Author Topic: Chengottai Avudai Akka  (Read 1780 times)

Subramanian.R

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Chengottai Avudai Akka
« on: March 02, 2010, 10:08:14 AM »
It is, I think, more than 15 days since I wrote a primary post.  In MP,
Jan-Mar 2010, I read an interesting article about Chengottai Avudai
Akka.  She was a child hood widow, lost her husband even before her
attaining puberty.  On the day of her first menstruation, her head was
shaven, she was given a white sari and her bangles were broken.

I had the collection of poems of Chengottai Auvdai Akka, in Tamil,
published by Swami Gnananda Niketan, Tapovanam, Tamil Nadu.
She was a born Jnani and she had to undergo this one gruesome
birth before deliverance.   Tiruvisai Nallur Sridhara Venkateswara
Ayyaval, who was going to Travancore, came on his way to Chengottai
and under debated circumstances, gave her initiation of Rama Japa and
Tatvam Asi.  She left Chengottai (which is near Sankaran Kovil, near
Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu.) and a few disciples followed.  Soon she came
to Tiruvisai Nallur near Kaveri - Ayyaval's hometown and was listening
to his Nama Sankirtan and spent time in active meditation.  Soon she
started composing simple songs on Advaita, in loose Tamil blank verses.

These songs are quite famous in Southern Tamil Nadu.  Bhagavan Ramana
had mentioned that her songs were chanted by His Mother Azhagamma.

In her songs, invariably, Avudai Akka, used to indicate her pranams to
Venkateswara  i.e her guru.

One song, which I have myself translated, roughly, is as under:

How can you tell about Advaita to fools?
How can the ghee poured over ashes (without fire) can
  burn?
How can the mukuran (the fellow who has no nose and even smelling
  faculty), smell the sandal paste?

One can only keep the ripe fruit to ripen further in the house,
How can the unripe baby fruit will ever ripen?
How can one give upadesa to donkeys?
O Venkateswara, please tell me, Swami!

A few songs have been given translated in English in MP issue.

Avudai means Gomathi.  This is the name of Goddess in the Siva
temple in Sankaran Kovil, where Siva has got the name of Sankara
Narayana.

Avudai Akka climbed over the hill near the waterfalls in Kuttralam
and she never returned.

Arunachala Siva.