A Friend In Need

“Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it’s all over.”

Gloria Naylor

Happy Janmashtami One and All! 

Krishna is always special in India. He is there in everyone’s life here. Now-a-days, I do see his devotees across the world irrespective of religion. 

What is so special about him?

Why is he spoken about even after ages? 

Once Saurabh Jain, the one who enacted as Shri Krishna in Star Plus Mahabharata 2013, in his Instagram handle, spoke about how people see him as the Lord Krishna himself and share their worries, pain and ask him for guidance. 

Such is the impression people have. Shri Krishna is seen as the guiding force. There is no caste, creed, religion or sex for the supreme being. He is all here for the people who love him truly. As simple as that. He goes a mile extra for such people. He stays with them in every step and ensures they reach their goals and destination that must be reached. He is the journey himself. 

In his life he had taught the world many aspects through his way of living, being around with people, the way he carried himself in intense situations. And he never missed timing. When he had to be there for his friends he had been there. Neither a moment delayed nor a moment prior. He has been just there for his friends. He was a friend of all. The poor. The rich. Brahmin. Kshthriya. Male. Female. It never mattered. He would have their backs till the moment arrived and then he would appear at the right moment to take their hands and lead the way to the destined destination. 

Treating Friends

He taught how to treat people, especially friends. We do see in real life how people treat their friends. Few people use them. Few people put down their own people. Say, when a friend is rich, people use them for paying bills in a get together. His big heart is taken for granted. His wallet gets burnt. There is also the other extreme where poor people are ill treated. Most times friends are seen with benefits. Unconditional love for friends is a rare trait. Both Krishna and Rama have been an epitome of unconditional love, friendship. 

Lord Krishna treated Sudhama, his poor Friend and Arjuna, his rich Friend alike. Both were from different castes. But it didn’t stop him from treating them alike with respect and love. Beyond helping them to grow with his guidance, he respected them and their privacy. He always maintained the invisible line when it came to helping others and respecting them. 

He never did it all by himself. He let them do and appeared when his presence was much needed. In the case of Sudhama, he was in poverty beyond words. He was Krishna’s childhood friend. He tried all his means in an ethical way to lead a good life and when he couldn’t find a way, he went to Krishna, the king of Dwaraka upon the request of his wife. 

Being Humble

Sudhama was shabbily dressed and had some flattened rice in a torn cloth to offer it to his beloved friend. As Sudhama reached Krishna’s palace, the security guards did not let him in. But Krishna came running to receive him. Sudhama was moved. He did not openly ask for help. Krishna understood his situation and blessed him prosperity.

Krishna did not put his friend down. He neither felt proud about his wealth nor made fun of his childhood friend. He just empathized and did what he could do to help his friend. 

Zentangles in Flower vase with Lotus flowers which is close to Krishna. Self Designed one for Krishna Janmashtami.

The Takeaway

In our lives after college we might lose touch with childhood friends in the course of life. Say after some 10 years you accidentally meet your friends. You may bump into any of the following situations. 

Your friend fastly moves away from your sight. He may not have achieved his goals and might feel shy and move away. And some other time you may meet a friend who is in a higher position than yours and he may think why to talk with his peers and he wouldn’t smile back even. The vice versa is also possible. Where you are in a higher position and you think small about others.

Krishna, through his actions revealed that if a friend is in a lower financial status due to some reasond, but is here looking for help, do not question him knowing his situation. If in a position to help him, in ways you can, do it wholeheartedly with no ounce of pride. That way one can do a sane service and his respect isn’t at stake. Just need to thank God that we are in a better position, the position where our hands give rather. 

Krishna, the Jagad Guru even during intense times never left himself behind. In friendship if both Friends connect with the child in themselves even after years, then the ego dies. Friendship just becomes immortal. 

This Janmashtami let’s vow to treat people better with love and respect. Especially our friends. If one does not have a friend like Krishna. Being one may help. Might be. 

With love,

Rukmini

Kannadasan – A Phenom

Kannadasan is one of the greatest philosophers this world has seen. He is widely known as lyricist in Tamil Cinema world. But he has given wonderful spiritual works. His greatest spiritual work is ‘Arthamulla Hindu Madham‘ – ‘Meaningful Hinduism’ is the rough translation. The book is of 10 volumes. He has written many other books like Yesu Kaviyam, Thai Paavai, Manavasam etc on spiritual genre. Many of his songs quench the philosophical and spiritual thirst of his listeners.

This post is about 4 beautiful songs written by Kaviyarasar Kannadasan. All the four songs are from the same movie but are of 4 different situations within the same story line. There is this iconic movie Thiruvilaiyadal, released in the year 1965. The movie is a mythological one which is based on the divine games played by Lord Shiva, to show the devotion of his devotees to the world. Many yestergen people love this movie. Even today the movie is fresh. It does act as one the references to delve into the divine plays of Lord Shiva. It leaves the viewers with a curiosity to know more on Nayanmars and their devotion. 

In the year 1965, with no great advancements on technology, the art direction, the screenplay, the writing and the direction by AP Nagarajan was at its best. The movie depicts few chosen Divine plays of Lord Shiva. 

In olden days, musicians, poets were greatly revered. There were competitions with fellow musicians from other lands and as one loses himself, he and his country would become the slave of the musician. Such was the rule in the Sangam Era. The musician becomes the musical king and is gifted with loads of money, gold, rare gems and the win is documented as he conquers the kingdom with his music. The last part of the movie is all about this. 

Picture taken from Wikipedia Images

Long story short for people who haven’t seen the movie. And for Tamil speaking people it’s close to impossible to miss the movie. Still just about the plot before delving into the songs.

There was a composer Banapathrar in Pandiya Kingdom. A great devotee who sings on Lord Shiva. He is known for his humility and devotion. Another singer, his contemporary, Hemanatha Bhagavathar, he being a head strong personality, with his musical talent kept conquering many kingdoms. And he comes to Madurai Kingdom to showcase his talent and conquer. The king seeked the help of his court musicians but seeing Hemanatha Bhagavathar’s performance they backed out . King’s last resort was Banapathrar and he was ordered to compete against Hemanathan. 

Banapathrar surrendered to Lord Sundareshwara, the presiding deity of Marudai, to safeguard him and his Kingdom from becoming a slave. The Lord wanted to teach a lesson to the head strong singer. He disguised himself as a wood seller and rested himself on the front ward of Hemanathan’s bunglow that night and sang a divine song which made him realise that he is just a speck of dust in this universe. Hemanatha Bhagavathar was fumbled and learns that the wood seller is the student of Banapathrar and elopes out of the kingdom, stating that he is the slave of Banapathrar and Madurai Kingdom. 

In the movie, there are 4 songs involved for this particular part of the movie. 4 sung in different moods and by different persons as per the plot. But all the 4 songs were penned by Kaviyarasar Kannadasan. Just a brief analysis on each song, change of moods that he has brought up into each of them with so much grace.

First is Oru Naal Podhuma – The song sung by a stalwart, Sri. Bala Murali Krishna on vocals, in the plot by Hemanatha Bhagavathar. The song depicts all about Hemanathan. Each line of the song is of different raga. The raga comes in words as well as in the tune. Such a musical treat by KV Mahadevan. Few lines that says what kind of person he is. “Endhan Kalaiku Indha Thirunaadu Samam Aaguma“, means “Is this kingdom equal to my talent?” The song ends with “Isai Deivam Naan Ada“, “I am the music god” he proclaims. 

The song shows what kind of person he is! Head strong and full of pride. 

Next is “Isai Thamizh Nee Seidha Arum Saadhanai“. This song says the mindset of Banapathrar is sung exceptionally well by TL Mahalingam both on onscreen and the vocals. Banapathrar is summoned by the king to contest against Hemanatha Bhagavathar. He surrenders to lord and ask him to safeguard from the impending assault for the kingdom. He sings “Verukku Neer Ootri Vilaikindra Iraiva! Un ooruku pazhi nerdhal unakindri enakillai“. “The one who grows a plant by watering the roots, if your kingdom is defamed it isn’t my fault. It’s yours.” Banapathrar argues with the lord as he fears the kingdom becoming the salve for the talent of Hemanathan. Banapathrar faints after the song and lord Shiva descends as a wood seller. 

As a wood seller the lord sings a philosophical song stating that he sings to ease out the pressure of work. The song “Parthal Pasu Maram” sung by TM Soundarrajan is a perfect philosophical song which simply summaries human life, desires in a span, less than four minutes. Each line tells the smallness of life that we live on this earth in comparison to the everlasting space and time. He sings about firewood but it suits human life and body; ending Pallavi with “Theeyil Itta Kariyum Minjuma“, meaning if put in fire only ashes remain both firewood and human body. Each stanza speaks about uncertainty of life in style. He doesn’t sell much at dusk and reaches Hemanathan’s place to spend that night, starts to sing in mosquito bite. 

The final divine song, “Pattum Naanae, Bhavamum Naanae“, “I am the song. I am the Bhava”. He hits the bullseye in the next line. “Paadum unnai naan paada vaithenae“. “It’s I who make you sing” sings the lord who disguised himself as the firewood seller. A beautiful rendition by TM Soundarrajan on vocals. Hemanathan surrenders and flies Madurai. 

Look at the change of moods, various situations over the plot. Single man has written all of the songs bringing the essence of character, aesthetically. Headstrong, ticked. Surrender and devotion, take it. Philosophy of life, have it in 20 lines. The voice of the divine, yeah here it is! says Kannadasan. He is able to speak as all. Even God himself.

It is usual for a poet, writer to write about things that had affected him greatly. There would be at least traces of it in each of his work. But only few writers outgrow and come up with excellence in all genres without letting their wounds bleed over their words. 4 different songs with such diversity and eloquence is possible only for Kannadasan.

Each of the songs is a gem of its kind. One cannot write better than what he has given. Such a phenomenal piece of art! 

The post is to celebrate Kaviyarasar Kannadasan’s birthday. 

A poet, a writer dies but his creations are immortal. It not just stays but makes people transcend from mere existence to living life to the fullest.

Happy Birthday! 

With Love,

Rukmini

To hear all the four songs, click on the below links. 

Oru Naal Podhuma – https://youtu.be/E__5KziNzB0

Isai Thamizh Nee Seidha Arum Saadhanai – https://youtu.be/UyTfKgHjC0c

Paartha Pasu Maram – https://youtu.be/NWDum95MyuQ

Paatum Naanae – https://youtu.be/LxXS3JgpwMI

‘Shiva Shakthi’ – The Role Models

A family is always special. It could be a nuclear family or a joint family. There is always more to learn when we are around people. A man can go anywhere in this world but his heart remains at his home. A man for whom, his fall back is his family is more confident, knows where peace, happiness and strength are. A man with a family is ever blessed. People with no support system are emotionally hurt and find difficulty in handling people and facing situations. But a man with father-mother knows he has a strong support system and sleeps peacefully. 

As children we tend to learn things from parents. Just like chromosomes come from both Mother and Father in equal ratio, behavioural aspects also come from surroundings where a child grows and learns to react and respond from mother, father and people around. In a family, both father and mother put equal effort and it is 50-50. Sometimes one gives more and sometimes other gives more and the family runs with mutual love, freedom, respect and understanding. 

In India, spirituality is an indispensable part of a family. Being religious is a choice though, but being spiritual is far from being religious and it is something that keeps stress under control. And festivals are something ever cherishable. It is another beautiful day that brings everyone on table and could share a delicious meal together! Only such memories give strength when one is at his/her low point. 

So, on this auspicious day of Maha Shivaratri, shall see how Shiva Shakthi influences our familial structure. In Indian mythology, there is the term ‘Ammai Appan’. Indeed famous in Tamil Nadu. The term denotes the universal father and mother, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. There are numerous scriptures which speak about various manifestations of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi in nature. Philosophically, Shiva is stillness and Shakthi is energy. Scientifically, Shiva is the potential energy and Shakthi is the kinetic energy. 

Speaking here with respect to Family and contribution of mother and father being in the institution of marriage is inspired from the history that still stands as a wonderful example of 50-50 partnership on all aspects of life is the history of King Sundareshwara Pandiyan and Queen Meenakshi who ruled Madurai, Tamil Nadu. 

It is believed that the universal couple descended on this Earth to show how to run a family well. For 6 months Sundareshwara Pandiyan rules the kingdom and Meenakshi takes care of the family. Next 6 months Meenakshi rules the kingdom and Sundareshwara Pandiyan takes care of the family.

Shri Ardhanari – Line Art by Ajay Kaarthick and Sowmya @Miya’s Hut

There is no gender bias and no gender based task assignment. Might be, one could be a level up and other could be a level down in any of the tasks, but that doesn’t affect the other attempting to take up tasks where one is weak and do it once or twice and learn from the better half in polishing skills.

For the fact, I initially wanted to name this blog ‘Shiva Shakthi’ as they teach core family values. But it sounded a lot spiritual rather than general. So changed the name to ‘Thus Agam Speaks’ – Meaning Thus Heart Speaks. I take this Maha Shivaratri to Thank the Universal mother and father for the inspiration.

They had set an example on how to run a family with love, respect, freedom, acceptance, being there for another and balancing the cycle called life by being as each other’s better halves. Today, on Mahashivaratri, let’s pray Mahadev and Parvati devi to bless us with an emotional, psychological, physical well being, prosperity, consciousness in each one of us. Let there be love in every one and let’s radiate to others and let our families be more merrier as the masculine and feminine energies are at unison.

Happy Shivaratri!_/\_

#HaraHaraMahadeva

With love,

Rukmini P Kirthivasan