Prayers and Unexpressed Gratitude

Ever felt sad or guilty for not conveying your gratitude to someone? 

It has happened to me quite a few times. Like I have missed conveying my heartfelt thanks to the person who helped me at the right moment. 

Whenever I see the following quote I just drown in the pool of guilt. 

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”

William Arthur Ward

I initially thought I can write this during Thanksgiving or Maatu Pongal but then thought it’s already delayed. So plunged to write about this soon with no further delay. 

There are quite a few incidents in this list.

To begin with I would like to quote my recent encounter. This one is actually 10 months old. This happened during my labour. 

I did not write much about my labour or pregnancy but I always wanted to share the life lessons that I learnt. But either I had no mood or I was in search of words to describe. 

I was in the hospital for 3 days before delivery. I had contractions but they weren’t so intensive so as to deliver the baby. I was induced because of low water level but the pain was moderate and consistent throughout. On the 4th day, I was again induced through drips. Pain was intense! My husband and amma were there for my support. But when they needed a break there was a nurse beside me who was holding my hands and was smiling and encouraging me throughout. Throughout labour Doctors monitor the child’s heart beat. The pain was intense but if I moved my legs I felt relaxed. But whenever I moved, the baby’s heart beat dipped. That was when that nurse gave her hand for me to hold. She was gently patting my hands throughout. After her duty she wished me good luck and left. 

I was in pain and was then taken by the series of events. In my subsequent visits I didn’t meet her. I wasn’t in a position to make a note of her name as well. 

One can say it’s her duty to take care of patients. But doing things from the heart is a rare trait. Though one gets paid it doesn’t have to be from the heart. 

I really wish I met her in my later visit to the hospital and conveyed her my thanks. Better late than never. Thank you so much! I believe that the universe carries my gratitude message to her and protects her. She always has a special place in my daily prayers. 

I seriously wish not to miss the chance to thank someone. 

How penting up negative emotions will have its own side effects. Similarly, penting up positive emotions stops blessings coming your way. To have a better mood, better lifestyle, more peace, go ahead and convey your gratitude. Especially those unuttered gratitude. They will pave the way for more blessings. 

A 5-1 Kolam decorated with lamps to offer prayers

Sometimes people pray to offer something to god to succeed in tasks. Eventually, people may also forget. They might face some hurdles in subsequent tasks and gets reminded about the prayer and offer it to god. 

Here, it doesn’t mean that God expects gifts or offers to shower his abundant blessings. It is to make us understand the power of giving and being grateful. 

So, If you wish to convey your thanks to someone and he or she is in your radar do not miss the chance. You may not get one more chance. 

Be open. Say THANKS and attract blessings your way. 

Regards,

Rukmini

Reference: 

Image from Brainy Quote 

Periya Puranam – A History And Beyond

“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.” Michael Crichton

Hello All,

Hope you are doing good. With lock down there is no way out on weekends. Sometimes it’s difficult but at times it does constantly remind me that there is a way in. And to learn or know something new, Sky’s the limit.

Hailing from Srirangam called Bholoka Vaikundam, I know very little about Nayanmars. Do not ask me if I know more about Alwars. I do not know them as well. But I have seen Alwars frequently during Thiru Adhyayana Utsavam also known as Pagal Pathu, Ra Pathu Utsavam, here in Srirangam which is celebrated during Vaikunda Ekadashi every year. But I have never been to Arubathi Moovar Vizha which is the famous festival in Mylapore every year in the month of Panguni. 

So, I thought I should start knowing more about Nayanmars. Hence writing about Nayanmars. And when it is about Nayanmars, it’s nothing but Periya Puranam that strikes my mind. As I learn about them I would like to share with you for two reasons. If you know about Nayanmars please do comment on this blog and let me know if the story is right or wrong. Another is to send some spiritual vibes which are more positive and powerful. And I guess we need this with the situation we are in. 

So, now straight into the introduction for Periya Puranam. 

Periya Puranam is also called Thiruthondar Puranam. It is 12th in the list of 12 Thirumurais (Panniru Thirumuraigal). These are 12 sacred texts of Shaivites. And this Periya Puranam is a treasure, a collection of life histories of all the 63 Nayanmars. This was compiled by Sekkizhar in the era of Kolothunga Chola II, King Anabaya Chola. 

Sekkizhar was the prime minister and poet in his court. Kolothunga Chola II was dazzled by the work Seevaga Chindamani. The work is about how a prince Seevagan conquers his kingdom back, by marrying eight dames exhibiting his heroics and errotics, gains the support of those kingdoms and becomes powerful. Ultimately, he renounces his kingdom realising the impermanence of the world and becomes a hermit. 

But King Anabaya Chola was stuck with the materialistic part of the work beyond the balance. Which naturally happens for any human. All that matters is to be aware of it and strive for balance. But the Chola king has gone so deep to make him aware of his off balance state. To put him back on track, Sekkizhar, a staunch devotee of Lord Shiva wanted to pen about Nayanmars. 

Some Illustrations Depicting Periya Puranam and Sekkizhar. Illustrations inspired from the pins Enrich Minds and 123RF from Pinterest.

To lead a peaceful life being spiritual helps. Too much erotica could spoil and ruin one’s life to destruction. And if a King goes off balance, the entire kingdom is at stake. So Sekkizhar travelled places to collect evidence and life histories of all the 63 Nayanmars. 

Most of the Nayanmars were leading a normal middle class life yet were strong about their spiritual seeking and their devotion to Lord Shiva. Despite hurdles, they were strong willed to go with their conviction.

Periya Puranam is a treasure as it clearly reveals about the time, place, the way of living of all Nayanmars. And Nayanmars are not from the same caste or sex. They are from all castes, creed and sex. The book is an epitome of Inclusiveness.

The book says that devotion, god, the elements of nature is for all. All that it requires is a heart full of love, conviction and purpose.

Most quotes on History say that it is a waste of time to read them and urge people to create one rather. But in Reality, one can read, relate and be inspired from History. And Periya Puranam not only says about devotion to God. Along with that it clearly emphasizes on love, compassion, acceptance. These aspects of life seem trivial but are difficult to put in practice in real life. But Periya Puranam is all about these little things that matter in life through the life histories of Nayanmars. 

So Periya Puranam is much more than to be seen as history as such. 

Planning to read and write about Nayanmars in the coming weeks as well. Hope things go as planned. 

Happy Week ahead! 

With Love,

Rukmini

References

www.shaivam.org

Periya Puranam Aaivu Nool, Vijaya Publications

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