Monday, September 17, 2007

The Wealth called Health!!!

These are the days where most people are pompously conscious of the calories in the food they eat, but actually they are not. There are people who just think like a sanyasi, who would say that the body is just a thing of waste. There is even song a that say that the human body is just air filled bag and is just an illusion. The song goes like this

"Kaayamae Idhu Poiyada
Verum Kaatradaitha Paiyada"

meaning, the human body is just an illusion and it is just an air filled bag, empty and useless

Kaayam - The human body
Idhu - A reflexive pronoun referring the body in this context
Poi - Lie, Illusion, Imaginary
Verum - Simply
Kaatradaitha - Kaatru (Air) + Adaitha (Filled, blocked)

Though this might be correct from one perspective, but in this world most people do not have the super natural capabilities to exceed their limits of their human nature and physiology. And thus came another song, on the same line

"Kaayamae Idhu Meiyada
Adhil Kannum Karuthum Vaiyada"

meaning, The body exists in reality, so take the utmost care to maintain it carefully.

Mei - Truth
Adhil - Word referring to the body
Kannum Karuthum - The eye and the mind, meaning focus your attention in nurturing the body

There are many advices in the form of songs that emphasize the point of having good health, because all that a man could achieve would be when he is in good health, once his health is gone everything is gone, his wealth, his fame. Many writers emphasize the one of the greatest wealth that a man could have is his health. There is one song that might sound funny and almost everybody knows it, but the actual meaning it emphasizes is really great. This song was sung by a Siddhar and it emphasizes the need for maintaining one's health. The song is

"Nandhavanathil Ore Aandi Avan
Naalaaru maathamai Kuyavanai Vendi
Kondu Vandhan Oru Thondi
Adhai Koothadi Koothadi Pottudaithaandi"

the meaning at the first look would seem funny. It means that a poor man in the garden begged for a pot for ten months from the potter. And he got it finally after ten months, but the poor man carelessly played and played with the pot and broke it. The above meaning might look as if the poor man's effort was a waste as he could not save the pot he begged, but the actual meaning is different and has an indepth meaning, but before that let us meaning of the words in the song.

Nandhavam - Garden, Earth
Ore - one
Aandi - Man without anything with him
Avan - Personal Pronoun
Naalaaru - Naalu + Aaru - Four + Six that is ten
Maatham - Month
Kuyavan - Potter, Creator
Vendi - Beg, Ask
Kondu - Bring
Vandhan - Refers to the Aandi
Oru - One
Thondi - Pot, Container
Adhai - Pronoun referring the pot
Koothadi - Play
Pottu - Drop
Udaithaan - Breaking

The actual meaning is as follows. Nandhavam means the Earth and Aandi refers to the human. A human born in the face of the Earth garden comes with nothing in his hand, so he is a poor man. He comes into existence on this earth after ten months. So those ten months is being interpreted as the human begging the creator (God) for his existence by bringing his physical body on this Earth garden. His body being referred to the pot that holds his life and hence the Potter is God. And all his ten months of penance goes of waste once he carelessly roams on the face of the earth unconcerned about his health and thereby breaking the Pot (body) - his life and existence - which he brought into this Garden (Earth) after ten months of effort.

The greatness of this song is that it emphasizes a great meaning with a funny context. Thirumoolar in his masterpiece Thirumandhiram has written about the need to have good health. Even the greatest poet of the recent times, Kaviarasu Kannadhasan, has mentioned his experiences of having good health in his work Arthamulla Hindu Madham (Hinduism and its meanings). Lets see what Thirumoolar has mentioned about this in his songs. The first song goes like this

"Udambaar Azhiyil Uyiraar Azhivar
Dhidampada Meignanam Seravum Maataar
Udambai Valarkkum Ubaayam Arindhae
Udambai Valarthaen Uyir Valarthaenae"

meaning, "Those who have their health destroyed, its as though they have destroyed their life. They would never attain salvation or realise the supreme being. Hence I learned the way to nurture my health. And thus I was able to nurture my life"

Udambu - Physical body
Azhiyil - If destroyed
Uyir - Life, Soul
Azhivar - Die, Destroyed
Dhidampada - Healthiness
Meignanam - Salvation, Knowledge about the Supreme Being
Valarkkum - Nurturing
Ubaayam - Way, Method
Arindhae - realising, learning

What Thirumoolar says is 100% true, if a man does not have good health, then he will not find time to realise the supreme being as he has to mind his own health to keep him alive. And it is a pain to see people suffering from health disorders.

His next song states what our very first song of this post states and then later realises the importance of the human body.

"Udambinai Munnam Izhukkendru Irundhaen
Udambinukku Ullae Uru Porul Kandaen
Udambullae Uththaman Koyil Kondan Endru
Udambinai Yaanirundhu Ombukindraenae"

meaning, "I first thought the body is a blemish. Then I realised that the Supreme Being existing in my body. In my body, the Supreme Being (Lord Shiva) resides in a temple within. And hence I worship and nurture my physical body".

Udambu - Physical body
Munnam - Earlier
Izhukku - blemish, blame
Irundhaen - have an opinion, in this context
Ullae - Inside
Uru Porul - refers to the Supreme Being
Uththaman - Flawless, Divine Human
Koyil - Temple
Kondan - Have, Reside
Yaanirundhu - Yaan (refers to self - Thirumoolar)+ Irundhu (exist, remain)
Ombukindraen - Worshipping, Nurturing

The religious attitude that God resides in one's body, is a great thought, that will to those religiously inclined will consider the body to be divine thing and will start to maintain it in good health. For the others who are not religiously inclined, they understand that their body health is of utmost importance for them to survive. Both ways, the emphasis is to have a good health throughout life. There are various ways that humans to maintain their health. The following song explains one - Yoga. The explaination of the song could be found here in the earlier post - Power of Yoga. There are others ways like knowing about the food we eat and thereby eating the good food, more about this on Priceless Padhartha Guna Chintamani.

So conclusively, all the siddhars, doctors and wise men talking about conserving one's health. There have been ancestral knowledge like the Paati Vaidhiyam, passed on for generations, that averted the need for a doctor in most cases and good healthy food that eliminated most of the diseases. But those knowledge and the healthy food habits is on the decline in our country due to western culture creeping in. It is not the western culture that is to blame, but the people who forget the most treasured knowledge that is priceless and will be realised only when health is lost. Lets us bring back those practices back into life to live long and prosper!!!

More to come, until then...


Anonymous said...

Dear Prabhu,
VaNakkam. A fine post on health! The first quote u give is like this, as per my reading:

kAyame idu poyyaDa
kAttraDaitha paiyaDa
elumbum chadhaiyum narambum
thOlum izhutthuk kaTTiya kooDaDa
MAyanAr kuyavan cheidha maNNu pANDa ODaDaa.

The inputs you have given are really inspiring. There is a Sanskrit saying:
sharIram Adyam khalu Dharma sAdhanam = the body indeed is the primary instrument for practicing aRam.

nOyatra vAzhve kuraivatra chelvam.
Does the tirukuraL say anything on the subject?

Thanks and best regards,

R.Prabhu said...


Thanks for the full version of the song, I didn't know the full version of the song when I wrote the post. Yes indeed the song is quite true too. And I really wonder your knowledge, I guess you are a much learned man and you have learnt a lot of other stuff in many other languages too. And thanks once again for your great inputs!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Prabhu for your response. Here are a few more 'titbits' on the subject:

There is a saying: chuvar irundAlthAne chittiram ezhutha? The literal meaning is: A picture can be drawn/painted only if there is a wall (canvas/screen, etc.). The actual intended meaning is: the wall = body. chittiram = whatever worthwhile goal one wishes to achieve in life. So, any plan is possible to execute only if there is the basic infrastructure, the body. If this is not conducive, nothing can be done.

'A sound mind in a sound body' is another saying. When the body is troubled by ill-health, how can the mind function 'nimmadiyaaga'?

A great composition (by Kaviyarasu Kannadaasan?) in the film 'TiruvilaiyADal':
pAtthA pasu-maram paDutthuviTTA neDumaram
serthA viragukkAgumA jnAnatthangame
theeyiliTTa kariyum minjumA

What great philosophy is conveyed thru this seemingly simple song!!
He says: On cursory glance the body is so nice to look at, just like a fresh, juicy, wood/tree. But once the body falls, dies, the tree is immobile. While the real tree is useful as a fuel, this body cannot serve even this purpose. Then, after burning, the tree can give charcoal. But the human body cannot yield this too.
The other verses of this song too are full of great meaning.

Some great thoughts:
The animal skin is useful for footwear, belt, fancy bags, musical instruments like mridangam, maddalam, etc. But the human skin is virtually useless, not worth even a paisa.

uDalum uLLamum nalandAnA ?


R.Prabhu said...


Am doing great!! Hope you are fine too! And indeed the words of Kavignar Kannadhasan is really true. Thanks for the useful info posted!!

Ravi said...

ennatha solla?? Just superrrrrb!!! I am so eager to meet you in person.

Voracious Blog Reader said...

Hi Prabhu,

Yes, health is wealth.

As you say, we have to practicse what our ancestors had been following.

Home made food is always the best. With the enormous amount of Resteraunts emerging around each and every nook and corner, I wonder whether " traditional cooking techniques " can be preserved. That point sure makes me worry.

Voracious Blog Reader

R.Prabhu said...


Thanks a lot!!! Indeed am very much delighted and the pleasure is mine to meet you too!!!

@Voracious Blog Reader

Thanks! Indeed home food is always the best, the cleanliness and hygiene is always its best at home!!! The most worrying thing is that nowadays people don't know about difference between - Pacharisi and Puzhungarisi. The different keerai varieties (Kumuti Keerai, Pannai Keerai, Mudakkathan, Seemai Ponnanganni, Naatu Ponnanganni etc). They don't the difference between Cholam and makka Cholam. And many other items like, Saamai, Kaelvaragu, Kambu, Naatu Kambu, Kollu etc. I hope learning these things is a great thing first, because these are all the most common things to know.

balar said...

Another excellent post prabhu...

Nadhavanathil oru aandi poetry ikku neenga kodutha explanation really superb...

keep it coming..

R.Prabhu said...

Thanks Balar!

Voracious Blog Reader said...

Hi Prabhu,

I am learning lots about our culture. I wish I am as adept as you in reading our scriptures.

I am eagerly looking for your posts. Please enrich our knowledge. We want people like you to bring to the forefront the vast & deep culture that we have and which that is slowly losing importance.

Voracious Blog Reader

prabhu said...

Eppadi Solluradhunu Theriyalla! Hm eppadi ivvollovu naalla idai ellam miss panninaennu theriyalla?
ennakku sittar padalgal endral romba viruppam, naan padichadhu illai aannaal sittar kadaigal solla kettu irrukkaen.neriya sittar kovil kallukku sendru amadiya irrupadhu ennudaya ullarandha aasai..
engal ooril niraya sittar vazhandadhu undhu........idai ellam computer la paarkkum podhu migavum sandhosamaga ulladhu...prabhu.ennudaya perum prabhu taan.....ungal padaippugalli ellam migavum arumai,arpudham,pokisam. adikaalayil office computerla unga blogs ellam padikkum podhu en vellaigal anaittayum marandhu ponnaen.........eppadi indha vayadhil ippadi oru anubavam neengallum naanum ore vayadhu taan...paarungal....ennai paarkkum podhu ennakkae konjam sangadamaga ulladhu,hm God's gift keep it up prabhu.......

R.Prabhu said...

Innoru Prabhu udan thodarbu kidaithidhil mikka magizhchi. Thangal oor yedhu endru therindhaal miga nandraga irukkum. Maelum angu ulla siddhar kovilgal patri vibaram koduthal miga arumai.

Maelum indha blog ungalukku pidikum vagaiyil irukiradhu enbadhu mikka sandhosham. Indha blogai valarthadhu ungalai pondra vasagarkal thaan. Naan enakku therindhavattrai indha blog-il pottaen avalavu thaan. Valarththadhu ungalai pondravargal. Vaazthukkalukku Mikka nandri Prabhu. Thank you very much!!

prabhu said...

im from mayiladuthurai.u born and brought from coimbatore? im living in kuwait.almost missing all my siddar frnds back in India...i mean (who always talk abt siddar)
v call him as siddar only.....nyway i ll try 2 contact him and giv u info watevr i could...i never been happy like this b4 reading ur blogs in past yrs....

prabhu said...

im really terrified to speak with u in english prabhu...such master class english gr8...There is place called Sittarkaadu juz 3kms away from my native place and another place is called Thiruvaalngadu 14 kms away, both palces were highlly blessed by sittars whom they lived there for long years and practiced.
even 2day these palces are visited by lot of devotees and followers from all over India..once i was told by my frnd that the followers would be guided by their Gurus to visit the particular place on particular it true?

R.Prabhu said...

Good to hear that you are from Mayiladuthurai, nice place and a place near the great Vaidheeswaran kovil famous for Naadi jodhidam.

Btw I have heard about Kollimalai, but Sittharkaadu is new to me. I know about Thiruvaalangaadu mostly connected with Karaikal Ammaiyar. Yes I have heard that in Sadhuragiri near Seergazhi i guess, not sure though, that Gurus will guide visit various temples and places where Siddhars lived.

Good information Prabhu, great to be in touch with you!!!

prabhu said...

I have something 2 tell u Prabhu....but i don't think blogg!!!! its merely an idea which can be used or neglected its upto u belive in nadi jothidam?
b4 dat let me read ur blogg fully..its awesome prabhu,im really njoy reading ur article and takes time to grasp as whole....

R.Prabhu said...

Yes I believe Naadi Jodhidam. it is a perfect science. If you would like to discuss more feel free to email me at rprabhu.mca (at) gmail [dot] com

I have replaced the @ symbol . symbol with words in email to avoid spam harvesting.

Good to hear that you enjoy the blog!! I am really happy, take your own time and I will always be available in the email id mentioned

Anonymous said...

dear prabhu,
wonderful articles of yours, in particular Padhartha Guna Chintamani post. Could you please help me to know where this book could be procured? my email id is
i am a retired prof of physics living in tambaram. thanks GOD BLESS YOU.r. balakrishnan

R.Prabhu said...

@Balakrishnan sir,

Thank you very much for you wishes. I will email you the details soon!

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