Periyāḻvār Tirumoḷi | 401-440



Viṣṇu-Citta, the chief of Villiputtur
who has no troubles in his life
composed with devotion ten Tamil songs
on Puruṣottama, the god who stays in Kaṇḍam
where the Ganges flows with flourishing, gurgling water.
Those who recite these poems will go to Vaikuṇṭha
and stay beneath Tirumāḷ’s feet decorated with anklets.

37. Srirangam, the divine Tirupati


Srirangam surrounded with water
where honey drips from blossoms
and water dashes on the banks of the Kāverī river
where pure Brahmins who know the Vedas
bathe, wash and dry their clothes,
is the Tirupati of the god who gave life
to the great rishi Shantipini’s son
who died in the wave-filled ocean
as an offering for the guru who taught him.


Srirangam where good Brahmins
who know the Vedas live,
make sacrifices with fire
and receive guests happily
is the Tirupati of the god
who at once brought four children back to life
when they died as soon as they were born.


Srirangam surrounded with water
where lotuses as red as the god’s face
and kuvalai flowers as dark as the god’s body
bloom beautifully everywhere
is the Tirupati of the god
who protected the clan of his son-in-law
and gave life to all his in-laws
so that they would not be defeated
in the Bhārata war.


Srirangam where groves bloom with flowers
and drip with honey
is the Tirupati of the god who gave up his kingdom
and left the mother who gave him birth
and went to the forest and destroyed the Rākṣasas,
because his step-mother
listened to the cruel words of her servant Manthara.


Srirangam surrounded with flourishing groves
where cuckoo birds sing
and kongu buds open and blossom
is the Tirupati of Tirumāḷ who protected this world,
fighting with his enemy the proud Rāvaṇa
who had great strength and who received many boons.


Srirangam, where bees buzz like lutes
and drink pollen from the petals of screw pine flowers
that shower lovely coral-like pollen
is the Tirupati of the god
who went to the underworld,
threw his discus and utterly destroyed the Asuras
so that their dynasty would not continue on the earth.


Srirangam where the Kāverī that flows with abundant water
and uproots and brings fragrant sandalwood trees
from the large mountains and places them
at the feet of the dear lord to worship him
is the Tirupati of the highest god
who fought and destroyed all the Asuras
as their red blood bubbled and flowed out along with their fat.


Srirangam, surrounded by walls
where the bees that have dark wings
swarm around the jasmine flowers
and sing the fame of our god,
buzzing like the sound of the white conches
is the Tirupati of the god
who took the forms of a boar with strong teeth
to dig up the immeasurable earth
and of a lion with shining teeth
to split open the body of the Rākṣasa Hiraṇya.


Srirangam, surrounded by walls
where the breeze blows through the yards
and touches the breasts of women
with vine-like waists
and enters into the groves that grow thick on the hills
is the Tirupati of the tall god Neṭumāl,
who has the lovely colour of a beautiful dancing peacock,
the blue colour of the sounding ocean
and the colour of dark kuvalai blossoms
and of the thick clouds that move above the high hills.


Viṣṇu-Citta composed a garland of ten Tamil poems
describing the divine Srirangam,
the Tirupati of the auspicious god
who fought and destroyed Rāvaṇa
who, with many great boons,
came with a large army and opposed the god.
Those who sing the poems of Viṣṇu-Citta
and praise the god who burned the body of the two Rākṣasas,
Madhu and Kaiṭabha, will be devotees of the god.

38. The greatness of Srirangam


The Tirupati of the divine god Tirumāḷ
who gave his kingdom to his brother Bhārata,
went to the forest, lived as a sage
and destroyed the arrogant southern king Rāvaṇa
to remove the troubles of the gods in the sky
and came back to rule his kingdom,
is the lustrous Srirangam
where beautiful Nīla flowers swaying in the breeze
have the colour of the divine feet of the god
and of the lovely lotus-like eyes of beautiful Lakshmi.


Even if Lakshmi who stays on the lotus
complains to her beloved
that his devotees do things that are wrong
the god answers her, “My devotees will not do wrong,
and even if they do, it is for good reason.”
How can the devotees whom the god praises like this
become the devotees of other gods?
He is my god of Srirangam
who gave his grace to Vibhīṣaṇa
and made him the king of Lanka
surrounded by strong walls.


Beautiful Srirangam where our god
makes the bright sun rise in the sky
and removes the darkness of the earth
giving his grace to his devotees,
is the Tirupati of our god.
He destroyed the Asuras
who came as marudu trees in the dark groves,
the rutting elephant Kuvalayabeeḍam, the Asura Pilamban,
the Rākṣasa Keśī who came as a wild horse,
Śakaṭāsura who came in the form of a cart,
and the wrestlers.
The devotees praise him in Srirangam
and he gives his grace to them.


Lovely Srirangam
surrounded by water precious as gold
where the fresh lotuses bloom and shine
like the lotus on the golden navel of our god
is the divine Tirupati
where our god Maṇavāḷa stays
who lives in Dvārakā with his sixteen thousand wives.


Srirangam, surrounded by rippling water
where all the birds embrace flowers
and praise the name of the god
who rides on the bird Garuḍa
is the Tirupati where our matchless god stays
who took the form of a turtle
and who is the Ganges, the deep ocean, earth, great mountains,
Nāṉmukaṉ, the four Vedas and both sacrifice and offering.
Nārada who gives goodness to all
often goes there and worships him with love.


Srirangam that brightens all the directions
where devotees, sages, the wise rishis,
the people of the world and the siddhas
worship the god with love,
is the Tirupati of the god who gives life to all,
who made his brothers-in-law kings,
made Draupadī tie up her loosened hair
and gave life to the son of Uttarā.


Srirangam where our god sleeps on Ādiśeṣa,
the snake that spits from its mouth precious diamonds
as bright as the morning sun
rising from a lovely shining hill,
is the Tirupati of our god
who took the form of a dwarf,
tricking king Mahābali,
took his kingdom and then at once happily granted him
a kingdom in the underworld.


Srirangam where flourishing lotus plants grow to the sky
like the divine feet of the god who measured the sky
and good paddy plants bend their heads worshipping his feet
is the Tirupati of our god
who grasped the chest of Hiraṇya
split it open with his sharp nails, pulled his hair,
gouged out his eyes and made him scream.


Srirangam surrounded with rippling water,
where a male swan with its mate climbs on a lovely lotus,
swings on it and then jumps on a flower bed,
plunging into it and playing with the beautiful pollen,
is the divine Tirupati of the god
who takes the forms of a shining fish, turtle, boar, lion.
dwarf, Paraśurāma, Balarāma,
Rāma, Kaṇṇaṉ and Kalki, the form that will end the world.


The noble generous god rides on an eagle,
defeats his enemies and rules the world.
He is bright as the sun,
carries the sword Nandaham,
creates the Vedas and protects the world.
He has the goddess Lakshmi on his chest
and sleeps sweetly on the ocean in Srirangam, his Tirupati.


Viṣṇu-Citta, the true devotee who only speaks the truth,
composed ten Tamil poems on divine Srirangam
that is worshipped by southern and northern lands,
where the god stays who carries a fire-like discus
and who removed the suffering of Gajendra.
Those who recite these ten Tamil poems
will abide under the two feet of our god always.

39. Requesting the god to come and help when Yama’s messengers come.


When they are old, people go to others who are strong
because they believe that they will help them.
Even though I am not worthy to approach you,
I come to you for refuge
because you saved the elephant Gajendra
from the crocodile when it seized him.
When I become old and my time comes to an end
and I am suffering, I may not be able even to think of you.
Now I have told you what my state will be then.
O God, you sleep on the snake bed on the ocean in Srirangam.


Look, you need to come and help me
when my time comes to an end.
O god, you hold a conch and discus in your hands.
The Kinnara who are the messengers of Yama
will come to take me and bring me terrible pain.
I worship you always.
Wherever you go, with your miracles you can prevent
any suffering that comes to anyone.
I am telling you right now while I can.
O God, you sleep on the snake bed on the ocean in Srirangam.


When the Kinnaras, the messengers of Yama,
come to take me,
even if I run to the front door of my house
and beg them, saying, “Stop here” they will not do it.
O god, you carry a discus and conch in your hands.
Whenever I can I worship you and praise you, saying all your names.
You should protect me from all trouble and take care of me.
O God, you sleep on a snake bed on the ocean in Srirangam.


You are the great god.
Shiva who rides on a bull and Nāṉmukaṉ
could not find your head or feet.
You are the whole world.
You are the ancient god praised with the syllable “Om.”
When the messengers of Yama come
terrifying me because they think my time is up,
you must come and protect me.
O god, you sleep on a snake bed on the ocean in Srirangam.


You are the highest one!
You sleep on Ādiśeṣa, the snake on the milky ocean.
You made Nāṉmukaṉ on your navel
so that he could create all the creatures of the world.
You also made Yama because you thought
that the lives of people in this world should not be unlimited.
O dear lord! You should protect me now.
O god, you sleep on a snake bed on the ocean in Srirangam.


O god, you are the earth, ocean, fire, wind and the sky!
The Kinnaras, the messengers of Yama are not kind.
They come and cruelly take people’s lives.
Whenever I have thought of you
I have recited all your names and worshipped you.
O my lord, think of me always and protect me.
O god, you sleep on a snake bed on the ocean in Srirangam.


O my father, you are the god of gods.
You are the meaning of the Vedas whose words are pure.
You are my sweet faultless nectar.
You are the lord of all the seven worlds.
You are my father,
When the Kinnaras, the messengers of Yama, come
with their cunning forms, make me suffer and take me,
you must come to protect me and say, “Do not be afraid!”
O god, you sleep on a snake bed on the ocean in Srirangam.


I do not know any of the magic you do.
When Kinnaras, the messengers of Yama, come,
make me suffer and take me to Yama’s world,
I may not be able to think of you.
You are the god of the gods in the sky.
O Māyā! You were born in Madhura.
My soul is yours. You should protect me.
O god, you sleep on a snake bed on the ocean in Srirangam.


You are the cowherd who carried
Govardhana mountain and protected the cows.
You grazed the cows. You are my lord.
O god, you are the ancient light.
From the day I was born until today I have never forgotten you.
When the Kinnaras, the cruel messengers of Yama,
come, make me suffer and take hold of me,
you should come and protect me.
O god, you sleep on a snake bed on the ocean in Srirangam.


The chief of the Veyar, Viṣṇu-Citta of Villiputtur,
composed ten Tamil poems

on the god called Māyava, Madhusūdana, Mādhava,
and Acyuta who sleeps on a snake bed.
Those who recite these ten poems
will become pure-minded
and will be the devotees of the sapphire-coloured god.

40. The poet's request


O Mādhava, because I do not know
how to say anything that is good I do not praise you
but still my tongue says nothing but your names.
I am afraid, nothing is under my control.
You may be angry with me
because you think I speak as someone ignorant,
but I cannot stop my tongue.
Great ones find meaningful things
even in the calling of crows.
You are the reason for everything.
O god, you carry an eagle banner.


I compose worthless poems with my useless tongue.
O god, you carry a conch and a discus in your hands.
Is it not the duty of the great ones
to forgive the mistakes their devotees make when they speak?
My eyes can only see through your eyes.
My mind will not think of any other god except you.
I am like a deer—
one more dot on its coat does not spoil its loveliness.
See, it is not too much for you to accept my mistakes.
O god, you swallowed all the seven worlds
and spit them out.


I do not know what is good or what is bad.
All I know is to say, “Nārāyaṇa.”
Before, I said unworthy things about you
but now I only praise you. See, O Tirumāḷ!
I do not even know how to think of you.
Always I say, ‘Namo Nārāyaṇa, Namo Nārāyaṇa.”
My only strength is that I am a Vaishnava
and I live in your temple.


You measured this world with your tall body.
You are the pure one, you are the tall god.
Do not hesitate to make me your slave.
I do not want any clothes or food.
See, I have not became your slave
and I am wandering here and there.
You killed the cruel Kaṁsa
and cut the chains of Vāsudeva who was in prison
and released him, your father.


I have placed all my property, wife, cattle, canals,
lands and wells and anything that I have
under your golden feet without any worry.
It is hard for me to deal with my villagers
because they are jealous that I own so much.
O god, you took the form of a boar and dug up the earth.
You broke the tusk of an elephant and killed it.
I need your help.


O dear god, you created the four-headed Nāṉmukaṉ.
You are the reason for everything.
Your body is dark. I am your devotee.
Even if I do not eat, I do not get hungry
because worshipping you takes my hunger away.
If there is a day when I do not think of you,
and do not always say, “Namo Nārāyaṇa”
and do not recite Rig and Sama Vedas
and do not place fresh flowers on your feet,
that will be the day I starve.


O dear god, you pretend to sleep
on the white flood of ocean on a snake bed.
When I want to see you sleeping on the snake bed,
my heart becomes weak and I sob with happiness,
my hair stands on end, my eyes shed tears
and I cannot sleep at all.
O tell me how I can reach you.


You carried the huge beautiful Govardhana mountain,
used it as an umbrella
and protected the cowherds and the cows from the storm.
O Madhusūdana, O Kaṇṇā,
you released Gajendra the elephant from his suffering.
You are the reason for everything.
You killed the elephant Kuvalayabeeḍam.
You remove the troubles of those who worship you.
You are so famous
that I do not have enough words to praise you.
O my dear god, give me your grace
so that I may approach you and worship you every day.