Sunday, September 25, 2005

Suma Iru - Power of Silence - Part 2

Thayumamanvar was a distinguished Tamil poet-saint who lived in the first half of the eighteenth century, from 1705 to 1742 AD. Thayumanavar who was persistently searching for a Guru, came across a Saint called Arul Nandi Sivachariar, who was also known as ‘Mauna Guru’. Arul Nandi Sivachariar came from the lineage of the famous saint Tirumular, whose book, Tirumantiram, written well over a thousand years ago, became one of the canonical works of Saivism.

When Thayumanavar approached him and asked if he could become his disciple, Mauna Guru nodded his head, thereby giving his consent. Thayumanavar then asked if he could follow him wherever he went. Mauna Guru responded by telling him ‘Summa iru,’ which can mean ‘Be still,’ ‘Be quiet,’ and also ‘Remain as you are’. This one phrase apparently brought about a major spiritual transformation in Thayumanavar. In later years, when he began to write ecstatic devotional poetry, he frequently mentioned this event, this phrase, and the effect it had on him. He frequently called it ‘the unique word’ in his verses.

This phrase was also used by Bhagavan Ramana, often with similarly dramatic effect. Muruganar has written in several of his poems that Bhagavan enlightened him by uttering this phrase:

Saying, ‘Enough of dancing, now be still [summa iru],’ Padam [Bhagavan] bestowed on me the state of true jnana that exists forever in my Heart as my own nature. The sovereign grace of Padam completed my sadhana with the words ‘Be still’. What a wonder is this!

The ‘unique word’, summa iru, uttered by a qualified Guru, has an immediate and liberating impact on those who are in a highly mature state. For the vast majority, though, hearing this word from the Guru’s lips is not enough.

Bahgwan Ramana says, "Effortless and choiceless awareness is our real nature. If we can attain it or be in that state, it is all right. But one cannot reach it without effort, the effort of deliberate meditation. All the age-long vasanas carry the mind outward and turn it to external objects. All such thoughts have to be given up and the mind turned inward. For that, effort is necessary for most people. Of course, every book says ‘Summa iru’, i.e., ‘Be quiet or still’. But it is not easy. That is why all this effort is necessary. Even if we find one who has at once achieved the mauna or supreme state indicated by ‘Summa iru’, you may take it that the effort necessary has already been finished in a previous life. So, that effortless and choiceless awareness is reached only after deliberate meditation. That meditation can take any form which appeals to you best. See what helps you to keep away all other thoughts and adopt that method for your meditation."

In this connection Bhagavan quoted verses 5 and 52 from ‘Udal Poyyuravu’ and 36 from ‘Payappuli’ of Saint Thayumanavar. Their gist is as follows. ‘Bliss will follow if you are still. But however much you may tell your mind about the truth, the mind will not keep quiet. It is the mind that won’t keep quiet. It is the mind which tells the mind "Be quiet and you will attain bliss".’ Though all the scriptures have said it, though we hear about it every day from the great ones, and even though our Guru says it, we are never quiet, but stray into the world of maya and sense objects. That is why conscious deliberate effort is required to attain that mauna state or the state of being quiet.

End

References for Parts 1 and 2:

1) Kandhar Anubhuthi - God experience by N.V.Karthikeyan.
2) Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi and Thayumanavar - Robert Butler, T. V. Venkatasubramanian and David Godman.

18 Comments:

At September 25, 2005 1:16 PM, Blogger Jeevan said...

good example for Silence.

 
At September 25, 2005 1:34 PM, Blogger mysorean said...

Hi Arjuna,

Over the past 20 days to one month, I have been practising "shoonya" meditation.

"Summa Iru" is the most ironical of our living states. We need deliberate attempts to attain that state. And once it comes effortlessly, you attain such ecstatic states that it's undescribable.

Attaining that state should be our first goal.

Great post Arjuna!

 
At September 25, 2005 2:00 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

thanks jeevan :)

 
At September 25, 2005 2:01 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Adi - culd u give us an insight in ur blog about what is "shoonya" meditation?

Well said Adi :)..

thanks a lot buddy :)

 
At September 25, 2005 3:54 PM, Blogger TJ said...

Mouna Guru was based from Trichy. The Mouna Matam in the rockfort temple and its adheena karthars are the disciple clan of Mouna guru and Thayumanavar.

 
At September 25, 2005 7:38 PM, Blogger Aatma said...

Hey Arjun, Nice post. As we talked I am still reading about Buddhism, once i get enough information, I will write up the blog.

 
At September 25, 2005 11:21 PM, Blogger krishna said...

arjuna

would be great if u can write up on how to reduce the effort one needs to apply ??

 
At September 26, 2005 2:15 AM, Blogger Venky Krishnamoorthy said...

good post. have you been to the thayumanavar temple in tiruchi? Itis so blissful that you cannot believe it.

 
At September 26, 2005 11:31 AM, Blogger Sriram C S said...

Perhaps this is why a true Guru could give dIkshA by just the sight...

 
At September 26, 2005 6:31 PM, Blogger Saravana Kumar said...

Practising silence is very hard Arjuna ... try remaining in meditation without thinking about anything for 10 mins.

 
At September 26, 2005 6:32 PM, Blogger Saravana Kumar said...

@agni .. have you taken diksha?

 
At September 26, 2005 9:17 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

TJ - thanks for the info :)

 
At September 26, 2005 9:34 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Aatma - waiting eagerly for ur post on Nirvana!

 
At September 26, 2005 9:35 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Krishna - sure dude - I will read abt it and write on it soon :)

 
At September 26, 2005 9:35 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Venky - thanks - unfortunately I havent been to the temple :(

 
At September 26, 2005 9:36 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Agni - very true - but again it depends on our Karma! :)

 
At September 26, 2005 9:36 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

saravana - yeah its so hard :(

 
At September 27, 2005 7:09 AM, Blogger Sriram C S said...

@Saravan - The photo in the profile semms ominous doesn't it? ;) No, I haven't yet taken dIkshA! :)

 

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