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

‎Why We Shout In Anger

A Hindu saint who was visiting river Ganges to take bath found a group of family members on the banks, shouting in anger at each other. He turned to his disciples smiled and asked.

‘Why do people shout in anger shout at each other?’

Disciples thought for a while, one of them said, ‘Because we lose our calm, we shout.’

‘But, why should you shout when the other person is just next to you? You can as well tell him what you have to say in a soft manner.’ asked the saint

Disciples gave some other answers but none satisfied the other disciples.
Finally the saint explained, .

‘When two people are angry at each other, their hearts distance a lot. To cover that distance they must shout to be able to hear each other. The angrier they are, the stronger they will have to shout to hear each other to cover that great distance.

What happens when two people fall in love? They don’t shout at each other but talk softly, Because their hearts are very close. The distance between them is either nonexistent or very small…’

The saint continued, ‘When they love each other even more, what happens? They do not speak, only whisper and they get even closer to each other in their love. Finally they even need not whisper, they only look at each other and that’s all. That is how close two people are when they love each other.’

He looked at his disciples and said.

‘So when you argue do not let your hearts get distant, Do not say words that distance each other more, Or else there will come a day when the distance is so great that you will not find the path to return.’

Why to Visit Temples ? (Scientific Reason)

There are thousands of temples all over India in different size, shape and locations but not all of them are considered to be built the Vedic way. Generally, a temple should be located at a place where earth’s magnetic wave path passes through densely. It can be in the outskirts of a town/village or city, or in middle of the dwelling place, or on a hilltop. The essence of visiting a temple is discussed here.

Now, these temples are located strategically at a place where the positive energy is abundantly available from the magnetic and electric wave distributions of north/south pole thrust. The main idol is placed in the core center of the temple, known as “*Garbhagriha*” or *Moolasthanam*. In fact, the temple structure is built after the idol has been placed. This *Moolasthanam* is where earth’s magnetic waves are found to be maximum. We know that there are some copper plates, inscribed with Vedic scripts, buried beneath the Main Idol. What are they really? No, they are not God’s / priests’ flash cards when they forget the *shlokas*. The copper plate absorbs earth’s magnetic waves and radiates it to the surroundings. Thus a person regularly visiting a temple and walking clockwise around the Main Idol receives the beamed magnetic waves and his body absorbs it. This is a very slow process and a regular visit will let him absorb more of this positive energy. Scientifically, it is the positive energy that we all require to have a healthy life.

Further, the Sanctum is closed on three sides. This increases the effect of all energies. The lamp that is lit radiates heat energy and also provides light inside the sanctum to the priests or *poojaris* performing the pooja. The ringing of the bells and the chanting of prayers takes a worshipper into trance, thus not letting his mind waver. When done in groups, this helps people forget personal problems for a while and relieve their stress. The fragrance from the flowers, the burning of camphor give out the chemical energy further aiding in a different good aura. The effect of all these energies is supplemented by the positive energy from the idol, the copper plates and utensils in the *Moolasthan*am / *Garbagraham*. *Theertham*, the “holy” water used during the pooja to wash the idol is not plain water cleaning the dust off an idol. It is a concoction of Cardamom,*Karpura* (Benzoin), zaffron / saffron, *Tulsi* (Holy Basil), Clove, etc…Washing the idol is to charge the water with the magnetic radiations thus increasing its medicinal values. Three spoons of this holy water is distributed to devotees. Again, this water is mainly a source of magneto-therapy. Besides, the clove essence protects one from tooth decay, the saffron & *Tulsi* leafs protects one from common cold and cough, cardamom and *Pachha Karpuram* (benzoin), act as mouth fresheners. It is proved that *Theertham* is a very good blood purifier, as it is highly energized. Hence it is given as *prasadam* to the devotees. This way, one can claim to remain healthy by regularly visiting the Temples. This is why our elders used to suggest us to offer prayers at the temple so that you will be cured of many ailments. They were not always superstitious. Yes, in a few cases they did go overboard when due to ignorance they hoped many serious diseases could be cured at temples by deities. When people go to a temple for the *Deepaaraadhana*, and when the doors open up, the positive energy gushes out onto the persons who are there. The water that is sprinkled onto the assemblages passes on the energy to all. This also explains why men are not allowed to wear shirts at a few temples and women are requested to wear more ornaments during temple visits. It is through these jewels (metal) that positive energy is absorbed by the women. Also, it is a practice to leave newly purchased jewels at an idol’s feet and then wear them with the idol’s blessings. This act is now justified after reading this article. This act of “seeking divine blessings” before using any new article, like books or pens or automobiles may have stemmed from this through mere observation.

Energy lost in a day’s work is regained through a temple visit and one is refreshed slightly. The positive energy that is spread out in the entire temple and especially around where the main idol is placed, are simply absorbed by one’s body and mind. Did you know, every Vaishnava(Vishnu devotees), “must” visit a Vishnu temple twice every day in their location. Our practices are NOT some hard and fast rules framed by 1 man and his followers or God’s words in somebody’s dreams. All the rituals, all the practices are, in reality, well researched, studied and scientifically backed thesis which form the ways of nature to lead a good healthy life.

The scientific and research part of the practices are well camouflaged as “elder’s instructions” or “granny’s teaching’s” which should be obeyed as a mark of respect so as to once again, avoid stress to the mediocre brains.

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.

Siddha – Food is Medicine

Origin

The Siddha System of Medicine (Traditional Tamil System of medicine), which has been prevalent in the ancient Tamil land, is the foremost of all other medical systems in the world. Its origin goes back to B.C 10,000 to B.C 4,000. As per the textual and archeological evidences which indicate the remote antiquity of the Dravidian civilization of the erstwhile submerged land Kumarikandam, that is the Lemuria continent situated in the Indian ocean, the Siddha System of Medicine is contemporaneous with those of the submerged lands Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Chinese and Grecian medicines. The uniqueness of Siddha System is evident by its continuous service to the humanity for more than 5000 years in combating diseases and also in maintaining its physical, mental and moral health while many of its contemporaries had become extinct long ago.

The roots of the ancient Siddha System are intertwined with the mythology and culture of the ancient Tamil civilization that existed in the southernmost tip of the Indian peninsula, predating much of recorded history.

Mythically, the origin of Siddha is attributed to Lord Siva, who is supposed to have handed it down to his consort Parvathi (Shakthi), who in turn passed on the sacred knowledge to Nandi, from whom it was transmitted to the first of “Siddhars”. Siddha is a Tamil word derived from “siddhi” — attaining perfection in life or heavenly bliss.

The system is said to have emerged in antiquity, from the highly evolved consciousness of the Siddhars. The clarified intellect and heightened intuition of the Siddhars, resulting from their yogic powers, enabled them to explore the world around them and exploit its natural resources for the sake of humanity. Their findings on the characteristics of plants, metals, minerals and animal products and their knowledge of the properties of drugs, its purification, processing, fixing dosage, toxicity, antidote and clinical application, were preserved in the form of verses for the use of the posterity.

This unique legacy was bequeathed to select disciples or “chidas” by word of mouth. It is believed that there was a line of 18 siddhars, with Agasthya being the foremost and a large portion of Siddha lore is credited to him. With time, this oral tradition was transcribed on palm leaf manuscripts that now serve as the major repository of the knowledge.

The contributors of Siddha system, the Siddhars, of Tamil land, were mystics, yogis, poets, devotees, seers and medical men of various combinations and various statures. They were super human beings who possessed supernatural powers (like Eight types of Siddhis). They were the greatest scientists of ancient times and were the guardians of the world and they existed, and still exist, for the benefit of the public at large. They were men of great practical knowledge and wisdom. They had full awareness of the nature and activities of all the objects in this planet and of all times-past, present and future. They were mainly responsible for the growth and development not only of Tamil medicine that includes alchemy, medicine, yoga, kayakalpa (rejuvenation therapy), philosophy, astronomy, astrology, varma, muppu, thokkanam etc., but also for many other sciences of public utility.

Guiding principles

According to the Siddha system, the individual is a microcosm of the universe. The human body consists of the five primordial elements-earth, water, fire, air and space, the three humours-vatha, pitta and kapha and seven physical constituents. Food is the basic building material of the human body and gets processed into humours, tissues and wastes. The equilibrium of humours is considered as health and its disturbance or imbalance leads to a diseased state; Saint Thiruvalluvar has indicated the same view in his Thirukural,

“Miginum Kuraiyinum Noi Seyyum Noolor

Vali Mudhala Enniya Moondru” – Kural 941

“Three things beginning with wind, say experts,

In excess or lacking cause disease” – Kural 941

Reflecting this theory of cosmic oneness, the five senses are said to correspond with the five elements. Ether (Veli) is responsible for hearing; air (katru) for sense of touch; fire (thee) for sight; water (neer) for taste; and earth (mann) for the sense of smell.

Mind – Body continuum

Siddha is a comprehensive system that places equal emphasis on the body, mind and spirit and strives to restore the innate harmony of the individual. Treatment is aimed at restoring balance to the mind-body system. Diet and lifestyle play a major role not only in maintaining health but also in curing diseases. This concept of the Siddha medicine is termed as pathiam and apathiam, which is essentially a list of do’s and don’ts.

“Food itself is medicine and medicine itself is food”

Materia Medica

Drugs used by the Siddhars can be classified into three groups: Thaavaram (herbal product), Thaathu (inorganic substances), and Jangamam (animal products).

Unique diagnostic methodology

The diagnostic methodology in Siddha treatment is unique as it is made purely on the basis of the clinical acumen of the physician. The pulse, skin, tongue, complexion, speech, eye, stools and urine are examined. This approach is collectively known as “Eight types of examination”; and among the eight, the examination of pulse is very important in confirming the diagnosis.

Concept of Siddha treatment

Treatment consists of three distinct categories: Deva Maruthuvam, (divine method); Maanida Maruthuvam (rational method); and Asura Maruthuvam (surgical method). In the divine method, medicines like parpam, chenduram, guru, kuligai prepared from mercury, sulphur and pashanams are used. In the rational method, medicines prepared from herbs like churanam, kudineer, vadagam are used. In surgical method, incision, excision, heat application, bloodletting, leech application etc. are practised.

The therapeutic treatment in Siddha could be further categorized into Purgative therapy, Emetic therapy, Fasting therapy, Steam therapy, Oleation therapy, Physical therapy, Solar therapy, Blood letting therapy and Yoga therapy.

There is also a branch of the traditional science that deals with traumatology and accidental injuries called Varma. This is based on the notion of more than 100 vital points that are junctions of bones, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels and nerves called Varma points. Pranic energy is found concentrated in these points which, upon manipulation, produce curative effect.

Siddha system has enormous pharmacopoeia containing vegetable, animal and mineral products and treatment techniques consisting in use of 32 types of internal medicines and 32 types of external medicines, application of heat and cold, ointments, potions and poultice, blood letting, counter irritation, bath, suction, manipulative processes such as thokkanam, varma, yoga and concentration on hygiene and diet (pathiam), periodical use of purgatives and emetics, use of drugs which include, apart from herbs, preparations from metals and minerals such as copper, silver, gold, lead and preparations from products of animal origin such as brain, liver, bones, blood, skull, horns of various animals, tissues of reptiles and also Kayakalpa to prevent or postpone greying of hair, formation of wrinkles and ageing, prevention or treatment of diseases, and postponement of death (to any desired length of time). Some empirical treatment techniques under the guise of magic exorcism, incantation, pilgrimage, peregrinations, mountaineering and similar activities have also been in practice since ages.

Classification of Siddha Medicines

Siddha medicines may be roughly divided into three classes— (i) Miracle medicines, (ii) Sophisticated medicines and (iii) Common medicines. Miracle medicines are becoming rare and should be learnt directly from the masters who, having undergone all forms of initiation and hazards of apprenticeship, have reached perfection in all respects. Sophisticated medicines may be scientifically prepared and used by the well trained physicians without much risk. Common medicines are most simple and cheap ones which were in wide use till the beginning of the 20th century and are still in use in remote rural areas of our country.

Kundalini Yoga

The Siddhars have evolved a special technique for attaining spiritual awakening by rousing, with yoga techniques like aasana, praanaayaama and dhyaana (meditation), the Kundalini shakthi (Serpent power) lying dormant at the base of the spinal column in the region of the sacral plexus. Only by caring for his mortal inheritance, man is able to arrive at the realization of his highest potentialities. By working in unison with theology and philosophy, Siddha medicine aids bringing to maturity the quiescent gem of immortal divine being in his mortal body.

Siddha Education

The Siddha system of education in ancient India was not imparted or organized on the scale of mass education like schools and colleges, but the ideal of education was to treat it as a secret and sacred process, for the reason that the process of an individual growth (especially the inner growth) can only be achieved by a close and constant touch between the teacher and the taught in their personal relationship from which the whole world was excluded.

The teaching was imparted in the form of verses, many of them in ambiguous language and handed down to the posterity by the guru-sishya (teacher-disciple) tradition. The sacred medicines and techniques were taught only to a close circle of disciples and this trend continued to exist till recently.

Siddha education has turned into a mass institutional education around the middle of the 20th Century and has been catering to the needs of the public. Developments in academic side and also in scientific research have been coming up. A scientific research of available Siddha literature may bring us precious truths, methods of preparation of miracle medicines of mineral, vegetable and animal origin and this would be a valuable contribution to the medical world today. In addition to the literature written in palm leaf manuscripts etc., there are many valuable medicines and treatment techniques in practice. Steps are being taken by the government for collecting, screening, analyzing and codifying the available manuscripts, printed books, traditional recipes, medical secrets and many other things found scattered in disciplines and activities seemingly unconnected with medicine.

Contemporary relevance of Siddha

There has been a resurgence of traditional medical systems the world over, based on the holistic nature of their approach to healing. The efficacy of indigenous systems has been proved in various contexts. They tend to use locally available, cost effective materials for treatment. Hence, the Siddha system which also has strong cultural and historical bonds with the people of Tamil Nadu is becoming increasingly relevant.

SOURCE

http://www.nischennai.org/about-siddha.htm

Varman Model

By Dr. Mark Phillips
posted by Ganesh

The Dravidian varman model

The Ayurvedic use of the word marman (acupoint) is synonymous with the word varman in South India. Dravidia refers to the regions of South India and includes the spoken languages of Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu, and Tulu. There are three subgroups within the Dravidian linguistic family: North Dravidian, Central Dravidian, and South Dravidian, matching for the most part the corresponding regions in the Indian subcontinent.

Dravidian medicine includes much of Ayurvedic theory, but also recognises distinct varman therapeutics. Dravidian practitioners have identified two main groups of varman, supported by classical Dravidian texts on Siddha medicine and varman techniques. This grouping of varman is not found in Ayurvedic theory, although both systems philosophically agree upon a common source of varman.

The two groups of Dravidian varman are:

  1. padu varman, and
  2. thodu varman.

According to Dravidian theory, these two groups are believed to incorporate the entire nervous system of the human body. “Padu and thodu varman allows the intangible signs of life (such as the mind, desires and intellect) to manifest within the life-centres of the body, and to express action in the world” (Nair, interview, 17/9/98).

Dravidian varman theories

The Dravidian Siddha theory concerning the 12 padu varman and their relationship to the 96 thodu varman demonstrates an important addition to the theories commonly held by Ayurvedic practitioners. This information is significant to Ayurvedic theory when attempting to understand the relationship between groups of marman and their theoretical role in maintaining balance in the human body. The importance of Dravidian varman theories is further highlighted by the opinion of scholars who hold that the Dravidian text Odivu Murivu Sara Suthram by the sage Agastya is likely to predate the records of the Ayurvedic author Susruta.

The Dravidian text Odivu Murivu Sara Suthram holds that the three kalai (primal influences of kundalini – Ida, Pingala and Sushumna) support the 108 varman as three groups of four padu varman and 12 groups of eight thodu varman (see table 1).


According to Dravidian practitioners, the 12 padu are considered to be very important, and of these, three varman are believed to be the most important. They are identified in Sanskrit as basti, hridaya and sthapani marman and are believed to be the three “root” marman associated with the “tripod of life”(See fig.1 left)

Chinese acupuncture similarities to Ayurvedic and Dravidian theories of varman

  1. The three marman – basti, hridaya and sthapani – correlate with the Chinese points on Ren and Du mai. These points are guanyuan (Ren4), shangzhong (Ren17) and yintang (Du24.5) respectively (see Figure 1 right). These three points are important energy centres in Chinese theory. They are significant in Daoist health exercises, as well as Chinese martial arts and alchemy, and play an important role in Chinese acupuncture.
  2. There appear to be similarities between the Dravidian concept of the three primary channels “supporting the 12 padu channels” and the Chinese idea of the three primary (ancestral) channels of Ren mai, Chong mai and Du mai, “giving rise to the 12 channels of the body”:Chong mai and Ren mai originate from the inside of the uterus, a branch rises up in front of the spine, making the ocean of the twelve meridians (Huang Di Neijing Lingshu, Chapter 65, quoted by Matsumoto and Birch, 1986, p 31).


The Chinese believe that the three channels of Chong maiRen mai and Du mai originate from an ancestral (prenatal) source and are interrelated:

This is why we can say the Du mai, Ren mai and Chong mai have different names but are all the same (Wang Bing; quoted from the Nei Jing Jie Po Sheng Li Xue; Matsumoto and Birch, 1986, p 17).

Similarly, the Dravidian view of the 12 padu varman is that they are manifested from the three energies (kalai) (see Table 1), which are believed to have a single origin – universal prana. An apparent correlation between the two systems of Chinese and Indian theory regarding the origin of the channels is presented (see Table 2) and their location on the human body with a comparison to Chinese acupoints (see Table 3).


Kundalini


Practitioners from the state of Tamil Nadu and Kerala believe that the “life centres” (chakras) were the key to understanding the varman effect. These “life centres” are also recognised in Ayurveda but they are mainly used by those practitioners of yoga who develop the kundalini, the essential energy which is said to flow through the region of the spine in the human body. It is believed by Ayurvedic and Dravidian practitioners that the three major energy channels (kalai) which constitute the kundalini, commonly known as the Ida, Pingala and Sushumna, form the main nerve centres (chakras) in the body and are the intermediaries of marman effects. The Sushumna is said to flow up the spine and the Ida and Pingala alternate sides between the chakras, represented by the early Vedic symbol shown in Figure 2.


Dravidian practitioners often refer to the theory of a central energy source in the human body. In this theory, the seven major nerve centres (chakras), which act as a plexus for the three primary nerve channels of the kundalini, make possible the effects of the varman. The network of varman is believed to exist because of an indirect connection to the source of the kundalini and its associated chakras. This connection is brought about through a hierarchy of varman which can be summarised in two primary groups, the padu and thodu varman (Nair, interview, 19/9/98). Each of the 12 padu varman collects impulses from, and distributes to, eight thodu varman. In line with Ayurveda, a total of 108 varman may also be found in the Dravidian system, although Dravidian medicine observes many additional varman.


According to Manickavasagam (1993), the Tamil text Odivu Murivu Sara Suthram lists each of the 12 Padu varman and 96 thodu varman. He further claims that there are internal associations between the 96 thodu varman and the 12 padu varman: “Every padu varman point is a collective junction of eight thodu varman. That is, one padu varman contains eight thodu varman” (see table 4).



There is a need for further translation of writings concerned with the Dravidian tradition as many aspects of varman therapeutics are believed to be contained in these texts:


Unfortunately, no systematic attempt has been made so far, either by Tamil savants or by Siddha [Dravidian] medical practitioners, to render with critical evaluation even the major Tamil texts into English. The two main reasons being the enigmatic nature of the texts and the secretive attitude of Siddha practitioners. Nonetheless, an appreciable number of texts in Tamil have been printed, although many of them are still in manuscript form, preserved in libraries in Tamil Nadu. According to Velan, there are over 700 Siddha texts in Tamil, of which 180 have been printed (Subbarayappa, 1997). 

The Dravidian varman model #2

Translation of Varman-adi Shastra


Interviews with varman practitioners in districts of Kerala, South India, revealed other sources of information for varman-adi (action of varman) that presented different locations for the twelve Padu varman on the human body.

According to Balachandran Nair, a Kalaripayattu practitioner in Trivendrum, much of the deeper knowledge of varman has gone “underground”. Issues to do with correct point location and techniques for opening and closing the varman were not openly taught for many reasons. “Modern ideas concerning varman lack the keys for the understanding of their use and their connection to the primal force that maintains life” (Nair, private communication 17/10/98).

In what is believed to be the first English translation of a part of an ancient, privately held text, belonging to a practitioner in Kerala, a different padu varman model has emerged.

The part translation of the unpublished Dravidian (Siddha) text, originally recorded on bamboo, was provided by a Dravidian practitioner. This text, and other bamboo records, were claimed to be over 300 years old (see Figure 1) and provided the location of secret padu (see Figure 2), which differ from the standard locations represented in previous tables (see previous article Dravidian Varman Model #1). This is strong evidence in support of the theory that there are secret varman records in southern India which are not openly taught or revealed.



Master Nair confirmed the above information as correct and provided illustrations of his own family traditional teachings of varman that appears to incorporate varman from models represented in previous tables ie. padu and thodu varman (see Fig 3 & 4).

Dravidian Varman-adi practitioners claim that knowledge of varman is contained in scripture which has been kept intact and secret for thousands of years. These texts support the Dravidian family heritage of martial and therapeutic varman use. The key features of yoga theory and Varman-adi practice lie in the internal connections between varman, underpinning the types of varman and nadi (channels) used in the internal practices of these traditional philosophies. The kundalini, the primal channel which is composed of three pathways, the Ida, Pingala and Sushumna, forms the basis of all channels and varman in the body. According to Dravidian practitioners, the kundalini is the activating principle of life and ascends to the top of the head from its root at the perineum. Chinese medicine recognises three primal channels as Chong mai, Ren mai and Du mai. According to Chinese theory, these three channels are believed to be the first to activate and bring about life in the womb. Originating in the kidneys and then passing to the perineum, their influence ascends to the top of the head along the spine (Matsumoto and Birch, 1986).

According to the marman research by Zarrilli (1992), it is believed that there are physical and subtle marman which “exist in a complimentary and symbiotic relationship”. Zarrilli has cited a set of 32 “yoga” varman which, according to his published interviews with Nair, constitute “the conceptual and practical link between the gross and subtle paradigms of the body” (Zarrilli, 1992, p10). The 32 “yoga” varman listed by Zarrilli in his research are not referenced, but the varman names appear to originate from Sanskrit sources rather than Tamil or Keralan languages, as used by traditional Dravidian or kalaripayattu practitioners. This suggests that the 32 “yoga” varman have a probable link to the Vedic yoga system (see Figure 5).


An additional view of the yoga chakras (see Figure 6) places an emphasis on major and minor varman. It is reported by Tansley (1998) that the major chakras are formed by the intersection of twenty one energy “strands” at the site of the chakra. He further states that the minor chakras are formed by the intersection of forteen energy “strands” and that the marman are locations where seven energy “strands” intersect.

The minor chakras illustrated in Figure 6 appear to be disassociated from the major chakras which have a strong resemblance to the Chinese Daoist tien (energy collection) centres, as used in Tai ji Chuan exercises (see Figure 7). In addition to the 108 varman, Pillai, a Siddha practitioner, claimed that a further 720 varman points are recorded in Dravidian texts and make up a vast network of nadis (Pillai, private communication, 26/11/99).

SOURCE

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Ayurvedic Marman

By Dr. Mark Phillips
posted by Ganesh

An introduction to the history of marman

The theory of classical Indian marman can be traced to early Vedic civilisation (1700-1000 BC) (Zysk, 1998) and (Wujastyk, 1987). Originally used in warfare throughout northern and southern India, marman chikitsa has received special attention in southern India, not only for fighting, but for therapeutic use. The Dravidian or southern Indian varman theory is believed to be older than Ayurveda, and its origin may be traced to two historical figures – Parusharam and Agastya (Nair, interview, 21/9/98).

Although these historical figures cannot be traced to any certain date, the warrior Parusharam is mentioned in the ancient Vedic text Bhagavad Purana, that is believed to record an empirical Indian history from around 7000 BC. Parusharam is the historical figure to whom one lineage of varman teaching is attributed (Kuti, interview, 14/10/98).

The second source, the sage Agastya, appears to be a contemporary of the Chinese Lao Tsu (5th Century BC). Agastya’s history is mentioned several times in the text Mahabharata. He is believed to be responsible for many texts on Dravidian varman theory, including some original medical texts held in Dharamsala, northern India, and is referred to as “one who lived for many centuries” and “the sage of Asian appearance” (Nair, interview, 24/9/98). According to some Dravidian practitioners, he is dated to 2500 BC, around the same time as the mythical Chinese emperor Huang Di. The evidence which supports the dates and events surrounding the authors of Sanskrit and Dravidian classical literature is inconclusive and is currently under debate. The dates of artefacts such as those containing the Harappan symbols are uncertain. These symbols, which were found on unearthed stone seals in northern India, have been likened to Chinese characters (Harappa discussions, July, 2000). These non-translated pre-Aryan inscriptions, which are attributed to the civilisations of northern Indian Harappa (2000 BC), affirm an Indian indigenous culture, believed by Indologists to have ended around the period of 1700 BC with the introduction of Vedic culture (Harappa discussions, July, 2000).


There is evidence of Chinese channel theory in the form of a lacquer figurine, from the second century BC, recently found in tombs excavated at the edge of the foothills of Tibet (Lo, 1998). This supports the possibility of the cross pollination of medical ideas, including those of Indian marman and Chinese acupoints. The early northern Dravidian shamanic medicine is thought to have given rise to the eventual development of Ayurveda as a medical system and to have brought about the spread of traditional Indian medical thought to other countries, including Tibet and China.


The extant Ayurvedic texts, plausibly dated to around the 2nd Century BC, define marman as the “107 marman according to Susruta” (Thatte, interview, 21/9/98). This view was accepted by all Ayurvedic practitioners interviewed during field research.

The Dravidian practitioners in the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu have maintained the use of varman in their traditional medicine. Many techniques using varman are still practised in southern India today, however, these techniques and additional marman appear to be unknown to Ayurvedic practitioners. There are, therefore, two systems of marman to be considered:

1) Ayurvedic marman as recorded by Susruta (5th-2nd Century BC) in the classical text Susruta Samhita, (Sarirasthan, Chapters 6 and 7, trans Thatte, 1994) and later elucidated by such classical writers as Nagarjuna (1st Century BC), Charaka (1st Century AD) and Vagbhata (7th Century AD).

2) The Dravidian varman which is recorded in the undated Varman-adi Shastra (“the books of varman action”); a collection of writings attributed to a long line of teachers, including Agastya and Purusharama.

Both systems recognise 108 marman, including the 107 marman listed by Susruta, suggesting orthodoxy amongst Indian marman doctrines at some stage. The Dravidian varman model, however, claims to use an extra 720 therapeutic varman, in addition to the known marman of Ayurveda (Pillai, private communication, 26/11/99).

Classical Ayurvedic treatment of marman is concerned with recovery from physical trauma. There is no evidence to suggest that marman were considered suitable for therapeutic puncturing, as in the case of Chinese acupuncture. Indeed, marman are believed to contain the elements of life, including the life-force (prana) which supports consciousness. Disturbing the life-force of marman was thought to be detrimental to health, therefore cutting marman was, and still is, prohibited amongst traditional Indian surgeons who follow the precepts of Susruta Samhita. This view of marman has its origin in warfare, and much can be learnt about Indian marman as well as Chinese acupoints from the texts on traditional martial arts (Kasulis, 1993; Rocsu, 1981; Zarrilli, 1998). Further research regarding the vital points of martial arts may enable a better understanding of “secret” points and their little understood contra-indication within both the Chinese and Indian systems.

he Chinese on the other hand, have a long tradition of using therapeutic techniques, including acupuncture on acupoint sites. Evidence of the early development of acupuncture is suggested by the existence of the bian stone needle from the 10th Century BC Shang dynasty (Eckman, 1996) and the 2nd Century BC writings of the Huang Di Nei Jing (trans Veith, 1972). Marxist China in the 1950s produced “a combination of the positive elements of Western and Chinese medicine with the establishment, along Marxist lines, of a new medicine” (Unschuld, 1985, p 252). While the dialectical materialism of Mao Tse-tung contributed to the form of Chinese medicine known as TCM, India had no such creation of a “new medicine”, and the heritage of secret family medical traditions remains. It is possible, therefore, that an arcane knowledge of marman exists in India. This was the view of Ayurvedic practitioners, who believed that ancient varman texts were likely to be in the possession of traditional Dravidian (Siddha) practitioners.

The importance of marman groups and their affects on the human body.

The application of Indian marman appears to fall into two categories. Firstly, marman (lit. secret points) are used therapeutically throughout India in varying forms of massage. Secondly, the ancient systems of warfare (Dhanurveda) and the Dravidian (southern Indian) Varman-adi (lit. the action of varman) are still used in traditional Indian martial arts today. The text Mahabharata records that the warrior caste was well trained in marman-striking with fists and weapons, “for maximum effect with minimum effort” (Date, interview, 26/8/98). These early Vedic records of marman are supported by the medical works of Susruta (500 BC), a surgeon and philosopher who recorded the effects of trauma to marman in the Ayurvedic classic Susruta Samhita (Date, interview, 26/8/98).

Sanskrit texts such as Ashtanga Hridaya (trans Vogel, 1965) and chapters 6 and 7 of Susruta Samhita (trans Thatte, 1994), uphold the vulnerable nature of a marman, listing as a contra-indication any form of surgery across the surface of a marman. Classical Sanskrit texts give a prognosis regarding injury to any marman, classifying them in five groups (See Table 1).



Table 1 illustrates five marman groups that are affected by trauma, according to Susruta. For example, if a group 3 (vishalyaghna) marman is traumatised, the elements of Air and Ether will produce pain or death, depending on how accurately placed the impact is to the anatomical centre of the marman. Depth of penetration into the site of a marman will also determine any pathological outcome (Thatte, interview, 7/10/98). The early Ayurvedic physicians believed that the elemental balance of the human body could be affected by any loss of constitution. When pierced by a projectile, the outcome for group 3 marman is believed to be death, because the elements of Air and Ether are able to escape from the body quickly. It is noted that similar ideas were prevalent in early Chinese medicine, especially concerning the loss of qi through inappropriate needling techniques (Unschuld, 1985, p 583).

According to Ayurvedic and Dravidian philosophy each marman group is ruled by one or two of the Five Elements and has a constitution of up to five types of tissue at the anatomical site of the marman, viz. muscles, vessels, ligaments, bones and joints (trans Thatte, 1994, p 114). These elemental and constitutional components, along with the total number of marman within each group, are listed in Table 2.

Anatomical considerations


Apart from the classification of the five constitutional marman groups, it is believed by some Ayurvedic practitioners that the anatomical consideration of a marman is extremely significant. According to Pandit, Head of Anatomy and Physiology, Tilak Ayurveda Medical College, Pune, a marman occupies the physical area of an organ or a structural mechanism, such as the knee joint. This idea is validated by the historical use of marman in warfare, and by the claim that Susruta was the first person to advocate the dissection of cadavers in order to train surgeons to avoid the structural landmarks of marman (Ranade, 1993). In this view, a marman is seen as a physical structure and does not need any other theory to validate its mechanism, such as the theory of an energy-centre:

When physical trauma is applied to vital areas of the body, such as the basti marman, located in the region on the anterior mid-line and superior to the edge of the pubic synthesis, effects such as reproductive dysfunction will result. In the example of trauma to basti marman, the prognosis will be impotence in males due to the blockage of the physical structure of the channel (srota), the ductus vas deferens (Pandit, interview, 5/9/98).

This view was reflected by teachers at many Indian Ayurvedic colleges. Marman are often taught from a surgical viewpoint, with cadaver dissection a common teaching practice in India today. The marman locations are taught in a traditional manner, in chart form, according to the precepts of Susruta Samhita (See Fig. 1).

The Susruta Samhita records the anatomical divisions of marman according to tissue types and structures at the body sites (see Table 3). Additionally, Susruta and other classical commentators have listed the number of marman in five body regions (see Table 4).

Marman are believed to be inter-connected by the manifestation of “pranic currents of energy in the body” (Lad, 1985, p 56). The prana (life force), which is believed to circulate to the marman, can be categorised according to the element and dosha components found at the site. The importance of prana in the role of marman action appears to correlate with the Chinese model of qi circulation. Prana circulation in the human body has been recognised for at least 4,000 years, as illustrated by the ancient inscription “Seal of the Indus Valley” (2000 BC), excavated at Mohenj-Daro by Sir John Marshal (Zysk, 1998). This ancient Indian relief of a seated human figure is seen to have “meridian lines (vital air passages) which connect with vital points” (Manickavasagam, 1993, p 19) (See Fig. 2). This suggests an ancient Indian view, similar to that of the Chinese concept of qi and its circulation through the jingluo (network influence), as reflected in the writings of the Nan Ching (The Classic of Difficult Issues), a text believed to date to the 2nd Century BC (Unschuld, personal communication, 23/4/00).


Dosha and subdosha


Dosha and subdosha theory is central to disease aetiology in Ayurvedic diagnosis according to the classical texts of Charaka Samhita 9.4 and Vagbhata Samhita 11.45. Additionally, Marman and their therapeutic relationships with dosha and subdosha are reportedly recorded in the texts of other Indian philosophical traditions, such as yoga treatise:

The deeper roots of marman science can be understood in terms of yogic science. This involves the nervous system and the three primary nerve roots, the Ida, Pingala and Sushumna, commonly referred to as the Kundalini (Date, interview, 29/8/98).

Several Ayurvedic practitioners believed that classical writings on marman still exist in southern India, although secrecy surrounds their existence:

Historically, the early invasion and destruction of northern Indian culture has meant that many classical texts on medical science either went to Tibet or to southern India in order to survive. Secrecy was important, to ensure the survival of tradition and knowledge. Today we are left with this secrecy, and only a few people have inherited traditions such as marman (Date, interview, 29/8/98).

According to Unschuld (1985), the early invasions of northern India before 500BC accelerated a cross-pollination of ideas with Chinese culture. The original meanings of some ideas were lost in the translation from Sanskrit to Chinese, as in the case of the word “dosha”. It is believed that aspects of Ayurveda, including Ayurvedic surgery (shalya tantra) and Indian martial arts were introduced into China, both openly and secretly, before the time of Hwato (1st Century AD).

Ayurvedic practitioners agree that trauma to a region of a marman may cause derangement to human physiology by influencing the doshas and subdoshas. Each of the three doshas, (kapha, pitta and vata) are potential faults in health (Lad, 1985). According to interviewed Ayurvedic practitioners, the doshas exist in the body by the interaction of the five elements, maintaining balance and supporting the physiological function of the body. The subdivisions of a dosha, the subdoshas, are believed to carry out specific functions according to the elemental qualities of the “parent” dosha (See Fig.3). Ayurvedic practitioners believed that a marman has the potential to disturb the doshas and subdoshas, or to restore healthy physiological function.

The tridosha is further divided into 15 subdoshas which are thought to play a central role in maintaining the equilibrium of the body, especially the vata (vayu) subdoshas. “Vayu is controlled by prana, and prana is influenced by marman” (Bhide, interview, 4/9/1998). The Sanskrit word vayu is translated as “the wind of the body, the vital air” (Cologne Digital Sanskrit Lexicon, 14/8/2000). This aspect of vata dosha is termed “the maintainer of the human machinery, keeping it in natural order” (Thakkur, 1974, p 37) and is divided into five subdosha components according to Ayurvedic theory. The idea of the five vata (vayu) subdoshas may be compared to the Chinese concept of qi (as air qi, true qi, food qi, defensive qi and nutritive qi) and its functional and anatomical designations according to Macioccia (1989).

In Figure 4 it can be observed that the tridosha is represented in three divisions of the human body. Ayurvedic practitioners believe that balance is maintained in the body by complimenting opposite qualities within the three body regions in the following ways:

  • Vata dosha is believed to have ascending qualities. It is located in the pelvic region, thus countering the descending function of the intestines by the ascending qualities of vata.
  • Pitta dosha is thought to relate to Fire and Water. It is regarded as the centre of life and maintains digestion.
  • Kapha dosha is considered to have descending qualities. It is located in the chest region and is said to be kept buoyant by the ascending influence of the lungs.

Ayurvedic theory holds that vitiated doshas are pathological and will affect the subdoshas, the biological regulators within the human body, thus affecting the physiological balance of a human being (Bhide, interview, 4/9/1998). According to Susruta Samhita, marman will directly influence the dosha in conformity with the marman group concerned (see Table 1).


Figure 5 illustrates the similarities found within the three divisional systems of Ayurveda and Chinese medicine. According to Ayurveda, the chest “houses” the influence of the lungs and heart, and therefore requires the nourishing effect of kapha dosha which is seen to reside in the region of the chest. The area below the navel is considered to be heavy and viscous by nature and requires the light, elevating influence of vata dosha which is said to reside in the hypogastric region.



The five vata (vayu) subdoshas in Figure 6 are thought to be responsible for the functions of respiration, speech, appetite, circulation and evacuation (Thakkur, 1974). They are believed to represent homeostatic functions in the body and include physiological mechanisms such as cell excitation (Dahanukar and Thatte, 1989). Organ function is thought to be governed by the 15 subdoshas which represent different aspects of prana. This is similar to the Chinese idea of qi; “Qi takes various forms in the body fulfilling a variety of functions” (Macioccia, 1989, p 41). These forms of qi can be described as “gathering qi”, “true qi”, “nutritive qi” and “defensive qi”, each originating from “original qi” and assigned to a particular organ (Macioccia, 1989). A summary of information received from Ayurvedic interview sources regarding the theoretical role of the 15 subdoshas, their body site and their physiological action, is provided in Table 5.


The paired marman according to Susruta Samhita

The 107 marman, according to Susruta Samhita, are illustrated by Fedorova (1990) (see Figure 7). Of these, 16 are said to form eight pairs. Each of the pairs represent an anatomical symmetry between the proximal, medial or distal aspects of the upper and lower limbs. These paired marman are illustrated in Figure 8 and listed in Table 6 with their Chinese equivalents. The relationship between the marman which are paired appears to be based on anatomy, although it is claimed that traditional Indian and Chinese medical theory and practice was predominantly physiological and pharmacological, not anatomical (Ames et al, 1998).


The location of six of the eight paired marman were found to be consistent amongst Indian practitioners. The two exceptions are ksipra and indrabhasti and the former has a correspondence in the Chinese system, known as “the four gates” (si guan).

Mind Movement Channels – manowaha srotas

The manowaha srotas system is a controversial theory currently receiving attention from Ayurvedic scholars. Translated as “mind movement channels” (Garg, 1996), this theoretical system claims that consciousness pervades every cell of the body through the medium of a subtle channel system, governed by the mind. These channels carry prana and form a network affecting all aspects of emotional and physical health. “Prana is the active principle within marman, with the potential to influence emotional and physical health” (Thatte, interview, 5/10/98). The relationship between the mind, body and soul are referred to as “the tripod of life” in the text Charaka Samhita (trans Trikamji, 1981) and the “mind movement channels” (manowaha srotas) are believed to be the key to the communication of all channel systems (srotas) within the human body. This Ayurvedic model of the subtle movements of prana, which originate from mental and emotional states, resembles the Chinese idea of a qi network of energy channels and the traditional Chinese idea that the mind and emotions play a major role in the physical health of the individual (Neijing Su Wen, Ch 39, trans Lu, 1978).

The classical texts concerning the “mind movement channels” become highly technical within the paradigm of Ayurvedic theory. However, several points were found to be within the parameters of this research:

All channels (srotas) in the human body are divided into two types, visible and invisible.

  • The visible srotas include arteries, veins and any structure which carries substances.
  • The “mind movement channels” (manowaha srotas) are invisible. According to contemporary Ayurvedic sources, they include the impulses that are conducted along afferent and efferent nerve fibres and are believed to support consciousness (Garg, interview, 6/10/98).

The invisible manowaha srotas can utilise the visible srotas, such as the intestinal tract, as the need may be, according to time of day and season (Manickavasagam, 1993).

  • Arterial blood in the human body constitutes one extra marman (dhamani marman) because of its association with the heart and its potential vitiation by the doshas. Therefore the total Ayurvedic marman count can be estimated at 108 (trans Thatte, 1994).
  • The heart is the “seat” of consciousness because it forms the centre of the manowaha srotas (Bhela Sharira 7.3 and Charaka Nidana 7:4, trans Manohara, personal communication, 10/3/00).
  • The heart is affected by pathogenesis when the “mind channels” are disturbed, and the power of thinking becomes deranged as blood (dhamani marman) is vitiated by the doshas (Bhela Chikitsa 8.10)

According to interview data, Ayurvedic texts explain three important features of the relationship between the “mind movement channels” and “the tripod of life” (mind, body and soul) as follows:

  1. The mind (manas) and the intellect (chitta) are associated with consciousness and are energetically placed in the heart region (Charaka Sharira 7.8; Susruta Sharira 4.34). The heart is therefore believed to be the “seat of consciousness”.
  2. The cognitive mind is associated with sense organs in the head region and is located between the head and the palate (Bhela Samhita Chikitsa 8.2)
  3. The mind is connected with the movement of all body parts and the bodily manifestation of consciousness: “The mind has channels to move to the seat of the senses” (Charaka Vimana 5.7)

Unlike Chinese medicine, Ayurveda does not treat consciousness through the heart channels, but rather, through the mind. The text Charaka Samhita places importance on the employment of nasal medication (nasya) for mental/emotional disturbances, however there is no specific medication recommended for “disturbed consciousness of the heart” (hrdayashuddhi) (Manohara, private communication, 7/3/00). Chinese acupuncture, on the other hand, has effective protocols for the treatment of mental (Shen) disturbances, using the heart and pericardium channels, as well as calming the emotional states which relate to other organs that can disturb the Shen

The practitioner and historian, Manohara, paraphrased the commentary by Chakrapani on the classical text Charaka Chikitsa 9.5:

It is not so clear what the text means by “manovahasrotas”. It could mean the ten blood channels (dhamanis) arising from the heart, or the entire body as such. Elsewhere, he [Chakrapani] admits his inability to speak on such topics, probably because he did not practice Yoga (Charaka Vimana 5.8). Yet, in another place, he states that consciousness is all pervading, both inside and outside the body. Spirit (consciousness) is described not in terms of its presence, but only in terms of degrees of manifestation. In its purest aspect, it manifests in the heart when the mind is stilled. It manifests as intelligence through the mind in the head, and as awareness in different degrees in other parts of the body. (Manohara, personal communication, 10/3/00).

Ayurvedic practitioners believe that the mind is an important instrument in manifesting consciousness, while the heart (hridaya) is said to be the seat of consciousness and the ultimate recipient of vitiated doshas: “Thought, the origin of mind, is located in the heart” (Bhela Chikitsa l8.3, trans Manohara, private communication, 6/3/00).

The Chinese metaphor for the heart, the “Emperor of the kingdom”, is elucidated in the classical text, the Huang Di Neijing Suwen: “The heart is the monarch from whom the spirits are derived” (trans Lu, 1978, p 57). The Huang Di Neijing Lingshu Chapter 8, refers to the heart network channels as xin xi:

[Xin xi] is all the connections and networks of animation by which the heart is linked to the whole body, and especially used for the direct influence of the heart as the master on the very inner part of the vitality in the other zang [solid organ]. It is a kind of organisation of the mental, psychological and spiritual life (Larre and Rochat de la Vallee; 1995, p 131).

These classical Indian and Chinese images of the heart as a “house” and “ruler” of consciousness reflect a common view. The Ayurvedic idea of the “mind movement channels” (manowaha srotas) and the Chinese model of the “heart channels” (xin xi) recognise a life force, that of prana and qi respectively, which is believed to circulate and support life functions. The early texts of Ayurveda reflect the view that ten heart channels (dharmani) originate in the heart (Manohara, personal communication, 3/3/00). This idea is consistent with the Ma Wang Di manuscripts (186 BC), reportedly the oldest extant texts of Chinese medicine, in which it is said “the meridians all originate independently from the heart, instead of being an interconnected system for the circulation of qi” (Denmei, 1990, p 112). It is therefore assumed that the heart, prana circulation and the marman have an intimate relationship which resembles the Chinese idea of the heart, qi and jingluo (channel network) or the xin xi (heart channels). Certainly, the Indian concept of spirit (atma) is comparable to the Chinese idea of “divine spirit” (Shen) as “the guarantor of the unity of a person’s existence” (Larre and Rochat de la Vallee, 1995, p 174).

SOURCE

http://www.markphillips.com.au/

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