Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Thevaram 3.49.1

Those who chant it immersed in love, yielding to him
with tears of bliss – it guides them to the path of virtue;
It is the essence of all four Vedas;
It is the moniker of my lord, Namachivaya.

காதல் ஆகி, கசிந்து, கண்ணீர் மல்கி,
ஓதுவார் தமை நன் நெறிக்கு உய்ப்பது;
வேதம் நான்கினும் மெய்ப்பொருள் ஆவது
நாதன் நாமம் நமச்சிவாயவே.

This verse by Thirugnana Sambandhar extols the word Namachivaya, moniker of Shiva. He says those who chant it with heart full of love, melting to a puddle and tears of bliss streaming from their eyes – in other words unconditional surrender to God – will be guided by Him to the virtuous path. His Name is the truth and essence of all four Vedas.

The first line in Tamil – காதல் ஆகி, கசிந்து, கண்ணீர் மல்கி– uses alliteration and packs a punch in describing unconditional surrender of the devotees.

காதல் – love
கசிந்து – melting / yielding / giving in
ஓதுவார் – those who chant
நன் நெறி – right way
உய்ப்பது – guides / brings
மெய்ப்பொருள் – true meaning / essence
நாமம் – name / moniker

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7 thoughts on “Thevaram 3.49.1

  1. ‘kasindhu’ is ‘melting’, yielding/giving in etc are not quite it. See for example the lyrics in Suddhananda Bharati in the ‘eppadi padinaro’ song. You have the phrase ‘kadhalinal urugi’.

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    • I spent a lot of time on that word. One iteration had it as ”’melting heart , blissful tears”. Finally felt that though melting is literally correct, the complete giving up of self cobveys the meaning better. Still may chang again 🙂

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  2. Agree about ‘melting’

    Perhaps because this song always takes me to another:

    அடி ஆடி அகம் கரைந்து, இசை
    பாடிப் பாடி கண்ணீர் மல்கி
    நாடி நாடி ‘நரசிங்கா’ என்று
    வாடி வாடும் இவ்வாள் நுதலே

    – நம்மாழ்வார்

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  3. Studied this in school. Lovely to read it again. Thank you for sharing.

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