Sakala Kalaa Valli Maalai

Sakala Kalaa Valli Maalai
[Garland of prayers to the Goddess of all Arts]
By Swamy Kumaraguruparar
Translated by P. R. Ramachander

[Here is a great prayer addressed to Saraswathi, the goddess of learning. It is composed by the great saint Kumara Guru Parar, of the Tamil Saivite tradition. In his quest to popularize the great philosophical implications of Tamil Saivism, this saint reached Benares. To establish an Ashram there as well as to look after the great Kedareswarar temple in Benares, he had to talk to Dara, the moghul prince. It seems he sung this great prayer addressed to Goddess Saraswathi and went to meet Dara on a lion. He ultimately got what he wanted and the ashram he established still manages the great Kedareswarar temple in Benares. His detailed life history can be found at The tamil text and explanation is given at]

Ven thamaraiku andri nin padam thaanga, yen vellai ullam,
Than thamaraikku thkaathu kolo, chakam ezhum alithu,
Undan uranga ozhithaan pithaaga undakum vannam,
Kandaan Chuvai kol karumbhe, sakala kala valliye. 1

Oh goddess who is an expert in all the arts,
And oh Sugarcane to the four faced God
When Lord Vishnu who protected the seven worlds,
During the deluge slept and when Lord Shiva was danced wildly,
Can my white heart which is like the cool lotus not support your feet,
Instead of the white lotus on which it usually rests?

Naadum porut chuvai, chor chuvai thoy thara naar kaviyum,
Padum paniyil paninthu arulvay, pangaya aasanathil,
Koodum pasum por kodiye, kana thana kundrum iympaal,
Kadum chumakkum karumbe, sakalakalavalliye. 2

Oh tender golden climber resting on a seat of lotus,
Oh goddess who is an expert in all the arts,
Oh sugarcane who carries her hill like breasts,
And forest like hair which is made up in five pleats,
Please shower your grace to help me in singing a song,
In which I seek tasty meaning and tasty words in four types of poems*
*AAsu kavi-That which is sung immediately. Madhura kavi- musical poem with
Sweet meaning, Chithira kavi- A poem with arrangement of pretty words as
If it is a picture, Vithara kavi-poem of different formulations.

Alikkum chenthamizh thel amudhu aarndhu, un arut kadalil,
Kulikkum padikku, yendru koodum kolo, ulam kondu thelli,
Thelikkum panuval pulavor kavi mazhai chintha kkandu,
Kalikkum kalapa mayile, Sakalakalavalliye. 3

Oh goddess who is an expert in all the arts,
Oh peacock who dances with fully open feathers, on seeing,
The great poets spray slowly the rain of poems with their mind,
When I would be able to take bath in the sea of your grace,
Of pure Tamil and drink it after understanding it like nectar.

Thookkum panuval thurai thoyndha kalviyum, chor chuvai thoy,
Vakkum peruga panithu arulvay vada nool kadalum,
Thekkum chezhunthamizh cchelvamum thondar chennavil nindru,
Kaakum karunai kkadale, sakalakala valliye. 4

Oh goddess who is an expert in all the arts,
Oh ocean of mercy who stands on the red toungue of devotees,
And protects the sea of books of Sanskrit and the wealth of the great Tamil,
Please grant me words tinged with taste of words and the knowledge,
Which is got by judging, the greatness of books from different subjects.

Panjappu idham tharum cheyya porpada pangeruham yen,
Nenja thadathu alarathathu yenne neduthaal kamalathu,
Anja thuvasam uyarndhon chennauvum agamum vellai,
Kanja thavisu othirundhaay, sakalakalavalliye. 5

Oh goddess who is an expert in all the arts,
Oh Goddess who sits on a lotus as well as the red toungue of Lord Brahma,
Who himself sits on a lotus flower with a long stalk and having a flag of swan,
Why is it that the lotus flower of your golden feet which are,
As pretty in the redness like the red cotton, does not open in my heart.

Pannum bharathamum kalviyum, theenchol panuvalum, yaan,
Yennum pozhuthu yelithu yedhanalkay, ezhutha marayum,
Vinnum puviyum punalum kanalum vengaalum anbar,
Kannum karuthum nirainthay, sakalakala valliye. 6

Oh goddess who is an expert in all the arts,
Who is spread in sky, earth, water, fire, wind, Vedas,
As well as in the eyes and thoughts of your devotees,
Please grant me skills of Tamil poetry, dance, knowledge,
And sweet Tamil poems, as and when I wish in an easy manner.

Pattum porulum porulaal porunthum yen paal,
Kootom padi nin kadaikkan nalgay, ulam kondu thondar,
Theetum kalai thamizh theempaal amudham thelikkum vannam,
Kaattum vel othimappete, sakalakala valliye. 7

Oh goddess who is an expert in all the arts,
Oh white swan who shows very clearly
The sweet milk nectar like creations in Tamil of your devotees,
Give me your side long glance so the song and its meaning,
As well as the use of this meaning to all becomes a part of me.

Cholvir panamum, avadhanamum kalvi cholla valla,
Nal vithayum thandhu adimai kolvay, nalini Aasanam cher,
Chelvikku arithu yendru oru kaalamum chidayamai nalgum,
Kalvi pperum chelva pere, sakalakala valliye. 8

Oh goddess who is an expert in all the arts,
Oh treasure of the gift of knowledge which is never perishable,
Given to me because it is impossible for Goddess Lakshmi sitting on a lotus to give it,
Make me your own slave by giving me expertise in words,
Multiple knowledge skills and the capacity to transfer my knowledge to others.

Chorkkum porutkkum uyiraam mey jnanathil thotham yenna,
Nirkindra ninnai ninaippavar yaar nilam thoy puzhai kkai,
Nargum charthin pidiyodu arasu annam nana nadai,
Karkkum paadambuyathaale, sakalakala valliye. 9

Oh goddess who is an expert in all the arts,
Oh goddess who with her lotus like feet, learns to walk,
Along with the she elephant which has a long trunk touching the earth,
And the royal swan and make both of them became ashamed,
Which person is that intelligent so that. he can think about you,
And has the real wisdom, which is the soul of the words and their meaning.

Man kanda ven kudai keezhaaga, mer ppatta mannaum yen,
Pan kanda alavil paniya cheyvay, padaippon mudalaam,
Vin kanda deivam pala kodi undenum, vilimbil unai pol,
Kan kanda deivam ulatho, sakalakala valliye. 10

Oh goddess who is an expert in all the arts,
Though the world has millions of gods starting like Lord Brahma,
In the heavens, is there any other visible God who is like you,
And so please all the kings who rule this earth under a white umbrella,
Bow before me, as soon as they hear my poems.