Sunday, February 28, 2010

Pattinathaar: The tycoon turned sanyasi - Part 4

Pattinathaar reached Ujjain and worshipped the Kali and decided to stay there for a while. He was getting acquainted with the place and walked along the streets of Ujjain. There was a sudden excitement in the crowd and the reason was that the King of Ujjain Badhragiri (Bharudhahiri) visited that place with his soldiers escorting him. The people there respectfully bowed to the King when he went past them. But Pattinathaar did not bow to the King. The King grew a bit disturbed and asked Pattinathaar why he did not bow. Pattinathaar said he does not bow to anyone other than Lord Shiva himself.

The king roared, "It is the King who is talking to you". Pattinathaar replied "So is the One replying to you". He referred to Lord Shiva as "the One" who is talking from within him. The King was surprised by that answer and went quietly ahead. The town settled down for the day at dusk and Pattinathaar along with a few sanyasis settled down in the nearby Sathiram

When Pattinathaar was telling about his life history to the other sanyasis, a stranger who claimed that he was a merchant joined the group of people in the sathiram. The merchant was listening to the conversation between Pattinathaar and other sanyasis. Pattinathaar was explaining about the realisation he had in his life and that the meaning of life is to get rid of the materialistic pleasures of this world and realising the Supreme Being. The merchant interrupted, telling his views. He argued explaining that the purpose of life is to enjoy every moment of it. To get rid of materialistic pleasures are the words of the weak and the impotent. The merchant added, "In addition to the pleasures of wealth, the company of a woman you marry adds more value to your life. You should not miss the comfort, love and compassion. The wife has only one mind and that mind thinks only about you."

But Pattinathaar differed saying that woman are like men do have multiple minds, you can never say that their minds are set on only one man - the husband. Before marriage they could have admired other men too. The merchant grew a bit disturbed by the answer asked if it was true for noble women. Pattinathaar replied that it was true for all women in this world. The merchant who was none other than the King himself in disguise, came out of his disguise, grew more viscious and told Pattinathaar "My Queen is more noble and she has only one mind thinking about me"

Pattinathaar laughed and told "She has many minds!". This made the King very angry and he shouted at Pattinathaar to get his word back. Pattinathaar was determined that he told that he spoke only the truth. The King intimidated Pattinathaar that he would be killed if did not apologize and take his word back. Pattinathaar did not budge. The King went out of the Sathiram asking Pattinathaar to be ready for his sentence in the morning. Pattinathaar told he is a sanyasi who sacrificed everything in life and life itself is no matter to him. The King ordered his men to put Pattinathaar in the prison.

The next day the King issued an order to his men to put Pattinathaar to sentence in a Kazhumaram. (Kazhumaram, a conical shaped mast made of tree or iron fully lubricated with oil, where criminals are mounted on it on the sitting position with their hands tied to their back. The criminals will have painful death). Pattinathaar was brought before the Kazhumaram where he was about to be sentenced. He realised that it is the will of Lord Shiva and sang the following Aram (Truth) song

"என்செய லாவதியாதொன்று மில்லை இனித்தெய்வமே
உன்செய லேயென் றுணரப் பெற்றேன் இந்த ஊன் எடுத்து
பின்செய்த தீவினையாதொன்று மில்லை பிறப்பதற்கு
முன்செய்த தீவினை யோலிங்ங னேவந்து மூண்டதுவே"

"Enn Seyal Aavadhu Yaadhondrum Illa Ini Dheivamae
Unn Seyal Endru Unarappetraen Indha Oon Eduthu
Pin Seidha Theevinai Yaadhondrum Illai Pirappadharkku
Munn Seidha Theevinaiyo Innaganae Vandhu Moondadhuvae"

meaning, There is nothing I did or can do to this. I now realize that it is your will my God. I haven't committed any sin after being born into this body. But the sins that accumulated over my previous births is now standing before me to end this life

As soon as he finished singing this Aram, he fainted and fell to the ground. The Kazhumaram started burning in flames. This incident was reported to the King; the King was amazed and went to meet his queen. She thought the King was disturbed by the incident and requested him to relax, gave him wine and ordered her servants to keep the King this way. The King enjoyed the wine and literally forgot his kingdom and the world. In the meanwhile, the queen went to meet Pattinathaar herself and ordered him to apologize and tell the world that she was noble to get himself released from prison. Pattinathaar said that he would rather die. She went away saying that she will make sure that the miracle like the one that happened before does not happen the next time.

The King was inebriated and never cared about his kingdom for a few days. After he came to his senses, he went in search of his queen. Suddenly, he heard her talking to someone and discovered that she was intimate with one his horse chariots drivers. He also heard her telling the plans to execute the sanyasi (Pattinathaar) and once that is done, then the King. As a result, her secret lover would become the next King.

The King was shocked to hear that from the woman who he believed to be noble. He was very disoriented to see the queen betraying him and having an affair with an ugly servant of his.  Now he remembered Pattinathaar, and the truth he said. He immediately ordered his men to behead the chariot driver and to humiliate the queen by a practice called Karum Pulli Sem Pulli Kuthudhal (A practice where the person punished was tonsured, applied black and white spots all over the body, mounted on a donkey and make them go around the city/town). He did that to set them as examples of what would happen if someone betrays the King. The order was executed, and his former queen went around the city, people pelted her with stones and she died.

King Badhragiri, then went running to Pattinathaar, fell at his feel and apologized to Pattinathaar for ordering his men to execute him. Now, King Badhragiri decided to become a sanyasi and a disciple of Pattinathaar. He handed over his kingdom to his chief minister and requested Pattinathaar to accept him as a disciple.

To be continued in the next part...

More to come, until then...


Maayaa said...

well, i dont know what to say...I am not sure what the king did was right. You cant say all women have multiple minds..anyways

R.Prabhu said...

Neither do I know, if what the King did was right. Btw, it is not my opinion about multiple minds either? Well, I am just narrating the story of Pattinathaar. :)

If you ask me, I agree with your point, that we cannot generalize the fact that women have multiple minds. Saying such a statement would pose a big argument. Pattinathaar did not have the luxury of the Internet, blogs and web, if he had, he would have minded his words. Just kidding! Well some aspects/beliefs of the old times might not be suitable for the present lifestyle.

Vidhya said...

It was refreshing to read that Pattinathar had such a great view that women are like men and they could have admired other men before marriage. Which is applicable even today. I am not saying what the queen did was right.

R.Prabhu said...


True, Pattinathaar's life has a lot of lessons to teach us and even applicable to these days to. But everything has to be taken in the right sense though!

jayasankar206 said...

Could you please tell me where Pattinathaar's works are available for sale? I am interested in reading the works.

jayasankar206 said...

Got the link to the pdf while I was going through your earlier posts. Thanks. However, please let me know if you are aware of any tamil or english commentary on his works. I had a look at the pdf and I found it somewhat difficult to comprehend though I can read, write and speak Tamil! I must also not forget to congratulate you for such thoughtful posts for others. And, with regard to the comments on women's mind, I think that, irrespective of men or women, thinking per se is involuntary (like heart beat or breath) and perhaps, what we think too (as an extreme example, can a criminal not think of police, even if he wants to, after murdering someone?)! Or can any one restrict their thinking to one unit (e.g. the word 'Prabhu') for say, even 1 minute? I give these examples to suggest that Pattinathaar's statement perhaps emphasized the nature of thinking and what is thought. Except a few who are masters for whom thinking or what is thought is 'voluntary,' the rest fall into the ambit of Pattinathaar's statements, be they men or women!

Anonymous said...

I think it was raining heavily when Pattinathaar about to set fire for his mother's body. He worried how the body will burn, then he sings that verse by praying GOD.

R. Prabhu said...


I am not sure if it rained or not. However, thanks for the information!

Anonymous said...

Hi Prabha,

Nice work.I would like to share my views on what Pattinathar said about women having mulpitle minds.Pattinathar was a great person and the truth he spoke will apply for all the ages to come...

The statement he said menas that all people born as human being has a thing called mind which is not a stable one.Its like a monkey.We are born as women or men in this janma and doesnt mean that we will take the same form in the next one.
Mind is a very unstable thing which can become one with God only if its turned towards Him..This is my opinion.


R. Prabhu said...

Thanks Anon! Thank you very much for the explanation, a different perspective of the unstable nature of the mind leading to multiple minds.