Hinduism: The ‘Nameless’


In the celebrated lines of the Katha Upanishad:

Not by speech, not by mind,
Not by sight is It be apprehended.
How else is It comprehended
Otherwise than as: ‘It is’ ?’

Hinduism has no principal holy-scripture, no founding sage, no required observance, no pope nor doctrine of papal infallibility, no founding prophets who knew the answer.

[Perhaps because of this it has more holy-men per-capita, so many woolly-eyed mystics and whining secularists stalk the streets that you watch your every step to not step on one.] 

‘Hinduism’ itself is a new word largely unknown in Sanskrit text. A motley mix of Sanskrit, Greek and Persian [and a river], it is meant for the outsider looking in.

The Kanchi Paramacharya [1894-1994], a sober and respected modern authority on the subject, reiterates a title emphasized in early times. The name of the tradition, he declares, is: ‘Nameless’.

Vishnu has a thousand names [Sahasranāmam] precisely because Vishnu is Nameless. At its core Hinduism is simply the proper unwinding of Yājñavalkya’s Rule.

The word ‘Nameless’ is simultaneously a name and a noun and an adjective about itself as a name and a noun. A meta-statement, a self-referential swivel. 

There is no serious tradition that does not carry it, or some close variant of it. Is ‘Nameless’ a name? Or is it not a name? [Try it.] ‘Nameless’ is a Self-Eating Expression. And the Symbol ‘0’ is the paradigmatic Self-Eating Expression.

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