Thursday, December 24, 2009

Pattinathaar: The tycoon turned sanyasi - Part 3

Pattinathaar made his decision to become a sanyasi and expressed his decision to his wife Sivakalai. She cried like anything on her husband leaving her alone and becoming a sanyasi. But later she consoled herself and she too decided that she will live the life of a sanyasi by being at home. Then Pattinathaar got from Sivakalai, a box that had the dress of his ancestor, who became a sanyasi. Pattinathaar's family had been worshipping that box considering that dress to be divine.

Pattinathaar first renounced his wife and then renounced his chariot, so he walked across the streets to meet his mother. When he informed his decision about becoming a sanyasi to his mother. His mother said that she was not surprised, but she expected this. Pattinathaar said to his mother that he is going to wear the saffron cloth of his ancestor. His mother insisted that he opens up that box and sees that.

When Pattinathaar opened the box, all he found was six loin cloths. Now, Pattinathaar's mother told that this was the property of her father-in-law and that he would say that full clothing is itself a big burden for a sanyasi. Pattinathaar went inside one of the rooms in the house and came out dressed in the loin cloth. Then his mother instructed that he should get the blessings and word from the guru from whom his grandfather got sanyasam. Before he left, his mother tied some small cloth packet to his hip and told that he should meet her if the pack unties, because that will happen when it is the end of her life.

Pattinathaar went to the Gurukulam for the first time in his life, though it was the Gurukulam started off by one of his ancestors and their family were the patrons of that Gurukulam, yet Pattinathaar never ventured into the Gurukulam before. He went in and got the blessings and word from the Guru. When he came out of the Gurukulam, he was given the beggar's shell (Thiruvodu). He got the thiruvodu. As sanyasi's are expected to beg and eat their daily meal as they have renounced everything in life and nothing belongs to them. Hence even the food for their living has to be given by others, symbolising that everything in this world, including one's soul is the alms given by God.

Pattinathaar, with his Thiruvodu, went to meet his mother as the first alms for a sanyasi should be from his mother. That's when he thought

வீடிருக்க தாயிருக்க வேண்டுமனை யாளிருக்க
பீடிருக்க ஊணிருக்க பிள்ளைகளுந் தாமிருக்க
மாடிருக்க கன்றிருக்க வைத்த பொருளிருக்க
கூடிருக்க நீ போன கோலமென்ன கோலமே

Veedirukka Thaayirukka Vendu Manayaal Irukka
Peedu Irukka Oon Irukka Pillaigalum Thaanirukka
Maadirukka Kandrirukka Vaitha Porulirukka
Koodirukka Nee Pona Kolamenna Kolamae

meaning Pattinathaar thinks to himself "You have your home, You have your mother, You have a wife. You have the fame, You have good healthy body, You even have children. You have the cow, And the cow has its calf, you even have the wealth for generations. While body is still alive, look what you have been - a Sanyasi"

Then he walks straight to his home to get the first alms from his mother. He called his mother from the gates. His mother came out with an empty hand and asked "My dear son, are you still rich?". Pattinathaar was puzzled at his mother's question. He thought he had renounced everything and is begging for alms before his mother and his mother is asking such a question. He asked his mother in a puzzled tone "Why do you ask that way mother?". His mother replied

"வீடு உனக்கு அந்நியம் ஆகிவிட்டது ஆனால் ஓடு உனக்கு சொந்தம் ஆகிவிட்டதே அப்பா"

meaning "The home is now alien to you, but now you own a thiruvodu that makes you richer than other sanyasis".

Pattinathaar had a much better realisation now, he was about to throw away his thiruvodu, but his mother stopped him and said. "Use it my son, but if you lose it don't search as if you have lost your property". Then she gave the first alms to Pattinathaar, he moved on. Then he came across his elder sister's house, she saw him and invited him into her home and provided him a feast. When Pattinathaar obliged and sat for the meal, his sister asked about transferring the right to Pattinathaar's property in writing. Pattinathaar immediately left the house without eating and made up his mind never to come to that house.

But his sister went behind him always, she sent spies to look where he was going. Finally one day, she sent her children to meet their maternal uncle. She asked the children to give their uncle the Appam (pancake) she had prepared. The children sprang up in love on Pattinathaar when they saw him. He had a lot of affection for those kids, so he picked them up in his arms and talked to them. They gave him the Appam that their mother had asked to give it to him and they left. When Pattinathaar was about to eat to he saw that the appam had some phosphoric poison in it. He realised that it was his sister who tried to kill him. He went straight to his sister's house and threw the appam on roof top and went away singing these two lines

தன் வினை தன்னை சுடும்
ஓட்டப்பம் வீட்டை சுடும்

meaning, like one's sins burns them up, the appam in the roof top will burn the house. The next day the entire house was engulfed in flames.

From then on Pattinathaar went on to the temples in the nearby towns and sang in praise of Lord Shiva in those temples. One day when he was in Thiruvidaimarudhur, the small pack that his mother tied to his hips untied itself indicating the his mother was her deathbed. He rushed to see his mother and as he was praying while he rushed, his mother held her life in her hands until Pattinathaar reached. Then his mother passed away in his hands. Pattinathaar wept like anything remembering how his mother had brought him up from a baby to a man. And after that, the in the funeral he set fire to his mother's body. He then sang the following song

முன்னை யிட்டதீ முப்பு ரத்திலே
பின்னை யிட்டதீ தென்னி லங்கையிலே
அன்னை யிட்டதீ அடிவ யிற்றிலே
யானு மிட்டதீ மூள்க மூள்கவே

Munnai Itta Thee Muppurathilae
Pinnai Itta Thee Then Ilangaiyilae
Annai Itta Thee Adi Vayitrilae
Yaanum Itta Thee Moolga Moolgavae

meaning that the Fire in the front from the third eye of Lord Shiva, charred the country of Thirupura Asuras. The fire that was behind in the tail of Lord Hanuman set fire to Srilanka. The fire that the mother holds is the womb. And let the fire that I hold shall grow and grow to char the mother's body"

Then he thought that being born is a big sin and that is what puts everybody in the inescapable loop of affection and bonding. So he sang an another song after that realising that he grew tired going from one womb to another in every birth.

மாதா வுடல் சலித்தால் வல்வினையேன் கால்சலித்தேன்
வேதாவும் கைசலித்து விட்டானே நாதா
இருப்பையூர் வாழ்சிவனே இன்னுமோ ரன்னை
கருப்பையூர் வாராமல் கா

Maadha Udal Salithaal, Vall Vinaiyaen Kaal Salithaen
Vedhavum Kaisalithu Vittaanae Naadha
Iruppaiyur Vaazh Sivanae Innumore Annai
Karuppaiyur Vaaramal Kaa

meaning, Mother got tired by giving birth in every life taken, My legs grew tired by going from one womb to another in every birth. Lord Bramha's hands got tired by creating life again and again. Oh! Lord Shiva of Iruppaiyur, bless me that I shall not go into the womb of another mother"

Then he wandered in the same place for sometime, when again his sister started to give troubles in connection with the property. Pattinathaar transferred all the rights to the property to the temple. And he decided to go to Ujjain to worship the Goddess Kali and left his hometown for good.

To be continued in the next part...

More to come, until then...


Maayaa said... picturize some incidents exactly..awaiting the next post!!

Anonymous said...

ennathan thatthuvam padithalum / pesinalum aduttha nimidam naam intha ulaga vazk\hkkaiyai vidappovathillai. Atleat paavangal seyyamal iruppom

R.Prabhu said...

Hope the posts convey what they are intended to convey about Pattinathaar.

What you have said is so true. Thanks for visiting my blog


I came across your blog today after googling for something trivial 'Kazhumaram' I'm happy that I have discovered your blog.
You are doing a good work here. Keep it coming and its been a pleasure reading your writings.
Thank you

R.Prabhu said...

Thank you very much

V said...

பட்டினத்தார் வரலாறு மானிடர்க்கு பெரும் போதனை. அவர் தியாகம், வைராக்கியம், பக்தி எல்லாம் மிக உயர் மட்டத்தில் உள்ளன. எல்லாரும் இதை அறியும் வண்ணம் தெளிவான ஆங்கிலத்தில் வடித்துப் பெரும் தொண்டு புரிகிரீர்கள். வணக்கம், பாராட்டுக்கள்.


Vidhya said...

was waiting for this post for a long time. Like Priya said, i could picturize some of the events. Very well written.

R.Prabhu said...

மிக்க நன்றி சுப்பு அவர்களே!

R.Prabhu said...

Thank you very much, Vidya!

Voracious Blog Reader said...

Hallo Prabhu,

Coming here after a long time.

I like all your posts. And this was no different.

"Than vinai thannai chudum..": Didn't know that it was Pattinathar.

Keep up the great work.

Voracious Blog Reader

R.Prabhu said...

Hello VBR,

It's good to see you back after a very long time. Hope you are doing fine. Thanks for coming back after a long time

jay said...

HI Prabu,

ur posts looks impressive.

i dont say i have a good knowledge abt tamil literature...

but i am interested in...

u r really to be gifted....:)

would like to talk to u in person..

could u scrap me ur contacts (

Yadhunandhan said...

Machaan, onnu purinju kittaen. Nalladhu panravanum kashtapadaran, kettadhu pandravanum kashtapadraan.
Nalladhu pannaradhu romba kashtam.
Kettadhu pandradhu easy, manasum sandosapadudhu...

Adhanalae..... Purinjirukkum'nu ninaikiraeen!!!

Nalladhae pannuvom'nu sollaraen. Theriyum, nee ennai nambalai'nu!

R.Prabhu said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. Good to hear that you liked it :)

R.Prabhu said...

@Prabhu (Yadhunandhan)
Purinjudhu Machan... I believe you ;)

language evaluation and research said...

hello. i was watching a dvd of pattinatthaar on my television and got curious about his life history; googled it and reached your page. read what you had written. makes interesting reading, but i have one small suggestion to make. if you don't mind, i would like to rewrite your tale of pattinatthaar for you. not the story itself but the language. and also do a slightly different translation of the verses that you have selected. i wil anyway attempt it and send it; if you like it, you are welcome to use it.
as a professor of english in a central university in India (hyderabad), but born and brought up in tamil nadu and as a student of english literature, i could not help the 'criticism' if you can call it that.
best wishes for your future efforts.
do you know if an english translation of his poems is available?

geetha durairajan said...

pattinathaar varalaaru chirappaanathu. thanks for sharing it.
please tell me how do i write comments on your blog in tamil.

R.Prabhu said...

Professor Geetha,

Thanks for coming by, I would be delighted to see your version too. Please email it to me at rprabhu(dot)mca(at)gmail(dot)com

I am not aware of any translations available yet. Will let you know if I find one

You can use Google Transliterate to type your comment in Tamil

G.Vijay Karthik said...

Hey, Accidentally I just found this site while googling for something.

However, this blog is really kewl & really PATTINATHAAR was an inspiration for me & particularly those lines,

முன்னையிட்ட தீ முப்புரத்திலே,
பின்ன இட்ட தீ தென் இலங்கையிலே,
அன்னை இட்ட தீ அடி வயிற்றிலே,
யாதும் இட்ட தீ மூழ்கவே, மூழ்கவே ...

R.Prabhu said...

Thanks Vijay Karthik

Mariappan Gnanaraj said...

தமிழில் இருந்தால் நன்றாக இருக்கும். முயற்சிக்கவும்.

R. Prabhu said...

நன்றி மாரியப்பன் அவர்களே. முதலில் நானும் தமிழில் பதிவு செய்ய எண்ணினேன் ஆனால் உலகில் மற்றவரும் தமிழ் பற்றி புரிந்து கொள்ள வேண்டுமானால் ஆங்கிலத்தில் பதிந்தால் மட்டுமே முடியும் என்று ஆங்கிலத்தில் பதிவுகள் செய்தேன்

Unknown said...

liked your blog on Pattinatar very much. One little change is required.
"பின்னை யிட்டதீ தென்னி லங்கையிலே" means
Napinnai is pinnai here, which is Sita in our case (even though Hanuman lit the fire physically, he was the messenger for Sita), hence it means Sita lit the fire in Lanka metaphorically

Thanks for your blog and keep up the good work

R. Prabhu said...

Thank you Anon! for the interpretation!

Thayuman Cosmo intersect said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thayuman Cosmo intersect said...

thank you Mr.Prabhu for these service and taking over in english really the pattinathar was great sanyasi and best business tycoon after sparkling from his child (the god) he turned to sanyasin looking for next part too pattinathar oru Jnani

R. Prabhu said...

Thank you Thayuman