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Chapter 5: The Sources of Psychic Impurity


Having brought out the truth that religious life, in its essence, over and above the purely philosophic, is a life of existential   dialectics of love in which the sexual love is transmuted into divine love so that it comes to be known as  Bakti, love of a profound kind towards BEING and no other, through a process that is essentially purificational, now questions are raised with respect to the MALAS,  the elements these purifications  are concerned with. Even though the MUMMALAM was analyzed in the second chapter itself, now a return is made but with different kinds of questions in mind. The malas are not looked at purely psychologically where they are seen as determining the existential , personal and social  ways of BEING of individuals in the world and hence their personality but rather as the sources on IMPURITY and hence that against which the religious struggles are. The malas are seen here as those that do not allow PURE LOVE to flourish and hence the genesis of Bakti. These are the impurities that necessitate the various patterns of religious existence, the sadanas,  consisting its essence. The absolutions, purifications and cleansing that are central in religious practices and hence all being different forms of  cleansing ,<tIkkai>, questions are raised with respect to the manner in which these are accomplished. The malas are seen now as the sources of the IMPURE, ways of Being that are essentially evil and immoral and most importantly those that do not allow the genesis of TRUE LOVE.

ɢ 򾢨
츢 Ƣ ¾ɡ

manniya kanmach chamaththitai malangkaLai
an-n-iya maakki aruLvazi yathanaan
ennuL pukun-thanai eninE

If thou made Thyself present within me solely on account of Thy SUPREME GRACE, and installed Thyself as the SAME on alienating the MALAS at the point where the Karmic elements  that throw one to the phenomenal forms of historical existence is overcome or disengaged;

Notes:  The phrase <kanmach chamaththu> should actually be <kanmach chamai> , the working out or allowing the outward expression of the hidden action-schemas so that they are  made visible and understood. The term <aruLvazi> indicates doing something out of PURE LOVE, a form of love that does not calculate the economics of one^s action.

â ɡ
׾ Ȣ 󨾧 ¡
ɢ ¡ ;

; munnaith
thirimalam thIrththa thEchika n-innotu
oruvuthal inRi utan-thaiyE yaakum
perunilai yaakal vENtum;

then I have no choice but to be with you like a slave, without ever seeking to depart from  you and assert my independence and through this unquestioning attachment,  total slavery,  attain greatness and nobility.

Notes: BEING is that which wipes out the presence of the three malas and a person who has successfully accomplished this is a  < thEsikan> a radiant being. Such a person acquires a physiognomic changes that reflect the inner purity and hermeneutic clarity that have been attained.

  ; Ţ
ɡ Ȣ ɢ;

mummalam athanaal em uL n-inRilai enin;

Now if it is said that Thou doth not stand one-with-me or as the SAME, as long as I am infected by these malas and hence remain impure;

š Ȣ
Ţ ;

ammalath thirivunj chemmalarth thaaLn-izaR
chErthalum ilavaaych chaarpavaip paRRip
peyarvilan aakum;

this too creates problems for then, on my own efforts I cannot disengage from these extremely recalcitrant malas and become pure and through that attain a dwelling within Thy direct and immediate presence. I cannot attach myself with what I ought to and through that move upwards in the developmental progress i.e. I have no personal agency in effecting my own personal development.

... Ţ


¡ ¡ ¢
á š;

amain-tha karumaththu iyain-thavai allathu
chamain-thanavila enach chaaRRin amain-tha
maayEyam kanmam maamala mUnRum
maayaathaakavE yaarchchan-a maayaiyin
uRpavam thIraa vozukum;

Now if it said that whatever pertains to me  or accrues to me now are entirely because of the dictates of Karma that I have earned; what accrues to me now is determined by the karma I have elicited through my own actions,  then the constraints of maayEyam karma and Anavam are eternally present within me remaining always productive and enchaining me to the phenomenal and historical. I am condemned to an eternal engagement to the phenomenal world.

Notes: If the embrace with BEING requires as  a precondition the acquisition of the appropriate karmas that affords it, it follows that karma can never be overcome and neutralized and hence maayEyam and aaNavam; one is forever condemned to be with it and hence in phenomenal entanglement.


  ;onRu onRu
n-iRchamam aayin allathu n-iRpeRal
illena mozin-tha thollaRan- thanakkum

Then the ancient truth that unless these malas are violated and absorbed within Thee  attaining Being the SAME as Thee is impossible, becomes inconsistent now.

Notes: The phrase <onRu onRu niRchaman>  means  that the malas are extirpated through allowing various kinds of expressions in some progressive order. Normally the first to go is maayEyam, that which distorts visions so that what something is in itself is not seen. Next in order is Karma, that which ties a person to the phenomenal, the historical. Then  we have aaNavam, the ANTIBEING that forever acts to deprive the anmas any form of consciousness they may happen to hav.

Ȩ ɡ Ȣ ɡ
Ȣ ȢȢ ɡ

;n-aayEn uLLaththu
n-inRanai enpanO n-inRilai enpanO
ponRiya ponRiRRila malam enpanO
onRinai uraiththaruL manRa

To relieve me from these painful dilemmas,  what am I to understand: Dost Thou standeth with me always inalienably or not? And are the finitising and defiling malas violated and absolved or not? What are   the most certain truths pertaining to these metaphysical questions? Please explain to me immediately.

The solution to these problems is suggested in the following lines which occur    as a prelude to another series of inquiries following this chapter.

  ... ȡ

š Ţ


; manRa kunRaap
peNNai punalvayal veNNaik kathipathi
kaikaN thalai vaay kaal chevi mUkku uyar
meykoNtu en vinai vEr aRap paRiththa
meykaNta thEva vinaiyili
maikoNta kaNta vazuvu il en mathiyE

Oh Thou the Faultless and Pure, out of infinite grace, Thou hast assumed the concrete form of a human person with the bodily apparatus of the senses and other organs and through that instructing me and purifying me  by disclosing deep TRUTHS, hast thou uprooted totally the karmic elements that bind me to the phenomenal and historical and swallowed the impurities through the archetypal presentations of the Blue-throated Siva form. Now I exist without any of these impurities and hence not deviating from what is right and agreeable.

The central notion is that <vinai vEraRap paRiththal>- uprooting the karmic factors and cleansing the anmas so that there do not exist any desires for the worldly and phenomenal and historical. The person is dehistoricalized so that a certain universality comes to prevail. The cultic religions, dogmatic beliefs, ideological commitments, enslavery to traditions and so forth are transcended so that the person is FREE and exists totally liberated, relieved of all  the phenomenal binding desires.

Commentary: Part 1

1) Genuine religious life, the life of self purification, an absolution of inner impurities that have been part of the interiority of anmas from the beginnings, is a life of Bakti, a life of Transcendental Erotica, of  union and separation with BEING all conditioned by PURE LOVE. When the anma remains fully in the divine embrace of BEING, in an ecstatic union of supreme self-transcendence  and self-forgetfullness that belongs to that embrace, it  remains fully WITH-BEING,  never ever alienating itself (oruvuthal) from BEING. This rapturous union, the ecstatic embrace is the ULTIMATE mode of BEING for the selves under the spell of Bakti. But the penetrative gaze of Arunandi , locates problems even here.

The precondition of this final embrace, an ecstatic fusion of self with the wondrous BEING, is that the self must be absolutely PURE, there must not be any trace of the three malas- they must violated, disengaged, cleansed out totally . BEING will not embrace the selves that are still infected with the malas even to a certain extent for they pollute PURE LOVE without which genuine Bakti is impossible. Now if this is so, if BEING stands at a distance as long as traces of the IMPURE clings stubbornly to the selves, if BEING refuses to embrace the psychic entities , possess them and be the SAME, then it becomes impossible for me, says Arunandi, to ever become PURE, reach the Sannithi or the Presence of BEING , attain the same dwelling as BEING and glow in its Radiance. There is an abandonment that causes me to cling to the available world and because of which I become immobile ( caarpaip paRRi peyarvilan aakum, Ȣ Ţ ) and hence a prisoner forever of the phenomenal.   When BEING distances itself from me, I attach myself to the physical world that is immediately available. I am imprisoned to the earthly that is immediately available and which is not refused and because of which I cannot move towards  the sacred, the noble and become FREE and liberated.

If PURITY is a precondition for the embrace, then such an embrace is an IMPOSSIBILITY for the anmas , as  the absolution of the impure also require the same. Only by Being in the PROXIMITY of BEING that the absolution itself can be realized. There is a vicious circle in this kind of explanation  and having pointed it out, Arunandi demands a solution.

2) Neigh, if it is said , the Supreme EMBRACE is not a total impossibility, it is eminently available to all the anmas irrespective of any differences but on condition that prior to it they acquire the right sort of karmic deposits, or action traces and inscriptions ( amaintha karumaththu iyainthavai, ) - the meritorious deposits of the morally right actions. There must be ETHICAL PURITY attained through effecting the morally meritorious actions; the karmic impurity must have been violated and destroyed from within by the self itself by being sensitive to ethical dimensions of actions so that karmic traces of the appropriate kind come to prevail.

But  this reply is not without its problems. The effectuation of the morally right, the meritorious, being esthetical and not hermeneutical, will not destroy IGNORANCE through providing ILLUMINATIONS of a profound kind. Since the meritorious actions as distinct from the hermeneutical, do not serve to gain LUMENS , the malas - mayEyam. kanmam and  aaNavam - remain unviolated, undisturbed and undislodged. The continuos  persistence in the effectuation of the meritorious actions will not bring about enlightenment, the destruction of IGNORANCE as such. The ethical preoccupations and effecting only actions that are GOOD and NOBLE, may result in not generating GUILT and also may even be purificatory in some ways. But because they are not investigatory or hermeneutical where understanding is developed, they may not destroy or even weaken the hold of MALAS and thereby do not liberate or release the anmas from worldly involvement and phenomenal entanglements. The anmas are imprisoned in the world of eternal productivity ( arccanaa maayai), the maayai that allows infinite productivity,  a creatrix of tireless fecundity, the WOMAN of tireless generativity. This bondage to the world of eternal productivity also means being thrown to phenomenality, enslavery to the world of Samsara, the world of births and deaths, to a world that forever exists  in a tireless historical flux, moving changing flowing and never at rest. < Urpavam thIraathu ozukum. á >

3) The phrase <onRu onRu niRsaman aayin allathu niRpeRal illai, ¢ > raises another dilemma. The phrase <niRsaman> must be taken as equivalent to <niRsamai> i.e. being worked out by BEING itself. The < samai> has the meaning of cooking i.e. subject the anmas to thIkkai so that through sufferings of various kinds the karmic deposits are uprooted and   expelled from the interiority of anmas through allowing EXPRESSIONS of various sorts either in real life events or in the world of imagination. Those that remain hidden in the unconscious must be grasped as elements of conscious understanding. BEING is not only a GURU who instructs but also a psychotherapist who schedules   various kinds of  treatments , including in the realm of the imagination, so that the hidden and unexpressed gets  externalized as a visible presence and through that either get rejected if felt disagreeable or incorporated as  the same as self if found agreeable. Since this means exteriorizing the hidden and subterranean, something that cannot be done without the GRACE of BEING, and which means also liberating self from being caught in historical flux, being eternally in web of arccaaa maayai, phenomenal world , as suggested above, becomes now contradictory. If the EMBRACE of BEING requires as a precondition the  attaining of appropriate karmas that make the anmas deserve it, then the anmas are not released of the malas and hence continue to be imprisoned to the world of arccanaa maayaai, the phenomenal world. On the other hand attaining union with BEING requires releasement form these malas through extirpating them by allowing expressions of various kinds, there must be releasement from the phenomenal and not  further and further enchaining. A contradiction  is seen here by Arunandi and he requires that it be solved.

4) In the interactional transactions between a GURU and sysya-  a student-  , over and above the pedagogic, hermeneutical and so forth, there exists also processes that are cleansing,i.e. tIkkai whereby the malas present within the interiority of the anmas are dislodged and thrown out. Having been made PURER in this way, the sysya is LIFTED UP to a higher dwelling that affords a form of existence that is closer to BEING. The GURU as the tEsika,, the radiant individual, cleanses the sysya through his  inner PURITY that radiates in the personality. Over and above the pedagogical,  it is this living presence of PURITY that somewhat attracts the anmas and in that movement unto the GURU also cleanses them. BEING who is absolutely pure, cleanses the ordinary anmas through its own presence in the person of a GURU but whose psyche is taken over and possesed by BEING totally.  Foor Arunandi,  Meykandar is certainly is such a one <vinai ili>,   someone free of prejudices of whatever kind,  the <vinaiyin n-Ingki viLangkiys aRivin munaivan> of Tolkaappiyar, someone free of obscurants and  distorters  of whatever kind. The genuine GURU models a form of PURITY and which acts on the sysya providing a horizon to judge  his own actions and thoughts in terms of that. The impure and dirty will appear so only against such a horizon of purity and nobility and what is seen as impure against such a horizon, will be dislodged and extirpated from within by the anmas themselves. Such is the mechanism of self-purification which is quite distinct from the instructional or discursive.

5) The human GURU  is only a surrogate; it is SIVA, BEING as the blue-throated who acts during these tIkkai  type of cleansing. For the impurities that are cleansed off are indestructible- they can only be dislodged from its current presence in the psychical interiority of the anmas and having dislodged, they have to be kept away in a save place and remain enclosed there. This save haven for the impurities is the ^blue-throat^ of BEING, speaking of course metaphorically here. This store for the POISON of aaNava malam, present in their ciththam., the deepest recesses of the mind where emerge the desires, that BEING withdraws from the anmas and keeps it within his body so that it does not get recycled. The mythic account says that it is Parvathi, the WOMAN or the BEING fully with Bindu, who stops the poison at the throat itself so that BEING and the world itself  is saved. Perhaps it is the tireless productivity of the WOMAN that saves the situation. The  MASCULINE in the spirit of combat, loosens its grip on the anmas and tends to swallow the poison within itself so that it does not re-assail it requiring further combats. The FEMINE, however, holds it before it enters the digestive system so that the poisonous efficacy remain unrealized. The life processes in the world continue unaffected by the accumulated concentration of DEATH bringing poison , the psychic impurities that make one indulge in the immoral, unethical and so forth. This also discloses that the cleansing tIkkais are simultaneously  DEATH overcoming;  there is life renewal through the reduction of wastage or squandering of psychic energy. Sexuality is a double edged sword, one side ensures life renewal; the other side leads to death bringing quarrels. Both the Bindu and Naatham must be in a happy union for the avoidance of self-destruction.

Commentary   Part 2

1) We have seen that under the impulsions of the psychotropisms, the anmas gravitate towards  BEING and when the psychotropisms of the phenomenal world are supplanted we have the emergence of Guru Nati, muktotropism that make the anmas seek union with BEING and hence existence as conditioned by it. The problems is that in this gravitation towards BEING, how the anmas are purified and hence qualified for the embrace of BEING remains a mystery. A proximity is attained by processes that are different and because of which emerges the cleansing and which in turn brings about PURE LOVE that gets transmuted into Bakti. The malas must somehow be dislodged from the interiority of the anmas and because of which occurs the moving closer to BEING. Even if  the  pulls exerted by the tropisms are there, there is no movement towards BEING unless the malas are violated in proper order and anma made PURE and hence in a condition fit for the loving embrace of BEING itself. It is purity that is instituted  by true love that endears the anmas to BEING and because of which occurs the embrace.  It follows that  being in a loving relationship with BEING unleashes processes that bring  about the tIkkai, the cleansing.

We note here that because of LOVE, there is also COMBAT within  which the lowly, when encountered, are fought with and expelled from within so that psychic interiority is less and less impure. The life of LOVE and Bakti, is also a life of combat in which when the impure thoughts feelings imaginations and so forth rear their ugly head, and are seen for what they are ,  they are immediately battled with so that they do not remain part of the self. The combat is actually for expelling it, throwing it out, destroying it and make it ineffective in determining thought forms and actions. But the impure can be seen as impure only against a background of the PURE and hence only when there is  the radiant presence of BEING. At the absence of BEING, the evil and impure WILL NOT BE SEEN  as so and  hence there will be no combat and battle with them;  on the contrary they will be indulged in and enjoyed. It is the PURE and Radiant presence of BEING that provides the eyes  that allow the impure to be seen as impure and hence something that ought to be dislodged and thrown out. Initially it is at a distance but as the anma becomes purer and purer, it becomes closer and closer and finally embraces it totally.

3) The impulse to combat the evil within does not emerge from BEING itself. BEING provides only the horizon within which the impure can be SEEN as impure and that too depending upon the psychic distance. The seeing belongs to the anma and it can see the evil and ignoble as so only by  having the radiant presence of BEING in the background as the CLEAR LIGHT that^s also PURE. When LOVE is pure, it is sanctioned by BEING and hence something that is seen as right and something that can be enjoyed without any feelings of guilt. When it is impure, for e.g. simply carnal,   lascivious , promiscuous,  adulterous and so forth, they appear as something wrong, immoral, unethical , unsavory  and not in good taste.  The battle in the life of LOVE is this kind of battle and hence something that touches the EROS, the powerful libidinal force that needs to be tamed and brought under control. Each sexual impulse must be reflected upon against the horizon of the divine presence and weighed as to whether it breed genuine bliss or guilt. The conscience must not be overlooked and dulled to justify  an immoral course of actions through imaginary pacification and justification. We must keep the presence of BEING, even if distant,  firmly entrenched in the psychic interiority of the anmas so that there is no seeing the impure as pure. Where there are failures there issues forth feelings of guilt, depressions,  melancholy , mental and physical tortures , the fires of HELL, as signs of failure in the battle against the impure. The anma should at this point pause a bit, withdraw from whatever course of action it is involved with and reflect upon it so that it is measured against the presence of BEING more carefully.

4) This life of inner combat that cultures the blind and immensely powerful libidinal force is again made possible onlyby BEING in his DANCE in which He alternatively throws out and withdraws the fundamental Siva tatvas of Naatham and Bindu. When  the Bindu is suppressed or withdrawn and Naatham is made to be present exclusively in the psychic interiority of the anma, in the region of the siththam, the place where emerges the desires, its sun-like nature  with the accompanying heat, makes the person violent, aggressive and destructive. When the lovers are both in this kind of psychic interiority  and co-exist, somehow or other violence will break out , intense battles fought out so that there results separation, disunion departing company from each other. They run away from each  other because of the unbearable pains that  these fights generate and seek out alternative loves to replace the lost. However slowly but steadily there is cooling off and the emergence of Bindu that unifies and re-establish new unities, cements the fissures and balms the wounds. The separated lovers come back together with more love for each other and simultaneously with better understanding of themselves. Or they may part company forever depending upon the quality of love that existed between them. True  love returns along with reunion. The shallow gets destroyed and never gets restablished. It is  in such discontructions that occur in the life of EROS that brings about  the severance from the worldly, the phenomenal. The earthly life as conditioned by the psychotropisms of lumenotropism and so forth come to be replaced with that of Muktotropism , and at which point the erotic LOVE also gets transformed into genuine Bakti.

5) The life of Bakti, the life of divine love,  is not without its pining and whining. But there is a categorical  difference. A man and a woman deeply in love yearn to be together so that each can enjoy the androgynous archetypal form within themselves  so that there is a saturation of Bindu and Naatham  deep within. It  is the presence of the arthanaari archetype, the androgynous ammaiappar that provides the fulfillment the innate sexuality demands and unavailability of which throws the person without a firm existential foundation. However at the level of Bakti, it is PURITY of heart that ensures the continuos presence of BEING and which nurtures feelings of Bakti. When BEING withdraws himself from the Bakta, the person in Bakti, he is lost and whines and pines for the renewed presence of BEING. The purity that maintains the strong presence of BEING is the life of THONDU, selfless service to the good of humanity. When the Bakta becomes forgetful of  Sivaththondu, of being and existing without ego, without selflessness,  BEING withdraws or conceals Himself. To the extent the ego is in the foreground, BEING is in the background. To Maintain oneself in the life of Bakti, one has to  maintain oneself continuously in the life if Sivaththondu, of selfless service. The BEING must be allowed to be present within and this can be done only by pushing the ego to the background. The combat in the life of Bakti is a combat with self-----         violence is turned inwards the self itself so that egoity is continuously battled with  and destroyed. The life of Bakti is a life of ego destruction, the destruction of the  ^I^ and ^my^. The self must be maintained as Wholly-For-Other and never at all For-Self-Itself.

6) Being at the level of muktotropism is neither being dominated by Bindu attired Sakti nor Naatham clothed Sivan. Naatham and Bindu are available continuously  and in various measures  in the form of the great gods -Thirumaal, Maheswara, Sathaasiva  and so forth so that the human sexuality does not arise at all.  When the worship of such great gods develop and along with it Bakti itself becomes purified, shorn off its cultocentrism, BEING presents itself  as ArutPerunjCOthi, an inner radiance of PURE LIGHT,  being in the presence of which breeds karuNai- love sympathy and care,  not only for other human beings but also for other creatures including the nonsentient ecological .  The cultic Bakti is transcended in the direction of UNIVERSAL LOVE . Everything  all of sudden appear as BEING itself; BEING is seen as present in everything, everything is BEING presenting Itself in countless number of ways out of ARUL and  all for the benefit of the anmas, to redeem them so that they eventually live the SAME as BEING, be in the world in such a way that only BEING is present in them and not the ego. Such an anma irradiates the radiant presence of BEING within, the presence of BEING as PURE LIGHT and on account of which the person becomes a thEkisan, the illustrious and supremely radiant, the ultimate mode of Being for all anmas.