Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Archive for the tag “Silappathikaaram”

Silappathikaaram – IndiraVizhavu Kaathai 224-234

Like God of love’s massive army
is her* ire; facing her, calming her
and after getting her sandal paste all over him,
the broad shouldered husband enters his house
with a guest, to the chaste woman
he’s wedded to and living with.
‘Dark eyes in her bright face,
that shame blue water lily petals,
are red and do not cool down despite the guest.
Does this universe have anything to soothe her?’
he shivers helplessly


உருவிலாளன் ஒரு பெரும் சேனை
இகல் அமர் ஆட்டி, எதிர் நின்று விலக்கி, அவர்
எழுது வரிக் கோலம் முழு மெயும் உறீஇ,
விருந்தொடு புக்க பெரும் தோள் கணவரொடு-
உடன் உறைவு மரீஇ, ஒழுக்கொடு புணர்ந்த,
வடமீன் கற்பின், மனை உறை மகளிர்;
‘மாதர் வாள் முகத்து, மணித் தோட்டுக் குவளைப்
போது புறங்கொடுத்துப் போகிய செங் கடை
விருந்தின் தீர்ந்திலது ஆயின்,யாவதும்
மருந்தும் தரும் கொல்,இம் மா நில வரைப்பு?’ என
கையற்று நடுங்கும்

Line no 224-234 of IndiraVizhavu  chapter of Pukaar Kaandam in Silapathikaaram. This chapter details the Festival of Indira in Poompukar town. A man goes to a courtesan’s house. She is angry with him, her anger is huge like the God of Love’s army. He pacifies her with sweet words, makes love to her and leaves. Her sandal paste marks are all over his body. He goes to his home and on the way picks up a guest so that his wife won’t show her anger in front of a guest. However the wife sees the marks on his body and her eyes redden. Even the presence of a guest doesn’t lessen her anger. The man is helpless as his tactic hasn’t worked.He wonders whether this universe has any potion to soothe her, while shivering in front of her.

Always remember to remove the lipstick marks 🙂

Silappathikaaram – Nadukal Kaathai 165-168

Like actors on stage, a soul too,
doesn’t play the same role again;
“A soul’s rebirth follows one’s actions”
are the words of wise men

ஆடும் கூத்தர்போல்,ஆர்உயிர் ஒருவழி,
கூடிய கோலத்து,ஒருங்கு நின்று,இயலாது;
“செய் வினை வழித்தாய் உயிர் செலும்”என்பது
பொய்இல் காட்சியோர் பொருளுரை

This is from Silappathikaram,the pre eminent epic of Tamil literature. This poem is part of advice given by the minister to angry Chera King Senguttuvan. Line no. 165-168 in Nadukal Kaathai, chapter in Silappathikaaram, Vanji Kaandam.

A soul is not the same in different births. Depending on good or bad done in previous birth, its fate changes in next birth. This is similar to actors playing various roles on stage. Though the actor is same, the roles he play differs.

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