Jun 22 2009

Civivakkiyar – Silence

Published by at 8:33 am under Poetry

Silence, unmoved and rising
by Civivakkiyar

English version by Kamil V. Zvelebil

Silence, unmoved and rising,
Silence, unmoved and sheltering,
Silence, unmoved and permanent,
Silence, unmoved and brilliant,
Silence, broad and immense like the Ganga,
Silence, unmoved and increasing,
Silence, white and shining like the Moon,
Silence, the Essence of Siva.

— from The Poets of the Powers: Freedom, Magic, and Renewal, Translated by Kamil V. Zvelebil

/ Photo by Prabhu B /

This poem has a wonderful rhythm and repetition. A chant. Sound evoking silence. Silence, broad and immense…


India (9th Century) Timeline
Yoga / Hindu : Shaivite (Shiva)

Civivakkiyar is one of the most revered of the Tamil Siddha poet-saints in southern India.

Scholars guess that Civivakkiyar lived perhaps in the 9th century. Some of his poetry makes use of relatively modern words borrowed from Sanskrit, meaning he can’t be placed in earlier centuries, yet he is mentioned by the earliest of Pattinattar’s poetry, meaning he must have lived before the 10th century.

Like many other Tamil Siddhas, he denounced orthodoxy, mindless ritualism, and the strict caste system, all the while being a genuinely realized mystic.

His Tamil poems are gathered together in a collection called simply the Patal (Songs)

More poetry by Civivakkiyar

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Civivakkiyar – Silence”

  1. Jim Atwellon 22 Jun 2009 at 11:10 am

    Silence where is your song in a world of sound?
    Perhaps the endless chatter of busy minds is your entertainment.
    Perhaps it is the dance of form into your formlessness that speaks to you.
    Perhaps the rhythm of time into an ocean of Love is your drum.
    Perhaps you don’t speak because I don’t know your language.
    Sing to me a song of silence and we will play it together.
    I hear you, you touched my heart, I will become quiet in Love.

    Much Love
    Jim Atwell

  2. aparnaon 26 Jun 2009 at 11:22 pm

    It’s stillness.

    So much still ness in the silence of this poem

    I don’t know what to complement you on??
    The rising stillness of silence in Civivakkiyar’s poem or the pulsating vibrancy of Jim’s idea of silence.

    Thanks Ivan, for the chaikhana.

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