Flux Flow Change and Dance
DrK. Loganathan

By bringing together Sumero Tamil Vedic Tamil and Classical Tamil texts and noting some fundamental trends in thinking , I was quite surprised to note the presence of the notion of flux and change  , the view popularized by Heraclitus in the West, already present in Sulgi's hymn ( 2000 B.C) It appears to me that this philosophical view metaphysical grasp is not only something fundamental but also universal. It appears to me that while the Buddhist notion of Dependent Origination is one line of development of this notion that underlies Sulgi's philosophy and also that off Rig Veda, it is Saivism with it Dancing God and BEING as the source of the Pancakrityas  (five fold activities) that retains best the original insights of Sulgi, perhaps one of
the most important thinkers of the ancient world.

I shall begin with some linguistic considerations revolving around Su. bal-bal-a and Rig Vedic "praprinjyati" that occurs in the Hymn 2.3

vaayo tava praprinjcati dhenaa jigaati daasushe / uruucii somapiitaye

O Lord of cosmic vitality, your inspiring voice resounds all through the thoughts and feelings of your devotees, the preceptors of divine wisdom, who have tasted the sweetness of your  favors.

I have reconstructed this as follows

Vayoo! tava piraparanjaati tina  jigati taasu-se/ uruci-i somapiitaye

Vayu! You are the foundation of the universe and the daily life of your devotees; let them taste the juice that flows out from Soma

The key word here is "paraparanjaati" which links with Ta. parapanjam, vanjcam meaning the universe, the cosmos and so forth. The are alternative terms such as aNdam, peeraNdam and so forth which have  etymologically  a different history. This term contains within it 'para-para" which is also noted in such terms as "paramparai, paarampariyam ' and so forth. This term that duplicates 'para' seems to be a later variant of the Sumerian: bal-bal-a & Su. bal-a

We  can cite the following evidences for this :


6. sa-bal-bal-a egir-u-da inim su a-bal-e-de ( In order to pass down word to the generations of the future)

*Ta. caan parampara etiruda enam collal itee  ( " )

67. za-pa-ag-bi-se gaba-mu ba-ra-ba-ra-gal (  would direct my course towards the roar)

*Ta.  japambicee kavanama parapara kaal  ( I would hasten towards the  roar carefully)

The 'sa-bal-bal-a egir-uda' are  the people of  the future generations. But why this expression where 'bal'
means to cross over as below:

Udug hul

80. kun e-ka bal-da-mu-de ( When I would cross the threshold of the house)

The basic meaning of 'bal' is to cross over and this is retained in Ta. paal-am, the bridge, that which allows one to cross over a river etc.

Thus "bala-bala" would mean crossing over repeatedly and ci-ati (caati) as in paraparinj-cati are the elements of living things that are subject to crossing over repeatedly. Thus this expression compresses within it what was expressed by Sulgi as "sa bal-bal-a", things or people who suffer historicity ,  dying and being  born again. Here we must note that while is in process, it is NOT DISCONTINUOUS , yes things die and are reborn but with a CONTINUITY between successive generations and with which comes the notion of TRADITION, the
santaanam, sampradayam and so forth. Something from that which dies is passed over thus constituting a continuity across the the change. It is at this point that we have the genesis of another word "para-ab-ta" (SK prabtam, Ta. praabtam). With this we have the birth of Karma doctrine made central in the metaphysical thinking of the Buddhists. The word 'karma" derived from Su. gal/gar etc. shows another kind of development : what passes over is related to the actions effected, deeds done. The actions effected by a person leave TRACES of a kind and at the point of death while everything is turned ash or earth, there is something that survives death, passes over and constitutes the conditions of its rebirth

The issues raised by this view constitutes the substance of metaphysical thinking not alone in India but all over the world.

There are NEGATIVE reactions to this: the mayavaatam of the popular Vedanta dismisses it as as purely verbal, kaRpitam or simply illusions and delusions and the further metaphysical questions have no substance. The sautrantikas Buddhists allow only change, flux , flow but nothing BEHIND this as the unchanging, a view that Saivites uphold with their notion of flux and change as the DANCE and hence the BEING behind all as the DANCER, the Siva Nadarajah.

The Divine and Ugly

Another metaphysical view implicit even in Sulgi is that while all us are inescapably caught in this process, the Samsaram,  we can ESCAPE from this imprisonment  and that possibility remains as our own possibility. For these process contain within themselves TWO kinds of movements -- one  towards the Divine and another towards the Demonic. All of us caught between these diverse pulls and that unless we gravitate towards the Divine , we will never be able to escape from this capture of the historical, of traditions.

This notion appears to be also available in Rig Veda itself -- there also metaphysical entities , the dhosa vastu, that tends to pull the individuals into dirt, unclean, the demoniac, the ghostly and forces them into a life of diseases and painful and premature deaths.

The common denominator of all religions is to ensure that people avoid being pulled into the evil and maintain themselves in the metaphysical journey towards genuine spirituality .

This view of life and the functions of religions is captured by Sulgi's "inda-sim" the attainment divine heights  and not the opposite.( sim Ta. simaiyam: peak)