Tirumurugarruppadai or 'Guide to Lord Murugan'
by Nakkira Deva Nayanar
|Lord Muruga frees Nakeerar and 999 fellow captives upon hearing him sing the Tirumurugarrupadai at Tirupparankundram.|
And your own heart's
will be achieved.
and towering high
is its sublime glory.
And not only there...
2. The word for "right" used here (valan/வலன்), also means victory. So an alternate opening would read:
"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.The World delights
as he rises victorious
and goes wandering...
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:
5. Naccinarkkiniyar would render this verse as:Those who approach
have the support
of his mighty,
6. the expression used here for "ocean," literally means "what the cloud takes."His destruction
of his enemies
his broad hand.
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:
14. As we saw in the previous footnote, this should literally read "the she-monkey doesn't know it."A mountain range
with trees so dense,
[even] to the Sun.
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.
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.
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:
54. Can refer to any small isle in a river.Then the flag of the cock
and horns [of the goat]
are held high.
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:
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.smeared with oil
and white mustard.
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").
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.
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.
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.