The 10th century AD Pattinathar was a poet whose five works are included in the sacred Shaivite canon. He was born in the port-town Kaveripoompattinam to a wealthy mercantile family, who himself was a merchant before giving up his materialistic way of life. The divine child grew up and followed in his father's footsteps. Once the father sent him on a ship with a good lot of merchandise and when he came he just brought back sacks full of paddy husks. The father was angry and locked him up in a room and after going to the harbor, threw the husks out.
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Post a Comment. I'm excited to finally write about the topic that bears the name of this blog. Tamilnadu had seen its fair share of saints and sages blessed with their wisdom.
Life story and wisdom of Pattinathar is unique. There is a common saying in Tamilnadu, that only when one suffers, they realize pattinathar Patta piragu than pattinathar puriyum. His life history is not documented clearly and many of his songs were passed from one generation to another, now found in collections such as "Siddhar Padalgal" or "Pattinathar Padalgal".
However most pin the events around 10th century CE. While researching this topic, i found wide variations and sometime minor differences in the life events of this great saint.
Key differences and points are annotated either inline or at the end of post. His mastery in language and poetry shows in his songs with proper grammar edugai and monai and flow. It took a considerable time to find translation and proper meaning for some words. Those who can understand Tamil, i recommend listening to Sri Kirupananda Variyar's discourse in Tamil titled "Pattinathar" or watching the movie for a quick refresh. Sri Variyar delivers the discourse in his usual mesmerizing way.
Hope you find this post useful. Sri Variyar swamigal started his discourse with a wonderful introduction. Here it is. If he says, he didn't eat meat the last three days, it implies he ate before. Agasthiyar Agastya is a revered sage. Arunagirinathar sings about Agasthiyar, "Sivanuku nigar" - the one who is equal to Siva. Everyone goes to see Lord Rama, but Rama himself went to see Agasthiyar. The sage was waiting outside his ashram to receive Lord Rama. Rama reaches the ashram and bows to him.
Agasthiyar is shorter than Rama - how to tell this? Kamban Azhwar uses Aruthapathi to describe the scene - " Nindravanai sendra nediyon adi paninthan" Nediyon - the taller one. He would've sung "Nindravanai sendra Nimalan adi paninthan Nimalan - god or niruban adi paninthan". Instead, he used "Nediyon", implying agasthiyar is shorter.
Likewise, since this saint is called as " Pattinathar" city dweller or city person , it implies all the other saints were born in smaller towns or villages. He was born in Poompuhar Puhar presently known as Kaveri poompattinam, a coastal city which served as capital for many Chola kings. It is important for all hindus to take pilgrimage and visit many temples and kshestras.
Lord Kuberan is a good friend of Lord Shiva. He worships Shiva with his consorts in Kailasa. He made a request to Lord shiva to accompany him in visiting various temples.
Chidambaram, Seerkazhi, Pullirukkuvelur Vaitheeswaran temple and Mayuram. Finally, they reached Kaveri poompattinam now known as Poompuhar , once ruled by Karikala cholan. Kuberan liked the temple and its surrounding beauty and thought it'll be nice to stay a few days here before proceeding further.
Where does god live? In our mind, in our words, in our thoughts. Siva called Kubera and inquired his thoughts. Kubera, you wanted to stay here for a few days right? Why not stay and spend a lifetime here? He said and went back to Kailash. Think about this, for just one thought Kubera got a life on earth. If the thoughts were good, the birth is good. Bad thoughts will have a lower birth. Whether it is good or bad thought, both are karma - doesn't matter if the handcuffs are made of gold or iron, it is still a handcuff.
We have to face the justice for our thoughts and get rid of them. Arunagiri sings, "Iruvinaimum malamum ara, eraviyodu piravi ara, eka bogamai, neeyum nanumai, irugumvagai parama sugam athai arulidai maruthil, ekanayaga, loga nayaga". Only when you get rid of the good and bad karma, pain of birth disappears and attain moksha. Please don't confuse this with deeds or duties. When the Chola Kings are crowned, it is customary for the wealthiest in the nation to hand the crown for coronation.
For three generations, the family of Sivanesan Chettiar had the honor of crowning the king. His wife is Gnanakalai. They had a daughter Thillaiammai. The business was doing well. He had 12 ships, one for personal use. More than twenty crews were working for him. Each ship had a private room maintained to keep him feel at home. He had twenty stores in the city, with four in the streets where overseas business is usually conducted. Wanting an heir for the enormous business and wealth, they prayed to Lord Shiva at Thiruvenkadur temple to bless them with a Child of Wisdom Gnana Kuzhandai.
With blessings of Lord Shiva, a baby boy was born. He was named Swetharanyan - called Thiruvenkadan at home as they prayed at Thiruvenkadu temple. The child was growing well and is always playful. Studied for ten days and played for twenty.
Dad was concerned, but mom consoled him they had wealth to last ten generations. Playing at the river banks of Cauvery, the kid wondered why buffaloes won't run fast like horses? Probably god set it up that way, so the Yama God of death Buffalo - Yama's vehicle will do his job slow and less. When the child turned six, the dad passed away.
The business dealings fell on the mother. With her brother Sivachidambaram Chetty's wife: Sivagami Aachi help, she was able to conduct the business and manage the household. Being born in lineage of traders, Swetharanyan picked up the intricacies of the trade faster. He set out to travel overseas with friends. Out in the ocean, he realized how small we are compared to the land.
He didn't realize it then, but later realized even the family life is similar. Once they reach the shores, he was pitiful looking at their lifestyles. The people know their ship and were treated royally. He never saw poverty from birth.
Though he realized the wealth is temporary, the pampering is enough to boost his ego and make arrogant. By age sixteen, he ran the business full time. Knowing basic arithmetic is more than enough to successfully run one. Soon after, he was married to Sivakalai - his uncle's daughter.
He wanted to marry outside, but family pressure kept him married within family. Like father, he too was a great giver.
Aradhanai for God, Sammaradhanai food, materials to devotees and poor. Variyar explains it like Head post office and branch office - if you drop a mail in branch office it reaches the head office and then to destination. But what you put in head office don't come to branch office. Likewise, feeding the needy will reach god instead of doing neiveidya to god which doesn't go to poor. To be continued No comments:. Newer Post Older Post Home. Subscribe to: Post Comments Atom.
This devotee of wisdom and experience, has written many poems that educate the people of the perspectives that one would not have thought about or would have been reluctant to think about. Realize the Truth and live blissfully praising It. Understandable from the commercial importance of the city, there lived lots of businessmen prospering in local and international trade. The child grew over the mounts of wealth.
He was born to Sivanesa Chettiar and Gnanakalai. His father was a trader in Tiruvidaimarudur, Thanjavur district. He was also called as Thiruvenkadar by the people. When he was five years old, he lost his father.
Alexander and Tamil Saint Pattinathar
Devotees raise a tent pandal with flowers and offer sweet pudding Sarkarai Pongal as nivedhana. It is believed that prayers here help conquering passions and children born will be wise. The temple is on the shores of Bay of Bengal. There is no tower or vimanas. The saint is facing the sea from a separate shrine in a Linga form on a square peeta-stage.