God’s Note Book!!!


By London Swaminathan
Post No. 911 Dated 16th March 2014

There are so many inspiring anecdotes in English and other literatures of the world. Many of our sublime thoughts are echoed in their poetry and philosophical works. Earlier I posted an article about St.Francis of Assisi, a great Christian mystic.

Abou Ben Adhem, a poem by James Henry Leigh Hunt (1784- 1859) is an inspiring one. We have similar poems by Hindu saints as well.

Abou Ben Adhem (May his tribe increase!)
“Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An Angel writing in a book of gold:—
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the Presence in the room he said
“What writest thou?”—The vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answered “The names of those who love the Lord.”
“And is mine one?” said Abou. “Nay, not so,”
Replied the Angel. Abou spoke more low,
But clearly still, and said “I pray thee, then,
Write me as one that loves his fellow men.”

The Angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,
And lo! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest”.


‘Human birth is to serve others’

‘Paropakaram idham sareeram’ is a popular Sanskrit proverb. God has given us a body with two hands and two feet just to serve the humanity. Pattinathar, a Tamil Siddha (enlightened soul), has sung a poem similar to Leigh Hunt. He lived in the tenth century. His poem Koil Nan Mani Malai has some interesting information about a Note Book that Lord Shiva keeps with him.

“They alone live who live for others; the rest are more dead than alive”- said Swami Vivekanada. Under the chapter ‘’Benevolence’’, great Tamil poet says,
“Only those, who know and practise social cooperation, live their life;
The others are as good as dead” –(Kural 214)
The German Philosopher-poet Goethe conveyed the same idea in a similar context when he said:
“A useless life is only an earthly death”.


Shiva whose abode is in Mt.Kailash keeps a ruled note book with him in which he enters the names of those who work for the welfare of others. He adds the name of the saints, enlightened people and Shiva’s devotees in the note book. Those who are entered into the book will get out of the cycle of birth and death. So Pattinathar begs to Lord Shiva to enter his name as well. This is similar to Leigh Hunts poem. Did Leigh Hunt get the idea from Pattinathar?

But even before Pattinathar, Appar also wrote a similar poem. He clashed with the mighty Pallava emperor Mahendra Pallava and won at the end. One of the four great Saivite saints Appar alias Tirunavukkarasu (means King of Speech) lived in the seventh century inTamil Nadu.
He warns the lazy ,gossipy, talkative, sluggish and lethargic that their names are also entered by Lord Shiva. But Shiva is so good he writes the sincere god loving devotees’ names too.

Appar says,

“ O,Lord Shiva, you write down the names of those who offers you flowers, who sheds tears of ecstasy praising you and those who waste their time idly ignoring you”—(Fifth Tirumurai,Thevaram).


(Hindu Hell picture taken from Wikipedia.

Hindus always believed that Chitra Gupta, Yama’s PA, is writing everything in his note book and when the day of judgement comes after our death, he sends us to heaven or hell according to what we did on earth. That is, Chitra Guptas’s note book decides our future. Someone interpreted Chitra Gupta means ‘’Hidden Pictures’’- and they are nothing but our good or bad thoughts. Like our powerful super computer do billion calculations in a second, Chitra Gupta? Thought Pictures do billions of calculations after our death and decides our fate. Every thought of ours sends ripples of waves and pictures!

So the moral we learn from Abou Ben Adhem, Appar and Pattinathar is that the God or his angels are always watching us from above and write everything we do whether it is good or bad. We know that the big powers are spying on us from above through their satellites. They tap or telephones, interrupt our e mails! That is for political reason. We know that anyone can watch anyone’s house though google street watch. That is for nosy reasons. But God is watching us for Dharmic reasons!


Tamil References

தம்மை மறந்து நின்னை நினைப்பவர்
செம்மை மந்த்தினும் தில்லை மன்றினும் நடம்
ஆடும் அம்பல வாண!——————–
நிந்தமர் பெயர் எழுதிய வரிநெடும் புத்தகத்து
என்னையும் எழுத வேண்டுவன், நின்னருள்
ஆனை வைப்பில், கணொனா அணுவும்
வானுற நிமிர்ந்து காட்டும்.
——-பட்டினத்தாரின் கோயில் நான்மணி மாலை

அப்பர் தேவாரம்

தொழுது தூமலர் தூவித் துதித்துநின்று
அழுது காமுற்று அரற்றுகின்றாரையும்
பொழுது போக்கிப் புறக்கணிப்பாரையும்
எழுதும் கீழ்க்கணக்கு இன்னம்பர் ஈசனே (அப்பர், 5ஆம் திருமுறை)

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