RT @bhadragiriyar கருவின் வழி அறிந்து கருத்தைச் செலுத்தாமல் / அருவி விழிசொரிய அன்பு வைப்பது எக்காலம்?

Bhadragiriyar was a king who became a votary of Siva(God). He wrote two line snippets which are called “cribs”. The cribs about life are written in his penchant to reach god (tamil – meignana pulambalgal). His period of existence is not known but research points to the fact that he could have been a contemporary to pattinathaar.

I really loved this snippet. Ancient (Sangakaala(?)) tamil is so diferent from current (valakku) tamil. So my translation is questionable! Nevertheless, here is my take:

1) When will I stop researching origins and instead focus on practicing love?

Aren’t we lost in origins? It starts right from theological questioning on life, existence, re-birth etc. Why do I need to KNOW the answer to these questions? Isn’t it just enough if I live a life of love? The lower level of thinking on origin would be about birth origins – leading to racism, casteism, religious fanaticism. The lowest level could even be favoring one’s own kid over neighbor’s or brother’s! Why do I look for these origins? Do they mean anything?

I found a book on “Chanakya for corporate life” in a book store. Certainly the parables of Chanakya, bhadragiriyar etc are applicable in modern day corporate life as well. I would replace origins with “pre-conceived notions (about originator)” and love with “objectivity”. Shouldn’t a good leader stop having pre-conceived notions and focus on objectivity!

This crib has a beautiful “uruvagam” (metaphor) – Aruvi vizhi (waterfalls eye) – used in the context: love like a person who would cry (feel) for another being with tears falling like waterfalls.

I will tell you one more reason why I love the “cribs”. They don’t preach. For example if the above point was to be made by a thirukural or a bhagavat gita or a kuran or a bible, it would have just preached: “Don’t focus too much on life origins, but instead focus on practicing love!”. The cribs are written from the perspective of a flawed person – an incomplete human being! Every crib ends with “ekkalam”. In English translation, let’s say, every crib will start with “When will I”. They highlight human frailties – inability to come out of one thing to reach a stage where you know you should be! Gandhi said “Knowing ones own weakness is his biggest strength!”.

Going back to the snippet: Why do people research origins? I think human mind wants reasons, has a natural curiosity and for the lower levels has an interest in things closely related – the reason why facebook is such a huge hit! Any thoughts?

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Epilogue: if you liked this, you may want to follow “bhadragiriyar” in twitter. You owe a beer to my friend Arvindh Rajesh (which he doesn’t drink so u can treat me instead) who has written a bot to post a “crib” in twitter twice every week – tuesdays and thursdays!. You can help by posting translation or even writing “urai” in valakku thamizh. If you are in a real hurry to read all – go here: http://projectmadurai.org/pm_etexts/pdf/pm0074.pdf

In many of his cribs, bhadragiriyar talks about inability to control material desires. I don’t know if one needs to control them. I’ll say un-attachment over material things whether you enjoy them or not is important. But truly the guy is awesome – here’s to illustrate the beauty: His diplomatism might be lost in my translation “When will my thoughts be like that (single-minded thoughts) of a separated casanova who is searching for his previously intimate lover?” :-) To state in simple terms: “When will I search for Siva with single-minded obsession like how a seperated casonova would search for his previously intimate lover”. In tamil “koodip pirinthuvitta kombanaiyai kaanamal / thedith thavippavan pol sinthai vaippathu ekkalam?” Happy reading!

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I liked what Kamal, a versatile film-star (legend), had to say to four budding, and very promising, directors in a TV show. He was saying “the more ethnic you become, the more global you get!” – I liked the way he thought about how a “world-class” movie should be made. To make a movie that will excite audience worldwide, you don’t need to go to exotic locations across the world, use latest technology etc. You just do a movie showing interesting characters that are soaked in taken culture. You normally do this right when you take your own culture. A fan loves to see Japan as it is and that goes to any other place. In his opinion, and I tend to agree, virumaandi, naan kadavul etc are world-class because they get more ethnic and hence world audience would want to have a peak! I have appreciated similar cultural portrayals in Memoirs of a Geisha, Troy, Aviator, Spanglish etc etc….

I thought this was interesting – don’t go elsewhere for glory, search within!

In a way this philosophy is good even for many other cases of identity building where one goes out of the board to differentiate without recognizing if you just be, you will be different! This goes to one as an individual (say professional), an organization in monopolistic competition (say restaurant), in children’s upbringing… almost everything I can think about!

Let me briefly explain the examples I took so as to illustrate the pattern. Individual – never try to be someone else to be noted. If you just be, you will be different. God never made any two men same! Restaurant – there is nothing better that explains ‘get more ethnic to get more global’ than a restaurant. The more authentic you get with food, ambience, experience the more global reach you will get! Upbringing – Don’t raise an American in India or an Indian in America – either will confuse the kids. Both are great cultures, just make your choice and teach core values – what I term as values are all single word adjectives (Honest, Open, Brave, Hard-working, Kind, Fun-loving…). My point about upbringing is that: don’t go broad across cultures rather go deep in one culture along with acceptance of other cultures.

Note: the beauty of getting more ethnic to get more global is based on the premise that people “want” and “like” multiplicity in – restaurants, cultures, people etc! So don’t loose it as a fanatic when you get more ethnic ;)

I welcome any thoughts on this – this topic roused interesting debates in my recent discussions with friends: best of both worlds is better? Spineless followers of west (or east)? Ethnicity is necessary but not sufficient condition? Get the hell out of your hole :) Etc etc….Pretty interesting stuff. Many valid observations but a man has to make his calls and I made mine :)

At last, my dream to have a blog of my own comes to life!

Why the name – pebbles and parables? As I go through life, I learn many small things. I view them as pebbles of wisdom – ones that are glistened by the gliding stream of learning. In a way, the aged pebbles facilitate smoother water flow. In a way, another person could view it as just a stone. It cud even be a fun-toy, a beautiful piece of art or a weapon. While some of my pebbles may indeed be stones, there are certainly few things which you and me and the world, at large, acknowledge as ‘right’ and them I name as ‘parables’.

I intend to write brief snippets, just like parables, that cud be pebbles of wisdom, fun, anger or indeed just a stone.

by the way, the photo in the header was taken in bushkill falls, pa by me.