anubhavamadhiyil onnirikkil alla-
Inference is not possible without prior experience. As this is not previously experienced by the senses, understand that, the existence of the agent of external action, cannot be known by inference.
On seeing smoke, we infer that there is fire. The reason behind this inference is earlier experience of seeing smoke with fire. Since we do not have practical experience about Awareness (Satchidananda ,Brahman) we cannot know it by inference. The qualities of names and forms are known through our external senses. But Awareness has no form. Hence it is not visible to the eyes.
One has to understand the qualities of Dharmi (Awareness) from a Guru, who is a knower of Truth. Then he has to proceed through the path of contemplation (Vichara marga) or through worshipful action (Upasana marga) to get this knowledge. The role of a Guru is like a person who advises a fisherman about the availability of various types of fishes in the river or sea. A Guru is a visionary or expert who shows the way (Margadarsi). The skill of the disciple lies in getting into water, catching fish, and getting back to the bank, without any mishap. In all these, the Grace of God has an important role. One should proceed step by step with piety. This is the sense behind this. A true devotee progress leaving everything to the Grace of God. This has been described beautifully in Pindanandi (stanza-1). ‘I submit everything. Oh, Sambho, having thought and understood that everything will take place according to Your will’.
arivatu dharmiyeyalla dharmamami-
dhara muthalayavayonnumilla tangu-
What we know here is only Dharma (attributes), and not the agent of Dharma. Because the One who does Dharma is not visible. Earth and other names and forms do not exist. Remember that the Awareness that supports all these is the only Reality.
Usually, what we perceive through the five senses are names and forms i.e. the attributes of objects, not the Awareness. This is because the Awareness is invisible and it cannot be known by the five senses. Adi Sankara says ‘Jagan Mithya’ (the world is unreal). Hence earth and other forms do not exist. ‘Mithya’ means that which is unreal, separated from the real (Atma). If we see a wave as separate from the sea, it does not carry conviction.
The Awareness that supports all these is the only Reality
This is the same as Sankaracharya’s phrase ‘Brahma Satyam’ (Absolute is the only real). Satyam means that which exists always, (Kalathrayateeta- beyond the three tenses) without a beginning or end (eternally). Many (so called) leaders indulge in creating discordance between the followers of Adi Sankara and that of Sree Narayana Guru by quoting the scriptures. Guru has (always) said that he follows Adi Sankara with regard to the holy scriptures. Guru stands apart only on the ground that he gave a humanistic form (adopted a humanistic approach) to the principles of Advaita and brought it to a plane of action (Dharma). The new form of Dharma (way of righteous living) is Sree Narayanadharma. ‘It is not to argue and win, but to learn and teach’- These words of Gurudeva must be understood clearly, by those who wish to create discord amongst his followers.
dhara mutalaya vibhutiyayi tane
mariyumavasthayileri mari vattam
To know its own nature here, Awareness has become earth and other names and forms. It takes form and perishes in a cyclical manner, like a firebrand keeps turning round.
The earth, and other names and forms (nama-roopa) are the 5 elements and their combinations. To make its nature known, it (Awareness) takes forms like the earth and other creations, and then it perishes and appears again in a cyclic manner. Sankaracharya has said (in Bhajagovindam) –‘Punarapi jananam punarapi maranam, punarapi janani jadare sayanam’-i.e. births and deaths come again and again with the same sense. Just like water which falls as rains, and fills the rivers, which in turn falls into the sea, from which the steam rises to form the rain clouds to fall again as rain, the cycle of births and deaths repeat. (Stanza 9 of Jathilakshanam conveys the same concept).
Though we see all these happening, if we think carefully, it is like the whirling firebrand. When we spin a firebrand round with speed, we see a circle (halo) of fire (light). Such a circle does not exist. Only the firebrand exists. Similarly in the manifest world, though every thing appears as real, the only thing that is truly real is Awareness. Then if you ask, “What is this, we see?” there is no right answer to that question. Therefore you should know the real state of things. All these are God’s play (leela)
rurulatil eriyurunditunnu lokam
arivil anadiyatay natannitum tan
Mounting on the rolling chariot, the wheels of which have half-a-second and such others, as spokes, the world rolls on. Know this to be the Divine frolic, beginingless, which is ever going on, in Awareness.
This world is a manifestation of names and forms. It rolls in a chariot, with time as its wheels (Kalachakra). Half seconds (or similar fleeting moments) are its spokes. We must realize that this endless play is going on in Awareness. This is called Thiruvilayadal (Divine play). It is like a drama –Kaali natakam.
Awareness or Sachidananda is full (perfect). You may ask, why something that is perfect in itself adopts names and farms and emerges differently. This is called Divine Play (or God’s frolic). In Jananinavaratnamanjari, this drama has been described beautifully.
All creations are part of the cast in God’s drama. Each one has to enact a particular character. Only when each member of the cast plays (performs) his role well, the drama becomes a hit (success). In the drama of life, each one’s role is to identify his Dharma (duties) and perform it as best as he can, with the thought of God in his mind. Guru has said the same thing in the 2nd stanza of Isavasya Upanishad (Otherwise performing selfless works, one should live here till his death.) When deeds are performed with devotion, they would be purest. No devotee dares to belittle God or Guru, through thoughts, words or deeds.
oru patinayiramaditeyar onnay
varuvatupole varum vivekavritti
arivinae mootumanitya mayayami
Like ten thousand suns coming all at once, the wisdom’s function comes. That is the primal Sun, which comes out tearing the veil of maya-darkness. Maya covers Awareness, and is transient.
‘Like thousand suns shining all at once, the function of wisdom comes’- this refers to the experience of Bliss with the blossoming of Jnana (wisdom). One has to experience this Bliss to be convinced. Further wisdom dawns at one stroke. Maya with its power of veiling covers Awareness. It conceals the Truth. This is the same Maya referred to in Isavasya Upanishad (The face of truth that is covered with a golden disc). Maya is Anityam (transient). When the Real (Awareness) sets in, the unreal (Maya) disappears, just as darkness goes off (with light). Maya is darkness and Awareness is the sun that can remove this darkness. This is the primal sun that tears off the veil of Maya (darkness) and rises above it, as mentioned in this stanza. Even here, there is a reference to Sadyomukti (instant liberation). The 16th stanza has dealt in detail about instant and gradual (stepwise) realization. Here it says, the ignorant will become wise at one stroke. Then for the rest of his life he becomes a Jeevanmukta (liberated even when alive) or a Sthithaprajnan (one who is firmly rooted in Truth)
In the following stanzas as ’36-40’, Guru has further classified Awareness.
marutiyitam ‘sama’ ‘anya’ yennivannam
iru pirivay itil anya samyamarnnu
llurivil amarnnu thelinjunarnnitenam
The powers of Awareness are endless. They can be divided into two- the ‘same’ and the ‘other’. Merging the ‘other’ with ‘sameness’, one should remain awake, to that clear state of inner core
Awareness has unlimited powers. It can be classified as two (1) Those which make it ‘together’ are called Sama (same) (2) those which make it different are called Anya (other). Sama can be interpreted as that which takes it near to Awareness. Anya created separation and may be called Avidya (nescience). In Isavasya Upanishad the words Vidya and Avidya has been used to indicate these powers, which is actually Maya (delusion). In Mayadarshanam (stanza 1) the Gurudeva has clarified this point.
‘What ‘is not’ is Maya. It appears in various forms as Vidya (Supreme Knowledge), Avidya (nescience), Para (divine related Maya) Apara (Knowledge of the empirical world or ego related Maya), Tamas (darkness /ignorance), Pradhanam (underdeveloped nature, a part of Prakriti). Prakriti (primordial matter / nature)’.
Merging the power that creates ‘separateness’ with that which creates sameness, one should arise from the sleep of ignorance, with the inner core (Atma) becoming enlightened.
vishamamakhanda viveka saktiyennye
vishamaye vennatinal vivekamakum
The confusing ‘other’ is very difficult to win, without the power of undivided wisdom. Winning over the confusing is wisdom. Merge with the One, which is against the sense’s interest in names and forms.
The ‘other’ is the one that creates confusion. Without the power of undivided wisdom, it is difficult to overcome this confusion. The power of undivided wisdom means the discriminating power “to see all things in Self and Self in all being”(Isa Up.). It is the forms and names (manifestations) that create confusion. If one overcomes them, it becomes Atmajnanam (Self- Knowledge/ Awareness). It is also the power of discrimination. One should merge with that which detests sensual objects (pleasures) i.e. Awareness.
The concept mentioned in ‘Winning over the confusing is wisdom. Merge with the One, which is against the sense’s interest in names and forms.’ in sloka 37 and in ‘Merging the ‘other’ with ‘sameness’, one should remain awake, to that clear state of inner core’ in sloka 36 are the same. It is like saying the one should remove the ‘other’ (which creates the phenomenon of multiplicity). The ‘thorn of diversity’ has to be removed with the ‘thorn of uniformity’. Both Sama and Anya are creations of Maya. Having removed the thorn, we discard both of them. This action means merging with that which is opposed to sensual objects.
vilasuvatam samayennu melilotum
nilayeyarinju nivarnnu samyamelum
kalayil alinju kalarnnirunnitenam
What is known as many is the ‘other’. That which shines as one is the ‘same’. Having known that state, which is going to be spoken of, and with confidence, remain dissolved and blended in that state of sameness.
What we know as many forms is ‘Anya’ (differentiation). It is the sensual objects (names and forms), which we know as different. They create the sense of separation. What shows (everything) as one is Sama, which has been used as an epithet for Atma (Awareness), since it is Awareness that creates sameness (oneness). This is what is said in Isa Upa. 7. Samadrishti means vision of equality that is the control of divergent thoughts by withdrawing them from worldly affairs. In the plane of (supreme) consciousness, all are equal. One should remain dissolved in and become the same in that state of Oneness.
aruliya saktikalettutarnnu rantam
pirivivayil samatan viseshamekam
virati vara vishama viseshamonni-
tharamiva randu tharattilayidunnu.
To continue further, of these forces just mentioned, in the second division, the attribute of the ‘same’ is one, and the endless attributes of ‘other’- one kind. Thus these are of two kinds
Both Sama and Anya have been further divided as Samanyam (common) and Visesham (special). Vishama means that which creates distortion, and this is in reference to Anya. Since Anya (differentiation) is endless in nature it is described as ‘virathivara’ (without stop or end)
samayilumanyayilum sadapi vanni-
ngamaruvatundatatin visesha sakti
bhramakalayal akhilam prameyamakum.
In ‘sameness’ and in the ‘other’, each one’s qualifying force always comes and establishes. Though not proportionate, by the rotating function of these two, the world of names and forms become established
Sama and Anya are Maya (powers of knowledge). Both these have unlimited special powers. As regards the one who sees, the sensual objects are endless. Since these two powers rotate or operate in turns, the world of names and forms gets established and becomes known.