You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : October 1999


From: Mani Varadarajan (
Date: Fri Oct 01 1999 - 16:27:31 PDT

Sri M.G. Vasudevan wrote:
> They were looking for their servants- the vaaniLampadiyar- these servants
> were lured to the brindaavan by kaNNan's music and they came down from
> dEvalOkam. Simply these folks were tied down in the music and did not turn
> up when they were wanted.

> ... A small boy is playing music- karunchirukkan-
> let us see how this boy plays- we are experts - so we can judge very fast -
> so, they stood at the vaanagampadi. Once started listening to kaNNan's
> music, the dancers started dancing to the music, but soon got intoxicated
> and lost the rhythm, so started singing. The vidyaa garvam is crushed. The
> singers started on music but missed the raagam and taalam, due to the sheer
> joy, so in joy started dancing- the balance on music is lost. Really not
> knowing what they were doing, they did all different things. Reason kaNNan's
> music.

Dear Sri Vasudevan,

Your picturesque description of how kaNNan's music mesmerized 
everyone immediately brought to my mind some fascinating 
lines from Thirumangai's siRiya thirumadal. Please pardon me if 
you have already mentioned this or are planning on doing so.

Alvar, in nAyikA bhAvam, as a young girl, speaks of how she 
all of a sudden was entranced by the activities of one "strange
unknown man":

     ... I tied my dark, beautiful hair back,
     adjusted my bountiful bosom and 
     placed jewels around my waist;
     I anointed my long eyes with collyrium
     and was bouncing my ball around, 
     just minding my own business,

     When I heard all these people 
     joyously beating their drums
     for some fellow named Maal, 
     who had eyes red like lotuses, and
     who was doing this great dance
     with two pots; and he danced 
     right in the middle of the luxurious street,
     asking, "Who's next? Who's next?"

     Seeing this, all of them -- the young women and 
     my own parents included -- called to me, asking,  
     "Won't you come too?"
     So I went, ill-fated as I am!

     And seeing him, my dark jewels and my bracelets
     slid off my body, out of sight;
     Alas! Why didn't I listen to anyone? 
     I lost consciousness and fainted ...

     ... kaaraar kuzhal eduththuk katti -- kathirmulayai
     vaaraara veekki maNimEgalai thiruththi,
     aaraarayil vERkaN anjanaththin neer aNindhu,
     seeraar sezhumpandhu kondadiyaa ninREn naan,

     neeraar kamalampOl cengaNmaal enROruvan,
     paarorgaL ellaam magizhap paraikaraNga,
     seeraar kudam iraNdEndhi -- sezhundheruvE
     aaraar enac colli aadum adhukaNdu,

     Eraar iLamulaiyaar ennaiyarum ellarum,
     vaaraayO enRarkkuc cenREn en valvinaiyaal,

     kaaraar maNin^iRamum kaivaLaiyum kaaNEn naan,
     aaraanum colliRRum koLLEn -- arivu azhindhu
     theeraa udambodu pedhuruvEn ...

As usual, no translation does justice to the subtlety and
felicity of expression of the Alvar's Tamil. I am indebted
to my dear friend Vijaraghavan Triplicane who first introduced
me to this divine poem and who patiently explained its meaning
to me.