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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Global perspective of a tamil poet 2000+ years before... யாதும் ஊரே, யாவரும் கேளிர்;

This is one of the most famous poetry in Tamil which is dated 2000 years+. The first line is often quoted in many International and domestic forums and even by people who do not know Tamil. Some may recall Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam quoting this in address to the European union assembly. This states that the whole world is my country and everyone is related to me. It highlights the maturity of Tamil culture and language which had such broad global perspective.

I am giving below the poetry, its meaning in Tamil and its meaning in English. I hope my limitation in language does not reduce the broad vision stated in this poem. In my opinion, in today's world majority of the Tamilians who can read Tamil would not have read this poem even once and even if they have read they would not understand its full meaning.

We are having a good size of population who can speak Tamil but can’t read. This effort is to help a section of people with English Transliteration and meaning in English and Tamil. 

Poem (P), Transliteration (T), Meaning in Tamil (TM), Meaning in English (EM)

யாதும் ஊரே, யாவரும் கேளிர்;
தீதும், நன்றும், பிறர் தர வாரா;
நோதலும், தணிதலும், அவற்றோர் அன்ன;
சாதலும் புதுவது அன்றே! வாழ்தல்
இனிது என மகிழ்ந்தன்றும் இலமே! முனிவின்
இன்னாது என்றலும் இலமே! மின்னொடு
வானம் தண் துளி தலைஇ ஆனாது,
கல்பொருது இரங்கும், மல்லல் பேர்யாற்று
நீர்வழிப் படூஉம் புனை போல், ஆருயிர்
முறைவழிப் படூஉம் என்பது திறவோர்
காட்சியில் தெளிந்தனம் ஆகலின், மாட்சியில்
பெரியோரை வியத்தலும் இலமே!
சிறியோரை இகழ்தல் அதனினும் இலமே!

(P)   யாதும் ஊரே,யாவரும் கேளிர்;
(T)   Yaadhum Oore, Yavarum Keleer
(TM) எல்லா ஊரும் எங்கள் ஊர்தான், எல்லோரும் எங்கள் உறவுகள் தான்;
(EM) Every place is my town. Everyone is my relative 

(P)   தீதும், நன்றும், பிறர் தர வாரா;
(T)   Theedhum Nandrum Pirar Thara Vaara
(TM) தீயது, நல்லது என்பவை பிறர் தந்து வருபவை இல்லை;
(EM) Both good and bad things (to you) are not from (because of) others. This means you reap what you sow and this is my favorite line.

(P)   நோதலும், தணிதலும், அவற்றோர் அன்ன;
(T)    Nodhalum, Thanidhalum Avatroor Anna
(TM) துன்பமும், அதன் தீர்வும் கூட அதுபோல் தான்.
(EM) Pain and its remedy is also like that (Its not because of others but because of our own actions).

(P)   சாதலும் புதுவது அன்றே! வாழ்தல்
(T)   Saadhalum Pudhuvadhu Andre! Vaazhthal 
(TM) செத்துப் போவது ஒன்றும் புதியது இல்லை.
(EM) Dying is not new (unfamiliar to us - because we see people dying around us)!

(P)   இனிது என மகிழ்ந்தன்றும் இலமே! முனிவின்
(T)   Inidhu yena Maghithendrum ilame! Munivin
(TM) வாழ்க்கை இனியது என்று சொல்லி மகிழ்ச்சிப் படுவதும் இல்லை.
(EM) Don't be too happy thinking that the life is pleasant.

(P)    இன்னாது என்றலும் இலமே! மின்னொடு
(T)    Innaathu endralum Ilame! Minnodu
(TM) மாறி, வாழ்க்கையில் இருந்து விலகி ஏற்கும் துறவு கொடியது என்று சொல்லுவதும்    இல்லை;
(EM) The staying away from family life and taking to a ascetic life is neither bad. (Essentially saying living normally, taking to a ascetic life or dying - all of them are neither good nor bad. Don't be too excited or too depressed about these events. Don't think any of them is better than the other.)

(P)   வானம் தண் துளி தலைஇ ஆனாது,
(T)   Vaanam than Thuli Thalaie Aanathu
(TM) வானம், மின்னல் வெட்டும் மழையாய் குளிர்ந்த துளிகளைப் பெய்ய,
(EM) As the sky pours rain with thunder and lightning

(P)   கல்பொருது இரங்கும், மல்லல் பேர்யாற்று
(T)   Kalporuthu Irangum Mallal Peryaatru
(TM) கல், மண் ஆகியவற்றைப் புரட்டிக் கொண்டு இறங்கி, பெருகி வரும் ஆற்று நீரில் சிக்கி,
(EM) As the heavy rain pours

(P)    நீர்வழிப் படூஉம் புனை போல், ஆருயிர்
(T)    Neer vazhi Padooum punai pol, aaruyir 
(TM) அதன் தடத்திலே போகும் புனையைப் [மிதவை (அ) சிறு படகு] போல, அரிய உயிரியக்கம் ஆனது 
(EM) Life is like a boat in flood waters 

(P)    முறைவழிப் படூஉம் என்பது திறவோர்
(T)    Murai vazhi Padooum Enbathu Thiravor 
(TM) முன்னர் இட்ட முறைவழியே போகத் தான் செய்யும் (நியதி வழிப் படும்) என்று வாழ்க்கையின் திறம் அறிந்தவர்கள் சொல்லுவார்கள். 
(EM) The wise say that life flows as a code with rhythm and order. This is not being fatalistic but recognizing the effect of Karma and the law of nature.

(P)   காட்சியில் தெளிந்தனம் ஆகலின், மாட்சியில்
(T)    Kaatchiyil Thelindinam aagalin, maatchiyil 
(TM) அந்த காட்சியில் நாங்கள் தெளிந்தோம் ஆகையால், [இந்தப் பேருண்மையைக் கண்டு அனுபவத்தால் தெளிவு பெற்றோம் ஆகையால்] 
(EM) If we can realize and experience this truth

(P)   பெரியோரை வியத்தலும் இலமே!
(T)    Periyorai viyathalum ilame 
(TM) பெரியவர்களைக் கண்டு வியத்தலும் இல்லை; [அறிவிலோ செல்வத்திலோ பிறப்பிலோ நம்மை விடவும் மேலானவரைக் கண்டு போற்றித் துதித்தலும் செய்யோம்.] 
(EM) We would not be awed by great and powerful people (We would not be praising them because they are better than us in intelligence, wealth, by birth or skills. This is because their greatness is also a flow of nature)

(P)   சிறியோரை இகழ்தல் அதனினும் இலமே!
(T)    Siriyorai Igazhthal adhaninum ilame! 
(TM) சிறியவர்களை இகழ்தல் அதனிலும் இல்லை. [நம்மை விடவும் கீழானவரைக் கண்டு சிறுமையாய் நடத்துதலை எண்ணவும் மாட்டோம்.] 
(EM) (More importantly) Nor we would belittle / mock people who are weaker than us.

In summary, we are global citizens and we reap what we sow (it is not from others). Let us be balanced in our outlook. Never be excited about success, don't sulk under duress. (No it is not Enjoy when you can and endure when you must - since this is like a pendulum.) Life flows and is subjected to laws of nature and once you realize / experience this truth you would not treat others differently from yours.

Please feel free to improve this version and suggest enhancements.

Happy reading!


  1. Good work. Much appreciated.

  2. thank you very much for doing this....!!! please keep doing this with other old tamil poems and pro verbs.


  3. Thank you very much for doing this...!! great work..!! please continue doing this with old tamil poem and pro verbs..