Sunday 29 June 2014


2014-26 ThirukkuraL Chapter 95:  Medicine - Parimelazhagar  Commentary

ThirukkuraL - Parimelazhagar Commentary in  English by R Viswanathan

There is a saying in Tamil:  "Can all kinds of milk be as good as cow's milk? Will all other literature hold a candle in front of ThirukkuraL? Can all other commentators come near Parimelalazhagar? Let us, first of all, be clear about this."  Among the top ten commentators of ThirukkuraL, Parimelazhagar is head and shoulders above the rest.   He was a priest in Kancheepuram Ulagυ-Αlanda Perumal Kovil in Tamilnadu.

According to Puranas, in Vamana Avatara, God Maha Vishnu measured two worlds in two steps as Trivikrama [Ulagu-Alandar]. What his devotee Parimelazhagar measured with just two words from ThirukkuraL in the Chapter on Medicine, we shall see here, from his commentary on போற்றி in T942 and அப்பால் in T950.

1] போற்றி

மருந்து என  வேண்டாவாம்  யாக்கைக்கு  அருந்தியது 
அற்றது  போற்றி  உணின்.                                                                   [தி 942]

 போற்றி:  [முன் உண்டது அற்ற படியைக்] குறிகளால் தெளிய அறிந்து;

1] யாக்கை நொய்மை, 
2] தேக்கின் தூய்மை, 
3] கரணங்கள் தொழிற்கு உரியனவாதல், 
4] பசி மிகுதல் என இவை  முதலாயின.   


 There is no need of medicine for the body; if one eats, 
 after making sure through signs and symptoms, 
 what was eaten before has been fully digested.    [T 942]                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     The Signs and Symptoms are:
1] body feeling light 
2] presence of pure eructations - thin, odourless belching
3] limbs becoming active [ with return of energy, previously diverted for digestion]
4] increasing hunger, etc.


2] அப்பால்

உற்றவன்  தீர்ப்பான்  மருந்து  உழைச் செல்வான்  என்று 
அப்பால்  நால் கூற்றே  மருந்து                                                         [தி 950]


 அப்பால்:  நான்கு பகுதியை உடைய நான்கு திறத்தது.

1] உற்றவன் வகை நான்காவன: 

     1.1 பொருளுடைமை, 
     1.2 மருத்துவன் வழி நிற்றல், 
     1.3 நோய் நிலை உணர்த்தல் வன்மை, 
     1.4 மருத்துத்   துன்பம் பொறுத்தல்  என இவை.

2] தீர்ப்பான் வகை நான்காவன : 

     2.1 நோய்  கண்டு அஞ்சாமை,
     2.2 ஆசிரியனை வழிபட்டு ஓதிய கல்வியும் நுண்ணறிவும் உடைமை,
     2.3 பல காலும் தீர்த்து வருதல்,
     2.4 மன மொழி மெய்கள் தூய ஆதல்  என இவை.

3] மருந்தின் வகை நான்காவன:

     3.1 பல பிணிகட்கும் ஏற்றல்,
     3.2 சுவை வீரியம் விளைவாற்றல்களால்  மேம்படுதல்,
     3.3 எளிதின்  எய்தப்படுதல்,
     3.4 பகுதியோடு பொருந்துதல் என இவை.

4] இயற்றுவான் வகை நான்காவன:

     4.1 ஆதுரன் மாட்டு அன்புடைமை,
     4.2 மன மொழி மெய்கள் தூய ஆதல்,
     4.3 சொல்லியன அவ்வாறே செய்தல் வன்மை,
     4.4 அறிவுடைமை என இவை.


The patient, the doctor, the remedy and the attendant; 
Medicine comprises these four limbs with four attributes to each.                   [T 950]

1]  4 attributes of a Patient:

     1.1 being provided with means
     1.2 faithfully following the physician's instructions
     1.3 ability to explain nature of ailment
     1.4 strength to bear the pain of treatment

2]  4 attributes of a Physician:

     2.1 not to be intimidated by the ailment
     2.2 profound medical knowledge and wisdom
     2.3 long experience in curing diseases
     2.4 purity in thought, word and deed

3]  4 attributes of a Medicine:

     3.1 capacity to cure many diseases
     3.2 high quality, taste, strength and effectiveness to cure
     3.3 easy availability
     3.4 acceptability by the parts of the body

4]  4 attributes of an Attendant:

     4.1 sympathy and love towards the patient
     4.2 purity in thought, word and deed
     4.3 ability to carry out faithfully all the instructions given
     4.4 intelligence


ThirukkuraL with meaning in Tamil and English:Agaram [Click here]


Sunday 22 June 2014


2014-25  ThirukkuraL Chapter 95: Medicine - Overview

The unparalleled, universal scripture, ThirukkuraL comprises of 1330 aphorisms in couplets organized in 133 chapters under three heads --  Virtue, Wealth and Love. The chapters headings range from the ploughing of land to the administration of a country.  

The 95th chapter is Medicine. Here the first couplet defines the types and causes of dis-ease. The next six, talk about food for health and longevity, and the last three treat of medicine proper.
Thiruvalluvar stresses the importance of food this way; 6:3 couplets for food versus medicine.

Diseases may be the result of past actions; then they are to be borne with fortitude. Diseases may be the result of current causes such as excess or deficient or inappropriate food and work; for these causal diseases, medicines are prescribed.

ThirukkuraL Chapter 95 Medicine

Excess or deficiency [in food and work] will result in disease 
due to imbalance in wind, bile and phlegm.                                                  [T 941]

There is no need of medicine for the body; if one eats, 
after making sure that  what was eaten has been fully digested.            [T 942]

Past food digested, eat in proper measure
this is the way to a long life in the human body.                                            [T 943]

Assured of digestion, and hunger as fire,
eat with care, food which is not disagreeable.                                             [T 944]

If food which is not disagreeable, is taken with self denial,
no harm will come to life because of diseases.                                            [T 945]

As health and happiness are to a moderate eater,
so disease sticks to a glutton.                                                                        [T 946]

Indiscriminate eating, far beyond one's digestive powers,
will cause limitless ills.                                                                                     [T 947]

Diagnose the disease; discover the cause;
seek the proper remedy and apply it with skill.                                             [T 948]

A doctor should treat, properly taking account of
the patient's nature, the disease state and the season.                              [T 949]

The patient, the doctor, the remedy and the attendant;
Medicine comprises these limbs with four attributes to each.               [T 950]


திருக்குறள்   அதிகாரம்  95  மருந்து 

மிகினும் குறையினும் நோய் செய்யும் நூலோர் 
வளி முதலா எண்ணிய மூன்று.                                                        [தி 941]

மருந்து என  வேண்டாவாம்  யாக்கைக்கு  அருந்தியது 
அற்றது  போற்றி  உணின்.                                                                   [தி 942]

அற்றால் அளவு அறிந்து உண்க அஃது உடம்பு 
பெற்றான் நெடிதுஉய்க்கும் ஆறு.                                                      [தி 943]

அற்றது அறிந்து கடைப்பிடித்து மாறு அல்ல 
துய்க்க துவரப் பசித்து.                                                                            [தி 944]

மாறுபாடு இல்லாத உண்டி மறுத்து உண்ணின் \
ஊறுபாடு இல்லை உயிர்க்கு.                                                              [தி 945]

இழிவு அறிந்து உண்பான் கண் இன்பம் போல் நிற்கும்                                                கழி பேர் இரையான் கண் நோய்.                                                        [தி 946]

தீயளவு அன்றித்  தெரியான் பெரிது உண்ணின்                                                        நோய் அளவு இன்றிப் படும்.                                                                 [தி 947]

நோய் நாடி  நோய் முதல் நாடி  அது தணிக்கும்                                                          வாய் நாடி  வாய்ப்பச்  செயல்.                                                              [தி 948]

உற்றான் அளவும் பிணி அளவும்  காலமும்                                                                  கற்றான் கருதிச் செயல்.                                                                        [தி 949]

உற்றவன்  தீர்ப்பான்  மருந்து  உழைச் செல்வான்  என்று
அப்பால்  நால் கூற்றே  மருந்து.                                                         [தி 950]


ThirukkuraL: English Translation G.U.Pope [Click here]

ThirukkuraL in Tamil script text only [Click here]



Sunday 15 June 2014


2014-24   Parables of Rama: Making a Heaven of Hell by Assiduous Work
Swami Rama Tirtha: In Woods of God Realization Vol1 pp. 245-249

Making a Heaven of Hell - Assiduous Work
Swami Rama Tirtha [1865-1903]


There is a story about a Christian priest in England. He read about the deaths of some great men, Darwin and Huxley. He began to think in his mind whether they had gone to hell or heaven. He said to himself, "These people did not believe in the Bible, they did not believe in Christ. They must have gone to hell." But he could not make up his own mind to think that way. He thought: "They were good men, they had done some good work in the world, they did not deserve hell. Where did they go?"

He fell asleep and dreamt a most wonderful dream. He saw that he himself had died and was taken to the highest heaven. He found there all the people whom he had expected to find; he found all his Christian brothers who used to come to his Church. He found them all there. Then he asked about these scientists, Huxley and Darwin. The doorkeeper of heaven told him that these people were in the lowest hell.

Now this priest asked if he could be allowed to go to the lowest hell on a flying visit simply to see them and preach to them the Holy Bible. The steward consented to get for him a ticket to the lowest hell. The railway train went on and on. He stopped at the intermediate stations and found that there was a change for the worse as he went on. When he came to the lowest hell but one, he could not keep himself in senses. Such a stench was coming out that he fell into a swoon.

In a few minutes the people on the railway platform were crying, "The lowest hell, the lowest hell" for the convenience of the passengers. But the priest was astonished. He asked everybody. "This cannot be the lowest hell? It must be about the highest heaven." The railway guard said, "Just get down, sir, this is your destination." He got down—poor fellow, but was surprised. He expected the lowest hell to be worse than the lowest hell but one. But this well-nigh rivalled his highest heaven.

He got out of the railway station and found there magnificent gardens, sweet-scented flowers, and fragrant breezes blowing into his face. He met one tall gentleman. The man was walking before him; and when the man stopped, the priest was delighted. They shook hands, and the priest recognized him. Who was he? That was Huxley. "What is it, is it the lowest hell?" asked the priest. Huxley said, "Yes, doubtless it is." And he said, "I came to preach to you, but first of all, answer how is it that I find such a strange phenomenon before me?"
Huxley said, "You were not wrong in your expectations for the worst. Indeed, when we came here, it was the worst possible hell in the universe. It was the most undesirable that could be conceived." And here he pointed out certain places—"There were dirty ditches." And he pointed out another spot "There was burning iron." And he pointed out another spot—"There was hot sand and there was steaming dung."

He said, "We were first of all placed in the most dirty ditches, but while there, with our hands we were throwing water to the adjoining hot burning iron. Then, with the aid of that iron which had cooled down, and holding it before the fire, we succeeded in making some instruments. After that we were to be taken to a place where there was the dung. With the help of our iron spades, we began the digging work. After that we were taken to the another kind of soil, and there we threw the dung as manure. Thus we succeeded by and by in turning this hell into a veritable heaven."

Now the thing is that in the lowest hell, there were present all the materials which being simply placed in their right positions, might make the highest heaven. So it is. Vedanta says, in you is present the divine God, and in you is present the worthless body; but you have misplaced the things. And that is how you make this world a hell for you. You have simply to rearrange. This ambitious spirit of yours, or this selfishness of yours, which is just like a hell you you can rearrange. No energy can be destroyed, but you can rearrange this hell and convert it into the highest heaven.

Vedanta says, the “only open sesame,” the only way to really stamp out all misery from the world-the only way to escape from all sins, is to realize the true Self. You will never be able to withstand animal passions unless you do away with all this splendour and glory that bewitches you, do away with all that attracts you. When you realize that, you stand above all the passions, and at the same time be perfectly free, be perfectly full of bliss, and that is Heaven

MORAL:—Even Hell can be turned into Heaven by the right application of energy and proper arrangement of materials.  



Sunday 8 June 2014


2014-23   Parables of Rama:  The Holy Shadow - Give, Forgive
Swami Rama Tirtha: In Woods of God Realization Vol. 2 [427-430]

“Higher and still higher
From the earth thou springest
Like a cloud of fire;
The deep blue thou wingest
And singing still dost soar,
And soaring ever singest.”


[Translated from French by Rath Craft]

LONG, long ago there lived a saint so good that the astonished angels came down from the Heaven to see bow a mortal could be so godly.

He simply went about his daily life, diffusing virtue, as the star diffuses light and the flower perfume, without even being aware of it.

Two words summed up his day: he gave, he forgave.

Yet these words never fell from his lips. They were expressed in his ready smile, his kindness, forbearance, and charity.

The angels said to God  ―O Lord, grant him the gift of miracles.

God replied: ―I consent; ask what he wishes.

So they said to the saint: ―Should you like the touch of your hands to heal the sick? ―

―No, answered the saint, ―I would rather God should do that.

―Should you like to convert guilty souls and bring back wandering hearts to the right path? ―

―No: that is the mission of angels. I pray, I do not convert.

―Should you like to become a model of patience attracting men by the lustre of your virtues, and thus glorifying God?

―No, replied the saint, ―if men should be attracted to me, they would become estranged from God. The Lord has other means of glorifying himself.

―What do you desire then? ―cried the angels.
                                                                                                                                                                    ―What can I wish for? ―asked the saint smiling.

―That God give me His grace; with that, should I not have everything?

But the angels wished: ―You must ask for a miracle, or one will be forced upon you.

―Very well, said the saint, ―that I may do a great deal of good, without ever knowing it.

The angels were greatly perplexed. They took counsel together and resolved upon the following plan: Every time the saint's shadow should fall behind him, or at either side, so that he could not see it, it should have the power to cure disease, soothe pain, and comfort sorrow.

And so it came to pass: when the saint walked along, his shadow, thrown on the ground on either side or behind him, it made arid paths green, caused withered plants to bloom, gave clear water to dried up brooks, fresh colour to pale little children, and joy to unhappy mothers.

But the saint simply went about his daily life, diffusing virtue as the star diffuses light and the flower perfume, without even being aware of it.

And the people respecting his humility, followed him silently, never speaking to him about his miracles. Little by little, they came even to forget his name, and called him only ―The Holy Shadow.

MORAL: One who rises above all desires is always diffusing good as spontaneously and naturally as a flower gives perfume, or a star diffuses light, without even being aware of it. 


Swami Rama Tirtha: In Woods of God Realization Vol.2 [pp 427-430]

Swami Rama Tirtha: Parables of Rama [pp 40-42]


Sunday 1 June 2014


2014-22  Devotion of a Dog: Henry Landseer's "Attachment"

Sir Edwin Henry Landseer [1802-1873]
Sir Edwin Henry Landseer [1802-1873] was the greatest animal painter of the nineteenth century, and for his contemporaries, the greatest artist of the age. His masterly work had added appeal because of his tendency to give his animal scenes a moral dimension, in particular dogs in the service of humanity. 

Inspired by Sir Walter Scott's poem, Helvellyn, in 1829 Landseer painted Attachment, depicting the story of Foxie's devotion to her master, Gough. The painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1830 along with Scott's poem Helvellyn. 


Foxie's Devotion  captured in Canvas as ATTACHMENT:

"Attachment" by Edwin Henry Landseer [1829]
ATTACHMENT depicts the undying devotion of the pet dog Foxie to her master Charles Gough.  Gough was an artist of the early romantic movement in England. While visiting the Lake District in 1805 he decided to go hiking at Helvellyn with his dog Foxie, and was never again seen alive.

Three months later a shepherd heard a dog barking and discovered Foxie beside Gough’s body. In his lifetime Gough had never achieved a lot of fame. However, in death he became an icon of the movement to both artists and writers. The story of Gough and Foxie was retold in poems written by Sir Walter Scott and William Wordsworth, and Landseer has immortalized it in his painting.

"Saved" by  E H Landseer


"The Arab Tent" by E H Landseer


"Monarch of the Glen" by E H Landseer


Youtube Video of Dog Paintings by Edwin Henry Landseer [Click here]