Friday, March 06, 2009

A xaos script on an ancient paradox

;Position file generated by XaoS 3.0
; - an realtime interactive fractal zoomer
;Use xaos -load to display it
(filter 'palette #t)
(palette 1 150949959 23)
(formula 'barnsley)
(cycling #t)
(cyclingspeed 30)
(juliaseed 1.0221656976744186705 -0.037500000000000002407)
(plane 1)
(view 0.1341 0.03897 9.02 9.02)

The above script generates a fractal image of what may appear to be a pair of eyes connected to a mind viewing the cosmos. The mind beholds the cosmos through the eyes. The truth that the mind is within the cosmos, and that the cosmos is perceived within the mind can be visually seen in the fractal. This is yet another way to visually show the paradoxical connection between macrocosm and microcosm. The paradox is that it is both true to say that the microcosm is within the macrocosm and the macrocosm is within the microcosm.

The inspiration to seek the fractal came from a poem by Avvayar, titled "Periathu Ethu", that translates to "What is significant?"

Periathu ketkin erithazhal veloi,
Perithu Perithu Bhuvanam Perithu,
Bhuvanamo Nan mugan padaipu,
Nan mugan kariamal undhi vandhon,
kariamalo parkadal thuindron,
parkadalo kurumuni angail adakkam,
kurumunio kalasathil piranthon,
kalasamo puvil siru man,
Puvio aravinukku oru thalai baram,
Aravo umaiaval siru viral modhiram,
Umaio Iraivan bagathu odukkam,
Iraio thondar ullathu odukkam,
Thondar tham ullathai potruvathum
     ullatho perithu?

If you ask what is big, thrower of the fiery spear,
Big, big the world is big,
But the world was created by Brahma,
Four headed [Brahma] came from dark Thirumal's middle,
Dark Thirumal rests on the milky ocean,
Milky ocean fits the fist of the short sage,
The short sage was born in kalasam,
Kalasam is a tiny grain in the Universe,
Universe is borne on a head of the serpent,
Serpant is Uma's little finger ring,
Uma is within Sivan's half,
Sivan is within the beholder's mind,
Could there be anything bigger than
     praising the beholder's mind?

Murugan, son of Sivan, asks Avvayar, the tamil poetess, what is big? Avvayar starts with the world that is big. But bigger is Brahma who created the world. Even bigger is Vishnu from whose middle, Brahma emanated. But then, Vishnu himself rests on the milky ocean. The ocean fits the fist of the short sage Agathiar. Agathiar is believed to have swallowed the ocean once, and he was born in the "kalasam". The "porul" or meaning in tamil poems is usually very deep and varied. In Ramayanam, Sage Valmiki narrates the birth of Agathiar in a pot or kalasam. It could also be taken to mean the birth of Agathiar under the constellation of kumba, that is represented by the symbol of a pot or kalasam. The next line makes sense with either interpretation. The kalasam in which Agathiar was born is but a tiny grain in the universe. The constellation kumba, under which Agathiar was born is also a tiny grain in the scheme of the cosmos. The universe is lightly borne by the serpent. The serpent is a symbol for the sense organs, and also a symbol for the string of heavenly objects that appear like a snake. The serpant is merely a ring for Umai, who is exactly half of Sivan. Sivan is a symbol for life, love, mind, and the cosmos. Such Sivan is in the mind of the beholder. Sivan is believed to hold court in the plane of the mind, lying between the eyes. Tirumular's Tirumantiram says:

Straight within the fore-head
Between the eye-brows
Is the astral space vast;
Peer, peer within there
The luminous Mantra (Aum) will be;
The place where they in yearning sought Him
Is the place where He in yearning is;
That verily is the Holy Temple of Chittambara
And there did I firmly sit. [2770]1

Avvayar concludes that the most significant of all things is praising and admiring the vast cosmos that is experienced within the mind, the macrocosm within the microcosm.
[1] Quoted from Tirumantiram by Tirumular, English Translation by Dr. B. Natarajan, published by Sri Ramakrishna Math, Mylapore, Madras 600004.