Tiruvāymoḷi of Nammāḷvār | Book 2

Śrī:
Śrīmatē Rāmāṉujāya Namaḥ
Tiruvāy moḻi iraṇṭām pattu

Book 2

Second Centum—First Decade (II-1)

Preamble

In the last stanza of the preceding decade, the Ālvār who had already conjured up the vision of the Lord as having entered his body and gone right up to his head, referred to the Lord as the blue gem, overlord of the Celestials and a very attractive jewel, by himself.

Each one of these features of the Lord was so fascinating that the Ālvār could not resist the immediate urge to enjoy them outwardly.

The enjoyment, longed for, did not, however, materialise instantly and the Ālvār was thrown into a state of deep dejection, reduced to the abject position of a forlorn lover.

The Ālvār, thus transformed into a female lover (Parāṅkuśa Nāyakī) pining for her beloved Lord, moves into a garden on the sea-shore to bemoan her separation.

It may be recalled that she was in a similar predicament earlier, when she sent the birds etc., as her emissaries to the Lord- Sec 1-4.

But then, she is worse off now, not finding any one to carry her message to the Lord:

The self-same stork which she had commissioned earlier now looms in her eyes as a comrade-in-distress. The stork’s natural complexion is white but the Ālvār thinks that it is a case of decolouration due to the pangs of separation from the Lord, experienced by it.

The Aṉṟil birds of opposite sex always stay together and even during sleep keep their bills locked in each other’s mouth. The moment the bills get unlocked, they wake up and start crying.

Unaware of this natural sequence, Parāṅkuśa Nāyakī thinks that these birds cry out their agony of separation from the Lord, like her.

The wind, ever on the move, appears to the Ālvār to go about frantically in search of the Lord; the clouds, unleashing rain-water, look like shedding tears of grief due to separation from the Lord;

likewise, the waning of the Moon, the surging, up and down, of the waves, the burning of the lamp and all other natural phenomena are invested by the love-lore Parāṅkuśa Nāyakī with her own poignancy and she bemoans their lot as well.

This sets the pace and pattern of this decade, pin pointing the Lord’s quality of making his devotees mad with God-love.

Here is an interesting comparison:

Lakṣmaṇa, while pleading that he should be allowed to accompany Śrī Rāma into exile, cited the example of the fish failing to survive without water, thereby indicating that Śrī Rāma was unto Lakṣmaṇa what water is unto fish.

But here is Parāṅkuśa Nāyakī who feels that the fish, water and all things subsist on the Lord and cannot brook separation from Him!

The Ālvār addresses these Comrades-in-distress commiserating with them in their sad plight. It is worth noting that Śloka 15 and the following few ślokas in the last chapter of the tenth Skanda of Bhāgavatam run in a similar vein.

1.1

O white egret, flapping over brackish waters!  Even if my  mother and the godly world sleep, you do not go to sleep,  Are you tool, like me, forsaken by the Lord, -spouse of Lakshmi, -and left to pale and sicken?

1.2

O Poor stork!  Are you too, like me, caught in the Lord's net Keeping awake through lean hours and calling piercingly, did you too seek the cool Tulasī garland, from the feet of the Lord reclining on the serpent couch?

1.3

O Sister, Roaring sea!  Have you no sleep?  You lament night and day in a heart-rending roll.  I desired the Lord's feet who consigned the Southern Lanka to flames; is your plight the same as mine?

1.4

O cold wind blowing through oceans, over mountains, and in the sky! Through bright days and nights, like me, you have no rest.  Do you too wait age after age and sicken with grief to see the fierce discus-bearing Lord?

1.5

O Blessed clouds, bringing water to the world!  Age after age, like me and my sisters, you melt, were you too caught in the Lord Madhusūdana's vice and made to suffer the pangs of love?

1.6

O Crescent Moon! Today you do not dispel darkness.  Like hapless me, you too are warning, day by day.  Did you believe as true the words of promise made by the discus Lord, sleeping on a serpent couch?

1.7

O Engulfing darkness!  Having lost my frail heart to my Lord, I weep and lament my unbearable lot.  Alas, you are more cruel than my worst enemy; how long will you confront me? May you win!

1.8

O salty stream, flowing like molten darkness!  Even if night and day find their ends, you do not rest.  Are you too forlorn through the pain of separation?  Did you seek the grace of the Lord who smote the cart?

1.9

O, Lamp eternal, My poor dear! Your soul dries and your body buns, suffering unbearable grief through love-sickness.  Did you too eek the cool Tulasī garland adorning the Lord of large lotus eyes and coral lips?

1.10

O Youthful Lord! You ripped the horse's jaws, pierced many trees and measured the Earth!  With the raging fire of love-sickness, incessantly, You have scorched my frail soul within, by day and by night, and made me drop at your feet, I pray you, evade me no more!

1.11

This decade of the thousand songs by Kurukūr Caṭakōpaṉ with insatiable love addresses the great Lord, the radiant first-cause of all,  Those who master it will never depart from Vaikuṇṭha.

Second Centum—Second Decade (II-2)

(Tinnan vitu)

Preamble

In the last decade, the Ālvār was confined to the bottom-most depth of dejection and his yearning for the Lord baffled description.

It was but meet that the Lord came and presented Himself before such an ardent devotee and saved him from collapsing altogether.

It goes without saying that, when the Ālvār came, face to face, with the Lord, all his erstwhile dejection and the resultant fatigue vanished altogether.

The Ālvār then made up his mind not to allow himself to be swept off once again, by contemplating the Lord's trait of Saulabhya (easy accessibility). He would rather tackle the other plank, safe and steady, namely, the Lord's over-lordship and transcendent glory and sustain himself.

No doubt, in the opening decade of the first centum also, the Ālvār spoke about the Lord’s Supremacy and transcendent glory.

But that was in a different key altogether:

There it was direct postulation, as such, running parallel to the Vedic texts.

Here, the Ālvār establishes the Lord's Supremacy through an elimination of the claims of the possible contenders for this position of Super-eminence, citing the relevant tales from the Itihāsas and Purāṇas.

There it was confined solely to the “Para” or transcendent state of the Lord in the High Heavens whereas here, the Supremacy of the Lord is brought out in His “Vibhava” or incarnate state.

Speaking about the Avatāras (Incarnations), the Lord's wondrous deeds can bear endless repetitions, without satiety. Every time the same trait or deed is repeated, there is freshness about it, with a new aroma.

2.1

My Lord, -bestower of heaven and all else, -swallowed the Earth and sky.  He is beyond comprehension.  He is my Krishna, dear as my eyes, Other than him, there is no doer.  This is certain.

2.2

The great lion of the cowherd clan, he ended the woes of Śiva who came pleading, Who else can rid the misery of the seven worlds, and protect them too?  Alas, must I answer this?

2.3

The bull-rider Siva, the lotus-born Brahma and the lotus-dame, Lakshmi reside on his person inseparably.  The gods worship him, Rising over the sky, he took the Earth and all. an there be a god greater than him?

2.4

My Lord created Brahma on his lotus navel, who in turn created the gods and beings of the worlds.  Other than my Krishna, is there any Lord worthy of worship with flowers?

2.5

My Lord of befitting wealth and lotus eyes by his own cause did create the exalted gods and all things and beings. Who can praise a Lord of greater glory?

2.6

All things, all beings and all the worlds, -he contains them within him easily.  He is an icon of eternal effulgence reclining in the ocean, He alone in my Lord!

2.7

My Lord has a great strong belly. He ate the seven worlds and slept on a fig leaf. We can understand the mysteries of his dark unfathomable will?

2.8

By his will, he made the gods and all things, He contains the three worlds and protects them, and lends them his permanence.  Who but our wonder-Lord can do this?

2.9

He mingled and merged himself into the Universe.  He made Brahma the creator on his lotus-navel.  He made Indra and the gods, and all the worlds.  He is Krishna, our Lord, protector of all.

2.10

Even the bull-rider Siva, the four-faced Brahma, Indra and all the gods look up to the bird-riding Lord.  Worship his feet, and call "Prankster Lord!  You made the seven worlds and all of us appear in you!"

2.11

This decade of the thousand songs, In praise of the dancer Lord who took the Earth, appears in the words of Kurukūr Caṭakōpaṉ, Those who recite it with devotion shall have no want.

Second Centum—Third Decade (II-3)

(Unil vij uyire)

Preamble

In the first decade of this centum, we saw the Ālvār in dire distress. Towards the end, the Lord, however, deigned to present Himself and once again, the Ālvār is in rapturous rapport with the Lord.

In this decade, he gives vent to the joy of reunion with the enchanting Lord. In strict sequence, this should have been the second decade instead of being the third.

The Ālvār’s immediate reaction, on seeing the Lord come back to him, was, however, that one of such super eminence, the overlord of the Celestials, should have at all deigned to mingle with one so low. And, therefore, he straightaway expatiated on the Lord’s transcendental glory, in the second decade.

3.1

Good for you, O Life residing in the body!  Through your grace my Lord Madhusūdana and I have mingled into one inseparably, as sweetly as milk and honey, sugarcane juice and Ghee.

3.2

O Great wonder-Lord without a peer or superior!  Close to all things and all beings, you are my life, you are my mother, my father, my friend, teaching me all that I do not know.  I will never know how much you have done for me.

3.3

My years of innocence were steeped in the Maya of delusion, You crept into my heart and planted the love for devotion.  Like an innocent child you came and asked. "Three steps of Earth, O Great Bali", and deceived him!

3.4

In exchange for your great favour of mingling with me, I have you my heart; now how can I every retrieve it?  O Lord who swallowed the seven worlds! You are the soul in my heart.  Who am I? What is mine? You gave and took what is yours.

3.5

Lord beyond the ken of intellect, Sweet liberation, Ambrosia, -untouched by the ocean, -for compassionate souls!  You came as a boar and lifted the universe on you tusk teeth.

3.6

O, Rare antidote for Karmas!  O Medicine for devotion, inseparable from the hearts of seers! O The glow which lights their souls! I have attained the Lord long ago.  He cut the nose of Sūrpaṇakhā.

3.7

O Sweet timbre of the well-turned harp-string! O Pure joy attained by the many sages!  O sugarcane juice, ambrosia, dark-hued Lord, my Krishna!  Without you, I too am not; I pray you take need of me.

3.8

What is attained by the penance of many ages through the control of senses. I have attained here in a few days, as mere child's play.  Crossing the pain of existence. I have become a lover of the Lord who stole milk and butter from pots on the rope-shelf.

3.9

The peerless Lord of celestials, great and pure, is my Lord, Krishna, who wears the cool nectarine Tulasī.  Immersing myself deep in the ocean of his goodness.   I drank from it and rejoiced, ending my weed-like miseries.

3.10

He is a radiant body of light; the Earth and sky are his.  He bears the radiant conch and discus, and protects us all, pleasure, pain and the fourfold vices departing. When, O, when will I join his band of devotees!

3.11

This decade of the well-arranged thousand songs spoken with feeling by Kurukūr Caṭakōpaṉ addresses the Lord who, angrily destroyed Lanka, Devotees, come and join the band, and eyes, sing and dance with us!

Second Centum—Fourth Decade (II-4)

(Ati ati)

In the penultimate song of the last decade the Ālvār expressed his desire to sing profusely the glory of the Lord in a chorus.

Looking around, he, however, found the prospect of mustering persons from the rank and file of the worldlings for this purpose pretty bleak.

He had, therefore, no option but to shift the venue of his enjoyment to the high Heavens and sing the Lord's praise in the company of the Nitya Sūrīs there.

This ardent longing of the Ālvār was, however, not realised there and then and once again the Ālvār was thrown into deep dejection assuming the overtones of a frustrated feminine lover in a state of despondency.

The Ālvār had got into such a state on two earlier occasions, namely I-4 and II-1:

On the first occasion he sent some birds as his emissaries to the Lord, while, on the second occasion, all things around seemed to suffer, like him, the pangs of separation from the Lord and he, therefore, wept along with those comrades-in-distress.

But now his grief is so deep and poignant that all that is said in this decade is put in the mouth of the mother who questions the Lord –

- how He could reduce her love-intoxicated daughter to such a parlous state and asks Him to clarify His intentions as to what exactly He proposes to do about the poor little victim.

No doubt, it is the Ālvār who sings, and yet, this assumes the form of a mother's dialogue with the Lord indicating an extremely critical state so far as the Ālvār is concerned:

This is like the swollen river Kāverī or Ganga branching off into rivulets, going by different names but carrying the same water as in Kāverī or Ganga.

The necessity for the mother’s intervention here, in this decade, unlike the two earlier decades referred to above can be understood if we probe into the genesis of each of these three decades:

It is a matter of common knowledge that the grief over the loss of a thing varies in direct proportion to the value one attaches to the thing lost:

For example, as between the loss of a silver piece and a gold piece, the latter causes a far more grievous feeling of privation. If the same person, later on, lost a necklace set with costly gems and rubies it would be the worst blow.

And now let us analyse the cause of the Ālvār’s grief at the commencement of each of the two earlier decades:

In I-3-10 the Ālvār wanted to adore and embrace the Lord’s pair of feet which spanned the entire Universe during His Avatar as Trivik. But he couldn’t get at those feet and, in the grief that ensued, he sent the birds on an errand to the Lord as in I-4.

Again, in I-10-9, the Ālvār devoutly longed for communion with the Lord in His Iconic form in the pilgrim centre, Tirukkuruṅkuṭi (deep south in Tamil Nādu).

- Non-materialisation of this ardent desire brought on grief far more intense than on the earlier occasion in view of the relatively greater importance of the thing now lost, namely, communion with the Lord in His Iconic manifestation, a veritable ocean of innumerable excellences vis-a-vis His Incarnate form which is like the river, once in spate, now turned dry or turgid.

And now what is the position?

In II-3-10 the Ālvār pined for entry into the gatherings of the devotees and singing profusely the glory of the Lord in their steadfast company.

But this did not happen immediately, are naturally, the loss is the worst so far on the analogy of the successive loss of silver, Gold and gem-studded necklace.

So great is the importance attached to the company of the Godly. This accounts for the induction of the mother into the scene.

It might be questioned why this decade complains at the door of the Lord instead of being couched as an appeal to the band of the devotees on the Yonder side, whose company the Ālvār pines for but could not have.

- Well, the complaint was always lodged with the King, the aggrieved party rushing to the Palace gate even though the gems and rubies were looted by robbers in the jungle.

As a matter of fact it is only the Lord who grants us all felicities including participation in the gatherings of the Godly and hence, the appeal at His door.

4.1

Singing and dancing endlessly, this bright, forehead girl calls, 'Narasimha!", and looks everywhere, Then tears welling, she swoons.

4.2

Desirous of seeing you, this bright maiden faints, Lord who destroyed Bāṇa's arms!  Oh, you are heartless indeed.

4.3

She melts for you like wax if a fire, Lord who destroyed Lanka's demon-haunt!  You do not let your compassion rise. Alas!  What can I do?

4.4

Her breath is hot, her heart is troubled, with beseeching hands and tears in her she calls "O Destroyer of Lanka" then, "O Rider of the bird!" softly.

4.5

She raves madly night and day, her beautiful eyes brim with tears. Alas, you do not give her your Tulasī, Such is your compassion, O Great one!

4.6

"O Compassionate one!", She calls, then 'Most loving Lord', softly, "My soul's ambrosia", she sighs, then stands and melts into tears.

4.7

Her heart is dry, her soul is parched, "Dear-as-my eyes Lord!" Oh, the deceit that my clever one has fallen prey to!

4.8

"O, Deceiver!", she calls and joins her hands, She sighs hotly, with a heavy heart she cries, "O Destroyer of the powerful Kamsa!". Alas, the suffering she takes to see you!

4.9

Night or day, -She knows not when, -"Dew-blossom Tulasī", She says, O Lord with a powerful radiant discus, pray what have you in store for her?

4.10

This poor girl stands by night and day with tears we welling in her eyes. O Lord who destroyed Lanka's fabulous wealth, pray spare her innocent looks at least!

4.11

This decade of the poetic thousand songs sung by benevolent Caṭakōpaṉ addressing the eternal Lord Vāmana is a worthy garland at his feet.

Second Centum Fifth Decade (II-5)

(Am Tamattu Anpn)

Preamble

The sufferings undergone by the Ālvār, as set out in the last decade, are comparable to the titanic struggle of Gajendra, the elephant, with the crocodile:

Even as the Lord rushed, with an aching heart, to the pond post-haste on hearing the alarum raised by the elephant

the Lord felt exceedingly remorseful that He did not rush to meet the Ālvār as soon as the latter became critical of His nonchalance, that is, His not rushing to his aid despite His having the mighty Garuda to carry Him anywhere at supersonic speed.

By way of making amends for this remissness, the Lord has now come to the Ālvār, in all His splendour and paraphernalia and is at the height of His joy in the blessed company of the Saint.

Beholding the joyous Lord, the Saint feels immensely delighted and relates, in this decade, his ecstatic experience.

5.1

My Lord bears a garland, crown, conch and discus, thread and necklace, in a beautiful spot he made love to me, and blended with my soul. His big eyes are like lotus peals, his coral lips are like lotus flowers, his feet are like red lotus, his body glows like red gold.

5.2

He made love to me, no place untouched, His body has a great lustre, the lotus-dame Lakshmi sits on his chest. Brahma sits on his lotus navel and Śiva in a corner, too, His eyes are like red lotuses, his hands are like lotus flowers.

5.3

The Lord who made love to me has a frame like a lustrous mountain.  His coral lips and red eyes his hands and his feet are like lotuses.  All the sever worlds are contained in his frame; not a thing lies outside him.

5.4

The Lord is himself all, his frame is like a huge dark gem.  His eyes and feet and hands are like freshly opened lotus flowers.  Every moment, every day, every month, every year, every age, age after age, my insatiable ambrosia flows like fresh juice, just made.

5.5

My Krishna of dark gem hue, my tall-garland ambrosia, has a high radiant crown, the sacred thread and many befitting ornaments on him.  He made love to such an insignificant thing as me.  Red corals cannot match his lips, nor lotus steal over his eyes, hands or feet.

5.6

My Lord reclines on a serpent, let me count his ways.  His ornaments are many, his names are many, his lustrous forms are many, their sensations too are many, through seeing, eating, touching, hearing and smelling, he give me pleasure.

5.7

The cool-blossomed Tulasī-garland Lord, -that angry bull, -wears a crown. He reclines in the Milk ocean on a hooded serpent couch. He killed seven bulls to win the bamboo-like-arms-Nappinnal. He pierced seven dense dew-dripping trees for Sītā’s love.

5.8

My Lord, -that angry bull, -wears a Tulasī wreath over his golden crown.  He has four beautiful arms and infinite virtues.  Heedless of my lowliness, he made love to me,  I have no words to describe him; what shall I say, tell me?

5.9

My Lord of infinite goodness, my good ambrosia, is the rare bliss of liberation, sweet as the fragrant lotus flower. My Lord of black gem lustre, my soul's keeper, is neither male nor female. Oh, How shall  I speak of him?

5.10

My Lord is neither male nor female nor eunuch My Lord cannot be seen; he is not, nor non-existent.  He takes the form by which you wish to see him, but he is not it.  Describing my Lord is a veritable riddle indeed.

5.11

This decade of the perfect thousand Andadi-songs by Kurukūr Caṭakōpaṉ, sung for the Lord Gopāla, -the Lord indescribable as one, the Lord who danced with pots, -secures Vaikuṇṭha for those who master it.

Second Centum—Sixth Decade (II-6)

(Vaikuṇṭha Manivannane)

Preamble

As set out, in the last decade, the Ālvār is experiencing the Supreme bliss of Union with the Lord, like Heaven transplanted right here.

And what about the Lord?

In the supreme joy of His union with the Ālvār, the Lord is exploring new avenues of regaling him as well as those associated with him.

What a fine reciprocity?

In II-3, the Ālvār pined for the company of the Lord’s devotees and now the Lord’s love for the Ālvār extends to his devotees as well.

But at the same time, He also apprehends the possibility of the Ālvār slipping back to his old ways and shrinking away from Him, overwhelmed by His transcendent glory.

The Ālvār feels the Lord’s pulse all right and hastens to assure Him that he would not give up his Lord on any account and that his present grip on Him is very tight indeed.

Śrī Nampiḷḷai likens the Lord’s apprehension, referred to above, to Śrī Rāma’s apprehension whether the extremely happy days, he and Sītā had in Chitrakūṭa in each other's delightful company, would at all go on for all time, being too good to last long.

6.1

Germ-hued Lord Vaikuṇṭha, my wickedly beautiful manikin Lord eternally residing in me sweetly, at all times and forever! O Kunda blossom giving relief to devotees and so to the Asuras! Know that I have you firmly held in me!

6.2

My Lord of lotus eyes, swallower all within a trice, container of all the worlds in himself, has entered me. An un-quivering flame of effulgent knowledge, he is my ambrosia bottled inside me!

6.3

My Lord of lotus eyes, who wears a garland of sweet fragrant Tulasī flowers, is a mountain of gold, praised even by the celestials, He lets us approach him with praise and worship him through song.  He lets us think of him and dance in joy. How generous of him!

6.4

O My generous Lord and Father.  O My emerald mountain!  You gave me yourself to think on, and sing and dance in joy.  Your effulgent glory has cured me of my sickness.  Now that I am saved, how can I ever let you go!

6.5

My Lord reclining on the hooded snake in the Mil Ocean, engaging in Yogic thought!  Constantly I thought of you; destroying my ageless karmas, I have saved myself,  Now that I am in your service, will I ever let you go?

6.6

O My springing man-lion fore apart the hefty chest of the evil-thinking Hiraṇya!  Thinking of you constantly, I have sung and danced my great exalted songs in praise of you.  Now my age-old karmas are destroyed by the root. What can I not do?

6.7

What is beyond me now, when the Lord who swallowed the seven worlds has happily entered my lowly heart and does not leave?   All my kin through seven generations before and after have been saved from the torment of endless hell.

6.8

O Lord who rides the Garuda bird raising clouds of dust, chasing out the Asura clans!  Through countless cycles of birth and death I have found your feet,  My heart is consoled and bathed in a flood of endless joy.  Pray do not part from me.

6.9

My Lord standing on the cool Vēṅkaṭam hill, Destroyer of Lanka!  My Lord who shot a mighty shaft uprooting seven trees!  My Lord of celestials, Ambrosia, Lord wearing cool Tulasī flowers!  My Prince, you have mingled into me, now whether can you go?

6.10

My Lord of eternal glory, Great Lord of the three worlds!  My Lord of fragrant Tulasī flowers, king of the cool Vēṅkaṭam hill Through past, present and future, my father my mother, my life!  Now that I have found you, will I ever let you go?

6.11

This decade of the thoughtful thousand songs by Southern city Kurukūr's Māṟaṉ Caṭakōpaṉ, is for the Lord of lotus eyes, Krishna who wears a fragrant Tulasī wreath.  Those who can sing it will be devotees of Keśava.

Second Centum—Seventh Decade (II-7) (Kecavan tamar)

Preamble

In the seventh stanza of the last decade, the Ālvār had mentioned that the Lord's benevolent grace did not stop with him alone but overflowed its continents and extended to all those connected with him in the preceding and succeeding generations as well.

Overwhelmed by this extraordinary benevolence of the Lord the Ālvār expatiates on it in this decade.

Of the numerous auspicious traits of the Lord extension of His love and care not only to His devotees but all those associated with them, is indeed exemplary:

After Rāvaṇa was slain by Śrī Rāma, Vibhīṣaṇa was called upon to perform the funeral rites of his brother. But then Vibhīṣaṇa demurred, saying that he would not do any such thing for such a great sinner as Rāvaṇa.

Śrī Rāma (the very personification of Grace) had, however, no bitterness towards Rāvaṇa and all the bitterness was only on the part of Rāvaṇa, an one-sided affair!

Now that Rāvaṇa was dead he would no longer repel Śrī Rāma's good offices, that is, if Vibhīṣaṇa performed the funeral rites at Śrī Rāma's bidding. If Vibhīṣaṇa still demurred and declined to act, Śrī Rāma would do it himself; if Vibhīṣaṇa was a brother unto Rāma, so was Rāvaṇa, as Vibhīṣaṇa’s brother.

There are several other instances where the Lord extended the area of His benevolence, bringing within its purview all those associated with His devotees. This is being illustrated in this Tiruvāymoḷi.

The Lord's twelve principal names, Keśava, Nārāyaṇa etc., are dealt with in these stanzas, in the same order in which these names are recited by the devotees in the course of their daily prayers. There are, therefore, 13 stanzas in this decade (12 + 1 end-song), as against the usual 11 stanzas (10+1 end-stanza).

7.1

Through chanting "Keśava, My Lord and master, Lord of celestials, My lotus-eyed Krishna, My black-gem Lord, Nārāyaṇa! “my kin through seven generators before and after me, have become devotees; Lo, what a wonder, what fulfilment!

7.2

'Nārāyaṇa' is the master of all the worlds, extolled by the Vedas, He is the cause, effect and the act of all, my master, He is worshipped by Lakshmi and all the celestials. He is Mādhava my Lord, who broke the tusk of the elephant.

7.3

For merely saying, "Mādhava", he entered into me, saying, "Henceforth and forever, I shall stay and protect you" My lotus-eyed mountain-hued ambrosia, my perfect sugar candy, my master, my Govinda is the destroyer of our endless Karmas.

7.4

For dancing, singing 'Govinda' Gopāla and many such names, he made me pure and took me into his service.  My clever Lord Vishnu rid me of my past misdeeds.  Then he made me love him now and through seven lives.

7.5

My Lord 'Vishnu' wears a radiant crown. My Madhu-foe has red lotus feet, radiant hands and eyes.  His frame is dark and radiant like a beautiful mountain.  His conch and discus bear the radiance of the Moon and Sun".

7.6

I said, 'Madhusūdana' is my sole refuge, then ceased acting, and only worshipped him through song and dance.   Through many lives in every age he came before me and showered his grace.  This has been blessing, through Trivik, my master.

7.7

Chanting 'Trivik' and other names, I thought of my Lord with red lotus eyes, coral lips, and bright crystal-hue.  O Lord who came as a manikin, through countless ages you made my heart serve you and worship your lotus feet.

7.8

Singing, 'Vāmana', 'O My gem-hued Lord of lotus eyes, O Father of Kama" and many such names I worshipped you. You made my heart pure, and rid me of my birth pains.  O My Sridhara, what can I do for you?

7.9

I chanted 'Śrīdhara', 'My lotus-eyed Lord" and many other names night and day, prating madly, depressed, with tears in my eyes and breathing holly, You rid me of my store of karmas, and gave me yourself.  Then you planted yourself in my heart for all times.  My Hriṣīkeśāya!

7.10

Have good sense, O Heart!  Learn and worship him well, chant Hrishīkesa, "My Lord who burnt the demon's Lanka, "O My Lord and Master, Lord of celestials, Padmanābha" and such.  Not even through oversight must you stop chanting.

7.11

"Padmanābha' is the mighty one, higher than the highest.  He is my Kalpa tree, he made me his and himself mine.  He is my ambrosia, dark as the rain cloud, in Vēṅkaṭam.  My Lord Dāmodara is the Lord of high celestials too.

7.12

Can even those who worship "Dāmodara", know his greatness? He is the first-cause, and the swallower of the Universe.  Can even Brahma or Śiva performing steady contemplation fathom his greatness, when they are but a part of him?

7.13

This bouquet of songs bearing the twelve names of the Lord, from the thousand songs by Kurukūr Caṭakōpaṉ is for Krishna, gem-hued Lord of celestials.  those who can sing it will attain the Lord's feet.

Second Centum—Eighth decade (II-8) (Anaivatu Aravu-anaimel)

Preamble

In the last decade the Ālvār was overwhelmed by the Lord's extraordinary benevolence which did not stop with him alone but overflowed its continents and extended to those connected with him, seven generations, back and forth.

In other words, the heavenly bliss enjoyed by the Nityās in Heaven could be shared by him and his associates, right here.

In his boundless compassion for the suffering humanity, caught up in the vortex of worldly life and sensual pleasures, the Ālvār would naturally like to seize this golden opportunity and get the area of benevolence extended, by getting the Samsārins (worldlings) also associated with him as fellow-devotees.

And so, he turns round and advises them to get into the Divine fold, seeing that the Lord is the one and only granter of Mokṣa, the final bliss, ridding them of the terrific involvement in worldly life, with its dreadful cycle of birth and death.

It may be recalled that, once before, vide I-2, the Ālvār addressed the fellow- beings with whom he wished to share all that exalted knowledge about the Divine order, imparted to him by a self-revealing God.

The earlier Ācāryas had held that, in this decade, the Ālvār propagates the Lord's Supremacy. But Śrī Parāśara Bhaṭṭa was inclined to think that the Lord's prowess of granting Mokṣa is being talked about in this decade.

As a matter of fact, the Lord's Supremacy has been dealt with in this very centum, in the Second decade, and there is no need to repeat it here so soon. Further, this decade is replete with expressions relating to the grant of Mokṣa.

In any case, it makes no difference either way, as God-head (Īśvara- tva) and the prerogative of granting Mokṣa (Mokṣa-pradatva) go hand in hand, vested solely in the Supreme Lord.

Towards the end of this decade, as can be seen from stanza ten, the Ālvār, however, feels frustrated by the unresponsive world around, jogging on in just the same way as before, all his advice having fallen on deaf ears, like the advice tendered by Mālyavān and others to Rāvaṇa.

The Ālvār would, therefore, profitably revert to the enjoyment of the Lord as before, which got interrupted for a while because of his misplaced sympathy for those around, totally impervious to his wholesome advice.

At the same time, it was no mean consolation for him that, in the process, he escaped getting contaminated by them and becoming one of them.

Great indeed is his jubilation that he could still retain, in tad, the priceless wealth of God-love and God-enjoyment, like that of a person who clears a dacoit-infested area without being robbed and molested.

8.1

My Lord pervading all things, reclines on a serpent couch, with the perfectly matching lotus-dame.  The Lord who made Brahma. Śiva and all else is the life-buoy for the drowning.

8.2

My Lord who wears cool Tulasī flowers, is the saviour of the elephant in distress!  Blending with him alone is liberation, from birth and all other miseries.

8.3

From the lotus that grew on his navel arose Brahma the creator. then Śiva the destroyer, with Lakshmi gracefully sitting on his chest.  He lies in the cosmic Milk-Ocean.

8.4

If you wish to go beyond the five sense and enter the world of endless good, learn to sing the glories of the Lord who destroys the Asuras by the score.

8.5

The Lord of gods, my holy one beyond the cycles of miserable birth, came as a turtle, fish and men.  He shall come as Kalki too!

8.6

When Arjuna strewed flowers of the Lord's feet, he saw them being borne by Śiva on his head.  Now must I speak of the glories of my Lord.  the Earth-measuring one?

8.7

Lying, sitting, standing Lord, -he came as a boar, Diving deep he lifted Dame Earth safely on his shoulders.  He swallows the Universe then brings it out again.  who can fathom all thee deeds?

8.8

Who can fathom my Krishna-lord, and by what means? He swallowed the Universe whole, all in one gulp.  In all things and beings and in the eight quarters, he pervades all, even the high Heaven.

8.9

When the young lad said Krishna is everywhere, the Father swore, "Not here!" and smote a pillar.  Then instantly my Lord appears, -what a wonder! –as a fierce man-lion and destroyed the king.

8.10

The root and cause of all is he, filling Heaven.  Hell and Earth.  He pervades the high seat, the gods, the demons and all mortals.

8.11

This decade of the thousand songs by Valudian of bee-humming groves is for Krishna.  Lord with lotus eyes.  Those who can sing it will rule over Heaven and Earth.

Second Centum—Ninth decade (II-9)

(Em ma vittu)

Preamble

This decade pinpoints the concept of Puruṣārtha, the ultimate value of the final goal of every individual.

In the preceding decade, frequent references were made by the Ālvār to the Eternal Land of absolute bliss.

On hearing these, the Lord thought He would rather put the Ālvār in Heaven if that was all His desire and accordingly told him: "Well, you can have the Mokṣa, as desired”.

It is now and here that the position gets crystallised:

The Ālvār revolves in his mind and concludes that anything granted by the Lord, by way of catering to his desire instead of His own, is not worth having, and even heaven attained this way, would be little better than hell.

The real Puruṣārtha, or ultimate value lies in whatever is bestowed by the Lord out of His own free grace and liking.

And so, the Ālvār speaks out his mind, as follows:

“My Lord, it makes absolutely no difference to me whether I am in heaven as the partaker of the endless bliss there or in the state of Kaivalya, lost in self-enjoyment or get consigned to the gloomy abyss, if it is all your sweet will and dispensation.

On the other hand, I will not hesitate to decline even the gift of heaven, if it is bestowed on me just for my gratification. And so, may it please you to so ordain my goal as to make it coincide solely with your desire'’.

Here is a clear enunciation of the supremacy of the Lord's will, in total subjugation of the egoistic compulsions of the Individual.

It is indeed very hard to find the Subject who can appreciate and fall in line with the Ālvār’s lofty train of thought, totally bereft of egoistic impulses and putting his whole weight on the Lord.

It was for this very reason that Empār, the great preceptor, is said to have screened his audience and closed the gates of the lecture hall before discoursing on this decade.

9.1

My Lord, you ended Gajendra's woes! I seek no heaven for myself.  Grant me your lotus-red feet to wear on my head, Quick!

9.2

O My dark effulgent Lord, here is a" ask of all times, -grant me the hands of knowledge, that I may grasp your precious lotus feet.

9.3

O Krishna, Lord wielding the discus, guarding me against evil deeds!  Grant that I may praise your feet forever, even when phlegm chokes my lungs.

9.4

My Lord resides in my heart forever saying, "Serve me alone of all times".  He has taken me as his own.   This si indeed a blessing for us.

9.5

Whether or not I find liberation, whether I go to heaven or to hell on dying, I will joyously remember my birthless.  Lord who came in his many forms on Earth.

9.6

O Lord, blossom of radiant joy pervading celestials, mortals and things! Come that we may worship you joyously with sweet thoughts, words and deeds.

9.7

My Lord, you are sweet to my heart; you do not give enough of yourself to me.  Come that I many firmly be bound to the soles of your lotus-feet.

9.8

O Sweet fruit enjoyed by Vedic seers; If you would only be my master and blend with me at all times, I shall seek nothing else from you.

9.9

Not knowing my true self, I thought I was my own.  O, Radiant Lord worshipped by the celestials.  Me and what is mine are yours!

9.10

O Lord who killed the seven bulls, and destroyed the beautiful Lanka!  Bind me quickly to your golden feet, and permanently, Or else I shall not live.

9.11

This decade of the everlasting thousand songs by eager Caṭakōpaṉ of Kurukūr city addressing the invincible discus Lord will secure liberation for those who sing it.

Second centum—Tenth decade (II-10)

(Kijar oli ilamai)

Preamble

In the last decade, the Ālvār stressed the need for quick action on the part of the Lord, while praying that He should take service from him, at all times.

The Ālvār’s agitation for expeditious result was, however, construed by the Lord as the Ālvār’s desire to serve in this body itself

and He, therefore, directed the Ālvār to serve Him in His Iconic Form in Tirumāliruñcōlai-malai (very near to Maturai in the South), a nice, quiet place, abounding in lovely hills and beautiful orchards.

The Ālvār accordingly enjoys alike the pilgrim centre and the Lord enshrined there, his predilections extending even to the other hills, in and around, and the very route leading thereto.

10.1

Ere the radiance of youth fades, it is wise to go without firing, to Māliruñcōlai, the temple of the radiant Lord amid fertile groves.

10.2

Ignoring the sweet calls of young maidens, it is wise to rise and worship the thundering discus-Lord of Māliruñcōlai, in his temple kissed by the Moon.

10.3

Futile are these karmas too, O Heart! Go by the temple of Māliruñcōlai hill where the cloud-hued Lord resides in grace surrounded by enchanting groves.

10.4

The Lord who lifted the mountain lives gracefully in Māliruñcōlai, where rain clouds pass kneeling low. He breaks the cords of Karmas, so join him.

10.5

The Lord of discus in Māliruñcōlai amid groves and sweet – water lakes destroy evil by the power of his will. Reaching hat hill is our only karma.

10.6

Think! Do not stoop to lowly acts. The Lord who stole butter lives in Māliruñcōlai in groves amid sporting does and fawns. Contemplating his worship is the only good.

10.7

Think well and do not sink into hell. The lord who lifted the earth from water lives in the temple of Māliruñcōlai in peace. Worshipping him is the only good.

10.8

Rather than roam and waste one’s life, it is best to stay and worship the lord who roamed after the grazing cows and lives in Māliruñcōlai, worshipped by celestials.

10.9

Think what is fit and do not sink into evil. The lord who dried Pūtanā’s breasts lives in Māliruñcōlai amid groves with youthful elephants. Offering worship to him there is the only good.

10.10

Seek the good, give up knavery and falsehood. The Lord who revealed the Vedas lives in Māliruñcōlai amid fresh blossoms and peacock pairs. Entering into his worship is the only good.

10.11

This decade, words of advice by a pure heart, in the thousand songs of Kurukūr Caṭakōpaṉ addressing the wilful creator of the Universe will secure the Lord’s feet when the end comes.