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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Nambik kettavar Evaraiya : Hindolam : Papanasam Sivan

Nambik Kettavar Evaraiya

Ragam: Hindolam  :         Talam: Adi  :      Composer: Papanasam Sivan

nambik-keTTavar evar aiyA umai nAyakanait-tirumayilaiyin iraivanai

ambuli gangai aNinda jaTAdharan  anbar manam vaLar shambhu kapAliyai

onrumE payan illai enru uNarnda pinbavar uNDenbAr
ovvoru manidanum oru nAL in-nilai eiduadurudi idai marandAr
anru sheyal azhindala marupozhudu shivan peyar nAvil vArAdE
AdalinAl manamE inrE shiva nAmam shollip-pazhakku anbudan

ராகம் - ஹிந்தோளம் :    தாளம் - ஆதி : இயற்றியவர் - பாபநாசம் சிவன்


நம்பிக் கெட்டவர் எவரய்யா உமை
நாயகனைத் திருமயிலையின் இறைவனை


அம்புலி கங்கை அணிந்த ஜடாதரன்
அன்பர் மனம் வளர் சம்பு கபாலியை


ஒன்றுமே பயன் இல்லையென்று உணர்ந்தபின்பவர் உண்டென்பார்
ஒவ்வொரு மனிதனும் ஒருநாள் இந்நிலை எய்துவதுறுதி இதை மறந்தார்
அன்று செயலழிந்தல மருபொழுது சிவன் பெயர் நாவில் வாராதே
ஆதலினால் மனமே இன்றே சிவநாமம் சொல்லிப்பழகு அன்புடன்

Word by word Meaning: 


nambik-keTTavar evar aiyA umai nAyakanait-tirumayilaiyin iraivanai

Nambi : after believing in you, after having faith in you, after praying to you - all these fit in as quite good meaning here

Kettavar : who has suffered; who went awry

evvaraiya : who is there? 

Umai : Goddess Uma

Nayaganai : Husband of 

Thirumayilaiyin : residing in Mylapore

Iraivanai : God

Anupallavi : 

ambuli : moon

gangai : the river Ganga

anintha : wearing these on His forehead / on his head 

Jadatharan : having matted hair

Anbar : devotees; those who have the faith in you; those who worship you

manam : heart

valar : living in; having the place as 

sambu : The Shambhu - God Shiva

Kapali : Lord Shiva with specific reference to the Lord in the Kapaleeshwara temple, Mypalore


onrume payanillai : absolutely nothing is of use; not even one thing is of use

enru : as such 

unarnthapinbavar : after having realized so they will

undenbar : accept that you are there

ovvoru : every 

manithanum : man / woman

orunal : one day

innilai : this state of affairs / finding that nothing is of use but God 

eithuvathuruthi : reaching this state is certain

ithai : this 

maranthar : is forgotten by them / people forget this

anru : that day; the final day; the day of death; the moment of death

seyalazinthu : action fails ; body fails

alamarum pozuthu : highly agitated / distressed state of affairs / complete confusion and panic stricken state

sivan : lord Shiva

peyar : name / nama / chanting / mantra

navil : on the tongue / to tell / to say / to chant

varathe : would not come; would not be able to say it

athalinal : and hence; therefore

maname : O my heart / O mind

inre : today itself / right away

sivanamam : the name of Lord Shiva / the mantra of panchakshara (Om Namachchivaya) 

solli : chant / say 

pazagu : practice / make it a habit

anbudan : with love

Detailed meaning: 

nambik-keTTavar evar aiyA umai nAyakanait-tirumayilaiyin iraivanai

Who has suffered after having faith? After having prayed? After having worshipped lord Shiva? Nobody's faith has been betrayed. Nobody's prayers have gone unanswered. Those who worship Lord Shiva, Uma's Husband, the Lord of Mylapore Kapaleeshwarar temple, will always have their prayers answered. Will always have their faith reposed. Will always have Lord Shiva's grace. 

ambuli gangai aNinda jaTAdharan  anbar manam vaLar shambhu kapAliyai

The one who is wearing the crescent moon on his forehead and the river Ganga on his matted hair - Lord Shiva, the one who resides in the hearts of those who believe in Him, who worship Him, who pray to Him, the Shambhu, the Kapali - those who have believed in such a God, those who have believed and prayed in such a God, those who have worshipped in such a God, will not suffer. Their prayers will be answered. 

onrumE payan illai enru uNarnda pinbavar uNDenbAr
ovvoru manidanum oru nAL in-nilai eiduadurudi idai marandAr
anru sheyal azhindala marupozhudu shivan peyar nAvil vArAdE
AdalinAl manamE inrE shiva nAmam shollip-pazhakku anbudan

When one realizes that there is no use of anything but HIM, they will start believing in HIM; they will accept that HE is indeed there. And, every single man and woman is going to come to this stage. This is certain. But, people forget this fact. But, when that day comes, the body fails. The mind fails. Panic sets in. One is highly distressed and cannot think. In that state of affairs, one's tongue is unable to chant Shiva nama. Hence, O my heart! O my Mind! today itself, right now, start chanting Shiva nama and practise it with lots of love.

Discussion on the lyrics & stories it has : 

It is a very subtly nuanced song. It is not very easy to understand the poet's heart as to exactly what he meant in a line or a word. Beautful verses give raise to multiple nuanced subtle meanings and that is indeed the beauty of lovely song. 

It holds good here too. 

"nambik-keTTavar evar aiyA" : is there anyone whose faith has gone awry? whose prayers have not been answered? whose worship has gone waste? who has been betrayed because he / she believed in Lord Shiva? That is the question here. Many times, many occasions, we do feel that our prayers are NOT answered. Many times we feel that God has failed us. Right from our childhood when we would stand in front of idols at home or at temples and pray to God for higher marks or to simply pass in exams and that did not happen, we feel that God did not listen to us or even after listening, did not heed to our prayers. But, while we may feel because of such incidents, God never ever fails us. He knows what is right for us and carries us thru our troubles. 

Story of Sita : 

Is there anyone whose bakthi was greater than what Sita had towards Rama? And yet, she had to spend 10 months at Ravana's place all alone, not knowing what happened to Rama and Lakshmana, not knowing whether she will be able to go out of that place alive and without getting harmed. And yet, she had faith in Rama. She had absolute confidence that Rama will come and rescue her one day. And, while it took 10 months, it did materialize at the end. 

Story of Thirunavukkarasar : "Appar", as he was called, "Thirunavukkarasar", converted back to Saivism at the ripe old age of 76 years. He had converted to jainism earlier in his younger age much to the chagrin of her elder sister Thilakavathi. The jaini monks wanted Appar to convert back. They could not persuade him to do so. Hence, with the help of the king, they ensured that Appar went thru a whole series of tortures. Appar was put into lime kiln. He was tied to a stone and put into a river. He was put into a pit and an elephant was ordered to trample him. Appar survived all this. 

He even sung about his experience of how it was to be there in that lime kiln : 

"மாசில் வீணையும் மாலை மதியமும்
வீசு தென்றலும் வீங்கிள வேனிலும்
மூசு வண்டறை பொய்கையும் போன்றதே
ஈசன் எந்தை இணையடி நிழலே"
("Mācil vīṇaiyum mālai matiyamum
vīcu těņṛalum vīŋkiḷa vēņilum
mūcu vaṇţaṛai pǒykaiyum pōņṛatē
īcaņ ěntai iṇaiyaţi niļalē")
translating to
"My Lord's twin feet are like the blemishless Veena
like the full-moon of the evening
like the gentle breeze blowing from the South
like the young spring
like a bee-humming pond "[14]  (taken from

The detailed stories of Appar can be accessed from here: Appar : The Story;    Appar the story - 2

Like this, there are scores of stories of devotees whose faith has been answered over a period of time. 

"thiru mayilaiyin iraivanai" :  when did the Lord of "Kayilai" (Kailasha) become the lord of the "mayilai"? 

According to the PuranasShakti worshipped Shiva in the form of a peacock, giving the vernacular name Mylai (Mayilāi) to the area that developed around the temple - mayil is Tamil for "peacock".[3] 

Shiva is worshiped as Kapaleeshwarar, and is represented by thelingam. His wife Parvati is depicted as Karpagambal (from:; 

"gangai anintha jadatharan" :    why did Lord Shiva take the river Ganga on his matted hair? This is the story of Bageeratha and his tapas and how the river Ganga - which was supposed to be running only in the devaloka, came down to the earth. 

The story from wikipedia is as follows : How did River Ganga come down? The photos are also from Wikipedia.

Bhagiratha was the king of Kosala, a kingdom in ancient India. He was a descendent of the great King Sagara of the Suryavansha, orSurya Dynasty. He was one of the forefathers of Lord Rama, of the Ramayana, the epic in which Bhagiratha's tale is primarily recounted.
He lost his father when he was just a child, and was raised by his mother. Bhagiratha was very intelligent, virtuous and kind hearted. When he came of age, Bhagiratha ascended to the throne of the kingdom of Kosala, today located in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. He was a benevolent ruler who adhered to his duties as a king as prescribed bydharma.
When king Sagara chose to perform the Ashwamedha yagna, his royal agents lost track of the sacrificial horse. Sagara ordered his sixty thousand sons by Sumati to track down the horse. The proud and mercurial prince raged across Bharat, burning down forests and uprooting life and property to find the horse. They finally arrived at a quiet spot where the Sage Kapila was sitting in meditation. Beside him was tied the white horse. The enraged prince condemned Kapila as a thief and attacked him. When the sage opened his eyes, his immense power turned the princes into ashes. the only way for the souls of the dead prince to ascend to heaven would be through the offering of niravapanjali with the water of the sacred Ganga (Ganges) river, which was flowing only in Swarga.
Bringing Ganga back to Earth was a near impossible task and required many years to be spent intapasya and prayer. The Kosala kings of successive generations could not do this while managing their duties as kings. As a result, the sins of the thousand princes multiplied in their destructive energy, and began resulting in natural disasters. The kingdom began to lose its peace and prosperity, and by the time Bhagiratha ascended the throne, he found it impossible to govern.
Bhagiratha turned over the kingdom to his trusted ministers and set off to the Himalayas to perform an arduous tapasya in the extreme climate. For one thousand years, he performed an excruciatingly harsh penance to please Lord Brahma. At the end of the thousand years, Brahma was pleased and asked him for his wish. Bhagiratha asked Brahma to bring the river Ganges down to earth so that he may perform the ceremony for his ancestors.
Brahma asked Bhagiratha to propitiate Lord Shiva, for only He is capable to break Ganga's landfall. Ganga has a strong flow and it would have been impossible for anyone to contain the destructive impact of this event except Shiva.
Bhagiratha performed a tapasya for Lord Shiva, living only on air. The compassionate Shiva appeared only after a year's penance, and told Bhagiratha he should not have to perform tapasya to accomplish a noble goal such as this. He assured Bhagiratha that he would make Ganga fall on his matted locks (dreadlocks). After aeons of being flattered and praised by the Devas, Ganga had become vain. She scoffed at Brahma when he asked her to flow down to earth, but could not disobey him as he was her father.
But Ganga was sure, as much as Bhagiratha was afraid that no one could stop her fall, which would devastate the earth for a long time. As she cascaded down from Swarga, Bhagiratha and celestial observers were terrified of the roar and volume of water coming down. But Lord Shiva appeared under the flow and captured all of Ganga in his jataa just before she fell on earth. Ganga came to the earth because of Bhagiratha's efforts so Ganga is also called Bhagirathi. Bhagiratha led the way for Ganga on his chariot, and she followed him across the north and east of Bharat and finally merging with the ocean. In her course she washed the ashes of Sagara's sixty thousand sons, who ascended to heaven while praising and blessing Bhagiratha.

"anbar manam valar" : Here, there could be two different ways of singing this (called : patabetham"). "anbar manam cavar" -" the one who is loved by His devotees"  could also be one word which fits quite well here. 

"onrumE payan illai enru uNarnda pinbavar uNDenbAr" : When one comes to the end of life, one realizes and accepts that He is there. A number of life stories are there which are all hidden here but come to mind when one sings this line. There are stories of those people who had always denied existence of God and spirituality too but when they became older, had completely converted. The poet Kannadasan was an example. He was in the group of people who were opposing the existence of God but then converted and wrote many books on what Hinduism is all about. 

"anru sheyal azhindala marupozhudu shivan peyar nAvil vArAdE; 
AdalinAl manamE inrE shiva nAmam shollip-pazhakku anbudan" : 

when one is close to death, one is not sure how the body would function. One is not sure whether one's mind would function or whether one's tongue would be able to even say God's name. Those who are able to say God's name and chant His name are blessed. But the question is whether one is so blessed. 
Let us take the story of Ajamilan. The story is beautifully told in the Gayakrishna Blogspot - the link is given here : Ajamilan story:
The story of Ajamila occurs in the sixth skanda of Srimad Bhagavatam:

Ajamila was once a very noble brahmin, performing his duties and prescribed rituals most sincerely and was also a good husband, good son and good father. Once when he was in the forest to gather the fuel-wood for his rituals, he fell for a woman, heart and soul. Actually the woman was one of very low morals. From that time onwards he lived with her, abandoned his family and his own parents. He got ten children by her, made a living and supported this large family by blackmailing rich people, by cheating, fraud and gambling. He was particularly fond of the youngest child, Narayana, by name. The attachment to the child was so pronounced that whether he was eating, drinking, relaxing or working, he would always want Narayana to be by his side and partake of his food or participate in his enjoyment. When finally the call from Yama, the God of Death, came, it came suddenly and in his agony he called his child to his side and cried: O Narayana. Suddenly, the messengers from Yama were stopped from discharging their duty by the messengers from Vishnu. 
This story illustrates the power of chanting God's name during one's last stages of life. However, can this happen? Should one wait till this very last moment to chant God's name? That is the point being asked by this line. 

One can see a detailed swara notation in this blog by Shivakumar : Nambik kettavar evaraiya : swara notation

Listen to the song here by : Ranjani Gayatri : Nambik kettavar Evaraiya

Listen to the song here by : Nambik kettavar everaiya by Priya Sisters

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