Pindanandi is a composition expressing the gratitude to God for taking care of oneself when in the embryo state, alone and helpless. It is intended to open our eyes, that the sense of ‘I’ should not exist, and to concede that everything takes place according to God’s will, and take refuge in Him.
Sree Narayana Guru is the spiritual master on the philosophy of liberation (Moksha). Guru teaches this philosophy by bifurcating the paths to liberation as Jnana Marga ie. the path of contemplation and Karma marga ie. the path of worshipful action. Atmopadesa-satakam, Darsanamala and such compositions come under the category of Jnanamarga.
Upasanamarga advocates action, with devotion to God, with the knowledge of righteousness. If a person leads a life, performing his duties, and offers such actions to the Lord (or Guru), that becomes Upasana. God can be worshipped in many different ways, viz, ordinary (simple) devotion, devotion at the feet of Lord by serving Him (Padabhakti), and thirdly, taking refuge in the Lord (Saranagati), and so on. The philosophical principle contained in ‘Pindanandi’ is devotion by taking refuge in Lord unconditionally.
When a devotee sits for worship, or gets involved in his spiritual practice, an enlightenment takes place in his mind that everything that takes place in this world is according to God’s will and purpose. A devotee who has such a mental awakening does not desire anything for himself. He does not have any individual or self-centered wishes. In such a mental state, a devotee leaves to the will of God whether he should confine himself to the phenomenal (materialistic) world or move upwards to the spiritual world. When a devotee says ‘I want to be in Samadhi’ it shows his stubbornness. Here, his state of mind reflects his egoistic tendency. Only when a devotee offers his ‘ego’ to God (ie, eschews his ‘I’ mentality), the subjection of his will to God becomes complete.
Stanza 13 of Atmopadesa-satakam says:
Having offered the inner flower of ‘I’ to that Lord, smeared with sacred ashes, of the three gunas, having cooled down the senses, unwind everything, and become calm, even the desire for samadhi gone, sink in to the effulgent glory.
The total subjection of our mind to God is the meaning of obeisance with the inner flower (the mind). An ignorant man’s greatest love is his ‘I’ sense (ego feeling). That must be completely surrendered at the feet of God as an offering (gift), to call it a full fledged surrender. Then the sense organs become inert. The heaviness in the heart vanishes (Aksham aari). In other words, where there is no ego, there is no place for a heart full of worries.
The story of Markandeya is the best example of Saranagathi (refuge in God). Having realized that he was destined to live only sixteen years, he clung to a Sivalinga at the time when Yama’s attendants came to take him. Seeing this the attendants asked themselves what to do. They were in a quandary. If they threw the noose round his neck, it will certainly fall on the Sivalinga. Then Siva will not spare them. At the same time Markandeya knew that if he left his hold on the Linga, the noose will fall on his neck. So he did not let go his hold at all. In such a pathetic situation the path (or the wish) of the devotee is the path of God. Thus Markandeya became an immortal.
The ignorant are not aware of the truth that everything in this world takes place according to the will of God and His plans. They think everything is achieved by ‘their’ ability and cleverness, and live with vanity. To convince such egoistic ignoramus people about their helplessness, Guru has brought in the simile of the state of an embryo in the mother’s womb. We can see in this composition some of the medical aspects of the growth of the embryo related to gynecology and obstetrics, since Guru was an efficient Ayurvedic physician. The title Pindanandi conveys the sense of gratitude of a person for the care by the God taken when he (she) existed initially as a lump of flesh in the womb of the mother.
garbhathil vachu bhgavanadiyante pinda-
mepperumanpodu valartha kripaluvallee?
kalpichapole varumennu ninachukandi-
O! Sambo, Are you not that compassionate One, who with your Grace always protected me when I was lying in my mother’s womb, as a piece of flesh. Whatever happens here is only according to Your will. After contemplating on this, O! Sambo! I offer everything unto You.
O! Sambo (Siva or the Auspicious one), Are you not that compassionate One, who with your Grace always protected me when I was lying in my mother’s womb, as a piece of flesh, with the danger of being aborted at any moment? Whatever happens here is only according to Your will and intentions. The balance of a man’s life (at any time) is like an air filled balloon, with the chance of bursting at any moment. The past, the present and future existence of a person is also due to God’s mercy and will. After contemplating on this principle and having understood its significance, O! Sambo! (saviour) I offer everything unto You.
Only a devotee with profound thinking and understanding of (everything) attains deep devotion. Hence it is recommended that a devotee should worship with the full understanding of the principles of devotion. Worshiping without understanding the tenets of Upasanamarga is similar to a traveler who starts a journey without knowing his way (direction). It is also not correct to presume that everything can be learnt by reading books. It is like trying to learn swimming by reading a book (without getting into water). Both these are futile efforts. Therefore, a person who wants to learn and adopt the Upasanamarga should be adept both in theory and practice (experience).
mannum jalam kanalumambaramodu kaattum
dandappeduthumoru devathayinkal ninnen
pindathinannamritu nalki valartha sambho!
The earth, water, fire, air and ether, You combined these in specific proportions, put in an enclosed room, alit the fire, protected me from the tormenting Goddess by giving the nectar and reared me from a lump of flesh.
The five elements are earth, water, fire, air and ether. All creations are made out of these elements. Similarly these elements have been combined in specific proportions to create the embryo. (Therefore the use of the word ‘measured’). The phrase ‘by putting in an enclosed room’ means- creating in the womb. By ‘alit the fire’ means lighting the lamp in the form of human soul or as prana. The goddess, who teases and torments(Mayadevi) has created countless miseries at all these occasions. They were overcome only with the Amrut (nectar), and not with any other medicines. O! Sambo, were You not the one who gave me this Amrut and reared me from a lump of flesh.
onnalla ninte kripayinnariyichidunnu
O! Sambo, not only the lowly insects that live in the crevices between rocks proclaim Your immeasurable Grace, but the Indra hiding in the lotus stem, and also other devas grow out and become what they are because of Your Grace.
O! Sambo!, Your Grace is immeasurable. All creatures from the lowly insects that live in the crevices between rocks to the immortal god Indra who lived in a lotus stem, exist only due to Your Grace. Suppose the stones get pressed each other, think of the predicament of the insects. This is also true of all earthly creations and devas. All of them grow and become what they are because of your Grace. [According to the Puranas, Indra is believed to have stayed (hid) in a lotus stem, after he slew Vritasura, a demon, who was considered to be a Brahmin, which was considered a sin. He hid in the lotus stem in fear, for thousand years until he made a sacrifice in atonement. This is the allusion (hint,) to the phrase ‘allikudathil amarunna amarendran.]
bandhukkalilla balavum dhanavum ninakki-
lenthonnukondithu valarnnathaho! vichitram
enthamburante kaliyokke itennarinjal
andhatvamillathinu neeyarulledu sambho!
There was no relatives, no strength, no riches. How it grew without these is a great mystery. If I accept all these as part of ‘My Master’s play’, it will dispel darkness. To get that clarity, O! Sambo! Please bless.
When the embryo was in the womb, it had no relatives with it. It had no strength nor riches (any possessions). How it grew without these, is a mystery. If we accept (understand) all these as part of God’s divine play, it will avoid all confusion in our thinking. But to get this clarity of thought and to get over the confusion, we must have God’s blessings.
It is impossible to find answer (reasons) for all the events in the normal way of thinking. The hungry child that cries, and the mother that feeds, must be the same Awareness (God) in dual form. The rat and the cat that preys on it, are both Awareness. Then what is the meaning of all these? There is no specific meaning except to consider them as the divine play of God. (Mayavinodam)
naalanchu maasamorupol nayanangal vachu
kaalante kayyilanayate valarthi neeye
kaalam kazhinju karuvinkalirunnu njana-
kkalam ninachu karayunnithu kelkka sambho!
During the 4/5 months of early pregnancy You have given the organs of sense. You saved me from the hands of God of death. After remaining in this stage, and taking birth, I am crying today, thinking how helpless I was during that period. O! Sambo, please listen to this cry.
God has given the organs of sense equally to all. The sense organs make their initial appearance in the first 4 or 5 months of pregnancy. (After this, only their further development takes place.) Then, You tended me (saved me) against death. Who else, other than Siva (called Kalakala- one who has conquered death) can save a person from the God of Death. After remaining in this stage, and taking birth, I am crying today, thinking how helpless I was, during that time. O! Sambo, please listen this cry.
rethassu thanneyithu rekthamodum kalarnnu
nadam thiranduruvathai naduvil kidanneen
thathan valarthiyavananivaninnu sambho!
After the fusion of the sperm and the ovum, and then having formless sound taking form, I lay at the middle. There was no mother or father there. You are the one who brought me up. You are the real Father.
After remaining as a formless object, with the fusion of the sperm of the father and the ovum of the mother, and then having formless Aum (nadam/sound) taking a form, I lay helpless in the abdomen of my mother. To lull me or to help then there was no father or mother. You are the one who brought me up. You are the real Father
[Twam eva matha pitha twam eva
Twam eva bandhu cha sakha twam eva
Twam eva vidya dravinam twam eva
Twam eva sarvam mama devadeva.]
annulla vethana marannathu nannunarnna-
linningu thanneriyil veenu marikkumayyo!
thannittu thanneyithuminnariyunnu sambho!
O! Sambo, it is a blessing that I have forgotten the pain I had suffered while in the womb. If those thoughts arise in the mind, I shall leap into fire and die, at that moment itself. Since You! The Golden Father gave me my five external doors, I am able to feel now, the sufferings of this world.
I have forgotten the pain and suffering I had while in the womb. That is, indeed, a blessing. If those thoughts arise in the mind (memory), I shall leap into fire and die, at that moment itself. It was such a horrendous suffering. Who can endure the memories of the suffering, when he was in a dungeon (womb), lying with folded limbs, and in the midst of his own excretions? Since You! God (The Golden father- the invaluable savior), gave me my external doors to this world in the form of the five senses, now, I am able to feel the sufferings of the world. There is freedom (of movement) here, unlike in the womb. There are relatives around me (I am no more alone). There is wealth. Yet sorrow is what is still experienced.
venthullazhinju verute neduveerppumittu
nonthingu pettu naripole kidannu koovu
My mother carried me within as a burden, and underwent all the sufferings of pregnancy and later labour, with heavy breathing. Being helpless, here I am howling like a fox. What else can I do. O! Sambo, Please tell me.
My mother carried me in her womb for ten months, and underwent all the sufferings of pregnancy and later labour pains, with heavy breathing. Being helpless, here I am howling like a fox. Beyond that what else can I do. O! Sambo, please tell me.
chollenamo durithamokkeyakattane nee
ellaam kalanjeruthileri varunna sambho!
O! The Omniscient good Lord of all, is there any need to remind you to end all my sorrows. You are my only refuge. If You forsake me everything is lost. O! Savior, coming mounted on a bull.
O! God, the Omniscient One, You are aware of everything including my sorrows and misery. So there is no need (or a case) for me to specifically request you to end (remove) all my sorrows. You are my only refuge. There is no one here other than Yourself, to save me from the tormenting Maya (illusion) or the God of death (fear of death). Therefore if You forsake me everything is doomed (lost). Don’t forsake me, Lord Siva! Who is mounted on the bull (Nandi).