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3. Nammalvar's Works: Tiruviruttam

Nammalvar's works are four in number:
(i) Tiruviruttam (Tiru Viruttam)
(ii) Tiruvasiriyam (Tiru Asiriyam)
(iii) Periya Tiruvantati (Periya Tiru Antati)
(iv) Tiruvaymoli (Tiru Vaymoli)

The 'Tiru' that serves as prefix in the names of the four works means 'good', 'auspicious', 'divine'. 'Viruttam' and 'Asiriyam' are two kinds of verse; the first two works, therefore, are named after the verses in which they are written. 'Periya' in 'Periya Tiru Antati' means 'great' and 'antati' is a characteristic of a certain kind of Tamil verse in which the last word or syllable of a stanza is taken up as the opening word or syllable of the next stanza. 'Vaymoli' in 'Tiru Vaymoli' means that which is uttered. 'Tiru Vaymoli' means therefore 'the Divine Word'.


'Tiruviruttam' (Tiru Viruttam) is a poem of a hundred four-lined stanzas. Each stanza is a 'Kattalai Kalitturai', a special type of verse, each line having five feet and all the four lines in the stanza rhyming initially. Viruttam, besides denoting a kind of verse, means a message or an event. It is generally held that the poem is a submission made by Nammalvar to God of an event, the event of his falling in love with Him.

The first stanza of the poem indicates this:
To save us from false knowledge,
From evil ways and the dirt of the body,
To save us from coming again and again,
To all these,
And to give us Life,
Thou, Lord of the Immortals,
Camest down here,
Taking birth in many a womb,
And accepting many a form.
Hearken, Lord, to my submission true. 1

The poem takes the form of a dramatic sequence in which a few characters figure in what may be called a play on love, the love of God being presented in terms of the earthly love between a man and a woman. It is natural for the human soul to identify itself in this symbolism with the woman who loves and to view God as the all-loving, eternal lover. In a number of stanzas in the poem, Nammalvar's yearning for God expresses itself through a woman's love-tossed heart.

O my poor heart, you went alone
After the fiery bird that He rides, 2
He who wears the cool tulasi 3 and the flaming discus,
Will you come back to me?
Or will you stand there gazing in wonder
At Lakshmi and the goddess of the earth,
And the lovely-haired maid of the cowherds, 4
A triple glory, clinging shadow-like to him? 5

Through the reference to the three who are inseparable from His glory, the Alvar expresses his own longing to share their nearness to God.

Winter comes, the dark rain clouds gather in the sky, or is it winter?
Massed and blown by the wind,
Flinging the good rain,
Are they fierce dark bulls
Battling it out in the sky?
Or has winter really come to torment me,
Winter, dark, bearing His loveliness,
Seemingly cool, flowery,
But cruelly probing my wounds,
The agony of being away from Him? 6

The mood changes and the woman in love wonders how the rainclouds managed to acquire the dark sheen of her Lover:

Tell me, clouds,
How did you acquire the yogic powers
To look like my Lord?
Is it through the penance you have done through His grace,
Wandering far and wide, your hearts in pain,
Bearing your heavy, bountiful burden of rain
To save all life here? 7
The same question arises as the woman in love looks at the lilies in the lake near-by:
How comes it
That these water-lilies are dark-blue like my Lord? ...
Is it because they forsook the forest and the earth
And took to the water,
Standing there, legs unflinching in penance? 8

The passion grows and wherever she turns, she sees the witchery of her Lover's eyes:

Like lotus pools, wide-stretching
On the broad brow of a dark hill,
Wherever I turn
His eyes weave beauty,
The eyes of my Lord, dark and lovely,
Lord of the good, of the heavens
And of the world girt by the swelling waters. 9

'Oh, but they are lotuses,' she cries, 'His eyes, His hands, His feet, all are lotuses, lotuses' 10

Then a sudden misgiving assails her. Could she, so ill-equipped, speak in mere words of His beauty?
Who can conceive of it
The lovely dark of my Lord?
Is it within the reach
Even of the those whose thought
Crosses the sky and beyond
To the world eternal? 11
'No, it is not possible,' she concludes; with a touch of elation over her Lover's infinitude and a sense of sadness at her own inadequacy:
Who can speak of them,
His color, beauty, His name, His form?
They would talk, however,
As though they know,
Those men who pursue jnana and dharma.
But however far they go,
Wherever they reach,
In the blaze of light that He is,
Maybe, they learn a little
But how could they ever attain to it,
My Lord's greatness? 12

The implication is that knowledge and righteousness will fall short of realisation and that only love can reach Him.

She loves, of course, but the Lover has not come and the pain of being alone grows. The west darkens, the crescent moon shows itself and the night-wind stirs.
It is night,
With the crescent moon,
That milk-mouthed child,
Clinging to her waist,
The west is lamenting
Her loss of the sun.
Here is the cool wind stirring
Searching, seeking
To steal from us
What He has given us,
The yearning for his tulasi. 13

'Yes, but the wind is no longer cool,' says the woman in love, 'it is a cruel wind and it burns. It is invisible, we know not its form nor can we trace its foot-steps. It goes about whispering scandal and tormenting me ceaselessly.' 14

The night darkens and lengthens into an age as thought bent on destroying her. 15 The young moon rises. Has it come to save her, to break the unshrinking darkness encircling night? 16 Let it, but it burns too.

The loud, unceasing lament of the bird, anril, from the grove and the voice of the restless sea stealing into the land through a hundred creeks torture her throughout the night.' 17 'Does the sea call to me to give up my poor bangles of conch shell' she wonders in pain, 'unable to get back the amrita 18 that it yielded when the Lord churned it ? 19 When morning comes and the sun rises over the hill, it seems as though her lover is before her and she rejoices that all evil and suffering are at an end. 20 But that is for a moment. The sense of being away from Him breaks in and she cries out: 'When, when will I reach him?' and adds heavily:
O Lord of the discus
That destroyed the asuras, 21
It is a wonder to me
How I got this human state:
Who knows how long
I did penance for it?
Having got it,
Through being Thy slave
I thought I could reach Thee.
But that is not to be,
And the long, long time of waiting
Does not die. 22

Still her faith remains unshaken, and her heart will turn to none else but Him. 23 Her poor heart has however, turned wilful and has failed her:
Believing in my heart.
Thinking it guileless, and mine,
I sent it after Him...
And till today,
It has not returned.
Self-willed now and uncontrollable, it has forsaken me
And wanders, I know not where. 24

She sends the swans and the storks after her heart:
O good swans and storks,
You are flying somewhere,
Let me beseech you, forget not,
Go first to Vaikunta 25
And if you find my heart there,
Mention me and ask it
Whether it has still not gone to Him,
And if it has not,
Ask it whether this tardiness is right. 26

She gets no reply from the birds and she turns to the clouds thinking they will be more helpful:

O clouds, bright with lightning,
Starting towards the high strong-based peak
Of Venkatam lit with gems and gold,
Will you carry my message to him?
"No" they say.
Will these clouds If I pray to them
And ask them to place their feet
On my bowed head? 27

Thus, in a number of stanzas in the poem, Nammalvar speaks of his passion for God. The love-lorn woman in the poem is Nammalvar himself.

There are a few other characters in this drama of love that the poem presents. Nammalvar does not mention them specifically but the context and the words given to them reveal their identity. If we call the chief character, the woman in love, as nayaki or talaivi (that is, the heroine) as is generally done, the other characters are the nayaki's maid and friend, her mother and her foster-mother, the lover himself and His friend, and a Kattuvichi, a woman whose advice is sought on the supposition that the nayaki is possessed. The function of the nayaki's friend is to sympathise with and console her and also to comment on her forlorn condition. Let us hear her:
I think
That the unswerving writ
Of the Lord who is like rain-cloud
Has veered today
How else could the wind
By nature cool,
Throw about fire here,
And the wide eyes of my poor friend
Whose heart has gone after his tulasi,
Rain tears ? 28
She gets so sore over her friend's condition that she blames the Lover as though He is before her:
The dark sea roars pitiless
As though challenging,
Unmindful that she is a woman,
And her agony grows.
Nothing can save her
Except Thy grace.
Is it right on Thy part,
Lord cloud-hued, reclining on the serpent couch,
To delay further? 29
She speaks to the nayaki of her Lover's greatness and the infinite grace that made him descend to the earth, suggesting that the same grace would save her:
Ascetics sleepless in their penance
Seek Him to escape the toils of birth.
He is unknowable
Even to the Immortals.
That is His infinitude.
But do not be troubled.
Great indeed is His way of mystery.
Did He not come to the earth
And endure the reproach
That He stole butter? 30

The nayaki's foster-mother wonders why she, so young and immature, should give room to this passion and also ovet what the world will say about this strange infatuation:
Her breasts have not come out full.
Her curls, dense and soft, are still short,
Her sari stays not at the waist
And her speech halts indistinct
Like a child's.
Her eyes gleam restless
More precious than land and sea.
Is it proper for this child
To con the words:
"Is Venkata the Lord's hill?" 31

The nayaki's mother is distressed over her daughter having gone away with Him to His city and over what she would have suffered on the way in the wild desert where cruel men roam and the sound of their drums fix the air. 32

This is strange because going away with her Lover is just what the nayaki yearns for and it has not so far happened as the rest of the poem indicates. If the nayaki has gone away, why should the Kattuvichi as the poem records later, be sent for and her opinion on whether the nayaki is possessed be obtained? The Kattuvichi diagnoses the nayaki's condition as being due to her love for the Lord of the Immortals and suggests as a remedy the tulasi that He wears. 'A garland of tulasi or some leaves of the plant', she says, 'a branch or root, 'even a piece of the sod on which it grows will do'. 33

Equally strange is the Lover figuring in the poem though till the end of it except in one stanza. 34 He does not appear before the nayaki. That one stanza records how the Lover crossing a desert along with the nayaki tells her not to be troubled by the wildness of the land and assures her that His city is near. In another stanza, the Lover asks his charioteer to hasten because his beloved is waiting and pining for Him. 35 Again, He appears before the nayaki's friend and on the pretext of finding out whether the elephant He has been hunting has gone that way, puts questions to her which she disapproves. 36 In another stanza, He speaks of the fragrance of His beloved's curls and asks the bees whether in their wide experience of flowers, they have seen anything sweeter. 37 He speaks to His friend of the lovely dark eyes, wide as the sea, of His beloved and affirms that no one who has seen them will blame him for having fallen in love with her. 38 The Lover's friend goes and sees for himself the beauty and deserving of the nayaki and on returning tells the Lover that he now realises how blind and mistaken he has been in thinking of his friend's love as unjustified. 39

One cannot help feeling that the simple, original symbolism of bridal mysticism, the soul in love with God and longing to be united to Him, has become complicated if not confused by the introduction of the other characters, the situations devised for them and the words given to them. All these appear to a student of Tamil poetry to be modelled on the love poems of the Sangam age and though they extend the poetry of the story of love, they blur the significance of the symbolism of the Lover and the beloved as God and the human soul.

Towards the end of the poem, Nammalvar himself discards the symbolism as when he says:
To be born, to die,
Age after age, age after age,
To die and to be born,
Those who can see
And laugh at this futility,
Surely, they will long to end it
By turning in love
To Him, the Origin,
Round whom the Immortals gather in worship,
How can there be any sleep for them? 40

Or when he gives up the symbol of the lover and calls God father and mother:
Entering a body:
Being wedged in it, being unwedged,
Thus the soul struggles endlessly,
So betimes, somehow, I will turn
To Him who is my mother and my father,
And the Lord of liberation. 41

Or when he speaks of all the religions and all forms of worship as His creation and all the gods as His forms. 42 But the mixing up of the symbol and what is symbolised, the extension of the symbol beyond the limits of the logic of symbolism, the coming in of other symbols, and a sudden giving up of symbols and entering into direct utterance are characteristics that generally mark mystical poetry and 'Tiruviruttam' illustrates them. It may well be that Nammalvar took the turais or the situations that the Tamil poets of the Sangam age handled in their idealisation of love and tried to pour his mystical passion into those moulds. 43 Some times, the passion overflows them and sometimes, the moulds stand in the way of the perfect expression of experience through symbol. But that is the quality of genuine mystical work. A clever artist could make a symbol serve its purpose logically, tying up the ends in such a way that reason is satisfied. But 'reason', as Jalal-uddin Rumi said, 'is the shadow of God; God is the sun. Cleverness is mere opinion, bewilderment is intuition.' 44 'Tiruviruttam' is the poetry of intuition.


1 Tiruviruttam 1.

poyNNinRa NYaanamum pollaa vozhukkum azhukkudambum,
in^n^inRa niirmai iniyA muRAmai, uyiraLippAn
en^n^inRa yOniyu maayppiRan^ thAyimai yOr_thalaivA!
meyn^inRu kEttaru LAy,adi yEn_cheyyum viNNappamE.

2 Garuda, the bird, that Lord Vishnu rides. [Back]

3 A wild plant with fragrant leaves. [Back]

4 Nappinnai, whom according to Tamil tradition, the Lord loved in Krishna avatara. [Back]

5 Tiruviruttam 3. Lakshmi is divine grace, the goddess of the earth typifies God's eternal connection with the earth as creator, sustainer and indweller and Nappinnai is the archetype of the souls whom He lifts through His love when He descends as avatara to the earth. Nappinnai is considered the Tamil prototype of Radha.

kuzhalkO valarmadap pAvaiyum maNmaga Lumthiruvum,
nizhalpOl vanar_kaNdu niRkunkol mILunkol, thaNNanthuzhAy
azhalpO ladumchakka raththaNNal viNNOr thozhakkadavum
thazhalpOl sinaththa,ap puLLinpin pOna thanin^enc hamE.

6 Tiruviruttam 7. This stanza is also interpreted as a friend's consoling words that it is not really winter.

NYaalam panippach cheriththu,n^an nIrittuk kaalsithainthu
nIlaval lERu poraan^inRa vAna midhu,thirumAl
kOlam sumandhu pirindhaar kodumai kuzhaRudhaNpUNG
kaalanko lOvaRi yEn,vinai yaattiyEn kaaNkinRavE?

7 Tiruviruttam 32

mEganka LO!urai yIr,thiru maalthiru mEniyokkum
yOganka LunkaLuk kevvARu peRRIr, uyiraLippaan
maaganka Lellaam thirinthun^an NnIrgaL sumandhun^undham
aagankaL nOva, varundhum thavamaam aruLpeRRathE?

8 Tiruviruttam 38.

kadamaa yinagaL kazhiththu,tham kaalvanmai yaalpalan^aaL
thadamaa yinapukku nIrn^ilai ninRa thavamithukol,
kudamaadi yimmaNNum viNNum kulunka vulagaLandhu
nadamaa diyaperu maan,uru voththana nIlankaLE.

9 Tiruviruttam 39.

nIlath thadavarai mElpuNda rIga nedundhadankaL
pOla, polindhemak kellaa vidaththavum, ponkumun^n^Ir
NYaalap piraanvisum pukkum piraanmaRRum nallOr_piraan
kOlam kariya piraan,em piraan_kaNNin kOlankaLE.

10 Tiruviruttam 43.

kaNNumsen^ thaamarai kaiyu mavai_adi yO_avaiyE,
vaNNam kariyathOr maalvarai pOnRu, madhivigaRpaal
viNNum kadandhumbar appaalmik kumaRRep paal_evarkkum
eNNu midaththadhu vO,embi raana thezhiln^iRamE?

11 Ibid. [Back]

12 Tiruviruttam 44. Jnana is knowledge and dharma is righteousness.

niyamuyar kOlamum pErum uruvum ivaiyivaiyenRu,
aRamuyal NYaanach chamayigaL pEsilum, ankankellaam
uRavuyar NYaanach chudarviLak kaayn^inRa thanRiyonRum
peRamuyan Raarillai yaal,embi raanRan perumaiyaiyE.

13 Tiruviruttam 35. What the Lord has given is this ability to turn in love to him. Does the wind want to deprive us even of that?

paalvaayp piRaippiLLai okkalaik koNdu, pagalizhandha
mElpaal thisaippeN pulambuRu maalai, ulagaLandha
maalpaal thuzhaaykku manamudai yaarkkun^al kiRRaiyellaam
sOlvaan pugundhu,ithu vOr_pani vaadai thuzhaakinRathE.
This is one interpretation.[Back]

14 Tiruviruttam 41.

 enRumpun vaadai yidhukaNdaRidhum,iv vaaRuvemmai
 onRumuruvum suvadumtheriyilam, Onkasurar
 ponRum vagaipuLLai yUrvaanaruLaru Laadhavin^n^aaL
manRil niRaipazhi thooRRi,n^in Rennaivan kaaRRadumE.

15 Tiruviruttam 70.

vaLaivaayth thiruchchak karaththengaL vaanava NnaarmudimEl,
thaLaivaay naRungaNNith thaNNan^ thuzhaaykkuvaN Nambayalai,
viLaivaan migavandhu naaLthinga LaaNdUzhi niRkavemmai
uLaivaan pugundhu,ithu vOr_kangul aayiram UzhigaLE.

16 Tiruviruttam 72.

sUzhghinRa kangul surungaa iruLin karundhiNimbai,
pOzhginRa thingaLam piLLaiyum pOzhga, thuzhaaymalarkkE
thaazhginRa nencath thoruthami yaattiyEn maamaikkinRu
vaazhginRa vaaRithu vO,vandhu thOnRiRu vaaliyathE.

17 Tiruviruttam 87.

pulambum kanakural pOzhvaaya anRilum, pUngazhipaayn^
thalambum kanakural sUzhthirai yaazhiyum, aangavain^in
valambuL Lathun^alam paadu mithukuRRa maagavaiyam
silambum padiseyva thE,thiru maal_ith thiruvinaiyE?

18 Ambrosia that accordingto the puranas was churned out from the sea by the devas and asuras. [Back]

19 Tiruviruttam 51.

malaikoNdu maththaa aravaal suzhaRRiya maayappiraan.
alaikaNdu koNda amudhamkoL Laathu kadal,parathar
vilaikoNdu thandhasaNG gam_ivai vErith thuzhaaythuNaiyaath
thulaikoNdu thaayam kiLarndhu,koL vaanoth thazhaikkinRathE.

20 Tiruviruttam 88.

thirumaal uruvokkum mEru,am mEruvil sencudarOn
thirumaal thirukkaith thiruchchak karamokkum, annakaNdum
thirumaal uruvO davansinna mEbithaR Raan^iRpathOr
thirumaal thalaikkoNda nangatku,eNG gEvarum thIvinaiyE?

21 A race of evil ones (demons or titans) ever against the devas or gods. [Back]

22 Tiruviruttam 90.

thalaippeythu yaanun thiruvadi sUdun^ thagaimaiyinaal,
n^Ilaipeytha aakkaikku nORRavim maayamum, maayamchevvE
n^ilaippey thilaatha nilaimaiyuNG kaaNdO Rasurar_kuzhaam
tholaippeytha nEmiyen^ thaay,thollai yUzhi surungalathE.

23 Tiruviruttam 91.

surunguRi veNNai thoduvuNda kaLvanai, vaiyamuRRum
orungura vuNda peruvayiR RaaLanai, maavalimaattu
irunguRaL aagi isaiyavOr mUvadi vENdichchenRa
perungiRi yaanaiyal laal,adi yEnn^encam pENalathE.

24 Tiruviruttam 46.

madan^enca menRum thamadhenRum, Or_karu mamkarudhi,
vidan^encai yuRRaar vidavO amaiyum,ap ponpeyarOn
thadan^encam kINda piraanaar thamadhadik kIzhvidappOyth
thidan^enca maay,emmai nIththinRu thaaRum thirikinRathE.

25 The abode of God, Heaven. [Back]

26 Tiruviruttam 30.

annamsel vIrumvaN daanamsel vIrum thozhudhirandhEn
munnamsel vIrgaL maRavElmi NnOkaNNan vaigundhanO
dennenci NnaaraikkaN daalennaich cholli avaridain^Ir
innancel lIrO, ithuvO thagaven Risaimin_gaLE !

27 Tiruviruttam 31.


28 Tiruviruttam 5.

isaimin_gaL thoodhen Risaiththaa lisaiyilam, en_thalaimEl
asaimin_ga LenRaa lasaiyinko laam,ampon maamaNigaL
thisaimin miLirum thiruvENG kadtthuvan thaaLsimayam
misaimin miLiriya pOvaan vazhik koNda mEgangaLE !

29 Tiruviruttam 62.

iRaiyO irakkinum IngOr_peN daal,ena vummirangaathu,
aRaiyO! enan^in Rathirum karungadal, InghivaLthan
n^iRaiyO iniyun thiruvaru LaalanRik kaapparithaal
muRaiyO, aravaNai mElpaLLi koNda mugilvaNNanE!

30 Tiruviruttam 98. The incident of the Lord stealing butter is from Krishna avatara.

thuncaa munivarum allaa thavarun^ thodaran^inRa,
encaap piRavi idar_kadi vaan,imai yOr_thamakkum
thansaarvi laatha thanipperu mUr_ththithan maayamsevvE
n^encaal ninaippari thaal,veNNe yUNennum InachchollE.

31 Tiruviruttam 60.

mulaiyO muzhumuRRum pOnthila, moypUNG kuzhalkuRiya
kalaiyO araiyillai naavO kuzhaRum, kadalmaNNellaam
vilaiyO enamiLi rungaN NivaLpara mE!perumaan
malaiyO thiruvENG kadamenRu kaRkinRA vaasagamE?

32 Tiruviruttam 37.

kodunkaal silaiyar niraikO Luzhavar, kolaiyilveyya
kadunkaal iLaiNYar thudipadum kavvaiththu, aruvinaiyEn
nedunkaala mumkaNNan nINmalarp paadham paravip peRRa
thodunkaa losiyu midai,iLa maansenRa soozhkadamE.

33 Tiruviruttam 53.

vaaraa yinamulai yaaLivaL vaanOr thalaimaganaam,
sEraa yinatheyva nannO yithu,dheyvath thaNNandhuzhaayth
thaaraa yinumthazhai yaayinum thaNkomba thaayinumkIzh
vEraa yinum,n^inRa maNNaayi NnumkoNdu vIsuminE.

34 Tiruviruttam 26. This could be enterpreted as a momentary glimpse of Reality that the Alvar gets.

naanilam vaaykkoNdu nannI raRamenRu kOthukoNda,
vEnilaNY chelvan suvaiththumizh paalai, kadanthaponnE!
kaaln^ilan^ thOyndhuviN NOr_thozhum kaNNanveq kaavudhu_amboon^
thEniLaNY chOlaiyap paaladhu,ep paalaikkum sEmaththathE.

35 Tiruviruttam 50. It is curious that the Lover who symbolises God speaks of Venkatam where his love awaits him as the hill of the Lord. Is not the speaker himself the Lord?

oNNuthal maamai oLipaya vaamai, viraindhun^anthEr
naNNuthal vENdum valava! kadaakinRu, thEnn^avinRa
vaNmuthal naayagan nILmudi veNmuththa vaasigaiththaay
maNmudhal sErvuRRu, aruvisey yaan^iRkum maamalaikkE.

36 Tiruviruttam 22.

kombaar thazhaikai siRun^aa NeRivilam vEttaikoNdaat
tambaar kaLiRu vinavuva thaiyar_puL LUrumkaLvar
thambaa ragaththenRu maadaa thanadhammil kUdaadhana
vambaar vinaachcholla vO,emmai vaiththathiv vaanpunaththE?

37 Tiruviruttam 55.

vaNduga LO!vammin nIrppU nilappU maraththiloNpU,
uNdukaLiththuzhal vIrkkon Ruraikkiyam, EnamonRaay
maNthuga Laadivai kundhaman NnaaLkuzhal vaayviraipOl
viNdugaL vaarum, malaruLa vOn^um viyalidaththE?

38 Tiruviruttam 57.

pulakkuN dalappuNda rIkaththa pOrkkoNdai, valliyonRaal
vilakkuN dulaakinRu vElvizhik kinRana, kaNNan kaiyaal
malakkuN damutham surandha maRikadal pOnRavaRRaal
kalakkuNda naanRukaN daar,emmai yaarum kazhaRalarE.

39 Tiruviruttam 94. This stanza has been assigned to the nayaki by some commentators, and is interpreted as the Alvar's confession that he does not know the Lover and that all he says about Him is a blind adherence to hearsay.

maippadi mEniyum sendhaa maraikkaNNum vaithigarE,
meyppadi yalun thiruvadi sUdum thagaimaiyinaar,
eppadi yUra milaikkak kuruttaa milaikkumennum
appadi yaanumson NnEn,adi yEnmaRRu yaathenbanE?

40 Tiruviruttam 97.

ezhuvathum mINdE paduvathum pattu,enai yUzhigaLpOyk
kazhivathum kaNdukaN deLkalal laal,imai yOr_kaLkuzhaam
thozhuvathum sUzhvathum seythollai maalaikkaN NaarakkaNdu
kazhivathOr kaathaluR Raarkkum,uN dOkaNgaL thuncuthalE?

41 Tiruviruttam 95.

yaathaanu mOraak kaiyilpukku,aNG kaappuNdum aappavizhndhum
mUthaavi yilthadu maaRum uyirmunna mE,athanaal
yaathaanum paRRin^ING kumvira thatthain^al vIduseyyum
maathaa vinaippithu vai,thiru maalai vaNanguvanE.

42 Tiruviruttam 96.

vaNangum thuRaigaL palapala aakki, mathivigaRpaal
piNangum samayam palapala aakki, avaiyavaithO
RaNangum palapala aakkin^in mUr_ththi parappivaiththaay
iNangun^in NnOraiyil laay,n^in_kaN vEtkai ezhuvippanE.

43 How and when Nammalvar familiarised himself with Sangam love poetry conventions is as much a mystery as the knowledge of Vedas and Upanishads assigned to him. [Back]

44 Persian mystic quoted by Aldous Huxley in his The Perennial Philosophy, (Fontana Books Collins -- London), Page 149. [Back]

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