Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Archive for the tag “thiruvasagam”

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

Thiruvasagam – 12.3

Cremation ground’s his temple, a killer tiger’s skin his garment,
Motherless, fatherless; a loner he is, you see, my friend!
Motherless, fatherless, a loner he is; Yet if he’s incensed,
This whole world will crumble to dust, you see; Chazhalo*

* Chazhalo – a word to indicate that this is a game

கோயில்சு டுகாடு கொல்புலித்தோல் நல்லாடை
தாயுமிலி தந்தையிலி தான்தனியன் காணேடீ!
தாயுமிலி தந்தையிலி தான்தனியன் ஆயிடினுங்
காயில்உ லகனைத்துங் கற்பொடிகாண் சாழலோ.

Thiruchazhal is part of Thiruvasagam, the 8th collection (எட்டாம் திருமுறை) of poems in Saivite canon. In this, first two lines are by a girl teasing her friend about Lord Siva. The next two lines are the friend’s answer. In these playful verses the glory of Lord Siva is explained and his detractors answered. Each verse ends with Chazhalo (சாழலோ) to indicate it is part of a playful banter.

In this verse, the first girl says “He lives in a cremation ground. That is his temple. He wears a murderous tiger’s skin as his garment. He has no father, no mother. He is an orphan, all alone. Is this your God?” The second girl replies, “What you say is true. He has no father, no mother. He is all alone, an orphan, yes. But he is the primordial God of this world. If he is angered, he will crumble this whole world into dust.”

இலி – இல்லை –  Does not have
தனியன் – all alone – orphan
காயில் – காய்ந்து விட்டான் ஆனால் – if he’s angered
கற்பொடி – கல் + பொடி – stone dust

Thiruvasagam – 8.39.3

Kinsfolk I don’t yearn for; a town to live I don’t yearn for;
Fame I don’t yearn for; 
company of learned men I don’t yearn for;
All I’ve learned is enough; 
O’ My dancing Lord who resides in Kuttralam!
I yearn to mellow down and melt 
at your anklet tinkling feet,
like that of a cow’s heart yearning for its calf.

உற்றாரை யான்வேண்டேன் ஊர்வேண்டேன் பேர்வேண்டேன்
கற்றாரை யான்வேண்டேன் கற்பனவும் இனியமையுங்
குற்றாலத் தமர்ந்துறையுங் கூத்தாஉன் குரைகழற்கே
கற்றாவின் மனம்போலக் கசிந்துருக வேண்டுவனே.

This verse is part of Thiruvasagam by 9th century Shaivite poet Manikkavasagar. Thiruvasagam (Sacred utterances) is considered one of the pinnacles of Tamil Bhakti (Devotional) poetry.

In this verse Manikkavasagar says he doesn’t yearn to be with his kith and kin. He doesn’t yearn to have a town to live in. Nor does he yearn for worldly fame. He doesn’t crave the company of learned men whose knowledge is just the tomes that they have learned. He says all that he has learned so far in this world is enough. He pleads to Lord Shiva who resides in his abode in the hills of Kuttralam that all he yearns for is to be at the anklet tinkling feet of the Lord. He yearns for it with a melting heart, like that of a cow yearning for its calf.

உற்றார் – Relative / Kinsfolk
வேண்டேன் – வேண்ட மாட்டேன் – I don’t desire / I don’t yearn
பேர் – fame
கற்றார் – learned men
இனி அமையும் – henceforth enough
குற்றாலத்து அமர்ந்து உறையும் – who resides in Kuttralam
கூத்தன் – Dancer / Dancing Lord (Shiva)
குரை – sounding / tinkling
கழல் – anklet
கற்றா – கன்று (உடைய) ஆ – Cow with calf
கசிந்து உருக – become tender and melt

 

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