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:

மண்ணை இருந்து துழாவி 'வாமனன் மண் இது' என்னும்,
விண்ணைத் தொழுது அவன் மேவு வைகுந்தம் என்று கை காட்டும்,
கண்ணை உள்நீர் மல்க நின்று 'கடல்வண்ணன்' என்னும் அன்னே! என்
பெண்ணைப் பெருமயல் செய்தாற்கு என் செய்கேன் பெய் வளையீரே? (2)

maṇṇai iruntu tuḻāvi 'vāmaṉaṉ maṇ itu' eṉṉum,
viṇṇait toḻutu avaṉ mēvu vaikuntam eṉṟu kai kāṭṭum,
kaṇṇai uḷnīr malka niṉṟu 'kaṭalvaṇṇaṉ' eṉṉum aṉṉē! eṉ
peṇṇaip perumayal ceytāṟku eṉ ceykēṉ pey vaḷaiyīrē? (2)

English translation of verse 4.4.1:


Ye, ladies, with bangles bedecked, thro’ earth, her hands she runs
And exclaims, it is the one trodden upon by Vāmaṉaṉ,
The sky she worships with joined palms as Vaikuṇṭam,
Her Lord’s transcendent abode, and points it to others as well;
Her mental anguish finds its outlet thro’ tears torrential
And says she, her Lord is of oceanic hue;
Unto Him who has my daughter thus entranced, what to do?


(i) The Mother tells, as above, those who come and enquire of her about the condition of her daughter, Parāṅkuśa Nāyakī.

(ii) Earth, trodden upon by Vāmaṉaṉ This kind of glamour for the earth, recalling its association with Vāmana who trod upon it, long, long back, has a parallel in Sage

Viśvāmitra: When Rāma and Lakṣmaṉa accompanied the sage to help him through his yāga, they passed by a nice orchard. On being asked by Śrī Rāma whose it was, the sage replied that it was the Siddhāśrama, where the Lord, as Vāmana, once resided, which the sage was still clinging to fondly, enjoying the scent of the soil.

(iii) Parāṅkuśa Nāyakī, pointing to the sky, says that ‘Vaikuṇṭa’, the permanent abode of the Lord is over there. This has a parallel in Śloka 16 of chapter 160 of Vanaparva in Mahā Bhārata, where a few people are said to have had a glimpse of the Heaven, right from the hermitage of Ārṣṭiṣeṇa, the Rāja ṛṣi.

Unable to visualise the actual setting in Heaven, tears come to Parāṅkuśa Nāyakī’s eyes and musing on the Lord’s blue complexion, she says her Lord is of oceanic hue. The mother just doesn’t know how to deal with the situation, whether to ask her daughter to await His arrival patiently or to request Him to come quick and meet her daughter.

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