Tiruvāymoḷi of Nammāḷvār | Book 4
Śrīmate Rāmāṉujāya nama:
Tiruvāymoḻi nāṉkām pattu
Fourth Centum-First Decade
Contemplate, quickly, the feet of Tiru-Nāraṇaṉ and arise!
For, monarchs who rule the world as one empire, do one day go begging,
leg bitten by a black plague, bowl broken, shamed and scorned by the world
Come quick and join the feet of the Lord with a radiant crown!
They who ruled the world over vassals who paid them tribute,
now leave their harems for others to enjoy their queens,
and spend their days in misery under the blazing forest Sun
Quick, think of the fragrant Tulasī-weather Krishna's feet.
They who ruled over other kings who touched their feet,
with great kettledrums rumbling in their portices,
have become pulverised to dust.
Begin to count, the kings that have come to rule the Earth over the ages
and left are more numerous than the grains of sand in the dunes.
Other their forts razed to the ground, nothing do we see or hear of them,
worship the feet of the Lord who killed the rut-elephant
They who enjoyed sweet union with coiffured dames,
-who vied with one another to give favours on soft cool flowery beds,
-do now roam wearing a loin-cloth, scorned and laughed at by all,
Live by uttering the name of the Lord of radiant gem-hue
Those lived well did so like bubbles in a mighty shower.
Those who have lived forever are naught,
if you wish to live well and remain,
serve the Lord who reclines in the deep ocean
After feasting well on six-taste-meals they who would feast again,
-cajoled by sweet-tongued nymphs,
-now go begging from house to house for a morsel.
Recall the glories of our Tulasī-wreathed Lord
Even good benign kings of canopied fame, who make generous grants,
may be with goodwill and rule in fragrant happiness,
but they too must one day fall,
Learn the names of the serpent-couch Lord, for permanence
Even those who cut attachments, tame their senses,
and mortify their bodies, -till weeds grow on them,
-are left without a goal; they enjoy a spell of heaven, then return.
Reach for the Garuda-banner Lord and then there is no return
Seers who contemplate on consciousness, giving up all else,
do attain the heaven of Ātman,
But memory remains, and drags them back to passions,
and then there is no liberation,
Hold on to the feet of the deathless Lord, for that alone is liberation
This decade of the beautiful thousand songs,
by Caṭakōpaṉ of dense flower-grooved Kurukūr,
is addressed to the feet of Krishna, sole refuge.
Those who learn it shall rise from deep despair and be elevated
Alas, My frail daughter swoons,
asking for the cool Tulasī from the feet of the Lord,
-who swallowed the seven worlds with ease,
and slept as a child on a fig leaf.
O, The vicious snare trapping my daughter
She asks for the fragrant Tulasī from the feet of the Lord,
-who unabashedly played amorous sport
with cowherd-girls of tendril-thin waists
O The heavy pall! My daughter cries
for the golden-hued Tulasī garland
adorning the lotus feet of the Lord,
-whose praise is sung by Vedic seers and celestials
My sinful daughter with long arms prates
only of the golden Tulasī garland
on the radiant feet of the Lord,
-who is praised by raving philosophers
My pretty daughter weakens day by day,
thinking of the cool Tulasī garland on the feet of the Lord,
-the cowherd-prince who danced with pots
killed seven bulls for Nappinnai's hand.
my daughter has become made repeating her desire
for the golden Tulasī on the feet of the Lord,
-who took the form of a boar in the beginning of creation,
and lifted beautiful Earth-dame from deluge waters
O Ladies of radiant forehead!
My foolish daughter pines away
for the cool fragrant Tulasī garland on the feet of the Lord,
-who bears the lotus-dame Lakshmi on his chest
O Ladies, what shall I do? She covets only
the fragrance-wafting Tulasī garland on the feet of the Lord,
-who gutted Lanka with his arrows, for the love of beautiful Sītā
O Ladies, you too have daughters whom you bring up with love,
How shall describe my joy.
What shall I do, O Ladies?
My foolish tender one does not heed my words, nor obey my commands,
she withers for the Tulasī garland from the jewelled Krishna's feet,
as the only proper ornament for her gold-girdled breasts
This decade of the thousand beautiful songs
by Caṭakōpaṉ of beautiful Kurukūr city,
is addressed to Krishna's feet, the cure for love-sickness.
Those who can sing it will be fitting company for celestials
O Lord! You battled a horde of bulls for coral-lipped Nappinnai,
you killed Laṅkā’s king with your arrows and the rutted elephant with its tusk,
-what thought I have not worshipped you with fragrant flowers and water;
my heart is the cool Sandal paste for your flower-like face
For my Lord, -who swallowed the Universe, then made it,
-my heart is the Sandal paste, my poem is a fitting garland
and also his radiant vestment.
My folded hands are his big radiant jewels
O Nārāyaṇa! You become the one, the Two, the Three, and the Many,
then the five elements, the twin orbs, and all the souls.
Then you mounted a serpent and slept in the ocean!
By filling your presence into my body my soul has overcome its misery.
O Chief of the cowherd clan, O Mādhava! O Vāmana!
Killer of the poison-breasted ogress Pūtanā,
I do not worship you thrice a day with fresh flower garlands,
my life is a wreath worthy of being wrapped on your crown
For Krishna, my Lord, who bears the wheel of time,
my life is the perfect garland, my love his radiant crown.
His countless jewels and his vestments are also my love.
Even the praise the three worlds sing is my love
O Nārāyaṇa, you swallowed the Universe, and then made it,
I cry and call out, "O Bearer of the wheel-of-time and the white conch!"
Even if nothing happens by it, your tinkling lotus-feet become my head's ornaments
O Lovely Manikin! You extended your tinkling feet and took the Earth.
O Lord who gives refuge to those who come with folded hands!
I do not worship you with fragrant flowers and water.
Yet your mysterious radiance stands guard over my soul
Filling the seven fair worlds, you become them all,
O Luminous icon of knowledge, borne by my soul!
My soul is yours, your soul is mine; how can I say how?
I am not fit to describe your infinite glory-flood.
When will I reach its banks? Alas, I swoon with love.
O Lord of faultless effulgence, you are indifferent to me.
Great and good celestials stand and sing your praise; I too sang
Even if I sing his praise, and all the seven worlds join,
and the Lord himself began to sing too,
would we come to an end?
Lord, sweet like milk honey, sugar and ambrosia!
I only sang that I may rejoice
This decade of the faultless thousand songs
by Caṭakōpaṉ of Kurukūr with lotus fields
is addressed to the feet of Krishna, sole refuge.
Those who can sing it will rejoice here and rule over Heaven
O Decorated Ladies, what can I do
the Lord has made my daughter love-sick.
She caresses the Earth and says, This is Vāmana's Earth!"
She points to the sky and says, "That is his Vaikuṇṭha".
Her heart's grief overflows from her eyes;
"Ocean-hued Lord!", She sighs
She folds her decorated hands and says, "The Lord sleeps in the ocean!"
She points to the red Sun and says, "That is Śrīdhara’s icon-form"
With tears welling, she swoons, then only says, "Nārāyaṇa!"
Ladies! I can scarcely understand the things my godly fawn does
She fondles the known red fire unhurt and says, "This is Achyuta!"
She fondles the blowing cold wind and says, "Here comes Govinda!"
Woe is me, -she smells strongly of Tulasī flowers,
-the things my decorated fawn does these days!
She points to the radiant Moon and says, "Gem-hued Lord!”
She looks at the staid mountain and calls, "Come, my Lord!",
She sees the pouring rain and dances, "Here comes Nārāyaṇa!",
O, when did he cast such a spell on my tender one?
She hugs a tender chubby calf and says, "Govinda has grazed these!",
She goes after a young snake and says, "There goes Govinda's Couch!",
Woe is me, -I know not where this will end,
-the spell that the Lord has cast on my tender daughter!
Seeing an acrobat dance on a pot,
she runs to him saying, "This is Govinda all right!",
Hearing a stray flute melody,
she runs out says, "Here comes Govinda!"
Seeing the tempting butter of a milkmaid
she says, "Also, the butter he ate!",
Such is her madness for the Lord who drank Pūtanā’s breasts
Her madness rises, and she says, 'All this is Krishna's creation!"
Seeing men wearing white mud on their forehead
she runs to them saying: "The Lord's devotees!"
Seeing fragrant Tulasī flowers, she says, "This is Nārāyaṇa's garland!"
This precious girl is obsessed with the Lord, in her madness and out of it.
Seeing wealthy nobles, she says, "I have seen my Tirumāl!"
Seeing a shapely rainbow she dances saying, "Vāmana measured the Earth!"
All temples with icons are her ocean-hued Krishna's temples.
Through fear and fatigue she seeks his feet, without a break
Seeing saintly men she says eagerly, "Lord who swallowed the Universe!"
Seeing dark laden clouds she calls, "Krishna!" and tries to fly,
seeing herds of cattle, she says, "The Lord is among them!" and follows.
My hard-begotten daughter is afflicted to tears by the Lord
She swoons, and stares blankly into the distance, and sweats,
Tears fall like rain; she sighs hotly and weakly calls "Krishna!",
and "Come, my Lord!", woe is me, what shall I do?
Alas, my daughter is smitten by a maddening love-sickness
This decade of the thousand songs
by Kurukūr Caṭakōpaṉ is addressed to benevolent Krishna.
Those who learn it as good words will end misery,
enter Vaikuṇṭha, and reign worshipped by all
My Lord who tore the horse Keśin’s jaws
sits in command over the seven worlds
in eternal good, and rules patiently.
He wears on his crown the garland
of poems that I have sung in joy,
praising him with folded hands.
Now what do I lack for seven lives?
He bears on his chest the dark-eyes lotus-dame Lakshmi.
He is the Lord of the celestials, he has beautiful large red eyes.
I have the fortune of singing his praise with soft articulated words,
thereby destroying the strange world's deathly miseries
Our Achyuta, -Lord of celestials,
flower-eyed Lord, bearer of the highest good,
-resides in the farthest limits of eternal joy.
I have attained him through songs, praising him without end
I too am in the farthest limits of eternal joy
He rides the Garuda with beautiful wings and bears a powerful discus.
My Lord loves and cares for devotees who stand and worship him.
I have sung his praise with my tongue and attained him.
I do not understand the way the spirit moves my soul!
The Lord of celestials, my Lord, unfolds all meaning.
He patiently discloses his good ways,
and burns to dust all sickness and sin, like cinders before a wind,
Singing his praise with woven worlds of poetry I have attained him
Lord of the celestials,
he wears a patch of white mud over his dark forehead,
he has large beautiful lake-like eyes.
I have praised him with fitting worlds, woven into a garland of poems.
From now on and forever, is mere anything beyond my reach?
Up to himself without a peer or a superior, he bears all the worlds;
he stopped the rains with a mountain.
I have the fortune of singing his praise with a garland of songs
which he fondly wears on his crown, what more do I want?
Lord of earthlings and celestials,
he is sweet to the lotus-lady Lakshmi and to us alike.
His feet are borne on a lotus;
I have sung his praise with poems,
now who in the wide world can equal me?
In Heaven and in the worlds above, on Earth
and in the worlds below, he stands without fail.
His strong hand folds over a coiled conch.
He is the Lord of the celestials, he danced with pots.
I have sung his praise. Now can there ever be one equal to me?
He swallowed and brought out, measured and lifted the Universe,
standing apart and enjoying his beautiful creation.
He lies, stands, and sits over it in full majesty,
I have sung his praise through songs which are like ambrosia to devotees
This decade of the thousand sweet songs,
by Karī Māṟaṉ Caṭakōpaṉ of cool-grooved Kurukūr city,
is addressed to the Lord of incessantly raining Vēṅkaṭam.
Those who master it will end all despair,
by the grace of the lady-of-the-unfading-lotus
Ladies! We have examined well this bright-forehead girl,
and diagnosed her good malaise;
her heart yearns for the charioteer,
who commanded the army in fierce battle,
and secured victory for the five Pāṇḍavas.
How now can we seek a healer?
Alas, You have not understood her sickness;
a great divinity has possessed her,
not some mean god for whom you dance incongruously.
Say clearly and sweetly into her ears, "Conch-and-discus",
She will immediately recover, just see!
Look here, Ladies!
Do not go and do wild things throwing flesh and toddy,
pay no heed to this weird gypsy's worlds of advice:
praise the Lord who wears the Tulasī crown.
That alone will cure this girl's malaise
Listening to some weird hag's worlds,
you throw black and red cooked-rice balls on the after, what use?
Recite the names of the Lord
who in a trice swallowed and made the worlds.
You will surely get your daughter back
This frenzied dancing in no way to get her back, alas!
Her large lotus eyes and coral lips whiten in fear.
Chart the names of the Lord who killed the rutted elephant,
and smear white mud on her forehead; her fever will subside
O Ladies, dancing like ones possessed!
Know that this will be of no avail.
Her fever will only increase, not subside.
Apply the dust from the feet of devotees.
Other than this, there is no cure for her spirits
To cure her spirits, You sacrifice a goat and pour toddy,
strike your hands and shake your shoulders, what use, Ladies?,
-like watching the donkey's lips twitch while the grains disappear!
Listen, go seek the Vedic seers and devotees of the Lord, now
You mix and pour toddy with wasteful words and sinful deeds
and dance to loud music in a frenzy.
Oh, this is lowly, with the help of Vedic seers,
worship the auspicious feet of the Lord of celestials.
That will cure this girl's malaise
I cannot stand and witness you heaping hollow praises
on some lowly god, and wastefully dancing to cheap music,
praise the feet of Krishna with taste and discrimination,
that alone is cure for this disease, and tonic for seven lives to come
O Ladies, do not shake your shoulders and vent your passions.
This girl will respond to no god other than Krishna:
praise the king of Dvārakā, Lord revered by the Vedas.
This girl will recover and dance in ecstatic worship
This decade of the faultless thousand,-on hysteria,
- was sung by the world-famous Kurukūr city's Caṭakōpaṉ,
freed of sickness, worshipping and dancing, and seeing the Gem-Lord.
Those who can dance and sing these songs will overcome depression of spirits
I stand with hands joined over my head and call incessantly,
"O Lord-who swallowed-the-Universe!", "Icon-of-knowledge!",
"Nārāyaṇa!", and many other names;
you do not show yourself not call me unto you.
Alas, I am a wretched low-born, great indeed are my misdeeds
I stand and call out night and day, "O benevolent Lord!",
"O Lord-who-measured-the-Earth!", and many such names.
Alas, you do not come. Vicious Lord, grant that my eyes may see you!
My Lord! I call, pouring my heart in tears,
"Dāmodara", and many such names.
Alas, how many dark indelible acts I must have done;
you do not even say, "Sinner!", when I come to see you
"My Lord of superior golden hue!",
"Excellence whom even the gods through penance, cannot see!",
thus and thus, I cry shamelessly here. O what use?
You do not come before my eyes and show your lotus face.
Alas, I am a lowly serf indeed
My Father, Bearer of the sharp discus,
Mighty one who churned the ocean!
Will it ever happen that I see you with your four arms?
All the time with tears, -my life drying bit by bit, -I keep looking,
Lord, come right now to this hapless self
You stand in all beings every day and everywhere,
in my body, in my soul and in all the things without exception,
I ponder and ponder, seek and seek, and try to see you in my soul.
Alas, I have only a loose tongue, but no faculty!
Lord of fragrant Tulasī garland! In the depth of my soul,
I see you as an icon of pure knowledge
Losing myself in thought and recovering time and again,
through birth and death I have held you high, and overcome my despair
When I see you I shall pour flowers on your feet with glee,
brought from the eight Quarters, praise and praise again.
And all we devotees will sing and dance in joy.
O Lord of Tulasī garland, will you nor come down to this Earth?
I have no goodwill, no riches, no power over my senses,
nor steadfast devotion to worship you with flowers;
I have only sinful heart. O sinful me,
I search, where can I see you, O Lord of discus and conch?
Tears welling, felling low, I roam and look around.
Alas, I do not see my Lord of discus conch coming.
With proper mind's eye I shall see
and enjoy the great icon of pure knowledge, light of the Vedas
This decade of the perfect thousand Tamil songs,
sung by Caṭakōpaṉ of tall-mansioned Kurukūr city,
is addressed with embracing love to the lotus-eyed Krishna.
Those who can sing and dance to it with love will ascend Heaven
The offensive well-armed Lord has it all arranged,
to destroy the clannish Asuras by the score.
The bull-rider Śiva, the four-faced Brahma
and the lotus-dame Lakshmi reign on his peerless frame.
If he does not desire my spotless beauty, we have nothing to lose
The gem-hued Lord with mountain-like arms bears the fierce discus.
The peerless lotus-dame Lakshmi resides on his chest.
He has taken me into his service fully.
If he does not desire my frail heart, we have nothing to lose
The great Lord who sleeps on the hooded bed has mountain-like arms.
He is the wonder child who drank from the breasts of the ogress Pūtanā, -
who came disguised as a loving mother,
if he does not desire my comeliness, we have nothing to lose
The Lord wears a pearl necklace, and robes dyed red.
He carries a milk-pail and a grazing staff.
He deftly subdued seven fierce bulls
for the joy of embracing the breasts of comely Nappinnai with bamboo-slim arms,
if he does not desire my pink cheeks, we have nothing lose
The Lord of exceeding perfection bears the fragrant Tulasī crown.
For the sake of the beautiful sweet-tongued Sītā in confinement,
he burnt the fierce demon Rāvaṇa’s ocean-girdled city.
If he does not desire my mind, we have nothing to lose
So that thinking men in the wide world may know, the Lord,
-a great figure of knowledge, -expounded the paths of truth.
He appeared as a clever manikin and took the Earth in three strides,
if he does not desire my youthfulness, we have nothing to lose
He burst forth as a fierce lion-form exuding immense power,
and tore apart the radiant wide chest of Hiraṇya with relish,
He bears the resplendent discus and conch.
If he does not desire my jewelled bangles, we have nothing to lose
The Lord of great fame holds a coiled conch.
A great booming sound issued from it,
which destroyed the rebellious Kaurāvas.
The three gods hailed it saying, the world's misery has ended:
If he does not desire my jewelled belt, we have nothing to lose
The Lord who cut asunder the arms of the mighty Bāṇa,
-father of slender-waisted jewel-betted Ūṣā,
- lies oh a serpent-bed, engaged in Yoga to ensure the world's good.
If the does not desire my body, we have nothing to lose
With great relish He cut to pieces
many huge-bodied Asuras by the clan,
and laid them like lifeless rocks;
the mat-hair Śiva with the torrential Ganga
reigns in solitude on his right side.
If he does not desire my life, we have nothing to lose
This decade of the faultless thousand songs
on the Lord of the Universe, by Caṭakōpaṉ of Kurukūr city,
is addressed to the Lord who ate curds and butter.
Those who can sing it will cut asunder birth and attain Heaven
Strangers laugh and good friends weep,
over countless miseries the world heaps; what ways are these?
Lord with beautiful eyes who churned the ocean!
Show me quick the path to your feet, or give me death
Kith and kin heap destruction and death,
cheat each other, fall and weep; what ways are these?
O Lord on serpent couch, I see no way for myself.
Heed my prayer, find a way and call me unto you, quick!
Gaiety, friendship, kith and kin,
bountiful wealth, flower-tressed women and household,
-they all depart at death, O Lord of ocean-hue,
I cannot bear this world, what ways are these?
Do not treat me as in the past; pray call me to your service, quick!
Great wealth kindles raging fires of desire,
then wraps the world in a cover of darkness all around.
Benevolent gem-hued Lord, what ways are these?
Wean me by your grace, and gift me your feet
In the world that blossomed from the deluge waters,
all beings suffer the pain of birth, death,
disease and age, and after that, hell; what ways are these?
Gem-hued Lord, pray do not forsake me, take me to you
They would forsake, Chain, beat, kill and eat,
without ever realizing the truth, what ways are these?
O Lord of Tulasī crown, my ambrosia!
Sinner that I am, you changed me
and took me into service; now call to your feet
When you are yourself the sentient and the insentient
in this world, existing for no reason, other than itself,
pray do not show me a wicked world-scene
of disease, age, birth, earth and misery.
Call me, you must!
You show yourself and vanish,
You make the world, and with it, Earth, Water, Fire, Air and sky.
May I cross the great sphere, abode of the gods,
and reach your radiant high-feet! O, when will that be!
O Lord on serpent couch, you make even gods roam without redemption.
I know this too, shearing me of my desires,
you have made me bear your feet and roam,
I now see that I am inseparable from your precious lotus feet!
I have experienced the pleasure of seeing,
hearing, touch, smell and taste,
and the limited joy of heaven that lies beyond the senses,
Only you and the fair-bangled Lakshmi are permanent,
My Lord, what a wonder that I have attained your lotus feet!
This decade of the thousand pure Tamil songs,
by prosperous Kurukūr city's Caṭakōpaṉ,
is addressed to the feet of effulgent Nārāyaṇa, Keśava,
Sung with humility, it will secure the Lord's feet
Then when none of the gods, worlds, beings, and aught else existed,
He made Brahma, -with him the gods, worlds and all the beings.
He stands as Ātipirāṉ, in fair Kurukūr where jewelled houses rise like mountains;
then what other god do you seek?
O Men of the world! Then He created you and the gods you worship.
With unending goodness and frame, he resides willingly in Kurukūr,
temple town with balconied mansions all around,
sing and dance and praise him, roaming everywhere
He made all the gods and all the worlds, then in a trice swallowed all;
then hid, issued, traversed, and shifted all.
O Men of the world! Now speak! Knowing this, do you still not understand?
Other than his form in Kurukūr, worshipped by the gods, there is no Lord.
He is the lord of Śiva, Brahma and the other gods you speak of.
See this for yourself in Kapala Moksha, the redemption of Śiva.
Now how does it help the Linga – worshippers to speak ill of the Lord,
who resides in radiant Kurukūr city surrounded by walls?
Look ye, all those who quote the Linga-Purāṇa, Ye Jainas and Bauddhas!
Instead of arguing endlessly, offer praise to the Lord who stands in Kurukūr,
where tall ears of paddy sway gently in the wind like whisks,
He is you and all your gods, this is no lie.
You who desolately worship lowly gods have been relegated to this,
because if liberation is given to all, there will be no world then.
This is the sport of the clever Lord of Kurukūr city
where golden paddy and lotus flowers abound; figure this out and run
Running tirelessly, taking numerous births,
worshipping lesser gods, you have tried so many paths to truth;
now become servants of Ādi-mūrti, Lord of Kurukūr,
whom the celestials in hordes stand and worship.
The beautiful Garuda dances on his banner
Then it was Nārāyaṇa's grace which protected Mārkaṇḍeya,
when he took refuge in the naked-god Śiva.
When the great Ātipirāṉ stands In Kurukūr city
surrounded by stork-white pandanus hedges,
what other god do you praise?
The six expounded doctrines and those like them cannot fathom Him;
thus he sits, as Ātipirāṉ in Kurukūr surrounded by beautiful fields.
If you seek liberation, bear him in your heart
He contains within his faultless frame all gods, all worlds and all else.
He resides in fertile Kurukūr where paddy and sugarcane grow tall.
He came as a manikin, he danced with an array of pots.
Service to him alone is fit and proper
This decade of the faultless thousand songs,
sung with love by Kurukūr city's Māṟaṉ Caṭakōpaṉ
addresses Ātipirāṉ, Lord of discus and Vakula flower-garlands,
Those who master it will have access
to the other Vaikuṇṭha as well, the city of no return