தமிழ்த் தேசியம்

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."

- Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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CONTENTS
OF THIS SECTION
Last updated
08/09/07

"..மௌனம் என்பது..... கோழைத்தனத்தின் போர்வை அல்ல. தெளிந்த மனதின் பார்வை அது..." யாழ் சுதாகரின் தத்துவக் கவிதைகள்... , 2006
Truth is a Pathless Land - Meeting Jiddu Krishnamurthy
The Evolution of Man - Sri Aurobindo
Janaka & The Song of Ashtavakra 
Vedanta through Shastra in Tamil
Pragmatism and Idle Talk of Vedanta - Sara Ananthan, 2005

Saivaism

Dancing with Siva,
Hinduism's Contemporary Catechism - Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami
The Twelve Thirumurai
Mannikkavasagar's Thiruvasagam   
Arunagirinathar
Ramalinga Atikal - Vallalar
கந்த புராணம் - Kantha Puranam
63 Nayanmars - Sri Swami Sivananda
Hymns of Thayumanavar
The Revelations of  Meikandar - Kavi Yogi Suddhananda Bharathy
The Saiva Mystics - Tirugnana Sambandar, Appar Swamigal, Sundaramurti & Manikkavasakar - V.R.Ramachandra Dikshtar
Yogaswami, the Sage from  Eelam "...everything was over long, long ago..."
Kadai Swami of Jaffna
The Vision of Civam in Tamil Caivam - Alvappillai Velupillai
Service to Mankind is Service to God - Narayanan & Naradar - A Story
Siddanta & Vedanta - P.Narendranathan
திருவெண்ணெய் நல்லூர் மெய்கண்ட தேவர் அருளிய சிவஞானபோதம்
வெளிநாடுகளில் சைவசமய வழிபாடும், சிட்னியில் சைவசமயக் கல்வியும் - Dr R Sri Ravindrarajah, 2005
Science & Symbolism in Saivaism - Professor R. Kanagasuntharam
Siva Bakthi - Dr.R.Nagasamy
Saiva Sidhdhantha
The Tamil Siddhas
Philosophy of Saivaism - Eliyathamby
Arumuga Navalar -  M.K.Eelaventhan
Saivaism & Independent Tamil Eelam
Saivamum Kalaikalum சைவமும் கலைகளும்
Saivamum Thamizhum
Saiva (Dharma) Neri - Its Spirituality A Perspective - V. Siva Subramaniam, 16 October 2005
Whither Saivaism - 21st Century?- V.Siva Subramaniam, 8 May 2006
Saivaite Teachings for the 21st Century - V.Siva Subramaniam, 3 July 2006
The Ultimate in Spirituality - Moksha - the experience of some of our saints and sages V.Siva Subramaniam, 13 February 2007
சைவத்தின் சமரசம் - சில குறிப்புகள் -  திருவாரூர். வி.கல்யாணசுந்தரனார்
Saivam and Hinduism - Mohan Veluppillai
Saivaism in Karnataka and Cambodia - Vasundhara Filliozat

Vaishnavaism

நாலாயிர திவ்விய பிரபந்தம்
The 12 Azhvargal
Sri Vaishnava Home Page

Christianity in Tamil

திருவிவிலியம் - புதிய ஏற்பாடு
திருவிவிலியம் - பழைய ஏற்பாடு
Tamil Christian Media
Tamil Christian
On Line Tamil Bible
Complete Tamil Bible in Unicode
Grace in Christianity & Hinduism - Bishop Sabapathy Kulendran

Islam in Tamil

Holy Quaran in Tamil
Tamil Islam
Islam in Tamil

Computer Assisted Religious Education

 Festivals of the Tamils

Hindu Temples & Ashrams
Hindu Rituals - Why Do We Follow Them
Teachers & Teachings of Hinduism

peNkaLai k‚talikkirÍn

Hindu Fasts & Festivals

Other Writings

An Introduction to Hinduism - C.P.Ramasamy Iyer et al
Understanding Hinduism
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
The Hindu Reformation - K.M.Pannikar
Nan Neri Narpathu in Tamil
On Gayatri Mantra
In Search of Peace
Rasiah Sri Ravindrarajah's Personal Page
Tamil Traditions on Subrahmanya≠-Murugan Introduction by Kamil V. Zvelebil
Subramuniyaswamy, disciple of Yogaswamy, receives U Thant Peace Award
Development of Tamilian Religious Thought - Swami Vipulananda
Thinking with the heart - and Pillai Tamizh - Anandalakshmy
Hinduism: Native or Alien to India - Shan Ranjit
Swami Vivekananda on Patriotism 


Spirituality & the Tamil Nation

"அன்பும் சிவமும் இரண்டென்பர் அறிவிலார்,
 அன்பேசிவமாவது யாரும் அறிகிலார்,
அன்பே சிவமாவது யாரும் அறிந்தபின்,
 அன்பேசிவமாய் அமர்ந்திருந்தாரே." -Thirumular's Thirumanthiram  

 "செய்யுந்தொழிலுன் தொழிலே காண்; சீர்பெற்றிட நீ யருள் செய்வாய்" மகா கவி பாரதியாரின விநாயகர் நான்மணிமாலை

"..Change will not come simply by moaning about what is. Neither will it come from a simple minded moralising about that which ought to be. It is when our words begin to coincide with our deeds, that principle emerges with power to influence. We also begin to learn something about our own ‘dharma’ or own ‘way of harmony’."

Nadesan Satyendra
10 May 1998


"…truth and knowledge are an idle gleam, 
if they do not bring power to change the world…"
Sri Aurobindo

 Gramsci was right when he said that man can affect his own development and that of his own surroundings only in so far as he has a clear view of what the possibilities of action open to him are. To do this he has to understand the historical situation in which he finds himself: and it is when he does this, that he can play an active part in modifying that situation. 

Change will not come simply by moaning about what is. Neither will it come from a simple minded moralising about that which ought to be. The words of Sri Aurobindo in his epic poem Savitri, which appear above have an abiding significance:

"Truth and knowledge are an idle gleam if they do not bring power to change the world" 

An impatient Karl Marx put it, perhaps, not very differently:

"Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways, the point however, is to change it" (Theses on Feuerbach, 1845)

Theoretical discourse unrelated to action, serves merely as an opium to the intellect, enabling us to live in a fantasy world of our creation - and, not surprisingly, such discourse influences nobody and changes nothing. On the other hand, action divorced from theory, is a mindless reaction which, sooner rather than later, ends in the dead end of frustrated endeavour. 

Theory and practise are the two legs on which we walk. The man of action is the true philosopher - and the philosopher must of necessity be a man of action, and in Gramsci's words ‘the real philosopher is, and cannot be other than the politician, the active man who modifies his environment, understanding by environment the ensemble of relations which each of us enters to take part in’. 

 During the past two thousand years and more, many a Tamil mother has related to her young child the story of Sivan and Sakthi. Sivan, the active, and Sakthi, the passive, together constituted the whole and from the union of Sivan and Sakthi came the first born - the idea and this was Ganapathy. Later came the second born - action and this was Murugan. 

As the story goes, one day the two children, Ganapathy and Murugan were playing around Sivan and Sakthi, who were seated on their celestial throne in Kailasam. It is said that Sivan with a twinkle in his eye, offered the prize of a fruit to the son who went round the universe first. Murugan immediately set out on his journey and crossed many lands and distant seas. He travelled swiftly on his heavenly peacock. 

But when, having traversed the universe, Murugan returned to Kailasam, he was astounded to find his elder brother Ganapathy already there, contentedly eating the fruit that Sivan had given him. As the story goes, Ganapathy - in modern jargon, ‘the idea man’ - had merely walked round the throne on which Sivan and Sakthi were seated - after all, the universe was in them and they were the universe. 

And, it is in this way that Tamil children have come to learn, whilst seated, on their mothers knees, something about the dialectical reality that theory is a practical thing - and that the inside and the outside go together. We need both Ganapathy and Murugan.

It is when our words begin to coincide with our deeds, that principle emerges with power to influence. We also begin to learn something about our own ‘dharma’ or own ‘way of harmony’. 

On the battlefield of Kurukshetra, Arujna was assailed with doubts,, when faced with the prospect of killing his teachers, and his relations, and he turned to Krishna for guidance. Krishna advised Arujna to fight. It is a story that has sometimes puzzled - surely, it cannot be right for the Divine to advise a human to kill another human. 

But Arujna sought advice because he was in doubt - because he had not reached the stage in his  own evolution, when he could simply walk away from the battlefield without internal conflict. If he had walked away, he may have laid himself open to the charge of being a coward - and this he was unable to face with equanimity. Despite his doubts, Arujna was still a Kshaitirya, a warrior, in his being. Krishna’s Gita Upadesam served to clarify for Arujna the confusion in his mind, by identifying Arujna’s dharma - the path which Arujna must follow if he were to act in harmony with his own being. It was Arujna’s dharma to do battle and it was in battle that Arujna found peace - and eventual growth. Any other path would have left him in pain and in conflict. 

On an occasion in London, in 1989, at a discussion with Sathasivam Krishnakumar (for whom the struggle for Tamil Eelam was his life) the conversation turned to the Gita Upadesam. Kittu, as he was affectionately known, commented:

"Annai, in the Maha Bharatham, it was Karnan who truly knew his duty. He  was stead fast in his commitment to his friend Duryodhana - he had no doubts about his 'Nanri Kadan' and in the end Karnan willingly gave away all his 'punyam', knowing that by doing so, he would die.  Karnan knew well his dharma - he did not need a 'Upadesam' to clarify his doubts - and so, in the Maha Bharatham, there is no 'Gita Upadesam' for Karnan."

Again, unlike Arujna at Kurushetra, the Buddha simply walked out of his palace one night. He did not seek anybody’s advice, neither did he awaken his sleeping wife and child and seek to explain his conduct. He was not in doubt as to his immediate step. On the contrary, he would have been in conflict if he had not walked out - and so to ‘renounce’ was his dharma. 

However Arujna is by no means alone in his confusion. The search for harmony is elusive. It is said that the long journey ends with coming to the beginning and truly knowing it for the first time. It was Annie Besant, translating the Gita, who remarked that it is better to act in accordance with one's own dharma rather than try 'to act out some one else's dharma better'. 

Each of us have our dharma - 'our way' which is in harmony with our being. At the same time, no human is an island unto himself. We will not be what we are if not for our interaction with others. Life is relationship. Today Tamils who live in many lands and across distant seas are inevitably drawn to examine their relationship with the world in which they live. 

Unsurprisingly, the sense of their own identity as Tamils, quickly emerges within them as they comes across the lines that are drawn by an outside which often regards them as ‘not quite us’.

The struggle of the people of Tamil Eelam for self determination, then assumes a special significance to the expatriate Tamil whether he traces his origins to Tamil Eelam, or to Tamil Nadu or to Malaysia or to some other land. The struggle in Tamil Eelam becomes not simply a struggle of a people 'out there'.

It is not only a matter of caring for that which is happening to one’s kith and kin, or to one brothers and sisters back in Tamil Eelam or to one's 'udan pirapukal'. Nor is it simply a matter of a naive nostalgic search for a receding past.

The struggle becomes linked with the expatriate Tamil's own present need to live with dignity (in Tamil we say 'thanmaanam'). Our past becomes relevant to our present and in this way, has something to do with our future.

It is true that a time will come when the separate national identities of the peoples of the world will be transcended by a greater unity. But it will be romantic to imagine that we have reached that stage today. We cannot live in a world which has not yet arrived - though we can certainly work towards it.

To work for the flowering of the Tamil nation is to bring forward the emergence of a true trans nationalism. A true trans nationalism will come only from nationalisms that have flowered and matured - it will not come by the suppression of one nation by another. Today, many who deny the national identity of the Tamil people are rarely prepared to give up their own.

Tamils have no cause, to be apologetic about their togetherness as a people - and the Tamil nation is not simply the addition of its separate parts. A nation is a deep and horizontal togetherness which cuts across the vertical divisions which exist amongst a people.

Each Tamil wherever he lives is a part of that Tamil nation and even if he should forget his national identity, the environment around him will conspire to remind him from time to time, of that which he has forgotten. Yes, every inside has an outside and every outside has an inside - and the two go together.

"The relation between a society and its members' spirituality is reciprocal. A society's customs and laws, on the one hand reflect the spirituality of its members. The spirituality of its members, on the other hand, is largely shaped by the nature of society. This 'largely' is never, however, 'totally'... we are not simply the products of our natural and social environments." (David Ray Griffin in 'Spirituality and Society: Post-modern Visions)


Gramsci  (quoted in James Joll's Gramsci, Fontana, 1977).... "Man can affect his own development and that of his surroundings only so far as he has a clear view of what the possibilities of action open to him are. To do this he has to understand the historical situation in which he finds himself: and once he does this, then he can play an active part in modifying that situation. The man of action is the true philosopher: and the philosopher must of necessity be a man of action: 

'Man does not enter into relations with the natural world just by being himself part of it but actively by means of work and technique. Further, these relations are not mechanical. They are active and conscious... Each of us changes himself, modifies himself to the extent that he changes and modifies the complex relations of which he is the heart. in this sense, the real philosopher is, and cannot be other than the politician, the active man who modifies his environment, understanding by environment the ensemble of relations which each one of us enters to take part in it. If one's individuality is the ensemble of these relations, to create one's personality means to acquire consciousness of them, and to modify one's own personality means to modify the ensemble of these relations.'

'The error of the intellectual consists in believing that it is possible to know without understanding and especially without feeling and passion... that the intellectual can be an intellectual if he is distinct and detached from the people-nation, without feeling the elemental passions of the people, understanding them and thus explaining them in a particular historical situation, connecting them dialectically to the laws of history, to a superior conception of the world... History and politics cannot be made without passion, without this emotional bond between intellectuals and the people-nation. In the absence of such a bond the relations between intellectuals and the people-nation are reduced to contacts of a purely bureaucratic, formal kind; the intellectuals become a caste or a priesthood...' 

 

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