Dear Dr Kannan,
Thank-you very much for your comments. We are beginning to SEE each other and I am glad about it. However there are still some clarifications that I feel I owe you and the readers and I take this opportunity to provide them.
I enjoy the 'Socratic Diologue' for the same reason. So shall I proceed further?
Your definition of hermeneutic sciences and
the evidence of the TEXTs as the major source for interpretation is acceptable.
Though it is hard to reproduce experiences of spiritual sort similar to
the hard found scientic experiments, there is still the vast majority of
evidences in India on spirituality. The experiences of a sufi master, a
siddhar, a yogi (the north indian variety) and
that of Alwars and nayanmars are more or less similar. Their preference of a symbol or metaphor may differ but their underlying experience is similar. That is why one sees something "typical" in India. Love as the bottomline of divine manifestation, this understanding, for example, is the basis for Sivism, Vaishnavism, Buddism, Jainism and Samarasa san margam. How do they derive at it? The paths may differ but the basic experience or understanding is the same! right? So there is something here that is verifiable and reproducible. However, one should admit that hermeneutic science is different from hard core science. There are attempts however from spiritual masters such as Yogananda, mystics such as J.K to understand "true" religion in the perspective of Science. I think it is possible if there is a real dialogue, a real meeting of
minds without the petty "ego" disturbing it.
Here perhaps we should recall the dynamics of Hermeneutic Logic as outlined by Kannudaiya Vallal(who is said to be the son of Meykandar) in his magnificent Ozivil Odukkam that was rescued from oblivion by Arut Pirakasa VaLLaar, who published it with his own introduction. Arut Pirakaasar was very much influenced by this book and the tradition it represents and because of which he is also known as VaLLaalaar. The Logic of this VaLLal is worked out in terms of Sruti, Ukti and Anubavam and the thirty or odd Vallaar sasteras follow roughly this Logic. By Sruti they mean the productions of BEING himself however using the mouths of some individuals who allow themselves to be completely dominated by BEING in their Being-in--the-World i.e. earthly existence. For the Vallal the hymns of Thirunjana Sambanthar were of this type and hence studies of them would in fact mean studying BEING Himself. The interpretive study is the UKTI a variant of Tholkaapiyar's UTHTHI, meaning interpretive exercises that would cause the inflow of Radiance, Illumination. The Anubavam is the illuminations that one receives and self transformations that take place. I would like to add here that the DEEP Structure of such Sruties are infact BEING and the UKTIES are infact transcendental ontopretations. The progress here brings about KazaRci, the various disengagements that the Vallal describes in terms Sariyai KazaRci, Kiriyai KazaRci Yokak Kazarci and so forth. This is also a progressive self-purification, self absolutions etc. I must mention that because of their revoltionary implications the instititionalized Saiva Atheenams never condoned the Philosophy of this VaLLaalar and I understand tthat his tradition became defunct in the beginnings of 19th Cent. I learned the notion ThaRpootha Ozippu from this Vallal. There is also another excellent book, Saddainatha VaLLal's Sathaasiva Rupam that is psychologically very interesting. The reason why the Atheenams did not look with favour this VaLLaal tradition appears to be the fact this VaLLalal was a family man and proposed illaRath ThuRavu rather than woman -avoiding Sannyaasam. He ridiculed celibacy.
.I talk of Katchies interpreting and UNDERSTANDING them but NOT Jothidam
even Nadi Jothidam.
Well, I followed your previous mails in tamil.net on this subject. I would agree with you. In fact I supported your views in tamil inaiyam. However, nadi" is still facinating for me. I have my views on it. It is not important for the current enquiry anyway:-)
Here I owe you an explanation. I am open to the use of such terms as Nadi Saththiram but NOT Nadi JOthidam where JOthidam means astrology. Nadi is something like instincts of Freud: Eros, Kratos and Thanathos and are those which institute the NAttam, the various psychic pressures that make us SEEK OUT this and that. They are classified into Pingalai Idakalai ,Suzimunai and MaraNam. But underlying all these is the Guru Nadi. This science of Nadi is, I think, the most important contributions of Tamil Siddhas and now they can be emprically verified in terms of Access Testing. It is here that we see a fundamantal similarity between the Taioism of China and the Tantrism of Tamil Siddhas. The Yin and Yang are very similar to Bindhu and Natham (or Sakthi and Sivan) of the Saivites. They also invite comparisions with the Yungian notions of Anima and Animus. Astrology is a pseudo science, an escapism of a kind in which man blames the stars and planets for the misfortunes that acrue to him because of his OWN misdeeds. He does not want to ADMIT the fact that misfortunes are actually the results of HIS OWN MISDEEDS and happily blames the stars to relieve of himself the guilt that is tormenting. They have forgotten Valluvar's advise: Uzaiyum utpakkam kaaNbar, thaazathu unjaRRubavar. We can upset even the misfortunes only revising our of actions, by changing our praxis, something I emphasize in Agamic Counseling. The Indians have declined miserably because of this tendency to BLAME the stars and numb the feelings of guilt that demands intense self examination, looking into one's own course of actions as the cause of one misfortunes. They have become unthinking ignoramaus because of this and seek out the cinema etc to fill the vacuum that is created by this avoidance.
Your writings on Sunya sambashana & cinmuthra are excellent and that explains my enquiry. Among all deities in a Sivan Koil, it is Dakshinamurthi who attracts me always for these reasons. Nataraja is my favorite too. Both Krishna & Nataraja are restless, indicating the ever changing, ever fresh,ever new nature of the creation, at least I would put it that way. The other forms of translucid dreams are recorded in modern tamil literature as well. La.Sa.Ra the mystical tamil writer is famous for it.
That's very interesting and very similar to my own experience. When I was born in India during the second world war Iwas baptised as Vengadasalam because my Grand father was strong Vaishnava. But after the war when my father took all us back to Malaysia, some Chettiar friends of his advised to cahnge my name to Loganathan, another name for Siva. My younger brothers name was also changed from Ramasamy to Nadarajan. Accidental? I don't think so. Right from my early childhood the symbolic metaphor of Siva Nadaraja was there as that which evoked the most sublime thoughts in me. My life has been an attempt to understand the meaning of this absolutely beautiful metaphor. When I statred writng Azivil Unmai , couple of years ago, I was led to understand that BEING was present as Thatcinamurthi while I was wrting this book. I am running classes on it right now at home and relearning what I (?) wrote sometime ago.
One request, when free why not write about the translucid dreams in modern Tamil literature? I think that will be an excellent contribution to world community as a whole.
Any culture or religion that muffles free inquiry is AGAINST this
birth right of every individual and with which we have battle.
The effective fight against this oppression is to PRACTICE FREE INQUIRY no matter what the protests are.
I would completely agree with you.
Andal among the Vaishnava saints is my favorite for many reasons. Her dreams of union with Rangan is expressed beautifully in Nacciyar Thirumozhi. It has become a practice in Tamilnadu that the young women who are not married, on reciting her dream verses will get married, a belief! I would consider this practice rather silly because Andal was talking about spiritual union and not physical union! But that is where we go wrong in religion. Considering a metaphor for physical fact or reality!! Well...however, her poems are enjoyable in an ordinary sense as well. I will send you soon book marks of my articles. Andal in a sense is similar to Thilakavathiyar or pEyar in Saivite tradition.
Just a comment. In the Tamil Bakthi literature the earthly EROS of KaLaviyal became transformed into DEI EROS already noted vaguely even by Tholkaappiyar. In this regard while there are striking similarities, there are important differences as well between Andal Punithavathiyar and Manikavasagar. The Nacciyar thirumozi, Arputhath thiruvanthaaathi and Thirukkoovaiyar are similar in being expressions of DEI EROS. But the Saivite expressions are post Anakatha KaRRaLi while the Vaishnava are pre Anakatham. This may be one reason why Andal (also Nammaazvaar) remain Vaishnava while Punithavathy and Manikavasakar Saivite. I am throwing this idea as something that needs to be investigated further.