Sakthi Vikatan- 28 Apr, 2015

Ten Idiots! Author P.N. Parasuraman  Images: M. Rajkumar

An implement is used to remove the impediment and later, both will be removed. Gurunāthar showed many examples to illustrate it. Let us see the next explanation.

When the dead body is committed to incineration in the crematorium, a stick is used to move the firewood, the dead body…Once the usefulness of the stick is complete, the stick itself is committed to fire. Likewise, Suddha Māyai is used to remove Asuddha Māyai and finally Suddha Māyai itself is removed. (Now we have both removeḍ because both are impediments in the spiritual progress.)

Variar Swāmigaḷ explains it in simple terms. “As you are walking barefoot, accidentally you step on a thorn, that gets embedded in the sole of the foot. We use another thorn to remove the offending thorn and once done, both are discarded. The offending thorn is the Asuddha Māyai. The thorn that helped in the removal of the offending thorn is the Suddha Māyai.” These two Māyais create seven states. Gurunāthar narrates a story to explain these seven states.

This story had a place in the school books 50 years ago.

There were ten village idiots. One day, they forded a river and reached the bank on the other side. They wanted to make sure all ten were safe on the riverbank. They were each upset that there was one missing person in their counting. All ten individuals counted and each found one was missing. There were only nine idiots. One idiot was missing. How is that possible? The counting idiot did not include himself in the total count. That was the reason.

They all joined shoulder to shoulder and cried. A good Samaritan was walking by and discovering the cause of their distress, he observed with reassurance, “The counter is the 10th person.” The truth dawned on the ten idiots. They wiped their tears and stopped crying. They were happy to know their doubts cleared and all ten of them were alive and well on the riverbank. 

There is no more story. Gurunāthar did not narrate this story to while away his time.

By this story, Gurunāthar describes the seven states to the disciples.

1. தன்னைத் தெரியாத நிலையே அஞ்ஞானம் (Ignorance).

2. அந்தப் பத்தாவது ஆளைக் காணோம் என்பது மறைப்பு.

3. பத்தாவது ஆளைக் காணோம் என்று அழுவது கலக்கம்.

4. வழிப்போக்கனின் சொல்லைக் கேட்டு உண்மை உணர்ந்தது  பரோட்சம்.

5. (காணாமல் போன) பத்தாவது ஆளாகத் தன்னைக் கண்டது  அபரோட்ச ஞானம்.

6. அழுகை நின்றது  துயர நீக்கம்.

7. சந்தேகம் நீங்கியது  தடையற்ற ஆனந்தம்.


1.    Ajñāṉam is not counting (knowing) oneself.

2.    Obscuration: Missing the 10th person is Obscuration.

3.    Mental worry: To cry for the missing 10th man is Mental Worry.

4.    Knowledge by Mental Perception: Realization of the Truth on hearing from the wayfarer.

5.    Knowledge by Actual Perception: Discovering the missing 10th man was himself. 

6.    Stopping of crying is removal of sorrow.

7.    Erasure of doubt is unimpeded joy.



 Ajñāṉam is not knowing oneself.

Of all said by the Guru, we will not progress from stage two to seven.

Let us look at it in a worldly perspective. Come, let us go to Kalaivāṇaṛ.  

Will Continue