Sakthi Vikatan 11 Nov, 2014

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Author: Kaivalliya Navanītham P.N. Parasuraman.  Images: Nataṉam


Town after town there is a plethora of five-star hotels. Only the lucky hotel guests, a few among the general population, enjoy visiting inhouse Game & Entertainment Centers. Everyone has the ardent desire to visit those places at least once in their lifetime.

The reception desk gives all the details and prices of the centers of entertainment.

Just like the wannabe hotel guests, some can enjoy the ecstasy of the soul by reading spiritual books; there are many others lacking the opportunity and wanting to become familiar with spiritual knowledge.

Spiritual books in the preface or introduction has essential information about the book. That is called ‘Pāyiram.’  Pāyiram can be compared to the reception desk which dispenses a plethora of information about the hotel.

But, there is a monumental difference between the two.  In the five-star hotel, the guest enjoys the music, dance…for the duration of his stay on the dance floor.  Once you leave the premises, you get a sense of letdown. He says to himself, ‘I blew the money for a one-day jaunt to the hotel.’ We suffer mental anguish. That short-lived happiness was done with and vanished.  The reception desk (= Introduction) of the spiritual book gives undiminished pleasure always, as you dig and delve into it.

In the beginning, the middle, the end and beyond, the book’s spiritual essence permeates your being and continually gives a fulfilling ecstasy; revitalization of your soul is palpable.

Kaivalliya Navanītham gives you energy and enthusiasm.

Let us go to the drawing room, where a warm reception awaits us. Let us peek into the Pāyiram.

At the entrance gate, Kaivalliya Navanītham has seven verses. Thāṇḍavamūrthy Swāmigaḷ, the author of the treatise, is a scholar in Sanskrit and a proven researcher. He composed this book with a benignant view that everyone should have the divine experience (he had) and live in bliss (rapturous joy).

For auspicious conclusion of the nascent book as a service to the public, invocation is the first part. The author’s corner expresses the author’s desire…in a subtle manner. The introductory presentation turns our attention to the author and the treatise.

The spiritual writings say that God is omnipresent. In the first invocatory verse, the author begins the treatise making a reference to us.

பொன் நிலம் மாதர் ஆசை பொருந்தினர்
பொருந்தார் உள்ளம்
தன்னில் அந்தரத்தில் சீவ சாக்ஷி
மாத்திரமாய் நிற்கும்.

The verse: The Lusters of Gold, Land and Woman and the anchorite.  In their individual souls, God stands as The Witness. Let us worship his feet.

Despite the differing stance of the lusters and the anchorites, the Supreme Soul brooking no division or discrimination, takes irrevocable residence in all the souls. Such was the beautiful presentation of the author of the verse.

Continued…  ‘That Parabrahmam does the three functions of creation, maintenance and destruction, appearing as three divinities. Braḥmam is of many forms.  God as the Sun of Wisdom (= ஞான சூரியன்) rising from the ocean of ecstasy is Braḥmam. That which shines as the form of wisdom is Braḥmam.  That kind of Braḥmam, I worship,’ says the author.

Braḥmam depicted as Sun of Wisdom is surprising.  The sun, we know of, is the bringer of day beginning with dawn and of night upon dusk. The physical sun appears and disappears from sight. But the Sun of Wisdom has no such thing, neither a beginning, nor an end.

When we read or hear the verse, it appears we seem to understand it to a certain extent.  When you receive it through experience, darkness envelops it.

If we have a screen between the sun and us, the sun disappears from our sight. Is it not so? Likewise, there is an illusory screen in us that hides the Sun of Wisdom from our sense of realization.

When someone lifts the obscuring screen, we can see the sun. Likewise, when the Gurunāthar lifts the screen of evil Guas and intellectual obscuration, we can obtain Darśan of Sun of Wisdom.

The poet says, “To the sacred feet of Gurunāthar, who gives me God’s Grace and inculcates the state of Braḥmam in me, I pay homage and worship.”

‘I bring to the attention of the pupils, incapable of researching the extensive Vedanta Sastras and present it to them with clarity (and brevity). It is the essence of Upanishads, this Kaivalliya Navanītham, obtained by the medium of personal experience, which I offer to all. This is capable of removing sensual torment.’ Offering homage and worship to the ‘Upāsaṉā Mūrthy,’ he completes the Pāyiram.  Thāṇḍavamūrthy Swāmigaḷ says, ‘I offer worship to my enslaving God Venkatasalapathy AKA Tirumal. He explains Kaivalliya Navanītham in two parts: Tattva Exposition and Clearing the doubts.’

'முத்தனை வேங்கடேச முகுந்தனை
எனை ஆட்கொண்ட
கத்தனை வணங்கிச் சொல்லும்
கைவல்ய நவநீதத்தைத்
தத்துவ விளக்கம் என்றும்
சந்தேகம் தெளிதல் என்றும்
வைத்து இரு படலமாக
வகுத்து உரை செய்கின்றேனே!’

Come…Let us elucidate ‘Tattva Exposition.’

Will continue…