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“Crafted with passion their labor” ♫ A Tributary to Mandolin U. Srinivas and Gala for The Guardian Goddess

by K. Thirukumaran

Featuring Translation of the Song “Vellai Thamarai Poovil Iruppall”

A Song what can be referred as the “Anthem” of the Goddess of Wisdom, Saraswathy is “Vellai Thamarai Poovil Iruppall”. This song was written by Mahakavi Subramaniya Bharathiyaar and has been rendered by many artistes, both as vocal and also instrumental. The song is especially featured during last there days of the Nine night festival “Navarathri”. The poet sees that not just learning, but anything aesthetic, compassionate words or even adorable tot-speak and birds tweet in nature’s wonder are that of divine manifestation via goddess Saraswathy.


“Navarathri”, the festivities of nine nights mark the first three days for Goddess of bravery Durga and Goddess of wealth Lakshmi the next three days.

The final three nights of Navarathri are dedicated to Goddess Saraswathy, and on the third night Sarawathy Pooja is held. This year the 9th day gala for the Guardian Goddess is observed on October 2/3.

Here is a presentation of “Vellai Thamarai Poovil” as a Tributary to Mandolin U Srinivas who passed away few days ago at an early age to the immense sadness of his fans:

“Vellai Thamarai” ~ by Mandolin U. Srinivas

The song is uploaded on YouTube during these last three days of Navarathri as homage to Mandolin U. Srinivas. A “tributary” now as the renderings of the late mandolin prodigy are also becoming part of the river-like and immortal works of Subramaniya Bharathiyaar. They both encompass the divinity of Goddess Saraswathy during these days of Navarathri.

The following is a translation of the song:

White lotus flower on she is seated
She would be in sound Veena emanated
Immensely joyful gracious poetry
Writing poet hearts her residency

Meanings sought and prayed in devotion
Hymns she therein be illumination
Uttered by sages without deception
She forms therein depth of compassion

She would be in melodious songs of lass
In she is within lisping talk of tots
In Arias reciting hummingbird voice
Residing she on parakeet tongue

Crafted with passion their labor
Gracious painting temple tower
Setting in them she with precision
Embodying she state of pleasure

Madurai Mani Iyer

A popular early rendering of this song came from Madurai Mani Iyer (October 25, 1912 – June 8, 1968).

An article in The Hindu notes the singing of Madurai Mani Iyer as follows:

“His music was melodious. More than anything else, he enjoyed singing and that reflected in his personality both on and off stage. In fact he often eschewed lyrics that smacked of disillusionment with the world and other worldly matters. He firmly believed that music should enliven the listener.” (via The Hindu: http://www.thehindu.com/thehindu/fr/2002/10/25/stories/2002102501340900.htm)

“Vellai Thamarai – by Madurai Mani Iyer

His rendering of the song “Vellai Thamarai Poovil” resonates with the above observation.


Other singers of the song:

KJ Yesudas

KJ Yesudas

K.J. Yesudas

D.K. Pattammal

D.K. Pattammal

D.K. Pattammal and Nithyasree

Sakthi is the “Guardian Goddess” of Mahakavi Subramaniya Bharathiyar. He has said that Navarathri is a favorite festival of his and that he look forward to celebrate it every year.


In 2014, Navarathri is from September 25th to October 3rd.

Calendars in USA and Canada have marked the beginning date as September 24th.

Vanni Vizha or Saraswathy Pooja, the special day for the Goddess of Wisdom and Learning is celebrated at schools, work places and temples by students, workers and artistes and everyone in their joyous tenet of appreciation for the state of pleasure she brings upon and represents.

10th day of Navarathri, Vijayathasami is (Oct 3/4 in 2014) an auspicious day to initiate learning and related new beginnings.