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The soul according to Saiva
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa says that Maya is like mud, the soul is like a bar of
iron stuck in the mud and God is like a Magnet. Unless the iron bar is cleaned
of the thick mud, it is difficult for it to migrate towards the magnet. The soul
should be cleansed of the mud of Maya so that it is free to be migrate and stick
to the magnet of God. Adapted from The Sayings of
Ramakrishna, saying 18 page 27.
Prevailing view of Saiva Siddhanta
on the states of a soul.
Soul is like a crystal; it takes
the color of a juxtaposed object. Two common juxtaposed entities are Siva Sakti
and Mala; the crystal of a soul can be colored by Siva Sakti, Mala or both,
which define its three states (avastha):
Suddha, Kevala, and Sakala.
Soul's natural state before birth
in a body is Kevala with Anava
Mala (Sahaja Mala, innate impurity) as the coloring agent; when the soul
acquires a body on account of Karma, it is in
Sakala state, a multicolored
state in which Malas and Siva Sakti are the coloring agents; when all Malas are
extinct, the soul is in Suddha
state, where Siva Sakti is the only coloring agent. Kevala Avastha is
night in slumber; Sakala state is day in phenomenal awakening and awareness;
Suddha state is merger with Siva. The soul has a sticky surface according
to other interpreters of Siddhanta. If the soul is unstuck from Anava Mala, it
can stick with Siva Sakti; it is like competitive displacement and binding of
chemicals, when a stronger affinitive element displaces the lesser affinitive
element and takes its place. This corresponds to displacement of Anava Mala and
replacement with Siva Sakti in the soul. Since Siva Sakti is the source of
pristine soul which is back home with Siva, it is
Christian Theology is of the belief that only
humans possess the indwelling soul, which lifted them above other animals.
Hinduism is of the belief that all fauna and flora including matter possess
soul. If God created this universe, it is hard to imagine that His created
inanimate objects do not have a fragment of Himself; that Himself is the soul.
He could not have incorporated souls
humans and left animals, plants and matter without the soul. Since He pervades
all, He has His fragment in all. Sentience is same in all, from a sage to a
stone. Remember the tree-huggers who embraced two thousand year old trees from
being felled. They said that they know it was a seedling when Jesus Christ
appeared on this earth. It reminded them of him. That tree has sentience; its
expression is suboptimal compared to that of a human.
Consciousness sleeps in stone, feels in flora,
senses in fauna and thinks in man. Sentience runs parallel with consciousness.
the extent of its manifestation varies. Sentience may parallel the
sophistication of nervous energy. Since there is only a difference in the
(expression of ) degree of sentience between animal and man, how could one kill
an animal for whatever purpose? That is the basis of Ahimsa or noninjury.
Let me give you an example. A
sentient man knocked unconscious for any reason lays in the hospital for a month
in an obtund state. For the duration of his vegetative state he is less than
fully sentient. That does not negate the fact he was sentient before his present
condition. It is the very low degree of sentience that reduced him to a
vegetative state. He can become fully sentient when he recovers from his
condition. In like manner objects and beings though sentient intrinsically, have
variable degree of expression. Karma can reduce a soul to an embodied state of
an animal, plant, or tree in its next birth. All inanimate objects were
eternally ordained to suppress their sentience by God. Fish eggs lay dormant,
lifeless, and insentient in a dry riverbed; once there is rain and water starts
flowing you see fish where there were none before. The insentient egg which was
part of the mud, acquired some degree of sentience when it became a fish.
Sentience is feeling and awareness. Sentience is conditioned by certain
qualities: Sattva (virtue and goodness), Rajas (motion and passion) and Tamas
(darkness, sloth and slumber). A stone is Tamas through and through with no
Sattva or Rajas. A Sage, Yogi, or prophet is the highest form of a human
being and shows Sattva to its full extent. Ordinary human beings have a mixture
of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas in variable amounts and their behavior corresponds to
the degree to which they have these three qualities. Hitler was 85% Tamas, 14%
Rajas and 1% Sattva. Remember he cried over injury caused to the cut flowers and
a dead bird; that accounts for 1% of Sattva. His Rajas was the driving force for
His Tamas. These three qualities are compared to a tricycle in Hinduism. The
front wheel is Rajas (front-wheel drive); the right rear wheel is Sattva; the
left rear wheel is Tamas. The driver who is sitting on the tricycle turns the
Rajas wheel to the right and goes the way of a Sattvic (and Rajasic) man; when
he turns the wheel to the left he goes the way of a Tamasic (and Rajasic) man.
If he goes straight, he is the average man. Rajas provides momentum in whichever
direction a man goes. Without momentum there is no direction. The same allegory
is used to describe Gods: Brahma in Rajasic mode during creation, Vishnu in
Sattvic mode in sustenance and Siva in Tamasic mode in destruction.
Soul plus Anava Mala.
Soul plus three Malas
Soul plus Siva
In Sakala state, Siva Sakti and
Malas coexist in the soul. The three entities (Soul, Malas and Siva Sakti) are
comparable to the rice grain with three corresponding elements: the rice, the
chaff, and the rice germ. The Malas do not preclude the presence of Siva
Sakti and have no effect on him; Siva Sakti is as unaffected by Anava mala as
the sun is unaffected by cloud, an umbrella or sunshade. Anava Mala does not
veil Siva Sakti but only the soul. The
soul is compared to an owl which is naturally equipped with the nictitating
membrane in addition to the eyelids. The owl covers its eyeballs with its
nictitating membrane and prevents light from entering its eyes. In like manner,
Anava Mala covers the soul, preventing the light of knowledge reaching the soul.
The soul, unlike God, is subject to vicissitudes in knowing, needs organs
(Indriyas), objects, and sunshine of knowledge, and carries a shroud of Anava
Mala which prevents diffusion of knowledge.
The soul and its capacity to acquire knowledge are compared to an eye or
crystal; God or Siva is the sun. All objects, including the crystal, disappear
in the thick of darkness and the eye cannot perceive any object (in darkness);
the eye and the crystal need sunlight to see and shine respectively. Siva Sakti
provides sunlight of knowledge to the soul to cognize an object and attain
People stand on the mountain;
walk, run, and slice through air; and wade in water, and yet neither see
the mountain nor feel the air, nor alleviate the thirst. People stand and grope
in broad bright daylight and yet do not see. In like manner, they wade in
the knowledge of the Supreme and yet do not recognize it. Anava Mala is in
pursuit of evanescent pleasures of the world which end in pain, suffering and
disappointment. It is like a cat that goes after a cockroach while sitting on a
milk pot. These flimsy joys of the world do not lead to salvation of the soul.
Whatever little spiritual knowledge that the soul acquires during Sakala Avastha
is Siva Knowledge.
It is the individual soul. Before the soul stepped into this mundane world
sporting a body, it was in Kevala state (Kevala-k-kitai),
which is disembodied inactive condition of the soul mired in
Anava (I-ness, Mineness, spiritual darkness).
Vaishnava ThAkura calls them, Ahamta (mineness) and Mamata --possessiveness
(example of Ahamta: I am a doctor; example of Mamata: This is my house.)
Mala, the inherent darkness of the soul. It was
solitary (Kevala) and of low status, pining all the
time for Bliss. It was wilted, with no iccha, Jnana and Kriya (desire, knowledge
and action)-- a case of deep depression and darkness. Kevala state is a dormant
state of the soul suspended in time between destruction and creation of the
universe. It is a time of sleep for the soul because there is no world to speak
of, and Maya and karma exist in a potential but inactive state. This is the
interphase for the soul and the world, when there is no kinesis; the inactive
soul keeps company with Anava Mala. (you may draw some parallels between the
interphase of the soul and that of the cell physiology.)
Kevala Avastha of the soul
during its sleep state is comparable to amblyopia (blindness) of the eye due to
visual deprivation from abnormalities of the eyelid
and lens , and distortion of image from
astigmatism, and corneal opacities. The retina of the eye is normal and can
perceive light and sight, if light is allowed to pass without hindrance. In
Kevala Avastha, the soul is unable to see the Light of the Lord (Siva Jnanam)
from the veiling by Anava Mala; soul's intelligence (light and sight) diminishes
and the soul takes on the qualities of Anava Mala (darkness of the soul). Thus
deprived of its intelligence, the soul becomes matter.
Notes: abnormality of
eyelid: hemangioma causing swelling of eyelid and blocking entry of light.
Opacity of lens causing cataract and blocking of
In Sakala state, there is some
light coming in for the soul to gain knowledge necessary to merge with Siva in
Suddha state. Without light, the eye has no value; without knowledge, the soul
has no value. Knowledge proceeds from total absence in Kevala state, to limited
knowledge in Sakala state to great knowledge in Suddha state.
Siva Sakti wakes up the soul first and other
sleepers out of their slumber. Anava Mala is the next one to wake up. Siva Sakti
sets in motion the creative process in which the now-awakened
gives Tanu, Karana,
Bhuvana, and Bhogam to the soul
according to its karmic merits. The soul enters Sakala state with the body and
three Malas: Anava, Maya and Karma Malas.
Tanu = body; Karana = intellect and
mind; Bhuvanam = world; Bhogam = experience as a result of past karma,
painful and pleasant.
Siva Sakti ordains that man in his Sakala state
enjoys and suffers fruits of his Karma: these are known as
Bhōga, experience, as a result of past karma,
whether painful or pleasant and
Bhōgya, experience of good or evil
karma; an object of enjoyment.
(Bhōga is the experience and
Bhōgya is the object of enjoyment.)
The soul goes through many births and rebirths under the purview of Siva Sakti,
performs Karmic deeds, eats their respective fruits and thus spends time on
earth in Sakala Avastha.
This process of birth, death, and
rebirth of the soul is compared to a bird on a tree. The bird leaves (death of
the body) the tree in the morning and returns (rebirth of a soul in a body) to
the tree in the evening; this happens many times as long as the bird lives. When
the bird dies (liberation of the soul), it never returns to the tree of life
(earth). There are many birds on a tree; many go and come; some don't; some new
ones come in; that is flux. That flux in permanence in the return of the
embodied souls is Samsara (life on earth), while for individual soul liberation
is the end of life on earth.
Review and explanation: Siva Sakti wakes up the
soul from its Kevala state. Siva Sakti takes pity, gives the soul a body and
sends it to the world so it can enjoy the world, have varied experiences, births
and rebirths, and through it all mature, ripen and come back to him in a state
of Bliss, Suddha state. Now the soul has become the
samsaric world traveler. This state is called Sakala Sate.
Kanma and Maya Malas come into the soul during Sakala state along with a trace
of Siva Consciousness (knowledge) in the spiritual heart. Anava Mala is
intrinsic to every soul that is born; Maya Mala is conferred to the soul by God;
Kanma (karma) Mala is generated by the soul on account of its thought, word and
deed. Maya is like a lamp that gives a little light in the
dark of night until the sun comes up in the morning. Maya gives some
spiritual light to soul but only a little until the latter receives Grace,
which together with Karma tends to attenuate, and later destroys Anava Mala.
Though Maya sheds some light of knowledge on the soul, it is a Mala because the
knowledge gained through Maya is by itself not adequate to liberate the soul.
Siva Sakti has a presence in
Sakala state along with the Malas; thus, Sakala state is Sat-Asat, Sat being
Siva and Asat being the Malas. Siva-Sat gives the soul some spiritual knowledge
and Malas-Asat gives rise to spiritual ignorance. Anava Mala, the intrinsic Mala
of the soul, is so recalcitrant that Siva Sakti employs Maya and Karma Malas to
weaken it. Maya brings Tattvas to the soul thus giving the soul a body and
organs, which help the soul acquire some rudimentary spiritual knowledge which
to certain extent weakens Anava Mala. Maya is thus a faint light of the soul,
while Siva Sakti in comparison is the sun.
Sat = Being; Asat = nonbeing, matter.
Since Maya is
only a weak light (in modern parlance, low-wattage bulb or night light), it
provides limited mundane knowledge to the soul and not the knowledge of Siva; it
takes Siva (Supreme Light) to offer Supreme spiritual knowledge to the soul.
Maya is always Asat while Siva is always Sat and the soul is Sat-Asat. The
question is why Siva Sakti uses Maya Mala to shed some light to the soul and
also partially remove Anava Mala. Why does Siva Sakti use one Mala (Maya) to
remove another Mala (Anava)? The argument goes as follows: As washerman uses
soap or detergent (compared to Maya Mala) to remove a more ingrained dirt
(compared to Anava Mala) in the soiled cloth. Thus by partial cleansing by
detergent and beating of the clothe on the wash-stone, Maya prepares the soul
ingrained with Anava Mala for greater purification by Siva Sakti. In modern
parlance, the soul in Sakala state attends the school of
hard knocks in this phenomenal world; hard knocks of daily living mature
and "ripen" the Malas, which when completely ripened, fall off and the soul goes
to the next state, Suddha Avastha. The soul goes through spiritual evolution
over many human births and this progress is proportional to the attenuation of
Anava Mala, which, when expunged with the Grace of God, results in liberation.
Eradication of Anava Mala is complete
abandoning of I, Mine, I-ness, and My-ness, which coincides with the descent of
wisdom into the soul. This stage, called
strikes the death knell of three
Malas and sets the stage for
liberation to enjoy Siva's bliss and Odukkam
stage of the soul when its three Malams meet with the causes of their removal.
= State of the soul in which it takes an
attitude of perfect equanimity towards meritorious and sinful deeds)
= Setting (descent) of the Divine Grace in the soul, when it is ripe.
Definitions are according to Tamil Lexicon.
Odukkam = involution into Siva Sakti
One of the five functions (panchakritya)
of Siva is Tirodhana or veiling, concealment of spiritual knowledge; it is
actually a function of Siva Sakti, the feminine aspect of Siva (Tiruvundiyar,
Verse 78); Arul Nandi in Siddhiar is of the view that Tirodhana is a Mala along
with Maya, Karma, and Anava Malas, because it obscures the souls from the Light
of Siva Sakti in order to ripen Anava Mala. Tirodhana Sakti, belonging to Sakti,
is an obscurant of divine knowledge, instigator of Anava Mala and impeller of
desires, and creates in the embodied soul a sense of belonging to the world of
pain and pleasure until the soul is ready (mature enough) to give them up for
progress towards Suddha Jnana (pure knowledge) state. It is like the professor
of mathematics concealing his knowledge of higher mathematics and letting his
preschooler son struggle with simple additions.
Karma is the wash-stone on which the clothes are
beaten for removing dirt; this beating of fabric of soul on the stone of Karma
by Tirodhana Sakti (washerman) causes pain to soul, as Malas (impurities) are
Under the influence of Tirodhana
Sakti, the evil, unpliant and defiant I-defining Anava Mala expresses desire
which leads the soul to action which in its turn leads to Karma and
transmigration. Though Siva Sakti sits side by side with Anava Mala and soul,
Siva Sakti activates but does not interfere with Anava Mala's natural autonomous
course which is comparable to the sun (earth and water) not wanting to alter the
kind of tree that grows from a particular seed.
Siva does not use Tirodhana
Sakti and Anava Mala to torture but induce the soul give up desires that cause
karma and make it eat the fruits of their deeds which helps obtaining liberation
for the soul.
The self-centered Anava Mala is
full of desires and has a choke hold on Jnana and Kriya Saktis; Siva Sakti
stimulates Karma and Maya Malas; the latter induces the soul to perform
purifying actions (karma) over many births and life on earth. The soul abandons
Anva Mala with the help of Siva Sakti going into
Removal of impurities1,
resolution of sin and merit2,
descent of Sakti3,
enjoy Siva's bliss.
Oddukkam = ஒடுக்கம்:
Involution, as of the elements, one into
another; absorption, dissolution, disappearance, as of salt in water; in this
instance it means that the soul involutes into Siva Sakti.
In order to function in
Sakala state, naturally man is endowed (burdened) with Tattvas. Don't be
disheartened; even gods, celestials, and worms are in Sakala state, according to
Mular. Soul has the susceptibility to accumulate surface impurities, when
it comes into contact with Malas (literally feces, here it means impurities).
Anava Mala is compared to
verdigris on the surface of copper vessel.
Anava is recalcitrant surface impurity burrowing deeper into the vessel.
Anava is the first Mala of the soul and the last Mala to leave the soul, when
Siva confers Grace. Some students of Saiva Siddhanta wonder why the soul, which
is or should be a pure entity, is affected by corrosive
verdigris. Another common
analogy given is that the soul is a crystal which takes on the color of the
object next to it. The soul is sticky and the dirt (malas) easily sticks to it.
The soul has to graduate from its Sakala state to
Suddha (pure) state.
Now it is important to scrub and remove the
before it attains liberation;
it is removed only by the grace of God.
The new soul, which is a magnet for this and that, cannot remain in
isolation, must take qualities from God before it can obtain Bliss. Let me give
you an example to illustrate the stickiness of the soul to anything that passes
by. The bone avidly eats up calcium and lead; calcium is good for the bone, but
lead is not. When a child eats paint chip with lead, the child gets lead
poisoning and lead deposits in the bone, which over time releases lead
into the bloodstream causing anemia and brain damage. The lead in the bone and
blood is like impurities (Malas) sticking on the soul. How do you get rid of the
lead from the bone and blood? It is done by use of therapeutic modality of
competitive binding and substitution. EDTA likes to combine with calcium
and lead; but it likes lead more than it likes calcium. If you give Calcium EDTA
to a child, the lead in the bone leaches out into the blood, kicks out the
calcium from calcium EDTA and takes its place. Then the lead EDTA circulating in
the blood is excreted in urine; the child gets the calcium, gets rid of the lead
EDTA in the urine and gets better. In the same manner, Sivaness (calcium) likes
to replace Malas (lead) by competitive binding and substitution, thereby making
the soul pure (suddha).
When Sakalars with
three impurities get rid of Kanma or Karma, they graduate to a higher class,
Pralayakalars. Sakalars with three Malas were
wallowing in Asuddha (impure) Maya ( 24 Tattvas beginning with #13 to #36) Go to
Tatttvas-36. Man's soul is Tattva#12. Having moved
to a higher ground, the Pralayakalars swim in
Suddha-Asuddha Maya Tattvas (Pure and impure Maya). Srikanta Rudras also belong
to this category. Once the Pralayakalars lose their Maya Malam, they become
Vijnanakalars with Anava Mala. You might remember
that anyone having only Anava Mala is said to belong to Kevala state; now Kevala
state is the lowest rung of the ladder that Vijnanakalars have to scale; they
are still enveloped by Asuddha Maya. There are four steps they have to ascend to
reach Point Bliss: Each step one above the other is a purer state,
Kevala-kevala, Kevala-sakala, Kevala-suddha, and
Kevala-Arul. The 24 tattvas (#13 to #36), known as Anma Tattvas
belonging to the body, involute into the soul of the aspirant (Tattva
#12), as he moves from Sakalar state to Pralayakalar state. This aggregate of 25
Tattvas merge into six Vidya Tattvas (Suddha-Asuddha Tattvas, #6 to #11).
This aggregate of 31 Tattvas (#6 to #36) merges into Suddha Vidya Tattva
(#5) of Suddha Tattvas, which involutes into Isvaram(#4), Sadakhyam (#3) and
finally into Sakti Tattva (#2). Sakti stands with all the lower Tattvas
involuted (dissolved or merged) in her (#2) and Siva (#1) stands with her.
|3 Malas: Anava, Maya and Kanma
||Anava and Maya Malas
Mular says that there are nine states for the
soul to pass through: three Kevala series, three Sakala series, and three Suddha
States of Jiva
Kevala-Kevala—1 Atita-atitia state
Kevala-Sakala—2 Vaindava manifestation
Kevala-Suddha--3 (Vijnanakala state)
Sakala-Kevala—4 Jagrat-Atita State
Sakala-Sakala—5 Jagrat within jagrat State
Sakala-Suddha—6 Tat-Para State
Suddha-Kevala—7 State of Upasantha
Suddha-Sakala—8 Expansive Turiya State
Suddha-Suddha—9 Siva-becoming State.
Ref: Madras university:
= Jagrat-atita: state: condition of the soul while awake, when it loses its
breath and consciousness.
Jagrat within Jagrat state = Condition of the soul in waking state, in which all
its powers are in full display, as when a person is alert and wide awake.
= State of Tat Para state (self-illumined, Final Bliss)
Suddha-Kevala--7 = State of Upasantha (Calmness, tranquillity,
peacefulness; Mitigation, alleviation.)
Suddha-Sakala--8 = Expansive Turiya state (Transcendental consciousness)
Suddha-Suddha—9 Siva-becoming State
The soul has to climb nine
stages in order to become one with Siva.
Unless the soul acquires Brahman
knowledge (Brahma Vidya or Siva Consciousness) during Sakala state and goes on
to Suddha state it will go to Sakala-kevala (stage 4)) or Suddha-kevala (stage
7) state between destruction and creation of the universe. All knowledge
acquired in previous lives are not wasted but retained, accounted for, and
factored in, when the soul is born in a higher Avastha; the soul is closer to
salvation in stage nine (Suddha-Sudda state). If there is no destruction of the
universe the soul goes back into Sakala state in endless cycles of birth and
death, until one of two things happen: 1. the soul graduates to Suddha state and
gets Arul (Grace); 2. the soul is shunted into Sakala state again until Malas
ripen and drop off.
Sakala state is the life in the
phenomenal world; the joy and sorrow, success and failure, pain and pleasure,
knowledge and ignorance, health, wealth, and happiness and their respective
opposites are enjoyed or suffered in the name of maturation and fall of Malas.
As said earlier, we are pulled by Malas by one hand and
Siva Sakti by the other hand.
We are pulled by the passions of the world and Pasa (impurities) and that
centrifugal pull is
Pasajnanam, the pull or knowledge of
pasa (fetters or bond) also known as
(darkness). Knowledge derived of the world is pasajnanam, which has no value for
Pasajnanam = knowledge of bonds of the world; mundane knowledge; useless
knowledge lacking Siva Jnanam (wisdom of Siva)
Tugged by God (Siva) and the world, the soul is confused and becomes
introspective and looks within for self-knowledge or knowledge of its own
nature. This is
Pasujnanam, or introspective knowledge,
which causes confusion in the choice the soul has to make.
The soul has won over Irul and Marul, gave up darkness and confusion, seeks
knowledge of Pati, the Chief, the God, or Siva and receives Grace. This is
This is the soul's progress from
Darkness, to Confusion to Grace in Sakala state.
Considering Siva's Panchakrityas
(five functions: creation, maintenance, destruction, veiling and liberation),
the aim of four preceding functions is to liberate the soul. As opposed to
Vaishnava view that this world is his playground, and the Lord's functions are
his play activity, the Siddhantist says that Siva by his five functions creates
this universe for the soul to enjoy the fruits of karma, bring the Malas to a
ripe state (ripe Malas fall like ripe fruits), obscures soul's vision of
knowledge long enough for the soul to eat its fruits in the Sakala state and
then confer Arul (Grace) in Suddha state. This is the soul's journey from Kevala
to Sakala to Suddha state.
Every soul takes a birth in a body from
inorganic and organic entities to the highest earthly human being 8,400,000
times. One, then, would consider that human body is the most difficult to come
by. It is mind-boggling to think that we as human beings have gone through
possibly around 8.4 million births before we came to this stage. This is the
evolution of the soul from the lowliest of 8,400,000 organisms to the
highest--human. Devas are intermediate between Isvara, the inner controller and
human beings. Gods and goddesses take birth among humans: Avatars, Parvati
Our birth history:
Inorganic births: 3 million births (30
lakhs, 1 lakh = 100,000)
wrigglers (worms): 1 million births (10
Birds: 1.1 million births (11 lakhs)
Beasts: 2.4 million births (24 lakhs)
Human beings: 400,000 births ( 4 lakhs)
question comes up whether we really went through 8.4 million births. It should
be understood that this is revealed wisdom; we are not in a position to accept
or refute the revelation with the aid of worldly intelligence. We are like
a newborn infant, who has no capacity to understand its existence before
conception, at conception, gestation, birth and postnatal period. In like manner
we do not have the special Consciousness to know and realize that we went
through 8.4 million births. Our physical memory of past lives ceases at death
and birth. It is RAM memory. Our ROM is zilch. Our soul retains the ROM memory
in its subtle body, which we cannot access. Rishi's
Superconsciousness has received revelations from the Great Self about
these events. Human consciousness is several levels below the Pure Consciousness
of Brahman; in like manner the sentience of a worm is several levels below the
human sentience. Worm has no knowledge of our existence, but we ourselves do of
us and the worm. We are endowed with enough consciousness to think and it
cannot leap out of our ambit of understanding and intelligence. We are like the
flightless winged bird which sees the eagle soar high into the sky; our clipped
consciousness cannot soar high enough to understand the mysteries beyond our
sight. If the Sadhaka develops his
Tattva during the course of Sadhana (perfection), the inhered vision takes him
far beyond worldly wisdom and knowledge.
Atīndriya = Ati + Indriya = Beyond + Senses.
Superconsciousness is the tool for understanding extramundane
spiritual knowledge which is beyond reason and argument. That is where
Sastras (sacred texts) come.
Our world and being is
corrupted by Avidya (ignorance) and Maya (illusion). Superconsciousness takes
the Sadhaka far beyond the limitations of Avidya and Maya to see what has never
been seen, hear what has never been heard, and experience bliss. Our
intelligence (consciousness) is like the optical microscope, while
Superconsciousness is like the Electron Microscope. Our consciousness is like a
pair of eyeglasses, while Superconsciousness is like Chandra X-Ray Observatory.
Maya, the Mouse, and the mousetrap
by Ramakrishna. Paraphrasing from
His sayings of Ramakrishna,
saying 9, page 24, the mouse and the soul are similar. Mouse has a granary to
feed on and also fried rice (Mouri) placed in the mousetrap to relish. Granary
is an endless supply of feed, while fried rice is an attractive flavorful feed.
The mouse in its ignorance goes for the fried rice in the mousetrap and invites
death. Similarly the embodied soul is faced with the attractive petty pleasures
of the world and the threshold of Divine Bliss which is million times greater
than the petty pleasures. By choosing the petty pleasures of the world, it falls
into the trap of Maya, the great illusion and dies therein.
In rebirth, Siva
Sakti makes the body as the deeds demand; but his input overrides Karma, in the
choice of the body for the soul.
Sthulasarira, gross body that we own and use, takes
it origin from Sukshmasarira (subtle body) by the will of Supreme Siva, Karma
playing a secondary role. Subtle body originates from Asuddha Maya which again
takes its origin from Bindu, Nada, Siva, and Sakti, the Tetralogy of Saiva
Siddhanta. Go to TATTVAS-36.
Annamaya Kosa = food
sheath; Pranamaya Kosa = vital airs (breath);
Manonmaya Kosa = Mind sheath;
Vijnanamaya Kosa = intellectual sheath; Ananadamaya
Kosa = Bliss sheath.
The five Kosas or sheaths enclose the soul; some
call them a prison for the soul. Maya is the material cause of these sheaths.
The king (soul) lives in this palace (body) enclosed by five courtyards. As the
king returns to his palace from a visit to his kingdom, one attendant stays at
each of the five gates; and the king enters his room by himself and stays there
alone. The vital breath is the closest guard near his room. As the king would
wander into any one of the five courtyards, the soul may go to any one of the
five sheaths, kosas or bodies. Each body (sheath) has organs; soul's activity
depends upon the organ it visits; soul's condition also varies according to the
organ it visits. There are five such states (Avastha) corresponding to the
The five states are
1. Jagara Avastha around the chest with 35 organs,
2. Svapna Avastha in the larynx with 25 organs,
3. Susupti Avastha around the heart with three
4. Turiya Avastha around the navel with two organs,
5. Turiyatita Avastha in Muladhara Chakra, where
the soul remains alone by itself.
|15 organs (10 vital breaths
plus five motor functions: speech, ambulation, grasp, evacuation and
||10 vital breaths, five motor
||Prana (main life breath)
|Total 35 organs.
||Total 25 organs
||Total three organs
||Total two organs
||Soul alone by itself
For more information on Indriyas, Tanmatras, Citta,
Antakarana, go to BG Chapter 2 Samkhya Theory.
All the organs noted above in each of these states
are active in their respective avasthas. The soul without the body was in Kevala
state; when it moves into a physical body, it enters Sakala state, in which are
present five different levels of activity ranging from
Turiyatita Avastha to Jagra Avastha. The soul, when it occupies the body,
settles down first in Muladhara Chakra, which is
the stepping stone for higher areas. This is the lonely state of the soul,
practically shut out from the outside world. Turiyatita
Avastha5 in Muladhara is practically not any different from the static
Kevala state, because there is not even a breath; it is suffocation with no
action or knowledge of the body, the world, or God. Anava Mala is dominant and
recalcitrant. The soul settles down in Muladhara Chakra at the base of the
spine, then looks around to escape from the lonely place and goes up to the
Navel area where it experiences Turiya Avastha4. It
is a breath of fresh air; the soul finds itself showing some signs of life. In
terms of embryology, It appears that the soul-body has moved from embryonic
one-celled state to a fetus that can breath. Yet, it cannot think, act or feel;
it is like being unconscious and yet breathing. The soul looks around and moves
to the heart station and goes into deep sleep like a fetus that sleeps most of
the time. What else is there to do? This is Susupti
Avastha3 or deep sleep state. Now the soul gets some basic faculty like
Citta, with which the soul understands in a limited way what happens around it.
Deep sleep goes on to dream sleep, when the soul moves to the throat area,
starts breathing, thinking with Antakarana, feeling, touching, grasping, tasting
and hearing and acting out without using the motor organs. That is
Svapna Avastha2 or the dream state of the soul. The
soul has come a long way and snaps out of the dream sleep; it has some
awareness, it thinks somewhat vaguely, and the senses show some function. It has
all organs and it is awake, but not completely and this is
Jagrat state1 or waking state.
The soul gets cloaked with a body; its progress
matches with that of the embryo in the womb which grows from one embryonic cell
to a fully formed viable fetus. It does not breathe in air because it is
confined and its lungs are budding; the mother provides the vital air (prana or
oxygen) via the umbilical cord and it does not drown as the breathing movements
of the chest sucks in the amniotic fluid into his budding lungs. It does
not eat though it makes eating movements. It opens the eyes, looks around, sees
darkness, kicks, yawns, grasps slippery umbilical cord, sucks its thumb,
urinates, swallows the urine-laden amniotic fluid, passes it back into the
amniotic fluid, floats, and swims. It grows by leaps and bounds; it has the full
complement of functioning organs; it dreams a while, sleeps a lot and thinks;
what he thinks, no one knows.
The soul learns and knows through sense organs,
karma, time, body, people, and books; on its own it knows nothing. What the soul
knows through intermediaries actually comes from the grace of God. The soul
needs the grace of God to know, but God does not need anything, anyone, any
organ, or any known or unknown entity to know. He is all knowledge and all
consciousness; uses Iccha, Jnana, and Kriya; creates, maintains, and destroys;
pervades all in this universe; and remains as the life principle in all beings.
He is extant in all things. All souls endowed with bodies receive knowledge and
consciousness from him. He makes sure that Tattvas go to build bodies, organs,
mind and other faculties through which he imparts knowledge of spirit and matter
to the soul. Siva and Sakti are the essential elements in functioning of body,
organs, faculties including physics, chemistry, and mechanics of matter. Nothing
moves or functions without his Grace. As the sun is the source of light for the
crystal, God is the source of knowledge of the soul.
The soul comes under the influence of Antakarana
(inner organ) consisting of Manam, Buddhi, Cittam, and
Ahamkaram (Mind, Intuitive intellect, Determinative
faculty, and Ego).
The soul receives ambiguous knowledge from Manam,
discerning knowledge from Buddhi, superficial knowledge from Citta, and
questionable knowledge from Ahankaram.
Soul is the king; Buddhi is the prime minister; Ahamkara, Manam, and Cittam are
cabinet members; then come down the line the five karmendriyas, five jnanedriyas,
five Tanmatras and five Bhutas.
The bhutas (earth, water, fire, air, and ether) and objects made of them exude
tanmatras (sound, touch, color and form, taste, and smell). Tanmatras go beyond
their preceding characterization in that they cover vibrations coming from
Bhutas and their objects and beings. Janendriyas (sense organs) perceive
Tanmatras by way of hearing, tactile sense, sight, taste, and smell. These
impressions from Tanmatras and sense organs are passed on to
the inner organ, which consists of
Manam, Buddhi, Cittam, and Ahamkaram (Mind, Intuitive intellect, Determinative
faculty, and Ego).
The sense organs are limited in the sense that each has a specific function. But
God or Siva Sakti has no physical eyes and yet can see, hear....
Jnanendriyas: Sense organs: Ear, skin, eye, tongue
Karmendriyas are motor
organs, voice box, hands, feet, rectum and genitals,
causing speech, grasp, locomotion, evacuation, and generation.
Janendriyas are sensory organs,
ear, skin, eye, tongue and nose.
Reason, power of discernment or judgment, one of the four species of antakkara–am
Antakarana = அந்தகரணம் = Inner seat of
thought, feeling, and volition, consisting of four aspects: மனம்1,
புத்தி2 , சித்தம்3,
Buddhi or Intellect2,
Determinative Faculty3, Egoism4
; உட்கருவி = utkaruvu = Inner Organ.
தன்மாத்திரை = Rudimentary or subtle elements, viz., ஓசை, ஊரு, ஒளி, சுவை,
நாற்றம் = sound27,
touch28, form29, taste30, odor31
from which the Great elements came:
ether32, air33, fire34,
The above definitions are obtained from Tamil Lexicon.
The soul receives ambiguous knowledge from Manam,
discerning knowledge from Buddhi, superficial knowledge from Citta, and
questionable knowledge from Ahankaram. Cittam
receives the impressions of all the sense organs and integrates them for
presentation to other faculties.
analyses information from Cittam, formulates
hypothesis and makes suggestions to Ahankara.
Ahankara, the egotistical element in the chain, views the presentation in
relation to I, Me, Mine and Mineness. The next element in the chain is
Buddhi (the chief minister) who elucidates the
material from sense organs colored by the Mind and Ahankara and makes informed
judgment. Buddhi is the link between all the distal elements and the soul which
apprehends the object and the outside world by the elements mentioned above.
Consciousness is the privileged possession of the soul, which other elements do
not have. Soul may reject the advice of Buddhi and take that of Cittam, Manam
or Ahankara, which are the qualities of animal or man deprived of Buddhi, which
is the exclusive possession of man among beings. Soul has an oppressive
overhang, Anava Mala; therefore, five Tattvas come to aid it. They are the
+ kancukam = five + vestures).
They are Kālam, Niyati, Kalai, Vidyai, and Arāgam (Sanskrit:
Kāla, Niyati, Kala, Vidya, and Rāga; English: Time,
Destiny (karma), Aptitude or Creativity, Knowledge, and Desire). Endowed with
these five Tattvas, the soul knows and explores the outside world; these
faculties provide the soul to think, speak, and act in ways that cause Karma.
From Maya come in a linear fashion the following tattvas in a father-son
descent: Kāla, Niyati, Kalā, Vidya, Raga and Purusa, the last being the soul.
Desire (Arāgam) is the father of the soul,
Knowledge (Vidyai) the grandfather,
Aptitude or Creativity the great grandfather,
Order the great great grandfather, and
Time is the great, great great grandfather.
Desire has the immediate influence on the soul,
causing it to enjoy the world of objects and is the cause of Karma.
Vidya or knowledge is a complement to will and
action. Aptitude (Kalai)
helps the soul remove some of Anava Mala. Order
or Destiny (Niyati) makes sure that the soul consumes (resolves) its Karma.
Time (Kāla), the patriarch of the said Tattvas,
brings karma to its end, fruition or holds it in reserve for the future. The
five tattvas or vestures serve the soul also called Purusa. Saiva philosophy
here differs slightly from the Sankhya philosophy. Go to
BG Chapter 2 Samkhya Theory.
Sakti provides the soul all the elements needed for embodiment, and enjoyment in
this world. Siva pervades all that exists; he animates it; his Sakti operates in
all animate and inanimate objects. The powers of beings and elements trace their
origin to Siva Sakti, which is the highest of all Saktis. All combined Saktis of
this universe is miniscule compared to Siva Sakti.
The soul obtains knowledge of objects and world
from sense organs to which a susceptible soul falls prey. This is compared to an
young prince who is waylaid and abducted by thieves. Living and growing up with
and among thieves (sense organs), the prince learns their ways which are
unworthy of a prince. In like manner, the senses hijack the soul and takes
it to the world of Asat; the soul, though of divine origin from Sakti, wallows
in sensual pleasures and pursuits, which accumulate Karma. Siva is Sat and Cit
and the the soul is mired in a world of Asat and Acit. Once the soul comes under
the influence of Sat, Siva Sakti, it moves away from matter and obtains
Siddhantist believes that souls of other religions should excel and achieve the
native blessedness of that particular religion; thus, no religion can give the
ultimate release that Saivism gives. When the soul is ripe in its own religion,
it will be born in Saivite religion. That is not the end of the road; within
Savism there are subdivisions or inner religions; once the soul attains
excellence in the inner religions, the soul has to take birth in Saiva
Siddhanta. Now the soul has to perform Chariyai, Kriyai,
and Yogam. These are set in a ladder pattern to reach Siva. The soul has
to excel in Dasamarga, Kriyamarga, Sakhamarga and Sanmarga.
The above chart illustrates the various Margas, a Sadhaka in Saiva Siddhanta
should follow to obtain release. Dasamarga is the path of servant, Kriya
Satputramarga, the way of a child, Sakhamarga, the path of friend,
Sanmarga-Sadhanamarga, the path of wisdom.
progress from one stage to the next to the highest and attain salvation in one
lifetime; that is rare. More commonly one lifetime is spent in Dasamarga and the
soul is born again and again to pursue other paths and eventually merges with
Dasamarga. Dasa =
servant or slave. Marga = path. Path of the
servant. Service to the Lord with one's body. The devotee serves the Lord as a
servant. He keeps the temple clean, spotless, and shiny; he collects flowers and
makes garlands for the Lord; he keeps the flame of the lights alive all the
time; he tends the flower gardens; he praises and sings glories of the Lord; he
worships and honors him; he calls himself a loyal dog of the Lord, waiting to do
his bid. Dasamarga takes the devotee of Siva to the world of Siva (Saloka)
after death and he will be reborn again to pursue other paths. (loka
Kriyamarga or Satputramarga.
Kriya = service. Satputra = blessed child.
The path of the child. Service to the Lord with one's senses. This path is that
of the child of the Lord. Does this remind you of Jesus Christ? The devotee
takes flowers to the Lord, lights up lamps with fragrant oils, performs five
purifications, sets up a prayer room with alter, picture of Siva and other
aspects of worship, consecrates the picture, makes burnt offerings and praises
the Lord. This path of service is akin to that of son to his father (nearness,
Samipya) and takes the soul to Siva.
Sakhamarga. Sakha =
friend. Path of friend. The five senses should be kept under control; The Ida
and Pingala Nadi should be controlled; meditation on a single object and
channeling Prana and Kundalini goddess to Susumna Nadi, merging of the yogi with
Siva in Sahasrara Chakra, imbibing the ambrosia and going to the sphere of fire,
sun and moon are the steps towards Sakhamarga. This is the path of friend
(intelligence) to the Lord. This path assures that the devotee attains likeness
to Siva (Sarupya).
The Journey of Soul beyond the
borders of the body. The Path to Siva Bliss.
centers in the body and
NirÂdhāra centers are above
Sahasrara Chakra. Adhara
= support. Niradhara
= without support; centers above the seventh Chakra. There are six Adhara
Centers in the body: Muladhara, Svadisthana, Manipura, Anahata, Visuddhi, and
Ajna each one presided by a deity, Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Mahesvara,
Sadasiva, and Apara Bindu.
Adhara yogam is accomplished
by Kundalini yogi who ascends all six centers to reach the seventh Sahasrara
center in the crown presided by Paranada where he unites with Siva. Kundlini
yoga is Adhara yogam with support derived from the centers or chakras. Beyond
the Sahasrara Chakra is the Niradhara center without any apparent support;
reaching it is Niradhara
yogam. Jnana and Prana
ascend beyond the seven centers and course through
eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh
sthanas (posts), presided
respectively by Parabindu,
Paranada, Parasakti and Parasiva.
Beyond these eleven centers is the 12th and furthest ultimate point of yogic
journey (the Ultima Thule),
Dvadasanta. This journey
from Sahasrara chakra to the 12th point in space is
Niradhara Yogam which is the state
of the soul, when it loses its self-consciousness, attains Sivahood and remains
without any attachment or physical support.
Reaching Dvadasanta Siva (Paraipara) in Jnana form is Bliss. (Please note that
there are several variants of the theme in different texts.) Many other texts
say that this center is 12 inches above the crown as opposed to the above
description. Realization from the 8th to 12th is progressively deeper and the
12th is ultimate experience.
(Sanskrit) / Tvādasāntham (Tamil) definition:
1. (Yoga.) A mystic centre
which is believed to be 12 inches above crown;
2. (Yoga.) The 12th and last
stage of experience of the soul in yoga practice;
The soul's progress to Grace:
Bipolar equable resolution1,
Purging of Malas2, and Surging with Grace3.
Others mention Oddukkam4
(involution) into Siva.
maturing of the soul indicating that the soul is no more burdened with the three
Malas, Anava, maya and Karma Malas.
paripākam = impurity +
cooking; maturity, perfection,
ripeness; fit condition.
in perfect resolution consists of good and bad Karma coming individually to zero
is the state of the soul coming to perfect
equanimity towards meritorious and sinful deeds; the end result is a zero sum
In Iruvinaiyoppu, there is no reciprocal
cancellation; both good karma and bad karma must come to zero individually.
Iruvinaiyoppu = Iru +
Vinai +Oppu = two + good and bad deeds + likeness, resemblance,
similarity, equality. Vinai = Nalvinai and Tivinai = good deed and evil deed.
The Grace of God descends on the soul, once it goes
through Malaparipakam after Iruvinaiyoppu; that is called Saktinipātam
Sattinipātam = Satti + Nipātam = Grace + Descent
happens to the soul, it is free and becomes
eternal like God. The Grace-infused soul is separate from the Lord or Siva, but
enjoys Siva's Bliss.
Tirodhana Sakti (Veiling, concealing, obscuring) of
Mahesvara is the antithesis of anugraha (Grace) conferred by Sadasiva.
Mahesvara and Sadasiva are one and the same; transformation of the soul from
impure state to pure state by Iruvinaiyoppu and Malaparipakam induces
transformation of Tirodhana Sakti to Anugraha Sakti. Think of sound traveling as
The descent of Grace on to the
soul proceeding from Parasakti (Sadasiva) takes place at a slow pace (Manda)
to start with, picks up slow speed (Mandatara)
followed by intense (Tīvira)
and hyperintense (Tīviratara)
penetration or pervasion. Descent and pervasion are proportional to the
graduated weakening of Anavamala; it appears as if Anavamala is weakened by
maturity of Malas (like the ripe fruit falling off) and the graduated
penetration of the soul by Grace
According to Unmai Vilakkam, the soul, Anava Mala, and Pati still hold together
in Mukti or liberation. How is that possible? Anava Mala has morphed from an
obstructionist to a facilitator (transformation). Once Grace has pervaded the
soul, Anava Mala becomes the purveyor of Bliss in Suddha state; remember, once
Anava Mala was a purveyor of nescience in Kevala and Sakala state.
Tirodhana Sakti, which is the veiling power of the
Lord, has morphed into Arul Sakti.
Arul = Grace.
The four events (Iruvinaiyoppu,
Malaprapakam, Saktinipatam, and Oddukkam) caused the soul to step into
Suddha Avastha. The soul, thus optimized and purified, and penetrated by Grace
is at the doorstep of liberation; it also has transformed from the dual state of
Sat-Asat to Sat state; Asat dropped out with the fall of Malas; now it is one
with Siva. Here oneness with Siva does not mean integral part of Siva.
Mukti (liberation) is union with God; Mukta (the
liberated soul) in relation to Siva is like the fruit and its essence, flower
and its fragrance, fire and its heat and vina and its musical sound. Saivites
believe that Jivan mukti (liberation while alive) is achievable while
Vaishnavites (Ramanujacharya) believe in Videha Mukti (liberation after death).
The soul in mukti and Siva are indistinguishable
like the rays of the moon and the sun. We very often forget that the moon is
there in the sky in daylight because the effulgence of the sun subsumes the moon
light. Though they are indistinguishable, Siva and the soul are distinct
entities; for the soul to enjoy bliss from Siva, it has to be a distinct entity
to receive bliss. Siva (Siva Sakti) is like a nursing mother and the soul is
like a suckling infant.
Sayings Sri Ramakrishna
Emancipated soul = Jivan
Mukta. Corporeal liberation, liberation while alive is an important
tenet of Saivism.
953. How does the emancipated soul live in the world?
He lives in the world like the diver-bird. It dives
into water, but the water does not wet its plumage; the few drops of
water which may possibly stick to its body are easily shaken off when it
once flaps its wings.
Comment: Water here means merits and demerits which
accumulate karma with resultant rebirth. In Jivan Mukti, the liberated
soul does not accumulate karma, though he is engaged in worldly acts.