Saturday, July 27, 2013

    One of the oldest and grandest of the shrines erected in Southern India for the worship of the Linga is the great temple at Tanjore. It is a fine specimen of Dravidian architecture, remarkable alike for the chaste simplicity of its style, and the stately plan on which it has been constructed. The spacious courtyard of the temple measures about 500 feet in length and 200 feet in breath; and the central tower which rises like a pyramid of graceful proportions, surmounted by a beautiful cupola, is almost 200 feet high. In front of the porch is a gigantic image of a bull, carved out of a single block of stone 16 feet high and 7 feet across.1 [1
Mr. Fergusson's Indian and Eastern Architecture pp. 343-5] Although it was actually built about nine centuries ago, it appears to this day, as new and perfect as if it had been completed hardly nine years ago. Neither in the great tower, nor in the massive gateways and turrets which line the quadrangle surrounding it, is there a single stone broken or out of its place. So carefully has it been attended to by the royal dynasties who successively ruled at Tanjore, that the alternate seasons of rain and sunshine for nine hundred years have left little or no trace of their destructive effects on the building, and it bids fair to remain intact for many centuries to come, as a permanent monument of the piety and prowess of its founder Rajaraja Chola, alias Ko-raja-kesari-varmman.
    A record of the name and achievements of the founder and of the many donations to the temple made by him and by different members of his family is found in the inscriptions, which are engraved on the base of the central tower, and on many of the pillars and walls of the outer buildings. The inscriptions, most of which were engraved during the reign of Raja-raja-deva, are still perfectly legible. Very few native scholars are however able to read them, as the Tamil characters of that age are somewhat different from the characters of modern Tamil; and consequently, most of the Tamil pandits have no idea whatever of the mine of information, antiquarian and historical, that lies concealed in these archaic inscriptions. 2 They commence as follows with a Sanskrit verse: - (Sanskrit) Health and wealth! This (is) the record of the grant of Raja-raja-kesari varmman, which is honored by the rows of diadems of all princes. [2
Those who take an interest in the history of Southern India but are unable to read the original inscriptions on the temples, may study with advantage the text and translation of the inscriptions, which have been edited with great care and ability by Dr. Hultzsch, the Government Epigraphist. See South Indian inscriptions. Vol. II.] (Tamil) on the twentieth day of the twenty sixth year! (of the reign) of Ko-raja-kesari-varmman alias Sri Raja-raja-Deva who to make it known (in all) that the goddess of the great earth had, like the goddess of wealth, become his consort – quelled the rebellion at Kandalur Salai, and by his valiant and victorious army, conquered Vengai Nadu, Gangai-padi, Tadikai-padi, Nulamba-padi the western Malai Nadu, Kollam Kalingam, and applauded by the eight directions, (i.e., all surrounding nations) Ila-mandalam, and the seven and a half lakhs of Irattappadi; who deprived the Pandyas of their splendor and has so distinguished himself that he is worthy of worship everywhere, (he) the Udaiyar Sr-Raja-raja-deva, while seated in the eastern bath-room in the place of Iru-mudi-Chola having bestowed (the usual) gifts, was pleased to command "Let all the gifts made by us, the gifts made by our elder sister, the donors to the Lord of the sacred stone temple erected by us at Tanjavur in the Tanjavur Kurram in the Pandya-kulasini-vala-nadu, be engraved on stone on the sacred central tower."
    It is to this laudable desire on the part of the Chola king to leave a permanent record of the donations to temples that we owe much of the information we now possess of the Chola history for at last three centuries from the time of Raja-raja; for his successors on the Chola throne followed his example, and the grants made during their reign between the tenth and the thirteenth centuries of the Christian era, were engraved on the stone walls of most of the ancient temples in Tamilakam. These lithic records are dated in the regal years of the king, the leaning events of his reign or his martial exploits are also briefly described. It appears from these inscriptions that the Saka era, which was current in the Telugu and Canarese countries was not then in use in the Tamil land. The exact year of accession of Rajaraja Chola could not therefore be determined until the discovery of a Canarese inscription of his reign in the Mysore Province in which, both the Saka year and the year of the king's reign were given. From the Canarese inscription it has been ascertained that Raja-raja's reign commenced in the year 284-85 A.D. (3) [3
Mr. Rice's Epigraphia Karnataka No. 140. Kanarese inscription at Balmuri.] Calculating from this year, it follows that the King's order, directing that a record of his gifts be engraved on the temple, was issued in the year 1010-11 A. D. shortly before which the construction of the temple appears to have been completed.
    Of the ancestors of Rajaraja very little is known from the inscriptions on temples. We learn however from the copper plates which contain the grant of the village of Animangalam to the Buddhist Vihara at Negapatam, (4) [4
Archeological Survey of Southern India, Vol. IV. P. 216] that he was the son of Parantaka II, and great grandson of Parantaka I or Vira Narayana, who defeated the Pandya and Sinhalese armies, and built the Kanaka-Sabha (Golden Hall) at Chidambaram. In describing the genealogy of the Cholas, the Kalingattu-Parani mentions him after the Chola King who vanquished the Pandya and Sinhalese forms, and states that he captured Udakai in the Uthia (or Chera) kingdom. 5 [5
Kalingattup-parani. Canto viii, verse 24.] The Vikrama-Cholan Ula similarly alludes to him, after the Chola who built the Kanaka-Sabha and praises him for having cut off the heads of eighteen princes and conquered Malai-Nadu, in retaliation for the insult offered to his envoy. 6 [6
Vikrama-Cholan-Ula. See Indian Antiquary Vol. xxii, p. 142.] He is referred to in the Kulottunga Cholan Ula and Raja raja Cholan Ula
7 [7
These poems have not yet been published in print.] also as the king who destroyed Udakai. It is evident therefore that Rajaraja commenced his career of conquests by chastising the princes at Udakai, in the Chera kingdom, who had insulted his envoy.
    Up to the 9th year of his reign, he is mentioned in the inscriptions simply as Rajarajakesari-varmman, and none of his conquests are alluded to. During this period that is, from 984 to 993. A. D., he appears to have been consolidating his power as the Chola Kingdom has just then thrown off the yoke of the Rushtrakutas, the last king of which line had been defeated by the Western Chalukya Tailappa. In inscriptions dated from the 10th to the 12th year of his reign, the epithet, "who quelled the rebellion at Kandalur-Salai" is prefixed to his name. Subsequent inscriptions beginning with the words "Tirumakal polap peru nilach chelviyum" are not only in Tanjore, but also in many of the ancient temples in other places. They furnish a complete list of the conquests made by the King up to the date of each inscription, and clearly show the gradual expansion of the Chola dominions during his eventful reign. When he came to the throne he inherited only the Chola and Konga kingdoms. The former comprised very nearly the modern Tanjore and Trichinopoly Districts, and the latter the Coimbatore District. His elder sister Kuntavai having married the Pallava King Vandyadeva, who was most probably a weak prince, and entirely subservient to Rajaraja, the latter's authority extended over the territories of the Pallava king also, that is, the whole of the country now known as the Chingleput, North Arcot and South Arcot Districts. In the 10th year of his reign, he put down the rebellion at Salai. Before the end of the 14th year, he conquered Vengai-Nadu (the Nellore, Krishna and Godavari Districts) Gangai-padi, Nulamba-padi, Tadikai-padi (the Mysore Provinces) and Kudamalai-Nadu (Coorg), and defeated the Cheliyas (Pandyas). Within the next four years his armies over-ran Kollam (Malabar) and Kalingam (the Vizagapatam and Ganjam Districts), and invaded Lanka (Ceylon). In the 21st year Satyasraya II, the Western Chalukya King was defeated by him, and Irattapadi, or a portion of it at least (the Cuddpah, Kurnool, Bellary and Anantapur Districts) was annexed to his dominions and before the 29th year, the 12,000 islands in the sea (the Lakshadweep and Maldives) were brought under his sway. When he died in the 29th or 30th year of his reign, his empire included almost the whole of the country now known as the Madras Presidency, the Province of Coorg and Mysore, and the Northern portion of Ceylon.
    In all the inscriptions in which his conquests are detailed, due praise is given to the valor and efficiency of his army, which appears to have been so well equipped and organized that it never met with any reverse in all its campaigns. Separate regiments of body-guards, foot soldiers and archers are named in the inscriptions as follow:-
    Royal Body Guards of the Keralantaka Gate.
    Royal Body Guards of the Inner Gate.
    Keralantaka's Chosen Troops.
    Jananatha's Chosen Troops.
    Singalantaka's Chosen Troops.
    Pandit Chola's chosen Archers. *
[* Dr. Hultzsch's South Indian Inscriptions Vol. II. p. 98 and ff.]
If Rajaraja was great in War, he was not the less so in peace; for he had the genius to organize Government in an eminent degree, and most of the kingdoms conquered by him remained integral parts of the Chola Empire during the reign of many of his successors. Under his string rule, the conquered countries, as well as the Chola Kingdom, appear to have enjoyed perfect peace and security of property. Judging from the minute measurement of rent-free and rent-paying lands, as recorded in the inscriptions at Tanjore, there is every reason to believe that the lands under cultivation throughout his Empire were carefully surveyed and assessed during his sovereignty. A complete account of the number of weavers, goldsmith, blacksmiths and other artisans appears to have been also maintained and professional taxes levied accordingly. He embellished his capital city Tanjore by the erection of various buildings, and the grand temple which bears his name. His ceaseless activity and zealous work for the public good left such a deep impression on the minds of his tributary princes and chiefs, that they were not slow to follow his example and vied with each other in promoting the welfare of the empire. His wonderful tact and ability as the founder of an Empire were most visible in the spirit of unity which he infused into his subjects, although they were divided by the languages they spoke and the religions they professed. The achievements of his army no doubt compelled the union of many races; but unless the King had constantly kept it in his view, to conciliate the conquered races by granting them their due share in civil and military employment, he could not have long succeeded in holding them together as the subjects of one Empire.
Whatever he undertook to do, he did thoroughly, and to the best of his ability. This trait of his character is best shown by the endowments he made to the Rajarajeswara temple. No one who reads the long list of villages and lands, of images and utensils of gold and of costly jewels presented to the temple, which is inscribed on its walls can fail to admire the solicitude of the King to provide for every want of the temple on a most lavish scale. Superb diadems and earrings and rubies, priceless necklaces of lustrous pearls and bright coral beads, bracelets, arm rings, girdles, anklets and toe-rings, all of gold, set with precious stones and various other ornaments, too numerous to mention in detail were supplied to adorn the idols. Likewise, dished, cups, plates, bowls, pitchers, salvers, kettles, water-pots, fly-whisks and betel-leaf boxes, wrought in pure gold were furnished for the daily service. Even the trumpets and parasols were made of gold; and although every kind of ornament and utensil, made of the most costly materials had been supplied, the pious king was not satisfied until he had showered at the feet of the god flowers made of gold! A complete staff of servants and officials was appointed for the temple, such as goldsmiths, carpenters, musicians, dancing girls, astrologers, accountants and treasurers; and lands were granted for their maintenance. Sheep, cows and buffaloes were given to supply milk and ghee, grants of money were made for the purchase of articles required for the daily service and whole villages were assigned to furnish annually the rice required for the sacred offerings.
Rajaraja appears to have had several wives, the names of five of whom are mentioned in the inscriptions. Lokamahadevi was the chief queen and the names of the others are Soramahadevi, Trailokyamahadevi, Panchavanmahadevi and Abimanavalli. The first four were apparently princesses by birth, as the title Mahadevi is attached to their names. Panchavanmahadevi was most probably the daughter of a Pandyan prince, Panchavan being a hereditary name of the Pandyas. Of his children, only two are alluded to in inscriptions, his son Rajendra Chola, who succeeded him on the throne, and a daughter Kuntavai who married Vimaladitya the Eastern Chalukya King.
Many curious facts may be noted from the inscriptions regarding the habits and customs, the political and social condition, and the religious beliefs and ceremonies of the Tamil people in the early part of the eleventh century but, as it will be out of place to dwell on them at any length in this article, I shall briefly state some of the salient facts which may interest the general reader.
Education was at a very low ebb at this period as may be seen from the many incorrect expressions used in the inscriptions. No literary work which can be confidently assigned to Rajaraja's reign has been quoted in later works, or handed down to posterity. There is a blank in Tamil literature, from about A. D. 950 to 1050, which should, I think, be attributed to the conquest of the Chola kingdom, by the Rashtrakutas, during the time of the immediate predecessors of Rajaraja. Chola accountants had not however lost their knowledge of the exact measurement of land or the valuation of revenue. The system of fractional notation in ma, kani and mundri or fractions 1/20 1/80 and 1/320 peculiar to Southern India, was in vogue; the unit of land measurement being a veli which is equal to about 5 English acres.
The property in land vested in the village assembly and all unclaimed land within the limits of each village belonged to them, and could be appropriated by them to any special use. The village assembly was responsible to the king for the total amount of tax due from the village, which was paid in kind or in coin. Farmers who failed to pay the land tax forfeited their holdings, and the village assembly then sold the defaulter's farms to others who applied for them. Building sites, burial grounds, and all lands belonging to temples and convents were exempt from tax.
Among the camp servants or followers, the Right Hand servants are specially mentioned in inscriptions and it is evident from that the distinction of Right Hand and Left Hand castes existed among the Tamils as early as the reign of Rajaraja Chola. Washermen, toddy-drawers, Kammalar (blacksmiths, gold-smiths and carpenters) and Pariahs (drummers) resided in hamlets outside the town; and it was considered a pollution for others to touch any individual of the above mentioned castes. 9 [9
Dr. Hultzsch's South Indian Inscriptions Vol. II. p. 43 and ff.] All higher castes resided in towns. It appears therefore that the Tamils did not follow the Aryan system of caste for, according to that system, Kammalar that is blacksmiths, carpenters and goldsmiths would have been treated as Vaisyas, and not as a low caste whom the Higher castes could not touch without pollution. Brahmins learned in the four Vedas received grants of land from pious kings, and resided on the lands allotted to them. Whole villages were sometimes granted to Vedic Brahmins, and were henceforth known as Chatur-veda-mangalam. They were distinguished by the donor's name as follows:-
Gandara-ditya Chatur-veda-mangalam.
Tanantha Chatur-veda-mangalam.
Arunchikai Chatur-veda-mangalam.
Parantaka Chatur-veda-mangalam.
Kuntavai Chatur-veda-mangalam.

Rajaraja Chola professed the Saiva religion and temples dedicated to Shiva were fare more numerous in the Tamil land than those of Vishnu, but the masses appear to have continued the worship of their primitive Dravidian deities and every village had its temple of Pidari and Ayyanar, who were doubtless the prototypes of Parvati and Siva. There were also scattered communities who still adhered to Buddhism or Jainism. A famous Buddhist shrine at Naga-paddinam (Negapatam) still attracted pilgrims from distant lands. Jain monasteries and convents were also in existence, thought the number of Jain monks and nuns does not appear to have been considerable. The court religion being Saivism, it was, of course, in evidence everywhere. Rajaraja appears to have favored the sect of Saivas, who adopted the Linga as the emblem of Siva. His immediate predecessors had been worshippers of the Linga, and one of them Kumara Kulottunga Chola is praised as Fangamaraja Kulottunga. 10 [10
Oddakkoottar's Kulottunga-chola-kovai. Stanzas, 2, 253, 19, 40, 239, 328, 343, 365.] Rajaraja was a devout Saiva, and although he assumed many titles, such as Arumoli (one whose words are precious) Rajasraya (the Asylum of Kings), Jayankonda-Chola (the Chola conqueror) and Mummudi-Chola (the Chola who wore three crowns, i.e., those of the Chera, Chola and Pandya), none was more appropriate or more truly expressive of his high purpose and sincere piety than the epithet Sivapada Sekhara (He whose crown is the feet of Siva).
(Adapted from the Madras review of February 1902).

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Commonsense: -     Can you give a clear definition of Jivatma?

Pundit: -    Jivatma is Paramatma covered (Ponthinadi) by Avidya.

Commonsense: -     What is Avidya?

Pundit: -    Avidya is what is composed of Tamas and Rajas

Commonsense: -     What are these?

Pundit: - These are the two out of the three Gunas constituting Prakriti. The 3rd is      Sattva.

Commonsense: - What is Sattva?

Pundit: -     Sattva is Maya. All Sattva is all Maya. All Maya is all Sattva.     

Commonsense: - Has Jivatma any connection with Maya?

Pundit: - No. It is Mayatita.

Commonsense: - What does 'covered' (Ponthinadi) mean?

Pundit: - It means 'Avaranamainadi,' what conceals or hides.

Commonsense: - What does Avidya conceal then?

Pundit: - It conceals the Satchidananda Svayam Prakasam. (Everlasting Bliss and      Self-luminous Light).

Commonsense: - If this Satchidananda Svayam Prakasam can be concealed or veiled, can      it be called Svayam Prakasam?

Pundit: - But this covering does not in any way diminish its lustre, its intelligence.

Commonsense: - Then there is no harm or damage or Bandham by this veiling?

Pundit: - No.

Commonsense: - Then Jivatma has no Bandham and no suffering?

Pundit: - Of course not.

Commonsense: - Then there is no necessity to seek salvation, to desire Moksha?

Pundit: - No.

Commonsense: - Then there is no necessity to practice Sadana chatushtayam, for          Gurupadesam, for Acharya or any such thing?

Pundit: -    No.

(But the Pundit was evidently not satisfied with this conclusions and blinked sadly).

Commonsense: -      But this conclusion that Jivatma has no Bhandam or Moksham is evidently not satisfactory. Why?

Pundit: -     This contradicts our experience or Pratyaksha Pramana.    

Commonsense: - Then there must be a mistake, therefore, somewhere in your premises? Where is it?

Pundit: -     (After a long thought) I should have said that by avaranam, being covered, there is Bandham.

Commonsense: - Quite so. The Paramatma by reason of avaranam is in Bandha?

Pundit: - Yes.

Commonsense: - It must seek salvation.

Pundit: - Yes.

Commonsense: - But is this conclusion satisfactory either?

Pundit: - No.

Commonsense: - Why?

Pundit: - Because it contradicts Sabda or Agama Pramana

Commonsense: - Please mention some?

Pundit: - "Satyam Gnanam Anantam Brahma" Tait. Up. 2-1.

"He alone verily causes Bliss." Tait. Up. 2-7.

"Where is verily none else higher and subtler than this, which is higher than the high, and greater than the great; which is one, manifest, of endless forms, the whole universe, the ancient, beyond darkness." (Mahanara. Up. 1.)

"The green-colored, beyond the darkness." (Tait. Aran. 3-13).

"The Rudra, the Maharishi, Transcending the universe, first saw Hiranya Garbha the first of the Devas then being born." (Mahanara. Up. 12).

"The sage reaches Him who is the womb of all beings, the witness of all, transcending Tamas. He is Brahma, He is Siva, He is Indra; He the indestructible, the Supreme, the Self-Luminous. (Kaivalya. Up).

"On the same tree, man sits grieving, immersed, bewildered, by his own impotence. But when he sees the other, the Lord, contended and knows his glory, then his grief passes away." Mundaka 3.1

"The wise arrive at that which is tranquil, free from decay, from death, from fear, the Highest." Prasna. Up. 5-7.

"Having perceived that which is without sound, without touch, without form, without decay, without taste, eternal, without end, beyond the Mahat and unchangeable, one is freed from the jaws of death." Katha. 3-5.

"Of the color of the Sun, beyond darkness." (Purusha Sukta).

"In the Highest Golden Sheath, there is the Brahman without Passion (Nishkala) and without parts. That is Pure,
that is the Light of Lights." (Munduka. Up. 1-2.9)

"The One God, in every Bhuta hid, pervading all the inner Atman of every Atma, Inspector of all deeds, in whom everything dwells, the Witness, the Pure Intelligence, and Nirguna Being." Svetas. VI-11.

Commonsense: - It follows then that no Avaranam or covering or Bandham can be postulated of Paramatma. Paramatma is one who cannot be covered by Avidya.

Pundit: - No.

Commonsense: - Can you now defend your definition of Jivatma as Paramatma covered by Avidya.

Note: - This represents a true and Verbatim account of an actual conversation held with a Pundit. There were several graduates and Pundits present. The Pundit ever had anon wanted to drop into a simile or metaphor and he was sternly kept out of it. A Vaishnava Acharya who was present tried to take up the Pundit's cudgels but failed also, and he had to admit the point raised herein is the real difficulty in Sankara's system. Of course others can give other definitions and vary the answers given, but they can in no way clear the ground.










    The Theosophic Gleaner for June refers to the lecture of Sister Nivedita (Miss M. Noble) on "Kali and Her Worship,"* reporters in the April number of the Prabuddha Bharata, and says that it fails to find out wherein the genuine explanation is given of the much talked of "Goddess", and that it is left as ignorant about Her as it was before the perusal of the lecture. [* We have since received also Swami Abhananda's New York lecture on the Mother-hood of God, for review and he also makes out his Kali to be Prakriti or Maya, and sub-divides this again into Avidya Sakti and Vidya-Sakti, and as he goes on to say 'as fire and its burning Power or heat are inseparable, so Being and energy are inseparable and one,' in the Personal God, which is also raid to rest on the Absolute, the Ocean of absolute intelligence, extend and bliss, in a unmanifested form. This so called Personal God or Ishwara can be nothing more than Pure and unadulterated Maya or matter and the Swami's worship of Iswara and Kali becomes worship of matter or Maya.]

Kali means Fire

    We cannot also avoid noticing the amount of confusion which ordinarily prevails in regard to this conception. For an historical review of the word and its usage, we would refer our contemporary to the section in Dr. Muir's Sanskrit texts Vol. No. 4, in which he treats of Durga. We would also summarize our own conception of the Goddess. The word literally means 'Fire,' and it is one of the appellations of God Agni and its worship is the worship of "Fire," a fact which ought to bring this worship much nearer to the worship of our Parsee brother than anything else. The word Rudra is also used to denote Fire or Agni; and the conception of Rudra of even today is as the God of Fire and Lord of sacrifices. (Medapatim, Pasupatim). The word Kali however came gradually to mean the Power or Sakti of Rudra and the Power or Sakti was also personified as "Mother," "Amba," "Ambika," and She is spoken of at one time as the sister and sometime as the Mother, and at another as consort, of Siva or Rudra though finally the last conception prevailed.

Kali is Love and Light and Power.

    In its final evolution, it means, the Power of God as Primal force (Kriya Sakti), as The Supreme Will, (Ichcha Sakti), as the Supreme Intelligence (Gnana Sakti) and as the Supreme Love (Arul Sakti). The relation of Sakti to God is described as Abinna or Samavaya and is likened to the relation of heat to fire or Sun. It is as such that God is manifest to the world and can be known at all. Out of His Supreme Love, (Arul Sakti) which he entertains for the creatures which are lying dormant and suffering in the Kevala Bhanda condition. He wills, that they should undergo evolution and the multiplication of the worlds and all sentient life is brought forth. And He creates, sustains, and reconstructs and liberates finally; and all these Powers of His are described as Saktis and by different names. This original Sakti is called Nishkala, is pure, and formless, imperceptible, and infinite. You may as well try to reach the sun and understand, its real magnitude and splendor as to try fathom the nature and majesty of this Supreme Power. Yet how do we know and feel this Power?


Kali is Sudda-Maya-Sakti.

An infinitesimally small part of this Power descends and is reflected in another lesser power of Sakti which is both perceptible and imperceptive, Sat and Asat, which has form and shape; and this power is called Maya. And here we may refer to our table of Tatwas printed at page 244 of Vol. I. This Mayasakti, it will be noticed there comprises from the grossest earth to the highest & finest sakti called Nadam and Vindhu, which means 'sound' and 'form.' Mayasakti is first divided into Suddha-Maya and Asuddha-Maya and as it descends it becomes grosser and grosser and less and less powerful. It will be noticed that 'nadam' 'sound,' is the first thing that is produced in evolution, and "Powers of Sound," its constructive and descriptive aspects, are those that are symbolized in the various rhythmic dances of both Siva and His Consort Kali. This 'Nadam' is the 'Nada Brahm' or 'Sabda-Brahma' of the Purva-Mimansa Vadias as symbolized in the Veda. This 'Nadam' again is the Pranava or Omkhar and this Omkhar Sakti is called also Kudila or Kundalini, and is the presiding power or Sakti in Gayatri. Here you have to distinguish even at the very first start this Suddha maya sakti familiarly called Kudila
sakti from the one ray of the true Siva Sakti which is reflected in it. This Kudila is highly powerful, in itself is the highest power of Nature (matter), but in the presence of the Supreme-Siva-Sakti, this is inert. The Kudila or Maya-sakti may be likened to the finest and most polished piece of diamond; and what is its nature? It is merely a colorless opaque substance and nothing more. But we always associate 'brilliancy' and 'light' with this diamond; and whence is this color and brilliancy derived? Of course not from itself but from the light of the sun. In the absence of the solar light or other kind of light, nobody can distinguish this so called brilliant diamond from its surrounding darkness. Here the opaque crystal of the diamond is Maya Sakti. Light is Kali or Sakti and sun is Siva. And the distinction between one kind of crystal and another, consists in their different powers of refraction and reflection. So it is in regard to this Maya sakti or Kali. In its various forms, through its thousand facets, it possesses the power of reflecting the primal Siva Sakti more or less and in myriad hues. And its highest forms, 'Nadam' and Vindhu are so indistinguishable that they are called Siva and Sakti also.

Kali is Kudilai or Kundalini.

    And this highest sakti Kudila or Kundalini is the Sakti or Kali that is reached at by the perfect Gnana Yogi. And these even so far forget the distinction we have drawn above, that they identify this Suddha-maya with the true Siva Sakti, and to this highest class of yogis belong; Srikanta and others and their Parinama Vada would be intelligible also in this light. Descending from (nadam) Kudilai, the Kali or Durga or Sakti of the highest Gnana. Yogis, we go down 5 places and reach up to Suddha-Vidhya which are forms of Suddha-Maya, and in which the power of True Sakti, are reflected and they form, Siva, Sakti, Sada-Siva, Maheshwara, and their Saktis, which are Potent Powers and Lords of creation and Sustentation and Destruction, clearly set forth in the Vedas and Upanishads and Puranas, but very rarely distinguished from each other by the ordinary student of Indian Religion.



Kali is Asuddha-maya Nirguna Sakti.

    The next five divisions of Asuddha Maya (28 to 26), are rarely noticed at all by other schools. But these five constitute the Pancha Kauchukam or material coat of Purusha or Atma or individual soul. This Maya coat or Sakti is Nirguna; and this Individual soul with this Nirguna coat has generally the form of Rudra or Ishwara, and is accordingly mistaken by certain class of Vedantis, for the Supreme God Himself; and this individual's Sakti is also invoked as Kali or Ishwari. We may here premise that these classes of Maya Saktis or Kalis from 36 to 2, both inclusive are rarely known to any other schools besides the Saiva Schools.

Kali is Prakriti or Guna Sakti.

    And when we come to No. 23, we reach the goal of most of the sectarians, Jains, and Sankhyas, Mayavadis, and Pancharatris. This 25th is Prakriti Pradhana – whose essential nature is said to be the three gunas. Some of them would recognize nothing else than Maya as the existent; but others regard the soul clothed in Prakriti as the highest Padartha and to them Prakriti is in abinna relation with soul; soul itself becoming by Parinama, Mulaprakriti. And to them, this Prakriti-Maya Sakti or Kali becomes a mother and goddess of very great Potency, and we find Bagavan Ramakrishna Paramahamsa lavishing all his affection and praise on this so called Personal God, Maya Sakti, Kali & c., and this Maya Sakti is the Kali worshipped by the great Guru's Sishyas, including sister Nivedita. The worship of this Maya-Sakti by itself is not a bad thing and when rightly pursued, it will land the novice into higher paths, but there is always a danger in invoking purely material Force; and the degradation to which this Sakti worship has fallen will illustrate the risks of this path, a path, called Vama or left-handed, which though practiced in the north, has been totally given up in the south; and we may positively declare that the worship of Kali in its three forms, as Mahadevi, or Lakshmi or Saraswati, in the south is perfectly pure and holy. Going down a step below, we come to a form of worship which is the prevailing form in Europe and even in India.

Kali is Buddhi or one's Egoistic Intelligence.

    It is the worship of the Buddhi, or the Intellect which leads one into agnosticism and sometimes negation. They ignore a soul or any spiritual principle of Love and Gnana in the universe; and the highest, these men of intellect could postulate is an ideal of moral and mental Purity, an ideal sufficient in itself, if with this ideal these professors could undertake to carry humanity with them and elevate them to a higher and a purer life. But unfortunately, this beautiful moral code (on Paper) has rarely any vitalizing power and has failed in practice; and in Buddhism, we have an example of the grandest failure. It was only the other day that Dharmapala described in the pages of the Mahabodhi Journal his vexation at the failure of his mission even in his own land, and to the very little power for good which Buddhism possessed and exercised there.* [* We may refer to the extract from a Ceylon Daily, which is going the round of the Madras papers, that the Singhalese are the most homicidal nation on the face of the earth.] And two classes of these worshippers of the Intellectual & moral Ideal we can note. In the East, as in Buddhism, it has taken a pessimistic turn, and has landed in blank asceticism. In the West, these philosophers strive to bring the greatest happiness (physical and social) to the greatest number; and we find its modern apostle Max Nardau speaking up for pure pleasures, for the masses, and for grand Music Halls, and theatre and such sort of sensual enjoyments.

Worship of mother and wife and daughter.

    And to the positivist philosopher, his home is his shrine, and his wife and mother and daughters are the Maha Devis and Devis, great and little Goddesses. Here also we note this Kali worship. Going below, we come to the worship of the more sensual pleasures in grosser and grosses form, and this is all the worship of the Kali, the fire of Desire in man.

Kali is our animal passion and ignorance.

    And it is this Kali, of animal passion and desire which if allowed to have free play would make its votary completely desolate, as desolate as the habitation* [* The habitat of Kali in Southern India is generally a sandy waste
(பாலைவனம்)] of this dread goddess Kali; and South Indians take care to locate her outside all human habitations, at the extreme end of the village & town; and the conquest of Siva and Siva-Sakti over this Demoness Kali is set forth by the poet and by the painter and sculptor. And now that we have enumerated the different classes of Kalis from the lowest to the Highest, and presented such a vast range, our contemporary is at liberty to choose for himself the Kali whom be most likes; but evidently he does not believe in any higher power than his mahatmas – and so the notions of Fatherhood and Motherhood of God cannot appeal to his fancy.

    The Siddhanta have the highest conception of Sakti and Uma, Love and Light of God and the following stanza up all our notions about the supreme majesty of this Love Power, and its presence in all forms of Mother Nature (matter or maya).

    ஈசனருளிச்சையறி வியற்றலின்ப


    தேசருவமருவுருவ முருவமாகித்

        தேவியுமாய்த்தேசமொடு செல்வமாகிப்







Friday, July 19, 2013


    What is the soul? We know what the physical body is, for we function in it normally, in our normal waking consciousness. To the physical body belongs what we call the conscious mind, which is the action of the brain. The physical brain is part of the physical body. The fore brain, which is in the head, is the seat of voluntary actions of the muscles of the body, because the fore brain is the organ of the conscious mind, and voluntary actions only come from the conscious mind. The brain, however, extends throughout the body down the spine, a part of every nerve in the body. But this brain is not the instrument or vehicle of the conscious mind.

    The body is not controlled completely by the conscious mind, for we cannot completely control digestions, cell-building and much of the bodily movements which go on without our knowledge or choice although it is predicated that we will be able to control even the most minute detail of functional movement, - when we gain the knowledge and exercise the will. Man is now a potentate bound in his own castle by the chains of ignorance and fear. It has been proven that the brain does not control or order these many minute bodily functioning's. What does control them? They are controlled by an unseen, but not unknown or unfelt, ethereal or spiritual force or organization. We may call this the mind. And it is not blind, else it would not work by system and definite purpose. If you had such clairvoyant sight that you could see food transform into blood, and blood into muscle, or the progress of a wound healing, you would not talk about blind force as a body builder and governor.

    The body is animated by something which we call a mind, both for its automatic and volitional movements, but doubtless different functioning's or qualities of mind for the different orders of bodily movement. We consider the mind a vehicle, or an instrument, or a machine, like unto a piano. Something plays upon the piano. We call this the soul. The soul acts upon the mind, the mind on the brain (which is only the nervous system) and the brain upon the body.

    But the mind is a body, also. It is material. But of different order of vibration than the physical. The soul uses the mind to contact physical things by means of the physical body, and it contacts mental things by means of a mental body. The mental things we call thoughts.

    The soul is the personality. It is the man. The human. Not the superman. It is the subjective-objective shell. Cut off and separated. And made this time and place. But as there is something more than the body and the mind there is something more than the soul. More interior. More permanent. We call it the Ego. The Ego is the everlasting, deathless, changeless, personality, beyond all changing personality-the I AM THAT I AM.

    What then is the spirit, the spirit of man? The spirit of man and ego of man are aspects one of the other, - the same but viewed differently. Instead of falling into the common error and speaking of the ego and spirit as something which man possesses, we must reverse the view and consider that the opposite is true, i.e., that ego and spirit possess man. Man as man, is the "littlest feller," the ego and spirit are great beyond human comprehension.

    The Spirit is Noumena, or final source and unfolding causality of being. The ego is Phenomena, or that unformed cause put into manifestation. They cannot be separated. Like subjective-objective noumena-phenomena are two ends, or sides, or phases of a one.

    The spirit may be said to be the most exalted, the ego less so, the soul less, the mind less, and the body less. But we must not err by looking sight of the fact that these terms I have used, inner and outer and higher and lower, are inadequate and really incorrect, but used in order to translate in a crude and unfinished way, the deeper truths of the spirit which cannot be fully demonstrated in the crude mental material of which the human mind is at present constituted. Higher and lower, however, relates to noumena-phenomena, and inner and outer to subjective-objective, while deeper pertains to both. It is well to bear this difference in mind, although I often fall into the common error of confounding them. There are two different schools, however, who purposely ignore the difference. But (pardon me) they are quite wrong. More anon.

    It is also well to note that some use the word mind to denote what I have termed spirit. I judge the Christian Scientists use the term Divine Mind in much the same sense that I do Spirit, without distinguishing between noumena-phenomena and subjective-objective. An interesting subject, and one I will try and simplify a little later.

(The New Age Magazine)


Tuesday, July 16, 2013


    Certainly no man, and in our opinion no invisible spirit of whatever rank, can so fathom a mystery as to fully describe, define and comprehend God. Mortals can describe and comprehend only what is inferior to themselves: and so, functioning upon the finite plane of existence, they can never grasp and define the infinite. In the conic sections, two mathematical lines may eternally approach and yet never meet.

    But every man and woman has some opinion of God; and the inalienable right, also, to express that opinion. Hence the following:

    "God is absolute Causation."- Proclus. "God is the Great Positive Mind – A. J. Davis. "God is the Supreme Power of the Universe." – A. R. Wallace. "God is love." – The Apostle John. "God is our Loving Father in Heaven." – Channing. "God is our Father-Mother." – Ann Lee. "God is the Infinite and Eternal Energy from which all things proceed." – Spencer. "God is that power, not ourselves, which makes for righteousness." – Arnold. "God is Absolute Being manifest throughout all nature as Energy, Life, and the Consciousness, as Love, Purpose and Will." – Peebles. "God is the Infinite Oversoul." – Emerson. "God the Supreme Being, is not God apart from the universe, but immanent and actually incarnate in it as Life and Will." – Lodge. "God, the intra mundane and transcendent potency, and life of all things that were and are." – Sankhya.

    The conceptions of Proclus, Jesus and A. J. Davis, relating to the divine presence, are taken as the foundation of reasoning among Spiritualists because they are the most concise.

    While there is everywhere manifest an infinite and eternal energy – God, pure spirit, - there is something that is not God. For the want of a better descriptive word we will term it substance, the negative side of Being. If all is God, as the enthusiast sometimes states, then cause and effect are one, which negates all logic. This inconceivable realm of substance, that is, nebula, monads, atoms, electrons, fire, dust and infinitesimal entities when manipulated and moved upon by spirit force, become matter, a temporary appearance, cognized by the sense perceptions; we say temporary, because granite itself, submitted to a very intense degree of heat, melts, becoming a liquid, a gas, vanishing into the invisible. Every appearance however, must have a corresponding base – a reality. None will contend that the thing moved, moved itself, or that the thing developed, developed itself, or that the thing evolved, evolved itself, independent of some causative propelling power. Never a machine manufactured a machine of itself. Life springing into conscious existence from non-life, is as irrational and as unthinkable as the derivation of something from nothing. Neither man nor ennobling religious emotions originated from the chance force friction of atoms, nor from any blind, polarized interblending of unreasoning molecules. These of themselves could never produce such desirable and magnificent fruitage as morality and religion, - that religion of love and truth that characterizes Spiritualism.

J. M. P.

Monday, July 1, 2013


    Many authorities on mental diseases hold the opinion that in some cases music has the power of curing inclancholia and kindred ailments, though it has been left to Dr. Emmett C. Dent, of the Manhattan State Hospital on Ward's Island, to put this theory to the test.

    The writer recently visited that big hospital for the insane, which had at the time upwards of 5,000 patients suffering from some kind of mental trouble and learned many particulars of interest regarding the experiments with music lately carried out by Dr. Dent.

    The well-known authority on insanity was enthusiastic over the success of his musical tests, and declared emphatically that he had cured many cases of madness through the medium of music properly administered, while in nearly all cases the patients were benefitted by the strains of a piano or a band.

    "A beautiful voice or violin solo will make a woman suffering from madness weep" said Dr. Dent, "while it will have no effect whatever upon an insane man. In my experiments with music as a cure for insanity I have confined myself to the women patients, for I have learned that they are the ones most benefitted by vocal or instrumental strains.

    "Some time ago I carried out an experiment which was not without interest I had about 100 patients, men and women, assembled in one of the rooms here and at a given signal a band, which I had also introduced, burst into a loud patriotic march. The effect on the different patients was surprising. Some became violent, some shouted wildly, and some marched round in time to the music. Others danced and laughed, a few sang, while upon many the strains apparently had no effect whatever. The experiment was not a success, and I saw at once that music, to be of any benefit at all, must be administered in careful doses."

    Dr. Dent then tried the effect of music on a young girl who for several months had been suffering from acute melancholia. Both instrumental and vocal music were tried, and from the first the strains had a remarkable effect upon her. The "music cure," as Dr. Dent calls it, was administered every day for about a fortnight and during that time the patients steadily improved, until at last the threw off her cloak of melancholy and her reason was fully restored. She has never had any return of her speedy recovery entirely to music properly administered.

    In one instance, in which a lady of refined tastes had become imbued with the deepest melancholy, touched with some slight religious mania, the playing of mournful music and the singing of doleful songs had the worst possible effect upon her and considerably increased her malady. Then the opposite extreme was tried; the music played was of the brightest and most inspiring kind while the songs were decidedly "comic" and amusing.

    The result was astonishing. The lady cheered up wonderfully, danced to the catchy music and joined in the choruses of the popular songs until, temporarily at all events, she forgot her melancholy and became bright and cheerful. When the music ceased her low spirits returned, but the treatment was persisted in for a couple of months, at the end of which time she had fully recovered her former good spirits and was discharged as cured.

    In the report of his experiments with music as a cure for insanity Dr. Dent said: "It must be remembered that the majority of our patients have never had the advantages of an ordinary education, much less those of a musical one, but in the face of this handicap I feel justified in saying that many of our patients have recovered as a direct result of the musical treatment. Of course, other treatment is not suspended while this is going on. The patients have, in addition to their regular treatment, all sorts of outdoor games and exercises, while a few patients who are able to play the piano or sing are encouraged to go on with their improvement in this direction.

    "I have found the human voice to be most effective in getting good results from this method of treatment. We arrange to have a good singer come to the hospital on a certain day, and the general enjoyment this gives is beyond estimation.

    Insane people, it may be added, are just as critical in regard to the quality of music as those who are possessed of a full mental capacity, and their disease can be aggravated by incorrect playing or singing, just as it can be soothed and benefited by perfection to touch and expression.

T. B.