Saturday, May 21, 2011

Austere Avvaiyar - Part 6

Avvaiyar's life history is associated with interesting incidents and events. One such popular event is the "Sutta Pazham Venduma, Sudatha Pazham Venduma.." between Avvaiyar and Lord Murugan and the subsequent dialogues and songs. This post is about that incidents and the songs associated with that incident.


One day Avvaiyar was very tired walking a long distance, came to rest under a Naaval Tree (Black/Java Plum). A boy who was herding cattle in that forest met Avvaiyar on his way. Seeing Avvaiyar tired and resting under the tree, wanted to help her. He went to her and asked if he wanted to put down the fruit from the tree. 


Avvaiyar said yes and the boy asked if she wanted "Suttam Pazhama, Sudatha Pazhama?" meaning the one that is roasted/burnt or hot or the one that is not. Avvaiyar thought that the kid was blabbering something as she considered him to be an illiterate, told him to put the "Sudatha Pazham" (Fruit that is not hot/roasted). 


The boy said ok and shook the tree's branch which fell the ripe fruits on the ground. Avvaiyar started picking those fruits and found sand sticking to the fruit. So, she started to blow away the sand in the fruit before eating it. That's when the boy exclaimed "Is the fruit, hot?". The gesture of blowing the sand in the fruit appeared as if the fruit was hot. It also meant, that the fruit that fell to the ground is heated up by the earth's heat and the one that is caught before it falls to the ground is not.


Avvaiyar had a realisation, she thought the boy to be an illiterate, but he has taught her a big lesson. Moreover, she had a momentary pride and neglect in her mind thinking that the boy is illiterate and she was knowledgeable. This incident made her realise that nobody should be neglected and she sang this song. 


கருங்காலிக் கட்டைக்கு நாணாக்கோ டாலி 
இருங்கதலித் தண்டுக்கு நாணும் பெருங்கானில் 
காரெருமை மேய்க்கின்ற காளைக்கு நான் தோற்றேன் 
ஈரிரவும் துஞ்சாதென் கண் 


Karungaali Kattaikku Naanaa Kodali
Irunkadhali Thundukku Naanum Perunkaanil
Kaarerumai Meikkindra Kaalaikku Naan Thotraen
Eeriravum Thunjaathen Kann


meaning, The axe that did not give in even for the hardest Karungaali Tree, gave in for the tender stem of the plaintain. I lost to the boy who herds cattle in the big forest, as a result my eyes will not sleep for two nights.


She also felt that this should be the act of the Divine and request the boy to reveal his true image. 


Then the boy revealed who he was and was Lord Murugan incarnate. Lord Murugan explained that He wanted to enjoy the Tamil eloquence of Avvaiyar and He had been playing around to hear the sweet Tamil from Avvaiyar. Avvaiyar was happy and worshipped Him.


He asked what is the most awful thing in the world


கொடியது கேட்கின் நெடியவெவ் வேலோய்
கொடிது கொடிது வறுமை கொடிது 
அதனினும் கொடிதே இளமையில் வறுமை 
அதனினும் கொடிதே ஆற்றொணாக் கொடுநோய்
அதனினும் கொடிதே அன்பிலா பெண்டிர் 
அதனினும் கொடிதே இன்புற அவள் கையில் உண்பது தானே 


Kodiyadhu Kaetkin Nediyavev Veloi
Kodithu Kodithu Varumai Kodithu
Adhaninum Kodithae Ilamayil Varumai
Adhaninum Kodithae Aatronaak Kodunoi
Adhaninum Kodithae Anbila Pendir
Adhaninum Kodithae Inbura Aval Kayil Unbadhu Thaanae


meaning, If You ask what is the most awful thing in the world, my Lord with the long spear (Vel)
Poverty is awful,
Even more awful is poverty during youth
Even more awful is incurable disease
Even more awful is women without kindness
The most awful to take the food served by her


Then He asked what is the most pleasantest thing in the world. Avvaiyar sang the following


இனியது கேட்கின் தனிநெடு வேலோய் 
இனிது இனிது ஏகாந்தம் இனிது 
அதனினும் இனிது ஆதியை தொழுதல் 
அதனினும் இனிது அறிவினர்ச் சேர்தல் 
அதனினும் இனிது அறிவுள்ளோரை
கனவினும் நனவினும் காண்பது தானே 


Iniyadhu Kaetkin Thaninedu Veloi
Inidhu Inidhu Ekantham Inidhu
Adhaninum Inidhu Aadhiyai Thozhuthal
Adhaninum Inidhu Arivinar Saerdhal
Adhaninum Inidhu Arivullorai
Kanavinum Nanavinum Kaanbadhu Thaanae


meaning, If You ask what is the pleasant thing in this world, my Lord with the unique spear (Vel)
Being independent and alone is pleasant
Even more pleasant is to worship the Supreme Being
Even more pleasant is to be in touch with the learned and knowledgeable
Even more pleasant is to see their presence in reality and in the dreams


Then Lord Murugan asked what is the most biggest thing in the world. And there came the next song


பெரியது கேட்கின் எரிதவழ் வேலோய் 
பெரியது பெரியது புவனம் பெரியது 
புவனமோ நான்முகன் படைப்பு 
நான்முகன் கரியமால் உந்தியில் வந்தோன் 
கரிய மாலோ அலைகடல் துயின்றோன் 
அலைகடல் குறுமுனி அங்கையில் அடக்கம்
குறுமுனியோ கலசத்திற் பிறந்தோன்
கலசமோ புவியிற் சிறுமண் 
புவியோ அரவினுக்கு ஒருதலை பாரம் 
அரவோ உமையவள் சிறுவிரல் மோதிரம் 
உமையோ இறைவன் பாகத்து ஒடுக்கம் 
இறைவரோ தொண்டர் உள்ளத்து ஒடுக்கம்
தொண்டர்தம் பெருமை சொல்லவும் பெரிதே


Periyadhu Kaetkin Yerithavazh Veloi
Periyadhu Periyadhu Bhuvanam Periyadhu
Bhuvanamo Naanmugan Padaippu
Naanmugan Kariyamaal Undhiyil Vandhon
Kariya Maalo Alaikadal Thuyindron
Alaikadal Kurumuni Angaiyil Adakkam
Kurumuniyo Kalasathir Pirandhon
Kalasamo Puviyir Sirumann
Puviyo Aravinukku Oruthalai Baaram
Aravo Umaiyaval Siruviral Modhiram
Umaiyo Iraivan Baagaththu Odukkam
Iraivaro Thondar Ullaththu Odukkam
Thondartham Perumai Sollavum Peridhae


meaning, if You ask me the biggest thing.


The world (landscape) is a big thing
The world is a creation of Lord Brahma
Lord Brahma came from the umbilical cord of Lord Vishnu
Lord Vishnu sleeps in the big ocean
The big ocean was contained within Agathiar's kamandalam (small vessel)
Agathiar was born in a small pot (Kalasam)
The pot is a small portion of this earth
The earth is a burden for one of the heads for the Aadhi Seshan - The snake with a thousand heads
The Aadhi Seshan is a ring in Goddess Parvathi's finger
Goddess Parvathi is a part of Lord Shiva
Lord Shiva is inside the hearts of his devotees
So praising the devotees of Lord Shiva is a big thing


Though the comparison Avvaiyar made might be logically questionable, but when we observe the beauty, the comparison goes on increasing in size until in gets into the small heart of the devotees


The last one asked by Lord Murugan was about the rarest thing. Avvaiyar responded with the song below


அரியது கேட்கின் வரிவடி வேலோய் 
மக்கள் யாக்கையிற் பிறத்தலும் அரிதே 
மக்கள் யாக்கையிற் பிறந்த காலையும் 
மூங்கையும் செவிடும் கூனும் குருடும்
பேடும் நீங்கிப் பிறத்தலும் அரிதே 
பேடு நீங்கி பிறந்த காலையும் 
ஞானமும் கல்வியும் நன்குறல் அரிதே 
ஞானமும் கல்வியும் நன்குறும் ஆயினும் 
தானமும் தவமும் தரித்தலும் அரிதே 
தானமும் தவமும் தரித்தார்க் கல்லது 
வானவர் நாடு வழி திறவாதே 


Ariyadhu Kaetkin Varivadi Veloi
Makkal Yaakkaiyir Piraththalum Aridhae
Makkal Yaakkaiyir Pirandha Kaalaiyum
Moongaiyum Sevidum Koonum Kurudum 
Paedum Neengip Piraththalum Aridhae
Paedu Neengi Pirandha Kaalayum
Gnanamum Kalviyum Nankural Aridhae
Gnanamum Kalviyum Nankurum Aayinum
Dhananum Dhavamum Thariththalum Aridhae
Dhananum Dhavamum Tharithaark Kalladhu
Vaanavar Naadu Vazhi Thiravaadhae


meaning, if You ask me what is the rarest thing, my Lord with the spear (Vel)
Being born as a human is rare
Even if born a human, it is rarer
To be born without being dumb, deaf, humpback, blind
Even if born without disabilities, it is rarer
To have knowledge and education
Even if one has good knowledge and education, it is rarer
To have benevolence and ethics
Without those benevolence and ethics
Heaven would not open its gates to give to people


That pleased Lord Murugan, Avvaiyar's eloquence and poetry made Him happy. He blessed her for her knowledge and literary eloquence and left.


Though these songs have been made popular through movies and music discs, some of them were modified to match the tune or situation. However the meaning conveyed is more or less similar. All these songs by Avvaiyar inculcate moral values and at the same time are also more captivating too.


More to come, until then...

26 comments:

ashley said...

really its beautiful ...... thank you.
webdesign

Anonymous said...

Once again super prabhu !!! Really thanks for such nice posts :-)

- Ganesh

R. Prabhu said...

@Ashley and @Ganesh

Thank you very much

RLN17 said...

Fantastic, Mr. Prabhu.
And a very nice and apt translation.
Just keep on doing such good and useful work.
Blessings.
R.Lakshminarayanan,
Aged 75. Retired Railway Engineer.
Kodambakkam, Chennai.

R. Prabhu said...

Thank you very much Lakshminarayanan Sir.

N. Sivayogan said...

Prabhu

Excellent hard work. Please keep doing similar work of all worked for Tamil

Dr. N. Sivayogan, USA

R. Prabhu said...

Thanks Dr. Sivayogan!

Anonymous said...

Hi
great job.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-l2B8oQ_60A

Anonymous said...

Mikka magizhchchi. Mikka nandri.

Anonymous said...

Neat and clean explanation.

Anonymous said...

வாழ்க வளமுடன்
அவ்வை அம்மாவை, பழம் சுட்ட காரணமாய் அடியவன் எண்ணுவது :
களைத்து அமர்ந்த அவ்வை தாய், தன் பயணங்களையும், தன் வாழ்வையும் எண்ணி பெருமூச்சு விட்டார்கள், அப்போது அடியவனுக்கு அடியன், அன்பனுக்கு அன்பனான முருகன், பழம் சுடுதா என கேட்டார், அதை தாய் கேட்ட மாத்திரம், தன் கட்டை(உடல்) பாரமாய் தோன்றியதை, சிறுவன் எவ்வாறு உணர்ந்தான் என எண்ணினார், சிறுவனென்ரும் பாராமல் உண்மை உணர்ந்து நாணினார், கணபதியின் மகளான அவ்வை தாய் ஞானமே வடிவானவர், வாழ்க அவர் புகழ், வாழ்க உம் நெறி. எந்த குறையும் இல்லாது, நீடுடி நீர் வாழ முருகனை அடியேன் தொழுவேன்

Phoenix.... said...

I was about to post the same reply as our Mr. Anonymous here.. I completely agree with him. I believe that the conversation was to portray that sticking to earthly life is not the ultimatum. There is divine past earthy life. One more question.

அதனினும் இனிது அறிவுள்ளோரை 
கனவினும் நனவினும் காண்பது தானே

Isn't this the correct spelling?? Please correct me if am wrong

R. Prabhu said...

Anonymous - வாழ்த்துக்களுக்கு மிக்க நன்றி

R. Prabhu said...

Thank you Phoenix, yes that interpretation is correct too. And thank you very much for the spelling correction!

bennedose said...

Thank you, and thank the www. I read the poem "karunkali kattaikku" in a Hindi lesson in 1967 and memorized it because it had a nice rhythm to it. I could not find it again till today.

Thanks for the memories.

R. Prabhu said...

Thanks bennedose!

Anonymous said...

Thank You Very Much. I wanted to teach my daughter who is in primary school the richness in tamil literature, their relevance today and what are the worst things in the life and why we must thank God for he has not exposed us to them.

Anonymous said...

Though the English translation is simple it is very important to give completion to the effort. All the more important for teaching my daughter who studies in a convent. Saved me a lot of time and effort. Thanks again.

R. Prabhu said...

Thanks Anon!

Madan said...

Hi Prabu,

I have gone through your blog, it is simply super. For a long time, I have one question, in which topic Avaiyai Paati sung the song Arithu Arithu. I have gone through her famous works of nalvazhi, Moothurai, Aathichudi ect, all her four works, but i could not get this verses. Can u help me by revealing this. Thank You

R. Prabhu said...

Hi Madan,

These songs are collections from other than the well known works of Avvaiyar, there is one other book called "Avvaiyar Thani padalgal" that has all these and others

Free flow of thoughts said...

Thanks for the explanation, It is very helpful ...

Raja Sekar said...

It's great. Thank you.
.

Nakkeeran. T said...

Prabuji really you are great.

Thank you.

regards

Nakkeeran

lambodara@rediffmail.com said...

Thiru Prabhu, you are doing great work. Keep it up. I would like to know the meaning of the word AaraNa poruL. Does it mean Vedas? Looking forward to hearing from you. Pl. send it to lambodara@rediffmail.com. Thanks. Regards, Ganesh

diegojayapradap said...

அருமை