Saturday, April 28, 2012



    "Isa supports all this together, the perishable and the imperishable, the developed and the undeveloped. The anisa, atma, is bound because he has to enjoy (the fruits of karma) but when he has known God he is freed from all Pasa (fetters). 'There are two one knowing (Isvara), the other not knowing (Jiva) both unborn, one strong, the other weak; there is she, the unborn, through whom each man receives the recompense of his works. And there is the Infinite Atma appearing under all forms but Himself inactive."

    That which is perishable is the Pradhana; the immortal and imperishable is Hara. The one God (Eko Deva) rules the perishable and the atma. From meditating on Him, from joining Him, from becoming one with Him, there is further cessation of all illusion in the end." (Svetasvatara Up. I, 8 to 10.)

    On the same tree, man (anisa) sits grieving immersed, bewildered by his own impotence but when he sees the other (anyata) Isa, contented and knows His glory, then his grief passes away." Mundaka Up. III. 1,2.

    "There is a soul separate from the body; it is sat; it is united to a body and possessed of faults (the feeling of 'I' and 'mine'); it wills, thinks and acts; (Ichcha Jnana and Kriya); it becomes conscious after dreams; it undergoes the five avastas; and it rests in Turiyatitha." (Siddhiar III, 1).

    Each one of these statements is made in answer to a different theory as regards the soul. It is said to be 'existent,' in answer to those who deny the reality of a soul-substance, as such a thing is implied in the very act of denial. The next statement is made in answer to those who would assert that the body itself is the soul, and that there is no soul other than the body. The fact is though the soul may be in conjunction and correlation with the body, yet it asserts its own independence when it calls, "my body,' 'my eye" &c. Another asserts that the five senses form the soul. To him the answer is made that the soul is possessed of more powers than those exercised by the Jnanendriyas. Another states that the Sukshma Sarira forms the soul. The answer is that after awaking, one becomes conscious of the experiences in sleep as separate, the one becoming so conscious must be different from the dream body. Prana is shown not to be the soul, as there is no consciousness in deep sleep, though Prana may be present. It is different again from God, as instead of its intelligence being self-luminous, it understands only in conjunction with the different states of the body. The combination of all the above powers of the body is shown not to be soul, in as much as it subsists even in the Turyatita condition when all the bodily functions cease.

    This stanza is further important as it gives a clear and concise definition of the soul, a definition which we fail to get in any other systems. It is shown to be different from the body composed of maya and its products, Buddhi, senses, &c., and also different from God. It is not to be identified with any one or with all or any combination and permutation of the bodily functions; nor is it a combination of the body (maya) and andakaranas and God or any abhasa of these. But how is it found? It is always found in union with a body gross or subtle; and the mystery of this union is of more serious import than most other problems. It is possessed of certain powers, will, intellection, and power but distinguished from the Supreme Will and Power, in as much as this is faulty or imperfect and dependent. It is possessed of feeling and emotion, and suffers pain and pleasure as a result of its ignorance and union with the body; and this suffering is not illusory, which must distinguish it again from God, who is not tainted by any and who has neither likes nor dislikes,
'வேண்டுதல் வேண்டாமையிலான்,'
'சஞ்சலமிலான்,' &c. The soul is also limited by its coats, and this limitation is not illusory either.

    Even after saying all this, there is one characteristic definition of the soul, which is alone brought out in the Siddhanta and in no other school, and which serves to clear the whole path of psychology and metaphysics, of its greatest stumbling blocks. We mean its power "அது அது ஆதல்," 'சார்ந்ததன் வண்ணமாதல்,' யாதொன்று பற்றினதன இயல்பாய் நிற்றல்,'    to become identical with the one it is attached to, and erasing thereby its own existence and individuality, the moment after its union with this other and its defect or inability to exist independent of either body or God as a foothold or rest (பற்றுக் கோடின்றி நிற்றலாகாமை). So that the closest physiological and biological experiment and analysis cannot discover the soul's existence in the body, landing, as such, a Buddha, 'and a Schopenhaur and a Tyndal in the direst despair and pessimism; and it is this same peculiarity which has foiled such an astute thinker as Sankara, in his search for a soul when in union with God. The materialist and idealist work from opposite extremes but they meet with the same difficulty, the difficulty of discovering a soul, other than matter or God. Hence it is that Buddha, and his modern day representatives the agnostics (it is remarkable how powerfully Buddha appeals today and is popular with these soulless sect) declare the search for a psyche (soul) to be vain, for there is no psyche, in fact. And the absurdities and contradictions of the Indian idealistic school flow freely from this one defect of not clearly differentiating between God and soul. This power or characteristic of the soul is brought out in the analogy of crystal or mirror, (see last note in my edition of "Light of Grace' or 'Tiruvarutpayan') and the defect of soul is brought manifest except when it is attached to a piece of firewood or wick. When once we understand this particular nature of the soul, how easy it is for one to explain and illustrate the "Tatvamasi" and other mantras, which are to be taught to the disciple for practicing soul elevation. Of all the mass of Western Theologians, it is only the late Professor Henry Drummond that has noticed this nature of man and has illustrated it by our analogy of crystal or mirror and deduced the principles on which man's salvation or sanctification is built upon. He bases his address called 'Changed Life' on the text of St. Paul.

    "We, all, with unveiled face, reflecting as a mirror, the glory of the Lord are transformed into the same image from glory to glory even as from the Lord, the spirit."

    The mirror in union with a colored picture becomes one with the picture and is lost to view. This is its bhanda condition. The mirror when exposed to the glorious Light of the sun is also lost in the light. This is its moksha condition. Man by associating himself more and more with bodily appetites and senses is degraded thereby, losing all sense of his own identity. But the soul after distinguishing itself from the dirt and getting freed of it brings itself more and more into line with the Effulgent Light of the Lord, then the same Light covers if fully and completely. The formula may be stated in the words "I see God, I reflect God, I become godlike, godly, I become God, I am God."

    These two principles, the law of reflection and the law of assimilation or identity, in fact under lie our mantra and tantra our upasana or sadana, Yoga and Bavana, and our books instance the case of the snake charmer chanting the garuda mantra in illustration of these principles. Darwin has shown how this principle works out in Biology. Persons always associated with pigs get piggy faces, and with horses, horsey faces, a man and his wife as they progress through life in loving union get their features assimilated to each other. It has also been found that a child takes more often after its nurse than its mother. Hence it is by this power of becoming one with whatever it is united to (அது வது வாதல்) that man degrades himself to the very depths of the brute, and it is by this very power he can raise himself to the height of Godhood.

    It is this principle also which explains the Mahavakya texts 'Tatvamasi' 'Ahambrahmasmi' &c. There are two things 'I' and God and it is postulated that 'I' become 'God'. But for this power of myself, of becoming one with whatever I am united to, I can never become one with God. Hence the necessity of the upasana of Sivoham or Soham.

    The soul is not God, nor any abhasa or parinama of God, as it is not self-luminous, and as it gets corrupted; it is possessed of ichcha, jnana and kriya, but this must be energised by the Higher Will, Jnana and Kriya of God to become active, and are of a different order or plane; the soul is neither Rupi nor Ruparupi, nor Arupi, it is neither chit nor achit, but it is chit-achit or satasat; the Soul is neither anu nor Vibhu. It is Arupi and Vyapi but unlike that of matter or achit. Its vyapakam consists in becoming one with the thing it dwells in for the time being (body or God). Its eternal intelligence is concealed not by maya but by the Pasa, anava mala, and hence called Pasu.

    It passes through the five avastas (Jagram &c.) and is clothed in the Pancha Koshas (annamaya to ananda maya) and are different from them.

    There are three conditions of the soul called its kevala, sakala and suddha
avastas. The kevala condition is its original condition before evolution of any kind, when it cannot exercise its power of will, intelligence and power nor enjoy their fruits. In the sakala condition, it gets a body and becomes clothed with the various organs and senses and the desire to enjoy the object of the senses and reincarnates in different births.

    In the suddha condition, he becomes balanced in good and evil (இருவினையொப்பு); the grace of the Lord descends on him, (சத்திரிபாதம்) and he gets his guru's blessing (சற்குருதரிசனம்). He attains to Jnana Yoga Samadhi and is freed from the three Mala. He ceases to be finite intelligence and being united to the Feet of the Lord becomes clothed with all the Divine attributes of omniscience &c.

J. M. N.



Sunday, April 22, 2012



    Of the many hymns to Siva, this is perhaps the best known and the favourite. The pious Saivaite repeats it, or has it chanted to him every day and even the less devout read it during a certain fortnight in the year. The hymns in Siva's honour are familiar even to the Sudras, unlike the other prayers and mantras, which may not be repeated except by the Twice-born.

    If even the greatest of the gods, in offering praise,

    The hope of comprehending Thee, in full, resign,

    So may I not be blamed, if, in my humble ways,

    I laud Thy name – pardon these stumbling words of mine.


    Although Thy glory indescribable must be

    Even by the Vedas, though no human tongue may find

    Words to set forth Thy praise; may I be blessed to see

    Hints, shadows, symbols of Thee, in my longing mind.


    Thou can'st not wonder at the gracious words of gold,

    The great god uttered naming thee. Thy soul flowed in,

    To inspire the words themselves, but may e'en I be bold

    To tell Thy glory, and so purify my tongue from sin.


    Thou Brahma art – the good, the all-creating one;

    And Vishnu, thou – preserver, active power;

    And Siva dark, who, when the destined day is done,

    Transformest, though the blind scoff in their evil hour.


    Vain questioners to the blind world in its darkness say,

    "Who is this Lord? What form and feature doth he wear?

    "Of what stuff, and in what unfathomable way,

    "Made be the Universe." So they the world with words ensnare.


    Can this embodied Universe be uncreae?

    From who but the Creator, could this world proceed?

    Who else but Thee would dare an enterprise so great?

    And yet the unseeing ones mock Thee in word and deed.


    Though many are the ways by which man's questioning soul

    Wanders, in Vedas, Systems, Sastras, seeking Thee,

    Thou art the goal of all – for e'en as rivers roll

    Many and divers paths, yet all meet in the sea.


    Though, snared in pleasure's toils, the other gods may dwell,

    Those empty idle joys, thou could'st call forth at will,

    Touch not Thy calm. Yogi-like, meditating well,

    Ash-besmeared, snake-encircled, sit'st Thou rapt and still.



One thinker says that all things everlasting are,

Another, that they change and perish utterly;

One sage that some things die, others time cannot mar –

My soul they darken, but my praise pours forth always.


In vain, to estimate Thy power did Brahma try,

Vainly, did Vishnu seek to measure forth thy grace,

But when, with faithful hearts in deep humility,

They prayed, then was to them unveiled Thy wondrous face.


When mighty Ravan worshipped Thee with gifts and flowers,

And spread his fear afar over the land and sea,

Though, e'en against Thy throne, he tried his new-found powers,

No shelter might he find, had it not been for Thee.


And Vana, who abroad, yea over all the world,

Had spread his haughty rule, and from his shining seat,

Indra, the mighty one, had in this triumph hurled,

He gained his mystic powers in worship at Thy feet.


Upon Thy throat, was left the sacred azure stain,

Jewel-like radiant mark of Thy compassion great,

When Thou the poison drankst, from out the churning main –

Saviour of all, averting death, and fear, and fate.


Kandarpa, from whose darts demons and gods and men

Fled terror-stricken, even he, the strong and bold,

Withered before Thy glance, and turned to dust again,

When he looked mocking Thee, Thou, mighty self-controlled.


Beneath Thy feet, the solid earth unstable reeled,

The firmament was shaken, all the stars of night,

Yea, even the flaming sun, into confusion wheeled,

When Thou, with mystic dance, did'st foil the demon's might.


The rushing streams of Ganga's flood, deep-swelling, wide,

Whose ripples shine like stars in clusters gleaming fair,

And feed the circling ocean with their flowing tide,

Shone as the tiniest jewel lost amongst Thy hair.


When Thou, against Tripura, tunedst Thy Majesty,

The earth Thy chariot was, Brahma Thy charioteer,

Mountains Thy weapons, sun and moon were wheels to Thee:

But as Thou will'st, useful or useless these appear.


When Hari, who was used, in reverent guise,

To worshipping with a thousand lotuses Thy feet,

Found one was lacking from his gift, - one of his eyes,

His lotus eyes, he plucked to make the tale complete.


Empty the sacrifice, wanting the faith in Thee,

And empty prayer and worship till the soul doth long

Only for Thee, to praise Thee true and reverently,

Uttering forth in joy the Vedas' holy song.


Though Daksha, king and lord above all earthly things,

Made sacrifice with gods and rishis gathered there,

Vain were the spells of priests and vain the pomp of kings –

He perished utterly, for without faith his prayer.


So terrible Thy aspect, that the trembling soul

Shudders beholding Thee, in gloom, and fear, and night;

But to Thy true believers still Thou art the goal,

Thy love their stay, Thy care their infinite delight.


Remote, unseen, afar, hidden within man's heart,

Thy kingdom lies! all thoughts and things that seem to be,

Prove themselves but illusions, when, withdrawn, apart,

The soul that knows itself, attains with joy to Thee.


The sun, the moon art thou, the fire, the circling air,

The body and the spirit, earth and sky and sea –

So said the sages of the ancient world; but where,

Where shall we look to find aught separate from thee?


The sacred word that can the Vedas three express,

The three states of man's life, and Earth, and Heaven, and Hell,

Brahma's and Vishnu's power and Siva's mightiness.

That word, to show Thee forth alone, befitteth well.


How precious are Thy names; the mystic, sacred eight!

Enshrined in holy hymns, in ancient Vedic lore –

On Bhava, Sarva, Rudra, Pasupati, I wait –

Ugra, Bhima, Isana, Mahadeva, I adore.


I bow to Thee, a god of meditation vast,

Nearest to those who love, aloof, remote, and far

From lovelss souls, old, for Thou wast Creator in the past,

Young, for, in Thee, all things ever existing are.


Behold then, Lord, how I, with mind untaught and weak,

Ensnared by trifles, tossed by passions though I be,

Fearful before Thy glory, yet in reverence seek,

To offer as a flower this, my poor verse to Thee.


J. D. W.

- From The Indian Magazine and Review, 1907.

Thursday, April 19, 2012



    Transl: Since the Cosmos – as Effect – indicates That in which all that are 'he,' 'she,' 'it' & ., are involved (or implicated0, That Cause is. Because That, after withdrawing, projects again, That is the Lord – the Mover (or the Premium Mobile) = Hara.


    Transl: Different, yet identical by reason of impervasion, [
The translator evidently meant to say 'pervasion,' judging from the meaning of the Sanskrit verse. But, happier renderings might still be suggested. – Ed.] He is the Maker (or Dispenser) according to Karma. By means of His will Indissoluble, He ordains souls union with matter.


    Transl: Because (1) of negation, because (2) of the dawn of 'my-ness' (=self-consciousness), because (3) of wisdom derived from suppressing the senses, because (4) of cessation of experience in sleep, because (5) of presence of consciousness during waking, the subtle (soul) dwells in the body.


    Transl: Albeit different from the inner organ (antah karana), the soul is yet in correlation with it, as a king with his minister. Implanted in five-fold conditions (of being), self-luminosity and freedom of will are curbed by sin (mala).


    Transl: Neither the senses, nor the soul itself, perceive the objects (of search); but it (the soul) perceiveth through the Graceful Lord*, Who, Himself not undergoing modification, actuates the soul, like magnet the iron. [* With all deference to the sense of accuracy of the translator we must demur to the use of the word 'Graceful' to bring out the meaning of the word 'Sambhu.' 'Gracious' would be more appropriate, and certainly more in accordance with good English usage. – Ed]


    Transl: If it be non-existent, because of invisibility, - and non-intelligent (or inert = jadimd) because of visibility, the wise declare that the Graceful Lord* is to be known as differing from both. [* Sambhu = The Graceful; Siva = the Blissful]


    Transl: Not, with matter (achit) and soul (chit); nor do these (the latter) understand each other; Who knows the objective (prapancha) and the (Subject) Graceful (Lord), He is the Self (soul) different from both.


    Transl: Captured in the net of the netting senses, by 'Thou understandeth (Him) not,' is he (the soul) enlightened by the (Holy) Teacher; The soul dismissing them (senses) and becoming blest, strives to attain to His (the Lord's) estate.


    Transl: Having, by the eye of intelligence, perceived the Lord in the self (soul), and abandoning (all) illusive wandering, the cool shade of the Bliss-ful's feet is reached; the sage shall (then) meditate on the five-lettered Holy Formula (Mantra).


    Transl: The victor (siddha) entered into perfect union with the Blissful (Lord), hath all his will (thence) of, and after, Him; assoiled of sin and infatuation, he becometh the possessor of (eternal, spiritual) beatitude.


    Transl: Of even Intelligence, the Intelligent (soul) is the Illuminer; of the latter, again the Blissful (Lord) is the Illuminer. Perfervid love shall hence be shown to Him, the soul's Benefactor.


    Transl: Associating with the wise to secure liberation, their status in the Blissful Lords' Abode shall be won. Such, understand, is the proved thesis of the Followers of the Blissful in their work called the Sivajnana-bodha, or the Instructor of the knowledge of the Blissful.



    Stanza I. This Stanza is a short and trite definition of God, as the Cause of all. He is Cause, because everything originates from Him. The visible cosmos is His effect, or His manifestation from the potential into the kinetic. From the effect, cause is necessarily scientifically inferred, and their un-disreputable connection traced. The effect is the sum of all names and forms: (she, he, it). These are effaced at one time (pralaya) and traced out again at another time (sargu). God is the cause of this alternate and contiguous states of rest and motion; and He is therefore rightly epithetted as Hara, the Prime Mover, the Spring of all existence.

    Stanza II. This Stanza expands the foregoing definition, so that the Cause may be understood not only as the One, but the All. He is the One, because as Spirit, He is different from individual souls and matter. (This is monotheistic). But he is not therefore far and away from us, and removed from the world, - in other words he is not a mere extra-cosmic Deity. He is immanent, meaning that his spirit permeates and interpenetrates all the objective and subjective Cosmos, - in other words He is intra cosmic as well. God's function in relation to souls is now illustrated in that he watches the works of the free-will of souls (karma), and awards or dispenses justice as these deeds warrant. Justice metes out pain and pleasures, which can only be suffered by confinement in a material organization. The union of souls and matter is thus brought about. They cohere together as long as the effects created by Karma the law of causation get exhausted.

    Stanzas I and II thus teach what the three-fold constitution of the Universe is, viz., God, soul and matter, and how they stand in relation to each other, and their several functions in the economy of Cosmic constitution.

    Stanza III now undertakes to define what soul is, thus:-

    (1)    Because of negation:- Infatuation arises as to whether our body is the soul, or the senses or other organs, or the vital breath, or the sensory (manas), or thought (buddhi). But none of these, i.e., the negation of all these, is the soul, standing out as the Distinct Intelligence, apart from all the category or collocation of non-intelligent (or inert) mater, or its (matter's) permutations and combinations.

    (2)    Because of the dawn of 'my-ness:' My-ness here is the I-making faculty or the self-consciousness: 'I am I and these are 'mine.' This self-consciousness is unique to soul and absent in the rest of creation. This is therefore a proof per se of soul's existence, and its distinguishment from non-soul.

    (3)    Because of wisdom derived from the suppression of the senses: - The senses deceive and betray, so much as to produce the illusion that their Lord – the soul – is but the sum of themselves. But when the operations of the several senses are stopped by concentration and meditation, resulting in introspection, illumination comes on, called Yogi-pratyaksha, or direct intuitional proof – a proof so patent and positive as to set aside all the hitherto inferential and metaphysical arguments for the existence of soul. This illumination is what is called 'wisdom' realized when the distractions of the senses are stilled.

    (4)    Because of cessation of experience in sleep. Experience here relates to objective experience, of two kinds. (a) external, viz., 'I and this,' 'this and that;' (b) internal, viz., 'I am happy,' 'I am miserable.' Sleep is the sublation of all this. But before sleep, they existed, and after sleep again they come to exist. Between the past and the present, here must be a link, because in the present the past is remembered. This link then is the soul, or the thread which continuously runs through all the vicissitudes of experience.

    (5)    Because of presence of consciousness during waking: This consciousness is partly the memory (pratyabhijna) alluded to under (4) and premonition, peering into the future. The past is thus linked with the future, proving that consciousness (or Intelligence, the essential attribute of soul) is, but for the limitations imposed by matter, timeless, thus proving the eternality of the soul, - the container of consciousness.

    But of what manner are these limitations, contracting the otherwise all-expansive Intelligence (or all-consciousness). This is answered by Stanza IV. The soul's Intelligence is first filtered through, or in contact with the Inner-organ [antah-karana-the (manas) mind]. The mind is the subtle body, and is the nearest material vehicle or medium for the propagation of intelligence (buddhi). This relationship is aptly illustrated by the 'king and his minister.' For, to give is for the king, and to take is for the minister. The king acts not, but the minister does. The king remains behind the scene, but the minister enacts the drama before the curtain. The king can withdraw the delegated power from the minister. This means that when the soul departs, the mind is de-functioned and dead. The mind's outer covering is the body with its senses &c, going under the name of the gross body. The soul's instrument is the mind; the mind's instrument is the body. When both do function, it is called the (1) waking state; when mind alone functions, it is called the (2) dreaming state. When soul alone functions, it is called the (3) sleeping state. When soul alone functions, unlinked to mind and body (as in Samadhi) it is called the (4) fourth state. When soul alone functions without any more returning to its tethers, the mind and body, it is called the (5) state beyond the fourth. State four is temporary release (jivan mukti); whereas state five is eternal release (mukti) from all limitations. These five states are in order called jagrat, svapna, sushupti, turiya and turiyatita. Every one of them is a condition of consciousness, which is attributed to the influence of sin (mala) or the moral resultant of karma, or the acts of the unfettered (or free) will of the souls. Will is no other than the determinative phase of intelligence (or consciousness), in concerns material or objective. The soul dabbles in matter, and is there by slushed. It's will is thus hampered. Will is power potential, exhibited in act. Will hindered thus means intelligence contracted and free-action curtailed. Mala-ruddha-sva-drik-kriyah, (see original of stanza). To become freed, the minister must be disarmed and dismissed, the delegated powers withdrawn. Royalty must thus again become self-possessed, self-contained, and self-helpful; in other words, the sovereign soul must regain the kingdom usurped by the rapacious minister.

    Self-luminosity (=svasmaibhasa manatvam, or pratyaktvam) means the inherent glory of intelligence, before robbed and misappropriated, now recovered and restored to the owner. Union with God is the Sixth State, beyond all conditions.

    This fifth state, goes by the name of Kaivalya-Moksha.

    Stanzas I and II defined God and His three-fold constitution (Himself being one of the constituents) of the Universe. Stanza III defined the constituent soul and its attributive intelligence, and its states, under conditions of intelligence, were described by Stanza IV, showing the soul's 'descent' into matter, and its struggles consequent thereon. Stanza V, next, takes up the thread of the argument and shows the part God has been playing all the while during the conjoint concerns of soul and matter. In this concourse – or objective concerns (Samsarah), is their any subordinate and a final purpose latent? Yes, is the answer, What are they? Pumsartha (vide stanza) or Purushartha. This is of four kinds, dharma, (1), artha, (2) kama (3) and moksha (4) Dharma and artha are means for kama and moksha, the ends. Dharma, Artha and Kama, pertain to the material kingdom, whereas Moksha pertains to the spiritual kingdom. In its search for these several ambitions of life, helped by the senses (called the Horses by the Upanishads), the soul is unable independently to realize any of them. Unless God has always been with the soul – the soul being the House of God -, the soul cannot even exist. In Stanza II, above, the immanency of God was mentioned, - this is the proper sense of Pantheism, as expounded by the Visishtadvaita Vedantins, not the Pantheism of Advaita, which is so much ridiculed by the Monotheists.* [* In our view, the term
is the least satisfactory to describe Ramanuja's theology, much less Sankara's philosophy. – Ed.]. The Monotheistic idea was mentioned in the same stanza I. (ahyah), and the Pantheistic idea was expressed by 'by impervasion, identical (vyaptito ananyah). Monotheism without Pantheism, as well as Pantheism without Monotheism, are incomplete. If both are combined together, we get a complete idea of the God-head. In his anxiety to establish Pantheism, the non-dualist (advaitin), resorts to the expedient called vivarta, or proclaiming God's world as false – the most heinous charge that can be laid against God.§ [§ The Monists never say that God's world is false, but only man's vision is blurred. – Ed.] But philosophers like Ramanuja also are Pantheists, and it has of late become the fashion, especially among the Bengalis, to call his Pantheism parinama, or as if he preached that God's substance itself underwent modification! No, never do the Visishtadvaitis – be they Vaishnavas or Saivas – preach that God's essence undergoes modification, but that His adjectival body, the real universe of chit and achit, rotates in a circle of half manifestation and half resolution, but never vanishes into non-being, nor springs into illusory being from God's essence, as the extreme Pantheist (advaitin) would have it. Now, leaving the long terms of dialectics and polemics, and the confusion of intellect they must cause to the non-initiates into their mazes and mysteries, in plain words, the mono-pantheistic complete idea of the God-head may be understood by the simple proposition that the 'One God is everywhere'‡ [‡ Now, this is the burden of the monist, again! – Ed.] The above exposition was necessary for the proper comprehension of the sentence: Tad-vikari Sivachet, na' = 'Himself, not undergoing modification' (see Transl. of stanza). Well, God is thus always with us, in us, about us, and in fact everywhere. Were it not for such intimates union and presence, how could He be logically called infinite, or Omniscient. (Monotheists! Or Extra-cosmic-Deists! Answer this.) Were it not for His constant companionship with us, how could we be, think, do? He is thus our magnet, whose influence is constant and supreme, and whose movements are followed by the iron, - His universe. But in the reciprocal action set up between the Magnet and the Iron, the Iron is magnetized, not the Magnet ironized. Hence the stanza says: 'Himself, not undergoing modification.'

    Stanza VI. The refractory iron is gradually influenced by the constant presence of the Magnet. The iron is beginning to divest itself of its rust, and beginning to get magnetized. The soul must leave its influencer, God. Doubts arise as to visible and non-visible. 'The visible is not God', the Advaitin idealists cry on the one hand, 'the invisible does not exist at all', the Positivists cry on the other hand; but if we should tell both; 'Find God in the visible existent', the scientific materialists, or atomists might turn round and say,:- "Yes, the visible, I admit, is existent, but it is the work of the non-intelligent atoms, their spontaneous, heedless, design-less movement; and therefore where can be God, where it seems all non-intelligent." The wise men come to the rescue, and teach the doubting iron soul thus:- 'Because a thing is invisible, it is absurd to call a thing non-intelligent, if its existence is admitted on the score of visibility. Understand that visible and invisible are both existent, and their existence and all work contingent on such existence, is due to Intelligence interiorly and exteriorly directing all towards a definite purpose. If you so understand God, you are installed on to the first rung of contemplation. This contemplation is called the Para-svarupa contemplation, the beginning of spiritual enlightenment for the soul.

    Stanza VII teaches the Sva-svarupa contemplation, or what one's own soul is like with reference, and in relation to matter on one side, and God on the other. The expression nadchit-chit-sannidhan = 'Not, - with matter and soul' (see Transl) is susceptible of two interpretations. The 1st is that God is forgotten or hidden from view, when soul is in conjunction with matter. The 2nd is that God (Isvara) is neither soul (chit), nor matter (achit). When soul and matter are in conjunction, 'they understand each other not.' For if soul understood the nature of matter, it (soul) would reject it (matter); and if matter understood soul's inklings (sic!) towards Divinity, it (matter) would desert it (soul). Time comes, when the soul understands matter, and understands God, and understands itself as different from both; the soul to renounce its old attachments to matter and re-establish relations with God. Stanzas VI and VII put together mean the mode of meditation to be practiced by the soul, viz., meditation of God's nature (para svarupa) as the base, to which meditation of soul's nature (sva-svarupa is adjunct). Here it might be asked why Stanza VII, teaching soul-contemplation, should not have preceded Stanza VI, teaching God-contemplation. The reply is that it would have been so, if the Goal of spiritual Pilgrim had been Kaivaly-anubhava-soul-realization-instead of Braham-anubhava-God-realization. Kaivalya is isolation from Brahman (God), and as such belonging to the fifth conditioned state – the turiya-atita, mentioned in stanza IV (supra). The unconditioned Goal is God; and Sivajnana-Bodha, dealing as it does with the Aspirant soul for this Goal, rightly do the Stanzas VI and VII stand as they are.

    The epithet 'Graceful' for God occurs in each of the verses V, VI and VII. This is with reference to salvation by Grace. On this subject a short note will be found appended at the end of this Treatise.

    Stanza V (supra) refers to the secret influence of the Holy Spirit over the soul, acting from eternity. Stanza VI, then refers to the wise men or the already God-ripe (Budha), showing the way to the struggling soul, whose beginnings of enlightenment are seen in stanza V. Stanza VII refers to soul being then made to reflect on itself and as correlated to matter and God. And now, Stanza VIII shows God as coming more forward to the Soul's help, as Teacher. In Stanza IV, God acted without Soul's knowledge. In Stanza V, He acted through His messengers and ministers. In Stanzas VI and VII, the Soul was being prepared to meet Him directly; and here in Stanza VIII, He is seen face to face. He teaches him by showing the snares of the senses by which he is trapped. Forthwith the Soul's face is turned against its capturers, and turned towards the Liberator (God).

    After contemplation, there is Divine Revelation; and now the Path is entered. Stanza IX tells us how when the Pilgrim-Soul had passed the sharp boundary between earth and Heaven, all the tendencies and proclivities for the former gradually drop off. These tendencies are compared to the deception caused by mirage. The soul has ceased to run after them after entering the Path, but though the chase has been given up bodily, the mental impressions or traces (vrittis) remain; and these get obliterated, when the antaryamin, or the Teacher alluded to in Stanza VIII, has been, found, by one's introspective faculty developed by contemplation, to be dwelling in one's own heart. In this stanza IX, devotional religion, or the religion of the heart begins. Indeed does it truly begin when the cool shade of God's feet comes to refresh the soul, parched and baking in the fires of worldliness, hitherto fore (sic!). That devotion is embodied in the Five-lettered Mantra, the repetition of which and musing on its meaning, serving as the beacon-light to guide the Godward soul. He becomes now the sage (sudhih). God is here named as 'the Blissful.' After 'the Graceful,' 'The Blissful' of course Contemplation comes from Grace, and devotion or love from Bliss.

    1.     The meaning of this Holy Formula is briefly this: "Not for me or mine I am, but for Thee and Thine," implying unbartered love and non-rewardable service for Him.

    Further stage on the Path. The notion of separation from God, the feeling of distance from God, these begin to wane, as Stanza X points out. God-intoxication produces self-forgetfulness. Intense devotion to an object, leaves the object alone, the devotee seeming to have entered into the object and identifying himself with it. All the Alvars exclaimed like this. Even in our own matter-of-fact (!) days, Sri Paramahamsa Ramakrishna Deva haved like a mad man when carried away by ravishing visions flitting across his God-consciousness. This attitude of the entranced devotee is known by the phrase: 'Bhramava-Kitanyaya,' or the chrysalis developing into a winged creature by intensely absorbed attention*. [*The larval metamorphosis of Hexapods was unfortunately never present to the inner consciousness of our wise ancestors! – Ed.] Devotion is concentration with love, or such deep thought strong enough to materialize, like the stigmata on the person of the Roman Catholic Saint. From sage, the soul is now become saint (or from sudhih of Stanza IX to siddha of Stanza X). The sage is still the Fighter on the Field, but the saint is Victor. After the victory won, what on the battle-field is his own. He is now become the king's own son. The son's orders carry weight as if they emanated from the King Himself. The son's acts are after the King. The soul has entered into God (during devotion); his will is harmonized with God's will for the time being. His feeling is one of completer deliverance from all contamination and illusion; and tastes for the first time what the halcyon of bliss is. This is the purport of Stanza X.

    Now then to Stanza XI. Stanza X showed the beginning of love to God (or God-love). This love has many stages, grouped under para-bhakti, para-jnana, and parama-bhakti. Sight of God is para-bhakti; joining Him is para-jnana; and fear of separation from him characterizes parama-bhakti. This last is what the phrase 'param
Bhaktim' in Stanza, signifies. God is here again the Blissful; for out of his inordinate (sic!) love, He shows to the soul the Highest spiritual Truth, that he is the Illuminer of which the soul is the co-inherent illumination, just as light co-exists with the sun and disappears with his disappearance, and appears with his appearance, and just as intelligence co-exists with the soul (the Intelligent), departing with its departure and existing with tis (soul's) existence. Soul in its freed state, not only co-exists with God, but co-acts, and co-shines with him. The divine will and human will are harmonized, the two strings of the cosmic harp are attuned; and the cosmic work is one concord of Divine music. Is not God the Benefactor? We must ever sing to him Halleujaha, says the Upanishat: 'Etat Sama gayan aste.' The benefaction consists in the allaying, by God, of the fear of separation, the soul may feel, by pointing out to it the groundlessness of the fear by the illustration of Illuminer and illumination, which can never exist in separation. 'So I and thou,' says God.

    In Stanza XII, the Goal is reached. Hitherto, it was only the three aspects of Moksha, viz: Samipya, Salokya, and Sarupya. Now it is sayujya, or union with God, not transient union during moments of devotion. The sayujya here, is meant for the complete disappearance of man from his earthly tabernacle, the complete divestment of all his previous disguises and appearing in his true and genuine color of Divine Sonship, and as enlisted into the company of the Celestials for Divine Service for ever and ever.

    If man desires Mukti (salvation), let him first cultivate the friendship of the 'good' (satah), and he then gradually rises to be one of them himself. In this way this stanza is a resume or summing up of the Teachings of the Holy work, called the: sivagnana-Bodha.

    Note on Grace referred to in the gloss on Stanza V:-

    God's methods of salvation (or saving man) are six in number which are,

        (1)    Salvation by desire (apeksha)

        (2)    Salvation by relation (anvaya)

        (3)    Salvation by liberality (udara)

        (4)    Salvation by force (udara) §

        (5)    Salvation by love (vatsalya)

        (6)    Salvation by grace (Kripa)


    (Adapted from Sri Periyavacchan Pillai's Commentary on Stanza 19 of Tiru-nedund-andakam).

    [§ The Sanskrit word is by no means the right one. - Ed.]

A. G.






Thursday, April 5, 2012


[* Minor Upanishads by Pandit A. Mahadeva Sastri B. A., Madras 1898.]

    The translation of the first of these Upanishads by Pandit R. Anantakrishna Sastri of Adyar, with notes from the comments of Narayana and Sankarananda has been lying on our table for some months past and we have got our own Pandit to add his comments; and it will be apparent when they are printed what the difference is between the two modes of interpretation. The one mode, as in the book before us, takes for its certain guide, one's own inborn and inbred conviction produced by an immediate or intuitive cognition of "the Thing in itself," as opposed to "the conclusions professedly based on pure speculation", as our learned translator puts it, or as we would put it, it follows for its guide what the professors of the Mayavada School or the Hindu Idealists regard as the outcome of their innate cognition as opposed to dictates of all human reasoning; and one might possibly cavil at the high position claimed for professors of this School by our learned translator, over teachers of all other Schools; and when this so-called intuitive conception of Truth is so opposed to all human reasoning and common sense, one might also question the correctness of this Aham Brahma Gnana and doubt whether, after all, this boasted Self-knowledge may not be an illusion of illusions. And we know on the authority of the commentator quoted by the learned translator, what havoc our manas plays with us. After all, such a mode dealing cannot have a very high value; and another man can as easily say that his own intuitive and immediate cognition is different and it would be simply impossible to decide between the two sets of intuitive experience. And the effect of it on the possible student is that he must choose the one or the other on the principle of "Believe and be saved." The other mode of interpretation is not so ambitious nor so presumptions. It does not seek to interpret things as it suits one's own fancy or preconceived bias. At any rate, it advances one step higher, and instead of quoting this and that Acharya, and his followers, it only quotes from authorities or works left to us in the prehistoric period, and whose authorship is unknown, but which were anterior in date to this and that Acharya, and the authority of which is accepted by or at any rate cannot be denied by this or that Acharya. And what our own Pandit has done is to quote in elucidation of the word or passage from some other sruti or Upanishad, some Itihasa or Purana fulfilling the characteristics above set forth. And where modern Oriental Scholarship has failed is in ignoring the Puranas and Itihasas of undoubted authenticity as invaluable helps to understand the much more ancient Veda and Vedanta. For it is a fact which our Pandit proves by his quotations that the difficult words and passages in the Upanishads and Vedas are explained and illustrated and commented on at great length in the Puranas and Itihasas. Col. Vans Kennedy had remarked "I cannot discover in them (Puranas) any other object than that of religious instruction. In all the Puranas, some or other of the leading principles, rites and observances of the Hindu Religion are fully dwelt upon and illustrated, either by suitable legends or by presenting the ceremonies to be practised, and the prayers and invocations to be employed in the worship of different deities." Speaking generally of the value of Puranas, Prof. Wilson also remarks, that "A very great portion of the contents of many, some portion of the contents of all, is genuine and old. The sectorial interpolation, or embellishment is always sufficiently palpable to be set aside without injury to the more authentic and primitive material; and the Puranas, although they belong especially to that stage of the Hindu religion in which faith in some one divinity was the prevailing principle, are also a valuable record of the form of belief which came next in order to that of the Vedas" and which was in vogue about the time of the Greek invasion, and as such more than 11 or 12 centuries before Sankaracharya. Further, our own Mahabharata sets forth the value of Puranas in its very first chapter (p 2. P. C. Roy's book) "The purana highly esteemed, which is the most eminent narrative that exists diversified both in diction and division possessing subtle meanings logically combined and embellished from the Vedas is a sacred work. Composed in elegant language, it includes the subjects of other books. It is elucidated by other Sastras and comprehendeth the sense of the four Vedas." And the ordinary rule of interpretation followed by Hindu writers generally is that the Vedas and Upanishads should be explained by the Agamas, the latter by the Puranas, the latter by the Ithihasas, the latter by Smrities and so on; and where there is a clashing of authorities, the more ancient one is to be preferred to the authority of the later one. And of course, this rule never contemplated that in course of time, we would come to get a body of Upanishads and Puranas which are palpable forgeries or cannot at least lay claim to that high antiquity as such writings generally command in the ordinary estimation of the Hindus. Of course we quite agree with Mr. Mahadeva Sastri's opinion that simply because an Upanishad did not happen to be commented upon or referred to by Sankaracharya therefore that Upanishad is not to thought of as later than his time, but we are not prepared to accept his other dictum that there is no harm in calling anything as an Upanishad in which any man might choose to air his own views as the highest truth and the most intuitive Revelation. Under this definition, even an Allah Upanishad can pass muster. But what we generally mean by an Upanishad is an integral part of the Veda called the Brahmana and following closely in time to the Veda itself and anterior to the Puranas and Itihasas. And in our own view, we would not give any importance to any Upanishad which in its view of Sankhya (Philosophy) and Yoga is inconsistent or is not borne out by the teachings contained in the Mahabarat and which would introduce names and characters of the time of this great epic and of times subsequent. The Mahabarata occupies a unique position in our literary record; and being such a vast store house of ethical religious and philosophic and traditional lore, and much less touched by interpolators than other works of the kind, we may safely put down any legend, or custom, or principle of ethics or religion or philosophy as recent if it does not find a place therein. Judged accordingly by the test we have set up, the first of the Upanishads translated by Mr. Mahadeva Sastri would be classed as recent unless the last word is taken to be an interpolation and we have already objected to the practice of giving the yogartha (literal meaning) to every proper name, of translating 'Siva' as 'auspicious' 'Sankara' as 'the doer of good,' and 'Sadasiva' as 'the ever good' Maheshwara as 'the great Lord' &c. Of course we could understand Ramanuja's anxiety to do so but to such of them we would ask to put their finger into the Mahabharat itself and explain away every word in this fashion. And we here take opportunity of recording our strongest protest against that mischievous mode of interpreting such names as they occur as the names of the Lower Saguna God, as opposed to what they consider as the Highest Nirguna, a most patent example of which is furnished in the comment on 7th mantra. The mantras commencing from what is marked 4½ to 7 mantras is one single sentence and it describes the posture assumed, and object contemplated and the end obtained by the Atyasrama yogi. The object of this contemplation the Dhyeyah is described by giving his attributes and names, and it is a single clause; and yet our sastri following his Acharyas would make the words (in the 7th mantra) denote the Saguna, and the words preceding them though in the same clause describe the Nirguna! In his introduction he learnedly sets forth that Nirguna contemplation is for the highest perfected beings (of the Paramahamsa School) and the Saguna form to the lower mantras, which begin and so on, and yet in these mantras, which begin to prescribe the contemplation for the Atyasrami (explained as the highest Paramahamsa marga by Sankarananda), he is made to choose the Saguna! We are well aware that there are different forms of Yogi and one own Pandit quotes the passage from Kurma Purana which names and describes three classes of yogis, who are called Raudika or Saguna yogis Sankhya or Nirguna yogis, and Atyasrama Yogis and the Atyasrama Yogi called also Brahma Yogi, occupies the highest place; and our learned friend's Nirguna yogi has only to play second fiddle to him.

    "The Yogis are of three kinds, Baudik Yogi Sankhya Yogi and the most excellent Atyasrama yogi. The first Bavana is in Saguna; the second Bavana dwells on the Akshara (Nirguna) and the third Bavana dwells on the Parameshwara (Kurma Puran 2 chap. P. 31) and the fuller descriptions of them are given in the first chap. of the Purva khanda and as we give them in our commentary, we refrain from quoting them here. Of course Mr. Sastri cannot or will not choose to understand the conception of the Godhead as held by the Siddhantis, and we would only quote here a verse from our saint Manickavachaka, to whom there are shrines in Southern India than to Lord Krishna himself.

    "சாவ முன்னாட்டக்கன் வேள்விதகர் தின்று நஞ்சமஞ்சி,

    யாவவெந்தா யென்ற விதாவிடு நம்மவரவரே.

    மூவரென்றே யெம்பிரானொடு மெண்ணி விண்ணாண்டு மண்மேற்,

    றேவரென் றேயிறுமாந் தென்ன பாவந்திரிதவரே."


Our saint asserts in the strongest possible language the distinction of his God from any of the Trinity and yet identifies him with the Lord who saved the host of Devas headed by Vishnu from the dire effects of the fatal poison and Who overthrew the great sacrifice of Daksha who had invited from Vishnu downwards. It would be too great labour if we here to enter into the meanings of these allegorical legends themselves and the meanings are plain on the face of the puranic accounts themselves. And the subject of the high antiquity claimed by Mr. Sastri for the line of his teachers like Sankara and Gaudapada and the subject of the most ancient records supporting Mayavada or Virvarta Vada are subjects about which such high authorities as Colebrooke, Wilson, Max Muller, and Gough, Col Jacob Thibaut and others have quarrelled and though we would have our say on this subject someday, we only note it today to mark our dissent from the position taken up by our learned translator. We offer these remarks in the best of spirit, and we in no way wish to disparage the work done be Mr. Mahadeva Sastri. The criticism herein offered is more of the subject matter than of himself or his work, and as for the work turned out by him is concerned, it is done in the best scholarly style possible and the harvest being large and the labourers so few, our learned translator deserves as much support and encouragement our countrymen can afford.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

    The Sutasamhita, perhaps the most favorite book among Indian Sanyasins, forms part of the huge Skanda Purana, which according to itself consists of 100,000 slokas. This Purana, owing to its strong Saivite bias and the large number of Saivite shrines it mentions, has generally been put in the ninth or 10th century A.C. by western scholars. And it must have been with a shock of surprise that they would have received the announcement of Prof. Bendall, that he had secured a manuscript of the same Purana dated the sixth century A.C. in Nepal. Allowing, as we must, under the circumstances, at least two centuries for it to become famous so as to be preserved as a Purana, we may provisionally assign it to the fourth century A.C. It is quite likely that it is considerable older; but the fact that a portion of it, the Sutasamhita, mentions Bauddhas and Jains positively prohibits us from going behind the third century B.C., when only Buddhism came into prominence as a State religion, menacing the existence of Hinduism itself. Probably the beginning of the Christian era is the safest date that can be assigned to it at present. This argument, of course, assumes that the Sutasamhita formed an integral portion of the Skanda even in those times; and till we get more information regarding Prof. Bendall's manuscript, we may proceed on the assumption that it was so.
    This preliminary matter will make us appreciate in due measure the mention of the Saivite Agamas by name in the Sutasamhita. In the very first chapter in enumerating the eighteen Puranas and the eighteen Upapuranas, occurs a sloka which says that just as Iswara is the source of the Agamas like Kamika and the rest, so the son of Satyavati (Vyasa) is the source of the Puranas.1 [1
In this paper I have used only the Anandashrama edition, which contains the commentary of Madhavacharya also. I have not consulted the Grantha edition.] (I. 1. 12) In IV-8, 22-24, the Bharata, "the Taraka and other Sastras," Saiva Vaishnava and other Agamas are mentioned. I may here state that the Bharata is very often mentioned in the body of the book, so that all mention of it may be omitted hereafter, after giving a few references here. (I. 1. 36, IV. 19, 26, IV. 22, 2. IV. 39, 23, etc.)
    In IV, 20, 14-27, occurs a list of things, the succeeding one of which is declared to be better than its preceding one. In this ascending scale are to be found worship of God according to methods devised by oneself solely, adherence to the Bauddha Agama, the Arha Agama, the Prajapatya Agamam the Vaishnava Agama, and the Saiva Agama. The Saiva Agamas are said to be divided into two portions, one having a low source, the other a high one, of which the second is declared to be superior. This the commentator explains as follows: that the lower portion has its origin from below the navel of the body of Siva and that the higher one comes forth from the five Saktis of God called Isana, Tatpurusha, Aghora, Vamadeva and Sadyojata, forming the well-known Saiva Agamas Kamaika and the rest.2 [2
The Sutasamhita makes a distinction among Saiva Agamas, the now-known 28 Agamas being classed as higher than the others. I do not know whether there are any other Saiva Agamas than these twenty-eight; at least I have not met with mention of any.] He then quotes from some Agama to show the distribution of them to each of the five.
From Sadyojata     -    the five Agamas beginning with Kamika.
    From Vamadeva    -    the five beginning with Dipta.
    From Aghora         -    the five beginning with Aptivijaya.
    From Tatpurusha    -    the five beginning with Rourava.
    From Isana        -    the eight beginning with Prodgita.
    Then the Samhita proceeds that the Smarta rules are better than rules in Agamas, and that better than both is the Srauta Dharma, and so on. The mention of the Bauddha and Jaina systems is to be noticed. It is nor condemned as intrinsically bad, but as only lower than some other systems.
    Our next passage occurs in IV. 23, 2-6, where we find mention of Dharma Shastras, the Bharata, Vedangas and Upavedas,3 [3
This the commentator explains as Ayurveda, Dhanurveda etc. i.e., the science of medicine, of war etc.] of the Kamika and the other Agamas, the Kapala,4 [4
The Kapalas are a certain Saivite left-hand sect, who are noted for carrying a garland of skulls, and for eating and drinking from them. There is a graphic description of them in Bhavabhuti's drama Malatimadhava.] Lakula,5 [5 I do not understand what this is. There is another reading Nakula, which means 'relating to Nakula.'] Pasupata, Soma, Bhairava, Vaishnava, Brahma, Bauddha and Arha Agamas, and of the Lokayata, Taraka, Mimamsa, Saukhya and Yoga systems. IV.39.23., informs us that the Smritis, the Bharata, the Saivagamas and Tarka teach only Advaita and never Dvaita.6 [6
A very similar series of verses occurs in the Brahma Gita portion of the Sutasamhita. Chap.9. Verses 25 to 46.] The superiority and the all sufficiency of the Veda, is described in IV, 45, 52, where the Samhita asserts that knowledge of the Lord can be obtained only from the Veda, and that knowledge derived from other Agamas is no knowledge at all. It then proceeds to say that the other Agamas (i.e., the Veda itself being called an Agama) teach only a fragmentary portion of the truth contained in the Veda, and quotes as examples the Saiva, Vaishnava and the other Agamas we have become familiar with by the previous quotations, which, it says, are fit, only for lower Adhikaris (i.e., persons fit to follow them). This is rendered much more emphatic by the 8th chapter of the Brahma Gita, where six slokas (25 to 30) are devoted to the explanation that the Agamas are not meant for men who follow the Veda, and that they are solely intended for such as cannot go to it or have fallen from the Vedic path. In the first verse of this series, the Saiva Agamas are mentioned as example, and in the following ones, it is taught that the same principle applies to all the other Agamas also. The Samhita then proceeds to extol the excellence of the Vedas, and winds up the chapter with the statement that while Tantrikas incorporate Vedic teachings with their creed, the followers of the Veda do not stand in need of what is taught in the Agamas.
    Looking back over our few gleanings from the Sutasamhita, we may easily gather, that at the time the book was written, which we have provisionally accepted as the fourth century A.C., and which may in fact be much earlier, there was a considerable body of what are called Agamas, appertaining to the particular cults of Siva, Vishnu, Brahma, &c., and that there was some antagonism between these and the Veda, which the Sutasamhita tries to reconcile by the theory that they were given out by God for lesser Adhikaris or less developed men, while the Veda was only for the highly developed. We also learn that there were two divisions among the Saiva Agamas, the higher comprising now-known twenty-eight beginning with the Kamika, the lower having to all appearance disappeared. It is evident that a huge body of literature must have perished, for now we have absolutely none of the Agamas mentioned in our extracts, except one or two of the Saivite ones. And it is sorrowful to think how with these, have also gone our hope of ever tracing to their primal sources, the history of many a ceremonial quite meaningless at the present day. That such a considerable literature existed even at a time of the surmise entertained by many that some of these Agamas had their origin in times almost coeval with the dim days of the Brahmana period.
    There is also another source from which evidence may be gathered, viz., Tamil literature, almost the whole philosophical portion of which is dominated by the Agamas. The greatest of the Saiva saints, Tirumular, who is specially worshipped in perhaps the most revered Saiva shrine in Southern India, Chidambaram, mentions the twenty-eight Agamas and even gives the names of nine of them. His great work, the Tirumanthiram, is, one his own avowal, a condensation of the Agamas.7 [7
In the second verse of the chapter on
ஆகமச்சிறப்பு, he gives the number of verses contained in the Agamas as twenty-eight crores and one lakh. In the fourth, curiously enough, he gives seventy crores and one lakh as their number. I do not know if I interpret the latter verse right; any how it seems to me to be plain meaning.] This saint is ascribed by some Tamil scholars to the first century A.C., but so far as I am acquainted with the literature of the subject, no reasons are given for this date. Another early saint Manicka-Vachakar also mentions these, though not by their individual names. Mr. Tirumalaikolundu Pillay has recently attempted to place the latter in the second century after Christ.8 [8
In this small pamphlet styled "The Age of Manickavachakar."] This, if well-founded, will also go to confirm the conclusion we have already arrived at, from Sanskrit sources, regarding the antiquity of the Saivite Agamas.
[N.B. I must mention that there is no mention of any Upagamas in the Sutasamihta. Apart from this, there are reasons to think that they form a body of literature, which came into being at a much later time. Personally, I think they mark a revival of Saivism which followed upon the publication of the classical scholastic works of Indian Philosophy. In this connection, the omission of any mention of these Upagamas in Sureswaras's Manasollasa, while the primary Agamas are mentioned, is significant.]