryaga and Mantra
There are rites to achieve this. Asana, Mudra, Nyard, as well as Antar- yaga (Inspired dedication beyond the ken of any) are some of its most
"In 'union' there must be To; and the duality continues; and the resultant clay is a third factor. In merging they become One.
important aids. The piercing of the Six-Cakras is the most seriously laid out preparation for a successful Antaryaga. So is Mantra another previous acquisition towards success.
"There is perhaps no subject in the Indian Sastra which is less under- stood than Mantra." Mantras cannot be and should not be translated. It is not so much in the given meaning that the meaningfulness of the Mantra rests; a Mantra's meaningfulness rests on what it reveals itself to be to the particular individual. The locales of the uttering, elocu- tionary mechanism of the Mantras are more significant. There is hardly any, if at all, any imperative importance of what a man 'learns' to be a meaning. No word can reveal its fullest meaning unless fully 'realised'.16 It is in the process of the realisation of the meaning that the value and the joy of a meaning lies. Sounds by themselves, or the mechanisms of the sounds are not important. Mantra is not just a conglomeration of jingling, juggling sounds. At times certain arranged sounds appear to have no meaning at all. Yet as Mantras these are revered; this is so because of the underlying 'Sound' or 'Sonic' effect, which, according to the Maheśvara Sûtra effect a relation between particular sound-waves and the corresponding responses in the Nadis, or Nerve-centres. The Spirit's only tangible form is Sound. 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.' The secret and the substance of the justification of the efficacy of Mantra has been laid out in these words in St. John's Gospel.
The Monism of Tantra is very close to the affirmation of Vedänta. Vedanta has been the sheet anchor for the Vaisnava Bhaktas, the Saiva Bhaktas and the Tantra Bhaktas. Each has leaned heavily on Vedanta and Monism, thereby proving once again the non-sectarian and the non- theologic character of true metaphysics. Each of the sects have explained the contents of the Vedanta in a special way. Of course, casuistry has not spared either Tantra or Vaisnavism from being called anti-Vedantic. One could expect such demonstration of scholasticism from the puerile pedagogues. "Foolish like a book-worm," says an Arab proverb. The fact is that haloed spiritualists (Aurobindo, Ramakrishna, Vämä, Tailanga Svämi, Bhaskarananda Svämi, Moinuddin Chisti, Nizamuddin Aulia) have found for themselves that the monistic Vedänta and Tantra synchronise entirely.
Misuse of Tantra-Rites
Many have referred to the rites of Tantra with scorn. This is not unexpected. Those who watch from outside, without getting involved in the esotericism of Tantra, get the shock of their lives as they hear that Tantra recommends the Five-M's (Matsya, Mansa, Madya, Maithuna, and Mantra), i.e., fish, flesh, wines, copulation, and the mystic syllable, for attaining to its highest state of Liberation. But we have the unimpeach- able evidence of impeccable Yogis, renowned for their austerity on our side. Sarvananda, Vämä, Ramakrishna Paramhamsa, Ramakrishna of Natore, Krishnananda, Nilakantha, Abhinavagupta, Samkaräcärya, Sahib Kaul, Lal Deed, Bhairavi Brahmani and many others would line up in defence of the absolute purity of Tantra and its practices.
Those who adopt the Tantric way for the satisfaction of greed, avarice, lust or even for the fun of having a good time, and having accepted an initiation, misuse the Mantra by physical coitus, shall have to undergo the penalties of a roaring hell.... 167 It is usual and popular practice to indulge in drinks. By limiting its use to religious and social forms, an attempt has been made to sublimate an instinctive and natural craving in the humans....16 But any one making use of Tantra as an excuse for drinking alcohol has to be severely penalised. Wash his face with boiling liquor, and scorch his tongue therewith.
The Guru has to assume the responsibility, and guide. The pitfalls are many; and once there is a fall, the reactions, even spiritually, are highly dangerous, as could be seen in the extensive misuse of drugs in the name of Yoga. "Those who by themselves desire to adopt the Tantra way, and succeed, without the aid from a realised Guru, are only trying to cross the ocean depending on their two bare hands."10 "It is easier to walk over the edge of a sword, or embrace a tiger by his neck, or hold a live cobra in hand, than to attempt success in the Tantra way without the direct training from a proper Guide." The great Kaulas, i.e., the Tantra Masters, have again and again condemned the ways of the Käpälas, the Nagnas, the Ksapanakas, and similar other unorthodox wayward sects given to alien phallistic forms. The noblest and the most revered of the Tantrics, like the Samayas, actually are not given to any rites whatsoever; whatever they practise, they do incognito, unobserved, main- taining their secrets closely, away even from their own limbs. The esoteric meaning of the five M's is explained by the Guru himself, who forbids their practice in the physical plane.
The M's Explained
Fish thus, is a symbol of Pranayama and secrecy; meat enjoins solid action with a determinedly motivated aim; its total dedication is the enjoy- ment of the 'meat' of the purpose. The union is the finality of the union of the Jiva (self) with the Brahman (cosmic Being), so that the personal self, as the female (positive) part remains actively subjugated and expectant, and the Cosmic Being as the supreme Male (Negative) witnesses the urging on-coming and all relieving effacing dedication without any perturbance in Its state. The sublimest of the Tantrics have, by their example, for- bidden all to indulge in these rituals, and to adopt the words in their obvious ephemeral physical sense.
But in certain extreme forms of Tantra, like the Mahayana Vajra system of Tibet, the five M's have been physically taken up and used as penance. The most celebrated saint in history, along this line, is the haloed Lama Limpon Rinpoche, closely followed by Gyalwa Rinpoche. The life-activities of these Tibetan Lamas read like miracle, whereas in their own lives, they had kept themselves studiously away from showman- ship. Whenever the spiritualists become the direct correspondents of the ESP-world, we who follow our own materialist science (sic!) almost with a mesmerised superstition about its infallibility and finality, call their phenomenal acts as 'miracles'. The greatest miracle is that we expect miracles, and believe in them with infantile credulity, gulping down avidly the absurdities with a view to find an escape from our guilt-laden personalities. Before anyone 'makes' a miracle, we ourselves concoct, and see them. This does not, however, ignore the special powers (Vibhuti) a Yogi is able to acquire (according to Patanjali) in materialising objects, or levitating, or dematerialising, etc. The point is we who judge a Yogi through these and these alone and not through the peace and calm he radiates, often get a magic-man when we seek a Yogi. We must ourselves be prepared to receive a Yogi's blessings, and not get amazed by his 'magic' skills.
"Scientology may be more successfully organised as business venture than most of the Spiritualist churches which it succeeds and to some extent supplants. But it has much in common with them in seeking to blend pseudo-science and occult experiences in that special package deal which sells so well today. These and a host of other new competing cults strive to fill the gap left by the deadline of establishe-1 religion and reassort the primacy of mystical experience in the face of the dreary progress of secular- ism....We live in an age of marginal mysticalrecrudescence, a world where humanists seem positively archaic. Our vocabulary has been enriched, or at any rate added to, by a host of popular mystical expressions, which if enshrined in the special argot of the Underground, also spill over into gene- ral usage. We know what 'fresh-outs' are; what 'trips' are, and any one who wants to, can readily participate in psychedelic happenings in dance halls with evocative names like 'Middle Earth'. Although most of these names relate to drug taking, in its original and most extensive usage, it also carries strong mystical overtones."163
The passage so critical of what is happening in the spiritual world in the name of mystic experience does not only do credit to the author, but it does much credit to the newly developed faculty of comparative religion. One wonders, if this study had been developed in the 18th cent., when European scholarship and press were primarily engaged in indulging in scurrilous writings about Eastern religions, whether it would have inspired the scholars more empathetically towards the vast esoteric treasure of the Eastern continent. Undoubtedly such studies would have a profound effect on the Western churches. If the Western churches had adopted the reasonable attitude of the humanist towards mysticism of the East, without adopting the detestable imperialistic attitude of a superior race, not only would the Western mind have gained, and profitted enough to have avoided the catastrophes of World Wars, and the resultant waves of cynicism that has clouded the youth minds, but would also have greatly augmented the philosophic and metaphysical basis to its religious beliefs. A sad lack of it has caused the Western Churches to stand without a realistic basis for its dogmas. As a result, today, it appears to stand bare of values, even of plausibility. The youth of the West desire something more fundamental, and real. The vacuum left by the blatant and palpable want of a direct ethical and social sense of equity in the system produced by the Western religions, has not been successfully filled in by the Church, which still tries to protect its dogmas, with a seeming face-saving condescen- sion of accepting modern values. This ludicrous stage-make-up brings to a higher lime-light the emptiness of the beauty of an old hussy, who deserved all respect to the dignity that age bestows on experience. The nineteenth century had begun to sound the solidity of the Western church; the twentieth shocked it and rocked it by industrial politics and commercial frauds. Religion for the future man is going to adhere to the mystic mind. The striving generations are engaged in slicing out for them a place in the sun, where the air of unpolluted honest convictions could help them reach their own depth. They are out for reaching a fourth dimension where Truth is not only a Reality, but also a just Reality. This has to happen.
The Ancients of Eastern Tantra, in contrast, had much to contribute, both as a realistic approach, and as a tangible and possible way out. Its value has been, over the imperialistic centuries, systematically ignored. The mystic rites have been held to ridicule. For the justification of the grip of the aggressor the cultural and spiritual superiority of an ancient heritage has been again and again, by writers, misrepresented, and even mis-stated and mis-quoted. The study of comparative religions is gradually lifting up this intellectual barricade. The value of Tantra and Tantricism has been boldly brought out before the Western world by a consummate practitioner of Tibetan Tantra. We hear from him about the basis of the use of a sex-motivation for the cultivation of spiritualism.
Far from being magical or even mystical, Tantricism is essentially pragmatic, and it seeks a pragmatic explanation for all phenomena. As for the assertion that it is a perverted doctrine that is contrived to permit unlicensed indulgence in sexual and other forms of de- bauchery, this can only be said by those who have no knowledge of Tantricism. There are man of us in Tibet who disapprove of Tantra...; we believe that this path is too dangerous, and follow- ing the path of Buddha we try to concern ourselves with huma- nity as a whole, but not with a very few adepts for whom Tantras are suitable. Sexual energy and narcotic are recognised as being sources of power in the physical world. Sexual union in parti- cular is considered as the greatest creative act possible in this material world, and it is thought of as embodying the whole principle of creativity. To this the Tibetan Lamaed schools of Tantricism have added the dual principles of preservation and destruction. The appropriate rites to the uninitiated, read as though the participants were indulged in not only sexual activities but also in an orgy of blood. In almost any temple one may see sacred figures of deities, male and female, locked in sexual em- brace; and further they and other deities may be represented in either a peaceful or fierce aspect. These images symbolise the principles, not to induce the body to activity. These rites are performed with similar symbolism, and long before the novice is introduced to them, he is expected to have attained a complete mastery over his physical impulses. Any thought that the rites implied license to indulge in sexual activity, or to commit actual blood sacrifice, would be considered the greatest heresy. The power of sex cannot be denied, even by the most prudish; for they too were born of its power. The Tantras try to grasp the basic principles involved, and so arrive speedily at the true understanding of the nature of being.164
Besides Tantra there are some other forms of Saivas. The Viragama Tantra mentions the following: Samanya Saiva, Parea, Sriva, Mitra Saiva, Suddna Saiva. The Puranas mention Pasupatas, Lagudas, Kāpālas, Bhairavas, Somar. The Bhamati commentary of the Vedanta Sutra mentions the Mäheivaras, but subdivides them into four sections: Saivas, Paiupatas, Karunikas, or Kathakar, and Kapalikas. The Karunikas have also been named as Kathakas, or Kälämukhas. They are distinguished by such characteristics as covering body with the ashes from the crematory remains, using a skull-cup as an eating vessel, keeping a thick short stick in hand and filling a pitcher with wine for adoration. In the following pages we shall attempt to deal with some of them, and with the two trends of Tantra and Bhagavata influencing them.
We start with the most important of the minor sects, the famed Näthas. They had some influence in Northern India, specially in the area where Buddhism had been in control over a long time, viz., Bihar, Bengal, Nepal and partially Assam and Kashmir. This is the famous sect of Yogis known as the Natha, Siddhas, simply the Nathas.
2. The Nathas
There are almost sixty thousand Näthas in India. There are ten times more this number who indirectly conform to the Nätha (Kanphatta-the split-eared ones) ways, which include Siddhas, Sahajas, Bauls, Yogis, or Jugis, Avadhutas and Käpälas. Places like Hariharnätha (in Sonepur, Bihar), Gorakhnatha (Gorakhpur, in Uttar Pradesh), Tilla in the Punjab are known for devotees to the Näthas, although all the visitors are not Näthas by adoptation of the creed itself. Places like Varanasi (where there are temples dedicated to Viśvanatha, Bhairavanatha, Kedaranatha, etc.), Vaidyanatha, Kedaranatha, Pasupati- natha, Parsvanatha (in Chittagong) are highly esteemed by the Yogi- nathas. Many think that Puri Jagannatha, Konäraka and the Khajuraho temples observe or observed the Nätha rites. They are confused with the Bhairavas, who conform to rites considered as terrible, as well as with the more mystic and secluded Avadhutas. But the Nathas themselves are quiet, and much more austere in comparison. (The localities named are all Indian.)
They are generally known as Jugis, i.e., Yogis. Mendicancy distinguishes them from other ascetics. They travel at times single, and at times with a disciple, or a female companion, throughout India, and are held in respect everywhere. There are female Näthas known as Nathinis. But these are mostly widows, who have taken to the religious life of Yoga. Since widow-remarriage was prohibited amongst the higher caste, some of the widows embraced the Nätha cult, and took to a way of life more or less independent of their restrictive society.
The greatest names in the Nätha-Pantha (the way of the Nathas) are Matsyendra (or Macchindra or Minendra)-Nätha, Gorakhnatha, Jalandharanatha and Haḍi-pa. It is believed that the Nätha-way developed in Bengal with headquarters in the Taraf lands of Nepal. Tibetans and the Mahayana Buddhist Tantricism contributed much to the development of the Näthas. Nepal itself with the famous Pasupatinatha, is a great centre of the Näthas. We have literature of their Yogic experiences; particularly the Näthas treasure a set of books from Jalandhara, and recorded instructions from Matsyendranatha and Gorakhnatha. The first two of these wrote in Bengali and Sanskrt, and the latter one in ancient Rajasthani and Hindi, which is regarded as some of the earliest forms of Hindi language and literature. These are known as Dohās and Gathas. Gorakçavijaya is popular chronicle, which is sung in ballad-forms throughout Northern India by the devouts.
Matsyendra who had introduced this particular Yoga system got it popularised by his able disciple, Gorakṣanätha, who had two well-known disciples in Räni Mayanamati and Jalandhara-nätha. Both Jalandhara and Gopicandra (a Prince of Bengal) as well as his mother Mayanamati, are historical names. Another name, that of king Bhartrhari of Ujjain, himself a Nätha Yogi, adds historicity to this sect.
The Gurus of the Näthas are usually referred as being born without seminal or uterian tarnish. Thus, having no trace of parenthood these are known to have belonged directly to the same caste as Siva or Rudra. This gives them the title to the use of 'Natha' as their surname. Princess Suryavati, daughter of King Sudhanvä, of the Cola dynasty, had a son born to her as a gift from Siva. Since she had this son through her Yogic power, the followers of this system became known as Yogi. They are also known as Kan-phatta, because they had to pierce the cartileges of their ears, and pass a heavy ring, known as Dariana, around, which, by its weight, cut longish slits up to their ear-lobes. Even Gautama Buddha was supposed to have this mark on him. The Näthas maintain a precious fond regard for Gautama Buddha, and respect a number of Jinas.
The Nathas believe in the Sarira-Sadhana, known as Nätha Yoga. which advises its followers to train 'the body' in a manner that the functions of the physical state of the personal body, as well as those of the physical outside, became related as mere mechanisms, could be guided by the will of the Yogi. Outwardly viewed, the physical laws of bodies appear to be violated; but for the Yogis, and to the Yogis, this kind of contraries appears to be quite logical and easy, provided the Yogi in question does not fall under the temptation of the occult. Thus, acts like levitation, awakening of the dead, living within a dead body, or living within any other body, understanding the conversations of the other forms of life, of a tree, a blade of grass, and ant, a tiger, an elephant, a fowl or a fish becomes to a Yogi a normal affair. The great Bhairavas of the Näthas, whom we discuss below, have the names in a couplet. These are: Adinatha, Matsyendra, Šavarananda, Cauranginätha, Minanatha, Gorakṣanatha, Virupaksanatha and Vilaganatha. Some of them are still believed to be alive, for death of them is only a place of being, and completely within control. The decay of cells which causes death being a change in body, and they being masters of the body, such changes which cause the decay of cells do not affect them.
A number of legends about these Gurus of the Näthas are current in Bengal. Ballads and plays have been written on these legends, and in the manner of miracle plays are still played in the villages. The legend of Jalandhara, also known as Hadi-Pä, is movingly similar to the legend of Gautama Buddha. He has been associated with royal families of the time. The famous Chaurangee Place in Calcutta bears the memory of Cauranginatha, who had founded a township there; similarly, the Kall temple of Kalighat is supposed to have been founded by Goraksanatha himself; and the nearby Siva temple of Nakuleśvara is known to be a seat of the Näkulisa Bhairavas.
The Nathas are known as Navanathas from the nine Gurus they accept as their chiefs. The lists differ, but the names we have mentioned are common to all the lists. All of them admittedly were Saivas, although many mistake them to be a sect of the Buddhists. Like Saivas they wear the car-rings, they visit Saiva pilgrimages; they worship the Bhairavas and Mother Käll, like a section of the Tantric Saivas. The cult has been common amongst non-castes and outcastes, which again confirms their Šaiva leanings. The Nathas are confused with the Buddhists. This is so because Matsyendranatha is considered to be identical with Avalokites- vara, the fourth Bodhisattva. But there is a number of other reasons to believe that because of this honour paid to Matsyendranatha alone, it would be wrong to take the Näthas as Buddhists. The Mantras that the Yogis, or the Näthas chant are two: Siva-Goraksa, and the seed-syllable of Avalokitesvara. A seventeenth century edict in Nepal says: "Hail to the Purusa, the Brahma in body, known as Matsyendranatha by the Yogis, and Lokeśvara by the Buddhists." The identity of Matsyendranatha is complete, but that does not finally make the Nathas turn into Buddhists. There are twelve sects amongst the Näthas. These are actually twelve classes which feature some of the characteristics of the caste system, although the Yogis should be above any classification. Like horse amongst the Gauchos, Camels amongst the Arabs, Llamas amongst the Peruvians, 'isms' in the socialistic communities and dollar in America, caste is an obsessional topic in India, where even the Mussalmans and the Christians do not escape their caste-undertones.
The cult of the Näthas is also known as the Avadhuta-Marga, Siddha Märga or Yoga Marga. We hear of the Yogis and the Siddhas as technically separate forms of religious beliefs, and invariably these have been associated with Siva and Saivism. We also hear of another class known specifically as the 'Siva People', who, by their disaffection of Caste, were counted amongst the Saivas. Matsyendranatha is traditionally regarded as the first expounder of what is now known as Hatha Yoga. It is said that he got it from Siva himself. Some of the Asanas mentioned in Hatha Yoga are known as Matsyendra-Asana and Gorakṣa Asana.
Nada and Nadi
The Nathas emphasised on the esoteric significance of Nada and Nadi We have already noted the theory of Nada in our study of the Trika. The mystic syllable Om is accepted as the sound-form of Nada. The cosmic sound is regarded as the most vibrant medium to contact the cosmic Consciousness, and Mantra becomes extremely effective in this way for the Yogis of the Nätha sect.
Nadi, of course, is the system of the nerves so well described in the study of the Cakras in Tantra. The Sadhana of Nadi concerns itself with the control of body and impulses, while Cakra concerns itself with the esoteric development of transcendental Consciousness.
Some regard the Näthas as the forerunners of the famous Sahajiyä saints. The Sahajas accept Nada-Sadhana; in rare cases, however, they adopt the Hatha Yoga which is a favourite with the Bauls yet another sect considered under the Näthas, the Nada practitioners are closer to the orthodox school because of the fact that the Upanisads mention the ex- cellence of the mystic letter. If Matsyendra and Acarya Lui Päda are regarded to be the identical personality, as some do think, then the Näthas have to be regarded as canonical sect. But we find some more concern- ing evidences to believe that Hatha Yoga is associated with the Nathas. In the book Goraksa Bedha, Goraksa Nätha has indicated certain rites which favour Hatha Yogic practices. Siva Samhita and Gheranda Sam- hită refer to certain Asanas known as Matsyendra Asana, Jalandhara Bandha, Sunya-väda, and Kundalini Tattva. They also refer to certain Mudras known as Amaroli, and Vajroli. They are also given to the very mystic Khecari and Kundalini Sadhana.
All these indicate Hatha Yoga, although Lui Pada and some other Siddhas favoured the Sahaja way. In a treatise known as Amanaska- Yoga-Vijam the devotee has been advised to attain his Realisation through a Yogic practice which is based on Understanding and knowledge. It is a form of Dvaitadvaita (Dualistic monism), similar to Tantra view of the Supreme. The body made of the Sapta Dhatu (Rasa, Asthi, Mansa, Majjä, Meda, Asrk and Sukra (Humour, bone, flesh, marrow, fat, blood and semen respectively) has to be conquered through the heat radiated by Yoga; for this one has to depend on the control of breathing as prescribed by Pranayama. 1 "Hatha is a word composed of Ha and Tha, when Ha stands for the Sun and Tha for the Moon; the former in Prana, and the latter in Apăna."
Some of the Yogis in the Nätha cult recommend Ulta Sadhand (contrary practice) which is another form of physical Yoga. It is meant for getting rid of the dictate of the demands of the 'Body'. It ultimately makes the entire body-system function along a contrary way, so that the different respiratory, circulatory and digestive organs come under control. Such control over the body, and its functions could lead one to immortality in the sense that his death comes under his control too.
Han-Fa, Käni-Fi, Kanu-Pä, Hädi-Pá are some of the great Natha Yogis. På or Få means 'Maestros' in Tibetan. Kumbhari Pab, Śringari Pab are great names, where the same På or Få became Pab. Taus Pab forms another Nätha, and as such are Šaivas. Most of the saints amongst the Pabs are born of the lowest of castes, which did not prevent them. from attaining to the greatest respect amongst the Saivas. The Siva- narayanis, another Bengal sect, that had gained wide followings amongst the lowest of castes borrowed much of their Yogic ways from the Näthas and the Hatha Yogis. The form was known as Käyä Sadhana.
The legend of Gopicandra and Mayanamati (Narrated later) so dear amongst the people of the Northern India, has many recensions, some of which could be traced forward to the legends of other lands, their common distinguishing characteristic being mysticism.
But to consider the Näthas as pacific would be wrong. In fact, they could be militant as only the British came to know in the Sannyasi Rebellion, when they spear-headed a great Guerilla movement in the provinces of Bengal and Bihar and Orissa, then suffering from an acute famine created by the evil-minded planters of the times. Many of the thousand upon thousands of starving souls provided cheap labour for these planters, then having business across the seas in other continents. The Yogis are generally illiterate, but this did not prevent them to claim at least three to four thousand graduates of the University. They are sensitive, alert, active and maintain a good health with devoted loyalty towards the members of their sect. The present militant political group known as the Ananda-Märgis have Avadhůtas amongst their leadership, and as such are in the tradition of the redoubtable Nätha Saivas.
They worship no image; they worship living birds; and sometimes live fish; but never kill them; always these, after years, are released to a free life. They call their god Dharma, and the Dharma Yogi and the Nathas have all become one under the flag of the Nätha Saivas. There are many clans in Bengal with Nätha as their surname. And in most of these cases these are, or ought to be, Saivas.
Baba Gambhiranatha's headquarters in Tilla (Punjab) has become the headquarter for the North-Indian Näthas. One of the sons of Guru Nanak, Sri Cand, was honoured as an incarnation of Lord Siva; but his ways, the ways of the Udasis, as they are called, could only be called a branch of the Näthas and the Yogis. The whole of the lower Himalaya range, and specially the Western parts, are filled with temples and Caravansarais (Akhadas) dedicated in the name of the Nathas. Pilgrims could stay there without having to pay any charge. Gambhiranatha had been a great saint. These Nathas accept Kapila and Dattatreya as great path-finders, and pay them homage.
The liberalism of the Nätha cult, and its currency amongst the lower caste, made it popular with the Sahaja Vaisnavas. These in Bengal are known as Bäuls (mad men); and those of the thousands of the outcastes who were converted against their wishes to Islam, found in this cult a mid- way rest house, from where they could relate themselves to their dear tribal and Hindu gods and deities.
The Bauls form an endearing and adored community, like the Dervish, in Bengal, because of the treasure of their mystic songs. The Bauls' songs relate to Yoga and Sadhana, but use highly symbolic language, which are often full of witticisms and literary puzzles. These are invariably profound in character, and pacific by nature.
The Cult and its Forms
Natha cult is Saiva in its main trend. Its faith corresponds with Saivism and Tantra. Use of the Rudraksa (Elaeocarpus canitrus) beads for ornaments around the necks, the snake motif (keeping and training live snakes), drug-taking as a means of conserving 'Power', painting triple stripes of ashes across the forehead, the arms and the breast, lighting fire for Sadhana, using of a short crooked stick, bearing orange or ochre cotton cloths, wearing matted locks indicate their Saiva trends. In some cases these are excepted, but by and large, the Näthas are distinguished by these marks, as by their ear-rings.
The celebrated snake charmers of India, after these Nätha Yogis, live by intimate friendliness with the terrible venomous serpents, reptiles and scorpions as other wild pets like monkeys, mongoose, squirrels and iguanas. They are extremely popular amongst the village folks, to whom they sym- bolise living divine assistance, as they are the walking chest of the tradi- tional forest drugs and medicines which could cure many ailments of men and cattles. They make barrenness fertile, unwelcome pests vanish and social disgraces disappear. The popularity of the Nathas, almost super- stitious in its tenacity, is not based on looney moon-songs; they are realists; and they confront any mundane and human problem with the urgency and competence of a family member. Their power of maintain- ing the secrets of the various families is almost unassailable. They are feared, but also dearly wanted. They wield a force which is spiritually inspired.
Certain mystic ways are special to the Nathas. Brass bracelets; garlands known as Hinglaj and Asapuri (the first indicates a great Tantric Sakti-Sadhana-centre in Baluchistan; and the second means 'hope- fulfiller"); a garland named Seli, made of strings woven out of human hair, or sheep wool, with a black piece of horn attached to it, and known also as Pavitri (see notes) are imperative parts of their uniform. A Seli holds a small ring known as Pavitri, from which is hung the horn-made black piece known as Singh-Nada [Nada (sound) made of Horn; or the Roar of a lion]. This particular ring and loop is symbolic of the cause of creation.
Dariana, the name given to the ear-ring, must be made of the hide of a rhinoceros, Rhinoceros hide is considered highly sacred to the Natha Yogis who offer water to their deads from cups made of this hide, parti- cularly of the median horns (cf., Śräddha (i.e., crematory-offerings) Kända in Visnupurana where Rhino meat has been highly praised as offering to the dead). The Nathas pay a great importance to the Daršana rings; to lose it is a great disgrace, and communal humiliation almost immediately follows. In the olden times as a punishment for such carelessness the offender used to be buried alive. They greet each other by the mystic word Adel which is a form derived from Adis, and means "Thou art the Brahman in form'.
The orthodox Hindus do not consider the Nätha, the Jugis (or Yogis), the Kanphattas, and others of these sects with acceptable esteem within their community and society. In community religious functions although these are served food along with the Vaisnava Bauls and Bairagis, and given priority of protocolic honour before other guests, yet, besides considering them as belonging to the great ocean of Hinduism and Saivas, they have not found any social acceptance. This is mainly due to some of their habits and forms. The heterodox methods adopted by the Nathas in performing their crematory rites keep them arms away from the orthodox. Although in conformity to the general Hindu stream of life they too touch fire on the lips of the dead, actually their dead are buried, seated with hands collected on the lap in the posture of a Yogi. (I am inclined to believe that this special trait could be traced to some pre- historic culture or alien practice now lost within the main stream. Such conjectures do knock at the gates of probability for admission to historical acceptance, but I could offer it no genuine ticket of authoritative mintage yet.) Whilst this, together with their non-acceptance of any imaged god, or for that matter, any god, except the abstract principle of Dharma have gone a long way to attract a number of Mussalmans back to the Hindu fold. These beliefs and acceptance of widowed females as yoga-partners from any of the classes have caused amongst the Brahmanical Hindus a good deal of resentment against them. Naturally, as dissidents and protestants they defiantly make little of the Brähmanical social order, and for their living they depend on any form of work, some of which is still considered very lowly, as the disposal of dead bodies, skinning dead animals, and tanning hides. Work, which in the Brahmanical order appears to be a stigma, and a sign of the underprivileged low caste, is to the Jugis and the Näthas an engagement of high esteem. They avoid begging. It is only now that these ideas are changing due to the rapid change of society under the pressure of industrialised urbanity and development of city slums.
The Yogis and the Nathas are always considered highly as pedlars of medicinal herbs, tamers of serpents, and actual skilled performers or miracles. Their powers in these fields are accepted without a challenge and people dare not offend them at all. Wherever they move, they are held in more awe than in any loving regard.
The greatest festival for the Näthas is, of course, Šivaratri, held in Caitra (March-April), followed by a great festival known as Neel. They assemble at a given traditional centre, and call the assembly as Gajan, and take part in self-excruciating performances known as Caraka.
"Amongst non-Bengali Gorakh-panthi Yogis, however, Siva has probably less to do, and the Saiva element of the religion may have come from Matsyendranatha, alleged to be the Guru of Gorakṣanatha. In. fact, strong Vaisnava association in Western India, Buddhistic associations in Nepal and Eastern India, and even Islamic touches in isolated cases make up the complicated texture of the widely spread Nätha cult. Sakta elements are naturally and strongly represented, as the list of places of pilgrimage shows. The cult had never been seriously theistic. The illusive and tangible supreme Being, who is manifested in the universe created out of Him, is called by the epithet Niranjana (speckless), Śünya (void), Anadi (beginningless), Adinatha (primal Lord), etc. The story of the beginning of the creation according to the Nätha cult, shows. remarkable affinity with the Rg Vedic Hymn of Creation, 17 and the open- ing lines of the Manu Samhita. Before the beginning of creation there was all compassing darkness and void. The impulse if creation made a ripple on the void, resulting in a bubble and an egg. This was hatched, and out of it came the primal God.18 The egg shells formed the upper and the lower limits of the Universe." From the seat of Adinatha was born his alter-ego Ketaka or Manaša. The gods Brahma, Viņņu and Śiva came out of her without any physical efforts on her part. Brahma sprang out of her mouth, Visnu from her forehead; but Siva proved to be more practical, and came out of the source from out of which all beings born issue forth. These three had to keep on the work of creation going. But hearing that their father had gone for penance on the banks of the Balluka they too like the four sons of Brahma (Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana, Sanatkumāra) went for penancing at the same place without having the least desire to get engaged with the business of procreation. Adinatha wanted to test the boys as well as the degree of non-attachment they had mastered. He floated himself down the river as a rotten decom- posing cadavar. The smell made Brahma take to his heels; Visnu waived away the smell, but did nothing more. Only Śiva recognised the father-cadavar, and having secured it, cremated it. The five cardinal saints of the cult were products of the resultant ashes of Adinatha. These are: Mina, Gorakṣa, Hadi-Pa, and Caurangee.
The boys did not want to get engaged in reproduction, which Śiva's consort Gauri (the White goddess?) did not approve. In order to make their minds change Gauri herself began to play with the boys in a manner which convinced them about the charms of the female. Minanatha went to the country of the Rambhas (Kadali in Bengali), the proverbial nymphs; Häḍi-På took to Mayanamati; Känu-Pä was engaged with Dahuka; and the one known as Sisupä (Caurangee) had his step mother for a consort. Gorakṣanatha alone remained unmoved by any such charms. Gauri, thus rebuffed, stooped to means which a mother need not have taken to induce a son to embrace a marriage vow. But not only did Goraksa resist, in fact Gauri was humiliated by his Yogic counterpowers, specially when she had reluctantly adopted informal devices to bring him to a nuptial bed. Siva intervened, and saved Gauri from a thorough disgrace, by making Gorakṣanatha marry a girl equally saintly and austere. What would Goraksanatha do now? To go the way of all flesh?
Comes the nuptial night. The bride enters well-decked. Instead of an expectant husband she finds on her bed an infant howling and scream- ing for a breast feed! The bride, a saint herself, stood aghast and bemused. Though a saint, her womanly pride was touched to the quick. She took a deep breath, held the child, and put his screaming mouth where it craved to be. Gorakṣanatha now came to himself. Now started the illuminating discourse between the two Parent-figures of the cult.
"I am neither a female nor a male; just a driftwood (the same words as in the Svetasvatara Upanisad IV: 3), What value sensibilities? What worth reactions?"
Yes; all that was true, the girl knew; but what about the continuity of life? If bad, it should be bad for all. What was the solution to the riddle of creation and continuity? Is Siva wrong? Does marriage of saints means spread of barrenness and undoing nature's purpose? It is clear that the Näthas were out to spring a surprise on the negative and decadent Buddhist canons. Goraksa stood bewildered. Siva intervened; and through His aid she received a piece of cloth: She had a drink of milk, in which a piece of Siva's loin cloth was allowed to soak; and this drink resulted in the birth of Karpatti Nätha (Karpatti meaning 'a piece of loin cloth). Gorakṣanátha then freed from his responsibility retired to his abode of penance in Vijayanagar. (The Vedic injunction of 'Let not the thread break' was respected thus by the Nathas. Life was to continue).
The Nätha literature is pretty expansive; and great commentators have worked on them. The historicity of the Nätha Gurus is established through these works. A study of these works leaves no doubt that to the Nathas doctrinal postulates the Vajrayana and Tantric Mahayana systems had contributed much of their esotericism and eschatology. The Yogic rites of the Näthas is a conglomeration of Patanjali, Väda- rayana, Mahāyāna, Dattatreya Avadhuta rites and Aghora Tantric rites. Hatha Yoga and Käyä Sadhana along with Sunya-vada and Sunya Sadhana also found a place in these works, due to which some of the ways of the Nathas were respected, even by Islamic mystics. Matsyendra Nätha was identified with Avalokitesvara of the Tibetan Mahāyāna Buddhists. Cordier's catalogue of Tibetan manuscript mentions Sanskrt treatises by Jalandhari Hädi-Pä on Tantric Buddhism. Känu-På has been recognised by some as Käpälika Yogi. One of his poems says:
O Dombi (Hide-hunting girl), you sell guts and wicker baskets: yet for your sake I have abandoned my life as a roving ascetic. You are a Dome-lass; whilst I am a Käpälika, yet to be fascinating to you I have decorated myself with bone-necklaces.
Sex and the Näthas
The question arises how would one associate human lust, or even sexual union as a spiritual exercise? The question is pertinent and quite understandable, specially to the slaves of forms and traditions, beings who unknown to themselves have got themselves imprisoned within their preconceived notions and dogma, or who have got themselves brainwashed by centuries of hypocrisy. An unrealistic forced celebacy as a religious fetish has done untold harms to moral institutions. Dr. Ananda Coomaraswamy has written a paper on the cult of Sahaja, one of the cultish fraternities of the Näthas. One of their architects, Candi-dās, a Vaisnava and a Baul has bemoaned, "The world cries 'Sahaja and Sahaja! Which of them knows what Sahaja really means?" So that we at least, do, let us quote from Dr. Coomaraswamy:
The last achievement of all thought is a recognition of the identity of spirit and matter, subject and object; and this re-union is the marriage of heaven and hell, the reaching out of a contracted uni- verse towards its freedom, in response to the laws of Eternity for the production of Time. There is then no sacred or profane, spiri- tual or sensual, but everything that lives is pure and void. This very world of birth and death is also the great abyss.
In India we could not escape the conviction that sexual love has a deep and spiritual significance. There is nothing with which we can better compare the mystic union of the finite with its infinite ambient-that one experience which proves itself and is the only ground of faith-than a self-oblivion of earthly lovers lost in each other's arms, where 'each is both'. Physical proximity, contact and interpenetration are the expressions of love, only because love is the recognition of identity. These two are one flesh because they have remembered their unity of spirit. This is moreover a fuller identity than the mere sympathy of two individuals; and each as individual has now no more significance for the outer than the gates of heaven for one who stands within. It is an algebraic equa-tion where the equation is the only truth, and the terms may stand for anything. The least intrusion of the ego, however, involves a return to the illusion of duality.
This vision of the beloved has no necessary relation to empirical reality. The beloved may be in every ethical sense of the word unworthy and the consequence of this may be socially or ethically disastrous; but nevertheless the eye of love perceives her divine perfection and infinity, and is not deceived. That one is chosen by the other is therefore no occasion of pride for the same perfection and infinity is present in every grain of sand, and in the rain drop as much as in sea.
To carry through such a relationship, however, and to reach a goal, to really progress and not merely to achieve on intimation- for this it is necessary that both the lover and the beloved should be of one and same spiritual age and of the same moral fibre. For if not, as Candidas says the woman who loves an unworthy man would share the fate of the flower that is pierced with thorns; she will die of a broken heart; and the youth who falls in love with a woman of lower spiritual degree will be tossed to and fro in great unrest, and give way to despair.170
St. Theresa, explaining Union, has said that one in union must never refuse anything. Everything, when and if demanded, is His or Hers. Refuse nothing; and yet one must not 'fall'. How could this be achieved? Kissing a hungry tiger? Testing the sharpness of dagger by passing the tongue over it? To make a bed of flames and sleep comfortably? Who did ever hear of this? The Sahaja lovers did.
Sacrifice all you have; yes, all; but outwardly remain indifferent. No, do not dramatise. This is exactly how it should be. Do not hang upon, dote and lave upon. Seek, seek and ever seek to extract the last aroma of the essence; the last atom of rays from the globe of love; but only in essence. The crude is just the medium for achieving that essence; but the essence is what is sought. Are you thirsty? Then take the jump; and swim. But it is salt water. No drinking now. It would only add to the thirst, and lead to death. Swim; but do not drink; until you reach sweet water. One day you shall. It is better to perish in the quest of the Sublime, than to survive on fake and dirt. Sounding romantic? Sound- ing idealistic? Listen to what Kuprin, the Russian says: "So far as love is concerned, I tell you that even this has its cliffs which one out of a million is able to climb!"171
What is this spiritualism? The Western hedonist impatiently asks. This kind of salvation has been described. "It is a release from the ego and from becoming: it is the realisation of the Self, and of entity- "where nothing of ourselves is left in us'. This perfect state must be one without desire, because desire implies a lack.17 Ego eludes, and drives will from behind. The ego-less performs the same act, but makes will drive the ego, if necessary, by driving ego out! Action then is inaction.
Then and then only is the lover free-when he is free from willing. He who is free is free to do what he will,-but first, as Nietzsche says, he must be such as can will; or as Rumi expresses it, must have surrendered will. This by no means is the same as to do what one likes, or to avoid what one does not like, for he is very far from free who is subject to the caprices of the ego,178
Must we then have always a recourse to sexual intercourse, and must freedom be dependent on the association of a woman? Is it playing with fire, and living in the same cage with a tigress, and serpent? Yes; and No! It depends on temperament; the aspirant's make up, breeding, psyche, rhythms, ever which even your embryonic pre-natal self, even as much as the last picture seen in the theatre has exerted their unnoticed but tremendous influence. Why must we hold the brief for this way or the other? Sahaja is the way. It has produced great saints, free souls. It has produced world-figures to whom millions have paid homage. We cannot explain anything. We are not to justify. We try to analyse the events and the facts as they are. Adultery is not a crime of the bed alone. The adulterer commits a thousand fornications even with his bare eyes, his lusty mind, his colourful and famished desires. To embrace a woman without any desire is not necessarily moral, if anything, it could be hypocritical, or worse, pathological. Gitä says, "See action in inaction, and inaction in action; then alone you know of action. The really perfect man of action has to act like a Yogi." Gitä hints at an active life; but the driving force must not be desire. When you are at it, you are at it; and it must be acted upon perfectly; for the time of the act you have only one duty, that is to act perfectly and to the best of your ability. No other desire, other than the perfection of attainment, should motivate your action. This would explain why to be spiritual is not to be a dud towards the sensitive world. To be opaque or neutral is to be dead to Will. Senses are there to function. Their functioning is one's duty; God-given charge. The body is a God-made machine, and its functionalism must remain actively sensitive and apt, as it is neither godly, nor human to remain irresponsive to a charge laid down by God. To be spiritual is not to be insensitive. A spiritualist actually feels more than the common type can; he hears more than others do, and so on for every organ. The spiritualist is only keener. He is much more sensitive. Whereas the common indivi- dual is an ordinary radio set, and receives this or that station, the spiritualist is an oversensitive seismograph recording the remotest, subtlest break in equipoise in the unfathomed regions of the ethereal, cosmic space, and outer space.
His embraces are morally, spiritually, consummately more total, more engrossing, more absorbing, more aware of a glory that is unattainable within the limit of the bodies alone. "It is easy not to walk; but we have to walk without touching grounds"
The Western attitude towards sex, and the type of freedom it advocates and then cultivates is demonstrative of its age-long fascination for material- ism and inclination for hedonism, which has brought upon a potentially prosperous society the stifling cramps of an extreme form of misanthropy and cynicism. This callous disregard for human values in preference to the childish game and pursuit for acquisitiveness is being cultivated at the cost of the freedom and happiness of the millions of the dispossessed. This sort of sexual freedom is typical of a generation in panic, and driven to be on the run; and naturally, and helplessly this harassed generation strives to grab and secure as early as possible, and as much as possible, by any means possible, for the means have nothing to do with the ends. For them it is now, or never; for the spiritualists it is for ever and ever.
Sahaja has nothing to do with this kind of Hedonism, or with this kind of epicureanistic decadence of faith and human love. The doctrine of non-pursuit as advocated by Tao has to be fundamentally grasped before Sahaja is understood and appreciated. Only the timid, the coward, the insecure would avoid the issue by calling it idealistic.
Those whose view of life is exclusively ethical, will hold that sexual intimacy must be sanctified, justified, or expiated by at least the wish to beget or to accept the consequent responsibilities of parenthood. There is indeed something inappropriate in the position of those who pursue the pleasures of life, and veade by artificial means their natural fruit. But his point of view pre- supposes that the sexual intimacy was a sought pleasure; what we have discussed is something quite other than this, and without an element of seeking,174
3. Siddhas (Mähesvaras)
Some esoteric yogic practices have been as ancient as the hills. In a compounded way, these are given a package deal under the term Tantricism. The controversy whether Tantra and Tantricism is Vedic or not appears to be, against the light of the enquiry at issue, quite academic. The fact is that the tribal cultish practices in India, living side by side with many other sophisticated trends, have syncretically created their own heritage; and today it is easy to find the traces of the one in the practices of the other. This is due to the basic catholicity which the land and Mind of India has bestowed on almost all of its inhabitants. The Indians are more conservative of their social frame-work than of their religious opinions.
The chief distinction between Tantra and Tantric rites lies in their emphasis on the practical side of the Sädhanäitself than on the speculative casuistry of mere theorisations. This is evidenced by the fact that most of the Tantric books record the know-how more than why-s and how-s.
In understanding Tantra and Tantric rites we must first of all distinguish between body culture (Kaya Sadhana) and physical culture. The latter is but an expression of developing the athlete's prowess; whilst the former aims at developing the spiritualist's Power of Will, and through it the scope for the generation of a special Power which electrifies Consciousness, and organises Skill. Tantra concerns itself with Käyä Sadhana for the purpose of empowering the Will, or to state it more precisely, to extract from within the utmost power of Will, and make it work for a World-good. This power of Consciousness resides within the Body; and the realisation of this Power depends on securing a perfect control over the body, which is but a medium.
When I am united to my alter-ego, physically, I am not so aware of the mademoiselle or the madam, of Rani, or Roma, or Jane, or Judith, but I am, and must be, fully aware of the bodyless, timeless, eternity of Joy which creates and uncreates the thrill which acts as the Matrix of the unnumbered planets and stars or as the miracle of the sonic pheno- menon and the Sublimity of the Spirit of all Beings.
Then and then alone I shall have invoked, aroused and assimilated that cosmic thrill for which all spiritualists crave, and about which the sensualists are as ignorant as a snail is about the charms of a rainbow.
This might sound as idealistic, vague, or even worse, romantic. But the Tantrics believe this to be the truth, the Power that be; the Power that alone is conscious; the Power which is called by Patanjali as Visoka Jyotismati (a luminous cognition free of sorrow).177 It is not an abstract principle; it is more alive. It is Power itself. It is immanent in the Universe; immanent in the Body; immanent in the microcosm giving it a logical support for becoming immanent in the macrocosm. It is Sakti. This is what the Hatha Yogis strive to unleash, and attain liberation in ecstasy. And without attaining personal liberation, no one could aspire to liberate others. Within the body itself are deeply laid the roots of this awakening. It is the upturned Pipal tree, to know the mystery of which is to arrive at the heart of the Truth. Thus the body is the great organ out of which peal after peal of celestial music, the Näda, would flow over, and saturate the universe. This is the greatest support for the Käyä-Sadhana recommended in the Hatha-Yoga system. This is Tantric because of the aim, not because of the means. If the other systems of Tantra advocate in favour of the Cakras, the Lotuses or the Kundalini, they mean well; it is not the means that matters at all; all sects and branches of Tantra aim at reaching the same source of Power and Power alone.
This difference of means has given to the esoteric world of the Hindus the many Tantric sects. These are: the Mahäyäna, the Vajrayana, the Vaisnava-Sahaja and the various other Tantric echoes, inclusive of some Jaina schools. These form a pack together by virtue of their common daring and firm courage to base their practice on sexo-yogic plans. From our previous studies on Tantra and its relation to matriarchy we know that basically all forms of Tantra to be genuine must not shrink from daring even the sexo-genic practices. In this trend no Tantra of no country or culture, recent or ancient, sought an escape. They called it Serpent Power, and symbolised it with a serpent motif, only because it was as dangerous as playing with the tempers of a hydra-headed serpent. The Hindus worship the idea of Krsna dancing on the hood of such a monster, and even finding in the process a sportive mood so that he could play on his flute. It conveys the added significance of the Yogi's extreme ease and grace in the Liberated state, when he is rhythmically attuned with the world of cosmic sonance, the Näda. The popularity of the serpent motif in all the religions of the world, ancient and modern, is proverbial.
This is the basis of Saivism. Śiva is worshipped as a State, charac- teristically static and negative. Śiva is the Sleeping One. This is only one of the conceptual forms. There is yet another form. This Śiva is worshipped with Sakti. She is dynamic and energetic; she is the Power that is not only conscious, but also the urge that by impregnating herself bursts into many, and fills the created phenomena with whirls of actions and motions, which like a perpetual wheel, keeps on rolling and rolling, spinning and spinning. To control that, is to reach the centre of this, acti- vity, and thereby to reach at the bottom of the mystery of this duality, and find that in real coitus the two become one and only one. The two seek to be One.
The first of the processes suggests Sadhana along the Nivrtti Märga, the way of abstinence; and the second, of Tantra, suggests the way of inducements and impulses, i.e., the Pravetti Märga. Śaivism follows both the ways; or it would be more fair to say that Saivism contains both. What it does definitely not contain is the phallistic excesses of erotic debauches, which have been carried on everlastingly, at every turn of human civilisation, under one or another pretext. Whenever culture has been overstrained with urbanity, military power, or material glut, or all the three combined, religion has been reduced to a mockery, morality to a mask, and sex-orgies to a vogue. It is a tragedy that, as with learning. so with power, ultimately an excess in either has led to misconceptions, and growth of cynicism. Cynicism is the price intellectual thinking pays to indiscriminate and unbalanced materialistic excess.
How could we ever escape the duality of the source of manifestation? How could we escape the fact that true neutrality must counterbalance two opposites? Within the body itself run the two counter forces, one unmindful of the other, and create confusions, tensions and sorrows. Idd and Pingald being under control, Susumand gets the chance of awakening and acts in a manner which only fools would call miracles.
Pre-Buddhist Tantra and the Three Siddhas
Long after the death of Buddha, when the wheel of Dhamma and Sangha was moving at a much slower pace, it came to face a gigantic con- frontation with the monolithic Hindu society. The Hindu society before Buddha had very little in common with the Hindu society after the Buddhistic flood. History does not turn back; and the new society had left behind the old definitions of Varna and Asrama; the Aranyaka society and the Upäsană form had forever gone into the dark chambers of history. Yet when the heyday of Buddhism, and the Buddhist princes were over, when the laws of the land did no longer provide a privileged protection to the Dhamma of the common man, when the neo-Hindu re- generation surged up once again, the leviathan of Hinduism started to gobble up the Dhamma of the great Lion-hearted Buddha. Yet so power- ful and cogent were the ways of the Buddha, it became impossible to efface the glory of his influence entirely. Although we hear of persecu- tions and destructions of both Hindu and Buddhistic institutions during this period of cultural upheaval, basically, due to the very nature of the people concerned, belligerency was restricted within human limits, and forced-conversions were neither countenanced nor condoned. The tole- rant Hindu accepted the spirit of give and take. Thus came the mixtures which resulted in the various Tantric Sädhaná-forms, which became of their heterodoxical rejection of the caste institutions had to be accom- modated under the heterodoxic god Śiva, the classical challenger of the Deva-purism and aristocracy.
Thus evolved the various Tantric sects, most of which tend to expose the Buddhistic undertones, and overtones of local, and in certain special cases, alien practices. Like the Sahajas and the Näthas the Sufis of India, when these appeared in history, illustrated the peculiarities of the Kaya-Sadhand, the Bodhi leading to ultimate liberation; they along with the Siddhas of old, adhered to the principles of the void and Nada. A philo. sophy like the monistic Trika could not have grown in any other part of India, but in Kashmir where several cultural trends met in a common borderland. It was there that scholars like Abhinavagupta advocated the exquisite pragmatism of Tantra and Vedanta, Šaivism and Śaktism. The theory of Andhata-Yoga involved Muslims of the royal blood like Dara Shikoh, the great Mughal Prince and Scholar, as well as the saint Mansur Halaj, who was executed, like Dara Shikoh, under the pressures of the in- sistence of the diehard Muslim Divines. His only crime was that he said, 'I and He are one'.
The Siddhas have been mentioned already. There is yet another minor sect who are considered amongst the Saivas. That Siva has been fond of the Siddhas and the Caranas has been mentioned throughout the Puranas. The Siddhas, like the Gandharvas, Kinnaras and Caranas were fond of music and dance. This was decidedly one of the usual forms of their religious pursuits. They are the Raseśvara Siddhas, Mäheśvara Siddhas and, of course, the Nätha Siddhas.
We pay Nature's debts by relinquishing this body to Nature. That payment effaces our chief means of identity; and we know this payment is to be made through the counter of death. The common idea of death makes Life face a blind wall. Any further progress of the Life-Force has not found favour with many doctrinaire religions.
Our world is made to move around us. With our birth it is born to our awareness; and with our death it is claimed to be dead to our aware- ness. There appears to be a basic lack of sense in such a concept of Life and Death. But our total engrossment with the self deludes us to think wrongly, and our ego and predispositions as well as commitments make us refuse to see that wrong is wrong. Of such stuff is dogma made: and one could cry a slogan, 'No dogma, no religion'. This indeed is a tragedy. Maya is suffering.
Siddhas need not put any trust in the view that a Yogi like the Christ had died in torture and agony on the cross. Instead they would fully corroborate the fact the Christ had experienced the Ascension, and conti- nued to live, only to reappear when he himself would feel that the opportune moment for such a descent has arrived. For this none need play with any theory of astral body and so forth; the Siddhas go further. They believe that levitation is just a matter of practice, and so is the fact of continuing with the life-span everlastingly, by learning the art of getting the body cells to get changed at Will from time to time, without leaving the process to the automatic mechanical process of the body's law. For the Siddhas of India the theory of returning dust unto dust, debitum nature, did not hold much water. There are hard core similarities between the mysticism of the Siddhas, the Avadhutas of the Dattatreya cult, the Essines, the practices of John the Baptist and the training, proclamation, penances and disappearance of Jesus.179
This strong belief has led the Yogis to seek two kinds of liberation:
(a) a liberated state through which the body's tyranny could be bypassed, and living in the conscious-world alone becomes possible. This is Jivan- mukti, or liberation whilst 'in life'. This we have heard of in the Siddhäntas and Patanjali. This could spare a spiritual saint from a spiral of birth; but this cannot spare him from another death. For that he has to wait for Paramukti. (b) Parämukti has to be explained. This life itself is a battleground; the prize is liberation. In this very life a liberated existence is possible; but that does not prepare a person or a soul for the perpetual enjoyment of a bodyless joy, when neither birth, nor death could put him to test, or involve him. The Siddhas claim that this life is only a preparation for that. After relinquishing the body, or the other side of the body-world, when life still remains a continuous process, but is no longer burdened with the claims of the body, then and then alone the Yogi could strive for the perfect cosmic release known as Parämukti. The Mukta, or the perfectly liberated, is a deathless Monad into which his spiritual and physical personalities have found a peaceful abode. When he is in this state, he completely disappears in Space, and he ceases to be an identity. He becomes integrated with the Cosmos. He become It: no longer He, or She. This is Sivată.
This is possible through the two principles described before: Suddha Maya, and Asuddha Maya, or Para Siva and Sada Siva. The bodies are constituted of impure matter. The spiritual practices purify the impuri- ties, and the body makes a special grade of lighter existence when it is only conscious of pure matter. The yogic exercise and the Will-force together aids in transforming the one into the other, and thereby stop corruption to the spiritual self. Whatever is impure must corrupt; the impure alone is free from corruption. Purity does not undergo a change. The purest pure alone could be received into the Pure and the Immaculate. As long as impurity harasses in the least, body after body has to bear the load of this impurity which is conveyed even through the subtle state of identity through the media of desires and unfulfilled wishes. These agitate the subtle being, and cause a momentum, a pull, a weight. Thus every- time bodyless spirit attempts to free itself totally, and rises to the purer regions of the corruption-free, it fails, and is dropped back like a wrongly addressed letter, or a bad coin in an automatic telephone booth. Once the state of impurity is perfectly cleared of the impure and heavy stuff, there is no more coming to the body; the next state is an unending pure and immaculate bliss. Now the Body is Om; and thus is called the Pranava- Tanu. As the great Pranava-Tanu attains its maturity, body falls off like a matured leaf, or like the old skin off a serpent's body, when it enters into a new season lying ahead. If a Yogi is born with trails of Jivanmukti, he leaves body very early in order to reach his Parămukti state. Death occurs early in life, and release comes early to the Jivan- mukta. "Those loved by God, die young" is not an adage without some basis.
The Siddhas in this way grade the Linga-Sarira, the Subtle Body, into Pranava-Tanu, Jnana-Tanu and Mantra-Tanu. Pranava-Tanu refers to the body consisting of the sacred formula alone. The 'body' in this last category is resonant with the implications of the Mantra alone. It bears the living Mantra in the living body; and the Mantra is the Body. At this state the body is only the subtlety of the Mantra, the sacred syllable, and free from all impurities. Now it could enter the Immense Immacu- late. What was an identity, in a flash becomes, or is transformed into a Divya-Tanu, an illumined spirit-body, (celestial body) beyond the vision of an ordinary man. Thus the Suddha grading from Pranava- Tanu, to Jnana-Tanu, to Mantra-Tanu finally reaches Divya-Tanu. The legendary and mystic angels, the aerial spirits do not appear to be entirely legendary after all. This is a mystic explanation for this habitation.
Students of Plotinus and Origen, familiar with the distinction between Nous and Soul, with the Athanasian Nicene creed would discover for themselves the similarities between the Siddha-gradations in spiritual attainments and the Athanasian gradations.
If this is strictly followed and understood, it is not difficult to see how the Jivanmukta, in a state of Jnana-Tanu or Mantra-Tanu could continue to exist for his personal penance or personal benedictions as long as he chooses. Death becomes a tenant of the Will, and has to wait the pleasure of the body, which is refamished again and again from the stock of pure matter and which avoids meticulously all contacts with impurities.
The Siddha law of transmigration is complex; but it is very widely adhered to by the Saivas, who honour the Siddhas as the greatest of the Gurus. This has given the Saivas the special sect of the Natha Siddhas of whom we have already spoken. But we have yet to speak of the Mäheśvara Siddhas,
The group of the Yogis, unlike the Näthas, are mainly related to the southern-most parts of the Indian peninsula. The Agamic Śaivism has supplied this sect with the fountain-head for their inspiration. The entire movement spins around a council of eighteen saints known as the Astadasa Siddhācāryas. Of the 18, the great 'Four' belong to the Tamil Agamic apostolic tradition! Māņikkavacaka, Vägisa or Appar, Jnanasambandha and Sundara. While these belong to the Bhakti Märga, the remaining fourteen belong to the tradition of Suddha Marga (Pure Way) of the Jñana Siddhas (Spiritualists of Realised knowledge).
Śrimülakantha, simply known as Mular, says that he, along with the seven ancient teachers had received Mäheśvara training directly from the "heaven'. The Mäheśvaras were known for their Athanasian discipline, for which the great Egyptian saint Athanasius, in spite of his differences with the orthodox creed, enacted by the Emperor Constantine himself, was re- garded throughout his long life as an inviolable apostle of spiritual purity. Arianism and Origenism found their headquarters in Egypt, where spiritualism was regarded with solemn seriousness. Commerce between the Red Sea and Tamil-land and Ceylon was pretty brisk in those days as now; and the two countries, equally keen about spiritual enquiries and regidity of practice could easily have shared their disciplinary codes and formulae.
Mular claims seven of the famous Siddhas: Malanka, Indra, Soma, Rudra, Kälägni and Kamaścală, to have been his disciples. That he had learned much of his techniques from the Nätha Siddhas, and that he himself had spent a long time in the Himalayas and Tibet, has been mentioned by him. Bhoga, a Chinese Taoist, had brought with him a learned man, Pulippari, from China to India. Traditionally it is accepted that this Bhoga, the Chinese-Taoist, had been a contemporary of the sage Agastya. About Agastya's great miracles the Puränas are eloquent. He too appears to have been a Suddha-Märga Mäheśvara Siddha. He belonged to the Trans-Himalayan North, and came to the South for preaching the Siva Dharma in replacement of the Surya Dharma. This has been related in the various legends of the epics as well of the Puranas. The Tirunelvelli district of South India claims to have provided him with his favourite home. He, in flesh, is supposed to have conquered over the fact of physical transformation caused by death. The Tirunel- velli people still believe that Agastya, though unperceived by the mortal eyes, is still alive, and moves in the same locality. Mallikädeva or Mallikanatha was of Säkta Agamic leanings. He had founded a monastic order. He, and another Siva-Agamic saint, Garbhapûrîşa (Kururvirara), infused a great spirit of discipline amongst the inmate of the monastery which exists to this day. In purity and austerity of discipline this parti- cular sect, and the Athanasians of Egypt, vouch and evince practices too similar to be regarded as two indigenous and independent schools. The Mäheśvaras, and particularly the member of the latter orders, are reputed for raising the dead to life. (It is interesting to note that in the incident of raising to life the dead son of his Guru Sandipani, described in the Bhaga- vatam, Harivamia and Visnupurana, Krsna was asked to tackle a demon who lived 'across' or 'in' the Sea!) Garbhapurisa himself used to revive the dead; until finally, before the sight of all, he himself disappeared180
Through a beautifully narrated legend the Mäheśvara Siddhas justify their way of life and doctrines by bringing out the point that the truth of the Vedas has been better preserved through the Nigamas.
The Vedas found themselves too harassed by the ups and downs of history, and through the perfidy of man. They decide to live as trees in a forest, and settled in the Nigamavana, a name that both Periplus and Ptolemy mention. (Incidentally, this again evidences an Egyptian link.) Here settles the Navakoti (90,000,000) Siddhas. They sport on the beaches of the Navakoti Siddhasrama. The Sacred white banyan tree found in this place, which is supposed to offer shade to the Siddhas, is not visible to the impure of soul. Near about is Agastyasrama, the abode of Rsi Agastya, the leading saint of the Siddhas. The place is full of the tales about miracles, specially of Vagisa and Jñanasambandha, the two famous Siddhas whose acts have assumed through the passing centuries legendary proportions. That the Agamic truths are in conformity with the Vedas is the point at issue underlying the allegory. This again is an extra effort evinced to get the Agamas identified with the Vedas. The question arises again, was then Agama (ie., that which came in) some such alien tradition which found refuge in India? Or was it the reply given to an imposing Vedic culture by an indigenous pre-Vedic Indian culture? The greatest of these miracles, however, related to the acts of transforma- tion of the physical into the spiritual, and vice versa. Through this means the worldly could arrive very close to the heavenly. This is the final goal of the Siddhas, and of the Siddhanta. It is still regarded as a Rahasya (mystery). Through the same legendary technique the Mäheśvaras relate them to the age-honoured names of the four stalwart holy of holies amongst the spiritualists of the Hindu Myths: Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana and Sanatkumára. These later on inspired the Sri-Vaisnavas with the Idea of the Four Vyúhas. These Vaisnava Vyúhas are: Baladeva, Krsna, Pradyumna and Aniruddha.
The Kaladahana Tantra of Kamikagama, Sivajñāna-dipa, Suddha- sadhaka and Mṛtyunasaka Tantra are the accepted literature of the sect which, however, did not find favour with the orthodox Saivaites. We have referred to the spite with which the Saivaites looked upon the Mäheśvaras. This could have due to the preponderance of the element of magic and the occult present in the cult. It is believed that the King Ravana of Lanka (Ceylon) and his son Meghanada used to follow this doctrine. It is remarkable that Ravana who was a Saiva was defeated by Karta- viryarjuna of Mähismati, another Saiva. It indicates that one form of Saivism really and actually abhorred another form, and desired to defeat each other's cause. It also confirms the presence of the practice of the Tantric forms of Saivism amongst the royalties, nobilities and aristocracy. The Brahmajabala Upanisad is claimed to be later work. It contains much of the mystic doctrines of the Athanasian school of translation of bodies (as in Samkarācārya's case), and transfiguration. This Upanisad is said to contain the most valued doctrines of the Siddhas of this order. Similar claims have been laid on some other Upanisads, which have been divided into four groups, each being described as the post-script of the Vedas. There are yet some mystic treatises which contain some of the most secret and intimate techniques of sorteriological value. These are Sükṣmagama, Virágama, Siddhagama and Vatulagama, Somatic Athanasy, transfiguration, revivification and ascension have remained signs of the highest occult power of these Saivas who have continued to demand the greatest awe and regard from the common mass. In the twelve yearly congregation at the Kumbha Mela, where all the religious orders of the Hindus assemble, the prime of the place is still kept open to the Nathas and the Siddhas, popularly called the Udasis.
6. Vaikhanasas and the Pañcaratras
Speaking in the accepted sectarian classification these sects do not fall under the category of the Saivas. These are considered under the Vaisnavas, and these are the two of the most important sects to have influenced Hindu ritualism the most. Because of their authentic contri- bution to the ritualistic form of Bhakti, we are obliged to examine their ways as the chief architects of rites of the Bhakti-system.
The Bhagavatas include the Siva rites and the Visnu rites as important sister forms. Dr. K. M. Sen of Santiniketan actually believes that the entire system of Hindu rites is a contribution of the Sri Vaisnavas and the Vaikhänasas, 181
The great tradition of the temple rites, image-attendance, the observances of the special days and special offerings, and the priestly codes has been a contribution of the Vaikhanasas. A study of this influential group permits us to take a look into the secrets of these forms.
Like almost every other religious sect in India the Vaikhänasas too relate their growth to the usual immemorial past, going as far back as Brahma himself. Because it grew as a Vaisnava sect, it was also obliged to relate itself to Visnu. Thus Vaikhanasa, a great sage, was supposed to have been an incarnation of Brahma. He was supposed to have been taught by Lord Visnu himself in the art of offering worship to the image form of Visnu and to introduce the image in a temple. Elaborate advice and injunctions have been laid down in the Vaikhänasa treatises on the manner and other minutest details of worship, because worship and wor- ship alone was supposed to precede the mood of complete dedication to the Lord. In making these offerings in the form of this worship the Vai- khānasas have to relate the requirements of the Lord to those of the formed beings, up to its minutest detail, and not to fail to provide for any of the demands, whether ordinary, or extraordinary. The advent of the Vaikhanasas, apart from, and in addition to the other sages of old, became imperative, because of specific purpose it served, which was to organise the worship of the Lord. Arca (as different from Upasana) of Visnu is the principal outlook of the Vaikhanasas.
We shall see that with the passage of time the Vaisnavas had split into two main sections: the Vaikhanasas, with their headquarters in the Venkatesvara temple of Bäläji in Thirupati in the Tamil-land, and the Sri Vaisnavas with their headquarters at Tiruchirapalli, the temple of Śri Ranganathaswami. Ultimately the Śri Vaisnavas, under the dynamic intellectual leadership of Rämänuja succeeded in wrenching from the Vaikhanasas their pristine leadership in temple worship; but it should also be borne in mind that in the actual act of worship, irrespective of the leadership, even today the Vaikhanasas, and no other, are regarded as to have the sole right of direct contact with the sanctum sanctuary and the image itself. Although the Sri Vaisnavas happen to be in charge of the managements of most of the temples, the Vaikhanasas alone conduct the actual worship and the prayers.
This should be made further clear. The growth and development of the Sri-Vaisnavas has been fantastically rapid and total. The personal- ity and devotion of Rämänujācārya, his devotional and spiritual impact had been able to take over from every other sect the leadership for the Vaisnavas, finally and most convincingly. There was no acrimony, bloodshed, fight or war. The transfer of leadership was effected by the intellectual acumen of Ramanuja, which had almost dislodged the monistic Vedantism of Samkarācārya, looked upon as a back-door admission of Buddhism, from popular affection. The southern peninsula of India was at that time divided into a number of kingdoms ruled by various powerful ruler. Each one of them vied with the other in expansionism, in which the emphasis on the religious forms, with the support of an influential Guru, came most handy. Each King appeared to have his patron saint; and chief minister, or very much like one. All of these Kings were made to grant huge property rites and holdings dedicated to the patron saint and his temple. These properties had their own system of management and administration, which continue to this day. Kings have been dislodged by an independent India; but neither the priests, nor their property-rights carried in the name of the deities. The common man, so educated, following the lead from the royalties made tremendous sacrifices in making their utmost offerings to their beloved deities.
The way these deities 'lived' within their temples proved to be much more lavish than the ways of the royalties. Their temples were destined to be the treasury of the nation in terms of gold, jewellery and precious stones. Temples of gold, supported on golden pillars were not uncommon in those days, and are not totally absent even now. It could be surmised how tempted any foreigner became to ravage such dead treasury enmassed at a centre; and through this senseless accumulation of material glory much of India's later and continuous hardship under foreign domination was actually been brought upon her people. The annual festivals of these deities have been observed as national days of glorification; and the procession of the deity was solemnised with much greater pomp than the march of any royal personage. The Rathayäträ-festival of Jagannatha Svami in Purl (Orissa), the Dashera procession of Delhi are faint reminders of the eclat of those days. Gods, like royalties, have fallen victims to the growth of democracy, and now look askance at the growth of communism.
Naturally, all this property, endowments, cash and commercial interests called for efficient management. The priests became more powerful than the Kings; the temples looked substantially more solvent than the rulers of the land, who were often found to be the debtors to the credit-lending temple gods.
Under the circumstance the position of the priest was held in greater respect than that of the king. Money lends power, and power demands awe. A king could be changed even executed; not a priest. Not only he, but the entire Brähmana class stood absolutely secured against any form of extreme punishment, which remained the share for the poor labouring multitude.
In thinking of the priests and the temples of this period of history of India (and to a very significant extent even in modern India!) one could be reminded of the Babylonian society at its decay. In speaking of the priestly powers of that society, and of the importance, and the powers of the deities Durant observes:
Babylonia remained in effect a theocratic state, always under the thumb of the priests.... The wealth of the temples grew from generation to generation.... Certain lands were made to pay a yearly tribute to the temples.... Poor as well as the rich turned over to the temples as much as they thought profitable of their earth- ly gains. Gold, silver, lapis luzuli, gems and precious wood accu- mulated in the sacred treasury.... Priests were also the greatest financiers in Babylonia, 183
From age to age the wealth of the gods tempted again and again devastat- ing attacks, followed by holocaust. The gods, temporarily done to death, came back in other forms; so did the priests. The cultures too died; but their shadows, like the ashes of the Sphinx, revived other cultures.
Ramanuja's intelligence at once grasped the potential power under- lying the concentration of human will around the temple. A good hold on the temples would give his organisation the real hold needed for the propagation of his religious ideas. Thus through his tremendous organisational skill he took over almost all the religious properties and holdings with the unchallenged right of controlling the assets. But he left the area of worship and worship alone, within the temple and its sanctum sanctuary, to the charge of the Vaikhanasas, thus acknowledging their superior rights as guardians of the deity. They still conduct the worship, enjoy the privilege of slaving for the comforts of the Lord, while management of the assets is left to the masters of the Sri Vaisnava-sect with their headquarters at Srirangapattama, Trichinapalli. The public are convinced of the latter's power, as this is both demonstrated and observed; but little does it know of the Vaikhanasa priests who are studiously kept within the precincts to conduct the actual service in the nave of the temple.
The disposition of the rights of management of the assets reduced the influence of the Vaikhanasas, who as Vaisnavas, attach greater importance to their dogma of considering Visnu as the one and the only one principle without a second. The Sri Vaisnavas were believers in the qualified-monism, and needed a Second. This 'Second' force for the Śri Vaisnavas was Sri or Laksmi, who was considered as an expression of Narayana's (Visnu's) Conscious efforts at play with His alter-ego. So insistent the Vaikhanasas were on the disassociation of the female element from the Unique Monist doctrine that they were universally re- garded for their extreme form of celebacy. In fact, the Vaikhanasas were the chief propagators of the third Asrama, when the Asrama had fallen almost to disuse. Although the last of the Asramas, Sannyasa, in form at least was being maintained by the Buddhists, the Jains and the Saivas, none favoured the third Asrama, which is Vanaprastha, the stage of retire- ment after the family-life has been handed over to the generations follow- ing. The asceticism of the Vaikhānasas made Haradatta refer to them as Vanaprasthis in his commentary on the Gautama Smrti (111.2). The king in Kalidasa's Sakuntala twits at the unresponsive heroine by asking her if she had been passing her youthful days under the vows of the Vaikhanasas. Like the Siddhas, the Vaikhanasas too remind us of similar ascetic societies formed around the Eastern Mediterranean, Egypt, Syria and Palestine-the Essines, the Mani-s and the followers of Zarathustra.
Vaikhanasas, however, refer them to certain orthodox treatises like the Smärta Sutras, and the Śrauta Sútra of the Taittiriya Sakha. We have elsewhere expressed our views of the entire legend of Tittira, Yajña- valkya and the Atris. We consider that the legend seriously expresses a schismatic division based on the fundamentals of ritual and the Vedas. We indicated how the system of Atharvan was deeply involved in this schism. From such origins the Vaikhanasas had their Grhya and Dharma Sutras, the latter bringing out an entire Mantra Samhitä, on the basis of which the rites of worship had been elaborately based. There are references to this relation between the Vaikhanasas and the Atharvan (referred to as Gāthās) in the Mahabharata, where we find Vedic rites being replaced by devotion (Sraddha), and prayers with music (Gita).183 Vaikhanasa, himself an incarnation of Brahma, was taught about these rites by Lord Visnu, who wanted to propagate Visnu worship in temples before the imaged forms of Visnu. This was the Aukheya Sûtra propounded by Ukhānas.
The dates of Ukhanas and Vaikhanas treatises are important and significant. Scholars put these around the third century A.D. when the Guptas in the North and the Colas in the South were the most powerful rulers. Between the 7th century B.C. and the 4th cent. A.D. great events had been taking place in the Western and Middle Asia. The evolution of the Vaikhanasas, of temple worship, of image sculptoring (Varahamihira's Brhat-Samhita), of the spread of the Magas and the writing of the Devala Smrti (a book of Hindu Law advocating inter-racial synthesis) together, covered this period. A great change was afoot in the rhythm of the orthodox Indian life, when influences from the world under Buddhistic form started flowing back within the Arya way of life, causing the changes in the poised Aranyaka ethics. The names Vaikhanasa and 'Ukhanas' remind one of Parthian and Bactrian Greek names. Although these Vaikhänasa Vaisnava canons are written in Sanskrt parts are written both in Sanskrt and Tamil; and a good deal is written in Tamil alone. The attempt of syncretistic synthesis are only too evident. Lastly, the followers, most of them considered excluded from the accepted orthodox caste, were claiming Brahmanical authority, position and social status,
The Colas have been mentioned as early as in the edicts of the emperor Aśoka, and the Vaikhanasas have been mentioned by Raja Raja Cola in one of his inscriptions. The Colas were supposed to be the founders of the Vaikhanasa Agama which considers Nārāyaṇa to be the supreme God, and Om Namo Narayanaya to be the supreme Mantra.
Narayana-pară Vedah Narayana-para matah
Narayana-para mukti-r-Narayana-para gatih.
The verse above contains in short their basic belief. "Greater than the Vedas is Narayana; greater than all other ways is the Narayana Way; greater than liberation is Nārāyaṇa, Narayana is the Ultimate of all."184
"Even as by constant friction of the Arani-s, made of the Sami wood, fire leaps out in form (from nowhere), so the Unmanifest becomes manifest through constant effort through meditation and devotion."
Thus Arca (worship) and Saranagati (humble attention to god's imaged form through worship, and submissive total dedication) are the basic contribution of the Vaikhanasas.
Although the Vaikhanasas attribute their scriptures and canons to such authorities as Bhrgu, Marici, Atri and Kasyapa, from a verse of Atri quoted by Sri Citviläsa Gosväml in his commentary on the Bhagavatam (IV: 29; 46) it appears that Atri himself had other thoughts.
When Veda decays, people depend on the Smptis: when they fail even to conform to the Smptis, they fall on the Puranas; falling short of the demand of the Puranas, they become attached to lands and commerce; when they fall even to remain straight in this, then they take recourse to the Bhagavata Dharma (Vaisnavism),186
Bhagavata Puräna itself speaks scurrilously of the way of Arrd, "I am in every being, all the time; yet people ignore me, the Self, and depend on worship for their liberation. This is indeed pouring butter in ashes."187
But in the Kannada district visiting the temples of Visnu one would still hear Tamil Prabandham in praise of Narayana being recited by the Vaikhanasas. Their devotion to the deity, insistence on ethical morals and austerity, dedication to the name and service of God became common standards for the Saivas, who offered prayers to Siva in His anthropomor- phic form.
Pasupatas, Lakulisas or Nakulisas
We have already noted that the Svetasvatara Upanisad for the first time records Šiva, and Saivism, and opens up for it a canonical base. Patanjali's reference to a Šaivic sect is as early as the second cent. a.c. This is the first historical reference to theistic Saivism. In the previous section on the Vaikhänasas we have pointed out that the 'Bhagavatas' as a term meant religious sects devoted to (a) deities; and (b) worship. The deity in the case of the Bhagavatas must be an imaged one, at times anthropological, but also aniconic or iconic, or even just symbolic. The principal emphasis was however on worship, temple and image. This was the way of the Bhagavatas, and Bhakti; i.e. the way of devotion as men- tioned in the preceding section. The Pañcaratras were Vaisnavas, and so were the Vaikhanasas. By contrast, the Agamics were Saivas; but both were given to the Bhagavata concept of Bhakti.
The Pasupatas, the earliest of the Saiva Bhagavatas known have been mentioned in the Narayaniya chapter of the Mahabharata. Siva, as the consort of Uma has always been described to have been a pro- pounder of the Saiva Agamas. It could mean two things: that the Agamas have been (1) the revelations obtained by the great Saiva saints, or, (2) propounded by an individual, or individuals considered as incarnations of Siva. Both the Vayu and Linga Puranas imply a similar beginning of the Saiva sect and their rites. The Karma and Varáha Puranas mention them only to denounce the heterodoxical rites of the Lákullia Pasupatas. 189
It is in these texts that we come across with the Pasupata Läkullfas or simply Näkulisas. Näkullia, its propounder had been a bachelor and a celibate anchorite till he died; but then Siva himself had entered into his body, and made him preach the Päfupata Dharma. This incident is supposed to have taken place in Karvan, a town in Baroda, Gujarat. Karvan is indentified with Käyävatára, or Käyävarohana (to incarnate in another's body) as the miracle is still commemorated. Two stone ins- criptions reveal the names of the four pioneers: Kusika, Garga, Mihira or Mitra and Kauruşya who are remembered to have done much for the propagation of the creed.
The Four Näkulisa Names
These names bear an extra-territorial accent. Competent scholars would one day research into the origin of these names, and determine how far my doubts are worthy of consideration. We also note that the sect is well placed in the Western section of the peninsula, along the busiest trade routes of the ancient world; between the West and the East the Gujarat coast, specially Saurastra or Surat has eversince been a traditional porting and watering place. Moreover we cannot ignore the philological forma- tion of the four names. These four names invariably remind a student of oriental civilisations of Mithra, Miträ-Varuna; Kurusa or Cirus; Garga or the father of the Gárgyas of whom we shall discuss presently; and lastly, Kufika, a name concerning the legend of Viśvämitra. Gärgyas, were in fact warlike, and belonged to the Ksatriya class; but due to some qualities they were admitted amongst the Brahmanas. These were the priests of the Yadavas; and Sisupäla of Cedi had much to howl about the origin of these Yadavas. Garga, we remember with greater signi- ficance, had been an ancestor of Visvamitra again a Ksatriya, who had been promoted to the Brahmana rank. Another significance is attached to the name Kušika. The Kuśikas as a race had Gädhi as there leader; and this Gadhi was also known as Gathin; when we consider that Gathins as a nomenclature referred to the reciters of the Gathas, of the Atharva Veda, we could relate the Kufikas to the Atharvans. In this connection we might refer to our study regarding Angirasa, Ehrgu and Ušanas (Ukhanas?)190
The antecedents, and implications of names constitute an important part of the studies of antiquity. All this might be due to a similarity of coincidence; although it would appear to be very surprising indeed to have all the four names the benefit of a coincidence. The relation of such a mystic rite as Käyävarohana to a kind of Saivism which later on has been denounced in Kurma Purana and Yajnavalkya Samhitâ deepens our sus- picions regarding some religious trends. Were such gruesome miracles really indigenous? Or were these alien infiltrations? Do they indeed form part of Saivism? Or were they pushed into the only branch of Hinduism where canonical restrictions were not always insisted for admission of novel rites and forms?191
We find that Saivism itself has been classified into three sections: Samanya Saiva (popular or common Saivas); Purva Saiva (Eastern Saivism, or ancient Saivism) and Miśra Saiva (Egyptian Šaivism, or Mixed Saivism), The very nomenclatures distinguish the Saiva sects geographically, or culturally, or both ways. The Samanyas could be the orthodox Rudriya ones; the ones recognised by the Siddhantins, the Trika and the Puranas; but the last two set problems for us. At least these were not the Sâmânyas, i.e. these were not to be counted within the tradi- tional ones. Whether these referred to the alien trends is any body's guess.
Severest warnings have been sounded about such sects as the Laguda, Pasupata, Kavya and Soma. These were the unorthodox sects. Yajna- valkya Samhita expressedly recommends the accommodation of alien trends into the body of Hinduism. Yet it maintains its reservations about the Nakulisa Pasupatas,193
As we consider how some of the religious frauds and opportunists took advantage of these trends of Tantra, and how the innovations which erupted from the waves of the Atharvan practices of the immigrants, we would only too readily bear with the strong language with which the atrocities of these rituals had been denounced. If proof for such pro- vocations must be recorded, listen to the carefree glee of some of these ritualists:
(a) Who would not feel happy about the Kaula Dharma (Tantric Saivism) by following which one could enjoy drinks and delicious meat?
(b) Long live the Pinaka-holder (Siva) who has prescribed for our salvation such easy-going penances as wining and wenching in informal customs and costumes!195
(c) Gods like Hari and Brahma advocate liberation by following the Vedas, meditations and Yajñas; Maheśvara, the consort of Uma alone prescribe for the same purpose sex games and alcohol,196
Naturally, in tone and derisive language these compositions indicate symptoms of degeneration, and it becomes clear how the ancient scriptural codes and social poise were being violated by some upstarts who, like political opportunists and band wagoners, made the Kaula Dharma,
Chinnamasta kangra, 18th century A.d. illustrates the cycle of Life
creation and Death as one process. Plate25.
Plate 25. Camunda, the Black Mother sculpture from orissa, 11th century
A.D. The fiercest and most blood-thirsty form assumed by the Mother.
Plate24. Chinnamasta kangra, 18th century A.d. illustrates the cycle of Life creation and Death as one process.
Plate25. Plate 25. Camunda, the Black Mother sculpture from orissa, 11th century A.D. The fiercest and most blood-thirsty form assumed by the Mother.
Tantra and Saivism a pretext for their respective debauchery and lust- gluttony.
Now, Kušika's date could be ascertained from a Chandragupta II inscription (380 A.D.). Judging from this, one could place Nakulisa, his Guru, between 75-125 A.D. But popular belief makes him a contem- porary of Vasudeva Krsna. This is obviously wrong; yet the basis of such a popular belief could be interpreted, if not supported. For the re-establishment of the uprooted and imported creeds and forms it was quite necessary to have them related to the names of time-honoured names of sages. The association of the name of Vasudeva Krsna was or could have been a similar attempt for rehabilitating the Pasupata creed. Dr. Bhandarkar supports this view and ascribes the rise of the Pasupatas to the 2nd cent. In the middle of the first cent. A.D. we come across the anthropomorphic representation of Siva on a coin of Wima Kadepsis, a name suspected to be of Mongolo-Parthian origin. In any case it could not have been a genuine Indian name, in spite of the use of Wima in place of Vima. This particular Siva form on Wima's coin could have a representation of Nakulisa. I am not very sure if the name itself is a homonym for Bhima Kharparisa (the terrible Lord of the skull cups), which spells out a Näkulia tendency.
The history of the development of Saivism, particularly in the South has been a complex study. Eversince the Pauranic age (a. 300 a.C.- 1200 A.D.) Saivism has been regarded as a very rich heritage to the Hindu theocratic form, as well as to the system of Yoga. The turning point in the development of the post-Buddha form of Saivism emerges out of the Alexandrine onslaught of the East, and the subsequent liquidation of the Oriental secieties, dominated, till then, by Babylon, Syria and Iran. The post-Asokan decline of Buddhism benefitted the growth of Brahmanism. The reigns of the Mauryas and the Kušanas were followed by the Guptas of Mathura, by the Thaneśvara dynasty and by the Chalukyas, Cholas and Pallavas of the South. These reigns indicate the shift of royal patronage from Buddhism to Brahmanism, i.e., Saivism or Vaisnavism as the case may be. By 700 A.D., when the Ajanta and Ellora frescoes and sculptures had all been finished, new forms of worship, particularly of the Trimurti (Brahma, Visnu and Siva), had completely eliminated the other Vedic forms, or Buddhistic practices. A rule was introduced in the Smrtis; it prohibited Vedic Yajñas in Kali Yuga. The Tirtha Yatra Parva of the Mahabharata is full of prescriptions of this and that rite which could easily replace the Vedic Yajñas. In a trice the holy Yajñas were reduced to the position of being non-canonical; and the Bhagavata-Smärta-rites took over.
A new life, enthusiastic about the cultivation of a religio-philosophic culture developed immediately with casteism and Brahmanism as its strongest guards in the fore front. The restrictive attempts for keeping out tribes and the hetero-cultural aliens were made through canonical enactments. The extreme form of feudalism displayed during these centuries turned over time-honoured popular rights to royal domination on the one hand, and priestly cunning and superiority on the other. Divisions and counter-divisions of 'caste' kept the idea of 'one people' under a cloud. Like the decadent societies of Babylon, Assyria and Persia, the Indians too laboured and tilled to feed their gods better than them- selves. While gods were having ten meals a day, majority of the workers and toilers would thank fate to have one good meal in twenty-four hours! Fatalism affords a mesmerising pseudo-logic to justify the howling in- equalities, and atrocious disabilities. A new twist given to the theory of Karma made the servile and the docile community of god-fearing adorers completely dehumanised before the combined wrath of the king, priest and the unseen deities. The first one played the role of god's viceroy, and the second one that of god's legal adviser and mouthpiece. A study of the laws of Manu (which were being revised and truncated at will) particularly of the forms of punishment meted out to people of different castes for the same type of offence leaves no doubt about the changing pattern of society, which from the days of the Lokayata form of government (democratic people's government) had declined, and succumbed into a highly organised machine of exploitation, with god and religion as the two best excuses for covering all indecent exploitation and privations. The entire trend remind one of the dying days of the decadent oriental cultures. In the whole set up, where royalty and priestism had carved out for themselves the most enviable privileges, only two parties suffered the most, and stood silent; man, and god.
Circumstances in history processed into a hitherto active Lokayata system of life these changes, which, eversince have been corroding Hindu culture, despite the sagacious warning of the Yogis. These circumstances were provided by the following: (a) downfall of Buddhism and Jainism: (b) complete dehumanisation of the Vedic society; (c) faith in the interest of sectarianism; (d) casteism and communalism as evidenced by the hosts of Smrtis, which protected the interest of the ever-increasing communities of immigrants from other parts of Western and Northern Asia; (e) evolu- tion of a new system of theocracy patterned on the lines of Oriental Societies and assimilated into Hinduism; (f) open effort for synthesising the variegated justifications of the ever-surging new systems; (g) the constant feuds and wars between groups of upstart royal lines supported by neo-Brahmanism; and (h) the competitive scholastic endeavours to dominate by threats and empty learning to cry down and humiliate the other party. These causes and features suddenly forced into the sub- continent a multiplicity of forms of deities and religions, which bet- ween themselves, pushed, moved, mated and countermated, like pieces on a chess-board, a new game: i.e. finding and shaping a sustaining form of Hinduism that would allow room for the divergent opinions then rock- ing the subcontinent.
Synthesis or compromise has never been a strong point of Truth. But the world of Nature is, of course, a world of syncretism. So is synthesis another force. But syncretism and synthesis are not the same kinds of forces. Uncompromising laws of elements which make no room for human or sentimental feelings, go to shape the wonderous world of Nature, which lives to illustrate to its own Truth. Truth is completely indifferent to compromise. Synthesis is an admission of compromise with human shortcomings. To the extent it compromises, it forgoes the honesty of Truth. The philosophy of compromise springs from a desire to survive, even at the cost of Truth and Peace, which calls for an uncompromising battle. That is the lesson of the Gitä..
It was a fatal day for the people, and for popular interest to have chosen for the instant sweets of compromise on the basis of an instant religion of commercial give-and-take arrangements with the gods. The ethics of the Vedic times, the ethics of Yoga and Vedänta, the ethics of the bygone sacrifices and trainings of generations were all washed away, gradually, but surely, in the interest of class and clan.
To this day a whole subcontinent of people finds it impossible to grow out of the sad and selfish commitments of the past. What was swallowed as evolution, is now waiting for a revolution, more dynamic than Buddhism, more complete than the destruction of Ninevah and Tyre; more diabolic and sinister than the white colonial laws had employed in subjugating and destroying the native societies or the Americas, Australia, New Zealand and Africa for the benefit of a covetous and greedy sickness for Power.
The Bhagavata system offered the only possible scope for the assimi- lation of the new migratory cultures. Some of these wanted to carry on with their blood and sex orgies; and a society that had grown into the very skin of Buddhism resented such horror-rites, and even offered to pro- test against its propagation. They suffered from ostracism. Schisms became inevitable. Buddhism itself broke into the schools of the Maha- yana and Hinayana; Bhagavatism broke into the Saivas, Vaisnavas and Säktas, with many more subdivisions. Saivism attempted to reconcile the extremes of secticism and sensualism, Buddhistic Yoga and Maheśvara Bhakti, of Rudra Siva and Aghora Siva. The two forms of Saivism were symbolic of history split into two: Right and Left; Day and Night; East and West; the Siddhantins and the Pasupatas. These last, the Pasu-patas, Nakullias were the Aghoras, Käpälas, the propagators of the mystery cults and magic.
The Two Saivas: Phallic and Idealistic
Of all the sects of Saivism the Pasupatas appear to have enjoyed the earliest traditions going back to the days of Huen Tsang and Bana Bhatta. It must have been more ancient as the reference of Fa-Hien describes them to have been authentically established. But the pre- historic tribal phallicism must have been primordial, and as such of immemorial antiquity.
It was, therefore, quite natural for the phallistic interpolators to have clung to the Bhairava sects: the Pasupatas, Kälämukhas, Nākulisas, Aghoras and Käpälas. These have not only been supported by the human traditions of the entire Sakta world, but also by certain Jaina and Buddhist sects. The Vayu, Kurma, Linga Puranas and some of the Agamas, which form the Saivic canonical literature (together with the Svetasvatara Upanisad) are eloquent on denouncing the heterodoxical sacrilegious traits of the Vämä Märga. The Kashmir Pratyabhijñā Advaita Monism, and the Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali, the lionine growls of purists like Samkara and Appaya maintained the idealistic Saivic monism within the sacred boundaries of Patanjali's Yoga tenets, and adopted the Linga as the Yogic sign of Existence, of the Neutral beyond even the Zero; of the conceptual but apperceptive 'X'. The Agamas were replaced by the fourteen Siddhänta Sastras. Varaha Purana calls the Pasupatas to be non-Vedic. So does the Vayu speak of some Agamas, like the Kämikā, as heterodox. The Mahabharata alone appears to be an exception. In it the Agamas and the Pañcaratras have been considered at par with the Vedas and the Yoga system. This could have been due to the way in which the epic had grown in bulk, by incorporating from time to time the various opinions found popular at one time or another. The spirit of synthesis displayed in it is almost apologetically compromising. Kulluka Bhatta admits that the Vedic and the Tantric methods are equally effective. The process of synthesis was completed; the law, of syncretism was vindicated. The immigrants were fully absorbed into the indigenous body of the native Indians.
The Indian Saiva Saint Appar speaks highly of the Five-lettered Mantra Na-mah-Si-od-ya, and equates it in effectiveness with the entire contents of all the Vedas!
South Indian Saivism and the growth of the Pallavas could be said to be concurrent. Prof. Nilakantha Sastri cites authorities to prove that the Saiva trend in the South had lived "centuries before the great period of South Indian Saivism under the Pallavas." Criticisms of the Päsu-patas and the Kälämukha Saivas have been voiced in several contem- porary literary sources. Inscriptions, and traditions as well indicate aversions against the gruesome rites of these Saivas, 200 The Käpälikas and the Kälämukhas had their centres spread all over India, but due to the popular antagonism against their non-Vedic and anti-social behaviour, they were sent into hiding at once, where clandestinely they continue to this day to practise their creed.
This had to continue, because, although un-Vedic, the traditions of these are primordially connected with the earliest of the tribal and the most ancient of the alien trends. In a way the trend had been, and still is, to a very large extent international. The adoption of the Linga as a focal point of concentration in Samadhi was not known to have inter- fered with the tribal phallistic adoration of other totems and manas. The tribal world was self-contained, and each respected the other with freedom of opinion regarding the spiritual and mystic forms. It is, therefore, reasonable to question why the same Aryans put up so stiff objection to the other kinds of phallic rites which the Haihayas, the Pallavas and the Rastrakutas had been patronising. Why were the sages like Parasurama, Atri, Datta and the Nakullia Pasupatas so much decried?
The answer is very simple. The tribal worship of totems were in- nocent, and rudely direct without any pretence of sophisticated canons and the cult of the Guru. It was neither a threat to the Vedic Varnas, nor to the Asramas. It did not create social and religious problems, But the latter did. The neo-Hindu Yogis roamed all over the land, and through their promiscuous and drug-adicting rites posed a great threat to the spiritual equilibrium in society. But by incorporating non- Aryan sympathies, and by hammering at the very metaphysical ethics of the Vedic caste system, it lured others to a society of pseudo-acceptance, when in fact the process was giving rise to a more rigid caste, with more ingrained privileges claimed through an artificial hierarchy of heredity on the one hand, and a simultaneous encouragement of a degraded, hated, devalued, dehumanised society of pariahs on the other. The Vedic society could see through this complex intrigue, and denounced the reli- gious system which deluded the mass, and organised itself into artificial and arbitrary groups of the privileged and the proletariat.
After the Pallavas, the Colas became great patrons of Saivism. They not only continued the unfinished work of the Pallavas, but went as far as taking active steps to suppress Vaisnavism. The royal influences were successful in keeping Saivism contained within given canons and doctrines, which became fixed during their reigns. (The Smrtis of Yajnavalkya: Harita; Apaştamba and Kätyäyana.)
The expansion of greater Indian culture to the Far-Eastern countries inclusive of the Eastern archipelagoes was finally organised under the Colas, although the tradition of early Saivism, of Pasu and Pasa, had already been an established religion, according to Fa-Hien. Java, Champa, Malaya and Siam still bear the stamp of Saivism of the non- orthodox variety. The Skandas were a significant unorthodox sect. We have also spoken of the images of the Persian-Babylonian-Assyrian cultures. It is remarkable that images generally satisfying the descriptions of the Fowl-god, the Bachelor-god the Love-god, the White-goddess, the Mother goddesses are found flourishing along with Saivism as extended in these far-flung areas of the Eastern seas, as far as Latin America.
The presence of the deities of the Soma-Skanda, Uma-Maheivara groups and of the Mother Goddess with her family members point out that the effects of the immigrations did not stop in India, but went further East, with an added urge gathered from the rejuvenated revival that the Indian minds could furnish in evolving the inspired neo-Hinduism of the times. The very substantial Vedic truths, the Upanisads, the Puranas and the Epics had completely rehabilitated all alienism, and a new India, a new Hinduism, a new culture swept over the countries of the Indian ocean in the East. Buddhism had already laid the grounds for a certain type of spiritual hunger; and this became all the more whetted with the arrival of a picturesque form, such as Bhagavatism. projected.
The Pasupatas, Mäheśvaras, Kälämukhas, Käpälikas, generally termed under the Indo-Tibetan term 'Bhairava' continued their obscure mysti- cism under the umbrella of Tantra; but the two were so different that it called for a bridge between the Agamic Saivism and Tantric Saivism. The answer was the Soma-Siddhänta. We have seen how Saivism has continued within the two cults of Agni and Rudra; similarly, the various forms of the great Mother, like the matronly set of Umä, Gauri, Parvati and Ambika on the one hand and the more fearsome set of Käll, Tärä, Durga, Candi, Camunda and Nirrti on the other were combined under the synonym of Tantra. It was in the Cakra mysticism, specially in the Sri Cakra, and in the rite of Pürṇabhişeka that this synthesis finds its ultimate form.
We shall deal with this aspect separately.
There is something else than licentiousness in these aberra- tions. The books which prescribe these practices are, like the rest, filled with lofty speculative and moral reflections, nay, even with ascetic theories. Here as well as elsewhere, there is a profession of horror at sin, and a religiosity full of scruples; it is with pious feelings, the thoughts absorbedly engaged in prayers, that the believer is to participate in these mysteries, and it would be to profane then to resort to them for the gratification of senses,201
Whilst the Vaisnava Pancaratra school never crossed the limits of propriety in their pursuit of Bhakti, and the associated religious rites, these trends of the Pasupata school, which according to the Mahabharata had been the earliest form of Saivism, developed along a rather mystic channel of excessive sensuousness under the cover of Tantricism. Siva Srikantha, says the Mahabharata, has been the propounder. Scholars believe that this Srikantha could be a Saiva Acarya. We have heard of the Nepalese Srikanthanatha in whose name there exists in the Nepal Darbar Library the treatise Pinglämäta. Läkullia or Näkullia might have been his disciple, and Läkullia had his other four disciples, already mentioned. Apart from these four, Patanjali himself is regarded as one of his disciples, thus underlining the theory that the system of Yoga is an unorthodox system which was developed with a view to attaining liberation without any of the Tantric rites.
The Tantric Saiva currents (Srota) flow in three strains: Dakgina-Srota (right-current); Vama-Srota (left-current) and Madhyama-Srota (middle- current). These signify the three Saktis of Siva as containing the three Gunas: Sattva, Rajas and Tamas respectively. The right face of Siva gave current to the Daksina-Dhärä with four forms of Sadhana: Vidya, Mantra, Mudra and Mandala. To Vidyä (knowledge) belong the eight Bhairavas who gave us the eight Tamala treatises.
The associated Saktis for these Yamalas are: Yoginljala, Yogi- nihrdaya, Mantramalini, Aghorell, Aghoresvart, Krdaghoreśvari, Lakinikalpa, Märici, Mahämärici, Ugravidyagana. The Mantra (mystic syllables) and Mudră (diagrams) are treated in a compound. The gods of the Mudräpitha (the bases of diagrams), Siva and Rudra, decides on the Mudras. From the Upper Mouth of Siva flows the Madhyama Srota. The associated Tantras in this case are found in two sets: (a) Vijaya, Niśvāsa, Svayambhů, Vätula, Virabhadra, Raurava, Mukuta, and Viresa; (b) Candrajaäna, Bimba, Prodgita, Lalita, Siddha, Santana, Sarvodgita, Kirana, and Parameśvara. Amongst the masters of these Tantras we find such names as Usanas, Brhaspati, Dadhici, Kaca, Läku- lisa, Santakumāra, etc. We are interested in some of these names, which we had discussed before in order to show if persons like Ušanas, Dadhici and Brhaspati were found engaged in the greater struggle of early synthesis. The Vama Srota remains unspoken of. It has to be learnt from within the Self. No one could speak of it and teach it.
Most religious historians become targets of attack from practising Gurus and priests because of their dogmatic views, which alone justify whatever attacks they favour the historians with. It is with the greatest temerity and caution, therefore, that the present student presents his views on the basis of his findings. But if further categorical proofs of such extreme forms of the phallic are needed to illustrate how rude and indecent some of the derided forms could be, the author could refer to only two iconographical references, which might suffice. There is an image of Siva with a lingam, worshipped in a temple situated at Gudimallam (Paradurämeśvara Lingam) (see Plate 10). This Lingam is a contemporary sculpture of the times of the Kushanas. The actual sculptur- ing is as realistic as such representations could have been. The form given immediately brings to the mind of a stele found at Susa (2000 8.c.) now at the Louvre. It contains the code of Hammurabai (see Plate 29A). When we compare the dates, inference becomes irresistible. References could be made to some of the realistically carved phallic forms of worship found at Mohenjo-daro; to the Siva Linga at the Samkarācārya temple of Srinagar (Samkaravardhana Lingam) or to one found in Japan and referred to in the book, Phallic Worship, by G. Ryley. There are some of these lingams situated in Kannada, Orissa and Telengana, beyond the ordinary beats and reaches of the pilgrims, and known only to initiates. These iconographical shapes, compared to the simple linga Murtis that the Siddhäntins worship, or the Vira-Saivaites wear on their bodies make the point clear.
1. Lewis, Dr. H. D. The Study
of Religions (Pelican), p. 129.
2. Ibid., p. 136.
3. Ibid., p. 162.
4. See Gloss.
(a) Dr. Sharma, Early
Hist. of Vaisnavism,
C. H. of India, Vol. IV.
(c) Dr. Hazra, C. H. I., Vol. IV.
5. (a) Tales about Hermaph- rodites are not peculiar to Hindu myths alone. Psychologists affirm that in all males there persists an inherital strain of the female, and vice versa. This is normal, and need not be confused with freaks or sick souls. Aberra- tions in similar fields give rise to such abnor- malities as Lesbianism or Homosexualism. These sex-perversions too need not be confus- ed, as is often done, with the male-female concept suggested in the Saiva Siddhänta. The translation of the hermaphroditic con- cept into a formal image answers the rit- ualistic needs of Agamic aspirants. The very idea of carving images for ritualistic support of spiritual quest has been strongly enjoined by Patanjali Varähamihira, and even Vädarayana. (Yoga Sutra, 1: 39).
(b) "The symbolism of Hermaphrodites is equivalent to that of Linga and Yoni" Danielou, op. cit., p. 203.
(c) "He divided his body into halves; one male, and one female; the male in that female pro- creates the universe." -Manu Smrti, I: 32. (d) The male principle is also represented as fire, the devourer, and the female principle as Soma, the devoured offering. The Herma- phrodite is then the bodiment of Cosmic Sacrifice, the Image of the Universe"-Vijaya- nanda Tripathi. Devata Tattva; San- marga, III, 1942.
(i) Compare Soaha and Svadha legends in Devi Bhagavatam
(ii) Cosmic sacrifice imaged as male- female mating has been adored in the myths of Tibet, Egypt, etc.
16. Gita, III: 35; IV: 39-40; XVIII: 47.
17. Sastri, Dr. S. N. Phil. of Saivism. (Cult. Her. Ind., RIC) III: 390.
19. Sastri, op. cit., 392.
20. Gita, II: 50.
21. Ibid., VI: 8,
22. Ibid., VI: 8,
23. St. John: At the beginning was the word, and the Word was with God.
24. Radhakrishnan, Hit. Ind.
Ph., II: 106.
41. Radhakrishnan. Ind. Phil.,II: 315.
43. Ibid., 426-27.
47. Ibid., 542.
48. John. Epistle.
49. Ar pabo kotha: drvatare, priyo kori, pripere devata. Tagore, R. N. Vainana Kavita (Bengali-Cayanikā).
50. Radhakrishnan. An Idealist View of Life, 107-8.
52. Yoga Valistha, (i) IV: 18, 16, 27; (ii) IV: 47, 14. 14 ff.
55. Yoga Vasistha: Nirvana, 1.
57. (1) Svetasvatara, I, (ii) Manu Smrti, 12: 119; (iii) Gita, XII: 5.
(iv) देवतायाः शरीरं तु बीजात् उत्पद्यते ध्रुवम् ।
Indeed the bodies and forms of the Devata are generated from 'seed', i.e., Bija-Man-tra.-Tamala Tantra.
(v) उपासकानां सिद्धयर्थं ब्रह्मणो
The Real is imaged for assisting the aspirants. (vi) Bhagavata Puranam, XI: 28: 12; (vii) Jabala Dariana Upanisad, 4: 59; (viii) Calarf commentary on Tantrasara Samgraha.
58. Danielou, op. cit.
59. Ibid., 12-13.
60. Koho Chison. Soto Zen, 66-67.
61. Chardin,Teilhard de. Future of Man (Fontana), 318-19.
62. Life of St. Theresa.
64. Soet. Up., IV: 12.
65, Sayana, Rg Veda Bhasya
(Kalyana-Siva Anka), 169.
66. Maha Narayana Up., 47.
67. Gita, XVII: 7.
68. For Cit refer to Yoga Vasistha: Nirvana Prakarana, I.
69. Tomar khadga andhar makige, dukhan korilo katiya
70. Gita, IV:37.
87. Abhinavagupta. Paramartha- sara, V: 51: 52.
88. The Bible Exodus, III:13-14.
89. यो देवानां नामधा एक एवं
तं संपश्यन् भुवना यन्त्यन्या ।
-Rg Veda, X: 82. 3.
90. The Bible Exodus.
91. Pandey, Dr. K. C. 'Kashmir saivism hist. of phil.
92. Rúmi, Jalaluddin, A. J. Arberry's translation.
94. St. John on the Cross. The Living Flame of Love, XIV, XV.
97. (1) Arunat yavanah Sake- tam, arunat yavanah Madhyamikam,
Panini. (ii) Cox and William. Persia, Ency. Britt. XIV-Ed.
98. Cox and William., op. cit.
99. "It is the first and second centuries before Christ that the Syrians, Greeks and Scythians poured down into the Punjab, and conquered it, and established there for some three hundred years, this Greco-Bactrian culture durant op. Cit I 450.
100. Prof. Gilbert Murray, quot-ed by Russell (Bertrand) in his Hist. of West Phil., 275.
121.Radhakrishnan. Idealist View of Life.
122. Basu, op. cit.
123. Gita, XI: 48, 52-54.
124.Abhinavagupta Pratya- bhijna Vimarsinf, II, 92-93.
125. Gita, IV: 40.
126. Tantrasara (Kashmir Edi-tion), pp. 25-28.
127. Basu. op. cit., pp. 96-97.
128. Radha-cult, contemporary of Krsna-cult. Radha Tantra mentions Shyamasaparya
129. (a) Iana Samhita.
(b) Viivasároddhara Tantra.
130. Yogini Tantra.
131. Visva-Sara Tantra.
132.Meru Tantra: Ingreji-Nava-Sat-Panca Candraja-s-Capi Bhavina.
133. Harrison, Jane, E. Themis, p. XIII.
134. Ibid., p. XII.
135. Yoga Sutra, 1: 23-39.
136. Prof. Masper. Quoted by Dr. Frazer in Golden Bough.
137. Lewis, I. N. Ecstatic Reli-gions (Pelican),p. 21.
138. Toga Sutra, I: 39.
139. Sarada-Tilaka, XXXV: 70.
140. Lewis, op. cit., p. 39.
141. Ibid., p. 39.
142. Ibid., p. 68.
143. (a) Atharva Veda, VI: 38:124
(b) Om sarve vai devak Devim upatastho, Ka-si tvam mahadeviti sarva uai aham brahma sva rupini. Mattah puramajam jagat.
(c) Kularnava Tantra 210 285 240 241
144. Yajnavalkya Samhita: (Ana- dairam) p. N.
145. Kularnava Tantra, XI: 85.
146. Kulluka Bhatta. Commentary on Manu Samhita, II: 1.
147. (a) Vedottama. Pancaratra pramanya
(b) Yamunäcärya. Tantra Pramanya.
173. Ibid., p. 145.
174. Gita, IV: 18.
175. Coomaraswami. op. cit., 146.
176. Ibid., p. 148.
177. Yoga Sutra, 1: 37.
178. Gita, XV.
179. Vermes, G. The Dead Sea Scroll, pp. 37-13: Hymn 10, VI: 39-41.
180. Sastri, V. Ramana, Dor- trinal Culture and Traditions of the Siddhas (Cult. Hist. Ind., RIC), IV: 306.
181. Sen, Dr. K. M. Bharater Sanskrti (Bengali: Viśva Bharati), Santiniketan.
182. Durant. op. cit., I: 233.
183. Mahabharata, VI: 59.
184. Traditional Narayana Pray ers (Vaikhanasas).
185. यथारणिप्रधर्षेण वण्हेरायातिघूमताम् -Bhag. Purana, IV: 29: 22.
186. वेदैविहीनाश्च पठन्ति शास्त्र
शास्त्रेण हीनाश्च पुराणपाठाः ।
भ्रष्टास्तथा भागवता: भवन्ति ।।
187. Bhag. Pu., III: 29: 22.
188. Mahabharata: Narayaniya.
189. (a) Bagchi, Dr. B. C. Studies in the Tantras, pp. 4, 95.
(b) Majumdar, Dr. R. C. "Evolution of Religio-Phi- losophical Cult in India,
190. Raja, Dr. G. Cunhan. Vedic Cult (Cult. Hert. Ind., RIC).
191. Majumdar, op. cit.
192. आदी सामान्य श्री तु
पूर्वी द्वितीयक ।
मिश्रणैवं तृतीय तु
शुद्धमेवं चतुर्थकं ।
At the beginning there were the common (tribal) follow- ers of Siva; next came the Eastern Saivas,-those who belonged to the Eastern ways. The third category came from Egypt (Misr). The fourth type of Saivas (those who are the Vedant- ists) are the purest.
6. Svetasvatara, III: 2.
7. Madhavan, Dr. T. M. P. 'Saiva Siddhanta (Hist. of Phil. Eastern and Western: Radhakrishnan), p. 373. Compare: experiences of St. Theresa; legends of Lady Fatima; appearances of Gabriel; records of Rama- krishna, Vijayakrishna Goswami, etc.
8. Drsti-Sreti-vada of Madhu- sudana Sarasvati claims that all perceptual objects are results of mental projections. Such a claim is a natural and logical climax of Samkara's Advaita Monism.
9. Madhusudana, S. Advaita Siddhi
10. (i) Guta, VII: 24; (ii) Rg Veda, 1: 165:16; (iii) Ibid., 1: 109: 7 (iv) Ibid., 6: 26: 4; (v) Brhadaran yaka, VI: 2:15; (vi) Kaupftaki, 1: 12; (viii) Chandogya, V: 4:1; V: 53, 2; V: 5, 1; and V: 10, 304.
11. The progress of the evolutes along the two ways has been engaging the attention of the Yogis from times immemorial. The refer- ences to the "Two-Ways' in esoteric experience go back as far as any recorded history of spiritualism exists; it was known secret amongst the ancient cultures. The more inquisitives are referred to the 'Secret Sects' of Pytha- goras, Plato and also to the Dahara in Patanjali Yoga Sutra.
12. I have at least seen one case of a person struck dumb at this stage: he remained so for years; until when he spoke again, only to speak so much with so few words.
13. Suddha Maya, the Mother of the universe is Vak, or Nada; but the moment of expe- rience is also a point of expe- rience sprung into the Field, the Space, as Expression. This point is the Bindu. Siva is Time and Space: Nada and Bindu.
14. Sakall tomart iccha iccha- mayi Tara tumi (You Tara, All is but your will, for you are the willed one, Mother- popular Bengali hymn by the Yogi Kamaläkänta.
15. St. Theresa. Confessions, Ch. XV.
25. Tärkābhushan, P. N. Para Mimana (Cult. Her. Ind., RIC), III: 67.
26. Sastri, Dr. P. T. Raju, Indian Psychology; Ibid., 599-600.
27. Sastri, Dr. S. N. op. cit., 393.
28. Graves, (Ency. Myth-Larousse), 84
29. ibid., p.224
30. A silver plaque from the Gundestrup bowl and (the so-called) Pasupati figure of the Indus Valley civilisation may be compared.
31. Katha Up., 1: 3, 14.
32. Gita, III: 37-39.
33. Aghora Šiva. Tattva Praka- Jika, V: 243.
34. A Tantra, quoted in Sid- dhanta, V: 243.
35. Meykander. Šivajnanabo- dham, XII: 3.
36. Huxley, Aldous, Perennial Philosophy, 193.
37. Nyaya Bhasya, IV: i, 21.
38. Gromperz. Greek Thinkers, I: 353.
39. Radhakrishnan. Ind. Phil., II: 315.
40. Yoga Vasistha: Nirvana.
51. श्लोकार्थेन प्रवक्ष्यामि
यदुक्तं ग्रन्थ कोटिभिः । -
ब्रह्म सत्यं जगन्मिथ्या
जीवो ब्रह्मैव नापरं ॥
53. Gita, (i) III: 39; (ii) V: 15.
54. Smart, Ninian. World Reli-gions (Pelican), 68.
71. Ibid., IV: 40.
72. Ibid., IV: 42.
73. Ibid., IV: 34.
74. Chardin. The Future of Man (Fontana), 318 ff.
75. Gltä, VI: 41.
76. Ibid., VI: 32.
77. Bhagavatam, XI: 12.
78. Gita, XI: 48; 53-54.
79.Radhakrishnan. An Idealist
View of Life, 85.
80.Tagore. Religion of Man, 14.
81.Ibid, p. 84.
82.Mundaka Up., 111: 2: 3.
83. Holders to the dogma of
Trinity may not mistake these as being three persons, or divinities.
84. Pandey, Dr. K. C. in Hist. of Phil. (Radhakrishnan), I: 66. 85. "The more important documents on symbolism, the myths, the philosophy of early Saivismare found in the Saiva Agamas, the Saiva six Upanisads and the Saiva Puranas: the Linga Purana, the Skanda Purana, the Kurma Purana, the Siva Purana, the Brahmanda Purana"-Danielou, op. cit.,189.
86. Vasudeva: The word means "One who is in all". Väsu- deva also means the son of Vasudeva. The Vasudevas are those who follow Vasu- deva, the principle.
आगतं पंचवक्रान्तु गतं च
मतंच वासुदेवस्य तस्मादागम- मुच्यते