Monday, April 9, 2012



By Thuraimangalam Sivaprakasa Munivar
Obeisance to God
Worshipping at the feet of God Vinayagar
will bring forth the forty poems of Nannery
1 .

Good men will reach out and help the needy,
Even to those who had never met them before.
For, does the hand that carry food to the mouth
expect it to be praised by the tongue?

The harsh words spoken by men of good-will is pleasing,
But even the pleasant words by men of ill-will turn sour.
For the stone aimed at the Lord with love turned into flowers,
While the flower aimed at the Lord by Kaman was rejected.
If one wishes to extract any help
from those who do not wish to give,
Then, like a calf is used to milk a cow
Use someone who could make him relent.
The wealth of those who do not give to charity
will end up in the hands of those who give.
The salty water in the sea not of much use
Is fetched by the clouds and delivered as rain.
The rice when parted from the husk that covers it
Loses its ability to grow even when put together again.
Similarly a friendship however long it had been going
Once falls apart will not regain its previous strength.

The loving wife and her devoted husband
should always act with the same aim in life.
For, the two eyes in a face though separate
both see only one object at the same time.
Even when one possess a vast sea of knowledge
It should not give way to pride like that of a lion.
For even the vast sea was picked up in his hands
and drunk by Agasthiar, the king of the sages.
It is easy to break the bund to let the water flow
than building a bund to hold the flood water in.
One should control one’s anger than letting it flare
Only then can he be called a man of good character.
The weak will not have a fear of the strong
When the weak has men of power as their allies.
For the cobra sitting on the matted hair of the Lord
Does not fear its enemy, the Garuda, king of birds.
The good people though themselves suffer poverty
will seek to help those poorer than themselves.
Like the moon though has a shadow on its surface
It still shines at night to offer light to this world
The storm can only throw around small items,
Can it ever move a heavy pillar of granite?
The pleasures of the five senses can sway only the weak
It cannot make headway with people of strong will.
Is there any surprise if water leaks
From a pot that is full of holes.
Likewise the surprise is not how one loses his life
but how it stays in this diseased body of nine holes.
The people of kind heart will give to others
based on the rise and fall of their income.
For the light shone on the earth by the moon
varies with the waxing and waning of its phase.
Oh lady, wearing flowers with buzzing bees, listen!
The wise will not be arrogant because they know that
the wealth into which they had born may one day go.
For even Mount Meru was once made to go under.
What is the use of everything a man could possess
If he does not have the love of those around him.
What use is there for books to an illiterate man
and what use is a lamp for the blind.
Like the vast sea that fills small pools to make salt,
Noble men at the top of society will not fail
to reach out to help those who are less well off
Despite the position and status they are in.
The banana tree gets destroyed once it yields its fruits.
This does not stop its sapling from doing the same.
A son whose father became poor by giving to charity
Will not refuse to give for giving is all that he knows.
The sea does not swell by the heat of the sun,
But rises to welcome the cool rays of the moon.
Similarly, the world rejoices at hearing pleasant words
But is not happy to hear when harsh words are spoken.
The spring season brings new shoots in a mango tree
But it suffers from the hot wind that blows in summer.
The host smiles at the arrival of descent guests
But this turns to worry when the opposite kind comes


When other organs of the body suffers from illness
The eyes weep as if it was they that suffer the pain.
Similarly, when decent men see other people suffer
They feel the sufferings of others as their own.
The learning of those who lack knowledge in grammar
is exposed as inadequate in the presence of the experts.
It is like the mighty river Ganges hiding itself
When it reaches our Lord’s crown of hair.
No one rejects the gem stone guarded by a snake
Or drinks from the sea because it is vast.
A person should be judged only by his wisdom
And not by the class into which he is born.

When ants crawl along a path long enough
Even a rock will be etched with its route
The presence of a woman if long continued
Will make even a sage to lose his resolve.
Though a man has both good and bad qualities in him
The people of low mentality will only speak of the bad
It is like the bees while they seek the sweet nectar
The crows go for the bitter fruits of the Margosa tree.
When a heavy object is loaded on to a float
The load appears as if it is floating on water.
The learned if they associate with the fools
They too will be made to appear like fools.


A learned man cannot be judged by his stature
For his knowledge may extend far beyond
The sun cannot be judged by what we can see
For its rays can reach far beyond what we see.

The learned will undergo hardship to help the needy
Without seeking gratitude in return for that help.
Like the teeth that chew up the hard bits in the food
Without any thanks from the tongue that enjoys it.

The learned will help others even if they are angry
The illiterate will not help even when they are happy
The banana fruit can be eaten, even when unripe
Can the Eddi fruit be of any use even when ripe?
The devotee who carries the supreme Lord in his heart
Will not fear the pains those are piled on his body.
For the deer that appears on the moon’s surface
Does not fear the tiger that roams on this earth.
It is better to redeem yourself by performing charity
Before the Lord of Death appears to take your life.
Can there be any use trying to stop the rush of water
If no bund had been built earlier to control the floods.

Men of great wisdom will rush to protect others
Even if that act may cause them distress.
Like the hand that protects the body from a blow
Not worrying about the pain that it will inflict.

The value of charity is lost when performed
by those who has not learned from ancient texts.
How can a door be said to be strong
Without a latch that keeps it closed.
It is immoral men who need protection from slander
Men of high morals do not need any such protection.
For it is the pond that needs a bund to save its water
Has the sea needed any such bund to keep the water.
It is the wise, who are afraid of slander
The fools are not affected by it at all.
Only those who can see, fear darkness
How can the blind feel the same?
Noble men will always welcome the learned
But those opposite do not care much about them.
For a banana fruit adds taste to a bowl of milk
But the taste does not change added to sour milk.
Men of goodwill will help only those who deserve it
They decline to give to those who do not deserve help.
For people will toil to irrigate the paddy in the field.
But who will ever go and work to irrigate the grass?

Bragging about oneself in the presence of noble men
Will not last long as it only brings about one’s downfall
Even the mighty Vindhya mountain was made to dip
Reducing its height by the power of sage Agasthiar

The friendship with good people brings only benefit
But that with evil people will eventually bring harm.
The unripe fruit as time passes becomes a sweet fruit.
But a shoot as time goes by ends up as a dry leaf.
A friendship with the illiterates however close
Cannot bring much benefit to those involved.
The creeper that climbs and clings to the tree
Blooms and sends its fragrance all in one day.
When compared with a king clad in gold jewels,
People give more importance to men of learning.
For, even though the eyes do not wear any jewels
They are more important than the organs that wear them.

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Sunday, April 8, 2012