SIDDHAR POEMS IN ENGLISH TRANSLATION

SIDDHAR POEMS FROM TAMIL-AN INTRODUCTION

Siddhar poems form an important corpus of Tamil poetry of circa 16th Century. Though the Eighteen Siddhars are revered by the scholars, their poems didn’t find an important place among the “interpreters” or “hermenutists” of the Tamil school of interpretation. For instance, the very popular Thirukkural has found interpreters even in the modern Tamil era, [the late Dr.Mu.Varadharasanar]. But a very few interpreters have tried their hands at the Siddhar poems.

The following reasons could be attributed to the lack of interpretation:

1.Siddhar poems were quite off-beat for their time.

2.Siddhar poems were hard to interpret due to their esoteric qualtiy.

3.Many schloars and interpreters thought these poems belonged to the schema of mysticism and the occult.

4.These poem apparently contained offending imagery to the conventional reader of poetry Siddhar poems are so much entrenched in metaphor and imagery that they often resemble puzzles that have to be unscrambled. These poems question the assumptions and basics of accepted Tamil theology.

While poly-theism was an unquestioned canon of their time they dared to speak of “One Indivisible God”. Siddhars like Siva Vakkiyaar have directly attacked the empty and meaningless rituals practised by the brahmins of their time. Siva Vakkiyaar’s poems testify this point. Almost all these mystic poets share a contempt for the body politic. But it is not a mere shunning away from the body. They seemed to have a reached a point of ennui as far as the desires of the body that they wanted to shun the “flesh” and the million ailments it is heir to. All of them wanted to subjugate the senses. Winning over the five senses offers an absolute control of the body leading to the control of the wandering mind. One of them refers to the five senses as “five thieves”. Thiruvalluvar who wrote in the Ist Centruy A.D.has compared the control of the five senses to the action of the tortoise when it protects itself from the enemy. Siddhars looked at life with a different angle of vision. They also despised and scorned the nine portals of the human body. They were existentialists in another sense. They lived a mendicant’s life and slept in the temples when they wanted to stretch their body. According to Pattinathar, even a person with a begging bowl and a cur dog for a comapanion is a “ family man”. They were misunderstood in their own time since they repudiated the materialistic view of life and claimed that there could be only one supreme God. Very little has been on record about their personal life, except for the meagre details of their place of brith and the place where they died. Some anthologists have pinned down their community. This socio-economic backround information has been handy in the understanding of their imagery. Some of them might have turned misogenics after enjoying the intimacy of quite a number of women. Despite this fact, their addressee is a pre-nubile girl who is referred to as “Vaalai pen”. Some of their poems indicate [Karuvoorar’s poems especially] that this “Valai” is a girleen who has not attained puberty, but who is tremendously beautiful.

That Thirukkural seems to have had a strong influence on the Siddhars is evident from many cross-references in their poems:

As the bird flies away from the egg shell

Should be the friendship of the body to being.” [Thiruk kural: Section on Impermanence]

Thiruvalluar, the saint-poet with a strong Jainistic streak, explains the relationship of the body to the soul in the above lines. Or the impermanence of the body is stressed here in the most epigrammatic manner. In the section devoted to “Penance” Thiruvalluar writes:

“All the beings of the world will worship the one

Who doesn’ t slay and doesn’t eat that is slain.”

In another couplet he writes: When words of sweetness exist, uttering the harsh ones Is like snatching the half-ripe ones rejecting ripe fruits. The echo of these lines can be found in Pattinathar’s poems. Pattinathar has also expressed his wish to be a non-violent vegetarian and an abstainer from killing. Thiruvalluar has devoted a separate chapter on “Abstinence from killing”. From Pattinathar’s poems one can estimate that he was well grounded in classics like Periya Puranam and Siva Puranam.

History indicates that the Siddhars who lived in South India were 18 in number. If a yogi is to be accepted as a Siddhar he should be able to perform the following feats:

1.Anima or the ability to turn oneself into an atom.

2.Mahima or the ability to transfigure to the size of a mountain.

3.Lahima or the capability to become as light as air.

4.Karima or the capability to become heavy as gold.

5.Prapthi or the ability to rule over everything. 6.Vasithuvam or the ability to attract every one.

7.Brakamiyam or the art of transmigration.

8.Eesathuvam or the ability to achieve everything one wished and the ability to enjoy it These are called as Eight Great Siddhis or Ashtamaa Siddhi.

 These mystic poets represent different communities. Pattinathar was born into a rich family of merchants in the sea-town of Kaveripoompattinam and he himself was a successful merchant before giving up his materialistic way of life. Badhragiriyar who finally became a disciple of Pattinathar was a king of a province in Thanjavur. Idaikkaattu Siddhar was a goat-herd according to the available meagre records of literary history. Thiru Moolar is said to have come from Varanasi to meet the Saint Agasthiar of the South. During his journey he happened to stop at the place called Thiruvavaduthurai in Tamil Nadu and felt pity for the cattle that were so much attached to the cattle-herd whose name was Moolan. Moolan had died of a snake bite and with help of his inner-vision and power of transmigration Thirumoolar shed his physique and entered into the dead Moolan’s body to console the cattle. After reaching the village where the cattle-herd lived, he left the cattle in the pen and tried to extricate from Moolan’s wife who was unaware of the fact that the person who appears as her husband is the Siva Yogi. When he checked for his old body he was dismayed because it had disappeared. He accepted everything as the will and act of God and decided to live in the same village as Moolan and he was later called Thiru Moolar. Another mystic is a muslim by birth as his name Beer Mohammed suggests. Roma Rishi might have had connections to the Rome of his time. Some like Paampaati Siddhar wrote treatises on herbal medicine and were capable of small miracles in real life. Boghar is said to have visited the Roman Empire to study the herbs of that country for the purpose of medicine. Boghar was born into a family of potters in China as the legend goes. Pulasthiar is Sinhala by birth. Idaikaattu Siddhar is said to be the author of “Saareeram”, a book on medicine. Some consider him as the disciple of Boghar. In the advanced stages of penance these mystics are said to have lived just on air and dried leaves. Some of them were able to suspend their bodily functions temporarily if they had to spend their days in a hostile environment. From rhymed quatrains, rhymed couplets based on Thirukkural, to simple folk songs, Siddhars have used a variety of stanza forms to express their thoughts. Catchy lines from the Siddhars sung by beggars could be still heard in the village streets of Tamil Nadu. Many readers quote these poems or snatches of lines quite unaware of the source.

A handful of these poems have been simplified and adapted as lyrics for Tamil film songs. One reader can read this anthology of Siddhar Poems just to understand the basics of meditation and yogic breathing. Another one can refer to it to decipher the formula to concoct traditional Siddha medicine. Still others can use this anthology to make a deep study and aquire the methods of conquering the five senses of the body. For a serious reader of poetry it is a treasure house that has a richness and freshness of its own. One will be struck by the candidness with which these poems analyse God and filthiness of the body. A few of the sections written by Valmeegar and Nandeeswarar precribe the rules for conducting offerings to the Deity.

Making copies from various palm-leaf scripts and printed texts, editors and compilers have arrived at 36 books of verses written by Siddhars. One such editor is Va.Saravana Muthu Pillai who gathered 44 books for the reference of the learned. This edition is called as Periya Gnanakkovai published by Messrs.Ratna Nayagar and Sons, Madras.(the year of first publication not mentioned). Another important edition has been compiled by Aru.Ramanathan under the title Siddhar Padalgal also known as Gnanakkovai, pubished by his publishing house “Prema Pirasuram”( January 1959). Aru.Ramanathan has given a detailed introduction for the uninitiated reader and remarkable part of his edition is the glossary of difficult terms. He has been generous enough to include a quasi-critical introduction by a writer calleed Durgadas S.K.Swami in the preface of his anthology that was published in a popular monthly magazine “Amudha Surabhi”. Unfortunately the reprint date has been left out. While editors like Aru.Ramanathan and Va.Saravana Muthu Pillai include verses of Ramalinga Adigal, recent editors like G.Manicka Vasagan (Uma Publishers: December 1995, Madras) have dropped Ramalinga Adigal from the list of Siddhars. The controversy as to the total number of Siddhars still continues and can be debated.

While there are only 18 Siddhars in the standard editions, G.Manicka Vasagan has included 34 Siddhars in his Siddhar Padalgal.(1995). G.Manicka Vasagan’s edition also has a slightly enlarged and improved glossary of difficult words which is really handy as a quick-reference dictionary. It is a laudable effort. Another editor of recent times, Maanos (Siddhar Padalgal, Poongodi Pulishers: December, 1995, Madras) has not improved upon the glossary provided by Aru.Ramanathan but just has reprinted it. It is not possible to find any difference from Aru.Ramanathan’s edition published in 1959 and Maanos’s edition published in 1995. What makes Aru.Ramanathan’s edition all the more readable and presentable are some of the small suggestive graphics included in appropriate places. Va.Saravana Muthu Pillai’s edition offers little help to a new reader since it neither has an introduction nor a glossary. It is just plain text of poems from end to end, running to 808 pages. Another weakness of this edition is that it has been wrongly punctuated or leaves out punctuation where necessary, leading to utter confusion. These are the basic texts which this translator has consulted for his translation and to glean information on the individual mystic-poets. The Tamil schloar Dr.T.P.Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai has contributed a short but resourceful article on the Siddhars to the IVth volume of the Tamil Lexicon. As for already existing translations of Siddhar poems this translator is unaware of any. Might be there are a few snatches of lines serving as quotations.

 A.Rajaram Brammarajan

PAMPATTI SIDDHAR

Verse/98

Four vedas, six shastras, several treatises on strategies,

Puranas, Agamas espousing arts, Varieties of several other books_ Oh Snake!

Dance! Declaring all these as useless books.

Verse/82

Oh Snake! Dance how I Saw The lifted cute feet.

And saw the illumination too.

In the pure space saw I the jubilant Dancer.

Saw also the feet that hit the head of the demon was the feet of the Lord.

Verse/61

While the Two gathered mud One built the kiln for ten months.

The kiln, though wonderful, Is not worth a fraction of a coin.

Dance! Oh Snake! Saying this.

Verse/52 They praise the shrivelling skin as rounded breast

Metaphorically describe it as a big mountain.

They who fall in the foul-smelling yoni’s well shall suffer.

Dance with Courage! Oh Snake ! Saying this.

Verse/94

No one can cook the gourd that is painted on paper.

Likewise despite searching in the eight directions there is no refuge.

They build a temple for every town and pray ceaselessly. But has never seen the Lord’s feet.

Dance! Oh Snake ! Saying this.

Verse/62

Don’t chant her as peacock or emerald,

Deer or honey or manna Don’t compare her to a graceful peacock

But chide this and Dance! Oh Snake!

PAMPATTI SIDDHAR

Verse/60

Collecting the mud from the filthy pit,

mixing blood as water to make balls

The oppurtune potter makes an earthen ware.

It is not even fit to be a frying pot. Dance! Oh Snake! Saying this.

Verse/7

We’ll shut the snake in the pot of lust.

Let it be charmed in the space of Vedanta.

We’ll pluck the five senses and feed it.

In the astringent space-time we’ll charm it again.

Mounting the horse, cirumambulate the ancient world.

And attain the eternal minuteness.

Chant the mantra that defies interpretation and retrieve it.

We have achieved a bunch of four. Dance! Oh Snake! Saying this!

Verse/3

We’ll light a fire in the caste division.

We’ll plant a cane in the shandy yard .

We’ll play where the street forks .

We’ll make relatives in the proscribed houses.

We’ll take a stroll, verify and sleep.

We’ll enjoy congress of felicitous women.

The five ancient Bramans are unaware of this.

Dance! Oh Snake! Saying this!

Verse/54

They describe the stale smelling tangled tresses as graceful cloud.

They compare the breasts to golden pots.

With a melting heart further melting, they ruminate on those maidens.

And never think of Lord Nimalan. Dance! Oh Snake! Saying this!

All poems are translated by A.Rajaram Brammarajan

PATTINATHAR

Verse/7

The earlier lit fire was in Thiripuram.1

The fire lit a little later was in Southern Lanka.2

The fire that mother lit is in the lower abdomen.

Let the fire that I light spread and spread.

1.A reference to the incident how Lord Siva burnt Thiripuram. The three sons of the demon Tharukasuran, by virtue of their prayers to Lord Siva had the ability to create three types of Castles made of Gold, silver and iron. With these three castles they tortured the devas. The devas appealed to Lord Siva and he destroyed the Thiripuram with the flame of his smile. [Vedaranya Puranam]

2Reference to the conflagration that engulfed the mythical Lanka in Ramayanam.

Verse/26

Fire will say “It’s for me”.

The worm will claim the same This earth will say “O.K.It is for me”.

The eagle will say “It is for me to peck” The fox will say “It is for me”.

The wild dog will say so.

I fostered this foul smelling physique with love.

What use is it to me?

Verse/35

Wandering like a ghost, lying like a corpse,

Eating all the alms like a dog, labouring like a fox,

Treating good maidens as mothers,

Greeting everybody with humility, Will live like babes. T

hose who realised the real truth.

Verse/23

Even the earth melts.

Tree melts.

Maya melts.

Delusion melts.

Woman melts.

Man melts.

Discords melt.

Father melts.

Mother melts.

I too melt thinking of Guru the Lord.

These are words uttered by Him to me.

Verse/21

If being is born as a dog will do justice by hunting.

But born as mortals in mothers’ womb as the wealthy, Li

ke the unyielding fruit tree, dry pond, stone-cow

Why did you create those miserly people? Oh Lord of Kachchi*!

*Kachchi: Now called as Kancheepuram, a town in Tamil Nadu.

All poems are translated by A.Rajaram Brammarajan

Pattinathar Verse/20

You tell tongue-splitting lies, quest for the nine kinds of wealth

Enter into union with vile women

Like the winged ants emerging from the ground

You will bear children …

Do not know the way to nurse them. Wont give up.

Like the monkey that put its leg in the split up trunk and loosened the peg You are caught.

You travail. You are caught.

Verse/8

Pursuit for food. The only pursuit.

If it ceases There is pursuit for gold, an endless pursuit.

Pursuit for peacock-like women. Pursuits of all sorts.

What pursuit have you reserved for me, For this forsaken heart?

Oh Lord of Kachchi!

Verse/6

I am the wicked one. Indisciplined.

One who did not conquer the five senses. Unschooled.

One who failed go to the sages. One who didn’t tell the truth.

One who lacks the love for your holy feet.

Why did I come into this world? Oh! Lord of Kachchi!.

Verse/39

Vile people of rude words, the despicable, the goondas, the lusty,

The senseless philistines, they who commit only evil–

Why did you create people of this sort in this world like tall palmyras?

They are ignorant of the ethics of the good. Oh!Lord of Kachchi!

Verse/28

Verbal blemishes, falterings of thought, T

he damnations born of wicknedness,

the evils of listening to the utterances of unholy tracts–

Forgive all those faults! Lord of Kachchi!

All poems are translated by A.Rajaram Brammarajan

PATTINATHAR Verse/1[General]

When Shiva and his sacred dancing hall were closer

We have searched for the barren hall.

My ignoble heart perpetually searches for the pit of birth.

And my eyes seek the place I suckled.

Verse/40

Slew several creatures.

After slaying, I ate them all. Besides this I committed crimes.

To absolve all this I stood in your sanctum. S

OH! bear with me for my misdeeds since I trust you. Oh! Lord of Kachchi.

Verse/6

Not killing, not eating that is killed,

Not learning deception, backbiting, thievery,

Not befriending the imposters, Not telling lies even in dreams,

Not listening to them,

Not going after the delusion of peacock-like women, Give me wealth.

Oh! Chidambara Desika!

Verse/8

I am incapale of feeding you slicing my son’s flesh with a sword1.

I am incapable of losing my youth due to the challenge of a woman2

Serving, I can’t transplant my eyes and patch it on the statue3.

How am I to surrender myself hereafer to the Father of Thirukkalathi?4

1.Siru Thondar: One of the devotees of Lord Shiva. Shiva, in the form of Bhairava visited his house and asked for human flesh cooked from a young lad who had all the organs perfect. It is said that Siru Thondar sliced and cooked his own son “Seeralan” and offered it to Lord Shiva. Eventually Shiva revived the son of Siru Thondar.[Periya Puranam]

2.Thiur Neela Kandar: A devotee of Shiva: He decided not to touch any a woman because of a vow he took provoked by his wife, and lost his youth.[Periya Puranam]

3.Kannappar: Original name Thinnappar. Born into a family of hunters and is known for his devotion to Shiva. To test his sincerity Shiva made the right eye of the statue at Srikalahasthi bleed. To stop the bleeding Kannappar transplanted his eye using his arrow. When he was about to pluck his other eye too, Shiva intervened and stopped him.[Periya Puranam]

4.the Tamil name of Kalahasthi, a small town in the far south of Andra Pradesh; has a temple dedicated to Siva. Legend refers to the efforts of three animals to revere Siva: Sri, the spider; Kala, the snake; and Hasthi, the elephant.The spider worships Siva by using its webs to decorate the lingam–the emblem of Siva–which has appeared in the jungle. Siva tests the spider by permitting the web to catch fire from a votive lamp nearby. The spider hurls itself on the fire and tries to swallow it.With the spider at the point of death, Siva intervenes and bestows upon him the permanent presence in the heaven of Siva.

PATTINATHAR Verse/70

You are merciful to yourself, your parents, wife and children.

And thus perpetually pluck the unripe fruit while the mellow ones exist!

My heart! How many did the parents bear?

How many laudations did we get there?

Verse/28

My mother who bore me had despised me as a “corpse”.

Women who accepted gifts of gold have wailed me to “Go!”.

Sons who acquired everything Followed me behind, circumambulated and broke the funereal pot.

There is no hold to destroy my hold for you.

Verse/4[General]

While the hand does one thing, the eyes seek something else

The mind thinks a thought, the vile tongue tells a lie,

The flesh smelling body leans on something,

the ears listen another sound,

How will you accept my offerings? Oh Lord! Destroyer of Fate.

verse/6[General]

God dwells in the word, at the periphery of the word,

in the shruti of the Vedas, In the gloom, in the immaculate sky, I

n the house of the wise,

and in the heart of the faithful.

Will He be present in the stone and copper, Our Frontal-eyed* God?

*Reference to Lord Siva’s Third eye.

Verse/4

How many places?

How many houses?

How many mothers? How many Parents?

Called my name to which I responded.

Perpetually teach me the arts Oh! Lord Yegamba*.

Kamba, is it sport for you?

*Lord Siva at Kancheepuram is called as Yegamban.

Verse/34

This foul smelling body, stuffed food for the fox:

I filled this vessell customarily with rice and curry.

Oh! Lord of Kachcchi!

Grant me mercy to jump over The peacock-like women’s pit of blood and shit.

All poems are translated by A.Rajaram Brammarajan

PATTINATHAR Temple song-1

Remember heart! Remember!

Remember Lord Shiva of the hall of reddish gold.

Remember heart! Remember!

Cherish not the false chariot and the whirl wind that is false life on this earth.

Cherish not the body. Those that are born will die, the dead will be born again;

What appeared will disappear, and that which disappeared will reappear;

That which enlarged will shrink, and the shrunk will enlarge;

That which is felt will be forgotten, and the ones that forgotten will be perceived

That which mated will separate, and the separated will mate again.

What is eaten turns to shit, what is worn turns dirty;

What delighted turns disgusting, and the disgusting turns delightful;

All these you realised;

Yet You were born birth after birth: Killed all, and all that were slain slew you.

You ate all, and all that ate you; You bore all and all that bore you;

Cherished everything, and everything cherished you;

Exulted during prosperity, wept in poverty;

Rejoiced pleasure and pain on this vast land;

Experienced not leaving out a single thing;

Despite that You considered the water bubble as a bird’s nest;

This mean retreat as stronger than stone.

Verse/10

Mother got tired of her body;

I, by a mighty destiny, got tired of my feet;

Even Bramman got tired of his hand_ Lord! Shiva of Iruppaiyur!

Save me from reappearing In yet another mother’s womb town.

Verse/11

Let the earth be cooled of its glowing embers;

Let the sky cool itself from the smoke;

Let my rare mother repose_ Let Mayan, the architect of the Asuras, rest his hands;

Let my soles cool. Oh! Lord of Thiruvaiyar. A

All poems are translated by A.Rajaram Brammarajan

PATTINATHAR Verse/1

Not praising the Lord who dances in the hall of Sengadu

He who enticed me with the earth, with gold, with darkness called maya,

I was trapped in the net of those whores who blight with their bewitching eyes

and wandered like a bazaar dog; Oh! My heart!

Verse/20

Aside from nurturing this body,

this nest of worms,

You didn’t praise the Lord, the Immaculate Teacher.

Like the fish that suffered when the flood spread in the woods

You became care-worn. Oh! My Heart!

Thiruvidai Maruthoor Verse/2

When wealth leaves mother turns an enemy;

The women I loved become severe enemies;

My own children turn enemies; The entire world becomes an enemy;

In a moment of inquiry Mingle yourself with the golden feet of the Lord of Maruthur: That is liberation.

All poems are translated by A.Rajaram Brammarajan

KONGANA NAYANAR Verse/72

There is no sky sans the earth.

There are no flowers devoid of some fragrance.

I am impossible without a woman.

Think of this scrupulously. You lass!

Verse/24

Never think of this body as a filthy carcass

Never consider it as a salt laden vessel. For the seers it is not filthy. See for yourself inside your body.

Verse/65

As mother she nursed me with milk.

She came as the wife and gave pleasure. S

he turned into an affectionate sister.

Transfigured into a desirable sister-in-law, besides becoming mother-in-law too.

All poems are translated by A.Rajaram Brammarajan

 

SIVA VAKKIYAR Verse/38

Where is the pariah woman?

Where is the high-caste woman?

Are there numbers inscribed on the skin and flesh?

Is the pariah woman’s delight different from that of a the high-caste woman?

Analyse the pariah woman and the high-caste woman in you.

Verse/46

Drawn milk doesn’t return to the breast.

Churned butter doesn’t return to the butter-milk.

The broken conch’s sound and the beings don’t re-enter the body.

The blossomed flower and the fallen half-ripe fruit never return to the tree.

The dead are never born. Never, never, never.

Verse/78

When earthen vessels tumble they keep it in order

When bronze vessels tumble they tend with care.

When our vessel sinks they forsake it because it stinks.

What an inexplicable one is your trick of mingling with the numbers? Oh Lord!

Verse/83

Where are the temples? Where are the holy ponds?

You loathsome people who worship the temples and ponds! Temples and ponds are in one’s mind.

There is neither creation nor destrution.

Never, never, never.

Verse/23

When the boat exists one can run and ride for recreation.

While the boat exists one can determine.

When the boat is smashed, In the incomparbale space

There is no goat, no stick, and there exists none.

Verse/15

There is no sampradhaya sans the seed, either above or below.

In what way can the palace sans the architect take shape?

You ignorant! You sell your mother and turn her a slave!

When there is no emancipation there is no life.

Never, never, never.

Verse/51

As one traps the tiger with a goat Is it fair for you to delude me showing a cow?

Oh! King who killed and skinned the elephant with a stick:

You should reveal me showing the way of emancipation.

All poems are translated by A.Rajaram Brammarajan

THIRUMOOLAR [Verses from Pattham Thirumurai ]

Verse/65

That was when the rainy season,

summer and the dewy season synchronised

And the time the lake also dried up.

At the very moment Lord Shiva taught Tamil and Sanskrit With kindness to his co-hort.

Verse/606

The sounds of the roaring sea, bell, trumpeting of the elephant, flute

The sounds of the cloud, the droning of the beetle, the dragon-fly, the conch,

The sounds of the kettle-drum and the lute All these ten can’t be felt except by the humble.

Verse/209

Gone is life as the saree is torn.

The near ones became loveless.

No gifts; No loans; No celebration.

Their stride itself lacks the majesty of the city.

Verse/210

At break of dawn he will fill up the false pit.

Rummage for specious things that will fulfil the act.

Whatever pit you fill, Praise the Lord That pit shall be filled when you are pure.

Verse/207

What use is it when you enjoy the women of this world?

It is the destiny inscribed in the body.

They are like the sugarcane juice outside it.

It remains like a massive neem tree in the mind.

Verse/238 The unread king and Yama are alike.

But Yama is preferable to the unread King.

Devoid of analysis the unread king orders to “Execute”.

Yama never approaches those who are virtuous.

All poems are translated by A.Rajaram Brammarajan

THIRUMOOLAR Verse/229

The Brahmins who wished to listen to Vedanta Didn’t give up their desire even after listening to it.

Vedanta is the place where desire ends.

Those who listen to Vedanta are desire-less.

Verse/206

The young maidens resemble female elephants.

And are like newly sprouted green grass glistening in the rain

Their suitable life settled well, When god-like men arrive,

Gesture to the man who had already made love

To quit.

Verse/148

He ate the perfectly cooked food.

He enjoyed the creeper-like tender woman.

Said: “The chest hurts on the left side”. He stretched his limbs and lay dead.

Verse/2104

One Race.One God.

Think of good and there is no death.

There is only one faith you can reach without shame.

Think of this to make your thought of God to survive.

Verse/1964

He who is ignorant of sequels hand-pounds the seeds to eat.

The other one, who fries the seeds to eat is not any better.

Among the seed-eaters, there is a different one. He does not pound but sows the seeds to reap the result.

Verse/2073

Women become prisons for those who seek them.

The learned are in prisons by their learning.

Those penancing are in prisons because of their penance.

The self-aware who strain to reach Him are in prisons.

All these do not know the nature of the Lord.

All poems are translated by A.Rajaram Brammarajan

 

Kudambai Siddhar Verse/28

For those who live in the mountains, feeding on mango milk

Where is the need for coconut milk?_Oh! Lass Kudambai!

Verse/30

For those who don’t have a sloping roof or a house of their own Where is the need for Thevaram?_ Oh! Lass Kudambai!

Where is the need for Thevaram*? *A sared Saiva text in Tamil.

Verse/11

For those who had risen above the peak and seen the high space Where is the need for desire?_Oh! Lass Kudambai!

Where is the need for desire?

Verse/26

For those who had won over Yama, and analysed abstract notions Where is the need for decoration?_Oh! Lass Kudambai!

Where is the need for decoration?

Verse/8

For those who sit in sincere penance

Where is the need for sacrificial fires? Oh! Lass Kudambai?

Where is the need for sacrificial fires?

Verse/16 For those who see the sculpted hall everyday Where is the need for leaves?

Oh! Lass Kudambai? Where is the need for leaves?

Verse/24

For the real Gnani who wanders like the dead Where is the need for the cymbals?_Oh! Lass Kudambai?

Where is the need for the cymbals?

All poems are translated by A.Rajaram Brammarajan

ALUGANI SIDDHAR Verse/2

This body of eight spans has fourteen portals.

Five are the panchayatdhars and the towns are two.

You speak bravely. But afraid of the mandate, I am unable to stand straight, Kannamma!

Discomfitted, I am wilting like a plant.

Verse/8

It is a filthy carcass and a vessel filled with salt.

To take a different birth I am unable to access the potion.

If I could get that potion for a different birth_ Casting aside this filthy body,

won’t I surrender at your feet Kannamma?

Verse/7 Like a smith’s forge my stomach boils! It doesn’t stop when I say it to!

For those who are capable of saying it to stop Yama who comes to kill shall vacate this place! Kannamma!

Verse/11

I dont know whether it is the uncle’s daughter or the sister-in-law.

But Cupid’s arrow tortures me like smouldering coal. If you become my uncle’s daughter and my sister-in-law too,

Cupid’s arrows shall be burnt with a single glance, My dear Kannamma!

Verse/27 I am a fearless thief,

an orphan and a penitent,

Loveless harsh man, who tells lies with a full heart A ganja addict_

Before destruction is complete Won’t you tell me not to fear And rule over me, My beloved Kannamma?

பற்றி brammarajan
poet,translator,editor,critic,essayist, published 7 collections of poems an introductory book on Ezra Pound Edited SamaKala Ulagakkavithai(Contemporay World poetry) Guest Editor for Tamil museindia.com

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