398 – Knowledge

National Integration Through Thirukkural And Sanskrit

Knowledge across Births

A Spiritual Guru travelling in a public Taxi handed over an Audio CD containing spiritual discourses, to the Taxi Driver and requested him to play the same,  through the music system fitted in the taxi.   Though the driver was an agnostic, he readily obliged the request. The driver was also listening to the discourse as he was driving. The discourse went on for about 3 hours.  The driver was gradually drawn into the discourse  and when the Spiritual Guru alighted at his destination, he requested the Spiritual Guru to give him a copy of the same. Seeing the interest levels of the driver, the Guru obliged him and gave him a CD containing similar such discourses.

Thereafter, the driver made it a habit to listen to such discourses while he was driving or during his free time. He listened to those discourses many times and having understood the spirit behind the teachings, started trying to follow the life-style suggested by them.  He discontinued his alcoholic habits , avoided non-vegetarian food and made it a practice to pray every day. This went on for about a year and he could feel the transformation in his outlook of life.

One day, he underwent an annual medical checkup and, he was diagnosed with an advanced stage of a terminally ill disease.  He was very much disturbed and he approached the Spiritual Guru and introduced himself. He narrated about the past and his habits, his transformation after listening to the discourses and the diagnosis of his disease. He told him, that, though, he did not fear death, he was disappointed, that,  just as he was beginning to lead a reformed life, after wasting a major portion of his life on unwanted things, his life-span is about to be cut short.

The Spiritual Guru comforted him saying that, just as one’s actions (karma), in a life-time gets carried over to subsequent births, spiritual knowledge acquired during one’s lifetime also gets carried over.  He told that every individual evolves over multiple births and that ‘Every Saint has a past and every Sinner has a future’.   He told him, that, he would be automatically born in his next birth into an environment which is conducive, not only to resume from where he left off in this birth, but also provide opportunities for him to further enhance his spiritual quest and evolve into a better soul.

Thiruvalluvar in Couplet 398 reiterates the same. Knowledge acquired by a person in this birth will stand him in good stead even during his next seven births.

ஒருமைக்கண் தான்கற்ற கல்வி ஒருவற்கு 
எழுமையும் ஏமாப்பு உடைத்து 

Orumaikkan Thaan Katra Kalvi Oruvarkku
Ezhumaiyum Emaappu udaiththu

பரிமேலழகர் உரை

ஒருவற்கு – ஒருவனுக்கு, தான் ஒருமைக்கண் கற்ற கல்வி – தான் ஒரு பிறப்பின்கண் கற்ற கல்வி, எழுமையும் ஏமாப்பு உடைத்து – எழுபிறப்பினும் சென்று உதவுதலை உடைத்து. (வினைகள்போல உயிரின்கண் கிடந்து அது புக்குழிப் புகும் ஆகலின், ‘எழுமையும் ஏமாப்பு உடைத்து’ என்றார். எழுமை – மேலே கூறப்பட்டது(குறள் 62). உதவுதல் – நன்னெறிக்கண் உய்த்தல்.).

 Sanskrit Translation by Shri S.N. Sri Rama Desikan

ஏகஜன்மன்யதி⁴க³தா வித்³யா நூனம் ஹி கேனசித் |
ஸப்தஜன்ம ஸ்வனுக³தா தஸ்ய ஸாஹ்யகரீ ப⁴வேத் ||