Sunday, August 26, 2012

Death comes sudden - mantrA 148

srigurubhyO namahA |

The 148th mantrA of the thirumandiram is quite popular and is present in most collections / excerpts of the text. It is one of my personal favourites as the imagery is very effective in making one realise the transitoriness of this life and the sudden and final nature of death.


அடப்பண்ணி வைத்தார் அடிசிலை உண்டார்
மடக்கொடி யாரொடு மந்தணங் கொண்டார்
இடப்பக்க மேஇறை நொந்தது என்றார்
கிடக்கப் படுத்தார் கிடந்தொழிந் தாரே. I.2.6.148

The rich repast was laid and he dined and joyed,
With damsels sweet in amorous dalliance toyed;
"A little little pain--on the left" he moaned
And laid himself to rest to be gathered to dust. I.2.6.148

 
Com - The rich repast was laid A most sumptuous meal, prepared in a pleasing manner was laid out on the table, and he dined and joyed, and the master of the house ate the meal so beautifully prepared with great joy and relish. With damsels sweet in amorous dalliance toyed; later he spent some time enjoying the company and the voluptuous figure of his wife. "A little little pain--on the left" he moaned Making love over with, he lay beside his wife and shortly told her about a sharp pain on the left side of his body near the heart. And laid himself to rest to be gathered to dust. And having told her of his pain he laid down to rest, but never woke again. He died instantly.


*This is a very well-known verse from the thirumandiram. The imagery of this verse is simple and dramatic at the same time. The truth that death is sudden and will separate the soul from the body in an instant is made exceedingly clear here. Moreover, the description of everyday life drives home the message that it could as easily be a verse about us and that it could have been anyone of us dying so suddenly. The term ‘mandanankondAr’ in the original refers to sexual intercourse. The master of the house had been some hours ago, enjoying the finest food made lovingly by his wife and had enjoyed her embrace a short while later. And in just a few minutes after having told his wife about the pain in his chest, he was dead. It has been stated by many a wise seer that the men of today never go beyond the realm of manipUrA – i.e. shishnOddhara sAdhakAs. The word shishnA refers to the sexual organ (penis) and the word uddhara refers to the stomach. That is to say, pretty much everything we do in life is connected to satisfying either hunger or the urge for sexual gratification. That message is being highlighted by the sage through the use of the above metaphors. Caught as we are in the pursuit of these two, we are not aware of death who is always stalking us. Distracted by sense gratification we forget the reality that death is sudden and continue planning our lives, foolishly ignoring the fact that we may die the next instant.

thirucchitrambalam |


14 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Caught as we are in the pursuit of these two, we are not aware of death who is always stalking us. Distracted by sense gratification we forget the reality that death is sudden and continue planning our lives, foolishly ignoring the fact that we may die the next instant."

But what happens when we keep thinking of death all the time? We stop living.

I would say the way we forget reality is the right way to live and move forward..

In life, dont think about death alone may be the right thing / right think too na.

Divya Egam.

mooligai sidhan said...

srigurubhyO namahA |

@Divya,
"But what happens when we keep thinking of death all the time? We stop living."
The message here is not to be thinking of death all the time - rather it is to be aware of the transitory (and unreal)nature of our lives in this phenomenal world. To be aware of this, one need not be meditating on death all the time. Personally I think that we would live much fuller lives and live with much more respect and empathy towards the many that share this planet with us if we are aware of the nature of life and truth of death.

It is to bring this awareness of the transformation of matter to spirit and to be always aware of the fact that one day our bodies too will become dust that we wear the vibUthy/bhasmA or holy ash on our foreheads.

"I would say the way we forget reality is the right way to live and move forward.."
Well, it is the way the body and mind are rigged to keep living in this world and continue to feel that we are the experiencers. On the other hand, neither the sage nor I prescribe lamenting the loss of someone to an extent that it interferes with everyday life. We realise that everyday life has to go on for the living..infact thats what the sage declares in the mantrA 147 etc.

mooligai sidhan said...

srigurubhyO namahA |

@Divya,

Many are the cultures and ancient peoples who have the subject of 'death' as an important aspect/core of their religious philosophy. A correct understanding of life, death and after life is necessary to know which is the right path to walk. One fears death and tries to avoid thinking about it mainly because it is unknown and it seems to be the 'end'. But by correctly understanding death as another stage of life (like birth, youth and old age)and by being open to letting go of the ego or the sense of our personal self, it is possible to live life with full awareness of its impermanence.

Anonymous said...

Would agree with you.

Though with my own reservations.!!

Divya Egam

mooligai sidhan said...

srigurubhyO namahA |

@ Divya,
Thanks! And you are very welcome to hold on to your own reservations!!It all adds to the overall experience, I think.

PS. Also meant to say in my earlier comment that one of the main reasons why the transitoriness of the body and the sudden nature of death is spoken of here is to communicate a sense of urgency to the spiritual aspirant. Contemplation on the abrupt(and often untimely)nature of death's arrival acts as fuel as it were to provide the necessary momentum to persue the path of sAdhanA. The human mind generally and particularly ours the 'modern people''s minds are prone to procastrination. We like to keep all hard and bitter lessons for 'tomorrow' and we have a special knack to ensure that 'tomorrow' never becomes today!

Thus the focus on the impermanence of the body might lead one to seek out that which is in fact eternal - i.e. the self.

Anonymous said...

Swami,
Namaskaram. Bala. Writing so elaborate about the transitoriness, im just wondering about one thing. At the speed with which you keep posting, its going to take another 39.69 years for you to finish this thirumanthiram series. And then how am i going to learn all other things from my master. Or for that, how am i going to finish studying thirumanthiram itself, if im going to live, i should be 83 years old when i read your last post.

Practically asking, i know you would be doing all sorts of magic, but what about me Swami?

mooligai sidhan said...

srigurubhyO namahA |

Dear Bala ji,
Namaste. Though I have been acutely aware of the slow pace that I have been keeping with the thirumandiram commentary, I did not do the math to estimate the number of years it will take me to finish the entire text! Unfortunately, on top of my own daily sAdhanA, I also have to work for a living. More worryingly there are only so many hours in the day! Try as I might, there is only so much time I can dedicate to being in front of the computer.

Perhaps with the grace of shiva, someday I might come across a philanthropist or maybe a generous publisher who might be convinced of the merit of my commentary and decide to underwrite my living expenses for a couple of years - I am sure if writing the commentary to the thirumandiram was my main job, I will have the text finished within two years. So, until such a turn of events we will have to make do with this pace!

Let me also assure you that I am no magician! So only the Lord knows what I will be doing in 39.69 years from now!

Anonymous said...

Namaskaram,

I have a query regarding the commentary part that says that men of today do not go beyond the realm of manipura.

I would like to know if there is any variation of the Rajasic Gunaas with respect to the ascent of Kundalini.

In other words, do the lower chakras mean higher Rajas in an individual to act / carry out his day to day activities and do the higher chakras mean a state of lower Rajas and more of contemplation ?

Regards,
Venkat.

mooligai sidhan said...

srigurubhyO namahA |

@Venkat,
Namaskaram.
It is a bit difficult to answer your question if lower chakrAs mean higher rajas - as actually rajas is literally the 'active' gunA. For every action, even contemplation and for the very flow of thought rajas is a necessity.Thus all chakrAs have their activity and there is some concentration of rajas everywhere. But the thought force and consciousness being stagnant in just those lower realms will mean more and more of a progressive delusion. It will affect buddhi, manas and many other process and eventually pull one to a tamasic level. rajas is also connected to bringing sorrow or unhappiness.
Focus on the higher chakrAs need not mean less action and more contemplation. It could mean a more clearer and clutter free action!

Anonymous said...

Is this sloka we tell about death immediately is possible sir??????

Nandhini said...

I dont like my life.my lovely once move to my life.what i m doing sir.....smtimes my thoughts about death..its possible

bloggernick said...

Namaste, I'm not thinking about the right and wrong.To me, there's no right and wrong,the circle has only one side. I'm just done and failed miserably all my life, I don't want to commit suicide provided the great shame it will bring to my family, also the sin involved is considered. Please lemme know whether this works or not. I just want a peaceful death, the absolute stillness of my heart. Please help me to die and to rest in peace...at your feet.
Nisanth

Unknown said...

What is that mantra ??

Post only that...

Anonymous said...

How to exit from this dirty world as fast as possible swamy?