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Monday, October 22, 2012

Vellaith thaamarai poovil iruppaal : Subramanya Bharathi

Vellaith thaamarai poovil iruppaal : Subramanya Bharathi Raagam : Bhimplas


Vellai tamarai puvil iruppal
vinai seiyum oliyil iruppal
kollai inbam kulavu kavidai kurum pavalar ullathilruppal


ulladam porul thediyunarde
odum vedattin ulnindrolirval
kallamatra munivargal kurum
karunai vasagath ut porulaval (vellai)

Charanam 1
madhar thengural paatil iruppal
makkal pesum mazhalaiyil ullal
geedam padum kuyilin kuralai
kiliyin navail iruppidum kondal

kodanganra tozhiludaitagi kulavu cittiram gopuram koyil
idanaithin ezhilidaiyutral inbame vadivagida petral (vellai)

In Tamil :

வெள்ளைத் தாமரை பூவில் இருப்பாள்
வீணை செய்யும் ஒலியில் இருப்பாள்
கொள்ளை இன்பம் குலவு கவிதை
கூறு பாவலர் உள்ளத்திலிருப்பாள்

உள்ளதாம் பொருள் தேடியுணர்ந்தே
ஓதும் வேதத்தின் உள்நின்ரொளிர்வாள்
கள்ளமற்ற முனிவர்கள் கூறும்
கருணை வாசகத்துட் பொருளாவாள்

மாதர் தீங்குரல் பாட்டில் இருப்பாள்
மக்கள் பேசும் மழலையில் உள்ளாள்
கீதம் பாடும் குயிலின் குரலை
கிளியின் நாவை இருப்பிடம் கொண்டாள்

கோதகன்ற தொழிலுடைத்தாகிக்
குலவு சித்திரம் கோபுரம் கோயில்
ஈதனைத்தின் எழிலிடையுற்றாள்
இன்பமே வடிவாகிட பெற்றாள்

Meaning : 

She (Goddess Saraswati) resides in a white lotus flower.  That is what our religion says. But, that is not all. She is there in the sweet mellifluous sound of Veena. She is there in the heart of those poets who sing lovely songs which bring in such a great joy to those who listen to it!

She is there as the inner meaning of Vedas, which tell the truth of life. She is there in the words of sages who mean only good for all around them. She is there in the beautiful songs that women sing. She is there in the lovely blabber of young children. She resides in the voice of the koyal bird which sings sweet songs. She resides in the tongue of parrots which speak such lovely things.

That is not all. She is there in every single beautiful thing in this world. She is there in all those beautiful drawings. She is there in all those temples. She is there in the beauty of those temples and the artistic work which is done on them. She is beauty itself. She is joy itself.

Here, Bharathi, the great tamil poet, takes a small dig at the traditional understanding about the Goddess Saraswati. She is said to be the Goddess of learning and education and as such she is associated with books and temples.

Here, Bharati expands the idea of learning. He expands on the idea of joy. He equates learning with Joy. How can one learn if it is not enjoyable?  He talks about music. He talks about fine arts. he talks about vedas. He talks about the great sages and their teachings. All constitute learning. Learning and education is not just bookish. It is not just rote learning. It is from across. It is to understand life itself. It is to appreciate beauty from everywhere.

As Keats said long back, " A thing of beauty is joy forever", Bharathi also echoes that sentiment. Bharati sees beauty everywhere. He sees the joy in that beauty everywhere. And, he equates that beauty and joy with learning.

He says that the Goddess saraswati does not only reside in that white lotus flower that we are familiar with thru the traditional indian sculptures and drawings, but she is there in every single thing of beauty. She is there in every single musical instrument. She is there in everything musical and mellifluous. She is there in every single thing which is enjoyable.

The idea of knowing God is knowing the joy which is there everywhere.

This is a simple song which can be taught to children from a very early age. Set to Raagam Bhimplas, there are a number of singers who have sung this song.

1. Bombay Jayashree : 

2. Gayatri Girish:

3. Madurai Mani Iyer:

4. KJ Yesudass:


  1. I really enjoyed reading the meaning of the beautiful song. Not to forget that you have retained the beauty in the translation when it is mostly threatened to be lost due to syntax and grammar. So thumbs up for that! Thank you for helping us get the soul of the song. I must suggest you to listen to mandolin rendition of this song by Shri U.Srinvas, and would like to hear your comment!

  2. Really wonderful.. Thanks for sharing