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Chapter 3: Totality and Nobility


In the last chapter where an inquiry into the evil and other related lower propensities in man  was made, recourse was made to Being in the GLOW of BEING as that which ensures authenticity and nobility and failure from that and hence living in DARKNESS the source of  the inauthenticity and meanness  in man.  There is an INNER RADIANCE always available for SEEING  as such but unfortunately the anmas do not always  choose to see within this light but rather within the twilight zones where the LIGHT is either absent or considerably weakened.  The SEEINGS as conditioned by the MALAS , the obscurants of light, breed behaviors  that are brutal, evil and unsavory. This becomes a metaphysical issue that needs to be understood further. How is that anmas involve themselves in immoral and evil behaviors  and rather appear to enjoy them  and quite often crave for  them? Why the immoral and so forth are indulged in despite the fact they hold the possibility of personal disasters of various kinds? These become the problems that Arunandi attends to now. The problem is linked with the presence of NOBILITY that is equally available for all the anmas to enjoy. The superlative excellence that belongs to BEING only is also enjoyed by the anmas and because of which a certain nobility  comes to prevail in their personality. This phenomenological truth also become  a matter for metaphysical investigations of a profound kind.

ġ ʧ
š --
¡ š š ۨ

aruL munpu n-illaathu atiyERku kaN inRu
iruL kaNtavaaRu en kol en-thaay ; maruLkoNta
maalaiyaa veNNaivaaz mannavaa ennutaiya
maal aiyaa maaRRa mathi

: Unless I stand in the GLOW of BEING , I have no eyes to see; I am made incapable of SEEING CLEARLY and if at all only vaguely and dimly. Then how is that while thus remaining in the GLOW of BEING, I am also deprived of it so that I suffer a metaphysical blindness? In other words with the eyes provided by BEING  how is that I move in the direction of metaphysical DARKNESS that deprives me the clear  visages ? My Lord , the King of VeNNai wearing a garland of DARK flowers, please instruct  me and dispel the uncertainties that assail me.

[While conciousness is provided by BEING by making it possible for the anmas to SEE, they  while enjoying  the different visions  also gravitate towards the realm of DARKESS , the realms of abconciousness  and this psychological phenomena puzzles Arunandi immensely and forces him to raise questions about it. It appears that in the interiority of the anmas there are in addition to ENGRACING  processes that bring about enlightenment , clear consciouness, ethical purity, happiness and contentment,   also DISGRACING PROCESSES  that do the converse of the above. For Arunandi, it is not the presence as such of these processes that are problematic but rather the fact that they are DESIRED by the anmas despite the fact that the disgracing are self- destructive. The propensity for evil and ignoble, banality and bestiality in man as opposed to the purity, nobility, selflessness and magnanimity  becomes  the problem now. That man should choose at all the EVIL while the PURE and GOOD are presented and made intrinsically attractive becomes now the problem.  The presentations of the GOOD that raises a man above bestiality and other banalities   are explored now to answer the questions raised and an understanding.]

Ѿ ɡ
ʨ ɢ
ը Ģ
ɧ Ӿ;

mathin-uthal paakanaaki kathithara
veNNai thOnRi n-aNNiyuL pukun-thu en
uLam veLi cheythu un aLavil kaatchi
kaatti eRkaattinai eninum n-aati en
uNmaiyum perumaiyum n-uvalil aNNal
paathaaLa chaththi pariyan-thamaaka
Othi uNarn-tha yaanE Eka
muzuthum n-inRananE muthalva;

Oh! Thou art as the BEING who hast disclosed Thyself  through Meykandar of VeNNai in the form of Androgynous Archetype , also has entered my own self and irradiated it so that it is glowing brightly with absolutely clear consciousness.  This Thou hast done through a countless number of  phenomenal  presentations of Thyself , a bewildering variety of archetypal forms. But no matter how majestic and awesome they are, the TRUTH about myself is that , Oh great One!  It is I who explores the conscious as well as the unconscious, the phenomenal that constitutes the experiential and the noumenal the remain concealed. And through the explorations of all these possible worlds , the phenomenal and the noumenal, my understanding has become so extensive that it  comprehends the whole world, there is nothing hidden or concealed from it. I stand ONE with the whole Reality , I remain stretched to the limits , extended to the maximum.


â 츢
â Ȣ

  ......  .......muzuthum
pulankataip pUzai n-uzain-thanan kalangki
aangku ain-thavaththaiyum atain-thanan n-Ingkip
pOkku varavu purin-thanan thUkki
evvitaththuNmaiyum ivvitaththu aathalum
chel itaththu eythalum theriththa mUnRinum
onRenukku aruLal vENtum;

 Thou must clarify the dilemmas I encounter in the course of such experiences. In the course of such  ventures , I explored fully the world of  the senses, the experiential world that are disclosed through the sense experiences . But because of this , overcome with miseries and depressions I also entered into the five fold existential states of  vigilant alertness or states of being fully awake, the dream states  and experiential states similar to that; the states of deep dreams in which the mythical and archetypal are encountered; the states of inner purity where there is the glow of inner radiance and finally the absolutely transcendent where there is pure NOTHINGNESS. And in the course of such existential explorations, caught in the historical world, I suffer deaths and rebirths continuously. And when we examine  all these experiences that are comprehensive,  all experiential modalities being taken into account, they must also be taken to be COMPLETE and EXHAUSTIVE   and every truth must have been encountered  through these modes of Being of myself  and thereby become something I can appropriate as for myself.  Now of these three ways of  Being:  Being-in-the- World and enjoying bodily experiences of all sorts, exploring  the Depths and understanding  the noumenal realities and  Being in bodiless existence in which there is only a DARKNESS,  which among these is that which is intrinsic to me, that which is my essence? Is there a privileged way of Being and if there is which is it and why?

ľ Ǧ

....... enRum
illathu ilathaay uLLathu uLathenunj
chollE chollaay chollungkaalaich
chiRuththalum peruththalum ilavE;

: The dilemma arises because of Satkarya Vada that asserts that the non-existent can never appear and whatever presents itself  as a phenomenological reality cannot  be a non-existent. If everything is already there and understood as such during the course of all these experiences then how is it that there is GROWTH and  DEGENERATION or rising in purity and falling therefrom? Since Satkarya Vada would mean, there cannot be anything NEW appearing as there-in-the-world, then in such explorations there cannot be growth or decay, progression or regression. The  TOTALITY stays the same, unchanging in terms of quantity, and  an understanding of this totality cannot account for the DIFFERENCE that exists in the ways of Being of the anmas.
¡ ɢ
; š쨸

yaanai eRumpin aanathu pOlenin,
nyaanam anRu; avai kaaya vaazkkai

Now if such growth and decay is said to be like those of elephants and ants i.e. purely physical transformations or evolutionary changes then they do not explain the fact that such changes pertain to UNDERSTANDING  or consciousness. The explorations through  all the existential modalities affect the UNDERSTANDING and not simply the material processes involved.

Ţ ̨¢ Ȣ


maRRu avai atain-thana uLavenin aRRanRu
vitta kuRaiyin aRin-thu thonRu
thottu van-thana ena vENtum;

Now if it is said, the transformations pertain only to the entities that ATTAIN such developmental changes, that too is not without problems. For it implies that it is an endless process- beginning where it was left and continuing thus endlessly indicating no end at all.  It means that the anmas are forever caught up in the historical processes and  are  unable to extricate themselves from them, from ways of Being in historical flux.

â¾ ը Ȣ¾ ڨ
â 째, â¡
츢ɢ¡ ɢ   Ƣ

periyathiR perumaiyum chiRiyathiR chiRumaiyum
uriyathu n-inakkE, uNmai periyOy
enakkinRaakum enRum
manakkiniyaay ini maRRathu moziyE

: The exhaustive TOTALITY, the absolute LOFTINESS, GREATNESS, the absolute PERFECTION and so forth belongs to THEE only and never at any moment to me, the most humble and depraved self.  Greatness and smallness of whatever measure belongs to THEE only and never to  me or any other beings in the world. But then how is that the anmas are attributed these qualities in their ways of Being in the World? Oh! Lord dear to my heart,  clarify and dispel my doubts.

The answer to these quaries are available in the following observation
 of Meykandar in his CIVAJNANA BOTHAM:

ġ 츢
ġ -- ġ
â Шȸ Ч
Ȣ (4-2-2)

ilaadaththee saakkiraththai eythiya uLLam
ilaadaththee aiwthavaththai eythum --  ilaadaththee
av av iwthiriyaththu aththuRaikaL kaNdu athuvee
avvaRRin n-iingkal athu anngku

It is stated here that the anma that attains absolute clarity  i.e. forms of consciousness that breed apodictic certainty and indubitability ( in the ilaadam which is region of the frontal lobes of brain, the region of the forehead) also attains a conscious  understanding of all that becomes available for cognizance during the five fold existential states that are exhaustive as far as states of Being are concerned. The interpretive understanding of all the contents of the different existential states most of which are metaphorical or mythical in essence through the application of appropriate utties, i.e. interpretive procedures is that which helps a person arise above the ordinary and attain states of Being that are lofty and ideal. It is the greatness and vastness of the hermeneutic understanding of the world of existence that affords greatness, loftiness and so forth which is also simultaneously a process of purification.
Also it is stated that understanding such as this is LIBERATING- it frees one from being caught up within the elements that fabricate those states of Being and enjoying. What is understood is no more interesting and hence cease to be  the objects  one desires. And because of this one arises ABOVE the ordinary and attain states of Being that are lofty and great. An ordinary man becomes a superman, the Maha Vira, when he manages to gain an understanding that is true and really vast  and comprehensive.


1) In this chapter Arunandi inquires into the GOOD and NOBLE, the authentic that stands also as possibilities over and above the evil and ignoble.  The authentic are NOBLE and stand in direct opposition to the evil and ignoble. The central question is: while all the  noble and excellent are appropriately that of BEING  and no other, in ordinary existence we also see ordinary men enjoying such  predisposition and thereby become extraordinary individuals. While standing in the GLOW OF BEING ensures escaping from the DARKNESS that affords only dim visions and because of which lowly behaviors follow, it is not clear how the GLOW affords a person rise above the ordinary and become  noble in thought and deed. What does the radiance of BEING do so that the superlative qualities that pertain to BEING only also become something that is  enjoyed by ordinary individuals?

2) There is a difference among individuals in nobility which is existential and hence phenomenological. What is the source of this difference? asks Arunandi with his penetrating gaze. The presence of the anmas in the glow of BEING or ThiruCiRRampalam affords <uLam veLi ceytal> the destruction of the inner blindness so that the existential opacity is overcome and translucency attained and  where everything is seen in clear light and hence without any obscurants. The BEING enables this by opening up the hidden and concealed worlds , the conscious and unconscious, the phenomenal and noumenal, the surface world of experiences and the subterranean world of hidden realities, the world that remains for the most part hidden, concealed, covered up. This is made possible by the possession of the anmas by the countless number of archetypes   which are phenomenal presentations of BEING itself. Each archetype that possesses an individual enables a certain vision, ways of seeing and through that sighting and understanding a new world. From this,  no matter what the autonomous BEING chooses to disclose for the understanding of the anmas, it is not to be concluded that whatever that is thus disclosed is immediately grasped by the anmas. It belongs to the will of the anmas to LEARN (< Othi uNarnthanan n-aanE>) and through that stand cognitively expanded with the whole universe as its horizon of Being. There must be an effort on the part of anmas to LEARN what is presented and therefore a desire to do so on the part of the anmas. The archetypal presentations alone are  NOT sufficient to bring about a change in the existential horizon.

3) The learning that results in having the whole world including the yet to be manifested as the existential horizon is possible only by entering into the five fold existential states of Being. The five states exhaust all the possibilities of Being-in-the-World, there are  no ways of Being outside and above this. Everything that needs to be known is known within these existential states. And in the course of the cosmic journey, the anmas experience an endless chain of deaths and rebirths. This is the <pOkku varavu purithal> that is also mentioned by Meykandar. And only when this historicity is understood as a snare , a trap that forever throws one to historical existence that one seeks the <cel itam> the END towards which the journey is. The historical existence is teleological, it leads towards an END and there is the possibility of attaining it and thus escape from the historicity. Thus now there  are THREE meanings for existence---- to be worldly and enjoy the pleasures of the senses and remain thereby locked up to material world , or to remain caught up  in the historical chain and suffer in that course a countless number births and deaths and enjoy thereby the INFINITY of existence , or to escape from all these  involvement and attain a total releasement, liberation. With this begins Arunandi's important question: Which of these three that is the essence of the anmas and why so ? He requires that <onRenukku aruLal vEntum>  i.e. explain and make it philosophically convincing which one of these possibilties is the most authentic and for  what  important reason.

4) Nobility of Being is different from quantitative greatness and smallness like the sizes of elephants and ants. If the TOTALITY is already available as that which is and to which nothing can be added or subtracted, then at the point of consciousness of this TOTALITY, a limit is reached and at which point there cannot be any diminishing and expanding,(<ciRuththalum peruththalum ilavE>) If this expansion and contraction is purely physical and quantitative then it ceases to be something pertaining to the understanding (<jnaanam anRu, kaaya vaazkkai>).  Personal greatness and nobility of disposition are not quantitative and physical but rather qualitative and hermeneutical.

5) Now if there  are anmas who attained such a limiting case of Being in which the whole universe stands as that which has been understood and hence the horizon of Being, then it follows that there is historicity, an infinite chain of births deaths and rebirths in which the accomplishments at the point of one death serve the preunderstanding or preexistent horizon from which begins another course of further learning. (<vitta kuRaiyin thonRu thottu vanthana>) To reach the LIMIT of  understanding the whole universe, a continuos series of births are essential as in each life only a limited number of things are learned.  The destruction of human finitude and the attainment of a vision of absolute translucency is not possible without an enormous number of rebirths in which the learnings of the earlier are retained as the current prejudices and in terms of which further learnings are effected.

6) In this historical involvement   and development, the attainments of superlative excellence that we call here simply NOBILITY  becomes problematic for they pertain to BEING as what is in itself and not to the anmas. But then such qualities are noted among individuals in their phenomenal existence. And this raises the question: Is there a relationship  between vastness of understanding and nobility of character? Are the hermeneutic experiences, the expansion of understanding itself capable of raising the CHARACTER of person so that in expanding his understanding he also becomes noble somewhat?


1)    The central dilemma, as it turns out in this chapter, is that while all superlative qualities belong to BEING alone, in the development of individuals they too come have or enjoy such qualities. There is TRANSFERENCE of a kind  that takes place in the course of the hermeneutic explorations of the anmas that remains a mystery for Arunandi. BEING presents itself in a bewildering variety of archetypes constituting   what is in fact the phenomenological. And because of this the esthetical and mathematical predicatives---- from the most sublime to the humblest, to the vastest to the most minute, from the most powerful to the least should all rightfully belong to BEING alone and nothing else. But despite this truth, it is a fact that the ordinary anmas are DIFFERENT from each other and furthermore there is also hierarchical difference  where the higher  are attributed qualities that rightly belongs only to BEING. The only thing that seems to be done by the anmas is that they EXPLORE the open as well as  the concealed, the already manifest and the yet to be manifest i.e. the TOTALITY of beings. At the end of the journey, nothing remains unsighted, everything is made visible, the already seen. The anmas thus comprehend the TOTALITY, explore  the WHOLE    uninhibited so that there is nothing new, unsighted yet. But this vastness of hermeneutic horizon does not explain how the anmas become qualitatively HIGHER, loftier and noble. The vastness of the horizon of understanding does not in itself confer noble qualities that makes a person a noble soul, higher in development that the ordinary individuals.

2) The solution to this dilemma consists in noting a difference between a TOTALISTIC PHILOSOPHY and EXISTENTIAL  TOTALISM.  A  totalistic philosophy such as Saiva Siddhanta is arrived at through a philosophical activity of disconstruction or episodizing (Ta. Cangkaaram) where a philosophic understanding, say X, is taken as a whole and noting an inadequacy in it, a failure of a sort so that  some phenomenal truths remain unilluminated, it is disconstructed or displaced and supplanted and another philosophy allowed to emerge.  The Parapakkam of Civajnaana Ciththiyaar of Arunandi himself illustrates the processes of disconstruction that we are articulating here.  Saiva Siddhanta, as the ULTIMATE philosophy, the  Suupakkam,  is arrived at through a sequence of such disconstructions so that the final understanding remain undiscontructible, unsupplantable indisplacable and so forth. The totalistic philosophy explains everything so that there is nothing that is phenomenal that cannot be understood as to its meaning and function. It makes the meaning of existence absolutely clear so that doubts and uncertainties are not encountered with respect to what is authentic existence in the glow of that philosophy. The existential totalism, on the other hand,  is not concerned with understanding but only with acquaintance, familiarity, knowledge and so forth with the totality of objects. While their existence is noted their MEANING is not inquired into so that their significance for the existential struggles of the anmas remain unknown and unexplored. The attainments of nobility and related excellent  personal qualities have nothing to do with such existential totalism but rather with the attainment of totalistic philosophy.

3) The anma develops only if it travels in the direction of totalistic philosophy  which is essentially hermeneutical. The closer the anma is to the FINAL system, the SIDDHANTA the higher  it  is as a person. One becomes full of nobility by understanding the totalistic philosophy and LIVE by it. Such a growth pertains to the person and not to the physical body that the anmas occupy as its existential abode; the more of the world he brings to the ilaatathaanam i.e the region of CLARITY, through the interpretive activities of theriththal ,  i.e. gaining  pure consciousness, the more heroic or  noble he becomes. A person can become an outstanding individual only through gaining clear understanding and that too through seeking TRUTH no matter how difficult and challenging it is. It is TRUTH that clarifies, illuminates , and through that violates the DARK LIGHT within that obscures vision Such a person understands EVERYTHING , can explain and illuminate the existential or phenomenological realities . His understanding is translucent so that there are no dark patches   that would disfigure and distort the vision. The noble individual is the most enlightened and illuminated and with the least opacity.

3) We should also note that when the will to nobility and excellent human qualities suffer a distortion when the psychic interiority of the anmas is impure, i.e. there is strong presence of the mummalam. It gets distorted into the will to power that the German philosopher Nietsche has noted.  The political desire to control the whole world through seizing   WORLD POWER, the uncontrolled economic desire to OWN the whole world and through that appropriate it as ones own, the esthetic desire to fascinate and bind to self  the whole of humanity so that one becomes the DEITY that is worshipped and paid homage to, the negative desire to destroy the whole world so that only one exists, the messianic desire to lead the whole of humanity in the way that one chooses to do so presenting it as that  which is truly divine and hence beyond doubts and uncertainties and such other megalomania are distortions of the TRUE DESIRE for nobility of thought and superlative human qualities that are essentially divine.

4) These mega desires are ultimately related to or are expressions of what the Siddhas call <naati> which we shall render here as psychotropisms. There are the itakalai naati i.e. psychotropism installed by Naatham , the desire to rise above and excel others that we have called elsewhere lumenotropism. There is also the pingkalai naati , or charmenotropism   that underlies the esthetical and other ways of being in which there is being  charmed, being caught by a spell  and through that lose the rational capacities, attributed to the  strong presence of Bindu. Over and above these we have the cuzimunai naati,  numenotropism that pushes one to explore the whole universe, the visible and invisible and understand all and where there is the joint presence of both Natham and Bindu, or BEING as the androgynous archetype.What is sought under the influence of this naati is the exploration of the world of the archetypes or mantras so that how the phenomenal realities are configured  by BEING is understood. Now underlying all these is said to be the great  guru naati, the muktropism, the most fundamental psychotropism , that which pushes one towards liberation or Paramukti. It is in the course of seeking Paramukti and moving closer and closer towards it that one becomes genuinely noble and supreme. And one can reach this GROUND only by understanding the world and through that escape the self  binding and vision distorting mummalam.