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The Puranam of Kootruva Nayanar

(kURRuva nAyanAr purANam - Periyapuranam as English poetry)

        "I am a serviteur of Kootruvan, the wielder 
        Of a sharp spear and the prince of Kalanthai." 
                        - The Tiru-th-Tonda-th-Tokai 
1.     Kootruvanaar, the chief of Kalanthai vanquished 
    All his foes in all the battles by the strength 
    Of his shoulders; he flourished in the well being 
    Of chanting daily the hallowed name of the Lord 
    Who wields the trident; for many a day 
    He hailed and adored the feet of the Lord’s devotees 
    And plied himself in their service.                (3930) 
2.     Graced with puissance by the Lord, he caused 
    All other kings obey him and stand aside in awe; 
    All the realms came under his rule; he came by 
    Limitless wealth and glowed in splendour; 
    He flourished in the pride of the fourfold 
    Martial  possessions, such as victorious tuskers 
    Which frightened away the foes from the field 
    Of battle, racing steeds, beautiful cars 
    And infantry; these scared the hostile kings away.        (3931) 
3.     Engaging himself increasingly in victorious wars 
    He moved on and on in the battle fronts where 
    Kings fought; he wore tumpai flowers, waged wars 
    And concluded them in success; he wore the fragrant 
    Garlands of opposing kings; he but lacked a crown; 
    He owned all other kingly riches.                (3932) 
4.     For the ruling of the splendorous earth when he beseeched 
    The Tillai Brahmins to invest him with the great crown 
    Set with ninefold gems, they made answer thus: “We invest 
    Not with crown any, other than the one 
    That comes from the hoary Chola dynasty.” Refusing to crown 
    Him they left for the Malai Naadu of the Cera.            (3933) 

                                                     Kootruva Nayanar - The Puranam of Kootruva Nayanar 
5.     The Tillai-Brahins who swerve not from 
    The committed and privileged way, chose 
    Among them a family and bade them stay there and guard 
    The glorious crown with great circumspection; 
    When the Tillai-Brahmins who hailed from the twofold 
    Lineage--pure and holy--, reached the Cera’s country, 
    Smitten by doubt, Kootruvanaar bowed before 
    The ankleted feet of the Lord-Dancer of the Ambalam.        (3934) 
6.     Unto him who ever prayed: “O Lord, I, Your serviteur, 
    Should be graced with the beatific crown 
    Of Your flower-feet,” during that night, in his dream 
    The Lord crowned him with His flower-feet; these 
    He bore by His grace and sole reigned the whole earth.        (3935) 
7.     He caused the performance of great pooja in each 
    And every shrine on earth where abides in joy 
    The Lord who enacts the insatiable, and nectarean dance 
    In Tiruvambalam wrought of beauteous gold,  
    Ruled his realm to the delight of the celestials, 
    And reached the feet of Uma’s Consort.                (3936) 
8.     Poised in the loving glory of servitorship he fostered 
    And ruled over the lives of the sea-girt earth; 
    His effort was to do away with flaws; we adore 
    The ankleted feet of Kootruvanaar of Kalanthai 
    And proceed to narrate the greatness o those 
    Divinely-enlightened “Poi Adimai Illaatha Pulavar” 
    Who hail the Lord that fosters the world 
    Granting unto it the Naadaa-incarnate Vedas 
    In works of metrical hymns.                    (3937) 
9.     To dispel the bouderie of Paravaiyaar whose beauteous 
    Words excel the sweetness of honey and the melody 
    Of flute, when on a day divine, the Lord whose matted hair 
    Holds the moon and the snake in amity, plied Himself 
    As a messenger, Nampi Aaroorar cured the stoop of a hunch-back 
    And the blindness of a blind man, and bade them serve Him; 
    I too adore his bright flower-feet and thus do away 
    With the perverting kink that gets attached to the soul 
    In all its sevenfold embodiment.                (3938) 
Verse No. 
   1.    Kalanthai: This is now known as Kalappaal.  Our Naayanaar is referred to as  
    Kalappaallan by Nambi Aandaar Nambi. 
   2.    Graced. . .  awe: This is also the message of verse 7 of the Puranam of  
   3.    he but laked a crown: According to the hoary Tamil tradition only the  
    Chola, the cera and the Paandya were the crowned monarches. 
   4.    The crown of the Chola dynasty was in the keeping of the Tillai Brahmins.   
    A Chola king could get crowned in one of the five towns viz., Tillai, Karur,  
    Urantai, Aaroor and Seignaloor. 
   5.    The Tillai-Brahmins were principled servitors.  They boldly declined to crown  
    Kootruvanaar.  However to avert any untoward incident, they as a body left for  
    the Cera’s country, leaving the crown in the safe-custory of one of their families. 
        Very probably the Tillai-Brahmins hailed from Kerala.  Till recently their  
    tuft closely resembled that of a Kerala Brahmin’s.  They call their shrine Ambalam  
    which name is popular in Kerala.  Again the Tillai-Ambalam is very like a Kerala  
    shrine.  The renovation of Tillai Ambalam is always done by Keralites.  To this fact,  
    inscriptions bear ample testimony. 
   6.    No doubt, the longing of the Naayanaar-king was not fulfilled.  However he had his  
    longing subsumed by a greater and an infinitely more glorious longing.  He prayed  
    to Siva thus: “O Lord, I, You servitor, should be graced with the beatific crown of  
    Your flower-feet.” The Lord, in His infinite mercy, fulfilled his servitor’s desire. 
   7.    Our Naayanaar saw to it that the performance of pooja in each and every shrine  
    was done in the most proper way.  By his rule his reign on earth truly emerged as  
    a spiritual reign. 
                Here ends the Puranam of Gananaatha Naayanaar 

Sincere thanks to Sri. T N Ramachandran of thanjavur, for permitting his English rendering of the holy text periyapurANam be published here.

See Also: 
1. kURRuva nAyanAr purANam in English prose 
2. கூற்றுவ நாயனார் புராணம் (தமிழ் மூலம்) 
3. thiruththoNDar purANam main page
4. 12 shaivite thirumuRais 

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