Understanding Antonio’s Rig Veda (1-12)


Dr K.Loganathan



Understanding Antonio’s Rig Veda-1


Dear Friends


I am reading now Prof Antonio’s Meditations of Rig Veda and  though still have not completed it, but nevertheless thoroughly excited about it He brings in , I think, the correct perspective to UNDERSTAND any text that is intellectually demanding. I am a student of Rig Veda too but in a different spirit but which is also germane to the approach that Antonio is advocating. I begin this series mainly as a way of LEARNING and UNDERSTANDING Antonio’s Rig  Veda and which can be an very important  input for my studies where I am concerned also with recovering the original shape of the Slokas ( as Archaic Tamil closely related to Sumerian) and the original meanings.


I also believe that there are many scholars who would be  interested if not in  the studies of Rig as such but the methodological principles involved. We have Prof Antonio with us to clarify the issues further.


What I propose to do is take certain paragraphs from Antonio’s “Meditations through the Rig Veda ( New Edition)” and make some comments by way of elucidating further the notions that remain still  implicit






The Way of Truth is the incestuous child of Greek life and Greek interpretation; but the child, even in its cradle, destroys its fathers and forefathers and proclaims itself the absolute and universal procreator of all life. What is only in its origin a temporary, public, and particular form of injecting meaning into the world becomes, through the magic of power, a demand and a resolution to absorb all life into its particular form of giving meaning to all of life. The Way of Truth, which is partic­ular, public, and derived, becomes a universal scheme to subjugate all men / not only to the fixity of Thought as their ground, but also to limit Being \ only to the moves possible within that particular ground of Thought. The subsequent moves in the history of philosophy, through dialectics and logic on the one hand, and rhetoric and grammar on the other, have only been moves of power in the same direction but never moves to liberate man from these original controls.


With these preliminary notes in mind, the reader might be able to under­stand the almost impossible task we face in our effort to reach the text of the Rg Veda. The Rig Veda has been approached by investigators within a logical space of explanation given them either by a Western philosophy or a Western science or a later Indian philosophy. The claims so made do not reveal Rg Vedic man in his authentic given order, but rather within the conceptual order of the particular structure of explana­tion. Were we to change the language and with it the conceptual system it expresses we would undoubtedly create as many different under­standings of Vedic man as the different languages we use. Yet, one may easily be trapped within ‘~conceptual spaces;” the aim would be to free oneself by becoming, in one auspicious instant, as the Risis understood it. the intelligible Vãc (Word) operating to transcend conceptual spaces. This latter way of acting corresponds both to Vedic man’s intentional mode of action and to the incorporation and subsequent falsification of the complementarity of frameworks as described in the previous chapter. In both cases, spaces of discourse are to be transcended through action— the action of using them without resting permanently in any of them— in order to work out the wider perspective of the world and the reality which is most comprehensively human.


These are claims which only philosophy as we do it here can handle. Philosophy deals with many conceptual systems and intentional frame­works—actual or possible—and is concerned with their relationships as

well as with the possibility of transcending them by their relations to human action. The most important new element generated by the human action of critical philosophy is the change of perspective on the world which such an activity produces as it actively avoids resting permanently in any one theoretical framework. Its path is to focus on the activity that enables us to bring out the dynamic and anonymous reality that holds between that which is structured and the structuring activity; between language and its source; between symbol and reality, and the spaces of discourse in which they appear. We will then have a way of doing philos­ophy capable of reaching the Rig Veda.


It is obvious, therefore, that the Rig Veda is the only source we can count on for understanding the Rig Veda. The main clue, and in fact the only one we can lay our hands on, is Rig Vedic language or the under­standing of language as found implicitly and explicitly in the R~ig Veda. But this poses a problem. The philosopher who approaches the Rig Veda is already doing this with the crutches of his own linguistic framework. Such a framework comes equipped with theoretical constructs: categories, on­tology, metaphysics and ethics, and also supposes a theory of knowledge. Philosophical inquiry may reduce itself to explaining that slice of human experience that fits the investigative framework, rather than enlarging itself, and examining human experience in its wider intentionality, and so, allowing philosophy to live. Therefore, it is not to be supposed that one might fruitfully use any one of the Western philosophical frameworks in the case of the Rig ‘Veda - not even the most general of them: the metaphysical frame of Being and its subservience to Thought as universal human ground.


Comments( Loga)


I am puzzled. Above Antonio rejects The Way of Truth  which is “the incestuous child of Greek life and Greek interpretation; but the child, even in its cradle, destroys its fathers and forefathers and proclaims itself the absolute and universal procreator of all life” . Such a method  traps the mind in a conceptual space which may be an impediment to understand the Rsis who sang the hymns of Rig Veda. “The philosopher who approaches the Rig Veda is already doing this with the crutches of his own linguistic framework. Such a framework comes equipped with theoretical constructs: categories, on­tology, metaphysics and ethics, and also supposes a theory of knowledge”


So we have to approach Rig Veda with a mind free of such prejudices and let the intentionality within the Rig Veda be grasped and with that understand the Rig as to what it is in itself.


I am in total agreement with this and I also belief that this is meaning of Tolkaappiar”s ‘Viniyin niiGki viLaGkuiya aRivu’ , an understanding that is free of prejudices( Vinai as vilaGku: a mental chain)


However my puzzle is: Isn’t this also a method concerned with truth and hence a Way of Truth?


But certainly this way of Truth is NOT the incestuous child of Greek Life and which has become the foundation Western culture but rather another Way of Truth. And what can it be?





Dear Loga and mitra,

I would like to be of as much help as possible in this venture of getting to the Rg Veda.


First observation, the Way of Truth. There are two points here to clarify. Point one, the Greek way of Truth is based on the distinction (Parmenides)  between  BEING and BECOMING. What we study is the BECOMING, since BEING remains hidden once BECOMING appears. This BECOMING is bound to its context, structures and meanings of origin. So Ham, ( Let me be) said the ONE and it divided itself into creatures, male first, female later since they were running away from the One and in their union of love they would return to the ONE.You remember the story of Prajapati?) The ONE becomes absent once BECOMING starts. But the BECOMING is also the Way of BEING.

Point number two: From the start we are dealing not as much with BEING as such but with decisions making. We train others to decide either "veridically" by following simple rules established apriori, or we train them to decide in complex situations for which they will have to do more than just name the TRUTH but they must develop other inner technologies, like the opening of the brain-heart and also the frontal lobes, in order to decide.( Best example is The Gita)

In this sense Western Philosophy has focused exclusively in trainig for "veridical" decisions and the cultures of India, togeher with the Greeks Pythagoras/ Plato and Indic Classical Traditions with the Western Mystics in complex ones). These two traditions remain separate through history. To reduce the Rg Vedic text to a veridical origin is not sufficient.

I would like also to help pointing out certain studies carried out at the United Nations etc. to help. For this see:
You may also find the book Meditations Through the Rg Veda on line at

iuniverse.com then go to the bookstore and my full name Antonio T. de Nicolas
There you will also find my book Avatara retracing the epistemologies we are talknig about.

OM Shanti,
Antonio de Nicolas




Understanding Antonio’s Rig Veda-2


By Antonio’s Rig Veda I mean the Rig Veda as understood and appropriated by Antonio and not the text itself. Though somewhat elliptical and misleading, but this is the meaning of it and I hope it is all right.


Yes between from Prof Antonio and myself there is an agreement as to the possibility of studying a text, especially a profound one such as Rig Veda hermeneutically in which what matters is the text itself and which can be meditated upon hermeneutically so that the initial opacity of the reflecting self is replaced with translucency and at which point we have an understanding of the text as to the truth it contains within itself. This is Tolkaappiyar’s “maacaRa terital’, understanding a text without any defects and by the exercise of Utties, interpretive moves of various kinds that would illuminate self with respect to the essence of the text and the intentionality behind it all (nutaliyatu)


However while I came to it through an intensive study of Tolkaappiyam and how it provided the methodological orientation to the whole of Dravidian Philosophic Tradition, Antonio seems to have to come to by noting a difference between Classical Physics and Modern Physics as noted below





Therefore, the possibility exists, for philosophy and for man, to continue viewing the wolrd on the classical model as an objective whole, and remove all subjective variations from it. A viewing of this sort gives us a public object only in its systematic aspect in an objective (scientific) domain which, on constitution is already a closed system. It is true that the linguistic token becomes an autonomous object, and because of this linguistics constitutes itself as a science; yet, the cost of this feat, in philo­sophical terms, is the constitution of a closed, finite system of signs lacking external reference within a semilogical system; the object is an abstract one with only internal relations. The arguments for such an idealized linguistic object will take the form of the old arguments between empiri­cism and idealism with a stop in between for realism. In this impasse, philosophy has only turned one more spoke of the wheel; understanding remains static.



On the other hand, there is also the possibility of viewing according to the Modern Physics model. Within this model, the way of procedure is through a community of inseparables (subject—object, observer—observed, mind—body, etc.) which were artificially created in the first place, and which indirectly indicate man’s progress in transcending the knowledge of his own context—language dependence through the activity of the men of science, philosophy, and by man in general. The philosopher of science, the propagandist of the scientific method and the advocates of progress and civilization find, in the new formulations of Modern Physics, a new way of referring to the Real, as the result of a new way of viewing what “is,” Philosophers and scientists are trying to find new ways of com­municating this new vision, aware however that Complementarity and the Indeterminacy Principle are the limiting conditions of the language of such communication. Thus, it is uncritically believed that Comple­mentarity, in its classical sense of transcending actual context—languages, accounts for some sort of dialectical progression within the language of mathematics and, by implication, of philosophy and human life. The Indeterminacy Principle, on the other hand, would on the same assump­tions establish the rational limits within which such communication would not only be descriptive (establish the relation of objects to subjects) of the Real, but principally it would be an explanatory communication—language (establish the relationship between instrument—objects and instrument— objects) of the Real. Such a language would, of course, be rational, objec­tive, and controllable in use as much as the reality it proposes to know, As Professor P. Heelan remarks:



(It) was merely a historical accident that it took the existence of quantum mechanics to bring out the awareness of the structural character and the shift of structures through dialogue of both, our experience and our linguistic performance.25


Antonio T. de Nicolas: Meditations through the Rig Veda pp. 37-38




The essence of it is that the subject-object and so forth are inseparable and that the language of communication has Complementarity and Indeterminacy as the limiting conditions. While I can understand the implication that there can be “the shift of structures though dialogue” and that subject-object dichotomy and so forth may not hold all the time, I cannot understand the connection it has with the shift in METHOD towards Hermeneutics.


And furthermore it also puzzles me from another perspective. If these principles of Modern Physics of subatomic particles or Quantum Physics come along with also with Indeterminacy Principle, would that also mean that there cannot be such a thing as ABSOLUTE TRUTH, something certainly determinable and which becomes the very goal of hermeneutic inquiry?


I raise this only because I want to understand the connections better. Prof Antonio might have already thought about such matters somewhere in his extensive writings. I have not read all of his writings at moment and which includes even the Meditations.


What I am hoping for are some clarifications and nothing else.






Dear Loga and friends,

In trying to give an answer, whatever that means, to Dr. Loga on the points he makes below I have no idea how far back in the river I have to go in order not to appear too simplistic and patronizing. I'll do what I can. Bring me into the family conversation.

When Dr. Loganathan writes that "
I cannot understand the connection it has with the shift in METHOD towards Hermeneutics" it seems to me that the way he understands hermeneutics is by presupposing that there is "something out there, in the book or in the chant" that is the goal of the inquiry of hermeneutics. This is precisely the error that hermeneutics tries to correct. Hermeneutics stands for interpetation and the interpretation is all the text there is. Hence deconstruction, to show that the only text there is is the one we make, not the one we presuppose that exists independently from interpretation. From this angle you can see there are as many texts as interpreters and no One Rg Vedic text. If you remember correctly the hymns of the Rg Veda are chanted by single families and stay disperse into those families, the Rg Vedic book never existed, nor is it the origin of anything, nothing ever happens in a book. The best we can do is to keep the texts coming and aim at a plurality of hem rather than a single text. What would then be the use of the sacrifice (yajna) in the Rg Veda? What is there to sacrifice?
The deconstruction activity is very useful to show the "authorship" of the text under study, thus we can see an Akkedian text, a Sumerian text, an Anglo Saxon text, a text for chanting, a text for deciding, a text for reading etc.etc. The Rg Veda is repeated by the Sama, the Yajur etc. Which is the Rg Veda text? All of them and obviously none of them as a single text.

Does this position contradict the ABSOLUTE TRUTH requirement of Dr. Loga? Obviously not. There are two lines or traditions in our Classical texts, those that claim ABSOLUTE TRUTH and reduce everything to veridical statements, and those that help to make decisions in complex situations, i.e, the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life.

The tree of knowledge is simplistic it trains only to make veridical decisions by establishing apriori the rules of the game, (if it is soccer we play with the feet and head, if American football with the hands). But this position is contrary to dharma (the ancient Rta). We must find in every situation the dhr. "that which holds it together" and draw our decisions on those exclusive clues. Rta means movement, that is, not fixing anything moving to keep it fixed so we can adore it as the absolute truth.

There are no apriori dharmas. But this is of course another story.

In sum, text equals plurality of the same. Deconstruction equals the text the writer or interpreter brings to the hermeneutical activity, Hermeneutics equals our constant struggle to decypher the dharma facing us and make decisions such that we always choose from among the possible the best, as the Gita teaches, and Plato repeated. Is it Absolute Truth ( the Tree of Knowledge) or is it Decision making   (the Tree of Life)? And if both, then none to paraphrase Nagarjuna.

You decide.
Antonio de Nicolas





Understanding Antonio’s Rig Veda-3


Dear Prof


Thank-you so much for your explanation. I can see now how valuable it is to have something like a “Socratic Dialogue” for such exchanges further clarifies some issues that were only vague to me.   Yes, you are right in saying:



 Hermeneutics equals our constant struggle to decipher the dharma facing us and make decisions such that we always choose from among the possible the best, as the Gita teaches, and Plato repeated. Is it Absolute Truth (the Tree of Knowledge) or is it Decision making   (the Tree of Life)? And if both, then none to paraphrase Nagarjuna.



What you are saying is that our existence is characterized by naive hermeneutics, a constant struggle to decipher the world in which our existence is wrought, and seek out the Dharma, as you would put. It is in this attempt that we come with darsanas including Classical Physics, Modern Physics, the various kinds metaphysical systems, religions, metaphysical poetry and so forth. All these can be taken as different attempts of the finite human mind to make sense of the infinite into which it remains already thrown.


This brings me to the next issue and as articulated below:




The historical accident of the discoveries of quantum mechanics and their relation to linguistic communication, complementarity, indetermi­nacy, and vision, makes our project of landing on the text of the Rg Veda possible, not because of the theories and communications of these dis­coveries, but because of what the activity which led to these theories and communications has done to theory and communication. The Way of Truth, which required for its traveling, that the One, Thought and Being, remain Invariant as the Absolute ground of the journey, gives way at the end of this journey to the Way of Criteria for Truth. The Invariant One, Thought and Being, on which the Way of Truth started its prede­termined journey, turns along the way into a myth: The Myth of Invari­ance. What started as a requirement for the Way of Truth, developed as it moved along, the characteristics of what it really was to begin with: the absolute and invariant criteria for obtaining any truth along its pre­determined path. It is only because the men of the sciences and of philos­ophy were determined to focus on the absolute forms of theory and com­munication, through which criteria for verification are communicated, that they did not realize that, with every shift of criteria, and as a condition of their invariant character, they were simultaneously, and through their own activity, cancelling out and radically falsifying, the Absolute Invari­ant Ground on which they thought they were standing. But now that we have said all this, let us not fall again into the hands of Zeno and develop a formal thesis; somebody must cross the stadium from end to end. I will only offer some suggestive instances as strategic clues towards the path we ourselves have followed many a time.


Antonio T. de Nicholas, Meditations Through Rig Veda, p. 39




Now let us look at the notion of Thought and Being as the invariant Ground, the Way of Truth etc. Now against the background of what Meykandar has observed, we insert a note here and thereby show that we can make a transcendental turn from this level of understanding and with that inter into another kind of Hermeneutics, that we can perhaps call Transcendental Hermeneutics.


Being and Thought is there as the invariant ground but not unchanging, there is movement, there can be shift of structures, perspectives, fundamental visions or darsanas and hence even metaphysical understanding, the various kinds of theories (or SaGkalpam as they see in Tamil). When we range over all, a neat way of summarizing it all: nothing is permanent, as one dies off another emerges at it’s death bed; the Classical Physics dies off in a way and gives birth to Modern Physics and so forth.


So the realms of Thought and Being are subject to what Meykandar call muuvinaimai, Tripraxism (?) - coming into presence, being-there for a while and then becoming absent only to be become present again perhaps in altered form. Thus it would appear that unknown to us there are processes that CONFIGURE the realms of Being and thought and its movement. It also follows that this world of Being and Thought only relatively invariant, it can be made to be absent during what it called Makapralayam, the total withdrawal of the whole of Being and Thought.


And this also points to the presence of BEING, the POWER behind this presencing and absenting of the whole realm of Being and Thought.


Perhaps this BEING is Unmoved Mover of Aristotle as it is the CaGkaara KaaraNan of Meykandar


Any way I am just throwing some ideas for further thinking into this very difficult area and so we can meditate a bit more








Dear Loga and friends,

I find your clarifications and diologue totally rishi. You have an extraordinary clear mind and a determination of will capable of reaching beyond the stars. May the gods keep you active for the benefit of us all. You have provided us with a reconciliation of Parmenides and Heidegger that my phenomenology friends would envy. Being and becoming in Parmenides, and Thought, thinking and having thoughts, in Heidegger result in the same conclusions you come to. And yet when it comes to Classical texts, like the Rg Veda, these categories may be misleading.

Being and Thought in Western tradition are grounded in a faculty still absent in the Classical Texts of India and this is the faculty of reason, or thinking, or even becoming.

What our Indic Classical texts call manas (the mind) is not a faculty, but a sixth sense, an instrument of translation; while for the West this mind is the supreme faculty, the ultimate judge, the dictator of decision making, the highest point of human development. That is, until neurobiology came along (just in the last ten, fifteen years, and showed that our Indic texts were right and that "reason" after all is not as rational as it claims for it is just a translation instrument, regardless of the claims to the contrary. This faculty, turns out, is located on the left side of the neocortex and has access only to the information of the right side (images, vibrations) and to its own systems of logic. It also has the capacity to override the other brains and lie.
It is for this reason that when translating the Rg Veda I was fortunate to act on this clue of the texts and change the categories of the West for those I discovered in the texts of India.

If you notice I never use the term Being, or Thought, but rather the terms, Non-Existence (Asat) , Existence (Sat) Sacrifice (Yajna) and Rta (movement). Since these categories are accompanied by specific images and acts, Vrtra, gods and heroes, dismembering, movement plus nrritti, (non-action/dragon) satya, (making forms, gods, heroes) rtu  (vision,making images), rta, I did not see the need to confuse the reading of those texts with foreign categories.

There is one more important point. Neither BEING, THOUGHT and TRUTH as defined in the West reach the clarity and depth of the Asat in the Rg Veda. Yes, all forms are in movement, yes, all gods and heroes come and go. And this is the ground, invariant, eternal, of the geometries,  permanent, eternal, invariant upon which forms dissolve and re emerge purified of their sin of permanence. All forms change. Thus you find there the geometries of the Asat as THE ONE---(Tvastar, Savitr, Visvarupa)

MOVEMENT set the One in motion through desire (TAPAS) to the axis of creation AJA EKAPADA  ( the unmanifested one measure /musical category) the axis of creation with direction and patterning and so on till we come to perspective:
On the one hand opposites relate to each other, cow to bull, sky to earth AND
on the other the polarity relates to the unity before separation as bull to bullcow, sky to earthsky. And this is the perspective the seers chanted and was later lost for a world of forms recycled. IN modern terms we would say that perspective one repeats our neocortex apprehension of information through the left side, while the second one apprehends through the right side of the neocortex. The rest is translation.

I know I have tested your patiance enough. So I'll stop here.

Antonio de Nicolas


Understanding Antonio’s Rig Veda-4


Dear Prof


Thank-you for saying :




 I find your clarifications and diologue totally rishi. You have an extraordinary clear mind and a determination of will capable of reaching beyond the stars. May the gods keep you active for the benefit of us all. You have provided us with a reconciliation of Parmenides and Heidegger that my phenomenology friends would envy. Being and becoming in Parmenides, and Thought, thinking and having thoughts, in Heidegger result in the same conclusions you come to. And yet when it comes to Classical texts, like the Rg Veda, these categories may be misleading.




which though very lavish, but gives me the courage to pursue further.  I must mention  that whatever depth of metaphysical understanding I have , I owe it all to Meykandar, whose book Civanjana Botham is something I have studied over and over again for the last few decades. One of the things that puzzles me is that Meykandar mentions that the Fundamental Ontology that he advocates, quite independently of course, is also the SAME as in Rig Veda and he mentions this in one of the VeNbas of the second sutra. I will not deal with it here as I will doing soon in Lessons on Botham that I am posting now. But it shows that the rudiments of Saiva Siddhanta was already there in Rig Veda itself!


Now this brings me to your following observations:



Parmenides was no more an absolute beginning than those who fol­lowed after him. He was already a man in medias res, in the middle of things. For Parmenides to proclaim the Way of Truth, he had to cancel out the Way of Becoming of Heraclitus, the Way of the Elements, and the Way of Destiny (Moira). He had to empty the heavens of gods, the temples of oracles, and divert the attention of man from the entrails of the animals. As a substitution for this ground, on which Greek men had stood for centuries, Parmenides offered Thought. This new Ground be­came the One; it became Being; and this was finally the new way: The Way of Truth. But while Parmenides was apparently making claims about an absolute metaphysics about Being as One and True, he could only do that on the tacit assumption that Thought as ground would not be questioned, and that Being and Truth be given absolute and ontolog­ical priority over the Many and things. The truth of the matter is, however, that, in view of the subsequent development of the history of philosophy itself, this demand of the beginning was not so much to estab­lish a metaphysics, and the priority of one ontology over another, but rather, to elevate the criteria of one particular epistemology to the heights of metaphysics. What he offered as the Way of Truth could only be the epistemological conditions which needed to be satisfied so that a pro­position could be rationally affirmed as virtually or absolutely uncondi­tioned. In this way he determined, invariantly he thought, the absolute ground of the world; while in fact, he only established the invariant criteria by which a valid assertion of a particular form of truth could be made every time the criteria were accepted. But since Thought itself was never questioned in this sense, and was uncritically taken for what it was not; namely, the ability to stay within its own limits; Western man had no

other alternative but to follow Zeno’s path, dividing his thoughts, multi­plying his ontologies, and dividing again, forever unable, perhaps afraid or bewitched by his own achievement, to overcome the original deter­mination. In this sense, human freedom, from its beginning, was already determined to be radically impossible; while human understanding of other people and other cultures was condemned to be possible only if and insofar as other people and other cultures could be radically emasculated or lobotomized, to stand, theorize and communicate from within the limits of our own determination. In this view, the understanding of others could be no more than a systematic effort at conceptual colonization, uprooting the flesh of all man, and transplanting it where we could rec­ognize it, in our own conceptual ground. Only by then, they are no longer “them,” but our own fleshless, disembodied ideas.


But of course there was no way in the world for Parmenides to know that Thought was the absolute ground of all man. It is ironical that the Way of Truth could not verify itself. What it could do instead, and in fact did, was to establish itself as the crypto—premise for affirming any truth. But since Thought in its Greek form was already a particular form of thought, the determination became even more fixed when all the moves of Thought had of necessity to follow the moves of Greek language and grammar. In philosophical terms, these moves were exemplified by the rhetoric of the sophists and the rules of rhetoric, the definitions of Socrates and the rules of definition, the dialectics of Plato and the rules of dialectics, and the logic of Aristotle and the rules of logic. With every step of the history of philosophy we find again the same determinations of the origin. Thought is taken for granted, new criteria, invariantly established, are proclaimed, new languages are developed to communicate the criteria and elevate them to the rank of metaphysical and ontological invariance. Ontological priorities take the place of the world—on the one hand, the priority of ideas; on the other hand, the priority of sensation and material substance. In either case, the teleology of Thought is imposed on the world and on man, and the Way of Truth turns out to be a long journey of hope, either for the Absolute Good or for the Absolute Truth. In either case, man is condemned to an idea of temporality, which is the result not of Time, but of a particular way of measuring the moves of a particular form of thought. In fact, Time, grounded on Thought, cannot be anything else but an idea of time.


Antonio T de Nicholas , Meditations Through Rig Veda, pp 40-41




I am not well read on Greek Philosophy and I take off from your statement of the essence of Greek philosophy as above and how the Western philosophy is a “ foot note ‘ to Plato etc. But the essence is that Parmenides has to cancel out the world of Becoming or Flux of Heraclitus and perhaps Heraclitus too cancel out Parmenides’ Being, the unchanging and eternal but in either case “ man is condemned to an idea of temporality, which is the result not of Time, but of a particular way of measuring the moves of a particular form of thought. In fact, Time, grounded on Thought, cannot be anything else but an idea of time.”


 In other words the Greek philosophy and hence the Western philosophy as a whole could not accommodate as part of and as the highest reaches of metaphysics the Cutta Moonam, the Deep Silence in which Absolute Understanding, Free of temporality,  is enjoyed and which is also the understanding of Civa who stands ‘kaalattil taakkaatu' i.e. without the category of Temporality! (This is also the Moksa according to Saiva Siddhanta!)


The question is: can we reconcile the Being of Parmenides and the Becoming of Heraclitus and WITHOUT canceling each other?


I think we can, provided we understand BEING as the absolutely beyond and the Being-Becoming of Parmenides and Heraclitus together as actually the SHOWING of BEING. Thus we have BEING-in-Itself and BEING-as-it-Shows-Itself and which is known  as the corrubalaksanam and tadattalaksanam of BEING in Saiva Siddhanta.


BEING here, Civa, the CaGkaara KaaraNan, the only Power that can self-absent-itself, self-present-itself, self-maintain-itself, can also “will’ to show itself or conceal itself and all out of Grace. We have the world of Being-Becoming only when BEING wills to SHOW itself but otherwise NOTHING, the Cuunyam,  just simply a total DARKNESS, Emptiness


Now let me also throw in another idea. Looking at the expression of Aristotle “Unmoved Mover”, it appears to me that Aristotle in fact already had the idea that I am putting forward here as BEING which we can also put as the Uncaused Cause of All, the un-Agented Agent of All agencies, the Unconfigured Configurer of All , The Supreme INTENTIONALITY behind all Intentions and so forth.


Could it be that the Western philosophers did not really understand Aristotle?


Apologies if I sound too presumptuous.






From: <diotima245@aol.com>

To: <agamicpsychology@yahoogroups.com>; <akandabaratam@yahoogroups.com>

Cc: <abhinavagupta@egroups.com>; <meykandar@egroups.com>

Subject: [akandabaratam] Re: [agamicpsychology] Understanding Antonio’s Rig Veda-4

Date: Sunday, July 06, 2003 9:37 PM


Dear Loga and friends,


In order not to deviate and meander I'll start with two points:

Point one: Aristottle, Parmenides, Heraclitus appear in history much later

than the Rg Veda. My question is, why would the categories of those people in

anyway apply to the Rg Veda? Dosn't the Rg Veda have its own?

Point Two: Instead of focusing on the statements of Parmenidess, Aristotle

etc., why not focus on the faculty they use as the model of those statements?

If thinking is grounded on our faculty of the so called rationality,

obviously this does not apply to the Rg Veda either, and so Time is only a concept of


Time in itself outside of thought does not exist in this tradition. The Kalo

smi ( I am Time) of the Gita or similar notions in the Rg Veda etc.,  are

grounded on other faculties except the "rational" (left brain) and so the criteria

should be different. I am adding a note from the United Nations archives on

the issue of criteria for interpreting the Rg Veda. I hope it helps, It is

written by Anthony Judge, the CEO of UIA.




Epistemological challenges: language

from Global Strategies Project – Notes and Commentaries

by Anthony Judge


Commentaries from <A HREF="http://www.uia.org/uiapubs/pubency.htm">Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential</A>


1. Emancipation from particular languages


A philosopher of language, Antonio de Nicolas, has studied the limitations of

single languages as a vehicle for complex, action-oriented, human-centred

meaning. His use of "language" corresponds to "answer" as used here. For him one

of the most widespread misleading misconceptions is the implied existence or

possibility of one universally adequate language (1978, p. 190).Given this

point of departure de Nicolas explores the problem of the variety, interrelation

and mutual exclusivity of rational thought systems, particularly of Western

origin. To obtain perspective on the problem, he analyzes the philosophical

languages embodied in the Rig Vedic hymns to which much oriental philosophy can

trace its origins. These clarify the problem of responding to a multiplicity of

perspectives which, even when understood, each on their terms, do not

themselves offer any reconciliation of the multiplicity of "answers" which they

constitute. Any synthesis of them is unable to "provide the antithetical perspectives

essential to freedom" (1978, p. 66).De Nicolas points out that reconciliation

is not a question of compromise between opposing views, since each such

compromise is an "amputation" of a portion of "one's own flesh". What is then

significant in the prevalence of Western-style compromise "is not that a

questionable compromise is being carried out; but rather....that a new human orientation

has been demanded, or been imposed through power, on all humans; in fact, a

single perspective has been imposed or demanded on all humans." (1978, p.

68).Any form of reconciliation between answers has to contend, not only with saving

the multiplicity of perspectives, but with the fact that these perspectives

have become embodied in psycho-social structures (1978, p. 67). The "songs"

characteristically sung in the expression of each answer engender the "bodies"

through which we function in society and determine our images of ourselves. But

"if thought is the ground of man, then it follows that thought is radically

man's body. The limits of his body being again the same limits of the thought

that grounds it." (1978, p. 82). In this sense, as explored by Geoffrey Vickers

(1970), the proponents of any answer are trapped by the bodily image they

engender (1980). Getting out of such traps calls for continuing attention to the

decision process, whereby they are engendered:



> "If the plight of man is grounded neither in language nor in the mirror

> (thought) but, rather, in man's decision to reduce himself to a universalized

> form of thought by grounding himself on it, then the emancipation of man will

> be in radicalizing himself on his decisions rather than on his images. But in

> order to do so man needs other men and the ability to discover them at their

> origin - at the radical level of their decisions and not just their images or

> ours, for this is man's own origin and, ultimately, his own flesh, though

> this might demand of every man a constant sacrifice of images - the ability to

> liberate himself from the prison of his mirrors - and to acknowledge a human

> reality which, though the source of multiple images, can neither be reduced

> nor identified with any of them. The other is my own possibilities and, in

> realizing these possibilities, I actualize my right to innovation and

Ø      continuity." (1978, p. 3).


2. Modelling language relationships by sound The distinguishing "linguistic"

and epistemological feature of the Rg Veda hymns is the manner in which they

are grounded in sound and demand a selection amongst alternative musical

patterns. Since the number of tonal systems is infinite, the selection of a finite

number of them by the singer/musician at the moment of execution, not only

closes him within a certain limitation or determination (eg just tuning, equal

temperament) but, more radically, it forces him to constantly face the internal

incompatibility of any such systems, the tones of every conceivable system must

constantly face and submit to a radical sacrifice to permit others to emerge

(1978, p. 12)."Therefore, from a linguistic and cultural perspective, we have

to be aware that we are dealing with a language where tonal and arithmetical

relations establish the epistemological invariances. Language grounded in music

is grounded thereby on context dependency; any tone can have any possible

relation to other tones, and the shift from one tone to another, which alone makes

melody possible, is a shift in perspective which the singer himself embodies.

Any perspective (tone) must be "sacrificed" for a new one to come into being;

the song is a radical activity which requires innovation while maintaining

continuity, and the "world" is the creation of the singer, who shares its

dimensions with the song". (1978, p. 57).Recalling Klapp's (1978) concern with

alternation between opening and closing, each necessary choice is a closure to

alternatives, but each such choice can be sacrificed through the movement which

must open to other possibilities if development is to continue.


"Rg Vedic man, like his Greek counterparts, knew himself to be the organizer

of the scale, and he cherished the multitude of possibilities open to him too

much to freeze himself into one dogmatic posture. His language keeps alive the

'open-ness' to alternatives, yet it avoids entrapment in anarchy. It also

resolves the fixity of theory by setting the body of man historically moving

through the freedom of musical spaces, viewpoint transpositions, reciprocities,

pluralism, and finally, an absolute radical sacrifice of all theory as a fixed

invariant" (1978, p. 57).Of great interest is the manner in which the sets of

categories, necessary to order the perceptual world, are developed and related,

highlighting both the potential dynamics for harmony and discord between

them. This possibility is entirely lacking in the present fashion for

"pragmatically objective" elaboration of sets of categories (1984). The consequences of

basing work on sets of 2,3 or more categories has not been recognized, despite

obvious conflictual implications of a 2-element set (whatever the content) when

reflected in a 2-division organization, for example (1978). And yet, the

process whereby such sets are defined, determines how whole psycho-social systems

are fragmented for analysis, comprehension, and communication. In a musically

grounded language, the basic whole is the octave. That tones recur cyclically

at every doubling or halving of frequency is the basic miracle of music. But

the octave refuses to be subdivided into subordinate cycles by integer ratios.

"It is a blunt arithmetical fact that the higher powers of 3 and 5 which define

such subordinate intervals in music never agree with higher powers of 2 which

define octave cycles. It is man's yearning for this impossible agreement

which introduced a hierarchy of values into the number field". (1978, p. 56).This

dilemma with all that it signifies for music, philosophy and social

organization has been explored by Ernest McClain (1978). The present day equivalent is

the problem of how different sets of concepts, with differing numbers of

categories, can nest together to encompass the societal whole without creating a

degree of qualitatively unacceptable discord in use - namely a "gap" or "error"

between reality as envisaged (or desired) and as perceived through the chosen

pattern of categories. This gap provokes demands for an alternative in which

the gap is at least diminished. (The process of reducing the gap is itself

encoded in the Rg Veda according to McClain's analysis (1978).It is not the case

that numbers or ratios control movement, but it is the case that movement may be

ordered according to certain ratios. Conceptual movement, and developmental

in general, takes place through the elaboration of constellations of categories

in which each category is context and structure dependent (A J N Judge,

1984).Opposite or reciprocal possibilities can be perceived as equally relevant,

whether co-present or succeeding each other. "Any perspective remains just one

out of a group of equally valid perspectives...but no song has so universal an

appeal that it terminates the invention of new ones...the function of

anylanguage is to make clear its own dependence on, and reference to, other linguistic

systems." (Antonio de Nicolas, 1978, p. 63.4)"In a language ruled by the

criteria of sound, perspectives, the change of perspectives and vision, stand for

what musicologists call "modulation". Modulation in music is the ability to

change keys within a composition. To focus within this language, and by its

criteria, is primarily the activity of being able to run the scale backwards and

forwards, up and down, with these sudden shifts in perspectives. Through this

ability, the singer, the body, the song and the perspectives become an

inseparable whole. In this language, transcendence is precisely the ability to perform

the song, without any theoretical construct impeding its movement a priori,

or determining the result of following such movement a priori. Nor can any

theoretical compromise substitute for the discovery of the movement of

"modulation" itself in history. The human body would then be asked to lose the memory of

its origins; a task the human body refuses to do by its constant return to

crisis." (p. 192).3. Complementary languages Given the context described in the

previous note, it is not surprising that the Rg Veda requires four languages,

rather than one, in order to convey the contrasting natures of its meaning. De

Nicolas, following Husserl, describes such languages as

intentionality-structures. "The intentionality-structure of a particular question, then, determines

or prefigures the kind of answer it will receive." (1978, p. 79). The four

languages, with their multiple perspectives, function as four spaces of discourse

within which human action takes place, and from which any given statement in

the text gains meaning. The languages show the human situation within disparate

linguistic contexts embodying different ways of viewing the world. (1978, p.

9). The four languages may be described as follows:

"Language of non-existence: Provides the modality of being in a world, either

of possibilities to be discovered, or of stagnant dogmatic attitudes. It is

the field condition out of which all differentiation in human experience

emerges. It is the continuing context for choice. In this world there is always the

tendency to lift one explanatory set to the level of an internal image as a

guide for action. It then functions as a suppressed premise or fundamental myth,

and is hardly ever made explicit (1978, p. 924). When the originating

potential of this world is not recognized, man is deprived of the possibility of

returning existentially to his origins and those of others by the dogmatic

reduction of multiplicity to the "song" of one theoretical voice. In de Nicolas words

the tragedy of human and social development in this world is that "We have

cried for and praised many Saviours, but have lost our own act of creation and

the power to revive it". (1978, p. 73)



"Language of existence: Provides the modality of acting in a world of truth

to be built, formed or established, as the discontinuous results of innovation.

This world is one of continuity and discontinuity, multiplication and

division, with a pluralism of perspectives generated from a common field admitting

many alternative structures and autonomous images. In this world man is

challenged by the possibility of embodying any perspective, of being bodily "at home"

within any structure or autonomous space (with which his body then shares its

dimensions). This world is characterized by forces experienced either as

constraining, enclosing and destructive, or as liberating and growth-enhancing. The

root of contemporary man's crisis in terms of this world lies in the

reduction of these multiple aspects of man to the names of objects with which he is

confronted and to which he then has no effective originating relationship.



"Language of images and sacrifice: Provides the modality of acting in a world

through regathering the images of the dismembered sensorium (the multiplicity

of worlds of existence) by sacrificing their multiple and exclusive

ontologies. In contrast to the centrifugal language of existence, the images are

grouped and regrouped, creating and erasing boundaries, in a centripetal process

converging on a unique configuration of forces in a final "efficient-moment" of

sacrifice which reveals the underlying "common body of the norm", the efficient

centre of creative action, or "embodied-vision". The image of sacrifice stands

therefore for an activity of eternal return to the radical originating power

through which the multiplicity of perspectives is engendered. It is the

efficient centre of the discontinuities of space of perception and time, or the link

between efficient acts and discontinuous acts. It is not a renunciation of

action, but rather a renunciation of the limits of perspectives which

interpretations attach to the structured subject-object sensorium. (1978, pp.139154)


Sacrifice is the necessary response to the ills of polycentricity with their

many consequences for the fragmentation of the body of man. No idea of the

body, whether monocentric or polycentric (validly chosen as styles of

expression), is prior to man and therefore prior to this embodiment. (1978, p.141).

Fundamental to the problem of human development is that "any identification of man

with a theory of "man" obscures the fact that any and all theories of man

about "man" are made of the radical dismemberment of man himself, and distract him

from engaging in his only original and primal activity: the sacrificing of

all theories about himself so that he may recreate himself as man". (1978, p.70)


It is for this reason that Rg Vedic man does not accept any way of

understanding man's role other than as an original and continuous sacrifice (an activity

rather than a theory)". (1978, p.70)



"Language of embodied-vision: Provides the modality of having gone through,

and being in, a world which remains continuously because it comprehends the

totality of the cultural movement on which it is grounded (C A Hooker, 1974,

p.74). It is the embodiment of choosers in movement. Rationality is not then based

on "the narrow logic of appeal to premises and conclusion, but rather, on an

appeal to a community of listeners capable of understanding and changing, or

re-directing the movement of their song". (de Nicolas, 1978, p.154). The vision

becomes an objective norm, not as the result of a dogmatically imposed

constraint on action, but rather as the embodiment of the norm as discovered in a

community of plural activities, decisions and descriptions. (p.154). Within such

a context "we find ourselves facing moving webs, moving structures; each

structure a rhythm through which a body-world appears, revealing a background of

living beings together with the glory and terrors of their life". (p.122)




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Understanding Antonio’s Rig Veda-5



Dear Prof


Thank-you very much. My comments seem to have encouraged a very succinct and beautiful response about   Languages of Rig Veda in terms Language of Existence, Language of Images and Sacrifice and Language of Embodied -Vision and so forth. I agree with you that West has operated mainly along the lines of Thought and equating this with rationality modeled perhaps by Euclid’s Geometry than anything else. I agree with you when you say about language of embodied-vision the following:




Provides the modality of having gone through,

and being in, a world which remains continuously because it comprehends the

totality of the cultural movement on which it is grounded (C A Hooker, 1974,

p.74). It is the embodiment of choosers in movement. Rationality is not then based

on "the narrow logic of appeal to premises and conclusion, but rather, on an

appeal to a community of listeners capable of understanding and changing, or

re-directing the movement of their song". (de Nicolas, 1978, p.154). The vision

becomes an objective norm, not as the result of a dogmatically imposed

constraint on action, but rather as the embodiment of the norm as discovered in a

community of plural activities, decisions and descriptions. (p.154). Within such

a context "we find ourselves facing moving webs, moving structures; each

structure a rhythm through which a body-world appears, revealing a background of

living beings together with the glory and terrors of their life". (p.122)




The focus on vision as the objective may underlie the reason why in Indian circles philosophy is described as Darsana, Kaadci and why Tolkaappiyar begins his studies of Utties with the notion  ‘otta kaadci utti” i.e. utti that provides the same vision as the vision of the author. There is LOGIC but NOT the logic of premises, rules of inference and conclusion. The Hermeneutic Logic moves in the direction of gaining the same vision as the author of the book being studied, i.e. nutaliyatu aRital, understanding the implicit Intention projected in the text projected though the text. It is an expression of rationality but more inclusive and deeper than the Euclidean.


Now I have a few suggestions to make in connection with this but before that, let me react to your question about Aristotle:


In order not to deviate and meander I'll start with two points:

Point one: Aristotle, Parmenides, Heraclitus appear in history much later

than the Rg Veda. My question is, why would the categories of those people in

anyway apply to the Rg Veda? Doesn't the Rg Veda have its own?


Now I am discovering that Rig Veda is built upon not only the metaphysical insights of the Sumerians but the language itself is a later or less archaic form of Sumerian. While this is not accepted as yet by scholars but I believe it will be as I continue to publish my studies of Rig Veda. Now there are many studies talking about Black Athenians who in fact provided the foundation for the ancient Greek culture. We should note the ancient Greeks were more like the Sumerians and Modern Hindus with temples and male and female gods, soothsayers and so forth. The point I want to make is that it may be possible that it is the Sumerians who form the common substratum for the Greek and Rig Vedic Culture and the possible similarities with Black Athenians being a branch of the Sumerians who drifted westwards.



But admittedly the ancient Greek culture was supplanted by Latinization and which also introduced the Rule of the Law and as you say, the shift of thinking to the Left Hemisphere with the dominance of Natam or the Sun to the subjugation of Right Hemisphere and hence the Moon. The West since the days of the Romans at least,  has been Natam dominated and hence imperialistic, with a bent to colonize subjugate and so forth that you have described beautifully and which is carried over now by Christianity that seeks to convert the whole world into its own ways intolerant of other possibilities.


The Languages of Rig Veda


Now taking off from what you say and noting that in Saivism at least the Language of Silence is taken as the Final Language, that which allows the enjoyment of Civanjanam and communicate it with gesture language of Cin Muttirai, I propose another way of looking at it and from which we can derive the languages of Rig Veda as you have delineated as above:


I propose: Language of Praxis (or actions), Language of Ordinary Speech, Language of Rituals and Metaphysics, Language of Icons, Language of Mantras and finally Language of Deep Silence.


This is a modified form of the Theory of Languages in the Agama Sastras where they talk about the following forms of languages: Vaikari, Paicyanti, Mattimai, Cuukkumai,  and Ati cuukkumai and where the final form is said to be the Logos, Om itself. It is also understood that there is a hierarchical relationship between these languages and the understanding should move from the Vaikari to Aticuukkumai by liberating itself from the hold of other forms of languages prior to that. The mind should accommodate itself not only to the Vaikari form but also the Paicyanti form and so forth.


But is this the same as the emancipation from “ particular languages” ?


I am not sure and I hope Prod Antonio can clarify it.



There is another aspect to this. There is already a kinesis in the cultural world where there is an impulsion to move from the language of Praxis and so forth towards the Language of Deep Silence. This cannot itself be a language but rather something TRANSCENDENT to these languages


But what can it be?


Certainly it is the pull unto Moksa, a pull to be with BEING and by becoming qualitatively the SAME as BEING.


The question is then: Was the Rig Vedic man aware that there is this Language of Deep Silence and it is the final language of meaning and that he was aware that he is being pulled in slow measures towards this by the Divine Power or Powers?


I think he was and in this he was continuing a trend in cultural dynamics already available in Sumerian and something the West lost at least from the days of the Romans if not earlier.


No Western philosopher of any significance has talked about Moksa while every Indian thinking is concerned deeply about it. Christianity also does not accommodate Moksa in their theological thinking (as far as I know)



From: <diotima245@aol.com>

To: <agamicpsychology@yahoogroups.com>; <akandabaratam@yahoogroups.com>

Cc: <abhinavagupta@egroups.com>; <meykandar@egroups.com>

Subject: [akandabaratam] Re: [agamicpsychology] Understanding Antonio’s Rig Veda-5

Date: Monday, July 07, 2003 8:54 PM


Dear Loga and friends,

Dr. Loganathan's last (see below) response to my earlier email leaves me

puzzled, if not speachless. It is obvious Dr. Loga is full of insights. My

question in view of the last entry is this, do these insights have anything to do with

the Rg Veda, the dharma at hand?


The Languages I proposed, Asat, Sat, Yajna and Rta, accompanied with their

particular acts to define them, and images to operate (dismember) through them

etc. are not mine, not did I invent them. These Languages are Rg Vedic as found

in the texts, the ten mandalas of the Rg Veda. The way Dr. Loga proposes a

substitution makes me believe that he believes that this classification is an

arbitrary one and therefore changeable. This is the reason why I separate so

radically epistemology from ideology. I can invent a classification and force it

on the reader to accept it, or I can discover the classification implicit in

the text itself and on which the whole text hinges and present it as what it

is, an immutable epistemology from the inside out, and not an ideology from the

outside in.


The Language of the Asat includes silence, by the way, geometries without

forms including those of sound. Nirrti (non action) is the result of both,

dogmatism that places one form (god) over the others, and also the development of

new forms out of the silence of the beginning, middle and end of creation. The

focus on vision in the Rg Veda and in today's neurobiology, is because

perception enters through the reptilian and limbic brains as vibrations and these are

turned into three dimensional visual objects by the right hemisphere, or the

visual neocortex. Forms and bodies are a third language construed on the

original vibrations of the reptilian and limbic brains, an epistemological fact

priests of all denominations must bear in mind when claiming originality in the

ritual, since this is not the original language but a derived one and therefore

mixed with interpretation.


So with this in mind the exercise of hermeneutics is to follow faithfully the

Rg Vedic text, (whatever that means) regardless of later changes in

modulation. Let's find first the original song and the criteria for its chant. Lets

chant first SANSKRIT,and only LATER SUMERIAN SIMILARITIES or origins that might

or might not appear.


Best regards, Shanti

Antonio de Nicolas







From: "ssathia" <ssathia@hotmail.com>

To: <agamicpsychology@yahoogroups.com>

Subject:  Re: [agamicpsychology] Understanding Antonio’s Rig Veda-5

Date: Monday, July 07, 2003 10:26 PM



Dr Antonio,


You had on more than one occasion mentioned about geometry.


> The Language of the Asat includes silence, by the way, geometries

> without forms including those of sound.


Can you kindly elaborate on the relationship between spiritualism and

geometry? Also on the same vein, what is the relationship between

temple building (seen as a geometrical form) and spiritualism? Dr

Loga has identified temple building as an essence of Tamil culture.

It is indeed the advice of Tamil elders for more than two thousand

years that one should not live in a place where there is no temple.


Thank you.






From: <diotima245@aol.com>

To: <agamicpsychology@yahoogroups.com>

Subject: Re: [agamicpsychology] Understanding Antonio’s Rig Veda-5

Date: Monday, July 07, 2003 11:56 PM


Dear Sathia,


Great part of the confusion in spiritual practice, be it  in the form of a

sadhu or a playboy is their fixity of substances as forms, form that one must

renounce, forms one musy chase. In either case form is the beginning, middle and

end of spiritual practice.


AS EARLY AS the Rg Veda we find an invariant ground for forms to be and move

into or out of; or , if you wish, the disappearance, transformation of forms

does not end life. This move of the soul is made possible by the invariant

epistemologies underlying forms,  i.e. geometry.


It is in the Rg Veda that the soul is asked to re-align itself by cutting off

the attachment to forms, this one or that one, be it a god, a hero or a

human. The model on which this movement of detachment takes place is that of music.

Music as epistemology is the hidden ground of the alphabet of oral/audial

cultures. Life, our own and that of others, is as evanescent and also as

memorable as a song...Alive while it is being heard, memory, once it is not sounding.

It is here, as early as the Rg Veda that the real human soil of geometries

being the Asat (ground) of life is offered. Later on the Asat disappears and

forms take center stage. The attachment to them is so strong that only an intense

spiritual life, and lots of help from the gods, will be able to open the doors

of Moksha.

It is also a curious fact that the temples of India were also built by the

musical criteria

of the hymns, that is by the number, proportion and space found in music.

On this and other important points about Yantras, Mandalas etc. I recommend

the book

The Myth of Invariance: The origin of the Gods, Mathematics and Music from

the Rg Veda to Plato. The author is Earnest McClain and the publisher

Weiser/Nicolas/Hays. York Beach, Maine. This volume appeared as a companion to

Meditations Through the Rg Veda, by Antonio T. de Nicolas.

Excellent reading and you will be surprised how through music Sumer is also

made part of this world.

Om Shanti

Antonio de Nicolas



Understanding Antonio’s Rig Veda-6


Dear Prof


You mentioned as below in response to Sathiya and with which I am in substantial agreement:




Great part of the confusion in spiritual practice, be it  in the form of a

sadhu or a playboy is their fixity of substances as forms, form that one must

renounce, forms one musy chase. In either case form is the beginning, middle and

end of spiritual practice.

AS EARLY AS the Rg Veda we find an invariant ground for forms to be and move

into or out of; or , if you wish, the dissappearance, transformation of forms

does not end life. This move of the soul is made possible by the invariant

epistemologies underlying forms,  i.e. geometry.


It is in the Rg Veda that the soul is asked to re-align itself by cutting off

the attachment to forms, this one or that one, be it a god, a hero or a

human. The model on which this movement of detachment takes place is that of music.

Music as epistemology is the hidden ground of the alphabet of oral/audial

cultures. Life, our own and that of others, is as evanescent and also as

memorable as a song...Alive while it is being heard, memory, once it is not sounding.

It is here, as early as the Rg Veda that the real human soil of geometries

being the Asat (ground) of life is offered. Later on the Asat disappears and

forms take center stage. The attachment to them is so strong that only an intense

spiritual life, and lots of help from the gods, will be able to open the doors

of Moksha.


It is also a curious fact that the temples of India were also built by the

musical criteria of the hymns, that is by the number, proportion and space found in music.

On this and other important points about Yantras, Mandalas etc.




It is not an accident that when Positivistic Buddhism and Jainism with their Logic dominated the cultural life of South India, the Azwars and Nayanmars caused a decline and eventually wiped these religions in their logical garb with HYMNS set to definite PaN or ragas. While this may be a revival of CaGkam Paripaadal tradition, we cannot also rule out the possibility the Vedic chanting had a role to play as Vedic chanting also was perused with greater vigor during those days of Bakti revolt.


The Rig Vedic Slokas have been continuously chanted along with the singing of hymns in Tamil. The culture of Music and Dance has been there as an integral part of Temple culture and I think Rig Vedic culture is not different from that even though temple worship may not be  very visible. 


You have something extremely important and very much to the point in saying that “ The model on which this movement of detachment takes place is that of music”


The essential difference between the West and India perhaps lies here: aesthetic plays an important role and the dancing and singing and which lead to mantra-recital are SADHANAS integral to philosophic cultures.


I also believe this culture is a continuation from the Sumerian and perhaps also Rig Veda. The following lines can be cited as evidences for it.


Sulgi Hymn B ( c. 2000 BC)


175. sa-ge sag-us-bi-gin i-du  (By keeping my heat in constant mood )

        º¡í§¸ º¡í ¯îº¢À¢¹¢ý ®­Î

176. hul-hul-le-me-en dug-dug-ge-me-en (I am of a cheerful disposition and good (natured)

    ¯Åø ¯Åø§Ä Á¡ý Ðí¸ Ðí¸ Á¡ý

177. gir-zal nam-nun-na u-zal-zal-le-me-en  (I pass my days in high class enjoyment )

    ¸£÷º¡ø ÑýÉ¿õ  ° ¦ºø¦ºøÄ¢ Á¡ý

178. lu-ulu ni-te-a-ni-se gestu he-ga-ga  (People(only) care for their own self )

    ¯Ù-¯Ù ¿£§¾«É¢§º  ¦¸ŠÐ ² ¸¡ø¸¡ø

179. nig-bi    nig-igi-rin-na-ka (Their possessions are the matters to which they turn their eyes)

     ¿¢¸õÀ¢  ¿¢¸ þ­¹¢ þ­Ã¢ýɸ  

180. zag nam-ti-la     sag im-gi-a (The vigour of life is (thereby) blocked up )

    º¡Ì ¾¢øÄ¿õ  º¡ý ­þõÁ¢Â


Here it is interesting that he classifies people into those who are ordinary and those who spend their time in high-class enjoyment like divine songs and music (Su. nam-na-ra> Ta. naaranam: naar: fiber,  nam-nun-na> Ta. nunnanam; high class) in contrast to the ordinary who care only for their own self. In other words it is implied here the enjoyment of divine music belongs only to those who have detached themselves from the worldly cares and show tremendous interest in other worldly metaphysical matters.  Sulgi also observes that Music (nara-nam) has spiritually an uplifting function.

This theme of disengaging from the worldly and plunging into the metaphysical for further progress in personal development though music is the central theme of Indic cultural traditions and in which, as you have rightly pointed out, it differs from the essence of Western culture. Of course this freeing oneself from the worldly and so forth and music and dance constituting an important Sadhana presupposes the notion of Moksa. So it can be said that while Indic Traditions are Moksa oriented, and I think the Rig Vedic tradition is no exception to this, the Western (and perhaps also the Semitic, as you have pointed out) traditions are not


Now this brings me to what you have said below:




The Language of the Asat includes silence, by the way, geometries without

forms including those of sound. Nirrti (non action) is the result of both,

dogmatism that places one form (god) over the others, and also the development of

new forms out of the silence of the beginning, middle and end of creation. The

focus on vision in the Rg Veda and in today's neurobiology, is because

perception enters through the reptilian and limbic brains as vibrations and these are

turned into three dimensional visual objects by the right hemisphere, or the

visual neocortex. Forms and bodies are a third language construed on the

original vibrations of the reptilian and limbic brains, an epistemological fact

priests of all denominations must bear in mind when claiming originality in the

ritual, since this is not the original language but a derived one and therefore

mixed with interpretation




You would include the language of  silence into language of geometries or speaking Indian the language of Yantras and Mantras. Your view about the vibrations also resonates with the Siddha thinking where they talk of Idakalai (left brain, Natam) PiGkalai (right brain, Bindu) Cuzi Munai (the central where both Natam and Bindu are equally present) and so forth. Now interestingly enough they also talk of Guru Nadi, the Final and Great Nadi and which actually lead to Moksa and which is understood as where the very condition of Speech is overcome, a Deep Silence prevails and what is understood is communicated only through Cin Muttirai, which belongs to the Language of Gestures.


The point here is that the Deep Silence appears to me to be different from something available in the Language of Geometries (Yantras and mantras), something transcendent to it or something that lies as the deep Structure of the Language of Geometries,  or Asat, hidden there in the depths.


Let me explain this a bit more.


Rig Veda is intentional as are all texts. But human intentionality buried in such outstanding metaphysical texts is Fundamental Intentionality and NOT the local intentionality of every day life, or ordinary existence. The Fundamental Intentionality is Moksa oriented and it is this that makes man TEMPORAL, or projective, as Heidegger would put it.  Now while Heidegger did not connect this Fundamental Intentionality with Moksa (he did not go beyond the ordinary death), in the Indic traditions, at least in the Saiva traditions, they have.


This Fundamental Intentionality with its temporality is also the very condition of SPEECH or Language including the language of geometries or mantras.


Now the question is: What will happen if this Fundamental Intentionality disappears, man disengages from that?


Obviously he transcends the very condition of Speech or Language and hence becomes capable of only Deep Silence. This Cutta Moonam prevails when the very condition of all languages are uprooted.


This state of Being-in-the-World (as a Jivanmukta?) is enjoying the Absolute Understanding and also enjoying Moksa! The language of communication also ceases to be verbal - it becomes the Language of Gestures, the Cin Muttirai etc.


Now the questions in relation to Rig Veda.


Was there behind the INTENTIONALITY underlying the verbal outpourings along with musical cadences, also a movement perhaps unknown to the Rishies towards lifting self towards the realms of Deep Silence? The chanting was not the end but rather through chanting and singing transcending and going beyond the very condition of chanting singing and so forth?


If affirmative then, I believe, we have to include over and above those already listed also he Language of Deep Silence as integral to Rig Veda, as something already there and as part of the music it incorporates.


Just for your further considerations. Apologies if I have misunderstood you somewhere.



Understanding Antonio’s Rig Veda-7


Dear Prof


I am reading along with your book also that by Sri Aurobindo, “The Secret of the Veda’ which also surprises me in many ways. Many passages confirm me in my thinking that Rig Veda is Archaic Tamil, something close but later that Sumerian Tamil and that those rishies who sang these hymns are in fact the descendents of SumeroTamils. I also pointed out the presence of an important word Suruppak in hymn 1:4 which points to the historical connection and continuity with Sumerian.  Thus it would appear that the culture of Rig Veda, despite some novelty is closely tied to that of SumeroTamil and hence Dravidian. Against this it should not come as a surprise that the chanting of Vedas was continued among the Tamils as an integral part of their culture till very recent times  having played its part in the evolution of Dravidian philosophic thinking. The following passage is reproduced here:





But here also my preconceived ideas were disturbed and confounded. For on examining the vocables of the Tamil language, in appearance so foreign to the Sanskritic form and character, I yet found myself continually guided by words or by families of words supposed to be pure Tamil in establishing new relations between Sanskrit and its distant sister, Latin, and occasionally, between the Greek and the Sanskrit. Sometimes the Tamil vocable not only suggested the connection, but proved the missing link in a family of connected words. And it was through this Dravidian language that I came first to perceive what seems to me now the true law, origins and as it were, the embryology of the Aryan tongues. I was unable to pursue my examination far enough to establish any definite conclusion, but it certainly seems to me that the original connection between the Dravidian and Aryan tongues was far closer and more extensive than is usually supposed and the possibility suggests itself that they may even have been two divergent families derived from one lost primitive tongue..


Sri Aurobindo, The Secret of the Veda p.36




 Aurobindo is certainly right  in saying that Sanskrit and Dravidian languages are two ancient branches of some primitive language only that this primitive language is SumeroTamil,  as I see it. It is against the above view of Aurobindo that I want to examine the view expressed by Prof Antonio below. It appears to me that the central notion of ‘maayaa’ in Rig Veda corresponds to the SumeroTamil ‘me’ and Classical Tamil ‘mey’ and that perhaps having lost this original root and meaning in later times it came to be seen as a ‘maayaa sakti’ and as a kind of sinister power that bedevils the thinking of man leading to illusions and delusions etc giving rise Mayavatam, a philosophy  that has been  criticized severely by many schools on Indian philosophy notwithstanding  it surviving as part of Advaita Vedanta perhaps in some modified forms.


Below the relevant passage from Prof Antonio”




And it is precisely because the structure of the hymns has become human body through the power of the Vac (the human word), that the words of man are recoverable; but this recovery can only be accomplished as it was originally formed. For unless they are recovered as human flesh, man remains incomplete. This is what the sages hoped for when they said that “one may see them -- the origins and the gods -- when these hymns are chanted in future times” (10.72.7), or when they said that “the sages

searching in their hearts with wisdom found the relation of the Existent with the Non-Existent” (lO.129.4).


It is this efficient ‘active power’ of the word making the world, that makes the gods possible; either to make them or to give them the power invoked as in R.V. 5.31.4. It is this power, maayaa, that causes wisdom, judgment, knowledge, etc. Over a hundred times this word is used in the Rg Veda; through this power ‘the Maruts bring rain,’30 or the ‘Sun appears in the sky’; it is the maayaa (power) of Mitra and Varuna,3’ the power to produce the marvelous;32 or it is the power of the mayinah, those gifted with powers.33 Only when these powers are used for evil purposes, without the sacrifice in mind, does maayaa turn to ‘abuse’ and ‘illusion.’34


Antonio T de. Nicholas  Meditations through the Rig Veda, pp 61-62




The Sumerian ‘me’ and Ta. mey


There are three main sense to the Ta. mey and of which two are also available in Sumerian and in sense corresponding to the above in ‘maayaa” ie. power, truth and physical body.


Su. me  as Power


The first line of Enhudu Anna’s Sirbiyam ( Exaltation on In-anna) begins with this arresting line


  1. nin me sar-ra u dall-e-a ( The Lady of all me’s, radiant light)


The same word occurs in the same sense in the following lines too


7. me mu-il  me suju-se mu-e-la ( You have picked up the me’s, you have hung the me’s on your hand)


8. me mu -ur me gaba-zu bi-tab ( You have gathered up the me’s you have clasped the me’s on to your breast)


Though the word remains un-translated, it is clear that it stands for the basic powers, the ‘active power’ that enables Inanna to effect so many things as narrated in the remaining hymn, However we can see that is the meaning most clearly in the following line:


14. an-ne me si-ma nin ur-ra u-a ( Endowed with me’s by An, lady mounted on a beast)


An, ( Ta.  aaN, aNNal, aaNdavan etc) gives her the POWER, the mey and because of which She is powerful.


This word exists in the same sense in the word ‘meykirrti” where the hidden meaning the valiant actions and the great accomplishments of mighty kings the deserve to be sung. It exists in the modified form of Ta. moy, as in moymbu, bravery , valiant power etc.


We can relate this to the verb ‘meeya’ that occurs in Tol. as in the sutra:




maayoon meeya kaaduRai ulakamum

ceeyoon meeya maivarai ulakamum

veenthan meeya thiimpunal ulakamum

varuNan meeya  perumaNal ulakamum

mullai kuRinchi Marutam neytal enac

colliya muRaiyaal collvavum padumee


It can be said, as it has been said traditionally that the realms of the forest empowered by Tiumaal, the hilly  tracts empowered by Muruka, the watery realms empowered by Indra, the sandy shores empowered by VaruNa can be named also  Mullai, KuRinch Marutam and Neytal


The word ‘meeya’ that occurs here, is best understood as ‘empowered by” i.e. ‘given structure and function by’ the various deities named.  It is also interesting that Indira and Varuna are also Vedic gods.  Thus ‘meeya’ is a verbal form of the noun ‘mey’ meaning ‘’power’ , the sakti etc.


Thus it appears the ‘maayaa” in Rig is just an ancient variant of Ta. meyya, meeyya etc. The ‘mayinah’ could be Ta. mey-inam, the entities with power.


Su. me and Ta. mey as  Truth


Related to this is another sense which occurs also in both in Tamil. In fact the standard meaning Ta. mey is ‘truth’ and this sense is available also in numerable places.


Sulgi Hymn B


(My translation)


73. sipa ildum-ma-bi su-bi hu-mu-dug


74. u-me-da u-ul-li-a-se


I will raise ( dug , Ta tuukku) my hands (su-bi , Ta. surbi) towards Siva who brings forth all ( sipa eldum-ma:  Ta.Siva ezuttumma) truly (u-me-da Ta, uNmaiyodu) till the very end of the world( u ullia se. Ta. uu uuziya cee)


The word ‘u-me’ perhaps has become  Ta. uNmai, truth where even ‘mey’ by itself also means the same.


This sense is alsoi available in Sumerian as below:


Lamentations Over the Destruction of Ur




me-e mi-bi-se sag-PA-LAGAB be-en-si-ag-an  ( To the night;s aid verily I went forth not)


The meaning of ‘me-e’ as given by Kramer here fits well  with the meaning ‘truly’’ verily’ etc of Ta. meyyee  as in Manikkavakar’s “ meyyee kaNdunnai viiduRReen ? ( having seen you truly I have arrived Home)


Can there a connection between ‘mey’ as Power and as Truth?


Perhaps there in the sense it is the Power wielded by the gods that also constitutes what is real and truth.





From: diotima245@aol.com


To: <agamicpsychology@yahoogroups.com>; <akandabaratam@egroups.com>

Cc: <Abhinavagupta@yahoogroups.com>

Subject: [Abhinavagupta] Re: [agamicpsychology] Understanding Antonioâs Rig Veda-7

Date: Saturday, July 12, 2003 12:15 AM


Dear Loga and friends,


There is a book by William Irwin Thomson called Coming Into Being: Artifacts

and Texts in the Evolution of Consciousness that makes a comparison between

Sri Auribindo's, Wendy  O'Flaherty's and my Meditations Through the Rg Veda with

extensive background on Inana, Sumer and Gilgamesh. You would be very

impressed with the thesis of the book and rewarded for the effort. In my book Moksha

Smith: Agni's Warrior-Sage I also wrote on page 76, The Descent of Inana to

the Underworld where it is obvious that the "me" stands for the same thing that

"maya" stands for in the Rg Veda, power. And it is also true that the Tamil Rg

Veda has been mentioned again and again for many years and with your same

criteria. I am witness of this quotations for over forty five years, all the way

back to Fr. Heras. But you must also remember that the Rg Veda is not one

single texts and one single author. So this Tamil text may appear in recitation

and I would love to get a hold of it, unfortunately in translation. You should

provide us with as many translations of these hymns as possible. We know that

maya as illusion is not in the Rg Veda, but as power. As for truth, or

satya/sat in the Rg Veda we are looking more at the creation of forms, the making of

sat, acts of creation and not theories of truth. Let's start with power. It is

already a long way from later philosophical systems and misconceptions. You

may see now why my urgency to go back to the origins and recreate them with the

power (me/maya) of the chant.


Thanks for your insightful communion with Sri Aurobindo.


OM and Shanti


Antonio de Nicolas



Understanding Antonio’s Rig Veda-8



Dear Prof


Since my university days where I also attended philosophy classes over and above Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, I had heavy doses of Logical Positivism - Russell, Whitehead, early Wittgenstein, Rudolph Carnap and so forth. The books I collected at that time are still with me. Their Theory of Truth - the Correspondence Theory, the Semantic Theory and so forth always left me with an uneasiness. Surely the way we understand ‘truth’  in ordinary is not at all like this.  Being also familiar with the Saivite explanations of this notion I always felt that “ being in truth’ ‘experiencing truth’ and so forth also make sense but which is not captured by these logical positivists.


Against this background I was really pleased to read the following passage in your book where you express almost the same view as I did and have done in many of my  writings.


I want to draw your attention to the fact that  there is an understanding of ‘truth’ in Saiva tradition connected with the notion of CiRsakti, Consciousness-Conferring Power also considered a part of the more general notion of aruL. Again I go back to Tirumular from whom I learnt all these. All these may go back to the Su. Ta. mey, moy etc as some kind of Power wielded by Inanna and so forth





These cryptic notes about the hymns of the Rig Veda should make it sufficiently obvious that we have no other alternative than to start where the Rig Vedic text starts, with its particular form of chanted language and the criteria of its use.


Perhaps the greatest shortcoming in cultural studies is the hidden pre­supposition and steadfast belief that our linguistic criteria are the only ones by which all men and cultures should be measured or reduced. On this crypto - premise, lies the universalized belief that the only language of man is prose, and that the ground of its meaning is a logic to which this prose conforms, independent of how people use language, or even dependent on how people use language; in both cases, a particular form of logic is universally established as the universal image to which language must conform. The positivistic view of language is also grounded on a category of fact that uses the criterion of the Verifiability Principle as its own ground of meaning; and prose is again taken as the standard for communication, and its statements are considered as the only carriers of truths. These truths, in turn, are dependent for their meaning on how they conform to the logic on which all meaning thus radicalized is grounded.


Two immediate consequences follow: First, all human languages are presupposed to be linguistically uniform; secondly, all cultural studies are rendered trivial or superfluous, for linguistic criteria of other men and other cultures are supposed previous to any discovery of human or cul­tural judgment within the culture. Unless the reader is able to free him­self from these determinations, he will not be able to read anything different from what he already knows; the result would be no more than a reinforcement of his present beliefs; for this view of language fails to take into account the human activity by which language itself is formed, ~ made flesh.


Antonio T. de Nicholas , Meditations through the Rig Veda p. 55




I want to point out that over and above the Western Logic there is Hermeneutic Logic where the concern is NOT verifiability but rather being illuminated and thereby also the self elevated by made more pure. “truth” illuminates the mind and in that also purifies the soul thereby making it more developed as a person and  also someone less poison in the mind and body so that there is also both mental and physical health. Truth is a POWER, a Sakti that cures the soul of the malaise and therewith also confers a healthy body, the Tirumeeni. The person enjoying Civanjanam, the Absolute Understanding enjoys Tejas, brightness and because of which he becomes a Tecikan, a name in use among the Saivites to describe the Acaryas.


Tirumular deals with the central issues in more than 30 verses. I give below just some to illustrate and further strengthen your view. I feel that these verses say about the same as you are saying.


The verse 1798 where the Logical Measure, aLavai - that which establishes something as ‘ truth’ is essentially hermeneutical and it became historically very important in the development of Saiva Logic during the 13th-16th centuries.



aruL engkumaana aLavai aRiyaar
aruLai nukara amutaanatun teeraar
aruL aingkarumattiRku aticuukkam unnaar
aruL engkung kaNNaanatu aar aRivaar.


The ordinary individuals do not seem to know that it is aruL that becomes the measure of TRUTH in all states of consciousness -- the wakeful , dream states and so forth. They also do not seem to appreciate that it is the experiencing of truths that serve as the ambrosia that would grant both good mental and physical health. And furthermore they do not reflect and understand that ultimately it is  aruL that remains  the source of the  five fold  para-praxis that pervades the whole universe. And furthermore they don't seem to be aware also the fact that it is aruL that serves as the eyes for the all the creatures that would enable them to SEE as such and generate consciousness.


arutkaN illaataarkku arumporuL toonRaa
arutkaN uLorkku etir toonRum aranee
irutkaNNinoorkku aGku iraviyum toonRaa
teruT kaNNinoorkku eGkunj ciiroLiyaamee


For those incapable of seeing with only LOVE in their eyes that establishes ONENESS with all, deep metaphysical illuminations will become something they enjoy even if they do not pour over the sacred lore and practice the various sadhanas.  But on the contrary for those who are capable of this way of seeing, profound metaphysical illuminations will enjoy the visions of BEING and along with it, deep illuminations that drives away the metaphysical Darkness. For those with eyes that suffer from metaphysical BLINDNESS even the resplendent SUN of inner radiance will be something they cannot see. And for those blessed with the eyes of Grace, they continuously witness the Pure Light that enables them to see only the Right and Good.


aruLil talaininRu aRintu azuntaataar
aruLil talai nillaar aimpaacam niingkaar
aruLin perumai aRiyaar ceRiyaar
aruLil piRantiddu aRintu aRivaaree 


Only those who have understood that the basic purpose of existence is to gain the GRACE of BEING and who also understands the right ways to succeed in it will be resolutely in it and those who do not do so are actually people who do not understand this and because of which they cannot free themselves from the five fold bondage that ties them to existential repetition. The reason why there are such individuals is  IGNORANCE with respect to the workings of Grace. Those who understand that whatever they do are in fact because of the Grace will understand it and pursue in doings only things that would gain them this Grace. 




aadiyum paadiyum azutum araRRiyum
teediyuG kaNdeen civan peruntanmaiyaik
kuudiyavaaree kuRiyaak kuRi tantu en
uudu ninRaan avan tannaruL uRRee 


In order to melt my heart already hardened like a lifeless  stone,  I danced sang and without shame cried and complained restlessly. And also searched after TRUTH earnestly. Only by such efforts finally I managed to see for myself the immense greatness of BEING. But what is this unbelievable greatness of BEING? Having possessed me and stood as myself there in the world  ( in an AS IF Play) and having given projects of various kinds indirectly to shape my intentionalities  and actions, He stood within me without abandoning me to guide me further in my adventures and all because  of His Grace and nothing else. 



From: <diotima245@aol.com>

To: <agamicpsychology@yahoogroups.com>; <akandabaratam@yahoogroups.com>

Cc: <abhinavagupta@egroups.com>; <meykandar@egroups.com>

Subject: [akandabaratam] Re: [agamicpsychology] Understanding Antonio’s Rig Veda-8 and Rituals

Date: Monday, July 14, 2003 7:11 PM


Dear Loga and friends,


I must thank Loga for this email and its insights and for the recent one on

Rituals. Both deal with the left brain, or the left side of the neocortex. In

neurobiology we know that all sensation comes in through the right brain, the

reptilian,  the limbic (vibrations) and the visual neocortex (where three

dimensional bodies are perceived as originated by the vibrational brains earlier).

So in spiritual practice it is the same, when experience/sensation takes place,

then the left brain is the last to know and this indirectly for it has no

access to the world, gods, or external objects, but only to the right brain and

its own logics and reasons.


Looking at the schools of Indic philosophies you will find that the faculty

we know in the West as Reason in Indic texts it is not a faculty (manas) but

only one more of the senses and its role is interpretation, or translation. The

consequences are enormous, in particular for those religions that base

knowledge and revelation on the propositions of the left side of the neocortex, the

left brain. As does the ascetic  and not the mystic.


Thanks Dr. Loga and friends



Antonio de Nicolas



Understanding Antonio’s Rig Veda-9


Dear Prof


It is very interesting that two different thinkers come up with almost similar kinds of metaphysical insights. The following passage reminds me so much Tirumular’s first verse. The similarity is quite uncanny.  Perhaps the similarity it from a certain commonality - your focus on tones and Tirumular’s on musical prosodies, the PaN that became the most powerful tool in the hands of the Nayanmars and Azwars in their combat with the positivistic Buddhist and Jains of the times. I give below the verse with its meaning and venture also an explanation of it for your further considerations for understanding the dynamics of metaphysical life.





We need to revert again to tone as our model. Any tone can serve as the reference point for any kind of tonal development and the primary fact of any development is the cyclic identity which we recognize at the octave. It is our recognition of this cyclic identity which makes the musical octave first, a cyclic matrix for tuning theory and then, by sym­bolic extension, a cyclic matrix for cosmology. The “sexual” imagery which Plato associates with certain numbers, apparently known to the Rig Vedic poets, begins with the identification of the matrix with “mother.”



Since multiplication and division by 2 produce the octave matrix, 2 is essentially “female.” By itself 2 can generate only “cycles of barrenness” (2:4:8:16, etc., numbers 2”). The original unity, 1, which is subdivided to produce the “octave--double” 2, requires divinity to be conceived as “hermaphrodite,” and apparently accounts for the Rig Vedic statements of the daughter (2) being produced from the father, 1, without benefit of a mother. God = 1, and his virgin daughter = 2, and they must be coupled in divine incest to produce the prime number 3, “the divine male number,” from which brahman tones (or angels), and “citizens of the highest property class” (Socrates’ metaphor), are generated. The musical function of 3 probably gives rise to the later notion of a “demiurge” or subordinate god who actually creates the phenomenal world; from this demiurge = 3 and the virgin daughter = 2, the “human male number 5” emerges as 3 + 2, in a statement widely appreciated in ancient times, but one quite mysterious once the musical origins of culture had been for­gotten. (The prime number 3 appears to have been deified by Ea-Enki in the Sumerian-Babylonian pantheon and by Thoth = Thrice Greatest Hermes in the Egyptian-Greek pantheons.)


Antonio T. de Nicholas “ Meditations through the Rig Veda” p. 63




Now compare this with the first verse of Tirumular’s Tirumantiram with more than 3000 verses:


OnRu avantaanee iraNdu avan innaruL

ninRanan muunRinuL naanku uNarntaan aintu

venRanan aaRu virittanan eezu umparc

cenRanan taan iruntaan uNarntu eddee!




BEING stood as ONE and became TWO on uniting with Arul, the Woman. He stood behind the phenomenal world as the THREE, Brahma VishNu and Rudra with understanding the FOUR fundamental desires of the anmas- Ethics, Happiness, Wealth and Moksa but at the same with pressure to win over the FIVE senses that bind the anmas to the physical. And as the Right Way He spreads out the SIX Atara Cakras for the anmas to become pure and reach the Seventh realm of the Lotus of Thousand Petals. He stands also the basic EIGHT guNas for the uplifting the anmas towards the highest Way of Being.


Here too we notice the same numbers, the Octave and while BEING is ONE but TWO when the Woman of tireless fecundity comes to be present and BEING becomes the Man-Woman complex, the Ardhanari. Then we have  the Ea-Enki-Enlil, the triad of the Sumerian pantheon reappearing as Brahma VishNu and Rudra, the THREE powers of production sustenance and destruction. The Four Five Six Seven and Eight are probably notions that became prominent in the Bakti period and where we see the beginnings of it all in TirukkuRaL (2nd AD)


The question that we have to raise is: How is that BEING can appear so i.e. as One, Two, Three and so forth?


To answer this question we have to bring the notion of Darsana, Kaadci, the ‘seeing”. The metaphysical man SEES as One Two etc the same BEING; though the substance seen is the SAME, the number that is brought in the understanding ranges from One to Eight with each number signifying a deep metaphysical truth but without annihilating each other. In calling BEING one, we are NOT denying that He is two and so forth. It is just that each is a different darsana true by itself.


This is the most bewildering aspect of BEING and because of Manikkavasakar describes BEING as eekan-aneekan, the One-many.


But how is that a person is led to understand and articulate thus the same BEING?


It is here that another essence of BEING so central to Saivism comes very helpful. And it is the notion of BEING as the Dancer, that was also present in Sumerian and which even Nietzsche seems to have favored.  Among the dances of BEING there are the AS IF dances where BEING presents AS IF one, two, three and so forth so that human mind is LED to understand and articulate thus.


We are PLAYED by BEING and caught in the play as the played we come up  with such utterances as above.(as said by Appar)





Understanding Antonio’s Rig Veda-10


Dear Prof


I want to initiate some discussions on Husserl and the way you have understood him and how you have moved away from him, if at all,  to Rig Veda. Let me mention that I am in  total agreement with you when you say : As philosophers, we need to justify our own rationality, and as interpreters of the Rig Veda text, our rationality can only be justified if our intentionality coincides with that of the philosopher-singers of the Rig Veda (p. 85)


 What again amazes me is that this is precisely the point Tolkaappiyar makes in outlining his principles of Literary Hermeneutics in terms of ‘otta kaadci utti’, the studies of movements of understanding that would furnish a darsana , a vision  agreeable with or the same as the author.  I have called this the intentional-fusion and have noted this as an important structure of any discourse.


However I am NOT clear how you relate your self to Husserl and hence these questions.





For Husserl, intentional consciousness is a concrete cognitive inten­tionality-structure implicit-in a concrete form of life. The noetic (sub­jective) and noematic (objective) aspects make up an intentionality struc­ture; the noetic aspect is the subjective heuristic anticipation as already structured by the method of inquiry-rationality; the noematic aspect is the objective which fulfills the anticipation. The noetna or object appears to a knowing subject in the light of the heuristic anticipation to which it corresponds. Noesis, therefore, is a structured heuristic anticipation; it corresponds to an open field of connected, often implicit, questions ad­dressed by a subject to empirical reality, and implying the acceptance of a particular interpretation of experience, whether in a common sense

framework or in a scientific framework. Husserl calls the domain of reality to which this particular interpretation of experience belongs a horizon. A horizon appears then as a set of actual or possible objects revealed or to be revealed by the functioning of a particular empirical noetic intention. The functioning noetic intention constitutes then-and determines to a great extent a reality-outline to be filled. The inten­tionality structure of a particular question, then, determines or prefigures the kind of answer it will receive. It does not determine, however, that there should be a meaningful answer; but only that an answer will be given as revealing the noemata looked—for within an already ordered set of noemata which we call horizon.



For Husserl, the World is the totality of all horizons, “the horizon of all horizons.” True reality for a subject is the World. A subject could settle for a horizon, but since horizon takes meaning from the World, no horizon can stand on its own isolation. The World is the source of meaning for the set of horizons found in it, and for the noesis-noemata structures of particular horizons with which they appear.


According to Husserl, each class of objects has its own mode of “being- given-in-its- selfhood” (Selbstgebung), i.e., of evidentness. But evident-ness can be understood in two ways: as evidentness of the objects them­selves, or as judgments about them; and Husserl declares roundly that the evidentness of objects is prior to that of judgments, because the former is what makes possible the latter.1 The primary substrates are individuals, individual objects. Every judgment which can be thought refers in the last instance to individual objects. Now, it is in the mode of experience (Erftthrung) that individual objects become evident to us, and the world is the universal “soil of beliefs” (Glaubensboden) for all experience of in­dividual objects. Consequently, the world, as a world of being (seiende Welt), is the universal passive assumption of all activity of judgment.2 The world functions as a horizon of all the possible substrates of judg­ment; but the movement of judgment is circumscribed to the movement of a logic which is the ultimate ground of reality as a “worldly logic” (Weltlogik)3 or the “consciousness of” (Bewussisein von). There is, there­fore, according to Husserl, an experience at the bottom of every judgment, a perceptual apprehension of individual objects- directly or indirectly-  and this implies (1) a world as a “passive” or previously given assumption, a horizon; and (2) an activity of a subject which first perceives and then judges.


Antonio T. de Nicholas  “Meditations through Rig veda” pp.78-79




Now this is a good  summary of the view Husserl expresses in the following paragraph where he also talks of ‘phenomenlogical reduction’ ( eidectic reduction, epoche, bracketing off etc) as a method of reaching from empirical ego to the non-empirical Transcendental Ego




If we now perform this transcendental-phenomenological reduction, this  transformation of  the natural  and psychologically

inward standpoint whereby~ it is transcendentalized, the psychological subjectivity loses just that which makes it some­thing

real in the world that lies that lies before us; it loses the meaning of he soul belonging to the body that exists in an objective

~spatio-temporal Nature. The transformation of meaning concerns myself, above all, the “I” of the psychological and subsequently transcendental inquirer for the time being.  Posited as real (wirklich), I am now no longer a human Ego in the universal, existentially posited world, but exclusively a  subject for which this world has being, and purely, indeed, as that which appears to me, is presented to me, and of which I am conscious in some way or other, so that the real being of the world thereby remains unconsidered, unquestioned, and its validity left out of account. Now if transcendental descrip­tion passes no judgment whatsoever upon the world, and upon my human Ego as belonging to the world, and if, in this de­scription, the transcendental Ego exists (1st) absolutely in and for itself prior to all cosmic being (which first wins in and through it existential validity), it is still at the same time evident that, at every conversion of meaning which concerns the phenomenological-psychological content of the soul as a ~ whole, this very content by simply putting on another existen­tial meaning (Seinssinn) becomes transcendental-phenomenological, just as conversely the latter, on reverting to the natural (psychological standpoint, becomes once again psychological. Naturally this correspondence must still hold good if, prior to all interest in the development of psychological science, and of a “descriptive” or “phenomenological psychology” in par­ticular, a transcendental phenomenology is set up under the leading of a philosophical idea, to that through phenomeno­logical reduction the transcendental Ego is directly set up at the focus of reflexion, and made the theme of a transcendental description. We have thus a remarkable thoroughgoing paral­lelism between a (properly elaborated) phenomenological psy­chology and a transcendental phenomenology. To each eidetic or empirical determination on the one side -there must cor­respond a parallel feature on the other.



Edmund Husserl “ideas” pp 8-9




My questions are as follows:


While Husserl may be misled by his prejudice for Pure Mathematics in formulating the phenomenological reduction,  but isn’t there some truth in his claims that there is a distinction between the empirical ego and the Transcendental Ego or  Subjectivity that comes with the understanding that it does not belong to a body etc?


The reason I am raising this question is because it seems to resemble the Indian notions of atma-paramatma distinctions about which there are  many confusions. Added to that is  Tirumular and Meykandar claiming that the  anma is sat-asat, that the self is both asat-self and sat-self,  or in Husserlian terms that it is both the empirical ego and transcendental Ego.


Now are they also related to your categories of Sat and Asat languages in understanding Rig Veda? And can I say that instead of ‘phenomenological reduction” you have come up “sacrifice” as that process by which Rig Vedic rishies moved from asat to sat?







From: <diotima245@aol.com>

To: <agamicpsychology@yahoogroups.com>; <akandabaratam@yahoogroups.com>

Cc: <abhinavagupta@egroups.com>; <meykandar@egroups.com>

Subject: [akandabaratam] Re: [agamicpsychology] Understanding Antonio’s Rig Veda-10

Date: Tuesday, July 22, 2003 10:40 PM


Dear Loga and friends,


As usual Dr. Loganathan has found the way to set us all moving. So here I

will move again and be a Rg Vedic singer again.


The fact that I use Husserl is simply to set the Rg Veda in the context of

"philosophy" I was writing from. When we talk about rationality we must do it

through the rationality facing us (dharma), not away from it. We must also show

that "rationality" is inherent in the human species and that there is

rationality in all classical texts though it might be different from the one we are

proclaiming today. How do we know we are rational if our rationality does not

compare to others? If, on the other hand we impose one rationality on all others

then we are imperialists not rational beings.


The difference between Husserl and the Rg Veda is that while Husserl

proclaims an eidetic reduction to a subject, transcendental or particular, in every

case the structure he proclaims is one that is fixed, unmoving, to which the

world and every horizon must bow and surrender its meaning. This precondition

makes the epoche a fixed subject structure and therefore the epoche is false, or

at least biased and discriminatory. It superimposes itself on the world as a

subjective projection. Nothing new here if we have in mind that the structures

Husserl fixes for his epoche are mathematical.


On the other hand the Rg Veda without so much jargon proclaims a sacrifice of

both the objective and subjective forms (Sat) through dismembering and a

geometrical structure that MOVES constantly for it is mounted on musical

geometries. The only subject-object is that one that appears with and through the song,

lives and dies with the song, appears and is dismembered with the divisions

of the scale, the open tuning systems, and the activity that liberates the

subject from fixed structures is the ability of the subject to modulate and sing

in different keys, presence and absence are contiguous to one another and

movement (Rta) is the structure of each and every self, individual (atman) or

cosmic (paramatman). The self is an instrument, a witness, an occasion for the song

to appear. Creation, conservation and dissolution. The song is both dharma

and karma, one song at a time, one movement at a time. The Assat and Sat in

perfect harmony through the sacrifice of  fixed forms so that Rta keeps the

community alive.



I am adding a couple of paragraphs from the Epilogue to the New Edition of

Meditations Through the Rg Veda for clarification. More on Husserl in my book

Avatara: The Humanization of Philosophy through the Bhagavad Gita. (bn.com)  and




Antonio de Nicolas



It is now thirty five years since Meditations Through the Rg Veda:

Four-Dimensional Man was first published in the United States. My earlier work on the Rg

Veda was published in 1971 in Bangalore, India. Though the structures of the

book were born during my twelve years of consecutive living in India, these

structures did not become a paradigm until later. The structures I refer to are

the word, things and the order of their arrangement I was embodying as I lived

there, a context at a time. It was the way the sun rose or the dawn arrived,

the slow-motion for the sun to set and the sudden night; the lines of

movement, of people, animals, wind or rain; the sudden appearance of forms, by the

river, a well, in the sky; the dissolution of familiar and unfamiliar names, in

the rhythm of language, Gujarati, Sanskrit, even English or Spanish names; but

above all, the new habit of listening with my eyes to the movements in the

sky, the forest, the streets, the homes; for the world, and my body, were a

musical string plucked at every turn, in every silence , in every sight, sound,

smell, touch and movement. Hidden geometries became human flesh, unnoticed. It

was a silent world longing to become language, but can a multiplicity of e

mbodied languages be expressed as one? After a while it was life in the twilight;

which was the shadow, which the real object? One has to gain distance, and none

farthest than an American Ph.D. Nonetheless, despite the distance, and despite

the academic language, a new paradigm was born, in the Bronx, of all places.


The structures I embodied gave way to an experienced, embodied geometry,

sustaining all the structures, texts and statements I silently learned in India. Of

course, when I set down this paradigm in writing, be it the Rg Veda or the

Gita, the actual written text was already a theory, no longer a paradigm, though

perhaps the most accurate translation of the paradigm. Those who disagreed

kept silent and those who agreed, the majority, repeated my theory as

participants in a ritual.  In short, the acts by which the paradigm was born in me, or

is born in any one giving birth to an original text like the Rg Veda, is not

the written text. The act of creation is silent. The text of the Rg Veda,

however, as written down is only a theory of itself, an invitation to a ritual. It

is not even one text, or one language, but several and can only be expressed in

plural linguistic wholes. Paradigms may be tested; they leave invariant

epistemologies, but they can never be taught; they are sheer creation.


Theories, as

short hand of possible paradigms, on the other hand, we learn in the

classroom. They are the easy ones to repeat. Those who follow the path of creation, of

embodied-vision, follow the path of the gods. The others follow the path of

the fathers, the path of pro-creation, the path of ritual, as the Rg Veda

indicates. One leads to immortality, the other to rebirth. On which of these two

paths stands the author of the text, rsi, commentator, priest or scholar?

Besides, the Rg Veda is the sruti (revelation) tradition of India. As such, it is

earlier than any other claim of revelation from any of the canonical texts, from

the East, Middle East or West. The paradigm of the interpreter, if it

coincides with that of the Rg Veda, should also give birth to those gods that gave

humans sensation, inspiration and immortality, not just life to a priesthood

that changes ritual as the mood strikes, bent on the act of pro-creation for,

after all, the immortality of the ritual is more important than the immortality

of the soul. Nor is it legitimate while interpreting to disband these earlier

gods in the name of a later one, nor the heart-ethics of these original people

for the head-ethics of those who came later, and if done it should be made

evident. And this is how the "written" Rg Veda began. The priests wrote it down

thousands of years later (depending on which initial date you choose).

Ideographic language gave way to alphabetic writing, criteria of sound to those of

sight, the path of the gods to that of the fathers, the structures of immortality

to those of reincarnation, paradigm to theory repeated in ritual. Which Rg

Vedic text are we talking about? What is recoverable from such a text? In the

end, all we are left with are the technologies by which we recreate either text.

Which path do they open for us? Now, once this is said, however, the modern

interpreter cannot be blamed for not being a rsi. Let the reader be free to

decide between the two paths, and let the interpreter be aware of both. 



Revelation, individual experience, is an affair of the right side of the

brains. The left hemisphere can only interpret, translate what the right

hemisphere presents as sensation. Thus, while we have five different brains, (not one

as Descartes thought and we presume,) only the three of the right hemisphere

deal with original experience. And this in different ways. While maia ( the

Asat) is the origin, maia is also wired with a geometry capable of letting forms

appear, while mythos, the place of gods and heroes, is already a world of

forms. However, and this is the point of our discussion, when these two original

and originating brains are translated by the right hemisphere of the neocortex

they are translated as "visual images;" they are seen as images even if

originally they were waves and movement and tactility. In other words, by the time

the ritual priests take on the "visual images" to the sacrifice and the ritual,

these visual images, originally, were neither images nor visual. Thus by

constituting these images as the original text, the followers are removed from the

origin, from the source of sensation and are led into a repetition of acts

that may crystallize either in a crisis of faith or in a crisis of dogma. The

believers may either end up losing faith,( also sensation) or become dogmatic

preachers in a game of endless logomachy. And the same with any other "text"

bound by single language-games, like Western Theology. Thus, according to the Rg

Veda it is precisely because of this tendency that the culture calls for

cyclical returns to the Asat: to lose all forms, verbal, audial, or visual and break

the dragon Vrta open, again. And that exercise, in the Rg Veda, is the true

meaning of sacrifice (yajna). The sacrifice is necessary because these

languages are invariant biological epistemologies, irreducible to one another.




Dear Prof


Thank-you so much for saying:





On the other hand the Rg Veda without so much jargon proclaims a sacrifice of

both the objective and subjective forms (Sat) through dismembering and a

geometrical structure that MOVES constantly for it is mounted on musical

geometries. The only subject-object is that one that appears with and through the song,

lives and dies with the song, appears and is dismembered with the divisions

of the scale, the open tuning systems, and the activity that liberates the

subject from fixed structures is the ability of the subject to modulate and sing

in different keys, presence and absence are contiguous to one another and

movement (Rta) is the structure of each and every self, individual (atman) or

cosmic (paramatman). The self is an instrument, a witness, an occasion for the song

to appear. Creation, conservation and dissolution. The song is both dharma

and karma, one song at a time, one movement at a time. The Asat and Sat in

perfect harmony through the sacrifice of  fixed forms so that Rta keeps the

community alive.




I just want to add something by way of understanding further the genesis of Saivism, which incorporates ‘creation, conservation and dissolution’, that you mention. This dynamic of view runs through the whole course of Saiva Siddhanta but which they capture with the metaphor of DANCE. So it raises the question:  Was chanting and singing as in Rig Veda the beginning of the DANCE metaphor or was it only a partial abstraction from a wholesome DANCE model for apprehending reality that pe-existed Rig Veda ? Of course this question is historical in nature and which cannot be answered adequately unless the prehistory of Rig Veda is studied carefully. And I think that there is a prehistory provided we link it up with Sumerian studies.


There is also another reason for me think that the DANCE metaphor must be have the primordial model. For throughout the ancient Dravidian and African cultures,  we see the dance playing an important role in every sphere of human activity. Whether marriage, birth or death, every social event has its own dance. Even the shaman priests went into trances with dance as they even today in India. One kind of priests in Sumerian temples is called ‘lu-gala” where the word ‘gala’ is obviously related Ta. Kalai, Sk. Gala, the arts. The rhythm is more vibrantly present in the dance than anything else.


Any way the important point is that Saivism understands BEING as the Dancer and who also wears the shapes of Brahma VishNu and Rudra and enacts the world drama in terms ‘creation, conservation and annihilation’. Now if this is also the implicit metaphysical understanding of the Rig Veda, then of course they remain assimilated into Saivism (also Tamil VaishNavism of the early Azwars)


But what is interesting here is that the Saivite thinking, at least from the Bakti period, has replaced the above notion THREE processes with FIVE, the Pancjakrittiyam.  This displacement of Trikiritiyam with Pancjakrittiyam was, I think, a tremendous breakthrough in metaphysics and which sustains the whole of Tevaram corpus.


There is now deeper understanding of the genesis of Trikirittiyam itself: they are expressions of Arul, anukrakam, and the sell-disclosure and opposed to Nikrakam, self-withdrawal, called the aruLal and MaRaittal in Tamil and hence collectively no ore just Trikrittiyam but now Panjcakrittiyam.


Thus perhaps the Agnim, Rudra, AsviNNa etc of Rig Veda becomes Siva, the Pancjakrittiyan.


If this way of looking at the matter has  some historical truth in it, it may serve to show how Rig Veda has continued play a very important role in the genesis of Saivism in India and how Tamil Saivism beginning from the Bakti period also introduced a revolution in metaphysical thinking by registering deeper insights perhaps assisted by the intimations of the dance metaphor that has been right  there from very ancient times.


It appears to me also that along with this deeper reaches the notion of sacrifice, the Pali or  (Yajna> Ta. yaakam) also became displaced with the notion of ‘burning’, the Tiikkai or Sk. Diksa where it means now the burning to ashes the Mummalam, the defilers and constrictors of vision and hence also the breeders of Ignorance. The “burning’ of these malams, frees the eyes so that larger and more inclusive darsanas become available and hence also the enjoyment of greater clarity, larger visions and hence  a larger and more inclusive understanding, the limit of all being Civanjanam.


This is just by way of making sense of the historical role Rig Veda  might have played especially in the genesis of Saivism and how Rig Veda itself may be an offshoot of an early Saivism that upheld the dance metaphor.


I shall come to other issues later.



Understanding Antonio Rig Veda -11



Dear Prof


I want to raise a question with respect to the methodology that you have fashioned to understand the Rig Vedic seers. While I do not dispute the innovations you are making in the Rig Vedic studies and how valuable it is to understand the later developments of Hindu thoughts particularly Saivism, I have some problems in understanding the rationale behind your following views. I can include here Sunthar.V too as he appears to be (to me) not in favor of the philological studies. The relevant parts are given below






From the simple analysis of speaking and listening, we know that a word spoken in a sentence does not gain its meaning from the relation­ship of the words within the sentence. The sentence is not the source from which the inanimate, individual word receives its life; a linguistic field, common and present to the speaker and hearer, is the silent back­ground out of which the sentence emerges. and within which the indivi­dual words gain meaning. If any individual word is to be understood, it will be to the degree in which the entire linguistic field is present. The words and sentences may break this inaudible and silent background, create an audible style, movement, and foreground, but only on the basis of the total linguistic background. The meaning of a word is only in the total linguistic field and only yields its meaning in terms of that specific field.


Words and linguistic fields need to appear simultaneously for any word to have meaning; simple succession of words or sentences is meaningless unless the entire linguistic field or language appears simultaneously. This means that an interpretation of a particular historical text cannot be ac­complished by etymology alone; in fact, etymology may imply certain universal affinities among words which have no etymological relation­ship in their historical linguistic fields; or because of etymological relationships, etymological-meaning-giving may erase radically any and all historical sources of meaning.


The silent and historical field, the background, the linguistic whole, is vibrated and broken by the spoken word without it being erased or can­celled. Thus, philosophy’s task is to return the act of creation to the

history of language by retrieving, with each historical verbal gesture, the historical linguistic field from which the verbal gesture emerges as meaningful. The historical mediation of the word is possible because, together with the consciousness—of from which it emerges, there is also the historical linguistic field, or consciousness it counts on in order to emerge. It is in such terms that we may understand the meaning of a particular word from different historical periods, or even from one historical period.


Antonio T de. Nicholas “ Meditations through Rig Veda pp. 90-91




While I agree with you there is an implicit horizon of general meaning and which may an image of a kind that is behind all meaning activities I do not how this discredits etymological studies. Word formations and the context of situation that underlies such processes can be dug up by a proper method of approach. And this proper method appears to me to be well put by Aurobindo in the following words.



Owing to the failure of the first hopes which attended the birth of modern Philology, its meagre results, its crystallisation into the character of a “petty conjectural science”, the idea of a Science of Language is now discredited and its very possibility, on quite insufficient reasoning, entirely denied. It seems to me impossible to acquiesce in such a final negation. If there is one thing that Modern Science has triumphantly established, it is the  reign of law and process of evolution in the history of all earthly things. Whatever may be the deeper nature of Speech, in its outward manifestation as human language it is an organism, a growth, a terrestrial evolution. It contains indeed a constant psychological element and is therefore more free, flexible, con­sciously self-adaptive than purely physical organisms; its secret is more difficult to seize, its constituents yield themselves only to more subtle and less trenchant methods of analysis. But law and process exist in mental no less than in material phenomena in spite of their more volatile and variable appearances. Law and process must have governed the origins and developments of language. Given the necessary clue and sufficient data, they must be discoverable. It seems to me that in the Sanskrit language the clue can be found, the data lie ready for investigation.


The error of Philology which prevented it from arriving at a more satisfactory result in this direction, was its preoccupation in the physical parts of speech with the exterior morphology of language and in its psychological parts with the equally external connections of formed vocables and of grammatical inflexions in kindred languages. But the true method of Science is to go back to the origins, the embryology, the elements and more obscure processes of things. From the obvious only the obvious and su­perficial results. The profundities of things, their real truth, can best be discovered by penetration into the hidden things that the surface of phenomena conceals, into that past development of which the finished forms present only secret and dispersed modifi

cations or into the possibilities from which the actualities we see are only a narrow selection. A similar method applied to the earlier forms of human speech can alone give us a real Science of Language.


Sri Aurobindo “The Secret of  the Veda”  pp. 47-48




There is a proposal of an evolutionary model for historical linguistics with the attendant notion that a language evolves just like an organism and that it has a state of embryology prior to the matured forms. In my studies of Rig Veda and especially its evolutionary connections with SumeroTamil and Classical Tamil, I found Aurobindo’s views well substantiated. It appears to be that Rig Veda can be studied quite effectively by relating it to the language of the Sumerians and see it as an evolution from their language and which perhaps later led to the genesis of Classical Tamil itself.  It appears to me that by this method we can go, like an archeologist,  into the original layers of meaning and hence understand better the mind of the Rig Vedic rishies.  A case in point is the meaning of the very important word ‘agnim’ as in ‘agnim ille” and so forth. Taking ‘agnim’ the same as Su. ugnim where Su. ug means to kill, destroy etc and which parallels Ta. uk- ak- etc and ‘nim’ as the same as the Su. nim and which means “person” we can see that “agnim elle’ is actually ‘the Destroyer as Fire”. Perhaps this meaning got transferred  just to ‘agni’’ in later times, minus the pronominal significations,  so that we have simply the meaning ‘fire’ .



I know that you wrote this book thirty years ago and during which time perhaps the philological method stood discredited.


But I just want to get some further clarification on this issue as I find myself agreeing with Aurobindo (and also Pavanar) in this respect.



From: <diotima245@aol.com>

To: <agamicpsychology@yahoogroups.com>; <akandabaratam@yahoogroups.com>

Cc: <abhinavagupta@egroups.com>; <meykandar@egroups.com>

Subject: [akandabaratam] Re: [agamicpsychology] Understanding Antonio's Rig Veda -11

Date: Sunday, July 27, 2003 10:47 PM


Dear Loga and friends,

Thanks for putting Sri Aurobindo and my writings together. As you can see

both of us are in agreement about the role of Philology. Nietzsche and 

Heiddegger already gave the answer to Philology as I write in Meditations pages 22-23,

43-44, 102 and the dependance of Philologists on the Metaphycis of Thought and

Being. All this is alien to the Rg Veda,

thirty years ago when I wrote the book and five thousand years ago when the

hymns were

chanted.and now in our exchanges. You must realize that all the theories you

add to "agni" the word, are not part of philology, in grammar or in language,

but are the hidden philosophy of the philologists at work. Wouldn't it make

more sense to imagine the whole text of the Rg Veda as a musical sheet and that

in order to sing one single note you must know the whole song first, as the Rg

Veda proclaimed? Otherwise how can you sing one note? The Rg Veda itself

tells it directly. In 10.132

 In 3. It says: What were the measures, the order, the model?

                     What were the wooden sticks, the butter?

                      What were the hymn, the chant, the recitation,

                       When the gods sacrificed the god ( Purusha,



4                   Gayatri was linked to Agni, and Savitar with Ushnih;

                      Soma, brilliant with song, was linked with Anushtup

                      Brihaspati's voice

                      To Brihati's was joined. (as in RV 1.164)


5                     Viraj joined Varuna and Mitra;

                       Tristup was Indra's measure, day by day.

                        Jagati became the measure of all the gods

                        BY THIS KNOWLEDGE MEN BECAME RISHIS.


And so on. The model of language the Rg Veda presupposes is not built by any

philologist's language blocks, but by a simple rythmic recitation based on the

moves of the musical model on which it rests.

I suggests we exchange translations of the hymns first, and only later the

presuppositions on which our translations are based.

But, anyway, I am glad you are bringing back Sri Aurobindo into this





Antonio de Nicolas



From: "John bee" <johnbee401@yahoo.com>

To: <Abhinavagupta@yahoogroups.com>

Subject: Re: [Abhinavagupta] KramAtmatA

Date: Wednesday, July 30, 2003 2:03 AM


Since a language in the process of its growth spontaneously transforms itself, how can it be different from any other living forms? And how can any philological analysis without reference to the living context which espouses a textual form-- and without connecting to the roots of the search which engender the central theme of such a text in their evolutionary genesis and without ressurrecting a hidden and dormant meaning in us --can we find meaning in a text such as : Abhinava'a TantrAloka? Such have been my queries for a while. And yes,of course, I do believe that an etymological analysis within a context may definitely illuminate the meaningfield.


 In my searches, however, I have also often wondered: do meanings of such textualities not emerge from an exuberant process of dissolution, the dance of Shiva, in the process of connecting us to " the purposive pleasures of building a coherent system" which by its very nature transcendents itself ? Underneath such a circle do we not see: the wish-granting deity GaNapati, of Abhinava's TantrAloka?So, the question remains:'' Is the reading" of a text " not less like a laboratory, and more like budoir" ?


 And if it is "more like a budoir", then can an analysis of a shared systems of signifiers, without reference to the context of the aspirations, and idyosyncracies, of the lady in question-- illuminate the signified: the effects such a lady had been seeking produce?

I do understand, however, that a text may not exhaust its own meaning,but can such a meaning be grasped in reference to the commonalities, the usage of the stems, or the morphemes, used in such a text may have with a remote semiotic symbiosis alone?Such have been the ways in which the dialectics of  my psyche, the dances within my own self ( samvidadhvi--uchchhalanam),  pertaining to the usage of linguistic analysis of morphemes in search of some of the obscure segments of certain textualities. So I have wondered: can I grasp Shakespeare without staying focused on a unified sense of reference to the socio-cultural meaning patterns in semiotic field which may have had something to do with Elizabethan England. A friend of mine, a physician, penchantly remarked: how about a linguistic approach to heart surgery?



The dance of the dialectic waves in my psyche, may not be very different from the way-- the Goddess of it all makes the oceans move, but can I truly tell the taste of a steak by my curry-taste criteria?  The complexity of the relationship, of the various elements in a text from, including the tonalities of the ambitions, and aspirations of a given community in theirt various nuances, perhaps, has been one of points in the post-structuralist designation of ' text'.



Understanding Antonio Rig Veda -12



Dear Prof


In the following passages you have a neat summary of the essence of the Cosmological Theory of the Rig Vedic rishies.  I just want point out that such an account probably is a continuation of a line thinking available in Sumerian and that they key terms are also SumeroTamil. I believe that the Saiva Siddhanta metaphysics is a further development of this view and hence a continuation of something Sumerian and through intermediary of the Vedic.





The Battle of Indra and Vrtra


As the battle was about to start, the gods seemed to doubt their champion. Indra’s mother says to him, “My son, the gods here are deserting you” (4.18.11). Then Indra calls out, “Friend Visnu, step out your very widest!” A clue to this friendship is that Vishnu stole the Soma for Indra. Yet Indra speaks of his own loneliness, “In my need I cooked a dog’s entrails; I found none among the gods to solace me. I saw my wife being dis­honored, (he refers here to his own impotence which can only be over­come when drinking the soma,) then the eagle brought me the soma,” (stanza 13).


The eagle made things right for Indra again by providing him with the strength of the Sorna. And indeed, he needed that strength for he had to overcome even the gods who deserted him (4.18.11; 8.96.7) or who were in Vritra’s power (10.124.2).


Indra drank three vats (huge beakers) of soma (1.32.3), and then went into battle. Sometimes he is said to have fought alone, and other times helpers arc mentioned: Rudra and the Maruts (2.11.3), Vishnu (8.77.10), Soma, or Agni. He could have fought it alone, created a storm -- Rudra and the Maruts being a personification of it and became terribly in­dignant, hence Manyu (‘Wrath’) is also mentioned.


The battle was fierce and Indra was wounded when Vyamsa (who is Vrilra, 1.32.5) broke his jaw (4.18.9). Indra broke Vritra’s jaw (10.152.3; 1.52.6) and his face or nose (1.32.6), split his head (4.17.3; 1.5210) crushed and slew him, and left him lying there dead (amuyaa) His weapon pierced twenty-one mountains (8.96.2), and burst the bellies of the mountains (1.32.l)-~which means that he slew Vritra.


Indra, then became lord of the Cosmos (3.30): released the waters (1.32.3), i.e., generated the sun, the sky, the dawn (1.32.4) -or rather, he and Soma made the dawn shine; he led forth the sun with its light, supported the sky, and spread out mother Earth (6.72.2; 10.62.3; 2.13.5), having struck away Vritra from them (1.51; 1.52). Or, in simple terms:

having killed Vritra, he proceeded to creation (2.1 5~l if.). He is, therefore, also known as vi.s~vakarrnan.72 He created by setting the worlds apart and starting the sun on its revolution;73 this is stated as Indra fixing Earth and Sky like wheels on an axle (10.89.4), or when his creating activity is

termed “dancing” (2.22.4; 10.72.6; other cosmogonic functions are de­scribed in 1.103.2 and 2.15.2).


The most important fact of the victory was, of course, the release of the Waters, which had dasa-Vrtra- as lord or husband (dasapatni).~4 Though the Waters were goddesses (devi), Vritra, the anti-god (adeva), had been restraining (pari vavrvamsam) them (3.32.6). In releasing them Indra became their lord, or husband- the noble one (vrsapatnii, aryapainii)’5 - and caused them to bear his mark (varNa, 10.124.7).


By releasing the Waters, also called the cows, Indra scattered the dark­ness (5.31.3), coerced the Dawn, who appeared to oppose him,76 and made the Sun follow her (3.55.1).


The Sun is another result of the great conquest of Indra. It had been hidden by darkness (tamasi),77 and operated contrary to its normal func­tion (5.40.6); but by Indra’s conquest, it is set in the Sky,78 its wheel in motion;” he also rolled the sun’s disk (4.16.12), and made it shine (8.98.2) to open a pathway through the darkness (6.21.3); but then, he also steals its wheel so that it does not move too fast (10.43.5; 1.175.4; 4.30.4).


Indra makes every possible claim about the Sun, even that it came into the embryo of the Waters: ‘In them (the Waters) I have placed what not even the god Tvastr could place in them, the white (milk), the desirable, in the uddeis, the breasts of the cows (Waters), the honey of honey, the mighty, the Soma, the Blend,’ (10.49.10). Together with this claim is Indra’s boast of his feat of placing the milk in the Waters (or cows).


Then creation takes place. The Waters, now released, make their way to the ocean (1.32.2). Thus, Indra separated the Sat from the Asat, the Existent from the Non-Existent. At Varu~Na’s command, the cosmic order (rita) was born (1.105.15). This applied to all in their respective functions, including the gods.8


All that was needed for the world was now present: moisture, from the breasts of the cows; the sun to give light and warmth; Order for humans and gods; and Indra reigned supreme, although with some collaboration from VaruNa. The Sky and Earth are separated forever, making room for the sun’s place and the spreading of the Earth (7.86.1). One god is born to see that all the other gods live according to rita, this god is Savitr (4.53.4; 10.34.8; 10.139.3).


 Antonio T. de Nicholas “ Meditations through Rig Veda “ pp 119-120





First of all this account stands to compare with the following account in Sumerian which occurs in Suruppak’s Neri as well as in Gilgamesh Epic.


1. [u]ri-a u sud-ra ri-a ( In those distant days, in those far remote days)

° ±Ã¢Â ° Ýò¾¢Ã ±Ã¢Â

uu eriya uu cuuttira eriya

2. gi ri-a   gi bad-du ri-a ( In those nights, in those far-away nights)

¨Á «Ã¢Â ¨Á ÀñÎ «Ã¢Â

mai ariya mai paNdu ariya

3. mu ri-a mu sud-ra ri-a (  In those years, in those far remote years)

㯠«Ã¢Â 㯠Ýò¾¢Ã «Ã¢Â

mUu ariya mUu cuuttra ariya


The ‘uria’ is Ta. uruya, uriya i.e. becoming as a reality, there-being etc. This may be related to Ta. eri-a: bursting forth as fire, light etc.  It is also interesting that a primordial DARKNESS, ‘gi’ which is also read as ‘mi’ (Ta. mai: darkness) is also mentioned. So it is clear that the cosmology here involves the bursting forth of Fire violating a primeval Darkness and because of which there is this universe or world. The model of an erupting volcano seems to be behind such cosmological thinking.


This darkness which prevails is also seen as that which DISALLOWS the presence of the world and hence something that has to be violated with Fire-Light ( agnim hi-li?) in order to make present the world. In Saiva Siddhanta this primeval Darkness is seen to be caused by Malam, a real stuff just as anati as Pati, the BEING and the pacus, the anmas. It is this Malam  ( Darkness)that is origin of the Paacaas, the binding chains that have to be destroyed to attain liberation.


We can see the elements of these metaphysical views both in the Sumerian account as well in the Rig Vedic where the Rig Vedic also gives more details but within a mythological language.


Now the word Vrita, appears to be Tamil and related to the Sumerian ‘bar-re’ (neglect, suppress, disallow) i.e. Ta. Vari, varai. The pari vavrvaamsam can be taken as  Ta.  the forces (vamsam) that covers up or blocks off (vari) the light or sun (pari) and these are the forces or the various form of Malam, the Dark, a primordial real substance but here recognized only by its functional presence - the disallowing the presence of light, the sun, moon etc.


We may note here another line of development: vari> vir> vil > vinai, vilaGku etc i.e. the binding chains and hence the pacaas. In Tol. we have the phrase: viniyin niiGki viLagkiya aRivu: understanding that shines forth by freeing itself from the inner binders or chains( Vinai)


We should also note that Indra also occurs in Sumerian and may be actually indu-ra :  Heavenly Light


In Sulgi Hymn B we have :


164. gis.al-gar gis. sa-bi-tum in-di lugal-la /MIR su si mi-ni-zu

       The algar, the sabitum (which) are of the king's rite, I taught the herald their fingering

Here “indi lugalla” may actually mean “indra-like king”

Thus relating Su. indi, inda etc with a radiant heavenly force we can see Indra as a personification of this force and which is a component of the primordial Eri etc.

This is a just brief note  to indicate the historical connections. I shall take up such studies in greater detail later.



From: <diotima245@aol.com>

To: <Abhinavagupta@yahoogroups.com>

Cc: <agamicpsychology@yahoogroups.com>; <akandabaratam@egroups.com.aagamicpsychology@yahoogroups.com>; <meykandar@egroups.com>

Subject: [agamicpsychology] Re: [Abhinavagupta] Digest Number 397

Date: Tuesday, August 05, 2003 10:40 PM


Dear Loga and friends,


Dr. Loganathan has made a clear presentation of creation in the Rg Veda, as

usual. And I am glad I helped with my writings. My questions are the following:

Is there a Rg Veda in Tamil with the texts Loga mentions? Or are we dealing

only with later interpretations of a secret, or presupposed  Rg Veda? And why

did the realm of Asat with its live geometries and relations, the PHI of the

model, disappear in later Indic Texts?

I suppose Ancient Tamil held this coherent view of Creation in its texts or

intertexts. What I do not see is how this can be derived from Sumeria in the

absence of Sumerian written texts. Even if the intentionality of both cultures

seems to coincide. Can anyone pronounce on this?

With best and warmest regards


Antonio de Nicolas



Dear Prof Antonio


Thank-you so much for the kind words. Of course most of the credit goes to you for your erudite and very careful study of Rig Veda and which has made me see the prehistory and post history and how Rig Veda contains a cosmology or at least one expression of it and which might have fed into the Saivite way of thinking that continued to develop throughout India especially in  the South.  How Saivism took deep roots in the South and along with VaishNavism remains to be understood in further studies. Your study also has served me to understand why Meykandar mentions the Rig Veda by name and seeks to bring out its true essence, which according to him is NOT articulated in the Vedanta schools of thought. Here I must also mention that the recital of Vedas has been there as part of Tamil cultural life right from ancient times though not the VarNasrama Dharma. There were Brahmins, no doubt but not as in the Varnasrama Dharma but in the spirit of KarNasrama Dharma, a Dharma where there is Homo Hierarcichus and where the highest possibilities are NOT denied to anyone especially by virtue of birth.


Any way let me clarify myself with respect to the questions you have raised and which I appreciate:






Dr. Loganathan has made a clear presentation of creation in the Rg Veda, as

usual. And I am glad I helped with my writings. My questions are the following:


Is there a Rg Veda in Tamil with the texts Loga mentions? Or are we dealing

only with later interpretations of a secret, or presupposed  Rg Veda?




No there is NO Rig Veda over and above the one that exists now. However I differ from others in seeing this same text as a text in Archaic Tamil, a Tamil closely related to SumeroTamil. In my studies of Rig Veda as such I bring out the Tamil character of the language, the Rigkrit, and in this I am following the intuitions of Aurobindo and the options of great Tamil scholars like Appadurai and so forth. In my studies of Rig as such, I draw parallels to lexical and grammatical features Rigkrit shares with Sumerian and Tamil. Also noticing the wide presence of vowel deletion and consequently the formation of consonant clusters, which is not typical of Dravidian languages, I also RECOVER the possible original form of Rigkrit. For example we have ‘vaayav’ (1:2-6) as “wind” or “source of cosmic vitality” etc. I take this word and recast it as ‘vaan-av” and link it up with Su, an, Ta. aan, vaan (sky) and the Su. ab and Ta. av (they, there) etc. From this recovery I also read the meaning as “ that which is from the sky” and which makes me understand how the Kavies understood the ‘wind”


May I mention here the widely present vowel deletion in Rigkrit may indicate the influence of some people like the Egyptians. It may be possible the original Sumerian underwent some changes because of this.