Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Thiruvasagam is an amazing piece of work by Maanikkavasagar inculcating bhakti in every individual's life. I have heard my friend pb say that even many years after Manikavaasagar's period, there were kings who trained groups of individuals to chant thiruvasagam in the streets and temples of Tamilnadu.

I got a soft feeling for Thiruvasagam when I was in my high school and there used to be interschool competitions to recite Thiruvasagam (at Vidya Mandir, Mylapore / Bharathi kalai kazhagam, saidapet). During those days, it was the tamil that attracted me - simple and sweet words (and no bhakti feel..)

I heard the thiruvasagam songs (not the ones i learned at high school) in symphony music by Ilaiyaraja ..Wow!! what an amazing music..Initially I could not concentrated much on the music as I didnot find it to be like another devotional music, say Kandhashasti / Mahishasura Mardhini / Bhaja govindham / Hanuman chalisa..

But, I could partially understand the lyrics. Due to my curiosity to understand what it says, I started listening to it frequently and I scratched my head with G. U. Pope's transliteration - trying to decipher word to word meaning on some songs where I didnot understand.. Then, I found myself to be falling madly in love with it. Some days I stayed listening to it repeatedly till 4.00 am . I realized that the music and lyrics went so well together. I could feel how much bhakti Maanikavasagar had for siva perumaan.!!Avlo manam urugi paadiirukaar that some lyrics have brought tears out from my eyes too .

I recently realized that Thiruvasagam has played an amazing role in my life too. I have heard it when I was both extremely happy / sad. During times of extreme happiness when we tend to forget GOD and at extreme sadness when you need confidence / determination to get going, listening to thiruvasagam helps like anything!! Believe me, you get an enormous energy and support from the music and the words !!! I feel that there is somebody there for me within me - guiding, caring and loving me.

G.U Pope has given an amazing transliteration in english. But for that, we don't have any script explaining its meaning online.

But, I found that it is kindaa tough for this generation in general to understand from his explanations as some incidents/ stories mentioned implicitly in the verses by Maanikavasagar are not elaborated and I guess they were well understood/known during Pope's period. Also, our tamil vocabulary is getting deteriorated which makes it tougher to understand word to word meaning!!!

I am thinking of writing word to word / general meaning for some of the songs in Thiruvasagam (in symphony music) shortly in the tamil blog (as a break between Aathichoodi). As this is my first trial to write meaning for longer verses, please forgive me and correct me if I make mistakes. Hope you all would enjoy it.


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Priya said...

its time to use the word Verification I guess..

ranjit kalidasan said...

Thiruvaasagam oratoria by illayaraaja is definitely a master piece. It was amazing hearing maanika vaasagar lyrics blend with western classic. My fav is "pollaa vinaiyen" it goes for 18 minutes. I can't wait to see the translation i your blog.

Subha said...

Hmm looking forward to it, Pri!

யாத்திரீகன் said...

hmm.. i had a totally opposite opinion on Thiruvasagam... thinking of blogging it for a long time.... but not getting the right mood..

hey priya.. why dont you checkout

Sriram C S said...

To be honest, somehow I didn't like Ilaiyaraja's rendition of Thiruvasagam...didn't appeal to me somehow. But mAnickavAsagar's words are way too powerful. Again, somehow I like sundarar's thEvAram where he playfully chides his Lord, insults Him and teases Him!! :)

Priya said...

ranjith and subha ,
i have not yet started writing and i will do some asap!!

i read your blog comparing atma and thiruvasagam long back itself..but as you said, initially thiruvasagam in symphony gave me a filmy feel too and not a devotional feel..again the lyrics made me feel what manikkavasagar wanted to convey!!


i remember learning thevaram (for a recitation competition once).But I dont any thing now. Great that you know abt it !!!

TJ said...

"...hat some lyrics have brought tears out from my eyes too ."

Thiruvasagathukku urugathar oru vasagathukkurgathaar.

When i was in class 10, i listened to a odhuvar in malaikottai, and learnt the sivapuranam in 10 days.

i love every word and alphabet in Tiruvasagam.
Poor Mani, he was a selfless chap really in love with Almighty, else he wud have put CDs and books of his songs and sold it at huge prices and then call it social and cultural service and blah blah blah..

Priya said...

seriously tj,

Ganesh said...

First time here came through TJ
TIS is indeed amazing work
esp 1 & 2 are just awesome

Arjuna_Speaks said...

Priya - saw ur comment in TJ's blog asking him for any links on Vedas - I am quite sure he wuld get back to u with the links :)..I know some good links so wanted to give it to u..

check these out:

The second link is very good if u know sanskrit

Happy Reading :)..Neengalavathu vasinga :)

Arjuna_Speaks said...

Good luck with ur translation - Infact I posted a blog the translation for the kothumbi song - I luv that song - its beautiful..gosh - I am going to listen to it now :)

Saravana Kumar said...

I was also thinking of posting the meaning of Naanar, Enullamar gyanangalar ennai yaar arivaar lines, got delayed

however this is a good site to have word-word meaning of Thiruvasakam

Use IE6 to go to this site, seen that firefox doesn't display tamil unicode properly. If you don't see even then, then


You would see Thiruvasakam written in tamil below, click and follow.

Nice to know you, particularly your bakthi

Priya said...

arjuna ,
thanks for the links. And my favourite is also the kothumbi song!!

saravana kumar ,
I just browsed into the link u gave!!

You have given such an awesome link that I dont feel my translation is necessary..(I planned to write just because i dIdn't find one).

Now that I have an answer sheet (which I shudn't look at) while doing the exam.. I will try to make it little different !!
Thanks a llot!!

And Enakku iyalbaave bhakthi ellam romba kedaiyaadhu !! Appo appo varum !!

ranjit kalidasan said...

I would like to see thirupaavai too in your tamilkavi blog, if time permits after thiruvaasagam. I became familiar with thirupaavai when they sing for saturday mornings in malibu temple LA. Thirupaavai too is a beautiful piece of work.

Priya said...

I will try. enakku mudhalla thirupaavai manappadamaave innum theriyaadhu!!

but i would really want to learn during this maarkazhi maasam..

Saravana Kumar said...

yes priya .. I was browsing that site for long hours .. Its awesome .. bhakthi may not be part of you .. but from your posts I can see your interest for higher knowledge .. Its rare to find people who have such an interest .. thats making me to blogroll you :)

Saravana Kumar said...

yes please enable the word verification thing

Badhri said...

So, forgive you in case of mistakes in your translation, huh? I will try! But it will be asking a little too much from me... ;-). Just kidding. Do what you like to do and do it for yourself and you will do it well. Just notify me when you have put up something, please.


Ramana Siddharth said...

i did not know what tiruvasagam was until i heard a couple of years back that raja sir was working on it!his rendition of it was absolutely u have mentioned esp during the song putril val aravum anjen i had tears coming out of my eyes spontaneously.the tamil sounds so lyrical and the music is simply breathtaking.i am looking forward 2 ur translation..pls also put it in tanglish..i cant read tamil!

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REFLEX said...

There are some meanings available online. Try to google it.
First time here. Nice to read the meaning of thiruvasagam .

Vasagar said...

original alone be followed. we have the tradition of singing thiruvasagam in the raga of mohanam. thiruvasagam should not be taken for joyful or in new style.thiruvasagam makes heart and mind to melt.
After 200 or 500 years people will say thiruvasagam was translated from the place where symphony is in practice. for the proof of that they will show this symphony of thiruvasagam songs. be aware.

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