Hermeneutics and Metaphysics 21-25
Essays by Dr K. Loganathan

[ 21. The geneology of religious Fanaticism; 22. Mukti and Immortality; 23. Fascism and fear as Its Solution; 24. False Asceticism and Human Destructiveness; 25. Understanding family Life]

Hermeneutics and Metaphysics

21: The Genealogy of Religious Fanaticism

In order to solve problems related to terrorism in the name of religion, wars where only people are killed and properties damaged may NOT bring the desired results though it is necessary as a temporary measure. The FEAR and the immense sufferings that such wars bring about may serve to make many people THINK more deeply about such fanatical outbursts in the name of religion. However a long term solution seems to lie elsewhere -- in changing the very fabric of the metaphysical understanding such religions presuppose.

The bakthi literature abound with many useful insights on the GENEALOGY of such religious madness and the following verse of Appar is one of them. Very interestingly he sees that as long as religions remains tied to the historical , such religious frenzies and fanatical zeal where millions are killed in the name of religion is inevitable. Such religions keep the mind locked up within the  historical, keep the mind fixated to historical personalities and books and thus transfix the notion of Mukti into immortality.

Thus it would appear from the point of view of Appar that unless the mind is made aware of the metaphysical understanding where the Historical is transcended, fanaticism is unavoidable. Me must recall here that the Semitic religions are historical as was the Indian Jainism and Buddhism. The Bakthi revolt was against such historical religions and in the past Jainism was made ineffective and Buddhism transformed into Tantric Buddhism. It may be possible that the current world situation where religious terrorism holds sway something similar may happen and that the MEANING of the present crisis is precisely that.

Below I provide the relevant verse of Appar along with my elucidatory commentary. It should also be noted that the explanation provided is quite different from that possible within the framework of the metaphysics implicit in Bagavath Gita.

Appar 138

nilai valiyinRi engkum nilanodu viNNum
    nitanaj ceytu oodu puram muunRu
alai nali anjci oodi ariyodu teevar
    araNam pukat tan aruLaal
kolai nali vaaLi muuLa aravang kai naaNum
    anal paaya niiRu puramaa
malaicilai kaiyil olka vaLaivitta vaLLal
    avanaam namaoor caraNee

The false metaphysical castles, the Muppuram , are those which are generated because of the inherent constraints ofthe atomizing aaNavam, historicalising kanmam and the falsifying maayai. Because caught in these citadels, nothing isseen as permanent , all are seen transitory impermanent and hence throwing the souls into uncertainties metaphysical instabilities. Afraid of such a way of Life , Vishnu along with all the Devas ran away and took recluse in the Meru
Mountain, the abode of immortality. But even here they were assailed by VaaLi, the Evil Power that enjoys killingand destruction. Taking pity on the plights of these Devas, BEING, the Absolute, singed to ashes the the Falsemetaphysical castles, making the Vasuki, the KundaliNi snake beyond their reach and the Meru Mountain itselfunbearably hot so that it could NOT be used. Such a BEING , the Supremely Generous, is our recluse!


Appar brings in here another famous Saiva mythological theme to explicate another dimension of the Historical andthrough that the need to ascend the historical and rest in the absoluteness of the ahistorical ground, the BEING itself. The phenomenal religions are  historical and in being so,  are NOT absolute and hence they are essentially FalseMetaphysics or more specifically what is called acattu as opposed to cattu, the absolute. Our historical existence, as long as we do not try to transcend and rise above it and reach permanence of the Absolute Ground,  is bound to be
supremely unstable and hence deeply unsatisfying,  breeding a kind of restlessness within making us always search for this and that. Unsatiated we grope in the dark feeling miserable and seeking a way out of it and in that even unleasing terrorism and wars.

The Metaphysics of Saiva Siddhanta , as an UNDERSTANDING that has reached the Fundamental Ontologyprovides an EXPLANATION of such  human condition in terms of the concept of Mummalam, the aaNavam Kanmam and Maayai. The aaNavam is that which atomizes the mind by making the soul metaphysically BLIND and hence that which breeds DARKNESS in understanding that we articulate as IGNORANCE. This ignorance is NOT Avidya of Vedanta as the the metaphysics of Vedanta does not acknowledge the Mummalam satisfying itself with using more the ancient  notions of mukkuNam, the Satviikam Rajasam and Tamasam, concepts which are NOT
metaphysically fundamental. The Guna concept does not serve to explain the presence of Metaphysical Darkness which is quite different from what issues forth because Tamasam Guna.

The atomization of the mind caused by the infection of aaNavam is that which which makes the soul Historical andhence infected with karma, the need to ACT and through actions LEARN and through that illuminate oneself and through that REDUCE the inherent atomicity, the human finititude. However the need for PRAXIS  as a factor of existence makes it DESIRE the physical and hence become infected with maayai. These are Mummalam in the sense that they are the factors underlying the generation of false metaphysics and hence false religions.

Such false metaphysics or false religions fixate the mind to historical and hence seen as the products of Vishnu and the devas, the Vishnu being Lord of the manifest world, the Purusha, BEING-as-the -Manifest -World. As long as themind gets trapped by these false metaphysics, it can take only the impermanent as permanent, the non absolute asabsolute , the false as true, i.e. live in the world of Acattu, described here metaphorically as the Three Castles, the Muppuram.

The mind caught in the uncertainties CREATES , through its efforts the Meru Mountain, the Universe deemed IMMORTAL, deathless . But this is NOT the absolute, the Cattu for in this Mountain  crops up the devastatingreligious madness, fanaticism articulated here as the workings of vaaLi, another Asura but now that which enjoyskilling mercilessly, the kolai nali vaaLi. The deep metaphysical uncertainty that false religions create generate also thenotion of immortality which is STILL within the historical understanding and hence dangerous in a way. For to establish that one is RIGHT, one false religion has to vanquish another and hence virtually KILL OFF those who
differ. The immortality of one's false religion can only be established  by KILLING off anything that challenges it.

So life continues to be oppressive and miserable and it is only at this point that BEING , the Absolute comes to therescue of these people. Through creating and promoting wars in which the FIRE burns intensively, HE destroys all the False Metaphysics and hence all the false religions.  In the heat of the battle and the consequent RETHINKING of a fundamental kind, the historical is make to evaporate, turn to ashes and become NOTHING allowing thereby the ABSOLUTE to emerge and  hold the Ground.

The mind that rests in the Absolute, in the Cattu, attains the real Santhi that is the root desire of all and also makes the soul full of LOVE for all.

Hermeneutics and Metaphysics

22 : Mukti and Immortality

A very pertinent question has been raised by brother Michael in response to my claim that historicism may ultimately be the cause of religious fanaticism, a view I noted in one of the verses of Appar. This insight comes to me not only as novel but also very profound,  something that caught me by surprise by the depth and universality of its grasp and with which I am still struggling to come to terms with. There is an UNDERSTANDING of the issue of human fanaticism where being fixated to the HISTORICAL and hence imprisoned to the notion of IMMORTALITY are brought in to explicate it. Now IMMORTALITY is NOT the same as Mukti and it may  be possible that the tremendous emotional power of religious and racial hatred are related to freeing the mind of man from being fixated to the notion of  IMMORTALITY  so that he would begin  enjoy the genuine sense of Mukti and which  would usher in genuine Bakthi, the killing of the Ego and submitting to BEING in all humility. This may be  the REAL meaning of world wars or at least great wars in addition to  the personal crisis we face in life.

Why I say this? Let me explain a bit ( also to myself)

DEATH is Real

Wars are human praxis where the activities are organized to KILL and where also pervades as a real possibility of being killed . Every pretense to contrary is no more there for death is real -- there are comrades dying, innocents  being killed and one continues to survive only because one has escaped being killed so far. Those in the thick of the battle  do not think of anything else except on how to kill and how to escape being killed. But the poets  philosophers  and statesmen directly or indirectly involved in the wars  are FORCED to think about DEATH in ways that they cannot pretend that it does not exist. But even here we see falsities and the generation of false metaphysics  in which death is made IRREAL. The  Indian Vedantic thinking is well known for this ( I think). Bagavath Gita while being a metaphysical exposition in the thick of Mahabaratha War,   makes killing irreal by noting that the atman is Brahman and as such there is NO KILLING at all, the slayer ad the slain are the same and hence  there is NO KILLING in the ordinary sense. Another escape route is provided by Sankaraites Vivartha Vada where everything is seen as kaRpitham, just simply mental constructions of various sorts, mere superimpositions one just as good as another  and hence nothing is HISTORICAL really. Vedantic traditions seem to deny Historicality and which may be one of metaphysical strategies to REFUSE to face the reality of death.

The Historicism of the Semitic Faiths.

Among  the semitic religions, Islam stands out as the most worldly and where every fabric of ordinary life is religiosized to the extreme so that its politics is inseparable from religion. At the moment it may be the only religion that thinks and functions in terms of Islamic State and where the  whole of existence is brought under the rule of the Shariah laws . The HISTORICAL, the daily and personal events are NOT allowed to be FREE from the metaphysics implicit in the AlKoran. The Islamic Umma stands united within themselves but separated by that from  the rest. They have built impregnable walls so that dialogic confrontations are made impossible. And tied as they to the historical, they can but articulate Mukti only as IMMORTALITY, ever living in some kind of paradise  provided one has lived this earthly life as a faithful Muslim. And also this Paradise as ensured for those who participate in Jihad and die for Islam.

Now if such a group of people  were to be INSTRUCTED that the notion of IMMORTALITY that they entertain belongs to FALSE METAPHYSICS and that the TRUTH is that it is a transmutation or even a distortion of the genuine sense of Mukti, the TOTAL liberation of the soul from historicality , it appears to me that wars are the only way. The intellectual intransigeantcy and utter disregard for dialogic confrontation with its attendent openness  to LEARN  will require only wars as a way of INSTRUCTING them and probably this is what is happening now.

Facing Death

 Some of the deep metaphysical understanding of Indian Civilization are buried in the PuraNaas which are unfortunately neglected by scholars. Below,  Appar deals with the essence  of MarkaNdeeya PuraNa, one of the famous Saiva puraNaas. This MarkaNdeeya, the model for the general  eternally youthful person where the word means  the one who seen death ( maar: death, kaNdu: having seen) ,  confronts death and escapes it by the blessings of BEING. A closer analysis indicates that this mythology draws a distinction between immortality and mukti and that distinction can be grasped only by encountering death face  to face.

niila nanmeeni cengkaN vaLai veLLeyiRRan
    arikeesan teedi varunaaL
kaalai nanmaalai koNdu vazipaadu ceyyum
    aLavin kaNvantu kuRukip
paalanai oodavoodap payameytuvitta
    uyir vavvu paacam vidum ak
kaalanai viidu ceyta kazal poolum aNdar
    tozutu ootu cuudu kazalee

Kaalan, the God of death appears with a large Black Body as the embodiment of the Dark Stuff , the aaNavam itself , with burning eyes indicating immense anger,  with long and warped teeth indicating immense greed, and  also as one  ready to
chop off the head of the living creatures and kill them mercilessly. Once when he came while MarkaNdeeya, the ever
Youthful  was preparing himself to worship the Civalingam, early in the day and with a garland of flowers indicating Pure Love, the Kaalan spread the net of desires , the paacam, to snatch away his soul, making him run and run away from hisworship in the process. BEING on seeing this injustice, disclosed Himself there and kicked away Kaalan and therebyallowed MarkaNdeeya to live without the fear of death. This BEING, the Cataaciva who stands as the world itself and who wearing the brilliant anklets keeps away the death from the creatures, is the ONE who ought to praised and worshipped by all.


This mythical theme is also a famous one among the Saivites and rightly so. It brings out the secrets underlying theworship of Civalingam and how it is related to  living long and in good health, a theme very much emphasized andexplored by the Siddhas who are mainly Saivites. In order to bring out  the message hidden in the names and incidences mentioned , let us look at everything closely.

First we see that the Agent of Death is named Kaalan where Kaalam in Tamil means time. Thus the agent of death is TEMPORALITY itself or that which throws the creatures into temporality, historicity. Here it is indicated that DEATH as such belongs to historicity and hence to the temporal ways of Being-in-the World. As long we EXIST in temporality, there comes a moment where such an existence is snatched away from us and that moment being the moment of Death.

But who is really the AGENT?

What is personified as Kaalan is actually the Black One,  the true Satanic Force , the Dark Stuff , the aaNavam, that nonsentient thing just as uncreated and eternal ( anaati) as BEING itself, the real Anti Christ. It is DARK only because itBREEDS DARKNESS, engulfs,  if allowed,  the whole cosmos in utter Darkness, the simple primordial  NOTHINGNESS where nothing is allowed to show itself as there.

Now when its function is thwarted and something is allowed to be AS-THERE, there emerges intense ANGER asindicated by the burning red eyes. When men are overpowered by this FORCE of Death  and become Satanic, theybecomes murderously angry when their desire to KILL is NOT allowed to be concluded by being thwarted on the way. This anger is also related to  immense GREED, the Greed to EAT UP or consume everything and through that OWN everything as ones own body, i.e. disalienate the foreign through devouring , eating up and digesting as one's own. Nowwhen this possibility is denied, then there emerges the MURDEROUS instinct, arikeesan, the desire to kill everything that does not allow being assimilated.

The FORCE against this Agent of Death is BEING who appears as Civalingam and who is worshiped as thus  in momentsof sun rise and with a garland of fresh flowers i.e. with genuine LOVE at heart. Again this notion of worship is immensely symbolic and we have to wrest  out the meaning implicit.The Sun Rise indicates the flooding of the soul with the LIGHT of illumination for it is the metaphysical illuminations that we gain that is capable of driving away the inner darkness and hence the Kaalan itself. Temporality and historicity slip  by when metaphysical illuminations are gained.

And this is possible only with LOVE as shown by the offering of garland of flowers. The metaphysical illuminations aregranted only for those who have killed their EGO and in all humility LOVE BEING and moved by this bakthi also love the whole of humanity.

Now we are ready to understand the message hidden in this mythical theme: it is LOVE unto BEING and hence to all that drives away the Agent of Death and that even when death approaches in terms calamities diseases disasters and so forth and thus FRIGHTENS the soul but some how or other such individuals will be rescued from being snatched away by death.

The story of Markandeeya that this verse refers to, has also another message built into it and it is shown by the name ofBaalan, the ever youthful  MarkaNdeeya. This carries the message that LIVING is a struggle , a struggle between the Death bringing forces and Life renewal forces. The Civalingam, as the embodiment of Natham and Vintu, the conjugation of the MALE and FEMALE is that which ensures eternal youthful vitality though conferring undying sexual virility. This
virility is lost when we succumb to the Death bringing forces. However we can RECOVER it through gaining the GRACE of BEING who will burst into the life of the deserving individuals and drive away the DEATH bringing forces through lifting up the soul into realms of TIMELESSNESS where the temporal Kaalan cannot enter. These metaphysical excursions are also life renewing for each such excursion drives  away the Dark Stuff within that is ever ready to bring

Hermeneutics and metaphysics

23: Fascism and Fear as its Solution.

Dear Friends,

Anyone who studies the metaphysical significance of Indian mythologies and Ithikasas  in an objective manner will be immensely perturbed by the irrationalities that hold sway there. Ramayana is seen as a struggles between the Dravidians and Aryans  and NOT as a Depth psychological studies of the battle of man against his own ugly side. This theme is now seen to have been  prevalent as Lahamism in Sumerian times itself as a part of temple praxis concerned with the exorcist practices , a primitive kind of psycotherapy that is even currently prevalent. Ravana was not a Dravidian and Rama was not a Aryan in the racial sense but rather personifications of the brave and good and the evil in evry person.

This distortion applies also to another myth, as it does to many others - that concerned with Takkan whose hatred for Civa is seen as the Aryan or Vedic hatred for  Dravidian Saivism etc. and which is again well beaides the point and  thoroughly irrational.

The mythologies,  though may be related to the historical but they are the Deep Structures of historical events and as such touch upon the transhistorical, the noumenal but through the phenomenal and the universal. The  real mythologies that are spontaneous eruptions from the depths are  in fact a language of the gods and as  such contain within themselves deep truths that once we grasp will serve us  to UNDERSTAND the historical just as dreams properly interpreted and understood allow a better grasp of what is happening to oneself.

In the hymns of Appar we have an articulation of these mythologies in their true significance and the following about the veeLvi of Takkan is an interesting one, related as it is to Fascism and disastrous consequences it has for world history. For Appar Takkan is a Fascist and whose fascism seems to be rooted in the discharge of the sexual libido in the wrong directions, into the hatred of  the LOVE for humanity .  For he gets immensely annoyed with his daughter Tadsaayani's LOVE for CIVA and thus shows himself as one AGAINST  sexual love and hence also Bakthi which is the transmutation of sexual libido into the Divine.

This verse also contains an interesting  meaning of veeLvi, the Tamil term for Yanjna (also SumeroTamil, ejen: fire festival)

However the most important point Appar seems to make here is that Fascism, which is another form of human irrationality that has taken grotesque forms and hence has become  devilish,  can only be combated with counter terror, the striking of FEAR into the heart of such tyrannical individuals. FEAR that ensues because of counter terrorism  infinitely more FRIGHTENING than  what they inflict seems to be the only counter measure that would make such Fascist indraviduals  withdraw from the irrational outburst and become subdued.

Appar 140

uyar tavamikka Takkan uyar veeLvi tannil
    aviyuNNa vanta imaiyoor
payamuRum eccan angki mathiyoonum uRRa
    padikaNdu ninRu payamaay
ayanodu maalum engkaL aRiyaamaiyaati
    kamiyenru iRainjci akalac
cayamuRu tanmaik kanda tazalvaNNan entai
    kazalkandu koLkai kadanee

When his daughter Tatsaayani loved Civa deeply, out of intense anger Takkan, who did not approve of it ,  organized a  massive VeLvi for insulting Civa. But  Civa burst out as immense FIRE within that pit of fire and on seeing which,  even  the celestial beings like Indra Soma and Agni  who came to enjoy the sacrificial offerings, FEAR stricken withdrew and  went away.  On seeing this  FEAR of even the celestial beings, Brahma and Thirumaal, who were in support of that  activity realized their ignorance and submitting themselves to Civa begged His Calmness and mercy.  This BEING who can vanquish even the mighty Devas and who always emerges victorious, the BEING of the Dance of Victory is the ONE that we all ought to UNDERSTAND


This is again another famous myth that the Nayanmars, in the thick of the social struggles to bring back Bakthi have sung in many places. They must have seen a MEANING in it that enabled them to understand the HISTORICAL happenings  around and in which they were  caught. A revolution was on the way and there was turbulence all around. The social  decadence was being fought  and though largely philosophical  but the biographical sketches of Nayanmars indicate that  there were bloody clashes and perhaps arson and terrorism. There must have been individuals tyrannical and out of  immense arrogance suppressed by violence the burst of bakthi, a loving devotion to BEING.

Takkan hates LOVE unto Civa and hence is understood here as one who would NOT foster LOVE among the people and  hence bakthi as such. For after all  it is in the transmutation of human love into Divine that bakthi is rooted in. Takkan  stands as who one who would arrest the normal expression and developemnt of the immensely powerful sexual libido  represented here by the adamancy of Tatcayani.

The meaning of this myth as seen as Appar, who was one of the chief architect of this Bakthi revolution and also who has  eloquently about the human love especially that a woman towards aman  , is what we should be after.

There are TWO important  elements  in this myth that we should note very carefully. One is the LOVE of Tatsaayani, his  own daughter to CIVA and something he DISLIKED very much and which he opposed vehemently. The second is the  INTENSE ANGER that the obstinacy of the LOVE for Civa that Tatsaayani expresses.

A normal father who  UNDERSTANDS the psychodynamics of a female and who is not EGO intoxicated would consent  to the marriage and hence will NOT do anything that would be an insult to the person she loves. However this is NOT the  case with Takkan -- he simply cannot allow in the life a person under his control something BEYOND his own WILL. He  becomes TYRANNICAL  because of this unbending and unyielding EGO -- he wants everything within his reach also to  function within his WILL at the resistance and opposition to  which he becomes intensely angry

The massive VeLvi he organizes symbolically may mean the various wars and  battles and other atrocities that he  commits by way of subduing his daughter and making her forget Civa and thus emerge victorious in the expression of his  own WILL. Perhaps he was ready to make the nation a pit of FIRE with arsons and terrorism everywhere just to pacify his  own unbending and unyielding EGO.

The ordinary elemental forces in nature as well the Indra Soma  Agni and so forth stand  together with him in the sense  that  they become the WEAPONS that Takkan uses in his arsons, VeLvi. Indra stands here for grandiose ambitions, as the  one who nurtures the DESIRE to become the KING not just of the world but also the celestial, the metaphysical realms.   But as the VeLvi proceeds there emerges CIVA within that FIRE pit itself as the immense FLAME that strikes TERROR in  the heart of Takkan as well as the celestial beings. They become FEAR stricken and thus subdued and humiliated at long   last. FOR the FORM of FIRE that BEING assumes is not the ordinary elemental fire, it is FIRE within FIRE, that  primordial fire, the uuzit tii, that would consume all including the elemental fire , the Agni along with all the others  including the whole of the cosmos. Thus it is Uzit tii that can turn the whole of the COSMOS into a NOTHING, into that
primordial darkness again.

This Primordiality of the Destructiveness , the  Mahaa Cangkaaram  is that which is beyond the reach of Brahma, the  archetype of scriptures and Vishnu, the Lord of Manifest World. The mind trapped within the scriptural disclosures and  psychological including the depth psychological, the ARituyiL of Thirumal CANNOT grasp that the world of the  COSMOS holds the possibility of being annihilated and resolved back into the primordial darkness. BEING stands always  BEYOND the scriptural and the metaphysical, HE stands always as the SURPLUS, as something that cannot be  understood within any way of life and hence even all the religions.

This myth also discloses a Fundamental TRUTH -- that the Whole World in which our existence is written is after all a  GIFT,  a blessing, an aruL , and hence something that we should NOT abuse out of unreasonable arrogance.

This myth also shows that FEAR and TREMBLING that such cosmic destruction BEING is capable of effecting is also a  strategy, a Tantiram in the repertoire of BEING to subdue the excessively arrogant individuals.

Hermeneutics and Metaphysics

24:  False Asceticism and Human Destructiveness.

As I plough through the Tamil Bakthi poetry especially the Saivite,  I begin to understand more and more the meaning of Bakthi. Admittedly this  is  NOT something specific to the Tamil mind and perhaps universal showing itself in various forms. In the Third Millennium  B.C. itself the enormously philosophical Sirbiyam of Enhudu Anna, a Sumerian priestess and the  daughter of Sargon the Great is already a beautiful poetry in Bakthi. Somehow or rather this dimension of religious experience has been cultured and developed among the Dravidian folks right from the ancient times and  which  I suspect is related to the centrality of Temple in the religious culture of the Tamils. This may be true of the whole of India as temples are found in every part of India and now even overseas where the Hindu people are taking roots.

This Patikam of Appar is peculiar in that he seeks an UNDERSTANDING of the genealogy of HATRED that underlies the birth of tyrants and terrorists even in the name of religion or perhaps especially in the name of religion.   Hence it again shows the HERMENEUTICAL thrust with which comes Tamil Bakthi. We must note that  Appar could have become a terrorist  for born a Saivite then became converted to Jainism and then when he returned to Saivism he was persecuted severely by the Jains and the Pallava Emperor of the times who was a patron of Jainism. So he could have become a terrorists of a kind , all the ingredients were there though he did not.

Added to this  is  that he had a very unhappy family life that drove him to asceticism ( note: valiteen manaivaazkkai: I suffered family life) but however he did NOT  opt for violence though he became a crusader of a kind to bring back Saivism and along with it Tamil language itself. What appears to have prevented him from becoming the hater of mankind and thereby the desire to wipeout the whole of humanity that he would have hated so much is Bakthi, pointing out that Bakthi in another aspect of it, though can install asceticism but not hatred , the visvakrasam, hatred for the whole of humanity and false or misplaced asceticism

In the following verse he analysis the role of the WOMEN in the genesis of hatred of the world and how the desire for Metaphysical illuminations, metaphorically described as the visions of  Third Eye helps out in the maintenance of sanity and the recovery of humanity and thus Bakthi itself. He also seems to imply that the third eye must be functioning  along with with the normal two --   the desire for sexual enjoyment and exultations in intelecctual pursuits --   for the maintenance of sanity among the religious , the potential tyrants


nalamali mangkai nangkai viLaiyaadiyoodi
    nayanat talangkaL karamaa
ulakinai eezum muRRum iruNmuudamuuda
    iruLoodu neRRik orukaN
alartara vanjcimaRRai nayangkaividdu
    madavaaL iRainjca matipool
alartaru cootipoola alarvitta mukkaN
    avanaam namakoor araNee


The WOMAN the source of all the good things,  was amusing Civa with the form of a tantalizing and  alluringBeauty and immensely pleasing  and good natured Angel. But while playing thus she inadvertently closed the twoeyes with her hands, and the whole universe  became engulfed in thick and growing DARKNESS so that there wasNOTHING manifest as there to behold with the eyes.  But at that point  only the right and left eyes were closed butnot the Third Eye, eye on the forehead. But noting this Darkness , the frightened WOMAN saw with the remaining Third Eye and implored Civa and at which point He restored the Left Eye of the Moon and Right Eye of the Sun ( Vintu and Natham respectively) and made her happy. This BEING with the THREE eyes has become our recluse


A very difficult mythical theme, something that is immensely puzzling specially in connection with the general themeof this Patikam, viz. the genealogy of monstrous irrationalities that underly the emergence of the tyrannical in worldhistory.

To make sense of this myth we have to note that BEING does not have eyes in the ordinary human sense and also that Umai does NOT play to amuse BEING in the ordinary sense. So these mythic figures are prototypical and say something about the historical man and woman and hence stand for any man and woman just as the Hero and Heroine of the Sangam Poetry stands for the typical man and woman of all times. Thus we have to understand the meaning in terms of Hermeneutic Semiotics, the meaning communicted in the language of mythologies without ridiculing them as
senseless and meaningless only becuase the meanings are not immediately obvious.

All human beings are endowed with THREE eyes, the Left Eye related to right hemisphere , the Right Eye related to left hemisphere and one in the Forehead to the Deep Brain, the point where the brain stem meets the cerebellum etc., called the localized Citambaram or CiRRambalam by the Saivites. The Siddhas also explain that the Right hemisphere of the brain is given over to Vintu and the Left to Natham which respectively establish the inner pressures for sexual enjoyment and intellectual achievements. The third eye related as it is to Deep Brain, is concerned with metaphysicaldesires , that which underlies the birth of the ASCETIC in man ( and woman) and the attaining of Mukti.

The typical man is subject to TWO different kinds manipulations by the typical woman, the Play that arouses sexualdesires and that which arouses interest in cognitive competencies. These are two fundamental DESIRES that sustain EXISTENCE but which can unfortunately be made UNAVAILABLE under certain circumstances. The Woman canclose these eyes of a man  and at which point DARKNESS engulfs. What what does this mean?

The darkness means here NOT the absence of the world but rather psychological darkness , a total
DISINTERESTEDNESS, a metaphorical darkness. The world even if i there,  it is made supremely unappetizing and irrelevant and hence psychologicalyl something inexistent. Hence there seems to be  NO EXISTENCE as well.

But fortunately even at this point the Third Eye remains open for it appears to be  an eye in man that  a womancannot close or shut down with her  tantalizing PLAY and which means the pressure for metaphysical desires remains something in man beyond the reach of the sexually and otherwise alluring females. It remains , becuase of that, forever OPEN and hence that which gives meaning to existence but not the physical but the metaphysical.

Of course this means ASCETICISM, being closed to the worldly and being mindful only of the metaphysical. But why should this be frightening?

It is here that we see the relevance of this mythical theme to the general theme of the Patikam. For such an asceticismcan not only generate a blindness to the world and its charms,  but also make the person become DESTRUCTIVEtowards it.  He does NOT have EYES to see them and if  it thrusts itself forcibly,  will only provoke the desire to ANNIHILATE and turn it really into an inexistent.

Here lies another genealogical account of the tyrannical, the intense desire to wipe out the whole world, to make the whole universe desolate and nothing.

But nothing to fear.  The Woman learns her lesson and realizes the worldly eyes must NOT be closed and she should not even playfully close them. Once the sexual and intellectual desires are made ABSENT in the world, there is a possibility that TERRORISM would  result. There will be   the destruction of the world becuase of monstrously powerful instinct in that direction.

In order to avoid this and sanity and balance to prevail in the world, the sexual and the intellectual that comes along with it, the right and left hemispherical functioning of the brain must go on .

Hermeneutics and Metaphysics

25: Understanding Family Life

One of the things that I have noticed about Dravidian Philosophical tradition is that Family Life and hence the life of man  woman  bonded together in LOVE , not only has been emphasized but also given a metaphysical standing of great importance and in  obvious contrast to Buddhism Jainism and Advaita Vedanta. The Bakthi poetry both Tevaram and Divvya Prabhantam are not adverse to family life or at least LOVE as such. While most of the Nayanmars were ordinary family people,  the exceptional ones embraced the Lord Himself as their spouse that we see in the poetry of  women such as Sri Andal , Karaikal Peyar as well as in the poetry of men like Nammazvar and Manikkavasakar. Manikkavasakar in his Thiruk Koovaiyar delineates the psycho dynamics of religious life as a kind of MARRIAGE with BEING making full use of the Grammar of KaLaviyal, the books on LOVE that have written at least from the days of Tolkaappiyam ( 3 rd cent. B.C.).  ThirukkuRal has the third book , Kaamattup Paal, devoted to the dynamics of pure sexual LOVE  and which is  also essencing out the Akam genre  Tamil literature that have been produced  at least from Cangam period.

However my Sumerian studies indicate that it is very ancient indeed and with an understanding of its relevance equally ancient and which is also  reflected even in the Siddha literature of the recent past.

I begin this series of thoughts with the following lines from Sulgi's Mutariibiyam (Hymn B, ~2000 B.C.)

The WOMAN in Sulgi's Philosophy

185. ama-ugu-mu Nin-sun-na-ra/ ama na-an-da-u-tu

    Towards my mother Ninsun, the mother who bore me

   186. hul-hul-le-ga dug-dug-ge-ga

        I showed a cheerful disposition and good character

187. a-ka-gar-ra-mu mi-se ma-ni-in-dug

    She who reared me (always) treated me kindly

  188. nig-lul-la dudu nu-un-gal

    (And never) had to charge me  with unruly words

189. munus-e dumu-ra su nu-mu-un-bar-re

    The (noble) woman never gave her child a free hand

190. e-gal-ga nig-hul-hul-la u mi-in-ib-zal-zal-e

        In my palace I passed all days in full enjoyment

191. Sul-gi-me-en ti-la u-su-du-ka/ nig mini-ib-gu-ul-gu-ul-lu-ga

        I, Sulgi, in (my) life of long days, what(ever) I did was great

 In these lines are evident a number of things that have come together and constitute the essence of Dravidian tradition in Indian Philosophy and perhaps also some aspects that go under the name of Tantrism closely associated with worship of BEING as WOMAN.


The terms "ama ugu mu" and "ama nanta  utu" clearly  are good Tamil " ammaa ugu" and "ammaa nanta utu" where "ugu" means to drop, to give birth and 'utu'  means "to give rise to" " to cause to be (in the world) and 'nanta" perhaps 'lovingly" .  The 'ama" exists to this day as 'ammaa" "ammai"  (> avvai)  and Sankriticised also as 'ambal" etc.  Thus Sulgi , in reflecting his Being in the world , and noting that there are mechanisms there underlying his genesis as a psycho-physical individual and perhaps also seeing the same process at work universally so that there is the world and things  such as such, understands his own genesis also in such terms. Of course he is talking metaphorically : the WORLD is as if a WOMAN, a MOTHER that gives birth to things and in which he is one.

But why she should called Ninsun?

The word " sun" is a variant of Su. sul and which means intense heat or radiance as in "sul utu" ( radiant sun) which is also related to 'sul' as spear as in utug-sul, the cuulam with utukku, the hand drum that occurs in Kes Temple hymn of Enhudu Anna (~ 2200 B.C.). It is obviously related to  Ta. cuur, curam , cuuriyan etc meaning the sun , an area of intense heat, wilderness etc. The word "sun" (=Ta. cuun) meaning just pure light or radiance has also come to mean "Nothingness" the Cuunyam and perhaps it is this  the word that has suggested the Sunyata doctrine of Nagarjuna, the famous Buddhist philosopher of the early Christian centuries and who is considered to have  come from Andra Pradesh.

Thus the MOTHER is the Lofty (Nin) Pure Light (sun) . It is interesting  to note that this a very widely prevalent concept even in Sumerian times itself for EnHudu Anna in her Sirbiyam ( Exaltations to  Inanna) begins with similar descriptions of the Mother

1. Nin-me sar-ra u dal-la-e-a ( Lady of all meys, resplendent light) the Tamil version of which would be:

Nin mey carva uL teLLiya

The "me" ( Ta. mey, moy) stands for Power or Sakthi.

The u dal-la-e-a ( uL teLLiya) is 'clear light'  and this how the Saivites understand Parasakthi or Paraaparai to this day.

Sulgi with this kind  of deep understanding was a Mother worshipper and hence a Sakta (not exclusively though)  in the modern sense of the word.

186. hul-hul-le-ga dug-dug-ge-ga

        I showed a cheerful disposition and good character

He was not just an ardent worshipper but also describes himself as someone who rejoiced at it with wholehearted acceptance , an attitude that became lost in the subsequent history of religion in Middle East but nevertheless enshrined in Agamism and hence in nonvedic Hinduism

But Sulgi appears to connect his worship of MOTHER with he enjoying a happy family life indicating a connection between the two. This notion is available in the following line the translation of which is not accurate.

187. a-ka-gar-ra-mu mi-se ma-ni-in-dug

    She who reared me (always) treated me kindly

The word "mi" ( < gi) that corresponds to Ta. mai is also described as the woman manus-e (Ta. manuci ) in line 189 . Thus 'a-ka-gar-ra" must be another description of this manus-e and hence it is more appropriate to take as " akam kaar-ra" the 'home maker". This understanding of the  phrase better fits also the meanings of the rest of the lines, that she treated children with kindness and discipline etc.

However it is to be noted that Sulgi praise his wife, the home-maker as someone who was kind and 'sweet'  to him, 'ma-ni-in-dug'  (Ta. tungkam: pleasing, beautiful , divine,  lofty etc.)

But what is significant of it all? For one thing life  full of happiness one being blessed by such 'home-maker' is perhaps  a blessing of Mother. But the most important fact is that such a way of life has something with good health and longevity:

191. Sul-gi-me-en ti-la u-su-du-ka/ nig mini-ib-gu-ul-gu-ul-lu-ga

        I, Sulgi, in (my) life of long days, what(ever) I did was great

Su. til means to live and corresponds to Tamil: til retained in original sense in "tillai', the place of origin of all things . The word "su-du" is the Ta. cuudu meaning the peak etc. and derivatively "long' "distant' etc. Thus he connects living long with having a happy family life. But not only that :  that he claims that whatever he did was great also implies that he was GOOD  health both psychologically and physically.

This line of thinking that we notice in Sulgi has had a long history in Dravidian Philosophical tradition sometimes degenerating  as the Vamacara practices. However in my Azivil uNmai (in Tamil)  I have provided a depth psychological analysis of the metaphysical relevance of Family Life and will write a few essays in English along the same lines.