Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Archive for the tag “Sivavakkiyar”

Siddhar – Sivavakkiyar -48

Fresh milk can’t go back to udder, nor churned butter to buttermilk;
sound can’t go back to the conch nor can a departed soul to the body;
bloomed flowers and fallen fruits can’t go back to the tree;
The dead are never never never ever born again.

கறந்தபால் முலைப்புகா கடைந்தவெண்ணை மோர்புகா
உடைந்துபோன சங்கினோசை உயிர்களும் உடற்புகா
விரிந்த பூஉதிர்ந்த காயும் மீண்டும் போய் மரம்புகா
இறந்தவர் பிறப்பதில்லை இல்லையில்லை இல்லையே.

Siddhars were the iconoclasts of Tamil Society. They stayed outside the pale of organized religion and were considered rebels. They made fun of all that was considered sacred by the religious. Siddhar poetry is an important strand of Tamil literature. Their poems were written in simple words and easily understood by common men. At the same time it was claimed that their poems had mysterious meanings too. There are not commentaries for their poems. Some of their poems are misogynistic and some are very controversial. This poem was written by Siva Vakkiyar in 10th Century.

He directly attacks the concept of rebirth. Things that have left their birthplace cannot go back. Like milk from the udder of a cow, churned butter from butter milk, sound of a conch, a soul departed from the body, flowers that have bloomed and raw fruits that have fallen. Similarly a dead person is not going to be born again.

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