Great Tamil Poetess -Nappasalai (Post No.7330)


Date: 11 DECEMBER 2019

 Time in London – 19-29

Post No. 7330

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Tamil laymen knew about great Tamil poetesses Avvaiyar, Andal and Karaikkal Ammaiyar. But many people do not know about Sangam age women poets.

Nappashalai was one of the Sangam Age (Sangam age – first three centuries of modern era) Tamil poetesses. Her seven verses are in Purananuru of Sangam Age.

She was a native of Marokkam in south Pandya country.  Her odes were admired by all the kings f the day. There is much art in the following ode praising Killi Valavan’s generosity justice and might; she mentions the Sibi Chakravarthy Story from the Puranas. Several poets have pointed out that Cholas belong to Solar Race and  Sibi, Mandhata and others of Surya Kula are their forefathers. Here is her poem:-

Descendant of him who to save a dove from grief entered the balance… giving in grace was born with you, and is not your peculiar praise!

And when one ponders how your forefathers of ancient days destroyed the mighty fort suspended in the sky which foes dreaded to approach – to slay your foes is not your peculiar praise!

And since the council of Uraiyur , impregnable city of the valiant Cholas is the home of equity; Justice is not your peculiar praise!

Oh Valavan! Swift horsemen , whose stout arms are like fortress bars , whose wreaths attract every eye, how then shall I sing your praise?”

— Purananuru verse 39


Napashalai’s ode on the death of Killi is marked by a quaintness of conceit in her address to Death:-

If in his mind against you he were  wroth

Or if in outward act he showed his rage,

Or if he touched you with afflictive hand ,

You could not have escaped, O Death!

You took great Valavan, entreating him,

Like minstrels, bowing low, with suppliant hand

Praising you did bear off his life,

Leader of hosts that crowd the glorious field,

Crowned with gold wreath, Lord of the mighty car.

Purananuru verse 226


There is another lyric where she expresses pathos. She expressed grief at the destruction of the fair city of Karur by the impetuous  Chola king Killi Valavan.

You scion of the Chola Lord who saved

The dove from woe- chief of the wrathful hosts

Armed with gleaming darts that work havoc

As when a fiery dragon , angry, fierce,

Bearing five heads, with gleaming poisonous tooth,

Has entered the vast mountainous cavern, where

The golden creepers twine, and from the sky

Fire issues forth and loudest thunderbolt

You saw the lordly city old, whose king

Was circled round by girdled elephants

There in deep dark moat alligators congregate

In the wide waters of guarded lake

Are crocodiles that fierce in fight

Dart forth to catch the shadows cast

By gleam of watchman’s torch at midnight hour.

Its walls like burnished copper shone.

This seemed not fair to your eyes; for you did

Work destruction mightily, glorious king!-

Purananuru verse 37

Translations of odes by  P T S Aiyangar, G U Pope and Kanakasabhai


31 Golden Sayings from Tamil Poetess Avvaiyar (Post No.4543)

Compiled by London Swaminathan 


Date: 25 DECEMBER 2017 


Time uploaded in London- 7-06 am



Post No. 4543

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January 2018 Good Thoughts Calendar

Festival Days :-  January 1 New Year, 2 Arudra Darsanam, 13-Bogi Pandikai, 14 -Makara Sankaranti/Pongal, 24- Ratha Sapthami, 26- Republic Day, 30 -Gandhi’s death anniversary, 31- Thai Pusam, LUNAR ECLIPSE (Chandra Grahanam)

31 Golden Sayings from Tamil Poetess Avvaiyar’s books Muthurai and Nalvazi are given in this month’s calendar.

New Moon/Amavasai –16

Full Moon/Purnima– 2, 31+Lunar Eclipse

Ekadasi Fasting Days– 12, 27/28


January 1 Monday

Coconut tree sucks water from the ground and gives sweet water (at top) in tender coconut (fruit). If one does good to another, he would get in return something good – Muthurai 1

January 2 Tuesday

Gift given to good will be like a carving on a stone; Good done to ungrateful will vanish like writing on the water – Muthurai verse 2

January 3 Wednesday

Painful is adversity in youth and painful is prosperity in old age like the tree blossoming out of season and beautiful woman without a partner- Muthurai 3


January 4 Thursday

Though the conch shell is burnt, it remains white; though the milk is boiled it is tasty; Even when good people have difficulties they remain noble. verse 4

January 5 Friday

All the towering trees do not bear fruits but in due season; One’s tireless efforts won’t be successful until the time of fortune arrives- Verse 5


January 6 Saturday

Water lily grows as long as the water level is; one’s intelligence is up to the level of their studies. One’s accession of wealth depends upon the good deeds one did in previous births – verse 7

January 7 Sunday

To see good people is good; to listen to good words is good; to speak the virtues of good people is good; to associate with them is also good- verse 8


January 8 Monday

To see the bad people is bad; to listen to the rude words is wicked; to speak about the bad people is evil; to associate with them is sinful- verse 9

January 9 Tuesday

The water fed to the paddy fields benefits the grass in those fields as well; In the same way even if one person is on earth it rains benefitting all- verse 10


January 10 Wednesday

The screw pine has large leaves and has no scent; the Mahila has small petals but has got good smell; the sea is large but the water is not usable; though a spring is small it serves all- verse 12



January 11 Thursday

Good trees are not that grow in the forest; men who stand in the assembly and unable to read or interpret are the trees (wooden logs)- verse 13

January 12 Friday

The turkey, on seeing the peacock spreading its wings and dance, is spreading its ugly wings thinking it can do it; it is like men of ignorance showing off- verse 14

January 13 Saturday

A healer fell a victim to the tiger he tried to save; so is the help rendered to the ignoble; it breaks like a pot that fell on a rock – verse 15

January 14 Sunday

Don’t think that the patient people are ignoramuses; they are like the stork which waits for the right fish to come and fall in the trap- verse 16

January 15 Monday

Those who forsake you in crises are not relations; they are like the water birds that desert when the tank is dry; relations are the ones who stick to you even at the time of distress like the edible root and flowering plants that stick to the tank in dry season. – verse 17


January 16 Tuesday

Though a gold pot breaks it is still gold; what would be the worth of a mud pot that breaks? Great people are like the gold pots even when they are fallen – verse 18

January 17 Wednesday

Though you dip a measure in the deep sea water, it wont take four measures; though you get riches and husband , the happiness depends on destiny or fate – verse 19


January 18 Thursday

congenital diseases can kill though they are born with you; but herbs growing in far off mountains can heal the sick; don’t depend on people who are born with you; there are people like the medicinal plants somewhere- verse 20

January 19 Friday

When there is a good wife, the house has everything; if the wife is not good it’s like a tiger infested forest- verse 21

January 20 Saturday

Action follows fate or pre -written; Nothing happens as one wish for. Even Kalpaka tress will give you bitter nox vomica due to past karma- verse 22


January 21 Sunday

The wrathful vulgar are un weldable like the split or broken stones; but the good ones join like broken golden pots; the anger of righteous people disappear like the cut in water made by an arrow- verse 23


January 22 Monday

The learned are enamoured by the society of scholars. They are like the swans that swim together in a tank; the illiterates are like the crow that feasts on the dead bodies in the cremation ground- verse 24

January 23 Tuesday

Poisonous cobras hide in the holes fearing human beings; non-poisonous water snakes lie in the open field; they don’t fear an attack from humans. Those who are cunning at heart keep themselves aloof; those with open heart will never skulk- verse 25


January 24 Wednesday

A king is respected in his own country only; a learned man is respected wherever he goes; so, a scholar commands more respect than a monarch- Muthurai verse 26

January 25 Thursday

To a plantain tree, its own baby plant does harm; the woman who does not behave is a yama/god of death to her own husband- verse 27


January 26 Friday

With the Lady of Fortune comes wealth, great beauty and noble birth to us; they will vanish when she goes out- Muthurai verse 29

January 27 Saturday

Shun evil, Do good- all religions preach- Nalvazi verse 1

January 28 Sunday

There only two castes in the world; those who give are great; those who don’t give are base born- Nalvazi verse 2

January 29 Monday

This body is a bag of miseries; don’t take this false body as real; if you do charity you attain liberation- Nalvazi verse 3

January 30 Tuesday

It is hard to do anything good unless the past merits favour it; it is like a blind man using his walking stick to get down fruits from a mango tree; unless the right time comes it is a futile action- Nalvazi verse 4.


January 31 Wednesday

The life of sages is like water on lotus leaf. water is on the leaf but aloof, never wets it; the sages are in the world and out of it at once – Nalvazi verse 7