A tamil verse on bhṛṅgī-भृङ्गी

A तमिऴ् verse on भृण्गी that I composed in the metro while commuting to a professional event:

 

உண்டு பிரிவோ உயிருடலிடையே என

उण्डु पिरिवो उयिरुडलिडैये ऎन

வண்டுருக்கொண்டு துளையில் வலஞ்செய்ய

वण्डुरुक्कॊण्डु तुळैयिल् वलञ्जॆय्य

கண்டுமை வெகுண்டு ஊனிழந்த முனிவரை

कण्डुमै वॆगुण्डु ऊनिऴन्द मुनिवरै

கண்டு முக்காலர் முக்காலராய் செய்தாரே

कण्डु मुक्कालर् मुक्कालराय् सॆय्दारे

 

உண்டு பிரிவோ உயிருடலிடையே என

उण्डु पिरिवो उयिरुडलिडैये ऎन

उण्डु: There is; पिरिवो: पिरिवु means separation; the last syllable transformed to वो makes it a question; thus, “separation?”; उयिरुडलिडैये: उयिर् (life, soul आत्मन् )  + उडल् (body, देह ) + इडैये (between); ऎन: ऎ is the short ‘e’ sound; same as the ‘e’ in the word, “pet” or “sell”. ऎन functions, more or less, in the same way as इति in संस्कृतम्, meaning “thus”; here, as per the context, it is to be rendered as, “thus thinking”;

Translation: “Is there separation between the soul and the body”, thus [thinking]

 

வண்டுருக்கொண்டு துளையில் வலஞ்செய்ய

वण्डुरुक्कॊण्डु तुळैयिल् वलञ्जॆय्य

वण्डुरुक्कॊण्डु: वण्डु (bee) + उरु (form) + कॊण्डु (कॊ, here the ‘o’ is a short one. The word means getting/having. In this context, it is appropriate to render it as “taking upon”; तुळैयिल्: तुळै (hole) + इल् (A grammatical case-ending denoting the ‘locative case’-i.e. “in the”); वलञ्जॆय्य: वलम् (circumbulation) + चॆय्य (the ‘che’ here has a short ‘e’, like the word for the musical instrument, ‘cello’;  चॆय्य means, doing)

Translation: Taking upon a bee-form, and in the hole circumbulating;

 

கண்டுமை வெகுண்டு ஊனிழந்த முனிவரை

कण्डुमै वॆगुण्डु ऊनिऴन्द मुनिवरै

कण्डुमै: This should be split as कण्ड + उमै (கண்ட + உமை); कण्ड (saw/seeing) + उमै (उमादेवी); वॆगुण्डु: (वॆ has a short ‘e’, just like the ve in velvet; the word means, “got angry”; but it must be read with the rest of the line; the last word of the 3rd line is the object of the entire verse); ऊनिऴन्द: ऊन् (body/flesh) + ऴन्द (lost) मुनिवरै (that मुनि-)

Translation:  The मुनि who lost his flesh by the wrath of उमा seeing [him]

Translation in context: The मुनि who lost his flesh by the wrath of उमा seeing the मुनि who, thinking, “Can there be separation between soul and body?”, take upon the form of a bee to bore a hole through अर्धनारीश्वर and circumbulate only the right half that is शिव.

 

கண்டு முக்காலர் முக்காலராய் செய்தாரே

कण्डु मुक्कालर् मुक्कालराय् सॆय्दारे

कण्डु: Saw/seeing; मुक्कालर्: मु (three) + कालर् (one who abides in time); thus, one who abides in all three times; मुक्कालराय्: मु (three) + कालर् (legged one; in तमिऴ्, काल् means leg) + आय् (a grammatical ending to indicate a transformation); सॆय्दारे: सॆय्दार् (did/made)  + ए (an emphatic particle used to stress).

Translation: Seeing [that मुनि], the [great god,] one [who abides] in all three times, made him (the मुनि) a three-legged one.

 

Overall Translation: “Can there be separation between soul and body?”, thus thinking, taking upon the form of a bee to bore a hole through अर्धनारीश्वर and circumbulating only the right half that is शिव; the मुनि lost his flesh as उमा saw him do that; seeing the मुनि thus, he, the great god abiding forever in all three times, made him three-legged.

 

The poem above compactly encapsulates the story of भृङ्गी, a fanatical भक्त of महादेव, the curse on him by उमा to be emptied of his flesh & the subsequent blessing by शिव with a 3rd leg to support himself, and, in fact, become a teacher of dance! Here, I tried to redeem भृङ्गी by giving his act a deeper meaning (रहस्यार्थ). He did not mean to slight the देवी by refusing to worship her. So, what was the motive?

He (in my poetic license; may हरः & अम्बा be pleased) thought that since she is inseparable from him as a body is from the soul, why should he violate this truth by worshiping her separately? In the सिद्धान्त-शैव system, the relationship of शिव and शक्ति is analogous to that of the soul and body, respectively. And thus, to instruct him on the importance of honouring शिव $ देवी together but distinctly, she empties his body of all flesh & substance, in line with his understanding that honouring the self/soul (शिव) negates the need for honouring the body (शक्ति) separately.

Of course, due to her compassion for an exalted भक्त of शिव , she stops short of making him completely disembodied. Nevertheless, with his body essentially emptied, भृङ्गी has no support to stand upon. However, शिव being the शक्तिमान्, while not undoing the effect of शक्ति’s words, grants him a divine 3rd leg, which supports him. Not only does it support him; but with this 3rd leg alone, भृङ्गी dances together with the three-eyed god; just like the three-eyed god. For it is शिव, who has शक्ति, with all her forms and names, in his eternal lordship as the शक्तिमान्, and bestows grace upon his भक्त-s as he pleases, as the श्रीमन्-मृगेन्द्रागम tells us.

 

 

 

 

 

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