One does not have to be a Vaishnavaite, or even understand Tamil all that well, to be staggered, and completely moved by the awe inspiring literary and devotional creations of the Azhwars. A chance encounter with a verse from the Thiru Pallandu prefacing Periyalwar Thirumozhi on Krishna’s spinning chakram, Sudarsana, paying obeisance (in my error riddled imagination) by imagining the disc as a dense, spinning ball of fire in Krishna’s hand left me struggling to fight back my tears. Such is the power and poetry of Azhwar Paasurams. What a delightful juxtaposition of words with “zha” and “ra” in them. My (rather error riddled) transliteration below.
Thiyir Pozhigindra Senchudar Aazhi
Thigazh thiru Sakkarathin
Koyir Poriyale Ondrundu nindru kudi kudiat cheikindrom
Maya porupadai Vaananin Ayirantholum
Pozhikuzhidhipaiya suzhatriya Aazhi Vallanukku
I am also reminded by the this famous quote by Heinrich Hertz:
One cannot escape the feeling that these mathematical formulas have an
independent existence and an intelligence of their own, that they are
wiser than we are, wiser even than their discoverers, that we get more
out of them than was originally put into them.
One can perhaps say the same of Azhwaar Paasurams.