Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

This is a broad, catch-all category of works that fit best here and not elsewhere. If you haven't found it someplace else, you might want to look here.

Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Sat Apr 02, 2022 6:37 am

Part 1 of 3

Librarian's Notes on Will Sweetman and R. Ilakkuvan's -- Bibliotheca Malabarica, Institut Francais de Pondichery, 2012
[Comments are being continually added]

Will Sweetman has failed to identify Ziegenbalg as the likely source of the Vedas discovered by Calmette, Polier and Colebrooke.

Relying on specious justifications, Sweetman deliberately ignores whole categories of evidence relevant to consideration of the reasonableness of Ziegenbalg as a source of Calmette's Vedas, as well as of various other matters. Sweetman's categorizations are broad and he is the sole judge of the importance of documents, as well as the diviner of the intentions of those who created them hundreds of years ago.

Among the unsupported value judgments made by Sweetman, some notable ones are these:

That the only documents of importance are those with a Hindu or Jain provenance. To the contrary, the most important documents for comprehending both Ziegenbalg's purpose, and that of the Jesuits, would be the documents they themselves created.

That truly important documents were "meant" to be sent to Europe for publication. Sweetman has no citation for this assertion, that he uses to conveniently elide troublesome conclusions.

That the Christian dialogue documents, and other Christian creations, are of no interest to anyone. Again, a bald assertion that runs contrary to reason, that suggests these may be the most illuminating documents.

That any Christian documents created for the primary purpose of being used to convert Indians, are of no importance. Sweetman clearly has no use for such documents, that would reveal and underline the propaganda agenda of the Jesuits and Ziegenbalg.

Sweetman does not admit the value of the various missionary manuscripts and books to other missionaries and Europeans for the long-term. The first thing every missionary, and every European person of standing, including, of course, every Asiatic society member would do when they got to India was look for books. Especially the Vedas, the secret repository of ancient monotheistic wisdom. The idea that nobody cared for Ziegenbalg's library is absurd. Urs App describes Ziegenbalg's sudden acquisition of the Jesuit Library as "a stroke of luck." Even though Ziegenbalg hated Catholics, he was very glad to get their library. He took ten of their manuscripts, revised them, and sent them out as his own Protestant product. As soon as Ziegenbalg died, Calmette and his friends were also there looking for books. And the history of missionary writing is full of plagiarizing other missionaries' works. Urs App says:

Already in Ricci's and de Nobili's time, around the beginning of the seventeenth century, the claim surfaced that the Vedas of India were the repository of ancient Indian monotheism. Of course, the approach of Nobili and his successors in the Jesuit Madurai mission was anchored in the idea that India had once been a land reigned by pure monotheism; but the locus classicus for the monotheism of the Vedas is the description in Diogo do Couto's Decada Quinta da Asia of 1612 (124Vff.). Schurhammer (1977:614-18) has shown that Couto plagiarized the report by the Augustinian missionary Agostinho de Azevedo, but it was through Couto that this view of the Vedas as a monotheistic scripture, hidden by the Brahmans from the people to whom they preached polytheism, became popular... Couto's description was a central source for Holwell...

Philip BALDAEUS (1632-72), the Dutch missionary and author of a description of South India and Ceylon (1672), is reprimanded for having "based his dissertations [Memoires] about the island of Ceylon on the manuscripts of Portuguese missionaries who disfigured the Indian pronunciation to accommodate their way of writing and in various respects were not exactly well enough informed about the facts" (pp. 444-45). Vincenzo MARIA (d. 1680), the Carmelite author of Il viaggio all'Indie orientali (1678) "also described at length the religion of the Indians in Malabar and even gave some extracts from some of their books"; but he "ignored the language of the land and frankly admitted to have done no more than copy the Portuguese dissertations communicated to him by Don Francis Garzia, the Jesuit archbishop of Cranganor" (p. 445)....

Ziegenbalg had studied Baldaeus (1672) before arriving in India as a young man of twenty-four years, and in his first letter (September 2, 1706); he described "the content of the four books of law [Vedas] according to his opinion" (Ziegenbalg 1926:14). But he soon realized that Baldaeus "got most [of his information] from the Portuguese fathers who were forced to leave it when they were chased out of Ceylon by the Dutch..."

Mainly because of his opposition to Ricci-style missionary strategy, Joao Rodrigues's writings were suppressed. Some of them got buried in archives and may still lie there; others were plagiarized by ideological opponents (for instance, Rodrigues's writings on Asian history and geography by Martino Martini)...

Apart from a series of dictionaries that never came to fruition, Fourmont was also working on a Chinese grammar. He announced its completion in 1728, eight years before the arrival of de Guignes. The first part of this Grammatica sinica with Fourmont's presentation of the 214 "keys" and elements of pronunciation appeared in 1737. The second part, prepared for publication while de Guignes sat at his teacher's feet, contained the grammar proper as well as Fourmont's catalog of Chinese works in the Bibliotheque Royale and was published in 1742. When Fourmont presented the result to the king of France, he had de Guignes accompany him, and the king was so impressed by the twenty-one-year-old linguistic prodigy that he endowed him on the spot with a pension (Michaud 1857:18.126).

But de Guignes's teacher Fourmont had a dirty little secret. He had focused on learning and accumulating data about single Chinese characters, but his knowledge of the Chinese classical and vernacular language was simply not adequate for writing a grammar. By consequence, the man who had let the world know that a genius residing in Europe could master Chinese just as well as the China missionaries decided to plagiarize -- what else? -- the work of a missionary. No one found out about this until Jean-Pierre Abel-Remusat in 1825 carefully compared the manuscript of the Arte de La lengua mandarina by the Spanish Franciscan Francisco Varo with Fourmont's Latin translation and found to his astonishment that Fourmont's ground-breaking Grammatica sinica was a translation of Varo's work (Abel-Remusat 1829:2.298). In an "act of puerile vanity," Abel-Remusat sadly concluded, Fourmont had appropriated Varo's entire text "almost without any change" while claiming that he had never seen it (1826:2.109)....

Holwell boasted that he had "studiously perused all that has been written of the empire of Indostan, both as to its ancient, as well as more modern state" but added that what he had read was "all very defective, fallacious, and unsatisfactory to an inquisitive searcher after truth" (Holwell 1765:1.5). However, in the meantime we may have learned not to take every word of Holwell as gospel. He occasionally cited Ramsay's Travels of Cyrus, which contained an interesting passage about Indian religion that could not fail to inspire him. Ramsay reported that the Veda states
that souls are eternal emanations from the divine Essence, or at least that they were produced long before the formation of the world; that they were originally in a state of purity, but having sinned, were thrown down into the bodies of men, or of beasts, according to their respective demerits; so that the body, where the soul resides, is a sort of dungeon or prison. (Ramsay 1814:382)

Ramsay attributed this passage to Abraham Roger's De Open-Deure tot het verborgen Heydendom (The Open Door to the Hidden Paganism), whose French translation (1670) he had consulted. In the preface to that edition, translator Thomas La Grue particularly emphasized "what was also clearly a motif with Roger himself: that the Indians did indeed possess a pristine and natural knowledge of God, but that it had decayed almost completely into superstition as a result of moral lapses" (Halbfass 1990:46-47). But Holwell, a good reader of Dutch, could consult Roger's original edition of 1651.20 There Roger called the Indian Dewetaes (Skt. devatas; Indian guardian spirits or protective divinities) "Engelen" or angels (Roger 1915:108). But here we are primarily interested in Roger's description of the Vedam, which for him is the Indian's book of laws containing "everything that they must believe as well as all the ceremonies they must perform" (p. 20).
This Vedam consists of four parts; the first part is called Roggowedam; the second Issourewedam; the third Samawedam; and the fourth Adderawanawedam. The first part deals with the first cause, the materia prima [eerste materiel, the angels, the souls, the recompense of good and punishment of evil, the generation of creatures and their corruption, the nature of sin, how it can be absolved, how this can be achieved, and to what end. (p. 21)

After a brief explanation of the content of the second to fourth Vedas, Roger states that conflicts of Vedic interpretation generated a literature of commentaries called Iastra (Skt. sastra), "that is, the explanations about the Vedam" (p. 22). As Willem Caland has shown in detail (1918),21 Roger's source for such information was Diogo do Couto's Decada Quinta da Asia of 1612. Couto's account of the content of the Vedas was in turn, as Schurhammer (1977:2.612-20) proved, plagiarized from an account by the Augustinian brother Agostinho de Azevedo's Estado da India e aonde tem o seu principio of 1603, a report prepared in the 1580s for King Philip III of Portugal, which "includes an original summary of Hindu religion, from Shaiva Sanskrit and Tamil texts" (Rubies 2000:315). The question as to what exactly Azevedo's sources were still awaits clarification in spite of Caland's speculations (1918:309-10)....

For people in search of the world's oldest books, India's mysterious Vedas had a particular attraction, even though -- or perhaps because -- information about them often consisted of little more than the names of its four parts and the assertion of great antiquity. Agostinho de Azevedo's report about the Vedas and Shastras of India found its way into Johannes Lucena's Historia da Vida do Padre Francisco de Xavier (1600) and Diogo do Couto's Decada Quinta da Asia (1612), and from there into other works including Holwell's (see Chapter 6). The report in the Livro da Seita dos Indios Orientals by the Jesuit Giacomo Fenicio from the early seventeenth century was plagiarized by Baldaeus (1672) and also got some publicity. However, both Fenicio's and Azevedo's data were based not on the Vedas but on other texts....

Fifth, the manuscripts of the Pondicherry Vedas (and possibly additional notes and related study materials) were from 1770 onward used and plagiarized by several persons and ended up directly and indirectly influencing the nineteenth-century image of Indian religion....

The dossier contains a fragment of one more letter from Pondicherry, and the content of both letters indicates that there must have been a total of three letters written by a French-speaking missionary in Pondicherry. The first letter cites La Croze and was thus written after 1724. The third letter cites Engelbert Kaempfer and was thus written after 1729. The writer could read Chinese (he cites Ma Duanlin and various Chinese texts) and was familiar with Indian terminology. He also knew southern Indian literature and criticized a text dating by the Danish missionaries. And, of course, the writer of the letters resided in Pondicherry in the early 1730s, just around the time when Calmette wrote the Ezour-vedam. Given these data, the only author I can think of is Claude de Visdelou, who died in Pondicherry in 1737. The letters were thus probably sent to Paris between 1730 and 1737. The addressee is unknown, but there is little doubt that the precise references to Chinese texts were meant for Fourmont and that someone had copied parts or all of these letters. The copied first letter and part of the third letter somehow ended up in Fourmont's files at the Bibliotheque Nationale, and later someone decided that they are from de Guignes, which is why they ended up in his dossier.

However, a handwriting comparison shows that the copyist of these letters from Pondicherry was Deshauterayes and not de Guignes. Deshauterayes' quotations from de Visdelou's letters in his missive to Anquetil-Duperron show, as does his note in de Mailla's history, that he was just as good as his rival de Guignes and their teacher Fourmont at plagiarizing the writings of missionaries. Having copied these Pondicherry letters, Deshaurerayes used parts of them in his letter to Anquetil-Duperron as if these were his own findings, adding "I believe" and "I concluded," etc., to de Visdelou's text!...

The question why Coeurdoux advertised Mozac's Veda is intriguing, and it is linked to another mysterious manuscript that Hans Rothschild, the owner of the Amsterdam bookshop Antiqua, sold in 1954 to the India Office Library in London. The manuscript is now in the Asia, Pacific and Africa Collections of the British Library (APAC: Mss Eur D 22). In her fascinating two-volume study and edition of this 1987 manuscript, Sylvia Murr proved that its content stems from Father Coeurdoux and that a similar manuscript must have been plagiarized by Abbe Dubois for his famous book Description of the Character, Manners, and Customs of the People of India (1817). In the nineteenth century, Dubois's book became a classic about Indian religions and dominated the public image in the West for many decades, and Murr's discovery showed how information gathered by missionaries in the eighteenth century was still very much in use in the nineteenth. Here we are only interested in a small part of her fascinating story. The manuscript is in the handwriting of a French artillery officer named Desvaulx. The young man, accused of having traveled without permission and neglected his duties in India, had to return to Paris in 1777 to explain his case and justify his actions. When he showed up before the authorities, he produced this manuscript and claimed that he had not been idly traveling but had spent much of his time doing research on Indian customs and religion. Whatever the plan was, it seems to have gone awry and the manuscript, which was written in Pondicherry around 1775-76, left no trace until it resurfaced through unknown avenues in Amsterdam and was bought by the India Office half a century ago.

Since this manuscript contains entire parts that are virtually identical with texts that Coeurdoux had included in letters to Anquetil-Duperron, there is no doubt that Desvaulx's manuscript, though written in the officer's hand, consists of material authored by Coeurdoux that was modified and shortened by the officer.... Murr (1987:2.50) thinks that Desvaulx could not have used Coeurdoux's work without the missionary's approval. But did Coeurdoux want Desvaulx to copy and publish his original manuscript? Or did he "consent to let him abbreviate and modify it" (p. 50) in view of a goal that both agreed upon, namely, the defense of Christianity? Murr thinks it more likely that Coeurdoux and Desvaulx worked as author and secretary and that abbreviations and modifications were made with Coeurdoux's blessing (p. 51). Still, the question remains: did Coeurdoux also agree to modifications clearly designed to erase traces of authorship that were incompatible with Desvaulx's stay in India -- for example, the elimination of earlier dates and of events in towns that Desvaulx had never visited? This would mean that Coeurdoux consented to publication of his writings under Desvaulx's name -- in other words, a leak of his work for a good cause without implicating his name.

And this possibility is exactly what made me first think that Coeurdoux could have leaked not just this manuscript but also another one: the Ezourvedam. Both texts were slipped into Europe to be published by someone not associated with the Pondicherry Jesuits; both were relatively carefully edited to erase traces of original authorship and purpose; and both were directed at Europeans who undermine Christianity-deists like Voltaire, for example....

When Coeurdoux wrote his advertisement for Mozac's Veda -- which implied the genuineness of the texts in spite of their younger age and praised them as "great treasures" -- he probably was not yet aware of Voltaire's perversion of the Ezour-vedam. But Desvaulx, whom Murr describes as an ardent defender of Christianity and the Bible, must have informed Coeurdoux and Mozac after his arrival in the fall of 1772 about the latest brouhaha in France: Baron d'Holbach's System of Nature, rampant skepticism and atheism in the salons of Paris, and, of course, Voltaire's "Indian campaign," which must have confounded the missionaries. Both Coeurdoux and Mozac knew perfectly that the Pondicherry Vedas were authored by Jesuit missionaries; after all, the handwriting of these texts was, according to Henry Hosten, certifiably that of Mozac. According to my hypothesis, what happened was the following: Coeurdoux, for reasons described above, in the early 1750s, either leaked the Ezour-vedam himself or authorized it in order to confound European doubters with a "proof" of ancient Indian monotheism and possibly also to support or justify Jesuit mission methods. He thought it would be a kind of vaccine against skepticism and atheism. But in 1772 he learned that the vaccine not only did not prevent the disease but actually helped spread it. Indomania with its inflated world ages and idealization of Indian Ur-religion was infectious, and it rapidly appeared as a threat to biblical authority. Coeurdoux, of course, could not imagine that less than twenty years later Langles would openly declare that the Pentateuch was plagiarized from the Vedas; but he might have seen such horror scenarios in his nightmares. The main threat was that the biblical narrative, and in particular the story of the flood,28 would be undermined by alternative scenarios that would show the Old Testament to be a record of local events and -- even worse -- show God as a local divinity propped up by a local myth. The Ezour-vedam, from that perspective, had indeed a certain nocuous potential because, due to its origin as a non-Prangui missionary tool, it tried to keep things Indian and did not feature any link to the biblical line of patriarchs. Even Adimo, the Adam of the Ezour-vedam, was Indian, as Voltaire remarked with much glee before accusing the Jews of having plagiarized their creation Story from Indian sources.

Buy unmasking the Ezour-vedam was out of the question. The last thing the Jesuits needed in their dire straits29 was an indictment for forgery of ancient Indian texts. So Coeurdoux decided to encode the truth in those two paragraphs that have caused reactions ranging from consternation to outrage. I will now cite them once more and try to decode them. First of all, the Pondicherry Veda's real author, Calmette, needed to be protected, and this was best done by citing him (and not Pons or someone else) as the one who told the truth about the true Vedas:
I will add here what I have heard Father Calmette -- who knew the samscroutam [Sanskrit] and had much studied the books of Indian science -- utter more than once: that the true Vedam [le vrai Vedam] is of such an ancient samscrouram that it is almost unintelligible, and that what one cites is of the Vedantam, that is, of introductions and commentaries that were made of the Vedam. In effect, in a famous prayer named gai'tri, one understands only the word savitourou, the sun.

The next paragraph on the same page contains the tricky part and is dissected in Table 16 where the left column contains Coeurdoux's statement and the right my interpretation of it....

Having skillfully encoded the truth and proclaimed both the genuine and the Jesuit Vedas "true," Coeurdoux turned to the crux of the problem that was partly responsible for the mess: the need to establish a solid link between Noah's ark and ancient India, thus filling in some of the dotted lines in the Eusebius-related graph above (Fig. 18). This was one of those friendly takeover attempts that the famous forger ANNIUS of Viterbo (c. 1432-1502) had brought into fashion in Europe. Thanks to Annius, the invented founder of France, "Francus," got a pedigree that linked him to Japhet (Asher 1993), and a "Tuisco" with a long beard became Germany's mythical founder....

The link to the biblical transmission line was thus the appropriate antidote, and it was administered to Europe in two doses: first via Anquetil-Duperron and via the Academy to Abbe Mignot and the learned society of Paris, and second to a larger public through Desvaulx's book. The first dose reached its target and strengthened Anquetil-Duperron's (and Sainte-Croix's) belief that the Ezour-vedam is a genuine Indian text that was possibly a bit mangled in the translation and copying process. The second dose, however, was for some reason a dud; Desvaulx might have guessed that such a publication would raise questions that he could never answer; or his distracted superior said, "I shall have a look at it" and forgot to put it even into the administration files; or someone from Desvaulx's family sold the manuscript -- who knows? At any rate, it ended up in Amsterdam, and its neat handwriting can now be admired at the British Library. But a larger dose of the antidote remained in Pondicherry: Coeurdoux's complete manuscript. It was first extensively used by Paulinus a Saneto Bartholomaeo and then plagiarized in its entirety by Abbe Dubois. Dubois, the very man who had introduced smallpox vaccination in southern India, was an ideal host who succeeded not only in introducing Coeurdoux's antidote to readers of English and French but in inoculating an entire generation through insertion into the textbooks and university classrooms of nineteenth-century Europe.

Father Coeurdoux's dose for Anquetil-Duperron consisted, apart from that bit of encoded truth, in a small treatise that also is contained "except for six words and some commas" in Chapter 46 of the Desvaulx manuscript and in Dubois (Murr 1987:2.30). It is a convincing proof that Coeurdoux was the author of the Desvaulx manuscript. The theme of Coeurdoux's treatise is exactly that missing link berween Noah's ark and the earliest Indians. He makes them migrate from the plains of Shinar via the mountains in the north to India and lets the Indians descend from Noah's son Japher. This is said to have happened at the beginning of the fourth yuga, which was within the chronological safety margin of the Septuagint's flood, and the patriarchs chosen for transmission of Noah's religion are "seven penitents" who are India's seven rishis:
The epoch of the beginning of this new age is exactly the end of the deluge, very distinctly marked in all Indian books. It destroyed all men except the seven famous penitents of India with their wives. Some [sources] add Manouvou, of whom I have already spoken and who appears to be Noah himself. They escaped the universal ruin by means of a ship whose builder was Vishnu himself. I do not believe that one finds the universal deluge more clearly arrested to in the diverse authors of antiquity from almost all nations who have mentioned this great event, nor in a more similar manner to the recital of Moses.

This is the antidote designed for the Ezour-vedam's soft spot that Voltaire had exploited, and by extension for the entire indomaniac vision of India as the cradle of civilization. Coeurdoux's Indian history confirms biblical history, and his portrayal of Indian religion exposes those of Voltaire and Holwell as completely baseless. The seven rishis of India are the country's ancient legislators and, as descendants of Noah's son Japhet, they guarantee that Ur-monotheism reached India long before the reigning polytheistic cults developed. This treatise thus reinforces the vision of a monotheistic pre-Vedic religion that forms the core of the Ezour-vedam and of Chumontou's teaching. Far from rejecting the Ezour-vedam, Coeurdoux sees its author Calmette as an excellent philosopher and as a fighter in true postdiluvian tradition against polytheism. But Coeurdoux was directing his attack not only at Voltaire. He was possibly even more concerned about Holwell, whose work, as we have seen, he also received courtesy of Anquetil-Duperron. Holwell had built his edifice almost entirely on an Indian basis and presented fragments of an Indian Old Testament that seemed designed to replace the Pentateuch....

While Fourmont cobbled together hypotheses and conjectures, the Bible always formed the backdrop for his speculations about ancient history. A telling example is his critique of the Chinese historian OUYANG Xiu (1007-72), who argued that from the remote past, humans had always enjoyed roughly similar life spans. Lambasting this view as that of a "skeptic," Fourmont furnished the following argument as "proof" of the reliability of ancient Chinese histories:
We who possess the sacred writ: must we not on the contrary admire the Chinese annals when they, just in the time period of Arphaxad, Saleh, Heber, Phaleg, Rea, Sarug, Nachor, Abraham, etc., present us with men who lived precisely the same number of years? Now if someone told us that Seth at the age of 550 years married one of his grand-grand-nieces in the fourteenth generation: who of us would express the slightest astonishment? ... It is thus clear that all such objections are frivolous, and furthermore, that attacks against the Chinese annals on account of a circumstance [i.e., excessive longevity] which distinguishes them from all other books will actually tie them even more to Scripture and will be a sure means to increase their authority. (Fourmont 1740:514)

No comment is needed here. Immediately after Fourmont's death in 1745, the twenty-four-year-old Joseph de Guignes replaced his master as secretary interpreter of oriental languages at the Royal Library. It was the beginning of an illustrious career: royal censor and attache to the journal des Scavans in 1752, member of the Academie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres in 1753, chair of Syriac at the College Royal from 1757 to 1773, garde des antiques at the Louvre in 1769, editor of the Journal des Savants, and other honors (Michaud 1857:18.(27). De Guignes had, like his master Fourmont, a little problem. The pioneer Sinologists in Paris were simply unable to hold a candle to the China missionaries. Since 1727 Fourmont had been corresponding with the figurist China missionary Joseph Henry PREMARE(1666-1736), who, unlike Fourmont, was an accomplished Sinologist (see Chaprer 5). Premare was very liberal with his advice and sent, apart from numerous letters, his Notitia Linguae sinicae to Fourmont in 1728. This was, in the words of Abel-Remusat,
neither a simple grammar, as the author too modestly calls it, nor a rhetoric, as Fourmont intimated; it is an almost complete treatise of literature in which Father Premare not only included everything that he had collected about the usage of particles and grammatical rules of the Chinese but also a great number of observations about the style, particular expressions in ancient and common idiom, proverbs, most frequent patterns -- and everything supported by a mass of examples cited from texts, translated and commented when necessary. (Abel-Remusat 1829:2.269)

Premare thus sent Fourmont his "most remarkable and important work," which was "without any doubt the best of all those that Europeans have hirherto composed on these matters" (p. 269).

But instead of publishing this vastly superior work and making the life of European students of Chinese considerably easier, Fourmont compared it unfavorably to his own (partly plagiarized) product and had Premare's masterpiece buried in the Royal Library, where it slept until Abel-Remusat rediscovered it in the nineteenth century (pp. 269-73)....

But there is a third, extremely competent Jesuit Sinologist who remained in the shadows though his knowledge of Chinese far surpassed that of de Guignes and all other Europe-based early Sinologists (and, one might add, even many modern ones). His works suffered a fate resembling that of the man who was in many ways his predecessor, Joao Rodrigues (see Chapter 1) in that they were used but rarely credited. The man in question was Claude de VISDELOU (1656-1737), who spent twenty-four years in China (1685-1709) and twenty-eight years in India (1709-37). One can say without exaggeration that the famous Professor de Guignes owed this little-known missionary a substantial part of his fame -- and this was his dirty little secret....

De Visdelou's four-volume work on Tartary and the inserted manuscript with his annotated translation of the Nestorian stele somehow ended up in The Hague where Jean Neaulme, the well-known publisher of Voltaire and Rousseau, purchased them for 400 Dutch florins and communicated them to the bibliophile Prosper Marchand (c. 1675-1756) and others (Herbelot et al. 1779:4.iii)....Abel-Remusat and others had long suspected that de Guignes had used de Visdelou's Tartar manuscript; but only in the summer of 2008 did I find the conclusive proof of this among the papers of Fourmont at the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris. The Fourmont dossier contains dozens of pages in de Guignes's hand, copied word for word from de Visdelou's Tartar manuscript. The notes contain references indicating that these copies from de Visdelou's manuscript were very voluminous.

-- The Birth of Orientalism, by Urs App


Because of the incredibly convoluted needs to plagiarize, there was the need to obtain source material from other missionaries' libraries. Ziegenbalg himself seems to plagiarize the work of Balthasar da Costa SJ when he writes a Tamil grammar in Latin. He compiled all the books known to him in his list, but does not mention what acquisitions he made from Father Martin's library. It seems quite likely that the bulk of his acquisitions were from the Jesuits, Father Martin in particular.

Sweetman conceals the meaning of undesired information he is compelled to reveal only for purposes of explaining it away by diverting the reader's attention to insignificant, tending-to-the-contrary-understanding bits of information.

For example, in Bergen's version of Ziegenbalg's 9/7/1706 letter, Sweetman diverts us from the fact that Ziegenbalg had his schoolteacher write out three of the four vedas (the fourth being lost), by hypothesizing that Bergen probably got that "detail" from Baldaeus, thus suggesting without any basis that Bergen's rendering of Ziegenbalg's letter interpolated a false statement. To divert further, he states that Ziegenbalg's collection probably BEGAN by collecting books that formed the core of the curriculum of Tamil Village schools! Far more likely is that the first books he collected were undoubtedly Father Martin's Jesuit library. Although school books are listed in the Bibliotheca Malabarica, probably as part of his effort to learn the language from his schoolteacher, this was certainly not his main interest.

Ziegenbalg's main interest was in finding the Vedas, converting the heathen through composing books of Dialogue, and translating the New Testament. When he tried to buy books from a particular list made by one of his scribes from prominent Hindu and Muslim visitors, he informed them he "wanted only the best." He was not seeking for mundane instructional texts. He bought books from the poor wives of dead Brahmans at the cheapest price possible. He was interested in turning the locals' books against them, and when the people figured that out, they no longer provided him with books. Then, to divert further from the problem of the vedas, Sweetman goes off on an excited journey into the Matam literary culture. Diverting even further, he tells us that Ziegenbalg was not interested in Sanskrit works and that the four vedas were not allowed to be seen, and he had no access to anything but the puranas.

Sweetman continually reconciles the opposites, resulting in zero. He says that Ziegenbalg's canon is "complete", then goes on to say "it's not representative."

He tells us that La Croze preferred Ziegenbalg's sources and methods to the Catholic authors, when they were the same.

He tells us that documents he deems "important" are those "meant" to be sent to Europe for publication, then demeans whatever was sent to Europe as meant just for the curiosity cabinet.

He tells us that after he died in 1719, Ziegenbalg's library disappeared, because nobody cared about Tamil literature. Then he blows in the opposite direction, telling us that a year later, the French Jesuits of the 1720s engaged in a large-scale acquisition of manuscripts at the behest of the royal librarian in Paris.

He tell us Ziegenbalg had no access or interest in gaining access to the Vedas, without explaining why, then, as soon as he got to India, he had his old schoolmaster copy three of the four vedas. (The fourth, as Ziegenbalg noted, being lost due to Siva cutting off one of Brahma's four heads!). His first letter (September 2, 1706) described "the content of the four books of law [Vedas] according to his opinion." Sweetman seems to have conveniently forgotten that the Vedas were believed to be the repository of ancient monotheism, the origin of Natural Religion, a popular Enlightenment conception. Every missionary's first interest was in finding proof of this theory. Which provided proof of another fond notion, that India was the oldest inhabited country on the planet after the Flood, and its inhabitants were descendants of Noah.

Additionally, to this point, according to Urs App, Ziegenbalg oftentimes described the vedas, but in words Urs App says indicate he had never "seen" them, and did not know their contents. But the context of Ziegenbalg's statement he refers to is speaking about books that were commonly available to the people, not books that were available to him (because he created them himself).

But while "the four law books and the six Sastirangol [castirankal] get into the hands of few persons and are only found with some priests who show such books to nobody," he wrote, "the eighteen Paranen [puranas] and other history books are ubiquitous, and parts of them can also be found with the common people" (p. 36).


If they had been written in Sanskrit, as he indicates they were, he wouldn't have been able to read them, and that could be the reason why he depended on his sources to inform him of their contents. But that doesn't mean he never "saw" them, or did not gain possession of them. He could have had possession of them newly written in Sanskrit or some other language, but not known how to read them.

He tells us that the work most important to Ziegenbalg is unknown to the scholarship of Tamil literature. This book is the Tirikala cakkaram, "the basis of all other Malabarian books," which is a "mathematical description of the 7 underworlds, 7 worlds above, and 14 seas beneath the 14 worlds." Since Tamil literary scholarship is "in a sorry state," according to Sweetman, one is left to wonder why it is then significant that the book is unknown to the scholarship of Tamil literature.

Sweetman engages in the type of misrepresentation of myth for history that has been the bane of Indology, implying that the Bibliotheca Malabarica is a work of ethnographic content, after saying that the puranas were the most important sources for Ziegenbalg, who glosses the Periya puranam as "the greatest of their eighteen history-books." Puranas, epics, tales, the Mahabharata, Ramayana ... these books are not books of ethnography, or history, but myth.

Sweetman emphasizes understanding Ziegenbalg's sources, and identifies three: Ziegenbalg's elderly tutor, his son Kanapati, and Kaliyapillai, who may have been Kanapati's father-in-law. Urs App makes Aleppa/Alakappan the "elderly schoolmaster", the most important source of Ziegenbalg's texts, describing him as "exceeding in importance even the Japanese Anjiro to Francis Zavier, and Ziegenbalg's most highly paid employee, exceeding even that of Europeans in the area. Sweetman gives the "elderly tutor" no name and identifies him as another person, 70 years old, with a son named Kanapati.

Sweetman seems bent on minimizing Alakappan's role. Although he admits Alakappan had been a translator to the Danish East-India Company who knew Portuguese, Tamil, Danish, German and Dutch, and was hired because the "old schoolteacher" didn't know these languages, and wrote most of the letters published in Europe (reluctantly, still wanting to maintain the possibility that there were other corresponders, which Urs App rules out), Sweetman nevertheless tries to limit Alakappan's contribution to doing some reading for him, and will not admit that Alakappan was a source for books and manuscripts. He is not one of Ziegenbalg's "key figures", even though as Urs App says, he is Ziegenbalg's most highly paid employee, and "the letter collection's preface refers to letter number 6, which is 'written by someone who read and copied many books of the Christian religion in his language' ... this man was, of course, Aleppa." The idea that Ziegenbalg's most highly paid employee does not qualify him in Sweetman's eyes as automatically one of Ziegenbalg's "key figures," shows willful scholarly blindness. And clearly, Ziegenbalg was not persuading Indians to write down Indian beliefs for Westerners, but rather, formulating Christian religion for Indians. Which is how Ziegenbalg, who initially considered the Indians savages, was able to gain new respect for them after he had created and read "their" written texts himself! He was reading what he had himself created, attributing it to the Indians, and then admiring them for being in such harmony with Western Christian notions! It is a funny story being told here. Which is why the documents created by the missionaries themselves are the most important.

Ziegenbalg's Tamil treatises are a sort of correspondence course in the opposite direction. To explain how heathendom arose, for example, the missionary informed his Tamil readers that Ananam (Skt. ajnana, ignorance) came into this world through the cunning of Picacu (Skt. pisaca, ghost, goblin) and man's offense. Ziegenbalg pointed out that ajnana (which for him signified idolatrous heathendom) is present when, instead of the true God, only his creatures are worshipped. Only the manusa-avataram (Skt. manusavatara, human manifestation) of Christ could bring true motcam (Skt. moksa, liberation) and conclusively exterminate ajnana (Jieyaraj 2003:311-12).

-- The Birth of Orientalism, by Urs App


Sweetman refuses Alakappan the status of "source," except as he might pass on by "reading," because he does not wish to consider him as the source of Ziegenbalg's three vedas. Urs App implies that Aleppa was 100% cooperative in procuring texts, even those that were forbidden to foreigners, including, perhaps, the 3 out of 4 vedas. Because Sweetman wants to elide these facts, he describes Ziegenbalg as not having access to, having no knowledge of, and not interested in Sanskrit works, and asserts that the old schoolmaster referred to in Ziegenbalg's September 2, 1706 letter, refused to give Ziegenbalg the vedas because "it was against their law."

Sweetman and Urs App identify different people as Ziegenbalg's primary source. Sweetman tells us that Ziegenbalg's "elderly schoolmaster" (no name) was the most important person to him. He was 70 years old. He spoke only Tamil. He knew no Portuguese. He taught Ziegenbalg and Plutschau the Tamil script. He dictated books to his six Tamil scribes. When Ziegenbalg speaks of reading works in the presence of "an old poet," Sweetman assumes this is the same person as the "elderly schoolmaster," even though footnote 137 describes the old schoolmaster's son as "a good poet". Similarly, he (tentatively) identifies Kanapati's father-in-law with Kaliyapillai, merely because he was also said to provide books, then speculates further that he might have had connections with the city of Nakappatinam in order to tie him with Kanapati, who lived in Nakappatinam after he reverted back to Saiva practice in 1727. The schoolmaster had a son named Kanapati Vattiyar who also provided him with books, a boy who "exceeded his father in scholarship." He converted to Catholicism in 1709, and caused a rupture between the father and Ziegenbalg. Kanapati's father-in-law was a revenue officer/headman, who also provided Ziegenbalg with books, including one from his own father.

Urs App tells a quite different tale. Ziegenbalg's Tamil teacher did not know Portuguese, so they hired Aleppa/Alakappan, who was a headman of the Tamil community and spoke good Portuguese, Danish, Dutch, and German. He was born around 1660 (making him 48 years old at the time he met Ziegenbalg) into a family that had long worked for Europeans. In 1700 he was head translator of the Danish trading company and top representative of the Tamil inhabitants of the city. He was banished from town for some crime, but brought back by the missionaries who paid him a very high salary. He was twice more banished, and similarly brought back. He describes Aleppa as "the old schoolmaster who often discussed with me all day long," and makes Aleppa a Shaivite, which is why Ziegenbalg devoted himself so much to that branch of Hinduism. He was paid money by Ziegenbalg and his associate Grundler to write letters to be published in Europe. He was 100% cooperative with providing even forbidden books to Ziegenbalg. He was banished by the king neighboring Tancavur for having "revealed all the secrets of their law and worship [Gesetzes und Gottesdienstes]" to the missionaries. This indicates the possibility that he provided Ziegenbalg with the vedas, as the September 2, 1706 letter indicates. The likely reason for all his other exiles, that Ziegenbalg left unexplained, was providing forbidden books to missionaries.

Sweetman's narrative diminishes the value of Ziegenbalg's acquisition of the Jesuit library, attributing the bulk of his acquisitions to Ziegenbalg's independent efforts. Sweetman finds no significance in the fact that Ziegenbalg's favorite text, the Civavakkiyam, that features the Gnanigols and monotheism, was also de Nobili's favorite text. Sweetman contends that the Jesuit missionaries were Ziegenbalg's rivals in having knowledge of Tamil literature, when in fact, they were his first teachers and sources. While conceding the presence of astrological texts in Ziegenbalg's list, books he would have no personal interest in acquiring, Sweetman fails to consider that the presence of all the astrological texts most likely proves that Ziegenbalg's library as recited in the "list" was the Jesuit library.

Sweetman makes no connection between the Gnanigols of Ziegenbalg and the Gnanigols of the Ezour Vedam. Wasn't Ziegenbalg constantly engaged in an "Ezour Vedam" type endeavour during his time in India? The most concession on this point that we can get out of Urs App is the following:

[T]he golden age/degeneration/regeneration mould that was very popular in Europe since the Middle Ages ... shaped the vision of many missionaries, for example, de Nobili and the Madurai Jesuits, Athanasius Kircher, and the Jesuit figurists in China. They saw themselves as restorers of a pure "golden-age" monotheism that had degenerated through the influence of Brahmans or an impostor such as Shaka (Buddha). In this respect they resemble Chumontou of the Ezour-vedam and Voltaire as well as Isaac Newton, who all were critical of established religion and dreamed of restoring pure original monotheism.


Sweetman makes one excuse for one category, and an opposite for another of the same category. For example, the reason why there are a large number of texts in Ziegenbalg's library dealing with ethics reflects his high estimate of them, and interest in using the ethical sense of the Tamils as a starting point for Christian apologetics. On the other hand, the large number of books on astrology are there only because they were so readily available, not because he was interested in astrology! First of all, NO BOOKS were readily available. But Sweetman's discomfort with this material being in Ziegenbalg's library is understandable, since it suggests a Jesuit origin for the collection. The Jesuits were interested in all things astronomical (astrological), as well as being sympathetic towards Indian ways, wanting to create a "New Christianity" that unified both religions.



Indeed, this one casually-elided fact, the presence of astrological texts in the collection, is probably the smoking gun that proves this was largely, if not entirely, Father Martin's Jesuit library, falsely attributed to Ziegenbalg.

All Indologists considering the period will concede that all these missionaries were stealing each other's works, putting their own names on translations and minor revisions.

Ziegenbalg was sent to India on a commission of the Danish king, Frederik IV. He refers to himself as "the decreed missionary among the Malabar heathen on the Coromandel coast at Tranquebar." He was a representative of the Danish missionaries in Tranquebar, engaging on their behalf in many fights with the Catholics, and was even imprisoned by Johann Hassius, the Danish commandant, for his interference and complaints. In 1714 he returned to Europe to discuss his mission's privileges with the king and the directors of the Danish company. He had close relationships with the Halle publishers, who published his works as soon as he sent them to Europe, in several languages. He maintained six Tamil scribes in his household. He and his associate Grundler paid Aleppa money to write letters to be published in Europe in order to raise money and inform what is described as "their European readership." Who paid for all of these people to work for him? And just like the Jesuit lettres edifiantes, his letters were full of appeals to Christians in Europe for financial support. Sweetman is at pains to emphasize the personal character of Ziegenbalg's collection. He describes it as a "relatively complete" library of Tamil literature gathered from "his own personal initiative," "without any intention of sending it to Europe," and that when he did send something to Europe, it wasn't for the library but for the curiosity cabinet! Implying that he had no larger state, business or corporate agenda, when in fact, he did.

Unlike the corporate effort of his Jesuit contemporaries and rivals, Ziegenbalg’s was a personal collection, undertaken at his own initiative, and without any intention of sending it to Europe. When he did send a Tamil palmleaf manuscript to Halle, it was not a Hindu text but an extract from the Gospels in Tamil, and it was sent not for the library but for the curiosity cabinet.


By contrast, Urs App compares what the European public was able to know about the Danish Malabar mission through the Malabar Correspondence to what La Croze himself had access to: "all the major manuscripts that Ziegenbalg had sent to Europe: his travel account, the Bibliotheca Malabarica, the translations from Tamil morality books, the Malabar Correspondence, the manuscript of the Malabar Heathendom, and of course also the manuscript of the second main work of Ziegenbalg, the Genealogy of Malabar Divinities." He writes that Ziegenbalg's "manuscripts were made available to the royal librarian of Prussia, the noted linguist Mathurin Veyssiere de La Croze, who recognized the novelty and extraordinary value of Ziegenbalg's work and intensively used his manuscripts for a groundbreaking treatise about Indian religions. Ziegenbalg and La Croze played important roles in the delimitation of the traditions that are now called "Hinduism" and "Buddhism"."

Sweetman devalues Ziegenbalg's library to make it plausible for it to be eaten by worms as he proposes. The last thing he seems to want is for Ziegenbalg's library to have survived. Especially since it is the most likely continuing source of the Ezour Vedam "mould," (having been started by de Nobili and added to by others, including Father Martin). Remember, that Maudave claimed his copy of the Ezour-Vedam discovered in 1758 was written by Father Martin. Which presents the possibility that Father Martin's fully-written Ezour-Vedam came into the hands of Ziegenbalg, who used it for his various Gnanigol manuscripts, and whose library then came into the hands of Maudave and/or his friends Barthelemy and Tessier de la Tour at the Council of Pondichery.

Despite Ziegenbalg's official titles and duties, for Sweetman, it is the Jesuits who were corporate, and collected manuscripts as part of a state-sponsored programme at the behest of the royal librarian in Paris.

Another reason driving this argument of "no corporate effort" is the clear intention of both Sweetman and Urs App to destroy the idea that orientalism was a "corporate colonial" endeavor as stated by Edward Said. God forbid Edward Said should have been right that colonialism and racism drove the "orientalist" endeavor! They both want to present individual missionaries as important non-corporate actors in the orientalist enterprise, which never really works out for them, because missionaries, too, were working for The Establishment: various governments and religious corporate entities with significant political ties to the ruling classes. As if church and state are ever separate! Especially in France. And of course religion is a colonialist concern. Urs App constantly argues against the idea that Buddhism and Hinduism were created in the 19th century "for the first time, in a European philological workshop ... by British Colonialist Sahibs," his and Sweetman's thesis both being that "this 'discovery' play of the latter half of the eighteenth [and 19th] century had significant earlier acts," and "was not a Caesarean section performed by colonialist doctors at the beginning of the nineteenth century when Europe's imperialist powers began to dominate large swaths of Asia. Rather, it was the result of a long process that around the turn of the eighteenth century produced a paradigm change." Whatever the significance of any of that is. Always arguing in terms of absolute vs. murky beginnings. They, of course, being the discoverers of the murkiest of "beginnings" -- that is, the "discovery" of the delusional religions called "Buddhism" and "Hinduism." How tedious!

Take just one example: De Guignes' "Indian Religion." First of all, it was entirely Buddhist. Both Brahmins and Samaneens followed the doctrine of Buddha. They comprised two sects. The Buddha was an Egyptian priest from Memphis. He is Mercury. He taught "the ultimate stage of transmigration before union with the Supreme Being." Yes, the very Christian "One." The oldest surviving Buddhist text was the Forty-Two Sections Sutra, which was "a Christianity of the kind that the Christian heresiarchs of the first century taught after having mixed ideas from Pythagoras on metempsychosis with some other principles drawn from India ... With the exception of a few particular ideas, all the precepts that Fo conveys seem to be drawn from the gospel." It was a book of Valentinian gnostic Christianity. This book represented the "inner" teaching of Buddha, along with the Anbertkend (Pool of Nectar), a Hatha Yoga text which is a "complex synthesis of Indian, Islamic, gnostic, and Neoplatonic influences... widely disseminated among Sufis." Buddha was the author of the "Vedas." He was identical with Vyasa. He was Alexander Dow's "Beass-mouni" of his fraudulent Shaster Bedang. The Ezour-Vedam was also the same. They are all the Vedas. The 4th Veda that was considered lost was the Prajnaparamita Sutra that was sent to China. China was a modern colony of Egypt. The Chinese mixed up the Nestorian Christians with Buddhists. They gave Jesus Christ the name Fo (Buddha). Emperor Ming's dream about a saint from the West had been about Jesus Christ, and they mistakenly brought back heretical Christianity that they confused with the religion of Buddha. Does this look like any religion but "Hash"? That's because both the reality and unreality was Hash. They were not, as some people covered, "unusual cross-cultural encounters" that deviated from otherwise clear-cut dominant religions.

While they differ on particulars of Ziegenbalg's sources, Sweetman joins with Urs App in establishing a category of books that were meant "to be kept in the mission rather than sent to Europe for publication." Urs App thus seeks to blame Voltaire for having sent the forged/fraudulent Ezour Vedam out into the world, excusing the missionaries themselves for creating the infernal device. Sweetman does the same thing when he refers to another dangerously similar book of Ziegenbalg's, "a lengthy book on the doctrines of the 'heathen poets,' written by Kanapati Vattiyar." Is this yet another version of the Ezour Vedam? And what about the title of the first pamphlet from the brand-new Tamil mission press in Tranquebar: "The Veta-pramanam (Skt. vedapramana, Vedic norm) demonstrating that akkiyanam [ajnana] must be detested and how those in akkiyanam can be saved" (pp. 309-10)?" Sounds like yet another text pretending to be a Veda to me! And what is this "gnanigol" business but a play on "jnana," meaning "wisdom," meaning "veda"?

Veda is a Sanskrit word from the root, vid, meaning “to know." Thus, veda means "knowledge" or "wisdom."

-- Veda, by Yogapedia


Sweetman excuses ignoring three out of four categories of the works in Ziegenbalg's Biblio Malabarica list on the grounds that people do not care about them. However, going along with Sweetman on this point is poison to the inquiring mind, because there is something very suspicious about the way that the creators of the Sloane and Halle manuscripts purposefully deleted "Moorish and Mohamedan books", "Malabarian Roman Books", and works produced by the Tranquebar missionaries themselves from the Biblio Malabarica. That deletion is evidence of willful scholarly blindness to Jesuit use of forged native religious documents to aid proselytizing and conversion, a method fully shared by Ziegenbalg. If you overlook that, as scholars are wont to do, then you are apt to miss things that are right there in plain sight. It would not take a great leap of the imagination to conclude that there is a conspiracy to hide that the Jesuits and other missionaries were creating false Dialogue documents. Could it be that what is also in plain sight is that Sweetman is part of the conspiracy to avert our gaze from the misdeeds of those pioneering Indologists, the Northern Brahmins, who peddled the doctrine of Chumantou?

Sweetman fails to consider the likelihood that Ziegenbalg acquired Father Martin's library when he acquired the library of an unnamed Jesuit in Tranquebar in 1707. He is notably incurious about the fact that Tranquebar is essentially a suburb of Pondicherry, the acknowledged center of all Jesuit translation, forgery, copying, and publishing in India. Inspector Clouseau could do better than this! Further, he fails to consider that the list of documents in Ziegenbalg's fabled "catalogue" is simply a list of all the titles from Father Martin's Tranquebar/Pondicherry library. Finally, he fails to consider Ziegenbalg's oft-mentioned obsession with the contents of the Tranquebar Library acquisition, which might indicate that it was the first and most significant of all his acquisitions.

Similarly, he fails to consider the likelihood that Father Calmette came into possession of Ziegenbalg's library, along with the three vedas, and even the Ezour Vedam itself, started probably by de Nobili, and added to by all the other Jesuits, and Father Martin, as stated by Maudave, and Ziegenbalg too. The Ezour Vedam provided the perfect template for what they were all doing, or trying to do -- argue against the heathen religion and establish proof of an original Natural Religion in the cradle of civilization where Noah's descendants worshipped the One God all along the Ganges in high Brahminical Splendor.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 34238
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Sat Apr 02, 2022 6:37 am

Part 2 of 3

Sweetman persistently divines the loss and destruction of documents that in all likelihood were in fact preserved. By causing documents and whole libraries to repeatedly disappear, he generates a fabric of absent fibers from which he weaves a garment worthy an emperor in need of new clothes. If Sweetman resorts to purple prose at any time, it is in his invocation of the perfect storm of catastrophes that obliterated the record of all he wishes not to find:

Ziegenbalg died in 1719 and his library did not long survive him. In 1726 the missionary Christian Friedrich Pressier reported that most of the manuscripts collected by Ziegenbalg had been stolen and sold. A schoolmaster recalled being present as a boy during the cold season when a box containing the books had been opened and the books used to light a fire. In 1731 Walther repeated this story and added that in the intervening five years worms had taken still further toll of the collection.

Thus Ziegenbalg’s library finds a place within a long history of the catastrophic loss of Tamil manuscripts, stretching back to the legends of the first two Tamil academies consumed by the sea, and including the loss of virtually all of the supposed 102,000 original Tēvāram hymns to white ants, the deliberate destruction of cittar manuscripts by Śaiva zealots, the reverent but thoughtless burning of manuscripts which so frustrated U. V. Swaminathaiyar, and the destruction by fire of the Jaffna Public Library in 1981.


Contrarily, he gives many descriptions of Ziegenbalg's library having survived in some form or another.

In 1731 Christoph Theodosius Walther compiled a new catalogue of Tamil works in the mission library. The manuscript, now in the Royal Library in Copenhagen, restructures the catalogue, placing “the late Ziegenbalg’s recension of his Malabarian-heathen books” first. The sections listing “Moorish or Mohamedan books” and “Malabarian Roman books” follow. There are now thirteen Muslim works and twenty-nine Roman Catholic, but the greatest increase is in the fourth section, listing works produced by the Tranquebar missionaries themselves. Fifty-two such works on palm-leaves “some large, some small” are listed, all but one in Tamil. The final section lists fourteen works on paper, either in Tamil or “relating to Malabarian literature, religion, and philosophy.” This includes grammatical and lexicographic works, but also Ziegenbalg’s Genealogia der Malabarischen Götter, Gründler’s Medicus Malabaricus, and a translation into Tamil of Thomas à Kempis’s Imitation of Christ....

In any case, the additional works listed by Walther do not by any means represent the whole of Ziegenbalg’s purchases during the years he was in India after 1708, but rather only those works that were still in the mission library in 1731. Walther states that many of the works purchased by Ziegenbalg, including many of those described in the 1708 catalogue, had been lost, destroyed, or damaged.


And further:

Finally there is a fourth, partial, version of the third section of Ziegenbalg’s catalogue, in the Mackenzie Collection. This is an English translation of the first forty-three entries. It is dated September 1802 and is entitled “An Account of some of the most esteemed Works in the Malabar or Tamul Language copied from a Paper communicated by Mr. Cockburne.” A few entries are abbreviated, and there are some annotations, including one which indicates the translator knew the list had been prepared by Ziegenbalg, but it is otherwise a straightforward translation. The probable source, and perhaps translator, of this version is Thomas Cockburn, who had been Commissary-General to Cornwallis during the Third Mysore War and was later a member of the Board of Revenue.

In September 1802 he left Madras for Calcutta and from there went on to Britain in December. In 1812 he mentioned the “Danish missionaries” when giving evidence to a select committee of the House of Commons on the renewal of the East India Company’s charter, speaking against the idea that the Company had a duty to propagate Christianity in India. A scholarly interest in India is perhaps indicated by the appearance of his name in the list of members in the first issue of the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society in 1834. He is thus likely both to have known Mackenzie and to have been disposing of papers in September 1802, on the eve of his return to Britain. What is not clear is how he came by Ziegenbalg’s catalogue, or why he had only the first part of it. In the last quarter of the eighteenth century [1775-1800] the missionary Christian Samuel John had collected Tamil works to augment the remnants of Ziegenbalg’s library still in the mission’s possession, and may perhaps have had a copy of the Bibliotheca Malabarica. John, an honorary member of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, and a fellow missionary with similar scholarly interests, Johann Peter Rottler, were in direct contact with Mackenzie...


And further, there is a collection of about 100 Tamil palm-leaf manuscripts from Ziegenbalg's library in Halle, most of them "Christian texts," whatever that might mean in a situation where Christian texts are created and combined with local myths and stories to create false Ezour-Vedam-type documents. Not to speak of the other three categories of books that are totally missing from the current catalogue apparently because we don't want to see them.

For those who disagree with Sweetman about these convenient disappearances of inconvenient documents, he has an easy out -- they have gone insane from grief due to loss of their native historical record. Let them rely upon the opium of this delusion, he seems to say, pitying them as persons bereft of self knowledge due to the cultural devastation of conquest.

But here again, we see that Sweetman has suckered us into a long diversion from THE POINT, which is NOT that Ziegenbalg's library has survived to this day, and that it represents a "stolen patrimony" that should be returned to India, but that his library was NOT immediately destroyed, and was most probably passed on to Calmette and others, along with Father Martin's Jesuit library, and the original works of de Nobili, which constituted quite an "Ezour-Vedam" inheritance.

Sweetman thinks Ziegenbalg conceived his idea that Indians are naturally monotheistic without influence from Baldaeus's belief that the Tamils recognized a single supreme being. He likewise denies that Ziegenbalg took his "genealogy of the gods" from Giovanni Boccaccio's 14th century Genealogia, or Heyderich's universal history, because he got this idea from Indian texts like the Tirikala cakkaram, and "the idea of a genealogy of the gods is as old as Hesiod." The Jesuits -- de Nobili, et al, and Ziegenbalg, were both equally on a quest for monotheism in India. Their intention was to use this monotheism as a club to shame the atheists in Europe, by telling them that even the most savage people in the world believed in one God, so what did that say about them?! And these missionaries finding "monotheism" among the Indians, is a complete misinterpretation of a natural human tendency to believe that whatever their thing is, it's the BEST thing (mono), and whatever their religion is, it is the BEST religion (monotheism), the only religion anyone should care about. This is where the so-called "monotheism" of native peoples comes from, not from the fact that they actually worshipped ONE GOD! It was "one," only because it was better than what other people had! With the Tamil "Siddhas", it was Siva.

Apparently, these Christian missionaries' strictly religious world-view was that God had created the world from the beginning, all humankind were his creatures, and everyone knew that God was their father, then the Devil got into some of them and made them believe in other Gods besides the One God. Since many of these Indian orientalists had determined to make India the cradle of civilization, in order to displace the Jewish historical primacy, they gave themselves a reason to say that the Indians' earliest writings (Veda) were one of the first examples of monotheism-after-the-flood, then degenerated over time to become polytheistic. When the historical facts are that the invention of Yahweh came at a time when all peoples were polytheistic, and the "One Yahweh God" idea then absorbed all of the native pagan practices, which is what "Catholic" means.

These can't be the people we're supposed to listen to about historical realities in India. People who come to the study with a completely preconceived idea of what they want to find. Those who contend that Ziegenbalg's work was "close to science", do so without evidence, and by believing his numerous lies and professed "methods:" creating their texts himself! Indeed, the evidence from Ziegenbalg's hand is all to the contrary. He believed that reason itself "since the Fall is entirely misguided and spoiled." The "science" of these missionaries, was nothing other than lies based upon "natural religion," Enlightenment dogma conveniently ascribing monotheism to the "natural man," and explaining polytheism as a "degeneration" from the original pure vision.

I am particularly struck by the number of bald-faced lies Ziegenbalg makes to anyone and everyone. He obviously has no morals. He claims that unlike Baldaeus, who "got most [of his information] from the Portuguese fathers who were forced to leave it when they were chased out of Ceylon by the Dutch," and "from his dealings with Brahmans who oftentimes know very little of their dogmas", "his own work would not be such a pastiche cobbled together from other others but based on reliable sources," and that "Everything that I have written I have either transcribed word for word from their own books and translated from the Malabar language into German, or I have heard it during frequent discussions from the very mouth of the heathen and had it told to me by people of understanding." Then he promptly gets possession of Father Martin's Jesuit library after he was chased out of Tranquebar, and transforms ten of his treatises into Protestant works, as well as taking up all of de Nobili's terminology to translate various Tamil words, aggressively reinterpreting them into a Christian context. Then publishes a work called "Veta Pramanam", in the mould of the Ezour Vedam, using as his main source a poet (Civavakkiyar) who rejected the vedas. This man is most likely a pure invention of the Jesuits. There is no record of him having existed anywhere. Not even his name is a real name. According to Anand and Ganapathy, most of the names of Siddhas are acquired, symbolic, each Siddha receiving five names during his lifetime. They also infer that Civavakkiyar/Sivavakkiyar is most likely a spin-off of Tirumalisai Alwar, Vishnu's spinning discus weapon who reincarnated at the beginning of the Kali yuga as a Tamil "saint," and lived for 4,500 years, and apparently wrote poetry just like Sivavakkiyar! Every time you inquire deeper into Indian "history" you find yourself in crazy land. Indian "history" is a joke.
Image
Chakra in a hand of Vishnu

Civavakkiyar's philosophy and poetry has been crafted "to perfect Christian purpose":
"Milk does not return to the udder, nor butter to the butter-milk;
Nor the life within the sea-shell, if it breaks, to its body;
The blown flower, the fallen fruit, do not return to the tree;
The dead are not born, never, never, never, never!

And yet, the philosophy of cyclic time is so deeply imbedded in Indian culture AS A WHOLE that all of the Siddha "saints" and gods of the "lineage" are said to be reborn again and again. We know that Ziegenbalg did not translate Tamil texts accurately. Jeyaraj compared two poem translations, one by Ziegenbalg, and the other in its original version, which clearly shows the differences. Jeyaraj states he "interpreted and summarized them," meaning that he added to it whatever monotheistic spin he wanted to, for example, instead of persons "seeking the light", they are of course seeking "God."

Here we have Sivavakkiyar supposedly condemning idol worship:
Among the Tamil Siddhas we find Sivavākkiyar in particular condemning idol worship tooth and nail. He chides people saying that they are “cleaning the bell, taking the oral secretion from the bees and pouring it over a broken stone” (verse 33), “the whole town is getting together and pulling with a rope, a piece of copper placed on a chariot” (verse 242). He remarks that God is not in “brick, granite, red paint of mercury, copper or in spelter” (verse 34). He points out a situation where one stone is broken into two; one half of it is place at the entrance of the temple as a stepping stone and the other inside the sanctum as the object of worship. He asks whether there is any difference between the two (verse 429). He points out yet another situation where Godhead is made from the same tree branch that is used to make footwear. “Is there is any difference between them?” he asks (verse 527). He questions people whether a “stone planted as God with four flowers placed on it and circumambulated while chanting mantra talk, while the Lord is really within” (verse 503). He says that he could only laugh at such people who think that God is stone (verse 129).

-- Sivavakkiyam -- Songs of a Spiritual Rebel, by Dr. Geetha Anand and Dr. T.N. Ganapathy

And showing "modern" concepts such as "The People vs. Authority", "Science," and "Women's Rights," which are indicative of the Western agenda in India:
The āṛṛuppadai concept that we find in Tamil literature has acquired a social-philosophical meaning at the hands of the Tamil Siddhas, especially with Sivavākkiyar. Āṛṛuppadai means “showing the path to the people”....

Some of the Siddha verses seem to demean women. They are referred to as objects of desire, distraction and ghosts who pull one into worldly life. Sivavakkiyar dispels the belief that the Siddhas are against women. He says that there is no one in this world who has not associated himself with a woman. He says that people’s life improves when they associate with the right woman. He adds weight to his statement by stating that Lord Siva is adorning River Ganga on his head for this very same reason (verse 512). He praises family life by saying that remaining as a tapasvin in the forest consuming dried leaves will only torture the body while leading a family life where one shares his food with guests is the best. He remarks that God will voluntarily come to that person’s house as a guest and bless him (verse 515).

Just as how it is illogical to consider the Brahmins as superior, it is foolish to consider women as lowly and impure because they menstruate every month. Sivavakkiyar laughs at this hypocrisy saying that the menstrual cycle is nothing but God’s step for creation. He says “You were in the womb that contained the defilement. When you found the way to emerge and came into this world you were (coated) with the same fluid. You emerged (from the fluid) from such a situation and are now reciting countless Vedas. Isn’t it the defilement that assembled and became a form, even that of a guru? Did any life form emerge in another way in any of the worlds?” (verses 48,49,50, 134, 137). In the verse 212 he describes how a life occurs in the womb. The menstrual fluid in the mother’s womb terminates its cycle for ten months, adorns the semen and becomes like a dewdrop. It remains within the fluid taking a form developing its limbs and other parts until it is born later. Besides, showing the satirical attitude of Sivavakkiyam, these verses tell us that the Siddhas were well aware of how a fetus is formed and how it grows in the uterus. Sivavakkiyar seems to be not only a Siddha but a scientist as well!

-- Sivavakkiyam -- Songs of a Spiritual Rebel, by Dr. Geetha Anand and Dr. T.N. Ganapathy

He beats up on vegetarians, which is very common for missionaries to do:
Vedic priests never ate fish, neither then nor now,
isn’t fish inhabited water what they drink and bathe in?
Vedic priests never ate deer meat, neither then nor now,
isn’t sacred thread worn over deer skin*?

Vedic priests never ate goat meat, neither then nor now,
isn’t goat meat offered in your worship though?
Vedic priests never ate cow meat, neither then nor now,
isn’t cow meat the manure in which vegetables grow.**?

-- Sivavakkiyar 159-160


Here's an example of the commonplace criticism of vegetarianism from the West by Martino Martini (1614-61]: "The second sect is the idolatric one, called Xekiao. This pest infected China shortly after Christ's birth. It admits metempsychosis. It is of two kinds; one is internal and the other external. The latter [external or exoteric kind] teaches the worship of idols, portrays the transmigration of souls after death as a punishment for sins, and continually abstains from [eating] anything that lives. It is a ridiculous law that is disapproved of even by the clergy of these sectarians who consider it necessary to keep the ignorant people away from vice and to incite them to be virtuous."

Sivavakkiyar displays Kabalistic philosophy in his use of numbers, which makes me think immediately of Dara Shikoh (1650s) and the Sufis:
Siddhas use numbers to refer to esoteric concepts. Some of their songs contain only numbers. They leave it to the readers’ imagination to interpret them. Sivavakkiyar has used this technique in several of his verses. In verse 217 he says five, five, five and five are those that trouble; five, five and five are those that remain within; five, five and five -- if you are capable of nourishing them, five and five will remain within as civayam. It is up to the reader to interpret what these different fives mean! In the verse 227 he says “in the primal five, in the eternal four, in the effulgent three in the formless two in the one the wisdom entity that remains pervading all -- these are none other than the five letters. Verses 266, 267, 268, 269, 270, are examples of this technique.

-- Sivavakkiyam -- Songs of a Spiritual Rebel, by Dr. Geetha Anand and Dr. T.N. Ganapathy

And speaks in the language of "alchemy," (more Dara Shikoh/Francois Bernier/Anquetil-Duperron, Anquetil-Duperron being a fierce defender of the Jesuits and their false texts, such as the Ezour-Vedam, who thought Dara Shikoh's Upanishads were "the very essence of the Vedas."). Tirumular was said to have been the disciple of an alchemist named Nantikecuran, and Anand and Ganapathy try to connect Sivavakkiyar to his lineage in order to explain this language. First of all, these are all imaginary mythical creatures. Nantikecuran is the guardian deity of Kailash, Shiva's residence. Having learned his wisdom from Parvati, Siva's wife, he was the chief guru of Tirumular (as a bull?) who was sent out into the world to spread "wisdom." This all happened in the "first world-era; since then the world has been destroyed three times." How he got turned into a [bull] "alchemist", I can't imagine! (Or maybe I can.)

Image
Alchemical Nantikecuran, by Librarian

Much less impersonating a real person who pretends to be the author of real books, who is the guru of other mythological people/creatures who are also impersonating real people who supposedly write real books in the 15th century! What is going on here? Creatures from a tradition that says "The dead are never born again, never!" being reborn again? The fact that everyone has ignored the obvious contradiction between the "born again" stories of the main actors in this play: Sivavakkiyar, Tirumular, Nantikecuran, and Tirumula Tevar, and the Siddhas'/Sivavakkiyar's "no born again" poetry, as well as Sivavakkiyar's clear teaching that when the soul and the body separate, the soul does not die, but takes up another body, and that by raising the kundalini one overcomes the cycle of births and deaths, shows how deeply imbedded the idea of reincarnation is in Indian culture. THEY DON'T EVEN NOTICE THE CONTRADICTION!
With six parts of pure silver, four parts of copper, three parts of zinc, two parts of gold, one measure of the sound of the bow, if one blows on these one will reach the frontier (verse 185). Copper represents blood, silver the kundalini sakti or the seminal fluid. Three parts of zinc are the three faults or malas, two parts of gold are the breath flowing through the ida and pingala nādi. When all these are brought together they sound like the twang of the bow. One then reaches the frontier, the state of supreme consciousness....If only one is capable of blowing the bellow it will expand as a pillar of fire. Then there will be nothing other than the dancing effulgence and oneself (verse 193).

-- Sivavakkiyam -- Songs of a Spiritual Rebel, by Dr. Geetha Anand and Dr. T.N. Ganapathy

See Gaur's translation of Ziegenbalg's review of the Tirikalacakkaram in Jeyaraj's "Genealogy of the South Indian Deities":

"Dirigala Sakkaram [Tirikalaccakkaram]: a mathematical description of the seven under-worlds, the seven upper worlds, and the fourteen seas. Also a description of their paradise, the Kailascum [Kailasa], the seat of Ispiren [Isvara] and of the many hundred thousand gods; of Magumeru [Mahameru], a golden mountain penetrating all the fourteen worlds, where all the holy prophets (i.e., each of the fourteen cycles of a yuga has a presiding Manu figure] are supposed to live. This book shows the genealogy of their great gods, how all gods are derived from the Being of all Beings, the Highest God, what offices they hold, where their places of residence are, how long they will live, how many incarnations (Erscheinungen) they have, etc. It also describes the past and the future eras, what is the purpose of this and other worlds, how long one world will exist, and what is the reason for all transformations, etc. This book is the basis of all other Malabari [Tamil] books since it lays down the principles on which they are based. If the scholars in Europe got a chance to read it they would hear strange and unprecedented things. Once I had it in mind to translate this work into German but I could not help wondering whether this was really advisable. It would cause a lot of unnecessary speculation and only distract people from more important things. But I am still keeping my mind open whether or not I should do this translation; so far I am not sure about it myself. The secrets this book contains were disclosed by Ispiren [Isvara) to his wife Parbadi [Parvati], she in turn disclosed them to Nandigeschuren [Nandikesvara] [Nantikecuran!], the door-guardian of Ispiren [Isvara]. He disclosed them to a great prophet by the name of Dirumuladewer [Tirumula Tevar], who disclosed them to the whole world. This happened in the first world-era; since then the world has been destroyed three times, but it is said that every time fourteen prophets [i.e., Manus] survived who passed this book, together with many others, to posterity."

(Gaur, 1967, 87 f.; cf. Ziegenbalg, 1880, 90).

And if we are to believe this translation, Sivavakkiyam inadvertently reveals modern inventions. According to "History of Coffee," instant coffee was invented in Britain in 1771:
The fourth category of cheats is those who promise wisdom and liberation. Just as how we have instant coffee and instant tea they promise instant wisdom and instant realization!

-- Sivavakkiyam -- Songs of a Spiritual Rebel, by Dr. Geetha Anand and Dr. T.N. Ganapathy

Ziegenbalg states that the "heathens" are the ones who have a problem lying in order to pretend he has higher standards: (All of the talk about Ziegenbalg's "new scientific standards" is pure propaganda to recycle the Jesuits under another, more respectable name, the Jesuits having completely shamed themselves.) "These heathens are very shifting [variabel] in their discourses. One tells me one thing and another something different. This is why I do not put much trust in their tales unless I heard something unanimously from many mouths. What I have read myself in their books is most worthy of trust." (Again, books he created himself. Of course he trusts them!) Then perpetrates Aleppa's Malabar correspondence to his European public as proof of monotheism in India, knowing that Aleppa was the sole author, but refusing, "for various reasons," to tell his reading public the name of his so-called imaginary "sources," splitting his letters up to pretend they came from various correspondents, explicitly stating that they came from multiple persons. Not making it clear that the letter writer was someone who had been totally indoctrinated in Christian religion since he was a young boy. And we find out that he even deceived Aleppa about what he was doing with his letters! Letting him write letter after letter inquiring why he was being asked to write these things down when the missionaries already knew better than him! And Ziegenbalg does not even inform his European readers that the letters had all been written by Aleppa until five years later!

He obviously knows why Aleppa was evicted from Tranquebar the first couple of times by Danish authorities, but refuses to tell us why, hiding it in the statement "because of a certain reason." Talk about "variabel."

While writing the Genealogy of Malabar Divinities, he throws out the Tamil's' own main "symbol of religiosity," and puts in its place -- what else -- his "Supreme being, origin of all divinities," called "Barabarawastu". So he has completely misrepresented their religion. This name appears to have originated with de Nobili. Ziegenbalg reasons that since Indians are "natural monotheists," they must have worshiped a supreme being since antiquity, which is nothing but a tautology. He claims that this "truth" has not only been communicated to them by Christians, but has been "firmly implanted in their minds." Yes, by Christians. He makes it clear that he has a fierce agenda to fight against European atheism, which gives him a conflict of interest. He claims that the Indians worship the same kind of God that the Germans worship: "a God who created everything, reigns over everything, punishes evil, rewards good deeds, and who must be feared, loved, worshipped, and prayed to," which is absurd, and proves that he will say absolutely ANYTHING! He claims on the one hand that faith in God made Indians "establish a law and write many books of religion," and that "since time immemorial they worshiped an invisible divine being and have texts to prove this, some over 2,000 years old, which form the basis of their opinions," and right after that says the "learned will defend this very obstinately even though they cannot deliver any proof of it." Then claims that it is only the "best" Indians who believe in this invisible being. Apparently, he is even promising Indians that if they become "radical gnanigol" monotheists", they will become invisible!

And Sweetman doesn't consider the idea that these ideas have been implanted into these texts by Westerners and Indians eager to confirm Western views, even though there is a constant running history of orientalists surrounding themselves with converted locals, or those who want to make money off of Westerners, who regurgitate back to them what they have told them themselves, or what the locals know they want to hear, in order to receive payment for their services. Not to mention the ruthless lying and distorting of facts that the missionaries themselves and publishers were willing to engage in to present the story they wanted to hear.

Because the Indians had no written literature, most of these early texts were spoken orally, then written down. In this situation, people could say anything, and the westerners, happy to get what they wanted, had their scribes write this B.S. down and then go publish it, turning it into holy writ. And if they didn't say what they wanted, they just changed it to say what they did want to hear. He gives no credence to the license of translation. According to Urs App, Alakappan was one of these kinds of people, who was educated by Westerners, and regurgitated back what he had been taught by them, and helped them find texts that proved the points they wanted to make.

Urs App also tells us that although Ziegenbalg interprets the Gnanigol Siddhas (14th-18th century, relatively "modern" ideas, and hardly "2,000 years old") as monotheists, actually, they are not. Tamil Siddhas were basically theists who believed in a transcendental God and his grace towards man, but they were not idol-worshippers or believers in a supreme Person, but rather believed in a supreme Abstraction that they referred to as "civam", which means "goodness," "auspiciousness," and the highest state of God in which he exists as pure intelligence. In other words, they believed in an abstract idea of God, rather than a personal God. They emphasized the path of knowledge. They worship a God that is completely interior. And when they say that "Caste is one and God is one," the God referred to is not the God of Westerners, and does not mean "mankind is one and God is one," but rather that "insofar as religious worship was concerned, all castes are equal and the only god is Shiva." This is clearly an identification and misidentification by Westerners of certain Indian concepts as "God", making a "monotheistic" translation that suits their purpose. Zeigenbalg himself says that Indians are naturally monotheist, and "learned" Indians will strongly defend this statement, although they cannot deliver any proof of it! That is also why Alakappan/Aleppa has to invent the additional category of "radical monotheist," to give the missionaries the kind of monotheism they require.

In a footnote, Sweetman refers to the Relation des erreurs qui se trouvent, variously attributed to de Nobili, de Brito, or Bouchet, which states: "In one place of their doctrine... they say that God is a spiritual and immense substance, and a few lines later they assert that the air is God." You can see this type of "God is everyone, anything and everything" language all through the poetry of Civavakkiyar/Sivavakkiyar, who seems to have been crafted as a progressive Hindu in the style of the Charvakas.

He is not Hari, he is not the Lord Siva; he is the Ultimate Cause, in the Beyond of Beyond... He is Infinite Distance ... [he is the] lord who killed and skinned the elephant demon ... the Supreme is spread everywhere, on Earth and in Heaven ... He is right there within you! Stand still and feel Him... Melt with the Heart... Then you will join the Light ... Silence [is] the Essence of Siva ... There is no Becoming, there is not Unbecoming ... Primordial God... is everywhere ... he [is] one .... What’s the place that is beyond the beyond? It’s the name of Rama Rama Rama ...

-- Sivavakkiyar [Civavakkiyar], by various sources


The irony of him being made Ziegenbalg's icon of monotheism in India is, besides the fact that "Siva" is his monotheistic God, is that he was previously thought to have been an atheist. Was this supposed to be the magic Indian formula for converting European atheists into monotheists? I wanted to scoff and say "Well, it didn't work!" except that it did. Indian religion has almost completely destroyed atheism in the western world to the great detriment of all reason and sanity. There is always biological/psychological/ecological/humane/moral realities to make us be good, and they are a much more solid basis to judge from than the mad ravings of religious lunatics. Look at where we are today: Indian religion everywhere, even in the United Nations. In fact, the United Nations seems built around Indian religion as "The Unifying Force." Well, it was that mix of anything and everything that prevented the loss of religion in the world, which is the Royal Society "Illuminati" way, the guys who seemed to be calling the shots around this subject at the time.

"I thought that, in his usual purse-proud manner, he was going to boast that his bronzes were all imported from Corinth, but he did even better by saying, "Wouldn't you like to know how it is that I'm the only one that can show the real Corinthian? Well, it's because the bronze worker I patronize is named Corinthus, and what's Corinthian unless it's what a Corinthus makes? And, so you won't think I'm a blockhead, I'm going to show you that I'm well acquainted with how Corinthian first came into the world. When Troy was taken, Hannibal, who was a very foxy fellow and a great rascal into the bargain, piled all the gold and silver and bronze statues in one pile and set 'em afire, melting these different metals into one: then the metal workers took their pick and made bowls and dessert dishes and statuettes as well. That's how Corinthian was born; neither one nor the other, but an amalgam of all. But I prefer glass, if you don't mind my saying so; it don't stink, and if it didn't break, I'd rather have it than gold, but it's cheap and common now."

"But there was an artisan, once upon a time, who made a glass vial that couldn't be broken. On that account he was admitted to Caesar with his gift; then he dashed it upon the floor, when Caesar handed it back to him. The Emperor was greatly startled, but the artisan picked the vial up off the pavement, and it was dented, just like a brass bowl would have been! He took a little hammer out of his tunic and beat out the dent without any trouble. When he had done that, he thought he would soon be in Jupiter's heaven, and more especially when Caesar said to him, 'Is there anyone else who knows how to make this malleable glass? Think now!' And when he denied that anyone else knew the secret, Caesar ordered his head chopped off, because if this should get out, we would think no more of gold than we would of dirt."

-- Satyricon, by Petronius


In fact, this "monotheism" of the gnanigols is another smoking gun. It is proved another Western conception by the fact that besides completely mirroring Western religion, it is so entirely contrary and antagonistic towards Indian religion as a whole! The Indians were very glad to kick out all the foreign religions, like Buddhism and Jainism. And you don't revere and worship what you hate, and what hates you. Urs App presents the problem as follows:

In La Croze's discussion of these sages, several pages of translations from Tamil Siddha (Gnanigol) texts are adduced as proof that ancient India was indeed a repository of the world's original monotheism. La Croze had read in Ziegenbalg's Genealogy of Malabar Divinities that Indian monotheism was likely to be "a very ancient affair" since the Indians have books "that are said to be more than 2,000 years old" and regard their religion as "the oldest of them all" (Ziegenbalg 2003:37-38). Ziegenbalg also regarded Indian monotheism as old enough to have begun "not very long after the deluge" (p. 38), and it is no surprise that the Gnanigol described by Ziegenbalg appeared to La Croze as heirs of the world's oldest religion, the religion of Adam and Noah, who had safeguarded its pure "inner cult."

But if the religion of the Gnanigol is the heir of the oldest religion of India, what is its relation to the Brahmans and the other Indian religions mentioned by Ziegenbalg? Given that the Gnanigol attacked central facets of Ziegenbalg's Malabar heathendom and fiercely criticized Vedic authority, the caste system, the Brahmans, etc., it was puzzling that they represent the fourth and highest stage of Malabar heathendom, are entrusted with the fourth Veda, and are revered by both of its great branches as saints. Such questions must have bugged La Croze as he read Ziegenbalg's manuscripts ...


So this monotheistic God interpretation is nowhere near as solid as Sweetman would claim. It is most likely what Westerners want to hear, and what they purposefully wrote down, and published, rather than the truth of what Indians themselves believed. But we have to recognize, that ever since the Jesuits got to India in the 1500s with their campaign of religious superiority, the Indians have been indoctrinated into their Christian doctrine, and are thus slowly, slowly forgetting what they had ever been, and at some point, many Indians are going to declare themselves monotheistic when they never were, because it is simply not acceptable to Westerners to be anything else.

********************

Ziegenbalg returned to India in August 1716, bringing with him the woman he had married while in Europe, Maria Dorothea Saltzman. Although he continued to work on translation into Tamil—of the Old Testament and of works of Christian theology—his letters in the years leading up to his death are full of accounts of other work: preaching, printing, establishing schools, constructing a new church building, and defending the mission against its critics. Investigation of “heathenism” was delegated to a converted Tamil scholar, who was to draw up a lengthy book on the doctrines of the “heathen poets” which was to be kept in the mission rather than sent to Europe for publication.33 [Ziegenbalg and Gründler to the Mission Board in Copenhagen, Tranquebar, 20 November 1717, in Lehmann, Alte Briefe, 421, 59. This scholar was Kaṇapati Vāttiyār, who took the name Friedrich Christian at his baptism. He had earlier been an important source of books for Ziegenbalg’s collection (see below, 32f.). There is no trace of his book, although an earlier manuscript by him survives (AFSt/M tam 87).] In 1718, Ziegenbalg prepared for publication transcripts of twenty dialogues with Hindus and Muslims, which were published after his death (hb 15, 16, 17).

-- Bibliotheca Malabarica, by Will Sweetman with R. Ilakkuvan, Institut Francais de Pondichery, 2012

While Ziegenbalg reports that many people sought the missionaries out for such discussions, a key figure in shaping his early impressions was an elderly schoolmaster. [Name???] From early September he held his classes in the missionaries’ house, Ziegenbalg and Plütschau sitting with the children and tracing Tamil letters in the sand. While the schoolmaster spoke only Tamil, Ziegenbalg nevertheless reports daily conversations with him from before the time he began learning Tamil.13 The impact was immediate: “I must confess, my seventy-year-old schoolmaster often poses such questions that I can clearly see that not everything in their philosophy can be so irrational as is fondly imagined of the heathen at home.”...14

6 Thus it was that Ziegenbalg, less than two months after his arrival in India, began to acquire Tamil books, at first by having the schoolmaster copy them out for him.16 Within two years he had assembled a collection of well over a hundred Tamil texts.

7 The importance Ziegenbalg placed on his study of Tamil literature is clear from an account of his daily routine in a letter dated 8 August 1708. The letter was sent, with a copy of the Bibliotheca Malabarica, to Franz Julius Lütkens, the court preacher in Copenhagen, through whom Ziegenbalg had been recruited for the mission.17 From eight o’clock until noon, Ziegenbalg read works new to him, in the presence of “an old poet”—most likely the same schoolmaster—who commented on and explained them....

52 At first Ziegenbalg obtained books from those who instructed him and his colleague in Tamil, among them the elderly schoolmaster who, according to Ziegenbalg, was able to recite the whole of Tirukkuṟaḷ and “many other difficult books accurately from memory.”118 Ziegenbalg first mentions having this schoolmaster copy out books for him
in a letter dated 2 September 1706. Like most of the very earliest of Ziegenbalg’s known letters, the manuscript of this letter is not extant,119 but a number of printed editions exist. Most often cited is an abbreviated version, published in the 1708 in the second edition of Ziegenbalg’s early letters edited by Joachim Lange under the title Merckwürdige Nachricht.120 An English translation of this version by Anton Wilhelm Böhme was published in the following year, under the title Propagation of the Gospel in the East. A much fuller version of the letter had already appeared in German in 1708 in a kind of unofficial third edition of the Merckwürdige Nachricht, edited by Christian Gustav Bergen.121 The letter is roughly twice as long in Bergen’s edition which, together with other material included in Bergen’s edition but not available elsewhere, suggests he had access to the letters in manuscript. The letter includes an account of Brahmā’s revelation of four books, one of which was lost along with one of Brahmā’s heads when he contested Śiva’s supremacy. In the version edited by Lange, we read that while Ziegenbalg asked the schoolmaster to transcribe the remaining three of these for him: “he could not bring himself to do it, for it would be against their law to allow a Christian to have access to them.”122 In Bergen’s version, however, we read that the three books are being written out in Tamil for Ziegenbalg. Ziegenbalg states only that this had never before been done for any Christian, adding that they would not have done it for him either, had it not been for his familiarity and friendship with them.123 The account of their revelation by Brahmā suggests that the four books in question—one being lost—are the four Vedas, but this is very probably a detail taken from Baldaeus,124 on whom Ziegenbalg later admits to having relied in this letter (mh 14). Ziegenbalg’s description of the content of the books125 suggests that the schoolmaster had identified some Tamil works which he regarded as in some sense equivalent to the Veda.126 While it is impossible to identify these three books with any particular works in Ziegenbalg’s later collection, we can identify with some confidence other works which he would have obtained from the schoolmaster....

54 Ziegenbalg maintained six Tamil scribes in his household134 and would thus have been able to acquire copies of all of these works in the traditional manner described by Ebeling, that is, by having the schoolmaster dictate them to the scribes. The schoolmaster may also have provided other texts, and Ziegenbalg directly ascribes one book, a work on the human body (bm 98), to him. There were limits to this method, however. The schoolmaster had a copy of Kampaṉ’s Irāmāvatāram, but it was too large to be copied135 and he was unwilling to sell his copy to Ziegenbalg. In the letter that accompanied his catalogue when he sent it to Europe, Ziegenbalg also notes that having books copied was expensive, and that he therefore sent his scribes “many days’ journey” into the hinterland of Tranquebar where they were able to buy books cheaply from the widowed wives of Brahmins.136

55 Ziegenbalg also mentions that the schoolmaster’s son, whom he names as Kaṇapati Vāttiyār, “obtained very many books for me.”137 Vāttiyār, the Tamil form of the Sanskrit upādhyāya, refers to a teacher and scholar and Ziegenbalg states that Kaṇapati exceeded his father’s scholarship (hb 6: 263). Kaṇapati is much discussed in the mission archives because of the storm created by his conversion in 1709, which almost certainly brought Ziegenbalg’s relationship with his father to an end (hb 6: 264–65). Ziegenbalg describes at length the attempts made by his parents and friends to dissuade Kaṇapati from conversion, at first with pleas and promises and finally “with violence.”

56 Ziegenbalg had already noted the previous year that once they knew he was using their books against them, the Tamils became reluctant to provide him with copies of them.138 It is nevertheless perhaps significant that in a letter written at the height of the storm over Kaṇapati’s conversion, just a few days prior to his long-awaited baptism, Ziegenbalg again notes the difficulty of obtaining Tamil books.139 For it is possible that Kaṇapati’s father was not the only member of his family who helped Ziegenbalg to obtain books.

57 One of those who tried to prevent Kaṇapati’s conversion was his father-in-law, a maṇiyakkāraṉ.140 We can perhaps identify him with a maṇiyakkāraṉ called Kaḷiyapiḷḷai whom Ziegenbalg describes variously as as “revenue officer” (Zöllner) and headman among the Tamils.141 Kaḷiyapiḷḷai is also said by Ziegenbalg to have provided him with “various of his books,” including one which Ziegenbalg ascribes to Kaḷiyapiḷḷai’s father (bm 91).
This is a varukka kōvai on Nākappaṭṭiṉam,142 and is one of several works in Ziegenbalg’s collection relating to Nākappaṭṭiṉam.143 While we cannot be sure that the maṇiyakkāraṉ called Kaḷiyapiḷḷai is the same maṇiyakkāraṉ who was Kaṇapati’s father-in-law, Kaṇapati may well have had familial connections with Nākappaṭṭiṉam. Some time after 1717, Kaṇapati converted to Catholicism and by 1727, when two Tranquebar missionaries met him, he had reverted to Śaiva practice and was living in Nākappaṭṭiṉam (hb 29: 496).

58 Whether we have here one maṇiyakkāraṉ or two, the fact that some of Ziegenbalg’s books were supplied by a maṇiyakkāraṉ points to an intriguing possible connection with the manuscript culture of the maṭams at Tiruvāvaṭutuṟai and Tarumapuram. The term maṇiyakkāraṉ can, as Ziegenbalg notes, refer to a village headman, one who has mānya, or tax-free, rights in land, but the term is also used by the Śaiva maṭams to refer to those who collect rent on their behalf.144 It is at least possible, that this was the position of Kaḷiyapiḷḷai and/or Kaṇapati’s father-in-law. Despite their importance for Tamil literary culture in the late medieval145 and modern periods,146 there are relatively few studies of these maṭams.147...

As Ziegenbalg states, the catalyst for the transformation in his view of the Tamils was the learning of their language. Initially he and Plutschau had learned the Tamil script with the help of an old schoolmaster, who later did much to transform Ziegenbalg's view of Hindus:

Indeed, I must confess that my 70 year old tutor often asks such questions as to make me realize that in their philosophy everything is by no means so unreasonable as we in our country usually imagine about such heathen. They are so clever that if they heard the learned men in Europe dispute on the rostrum about logic, rhetoric, and metaphysics, they would laugh scornfully and consider such skill as the greatest stupidity, because they like free, unrestrained and clear speaking with good reasoning and do not indulge in figures of speech.25


This schoolmaster, however, knew no Portuguese, and therefore they had initially no common tongue in which he could explain to them the grammar of the language. The missionaries therefore hired, at considerable expense, a former translator to the Danish Company [Alakappan or Aleppa.].

-- Bibliotheca Malabarica, by Will Sweetman with R. Ilakkuvan, Institut Francais de Pondichery, 2012


And who were these Gnanigol, the authors of the Indian texts whose translations so much inspired Ziegenbalg, La Croze, and their readers?...

His first teacher of Tamil did not understand Portuguese, and progress was very slow because of the lack of a dictionary and grammar. But he soon met an eminent native who seemed to be the answer to his prayers:


We got to know a Malabar who used to be the head [of the Tamil community] here [in Tranquebar] but had been evicted from the town and county [by Danish authorities] because of a certain reason. Since he spoke good Portuguese, Danish, Dutch, and German, we employed him as translator and managed to get permission for him and his family to return to town. (Letter of Sept. 22, 1707; Jeyaraj 2003:281)


It was this gifted man, Alakappan or Aleppa, who introduced Ziegenbalg to the intricacies of the Tamil language and to the vocabulary needed for his mission. Three months after his arrival Ziegenbalg wrote,
My old schoolmaster [WHO? ALEPPA?] often discusses with me all day long, and this has already allowed me to become relatively familiar with their forms of religious worship [Gotterdienste]. I intend to make a Christian of him, and he has the hope to eventually turn me into a Malabar. Therefore he seeks to demonstrate everything so distinctly that I could not wish for anything better. (Lehmann 1956:40)


Daniel Jeyaraj thinks that, on the basis of the man's name, Aleppa was a Shaivite and argues that this could explain why Ziegenbalg dealt more with this branch devoted to the worship of the god Shiva than with rival forms of Hinduism (Jeyaraj 2003:282). The importance of Aleppa exceeds that of the Japanese Anjiro to Francis Xavier (who, as explained in Chapter I, caused such a fiasco in the early Japan mission). Aleppa was born around 1660 into a family (probably of higher Tamil Shudra caste) that had long worked for Europeans. Around 1700 he was "Ober-Tolk" (head translator) of the Danish trading company and the top representative of the Tamil inhabitants of the city (Grundler and Ziegenbalg 1998:18). It is not clear for what grave reasons this influential man was banished from Tranquebar; but his value to the mission is reflected both in the decision to let him return to the city and in his extraordinarily high yearly salary of 100 thalers, which surpassed even that of European employees (p. 20). After two years of work with the missionaries, Aleppa was again expelled in 1709. However, the missionaries managed to keep him on their payroll as collaborator from afar. And collaborate he did: in 1710-11 he was even imprisoned by the king of neighboring Tancavur for having "revealed all the secrets of their law and worship [Gesetzes und Gottesdienstes]" to the missionaries (p. 21).

Aleppa clearly played a central role in Ziegenbalg's introduction to the Malabar language and religion, but his influence did not end there. When Ziegenbalg and his associate Grundler needed more European support and were preparing for Ziegenbalg's journey to Germany, Denmark, and England, they paid Aleppa to write letters from exile in answer to the missionaries' questions. These answers were almost immediately translated or edited, annotated, and sent to Europe where they were published; but since Aleppa was in exile and could for various reasons not be named as a source, the missionaries decided to omit all names of correspondents. They tried to create the impression that these letters came from many different informants, and their habit of sometimes splitting a single letter into several pieces (p. 27) that supposedly came from different correspondents enhanced the readers' impression that a substantial number of Indians were involved. The first batch of fifty-five letters was printed in 1714 with a preface emphasizing that "all of these letters without exception are from heathens of the most understanding kind" who write so excellently about God that "one could hardly find better ones with the ancient Greeks and Romans, and many so-called Christians will rightly feel ashamed" (pp. 42-43). Though thee Indian heathens had no way of knowing Christ "through the light of nature" and had to be saved "from their misery and blindness," the "Christian readers could not but be pleased, and the atheists ashamed, that even these heathens recognize a single supreme being and are convinced that all men can know with absolute certainty that there is a lord who created this world and everything in it" (p. 44).

-- The Birth of Orientalism, by Urs App


Investigation of “heathenism” was delegated to a converted Tamil scholar, who was to draw up a lengthy book on the doctrines of the “heathen poets” which was to be kept in the mission rather than sent to Europe for publication.33 [Ziegenbalg and Gründler to the Mission Board in Copenhagen, Tranquebar, 20 November 1717, in Lehmann, Alte Briefe, 421, 59. This scholar was Kaṇapati Vāttiyār, who took the name Friedrich Christian at his baptism. He had earlier been an important source of books for Ziegenbalg’s collection (see below, 32f.).There is no trace of his book, although an earlier manuscript by him survives (AFSt/M tam 87).] In 1718, Ziegenbalg prepared for publication transcripts of twenty dialogues with Hindus and Muslims, which were published after his death (hb 15, 16, 17).

-- Bibliotheca Malabarica, by Will Sweetman with R. Ilakkuvan, Institut Francais de Pondichery, 2012
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 34238
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Tue Apr 05, 2022 6:26 am

Part 3 of 3

FRANCIS XAVIER (1506-1552) and his Jesuit companions had arrived in the summer of 1549 in Japan with high hopes and accompanied by Anjiro, a Japanese man of modest education who served as their interpreter. He had translated "God" as "Dainichi" (the Sun-Buddha, the principal Buddha venerated by the Shingon sect of Buddhism), "heaven" and "paradise" as jodo (the Pure Land of Buddhism), and "Christianity" as buppo (the Buddha dharma or Buddhist law); consequently, the Japanese were convinced that the Jesuits were Buddhist sectarian reformers from India. They had indeed come to Japan from Goa in India, and the Japanese (whose world at the time ended in India alias "Tenjiku") consistently called Xavier and his companions "Indians" ("Tenjiku's" or "Tenjikujin") (App 1997a:55-58). The Japanese Shingon priests were so delighted with their new cousins from India that the Jesuits became suspicious; but even after Francis Xavier's departure toward the end of 1551, the missionaries were still viewed as a bunch of zealous Buddhist sectarians. The document that supposedly proves their most notable success, the donation of a "church" (in reality, a Buddhist monastery) by the regent of Yamaguchi, became an object of widespread interest in Europe as i( was printed in various letter collections all over the continent and became the first document in Chinese characters to be printed in Europe (Schurhammer 1928:26-27; App 1997b:236). The confrontation of the crucial portion of the published Portuguese rendering with my translation of the original Japanese text in Table 1 illustrates the heart of the problem: the Japanese regarded the missionaries as Buddhist bonzes intent on promulgating the Buddha dharma, whereas the Jesuit missionaries believed that the donation of a Buddhist temple signaled acceptance of (heir slated aim of producing Christian saints.3

Only in 1551, when Francis Xavier was getting ready to leave Japan in order to convert the Chinese, did the missionaries begin to use the word "Deus" instead of "Dainichi" (App 1997b:241-42). Their fiasco triggered a "language reform" that consisted in figuring out which terms were Buddhist, what they signified, and which were safe for use in a Christian context. This could only be achieved by some degree of systematic study and with the help of native informers familiar with Buddhist doctrine and texts....

When the Jesuit Alessand to VALIGNANO (1539-1606) visited Japan for the first time between 1579 and 1582, he quickly realized that the study of the native language and religions was of paramount importance. He reported, "The first thing that I addressed and ordered after arriving in Japan ... was that the European brothers study [the language] with great care and that a grammar and vocabulary of Japanese be produced" (Schutte 1951:321). Valignano promoted the admission of Japanese novices and, helped by P. Luis Frois who translated his words into Japanese, in 1580-81 held a course of intensive instruction for both European and Japanese novices (Schutte 1958:84-85).
One of Valignano's eight new novices, the middle-aged Japanese doctor Paulo Yoho, was knowledgeable about Japanese religions and provided information about Buddhism to both Valignano and the novices. Together with his son Vicente Toin, Paulo helped Valignano craft a catechism whose overall structure interests us here. Since Valignano had studied Francis Xavier's fiasco and realized the importance of clearly separating truth from error, he decided to write a catechism and devote the first of its two books to the sects and religions of the Japanese in order to build a firm basis for their refutation through rational argumentation (Valignano 1586:3-76). It is a detailed presentation and critique of (mostly Buddhist) Japanese religious doctrine and shows how much knowledge the Jesuits had accumulated since the days of Francis Xavier....

The Jesuit language reform in China took a different direction from the earlier one in Japan; instead of intensively studying the Buddhist and Daoist competition in order to defeat it, Ricci and his companions focused on cozying up to the Confucians. On November 4, 1595, Ricci wrote to the Jesuit Father General Acquaviva: "I have noted down many terms and phrases [of the Chinese classics] in harmony with our faith, for instance, 'the unity of God,' 'the immortality of the soul,' the glory of the blessed,' and the like" (Ricci 1985:14). Ricci intended to identify appropriate terms in the Confucian classics to give the Christian dogma a Mandarin dress and to illustrate his view that the Chinese had successfully safeguarded an extremely ancient knowledge of God. The portions of Ruggieri and Ricci's old "Buddhist" catechism dealing with God's revelation and requiring faith rather than reason were removed, while topics such as the "goodness of human nature" that appealed to Confucians were added (p. 15). Ricci systematically substituted Buddhist terminology with phrases from the Chinese classics. But rather than as a revision of his earlier "Buddhist" catechism, Ricci's True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven should be regarded as a new work reflecting his view of China's ancient theology. It was crafted in the mold of the first part of Valignano's catechism of 1586, and exactly ten years after the publication of that work, Ricci's supervisor Valignano examined and approved Ricci's new text for use in China. It was not a catechism in the traditional sense but a praeparatio evangelica: a way to entice the rationalist upper crust of Chinese society and to refute the "superstitious" and "foreign" forms of Chinese religion (such as Daoism and Buddhism) by logical argument while interpreting "original" Confucianism as a kind of Old Testament to Christianity. Ricci's "catechism" was thus not yet the Good News itself but a first step toward it. It argued that Chinese religion had once been thoroughly monotheistic and that this primeval monotheism had later degenerated through the influence of Daoism and Buddhism. In Ricci's view Christianity was nothing other than the fulfillment of China's Ur-monotheism.

Ricci decided to cast this preparatory treatise in Renaissance fashion as a dialogue between a Western and a Chinese scholar who discuss various aspects of Chinese religion. Ricci's Western scholar analyzes Daoist, Buddhist, and Neoconfucianist beliefs and practices and proceeds to demolish them by rational argument, thus exposing their inconsistency and irrationality. When Ricci's work was completed and his new manuscript began to circulate in preparation for the printing, the old "Buddhist" catechism was no longer used....

Maudave's letter to Voltaire described the Ezour-vedam as a dialogue written by the author of the Vedas: "This Dialogue presupposes that Chumontou is the author of the Vedams, that he wrote them to countervail the empty superstitions that spread among men and, above all, to halt the unfortunate progress of idolatry" (p. 49). Maudave also specifically mentioned the author of the text's French translation: "Its author is Father Martin, the former Jesuit missionary at Pondichery" (p. 49). Since this missionary had died in Rome in 1716, Maudave must have thought that the translation from the Sanskrit original was about fifty years old. This missionary connection clearly disturbed Maudave. First of all, a strange agreement with Christian doctrine made Maudave suspicious about the quality of the translation. More than that, he let Voltaire know that his doubts were specifically connected with the tendency of the translator's Jesuit order to find traces of their own faith in just about every part of the world -- in Chinese books, in Mexico, and even among the savages of South America (p. 80)!...

He wrote to Voltaire that the Ezour-vedam was a dialogue between two Brahmes, one of whom "believes in the religion of the Indies" while the other "defends the unity of God" (p. 122r). Maudave thought "this dialogue assumes that Chumontou is the author of the Vedams and that he wrote them to remedy the vain superstitions that spread among men and above all to stop the unfortunate progress of idolatry" (p. 122r). The Chumontou of the Ezour-vedam was both a fierce critic of rites and seemed to be the author of the Vedams. Maudave observed, "Here there is a very manifest contradiction since one book of the Vedams contains all the religious rites of which the cult of God forms a part" (p. 122V)....

Since the early days of the Japan mission, explanations about the reasons for various natural phenomena and news about geography and history were used as effective means to prove the superiority of the missionaries' knowledge of the here-and-now (and by implication, their knowledge of the remote past and future as well as heaven and hell). The Ezour-vedam also appears to use fictional dialogues about local religions and the world at large for the education of native catechists and missionaries (see Chapter 7)....

Since questions related to the genesis and authorship of the Ezour-vedam will be discussed in Chapter 7, the focus is here on Voltaire's role in its rise to fame. Whatever the intentions of its authors were, it was Voltaire who almost single-handedly transformed some missionary jottings from the South Indian boondocks into the "world's oldest text," the Royal Library's "most precious document," and (as a well-earned bonus for the promoter) into the Old Testament of his deism! So far, there is no evidence of any influence of this text before Maudave and Voltaire. But soon after Maudave's manuscript got into Voltaire's hands, the Ezour-vedam's brilliant career began. For Voltaire it was, for a few years, a potent weapon to undermine biblical authority and to attack divine partiality for Judeo-Christianity. It was no Jesuit missionary but rather Voltaire, the missionary of deism, who trumpeted extraordinary claims into the world about the Ezour-vedam's authenticity, antiquity, and supreme value. Paulinus a Sancto Bartholomaeo saw this quite clearly when in 1791 he called the Ezourvedam "the notorious gift from the most learned prince of philosophers, Voltaire" -- a poisoned gift "that found its way into the Royal library in Paris, or rather which he pressed upon them to use it as the foundation for his own philosophical superstructure" (Rocher 1984:16).

-- The Birth of Orientalism, by Urs App


15 The second section of the Bibliotheca Malabarica has twenty-one entries and covers works produced by Catholic missionaries. Ziegenbalg first reports acquiring these books in a letter dated 22 September 1707, in which he notes that although the works are “full of dangerous errors” they nevertheless enabled him to develop “a proper Christian style” in which to express himself on spiritual matters “in a way that did not smack of heathenism.”36 He goes on to say that by reading these works—and in particular the translations from the Gospels—he was able, within eight months, “to read, write, and speak,” and to understand others, in Tamil. This would place his acquisition of the Catholic books in February 1707 at the latest, seven months after his arrival in Tranquebar in July 1706.37 In the Bibliotheca Malabarica itself, Ziegenbalg states that the library had belonged to a Jesuit “who went about among the heathen in the dress of a Brahmin.” During a time of “severe persecution” of Christians in Tanjore, when all who wanted to save their lives had had to flee to the European coastal settlements, this Jesuit had left his library for safe-keeping in Tranquebar, where it had “long remained hidden,” until “it was wonderfully arranged” that Ziegenbalg should come upon it.38 To the best of our knowledge, there is no specific reference to the loss of this library among the letters of the Jesuits of the Madurai and Carnatic missions but, as Neill notes for this period, they are “full of tales of persecution, often valiantly endured.”39 The most recent severe persecution in Tanjore had taken place in 1701, under Shahji II. [No, Shahuji I [1684 to 1712.]]40 [A brief account in the Lettres édifiantes et curieuses (Guy Tachard to Père de la Chaise, Pondicherry, 16 February 1702 in Charles le Gobien, ed., Lettres édifiantes et curieuses, écrit des missions étrangères par quelques missionaires de la Compagnie de Jésus, 34 vols., Paris (Chez Nicolas Le Clerc, 1702–76), 3: 212–16) reports that many Christians were driven out of Tanjore, and two Jesuits were imprisoned. Although one of many, at the time of Shahji’s death in 1712 this event was recalled as particularly severe—and as resulting in the exclusion of missionaries from Tanjore until 1712 (Louis de Bourzes, Litterae Annuae Missionis Madurensis, 1712).]

-- Bibliotheca Malabarica, by Will Sweetman with R. Ilakkuvan, Institut Francais de Pondichery, 2012


Roberto de Nobili (1577 – 16 January 1656) was an Italian Jesuit missionary to Southern India. He used a novel method of adaptation (accommodatio) to preach Christianity, adopting many local customs of India which were, in his view, not contrary to Christianity....

After a short stay in Cochin at Kerala, he took up residence in Madurai in Tamil Nadu in November 1606. He soon called himself a "teacher of wisdom", and began to dress like a Sannyasi. Claiming noble parentage he approached high-caste people, and eagerly engaged in dialogue with Hindu scholars about the truths of Christianity....

He adopted also local Indian customs, such as shaving one's head and keeping only a tiny tuft. He wore a white dhoti and wooden sandals, to don the look of a sanyasin. Another symbol he embraced was the wearing of a three-stringed thread across the chest. He interpreted the three-stringed thread as representing the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit....


He composed Catechisms, apologetic works and philosophic discourses in Tamil, and contributed greatly to the development of modern Tamil prose writing...

Some have alleged that Roberto de Nobili was the author of a forged document written in French and purported to be a translation of an ancient Sanskrit scripture by the name of Ezourvedam.

-- Roberto de Nobili, by Wikipedia

Nobili's name was indeed a very plausible one. Those who connect it with the EzV point to the peculiar way of conversion which he introduced in India, and which, several decades later, was to lead to the notorious Malabar rites controversy. A missionary who knew Indian languages well, a missionary who went to the extent of adopting certain Hindu rites and customs and behaving like a Brahman, was also the kind of person who would be capable and willing to produce a document such as the EzV....

The history of the Jesuits in India presents us with more than one instance of missionaries who acquired their knowledge of Brahmanical literature in this province. One Pierre Martin, whose letter from Balassore in the year 1699 occurs in the 10th volume of the Lettres Edifiantes, tells us, that after five months' assiduous application of the Bengali, he disguised himself as a Brahman, and in that character commenced studying the Shastras as a Brahmachari or Sanscrit student in a celebrated Brahman University, (at Naddea doubtless), until the insurrection of Subha Sinh [Sobha Singh] against the government of Aurang Zeib [1695] compelled him to retreat thence to Orissa, after which we hear of him frequently in the same collection, as a most zealous and active missionary in the Southern Provinces.... Other instances might doubtless be found in the subsequent history of these Roman Sannyasies (as the Jesuit Fathers were usually called in India), at a date more approaching that of the MSS. of this forgery, were the subject thought worthy of closer investigation."...

We shall now turn our attention to another Jesuit missionary, even though his name has not so far appeared anywhere in the literature connected with the EzV. Manuscript 1765 of the Museum d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris contains, among other writings connected with Maudave, an "extract from a letter written to Mr. de Voltaire on the Lingam cult". According to the catalogue the handwriting is that of Chretien-Guillaume de Lamoignon de Malesherbes (1721-94).

The extract is undated, but it is possible, based on internal criteria, to place it within rather precise lower and upper limits. In the letter Maudave speaks about the EzV and uses it as a source of information on the ritual of the Lingam. He even volunteers to have a copy made for Voltaire and send it to him, if he is at all interested in the manuscript. This means that the letter antedates Maudave's visit to Ferney in 1760. On the other hand, Maudave announces that he sends Voltaire a replica of a Linga; also, all data contained on the letter are based on personal observation. We may therefore be assured that the letter was written on 1758-59, during Maudave's first visit to India (see p. 77).

In the letter Maudave also makes a casual reference to the author and the translator of the EzV. About the author he merely records what the text itself seems to suggest, without expressing his personal opinion. "This Dialogue presupposes that Chumontou is the author of the Vedams, that he wrote them to countervail the empty superstitions that spread among men and, above all to halt the unfortunate progress of idolatry." But on the translation Maudave (p. 10) Is both brief and specific: "Its author is Father Martin, the former Jesuit missionary at Pondichery."

-- Ezourvedam, edited by Ludo Rocher

The strategy of accommodation attracted interest in the last years of the seventeenth century among a group of French Jesuits including Pierre Martin (1665-1716). Martin arrived in Balasore via Surat in 1699 after an unhappy spell in Persia. He applied himself to learning Bengali, and after five months claims to have entered a 'Brahmin university', properly attired. Martin argues that all new missionaries should be sent to the Madurai mission to learn, as he had, the languages and customs of Indians, to 'read and transcribe the books that the venerable Father Robert Nobili and our other Fathers composed', and to resume the practices that they had begun.

-- Jesuit Revivals, Excerpt from Hybrid Knowledge in the Early East India Company World, by Anna Winterbottom

Maudave's letter to Voltaire described the Ezour-vedam as a dialogue written by the author of the Vedas: "This Dialogue presupposes that Chumontou is the author of the Vedams, that he wrote them to countervail the empty superstitions that spread among men and, above all, to halt the unfortunate progress of idolatry" (p. 49). Maudave also specifically mentioned the author of the text's French translation: "Its author is Father Martin, the former Jesuit missionary at Pondichery" (p. 49). Since this missionary had died in Rome in 1716, Maudave must have thought that the translation from the Sanskrit original was about fifty years old.

-- The Birth of Orientalism, by Urs App


10 [Ziegenbalg] cites most often from the Aṟupattuṇālu tiruviḷaiyāṭal purāṇam (bm 106) and Civavākkiyam (bm 51–53),...

-- Bibliotheca Malabarica, by Will Sweetman with R. Ilakkuvan, Institut Francais de Pondichery, 2012


Who were these "numerous Indians" who in a short timespan wrote so many letters to Ziegenbalg and insisted so stridently on the monotheism of Indian religion that god-fearing Europeans including Voltaire were astonished? And who were these Gnanigol, the authors of the Indian texts whose translations so much inspired Ziegenbalg, La Croze, and their readers?...

Aleppa also mentioned radical monotheists:

Other than that, there are also people among us who worship God the supreme being alone and always honor only this lord while they renounce everything in the world in order to keep contemplating God in their heart at all times. It is said of these [Gnanigol] that God unites with them and transforms them into himself [in sich verwandele], and also that they become invisible in the world. (p. 142)...

The text that Ziegenbalg most often quotes to illustrate Indian monotheism was already used by de Nobili for the very same purpose: the Civavakkiyam, a fourteenth-century collection of poems by Civavakkiyar who belongs to the Tamil Siddha tradition.

Although the Tamil tradition speaks of eighteen Siddhas and posits a line of wandering saints and sannyasis from Tirumular (sixth century) to Tayumanavar (1706-44), most of the noted Siddhas flourished between the fourteenth and eighteenth centuries (Kailasapathy 1987:387). From the beginning, the antibrahmanical and antihierarchical tendency of Siddha writings was prominent, as in Tirumular's oft-quoted lines, "Caste is one and God is one" (p. 386)....Tirumular meant that "insofar as religious worship was concerned, all castes are equal and the only god is Shiva" (p. 386)....

Of the more than fifty names associated with the way of the Siddhas (Siddha marga), that of the author of the Civavakkiyam (Aphorisms on Shiva) is best known. The author of these aphorisms, Civavakkiyar or Sivavakkiyar, is "without doubt the most powerful poetic voice in the entire galaxy of the Siddhas" and is best known for his skill in criticizing and ridiculing Hindu orthodoxy (p. 387-89). Though not forming a well-defined school of thought, the Siddhas "challenged the very foundations of medieval Hinduism: the authority of the Shastras, the validity of rituals and the basis of the caste system" (p. 389). According to Zvelebil, "almost all of them manifest a protest, often in very strong terms, against the formalities of life and religion; denial of religious practices and beliefs of the ruling classes" (1973:8). Tamil Siddhas were basically "all theists and believed in a transcendental God and his grace towards man," but they were not "idol-worshippers or believers in a supreme Person"; rather, they "believed in a supreme Abstraction" that they referred to as civam (Kailasapathy 1987:393).

The recurrent use by the Siddhas of the word civam (an abstract noun meaning "goodness," "auspiciousness" and the highest state of God, in which he exists as pure intelligence) in preference to the common term civan (meaning Shiva) makes this point very clear. In other words, they believed in an abstract idea of Godhead rather than a personal God. (p. 393)

Among the three Hindu religious paths to salvation (jnana, the way of knowledge; karma, the way of work; and bhakti, the way of devotion), the Siddhas emphasized the path of knowledge (p. 393). In the light of such explanations, it is easy to see why de Nobili and Ziegenbalg felt attracted to such poetry and in particular to Civavakkiyar who dared to refute deeply entrenched dogmas such as transmigration:...
The dead are never born again, never! (p. 401)

Siddha Civavakkiyar's work promotes civam mysticism and is critical not only of the worship of images and brahmans but also of the Vedas and Vedic practices....
In the Four Eternal Vedas,
In the study and reading of scripts,
In sacred ashes and in Holy Writs
And muttering of prayers
You will not find the Lord!
Melt with the Heart Inside
and proclaim the Truth.
Then you will join the Light --
Life without servitude.
(Zvelebil 1973:83)

Such Tamil Siddhas belonged to the class of men that Ziegenbalg referred to as "Gnanigol or the Wise" (Ziegenbalg 2003:40). "Gnanigol" is Ziegenbalg's transcription of the Tamil nanikal, which is the plural of nani (Skt. jnanin, a wise or knowing one). They are saints in the fourth path (pada) of Shaivite Siddhanta agama. Ziegenbalg called these four paths "Tscharigei" (carya, proper conduct), "Kirigei" (kriya, rites), "Jogum" (yoga, discipline), and "Gnanum" (jnana, knowledge). The Gnanigol are most frequently mentioned by Ziegenbalg, and quotations from their texts make up the bulk of his evidence for Indian monotheism. In the first chapter of his Genealogy, where he discusses the pure Indian conception of monotheism, Ziegenbalg explains:
One still finds here and there a few who destroy all idolatry [Gotzen-Wesen] and venerate this sole divine Being without images. Among them are those called Gnanigol or the Wise who have written only such books that lead exclusively to a virtuous life wherein only the sole God is to be worshipped. The most excellent among such books are: I) The Tschiwawaikkium [Civa-vakkiyam], in which polytheism along with many heathen errors is totally rejected in thoughtful verses and the worship of a single God is advocated....

The book that leads this list, the Civavakkiyam, is also the one that Ziegenbalg most frequently adduced in his discussions of Indian monotheism. La Croze's argument for Indian monotheism, too, is almost entirely illustrated by quotations from Ziegenbalg's rendering of verses by Civavakkyar....

[Re] Malabar heathendom...Ziegenbalg...distinguishes two main traditions:

This whole widespread heathendom is divided into two important main sects. The first sect is called Tschiwasameian [Civacamayam; system of Shiva] and the second Wischtnusameiam [Visnucamayam; system of Vishnu]. All those who belong to the first sect regard Shiva or Ishvara as supreme God and pray to all gods that he befriended or stem from his lineage. In all their sacrifices, prayers, external ceremonies, fasts, and tenets [Lehrsatzen] they follow those books which are written about Shiva. All who belong to this sect smear ashes from burnt cow-dung on their forehead and on various parts of their body. (p. 23)...

As we have seen, these four stages on the religious path are "Tscharigei" (carya, proper conduct), "Kirigei" (kriya, rites), "Jogum" (yoga, discipline), and "Gnanum" (jnana, knowledge)...the fourth for those who have abandoned everything and reached "Gnanum or wisdom" (Ziegenbalg 1926:27). This fourth and highest stage is that of the Gnanigol who have left behind all ignorance (ajnana) and who for Ziegenbalg represent the purest wisdom (jnana) of monotheism:
Those who have thus become Gnanigol not only consider the ways of the world as foolish but also every other thing in which people seek bliss. They reject the many gods that others revere so much; as one of them writes in a book called Tschiwawaikkium [Civavakkyiam]: You are nothing but lies, prayer-formulas are lies, the disciplines of erudition are lies. Bruma and Wischtnum [Brahma and Vishnu] are fabricated lies, and Dewandiren [Devendra] too. Whoever abandons the lusts of the flesh that seem sweet as honey, dies to that which seems beautiful to the eyes, and hates the habits of man while worshipping only the True supreme being: to him all of these things appear as false and full of lies. (pp. 27-28)

Such saintly Gnanigol, Ziegenbalg emphasized, are found among both the worshippers of Shiva and those of Vishnu; "they lead a virtuous life after their fashion, worship only the supreme being of all beings, and lead their disciples and pupils toward a worship of God that is completely interior (p. 28)....

Ziegenbalg linked these four stages of the religious path to the four Vedas, about whose content he knew practically nothing:

...4. Gnanum. The first law (Veda), according to some, contains what the Tscharigeikarer or people of worldly professions ought to do in order to reach bliss through their worldly tasks. (p. 35)...

"the fourth book of law is said to contain everything which the Gnanigol who have reached wisdom and sainthood ought to perform and do."

-- The Birth of Orientalism, by Urs App


But as early as 1762, Abbe Mignot made the connection betweeen the Ezour-vedam and the monotheistic "gnanigol." In one of his papers on the ancient philosophers of India, he described these Indians as modern successors of the ancient Brachmans. They are "intimately convinced of God's oneness" and are regarded as "the sages and saints of India" who "openly reject the cult of idols and all superstitious practices of the nation in order to worship only God whom they call 'Being of beings' [l'etre des etres]" (Mignot 1768:218-19). In 1771 Anquetil-Duperron published his opinion that the text's author was one of these "Ganigueuls" [Gnanigol] or "gnanigol" described by Ziegenbalg and La Croze (Anquetil-Duperron 1771:I.lxxxv), and this opinion was later supported in the preface to the Ezour-vedam's first primed edition of 1778 where Sainte-Croix informed the readers:
Everywhere in the Ezour-Vedam we find the principal articles of the doctrine of the Ganigueuls [Gnanigol] ... and therefore one cannot doubt that it was a philosopher of this sect who composed this work. A man immersed in the darkness of idolatry reports, under the name of Biache, the most accepted fables of India and exposes the entire system of popular theology of this country. The philosopher Chumontou rejects this mythology as contrary to good sense, or because he has not read of it in the ancient books, and expounds the fabulous accounts in a moral sense .... Responding to the questions of Biache, the Ganigueul [Gnanigol] philosopher explains the doctrine of the unity of God, creation, the nature of the soul, the dogma of punishment and reward in a future state, the cult appropriate for the supreme being, the duties of all states, ere. (Sainte-Croix 1778:I.146-47)...

Though Sainte-Croix did not ascribe the text to a missionary, he regarded this teaching as quire different from that of the Vedam and explained that "Chumontou pretends to reach the Vedam by establishing his own system, and he does not bother to prove if it is really conform to the doctrine of that sacred book" (I.149). Such doubts led to the following conclusion about the text's authorship and age: "This work which contains the exposition of the principles of the philosophy of the Ganigueuls [Gnanigol], as opposed to the actual beliefs of Indian people, can certainly not be very old" (1.150).

-- The Birth of Orientalism, by Urs App


Sainte-Croix' interpretation of the EzV combines acceptance of Anquetil's handwritten note in the margin of his EzV manuscript (see p. 8) with his readings on the philosophy of the Indian "Ganigueuls." [Gnanigol]. He quotes some of La Croze's statements on these philosophers, and subsequently (1.147-8) analyzes the dialogue between Biache and Chumontou as follows: "A man shrouded in the darkness of idolatry reports, under the name of Biache, the fables that are most highly sanctioned in India, and exhibits the whole array of popular theology of that country. The philosopher Chumontou rejects this mythology as contrary to good sense, or because he has not read it in the ancient books, and he gives moralistic explanations for the fabulous stories that are based on facts which he has to admit. In his answers to Biache's questions the Ganigueul [Gnanigol] philosopher teaches his own beliefs on the unity of God, creation, the nature of the soul, the dogma of suffering and reward, the worship that is due to the Supreme being, the duties of all ranks, etc. He pays special attention to those absorbed in pure contemplation; in this respect his principles are in perfect agreement with those of the Samanaeans and the ancient sectarians of Budda." Sainte-Croix is much more critical of Voltaire. He quotes long passages from him, and comments on them. His main point of disagreement is (1.150) that. since the EzV opposes the teachings of the Ganigueuls [Gnanigol] to present beliefs of the Indian people, "it certainly cannot be very old."...

Sainte-Croix accepts what is said on the title page: "translated by a Brahmin." He adds (1778:1.x) that, although he has revised the style of the translation, he has not corrected all mistakes "to preserve for the Indian author that foreign aura which inspires confidence in the readers, and will convince them of our trustworthiness." As far as the author of the original is concerned, he speaks (1.165) of "Chumontou, the author of the Ezour-Vedam." We have seen earlier that he also had specific ideas on Chumontou's philosophic affiliation. Hence his conclusion (1.146): "We find all over the Ezour-Vedam the principle tenets of the doctrine of the Ganiguels [Gnanigol], there is consequently no doubt that the book has been composed by a philosopher of that sect."

-- Ezourvedam: A French Veda of the Eighteenth Century, Edited with an Introduction by Ludo Rocher


What I said above already made me suspect that not only the Ezour-Vedam was a French work, but that the P. Calmette was the author. To acquire the certainty I had thought to speak to that, all of Paris, was the better to know the status of the issue. The venerable Abbé Dubois, who was a missionary for forty years in India, who lived with the last Jesuit missionaries, and who lived in Pondicherry, has no doubt seen, I said to myself, those curious manuscripts which made so much noise. I went on to find, and without letting him know my opinion, I asked him if we knew the author of the Ezour-Veda. "This is the P. Calmette," he told me at once. But, he added, several missionaries got their hands on it. I needed no more. I had rediscovered the trace of the illustrious Indianist who was the initiator of French scholars in this branch which is so flourishing today.

-- The Father Calmette and the Indianist Missionaries, by Father Julien Bach


159 HB 8: 531. “Sie antwortet: Hättet ihr unsere Bücher durchlesen, so würdet ihr gantz anders von uns Malabaren und Mohren urtheilen. Ich sprach: Gut, wolt ihr mich als denn besser hören, so will ich gerne die Mühe auf mich nehmen und eure Bücher durchlesen. Lasset mir nur die Besten zu kommen. Sie antwortet: ja, gantz gerne. Darauf ließ ich gleich einen Malabarischen Schreiber ein Verzeichniß von einer ziemlicher Anzahl Bücher aufschreiben, und legte ihnen selbiges vor. Sie sprachen: Wir haben die wenigsten von diesen Büchern; jedoch wollen wir unsern Pantaren, Bramanen, und Schulmeistern Befehl geben, daß sie umher suchen sollen, ob dergleichen ausgeforschet werden können: Unterdessen würde man diejenigen Autores, die solche geschrieben, wieder vom Tode auferwecken müssen, wenn man dergleichen Bücher recht verstehen solte. Ich sagte: Es hat mir dieser Schwierigkeit nichts zu bedeuten. Vielleicht ist anjetzo die Zeit, da sie sollen aufgelöset werden: schaft ihr mir nur fein viele, ich will sie entweder bezahlen, oder mir abschreiben lassen. Sie versprachen mir solches, und nahmen ihren Abschied.”

Google translate: “She answers: If you had read our books, you would have judged us Malabars and Moors quite differently. I said: Well, if you want to hear me better than that, I will gladly take the trouble to read your books. Let me only the best come. She replies: yes, I'd love to. I immediately had a Malabar scribe write down a list of quite a number of books and presented them with the same. They said: We have the fewest of these books; however, we want to give orders to our pantars, bramans, and schoolmasters, that they should search about whether such things can be found out: meanwhile, those authors who wrote such things would have to be raised from the dead again, if one were to understand such books correctly. I said: This difficulty means nothing to me. Perhaps now is the time when they are to be dissolved: just give me a lot, I will either pay for them or have them written off. They promised me this and took their leave."

-- Bibliotheca Malabarica, by Will Sweetman with R. Ilakkuvan, Institut Francais de Pondichery, 2012


122 “Ich war vor einigen Tagen bey einem alten Schul-Lehrer, und hat, daß er mir die drey letzten für gute Bezahlung in ihrer Sprache abschreiben möchte: Aber er konte sich dazu nicht resolviren, indem es wieder ihr Gesätze wäre, einem Christen dergleichen zukommen zu lassen.” (Lange, Merckwürdige Nachricht, 11); cf. “Dergleichen ungereimte Erzehlungen haben die Malabaren in ihren Versen treflich annehmlich zu lesen gemacht, wollen sie aber keinen Christen zukommen lassen, wenn man ihnen gleich viel Geld anbiethet” (ibid., 12).

[Google translate: 122 “A few days ago I was with an old school teacher and had that he would like to copy the last three for me in their language for good payment: But he could not resolve to do so, since it was against their law, a Christian like that to be sent." (Long Strange Message, 11); cf. “The Malabarians have made such nonsensical tales extremely pleasant to read in their verses, but they do not want to pass them on to Christians if they are offered a lot of money” (ibid., 12).

123 “Die drey letzten lasse ich mir anitzo mit grossen Unkosten in Malabarischer Sprache abschreiben, damit ich von deren Inhalt eine rechte Gewißheit bekommen möge. Wiewohl sie solches noch keinem Christen gethan haben, und würden es auch mir nicht thun, wenn ich mich nicht, als die Apostel, in die durch Freundlichkeit wohl zu schicken wüste, und täglich mit ihnen familiarissime umgienge” (Bergen, Ziegenbalgs… Brieffe, 19). Cf. the comments in Ziegenbalg, Tranquebar, 25 September 1706, in Lehmann, Alte Briefe, 40, cited above, n. 116.

[Google translate: 123 “I am anitzo having the last three copied in the Malabar language at great expense, so that I can be quite certain of their content. Although they have never done this to any Christian, and they would not do it to me either if I, as the apostles, did not know how to send myself through kindness and dealt with them familiarissime every day" (Bergen, Ziegenbalgs... Brieffe, 19 ). cf. the comments in Ziegenbalg, Tranquebar, 25 September 1706, in Lehmann, Alte Briefe, 40, cited above, n. 116.

124 The loss of one of the four Vedas, due to Śiva having cut off one of Brahmā’s four heads, is found in Baldaeus, Wahrhaftige ausführliche Beschreibung, 556.

-- Bibliotheca Malabarica, by Will Sweetman with R. Ilakkuvan, Institut Francais de Pondichery, 2012


But in the same letter Calmette announced that he was certain of having found the genuine Vedas:

The Vedams found here have clarified issues regarding other books. They had been considered so impossible to find that in Pondicherry many people could not believe that it was the genuine Vedam, and I was asked if I had thoroughly examined it. But the investigations I have made leave no doubt whatsoever; and I continue to examine them every day when scholars or young brahmins who learn the Vedam in the schools of the land come to see me and I make them recite it. I even recite together with them what I have learned from some text's beginning or from other places. It is the Vedam; there is no more doubt about this. (p. 441)

Calmette achieved this success thanks to a Brahmin who was a secret Christian, and in 1731 he reported having acquired all four Vedas, including the fourth that de Nobili had thought lost (p. 442).

-- The Birth of Orientalism, by Urs App


125 “Das erste handle von der Göttlichkeit und den primis principiis omnium rerum, welches aber mit dem einen Haupte, als er einmahls mit Ispara um die Ober-Stelle gezancket, wäre verloren wordern. Das andre Buch handle von den Gewaltigen, welchen die Herrschaft und Metamorphosi omnium rerum zugeschrieben wird. Das dritte soll lauter gute Moralia in sich begreiffen. Das vierdte handle von den schuldigen Pflichten ihres Götzen= Dienstes” (Bergen, Ziegenbalgs… Brieffe, 19).

[Google translate: 125 “The first deals with divinity and the primis principiis omnium rerum, which, however, with one head, when he once quarreled with Ispara for the supreme position, would have been lost. The other book deals with the mighty, to whom rule and Metamorphosi omnium rerum are ascribed. The third is supposed to contain nothing but good morals. The fourth deals with the duties owed by their idol service” (Bergen, Ziegenbalgs… Brieffe, 19).

126 The idea of a “Tamil Veda,” that is, a work or works in some sense equivalent to the Sanskrit Veda but not a direct translation from it, is widespread and found among both Śaivas (Indira Viswanathan Peterson, Poems to Śiva: The Hymns of the Tamil Saints (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989), 57) and Vaiṣṇavas (John Braisted Carman and Vasudha Narayanan, The Tamil Veda: Piḷḷāṉ’s Interpretation of the Tiruvāymoḻi (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989), 4). Cf. on the development of this idea Cutler, Songs of Experience, 7–10.

-- Bibliotheca Malabarica, by Will Sweetman with R. Ilakkuvan, Institut Francais de Pondichery, 2012


Aleppa was born around 1660 into a family (probably of higher Tamil Shudra caste) that had long worked for Europeans. Around 1700 he was "Ober-Tolk" (head translator) of the Danish trading company and the top representative of the Tamil inhabitants of the city (Grundler and Ziegenbalg 1998:18). It is not clear for what grave reasons this influential man was banished from Tranquebar; but his value to the mission is reflected both in the decision to let him return to the city and in his extraordinarily high yearly salary of 100 thalers, which surpassed even that of European employees (p. 20). After two years of work with the missionaries, Aleppa was again expelled in 1709. However, the missionaries managed to keep him on their payroll as collaborator from afar. And collaborate he did: in 1710-11 he was even imprisoned by the king of neighboring Tancavur for having "revealed all the secrets of their law and worship [Gesetzes und Gottesdienstes]" to the missionaries (p. 21).

-- The Birth of Orientalism, by Urs App
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 34238
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Tue Apr 05, 2022 6:27 am

Part 1 of 2

French Jesuit Scientists in India: Historical Astronomy in the Discourse on India, 1670-1770
by Dhruv Raina
Economic and Political Weekly
Vol. 34, No. 5
Jan. 30 - Feb. 5, 1999

-- Astronomy, Customs, Laws and Astrology of India About A.D. 1080, by Dr. Edward C. Sachau, Professor in the Royal University of Berlin and Principal of the Seminary for Oriental Languages; Member of the Royal Academy of Berlin, and Corresponding Member of the Imperial Academy of Vienna, Honorary Member of the Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, London, and of the American Oriental Society, Cambridge, USA, 1910

-- Ancient Indian Astronomy in Vedic Texts, by R.N. Iyengar

-- Royal Astronomical Society [Astronomical Society of London], by Wikipedia

-- Some Purana References, from "Astronomical Dating of the Mahabharata War, by Dieter Koch"

-- Astronomical Dating of the Mahabharata War, by Dieter Koch

-- Determination of the Date of the Mahabharata: The Possibility Thereof, [Reprinted from Vishveshvaram and Indological Journal, Vol. XI


The intellectual activity finally culminating in the grand theoretical syntheses of the celestial sciences towards the end of the 18th century followed a century's toil undertaken by Jesuit scientists and traveller's posted outside Europe. This essay briefly addressed the endeavour of the French Jesuits who landed in India during the late 17th and first half of the 18th centuries. The Jesuit scientists of the period were inaugurators of a discourse on India and Indian historical astronomy marked by ambiguity, where fascination and dismissal go together; where the enchantment with the new world and its distinct knowledge forms provide the occasion for enriching the self in cognitive and cultural terms, and through an act of distantiation [mental or emotional distance], of redefining the self as superior.
 
A true man of the church, he intended to prove that the Bible had not lied, but also a man of science, he wanted to make the Sacred Text agree with the results of the research of his own time. And to this end he had collected fossils, explored the lands of the Orient to discover something on the peak of Mount Ararat, and made very careful calculations of the putative dimensions of the Ark.

-- Umberto Eco. The Island of the Day Before.


THE 18th century legacy of the history of science for long ensured that the role of the Jesuits in the advance of modern science was underplayed. This lack of attention was partially the product of an ideological fixation concerning the antagonism between science and religion. In fact, late 19th and early 20th century historiography had been habituated to the idea that science and religion were pathologically opposed to each other. The overplayed Galileo episode has for sometime been interpreted by historians of science as being a specific manifestation of the relation between the views of some natural philosophers and the interests of religious institutions [Wallace 194]. Furthermore, throughout the medieval ages into the age of modernity institutions of Christian religion had evolved with traditional bodies of natural knowledge (Shapin 1996: 136]. The ecumenical Merton thesis has done a great deal to deflect our simplistic fixation with the conflictual model. According to this thesis, where "science prospered in early modern times, it derived important support and reinforcement from organised religion" [Heilbron 199: 11]. A variety of astronomy that emerged in Jesuit institutions in Italy in the 17th century gradually blossomed into an active tradition of Jesuit science in France in the 18th century. This tradition has been little researched (Harris 1989: 41]: despite the fact that the Jesuit writings on the sciences constitute a fairly substantial corpus.

Between the years 1600 and 1773, the year when the Society of Jesus was suppressed, Jesuit scientists had authored more than 4,000 published works, about 600 journal articles appeared after 1700, and about 1,000 manuscripts were available. The society's known publications include 6,000 scientific works covering areas such as Aristotelian natural philosophy, medicine, philosophy, astronomy and mathematics [Harris: 41]. The scientific writing of the Jesuits fall into six broad categories. Of the six, three of immediate concern to us include textbooks and treatises on Euclidean geometry and mixed mathematics, treatises, opuscules and journal articles on observational astronomy, and academic publications on experimental and natural philosophy [Harris: 42]. About 40 percent of the Jesuit literary output from the foreign apostolates dealt with astronomy. These included important eclipse observations, other celestial events such as the transit of Venus, and the correction of longitudes of important places.1 These efforts furthered the determination of the shape of the earth [Harris: 56], and in a less direct way provided the grounding for the finalisation of celestial mechanics, that more or less closed the era of Laplacian physics by the 1830s [Pyenson 1993: 4].

Amongst the French members of the Society of Jesus were many astronomers.2 These contributions included the determination of latitudes and longitudes for all of China, the observation of solar and lunar eclipses as well as of eclipses of Jupiter's satellites, the passage of Mercury through the solar disc -- to mention a few. These Jesuit astronomers also initiated studies on ancient Chinese records and observations, in order to analyse Chinese chronology. In fact, it was a similar interest that led them onto the study of Chinese, Indian and Egyptian history [Han 1995: 491]. These astronomical observations in Chinese were often used to determine the accuracy of Chinese history, and hence these Jesuit scientists were the progenitors of Chinese historical astronomy [Han: 492].

The historian of science, S.N. Sen, remarked in an important paper, that unlike the case of China, the Jesuits in India made little contribution to the growth of modern science [Sen 1988: 114]. However, some of Sen's own research into the history of astronomy requires a revision of the hypothesis. The Jesuit project in India was certainly not on as grand a scale as it was in China. Nevertheless, despite internal dissension within the Jesuit order, witnessed both in India and China, the Jesuits inaugurated the historical inquiry into ancient Indian astronomy (as they did in China) by providing both the impetus and material for French savants and astronomers to develop their histoires de l'astronomie. Furthermore, the efforts of French Jesuit astronomers in India and China mutually complemented each other. The institutional and administrative organisation of Jesuit science was ensured through the disciplinary structures of the Society of Jesus that reinforced a 'high level of group coherence and loyalty' [Harris 1989: 39]. Jesuit superiors stationed at foreign apostolates were thus required to send detailed reports and edifying news, in the hope of winning over new apostates, to Rome and western European metropolises [Harris: 57].

Three different interests, Jami points out, converged in the formation of the French Jesuit missions. and subsequently deciding their research agenda. In the first instance the director of the Paris observatory in the 1670s Gian-Domenico Cassini (1624-1712) submitted a proposal to the minister Colbert to send Jesuits to China to make some astronomical observations, and to advance their knowledge of latitudes, longitudes and magnetic declinations. Secondly, the French king was compelled by French Jesuit interests to augment support for Catholic missions abroad, since it was binding upon the "Church's eldest daughter", to do so. The third, was part of a larger proposal to send French embassies to Asian courts [Jami 1995: 495]. One of the missions that was sent to Thailand finally landed up in Pondicherry.

A leading French astronomer stationed in China was Pere Antoine Gaubil (1689-1759), whose astronomical researches had exercised influence on the French astronomer, theorist and mathematical physicist, Pierre Simon Laplace (1749-1827).
Gaubil researched into traditional Chinese astronomy, and proposed that the changing obliquity of the ecliptic should be adopted from Chinese astronomical sources. As indicated earlier, Gaubil was instrumental in creating a formation that one could call 'historical astronomy' -- for convenience we shall take the term to designate the project of probing historical records for celestial events that could retrospectively result in the revision or validation of contemporary astronomical practice. This is evidenced in some of his important books such as 'Histoire abregee de l'astronomie chinoise', Paris, 1729; 'Histoire de l'Astronomie chinoise' that first appeared in volume 31 of the Lettres edifiantes; and Traite de la chronologie chinoise -- while this manuscript was sent to Paris in 1749, it was Laplace who discovered a copy in the library of the Bureau des Longitudes [Dieny 1995: 503].

Pere Gaubil was in constant touch with the French Jesuit astronomer and cartographer Pere Claude Stanisla Boudier (1687-1757) stationed at Chandernagor in India. Boudier's reputation as an astronomer earned him an invitation to Jai Singh' s court in 1734. During his journey to and sojourn at Jaipur, he, like his counterparts in China determined the longitude of 63 Indian cities, in addition to measuring the meridional altitudes of a few stars. [Ansari 1985: 372]. In addition, he observed the first satellite of Jupiter on April 2, 1734 at Fatehpur, and again at Jaipur on August 15 of the same year. He also observed the solar eclipse of May 3, 1734 at Delhi and had earlier reported the lunar eclipse of December 1, 1732. Pere Gaubil however considered that Pere Boudier's estimates of the diameter of the sun were on the higher side. It appears, that just as the French Jesuits provided the last accurate figures of the longitudes of the leading Chinese cities, Boudier did the same for Delhi and Agra [Ansari 1985: 372].

The historian of astronomy, Ansari tries to draw a parallel between the perseverance of the Jesuits in India and China. He is right in observing the neglect of scientific textual scholarship of the Jesuits in India; but then the phase of European textual scholarship in and on the sciences of India really commenced much after the Society of Jesus had been suppressed.4 Regarding the place of Jesuit scientists in the court of the Chinese emperor and that of the Moghuls, Ansari's remarks are less conclusive. But the third point that the French Jesuits in India, unlike their Chinese counterparts were not good scientists and were not in contact with the best scientists in Europe is at best an overstatement [Ansari 1985: 374-75] It is true that not all the Jesuit astronomers in India were in touch with the leading French astronomers located at Paris. It is nevertheless incontestably true that their reports and records became the source material for three subsequent generations of French astronomers: Le Gentil, Bailly, Laplace and Delambre. This in any case does not detract from the point that the Jesuits did not bring the Copernican revolution to the east, that its impact on Indian astronomy was minimal [Sharma 1982: 351]. We now come to the specific context of the French Jesuits who came to India, their writing, who they were and what source material they provided on the ancient astronomy of India.

FOUNDING OF THREE FRENCH JESUIT MISSIONS

The tenure of the European Jesuits in India dates back to the 16th century. But our purpose is not an essay that constructs the entire Jesuit corpus as one homogeneous text. On the contrary, internal political and doctrinal differences emerged within the Jesuit order as a consequence, not only of different intellectual traditions and social orderings, but more importantly of the rivalry between different European states.5 In this particular case, we shall not discuss the programme of the Portuguese Jesuits in Goa in the 16th century.6 The focus of our attention are the French Jesuits who arrived in India towards the end of the 17th and the early decades of the 18th centuries.

The counter reformation provided the backdrop for the first Portuguese Jesuits who arrived in Goa in the first half of the 16th century; and were propelled by the forceful colonising and evangelising impulse, manifest in rituals of 'slash and burn' evangelisation [Zupanov 1993: 136]. Another interpretive tradition found its expression in the evangelical efforts of the Italian Jesuit, Roberto Nobili, founder of the Madurai Mission. This strategy, Zupanov calls the 'adaptationist method of conversion' -- accomodatio -- was developed by Italian missionaries for Asian countries [Zupanov 1993: 124], and possibly came out of the Collegio Romano where this art of Jesuit conversion was rehearsed. This method was premised upon a humanist theological universalism [Zupanov 1993: 123], that was quite at variance with that of the Portuguese order. This strategy of accomodatio was in measure adopted by the French Jesuits who came to India and founded the Missions at Pondicherry, Mysore and Chandernagore.
With the democratisation of knowledge that marked 17th century Europe, the lower literate social orders, from whose ranks some of the Jesuits came, were also engaged in the colonial enterprise. These figures came around to considering themselves "superior to any learned Brahman", and found the "colonial setting fertile ground for this kind of psychological...official promotion" [Zupanov 1993: 143].

In the late 17th century, there were two distinct phases marking the relationship between French travellers and Jesuits with princes of several Indian states. The first was a period of 20 years, from 1666 to 1686. The French saw the geographical expanse of the Indian subcontinent as politically divided in two: the Mongol ruled India of the north that was more or less independent from 'l'Inde pathane' and 'l'Inde carnatic'. As far as the French were concerned this period coincided with that of the relative prosperity of the Compagnie royale francaise, which indicated that the French had the necessary resources for the creation and extension of their commercial interests [Duarte 1932: 195]. Their first explorations were purely of a territorial nature, and the political leaders adopted a policy of reconciliation [Duarte 1932: 196]. This was reflected even in the Jesuit programme of evangelisation.

The second period also extended over 20 years: from 1686-1706. Difficulties began appearing in 1677 and climaxed in 1679. By 1706 the Compagnie des Indes Orientales had all but disappeared, and was reconstituted in 1719. But this time it did not survive through its own efforts, having sold its monopoly to private societies. During this period French policy was limited to prudently and surreptitiously increasing the number of their posts, while awaiting favourable times [Duarte 1932: 196].

The death of Saint Francis Xavier appeared to have marked the deceleration of the Portuguese proselytising fury in India. It was for Pere Roberto de Nobili to show that the contempt of the indigenous population towards the missionaries was the cause of the decline of missionary effort. He then set about reversing the trend. It was for him to inform Rome that: "We imagine that these people are ignorant, but I assure you that they are not. I am actually reading one of their books in which I learn philosophy anew almost in the same terms as I studied it at Rome, though of course, their philosophy is fundamentally different from ours" [quoted in Zupanov 1993: 126]. This hermeneutic discernment sought to propose that Hindu customs and rites could not only be incorporated into Christianity, but justified within Christian theology [Zupanov 1993: 127]. Zupanov conjectures that Nobili's aristocratic background possibly accounted for his extra-sensitivity "in detecting and acknowledging...non-European analogues". This proto-emic [???] approach of seeing the world through the eyes of the other may have licensed "both epistemic condescension and intellectual curiosity" [Zupanov 1993: 143].

GEODESY AND CHRONOLOGY IN LETTRES OF JESUITS

The French Jesuits arrived in their evangelical role on the Coromandel coast; the French king having sent these missionaries versed in the sciences of Europe to India. Peres Tachard, Fontenay, Bouvet, Gerbillon, Le Comte and Visdelou were the first French missionaries to arrive in India. As the 18th century commenced there were three large French missions located in southern India: the Madurai missions founded by Nobili in 1608: the Mysore mission that was first run by the Dominicans and later by the Franciscans. Neither of them left traces of their work, and it was left to the French Jesuits to refound the mission [Bamboat 1933: 851. The third was the Carnatic mission that commenced at Pondicherry and was founded by members of the Society of Jesus who landed at Pondicherry after they were expelled during the course of a revolution in Thailand. The most notable of these Jesuits were Peres Tachard, Mauduit8 and Bouchet [Bamboat 1933: 85].

Pere Tachard was among the first French missionaries of the Society of Jesus to choose India as the "theater for their apostolic work", having been sent by Louis XIV to Thailand in 1685. He learnt the language of the country and in 1686 accompanied the French ambassador to Thailand to meet Louis XIV and the Sovereign Pontiff. He returned to Thailand in 1687, but two years later following a coup against the king and his minister, he retired to Pondicherry with other missionaries and remained there till 1693. When Pondicherry fell to the Dutch, he was arrested and sent to Europe. He returned to Surat in India in 1696 and later founded a small seminary at Chandernagor [Bamboat 1933: 89]. He went on to found the Carnatic mission and sent Jesuits to the hinterland of the province. He had a reputation for making accurate astronomical observations that are contained in his diary and letters; in addition to which there are important remarks on the geography of the region [Bamboat 1933: 90-91].

In fact, in the year 1687 he visited Louis XIV in Paris with the French ambassador to Siam, M de la Loubere, and carried a Sanskrit manuscript from Thailand. This manuscript contained rules for the computation of the longitudes of the sun and the moon. In its own time, it was to exercise the scientific skills of Gian-Dominique Cassini, then heading the Paris observatory, before he could translate the computational rules contained therein into the language of modern astronomy [Sen 1985: 49]. Cassini's computations were presented in the Memoires of French Royal Academy. Based on the ratio of omitted lunar days to the total number of days, that Cassini took to be 11/703, he calculated the synodic month to be 29 days, 12 hours 44 minutes and 2.39 seconds. Having established that 228 solar months were equivalent to 235 lunar months, Cassini showed that the metonic cycles were known to the Indians who had generated these astronomical rules [Sen 1985: 50]. The sun underwent 800 revolutions over a computed period of 2,92,207 days, and Cassini estimated the length of the sidereal year to be 365 days, 6 hours, 12 minutes and 36 seconds. Since this figure agreed with the value obtained in the Paulisa Siddhanta of Varahamihira, it was much later argued that these computational rules were derived from the latter text [Sen 1985: 50].

Pere Papin was one of the first missionaries in India and was appointed Superior in Bengal in 1711. His letters and writings provide important information on the industry and medical practices of the region.9 Like Pere Tachard, Pere Bouchet was a member of the expedition to Thailand in 1687. But the revolution of 1688 brought him to the province of Malabar. He was later sent to the Madurai mission. [Bamboat 1933: 93]. Bouchet opened up a discussion on metempsychosis and, shall we say, comparative philosophy. His detailed letter to M Huet, the former Bishop of Avranches [Lettres, 1810, Tome 12: 136-93], discussed the points of convergence of Pythagorean and Indian metempsychosis. As a Catholic, he was naturally perplexed by the doctrine of transmigration of the soul, and so embarked on a comparative discussion on the doctrine of the soul amongst the Indians, Pythagoreans, the Platonists and the Christians, and naturally sets up a distance between the former three and the latter [Lettres 1810, Tome 12: 145-53]. But what is most significant, is the preoccupation with, on the one hand eschatology [the part of theology concerned with death, judgment, and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind.], and on the other Indian cosmology, the theory of the beginning and the end of the world, the Indian book of genesis [Lettres 1810, Tome 12: 155]. This interest persists into the secular history of astronomy produced by non-Jesuit French savants, and is possibly the signature of the 18th century fascination with the origin of the universe, the commencement of terrestrial time. In astronomical terms, this preoccupation moves along a fluid boundary between the scriptural and the scientific, and is reflected in the second preoccupation of the 18th century mind that is articulated even within the archive of French Jesuit science, and this has to do with chronology.

This engagement with chronology is not to be disassociated from traditional cosmology. For if chronology dealt with the unfolding of time, it temporally situated the unfurling of human history. For those nurtured in Catholic doctrine, human time, like history, began after the Deluge. Consequently, the search for analogues of the Noahic Deluge figures in their reading of other scriptural traditions, as if the Deluge was a mythopoeic universal that informed our meditations on celestial time [Lettres 1810, Tome 12: 157]. In terms of the scientific interpretation of the Bible, as the history of science moved towards becoming a secular discipline, the Dispersion of Nations and the Deluge were to be dated. Hence these preoccupations were not specific to Antoine Gaubil for whom answering these questions required the study of the history of astronomy in China [Dieny 1995: 504], but of the Jesuits in India and the mental landscape of the 18th century scientific imagination, rooted both in history and the Bible.


EXPEDITION OF PERES PONS AND BOUDIER TO JAIPUR

Pere Pons arrived in India in 1726 and after spending a few years in Thanjavur was appointed superior of the French Mission in Bengal. Other than compiling a Sanskrit grammar, and a treatise on Sanskrit poetics that was sent to Europe, he visited Delhi and Jaipur with Pere Boudier, mentioned earlier, to make some astronomical observations [Bamboat 1933: 95]. We find an account of this in a note entitled 'Observations: Geographic Expedition Undertaken in 1734 by Jesuit Fathers During Their Voyage from Chandernagor to Delhi to Jaipur' in the Lettres Edifiantes [Lettres, 1810, 15:269-91]. [Lettres, 1810, 15:269-91]. [Lettres, 1781, 15:337-349] In fact, this is a report on the very observations mentioned earlier in our discussion on Gaubil. The report begins by pointing out that the raja of Amber, Sawai Jai Singh, a savant [learned person] in astronomy, for whom the Jesuits had undertaken this expedition, had a number of astronomers working for him [Lettres 1810. 15: 269]. Jai Singh had requested the superior general of the church at Chandernagore, Boudier, to send Jesuit fathers stationed at Chandernagore to make some observations; and so Pres Pons and Boudier set out for Delhi and Jaipur.

The motivations behind this expedition have been recorded by Eric Forbes [Forbes 1982].10 Jai Singh's first contact with European astronomy appeared to reinforce his conviction that his large masonry observatories yielded more accurate results than iron astrolabes and sextants. He failed initially to appreciate the point that the source of his error was a faulty theoretical basis for computing lunar and planetary motions adopted by La Hire. In his letter to Pere Boudier, Jai Singh informed the former that he recognised this failing on mastering La Hire's book, and then wished to investigate whether other tables existed, and if so its underlying theoretical principles [Forbes 1982: 238]. And while Boudier was a "skilled telescopic observer", he was not equipped to answer Jai Singh's queries [Forbes 1982: 238]. Peres Boudier and Pons agreed to undertake the 1,000 mile journey to Jaipur on January 6, 1734 in the hope that they could establish a Christian mission at Jaipur. They reached Jaipur nine months later, but were forced to return shortly on account of ill health. When they were not making their observations, Forbes writes, they spent their time trying to convince the local brahmins of "Indian astronomy's indebtedness to ancient Greek culture" [Forbes 1982: 240].

The Bracmanes cultivated almost every part of mathematics; algebra was not unknown to them: but astronomy, the end of which was astrology, was always the principal object of their mathematical studies, because the superstition of the great and the people made it more useful to them. They have several methods of astronomy. A Greek scholar, who, like Pythagoras, once traveled in India, having learned the sciences of the Bracmanas, taught them in his turn his method of astronomy; and in order that his disciples might make it a mystery to others, he left them in his work the Greek names of the planets, the signs of the zodiac, and several terms[???] like hora (twenty-fourth part of a day), Kendra (center), etc. I had this acquaintance at Dely, and it served me to make the astronomers of Raja Jaesing, who are in large numbers in the famous observatory which he had built in this capital, feel that formerly masters had come to them [from] Europe.[!!!]

When we arrived at Jaëpur, the prince, to convince himself of the truth of what I had advanced[???], wanted to know the etymology of these Greek words, which I gave him.
I also learned from the Bracmanas of Hindustan, that the most esteemed of their authors had placed the sun at the center of the movements of Mercury and Venus. Raja Jaësing will be regarded in the centuries to come as the restorer of Indian astronomy. The tables of M. de la Hire, under the name of this Prince,[!!!] will be current everywhere in a few years.[!!!]

Letter From Father Pons, Missionary of the Company of Jesus, to Father Du Halde, of the same Company. At Careical, on the coast of Tanjaour; in the East Indies, November 23, 1740. From "Lettres Edifiantes Et Curieuses, Ecrites Des Missions Etrangeres", by Charles Le Gobien


The document in the Lettres reports their observations of latitudes and longitudes of about 60 Indian towns and cities, the course of rivers they encountered during the course of their journey, the occultation of the Jovian satellites, and finally their observation regarding two eclipses that occurred in 1734. Appendix I provides a list of the latitudes and longitudes of some of the cities and towns obtained by them. However, there is an error of 35" in his latitude measurements of the observatory sites at Jaipur and Delhi [Sharma 1982: 347].

Throughout the 18th century one of the crucial obstacles for reconstructing the geography of India was the paucity of data on geographical latitudes and longitudes. The condition was further exacerbated by the non-standardisation of the Indian mile vis-a-vis the European mile, given the fact that the Indian mile varied from region to region of the country [Sen 1982: 1]. The Jesuits set about mapping this terrain. The method employed for determining these parameters required that the latitude and longitude of Chandernagor be known through a large number of astronomical observations. The route followed was carefully mapped as they travelled from one station to a neighbouring one. All along, the time was scrupulously noted with a time piece on hand, that was calibrated for the Paris meridian. The time spent was then compared with the speed of the vehicle. In addition, the detours along the route were carefully marked, and the speed of the air noted, a compass provided the directional readings [Lettres 1810, 15: 273]. This procedure was repeated all the way from Chandernagor to Kassimbazar to Patna to Agra to Delhi till they reached Jaipur. From Patna to Agra they could not use the compass since they were travelling by cart. Their observations had thus to be supplemented by surveying the course of the sun. Furthermore, throughout the voyage, as is done on sea, they had to correct their estimates by obtaining the latitudes of several locations [Lettres 1810. 15: 274]. No observations were made between Chandernagor and Kassimbazar since they covered this distance by the waterway, and the meandering path of the Ganges would have required that they spend a great deal of time to obtain a just estimate. In addition, they spent some time covering the distance at night [Lettres 1810, 15: 274.] On examining a number of naval maps, they found that Calcutta was marked more towards the east than Chandernagor, while in fact it was more to the west. Boudier and Pons found it surprising that the pilots sailing on the Ganges from one town to the next had not corrected this error. In addition, the report contains observations of the meridional heights of stars in 1734 taken from several towns [Lettres 1810, 15: 280-83].

At Kassimbazar, the French Jesuits carried out observations to calculate longitudes in 1734. These observations related to the immersion of the first satellite of Jupiter on January 30 at 15 hours, 41.
On the same day, the passage of Beta Polaris was noted at 14 hours, 2 minutes and a fraction of a second [Lettres 1810, 15: 284-85]. At that moment a second star passed the vertical of the North Star at 16 hours 21 minutes and 30 seconds. From the passage of these two stars across the vertical of the North Star the time of the immersion of the satellite was obtained. During this period the time elapsed was 2 minutes and 50 seconds, and the hour of immersion was corrected to 15 hours 38 minutes and 30 seconds. At Fatehpour, the immersion of the first satellite on April 2 commenced at 13 hours 45 minutes and a fraction of a second. On the same day, the height of the tail of Leo towards the west was 46 degrees 9 minutes at 13 hours 50 minutes and a fraction of a second, and the height of the brightest star in Aquila towards the east, was 19 degrees 1 minute 30 seconds at 13 hours 57 minutes and about 10 seconds [Lettres 1810. 15: 285]. From the height of the two stars it was concluded that the time elapsed was 1 minute 26 seconds, the corrected hour of immersion was 13 hours 43 minutes and 34 seconds. Based on Pere Gaubil's observation of the time of immersion in Beijing on the April 11, 1734 [Lettres 1810. 15: 285], the difference between the meridian at Paris and Fatehpur was calculated at 5 hours and 13 minutes. This could be calculated differently. At a known time, the interval between the immersion on April 2 and 11, was 8 degrees 20 hours and 25 minutes, that could be subtracted from the time of observation at Beijing. On April 2, 16 hours 6 minutes and 57 seconds was the time of immersion at Beijing. But at Fatehpur it was observed at 13 hours 43 minutes 34 seconds. This gives a difference of 2 hours 23 minutes and 23 seconds, that must be subtracted from the longitude of Beijing, which was 7 hours 36 minutes: The difference between the meridians at Paris and Fatehpur was 5 hours 12 minutes 37 seconds or 5 hours 13 minutes [Lettres 1810, 15: 286]. A similar exercise was carried out in the case of Agra [Lettres 1810 15: 287]. Gaubil responded to the longitude measurements based on the observations of the occultation of the Jovian satellites, pointing out the errors in Boudier's calculations and that Boudier was unaware of stellar aberration [Gaubil, cited in Sharma. 1982: 347]. However, in the case of Delhi a solar eclipse that occurred on May 3, 1734 was used to obtain the longitude. The eclipse commenced at 3 hours 57 minutes and 11 seconds, but it was difficult to decide the end of the eclipse since the sky was cloudy. The corrected time for the eclipse was 3 hours 59 minutes and 59 seconds and finished at 5 hours 58 minutes and 3 seconds [Lettres 1810. 15: 268]. In a letter Pere Gaubil had mentioned that the Swedish astronomer Celsius had observed the end of this eclipse at Rome at 11 hours 52 minutes and 1 second. Using the method developed by La Hire, the eclipse commenced at Delhi, when the time in Rome was 11 hours 40 minutes and 5 seconds in the morning, and finished at 1 hour 39 minutes 40 seconds in the afternoon. This gives the difference between the meridians at Rome and Delhi as 4 hours 19 minutes and 4 seconds for the commencement of the eclipse and 4 hours 18 minutes and 18 seconds for the end of the eclipse. These differ by 46 seconds, half of which is 23 seconds. Adding this to the smaller of the two figures, we get the mean difference of 4 hours 18 minutes and 41 seconds, to which we add the difference between the meridians of Rome and Paris, which is 41 minutes and 20 seconds. Thus the difference between the meridians of Paris and Delhi is 5 hours and 1 second [Lettres 181-0, 15: 288].

On December 1, 1732 there was a total immersion of the moon at 22 'gharis' (the Indian unit ghari = 24 minutes, and each ghari = 60 'palas' ) 7 'pols' after sun set was observed at Jaipur. The emersion commenced at 26 gharis 13 pols and a half after sun set. Thus the middle of the eclipse was at 9 hours 41 minutes 24 seconds after the sun set. In their calculation the brahmins had not taken account of the effects of refraction, and the fact that the sun set at 5 hours 12 minutes 48 seconds, consequently the middle of the eclipse was at 14 hours 54 minutes 12 seconds [Lettres 1810. 15: 289]. According to Cassini's observation at the Paris Observatory, the middle of the eclipse was 9 hours 58 minutes 38 seconds. Hence, the difference between the meridians of Paris and Jaipur was 4 hours 55 minutes 34 seconds [Lettres 1810. 15: 290]. While Gaubil had made his observations of the satellite of Jupiter using a 20-foot focal length telescope, the Jesuits during their expedition used one that was a refracting telescope of focal length 17-feet [Lettres 1810. 15: 290].

Perusing these records, we recognise firstly the importance and authority of Gaubil among the Jesuit astronomers in India, for he appeared to be providing them the numbers that they considered standard, and thus aided their calibration. It was Gaubil who forwarded their results to Cassini, and thus the latter was the final authority certifying the results of the expedition. Secondly, the study of the motion of the stars and the planets, enabled the savants, through the Jesuits to map the co-ordinates of the globe, symbolically weaving Paris, Rome, Delhi, Jaipur and Beijing into the new fabric of modern science of which the Jesuits were the prominent cultural vectors, and subsequently the agents of cultural imperialism.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 34238
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Tue Apr 12, 2022 3:10 am

Part 2 of 2

THE DUCHAMP MANUSCRIPTS

In order to reassert the point regarding Gaubil as an authoritative figure within the realm of Jesuit science we must briefly discuss two other Jesuit scientists in India, Pere Patouillet and Pere Xavier Duchamp. Two of three important sources for the history of astronomy in India appearing in Jean-Sylvain Bailly's Traite de l'astronomie indienne at Orientale [Bailly 1787 and Delambre's history of astronomy [Delambre 1817 and 1819], were based on Jesuit reports of Sanskrit manuscripts. One of them was sent by Pere Patouillet from India to the astronomer Joseph de Lisle in 1750. This was a copy of the Pancanga Siromani [Panchanga Shiromani].
The Hindu calendar, Panchanga or Panjika is one of various lunisolar calendars that are traditionally used in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, with further regional variations for social and Hindu religious purposes. They adopt a similar underlying concept for timekeeping based on sidereal year for solar cycle and adjustment of lunar cycles in every three years, but differ in their relative emphasis to moon cycle or the sun cycle and the names of months and when they consider the New Year to start. Of the various regional calendars, the most studied and known Hindu calendars are the Shalivahana Shaka found in the Deccan region of Southern India, Vikram Samvat (Bikrami) found in Nepal, North and Central regions of India – all of which emphasize the lunar cycle. Their new year starts in spring. In regions such as Tamil Nadu and Kerala, the solar cycle is emphasized and this is called the Tamil Calendar (Though Tamil Calendar uses month names like in Hindu Calendar) and Malayalam calendar and these have origins in the second half of the 1st millennium CE. A Hindu calendar is sometimes referred to as Panchangam, which is known also known as Panjika in Eastern India.

The ancient Hindu calendar conceptual design is also found in the Hebrew calendar, the Chinese calendar, and the Babylonian calendar, but different from the Gregorian calendar. Unlike the Gregorian calendar which adds additional days to the month to adjust for the mismatch between twelve lunar cycles (354 lunar days) and nearly 365 solar days, the Hindu calendar maintains the integrity of the lunar month, but inserts an extra full month by complex rules, once every 32–33 months, to ensure that the festivals and crop-related rituals fall in the appropriate season.

The Hindu calendars have been in use in the Indian subcontinent since Vedic times, and remain in use by the Hindus all over the world, particularly to set Hindu festival dates. Early Buddhist communities of India adopted the ancient Vedic calendar, later Vikrami calendar and then local Buddhist calendars. Buddhist festivals continue to be scheduled according to a lunar system. The Buddhist calendar and the traditional lunisolar calendars of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand are also based on an older version of the Hindu calendar. Similarly, the ancient Jain traditions have followed the same lunisolar system as the Hindu calendar for festivals, texts and inscriptions. However, the Buddhist and Jain timekeeping systems have attempted to use the Buddha and the Mahavira's lifetimes as their reference points.

The Hindu calendar is also important to the practice of Hindu astrology and zodiac system as well as observing special appearance days of the Lord and fasting days such as Ekadasi....


Siddhānta Śiromaṇi (Sanskrit: सिद्धान्त शिरोमणि for "Crown of treatises") is the major treatise of Indian mathematician Bhāskara II. He wrote the Siddhānta Śiromaṇi in 1150 when he was 36 years old. The work is composed in Sanskrit Language in 1450 verses.

-- Hindu calendar, by Wikipedia

The manuscript may have come from Masoulipatnam or Narsapur, but Bailly felt that it came from Benaras that has the same meridian as Narasimhapur, whose provenance was questionable [Sen 1985: 50]. The manuscript of Duchamp, or the Xavier manuscript as Sen refers to it, could be a copy of a treatise on Hindu astronomy authored by Duchamp, that he had mailed to Gaubil then in Beijing [Sharma 1982:348]. Copies of some of Duchamp's manuscripts are extant at the archives francaises de la Compagnie de Jesus at Vanves, Paris [Duchamp]. Most of these are not Sanskrit manuscripts, but accounts of Indian astronomical practices, calculations of eclipses based on the explication of the procedure followed by Tamil astronomers at Pondicherry, and contain a glossary of astronomical terms employed in Sanskrit and Tamil. Both Patouillet's manuscript and the Duchamp manuscript were the focus of much discussion with the astronomers Bailly, Laplace and Delambre.

Pere Duchamp's manuscript suggests that within the Indian astronomical tradition there existed many methods for calculating the equations of the sun, moon and the planets. At the time, the manuscript was prepared, Pere Duchamp had not deciphered the steps in the operation employed to calculate the time for the commencement and the duration of eclipses. The procedures he documents have to do with those operations that were employed to calculate past eclipses. To validate his reconstruction of the computations of the brahmins, Duchamp requested the help of a brahmin astronomer, and used his method as an exemplar in order to illustrate the procedure employed [Duchamp: folio 000002]. It is during this ethnographic [relating to the scientific description of peoples and cultures with their customs, habits, and mutual differences.] phase of French Indology, that the Surva Siddhanta begins to be canonised as the Indian Almagest [Almagest: an influential treatise on astronomy written by the Greek astronomer and geographer Ptolemy in the second century AD.].
The Surya Siddhanta (IAST: Sūrya Siddhānta; lit. 'Sun Treatise') is a Sanskrit treatise in Indian astronomy from the late 4th-century or early 5th-century CE, in fourteen chapters. The Surya Siddhanta describes rules to calculate the motions of various planets and the moon relative to various constellations, diameters of various planets, and calculates the orbits of various astronomical bodies. The text is known from a 15th-century CE palm-leaf manuscript, and several newer manuscripts. It was composed or revised c. 800 CE from an earlier text also called the Surya Siddhanta.

As described by al-Biruni, the 11th-century Persian scholar and polymath, a text named the Surya Siddhanta was written by one Lāta. The second verse of the first chapter of the Surya Siddhanta attributes the words to an emissary of the solar deity of Hindu mythology, Surya, as recounted to an asura called Maya at the end of Satya Yuga, the first golden age from Hindu texts, around two million years ago.

The text asserts, according to Markanday and Srivatsava, that the earth is of a spherical shape. It treats Sun as stationary globe around which earth and other planets orbit, It calculates the earth's diameter to be 8,000 miles (modern: 7,928 miles), the diameter of the moon as 2,400 miles (actual ~2,160) and the distance between the moon and the earth to be 258,000 miles (now known to vary: 221,500–252,700 miles (356,500–406,700 kilometres). The text is known for some of earliest known discussion of sexagesimal fractions and trigonometric functions.

The Surya Siddhanta is one of the several astronomy-related Hindu texts. It represents a functional system that made reasonably accurate predictions. The text was influential on the solar year computations of the luni-solar Hindu calendar. The text was translated into Arabic and was influential in medieval Islamic geography.


-- Surya Siddhanta, by Wikipedia

It is very likely that Duchamp was unable to decipher the Siddhantic rules for calculating eclipses. The method he encountered was probably the 'vaikiam'. Since Duchamp was unable to discover the textual source of the method he concluded that the method itself was forgotten amongst the practitioners of Indian astronomy and astrology. This textual dissonance is reflected in his explanation that is articulated from his location both in terms of cultural superiority, as well as the Jesuit construction of the brahmins as adversarial authorities. The brahmins would not have shared their knowledge of their method or divulged its source for they would have lost a livelihood had they done so. Secondly, Duchamp felt that they would have lost a sense of correctness of their science. This criticism drew upon the quintessentially renaissance premise regarding the virtues of the democratisation of knowledge.

The letters of the Jesuits [Lettres 1810] are not only important from the point of view of literature, but provide us of the first accounts of a country derived from a textual knowledge of Sanskrit. It was Nobili who had created an interpretive tradition that privileged the written text as being the voice of a civilisalion [Zupanov: 126]. A number of Sanskrit texts were sent to the Bibliotheque royale in Paris; but these were largely texts of scriptural value. In this fascination with textually inscribed knowledge, Duchamp saw the brahmins as the only literate interlocutors in India, who no longer appreciated their rich textual legacy; and hence even they were in a sense illiterate.12 The positioning of such interpretations within the discourse of India gave credence to the idea of the wisdom of an ancient people which had been disfigured. The theory of the lost ancient peoples was to serve, within appropriate contexts, as a device for maintaining their constructions of non-western peoples, that could in turn legitimate imperial control and programmes.

As far as astronomy proper was concerned the Indians had forgotten the theoretical context of their astronomy (read textual) and knew only how to calculate, and even these calculations of meridians, by now a Jesuit specialty, and eclipses were not accurate [Duchamp]. Consequently, Duchamp indicates that the native astronomers had predicted that the eclipse of July 29, 1730 would be partial and the disk would be of the order of 3/4, when it was actually 4/12. Furthermore, given the Jesuit interest in chronology, Duchamp was unable to find the formula to convert the Indian calendars to the western one. Nevertheless, he specifies that the sources from Thailand would provide important material and throw some light on the equation of the centre [Duchamp: folio 000154]. However, in a letter to Souciet dated January 3, 1733, Duchamp retracted some of his remarks concerning the correctness of some of the Indian astronomical procedures, especially those related to the calculation of latitudes [Duchamp 1733].

Pere Calmette collaborated with the Carnatic mission for 15 years and studied the sciences and monuments of India, and discovered the similarity between the Indian and European zodiac, which in turn reminded him of Greece [Bamboat 1933:98]. However, we should note that when it came to the astronomical sciences, the Jesuits based their reconstruction on the recounting of astronomical practices, the era of textual reconstruction was a century away. In this, the contrast with China is substantial. Furthermore, the Jesuit scientists of the late 17th and early 18th centuries were inaugurators of a discourse on India and Indian historical astronomy marked by ambiguity, where fascination and dismissal go together: where the enchantment with the new world and its distinct knowledge forms provide the occasion for enriching the self in cognitive and cultural terms, and through a simultaneous act of distantiation, of redefining the self as superior. The terms of this engagement were defined by the contemporaneous preoccupations of late 17th and early 18th century Europe and France in this case. Despite the overwhelming dimensions of this intellectual landscape that provided Jesuit science with its crucial identity, Indian voices gradually imposed what Zupanov calls "their own horizon of interpretation" [Zupanov 1993:143]. But it is this new self-assurance in the idea and culture of Europe that possibly prompted Bamboat's remarks that the 17th century voyagers couldn't appreciate the beauty and depth of the literature and sciences of India [Bamboat 1933:146].

COGNITIVE AND CULTURAL HORIZON OF THE LETTRES

The Lettres were first published in 1704 and its audience was the church of France, clerics and devotees [Murr 1983: 238]. The collection of letters sought to inform this devout readership of the work of the foreign missions and the difficulties that afflicted them. It also served three other strategies on the political, economic and apologist planes. In political terms, the Lettres constantly provided evidence of missionary activity in the service of the glory of the king of France [Murr: 238]. The economic strategy was designed to attract resources for missionary activity abroad. Thus the Lettres served as publicity material to attract funds for the Society [Murr: 239]. As apology, the Lettres served as an instrument of religious propaganda, to point out to Catholic devotees that god was always amongst them and constantly intervened to assist those who served with religious zeal. But a more significant task was to combat libertines, atheists, skeptics and the attacks mounted by the philosophes. The letter of Pere Bouchet to M Huet, former Bishop of Avranches is an exemplar of this genre of philosophical and religious combat [Lettres 1810. Tome 12: 136-93]. Here, the author very subtly sets up a distance between Catholic doctrine and the views of the Pythagoreans and their Indian counterparts. The scientific agenda of the Jesuits never prevailed upon the strategic intentions. If in the course of their explorations they came across an Indian work that provided a more accurate, authentic account, Murr argues, they would certainly not have communicated it to Europe unless they felt that the cause of their religion would gain something: for the underlying belief was that the civil customs and religious beliefs of the Indians were undesirable for Christians in France. Thus Murr goes on to write that scientific finality was subordinated to pastoral finality [Murr 1983: 240]. Letters mailed from India by the Jesuits that travestied this official image of the country were either unscrupulously torn, edited, censored or modified by the editors of the Lettres [Murr 1983: 240]. Furthermore, as far as the transmission of scientific knowledge was concerned, we see no mention of Copernicus, Kepler or Galileo in their letters. In fact, during their expedition to Jaipur, it is not clear whether Peres Boudier and Pons even appraised Jai Singh of the Copernican system.[!!!]13

There was a change in publication practices of Jesuit astronomers in India and China at the turn of the 17th and early years of the 18th century. The astronomical observations made by the Jesuits were regularly mailed back to Paris by the Jesuit-mathematicians of the king till the end of the 17th century. With the commencement of the 18th century the Jesuits preferred their own works on astronomy, or published their observations from their foreign missions in journals such as Journal de Trevoux [Murr: 243], that was established in 1701 and continued publication till 1767. Amongst a range of doctrinal debates and polemics the journal served as a forum for the publication of the scientific researches of the Jesuits. This possibly explains Heilbron's observation that after 1700 Jesuit scientists authored about 600 articles in scientific journals [Heilbron 1989: 41]. It is only in the second half of the 18th century after the Society of Jesus was suppressed, and the Lettres were terminated, that the Academie des Sciences became interested in anthropological terms in producing a positive discourse on India, devoid of partisan influences [Murr 1983: 243].


The information on India and the images of India appearing in the Lettres, Murr suggests, are enveloped in a rhetoric where the relations of alterity between the French and the brahmins simultaneously develop along three levels. The first is a radical alterity, where India is presented as an elsewhere [Murr. 1986: 15]. Throughout the first half of the 18th century, the Jesuits reaffirmed that paganism was a form of madness and the unhappy Indians were prey to the delirium of a mythology as monstrous as that of the Greeks and Romans. Thus the translation of beliefs, superstitions and ritual practices were constantly aimed at presenting elsewhere as an elsewhere that was radical and close to an inverted image of here. It was an ideological and fantasmatic elsewhere, signifying that the church was the fount of enlightenment, truth and reason [Murr 1986: 15-16]. The second is similitude: India is presented as an other here. At the same time, as the Indians were presented as anti-Christians, they were considered as similar to the Europeans. Like the philosophes, the Jesuits affirmed that human nature was identical and that exotic particularities were inessential. But this founding idea of human nature was not based on some rational anthropology, but was theological since rationality was constantly subject to the dictates of dogma [Murr 1986: 17]. The third sense was as exemplar: India is presented as a Utopia. There were two types of Utopia, the first was Christian and the second 'systeme de police ideal' -- the social order [Murr 1986: 19]. In the case of the Christian Utopia, the original purity of the missionary conferred on them a legitimacy that sui generis they believed endowed authority on the first apostles and apologists in their apostolic work and from whom they adopted a model of autonomy in judgment vis-a-vis the Vatican. In the second type of utopia, the social order of the Indians was presented in certain letters as an ideal model, where all social life was subordinated to the sacred order, the clergy was the fount of temporal power and that all social order was scrupulously observed and social pressure conserved values. This was the dream system of the Jesuits where natural life was mediated by social life, subsumed in turn by the reality of the sacred order [Murr 1986: 21-22].

INTERPRETING BIBLE AND MAPPING EARTH

Amongst the French Jesuits who came to India were a number of Jesuit astronomers. While their task in India was primarily related to conversions, these Jesuit scientists played the important role of surveyors of this new domain. Even within their role as evangelists, they were predisposed to accomodatio as a missionary strategy, that had been perfected by Nobili and embraced by the Jesuits of the Madurai, Carnatic and Mysore missions. Furthermore, Nobili's strategy included adopting local cultural practices, and more importantly consisted in recognising the brahmins as the savants on the Indian subcontinent. The brahmins were thus projected simultaneously as adversaries, whose cultural practices were to be emulated in India by the Jesuits in order to further the cause of the French king and more importantly, the church. On the other hand, the brahmins were also considered the repositories of the cultural and intellectual treasures of India, and it was through them that Europe would be enlightened about this ancient land.

Hence, in the letters these Jesuits wrote home, we find a panel of images of India, most of which persisted throughout the French enlightenment, as well provided the founding tropes of Orientalism. However, these letters were also the source of much scientific information on the geography, botanical resources and medical practices of India -- material for the historian of science. This material has not been meticulously investigated by historians of science, for reasons that partially have to do with self-imposed obstacles within the historiography of sciences. The scientific investigations of the Jesuits have for long been neglected. In addition, to the material appearing in the Lettres the Jesuits published their scientific findings in reports, in particular of astronomical observations, and scientific journals in the early decades of the 18th century.

While the era of textual studies on the history of astronomy of India did not commence till the birth of British Orientalism, the Jesuits provided an ethnographic account of the prevalent astronomical practices, and these accounts later went on to shape the subsequent reconstruction of Le Gentil, Jean-Sylvain Bailly and Laplace. Within the overarching frame of the 'discours sur l'Inde', the Jesuits simultaneously contributed to promoting an interest in the subject amongst practising astronomers from the age of the enlightenment. Beyond the fascination with this ancient knowledge, the Jesuit accounts were punctuated with markings of caution, that this ancient knowledge could not possibly have been generated amongst these fallen people, who had possibly disfigured a wisdom that had arrived from elsewhere. By the 1830s or thereabouts the idea that other civilisations could have had a 'science' as conceived by the Enlightenment came to be regarded with increasing scepticism. While India and Iran were possibly exceptions, the Orientalists had framed them as part of the Indo-European family. As Bernal succinctly puts it they filled the "niche of exotic ancestors" [Bernal 1987:236].

Image

APPENDIX 1: TABLE OF LATITUDE OF THE FOLLOWING PLACES, AND THEIR LONGITUDE WITH RESPECT TO THE ROYAL OBSERVATORY OF PARIS

Name of town / Longitud / East / Latitude / North


Jaipur / 73m / 50' / 26m / 56'
Dligh / 75 / 22 / 27 / 25
Mathura / 75 / 49 / 27 / 30
Agra / 76 / 9 / 27 / 10
Delhi (Raja's observatory at the Mughal emperor's palace) / 74 / 54' / 28 / 37
Faridabad / 75 / 8 / 28 / 41
Etawah / 76 / 57 / 26 / 45
Fatehpur / 78 / 30 / 25 / 56
Benaras / 80 / 47 / 25 / 21
Jehanabad / 81 / 40 / 25 / 10
Patna (with the Reverends of the Peres Capucins*) / 83 / 15 / 25 / 38
Murshidabad / 86 / 41 / 24 / 11
Chandernagor (the Church of the fortress) / 86 / 5 / 22 / 51
Calcutta / 86 / 2 / 22 / 33
Balasore (the observation of the Jesuit Pere Martin) / 84 / 36 / 21 / 29

* Another Christian order from France. Taken from the report of 1734 appearing as Observations in Lettres, 1810, Tome, 15, pp 271-273.


Jesuit interest in Indian astronomy had to do in turn with two raging Biblical themes: that of the commencement of the world and that of dating the deluge. Astronomy and the scientific interpretation of passages of the Bible would provide the hermeneutic to decode the precise history of these events. The skies, as in eras past offered the key to scriptural enlightenment. Jesuit interest in the astronomy and chronology of the Chinese and Indians was prompted by the need to explicate these events, in case other traditions had an answer to these quandaries or provided evidence that would validate the claims of the European astronomers. The antiquity of Indian civilisation provided the pretext for clarifying burning questions on chronology. The debate was organised around history, and the coherence of the Judeo-Christian world founded on the sacred chronology of the scriptures [Murr 1983: 249]. Indian chronology, as evidenced in the astronomical sources, would provide the final validation that the Indians could not have predated the deluge that was supposed to have transpired 3,500 years ago. Pere Bouchet and Pere Calmette, cited earlier, in 1767 sent a chapter to the Academie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres on 'Sciences de Brahmies, epoque du Deluge' [Google translate: Sciences of Brahmies, era of the Deluge.] [Murr 1983: 253]. This preoccupation persisted in to the age of the enlightenment. Dating the deluge served three ends. Firstly, it provided a secular, scientifically validated account of certain primal episodes recounted in the Bible. Secondly, it possibly certified that Judeo-Christian civilisation predated its Indian counterpart. Finally, there was both the scientific and religious issue to be settled, as to when the universe was created -- a key anxiety for scientists and Christians since the time of Newton. Newton during the later years of his life was ensconced in the world of alchemy, astrology and magic. But these were rather discredited predilections within a century of his death. This possibly had to do with the triumph of capitalism in England and Holland and statism In France [Bernal 1987:169]. We are however still located within the Jesuit world where these scriptural concerns were significant to the scientific practices of the Jesuits -- and this should not surprise us. For in this 'deeply religious age', the book of nature was as much a source of the natural philosopher's knowledge as divine knowledge was of Scripture [Shapin 1996: 137]. While an independent existence was sought for natural philosophy, science could extend support to religious beliefs [Shapin 1996: 137].

The other dimension of the interest in the antiquity of Indian civilisation was to establish a certain direction of cultural diffusion. This direction would be essential to founding Europocentrism, and the idea that Greece was the epitome of European scientific culture. The historical device, that we encounter within the archive of Jesuit science, and that is frequently reiterated in the Enlightenment writing of historians of astronomy, is to draw upon various cultural analogies between the Occident and the Orient, and explain these analogies in terms of a cultural transmission from the west to the east [Murr 1983: 253].

This trend ran parallel with the suggestion of the Academie in 1744 to compose the history of India for itself. Outside the Jesuit circle, then the Academy sought to install Orientalism as contrary to Europocentrism. This complement to universal history, combined the hermeneutic method with comparative etymology
to prove that Bacchus was none other than Osiris, who was none other than Esau, who was none other than Iswara in the Indian tradition. But this too was a superfluous alteration of the cosmogony of Moses [Murr 1983: 250].
It is not our purpose here to discuss the 18th century French Orientalists, but to highlight the key themes elaborated by the French Jesuits that shaped the subsequent historical discourse on the astronomy of India, occasioned by French astronomers of the Enlightenment decades. By the time the Jesuit order was suppressed in the third quarter of the 18th century, astronomy had moved into the hands of secular astronomers who embarked on expeditions overseas, to either India, China, South America. The perseverance of the Jesuits though never acknowledged, would echo in the Laplacian synthesis of celestial mechanics. And even though the images of India communicated by Jesuits would endure in the history of science, the labours of the British Orientalists would alter the terms of the discipline, such that Orientalism itself would become a discourse constitutive of the history of science in the 19th century.

APPENDIX 2: GLOSSARY OF ASTRONOMICAL TERMS IN THE TEXT

Celestial meridian: a great circle on the celestial sphere, passing through the two celestial poles on the observer's zenith.

Ecliptic: the apparent annual path of the sun among the stars; the intersection of the plane of the earth's orbit with the celestial sphere.

Emersion: the appearance of a celestial body after and eclipse or occultation.

Immersion: the disappearance of a celestial body either by passing behind another or passing into another's shadow.

Meridian altitude: the altitude of a celestial body when it is on the celestial meridian of the observer, hearing 000° or 180°.

Meridian passage: the passage of a celestial body across the observer's meridian.

Meridional: pertaining to longitudinal movements or directions that is northerly or southerly.

Meridional difference: the difference between the meridional parts of any two given parallel latitudes: this difference is found by subtraction if the two parallels are on the same side of the equator, and by addition if on opposite sides.

Metonic cycle: a time period of 235 lunar months, or 19 years 11 days; after this period the phases of the moon occur on the same days of the month.

Obliquity of the ecliptic: the acute angle between the plane of the ecliptic ande the place of the celestial equator, about 23"27'.

Sidereal month: the time period of one revolution of the moon about the earth relative to the stars; this period varies because of perturbations. but is less than 27 1/3 days.

Sidereal year: the time period relative to the stars of one revolution of the earth around the sun; it is about 365.2564 mean days.

Synodic month: a month based on the moon's phases.

_______________

Notes

[This paper is the preliminary portion of a larger study on India in the landscape of Enlightenment historiography of sciences. I take this opportunity to thank Jean-Marie Lafont of the Centre de Sciences Humaines, for introducing me to the Jesuit archive at Vanves, and helping me out with 18th century French, where the French-English dictionaries failed me; Catherine Jami of REHSEIS (CNRS). Paris, for her help with the Duchamp manuscript, and her own insights on the science of the Jesuits; S Irfan Habib of NISTADS, New Delhi, for his ready discussion, Jacques Pouchepadass from EHEIAS. Paris, for acquainting me with the Lettres Edifiantes and the work of Sylvia Murr.]

1 An important work from the end of the 17th century published by the L'Imprimerie Royale in 1692 is the Observations Physiques et Mathemnatiques pour servir a l'Histoire Naturelle Envoyees des Indes et de la Chine a l'Academiie des Sciences a Paris.

2 Joseph Needham has chronicled the contributions of the Jesuits in China to the emergence of French science [Needham 1959].

3 Historical astronomy is a term employed by Han, that we shall attempt to elaborate later in the essay.

4 One of the first astronomical texts produced in French based on a collection of Sanskrit astronomical manuscripts is that of Abbe Guerin that appeared in 1847, and he mentions that he was aided in his efforts by members of the Asiatic Society, Calcutta.

5 For example, the arrival of the French "King's Mathematicians" in China precipitated an acute conflict between the French Jesuits and the already resident Portuguese Jesuits. Jami writes: "what in Europe was an attempt to break Portugal's monopoly of the sponsorship of Asian missions on the one hand, and a conflict of power between Paris and the Vatican for the control of church institutions on the other, was reflected in China by a split between French and Portuguese...Jesuits" [Jami 1995:496].

6 For a study of the image of India in the accounts of the Portuguese Jesuits see [Bouchon 1988].

7 A 19th century account of the French missions in India is to be found in the well known [Launay 1898], and draws upon the archives of a number of missions.

8 A 19th century account of the French missions in India is to be found in the well known [Launay 1898], and draws upon the archives of a number of missions.

9 See the letter written by Pere Papin to Pere le Gobien, also of the Society of Jesus, from 'Bengale' on the December 1, 1709 [Lettres, Tome I 1: 202-209]. The letter is a description of the textile and mechanical arts of Bengal as well as contains a description of medical practices. This is followed by a second letter, dated 1711 and sent from Chandernagore, detailing the medical practices encountered in Bengal [Lettres, Tome 11: 209-215]. The interesting feature about the letter is the comparative perspective adopted in narrating these practices.

10 The paper by Forbes chronicles the era of the Portuguese Jesuit astronomers in India during the 16th and 17th centuries.

11 Much later D'Anville recalculated the longitude of Delhi with respect to the meridian of Ferro as 94° 54', while Boudier's value was 74° 54' with respect to Paris. Similarly for Chandernagore D'Anville gives Boudier's value with respect to Paris as 86° 5' [Sen 1982: 7].

12 Much later, with the rise of British Orientalism, Sanskrit was considered in an analogous relationship to the Indian vernaculars as Greek and Latin were to the European ones. Thus they focused their explorations on ancient Sanskrit literary, philosophical and scientific works, and their privileged interlocutors were their 'subcontinental counterparts', the brahmins who mastered Sanskrit [Raj 1996: 288].

13 Sharma mentions a letter from the Portuguese Jesuit Figuerado that discusses Copernicus. This letter appears in the 1781 edition of the Lettres, but is not found in the 1810 edition [Sharma 1982: 352]. This is interesting for one of the leading Jesuit scientists of the 18th century Ruggiero Giuseppe Boscovich (1711-1787) played a significant role in revising the ecclesiastical hostility to Copernicus' astronomy.

References

Ansari, S M Razaullah (1985): 'Introduction of Modern Western Astronomy in India during 18-19 Centuries in S N Sen and K S Shukla (eds), History of Indian Astronomy, INSA. New Delhi, pp 363-402.

Bailly, Jean-Sylvain( 1787): Traitedel 'astronomie indienne et Orientale, Paris: Libraire de la Bibliotheque du roi et de l'acadenie des inscriptions et Belles Lettres.

Bamboat, Zenohia (1933): Les Voyageurs Francais aux Indes aux XV11c et XVIIe Siecles. Jouve & C. Editeurs. Paris.

Bernal, Martin 1987): Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilisation. Free Association Books, London.

 Bouchon, Genvieve (1988): 'L'Image de l'lnde dans l'Euope de la Renaissance'. Purusartha. 11. pp 69-90.

Delambre, Jean-Baptiste Joseph (1817): Histoire d'astronomie ancienne. Tome 1. Imprimeur Libraire pour les Sciences, Paris.

- (1819): Histoire de l'astronomie du moyenage, Courcier. Pars.

Dieny, Colette (1995) 'Knowledge and Appreciation of Chinese Astronomy and History in Eighteenth Century Europe According to the Writings of Antoine Gaubil S J (1689-1759)' in Hashimoto Keizo. Catherine Jami and Lowell Skar (eds). East Asian Science: Tradlition and Beyond, Kansai University Press, Osaka, pp 501-05.

Duarte, Adrian (1932): Les premiere relations entre les Francaise et les princes indigenes dans l'Inde au XVII siecle (1666-1706), Jouve & C. Editeurs. Paris.

Duchamp. Xavier (1733): Lettre du P Duchamp au P Souciet, recue en 1733. Archives francaises de la compagnie de Jesus, Vanves. Volume 83. 83GBro 083 p 7; ff166-69.

Duchamp, Xavier (about 1734): Sur le Calcul des planetes selon la methode Graha Chhendrika: pour calculer les eclipses. calculs divers. Archives franchises de la compagnie de Jesus. Vanves. Volume 83. 83GBro 083 71 p. ff 119 -55

Eco, Umberto (1994): The Island of the Day Before. Minerva.

Forbes, Eric (1982): The European Astronomical Tradition: Its Transmission into India, and its Reception by Sawai Jai Singh II', Indian Journal of History of Science, 17, 2, pp 234-43.

Guenn, M L. J M F Abbe (1847): Astronomie Indienne. D'Apres la doctrrine et les livres anciens et modernes des Brames sur l'astronomir. l'astrologie et chronologie L'Imprimerie Royale. Paris.

Han, Qi (1995): 'The Role of French Jesuits in China and the Academie Royale des Sciences in the Development of the Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century European Science' in Hashimoto Keizo. Catherine Jami, and Lowell Skar (eds). East Asian Science: Tradition and Beyond, Kansai University Press, pp 489-92.

Harris, Steven J (1989): 'Transposing the Merton Thesis: Apostolic Spirituality and the Establishment of the Jesuit Scientific Tradition'. Science in Context. 3, 1, pp 29-65.

Heilbron, J L (1989): 'Science in the Church'. Science in Context. 3, 1. pp 9-28.

Jami, Catherine (1993): 'French Science Overseas'. Kansai Daigaku Shakaigaku bu Kiyo (Bulletin of the Faculty of Sociology: Kansai University), 25. 2, 1993, p 133-48.

- (1995): 'From Louis XIV's court to Kangxi's Court: An Institutional Analysis of the French Jesuit Mission to China (1688-1722), in Hashimoto Keizo. Catherine Jami, and Lowell Skar (Eds). East Asian Science: Tradition and Beyond, Kansai University Press. Osaka. pp 493-99.

Launay, Adrien ( 1898): Histoire des Missions de l'Inde: Pondichery, Maissour, Coimbatour: Tome Premier, Ancienne Maison Charles Doumol, Paris.

Lettres Edifiantes el Curieuses: Memoires de l'Inde (1810): Tomes 11-15. Noel-etienne SENS. ___meur Libraire, Toulouse.

Murr. Sylvia ___): 'Les conditions d'emergence du discours sur l'Inde au Siecle des Lumieres. Collection Purusartha. 7. pp 233-84.

- (1986): 'Les Jesuites et l'lnde au XVIII' siecle: Praxis. utopie. preanthropologie', Revue de l'Universite d'Ottawa, 56. 1, 1986, pp 9-27.

Needham, Joeseph (1959): Science and Civilization in China, vol 3, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

-Observations Physiques et Mathematiques pour servir a l'Histoire Naturelle Envoyees des Indes et de la Chine a l' Academie des Sciences a Parisparles Peres Jesuites avec les Reflexions de M de Academie et les Notes des P Gouye, de la Comnpagnie de Jesus. L'Imprimerie Royale, Paris, 1692. (Copy at the Archives de l'Academic des Sciences. Paris.

Pyenson, Lewis (1993): Civilisiing Mission: Exact Sciences cnd French Expansion, 1830-1940, The John Hopkins University Press: Baltimore and London.

Raj, Kapil (1996): 'Christian Confessions and Styles of Science in Nineteenth Century Bengal' in Patrick Petitjean (ed). Les Sciences Coloniales: Figures et Institutions, ORSTOM Editions, Paris, pp 285-97.

Sen. S N (1982): 'Tiffenthaler on Latitudes and Longitudes of India: An Eighteenth Century Study of Geographical Coordinates'. Indian Journal of History of Science. 17.1. pp 1-17.

 - (1985): 'Survey of Studies in European Languages' in S N Sen and K S Shukla (eds). History of Astronomy in India. INSA. New Delhi. pp 49-121.

- (1988): 'The Character of the Introduction of Western Science in India during the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries'. Indian Journal of History of Science, 1 and 2, pp 112-22.

Joseph Tieffentaller: Jesuit missionary and noted geographer in Hindustan, b. August 27, 1710; d. July 5, 1785
by A. Huonder
The Catholic Encyclopedia: An International Work of Reference on the Constitution, Doctrine, Discipline, and History of the Catholic Church
Edited by Charles G. Herbermann, Ph.D., LL.D., Edward A. Pace, Ph.D., D.D., Conde B. Pallen, Ph.D., LL.D., Thomas J. Shahan, D.D., John J. Wynne, S.J., Assisted by Numerous Collaborators
Fifteen Volumes and Index
Volume XIV
1912

Tieffentallar, Joseph, Jesuit missionary and noted geographer in Hindustan, b. at Bosen in the Tyrol, 27 August, 1710; d. at Lucknow 5 July, 1785, He entered the Society of Jesus 9 October, 1729, and went in 1740 to the East Indian mission where he occupied various positions, chiefly in the empire of the Great Mogul. After the suppression of the Society he remained in India, and on his death was buried in the mission cemetery at Agra, where his tombstone still stands. He was a fine scholar with an unusual talent for languages; besides his native tongue he understood Latin, Italian, Spanish, French, Hindustani, Arabic, Persian, and Sanscrit. He was the first European who wrote an exact description of Hindustan. A brief list of his works is the best proof of his extraordinary power of work and his varied scholarship.

In geography, he wrote a "Descriptio Indiae", that is a circumstantial description of the twenty-two provinces of India, of its cities, fortresses, and the most important smaller towns, together with an exact statement of geographical positions, calculated by means of a simple quadrant. The work also contains a large number of maps, plans, and sketches drawn by himself, and the list of geographical positions fills twenty-one quarto pages. He also prepared a large book of maps on the basin of the Ganges, entitled: "Cursus Gangae fluvi Indiae maximi, inde Priaga seu Elahbado Calcuttam usque ope acus magneticae exploratus atque litteris mandatus a J.T.S. J. " [Google translate: The course of the Ganges, the greatest river of India, thence to Priaga or Elahbado, Calcutta investigated with the help of magnetic needles and a letter received by J.T.S.J."] (1765).

The original map of the lower course of the river measures 15', that of the middle course, from Benares to Patna, measures 4' 3" square. In addition there is a map of similar dimensions of the Gagra, the whole accompanied by numerous notes, sketches of particular parts, and maps giving details— an "enormous labour", as Bernoulli calls it. He also wrote a work on the regions containing the sources of the chief rivers of India. In the field of religions he wrote on Brahminism a work directed against the errors of the Englishmen Z. Holwell and Alexander Dow. Others of his writings were on Indian idolatry, Indian asceticism, the religion of the Parsees, Mohammedanism, the relations of these religions to one another, etc. His writings in the department of the natural sciences are: astronomical observations on the sun-spots and the zodiacal light, studies on the astronomy, astrology, and cosmology of the Hindus, descriptions and observations of the flora and fauna of India. The department of history is represented by writings in Latin on the origin of the Hindus and of their religion, an account in German of the expeditions of Nadir Shah to India, the deeds of the Great Mogul Shah Alam in Persian, and in French the incursions of the Afghans and the conquest of Delhi, and the contemporary history of India for the years 1757-64. In linguistics he wrote a Sanscrit- Parsee lexicon, treatises in Latin on the proper pronunciation of Latin, etc.

Tieffentaller sent these works in manuscript partly to the Danish scholar Dr. Kratzensttiin at Copenhagen, partly to the celebrated French Orientalist and geographer A. H. Anquetil-Duperron (1731-1805). The latter gave due credit to the value and importance of the works, especially those on geography, in his addresses before the French Academy of Sciences ("Journal des Scavans", Dec., 1776), and made the writings of Tieffentaller partly accessible to the learned world in his "Recherches hist, et geogr. sur l'Inde" (1786), and also in his "Carte generale du cours du Gange et du Gagra dressee par les cartes particulieres du P. Tieffenthaler" (Paris, 1784).
A part of the manuscripts at Copenhagen were obtained by the German scholar Johann Bernoulli of Berlin who used them in connexion with the "Recherches" of Anquetil for the great work "Des Pater Joseph Tieffenthalers d. Ges. Jesu und apost. Missionarius in Indien historisch-geographische Beschreibung von Hindustan . . ." (3 volumes, quarto, Berlin-Gotha, 1785-87). The greater part of the first two volumes is devoted to Tieffentaller's writings, his maps, and sketches. The French edition, entitled: "Description hist. et geogr. de l'Inde ..." appeared at Berlin in three vols., 4to (1786-91). A large part of his manuscripts are probably still extant in Paris and Copenhagen.

Huonder, Deutsche Jesuitenmissionare des 17. und 18. Jahr. (Freiburg, 18999), 179; Noti, Jos. Tieffentaller, S.J., A Forgetten Geographer of India (Bombaby, 1906); Hosten, Jesuit Missionaries in Northern India (Calcutta, 1907).


Shapin, Steven (1996): The Scientific Revolution, University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London.

Sharma, Virendra Nath (1982): 'The Impact of Eighteenth Century Jesuit Astronomers on the Astronomy of India and China', Indian Journal of History of Science. 17. 2. pp 345-52.

Wallace, William A (1984): Galileo and his Sources: The Heritage of the Collegio Romano in Galileo's Science. Princeton University Press, Princeton.

Zupanov, Ines G (1993): 'Aristocratic Analogies and Demotic Descriptions in the Seventeenth Century Madurai Mission'. Representations, 41, pp 123-47.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 34238
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Sun Apr 17, 2022 7:37 am

Sivavakkiyar [Civavakkiyar]
by Krishnamurthy GovindaReddy
Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/11/22

Who were these "numerous Indians" who in a short timespan wrote so many letters to Ziegenbalg and insisted so stridently on the monotheism of Indian religion that god-fearing Europeans including Voltaire were astonished? And who were these Gnanigol, the authors of the Indian texts whose translations so much inspired Ziegenbalg, La Croze, and their readers?...

Aleppa also mentioned radical monotheists:

Other than that, there are also people among us who worship God the supreme being alone and always honor only this lord while they renounce everything in the world in order to keep contemplating God in their heart at all times. It is said of these [Gnanigol] that God unites with them and transforms them into himself [in sich verwandele], and also that they become invisible in the world. (p. 142)...

The text that Ziegenbalg most often quotes to illustrate Indian monotheism was already used by de Nobili for the very same purpose: the Civavakkiyam, a fourteenth-century collection of poems by Civavakkiyar who belongs to the Tamil Siddha tradition.

Although the Tamil tradition speaks of eighteen Siddhas and posits a line of wandering saints and sannyasis from Tirumular (sixth century) to Tayumanavar (1706-44), most of the noted Siddhas flourished between the fourteenth and eighteenth centuries (Kailasapathy 1987:387). From the beginning, the antibrahmanical and antihierarchical tendency of Siddha writings was prominent, as in Tirumular's oft-quoted lines, "Caste is one and God is one" (p. 386)....Tirumular meant that "insofar as religious worship was concerned, all castes are equal and the only god is Shiva" (p. 386)....

Of the more than fifty names associated with the way of the Siddhas (Siddha marga), that of the author of the Civavakkiyam (Aphorisms on Shiva) is best known. The author of these aphorisms, Civavakkiyar or Sivavakkiyar, is "without doubt the most powerful poetic voice in the entire galaxy of the Siddhas" and is best known for his skill in criticizing and ridiculing Hindu orthodoxy (p. 387-89). Though not forming a well-defined school of thought, the Siddhas "challenged the very foundations of medieval Hinduism: the authority of the Shastras, the validity of rituals and the basis of the caste system" (p. 389). According to Zvelebil, "almost all of them manifest a protest, often in very strong terms, against the formalities of life and religion; denial of religious practices and beliefs of the ruling classes" (1973:8). Tamil Siddhas were basically "all theists and believed in a transcendental God and his grace towards man," but they were not "idol-worshippers or believers in a supreme Person"; rather, they "believed in a supreme Abstraction" that they referred to as civam (Kailasapathy 1987:393).

The recurrent use by the Siddhas of the word civam (an abstract noun meaning "goodness," "auspiciousness" and the highest state of God, in which he exists as pure intelligence) in preference to the common term civan (meaning Shiva) makes this point very clear. In other words, they believed in an abstract idea of Godhead rather than a personal God. (p. 393)

Among the three Hindu religious paths to salvation (jnana, the way of knowledge; karma, the way of work; and bhakti, the way of devotion), the Siddhas emphasized the path of knowledge (p. 393). In the light of such explanations, it is easy to see why de Nobili and Ziegenbalg felt attracted to such poetry and in particular to Civavakkiyar who dared to refute deeply entrenched dogmas such as transmigration:...
The dead are never born again, never! (p. 401)

Siddha Civavakkiyar's work promotes civam mysticism and is critical not only of the worship of images and brahmans but also of the Vedas and Vedic practices....
In the Four Eternal Vedas,
In the study and reading of scripts,
In sacred ashes and in Holy Writs
And muttering of prayers
You will not find the Lord!
Melt with the Heart Inside
and proclaim the Truth.
Then you will join the Light --
Life without servitude.
(Zvelebil 1973:83)

Such Tamil Siddhas belonged to the class of men that Ziegenbalg referred to as "Gnanigol or the Wise" (Ziegenbalg 2003:40). "Gnanigol" is Ziegenbalg's transcription of the Tamil nanikal, which is the plural of nani (Skt. jnanin, a wise or knowing one). They are saints in the fourth path (pada) of Shaivite Siddhanta agama. Ziegenbalg called these four paths "Tscharigei" (carya, proper conduct), "Kirigei" (kriya, rites), "Jogum" (yoga, discipline), and "Gnanum" (jnana, knowledge). The Gnanigol are most frequently mentioned by Ziegenbalg, and quotations from their texts make up the bulk of his evidence for Indian monotheism. In the first chapter of his Genealogy, where he discusses the pure Indian conception of monotheism, Ziegenbalg explains:
One still finds here and there a few who destroy all idolatry [Gotzen-Wesen] and venerate this sole divine Being without images. Among them are those called Gnanigol or the Wise who have written only such books that lead exclusively to a virtuous life wherein only the sole God is to be worshipped. The most excellent among such books are: I) The Tschiwawaikkium [Civa-vakkiyam], in which polytheism along with many heathen errors is totally rejected in thoughtful verses and the worship of a single God is advocated....

The book that leads this list, the Civavakkiyam, is also the one that Ziegenbalg most frequently adduced in his discussions of Indian monotheism. La Croze's argument for Indian monotheism, too, is almost entirely illustrated by quotations from Ziegenbalg's rendering of verses by Civavakkyar....

[Re] Malabar heathendom...Ziegenbalg...distinguishes two main traditions:

This whole widespread heathendom is divided into two important main sects. The first sect is called Tschiwasameian [Civacamayam; system of Shiva] and the second Wischtnusameiam [Visnucamayam; system of Vishnu]. All those who belong to the first sect regard Shiva or Ishvara as supreme God and pray to all gods that he befriended or stem from his lineage. In all their sacrifices, prayers, external ceremonies, fasts, and tenets [Lehrsatzen] they follow those books which are written about Shiva. All who belong to this sect smear ashes from burnt cow-dung on their forehead and on various parts of their body. (p. 23)...

As we have seen, these four stages on the religious path are "Tscharigei" (carya, proper conduct), "Kirigei" (kriya, rites), "Jogum" (yoga, discipline), and "Gnanum" (jnana, knowledge)...the fourth for those who have abandoned everything and reached "Gnanum or wisdom" (Ziegenbalg 1926:27). This fourth and highest stage is that of the Gnanigol who have left behind all ignorance (ajnana) and who for Ziegenbalg represent the purest wisdom (jnana) of monotheism:
Those who have thus become Gnanigol not only consider the ways of the world as foolish but also every other thing in which people seek bliss. They reject the many gods that others revere so much; as one of them writes in a book called Tschiwawaikkium [Civavakkyiam]: You are nothing but lies, prayer-formulas are lies, the disciplines of erudition are lies. Bruma and Wischtnum [Brahma and Vishnu] are fabricated lies, and Dewandiren [Devendra] too. Whoever abandons the lusts of the flesh that seem sweet as honey, dies to that which seems beautiful to the eyes, and hates the habits of man while worshipping only the True supreme being: to him all of these things appear as false and full of lies. (pp. 27-28)

Such saintly Gnanigol, Ziegenbalg emphasized, are found among both the worshippers of Shiva and those of Vishnu; "they lead a virtuous life after their fashion, worship only the supreme being of all beings, and lead their disciples and pupils toward a worship of God that is completely interior (p. 28)....

Ziegenbalg linked these four stages of the religious path to the four Vedas, about whose content he knew practically nothing:

...4. Gnanum. The first law (Veda), according to some, contains what the Tscharigeikarer or people of worldly professions ought to do in order to reach bliss through their worldly tasks. (p. 35)...

"the fourth book of law is said to contain everything which the Gnanigol who have reached wisdom and sainthood ought to perform and do...."

In La Croze's discussion of these sages, several pages of translations from Tamil Siddha (Gnanigol) texts are adduced as proof that ancient India was indeed a repository of the world's original monotheism. La Croze had read in Ziegenbalg's Genealogy of Malabar Divinities that Indian monotheism was likely to be "a very ancient affair" since the Indians have books "that are said to be more than 2,000 years old" and regard their religion as "the oldest of them all" (Ziegenbalg 2003:37-38). Ziegenbalg also regarded Indian monotheism as old enough to have begun "not very long after the deluge" (p. 38), and it is no surprise that the Gnanigol described by Ziegenbalg appeared to La Croze as heirs of the world's oldest religion, the religion of Adam and Noah, who had safeguarded its pure "inner cult."

But if the religion of the Gnanigol is the heir of the oldest religion of India, what is its relation to the Brahmans and the other Indian religions mentioned by Ziegenbalg? Given that the Gnanigol attacked central facets of Ziegenbalg's Malabar heathendom and fiercely criticized Vedic authority, the caste system, the Brahmans, etc., it was puzzling that they represent the fourth and highest stage of Malabar heathendom, are entrusted with the fourth Veda, and are revered by both of its great branches as saints. Such questions must have bugged La Croze as he read Ziegenbalg's manuscripts ...


-- The Birth of Orientalism, by Urs App


The Siddhar called Sivavakkiyar is considered to be one of the eleven Siddhars. There is no evidence that he belongs to my country.

It is widely believed that he is from Tamil Nadu. He has got 526 songs so far in his Siddharth song collection. Many of his songs are very popular. References about him can also be found in Abidhana Chintamani TV. Sampasivam Pillai is also in the Tamil-English Medical Dictionary written by them. But since the two are completely different and there is no proper evidence for these stories, only the songs composed by him are appreciated.

It is not clear how long he lived. Mr. DS Kandasamy Mudaliar has said that his period may be 9th century AD and that his style of prose is similar to that of Tirumula in many places. There are those who argue, "No; he lived in the 10th century AD. What is his period? What is his religion? Finding answers to these questions is a waste of time.

He deeply studied the religions of Jainism, Buddhism, Veganism and Maliyam (Vaishnavism) and squeezed them in his pockets. What is special about his poems is that they have a kind of hopping sound, wisdom ideas and questions (questions). For example, God looks at those who worship him as pagans and asks a series of questions.

சிவவாக்கியார்
"Koyilava Thedada Kulangalava Thedada
Koilum Kulangare Kulamare Koilum Manatule Pools Manattule
Avatu
Malivatu Millaiyilla Yillaye."

Poosaipusai is a water-worshiping ghost-worshiping deity who worships himself.


Did the sick take life? Did life take a toll?
What was the figure when the sick man took his life?
How did the body mix before urination?
What are the reasons before conceiving?


Atma Vanadhi or Vathuma Vanadhi. The enlightened yogis must elaborate on the enlightened senses of Manas or the satasiva manadhi of influential texts.

அக்கரம் அனாதியோ? ஆத்துமம் அனாதியோ?
Are the trolls and the fields orphaned?


The antidote to the incarnation of the living deity
உயிர தாவ தேடடா உடம்ப தாவ தேதடா
Do not try to unite life and body
Doesn't the sage tell the truth embodied by life?


"Knowing Shiva is one; the mouth of the ignorant is dust." Confirming the motto, he maintains the position of Shiva as Shiva running in the body. There is no dearth of rational ideas in their poems. He slammed the atrocities committed in the name of the Lord, the caste system, the teaching of the image of the Lord, the belief in reincarnation, the sorcerers, and the false priests.

Let us see what are the texts composed by Sivavakkiyar.

Everyone knows, Gnanayoga Puratsi songs composed by Sivavakkiya Siddhar; Only 520 songs released in the Great Encyclopedia. Beyond that some texts have been published. Glad to share it with you.

1. Sivavakkiyar Songs 500 [1]

1 . Sivavakkiyar Songs 500 [2]

As part of the Great Encyclopedia of 1927, a total of 518 Sivavakkiyar songs have been published without commentary. The 2016 edition of the same great encyclopedia has released 550 Sivavakkiyar songs.

Similarly, in 1933, Mankadu Vadivelu Mudaliar published 519 songs with * commentary * by Ratna Nayakkar and Sons. Yet that explanation is not satisfactory. It has been released under the title Great Sivavakkiyar Song.

2. Sivavakkiyam 1000 [3]

The book of 1000 songs was published by Sirumanavoor Munusamy Mudaliar in 1903 at Sivagami Vilasa Press. This includes medical news and medicine.

This includes the above 550 songs. The explanation for this has not yet been released

3 . சிவவாக்கியர் நாடி 31

This book has been published as part of a book called Eleven Siddhar Nadi Shastras. This is a book that gives wisdom on rhetorical bile doubts.

4 . சிவவாக்கியர் 100

It contains only a hundred songs. It was published in 1925 by P. W. Namachchivaya Mudaliar. These hundred songs are among the thousands of songs I have already seen.

5. Sivavakkiyar avathi oil

It is found that only four songs were composed by Sivavakkiyar in the book Eleven Siddharth Vaidya Siroratna Dance Kandam 1500.

6. Sivavakkiyar 1200

Information about this can be found in the book Panchakaviya Nikandu. This thread is not available.

This can be considered as the great book of Sivavakkiya. It is worth exploring whether Sivavakkiyar 1000 is part of this book.

7. Sivavakkiya Mantra.

8. Sivavakkiyar cure.

9. Sivavakkiyar Sutra-33.

Mohanraj, a former psychiatrist, has posted on his website that all three books are e-books. The glory and significance of these texts will be known only when they are published.

10. Sivavakkiyar development

Subashini (Tamil Heritage Foundation) claims to have copied the book from the Royal Library, Copenhagen, according to the Tamil Heritage Foundation's website. Have these already come out only if they come out? Isn't it Is revealed. [4]

உசாத் துணை Edit
Ira Ilangumaran, Siddhar Songs: Sivavakkiyar, Saiva Siddhantha Nurupathippuk Kazhagam, Chennai, 1984, Pages 1 - 126

Texts composed by Sivavakkiyar

1. Siddha Medical Texts Research-1" . Sivavakkiyar and Siddha Medical Texts Research-1 . Accessed 2021-05-07 .
2. Siddha Medical Texts Research-1" . Sivavakkiyar and Siddha Medical Texts Research-1 . Accessed 2021-05-07 .
3. Siddha Medical Texts Research-1" . Sivavakkiyar and Siddha Medical Texts Research-1 . Accessed 2021-05-07 .
4. Siddha Medical Texts Research-1" . Sivavakkiyar and Siddha Medical Texts Research-1 . Accessed 2021-05-07 .

*************************

Sivavakkiyar Biography
by PoemHunter.com
Accessed: 4/11/22

Sri Sivavakkiyar (sometimes Civavakkiyar) was a great Tamil Poet who lived in the period preceding the 10th Century A.D.

Sivavakkiyar was an early rebel against the Brahmanic order, he was resolutely opposed to the Caste system and was opposed to idol worship and temple ceremonies.
His rebellion against any kind of orthodoxy meant his work was left out of the Saiva canonical literature
however some of his poetry is well read in Tamil literary compendiums.

Sri Sivavakiyar, was born with Lord Shiva's name on his lips. He said that the constant repetition of the Lords name would even turn ones body into gold. A great rennuciate he is said to have lived for over 4,000 years. His works include Naadi Parikshai and Sivavakiyar 1000.

He came to Kasi after learning vedas. There he met a Siddhar/Seer/Saint, who was also a cobbler. Though the Saint/Siddhar could sense the power of Sivavakiyar, he wanted to test him. So he gave Sivavakiyar some money and asked him to give it to his sister, 'River' Ganga. He also gave him a bitter Bottle Gourd and asked him to remove the bitterness from the Bottle Gourd. Sivavakiyar immediately left for the river bank without any second thoughts on whether the tasks can be completed or not. After he reached the banks, a beautiful hand raised above the water and Sivavakiyar without any second thoughts placed the money on the hand. The hand returned back into the water. He also washed away the bitterness from the bottle gourd and took it back to the Siddhar. The Siddhar was happy to see that Sivavakiyar had passed the test. He wanted to test him once more. So he gave Sivavakiyar a waterbag and instructed Sivavakiyar to call out for Ganga and ask for the money that he had given her earlier. Sivavakiyar at once called out to Ganga asking for the money. Immediately a beautiful hand appeared from the waterbag and gave him back the money. Sivavakiyar, without being perturbed even for a single moment, took the money and gave it to the Siddhar. The Siddhar was really impressed on Sivavakiyar's ability to focus without being bothered by doubts or anxiety. Then he asks Sivavakiyar to lead a family life till he attains samadhi. He also gives him some sand and a bottle gourd and says that the lady who cooks both the sand and the bottle gourd would be his wife.

After taking leave from the Siddhar, Sivavakiyar continues his pilgrimage. In the midst of his travel, he meets a Nari Kurava (Gypsy) group and they welcome him wholeheartedly. After talking to them for some time, a lady from Nari Kurava gang rushes up to him and says that she will be happy to serve him and that he should not hesitate to ask for her help. Sivavakiyar immediately gives her both the sand and bottle gourd and asks if she could cook both sand and bottle gourd together. The lady without hesitating a moment, takes both and rushes to the kitchen. After some time she comes back with cooked rice (the sand has turned into rice) and bottle gourd curry. Sivavakiyar immediately realizes that he has met his wife and asks the group if he could marry her. They also agree to the proposal on the condition that he also stays and travels with them. He also agrees and marries his lady. But he also makes sure that he does continues with his spiritual practises.

Siddhar Sivavakiyar continued to stay with the Gypsy group and also diligently learnt their work. Once he went to the forest to get firewood. He chose a tree and started to cut. Suddenly Gold Dust started sprinkling from the tree. After seeing this he started to run shouting that "Lord Yama" (Angel of Death) has arrived. His group asked him what happened and he told them what he saw. Hearing this some 4 people left for the forest with gunny bags to collect Gold Dust. By the time they had filled their bags it started to darken. Since they were hungry, it was decided that two of them would go to the nearest village to get food. Those who went to the village planned to kill their partners who had stayed behind, so they added poison to the food. And the two persons who had stayed behind also plotted against the other two partners who had gone to get food. On their way back to the forest, the two persons who had gone to collect the food were done to death by the other two persons. After killing their partners, they sat down to have their food and in no time they also passed away. Next day Sivavakiyar saw the four bodies and felt sorry that these four people had lost their lives to "Lord Yama" (i.e. the Tree).

Sivavakiyar had a friend with the name Konganar, who was also a great Siddha. Konganar felt very bad that his friend, who is a Master Siddha, was living a life of poverty. So one day, he went Sivavakiyar's home, knowing that Sivavakiyar would not be available. He asked Sivavakiyar's wife to get some Iron and turned the same to Gold and left after handing over the Gold to her. Sivavakiyar's wife narrates the incident to him after his return. Sivavakiyar asks his wife on whether she wants the Gold. His wife replies that his love is all that she wants and not the gold. Then he asks his wife to drop the gold in the well and his wife also obliged wholeheartedly.

One day few devotees of Siva came to Sivavakiyar and asked whether he would teach them to make Gold, so that they could eradicate poverty and this also will help in removing negative Karma. Hearing this Sivavakiyar laughed and asked why Gold is required for removing negative Karma. He also advised them to leave behind all materialistic desires and merge their consciousness with Lord Siva. And added that this is the only way to attain Nirvana.


It is believed that he was an Atheist who later converted to Saivism and then to Veera Vaishnavaism.[!!!] He attained Siddhi at kumbakonam. Even now pujas are regularly conducted especially on Full Moon Day. Those who pray to him are blessed with clear mind without any anxieties or worries about the past or future. One can pray to Sivavakiyar on Mondays, wearing white clothes and with white flowers. This is told as a remedy for those people with Chandra Dhosham.

What is Chandra Dosha?

According to Vedic Astrology, the Chandra Dosha is formed when Moon is ill-posited in the horoscope. There are many planetary positions for the Moon to be afflicted or weakened. However, the most factor that forms this dosh is the conjunction of Rahu and Moon.

The combination of Rahu-Moon in the horoscope is known as Chandra Dosha. This state is also called Grahan or eclipse. Simply, if Rahu is posited with the Moon. A person who has Chandra Dosh in their Kundali suffers a great deal of emotional struggle. They are often distracted and unsure.

-- Chandra Dosha- How Does It Affect and Remedies, by Deepa, August 8, 2020


He was generally considered to be an iconoclast because he vehemently decried temple worship. He did so no doubt, but he said still more vehemently that man should make his heart the temple of God. He had scant respect for rituals which in popular belief had become a substitute for love and service to God and to fellow beings. He was a vehement opponent of caste. Almost all the siddhas believed in the oneness of all creation and they preached a philosophy of love and service and of an inward contemplation. Sivavakkiyar is a shining example of this faith. Some of his verses have the force of a sabre thrust.

Sivavakkiyar explains the transformation of the physical body into a divine body on the analogy of a worm turning itself into a butterfly. Let us state briefly the various stages involved in kaya sadhana. Sthula sarira is the unripe, ordinary, physical body not disciplined by yoga. It is a "deceptive threshold", and one has to "open" it , i.e., go beyond it to achieve kaya siddhi. Sivavakkiyar says that people should protect, immortalize, and preserve the body through the method of yoga just as they would protect a beautiful lady of the house73. When the sthula sarira is disciplined by yoga it becomes ripe or pakva.

Sivavakkiyar is fond of using the expression threshold, i.e., "vasal" in Tamil and he calls the human body as a threshold where God resides. The concept "threshold" is a mystical one and the body is one such mystical threshold, the other threshold being the guru.

In Siddha literature the threshold is a mystical thing. It is a boundary between two worlds, the ordinary, profane world and the sacred world beyond. It is a point where we pass from one mode of being to another, from one level of consciousness to another. The term "vasal" used by the Tamil Siddhas stand for the moment when we ourselves open up to new depths of our being. They say that one need not go to places of pilgrimage or study sastras when the threshold is in oneself. The idea of the body as a microcosm of Reality received a spiritual, mystical denotation in the Tamil Siddhas as against the purely physical denotation of it in the other traditions. The inter-relations of man's body and the universe (that is Reality) have to be realized by spiritual endeavour. Kaya sadhana is such an endeavour.

Another important aspect of the Siddha view of the human body is nyasa, which consists of feeling the God or powers representing the Gods [plural] in different parts of the body.

The Ultimate Cause

He is not Hari, He is not the Lord Siva.
He is the Ultimate Cause,
In the Beyond of Beyond
,
Transcending Blackness, Redness, and Whiteness.
Immovable.
Try not to understand:
He is not big, He is not small.
He is Infinite Distance,
Immovable,
Transcending even
Supreme Quiescence.


Sivavakkiyar’s Padal

48

Why, honey is the bee's saliva;
the beetle's saliva is on the flower,
the cows milk itself is mixed with the saliva of the calf!
why should there be so much fuss over it?


36

Milk does not return to the udder, nor butter to the butter-milk;
Nor the life within the sea-shell
, if it breaks, to its body;
The blown flower, the fallen fruit, do not return to the tree;
The dead are not born, never, never, never, never!


Sivavakkiyar's Verses

Verse/38

Where is the pariah woman?
Where is the high-caste woman?
Are there numbers inscribed on the skin and flesh?
Is the pariah woman’s delight different from that of the high-caste woman?
Analyse the pariah woman and the high-caste woman in you.


Siddhar – Sivavakkiyar – 40

When you say a Paraichi or a Panathi -– what does it mean?
Is it marked in their flesh, skin and bone?
Conjugal pleasure of a Paraichi or a Panathi, does it differ?
Paraichi and a Panathi differ in your mind alone.

* Paraichi – Pariah woman, Panathi – Brahmin woman (Paarpanathi)

Sivavakkiyar is ruthless when tackling the issue of caste. Being an iconoclast, he is particularly scathing on the priests and those who talk about upper and lower caste. In this poem he asks is there any marking in bones and flesh of a woman to show whether she is a Pariah or a Brahmin? Isn’t the pleasure you derive from them the same? So look inside you, the difference between a Pariah and a Brahmin is in your mind.

-- Old Tamil Poetry, by oldtamilpoetry.com


Verse/46

Drawn milk doesn’t return to the breast.
Churned butter doesn’t return to the butter-milk.
The broken conch’s sound and the beings don’t re-enter the body.
The blossomed flower and the fallen half-ripe fruit never return to the tree.
The dead are never born. Never, never, never.

Verse/78

When earthen vessels tumble they keep it in order
When bronze vessels tumble they tend with care.
When our vessel sinks they forsake it because it stinks.
What an inexplicable one is your trick of mingling with the numbers? Oh Lord!


Siddhar – SivaVakkiyar – 80

When a clay vessel falls, they still save the shards;
When a bronze vessel falls, they save it for future;
When this mortal vessel falls, they discard it saying it smells;
In such a worthless body that measures just eight hand spans,
what an illusion of life you created, my Lord!


In this poem Siva Vakkiyar talks about the impermanence of human body. When a clay vessel falls and breaks, people still save the shards saying it might be useful some day. When a bronze vessel falls and is dented, they save it carefully for the future. But when this human body falls and dies, they immediately discard it saying it smells. In such a worthless body that measures just eight hand spans, what an illusion of life you created, My lord.

In the fourth line he uses just ‘எண் – eight’ to mean this body that measures eight spans. Each human body measures eight hand spans of its own hand. In Tamil this word எண் சாண் – eight hand spans is understood easily. But in English translation I had to make it a separate sentence to explain.

-- Old Tamil Poetry, by oldtamilpoetry.com


Verse/83

Where are the temples? Where are the holy ponds?
You loathsome people who worship the temples and ponds! Temples and ponds are in one’s mind.
There is neither creation nor destruction.
Never, never, never.


Sivavakkiyar – 35

What are temples? What are holy tanks?
You misers worshipping in temples and tanks,
temples and holy tanks are within one’s mind;
Nothing, nothing, nothing is created or destroyed.


In these verses he chides those who go to temples and sacred tanks for salvation. He says find God within you and not in these temples and tanks. God can neither be created or destroyed by mortals. The last line I interpret it as “all that in this world only transforms into another form. There is nothing that is created new nor destroyed”.

-- Old Tamil Poetry, by oldtamilpoetry.com


Verse/23

When the boat exists one can run and ride for recreation.
While the boat exists one can determine.
When the boat is smashed, in the incomparable space
There is no goat, no stick, and there exists none.


Verse/15

There is no sampradhaya without the seed, either above or below.
In what way can the palace without the architect take shape?
You ignorant! You sell your mother and turn her a slave!
When there is no emancipation there is no life.
Never, never, never.


Verse/51

As one traps the tiger with a goat Is it fair for you to delude me showing a cow?
Oh! King who killed and skinned the elephant with a stick:
You should reveal me showing the way of emancipation.

Like trapping a tiger using a goat as bait,
Is it fair for you to enthrall me showing riches?
Oh’ lord who killed and skinned the elephant demon*,
Show me the path to freedom and liberate me.


*Lord Shiva killed Gajasura the elephant demon and skinned it.

In this verse Sivavakkiyar says “People trap leopards using a goat tied to a tree as bait. Similarly you are showing me all these riches and enthralling me in this pointless world. All these riches are just illusory. Oh’ lord you broke the tusks of the elephant (Elephant demon Gajasura) and skinned him. Show me too the path to Moksha (emancipation?) and deliver me from this illusory world.”

-- Old Tamil Poetry, by oldtamilpoetry.com


The Supreme It

The slothful
Sluggards
Say: He is far, far, far
Away!
But the Supreme It
Is spread everywhere
on Earth and in Heavens.

O you poor dumb ones,
running
stunned and suffering
through towns and fields and forests
in Search!
He is right there
within you!
Stand still
and feel Him,
feel!


Melt With The Heart Inside

In the Four Eternal Vedas,
In the study and reading of scripts,
In sacred ashes and in Holy Writs
And muttering of prayers
You will not find the Lord!
Melt with the Heart Inside
and proclaim the Truth.
Then you will join the Light --
Life without servitude.


Silence

Silence, unmoved and rising,
Silence, unmoved and sheltering,
Silence, unmoved and permanent,
Silence, unmoved and brilliant,
Silence, broad and immense like the Ganga,
Silence, unmoved and increasing,
Silence, white and shining like the Moon,
Silence, the Essence of Siva.

What Are Temples

What are temples, tell me!
And what are sacred tanks?
O you poor slaves who worship
in temples and tanks!
Temples are in the mind.
Tanks are in the mind.
There is no Becoming,
There is not Unbecoming,
None, none whatever!


*************************

Sivavakkiyar
by R. Harishankar
HinduScriptures.com
Accessed: 4/11/22

Image

Introduction

Sivavakkiyar is one among 18 Siddhas and considered as a person who was against caste discrimination. He belonged to the family of gold smiths, and his parents were sincerely devoted to Lord Shiva. It is believed that he lived a thousand years ago.

Sivavakkiyar Siddhar was born by reciting Lord Shiva’s holy name. Hence he was called by the name Sivavakkiyar.
His parents were insisted him to become a great siddha, and hence he met the siddhas to learn various subjects from them.

He was an expert in Siddha medicine, Yoga and meditation.

Since Sivavakkiyar Siddhar was a great poet, he wrote lot of devotional songs on Lord Shiva.

He got the spiritual energy by worshipping goddess sakthi.

Hinduism, especially Shaktism (a theological tradition of Hinduism), Shakti (Devanagari: शक्ति, IAST: Śakti; lit. "Energy, ability, strength, effort, power, capability") is the primordial cosmic energy, and represents the dynamic forces that are thought to move through the universe. This energy is thought of as creative, sustaining, as well as destructive, and is sometimes referred to as auspicious source energy.

Shakti is sometimes personified as the Creatrix, and is known as "Adi Shakti" or "Adi Para Shakti" (i.e., Primordial Inconceivable Energy). In Shaktism, Adi Parashakti is worshipped as the Supreme Being/God. On every plane of creation, energy manifests itself into all forms of matter; these are all thought to be infinite forms of Para Shakti. However, the true form of Para Shakti is unknown, and beyond human understanding. She is described as Anaadi (with no beginning, no ending) and Nitya (forever).

-- Shakti, by Wikipedia


He was against caste, creed, gender and religion. He treated all the people as equal and respected everybody.

He asked the people to chant the glory of god, and by reciting his mantra and name, in order to attain spiritual enlightenment. He went to kasi and learnt vedas and other divine scriptures.

He attained Siddhi at kumbakonam. Pujas are performed regularly on Full Moon Day. Those who pray to him with sincere devotion in mind, are blessed with good health and wealth, and also give peacefulness in life. Praying him on Mondays will give good results in our life. By worshipping him all the evil effects of the Nava Grahas will be cleared immediately, and we can attain all the prosperity in our life. All problems related to black magic, mental disorder, suffering from unwanted, negative and suicidal thoughts will be removed from our mind, if we worship him and chant his name sincerely as a daily practice.


IMPORTANCE

He was a great siddha, and cured the diseases of the people through his siddha medicines. He also invoked his followers to the spiritual path and asked them to worship Lord Shiva regularly, in order to attain MUKTHI.

Source: archive.org: Shiva Purana - English Translation
Mukti (मुक्ति) refers to “salvation”, which are mentioned as obtainable through the worship of Śiva, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.1.14:—“[...] for achieving glory with plenty of vehicles, worship for a thousand times shall be performed. A person desiring salvation (mukti) shall worship Śiva five crores of times with deep devotion. [...] with Śamī leaves he will secure salvation (mukti). With Mallikā flowers he will secure an auspicious woman”....

Source: Shodhganga: The saurapurana - a critical study. Mukti (मुक्ति) refers to “release” according to the Purāṇas.—The word mokṣa means release (mukti) and it denotes release from the bondage of the mundane life and the repeated cycles of birth and death. [...] The Purāṇas which are dedicated to the glorification of a particular deity uphold that emancipation consists in reaching the blessed region inhabited by that deity.

The Saurapurāṇa refers the term like mokṣa, mukti, nirvāṇa and nirvṛti for emancipation. This Purāṇa has declared in undubious terms that the realisation of identity between the individual and supreme consciousness breaks the fetters of this worldly existence and the devotee gets parama nirvāṇa. It is by means of unbounded grace of Lord Śiva that an individual self can expect to reach this highest state of redemption. It is a divine gift conferred upon a devout devotee of Śiva. [...] Śiva gives mukti to his devotees and it is only Śivabhakti which is able to free a person from the bondage of Saṃsāra....

Source: archive.org: A History of Indian Philosophy (vaishnavism). Mukti (मुक्ति, “emancipation”) is the realization of God, accompanied as a consequence by that cessation of the bondage of egoism which is the same thing as existence in one’s true nature. Emancipation (mukti) may be achieved both in life and after death; when one realizes the true nature of God, one’s false apprehension of His nature vanishes and this is one’s state of mukti; at death also there may be a revelation of God’s true nature, and a direct and immediate realization of His nature as God. This existence in one’s own nature is the same thing as the realization of one’s own nature as the supreme soul (paramātman). Bhakti is also described as being itself the emancipation (mukti). True philosophic knowledge (tattva-jñāna) is the secondary effect of bhakti.

Source: Pure Bhakti: Bhagavad-gita (4th edition). Mukti (मुक्ति) refers to “complete emancipation from the bondage of the material energy that is expressed by the false conceptions of ‘I’ and ‘mine’. There are five types of mukti: sārūpya -- obtaining the same form as Bhagavān; sāmīpya -- living in close proximity to Bhagavān; sālokya -- living on the same planet as Bhagavān; sārṣṭi -- having the same opulence as Bhagavān; and sāyujya -- becoming one with Bhagavān by merging with His bodily effulgence, the brahmajyoti. Of these five, sāyujya is rejected by the Vaiṣṇavas”. (cf. Glossary page from Śrīmad-Bhagavad-Gītā).

-- Mukti, by Wisdom Library


He asked the people to realize the god from their own soul, since god is dwelling in everyone’s soul.

He solved various problems of the people through his spiritual energy. He was praised and admired by the people for his good behaviour and for containing great yogic powers.

It is believed that he chanted shiva mantra for several millions of time during his life time.

Let us worship this great siddha and be blessed.

“OM SREE SIVA VAAKIYARE NAMAHA”
“OM NAMAH SHIVAYA”
“OM SAKTHI PARA SAKTHI”

*****************************

Archive for "Sivavakkiyar"
by Old Tamil Poetry
Accessed: 4/11/22

Sivavakkiyar – 26

O’ humans, you believe in illusions, build a house, offer sacrifices due,
and live with your women, kids, kinsfolk and cattle;
When your palm-leaf* turns up at the impartial judge’s** hand and he calls you,
this body of yours won’t be worth even the price of a begging bowl.

* Palm-leaf in which one’s fate is written
** Impartial judge – Lord of death who doesn’t differentiate between people

In this poem Sivavakkiyar talks about impermanence of material aspects of life. Human beings spend their time building houses, offering sacrifices to God and live surrounded by near and dear ones thinking it is forever. They believe in this illusion. But once their time is up and palm-leaf in which their fate is written turns up in the hands of the God of death, this body becomes useless. It will not be worth even the price of a begging bowl.

Siddhar poems don’t have any established commentaries. So some times it becomes difficult to interpret the hidden meaning. ‘House’ here can be read as ‘Human body’ too. Then the poem becomes you take care of this body and work for its pleasures thinking this illusion is true, but once your time is up this body is worth nothing.

Siddhar – Sivavakkiyar – 133

Are there two Gods, yours and mine?
Will there be two Gods, here and there?
Primordial God, who is everywhere, isn’t he one?
Those who say otherwise, will die of rotting mouth.


Sivavakkiyar, in this verse, curses those who try to split people in the name of God. He doesn’t pull back his punches. He says “If God is all powerful how can there be two Gods, yours and mine. He who was at the beginning, is one. Those who say otherwise, their tongues will rot and they’d die.”

Siddhar Sivavakkiyar, dated to around 10th Century CE (?) was one of the leading rebel poets in Tamil literature. Siddhars were iconoclastic rebels whose thoughts were against the organised Vedic religion. Their main idea was one had to find God within oneself and not rely on temples and rituals.

Siddhar – SivaVakkiyar – 13

What am I? What are you? What’s that between (us two)?
O’ materialists who answer what’s a ruler and what’s a guru –-
(do you know) What’s created? What’s destroyed? What’s the place
that is beyond the beyond? It’s the name of Rama Rama Rama.


What is this thing called you and that is called me? What is that thing between us two. You materialists can answer who is a Guru or who is a King. But can you answer What is created, what is destroyed or what is this place that is beyond the beyond? You can’t. The answer is the name of Rama, who is everything in this world.

Sivavakkiyar 159-160

Vedic priests never ate fish, neither then nor now,
isn’t fish inhabited water what they drink and bathe in?
Vedic priests never ate deer meat, neither then nor now,
isn’t sacred thread worn over deer skin*?

Vedic priests never ate goat meat, neither then nor now,
isn’t goat meat offered in your worship though?
Vedic priests never ate cow meat, neither then nor now,
isn’t cow meat the manure in which vegetables grow.**?

In these two verses he mocks the Vedic priests who abhor meat. He says they abhor meat and flesh, but isn’t it part of their daily lives.

*Krishnajina – deer skin over which sacred thread is worn.
**My interpretation – Dead cows were buried in the farms in which they were raised. Hence they became manure for vegetables that vegetarians eat.

Sivavakkiyar – 434

A solid stone you choose and break it into parts two;
the stone at entrance, you tread on till it’s worn smooth;
the stone at the sanctum, with flowers and water you shower;
Tell me, which one of these is fit for the Supreme power.

In this poem he asks which of these stones is God? There is no difference between these stones as they are from the same rock. One part of it is laid at the entrance and another worshiped as deity. So God is not in these stones, but in your heart. This iconoclasm is the leit motif of his poems.

Siddhar – Sivavakkiyar – 521

Worshiping a put up stone as God, showering it with flowers
and intoning mantras under your breath -– what’s the use?
Will the put up stone speak when He is within you?
Will a cooking pot know the taste of food?


In this poems he mocks those who worship idols. “God is inside each one of us. What’s the point in worshipping a stone and going round it intoning mantras?” The last line is what stands out in the poem. “Though tasty food is cooked in a cooking pot, it does not know the taste of that food. So are the idols we worship. They are but stones which we have made into God. The God whom you worship is inside us.”
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 34238
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Tue Apr 19, 2022 4:10 am

Part 1 of 2

Sivavakkiyam -- Songs of a Spiritual Rebel
by Dr. Geetha Anand and Dr. T.N. Ganapathy
February 25, 2017

About Prof. T.N. Ganapathy

A distinguished scholar, philosopher and educationist, Prof. T.N. Ganapathy, 84, taught philosophy for eight years (1952-60) in the National College, Tiruchirapalli, and for 31 years (1960-1991) in the Vivekananda College, Chennai. He retired from the Vivekananda college as post-graduate professor and head of the department of philosophy.

He was for 15 years (1991-2006) a visiting professor at the Satya Sai Institute of Higher learning [Sri Sathya Sai Baba], Deemed University, Prasanthi Nilayam, Puttaparti.

During his tenure with Vivekananda College, he was awarded a senior fellowship for three years (1985-88) by the Indian Council of Philosophical Research, New Delhi, which published his work The Philosophy of the Tamil Siddhas in 1993.

From 2000, he has been the Director of the Tamil Yoga Siddha Research Centre, Chennai.

He has published more than 50 research papers in prestigious journals in India and Germany. He is considered as an authority on Immanuel Kant and on the Tamil Siddhas.

He has been the founder-secretary of the Tamil Nadu Philosophical Society, Chennai. He has served both as Joint Secretary and as Treasurer of the Indian Philosophical Congress (1979-1985), an All-India body of philosophers.

He was the General Secretary of the Second World Conference on Siddha Philosophy, held at Chennai in December 2008. He was a special invitee to the First World Conference held in 2007 at Kaulalumpur. Malaysia.

He attended the World Tamil Conference held in Malaysia, in January 2015 where his two books in Tamil, Tirumandiram and Sivavakkiyam were released by Kalaignan Pathipagam, Chennai.

He was invited twice by the Centro Integral de Yoga, Santa Ana, 24, Sevilla, Spain to deliver a series of ten lectures on the Tamil Siddhas in July 2015 and ten lectures on the Tirumandiram in July 2016.

He is the author or editor of several books. To mention a few: An Invitation to Logic (1972); Perspectives of Theism and Absolutism in Indian Philosophy (ed., 1978); Mahavakyas (1982); The Philosophy of the Tamil Siddhas (1993); A Pocket-guide to Thesuis Writing (2003); A Bird's Eye View of Hinduism and Indian Philosophy (2004); The Yoga of the 18 Siddhas: an Anthology (ed. 2004); The Yoga of Siddha Bogonathor (2 volumes, 2003-04, also translated into Spanish, Russian and German). The Yoga of Siddha Tirumular (2006). English translation of the Tirumandiram in 10 vols. (2010) (General Editor and Translator of Tandirams 6 and 9.)

He has got several research papers to his credit in Tamil about the Siddhas.

He has been awarded several titles.

About Dr. Geetha Anand

Dr. Geetha Anand is a molecular biologist by training. Her undergraduate training was at IIT Madras and IIT New Delhi. She received her Ph.D., from Purdue University, Indiana. Her post doctoral training was at the University of Pittsburgh. She served as Research Assistant Professor at Childrens' Hospital, Pittsburgh and as Associate Scientist at the Stanford University, California. She was a consultant at the Foundation for Revitalization of local health traditions, Bangalore and at the National Institute of Advanced studies, Bangalore, where she was Mani Bhaumik Scholar under their Consciousness studies program.

She studied Vaishnavism and Indian Philosophy at Madras University. She was awarded first prize in the Srivaishnavism course conducted by Sri Ahobila Math. Her translation of Sri Lakshmi Sahasram by Sri Venkatadvari Kavi and Sri Appaya Dikshitar's Sri Varadarajasthavam can be accessed at http://www.sadagopan.org. She has published several research articles including Nadi Pariksha, Manuscriptology and comparison of commentaries on Charaka Samhita. She is a staff translator of Srimadh Andavan Ashramam's monthly magazine, Sri Ranganatha Paduka. Her translations, Key to Agatthiyar Jnana (Pranav Swasthisthan) and Greatness of Saturn (Kannadasan Padippagam) are in Press.

In the Siddha field, she was a co-author of the article, Monistic Theism of the Tirumandiram and Kashmir Saivism along with Dr. Ganapathy. She has translated several philosophical works published by Babaji's [Sri Sathya Sai Baba] Kriya Yoga Organization. Quebec including The Grace Course, Kailash The Quest of the Self, Kriya Yoga: insights along the Path, books by Sri Kannaiya Yogi, Sri Satchidanada Gwuparan and Siddha Aarakavi's Sambhaviyogam. She is the co-contributor of a monthly featured article in Amman Darsanam, a magazine published by the Sringeri Sarada Mutt, on hitherto unpublished Siddha works. She also contributes original articles for their Deepavali malar and Vardhanthi malar. She runs the blogs http://www.lyricsofthe liberated.blogspot.com and http://www.agatthiyarinanam. blogspot.com where she translates and comments on Siddha verses. Her translation and commentary on Agalthiyar Meijnanam has been translated into Russian. She has published her translation and commentary on Agatthiyar Meijnanam and Subramanyar Jnanam 500 on facebook. She is at present translating and commenting on Agatthiyar's Saumya Sagaram.

PREFACE

T.N. GANAPATHY


The spark that I should translate Siddha Sivavakkiyar's poems into English was placed in my mind by my friends -- a couple Mr. Peter and Mrs. Helen -- who live in Byron Bay at Australia. They visited my house almost every year between 2006 and 2010 (now-a-days I miss them) and we used to go together to Palani Hills to have the darshan of Lord Muruga; they are very pious devotees of Lord Muruga. [the Hindu god of war.]

I used to accompany them. since lord Muruga is the first Siddha and guru. Siddhisena is an epithet of Lord Muruga. He rides on the peacock which is considered to be the killer of serpents. Serpent stands for the cycle of births and deaths. Peacock stands for the killer of time and thereby birth and death.

Image
The six-headed Kartikeya riding a peacock with his consorts Valli and Devasena, The peacock is seen trampling a snake by Raja Ravi Varma.


Lord Muruga is also known as Skanda. As long as complete control of semen is not attained in the practice of Yoga, Skanda is not born. According to the tantric tradition when the sexual energy moves to a higher level, changing into a sublimated energy, it awakens the latent Kundalini. This ascetic method of non-spilling of semen is called skanda. Skanda is born only when the semen is sublimated and reaches the sahasrara, the mountain top. Ascending the mountain to reach Lord Muruga is a symbolism for arousing the kundalini and its culmination in sahasrara. The six adharas are the six mountains where Lord Muruga resides, and they stand for the six faces of Him. If one understands this significance of Lord Muruga, visiting Palani or any other mountain is not a mere ritual; it is a yogic, spiritual experience.

During our travel to Palani temple I used to refer to Siddha Sivavakkiyar as a critic of rituals and gave them some sample verses of Sivavakkiyar. One such verse is

With the stone planted as God, placing four flowers on it,
Circumbulating it chanting the mantra under breath what is it?
Will the planted stone talk when the Lord is within?
Will the cooking pot and the ladle know the taste of the dish?
(verse 503)


This prompted Mr. Peter to request me to translate Sivavakkiyar's poems. I was waiting for an occasion and in the year 2011 Dr. Geetha Anand who lives in Bengaluru came into the picture by the grace of the Siddhas. Both of us translated the poems of Sivavakkiyar as early as 2012 and was waiting for a publisher to take up the work. No publisher came to our rescue fearing financial loss. In the meanwhile my good friend Sri Govindan Satchitananda, founder President of the Babaji's Kriya Yoga order of Acharyas, USA. Inc, Quebec, Canada, came across our work and he published it in the internet, duly acknowledging our copy right, and this became viral and it has been translated into Russian (by Konstantin Serebrov, a yoga teacher and writer/author in Moscow) and into Spanish (by Professor Ramon Ruedas, Professor De Yoga of the Centro Integral de Yoga, El Malino, Sevilla, Spain) for exclusive use by the disciples in their yoga schools.

Just as Sivavakkyar has not followed the tradition we two have also transgressed the tradition of having only one foreword to a work.

Dr. Geetha and myself have got four forewords for this work of translation, one from an Indian Professor of Philosophy, Dr. Kamalakar Mishra, Professor and Head (retd.), Dept. of Philosophy and Religion, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India, the second from a well-known American Yoga practitioner and Acharya Mr. Marshall Govindan, President, Babajj's Kriya Yoga Order of Acharyas, Inc., Quebec, Canada, the third from a Spanish Yoga Guru, Mr. Ramon Ruedas Gomez, who runs a yoga ashram called Ashram Vettaveli, at Centro Integral de Yoga, Sante Ana, 24 Sevilla, Spain, and the fourth from a Russian Yoga practitioner and teacher Mr. Konstantin Serebrov, Moscow.

Each Foreword is a class by itself, and we thank immensely the four foreword writers.

In June 2016, one of my friends from Singapore, Sri N.C. Prakash, came forward to help me in the publication of this important work and donated a sizeable amount to start the publication. Hence this publication. I do not have adequate words in my vocabulary to thank him for his voluntary, instant donation. All this is due to the blessings of the Siddha Sivavakkiyar. Now the book is in your hands for spiritual enjoyment.

Foreword - 1

The Truth of the Siddha Tradition

by Dr. Kamalakar Mishra, Professor * Head. (Retd.). Dept. of Philosophy & Religion, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India.

The most significant contribution of the Indian tradition to the world-wisdom is that the Indian seers who can be aptly called "spiritual scientists" have discovered or found out, experientially and experimentally a state of inner consciousness which is the natural source of power, wisdom, happiness and beauty in life. It is the state of the "Self' -- of course the "Higher Self (Parama-Atma)". The seers investigated into the nature of the self (the "I") addressing the question -- "who am I?" They discovered that the real nature of "myself" (the "I") is divine, that I am separated from my true Self due to the obstruction or veil of spiritual impurity and that I can reattain or realize my divine nature following the path of self-purification and universal love. My existential self (which can be called the "surface" self) is part of, and substantially one with, the divine Self which lies deeper within me. I have double citizenship, so to say, I am the citizen of the world terrestrial and also the citizen of the world celestial.

What is given by the seers is not a matter of speculation or a matter of faith; it is really the discovery of finding of the truth of the Self, it is the actual cognition of the truth as it is the actual experience of the seers. This makes the significance of the knowledge of the seers unique and extremely important and also puts it in the category of scientific discovery. A more significant point is that this Self (inner Self) is also the state of natural synthesis between what is called sreya (the good) and preya (the pleasant). Indians had long realized that if the philosophy of life is mere sreya say, of sheer asceticism, literal renunciation (sannyasa), torturous penance (tapasya) and mindless self-abnegation, then this may remain an impracticable and painful ideal. Since the ascetic ideal involves suppression of desires (including sex desire), it may cause psycho-neurotic problems (both in the individual life and in the social life). It may also create hypocrisy in life. But if, on the other hand, we follow the life of mere preya that is, the life of hedonistic enjoyment of carnal pleasure (bhoga) then we would be reduced to animals, and there would be no human society worth the name. Moreover, the hedonistic life ultimately becomes suicidal. Hence, the seers were in search of a state of consciousness which is ideally perfect, that is, it is all goodness on the one hand and all happiness or sukha (joy of pleasantness) on the other hand. The answer was found in the spiritual life which is the life of the self. In the spiritual state all the desires (specially the most problematic sex-desire) are transformed or sublimated into pure love and this in turn brings deep satisfaction and Ananda. This is a state of goodness and pleasure (Ananda) -- the two in one.

It should also be noted that the Self is not confined in the body. It is ubiquitous, all pervasive. Everything and every being of the world is incorporated within the Self. Therefore, the person who realizes the Self, realizes his/her unity with the whole world. In the Self-realized persons the feeling of "otherness" (Dvaita-bhava or Bheda-buddhi) is totally absent; they become one with all being (sarvabhutatma- bhutatma) and naturally therefore they wish and do good to all people (sarvabhutahiteratah). This position may be put the other way round also, that is, one who feels one's unity with all the beings and follows the path of universal love, attains the Self. The Self cannot be realized by isolating (cutting off) oneself from the society living in segregation and going on meditating inside the body. For realizing the Self one is required to expand oneself into all beings. That is why for Self-realization the saints and Siddhas have advocated the path of universal love and not the path of isolation and renunciation. They themselves have attained Self-realization through universal love. Love is the very nature of the Self. The more we realize the Self, the more the love naturally emanates and the more we love the more we come nearer to the Self. Self-realization and universal love are reciprocal.

In the Semitic tradition, God is conceived as wholly transcendent. God lives in heaven as "other" to man. The renowned Christian theologian, Rudolf Otto, calls God the "Holy Other". But in the Indian tradition God is conceived as substantially present in everything, as the world is the manifestation of God Himself. Moreover, God is our own self -- the Higher Self. The term Paramatma (Parama+Atma) which is the synonym of God, is very significant. Parama means the higher and Atma means the Self. So, God means the Higher Self; realization of the Self and realization of God mean one and the same thing....'[missing the rest].

1. Introduction:

“cittar civatthaik kandavar” A Siddha -- one who has “seen” Siva.

Tirumular, in his Tirumandiram, defines a Siddha as one who has “seen” Siva. If this is so then who is better qualified to talk about Siva, talk as Siva, or utter “Siva statements -- Sivavakkiyam” other than a Siddha, Sivavakkiyar! Just like the Maha vākhya or supreme statements, Tat Tvam asi (that are thou) and Aham Brahmāsmi (I am Brahmam), Siva vakkiya (Sivavakkiyam in Tamil) is about Siva, the Universal consciousness, the Truth, the Ultimate Reality.

As it is with most of the Siddhas, nothing much is known about Sivavakkiyar or his life history.
A verse from Sage Agastthya offers a reason for why this is so. According to him, most of the Siddhas’ works were lost in the floods and only a small collection of them were preserved. Also the Siddha poetry in circulation now is only a distortion of the original poems. Hence, great caution should be exercised while giving historical and biographical information on the Siddhas. Besides, the Siddhas were adepts who could enter another body at will. Thus, it is difficult to say “who is who” let alone give a biographical account of them. Also, one finds that more than one Agatthiyar or Pattinattar are referred to in Tamil literature. This shows that most of the names of the Siddhas are acquired ones.[!!!]

Many names of the Siddhas are symbolic.According to tradition, each Siddha receives five different names, the first one given by the parents and the remaining four are appellations for the stages in the spiritual progress attained by the person concerned (1). Among these four names is the name given by the guru (the spiritual teacher) at the time he initiates the disciple. The name Agatthiyar means one who has kindled the inner fire in him (agam= inner, ti= fire) that is, one who has roused the fire of kundalini in him. One who has conquered sex and anger is called Gōraksha. Matsya means fish. In Tantra it stands for senses. Matsyendranāth means one who has mastery over the senses (indriyas). It represents one who has torn the fetters of bondage. In the same manner one may construe the name Pattinattār as Patti+nāttar, that is, a man who can save the souls. Patti in Tamil means “the pound (enclosure) for herding the cattle;” it may also mean, “herding of souls”, souls wallowing in the darkness of ignorance. Pattinattār is one who helps and guides these souls by providing a method to get out of “the world and the senses”, to get liberated. The name, Sivavākkiyar is an acquired one too. It was probably given because he used the word Sivāyam in more than sixty places in his work. The above discussion shows that it is very difficult to have an authentic account of the life of the Siddhas. Yet, in some works, one finds certain account of the biographies of the Siddhas.

First of all it is to be noted that in the several lists of the Tamil Siddhas (2) the name Sivavākkiyar is not found[!!!] since he was considered to be a “rebel” and in his poem there is “a grand remonstrance almost against everything that was held sacred in his time.” Yet he was neither an atheist nor an agnostic. He was “a pious rebel” or a “spiritual rebel” whose poems have an element of unsophisticated bluntness. “There is a forceful clarity, shocking us sometimes by its forthright directness; he is not even afraid of using terms that prigs will call vulgar or obscene” says T.P. Meenakshisundaram in his book History of Tamil Literature (3). Further, there is a charge of vulgarity against him which is based on his constant reference, in a contemptuous tone, to sex and the biological facts of human birth. Sivavākkiyar was fond of using only the common words spoken by ordinary people -- unpolished, crude, offensive, indecent and colloquial expressions. Vellaivaranar goes to the extent of calling the languages of the Tamil Siddhas (and we may very well adopt it to Sivavākkiyar’s language) as “slum language” -- sérimoḻi yenppadum péccu vaḻakku (4). These may be the reasons for his name being omitted in some of the lists of the Tamil Siddhas.

The text that Ziegenbalg most often quotes to illustrate Indian monotheism was already used by de Nobili for the very same purpose: the Civavakkiyam, a fourteenth-century collection of poems by Civavakkiyar who belongs to the Tamil Siddha tradition.

Although the Tamil tradition speaks of eighteen Siddhas and posits a line of wandering saints and sannyasis from Tirumular (sixth century) to Tayumanavar (1706-44), most of the noted Siddhas flourished between the fourteenth and eighteenth centuries (Kailasapathy 1987:387). From the beginning, the antibrahmanical and antihierarchical tendency of Siddha writings was prominent...

Of the more than fifty names associated with the way of the Siddhas (Siddha marga), that of the author of the Civavakkiyam (Aphorisms on Shiva) is best known. The author of these aphorisms, Civavakkiyar or Sivavakkiyar, is "without doubt the most powerful poetic voice in the entire galaxy of the Siddhas" and is best known for his skill in criticizing and ridiculing Hindu orthodoxy (p. 387-89). Though not forming a well-defined school of thought, the Siddhas "challenged the very foundations of medieval Hinduism: the authority of the Shastras, the validity of rituals and the basis of the caste system" (p. 389). According to Zvelebil, "almost all of them manifest a protest, often in very strong terms, against the formalities of life and religion; denial of religious practices and beliefs of the ruling classes" (1973:8).

-- The Birth of Orientalism, by Urs App


1. About Sivavākkiyar’s life:

Factual information such as dates of birth and death, the real name of the Siddha, the village where he was born, the caste in which he was born and the place where he lived cannot be obtained (5). In this connection mention may be made of M. Arunachalam’s interpretation of the term ‘pāychalūr’ in the songs of Sivavākkiyar (6). He construes pāychalūr as a place and connects it with Sivavakkiyar’s birth as being born of a Brahmin father and a harijan mother and feels that the mention of pāychalur in the songs of Sivavakkiyar may be fully autobiographical and connected with the Pāychalur Ballad’ (7). But a careful examination of M. Arunachalam’s thesis will show that it cannot hold water for the following reasons:

It would become a self contraction [contradiction?] to uphold this view since M. Arunachalam in the article under reference has categorically stated: “nowhere do we find any autobiographical touch in their (Siddhas) songs as we find in the songs of the saints. (The word Siddha in brackets is mine).

The term pāychalūr does not refer to any place but to what happens in yoga, i.e., it stands for the gushing kundalini passing through the ādhārās. Pāychalūr is the gushing place of the kundalini sakti at the cakras. In Tamil Siddha literature kundalini is called a horse, puravi to indicate the galloping force of the kundalini energy as it passes through the ādhāras. This term found in verses 353, 364, 369 of Sivavakkiyam is closely connected only with yoga methodology and does not stand even by the remote possibility for any place on earth. The word pāychalūr which occurs in verse 594 of Tirumantiram also refers to the yoga method. This is an instance of the intentional language of the Siddhas, which is veritable Serbonian bog into which an army of philosophers have fallen and sunk.

Serbonian Bog was an area of wetland in a lagoon lying between the eastern Nile Delta, the Isthmus of Suez, Mount Casius, and the Mediterranean Sea in Egypt, with Lake Sirbonis at its center....The bog is used as a metaphor in English for an inextricable situation.

As described by Herodotus, Strabo and other ancient geographers and historians, the Serbonian Bog was a mix of genuine sand bars, quicksand, asphalt (according to Strabo) and pits covered with shingle, with a channel running through it to the lake. This gave the wetlands the deceptive appearance of being a lake surrounded by mostly solid land....

According to Diodorus Siculus, most of the army of the King of Persia was lost there after his successful taking of Sidon in his attempt to restore Egypt to Persian rule.

-- Serbonian Bog, by Wikipedia


It is said that Sivavākkiyar acquired this name because when he was born he came into this world uttering the name “Śiva” This is the view expressed in Abithana Cintāmani (8). There is a view that before he became a Siddha he embraced Buddhism for a few years. Similar views such as that he was closely associated with Islam and Christianity are to be taken only with a pinch of salt. Since there is a close similarity between some stanzas of Sivavākkiyam and those of Tirumalisai Alwar’s Tirucchandaviruttam it is believed that Sivavākkiyar and Tirumalisai Alwar may be one and the same person.

Thirumazhisai Alvar (Born: Bhargavar 4203 BCE - 297 AD) is a Tamil saint revered in the Srivaishnavism school of south India, in Tondai Nadu (now part of Kanchipuram and Tiruvallur districts). He was born in 4203 BCE. The legend of this saint devotees of Srivaishnavism believe that he was the incarnation of Vishnu's disc, Sudarshana.
Image

Sudarshana Chakra is a spinning, discus weapon with 108 serrated edges, used by the Hindu god Vishnu or Krishna. The Sudarshana Chakra is generally portrayed on the right rear hand of the four hands of Vishnu, who also holds a shankha (conch shell), a Gada (mace) and a padma (lotus).

-- Sudarshana Chakra, by Wikipedia

He is believed to have been born at Jagannatha Perumal temple, Tirumazhisai by divine grace.

A childless tribal couple called Tiruvaalan and Pankaya Chelvi engaged in cutting canes found the child and took it home. The couple also had a son named Kanikannan who was a disciple of Thirumazhisai Alvar.

Thirumazhisai Alvar proclaimed that he didn't belonged to Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya & Shudra in one of his couplets as he was considered (Avarna) beyond caste bound person. He was the only azhwar saint who lived for 4500 Years....

The name of the Azhwar comes from his birthplace, Thirumazhisai, a suburb in modern day Chennai.

According to Puranas, it was the onset of Kali Yuga (the dark age). Lord Vishnu was worried about the next incarnation his weapon to take because, Kali Yuga has started and he didn't know how his relations will spend their life on Earth since they had to spend a normal Human life. It was the onset of Kali Yuga, and Vishnu was worried about this and when enquired he told the terrible attitudes of people during the Kali Yuga and how can his dear ones can spend their life on Earth in such a dark age, when Sudarshana intervened and volunteered to be born on Earth when Vishnu objected again exclaiming the attributes of Kali Yuga. Sudarshana still obliged leaving Vishnu tearful. He had a weird birth story. This was when Bhargava maharishi was in a long tapa (penance) to please Vishnu, as usual to spoil his penance Indra sent an apsara for which he succeeded. After enjoying worldly pleasures the apsara left to heaven leaving back the baby born to them. Due to his attachment to continue the penance, he cannot take care of the child and left it on the ground. Many days passed and the baby was crying a lot and nobody turned around to look after him. He was covered with blood and worms and mosquitoes are continuously biting him. Worried, Vishnu and Lakshmi descended to Earth and touched the baby and disappeared. The baby was transformed into a handsome young boy. The boy being Sudharshana Chakra himself was devoid of any illness though was hungry for many many days. All were wondering how could this be possible when a childless couple adopted him. Even then he did not accept single grain of rice from the couple. One day, an old man and woman paid visit to this boy. The boy was happy to see them when they asked to go for a short walk along the temple premises. The boy obliged and the old man and woman seemed worried and when enquired, they answered that the sadness cannot be prevented in that age. Still he enquired to which the old couple answered they are yearning for parental affection, to which this boy seemed too casual and wrote two pasurams in praise of Vishnu and miraculously the old couple was transformed into young and good looking couple. They thanked the boy a lot and this boy was too happy because in the Kali Yuga period people are also being thankful to which he wrote another pasuram in praise of Lord Vishnu. The boy asked the couple to read the pasuram, and the couple was blessed with a baby boy whom they named as Kanikannan. Kanikannan grew up to be a disciple of the boy. One time, after the demise of the couple, knowing about the glory of the boy and his disciple Kanikannan, the jealous chola king who was a strong shaivaite ordered him to sacrifice Vaishnavism and practice Shaivism to which they declined, and accordingly they were subjected to death. Somehow both escaped the place to Srirangam. Another news reached their ears that they (the boy and Kanikannan) must be killed or must be exiled, if found anywhere. Worried, they visited all Vishnu temples in Tamilnadu, and when they paid the tributes to Ranganatha Perumal in Srirangam, one amazing and miracle happened. The statue of Ranganatha woke up and stopped these two, and they declined stating it is a duty for the citizens to obey the order of their ruler. Next, they both visited Kumbakonam Sarangapani temple, and the statue again rose, and this time both obliged and merged with the lord. To be a proof of future generations that the idol actually rose up, Vishnu's head in Sarangapani temple is raised a bit. The boy was called Thirumalisai Alvar thereafter....

He also has an eye on his right leg.

-- Thirumalisai Alvar, by Wikipedia


The life of Sivavakkiyar is given in a Tamil work called Pulavar Purānam by Murugadāsa Swamigal. Another work called Pulavar carittira Deepakam summarizes the traditional accounts about the life of Sivavakkiyar. We may sum up by saying that the biographical history of Sivavakkiyar is often based entirely on word of mouth accounts and therefore is not always readily available (9). If available it is not authentic, for it is mixed only with local mythology and sentimental accounts. About the time when he lived, we may safely say that he lived during the 15th century A.D.[???!!!] As far as we are concerned, what Sivavakkiyar said is more important than what and where he said it, where he was born etc.[???!!!]

Sivavakkiyar does not specifically mention his guru parampara or lineage in his work (10). The only hint available is in verse 301 where he says “with the sacred feet of Mūlan who said the three, ten and the three as three I would say the five letters”. If the Mūlan mentioned here refers to Tirumular, the composer of Tirumandiram, he may be indicating to us that he belongs to the mūlavarga, the lineage that claims Tirumular as its preceptor. Then again, the Mūlan may very well refer to the Ultimate Reality, the root cause, the mūlam, of everything.

According to cittar tradition, Tirumūlar, the early Śaiva mystic and author of the Tirumantiram, is said to have been the disciple of an alchemist named Nantikēcuran.171

b) ff. 1-12 Tirikālacakkaram.

The Puvanacakkaram deals with the measurement of the earth by Nantikēcuran. The
Tirikālacakkaram (‘revolving wheel of the three times’) contains a summary of South
Indian cosmology and mythology. It is ascribed to Tirumūlattēvar (Jeyaraj, p.330).

-- The Bayer Collection, A preliminary catalogue of the manuscripts and books of Professor Theophilus Siegfried Bayer, acquired and augmented by the Reverend Dr Heinrich Walther Gerdes, now preserved in the Hunterian Library of the University of Glasgow, by David Weston, 2018


Tirumūlar is also closely connected to Tiruvāvaṭutuṟai, where he took physical form by entering the body of a cowherd and composed the Tirumantiram. It is, however, not clear that an ascription to this early Tirumūlar is intended in Ziegenbalg’s account of the work. Zvelebil gives the briefest details of an undated Tirumūlatēvar, ascribing to him three works: the Tirumantiramālai, Tirumūlatēvar pāṭalkaḷ and Vālaippañcākkara viḷakkam. Tirumantiramālai is in fact the full title of Tirumūlar’s Tirumantiram and hence the distinction between the work which Zvelebil ascribes to Tirumūla Tēvar and Tirumūlar’s own work is not clear. We have not been able to identify copies of the Tirumūlatēvar pāṭalkaḷ and Vālaippañcākkara viḷakkam, but the title of the latter suggests a work on the five-syllable nama-civāya mantra. There are a number of works of this kind, with different titles, closely associated with the Tiruvāvaṭutuṟai maṭam. Whether Tirumūlar or Tirumūla Tēvar is intended, an association with Tiruvāvaṭutuṟai certainly cannot be ruled out.

-- Bibliotheca Malabarica: Bartholomaus Ziegenbalg's Tamil Library, by Will Sweetman with R. Ilakkuvan


2. About Sivavakkiyam:

There is a general confusion about the number and order of verses of Sivavakkiyam. The version published by Aru. Ramanathan in the collection of Siddhar Padalgal (10) consists of 533 songs. The publication from The South India Saiva Siddhanta Works Publishing society, Tinnevelly (1984) has 526 verses. B. Ratna Nayakar sons (1955) have published a version which contains 1012 verses. The last publication has verses on Siddha medicine and recommendations for curing fever besides several unrelated topics. These verses do not fit with Sivavakkiyar’s original intent and hence seem to be insertions at a later date.

Aru. Ramanathan’s publication was used as the source for this research work. Verses that were repetitions have been taken into consideration while numbering them. Translation and a commentary on individual verses is available as an e-book, “Truth Speaks by Yoga Siddha Sivavakkiyar at http://www.babajiskriyayoga.net/english ... kiyam_book.

3. About Sivavakkiyar’s teachings:

The āṛṛuppadai concept that we find in Tamil literature has acquired a social- philosophical meaning at the hands of the Tamil Siddhas, especially with Sivavākkiyar. Āṛṛuppadai means “showing the path to the people”. This concept has two aspects in the teachings and philosophy of Sivavākkiyar- one positive and the other negative. In the negative aspect, Sivavākkiyar emphasizes “what one shall not do” in order to achieve self-realization. The concepts he admonishes are spiritual and social hypocrisies. In his list of “what one shall do” he recommends Siva yoga, respecting the guru, offering alms to the needy and living a life seeking realization. He not only gives a philosophical exposition on the concept of pati, pasu and pāsam but also a procedure to reach the state of realization, the state of Siva. He begins his composition stating clearly that he will be describing the rare mantra namacivaya which is the origin and terminus of everything, the mantra uttered by millions of celestials before, the “siva sentence” and that he plans to do so by contemplating on the curved letter (aum) so that sins and delusion will run away. Let us see below some of the sins and delusions that Sivavakkiyar wishes to chase away.

a. Sivavakkiyar’s dismissal of spiritual and social hypocrisies:

Sivavākkiyar vehemently reprimands practicing caste-based and gender-based discrimination, performing rituals mindlessly, cheating people in the name of spirituality/religion and holding on to illogical practices.

b. Caste-based discrimination:

“Who is a low class woman, who is a rich woman? Is it marked on the flesh, skin or bones?” he asks (verse 39). He even goes to the extent of asking, “Is enjoying a low class woman different from enjoying a rich woman?” He further comments that when one looks critically at a rich woman and a low class woman, one would realize that they both are none other than limited consciousness which is free from caste, creed or even gender and hence one should shun the evil practice of discriminating people based on their caste.

Sivavakkiyar brings up another situation to ridicule caste-based discrimination. He says that if a buffalo copulates with a cow, the offspring is a hybrid. It looks neither like the cow nor the buffalo. However, if a man born in a higher caste copulates with a lady from a low caste, the offspring is still a human child. He asks people how they are justified in talking about the offspring as different when it looks the same, as a human being! (verse 467). His intense satire is displayed when he says that everything in this world is nothing but semen, only fluid with motion (verse 46) and so people should look forward to the day when they will burn the manudharma sastra which preaches caste-based differentiation (verse 468). According to him all the Vedas, Agama, natural elements and scriptures only breed duality and discrimination. Hence, one should go beyond them and realize the truth (verse 469).

Besides dismissing the general caste-based discrimination, Sivavakkiyar scoffs at the Brahmins who claim that they are superior as (a) they do not eat meat or fish, (b) bathe in sacred waters and (c) perform twilight worship ritual. He sarcastically remarks that it is the same water where the fish resides that the Brahmins use for bathing and drinking, the skin of the deer is customarily tied to the sacred thread they wear on their chest, the goat’s meat especially the intestines is used as fire offering and the beef is used as fertilizer for plants by all (verses 157, 158). He asks them whether the loin cloth they wear, the sacred thread and the tuft they adorn accompanied them from the time of their birth or whether the four Vedas occurred in their minds when they were born (verse 192). He remarks with great distaste that the show they put up with their adornment, the fragrance, the lamps and the articles of worship, is like a butcher spreading the pieces of goat meat for sale. He asks them what kind of worship it is that they are supposedly performing (verse 194).

He comments about a common practice among Brahmins, the sandhyāvandanam or worship during twilight. Twilight is the meeting point of day and night. The day (light) represents wisdom while the night (darkness) represents ignorance. Sivavakkiyar says that when one raises the vital breath through yoga, one will be performing this twilight worship as one will reach the meeting point of ignorance and wisdom, the junction between the limited soul and the universal soul. This is the real twilight worship, not the temporal action (verse 473).

Sivavakkiyar also talking about another common practice where people clean their mouths from spit by drinking more water and spitting it out. Sivavakkiyar wonders how the same water in the mouth removes the same water, the spit. He asks “aren’t all the mantras spit as they are recited by the mouth?” (verse 465). People through away the stone dish they eat on claiming that it has been tainted with spit. Sivavakkiyar questions “what would you do with the hand that ate the food? Even the Gods eat the same way isn’t it?” He says that everything in this world is tainted by the Divine. All the scriptures, the mantras, knowledge systems, the bindu (the primordial point of emergence) and the wisdom, everything carries traces of the Divine (verse 41). All the life forms are also impure as the water element, the seminal fluid, causes their emergence (verse 149). The sacred honey used in worship rituals is tainted by the bee’s spit and the milk collected by milking the cow is tainted by the hand that collects it (486). There is nothing in this world that is not tainted. Practicing untouchability is hence, ridiculous.

c. Gender-based discrimination:

Some of the Siddha verses seem to demean women. They are referred to as objects of desire, distraction and ghosts who pull one into worldly life. Sivavakkiyar dispels the belief that the Siddhas are against women. He says that there is no one in this world who has not associated himself with a woman. He says that people’s life improves when they associate with the right woman. He adds weight to his statement by stating that Lord Siva is adorning River Ganga on his head for this very same reason (verse 512). He praises family life by saying that remaining as a tapasvin in the forest consuming dried leaves will only torture the body while leading a family life where one shares his food with guests is the best. He remarks that God will voluntarily come to that person’s house as a guest and bless him (verse 515).

Just as how it is illogical to consider the Brahmins as superior, it is foolish to consider women as lowly and impure because they menstruate every month. Sivavakkiyar laughs at this hypocrisy saying that the menstrual cycle is nothing but God’s step for creation. He says “You were in the womb that contained the defilement. When you found the way to emerge and came into this world you were (coated) with the same fluid. You emerged (from the fluid) from such a situation and are now reciting countless Vedas. Isn’t it the defilement that assembled and became a form, even that of a guru? Did any life form emerge in another way in any of the worlds?” (verses 48,49,50, 134, 137). In the verse 212 he describes how a life occurs in the womb. The menstrual fluid in the mother’s womb terminates its cycle for ten months, adorns the semen and becomes like a dewdrop. It remains within the fluid taking a form developing its limbs and other parts until it is born later. Besides, showing the satirical attitude of Sivavakkiyam, these verses tell us that the Siddhas were well aware of how a fetus is formed and how it grows in the uterus. Sivavakkiyar seems to be not only a Siddha but a scientist as well!

d. Spiritual hypocrisies:

After condemning social hypocrisies, Sivavakkiyar attacks spiritual hypocrisies such as mindless recitation of scripture, performing elaborate and showy worship rituals, running from one so called sacred place to another and from one so called sacred water body to another.

Sivavakkiyar speaks strongly against the practice of mindless recitation of scriptures. He says that reciting the four Vedas faultlessly smearing the sacred ash on one’s forehead will not reveal the Divine. Only when the heart melts with true devotion and merges with the truth within, saying that one’s upkeep is completely the Divine’s responsibility, when one surrenders to the Divine completely, will one merge with the effulgence, the Lord, the Supreme Being (verse 105). He makes fun of those who engage in mere recital of scriptures by saying that when wheezing and sweating occur portending death mere scriptural knowledge will not help. One needs pills, māttirai. Probably, he makes a pun on this word by saying that if at least for a māttirai, a moment, one realizes and contemplates on the Divine, the diseases caused by the baggage of empty scriptural knowledge will not trouble one (verse 13). He calls people who seek textual knowledge as those who are searching for butter while the curds are remaining in the house (verse 75). He remarks with great disappointment that it is impossible to live with such fools.

Among the Tamil Siddhas we find Sivavākkiyar in particular condemning idol worship tooth and nail. He chides people saying that they are “cleaning the bell, taking the oral secretion from the bees and pouring it over a broken stone” (verse 33), “the whole town is getting together and pulling with a rope, a piece of copper placed on a chariot” (verse 242). He remarks that God is not in “brick, granite, red paint of mercury, copper or in spelter” (verse 34). He points out a situation where one stone is broken into two; one half of it is place at the entrance of the temple as a stepping stone and the other inside the sanctum as the object of worship. He asks whether there is any difference between the two (verse 429). He points out yet another situation where Godhead is made from the same tree branch that is used to make footwear. “Is there is any difference between them?” he asks (verse 527). He questions people whether a “stone planted as God with four flowers placed on it and circumambulated while chanting mantra talk, while the Lord is really within” (verse 503). He says that he could only laugh at such people who think that God is stone (verse 129).

He advises people that “The Lord made of wood, the Lord made of stone, the Lord made of coconut shell, the Lord made of turmeric, the lord made of cloth, the Lord made of cow dung are all none other than the supreme space.” (verse 517). He asks people why they are running to another place thinking that God is “there” and not “here”. He asks them, “If God is only there, then where does he live and how does he remain there?” He advises people that the only place where they will find the Lord is in the letters ci and a that represent mental clarity and ubiquity respectively (verse 431). Sivavakkiyar, in short, is against idol worship because his aim is to have that experience directly instead of feeling something about that experience. Idol worship, according to Sivavakkiyar is a negation (not a substitute) of genuine religious experience. He is one with the Baul of the Bengal who sing that the road to God is blocked by churches, mosques and temples (23). We find the echo of the same views in Ganapatidasar’s poems (verses 15, 63 and 75) Agasthiyar Jnanam- 4 (verse 5) and in Valmigar Jnanam (verse 4). Their aim is to have the religious experience directly instead of feeling something about the experience.

People consider rivers such as Ganga, Yamuna, Cauvery and temple tanks as sacred water bodies and bathe in them submerging themselves there. He asks people, “If they such an action will confer liberation, what will the toad that remains in the water day and night attain?” (verse 130). In this connection one is reminded of one of the verses of Kalin. He says that if bathing in the Ganga ensures liberation, then the fish that live permanently in Ganges are more appropriate candidates for liberation than once in a lifetime bathers are.

To the Tamil Siddhas the real temple and real thirtha (as thresholds of religious experience) are not outside but inside the individual. The place where the Lord resides is the temple. ‘koil= ko+il’. The residence of the Lord is the heart as the Divine is immanent. The antaryami form or the divine as the indweller is the supreme form of the Lord as in that form he functions as a witness and a guide- a guru within. Such a location of the Lord is beyond creation and destruction unlike the material temples and tanks. Instead of realizing this, people are engaged in all sorts of sacrifices, offerings and visiting water bodies as if they are sacred. It is not that Sivavakkiyar condemns performing worship rituals. He says that one should perform them with clear understand instead of merely cleaning the place, smearing sacred ash on oneself and performing austerities (verse 479).

Some people indulge in a practice wherein they offer goats, chicken and gruel to their family deity, usually Kali, to ward off their diseases. They believe that the deity consumes these, gets pacified and fixes their diseases. Sivavakkiyar questions how this can be true (verse 518). An authentic God, especially one’s family deity, will never let one waste away like this. It will never get angry with the person but help him get out of his difficulties. Some people also perform esoteric worship rituals to appease ghosts and goblins expecting them to grant them various benefits or overcome some ailment. Sivavākkiyar questions whether any such ritual- based worship is valid at all. Neither the ghosts and goblins accept this worship nor does the Ultimate Reality, the primal eternal One accept the offerings. It is actually the priest or the man who performs these rituals who enjoys the things offered. All these worship rituals are hence useless (verse 252).

Sivavākkiyar does not leave us with only the ridicule but with a practical suggestion for how to perform austerities. In verse 199 he says, “Flower and sacred water are my mind, fitting temple my heart, the soul spreading as all-pervading lingam the superior five as fragrance and lamp, for the supreme dancer there is no dawn or dusk ritual.” Worship within oneself if far superior to any other external worship ritual. He says that one should get up early in the morning and through the eye of discrimination/knowledge, the third eye, one should contemplate on the Absolute. Only this will grant liberation (verse 130). The third eye is popular not only in the Eastern traditions but also in several Western traditions. The third eye, also known as inner eye, refers to the ajna cakra in the middle of the eyebrows. It is considered as the gate that leads one to higher conscious states. It symbolizes enlightenment, a state of non-dualistic perspective. The time between 4 AM and 5.30 AM is called the Brahma muhurta or the time of Gods. Waking up at this time for sādhana is highly recommended.

e. Condemnation of charlatans:

One of the common problems that a spiritual aspirant faces is being taken for a ride by charlatans who pose as guru or realized souls. Sivavakkiyar lists the types of cheats that people should watch out for. He grades them based on how seriously they trick people.

The most common swindlers are those who pose as priests and soothsayers offering to perform rituals that would expiate one’s sins and thus relieve one from bad situations in life. These crooks prey on people’s fears. They adorn themselves elaborately with sandalwood paste and sacred ash; they wear the black soot from the homa on their forehead and act as if they are pious god men. Sivavakkiyar says that these charlatans are interested only in other people’s money. He curses them saying that they will wallow in the most torturous hell; they will be cut up like a warhorse and burnt to cinders (verses 519, 520).

The next type of cheats prey on people’s greed. They pose as experts of alchemy and delude others by saying that they can turn base metal into gold. They demand materials and money from others. Sivavakkiyar says that these cheats will collect all the wealth and run away not to be seen ever again (verse 521).

The third type of cheats use people’s beliefs. They pretend to be yogis who can levitate. They will try to impress others with shows of insignificant magical prowesses. Sivavakkiyar says that this category of cheats will lose themselves seeking physical pleasures and women (verse 522). These days, our newspapers are full of stories about these babus and gurus. Sivavakkiyar’s study of people and their character is truly amazing.

I read the story of Sai Baba, the Indian guru, written by Michelle Goldberg.[/url] I had contributed what I know about Sai Baba and his pedophilia to this story, and I wish to add that I had represented this matter to the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, which asked me to assist the FBI in its fact-finding mission.

I met with the FBI officers in Chicago, and gave them more than 100 pages of sworn affidavits from victims of sexual abuse from all over the world, many of them from U.S. citizens, including minors.

The FBI, after consulting with the U.S. attorney's office, has sent the Sai Baba case to the Department of Justice in Washington, where it has been sitting for the past three months with no further action so far.

Sai Baba is a dangerous pedophile in the guise of a guru, and enjoys the active support of top Indian political leaders including Prime Minister Vajpayee. Sai Baba's organization is worth about $1.5 billion worldwide, and enjoys tax-exempt status in the U.S.

It seems rather likely that the U.S. government, under diplomatic pressure from the top levels of the Indian government, are soft-pedaling the Sai Baba matter, to save the top Indian leadership from being discredited.

Because pedophilia is one of the most evil crimes, shocking the conscience of every right-thinking human being, U.S. citizens, media, legislators and law enforcement officials should ensure that maximum effort is taken in making the Indian government do what it should do: investigate and prosecute Sai Baba.

The U.S. government, too, can file a case against Sai Baba, as many of its citizens, including minors, have been sexually abused. And unless something is done, this is going to continue. Although the crimes are being committed in India, surely there are many means by which the U.S. government can formally ask the Indian government to initiate investigations.

-- Hari Sampath

-- Untouchable? Millions of people worship Sai Baba as God incarnate. More and more say the Indian guru is also a pedophile, by Michelle Goldberg


The above three types of cheats live among people either as householders or renunciates. The next variety of cheats that Sivavakkiyar points out is generally in the garb of sadhus. This group claims that they have consumed kāyakalpa or concoctions that would prolong one’s lifespan. They perform magical feat to everyone everywhere. However, they waste their lives smoking cannabis and consuming opium. In the end, they die lick and salivating like a dog (verse 523).

The fourth category of cheats is those who promise wisdom and liberation. Just as how we have instant coffee and instant tea they promise instant wisdom and instant realization!
The first “instant coffee” is made in Britain in 1771. It was called a “coffee compound” and had a patent granted by the British government. The first American instant coffee was created in 1851. It was used during the Civil War and experimental “cakes” of instant coffee were shared in rations to soldiers. David Strang of Invercargill, New Zealand invented and patented instant or soluble coffee in 1890.

-- Origin and History of Instant Coffee, by History of Coffee

Sivavakkiyar says that they will advertise themselves extensively and usurp others’ property (verse 524). Now-a-days we read about sadhus who offer sakti path and initiation over the internet. Those who go after them are left with nothing but disappointment. The devotees lose their life, their sanity and their wealth.

The last category of cheats is those whom we normally consider as genuine sannyasins. They are not interested in magical shows or other people’s property. They are lazy folks who adorn themselves with ochre robe, rudraksha, and yogic staff. They go around begging for food carrying a water pot. Sivavakkiyar calls them cattle. Instead of seeking Goddess Sakti, they are seeking alms and food from everyone (verse 525).

Sivavakkiyar’s elaborate description of cheats and charlatans makes one wonder whether they were common at him time also!

From the above section one may think that Sivavakkiyar asks people to refrain from supporting the poor and the needy. That is not so. He only warns people to not encourage charlatans. Through three verses (240, 241 and 511) he explains the greatness of food offering and helping others.

Sivavakkiyar says that any amount of wealth, not even great armies, can prevent one from dying. It is only the alms one has offered throughout one’s life that come galloping like a directed horse in the way of one’s death (verse 240). One is reminded of Karna’s story in the Mahabharata, where Lord Krishna seeks the fruits of his alms so that Karna would die in peace. Sivavakkiyar recommends that one should offer sesame seeds, iron, blankets, cotton clothes and food to others (verse 241). He remarks that a place where the citizens have a hand but not the heart of offer things to others is like a void, the most agonizing hell (verse 511).

4. Who is a true yogi, a realized soul?

After elaborating on cheats and charlatans who pose as realized souls Sivavakkiyar explains the state of a true jnāni or a saint.

For a true saint, it does not matter where he is. Whether he is in the forest or in a physical relationship with a woman, it is all the same for him (verse 186). He remains firm like a pot filled with water; there are no fluctuations or vacillations (verse 202) in his mind. Realized beings have tethered their souls so that it does not move around like a kite (203). They remain as pure consciousness. For them, it does not matter whether they are sleeping or remaining awake, whether their senses are kept under control or not. They remain in a thoughtless state, a state of bliss, a state of sat chith ananda (verse 314). Their minds are free from all evil, burnt away by their austerities, like a forest fire (verse 84). Sivavakkiyar remarks with regret that people generally mistake such souls to be mad men (verse 513). The Siddhas also create such an impression intentionally as they do not want to be disturbed by people.

How does one attain the state of a realized soul? One has to first of all realize the impermanence of the body, the ephemeral nature of worldly life, understand the truth about the Divine, the universal conscious being (pati), the limited soul (pasu) and the attachments (pāsam). This is the theoretical aspect of realization while the practical aspect is Siva yoga.

5. Pati, pasu and pāsam:

a. Pati


To explain the esoteric principle of pati, pasu and pāsam, Sivavakkiyar asks a set of questions first. He seeks the answer from realized souls as he feels that experiential knowledge is far superior to textual knowledge.

He asks, “what is mind, what are thoughts, what is Jiva, what is sakti, what is sambhu, what is it that is free from differentiations, what is liberation, what is the origin of everything and what are mantras” (verse 44). In the next verse he provides some answers. He says that the universal conscious being, sivayam is the seed of everything (verse 45). It is beyond a defining character and hence is beyond description (verse 93). It is the state of turiyātītha or the state of consciousness beyond the turiya state the fourth state of consciousness (verse 296). It is like the lightning concealed within the cloud, butter hidden within the milk, oil present within an oil seed and the sight within the eye. It is not limited by a form, a size. It is not the space, not a measurable entity and not a product of transformation. It is not the “other” or the one “without” anything. It is the rarest of the rare, immanent and transcendent entity (verse 73). It is neither good nor bad. It is the middle ground. If one says it is good, it becomes good. If one says it is bad then it becomes so. Sivavakkiyar recommends that we call it good and praise its name (verse 505).
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 34238
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Tue Apr 19, 2022 4:11 am

Part 2 of 2

Like the mighty banyan tree which abides within a small seed and emerges as a fully grown tree later, the world abides within the Divine, the Origin (verse 94). It is the Origin that takes up all the forms, as all the sentient beings and insentient entities (verse 111). It does not remain as a separate entity from the manifested but pervades all of them (verse 28). Hence, all the forms perceived in this world are none other than the Divine. Sivavakkiyar mentions an example to explain this concept. Just as how the different ear ornaments are only forms of gold, all the perceived, including the holy triad, are only forms of the Divine (verse 29). Hence, it is pointless to fight “my God is superior to yours” or whether Siva is superior to Vishnu or vice versa (verses 53- 55, 131). In the same way it is futile to claim that one person is superior to another as they are all forms of the Divine. We have already seen how vehemently Sivavakkiyar condemns discrimination among people.

If the Divine has no form then how can we know that it exists? Human beings can perceive entities only if they impinge on their senses. Sivavakkiyar says that he did not know about the Divine when it was formless. He only knew about it when it remained in a form. However, one should not stop here and consider the form to be the Divine. One should seek the truth, the faultless wisdom from a Guru and realize the Parabrahmam or the all-pervading supreme truth (verse 237). This verse gives us a clue to why Sivavakkiyar was so vehemently condemning temples and god forms. He did not want people to stop at the stage of worshipping the mere form but to go beyond the form and seek the ultimate truth.

We may ask the question, “If the Divine remains as all the manifested, then is it tainted by the maya just like the limited souls?” Sivavakkiyar says that the Divine or Parāparam remains like the lotus leaf which is not wetted by the water it remains in (verse 313). The faults of the world do not touch the Divine.

b. Ambalam, the supreme arena of consciousness:

The Siddhas call consciousness as ambalam or arena. It is the substratum on which everything leaves an impression and thus has an existence. The limited soul is called ciṛṛambalam and the Supreme soul or the Divine is the pérambalam. Sivavakkiyar has sung about ambalam in several of the verses. He also calls it arangam which means the same.

According to Sivavakkiyar, the ambalam remains as everything and everywhere. It is eternal. It is the beginning and terminus of everything; it remains concealed within everything (verse 418). The ambalam is a witness of everything, it “sees” everything. All the letters and expressions of thoughts occur here and all actions terminate here followed by a great silence. The universe is an expression of this arena. All the souls take a form in this ambalam. It is here they finally repose at the termination of the kundalini yoga (verse 97). According to him, the Divine dances at the junction of the ambalam (the ciṛṛambalam and pérambalam) and protects the aspirant valorously (verse 257). Hence, Sivavakkiyar advises people that instead of seeking the Divine in a stone or a piece of metal, they should understand their true nature. Then there will be singing and dancing by the Divine, the Lord of the ambalam (verse 35). People should look at the arangam of both, the limited soul and the Divine, and the way they became ‘uruvarangam’ or the arena of a form. If they manage to do so, they will go beyond the ‘karuvarangam’ or the womb (future births) and realize the ‘thiruvarangam’ the sacred arena (verse 76). He describes the kundalini yoga as the soul, placing its body in the ambalam, melting it through the fire of kundalini that dances in the ambalam and finally becoming one with the Divine, the Ādi.

While describing the state of a realized soul, Sivavakkiyar says that just as how the ocean will not become turbid even it commanded to become so, the ambalam will not waver even if bid with a controlling stick. That is, the mind of a realized soul will remain calm like the ambalam. The darkness of ignorance will not approach him (verse 43).

c. Nāda and bindu:

About creation, Sivavakkiyar says that the Supreme consciousness willed or gestated the idea to manifest and became all the manifested. It is thereby the material as well as the willing cause of the universe (verse 382). This is similar to the mahavākhya “bahusyam prajāyéya”. Creation happened when a movement occurred in the supreme space. The Divine, the Incomparable Effulgence then pervaded the world, adorning all forms (verse 175). This concept is similar to the spanda philosophy or the philosophy of movement of Kashmir Saivism. To explain the rarity of this phenomenon, Sivavakkiyar says that a “bull birthed three calves”. The bull is Siva and the three calves may be the three worlds or the three gunas of satva, rajas and tamas. They could also mean the holy triad of Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra. He says that everything that emerged are “he and she”, Siva and Sakti. Their dance made the Jiva or the limited soul to occur. The seed, the Divine, the chith, the consciousness made the Jiva exist (verse 15). He says that like the light in the eye, the primordial sound nāda and form, bindu, Siva, Sakti and the five elements along with their subtle qualities became this world (verse 316).

Nāda represents the Light of consciousness. It is a compact mass of energy in its undifferentiated state, ready to create. Bindu is the primordial form that emerges from nāda. Sivavakkiyar says that the bindu and the nāda are the precursors for all the creation (verse 189). The nāda is the first veil of maya (verse 351). It is represented by the letter ‘hī’ while bindu, represented by the letter hū, The nāda represents eternal bliss while the bindu represents the universal form. The hū and hī ultimately merge with the Absolute (verse 344). When kundalini sakti rises in the sushumna nadi, the nāda present in the muladhara also rises like steam. The soul is purified by this sound. When the force reaches the sahasrara, the Absolute merges with it.

Sivavakkiyar says that ashtanga yoga is a form of the nāda. The letters a and u in the ashtākshara, the eight lettered mantra also represent nāda. a and u are components of the pranava. As all the mantras are uttered with the pranava in the beginning they all represent the primordial sound, nāda. Sivavakkiyar says that the nāda travels through the stem of the “veena”, the sushumna nadi which hums with the sound, and remains with the Divine (verse 421).

Sivavakkiyar explains the five elements and their subtle qualities in verses 309 and 310. The earth has the five subtle qualities of smell, taste, form, sound, feeling; water has four it lacks smell, fire has three, air has two and the space has one namely sound. He says that all the elements and their subtle qualities are none other than the Divine.

Sivavakkiyar says that the Divine is present as the 51 letters. These are letters of the Sanskrit alphabet. The concept of Matrika is well explained in Kashmir Saivism. The Lord is concealed in all the letters as nāda is a manifestation of the Divine (verse 299).

The Divine became the substratum of the cakras or the lotus dais the six energy centers that help one to reach the unmanifested state from the manifested. The supreme reality remains within the body as the kundalini sakti, as the snake and helps in this process (verse 384).

d. Pasu or Jiva:

Having explained that the Divine is the cause of the Jiva, Sivavakkiyar explains how the Jiva is formed. He says that Sakti constitutes the body and Siva paused within the Jiva is the consciousness. The five koshas or sheaths form the different bodies that surround the soul like precincts (verse 399). The senses and the sense organs are none other than Siva. They ultimately merge with Siva.

While Siva is the material cause of the Jiva, how is a particular form decided for a specific Jiva? Sivavakkiyar questions whether the soul decided on its body or whether the body decided which soul should occupy it. If it is the body that decided on the soul, then what was the form of the body before the soul occupied it? Further, when the soul and the body separate, the soul does not die. It takes up another body.[!!!] So it should be that soul decides the body it will take and not the other way around. Sivavakkiyar concludes so in verse 90.

Sivavakkiyar explains further that the soul took a body based on its good karma. He then questions where the soul and body were before they came together. He answers his own question by stating that the body remained in the tejus or light element, the soul in the water element and the desire which brought them together in the air element (verse 168). When a life form has to occur, the soul enters the nāda, the body the female sexual fluid and the desire the muladhara. They come together in a new life form (verse 221). He explains the pranava or aum in this context. He says that the soul remains in akara the male aspect while the body remains in ukara or the female aspect. It is Siva or pure consciousness that brings them together (verse 232). When the body is destroyed, the soul loses its material form and takes up a subtle form. In this way the soul works out its previous karma (verse 119).
In the verse 212 he describes how a life occurs in the womb. The menstrual fluid in the mother’s womb terminates its cycle for ten months, adorns the semen and becomes like a dewdrop. It remains within the fluid taking a form developing its limbs and other parts until it is born later. Besides, showing the satirical attitude of Sivavakkiyam, these verses tell us that the Siddhas were well aware of how a fetus is formed and how it grows in the uterus. Sivavakkiyar seems to be not only a Siddha but a scientist as well!

e. Pāsam:

To explain the nature of pāsam or fetters, Sivavakkiyar uses a metaphor to explain it. He says that when the limited soul, the bronze that was covered with verdigris, contemplated and merged with the superior, the tarnish left it. The pāsam does not change the nature of the soul; it conceals its true nature, even from itself. (verse 154). When one develops the capacity to see the Divine no delusions or maya remain. Everything will disappear within the fire (of kundalini) (verse 481).

Are the pasu and pāsam eternal like the pati? Sivavakkiyar says no. He says the letters, the limited soul, the five elements, the senses, all the scriptures and the sastra are not eternal. It is only the Truth, the Divine, that remains merged within them is eternal (verse 401). When true realization occurs there are no separate entities as the limited soul or matter. Only the truth, the Universal consciousness remains.

Based on the above mentioned concepts, we conclude that Sivavakkiyar, just like Tirumular, subscribes to the suddha advaita philosophy or monism as he says that everything is Siva, the supreme consciousness. However, this is not the advaita of Sankara according to which only the Divine is real and everything else is a delusion or mithya. For Sivavakkiyar, the limited soul and the world are real. They are manifestations of the Divine. All the manifested appear so only due to pāsam or attachment. When the pāsam is removed, there is none other than “mother and father” or the Divine (verse 424). Sivavakkiyar calls those who see this truth as yogins who have sublimated their senses. Others who do not know this are those with sluices that prevent them from reaching the Divine. Like the flood gates preventing the rushing waters from reaching the ocean the fetters and the senses prevent the limited soul from reaching the Divine. Once the gates are lifted up through the arousal of the kundalini sakti in the body the limited soul rushes and merges with the Supreme soul (verse 445). The kundalini sakti is the key to raise the sluice doors!

6. Carya, kriya, yoga and jnāna:

The Agamas recommend a four-fold path for realization. They are carya, kriya, yogam and jnānam. Among these carya is outer discipline. Sivavakkiyar says that when one clears the heart of faults such as ego and pride, by sweeping and swabbing, lights the lamp of the soul and have the prana or vital breath under control and watchfully eliminates any faults from entering inside, one is performing carya (verse 416).

A successful carya will grant one the three siddhis, kāya siddhi, vāda siddhi and yoga siddhi. Kāya siddhi is making the body strong so that it can perform miraculous feat. Vāda siddhi is controlling the prana. Yoga siddhi are mystical accomplishments. In the verse 442, Sivavakkiyar states that carya will grant one Sālokam or the boon to remain in the same space as the Divine. Kriya, the worship, will grant sameepyam or close proximity with the Divine. Yoga will grant sārūpam, a form like the Divine, the state of being consciousness and jnāna will grant sāyujyam or union with the Divine or the supreme conscious state. Through the verse 443 and 444 he lists all the benefits achieved by those who follow this four-fold method and calls those who do not believe in its efficacy as fools who are only wasting their time running to different places seeking the Divine instead of engaging in this method.

Carya and kriya develop vairāgya or dispassion and vivek or discernment in a person. These two qualities are pre-requisites for yoga. To develop these two qualities, one should understand what is permanent and what is not. This viveka will help one develop dispassion towards insignificant goal and motivate one to seek the ultimate.

The primary entity to which all the life forms, big and small, are attached is their body. We fail to realize that the body is not permanent. Sivavakkiyar calls our body as “that which will rot when the salt is removed” (verse 507). Without remembering “all that is born will die one day” (verse 508), that our body will be burnt with wood and fire one day, we hold on to our relations and material possessions as if they are going to be with us forever. He says that we build huge houses with massive doors as if the doors will keep death at bay. When death comes calling none of these will accompany us or protect us (verses 80, 22). The body from which the soul has departed will not be worth even the price of a broken piece of pottery. Sivavakkiyar says that when mud pots topple people arrange it back; when a copper vessel topples they rearrange it carefully saying “we need them”. However, when our body topples, when we fall down dead, people will quickly get rid of our body saying “it smells badly” (verse 79). A lover, so greatly attached to his beloved that he is ready to kill anyone who seeks her, will gladly hand over her body for cremation when the soul leaves it (verse 5). Hence, one should remember that the body and the pleasures associated with it are impermanent and seek the Divine.

As the body is impermanent should one ignore it, dismiss it? No. The Siddhas knew the value of the body, that it is the vehicle with which one should attain wisdom. Hence, they recommend that one should nurture the body and engage it in yoga.

7. Yoga, according to Sivavakkiyar:

Sivavakkiyar recommends kundalini yoga, which is similar to the Siva yoga described by Tirumular in his Tirumandiram. Siva yoga is the method by which the Jiva identifies itself with Siva. The yogin raises his kundalini sakti to the top or sahasrara and drinks the ambrosia there.

Mantra yoga, hatha yoga, laya yoga and Raja yoga are four forms of Siva yoga. Mantra yoga involves chanting of specific mantras and use of geometric patterns called yantra, mudra and mandalas. Hatha yoga is the process by which the physical body is conditioned so that the subtle bodies can be reached. Laya yoga is the method of deep concentration which takes one to the state of union with the Lord, the state of Siva aikya. Raja yoga is controlling the mind through the control of the prana. Sivavakkiyar talks about all these four forms without actually mentioning their names. As it is with other Siddhas, he also lays emphasis on laya yoga, the method of arousing the kundalini and uniting her with the Supreme consciousness.

a. Mantra yoga:

Sivavakkiyar stated clearly in his introduction that he is composing Sivavakkiyam to describe the five lettered mantra, namacivaya.

He defines what a mantra is in verse 92. He says that mantras are not secretions from the tree (toddy) that cause delusion. People recite mantras and get “drunk” on their special status, that they are able to recite them so well, that they are able to obtain special benefits. This is not the purpose of a mantra. It is useless if one recites a mantra without understanding either its purpose or what it denotes. Sivavakkiyar defines a mantra as “that which raises the prana in its path towards realization”. For those who have consumed this mantra there is no delusion. There is only deathlessness.

How should one chant a mantra? Not in a loud voice as if the whole world should hear it. It must be chanted under the breath like a hunter calling a bird (verse 31).

Sivavakkiyar fulfill his original intent sufficiently by explaining elaborately the auspiciousness of the five letter mantra, namacivaya. He says that everything in this world abide within the five letters of namacivaya (verse 2). It is the locus where the supreme consciousness resides. It is the best means for liberation. It is the doorway at which the Jiva and the Siva merge (jiva-siva-aikyam).

Sivavakkiyar describes how the namacivaya mantra forms one’s body parts. The letters na are the legs, va the mouth, ci the shoulder and ya the two eyes (verse 96). Such a body is called mantra meni in Siddha literature.

Sivavakkiyar says that if one becomes an expert of the five letters one will become a Deva and rule the sky. One will know entity in the sky and realize the truth (201). Sivavakkiyar relates the namacivaya mantra to the pranava or aum. In the verse 305 he says that the central letter of namacivaya, the letter ci, indicates the Divine. This entity is none other than the holy triad represented by the pranava or a u and m. Thus, pranava is none other than namacivaya. Sivavakkiyar says that when the pranava is “opened”, that is, it is split into the three letters (a, u and m) and the ukāra, the active part of the Divine is identified with the makāra the manifested world, then everything will appear as akāra, the Divine. He says that akāra is the eternal space, ukāra the truth and makāra the space which took a form. The letter ci represents the clarity when these principles are understood correctly (verse 410). Siddhas consider the akāra and ukāra as very sacred. They refer to it as eight and two. The letter a in Tamil indicates number 8 and the letter u the number 2. Hence eight and two indicate a and u. Sivavakkiyar also mentions eight and two and says that it does not matter whoever adds them, it will always add up to ten (verse 492). That is, they are universal truths.

Sivavakkiyar concludes his composition by stating that namacivaya uttered as sivayavasi is a “double headed fire.” The mantra namacivaya when uttered as sivayavasi is called atisukṣma pañcākṣara or the very subtle five letters. Sivavakkiyar says that this utterance will make one a ruler of the all the worlds. Kashmir Saivism defines Siva as svātantrya or complete freedom. One who has complete freedom is the ruler of the universe. Thus, this mantra takes one to the state of Siva. This mantra is double headed fire because it burns away all the dualities, all the past and future karma.

There are several verses in Sivavakkiyam that describe the rama mantra. There is a conjecture that this section may have been inserted into the original text. However, there is no proof for it. Sivavakkiyar says that the rama mantra is the master of all mantra. All the mantras chanted during various rituals are in actuality, this mantra. It is capable of removing even the five most deplorable sins. It is all the manifested (verses 10, 11, 12). He also says that the five lettered namacivaya, the three lettered a u m and the one lettered om all are none other than rama nama (verse 58).

Sivavakkiyar says that one can utter the rama nama to destroy the nine apertures through which the soul disappears. That is, rama mantra will make the soul leave the body through the sahasrara. This sort of an exit is considered to be the highest accomplishment. However, one can utter the rama mantra only when one is pure. If a dirty one attempts to utter it, all the diseases will prevent him from doing so. For a good soul the rama mantra will remain embedded on his tongue (verse 210).

Besides the above mentioned three mantras, Sivavakkiyar also mentions the kechari mudra (verse 216) and says that those who practice it will never age. They will experience the Supreme Being everywhere.

Sivavakkiyar describes the three yantras, the umāpathi yantra, the bhuvana yantra and the shatkona yantra. The umāpathi yantra contains eight vertical and eight horizontal lines with the eight lettered mantra written to fill the squares. It is surrounded by aum. Thirumular has described this yantra in his Thirumandiram (verse 989).

Sivavakkiyar mentions the bhuvana yantra without giving any specific details about it. This may also represent the world which a power diagram itself (verse 326). He talks about the six pointed yantra or the shatkona yantra where the upward facing triangle represents Siva while the downward facing triangle represents Sakti. The nine triangles represent the nine apertures in the body. The bindu in the middle represents the state of ultimate union (verse363).

b. Hatha yoga:

Sivavakkiyar has described only the padmasana while mentioning the kechari mudra. One does not find any other asana being mentioned in this composition.

c. Laya yoga:

After lamenting that millions have lost their lives seeking the Divine through fruitless paths, Sivavakkiyar describes the kundalini yoga through several verses. He says that when the prana that dwell in the sushumna is raised up to sahasrara in the cranium, even an old man will attain eternal youth. He calls the sahasrara as the threshold of the Divine, the gateway where the soul and the Divine become one pure enjoyment, ekabogam (verse 17). He also calls it the vatta vīdu or circular house (verse 389) and as the “city of the arena man” (verse 97).

To sum up the process, Sivavakkiyar says that the aspirant sits in the lotus posture and raises his kundalini sakti with the help of the vital air. The prana which flows in the two nādis, ida and pingala, or (the two conches, according to Sivavakkiyar) should be made to flow through the sushumna (the drum) (verse 19). The breath should be blown like a bellow through the energy channels (verse 77) which would arouse the kundalini. He calls the breath the grass and says that one should reap four stacks of it, that is, practice breath control four times a day, waking up early in the morning (verse 153). Then one would remain as an eternal youth.

The fire of kundalini which generally remains curled up in the muladhara cakra, when aroused, travels through the sushumna with the sound of a conch and reaches the sahasrara. It does not travel slowly but gushes forth with a great force. Sivavakkiyar calls the path of the kundalini as the path of great speed or pāicchalūr. He says that the fire rushes forth melting the root, the muladhara (verse 388) when the Jiva experiences Sadāsiva, the first of the manifestations.

Then the breath, along with the kundalini, crosses the nine gates or apertures in the body. The aspirant holds the kechari mudra. The kundalini sakti go through the sushumna nādi which hums like the stem of the musical instrument veena when it crosses the cakras, “the temples of lotuses” (verse 370).

When the fire of kundalini reaches the ājña cakra which is also called Kashi or the city of light, Siva teaches the rama nama as it is this mantra which helps the soul to cross from the state of Jiva to Siva (verse 107). The fire remains in the ajna cakra like a thick column. The five elements appear as five different colors and merging with each other (verse 390) and become one. The hobbling kundalini sakti displays various sounds here (verse 361).

Sivavakkiyar says that one need not perform any external fire sacrifice as the fire and the water are within oneself (verse 30). When one performs this antharyāga of raising the kundalini sakti, one overcomes the cycle of births and deaths.

Sivavakkiyar asks the question, “where does the Lord reside among the six cakras?” and answers that he remains in the ājña cakra as the primal preceptor. When the yogin directs the prana from the muladhara cakra, Rudra, the fire of kundalini that resides there, rises. The two eyes are made to merge in the third eye in the middle of the brow. The Absolute appears at the ajna cakra in the form of the guru (verse 143). A blue light appears at this place. Sivavakkiyar advises the aspirants to remain there and look at it carefully. The blue light is the light of the soul. There is another light higher than this which is the light of the Divine (verse 164).

Sivavakkiyar advises that one should learn this yoga from a guru (verse 172) as it is impossible to attain realization unless one abides by the mantra received from the guru (verse 320). One has to swim the ocean with the mantra that the Guru gives. He says that otherwise one has to go through the tortures that cotton undergoes before becoming a dress. It is possible to see the Lord only when one submerges himself in the flood of the Guru, gurupunal (verse 440). A guru is like a mighty river that carries with it anything and everything. A guru carries with him all his disciples towards the Divine whether they deserve it or not.

d. Mental state during yoga:

Kundalini yoga consists of the two components, bodily states and mental states. It is important that a yogin remains in the right mental state while holding a particular physical pose. Sivavakkiyar says that one who should attain mental equanimity by bringing the fighting beasts, the senses, under control (verse 57) and perform the kundalini yoga with utmost sincerity as if one’s bones are melting in the fire of kundalini (verse 76). One has to sacrifice the desire to seek anything -- things, pleasures and even the desire for liberation (verse 138). He states that when one watches “that which is watching” then “the watching” will disappear in the “act of watching”. That is, the seen, the sight and the act of seeing will all disappear and the only remaining entity will be consciousness (verse 163). Tirumular refers to this as jñānam, jñeyam and jñyātha becoming one.

One identifies shades of bhakti or devotion in some verses of the Sivavakkiyam. This is similar to Tirumandiram which declares that God is love and only fools think that they are different. Sivavakkiyar says that the Divine is attainable through love. If an aspirant is capable of singing the praise of the Divine and beseeching it, he will cut his further births and remain with the Divine (verse 43). He says further that this is not his conclusion but the advice of realized souls. The lord will be seen if he is sought by a heart melting with love. When this is done, the prana will be led in its course with the earth and the sky thundering; the Lord will come closer (verse 439).

Sivavakkiyar says that people climb mountains and visit oceans to realize the truth. All these attempts are only show of the ego. The right thing to do is to adorn the Divine’s sacred feet, surrender to it, seeking it. Then the Jiva will automatically become Siva (verse 484). This technique is similar to the Anupāyam of Kashmir Saivism where the Divine grace descends without an effort on Jiva’s part.

e. State of a yogin after yoga siddhi:

When one becomes an accomplished yogin, the mind disappears in maya (verse 38). There are no delusions caused by the mind. The yogin hears various sounds. Sivavakkiyar refers to this as “the shop in the ear opens” (verse 127). None of the scriptures can explain this state as it is beyond words (verse 139).

A yogin remains like a bee that swoons losing itself within the flower, having drunk the honey. He remains in the state of energy, the lingam (verse 498). When one practices the kundalini yoga intensely for twelve days, one will see a light with the rainbow like hue in the ajna cakra. This is the Divine, the Parabrahmam (verse 495). The fire of kundalini rises with the prana and opens the receptacle of honey in the sahasrara after piercing the three spheres, the sun, the moon and the agni mandala. The yogin learns to consume measured quantities of the ambrosia (verse 179). Sivavakkiyar says that tapas will happen, that is, all the actions that one performs will become one’s dharma (verse 436).

When the kundalini reaches the saharara the body changes into a fragrant body. Sivavakkiyar calls this stage as “the tip of the branch that fruited” (verse 353) and says that the aspirant sees the seven worlds. While the Puranas describe the seven worlds as seven realms, they are nothing but different states of consciousness. When the aspirant raises his kundalini sakti, he experiences these states of consciousness. Sivavakkiyar says that the sky will glisten like rubies (verse 389).

Is this yoga easy to achieve? No. Sivavakkiyar says that even though the Lord is within our hearts it is as difficult to see him as it is to straighten a dog’s tail (verse 405).

The kundalini that reaches the sahasrara does not remain there eternally. It falls back to the muladhara. Sivavakkiyar calls this as blessing and curse. During its ascent the kundalini blesses the aspirant with great experiences. When it comes down it brings him back to his worldly qualities (verse 358).

The kundalini yoga teaches one to realize the Divine that is within oneself. All of us are ignorant of this fact. By turning the focus inwards one realizes this truth, “one knows the one within”. Sivavakkiyar says that when he knew the one within (that it is an entity beyond perception) then no one was capable of seeing it (verse 6). Sivavakkiyar says that when one realizes this truth one will not lift his hands in supplication to worship a particular deity or a temple (verse 256). One will see the Divine everywhere. In this state there are no distinctions as a limited soul or the Divine, there is no directed or the directing (verse 23). Sivavakkiyar calls this as samarasa or “equivalent sentiment” (verse 126).

Sivavakkiyar explains how the Divinity brings about a super conscious state within in the Jiva. It initially places a speck of flame like a turtle placing its eggs on the shore. While the turtle goes back into the water and the eggs hatch by themselves in due course. Similarly, the Divine goes about its business after leaving the flame within us. The flame grows to a raging fire that turns us into the Ultimate Reality. Just as how the hatchlings return to the ocean, the Jiva returns to Siva (verse 98). He tells us another example that of a hornet embeds a worm in wet soil. Without any other thought than the intent the hornet buries the worm in the wet soil and goes away. Over time the wet soil breaks down and the worm flies away as a wasp (verse 106).

f. State of silence:

Silence is lack of sound. It is not only cessation of words but lack of mental fluctuations as well. Sivavakkiyar talks elaborately about the state of silence. He says that if the five senses are controlled within and if silence remains inside, the Lord will speak within and one will attain brahma jnāna (verse 103). Silence represents the state beyond nāda. Vijnāna Bhairava, a Kashmiri Saivism treatise on yoga calls this silence as Bhairava or universal consciousness. Sivavakkiyar reflects this idea when he says that silence is the river Ganga or wisdom, it is the moon (which again represents a state of wisdom) and it is the silence of Siva, the state of supreme consciousness (verse 339). The Siddhas call this state cumma, a state without any distinction. When the kundalini sakti reaches the sahasrara, the yogin experiences this state (verse 349). He experiences the Divine through all his senses. Sivavakkiyar says that the tainted thresholds, the senses, will become samarasa or the abodes of enjoyment of the Divine (verse 391).

He says that when one realizes the truth, the Divine, it does not matter, whether one is awake or sleeping, whether one’s senses are functioning or remaining merged as one, whether the directions exist or not, one will have the inside and outside in unison, in harmony. Such wise ones, jnāni, will have no thoughts as the mind ceases to exist. This is the state of a realized soul (verses 314, 470).

8. Sivavakkiyar’s sandhyā bhāsha:

Using esoteric language is a common feature in Siddha poetry. Sivavakkiyar has given us a taste of it in the following verses.

He describes the five senses as chickens and the soul as the mother hen. The chickens are fighting and making a lot of noise in the pen, the body. When the old jackal comes there, the Divine, all the chickens are dead. Only the mother hen remains (verse 152).

He describes the kundalini yoga in a verse which sounds as if he is describing a procedure in alchemy. With six parts of pure silver, four parts of copper, three parts of zinc, two parts of gold, one measure of the sound of the bow, if one blows on these one will reach the frontier (verse 185). Copper represents blood, silver the kundalini sakti or the seminal fluid. Three parts of zinc are the three faults or malas, two parts of gold are the breath flowing through the ida and pingala nādi. When all these are brought together they sound like the twang of the bow. One then reaches the frontier, the state of supreme consciousness.

In another verse, he calls the breath as the bellow and the kundalini sakti as the gold. If only one is capable of blowing the bellow it will expand as a pillar of fire. Then there will be nothing other than the dancing effulgence and oneself (verse 193).


Verse 504 has the last line as “tānatāna tatthathāna nāthanāna thānanā”. This looks like a musical note. However, this should be split as thān athāna thath, athāna nāthanāna thānan ā! It means “the thath that became that”, “the I that which became the Lord who became that” “the vital air”. This is the Mahavaakhya “Tat tvam asi”.

9. Play with numbers:

Siddhas use numbers to refer to esoteric concepts. Some of their songs contain only numbers. They leave it to the readers’ imagination to interpret them. Sivavakkiyar has used this technique in several of his verses. In verse 217 he says five, five, five and five are those that trouble; five, five and five are those that remain within; five, five and five -- if you are capable of nourishing them, five and five will remain within as civayam. It is up to the reader to interpret what these different fives mean! In the verse 227 he says “in the primal five, in the eternal four, in the effulgent three in the formless two in the one the wisdom entity that remains pervading all -- these are none other than the five letters. Verses 266, 267, 268, 269, 270, are examples of this technique.

Secrets of the Five Special Sofit Letters

In this week’s parasha, Beha’alotcha, we read how a year had passed since the Israelites had left Egypt, and God was now reminding the nation to commemorate Pesach. However, some people were spiritually impure at Pesach time because they had handled a corpse and were unable to take part in the Paschal offering. They approached Moses and asked “why should we be excluded so as not to bring the offering of the Lord in its appointed time, with all the children of Israel?” (Numbers 9:7) Moses was not sure how to answer them, so he took the case up to God, after which God told Moses about Pesach Sheni, the “second Passover” that could be done a month later in Iyar for those who had missed Passover in Nisan.

This episode is one of five times in the Torah when Moses was “stumped” by a question and had to consult God. The first was in Leviticus 24:11-12 with the case of the man who had blasphemed (nokev) God’s Name. The Pesach Sheni question posed above was the second. The third was the case of the mekoshesh etzim, the “wood-gatherer” on Shabbat (Numbers 15:32), followed by the Midianite episode when Zimri and Kozbi were involved in a public display of indecency (Numbers 25). The last was with the five daughters of Tzelofchad who wondered about their inheritance (Numbers 27).

These five questions (mekoshesh, nokev, tzelofchad, pesach sheni, kozbi) correspond to the five special Hebrew letters that have a distinct symbol when they appear at the end of a word: The “open” mem (מ) becomes a “closed” mem sofit (ם) while the “bent” nun (נ) becomes a “straight” nun sofit (ן), just as the “bent” tzadi (צ) becomes a “straight” tzadi sofit (ץ). The “coiled” pei (פ) and khaf (כ) unravel into the straight pei sofit (ף) and khaf sofit (ך). Together, these five unique letters are referred to by the acronym מנצפ״ך, “mantzepach”, and carry a tremendous amount of meaning. What is the origin and purpose of these special letters?

Letters of Creation

We first encounter a discussion of these letters in the Talmud (Shabbat 104a). The Sages state that the sofit letters were unknown to the earlier generations of Israelites and were only introduced by the later Prophets. The Talmud questions this and ultimately concludes that, of course, these letters are also holy and designed by God. What is meant here is that, in reality, these letters contained such great primordial secrets that they were initially hidden from the general masses. However, a time came when the Prophets decided it was necessary to reveal the secret of the five letters. These secrets are preserved in Kabbalistic texts, where the five letters are often referred to as the five Gevurot, “severities” or “strengths”.

Recall that, in the beginning, God “constricted” a space for Creation in a process called tzimtzum. He then shone His great light within that space to create a wholly perfect world. However, the “vessels” that held Creation together were unable to contain God’s unfiltered light. What followed was a shevirat hakelim, “Shattering of the Vessels”, scattering countless sparks of holiness throughout Creation that needed to be rectified and elevated back to their original positions. (For a detailed explanation of this Creation process, see here.) The mystical mission of each Jew is to affect that tikkun, to restore the spiritual worlds and thereby also perfect the physical world below. (This is the true meaning of tikkun olam, a term which has been redefined, overused, and misused in modern times.)

The five Gevurot letters were instrumental in restoring Creation during that primordial time, allowing for the world to exist, albeit imperfectly. The Gevurot became “channels” of severity, to help contain both God’s light, and His judgement. They hold together—for now—a disparate, divided world. This is reflected in the total numerical value of the five Gevurot, equalling 280, or פ״ר. In Hebrew, essentially every word that means a division or separation of some sort carries that same root of פ״ר, or 280. For example, פרד and פרש are both verbs meaning to separate, while פרץ is to break through something and פרס is to split or slice. The word פר itself is a bull, an animal domesticated specifically in order to plow and break up the soil.

Thus, the sofit letters have the power to “break up” impurity and restore holiness. In his excellent Understanding the Alef-Beis (pg. 17), Rabbi Dovid Leitner points out that 280 is also the value of רוח הטומאה, “spirit of impurity” (as in Zechariah 13:2). The five Gevurot, whose total value is 280, are able to neutralize the impure.

At the same time, the Gevurot letters have another, greater, numerical value, once again illustrating their power in channeling God’s great, otherwise overpowering, light. Continuing after tav, which has a value of 400, the khaf sofit has a specific value of 500, then the mem sofit is 600, and so on. The final tzadi sofit is 900, thus completing the numerical cycle in Hebrew, and bringing us back to aleph, which literally means “thousand”. Beautifully, an aleph is both 1 and 1000, the spiritual implications of which we shall return to below.

Letters of Rectification

When it comes to our actions, there are five major body parts that we use: the nose, mouth, arms, hands, and fingers. These are the parts of the body with which we do things. The legs and feet are generally only for mobility. The eyes and ears are passive sensory organs with which we cannot actually do any specific tasks. The reproductive organ is useless on its own, without being acted upon. That leaves those five body parts alone. The nose is the key to proper breathing and meditation. (Note how breath is neshimah and soul is neshamah.) The nose is also associated with making use of various aromas, both therapeutic and recreational, for better or worse. The uses of the mouth, along with its pros and cons, require no further explanation. The arms, hands, and fingers are the main tools for interacting with the world around us and getting things done. Therefore, the key to proper conduct, action, and spiritual rectification, lies in the proper use of these five body parts.

The Arizal relates these five body parts directly to the five Gevurot, each giving strength to its corresponding part (see Sha’ar HaPesukim on Balak, Pinchas, and Matot). Pei literally means “mouth”, while mem represents the nose (a regular mem actually resembles a nose sticking out of a face, with a little nostril at the bottom, מ). Nun represents the arm, khaf literally means “palm”, and tzadi corresponds to the fingers. For those who are familiar with the terminology, the Arizal teaches that mem and pei are associated with the or makif, “surrounding light”, while the other three are for the or penimi, “inner light”. (Interestingly, the Arizal adds that the five daughters of Tzelofchad mystically represent the five Gevurot.)

More broadly, the ancient Sefer HaBahir states that the vertical nun sofit represents the spinal cord. At birth, the spinal cord is protected by 33 vertebral bones. These correspond to the 33 times that God is mentioned in the account of Creation. The first 32 times (corresponding to the 32 Paths of Wisdom, as explained in detail here) God is mentioned with the name Elohim, and the 33rd time with the first appearance of the Tetragrammaton. As a person grows, their vertebral bones fuse into 26, the value of the Tetragrammaton itself. And so, the Zohar (I, 24a and 147a) says that the nun sofit symbolizes the transformative process into the complete, fulfilled human. This complete human must be a male-female pair—soul mates reunited into one whole—and entirely rectified and refined to the highest degree, truly “in God’s image”.


66 The Tirikala cakkaram culminates in a vision of Siva as the supreme being, the transcendent, invisible, and unfathomable creator of all that exists. The Puvana cakkaram opens with an account of how from this supreme being the universe arises as the result of a process of differentiation which begins with the emergence of a single androgynous being, neither male nor female, but nevertheless beginning to unfold so that male and female elements are distinguishable within what remains a single entity. From these elements emerges the manifest form of Siva and then from Siva, in turn, emerge Sakti and the five forms Sadasiva, Mahesvara, Rudra, Visnu and Brahma. Quoting this account in the Malabarisches Heidenthum, Ziegenbalg comments that this is why "these heathens undewrstand under the name Siva both the supreme being and the highest God," that is, both the unmanifest and manifest forms of Siva.

-- Bibliotheca Malabarica: Bartholomaus Ziegenbalg's Tamil Library, by Will Sweetman with R. Ilakkuvan


While the human process of growth and refinement ends with the nun sofit, it begins in the womb which, the Arizal says, is represented by the mem sofit (Sha’ar haPesukim on Tehillim). The difference in value between the two letters is 100, representing the 100 “vessels” that every person needs to repair and fill (derived from the Ten Sefirot, each of which is composed of a further Ten Sefirot, totalling 100). The value of “vessels” (כלים) is itself 100. The Lubavitcher Rebbe taught that this is the true meaning of Pirkei Avot 5:21 that says how at 100 a person is like a dead body who is “removed from this world”. It does not mean that a centenarian is practically dead! On the contrary, it means that once a person, regardless of age, has repaired and filled all 100 spiritual vessels—they are “at 100”—any trace of evil within them is dead, and they become transcendent and angelic, as if they are no longer bound to the physical world. (See Likkutei Sichos, Vol. I, pg. 48)

Letters of Redemption

Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer (ch. 48) describes the five Gevurot letters as the “Alphabet of Redemption”. It describes how each of our patriarchs was somehow saved through the light and power channeled by one of the letters: Abraham through the khaf, Isaac through the mem, and Jacob with the nun. All of Israel came out of Egypt through the pei sofit. The only letter that remains is the tzadi sofit, reserved for the Final Redemption.

More than anyone else, it was the Vilna Gaon (1720-1797) that expounded upon the tzadi sofit in Redemption. In Kol HaTor (published only in the previous century, to a great deal of controversy) we read a detailed exposition of what the “Birth Pangs of the Messiah”—that difficult period leading to the Final Redemption—will be like. The Vilna Gaon taught that there will specifically be טצ״ץ, or 999, “birth pangs” before the coming of Mashiach. This is the value of the tzadi sofit, the regular tzadi, and the mispar katan of tzadi (where every number is reduced to one digit). It is the last possible number in the Hebrew numerical system, before returning to the aleph. And this is the secret of the famous verse in Isaiah (60:21-22) that speaks of the Redemption:

And your people, all of them righteous, shall inherit the land forever, a scion of My planting, the work of My hands in which I will glory. The smallest shall become a thousand and the least a mighty nation; I am God, in its time I will hasten it.

The Vilna Gaon taught that the words hakaton ihyeh la’eleph, that the smallest one “shall become a thousand”, refers to Mashiach. As stated above, the aleph (the “smallest one”) is both 1 and 1000; therefore, the process of growing from 1 to 1000 involves 999 intermediate steps. These are the 999 “Footsteps of the Messiah”, and involve those difficult “birth pangs” at the End of Days. The prophet Jeremiah (30:7) described the birth pangs of the End of Days thus: “Oh that day will be great, none like it. And it will be a time of trouble for Jacob, but he shall be saved from it.” The Vilna Gaon pointed out that the gematria of the words “And it will be a time of trouble for Jacob” (וְעֵֽת־צָרָ֥ה הִיא֙ לְיַֽעֲקֹ֔ב) is 999 as well, further solidifying the connection.

These 999 steps will not be easy for the House of Jacob to overcome. In fact, the Talmud (Sanhedrin 98b) records that because the birth pangs of the pre-messianic era will be so difficult, “Ulla said, ‘Let him come, but let me not see him.’ And so said Rabbah, ‘Let him come, but let me not see him.’” Many of our Sages did not want to live through the horrible travails that Jews would endure in the End of Days. (Still, Rav Yosef countered them and said: “Let him come, and let me merit to sit in the shadow of his donkey’s excrement!”)

What we are seeing in the world around us today is part of that difficult process. Israel, the one state of the Jewish people, a tiny sliver of land among 22 Arab countries, is attacked indiscriminately by genocidal terrorists that proudly target innocent civilians. “Rioters” from within the country, chanting for Jews to be driven into the sea, burn down synagogues and ram their cars into pedestrians. Yet the whole world responds by condemning Israel! The world wants to boycott and dismantle the one free democracy amidst a sea of tyranny and despotic regimes. And it’s not just Israel that’s under fire, but Jews all over the world—the entire House of Jacob—are under attack. We keep hearing that “anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism”, but no distinction at all is made on the streets of New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Toronto, Montreal, and other cities where Jews have been harassed in recent days.

Throughout this immensely difficult time for our people, it is important to remember that all of this was foreseen and forewarned. To paraphrase Rabbi Akiva, just as we are witnessing the negative parts of the prophecies fulfilled, we should take comfort in knowing that the positive parts of those same prophecies will surely be fulfilled, too. Things may seem to be getting worse and worse by the minute, but God told us that when the time for Redemption comes, “I will hasten it.”

We will soon see everlasting peace, as Isaiah (9:6) said: “To increase [לםרבה] authority and peace without end upon David’s throne and kingdom.” This verse is the only place in the Tanakh where a mem sofit strangely appears in the middle of a word, once more reminding us about the “Alphabet of Redemption”. The five Gevurot are channels of Judgement, and at the same time they are the channels for our salvation. We started off by citing the Talmud which told us that it was the later Prophets who revealed the five special letters. Now we understand why: to teach ancient Israel about the Redemption when all hope seemed to be lost.

Today we also find ourselves at a time of fading hope. We shouldn’t forget that we need to go through this difficult period, and as frightening as it may seem, we must remember that God asked us to wait for Him just a little longer:

…Wait for Me, says God, for the day when I arise as an accuser; When I decide to gather nations, to bring kingdoms together, to pour out My indignation on them, all My blazing anger. Indeed, by the fire of My passion all the Earth shall be consumed. For then I will make the peoples pure of speech, to call out in the Name of God, and serve Him in unity. (Tzefaniah 3:8-9)...

-- Secrets of the Five Special Sofit Letters, by Mayim Achronim, Uncovering the depths of Torah wisdom

10. Conclusion:

From the above described topics one can safely conclude that Sivavakkiyam is an authentic text on Tamil Siddha philosophy. It subscribes to the suddha advaita or monism and not pluralism prescribed by Saiva Siddhanta the more popular philosophy in South India.

While the composition begins with a well-defined introduction, the concepts explained above are all spread over several verses in no conceivable order. This makes one wonder whether the original verses were collated by different people at different times. Repetition of some of verses lends credence to this conjecture. It may also be that the verses were composed at different time points and hence the same concept is repeated in several verses with mild modification of the lines. In any case, the ideas and the philosophy are consistent throughout the composition and hence verses from different authors who follow different philosophies have not been put together under one title.


There is a general confusion about the number and order of verses of Sivavakkiyam. The version published by Aru. Ramanathan in the collection of Siddhar Padalgal (10) consists of 533 songs. The publication from The South India Saiva Siddhanta Works Publishing society, Tinnevelly (1984) has 526 verses. B. Ratna Nayakar sons (1955) have published a version which contains 1012 verses. The last publication has verses on Siddha medicine and recommendations for curing fever besides several unrelated topics. These verses do not fit with Sivavakkiyar’s original intent and hence seem to be insertions at a later date....

There are several verses in Sivavakkiyam that describe the rama mantra. There is a conjecture that this section may have been inserted into the original text....
Drawn milk doesn’t return to the breast.
Churned butter doesn’t return to the butter-milk.
The broken conch’s sound and the beings don’t re-enter the body.
The blossomed flower and the fallen half-ripe fruit never return to the tree.
The dead are never born [again]. Never, never, never.

Further, when the soul and the body separate, the soul does not die. It takes up another body....


In conclusion one may state that the philosophy of Sivavakkiyar with its social attitudes may well constitute the point of departure for a new humanism (for in Sivavakkiyar’s genuine mysticism, humanity and God is the point of reference) on a world scale with its format deeply embedded in a Philosophy of the Spirit which is not confined to any notion or nation, religion or community which indeed is the common spiritual treasure trove of the entire humanity.
In an online essay called "Sai Baba and Sex: A Clear View," an American devotee named Ram Das Awle says, "First of all, I believe that Sathya Sai Baba is an Avatar, a full incarnation of God ... AND, from what I've read and heard, I'm inclined to think some of the allegations about Baba are probably true: It appears likely to me that He has occasionally had sexually intimate interactions with devotees." After several rambling paragraphs, the essay concludes that Sai Baba touches men to awaken their "kundalini" energy or to remove previous bad sexual karma, and that "any sexual contact Baba has had with devotees -- of whatever kind -- has actually been only a potent blessing, given to awaken the spiritual power within those souls. Who can call that 'wrong'? Surely to call such contact 'molestation' is perversity itself."

According to Leland (the American ex-motivational speaker), "when he does it, he has a purpose." Leland says he knows a boy of 15 or 16 who was asked to touch Baba's "genital area" during an interview. "Then Baba beckoned him to touch his feet. When the boy looked up, Baba had his robe lifted and a big boner -- a Shiva lingam. Not much else happened." Leland suspects such incidents are part of Sai Baba's plan to spread his word. "Probably more people are going to know about you if there are allegations that you're a pedophile than if you say God is incarnated on earth."

Sai Baba has also been called a second-rate magician. Even some of his believers say they've seen him faking materializations, though to them it's part of his playfulness and ineffability. Yet there's nothing amateurish about his genius for suspending disbelief. Haus, the Swiss follower, seemed to have an open mind and didn't mind discussing the charges against Sai Baba, but he didn't believe them. "I think this is a projection of his devotees' problems," he said. "You hear a lot of rumors here, but for me it's not important. When you're happy, why doubt it?"


-- Untouchable? Millions of people worship Sai Baba as God incarnate. More and more say the Indian guru is also a pedophile, by Michelle Goldberg

Bibliography

1. T.N. Ganapathy, The Yoga of the Eighteen Siddhas: An Anthology. Babaji’s Kriya Yoga and Publications, Inc. Quebec, Canada. (2004), pp.11-13.
2. The author came across at least fifteen different lists of Tamil Siddhas. They can be found in:
Jñānabodhagam MS
Nijānanda bodham in Chittar Pādalgal, vol.2, p 227.
Karuvūrar Māntrika Attamāsittu
Kārai Siddhar, Kanagavaippu (Golden Lay) verses 7-11 pp.124,125.
Kalaikkalañjiyam, Vol. 4, p.645.
Abhidhānacintāmani p.638
M.S. Purnalingam Pillai, Tamil Literature, p.265.
Ka.Su. Pillai, Ilakkiya Varalāru, p.338
C.Balasubramanian, Tamil Ilakkiya Varalāru,p.157
Aru.Ramanathan, Chittar Pādalgal, vol.1, p.7
A. Shanmugavelan, Siddhar’s Science of Longevity and Kalpa Medicine of India, p.40
R. Manickavāchagam, Nam Nāttu Chittargal, p.105ff
K.R.R. Sastri, “The Path of the Siddhas”.
Kamil V.Zvelebil, The Poets of the Powers, pp.132-33.

3. T.P.Meenakshisundaram, A History of Tamil Literature, p.70.
4. Refer his Introduction to Ci.Ko. Deivanāyagan’s Chittar Sindanaigal, (Tanjore: 1979), p.ii
5. For a list of Tamil Siddhas with their caste, origin and the place where they lived, refer the following:
(i) T.N.Ganapathy, The Yoga of Siddha Boganathar, col.I Quevec, Babaji’s Kriya Yoga and Publications, 2003, refer Appendixes , A, B,C and D
(ii) K.V.Zvelebil, The Poets of the Powers (London: Rider&Co, 1971) pp.132-33
(iii) Karai Siddhar, Kanaga Vaippu (Nungambakkam: Siddhasāram),p.126.
(iv) K.R. Pasupathi, Siddhargal (Tiruchi:Pudupunal Padippagam, 1963)p.5
(v) V.Balaramaiah, Chittar Meypporul, pp.55-56.
(vi) In Nijānandabhodam a list of places of the Siddhas is ginven, (Aru.Ramanathan, Cittar Padalgal, 2 vols. Madras Prema Prasuram, 4th edition, 1984) vol.II p.273.
6. M.Arunachalam, “The Poetry and Philosophy of Siddar Sivavakkiyar”(SaivaSiddhanta vol. VI, nos.1 and 2,1971, pp8-21 and pp.85-94 respectively) p.11
7. For details of this “Pāychalūr Ballad” refer M.Arunachalam’s article on “Uttaranallur Mangai” in his Histroy of Tamil Literature vol.XV century pp.359-362 and vol. XIV century p.409 (Mayuram:Gandhi Vidhyalayam).
8. A.Singaravelu Mudaliar, Abithana Chintamani (Chennai:Asia Educational Services, 2001) pp.685-686.
9. For a detailed discussion of this view refer A.V.Subramania Aiyar’s The Poetry and the Philosophy of the Tamil Siddhas (pp. 36-46) also refer to R.Manikhavachagar’s Nam Nattu Sidhargal (Chennai: Annai Abhirami Arul, 1978) pp158-177.
10. Aru. Ramanathan, Siddhar Padalgal, vol.I (Chennai: Prema Prasuram, 10th edition, 1999).
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 34238
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Wed Apr 20, 2022 4:40 am

Jaffna Tamils Trapped Inside Their Historical Vacuum
by H. L. D. Mahindapala
Colombo Telegraph
February 15, 2020

The Tirikāla cakkaram and the Genealogia der malabarischen Götter

64 There is one work in particular, of fundamental importance to Ziegenbalg’s account of Hinduism, which is closely linked to the traditions of the Śaiva maṭams and may well have been obtained by Ziegenbalg through his links with them. In the Bibliotheca Malabarica (bm 110), Ziegenbalg names this work as Tirikāla cakkaram and describes it as “a mathematical description of the seven underworlds and the seven worlds above, together with the fourteen seas which lie between the fourteen worlds. Likewise an account of their paradise, or Kailācam, which is the seat of Īcuvarī with many hundreds of thousands of idols.” He adds the remarkable claim that it is “virtually the basis of all other Malabarian books, since everything is based on the principles contained in it.”

While the Tirikāla cakkaram is, to the best of our knowledge, unknown to the scholarship on Tamil literature167 and is hardly the basis of all other Tamil books, it was formative in Ziegenbalg’s understanding of the Hindu pantheon, both in convincing him that Hindu theology—at its best—is essentially monotheistic, and in helping him structure his own account of the Hindu pantheon in his final work on Hinduism, the Genealogia der malabarischen Götter. As Ziegenbalg writes in the Bibliotheca Malabarica, the Tirikāla cakkaram shows “the genealogy of the gods… namely how all the other gods derive from the being of all beings, or the supreme God, and what their offices are, where their residence is, how long they live, how often each is incarnated, etc.”

He adds:
I had intended to translate [the Tirikāla cakkaram], but nonetheless I found myself wondering whether this was altogether advisable, since many pointless speculations would be caused thereby, and keep [scholars in Europe] away from the things that are necessary. However, I leave it still to be determined, whether I might translate it into German or not, since I am now for this reason not really of one mind on it myself.

65 The importance of the Tirikāla cakkaram for Ziegenbalg’s conception of Hinduism has not been fully appreciated, in part because of the difficulty in identifying the text. The Tirikāla cakkaram is not an independent text, but a section of a work which appears under a separate heading as the next work in Ziegenbalg’s catalogue, the Puvaṉa cakkaram.168 In fact Ziegenbalg did provide an almost complete translation of the Tirikāla cakkaram in the second chapter of the second part of his Malabarisches Heidenthum, entitled “Of their calculation of years,” which Ziegenbalg attributes to “Dírigálasákkarum from p. 1 to p. 10.” (mh 189). Earlier in the Malabarisches Heidenthum he quotes what he takes to be an account of the creation, and attributes this to “Dirugálasakkarum… vs. 11 seqq.” (mh 64–65). This passage, which is in fact—at least in the manuscript we consulted—the opening of the Puvaṉa cakkaram, points to the real significance of the Tirikāla cakkaram and Puvaṉa cakkaram for Ziegenbalg’s account of Hinduism.

66 The Tirikāla cakkaram culminates in a vision of Śiva as the supreme being, the transcendent, invisible, and unfathomable creator of all that exists. The Puvaṉa cakkaram opens with an account of how from this supreme being the universe arises as the result of a process of differentiation which begins with the emergence of a single androgynous being, neither male nor female, but nevertheless beginning to unfold so that male and female elements are distinguishable within what remains a single entity. From these elements emerges the manifest form of Śiva and then from Śiva, in turn, emerge Śakti and the five forms Sadāśiva, Maheśvara, Rudra, Viṣṇu and Brahmā. Quoting this account in the Malabarisches Heidenthum, Ziegenbalg comments that this is why “these heathens understand under the name Śiva both the supreme being and the highest God,” that is, both the unmanifest and the manifest forms of Śiva. The first part of the Genealogia is devoted to an explanation of this conception of Śiva’s unfolding. The second part deals with the five faces of Śiva which—according to Ziegenbalg—“signify the five great lords or gods, out of which they later make no more than three” (GMG 41r), i.e., Śiva, Viṣṇu, and Brahmā. Ziegenbalg here conflates five agents of Śiva—Brahman, Viṣṇu, Rudra, Maheśvara, and Sadāśiva (the Kāraṇeśvaras or lords of the five kalās “‘portions’ of the cosmos”169)—with the more familiar trimūrti (or “Mummurtigöl,” in Ziegenbalg’s transcription of the Tamil mummūrttikaḷ). The third part of the Genealogia contains the account of village deities for which Ziegenbalg’s work is best known. With the exception of Aiyaṉār, these are all female and are said by Ziegenbalg to have their origin in the Śakti discussed in the first part of the Genealogia (gmg 128v). Although Ziegenbalg draws heavily on other sources for his account of these deities, his understanding of their position in the pantheon was thus drawn from the Tirikāla cakkaram. The fourth part of the Genealogia returns to follow the Tirikāla cakkaram more closely. It includes an account of the thirty-three crore devas, the forty-eight thousand ṛṣis, various celestial beings such as Keṇanātar (Sanskrit: Gaṇanāthas), Kiṉṉarar (Kiṃnaras), and Kimapuruṭar (Kiṃpuruṣas), and finally the guardians of the eight directions. The attention paid to these mostly obscure denizens of Hindu cosmography is somewhat out of place in a work which is now cited, if at all, usually only for its ethnographic content.170 Their place in the Genealogia is explicable only because of the account of them in the Tirikāla cakkaram, where they are mentioned in the calculation of the different lifespans of Rudra and the manifest form of Śiva.

The Tirikāla cakkaram and the Tiruvāvaṭutuṟai maṭam

67 The Puvaṉa cakkaram, of which the Tirikāla cakkaram is a part, is a cosmographic work of a kind well-known in Sanskrit literature where it is more commonly titled Bhuvanakośaḥ. Although in modern times works of this sort have been published independently, it appears that they more commonly formed part of larger works, and served to establish the authority of the work by tracing a lineage back to Śiva. In the Bibliotheca Malabarica, Ziegenbalg reports the provenance of the work as follows:
The secrets of this book were first revealed by Īcuvaraṉ himself to his wife Pārvatī. These were later revealed by her to Nantikēcuraṉ, who is Īcuvaraṉ’s gatekeeper. He later made these secrets known to a great prophet called Tirumūla Tēvar. (bm 110)

68 According to cittar tradition, Tirumūlar, the early Śaiva mystic and author of the Tirumantiram, is said to have been the disciple of an alchemist named Nantikēcuran.171 Tirumūlar is also closely connected to Tiruvāvaṭutuṟai [Tiruvavaduthurai is a village in the district of Mayiladuthurai of the Indian State Tamil Nadu.], where he took physical form by entering the body of a cowherd and composed the Tirumantiram. It is, however, not clear that an ascription to this early Tirumūlar is intended in Ziegenbalg’s account of the work.172 Zvelebil gives the briefest details of an undated Tirumūlatēvar,173 ascribing to him three works: the Tirumantiramālai, Tirumūlatēvar pāṭalkaḷ and Vālaippañcākkara viḷakkam. Tirumantiramālai is in fact the full title of Tirumūlar’s Tirumantiram and hence the distinction between the work which Zvelebil ascribes to Tirumūla Tēvar and Tirumūlar’s own work is not clear. We have not been able to identify copies of the Tirumūlatēvar pāṭalkaḷ and Vālaippañcākkara viḷakkam, but the title of the latter suggests a work on the five-syllable nama-civāya mantra. There are a number of works of this kind, with different titles,174 closely associated with the Tiruvāvaṭutuṟai maṭam. Whether Tirumūlar or Tirumūla Tēvar is intended, an association with Tiruvāvaṭutuṟai [Tiruvavaduthurai is a village in the district of Mayiladuthurai of the Indian State Tamil Nadu.], certainly cannot be ruled out.

69 Moreover, as noted above (35), Koppedrayer emphasizes the importance of the idea of a lineage, beginning on Mount Kailasa and transmitted through Nantikēcuran, or Nantitēvar,175 in the self-understanding of the Tiruvāvaṭutuṟai maṭam. She notes that when referring to themselves corporately: “the ascetics living in the matam at Tiruvavatuturai… use such phrases as the Tirukailai paramparai, the lineage [descending] from Mount Kailasa.”176 Discussing the multiple accounts of the Tiruvāvaṭutuṟai kailasa paramparai, she notes that while they differ in their details “early references to the seminal figures simply cite Namaccivaya, Meykantar, and Nanti, yes, always Nanti on Mount Kailasa.”177

70 While the catalogue of the Tiruvāvaṭutuṟai library does not list a copy of the Puvaṉa cakkaram, there is one final piece of evidence suggesting a connection between works of this sort and the Tiruvāvaṭutuṟai maṭam. The catalogue of the Government Oriental Manuscripts Library in Chennai records a copy of a work entitled Puvaṉa kōcam which is clearly very similar in content to the Puvaṉa cakkaram. The catalogue describes the work as “a treatise on cosmology as explained in the Śaiva Purāṇas,” and notes that it is part of a bundle purchased in 1938–39 from Sri Muttukkumārasvāmi Ōduvāmūrti of Tinnevelly which includes also several of the works of Umāpati and “Ambalavāṇattamirānār of Tiruvāvaḍutuṛai maṭh.”178

-- Bibliotheca Malabarica: Bartholomaus Ziegenbalg's Tamil Library, by Will Sweetman with R. Ilakkuvan


Image
H. L. D. Mahindapala

Dr. Murugar Gunasingam is a path-breaking and indefatigable Tamil historian who earned his doctorate based on his exploratory history of the Jaffna Tamils of Sri Lanka. He undertook this mission of discovering the history of Jaffna when he “first realised that no one had ever written a truly comprehensive history of the Tamil nation in Sri Lanka.” (Preface – Primary Sources For The History Of The Sri Lankan Tamils, World-Wide Search, 2005.). In 1995 he was awarded a scholarship by the Sydney University, Australia, “to undertake research for a doctorate in history”.

He was guided in this mission by leading Tamil historians like Prof. S. Arasaratnam. He was also inspired by Prof. K. Indrapala, the controversial Tamil historian who like most Tamil historians endeavoured to write a Jaffna-centric history. He shocked his admirers and students of history when he recanted his earlier doctoral thesis documenting the history of the Tamils starting from the 12th century. This thesis did not sit well with the Tamil who thought they had made history from “the dawn of history”. In his new thesis written after he was virtually driven out of his Chair in History at the Jaffna University he fell in line with the political agenda and the Tamil “history” laid out in the Vadukoddai Resolution of 1976 – the ultimate manifesto ever of the Jaffna Tamils. The conventional political mission of Tamil historians has been to claim that they were the original pioneers, as stated in the Vadukoddai Resolution, who laid the foundation for the evolution of the history of Sri Lanka.

Armed with the Sydney University scholarship Dr. Gunasingam went on a world-wide search for evidence of the role played by the Tamils in building “a truly comprehensive history of the Tamil nation in Sri Lanka”. Though his mission is commendable there is an irony in it. History by its intrinsic nature is found in the soil on which it is made. But he goes around the world to look for it.
At the end he wrote that “no overall or comprehensive history of the Tamils in Sri Lanka has yet been written.” (p, 25 – Primary Sources For The History Of The Sri Lankan Tamils, World-Wide Search, 2005.).

Tamils are a proud community obsessed with history. They believe fervently and somewhat arrogantly in a glorious past of their own. Of course, their imagined past is far in excess of the historical realities. In fact, they base their modern politics for a separate state / self-determination /federalism etc., on their imagined history. So far, their attempts to rewrite a Jaffna-centric history have ended up as a lame exercise in trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill. So the news that they do not have an “overall or comprehensive history of the Tamils in Sri Lanka” is not surprising though it must be upsetting and threatening their imagined history from which they derive political sustenance for an Eelam, a separate state, etc.

Jaffna-centric history has been written essentially to advance their politically motivated thesis which claims that they are the inheritors of a grand past from “the dawn of time”. This raises a critical question: If they do have the tangible glorious past why is it that they do not have a comprehensive history put together by anyone even as late as 2005? Can a nation/community have a great past without anyone documenting the existence of it? Is the vacuum in their history because the gap between the imagined past and the known historical realities cannot be filled with the kind of credible evidence needed to substantiate their claims of greatness? Isn’t this search for a past driven by current politics labouring incessantly to establish a separate state?

In the post-Vadukoddai Resolution period the re-writing of Jaffna-centric history has grown into a kind of semi-industry to boost the contemporary political ego filled with yearnings for the glorification of a history that never existed.
Like most other Tamil and pro-Tamil theoreticians Dr. Gunasingam’s writings confirm amply that his research has been to find evidence of a past that would give credibility to a new Tamil identity that would elevate their status to justify their imagined history. Like Prof. Indrapala he is looking for “the affirmation of a positive Tamil Identity” and he pleads “with the entire Tamil community and especially expatriate Tamils across the world, to act on the matter without any further delay.” But nothing substantial has been dug up from the past since he presented his research to fill the vacuum in the history of the Tamils.

Coming from a leading Tamil scholar who had searched almost all the available sources of the world for evidence of the Tamils in Sri Lanka – Portugal, Holland, India, UK, USA etc– his statement must be taken as a definitive judgement. After his global search his conclusion is startling. He says categorically that “the most important single shortcoming at this time is that no historian, or archaeologist or even a social scientist, whether Sinhalese, Tamil or Western scholar has written complete or comprehensive account of the history of the Tamils in Sri Lanka.” (pp. 20-21 – Ibid). He admits that there were bits and pieces written about Jaffna but no one has written an overall history giving a panoramic view of their past. This news is bound to explode and deflate the heads of the Tamils like a bloated balloon pricked by the point of a needle. Bang!

The reverberating sound must be unnerving because, like all records of history, this revelation has serious political implications. The perennial problem of the Tamils is that their scanty history pales into insignificance when pitted against the monumental achievements of the Sinhala-Buddhist civilisation, or the classical Tamil history of S. India. When they go for self-determination they realise that they do not have the requisite history, either in quality or the quantity of the Sinhala-Buddhist history, to justify their exaggerated claim for a separate state.

Historian Gunasingam puts it starkly in the following paragraph: “Sri Lankan Tamils possess their own language, religion, culture and tradition and a glorious past which should enable them a strong national identity. However, to achieve self-determination successfully, they lack a sense of historical identity to support their claims for political rights. So, again, why is that the Tamil people have failed to preserve and promote their history as the Sinhalese people have so successfully accomplished?” (p.14 – Ibid).

Why, indeed! The failure of the Tamils to match their scanty history with that of the grand history of the Sinhala-Buddhists makes them feel inadequate. So they have been consistently filling the grim vacuum with their imagination, or denigrating the Sinhala-Buddhist history, or claiming that the Sinhala-Buddhist history is in reality the history of the Tamils. The lack of an impressive and a credible history first hit them during the British period when pioneering British archaeologists, surveyors and explorers discovered the monumental achievements of the Sinhala-Buddhist buried under the jungle tide. Each discovery of the Sinhala-Buddhist culture, civilisation and heritage elevated the achievements of the Sinhala-Buddhist founding fathers to new heights. Oriental scholars from West were scrutinising every ola leaf found in temples, every page of history they could lay their hands on to study minutely the glories of the Sinhala-Buddhist past.

The Tamils had no comparative history or records in Jaffna. Their scholars like Arumuka Navalar and C. V. Thamotherampillai went to the Madras (Tamil Nadu) to unearth the hidden treasures written in Tamil. If they had a recorded history in Jaffna they would not have gone to Madras and ferreted old texts from house to house.


Image


Dr. Gunasingam followed in the footsteps of Arumuka Navalar and Thamotherampillai looking for Tamil history and glory outside Jaffna because they could not find it inside Jaffna. The first two Tamil explorers earned a reputation by discovering the hidden literature of Tamil classical era and publishing them in Jaffna with the first printing press. With the dawn of the 20th century Jaffna Tamils discovered that they had neither Tamil classics to their credit coming out of their run-of-the mill past nor new dazzling creations of their own in contemporary times.

The usual excuse of Tamil historians / researchers is that there are gaps in the Jaffna-centric history because not enough of research has been done to re-discover their glorious past. But a substantial degree of research has been done to discover their glorious past and to date they have drawn a blank.

In the absence of a great classical past the Saivite Jaffna Vellalas (SJVs) – the supreme masters who ruled Jaffna with an iron fist — took to boasting about the slight variations in the Jaffna Tamil accent which they consider to be purer than the S. Indian variety. The Jaffna Tamils like to claim superiority over the Tamil Nadu Tamils with their quaint accent leaning towards the traditional past. They also take pride in the overall linguistic culture which is not corrupted by the pop culture of Tamil magazines and the cinematic vulgarisms of Tamil Nadu. Other than that the Jaffna Tamils have been dwarfed by the gigantic achievements of the classical Tamil culture of the S. India and the Sinhala-Buddhist civilisation in Sri Lanka.

What is absolutely clear from the judgment of Dr. Gunasingam on the Jaffna-centric history of the Tamils of Sri Lanka is that they have gone around the world in search of a history to boost their contemporary politics. The lack of a comprehensive and authoritative history of Jaffna Tamils has left room for imaginative versions to take root in the minds of the Jaffnaites, especially the SJVs. The Tamil historians are faced with the serious problem of not finding any monumental material buried in their past to back up their claims for a grand history in Sri Lanka. So they are scouring all the world-wide libraries for evidence. It is an urgent need to justify their claim for a separate state. Dr. Gunasingam wrote: “It is now clear that the exploration of primary sources relating to Sri Lankan Tamils throughout the world is crucial given the current political situation of Tamils in Sri Lanka.” (p. 28 – Ibid).

This clarifies the relationship between Tamil politics and their history: they need history to boost their politics. In the absence of a past that could match either the Tamil classical period or the monumental achievements of the Sinhala-Buddhist civilisation the Jaffna Tamils, sandwiched between the two, have come to accept the Vadukoddai Resolution of 1976 as their genuine history. It is simple. It is concise. It is easily digestible and, above all, politically oriented to justify their mono-ethnic extremism with wild distortions of the available records.

By and large, Jaffna-centric history aims to justify the manufactured rationale outlined in the Vadukoddai Resolution. It is the most significant declaration of the Jaffna Tamils filled with overblown nationalistic rhetoric. It reveals mostly the imaginative capabilities of the SJV elite than the hardcore realities of the history of Jaffna. It is a pure political document spiced with distorted perspectives and historical inaccuracies put together to demonise the Sinhala-Buddhists as enemies of the Tamils. It glorifies an imaginary past — “from the dawn of time”, it claims -– with the sole aim of downgrading the pioneers of the mainstream. The lack of a creditable history of Jaffna is a thundering blow to the inflated egos of the SJVs who have been the main authors of their exaggerated history.


In this background the first mission of the Jaffna University should have been to provide a scholarly history to (1) give the world a comprehensive and authoritative account of the Tamils of Jaffna and (2) guide the thinking of the Jaffnaites to prevent them from running wild with the likes of Prabhakaran – the modern reincarnation of Sankili who had killed more Tamils than all the others put together, according to Tamil leaders. A nation / community that hero-worships a pathological killer like Prabhakaran must consist of like-minded political animals with no respect for humane or civilized values. Great societies and histories were not built on the perverse politics of Hitlers, Pol Pots or Prabhakarans. The Germans and the Cambodians have rejected their evil past. But the Jaffnaites continue to cling on to the killer cult of Sankili who massacred 600 Tamils simply because they were Christians who owed allegiance to the King of Portugal.

Elevating Prabhakaran to the pinnacle of the political culture of Jaffna is a sad reflection of the dehumanised values of the Jaffnaites. The South also had their Prabhakaran in the evil figure of Rohana Wijeweera, the JVP fascist killer. But he has been cast into the dustbin of history. His successors are still struggling to regain respectability from the victims of the evil politics of JVP killers. But Jaffnaite political culture continue to consider the Sankilli cult of Prabhakaran as a liberating force. The fundamental flaw in the history of Jaffnaites is the absence of a respectable hero. That is the tragedy of Jaffna. The towering figures of their history consists of unrepentant killers like Sankilli and Prabhakaran. They revel in the cult of death and hatred of the other.

Prabhakaran is the spit image of Sankilli. Sankilli is on record of being the first mass murderer of Tamils. He also put on record the first ever ethnic cleansing by driving out the Muslims and the Sinhalese. Prabhakaran followed his example. Sankili institutionalised mono-ethnic extremism. He relentlessly consolidated fascist tyranny as the way of life in Jaffna. He established violence as the supreme political culture eliminating all opposition / diversity in the name of Tamil supremacy.

It is this history that the Jaffna University refuses to confront. It is also aware that it has to deal with the subhuman casteist culture of the Vellalars. If my memory serves me right, it was Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole who exposed the heinous academic crime of Jaffna University suppressing research on the evils of Vellalar casteism. It is also the only university that evicted a Vice-Chancellor because he was from a low-caste. As stated earlier, it has the notoriety of driving out its first professor of history for authoring a history that did not justify their political agenda. It also has the scandalous reputation of promising female students an “A” for a lay.

This, in many ways, explains why the Jaffna University has failed to produce an authoritative history. It was established in 1972 by Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike. What excuse can there be for the failure of Jaffna University to produce a history of their own people? Obviously, they are scared of facing the grim record of their past. So they resort to their usual game of blaming the Sinhalese. Their favourite game is to blame the history of the Sinhala-Buddhists. They need Jaffna jingoism as a prime tactic to survive in peninsular politics. Attacking the Mahavamsa has been their best pastime.

When will the Jaffnaites grow up and face their past that frightens them so much?
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 34238
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Fri Apr 22, 2022 6:27 am

Part 1 of 3

South Indian literary culture, Excerpt from "Genealogy of the South Indian Deities: An English translation of Bartholomaus Ziegenbalg's original German manuscript with a textual analysis and glossary
by Daniel Jeyaraj
© 2005 Daniel Jeyaraj
pg. 253-256

Sivavakkiyar does not specifically mention his guru parampara or lineage in his work (10). The only hint available is in verse 301 where he says “with the sacred feet of Mūlan who said the three, ten and the three as three I would say the five letters”. If the Mūlan mentioned here refers to Tirumular, the composer of Tirumandiram, he may be indicating to us that he belongs to the mūlavarga, the lineage that claims Tirumular as its preceptor....

He describes the kundalini yoga in a verse which sounds as if he is describing a procedure in alchemy.
With six parts of pure silver, four parts of copper, three parts of zinc, two parts of gold, one measure of the sound of the bow, if one blows on these one will reach the frontier (verse 185). Copper represents blood, silver the kundalini sakti or the seminal fluid. Three parts of zinc are the three faults or malas, two parts of gold are the breath flowing through the ida and pingala nādi. When all these are brought together they sound like the twang of the bow. One then reaches the frontier, the state of supreme consciousness.

In another verse, he calls the breath as the bellow and the kundalini sakti as the gold. If only one is capable of blowing the bellow it will expand as a pillar of fire. Then there will be nothing other than the dancing effulgence and oneself (verse 193).

-- Sivavakkiyam -- Songs of a Spiritual Rebel, by Dr. Geetha Anand and Dr. T.N. Ganapathy

The Tirikāla cakkaram and the Genealogia der malabarischen Götter

64 There is one work in particular, of fundamental importance to Ziegenbalg’s account of Hinduism, which is closely linked to the traditions of the Śaiva maṭams and may well have been obtained by Ziegenbalg through his links with them. In the Bibliotheca Malabarica (bm 110), Ziegenbalg names this work as Tirikāla cakkaram and describes it as “a mathematical description of the seven underworlds and the seven worlds above, together with the fourteen seas which lie between the fourteen worlds. Likewise an account of their paradise, or Kailācam, which is the seat of Īcuvarī with many hundreds of thousands of idols.” He adds the remarkable claim that it is “virtually the basis of all other Malabarian books, since everything is based on the principles contained in it.”

While the Tirikāla cakkaram is, to the best of our knowledge, unknown to the scholarship on Tamil literature and is hardly the basis of all other Tamil books, it was formative in Ziegenbalg’s understanding of the Hindu pantheon, both in convincing him that Hindu theology—at its best—is essentially monotheistic, and in helping him structure his own account of the Hindu pantheon in his final work on Hinduism, the Genealogia der malabarischen Götter. As Ziegenbalg writes in the Bibliotheca Malabarica, the Tirikāla cakkaram shows “the genealogy of the gods… namely how all the other gods derive from the being of all beings, or the supreme God, and what their offices are, where their residence is, how long they live, how often each is incarnated, etc.”

He adds:
I had intended to translate [the Tirikāla cakkaram], but nonetheless I found myself wondering whether this was altogether advisable, since many pointless speculations would be caused thereby, and keep [scholars in Europe] away from the things that are necessary. However, I leave it still to be determined, whether I might translate it into German or not, since I am now for this reason not really of one mind on it myself.

65 The importance of the Tirikāla cakkaram for Ziegenbalg’s conception of Hinduism has not been fully appreciated, in part because of the difficulty in identifying the text. The Tirikāla cakkaram is not an independent text, but a section of a work which appears under a separate heading as the next work in Ziegenbalg’s catalogue, the Puvaṉa cakkaram. In fact Ziegenbalg did provide an almost complete translation of the Tirikāla cakkaram in the second chapter of the second part of his Malabarisches Heidenthum, entitled “Of their calculation of years,” which Ziegenbalg attributes to “Dírigálasákkarum from p. 1 to p. 10.” (mh 189). Earlier in the Malabarisches Heidenthum he quotes what he takes to be an account of the creation, and attributes this to “Dirugálasakkarum… vs. 11 seqq.” (mh 64–65). This passage, which is in fact—at least in the manuscript we consulted—the opening of the Puvaṉa cakkaram, points to the real significance of the Tirikāla cakkaram and Puvaṉa cakkaram for Ziegenbalg’s account of Hinduism.

66 The Tirikāla cakkaram culminates in a vision of Śiva as the supreme being, the transcendent, invisible, and unfathomable creator of all that exists. The Puvaṉa cakkaram opens with an account of how from this supreme being the universe arises as the result of a process of differentiation which begins with the emergence of a single androgynous being, neither male nor female, but nevertheless beginning to unfold so that male and female elements are distinguishable within what remains a single entity. From these elements emerges the manifest form of Śiva and then from Śiva, in turn, emerge Śakti and the five forms Sadāśiva, Maheśvara, Rudra, Viṣṇu and Brahmā. Quoting this account in the Malabarisches Heidenthum, Ziegenbalg comments that this is why “these heathens understand under the name Śiva both the supreme being and the highest God,” that is, both the unmanifest and the manifest forms of Śiva. The first part of the Genealogia is devoted to an explanation of this conception of Śiva’s unfolding. The second part deals with the five faces of Śiva which—according to Ziegenbalg—“signify the five great lords or gods, out of which they later make no more than three” (GMG 41r), i.e., Śiva, Viṣṇu, and Brahmā. Ziegenbalg here conflates five agents of Śiva—Brahman, Viṣṇu, Rudra, Maheśvara, and Sadāśiva (the Kāraṇeśvaras or lords of the five kalās “‘portions’ of the cosmos”)—with the more familiar trimūrti (or “Mummurtigöl,” in Ziegenbalg’s transcription of the Tamil mummūrttikaḷ). The third part of the Genealogia contains the account of village deities for which Ziegenbalg’s work is best known. With the exception of Aiyaṉār, these are all female and are said by Ziegenbalg to have their origin in the Śakti discussed in the first part of the Genealogia (gmg 128v). Although Ziegenbalg draws heavily on other sources for his account of these deities, his understanding of their position in the pantheon was thus drawn from the Tirikāla cakkaram. The fourth part of the Genealogia returns to follow the Tirikāla cakkaram more closely. It includes an account of the thirty-three crore devas, the forty-eight thousand ṛṣis, various celestial beings such as Keṇanātar (Sanskrit: Gaṇanāthas), Kiṉṉarar (Kiṃnaras), and Kimapuruṭar (Kiṃpuruṣas), and finally the guardians of the eight directions. The attention paid to these mostly obscure denizens of Hindu cosmography is somewhat out of place in a work which is now cited, if at all, usually only for its ethnographic content[???!!!] [ethnographic: relating to the scientific description of peoples and cultures with their customs, habits, and mutual differences.]. Their place in the Genealogia is explicable only because of the account of them in the Tirikāla cakkaram, where they are mentioned in the calculation of the different lifespans of Rudra and the manifest form of Śiva.

The Tirikāla cakkaram and the Tiruvāvaṭutuṟai maṭam

67 The Puvaṉa cakkaram, of which the Tirikāla cakkaram is a part, is a cosmographic work of a kind well-known in Sanskrit literature where it is more commonly titled Bhuvanakośaḥ. Although in modern times works of this sort have been published independently, it appears that they more commonly formed part of larger works, and served to establish the authority of the work by tracing a lineage back to Śiva. In the Bibliotheca Malabarica, Ziegenbalg reports the provenance of the work as follows:
The secrets of this book were first revealed by Īcuvaraṉ [Isvara!] himself to his wife Pārvatī. These were later revealed by her to Nantikēcuraṉ, who is Īcuvaraṉ’s [Isvara's!] gatekeeper. He later made these secrets known to a great prophet called Tirumūla Tēvar. (bm 110)

68 According to cittar tradition, Tirumūlar, the early Śaiva mystic and author of the Tirumantiram, is said to have been the disciple of an alchemist named Nantikēcuran.
b) ff. 1-12 Tirikālacakkaram.

The Puvanacakkaram deals with the measurement of the earth by Nantikēcuran. The Tirikālacakkaram (‘revolving wheel of the three times’) contains a summary of South Indian cosmology and mythology. It is ascribed to Tirumūlattēvar (Jeyaraj, p.330).

-- The Bayer Collection, A preliminary catalogue of the manuscripts and books of Professor Theophilus Siegfried Bayer, acquired and augmented by the Reverend Dr Heinrich Walther Gerdes, now preserved in the Hunterian Library of the University of Glasgow, by David Weston, 2018

Tirumūlar is also closely connected to Tiruvāvaṭutuṟai, where he took physical form by entering the body of a cowherd and composed the Tirumantiram. It is, however, not clear that an ascription to this early Tirumūlar is intended in Ziegenbalg’s account of the work. Zvelebil gives the briefest details of an undated Tirumūlatēvar, ascribing to him three works: the Tirumantiramālai, Tirumūlatēvar pāṭalkaḷ and Vālaippañcākkara viḷakkam. Tirumantiramālai is in fact the full title of Tirumūlar’s Tirumantiram and hence the distinction between the work which Zvelebil ascribes to Tirumūla Tēvar and Tirumūlar’s own work is not clear. We have not been able to identify copies of the Tirumūlatēvar pāṭalkaḷ and Vālaippañcākkara viḷakkam, but the title of the latter suggests a work on the five-syllable nama-civāya mantra. There are a number of works of this kind, with different titles, closely associated with the Tiruvāvaṭutuṟai maṭam. Whether Tirumūlar or Tirumūla Tēvar is intended, an association with Tiruvāvaṭutuṟai certainly cannot be ruled out.

69 Moreover, as noted above (35), Koppedrayer emphasizes the importance of the idea of a lineage, beginning on Mount Kailasa and transmitted through Nantikēcuran, or Nantitēvar, in the self-understanding of the Tiruvāvaṭutuṟai maṭam. She notes that when referring to themselves corporately: “the ascetics living in the matam at Tiruvavatuturai… use such phrases as the Tirukailai paramparai, the lineage [descending] from Mount Kailasa.” Discussing the multiple accounts of the Tiruvāvaṭutuṟai kailasa paramparai, she notes that while they differ in their details “early references to the seminal figures simply cite Namaccivaya, Meykantar, and Nanti, yes, always Nanti on Mount Kailasa.

-- Bibliotheca Malabarica, by Will Sweetman with R. Ilakkuvan, Institut Francais de Pondichery, 2012


7.2 For studying South Indian literary culture

Ziegenbalg's Genealogy throws light on the state of Tamil literary culture of the early eighteenth century. In 1709 he wrote that the Tamil people had ancient books about various disciplines of art, science, witchcraft and so foreth (HR, 1, 3, Con., 128)(.3 None of Ziegenbalg's writings refer to the existence of the classical Tamil Cankam Literature, because it was inaccessible to the public and was recovered only towards the end of the nineteenth century.4 Ramanujan states the actual reason for their unavailability:

"These classics [of the Cankam Literature] were not always known to the Tamil people themselves. They were dramatically rediscovered in the later decades of the nineteenth century, a period of transition, when both paper and palm leaf were used as writing materials. [...] Eighteenth-century Hindu scholars, devout worshipers of Siva and Vis[h]nu had tabooed as irreligious all secular and non-Hindu texts, which included the classical Tamil anthologies. They also disallowed the study of Jain and Buddhist texts, which included the Twin Epics [i.e., Cilappatikaram and Manimekalai]."

(Ramanujan, 1985, xi f.).


However, Ziegenbalg read the palm leaf manuscript versions of the Ramayana and Mahabharata.6 He also knew that Ramayana was attributed to Malmikirsi (L. 99 r, 114 r, 205 r). However, he considered the four chapters of the Yudhakanda ('Section on War,' i.e., the sixth and the largest section of Ramayana) -- Intiracittupatalam (L 99 r), Kumpakarunapatalam (L 178 r), Nakapacappatalam (L. 98 v) and Piramvittirapatalam (L 121 r) 00 as different works. Ziegenbalg might have wanted his readers to know that just like the Greek epics, The Iliad and The Odyssey, played an important role in shaping the identity of the Europeans, the epic story of Ramayana was central to the self-understanding of the South Indians. Ziegenbalg examined the major Puranas and several Sthalapuranas ('local legends' about deities, temples, holy places and saintly persons),7 because determine the religious identity of worshippers and pilgrims, the periodic festivals and other social gatherings.8

Ziegenbalg's study of Tamil literature enabled him to identify at least two books that could be used in his missionary work. The first book is Kapilarakaval written by the sage Kapila (L 123 v, 208 v).9 This book mounts a vehement criticism against the orthodoxy of the Brahmins, caste hierarchy and ritualism. It teaches that every person, irrespective of caste identity, can develop and attain goodness and virtue because, in the words of Kapila, birth does not determine the destiny of human beings: "Just as the flower Cenkalunirpa grows out of mud, so was the great saint Vasistha born of a [Pariah-] prostitute impregnated by Brahma" (Ziegenbalg, 1926, 35). Subramania Aiyar has translated this same passage as follows:
"Like the bright coloured red lily,
Of the pond sprouting from the mire, Vasistha
Was born to Brahma in the womb of a danseuse
And to him a Ch[a]ndala woman bore Satya;
this Satya embraced a Pulaya woman
And begot Paracara, who in his turn
Impregnated a fish-selling belle
And begot Vyasa. These Four!
Have they not chanted the Vedas and risen to
Holiness and lustre and become sages?"

(Subramania Aiyar, 1975, 102 and Mutaliar, 1847, 8).

Moreover, Ziegenbalg seems to have liked Kapila's criticism about the futility of speculative discussions about beginning of creation, human beings, good and evil, but encouraged a virtuous life here and now.10 Kapila teaches that the grave reality of death does not show any caste difference.11

The second book that Ziegenbalg has used in his missionary work is entitled Civavakkiyam by the well-known fourteenth-century poet Nana Civavakkiyar (L. 15 r-v, 17 v, 18 r).12 In this regard, he seems to have followed the example of the Jesuit missionary Robert de Nobili13 and quotes at least twenty-five passages from Civavakkiyam.14 Most of these quotations deal with the worship of the Supreme Being without any physical representations. Ziegenbalg quotes the thirty-fourth verse from the second volume of the palm leaf manuscript of Civavakkiyam, which he had in his library:
"The tortoise that floats around the sea lays its eggs on the beach, covers them with sand and goes [back] into the open sea. But, since it always thinks of the eggs, as if a rope tied them to it, the young ones, as soon as they crawl out of the eggs, follow the traces [of their mother tortoise] until they come to her. Similarly, god has placed us in this world, but he is up in heaven. However, he thinks of us always [as if he is bound to us] as a rope. Should we follow his traces, we shall find him."

This quote agrees with the ninety-third verse of Civavakkiyam, which can be translated as follows: "After the tortoises have come to the shore, laid their eggs, covered them [with sand] and returned to the sea, their newly hatched young ones go after them into the sea. Similarly, every person has to seek after light, [i.e., God[???]] that is present in every person. This alone is truth" (Civavakkiyar, 1995, 255). The quotes taken from Kapilarakaval and Civavakkiyam illustrate the fact that Ziegenbalg has not accurately translated the poetical verses, but interpreted and summarized them.

Ziegenbalg also knew several books belonging to the literary genre Cirrilakkiyam ('minor literature'), also known as Totarnilaicceyyul ('interconnected narrative' or 'epic poem') or Prabandhas ('uninterrupted connection, literary poetic composition'), of which ninety-six are traditionally enumerated.15 Many of these Prabandhas seem to have been written during the time of the Nayak-rulers in Tancavur (1350-1750), who were great patrons of bhakti literature (Puvannan, 1999, 270). Ziegenbalg's Genealogy includes information drawn from the following Prabandhas:
Literary genre / Title of the books in Ziegenbalg's Genealogy

Akaval / Kapilarakaval

Ammanai / Anumarammanai, Kancanammanai, Parata ammanai, Perumalammanai, Sri Rankarayar ammanai

Antati / Apiramiyantati, Arunakiriyantati, Caracuvatiyantati, Kutantaiyantati

Anuputi / Kantaranuputi

Cintu / Pillaiyarcintu

Kalampakam / Kilvelurk kalampakam, Kovilkalampakam

Lakari, Cavuntaralakari

Malai / Ampikaimalai, Citamparamalai, Civakamicavuntarimalai, Civamalai, Matumaimalai, Nellaimalai, Paramarakaciyamalai, Venkatamalai

Pillaittamil / Pillaittamil

Puranam / Arupattunankutiruvilaiyatalpuranam, Civarattiripuranam, Ekatacipuranam, Kantapuranam, Markanteyapuranam, Maturaippuranam, Periyapuranam, Tiruvenkattupuranam, Vaturpuranam, Viruttaccalapuranam

Tutu / Kirusnantutu, Nencuvitututu

Ula / Ekamparanatarula, Kayaronarula, Tiruvarula

Vannam / Annamalainatarvannam, Cuvamiperilvannam, Kumararperilvannam, Visnumelvannam

Venpa / Nanavenpa, Valliyammaivenpa

Viralivitututu / Viralivitututu

The books mentioned in Ziegenbalg's Genealogy form a unique source for our modern knowledge about the existence and usefulness of Tamil literature among the common people. The Genealogy refers to eighty-seven books, of which fifty-one are now available in print forms; the existence of the remaining thirty-six books is yet to be verified. One of the missing texts is the Tirikalacakkaram by a certain Tirumula Tevar (not to be confused with the Tirumular, who wrote the tenth Saivite Tirumarai entitled Tirumantiram, 'holy prayer'). Ziegenbalg writes that Tirikalacakkaram contains a summary of South Indian cosmology and mythology, and thus formed the basis for all other books on South Indian religions. In 1708, he wanted to translate it into German to familarize European scholars with its content. A. Gaur has translated Ziegenbalg's review as follows:

"Dirigala Sakkaram [Tirikalaccakkaram]: a mathematical description of the seven under-worlds, the seven upper worlds, and the fourteen seas. Also a description of their paradise, the Kailascum [Kailasa], the seat of Ispiren [Isvara] and of the many hundred thousand gods; of Magumeru [Mahameru], a golden mountain penetrating all the fourteen worlds, where all the holy prophets (i.e., each of the fourteen cycles of a yuga has a presiding Manu figure] are supposed to live. This book shows the genealogy of their great gods, how all gods are derived from the Being of all Beings, the Highest God, what offices they hold, where their places of residence are, how long they will live, how many incarnations (Erscheinungen) they have, etc. It also describes the past and the future eras, what is the purpose of this and other worlds, how long one world will exist, and what is the reason for all transformations, etc. This book is the basis of all other Malabari [Tamil] books since it lays down the principles on which they are based. If the scholars in Europe got a chance to read it they would hear strange and unprecedented things. Once I had it in mind to translate this work into German but I could not help wondering whether this was really advisable. It would cause a lot of unnecessary speculation and only distract people from more important things. But I am still keeping my mind open whether or not I should do this translation; so far I am not sure about it myself. The secrets this book contains were disclosed by Ispiren [Isvara) to his wife Parbadi [Parvati], she in turn disclosed them to Nandigeschuren [Nandikesvara] [Nantikecuran!], the door-guardian of Ispiren [Isvara]. He disclosed them to a great prophet by the name of Dirumuladewer [Tirumula Tevar], who disclosed them to the whole world. This happened in the first world-era; since then the world has been destroyed three times, but it is said that every time fourteen prophets [i.e., Manus] survived who passed this book, together with many others, to posterity."

(Gaur, 1967, 87 f.; cf. Ziegenbalg, 1880, 90).

Ziegenbalg did not translate this work into German, however pursed his religious research in other ways, and eventually produced the Genealogy.

*********************

Ishvara
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/21/22

Ishvara (Sanskrit: ईश्वर, ISO-15919: Īśvara) or Eshwara is a concept in Hinduism, with a wide range of meanings that depend on the era and the school of Hinduism.[1][2] In ancient texts of Hindu philosophy, depending on the context, Ishvara can mean supreme Self, ruler, lord, king, queen or husband.[1] In medieval era Hindu texts, depending on the school of Hinduism, Ishvara means God, Supreme Being, personal God, or special Self.[2][3][4]

Ishvara is primarily an epithet of Lord Shiva.[5][6] In Shaivism and for most of the Hindus, Ishvara is synonymous with Shiva.[7][8] For many Vaishnavites, it is also synonymous with Vishnu like Venkateswara.[9] In traditional Bhakti movements, Ishvara is one or more deities of an individual's preference (Iṣṭa-devatā) from Hinduism's polytheistic canon of deities. In modern-day sectarian movements such as Arya Samaj and Brahmoism, Ishvara takes the form of a monotheistic God.[10] In the Yoga school of Hinduism, it is any "personal deity" or "spiritual inspiration".[11]

Etymology

The root of the word Ishvara comes from īś- (ईश, Ish) meaning "capable of" and "owner, ruler, chief of".[12] The second part of the word Ishvara is vara which means depending on context, "best, excellent, beautiful", "choice, wish, blessing, boon, gift", and "suitor, lover, one who solicits a girl in marriage".[13] The composite word, Ishvara literally means "owner of best, beautiful", "ruler of choices, blessings, boons", or "chief of suitor, lover".

As a concept, Ishvara in ancient and medieval Sanskrit texts variously means God, Supreme Being, Supreme Self, Lord Shiva, a king or a ruler, a husband, the god of love, one of the Rudras and the number 'eleven'.[5][6][14]

The word Īśvara does not appear in Rigveda.[15] However, the verb īś- does appear in Rig veda, where the context suggests that the meaning of it is "capable of, able to".[15] It is absent in Samaveda, is rare in Atharvaveda, but it appears in Samhitas of Yajurveda. The contextual meaning, however as the ancient Indian grammarian Pāṇini explains, is neither god nor supreme being.[15]

The word Ishvara appears in numerous ancient Dharmasutras. However, Patrick Olivelle states that there Ishvara does not mean God, but means Vedas.[16] Deshpande states that Ishvara in Dharmasutras could alternatively mean king, with the context literally asserting that the Dharmasutras are as important as Ishvara (the king) on matters of public importance".[16]

The term is used as part of the compounds Maheshvara ("The Great Lord") and Parameshvara ("The Supreme Lord") as the names of Lord Shiva.
In Mahayana Buddhism it is used as part of the compound "Avalokiteśvara" ("lord who hears the cries of the world", but see etymology section there), the name of a bodhisattva revered for his compassion. When referring to divine as female, particularly in Shaktism, the feminine Īśvarī is sometimes used.[17]

In Advaita Vedanta school, Ishvara is a monistic Universal Absolute that connects and is the Oneness in everyone and everything.[18][19]

Schools of thought

Among the six systems of Hindu philosophy, Samkhya and Mimamsa do not consider the concept of Ishvara, i.e., a supreme being, relevant. Yoga, Vaisheshika, Vedanta and Nyaya schools of Hinduism discuss Ishvara, but assign different meanings.

Desmarais states that Isvara is a metaphysical concept in Yogasutras.[20] It does not mention deity anywhere, nor does it mention any devotional practices (Bhakti), nor does it give Ishvara characteristics typically associated with a deity.[20] In Yoga school of Hinduism, states Whicher, Isvara is neither a creator God nor the universal Absolute of Advaita Vedanta school of Hinduism.[3] Whicher also notes that some theistic sub-schools of Vedanta philosophy of Hinduism, inspired by the Yoga school, explain the term Ishvara as the "Supreme Being that rules over the cosmos and the individuated beings".[3][21] Malinar states that in Samkhya-Yoga schools of Hinduism, Isvara is neither a creator-God, nor a savior-God.[22]

Zimmer in his 1951 Indian philosophies book noted that the Bhakti sub-schools refer to Isvara as a Divine Lord, or the deity of specific Bhakti sub-school.[23] Modern sectarian movements have emphasized Ishvara as Supreme Lord; for example, Hare Krishna movement considers Krishna as the Lord,[24] Brahmoism movement influenced by Christian and Islamic movements in India probably conceptualize Ishvara as a monotheistic all powerful Lord (Brahma). In traditional theistic sub-schools of Hinduism, such as the Vishishtadvaita Vedanta of Ramanuja and Dvaita Vedanta of Madhva, Ishvara is identified as Lord Vishnu/Narayana, that is distinct from the prakriti (material world) and purusha (Self).

Radhakrishnan and Moore state that these variations in Ishvara concept is consistent with Hinduism's notion of "personal God" where the "ideals or manifestation of individual's highest Self values that are esteemed".[25] Riepe, and others,[4] state that schools of Hinduism leave the individual with freedom and choice of conceptualizing Ishvara in any meaningful manner he or she wishes, either in the form of "deity of one's choice" or "formless Brahman (Absolute Reality, Universal Principle, true special Self)".[2][26][27]

In Samkhya

Samkhya is called one of the major atheistic schools of Hindu philosophy by some scholars.[11][28][29] Others, such as Jacobsen, believe Samkhya is more accurately described as non-theistic.[30] Yet others argue that Samkhya has been theistic from its very beginnings until medieval times.[31] Isvara is considered an irrelevant concept, neither defined nor denied, in Samkhya school of Hindu philosophy.[32]

In Yoga

The Yogasutras of Patanjali, the foundational text of Yoga school of Hinduism, uses the term Ishvara in 11 verses: I.23 through I.29, II.1, II.2, II.32 and II.45. Ever since the Sutra's release, Hindu scholars have debated and commented on who or what is Isvara? These commentaries range from defining Isvara from a "personal god" to "special self" to "anything that has spiritual significance to the individual".[11][33] Whicher explains that while Patanjali's terse verses can be interpreted both as theistic or non-theistic, Patanjali's concept of Isvara in Yoga philosophy functions as a "transformative catalyst or guide for aiding the yogin on the path to spiritual emancipation".[34]

Patanjali defines Isvara (Sanskrit: ईश्वर) in verse 24 of Book 1, as "a special Self (पुरुषविशेष, puruṣa-viśeṣa)",[35]

Sanskrit: क्लेश कर्म विपाकाशयैरपरामृष्टः पुरुषविशेष ईश्वरः ॥२४॥
– Yoga Sutras I.24


This sutra of Yoga philosophy of Hinduism adds the characteristics of Isvara as that special Self which is unaffected (अपरामृष्ट, aparamrsta) by one's obstacles/hardships (क्लेश, klesha), one's circumstances created by past or one's current actions (कर्म, karma), one's life fruits (विपाक, vipâka), and one's psychological dispositions/intentions (आशय, ashaya).[36][37]

Patanjali's concept of Isvara is neither a creator God nor the universal Absolute of Advaita Vedanta school of Hinduism.[3][21]

In Vaisesika school of Hinduism

The Vaiśeṣika school of Hinduism, as founded by Kanada in the 1st millennium BC, neither required nor relied on Ishvara for its atomistic naturalism philosophy. To it, substances and paramāṇu (atoms) were eternal; they moved and interacted based on impersonal, eternal adrsta (अदृष्ट, invisible) laws of nature.[38][39] The concept of Ishvara, among others, entered into Vaisheshika school many centuries later in the 1st millennium AD.[38][40] This evolution in ideas aimed to explain how and why its so-called "atoms" have a particular order and proportions. These later-age ancient Vaiśeṣika scholars retained their belief that substances are eternal, and added Ishvara as another eternal who is also omniscient and omnipresent (not omnipotent). Ishvara did not create the world, according to this school of Hindu scholars, but He only created invisible laws that operate the world and then He becomes passive and lets those hidden universal laws do their thing.[38] Thus, Vaisheshika's Ishvara mirrors Deus otiosus of Deism. Vaisheshika school's Ishvara, states Klaus Klostermaier, can be understood as an eternal God who co-exists in the universe with eternal substances and atoms, but He "winds up the clock, and lets it run its course".[38]

In Nyaya

Early Nyaya school scholars considered the hypothesis of Ishvara as a creator God with the power to grant blessings, boons and fruits. However, the early Nyaya scholars rejected this hypothesis, though not the existence of God itself, and were non-theistic.[41][42] Over time, the Nyaya school became one of the most important defenders of theism in Hindu philosophy.[43]

In Nyayasutra's Book 4, Chapter 1 examines what causes production and destruction of entities (life, matter) in universe. It considers many hypotheses, including Ishvara. Verses 19–21, postulates Ishvara exists and is the cause, states a consequence of postulate, then presents contrary evidence, and from contradiction concludes that the postulate must be invalid.[44]

सिद्धान्तसूत्र : ईश्वरः कारणम्, पुरुषकर्माफल्यदर्शनात्
पूर्वपक्षसूत्र : न, पुरुषकर्माभावे फ्लानिष्पत्तेः
सिद्धान्तसूत्र : तत्कारितत्वादहेतुः
Proposition sutra: Ishvara is the cause, since we see sometimes human action lacks fruits (results).
Prima facie objection sutra: This is not so since, as a matter of fact, no fruit is accomplished without human action.
Conclusion sutra: Not so, since it is influenced by him.

— Nyaya Sutra, IV.1.19 - IV.1.21[44]


Centuries later, the 5th century CE Nyaya school scholar Prastapada revisited the premise of Ishvara. He was followed by Udayana, who in his text Nyayakusumanjali, interpreted "it" in verse 4.1.21 of Nyaya Sutra above, as "human action" and "him" as "Ishvara", then he developed counter arguments to prove the existence of Ishvara.[45] In developing his arguments, he inherently defined Ishvara as efficient cause, omnipotent, omniscient, infallible, giver of gifts, ability and meaning to humanity, divine creator of the world as well as the moral principles, and the unseen power that makes the karma doctrine work.[45][46]

In Mimamsa

Mīmāṃsā scholars of Hinduism questioned what is Ishvara (God)?[47] They used their pramana tools to cross-examine answers offered by other schools of Hinduism. For example, when Nyaya scholars stated God is omnipotent, omniscient and infallible, that the world is the result of God's creation which is proved by the presence of creatures, just like human work proves human existence, Mimamsa scholars asked, why does this God create the world, for what reason? Further, they added, it cannot be because of Ishvara's love to human beings because this world – if Ishvara created it – is imperfect and human Selfs are suffering in it. Mimamsa scholars of Hinduism raised numerous objections to any definition of Ishvara along with its premises, deconstructed justifications offered, and considered Ishvara concept unnecessary for a consistent philosophy and moksha (soteriology).[47][48]

In Vedanta

Advaita Vedanta


The Advaita Vedanta school of Hinduism proclaims that at the empirical level Ishvara is the cause of the universe and the one who awards the fruits of every action. He is defined as the one without likes and dislikes, as well embodied with compassion (vaiShamya NairgghruNya doSha vihInaH). Ishvara is that which is "free from avidya (ignorance), free from ahamkrti (ego-sense), free from bandhana (bondage)", a Self that is "pure, enlightened, liberated".[18][19] Having accepted and established Ishvara, Advaita Vedanta proclaims that the real nature of Ishvara (existence, consciousness and bliss) is non different from the real nature of an individual. This gives room in Advaita Vedanta to show the nature of Ishvara as both the material and instrumental cause of this universe and the individual who is limited in his own capacities as unreal and declare that there is oneness between the two having negated the qualities. This establishes Ishvara as 'saguNa' or with attributes from the empirical existence and 'nirguNa' from the absolute sense. This oneness is accepted only at the level of 'mukti' or ultimate realization and not at the 'vyavahara' or empirical level. At the absolute level there is no otherness nor distinction between Jiva (living being) and Ishvara, and any attempts to distinguish the two is a false idea, one based on wrong knowledge, according to Advaita Vedanta.[49]

ईश्वरः अहम्
Ishvara, I am.

— Adi Shankara, Upadesasahasri 2.3.1, 2.10.8[18]


Other Advaitin Hindu texts resonate with the monist views of Adi Shankara. For example, Isa Upanishad, in hymn 1.5-7, states Ishvara is "above everything, outside everything, beyond everything, yet also within everything"; he who knows himself as all beings and all beings as himself – he never becomes alarmed before anyone. He becomes free from fears, from delusions, from root cause of evil. He becomes pure, invulnerable, unified, free from evil, true to truth, liberated like Ishvara.[50][51]

Vishishtadvaita Vedanta

Ishvara, in Vishishtadvaita Vedanta sub-school of Hinduism, is a composite concept of dualism and non-dualism, or "non-dualism with differentiation".[52] Ishvara, Vishishtadvaitin scholars such as the 11th century Ramanuja state, is the supreme creator and synonymous with Brahman.[53] Equated with Vishnu in Vishishtadvaita or one of his avatar,[54] he is both the material and efficient cause, transcendent and immanent.[52] Ishvara manifests in five forms, believe Vishishtadvaitins: para (transcendent), vyuha (emanations), vibhava (incarnations), antaryamin (dwells inside), and arca (icons).[55] According to this sub-school, states John Grimes, Ishvara possesses six divine qualities: jnana (knowledge), bala (strength), aisvarya (lordship), sakti (power), virya (virility) and tejas (splendor).[55]

Ramanuja's Vishishtadvaita concepts provided the foundation for several Bhakti movements of Hinduism, such as those by Sri Aurobindo[56] and has been suggested as having influenced Basava's Lingayatism.[57]

Dvaita Vedanta

The Dvaita (dualism) sub-school of Vedanta Hinduism, founded by 13th century Madhva, defines Ishvara as creator God that is distinct from Jiva (individual Selfs in living beings).[58] Narayana (Vishnu) is considered to be Ishvara, and the Vaishnavism movement arose on the foundation developed by Dvaita Vedanta sub-school.[9]

Ishvara (God) is a complete, perfect and the highest reality to Dvaitins, and simultaneously the world is a separate reality for them, unlike competing thoughts in other sub-schools of Vedanta.[9] In Dvaita sub-school, Jiva (individual Self) is different, yet dependent on Ishvara (God). Both possess the attributes of consciousness, bliss and existence, but the individual Self is considered atomic, while God is all encompassing. The attributes of Jiva struggle to manifest, while of God it is fully manifested.[58]

Madhva states there are five permutations of differences between Jiva (individual Self) and Ishvara (God): between God and Self, between God and matter, between Self and matter, between one Self and another Self, and between one material thing and another material thing. The differences are both qualitative and quantitative.[59] Unlike Advaita Vedantins who hold that knowledge can lead to Oneness with everyone and everything as well as fusion with the Universal Timeless Absolute, to the state of moksha in this life, Dvaita Vedantins hold that moksha is possible only in after-life if God so wills (if not, then one's Self is reborn). Further, Madhva highlights that God creates individual Self, but the individual Self never was and never will become one with God; the best it can do is to experience bliss by getting infinitely close to God.[59]

The world, called Maya, is held as the divine will of Ishvara.[58] Jiva suffers, experiences misery and bondage, state Dvaitins, because of "ignorance and incorrect knowledge" (ajnana). Liberation occurs with the correct knowledge and attainment unto Lord Narayana.[58] It is His grace that gives salvation according to Dvaita sub-school, which is achievable by predominance of sattva guna (moral, constructive, simple, kindness-filled life), and therefore Dvaitins must live a dharmic life while constantly remembering, deeply loving Ishvara.[58]

Achintya-Bheda-Abheda

Acintya bhedābheda is a sub-school of Vedanta representing the philosophy of inconceivable one-ness and difference, in relation to the creation, Prakriti, and the creator, Ishvara (Krishna).[60][61]

In Sanskrit achintya means 'inconceivable', bheda translates as 'difference', and abheda translates as 'one-ness'. Self (their English phrase for the Sanskrit word: jiva) are considered parts of God, and thus one with Him in quality, and yet at the same time different from Him in quantity. This is called acintya-bheda-abheda-tattva, inconceivable, simultaneous oneness and difference.[62]

Caitanya's philosophy of acintya-bhedābheda-tattva completed the progression to devotional theism. Rāmānuja had agreed with Śaṅkara that the Absolute is one only, but he had disagreed by affirming individual variety within that oneness. Madhva had underscored the eternal duality of the Supreme and the Jīva: he had maintained that this duality endures even after liberation. Caitanya, in turn, specified that the Supreme and the jīvas are "inconceivably, simultaneously one and different" (acintya-bheda-abheda).[63]

In Carvaka

Cārvāka, another atheist tradition in Hinduism, was materialist and a school of philosophical scepticism. They rejected all concepts of Ishvara as well as all forms of supernaturalism.[64][65][66]

See also

• Hinduism portal
• Absolute (philosophy)
• Bhagavan
• Conceptions of God
• Īśvarism
• Para Brahman
• Parameshashakti

References

1. Monier Monier Williams, Sanskrit-English dictionary, Search for Izvara, University of Cologne, Germany
2. Dale Riepe (1961, Reprinted 1996), Naturalistic Tradition in Indian Thought, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120812932, pages 177–184, 208–215
3. Ian Whicher, The Integrity of the Yoga Darsana, State University of New York press, ISBN 978-0791438152, pages 82–86
4. Mircea Eliade (2009), Yoga: Immortality and Freedom, Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-0691142036, pages 73–76
5. "Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary". IITS Koeln. p. 171.
6. James Lochtefeld, "Ishvara", The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Vol. 1: A–M, Rosen Publishing. ISBN 0-8239-2287-1, page 306
7. Lord Śiva's Song: the Īśvara Gītā. Andrew J. Nicholson, Laurie Searl. 2014. ISBN 978-1-4384-5102-2. OCLC 880450730.
8. Roshen Dalal (2010). Hinduism: An Alphabetical Guide. Penguin Books. pp. 235, 379–380. ISBN 978-0-14-341421-6.
9. Oliver Leaman (2000), Eastern Philosophy: Key Readings, Routledge, ISBN 978-0415173582, page 251
10. RK Pruthi (2004), Arya Samaj and Indian Civilization, ISBN 978-8171417803, pages 5–6, 48–49
11. Lloyd Pflueger, Person Purity and Power in Yogasutra, in Theory and Practice of Yoga (Editor: Knut Jacobsen), Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120832329, pages 38–39
12. Arthur Anthony Macdonell (2004), A Practical Sanskrit Dictionary, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120820005, page 47
13. Arthur Anthony Macdonell (2004), A Practical Sanskrit Dictionary, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120820005, page 270
14. Apte Sanskrit-English dictionary, Search for Izvara, University of Cologne, Germany
15. Madhav Deshpande (1991), Sense and Syntax in Vedic (Editors: Joel Brereton and Stephenie Jamison), Volumes 4–5, Brill, ISBN 978-9004093560, pages 23–27
16. Patrick Olivelle (2006), Between the Empires : Society in India 300 BCE to 400 CE: Society in India, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195305326, page 176
17. Roshen Dalal (2010). Hinduism: An Alphabetical Guide. Penguin Books. p. 376. ISBN 978-0-14-341421-6.
18. Lance Nelson (1996), Living liberation in Shankara and classical Advaita, in Living Liberation in Hindu Thought (Editors: Andrew O. Fort, Patricia Y. Mumme), State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791427064, pages 38–39, 59 (footnote 105)
19. John Koller (2012), Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Religion (Editors: Chad Meister, Paul Copan), Routledge, ISBN 978-0415782944, pages 99–107
20. Michele Marie Desmarais (2008), Changing Minds : Mind, Consciousness And Identity In Patanjali's Yoga-Sutra, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120833364, page 131
21. Knut Jacobsen (2008), Theory and Practice of Yoga : 'Essays in Honour of Gerald James Larson, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120832329, page 77
22. A Malinar (2014), Current Approaches: Articles on Key Themes, in The Bloomsbury Companion to Hindu Studies (Editor: Jessica Frazier), Bloomsbury Academic, ISBN 978-1472511515, page 79
23. Zimmer (1951), Philosophies of India, Reprinted by Routledge in 2008, ISBN 978-0415462327, pages 242–243, 309–311
24. Karel Werner (1997), A Popular Dictionary of Hinduism, Routledge, ISBN 978-0700710492, page 54
25. Radhakrishnan and Moore (1967, Reprinted 1989), A Source Book in Indian Philosophy, Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-0691019581, pages 37–39, 401–403, 498–503
26. RC Zaehner (1975), Our savage god: The perverse use of eastern thought, ISBN 978-0836206111, pages 69–72
27. R.C. Zaehner (1966), Hinduism, Oxford University Press, 1980 edition: pages 126–129, Reprinted in 1983 as ISBN 978-0198880127
28. Mike Burley (2012), Classical Samkhya and Yoga - An Indian Metaphysics of Experience, Routledge, ISBN 978-0415648875, page 39
29. Richard Garbe (2013), Die Samkhya-Philosophie, Indische Philosophie Volume 11, ISBN 978-1484030615, pages 25–27 (in German)
30. Knut Jacobsen (2008), Theory and Practice of Yoga : 'Essays in Honour of Gerald James Larson, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120832329, pages 15–16
31. Nicholson, Andrew (2010). Unifying Hinduism: Philosophy and Identity in Indian Intellectual History. New York: Columbia University Press. pp. 69–78.
32. Knut Jacobsen (2008), Theory and Practice of Yoga : 'Essays in Honour of Gerald James Larson, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120832329, pages 76–77
33. Hariharānanda Āraṇya (2007), Parabhaktisutra, Aporisms on Sublime Devotion, (Translator: A Chatterjee), in Divine Hymns with Supreme Devotional Aphorisms, Kapil Math Press, Kolkata, pages 55-93; Hariharānanda Āraṇya (2007), Eternally Liberated Isvara and Purusa Principle, in Divine Hymns with Supreme Devotional Aphorisms, Kapil Math Press, Kolkata, pages 126–129
34. Ian Whicher (1999), The Integrity of the Yoga Darsana: A Reconsideration of Classical Yoga, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791438152, page 86
35. Āgāśe, K. S. (1904). Pātañjalayogasūtrāṇi. Puṇe: Ānandāśrama. p. 25.
36. aparAmRSTa Archived 29 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine, kleza, karma, vipaka and ashaya Archived 17 August 2017 at the Wayback Machine; Sanskrit English Dictionary, Koeln University, Germany
37. Lloyd Pflueger (2008), Person Purity and Power in Yogasutra, in Theory and Practice of Yoga (Editor: Knut Jacobsen), Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120832329, pages 31–45
38. :a b c d Klaus Klostermaier (2007), A Survey of Hinduism, Third Edition, State University of New York, ISBN 978-0791470824, page 337
39. A Goel (1984), Indian philosophy: Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika and modern science, Sterling, ISBN 978-0865902787, pages 149–151
40. R Collins (2000), The sociology of philosophies, Harvard University Press, ISBN 978-0674001879, page 836
41. John Clayton (2010), Religions, Reasons and Gods: Essays in Cross-cultural Philosophy of Religion, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0521126274, page 150
42. G. Oberhammer (1965), Zum problem des Gottesbeweises in der Indischen Philosophie, Numen, 12: 1-34
43. Francis X. Clooney (2010), Hindu God, Christian God: How Reason Helps Break Down the Boundaries, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0199738724, pages 18–19, 35–39
44. Original Sanskrit: Nyayasutra Anand Ashram Sanskrit Granthvali, pages 290–292; Alternate Archive Archived 7 November 2016 at the Wayback Machine
English translation: Francis X. Clooney (2010), Hindu God, Christian God: How Reason Helps Break Down the Boundaries, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0199738724, page 37
45. Sharma, C. (1997). A Critical Survey of Indian Philosophy, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-0365-5, pp. 209-10
46. VR Rao (1987), Selected Doctrines from Indian Philosophy, ISBN 81-70990009, pages 11–12
47. FX Clooney (1997), What’s a god? The quest for the right understanding of devatā in Brāhmaṅical ritual theory (Mīmāṃsā), International Journal of Hindu Studies, August 1997, Volume 1, Issue 2, pages 337–385
48. P. Bilimoria (2001), Hindu doubts about God: Towards Mimamsa Deconstruction, in Philosophy of Religion: Indian Philosophy (Editor: Roy Perrett), Volume 4, Routledge, ISBN 978-0-8153-3611-2, pages 87–106
49. Paul Hacker (1978), Eigentumlichkeiten dr Lehre und Terminologie Sankara: Avidya, Namarupa, Maya, Isvara, in Kleine Schriften (Editor: L. Schmithausen), Franz Steiner Verlag, Weisbaden, pages 101–109 (in German), also pages 69–99
50. William Indich (2000), Consciousness in Advaita Vedanta, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120812512, page 23-25
51. Paul Deussen, Sixty Upanishads of the Veda, Volume 2, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120814677, pages 547–551
52. McCasland et al. (1969), Religions of the world, Random House, ISBN 978-0394303840, page 471
53. S. M. Srinivasa Chari (1988). Tattvamuktākalāpa. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 212, 231–233. ISBN 978-81-208-0266-7.
54. S. M. Srinivasa Chari (1988). Tattvamuktākalāpa. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 18, 228, 340–341. ISBN 978-81-208-0266-7.
55. John Grimes (1996), A Concise Dictionary of Indian Philosophy: Sanskrit Terms Defined in English, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791430675, page 143
56. Thomas Padiyath (2014), The Metaphysics of Becoming, De Gruyter, ISBN 978-3110342550, page 151
57. Carl Olson (2007), The Many Colors of Hinduism: A Thematic-historical Introduction, Rutgers University Press, ISBN 978-0813540689, pages 243–244
58. R. Prasad (2009), A Historical-developmental Study of Classical Indian Philosophy of Morals, Concept Publishing, ISBN 978-8180695957, pages 345–347
59. Thomas Padiyath (2014), The Metaphysics of Becoming, De Gruyter, ISBN 978-3110342550, pages 155–157
60. Kaviraja, K.G. Sri Caitanya-caritamrita. Bengali text, translation, and commentary by AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Bhaktivedanta Book Trust.Madhya 20.108-109 Archived 11 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine "It is the living entity's constitutional position to be an eternal servant of Krishna because he is the marginal energy of Krishna and a manifestation simultaneously one with and different from the Lord, like a molecular particle of sunshine or fire."
61. Kṛṣṇa Upaniṣad 1.25: ...na bhinnam. nā bhinnamābhirbhinno na vai vibhuḥ
62. Mukundananda, Swami (2013). Spiritual Dialectics. Jagadguru Kripaluji Yog. p. 96. Hence, he called his philosophy Achintya Bhedabhed vad, or Inconceivable Simultaneous Oneness and Difference.
63. Satsvarupa, dasa Goswami (1976). Readings in Vedit Literature: The Tradition Speaks for Itself. Assoc Publishing Group. pp. 240 pages. ISBN 0-912776-88-9.
64. Robert Flint, Anti-theistic theories, p. 463, at Google Books, Appendix Note VII - Hindu Materialism: The Charvaka System; William Blackwood, London
65. V.V. Raman (2012), Hinduism and Science: Some Reflections, Zygon - Journal of Religion and Science, 47(3): 549–574, Quote (page 557): "Aside from nontheistic schools like the Samkhya, there have also been explicitly atheistic schools in the Hindu tradition. One virulently anti-supernatural system is/was the so-called Carvaka school.", doi:10.1111/j.1467-9744.2012.01274.x
66. KN Tiwari (1998), Classical Indian Ethical Thought, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120816077, page 67, Quote: "Of the three heterodox systems, the remaining one, the Caravaka system, is a Hindu system."
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 34238
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

PreviousNext

Return to Articles & Essays

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests

cron