RESEARCH ARTICLE WRITTEN by London swaminathan


Date: 18 JULY 2018

Time uploaded in London – 6-51 am (British Summer Time)


Post No. 5231


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We come across child prodigies around the world. Science could not explain the phenomenon satisfactorily.


Is it because the parents were brilliant and the children inherited it?

Is it because they are brought up in such an environment which made them geniuses?

inherited or Acquired?

Does Nature play a role or Nurture is the cause?

Heredity or Environment?

All these questions are debated very often and no explanation satisfies the inquisitive mind. Intelligent people are born even in remote villages where there is no formal education is available. Great people are born in illiterate families.

Adi Shanakara was a genius at the age of 16

Jnana Sambanda composed poems at the age of 3.

Bharati and Vivekananda attained fame by the age of 39!


Several Hindu geniuses became great when they were very young.

Hindu approach to this child prodigy is different. They belive whatever you have learnt in your previous births is deciding your intelligence at birth; Then you can continue improving it and go higher and higher. Lord Krishna made it very clear in the sixth chapter of Bhagavad Gita (BG. 43 t0 46)


Hindu scriptures Bhagavad Gita, Tamil Veda Tirukkural, Manu Smrti and Kalidasa’s Raghuvamsam are some of the books where we come across references to SEVEN BIRTHS and carrying and improving the knowledge from birth to birth.

Jnana Sambadar, The Wonder Boy of Tamil Nadu


Of all the books mentioned above, Tamil Poet’s Tamil Veda Tirukkural spoke about it in at least six places.

Let me quote them:

1.No evil will befall a man in all the seven births he may have if he begets children of irreproachable character- Kural 62


2.The noble minded will remember for all the seven births the friendship of those who saved them from affliction 107


3.If a man learns to control his five senses in one birth as the tortoise, that power will stand by him in his seven births- 126

4.The heritage of culture acquired in one birth lasts to the seventh – 398

5.Devote yourself to what the wise commend as worthy, else you will not find joy in all seven births – 538

6.A fool does so much sinful deeds in one birth that he suffers infernal  misery in all seven births- Kural 835

Tamil Saint Poet Tiruvalluvar

Manu says

If any one of these (Rig, Yajur, Sama Veda Scholars) fed and honoured at a ceremony for the dead, the hosts’ ancestors going back to seven generations will be perpetually satisfied- 3- 146 of Manu Smrti


This is another translation

3-146. If one of these three dines, duly honoured, at a funeral sacrifice, the ancestors of him who gives the feast, as far as the seventh person, will be satisfied for a very long time.


Seven generations may also mean several generations.

In one of the commentaries of Tirukkural seven different types of births are also mentioned: Devas, Human beings, Demons, Birds, Animals, Reptiles and Water creatures

All these show that there are seven births of a person or seven generations or seven different levels (from Devas to fish)


Kalidasa in his Raghuvamsam is clear like Tiruvalluvar: In chapter 1-20 he says,

“Dilipa’s actions were known only when their benefits are felt. it was kept like a secret like one knows the previous births by the results obtained in the current birth. The message is clear that one gets whatever one deserves depending upon the good things one has done in previous births 1-20.


In another sloka (18-50), Kalidasa says King Sudarsan did not need any help from the teacher as everything he learnt in his previous births came very handy. He remembered everything he learnt already.

Hindu saint/poet Tiruvalluvar from old book

This is echoed by Tamil Poet Valluvar when he said that what one learns in one birth will be helpful in seven births.


Lord Krishna, Manu, Kalidasa and Tiru Valluvar agree on one point: What you do in one birth will have its effect in seven births.

Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita says that one can even improve his learning in the next birth/s

“There he comes to be united with the knowledge acquired in his previous birth and strives more than before for perfection “– BG 6-43


This explains the amazing knowledge of child prodigies. Hindus believe that it is neither genetics nor environment that makes a person. Even if we consider these two are the factors, believers can still argue that is also given to one due to the Karma (action) in one’s previous birth.




‘Jantunam Narajanma Durlabatha:’


Human Birth is difficult to obtain
by london swaminathan

Human birth is difficult to obtain is a famous saying from northern Himalayas to Southern Kanyakumari. It is in ancient Tamil and Sanskrit literature. The above quote is from Viveka Cudamani of Adi Shankara. Let us look at the full sloka:

“ For all beings a human birth is difficult to obtain, more so is a male body; rarer than that is Brahmnahood; rarer still is the attachment to the path of Vedic religion; higher than is erudition in the scriptures; discrimination between the Self and not-Self, Realization, Identity with Brahman—these come next in order. Mukti/liberation is not to be attained except through the well earned merits of a hundred crores of births (1000 million births!)”.

In the next sloka he says three things are rare:Human birth, the longing for liberation and protective care of a greatman (mahapurusha).
Tamil literature explains the same thing in a beautiful way. One of the five Tamil epics is Jeevaka Chintamani which gives the story of Udayana and Vasavadatta. The author Thiruththakka devar says human birth is rare. It is like one yoke floating in southern sea coming next to another yoke floating in northern sea and a pole is inserted into it. Human birth is rarer than this.

Avvai answers Lord Skanda’s question
Another famous episode in Tamil is about the grand old lady of Tamil literature Avvaiyar meeting Lord Skanda. Skanda asked her several thought provoking questions just to enjoy her beautiful Tamil. He asked her what is bigger, sweeter, crueler and rarer. When she answered his question about rarer things in the world she says human birth is rarer. Let us look at the beautiful Tamil poem in full:

“ Rare is human birth, Vadivel (Skanda/Subramanya)! Rarer is birth as a male with perfect limbs and with full use of all the senses. Rarer still is attainment of knowledge and wisdom. Rarer than this is the tendency to give and serve; and rarest of all is a life dedicated to spiritual enlightenment, for when one reaches the end the heavens will open to welcome that person—the perfect of all human beings”.

I consider this as an echo of Adi Shankara’s three slokas 2, 3 and 4 of Viveka Cudamani. It is not uncommon to see the same thoughts in all saints of India whether they speak Tamil or Sanskrit. Great men think alike. We see the same thought in all the hymns of Thevaram, Thiruvasagam and Divya Prabandham.
Seven types and Four Types of living beings

Even before Darwin gave the world the Theory of Evolution, even before the Linnaean classification of botanical species came in to practice, even before Aristotle gave his theory, Hindus divided the living beings in to four types and seven types in two different classifications:

Type 1
1.Andajam: that which came from the eggs
2.Jarayutham: mammals
3.Udbhijam: that which comes out of seeds, roots
4.Swethajam: that which grows from sweat like liquids, i.e. germs etc

Type 2 Classification
1.Devas: supermen
2.Human beings
6.Fishes and other marine animals
7.Plant kingdom


Great Tamil saint Manikkavasagar gives a list of all the births one can get before realising God:

“Grass was I, shrub was I, worm, tree,
Full many a kind of beast, bird, snake,
Stone, man and demon. ’Midst Thy hosts I served.
The form of mighty Asuras, ascetics, Gods I bore.
Within this immobile and mobile forms of life,
In every species born, weary I have grown, great Lord!

புல்லாகிப் பூடாய்ப் புழுவாய் மரமாகிப்
பல்விருகமாகிப் பறவையாய்ப் பாம்பாகிக்
கல்லாய் மனிதராய்ப் பேயாய்க் கணங்களாய்
வல்லரசுராகி முனிவராய்த் தேவராய்ச்
செல்லா அ நின்ற தாவர சங்கமத்துள்
எல்லாப் பிறப்பும் பிறந்திளைத்தேன் எம்பெருமான்
–சிவ புராணம், திருவாசகம் (மாணிக்கவாசகர்)

tree of life colour
Avvaiyar’s poem in Tamil

அரியது கேட்கின் வரிவடி வேலோய்!
அரிதரிது மானிடர் ஆதல் அரிது
மானிடராயினும் கூன் குருடு செவிடு
பேடு நீக்கிப் பிறத்தல் அரிது
பேடு நீக்கிப் பிறந்த காலையும்
ஞானமும் கல்வியும் நயத்தல் அரிது
ஞானமும் கல்வியும் நயந்த காலையும்
தானமும் தவமும் தான்செயல் அரிது
தானமும் தவமும் தான்செய்வராயின்
வானவர் நாடு வழிதிறந் திடுமே.
Pictures are taken from various sites;thanks.
contact london swaminathan: swami_48@yahoo.com