Thiruvasagam by Mannikkavasagar -   மாணிக்க வாசகர் அருளிய திருவாசகம் -Thiruvasakam

தமிழ்த் தேசியம்

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."

- Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Last updated
12/12/08

மாணிக்கவாசகரின் திருவாசகம் - ஒரு அறிமுகம் - Dr.S.Jayabarathi

Thiruvasagam in pdf  
- Complete Text
(51 Hymns, 662 verses)

Thiruvasagam in Unicode

சிவபுராணம்

கீர்த்தித் திரு அகவல்
திருவண்டப் பகுதி
போற்றித் திருஅகவல்
திருச்சதகம்
நீத்தல் விண்ணப்பம
திருவெம்பாவ
திரு அம்மானை
திருப்பொற் சுண்ணம்

திருக்கோத்தும்பி

திருக்கோவையார்
also in pdf
Thiruvasagam - Complete Text in Two Parts:  Hymns 1 to 10 &  Hymns 11 to 51 in Unicode

Thirukoneswaram & Thiruvasagam
Thiruvasagam - English Translation by Rev. G.U. Pope Preface - Hymns 1 to 10  - Hymns 11 to 51 [also in PDF: Hymns1 to 10 - Hymns 11 to 51]
Pulavar Keeran - Six Lectures on Mannikavasagar's Thiruvempavai
lecture 1 - lecture 2 - lecture 3 - lecture 4 - lecture 5 - lecture 6
Ilayaraja's 'Thiruvasakam in Symphony'
மாணிக்கவாசகரின் யாத்திரை - M.Thanapalasingham
Professor C.R.Krishnamurthy in Thamizh Literature Through the Ages " Mannikkavasagar, one whose words are like gems wrote the eighth ThirumuRai consisting of ThiruvAchakam, ThiruvempAvai  and ThirukkOvaiyAr.  He was born in ThiruvAthavUr  in the late 8th or early 9th century A.D. He was a minister in the PAndya Kingdom but when he was sent to purchase horses for the army, he spent all the money in religious pursuits. Lord Sivan is supposed to have blessed him with his grace and saved him from the wrath of the King. It is said that one who does not get moved by ThiruvAchakam will not be moved by anything else.

திருவாசகத்துக்கு உருகாதார்
ஒரு வாசகத்துக்கும் உருகார்

ThiruvAchakam has 51 poems wherein all the four classes of meters have been employed"

An English interpretation of Sivapuranam -  Ramalingam Shanmugalingam, 1997
Traditional Story From Popular Legend of Manikkavasagar as Told by Jagan Iswaran, November 1980
About Mannikkavasagar in Saiva Mystics in Studies in Tamil Literature & History -  V.R.Ramachandra Dikshitar, 1930
*G.U. Pope - Tiruvasagam or the Sacred Utterances of the Tamil Poet, Saint and Sage Manikkavasagar / Hardcover / First Published 1900

 

THIRUVASAGAM - 8TH THIRUMURAI
மாணிக்க வாசகர் அருளிய திருவாசகம்

"திருவாசகத்துக்கு உருகாதார், 
ஒரு வாசகத்துக்கும் உருகார்"

Thiruvasagam"The following works of art and literature are among the most remarkable contributions of the Tamil creative genius to the world's cultural treasure and should be familiar to the whole world and admired and beloved by all in the same way as the poems of Homer, the dramas of Shakespeare, the pictures of Rembrandt, the cathedrals of France and the sculptures of Greece:....The school of Bhakti ... Saiva, which is one of those most sincere and passionate efforts of man to grasp the Absolute; and its supreme literary expression in the works of  Manikkavasagar..." Tamil Contribution to World Civilisation Professor Dr. Kamil Zvelebil in Tamil Culture - Vol. V, No. 4. October, 1956)

 

"அப்பரது இசம்பந்தரது பதிகங்களில் காணாத ஈரத்தை,  நெகிழ்வை, கசிவை மாணிக்கவாசகரது திருவாசகத்தில் காண்கின்றோம்..." M.Thanapalasingham, மாணிக்கவாசகரின் யாத்திரை

 

"நமச்சிவாய வாஅழ்க நாதன் தாள் வாழ்க
இமைப்பொழுதும் என் நெஞ்சில் நீங்காதான் தாள் வாழ்க
கோகழி ஆண்ட குருமணிதன் தாள் வாழ்க
ஆகமம் ஆகிநின்று அண்ணிப்பான் தாள் வாழ்க
ஏகன் அநேகன் இறைவன் அடிவாழ்க " more

 

"அத்தேவர் தேவர் அவர்தேவ ரென்றிங்ஙன்
பொய்த்தேவு பேசிப் புலம்புகின்ற பூதலத்தே
பத்தேதும் இல்லாதென் பற்றறநான் பற்றிநின்ற
மெய்த்தேவர் தேவற்கே சென்றூதாய் கோத்தும்பீ." more


Reverend G.U.Pope's comments in the preface to his English translation of Thiruvasagam  in 1900, retain their relevance almost a hundred years later. He said:

"It has been repeatedly asked, 'Of what possible use can the republication, translation and editing of books like Thiruvasagam be?' - and 'Who can be expected to desire to make themselves acquainted with such works?'

... If the Tamil people and the English are ever in a degree to understand one another, and to appreciate each other's thoughts and feelings regarding the highest matters... our English people must have the means of obtaining some insight into the living system which exercises at the present day such a marvelous power over the minds of the great majority of the...Tamil people.

"For under some form or other, Saivaism is the real religion of the South of India and of North Ceylon; and the Saiva Siddhanta philosophy has, and deserves to have, far more influence than any other. The fifty one poems (of the Thiruvasagam) ... are recited daily in all the great Saiva temples of South India, are on every one's lips and are as dear to the vast multitudes of excellent people there, as the Pslams of David are to Jews and Christians.

"The sacred mystic poetry of a people reveals their character and aspirations more truly than even their secular legends and ballads... The attentive consideration of the system here developed must lead to a sympathetic appreciation of what the hopes, fears, aspirations of the devoutest Hindu minds in the South are, and have been from time immemorial...

"In matters of religion the greatest hindrance - and the most irreligous thing - is the spirit of ignorant, unreasoning, unsympathetic antagonism. Every system has its truths and profounder thoughts; and these lie deeper than 'full fathoms five' in man's nature; and must fundamentally and essentially in large measure be the same for all men and for all time. It is only by recognising these common truths.... that it is possible to gain a true religious development."

Today, Rev.G.U.Pope's comment, that "if the Tamil people and the English are ever in a degree to understand one another, and to appreciate each other's thoughts and feelings regarding the highest matters, our English people must have the means of obtaining some insight into the living system which exercises at the present day such a marvellous power over the minds of the great majority of the best Tamil people" may also apply with equal force to the English speaking Tamil diaspora living  in many lands and across distant seas - a nation without a state.

This Tamil diaspora may have a need not only to read the English translation of Thiruvasagam but also dip into the Tamil original and connect with poetry which has exerted 'such a marvelous power' over Tamil minds and hearts for several centuries.


Preface to G.U.Pope's English Translation of Thiruvasagam

It has been repeatedly asked, 'Of what possible use can the republication, translation, and editing of books like the Tiruviçagam be? '— and, ' Who can be expected to desire to make themselves acquainted with such works? ' This consideration has delayed the publication for some time ; and it is not at all to be anticipated that the circulation of the book, at least in Europe, will, for some time to come, be encouraging. Still, this is a work that ought to be done !

If the Tamil people and the English are ever in any degree to understand one another, and to appreciate each other's thoughts and feelings regarding the highest matters ; if any progress is to be made in the developement of a real science of Hinduism, as it now is, our English people must have the means of obtaining some insight into the living system which exercises at the present day such a marvellous power over the minds of the great majority of the best Tamil people.

For, under some form or other, Caivism is the real religion of the South of India, and of North Ceylon ; and the Cain Siddhanta philosophy has, and deserves to have, far more influence than any other. The fifty one poems which are here edited, translated, and annotated, are recited daily in all the great Caiva temples of South India, are on, every one's lips, and are as dear to the hearts of vast multitudes of excellent people there, as the Psalms of David are to Jews and Christians.

The sacred mystic poetry of a people reveals their character and aspirations more truly than even their secular legends and ballads ; for sacred hymns are continually sung by the devout of all ages, and both sexes ; and all classes of the community are saturated with their influence. The attentive consideration of the system here developed must lead to a sympathetic appreciation of what the fears, aspirations, and yearnings of the devoutest Hindu in the South are, and have been from time immemorial. I have occasionally ventured in notes to go beyond the province of editor and translator and have criticized many things here and yet I feel quite sure -that my kind and candid friends in South India will be in no danger of misunderstanding the spirit in which I have written.

These are times when in regard to all religious systems thorough rational investigation, searching historical criticism, and a careful candid consideration of the meaning of the symbols by which doctrines are supposed to be expressed, are, quite necessary everywhere. The result of this searching, yet reverent, analysis has been and is,—ever more and more,— of the utmost value in the West. Whatever is TRUE will bear the test of the severest scrutiny, though men may feel obliged from time to time to modify the expressions of their belief, and to readjust their most cherished formulas. There is an evolution of religion.

Meanwhile, TRUE DIVINE FAITH lives on, and grows more vigorously for the conflicts in which it is ever, of necessity, engaged.

It is much to be desired that our friends in South India should recognize this, and consent to enter upon a thorough scientific investigation of the historical foundations of their popular beliefs, the precise import of symbolical expressions, and the practical bearing of every portion of their wonderful Siddhantam.'

In matters of religion the greatest hindrance,--and the most truly irreligious thing,—is the spirit of ignorant, unreasoning, unsympathetic antagonism. Every system has its truths and profounder thoughts; and these lie deeper than ' full fathoms five' in man's nature ; and must be fundamentally and essentially in large measure the same for all men, and for all time. It is only by recognizing these common truths, and making them the basis of inquiry, as to further alleged Divine communications, that it is possible to gain a true religious development.

Very many things celebrated in these remarkable poems are doubtless without even the shadow of historic foundation, but it is yet possible to feel a lively interest in some, at least, of them as poetic fancies. What seems graceful and touching to one people often excites laughter, or scorn, or even detestation, among others. So, in regard to symbols, it is quite certain that many expressions, figures of speech, and allegories, very, dear to peoples in the West, have no significance whatever to those of the East. And very, very much that seems to Oriental minds edifying, is repellent to those of the West. Still, I think the time has really come when thoughtful and candid people may do much to remove the hindrances, that undoubtedly exist, to the closer union of the convictions and sentiments of devout men in East and West. I may add that nothing can be further from my purpose in this work, and more utterly distasteful to me, than theological controversy ; and if in this work any one word of mine should give pain to any of my valued Tamil friends, I ask forgiveness in advance.

It seems also most desirable that all Europeans whose lot it is to dwell in the Tamil lands, or who anywhere set themselves to benefit their Tamil fellow-subjects,—and especially missionaries and teachers,—should take pains to know accurately the feelings and convictions of those for whom, and in the midst of whom, they work. For many years I have not ceased to say,—there in India, and here in Oxford,—to successive classes of students, 'You must learn not only to Think in Tamil, but also to feel in Tamil, if you are to be intelligible and useful among the Tamil people.'

This publication (the fruit of much weary toil) may help, it is trusted, all who desire to be helped, along this certainly difficult road.

It must be confessed, moreover, that I very earnestly wish also that my valued Tamil friends may be led to make the closer acquaintance of some of the magnificent collections of sacred poetry' existing in English.. And this not only for the benefit (which must be great) of the individual student, but of Tamil literature. For no literature can stand alone.

I may safely take it for granted that my indulgent Tamil friends will not shrink from these Christian compositions, because they are full of the unstinted praises of Him Whom all acknowledge as the noblest, purest, best, and most self-sacrificing of those who have worn the garment of our mortality,—any more than I have shrunk from long and appreciative study of poems containing very much with which I can have but scanty sympathy 1. Scrutinize all things : hold fast that which is good !

I may add that my experience as a translator has taught me that to get even a glimpse of the thought of a real poet, the student must often go down into the depths, must use every means to put himself in sympathy with his author, must learn to think and feel with him, and so—it may be—at last come to understand him.

Some German and Latin hymns were translated 150 years ago by that wonderful Tamil scholar and poetic genius, the missionary Fabricius ; and Fabricius 'hymn-book' has been, and deserved to be, the basis of nearly all the Christian Tamil  hymnology.

Though it is hardly classical, it is so vigorous and real in its tone, that it does not seem likely ever to lose its hold upon the affections of the Tamil Christian community. Nevertheless it is to be earnestly desired that the transfusion of much great European and sacred poetry into popular, easy, rhythmic Tamil verse resembling that of Manikkavaçagar, should be attempted. If a foreigner has bestowed infinite pains (would that it had been with greater results!) on the study of the Tiruvaçagam, perhaps some of the native scholars of South India, versed in English and Tamil, may be induced to inquire whether they cannot find fitting material for study, imitation, and translation in that inexhaustible mine of beauty, and profound thought which is opened up in English sacred verse, from the Hebrew psalms down to the Christian poetry of the present day. Nothing of this sort can be expected to live and be effective among a people if not expressed in their own vernacular language, the vulgar tongue, in which they were born.

The speech of a dying people may, perhaps, be allowed to die ; but this cannot be said of the Tamil race. Heaven forbid ! Dead languages have great uses. Even in their ashes live their wonted fires.' De mortuis nil nisi bonum! --yet, in many ways, the living tongues are better! One cannot tell what flowers may yet bloom, what fruits may yet ripen, on the hardy old trees. Let Tamilians cease to be ashamed of their vernacular!

There exists now much of what is called Christian Tamil, a dialect created by the Danish missionaries of Tranquehar ; enfiched by generations of Tanjore, German, and other missionaries ; modified, purified, and refrigerated by the Swiss Rhenius and the very composite Tinnevelly school ; expanded and harmonized by Englishmen, amongst whom Bower (a Eurasian), was foremost in his day ; and, finally, waiting now for the touch of some heaven born genius among the Tamil community to make it as sweet and effective as any language on earth, living or dead.

Of that unique genius Beschi (see Preface to my Kurral, for a history of this great man), and of De Nobilibus, and (in after days) of Ellis and Stokes,—with a multitude of others, such as Drew, Caldwell, and Percival, who advanced Tamil culture,— space forbids me here to speak.

Beschi—with his unnamed collaborators—has left what is a literature in itself, but—except certain prose books—tending more and more to become obsolete.

There has been at least one real native Christian poet, Vethanayaga Sastriyar of Tanjore, whose writings should be collected and edited. Christian lyrics, of unequal value, abound. Mr. Webb, an able American missionary of Madura, did much to develop these. The ' Pilgrim's Progress' has been versified ; and the first book of 'Paradise Lost,' by V. P. Subramanya Mudaliar, is a courageous attempt. Many more works might be cited, but this must suffice for Christian Tamil.

Amongst many others, Tirumular's Tirumantra,Tayumanavar's poems, Pattanattu Pillars poems, the Devaram, the Tiruviçaipa, with various articles in The Light of Truth, by N, B. and by P. A., exhibit at once the capabilities and needs of popular Tamil poetry.

Of old classical Tamil and its stores I have spoken elsewhere.

I am afraid I cannot recall more than two recent works which seem to me to give promise of a veritable re-descent in more modern attire of the Tamil Sarasvati.

The distinguished author of Manomaniyam, P. Suntharam has—too early for us—passed into the unseen. The copy he sent me (inscribed with characteristic modesty), 'Submitted to ---- with the author's best respects,' is to me a valued companion.

The little anonymous 2 volume—a first instalment—entitled Tani-paçura-togai ' seems to herald the advent of a new school to be heartily welcomed.

But Tamil—like Latin in the early Christian ages—must learn to adapt herself to the new order of things! Horace and Virgil would hardly have consented to part with their metrical system for the rhythms and rhymes of a later time ; yet Dies Irae ' and Veni Spiritus,' the poems of Richard and Adam of St. Victor, St. Bernard, and a multitude of others, came to dwell in the world's heart for ever; while Dante and all the great Italians are Latins!

The work of translation was here and there difficult, and I had to compare a great number of similar verses to get at the meaning. An anonymous scholar 3, who has written the only commentary I know on the Tiruvacagam, confesses himself at a loss to explain, among others, Poems I-IV. 1 have altered a few things in accordance with his interpretations, but have often seen reasons for differing. The work is very able and learned.

Generally my translation runs line for line with the original, and preserves something of its rhythm, where this did not interfere with fidelity to the sense.

Of the Tiruvacagam itself nothing need be added to what is elsewhere said.

My thanks are due to the Secretary of State for India for a liberal subsidy; to the Delegates of the Clarendon Press; and to many Tamil friends (who do not desire their names to be mentioned).

A full list of subscribers and donors will be duly published.

To Mr. Pembrey (as in my former writings) I owe very much for his indefatigable co-operation.


I date this on my eightieth birthday. I find, by reference, that my first Tamil lesson was in 1837. This ends, as I suppose, a long life of devotion to Tamil studies. It is not without deep emotion that I thus bring to a close my life's literary work.

Some years ago, when this publication was hardly projected, one evening, after prayers, the writer was walking with the late Master of Balliol College in the quadrangle. The conversation turned upon Tamil legends, poetry and philosophy. At length, during a pause in the conversation, the Master said in a quick way peculiar to him, You must print it.' To this the natural answer was, Master ! I have no patent of immortality, and' the work would take very long.' I can see him now, as he turned round,--while the moonlight fell upon his white hair and kindly face,— and laid his hand upon my shoulder, saying, To have a great work in progress is the way to live long. You will live till you finish it.' I certainly did not think so then, though the words have often come to my mind as a prophecy, encouraging me when weary ; and they have been fulfilled, while he has passed out of sight.

To the memory of Benjamin Jowett, one of the kindest, and best, and most forbearing of friends,—to whom I owe, among much else, the opportunity of accomplishing this and other undertakings, - I venture to inscribe this volume with all gratitude and reverence.

May the blessing of his Master and mine crown the very imperfect work!

G. U. POPE

BALLIOL COLLEGE,

April 24, 1900.


Footnotes

1. See my Naladiyar, p.92, and Introduction

2. The author's name is now given. The verses are by V. G. Suryanarayana Sastriar, ,B.A.. A., Head Tamil Pandit of the Madras Christian College. An enlarged edition with English renderings will soon be issued.

3.This was not published till my translation was in the press. Indeed the editor gives in his preface as one reason for the publication the fact that an Angaleyar (Englishman) was putting forth an English translation.

மாணிக்கவாசகரின் திருவாசகம் - ஒரு அறிமுகம் - Dr.S.Jayabarathi for Project Madurai

"திருவாசகம் வேறு, சிவன் வேறு", என்று எண்ணப்படாமல், சைவர்கள் பலரால் திருவாசக ஏடு, பூசையில் வைத்து வணங்கப்படும் பெருமையினையுடையது. திருவாசகப்பாடல்கள் உருகு உருகிப் பாடப்பெற்றமையால், படிப்பவரையும் கேட்பவரையும் மனம் உருகச்செய்யும். "திருவாசகத்துக்கு உருகாதார், ஒரு வாசகத்துக்கும் உருகார்" என்பது பழைய வாக்கு. குருவடிவாகக் காட்சியளித்து, தீட்சை தந்து, மறைந்த சிவனை மீண்டும் பெற நினைந்து, நினைந்து, நனைந்து பாடியவை. அவருடைய அனுபவம், "அழுதால் உன்னைப் பெறலாமே!"
மாணிக்கவாசகரால் எழுதப்பட்ட பெரும் நூல்கள் இரண்டு: 1.திருவாசகம்; 2. திருக்கோவையார். .."


தமிழ் வேதம்

இந்துக்கள் தங்களின் ஆதாரநூல்களாக நான்கு வேதங்களைக்கொள்வார்கள். வேதங்கள் அனைத்துமே வேத மொழியில் அமைந்துள்ளன. இவற்றிற்கு ஈடாகத் தமிழர்கள் தங்களின் தாய்மொழியில் திருமுறைகளையும் திவ்யப்பிரபந்தங்களையும் வைத்திருக்கிறார்கள். இவற்றையே "திராவிடவேதம்" என்றோ "தமிழ்மறைகள்" என்றோ கூறுவார்கள். சிவனையே முழுமுதற் கடவுளாகக் கொள்ளும் சைவர்கள் சைவத் திருமுறைகளைத்தாம் தமிழ்வேதமெனக் கூறுவர்.

திருமுறை

"திருமுறை" எனப்படுபவை சிவனை வழுத்தும் பாடல்கள் அல்லது சிவ ஆகமங்கள், தத்துவதரிசனங்கள், சித்தாந்தங்கள் ஆகியவற்றை விளக்கும் நூல்களின் தொகுப்புகள் ஆகும். திருமுறைகளில் பன்னிரண்டு தொகுப்புகள் இருக்கின்றன. இவற்றையே பன்னிரு திருமுறைகள் என்று அழைப்பார்கள். முதல் ஏழு திருமுறைகளில் தேவாரப்பாடல்கள் விளங்குகின்றன. எட்டாம் திருமுறையில்தான் திருவாசகமும் திருக்கோவையாரும் இருக்கின்றன.

மாணிக்கவாசகர்

இறைவனை வழுத்தும் நூல்களில் பக்தனின் ஆன்மீக அனுபவத்தைச் சொற்களாகப் பிழிந்தெடுத்து, கசிந்துருகிப் பேசுபவை உலகில் மிகமிகச்சில நூல்களே உள்ளன. அவ்வாறு காணப்படும் சில நூல்களில் ஒன்றென இடம்பெறும் சிறப்புபெற்றது, திருவாசகம்.

இதைப்பாடியவர் மாணிக்கவாசகர். அவரை மணிவாசகர் என்றும் அழைப்பர். இப்பெயர் இவருக்கு இறைவனால் இடப்பட்டதாகும்.

வரலாறு

இவர் வாழ்ந்த நாடு பாண்டியநாடு. சொந்த ஊர், மதுரையின் வடகிழக்கே பன்னிரண்டு மைல் தூரத்தில் இருக்கும் "தென்பறம்புநாட்டுத் திருவாதவூர்". சம்புபாதாசிருதர், சிவஞானவதி என்பவர்களின் புதல்வர். இவருடைய பெயர் திருவாதவூரார். இதுதான் இவருடைய இயற்பெயரா அல்லது சொந்த ஊரை ஒட்டி ஏற்பட்ட காரணப்பெயரா என்பது தெரியவில்லை.

காலம்

இவருடைய காலத்தைக்கூட அறுதியாகக்கூற இயலவில்லை. அறுபத்துமுன்று நாயன்மார்களின் வரிசையில் இவர் இல்லை. சுந்தரமூர்த்தி நாயனாரின் திருத்தொண்டத் தொகையில் இவர் பாடப்பெறவில்லை. ஆகவே எட்டாம் நூற்றாண்டில் வாழ்ந்தவராகிய சுந்தரருக்குக் காலத்தால் பிற்பட்டவராக இருக்கலாம். நம்பியாண்டார் நம்பியால் வகுக்கப் பட்ட திருமுறை வரிசையில் இவரது நூல்கள் இடம்பெறுகின்றன. ஆகவே பத்தாம் நூற்றாண்டின் இறுதியில் பிறந்த நம்பியின் காலத்துக்கும் முற்பட்டவர். அரிகேசரி அல்லது அரிமர்த்தனன் என்னும் பாண்டியமன்னனின் காலத்தவர்.

பாண்டிய அமைச்சர்

இவர் இளமையிலேயே ஒரு மாபெரும் மேதையாகத் திகழ்ந்தவர். ஆகவே மதுரைப்பாண்டியமன்னன், இவரை அழைத்துவந்து தன்னுடைய மந்திரியாக வைத்டுக் கொண்டான்.தென்னவன் பிரமராயன் என்னும் உயரிய விருதொன்றைத்தந்து பெருமைப் படுத்தினான்.

ஆன்மீக நாட்டம்

அரசனுக்குக் அமைச்சராக இருந்தாலும் அவர் ஆன்மீக நாட்டம் கொண்டவராகவே இருந்தார். தக்கதொரு குருவை அவர் உள்ளம் நாடியவாறிருந்தது.

குதிரைக் கொள்முதல்

ஒரு நாள், தன்னுடைய குதிரைப் படையைப் பலப்படுத்தவேண்டி, &