கர விசும்பு எரி வளி நீர் நிலம் இவை மிசை
வரன் அவில் திறல் வலி அளி பொறை ஆய் நின்ற
பரனடி மேல் குருகூர்ச் சடகோபன் சொல்
நிறன் இறை ஆயிரத்து இவை பத்தும் வீடே (TVM 1.1.11)
The foregoing ten stanzas,out of the thousand, rich alike (matter and manner of expression), in sound and substance sung by Sadagopan of Kurugur, in adoration of the Glorious Feet of the Supreme Lord, the great Contriver and Controller of the five elements, the spatial ether, air, fire, water and earth, with their respective basic qualities of sound, force, heat, chillness and endurance, shall lead (the chanters onto) ‘Moksham’ – final emancipation from the bondage of samsara, the terrific cycle of birth and death.
(i) The first decad sets the pattern of the entire work, with the last stanza of each decad indicating the benefits accruing to one who chants the songs in the decad and/or learns the meanings thereof. One might wonder how the Saint could refer to the size of the work, as comprising thousand stanzas right at the start. Well, there are two ways of looking at it, namely:
- As one whose knowledge was fully inspired by God, he knew that he would reel off a thousand stanzas; and
- The poet could not sustain himself except by singing a thousand songs in adoration of the Lord, and thus it was a matter already contemplated by him, a resolution, as it were,to sing as many songs.
(ii) Summing up, in this stanza (and in the decad as a whole), Nammazhwar has made it abundantly clear that our salvation lies in seeking refuge at the Lord’s Feet. The path of loving surrender to God, otherwise known as “Dirgha Saranagathi” is the central theme of the whole work. The first decad, summarized herein, is the epitome of the of the entire hymnal. The first three stanzas of this decad sum up the topic of the whole decad. Especially, the first stanza of this decad is the quintessence of the first three stanzas and the opening line of the first stanza, is a brilliant summary thereof.