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:

கூவிக்கொள்ளாய் வந்துஅந்தோ! என்பொல்லாக் கருமாணிக்கமே!
ஆவிக்குஓர் பற்றுக்கொம்பு நின்அலால் அறிகின்றி லேன்யான்
மேவித்தொழும் பிரமன் சிவன் இந்திரன் ஆதிக்குஎல்லாம்
நாவிக் கமல முதல்கிழங்கே! உம்பர் அந்ததுவே.

kūvikkoḷḷāy vantuantō! eṉpollāk karumāṇikkamē!
āvikkuōr paṟṟukkompu niṉalāl aṟikiṉṟi lēṉyāṉ
mēvittoḻum piramaṉ civaṉ intiraṉ ātikkuellām
nāvik kamala mutalkiḻaṅkē! umpar antatuvē.

English translation of verse 10.10.3:

Oh, my Lord, sweet like virgin sapphire, from Your navel did sprout
The lotus stalk that gave rise to Piramaṉ and thro’ him,
Civaṉ, Intiraṉ and all else, Who are unto you devout,
And there are the exalted Celestials in Heaven and unto them
Very dear You are; prop unto my life I see not
Any but You. May You, alas! call me up to Your lotus feet.


(i) Like unto the thirsty who cry out, “water! water!”, the Āḻvār, who is God-thirsty, repeats his call for the Lord’s succour. Notwithstanding the exuberance of his love for God, it is hardly meet that he should rush unto Him on his own, nor would it redound to the credit of the Lord, if the Āḻvār did so. Therefore it is, the Āḻvār insists that the Lord should come and take him on to the heavenly abode. Of course, the Lord could take His own time and lift the Āḻvār up, in due course and there would have been no question of the Āḻvār being so importunate, urging for quick consummation in the manner he is now doing, if only the Lord had not exhibited to the Āḻvār His intoxicating beauty and His immaculate Form of exquisite charm and sent the Āḻvār mad with love unto Him. Even as a creeper needs a prop to nestle around for its very growth and subsistence, the Āḻvār seeks to cuddle round the Lord for sheer survival. Did not Lakṣmaṇa tell Rāma, “neither I nor Sītā can subsist, when apart from You”? ‘naca Sītā tvayāhīnā.........”—Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa, II-53-31.

(ii) When the Lord turned round and queried whether the Āḻvār had any merit in him, commensurate with the gain aspired for by him, the Āḻvār pointed out that even Brahmā and other Celestials, in the higher echelons, were totally dependent on His grace for whatever they wished to accomplish and that the Lord should not, therefore, expect or look for any merit in him. Actually, the Āḻvār is one better than that exalted band, as the latter would not even acknowledge and declare, as the Āḻvār does, that there is no prop for them other than the Lord.

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