In the Vathavurar Puranam V, 63, we are told that the Sage when in Tillai saw women pounding the gold dust which, mixed with perfumes, is strewn on the heads of distinguished visitors to the shrine, and on great occasions is lavishly thrown over all things and persons connected with the worship. As they pounded, they sung foolish songs; and he composed these twenty verses, in a somewhat loose metre, to be sung in time with the pestles. The song is much admired, but is a little obscure, and almost colloquial. I have tried to preserve the rhythm,-five principal accounts in each half line.
1) Reverence to the various queens of heaven
The pearl-twined wreath and flowery garland raise;
the flower-vase place, incense, and sacred lamp !
To Catti, COmi Goddess-earth, and Queen
of speech, chaunt ye auspicious songs !
For ‚itti, Gauri, PArppathi, and Gangai,-haste,
and coming wave your cooling fans !
The Sire, Lord of AyyAr, the Father-King extol,
and dancing, POUND THE SACRED DUST OF GOLD ! || 4 ||
2) Devoutly do this service.
For our Lord of the flowing-crowned lock
we needs must POUND THE SACRED DUST OF GOLD !
Ye of the beauteous shapely eyes, come ye,
and coming all, with us in union sing,
Cry out, nor stand aloof from the devoted throng;
bow down, our King, our Dancer worshipping !
The Goddess and He coming shall we take us
for theirs: POUND WE THE DUST OF RUDDY GOLD ! || 8 ||
3) Adorn the place as a sacred pavilion.
Adorn with beauteous ashes, cleanse the place;
sprinkle pure gold, the treasures spread ye out,
Plant Indra’s sacred tree; lift everywhere
the banner, placing round soft gleaming lights !
For the King of the heavenly ones; the Lord of Ayan, the Monarch;
the Lord, the Sire of VElan the good;
For the spouse of the Mistress who rules such as we:
POUND WE BEFITTING DUST OF GOLD ! || 12 ||
Adorn each pestle with glistening gems;
the handle and mortar adorn ye !
The loving, lowly devotees, salute
and wish them lasting bliss !
The golden shrine of sacred Ekamban in Kachi,
whither all the land resorts,
Sing we. And, freed from deeds that bondage bring,
singing, POUND WE THE DUST OF GOD ! || 16 ||
Ayan and Ari shall their garlands bring!
not Indra, nor with him the deathless ones,
Nor all the perfumed hosts of gods, save after us,
the pestle suffer we to lift
Sing we the golden shrine of sacred èkamban
the Bowman Who smote three forts of his foes,
Ye of smiling roseate lips ! for the three-eyed Sire’s
dance-POUND WE THE DUST OF GOLD ! || 20 ||
Many a pestle would the great ones upraise;
that the world would not serve for a mortar,
To mix the fragrant dust the saints crowd round,
that the worlds suffice not to behold.
In favouring love He made us slaves His own;
and gave His flowery Feet to crown our brows,
To the mountains Son-in-law, joyous ever,
sing we and POUND THE DUST OF GOLD ! || 24 ||
While the golden armlets tinkling sound;
while the saintly bands uprising chant;
While townsfolk greet us with loud acclaim;
while them we greet with answering shout;
The Partner of the Queen, on whose soft feet
the anklets tinkling sound,-our God,
The King, like mighty mount of purest gold,
To serve, POUND WE THE DUST OF GOLD ! || 28 ||
Ye simple maidens fair, with bright wide eyes,
while armlets tinkle, bosoms heave and swell,
While shoulders gleam with ashes pure,
proclaim ye ever praises of our Lord,
Who showed His bright flower-Foot, and in this world
made us, lower than very dogs His own !
His ways of grace, sing o’er and o’er, and Him
to serve, POUND WE THE SACRED DUST OF GOLD ! || 32 ||
Let the whole earth be the mortar;
as pestle plant Meru the lofty;
Saffron of truth pour forth in copious stream.
Him Who in southern Perun-turrai dwells
His sacred roseate Foot sing evermore !
With right hand seize the pestle’s ruddy gold.
The Sage, the glorious One of beauteous Tillai’s shrine
to serve, POUND WE THE DUST OF GOLD ! || 36 ||
While our bosoms pearl-adorn’d beat high; while in our
clustering locks the honey-bees play;
While with Civan our minds are dancing; while bright
eyes with dew are gleaning;
While wild rapture from our Lord is thrilling;,
as others live, their changing lives we live;
With our Fathers mercy glad, ever
dancing, POUND WE THE DUST OF GOLD ! || 40 ||
Rich jewels like the moonlight gleaming;
panting mouths and lips of coral quivering;
Sing ye the way He made us His; sing ye the way
our service He accepts;
Seek ye our PerumAn, and seeking, joy in heart,
then let your trembling minds grow bold;
Dance ye to Him who dances in the Court;
dance and POUND WE THE DUST OF GOLD ! || 44 ||
Him in whose throats is the blackness, Balm of the
dwellers in heaven, the ruby Dancer Himself,
The Sage, the Lord of the sages, us who took,
and made us His, and all His rareness showed;
The False to the false, the Truth of the true,-
ye beauteous ones with eyes like opening flowers,
Who wear the golden armlets ye of lovely form,-
praising, POUND WE THE DUST OF GOLD ! || 48 ||
Damsels with slender waists and crimson lips,
black eyes, bright smile, and words like music sweet !
My rare Ambrosia; our Sire; our Lord of might;
to the daughter of Himavat
Her Husband, Son and Sire, and Brother too;
our Teacher’s feet sing ye, whose bosoms gleam
With gold and gems, ye damsels beautiful,
sing and POUND WE THE SACRED DUST OF GOLD ! || 52 ||
While the shells aound, while the anklets tinkle,
while waving chaplets crown your flowing looks,
While your roseate lips like ripe fruit quiver,
bright jewelled ones, sing the Civa-world !
For His foot, Whose head is crowned with braided lock
where GangA’s streams resound with serpent’s hiss;
While our bosoms with swelling tenderness
heave, POUND WE THE SACRED DUST OF GOLD ! || 56 ||
Essence of wisdom’s sweetness exquisite;
honey unfailing, full of excellence;
Him who is savour rich of every fruit; the King
with power to enter sweetly every mind;
The Dancer Who cut off embodiment
and made us His, in swelling strains praise ye,
Ye maidens sweet, with eyes like purple lotus flowers,
singing, POUND WE THE SACRED DUST OF GOLD ! || 60 ||
Thus we too, coming with the loving ones,
shall sing the ways He makes us His,
He shows the roseate flowery feet, that gods
in Heaven who rule, e’en in their dreams, know not.
He bears aloft the flag of victory
in prosperous war. Praise Civa-PerumAn ! –
Singing the conquering Hero’s names who took
the towns, POUND WE THE SACRED DUST OF GOLD ! || 64 ||
Sing we the cassia-flower with honey rife;
sing Civa-town; sing we the infant moon
Upon His sacred braided lock; sing we
the mighty Bull, the trident and the axe,
His warring right hand wields; that dwellers
in this world, and in other worlds might ‘scape;
Sing how the poison for his food He ate,
that day, and POUND WE THE SACRED DUST OF GOLD ! || 68 ||
He trundled Ayan’s head like ball, – sing Him !
He broke the teeth of Arukkan, – sing Him !
He slew the elephant, and wore its skin, – praise Him !
The Lord of death He spurned with sacred Foot, – praise Him !
He shot His arrows ‘gainst the towns combined, – praise Him !
Poor wretched slaves, He made us His, – praise we
That love ! Here stand, and ever dance and sing,
and for the Lord, POUND WE THE DUST OF GOLD ! || 72 ||
Sing ye the cassia-wreath of rounded flowers !
Sing ye His folly wild ! His wisdom sing !
Sing ye southern Tillai, the saints’ abode !
Sing we the blest One of the ‘sacred hall’ !
Sing we the serpent girdle that He binds !
Sing we the armlets ! on His hollow palm
Sing how the serpent rears its folds, and for
the Ruler, POUND WE THE DUST OF GOLD ! || 76 ||
For Him Who is the VEdam and the Sacrifice;
for Him Who is the Falsehood and the Truth;
For Him Who is the Splendour and the Gloom;
for Him Who is Affection and Delight;
For Him Who is the Half, Who is the Whole;
for Him Who is the Bond and the Release;
For Him Who is the First, Who is the Last;
dancing, POUND WE THE DUST OF GOLD ! || 80 ||