Sakthi Vikatan 03 Feb, 2015

                                  We Know the Body! P.N. Parasuraman Images: Natanam

Just like clay can be made or molded into forms, the ignorant can be made into men of knowledge and straight path. Persons with half-knowledge do not accept no matter how convincing is the argument and presentation. They are confused and confuse others.

Our situation is like that. We are now a little here and a little there.  The little we read or hear, we mix with the little we know and immerse ourselves in the sea of confusion. If you eat a salty pudding wantonly in the place of sweet pudding, it is of no use complaining about it.

Likewise, thinking body is everything…There is nothing other than the body: the pupil is roiled by holding that view and immersed in confusion. To such a disciple, Guru began teaching.

“My disciple, you say there is nothing other than body (The Śarīri the soul being the hypostasis of Śarīra, the body). If that is so, who is the he who had the dream-sleep?  You say, you had a deep sleep.  Who is he?  Who is he in the awake state?  (Who is he in the awake, dream-sleep and deep-sleep states?)

The disciple was immersed in thought.  He had a vague feeling of Dēhi (Owner of the body) inside Dēham (body). He felt that Dehi was the experiencer of the awake, the dream-sleep and the deep-sleep states. To clear his vague feeling, the disciple asked the Guru, “Swamy, please explain the true status of Dehi.”

That disciple is none other than us! Body is important for all of us.  Accustomed to knowing the utility of an object, we enjoy the object to the extent short of endangering ourselves. Likewise, coming to know the usefulness of the body, a precious object, we squeeze the sap out of it and extract the work.

When the utility of an object is finished or beyond repair, we sell the old utensils in the second-hand shop and get cash. There is no one to come forward and buy the old decrepit body or even take it for free.

Hard work and abuse of the body at young age are the cause of a weak body (in later years). We know to operate diligently cheap USB drives and the card readers. The great tyranny is that we do not know how to operate the priceless body with responsibility and probity!

We overwork and subject the eye, the ear, the nose, the mouth, the intellect, the body… to a great stress. We stuff 500kg into a 5kg bag. The result is the bag tears. Likewise, we stuff into our body unnecessary things beyond its capacity, and suffer ill effects.  We do not seek refuge at the feet of a Guru and attain  mental clarity. We close our eyes and grope in the dark room of ignorance. This article’s purpose is to strike a match for a faint light to dissipate the darkness.

The disciple with body fixation asks the Guru to explain the true nature and functions of Dēhi. The guru answers as follows.

Kaivalliya Navanītham explains this entity with clarity and ease.  He explains the distinctive marks of the body before he delves into those of Dēhi. Why so?

Explaining the known to elucidate the unknown is an instructional paradigm. Here is the analogy. The third day of waxing moon is not a bright object in the sky. The saying goes, “See the third-day moon at the tip of the nearer branch of the tree. Here the tree is an instrument and not the conclusion. The third-day moon is important.” Likewise, the teacher points to the cluster of the stars and says, “The dim star in the cluster is Arundhati.”  In like manner, he tells us about the well-known gross body and its Tattvas first before he asks us to get a Darśan of the particle (Dēhi) within an atom.

தாலத்தின் மரங்கள் காட்டித்

தனிப்பிறை காட்டுவார் போல்

ஆலத்தின் உடுக்கள் காட்டி

அருந்ததி காட்டுவார் போல்

தூலத்தை முன்பு காட்டிச்

சூக்கும் சொரூபமான

மூலத்தைப் பின்பு காட்ட

முனிவரர் தொடங்கினாரே. 18

நார் ஊடு பணியாத் தோன்றல்

நரனாகத் தறியில் தோன்றல்

நீர் ஊடு கானல் தோன்றல் - 20

Navanītham Verse 18.  Gurunāthar shows the easily visible gross (and graspable) body first and later points to the subtle. To conceptualize an unseen object from explication of a known object gives us the link. If you realize Parabrahmam, the (one) creator of all, shining as the light of wisdom, that gives Mukti (liberation). In the dark, the rope gives the illusion of a snake. The log appears like a baby. In the day, the mirage appears as distant water.

Kaivalliya Navanītham 20. If you realize these three (the rope, the log and the mirage) and have an imprint in your mind, no problems will arise.

When darkness lifts or the light shines, we realize, this is no snake but a rope. The snake disappears and the rope appears in its place. Fear dissipates.  Likewise, the darkness of ignorance envelopes us. We think of one as another and entertain fear.

If that is so in darkness of ignorance, in the daylight, its appearance and appeal are more interesting!