Sunday, October 15, 2006

Solving Sorrows - Part 2

Laughing away the sorrows is not an easy task and everyone cannot take it that way because most are quite bound by their emotions that a verbal statement will not bring an effect immediately. It requires some practice and the mind needs to get trained to treat sorrows and joys equally. It requires a more composed state of mind to see those two as delusions in life rather than life itself. So what does Tamil literature has to offer for these people. Yes indeed it does have another way, though not a way for the atheists. Well, to summarise what it is - think every event, joyous or sad, to be an act of God, submit yourself to God continue with your work and that will save yourself from worries. A song by Avaiyar illustrates this point

"Ittamudan (Ishtamudan) Enn Thalayil Innapadi Ezhuthivida
Easanum Seththi Vittaano MuttaMutta

Panjamae Aanaalum Baaram Avanukku Annaai

Kalangaadhae Nee Manamae"

-- Avaiyar

meaning, Did Lord Shiva willingly determine to write the fate on my head that I should suffer, and He wrote so? Even if I suffer and fail in all my attempts in life, it is the burden of the God (Lord Shiva) I believe to relieve me out of the troubles. So don't worry my heart.

Ittamudan (Ishtamudan) - Willingly
Enn - My

Thalaiyil - in the head (Thalai: head)

Innapadi - Being so according to the context
Ezhuthivida - Determined to write (Ezhudhu - Write)
Easanum - Lord Shiva
Seththi - Consider, thinking

Vittaano - Wrote
Mutta Mutta - expression used to indicate repetitive attempts

Panajam - Failure, Misery

Aanaalum - Happen to be so
Baaram - Burden

Avanukku - For Him (Lord Shiva in this context)
Annaai - A state of activity

Kalangaadhae - Don't Worry

Nee - You
Manamae - Heart, Mind

So as the song explains, leave all your troubles to God and carry on with your work. Troubles would not hurt you much. There is yet another belief that still solves troubles better. That is, the thought that troubles are an act of God to test us. If you endure those toughness in life, you will shine as gold. Troubles and sorrows are rather things that shape us and brings out of us rare talents within, that makes who we are. There is short story that speakers in some Upanyasam used to tell the gathering. Though the story might sound fictional, it has great meaning in it.

One day a man went to the temple and talked to the God statue. He told that he is facing a lot of troubles and worries in his life. There does not even seem to be any benefit to him in worshipping the God either. So he wanted an answer for it and needs a solution to his problems and live a peaceful life.

The God statue replied, "Long before I was carved into a statue and people started worshipping me, I was a solid rock lying in the mountains. There was no one to help me or heed to my troubles. I was under the hot sun, pouring rains and the cold winters. Later, a sculptor found me and carved me into a statue. Had I not tolerated the baking Sun, the lashing rains, the chilly winters and apart from those, the hammer and the chisel of the sculptor; I would not have been worshipped now by many who come to this temple. So troubles in life are to shape what you are. Facing and tolerating them takes you to a new dimension you never expected."

Now satisfied with answer that the God Statue gave, the man got encouraged and started to live his life bravely.

To even illustrate this concept, there is a song written by the greatest poet of recent times. Rather the king of poets in the 20th century, Kavi Arasu Kannadhasan (Kavi Arasu means King of Poets). The song goes like this

"Pirappil Varuvadhu Yaadhena Kaetaen

Pirandhu Paar Yena Iraivan Panithaan

Irappil Varuvadhu Yaadhena Kaetaen

Irandhu Paar Yena Iraivan Panithaan

Vaazhvil Varuvadhu Yaadhena Kaetaen

Vaazhndhu Paar Yena Iraivan Panithaan

Anubavithae Thaan Vaazhvadhu Vaazhvenil

Aandavanae Nee Yaen Yena Kaetaen

Aandavan Sattrae Aruginil Vandhu

Anubavam Enbathae Naanthaan Endran"

-- Kavi Arasu Kannadhasan


I asked God, what do we realise in being born; God instructed me to be born.
I asked God, what do we realise in dying; God instructed me to die.

I asked God, what do we realise in living; God instructed me to live.

I asked God, if experiencing everything is what life is all about, then why are you here.

God came a little bit closer and said, Experience is none other than me!

Pirappil - Birth
Varuvadhu - Derive, realise, come

Yaadhena - What

Kaetaen - Ask

Pirandhu - Be born

Paar - See

Yena - So

Iraivan - God

Panithaan - Instructed

Irappil - Death
Irandhu - Die

Vaazhvil - Life

Vaazhndhu - Live

Anubavithae Thaan - Experiencing

Vaazhvadhu - Living

Vaazhvenil - Life

Aandavan - God

Nee - You

Yaen - Why

Sattrae - A little bit
Aruginil - Close
Vandhu - Came

Anubavam - Experience

Enbathae - is what

Naanthaan - Me

Endran - Act of Person Saying something

A great concept, in simple words! You just consider that all the experiences in life are not only act of God but God himself. The shifting of burden from ourselves to God, gives us the real strength to fight all the tussles and tribulations in life. Although atheists may question the existence of God, they might not feel the benefit they derive out of the invisible means of support. So Tamil literature offers numerous ways to solve troubles and sorrows. It is up for the peoples' mind to choose what they can and what they need. But enduring the troubles makes us what we are and takes us to a new unimaginable dimension.

More to come, until then...

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Solving Sorrows - Part 1

Tamil Literature does not only have in abundance, great songs with indepth meaning but also songs about way of life. Songs that would guide people through the various trials and tribulations of life. Most people get vexed, depressed, disoriented due to the problems and the sorrows they face. Of course, those are parts and parcels of human life, but succumbing to these is not the point of living the life. Tamil literature has umpteen number of songs that guide people on how to deal with the sorrows and troubles they face. How to come out of it and how to attain a peaceful and sucessful life. Many of us have faced and are facing difficulties in our life each tuned for our own dimension. But how we have handled them makes what we are. So what is the solution to all our sorrows and how to handle and live our life. Lets look at a song goes like this

"Aaaveena Mazhai Pozhiya Illam Veezha
Agathadiyaal Mei Nova Adimai Saaga

Maaveeram Pogudhu Endru Vidhai Kondoda

Vazhiyilae Kadankaaran Mariththukkolla
Saavolai Kondoruvan Yedhirae Thondra

Thallavonna Virundhuvara Sarpam Theenda
Kovendhar Uzhudhunda Kadamai Ketka

Gurukkal Vandhu Datchinagal Kodu Yendrarae"

The song illustrates a sequence of events that happen to a man in those days. Lets the see the meaning. "The man had a cow which gave birth to a calf; At that time rains poured like anything making things worse. And even worse his house got destroyed by the rain. At that time, his wife got sick; His servant died. And later the wetness in the land had was drying up, so ran with the seeds to sow for cultivation; On the way, a creditor - person who gave him a loan - caught hold of him. At that time, a messenger brought him a death message. Following that, there came unavoidable guests. And he was bitten by a snake. Then the officials from the king came asking for the tax money. Finally, among all these situations, the Gurukkal - priest of the temple - came asking for donations."

Aaa - Cow, King, God (in this context, Cow)
Eena - produce offspring

Mazhai - Rain; Pozhiya - Pouring
Illam - home, house; Veezha - Fall, destroy

Agathadiyaal - Wife (Agam: Home, Adiyaal: female companion) Mei - Body;
Nova - Pain, suffer

Adimai - Servant; Saaga - dies
Maa - Land; Eeram - Wetness
Pogudhu - Going; Endru - like

Vidhai - seeds; Kondoda - Kondu (take, have) + Oda (run)

Vazhi - Way, Path;
Kadankaaran - Person who gave the loan; Mariththu Kolla - block, stop

Saavu - Death; Olai - Message; Kondoruvan - Kondu + Oruvan (a man)

Yedhirae - Against; Thondra - Appear;

Thallavona - Unavoidable; Virundhu - Guests; Vara - come;

Sarpam - Snake; Theenda - Bite, do harm;

Kovendhar - King;
Uzhudhunda - Uzhudhu (Cultivate) + Unda (derive benefit, Eat);

Kadamai - Duty, Tax; Ketka - Ask;

Gurukkal - Priest of the temple; Vandhu - come;
Datchinaigal - donations;
Kodu - give;
Yendrarae - a person saying something, in this context asking donations

Now when you read the meaning of the poem, most of you would have had a gentle smile. It does not mean a sadist expression of laughing at the man in trouble. But all that you can do if you were in that situation would be to smile. That, is the solution to handle and tackle the troubles and sorrows in life. Take things in life with a smile, no matter how difficult it is and don't get dejected or depressed. This is what Thiruvalluvar says in his Kural.

"Idukkan Varungaal Naguga Adhanai

Aduthoorvadhu Agudhu Oppadhill"
- Thiruvalluvar Thirukkural

meaning, "Laugh your trouble/sorrow away. There is no other way to conquer woes."

Idukkan - Sorrow, trouble

Varungaal - Varum (Come) + Kaal (Suppose)
Naguga - Smile, Laugh
Adhanai - a pronoun referring a thing, here, trouble

Aduthoorvadhu - Aduthu (Next, Other) + Thoorvadhu (conquer)

Agudhu - Like, similar
Oppadhil + Oppadhu (Comparing, Matching) + Ill - (Not existing)

So why to worry, when you can laugh your sorrows away. Great people have realised this truth and gave it to us, which we should pass it on to the generations to come. Take life as it happens, what is destined to happen will happen. Prepare for the worst; expect the best; take what comes.

More to come, until then...