‘Azhwars and their poetry’ is a translation of my Tamil Venba verses composed as ‘பன்னிரு ஆழ்வார்கள் வெண்பா மாலை’
The songs of Thiru Āsiriyam, Periya Thiruvantãdi,
The lovely verses of Thiru Virutham,
And the impeccable words of Thiru Vãymozhi -
These divine works were rendered in Tamil songs beset with great wisdom,
By Maran, the enlightened Seer in penance.
The melodious Tamil verses of Prabhandam expound the Vedas in four thousand songs.
Blessed are we to have these songs bestowed on us by the great saints (called Āzhwãrs).
Here,I try to proclaim their glory, rendering it as a garland
Woven with infallible words composed in Venbã (a poetic form in Tamil)
Rhythmic and sweet to the ears
And pristine in meaning,
His songs bring prosperity to the world.
Madurakaviyãr, the ardent devotee of Nammãlwãr of eternal wisdom,
Is indeed the crown jewel of the heavenly Devas.
To awaken the world from its darkness (of ignorance),
Thirupãvai is the lamp lit by Āndãl
In the form of verses that preserve the universe (from suffering).
The Divine Love that flows in Āndãl’s Tamil songs
Has the power to stir the listening heart with ecstasy.
She bows down to the colourful parrot
Which recites Kannan's Divine Glory with its voice dripping with fruit-like sweetness,
She prays to the Divine Conch to tell her about His beauty and might,
She sends the Cuckoo bird as a messenger to Him -
By these actions born of selfless devotion,
Āndãl, the embodiment of Divine Love,
Prevails over the hearts of all who venerate the ever-victorious Tamil.
The beauty of Thirumãl iruncholai with its mountainous landscape,
The beauty of the enchanting music flowing from the Divine Flute,
The beauty of Thirumãl Himself -
These beautiful renderings written in Pillai Tamil (songs written by imagining Thirumãl as a child),
Show Periyãzhwãr as a poet who inspirits the devoted heart.
O crow, come and comb Kannan's long dark hair!
O bright moon, come and play with Him!
O parrot, come and sing 'Thiru Pallãndu' to ward off the evil eyes
- Thus spoke Periyãzhwãr, the poet well-versed in ancient Tamil.
Humble as the holy step (a stony threshold at the temple’s entrance),
But majestic as the valiant king of the Cheras,
Reigns Kulasekharanãr, who, adorned with beautiful golden garland of konrai flowers,
Blesses us with verses that drive away misery.
Overcoming despair and suffering,
Feeling thankful with devotion,
He sang with graceful words
and rhythmic melody.
Kaliyan (Thirumangai Azhwãr), the sword-wielding protector of the poor and needy,
Is the greatest poet of all time.
Refusing to bow down to the mortal king,
He did not despair even when he was banished
From the city (of Kãnchi).
The great Seer of Mazisai blessed us with
Thiruchandha Virutham and Nãnmugan Thiruvanthãthi (written in Venbã form),
The works which are sweet as nectar (to recite and listen to)
The great work Thirumãlai,
Embedded with profound wisdom,
Was blessed by Thondaradi Podiyãzwãr,
who excels in graceful words.
He is indeed a light to all who uphold righteousness.
The erudite scholars who have mastered the sophisticated arts and are experts in the four Vedas,
Are deemed uncivilized if they demean the devotees,
Because unblemished love is the abode of God,
- Thus sang Thondaradi Podiyãzwãr,
By following whom we become blessed.
Even the evil-hearted people who spoke low of him,
Turned good and sought his blessings because of his love.
Such is the greatness of Thirupãnãzhwãr,
The bard who plays Yãzh ( a musical instrument) of exquisite beauty,
With music so sweet to fill all the Seven worlds with delight.
The ancient Azhwārs
The three great ancient divine poets (Poigaiyãr, Boothathãr, Peyãr),
Distinguished for their exceptional songs,
Taught us the way to awaken ourselves (from the slumber of ignorance).
The compilation of their songs, called IyarPã,
Is incomparable in destroying the darkness of suffering
Illuminating the path to wisdom.
Brighten up the body which is the humble dwelling of the Atman,
Let the Silence of the Soul spread while gazing at the Truth with unblinking eyes,
This awareness will destroy all despair -
Thus spoke Poigai Azhwar -
The truth in his meaningful words
Is the spark that burns away all falsehood and delusion.
Even the rocks emit poetic vibes in the eye-charming scenic city of Mãmallapuram -
In this beautiful city was born Boothathãr,
Who created songs known for their spiritual purity
By lighting the lamp of unblemished love,
Whom I would praise as a gem among scholars.
O mind, abandon all the dharmas and attach yourself only to the Divine Love,
And align your thoughts with the good,
By doing this, you can see the Ultimate Truth that exists alone
(in a space that is beyond the perception of the five senses).
(To attain this blissful state) the thoughtful words of Peyãzwãr would be of greatest help