Tiruvaymoli (Thiruvaimozhi): English translation

by S. Satyamurthi Ayyangar | 388,514 words

This is the English translation of the Tiruvaymoli (or, Thiruvaimozhi): An ancient Tamil text consisting of 1102 verses which were sung by the poet-saint Nammalvar as an expression of his devotion to Vishnu. Hence, it is an important devotional book in Vaishnavism. Nammalvar is one of the twelve traditional saints of Tamil Nadu (Southern India), kn...

Tamil text and transliteration:

பங்கயக் கண்ணன் என்கோ! பவளச் செவ்வாயன் என்கோ,
அம் கதிர் அடியன் என்கோ! அஞ்சன வண்ணன் என்கோ,
செங்கதிர் முடியன் என்கோ! திரு மறு மார்பன் என்கோ,
சங்கு சக்கரத்தன் என்கோ! சாதி மாணிக்கத்தையே!

paṅkayak kaṇṇaṉ eṉkō! pavaḷac cevvāyaṉ eṉkō,
am katir aṭiyaṉ eṉkō! añcaṉa vaṇṇaṉ eṉkō,
ceṅkatir muṭiyaṉ eṉkō! tiru maṟu mārpaṉ eṉkō,
caṅku cakkarattaṉ eṉkō! cāti māṇikkattaiyē!

English translation of verse 3.4.3:

Shall I call the rare blue gem of a Lord,
The lotus-eyed or the coral-lipped
Or the one with a pair of feet, lovely and bright
Or one dark like collyrium or one that sports
The crown dazzling red or one on whose chest
Are ‘Tiru’ (Lakṣmī) and Maṟu (Śrīvatsa [śrīvatsam], the spiral spot)
Or one that wields the conch and the discus?


(i) In the two preceding stanzas, the Āḻvār described the Lord’s universal aspect and now he describes Him, in His own exclusive form. As a matter of fact, the Āḻvār could discern the Lord in both the Universal and Individual forms with the same ease.

(ii) It is indeed interesting to study the sequence set out in the above stanza. The Āḻvār begins with the Lord’s lotus-eyes which shed grace on him and befriended him; next in order is the bewitching smile of the Lord which is an even greater attraction than the Lord’s entrancing looks and hence the mention of the coral lips. And now, the Subjects, attracted by the Lord’s lovely looks and captivating smile, seek refuge at His comely feet; the votaries then enjoy the charming complexion of the Lord. The Lord’s crown, indicative of His overlordship, does not, however, scare them off when they behold the Divine Mother, the grand Intercessor on the Lord’s chest. But then, this exquisite conjunction of the Divine couple induces a sense of fear, a growing apprehension in the minds of the devout regarding the safe continuance of this glorious combination but the weapons held by the Lord in His hands, the conch and the discus, dispel this fear and put them at ease.

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