Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Thiruvempavai – 2

“Day and night when we chatted,
your love is to Paranjothi*, you said;
Is this flower strewn bed
the object of your love now, Oh’ bejeweled beauty?”

“Oh’ bejeweled girls! Chee Chee!
Are these words your idea of a joke?
Is this the time and place to mock me?”

“Lord Siva, of luminous form, resident of Thillai Chittrambalam,
whose lotus feet shies away from worship of celestials,
is here to grace us; We, his devotees,
are we strangers to each other, My friend?”

*Paranjothi – Ethereal Flame, a name of Lord Shiva. In Thiruvannamalai, where these verses were sung, Shiva is worshipped in the form of a flame.

பாசம் பரஞ்சோதிக்கு என்பாய், இராப் பகல் நாம்
பேசும்போது; எப்போது இப் போது ஆர் அமளிக்கே
நேசமும் வைத்தனையோ? நேரிழையாய்!’ `நேரிழையீர்!
சீ! சீ! இவையும் சிலவோ? விளையாடி
ஏசும் இடம் ஈதோ? விண்ணோர்கள் ஏத்துதற்குக்
கூசும் மலர்ப் பாதம் தந்தருள வந்தருளும்
தேசன், சிவலோகன், தில்லைச் சிற்றம்பலத்துள்
ஈசனார்க்கு அன்பு ஆர்? யாம் ஆர்?’ ஏல் ஓர் எம்பாவாய்!

This verse is written as a dialogue between the girl and her friends who have come to wake her up. The friends mock her and say, “Whenever we chatted, you said your love is sworn to our Lord Siva, Paranjothi (the ethereal flame). But now you are still asleep. Is this flower strewn bed your object of love now, you bejeweled beauty?” She replies “Oh bejeweled girls, stop this nonsense. Are these some of the words you use to mock me. Do you think this is the right time and place to laugh at me?” They reply back “We all are the devotees of Lord Shiva, he who shines like a bright light, he who is the resident of Thillai Chittrambalam (current day Chidambaram). Celestial beings who ask him for favors fall at his feet. But he shies away from them. His lotus feet is here to grace us, the devotees who ask for nothing but his love. We all are his devotees. Are we strangers to each other? So don’t take our words to heart, my friend”

போது – flower
ஆர் – strewn
அமளி – bed
நேரிழை – fine jewels wearing girl
விண்ணோர்கள் ஏத்துதற்குக் கூசும் – Celestials + pray + shies – Celestial being pray to Supreme God only when they need something. So he shies away from them. 

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