Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Avvaiyyarin Vinayagar Agaval
Avvaiyyar was a female poet of the ninth century, who lived in the southern parts of India. She is known, not only for her extraordinary poetry, but also, as a noble and revered saint. The term 'Avvaiyyar' means ' respected old woman' or 'Grandmother'.she was born to a Brahman called Bhagavan and his untouchable wife called Adi. Since Bhagavan was on a spiritual journey at the time of her birth, both of them decided to abandon the child. A poet passing from there noticed the abandoned child and took her under his care. Auvaiyar was raised by a family of Panars, who were wandering minstrels. Right from childhood, Avvaiyyar showed a deep interest in poetry. At the tender age of four, she was able to complete a complicated verse that even the most distinguished poets of the land could not.
Avvaiyar was extremely devoted to Lord Ganesha since childhood. She always asked Him for three gifts, the gifts of poetry, music and drama. As she grew, her talents also grew to the highest levels. As a young girl, she was deeply devoted to religion and literary pursuits and wanted to serve the people. Known for her intelligence and extraordinary beauty, she had many aristocratic suitors, and pressure was brought to bear for arranging her marriage. While most young women would welcome such attention, it was for Auvaiyar more threat than opportunity.Her interests were philosophical and devotional, and her life revolved around her love of Siva. She did not want to make a man the center of that universe. Faced with the impending marriage that her family would surely arrange. At the same time, she also started getting marriage proposals. Fed up with the proposal and being constantly pressurized to get marries, Avaiyyar prayed before her chosen Deity, Vighneshvara, to save her from this fate:
“Oh, my Lord, . Please take away my youth and my beauty ; I want to dedicate myself to the Goddess of learning and to the spread of learning so that I can follow my chosen way of lifewith Peace.”
Lord Ganesha remove her beauty and turn her into an old woman. The Lord obliged and in acknowledgment of His generosity, she sang a great song of Praise for Him, regarded as the equivalent of the Vedas. Auvaiyar left the shelter of home, where most people find security, and wandered far and wide in the Tamil kingdoms of Chola, Pandya and Chera. Her royal benefactors, among whom were Shri Adiyaman, Pari, Kari and Seraman, are historical figures distinguished by their bravery and benevolence. These maharajas patronized her cultural works so that her fame spread far and wide.
The other Auvaiyar was a contemporary of Kampan and ottak KUtthar She was the elderly figure most familiar to Tamil people Anyone who was educated in the Tamil region would have studied and memorized ouvaiyAr's poems early in school. Her list of Do's and Don'ts, useful for daily life was arranged in simple and short sentences. The recital of these poems by groups of children with a characteristic melody would always bring nostalgic memories of childhood days. Auvaiyar followed a different strategy and directed her moral instructions at children who have open minds and are more receptive. Her important works are Athisoodi, Konraiventhan -, Muthurai and Nalvazhi .
Auvaiyar was a contemporary and close associate of two noble Siva bhaktas, Sundarar and Seraman Perumal, ruler of the Chera kingdom, both extolled as great Saiva saints in Sekkilar's epic hagiography, the Periyapuranam. One day, near the end of her life, it is said that Auvaiyar was in the midst of her daily worship of her beloved Ganesha. She had a vision in which Saint Sundarar was proceeding to Mount Kailasa, Siva's abode, with his comrade, King Seraman. Sundarar was riding a white elephant, and Seraman was on a white horse. They were as aware of her as she was of them. She became disturbed and tried to rush her worship, filled with a yearning to join her spiritual friends on their last journey.But Lord Ganesha appeared and told her to finish her rituals calmly and without haste, with the promise that she would be taken to Kailasa ahead of her two friends. Thereupon she entered her trance even more deeply and sang the renowned hymn of praise entitled Vinayaka Ahaval. (This great song of religious devotion to Ganesha is sung to this day throughout the Tamil land at the time of Ganesha worship, particularly during the annual Ganesha Chaturthi festival.
As she finished her worship and placed the sacramental offering at His gracious feet, Vinayaka appeared before her, lifted her in His gentle trunk and delivered her to the Sivaloka, to Mount Kailasa, before the two friends arrived. When Seraman Perumal inquired how it was that she had arrived ahead of them, she sang this in her unique and charming Tamil.Agaval means blank poetry and it is a song addressed to Lord Ganapathy. He is addressed as Vinayagar (he who removes obstacles)
English translation of Mr.Layne little.
Seetha kallabha chenthamaraippum, Paatha chilambhu pala isai paada, Pon araijnanum, poonthugil aadaiyum, Vanna marungil valarindu azhakerippa, Pezhai vayirum, perum paara kodum, Vezha mukhamum, vilangu chindooramum, Anju karamum , angusa paasamum, Nenjir kudi konda neela meniyum, Naandra vaayum, naaliru puyamum, Moondru kannum, mummatha chuvadum, Irandu cheviyum, ilangu Pon mudiyum, Thiranda muppiri nool thigazh Oli maarbum, Chor padam kadantha thuriya mey jnanam, Arpudham nindra karpaga kallire
While the anklets on the cool sandal anointed feet Which has the color of the red hibiscus flower, Sings various songs, while the golden waist belt, And his clothes as soft as flower, Shine in pretty and beautiful colors of the rainbow, While his box like paunch, weighty tusks Elephant like face, the saffron dot applied on it, Five hands and the goad and rope that he has, His blue body which attracted our mind, Hanging mouth, his four sets of shoulders, His three eyes, three trails of his feet’s, His two ears, his shining golden hair, His glowing broad chest wearing the holy thread, His divine knowledge of Thuriya, his mastery over words, Stood in awe at the wish giving elephant.
Muppazham nugarum Mooshiga vahana, Ippothu yennai aat kolla vendi, Thayay yenakku, thaan yezhundaruli, Mayaa piravi, mayakkam aruthu, Thirundhiya mudal aindu ezhthum thelivaay, Porundave vanthu yen ullam thannil pugundhu, Guru Vadivagi, kuvalayam thannil, Thiruvadi vaithu thiramidhu porul yena, Vaadaa vagaithaan magizhndena karuli,
OH god who rides on an elephant and eats three fruits, Now for taking me and making me yours, You come in the shape of my mother, Cut off the trance like feeling of this illusory birth, Make clear to my mind the meaning of the Five lettered Namasivaya, enter then in to my mind, Step in to this world in the form of a teacher in this world of ours, And tell me with happiness that this is its real meaning.
Kodaayudathaal Peru (kodu) vinai kallainthe, Uvatta upadesam pugatti yen cheviyil, Thevittatha jnana thelivaiyum kaatti, Iym pulan thannai adakkum upaayam, Inburu karunaiyin inithena kkaruli
After removing my great fate by the weapon of his tusk, After giving me very sweet and not boring advices in my ears, After showing sweetest clarity in the case of Jnana, After teaching me the trick to control my five senses, After sweetly telling me about mercy which gives happiness,
Karuvigal odukkum karuthinai arivithu, Iru vinai thannai aruthu irul kadinthu, Thalamoru nangum thandu yenakku aruli, Malam oru moondrin mayakka maruthe, Onbathu vayil oru mandhirathaal, Iym pula kathavai adaippathum kaatti, Aaraathaarathu angula nilaiyum, Pera niruthi pechurai aruthe, Idai pingalaiyin ezhuthu arivithu
After teaching me the knowledge of subjugating the senses, After cutting of this birth as well the next and removing darkness, After granting me mercifully the four stages of salvation, After cutting off the trance created by the three types of ignorance, After showing me how by one chant the five senses Can be controlled and the nine gates of the body closed, After teaching me how to control the chakras of the body using the goad, After cutting off talk and making me stand firm, After teaching me the alphabets of Ida and Pingala Nadi,
Kadayir chuzhu munai kapaalamum kaatti, Moondru mandalthin mootiya thoonin, Nandrezhu pambin navil unarthi, Kundali adanir koodiya asabai, Vindezhu mandiram velippada uraithu, Mooladharathu moondezhu kanalai, Kaalal ezhuppum karuthu arivithe, Amudha nilaiyum aadithan iyakkamum, Kumuda sagaayan gunathaiyum koori, Idai chakkarathin eerettu nilaiyum, Udar chakkarathin urappayum kaati, Chanmuga thoolamum , chatur mukha sookshmamum, Yen mugamaaga indhenakkaruli
After showing that the end of circle’s edge is in the head, After making me realize that the snake keeps on hanging, On the pillar that is at the junction of three realms, After showing the silence at the junction of Kundalini, After clearly telling me the chant to waken it up, After pointing out the raging fire in the Mooladhara, After telling me the idea of waking it up, After telling me about the deathless state and the position of the Sun, After telling me about properties of moon, the helper of lotus, After teaching me the sixteen positions of the intermediate Chakra, After showing me the position of wheels in the body, After sweetly teaching me , the secret of Shanmuga, And the principle behind the subtle four faces,
Puriyatta kaayam pulappada yenakku, Theriyettu nilaiyum derisana paduthi, Karuthinir kapaala vaayil kaatti, Iruthi mukthi inithenakku aruli, Yennai arivithu, yenakkarul cheydhu, Munnai vinaiyin mudalai kalainthu, Vaakkum manamum illa manolayam, Thekkiye yendan chindhai thelivithu, Irul veli irandukku ondridam yenna,
After making it clear about the eight subtle principles, And making me see the real meaning of them, After showing in my mind the gateway to the skull, After telling me that the salvation is sweet, After informing me, after showering his grace on me, After removing the assets earned in the previous births, After showing me the mental state where mind and words are absent, After awakening my mind which was asleep, After showing me the places of light and darkness in me,
Arul tharum aanandathu azhuthi yen cheviyil, Yellai illa Aanandham allithu, Allal kalainthe, Arul vazhi kaatti, Sathathinulle Saada Shivam kaatti, Chithathinulle Shiva Lingam kaatti, Anuvirkku anuvaai appaalukku appaalaai, Kanu muthi nindra karumbulle kaatti, Vedamum neerum vilanga niruthi, Koodumey thondar kuzhaathudan kooti, Ancha karathin Arul porul thannai, Nenja karuthin nilai arivithu, Thathuva nilayai thanthu yenai aanda, Vithaga vinayaga virai kazhal charane.