The sacred foot that danced in Tillai's city old
Is His, Who in all varied lives has energized;
Revealed in beauty of innumerous, varied qualities;
In earth, in sky, and in celestial worlds.
All ordered lore hath He revealed, and He made void. (5)
My darkness hath He driven for aye far off.
Within His servants' inmost soul that love o'erflows
He dwells, - His glory and His choice.
On great MahEndra's biding hill
In grace He caused the uttered Agamas appear. (10)
He came with the good goddess,
Pleasant and gracious, mingling with men at KallAdam.
With her whose words are milk in the 'fivefold couch,'
He caused sweet grace, that unfailing accumulates, to grow.
In guise of a woodman, of her whose lips are crimson, (15)
He sank in the lovely expanse of the swelling breast.
Becoming a fisherman He caught the shark.
And he received the Agamas, a rich spoil.
Moreover, on MahEndra seated, the self-same Agamas
From His five mouths He graciously spake forth. (20)
In our abode a BrAhman He became,
And as a deathless Guru dwelt in grace.
Assuming diverse forms, and diverse habitudes,
As hundreds of hundreds of thousands of natures,
I Can, Lord of the bull, that the world might be saved, - (25)
He and the Lady, His partner, - came in grace.
Bringing horses, in the Western land,
Right royally He rode in state.
In fair PuttUr, town of the dart, upon the bull He rode,
Made manifest His state and glorious pomp. (30)
In a mirror, at PuttUr of the santhal-wood,
Gave increase to the woodman armed with bow.
His form all flame, that held the 'gram-bag',
In magic beauty exquisite, of old he showed.
He whose extent to Hari and to BrahmA was not known, (35)
In goodness jackals into horse made,
To make him His, He of the sacred foot,
The chargers to the PAndiyan sold,
Nor deigned to take the heaped-up gold.
Our King made me His slave, and in the path of grace to keep, (40)
Made manifest the ancient brightening ray.
Becoming a BrAhman, graciously making me His own,
He showed the magic illusion.
Coming to Madura, the city great and fair,
He became a horse's groom. (45)
And therein too, for the female devotee
He condescended to carry earth.
In Uttara-KOca-Mangai abiding
He showed His special form.
In PUvanam he vouchsafed to appear in beauty, (50)
And showed His ancient spotless form.
In VAthavUr he came sweetly gracious
And caused the sound of His tinkling anklets to be heard.
In Perun-turrai's blissful home, a Blessed One He dwelt,
And guileful, in undimmed lustre hid Himself. (55)
In PUvalam, beauteous, sweet and gracious,
He sin destroyed.
A water-booth he placed, to gain the victory,
And graciously became an attendant who serves water.
He came a guest to VenkAdu. (60)
Beneath the Kurunthu tree He sat that day.
In royal Mangai, in fair beauty throned,
The eight great mystic powers in grace He gave.
Becoming a hunter, and assuming the form He desired,
In the forest with guile He lay hid. (65)
Exhibiting a body, assumed at pleasure,
He bore the fitting form.
In Jackal-town well pleased in grace
He became an earthly babe.
In PANTUr He came to dwell. (70)
In the resplendent island, in the south of DEvUr,
He assumed kingly state.
In sacred ArUr, famed for its honey-dripping groves,
He bestowed the gift of wisdom.
In Idai-maruthu, by hosts attended,
He planted His pure foot. (75)
Assuming the nature of Ekambam,
He became partner with his never-sundered queen.
In glory He dwelt in sacred VAnjiyam,
And delighted in the society of her of perfumed locks. (80)
He became an attendant bearing a mighty bow,
And assumed many various appearances,
He dwelt in a spacious home in KadambUr;
And showed Himself in beauty in the hill IngOy.
He became a Caivan in AiyAru. (85)
He abode with desire in Turutti.
In the 'town of the sacred palm' He dwelt desired.
In Karumalam He manifested His presence.
In the 'Vulture's Hill' He dwelt without a flaw.
In Purrambayam He taught virtues manifold. (90)
In KutRAlam He was for a sign.
Concealing His endless greatness in form of fire,
In beauteous disguise the only primal One assumed a form,
In magic splendour came in grace,
Took each one's nature into Himself,- (95)
Being the infinite Lord of grace, our king,-
Became a Sage as moonlight bright.
Thro' upper air descending to the beauteous LAND
He came in fairest form and filled with grace,-
Lord of the HILL MahEnthiram, mountain of mystic lore, (100)
The King of grace, immeasurably great !
If one could tell the way He made me His:
He showed His sacred form of power and grace;
He exhibited His BANNER of sacred ashes;
The RIVER of rapture that straightway (105)
All human vileness sweeps away, in grace He gave:
The Partner of the DAME, in mercy great !
While the great NATHA-DRUM spake loud
He made me His, so that impurity touches not.
He bears the mystic SPEAR, (110)
The splendour He whose flame pure light emits,
Who cuts away the primal threefold bond;
A loving one, the lotus GARLAND blue
In fragrant loveliness He wore;
Hari and BrahmA knew not Him to mete; (115)
On prancing charger forth He rode.
He shows in grace the way knows no return;
The old dominion of the PAndi LAND is His;
He bears to bliss supern His pious saints
Uttara-KOca-Mangai is His TOWN; (120)
To the primeval Beings He gives grace,
The GOD OF GODS His sacred NAME;
His VEHICLE is gift of joy dispels the dark;
His the MOUNT of grace that greatness gives,
Fitted to each one's lofty nature, each one's power; (125)
Meetly in love He makes them His;-
Me, cur, in Tillai filled with good,
He bade draw nigh th'all-glorious company;
Yet, Ah ! He left me here.
That day His servants who gained grace to go with Him, (130)
Mingled in perfect union with Himself,
While those that gained it not leaped on the fire !
Then did bewilderment come over them,
On earth they rolled, they fell, they wailed,
They rushed with eager foot to reach the sea; (135)
'Our Lord, Our Lord', they wept and called.
While those who gained His foot pressed near,
And cried, 'Celestial Dancer, who to Patanjali gave grace,'
And yearned to gain satiety of bliss,
He dances 'mid the company of beauteous 'Tiger-town', (140)
That golden beauty like HimAlaya wears,
There to Umai, whose roseate mouth is filled with sweetness,
And to KAli grants the beauteous smile of His blest countenance.
Thus the King with His assembled saints
Joyous hath entered 'Tiger-town,' with garners filled, (145)
High Lord of Kailai that resounds with rapturous song.
The idea of lines 13-16 is peculiar to the Caiva system, which teaches that there are three great processes carried on by Civan, the Supreme, in the Universe. In the beginning of each aeon He evolves the phenomenal universe, and through countless ages sustains it as the theatre of births and deaths - of the whole drama of metampsychosis; and at the end of each aeon He involves the phenomenal universe in its primal elements. These three processes of evolution,conservation and involution, are commonly assigned to three deities, of whom BrahmA is the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver, and Civan the Destroyer. This however was seen to give to Civan an office apparently inferior, and certainly less gracious, than that which belongs to the other Gods. The South-Indian Caiva system boldly faces this difficulty. According to it there is really but one God. He is called, among many other names, Civan 'the Blessed One'. Vishnu and BrahmA and the other so-called gods are but dependent 'souls' like the rest, and at the beginning of each aeon their place and office for that aeon are assigned them by the Supreme as the result of merits accumulated. The BrahmA of the present aeon is the Demiurge or fashioner of The evolved Universe: he puts it into shape, and is the mere agent of Civan. This system invites us to contemplate the universe at the beginning of each aeon awaiting the action of the Supreme. Existence is eternal; it is subject to what are called deluges, or overhelming catastrophes, in which all the heavens, and all the regions of the abyss, all worlds, and all beings are restored to their rudimental condition, after which, by the will and operation of Civan they resume their normal manifestations. What exists at the beginning of an aeon
First, we have the Lord, Pathi, Sivan, PerumAn. He is the First Cause of all things; the only God.Inseparable from Himself, dwelling in Him,is His personified energy or Sakti --- his bride said to be the originator, source, fountain, beginning of all emotion, action, wisdom, and grace.
Secondly, we have Souls, lives, atomic existences,the flocks, pacu. These have now no embodiment , no powers, energies, or faculties,abiding like birds sleeping in the night on the branchces of some mighty tree, hardly to be distinguished from the tree itself, save that they live. These are definite in number, and are eternal; no addition can ever be made to the number of souls that are alive in the universe, none of them can ever die. Since, as we shall see, these may gain absolute identification with Civan-PerumAn and thus be embodied no more, the number of embodied souls diminishes; but no soul ceases to exist even after obtaining release, and being taken into God. It may be, according to this system, that the time shall arrive when all embodied lives have obtained release, and then the worlds will for ever cease and Civan be all in all. Each of these souls has its load of deeds which are stored up, and are a' parte ante, eternal; the result of which, in pleasure or in pain, each soul in some embodied form must experience. As the Caiva system says, The fruit of deeds must be eaten '
These souls, at the beginning of each aeon, crouch waiting for their embodiments. There are now no evolved worldsno heaven, no hell, no gods and demons, men. All these have been, and shall be,but now are not. That SOULS may be furnished with embodiments, and with worlds in which they may experience their fate, we have thirdly, the Bond, pAcam the eternal material cause of the creation. This is threefold, pure maya, impure maya and prakrithi, the of offspring of the latter, which is undefined. These three categories PATHI, PACU and PACAM - which we call roughly 'The God, SOUL AND MATTER' Are the subjects expounded in the Caiva Siddhantha Philosophy.
Civan's palpable and subtle existence
The developement of the sphere of the elemental universe,
Its immeasurable nature, and abundant phenomena,
If one would tell their beauty in all its particulars,
As when, more than a hundred millions in number spread abroad,
The thronging atoms are seen in the ray that enters the house, (5)
So is He the GREAT ONE, Who exists in the minutest elements.
If you would know Him, BrahmA and the rest with MAl,
His greatness, source, glory, and end,
Conjoined with His eternity, His extent, His abiding essence,
His subtile ant palpable manifestations, (10)
They sought to understand. As the rush of a mighty whirlwind
The Beauteous One drave them far in whirling course !
The operations of the Supreme
He is the Ancient One, Who creates the Creator of all;
He is the God, Who preserves the Preserver of things created;
He is the God, Who destroys the Destroyer; (15)
But, thinking without thought, regards the things destroyed.
To the six sacred sects with their six diverse kinds of men
He is the attainment of deliverance; and Source of being to the heavenly ones
He is the Possessor of all, Who resembles an insect.
Day by day He to the sun its lustre gave. (20)
In the sacred moon He placed its coolness;
Kindled in the mighty fire its heat;
In the pure ether placed pervasive power;
Endued the ambiant wind with energy;
To the streams that gleam in the shade their savour sweet, (25)
And to the expanded earth with its strength He gave;
For ever and aye, me and millions other than me,
All in their several cells hath He enclosed.
See Him the First! See Him the Whole !
See Him Himself, Being without compare ! (30)
See Him adorned with the wild boar's ancient tusk !
See Him Whose girdle is the forest tiger's skin !
See Him with ash besmeared ! Whene'er I think and think,
See, I cannot bear the thought ! I perish overwhelmed !
See, in the sweet voiced lute He is the melody ! (35)
See, each thing, as its essence is, He knows !
See Him, the Infinite ! See Him, the Ancient One !
See Him, the Great One Whom BrahmA and MAl saw not !
See Him, the Wonderful! See, the Manifold !
See Him, the Ancient One, transcending words ! (40)
See, He dwells afar where human thought goes not !
See, He is taken in the net of piety !
See Him that One, Whose title is 'the only One' !
See, He extends throughout the wide extended earth !
See Him, more subtile than an atom small ! (45)
See Him, the King incomparably great !
See Him, the Precious One, rarest of all that's rare!
See, mingling with all beings, each one He cherishes !
See Him, the Subtile One, Whom science fails to see !
See Him, above, below, He spreads ! (50)
See the beginning and the ending He transcends !
See, the 'bond' and 'loosing' He ordains !
See, He is That that stands, and That that goes !
See, He discerns the aeon and its end !
See Him, the Lord Whom all may gain ! (55)
See, Civan Whom the gods know not !
See Him. the Male, the Female, and 'neither one'!
See, even I have seen Him with my eyes !
See, the ambrosial Fount, yielding abounding grace!
Lo, I have seen His mercy s might ! (60)
See, His roseate Foot this earth hath trod !
See Him, even I have known, the Blessed One !
See, in grace He made me His !
See, her His Spouse whose eyes are dark-blue lotus flowers !
See, Her and Him together stand ! (65)
The Sea and the Cloud
Lines 66-95 are well nigh untranslateable, for they contain a subtle and intricate allegory, by means of which the grace of the manifested Civan, who is praised under the title of the 'Cloud' is set forth. The idea is that the Infinite sea of rapturous supreme felicity is Civan, but - as the Cloud in the monsoon season sucks up water from the sea, and rises in black masses that cover the sky, while all the phenomena of the wonderful outburst of the beneficient, but also fearful, monsoon are exhibited - so does the Supreme manifest Himself as the Guru, the Object of Love, and Give of grace to His worshippers. In the monsoon season, lightnings flash from one end of the sky to the other, crested torrents sweep down over the hills, bearing with them uprooted plants and trees, and not unseldom huge snakes that have been disturbed from their rocky mountain hiding places. The various kinds of 'Gloriosa' spread forth their beautiful flowers like supplicating hands, while every valley and hollow is filled with water. Meanwhile, as the heat is most intense just before the burst of the monsoon, the poet pictures a troop of thirsty antelopes, deluded by the mirage which seems to offer them refreshing streams and shade: disappointed they are left to die of thirst in the wilderness. Meanwhile the pain of the fierce heat has ceased. Down the gorges of the hill the torrent rushes, and is received into tanks prepared for it by the expectant husbandmen. These lakes are fragrant with beautiful flowers, and on their banks the maidens have kindled fires with aromatic woods, at which they dry their hair and garments after the refreshing bath. The cultivators may now sow their seed and expect a rich harvest. All this is the work of the black clouds which drew water from the sea to fertilise the earth. In these lines every particular of the description has its mystical meaning, which hardly needs illustration. The student will compare VII, 61-64.
The ancient sea of bliss supreme is THAT indeed !
Appearing like a black vast CLOUD,
Arising in the hill of Petun-turrai blest,
Whilst sacred lightnings flash frorn every point -,
While serpent bright of sensual bondage dies -, (70)
While the sore sorrow of the fervent heat hides itsellf;
While the all-beauteous Hibiscus shines forth,
Swelling in its wrath like our mortal pain,
It sounds forth in mighty grace as a drum.
While the kAnthal stretches out supplicating hands, (75)
And the tender drops of sweet unfailing grace distil,
While the gleaming torrent swells on every side,
And rises to the highest banks of every lake -;
The 'demon-car' of the six sects
Excites the thirst of the large-eyed antelope throng. (80)
And they with eager desire crowd to drink;
And faint with unquenched thirst haste hither and thither:-
Meanwhile, the heavenly mighty stream
Rises and rushes, crowned with hubbles of delight,
Eddies around, dashes against the bank of our 'embodiment, (85)
And twofold deeds of ours growing from age to age, -
Those mighty trees, roots up and bears away.
It rushes through the cleft of the high hills,
Is imprisoned in the encircling lake,
Where grow the expanded fragrant flowers, (90)
In tank, where rises smoke of the agil, where beetles hum;
And as it swells with ever-rising joy,
The ploughmen-devotees in the field of worship
Sow in rich abundance seed of love
Hail, CLOUD-LIKE god, hard in this universe to reach ! (95)
Ascriptions of Praise
God Who wear'st black snake for girdle, hail !
First One, giving grace to the devout ascetics, hail !
Warrior Who dost remove our fear, all hail !
Thou Who dost ever draw us to Thee, make us Thine, all hail !
Thou Who dost wipe away sorrows that gather around, all hail ! (100)
Thou Who giv'st ambrosia rare to those that gain access to Thee, all hail !
Thou Who in thick darkness dancing dost bend down, all hail!
Lover of Her with shoulders like the swelling bamboo, hail !
Thou Who art hostile to the hostile one, our King, all hail !
Thou Who to thy lovers art treasure in distress, all hail ! (105)
Praise to Thee, our Own, waving the envenomed snake !
Praise to Thee, Great One, Who fill'st our souls with pious rage !
Praise to Thee, mighty in Thine ash-smeared form !
In every part what moves, Thou mov'st it; what lies still, Thou lay'st to rest
What stands, Thou dost establish. (110)
Thou Ancient One, transcending speech,
Not grasped by apprehension of the soul !
Not by the eye perceived, nor by sense-organs all.
Thou didst arrange in order, manifest the ether and all elemcnts.
Like fragrance of the flower uprising everywhere, (115)
Thy greatness without cease all things pervades,
This day to me in condescending grace Thou cam'st
Making this body of destruction fall away, O Being glorious !
To-day to me in condescending grace Thou cam'st; I praise Thee ! (120)
Thou Who did'st fashion this decaying frame; I praise Thee !
As fountain springing in my soul Thou mak'st me glad, I praise Thee !
Whlle pleasure beyond bound like flower expands
I know not how to bear this body vile !
His hidings of Himself
Bright gems flash'd emerald splendour forth,-
The lightning's play mingling with gleam of gold,- (125)
BrahmA went up to seek Thee; Thou didst hide Thyself !
From them who toiled with mystic scrolls didst hide Thyself!
From those who in their homes practised virtue, Thou didst hide Thyself
From those who, in union with Thee, fixed their contemplative soul
Wlth painfiul effort; Thou didst hide Thyself ! (130)
From those who boasted to see Thee by some rare device,
By that same device, there, -didst Thou hide Thyself!
Benign, regarding all, receiving with abundant grace
As male appearing Thou dost change to neutral form,
And in a bright-browed female form dost hide Thyself ! Far off (135)
Bidding the senses five depart, passing over every trackless hill
With frames scarce living, spurning all delights,
Ascetic saints in contemplation dwell;-in their souls Thou fitly hid'st Thyself!
Seeming one thing, then not, eluding knowledge, Thou dost hide Thyself !
When e'en of old I strove to find Thee, when to-day I strive, (140)
Thou hid'st Thyself, Deceiver ! But we've found Thee now !
Haste, haste ye, garlands of fresh flowers
Around His feet to bind !
Assemble, go around, follow hard on, leave ye no gap.
Lay hold of Him, although He hide Himself, avoid your grasp ! (145)
The Incomparable told out His nature as it is,
That those like me might hear.
He called, in grace He made me His,
He as a BrAhman showed His glory forth,
Then, while undying love dissolved my frame, I cried; (150)
I raised enraptured voice above the billowy sea's loud waves;
In utter wilderment I fell, I rolled, I cried aloud,
Madman distraught, and as a maniac raved;
While those who saw were wildered, who heard it wonder'd sore.
More than the frenzy wild of raging elephant (155)
Bore me away beyond endurance far. 'Twas then through all my limbs
A honied sweetness He infused, and made me blest.
The ancient city of His foes with fire lit by His beauteous smile
He caused to fall. Ev'n so that day
With mighty fire of grace our humble dwellings (160)
He destroyed that none were left.
To me as the ripe Nelli fruit in palm He was.
What to say I know not, Hail !-to Thee complain.
I mere cur cannot endure ! What He hath done to me
I understand not ! Ah I'm dead ! To me Thy slave (165)
What Thou in grace hast given I know not, tasting am not satiate,
Though I've imbibed I comprehend it not !
Like flowing billows swell from out the sea of milk
Within my soul He made deep waters rise,
Ambrosia surpassing speech filled every pore. (170)
This is His gracious work !
In every body in this currish state
He filled me full with honied sweetness;
Ambrosial drops most marvellous
He caused throughout my being to distil. (175)
With tender soul, as though He'd make me as Himself,
He formed for me a frame where grace might flow.
And as an elephant explores fields of sweet cane, at last
He sought, and found, and made even me to live. In me
Mercy's pure honey while He mixed, (180)
He gave in grace supernal food: -
Ev'n He Whose nature nor BrahmA knows nor MAl !
The titles of the ten decades, into which the poem is divided, indicate in some measure the course of his thoughts and the character of his mental conflicts. There is a most pathetic alternation of rapturous and realising devotion with coldness and apathy, and even, it seems of temporary abandonment to gross sensuality. It is to be doubted whether the whole of these verses are of one period, and I should prefer to think that they really embody his meditations and solloquies up to the period of his final settlement in Cithambaram.
THE COGNITION OF THE TRUE.
1. Humble access to the New Master
My frame before Thy fragrant foot is quivering like al1 opening bud;-
My hands above my head I raise; while tears pour down, my melting soul,
The false renouncing,, praises Thee; with songs of triumph praises Thee,-
Nor suffer I adoring hand to rest;-O Master, look on me ! (4)
II. Self-surrender. He accepts the ascetic life.
I ask not bliss of Indra, MAl, or Ayan;-though my house and home
Be ruin'd, friendship form I none save with Thine own; though hell's abys
I enter, I unmurmuring go, if grace divine appoint my lot;-
O King I no other god save Thee I ponder, our Transcendent Good ! (8)
III. He is despised as a mad enthusiast.
Transcendent Good ! Owner and Sire ! Thy servant melting thinks on Thee.
In raptures meet I utter forth my fever'd soul's ecstatic joys,
Still wandering from town to town; while men cry out, 'A madman this;'
And each one speaks, with mind distraught, discordant words. O, when come death ? (12)
IV. None to be worshipped but Civan
Erewhile was Dakshan's offering death. They ate the flesh, and poison feared
' Our Father,' cried our friends and worshipt Him with suppliant voice.
And yet 'Three are the gods that rule in heaven and earth,' they vainly deem.
What sin is this your haughty minds breathe out, ye errirng penitents ? (16)
V. I plead no merit- am no real devotee.
No penance have I done, nor bowed, with hand unstinting scatt'ring flowers;
Born all in vain,-to ' cruel deeds ' a thrall,-the bliss of Civan's heav'n,
Amongst Thy loving ones, I've fail'd to gain; see, and in grace bestow
On me, Thy slave, consummate life beneath Thy feet, Supernal Lord ! (20)
VI. Grace unfailing to the faithful
They roam'd and cull'd choice varied flowers to lay in worship at Thy feet,
They deemed that all they sought they should obtain; and from these loving
In mystic guile Thou hidest still, abiding not ! In grace bestow,
Love to Thy glorious foot, that I may ceaseless praise with perfect song ! (24)
VII. Civan was an ascetic,as am I now.
Erewhile the Maker's-maker bowed, brought blooming flowers, and everywhere
Sought for Th' All-seeing One, nor found. Our mighty One, Who dwells beyond,
Here in the wilds with demons danced, a homeless, friendless one; and there
In tiger-skin arrayed Himself, as madman wand'ring to and fro ! (28)
VIII. Save Thy servants in the day of doom!
>The wand'ring wind, the fire, the flood, the earth, the heaven,-a time shall be
When these adown the gulf shall go ! After that hour unknown has come
The deeds-mighty the soul to bind-Thy slave in wand'ring days has done
Let the time come for these to pass ! Guard us from these, our Guardian then ! (32)
IX. Bhavan's our Lord.
Bhavan's our Lord, Whose garland is the cool vast moon, of heavenly one
The Prince. Civan's our Lord,Who made me His, my meanness though He saw
Our Lord Supreme is He, and I, His lowly servant, thus declare !
That earth may know, sound out that Bhuvan is our Lord ! (36)
X. 'Tis wondrous grace that sought me out.
Unmeet was I to enter 'mongst Thy loving ones, my flawless Gem !
Ambrosia rare ! The way Thou took'st me for Thine own and mad'st me meet
The very meanest lifting high, Thou didst the heav'nly ones bring low !
What Thou our Lord to me hast done is as a play men laugh to see ! (40)
THE IMPARTATION OF DIVINE KNOWLEDGE.
XI. A prayer for perfect love-
'Midmost of Thy devoted ones, like them in mystic dance to move;
Within Thy home above to gain wish'd entrance, lo, I eager haste !
O golden-glorious Hill of gems ! Give grace, that ceaseless love to Thee.
Our Master, in my heart of hearts, melting my very soul, may 'bide. (44)
XII. Longing for grace alone.
I dread not any birth. To death what should I owe ! Nor do I crave
Even heaven itself to gain. No power to rule this earth do I esteem.
O Civan, crowned with cassia-flowers that sweets distil; our PerumAn !
Our only Lord! I fainting cry: ' When comes the day I find Thy grace ?' (48)
XIII. Without Thy presence I pine
I ever pine Thy flow'ry feet to see, -Thy slave, dog though I am !
I sit, no fitting flowers present, my tongue no rising raptures speaks.
Thou Who the well-strung golden bow didst bend ! Ambrosia of Thy grace
If Thou give not, I PINE,-a wretch forlorn,-what other can I be? (52)
XIV. Deadness of soul.
My inmost self PINES not, as were befitting, for Thy sacred Foot;
Nor melts in love; I bring no wreath; speak out no worthy word of praise
Within the shrine of Him, the King of gods, perform no service due;
Nor move in dance. To death I haste ! Thou Whom true wisdom bringeth nigh! (56)
XV. God all in all
Thou art the Heaven; Thou art the Earth; Thou art the Wind;Thou art the Light!
The Body Thou; the Soul art Thou; Existence, Non-existence Thou;
Thou art the King; these puppets all Thou dost make move, dwelling within
That each one says: ' Myself and mine. 'What shall I say? How render PRAISE (60)
XVI. My praise is pure. Free me from embodiments.
The heavenly ones adore Thee still heaven's bliss to share ! Their minds to Thee
They lowly humble that, on high exalted, men may worship them;
Thou round whose flower-wreath hum the honey-bees ! Thy slave, I praise
Thee, even I, that Thou may'st save from idle round of earthly birth ! (64)
XVII. The bliss of Civan's heaven of presence.
The heavenly dwellers chaunt Thy praise; the fourfold VEdas utter song;
She of the shining locks that shed perfume is sharer of Thy seat;
There in true love Thy servants all commingling dwell; there, more and more,
Thy feet with sounding anklets girt do they behold, Thou hard to know !(68)
XVIII. This abandonment is unendurable.
Thou Whom 'tis hard to know, in sky and in the golden court revealed,-
Our mighty One ! beneath the jewelled feet where I was made Thine own,
No more I scatter fragrant flowers, nor wondering weep, nor melt in love.
'Tis past my power to bear ! How can it be ? I die, insooth, I die ! (72)
XIX. He is above; we earthly still.
With flow'ry arrows in the spring-time comes the god of soft desire,
And witching smile of maidens fair, with rosy mouths and flower-wreathed locks !
Poor soul, that pants and melts through these, Who made thee His, and thrilled thy frame,
To-day hath gone and dwells in heaven; yet see, thou still art lingering here ! (76)
XX. O soul be wise!
O soul, that livest here in joy ! Of life's true joys bereft, in mire
Thou sink'st of 'mighty deeds '! Him Who guards men from sinking praisest not !
Thou art devising ruin to thyself,I tell thee so full oft;
Thou'rt sinkcing even now beneath the FLOOD of the distressful sea! (80)
DYING TO SENSE AND SELF.
This decad describes the mystic experience known by Caiva Siddhantha, as NAna-Carithai, in which the devotee, though able to discern God in and above and beyond all things, continues to perform outward rites (Carithai) and to avail himself ofall means of grace. See Civa-PragACam II.48. Since Civan so deigns to manifest, and yet vell, His presence, the devotee is assiduous n performance of all prescribed acts of worship, while his soul transcends the visible, and by NAnam (in this connection = divine faith) sees God.
XXI. I have relapsed into apathy.
Through Thine expanding locks the FLOOD pours down;
the Bull is Thine, Lord of the heavenly ones ! -
They sang, and stood, with panting, melting souls,
like torrent, plunging in th' abyss ! and I,
With yearning soul I heard ! Thou mad'st me Thine ! Yet now
from head to foot, I melt not;from my eyes
The rushing waters pour not down;my heart
is stone;both eyes are wood to SINFUL me ! (84)
XXII. Deadness has come over me.
Thou ent'ring stood'st by me fast bound IN SIN;
as one who says, ' I'm sin's destroyer, come !'
Thyself announcing thus, Thou mad'st me Thine,-
becam'st my mighty Lord. Like iron statue, I
Now sing no praise, nor dance, nor weep, nor wail,
nor faint with bliss. Behold, O Primal One,
To Thee I make my plaint; nor know how this
with me shall end, Thou Who art First and Last !(88)
XXIII. Very vile, but Thine, save me!
Thou'rt Ayan, Thou the fourfold VEdas' Lord;
I know Thee,-I, lowest of men that live;
I know,-and see myself a very cur;-
yet Lord, I'll say I am Thy loving one !
Though such I was, Thou took'st me for Thine own
Thy saints are here no longer, only I,
Vile wretch ! and is it thus Thy greatness shines ?
Our PerumAn, what shall I say to Thee ? (92)
XXIV. Thy votary, though full of sin.
And if I spake, ' Thou'rt ICan, Father, Sire
great PerumAn ;' thus have I ever said;
If I besmear'd, 'twas sacred ash alone
I smear'd, still praising Thee, our PerumAn;
Who erst made those Thine own who'd passed by love
o'er birth and death. In torrent plunged of lust
And guile, behold me, spotless Hill of gems !
Father ! 'Twas such an one Thou mad'st Thine own ! (96)
XXV. The mystery of His being.
Thy colour is not red,-nor white Thy form;-
Thou'rt Many, One; Atom, than Atom far
Subtler; the heavenly host in 'wildered thought
know not the way, Father, to reach Thy feet.
Thou showd'st Thy form, Thy beauty didst display
didst show Thy now'ry feet ! Me wandering, Thine
Thou mad'st, safeguarding me from future ' birth ' !
Our PerumAn, what shall I say, what THINK ? (100)
XXVI. Wonders of grace.
Thou mad'st my THOUGHT Thy THOUGHT ! Of me, mere cur,
Thou mad'st the eye rest on Thy foot's blest flower,
Thou mad'st me bow before that flower alone ! My mouth
Thou mad'st to speak abroad Thy gem-like word !
My senses five to fill Thou cam'st, and mad'st me Thine.
Ambrosial Sea of magic might ! O Mount ! Thyself
Thou gav'st, Thy form like wild of roseate lotus flowers,
to LONELY helpless me. Thou Only-Light ! (104)
XXVII. The voyage
I, LONELY, tost by billows broad of anguish sore,
on the great ' sea of birth,' with none to aid;
Disturbed by winds of mouths roseate like ripened fruit,
lay caught in jaws of the sea monster lust !
' Henceforth,what way to 'scape ? ' I frequent cried ! then thought,
and seiz'd the raft of Thy Five Letters ! So to me,
O Primal One, Thou showd'st a boundless fertile shore,
and mad'st the rash insensate one Thine own ! (108)
XXVIII. What He did for me.
Him none by hearing know; He knoweth no decay;
He hath no kin; naught asking, heareth all !
While people of the land beheld, here on this earth
to me, a cur, He gave a royal seat;
To me, a dog, all things not shown before, He showed;
all things not heard before, He caused to hear;
And guarding me from future ' birth,' He made me His.
Such is the wondrous work our Lord hath wrought for me ! 112
XXIX. His appearing.
The WONDER this ! Say, is there aught like this ?
He made me servant of His loving saints;
Dispell'd my fear, ambrosia pouring forth, He came,
and while my soul dissolv'd, in love made me His own;
The Sire, Male, Female, Neither, Ether pure, was He;
as wondrous Fire; as End of all; beyond all far;
His body like a flower of golden hue;
our Civa-PerumAn, our Lord, OF GODS THE KING ! (116)
The GOD OF GODS, to king of gods unknown;
King of the ' Three '; what teeming worlds create,
Preserve, destroy; the First; Essence divine;
the Sire of sires; Fa,ther, whose half the Mother is;
The King of all ! He came, and made me, too, His own.
Henceforth I'm no one's vassal; none I fear !
We've reached the goal; with servants of His saints
in sea of bliss we evermore shall bathe ! (120)
THE SOUL'S PURlFICATION.
XXXI. The sluggish soul.
Thou dancest not; thou hast no love for the DANCER'S foot;
with melting thrill
Thou singest not; thou throbbest not; thou bowest not down;
the flower of His foot
Thou wearest not; thou crownest it not with flowers; there's none like Thee,
DEAD HEART !
Thou seekest Him not through every street; thou wailest not; nothing know
I thou dost ! (124)
XXXII. The ungrateful, treacherous heart.
My Sire came, entered, made His own me who knew naught; in mercy taught
Caused me to know the higher path; He loos'd my every bond !
Despite the gain of changeless, sweetest gifts of grace,thou'rt changed,
DEAD HEART !
RUINED by thee, to all that's false subjected, thus I RUINED lie ! 128
XXXIII. Heart unworthy of trust; insensible to complaint
My foolish senseless HEART, that changing, RUIN bringst to me,
Henceforth I trust thee nevermore;-assuredly on Civan's mighty arm
The ashes thickly smeared thou saw'st, yet melted'st not; this, body's bonds
Thou rendest not,-nor can I bid restore the ruin thou hast wrought. (132)
XXXIV. The utter folly of the fickle mind.
Perish, O restless mind ! before the Master Absolute,
A dog I lay; Thou didst enjoy His fragrant flowery Foot;
But now thou'rt severed like a young and tender shoot; all former bliss
Hast lost ! Truly I deem Thy wisdom and Thy greatness measureless ! (136)
XXXV. Insensible to infinite mercy.
When He to heavenly ones inscrutable, of acce~s easy to His saints,
Our hidden sin destroyed, and made me His, thou knew'st the melting joy !
Yet, HEART thou hast not, hating all thy hidden sin, prepar'd an ample field for Him,
Nor bow'd before the Master's healing Feet, the heavenly goal to gain ! (140)
XXXVI. What remedy?
If 'tis not given to pass the golden gate,-where all may entrance find,
And whence none e'er departs;-nor yet to melt in love before the foot
Of Him, my Sire, my Lord;-if there to me abound no more
Ambrosia, every honied sweet;-a sinful man, what can I do for this ? (144)
XXXVII. A sinner - I quit thee not.
What other sinners are there like to me, cur at the Master's Foot?
Yet not a whit from me to sever is Thy sacred will; and thus,
O Primal One, Thy Foot's fair flower if I should quit, arld yet live on,
My soul is iron, stone my mind; my ear to what shall it compare ! (148)
XXXVIII. Life, a long exile.
The others all have reached the goal, yet I, who know not anything,
Haste not to Thee who art all sweetness, Civan, King of Civa-world;
Thou Spouse of her whose eye is like the tender fawn; long time
I still abide, cherish this flesh, and so my death-in-life drags on ! (152)
XXXIX. How do I bear life?
O bliss that ceases not ! O bliss beyond compare ! His bright flower-foot
He gave; to me of kind more base than dogs, He showed the perfect way
My Chief, who gave me grace sweeter than mother's love, I see not now !
Yet in the fire I fall not, wander not o'er hills, nor plunge me in the sea ! (156)
XL. Still the senses' slave.
'When Cupid's dart in springtide wounds, moonlight will scorch ;' of this I took!
No heed; like milk 'neath churning stick I'm stirred by wiles of those of
fawn like eyes.
To Civan's city go I not, where grace as honey to the soul is given;
To cherish soul within the body, still I eat, and garments still put on! (160)
THE RENDERING A FIT RETURN
XLI. I did not clearly apprehend Thine appearing.
Like elephant two-handed I saw not
My mind's true germ; I saw but sore distress.
Thou bad'st me, 'come'; yet, 'mid the heavenly ones
'Twas l alone passed not, the senses' slave. (164)
XLII. It must have been illusion. Is HE man?
To all who apprehend that one bright Essence truly is,
As female, male, or lifeless thing Thou art not known;-
To me Thy servant, coming as Thou art, Thou didst appear !
I saw Thee, yet I saw Thee not ! What visual juggle this !(168)
XLIII. When shall I really see Thee as Thou art?
Thou Form unique, to even heavenly ones
Unknown ! Thou Mystic Dancer, Who didst make me Thine !
Me Thine ! On earth, in heaven, or when all these
Have passed away,-WHEN shall I see Thy face? (172)
XLIV. I am of earth, earthy.
Thou Infinite, by men yet seen ! Beyond eye's ken
Thou Essence gleaming bright ! Here, like a fledgling, I
Would gladly leave this faulty frame; yet know I not
Dweller in this sense-world-how I may Thee put on.
XLV. Deadness of soul.
I call not on Thee filled with mighty love,
Nor render praise, nor fall in ecstasy
'Tis with me as when death confronted Thee,
Bowing before those lotus flowers Thy feet. (180)
XLVI. Call me, take me once more.
Call, take me 'midst Thy loving ones, Thou crowned
With cassias, home of sweets and humming bees !-
In 'midst, beneath, above, in all contained,
Thou art, my Sire, ' like oil within the seed ! '(184)
XLVII. The Self-sufficing sought out me.
Fathcr and Mother, Lord ! To all besides.
Sire, Mother, Lord: to Him all these are not !
Erewhile within my inmost soul He entered,
Whom none by thought can know, the Ever-blissful One ! 188
XLVIII. I had but a glimpse of His glory.
To Thee, nor wealth, nor want ! From heavenly ones to worms,
And grass, (no limit), all Thou fillest, -Being rare !
I saw Thy Foot-gem limitless, yet swerved from Thee.
This is the grief I stony-hearted have endured ! (192)
XLIX. An appeal.
My bonds Thou loosed'st, mad'st me Thine ! And all
The loving saints who ashes gave beheld.
Thou didst exalt, within the temple court,
Ev'n me Thou didst exalt, who knew not anything.(196)
L. I was not chosen for my wisdom or might.
Thou Only-Wise ! Ambrosia ! me, a servile cur,
When Thou didst take and make Thine own, was I then wise ?
Thou saw'st my ignorance that day Thou mad'st me Thine !
Ah, Lord of grace, was I then wise ? was I then strong ?(200)
OVERFLOWINGS OF JOY.
LI. No possible return for such mercies.
O Master, O my Mighty One, my Father, PerumAn, my births'
Destroyer, Thou Who mad'st me Thine,-an evil wholly worthless dog,
And throughly base; I cannot think, Thou see'st,-of any meet return to Thee,
O Shining One, Lord of the Porch,-nor know I aught that I can do. (204)
LII. I am still the senses' slave
Mean cur, that knew not what to do, I gave myself to gain those things
That false ones gain, who ne'er have seen Thy flowery Feet of ruddy gold.
I saw and heard that Thy true saints set free from lies, had gained Thy fragrant Foot;
Yet I,-false one,-O Warrior strong ! still eat, am clothed, and here abide. (208)
LIII. I only left !
Thou Warrior strong from out Thy golden city cam'st, mad'st darkness flee;
With Her the beauteous Queen didst deign to come. The glorious devotees
Who grace had gained, approached Thy Feet. I saw, yet like a sightless hog
That roams the village street, shall I still roam a wretch doomed to live on ? (212)
LIV. My love is weak
Full many a saint through deathless time wrought penance,members mortified
With frustrate hope to see Thee here ! Yet Thou didst sinful me Thy servant make.
O Gem ! This frame with foulness filled wears not away. To see Thy face,
The strong desire and love 'bide not in me; my Prince, how may I rise ?(216)
LV. Still I live this loathed life.
Thy bride is Umai with the fawn-like eyes ! Thou cam'st and mad'st me Thine
Ambrosia Thou, essential sweetness shed ! O Civan, southern Tillai's King
Thy saints assembled 'neath Thy sacred sign have gone to gather round Thy feet
This loathsome body still I guard, still here I dwell, O MASTER MINE !(220)
LVI . Thy will ordains my exile.
O MASTER MINE ! They think on Thee, Thy loving ones, with rapture filled
They're Thine, Thy Foot I saw them join. Yet here more mean than village cur
I dwell; my heart no rapture feels; my mind is stone, nor melts within.
This body vile I still must guard and here abide,-such is THY WILL ! (224)
LVII. My old life of earthly love.
The way THY WILL ordains befits me well ! Faithless I strayed, I left
Thy saints. A reprobate was I I How did I watch the one belov'd,
The quiverings of the lip, the folds of circling robe, the timid bashfull looks
To read love's symptoms there ! My mind thus ruin to myself wrought out. (228)
LVIII. Was my vocation a mockery then?
Thou honied Sweetness, purest Joy, Souls' Light, Master Who fill'st with bliss
The frame of those that trust in Thee, Giver of endless gifts ! Of worth.
I void am yet Thy slave; Thou me hast made Thine own; if this be so
Thy servant's state would show, I plead, Thy gift of grace was but Thy sport. (232)
LIX. What other refuge have I ?
Thy nature others know not ! Lord ! Me evil cur, lowest of all,
Hast Thou not made Thine own ? And wilt Thou let me go cast out from Thee?
Then who will deign to look on me ? What shall I do, O PerumAn ?
Father, whose sacred form is gleam of gold, where shall I refuge find? (236)
LX. I have sure hope; yet how unworthy!
I shall enter beneath Thy Foot which is mine ! 'mid saints that adore I standing
Shall laugh, glad as I gaze on the well-known form! shameless dog tho' I am !
No melting love is here! To see Thee - to be made Thine own, - can I
Be meet ? This abject state, Father ! behold, 'tis past my power to BEAR !(240)
THE OVERWHELMlNG SENSE OF THE DIVINE COMPASSION.
I BEAR no more these joys of sense; Hail I CangarA !
Hail ! heaven's ancient Lord. Hail ! our Vidalai !
Hail ! Matchless One ! Hail ! King of heavenly hosts !
Hail ! Tillai's Dancer ! All hail ! our Spotless One ! (244)
All hail ! Na ma-ci va ya ! Buyangan ! My senses fail !
All hail ! Na ma ci-va-ya ! Other refuge is there none !
All hail ! Na-ma-ci-va-ya ! Send me not forth from Thee !
All hail! Na-ma-ci-va-ya! Triumph, triumph, Hail! (248)
LXIII. All in all !
Hail ! Loving One, Who deign'st to make false ones like me Thine own !
Hail ! to Thy Foot ! Hail ! O Lord ! Hail, hail !
Hail ! Sweetness new of mercy's flood ! Earth, water, fire,
Wind, ether, the two lights of heaven,are Thee, O GOD ! (252)
LXIV. Come quickly !
Hail, O my GOD ! In grace behold me; Hail !
Hail ! I pray Thee melt my soul within me, make me Thine !
Hail ! This body strip from off me; quickly give the heavenly realms !
Hail ! CangarA, Who in Thy braided lock hast GangA placed ! (256)
Hail ! O CangarA, other refuge have I none !
Hail ! Partner of the Queen of glorious form, of ruddy lips,
And gleaming smile, and black bright eye ! Hail ! Rider on the mighty Bull
Here these earthly joys I bear not, Embiran,I all renounce ! (260)
I have myself renounced, even I; Hail, hail, Embiran !
I have not done Thee wrong ! Hail ! Foot to which I service owe !
Hail ! Faults to forgive is duty of the great !
O cause this earthly life to cease ! Hail, Lord of heaven ! (264)
Hail, Lord ! Hail ! Thou King of heavenly saints !
Partner of the Queen's graceful form, Hail ! Wearer of the sacred ash !
Hail ! Worthy Prince ! Hail ! Thou of Tillai's sacred court !
Hail! ! King of heaven ! My only Ruler, Hail ! (268)
LXVIII. Take me
Hail !, only Deity ! lncomparable Father, Hail !
Hail ! Guru of the heavenly ones ! Hail ! ! Tender Branch !
Hail, bid me come, receive me ! grant Thy Foot to gain;
And thus remove my lonely friendless woe ! (272)
Hail, to those who love with perfect love, Giver of love surpassing theirs !
Hail ! Greatness that oft my falsehood pardon'd, granted grace, and made me Thine !
Hail ! Prince, Who drank the outpoured poison,-to the heavenly ones ambrosia gave !
Hail ! Thy perfect Foot on me, a wretch, in grace bestow ! (276)
LXX. The Universal Lord.
Hail ! Thou Who art earth, water, fire, wind, ether too !
Hail ! Thou, all life's phenomena,-Thyself invisible !
Hail, all living beings' End,-Thyself without an end !
Thyself reaching through all, by senses five unreached ! (280)
LXXI. Sinking in rapture.
Sire, as IN UNION strict, Thou mad'st me Thine; on me didst look, didst draw me near;
And when it seemed I ne'er could be with Thee made one,-when naught of Thine was mine,-
And naught of mine was Thine,-me to Thy Feet Thy love
In mystic union joined, Lord of the heavenly land !-'Tis height of BLESSEDNESS. (284)
LXXII. All bliss in God.
For BLESSEDNESS I seek; not Indra's choice delights, nor those of other gods;
Thou Only-One, I live not save with Thy Feet twain ! Our Lord,my breast is Riven,
With trembling seized; my hands in adoration join;
And from my eyes a ceaseless stream pours down, as of a river, O MY SAGE !(288)
LXXIII. Prayer for consummation.
MY SAGE, save to Thyself there's none to whom I cling;-in me, deceitful one
No part from mingled falseness 'scapes; I'm falsehood's self !Partner of Her whose dark
Eyes gleam, come Thou to me ! the love Thy true ones feel,-
Who at Thy jewell'd Feet in love commingling rest,-mine be it too, I PRAY ! (292)
LXXIV. Give me essential oneness.
I PRAY for love of Thine own jewell'd Feet; remove the false; Thine own
Make me in truth; dog though I am,O bid me come, in grace join to Thyself
For ever more Thine own ! So let me ceaseless praise,
Thro' every world returning ever come; my King, that I may WORSHIP THEE ! (296)
LXXV. Thou art sole actuality
THEE WORSHIP both the earth and heaven, with shouts of joy, and fourfold mystic scroll:
They yearning pine for Thee. For they who gain Thee know naught true exists but Thee.
Ah ! since we vow to quit Thy service never, come
And grant Thy grace,Thou Partner of the lovely Queen ! Pausingwhy PONDER so ?(300)
LXXVI. He transcends thought and speech.
WHEN PONDERING Thee the thought goes forth, to reach the bound desired by fitting word
Is not a whit attainable; nor are these things one hears through forms of speech.
Thee, Who art all the world, the senses five know not.
How GAIN the Father's Foot that rests in all that is and every sphere beyond? (304)
LXXVII. Pity me !
To me, a guileful soul, who thought to GAIN Thee, Lord, salvation save by Thee
Is none. No other Being truly is, save Thee ! Lest pining sorrow come,
In mercy to my sin, my soul vouchsafe to guard.
'Tis pitying grace like this alone RULER SUPERNE ! Thy glory doth beseem. (308)
LXXVIII. My soul clings to Thee.
' RULER SUPERNE, there's none butThee, or here or there,' and thus I ever spake,
Fool though I was, there was no difference ! Our Lord: Thou Spotless One,
Make me, an outcast wretch, Thine own, my Teacher Thou,
The THOUGHT, that other god exists than Thee the One, my mind shall never THINK !(312)
LXXIX. Old days of ignorance.
BY THOUGHT, by deed, by hearing, or by speech, or by these wretched senses five
I failed in days of old Thy truth to reach;- I, low and foolish one.
I passed not through the fire, my heart burst not with shame.
To Thee, O Father, even yet may I attain ! May I yet dwell with Thee ! (316)
LXXX. Strange command: 'Tarry yet below.'
Me iron hearted and deceitful one, Thine own Thou mad'st; Thy foot's sweet bliss
Filled me with joy; with me Thou didst commingling join. The fire was there and I
Was there: that was which was ! Though this was so that day,
There was in Thee desire for me, in me for Thee;-what ignorance was mine? (320)
LXXXI. Falsehood lingers yet.
'The seed of lies is not destroyed ;'-so saying, Thou hast placed me here !-
All those that were to Thy desire have come, and reached Thy sacred Foot ! -
ln depths of fear I sink O God, Who didst in ArUr ask for alms,
What shall I do ? SPEAK Thou to me ! (324)
Thou SPAK'ST to me, amid Thy saints with sacred ash I was besmeared;
By men on earth as Thy poor slave I've been abused; henceforth, if what
I suffer pleases not, 'tis what my soul desires, because I am
Thy SLAVE, whom Tho~ didst make Thine own ! (328)
LXXXIII. Yet I know not why I'am left.
And am I not Thy SLAVE ? and didst Thou not make me Thine own, I pray
All those Thy servants have approached Thy Foot; this body full of sin
I may not quit, and see Thy face,-Thou Lord of Civa-world!-I fear,
And SEE NOT HOW TO GAIN THE SIGHT ! (332)
LXXXIV. Tell me the hindrance to my instant freedom.
I SEE NOT HOW THY SIGHT TO GAIN; though Thee THAT DAY I saw ! Speak Thou
In music say what 'tis that weighs my spirit down,-O Light Superne !
Male, Female, rare Ambrosia, Sire ! I die, a dog, of power bereft,
By what may I rise up, my Lord ? (336)
LXXXV. Falseness keeps me out.
Thou Partner of the fawn-eyed Queen; Thou Word, whose end the Word
Ambrosia sweet, to thought unknown; King, faults of wretched me Thou bear'st
I babbling tell my woes. Thy saints have reached the city blest. OUTSIDE
I and my FALSENESS wander here ! (340)
LXXXVI. But O, the pity of it.
OUTSIDE We go, FALSENESS and I !True love to gain I've lost the power.
This is my gain! Thy saints to Thee who utterly are joined now,
Know nothing else but Thee; in acts all glorious on their way they go !
O Civan, they have reached Thy FOOT ! (344)
LXXXVII. Failure !
O Master, give Thy slave to love Thy FOOT; Thy servants now have gained
The world from which they come not back; outside I have remained, I've tried
'To crown the village cow, and so have crowned the blind !' From love, of
Thy twain Feet
Estranged, a slave I 'wildered WEEP ! (348)
LXXXVIII. I am unworthy to be numbered with Thy saints.
I WEEP ! With loving mind towards Thee, like wax before the fire were they.
Thy gleaming, golden, jewelled Foot have they beheld, and worshipping
Have followed Thee; not following on with them, in vain have I been born !
Wherewith shall I before Thee bow? (352)
LXXXIX. At least, take my sin away.
In grace Thou hast put far all ills of those that bowed; on ancient saints
Thou didst bestow Thy Foot adorned ! If that's too great for me, my guilt
(Who'm like a tough bambu) destroy; come swiftly, give Thy healing Foot
Thou only True, from FALSEHOOD free ! (356)
XC. Teach me Thy way.
All FALSE am I; FALSE is my heart; and FALSE my love; yet, if he weep,
May not Thy sinful servant Thee, Thou Soul's Ambrosial sweetness, gain ?
Lord of all honied gladness pure, in grace unto Thy servant teach
The way that he may come to Thee ! (360)
THE OVERFLOW OF RAPTURE.
XCI. The true ones blest - but I!
O Flood of mighty changeless grace ! They came,
who gain'd erewhile the gift immutable
Of station 'neath Thy twain flow'r-wreathed Feet.
They, LOVING THEE IN TRUTH, HAVE REACH'D THE TRUE !
Thee, Endless One, benignly manifest,
diffusing light,-as Man, I saw Thee come !
Yet I, a dog, of heart by fate unblest,-
lie at the gate, ah me ! in low estate. (364)
XCII. Deny me not Thy truth.
O Half of Her with eyes of glist'ning jet,
Thou cam'st and mad'st me Thine, with tender hand
As feeding me from golden cup, since when
hard of access I deem Thee never more;
Thou on Whose Body gleam the ashes white !
They, LOVING THEE IN TRUTH, HAVE REACH'D THE TRUE !
But, tell me, is it MEET that Thou should'st go
and leave me here, in falsehood thus to fall ? (368)
XCIII. Take 'deeds' away.
MEETNESS I'd none,-the false I took for true;
but when with loving glance Thou had'st me come,
Afflictions ceased ! Yet now deceit seems truth.
I have not died, O blooming lotus Foot !
Thou with Thy loving ones-to whom Thy grace
was given, O roseate Form,-on high
Hast gone, and left me here. Lord, hear my plaint:
there is no end of deeds for worthless me ! (372)
XCIV. No limit to Thy power.
There was no love in me towards Thy FOOT,
O Half of Her with beauteous fragrant locks !
By magic power that stones to mellow fruit
converts, Thou mad'st me lover of Thy Feet.
Our Lord, Thy tender love no limit knows.
Whatever sways me now, whate'er my deed,
Thou can'st even yet Thy Foot again to me
display and save, O Spotless Heavenly One ! (376)
XCV. My course laid out by Thee.
Thou Whom the lords of heaven themselves know not !
Thy source and end the VEdas cannot trace !
Tlou Whom in every land men fail to know !
As Thou hast sweetly made me Thine hast called
This flesh to dance on stage of earth,-
me to enjoy Thyself with melting soul,-
In mystic drama, too, hast caused to move,-
pining on earth, Thou Lord of magic power ! (380)
XCVI. 'I am Thine, save me!?
Without a seed, the fruit Thou causest spring;
th' entire of heaven and earth, and all therein
Thou didst ordain, and wilt destroy ! Me too,
deceitful, mean, within Thy temple gates
Thou fill'd'st with frenzy; mad'st to join the band
of Thy great loving ones ! Ev'n should the tree
They plant yield poison, men destroy it not;-
and thus am I, MY OWNER AND MY LORD ! (384)
OWNER AND LORD, all hail! Besides Thyself
support to cling to hath Thy servant aught ?
I serve Thee, hail ! Transcendent Being, Lord
of those in heavenly courts who dwell, all hail !
Lowest of all have I become, all hail !
Giver.to me of every grace, all hail !
Thou Who didst make me Thine own servant, hail !
the First Thou art, and Last, my FATHER, hail ! (388)
XCVIII. Earnest appeal.
My FATHER ! unto me Ambrosia Thou !
O Blest Supreme ! Thou art to honey like
That flows abundant, thrills the soul with bliss I
Thy loving ones enjoy Thee as their own !
Helper Thou art ! with glist'ning glory crowned,
in weary anguish of Thy worshippers.
O Treasure ! tell me, wilt Thou leave me here,
in this poor world to pine away, our KING ? (392)
XCIX. Come !
O KING, our Lord, come Thou to me, to me !
Who art before the four-faced One and MAl,
And all the gods. Our Lord, come Thou to me, to me !
After the day when all things have their end
Thou art ! Our Lord, come Thou to me, to me !
I at Thy jewell'd feet would utter praise
With loving tongue ! Our Lord, come Thou to me, to me I
that I, Sin's-slayer, may Thy glories SING ! (396)
C. Longing desire.
THY PRAISE TO SING I long, all hail ! Thee sing !
while all my being sinks and melts in love.
I long to dance, all hail ! in Thy blest courts,
before Thy flow'ry dancing Foot ! A dog,-
I long to join, all hail ! Remove me from
this nest of worms, all hail ! The false I long
To Ieave, all hail ! Grant me Thy home, all hail !
Hail Thou who art to THY TRUE SERVANTS TRUE !
The mystic 'Song of the Maidens' forms a pendant to the 'Morning Hymn' (XX). It has always been attributed to Manikka-vACagar without any hesitation, though in many respects it is certainly unlike most of his other lyrics. It is said to have been composed for the use of the women at ArunACalam, among whom it is, and was, the custom to celebrate with great demonstrations of joy a festival in honour of the god Civan and the goddess Catti in the month of Margazhi, which corresponds to the second half of December and the first half of January. At that time the females of the city of all ages for ten successive days rise before dawn, and perambulate the precincts, arousing their companions from house to house, and proceeding to bathe (in rigidly decorous manner) in the sacred tank. There are passages in this poem which I have been obliged somewhat to veil, and modify, carefully preserving, however, the full and exact meaning of the original, as I conceive it. There is, however, connected with the Caiva worship, it must be said, a series of rites which is sometimes called the tantric, and sometimes the Cakti system. No doubt, in connection with this, many unspeakable abominations have been, and are at times perpetrated; and every thoughtful Hindu is sincerely anxious that all trace of these corruptions should be swept away. In all nations Similar things have existed, and it would be quite superfluous to enumerate the ancient rites of a similar character that have been enthusiastically celebrated. From such things the Caiva system must sever itself absolutely, which it can the more decidedly do, because they have no real root in the Caiva Siddhanta philosophy itself.
In one edition of these poems there is the introduction to the 'Maidens' Reveille,' which gives a mystic interpretation to a large portion of the lyric. According to this author, from the month of Adi to the month of Margazhi (i.e. from July 15th to January 15th) is the night season; the other half of the year being the daytime; the whole year forming a single day of the Gods. The former half of the year, in which there is rain with black clouds, is the representative of the secular period of involution or destruction, when all things have been re-involved in the ripple veils of darkness, which period precedes that of the recreation, or evolution. The other half of the year represents the period of creation, i.e. the time during which the phenomenal universe is re-evolved from its eternal elements as the sphere of the activities of all things that have life. The month of Margazhi is then the symbol of the awaking of the universe from its slumber of involution. It is the dawn of the new creation,Ñ of secular evolution. [NOTE XIII].
Now this creation is the work of Catti, the manifested energy of Civan:Ñhis wife, who is the author, not of life indeed, but of the whole phenomenal system in which and by which life exerts its energy, and achieves its destinies. Civan himself can come into no personal relation with matter and its veiling delusions and darkness. It is, therefore, Catti that accomplishes the work; she is an energy of activity, of knowledge, and of desire; and through her alone the Supreme evolves all things. But this tantric system, like the gnostic systems of old, does not permit Catti as the Partner of the Supreme, to accomplish directly the work of evolution. This would be far too simple and direct for Hindu philosophy. There is a long chain of feminine manifestations (aeons evolved in succession, each coming into a relation to the Supreme that constitutes a distinct stage in the process; and it is only at last that BrahmA and Vishnu are evolved, to be respectively the fashioned and the maintainer of the cosmic world. The writer here enumerates nine of these Cattis amongst whom are numbered the chief female divinities that, under various names and epithets, are worshipped or propitiated in various parts of India. Among them is the dreaded KAli. No doubt there are hints of all this in this poem, but its plain and obvious interpretation is the only one known to the majority of those that use it, and I imagine the composer himself was innocent of anything like the gnosticism and mysticism that his interpreters have given him credit for. As the hymn stands it is a beautiful composition, but in some parts it will seem to be somewhat obscure. I have tried to give a version that still be as literal as possible, but only the Tamil reader can feel how great a poet its author was; and only the student of the South-Indian Caiva philosophy can expect to enter into its spirit.
Metre: veNTanaiyAnvanta iyaRRavinaik koccackalippa
I. The temple worship
(The waits sing at the door)
The Splendour rare and great, that knows nor first nor end,
we sing; Thou hear'st the song, yet still sleep'st on;
O lady of the large bright eye ! is thine ear dull
that it perceives not sound of praise that hails
The great God's cinctured feet ?ÑShe hears the strain resound
through all the street, yet in forgetful sleep
On her flower-couch she muttering turns ! Ñ
See, here she nothing noting lies ! Why thus, why thus ?
doth this our friend beseem ?-OUR LADY FAIR, ARISE ! (4)
II. Trifle not.
'Hail to the heavenly Light,' thou ever say'st, as we,
by night and day. Now of this flowery couch
Art thou enamour'd, maid with faultless gems adorned ?
Shame I jewell'd dames, are these things trifles too ?
To sport and jest is this the place, when He in grace
Hath come to give the foot-flower, shame fast angels praise ?
The Teacher, Lord of Civa-world, in Tillai's porch He rules.
Who are His lovers all ?-OUR LADY FAIR, ARISE ! (8)
O thou whose smile as pearl is bright, arise, present
thyself before the Sire, the blissful One, th' Ambrosial,
And with o'erflowing sweetness speak ! Come, ope thy doors !-
[She joins them. They enter the temple porch]
'Ye men devout, the Ruler's ancient saints, ye reverend men,
Will't be amiss if ye our weakness aid, us novices admit ?'
[in the temple]
No cheat is this know we not all Thy wondrous love ?
Who sing not what they beauty deem ? Our Civants form
ev'n so we yearn to see.-OUR LADY FAIR, ARISE ! (12)
[ They all henceforth sing their morning song to the goddess,
imploring HER to arise in grace]
O thou of radiant pearl-like smile, is't not now dawn ?
have not the sweet-voiced come, like parrots many-hued ?
Thus thinking, as is meet, we speak; meanwhile in sleep
close not Thine eye; let not thy time in vain be spent ! -
Sole Balm of heaven, the VEda's precious Sense, the Dear
to eyes that see, we sing, our melting minds
In rapture all dissolved; nor deem thou should'st remain
for ever thus asleep !-OUR LADY FAIR, ARISE ! (16)
V. Say not, 'Civan is unknowable!'
The 'Mount' that MAl knew not, and Ayan saw not,-we
can know; so Thou dost utter falsities,
O guileful one, whose mouth with milk and honey flows,
ope thy door! He Whom earth, heaven, and other realms know not,
In glory makes us His, cleanses our souls in grace.
His goodness sing ! 'O Civan, Civan,' hark ! they cry.
Thou understandest not; thou understandest not !-
So's she with perfumed locks !-OUR LADY FAIR, ARISE ! (20)
O fawn, but yesterday thou said'st, 'At dawn I come
to rouse you up;' but now, all unabashed
Tell us, what quarter didst thou seek ?-is't not yet dawn ?
He Who is sky, and earth, and all things else, to men unknown:
Himself will come, will guard, and make us His; to us
who coming sing His-heavenly cinctur'd Foot, speak thou !
In rapture melt I The King of thee, of us extol;
of all the worlds ! -OUR LADY FAIR, ARISE ! (24)
Mother, are these too trifles? Many heavenly ones
know not, the One, the mighty glorious Lord.
Hearing His signals, ope thy mouth, and 'Civan ' cry,
Cry Southern-One.' Like was before the fire
Melting,-'My own, my King, Ambrosia,' we all
have sung! Hear thou ! apart from us yet dost thou sleep ?
Dost thou yet speechless lie, like the hard-hearted silly ones ?
What grace is in this sleep ?-OUR LADY FAIR, ARISE ! (28)
While cocks are crowing, small birds chant on every side;
while trumpet sounds, sound out the conch-shells everywhere;
The heav'nly Light without compare, the Grace without compare,-
the Being great without compare, we've sung; hear'st not ?
Bless thee, what slumber's this ? Thou openest not thy mouth ?
is such the recompense for our King's love we bring ?
Th'Eternal, First of Beings; Him Who'bides the Only-One;
the Lady s Partner sing we all !-OUR LADY FAIR, ARISE ! (32)
Ancient of days, existing ere the ancient world!
Whose nature shares the newness of created things!
Thy worshippers devout, who've gained Thee for their Lord,
adore Thy servants' feet.-to them give reverence due.---
And these alone shall be our wedded lords; joyous
ev'n as they bid, due service will we render meek.
Thus, if Thou grant to us this boon, our King, no lack
Thy handmaids e'er shall know!-OUR LADY FAIR, ARISE ! (36)
Beneath the sevenfold gulf, transcending speech, His foot-flower rests;
with flowers adorned His crown of all the universe is crown !
The Lady's at His side !-His sacred form dwells not alone !
The VEdam, heavenly ones, and earth, praise Him; and yet
He's our one Friend, Whose praise ne'er dies; within His saints He dwells;
pure He sustains the 'clan '; ye temple-ladies, say
What is His Town ? His Name ? His kin ? and who His foes ?
And how sing we His praise?-OUR LADY FAIR, ARISE! (40)
[In the temple tank]
Entering the broad, frequented tank with joyful cries,
and hands outstretched, we plunge and plunge, and sing Thy Foot
O Guru, see, Thy faithful worshippers are blest! As fire
Thy'hue is red; Thou wear'st white ashes; Blessed One!
Thou Bridegroom of the Lady lithe, with broad, black eyes !
O Guru, make us Thine in grace. In this our sport,
What those who would be saved perform, we've done, as they;
guard that we weary not!-OUR LADY FAIR, ARISE! (44)
Lord of the sacred stream, where we, that thronging mortal woes
may cease, acclaiming bathe ! Dancer in Tillai's sacred court
'Midst waving fire ! This heaven, this flowery earth, us all,
in sport Thou guardest, formest, dost enshroud;-
Thou say'st the word !-Bracelets tinkling, jewels rattling
with a merry sound, tuneful beatles humming round our locks adorned,
Plunge in the tank, where flowers are glistening; praise the Masterts golden Foot,
and in the fountain bathe !-OUR LADY FAIR, ARISE ! (48)
There burn dark crimson flowers of Kuvalai, here the red lotus blooms;
there the bright race of small birds utters songs;
Here those who wash away their sin are gathered round !
This swelling tank is Like our Queen and King!
We ent'ring plunge and plunge again, our shells resound;
our anklets tinkling sound; our bosoms throb with joy;
The wave we plunge in swells. Plunge in the lotus crowned flood
and joyful bathe!-OUR LADY FAIR, ARISE ! (52)
While ear drops swing; while golden jewels wave;
while flow'ry locks are dancing; swarms of wing'd things flit;
Bathe in the cool flood, sing the sacred court!
sing the mystic VEdas; sing their inner sense!
Sing glory of the Light, sing Him the cassia-wreath Who wears !
Sing ye the power of Him, the First, sing Him the Last!
Sing ye the glory of Her Foot, Who armlets wears,
Whose guardian care we own !-OUR LADY FAIR, ARISE ! (56)
XV. The Lady of KArai-kAl.
Once on a time, 'our PerumAn,' full oft cried she.
His glory any time to speak she ceased not
With gladsome mind, while tears in ceaseless stream flowed forth.
Once on a time, this woman came to earth, nor bowed
Before the heavenly ones,-by the great King with fretizy filled.
Who like to her ? Of this mysterious One,
O lovely damsels, sing the Foot, and bathting plunge
beneath the flow'ry flood !-OUR LADY FAIR, ARISE! (60)
The word 'time' is Kal, so there is a play on the word Karai-kAl. It may be that the poet in another passage alludes to her beautiful prayer(XI, verse 8)
'He gave me grace, tho' I all else forget, ne'er to forget
His foot, whose mighty dance we sing!.'
The Mother of KaraikAl :
Some of the legends in the Tamil periya PurAnam relate to the period between the first and second great revivals of Caivism, and a few are anterior to both. It seems pretty certain that, while the Jains and Buddhists were active and apparently triumphant everywhere, there were a great multitude of the faithful Caivites who, like the Covenanters in Scotland, were rendered more zealous by the persecutions to which they were exposed. Among these was the 'Mother' of KArai-kAl, who was a poetess, many of whose verses are still preserved. The legend gives a most interesting picture of some phases of South-Indian life a thousand years ago. The Mother 'was the wife of a rich merchant of KArai-kAl', whose name was, Paramadattan ('Endowed with heavenly gifts'). Her own name was PunithavathiyAr ('the pure'). She was very devout, and especially careful to entertain all Caiva devotees that came to her door. One day her husband received from some persons who had come to him on business a present of two mangoes, of a very superior kind, which he got home to his wife. Soon afterwards, a holy devotee arrived at the house as a mendicant guest but she had nothing ready to offer him except some boiled rice. This she set before him, and having no other condiment to present, gave him one of the aforesaid mangoes At noon her husband returned, and atter his meal ate the remaining mango, which pleased him so much that he said to his wife, 'There were two; bring me the other.' She went away in dismay; but remembering that the god to whose servant-because he was His servant she had given the fruit, never deserts those who serve Him, she offered a mental prayer, and straightaway found a mango in her hand, which she carried to her husband. Being A divine gift, it was of incomparable sweetness, and he said to her, 'Where did you obtain this?' She hesitated at first to reveal the wonder that had been wrought on her behalf, but reflected that she ought to have no concealments from her husband and so told him everything. He gave no credence to her words, but roughly replied, 'If that is so, get me another like it.' She went away, and said in her heart to the god, 'If thou givest me not one more fruit, my word will be disbelieved'. Forthwith she formed another fruit still more lovely in her hand. When she carried this to her husband he took it in astonishment; but behold ! it forthwith vanished. Utterly confounded by these wonderful things, he came to the conclusion that his wife was a supernatural being, and resolved to separate at once from her. He revealed the matter, however, to no one, but quietly equipped a ship in which he embarked a great part of his wealth and then on a lucky day, worshipping the god of the sea, with sailon end a skillful captain, he act sail for another country, where he made merchandise, accumulated a fortune, and after some time re-embarking, came back to India to another city in the PAndiyan land, where he married a merchant'. daughter, and lived in great luxury. A daughter was born to him, to whom be gave the name of the wife with whom he had feared to remain, but for whom he retained exceeding reverence.
After awhile his return and prosperity became known to his friends In KArai-kAl, who resolved to compel him to receive again his first wife, their kinswoman, whom he had deserted. They accordingly proceeded to his new residence, carrying with them in a litter his saintly spouse, the 'Mother' of KArai-kAl. When he heard that she had arrived and was halting in a grove outside the town, he was seized with a great dread, and proceeded with his second wife and daughter to where the 'Mother' was encamped surrounded by her kindred. He at once prostrated himself with profoundest reverence before her, saying, 'Your slave is happy here and prosperous thorough your benediction. To my daughter I have given your sacred name, and I constantly adore you as my tutelary goddess'. Poor PunithayathiyAr, utterly confounded by this salutation and worship, took refuge among her kinsfolk, who all cried out, 'Why is the madman worshipping his own wife!' To this Paramadattan replied, 'I myself beheld her work as miracle, and I know that she is no daughter of the human race, but a supernatural being, and so I have separated myself from her, and I worship her as my tutelary divinity, and have dedicated this my daughter to her, and therefore have I worshipped her and call upon you to do the same.' But PunithavnthiyAr pondered the matter and prayed within herself to Civan the Supreme, saying: 'Lord, this is my husband's persuasion. Take from me then the beauty that I have hitherto cherished for his sake alone. Remove from this burthen of the flesh, and give to me the form and features of one of the demon hosts who evermore attend on Thee, and praise Thee.' That very instant, by the grace of the god, her flesh dried up, and she became a demoness, one of Civan's hosts, whom the earthly worth and heavenly world hold in reverence. Then the gods poured down a rain of flowers, heaveny minstrelsy resounded, and her relative fearing, paid her adoration and departed. So she had now become a demoness, and her abode was the wild jungle of AlankAdu; but through the inspiration the god she sang several sacred poems, which are preserved. Afterwards there came upon her an irresistible desire to behold the Sacred Hill of KailACam, and with inconceivable speed she fled northwards till she arrived at the foot of the Mountain, and reflecting that it was not right with feet to tread the heavenly ascent, she threw herself down and measured the distance with her head. The goddess UmA, Civan's bride, beheld her thus ascending, and said to her spouse, 'Who is that in this strange fashion draws near, A gaunt fleshless skeleton, sustained only by the energy of love? To which Civan replied, 'She that cometh is the "Mother" devoted to my praises, this mighty demon-form she has obtained by her prayers.' When she drew near he addressed with words of love, calling her by the name of 'Mother,' which she for ever bears. As soon as heard the word she fell at his feet worshipping, and ejaculating 'Father !' Civan then said to her What boon dost thou ask of me?' She worshipped and replied, 'Loni, to me your slave give love which is undying, and infinite blessedness. I would fain be born on earth no more; but if I must so born, grant me at least that I may never, in any form, at any time, forget Thee, my God; when thou dost perform thy sacred mystic dance, beneath thy feet in rapture may I stand and sing thy praise', To which the God replied, 'In AlankAdu thou shall see my dance, and with rapture thou shalt sing.' Then the sacred 'Mother' of KArai-kAl returned, measuring the distance still on head to holy AlankAdu, where she beheld the God's sacred dance, and sang her renowned lyric his praise.
This legend illustrates a remarkable feature in the Caiva worship of the south, where devotees are not infrequently adored as having become demons. Doubtless, this is connected with pre-Aryan usages, and the poems attributed to the 'Mother' of Karaikaal present the most vivid picture demon worship with which I am acquainted. It is not difficult to imagine the source of tradition. We have the picture of a devout and enthusiastic worshipper of Civan, who sacrifices everything to the performance of her supposed duties to the god. She is misunderstood by inappreciative husband, who forsakes her, and finally, with scorn, repudiates her. She has herself a chapel in the jungle, where she spends her days and nights in prayers and austerities on her death is worshipped. The legends would soon accumulate, and the poems represent dramatic form the artistic view of all the circumstances.
XVI The Cloud*, an Allegory
Erewhile thou didst the sea diminish, rising like the Queen;
didst glisten like Her slender waist Who rules my soul;
Didst like the golden anklets sound that on Her sacred foot
in beauty gleam; didst bend like to Her sacred brow
The bow. As she, mindful of those who love our King,
who like herself, our Mistress, never quit His side;
Mindful of us too, as our Queen, pours forth sweet grace,
even so pour down, O CLOUD ! OUR LADY FAIR, ARISE ! (64)
* Here there is a subtle comparison between Civan, Catti, and a cloud that in the monsoon season rises from the sea. The cloud drinks the waters of the sea, gleams in the sky with lightning fires, sends forth the voice of the thunder, is sometimes made beautiful with a rainbow, and then spreading itself over the heavens, pours down fertilizing showers on all the earth below. So Civan drank the poison of the sea; dances in Cithambaram while His golden anklets sound; wears a form of dazzling splendour; is renowned for the victories He gained with His bow; and pours forth blessings over all the earth. The comparison of UmA or Catti is obvious. This closely resembles III, 66-94
The red-eyed one', and He Whose face turns to each point',
and gods in every heaven, taste no delight like ours.
Thou of the fragrant locks didst make our beings pure;
and here in grace didst rise in every home of ours;
The Warrior gave in grace His golden lotus feet;
the King of beauteous eye; Ambrosia rare to us His slaves;
Our PerumAn ! Singing His gift, plunge we and bathe
in the clear lotus-flood ! -OUR LADY FAIR, ARISE ! (68)
AnnAmalai His form, His lotus foot heaven's host
adored, while lustre of their jewell'd crowns grew dim;
So when the bright eyed sun the darkness drives away,
the cool moon's rays are paled, the stars themselves depart.
Thus stood He forth; was Female, Male, was Neither-one;
was Heaven with gleaming lights, was Earth, was all the rest.
Ambrosia manifest! Praising His jewell'd Foot, O Maid
plunge in this flowery stream !-OUR LADY FAIR, ARISE ! (72)
XIX The Maidens' Vow
'The children of Thy hand are we; our Refuge Thou ;'-
thus that old word we say anew; in this our dread
Our Lord, to Thee one prayer we make; vouchsafe to hear
'let none but Thine own lovers true our forms embrace;-
Our hands no service pay save to Thyself alone;-
our eyes,-by night, by day,-let them see nought but Thee''-
Our King, if here this boon Thou grant, to us the sun
in perfect beauty shines!-OUR LADY FAIR, ARISE! (76)
Be gracicus Thou ! to Thy foot's flower be praise!
be gracious! To Thy rosy beauteous feet be praise!
The golden feet, the source of all that live, be praised!
The flow'ry feet, the bliss of every life, be praised!
The twain feet, Goal and End of every life, be praised!
The lotus-flower, unseen by MAl and the Four-faced, be praised !
The golden flowers, that saving made us His, be praised!
In Margazhi-month we bathing praise!-OUR LADY FAIR, ARISE ! (80)
Civan cast His net, is a fisherman. This refers to a story in the fifty-seventh of the ÔSacred sports'. PArvathi was one day inattentive while Civan was expounding to her the VEdic mysteries, for which she was condemned by her angry husband and preceptor to be born on earth as a wife of a fisherman. Accordingly one day she was discovered lying as a tender infant under a Pinnai tree(or Punnai, Calophyllam Inophyllam)by the headman of the Paravar, a great clan of fisherman found everywhere along the coasts of the Tamil lands. By him she was adopted, and grew up a maiden of surpassing beauty. At this time Nandi the Chamberlain of Civan, in order to bring about the accomplishment of the god's purpose with regard to the banished PArvathi, assumed the form of a monstrous shark; and in various ways annoyed the poor fishermen, breaking their nets and wrecking their boats. On this the headman of the paravars issued a proclamation that whoever should catch the sea-monster should be rewarded with the hand of his beautiful adopted daughter. Civan forthwith made his appearance as a youth of noble aspect who had come from Madura, and at the first throw of his net caught the shark and brought it to land. He accordingly, having himself become a fisherman, received the fisherman's daughter in marriage. The god now assumed his ancient form, and restored pArvathi to hers, and with many gracious words took the foster father with Him to KailACham, the paradise of Silver Hill.
III. The Initiation in Perun-turrai
Inthiran, MAl, all the other heavenly ones,
Stood round in upper air; - Civan in grace to earth came down,
Made those like us His own. His arm the sacred ashes shows;
All-glorious Perun-turrai's Lord, who comes our hearts to thrill;
To loose our bonds He on a charger rode, and gave
Unending raptures; SING the bliss ! AMMAANAY, SEE! (18)
IV. He chose not the ascetics, but me !
The gods who filled the heavens, - MAl, Ayan, Indra too,
Sore penance did, like anthills stood, yet know Him not !
To me a cur He came, with mother-love He lent His aid;
In flesh He came, with trembling rapture thrilled me through -
Honied ambrosia's Essence pure; the jewell'd foot
That trends the skies in gleaming light SING we ! AMMAANAY, SEE ! (24)
V. His grace to me all unworthy.
The Mighty One, the South-King, Perun-turrai's Lord,
Me vilest cur, of mind untaught, with frenzy filled;
Kneaded the stone, made it sweet fruit; plunged in the flood
Of mercy; all my sin destroyed. To Him, the Sage,
Who Tillai's city entering, in the sacred court abides,
The ancient Rider of the Bull, SING we ! AMMAANAY, SEE ! (30)
VII Civan, a 'false' mendicant
And hast thou heard, my friend, how-one with falsehood came?
The Lord of Perun-turrai's southern shrine begirt
With storied walls, showed things ne'er shown before, showed bliss,
Showed us His lotus foot, and honey of His grace; -
While rustics laughed, - that we the heavenly home might gain,
He made us His; SING we this grace ! AMMAANAY, SEE ! (36)
VII. Civan's ten epithets.
Indweller in the heart of those who ceaseless ponder Him;
The Faroff-One; the Warrior; ever-loving habitant
Of Perun-turrai's southern shrine; the Sage; half of Whose form
The Lady shares; the Love'd-One Who made me, mere cur, His own;
With mother-love Who visits men; the sevenfold world
Whose essence is; Ruler of souls; SING we ! AMMAANAY, SEE ! (42)
VIII. Seven aspects of Civan.
Half of the Queen, whose grace accepts our melodies,
The mighty Lord, the King of Perun-turrai's shrine; -
He rules the expanded sphere of renowned of upper heaven;
The Godwith eye in midmost of His brow; in Madura
Distreat, He carried earth for hire; was smitten by the King, -
SING we His golden form that bore the wounds ! AMMAANAY, SEE ! (48)
IX. Ten mythic ideas of Civan
His the crescent; His the mystic word; Perun-turrai's King;
He wears the twisted thread; He rides the glorious bull;
Black is His throat; His body red; He smears the ashes white;
First in all worlds is He, the rapture without end
As in the days of yore to ancient saints in grace He gives !
That all the worlds may wonder, SING ! AMMAANAY, SEE ! (54)
X. Various praises, six topics.
The Sage above the gods that rule the heavens; Who stands
In majesty above the kings that rule this earth;
The pleasant PAndi-land, whose gift is Tamir's pleasant speech, is His;
The Bridegroom of the Queen; in Perun-turrai, His delight,
He showed His gracious feet, made me, a dog, His own;
AnnAmalai's His shrine, SINE we ! AMMAANAY, SEE ! (60)
The fair Queen's Half; of southern Perun-turrai Lord;
Whose Nature thrills the souls that cling around His feet;
The Sire who made that Paandi-land the Civa-world;
Adown Whose braided lock the waters flow; Whose blissful jewell'd foot
Abides within their souls, who rightly render them to Him;
Beyond the furthest limits praise uplift ! AMMAANAY, SEE ! (66)
XII. The Supreme and Absolute.
Listen, O damsel with the jet-black eyes ! MAl, Ayan, IndrA too,
Through every 'birth' sought Him, me, with sweet grace, in this one births
He made His own; guards me that I may suffer 'births' no more;
In all that's real, manifest; the true His biding-place;
The Self in all that is, is He; of everything the Home;
Our Civan, Who that essence is, SING we ! AMMAANAY, SEE ! (72)
XIII. Praises, six epithets.
While bracelets tinkling around, - while ear-rings wave - while jetty locks
Disheveled fall, - while honey flows, and beetles hum;
The Ruddy-One Who wears the ashes white, Whose home
None reach or know, who dwells in every place, - to loving ones
The True, the Sage Whom hearts untrue still deem untrue,
Who in Ai-Aru dwells, SING we and praise ! AMMAANAY, SEE ! (78)
XIV. The story of his conversion
As elephant, as worm, in human shapes, in forms divine,
In other births diverse, - I lived and died, - was wearied sore;
He stood in flesh revealed, melted my soul; and joyous drove
My sin away; with every sweetness filled; and as a king
In grace appearing, in His service me received;
That Heavenly One's foot-flower SING we, AMMAANAY, SEE ! (84)
XV. Civan's triumph at Dakshan's sacrifice.
He made the moon grow dim in Dakshan's sacrifice;
He Indra's shoulder crushed; cut off the 'Ecchan's head;
Teet of the bright-beamed sun, that rides the sky, He broke;
Dispersed the gods, and drove away to every point;
Lord of South Perun-turrai's shrine with flow'ry groves
Begirt; the Fragrant-garlanded, SING we, AMMANAAY, SEE! (90)
XVI. The sweetness of His Presence.
His Presence mingled in my body, and thought;
As honey, rare ambrosia, every choicest sweet
He gave His grace, in ways the heavenly ones know not;
The Warrior crowned with cassia's honied flowers; as glorious light
Of wisdom known, with souls in number infinite,
Their King He dwells, this tell we out! AMMAANAY, SEE ! (96)
XVII. Ectasy of adoration.
I'll wear the flow'ry 'cassia' wreath, and wearing join myself
To Civan's mighty arm; and joining cling in rapture lost;
Then shrinking shall I melt with love of His red lip;
I'll seek Him,- seeking I'll ponder Civan's jewell'd foot;
I'll faint and droop, and yet again revive. The ruddy foot
Of Him who dances there 'mid fire SING we! AMMANAAY, SEE ! (102)
XVIII. Civan appeared as a BrAhman
In light He gleams, Her Half whose words as Parrot's note are soft,
The Sage whom MAl and Ayan coming forth could not discern;
In glorious Perun-turrai's grove with honied fragrance filled,
In mercy affable, and sweetest grace transcending thought,
In light He came, caused light within my soul to shine;
The BrAhman full of tenderness SING we! AMMANAAY, SEE ! (108)
XIX. Praise with eleven epithets.
The Primal One, End of the Three, beyond the End
The After One, with braided lock, of Perun-turrai which He guards
The King, the Heavenly-One, the Partner of the Queen;
Who dwells in southern Anai-kA, the southern PAndi-land
Who owns, Ambrosia sweet to those who call Him theirs,
To such as one, the Father, SING we praise ! AMMANAAY, SEE ! (114)
XX. Clinging to the Guru.
The mighty Lord whose nature others know not, - Perun-turrai's King
In grace upon victorious charger riding came;
His servant's faults removed; gave virtue, cleansed from stain;
Severed the clinging cords of earthly ties ! His praises old
We cling to, - so may earthly bonds be loosed; the mighty bliss
Of Him to whom we cling, SING we !, AMMAANAY, SEE ! (120)
The image of this renowned South Indian devotee stands in the temple at KAlahasti (Calastri) near the Pulicat Hills. He was a rAja of UduppUr, and of the Shepherd caste ( a vEdan or Hill-men, perhaps a Kurumban). The story represents his ancient clan as possessing great wealth and authority in a wild hilly district, where their whole occupation was hunting. There is a ZamindAr, who lives there now in feudal state. The old chieftain, the father of Kannappan, whose name was NAgan (the Dragon-man) is represented to us as moving about attended by fierce hunting dogs, armed with every kind of rustic weapon; a skillful archer, around whose mountain-dwelling innumerable forest animals of every kind had their home, and where the cries 'shoot' 'hurl' 'strike' were mingled from morning to night with the howlings of wild beasts, the barking of dogs, and the sound of the horns and drums of the hunters. He had no son, and therefore he and his wife went to the temple of Subrahmanyan ( a son of Civan) - the favourite deity of mountaineers, and probably a pre-Aryan deity of the South, an object of worship, under many names and forms, in every Tamil hamlet. To him they offered cocks and peafowl, made good feasts with copious libations of strong drink, performed wild dances; and in fact, according to the legend, seem to have worshipped much after the rude fashion of the demon worshippers of the present day. The result was that by the favour of their tutelary deity a son was born to them, who from his early childhood shared in his father's pursuits, being brought up, it is expressly said, like a tiger's cub. The proud, happy father used to carry him about on his shoulder, but finding him one day too heavy to be thus borne, gave him the name of 'Tinnan' ('the sturdy man') which remained his pet household name. He was erewhile to bear a more honourable and enduring title! Soon after this the old chief, finding himself unable any longer to conduct the hunting expeditions of the tribe, made over his authority to his son, with whom alone this history is concerned.
Henceforth our young hero is ever in the dense jungle with his veteran huntsmen. One day a wild boar, of gigantic size, that had been caught in their nets, escaped and made off with prodigious speed to the mountain side. Tinnan pursued it with two faithful attendants, but it let them a weary chase and did not stop till, exhausted with fatigue, it fell down in the shade of a tree on the slope of a distant hill. There Tinnan with his sword cut it in two. His attendants came up and were astonished and delighted at his success and said, ' We will roast the boar here, and refresh ourselves'. But there was no water at hand, so they took up the carcase of the boar and carried it some distance onward, till they came to sight of the sacred hill of 'KAlahasti'.
At the view of the mountain one of the attendants cried out, that on that mountain summit there was an image of the 'God with flowing hair' (Civan). 'If we go thither we may worship him' added he. Hearing this the young giant Tinnan again shouldered the boar and strode on, exclaiming, 'with every step that I advance towards the mountain the burden of the boar diminishes. There is some miraculous power here; I must find out what it is'. So saying he rushed on with great eagerness till he came to the bank of a river, where he deposited his burden, bade his companions make a fire and prepare the feast, while he himself hastened onward till he beheld on the slope of the hill, on the further bank of the stream, a stone lingam, the upper part of which was fashioned into a rude image of the head of the god. The moment he beheld it, as the magnet draws the iron, it drew his soul, which had been somehow prepared by the merit of good deeds and austerities performed in some former birth; and his whole nature was changed, every feelng being swallowed up the intense love for the god, whom for the first time he now beheld. As a mother, seeing her long lost son return, tarries not, but rushes to embrace him, as he threw himself upon the image, tenderly embraced it, and fervently kissed it. With tears of rapture, his soul dissolving like was n the sunshine, he cried out, 'Ah, wondrous blessedness! to me a slave this divinity has been given! But how is that the god remains here alone in a wilderness where lions, elephants, tigers, bears, and other wild beasts dwell, as though he were some rude mountaineer like me?'.
Then, examining the image more closely, he saw that water had been recently poured upon it and green leaves strewn over it. 'Who can have done this?' said he. His attendant, who had in the meantime has come up, replied: 'In the olden time, when I came here on a hunting expedition with your father, a BrAhman, I remember came, poured water and placed leaves upon this image, repeating some mysterious words;- perhaps he is still here. So it dawned upon the mind of Tinnan that these and other services, which he himself could render, might be acceptable to the god. 'But,' said he, 'there is no one here to supply him with food. He is alone, and I cannot leave him for an instant, yet I must perforce go and bring for him some of the boar's flesh cooked for our feast'. So, after much hesitation and unwillingness to lose sight for a moment of his new found treasure he went back, crossed the stream, where he found the food already prepared and his servants wondering at the delay in his return. Tinnan regarding them not, took some of the boar's flesh and cutting off the tenderest portions, roasted them on the point of an arrow; tasted them to ascertain that they were savoury; carefully selected the best, putting them into a cup of teak leaves which he had sewn together; and prepared to return to the woodland deity with his offering.
The servants seeing all this, very reasonably concluded that their master had suddenly gone mad, and hastened off home to take the news, and to ask the priestess of their tribe to return with them and exorcise the evil spirit that they supposed had taken possession of their lord. Tinnan unconscious of their departure, hastened back with the food in one hand, and his bow and arrow in the other. As he crossed the river, he filled his mouth with water, with which coming before the image he besprinkled it. He then took the wild jungle flowers from his own hair, and put them over it, and presented the coarse boar's flesh he had brought, saying: 'My Lord, I have chosen for thee the daintiest portions, have carefully prepared them with fire, have tasted them, and softened them with my own teeth. I have sprinkled thee with water from the stream, and have put on thee flowers thou mayest love. Accept my gifts!' [ This presentation of the food to the lingam and other images is often referred to in these stories, and the impression is given that the worshippers believed that the idol itself consumed the offering; but it is never expressly said that the food disappeared before the shrines, though this is sometimes implied.] Meanwhile the sun went down and during the whole night Tinnan with his arrow on the strung bow kept watch and ward around the god and at dawn went forth to the mountain to hunt, that he might provide for the daily wants of his new master.
While he was gone on this errand the BrAhman in charge of the lingam, who was a learned ascetic of renowned virtue and holiness, CivagOchariyAr, came at daybreak, and having performed his own ablutions in the river, provided himself with a vessel of pure water for the purification of the divine image, and a basket of sacred flowers and fresh leaves for its adornment and uttering the mystic Five Syllables, devoutly drew near. A scene of unutterable pollution met his horrified gaze. Flesh and bones were strewed around, and the image itself had been defiled with filthy water and common wild flowers! With trembling horror he sprang aside, exclaiming, 'Oh, god of gods!what an unhallowed impious hands of mountaineers have brought these pollutions here. How didst thou permit them thus to profane thy presence?'. So saying, he wept, fell down, and rolled in anguish before the god. But, reflecting that at any rate it was wrong to delay any longer the sacred service, he carefully removed the unhallowed things from the precincts, and proceeded to perform worship according to the Vedic rites: and having sung the appointed Hymn, and many times gone round the right image, and prostrated himself in adoration, departed to his hermitage.
Meanwhile the servants, having taken the news of Tinnan's madness to old NAgan, his father returned with him and the priestess of their demon temple. They both attempted to reason with the young enthusiast, and to recall him tot he worship to which he had been accustomed; but its wild orgies delighted him no more. His whole affection was centered upon the new found Civan so they regarding him as hopelessly mad, returned sorrowing to their village.
[One object of this legend seems to be the reconciliation of the orthodox Civa worship and the ruder forms of demon worship then in use. The contrast is exceedingly striking when the refined and thoroughly instructed BrAhman, with his scrupulous attention to all the minutiae of vEdic worship, who regarded the slaying of animals as a crime, and the eating of their flesh as an unspeakable abomination, and considered that whatever had touched a man's mouth was polluted and that the wild human inhabitants of the jungle were a lower order of creation is brought face to face with the youthful chieftain of an almost savage tribe, whose chief delight is how to hunt down, slay and devour the birds and beasts of the forest; who brings boar's flesh for the unpolluted Civan to eat, and carries water in his mouth wherewith to besprinkle the image; who actually uses his leathern slippers to brush away the refuse leaves from the head of the god, who know no sacred texts; and who worships the same god, indeed, but has nothing to commend him save a rude uninstructed though zealous devotion.]
Meanwhile the mountaineer guards the god by night, returns at eventide to Offer his gifts and perform his rude service, and spends the day in providing flesh of beasts for the god's repast.At dawn, when the young woodman has departed, duly comes the pure and exclusive BrAhman having scrupulously made his own ablutions, cleanses the precincts, and performs his ceremonious worship. These men so different serve by turns before the same lingam, which they both regarded with equal reverence! But this cannot long continue so. The BrAhman makes a passionate appeal to Civan to guard himself from these pollutions, the author of which he cannot trace. He then return to his hermitage sad and utterly perplexed. But in the night the god appears to him, and then addressed him: ' That which thou dost complain of is to me most dear and acceptable! Thy rival ministrant is a chieftain of the rude foresters. He is absolutely ignorant of the VEdas and the Caiva texts. He knows not the ordinances of worship. But regard not HIM, regard the spirit and motives of his acts. His rough and gigantic frame is instinct with love to me, his whole knowledge - in thine eyes craze ignorance - is summed up in the knowledge of Me! His every action is dear to me; the tougch of his leathern slipper is pleasant to me as that of the tender hand of my son Skanda. The water with which he besprinkles me from his mouth is holy to me as the water of the Ganges. The food he offers me - to thee so abominable - is pure love. I regard not the externals of worship. He utterly loves me, even as thou dost; but come to-morrow when thou shalt see his worship, and I will give thee proof of his devotion to me'.
The BrAhman slept no more that night, but at daybreak was put in hiding behind the lingam by the god himself. And now Civan, who knows the hearts of worshippers, in order that Tinnan's truth might be manifest, caused blood to trickle down from the right eye of the image. The young worshipper drawing near beheld this, and exclaimed : ' Oh, my master, who hath wounded thee? What sacrilegious hand, evading my watchfulness, has wrought this evil?' Then seizing his weapons he proceeded to scour the neighbourhood to see if any mountaineer or wild animal could be detected as author of the mischief. Finding none, he threw himself on the ground in despair; but at length reflected that he had heard of remedies which would staunch the flow of blood. So he went and sought out in the jungle some herbs of virtue, and applied them; but the wound bled all the more copiously. Then a happy idea struck him; ' for a wounded eye the remedy is another eye applied,' said he; and pausing not an instant, with his arrow he scooped out his own right eye, and applied it to the bleeding eye of the image, from which at once the blood ceased to flow! At this his rapture knew no bounds. He sang and danced, and poured forth uncouth expressions of ardent thanksgiving; but on looking at the image once more, alas! blood was seen issuing from the other eye. After a moment or two of bewildered sorrow, his countenance was lit up with a radiant light of gladness; for he has still one eye left, and the efficacy of the remedy has been tried already; so he raises himself up, puts his one foot close up to the image's suffering eye, that he may be able to feel, when he no longer can see, where to apply the remedy; and proceeded to scoop the other eye. But this last sacrifice is too much for Civan to permit to be consummated; from out the lingam he puts forth a sacred hand, and grasps that of the youthful enthusiast, who still holds the arrow ready to accomplish his pious intention, and says: 'Stay, Tinnan, stay thine hand, my loving son! Henceforth the place for ever shall be at my right hands, on my holy mount'. CivagOchari had learnt the lesson that LOVE AND SELF-DEVOTION AND MORE THAN CEREMONIAL PURITY, and fell prostate; while the choirs of heaven chanted the beatification of the Saint, who is from age to age adored while his title of Kann-appan - the devotee who gave his eyes for the service of his God.
V. The only god.
Those gods are gods indeed, - These others are
the Gods, men wrangling say, and thus
False gods they talk about, and rant and rave
upon this earthly stage. And I
No piety could boast; that earthly bonds
might cease to cling, to Him I clung !
To Him, the God of all true Gods, go thou,
AND BREATHE HIS PRAISE, O HUMMING-BEE ! (20)
VI. He elevates, calms and purifies the soul-
In this mad world, 'mid stress and strife confused,
from birth and death, that ceaseless spring, -
Where hoarded treasure, women, offspring, tribe,
and learning's store, men prize and seek; -
He calms the storm of mental changing states,
and clears from error's mists the soul.
To mystic wisdom's mighty God go thou,
AND BREATHE HIS PRAISE, O HUMMING-BEE ! (24)
VII. Nothing shall draw me from Him !
On Cankaran the soul's embrosia, who thinks,
shall he fare ill? The sacred Foot
That aye endures shall I a prodigal forget?
But those who cleave not to that Foot,-
A sinful fellowship in worship vain,-
their very forms we will not know!
To Him, supremely Excellent, go thou,
AND BREATHE HIS PRAISE, O HUMMING-BEE ! (28)
VIII. His grace to me and mine
Unique it spring, rose up, sent forth its boughs
that none can count, - a tree of grace !
Right well He cared for me, - a cur - and called,
and caused in state aloft to ride,
He is my Sire ! To sirs and house and race
the mighty PerumAn is He !
To Him, the Fount of bliss unfailing, go;
AND BREATHE HIS PRAISE, THOU HUMMING-BEE ! (32)
IX. His self-forgiving compassion.
His throat is black; His nature passes far
all powers of thought that men possess !
I went, drew near, took refuge at His feet;
and He, straightaway, delusions all
From changing deaths and births that ceaseless rise
within my being caused to cease.
To Him, Who is compassion's sea, go thou,
AND BREATHE HIS PRAISE, O HUMMING-BEE ! (36)
X. His tender love has followed me.
Pain I endured, - grew old, - again waxed like
a weaning calf, - in ceaseless change;
And here I dwelt, desiring evermore
enjoyments that a dog might share, -
In folly's every guise. With mother-love,
He came in grace, and made me His !
To the rich Lord of mercy's store go thou,
AND BREATHE HIS PRAISE, O HUMMING-BEE ! (40)
XI. He gave grace without upbraiding
Thou didst not call me 'stony-heart,
'deceiver', 'obstinate of mind;
But Thou didst cause my stony heart to melt,
and in compassion mad at me Thine;
Thou Lord of Tillai's sacred temple-court,
in beauty rich, where swans disport !
Go, hasten to the golden beauteous Foot;
AND BREATHE HIS PRAISE, THOU HUMMING-BEE ! (44)
The loving Lord, Who taught, wretch as I am,
my lip to sing. His jewell'd Feet;
The Teacher great, Who pardon'd all the faults
of me, a very fiend in sooth;
He still in grace accepts my services,
nor spurns my worthlessness !
To Ican go, as tender mother known,
AND BREATHE HIS PRAISE, THOU HUMMING-BEE ! (48)
XIII. His love demands my all
Devoid of love for Him in sooth was I.
I know it, and He knows it too !
And yet He made me His, this too all men
on earth shall surely see and know.
He there appeared, in all His grace revealed.
He only is my being's King !
Come thou, and joyous join thyself with me
TO BREATHE HIS PRAISE, O HUMMING-BEE ! (52)
XIV. He came to me as my Guru
Germ of all being, far beyond this world, -
yet in this world too, seen;
With Her, whose flowery locks breathe sweet perfume,
in mercy manifest, He came;
A sacred Sage, versed in the mystic scroll,
He stood revealed, and made me His.
Go the God, in sacred form displayed,
AND BREATHE HIS PRAISE, THOU HUMMING-BEE! (56)
XV. Only His mercy brought me near.
How far away had I and all my thought
from Him the loving Lord remained,
Had not the Wearer of the flowing lock,-
He with the Lady,- made me His !
The Lord, Who is the heaven, Who is each realm
of earth and of the mighty sea !
Go to the roseate Feet that sweets distil
AND BREATHE HIS PRAISE, THOU HUMMING-BEE ! (60)
XVI. The thought of Him is joy.
Soon as I thought upon His sacred form
which every thought of man transcends,
The Lord of mercy's flood of purest joys,
that ne'er delude, swept o'er my soul.
My Lord revealed Himself that He might make
me ever fully His alone.
To Him, the Lord of Lords Supreme, go thou,
AND BREATHE HIS PRAISE, O HUMMING-BEE ! (64)
XVII. He saved me from senses' bondage
In pleasures false I plunged, and sank deep down,-
each day of earthly prosperous joy,
I thought it true, and thus enslaved I lay;
in grace revealed, He made me His !
Call Him 'my Teacher' 'precious Life', 'great Lord,
of Tillai's sacred temple-court;
And seek those selfsame roseate flowery Feet,
TO BREATHE HIS PRAISE, THOU HUMMING-BEE ! (68)
XVIII. Civan as depicted in ancient myths.
The tiger's skin, the robe, the pendants rare,
the ears' round golden ornaments,
The ashes white as milk, the sandal paste
so cool and sweet, the parrot green,
The trident, and the armless linked: this pomp,
and ancient fair array He owns,
Regarding well, with joyous soul go thou,
AND BREATHE HIS PRAISE, O HUMMING-BEE ! (72)
XIX. Visited me, nor despised my unworthiness
'Deceiver' ' sinner vile' 'rebellious one,'
all this to me He did not say;
The Generous One came oft to visit me,
nor took His Presence from my mind !
Of all the pains that fill'd my soul, no one
in any wise was left with me !
So to His gleaming jeweled Foot go thou,
AND BREATHE HIS PRAISE, O HUMMING-BEE ! (76)
XX. His grace to the lowly
Ayan, who crowns the lotus flower, and MAl
were grieved - for He was hard to reach !
But I, His lowly slave, all jubilant
fulfilled of exultation stood !
To me, mere cur, He gave a lofty seat,
endued right well with worthiness !
To Him, Whose form is fiery flame, go thou,
AND BREATHE HIS PRAISE, O HUMMING-BEE ! (80)