MŪVATTĀRU TATTVAGALU (36 principles):[ಮೂವತ್ತಾರು ತತ್ವಗಳು]

Most of the Vachanas speak of what should be our attitude towards God, guru, fellow beings, etc. and very few speak of creation, etc. But those, which deal with creation and other metaphysical topics, necessarily speak of the 36 principles (tattvas). However, though all Vachana-writers are unanimous that the basic principles of existence are 36, there is no unanimity about what these 36 tattvas are. There is perfect unanimity about first eleven tattvas. Parashiva the first and the highest tattva is the source of the remaining 35 tattvas. In the beginning he was both unaware of himself and unaware of the rest, because there was nothing apart from him. In that stage he is called Śūnya, MahāŚūnya, Bayalu, [ಶೂನ್ಯ, ಮಹಾಶೂನ್ಯ, ಬಯಲು] etc. When self-consciousness arose in him, he realized his solitude and as a result the desire to create the world arose in him. His decision to create the world results in the self-manifestation. First he evolved from himself the five superintending deities (Adhidaivatas) [ಅಧಿದೈವತಾ] and their respective five Shaktis (forces). The deities are also called Sādakhyas [ಸಾಧಕ್ಯ] and their names are not the same always. They may be Shiva-sādākhya, Amūrti-sādākhya, Mūrti-sādākhya, Kartṛu-sādākhya and Karma-sādākhya; [ಶಿವ-ಸಾಧಕ್ಯ, ಅಮೂರ್ತಿ-ಸಾಧಕ್ಯ, ಮೂರ್ತಿ-ಸಾಧಕ್ಯ, ಕರ್ತೃ-ಸಾಧಕ್ಯ, ಮತ್ತು ಕರ್ಮ-ಸಾಧಕ್ಯ] or may be Īśvara, Sadāśiva, Brahma, Visṇu and Rudra; [ಈಶ್ವರ, ಸದಾಶಿವ, ಬ್ರಹ್ಮ, ವಿಷ್ಣು ಮತ್ತು ರುದ್ರ] or maybe, Īśānya, Tatpuruṣa, Aghōra, Vāmadēva, and Sadyōjāta. [ಈಶಾನ್ಯ, ತತಪುರುಷ, ಅಘೋರ, ವಾಮದೇವ, ಮತ್ತು ಸದ್ಯೋಜಾತ ] Similarly, the names of the five Shaktis may be Parā, Adi, Icchā, Jñyāna and Kriyā; [ಪರಾ, ಆದಿ, ಇಚ್ಛಾ, ಜ್ಞಾನ, ಮತ್ತು ಕ್ರೀಯಾ] or nivṛtti-kalā, pratiṣṭhā-kala, vidyā-kala, śānti-kala and śāntyatīta-kala. [ನಿವೃತ್ತಿ-ಕಲಾ, ಪ್ರತಿಷ್ಠಾ-ಕಲಾ, ವಿದ್ಯಾ-ಕಲಾ, ಶಾಂತಿ-ಕಲಾ, ಮತ್ತು ಶಾಂತ್ಯಾತೀತ-ಕಲಾ]

The twenty-five TATTVAS, which emanate from them, are not the same always. According to some Vachana-writers, five antaḥkaraṇas [ಅಂತ:ಕರಣ] , five jñanēndriyas [ಜ್ಞಾನೇಂದ್ರೀಯ], five karmēndriyas [ಕರ್ಮೇಂದ್ರೀಯ], five airs and five gross elements emanate. A few others include five objects of sense (smell, taste, form, sound and touch) in place of the five airs. Some retain both and leave out the five gross elements.

Tōntada Siddhalinga śivayōgi [ತೋಂಟದ ಸಿದ್ಧಲಿಂಗ ಶಿವಯೋಗಿ] sometimes mentions, more than 36 tattvas. He speaks of

  • (1) śūnya [ಶೂನ್ಯ]
  • (2) Niṣkala-Linga [ನಿಷ್ಕಲ ಲಿಂಗ] (i.e one who decides to create the world)
  • (3-8) six deities and (9-14) six Shaktis
  • (15-20) six kalās
  • (21-25) five objects of sense
  • (26-30) five gross elements
  • (31-35) five internal instruments antaḥkaraṇas [ಅಂತ:ಕರಣ] including the individual self
  • (36-40) five sense organs
  • (41-45) five motor organs
  • (46-51) six syllables of the mantra
  • (52-56) five airs, etc.

In any case, two incontrovertible statements can be made about this evolution.

1. The Shakti (force) of Parashiva proceeds in its evolution from the subtlest to the grossest. Parashiva in the beginning was indescribable and after his selfmanifestation he has become the manifold world.

2. Parashiva alone cannot create; and Shakti alone i.e without the guidance of Parashiva, cannot evolve. Parashiva and Shakti together evolve into the world of conscious and non-conscious beings.

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