The Nature of Paasam
You have explicated to me the qualities
Of the three malas. Aanavamala causes
The state which makes one feel that one is
Different from others; it causes one to attribute
To oneself qualities which one lacks.
It is also the cause of enmity and delusion.
It inclines one to kill; it causes sorrowing;
It engenders hauteur; it makes one praise
Oneself and denigrate others. These are
The eight characteristics of Aanavamala.
Mayamalam generates ignorance, falsehood,
Befuddlement, a desire to possess base things,
From Mayamalam. Indolence, nonchalance,
Performance of good and bad deeds,
Abandonment, dispraising and a nostalgia
For the gutter: these six characterize
Kanmamalam. These cling to me and force me
To pursue their own ways; I am not suffered
To follow my way. O Ruler, assuming a name,
A form and an abode in a chosen polis,
You have denuded me of my name, form
And place. You abide at Vennainallur
On the banks of the Pennai river,
As the crest-jewel of the Saivite clan; You are
The truest of the true. You declared ex cathedra
That all the malas are jada; this is a wonder
Fraught wit contradiction. If the malas
Are jada, how can they cause me misery?
They cannot act by themselves.
Pots and clothing which are jada, do not
Act by themselves, this should be the case
With the malas also. If you say
That inanimate things too can act, and cite
Poison as an example, my objection is this.
After a time; it abates and disappears.
So too, malas after sometime should quit me.
A single act; it kills. On the contrary the malas
Function multifariously. They do not get,
Of themselves, attached to me; neither will I
Suffer myself to be fettered by them.
You being, forever, mala-free, would not
Cause them to fetter me. If however you say
That it is soul’s nature to remain fettered
By the malas, in mukti too this fettering
Will continue. The fettering by malas is patent.
O One that has neither beginning nor end!
Rid me of my tohu-bohu and tell me
How I came to be fettered.
Translation: Dr. T. N. Ramachandran,Thanjaavoor ,2003