Patinathar’s poem on life- Part 1 – Birth -Utarkurruvanam

Utarkurruvanam or The harmony of components parts of the Human body is poem written by the great Cittar Patinathar. This poems retains the cynical view of life typical to him. The poem details life from an embryo to death and finally ashes.  I am posting the translation of this poem in 4 parts – Life, Youth,Old Age,Death. 

The first part of the beautiful translation of the Patinathar poem by Kamil Zvelebil follows,








an infatued woman


and enamored man

come together

and unite in affection

which yields the pleasures of sweet passion,

out of his agitation

his white semen spurts

and springs forth

and soaks her womb

mixing with her flow,(1)



ண்டு, பதுமவரும்புகமடமிதென்று, 


and a small drop,

not bigger than a dew drop,

enters and gyrates in her womb-

and behold,

that which was like a lotus-bud,

and like a tiny tortoise,

has eyes and body, mouth,

and ears and legs and arms,

a human shape!(2)





It grows, the life inside,

and after ten months

the womb of the woman opens,

and a man is born.

They set his horoscopy, his destiny,

an army of serfs around prepare his bed,(3)





and women dress him, caress him,

and he jumps and leaps and kicks and crawls

and falls upon the floor

and turns legs up and upside down

and sucks the nectar from the breasts

which are like a pair of young peacocks.

And day by day he grows,

and gathers knowledge, this and that.(4)





His wet lips with radiant smile

kiss happily the female servants; round,

he sits in their laps and babbles,

saying such simple words like

‘come’ and ‘go’ and ‘stay’

and utters a few names:

thus his speech is born.(5)


வுண்பவர்தின்பவர்தங்க ளொடுண்டு, 

தெருவிலிருந்து புழுதியளைந்து, 



And then he runs about,

in lovely dress, and with a belt of gems,

cats with the grown-ups,

and in the street plays games

with dust and clay,

and with his friends runs here and there

and so, in games and frolicking,

reaches the age of five.(6)


Poet: Patinathar

Translated by Kamil Zvelebil


Part 2: Youth

Part 3: Old age

part 4: Death


Other Patinathar poems in my blog:



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3 thoughts on “Patinathar’s poem on life- Part 1 – Birth -Utarkurruvanam

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  1. இதுவரை நான் எங்கும் காணாத அருமையான, அனைவருக்கும் பயனுள்ள பதிவுகளை உங்கள் தளத்தில் கண்டு மகிழ்ந்தேன். பாராட்டுக்கள்!

    (இதனை பிரதிகள் எடுத்து எங்கள் பகுதிலுள்ள “ஆன்மீகப் பேரவை” உறுப்பினர்களுக்கு வழங்க உங்கள் அனுமதியை வேண்டுகிறேன்.)

    – கிரிஜா மணாளன்

  2. Now we are in Kalikalam. Nobody can become a pattinathar. Everybody in this world should
    read god pattinathars biography and especially
    our younger generation should be educated that
    everything is maya and our main purpose of this
    birth is to attain jeevan mukthi or moksha.

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