THE LIGHT OF DIVINE WORSHIP.
As the letter A stands as the first of all letters
So the ancient God is the First Cause of the World.
- The Sacred Kural.
Just as we infer the presence of fire from the presence of smoke, so we see in this world the different kinds of food which men either do not understand or are not capable of understanding and which they cannot distinguish or are not capable of distinguishing, the different kinds of organs which swallow these foods, the different organs which digest the foods, convert them into juices and feed the different constitutions of the blood and give strength to mind and other senses and thus enable men to derive enjoyment, the way these things and organs are constituent, and how these and their different parts are necessary to each other and cooperate harmoniously with each other and calculated to produce certain results, and infer accordingly the existence of an Entity that possesses omniscience enabling it to understand these rare operations and omnipotence to carry them out. This First Cause so inferred is God.
This is the Supreme God who is all-powerful, all wise, eternally free, intelligent, pure Chit, omnipresent and all-container, the Supreme Treasure of grace which grants the wishes of His devotees, the repository of al! greatness and all names, the One Lord who is worshipped and fit to be worshipped by alt, who is the same to all without distinction, and who is claimed devoutly by each religionist as his own. This Being (according to St. Tayumanar) has neither caste nor clan neither birth nor death, neither bondage nor release, neither Rupa nor Arupa nor name and is the Light that shines standing inseparably in all, and according to the following text from Tiruvachaka "He has no names.no forms, nothing; to Him, let us sing Thousand names and beat Tellanam". People ascribe all sorts of names, according to their conception of the Deity.
"He is called Hara as He destroys all;
He is called Vishnu as He fill all;
He is called Sarvajna as He knows all;
He is called Om as He protects all."
If we are to state this truth plainer words, just as we infer the existence of a jiva, from the various bodily functions, so we infer the existence of God from our witnessing the wonderful works of creation in this world.
NAUTRE OF GOD.
As God is Sarva Vyapaka, from the entities contained in Him, He gets two Forms, Rupa or Murta, Arupa or Amurta.
"Brahman has two forms Rupa and Arupa."
To these, should be added, 'Atita' from God's own nature, and Ruparupa from God's Dhyana Form.
An illustration: The souls is omnipresent in the body. As this soul can alone be perceived by persons who specially attain to Samadhi, the ordinary people call it Atita; as it is united to the Sukshma body and is intelligent, it is called Arupa; as the Sacred books speak of it as of the form of light, as it is perceived by the eye of wisdom in Samadhi and not perceived by the normal eye, it is called Ruparupa; as the jiva spreading over the whole body fancies it to be the body itself, and without distinguishing it from itself says 'I became aft, I beat him', as even the on-lookers speak of a person's soul, as He is wise, He is unwise, in reference to his body, as also when they speak of him 'he is short, he is tall', this soul is called Rupa in reference to the body it dwells in.
The inference: So too as the Brahman cannot be understood by our mind, speech and bodily organs, and can alone be perceived when we become one with That after losing self-consciousness (Tat Bodha), It is called Atita; as It is said to be of the form of intelligence, Bliss, Nada, and subtle Bhutas, It is said to be Arupa; as the forms for inner Meditation, In Daharopasana, namely, Jyotis, Hiranmaya Purusha dwelling in the Sun, and forms of meditation like Virupaksha, which are of Jnanasakti are such as cannot be perceived by the human eye and could alone be inferentially known by means of these upasanas, It is said to be Ruparupa; and as the five elements and sun and moon and atma (soul) are the Eight bodies of God, and these with the exception air, Akas and soul are Rupa, Brahman is said to be Rupa also.
"Without impurity, without action, peaceful."
'Rudra is Superior to the Universe.'
"He cannot be reached by speech, by mind or by the eye, How can it be apprehended except by him who says 'He is.'"
'It is beyond all things. It is in the heart.'
"Behold He is the far which the mind cannot reach."
"Glory to Sivam who is indiscernible by the mind."
'Unless He be perceived with the Eye of His Grace
Of this nature, of this color and of this form,
Our Lord is, it will not be easy to picture.'
கொல்புகாததே." (Vagisa's Devaram.)
'His symbols and marks and Temples,
His ways, and the Nature of His Being,
Even though ye recite Thousand Veda's
Ye Senseless Fools, why don't These enter your heart."
(Jnana Sambanda's Devaram.)
'The Being who is beyond the world."
"That which is without sound, without touch, without Form."
That which is beyond the world is without form and without suffering."
அருவம் …. ஆனய்போற்றி
'Glory to Him, who is Arupa.'
"He is Uma-Sahaya, Paramesvara,
Lord, Three Eyed, Blue Throated."
"Bow to Him with shoulder of Golden Hue."
"Glory to Him whose Half is woman"
"Glory to The Dancer who is the spreading Light."
"The whole world is filled with what are His members."
"All this is Brahman."
"He became like unto every Form."
"In It all that exists has its self,
It is the True. It is Atma."
"Bow to Him who is all forms."
"Behold, he spread Himself cut as all these spreading worlds."
"Behold He became the un-moving and the moving."
அம்பலக்கூத்தனை." (Vagisa's Hymn)
"Him the Dancer in the chitakasa who is all forms."
All these ideas are summed up in Kaivalya Up. 8.
Unthinkable, unmanifest, of endless forms, Siva, Peaceful, Immortal, Origin of Brahma without beginning middle or end, The One, Omnipresent, Intelligence and Bliss, Formless and Advaita.
"The first cause wished, It would multiply; multiplying, It became all forms and no forms, and form-and-no-form; Guru, and Sakti and the Lord, all the souls, and became one with them all and yet was different."
மனத்தகத்தான் றலைமேலான் வாக்கினுள்ளான்
இனத்தகத்தா னிமையவர் தஞ்சிரத்தின் மேலான் (ரூபாரூபம்)
எழண்டத் தப்பாலான் (அதீதம்) இப்பாற் செம்பொன்
புனத்தகத்தான் நறுங்கொன்றைப் போதினுள்ளான்
பொருப்பிடையான் நெருப்பிடையான் (ரூபம்)
கனத்தகத்தான் (உருவம்) கயிலாயத்துச்சியுள்ளான்
காளத்தியா னவனென் கண்ணுளானே (ரூபாரூபம்)
"He is in the mind, in the Head and in speech,
In the hearts of his servants who sing of His feet with love,
In the Heads of Devas (Ruparupam)
He is beyond the seven worlds (Atita)
And here He, Gold-like, is in water
And in the fragrant cassia buds,
He is in the Rocks, and in fire and air (Arupa)
He is in Gold (or Clouds) and in the Top of Kailas
He is the Lord of Kalahasti, who is the inside of my eye."
STHULOPASANA PREPARES THE WAY FOR SUKSHMOPASANA.
The Atita, Arupa and Ruparupa are such as can be fancied of man's soul and known by inference and not by actual physical experience. Actual sight of the soul, showing respect to it are all in reference to its dwelling place, the body. This is the easy was to all. So too, in accordance with the four aspects in which God is conceived of as above, His worship divides itself into two, Sukshmopasana, in which our Bhavana is inferential, and Sthulopasana in which our worship is physical. Atitam, Arupam, Ruparupam are comprised in Sukshma, and Rupa in Sthula. As man's karma and intelligence differ in different individuals, so they are not capable of following the first forms of worship and can alone follow Rupa worship with usefulness. That is to say, after one had steadied his mind by following regularly the Rupa upasana, he can then take up Arupopasana and after perfecting himself therein Atitopasana. If in any of these upasanas, one perfects himself by losing self and reaches the highest experience, he becomes fit to receive the Grace of Paramesvara, and receives the reward. In Sthulopasana, one fixes his attention on an object before him, and without his mind wandering anywhere he worships God alone with all his heart. In sukshmopasana, one sits in a solitary place, controls his senses, closes his eyes, fixes his mind on something, performs Yoga and Dhyana. Therefore this should be practiced only after a man had gain perfection in Sthulopasana. And the Sukshmopasana could only be undertaken by Yogis who had conquered their senses and had thoroughly renounced life, and not by men who are ever engaged in the affairs of this world. But none in the world could afford to do without worship of God. No doubt Sukshmopasana is superior but those who cannot afford to practice it, should at least practice Sthulopasana.
If it be asked, why this is necessary when it is sufficient to think of God in one's mind, we will reply that.
PRACTICE IS NECESSARY FOR WORSHIP.
Young children first begin to count by their fingers and after a time they practice mental arithmetic. After learning each letter separately and its sound, they read rapidly without any effort at all, and without having to pause over each letter. So too, one who has controlled his senses by fixing his thoughts on God by practice in Sthulopasana will alone be able to prevent his senses from wandering and be able to fix is thoughts on God in Sukshmopasana.
A THING AND ITS REMEBERANCE.
An object can only be remembered in reference to the object, its quality or action. No memory can be formed without refer3ence to any of these. The absence of the object may cause remembrance also, but we must have known it before.
The Nayyayikas give Dravya, Guna, Action, Samanya (Genus) Vishesha (species) Samavaya (coinherence) Abhava (non-existence) as the seven constituents of an object. For example, when we say 'a white bull came', its feet, horns, body and other organs we remember when we call it a cow, from its white color, we remember it a white bull, from its locomotion from one place to another, we say 'it came'. These terms are used in reference to these things.
It is certain therefore that no memory can be formed without something to hold on, and it is clear this can arise only from the particular quality or action of the object. Even when we do not see the object its quality and action, we remember it by such notions as we possess of each object. Mental phenomena is also understood by the mind through the five senses touch &c.
This feeling is of two kind, the direct perception of them by means of the sensations and the remembrance of the same; following the previous experience. These forms they hold for memory.
Images are of two kind, physical (Sthula Vigraha) perceived by the eye, mental (Manasa Vigraha) perceived by the mind.
It follows therefore we cannot think of God except by some particular attribute of His. We think of the mind as what perceives, of Intellect as what thinks, of air as what moves and is felt by touch, of Akas as what is more subtle than air and is present everywhere; of electricity as an Arupa Sakti. So we think of God as omnipresent, omnipotent, the author of creation sustentation and resolution, Jnanamayan, Peaceful, Gracious; He is neither Rupa nor Arupa, neither short nor tall; He knows all and yet without senses. He is Sat, Chit, Ananda, Jyoti, Nada seated on the Throne of Heaven, the spirit moving on the waters; He appeared in the form of Light, and as man, and His Form is the whole world. Except in all these different ways, no religionist thinks of God.
Generally when people speak of an object which is Arupa, it happens they speak differently as each understands it. Let us consider the nature of Electricity. It is a kind of force; it fills all bodies and objects and all places; its real nature cannot be easily understood; but it is not a non-existent thing. Its nature may be said to be Atita. Its positive and negative aspects are also understood. As it is powerful and not perceived by the eye, it may be called Arupa. When in contact with Platinum or other metals it appears as light. In contact with iron &c., its form does not appear, and it becomes of the form of the object it is in contact with. Hence it may be called Ruparupa. A piece of iron electrified is called a magnet. It has form and so it may called Rupa. But the force is only one but it becomes four just as w conceive of it differently. A beginner understands it only as magnets, i.e., in form. When he advances further, he understands it as sparks when two objects are brought together, and light when it contacts platinum wire. Then he knows its positive and negative poles. (Ruparupam). When he is sufficiently advanced in its study he knows its nature could not be known but it is present everywhere (Atita) and when brought into action, it appears as Force (Arupa). What is understood in all these four aspects is only one thing, electricity. To understand its subtle (Atita) nature, the gross magnet is the first means and an easy one. So too, to understand God's subtle Nature, and worship Him, the worship of Him in gross forms is the easy means.
V. S. Y.