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tiruvAcagam or Sacred Utterances
Hymn XI- tiru Tellenam
of the Tamil Poet, Saint and Sage MAnikka-vACagar
THE TAMBOUR SONG or REFUGE WITH CIVAN
Metre : Naladittaravu koccuk kalippA
Arunachalam.- The name of Rudra is scarcely ever applied to Civan in the south, yet it
would seem as if the idea of Civan had been mainly developed from the Vedic Rudra, the god of
Storms, the father of the Maruts, of whom so many stories are told which now are the accepted legends
of Civan. It may safely be said indeed that all the Vedic Rudra's acts and attributes are given in the modern
Caiva system to Civan. One of these is connected with the legend of Arunachalam, so often referred
to in Tamil Caiva poetry. According to the legend contained in the Linga Puranam, it is related that
Brahma and Vishnu disputed regarding their respective claims to superiority, and thence a terrific
fight arose. At this time to quiet their contention, Civan, or Mahadeva, appeared as luminous
lingam, a pillar of fire, 'equal to a hundred final mundane configurations, without beginning,
middle or end, incomparable, indescrible, undefinable.' Hari determined to examine the source
of this fiery appearance, and took the shape of a boar whose description is very wonderful.
Speeding downwards for a thousand years he beheld no base at all of the lingam.
Meanwhile Brahma took the form of a swan purely white and fiery eyed, with wings
on every side, rapid as thought, and went upwards to see the lingam'stop; but
both failed, and at length united in a hymn of praise to Civan as supreme; which so
pleased the god that he offered them a boon. They asked that they might both obtain
an eternal devotion for him, which was granted. 'Thenceforward the worship of the
lingamhas been inaugurated in the worlds. The pedestal is Mahadevi, and
the lingamitself is the visible Mahecvara.'
I. Civan as a Guru.
Mal's self went forth a boar; but failed His sacred Foot
To find, that we His form might know, a Sage He came,
And made me His! To Him, Who hath nor name, nor form,
A thousand sacred names SING WE, AND BEAT TELLENAM! (4)
II. I saw Him; thenceforward my soul worships Him unseen.
The Lord in Perun-turrai's ever-hallowed shrine
Who dwelt, my birth with all its germs destroyed; since when
I've none else; formless is He,- a form He wears,
The Lord of blest Arur SING WE, AND BEAT TELLENAM! (8)
To Hari and to Brahma and to other gods
Not manifested, Civan came in presence there,
Melted our hearts, received our service due; that all
The world may hear, and smile, SING WE, AND BEAT TELLENAM! (12)
From sinking in the vain abyss of worthless gods,-
From birth's illusions all,- the LIGHT SUPERNAL saved
And made me His. Soon as the new, pure Light, was given
How I in Bliss was lost: SING WE, AND BEAT TELLENAM! (16)
To wildered gods, to Ayan, and to Mal unknown,
Civan assumed a form, that men on earth should joy.
That germs of birth consumed might die, with gracious glance,
How to my soul He came, SING WE, AND BEAT TELLENAM! (20)
The Lord, Who shakes the serpent dancing round His waist,
With His Hill-partner, came to earth, made us His own;-
Say thus, soul-lighted, eyes like full bright lotus flowers,
Pouring forth floods of tears, and SINGING, BEAT TELLENAM! (24)
Civan unknown to Hari, Ayan, heavenly ones,
On earth drew even me; 'come, come,' said He, and made me His!
When imprint of His flow'ry Feet was on my head impressed,
How grace divine was mine, SING WE, AND BEAT TELLENAM! (28)
Like rustling palm-leaves is this frame! Its births and deaths,
With dread of good and ill, He swept away, and made me His;
He gave me grace, though I, all else forget, ne'er to forget
His Foot; Whose mighty dance SING WE, AND BEAT TELLENAM! (32)
As though some stone were made sweet fruit, the Lord in grace
Gave ev'n to me His golden Foot, and made me His.
O ye with slender waist, red lips, and winsome smiles!
'Lord of the Southern-Land,' call Him; AND BEAT TELLENAM! (36)
Even in a dream His jewelled Feet 'tis hard for gods to see,-
With Her like laurel tree with jewelled arms,-entering in grace,
In waking hour He took, and made me His! With loving souls
Your art-like eyes be filled with tears, AND BEAT TELLENAM! (40)
When He, Her spouse whose eyes shine bright, mixt with my soul,
And made me His, deeds and environments died out;
Upon this earth confusion died; all other mem'ries ceas'd;
How all my 'doings' died, SING WE, AND BEAT TELLENAM! (44)
Ascetic bands sore languish'd, longing for release.
Grace to the elephant he gave, made me His own;
The light suprene deep plunged me in devotion's sea!
How sweet His mercy is, SING WE, AND BEAT TELLENAM! (48)
Not those on earth, nor in th' abyss, nor heavenly ones,-
To none beside, so near He drew; He made me His!
To sing His advent, or Him, th' only Great, conceive
Is hard, His glory-song SING WE, AND BEAT TELLENAM! (52)
Mal, Ayan, all the gods, and Sciences divine,
His essence cannot pierce. This Being rare drew near to me;
In love He thrilled my soul! WIth this remembrance moved,
Let your bright eyes with tears o'erflow, AND BEAT TELLENAM! (56)
The spreading sea of grace superne that melts and swells,
From which 'tis sweet to draw and drink, we gather round.
The Feet of the bright southern Lord call we to mind,
His slaves, praise we His sacred grace, AND BEAT TELLENAM! (60)
Buddhan, Purandaran, the primal Ayan, Mal, praise Him,
The One-distraught, Who dwells in Perun-turrai's shrine, -the Sire
Who made births cease,-Lord of fair Tillai's porch, His gracious Feet
How in my soul they entered, SING, AND BEAT TELLENAM! (64)
I lay bewildere'd in the barren troublous sea
Of sects and systems wide discordant all;-
My care He banished, gave in grce His jewelled Feet;
Praise we His gracious acts, AND BEAT TELLENAM! (68)
Though Ether, Wind, Water, Earth should fail,
His constant Being fails not, knows no weariness!
In Him my body, soul, and thought, and mind were merged.
How all myself was lost, SING WE, AND BEAT TELLENAM! (72)
Prime Source of heavenly ones, the Germ of those beneath,
Earth's Balm; Mal's, Ayan's Treasure, open eyed
We saw, SING YE, His gracious feet, Who dwelt with us!
Call Him 'Lord of the Southern-Land,' AND BEAT TELLENAM! (76)
Sing His race; sing the heron's wing; Her beauty sing
Who wears bright gems; sing how He poison ate; each day
In Tillai's temple court He dances, where the waters play;
His tinkling anklets' music SING, AND BEAT TELLENAM! (80)
Hymn XII- tiru Caral
I. Objections to 'ashes,' the snake, and the mystery of His teaching.
THE SACRED CARAL
THE SPORT OF CIVAN'S GRACIOUS 'ENERGY.'
Obj.What He smears is 'white ash'; what He wears is an angry snake;
What He speaks with His lips divine is the mystic word, it seems; MY DEAR!
Ans.What He smears, what He says, what He wears are the means by which He,
As my Lord, rules me; and of all that hath life the Essence is He! CARALO! (4)
II. Objections to His mendicant gruise.
These are the words used by Dakshan to his daughter Umai in the Kaci Khandam,:-
His body he smears with ashes; a serpent he wears as adornment;
Poison from the sea he eats; a skull he carries
He rides a white bull that rages with anger. Such an one,
O damsel, is he fit to come to our sacrifice?'
The ashes, the serpent, the poison, the skull, and the bull are matters of praise in all Caiva poems.
Obj.'My Father, Embiran, to all indeed is Ruler Supreme;
Yet He wears a clouted kovanam;' and why should this be so, MY DEAR?
Ans.The Vedas four, the meaning with which all lore is fraught, as the great thread
Himself alone as kovanam He spreads; behold, CARALO! (8)
An ascetic mendicant wears a very scanty cloth, suspended by a string round the waist; but why should He, who often appears in such stately majesty, wear this unseemly pretence of decent clothing! The answer is ambiguous in the original, but seems to say: 'All mysteries are containedand hiddenin Him, and the Vedic revelation is the link between Him and the souls of men.' Strange symbolism!
Kaman, the 'Bodiless."- The story of the destruction of Kaman (or the god of Love) by Civan is very curious, and should be read by the Tamil scholar in the Kamba-Ramayanam. It seems that Civan resolved to enter on a course of very strict devotion (Yogam) with the intention of increasing his powers! The lesser divinities fearing this, instigated Kaman to endeavour to distract the mind of the devotee. Accordingly the archer sallied forth with his arrows composed of the nine most fragrant flowers, and having fitted one on to the string, took aim at Civan's sacred breast. But the god suddenly opened his third eye in the centre of his brow, from which he darted a wrathful flame that instantly reduced Kaman to ashes. At the intercession of all orders of creation Kaman was restored to life, but not to a visible substantial form, and he still pervades the world riding on the chariot of
the soft south-wind, working his mischief unseen. Ancient European mythology made him blind: he is here 'bodiless.' The legend may remind us of the story of Echo. The allusions to this myth in these lyrics are endless - and wearisome.
III. The objection that Civan is a homeless ascetic.
Obj.His shrine's the burning ground; fierce tiger skin His goodly garb;
All motherless and fatherless is He; all lonely dwelleth; see, MY DEAR!
Ans.Motherless is He and fatherless; dwelleth all aone; but though'tis thus,
If He be wroth, the worlds to powder crumble all; behold, CARALO! (12)
IV. The punitive indications of Bhairavan.
Obj.Ayan, the 'Bodiless,' with Anthagan, and Canthiran,
In divers ways He wounded sore, yet slew not; see, MY DEAR!
Ans.He Whose eyes are three, the Ruler great, if He shall punish,
Is't not a triumph to the heav'nly ones, O thou with flowing locks? CARALO! (16)
V. Dakshan's sacrifice.
Obj.Of Dakshan He smote off the head, off Eccan too; the hosts of gods
That flocking came He sent to nothingness; why this, MY DEAR?
Ans.Them who thronging came to nothingness He sent; 'twas grace!
In grace to Eccan too He gave one head the more; see CARALO! (20)
Obj.Him the flow'ry god and Mal knew not; in fiery form He came
From earth that stretch'd to lower worlds; wherefore was this, MY DEAR?
Ans.From earth to realms beneath had He not reach'd, they twain
The insolence of self-esteem had not cast off; behold, CARALO! (24)
VII. Parvathi lives in His side, Ganga on His crest.
Obj.Soon as the mountain maid as part of Him He placed, another dame
In watery form upon His braided locks poured down! Why this, MY DEAR?
Ans.Upon His braided locks in watery form had she not leaped, the world
To cavernous destruction rushing ruined must have lain! CARALO! (28)
VIII. The poison.
Obj.He ate halalam from the sounding sea, that day arisen
With mighty din; what means this wondrous act, MY DEAR?
Ans.Had He not eaten on that day the posion fierce, Ayan and Mal
And all the other gods of upper heaven had died; behold, CARALO! (32)
The Hala-hala Poison, the churning of the sea, the blackness of Civan's Throat, and the epithet 'Ambrosia.'-
Among other things in these lyrics that require explanation to the English reader, the subjects referred to in the above title are of the most frequent recurrence, and are apt to weary and even disgust.
It is most necessary however to understand once for all how essential they are to the South-Indian concept of Civan, as the great and beneficient Being Who is to be approached in prayer and gratefully adored. It will hardly be possible for the reader to do anything like justice to the Poet and religious Teacher, unless he deem it worth while to make the attempt to view these things candidly and dispassionately in the light in which they are viewed by the more devout and intelligent of the Caiva community.
The legend is simply this: the lesser deities were in sore affliction and came to Civan for help. He accordingly came forth from Kailaca, and using Mount Mandara as His churning-stick, with Vasu-deva as the rope which caused it to revolve, proceeded to churn the sea of milk. The result was the appearance of the Ambrosia or food of immortal gladness. But before this a stream of fiery poison black and deadly, the Hala-halapoison, rushed forth. This the deity himself drank up, and hence his throat is for ever black, a glorious memorial of his voluntary sufferings. The cup of ambrosia He gave to the grateful gods. Another version of this story may be read in Wilson's Vishnu Puranam. It is also to be found in various form in Tamil verse, but is essentially a Sanskrit and northern myth. The question occurs, was this regarded as literal fact, or was it put forth as a parable? It may be
said that three classes of Hindus are to be met with in the South: those to whom this and similar histories are wonderful stories and nothing more. They take no more interest in them than we should in the Arabian Nights' Entertainments.
A second class believe the legends devoutly, and regard them as capable of a mystic interpretation to which however they do not attach any surpassing importance, nor are they at all agreed as to its details. The third class think that under the veil of such legends ancient sages concealed mysterious teachings which they were unwilling to expose to the vulgar gaze. And they say that they alone possess the secret of the esoteric meaning of the myths, which they themselves regard as more or less antiquated and uncouth.
Whether the Upanishads and Sanskrit literature in general lend any countenance to this last idea is exceedingly doubtful. I incline to think that these mystic interpretations are only to be found in later, and chiefly in South-Indian, authors. It is very ceratin that the Caiva Siddhantaphilosophers have made it their especial business to give to all such legends a more elevating, and at the same time distinctly Caivite, interpretation. The south of India has from the earliest time been more open than the rest of the east to western influences and teaching, and I feel convinced that this is one of the results. Whether in any way the chasm between western and eastern ideas can be bridged over by any such explanations is of course a most interesting question.
It is quite permitted us to say that, the truth supposed to be concealed (rather too carefully!) under these symbols is that, the Supreme Being has condescended to come to earth to taste the bitter cup of suffering, retaining ever the glorious signs of that agony, while to men He presents the draught of immortal blessedness. However this may be, the epithets of 'Black-throated' and 'Ambrosia' as applied to Civan need not be, must not be, simply grotesque, but associated with the pathos of sufferring and the tenderness of unselfish love.
The idea of this is expressed in the first poem of the Purra-Nannurru, which is by Perundevanar, the translator of the Bharatam:-
'He wears th'adornment of a throat with poison black; that stain
The chaunters of the mystic scrolls are wont to praise.'
Of course there are many things which are said and sung by the devout of all systems in all lands that require to be explained, and it will generally be found that a mystic meaning is at the root of the uncouth phrase. This has been more or less lost sight of: the symbol is apt to supersede the real thought.
Obj.The Lord of Tillai's court, Who in the southern land delights, and dances there,
A mighty maniac, delighted in the female form, behold, MY DEAR!
Ans.had He not delighted in the female form, all in the wide world
Would have obtained heaven's bliss and earth had failed; behold, CARALO! (36)
Obj.He is the endless One; and me, a dog, who came to Him,
He plunged in tide of rapturous bliss unending; behold, MY DEAR!
Ans.The sacred Feet that plunged me in rapture's flowing tide
are treasure rich to gods in upper heaven that dwell; behold, CARALO! (40)
Obj.Lady! what's this ascetic rite? Sinews and bone He wears,
A bony circlet on His arm He loves to bear; behold, MY DEAR!
Ans.The way of the bony circlet hear! In the end of the age
When the twohad reached their fated hour, He put it on; hehold, CARALO! (44)
Obj.His garb is the skin of the forest tiger; He eats from a skull;
The wild is His city; to Him here who will service pay? MY DEAR!
Ans.Yet, hear thou! Ayan and sacred Mal, and the King
Of them of the heavenly land, are His humble and faithful ones; CARALO! (48)
XIII. His marriage.
Obj.The mountain monarch's golden Daughter bright of brow, the Lady blest,
He wedded with the fire as all the world doth know; what's that? say, MY DEAR!
Ans.Had He not wedded Her for all the world to know, the world entire
Had in confusion lost the import true of every lore; behold, CARALO! (52)
XIV. The dance.
Obj.The Lord of Tillai's court, by cool palms girt, whence honey drips,
There entering does a mystic dance perform; what's that, MY DEAR?
Ans.Had He not enter'd there, all the wide earth had quick become
Abode of demons armed with flesh-transfixing appears; CARALO! (56)
XV. The bull.
Obj.On stately elephant, swift stead, or car it pleased Him not to ride;
A bull He pleased to mount! Explain me this that I may know, MY DEAR!
Ans.The day He burnt with fire the triple mighty walls,
Mal divine a bull became to bear Him up; behold, CARALO! (60)
XVI. Civan a guru and an avenger too.
Obj.Well to the four, the fourfold mystic scrolls' deep sense,
That day, beneath the banyan tree, and virtue He reveal'd; behold, MY DEAR!
Ans.That day, beneath the banyan tree, though virtue He revealed,
He utterly destroyed the cities three; begold, CARALO! (64)
XVII. A mendicant.
Obj.In the sacred hall He dances, and wanders abroad to beg for alms;
This homeless mendicant shall we approach as god? How so, MY DEAR?
Ans.Hear thou the nature of this sacred mendicant! Him Vedas four know not;
But they've invok'd Him Lord and Ican, praising loud; behold, CARALO! (68)
XVIII. The disc.
Obj.When He smote down Jalandharan, the monster of the sea, that disc
To Naranan, the good, in grace He gave; how's that, MY DEAR?
Ans.Since Naranan, the good, dug out an eye, and laid at Aran's foot,
As flower, to him in grace the disc He gave; behold, CARALO! (72)
Obj.His garment is the spotted hide; His food the fiery poison dark.
Is this our Peruman's great skill? Expound that I may know, MY DEAR!
Ans.Our Peruman,- whatever He wore there,- whate'er He ate,-
The greatness of His Nature none can know; behold, CARALO! (76)
X. Virtue and true philosophy must be divinely taught.
Obj.To saints of goodness rare, beneath the Al, virtue and all the Four He taught;
Explain to me the grace He showed, seated with them, MY DEAR!
Ans.Had He not taught that day in grace, the worthy saints virtue and all the Four,
To noble souls this world's nature had ne'er been known! Behold, CARALO! (80)
Hymn XIII- tiru puvalli
I. Renunciation of other help.
THE SACRED LILY-FLOWERS
TAKING THE VICTORY FROM MAYA
His sacred Feet,- the twain,-soon as upon my head He placed,
Help of encircling friends,- the whole,- I utterly renounced;
In Tillai's court begirt with guarded streams, in mystic dance
He moves. That Raftsman's glory SING, AND PLUCK THE LILY-FLOWERS! (4)
II. Further experiences in Madyarjunam.
From father, mother, kindered, and all else that were to me
As bonds, He set me free; made me His own,- the Pandi-Lord!
In Idai-maruthu, His dwelling, rapture's honey flowed.
That sweet recess with song PRAISE WE, AND PLUCK THE LILY-FLOWERS! (8)
III. Converting grace.
Us too, than dogs more vile, of worth and note He made to be;
With greater than a mother's tenderness, our Peruman
Cut off 'illusive birth,' made us His own; our 'deeds' so strong
Laid prostrate humbled in the dust; PLUCK WE THE LILY-FLOWERS! (12)
IV. The Rebel-rout.
They praised not the king of Tillai's town, 'mid well-tilled fields,
Dakshan renown'd, and Arukkan, and Eccan, Moon, and Fire!
By Vira-bhadra with his demon host that fill'd the sky,
Sing how that day they suffer'd wounds; AND PLUCK THE LILY-FLOWERS! (16)
V. Perun-turrai and Tillai.
Civan, the Lord, who on His 'lock' the honied cassia wears,
Took fleshy rom, sought me, and entering came; before the world
That I may dance, and utter triumph songs, in dance
He moves! For Him, King of heaven's sons, PLUCK WE THE LILY-FLOWERS! (20)
VI. The Triads.
THREE fires He gave in gracious pity to the gods;
THREE heads to sever fire He sent from sacred brow, in grace;
THREE forms He wears, the Only-One, Incomprehensible;
THREE rebel towns He burnt; so PLUCK THE LILY-FLOWERS! (24)
VII. His gracious work.
He made my head to bow; my mouth to laud His cinctured Foot
He taught; gave me to join th'assemblage of His glorious saints;
And with the Queen, in Tillai's court adorned, dances our Peruman.
Sing we aloud His excellence, AND PLUCK THE LILY-FLOWERS! (28)
He taught the pathway to the golden Feet of His great saints,
Praise ye the Master's grace that made me His and gave the sign!
'Old deeds' that made us wholly bond-slaves, sorely troubled us,
Sing how He brought to naught; AND SO PLUCK WE THE LILY-FLOWERS! (32)
That I might praise Him many a day, and service due perform,
The Mighty-One His fragrant foot-flower on my frame impress'd;
A beauteous Light He shone, softened my heart, and made me His!
Sing how those jewell'd Feet are gold, AND PLUCK THE LILY-FLOWERS! (36)
That this my frame, mere mass of fierce desires, might pass away,
Great Perun-turrai's Lord placed on my head His glorious Foot.
KABALI,- Who, well pleased, black poison ate from out the sea, -
Sing we, amidst His warring foes, AND PLUCK THE LILY-FLOWERS! (40)
The BEING INFINITE, with every varied sweetness filled;
The LORD, Who took my soul in joyous pomp; His sounding Feet
All dwellers in the world shall praise! That is the way of good!
That way sing we His glory now, AND PLUCK THE LILY-FLOWERS! (44)
Heaven's Lord, and Mal, and Ayan, and the other gods He rules
As King, with attributes and signs that none may e'er attain;
The fiery poison from the vasty sea, He made His food
Ambrosia; and thus sing we, AND PLUCK THE LILY-FLOWERS! (48)
That day, beneath the banyan's shade, in grace the Vedas rare
He gave; the heavenly ones and mighty saints, each day, stood round,
And praised Him of the perfect Foot with cassia-flower adorn'd;
Its golden petal's dust sing we, AND PLUCK THE LILY-FLOWERS! (52)
Fair pictured in my soul His Feet's twin flowers in grace He gave;
The Lord, Who in Ekambam dwells, made here His chosen seat;
In Tillai's sacred court, girt by wide walls, is now His home;
Sing how in mystic dance He moves, AND PLUCK THE LILY-FLOWERS! (56)
XV. Dakshan's sacrifice.
Fire and the Sun, and Ravanan, and Andhagan, and Death,
With red-ey'd Hari, Ayan, Indra, and the Moon-god too,
And shameless Dakshan and the Eccan: these their honour lost!
Singing His swelling glory now, PLUCK WE THE LILY-FLOWERS! (60)
The strong bull's Rider; Champion brave of those of Civa-town;
In Madura, earth-carrier; in grace He ate the cakes;
Was smitten by the Pandiyan's staff, who claimed His service there.
Sing the song of the wound He bore, AND PLUCK THE LILY-FLOWERS! (64)
The ancient Mal, Ayan, the heavenly ones, the Danavar,
Knew not His sacred golden Foot, but joined in praise!
Entering within my breast, He made me His! His ornament
The gleaming serpent SING WE THUS, AND PLUCK THE LILY-FLOWERS! (68)
That with desire insatiate my soul might ever joy
At sound of tinkling anklets on His glorious sacred Foot,
In dance He moves,- the Lord of Perun-turrai's car-thronged streets.
This mighty rapture chaunting loud, PLUCK WE THE LILY-FLOWERS! (72)
The Perun-turrai-Lord, Who wears the hide of elephant;
Who took a madman's form;- Who in this world became a child;
Source of all heavenly bliss; great Uttara-koca-mangai's Prince;
As in our minds He entering cam, PLUCK WE THE LILY-FLOWERS! (76)
Hymn XIV- tiru unthiyar
Tamil scholars give different interpretations of the word Unthiyar. It seems to mean 'the players at a game resembling battledore and shuttlecock.' The word Unthiis, I imagine, used for the shuttlecock or ball which the players cause to 'fly aloft.'
In this lyric FIVE GREAT TRIUMPHS OF CIVAN are celebrated.
I. The first of these (I-4) is the destruction of the three towns, in Tami and Sanskrit Tripura, which is curiously enough made to be the name of a giant overthrown by Civan. I give an abstract of this story from Muir:-
'There were in the sky three cities of the Asuras, one of iron, another of silver, and a third of gold, which Indra could not demolish, with all his weapons. Then all the great gods, distressed, went to Rudra as their refuge, and said to him, after they were assembled: "Rudra, there shall be victims devoted to thee in all sacrifices. Bestower of honour, destroy the Daityas with their cities, and deliver the worlds." He, being thus addressed, said, "So be it;" and making Vishnu his arrow, Agni its barb, Yama, the son of Vivasvat, its feather, all the Vedas his bow, and the excellent Savitri (the Gayatri) his bowstring, and having appointed Brahma his charioteer, he in due time pierced through these cities with a three-jointed three-barbed arrow, of the colour of the sun, and in fierceness like the fire which burns up the world. These Asuras with their cities were there burnt up by Rudra.'
II. The second of these triumphs is the destruction of Dakshan's sacrifice. The story of this is told with many variations, and is evidently, as Professor Wilson pointed out long ago, of some great struggle between the followers of Vishnu and Civan: but it is neither possible to give any full interpretation of it, nor to reconcile the discrepancies in the various accounts of it. The account given below is that of the Kaci Khandam, which every student of Tamil should read.
In the Kaci Khandam, the account of Dakshan-his sacrifice, punishment, forgiveness, and penance in Benares - occupies chapters xxxviii-xc inclusive, and fills 148 stanzas. It sums up, with some inconsistencies, the whole story as given in the Sanskrit books. Dakshan (- the Intelligent) is represented sometimes as the father, and sometimes as the son of Aditi; and at other times the two are curiously said to have been reciprocally producers and produced. He is identified with Prajapati, the Creator. This almost seems like a statement that the whole universe is developed from intelligence, and might appear like a very symbolical acting forth of Hegel's system. Dakshan had many daughters married to the great saints, and especially Kacyapa(Kaciban) is said to have been the husband of twelve of them. One of his daughters was Durga, or Uma, who was subsequently born from the mountain after her
voluntary death, and so received the name of Parvathi. So Civan, the Supreme, was a son-in-law of Dakshan, the Intelligence from which the Universe was developed. It is rather entangled.
On one occasion all the gods and saints made a visit to the silver mountain Kailaca. They were there received with great kindness, by the mighty one upon whose head is the Kondral wreath, whose throat is black with the poison he swallowed to save the world, and from the centre of whose forehead a third eye shines resplendent. But the deity did not recognize his father-in-law, nor rise to receive him. This fills Dakshan with disgust, and he proceeds to indulge in the most extravagant abuse of Civan. It will be seen that everything with which he reproaches Civan is used by Manikka-Vacagar as praise. Of course a mystical meaning is given to each circumstance! The following is a summary of his language:-
'He has no mother, no father, and no relatives!
He is a maniac who dances with demons on the burning-ground.
He has an eye in his brow from which devouring fire blazes forth.
He wears the skin of a fierce tiger, foul and fetid.
Race, family, caste, quality hath he none.
He wears as an ornament the skin of a serpent that causes deadly ill.
He has discarded the anointing of himself with flowery essences,
And besmears himself with foul ashes of corpses in the burning-ground.
His food is poison from the billowy sea;
As conveyance he has an ancient bullock;
He wears the skin of a black elephant;
His ruddy hand grasps a skull bereft of flesh.
If you say he is a Brahman, he has changed all rules of ordered life;
If you say he is a merchant full of wealth, he goes about begging;
He has no skill in any mystic lore.
Nor is he a Brahmacari, for a large-eyed damsel is part of his body;
He bears an implement of war, and so is not a worthy ascetic;
He wanders amid the hot desert sands, and so is no seemly householder;
He cut off the head of the flower god,
So knows not the laws of excellent justice;
The lady with gleaming brows is half of his frame,
So he is not male, or female, or sexless one.
In the day when he destroys all worlds,
Having worn as a garland the skull of flowery Ayan,
And whirling the three-headed gleaming lance
Everywhere he kills, Is it possible to call him a saint?'
After thus relieving his mind by abuse to punish Civan's discourtesy, he resolves to perform a mighty sacrifice (magam), and so gain additional powers. Civan must be dethroned or slain. All the gods are invited, and there is a very magnificent assembly on Dakshan's mountain. Then comes forth a sage Dadici, who protests that no sacrifice can be of efficacy to which Civan has not been invited; such a place of worship must become 'a burning-ground, where goblins, demons, and dogs prowl around.' His protest is answered by additional abuse, and so the devotees depart, leaving the gods and goddessess to joint with Dakshan in the unhallowed offering. And now the great mischief maker in all such legends, whose name was Naradar, the sweet lutist of the holy mount, hurries to Kailaca to tell the goddess Umai of her father-in law's projected offering. She longs to be present, and implores her
spouse to permit it, but he rejects her request. Somehow or other she does however go, and with every token of filial piety meets her father and mother; and after the first greeting enquires why the great god, the lord of all, is not invited:
'It seems as though you had forgotten the greatest of guests.'
To this, abuse of Civan is the only answer.
She at once dies, puts off the body which owns Dakshan as father, and is reborn as the daughter of Himavat, whence, Civan afterwards takes her as Parvathi, 'the mountain maid.'
III. The third triumph is his bestowal of the milky sea on the son of Vasishtha. For this it is sufficient to refer to the Koyil Puranam. It is a rather confused and somewhat meaningless story as it has come down to us.
IV. The fourth triumph is given at great length in the Kaci Khandam, and is connected with the god's manifestation as Vira-bhadra. For this it is only necessary to refer to chapter xc of the above work.
In regard to the Kaci Khandam, indeed, which is mainly a translation from the Sanskrit Skanda Purana, it must be noted that there is in it much didactic poetry of a more elevated character, which characterized as a collection of legends which are uterly unprofitable, and have been worked into the devotional poetry of the Caivites to its very great detriment. The legends of Dakshan's sacrifice, of the appearance and ferocity of Vira-bhadra as a kind of incarnation of Civan, and of the unseemly disputes between Vishnu and Brahma as to the pre-eminence, occupy large portions of the book and are utterly useless in these days. We may give a summary of chapter xxxi, entitled 'The Appearance of Bhairava."
Civan, the Supreme, envelopes the world in elusive mystery, so that none know him while He is all in all. Hence, even among the gods, disputes arose as to who was the greatest. 'I am the supreme Essence,' cried Vishnu. 'I am the Self-existent,' declared Brahma from his lotus-seat. The sacred Veda, the unwritten record of mysterious truth, was called upon to decide. The divine essences whose incarnation, or manifestation rather, is the fourfold Veda spoke out: The first Vedic genius declared that since Civan alone performed the three operations of creation, preservation, and destruction, he was the Supreme and unoriginated God. The second declared that since Civan had performed arduous sacrifices and penances, so as to merit praise from the whole universe, he was the supreme. The third announced the same conclusion, but based it upon the fact that Civan fills all things with light, and is
adored by all the mystic sages as the giver of wisdom. The fourth Vedic mystery declared that since Civan revealed himself in various forms exciting emotions of joy and ecstatic devotion in the hearts of his worshippers, who beheld him crowned with cassia-wreaths, he was the greatest of the gods. [It is easy to see the arguments by which the supremacy of Civan is here upheld, and there are gleams of truth which Christianity emphasises and illustrates, but the legends connected with the statements are very wonderful, and certainly obscure and confuse, rather than illustrate, the truth concerning the supreme and absolute.] Vishnu and Brahma listen only to deride. 'Civan,' they cry, 'rides on a bull; he has a matted coil of hair; he dances in the burning-ground; he smears ashes; his throat is black with the swallowed poison; he wears as a girdle a hissing snake; he is the leader of a wild
demon-host, and Umai is a part of his form. This being so, how can he be the life of the soul of all ?' [These are the arguments that were urged by Jains and Buddhists, and the wonder is that they did not everywhere and finally prevail.]
Roused by these insults, Civan suddenly appears. His aspect is described in the usual terms, and he sends forth a manifestaion or incarnation of himself, or of his destroying energy, to which the name of Vairavan (Vira-bhadra) is given. This anomalous being is of terrific appearance, and endowed with all the Destroyer's terrible energy. He is followed by a host of malignant demons. Civan calls him his son, and bids him destroy all his enemies. Vairavan accordingly seizes the fifth head of Brahma between his thumb and forefinger, twists it off and throws it on the ground, performing a terrific dance which throws the whole universe and every order of sentient existence into a paroxysm of terror. This subdues the opposing deities, and Vishnu worships at Civan's feet, praising him in the most extravagant terms. The whole ends in a wild orgy, in which Civan and Brahma join. This is so often
referred to in Caivite poetry, and seems so incapable of any edifying interpretation, that we have thought it necessary to give the authentic summary from the Kaci Khandam once for all.
V. The last is the victory over the Ceylon king, Ravana. This legend is perpetually referred to in the south, and seems to have a popularity among the poets somewhat in excess of its apparent importance.
After his victory over Kuvera, Ravana went to Saravana, the birthplace of Karthikeya. Ascending the mountain, he sees another delightful wood, where his car Pushpaka stops, and will proceed no further. He then beholds a formidable dark tawny-coloured dwarf, called Nandicvara, a follower of Mahadeva, who desires him to halt, as that deity is sporting on the mountain, and has made it inaccessible to all creatures, the gods included. Ravana angrily demands who Cankara (Mahadeva) is, and laughs contemptuously at Nandicvara, who has the face of a monkey. Nandicvara, who was another body of Civan, being incensed at this contempt of his monkey form, declares that beings, possessing the same shape as himself, and of similar energy,-monkeys,- shall be produced to destroy Ravana's race (Tasmad mad-virya-sanyuktah madrupa-sama-tejasah utpatsyanti badhartham hi kulasya tava vanarah).
Nandicvara adds that he could easily kill Ravana now, but that he has been already slain by his own deeds. Ravana threatens that as his car has been stopped, he will pluck up the mountain by the roots, asking in virtue of what power Civan continually sports on that spot, and boasting that he must now be made to know his danger. Ravana then throws his arms under the mountain, which being lifted by him, shakes, and makes the hosts of Rudra tremble, and even Parvathi herself quake, and cling to her husband (Chachala Parvathi, chapi tada clishta Mahecvaram). Civan, however, presses down the mountain with his great toe, and along wit it crushes the arms of Ravana, who utters a loud cry, which shakes all creation. Ravana's counsellors then exhort him to propitiate Mahadeva, the blue-throated lord of Uma, who, on being lauded, will become gracious. Ravana accordingly praises Mahadeva
with hymns, and weeps for a thousand years. Mahadeva is then propitiated, lets go Ravana's arms, says his name shall be Ravana from the cry (rava) he had uttered, and sends him away, with the gift of a sword bestowed on him at his request.
[Metre: kavithal isai]
I. The three cities
Bent was the bow;- upsprang the tumult;
Perished three cities! Fly aloft, Unthi!
As they burnt straightway together,- Fly, &c. (3)
Two arrows we saw not- in Egambar's hand:
One arrow; three cities! Fly aloft, Until!
And one was too many !- Fly, &c. (6)
There was shaking of framework;- and as He moved His foot,
The axle was broken- say, Fly aloft, unthi!
Perished three cities! - Fly, &c. (9)
Those who won their escape- a triad of persons-He guarded.
To Him whose arrows fail not,- Fly aloft, Unthi!
Saying, He's the Tender-One's Spouse!- Fly, &c. (12)
II. Dakshan's sacrifice.
The frustrate offering thrown to the ground-the gods-
Sing how they fled!-Fly aloft, Unthi!
To Rudra the Lord,-Fly, &c. (15)
Aha! Mal divine got a portion that day of the offering;
And He died not!- Fly aloft, Unthi!
The Four-faced's father!- Fly, &c. (18)
The fierce one- Agni-to consume it collected
His hands of flame. He cut them away! - Fly aloft, Unthi!
Spoiled was the sacrifice! - Fly, &c. (21)
Dakshan, who raised the anger of Parvathi,
He saw and spared, what good? my dear!- Fly aloft, Unthi!
To the SPouse of the Beautiful, - Fly &c. (24)
Purandharan became a tender 'kuyil,'
And flew up a tree!- Fly away, Unthi!
King of the heavenly ones!- Fly, &c. (27)
The angry sacrificer's head-
Sing how it fell! - Fly aloft, Unthi!
That birth's chain may be snapt! - Fly, &c. (30)
The head of a sheep- to Vidhi- as his-
Sing how He joined!-Fly aloft, Unthi!
While you're with laughter convulsed!- Fly, &c. (33)
Sing how Bhagan, who cam to eat, 'scaped not,
He plucked out his eye!- Fly aloft, Unthi!
That germs of our birth may die!-Fly, &c. (36)
The Lady of the tongue lost a nose; Brahma a head;-
The Moon-god's face He smashed!-Fly aloft, Unthi!
That ancient troublous deed might die!- Fly, &c. (39)
The god of the Vedas four, the Lord of the sacrifice,
Fell; sing how he sought the way they went!- Fly aloft, Unthi!
And Purandharan, too, in the offering!-Fly, &c. (42)
The teeth in the mouth of the Sun-god
How He swept them broken away!-Fly aloft, Unthi!
The sacrifice came to confusion!-Fly, &c. (45)
Dakshan that day lost his head;
Tho' Dakshan's children stood round!-Fly aloft, Unthi!
Perished the sacrifice!- Fly, &c. (48)
Who that day to the son gave the sea of milk;
To the glorious Lord of the braided lock,-Fly aloft, Unthi!
To Kumaran's father,- Fly, &c. (51)
The Four-faced's head, who sits on the beauteous flower,
Was quickly nipt off!-Fly aloft, Unthi!
By His nail was nipt off!- Fly, &c. (54)
His heads who stayed the car, and raised the hill,-
Sing how twice five of them perished!-Fly aloft, Unthi!
And twenty perished!-Fly, &c. (57)
Hymn XV- tiru tonokkam
Metre : Naladittaravu koccuk kalippA
There is an amusing illustration drawn by a native artist, of this game as played in South India. Its name literally means 'aiming at the shoulder,' for it ends up with placing the hands of each opposing pair on the shoulders of the other. In some lines this is used as a symbol of the approach of the soul to Civan's feet.
I. The cleansing from delusion.
The demon-car allures: 'a stream flowing from flowery lake,'
Men think, and rush to draw, in ignorance and folly lost!
Thou hast such fond delusions far removed, O Dancer blest
In shining Tillai's court! As we Thy roseate Foot would reach,
PLAY WE TONOKKAM! (4)
The Lord of Tillai's court, whose glory never wanes;
Whom 'he who hurled the calf at fruit,' and Brahma could not see;
Lest I in endless births and deaths should sink, made me His own;
Praising His excellence, ye maids with thickly clusterig locks,
PLAY WE TONOKKAM! (8)
As in the worship paid true ministrations HE discerned:-
The glorious slippered-foot, the chalice-mouth, the flesh for food;-
Such gifts acceptance gained! He knew the woodman's pure desire;
And as the saint stood there, with joyous mind, fulfilled of grace,
PLAY WE TONOKKAM! (12)
So that my stony heart was melted, He all tenderly
Compassionate stood by, and came within my soul in grace,
Led me in way of good; and then, as all the country knows,
He here drew nigh, spake with me face to face; and thus
PLAY WE TONOKKAM! (16)
V. God manifold, yet One.
Earth, water, fire, air, ether vast, the wandering moon, the sun,
And man, - to sense revealed: EIGHT WAYS He joined Himself to me;
Throughout seven worlds, in regions ten, He moves: yet One alone
Is He! As manifold He comes and 'bides with us; and so
PLAY WE TONOKKAM! (20)
VI. Various sectaries.
Buddhists, and others,- in their wisdom fools,- the men of many sects,
All with their systems worthless and outworn, bewildered stand;-
My every power He fills with bliss superne, makes all life's works
Devotion true,-through His compassion, FATHER seen! And thus
PLAY WE TONOKKAM! (24)
VII. Candecuvara Nayanar.
The Neophyte from evil free, cut off the feet of him
Who rashly overturned the work in Civan's honour done:
A Brahman he in caste, His father too! Through Ican's grace,
While gods adored, his crime was utterly consumed; and thus
PLAY WE TONOKKAM! (28)
The Legend of Candecuvara Nayanar: The Young Brahman Cowherd.-
In a town in the Cora country, called Ceynalur, a Brahman boy was born, whose name was Vicara-carumar, who from his earliest days instinctively understood the whole Caiva creed; so that when the sages came to instruct him he met them with the recitation of the essential doctrines of the system, which he had grasped by a divine intuition. It may be permitted to repeat the articles of his creed, as these are summed up in the legend: 'All souls are from everlasting fast bound in the chains of impurity. To destroy that impurity, and to give to these souls infinite felicity and eternal release, He who is eternal is revealed. He performs the five Acts of creation, preservation, destruction, "envelopment," and gracious deliverance. He is the one Lord (Pathi), Who possesses the eight attributes of absolute independence, purity of form, spontaneous understanding, absolute knowledge, natural
freedom from all bonds, infinite grace, endless might, and boundless blessedness. His name is Civan, the Great Lord. He performs his gracious acts by putting forth the energy (Catti), Who, as a person, is one with Him, and is therefore the divine Mother of all, as He is the divine Father, and must with Him be loved and worshipped. Nor can we say "we will do this in some future birth," for we are born here as human beings for this and no other purpose; and the human form in the infinite series of transmigration is hard to attain unto. Nor should we defer till to-morrow our dedication of ourselves, since we know not the day of our death. Therefore must we avail ourselves of Civan's gift of grace, studying the sacred Agamas and other works, without doubting, or commingling of perverse interpretation. This is the WAY of life!
One day, together with his school companions, he went down to the bank of the river where the village cows were grazing in charge of a man of the herdsman caste. This rustic, having no sense of right and wrong, beat one of the cows with a stick; but Vicara-carumar was vehemently stirred by this outrage, and rushing up to him in great wrath, restrained him from striking the sacred animal: 'Know you not,' said he, 'that cows have come down from the world of Civan to this earth? In their members the gods, the sages, and the sacred purifying stream dwell. The five products of these sacred creatures are the sacred unguents of Civan. And the ashes which are the adornment of the God and his devotees are made from their refuse!' Dwelling upon this idea he conceived a desire to devote himself entirely to the task of herding and caring for the troop of sacred cows; and accordingly sent away the
rustic, who reverentially departed. And thus our hero became a self-dedicated Brahman. As such he easily obtains permission of all the Brahmans of the town to take charge of their cows, and daily along the bank of the beautiful river Manni, he leads forth his troop in the green pastures, allowing them peacefully to graze their fill, and supplying them with drinking water. When the fierce heat of the sun oppresses, he leads them into the shady groves, and guards them well, meanwhile gathering the firewood necessary for his household worship; and then at evening, leaving each cow at its owner's door, he goes to his home.
While things went on in this manner, the cows increased daily in beauty, waxed fat, were joyous, and by day and night poured forth abundant streams of milk for their owners. The Brahmans found that they had more milk than formerly for their offerings and were glad. The cows, tended with such solicitude, were brisk and cheerful, and though separated for awhile from their calves that remained tied up in the houses, grieved not a whit, but with joy awaited the coming of their young herdsman, following him gladly, crowding around him like tender mothers, and lowing joyfully at the sound of his voice. The youthful Brahman, seeing the exuberance of their milk, reflected that this was a fitting unction for the head of the God; and conceiving a great desire so to employ it, constructed a lingamof earth on a little mound beneath the sacred Atti tree on the bank of the river, and built
around it a miniature temple with tower and walls. He then plucked suitable flowers, and with them adorning the image, procured some new vessels of clay, and took from each of the cows a little milk, with which he performed the unction prescribed for the divine emblem (the Lingam); and Civan, the Supreme, looked down and received with pleasure the boy-shepherd's guideless worship. All essentials of the sacred service he supplied by the force of his imagination. Though this was done daily, the supply of milk in the Brahman's dairy was no whit diminished.
For a long time this continued, until some malicious person saw what was going on, and told it to the Brahmans in the village, who convened an assembly before which they summoned the boy's father, and told him that his son Vicara-caramar was wasting the milk of the Brahmans' sacred cows by pouring it idly on the earth in sport. The father feared greatly when he heard the accusation, but protested his entire ignorance of the waste and democration, and asking pardon, engaged to put a stop to his son's eccentric practices. Accordingly the next day he went forth to watch the boy's proceedings, and hid himself in a thicket on the bank of the river. He soon saw his little son ceremonionaly bathe in the river, and then proceed to his minutine of Civa-worship, and then pouring a stream of anointing milk over the earthern lingam. Thus convinced of the truth of the accusation, he was
greatly incensed, and rushing forth from his concealment inflicted severe blows upon the boy, and used many reproachful words. But the young devotee's mind was so absorbed in the worship,- so full of the rupture of mystic devotion,- that he neither perceived his father's presence, nor heard his words, nor felt his blows. Still more incensed by the boy's insensibility, the infatuated father raised his foot, broke the vessels of consecrated milk, and destroyed the whole apparatus of worship! This was too much for the young enthusuast to bear; the god of his adoration was insulted, and the sacred worship defiled. He regarded not the fact that it was his father, a Brahman and a guru, who was the offender; but only saw the heinous sin and insult to Civan. So with the staff in his hands he aimed a blow at the offender's feet, as if to cut them off; and, behold, the shepherd's staff became in
his hands the Sacred Axe of Civan, and the father fell maimed and dying to the ground. The enthusiastic boy then went on with his worship as if nothing had occured, but the Lord Civan, with Umai, the goddess, riding on the sacred White Bull, immediately appeared hovering in the air. The young devotee prostrated himself before the holy vision in an ecstasy of joy; when the Supreme One took him up in his divine arms, saying, 'For my sake thou hast smiten down the father that begat thee. Henceforth I alone am thy father,' and embracing him stroked his body with His sacred hand, and kissed him on the brow. The form of the child thus touched by the divine hand shone forth with ineffable lustre, and the God further addressed him thus: "Thou shalt become the chief among my servants, and to thee shall be given all the offerings of food and flowers that my worshippers on
Kailaca's mountain present.' His name there upon became Candecuvarar ('the impetuous Lord'). The manifested God finally took the mystic cassia-wreath from His Own head, and with it crowned the youthful saint. And so he ascended to heaven with Civan, and was exalted to that divine rank. The father too, who had been guilty in his ignorance of such impiety to the God, and had been punished by the hand of his own son, was forgiven, restored, and with the whole family passed into Civan's abode of bliss.PLAY WE TONOKKAM! (32)
Our pride is gone, forgotten reason's laws; ye maidens fair!
We think but of the cinctured foot of Him, Lord of the south,
Whom heaven adores! The rapturous Dancer's grace if we obtain,
His slaves,- even so in rapture lost, we then shall dance; and thus
The Three in story famed, of giant race, escaped the fire,
And guardians stand before my 'Brow-eyed' Father's door; since when,
Indras beyond compute, and Brahmas (who can count the sum?)
Behold! And many Mals, too, on this earth have died; and thus
PLAY WE TONOKKAM! (36)
X. Vishnu's devotion and reward
From out a thousand lotus flowers one flower was wanting still;-
His eye Mal straight dug out, and placed on Aran's foot, our Lord!
To Him then Cankaran forthwith the mighty discus gave,-
A gracious recompense. Thus everywhere extolling Him,
PLAY WE TONOKKAM! (40)
XI. The Bhairava.
Kaman his body lost, Kalan his life, the fiery Sun his teeth,
The Goddess of the tongue her nose, Brahma a head, Agni his hand,
The Moon his crescent, Dakshan, Eccan too, a head they lost.
These holy deeds in righteous wrath He wrought; and thus
PLAY WE TONOKKAM! (44)
Brahma and Hari through their foolishness said each:
'The Deity! the Deity supreme am I;'
To quell their swelling pride, Aran in form of lustrous fire,
In grandeur measureless stood forth, the Infinite; and thus
PLAY WE TONOKKAM! (48)
XIII. A wasted life.
Poor servile worshipper,- how many, many a time
I've watered barren soil,- not worshipping the Lord Supreme!
The Eternal-First, th' imperishable flawless Gem, to me
Came down; and bar of my 'embodiment' destroyed; and thus
PLAY WE TONOKKAM! (52)
The inner Light, past speech, the Worthiest entered within
My soul, and brought me through lust's mighty sea that knows no shore,
And then the craving senses' sateless vultures routed fled!
Sing how a royal path in glory was made plain; and thus
PLAY WE TONOKKAM! (56)
Hymn XVI- tirup ponnusal
THE SACRED GOLDEN SWING
PURIFICATION BY GRACE
Let precious coral be the posts, strung pearls the ropes,
Pure gold the beauteous seats,- Mount we, and sweetly sing
The flow'ry Foot Narayanan knew not, to me
His currish slave in Uttara-koca-mangai given
As home, Ambrosial grace, that never palls, His feet impart.
Ye guileless, bright-eyed ones, MOVE WE THE GOLDEN SWING! (6)
Three gleaming eyes His face displays; His flow'ry feet
The gods that dwell in heaven and grow not old, see not;
In Uttara-koca-mangai seen, in flesh abides
The King, while honied sweetness of ambrosia flows.
Sing Idai-maruthu, His home! O ye like peafowl rare,
Whose walk hath swanlike grace, MOVE WE THE GOLDEN SWING! (12)
He Who no end and no beginning knows,- while saints
A multitude, and countless heavenly ones, stood round,-
His sacred ashes gave in grace; and mercy's tide
Flow'd there: sing Uttara-koca-mangai's gemlike home
Of palaces, with terrace high, where lightnings play!
Maids, bright with gems and gold, MOVE WE THE GOLDEN SWING! (18)
His throat the poison holds; Lord of the heavenly ones;
To Uttara-koca-mangai's gemlike cloud-capped heights
He came, with Her whose words are music; fill'd the mind
Of us His slaves, ambrosial sweetness gave and grace
That cuts off 'death and birth'! His holy praises sing!
Ye who wear store of bracelets bright, MOVE WE THE GOLDEN SWING! (24)
The god, Whose form the Two might not discriminate;
In tender mercy, that the god's assembled band
Might not know shame, but 'scape, made them His own, and poison ate
As food: He, Uttara-koca-mangai's Dancer, crowned
With crescent of the moon. Praise we His worth! O ye
With jewell'd bosoms fair, AND MOVE THE GOLDEN SWING! (30)
The Lady's Half is He; His braided lock with flow'ry cassia dight
In Utt'ra-koca-mangai 'midst his saints He dwells.
He freed my soul from sin; made me, a cur, His own;
From 'birth's old ill' His glorious coming saves.
His pendant ear-rings' swing sing we with melting love, O ye
With flower-crown'd bosoms fair, AND MOVE THE GOLDEN SWING! (36)
He dwells in beauty, Lord of the great mystic word,
Of Utt'ra-koca-mangai shrine, past thought; His praise
Who sing, and worship, and bow down, He frees from bonds of sin.
As gem-bright peafowl moving beauteous, on a swan,
My Father came, and made me His! His beauty sing,
Ye with gold adorned, AND MOVE THE GOLDEN SWING! (42)
From glorious mountain height to earth He came,
Ate plenteous food, arose upon the lower seas,
In magic form upon a charger rode, and made us His;
In sacred Uttara-koca-mangai where His virtue shines,
With loud acclaim Him whom Mal could not reach we praise,
And while our full hearts melt, MOVE WE THE GOLDEN SWING! (48)
In sacred Uttara-koca-mangai's groves of cocoa-palm
He came, in form unique a gracious light shone forth;
Our 'birth' He caused to cease, made such as us His own;
The Queen His Partner, and Himself, received our homage due;
We sing His worth Whose crest breathes cassia's sweet perfume;
Ye maids, whose jewell'd bosoms heave, MOVE WE THE GOLDEN SWING! (54)
Hymn XVII- Annai pathu
Metre: kavi viruttam
'His word is the Vedam; ashes white He wears;
Rose-red is His form; His drum is the Natham;
MOTHER!' SAITH SHE.
'His drum is the Natham; to the Four-faced,
And to Mal too, this Lord is the Lord;
MOTHER!' SAITH SHE. (4)
'His eye gleams black; He is compassion's sea;
Within He dwells, He melts the soul,
MOTHER!' SAITH SHE.
'Within He dwells, and to the melting soul
Tears of undying bliss gives He,
MOTHER!' SAITH SHE. (8)
'Th' eternal Bridegroom, He in minds devout
Abides with perfect beauty crown'd;
MOTHER!' SAITH SHE.
'In minds devout abides, the southern Lord,
Perun-turrai's Sire; the Blissful;
MOTHER!' SAITH SHE. (12)
'A dancing snake His jewel, tiger-skin His robe.
A form with ashes smeared He wears;
MOTHER!' SAITH SHE.
'The form He wears whence'er I see and gaze,
My soul within me faints, why this?
MOTHER!' SAITH SHE. (16)
'Long are His outstretch'd arms; loose flow His locks;
Lord of the goodly Pandiyan land;
MOTHER!' SAITH SHE.
'Lord of the goodly Pandi land, He rules
My wandering thoughts, and shows His love;
MOTHER!' SAITH SHE. (20)
'Whose glory none may know in Uttara-mangai 'bides;
He in my heart and soul abides;
MOTHER!' SAITH SHE.
'He in my heart abides, Whom Mal and Ayan
Could not see! How wondorous strange!
MOTHER!' SAITH SHE. (24)
'White is His steed, and white His shaven head;
He wears the sleeper's mystic dress.
MOTHER!' SAITH SHE.
'Wearing the sleeper's dress, a prancing steed
He rides, and steals away my soul,
MOTHER!' SAITH SHE. (28)
'He wears the twining-wreath; the sandal paste
He smears; He rules and makes us His,
MOTHER!' SAITH SHE.
'He makes us His; in lowly servants' hands,
Hark, how the lordly servants' hands,
MOTHER!' SAITH SHE. (32)
'The fair One's Half, ascetic's garb He wears,
Enters our homes an alms to ask,
MOTHER!' SAITH SHE.
'He ent'ring alms to ask, my inmost soul
In sorrow sinks; wherefore is this?
MOTHER!' SAITH SHE. (36)
'Cassia, the moon, the vilvaflower, and wild
Phrenzies crowd thick His head,
MOTHER!' SAITH SHE.
'The vilvaflower that crowns His sacred brow
Wild phrenzy bringeth me to-day,
MOTHER!' SAITH SHE. (40)
Hymn XVIII- Kuyil pathu
The Kuyilis often referred to in these poems. Our Sage, like St. Francis of Assisi, was exceedingly fond of birds, and indeed was filled with love for the whole creation. In this poem he calls upon the Kuyil to join him in the praises of his Master, recounting the chief themes on which he was wont to dilate. The epithets applied to the Kuyil are skilfully varied; it is pictured to us as a diminutive bird haunting the leafy groves; of a dark azure hue with a golden tint; as uttering a sweet call of a peculiarly tender kind; as possessed of a beauty gladdening the eye; and as imparting pleasure to all that hear its inviting notes. Mystically the Kuyil is the human soul.
I. Civan's infinity.
The Kuyil (or Kokila: Eudynamys indicus) is found in all parts of the peninsula of India, and is a great favourite with the people. Its somewhat monotonous cry is more appreciated by the natives of the East than by those of the West, yet it is not unpleasing, - in moderation. Its note is sweet and plaintive. It must not be confounded with the English cuckoo, though it is of the same species, and not unlike it in some particulars.
O KUYIL, sweet of song, if thou dost seek our Peruman to know;
If thou would'st ask of His twain feet; they're planted'neath the sevenfold gulf.
Would'st hear of His bright jewell'd crown? 'Tis glory old that passes speech.
Nor origin, nor qualities hath He, nor end; CALL HIM TO COME! (4)
II. His grace to Mandodari.
Him the fair sevenfold world extols,- since every being's form is His;-
In southern sea-girt Lanka He, the Lord Who Perun-turrai owns,
Vandothari the beautiful, made glad with His abounding grace!
KUYIL, the southern Pandi Chief, CALL HITHER with thy voice divine! (8)
III. In His capital.
KUYIL with form of azure hue! In Uttara-koca-mangai's shrine,
Where bright the sacred temple stands, whose storied tenements rise decked with gems,
One with the graceful Lady's flower-like form in virtue sweetly rich He dwells,-
The loving Lord by whom the world grows bright,- go thou, and HITHER CALL! (12)
IV. His voluntary humiliation.
Thou KUYIL small, that dost frequent the grove with sweet fruit rich, hear this!
The Gracious-One Who left the heavens, enter'd this earth, made men His own;
The Only-One, despised the flesh, entered my soul, and fills my thought;-
The Bridegroom of the Fawn-eyed-one that gently rules,- GO HITHER CALL! (16)
V. His gracious appearing.
KUYIL, whose beauty is delight! Like sun with circling radiant beams,
Through upper heaven come down, He frees His saints from thrall of low desire;
The First, the Midst, the End is He;- the Three knew not His sacred form;-
His feet are bright with crimson glow;-the mighty Warrior CALL TO COME! (20)
VI. The manifestation in Madura.
KUYIL, glad pleasure give I Thee! the sevenfold worlds He rules;-
The Loving-One ambrosia gives;- the Blissful-God came down from heaven,
And on the goodly charger rode like jewel set in ruddy gold.
KUYIL, 'mid branches twittering, Gokari's Lord GO, CALL TO COME! (24)
VII. The monarch of the Tamil lands.
KUYIL, I'll joy in thee, and be thy comrade, ever by the side;-
Him of the beauteous form Who shines, more choice than gold, in glory bright;
The King, Who on the horse in splendour rode, in Perun-turrai dwells!-
The Southern-One, the Ceran, Coran, great Buyangan, CALL TO COME! (28)
O tender KUYIL, come thou here! Mal sought Him, and the 'Four-faced'-one,
Nor found, then ceased, and pondering stood. Cleaving the heaven, in shining fire,
Beyond all worlds He rose that day, His body like the light rayed out.
On prancing steed a groom He rode; CALL Him with streaming lock TO COME! (32)
IX. The gracious initiation.
KUYIL, thy dark form gleams with gold; thou in the fragrant grove dost joy!
The Blest, Whose glorious form is bright as splendour of the lotus red,
On earth, showed us His feet; set free from every bond, and made me His.
The beauteous cinctured golden Form,th' Ambrosial-One, GO CALL TO COME! (36)
X. His manifestation as a guru.
Hear this, thou KUYIL, calling 'midst the grove whose shady boughs enlace!
A Brahman here He came, revealed His beauteous rosy feet to me.
'This man is one of us,' He said, and here in grace made me His own!
The LORD OF GODS, Whose sacred form is as red fire, GO BID TO COME!
Hymn XIX- tiruththa saangam
I. The Name of the King.
THE SACRED TEN SIGNS: THE ROYAL INSIGNIA
'Parrot fair and tender! soothly tell the glorious Name
Of Perun-turrai's King!'- 'Lord of Arur,- the ruddy Prince,-
The White-flower-god,-and he of the milky sea praised Him thus:
Name we our Peruman, the PRINCE OF GODS!' (4)
II. King Civan's Land.
'O Emerald, whose blameless speech is sweet! The LAND declare
Owned by the Lord of all the sevenfold world, Whose own we are.'
'He rules His loving ones in love, and gives unfailing grace,
His LAND is aye the southern PANDI realm! (8)
III. The city of the King.
'O babbling bird, dweller in flowery grove with fragrance filled!
What is the TOWN where dwells our Lord, the partner of the Queen?'
'The CITY Uttara-koca-mangai named by men devout
And true, as Civa-town on earth is prais'd! (12)
IV. The King's River
'Red-mouth'd, green-wing'd bright bird! Tell us the RIVER of the Sire
Who makes His home within our heart, great Perun-turrai's King!'
'O maid, the Master's RIVER is the rapture sent from heaven,
Come down, the foulness of our mind to cleanse.' (16)
V. The Mountain of the King.
'O parrot purple-mouth'd! Tell me the ever-during MOUNT'
Of Perun-turrai's King, that hides its head in clouds.' -'O maid,
Behold and study well,-His MOUNT is bliss of sweet "RELEASE";
Where the soul's darkness flees, and light shines forth.' (20)
VI. The King's Courser.
'Come hither, parrot mine! and tell, before thou sek'st thy cage,
The Lord of matchless glory, what rides He?'-'He joyous rides
Upon the COURSES of the sky;- with honied thought the maids
Divine attending chaunt melodious praise!' (24)
VII. The King's Weapon.
'Parrot whose words are honey from the bough! What WEAPON pray
O'ercomes the foes of Perun-turrai's blameless King?'
'The triple WEAPON that He wields, transfixes threefold sin,
Causing the souls from malice free to melt.' (28)
VIII. The King's Drum.
'Parrot, whose words as milk are sweet, tell me the martial DRUM
That awful sounds before our Perun-turrai's King!'-' In love
It bids the foe of "birth" confounded flee,- and makes arise
All bliss of heaven: the joyous NATHA-DRUM.' (32)
IX.The King's Garland.
'Parrot, whose word is music, say what is the GARLAND worn
By Perun-turrai's LORD, Who dwells in hearts where love wells up?'-
'Who owns me, worthless cur, and daily wards off "evil deeds,"-
He wears as WREATH the Tali-arrugu.' (36)
X. The King's Banner.
'Green parrot of the grove declare, what BANNER glorious waves
Above the King of Perun-turrai's waters pure?'- 'Aloft
The stainless BANNER of the bull resplendent gleams
In beauty manifest, while foes flee far.' (40)
Hymn XX- tirupalli yezuchi
MORNING HYMN IN THE TEMPLE
THE ROUSING FROM THE SACRED COUCH
'THE FREEDOM OF THE UPLIFTED SOUL.'
Hail! Being, Source to me of all life's joys! 'Tis dawn;
upon Thy flower-like feet twin wreaths of blooms we lay,
And worship, 'neath the beauteous smile of grace benign
that from Thy sacred face beams on us. Civa-Lord,
Who dwell'st in Perun-turrai girt with cool rice-fields,
where 'mid the fertile soil th' expanding lotus blooms!
Thou on Whose lifted banner is the Bull! Master!
Our mighty Lord! FROM OFF THY COUCH IN GRACE ARISE! (4)
The image of the god is laid upon a couch each evening, and taken up in the morning. This reveilleis the first business of the day. This was composed in Perun-turrai, 'the great harbour,' where the poet went to buy horses for his King, and was made a disciple. The bull is Civan's emblem. He rides on a white bull. It is also on his banner. The bull-headed Nandi, whose image is everywhere in South India, is his Lord High Chamberlain.
The sun has neared the eastern bound; darkness departs;
dawn broadens out; and, like that sun, the tenderness
Of Thy blest face's flower uprising shines; and so,
while bourgeons forth the fragrant flower of Thine eyes' beam,
Round the King's dwelling fair hum myriad swarms of bees.
See, Civa-Lord, in Perun-turrai's hallowed shrine Who dwell'st!
Mountain of bliss, treasures of grace Who com'st to yield!
O surging Sea! FROM OFF THY COUCH IN GRACE ARISE! (8)
The tender Kuyil's note is heard; the cocks have crowed;
the little birds sing out; sound loud the tuneful shells;
Starlights have paled; day's lights upon the eastern hill
are mustering. In favouring love O show to us
Thy twin feet, anklet-decked, divinely bright;-
Civa-Lord, in Perun-turrai's hallowed shrine Who dwell'st!
Thee all find hard to know; easy to us Thine own!
Our mighty Lord! FROM OFF THY COUCH IN GRACE ARISE! (12)
There stand the players on the sweet-voiced lute and lyre;
there those that utter praises with the Vedic chaunt;
There those whose hands bear wreaths of flowers entwined;
there those that bend, that weep, in ecstasy that faint;
There those that clasp above their heads adoring hands;-
Civa-Lord, in Perun-turrai's hallowed shrine Who dwell'st!
Me too make Thou Thine own, on me sweet grace bestow!
Our mighty Lord! FROM OFF THY COUCH IN GRACE ARISE! (16)
'Thou dwell'st in all the elements,' 'tis said; and yet
'Thou goest not, nor com'st;' the sages thus have sung
Their rhythmic songs. Though neither have we heard nor learnt
of those that Thee by seeing of the eye have known.
Thou King of Perun-turrai, girt with cool rice-fields,
to ponder Thee is hard to human thought. To us
In presence come! Cut off our ills! In mercy make us Thine!
Our mighty Lord! FROM OFF THY COUCH IN GRACE ARISE! (20)
Thy saints, who sinless in Thy home abide and know,
have come, their bonds cast off; and now, a mighty host,
With beauteous garlands decked, and clothed in human shape,
they all adore Thee, Bridegroom of the Goddess dread!
Civa-Lord, Who dwell'st in Perun-turrai's hallow'd shrine,
girt with cool rice-fields, where th' empurpled lotus blooms!
Cut off this 'birth', make us Thine own, bestow Thy grace!
Our mighty Lord! FROM OFF THY COUCH IN GRACE ARISE! (24)
'The flavour of the fruit is that;' 'ambrosia that;'
'that's hard;' 'this easy:' thus Immortals too know not!
'This is His sacred form; this is Himself:' that we
may say and know, make us Thine own; in grace arise!
In Uttara-koca-mangai's' sweet perfumed groves
Thou dwell'st! O King of Perun-turrai's hallowed shrine!
What service Thou demandest, Lo! we willing pay.
Our mighty Lord! FROM OFF THY COUCH IN GRACE ARISE! (28)
Before all being First, the Midst, the Last art Thou.
The Three know not Thy nature: how should others know?
Thou, with Thy tender Spouse, Thy servants' lowly huts
in grace didst visit, entering each, Supernal One!
Like ruddy fire Thou once didst show Thy sacred form;
didst show me Perun-turrai's temple, where Thou dwell'st;
As Anthanan didst Thyself, and make me Thine.
Ambrosia rare! FROM OFF THY COUCH IN GRACE ARISE! (32)
The gods in heaven who dwell may not approach Thy seatt!
O Being worthiest! Yet us who at Thy foot.
Pay homage, Thou to earth descending, madest blest.
Dweller in fertile Perun-turrai's shrine! our eyes
Beheld Thee; honied sweetness made our being glad.
Ambrosia of the sea! Sweetest of sweets! Thou art
Within Thy longing servants' thought! -Soul of this world!-
Our mighty Lord! FROM OFF THY COUCH IN GRACE ARISE! (36)
Said sacred Mal and flower-born Ayan as they gazed
on Civan's form, 'This day in vain we spend and cry.
'Tis time we went to earth and there were born. 'Tis earth,
'tis earth alone where Civan's grace is wont to save.'
Thou King, Who dwell'st in Perun-turrai's hallow'd shrine,
mighty Thou wert to enter earth, and make us Thine!
Thou and the Grace, that flower-like blooms from forth Thy form,
Ambrosia rare! FROM OFF THY COUCH IN GRACE ARISE! (40)
Hymn XXI- koyin muutha tirupathikam
THE ANCIENT SACRED TEMPLE-SONG
The Mistress dwells in midmost of Thyself;
within the Mistress centred dwellest Thou;
Midst of Thy servant if Ye Both do dwell,
to me Thy servant ever give the grace
Amidst Thy lowliest servants to abide;
our Primal Lord, Whose Being knows no end,
Who dwellest in the sacred golden porch,
still present to fulfil my heart's intent!
II. I have not swerved
E'erwhile in presence here Thou mad'st me Thine;
and I even so to be with effort strain:
I follow Thee, and Thy behests fulfil;
but still I here behind am left, great Lord!
If Thou appear not now in grace, and bid
me come, will not Thy servants doubting say,
'And who was he that stood erewhile with Thee,'
Who joyest in the golden hall to dance? (8)
'He joy'd erewhile in loving service done,'-
if I, with heart of feeling reft made hard
By grief, complain, for all the world to know,-
will they not say, 'This is no fitting thing?'
Thy faithful ones, the sacrifice performed,
now dwell in bliss with Thee, and Thou with them.
If Thou Thy face to me turn not, I die,-
life's SOurce, Who dwellest in the golden court! (12)
Thou Source of All! Guide to the senses five;
and to the Three; to me, too, in life's way!
Thine ancient servants' thronging multitude
is gathered now within the heavenly courts.
Fount of all brightness! Thou hast given them grace;
shall I not cry, 'To me show pity too?'
And so I weep,- what other can I do?-
Thou King of Tillai's sacred court of gold! (16)
'King, Dancer in the golden court,
Ambrosia,' - looking for Thy grace,- I cry.
Like patient heron watching for its prey,
by night and day, I drooping 'bide and mourn
Thy saints have reached the shore,- in joy they shine;
to me if Thou deny that vision bright,-
Like butter hidden in the curdled milk,;(br>
still silent, will not they reproach? (20)
Even they will heap reproach upon my name,
revile, and scoffing point me out as Thine;
While others all will utter various speech;
but I will cherish yearnings for Thy grace.
Teacher!- that I amid Thy loving ones
may render service in the sacred hall,-
Faher!- Who dances in the golden court,-
henceforth, O ruler, pity show to me! (24)
'Show pity, Dancer in the golden court,'
with ever-yearning soul I pray. Of old,
Rare teaching didst Thou give, and mad'st me Thine!
Shall I become mere beast, with none to own?
Thy saints around Thee throng, where Thou and they,
in happy sport commingled, ever dwell.
That I may thither rise to join the band,
our only Bliss, in grace O bid me come! (28)
VIII. Whom have I save Thee?
Grace if Thou show not to Thy servant, who
is here to bid me cast away my fears?
All gold, Thou entering here, mad'st me Thine own,
as thing of worth; Dancer in court of gold!
Me, from Thee severed, with bewildered mind,
and troubled sore, ah! bid to come to Thee.
If Thou show not Thy glorious fellowhip,
I die; and then will not men scoff? (32)
IX. The joys of Civan's paradise.
They smile, they joy, honied delights they quaff,
in thronging crowds Thy words expound and hear,
And loud extol. Then each apart repeats
the saving mystery of Thy sacred Name.
'Our Head, Who dancest in the golden court,'
they cry. before these blessed ones, shall I
Like dog, that jackals chase and scare, remain?
My Teacher, even now bestow Thy grace!
X. Let not my trust be vain!
'He will not cease to pour on us His gifts,'-
thus have I raving named Thy Name,
My eyes with tears were fill'd,- my praising mouth
falter'd,- I bow'd, - in thought with melting soul
Many a time Thine image I recalled,-
and uttering praises named the golden court.
My Master, grant Thy grace to me, and oh!
have pity on the soul that pines for Thee! (36)
Hymn XXII- koyitr trirupathikam
[AN ANAPHORETIC DECAD.]
THE SACRED TEMPLE-LYRIC.
'THE CHARACTERISTICS OF SACRED ENJOYMENT.'
I. Show me Thy Face.
With changing wiles the senses five bewilder me:
their course Thou dost close up, Ambrosial Fount!
Come, Light Suprene, that ever springing fill'st my soul!
and give me grace to see Thee as Thou art.
Essential Sweetness pure! O mighty Civa-Peruman,
Who dwell'st in Perun-turrai's sacred shrine!
O Thou, the bliss all endless happy stations yield,
transcending far, my Pleasure and my LOVE! (4)
II. Praise for grace imparted
In LOVE, Thy servant's soul and body thrilling through,
and melting all my heart with rapturous bliss,
Thou hast bestowed sweet grace beyond my being's powers;-
and I for this have no return to give!
Thou art before! Thou art behind! Thou art the Free,
through all diffus'd! Thou First, without and end!
South--Perun-turrai's Lord! O CIva-Peruman!
Civa-Puram's ever-glorious KING! (8)
III.Inspire me to feel and utter the very truth regarding Thee.
O KING, the slave of Thine own loving ones am I.
Father! not soul alone but body too,
Thou enterest melting, and with sweetness fill'st each pore.
Thou dost disperse false darkness, O true Light!
Ambrosial Sea, whose clearness knows no ruffling wave!
Civan, Who dwell'st in Perun-turrai's shrine!
Thou Thought unique, thinking what passes word and thought!
teach me to KNOW the way to speak of Thee! (12)
Sages that KNOW all else; the heav'nly ones and all
the others, scarce can KNOW Thee, Being rare!
Life of all lives, with none confused! My healing Balm,
that from 'Embodiments' my spirit frees!
Pure Light, clear shining 'mid the darkness dense!
Civan, Who dwell'st in Perun-turrai's shrine!
O Bliss, of qualities devoid! Henceforth to me,
who have to Thee drawn nigh, what can there LACK? (16)
Fulness, that knows no LACK; ambrosial Essence pure!
O unscaled mount of ever-blazing light!
Thou art the Veda,- Thou the mystic Veda's sense.
Within my mind Thou coming, 'bid'st its Lord!
As torrents burst their bounds, Thou rushest through my soul!
Civan, Who dwell'st in Perun-turrai's shrine!
O King, my body hast Thou made Thine home; henceforth
what blessings shall Thy suppliant ASK of Thee? (20)
That I may ever ASK and melt, within my mind,
O Light, Thou dost arise! In beauty shines
On heavenly heads the lotus of Thy roseate feet!
Civan, who dwell'st in Perun-turrai's shrine!
The boundless ether, water, earth, fire, air;- all these
Thou art; and none of these Thou art; but dwell'st
In these conceal'd, O formless One! My heart is glad
that with these eves THIS DAY I've seen Thee clear! (24)
THIS DAY on me in grace Thou risest bright, a Sun,
bidding from out my mind the darkness flee!
That thought may cease upon Thy nature manifest,
I think. Beside Thee all that is is nought,-
Moving ever,- as atoms ever wasting,- Thou art One!
Civan, Who dwell'st in Perun-turrrai's shrine!
Thou art not anything; without Thee nothing is;
who are they that can know Thee as Thou art? (28)
Expanse of light, that everywhere through every world,
o'er earth and heaven springs forth and spread alone !
Thou Fire in water hid! O Pure One, if of Thee
we think, Thou'rt hard to reach. Fountain of grace,
Upsprining in the thought devout, as honey sweet!
Civan, in Perun-turrai's sacred shrine
Who dwell'st,- who are my kindered here, and strangers who?
my LIGHT. Thou changest all to rapturous joy! (32)
O Form, beheld in radiant LIGHT made manifest;
Thou only Mystic Ones Who wear'st no form;
Thou First! Thou Midst! Thou Last! Great Sea of rapturous joy!
Thou that dost loose our being's bonds!
Thou sacred Hill of grace and good, from evil free!
Civan in sacred Perun-turrai's shrine
Who dwell'st! There is no way for Thee to part from me!
Come, GIVE to me worship at Thy feet! (36)
What Thou hast GIVEN is THEE; and what hast gained is ME:
O Cankara, who is the knowing one?
I have obtained the rapturous bliss that knows no end;
yet now, what one thing hast Thou gained from me?
Our Peruman, Who for Thy shrine hast ta'en my thought!
Civan, Who dwell'st in Perun-turrai's courts!
My Father, and my Master! Thou hast made this frame
Thine home; for this I know no meet return! (40)
Hymn XXIII- sethila pathu
I. Sever'd from Thee I cannot live.
WEARINESS OF LIFE
(THE INFINITY OF BLISS IN CIVAN.)
I, false, am sever'd from the flowr'y feet that, entering here,
made my soul melt, distilling nectar sweet.
Yet I, poor wretch, die not as yet; but, in a waking dream,
the inner purpose of my soul I've lost.
O Teacher,- King, - Great Sea of grace, - Father,- Whose roseate form
Ayan and Mal could never come to know,-
I know not what to do, O CIVAN, Thou Who didst draw near
IN SACRED PERUN-TURRAI'S SHRINE TO DWELL! (4)
II. Still I wander here.
Ant-hills were they, and trees were they; water and air
their food; thus heavenly ones, and others too,
Were sore distress, but none Thy flow'ry feet beheld,
O King! Me, mastered with a single word,
Thou held'st erewhile. I pant not now, nor melt in mind subdued;
I feel no love devout; this loveless frame
I've not subdued; I wander yet, CIVAN, Who didst draw near
IN SACRED PERUN-TURRAI'S SHRINE TO DWELL! (8)
III. Where are my old joys?
Ev'n me, the meanest one, Thou didst as thing of worth regard,
and gav'st Thy grace; and giving mad'st me glad.
I trod on air, O Rider of the Steed! _Author of good!
To all heaven's countless hosts the Dwelling-place!
Eternal One! Who atest poison from the billowy sea!
The cities of Thy foes Thou didst consume!
Bowman! -Command that I should die,- CIVAN, Who didst draw near
AND DWELL'ST IN SACRED PERUN-TURRAI'S SHRINE! (12)
IV. Why didst Thou make me Thine?
Thy loving ones, and those who wrought hard deeds of penitence,
Ayan and Mal too, joyous, melted then
Like wax before the fire, thinking on me; while many a one
here stood around! Why didst Thou make me Thine?
My mind was like the gnarl'd and knotted tree; like senseless wood
my eye; harder than iron my dull ear.
Thou rul'st the south-shore! Lord of Civa-world, Who didst draw near
IN SACRED PERUN-TURRAI'S SHRINE TO DWELL! (16)
V. I know no other gods but Thee.
I've left the law of 'sportive gods.' In love I neared Thee, named
Thee 'Teacher';- in Thy gracious way I'll 'bide.
O Being rare,- Whom ev'n the 'earth-born gods' find out,- that Thee
I may not quit, O Ruler, show me grace!
Show me Thy jewell'd feet, O God; body's illusions all
be by Thy grace for ever swept away.
Lord of the gods that rule the 'evolving gods'! CIVAN, our God
WHO DWELL'ST IN SACRED PERUN-TURRAI'S SHRINE! (20)
VI. I cannot endure this severance
I loose not body's bonds, nor enter fire to end the strife;
nor know the method of Thy sacred grace.
I cannot bear this 'frame'; yet way to 'scape I none discern.
Praise, praise, Thou Rider on the warlike bull!
I die not yet! sever'd from Thee what pleasure can I take?
In grace vouchsafe to bid me, 'This do thou!'
CIVAN, Who didst draw near where waters flood the fertile fields,
AND DWELL'ST IN SACRED PERUN-TURRAI'S SHRINE! (24)
VII. I am not worthy, yet hear my voice!
Illusionst; Who at'st the poison from the refluent sea;-
heaven's Lord; our azure-throated Balm of life!
A cur, I cannot ponder Thee, nor bow me at Thy foot,
'Nama-Civaya' humbly breathing out!
Vile as a demon I, - show me Thy mighty way, Thou o'er
Whose braided lock wanders the crescent moon,-
Beseems it far from Thee I roaming weep? CIVAN, Who cam'st
IN SACRED PERUN-TURRAI'S SHRINE TO DWELL! (28)
VIII. Can my sufferings be pleasing to Thee?
Ayan who in the lotus dwells, the Sleeper on the warring sea,
Purandaran, and all the rest, stood round.
From dregs of ill Thou mad'st me clean, showing Thy jewell'd feet;
didst give the sign, and with Thy servants join!
Then sore amazed I knew not what to do. Balm of my soul,
and is it sweet Thy servant suffer pain?
CIVAN, Who didst draw nigh where cooling waers flow around the fields,
AND DWELL'ST IN SACRED PERUN-TURRAI'S SHRINE! (32)
IX. Is there no place for me among Thy saints?
Indra, the Four-faced, and the heavenly Ones stood round,- on earth
with tender sweetness then Thou mad'st me Thine,-
Thou of the flow'ry Foot, that took the life from Death;
Ganga is Thine; the fire burns in Thy hand;
And Mal, in triumph-songs, to that same flower-foot sings;
command me too, whose eye sees not, to come!