SCIENCE of LIFE

Sree Narayana Guru's

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JATI-LAKSHANAM

(The Qualities of a species)

 

This work is closely related to the earlier one Jati-nirnnayam. Class/caste have to be distinguished on the basis of inherent qualities and not on man made criteria for distinction.

 

Guru who waged a warfare against the caste discrimination and religious hatred, has introduced the basis for determining a particular class. What he says is essentially the inherent qualities that distinguish a species from another. Guru’s perception of caste (class) is the same as what modern science defines as ‘species’.

 

Stanza 1.

 

punarnnu perum ellamo-

rinamam punarathath

inama llinamami ngo-

rinayarnnothu kanmathum.

 

All that are born through the (sexual) union of male/female belong to the same class/species. Others are not the same species. Those that court each other also belong to the same class.

 

Stanza 2.

 

oro yinathinum meyyu-

moro mathiri yochayum

manavum chuvayum choodum

thanuvum nokku morkanam.

 

Each class has its distinctive form, speech, scent, taste, sight and body temperature. (hot blooded and cold blooded and within them temperature differences)

 

Stanza 3.

 

thudar nnoronnilum vevve-

radayala mirikkayal

arinjeedunnu vevvere

pirichoronnu mingu nam.

 

Since each class has its distinctive features, we are able to identify them as belonging to a particular ‘group’.

 

Stanz 4.

 

peruru thozhilee moonnum

poru mayathu kelkuka

aaru neeyennu kelkenda

neru maithanne cholkayal.

 

When you want to get acquainted with a person, ask for his name, native place and vocation or the job he does. There is no need to ask what ‘caste’ he is. His body characteristics, speech and behaviour will tell you his caste/class, ie his level of cultural achievement.

 

Stanza 5.

 

inamarnnudal than thante-

yina methennu cholkayal

inamethennu kelkilla

ninavum kannumullavar.

 

The physical features or characteristics of an animal, tells to what class/species it belongs to. Therefore, with the power of perception and cognition understand class and do not ask about class/caste. All men belong to one class (homo sapiens). That a person belongs to the ‘human’ species is evident when you see him. Then what is the need to ask about the caste/class he belongs to. This explanation leads us to its corollary, in the form of a message

 

Don’t enquire about caste,

Don’t tell about your caste,

Don’t think in terms of caste.”

 

Stanz 6.

 

poli chollunninam cholva-

thizhivennu ninakkayal,

izhivi llinamonnanu

poli chollarutharume.

 

Some people are ashamed to reveal their caste/class. So they resort to telling a lie. When all men are considered as one caste, there is nothing to be ashamed to be a human. Hence there is nothing wrong in being a member of a particular caste/class. No one should hide his class, with a lie.

 

Stanz 7.

 

aanum pennum verthirichu

kaanum vanna minatheyum

kaananam kurikondi mma-

ttanu naam ariyendathu.

 

Just as you distinguish between the male and female by their physical characteristics, you can identify a person by the qualities inherent in him. This is the way to distinguish the ‘class’ of a person.

 

Stanza 8.

 

arivam azhiyil ninnu

varum ella inathinum

karuvaninam ee neerin

nira than verumayidum.

 

The waves of the ocean are responsible for all that comes out of it. Similarly Consciousness is the base for all that appear as names and forms.

 

Stanza 9.

 

arivam karuvan cheytha

karuva nina morkkukil

karuvarnniniyum maari

varum ee vannathokkeyum.

 

Consciousness is a blacksmith, who makes out of his mould the names and forms (different classes). Today’s forms will undergo changes, in his mould to take new shapes. Here the reference is to rebirth. Similarly there is nothing permanent when it comes to caste/class distinctions.

 

Stanza 10.

 

inam ennithine chollu-

nninnathe nnariyikkayal    

inam illengi lillonnu-

minnathe nnulla thuzhiyil.

 

Since each class of animals have their own characteristics, they are identified as that class or species. This is based on the names and forms given to identify that species. Therefore in the absence of distinguishing forms and names for species, there is nothing like a class/species in this world.