Dear Dr Kannan,
In the earlier posting on this topic, I drew attention to the theory of adult personality development in Sufism and mentioned very briefly some parallel notions in Saivism where I also mentioned that they are not available in the Vaishanavs philosophical literature such as Acarya Hirithayam and so forth.( I stand to be corrected here) In the body of Saiva literature, the notion of human development, particularly the spiritual type are extensively dealt with. We can classify them into the following categories
1:The pedagogically derived; personality differences in terms of different aptitudes to learn the metaphysical truths.
2: Spiritual growth and the attendant personality changes in terms of the DEPTH OF UNDERSTANDING or Drasana. There are many large and small treatises on this , one of the earliest being the Unmai NeRi ViLakkam of Umapathi
3: There are differences in the spiritual qualities of a person because of differences in the degree of ablutions or Thaththuva Kazarcci. This kind of development was given a new impetus by Kannudaiya VaLLal and was further developed by Sikazi SiRRampala NadikaL and his desciples.
4. There are also personality differences in terms of motivational dynamics in spiritual matters related to cognitive diffrerences, individuals varying in their PREFERENCES for religious practices, the sathana varying from the concrete (sariyai) to the abstract (njaanam) which is very extensively dealt with in Thaththuvaprakaasam and numerous Siddha texts. The field is very extensive. Merges with Mantrayan in such works as Nathantha ThiRavukOl oof Siddhar ThriruvaLLuvar.
5. There are also spiritual differences in terms proximity or distance to BEING, the salokam etc and which has also variants in the Vira Saiva texts such as Siddhanta Sikamani.
Below I append my translations and notes from Metaphysica Universalis of Meykandar9 his Civanjanabotham) the whole of which is available in the Dravidian Philosophy Campus. I have added some comments here and there to explain some matters further. My humble apologies to the readers for being difficult . But Meykandar is difficult because he is profound. What can I do about it? The following parts are taken from the Eighth Sutra. This Sutra describes the individual differences in spiritual development in relation to pedagogy. The original in Tamil are available now in World Saivism Campus to which I am writing now a commentary in Tamil.
For the vinjaanakalar type of anma, the supreme illumination rises
within on its own accord. For the cakalar-type, the anmas full of
Ignorance, BEING instructs in the guise of a human Guru and hence only
indirectly. For the remaining piraLayaakalar-type of anmas, BEING
may confront them directly in the guise of Guru and instruct them on Civajnaanam.
1. The word `kalar’ is derived from the Tamil root `kal’, meaning to
learn. The anmas are classified into three distinct
categories in terms of the form of instruction on Civajnaanam( the final absolute illumination) they would need. The Vinjnaakalar are the highest and for
whom philosophical discourses, instructions and so forth are superfluous. BEING is already foregrounded in their Being
so that the supreme illumination rises within on its own accord like the sun rising on its own and dispelling the prevailing
2. The cakalar are the philosophically immature and though desirous
of Civajnaanam are full of Ignorance. BEING
instructs such anmas only through the intermediary of other individuals and things. BEING instructs them only indirectly
and is present to them only as the concealed, the hidden, the unconscious. They are to attach themselves to a human guru,
follow as bidden by him and learn the essence of BEING through learning the divine essence of his own guru.
3. For the higher level piraLayaakalar, those who have evolved into
the divine world by severing their care for the
worldly, BEING confronts them directly though again through the intermediary of a human guru. But the quality of
instruction here is different from that of the cakalar. What we have here are instructions on Civajnaanam itself without
disguising it in the mythical, symbolic etc. The individuals are led to bask fully in the blinding radiance of absolute
illumination and through that attain the releasement that they so earnestly seek.
4. Now except for the vinjnaanakalar, the others require instructions
and unless instructed properly will not ever learn.
And since they can develop only through learning and in that, being what it is, errors can be made, mistakes can be
committed, the wrong can be believed as the right, the false as true and so forth. But it is pointed out that the only
effective way to enable individuals to AVOID such errors is to make them immerse fully in the thought of BEING, the
FAULTLESS, or IDEAL. The desire to BE in the most IDEAL way of Being will ensure the avoidance of the misleading
and the appropriation of the incorrect ones.
5. BEING is but remains essentially unmanifest, hidden, concealed etc.
But on that account BEING cannot be dismissed
as irreal, a nonentity etc. Some analogies are brought in to illustrate the point. The tears already in a woman are poured
out only in moments of crisis. The breast milk, already in some form, oozes out only when she delivers a child. These are
realities hidden within a woman which disclose their presence in their distinct ways at moments appropriate to them. It is
so also with BEING. HE presents HIMSELF in so many different archetypal forms, each appropriate to the circumstances
elucidating the disclosure. BEING though keeps HIMSELF concealed but unconceals HIMSELF where necessary in a
form appropriate to the historical and personal circumstances so that the anmas can be set in the right path. A particular
form of presentation of BEING remains the historical and personal apriori that configures the historicalisations.
6. It is also implied that learning involved in seeking to understand
BEING is rather peculiar. It is not simply an
intellectual acrobatics where only the intellect is exercised but the person remains uninvolved. Seeking to understand
BEING requires total involvement which includes that of changing oneself, of metamorphosing into a higher species of
self where within existence BEING is made to be more in the foreground while simultaneously ones own Being is pushed
to the background. The egoism must be battled with and destroyed in a progressive manner so that eventually the anma
becomes egoless. When in this way BEING is allowed to disclose ITSELF more and more within one’s own Being, there
is more and more genuine UNDERSTANDING of BEING and more and more of the self-redeeming Civajnaanam
( Here it is explained why the sakalar type of individuals tied to the sensorial will have problems in understanding the metaphysical truths)
Like the crystals that diffract the light falling and display the
different hues originally not visible in the pure light, the senses
too diffract and distort and do not inform the individual what pertains
to the objects themselves but only what they can process. Therefore it
should be realized that the senses cannot avoid diffracting the original
essence of the objects and hence always not to be trusted upon as
undistorting disclosure of what the objects in themselves are. Those who
grasp the false as false and through that the truth as truth will
also see that the truths are gained not through the senses but through
the GRACE of the archetypes that are nonsensorial.
1. It is implied here that `seeing’ when restricted to seeing only through
the senses, gaining a true understanding of an
object is impossible. For the senses are diffractive, each sense eliminating many and allowing only one form of
information to reach the person. What are thus eliminated by the senses are however important for self understanding, to
know how one’s own `seeing’ is constituted and hence how one is constituted as a self. This deeper information available
there in the experience itself becomes available to the anma only when it realizes the diffracting character of the senses
and develop ways of seeing other than the sensorial. When the `seeing’ becomes more inclusive, e.g. allowing
transductive perceptions and so forth, it will be realized that only in the context of `seeing’ as constituted by the
archetypes that TRUTHS are sighted.
2. This argument is directed at the cakalar type of individuals who
exist entrapped to the realms of physical and hence to
the sensorial and objective. The reality of this fallenness to the physical, termed maaya malam, was already argued for in
great detail in the 3rd Sutra. It is recalled here in order to explain in what sense the Fallenness to the physical becomes an
impediment, an obstruction in the evolutionary progress of the psychic beings. The entrapment to the physical locks them
up in the unconscious and thereby prevents them from gaining a true understanding of themselves.
3. The term `poy poyyaa meykaNdaan’ discloses that only when the false
is seen as false, what exactly it is in itself that
TRUTH can be seen as TRUTH. In a state of confusion what is in fact false may not be SEEN as false, a truth as truth.
The correct seeing for what something is really requires the grace of BEING. When seeing is constituted by the
archetypal presence of BEING, the false is seen as false, the truth as truth and so forth. In this account we have the
phenomenological description of what kind of seeing would see the false and truths for what they are in themselves so
that mistakes are avoided.
When the cakalar type of anmas understand that the absolutely transcendental
BEING is beyond the reaches of the senses, they will now endeavour
to unite with HIM by seeking experiences beyond the sensorial. However
this is not an easy task and it is almost impossible to avoid the
sensorial for such an individual. The intrinsically binding and finitising
mayaa malam and kanma malam leave the individuals only momentarily like
algae in the pond at the throw of a stone. The best such individuals
can do to avoid falling back to the sensorial is to immerse themselves
completely in the thought of BEING, that remains within as nonabsenting
1. In 8.4.1, reference is made to the psychotropisms articulated in
the first Sutra on fundamental ontology. BEING pulls
unto itself all the creatures and this PULL is not only the primordial but also the axial movement in which all the psyches
are already involved. This is the Numinotropism, the end point of which is MOKSA, the HOME COMING. The cakalar
type of individuals in being pulled towards the pleasures of the senses and remaining entrapped in it, in fact arrest their
own sojourn in the direction of BEING. The movement in the direction of the WAY is obstructed, redirected and so forth.
And therefore austerities which disallow this imprisonment becomes the most important sadhana for such individuals.
2. The sadhana of this sort are not utties or hermeneutic efforts that
result in gaining lumen naturale and thereby a better
understanding of certain matters. Prior to that, austerities must be practiced in order to install within oneself the PULL of
BEING, the numenotropism. The presence of this PULL will manifest itself in activities of the religious kind. The
involvement with such activities maintains oneself in the WAY towards BEING.
3. BEING, in order to maintain the cakalar-type of individuals on the
WAY unto HIMSELF presents HIMSELF in
countless number of archetypal images, each according to the level of maturity of the individual, meaningful to them and
relevant to the contextual conditions. Such images should not be mistaken to be self-images, projections of one’s own
self, that which one becomes and which subsequently stays no more. If these archetypes are mental projections, images of
self and nothing else, then the notion of MOKSA and the experience of it becomes impossible - for at the point of
MOKSA there will be NOTHING that experiences it as such.
4. Now if BEING is dissociated from all these archetypal forms and said
to be completely OTHER, totally transcendent,
then BEING ceases to be DIVINE contrary to HIS essence. BEING stands both totally ABOVE and BEYOND and at the
same time the most intimate and nonalien FRIEND to the anmas. In numerous archetypal forms HE takes possession of
the psyches, serves as their EYES and thus hiding HIMSELF, makes the individuals act thinking that they are acting on
their own accord. But when such individuals become uneasy about their own selves, become curious about how they are
in fact constituted, they slowly begin to SEE the Depths, the drama of archetypes that enacts the events of the world
including that of self. With such transductive perceptions and hermeneutic efforts to understand them they acquire the
competency to see the DANCE, the unending and tireless PLAY of BEING, the DANCE of BLISS of SIVA
5. The maintenance of oneself always within the WAY, sojourning in existence
with the PULL of BEING firmly
established is always a problem for the cakalar-type of individuals. The PULL of the world of senses is very strong. The
Sadhana most important for such individuals is that which firms them in the WAY. The disclosures of BEING in such
moments are only temporary - like algae that clears when the stone is thrown but covers up immediately, the prejudices
that finitise the anma return immediately pulling them back to the pleasures of the world of flux. For such individuals
another sadhana to prevent this fall is suggested: The maintaining of the THOUGHT of BEING, is suggested as an
effective way of keeping at bay the finitising elements in the understanding. The understanding that maintains itself in the
THOUGHT of BEING secures for itself the WAY forever as its OWN WAY.