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:

நாட்டில் பிறந்தவர் நாரணற்கு ஆள்அன்றி ஆவரோ,
நாட்டில் பிறந்து படாதன பட்டு மனிசர்க்காய்,
நாட்டை நலியும் அரக்கரை நாடித் தடிந்திட்டு,
நாட்டை அளித்துஉய்யச் செய்து நடந்தமை கேட்டுமே?

nāṭṭil piṟantavar nāraṇaṟku āḷaṉṟi āvarō,
nāṭṭil piṟantu paṭātaṉa paṭṭu maṉicarkkāy,
nāṭṭai naliyum arakkarai nāṭit taṭintiṭṭu,
nāṭṭai aḷittuuyyac ceytu naṭantamai kēṭṭumē?

English translation of verse 7.5.2:

Will those that to the land belong (where reigns supreme
The Lord’s glory), be the vassal of any one but (Him) Nāraṇar
Even after knowing how He unto this wicked land came
And suffered miseries untold for the sake of the humans,
Tormented by the Rākṣasas, how He sought and routed them,
Restoring peace and piety in the land and went back to the Celestium?


(i) Śrī Rāma stayed in this land for eleven thousand years although He slew Rāvaṇa and vanquished the monstrous hordes under him in His thirty-eighth year itself. During this long period, the Kingdom of Ayodhyā became saturated with love for Him and the subjects looked upon Him as their sole sustainer. No wonder, when He went back to the Celestium, He took them all with Him.

(ii) In the text of this song, Rāma is referred to as Nārāyaṇa (Nāraṇaṉ) being an incarnation of the latter. After the overthrow of Rāvaṇa, Brahmā, Rudra and other Celestials assembled in outer space and sang Śrī Rāma’s praise in a chorus, when they said ‘Bhavān Nārāyaṇo Devaḥ’ etc. Brahmā requested Rāma to get back to the Celestium just then, but Rudra referred to by Vālmīki, as “Śaḍartha nayana Śrīmān” pleaded that He should deign to get back to Ayodhyā and restore happiness to His mothers, brothers and the subjects pining for Him and nurture them with His loving grace.

(iii) Wasn’t it His condescending love and deep concern for the sorrowing mortals, down below, sunk in deep distress, that made Him come down to this hideous land which is abhorred even by us, mortals bound by Karma, and stay in the mother’s womb for full twelve months, a couple of months more than we do? And what more? No human ever suffered like Him, His separation from Sītā, His beloved Consort, like unto the Soul remaining on one side of the ocean and the body, on the other, loss of jaṭāyu, the vulture King, extremely dear unto Him etc., etc., and yet these very men for whom He underwent all the harrowing hardships are so ungrateful as to criticise and find fault with Him at this distance of time. Even the Devas, who would not deign to step on to this loathsmoe [loathsome?] soil and receive the libations offered to them by we men and over here, only from a distance, had no compunction while requesting the Lord to come down to Earth and slay Rāvaṇa, King of Laṅkā and rout the city. So very selfish, these Devas are.

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