This is a common question that arises in the mind of people who have started self-realization. This is also one of the significant questions that is necessary for people would like to dive deep into spirit realization. When we are born in this world, we are born as a small kid. We gradually grow up into a big man or woman. During the course of growth we gain lots of knowledge from various sources. We are exposed to both good and bad things in life. Both pleasure and pain in life. After going through all these things we end up in graveyard. If we think through all these things, there comes a necessity to understand what the actual purpose of life is. Scholars believe that purpose of life differs from one living being to another living being. This is a question that we have to ask ourselves every day. Every human being or every living being born in this world is going to die some day or the other. Before we die, we have to understand what the purpose of life is. We have to take necessary steps to expose the real purpose of this life.
What are we traveling towards? What is the destination of life? Say for example if a person is starting from Chennai and travelling towards Mumbai, his travel details are clear. He started from Chennai and his destination is Mumbai. But when it comes to human, we start our journey in this earth as a human but what is the destination? Is it going to be the graveyard? Is death going to be the only destination for every human being? It can also be said in other words. Some people disagree to the fact that they are not destined towards death. In that case are they destined towards next birth? Details about re-birth is clear in the scriptures of Sanathana Dharma even though most of the other religions don’t believe the concept of re-birth. The following verses from Thiruppugazh adds more fuel to this thought.
இவர்போ யவரா யவர்போ யிவரா
யிதுவே தொடர்பாய் …… வெறிபோல
ஒருதா யிருதாய் பலகோ டியதா
யுடனே யவமா …… யழியாதே
ஒருகால் முருகா பரமா குமரா
உயிர்கா வெனவோ …… தருள்தாராய்
Eruvaai Karuvaai Thanile Yuruvaai
Idhuve Payiraai Vilaivaagi
Ivarpo yavaraa yavarpo ivaraa
Idhuve Thodarbaai Veripol
Orudhaa Yirudhaai palako Diyadhaa
Yudane Yavamaa Yazhiyaadhe
Orukaal Muruga Paramaa Kumaraa
Uyirkaa Venavo Tharulthaaraai
If we are not destined towards death, next birth, re-birth etc., then are we destined towards a state where there should be no birth at all? This state is called as Mukthi state. There was another Saint who sings about the difficulty of taking birth again and again. In the below verses the Saint requests the god for not to be born again in as a womb inside another mother.
மாதா வுடல் சலித்தால் வல்வினையேன் கால்சலித்தேன்
வேதாவும் கைசலித்து விட்டானே நாதா
இருப்பையூர் வாழ்சிவனே இன்னுமோ ரன்னை
கருப்பையூர் வாராமல் கா
Maadha Udal Salithaal, Vall Vinaiyaen Kaal Salithaen
Vedhavum Kaisalithu Vittaanae Naadha
Iruppaiyur Vaazh Sivanae Innumore Annai
Karuppaiyur Vaaramal Kaa
So it is necessary that everyone should think about the purpose of this life every day. Allocating time in life to think about this question is very important. We have so many temples and other religious structures built by so many great kings in India. One of the main purpose of such temples is to sit and think what is the purpose of life. Along with what we admire in the temple, we should also give a thought about ourselves to know why we have born in this world. What will be our destination. All the things that we collect as part of this life is not going to be with us after the life is gone. Even the knowledge that we are accumulating throughout our life is not going to there after death. When we take a fresh birth again, we have to accumulate again the same knowledge. So it is ideal to start thinking on what the purpose of life is with the knowledge that we have accumulated so far.
Purpose of Life according to Sanathana Dharma
In Sanathana Dharma, we have answers for almost every question. There are also details clearly available for people who question about purpose of life. For self-realization, understanding the purpose of life is very important. They should be seek towards understand why they have taken birth in this world. The ancients formulated Purusharthas for every living being to fulfil. There are Four Purusharthas defined in Sanathana Dharma as a principle to be followed by every individual in the journey of life. Every part of life and every journey in the life will fall under any of the categories of Chathur Vidha Purusharthas.
Apart from the above, there are also varieties of other answers for this question. Gaining experience throughout the life is the purpose of the life. We are not going to prepare for any life here. We don’t know what happened before birth, we don’t know what will happen after death. The period between birth and death is called as the Life. The real purpose of life in Sanathana Dharma is to serve others.
उत्तिष्ठत जाग्रत प्राप्य वरान्निबोधत ।
क्षुरस्य धारा निशिता दुरत्यया दुर्गं पथस्तत्कवयो वदन्ति ।। (Kathopanishad – l.3.14)
The motive of every human should be to gain as much as fully sustainable knowledge from every source.
In India, Sanskrit was the language that was spoken and used by the ancient Rishis. These Rishis were called as मन्त्रद्रष्टारो मुनयः – Mantra drashtaaro Munayaha. The reason for calling them with this name was because they will not create mantras but instead they will see the mantras with the help of their dhristi. Whatever they see they will express it in the Sanskrit language. This is how the sharing of knowledge and wisdom happened in ancient India. Sanskrit is also called as the language of Gods or Devathas and it was also widely used and spoken by the sages.
संस्कृतं नाम दैवी वाक् अन्वाख्याता महर्षिभिः |
The meaning of the word संस्कृतं is refined. The reason for such a meaning is because it was used in the refined form with the strict grammar rules. This was a language used by highly cultured learned people during the ancient times. All the ancient scriptures from the pre-historic times were recorded in this wonderful language till 1100 A.D. The literary works were also written in this language most of which were contributed by the Jains and the Buddhists. It was not the case that the language was used only for literary purpose but it was also used by a large group of people for communication. It is however difficult to fix or find out the dates of the ancient authors and when the literary works were made. Particularly the Vedas were unpredictable and it was well known to the great sages from Ancient India. The main reason why we were unable to find out the dates were because most of the Sanskrit authors don’t speak or speak less about them in their literary works. That was the reason why were unable to date the famous authors such as Valimiki, Vyasa, Kalidasa etc.
There are few authors who have mentioned some information about them in their works. This has helped us to identify the chronology to some extent. But we were unable to formulate anything extensively based on the references in the ancient texts. The external evidences or references by foreign visitors have also helped us identify some dates. But however all these dates are just estimation. With an approximation we were able to determine only the period to which these authors belong to. Some of the dates that we have identified are still debatable.
History of Sanskrit Literature
The history of Sanskrit literature falls under two main periods as per the estimations. These two main periods are Vedic period and Classical period. In between these two periods there was a development of a distinct type of literature called the Sutra literature. This acted as a transition from the Vedic period to classical period. So including this Sutra period, the history of Sanskrit literature can be classified to 3 types of periods as follows:
1) The Vedic Period – 3000 BC to 600 BC and before that
2) The Sutra Period – 800 BC to 200 BC
3) The Classical Period – 600 BC to 1100 AD or even up to the modern time.
The creation of original works almost reduced after 1100 AD after which most of the works were just interpretations and criticism on the earlier works made by the sages. This will constitute more to the classical period. This was applicable for all the branches of learning where the original works were reduced. During the Sutra period the Puranas and Shastras emerged. That is the reason why the early Shastras are in Sutra form which is in the form of formulae.
Transformation of Sanskrit Language and Literature
Like the classification of period and the literature, the Sanskrit Language can also be classified to two major types namely, The Vedic Sanskrit and The Classical Sanskrit. Inside each type of Sanskrit we will be able to see various types of transformation. After several changes and transformation, the Vedic Sanskrit merged itself into the Classical Sanskrit. The phonetic conditions in both classic and Vedic Sanskrit are almost the same. During this transformation many old words were lost and new words were introduced. The usage of many new words were also very common. Apart from the changes to the new words there was also difference in meaning as well. In the Vedic texts we can find the word कर्णेभिः which is used as just कर्णः in the classical form. Similarly we can also see another example which is for the word देवासः that is represented as देवाः in the classical Sanskrit. The concept of introducing new words and new representations continued for a longer period of time until the entry of the great grammarian Panini (about 600 BC). Panini was responsible for creating a complete Grammar guide providing the rules for derivation of each and every word in Sanskrit. With the work of Panini it was very easy to prevent distraction from the actual language. This also helped in prevention of new words being created by providing full list of Nouns and Roots.
There were also changes even after Panini which was handled by Vararuchi in his Vartikas. After this was finally Pathanjali who wrote Vyakarna Mahabhashyam. After this scripture any violations that were done to the rules created by Panthanjali was considered to be a grammatical error. So after Pathanjali Sanskrit Language remained the same without any change from the date of Pathanjali till today.
We might of read many things about Indus Valley Civilization in our childhood and in the history books. But, it is now right time to rewrite our history books about the oldest civilizations in the world. So far what we have known are all British excavations from the archaeological sites. Though it was a known factor that Indian civilizations were oldest in the world, there was no facts to prove the point. In a recent study they have facts which proves that Indus era dates back to 8000 years old and not 5500 years as stated earlier. Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have got strong evidences to prove that Indus Valley Civilization should be at least 8000 years old. Based on the excavations done earlier on this, it was determined as 5500 years old which should now be rewritten. Some of the oldest civilizations in the world are as follows
Egyptian (7000BC to 3000BC)
Mesopotamian (6500BC to 3100BC)
Recently in archaeology of Bhirrana they have found a pre-Harappan Civilization that dates back to 1000 more years than the above mentioned civilizations. This findings were published on May 25, 2016 in ‘Nature’ journal. There also evidences identified or gathered that climate change was the reason why the civilization ended. Though this finding is still debatable as there are many opposing points to this theory. But it is clearly evident now that Indus Valley Civilization is the oldest civilization in the world.
Archaeological findings from Bhirrana
Near the Ghaggar-Hakra river basin there is site identified to be one of the oldest Harappan site that explains about the fact that the civilization is one of the oldest. In the Fatehabad district of Haryana there is a small village called Bhirrana which is where this site is located. The archaeological scientists use the technique of Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) as the carbon dating method to come up with a date on how old it could be. They used this method to date pottery shards and found that it was nearly 6000 years ago and the other identification was that the cultural levels of pre-Harappan civilization dated back to 8,000 years. Some notes from the findings are as follows:
“At Bhirrana the earliest level has provided mean 14C age of 8350 ± 140 years BP (8597 to 8171 years BP). The successive cultural levels at Bhirrana, as deciphered from archeological artefacts along with these 14C ages, are Pre-Harappan Hakra phase (~9500–8000 years BP), Early Harappan (~8000–6500 years BP), Early mature Harappan (~6500–5000 years BP) and mature Harappan (~5000–2800 years BP.)”
During the digging up, in the site of Bhirrana they also identified many other things apart from pottery shards. These other items include horn cores of animals like goat, deer, cow, antelope etc. Apart from these there were also other animal remains in the site like teeth and bones. These animal remains were also taken for Carbon 14 analysis to find out more clue on the other factors like climatic conditions. So far we have lived with the British excavations and that is the reason why were unable to do further researches on this topic. It is still believed that there can be even more evidences to prove the fact that pre-Indus Valley Civilization can even be older than this. Some of the early excavations have some set of cultural levels that were previously dated and categorized as Early Harappan (8000-7000BC). But based on the recent evidences it is clear that these cultural level preservations actually belong to pre-Indus Valley Civilization (9000-8000BC) which is even more older.
They have also come up with some evidences on the monsoon and climate conditions and have produced a theory based on that.
Confirmation on antiquity of the Bhiranna settlement
In order to verify the radio carbon dated values that they identified from Bhiranna Settlement, the scientists who worked on these settlements isotopically made a complete analysis on the bones and teeth phosphates obtained from the site. OSL method was used to date the pottery fragments that were identified from the site. Their findings are as follows:
“The pottery at 42 cm, identified as mature Harappan level yielded mean 4800 ± 300 (1σ) years BP age (range 5120 to 4520 year BP) while the pottery from deeper level corresponding to early mature Harappan at 143 cm yielded 5900 ± 250 (1σ) years BP age (range 6185 to 5695 year BP).”
Detailed information is available in the full research report. In the pre-Harappan Hakka level about 3 meters and even more deeper, the age is found to be 8384 years BP. The isotopic study also helps the scientists understand the climate conditions and the reason for diminishing of the civilization. Though these facts are proved to be true, it is quite unclear on whether climatic conditions would have been a reason for collapsing of the Indus Valley Civilization.
Tamil and Sanskrit are the oldest language and the most popular language in India. The languages that are spoken in India and even in other countries are the ones that were derived from these two parent languages. It is a very common argument among the people on which language came first and was the one derived from the other. Historically the languages Tamil and Sanskrit are blended together and are more dependent on each other. The perfect explanation for the similarity of these two languages will be like we can say that Tamil and Sanskrit are two eyes of humans. Both the eyes have equal significance and we never end up arguing which eye is greatest among the two. Similarly the languages Tamil and Sanskrit have their individual greatness and significance.
Historical evidences for Tamil and Sanskrit to be one of the oldest language
The historical evidences states that the languages and the people who spoke these languages are dated back to more than 10 thousand years. In the recent discovery, some artifacts identified in a temple in a village called Thirumaanikkuzhi near Cuddalore district was a great surprise for the archaeologists. The artifacts confirmed the existence of the temple for more than 10 thousand years. As the temple was available for more than 10 thousand years, the language Tamil that is spoken and written in the walls of the temple should also be older than 10 thousand years. Similarly a written copy of a Rig Veda book dated back to 10 thousand years also proves the existence of Sanskrit language for more than 10 thousand years. In Sanskrit, the language is popularly denoted as Vedha Bhasha which means that the Vedas were in Sanskrit language or the language of Vedas was Sanskrit. In Tamil, the Vedas are known as Marai. Various Tamil literature works explains the existence of the Nangu Marai which is 4 Vedas. There is also a belief among the Tamil people that there should definitely be a Tamil version of the Vedas as the ancient literature denotes and refers to the Marai. It is expected that the Marai should have been gone missing along with the other literatures when the actual Tamil Nadu (Kumari Kandam) sank under water. Tamil was considered as the Marai Mozhi.
There were scholars well versed in both Tamil and Sanskrit. The best example was Thirugnanasambandhar. He was born in a Vedic family and well versed in Vedas in a very young age. He performed various Yagas and Yagnyas as mentioned in the Vedas with the help of his father Sivapadha Hirudhayar. Thirugnanasambandhar, a strong devotee of Lord Shiva was very good in creating Bhasmas (Popularly known as Thiruneeru in Tamil). He used the Bhasmas to cure diseases of people. He lived like a great legend well versed in both Sanskrit and Tamil. He wrote many hymns praising the greatness of Lord Shiva in Tamil language. Apart from this example we can also say the existence of various Rishis (Sanskrit Saints) and Siddhars (Tamil Saints) who were well versed in alchemy. Their contribution to Ayurveda (Sanskrit Medicine) and Siddha medicine (Tamil Medicine) were enormous.
Grammatical uniqueness in Sanskrit and Tamil
There is also some greatness in the grammatical usage of both the languages. Sanskrit language has some uniqueness that is not present in the Tamil language and Tamil language has some uniqueness that is not present in the Sanskrit language. It becomes more interesting to know the way in which both the languages are beautifully originated.
Vinai Thogai (வினைத்தொகை):
The concept of Vinai Thogai is very famous in Tamil and it is not straight forward in Sanskrit language.
In Tamil language the gender difference can be shown in just one word explaining which gender performed that action.
Vandhaal(வந்தாள்), Vandhaan(வந்தான்), Vandhadhu(வந்தது)
But in Sanskrit for everything it is just Ghachathi (गच्छति) and you will have to add the gender word before Ghachathi to say if it is he or she. Like Tamil this cannot be explain in just one single word.
There is also one wonderful example given for the concept of Vinai Thogai through an incident from Mahabharata. During the Mahabharata war on the date of Karna’s death Krishna approaches Karna like an old man asking for a favor to give all the virtuous deeds (Punniyam) done by him to Krishna so that he can die peacefully. The virtuous deeds that he did throughout the life did not let him die. It was helping Karna to live. In this context in Vyasa’s Mahabharata written in Sanskrit it will be mentioned as if Krishna is asking for the virtuous deeds done till now by Karna. Most of the scholors argue saying the fact that it doesn’t make sense because if Karna is going to give all the Virtuous deeds done by him in past to Krishna it will even add more virtuous deeds to him for the present and future. So he will still hold so much of virtuous deeds.
The answer for this is available in the Villi Bharatham written by Villiputhoor Alwar in the above verses. In the Villi Bharatham it is said that Krishna will approach Karna to ask for all his virtuous deeds by just saying one word i.e. Sei Punniyam. This means that Krishna just meant asking him the virtuous deeds that he did in past, the one that he is doing in present and the one that he will be doing in future in just one word Sei Punniyam which covers all the three tenses. So this can be said as one good example for the significant usage of Vinai Thogai in Tamil language.
There lives a man blessed by Vishwakarma (Hindu god for all craftsmen and architects). Name of this legend is Lakshmanan. He belongs to the family of Aasaris (Carpenters) who are famous for making bullock carts and chariots or the so called Vahanas of deities in temples. In today’s modern world it has become a tradition and fame to say that “If father is doing a particular Job, it is not necessary that Son had to do the same Job.” I feel Lakshmanan is a living example to prove that this thought is wrong. Learning various new things is very good but one should not forget the family tradition. By deviating from the family tradition, we are losing so many wonderful talents that are being transferred from one generation to another in our blood. Creativity is the boon for this Carpenter Lakshmanan.
Talents of Lakshmanan from Porur are amazing. He had managed to make a wooden car with the help of wood. Karuvelam tree is one of the popular trees in Tamilnadu. There is also one belief in Tamil Nadu that the Karuvelam tree spoils the trees that are growing nearby and makes it as a forest not suitable for healthy fauna. However Lakshmanan from Porur had used the wood from Karuvelam tree to make a wooden car.
How did Lakshmanan make a wooden Car?
Lakshmanan is a normal carpenter following the family tradition by doing carpentry works. From his young age he was dedicated to carpentry works. Out of his dedication came up an idea of making a car made of wood. Lakshmanan had no idea on how vehicles work. He was then assisted by one of his friend who was a mechanic. He explained him how a car runs and the parts of the car body by dismantling a Maruti 800. After gaining some knowledge from his friend, he bought a old Maruti 800 car along with welding equipment to dismantle the car body. After dismantling the metal body of the car he dressed the car up with dry wood cut from Karuvelam tree. He designed the car body to look attractive by replacing every piece of metal in the vehicle with Karuvelam tree wood. He made the vehicle open top so that it looks comfortable with good air flow.
One speciality of Karuvelam tree is that it it gains great strength when dried in summer. He named the vehicle as Appar 25. The number 25 represents the 25 years of carpentry experience of Lakshmanan. The vehicle is suitable for riding. His wooden car was reviewed and rejected by the government of Tamil Nadu. Lakshmanan feels that the Karuvelam tree wood is capable of withstanding high heat and rain. This car can also be suitably used for tourist areas such as beaches, parks, theme parks, zoo etc to give an amazing feel for the people. He spent nearly 5 lakh to build the car and give the shape that it has now. The vehicle was displayed in All-India Handicrafts Sourcing Show at Valluvar Kottam. A connoisseur of art bought this wonderful piece of work by Lakshmanan for Rs. 2.8 lakh. He has also made some other works apart from the wooden car.
Other Wood works of Lakshmanan
The education qualification of Lakshmanan is just 7th standard. When asked, he mentioned “There are various scriptures and books for all forms of craft works. But for Carpentry there is no specific study or any book. People who learn carpentry works or engineering works, they just practice it. It is not being passed to the other generation using a course or study”. Apart from his regular carpentry works, Lakshmanan had written 7 books on Carpentry. When asked to him about the treditional carpentry, he said “Now good carpenters are becoming less in number. Traditional carpenters don’t make their children work in the same field. But in my case, though I send my children to School, I am now training 42 persons in carpentry”. Apart from the wooden car, Lakshmanan also created wooden bikes and Bicycle made of wood. His next dream will be to make a wooden Jeep.
Contact Details of Lakshmanan, Wooden Car maker in Chennai
The residential and business location of Lakshmanan is in Popur in Chennai.
Contact Person: Lakshman
Phone: 044 – 24826898
Address: No. 48, Kundrathur Main Road, Porur, Chennai – 600116
Land Mark: Near Corporation Bank
What is Sanatana Dharma?
Sanatana Dharma is the parent of all religions in the world. Sanatan means origin. Dharma means principle. Sanathana Dharma is the principle or practice that is followed by the people from the origin of this universe. Vedas and the ancient scriptures are the base for Sanatana Dharma. In the olden days we had a very flexible dharma followed among the people where people had freedom to worship anyone or anything as the supreme power. There is a quote in Rig Veda as follows.
एकम् सत्, विप्राः बहुधा वदन्ति – Rg-veda 1.164.46
The above verses say that “The supreme truth is one, the knowledgeable person express it in different ways.
In ancient India there was a practice of live and let live. People were free to follow any practice. Science was not the only this that was advanced in ancient India but the minds of people were also advanced during the Vedic times. Gurukula system helped man to learn the path of righteousness and good virtues.
Religions are all the ways to express the inexpressible. Even though most of the religions speak about certain aspects of Sanatana Dharma, Hinduism is a religion that is purely based on the Sanathana Dharma. The below stats show the national religions followed in various countries.
Total popular religions – 9
122 Countries – Christianity
68 Countries – Islam
1 Countries – Jews
9 Countries – Buddhism and Jainism
None – Hinduism
As mentioned above Hinduism is the number 4 religion in the world and in spite of people that none of the country has Hinduism as a national language. Nepal was one country which had Hinduism as their national language, but from 2007 it was declared as a secular state. But we have 1 billion people in the world following Sanatana Dharma.
Origin of Sanatana Dharma
Every religion in the world has some Originator from whom the religion came into existence. Based on the ideas and principles given by that person the religion will be followed all over the world. But if you see Sanatana Dharma, there is no origin or founder. This very Dharma was brought to us by rishis and Yogis passing it from generation to generation as Guru shishya parampara. Origin of Sanatana Dharma is expected to be before 10000 years.
Why are there lots of scriptures on Sanatana Dharma? Why not just one scripture?
Human Beings need several sources of knowledge and several branches of knowledge in various fields. They need variety of knowledge on many different things. This vast amount of knowledge required cannot be given in a single literature or by a single person. Also this cannot be given at a particular period of time. So approximately we can say there are more than 2000 foundation literature in Sanatana Dharma for which we have nearly 10000 commentaries written in Sanskrit and more than 1 lakh sub commentaries in different languages written by more than 1000 rishis written over a period of more than 7000 years. Sanatana Dharma is expected to have started to survive in the form form 8275 BC onward which is nearly 10000 years in total. 10000 divided by 20 is about 500 generations. So for 500 generations, scholars, Rishis, Yogis, Kings etc have contributed their experience and knowledge to the Sanatana Dharma. It is human nature to have different types and varieties of knowledge which cannot be given to us by one single book. This variety requirement cannot be fulfilled if we just have only one book or literature, if we just have one acharya or scholar to teach, if we just have one God to worship and if we have just one method of worship.
Unity in Sanathana Dharma
विविधता में एकता || – Unity in Diversity
Unity is always a part of the Sanatana Dharma. This Dharma is prevailing in the world for more than 10000 years without any problem or confusion. Irrespective of the caste of people and method of worship that they follow in this Dharma, people go to all famous Skhethrams like Tirupathi, Kashi, Amarnath, Badrinath, Guruvayur etc. There are millions of God, thousands of method of worship but still all are united. The Hindu Dharma followers never claim that Hinduism is the only religion by which you can attain salvation. Hindus never say that our Hindu Scriptures are the only perfect scriptures in the world. Hindus always accept good thoughts from everywhere. They always try to implement the good thoughts that they get from everywhere into their life to lead a peaceful life.
आ नो भद्राः क्रतवो यन्तु विश्वतः || – Let good thoughts come from everywhere
This unity is into existence for ages in India. Thoughts are the things that help a person to stay united with another person in the society. As the above verse describes, we are always ready to accept all the good thoughts that come from everywhere. Selfless motive has helped this Dharma to survive ages to ages.
ॐ असतो मा सद्गमय । – Om, Lead us from unreality (Maya) to Reality (Self Realization)
तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय । – Lead us from Darkness of ignorance to Light of knowledge
मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय । – Lead us from Death fear to knowledge of immortality
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥ – Om, peace, peace, peace
There are also some constructive messages given by our Vedas to the world about Togetherness. Our Sanatana Dharma believes that Unity can help us in various aspects. Usually very common example is given for the strength of Unity. A small stick can be broken easily. few sticks together can also be broken easily. But a bunch of sticks hold together cannot be broken. The same way when people and their thoughts are united for a good cause, there will not be any obstacles. Importance is given to unity and togetherness in the below verses from our Upanishads.
ॐ सह नाववतु । – Let us exist together
सह नौ भुनक्तु । – Let us share the result of the work together
सह वीर्यं करवावहै । – Let us work together
तेजस्वि नावधीतमस्तु मा विद्विषावहै । – Let us enlighten our knowledge together and let us not hate anyone
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥ – Om, Peace, Peace, Peace
ॐ भद्रं कर्णेभिः शृणुयाम देवाः । – Let us hear with our ears what is auspecious
भद्रं पश्येमाक्षभिर्यजत्राः । – Let us see with our eyes what is auspecious
स्थिरैरङ्गैस्तुष्टुवागँसस्तनूभिः । – Let us live with Contentment with Strong Body and Limbs.
व्यशेम देवहितं यदायूः । – Let us Praise the God and sing His Glories during our Lifespan Allotted to us by the Devas.
Apart from the above there are millions of Sanskrit verses that describes about good living.
ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः – Om, May all become happy
सर्वे सन्तु निरामयाः । – May all have good health
सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु – May all see what is auspecious
मा कश्चिद्दुःखभाग्भवेत् । – May no one suffer
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥ – Om, Peace, Peace, Peace
ॐ लोकाः समस्ता: सुखिनो भवन्तु || – Let the whole world live with peace and happiness
The above verse is said during the prayers of a Hindu every day praying for the peace and happiness not only for him but for the whole world. We have never prayed that only a specific group of people or only Hindus should live with peace and happiness. This thought is for the good of everyone and religion specific. So the thought that is brought in the mind of an Hindu is universality and that too from the childhood days onwards. Hindus never try to convert people from other religion to Hinduism. They always say that, wherever we are just follow the path of Truth, Dharma, Goodness, Righteousness and enlighten yourself. This is the main specialty of the Hindu Dharma.
Varma Kalai or Thanuology is into existence from the very beginning of the mankind. The secrets of Varma Kalai were understood by the Rishis and Siddhars and some information about them were revealed. Due to the dangerous aspects and the fear of misusing of this wonderful art, the Siddhars did not write much about this in detail. However, some interesting things about Varma Kalai was transferred from generation to generation in a highly structured manner. Also there were quite a few scriptures on Varma Kalai written by various Siddhars. The main contributions on Varma Kalai were given by Sage Agasthya, Sage Bhogar and Theraiyar. Though this was initially transferred from one generation to another in vocal recitation, some of the disciples of these sages and Siddhars took initiative to write it down and pass to the coming generations.
List of Varma Kalai scriptures by Siddhars
Many scriptures were written down, but due to some superstition and risk of misusing the concepts, some of the scriptures were hidden from the reach of mankind. There were countless number of scriptures written down and researched by the ancient Siddhars and their disciples. Information about the existence of various scriptures was also based on the references mentioned in other scriptures. The scriptures not only mentions about the references to other scriptures, but some scriptures also explains how it should be practiced. Most of the advanced Varma Kalai techniques are kept hidden. It also explains about the classification of Varmam and also the location of the Varma points in the human body. Some scriptures that were identified are as follows.
1. Bhogar Varma Soothiram
2. Varma Parigaaram
3. Varma Vidhi
5. Varma Thiravu Kol
6. Varma Sara Nool
7. Varma Kudori
8. Varma Gurunaadi
9. Varma Sarasoothiram
11. Varma Kannaadi
12. Varma Panchasoothiram
13. Varma Beerangi
14. Varma Kannaadi Vadakkanvazhi
15. Varma Naalugai Maathirai
16. Varma Panchavidhapadhi Vidangal
17. Varmalaada Soothiram
18. Varma Oogi Mugam 1800
19. Nara Maamisa Nool
20. Varma Pulippaani
21. Varma Ponnoosi Thiravukol
22. Varma Gundoosi Thiravukol
23. Varma Murivu Saari Nigandu Agaraadhi
24. Varma Villum Visaiyum
25. Theraiyar Narambu Soothiram
26. Varma Silor Pathi Kaandam
27. Varma Kaaviyam
Some of the writings in the above scriptures were in such a way that it cannot be understood by just reading it. It requires vast knowledge on Varma Kalai. In some cases there are several hidden meanings in just one verse. Various experts have tried to decode the scriptures. There are still scriptures that are beyond the human understanding and difficult to decode.
There are various scriptures that explain about the location of Varma points in the human body. According to Varma Kalai there are totally 72000 nerves in the human body. And in the 72000 nerves, there are totally 108 Varmam in human body. All the scriptures that speak about Varma Kalai explains that there are totally 108 Varmam in human body. However the classification differs from one scripture to another. Let’s see few examples on how Varmam points are classified.
Varmam or Life centers from head to throat
Varma points from throat to stomach
Varma points from center of the stomach till anua
Varma points in leg
Varma points in hands
One of the Varma Kalai scriptures classifies the Varmam points or the life centers in human body as per the above tabulation. In another scripture the life centers in the human body is described as follows.
Vaadha Varmam points in the human body are something related to air energy. These points possess the energy from air. According to Siddha medicine, these points are also called as Prana points where the Prana vayu flows throughout the body.
Pittha Varmam is associated with the fire energy in human body. Fire energy is responsible for keeping the body in a balanced state. The fire energy also helps in the process of digestion where it triggers the heat or fire in the stomach to perform digestion.
Thattu Varmam points are some of the sensitive points in the human body. They can be affected by slightly hitting on that particular point. A small force hit on this particular point can affect this point. This can also paralyze the human body by creating some difficulties or challenges in the smooth functioning of that particular body part.
Ulvarmam points are situated deep inside the skin. These points are little safe and difficult to access. Finding the Ulvarmam points is not a very easy task. But when Ulvarmam points are affected during a fight the enemy will face very serious ill effects.
As we have seen in the above two examples, the number 108 is constant in the classification. In the similar way there is one more classification where the Varma points in the human body is classified to just two types.
Paduvarmam points are the life center points in human body that can be disturbed by hitting. Thoduvarmam points are the life center points in the human body that can be disturbed by touching and hitting. Even though there are descriptions about the classification, there is no verse in these scriptures with the explanation of these classifications. The classification details on these 108 Varma points are kept always kept hidden. The following verses from a scripture also evidence that the Paduvarmam points are 12 and Thoduvarmam points are 96.
செய்யப்பா படுவர்மம் பன்னீரண்டும்
சிறப்பானதொடு வர்மம் தொண்ணூற்றாறும்
மெய்யப்பா தட்டுவர்ம மெட்டுங்கூட
மேதினியில் குடோரி வர்மம் ஒடுக்கி வர்மம்
பையப்பா அவதந்திரவர்மம் ஆந்திரவர்மம்
பாங்கான சுழியாடி கலைவர்மங்கள்
கையப்பா கொண்டு நாம்பிடிதாப்போலே
கருத்துடனே வர்மமதை தீர்க்குந்தானே
Padu Varmam is the most dangerous Varmam among the 4 types of Varmam. Any Padu Varma places, if gets affected it are known as Padu Varmam. There is a very high possibility of danger to the life of the enemy if this Varmam is affected. If any Padu Varmam points in the human body are affected, the place becomes very chill. We can observe the chillness by placing the hand on the affected part. Even though Thodu Varmam occurs by hitting similar to Padu Varmam, it is not very dangerous like Padu Varmam. Thattu Varmam is the art of hitting the enemy with just one finger very lightly and affecting the enemy without creating any pain in the part we are hitting.
Varma Kalai is into existence for more than thousands of years. In the modern understanding the significance and greatness of Varma Kalai, it is named as Thanuology. In the modern terms it is a study that deals with the secret locations in the human body. These secret locations are called life-centers. Thanuology or Varma Kalai is used for several purposes as follows:
- Healing people if traumatized
- Used in battle to fight enemies
- As a defense strategy during battle
- Healing people injured in the battle
- Identifying diseases in human body
Origin of Thanuology or Varma Kalai
Thanuology is the science of healing gifted to the world by Lord Shiva. There is a story said in the southern part of India on how Varma Kalai originated. Once during the child hood days of his sons Vinayaka and Muruga, Lord Shiva noticed playing with each other. When they were playing with each other he noticed they were also wrestling and fighting by hitting each other. Even though it was just a game their combat looked as if they will hit and get hurt seriously. Lord Shiva stopped their game and explained the harmful effects of hitting each other. When he explained the harmful effects, the kids were interested more and requested him to explain further. He explained them the various life centers present in the human body and the ill effects caused if the life centers are traumatized. He also explained in detail on how this can be used a healing tool for people who are injured by mistake.
It is said that the Siddhars, who are the Rishis of Tamil Culture grasped this knowledge from Lord Shiva and applied them for the well-being of the humans. The term Thanuology is being used in the modern world but the actual name Varma Kalai is into existence since the time of Siddhars in this holy land. The names of Siddhars who practiced Varma Kalai are mainly Agasthyar and Bhogar. Most of the scriptures with information on Varma Kalai were from Agasthya Muni, Bhogar Muni and Theraiyar. The Varma Kalai was transformed from generation to generation only through oral recitation. Only few parts of this great art were written in the scriptures for security reasons. If the practice of this art goes wrong there can be bad consequences and danger to the mankind. For this very reason the Varma Kalai knowledge was transformed to a well-practiced disciple of these Siddhars and from them it was transformed generation after generation. Varma Kalai is also known as Marma Kalai which means a secret art used only on purpose or necessity. This was also handled only by expert people and was transformed from generation to generation by the expert practice and knowledge. It was not easily available to the hands of every human being as it involves the danger of being misused. Varma Kalai was also used by people who practice martial arts.
These unique fine arts were possessed by Tamil Nadu and the people of Tamil Nadu for ages. Though some of the practices of this fine art are not prevailing in today’s world, there are still experts in the art of Varmam. Dr. S. Chidambara thanu Pillai is an expert in the Varma Kalai and his family is practicing and preserving this art for nearly 46 generations. On his experience he says there is no link or relationship between Varma system of healing and Acupuncture. The system of Acupuncture has a recent origin. People should not confuse Varma system with Acupuncture.
How does Varma Kalai Work?
Varma Kalai is a unique art that should be practiced only with proper experience. According to Varma Kalai, there are 72000 nerves found in the human body. Each nerve is unique and has higher significance on several aspects of the human life. All these 72000 nerves are energized with the help of the Prana Vayu (Oxygen). With this Prana Vayu the life in a human body is propelled. When the flow of Prana Vayu in the human body is disturbed or obstructed, diseases and illness are caused. In some cases due to this illness life will also be a risk. When a human being is exposed to an accident the sensitive nerves and Varma points in the nerves which is called as the life centers is disturbed.
There are cases when a person is injured and a disease occurs, the modern medicine is unable to find out the cause of the disease. In these cases when the person dies there is no evidence found in the Post-Mortem to say that the person died because of this problem. The external factors that cause death can only be identified in Post-Mortem. The internal impact to the Varma points or the life centers cannot be identified unless it is handled by an expert. Injuries that happen during the martial arts such as Judo, Karate also affects the life centers of the body. It is very unfortunate fact that the modern medicine has no solution for the impacts on the life centers. Modern medicine provides a solution for external injuries such as fractures, cuts, burns etc. But there are also cases with internal injuries where an organ will be affected. The life centers in the internal organs will also be affected with an injury. This injury occurs even in sensitive organs such as brains, heart etc.
Varma system of medicine identifies the root cause of the issue and treating the injury as appropriate. The modern medicine just provides a temporary solution for the problem and the disease reoccurs. The Varma pulse is monitored for abnormalities and the massage is given to that particular nerve or life center by applying ghee, oil or a lehyam as required. It cannot be said that Varma medicine is a cure for all types of diseases but for some type of diseases that are cause due to an injury, Varma medicine will act as a best cure. Life centers are not only applicable for human beings but it is also applicable for animals or other beings and appropriate cure can be done.
We will all be more familiar about Akbar birbal stories. One Akbar and birbal were walking in the pavement of a garden near his palace. Akbar and birbal were discussing about various things like the country and people in the country and what people feel about the king. Birbal kindly said that some people think that your decisions and judgements are stupidity. Akbar got a bit angry and replied “How did they get all the guts to say this very statement? “.
Birbal replied “Your majesty. Sometimes I even feel the same thing.”
Akbar with a surprising look said “How can I be a king if I’m stupid. I will not believe this fact.”
Birbal politely said “When time comes I will make you realize your stupidity.”
Both the people encountered a pond near his palace in that garden. Akbar was observing the pond and the water inside the pond. Akbar said “Sometimes the frogs are better than human beings.” Birbal politely asked “Your majesty, how do you say that.” Akbar said “Frogs can sometimes do what human beings cannot do. Frogs can stay inside this freezing pond water for one full night but humans cannot stay inside this freezing pond water for one full night”.
Birbal said “Sir it is possible. Humans can also stay inside this freezing water for one full night if you give him enough gold coins as gift.”
Akbar said ” Even though I give 1000 gold coins as prize amount, I don’t think there will be any person in this country to do this.”
Birbal said “If that is the case please announce the prize amount, I will bring a person to do this and get the prize from you.”
Akbar announced the prize money to the public. There was a poor man in the city who had a serious necessity for money. On seeing the prize money he dint find any difficulty in standing in the water the whole night. Birbal exactly brought that person to this. As agreed the poor man stood the whole night on an amavasya day where there will be total darkness. It was very difficult to stand there whole night but he somehow managed to stand there till. Early morning Akbar visited the pond along with Birbal and the others who were eager to see this man who is winning the prize money.
Out of curiosity Akbar asked the poor man how he could stand the whole night in this low temperature. How could he survive such thing. The poor man replied “Your highness, I had complete confidence in my mind that I can survive in this water. At one point I decided that I should either be dead or walk home with the prize money next morning. However I was gazing at the distant light that was burning the whole night in your palace. That helped me survive this task.”
Akbar on hearing this came to a conclusion that this man has survived only with the help of that distant fire lamp that was burning in his palace. Without that he would have not been able to survive. So this cannot be considered as a victory. He said that this man will not be eligible for prize money and let him go.
Birbal who couldn’t speak anything during this event decided to teach a lesson to Akbar. One day Birbal didn’t turn up to Akbar’s palace. Akbar was confused on what’s wrong with this guy. He sent a soldier to find out why he didn’t come to work today. The soldier who went to Birbal’s house came back and told Akbar that, he is trying to cook food. He said he will be back once he is done with cooking. Akbar was waiting for some time but Birbal didn’t turn up. He sent a soldier again to find out. The soldier again returned back to Akbar and said the same thing that he is cooking food and he will return once he is done with the cooking.
Akbar was fed up and he decided to go to Birbal’s house and find out what’s wrong. When Akbar entered Birbal’s house he found that Birbal was trying to cook food in a pot that was above few meters above the fire. Akbar asked “Birbal what are you trying to do? You will never cook the food if you keep the pot like this. Have you gone mad?”
Birbal politely replied “Oh king when a person can get the warmth of fire that is few kilometers away from the pond, why can’t I cook this food in this position?”
Akbar understood his ignorance. He called the pure man back to the palace and rewarded him the prize money that he announced earlier.