Privacy, Confidentiality and Sensitive Information are very important things that all of us tend to be careful about in this Internet-enabled world. The information that are considered private and confidential quite personal to each individual, revealing them makes one feel insecure, ashamed etc. So what are the factors that are considered as privacy. Nowadays, the list goes like credit card numbers, mobile phone numbers, bank account numbers etc. The fact about privacy is not an awareness that was created recently. It dates back to the eighteenth century, where a poet named Ambalavana Kavirayar in his work, Arappaleeswara Sadhagam, has described about what to tell and what not to tell to the world. His work is in praise of Lord Shiva, called Arappaleeswarar, in a town called Seergazhi, and the place is called Sadhuragiri with the temple called Arappaleeswaram.

His literary work, the Arappaleeswara Sadhagam, consists of 100 songs that praise Lord Arappaleeswarar. Sadhagam is one of the 96 Prabandhams. It consists of 100 songs that either praises the Gods or describes about Love etc. This Arappaleeswara Sadhagam not only praises Lord Shiva, but also tells about good deeds, morals and characteristics of various things. And this is where Ambalavana Kavirayarar has sung about what to tell and what not to tell. The song goes like this

“Senmitha Varudamum Undaana Aththamum
Theedhil Gragachaaramum
Thindru Varum Oudathamum Maelanaa Desikan
Seppiya Maha Mandhiramum
Punmai Avamanamum Dhaanamum Paimpon Ani
Punaiyum Madavaar Kalaviyum
Pugazh Mayvum Maanamum Ivai Onbadhum Thamadhu
Pundhikkullae Vaipadhae
Dharmam Endru Urai Seivar Onnaar Karuthaiyum
Thann Piniyaiyum Pasiyaiyum
Thaan Seidha Paavamum Ivai Ellam Veru Oruvar
Thann Seviyil Vaipadhu Eyalbaam
Annmaruvu Kandanae Moondru Ulagum Eendra Umai
Anbanae Arumai Madhavael
Anu Dhinamum Manadhil Ninai Tharu Sadhuragiri Vala
Arappaleeswara Devanae”

meaning, The year of birth, The wealth acquired, Planetary positions when they are good in one’s zodiac chart, The medicines being taken, The mantra uttered by the Guru, The mean insults, The donations and benefactions, Intimacy with women, The dignity that brings fame – all these nine things should be kept within oneself as they are considered as private and should not be publicised to the world. The intentions of the enemies, The troubles one has, Hunger, The sins committed will usually be shared with someone else. Concluding with this moral, this stanza is completed with the praise of Lord Arappaleeswarar stating that his throat is dark as He ate the great poison obtained along with the divine potion called Amirdham, after churning the ocean of milk. And He is the consort of the Goddess Parvathi, who created all the three types of worlds. And this Lord Arappaleeswarar is being worshipped daily by the patron of the poet called Madhavael.

Senmitha – Being born
Varudam – Year
Undaana – Created, Acquired, Resulted
Aththamum – Wealth
Theedhil – Theedhu (Bad) + Ill (Negation), which means without being bad
Thindru Varum – Thindru (Eat) + Varum (Come, Continuing something)
Oudatham – Medicines
Maelana Desikan – Guru, Teacher
Seppiyya – Uttered, Said
Maha Mandhiram – The great or important mantra or advice
Punmai – Mean, Cheap, Misery
Avamaanam – Insult
Dhaanam – Donations
Paimpon Ani – Pure gold ornaments
Madavaar – Women
Kalavi – Intimacy
Ivai – These
Onbadhu – Nine
Thamadhu – Oneself
Pundhikkullae – In the mind
Vaipadhu – Keeping, holding
Dharmam – Good deed, Moral etiquette
Onnaar – Enemies
Karuthu – Intentions, Thoughts
Thann – Oneself
Pini – Troubles, Diseases etc
Pasi – Hunger
Paavam – Sin
Veru Oruvar – Other persons
Seviyil – Ears
Vaipadhu – Put, Tell, Hold, Keep
Iyalbu – Natural, Usually
Anmaruvu – Dark part
Kandam – Throat
Moondru Ulagam – Three Worlds
Eendra – Give birth, Create
Umai – Goddess Parvathi
Anbanae – Lover, Person showing Kindness
Madhavael – Patron of Ambalavana Kavirayar
Anu Dhinam – Every Day
Manadhil – Mind
Ninai – Think
Tharu – Giver, Tree
Sadhuragiri – Place in Seergaazhi
Arappaleeswara Devanae – Lord Arappaleeswarar

Some of the details like year of birth could not be hidden these days, but the actual intention to not reveal the year of birth was that the general characteristics of the person could be found if the year of birth is known. But the other things are considered private even today. Lets honour the great mind Ambalavana Kavirayar for his excellent work – The Arappaleeswara Sadhagam – and let his work be propagated for generations to come.

More to come, until then…