Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Thiruvasagam – 10.2

If the Lord of the celestials had not in his compassion conquered me, 
What would have I been? What would my heart or knowledge be?
Who would’ve known me?
The Ruler of the world, who accepts alms in a broken skull – 
Go to his honeyed lotus like feet and hum his praise, O’ Royal Bee!

நானார்என் உள்ளமார் ஞானங்க ளார்என்னை யாரறிவார்
வானோர் பிரான்என்னை ஆண்டிலனேல் மதிமயங்கி
ஊனார் உடைதலையில் உண்பலிதேர் அம்பலவன்
தேனார் கமலமே சென்றூதாய் கோத்தும்பீ.

திருக்கோத்தும்பி  – ThirukkOthumbi is a set of 20 verses in Thiruvasagam, where Manickavasagar sings the praise of Lord Shiva in Chidambaram. In these verses he hails Lord Shiva and asks the Royal Bee to hum around the Lord.

In this verse he says “If Shiva, Lord of the celestials, had not taken pity on me and conquered my soul, what would I have been? What would my heart or knowledge be? Nothing. Who would have known me? No one. It is because of Lord Shiva I am all that I am. He is the Ruler of the world. He uses a broken human skull as begging bowl and accepts alms in it to eat.  O’ Royal bee, go to his feet and hum his praise like you hum around honeyed lotus flowers”

வானோர் பிரான் – Lord of the Celestials
ஆண்டிலனேல் – if he hadn’t conquered
மதிமயங்கி- Yield (his) head – become compassionate
ஊனார் உடைதலை – Broken skull with flesh sticking
உண்பலிதேர் – Food + Alms + Accept
அம்பலவன் – Ruler of the World
தேனார் கமலம் – honeyed Lotus
கோத்தும்பி – Royal Bee

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