Lord Skanda-Murugan

Tirumurugarruppadai or 'Guide to Lord Murugan'

by Nakkira Deva Nayanar
English translation by Layne Little

See also "Tirumurugarrupadai—A Study" by Ratna Navaratnam.

The Auspicious Hill Supreme
    Tirupparankundram tiru kulam and hill
    Lord Muruga frees Nakeerar and captives
    Lord Muruga frees Nakeerar and 999 fellow captives upon hearing him sing the Tirumurugarrupadai at Tirupparankundram.
    Tirupparankundram Lord Subrahmanya Swami
    Tirupparankundram gopuram and hill
    Tirupparankundram gopuram and hill
    Tirupparankundram tiru kulam and hill
    Kulam beside Tirupparankundram Temple
    Kulam beside Tirupparankundram Temple
  1. The World1delights
    as he rises on its right
    and goes wandering

  2. So many people
    praise the Sun
    as if seen
    in the sea

  3. Ceaselessly
    their eyelids flutter
    from his immaculate light
    from so far off.

  4. Those who approach
    have his sustaining strength
    as they strive
    to reach his feet.

  5. His hand,
    broad as a cloud,
    wipes out
    all enemies.

  6. Husband of her
    of radiant brow
    and stainless chastity.

  7. A cloud,
    pregnant and immaculate,
    has scooped up
    the sea.

  8. The Shining Ones7
    pierce the sky
    that is sprinkling
    innumerable droplets.

  9. The first rain of the season
    pours down
    upon the forest,
    fragrant and cool.

  10. And the stout-trunked
    Sengadambu tree
    in the gathering dark.

  11. While the Stout-chested Ones
    cool garland
    with blossoms
    shaped like [chariot] wheels.

  12. The frightful bamboo
    grown high as
    mountains unassailable.

  13. Tinkling anklets
    grasp their
    bright and rosy feet,
    so delicate.

  14. Their sumptuous legs,
    curving hips,
    and shoulders
    like bamboo.

  15. Their un-dyed satins,
    a red-backed beetles

  16. They have many coins
    aligned in rows
    about their waists.

  17. The beauty
    which they have received
    is a loveliness
    not fashioned
    by any hand.

  18. Dazzling ornaments
    crafted of the gold
    named [for
    its refinement].

  19. Devoid of stain,
    their bodies'
    extends beyond
    distant places.

  20. Their attendants have
    trussed up their hair,
    still moist,

  21. Placing tiny petals
    of the red-stemmed Vedchi

  22. And have plucked
    the pure petals
    of the green-stemmed Kuvalai

  23. [They then] wind them
    to the right,
    with their head ornaments

  24. The Kum-kum set
    on their beautiful brows
    exudes sweetness,

  25. Accentuated below by
    [hairpins shaped-like]
    wide-mouthed sharks.

  26. Their coiled hair
    now immaculate
    and complete.

  27. They've placed the Sanpakam blossom,
    cool and rare,
    in their hair
    like black sheets of metal
    [two dark leaves]

  28. Surrounding
    an Ulai flower.
    Set there,
    a bright bunch of
    blossoms from the
    Marutu tree.

  29. And they have bound
    branches of beautiful red-buds,
    wet with dew,

  30. Into a garland,
    arranged to encircle
    their two [twisted locks].

  31. Their sumptuous ears
    filled with bright
    sprouting leaves
    of Ashoka.

  32. Their breasts,
    adorned to extreme,
    with delicate jewels
    firm and fair,

  33. Odoriferous sandal
    ground to a paste,
    fragrant and bright
    as a blossom.

  34. Their Marutu flowers
    oozing honey,
    like the tight-petaled buds
    of Kongki.

  35. Young breasts,
    smeared in abundance,
    with full blown

  36. Blossoms of Vaengai,
    and fine pollen
    spread round,
    so lovely.

  37. They pluck
    small sprouts
    of the Vila tree
    and sprinkle them
    [on each other].

  38. They hoist high
    the flag
    of the valorous cock
    who conquers [its enemies]
    and destroys [its foes].

  39. They greet
    all the others
    'Long life to you!'

  40. And there abides
    an unmatched
    with the echo
    of their songs.

  41. The frightful demoness
    plays in the garden,

  42. A mountain range,
    with trees so dense,
    the she-monkey
    can't find her way.

  43. The bees [hover] in silence15
    the luminescent
    Kantal in bloom

  44. On the large cool garland
    adorning his head.

  45. He enters
    the ancient earth,
    the icy sea
    and they tremble.

  46. He severed the root
    of the demon Sur
    with his leaf-shaped spear,
    long and flaming.

  47. [That demoness]
    Her dry locks of hair,
    and mouth like a chest,
    with pandemonious fangs

  48. She rolls her
    green eyes,
    and is
    terrifying to see.

  49. As an eye-popping owl
    and venomous snake
    hang in her ears.

  50. Swaying along
    with her gargantuan breasts
    and her jagged gut.

  51. Her strut
    is so very frightening;
    dreadful is her coming.
    This she-vampire

  52. Blood stains
    the sharp nails
    of her twisted fingers

  53. That dig out the eyes
    to eat
    from a rancid black head,
    overwhelmingly foul.

  54. She holds it
    in her broad hand
    wearing bangles so bright.

  55. And she frightfully sings
    mighty battlefield songs
    of conquest
    and destruction.

  56. And she, with that mouth,
    wiggles her shoulders
    and munches on corpses,
    performing her Tunngai dance

  57. Two large beings
    in one massive body,

  58. Terrified six different units
    when [the demon Sur] approached.

  59. But he spoiled
    these demons' great conquest.

  60. He hacked at the root
    of their mango tree
    where blossoms are hung
    in profusion.
    His victory was flawless.

  61. And his fine glory
    is boundless,
    the Son
    with the spear
    that is red.

  62. By approaching
    his ruddy feet
    with magnanimous mind

  63. One rightly animates
    the wise sayings of old
    Leave your homeland.
    Stay somewhere else.

  64. If you have the desire
    to go on pilgrimage,
    so many virtues,

    And your own heart's
    dearest desire
    will be achieved.

  65. You'll get it instantly!
    The noblest virtues are yours!

  66. Hungering for war,
    he hoists his tall flag
    way up high.

  67. And hangs from it
    and a ball of coiled twine.

  68. He destroys the war-makers.
    For few battles are waged
    at the gates
    [of fair Madurai].

  69. In its mischiefless markets
    Lakshmiís enthroned in majesty,

  70. Along its wide boulevards
    there are balconies a plenty,
    near Madurai's western gate.

  71. In broad fields
    of black mud
    it opens and unfolds

  72. The prickly-stemmed lotus
    that sleeps until dawn.

  73. Buzzing about
    Neytal blossoms.

  74. Where the mountain spring flowers
    rouse one's desire
    as they blossom like eyes
    in the morning.

  75. That glorious swarm
    of comely-winged bees
    drone on.

  76. It's at Kunram's hill,
    There's where
    he abides;
    and not only there

    The Sacred Ocean of Import
    Nakkeerar's vision of Murugan approaching Tiruchendur on a flying elephant
    Nakkeerar's vision of Murugan approaching Tiruchendur on a flying elephant
    Tiruchendur: view from north to south
    Panoramic view of Śrī Subrahmanya Swami Devasthanam and seashore, Tiruchendur
    Senthil Andavar painting, early 20th century
    Senthil Andavar calendar painting, early 20th century

  77. [His elephant],
    Its forehead
    scarred deep
    by the attack
    of his sharp-tipped [goad].

  78. With a garland
    that never wilts
    and headpiece

  79. Bells hang
    from its side,
    intermittently chiming,
    as it quickly saunters on.

  80. Its might,
    rarely overcome,
    like the Lord of Death.

  81. And he climbs
    upon that elephant
    like the voracious wind.

  82. Of five different parts22
    crafted by the smith,
    refined and complete:

  83. The brilliance
    of this crown
    the great beauty
    of its gems.

  84. Adorning his head,
    as it flickers
    like lightening.

  85. Effulgence
    hangs there,
    as earrings
    wrought of gold.

  86. With that
    kind of distant radiance
    like the moon
    shining bright

  87. Or with the luster
    of the relentless stars
    shimmering [in the night].

  88. For the accomplished ones
    who perform
    their vows
    free of suffering,

  89. His brightly colored faces
    appear directly
    in their minds.

  90. As a brilliance
    without blemish
    upon this world
    of utter darkness

  91. Generating
    many rays of light
    is One Face.
    And One Face

  92. Poised
    as sweet demeanor
    and praised
    by those with longing

  93. Is pleased
    by their love
    and confers to them,
    their boons.
    One face

  94. regards
    the mantric code
    of the unfailing tradition

  95. With its priestly
    which it remembers.
    One Face

  96. Comes
    to draw out
    that were overlooked,
    the [four] directions
    just like the moon.
    One face

  97. Destroys the enemy,
    sours all equanimity,

  98. Longs to enter the field
    with a wrathful heart.
    One Face

  99. With an innocent
    hill-tribe girl
    whose got curves
    like a vine

  100. With that damsel
    With Valli
    is laughing
    and smiling.

  101. Just like that,
    those faces,
    3 X 2,
    tend to be.

  102. He's got a garland
    that hangs low
    on his chest
    strong and lovely

  103. With reddish lines defined
    and bending,
    his might,
    emits a sparkling.

  104. His fame,
    found in plenty.
    His shoulders,
    they are curving.

  105. Held high
    [in blessing]
    for those who move
    across the sky

  106. Is One Hand.
    And One Hand
    is set upon his hip.

  107. And One Hand
    is resting on his thigh,
    adorned so fine.

  108. One Hand
    operates the goad.
    And Two Hands

  109. Hold his fine black shield
    and spins his spear
    to the right.
    One Hand

  110. Is placed above
    his chest
    just so.
    And One Hand

  111. Is beautiful
    as it touches his garland.
    One Hand,

  112. It's bracelets fall below,
    while raised up high
    its whirling round.
    One Hand

  113. Rings a bell
    that's singing sweetly.
    One Hand

  114. Makes the sky of blue
    shower drops of plenty.
    And One Hand

  115. Adorns
    the divine bride
    of the heavens
    with her wedding garland.

  116. Just like that...
    those twelve hands
    tend to act.

  117. On high
    many instruments
    Strong and seasoned
    horns are playing
    with its pitch that's swelling.
    And white conch
    shells are sounding

  118. As his mighty war-drum
    inspiring fear.

  119. His densely
    feathered peacock
    and flag of conquest
    sing out,

  120. And he figures
    that the sky
    will be
    the quickest route
    to take.

    World renowned
    and towering high
    is its sublime glory.

  121. Thus,
    his going to Alaivay
    with its changeless
    And not only there

    Tiru Avinankudi
    The Fine and Auspicious Settlement of Avi

    Palani Andavar
    Tiru Avinankudi: Palani Andavar
    Tiruavinankudi Utsavar
    Tiru Avinankudi: Kulandai Vēlālyudhaswāmi utsavar
    Kulandai Velalyudhaswami Temple
    Tiru Avinankudi: Kulandai Vēlālyudhaswāmi Kovil

  122. They
    whose dress
    is of stitched bark
    And grand are

  123. They
    whose pure white hair...
    spirals to the right,
    like conch shells.

  124. They
    who are devoid of blemish
    and have a form that shimmers,
    with a deer's

  125. hide that covers
    a breast
    that's cast aside
    it's food.

  126. They
    whose bodies
    are like skeletons
    that have leapt up
    to wander.
    At auspicious times...

  127. They
    won't eat
    for many days.

  128. and wrath
    purged from
    their minds.
    The erudite,

  129. learned in all lore,
    can't conceive of what
    these Knowers know.
    These learned ones,

  130. [reaching]
    the limits [of knowledge],
    have become the guides.

  131. and arrant anger,
    these Seers
    set to sever.

  132. in any measure
    is unknown to
    their character.
    Having apt

  133. disdain
    as insight,
    These sages,
    are the first to enter.

  134. [The Gandharvas],
    They with clothing...
    pure and immaculate,
    seems like smoke
    gathered about them.

  135. Their bodies,
    they are mantled,
    with buds poised
    to bloom wide-open.

  136. Its strings are set
    to suit the ear.

  137. Noble lutes,
    that recite
    the mercy
    of the heart.

  138. As they approach
    with tender words,
    and strum
    its sweetened strings.

  139. They with bodies
    composed without affliction.
    A mango trees'

  140. sparkling shoot
    resembles their corporeal form.
    The abiding shimmer

  141. of the gold-streaked touchstone24
    resembles their beauty marks.
    With sweet gems

  142. aplenty
    held up by
    that slope and rise.

  143. Without fault
    or without blemish
    these Gandharavas,
    they do shine.

  144. With poison
    hidden in the holes
    of its whitened fangs,

  145. its breath like fire,
    it terrifies,
    such is its mighty strength.

  146. The snake
    is killed by the ruthless beating
    of his richly stripped
    and bending wings...

  147. The bird
    borne by
    the long banner,
    of the Wealthy One.
    With a white bull

  148. [upon his banner]
    where his victory [was won],
    many praise
    his hearty shoulder,

  149. [where] Uma,
    joined with him,
    While his three eyes,

  150. who destroyed the triple fort:
    This great and indignant
    other Wealthy Lord.

  151. A thousand times ten multiplied,
    [the number] of his eyes.
    A hundred, the many

  152. Yagnas,
    he completed victoriously,
    [causing] the devastating conquest
    [of all his enemies].

  153. Two and two multiplied:
    its tusks that are held high,
    beautifully it roams [wide],

  154. with its large broad hand
    hanging low...
    his elephant so tall.

  155. He climbs upon its neck,
    and Tiru
    28 is jubilant,
    [the great lord Indra],
    the other Wealthy One.

  156. Four great gods30
    [watch over]
    the fine hamlets,
    of this well formed

  157. world.
    Unified in the doctrine
    of acting as its guard.

  158. Many people
    praised the three,
    so they'd become
    the leaders [once again].

  159. Appearing
    in the world,
    to [resume]
    its defense.

  160. Born of the lotus
    in an era without pain,

  161. the Four-faced One
    is thus presented,
    to have a glimpse
    [of him].

  162. Appearing in the daylight35
    with no difference in vision,

  163. of four different natures,37
    the thirty-three [gods],

  164. and the 9 X 238
    [are there]
    for those who acquire
    the higher state.

  165. They appear
    as though
    the stars
    were in bloom.
    Or as a gathering of fishes,

  166. like wind,
    moves across
    the stormy [seas].
    As a gust of wind

  167. upon a flame which is stoked up,
    is just like these
    Mighty Ones.
    Or as a fire-kindling...

  168. bolt of lightening,
    thunders like their voice.

  169. are these Keepers of Justice,39
    who heed [our] lamenting
    and stand
    at his side.

  170. They who hover
    [up] in the sky
    gather together
    to see...

  171. the woman,40
    free of suffering,
    whose doctrine
    [is chastity.]
    Some days,

  172. with her at Avinankudi
    moving about
    he tends to be.

  173. And not only there...

    Tiru Erakam
    Tiru's Place of Beauty

    Arulmigu Swaminatha Swami Temple
    Arulmigu Swaminatha Swami Temple, Swamimalai, as it looked in the 19th century
    Arulmigu Swaminatha Swami Temple
    Arulmigu Swaminatha Swami Temple, Sannidhi

  174. They are unfailing
    in character,
    having adopted the 2 X 342.

  175. Their two parents
    are deigned
    to hail from
    the many
    various ancient clans.

  176. 6 X 4 when doubled44
    are the treasured years
    of their youth,

  177. passing time
    upon the path,
    with the doctrine
    that speaks of truth.

  178. Where three types
    are outlined,
    the bounty
    of fires three,

  179. of which the Twice Born
    know the [proper] time
    [and know] just what to say.

  180. With nine threads strung
    as three minute strands,

  181. Their cloth,
    still wet,
    as they dress,

  182. and they salute
    with their [folded] hands
    raised to the peak...
    They praise him

  183. with the six letters49
    the rare scriptures' word.

  184. Their broad tongues
    utter [the name],
    from all sides
    [of their mouth.]

  185. And they hold in their hands
    fragrant blossoms
    [imbued] with its own
    They are so very joyous...

  186. as he has his abode
    at Erakam.

  187. And not only there...

    Kunru Thoru Aadal
    The Dance of Each and Every Hill

  188. Fresh vines,
    with fragrant greens
    placed between,
    [adorn] the Wielder of the Spear...

  189. There's
    a lovely bunch
    of Puttil seeds
    mixed in...
    With Wild Jasmine and

  190. White Kuthalam blossoms
    strung as a wreath
    [and set atop his head];

  191. They have
    scented sandal
    smeared bright
    upon their
    distinguished chests:

  192. Rough working
    hill tribe men,
    who hunt with skillful bow.

  193. With their
    sweet honey-brew,
    in long bamboo,

  194. He is happy
    with his rustic
    mountain kin.

  195. With their little drum,
    the Tondakam,
    they rejoice
    and dance in circles
    holding hands.

  196. Fingered to unfold
    [so they exude]
    a matchless
    fragrant air

  197. Are the blossoms
    where the bee is resting,
    from the deep mountain spring,
    in the wreath [that adorns his head].

  198. They have woven garlands,
    and have trussed up their hair

  199. Tied it with cannabis leaves
    and its aromatic flowers,

  200. They've placed
    in between
    white bunches of blossoms
    of the red-trunked Katambu tree.

  201. And the beetle nibbles at
    their large leaf skirts,
    strung beautiful and cool

  202. Dressing
    their swaying hips
    in a girdle that refines

  203. Like peacocks,
    these maids of
    innocent design.

  204. The Red One;
    He with Red Robes;
    The One
    with the red-trunked

  205. Ashoka's
    cool budding leaves
    hanging from his ears;

  206. The One
    with the warrior's girdle;
    The One
    with war-anklets on;
    and the One
    with a wreath of Vetchi blossoms;

  207. He with the flute;
    He with the horn;
    He with many small instruments [to play on];

  208. The One who [rides] the ram;
    The one [astride] the peacock;
    The One with the rooster,
    lovely and perfect,

  209. upon his flag;
    The tall One;
    The One wearing an
    armlet upon his shoulder...

  210. With a gathering
    of sweet voiced [maids]
    [sounding] as if
    lutes were played.

  211. A vision,
    fragrant and cool,
    is his bespeckled

  212. garment,
    tied about the waist,
    so as to touch the ground.

  213. His arms,
    broad as mridangam drums,
    are typically raised high...

  214. to embrace
    the many
    soft-shouldered fawns,
    and to lead [them]

  215. in the dance,
    as he always does,
    atop each and every hill.

    And not only there...

    The Garden of Ripening Fruit

    Palamuthirsolai GopuramPalamudirsolai Temple
    Two views of Palamutircōlai Tirukkovil
    Swami of Palamutircōlai
    Entrance to Alagar Visnu Kovil, Madurai

  216. Small grains of millet
    and flowers are mixed together...
    [then the throat]
    of the young goat
    is cut.

  217. It is there
    that they hoist
    the flag of the cock!53

  218. In town after town
    his festival
    is grandly celebrated,

  219. By those
    wanting to worship
    in all the right places.

  220. The frenzied dance
    is performed
    in the field
    where the Velan is installed.

  221. Or in the forest garden
    so lovely,
    on the isle
    [where two rivers meet].

  222. At rivers or at tanks,
    and various other places...

  223. Where four roads
    come together,
    at any such kind of junction,
    or [under] the newly-blossoming flowers
    of the Kadampa tree

  224. where the village assemblies
    [gather to meet].
    In halls or in stables,
    or any [such kind] of places.

  225. There the revered
    banner of his command
    is fittingly adorned,

  226. smeared with oil
    and white mustard,
    then they whisper
    a secret,

  227. and bending down
    in worship,
    they scatter
    voluptuous blossoms.

  228. Having dressed in two
    contrasting colors,

  229. and tying on
    a red thread,
    they scatter
    white puffed-rice...

  230. Constant
    in its brash might,
    the wide-hoofed
    goat is fat...

  231. It's blood
    is mixed
    with pure white rice

  232. and some other
    rites performed.

  233. [These offerings]
    are placed
    in bamboo baskets

  234. and sprinkled
    with fresh tumeric
    and fragrant mixtures.

  235. The large soothing65
    Kanviram flowers
    [strung as]
    a garland:
    fragrant, cool,

  236. and beyond compare;
    is cut [into smaller strands]
    and then hung up,
    suspended [in the air].

  237. They worship
    in fine hamlets,
    on the dense mountain peaks,

  238. with fragrant smoke
    wafting up,
    the hill-tribe songs are sung.

  239. With the sound
    of the waterfall's own music,
    sweet instruments
    are played,

  240. with many dark red
    blossoms scattered,
    [its song]
    makes one dismayed.

  241. And a kind of rice68
    that's red as blood
    is spread out,
    and a Kurava maid

  242. sounds Muruga's
    making those who
    deny him

  243. [but also],
    to guide them
    to Muruga
    at his broad city
    filled with fear.

  244. Songs [are heard]
    to echo
    [his] fields of [frenzied] dance.
    And many

  245. horns [of music]
    [are raised up]
    and held up to their lips.
    And curving bells
    are played

  246. to greet [him]
    of unconquerable might.

  247. To worship
    is to get what one asks for,
    according to one's request...

  248. [because]
    there and there
    [he's] residing,
    as everybody knows.

  249. It whatever place
    you happen to be,
    there you'll be able to see [him].

  250. Whenever you long
    to look upon his face
    and do worship,
    he'll appear there instantly.

  251. With folded hands,
    and praised by words,
    [he's] worshipped
    by touching [his] feet.

  252. [Then say]:
    "Tall and great the zenith,
    blue-green the mountain spring,

  253. One of the five
    who abides within,
    in the palm of his hand

  254. Six [maidens]
    gave birth
    to six [babes],
    who united
    to form the child!

  255. The son of the god
    at the Banyan tree
    who [is seen there]
    to reside!
    O Wondrous peak,

  256. the son of
    the Mountain's Daughter!
    He is Yama,
    [the Lord of Death],
    to his enemies!

  257. He's the little one
    of the warring Korravai,
    victorious in battle!

  258. Child of the Ancient Goddess,
    adorned by
    a jewel of distinction!

  259. The Devas'
    legion commander,
    with a curving bow!

  260. [Wearer of]
    a garland
    [hung] upon [his] breast!
    A scholar,
    in books!

  261. One who stands out
    in battle!
    A strong warrior
    who's waging war!

  262. Treasure of
    the sages!
    The Knower's
    mountain of words!

  263. Husband of the maidens!
    76 [amongst] warriors!

  264. Wealthy One,77
    great and grand,
    having a spear
    in his broad hand!

  265. Slayer of the mountain,78
    a never-fading victory.

  266. Lord of the Hills,
    where tall mountains
    dash against the sky!

  267. Many people
    praise him
    with fine words,
    this Lion of the Learned!

  268. Of well-begotten lineage,
    this great name "Muruga"!

  269. He gives to those
    with longing,
    this Great Man
    of renown!

  270. He gives to those
    who suffer,
    this Son
    with ornaments of gold!

  271. With many
    battles won,
    his breast
    rejoicing in conquest,

  272. Support of [all] those
    who [have won] the prize.
    and full of beauty
    this one is
    loved by all!

  273. Noblemen
    praise him,
    this Hero
    of great name!

  274. The mighty Matavali82
    hacks at
    the brood
    of the [demon] Sur!

  275. Oft compared to battle!
    This Leader!"
    [Such his] many [praises]...

  276. [But] to the extent
    of my knowledge,
    these praises
    aren't enough.

  277. "[How] rare it is
    to know your meaSure,
    in this abiding life.

  278. I came
    to contemplate
    your feet.
    For with you

  279. there is no equal,
    O' Learned One!"
    I say this

  280. to give some indication,
    and as I speak...
    then instantly...
    Upon pointing out

  281. [your] numerous varied forms,
    many dwarfish little devils,

  282. at a grand festival
    are celebrating...
    having appeared
    in the field!

  283. [They say]:
    "We who are so lowly,
    We requested your
    wizened truths...

  284. And you came,
    you Noble One!
    We cherish
    your abundant glory!"

  285. [All] that which is sweet,
    [All] that which is good,
    so many, many ways
    he is praised...

  286. And divinity
    does shine forth,
    in the form
    of [his] boundless strength.

  287. [A form]
    that's come
    to reach a height,
    so as to touch the sky.

  288. [Thus],
    [his] divine character's
    contains the higher states.
    As an ancient

  289. waft of fragrance,
    his divine and youthful
    is revealed:

  290. [He'll] say,
    "Be rid of your fear.
    I know why you have come."

  291. There is no end
    to [his] fine words,
    imbued with love.

  292. With a dark ocean,
    encircling this Earth

  293. [he'll] make you alone
    [to attain] the superb

  294. reception,
    [as he] confers
    [his] precious gift!
    And not only that...

  295. [Like] many varied
    87 fluttering,
    [it] carries off
    the Akil trees.

  296. The sandalwoods
    from root to tip,
    [then] come rolling down;

  297. its flowers,
    with its glittering branches,
    are [swept away]
    [Its] roots [had been] cracked.

  298. [As if]
    the sky-jousting,
    tall mountain's sun,
    out gathering honey...

  299. had broken open
    the full blown
    exuding coolness...
    [Its honey with]
    much fine and

  300. ripened pulp
    of the jackfruit
    mixed together
    [in the raging torrent].
    Way up on the peak...

  301. The aromatic blossoms
    of the Surapunnai tree
    are scattered.
    The black monkey

  302. shivers
    along with
    the big-faced ape;
    and [with their] speckled brows

  303. the dark she-elephants
    quiver in [its] spray.
    While the large bull elephants,

  304. with pearl
    in their white tusks,
    are Surrounded
    by its gushing...

  305. With fine golden
    jewel-like colors
    sifting gold.

  306. With plantain trees
    pulled up whole,
    and the coconut trees'

  307. best bunch of nuts,

  308. [from the force]
    [of its] attack.

  309. Bunches of black blossoms
    from the curry creeper
    fall down,
    and the spotted tails...

  310. of many
    innocent peacocks
    are thus frightened away

  311. and the
    rugged hen
    also flees
    along with
    the wild boars...

  312. [who] just like
    the dark palm tree,
    with its prickly thorns,

  313. have black
    and hairy bodies
    [much like]
    the bow-legged bears,

  314. who hide in mountain caves
    and hallows.
    The black-horned

  315. oxens'
    goodly bulls do bellow...
    and far away

  316. is [heard] the hum
    of the waterfall's

  317. at Palamutircolai!
    [at] the mountain of our Lord!!!

1. Invoking "the world" at the beginning of a poem is considered auspicious.

2. The word for "right" used here (valan/வலன்), also means victory. So an alternate opening would read:

The World delights
as he rises victorious
and goes wandering...
"Right" presumably refers to the right side of Mount Kailasa, which is Shiva's abode, the cosmic axis, and center of the world. The god is here envisioned as the rising sun.

3. So Murugan is both the Sun in the sky, as well as the sacred "Son" of the Goddess Korravai.

4.("strength") + ("having") ("attempt") ("feet")- Uraiyaciriyar's commentary would render this line as:

Those who approach
have the support
of his mighty,
ego-crushing feet.
5. Naccinarkkiniyar would render this verse as:
His destruction
of his enemies
coldly contrasts
his broad hand.
6. the expression used here for "ocean," literally means "what the cloud takes."

7. The Sun & Moon, who literally, "cut" the sky with their light.

8. The Sengadambu tree is here called the மரா அம்.

9. The term used here for this highly refined form of gold is "navalam/நாவலாம்."

10. Blue lotus.

11. A kind of jewelry worn on the head, called "Tevya Utti."

12. The word used here for mountain (silampakam/சிலம்பகம்) literally means "the place of echoes."

13. Uraiyaciriyar (and Parimelazhakar also offers this as a possible alternate reading) ineterprets the word for "she-monkey" (manti/மந்தி) as actually refering to Aditya or the Sun. So the passage would read:

A mountain range
with trees so dense,
it's unknown
[even] to the Sun.
14. As we saw in the previous footnote, this should literally read "the she-monkey doesn't know it."

15. Tradition holds that when the deity comes down to Earth, bees won't dare approach the garland of the god.

16. This flower, the gloriosa superba, is likened by poets to the evocative gesture of worshipping maids, whose palms are held together with fingers spreading like a blossoming flower.

17. An ancient dance of joy and victory, where the hands are placed on the shoulders and the arms flap like the wings of a bird.

18. That is, a body part man and part animal.

19. In the Sangam age, if a king wishes to wage war, he erects a flag post at the border, and hangs from it a ball of coiled twine and twelve dolls. This tells the enemy king that he is only fit to play childish games.

20. In Sangam times a seven-storied building was a sign of great status.

21. A sophisticated poetical-bhakti image, where the god's pervasive presence in nature (i.e. as the hillside flowers) is likened to the eyes of one's lover as they awaken beside them.

22. Parimelazhakar says that Muruga has five different crowns. The other commentators are in agreement that these are five different gems.

23. The Tamil in this line echoes that of line five.

24. This line may also be read, "of golden foam".

25. Celvan, here an epithet of Vishnu.

26. Celvan is again used, this time to denote Shiva.

27. Tradition holds that to complete a hundred fire sacrifices is to become an Indra.

28. Naccinarkkiniyar explains that Tiru, appropriately, refers to Lakshmi. Before the advent of the Linga Purana, Lakshmi was the consort of whoever was the supreme sovereign. First she was wife of Indra, then Kubera, and finally Vishnu when the Churning of the Milk Sea myth first appears in the Linga Purana in the 4th CE. Uraiyaciriyar explains Tiru as here meaning "beauty".

29. Celvan is yet again used, this time for Indra.

30. Naccinarkkiniyar explains that these four great gods are Indra, Yama, Varuna, and Soma. Parimaelazhahar, oddly explains the four great Tevams as being the four varnas or castes.

31. According to Naccinarkkiniyar, the three are Ayan, Hari, and Haran (i.e. Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva).

32. The proper role of the trinity was undermined when Muruga declared that his victory over the asuras was due to the power of his spear. Brahma in his arrogance announced that he was its creator. So Muruga humbled him with the curse that he be born on Earth (or alternately held him captive in a cave).

33. Literally, "pointed out".

34. Presumably inferring that the Creator comes into being just to have the darshan of Muruga, and by extension brings about creation for a purpose much the same. This section may also be referring to those who achieve the higher state in line 168.

35. An alternate rendering would be, "Appearing as the Sun."

36. "Vision" here can also be read as "opinion".

37. The 4 classes of deity that make up the thirty three gods include the 12 Adityas, the 11 Rudras, the 8 Vasus, and the 2 Maruts.

38. The 9X2 refer to the 18 Ganas.

39. முறை கொண்மாலு.

40. Presumably Devasena.

41. Alt. "The woman whose doctrine is free of suffering."

42. The six duties of the Brahman: (1) reciting and (2) teaching the Vedas, (3) performing yagnas, (4) having them performed, (5) giving and (6) recieving charity.

43. குடி or gotra.

44. 48.

45. May mean either "six" or "path". Parimelazhakar say that the passage refers to Brahmins spending time studying the six religions(?!!!).

46. Or Dharma.

47. The three types of sacrificial fires, with their varied functions, are partly defined by the shape of the fire pit: with the triangular Dakshinagni, the square-shaped Ahavaniya, and the semi-circular Grihapatya.

48. Held above their heads or directed to the mountain's zenith.

49. The commentators designate "Nama Kumaraya" as the original six lettered mantra (vs. the more contemporary "Saravanabhava").

50. "That which is heard", i.e. the mantra. The "scripture" referred to here is most likely a universalizing allusion to Vedic tradition in general.

51. தொண்டகம்.

52. An ancient dance, known as the Kuravai (குரவை).

53. Parimaelazhahar reads "[at that] place" as வயிலு +(ப்ப)+ உடன் or "horn"(+aux.). So an alternate reading of the line would be:

Then the flag of the cock
and horns [of the goat]
are held high.
54. Can refer to any small isle in a river.

55. The forceful attribution of Murugan with Mars is clumsy at best, it stems from sanskritizing attributions that taut him as the God of War. But his character is most definitely Mercurial in nature, and as the Greeks and Romans erected posts and shrines to honor Mercury at all junctions, we can see the relationship is more than superficial.

56. The 'Sea-side Indian Oak' (anthocephalus kadamba).

57. Translated here as "dignified/revered," "leadership/chief," and "flag." Naccinarkkiniyar reads this section as if in ancient times they depicited the cock on Murugan's banner as having a man's head.

58. There is a reference in the Tolkappiyam that oil mixed with white mustard will keep away all evil.

59. This rendering is based on Naccinarkkiniyar's commentary. A more literal rendering would be:

smeared with oil
and white mustard.
They speak
so beautifully.
60. Parimelazhakar says that this "bending worship" actually refers to a specific mode of salutation where the fingers of both hands are intertwined at the chest, while the two thumbs are extended so as to touch the heart.

61. Presumably some kind of raksha or rakhi is tied about their wrists.

62. What is translated here as "wide-hoofed" is literally rendered "large feet". Parimelazhakar, explains this expressions to be referring to elephants (!) that are sacrificed with the goats.

63. Both Naccinarkkiniyar and Uraiyaciriwar interpret meaning as "bamboo basket", but Kavipperumal favors the word's alternate meaning, this being "a bamboo cane," that is set alongside these offerings. Parimelazhakar once again provides us with an interesting interpretation as he sees the word to mean to mean முலை or "breast," as the worshippers chests are smeared with the blood-soaked rice.

64. விரை can also refer to "cosmetics."

65. (lit. "cool").

66. The word for "peak" used here also means "anklet." At Pazhamutircolai there was once a river that flowed from its peak, back in Sangam days. It was called Silamparu, but is now mistakenly referred to as Nupuru Kangkai or "Anklet River."

67. (lit. "afraid").

68. தினை.

69. "Attractive Face", the name of Muruga's elephant. Parimelazhakar says that pinimukam refers to his peacock.

70. Refers to Mount Kailasa.

71. Refers to Lake Saravanbhava.

72. Agni, one of the five elements residing in the body, received the seed of Shiva.

73. Referring to Dakshinamurti, but as the text literally describes the tree as being "full of" the god, it may infer a time when the god was worshipped as the tree itself, rather the divine guru who sits beneath it.

74. Parvati.

75. Naccinarkkiniyar informs us that the god is envisioned as a mountain formed of the praises of his devotees. Uraiyaciriyar & Parimelazhakar explain that those who know Muruga (because of the sheer immensity of his being) are confronted with a mountain of words, when they try to praise him. (Just as this vast sequence of epithets implies.) Pariti's commentary states that he is the mountain praised by scholars.

76. May also mean "head" or "bull."

77. Celvan is again used.

78. The demon, Tarakasuran took the form of a hill.

79. See 76

80. Naccinarkkiniyar specifies 'those longing for liberation.'


82. Uraiyaciriyar explains the name (மதவலி) to mean "Great Strength."

83. Naccinarkkiniyar and Uraiyaciriyar deny him his devilish attendants, and instead say these kuli (Pqi) are "worshippers."

84. Muruga's own "Visvarupa."

85. Out of mercy for those who cannot bare his Universal Form, he manifests as a youth.

86. Lit. "Along with many..."

87. The commentators all describe these fabrics as being 'flags.'

88. A tree of particularly strong character. Like the sandalwood of the following verse, it is employed as incense in sacrifice, much like the sacrifice it experiences in this auspicious torrent.

See also "Tirumurugarrupadai—A Study" and "Muruga Sadhana in Tirumurugarrupadai" by Ratna Navaratnam.

Research articles on Skanda-Murukan
Index of sacred texts in Tamil, Sanskrit and English