‘Every town a Home town’: Famous Tamil Poem

tamil food

Every town a Home town: Famous Tamil Poem
(யாதும் ஊரே; யாவரும் கேளிர்;)

Post No 832 Dated 10th February 2014

Indians think in the same from the Himalayas to the Land’s end Kanyakumari.
I have found out that every great thought in the south or north is echoed in the other part. Great men think alike, they say. Great Indians think very much alike, we can say. Karma theory of oriental religions Hinduism ,Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism is beautifully explained in the following Tamil poem.

The oft quoted Sangam Tamil verse from Purananuru (192) goes like this:

“Every town our home town; everyman a kinsman.
Good and evil do not come
From others
Pain and relief of pain
Come of themselves
Dying is nothing new.
We do not rejoice
That life is sweet
Nor in anger
Call it bitter
Our lives, however dear,
Follow their own course,
Rafts drifting
In the rapids of a great river
Sounding and dashing over the rocks
After a downpour
From skies slashed by lightning’s
We know this
From the vision
Of men who see
We are not amazed by the great
And we do not scorn the little”
————————-Kaniyan punkundran (Pura Nanuru, verse 192)

Following comparisons will prove my point.
1.Every town our home town; Everyman a kinsman.
‘Earth is my mother; I am her son’, says Veda.
‘God is one; we are his children
World is a happy lake – says the Veda’ (Bharathyar song)

2.Dying is nothing new.
We do not rejoice
That life is sweet
Nor in anger
Call it bitter

Bhagavad Gita says (2-27)

For to the one that is born death is certain and certain is birth for the one that has died. Therefore for what is unavoidable, you should not grieve.

Gautama the Buddha consoled the mother who lost her only son while yet a child by asking her to go into the town and bring him a little mustard seeds from any house where no man has yet died. She went and found that there was no family where death had not entered. She discovered that it is the law of all things that they will pass away.

The Buddhist nun Patacara is represented as consoling many bereaved mothers in the following words:

“Weep not, for such is here the life of man
Unasked he came, unbidden went he hence
Lo! Ask thyself again whence came thy son
To bide on earth this little breathing space
By one way come and by another gone…..
So hither and so hence— why should ye weep?”

— Psalms of Sisters (E.T. by Mrs Rhys Davids (1909) quoted by Dr S Radhakrishnan in his Bhagavad Gita commentary.

Vyasa and Tamil Valluvan also said the same in the Mahabharata and Tirukkural, which I have given in detail in my earlier post: Most Amazing thing in the World!! (in Tamil உலகிலேயே எது பெரிய அதிசயம்? எது ஆச்சர்யம்?)

3.Good and evil do not come
From others
Pain and relief of pain
Come of themselves

Garuda Purana says
Sukhasya dukkhasya na kopi data
Paro dadatiti kubhuddir esa
Swayam krtam svena phalena yujyate
Sarira he nistara yat tvatya krtam

“No one gives joy or sorrow. That others give this is an erroneous conception. our own deeds bring to us their fruits. Body of mine, repay what you have done.”

4.Rafts drifting
In the rapids of a great river
Sounding and dashing over the rocks
After a downpour
From skies slashed by lightning’s
We know this
From the vision
Of men who see

Adi Shankara in his Viveka Cudamani (verse 550) says,
As a piece of wood is borne by the current to a high or low ground, so is his body carried on by the momentum of past actions to the varied experience of their fruits, as these present themselves in due course.

5.We are not amazed by the great
And we do not Scorn the little
Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita says,

Sages see with an equal eye, a learned and humble Brahmin, a cow, an elephant or even a dog or an outcaste.(5-18)

Full verse for Tamil Readers:

யாதும் ஊரே; யாவரும் கேளிர்;
தீதும் நன்றும் பிறர்தர வாரா;
நோதலும் தணிதலும் அவற்றோரன்ன;
சாதலும் புதுவதன்றே; வாழ்தல்
இனிது என மகிழ்ந்தன்றும் இலமே; முனிவின்
இன்னாது என்றலும் இலமே; ’மின்னொடு
வானம் தண் துளி தlலைஇ, ஆனாது
கல் பொருது இரங்கும் மல்லல் பேர் யாற்று
நீர் வழிப்படூஉம்’ புணை போல் ஆர் உயிர்
முறை வழிப்படூஉம்’ என்பது திறவோர்
காட்சியின் தெளிந்தனம் ஆகலின், மாட்சியின்
பெரியோரை வியத்தலும் இலமே;
சிறியோரை இகழ்தல் அதனினும் இலமே.
—-புறம்.192, கனியன் பூங்குன்றன் ( பொருண்மொழிக் காஞ்சித் துறை))

இந்து தர்மக் கோட்பாடுகளை விளக்கும் அருமையான பாட்டு இது.
இவை அத்தனையும் பகவத் கீதையில் உள்ள வரிகள்!!!

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Tamil Saints ‘No’ to Amrita and Indra Loka!

tamil yal panan

Post No 745 dated 13th December 2013

‘Butchers and Lepers are our Gods’
By Santanam swaminathan

It is amazing to see that Hindus all over India thought the same way. All the saints and poets held Amrita (ambrosia) and Indraloka (heaven) in high esteem. So they always used them as similes. We see this trend from the days of Valmiki Ramayana until the days of modern day Tamil poet Bharatidasan. They compared Indra Loka and Amrita with some principles and said their principles are higher than or more esteemed than Amrita or heaven.

1300 years ago , a Tamil Saivite saint Appar alias Tirunavukkarasar clashed with the mighty Pallava emperor Mahendra Varman who embraced Jainism. Appar also converted himself as a Jain and then reconverted to Hinduism. When the Pallava King gave him lot of troubles, Appar composed verses and sang them with very great confidence and succeeded. One of the poems says:

“Even if the entire wealth of Kubera (Lord of Wealth) is given to us, even if the kingship of the whole world is given to us, we would not care, if the donors are not Shiva devotees. But even butchers and lepers are our Gods if they are Shiva’s devotees”.

This revolutionary thought is reflected in various verses of various periods. A Vaishnavite saint Thondardippodi Alvar says:

“Even if the kingship of Indarloka is given, I would prefer only singing the glory of Achyuta, Bull among the Devas and Yadava child residing in Tiruvarangam (modern day Trichy)”.

2000 years ago a Pandya king by name, Ilamperu Vazuthi also used Amrita as a simile. He died in a sea expedition. He says: Even if Indra’s Amrta is available, we would not eat it alone (We will share it). For any good action that would earn us name and fame, we will even give our life; but any bad thing that would earn us a bad name, we would not dare to do it. Good people earn the name of the greats because of this principle: They are never selfish; they always help others(Puram 182).

Ramayan 1

Sanskrit word ‘Amrita’ (Nectar/Ambrosia) is used with three different spellings in five or six places in Sangam Tamil Literature which is 2000 year old. Ancient Tamils are well versed with Hindu scriptures. I have written several articles about it and posted here in my blog.

Post Sangam poet Tiruvalluvar in his Tamil Veda ‘Tirukkural’ says about Amrita in two of his couplets:

“Even though what one eats may be Amrita/ambrosia, eating it alone without sharing it with one’s guests is highly improper (Kural 82)
“The food into which children’s little hands have been dipped will be far sweeter to the parent than Amrita “(Kural 64)

A later day Tamil poet prefers Tamil language to Amrita. A popular modern poet Bharatidasan compared Tamil language to Amrita. He says that the name for the Tamil language is Amrita.
It looks like the origin of all these similes is in Valmiki Ramayana. When Lakshmana praised the golden Sri lanka, Rama said:

“Mother and Motherland are greater than Heaven”- ( Janani Janma Bhumischa, swargaath api gareeyasai). This comparison of Swarga/Indra Loka and Amrita is reflected in 2000 year old Tamil literature.

rohit prasad

(Please see the Tamil version of this article for the original verses; London swaminathan)
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