By Archana Venkatesan

This e-book bargains new translations of the Tiruppavai and Nacciyar Tirumoli, composed by way of the ninth-century Tamil mystic and poetess Kotai. of the main major compositions by way of a feminine mystic, the Tiruppavai and Nacciyar Tirumoli supply expression to her strong reports by utilizing a colourful and impressive sensuality, during which Visnu is her remarkable, enchanting, and occasionally merciless lover. Kotai's poetry is characterised by way of a richness of language within which phrases are imbued with polyvalence or even the main mundane reviews are infused with the spirit of the divine. Her Tiruppavai and Nacciyar Tirumoli are garlands of phrases, redolent with meanings ready to be came across. this day Kotai is respected as a goddess, and as a testomony to the iconic relevance of her poetry, her Tiruppavai and Nacciyar Tirumoli remain celebrated in South Indian ritual, track, dance, and the visible arts.

This ebook goals to catch the lyricism, good looks, and tool of Kotai's unique works. additionally, designated notes in keeping with conventional commentaries, and discussions of the ritual and performative lives of the Tiruppavai and Nacciyar Tirumoli spotlight the significance of this ninth-century poet and her poems during the last a thousand years.

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Additional resources for The Secret Garland: Āṇṭāḷ's Tiruppāvai and Nācciyār Tirumoli (Aar Religion in Translation)

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The poem is neatly divided into three distinct sections that trace the girls’ path to Kṛṣṇa, a journey that takes them from the shared public arena of the outside world, to the inner, private chambers of their beloved. The first five verses lay out the details of the vow—when one undertakes it, what it entails, and its expected rewards. In the following set of delightful ten verses, the voices of the various girls coalesce into an indivisible chorus, vigorously rousing their neighborhood friends to join in the quest.

In a poetic sleight of hand that juxtaposes Viṣṇu’s divine conch and the heroine’s rather ordinary bangles, the simple word caṅku becomes the window and the mirror that facilitates moving between the ordinary and the extraordinary. It is the juncture where the commonplace (bangle) is imbued with profundity and the sublime with utter ordinariness (the divine conch). It is the wonderful seventh section in praise of the conch that sets up the daring declarations of the eleventh Tirumoḻi and allows that window to be thrown open.

The poem thus both describes the path to Kṛṣṇa as well as becomes the path to Kṛṣṇa. Eventually when all the girls have assembled, the gopīs approach Kṛṣṇa in his house to awaken him and his family. The final segment of the poem describes the confident gopīs boldly entering the god’s inner world, until they are halted at the threshold of his bedroom, where he reclines with his wife Nappiṉṉai. The unbreakable intimacy of Kṛṣṇa and Nappiṉṉai reflects the girls’ own desire; the paṟai, the vow, and the bath are merely pretexts to come into his presence, because the real goal of the quest is to be bound to him eternally.

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