maturai mInATciyammai piLLaittamiz- English Translation - Kausalya Hart (in tamil script, unicode format)

மதுரை மீனாட்சியம்மை பிள்ளைத்தமிழ்
ஆங்கில மொழிபெயர்ப்பு: கௌசல்யா ஹார்ட்

maturai mInATciyammai piLLaittamiz
of kumarakuruparar
English Translation by Kausalya Hart
In unicode/utf-8 format



Acknowledgements:
Our Sincere thanks go to Dr. Kausalya Hart and Prof. George Hart of
the University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA for providing an e-version of this
translation and permission to publish the translation as part of Project Madurai etext collections.

© Project Madurai, 1998-2012.
to preparation
of electronic texts of tamil literary works and to distribute them free on the Internet.
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http://www.projectmadurai.org/




maturai mInATci ammai piLLaittamiz of kumarakuruparar
English Translation by Kausalya Hart

Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies
University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA
2011

note : The e-version of the Tamil verses of this work (in Tamil Unicode format) has been published earlier under PM release #43:
mInATciammai piLLaittamiz.

Kumaraguruparar.

According to scholars Kumarakuruparar was born in the city of Shri Vangundam in the Pandyan country to Shanmuka Sikamani Kaviraayar and Shivakami Ammai in the Saiva Vellaala caste. Tradition says that he was not able to talk until 5 years old and that through the prayers of his parents and the grace of the god Murugan in Thiruchendur he began to talk and then composed Kandar Kalivenba. Tradition also says his name was given to him by Murugan himself and therefore we do not know his real name.

When Thirumalai Nayakkar who ruled Madurai (1623-1659) requested him to compose poems on Meenakshi, he composed Madurai Meenakshi Ammai Tamil. The name Meenakshi Ammait Tamil may have been given to this book because Kumaraguruparar calls his goddess “Angayarkkanni,” “Angayarkkan Amudu” and the “Madurait Talaivi.” Among his books, Meenakshi Ammait Tamil is the most famous one. People praise this composition saying that Meenakshi herself came and heard when he recited it in front of Thirumalai Nayakkar.

The Dharmapuram Adinam mutt seems to have been established already in 16th century at the time of Thirumalai Nayakkar. Kumaraguruparar went to Dharmapuram and became the disciple of Masilamanit Tesikar, who was the fourth head of the mutt. He had been to Dharmapuram mutt many times, and now there are many mutts in Tamil Nadu under his name.

He went to Kasi and composed Kasikkalampakam, which praises the god Viswanathar in Kasi. The Muslim king was pleased with his his ability to speak Hindustani and, admiring his composition Sakalakalaavalli Maalai, gave him land for establishing Saiva mutts. He also build the Kedaranath Swami temple in the north. There are stories that he met Tulsidas and told him the story of Kampan’s Tamil Ramayana and thus influenced Tulsidas to write the his Ramacaritam. Kumaraguruparar does not mention name of any king or the name Meenakshi in his poems, and this makes it difficult to establish accurate dates for his life.


Kumaragurubarar's compositions:
Kandarkalivenbaa, Meenakshiammai Pillaittamail, Maduraik Kalambakam, Neethineri Vilakkam, Thiruvarur Naanmanimaalai, Muthukkumaraswami Pillaitamil, Chidambara Mummanikkovai, Chidambara Ceytutkovai., Pandaaramummanikkovai, Kaasikkalamakam, Sakalakalaavalli Maalai. There is some dispute among scholars as to whether he was the author of Meenakshi Ammai Irattaimanimaalai and Meenaakshi Ammai Kuram, Sivakaami Ammai Irattaimani Maalai.

Kumararuguruparar’s Meenakshi Ammai Pillaittamil is the first pillaittamil (a work that treats a character as a baby) to be written on a goddess and bears a formal resemblance to Periyazhvar’s Tirumozhi. In his poems, Kumaragurubarar does not call the goddess Meenakshi but rather uses such Tamil names as Angayarkanni, Kayarkan Kumari, and Angayarkan Amudu. He praises her as the princess and queen of the Pandyan country and the beloved of the god Shiva. His descriptions of Madurai city delight those who read them. He praises Madurai, its flourishing fields, its plants, trees, innocent animals and birds. After reading his poem, no one can forget his descriptions of the moon, the clouds, the jackfruit trees, the lovely mother cow, the frightened monkey, the male elephant’s love for his mate, fighting in war, Indra’s generosity, Ganesha, and the loves of Murugan. It seems he plunges into the beauty of the land as much as he plunges into the devotion of his goddess. He does not forget the god Shiva and constantly praises him along with the goddess. The poet does not give much historical information about the Pandyan country, but he does describe how it flourishes. Reading the poem, one often feels that his love for Madurai is as much as, or even more than, his love for the goddess.

The name Irattai Mani Maalai is given because each poem of this work has two parts in different meters, one nericai venpaa and the other kattalaikkalitturai. Its twenty poems praise the goddess who is in Kadambavanam in Madurai and Shiva her beloved.
Meenakshi Ammai Kuram describes the life of gypsy families, their village, their mountains, how they predict the future and includes praise of the goddess of Kudal city.

Acknowledgement
I could not have written this translation without the help of my husband George Hart. I would also like to thank Gita Pai, to whom I first taught Kumaragurupar’s Meenakshi Pillai Tamil.

The Fish-Eyed Goddess of Madurai

Pillaittamil

Praising the Gods to Protect the Fish-Eyed Goddess.

1. Praising Ganesha

Let us praise the god Ganesa
whose ichor floods from his dark cheeks.
He has a long face, wide ears, a dark trunk
and shining eyes like the fire at the end of the earth.
The wind that comes from his ears
when he fans them
cools the fire on the earth at the time of dissolution.
With his strong feet he plays without being tired,
kicking the dust on the golden Potiya hills,
like Iravadam, the elephant of Indra.
Let us praise that heroic god.

O goddess,
the god Shiva decorated with garlands,
who has a crescent moon on his Jata,
sheds grace on you.
You are pleased
and your breasts shine like the rays of the sun
and the cool young moon.

O goddess,
you, the daughter of the king of Himalayas,
are beautiful as a fragrant creeper,
and people anoint you
with fragrant pastes in the temples.
O Abhiramavalli, let us praise you
so that this book of Sentamil will be praised by all. Chapter I. Invoking the Protection of the Gods for the Goddess

2. Praising the God Vishnu

O almighty Vishnu,
loving Tamil once you
walked on the fields
embracing beautiful Lakshmi
who stays on a lotus flower.

As you walked,
honey from your cool tulasi garland
dripped, spread on the fields,
mixed with mud and made it fragrant.

You, your color lovely as a cloud,
walked folding the thousand-headed Adisesha
as your mat and carrying him on your shoulders.

Even though your neck pained you,
you went behind the Tamil poet Kanikkannan
because he loves Tamil.
The ancient Vedas became anxious and followed you all.

O fish-eyed goddess,
our mother, queen among women,
you stay with Shiva on a shining throne
carried by the elephants of the eight directions,
thirty-two lions that have bright white manes,
and the sixty four ganas
who are all carried by Adisesha
who has shining diamonds on his heads.
May the god Vishnu protect her. 3. Praising Shiva

Shiva bent the northern mountain of high peaks
and made it a strong bow in battle
when he fought with the three forts, his enemies.

He made the poems of Sambandar
float above the river Vaikai
when the Jains who pull out their own hair
competed in composing poems
with the child Sambandar.

He ordered that devotees
who praise him singing, “Hara! Hara!”
reach the rich heavens of Vishnu
and Indra, where karpaga tree gives whatever one wants.

Shiva, scholar of excellent Tamil, accepted my poor words of Tamilas the words of sweet nectar.

With his ears ornamented with white conch earrings,
he enjoyed the music of Asuvatharan and Kambalan.

His thick forest-like Jata, red as coral
and garlanded with green arugam grass
shines with the white crescent moon.

He composed precious divine songs
for Brahma who stays on a lotus,
helping Brahma create the Vedas.

He dances in the famous silver hall of Madurai.
Let us keep his dancing feet
in our hearts and worship him.

Praising the Fish-eyed Goddess

Her hair is fragrant with oil.
Her pearl-like smile shines like the rays of the moon.
Her eyes look for an opportunity
to fight with Shiva.

When Shiva looks at the lovely
young round breasts of the goddess, his mind grows weak.

She did the impossible
by drawing a picture of Shiva in her mind.

Lakshmi, the beautiful goddess
who lives on a coral-like red lotus
and Saraswathi, shining like lightning,
who lives on a pearl-like white lotus
worship the goddess.

She is the nectar born in the milky ocean
where fish leap over the pure waves.

She is a parrot that prattles sweet words like a baby.
She is as lovely as a swan.
She is as beautiful as a female elephant that walks gently.

She, the shining ornamented goddess,
is the precious daughter of the Pandyan king
who bears the world on his mountain-like shoulders.

May the god Shiva protect her,
the emerald creeper of Madurai city
where Tamil sweet as honey flourishes.
4. Praising Siddhi Vinaayagar

Ganesha has a long trunk
and ichor drips from his two ears
like waves of an ocean.

He stays in his devotees’ minds,
as if tied to them on a stake.
Let us praise his fame.

O goddess, queen of Madurai,
are you fresh nectar?
Are you a flourishing golden creeper?
You were born with three breasts
in Madurai where all three parts of Tamil flourish.

Let us worship Ganesha
to protect our fish-eyed goddess.
5. Praising Murugan

Many gods joining together,
using Meru mountain as a churning stick
churned the milky ocean
where the dashing waves roar loudly.

Divine Vishnu,
decorated with a tulasi garland,
sleeps on Adisesha
whom the gods used
as a rope to churn the ocean.

When the poison came from the ocean,
Shiva drank it
while the goddess held
and blocked his throat to save him
and so he became blue-throated,
he who has the power to make
the brightness of
the sun and moon dark.

Her fish-like eyes are long
and extend to her ears,
decorated with swinging earrings
as if they wished to contend with them.

When Devayanai, daughter of Indrani
and of Indra the god of gods
who rides on the divine elephant Iravadam,
grew up wandering in the Karpaga forest,
she was as beautiful as Lakshmi
the goddess of wealth
born in the milky ocean.

Beautiful Devayanai is the wife of Murugan.
Yet, Murugan, Muthu Kumaran, went
to the cool slope of the hills
where millet grows
and longed to marry Valli,
lovely as a peacock,
the daughter of a gypsy family
who dances the kuthu dance.

Let us worship Murugan
to protect our fish-eyed child.
6. Praising God Brahma

The fish-eyed goddess,
the queen of Kudal city,
born with three breasts,
grew up sweet as nectar
with beautiful hair swarming with bees.
She wished to marry Shiva,
majestic as a coral hill,
surrounded by Brahma and Vishnu
who have the colors of golden and green hills.
Shiva, beautiful as an emerald hill
stayed with the goddess
ever after marriage.

Vishnu sleeps on the ocean on Adisesha,
the snake that was used as a rope to churn
the ocean of milk.
And the nectar that emerged from it
was drunk by the clouds
and the gods who were like innocent children.
Brahma, the child of Vishnu,
born on a lotus that grows from the navel of Vishnu,
created the world
that Adisesha carries on his head,
surrounded by the blue water of the ocean
that holds the nectar.

Let that god Brahma, the son of Vishnu
who helps his father,
protect the child fish-eyed goddess.



7. Praising God of Gods Devendran

O goddess, you gave the shining spear
to Murugan who conquered
the deep, whirling wide dark ocean
and dried it up.
With his Chendu weapon he
split the Meru mountain.

You raised your fish banner
against Chokkanadar in battle.
You made the fragrant water of the Ganges river
that flows on the red Jata of Shiva
come down and flow to the fields
so the earth would flourish.
You, a golden creeper,
give your divine grace to the world.

Indra carrying his weapon Vajrayudam
in his strong hand,
rides on his dark cloud-like elephant Iravadam.
It has small eyes,
and a voice like bright thunder,
and dripping ichor, it drinks
abundant amounts of honey
that the bees with beautiful wings have left
after swarming around bunches of flowers in
the fragrant karpaga forest.

O goddess, lovely as a golden creeper,
may that Indra, god of gods,
protect you.
8. Praising the Goddess Lakshmi

The god Vishnu dark as a cloud,
sleeps on his snake bed, Adisesha,
whose body is long
and thousand-headed.

Lakshmi, tender as a creeper
who lives on the chest of Vishnu,
dazzled by the brightness
and the roughness of
the shining diamonds
of Srivatsam, the ornament of Vishnu,
is frightened by them and hides in the cool shadow
of his fertile green tulasi garland,
thick as a forest.

Brahma, disguised as a swan,
flew to the top of the sky
where many clouds move,
and, unable to find the head of Shiva,
became tired.

But the white swan, Mandahini,
the goddess who has a thousand faces
flowing with abundant waves,
stays on the red Jata of Shiva
who has a black neck.

O goddess,
you had three breasts
when you stood against
the black-necked Shiva in battle.
May the goddess Lakshmi protect you.
9. Praising the Goddess of Art, Saraswathi

O fish-eyed goddess,
you teach sweet prattling words
to your baby parrots.

You taught the happy peacock
how to look lovely.

You taught the deer how to glance shyly.
You taught the young royal swans
that have crests like murukkam blossoms
how to walk softly.

You taught your female friends innocence.
You are the generous princess of
the Pandyan kingdom.

O goddess Saraswathi,
you live on a lotus blooming with long shining petals
dripping with honey
and swarming with bees that hum sweetly.

O goddess of art,
you are lovely as a white swan
and you know all the poems of love
in sweet excellent Tamil composed by Shiva,
and you have given that knowledge
to all your devotees.

Placing our heads
on your two beautiful feet
we worship you
to protect the princess of Pandyan country.
10. Praising the Goddess Durga

O fish-eyed goddess,
female elephants could not compete with your soft walk
and they surround you, longing to walk like you.

You gave birth to the elephant god
whose single tusk looks like the crescent moon.

Shiva ate steamed pittu
and did not do his assigned work
of carrying sand to block the flooding of the Vaikai river.
The Pandyan king struck Shiva with a stick and hurt him.
But when you embraced Shiva, his body melted and he loved you.

Your breasts are decorated with ornaments
studded with precious jewels.
You are a young female elephant
playing in the Kadamba forests of Madurai.

The goddess Durga with her trident
defeated the buffalo-headed Mahisasuran
who has dark curving horns.
Her small waist, like a tudi drum, is as thin as a vine.
It grew weak, unable to bear the burden
of her breasts that are like strong elephants
with small eyes and dripping with ichor.

She mounts and rides a lion that has fire-like eyes
and a thick mane.

May the terrifying goddess Durga, who rides on the fearful lion,
protect the timid fish-eyed goddess.
11. Praising the Seven Goddesses

The goddess who wears the rutting elephant’s skin.

The goddess who dammed the ocean
with stones collected by monkeys.

The goddess who threw
a lustrous spear and
burned up the ocean.

The goddess who wears fragrant flower garlands
in her hair.

The goddess who rides on a strong lion
and fought with thunder.

The wise goddess who knows all
the extensive sastras.

The goddess who took the form of a boar
that picked up the seven worlds on its tusks
and carried them.
Let us worship all the seven goddesses
that they may protect the fish-eyed goddess.

The god Vishnu dances
on the head of Kalinga the snake,
joining the kudakkuthu dance
and the kuravai dance of the cattle women
as the humming of bees sounds like flute music,
and listening to those happy songs,
the petals of the tulasi garland of Vishnu open
and spread fragrance everywhere.

O goddess, you are lovely
as a young elephant
and are the younger sister
of Vishnu, the black-colored one.
May the seven goddesses protect
the goddess Gauri, the younger sister of Vishnu,
who was raised in Madurai
surrounded with strong forts.
12. Praising the Pandyan Country.

The Pandyan kings defeated the Chera
and the Chola kings and made them retreat
in battle and run away.

Many crowned kings
bring tribute and wait
at the door of the Pandyan palace.
The Pandyan kings are praised everywhere
in the world and people proclaim,
“These are the kings of the world,
and they rule in all directions.
They are like gods.”

The burning sun feels jealous
of the bright white moon
because he is the ancestor
of the Pandyan kings.

The great rivers
Kumari, Ponni, Vaikai and Porunai
flow in the Pandyan country
more happily than the Ganges in the sky.

The gods who live on golden Meru mountain
praise the Southern Potihai hills saying,
“There is nothing equal
to the peaks of Potihai.”

Siddha Saints worship and
praise the goddess saying,

“Even though she is the mother
of two young gods
she is still a virgin.”

In the Pandyan country,
heavenly women holding the hands
of beautiful earthly women
dance the kuravai kuthu.

In the Pandyan country,
the royal swan, the vehicle of Brahma
who lives on a lotus,
makes friends with the swans
of all the seven oceans.

In the Pandyan country,
Garuda the vehicle of dark Vishnu,
and the peacock,
vehicle of fair young Murugan
stay together in one nest and play.

In the Pandyan country
Iravadam, the elephant of Indra
that fights ferociously in battles,
falls into the same hole
where the elephants
of the enemies of the goddess fall.

In the Pandyan country,
the two shining goddesses
Lakshmi and Saraswathi
who live on two lotuses
stay together on one lotus
that blooms on a golden pond.

The Pandyan kings
who rule following Manu’s laws
flourish and live happily
with Shiva, their son-in-law.

Under the rule of the fish-eyed goddess,
no one could tell
the gods from the people.
No one could tell
the golden world of the gods
from the Pandyan country.

May the thirty-three gods,
the two Asvins,
the eight Vasus,
the eleven Rudras,
and the twelve Suns
protect our goddess
born with three breasts,
so our lovely Madurai may flourish.
Chapter II. The Baby Goddess Crawls.

13. Pandimaadevi bringing up the goddess

The queen Pandimaadevi
bathes you, puts fragrant golden powder on you
and decorates your forehead with sacred ash.

Combing your hair she makes a bun
and decorates it with a garland.
The pearl Chutti ornament
that she puts in your hair shines with cool light.

She adorns you with shinning golden earrings
studded with pearls.

She feeds milk lovingly to you.
The sweet honey-like drops
that fall from your beautiful
mouth shaped like a kumudam flower
touch her silk sari and wet it.
She kisses, extols and caresses you.

O goddess,
you are as beautiful as a green parrot.
Lift up your head and crawl
and grant us your grace.

You are precious
to the Pandyan king of the southern land
and Shiva the king
of the majestic golden Himalayas.
Lift up your head, crawl
and grant us your grace.
14. The Pandyan king, the Proud Father

Seeing you,
your beloved father’s heart brightens like the moon.
He makes signs with his hands to call you.
Even before he calls you,
you crawl and go quickly near him.
With your small hands,
you smear the kumkum paste on
your father’s wide chest.

You babble to your mother
with your innocent baby talk sweet as nectar.
Hearing your speech your mother's heart fills with joy.

His arms are long and extend to his knees.
You hold on to his strong hands
and climb on his mighty garlanded shoulders
that protect lovely Tamil.

Your body shines like green emerald.
You have a lustrous coral-like red mouth,
When you smile, your teeth are as white as the rays of the moon.
You are lovely as a peacock.
Lift up your head, crawl
and grant us your grace.

You are precious
to the Pandyan king of the southern land
and Shiva the king of
the majestic golden Himalayas.
Lift up your head, crawl
and show us your grace.
15. The Lovely House of the Goddess

The walls that surround your house
are built with mountains as tall as the
eight Cakkravaala hills.

Meru mountain is planted
as a pillar in the middle of the hall.

The sky is the roof of your house.
The sun and moon brighten
your abode with their light.

You collect the worlds that float
in the deluge at the end of the world
and pile them as dishes.

O sweet one,
always you cook fresh sweet nectar-like food
in your home.

Such is the small play house
that you have built.

Shiva, like a madman,
dances on your porch
and again and again destroys your house.

You, a lovely young child
do not get upset with him,
but again again you build
your play houses
that cover all the ancient worlds
and play with them.

Lift up your head, crawl
and grant us your grace.

You are precious
to the Pandyan king of the southern land
and Shiva the king
of the majestic golden Himalayas.

Lift up your head, crawl
and grant us your grace.
16. The Compassion of the Goddess

The bright rays from Shiva’s
third eye and the cool rays of
the young moon on his jata
shed bright light on the dark neck of Shiva,
the handsome one,
and the compassionate glance
of the goddess makes his heart happy
and her devotees who worship her always
plunge into the ocean-like joy of devotion.

O goddess,
you are compassionate
to all creatures that are created
in the beautiful wide world
that is a part of you
and you make them flourish.

Your dark beautiful fish-like eyes
bestow grace as a flood
that rolls and flows
for your devotees.

O goddess,
you are a lovely peacock with dark eyes.
Lift up your head, crawl
and grant us your grace.

You are precious
to the Pandyan king of southern land
and Shiva the king of the majestic golden Himalayas.
Lift up your head, crawl
and grant us your grace.
17. The Three Goddesses and Lovely Madurai

O goddess Karpuravalli,
you stay in the shining palace
that is more excellent than
the lotus seat of Lakshmi
that drips sweet honey
like a flooding river
and swarms with six legged bees
that do not stop humming,

more excellent than
the lotus seat of Saraswathi
who has a bright tongue
that in its wisdom gave all the ancient
wonderful Vedas,

and more excellent than
Shiva’s dark Himalaya
where peacocks
lovely as emeralds
wander looking for rain
from the clouds
without blinking their eyes.

The white waterfalls descend
from the sky,
their water sweet as nectar,
and they pass through
the rabbit on the moon
that shines always in the heavens.



The baby vaalai fish
with their broad bellies
are afraid of the swift water
of the waterfalls
and leap everywhere
dashing into the lotus buds,
so they open
and the clear honey
from those fragrant blossoms
flows like a waterfall.

Such is the beauty of Madurai.

O goddess Maragadavalli,
you are the queen of that lovely Madurai.
Lift up your head, crawl
and grant us your grace.

You are precious
to the Pandyan king of the southern land
and Shiva the king of
the majestic golden Himalayas.
Lift up your head, crawl
and grant us your grace.
18. The Dancing Goddess

O goddess,
as you crawl
the smile on your pretty face
dances like the shining moon.

As you crawl
the dark bun on your hair
dances with its ornaments.

As you crawl
your bent eyebrows
dance like curving creepers.

As you crawl
the golden cutti ornament
that hangs over your forehead
dances.

As you crawl,
your fish-like eyes contending with one another
extend to your ears
and the makara ornaments
that hang on your ears
dance together.

As you crawl,
the anklets on your feet dance.
The bells on your anklets
dance, singing, “kinkini, kinkini.”

As you crawl,
your waist thin as a creeper dances with your dress.

As you crawl,
your belly broad as a banian leaf
moves and dances.
Your navel that is hidden
in your belly shines and dances .

O mother of all worlds,
as you crawl,
all the moving
and unmoving creatures
of all the worlds dance.

Lift up your head, crawl
and grant us your grace.

You are crowned
to make this world flourish.
Lift up your head, crawl
and grant us your grace.
19. The Dancing Goddess

As you crawl,
the three round breasts that dance
on your beautiful chest
show that you were not born with two breasts.

You crawl and smile looking
at the ignorance of those
who calls you saying, “O mother, come!”

Your green body became pale
because you gave birth to all the creatures
of the flourishing world.

As you crawl,
your thin green creeper-like waist becomes more thin
and your belly bends and dances.

As you crawl,
the bells of your mekalai ornament dance
singing the praise of their beloved god
and your small waist joins them and dances.

As you crawl,
you are like a green fragrant creeper
dripping honey from its flowers
and dancing in the wind.
Lift up your head, crawl sweetly
and grant us your grace.

You are crowned to make this world flourish .
Lift up your head, crawl
and grant us your grace.
20. The Dance of the Fish-eyed Goddess

As you crawl,
the bun tied up on the top of your head
dances spreading fragrance.

As you crawl,
the shining golden ornament on your forehead
and the small cutti ornament on your hair
shine like the sun and the white moon and dance.

As you crawl,
the small drops of sweat on your divine forehead dance.
As you crawl,
your divine fragrant body spreads
emerald-like light in all eight directions and dances.

As you crawl,
the karuvilai flowers on your ears spread fragrance
and the kudambai ornaments
on your ears swing with joy and dance.

As you crawl,
you smile with your shining teeth,
your divine face blooms like a lotus,
and your compassionate eyes pour
grace on your devotees.
Lift up your head, crawl
and grant us your grace.

You are crowned to make this world flourish.
Lift up your head, crawl
and grant us your grace.
21. Praising the Fish-eyed Goddess

O goddess,
you are a majestic mountain
where the sun shines brightly
and an emerald-green shadow spreads.

O goddess
you are a lovely creeper,
the sister of Vishnu
who is dark as a cloud
and plays his flute.

O goddess
you are an unrivaled remedy
given by the Himalayas
to cure the sorrow
of your devotees.

O goddess
you know all the divine Vedas
beyond the understanding
of even the gods
who live in heaven
where arisandanam trees grow.

O goddess,
you are like fresh sweet sugarcane
and the eyes on your red lotus face
that are like kayal fish
give abundant grace
to your devotees.


O goddess,
you are a young innocent calf
and a young moon that was raised
in the Pandyan royal line
of the bright white moon.

You are yourself
Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity,
Saraswathi, the goddess of knowledge,
the princess of the Himalayas,
and the queen of Madurai.

Lift up your head, crawl
and grant us your grace.

You are a young peacock,
raised in Madurai
where pure Tamil flourishes.

Lift up your head, crawl
and grant us your grace.
22. The Fish-eyed Goddess

O goddess,
you are the beautiful sister of Vishnu
who, dark as thick cloud,
carries a conch in his strong hand.

You share a half part of Shiva
and you are a thin, beautiful green creeper
that flourishes on the golden Kailasa hills.

You are our mother!
You give boons, protection
and help to your devotees
who worship you
everywhere in the beautiful wide world,
saying, “Don’t be afraid.”

Your eyes are as lovely as the fish
that is on the banner of Kama
who shoots his arrows
as he wanders all night
that is dark as a rutting elephant.

You are a shinning golden creeper,
lustrous as lighting.
Lift up your head, crawl
and grant us your grace.

You are a young peacock, raised in Madurai
where pure Tamil flourishes.
Lift up your head, crawl
and grant us your grace.
Chapter III. Lullabies for the Baby Goddess

23. The Mother buffalo and the Playful Swan
of Lovely Madurai

As the soft breeze blows gently
mixed with the sweetness of Tamil
nurtured by the Pandyan king, in the southern land,
a young buffalo sleeps
in the shadow of a sweet Mango tree
with tender red shoots.
Its eyes are red and its mouth is long.
Loving the calf that she just gave birth to
and knowing that it does not yet know how to eat grass,
she sheds milk from her udder that flows abundantly
like a white waterfall.

The blooming fresh golden lotuses with fragrant petals
sprinkle their golden pollen
on the swans that have shining crests
and swim in the sweet water of a pond.

The rays of the moon brighten
the rolling waves of the pond,
and their brilliance falls on the swans’ legs,
making them shine like gold.

You are the queen of beautiful Tamil Madurai,
taalo taalelo.

You are the gracious fish-eyed goddess
sweet as nectar.
Show your grace to your devotees,
taalo taalelo.
24. Farm Girls Cooking Pearl Rice in Tamil Madurai

The dark beautiful girls of Madurai
who work in the fields
wear kalaapam ornaments
tied to their saris that flow like the tails of peacocks.

Building sand houses to play with,
the lovely farm girls pretend to enter there to live.

They pretend to start a shining fire
on the stove that is decorated
with bright red rubies that take away the darkness.

Piling up precious corals for wood,
they pretend to start red fire in their hot stoves.

Pouring clear sweet honey instead of water
in a round pot, they pretend to boil it.
Rinsing pearls in sweet liquor, they use them as rice.

After cooking the rice,
the lovely farm girls pour the water from it,
sit together and pretend to eat.

Such is the beauty of Madurai city
surrounded with abundant cool farms
where the lovely group of farm girls make their play rice.

You are the queen of Madurai
flourishing with green farms, taalo taalelo.

You are the gracious fish-eyed goddess sweet as nectar.
Show your grace to your devotees, taalo taalelo.
25. The Clouds and the Fish of Tamil Madurai

An angry vaalai fish
leaps up to the sky,
where the clouds move
like strings of garlands
and float, distended like the bellies of pregnant women
after filling themselves
with the salty water of the ocean.

Leaping above the karpaga forest
that blooms with flowers,
swimming over the clear waving water
and the long banks of the Ganges,
touching the rabbit in the bright white moon
that drips with nectar,
kicking and pushing away
the clusters of shining stars
that spread everywhere,
opening the clouds
to pour their rain on the earth,
the vaalai fish descends
stirring the water of the ocean
and plays with an angry suraa fish
in the fertile fields of Madurai.

You are the queen of Tamil Madurai
flourishing with rich fields,
taalo taalelo.

You are the gracious fish-eyed goddess
sweet as nectar.
Show your grace to your devotees,
taalo taalelo.
26. The Streets of Madurai

The elephants’ ichor that drips from their cheeks,
the pollen that falls from the flowers
that decorate the hair of beautiful women,
and the kumkum paste
that they have smeared on their bodies
all fall on the streets, covering them
so the elephants slip and cannot walk.
Such are the lovely large streets of Madurai.

The powerful royal chariots of the kings
stop and move away
from the little play chariots pulled by the children
whose hair is decorated with flowers.

Red-eyed young men, strong as bulls,
carry spears,
and their horses gallop so swiftly
that their saliva drips down
and makes puddles on the street
that ripple, foam and bubble
flowing like a great river.
Such are the streets of Tamil Madurai.

You are the the queen of Madurai city
flourishing with rich fields,
taalo taalelo.

You are the gracious fish-eyed goddess
sweet as nectar.
Show your grace to your devotees,
taalo taalelo.
27. The Frightened Clouds

Humming bees, sleep inside the flowers
on the ornamented hair
of lithe women on the fields
who are as lovely as blooming creepers
and have mountain-like breasts that strain their waists.
The bees wake up, visit the flowers
of the tall trees of groves that touch the sky,
making their pollen fall and fill up the heavenly Ganges.

The dark clouds are frightened
by the noise of the monkeys of the groves
as they shout and leap.
They jump over the rabbit on the moon, descend,
and come to rest over the haystacks
piled high as hills on the paddy fields.

The Mallars drink palm wine, and, intoxicated,
mistake the dark clouds for female buffaloes.
They yoke the clouds to male buffaloes
that fight with their horns
and then they plow the land,
and the frightened clouds
roar loud and thunder over the fields.

Such is Tamil Madurai city abundant with its rich paddy fields.
You, the queen of Madurai,
taalo taalelo.

You are the gracious fish-eyed goddess
sweet as nectar.
Show your grace to your devotees,
taalo taalelo.
28. The Fish and Kanikaiyar of Madurai city

The fish frolic and swim in water
the dark clouds have poured down.
They swim through the swirling whirlpools,
through the small puddles that the rain has filled,
and leap over the banks,
through the waves that break on the shores,
through the screwpine bushes that bloom,
through the mud on the bank,
over the stacks of paddy,
over the muddy clay on the banks of the fields,
and through the abundant water of the ponds.
Such are the flourishing fields of Madurai.

The Kanikaiyar of Madurai city,
their curly hair decorated with beautiful flowers,
their fish-like eyes so long they extend to their earrings,
stare at the chest of the young heroes
who ride on chariots,
ornamented with shining jewels,
and their heroic bows tied with ropes,
on their round hill-like arms.
Those lovely women embrace them tightly
as the petals of their garlands fall
and so avoid quarreling with them.

Such is the beauty of Madurai city.
You are the queen of rich Madurai,
taalo taalelo.

You, a golden creeper, rule in Madurai
where the Tamil Sangam flourishes,
taalo taalelo.
29. The War of the Goddess

The commanders of the army of the goddess,
fighting with the chiefs of their enemies
from every direction
break their bows,
destroy their chariots and banners
and shoot unceasing arrows like pouring rain.

The headless bodies of warriors
dance with their dead friends
holding hands in the
ocean of blood flooding the battlefield.

Your armies are like a mighty ocean
and fights with its enemies unceasingly
like the waves that roll over the ocean.
They fight ferociously with their elephants and horses
hurling them onto the battlefield
as if someone were playing
ammaanai balls with elephants and horses.

O Divine goddess lovely as Lakshmi,
you shine victoriously
with your ocean army.

You are the queen of rich Madurai,
taalo taalelo.

You, a golden creeper,
rule in Madurai
where the Tamil Sangam flourishes,
taalo taalelo.
30. The war of Skanda with Indra, the king of the Gods

Indra, the king of the gods,
who cut off the wings of the shining clouds,
carries his diamond-hard weapon,
and rides on his white elephant Iravadam
that trumpets like thunder and fights ferociously.
He was defeated by Murugan,
the son of Shiva,
who hurled his spear, burning up the ocean,
threw his Chendu weapon, splitting the mountain
that has high golden peaks,
and flung his valai weapon,
destroying Indra’s crown.

When they saw that Indra and his commanders
who fought on every side
had lost and retreated,
and that his garlanded crown
and garland of karpaga flowers swarming with bees
were destroyed,
the gods who were enemies of Indra rejoiced.

O goddess, lovely as a peacock,
you bore that divine warrior as your son
who defeated Indra,
Meru mountain and the ocean,
taalo taalelo.

You, a golden creeper,
rule in Madurai
where the Tamil Sangam flourishes,
taalo taalelo.
31. The Excellence of the Goddess’s Rule

O goddess, under your supreme rule,

the precious Tamil books
composed by ancient scholars
will never be destroyed.

The earth created by Brahma
who is seated on a lotus
will never turn upside down
but be stable.

The enemy named poverty
will not rule the flourishing Tamil country.

All creatures that live in the world
will never plunge into the ocean of sins.

Justice under your royal rule
will only save the people,
and never ruin them.

Even the ignorant will never say,
“The Pandyan kings are equal to the Cholas.”

O goddess,
you are a blooming creeper and
you flourish in Madurai city,
taalo taalelo.

You are a lovely parrot raised by
Malayadvajan, the Pandyan king,
taalo taalelo.
32. The Battle of the Goddess with Shiva and his Escort

You are a small girl
with dark fragrant hair.

Angry, you decided to besiege
the walls of the Himalayas,
the abode of Shiva, the pure one,
and oppose him.

Nandi and other attendants of Shiva,
thinking in their pride
that they are equal to you in battle and could defeat you,
fought against you, were vanquished
and lost their strength, and their bull banners fell.

You did not lose the battle
like Kama, the clever one,
who rode on his wind-chariot
when he raised his shark banner
and opposed Shiva in the tall Pothiya hills.

You, a golden creeper,
raising your fish banner
won the battle with Shiva,
taalo taaleloo

You are a lovely parrot raised by
Malayadvajan, the Pandyan king,
taalo taalelo.
Chapter IV. The Baby Goddess Claps her Hands

33. The Dance of Shiva

At the dark night at the end of the earth,
eight-eyed Brahma
who stays on his lotus flower, soft as a curving bed
and Vishnu who stays on his snake bed in Vaikundam,
the highest heaven, are asleep.

In the middle of that night, Shiva dances madly
wearing umattai flowers that drip with honey.

As he dances
the sky, the earth
and the eight mountains
turn over and fall into the seven oceans.

As he dances,
all the ancient universes,
and Kailasa, king of mountains,
and the Chakravaala hills
all dance and whirl with him.

And you clap your hands
and beat the cymbals
to accompany the beats of his pure,
ever-present dancing,

You, a beautiful creeper,
born and raised with Tamil in ancient Madurai,
clap your hands and
grant us your grace.

34. The Goddess Falls in Love with Shiva on the Battlefield

O goddess,
you rode on your shining chariot
decorated with a golden lotus ornament,
and opposed Shiva who carries
golden Meru mountain for his bow.
Your thin waist that could not be seen
shrank as you fought,
and your mind fell in love with him
and he entered into your heart.

When you saw Shiva on the battlefield,
your third curving breast disappeared.
You bowed to him shyly and were amazed to see
that suddenly you had only two breasts.

Your heart was filled only with him.
You looked at him sweetly
with a nectar-like side glance, and felt shy.

You sighed, and small drops covered
your sweating forehead.
You looked like a painting
that suddenly came alive joyfully.

In your shyness, you kept feeling
the sharp corners of your bow with your fingers.
Clap your beautiful hands, and grant us your grace.

You, a beautiful creeper, born and raised with Tamil
in ancient Madurai,
clap your hands and grant us your grace.
35. The Goddess Playing with her Friends

You play with your friends
picking up tender leaves and flowers
in the garden blooming with fragrant buds.

You join your friends
and pour sand in the pots
and play as if you were making rice.

You raise lovely baby peacocks,
young, soft beautiful swans, white doves and other birds.

As you and your friends play
you hide your dark eyes on your face
with your red hands
and it is as if a kaandal flower
made a lily blossom close
as it flowered in front of a lotus.

You carry and kiss your lovely divine parrot
whose words are sweet as honey.

You play with round golden balls.
Your hands soft as tender shoots
have a lovely red color
and are bright as divine lotuses
opening their flowers.
Clap your beautiful hands, and grant us your grace.

You, a beautiful creeper, born
and raised with Tamil in ancient Madurai,
clap your hands and grant us your grace.
36. The Bed and Cradle of the Goddess

Your cradle is like Indra’s chariot
that brightens the sky.

Your cradle is like a divine place that gives peace
in the highest sky.

Your cradle is like a forest filled with kadamba trees.

Your cradle is like
the Tamil country filled with cool paddy fields.

Your cradle is like the lustrous six-legged seat
of handsome Shiva
who gives grace to all with his third eye.

Your cradle is like
the beautiful bed in the inner sanctum of Shiva.

As you lie on that beautiful cradle,
you babble words sweet as music.
You suck your fingers
tasting and drinking the honey-like water
from your mouth that is as lovely
as a kumudam flower.
Your lotus-like fingers become red,
as you suck them in your mouth.
Clap your beautiful hands and grant us your grace.

You, a beautiful creeper, born and raised with Tamil
in ancient Madurai,
clap your hands and grant us your grace.
37. The Goddess Raises her Beloved Son Murugan

O goddess,
your grace is like a flood of nectar,
thrown off by the clear waves of the dark ocean
as if suddenly it were let loose.
It streams from your fish-like shining eyes
to your divine child Murugan
who burned up the ocean with its white waves.

O queen of Madurai,
you carry your divine child Murugan
on your beautiful swinging thighs and bathe him.

You put oil on his hair,
and decorate his forehead with sacred ash.
You put conch bracelets on his arms.

You take milk from your breast in a conch
and feed him opening his petal-like soft lips.

You put fragrant powder on his body.
You make him sleep on your beautiful lap precious as gold.

You put him in a small cradle
studded with large bright diamonds
and sing him lullabies.

Clap your blooming lotus-like hands,
and rock the cradle, and grant us your grace.

You, a beautiful creeper,
born and raised with Tamil in ancient Madurai,
clap your hands and grant us your grace.
38. Peys in the Battle

Kings, warriors of the earth,
heroes with swords and valiant men fought
in a battle in the city of Parandalai
and the thunder-like sound of the war
reached the clusters of stars and shook them.

When the warriors who died in the battle went to heaven,
they fell in love with heavenly women,
ornamented with golden bangles
with mountain-like breasts,
and eyes like arrows
that struck them like weapons in war.

The peys on the battle field
ate the tasty intestines, the brains and the fresh meat
of the defeated gods and the warriors
and the circling vultures in the sky
came down and ate the fresh meat with them.

A group of peys holding on to each other’s hands
danced the kuravai dance.

O goddess,
you bent your bow
and almost silently you sent your long arrows
to vanquish the chieftains
of all directions, making them ashamed.
Clap your hands and grant us your grace.

You make the earth goddess thrive and protect her
under the shadow of your canopy,
Clap your hands and grant us your grace.
39. The War of the Goddess and her Protection

After the Pandyan and the Chola kings
retreated as they fought with you,
they joined you and fought
with the gods, who were your enemies.

Indra’s white elephant Iravadam,
and Yama’s vehicle the dark buffalo
were frightened of you and hid in the wild ocean.

Varuna, the rain god rode on his sura fish
to fight with you, but the sura fish leaped,
spun and fell unable to fight with you.

You made kings who ruled cruelly
embrace justice.

You fought with the Himalayas and the eight high hills
and made them the boundary of your country.

By yourself you took over,
ruled and protected all the lands in the eight directions.

Conquering all the lands
you rule all the northern shores
as easily as you rule the shores
of the Kumari river in the south.

You who are beautiful as a female elephant,
clap your hands.
You make the earth goddess thrive
and protect her under the shadow of your canopy,
Clap your hands and grant us your grace.
40. The Battle between the Goddess and Shiva

The fish-eyed goddess shot her arrows
at kulis, kaalis, dogs, lions
and Bhairavar and they were defeated
and scattered.

Nandi, the vehicle of Shiva fought
with the goddess, lost and ran away.
Seeing how splendid Nandi was
both from front and back,
the goddess laughed in delight,
her smile like the rays of the moon.

She forgot how she once danced with Shiva
on the highest peaks of Kailasa
and grew shy because she fought with him.

She stopped shooting arrows,
but bent her bow-like eyebrows
and shot glances with her lotus-like eyes at Shiva.

O goddess Thadaadagai,
you have attracted Shiva
who bent Meru mountain as his bow in battle.

O goddess Tadaathagai,
clap your hands.

You make the earth goddess thrive
and protect her
under the shadow of your canopy,
Clap your hands
and grant us your grace.
41. The Beauty of the Goddess and the Himalayas

You give your grace to your devotees
so that they can cross the ocean of births
if they melt in their hearts
for your gracious glance
that pours out its abundant compassion.

O fish-eyed goddess,
you are as beautiful as a doll
and your long eyes
lovelier than the eyes of a deer
are like killing arrows
and, extending to your earrings,
they give extra loveliness to your nose.

You are a peacock
born in the Himalaya hills
where a male monkey that lives
in a flourishing bamboo grove
jumps up to the dark clouds in the sky,
and the nectar that flows
from the young creeping moon
mixes with the rain
that the clouds pour on the hills.
Clap your hands.

You are a young elephant
raised in Madurai,
clap your hands.
42. Goddess, the Mother

You showered your grace and fed
the nectar-like milk from your breasts
to Sambandar your devotee
in the city of Seerkaazhi,
and you gave him the power of singing
the Devaram, devotional Tamil songs
that are divine Vedas.

As a compassionate mother
you raised your son Murugan
who rides on a peacock
and Ganesa, the elephant-headed god.

Your prattling baby words
are sweet as honey
and are like the music of a flute.
Your baby talk is as sweet as ripen fruits
that shed nectar.

Your words are lovely as a parrot’s.
Clap your hands.

You are a young elephant
raised in Madurai,
clap your hands.
Chapter V. Grant us Moksha

43. The Greatness of the Goddess

You are like a divine jewel
for the scholars who composed
the treasure of ancient timeless songs
that are so lovely
no one could have even dreamed of their beauty.

You are a blooming karpaga tree
that gives the fruit of grace
to the devotees who love you in their hearts
and who nurture the feeling of devotion
as if they were watering a tiny banyan tree.

You are a parrot in the grove
that prattles like a baby,
and your words were never written down.

You are the matchless companion
of Shiva the highest god,
the highest form of all sounds,
who pervades the empty sky
as the companion of all lives,
unseen but helping all devotees and creatures.

You are the omnipresent one
who originated with Shiva.
Grant us moksha.

O goddess, born with three breasts,
you are a feast for the three-eyed god,
the light of all. Grant us moksha.
44. The Beautiful Goddess

You are the highest flood of joy
that springs abundantly in the hearts of your devotees
who melt in everlasting love for you,
love that they had even in their previous births
as their hearts filled with devotion
like ponds being filled with water.

You are great good fortune
for those like us who are small.

You are like a sweet young female elephant
and your fragrant hair is decorated
with blossoms, dripping with honey.

You are a creeper blooming
with lovely flowers
and your heavy mountain-like round breasts
decorated with kumkum paste
make your thin waist weak.

Your prattling words
are as sweet as the music of a flute.

Your lotus-like red mouth is as sweet as a fruit.
Grant us Moksha.

O goddess, born with three breasts,
You are a feast for the three-eyed god,
the light of all.
Grant us moksha.
45. The Beauty of the Goddess

Dark clouds lose when they compete
with your dark hair decorated with flowers
swarming with bees.

Sugarcane cut into small pieces
loses when it competes with your
prattling speech as sweet as the words of a parrot.

The red lotuses lose when they compete
with your small golden feet
that touch the crescent moon on Shiva’s jata,

The conch pregnant with pearls
and the beautiful fertile kamuku plant
lose when they compete with your neck.

Long bamboo shoots lose when they compete
with your beautiful arms decorated with lovely drawings.

The two strong tusks of elephants lose when they compete
with your round soft breasts.

The pearls that are born in shells cannot compete
with your divine teeth.

You give your devotees
the pleasures of life on the earth and in heaven.
Grant us moksha.

O goddess, born with three breasts,
you are a feast for the three-eyed god,
the light of all. Grant us moksha.
46. We Want Only You

O goddess, we do not want
the cindamani jewel
that is in the world of Indra,
the king of gods in the shining sky
who rides on his rutting elephant Iravadam
that has four mountain-like tusks.

O goddess, we do not want
the precious jewels sanganithi
and padumanithi of Kubera
the king of Alagapuri in the north.

O goddess, we do not want
the Srivatsam jewel that shines like the sun,
decorating the chest
of the lord Padmanabhan
who lies on a snake bed
with his wife Lakshmi on a lotus blossom,
the light of all homes.

Shiva who stays in the temple
in the city of Thirunelveli
surrounded by bamboo trees
loves to kiss your sweet fruit-like mouth.

O goddess, born with three breasts,
you are a feast for the three-eyed god,
the light of all.
Grant us moksha.
47. Pearls

The pearls that grow
by the shores of the Kumari river
where waves dash on the hills
and the banks of the river,

and the pearls from the shells
that the hard-working pearl-fishers,
bring to the shores of the Korkai city,

and the pearl-like rays
of the white moon that fall
on the Porunai river,

and the cool pearls
brought by the waterfalls
that fall on the beautiful cool
slopes of the Potiyam hills—

O goddess, you gather all these pearls
on the bank of the river,
bathe and play with innocent women
as your waist, thin as creeper, suffers.

The fragrant smoke
that perfumes your long oiled hair
spreads its fragrance
all around the sand bank of the river
where women play.
Grant us moksha.

You are the feast for the three-eyed god,
the light for all. Grant us moksha.
48. The Divine Kudal City

The shining sun god carrying his cloud-flag,
rides on a decorated chariot
yoked to strong white-maned horses.
He splits the water of the sea,
with his bright rays,
removes the thick darkness of the earth
and brightens the front of the houses
of Kudal city where Tamil flourishes.

There, the white saris that hang on the clotheslines
in the yards of the houses
fly to the sky in the wind,
touch the stars and hide the rays
of the moon and the lovely rainbow.

Divine Madurai city
is surrounded with forts
where your victorious flags fly.
Covered with clouds they fly shining
as they do on Mount Meru
that you have conquered.
Such is divine Tamil city of Kudal
and you flourish there, bringing prosperity.

O goddess,
your divine mouth is as lovely as coral.
Grant us moksha.

You, a beautiful creeper,
carry a shinning fish-banner in your right hand.
O goddess, your divine mouth is as lovely as coral.
Grant us moksha.

49. The Fields of Madurai City

The Kadainyar who have bodies
as dark as clouds that pour rain
drink palm wine that foams up
like the waves of the ocean
and carry in their hands swords
that look like the crescent moon.

The soft natured Kadaisiyar women
beautiful as bright lightning,
wearing dark bangles,
walk behind their husbands
as their thin waists swing.

The varaal fish leaping to the sky
scares a cluster of stars and
the Kadaisiyar women seeing the fish,
are frightened and run away.

The sugarcane plants in the fields of Kudal
grow tall and touch the sky
reaching Indra's world,
and Indra’s divine elephant Iravadam
who lives in the karpaga forest
eats the sweet sugarcane there.

The flourishing paddy stalks
in the fields of Kudal grow so tall
they touch the sky
and Kamadenu, Indra’s cow, grazes on them.


Such is the wealth of Madurai
filled with flourishing paddy fields
and sugarcane plants.

O goddess,
your divine mouth is as lovely as coral.
You protect Madurai city.
Grant us Moksha.

You, a beautiful creeper,
carry a shinning fish-banner
in your right hand.

Your divine mouth is as lovely as coral.
Grant us moksha.
50. The Flag and the Wheel of the Goddess.

O goddess,
your front yard is filled
with a pile of gold given as tribute
by enemy kings of many countries
after they retreated fighting with your army
that blows its conches of victory
as loud as the waves of the ocean.

The garlands of enemy kings from many directions
fall on the floor and mingle with each other.

The fish-banner of the mischievous Kama
who wanders around with his terrible flower arrows
swarming with bees,
and your victorious fish-banner
fly together in the silver hills of Kailasa.

As your majestic rule spreads
over all the lands that are surrounded
by the rising, sounding oceans,
it is like the wheels of the chariot of the sun
going over mountains and oceans.

O princess of the Pandyan king,
your scepter takes away the suffering of all lands.

O goddess,
your divine mouth is as lovely as coral. Grant us moksha.
You, a beautiful creeper,
carry a shinning fish-banner in your right hand.
Grant us moksha.
51. The Trees and Drums of Madurai

When a jack fruit that has grown
on the large trunk of a jack tree
breaks, its juice as sweet as honey
flows onto the earth
as if a pot filled with palm wine had been broken.
O goddess, your Madurai city
is filled with such fertile jack fruit trees.

The lovely branches of the kamugu tree
shake and fall to the ground
when the sura fish leaps and hits it
from the fields where the paddy plants
are heavy with paddy.

The rutting elephant trumpets loudly
drinking from a pond
where the water is filled to the brim
as if it were an ocean.

The beating of the three drums
in Madurai protected by you
sound twice as loud
as the thundering of the clouds.

Such is flourishing Madurai.
You protect it.
You, a lovely parrot raised in Madurai,
grant us moksha.

You are the precious jewel of the Pandyan dynasty
that rules the entire world.
Grant us moksha.
52. Praise of the Goddess

In the world surrounded by ocean,
where the sun rises
and removes deep darkness
and spreads his rays everywhere,

you, lovely as a young elephant,
grant your aid with your kind glances
to the goddess Lakshmi who lives on a red lotus
thick with petals and swarming with bees,
and to the goddess Saraswathi
who stays on a white lotus
blooming with a hundred petals,
so that they help your good devotees
who worship you and serve only you.

O goddess,
your face is beautiful like a lotus,
your neck shines like a conch,
your face is cool as the crescent moon
and your words are as sweet as honey.

You, a brilliant goddess,
plunge into the ocean of ancient Tamil.
Grant us moksha.

You are the precious jewel
of the Pandyan dynasty
that rules the entire world.
Grant us moksha.
Chapter VI. The Baby Goddess Walks.

53. Walking with Lovely Ringing Anklets

You walk with your small lovely feet
stepping slowly
as your beautiful anklets ring
with the kinkini bells
strung on them.

The fragrance from the red paste
that decorates your toes
spreads into the lovely
crescent-moon-like ornaments
the heavenly women wear on their hair
when they bow at your feet
and it spreads into the young, waxing crescent moon
that shines on our father Shiva’s Jata.

Swans with beautiful wings
follow the gods and goddesses
who worship at your lovely feet
and follow you with them.

The swans follow you
together with the group of heavenly women.
Is that because they like the soft sound
of your precious diamond-studded anklets?
Or they want to learn your lovely gentle walk?

Do the bells
of your shining waist ornament ring,
because they feel pity for your small thin waist?
You live in my lotus heart
because it is a divine temple for you
and in Kudal where Tamil flourishes
with its wonderful poems.

You, a beautiful blooming creeper,
and the queen of Kudal city,
come to us.

O fish-eyed goddess!
you shine in the karpaga and kadamba forests.
Come to us.
54. Lakshmi, Saraswathi and Parvathi

Lakshmi decorated with fragrant garlands,
emerged from the deep milky ocean
when it was churned by the gods,
and Saraswathi the goddess,
the scholar of sweet Tamil literature
who walks softly like a beautiful female elephant
and whose hair is lovely,
both entered into lotus blossoms swarming with bees
and live there.

But you, a precious diamond creeper
enter and live in the hearts of your devotees
that are like blooming ponds of fragrant devotion,
golden temples for Shiva and you.

On tall flourishing sweet sugarcane trees
bunches of heavy flowers bloom
bending the highest branches as they touch the sky
and they resemble Kama as he took endless, timeless forms, to fight battles of love
with his flower arrows and sugarcane bow,
wandering with his wife Rathi, lovely as a peacock,
whose forehead shines like the crescent moon.
Such is the beauty of the groves of Kudal city.

You are beautiful as a peacock with lovely tail
and you stay in Kudal city
that flourishes with forests of sugarcane.
Come to us!
O fish-eyed goddess! Queen of Kudal city!
You shine in the karpaga and kadamba forests.
Come to us.
55. The Kayal Fish and the Goddess’s War.

A jackfruit tree covered with thorns
and circled with screwpine plants
shines as the crescent moon pours its rays.

A kayal fish leaping through the juice of the jackfruit,
jumping over the coconut tree and shaking it,
makes the coconut break, and the juice pours from it.

The fish-eyed goddess with her strong army
large as the ocean
conquered not only the groves of one land
but also the seven worlds,
breaking the walls of the forts, surrounding the cities.
Then, going to the worlds of the gods
she fought in all the directions
making the battlefield bloody.

Kayal fish leap high
all over the flourishing paddy fields
encircled by banks
and the fish look like the divine fish banners
of the goddess that were raised everywhere,
flying and touching the sky
when she conquered all the worlds.
Such is the beauty of Madurai
surrounded with flourishing paddy fields.

O fish- eyed goddess,
you are the daughter
of the king of Tamil Madurai.
You shine in the karpaga and kadamba forests.
Come to us.
56. Ganesa, her Baby Elephant

Ganesha, the elephant god, drinks the sweet nectar
that flows from your round breasts
adorned with diamond ornaments.

His tusks are white like the lustrous moon
that pours light as white as a waterfall.
He broke mountains with his tusks
decorated with their kimpuri ornament.

Kumkum and the yellow pollen
falling from his garlands
make his forehead look like a golden pot of kumkum.

He takes water from all the seven oceans
with his large trunk
and fills his ears to use it for ichor.

He touches the crescent moon in the sky
with his trunk thinking that it is his angusa weapon.

The pearl-studded ornament on his forehead
looks like the blue sky, shining with stars.

He, a young baby elephant
drips ichor and his eyes are small.
He is murderous.
You, as a female elephant, gave birth
to that baby elephant.
Come to us.

O fish-eyed goddess! you shine in the karpaga
and kadamba forests. Come to us.
57. The Moon, the Ganges and Kudal City

The young white moon
on the Jata of Shiva that drips nectar
becomes red touching
your shining lotus-like feet decorated with red paste.

The water of the great Ganges
that flows on the jata of Shiva
with shining waves dashing on its banks
becomes red as it mixes with the red paste
on the feet of the goddess.

You are the green goddess as lovely as a creeper
and your feet touch the Jata on Shiva’s head.

The fragrant breeze blowing through the branches
of the tall green kamugu trees
cools Indrani, the wife of Indra, king of the gods
when she rides on the back
of Indra’s elephant Iravadam in the wide sky
where the bright stars shine.

Such is Kudal city
where fragrant groves
bloom with lovely flowers and fragrant breezes blow.

You were raised in that Kudal city.
O daughter of Pandyan king,
come to us.

O fish-eyed goddess,
you shine in the karpaga and kadamba forest.
Come to us.
58. The River Vaikai

The Vaikai river gathers
the jewels heaped in it
by bathing young girls
who have mountain-like breasts
adorned with garlands and kumkum paste,
and rises to the sky
and blocks the heavenly rivers.

Because the heavenly rivers are blocked,
the sun loses its path
and floats like a lustrous golden parisil boat.
The joyful white crescent moon
floats like a paddle boat
and cannot tell where it is going.
The abundant bright stars
float like small midappu-boats,
shining like the jewels swept down by the Vaikai.

The Vaikai crosses the ichor that flows like a river
from the four-tusked elephant Iravadam
and the flooding water of the Ganges
flowing in its path.

The Vaikai river flows across the bright sky
and the blooming karpaga forest
and reaches the flourishing Pandyan land
and its waves dash on its cool banks.

You are the queen of great Madurai city
nourished by the Vaikai river.
You are our precious life.
You, the daughter of Malayaduvajan, come, come.
59. The Beauty of the Fields of Madurai

The six-legged bees,
opening the fresh petals of the flowers
dripping with pollen
play in the honey-like water of the falls.

The bees open the beautiful cool lotus
and the goddess Lakshmi lives there happily
making it her temple.
Seeing that, the Marudam land, as if it were a carpenter,
created for Lakshmi many lovely lotuses
in the ponds of Kudal city
so that she could live in all of them if she wished.

Large fragrant groves
are filled with canopy-like kamuga trees
whose lovely branches
hang with ripened fruits.

The paddy plants
with bunches of many-colored crops
grow so high that they make the clouds look
like a cloth studded
with shining jewels.

You are the queen of Madurai city
flourishing with its colorful paddy fields
in the Marudam land.
You are our precious life.
You, the daughter of Malayaduvajan,
come, come.
60. The Beauty of Three Goddesses

The fragrance of oil
and the fragrance of incense
from the divine women’s hair
enter the long trunks of the elephants
of all the eight directions and make them dizzy.

The waists of those divine women
are small and thin.
Their mountain-like breasts
are smeared with sandal paste.
The gentle breeze that comes
from the fans that they wave
with their lovely hands
hurts their waists.

The goddess Lakshmi beautiful as a creeper
and Saraswathi, goddess of all the arts,
live on lotuses
where bees drink honey and sleep.
You give your grace to those goddesses
smiling at them with your bright moon-like teeth.

O you lovely young deer with a green body,
dark eyes and a sweet red mouth, come.
You are our precious life.
You are the daughter of Malayaduvajan,
come, come.
61. Praising the Daughter of Malayadvajan

You yourself are the reward
for the poets who composed
ancient divine everlasting songs
to adorn you.

You are the fragrant taste of Tamil,
sweet as a ripened fruit
and flourishing
with its prose, poetry and drama.

You are the lamp that is lighted
in the temple-like hearts of your devotees
who have rooted out all traces of ego.

You are a young soft female elephant
that plays in the hills
of the tall-peaked Himalayas.

The god Shiva, the unique one,
transcends this earth
surrounded by oceans with breaking waves.
He has drawn you in his divine heart
as a living picture
and looks at you always.

You are a lovely vanji creeper.
Bees drinking sweet honey
swarm around your thick forest-like hair,
come, come

You are our precious life.
You are the daughter of Malayadvajan, come, come.
62. Praising the Daughter of Malayadvajan

You, a lovely young female elephant, come.
Around your fragrant hair
honey-drinking bees swarm, come.

You, the abundance of wisdom, come.
You are an excellent feast
given to the bright three-eyed god
who wears the crescent moon on his Jata, come.

You, the origin of all the three gods,
Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, come.
You, the highest joy that has no origin, come.

You, the meaning
of the ancient Vedas, come.

You are a creeper
ripening with compassion, come.

You take away the births
of your devotees who plunge
into the flood of your grace
by showing your sidelong glance of love.

You, a lovely green parrot
that babbles sweetly like a baby, come.

You are our precious life, come.
You the daughter of Malayadvajan,
come, come, come.
Chapter VII. Calling the Moon to Play with the Baby Goddess.

63. The Jealous Moon.

O moon, why won’t you come to play with her?

The books of the arts say
that she is as lovely as a green parrot
and her words are as sweet as rock candy
and complain
that you are not as beautiful as she.
Are you worried about what the books say?
Is that the reason why you don’t come
to play with her?

Are you unwilling to come
because you know
that she is the wealth of all arts?

Are you jealous that she belongs
to the line of the moon
of the Pandyan kings
who wear lovely garlands swarming with bees?
Is that the reason why you don’t come
to play with her?

Are you angry with her
because our father Shiva keeps you
as a fragrant cool garland on his Jata
and her as a part of him?

Are you upset because she was born
with Lakshmi in the deep ocean of milk
where you were also born with Lakshmi,
your dear friend.

She, the princess, calls you saying, “Come, hurry!”
Even though are not fit to play with her,
still she calls you.
O moon, come to play with her.

Shining like a diamond creeper,
she embraces Shiva
who carries a strong golden bow.
O moon, come to play with her.
64. The Blemishes in the Moon

O moon,
some of the gods received nectar from the milky ocean,
squeezed it out, poured and drank it.
You received what was left of that nectar
after they had spit it out.

You suffered because the two fire-spitting snakes
Raagu and Ketu swallowed you and spat you out.

Your bright white body is marked by black blemishes
in the shape of a rabbit.

People mock you saying
no one should see you
on the fourth day of the growing moon.
You are just one of many stars
that wander through the sky.

Surely there is no refuge for one
who moves like you other than this Madurai
that removes all great sins.

The fish-eyed goddess,
beautiful as a female elephant,
stays on the bank of the Vaikai river
that flows with its abundant rising water
that shakes the karpaga trees.
O moon, come to play with her.

Shining like a diamond creeper,
she embraces Shiva who carries a strong golden bow.
O moon, come to play with her.
65. The Moon Steals the Goddess’s Beauty

O moon,
you steal the beauty of her shining forehead
and become bright
when you are a crescent moon.

Women with wide fish-like eyes
bow to you, putting down dried cow dung
as they worship the goddess.

You steal the lustrous beauty of her face
when you become full, bright and white,
sprinkling nectar on the earth.
And that is not all.

With the Ganges that is her rival,
you stay on the Jata of her lover Shiva,
yet she forgets her jealousy and calls you.
How can words do justice to
her great compassion?

She is the princess of the Pandyan country
protected by Maladuvaja Pandyan
who rules the whole world
bearing it on his strong shoulders.
O moon, come to play with her.

Shining like a diamond creeper,
she embraces Shiva
who carries a strong golden bow.
O moon, come to play with her.
66. The Goddess Saves the Moon as it Seeks Refuge from Raahu.

Even though you shine everywhere in the sky
and make it bright,
you suffer when your cruel enemy
the snake Raahu
swallows you and spits you out.

If you enter
the hot shining world of the sun for refuge,
your brightness will fail
and you will become dim.

Even though our father Shiva
holds you in his forest-like jata,
you cannot close your eyes and sleep
because you are afraid of the snake
that encircles Shiva’s jata.

The small feet of the fragrant-haired goddess
who is on Shiva’s Jata
might kick you
and injure your stomach.

If you take refuge in our princess
you will receive this universe
and everything beyond it.
O moon, come to play with her.

Shining like a diamond creeper,
she embraces Shiva
who carries a strong golden bow.
O moon, come to play with her.
67. The Fame of the Goddess

Her boundless fame
transcends all the worlds
and shines like a large moon.

Taking only a sesame-seed’s measure
of light from her brightness
you shine as the white moon.

You plunge into the flood-like compassion
that her glances pour on you
and give your cool light to the earth.

Only the power that she gives you
enables you to give cool light to the earth
and make crops flourish

O moon god of beauty,
you have no power of your own,
only what she gives you,
and you know that is true.

She is the princess of the majestic king
who rides on a joyful elephant.
O moon, come to play with her.

Shining like a diamond creeper,
she embraces Shiva
who carries a strong golden bow.
O moon come to play with her.
68. The Excellence of the Pilgrimage to Madurai.

The terrible curse that Indra
the king of gods received,
and the curse put on the angry elephant Iravadam,
and the fever and the bent back
of the Pandyan king who nourished
all three ancient branches of Tamil—
all these were removed by pilgrimage to Madurai.
O moon, don’t you understand
the greatness of this place?

The pilgrimage to Madurai, the kingdom of Shiva,
the place of absolute peace,
gives moksa to devotees.

Look, if you go on this pilgrimage,
the sin that you have done
against Guru viyaazhan,
the curse that Daksha gave you,
and your waning and waxing, becoming old,
getting gray hair and a bent back,
all these things will be removed.

She is as sweet as honey
and she gives her loving grace
to the devotees who worship her
with their bones melting.
O moon, come to play with her.

Shining like a diamond creeper,
she embraces Shiva
who carries a strong golden bow.
O moon, come to play with her.
69. The Compassion of the Goddess for the moon

O moon, you stay on the Jata of Shiva
who wears the skin
of a rutting elephant.

When beautiful women pick flowers,
you rub their hands soft as tender leaves
with your rays and scratch them.
When those lovely women decorate
their little feet with red paste,
their hands hurt
and they become nervous,
thinking that your scratches,
red as if caused by fire, are boils.
You are the reason they are scared.

You are the umbrella for Kama
the son of Narasimha, half lion and half man,
and you give him shade
even though he has the same sugarcane bow
and the same five kinds of flower arrows
and the same fish-banner as the goddess.
Yet she was not angry with you
even though you did all those things,
but calls you to come to play with her.
O moon, come to play with her.

Shining like a diamond creeper,
she embraces Shiva
who carries a strong golden bow.
O moon, come to play with her.
70. The Goddess and the Moon of the Same Lineage

O moon,
you were born in the Pandyan family
to nourish that ancient tradition,
pouring sweet nectar-like brightness with your rays
as white as waterfalls

And she, soft as a tender shoot,
a princess of the Pandyan family,
was born to nourish that tradition.

You see that you were born in the same family as she,
yet you did not make her your friend
feeling happy in your mind
and gazing at her joyfully.
You stay in the sky without coming down
to speak and play with her.

You gave up your food, nectar and beauty
and wandered with Shiva
who carried a mud pot for porridge
and went and begged with him.
Is that why you have a black mark on your body?

But more than that,
there is another just like you
who shines in the clear sky in the day.
You swallow the rays of light that he emits
after he has finished with them,
and you take that light
and in the deepest darkness of night
you move shining with it.
How could you humble yourself so?

She is divine
and her hair is decorated with flowers
swarming with buzzing bees.
O moon, come to play with her.

Shining like a diamond creeper,
she embraces Shiva
who carries a strong golden bow.
O moon, come to play with her.
71. How We Saved You from her Anger

When the goddess who has dark cloud-like hair
called you, you did not come
and she became angry.

We said, “Perhaps the moon
did not come quickly
because he was ashamed
to come before your radiant face,
and he may have hid instead.
Or perhaps he was worried
that the snakes Raahu and Kethu
would follow him and hurt him.”
We made these excuses for you
and somehow saved you from her anger.

But now, if she grows angry at you again,
there is no way to save you.

The divine apsarasas who live in the sky
and who wear lovely garments
decorate the goddess’s beautiful long hair,
wipe the sweat from her forehead
and then, moon, they call for you to come,
saying this is a good time
for you to play with her.

O moon, come to play with the queen of Madurai
surrounded by large forts.

Shining like a diamond creeper, she embraces Shiva
who carries a strong golden bow.
O moon, come to play with her.
72. The moon on the Shiva’s Jata

O moon, the goddess rules
from above all the Vedas
that have never been written down.
Her divine feet abide and shine in your heart.

Shiva acts out his drama in this world
with his five-fold actions—creating, protecting,
destroying, veiling and giving grace.
Doesn’t he place you in his Jata
together with the river Ganges
because he thinks
that the feet of the goddess
that shine in his heart also shine in yours?

If she is pleased with you in her divine heart,
then there is nothing more for you to achieve
even if you do the most excellent tapas.

Listening to the sweet music
that the beautiful women play on yaazs shaped like makara fish,
plucking the strings with their lovely fingers,
the kunguma trees shed lovely flowers soft as thin cloth.
The flourishing kongu trees bloom
with clusters of golden flowers like bundles of gold.
Such is the beauty of Madurai
blooming with kunguma and kongu blossoms.

O moon, come to play
with the beautiful girl of Madurai.
Shining like a diamond creeper, she embraces Shiva
who carries a strong golden bow.
O moon, come to play with her.

Chapter VIII. The Goddess Plays Ammaanai balls.

73. The Goddess Throws the Ammaanai Balls up in the Sky

O goddess, when you play ammaanai,
the ammaanai balls
look like balls of food
that people roll in their hands and give
to fill the huge stomach of a male elephant
whose cheeks flow with ichor
like water poured from pots.

O goddess, when you play ammaanai,
the ammaanai balls
look like as if someone
carried bright pots of nectar
and threw them up in the sky
to ease the suffering of the great gods
when they could not obtain nectar
when they churned the ocean of milk.

O goddess, when you play ammaanai
it looks as if a row of balls
studded with precious pearls
were thrown into the sky.

O goddess, when you play ammaanai,
the balls look like
a cluster of white swans
that wake up and raucously
fly up to the sky
from beautiful fragrant lotus flowers
that open up and spread their petals.

You are the queen of Madurai
where the white waterfalls
of the Vaikai river
look like ground sandal paste
against the black hills.
Play ammaanai and give us your grace.

You are a lovely one
who abides in the heart of the unique Shiva
and shares the left part of his body.
Play ammaanai and give us your grace.
74. The Ammaanai Balls Look like Rice Balls and Little Deer

O goddess,
when you play ammaanai
the balls look like the bees with six legs and green eyes
that hover on the white rice balls
that you threw at your wedding at your husband Shiva
who wears the crescent shinning moon in his long thick Jata.

O goddess,
when you play ammaanai
the balls look like young innocent deer
jumping on the cool moon, as it rises in the sky.

O goddess,
When you and your friends play ammaanai
the balls jump and you and your friends look on,
your eyes darting like leaping fish.

O goddess,
when you play ammaanai,
the young Ganesha plays
butting and attacking a group of clouds
thinking they are murderous enemy elephants with cruel eyes.

O goddess Abhishekavalli!
you carry a bow made of sugarcane whose stems have joints
and five arrows of blooming flowers swarming with bees.
Play ammaanai and give us your grace.

You are a lovely one
who abides in the heart of the unique Shiva
and shares the left part of his body.
Play ammaanai and give us your grace.
75. The Ammanai Balls Change Color

O goddess,
when you play ammaanai the balls become red
as they are thrown from your sweet hands
that are like red lotuses where honey drips.

O goddess,
when you play ammaanai, the balls become black in color
when the compassionate glance
of your sweet nectar-like dark eyes falls on them.

O goddess,
when you play ammaanai the balls become white in color
when they are lit by the bright smile
on your face that is like the moon without its black marks.

O goddess,
the precious pearl balls that you play with, show
the three gunas, saatvikam, raajadam and daamadam
as they continuously change
into three colors, red, black and white.
You are the precious honey
that springs in your devotees’ hearts.
They love you and Shiva and their bonds melt
as they remain in a state that is neither waking or sleeping.
O sweet goddess,
play ammaanai and give us your grace.

You are a lovely one
who abides in the heart of the unique Shiva
and shares the left part of his body.
Play ammaanai and give us your grace.
76. The jealous sun.

O goddess,
when you throw the pearl ammaanai balls
from your hands that are as red as kaanthal flowers
it looks as if the burning red sun
had grown jealous of the white moon
and were chasing him
because the moon god
always touches his wives, the lotuses
in the night with his white rays.

The sounding waterfall
carries pearls, diamonds and precious jewels
from the highest mountains
and the river Vaikai with its rolling waves
throws them up on its banks.

Iravadam, the rutting four-tusked elephant
trumpets and runs along the banks
of the Vaikai river with its breaking waves.

You are a lovely swan with beautiful wings
that lives on the banks
of the Vaikai in Madurai.
Play ammaanai and give us your grace.

You are a lovely one
who abides in the heart of the unique Shiva
and shares the left part of his body.
Play ammaanai and give us your grace.
77. The Goddess Plays Ammaanai with her Friends

Some of your beloved friends
take the pearl ammaanai balls
in their beautiful hands
and throw them to you
one after another, to your left and right.

The thousands of round balls
that you catch and throw up in the sky
look like rows of worlds
that you have created.

Disturbed by the balls as they are thrown up,
bees with lines on their body
swarm noisily,
stirring up fresh pollen in the grove
so the pollen rises
and makes the sky dark.

The dark pollen
looks like the dust
that rose on the battlefield
when you fought against the cities
of Alagapuri, the capital of Kubera,
and Amaravathi, the capital of Indra.
O queen of Madurai!
Play ammaanai and give us your grace.

You are a lovely one
who abides in the heart of the unique Shiva
and shares the left part of his body.
Play ammaanai and give us your grace.
78. The Ganges and Lustrous Madurai

The goddess Lakshmi, your friend, as dear to you as life,
challenges you to a game of ammaanai.
She runs everywhere trying to catch the balls.

Seeing you play ammaanai
without running here and there,
Shiva, our god, shakes his jata that shines with crescent moon.

The divine Ganges, the beautiful creeper,
that on the Jata of Shiva,
as she floods and rolls with white foaming waves
looks as if she is also playing with pearl ammaanai balls.

The beautiful hillocks of Madurai
studded with precious corals
and the patios of the palaces
studded with pearls
shine like the rays of the white moon.
Seeing the luster of Madurai,
the carpenter of the gods, Devadachan, is jealous and surprised
because he did not make Madurai
and yet it is so beautiful.

All the elephants that protect Madurai in the eight directions equal Iravadam, the elephant of Indra.
O queen of Madurai! Play ammaanai and grant us your grace.

You are a lovely one,
who abides in the heart of the unique Shiva
and shares the left part of his body.
Play ammaanai and give us your grace.
79. The Pearl and Coral Ammaanai Balls

O goddess,
the ammaanai balls studded with pearls
spread the fragrance of your lotus hands.

The bees that swarm around your hair
are fascinated with your dark bee-like eyes.

Studded with diamonds, the ammaanai balls
hear your flute-like voice
as lovely as the calling of a cuckoo,
and the sweetness of the sound
makes them melt and drip
small drops of dew.

As you plays with your beautiful hands,
the ammaanai balls studded with corals
look as if they had stolen the brightness
of your soft coral-like fingers,
as they are thrown up and fall, moving randomly.

O goddess,
you are a living painting drawn in the heart of Shiva.
Play with the ammaanai balls.
You are auspicious
and filled with beauty.
Play with the ammaanai balls.
80. Pearl and many bright ammaanai balls.

O goddess,
you are a beautiful creeper
and your hair is filled
with bees that sing
like a yaaz playing the vilari raga.

The pearl ammaanai balls
that you throw to the sky
form rows and look like pearl garlands
shining with soft rays
and decorating
the divine chest of Shiva, the sky.

The many bright ammaanai balls
studded with many-colored jewels
look like a rainbow
as they are thrown into the sky.

O goddess, you are a sweet fruit.
You give your love
and divine grace to your devotees
who worship you with the highest joy,
melting their hearts.
Play with the ammaanai balls.

You are auspicious
and filled with beauty.
Play with the ammaanai balls.
81. What People Say when they See the Ammaanai Balls

The white pearl ammaanai balls
that the goddess throws from her lotus hands
become bright and red.
Those who see the glow of the balls
stand speechless.

Some say, “Even though these balls are made of rubies,
they do not know that
and become more red
because they are thrown from the lotus hands of the goddess.”

Some say, “Even though these balls are made of dark jewels,
they do not know that
and they steal the darkness of the glance
of the eyes of the goddess
to become more dark.”

They all say whatever they feel.
They are like those
who belong to other religions
and babble
without a feeling of belonging anywhere.

O goddess,
you, the wife of Shiva,
are the mother of all the gods
who proudly claim
that they are the origin of all creatures.

Play with the ammaanai balls.
You are a beautiful, auspicious queen.
Play with the ammaanai balls.
82. The Goddess Sending Birds as Messengers to Shiva

O goddess,
your ammaanai balls
made of lustrous emeralds,
dark sapphires
and precious pearls shine bright.

When the goddess whose dark hair
is decorated with lovely flowers
dripping with honey,
throws the matchless balls to the sky
they go to the three-eyed lord.

As your hands throw
the emerald, sapphire and pearl ammaanai balls
into the sky, it looks as if you are sending
the green parrot
that you keep upraised in your hand,
lovely dark cuckoo birds,
and white baby swans,
one after another, as messengers
to Shiva to tell him of the abundant love
you have for him.

You are the queen of rich Madurai
where the king swan sleeps
embracing his mate
on the wet fertile mud field.

Play with the ammaanai balls.
You are a beautiful, auspicious queen.
Play with the ammaanai balls.


Chapter IX. The Baby Goddess Bathes

83. The Goddess Plays in the Water

O goddess,
when you bathe,
the sound of the ocean conches
with high rolling waves
mixes with the tinkling sound of
the golden conch bangles
that decorate your beautiful hands.

When you bathe,
your thick lined fish-like eyes
move like the kayal fish
that frolic in the waves.

When you bathe,
your thick hair swarming with bees
that drink honey
from the pollen of the flowers
looks like green moss floating in the water.

Your great bull elephant
has huge mortar-like feet
small eyes and a large trunk.
When you make him fight with the elephant Iravadam,
who is white and in rut,
it is as if relatives
were meeting and embracing each other.

You play with the rutting elephants
of the eight directions using them as balls.

O goddess, play,
plunging into the new flood of water
of the Vaikai river with cool banks
and grant us your grace.

O goddess,
you are a lovely creeper,
you gave your fish-banner
to Shiva who carries a bull banner.
Play in the flood of water
and grant us your grace.
84. The Goddess Plunges into the Vaikai and Plays

O Goddess,
as you plunge into the water
that foams with waves
the white bangles
that decorate your red hands
sing beautifully
as they hit against one another.

As you plunge into the water
your bright white teeth
shine like the moon
and they change
your coral lips to a pale color.

As you plunge into the water
your eyes dark as kuvalai blossoms
become red like kuvalai flowers.

As you plunge into the water
your curly thick hair
that is like black sand
becomes loose.

As you plunge and play
in the cool beautiful water with rolling waves,
it looks as if the Ganges with rising waves
sprayed small drops of water,
playing happily with Shiva,
the ocean of the highest joy.

When young women from the fertile fields
bathe in the Vaikai river,
the sandal paste
that decorates their breasts
dissolves, mixes with the dark mud
and makes it red.

The waves of the Vaikai,
spread the fragrance of sandal
on the banks of the river.

O goddess, play,
plunging into the new flood of water
of the Vaikai river with cool banks
and grant us your grace.

O goddess,
you are a lovely creeper,
you gave your fish-banner
to Shiva who carries a bull banner.
Play in the flood of water
and grant us your grace.
85. The Emerald Color of the Goddess

O goddess, you are like a lovely doll.
Your voice is as sweet as a singing parrot’s.

Because your green body spreads
its beautiful green color over the earth,
the soft, flourishing creepers of coral lose their red color
and look like green emerald creepers,
the huge white pearls in the water look like emeralds,
and the swans with lovely white wings
that wander on the cool banks of the Vaikai
look like happy peacocks.
Knowing this the four Vedas proclaim,
“O Goddess, every form on the earth is yours.”

After mixing with the water of the divine rivers
Saraswathi, Jamuna and Ganges,
the new flood of the Vaikai flows along the earth
spreading the fragrances
of red sandal paste, dark musk and white camphor
that bathing women
have smeared on their round breasts
as bees swarm near their hair
that is fragrant with the pollen from the flowers they wear.

O goddess, play, plunging into the new flood of water
of the Vaikai river with cool banks and grant us your grace.

O goddess,
you are a lovely creeper,
you gave your fish-banner
to Shiva who carries a bull banner.
Play in the flood of water, and grant us your grace.
86. Sprinkling Yellow Powders

Six-legged bees with beautiful wings
sleep on your lovely hair, decorated with blossoms.

When your beloved friends fan you,
the cool drops of fragrant water
mix with kumkum paste, they flow all over.
They redden the blue sky,
which is the body of Shiva
who bent the mountain as a bow,
and as the red of the drops
and blue of the sky come together,
they turn yellow
and it looks as if you were playing
the game of sprinkling yellow water
with your beloved Shiva.

An angry elephant caught
in the middle of the wild flood
flowing from a mountain waterfall
is entangled by a snake
and looks like Mandara mountain
when it was used as a churning stick
encircled by the snake Adisesha for the rope
when the milk ocean was churned.

O goddess, play, plunging into the new flood of water
of the Vaikai river with cool banks and grant us your grace.

O goddess, you are a lovely creeper,
you gave your fish-banner
to Shiva who carries a bull bannert.
Play in the flood of water and grant us your grace.
87. The Goddess and her Friend Saraswathi.

Your friend Saraswathi,
lovely as a creeper,
the goddess of the ancient Vedas, of the arts
and all the branches of Tamil,
plunges and plays hiding in the water.

Wishing to find her
you run after her
and it looks as if you are running behind a swan
because it stole your lovely walk
and the pretty sound of your bright anklets.

The Vaikai river scattering pearls and diamonds
seems as if it were gambling,
throwing pearl and diamond balls
and calling the Ganges
to come and play with her.

O goddess, play,
plunging into the new flood of water
of the Vaikai river with cool banks
and grant us your grace.

O goddess,
you are a lovely creeper,
you gave your fish-banner
to Shiva who carries a bull banner.
Play in the flood of water
and grant us your grace.
88. The Beauty of Madurai and its Women

As six-legged bees swarm above
their thick, forest-like hair, your friends
whose breasts are as lovely as golden pots
play swimming in the pure water of the Vaikai
throwing golden yellow powder all around.

As your beautiful dark bee-like eyes
gaze at the divine body of Shiva with love
they grow red with pleasure and blazing passion,
like the eyes of young men when they gaze at young women.

Seeing the passion in the eyes of young men,
lovely women light incense
so its fragrant smoke can perfume their soft thick hair
and the smoke that spreads from it
makes the bunches of bananas
on the tops of trees in Madurai
ripen and grow sweet as honey.

You are the queen of Madurai
where the fragrance of ripe bananas spreads everywhere.
Such is the beauty of Madurai.

You are the great queen of Madurai.
Bathe in the new water
and give us your grace.

You are the precious daughter
of the Pandyan king
of the city on the bank of Porunai river.
Bathe in the new water
and give us your grace.
89. The Beauty of Madurai

Saraswathi, the goddess of the arts
who lives on a white lotus, said to you, “This is the cool bank
of the river Vaikai where our lord Shiva
carried sand for Vanthi to get pittu.”

When you heard this
your heart melted, your eyes grew red
and you shed a flood of joyous tears.

O goddess,
if your tears flow in a flood
Shiva may need to stop it
as he did for Vanthi.
Wouldn’t that be too much for him to do?

You shine in Kudal city
flourishing with groves
where honey drips like a waterfall
and where Indra’s elephant, Iravadam,
whose tusks are as bright as the crescent moon
plunges in the soft pollen
of blossoms dripping with honey
in the karpaga garden
and plays with his mates.

Bathe in the new water and give us your grace.
You are the precious daughter
of the Pandyan king
of the city on the bank of Porunai river.
Bathe in the new water
and give us your grace.
90. Shiva Carries Sand to Get Pittu

O goddess,
you are the wife of Shiva
who carried sand in a basket
on the banks of the Vaikai
where waves of cool water rise.

If you plunge and bathe
in the pure water by the banks of the Vaikai
where Vanthi gave white pittu to Shiva
and where the Pandyan king hit him,
the fragrant kumkum paste
that adorns your round, golden breasts
decorated with diamonds
will dissolve and mix with the sand.

If Shiva wishes to come
and carry that fragrant sand
mixed with your kumkum paste
as he did for Vanthi,
the Ganges will be jealous
and may not wish to stay on his jata.

You raised your fish banner
on the golden peak of Himalayas.
Bathe in the new water
and give us your grace.

You are the precious daughter
of the Pandyan king
of the city on the bank of Porunai river.
Bathe in the new water
and give us your grace.
91. Saraswathi and Indrani Decorate the Goddess

Saraswathi, beautiful as a creeper, goddess of art,
and Lakshmi, lovely as a creeper, who stays on a lotus,
string a fragrant garland for you.

Indirani, the beautiful wife of Indra,
puts a dot on your forehead,
and your shining breasts
are decorated with drawings
made of kumkum.

When you plunge into the water
it is a lovely feast for the eyes of Shiva, our lord.

Your eyebrows are lovelier
than the sugarcane bow of Kama
who raises his fish banner
with his beautiful wife Rathi,
they are lovelier than the rainbow,
and they all bow to you.

O goddess,
you shine as a golden creeper.
You are the lovely
daughter of the king of the Himalayas.

Bathe in the new water and give us your grace.

You are the precious daughter
of the Pandyan king
of the city on the bank of Porunai river.
Bathe in the new water
and give us your grace.
92. The Beauty of Madurai and the Goddess

O goddess,
you are as beautiful
as a young female elephant
born in the Himalayas
that plunges and bathes
in the white waterfalls
that descend with abundant water.

You are as lovely as a female swan
that swims spreading its wings
on the banks of the river in Korkai city.

You are like Lakshmi,
the sweet cuckoo bird
who stays on a red lotus flower
growing in the center of
the sweet ocean of milk.

As you stay on the jata of Shiva with the Ganges,
you look like a precious red creeper of coral
growing in the divine Ganges
with rolling waves.

Madurai is filled with blooming groves
where male bees, their bodies lined,
learn flute music from women who sing,
swarm on their hair dripping with honey,
and then embrace lovely female bees
that are drunk on the honey
from the golden karpaga garden.


Such is the beauty of Madurai
filled with blooming groves.
You are the queen of Madurai.
Bathe in the new water of the Vaikai.

You are the queen of the land
on the banks of Porunai and Kumari rivers.
Bathe in the new water of the Vaikai
and give us your grace.
Chapter X. The Goddess Plays on a Swing

93. The Lustrous Swing of the Goddess.

O goddess,
you play on a swing
tied between strong pillars
studded with shining corals and lustrous diamonds,
hanging from the roof.
The swing is tied with chains made of precious pearls
that look like the bright rays of the cool moon.
When you sit on the seat made of rubies
and play on the swing,
you appear like the bright sun
moving through the sky.

You, a lovely creeper,
enter the lotus hearts of your proud devotees
who bloom and melt
with sweet nectar-like devotion for you
and plunge into the ocean of happiness
where ancient songs of devotion
are always heard.
Play on the golden swing and
give us your grace.

O goddess, a lovely creeper,
You are as divine and beautiful
as your beloved Shiva,
whose body you share.
Play on the golden swing
and give us your grace.
94. The Goddess as Divine Doll

O goddess,
when you swing beautifully
on the swing made of white pearls
wearing shining ornaments
you look like the moon
spreading its soft rays.

When you swing on the pearl swing
you look like Saraswathi
goddess of ancient, beautiful song
who stays on a white lotus.

When you swing
you look like the moon
that shines with bright rays
and sprinkles sweet nectar

You are the divine doll
of Madurai surrounded
by golden walls
where the rain clouds creeping
above the tops of palaces
studded with sapphires
look like the pretty daughters
of the shining sun
sitting on his lap and playing.

O goddess, a lovely creeper,
You are as divine and beautiful
as your beloved Shiva,
whose body you share.
Play on the golden swing and give us your grace.
95. The asoka tree, Kama and the palaces of Madurai

O goddess,
you kick and play on the golden swing
and its light is so bright
that it looks like the sparkling rays of the sun.

When you pump the swing
with your feet that are as soft as shoots,
you kick an asoka tree
and it sheds flowers dripping with honey.
The asoka tree looks like Kama, the thief,
discovering the disguised Shiva
enjoying your beauty,
and shooting ceaselessly his flower arrows
from his sugarcane bow
because he felt this was a perfect time
to disturb the god.

The crescent moon throwing
his soft bright rays on the beautiful hillocks
by the palaces studded with lustrous rubies,
looks like, as if the moon, wishing
to possess the beauty of your divine face,
was doing tapas standing on a red fire.

You are the lovely parrot of beautiful Madurai.
Play on the golden swing and give us your grace.

O goddess, a lovely creeper,
You are as divine and beautiful
as your beloved Shiva,
whose body you share.
Play on the golden swing and give us your grace.
96. The Joyful Goddess Swings in Flourishing Madurai.

The happy heart of Shiva
who wears the Ganges in his Jata
sways and dances seeing
you swinging on the golden swing.

Seeing the loving look of your beloved Shiva,
your heart melts
and you send him sidelong glances
so he melts with your love.

As you swing
it looks as if you were on a golden swing
in the divine mind of Shiva
who rides on a red- eyed bull.

O goddess,
you are the queen of sweet Madurai
flourishing with blooming groves
of large jack trees whose pot-like fruits
are sweet inside
as they ripen on the roots,
and their sweet honey-like juice
oozes from them and flows like a waterfalls,
running through
all the seven underworlds.
Play on the golden swing and give us your grace.

O goddess, a lovely creeper,
You are as divine and beautiful
as your beloved Shiva,
whose body you share.
Play on the golden swing and give us your grace.
97. Women of Madurai Drying Their Hair.

O goddess,
as you swing on the divine golden swing
and your friends sing sweet nectar-like songs,
Shiva’s jata dances to your music.

The red-eyed king of snakes Adisesha
who carries the earth shakes his head
and all the earth, the underworld,
and creatures living and non-living
swing together.

In lovely Madurai,
when the women dry
their dark cloud-like hair, decorated with flowers,
the fragrant smoke from the pots they use
goes up to the sky
and covers the land of the sun
making the whole sky dark.

O goddess,
you are a lovely parrot of Madurai city.
Play on the golden swing and
give us your grace.

O goddess, a lovely creeper,
You are as divine and beautiful
as your beloved Shiva,
whose body you share.
Play on the golden swing
and give us your grace.
98. The Goddess and Shiva on the Battlefield.

When you came onto the battlefield
riding on a chariot
to fight with Shiva,
he grew angry,
but when he saw your beauty,
blazing passion arose in the heart
of that highest god
decorated with fragrant garlands
and he lost his determination to fight.

Because of his enormous passion,
nothing he brought to the fight
helped him.
His bow, magnificent as a golden hill,
melted and bent, useless.
Even though the bright moon on his Jata
gave so much light,
it was of no use.

His white bull Nandi,
with its shining bells
came to the battlefield
but could not help him.

He, with his dark cloud-like throat,
stood confused and unable to fight
on the battlefield where red blood flows.

O goddess,
you stood on the battlefield
with your arrow-like eyes
and dark eyebrows like bows
and you bent your bow
ready to fight with Shiva.
And the way you started to fight
made it seem you were already prepared to marry him.

O goddess, you are a lovely bride.
Play on the golden swing
and give us your grace.

O goddess, a lovely creeper,
You are as divine and beautiful
as your beloved Shiva,
whose body you share.
Play on the golden swing
and give us your grace.
99. The Monkeys of Madurai.

In the large groves
vigorous monkeys with deep-set eyes
are frightened when a long branch
of a jack tree breaks
and hits the large pot-like jackfruits covered with thorns,
and they swim in the juice that floods out.

The hunched-backed female monkeys
with dark sharp nails on their dark fingers
scatter and jump into the sky
frightened by the flood of juice that flows swiftly.

As the monkeys jump,
the branches they are on spring up
and tear the body of the lovely moon,
and the nectar from the moon descends as a waterfall.

It was like when Vishnu
adorned with a thulasi garland swarming with bees
grew into the sky tearing it
and making the heavenly Ganges flood
and descend as a white waterfall.
Such is the beauty of Madurai.

O goddess,
you are the queen of Madurai.
Play on the golden swing and give us your grace.

O goddess, a lovely creeper,
You are as divine and beautiful as your beloved Shiva,
whose body you share.
Play on the golden swing and give us your grace.
100. Saraswathi teasing the goddess.

O goddess,
The bees swarm around your soft hair,
feel sorry for your small waist thin as a creeper,
buzz and fly away.

When you swing on the golden swing,
Lakshmi, the goddess who stays on a lotus,
seeing a mark shaped like the crescent moon
made by Shiva when he embraced your body,
smiled and teased you, saying,
“Is this a mark of a valampuri conch?”
You felt shy and bent your head
that had never bowed to anyone.

The women perfume their hair,
with fragrant smoke
because they think the cold dew will harm their hair
and the pretty male bees,
happily swarming around their hair,
see the female bees trembling in the dew
and embrace them.

Such is the beauty of Madurai flourishing with paddy fields
where bees swarm.

O goddess, you are the queen of Madurai.
Play on the golden swing and give us your grace.

O goddess, a lovely creeper,
You are as divine and beautiful
as your beloved Shiva, whose body you share.
Play on the golden swing and give us your grace.
101. How Shiva Loves You

O goddess,
when the divine apsarasas see you
on the beautiful swing
studded with precious diamonds
they sing, praising you.

As Shiva, the god of gods,
enjoys your smile,
he becomes a sahora bird
that drinks the light
of the rays of the moon,

and he becomes one of the bees
that sing as sweetly as children
and swarm around
your thick beautiful hair

and he becomes the sweet parrot
that you raised and now stays
on your beautiful arms.

Shiva the highest god,
becomes a bird, a bee and a parrot
showing that
all creatures are only himself.

A white male elephant
bathes in the waterfall
where water flows swiftly,
mixed with fragrant red kumkum paste
from the women glistening like lighting
who bathe there,
and he turns red.
Worried that his gentle, naive mate
might be distressed by his red color,
he remains outside the golden palaces
that fill Kudal city
so his color will be only golden-gray
that she will not be scared.

O goddess, you are
the queen of lovely Kudal city,
Play on the golden swing
and give us your grace.

O goddess, a lovely creeper,
You are as divine and beautiful
as your beloved Shiva,
whose body you share.
Play on the golden swing
and give us your grace.
102. The Beauty of the Goddess

O goddess,
your two divine feet are decorated
with anklets filled with large diamond-studded bells
that tinkle softly and it seems
they are complaining.

Your mekalai waistband worries and says,
“Her waist will break, break.”

Your lovely waist is decorated
with fine silk woven with golden thread.

A shining golden ornament
circles your lovely belly
and makes it beautiful.

You carry a lovely green parrot
on your soft right hand.

Your divine breasts shine
decorated with a cloth,
studded with pearl ornaments.

Your auspicious thali hangs
beautifully on your neck.

Your moon-like face
gives grace to all
and your sweet smile shines brightly
like the rays of the moon.


Your fish-shaped eyes
have plunged into the
ocean of knowledge and joy.

Your long eyes touch your ears
decorated with emerald rings,
and it seems they would fight with them.

You bloom with beauty.
O Sundaravalli,
play on the golden swing
and give us your grace.

O goddess, a lovely creeper,
You are as divine and beautiful
as your beloved Shiva,
whose body you share.
Play on the golden swing
and give us your grace.

Subham.