This hymn was composed after he had settled down in Tillai, his active life finished, and was waiting for the great release. He surveys, as he was so fond of doing, the whole course along which his Master had guided him; acknowledges how often he had fallen through an undisciplined and unpurified mind; and records with thankfulness that grace him the victory at last. No rapture is like his! Each verse addresses his Master variously as (1) Father, (2) the Mystic Dancer, (3) the Guru, (4) the High and Lofty One, (5) the Master, (6) the Blissful, (7) again as the Guru, (8) the Author of all things, and (9) the Mother (being one with Umai).
I. The Father's converting grace.
To me, who toiled and moiled 'mid fools, that knew not WAY of final peace,
He taught the WAY of pious love;- and that 'old deeds' might cease and flee,
Purging the foulness of my will, made me pure bliss, took for His own;-
'Twas thus the FATHER gave me grace: O RAPTURE ! WHO SO BLEST AS I ? (4)
II. The mystic Dancer converts the heretic.
A WAY that was no rightful WAY I followed, deeming it the WAY,-
That I might seek no meaner WAY, but only seek HIS sacred grace
To gain, - He, Whom no signs describe, His mystic DANCE has given to know !
'Twas thus the DANCER gave me grace: O RAPTURE ! WHO SO BLEST AS I ? (8)
III. The Teacher leads and guards in the way of truth.
Me trusting every lie as truth, - plunged in desire of women's charms,-
He guarded that I perished not with soul perturb'd,- the Lord Superne,
On whose left side the Lady dwells ! He brought me nigh His jewell'd feet,-
'Twas thus my GURU gave me grace: O RAPTURE ! WHO SO BLEST AS I ? (12)
IV. The Lofty One purifies by discipleship.
To me, - born in this clay, and doom'd, o'erworn, to perish, and to fall, -
Love inconceivable He gave;- made me His own;- caused me to wear
His own perfumed ashes white;- that I the way of purity
Should reach, the LOFTY gave me grce: O RAPTURE ! WHO SO BLEST AS I ? (16)
V. The Master relieved my soul of its fear.
Afflicted sore by glancing eyes of silly damsels, soft of foot,-
I stood, my mind by sorrow pierced; and then Thy grace I gain'd,- was sav'd,-
Ev'n I, O MASTER mine ! Thou bad'st Thy servant come; 'Fear not, 'Thou said'st !
'Twas thus that grace to me was given: O RAPTURE ! WHO SO BLEST AS I ? (20)
VI. The Last-One saved me from sensual servitude.
Birth of this frame that burns and falls I took for true,- did many deeds;
In converse joy'd with maidens wreathed in flowers, with lustrous armlets deck'd.
My bonds He cut, made me His own, cleansed foulness so no trace was left !
'Twas thus the LAST-ONE gave me grace: O RAPTURE ! WHO SO BLEST AS I ? (24)
VII. The Guru's esoteric teaching.
Prostrate it was my fate to fall in 'wilderment of fair ones' charms.
In gentle love He led me forth, loosing the prison bars of 'bond';
Showed me the way to 'scape; and taught the meaning of the mystic OM
'Twas thus the GURU gave me grace: O RAPTURE ! WHO SO BLEST AS I ? (28)
VIII. The First saved me by gift of personal devotion.
My troubled soul was whirled around in circling tide of death and birth;
I fell, enamoured with the charms of those with jewels rare adorned;
The Lord, whose Form the Lady shares, in mercy drew me to His feet.
'Twas thus the FIRST-ONE gave me grace: O RAPTURE ! WHO SO BLEST AS I ? (32)
IX. Saves me with a Mother's love.
With those that knew not right or good,- men ignorant,- I wandered too.
The First, the Primal Lord Himself threefold pollution caus'd to cease;
Even me He took as something worth,- like dog in sumptuous litter borne !
'Twas thus the MOTHER gave me grace: O RAPTURE ! WHO SO BLEST AS I ? (36)
END OF THIRUVASAGAM.