Jun 22 2009
Silence, unmoved and rising
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…
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)