Tamil poem by Kamal Haasan
#1
Kamal Haasan has made a foray into poetry and he presents a sample here with characteristic flair and verve. Watch from minute 2:50 onwards In these lines, there is a lambasting of the idea that a 'Providential harmony' underlies the living world and human affairs, and a vivid illustration of the 'blind pitiless indifference' that underlies the Universe. For its atheistic critique of ideas like Karma and reincarnation, perhaps this poem deserves to be transcribed, translated and viewed more widely. Could someone provide a verbatim translation in English?
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#2
Thanks for the link Arvind I'll give a try.
vijay
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#3
Hi, this is a very rough translation. See if this helps and feel free to drop a message if you are not able to get the meaning, I'll try to explain it better.

கிரகணாதி கிரகணங்கட்கப்பாலுமே ஒரு அசகாய சக்தி உண்டாம்
Beyond the fundamentals of all eclipses (interactions) there seem to exist a formidable power.

ஆளுக்கு ஆளொரு பொழிப்புரை கிறுக்கியும் ஆருக்கும் விளங்காததாம்
Even if there are a plenty of (arbitrary) individuals who have written about it (power), they (the writings) seem to be not understandable for anyone.

அதைப்பயந்ததையுணர்ந்ததைத் துதிப்பதுவன்றி பெரிதேதும் வழியில்லையாம்
Other than to fear, to feel and to chant (to follow) them ( the writings), there seem to exist no other way.

நாம் செய்த வினையெலாம் முன்செய்ததென்பது விதியொன்று செய்வித்ததாம்
Seemingly, all our deeds are decided by (so called) fate based on our past (previous birth).

அதை வெல்ல முனைவோரைச் சதிகூடச் செய்தது அன்போடு ஊழ் சேர்க்குமாம்
For those who come forward to win it (fate), it will kindly conspire to make them reach their destiny. (The point is even if someone breaks the shackles of fate and prove it doesn't exist, believers may say its their fate to do so.)

குருடாகச் செவிடாக மலடாக முடமாகக் கரு சேர்க்கும் திருமூலமாம்
The moral [fate] that brings on blind, deaf & sterile embryos (lives). (திருமூலம் is a set of sayings by திருமூலர் - a well known ancient Tamil philosopher. His sayings are considered to be sacred.)

குஷ்டகுஹ்யம் புற்று சூலை மூலம் குரூரங்கள் அதன் சித்தமாம்
Causing misery through leprosy, tumor based diseases, is its motive.

புண்ணில் வாழும் புழு புண்ணியம் செய்திடின் புதுஜென்மம் தந்தருளுமாம்
When a worm that lives in wounds (pathetic conditions) does a "punya" ("good deeds") it ( the fate) will bless
the worm with a new life.

கோடிக்கு ஈஸ்வரர்கள் பெரிதாக வருந்தாமல் சோதித்து கதி சேர்க்குமாம்
It (fate) will add destinies (small term goals) only after testing and without bothering the "crorepathis" much.

ஏழைக்கு வரு துயரை வேடிக்கை பார்ப்பததன் வாடிக்கை விளையாடலாம்
To watch the poor suffer is its usual game.

நேர்கின்ற நேர்வலாம் நேர்விக்கும் நாயகம் போர்கூட அதன் நின் செயலாம்
Being the central theme for all the activities, it is the reason for a war as well.

பரணிகள் போற்றிடும் உயிர்கொல்லி மன்னர்க்கு தரணி தந்து அது காக்குமாம்
It will provide land for murderous (bloody) kings who have the wishes of stars.

நானூறு லட்சத்தில் ஒரு விந்தை உயிர் தேற்றி அல்குலின் சினை சேர்க்குமாம்
It will give a fortune birth for the one among 4 lakh people - I'm not sure about this line

அசுரரைப் பிளந்தபோல் அணுவையும் பிளந்து அணுகுண்டு அது செய்வித்ததும்
As it had cut "asuras" (similar to satan), it also governs the cutting of atoms generating atom bombs.

பரதேசம் வாழ்கின்ற அப்பாவி மனிதரை பலகாரம் செய்துண்டதும்
பிள்ளையின் கறியுண்டு நம்பினார்க்கருளிடும் பரிவான பரபிரம்மமே
Making delicious dishes out of lives of innocent people living in poor countries, the believers,
who eat children flesh, (may be he means dogmatizing or killing) you mercifully bless, O the eternal thing.

உற்றாரும் உறவினரும் கற்று கற்பித்தவரும் உளமார தொழு(ம்) சக்தியை
To the power that's being prayed heartily by neighbors, relatives and educated people,

மற்றவர் வையுபயம் கொண்டு நீ போற்றிடு அற்றதை உண்டென்று கொள்
With others fear, you celebrate it. And accept it to be existing.

ஆகமக் குள(ம்) மூழ்கி மும்மலம் கழி அறிவை ஆத்திகச் சலவையும் செய்
Dip[yourself] in a suitable pond with pompous, wash your drained knowledge in theism.

கொட்டடித்துப் போற்று மணியடித்துப் போற்று கற்பூர ஆரத்தியை
With drums and with bell praise the Arthi.

தையடா ஊசியிற் தையெனத் தந்தபின் தக்கதைத் தையாதிரு
Once you are given to stitch, stitch and don't stitch things that are required.
(He means, do what you been told and not what is actually to be done.)

உய்திடும் மெய்வழி உதாசீனித்தபின் நைவதே நன்றநின் னை.
after discarding the path of enlightening truth, stitching becomes your characteristic - I'm not sure about this line
vijay
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#4
Thanks for the translation. It was difficult to follow with out your translation.

(27-Dec-2010, 11:11 AM)vijay Wrote: நானூறு லட்சத்தில் ஒரு விந்தை உயிர் தேற்றி அல்குலின் சினை சேர்க்குமாம்
It will give a fortune birth for the one among 4 lakh people - I'm not sure about this line

A small correction.

I think "vindhu" means sperm and "sinai" means pregnant. But I can not translate the rest.

So may be the line should be "One is 4 million sperm .... results in pregnancy."

What does "Alkulin" mean?

Quote:பரதேசம் வாழ்கின்ற அப்பாவி மனிதரை பலகாரம் செய்துண்டதும்
பிள்ளையின் கறியுண்டு நம்பினார்க்கருளிடும் பரிவான பரபிரம்மமே
Making delicious dishes out of lives of innocent people living in poor countries, the believers,
who eat children flesh, (may be he means dogmatizing or killing) you mercifully bless, O the eternal thing.

Just a trivial correction that does not change the message. "Paradesam" means foreign country not poor country. Also it is the eternal thing (not the believers) that is eating the flesh of children and cooking and eating the innocent foreigners. So the eternal thing is doing all these horrible things to foreigners before blessing the believers.
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#5
Kamal Haasan has woven in several scriptural and literary allusions into this work. Here is one instance:

(27-Dec-2010, 11:11 AM)vijay Wrote: பரதேசம் வாழ்கின்ற அப்பாவி மனிதரை பலகாரம் செய்துண்டதும்
பிள்ளையின் கறியுண்டு நம்பினார்க்கருளிடும் பரிவான பரபிரம்மமே
Making delicious dishes out of lives of innocent people living in poor countries, the believers,
who eat children flesh, (may be he means dogmatizing or killing) you mercifully bless, O the eternal thing.

The பிள்ளையின் கறி (child curry, near-literally) which Kamal Haasan refers to is probably inspired by the Shaivite story of Chiruthonda Nayanar which can be read in full here. This is like the story of Abraham's sacrifice , only more sordid and visceral.
A tl;dr version of the story: Chiruthonda Nayanar, who has vowed to please all visiting devotees of Shiva is once visited by a sage who demands பிள்ளையின் கறி (young human flesh) for lunch. Chiruthonda Nayanar and his wife do the needful, with their son supplying the ingredients. Seated at the meal, the sage who doesn't know who has been cooked, demands the host's son's company and lo and behold, the son comes running when he's called. The sage (Surprise!Surprise!) is revealed to be Shiva in disguise.
Shiva seems to have preferred more drama than the God of Abraham!
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#6
(16-Oct-2012, 09:10 AM)arvindiyer Wrote: A tl;dr version of the story: Chiruthonda Nayanar, who has vowed to please all visiting devotees of Shiva is once visited by a sage who demands பிள்ளையின் கறி (young human flesh) for lunch. Chiruthonda Nayanar and his wife do the needful, with their son supplying the ingredients. Seated at the meal, the sage who doesn't know who has been cooked, demands the host's son's company and lo and behold, the son comes running when he's called. The sage (Surprise!Surprise!) is revealed to be Shiva in disguise.
Shiva seems to have preferred more drama than the God of Abraham!

Wow. I have heard the story of Chiruthonda Nayanar and the story of Abraham and Issac. But never tied the two.

Both are horrible stories. Whats bizarre is that I was told the Nayanar story when I was a really little kid?
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#7
(27-Dec-2010, 11:11 AM)vijay Wrote: தையடா ஊசியிற் தையெனத் தந்தபின் தக்கதைத் தையாதிரு
Once you are given to stitch, stitch and don't stitch things that are required.
(He means, do what you been told and not what is actually to be done.)

உய்திடும் மெய்வழி உதாசீனித்தபின் நைவதே நன்றநின் னை.
after discarding the path of enlightening truth, stitching becomes your characteristic - I'm not sure about this line

I think the translation of the last sentence is wrong.

"தை" in the second last sentence means stitch.

"நை" in the last sentence does not mean stitch. It might mean weave or make into cloths.

Actually "நெய்" means weave or make into cloth. Is it possible that நைவதே is really நெய்வதே?

Even if it is in fact "weave" it is a reference to something else. Otherwise the last sentence does not have the expected punch.
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