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The Puranam of Naminandi Adikal


(naminandi adikaL nAyanAr purANam - Periyapuranam as English poetry)

        "I am a servitor of the servitors of Naminandi, 
        the rarest of men." 
                        - The Tiru-th-Tonda-th-Tokai. 
1.     In the Cauvery land of the Cholas who wield 
    The unique sceptre to guard the world, 
    Is Yema-p-peroor, rich in vast fields 
    Full of red-lotuses, and spacious tanks. 
    The glory of the righteous men that thither thrive 
    Ever adhering to the rare and true Vedas 
    Which do away with falsity, 
    Fills all the eight directions.                    (1866) 
2.    Beside the beauteous streets are festoons 
    Decked with dangling garlands; 
    Over the mansions float the clouds that have 
    Drunk deep from the ocean-stream; 
    The gardens are cool and dark with bowers; 
    The areca trees are buzzed over by bees; 
    It is the Vedas that resound there in the morn; 
    Its watery fields are thick with lotus-flowers.            (1867) 
3.     The lotuses of soft and red petals that rose above 
    The white paddy crops in the fields, were like 
    The red flames fostered by the wearers of white 
    Sacred threads, on the white sands strewn on vetikais.        (1868) 
4.     In that town of renown, from the lofty clan 
    Of Brahmins who, in integrated devotion, 
    Fostered the Saivite way which was established 
    In the Holy Ash, hailed Naminandi Adikal. 
    For his life here and hereafter he was blessed 
    With the tapas of over blessing and adoring 
    The feet of the Lord.                        (1869) 

Naminandi Adikal Nayanar - The Puranam of Naminandi Adikal Nayanar
5.     He could be verily called the pure, red flame 
    Fostered by the Vedic splendour of true piety; 
    He knew that the supreme truth of life 
    Was to be established in the hly ash; 
    He adored the roseate feet of the Lord -- 
    The Singer of the Sama Veda --, 
    Night and day, and was steeped in joy.                (1870) 
6.     Convinced that the adoration of the fragrant 
    And flower-like feet of the Lord, that do away with 
    All the evil troubles of the devotees, 
    Is truly all the gain one could come by, 
    He would leave his town and reach Tiruvaroor; 
    He hailed there for many days the hallowed feet of the Lord 
    The Wielder of the mountain-bow 
    Who destroyed the triple cities of the foes.            (1871) 
7.     Deeming the performance of adoration 
    In the presence of the Lord who is verily 
    A ruby-flame enshrined in the auric Ant-hill 
    To be the righteous way of life, he came there, 
    Fell prostrate before Him and adored Him. 
    Gaining thus the life he sought, he came out 
    To the prakaram and entered the temple 
    Of Ara-Neri situate close 
    To the beauteous forted wall, to adore the deity there.        (1872) 
8.     He hailed Him duly; love in him welled up; 
    He adored Him again and again; then by the grace 
    Of Grace he could divine what he should do then; 
    He engaged himself in manifold acts of service; 
    A desire to light many a lamp possessed him; 
    He rose up to do this.                        (1873) 
9.     When he thus rose up, the day had spent itself 
    And the hour of dusk had come; 
    He thought that the propitious hour would pass away 
    Should he go to his house of foison (to fulfil his desire). 
    He entered a nearby house to secure ghee, 
    And that house happened to be that of the Samanas 
    Who were ever remote from truth; 
    They spoke to him thus:                        (1874) 
10.     “Lamps are a needless excess for the Lord 
    Who sports the fire in the palm of his hand; 
    We will not spare you any ghee; if you are 
    Bent upon lighting lamps, do it with water.” 
    Thus they spoke to the servitor, 
    They that hold one and the same thing 
    To be both true and false, 
    The pursuers of the flawed way.                    (1875) 
11.     He could not bear the words spoken 
    So slightly by the Samanas; 
    He quit that place at once sorely grieved; 
    He came to the temple of the Lord who wears on His crest 
    The crescent and the fragrant flowers of konrai 
    And, in melting love, fell prostrate on the ground. 
    Then spake an unbodied voice from the heavens.            (1876) 
12.     “Be freed from sorrow; to engage yourself 
    In the ceaseless service of lighting lamps 
    You may use the water from the nearby tank.” 
    When he heard the divine voice caused by the grace 
    Of the Lord, the Wearer of the crepuscular crescent, 
    His mind reveled in joy and he stood (happily) perplexed.    (1877) 
13.     Thinking on the grace of the Lord in whose crest 
    The Ganga flows, he rose up, 
    Entered the tank of goodly water 
    Came to its very center, chanted the Lord’s name, 
    Took water by dipping, reached the temple, 
    Poured over the twisted wicks and into the lamp-bowls 
    The water, to the wonderment 
    Of the men of this sea-girt earth.                (1878) 
14.     When he lit a lamp, it blazed up in splendour; 
    Beholding this, he lit all the lamps in the temple 
    Of the Primal God, the Lord of Ara-Neri. 
    In the presence of the Samanas who for ever 
    Brooded evil and spoke blasphemously, 
    It great joy he lit the lamps by the Lord’s grace. 
    He caused them to burn with water 
    And the whole country witnessed this.                (1879) 
15.     To keep all the beauteous lamps burning till dawn 
    He would duly pour water into the bowls of lamps 
    That began to dry up. 
    The to adore the Lord -- the true import of the Vedas --, 
    In his house, as was his wont, from which 
    He would never once swerve, 
    He took leave of the Lord of Ara-Neri 
    And left for his town that very night.                (1880) 
16.     He turned home that night and duly 
    Performed the pooja for the Pure One as usual; 
    Then he ate his meal and went to bed; 
    He woke up at day-break and duly performed 
    The pooja for the Lord whose jewels are snakes, 
    And then left for Tiruvaroor.                    (1881) 
17.     Arriving thither he adored Him; 
    He went round the temple of Ara-Neri 
    Where the Lord abides in joy; 
    Delighted he prostrated before the Lord, 
    Rose up and duly performed all service 
    Within and without the temple during the day; 
    When it was evening, he lit the lamps everywhere 
    And adored the feet of the Lord.                (1882) 
18.     When as usual he plied himself in the acts of service 
    For many days, the base Samanas that were 
    Confounded by Dandi Adikal perished; 
    In Tiruvaroor where the Devas hailed the feet 
    Of the servitors of their Lord Siva, 
    Glory came to abide, praised by the seven worlds.        (1883) 
19.     As a result of the servitorship of Naminandi 
    Who was poised in the Vedas -- the very form of Nada --, 
    For providing all that is needed right from 
    The daily nectarean offerings and pooja, 
    To the Lord of all lives, the hallowed One 
    Enshrined at the Ant-hill, 
    Many endowments were made that the way 
    Of the Vedas and the Agamas might thrive, 
    By the Chola-King who reigned 
    From the throne of justice.                    (1884) 
20.     The Lord Veethivitangka who wears the crescent 
    In His matted hair and rides the Victorious Bull 
    For ever rules Tiruvaroor and performs His acts 
    Playful and divine at once; 
    Pangkuni Uttara festival too marks His glory; 
    Naminandi prayed to the Lord that he be 
    Blessed to witness these; (his prayer was heard).         (1885) 
21.     As he performed manifold act of service, 
    The Lord of Tiruvaroor whose glory fills 
    The seven worlds, and who for ever 
    Is poised in the love of His devotees, 
    Graced the festivities as prayed by Naminandi; 
    The servitor adored Him; 
    Weal and welfare increased; 
    We too stand redeemed.                        (1886) 
22.     During the festival, the Lord of the Devas 
    Graced Manali by His visit; 
    All devotees, without distinction of class or clan 
    Thronged there and Naminandi who joined them 
    Adored the Lord thither; 
    As he had the darshan of the Lord, 
    The Protector of the Devas, in all His splendour 
    Of regal festivity, he felt delighted.                (1887) 
23.     He adored the Lord the live-long day; 
    When the Lord came back to His temple, 
    He hailed Him there and taking leave of Him 
    Repaired to his town through the inky-dark night. 
    He would not enter his house, pure and holy, 
    And slumbered on the pial. 
    His wife who is his helpmate in all his dharma and karma, 
    Thither came and requested him to come in.            (1888) 
24.     She said: “Be pleased to perform the pooja 
    For the Lord who wears the crescent on His crown 
    And also the Agni-rites; thereafter you may 
    Be pleased to eat and slumber.” 
    He replied her thus: “This day our Lord 
    Visited Manali; I adored Him with all and sundry; 
    I am afraid I am polluted.”                    (1889) 
25.     "So I should first have the purificatory both; 
    I will then enter the hose to commence the pooja; 
    Secure for me, here, cool water and things needed." 
    Thus bidden, the loving wife hastened 
    Into the house to secure them.                    (1890) 
26.     Then, we know not, if it was by the Lord’s grace 
    Or by the fatigue he suffered, he fell asleep 
    All at once; he slept, his mind fixed 
    On the feet of the Lord of the Devas; 
    He then dreamt a dream.                        (1891) 
27.     As if to accept the pooja of the great servitor 
    Lord Veethivitangka of ever-glorious Tiruvaroor 
    Appeared there and said: “All men born in 
    Tiruvaroor are blessed with the wisdom of the Vedas; 
    They form Our Hosts; this is their beatitude; 
    We will reveal this to you and you shall witness this.” 
    Thus spake the Lord in grace and vanished.            (1892) 
28.     As the Lord disappeared, he came to himself. 
    “What is it I have done, entertaining 
    A sinful thought instead of doing the pooja?” 
    Thus he mused, fear-driven; he rushed 
    Into the house and performed the pooja; 
    He also told his wife of the happening; 
    At dawn he woke up and hastened 
    To Tiruvaroor which he sighted ere long.            (1893) 
29.     All that took birth and flourished in Tiruvaroor --, 
    The city of the Lord of the celestials --, 
    Were like the blue-throated Lord Himself; 
    Their forms glowed in growing splendour like the Lord’s; 
    Witnessing this he folded his hands above his head 
    In sacred dread, fell prostrate on the ground 
    And felt exceedingly happy.                    (1894) 
30.     The new forms vanished and the servitor 
    Saw them all as they were before; 
    He bowed to the Lord and prayed thus: 
    “Forgive my fault, Oh Lord, in grace.” 
    Then by the Lord’s grace he settled in Tiruvaroor, 
    Performed many an act of divine service 
    That would ever flourish in the worlds, 
    And thus thrived.                        (1895) 
31.     As he daily served dutifully the devotees 
    Of the Lord, the Wearer of the Holy Ash,  
    For a long time in manifold ways 
    Meeting their several requirements 
    He came to be invested with the glory 
    Of being hailed as “The linch-pin of the servitors” 
    By Saint Tirunavukkarasar.                    (1896) 
32.     Naminandi Adikal who caused all good to thrive 
    Did many deeds of service, adored by all the worlds; 
    Eventually he attained the feet of the Lord  
    Of Tiruvaroor who sports on His crown 
    The crescent and the Ganga, 
    And comes out in festive procession 
    In the goodly streets of Tiruvaroor. 
    He is established for ever in the beauteous lustre 
    That glows beneath the feet of the Lord.            (1897) 
    In Praise of Sundaramoorthi Nayanar: 
        “I, Arooran am a servitor 
        Of the Lord of Aroor.” 
                - The Tiru-th-Tonda-th-Tokai. 
33.     In the past, as men of that town here witness, 
    He called back to life, on an auspicious day, 
    The little Brahmin-boy decked with aimpadai -- 
    The one that was dead and gone --, 
    From the mouth of the huge and unique crocodile 
    In Pukkoliyoor’s tank of burgeoning lotuses; 
    His hallowed feet would redeem them that think on them 
    From the irredeemable cycle of birth and death.            (1898) 
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. naminandhi adikaL nAyanAr purANam in English prose 
2. நமிநந்தி அடிகள் நாயனார் புராணம் (தமிழ் மூலம்) 
3. thiruththoNDar purANam main page
4. 12 shaivite thirumuRais 

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