Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Thiurumandhiram – 1.2.3

Whole town gathered and lamented noisily,
Discarded the given name and called it a dead body,
Carried it to the cremation ground, burnt it to ashes,
Took a dip in the pond and forgot all about it.

ஊரெலாம் கூடி ஒலிக்க அழுதிட்டுப்
பேரினை நீக்கிப் பிணமென்று பேரிட்டுச்
சூரையங் காட்டிடைக் கொண்டுபோய்ச் சுட்டிட்டு
நீரினில் மூழ்கி நினைப்பொழிந் தார்களே.

This verse by Thirumoolar (dated generally to 8th century CE) talks about impermanence of life. Once a person is dead, the whole town gathers at his house and laments noisily. The moment the person is dead the given name is discarded and it becomes just a body. They carry it to the cremation ground, burn it to ashes. Then everyone takes a dip in the village pond to clean themselves and with that the dead person is forgotten.

சூரையங்காடு – சுடுகாடு – Cremation ground

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