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Kanninum Siruthambu – A Tamil Hymn of Madhura Kavi

Kanninum Siruthambu is the composition of Madhura Kavi, a 17th century poet whose real name was Narayana Dikshita. A Vedic scholar, he earned the name Madhura Kavi (sweet poet) due to his melodious voice.

Once he went on a pilgrimage to important pilgrim centers in India and this changed his life. He then became the disciple of Saint Nammalvar.

He saw no difference between Narayana (Lord Vishnu) and his Guru. For him Saint Nammalvar was Narayana.

He looked upon his Guru as his savior, sole refuge, and sure redeemer.

When Alvars sang the glories of the Supreme Truth, Madhura Kavi glorified his Guru.

Kanninum Siruthambu is dedicated to Saint Nammalvar.


Kanninum Siruthambu

  • Contains 11 verses.
  • First verse explains why he saw god in his Acharya.
  • The second verse states that he feels satiated when he surrenders at his Guru’s feet and sings his praise.
  • The third verse sings the glory of the Guru and compares him with the Supreme Truth. He sees the attributes of Narayana in his Guru.
  • In the fourth verse, he states that no one should prevent him from seeing God in Guru. He says he would not mind even if he were to be branded as a sinner.
  • The fifth verse states about his ignorance. The various traps in the world which cannot be overcome without the blessing of Guru.
  • The sixth to tenth verse is used to express the poet’s gratitude to his Guru.
  • The last verse narrates about the optimism he has about his readers. He believes that his instructions will help them in attaining divine bliss.