Dr.S.Nagaretnam, M.A., M.Ed., M.Phil., D.G.T.
Valliyammaiyar Hindu T.T I.,
Down through history, we see that men who disobey God were destroyed beyond recognition. All religions talk about the love of God for the fellowmen. In Tamil literature, we see quite a number of examples. This had a great impact on the minds of the readers including Pattinathar. Pattinathar was often influenced by the Hindu epics. He often talks about Dharma which is the absolute truth. He reiterates strongly that it is the truth that will overcome flaws and dishonesty.
Pattinathar songs are innumerable and invaluable. Pattinathar has written Manimalai, Thirukkulumalabum, Manikovai, Thiruvidai Maruthoor Mummani Kovai, Thiruvanthaathi, and Oorupa Orupahthu. He lived in the 11th century. Pattinathar’s songs demand people turn from sin to God. It creates an awareness of one’s ability and emptiness. It also enhances the reader to look for absolute truth and peace. It enlightens people to recover from their earthly pleasures. It leads to the formation of good behavior and a contented mind. The very word purifies the mind and thought. They also form good behavior and a contented mind.
The essay attempts to analyze the theological value of Pattinathar’s songs in different aspects like God’s rule over us, means to reach God, God’s forgiveness, and God’s quality.
GOD RULES US
God has created this world, and all living beings are made to play a definite role in this world. According to his will, it will move about. This is crystal clearly explained in Pattinathar’s songs. In P.P.Thiru: 4 he clearly says,
“It is God who created this world as a creature to experience this world. This is portrayed as a painting that is made beautiful according to the mind of the painter. We are like a puppet in his hand when the rope is torn, we fall flat. So, we are governed and controlled by God.”
In P.P.Thiru :32,he says
“According to a man’s good deeds, his birth is decided. Pattinathar cries to God, “Please help me to evade the evil and walk in the right path so that I can reach your holy feet without any hurdle. And make me an instrument of peace, let me help you and other fellowmen.”
In P.P.KAILAYAM: 7 he says,
“Lord, I am born worse than a dog. I am governed by my sense. Young monkey is all the time attached to its mother. Like that mother, you lead me as you like.”
MEANS TO REACH GOD
“Desire is the root cause of all evils,” says Buddha. It is quite true. It is the desire that destroys men. Desire creates quite a lot of unwanted behaviour. Pattinathar also appeals that if we uproot desire, then definitely we can reach God. There are a number of songs that cite men in those ways.
In P.P.Thiru:5 he says,
“Love for gold women and land remains Maya. These are the hurdles that prevent us from reaching God. Because of this desire, we get relationships with several relatives. Is there any benefit from these relatives? None. Maya becomes still greater. But we develop a friendship with good people pray to God and they destroy Maya completely.”
In P.P.Thiru:8 he says,
“Desires hurdles us from reaching God. We are much worried about our belly i.e. food. In addition to this, we long for gold and wealth. All these things prevent us from thinking about God. So, it is better we discard desire to its very root.”
In P.P.Thiru: 12 he says,
“Without God’s blessings, it is difficult to give up worldly pleasures. Hence one must learn to control oneself and seek the abode of God.”
GOD FORGIVES US
God the Supreme Being accepts and forgives us amidst limitations and flaws. There are a number of examples cited by Pattinathar.
In P.P.Thiru:9 he says,
“Lord I often sin against you. I hardly think of you. I never read holy books about you. I have done innumerable sins. Do forgive me the very prayer makes God forgives us.”
In P.P.Thiru:10 he says,
“In all the births I have killed a number of living beings. And I know very well that I should not kill. Do forgive and fill me with your force. Lord at least in my next birth I should not kill other living beings. Thus, he cries to God, the creator. Hence save me, lord. Everything is subjected to destruction. But God remains forever, nothing yields his everlasting power.”
In P.P.Thiru:13 he says,
“Even the place where we live might not give us pleasure. Our relatives, mother, wife, and children are not permanent. Nothing shall accompany us except for his help. So when we live in this world we ought to seek God’s help.”
According to man’s deed, he is blessed or punished. Many of the songs of Pattinathar suggest this notion. In P.P.Thiru:20 he says,
“Water is pure, but depending on the nature of the land it begets the colour and the taste. Likewise, God’s presence is felt in air, land, water, etc. He is omnipotent.”
Beyond doubt, Pattinathar exhorts the people to search for eternity. He also emphasizes the importance of the everlasting peace that is awarded for the men who lead a worthy, chase life. He adds that desire causes all evils. Hence man must realize his total emptiness and seek his holy feet for true happiness.
He also stresses that man is limited in power. He can possess unlimited power if he attaches himself to God, the almighty. It is God who is the Supreme Being who governs everyone in this corrupted world. If we want to be redeemed from these earthly, transitory possessions we ought to lead detached life. And our minds should be set high at the feet of his holiness which alone can yield perennial peace.
1) SHARMA.R.A., Fundamentals of Educational Research, Loyal Book Depot, 1993.
2) Fox, Davis J. Research Process in Educational new work, Holt Richard and Winston 1969.
3) Meyyappan, S, Pattinathar Padalgal, Chidambara Manivasagar Pathipagam,1986.
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