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The Puranam of Tiru-k-Kurippu-th-Tonda Nayanar


(tirukkuRipputhonda nAyanAr purANam - Periyapuranam as English poetry)

    "I am also a servitor of the servitors of Tiru-k-Kurippu-th-Tondar" 
                    - The Tiru-th-Tonda-th-Tokai. 
1.     Goodly Tondai-Nadu is great in its tapas pure, 
    As it is here, She, poised in the Agamic way extolled 
    By all the four Gospels of gnosis, wrought askesis rare 
    And was blessed to embrace Her Lord unique. 
    She is to all lives the Mother of infinite mercy 
    And she protects them (in keeping with their Karma).        (1078) 
2.     For the flourishing of the great leading families 
    Who love the impartial way linked to extensive weal, 
    If fosters many a city of uberty, girt with 
    Puissant forted walls; such is the great Tondai-Nadu 
    Established in immeasurable and hoary loftiness.        (1079) 
3.     The lowly devotees of Pazhayanoor who solicit weal only, 
    When stymied by evil flaw, weighed as it were 
    In the scale their life against their plighted word 
    To a merchant; it was in the great Tondai-Nadu 
    The glorious honouring of the plighted word took place 
    (Which cost them their very lives).                (1080) 
4.     When he beheld the holy ash -- the very form of Siva-Sakti --, 
    (In fuller’s earth with which a washerman was smeared), 
    The Chera king said: “I am Chera, your servitor.” 
    His glory spread far and wide; in his hallowed Malai-Nadu 
    Thrive victorious heroes who wear dazzling jewels; 
    These claim the citizens of the great Tonda-Mandala 
    To be their brothers-in-law, as of right.            (1081) 
5.     As the beauteously bejewelled Uma sought perfection 
    Of her love for the blue-throated Lord, and here 
    Performed dharma, the world proclaims ex cathedra 
    That the great Tonai-Nadu in which is situate the city 
    (Of Kanchi) whose lofty forted walls reach the crescent, 
    Stands fast in virtue’s path.                    (1082) 
6.     Cataracts and rivers of the Kurinji realm fall down 
    And roll on with flawless gems; in the Mullai regions 
    Variform honey-bees sip fresh nectar from flowers; 
    In the Maruda realms carps leap and break the ridges; 
    In the Neithal, women wash pearls and dry them.            (1083) 
7.     Kuravas winnow seeds of Karamani from gems 
    And sow them in the Kurinji tracts; in the Mullai realms 
    Milch-cows and antelopes graze together; 
    In the Mardua fields birds perch on lotus flowers, 
    Catch and eat (iral fish); in the regions of backwaters 
    The sharp bones of sharks are objects of adoration.        (1084) 
8.     Over hills of Kurinjii clouds from sky pour down pearls; 
    In Mullai tracts, cool bunches of konrai shower gold; 
    On loam in fields, channels scatter pearls; vessels unload 
    Elephants in harbours near which kandal grow.            (1085) 
9.     The montane hamlets are rich in red-millet flour 
    Soaked in honey; the sylvan villages abundantly supply 
    Pullarisi cooked in milk; in arable tracts endowed with 
    Cool fords, goodly rice well-cooked, ghee, sugarcane 
    And fruits are aplenty; in the littoral regions 
    Schools of fishes serve for great food.                (1086) 
10.     In Kurinji where bees which hum like flute, sing 
    Kurinji-p-pann; in Mullai, drums resound 
    Like clouds, and mullai creepers blossom; 
    In Marudam parakeets softly lisp and sleep 
    On Maruda trees; Neithal thrives with shady screwpine, 
    And neithal flowers bloom in backwaters.            (1087) 

The Puranam of Tiru-k-Kurippu-th-Tonda Nayanar
11.     In that land of great fourfold regions 
    In hilly Kurinji, its people rear millet grains; 
    In all the vast fields where millet is grown 
    Peacocks of spreading wings can be eyed; 
    Women of curly hair who keep watch over those fields 
    Are pretty like the very peafowls.                (1088) 
12.     The bees that lay embedded in the curly locks 
    Of paradisal apsaras (who came to hail Kalatthi) 
    Flew over and settled on the locks of Koticchiyar 
    Of swelling breasts and fair adornments. 
    Blessed is the land, for thither is the cloud-capped Hill 
    Of Tiru-k-Kalatthi where is enshrined 
    The Rider of the red-eyed Bull who is Vishnu.            (1089) 
13.     In that land of munificent Kurinji region 
    Is Tiruvidaicchuram where the Supreme One 
    Who sports the Ganga on His matted hair, is enshrined; 
    Seeking a different and unique beatitude 
    The celestial lords and ladies came to be born here 
    As peerless hunters and huntresses to hail the Lord; 
    Such indeed is the sublime loftiness of the land.        (1090) 
14.     This land is endowed with Tiru-k-Kazhu-k-kunram 
    Where abides the God of gods; it has vast stretches 
    Dight with flowery springs and spas, where Koticchiyar 
    Who deck their full-grown hair 
    With golden blooms beauteous, 
    And celestial damozels plunge and bathe. 
    Can any one ever say that this 
    Kurinji land, where bees hum over twigs, 
    Is anywise flawed in its ever-during askesis?            (1091) 
15.     Beyond beauteous Mullai and Kurinji, are 
    A few patches of elevation full of broken bits of stones. 
    Here are many pagodas for Neeli of ebon hue 
    Who wields the sabre; these could be fittingly called 
    Palai, known for its hot summer and fierce noon.        (1092) 
16.     The extensive stretch of Mullai begins at the end 
    (Of Kurinji); into this gushes forth sweeping 
    In its flood, flowers buzzed over by bees, 
    The mighty jungle river, and spreads and rises 
    To the top of soft-leaved Kuruntam on which 
    Mullai creepers have woven a soft flowery bower, 
    The habitat of hares which now flee from the flood.        (1093) 
17.     The Kala plants spread out the rumour that mullai buds 
    Have purloined the teeth’s beauty of damsels 
    Whose foreheads resemble the clipped moon; 
    Sensing this they ope their petals in smile and say: 
    “Thieving is common to the Kalas too; else how could 
    They be as black as the dames’ koontals?”            (1094) 
18.     In that Mullai realm, herds of fawns vanquished 
    By the sword-loke eyes of lasses, roam everywhere; 
    Also are to be eyed everywhere mullai creepers 
    Put to shame by the slender waists of women. 
    Tamil grammar proclaims red-eyed Vishnu 
    To be the ‘Lord of Mullai’; he adores Lord Siva 
    Who is joyously enshrined in Tirumullaivasal.            (1095) 
19.     That it may perennially supply water 
    For the divine ablutions of the Lord who wears 
    The crescent and whose divine frame is 
    With the Holy Ash besmeared, the Ganga manifests as a spring 
    In bright flowery Kalikai, the megapolis; 
    This is a great treasure of the Mullai region.            (1096) 
20.     In the Maruda land abutting the Mullai land 
    Rich in mullai creepers of soft fragrant blooms, 
    Runs many a billowy river near unto fields 
    Where green-leaved lotuses huge burgeon 
    And fills tanks and lakes of strong banks 
    Where the loud chirp of water-fowls is heard.            (1097) 
21.     The milk that flowed from the divine udder of Surabi 
    Of the glorious tapaswi, swelled and flooding 
    Coursed down the Nandi-Hill, sweeping pearls, 
    Sandal-wood, eagle-wood and the like besides gems; 
    Thus ran the river Paii, filling many a lotus-tank.        (1098) 
22.     Like mother’s breasts whence issues milk abundant 
    When her suckling child touches them, the dry river 
    Gushes forth when farmers during summer dig 
    Into its sand-dunes; the water is gathered into channels 
    Through which it flows and then overflows on the banks 
    Even smashing the weirs of the vast low-lying fields.        (1099) 
23.     Such rivers flow, and gushing fill 
    The strong-banked tanks nigh the fields; 
    When vents are flung open from the watched-over dams 
    The waters rush into channels seeing which 
    The farmers shout in sheer joy.                    (1100) 
24.     He-buffaloes, the cause of peerless uberty, 
    Are yoked to ploughs and plied to make the soil miry; 
    Some broadcast seed-paddy of silver shoot; 
    Some are busy plucking seedlings, while some others 
    Engage themselves in transplanting them; 
    Thus are pursued many acts in ways dinsome.            (1101) 
25.     Valai fish block the flow of water in channels; 
    Water rising breaks the bunds and flows away; 
    Kendai fish throng thick in the depressions 
    Of the watery fields and thus raise the level of ridges; 
    Varal fish leap into the small vents and stop the flow.        (1102) 
26.     In the Maruda realm richly endowed with water, 
    On red-lotuses teeming in vast and ridged fields 
    Sleep gravid chanks that are tired; all the area 
    Dazzles with a greenery rare; the chanks there 
    Look like the moon girt with a belt of light.            (1103) 
27.     Tall Kazhai-sugarcanes grow near crops of paddy 
    That thrive well; near the canes are areca trees, 
    Near which are coconut trees rich in bunches; 
    Plantains of green fruit, rich jack-fruit trees 
    And mango trees of dangling fruit delicious 
    Are in gardens protected by a running fence.            (1104) 
28.     The wealthy towns hoary are girt with fields 
    Vast and cool; paddy granaries mark the houses; 
    In its streets dight with great mansions, dwell 
    Glorious householders; tapers burn hospitably there.        (1105) 
29.     The prosperous towns where Brahmins dwell 
    Foster the Vedas and the glorious arts; in their homes 
    Are chanted the scriptures; from their homa-pits 
    Where oblations are offered, rises aloft smoke 
    That into throngs of nimbi, turns.                (1106) 
30.     Vallam thrives gloriously hailing the holy ash; 
    Here thrives the race of Brahmins in whose families 
    Women-devotees were born thanks to goodly Karma; 
    It was here the Lord blessed the Asura Teekkali 
    And graciously freed him from trouble.                (1107) 
31.     The Maruta realm is rich with rubies rolled down 
    By the waterfalls of Kurinji; its streams are full 
    Of flowers washed into them from the Mullai land; 
    On the banks of Pali is TiruMalperu in which 
    The peerless temple of the river-crested Lord 
    Is situated and at which temple He abides in joy.        (1108) 
32.     What else should be said of its glory? It is rich 
    In many temples of Siva on the banks of many rivers; 
    Is not the Maruta realm blessed with Tiru-p-Pasoor 
    Where the Lord who peeled off the hide of the long-trunked 
    Pachydermatous behemoth, is enshrined.                (1109) 
33.     The minstrels who sing in the pann of Marutam 
    On the flowery fields well-watered, deck themselves 
    With soft flowers, gather under the shade of mango trees 
    With their beloved kin and strum their maruta-yazh; 
    Nearby are beauteous fields, beyond which 
    Lies Neythal marked by its dark backwaters.            (1110) 
34.     Paratavas of white sandy fords weave fishing-nets; 
    Their red-eyed women weave wreaths of serunti blooms; 
    Alavas are busy measuring salt, in salt pans; 
    By their women – Alatthiyar of swan’s own gait 
    And lovely mien --, are pearls measured.            (1111) 
35.     Nulaiyas vend fat fishes; oh cruel is their calling! 
    Nulaicchis vend coral gathered from the reef 
    Near sandy shore; turaivas dive for pearls 
    And gather chanks; their women whose eyes are like 
    Symmetrically slit slices of tender mango, 
    Bathe in joy in sandy wells.                    (1112) 
36.     On the edge of sea runs an eddying stream 
    Over which punnai spills its gold, the pollen; 
    The bees that are cradled in fragrant neythal blooms 
    Are fed with pollen by the long-leaved fragrant screwpines 
    That grow on the banks of the backwaters.            (1113) 
37.     The defective breaches in the fertile banks 
    Of the backwaters are filled with mullai plants 
    Whose thorns are strong and whose rich buds are 
    Red, cool and fragrant; the pollen of gnazhal 
    From the gardens of Neytal rich in fords where swans play, 
    Conceal the white and soft sands of the shore.            (1114) 
38.     In the habitation of the fishwives, near which 
    The leaping billows dash and break 
    The women whose shoulders are bamboo-like, 
    Display for sale carp fish; their eyes which roll 
    Like carp-fish aren’t however for sale; 
    The words of these are sweet to hearken and they 
    Match the melody of Sevvazhi-Yazh.                (1115) 
39.     Deluded, the King cut down cruelly the provision 
    For temples; by an interlineations the Peerless One 
    Caused the words, “Except Tiruvotriyoor” 
    To appear in the document; the Neytal owns 
    The divine area fronting that great temple.            (1116) 
40.     Tirumayilapuri flourishing in gloried truth, 
    Tiruvanmiyoor girt with flowery gardens fragrant, 
    And many a shrine where the Lord that wears 
    The snake of venomous sacs is enshrined, are there, 
    Can its full-fledged askesis be deemed small?            (1117) 
41.     From the sea whence roll waves enfolding chanks, 
    The coral-creeper spreads and twines with its shoots 
    The branches of sandal-tree; thus are there 
    Many lands linking Neytal with Kurinji 
    Where thrive great towns like Maa Mallai 
    Rich in mansions of pennant-flaunting balconies.        (1118) 
42.     The carps from the fields leap on rocks and thither roll; 
    It looks as though the hills are with eyes endowed; 
    When the black stage leap and run, it is like into 
    The movement in the ridged fields of buffaloes 
    Yoked to ploughs; here are fields watered 
    By little waves, linked to tracts of Kurinji.            (1119) 
43.     From Mullai land rich in kine, a hare eyes 
    The hare in the moon on the mountain-top and rushes there; 
    Over piles of Varaku in fragrant Mullai rest clouds 
    Surcharged with water; thus is seen everywhere 
    The marriage of Mullai and Kurinji.                (1120) 
44.     Seamen obtain from foresters partridges and quails 
    In exchange for their heaps of fishes; the little girls 
    There measure coral and pearls against country beans 
    And millet, of the huntresses; there is seen the blending 
    Of the ways of maritime Neytal with Mullai.            (1121) 
45.     To imitate the beauteous gait of the cow-herdess 
    And emulate the mien of the farmwife -- 
    Dwellers in abutting Mullai fragrant 
    And Marutam of long and vast fields --, 
    The swan and the peacock there come, fronting each other, 
    Thus are there the tracts of Marutam and Mullai.        (1122) 
46.     Rolling waves wash ashore pearls which get mixed 
    With the flowers falling from areca spathes; 
    Women of Neytal and farmwives of Marutam 
    Whose shoulders are bamboo-like lay rival claims 
    To these and bear them away; thus are Neytal tracts 
    Linked close to those of Marutam.                (1123) 
47.     Thus in all the fourfold regions and their ways of life 
    Many families thrive pursuing the callings of their clans; 
    They are untouched by evil, aye, even in their dream; 
    Pure are they; truly the glory of Tonda-Mandala is ineffable.(1124) 
48.     In this famous land of foison is the famous city, 
    Kanchi of true uberty, the wonder of the whole world. 
    It abides when even the cosmos comes to an end; 
    Such is it that it is hailed by men of all faiths.        (1125) 
49.     In this hoary city, of yore, the Goddess hailed 
    Her Lord by pooja, and performed dharma --  
    Flawless and manifold --, for the redemption 
    Of the world; let me sing that glory and greatness 
    As I chance to know it.                        (1126) 
50.     Lord Siva in whose matted hair flows the leaping Ganga 
    Was throned in Kailas, the silver mountain; 
    He clearly explicated to Her, the Ruler of the worlds, 
    The true and great tenets of the Aagamas.            (1127) 
51.     When the Lord graced Her with the truth that it is Pooja 
    Hailed by the innumerable Aagamas, which is endearing to Him, 
    She, the greatest of women, 
    The shoot as it were of great askesis, 
    Desired to perform pooja for the Lord-God.            (1128) 
52.     Sensing Her inner desire, His boson was filled with joy; 
    With a smile He asked Her: “What is it that your heart 
    Is after?” “O my Lord, my desire swells; I should 
    In the Aagamic way perform 
    Your Pooja.” Thus spake she, 
    Whose jeweled breasts are Siva-bhoga.                (1129) 
53.     The Lord-God approved it and said: “By reason 
    Of the tapas wrought by the South, there came into being 
    An ever-during city, called Kanchi, easy of access to all; 
    There under a mango-tree are We enshrined. 
    There adore Us in joy in abiding pooja.” 
    When the Lord bade Her thus 
    She took leave of Him reluctantly.                (1130) 
54.     The Lord fosters eighty four hundred thousand species 
    Of life in great mercy; she desired to hail Him 
    In pooja as is prescribed in the Aagamas 
    Graciously explicated by Him; 
    So She adored Him and took leave of Him; 
    Her father Himavant too, came to her, borne in love 
    With articles and attendants for pooja.                (1131) 
55.     The Mother fared forth circled by many beings, celestials 
    And others; thus She came to Kanchi; thither a great snake 
    By Name Patuman fell at Her feet, and wearing them as it were, 
    On his crown, prayed to Her: “Thou art the Mother 
    Of the Universe, be pleased to abide in my hole.” 
    To this She graciously consented.                (1132) 
56.     There for the flourishing of all the lives on earth, 
    Embosoming only grace which is nought but limitless joy 
    She desired to perform pooja for Him that sports 
    The crescent on His matted hair; He was sought everywhere; 
    But the great Ens would not reveal Himself; 
    The daughter of the auric mount, the One liana-like, 
    Resolved to redouble her effort so that Her great askesis 
    Should swell and soar beyond measure.                (1133) 
57.     Her heart was after the Lord, her lips 
    Ever chanted the Panchakshara; 
    Her hands like red lotuses, folded in adoration; 
    She sought refuge in Him through tapas; 
    Her unique Lord could keep away no more; 
    Under the flawless mango-tree, He manifested 
    For the daughter of the mountain, to behold Him.        (1134) 
58.     When She beheld Him, the fruit of Her great askesis, 
    -- Her Lord who is enshrined in Ekampam --, 
    She bowed low before Him and her bee-laden locks 
    Dangled low; Her desire began to soar up; 
    Her love grew limitless; Her goal was to hail Him 
    In pooja; this the kovai-lipped Uma, now commenced.        (1135) 
59.     She stood poised in the truth of the Aagamas 
    As explicated by the God of gods, to hail Him in pooja; 
    Her natural companions who were like unto 
    Flowery twigs, came with flower-baskets 
    In soft and gentle gait, to Ambikavanam, 
    The garden where they gathered blooms, 
    Pure, fresh and fragrant, for the Lord.                (1136) 
60.     They gathered manifold flowers holy water 
    For ablutions secured from the great kampai river, 
    And fragrant paste for the Lord’s divine person; 
    Lamps fed with ghee were secured; 
    Holy fumigation was arranged. 
    These were the articles of pooja sought by the mind 
    Filled with abiding Love; these were to Her 
    Handed over by Her attendants when she required them. 
    Thus, Our Mother of all the worlds, wrought Her pooja true 
    In strict conformity with the Aagamic injunctions.        (1137) 
61.     She who is the liana-like daughter of Himavant, 
    She who can grant boons to lives, realized that the fruit 
    Of the blessed endowment of hands is to perform Siva-pooja; 
    Her heart swelled in love for the God of gods; Her great love 
    Expanded and grew peerless; she caused all good to flourish; 
    Every day she bowed Her head before Her Lord and performed 
    Pooja which was, for sure, approved by Him.            (1138) 
62.     While thus She joyously and in love did pooja for the Lord, 
    He desired to play a game divine and thus bless Her  
    Of the lovely ear-rings; it looked as though He caused 
    All the seven seas to merge into one flood, overflowing 
    Even the heavens; thus ran the flood in the river 
    Kampai as He wished.                        (1139) 
63.     She whose eyes were beauteous carps, beheld the flood 
    Of the Lord’s grace and was scared; it came 
    Raging and rushing, sweeping the very heavens; 
    Knowing it to be devastating, in loving agitation, she tried 
    To forfend it with her divine hands; as it was of no avail 
    She who is equaled by Herself alone, closely embraced 
    The Lord who wears the cool crescent in His crest.        (1140) 
64.     As She, the daughter of the King of Mountains, in love 
    And fear, with Her hands that wore bangles, hugged close 
    And with Her hill-like breasts hugged tight the Lord of gods 
    Who manifested in the umbrage of the mango-tree, 
    In growing desire, the Lord that liked this game divine 
    Became soft and lithe in His frame, over which He had 
    Of yore worn the hide of a tusker wild; She whose brow 
    Was a bow peerless, with Her divine breasts and hands 
    Felt the palpable softness.                    (1141) 
65.     As He grew soft and lithe, hugged by His beloved, 
    Beings -- mobile and immobile --, and all species of life 
    Inclusive of the seven, beginning with the celestials, melted 
    And with their lives and bodies fused together 
    Began to pray thus: 
    “Soft has our Lord Ekampar become for ever to our Lady!” 
    Celestials rained fresh and fragrant Karpaka blooms; 
    The Kampai the adored and stood denuded of its flood.        (1142) 
66.     Fully smearing His frame with the Holy Ash – wealth great --, 
    With a top-knot on His matted hair where the Ganga flows, 
    With chank-earrings and rudraksha wreath dangling,  
    The Lord presented a Yogi’s form; but who wrought askesis? 
    The Primal Lord or the Universal Mother? 
    She graced Him with Her body’s mark, and He on His body 
    Wore it: the impress of Her bangles and breasts.        (1143) 
67.     The Lord showed His form of bridegroom to Her so that 
    The flawless and nectarean Goddess might flourish 
    For ever; Her breasts have softened Him sure; 
    He now said: “Get all the boons You seek.” She bowed 
    At the fragrant and lotus-like ruddy feet of the Lord 
    -- The Originator of the Gospels --, and wanted to apprise 
    Him that Her flawless pooja unto Him 
    Had not yet met with termination.                (1144) 
68.     Folding Her hands and in awesome fear, She stood 
    Before the God of gods and said: “You have approved 
    My pooja so far; incomplete is this day’s pooja; 
    May you graciously deem it as complete!” The Lord, the Wearer 
    Of a flowery eye in His forehead where shine 
    Triple stripes of the Holy Ash, beholding the lotus-visage 
    Of Himavant’s daughter whose locks are sought by bees, 
    Said: “Your pooja to us for ever knows no end!”            (1145) 
69.     “My Lord, may this pooja endless be performed for ever 
    And be approved by Yourself in joy; grant me the boon 
    That I may in this place eternal, do all dharmas 
    Save the sin against Your divine feet; may all acts, 
    In whatsoever way performed by the dwellers here, 
    Be rated as great askesis and the doers, rewarded.” 
    Thus spake She, the abolisher of embodiment.            (1146) 
70.     When the daughter of Himavant prayed thus 
    To the Rider of the Bull, He came to be poised in Her pooja; 
    He also granted Her two nazhis of seed-paddy 
    That she could for all times do all dharma, therewith. 
    ‘What though they be – high or low --, 
    Even the evil deeds of the dwellers of Kanchi 
    Will be deemed to be tapas leading to the true goal.’ 
    Thus, even thus, the Lord blessed.                (1147) 
71.     Thus endowed with inconceivably rare boons great 
    Our Lady there performed pooja to the Lord’s delight; 
    The fruits thereof were to all entia conferred; 
    Prompted by mercy to bless all householders, so that 
    Lives linked in love may flourish well, 
    She abides at the holy and hallowed Kamakkottam 
    And fosters dharmas, two and thirty.                (1148) 
72.     The Goddess Ara-p-perum Selvi that performs 
    Endless tapas, has for Her house divine which is 
    Indeed the Cosmos, a lamp of three wicks 
    Which attests the fruit of Her descent on earth. 
    Every year from a stalk bloom three blue flowers; 
    She abides as Kamakkottam that dharmas may thrive.         (1149) 
73.     Amidst Tiru-k-Kamakkottam is a pool of cool water 
    Hailed by the triple worlds; this is like unto the ladder 
    Through the rungs of which Salvation can be reached 
    By men on this sea-girdled earth; here is water 
    Found at all times; sacred streams that wash away 
    The sins of bathers hail the glory of this pool 
    Known as Ulakani.                        (1150) 
74.     To Tiru-k-Kamakkottam of the Goddess who fosters lives 
    By Her endless performance of dharmas, 
    The Moon and the Sun come; but when they depart 
    They adhere not to their skyey way but move away 
    Sideways deferentially as a result of which 
    Directions grow contrariwise; shadows emerge 
    And confusion of directions reigns; this can be witnessed 
    By all the dwellers of this world; it is so even today.        (1151) 
75.     In the bournes of Kanchi-city protected by Kali 
    Is Tiru-p-Perumpeyarirukkai near the bank 
    Of the river Kanchi where the Lord, the wearer 
    Of the crescent in His crest, abides in love; there is  
    Uberous Kanchitthanam whose shadow parts not 
    From it whether the sun fiercely rises aloft 
    Or sinks into the western main.                    (1152) 
76.     The Vedas hail Him here; rare tapas is wrought here; 
    Anchored in unalterable righteousness, here perform 
    Munis, pooja; all beings beginning with the Devas 
    In sheer love that overflows, adore Him in pooja; 
    The Lord grants to each his heart-felt desire 
    And here He abides in joy in shrines innumerable 
    Within the limits of this beauteous Kanchi.            (1153) 
77.     In the precincts of the ever-abiding city divine 
    By reason of the greatness of the soil, a hare that lives 
    On shrub could chase away an elephant; such a spot 
    Of unabating enthusiasm is sure here; besides this 
    There is a place where the dead get resurrected; 
    Also is there a place called “The Deathless Place” 
    Not to be seen anywhere else on earth; such places 
    Are a natural sight here.                    (1154) 
78.     Here are Punya-Tirthas which do away 
    With the sins of bathers and confer on them joy only, 
    Ishta-Siddhi that grants the very thing wished-for, 
    And Mangala-Tirtha which is a confluence 
    Of all the holy waters of the triple worlds; in sooth 
    There are innumerable Tirthas in that city 
    Where for ever the celestials bathe.                (1155) 
79.     There is the golden spot where on a single stalk 
    Three lotuses bloom; there is also the place where  
    The flooding river runs westward and sudden 
    Disappears; there during the live-long day 
    The red-lily blooms; fresh lotus blooms at night; 
    At noon blossoms patiri; then again there is 
    The sleepless, fruitless tamarind tree which is 
    Of the hue of the divine Mother who is like a rain-cloud.(1156) 
80.     There is a well which conceals into itself 
    The shadow of its beholder; there is a well 
    Whose water is venomous: a little of it will end life; 
    There is a subterranean passage which confers 
    On any entrant a simian form; there is  
    Also a cenote which cancels this similitude; 
    There is a place for the commingling in joy 
    Of mortals with immortals; like these are 
    Many marvels in this city of wonders.                (1157) 
81.     The city is guarded by Lord Vinayaka who has 
    Five hands and from whom ichor floods, 
    Bhairava the son who zealously watching wields 
    The trident, whose beauteous body is like 
    The extending cloud at mid-night and whose 
    Flower-feet are decked with heroic anklets, 
    And also Muruka who smote the Crowncha Hill 
    Into two with His spear.                    (1158) 
82.     Many Satthi-Yogis triumphant and many Siva-Yogis 
    Who are unique pursuers of Siva’s way and many others 
    Of ever-during life, abide here in many places; 
    Also is here a great street where Lord Aiyanar comes 
    In procession armed with centu, riding a tusker. 
    Here abide Siddhas, Vidhyataras, Yakshas and Gandharvas.(1159) 
83.     In that city is a place where men can see unseen; 
    There is a Yoga-Pita where gather Siva-Yogis 
    And Yoginis; there is also the shrine Bhoga-Pita 
    Where abides the Magna Mater willingly, and fosters 
    All eternal dharmas; thus in Kanchi where 
    Our Father abides in joy, are many marvels; 
    Who can ever con them?                        (1160) 
84.     There is Rudra Solai, a flowery garden frequented 
    By the celestials where a flame rises at night and chases 
    Murk away; there are men poised in the truly wise way 
    That does away with embodiment; there is a stone 
    Which will turn to gold potsherd and the like,  
    If they are touched by this; it is impossible 
    To narrate the glories of all these that thrive 
    In the city where the Cosmic Mother fosters 
    All lives established in the sixfold religion.            (1161) 
85.     Of yore, during Kali-Age, a hunter apprised 
    Karikal Chola of the greatness of this ever-during city, 
    When the Chola was on an expedition to the Himalayas 
    Thither to inscribe his tiger signum; it was he 
    Who reclaimed the city to a distance of four katams; 
    He built a mountain-like fortress and caused 
    Many men and women dwell here.                    (1162) 
86.     The tender twigs which are flowery branches 
    Of cool Kanchi trees, dance in the wind; 
    The nearby mango garden where bees hum 
    Kanchi-p-pann, forms as it were, the fence 
    For the fields of marutam; the city of Kanchi, 
    Strong and fierce, is girt with mighty walls 
    Around which runs a deep and strong moat. 
    Himavant’s daughter wears on Her waist 
    Kanchi, the grace-abounding jewel that tinkles 
    With the sound of the Vedas; the city looks like the earth 
    Girt with the ever-expansive and merciful sea.             (1163) 
87.     In the most burgeon many water-blooms; 
    Goddess Parvati wears on Her koontal bunches 
    Of blooming flowers; to protect the places of pooja, 
    -- Willingly approved by the Lord Himself --, mantras, 
    Which are duly ordained by Ekampar in the Aagamas 
    Are made to form the fort and the moat; the moat is like 
    The sea which hath come there to cure itself 
    Of its blackness and saltiness, even as men come 
    To the flawless and glorious Kanchi to cure 
    Themselves of their malas.                    (1164) 
88.     The forted towers are lofty and enduring 
    Like the minds of the great that dwell there; 
    Through them can pass only the righteous way 
    That is graced by the Lord for the redemption 
    Of the world and nought that is evil; 
    They for ever glow with the growing lustre 
    Of the true and perfect and salvific way; 
    It looks as though they scale the very sky.            (1165) 
89.     Here are the beauteous streets dight with rare mansions 
    Auric and peerless, long streets and commercial streets 
    Where manifold articles of merchandise are sold; 
    The city decked with these and other splendours 
    Is not merely this world divined by its nine continents 
    With the eight mountains thrown in between, 
    But an entirely new world of several continents; 
    It is a megapolis that stands apart.                (1166) 
90.     On both sides of the streets are rows of mansions, 
    Lofty and large and of great lustre. Here abide 
    Women of soft koontal whence dangle 
    Wreaths of pearls of purest ray serene; these wreaths are 
    Like unto the heavenly Ganga and other streams 
    That pour down on earth tearing the clouds of ski 
    Studded with many a luminous star.                (1167) 
91.     Many indeed are the streets dight with great mansions, 
    Bright with the lustre o ruddy gold; their steps 
    Down below are paved with sapphires; their window 
    Set on the high walls are wrought of pure diamonds; 
    The blue steps down below are like dark Vishnu; 
    The windows above that dazzle with diamonds are like 
    The white Swan, Brahma; so it looks as though 
    The search after the golden Siva 
    By Vishnu and Brahma is still on.                (1168) 
92.     The many white mansions dazzling with gems galore 
    Are inlaid with stones of Chandra-Kanta on their tops; 
    When the crescent of the even, from the ruddy sky 
    Throws its rays on them, they melt and flow streaming. 
    These mansions therefore are like tear-bedewed devotees 
    Who beholding Ekamparar of long matted hair 
    Over which rises the crescent, and who is clad 
    In tiger-skin, feel rapturous and melt in love.            (1169) 
93.     Over the cloud-capped marmoreal mansions 
    Fly streamers; their outer surfaces mirror 
    All that move and are stationary; 
    So the city is like a treasured place where 
    All species of life are preserved; it is like unto 
    A gift of Eamparar who wears on His person 
    The bangle-marks and the nipple-marks of Parvati 
    -- The tapaswini perfect --, 
    To Brahma for purposes of his creation.                (1170) 
94.     From the balconies of mansions painted with gold, 
    Bow-browed belles who are like lianas, 
    Play with soft kazhankus and beauteous balls, 
    The while singing the glories of the Lord. 
    Their ornaments of gold sway as the play; 
    When women are enthralled by the embraces 
    Of their husbands, they cast away their jewels in ecstasy; 
    Such pieces of jewels are gathered by maids. 
    Thus in this city on many days it rains gold 
    And sometimes gems ninefold.                    (1171) 
95.     In pavilions bathed in moonrays on the tops 
    Of auric mansions, fit to be called the abode 
    Of the Goddess of wealth, are many women 
    Decked with fish-like ear-pendants; they spray 
    The place with scented snow of kumkum 
    From gemmy sprayers, before their husbands 
    Would come thither; thus are encrimsoned 
    The black clouds which abode near cornices.            (1172) 
96.     There are many mansions which are huge and lofty 
    Like snow-clad mountains; these are painted white; 
    Their tops are connected by flights of steps; they are 
    Pure and indistinguishable from the heavenly world; 
    Men, women and kin ascend and descend through 
    These steps; Devas and Apsaras too use these steps 
    For coming down; so it is hard to tell who 
    The celestials are, and who the human beings are.        (1173) 
97.     In the noisy street where chariots ply, are 
    Many mansions; nearby is a beauteous and gemmy tower; 
    Near this, are emerald pials coruscating with green lustre. 
    Damsels that wear kura blooms, ascend the flight 
    Of steps thereto which turn roseate with the impress 
    Of their feet dyed with red silk-cotton; these look 
    Like the shoots of coral reef in a dark and billowy sea.(1174) 
98.     One can hear there the fierce trumpeting 
    Of tuskers, the neighing of chargers, the din 
    Of broad-wheeled chariots and the rhythm 
    Of ankleted feet of damsels that dance in the theatres 
    Of the golden streets of perpetual festivity. 
    The city is celestial too, in that, the trumpeting 
    Of Airavata, the neighing of the seven steeds 
    Yokes to the car of the divine Sun, the din 
    Of Brahma’s great chariot, and the dancing 
    Movement of the ankleted feet of Apsaras 
    Can eke be heard there.                        (1175) 
99.     There are streets where Brahmins dwell; 
    From their auric mansions, streams 
    The sacrificial smoke through the vast streets; 
    Here are offered oblations to the gods on high 
    With chanted mantras which beckon them here 
    From the entrance-tower of Ekamparar 
    Where they had gathered to hail the Lord of gods.        (1176) 
100.     In the broad streets where Kshatriyas abide, 
    On pials and courtyards and also in the vast yards 
    Weaponry is practiced; in the streets where  
    Elephants fastened to ropes and horses are trained, 
    Wondrous feats of fencing and archery, are done by Princes 
    -- The wearers of fragrant wreaths and gemmy chains --; 
    These are beheld by the ever-frequenting 
    Celestial throngs of Vidhyataras 
    From their vehicles on high and also from earth.        (1177) 
101.     Merchants wear many jewels of dazzling gems; 
    Their places are full of wealth and grow in wealth; 
    Their thresholds are all with gems inlaid; 
    They are rich in beauteous gold, gems ninefold 
    And other heaps of wealth; Kubera knows the glory 
    Of the Lord of Kailas who abides in Ekamparam 
    And several other shrines there; it looks as though 
    The city emulates Alakapuri in many ways  
    So that Kubera can come here, have darshan 
    Of the Lord, adore Him and sojourn too.                (1178) 
102.     In divine Kanchi, ever-festive, Velalas 
    Of great opulence hail from pure families; 
    Ekampar of dazzling matted hair and white crescent 
    Gifted to Himavant’s daughter -- the auric liana --, 
    Two nazhis of seed-paddy, the eternal source 
    For all dharma; the devotee-Velalas received this 
    From the Magna Mater after duly hailing Her; 
    With this they commenced their husbandry, hailed by 
    The Vedas true; the yield was million-fold; 
    Thus they foster lives stablishing them in dharma.        (1179) 
103.     By reason of unapproved union betwixt 
    The members of the four sublime varnas 
    Arulomars, Pratilomars and Sankarars get born; 
    These dwell in places set apart for them; 
    There they thrive with their kin adhering 
    To the calling of their race, unswervingly, 
    Thus they thrive and thus their habitations.            (1180) 
104.     The streets of forted Kanchi hoary 
    Of the Primal Lord, lit with gemmy lustre, 
    Are full of censers and lamps 
    Musical instruments and streamers; 
    Each day is marked by a festival.                (1181) 

105.     All thresholds are decked with festoons; 
    All the parts of the fortress are girt with clouds; 
    All houses cooled by moon’s rays celebrate 
    Auspicious functions; all temples sought by devotees 
    Are thick with the celestial throngs.                (1182) 
106.     Only the sacrifice of Brahmins is fiery; 
    Only flowers on koontals are knit together; 
    Only lovable streets branch out in lanes; 
    Only mangoes and kurukkatthis spread abroad.            (1183) 
107.     Waists of women alone languished; 
    Streamers on mansions alone waved; 
    Tuskers of decked foreheads alone felt nonplussed; 
    Trees of garden alone shook in fear.                (1184) 
108.     Loud was the love of devotees; 
    Powdery was the pollen of fresh flowers; 
    Only gemmy chains dangled low; 
    Paste of kumkum alone flowed slow.                (1185) 
109.     They sport like the victorious celestials; 
    They eternally live like Siddha-Purushas; 
    They live gaining their wish for weal; 
    They city is such that it grants such boons.            (1186) 
110.     Kanchipuram presided over by the Lord who smote 
    The triple skyey cities, is gloried in all 
    The fourteen worlds; limitless is it foison; 
    It is a vessel of uberty, a horn of plenty.            (1187) 
111.     He lived in a part of such divine city; 
    By birth he was of the clan of washermen; 
    His was a loving mind; he was poised in piety; 
    He was a hereditary servitor of the blue-throated Lord.        (1188) 
112.     After his birth on earth, he dedicated the triad 
    -- Mind, speech and body --, to the Lord’s feet; 
    As he served the servitors truly divining their intent, 
    He came to be known as the Divining Servitor.            (1189) 
113.     In far-famed Kanchi where chariots and steeds 
    For ever run dinsome, he took to washing 
    The garments of its citizens; yet he wasn’t deemed 
    A mere washerman; he dwelt apart in unicity; 
    He would cleanse the clothes of devotees who thaw in love 
    When they hear the name of the Lord on whose matted hair 
    The Ganga roars, serpents hiss and the moon shines.        (1190) 
114.     He would wash the dirt clean from the garments 
    Of servitors dedicated to the Lord’s dazzling lotus feet; 
    Even thus would he wash the triple malas that get 
    Attached to the life of twofold deeds; as thus  
    He cleansed the very stain of life, one day...            (1191) 
115.     Our Lord who of jore manifested to assess the tapas 
    Of auric Himavant’s daughter, the flowery liana, 
    To grace the devotee of devotees for his peerless devotion, 
    Deigned to walk the earth.                    (1192) 
116.     On a wintry day when it was exceedingly chill 
    As an old poor man he came to Tiru-k-Kurippu-th-Tondar 
    In the soiled habit of a great tapaswi; 
    His feet unknown to Vishnu plied in small little steps     
    Toward the devotee of flawless heart.                (1193) 
117.     On His divine frame besmeared with the Holy Ash 
    Were dirty rags like black clouds; as He came thus, 
    Tiru-k-Kurippu-th-Tondar beholding him felt thrilled 
    And the hair on his body stood erect; he bowed 
    Before Him and rose up.                        (1194) 
118.     He divined the wish of Him who came there 
    And spake to Him sweetly and said: 
    “O great tapaswi, why is it you look so emaciated?” 
    He folded his hands in adoration and added: 
    “Be pleased to give me your cloth; I’ll wash it clean” 
    To this, the Concealer of the blue (in His) neck, said:        (1195) 
119.     “Though this rag be irremovably dirty, I part not 
    From it as my body constantly dreads chillness; 
    If you can return it before the sun descends 
    Into the western mount, you may take it and full it, 
    And return it to me in all celerity.”                (1196) 
120.     “Be pleased to give it to me; I’ll without delay 
    Full it and return it to you before sunset.” 
    When he spake thus, He said: “If you do not 
    Wash it, dry it and return it to me betimes this day 
    You have sure harmed this, my body.” 
    So saying He gave it and went away.                (1197) 
121.     He took it with him to cleanse it and return it 
    Within the specified time; he washed it clean 
    In the ghat rich in fragrant flowers; he then 
    Applied the fuller’s earth to it and had it steamed; 
    When he desired to wash it finally, the sun was 
    Past meridian; then by the grace of the Lord 
    Who sports a fawn in His hand, it rained sudden.        (1198) 
122.     Clouds gathered thick and filled the sky; 
    All the directions were involved in darkness; 
    The downpour was blinding; the servitor, thinking 
    Of his promise to the tapaswi rare, grew sad 
    And was truly bewildered. “What can I do?” 
    He thought and stood dazed.                    (1199) 
123.     The devotee of Kapali thought that the rain 
    That poured ceaselessly might for a while stop, 
    And stood apart; but the rain it  rained 
    And would not cease; night came like a pack of foes; 
    “Alas, alas! I’ve failed in my duty to the tapaswi, 
    Great and pure, who suffers sore from chillness.” 
    He fell down, (toppled by sorrow).                (1200) 
124.     “The rain would no cease; the time set 
    By the tapaswi had passed; I ought to have fulled it 
    Betimes, taken it to my house and thither 
    Dried it in the wind; of this I hadn’t thought at all; 
    I am now the cause for the harm done 
    To the ripe old tapaswi; I am a base servant; 
    So, this is what I should now do.” Thus resolved, 
    He rose up ......                        (1201) 
125.     “I’ll dash my head on the granite-stone 
    Meant for washing and scouring clothes.” 
    Thus he resolved and as he was about to dash 
    His head against it, the flowery and roseate hand 
    Of Ekamparar whose frame bears the impress 
    Of the bangles, jutted out from its side and stayed his head.(1202) 
126.     The shower of rain gave place, now to a shower of flowers; 
    The Lord that wears on His crown the honied chaplet 
    Of konrai blooms, appeared on His mount, the Bull, 
    With His Consort, in the heavens; the servitor true 
    Melted in love and folded his hands in worship 
    And stood apart.                        (1203) 
127.     The triple-eyed Lord beheld him that stood 
    Before Him and said: “We have, to the triple worlds, 
    Demonstrated your state; may you henceforth 
    Abide for ever in Our eternal world.” 
    Thus He graced him and then from there 
    He disappeared into the shrine of Ekamparam.            (1204) 
128.     Thus hailing the eternal glory of the service 
    Of Tiru-k-Kurippu-th-Tondar, I now proceed 
    To narrate the act of him who cut off the feet 
    Of his father, that the world might thrive well. 
    As true servitors hail the Lord as one demented, 
    Who can ever unfold the truth of his mystique?            (1205) 
Stanza     Line 
   4     4-7    When of yore, mutiny broke out in Malai Nadu, many fled from  
        that country.  Of them was a young girl who took refuge in a Velala  
        family of Tondai Mandala.  The Velalas reared  her as they would,  
        their own daughter.  When peace was restored in Malai Nadu the kin  
        of that girl came to take back.  The Velalas then said that the girl had  
        become their own daughter and claimed the right to perform her  
        wedding.  They celebrated her marriage and sent her back with dowry  
        and all.  Since that time came to be established the relationship, hailed  
        in this stanza. 
      7    (Itai) is karamani which according to Winslow is “a kind of lentil or  
        pulse”.  Iral is a shrimp; a prawn; cancer serratus. 
      8    Kandal         :    The fragrant screw-pine. 
  10      3    Mullai        :    Jasmine. 
      5    Maruda tree    :    Arjuna. 
      6    Neytal flower    :    1. White Indian water-lily.  2. Blue nelumbo. 
  13      4    The beatitude sought by the celestials is this.  As Devas, they could come  
        here only in an invisible form and hail the Lord.  This fugitive joy would  
        not do.   So they prayed for the boon of adoring the Lord in unicity,  
        embodied as human beings. 
  15        Neeli        :    Durga. 
      5    Every region is endowed with a twyfold time, called the major and the  
        minor.  Major time refers to the season and minor to a division of the day. 
  19        Tiruooral is Kalikai 
  21        Surabi        :    The Cow of plenty also known as Kamadenu. 
  89        Nine continents    :    Bharata, Kimpurusha, Harivarsha, Illavruta, Iramiya,  
                    Hiranya, Guru, Ketumalaka and Bhathrasuva. 
        Eight mountains    :     Himalaya, Hema, Nishada, Neela, Sweta, Sringa  
                    Ghandamana and Malyavan. 
 106        Each line in this poem is a pun. 
        Teeya = (1) fiery (2) evil; Pini = (1) knit (2) disease; Kavalai = (1) worry  
        (2) Lane; Puram soozha = (1) spread abroad (2) back-bite. 
 107        The whole poem is woven with puns.  The first line says that in Kanchi,  
        nothing languishes save the woman’s waist.  A slender waist is always  
        described as languishing.  The second line says that in that city no one  
        is of a wavering type.  That which wave(r)s is the streamer only.   
        Thikaiappana in line 3 means: 1. are nonplussed; (2) are situate in the  
        direction.  Payam (bhaya) in line 4 means (1) fear and (2) fruit. 

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.  thirukkuRipputh thoNda nAyanAr purANam in English prose 

  2.  திருக்குறிப்புத் தொண்ட நாயனார் புராணம் (தமிழ் மூலம்) 

  3.  thiruththoNDar purANam main page

  4. 12 shaivite thirumuRais 




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