Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Shivratri!

On the Banks of the Kaveri

Let us praise the tender feet
worshipped by the gods,
the feet of our Lord who dwells in Manturai
on the northern bank of the Kaveri
which flows like a stream of gold,
bearing the blossoms of the golden venkai,
nalal, cerunti, and cenpakam,
ivory and sandalwood, and the flowers
of the kuruntu, curapunnai, and matavi.

We know nothing other than
the spouse of the Goddess with the flowing hair
and the brow curved like a sword,
the god who burned with his fiery eye
Kama of the five arrows, son of basil-adorned Mal
and dwells in Manturai
on the northern bank of the Kaveri
whose stream carries
the sweet vila and cati fruit
along with gems from the bamboo.

We know no act higher than the worship
of our flawless gem whom the gods celebrate,
the god who begs for alms in a dead man's skull,
our Lord who dwells in Manturai
on the northern bank of the Kaveri,
whose stream bears clusters of fruit
of the phukam and kuntal palm
from the hills where the trees
are thick with honeycombs.

Campantar, translated from Tamil into English by Indira Vishwanathan Peterson in Poems to Siva: The Hymns of the Tamil Saints, p. 162-163

1 comment:

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