Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Sivavakkiyar – 53

Like trapping a tiger using a goat as bait,
Is it fair for you to enthrall me showing riches?
Oh’ lord who killed and skinned the elephant demon*,
Show me the path to freedom and liberate me.

*Lord Shiva killed Gajasura the elephant demon and skinned it.

ஆடுகாட்டி வேங்கையை அகப்படுத்து மாறுபோல்
மாடுகாட்டி என்னைநீ மதிமயக்க லாகுமோ
கோடுகாட்டி யானையைக் கொன்றுரித்த கொற்றவா
வீடுகாட்டி என்னைநீ வெளிப்படுத்த வேணுமே.

In this verse Sivavakkiyar says “People trap leopards using a goat tied to a tree as bait. Similarly you are showing me all these riches and enthralling me in this pointless world. All these riches are just illusory. Oh’ lord you broke the tusks of the elephant (Elephant demon Gajasura) and skinned him. Show me too the path to Moksha (emancipation?) and deliver me from this illusory world”

The alliteration in Tamil adds to the beauty of the verse.

The legend of killing the elephant demon, Gajasura : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gajasurasamhara


Gajasurasamhara, Belur Temple sculpture. Source : Wikipedia


ஆடு – goat
வேங்கை – tiger
அகப்படுத்துதல் – trap
மாடு – cow (metaphor for wealth)
மதி மயக்கம் – mesmerize / enthrall
கோடு – tusk
கொன்று உரித்த – kill and skin
கொற்றவன் – Lord / king
வீடு – emancipation / freedom
வெளிப்படுத்தல் – take (me) out /  liberation

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4 thoughts on “Sivavakkiyar – 53

  1. Interesting that here the word வீடு means emancipation / freedom. The beauty of the Tamil language.


  2. Amazing ! Please continue your noble work


  3. Sathiya Henderson on said:

    please continue your noble work,so far difficult to find sivavakkiyar tamil to english translation.thanks for your perunjsevai

    Liked by 1 person

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