SPIRITUALITY SCIENCE – ESSENCE AND EXISTENCE: THE GREAT MYSTERY OF CHIDAMBARAM – “CHIDAMBARA RAHASYAM”:
What is the Greatest Mystery about Man and his Earthly Existence? Man has a Physical Form and Appearance that can be easily recognized by any observer. But, man’s Life has Mental, Social, and Moral Dimensions that can establish man’s identity and essence in terms of Mental, Social, and Moral Being. The Mystery is about man’s Spiritual Dimension. If man is a Spiritual Being, how can we investigate and explore the Spiritual Dimension of man’s Life? How can we prove that man has a Spirit or Soul? We have a fairly good understanding of man’s Physical Form and its earthly mortal existence. Does man exclusively belong to the Earthly or Immanent Realm? Does man have an existence in a Realm other than Earthly Realm? How can an Earthly Being enter the ‘Transcendental Realm’? If Earth is a Material Realm, is there an Immaterial Realm’ where the Beings exist without Physical Matter or a physical Form with Appearance? Both God, and man are manifested on Earth with a Form and Appearance that can be easily recognized and described. And yet, there is something that is unknown about the Spiritual Form and Appearance of both God, and man in an extraterrestrial realm. I would like to invite my readers to visit CHIDAMBARAM in India to explore the Mysteries of Human Life and Human Existence.
Chidambaram, South Arcot District, Tamil Nadu State, southeastern India is the Center of the Universe as per Indian tradition and the local legends or the “PURANA” of this historical City which has the famous early Chola Dynasty 2nd century B.C. bronze idols. The name “CHIDAMBARAM” is derived from Tamil words, Chitt meaning wisdom, and Ampalam meaning atmosphere. The Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, known as Lord Nataraja or Lord of Dance, is in Chidambaram. The purpose of Lord’s manifestation in Chidambaram is that of showing the way for man’s release from bondage to ignorance as man is trapped under the powerful influence of Illusion which controls man’s earthly existence. Chidambaram may provide man with the necessary Knowledge and Wisdom to recognize all the Dimensions of Life and verify if man could be a Spiritual Being who may have the potential ability to exist in a Transcendental Realm apart from the transient or ephemeral earthly existence which is operated by a Natural Law that demands the death of everything that is born or arrived on Earth.
Chidambaram is a place of interest for it may have the clue to a hidden or concealed truth. It is often described as “CHIDAMBARA RAHASYAM” or the Mystery of Chidambaram. Lord Shiva has physically manifested at this place to remove man’s ignorance and to utterly destroy man’s forgetfulness and heedlessness. Man exists leading a conditioned Existence that is fundamentally formulated by the experience of Cosmic Illusion. This blog post examines ‘Chidambara Rahasyam’ or the Great Mystery of Chidambaram and it explains that the Illusion is generated by the fundamental distinction between Essence and Existence.
Lord Nataraja, Lord of Dance is seen dancing on the figure of a dwarf, the person is named ‘Apasmarapurusha’. The word “PURUSHA” means man. The word “APASMARA” means forgetfulness, lack of memory, heedlessness that leads to mental ignorance. The “ignorance” refers to man’s alienation or separation from Knowledge about his true or real nature and man basically exists in a condition of Ignorance due to the lack of understanding about his true or real-self and the world and the universe in which he exists. Lord Shiva is the source and the Cause of all movements or motions in the Cosmos. In Physics, the Cause of Motion is not explained and is not discussed. While Physics formulates the Laws that govern the motions of material bodies, Physics cannot account for the phenomenon of Motion that can be observed among the Living Bodies. Life exists in a constant state or condition of motion, and at the same time, the Living Thing is constantly driven towards a destination called ‘Death’ when the motions that are characteristic of Life cease to exist. This arrest of motions of Life is accompanied by a dissolution of the Physical Form and Appearance of the Individual Living Thing. The purpose of Lord Nataraja’s Cosmic Dance is that of releasing man from his attachment to ‘Form” and “Appearance” that shapes man’s ideas of his own Identity. Man describes his Essence visualizing his Identity that is derived from Form and Appearance. To understand the nature of true Identity, man has to explore the basis for the condition called Existence. At Chidambaram, man is encouraged to explore and investigate Existence by drawing inspiration from the Form and Appearance of Lord Nataraja and His Cosmic Dance. The gestures of the Dance represent Lord Nataraja’s five activities called “PANCHA KRITYA”; 1. Creation, 2. Protection, 3. Destruction, 4. Embodiment, and 5. Release. Man ultimately needs LORD God’s Compassion for the ultimate Release from his bondage or Conditioned Existence. To explain the reason for this Dependence upon LORD God’s Mercy, Grace, and Compassion, I suggest the use of ‘Devotion’ as a valid method of Scientific Inquiry.
In Indian tradition, it is explained that God exists in both Transcendental Realm and Immanent Realm. Hindu Scripture, “ISA UPANISHAD” that comments on “SHUKLA YAJUR VEDA” in verses 12 to 14 makes the following recommendation: “He who knows at the same time both the unmanifested and the manifested, he crosses over death through Knowledge of the manifested and attains immortality through the Knowledge of the Invisible Absolute.” It is very important to know and understand LORD God as a Physical Being that has fully manifested on Earth. If LORD GOD is physically manifested on Earth, it will be correct to claim that Earth is at the Center of the Universe. From a human perspective, the center of activity is planet Earth for Life seems to be very unique or special to this small planet in the vast universe made of stuff called Physical Matter.
The roof of Lord Nataraja’s temple in Chidambaram is adorned with golden tiles and it inspires man to reflect upon the distinction between Essence and Existence. What is Essence? What is Existence? We can describe the ‘Essence'(What you are) by attaching a variety of names. Man may describe his Essence in a number of ways which may include references to his physical or morphological appearance, age, sex, ethnicity, race, language, religion, culture, region or national identity, education, occupation, social or political affiliation and other attributes like achievements and accomplishments. It is important to know the attributes of the Physical Elements that constitute the Living Matter using which man develops all the structures of his physical body. Man’s Physical Being experiences the problem of mortality, whereas the Physical Elements of his body are imperishable, indestructible, immutable, immortal, eternal, and even could be considered to be “UNBORN.”
Adi Shankaracharya founded the Indian School of Thought known as ‘Advaita’ or Non-Dualism. He vehemently opposed the idea of attaching his Identity to his physical body or mind. For example, he wrote, “ManO buddhyaHamkaara, Chittani na aHam; na karnam, na jihvaa, na cha ghraana netre; na cha Vyoma Bhumir, na TejO na VaayuH; Chidaananda RuupaH, ShivOaHam, ShivOaHam.” He had formulated a view about his true or real Identity that basically excludes all the four types of mental functions, the Five Elements of Nature, the five organs of Sense Perception. He made an attempt to overcome the problem of transient Existence that makes man a Mortal Being. Shankara forces people to avoid using Form and Appearance to describe Identity or Essence as they are not constant and keep changing all the time. Shankara demands total perfection while stating his real Identity. That perfection is characterized by Immortal or Eternal Existence. Man’s existence in the world is of varying durations called Lifetime and this Life-Span is a product of his conditioned existence. Shankara attached utmost importance to Everlasting Existence and in the context of that Everlasting Existence, he calls himself “SHIVA.” While I truly appreciate Shankara’s insistence about man’s existence in a Transcendental Realm, we may have to still account for man’s earthly journey. In man’s earthly life, the ‘Essence’ is not recognized until the thing called man begins existing. The thing called “I” is recognized and is known if, and only if it begins to exist; and “I” that exists can be stated as “I AM”, the “I” as an existing being. It must be noted that the fact of Existence always precedes Essence. In the statement, “Aham Brahma”,(“I AM BRAHMA, THE ULTIMATE REALITY”), or “SHIVO AHAM” (I AM SHIVA) the thing called “I” is not Brahma or Shiva. The statements such as “Aham Brahma” and “ShivO Aham” would be wrong if they do not qualify that the thing called “I” is in existence and is specifically known as “Aham” or “I Am.” The term ‘Brahma’ or ‘Shiva’ is perfect and complete in all of its aspects as it is the basis for both Essence and Existence. Hence the word ‘Brahma’ or ‘Shiva’ brings unity between matter, energy, and the physical form constituted by Physical Elements that have the attributes like imperishability or indestructibility.
Lord Krishna in the Divine Song called The Bhagavad Gita explains the distinction between Essence and Existence. He explains the powerful influence called “Cosmic Illusion” or “MAYA” which can block man’s perception about his true or real Self. Lord Krishna in Chapter X, Vibhuti – Vistara Yoga, verse 39, claims, “I am the generating seed of all existences. There is no being, moving or unmoving(Chara -Acharam) that can exist without Me.” The term ‘atman’ and ‘Paramatman’ must be used in the context of Existence and not that of Subjective Essence that involves the thing called “I.” Lord Krishna gave this clarification to explain that the fact of Subjective Essence by which various kinds of Living Things are known do exist for they all share a common, or undivided Principle that is Imperishable and establishes the fact of Existence as a Physical Reality. The Bhagavad Gita, Chapter XVIII, Moksha-Opadesa Yoga, verse 20:
Sarva bhutesu yenaikam bhavam avyayam iksate;
avibhaktam vibhaktesu tajjnanam viddhi sattvikam.”
The knowledge of one who sees in every living entity, though divided into innumerable forms, one undivided spiritual nature, that knowledge is to be understood as being in the mode of Goodness. One undivided, imperishable reality is seen within all diverse living entities.
Apart from all the diversity among the numerous living entities, the LORD God Shiva manifests Himself in a variety of Forms and each Appearance has its own reason, and serves a specific purpose.
All different forms of life including persons whom we may call Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, Lord Rama, Lord Krishna, and Prince Arjuna or Partha are to be known because of that imperishable Principle(avyayam) that is chiefly concerned with Existence, and thus there is unity or oneness while the thing called “I” is variable.
On Saturday, November 1, 2014 9:55 AM, Krishna G Misra wrote:
Surrender to THAT ‘i’
‘i’ is a variable. ‘i’ does not know what it is. ‘i’ cannot be known. ‘i’ is never known because it is a variable.
‘i’ becomes body, ‘i’ becomes mind, ‘i’ becomes things which it owns, ‘i’ becomes anything. but ‘i’ is none of those which it represents and is independent of those too.
Krishna says ‘i’ am Krishna. Parth says ‘i’ am Parth, This means, ‘i’ is Krishna and Parth both, but Krishna and Parth differ. Krishna carefully says ‘i’ am Parth and Parth is ‘i’ .
‘i’ am 1, ‘i’ am 2 but 1 and 2 are different. every one of us says ‘i’ am A, ‘i’ am B but not knows the ‘i’ , the universal self.’i’ is a UNIVERSAL variable. anyone is ‘i’ but those who it represents are not that ‘i’ .
On Sat, Nov 1, 2014 at 7:20 PM, R.Rudra Narasimham wrote:
What is spread all over the body?
We may try to interpret verse #17, Chapter II, Sankhya Yoga of The Bhagavad Gita. It says the imperishable, or indestructible soul pervades or permeates(“tatam”) the entire physical body. The soul or atma is spread all over the body or influences the entire body, or the symptom of soul or atma is present in all the parts of the body. In Chapter XIII, Kshetra – Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga, verse 34 says that, Just like Sun who illuminates the entire world, the soul within the body illuminates the entire field of activity of the physical body by consciousness. Hence, consciousness is the proof or symptom of the presence of the soul or atma. For the soul is present, we can show respect to the feet or the toe as the Essence illuminates it and thereby we recognize that the part is present. In other words, I am trying to suggest that we may not search for Atma or Paramatma in our minds or brains, it is simple and easier to find it in the feet with an attitude called devotion.
On 31/10/2014 12:03 am, “Krishna G Misra” wrote:
Sri Rudra ji,
I respect your thoughts. It truly is devotion.
Rudra means explosion and this explosion of param atma makes the two jivatma and Prakriti which means shiv and Parvati. These two are actually one but appear as two or Rudra in dance firm called manifested universe or samsara or tandav.
Prakriti is law bound and called mind and body and atma or spirit is free but focus at its goal called bhakti. These two opposites are like car and driver where car is law bound nature and driver is goal oriented atma shiv.
In bhakti the tandav dance of Shiva Parvati or Rudra becomes araudra or peace and this is yoga or bhakti or inseparable state.
Bhakti is goal of Shiva in Rudra state to become peaceful or araudra state.
Your name Rudra is world intending to realize its source RAM the param atma.
On 30/10/2014 11:47 pm, “Krishna G Misra” wrote:
Bhakti means integration and bibhakti means disintegration.
Which once established cannot be separated in bhakti.
In terms of self-awareness it is recollecting memory of the universal self or param atma.
On 30/10/2014 11:33 pm, “R.Rudra Narasimham” wrote:
What is Bhakti?
I am addressing the problem or concern about separating body from mind. When I write about the experience of Ananda and Krupa, I am stating that there is unity between the Spirit, mind, and body without which the experience is impossible. If Krupa is a divine manifestation of power and energy, man has the ability to experience the uplift it provides for it uplifts both body, and mind. To same extent, Bhakti or Devotion is an experience that involves the Spirit, mind, and body. I cannot perform any devotional service if there is no unity between the Spirit, mind, and body. In fact, Indian tradition suggests that Bhakti is a method of Inquiry to experience the Reality while the Reality is not known to the organs of sense perception.
On Thursday, October 30, 2014 8:23 AM, Krishna G Misra wrote:
Chitta is chitra or picture. In English this is called perception. Perception of an object or event will differ from one and another observer and by same observer at different mental states. This is why people have conflicts. Yoga is removal of any variation of chitta as Patanjali says.
Ahankar is strength of association of an observer with its chitra or perception. Buddhi is bodh or tool of making and removal of chitta or perception.
Kripa is giving unconditionally and without restrictions and without obligation. Recover of krioa cannot expect or imagine it because lord is kind without any measure. Your Sanskrit verse is a perfect statement.
Ram Chandra krioalu bhaj man
Krioa is not what can be asked because it is grace if God and none can imagine its intensity. Ability of person is irrelevant because krioa can bypass all hurdle.
On 30/10/2014 9:30 am, “R.Rudra Narasimham” wrote:
What is Krupa?
The four aspects of mental activity are described as Manah, Chitta, Buddhi, and Ahamkara. Chitta is the function associated with Krupa, Karuna, or Daya. But, the experience of Krupa is not a mere mental experience. The experience is shared by the entire body. It is not a simple subjective experience. It is an objective experience that can be verified by an independent observer.
“Mukam karoti vachalam, phangum langayate girim;
yat Krupa tMaham, Vande Paramananda Madhavam.”
The hymn suggests that the experience called Krupa is Great for it can give the ability of communication to the mute, and the disabled person can cross over obstacles such as mountains. The Lord known as Madhava is specifically described as the fountain of eternal bliss and joy. The idea is, when a person experiences Krupa or Compassion, the experience comes with a sense of joy and happiness. Very often, we get a chance to personally experience the reality of Krupa. When we recognize the experience called pain, and suffering in the lives of others, it evokes an instinctual response of kindness and compassion that practically helps us to provide physical assistance to the person who is experiencing pain, and misery. That feeling of compassion is powerful and is very uplifting and it gives the necessary energy and stamina to perform a challenging task with much ease and no strain. During natural calamities, we witness people coming out to give assistance and help to total strangers and work tirelessly. The entire human body is transformed. The provider of help, and the recipient of help experience a sense of joy when actions are performed under the influence of Krupa.
On Wednesday, October 29, 2014 2:32 PM, Krishna G Misra wrote:
Mind has seven colors or Man -Sat Roopa. Mind is like light which appears colorless but it includes seven colors while objects that have actually no colors appear in colors of that colorless yet seven colored light.
Mind is just that light which has seven patterns but is invisible. Objects are seen in color not because objects own any color but because of the mind of seer or who sees it.
A thief can recognize a gold necklace but an innocent child cannot. This means that same necklace is valuable to a thief but not to another observer. Rose is red when two observers see it in same sun light but when sun light does not exist rose is not seen let leave its red color. When one observer has colored glass and another by naked eyes they both will see same rose in different colors.
Mind has seven colors a. Information b. Imagination c experience d. Memory e. Knowledge f dream or subconscious g intuition.
Experience is one of seven colors of mind but it lives for short time and memory of it stays longer. For example you drink milk and it takes 10 minutes but memory of milk remains a life time. Similarly each colors have different depth of thoughts and with which we or different observers make perceptions differently for same object.
I am traveling and cannot describe it as I would have wanted but I hope you can discover it by your self.
On 29/10/2014 11:32 pm, “R.Rudra Narasimham” wrote:
What is Experience?
Apart from matter and energy, we have to account for ‘experience’. There is an entity who has the experience of the various manifestations of matter and energy. Man studies matter and energy for he has this ability called experience. Mechanics, Statics, Dynamics, Acoustics, Optics, Thermodynamics, Electricity, Magnetism, gravitation and others are of interest for they are involved in giving man the experience called ‘equilibrium’ while he is at rest or in motion. While a number of varied forces are acting on man, the experience called ‘Ananda’ or Bliss, or Joy is possible because of the operation of a Fundamental Force that can be called ‘Love’. But, Love is a force that cannot be expressed as a mathematical formula or equation and cannot be experimentally verified for it cannot be measured to ascertain its quantity in numbers. In Indian tradition, God is called Sat, Chit, Ananda. The reality called Energy will have no relevance or importance if there is no experience of the same.
On Wednesday, October 29, 2014 12:58 AM, Mukund Apte wrote:
Please note that Modern Science has confirmed that the Universe is only filled with Energy in various forms. Even thoughts are energy and the matter is nothing but consolidated form of energy and so whether we consider metaphysics or solid material, they are the same thing; Energy. When matter dies or get destroyed, it merely gets transferred to different form of Energy.
On Wed, Oct 29, 2014 at 10:12 AM, R.Rudra Narasimham wrote:
Matter is the stuff with which this universe is made. In science, matter is studied as elements, simple mixtures and compounds. In Indian tradition, we describe spirit or soul as immutable, imperishable, immortal, unborn, and even uncreated( for man has not created any kind of matter or spirit). The thing called Spirit or Soul is Divine because of those attributes. To the same extent, matter has divine attributes. Matter is immutable, imperishable, immortal, unborn, and uncreated. We know that planet Earth has existed for a very long time and yet the elements retain their essence without any change. Life is existing on Earth for billions of years for the elements have the divine attributes just like the spirit and soul. When we say that the body is perishable or when we say that man is a mortal being, we are simply speaking about the form that we recognize as a specific thing. The matter that constitutes the form escapes death and mortality.
On Tuesday, October 28, 2014 11:22 PM, Krishna G Misra wrote:
There is a natural order in every form or matter and yet in reality each order is unique and distinctive. Absolute has no difference because it is non real like zero but from it all reality like 1 2 3 emerge. Forms of matter are real or relative and therefore have an order in their unique way very much like atomic movements in orbit of elements in periodic table of elements or planetary movements.
Temples or home or any other creation are too forms of matter and spirit or in other words metaphysical structures.
On 29/10/2014 3:03 am, “R.Rudra Narasimham” wrote:
In India, houses, and temples are often built after consulting experts of Vastu Shastra. The materials used for construction mostly wood, stone, and clay do not have strong magnetic properties. Iron and Cobalt have strong magnetic affinity. Gold has none. We need to explain the location of temple according to the local tradition and local story or Purana.
On Monday, October 27, 2014 11:45 PM, Krishna G Misra wrote:
Vastu shastra literally means material science. It deals with structure and functions for environment but the consciousness is its maker.
On 27/10/2014 11:20 pm, “R.Rudra Narasimham” wrote:
What is Vastu Sastra?
The architecture, the design, the layout, and other features of Chidambaram Temple must be explained quoting the relevant parts of Vastu Sastra. If the Temple’s location is chosen using the Laws of Magnetism or Electromagnetism, there must be a statement in the Vastu Sastra in the choice of location. There must be evidence to show that the builders made the requisite calculations and used a formula and devices to select a predetermined site.
It is simply incorrect to claim that the human body has nine apertures. For example, the body has millions of pores or apertures through which secretions like sweat, and sebum are excreted. Human body cannot maintain its body temperature(thermoregulation) if these pores are absent. In fact, there are people who suffer on account of problems associated with these openings. There is no merit in making unwanted comparisons with human body. Breathing is a vital function and the rate of respiration is a highly variable number and depends upon several factors including the environmental factors. It must be noted that Gold is a precious metal but that metal is useless and plays no role in human physiology. To that extent, iron is more important in the physiology of human respiration. Iron Deficiency can lead to disease and death. I would use Iron and not Gold if I want to make any connection between the structural element and human physiology. Similarly, there are numerous blood vessels and it would be silly to make a comparison without naming the vessels the architecture may represent. Then, the direction of flow and the specific relationships between the vessels becomes an issue. Kindly name those Nine Shastras and I would be surprised if the name Physics or Magnetism would be listed among those Nine.
In India, the traditions that relate to the worship of Lord Shiva have specific legends called ‘Sthala Puranas’, the story that is related to the specific geographical location. All the Jyotir Lingas are known by their stories. Chidambaram has its own story and the story is not about magnetism or electromagnetism.
On Monday, October 27, 2014 4:20 AM, Mukund Apte wrote:
The Vedas meaning Knowledge teach Scientific Knowledge only. And our people, such as ऋषि-मुनी and आचार्य have expounded all science in clear terms for people to follow. The Modern Science is now slowly confirming these facts. But they also have not ‘proved’ on their own everything that these great people have done. I do hope Modern Science will be able to reach the Vedic level of science soon enough, because Modern Science by their ‘inventions’ and Discoveries’ have created so much pollution in the environment as well as soil that we may not be able to sustain life on the planet for very long. The Scientists however as yet not understanding this position and polluting the earth more and more by their Scientific offers to man.
Scientists like Prof Einstein and now Prof Fridtjof Capra did express their faith in Vedas and Hindu शास्त्र and उपनिषद् and Prof Capra has started revealing the contents in the scientific manner since last 20 years.
On Mon, Oct 27, 2014 at 12:50 PM, Arvind Chaubal wrote:
Subject: Chidambram Temple
After 8 years of R & D, Western scientists have realized that at Lord Nataraja ‘s big toe is the Centre Point of World ‘s Magnetic Equator.Our ancient Tamil Scholar Thirumoolar has proved this Five thousand years ago! His treatise Thirumandiram is a wonderful Scientific guide for the whole world.To understand his studies, it may need a 100 years for us.Chidambaram temple embodies the following characteristics :1) This temple is at the Center Point of world 's Magnetic Equator.2) Of the "Pancha bootha" i.e. 5 temples, Chidambaram denotes the Skies. Kalahasthi denotes Wind. Kanchi Ekambareswar denotes land. All these 3 temples are in a straight line at 79 degrees 41 minutes Longitude. This can be verified using Google. An amazing fact & astronomical miracle !3) Chidambaram temple is based on the Human Body having 9 Entrances denoting 9 Entrances or Openings of the body.4) Temple roof is made of 21600 gold sheets which denotes the 21600 breaths taken by a human being every day (15 x 60 x 24 = 21600)5) These 21600 gold sheets are fixed on the Gopuram using 72000 gold nails which denote the total no. of Nadis (Nerves) in the human body. These transfer energy to certain body parts that are invisible.6) Thirumoolar states that man represents the shape of Shivalingam, which represents Chidambaram which represents Sadashivam which represents HIS dance !7) "Ponnambalam " is placed slightly tilted towards the left. This represents our Heart. To reach this, we need to climb 5 steps called "Panchatshara padi ""Si, Va, Ya, Na, Ma " are the 5 Panchatshara mantras.There are 4 pillars holding the Kanagasabha representing the 4 Vedas.8) Ponnambalam has 28 pillars denoting the 28 "Ahamas "as well as the 28 methods to worship Lord Shiva. These 28 pillars support 64 +64 Roof Beams which denote the 64 Arts. The cross beams represent the Blood Vessels running across the Human body.9) 9 Kalasas on the Golden Roof represent the 9 types of Shakti or Energies.The 6 pillars at the Artha Mantapa represent the 6 types of Sashtras.The 18 pillars in the adjacent Mantapa represents 18 Puranas.10) The dance of Lord Nataraja is described as Cosmic Dance by Western Scientists.