Pattinathar (தமிழ்: பட்டினத்தார்) is 1962 Tamil biographical film was directed by K. Somu and produced by Film center with distribution by J. R. Productions. The film script was written by Thanjai Ramaiah Doss and Akilan. Music by G. Ramanathan is an added asset to the movie. The film stars T. M. Soundararajan who played the title role and M. R. Radha played the antagonist. Another film of the same name was previously released in 1936.That film was directed by T. C. Vadivelu Nayakar and the male lead actor was M. M. Dhandapani Desikar.
The movie starts with a dream by a pious couple, where Lord Shiva appeared and told them that, they would find a baby boy at a certain spot. They were to take that baby to Poompugaar (Kaveripoom pattinam) and hand over the baby boy to Thiruvengadar, also called pattinatthar, (played by T. M. Soundararajan) and he would give gold equal to the weight of the baby to the pious couple. The saintly devotees found the baby and took him to pattinatthar and his wife Sivakalai (Gemini K. Chandra). A similar dream had also appeared to pattinatthar and his wife; who then adopted the child and gave the pious couple wealth, as told in their dream. They name the child Marudhavaanan, the divine child grows up and follows in his father's footsteps.
Once, the father pattinatthar sent his adopted son Marudhavaanan on a ship with Merchantile goods for overseas trading. When the son came back, there was a severe storm and he arrived safely at home. Marudhavaanan's merchant friends from his business trip meet his father & say that they had lost all their goods in the storm at sea, but Marudhavaanan had only brought back sacks full of paddy husks and cow dung cakes. Then Marudhavaanan gives his father just a small box containing three cow dung cakes and palm leaf documents which are loan promissory notes from his friends. The angered father throws the cow dung cakes out, and to his surprise sees there are gold coins and precious gems like diamonds & pearls in them. Thiruvengadar hurries home to see his son.
But Marudhavaanan was not at home and Sivakalai gives Thiruvengadar a very small box, which the son Marudhavaanan had given her, to be handed over to his father, before the son had disappeared. Inside the box, Thiruvengadar sees a palm-leaf manuscript and a needle without an eyelet. On the script were the following words (in English for understanding):
"Not even an eyeless needle will accompany you in the final journey of life."
Then Pattinathar realised the philosophy and wisdom of the words and renounced everything, his wife, his wealth, kith, kin and with only a loin cloth he left his home. He began singing many philosophical songs to enlighten people on the blissful state of renunciation.
Thereafter Thiruvengadar becomes and leads the life of a mendicant relying on alms. Meenakshi (S. D. Subbulakshmi) his sister feels that the dignity of her family will suffer by his conduct, and she decides to kill him by giving him poisoned Appam (Breakfast pancake). Discovering her plot through divine grace, he throws it on the roof of her house which catches fire immediately. But the miraculous fire is extinguished by him when she begs his pardon and pattinatthar forgives her & goes on his way. One night, feeling very hungry he peeps into a hut. The villagers mistake him for a thief and beat him.
Then deciding not to beg for alms in future, he goes to a lonely Lord Ganesha Temple in the jungle and sits behind the Vigragam (God's idol) for meditation. A band of robbers returning from a successful loot of King Badragiri's palace throw a pearl necklace at the Vigragam as their offering to God. It accidentally falls on pattinathar's neck as he is sitting behind the Vigragam. He gets arrested by the king's sentries for having the stolen necklace. He is taken to the king, who orders his execution on the spikes. But the spikes catch fire and burn. King Badragiri gives up all worldly pleasures and abdicates his crown in favour of his son.
At his ardent request, saint pattinatthar accepts the king Badragiri as a disciple and asks him to come to Thiruvidai Marudur temple. At Thiruvidai Marudur, pattinatthar and his disciples station themselves at the eastern and the western gates of the temple respectively. One day a devotee (Lord Shiva himself disguised) begs for food to pattinatthar but, the saint replies to the devotee, " I have no food to give for your hunger". Then he told the devotee to go to the western gate where he can find a family man sitting near the temple tower. "You beg to him, may be he can give you some food". The devotee comes to the former king and begs him for food. The former king who became a renunciant is now shocked, to know that he was called a family man just for having a begging bowl and a dog with him. At the very moment, the former king threw the begging bowl away and it accidentally hit the dog, after which it dies. After this incident and several years later Badragiri attains salvation by thinking of Lord Shiva and surrendering to God's feet.
At that time pattinatthar heard the voice (divine voice made without bodily presence) of Lord Shiva, which told him that, where the bottom of sugarcane stalk gives a sweet taste, at that place he will attain his salvation. After visiting various Shaivite shrines, pattinatthar finally comes to Tiruvottiyur and eats sugarcane and its bottom stalk gives a sweet taste. At Tiruvottiyur beach, he requested some Yadhava children playing in the beach, to cover him with a big mud plastered basket and to hold it tightly closed. The boys accede to his wish but twice, pattinatthar got out by using his Siddhis and without opening the basket, while the children were holding it closed and standing guard. The third time, again he sits inside. This third time, the boys closed the basket & grip it very tightly closed. After a while, they open it. They are stunned to find a Shivalingam instead of the sage. In the meantime, Sivakalai, pattinatthar's wife sees a vision of him at Tiruvottiyur about to attain salvation.T. M. Soundararajan as Thiruvengadar/Pattinatthar
Marudhavaanan- Adoped son
M. R. Radha as Eesan Chettiyar
Gemini K. Chandra as Sivakalai
S. R. Janaki as Thiruvengadan's mother- Gnanakalai
C. K. Saraswathi as Visalam
S. D. Subbulakshmi as Meenakshi (Thiruvengadan's Sister)
Major Sundararajan as King Chola (Guest)
Leelavathi as Badragiri's wife
K. Nadarajan as king Badragiri
Director = K. Somu
Producer = Film Center
Music = G. Ramanathan
Art = CH. E. Prasad Rao
Stills = R. N. Nagaraj Rao
Publicity = P. S. Mani and Company
Processing = BAL. G. Sinthey and D. Eswar singh
Audiography = M. B. Valkay , Francis A. Samy and R. Kannan
Set Properties = Cine Grafts, Giri Museum and Kannan Mates
Production Management = K. M. Vaithyanathan.
Music composed G. Ramanathan. and lyrics written by T. K. Sundara Vaathiyaar , Thanjai Ramaiah Doss, Ku. Ma. Balasubramanyam, A. Maruthakasi and Pattinathar Songs.
Pattinathar - another film with the same name, was released earlier in 1936. It was a black and white Tamil Mythological and Biographical film directed by T. C. Vadivelu Nayakar and produced by M. T. Rajan. The film script was written by T. C. Vadivelu Nayakar. The film was distributed by Vel Films. Starring M. M. Dhandapani Desikar who played Pattinathar's role as protagonist, and other actors like V. N. Sundaram , D. R. Muthulakshmi , T. K. Rukmini, M. S. RadhaBhai and P. G. Venkatesan. The film's cinematography was by K. Ramnath and art direction by A. K. Sekhar. The film was super - hit at that year. The film ran at Chennai Broadway theatre for 25 weeks.
The film's message is that one should look for the true meaning of life, and not waste it in pilling up wealth. It seemed to have gone deep into the psyche of the film going public of the 30's and the film become a rage. The impact of the film was so great that it is popularly believed that some young men who were even married to young women, gave up wordly life and donned the saffron robes of a mendicant, after seeing the film!. Unfortunately there are no prints of this film available now.