Who Am I?

We often ask that question in our youth. Overtime, many of us begin to really enjoy the quest of “finding ourselves”, so much so we never stop looking…is there something to that?

Perhaps some of us are consistently looking outward to find ourselves in an attempt to never look within.

We are all nothing but a human Soul in the Universe.

The person who plays a pivotal role in the family is often called ‘Soul of the family’. Nothing can happen without the permission of the ‘head of the family’. So is the case with the soul in our body. When the ‘head’ of the family departs the family mourns and feels the extreme vacuum. Similarly, when the soul leaves the body, it cannot think, speak, see, move, eat, digest, grow…. or live. The soul governs and directs our being. The concept of soul can be easily understood with a simple definition. In a room there is a fan, an electric heater, a refrigerator and a bulb, all fitted and connected to the switchboard. However, without electricity these gadgets cannot work Similarly, without the soul, the body is a corpse. Moreover, the electricity cannot be seen except through the lit bulbs or through moving fans etc. Similarly, the soul being consciousness, identified with super-consciousness, exquisitely subtle, cannot be seen but experienced and realized. This power in an individual is the human soul or Jivatma. When it is universal consciousness or Supreme Soul, it is called Paramatman. However, it should be clearly understood that for electricity which lights up a zero power bulb or 1000 watt halogen bulb, the source of energy is the same; only the consumption and performance differ. Likewise individual and cosmic souls are inseparable entities.

The difference between the animate and inanimate is the consciousness or chaitanya. The five sense organs are the soul’s agents or windows to obtain knowledge and to gauge the subtle aspect of any given thing. For example, to see, we have eyes but who sees is the soul. For hearing, we have ears but it is the soul that hears. This journey from gross to subtle with consciousness is the play of the soul. If this consciousness departs from the body it becomes a corpse. This is the relation between the soul and the body. The soul is the pivotal hinge whereupon the body functions with consciousness or chaitanya.

What is the nature of soul?

The Bhagavat Gita says: “Arjuna! Ishwara resides in the heart of the all creatures, causing them to revolve according to their karma by His illusive power.” The human body is made of perishable elements and therefore impermanent in nature, but the power that dwells within is imperishable; is eternal. It is to be remembered that the real self is part of that super-soul that is never born nor dies and is eternal. The body after death return “unto dust” and the soul meets the cosmic soul or Paramatman. Merger of the pure individual soul with the cosmic soul is the sole aim of human life. The body is ours but we are not the body. We are an inseparable part of the supreme. Just as a grain of sand is sand or a drop of water is water, likewise part of Paramatman is Jivatma. We are eternal. Yet, the body has four states and remains perishable. Childhood, youth and old age are seen as states of our body but not the state of our soul. Moreover there is a fourth state called death. The Souls is simply the seer for whom there is no fear of death! The soul is eternal truth that is immortal and imperishable. The soul is pure and sacred. The soul is embodiment of all knowledge.

What is Karmic philosophy?

Karmic philosophy declares that actions punctuated with raga dwesha (likes and dislikes), delusions, jealousy, ego etc are the binding agents whereas selfless actions break the bondage and pave the path for liberation from the karmic field of birth and rebirth. The biggest cause of karmic bondage is maya (illusion) which is play of the mind.

Mind attached to the world is the sole cause of bondage and the same mind when attached or devoted to the supreme reality becomes the source of emancipation. Moksha (salvation) is nothing but getting rid of ignorance: “I am my body; I am sense organs or indriyium; I am Brahman; I am poor; I am a scholar; I am intelligent; these are my enemies/friends….” These ‘reality labels’ need to be removed. Furthermore, if we try to ignore the ego: “I have done/achieved this” etc then we can realize the ‘pure self’ of Jivatma… When the bondage of ignorance is unknotted the soul appears in its purest original form. This is moksha!

If the soul is immortal and pure then why do we behave aberrant?

This can be explained through a story: Four intellectuals of Mathura decided set out for Prayag by boat. They boarded the boat as evening caved in and were in a great hurry to reach Prayag. They rowed all night taking turns with the oars. At daybreak they thought they had reached their destination. Someone on the banks of the river shouted a greeting, “Jai Radhey, Jai Radhey!” then asked, “Why are you people perspiring so much?” The intellectuals answered, “We have been rowing all night in order to reach Prayag at daybreak.” The person on the banks of the river said, “But this is not Prayag! This is Mathura! You have not untied the anchor!” This anchor rope is nothing but ignorance (Deha-abhiman). It keeps us tightly tied to the world and hence we remain devoid of divinity and divine behaviour which results in aberrant deeds.

Our soul is ever free of bondage but our body as ‘doer’ invites the bondage. Due to our ignorance, our karmic aspects remain worldly and we are unable to break the cycle of birth and re-birth.

When we are free of ignorance and we establish our real being our soul form, the tendency to do wrong deeds vanishes. Samskaras(subtle impressions) are reduced to ashes.

Once a person realizes his divine nature he serves all, seeing divinity in all. This is Parabhakti – pinnacle of knowledge — when a person sees the lord in all. He becomes an embodiment of love and service.

If individuals carry the same soul then why are some wicked and some good?

Soul is like energy, like electricity which, when made to pass through a filament lights the lamp. Similarly, Soul energy flows through an individual’s accumulated samskaras thus producing different manifestations and results. However, the energy, meaning the Soul, does not get altered at all.

A guru asks his student, “Bring 1000 pots and fill them with water. See the moon’s reflection in all the pots. In muddy water, it is not clear, it is also not clear in rippling water, but it’s clear in clean, still water. So is Soul in different beings.

If there is one Soul in all, then when a person dies why do I not die as well?

Break one pot, the reflection of the moon disappears but it is visible in the remaining pots. When an electric bulb breaks it does not mean that the flow of power ceases, Similarly, with the death of a body, the Soul remains.

Our individual Soul is the immortal and spiritual body of light that animates life and reincarnates again and again until all necessary karmas are created and resolved and its essential unity with God is fully realized. Our Soul is God’s emanation creation, the source of all our higher function, including knowledge creation, the source of all our higher functions, including knowledge, will and love. Our Soul is neither male or female. It is that which never dies, even when its four outer sheaths change form and perish as they naturally do.

What is maya (delusion)?

At the karmic level one suffers from all kinds of delusions or maya and one is unable to distinguish between ‘real’ and ‘unreal’. A story goes that once a daughter of a king lost a valuable necklace at the bottom of a pond. When they tried to retrieve it only mud came out. Every one was perplexed. A saint standing amidst the crowd of onlookers intervened. He explained that the necklace, lifted by a bird, was actually hanging on the branch of a tree and what they were seeing was its reflection in the waters of the pond! Similarly our bodies are merely shadows of the real blissful eternal happiness – which one can achieve by realizing that he is soul and not the body. All pervading existence in the form of Soul dwells in the bodies of all beings.

How does one awaken divinity?

Through constant remembrance. When a devotee believes that Paramatman (Supreme soul) is the sole doer, the controller and director of his life and that he is simply an instrument in his hands, he spiritualities all his impulses and this makes all his actions divine. Karma yoga is the way for a householder to meet the Supreme Being. It means non attachment with karma i.e. not craving for the fruits of a deed. The objective of a karma yogi should be like a cobra which has become poison-less or a roasted seed that cannot sprout. And, attachment to the Paramatman, is the key to success for any karma yogi.

How to attain liberation?

One must have a craving for liberation as a drowning man swims to save his life.

He must consider the world as an act/play and a place for serving humanity.

He must be of the firm conviction that everything belongs to the Supreme.

He must rise above duality and attachments to worldly pleasures.

He must dispel ignorance or false knowledge.

He must be in constant remembrance of the divine.

He must develop fervent love for the divine and all beings.

He must understand that there is only one Doer and one Cosmic Mind and he must surrender or merge his mind with the Cosmic Mind.

Maharishi Vyas concludes that I and mine (restless, unstable mind) is the cause of bondage while Thou and Thine (steady, calm mind) is the solitary means of attaining liberation. When the mind stops agitating and wandering, it ceases to exist, then the soul manifests.

I hope this might have answered your questions.

Reference

http://www.ibiblio.org/gautam/art_0007.htm

Karma – The Newton’s third law of motion


What is Karma?

The word Karma literally means action. It may appear that Karma is happening to us, as if some outside force is causing good things or bad things to come to us. However, it is really our own inner conditioning and processes that are leading us to experience outer effects or consequences in relation to our own actions.

Karma is like a dust that covers the soul. In spiritually scientific terms, it’s karmic particles. When the soul is in the grip of karmic particles it is difficult for the soul to feel free and happy, because the karmic particles are blocking it.

For example, if you wear eyeglasses, you know how important it is for the lenses to be clean, because it helps you see the world clearly. BUT, if your glasses were just dipped in mud, and you wore the glasses, the world will seem quite distorted. And then, if no one taught you how to remove dirt from your glasses, you could never really see the truth about the world or life. In this case, you suffer because you are not able to see clearly as you should. You didn’t even know it was possible to even have clean glasses.

SAME WAY, with karma. Karma covers the soul and keeps it in illusion. Soul knows the truth deep down, but the karmic particles cover it, so the soul then experiences pain and suffering.

Truth Seekers and spiritual practitioners, like yourself, dedicate their life to removing as much of the karmic mud and dirt from their soul because they want to see truth, the clear-cut and beautiful truth.

Law of Karma

The law of Karma is a universal process, whereby causes lead to effects. This is something that all of us are already familiar with, whether or not we use the word Karma to describe it. Newton’s third law of motion, that every action leads to a reaction, is an application of the law of Karma. Whether we are talking about physics or daily life in the world, it is extremely useful to understand the law and process of Karma so that we may regulate or direct the process. We can soften the impact of the playing out of our past Karma’s, and can choose our own future Karma if we are willing to put in the effort to learn how to do it.

As You Sow, So Shall You Reap

Types of Karma

There are two kinds of karma: good karma and bad karma. Good karma is collected when your intention is pure and good. Bad karma is collected when your intention is bad or violent. If you are angry, you are collecting bad karma (ugh, I know!!!!) and when you are helping other people selflessly, you collect good karma (YAAY!!!!) There is a huge science to karma, and they’ll be explained in the future, but the main way to collect any kind of karma is based on intention and mental activities.

The goal of the truth seeker is not to collect anymore karma: good or bad. The goal of the truth seeker is to dissolve all the karma. So as long as you have karma, whether good or bad, you will always remain in the cycle of birth and death. A truth seeker wants to be liberated.

How Karma Affects You

There are several ways karma can affect you: physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. If you are confused, karma is affecting you mentally. If you are rich or poor, healthy or sick, karma is affecting you physically. If you are depressed or have conditions of your love, karma is blocking you emotionally. If you are trapped with not so good spiritual teachers and gurus, karma is affecting you spiritually.

Karma SHOULD not control your life.

There are 5 things that affect your present life: they are destiny, karma, nature, time and efforts. Basically the strongest degree of any of these 5 things are controlling your life in each moment. Do you allow destiny to control you? Karma to control you? Nature or time? Or your efforts?

If you are not taking any responsibility for your life, you are letting your destiny (which can be good or bad), karma (which can be good or bad), nature (which can be good or bad), timing (which you already know what I’m going to say here) control you. BUT, there is one thing you have control over that can change everything, and that is, YOUR EFFORTS.

Unless you put efforts in your life and spiritual path, karma and all those things will continually affect you. You become its puppet. You are not in control of your life and path, you are in their control.

Break Karma = Spiritual Efforts

Efforts means doing your spiritual practices (sadhana), whether you feel like doing them or not is not the question. But doing them IS. You have to put efforts on your spiritual path. Learn how to clean your muddy karmic eyeglasses and begin to see the light. Begin to see the truth.

If you believe in God, God is not going to clean your glasses. You have to purify them yourself. God helps those who help themselves, right? You can pray to God all morning and night to clean your glasses, but if it is telling you to go get a washcloth, dip it in hot water, and clean it yourself, why aren’t you?

Ignorance? Laziness? Or, maybe you like having muddy glasses.

I doubt it. And I hope not. But let’s get real here.

You need to put efforts to change and improve your life. Happiness and peace are not going to just fall on your lap. Anger is not going to dissolve if you just sit there and do nothing. You have to put efforts to change your life

A Lesson on Karma

There’s always a reason behind the pain and suffering we experience in our life. BUT, it is in our hands to reduce the effects. No matter what, it is the universal law, that karma must take its effect – both good and bad. We can reduce the negative effects by doing mantras, meditation and soul prayer daily. Your life is in your hands, don’t rely on God or Guru or anyone else to help you, they can only help, when you help yourself.

Take a lesson from experience, reduce your karma and do sadhana daily, this way the karmic results that will take place in your life are not as bad as what it could be. Clean your glasses, purify your soul.

Remember, to give a different perspective in a positive way for your life, maybe you think you have the worst life now, but actually because of your practices, your life is actually better than what it could’ve been. Be grateful.

Be in control of your life. Do your practices. Help others selflessly.
Never hurt. Never hit. Never be violent.
Love. Help. Be Spiritual!

References:

http://siddhayatan.org

http://www.swamij.com/

One GOD, One Religion of Humanity

Soul

A living being cannot exist without consuming the body of another life. Even the single sensed lives are living by consuming the decayed body of another life. Living beings are classified as one to six senses, but they are not equal. There are variations amongst them. These variations are identified through their physic. The variations amongst the living beings from the first to sixth sense reveal their inequality (discrimination). The single sensed tree and the five sensed animal and the six sensed man are not equal.

In the development of Dravidian religions there are explications about soul and God. Dravidians are the cultured, religious people who are well-developed in their reasoning ability and who have spiritual thoughts and religions. Offshoots of the development of Dravidian thoughts are the Ahimsa principle, Vegetarianism, the noble thought such as ‘Every country is my country and all are my kith and kin’ and the principle of rendering good for evil and the spiritual ideologies. Hence, Jainism, Buddhism and the Six-fold religion are developed as the offshoots of the Dravidian thinking and culture. Ahimsa, non-killing and showing love towards others have become the foundational doctrines of the religions mentioned above.

Man alone is unique amongst the creatures and he is the crown of all creation. Hence, in the book of Genesis in the Bible, it is explicated that man was not created like other creatures, but was created in the image of God Himself with soul.

All living beings except human beings are classified into five groups as having one to five senses, but man alone is isolated from all other living beings because of his soul which is the root cause for sixth sense, that is his thinking ability and power of discernment of holy and evil.

This human soul is connected with God, the Universal Soul since it was created in the image of God, the Universal Soul. The man with soul can overcome the natural law. He brings down the whole animal world into his dominion, and sixth sense is the root cause for his supremacy and soul is the root cause for the sixth sense.

Since man has soul and power of discernment which is superior to the natural instinct, he is able to empower the nature that includes the living beings which have one to five senses. There is inequality in nature i.e., amongst the living beings which have one to five senses there is inequality. But, there is no inequality amongst human beings since they have soul which has no inequality.

It is explained that, the inequality amongst the living beings that have one to five senses are reflected through their physical structure. But, the variation in the physical appearance of human beings are not because of the soul, but because of their environment.

According to their circumstances men are white or black in color or with height and weight and variations are seen in their physical level. These differences are owing to their environment and food habits and not because of soul.

In the snake species, there are many classes according to their color, length and weight. These classes can be grouped into one species. If it is considered that the human beings are like the snake species in which there are so many classes, it would be a wrong conception.

For an example, Python and Cobra belong to different classes though they come under snake species and they can not be united together, and they can not jointly bring forth the young ones, since they are totally two different classes in one snake species.

Human Vs Universal Soul

Human Souls: They take human bodies and experience birth, life and death.
Universal Soul: Never comes into the cycle of birth and death.

Human Souls: They are subject to change and the dualities of pleasure and pain, growth and decay, happiness and sorrow.
Universal Soul: Changeless. The One beyond the above dualities.

Human Souls: They remember and then forget their original pure nature.
Universal Soul: God is always the ocean of knowledge; he does not come in the cycle of remembering and forgetting.

Human Souls: They are seekers of peace and happiness.
Universal Soul: God is the One whom everyone seeks (longs for). He is the bestow-er (giver) of peace and happiness to everyone.

Human Souls: They have physical bodies.
Universal Soul: God’s form is incorporeal (point of spiritual energy).

Human Souls: They cannot liberate humanity.
Universal Soul: God is the up-lifter of all.

Human Souls: They become impure through body-consciousness.
Universal Soul: God is the purifier.

Human Souls: They are caught up by the present, have distorted (misunderstood) knowledge of the past (since they come in the process of birth and rebirth) and no accurate knowledge of the future.
Universal Soul: God is the knower of the three aspects of time (past, present and future).

Human Souls: They lose their power and become weak.
Universal Soul: God is the constant and external source of all spiritual power for all human souls.

Human Souls: They are brothers and sisters.
Universal Soul: God is the Father and Mother.

Human Souls: They come into greed, lust and attachment.
Universal Soul: God is bondage-less (free), the liberator of all, including the sages, saints, holy teachers and gurus. He doesn’t succumb to the vices.

Human Souls: They become worshipers.
Universal Soul: God is ever worthy of being worshiped.

Human Souls: They have desires based on bodily needs, name and fame.
Universal Soul: God is completely desire less and selfless.

Human Souls: They are takers.
Universal Soul: God is the giver, He takes nothing.

One Family

However, a man of any color who may belong to any race, nation or language, can be joined together with a woman who is in the another extreme corner of the world and who may be entirely different from that man in all the above said descriptions. They would lead a happy life and multiply. Hence, the differences mentioned above are merely external differences that is in the physical level and not the inward differences that is in soul level. Hence the human society is one family and God is father of all human beings.

Belief in the race and the caste discrimination reveals one’s ignorance of the knowledge about soul and universal brotherhood.

One GOD, One Religion of Humanity

Siddhar Pattinathaar

Tamil Nadu has a lot of poets, siddhars, sages and many wise men who have left behind their experiences as the great wealth that future generations to learn and follow. However, Pattinathaar is unique to list of great people that Tamil has as its pride.

Siddhar Pattinathaar was born in a wealthy family and yet he turned to be a Sanyasi. His birth name was Swetharanyar after as epithet of Lord Siva of Swetharanyeswarar Temple. He was also called as Thiruvenkadar by the people. It was said that even when he was a youth, Lord Siva appeared in his dream and directed him to go to Thiruvengadu, where he would meet his Guru. Pattinathaar has given us his experience and wisdom in the form of hymns. His works include Koyinaan Manimaalai, Thirukazhumala Mummanikkovai, Thiruvidai Marudhur Mummanikkovai, Thiruvegambamudaiyar Thiruvandhaadhi and Thiruvottriyur Orupa Orupadhu.

Pattinathaar was born in Kaveripumpattinam in a very wealthy family. His parents were Sivanesan Chettiar and Gnanakalai Aachi. His father was a trader in Thiruvidaimarudur, Thanjavur district. They were so wealthy, that in those days it was a customary that kings of the various dynasties and empires who rose to the throne will be crowned by the wealthiest in the country. And for three generations or more, Pattinathaar’s ancestors have crowned the kings in the Chera, Chola, Pandya and the Pallava Kingdoms. That would give us an understanding of how wealthy their family should have been. They had a lot of ships that sailed across to various countries in the globe for trade purposes.

As a kid, he spent most of his time playing and studies was a far distant thing to him. Pattinathaar’s father was worried that his son does not study well, but his mother convinced him that they had wealth that would feed more than 10 generations, so why worry about their son not studying. A few years later, Pattinathaar’s father died and his mother had to take care of business. Though she was able to manage that, her brother – Pattinathaar’s maternal uncle – gave her a helping hand and looked after the business. Like his father Pattinathaar spent money on Siva devotees, and fed them daily.

Being born in the lineage of traders, he had the skills for trade. He wanted to venture into the seas to get more hands-on experience about trade across the oceans. He became well-versed and later he was married to a girl named Sivakalai at the age of 16. In those days, marrying at a young age was practiced. Over the years, he grew to be a man who can handle businesses himself and became the wealthiest trader in Kaveripoompattinam. Thereafter he was referred to as Pattinathu Chetty or Pattinathaar.

For a long time, the couple did not have a child as the heir to their wealth. They went to a lot of temples but still God did not bless them with a child. They were worried. It is said that once Lord Siva appeared to them in their dream and promised a child. In the dream an elderly couple showed them the way. He woke up from his dream and the next day Pattinathaar and Sivakalai headed to Thiruvidai Marudhur. And when he reached Thiruvidai Marudhur, he saw the same elderly couple that he saw his in dreams. He inquired about them, and they said that they were poor and the child was born at a very later age, and now they are weak to feed for themselves. So they both decided to go and meet Pattinathu Chetty and ask him to adopt the child for which, the elderly couple told, that Pattinathaar would give them gold equal to the weight of the infant with which they could manage the rest of their life. Pattinathaar and Sivakalai eyes were in tears and they thought that Lord Shiva and Parvathi themselves came as the elderly couple and blessed them with the child.

Then Pattinathaar and Sivakalai, took the elderly couple to Kaveripoompattinam and said that they will adopt the child and gave the elderly couple a good amount of wealth for them to survive through their age. Then they planned for the adoption ceremony of the child. Now, Pattinathaar’s sister, who thought that the wealth of Pattinathaar will automatically be for her family as Pattinathaar had no heir, had her dreams shattered by the adoption of this child. She argued and quarreled with his brother. But Pattinathaar made a firm decision that he is going to adopt that child and that child will be his heir. The adoption ceremony went very well in all its grandeur and they name the baby boy – Marudhavanan. They considered Marudhavanan as their own child and showed him a great love and affection.

Marudhavanan grew like a prince and enjoyed his life like a calf capering in the lush green fields. As Pattinathaar, Marudhavanan did not show interest in his studies. Pattinathaar was worried that education is his lineage seems to be a curse. As far as he can remember, nobody fared well in education in his ancestral lineage. however, he consoled that his son will get to learn the nuances of the business and will learn to manage the property over time, as he gets older. Time went on, and one day Marudhavanan expressed his interest to set sails across the oceans to where Pattinathaar’s business ships traveled.

Pattinathaar got excited that Marudhavanan is growing up to become a tycoon like him. And that, he can slowly educate him on the nuances of the trade, made preparations for his travel. He gave instructions to the sailors of the boat that Marudhavanan went aboard. And Marudhavanan set sails on the ocean to far off countries where his father had business contacts. Before leaving he promised his father that he will bring the most valuable wealth that his father has ever seen. In all the places Marudhavanan went, he was invited with a lot of respect and grandeur.

Days went on and one fine day, the ship that Marudhavanan went, returned back to Kaveripoompattinam. Pattinathaar was excited to hear the news that his son is back. He went to receive his son back home. Marudhavanan hugged Pattinathaar and happily exclaimed that he has brought all the treasures he promised. He asked his father to order the workers to unload the treasures he brought with him and ran out saying that he is going to meet Grandmother. Pattinathaar ordered his men to unload the treasure. The men unloaded many sacks that arose a doubt in Pattinathaar mind, because, usually precious gems and gold will never be tied up in sacks rather they will be safely kept in boxes. Then, he opened one of the sacks and all he found was dried cow dung and husks.

Pattinathaar grew furious and asked one of his men to carry a sack, went home angrily and shouted where Marudhavanan was. His mother came out and was surprised to see her son angry, asked why he was angry. Pattinathaar told irritatedly “See what you grandson has got?” and kicked the sack down. The sack fell open and to his surprise the dried cow dung shattered into precious gems and the husk was nothing but golden husk. Pattinathaar’s joy knew no bounds and was very happy that a his son Marudhavanan has brought in an enormous amount of wealth.

By then, his mother came near him, gave him a box and told that Marudhavanan asked her to give Pattinathaar this box. She also told Marudhavanan is a very playful kid that he gave this box and ran away saying not to search for him. Pattinathaar opened the box and found an eyeless needle and a small palm leaf with something written on it. It read,

“காதற்ற ஊசியும் வாராது காண் கடைவழிக்கே”

“Kaadhatra Oosiyum Vaaraadhu Kaan Kadaivazhikkae”

meaning, This eyeless needle is useless and will not go to the market. And, even this useless needle will never accompany you in your final destiny (after death).

Pattinathaar felt dizzy and the world going around him. He found everything to be an illusion before him. He realized that he went in search of wealth that is unstable in life. His mother appeared to him as Goddess Shakti (Lord Shiva’s consort) and Marudhavanan as Lord Kandhan (Lord Murugan). He realized that everything in life is just a hoax or an illusion and that we all are trapped in such an inescapable illusion. Now, he had his first wisdom realized.

நாபிளக்க பொய்யுரைத்து நவநிதியம் தேடி
நலனொன்றும் அறியாத நாரியரைக் கூடி
பூப்பிளக்க வருகின்ற புற்றீசல் போல
புலபுலென கலகலெனப் புதல்வர்களை பெறுவீர்
காப்பதற்கும் வகையறியீர் கைவிடவு மாட்டீர்
கவர்பிளந்த மரத்துளையிற் கால்நுழைத்துக் கொண்டே
ஆப்பதனை அசைத்துவிட்ட குரங்கதனை போல
அகப்பட்டீரே கிடந்துழல அகப்பட்டீரே

Naapilakka Poiuraiththu Navanidhiyam Thaedi
Nalanondrum Ariyadha Naariyarai Koodi
Poopilakka Varugindra Puttreesal Pola
Pulapulena Kalakalavena Pudhalvargalai Peruveer
Kaapadharkkum Vagai Ariyeer Kaividavum Maateer
Kavarpilandha Maraththulaiyil Kaalnuzhaithu Kondae
Aapadhanai Asaithuvitta Kurangadhanai Pola
Agappatteerae Kidanthuzhala Agapatteerae

meaning, You gather all the nine kinds of wealth by uttering lies until your tongue gets split. You get together with women who don’t even know what is good and what is bad. And like the termites that fly out cracking up the earth, you beget a lot of children. You don’t know how to save them, you won’t leave them and go away. This act is like the monkey that inserts its leg in the gap of a tree branch split up by a wedge and trying to shake that wedge.

Pattinathaar sang the above song, as he realized that he too was in the same position, got caught in the whirl of bonding and affection. There he decided to become a sanyasi.

Pattinathaar made his decision to become a sanyasi and expressed his decision to his wife Sivakalai. She cried like anything on her husband leaving her alone and becoming a sanyasi. But later she consoled herself and she too decided that she will live the life of a sanyasi by being at home. Then Pattinathaar got from Sivakalai, a box that had the dress of his ancestor, who became a sanyasi. Pattinathaar’s family had been worshiping that box considering that dress to be divine.

Pattinathaar first renounced his wife and then renounced his chariot, so he walked across the streets to meet his mother. When he informed his decision about becoming a sanyasi to his mother. His mother said that she was not surprised, but she expected this. Pattinathaar said to his mother that he is going to wear the saffron cloth of his ancestor. His mother insisted that he opens up that box and sees that.

When Pattinathaar opened the box, all he found was six loin cloths. Now, Pattinathaar’s mother told that this was the property of her father-in-law and that he would say that full clothing is itself a big burden for a sanyasi. Pattinathaar went inside one of the rooms in the house and came out dressed in the loin cloth. Then his mother instructed that he should get the blessings and word from the guru from whom his grandfather got sanyasam. Before he left, his mother tied some small cloth packet to his hip and told that he should meet her if the pack unties, because that will happen when it is the end of her life.

Pattinathaar went to the Gurukulam for the first time in his life, though it was the Gurukulam started off by one of his ancestors and their family were the patrons of that Gurukulam, yet Pattinathaar never ventured into the Gurukulam before. He went in and got the blessings and word from the Guru. When he came out of the Gurukulam, he was given the beggar’s shell (Thiruvodu). He got the thiruvodu. As sanyasi’s are expected to beg and eat their daily meal as they have renounced everything in life and nothing belongs to them. Hence even the food for their living has to be given by others, symbolizing that everything in this world, including one’s soul is the alms given by God.

Pattinathaar, with his Thiruvodu, went to meet his mother as the first alms for a sanyasi should be from his mother. That’s when he thought

வீடிருக்க தாயிருக்க வேண்டுமனை யாளிருக்க
பீடிருக்க ஊணிருக்க பிள்ளைகளுந் தாமிருக்க
மாடிருக்க கன்றிருக்க வைத்த பொருளிருக்க
கூடிருக்க நீ போன கோலமென்ன கோலமே

Veedirukka Thaayirukka Vendu Manayaal Irukka
Peedu Irukka Oon Irukka Pillaigalum Thaanirukka
Maadirukka Kandrirukka Vaitha Porulirukka
Koodirukka Nee Pona Kolamenna Kolamae

meaning Pattinathaar thinks to himself “You have your home, You have your mother, You have a wife. You have the fame, You have good healthy body, You even have children. You have the cow, And the cow has its calf, you even have the wealth for generations. While body is still alive, look what you have been – a Sanyasi”

Then he walks straight to his home to get the first alms from his mother. He called his mother from the gates. His mother came out with an empty hand and asked “My dear son, are you still rich?”. Pattinathaar was puzzled at his mother’s question. He thought he had renounced everything and is begging for alms before his mother and his mother is asking such a question. He asked his mother in a puzzled tone “Why do you ask that way mother?”. His mother replied

“வீடு உனக்கு அந்நியம் ஆகிவிட்டது ஆனால் ஓடு உனக்கு சொந்தம் ஆகிவிட்டதே அப்பா”

meaning “The home is now alien to you, but now you own a thiruvodu that makes you richer than other sanyasis”.

Pattinathaar had a much better realization now, he was about to throw away his thiruvodu, but his mother stopped him and said. “Use it my son, but if you lose it don’t search as if you have lost your property”. Then she gave the first alms to Pattinathaar, he moved on. Then he came across his elder sister’s house, she saw him and invited him into her home and provided him a feast. When Pattinathaar obliged and sat for the meal, his sister asked about transferring the right to Pattinathaar’s property in writing. Pattinathaar immediately left the house without eating and made up his mind never to come to that house.

But his sister went behind him always, she sent spies to look where he was going. Finally one day, she sent her children to meet their maternal uncle. She asked the children to give their uncle the Appam (pancake) she had prepared. The children sprang up in love on Pattinathaar when they saw him. He had a lot of affection for those kids, so he picked them up in his arms and talked to them. They gave him the Appam that their mother had asked to give it to him and they left. When Pattinathaar was about to eat to he saw that the appam had some phosphoric poison in it. He realized that it was his sister who tried to kill him. He went straight to his sister’s house and threw the appam on roof top and went away singing these two lines

தன் வினை தன்னை சுடும்
ஓட்டப்பம் வீட்டை சுடும்

meaning, like one’s sins burns them up, the appam in the roof top will burn the house. The next day the entire house was engulfed in flames.

From then on Pattinathaar went on to the temples in the nearby towns and sang in praise of Lord Shiva in those temples. One day when he was in Thiruvidaimarudhur, the small pack that his mother tied to his hips untied itself indicating the his mother was her deathbed. He rushed to see his mother and as he was praying while he rushed, his mother held her life in her hands until Pattinathaar reached. Then his mother passed away in his hands. Pattinathaar wept like anything remembering how his mother had brought him up from a baby to a man. And after that, the in the funeral he set fire to his mother’s body. He then sang the following song

முன்னை யிட்டதீ முப்பு ரத்திலே
பின்னை யிட்டதீ தென்னி லங்கையிலே
அன்னை யிட்டதீ அடிவ யிற்றிலே
யானு மிட்டதீ மூள்க மூள்கவே

Munnai Itta Thee Muppurathilae
Pinnai Itta Thee Then Ilangaiyilae
Annai Itta Thee Adi Vayitrilae
Yaanum Itta Thee Moolga Moolgavae

meaning that the Fire in the front from the third eye of Lord Shiva, charred the country of Thirupura Asuras. The fire that was behind in the tail of Lord Hanuman set fire to Srilanka. The fire that the mother holds is the womb. And let the fire that I hold shall grow and grow to char the mother’s body”

Then he thought that being born is a big sin and that is what puts everybody in the inescapable loop of affection and bonding. So he sang an another song after that realizing that he grew tired going from one womb to another in every birth.

மாதா வுடல் சலித்தால் வல்வினையேன் கால்சலித்தேன்
வேதாவும் கைசலித்து விட்டானே நாதா
இருப்பையூர் வாழ்சிவனே இன்னுமோ ரன்னை
கருப்பையூர் வாராமல் கா

Maadha Udal Salithaal, Vall Vinaiyaen Kaal Salithaen
Vedhavum Kaisalithu Vittaanae Naadha
Iruppaiyur Vaazh Sivanae Innumore Annai
Karuppaiyur Vaaramal Kaa

meaning, Mother got tired by giving birth in every life taken, My legs grew tired by going from one womb to another in every birth. Lord Bramha’s hands got tired by creating life again and again. Oh! Lord Shiva of Iruppaiyur, bless me that I shall not go into the womb of another mother”

Then he wandered in the same place for sometime, when again his sister started to give troubles in connection with the property. Pattinathaar transferred all the rights to the property to the temple. And he decided to go to Ujjain to worship the Goddess Kali and left his hometown for good.

Pattinathaar reached Ujjain and worshiped the Kali and decided to stay there for a while. He was getting acquainted with the place and walked along the streets of Ujjain. There was a sudden excitement in the crowd and the reason was that the King of Ujjain Badhragiri (Bharudhahiri) visited that place with his soldiers escorting him. The people there respectfully bowed to the King when he went past them. But Pattinathaar did not bow to the King. The King grew a bit disturbed and asked Pattinathaar why he did not bow. Pattinathaar said he does not bow to anyone other than Lord Shiva himself.

The king roared, “It is the King who is talking to you”. Pattinathaar replied “So is the One replying to you”. He referred to Lord Shiva as “the One” who is talking from within him. The King was surprised by that answer and went quietly ahead. The town settled down for the day at dusk and Pattinathaar along with a few sanyasis settled down in the nearby Sathiram

When Pattinathaar was telling about his life history to the other sanyasis, a stranger who claimed that he was a merchant joined the group of people in the sathiram. The merchant was listening to the conversation between Pattinathaar and other sanyasis. Pattinathaar was explaining about the realization he had in his life and that the meaning of life is to get rid of the materialistic pleasures of this world and realizing the Supreme Being. The merchant interrupted, telling his views. He argued explaining that the purpose of life is to enjoy every moment of it. To get rid of materialistic pleasures are the words of the weak and the impotent. The merchant added, “In addition to the pleasures of wealth, the company of a woman you marry adds more value to your life. You should not miss the comfort, love and compassion. The wife has only one mind and that mind thinks only about you.”

But Pattinathaar differed saying that woman are like men do have multiple minds, you can never say that their minds are set on only one man – the husband. Before marriage they could have admired other men too. The merchant grew a bit disturbed by the answer asked if it was true for noble women. Pattinathaar replied that it was true for all women in this world. The merchant who was none other than the King himself in disguise, came out of his disguise, grew more vicious and told Pattinathaar “My Queen is more noble and she has only one mind thinking about me”

Pattinathaar laughed and told “She has many minds!”. This made the King very angry and he shouted at Pattinathaar to get his word back. Pattinathaar was determined that he told that he spoke only the truth. The King intimidated Pattinathaar that he would be killed if did not apologize and take his word back. Pattinathaar did not budge. The King went out of the Sathiram asking Pattinathaar to be ready for his sentence in the morning. Pattinathaar told he is a sanyasi who sacrificed everything in life and life itself is no matter to him. The King ordered his men to put Pattinathaar in the prison.

The next day the King issued an order to his men to put Pattinathaar to sentence in a Kazhumaram. (Kazhumaram, a conical shaped mast made of tree or iron fully lubricated with oil, where criminals are mounted on it on the sitting position with their hands tied to their back. The criminals will have painful death). Pattinathaar was brought before the Kazhumaram where he was about to be sentenced. He realized that it is the will of Lord Shiva and sang the following Aram (Truth) song

“என்செய லாவதியாதொன்று மில்லை இனித்தெய்வமே
உன்செய லேயென் றுணரப் பெற்றேன் இந்த ஊன் எடுத்து
பின்செய்த தீவினையாதொன்று மில்லை பிறப்பதற்கு
முன்செய்த தீவினை யோலிங்ங னேவந்து மூண்டதுவே”

“Enn Seyal Aavadhu Yaadhondrum Illa Ini Dheivamae
Unn Seyal Endru Unarappetraen Indha Oon Eduthu
Pin Seidha Theevinai Yaadhondrum Illai Pirappadharkku
Munn Seidha Theevinaiyo Innaganae Vandhu Moondadhuvae”

meaning, There is nothing I did or can do to this. I now realize that it is your will my God. I haven’t committed any sin after being born into this body. But the sins that accumulated over my previous births is now standing before me to end this life

As soon as he finished singing this Aram, he fainted and fell to the ground. The Kazhumaram started burning in flames. This incident was reported to the King; the King was amazed and went to meet his queen. She thought the King was disturbed by the incident and requested him to relax, gave him wine and ordered her servants to keep the King this way. The King enjoyed the wine and literally forgot his kingdom and the world. In the meanwhile, the queen went to meet Pattinathaar herself and ordered him to apologize and tell the world that she was noble to get himself released from prison. Pattinathaar said that he would rather die. She went away saying that she will make sure that the miracle like the one that happened before does not happen the next time.

The King was inebriated and never cared about his kingdom for a few days. After he came to his senses, he went in search of his queen. Suddenly, he heard her talking to someone and discovered that she was intimate with one his horse chariots drivers. He also heard her telling the plans to execute the sanyasi (Pattinathaar) and once that is done, then the King. As a result, her secret lover would become the next King.

The King was shocked to hear that from the woman who he believed to be noble. He was very disoriented to see the queen betraying him and having an affair with an ugly servant of his. Now he remembered Pattinathaar, and the truth he said. King Badhragiri, then went running to Pattinathaar, fell at his feel and apologized to Pattinathaar for ordering his men to execute him. Now, King Badhragiri decided to become a sanyasi and a disciple of Pattinathaar. He handed over his kingdom to his chief minister and requested Pattinathaar to accept him as a disciple.

King Badhragiri decided to become a sanyasi, handed over his kingdom to his minister and went in search of Pattinathaar. He found Pattinathaar and requested Pattinathaar to accept him as his disciple. Pattinathaar denied saying that Badhragiri was a king, who has lived a posh life and being a Sanyasi means relinquishing everything in life as nothing belongs to a sanyasi, even the air he breathes does not belong to him. But Badhragiri was determined; he expressed his determination to be a disciple of Pattinathaar by turning to be sanyasi. Pattinathaar finally agreed to take Badhragiri as his disciple.

Then they started out on their journey south. They followed the rule of the Sanyasi, relinquishing everything. For food, they just get some alms from the homes that provided food. During some days they get food in plenty, well enough to feed thrice a day or even more, and on some days they don’t get food at all.

One day, Badhragiri found a Thiruvodu and he took it. Pattinathaar told him that a Sanyasi has no property, so he told Badhragiri to leave that Thiruvodu where he found. Badhragiri justified saying that they don’t get food quite often and the Thiruvodu is the vessel used by Sanyasis, even Lord Shiva used it. Pattinathaar said, “It’s your wish”. Then they proceeded, later Badhragiri found a small bag, he took and looked at Pattinathaar, again Pattinathaar told “See you are starting to gather your assets”. Badhragiri argued, “it’s of no use to others, why not we using it”. Pattinathaar said, “It’s your wish” and proceeded.

And on another day, he found a puppy stranded in the road. It was very weak and appeared as if it hadn’t eaten for a few days. Badhragiri took pity on the puppy, fed it well and took it with him. Pattinathaar reminded Badhragiri that he was a Sanyasi and he is going back into his family bonding by taking the puppy with him. Again, Badhragiri argued that being a sanyasi does not mean that we should ignore the poor and hapless creatures. As usual, Pattinathaar said, “It’s your wish” and proceeded.

A few days passed, then one day, both of them did not get any food for the day and they decided to rest for the night in the Thinnai – a small area in front of the house, usually where people sit. Pattinathaar lay down to rest in one end of the lobby and Badhragiri in the other end keeping all the possessions and the puppy nearby. Sometime later in the night, a beggar came near Pattinathaar and begged for food. Pattinathaar and Badhragiri woke up on hearing the beggar. Pattinathaar told the beggar that he is a Sanyasi however the man on the other end of the lobby is a family man and he might have something.

Badhragiri realized that Pattinathaar was mentioning about the the various things he had collected in due course has made him attached to those things. At the same time, he got angry because he renounced everything to become a Sanyasi, yet his own Guru told that he is still a family man. Immediately he threw away his possessions and threw the puppy against the wall that it died after having a last gaze at Badhragiri. Badhragiri could not understand the meaning of that gaze the puppy gave him. Then the beggar showed who He was, He was lord Shiva incarnate. Lord Shiva gave enlightenment to Badhragiri and vanished. It is said that Badhragiri attained enlightenment at Thiruvidaimarudhur.

However, Pattinathaar had to wait for some more time until he reached Thiruvotriyur. While he was playing with the cowherd boys at Thiruvotriyur, he disappeared from the spot and attained Siva Sayujyam, the final liberation of the soul and turned into a Shiva lingam. It is said that the relatives including his wife came to the spot where Pattinathaar attained mukthi and offered their devotion.

Karma and birth continue one after another. Here questions arise. Is there no end to this cycle? How can the soul get liberation? Saiva religion shows the way for liberation. We should develop positive qualities and attitudes in life. Our action or Karma should be in the way of Lord Siva whose inherent nature is wisdom and attribute is love. In every birth, we gain experience through karma, and knowledge through experience. In this process the grip of Anavam, which is the source ignorance, get loosened and ultimately we become liberated from it. This process is called malaparipaakam. Also we develop the mind to take pain and pleasure, the fruits of evil and good karmas, alike. This is called iruvinai oppu. God Siva’s Grace then descends on us. It is called Sakthy nippaatham. Then our actions will not be motivated by our senses which are prompted by Anava malam. They become His actions and karma will not follow us to come to experience

That was the life history of the legendary Pattinathaar who was born as a wealthy man, but renounced everything on realization that nothing in this world is permanent. He has left us his life experiences and his realizations as songs that will serve as a reminder that one should not be attached to the materialistic possessions in this world.

References

[1] http://saivaphilosophy.blogspot.com/2011/01/saint-pattinathar.html

[2] http://www.hinduwomen.org/dynamic/modules.php?name=hncontent&pa=showpage&pid=306&page=1&

[3] http://rprabhu.blogspot.com/2009_10_01_archive.html

[4] “Teachings of Impermanence”. Daily News (SriLanka). 30 October 2009.