An Ode to Lord Shiva : Naduvan by Dr Burns

This is an interesting translation of  Dr Burn’s work Naduvan. There are  omissions and errors, but it does also add details to improve clarity in some instances. Except converting the double hyphens to single hyphens, the rest of the text remains unaltered to retain the original version of the translation.

Translated by :
Mrs Jeevan Gunasunthari BA English Language/ Literature
(Singapore )

Sights and all that’s prized – a passing,
This body prized, when bruised, does pall,
Worldly possessions and this entity – a phase,
So is this world, this universe and all.

This ephemeral body misconstrued – as lasting,
Numerous have perished day after day,
Wealth depleted causing dire pain – and suffering,
Without reservations in mind and soul, I pray.

Though this world, this universe, may crumble – and fall,
Will forever remain, your sturdy foot, matted locks and coral-like body,
Indestructible and everlasting, your name – I call,
O Supreme Lord Shiva! O Supreme Body!

Undissolvable are human sins,
Through nine holes in my six-feet body,
As air and soul depart by any means,
Accept my humble soul, Supreme Almighty!
Without fail, free me from bondage,
As I appear before thee in humble homage.

Once in a sanctuary, a devotee,
For ten months, pleaded with the Creator,
For a body, he acquired eventually,
Merely to be broken by a jester.

Like the multiple births – we take,
Praising oneself, for the sins perpetrated,
This broken body, to the grave – we take,
With Karma, Illusion and Ego, this body emaciated.

In the one who knows all, real truth lies incessantly,
Those trying to make an impression, awake from your sleep of ignorance,
With only Him, in mind constantly,
What’s burnt, Death consumes as a penance,
As unhealed wound is savoured invariably,
Similar to admiring Death’s body perpetually.

For misdeed committed in previous birth,
One has to pay indefinitely,
Prior to that, pray to the Lord – it’s worth,
To connect with He who chased the God of Death indelibly,
For the full moon, Lord Shiva, the sole cause,
So Death, I welcome – Come hither,
With Him near, I’ve no fear.

Lustful and skilled in the art of seduction,
Amidst the aroma of sandalwood paste and vermillion,
Men and women, with eyes for salacious attraction,
Shall have their flesh scotched – tomorrow, you’ll see,
Blisters rupturing, with soul leaving body free,
Unable to scream a tearful plea,
In a shroud – concealed.
What’s above, what’s below – superfluous,
You and I – simply inconspicuous,
At the brink of death, my soul – spirituous,
To O Lord Shiva, a surrender – most arduous!

O Fortuna – Lyrics and meaning

O Fortuna
Oh! Fortuna!

velut luna
like the moon

statu variabilis,
your state varies,

semper crescis
always either in ascendancy

aut decrescis;
or in descendancy;

vita detestabilis
detestable life

nunc obdurat
now hard

et tunc curat
and then providing

ludo mentis aciem,
with sharpness of mind in its game,



dissolvit ut glaciem.
dissolved like melting ice.


Sors immanis
Fate – monstrous

et inanis,
and empty,

rota tu volubilis,
you ever turning wheel,

status malus,
evil state,

vana salus
empty salutation

semper dissolubilis,
amounting to nothing,

in shadow

et velata
and in veil

michi quoque niteris;
you likewise advance upon me;

nunc per ludum
now with your games

dorsum nudum
bare-backed am I

fero tui sceleris.
by your wickedness.


Sors salutis
Fate, in health

et virtutis
and in virtue,

michi nunc contraria,
is against me,

est affectus
driven on

et defectus
and weighted down,

semper in angaria.
always enslaved.

Hac in hora
So at this hour

sine mora
without delay

corde pulsum tangite;
pluck the vibrating string;

quod per sortem
since Fate

sternit fortem,
strikes down the strong man,

mecum omnes plangite!
everyone weep with me!


From David Parlett’s translation of Carmina Burana

O how Fortune, inopportune,
apes the moon’s inconstancy:
waxing, waning, losing, gaining,
life treats us detestably:
first oppressing then caressing
shifts us like pawns in its play:
destitution, restitution,
melting them like ice away.

Fate, as vicious as capricious,
you’re a wheel whirling around:
evil doings, worthless wooings,
crumble away to the ground:
darkly stealing, unrevealing,
working against me you go:
for your measure of foul pleasure
bare-backed I bow to your blow.

Noble actions, fair transactions,
no longer fall to my lot:
powers that make me only to break me
all play their parts in your plot:
now it’s your time – waste no more time,
pluck these poor strings and let go:
since the strongest fall the longest
may the world share in my woe!