Wow, I feel so awed by these lines, these lines questions the validity of our perceptions/views/ beliefs/thoughts about this world… brilliance is one word which sums it! do pay attention to each word ( can be interpreted in multiple ways, this is my interpretation).

Movie: Bharathi
Poet: Subramanya Bharathi
Singer: Harish Raghavendra
Music: Ilayaraaja
Song Sequence: (1)-(1)-(2)-(3)-(3)-(4)-(1)-(5)-(5)-(6)

(1)நிற்பதுவே நடப்பதுவே பறப்பதுவே
நீங்களெல்லாம் சொப்பனந்தானோ? 
பல தோற்ற மயக்கங்களோ?

Nirpathuve nadapathuve parapathuve,
neengalellam soppanam thaano,
pala thotra mayakangalo,

what ever I perceive as standing (still), walking and flying around me,
are all of these just my dreams?
are they mere illusions that my thoughts make me beleive of this world?

(2)கற்பதுவே கேட்பதுவே கருதுவதே 
நீங்களெல்லாம் அற்ப மாயைகளோ?
 உம்முள் ஆழ்ந்த பொருளில்லையோ?

karpadhuve ketpadhuve karudhuvadhe,
neengalellam arpa maayaygalo,
ummul aalndha porul illaiyo,

what ever I learn, I hear , I imagine,
are all these petty illusions?
don’t all these thing have a deeper meaning/significance?

(3)வானகமே இளவெயிலே மரச்செறிவே 
நீங்களெல்லாம்  கானலின் நீரோ? 
வெறும் காட்சிப் பிழைதானோ? 

vaanakame ilaveyile maracharive,
neengalellam kaanalin neero,
verum kaatchi pilai thaano,

The sky, the first rays of sunlight, the trees along slopes,
are all of you merely a mirage?
are these just a result of my erroneous view?

(4)போனதெல்லாம் கனவினைப்போல் 
புதைந்தழிந்தே போனதனால் 
நானும் ஓர் கனவோ? 
இந்த ஞாலமும் பொய்தானோ?

ponathellam kanavinaipol,
pudhainthazhinthe ponathanaal,
naanum or kanavo,
intha gnalamum poi thaano,

whatever went (thoughts and also people), like a dream,
got buried and was lost in the past (also means buried under the earth – after death),
similarly am I also just a dream ( I will also be gone/forgotten one day),
isn’t this world a lie too?

(5)காலமென்றே ஒரு நினைவும் 
காட்சியென்றே பல நினைவும் 
கோலமும் பொய்களோ? 
அங்குக் குணங்களும் பொய்களோ? 

kaalam endre oru ninaivum,
kaatchi endre pala ninaivum,
kolamum poygalo,
angu gunangalum poygalo,

The thought we perceive as time,
The multiple thoughts that arise due to our power of vision (of the space around us),
are all these forms (appearances) mere lies?
there, what we perceive as characters (qualities of a person), aren’t these too lies?

(6)காண்பவெல்லாம் மறையுமென்றால் 
மறைந்ததெல்லாம் காண்பமன்றோ? 
நானும் ஓர் கனவோ? 
இந்த ஞாலமும் பொய்தானோ?

kaanpadhellam maraiyum endraal,
maraindhadhellam kaanbamandro,
naanum or kanavo,
intha gnalamum poy thaano.

if it is true that, what ever we see will vanish eventually,
wouldn’t we see all that vanished? (as our memories) ( isn’t this a paradox)
am I just a dream?
isn’t this world a lie too?




  1. prof satish mehta( pune +919604267174 )


  2. Lakshmi.S.

    Vanakkam Sir,
    Thanks for taking the time to do this wonderful translation. WIth Raja Sir’s music,this song give me peace It is a grand feeling just to listen to this song and then with meaning, I am in awe of MahaKavi Bharathi. I am glad that his thoughts are alive among this generation.
    மிகவும் நன்றி.
    When you find time, please continue doing such wonderful work .

  3. Ujjwal Shivdasani

    he is wrong to say
    naanum or kanavo,
    intha gnalamum poi thaano
    coz he is like ajaramar ,the one who never dies
    am a Sindhi and i was born and brought up in hyderabad
    even though i learnt tamil (coz my grand mother is tamilatti )
    and the song is like my famliy song
    Sindhu nadhiyin misai nilavinilae
    chaera nannaattilam pengaludanae
    sundharath thelunginil paattisaiththu

    bharatiyar kk bharatiyare saati
    no comparison
    though the wordings and feelings cant be translated to other language
    great job tamil rasikan
    the song is so mesmerizing thanks to Harish Raghavendra for such beautiful rendering
    and illaiaraja ,another maestro
    Ujwal shivdaswani

    1. aKuma

      Dear Ujwal Shivdaswani,

      I echo your views. Bharathiyaar’s verses with the music and rendition makes this song a true gem.


  4. Subramanian

    A few corrections in the text.
    1. gnAlam =ஞாலம். It means earth, world, universe, magic, and also the great.
    It is not to be construed as knowledge which is ஞானம்.
    2. puthainthelinthe –> pudhainthazhinthE (புதைந்தழிந்தே)
    3. In verse #5 gungalum __> guNangaLum (குணங்களும்)
    4. In #6 “nAnumOr kanavO….” is repeated. Instead in Bharathi’s version it is “VeeNpaDu poyyilE niththam vidhi thoDarnthiDumO…” The song in the video does not have this.

  5. Rajaraman Krishnan

    There are a couple of more stanzas in Bharatiyar’s original composition. I am unable to find those lyrics through Google search. That almost completely negates the philosophical view of the stanzas stated above. If anyone can post those lyrics that would be great.

    1. Rajaraman Krishnan

      I got the extra stanzas from the Bharathiyar Kavithaigal book that I have. One stanza was missing after the above stanza 5 as well. Here they are,

      sOlaiyilE mrangaLellAm thOnRuvathOr vidhaiyilenRAl
      sOlai poiyAmO — idhai sollOdu sErpArO

      kANbavellAm maRaiyumenRAl mRaindhadellAm kANbamanRO
      vINpadu poiyilE niththam vidhithodarndhidumO

      kANbadhuvE urudhikaNdOm kANbathallAl urudhiyillai
      kANbadhu sathiyamAm — indha kAtchi nithiyamAm

      Either the movie makers deliberately changes the song or Bharathiyar had two alternate endings. I am not sure which is the case.

      While the original song’s philosophy is trancendental here is is completely existentialist.


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  7. Muruganand.D

    He is good one. Can able to feel his thoughts from his great poems. Great man with potential laugage. We are so lucky to live in this tamil society. Thanks to Tamil rasigan.

    1. lyricaldelights

      Hi Andrew, We haven’t translated this song yet. I am not sure if the translation is already available some where. Please try the google oracle if there is one :). Having said that, we will do the translation in a while since it is a very good song. Thank you for the suggestion

      1. Andrew Das Arulsamy

        Thanks, I will be waiting for the translation from lyrical delights. Let me know once it is done. I also need the translator’s name, in case if i need to share it.


  8. V L Kannan

    I am not a tamilian to share the pride of this immortal song. I feel my throught choked and tears run because of an emotion which I could not explain.

  9. sibi

    i guess our Bharathi paatten wrote this after studying vedic literature when in Puducherry. Being a poet who appreciates and enjoys every moment of nature, cannot able to digest the philosophy of avaitha which says everything that is not eternal is not true…….so he asks all these questions through this gem of a poem. His words are embellished by our maestro ilayaraja in this song. This song is thousand times more likeable if one understands the meaning …..thanks again for the translation bro 🙂

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