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The House of God

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"THE HOUSE OF GOD."A HYMN FROM MANIKKA VASAKAR.

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The House of God.

1

"THE HOUSE OF GOD."
A HYMN FROM MANIKKA VASAKAR.
A HYMN said to have been sung by the Saint Manikka Vasakar in the temple at
Chidambaram, probably the most revered shrine in South India and unique in combining the
esoteric aspects of Saivam. The hymn is the one called ேகாயl0றிmLபதிகu ('the holy
chapter of the House of God') in the Tiruvasakam, the ancient and popular Psalm-book of
Tamil-land.
Temples and churches, usually regarded as Houses of God, are but passages to the
true House of God which is in man's heart "made beauteous by the flood of His Grace."
When He has taken his abode there, all distinctions of race, religion, caste, sex &c, disappear
- "who here is my kin? who is not?" - and there is naught save the splendour of the Lord.
The experience here recorded is the goal of the Bhakti-Yogi who seeks realization of
God by the way of Love, increasing the circle of Love indefinitely till the One Universal
Love is reached. This Yoga our temple-worship with its services and prayers is designed to
foster, gradually purifying the heart and making it fit to be the "House of God", His "great
holy shrine" (Tirupperun-turai*), "the City of Siva" or, in Christ's language, "the Kingdom of
God", of which, by the way, he too said "Behold, the Kingdom of God is within you".
[* Also the name of the celebrated temple associated with the Saint's spiritual history.]
The hymns of the Tiruvasakam are most difficult of translation. Their meaning is
often beyond the apprehension of the most learned - which is perhaps the reason why
explanations are discouraged and there is no commentary in Tamil. The translation here
offered is necessarily tentative and seek to express the sense of the hymn as faithfully as I
understand it, sacrificing elegance to fidelity. No translation can convey the linked sweetness
of the original or its wonderful religious emotion which carries one away like a torrent.
ேகாயறிபதிக.
மாறிநிGெறGைன மயðகி0uவkசL
Lலைன0திG வழியைடðதQேத
üறிநிGெறGQ ெளmபரkேசாதி
üuளவா காணவ0தmளாü
ேதறலிGெறள|ேவ சிவெபmமாேன
திmLெபm0ðைற üைறசிவேன
ய றிலாLபத0க ள|யாைவü0கட0த
வlGபேம ெயGQைடயGேப. (1)

O Supreme Splendour that rises within me welling
forth as ambrosia,
Having blocked the ways of the five traitor senses
The House of God.

2

that ever delude me,
Graciously show Thyself to me as Thou art.
O Clearest of the clear, Lord Siva, Dweller in the
great holy shrine,
O Bliss transcending all states without end,
O my Love! (1)

அGபlனாலLேய னாவlேயாடாðைக
யான0தமாüð கசி0ðmக
ெவGபரம0லா வlGனmட0தா
யான|த0கிலெனாû ைகuமாm
QGLமாüLபlGL QmðமாüLபர0த
Qðதேன QLவlலாQதேல
ெதGெபm0ðைறயாü சிவெபmமாேன
சீmைடð சிவLரðதைரேச. (2)

With love Thy servant's body and soul melting in bliss,
Sweet grace, by me not deserved, Thou didst grant,
For this I have naught to give in return.
Thou that didst spread forth as all before and all after,
Free One, Substance unwasteable,
Dweller in the great southern shrine, Lord Siva,
King of the beauteous of Siva. (2)


அைரசேனயGபûð கLயேனQைடய
வLபேன யாவlேயாடாðைக
LைரLைரகன|யL [email protected]தநிGmmðகிL
ெபாüயlmuகL0த ெமüððடேர
திைரெபாராமGQ மQதðெதMகடேல
திmLெபm0ðைற üைறசிவேன
üைரüணûவlற0ðநிG mணûவேதாmணûேவ
யாQGைன üைரð@மாmணûðேத. (3)

O King, Father to me that am the slave of those that love Thee,
Light of Truth that entering body and soul has melted
all faults and driven away the false darkness,
Full, waveless, clear Ocean of ambrosia, Siva,
Dweller in the great holy shrine,
O Knowledge* known there where speech and
knowledge† are dead,
Make known unto me, how shall I speak of Thee. (3)

[* Pure Intelligence, the Absolute, where there is no conscious differentiation of subject and object.]
[† Impure Intelligence or differentiating consciousness.]


The House of God.

3

உணû0தமாQன|வ muபேராெடாழி0தா
mணûOð@0 ெதmவmuெபாmேள
üண0கிலிெய0லா Oயlûக[email protected]யlேர
ெயைனLபlறLபmð@ ெமuமm0ேத
திணl0ðேதாmmள|0 ெறள|0ððெவள|ேய
திmLெபm0ðைற üைறசிவேன
@ண0கடாமி0லா வlGபேமüGைனð
@mகிேன0கின| ெயGன@ைறேய. (4)


O Thou that are not to be known by the intelligence
of great sages, celestials and all others,
O Life of all diverse living things, O Medicine that
cures me of rebirth,
O Pure Space that came forth from the dense
darkness,
Siva, Dweller in the great holy shrine, O Character-less
Bliss,
What now is lacking to me who have neared Thee? (4)

@ைறவlலாநிைறேவ ேசாதிலாவQேத
யறிலாðெகாmk ðடûð@Gேற
மைறüமாüமைறயlG ெபாmKமாüவ0ெதG
மனðதிைட மGன|யமGேன
சிைறெபறாந ûேபா0 சி0ைதவாüLபாü0
திmLெபm0ðைற üைறசிவேன
யlைறவேனநெயG Qடலிட0ெகாMடா
யlன|üGைனெயG ன|ரðேகேன. (5)

O perfect Fullness, flawless Ambrosia, Mountain of
endless, flaming Light,
O King that camest unto me as the Vedas and the
meaning of the Vedas and didst fill my mind,
Siva that, like torrent brooking not banks, rushest
into the mouth of my heart, O Dweller in the
great holy shrine,
Sovereign Lord, Thou hast made thy abode in my body,
What more can I ask Thee? (5)

இர0திர0ðmக ெவGமனððuேள
ெயmகிGறேசாதிேய யlைமேயாû
சிர0தன|0ெபாலிü0 கமலðேசவLயாü
திmLெபm0ðைற üைறசிவேன
நிர0தவாகாய நûநில0த கா
லாயைவ ய0ைலயாயா0ேக
கர0ðேதாmmேவ கள|ðதGQGைனð
The House of God.

4

கMQறð கM0ெகாMLGேற. (6)

O Splendour that rises in my heart as asking, asking I melt,
Thou whose lotus-feet grace the crowns of celestials,
Siva, Dweller in the great holy shrine,
Who art all-pervading space and water and earth and
fire and air,
Who art other than they, Whose form in them is hidden, -
I rejoice, having seen Thee this day. (6)

இGெறனðகmள| யlmuகL0ðuளð
ெதmகிGற ஞாயlேறேபாGm
நிGறநிGறGைம நிைனLபறநிைன0ேத
ன யலா0பlறிðம0றிGைம
ெசGmெசGறQவாüð ேதü0ðேதü0ெதாGறா0
திmLெபm0ðைற üைறசிவேன
ெயாGmநய0ைல யGறிெயாGறி0ைல
யாmGைன யறியகி0பாேர. (7)

This day in Thy mercy unto me Thou didst drive
away the darkness and stand in my heart as
rising Sun.
Of this Thy way of rising - there being naught else
but Thou, - I thought without thought.
I drew nearer and nearer to Thee, wearing away
atom by atom, till I was One with Thee,
O Siva, Dweller in the great holy shrine.
Thou art not aught in the universe. Naught is there
save Thou.
Who can know Thee? (7)

பாûபதமMட மைனððமாüQைளððL
பர0ேதாû படெராள|LபரLேப
நmmதேய நிைனவேதலmய
நிGமலாநிG னmuெவuளð
சீmmசி0ைத ெயm0ðேதாûேதேன
திmLெபm0ðைற üைறசிவேன
யாmறெவனðகி0 காரயQuளாû
ரான0தமாð@ெமGேசாதி (8)

O Thou that, sprouting as the earth and all the
spheres, spreadest as matchless expanse of light,
O Fire water-laden, Pure One that art beyond the
reach of thought,
O Sweetness that wells forth in the heart made
beauteous by the flood of Thy grace,
Siva, Dweller in the great holy shrine, -
The House of God.

5

Who here is my kin? who is not? O Splendour that
makes me bliss! (8)

ேசாதியாüðேதாGm Qmவேமயmவû
ெமாmவேன ெசா0Qத0கmய
வாதிேயந0ேவ ய0தேமப0த
மmð@மான0த மாகடேல
த திலாநGைமð திmவ[email protected]ேற
திmLெபm0ðைற üைறசிவேன
யாðநேபாவேதாû வைகெயனðகmளாü
வ0ðநிG ன|ைணயLத0ேத. (9)

O Form of splendour, Formless One, ineffable Beginning,
Middle and End,
Great Ocean of Bliss that destroys bondage,
Mountain of holy grace and goodness, Siva, Dweller
in the great holy shrine,
Graciously come, show me a way,
Give me the refuge of Thy feet. (9)

த0தðGறGைனð ெகாMLெதGறGைனð
ச0கராவாû ெகாேலாசðர
ர0தெமாGறி0லா வான0தuெப0ேற
ன|யாðந ெப0ற ெதாGெறGபா0
சி0ைதேயேகாயl0 ெகாMடெவuெபmமாG
றிmLெபm0ðைற üைறசிவேன
ெய0ைதேயயசா Oடலிட0ெகாMடா
யான|த0கிலெனா ைகuமாேற. (10)

It was Thyself Thou didst give and me Thou didst
take,
Beneficent Lord, who is the gainer?
Endless bliss have I gained. What hast Thou gained
from me?
O Lord that hast made my heart Thy temple, Siva,
Dweller in the great holy shrine,
O Father, Sovereign, Thou hast made Thy abode in
my body. For it I have naught to give in return. (10)

P. A.

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