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KALĀS: [ಕಲಾ]


The concept of kalā is refractory to easy understanding. Sometimes it means just ‘force’ which evolves into the world under the direction of Parashiva; sometimes it is said to be the purer form of the Shakti, the raw material of the world. Occasionally it stands for the spiritual force, which makes a mystic (śivayōgi) what he is. While most of Vachana-writers recognise only five kalās, namely, nivṛtti, pratiṣṭhā, vidyā, śānti and śāntyatīta, [ನಿವೃತ್ತಿ, ಪ್ರತಿಷ್ಠಾ, ವಿದ್ಯಾ, ಶಾಂತಿ, ಮತ್ತು ಶಾಂತ್ಯಾತೀತ] Tōntada Siddhalinga śivayōgi [ತೋಂಟದ ಸಿದ್ಧಲಿಂಗ ಶಿವಯೋಗಿ] recognises a sixth, namely, śāntyatītōttarā-kalā [ಶಾಂತ್ಯಾತೀತೊತ್ತರ-ಕಲಾ]. Yet we can make two clear and certain statements about the kalās.

1. The creative mood of Parashiva is called Mahālinga [ಮಹಾಲಿಂಗ] (also sometimes called Niṣkalā-linga) [ನಿಷ್ಕಲ-ಲಿಂಗ] . In the creative process, first his five faces (sādākhyas) [ಸಾಧಕ್ಯ] appear which are called Adhidēvatās, [ಅಧಿದೈವತಾ] namely, Sadyōjāta, Vāmadēva, Aghōra, Tatpuruṣa and Īśānya. [ಸದ್ಯೋಜಾತ, ವಾಮದೇವ, ಅಘೋರ, ತತಪುರುಷ, ಮತ್ತು ಈಶಾನ್ಯ] From these evolve the five kalās, respectively, nivṛtti, pratiṣṭhā, vidyā, śānti and śāntyatīta, Tōntada Siddhalinga śivayōgi opines that the sixth kalā evolves from Mahālinga (see SADAKHYA).

2. The kalās help the aspirant to purify his sensory and motor organs, internal organs, etc., which are otherwise the cause of his suffering. If one can purify them the same organs become in a way the cause of spiritual advance. Thus, by the bad influence of the kalās his speech organ was telling lies, using harsh words, etc., and now, under the good influence of the kalās the same speech organ utters only the Shiva-mantras, tells only truth, speaks only softly and in friendly manner; his hands which were doing immoral things earlier, now under the good influence of the kalās, do only morally good things; his legs which were ‘going astray’ now tread only the spiritual path shown by the guru; now he desires to have union with Parashiva rather than with a woman; and so on. One who succeeds in his attempt in this manner is believed to realise Āchāralinga [ಅಚಾರಲಿಂಗ] (or the Sadyōjāta-sādākhya).

Further progress in spiritual course is an indication that the seeker is under the influence of pratiṣṭhā-kalā. The seeker decides that sound must be words of guru, touch must be the touch of Ishtalinga, form must be the sight of the marks of a spiritually advanced person, namely, rudrakshi, vibhūti and ochre robe; taste must be the taste of Prasēda; smell must be holiness of Parashiva. One who thus succeeds in his attempt to control the objects of sense is believed to realise Vāmadēva-sādākhya (or GuruLinga) [ಗುರು ಲಿಂಗ].

To control the vidyā-kalā is to decide not to wear any ornamental object but only rudrakshi, vibhūti, and Ishtalinga; not to see anything but Shivalinga ; never to eat anything but Prasēda; because the aspirant knows what is vidyā (knowledge) and what is avidyā [ಅವಿದ್ಯಾ] (marevu or ignorance).

The seeker who wants to realise Tatpuruṣa-sādākhya [ತತ್-ಪುರುಷ, ಸಾಧಕ್ಯ] comes under the good influence of śanti-kalā. He controls the five airs – prāṇa, samāna, udāna, vyāna and apāna, [ಪ್ರಾಣ, ಸಮಾನ, ಉದಾನ, ವ್ಯಾನ, ಮತ್ತು ಅಪಾನ] which would otherwise generate immoral or worldly feelings in him.

By means of śāntyatīta-kalā the seeker is able to control his four inner organs (antaḥkaraṇa-catuṣṭaya) [ಅಂತ:ಕರಣ ಚತುಷ್ಠ್ಯ] and move higher up the spiritual ladder. As a result his mind is always thinking of Parashiva; his intellect always determines the good path; his will (citta) decides to perform dāsōha; and he has become totally unselfish (nirahaṅkāri) [ನಿರಹಂಕಾರಿ]. Perhaps there is some justification in the names of these kalās. Nivṛtti means nonworldliness. Unless the seeker turns his back to worldliness he cannot attain his goal. So the nivṛtti-kalā makes him turn his back to worldliness. Pratiṣṭha (establishment)-kalā fortifies his non-worldliness. Vidyā (knowledge)-kalā generates spiritual knowledge. śānti (peace)-kalā pacifies his senses and śāntyatīta (transcendental peace)-kalā brings the four internal organs peace and equanimity. In a sense all kalās should be called nivṛtti-kalās (see KALAS AND Shakti).

KALĀS AND Shakti: [ಕಲಾ ಮತ್ತು ಶಕ್ತಿ]

Many Vachana-writers have used the words ‘kalā’ and ‘Shakti’ in different ways such that the readers are forced to ask “Are they synonymous or different?” The question assumes significance when one and the same Vachana-writer uses them sometimes as synonymous and sometimes as different. Thus when Tōntada Siddhalinga śivayōgi says, “. . . Thus the one GOD assumed six modes: the cicchakti which is another name for the kalā called śāntyatītōttarā; the Parā-Shakti which is another name for the kalā called śāntyatīta; the Ādi-Shakti which is another name for the kalā called śanti; the Iccha-Shakti which is another name for the kalā called vidya; the Jñyana-Shakti which is another name for the kalā called pratiṣhṭa; Kriya-Shakti which is another name for the kalā called nivṛtti . . .[11:39], he clearly means that ‘Shakti’ and ‘kalā’ are two different names having identical reference. But when the same author says, “Enwombing in Himself the fivefold Shakti, the five fold Sādākhya, the five fold kalā, the five fold syllable, the five fold element . . .” [11:36] it means (1) that kalās are different from Shaktis and (2) that the two are different from the five elements. This confusing usage passes our understanding.

The general opinion of the Vachana-writers, also sometimes voiced by Tōntada Siddhalinga śivayōgi , is that the supreme reality is the source of the 35 principles, which are the ultimate building blocks of both the physical and metaphysical world. These include five Shaktis, but not kalās or bhaktis. However, the two may assume different names depending upon their functions. Thus the Shaktis which constitute the elements of the world (including the physical body of man) are believed to ‘bind’ man to saṃsara (the cycle of births and deaths); when man controls his senses, internal organs, etc., the same forces help him in his efforts to attain liberation, and, as such, are called BHAKTIS or KALAS. However, there are Vachanas to the effect that kalā-Shakti [ಕಲಾ ಶಕ್ತಿ] constitute SAṂSARA and the bhakti-Shakti constitute the liberating forces.

[11:39]: 39th Vachana in the 11th Volume, (Samagra Vachana-Samputa in 15 volumes)
Publisher: Kannada Pustaka Pradikhara Govt of Karnataka, Bangalore, 2001.

[11:36]: 36th Vachana in the 11th Volume, (Samagra Vachana-Samputa in 15 volumes)
Publisher: Kannada Pustaka Pradikhara Govt of Karnataka, Bangalore, 2001.

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