Eight Square (82)
Dear seekers of Truth,
This article is presented as a sequel to the earlier article Eight and Two. It is a mathematical representation of god who is omnipresent and omniscient. Some seekers after a considered discussion have raised certain doubts and therefore, this article is now presented in furtherance of more clarity and understanding. We must be aware that we are engaged in a Sat Vichara which is not intended as a teaching from a higher pedestal but as the findings of a sincere seeker of truth. Such experience is now placed before the body of seekers having the same bent of mind. It is assured that the present article is devoid of any falsity and any exaggeration by way of any interpretation. Whenever and wherever we strive to know the truth, we are aware that Vallalar is with us to help us come out of our state of ignorance and progress on the Path of Truth.
To begin with, we must be aware that the method of leading us on the Path of Truth is unique in the case of saint Vallalar as unfolded below;
Saint Thiruvalluvar says in kural 391
Strive to learn the perfect, which when learnt
Abide by that knowledge for ever.
Saint Vallalar goes one step ahead of Thiruvalluvar
Method of learning, I have not learnt to know
Neither do I know how to rejoice in the
Council of the learned who have learnt
What ought to have been learnt…….
In Mahadeva Malai Song No.99, Vallalar sings in utmost humility
I do not excel in the intelligence
Accrued on account of education;
Neither do I know
Any power of interpretation……
It is common knowledge that the alphabet is learnt only to know the language and the language is known only to understand the meaning and the meaning is required for understanding the thought of the other person. When the mind understands the thought of the other person by learning the alphabet, language and meaning, choosing to remain with the alphabet which constitutes the language is unwarranted. The alphabet whether in Tamil or English or any other language for that matter, is simply an instrument which aids understanding. There is nothing in the alphabet or the language. It is like a logo which when seen or heard, immediately invokes in the mind as to the idea built behind the logo. It is like the flag of a country. Actually the country is not in the flag. Therefore, giving importance to Akaram(A) or vukaram(U) or makaram(M)which are mere symbols to denote the omnipresent Almighty, misleads one from the path.
In Arut Perunjothi Agaval, Vallalar declares (lines 257 to 258)that
Ettum irandum iyalum murpadiyena
Atta nindru arulia Arut Perunjothi.
Eight and two paved as stepping stones,
Incarnating as eight, granting the light;
Oh! glory of the glowing grace
Vallalar castigates all of us as follows;
Ettodu irandu serthu ennavum ariyeer
Ethunai kolkindireer pithulakeer.
You know not how to count by adding eight with two;
How you excel in others, oh! people of this insane world…
“Eight and two” is not used in the sense that it can be literally counted as eight and two. It is actually eight square (82). It can be rightly said that when it is horizontally eight, it is also vertically eight and when it is vertically eight, it is also horizontally eight. Either way it is eight multiplied by eight resulting in fine as sixty four. “Eight and two” is a mathematical representation of god and as such it is only a symbol, rather a sutra to grasp the infinite by the mind reeling in limitation. Therefore, the concept signifies the infinite both horizontally and vertically.
The experience in this world is being expressed either in alphabet or in numbers. Therefore, the concept of god is expressed both in number as eight and two and in alphabet as Akaram and Vukaram. Saint Thiruvalluvar explains it more succinctly in his immortal Kural No.392;
Number and alphabet all, both of these
Act as eyes for the beings living.
Therefore, one has to see through the alphabet or the numbers which are only symbols codified with meaning.
In Mahadeva Malai, Vallalalar strikes at the root of the illusion built around the concept of eight and two and lays bare the truth behind it in a more elaborate way as noted in the following song No.57;
Form of four,formless four, in between these two
One of form and the formless;posited above these
As yet one of fourand as the one ever beyond these;
At the centre of that oneand as one within that one
Existing ever as two of the four, along with that four
Eight squared by four placed above, oh god, illusory
Core of four and substance of four showing trinity
Of gods, such gods meditating the greatest Lord.
Vallalar classifies the state of eight as
- the form of four
- the formless four
- state between form and the formless
- state above the above three
- state beyond the above four
- centered within the fifth
- centered within the sixth
- all the above united in eighth
Vallalar declares that there are two kind of truth in this world: one is used as an aid to illustrate the main truth; another is the actual state of truth itself. The cosmonaut going to the space is acquainted with the conditions of weightlessness to be experienced in the space by way of simulation training on the ground. But when the cosmonaut actually undergoes the experience of weightlessness in the space, he will not cherish to remember the experience of weightlessness acquired in his simulation training in the ground. Neither the cosmonaut will ever remember the equipments instrumental to simulate the experience of weightlessness. In the same way, Akaram and Vukaram are mere stepping stones and thereby instrumental to understand the measureless infinity in unity.
The world is always in the state of half light and half darkness which state is known as either Ashtami or Arthanari. When we see the full moon, the other half of the moon actually remains in darkness. Therefore, it is wrong to presume full moon to be full of light all around the moon. Just as the earth remains always in half darkness and half light, so also the moon is also not full of light or darkness simultaneously at any point of time. Any object shining because of the light of the sun can never be full of light. But by seeing the full moon, we are under the impression that the moon is full of light. In the same manner, the concept of eight and two appears as one and remains in reality as otherwise. Let us strive to know the real meaning.
Let us see the opening song of Thirumandiram by Saint Thirumoolar which guides the understanding of the seekers;
Eternally the One He is; Second, His good grace,
Sprouts He in the Trinity, realizes He the Fourth
Vanquishes He the Fifth; spreads tress of the Sixth
Summit of the Seventh, He surmounts ever;
Remains in Self as realization of the Eighth.
The explanation for the above, we will have in the next article. Till such time please bear with me.
Vallalar has solemnly affirmed that he did not know as to what was eight and two and the saint also declared that the truth behind eight and two has been revealed to him by the Glory of the Glowing Grace. The saint sang in praise of the glory of the glowing grace in the following lines-- 5 to 12 of Aghaval.
Above summit of gospels, above summit of canons
Exalting as ever lasting, Glory of Glowing Grace
Ever of elements physical, ever of elements spiritual
Binding without distinction, Glory of Glowing Grace
Sublime above the substance physical and spiritual
Entwining as ever lasting, Glory of Glowing Grace
On measureless space, beyond thoughtless mind
Reigning as ever lasting, Glory of Glowing Grace
Let us await the grace of the Lord in silence to fill us with the meaning of Eight and Two as it was revealed to Vallalar.