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The Puranam Of Manakkancharar


(mAnakkanchARa nAyanAr purANam - Periyapuranam as English poetry)

        "I am a servitor to the servitors of the munificient lord, 
        Manakkancharar endowed with hill-like shoulders." 
                        -The Tiru-th-Tonda-th-Tokai. 
1.     Down the branches flows honey (from bee-hives); 
    From fruitage rich and ripe, oozes juice and runs a stream; 
    From fields flows the juice of sweet-canes and merges 
    With the river making it fragrant; such is Kanjaroor - 
    Where abides willingly the Lord who sports 
    On His crimson crest the celestial Ganga --, 
    Hailed for its renown by bards 
    Who have conned the true way from great texts.            (866) 
2.     Escaping the weeding done by farmwives 
    Whose eyes are like lilies blue, 
    And well fed with rich water 
    The red lilies burgeon rubicund; 
    Before these soft water-blooms 
    The long sheaves of paddy bow their heads; 
    Such are the fields there, rich in soil and water.        (867) 
3.     On the napes of their necks cascade their koontals 
    Which are black like rain-clouds; their hips sway 
    And their soft mien is like that of the pea-fowl; 
    Thus throng thither the farmwives whose visages 
    Excel the full moon whose beauty is marred by  
    The dark hare-like shape; in pools and ponds thither, 
    Sport strong cars which are like their eyes; 
    The vast fields of Kanjaroor are full of paddy sheaves.        (868) 
4.     The paddy sheaves that grow in the cool miry fields 
    Reach the green necks of areca trees that grow thick 
    By the fence, and circle their fruit-bunches; 
    Thus they resemble the curved sickles of farmers.        (869) 
5.     The town is girt with forted walls inlaid with 
    Bright multicoloured stones; in platforms and pavilions 
    Waft streamers; thither could be eyed lovely lasses; 
    There are on the way, places that would the senses enchant; 
    Festoons and water-filled pots deck the down.            (870) 

Manakkancharar Nayanar - The Puranam Of Manakkancharar
6.     Thither danced jeweled damsels, whose mien rivalled 
    That of pea-fowls, and mridangams resounded 
    In unison with their steps; thus the streets of the town 
    Were full of festivity; its residents were prosperous men, 
    Householders of rectitude who pursued husbandry and dharma.    (871) 
7.     For the thriving of the family that from generation 
    To generation holds the office of the King’s General, 
    He made his holy avatar; he had contemplated 
    And come by the True Ens; he was the treasure unfailing 
    Of the Velala-clan; lofty and sublime was he; 
    He was called Manakkancharar.                    (872) 
8.     Humility was his form; he was blessed with the beatitude 
    -- And it never suffered any diminution --,  
    Of servitorship to the Lord whose matted hair 
    Is adorned with the adder and the crescent cool. 
    His duty was to render all service to the resolute devotees 
    That were solely devoted to the feet of the Lord.        (873) 
9.     He prospered in peerless wealth, and such wealth 
    Was by him ear-marked for the ever-blessed devotees 
    Of the Lord-Brahmin in whose matted hair the Ganga flows; 
    Before even they would express their wish he would 
    Divine it already and ply them with gifts.            (874) 
10.     Thus he throve on this earth girt with the ocean-stream, 
    As a lamp unto all the world; 
    For some years no child was born to him who knew not 
    Of the ignorance of the Lord’s feet unknown to Vishnu; 
    He prayed to God for the gift of a child, prompted by Grace.    (875) 
11.     By the grace of the Dancing Lord from whose ears 
    Dangle ear-rings, his wife who could command 
    Even the descent of rain, bore him a daughter 
    Who could deliver them from the fettering cycle 
    Of birth and death bred by deeds.                (876) 
12.     The hoary town swam in the joy generated by 
    The birth of the child; auspicious organs resounded; 
    Those that stood poised in the way of the Lord of gods 
    Were loaded with gifts; the nurses blessed their ward, 
    And she grew like an auric liana.                (877) 
13.     The babe crossed the tender parva of kappu; 
    The soft curly hair of the babe was decked with 
    Pretty little flowers buzzed over by bees; 
    Her locks and ear-rings of gold dangled together; 
    A bijou girdle of gems cinctured her slender waist; 
    She was dressed  in a little skirt, and as she plied 
    Her tender feet soft as small shoot, 
    Her kinnkini chimed and her skirt rustled.            (878) 
14.     She was in the midst of nurses whose fostering hands 
    Were soft like flowers; she played in the courtyard 
    Of the house, building beauteous toy-houses of sand; 
    She played kazhal and other games to the tinkling 
    Of her anklets filled with grains of gems; 
    Thus the ambrosial child reached the first parva 
    Of girlhood when tender breasts began to bud.            (879) 
15.     (Years rolledy by.) Her form external blazed with lustre; 
    Her waist languished under the big burden of her breasts; 
    Her teeth were fragrant buds and her smile was pearly. 
    Cool were her locks; now became nubile the girl 
    Who hailed from the flawless family.                (880) 
16.     She excelled Lakshmi; she was like a lamp of ruby; 
    Aged men of wisdom came there seeking her peerless hand 
    For Yeyarkon of heroic anklet -- a servitor of the Lord who is 
    The blue throated Brahmin --, 
    Who hailed from the Velala-clan and family of equal renown.    (881) 
17.     Manakkancharar in the fitting way traditional 
    Received them; he heard their proposal for marriage 
    And said: “This is in keeping with our clan’s way.” 
    Thus he gladly consented and gave them leave to depart.        (882) 
18.     They returned and conveyed Kancharar’s consent; 
    Yeyarkon of hill-like shoulders grew glad; 
    Wise men versed in astrology fixed the day for matrimony 
    Befitting the families of both.                    (883) 
19.     The father of the bride, a prince of patrons, 
    Gladly engaged himself in auspicious acts; 
    To the great delight of his vast kith and kin 
    Her reared palikais in rows of beauteous wares; 
    The hoary town dight with melliferous gardens 
    Was duly decorated for the connubium.                (884) 
20.     Kancharar was to give his daughter in wedding 
    And Kalikkamar of boundless glory, the chief 
    Of the Yeyar family was to hold her hand with his, 
    In solemn acceptance; for this, with his kith and kin 
    Thronging thick to the accompaniment 
    Of musical instruments he proceeded to and neared 
    Kancharoor girt with flowery gardens cloud-capped.        (885) 
21.     Before even the wedding party neared Kancharoor, 
    To the house of the father of the bride of flowery eyes 
    Decked with bright jewels, through a peerless way 
    Came He, the Lord of gods that ever abode 
    In the heart of Kancharar, that the redemption 
    Of the earth girt with billowy seas, may meet with fruition.    (886) 
22.     Triple stripes of the Holy Ash flashed from his forehead; 
    The tuft on His tonsured head was decked with 
    A wreath of bone-beads; His ears bore dangline kundala 
    Wrought of pearls very like the ones carved out 
    Of the skeleton of the one whom He bore.            (887) 
23.     He wore a long dangling chain of bright-beads 
    Of that bone; instead of the fierce serpent whose mouth 
    Holds sacs of venom, He wore a band on His shoulders; 
    For his sacred thread He wore a thread of human hair; 
    He also had a pouch of the Holy Ash that could end 
    The cycle of birth and death of pure-hearted devotees.        (888) 
24.     He wore on one wrist a thread which held a bone-bead; 
    Over His Kovanam woven of the rare Gospels, He wore 
    A fitting and beauteous garment; His ineffable feet 
    Did touch the earth and on the soles thereof, were (visible) 
    The divine pentad of signs.                    (889) 
25.     His frame divine was smeared thick with the Holy Ash; 
    It was like unto ashes veiling the burning fire within; 
    Passing through the streets where streamers wafted 
    He entered the house divine of Manakkancharar 
    Whose heart enshrines His cool lotus-feet divine.        (890) 
26.     He beheld the Mavrita Muni who arrived thus; 
    The great servitor, in delight great, moved to his presence 
    And with a mind with joy surcharged, said: 
    “I stand redeemed by your coming, who are verily 
    My Lord-Father of askesis.” With a mind 
    Melting in love, he bowed before Him.                (891) 
27.     The Lord of great askesis addressing the goodly devotee 
    Questioned him thus: “What auspicious function 
    Here takes place?” Him he replied thus: “The wedding 
    Of my only daughter is to take place here.” 
    Then the tapaswi great blessed him thus: 
    “May auspicious weal attend thee.”                (892) 
28.     He prostrated at the feet of Him whose form 
    Was that of Gnosis as well as Tapas, and went into the house; 
    Manakkancharar returned with her whose koontal 
    Was decked with honey-laden flowers and who shone 
    In bridal splendour; he caused her bow before Him 
    That stood there concealing His blue throat.            (893) 
29.     He looked at the flowery koontal which was 
    Dark and dense like the rain-cloud, of her 
    Who bowed at His feet and rose up; 
    Addressing the adoring servitor He said: 
    “The hair of this beauteous belle can serve Us as 
    Panchavati.” Thus spake He, the bestower of grace to devotees.    (894) 
30.     The moment He spake thus, he unsheathed from 
    His scabbard the sword, and thought thus: 
    “I am indeed truly endowed”, and sheared away 
    From its base the hair – dark as night --, 
    Of his flowery daughter, and extended it into 
    The flowery hands of Him who stood before him 
    And who is the breaker of the cycle of transmigration.        (895) 
31.     He, the God of the Gospels who stood there as if 
    He would receive it, anon disappeared. 
    He reappeared in the heavens, with His Consort 
    On His Mount, the ancient Bull, ever-young. 
    Earth and sky were mantled with a shower 
    Of beauteous Karpaka flowers; the servitor 
    Adored and prostrated before the divine presence.        (896) 
32.     When the tranced servitor true, rose up, the Lord-Dancer 
    In whose crest floats the crescent as if tossed by  
    The billows of the Ganga, spake thus: We have caused 
    The flourishing worlds to know of the love that soars 
    In you for Us.” Then He graced Him.                (897) 
33.    Manakkancharar was blessed with the beatitude 
    To hail the Lord, with hands folded above his head 
    In adoration with at-one-ment; he could thus 
    Adore the Lord enthroned on His mount, the Bull, 
    And hailed close by, by Gananatas and thronging gods.        (898) 
34.     Thus gracing the devotee and hailed by the celestials, 
    The Lord-God, the wearer of chapler, grew invisible. 
    To hold her hand in wedding, the liana-like bride 
    Whose fragrant koontal is buzzed over by bees, 
    And delighting the eyes of the wedding-guests 
    Thither came Yeyarkon Kalikkamar.                (899) 
35.     The prince of Yeyar clan heard from them 
    That had gathered thither of the inconceivable phenomenon 
    And grew mighty glad; 
    He hailed the gracious act of the Lord and grew sad; 
    He heard of the Lord’s blessing                    (900) 
36.     And was cured of his languishment; he wedded her, 
    The liana-like, whose Koontal grew with flowers and all 
    As before by the grace of the God of the celestials; 
    He gifted great sums of money to all, causing  
    The glory of the wedding to spread throughout the world; 
    With his vast kin, he hied back to his hoary forted town.    (901) 
37.     Does it lie in my power to indite his glory 
    Who gifted the koontal of his only daughter peerless 
    On the very day of her wedding to the One (supreme)? 
    I now proceed to narrate the glory of him who was 
    Blessed to hear the sound of the biting by the Lord 
    Of tender mango that slipped into the fissure in a field.    (902) 
Stanza    Line 
   3        Koontal        :     (Skt. Kuntala), “Anything long and flowing in  
                    detached  parts -- as tresses, braids, etc., of  
                    women’s hair.” 
                                - Winslow. 
   5     5    Festoons and water-filled pots are signs of auspicious prosperity. 
  10    3-4    Knew not of the ignorance: ever aware of and never unaware of. 
  11    2&3    cf. “No god adoring, low she bends before her lord; 
             Then rising, serves: the rain falls instant at her word.” 
                                - Kural 55. 
  13        Parva of Kappu    :    This period commences at the end of the second  
                    month of the child. 
    6-8    Refer to the period when the child ceases to toddle and begins to  
        walk gently. 
  14     7    This period of life is called ‘petai-parva’.   The girl is now seven  
        years old. 
  22        Kundala        :     Dangling ear-ornament(s). 
                    At the grand Dissolution of the Cosmos, worlds and  
                    all are resolved into Maya, Maya into Sakti and Sakti  
                    into Siva.  The Lord alone remains.  In His unqiue  
                    aloneness, He is described as     Gangaalar, the One  
                    decked with the skeletons, of Vishnu and Brahma. 
     5    The one     :    Vishnu. 
  24     5    The whorls on the soles of feet bore the marks of lotus, chank, fish, disc  
        and staff. 
  29        Panchavati    :    The sacred thread woven of hair. 
  30     3    Endowed        :     Endowed with rare wealth. 

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.  mAnakkanychARanAyanAr purANam in English prose 

  2.  மானக்கஞ்சாற நாயனார் புராணம் (தமிழ் மூலம்) 

  3.  thiruththoNDar purANam main page

  4.  12 shaivite thirumuRais 





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