Sakthi Vikatan 09 Dec, 2014

Posted Date : 06:00 (25/11/2014)




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Kaivalliya Navanītham P.N. Parasuraman.  Images: Nataṉam


Three Afflictions or Miseries (= தாபத்திரயம் tāpa-t-tirayam = Three miseries =ஆத்தியான்மிகம், ஆதி தெய்விகம், ஆதிபௌதிகம் = āttiyāṉmikam, ātitaivikam, ātipautikam).

Kaivalliya Navanītham describes Sādhana Cadhuttayam (= 'சாதன சதுட்டயம் = Four Instruments or means): No one can perform any act without Sādhaṉam or means.

Yes, it is true. For simple acts, we use means. For us to get freedom from miseries, and enjoy liberation, we should realize Kaivalliya Navanītham. For that, we need many means.

We should desire to obtain release from miseries and contingent on that, a good Gurunāthar will come to our rescue and show us the way.

The worm on the hot surface, whichever way it turns, twitches unable to tolerate the fiery heat. Likewise, the pupil has come having been scorched whichever way he turned. That twitching man is the representative of humanity. (Tattva Exposition 5)

There is a short list of his afflictions.  The list in the poem is known to us. Let us experience the beauty of its categorization.

A proverb says, where there is beauty, there is danger. That list depicts a pile of dangers. They are three: Ādhiyātmikam, Ādhi Deivikam, and Ādhi Bhautikam (= āttiyāṉmikam, ātitaivikam, ātipautikam = ஆத்தியான்மிகம், ஆதி தெய்விகம், ஆதிபௌதிகம் என்ற மூவகைத் துன்பங்கள்.)

ஆத்தியான்மிகம் āttiyāṉmikam , n. < ādhyātmika. Physical and mental afflictions caused by worry about one's self, one of tāpa-t-tirayam; தன்னைப்பற்றி வருந் துன்பம்.

*ஆதிபௌதிகம் ātipautikam , n. < ādhi- bhautika. Affliction caused by the elements or earthly beings other than oneself, one of tāpa-t-tirayam,

ஆதிதைவிகம் āti-taivikam n. < ādhi- daivika. Affliction caused by fate or supernatural agencies, one of tāpa-t-tirayam, q.v.; தெய்வத்தால் வருந்துன்பம். (சி. போ. 2, 2, 3, Tamil Lexicon


Ādhiyātmikam: Self-inflicted evil, bodily disease, animal, malevolent spirit, king, thief, and enemy are the causes. Other’s wealth, education, and wife as the cause of jealousy constitute Ādhiyātmikam

Ādhidaivikam. Pregnancy complications, Birth, grey hair, wrinkled skin, old age, Svarga (heaven), Narakam (hell).

Let us research them.

In life, we should think of certain matters; then, we will discover something about us. That helps us behave properly without going haywire.

Ādhidaivikam: The pregnancy problems mean we remained inside the mother’s womb for 10 months. What is that? Is it a stay in a five-star hotel? If the hotel is not to our liking and staying there is undesirable, we can immediately exit. But, we cannot easily exit from the womb. Like it or not, stay for10 months in the womb is mandatory. It reminds us of ‘House Arrest.’ No way out.

OK, what is around us (in the womb)?  Mother’s feces, urine, blood and such malodorous confusion prevails. Having put up with confinement in such an environment, undergoing passage out of the womb, and finding freedom outside, do we really have peace of mind (knowing this will be our last birth)? We move our hands and feet and cry. The relatives respond with bursts of laughter. We are left helpless and unprotected, when bitten by the mosquitoes, ants… We are unable to express our untold miseries.

In the next stage as youth, do we have the privilege of doing what we want? What we see with our eyes magnetizes us. We have no idea where we fell, when we got up and how we managed through them with wisdom and balance; by then, our hair turns grey, eyesight goes dim, old age takes hold of us, presses and weighs us down by an agile force.

What is next… We are subjected to the next man’s derisive talk and contempt and unable to bear such treatment, we wonder and lament, heaven or hell, whether the god of death Yama (Thanatos) lost his Book of Death.

An immensely clever man he is and yet cannot escape from the net of Ādhidaivikam. Education, wealth, or position does not have the wherewithal to rescue you from Ādhidaivikam.

Thirdly… Ādhibhautikam consists of the five great elements, the causative agents of the good and the bad: cold, heat, rain, wind, lightning and thunder, tsunami, mudslide, earthquake…

In the likeness of the man unable to escape from the three miseries twitches and flinches and at last to attain a birthless state, runs for water to douse the flaming hair on his head, runs seeking the Gurunāthar. Navanītham Kaivalliyam gives an example to the man who runs seeking the Gurunāthar.

Truth tastes bitter, so it is said. Likewise, this verse is a bitter pill. Having begun the journey and facing the adamantine mountain in our path of liberation, could the journey be discontinued?  To the extent possible, let us try to go up the mountain.

In the above verse, there is a mention about three desires. Do you know what those three desires?

Will continue.