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Mystical Aspects Of  Enlightenment
Saiva Nanmani N.Sellappah  , Sri Lanka

(Through the kindness and commitment of Mr Ganesh of SriLanka, we have here an article by an 82 year old gentleman who belongs the dying breed of Saiva scholars for whom Saivism is not  just a philosophy but something they live by. One of the greatest living scholars  of Saiva Siddhanta who is also in tune with the latest developments  , we shall include his articles  in this Home Page dedictae dot World Saivism , the name we have given to the Smayathiitha Saivam  that remains buried under a lot of  useless stuff.   Dr Loga)

            The whole of Indian Philosophy is based on mysticism. Of late mysticism is.associated with the performance of miracles. Aspirants are made to believe that miracles are essential to teach religion or inculcate faith in God and to promote devotion. Saiva Siddhanta philosophy does not encourage the performance of miracles in order to attain an insight into the Truth. On the
contrary, it explains that a person who performs miracles to attract the crowd can never obtain enlightenment. Persons who perform miracles with the motive of magnetizing the public are not to be esteemed as pure saints.

 By the word mysticism, we mean the secret technique of attaining enlightenment through direct contact with God. A mystic is an example of a true philosopher who does not depend on any mediators or priests to obtain the Wisdom of GOD.  Priests are there to give proper guidance to the aspirants on the mystical aspect of getting enlightenment. It is an irony of fate that Saiva priests who perform rituals at temples exhibit mostly themselves as givers of enlightenment to the devotees. The ignorant laymen are falsely made to believe that a ritualistic priest is the saviour of the sinful persons. Such a view should cease in order to have a mystical approach to enlightenment. In other words, dependence on mediators becomes a hindrance to the spontaneous and immediate awakening of creative intelligence, which is called enlightenment.

 Following the footsteps or imitating of Saints or Savants is not the mystical aspect of enlightenment. The greatest mystics of the world from different religions exclaim unitedly and whole-heartedly that Saints and great men are not to be imitated but are to be emulated or if possible surpassed. Unfortunately, Saiva religious aspirants are taught from childhood to follow and imitate saints. When we have a research into the lives of famous sixty-four Saiva Saints we find clearly that none of them obtained enlightenment in the same way as others did. To imagine that God will appear in the same way or form as He appeared to the various saints is a fallacy.

 Lord Siva the absolute is said to enlighten His devotees from within, devoid of any form or personality.

          Scent in a Flower

 To the Saiva devotees, lotus flower is the holiest of all holy flowers. The bud of Lotus is in the shape of the human heart. The greatest Saiva mystic is Saint Thirumoolar. His allusion to enlightenment with the reference of the blooming lotus is marvellous. His allusion to the enlightenment of the soul serves as the best guidance for us in a pragmatic mystical approach to
the pure perception of Truth or God. So let us go into detail as to how lotus serves as a splendid illustration of the flowering of wisdom from within. In this connection we have to differentiate well the difference between the universal wisdom of God and the relative knowledge of man. We are not to confuse them. Confusion certainly leads to the delusion of the soul.

        The flowering of wisdom in man is akin to the natural bloom of the lotus. The petals of the lotus are folded in the bud. The folded bud has to unfold itself on maturity with the aid of the sun. The scent of the flower comes out naturally from the bud when it is unfolded. The scent pervades the whole environment. Even in the absence of air it can pervade in a vacuum. Such is the power of the pervasion of scent. The unfolded wisdom of God pervades the whole universe through the enlightenment of man. This process of unfoldment of wisdom is said to be the negative by Saiva mystics. We have to clearly understand that the approach is only negative but the end is definitely positive.

From this illustration, we gather the fact that the unfoldment of the heart results in the awakening of wisdom. Wisdom is like the scent of a lotus flower. In this context, we have to note that the removal of the bindings of the heart is a negative process. The heart is bound by the conditioning of thoughts. If the conditioning of the mind is removed, the heart flowers with the scent of Siva In this negative approach to enlightenment there is no path to follow. On the removal of the barriers of the heart the positive end as enlightenment is attained.

Now let us investigate about knowledge and its functions. Knowledge is a bundle of thoughts. Thoughts are acquired by us constantly and registered in the sub-conscious layer of the mind as memory. Through memory, we are able to recall the past only. Thoughts are incapable of dealing with the present problems of life that arise in the form of pain etc. Knowledge itself is the cause of suffering and enjoyment. But it deludes us as if it is able to function in the present and solve the problems of life.

 The function of mind or knowledge is always in duality- i.e. both the evil and the good. We are mislead by the mind to perform good deeds to overcome evil ones. That is what is happening to humanity. Even the religious teachers preach to do good in order to overcome evil. Without realizing the dual function of the mind in ignorance and knowledge, we are taught to overcome ignorance only with the development of knowledge.

 The duality of the mind such as ignorance and knowledge evil and good are like two sides of a coin. By reverting ignorance and evil into knowledge and the good, is it possible to erase the duality of the mind? Can the acquisition and development of knowledge lead to the awakening of wisdom in us? That is the mystical question. The dual mind is to die or live?

     Mind as a Swing

 The Saiva mystics compare the dual function of the mind to that of a swing that moves to and fro. The rope of the mind swing is knowledge. Those who swing to and fro are happy. At the same time, they also have a fear that the swing might snap and have a fall. Similarly, those who function with the duality of mind are afraid of the mind snapping, so they strengthen their
knowledge. As a result of their strengthening of their knowledge, they forgot  the chance of awakening wisdom.

 The guidance given by the mystics of Saivism is to see the false as false to come upon the Truth. The dual function of the mind leads to the deception of Truth. . So, they exclaim not to be afraid of the snapping of the mind rope. When the rope snaps the person who swings falls on the ground. Then the ground becomes his support. The supporting ground is said to be the wisdom of God. We have to realize clearly that the ending of knowledge is the beginning of wisdom. The death of the mind is the birth of the God's grace.

 The most important problem in philosophy is how to end the function of the mind? Some teachers suggest the controlling of the mind by the practice of the Yoga No control of the mind is possible. It is something like keeping an inflated ball under water. The moment when the hand is taken off the ball. It comes up to the top. Instead of controlling the mind, the mystics guide
us to attain a state of equanimity of mind. A process of meditative inquiry with awareness attention and observation of the false as false can bring this sate. The total understanding of the false dual function of the mind brings about a calmness or stillness of mind .In that calmness wisdom awakens. Then the dual function of the mind is transformed as non-dual In other words the instrumental mind is converted as a respectable wisdom. Then it functions in a different medium of divinity.

     Mind is also similar to a torch

 Though the mind acts as hindrance to the awakening of wisdom yet it has many benefits to the mankind. In general and technical education mind plays an important part. Even in our daily life we will be lost if we lose our memory. In every profession, both knowledge and skill are essential to attain efficiency and high success. Most of the professionals as doctors,
engineers, lawyers etc seem to have enough knowledge but not efficiency. But a few of them are skilful and very successful. It is clear that those who depend only on knowledge without skill are failures in life. What gives skill in any work is intelligence and not knowledge. As such awakening of creative intelligence is the main factor in promoting knowledge and skill.
Unless general or technical knowledge and education goes hand in hand with the awakening of creative intelligence, it is impossible to bring peace, success, and happiness in the world. In any walk of life meditative inquiry with awareness equanimity of mind and attention are very necessary to achieve success. This is the mystical aspect of enlightenment.

 In conclusion, we propose to deal with the research done by Dr.K.Loganathan, a Professor at The University of Penang.Malayasia. His research work is based in ancient Tamil culture and Wisdom in comparison
with modern Hermeneutic Science. It is after the eighth decade of the 20th century Hermeneutic Science developed in the Western countries. Whereas the ncient South Indian Tamil scholars and great poets discovered it 2,500
years ago during the Tamil Sangam period.

 Hermeneutic Science deals with the awakening of the human power of understanding and logical inference. Few techniques of how to develop this power are given by modern scientists, but the ancient Tamil grammarian Tholkaappier has given thirty-two specific techniques in the last chapter of his immortal Text- Tholkaappiam. Due to the development of hermeneutic science during the Tamil Sanga period several scholars, savants, and saints were born. Culture and Civilization thrived. In spite of the great increase of population now, we are able to find only a handful of wise men in Tamil Nad. So, it is our bounden duty to bring about a transformation in awakening of Creative Intelligence in our future generation and us.