The meditative experience of flowing from inner sound to perfect silence

The following is a selection of verses from Rishi Tirumular’s Tirumantiram, translated by Dr. S. P. Sabharathnam Sivacharyar. 

Even if so-called “yogis” remain in yogic practices for eight thousand years, none of them would have a direct vision of Lord Siva, who is like the nectar flowing through all the nerves and channels of the body and whose presence fills the entire universe. But, if they settle their mind within, delink their soul from the tattvas (foundational elements of existence) and contemplate their inseparable oneness with the Lord, their soul would attain its own resplendence—thus far obscured. Then Lord Siva would merge in everlasting union with them like a mirror holding a reflected image, inseparable from it. 603

If the sadhaka fixes the concentrated gaze of both his eyes at a distance of 12 digits from the midpoint of his nose, then he would be completely free from the fatigued state caused by his five senses; no decay for his body; all the organs and internal instruments would be regulated; he would be free from bodily consciousness. Being in this deeply absorbed state, he would be free from the consciousness of his own self; apart from the goal of attaining oneness with the Divine, he would not have any other aspiration. He would become Siva Himself.  604

Having fixed the concentrated look of both the eyes, the sadhakas should then regulate their breath’s flow which is now stilled, neither rising up nor moving down more than a span of 12 digits. Being completely free from the disturbed state caused by the senses, they should lose themselves in yogic slumber. For those who are capable of raising themselves to such a supreme state, the main purpose of taking this birth becomes fulfilled. They would not be afflicted with the fear of death. 605

Ringing sounds of the bell, roaring sounds of the ocean, trumpeting of the elephant, sweet sounds of a long flute, thundering of the clouds, buzzing of bees and that of a dragonfly, the reverberations of conch and drum, the soothing melody of a stringed musical instrument—these ten kinds of invigorating sounds which arise from the innermost space of the heart without the presence of their respective sources could be heard internally only by those who remain within by extricating themselves from the tattvas step by step. It is not possible for others to experience the blissful benefits of such internal melodies. 606

The sounds of the ocean, thundering clouds, trumpeting of the elephant, and the sound of the vina—these arise to subdue the harshness and hardness of the mind. They bring fourth a continuous sound from the luminous bodies, vibrating in distant space where the celestial beings are living. The sweet melody of the flute, the reverberating sound of the conch with beautified curves—these internal sounds could be experienced only by the yogis who have realized the significance of the heart-center through Sivayoga, not by other yogis who limit themselves to the eight steps of yoga.  607

Lord Siva is of the nature of these internal melodious sounds. Within the soul of those who are capable of realizing the presence of Siva in the innermost space of their heart, all the qualities of Siva which were in a dormant state would manifest; their body would be suffused with the resplendent rays of Siva and those beams of light would become one with their soul while residing in their physical body. The inner sounds and their exalted benefits are comparable to the flowers and their fragrance. The body of those who experience such sounds would be with this everlasting fragrance.  608

Sivashakti, who performs deeds for the betterment of souls, is ever present at a transcendental plane which extends from the nadanta—the soundless pinnacle of all sound. the most fruitful yoga known as Sivayoga is mainly concerned with elevating the soul to that pure plane. The goal of all Sivayogis is steadily fixed at that plane. Lord Siva is ever existing at this final stage of sound.  609

The five designated Lords, namely Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Maheshvara and Sadasiva, are present in the five fiery planes formed between the six chakras; They, being with much effulgence, are worshiped by devas and sages. Even though they are endowed with authority, they are free from the obscured state caused by the sense of I-ness. If the sadhaka who is in meditation inwardly leaves the tattvas, following the root sound, so as to make him settled in the respective five Lords, he would reach the feet of Lord Siva who is adorned with golden konrai flowers.  610

Having followed all the ordained disciplines without leaving out any part and having transmuted his body to be identical with the form of the Lord, the yogi should direct his breath through the sushumna channel within the spine and elevate himself to the highest point of dvadasanta at the top of the head. He should transcend the three luminous regions—fire, sun and moon—step by step, going beyond luminosity. The yogi who practices Sivayoga in this way would continue to exist through many aeons without leaving his transmuted body.  612

For the yogis, there are self-luminous domains in the transcendental plane suitable to their existence. A yogi becomes the Lord of that domain suitable to him. If the powers pertaining to that domain are fully experienced by that yogi, the same domain would be reached by all those who have become his disciples.  613

Dr. S. P. Sabharathnam Sivacharyar, of the Adisaiva priest lineage, is an expert in ancient Tamil and Sanskrit, specializing in the Vedas, Agamas and Silpa Shastras.