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.