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“Aathi chudi” is a genre in Tamil literature consisting of phrases subject to certain grammatical norms. They are easy to remember by the young and old alike conveying message and meaning to the whole of humanity in a simple manner.

It was the Tamil savant Avvayar- poet of early sangam age, who wrote in this style and later followed by some out of which outstanding works are those of Mahakavi Bharathiyar and his ardent follower Bharathidhasan.

In this write up we are going to see in parts, these great sayings translated into English by me and the originals.  For those who are interested in reading the Tamil version also, transliteration in English is also provided.There are 110 dicta in Bharathiyar’s New Aathi Choodi”. All of them have universal appeal beyond regions and religions, language and culture!

It starts with a prayer to the Almighty thus.

ஆத்திசூடி இளம்பிறை அணிந்து
மோனத்திருக்கும் முழுவெண் மேனியான்
கருநிறங் கொண்டுபாற் கடல்மிசை கிடப்போன்
மகமது நபிக்கு மறையருள் புரிந்தோன்
ஏசுவின் தந்தை எனப்பல மதத்தினர்
உருவகத் தாலே உணர்ந்துணராது
பலவகை யாகப் பரவிடும் பரம்பொருள்
ஒன்றே, அதனியல் ஒளியுறும் அறிவாம்
அதனிலை கண்டார் அல்லல் அகற்றினார்
அதனருள் வாழ்த்தி அமரவாழ்வு எய்துவோம்!

While rendered in English, reads as

”Aththi’ wearing as a new moon curve,
Sitting in silence in His white body,
Lying in the milky ocean in his black complexion;.
The one who blessed Prophet Mohamed Nabi, the truth of Quran
Great power, father of Jesus- all religions adore
One and the same-its nature KNOWLEDGE in its brightest
That Supreme Power on Earth-
That guides the world and its people.
All those who realize are rid of miseries,
Invoking its grace, let us attain immortality!

(“Aththi” is a flower of medicinal tree dedicated to Lord Shiva one of the trinities according to a faith”’)

(1)  அச்சம் தவிர்
Acchcham thavir
Discard Fear

(2) ஆண்மை தவறேல்
Aanmai thavarel
Fail not manliness

(3)  இளைத்தல் இகழ்ச்சிi
Ilaiththal igazchchi
Weakness is humiliation

(4) ஈகை திறன்
Eegai thiran
Charity depends on ability

(5) உடலினை உறுதி செய்
Udalinai uruthi sei
Ensure good physique

(6) ஊண் மிக விரும்பு
OON mika virumbu
Love your food

(7)  எண்ணுவது உயர்வு
Ennuvathu uyarvu
Always think high

(8) ஏறு போல் நட
Eru poal nada
Walk majestically

(9) ஐம்பொறி ஆட்சி கொள்
Aimpori aatchi koll
Have control over senses five

(10)  ஒற்றுமை வலிமையாம்
Otrumai valimaiyaam
Unity is strength

(11)  ஓய்தல் ஒழி
Oydhal ozi.
Discard laziness.

(12)  ஒளடதம் குறை
Audatham kurai.
Reduce the medicines.

(13)  கற்றது ஒழுகு
Katrathu ozuku.
Practice what you have learnt.

(14) காலம் அழியேல்
Kaalam aziyEl
Fritter not the time.

(15)  கிளை பல தாங்கேல்
KiLai pala thaangkEl
Limit your family.

(To be continued in Part2)


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