Nanndhavanathil Oru Aandi

Savita asked the for he meaning Nanndhavanathil, Satish wrote & explined the word by word meanings beautifully. well done satish. Siddhar Paadalgal is a very significant philosophical part of the Tamil Devotional literature. They are centuries old, and extremely popular throughout Tamilnadu.. They were sung extempore by wandering minstrels, who were also realised souls. As such, they conveyed the most central Philosophical truths, central to living in the World of phenomenons.

Usha has given a totally correct version of the couplet and it's meaning. The lyric is surely longer than I know. It was Flute Mahalingam who popularised this and other Siddhar lyrics, by compulsorily singing the one or the other, in all his concerts, I recall him going into raptures while singing Nandavanathil,,,,as if to suggest that he was one of the Siddars, could be , since he was an eccentric, most unpredictable, no personal ambitions or desires, except drinking, drinking and drinking. We had a problem handling him on the KFAS stage, where Whisky and soda mixed had been stored inside thermos flask, and kept near him, and he was looking only at it and not the audience'

Nice for me to be reminded of these little things, I seem to enjoy them very much.



Dear Savita,

remember Appa and Amma singing this folklore?

Here is the meaning. Love, Satish

"Nandhavanathil Ore Aandi Avan
Naalaaru maathamai Kuyavanai Vendi
Kondu Vandhan Oru Thondi
Adhai Koothadi Koothadi Pottudaithaandi"

the meaning at the first look would seem funny. It means that a poor man in the garden begged for a pot for ten months from the potter. And he got it finally after ten months, but the poor man carelessly played and played with the pot and broke it. The above meaning might look as if the poor man's effort was a waste as he could not save the pot he begged, but the actual meaning is different and has an indepth meaning, but before that let us meaning of the words in the song.

Nandhavam - Garden, Earth
Ore - one
Aandi - Man without anything with him
Avan - Personal Pronoun
Naalaaru - Naalu + Aaru - Four + Six that is ten
Maatham - Month
Kuyavan - Potter, Creator
Vendi - Beg, Ask
Kondu - Bring
Vandhan - Refers to the Aandi
Oru - One
Thondi - Pot, Container
Adhai - Pronoun referring the pot
Koothadi - Play
Pottu - Drop
Udaithaan - Breaking

My Memories...

The actual meaning is as follows. Nandhavam means the Earth and Aandi refers to the human. A human born in the face of the Earth garden comes with nothing in his hand, so he is a poor man. He comes into existence on this earth after ten months. So those ten months is being interpreted as the human begging the creator (God) for his existence by bringing his physical body on this Earth garden. His body being referred to the pot that holds his life and hence the Potter is God. And all his ten months of penance goes of waste once he carelessly roams on the face of the earth unconcerned about his health and thereby breaking the Pot (body) - his life and existence - which he brought into this Garden (Earth) after ten months of effort.

The greatness of this song is that it emphasizes a great meaning with a funny context.


Appa told me once that it was sung as part of a carnatic recital by one of the old greats - Chembai or Chemmangudi (don't remember) and it meant:
In the garden of earth, after 9 months of gestation, a human is born. He/She makes merry and abuses the body and finally breaks it (dies).

On one of the trips to sabarimalai with Mohan, Vasu, Satish and Savita, I believe there was one co-traveller who was querulous and ill-tempered and in an attempt to defuse the situation, Appa started singing this song and made everyone laugh - Mohan told me this when we were children.



I vividly remember how you used to Sing this in the meter of "Shambho Mahadeva Shambho'....


oru Aandi
Avan naalaru maathangal kuyavanai vendi
kondu vandhaan oru thondi
Adhai koothadi koothadi pottudaithandi
nandavanathil oru aandi...



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