The 108 verses of this hymn “tell in glowing symbolism of the love and union between the human soul and God and is among the most profound and moving poems in any language. … It is to be understood in all these hymns the word “Arunachala” means God and nothing else. It also means the physical hill of Arunachala in South India where God is peculiarly manifested for the Maharshi and his disciples.” 1
In the concluding verses of the hymn, “Bhagavan supplicates Arunachala to accept only the intense and heart-melting devotion and ignore the faults of diction and content in his verses, for forbearance is His very nature.”
107. (Tamil) “Poru-maiyam bhudara or the very embodiment of patience, oh mighty hill Arunachala.”
“pun-solai nan-solap or deign to accept as auspicious and sweet and do not shun my pedestrian and faulty words.”
“porut-tarul or for my sake bear with them.”
“ishtam-pin Arunachala or (I know no other prayer) do thou then as thou pleaseth, Arunachala.” 2
Arunachala! The very form of forbearance, do not shun but graciously bear with the foolish and faulty words of a simpleton like me and be pleased to accept them as sweet and auspicious words worthy of Thee. (As I know of no other prayer) Do as Thou wilt. 2
Commentary by Smt. T.R. Kanakammal, a direct disciple of Sri Bhagavan
“Poruttal, darittal, tangal : are all synonyms meaning to bear large-heartedly while bhu stands for Mother Earth.
Mother Earth with all Her flora and fauna is held holy and aloft in all the scriptures as the very embodiment of patience by virtue of Her bearing good and bad, yielding food, shelter and garb to even those who cut, harm and abuse Her. (For these very reasons, the celebrated Saint Dattatreya extols Mother Earth as the first of his twenty-four gurus from whom he stood instructed.)
Here Bhagavan addresses Arunachala by the term bhudara (‘the very form of endurance’) as he entreats Him to bear with his faulty and foolish words. …
Bhagavan in addition to praising Arunachala as the physical form of a mountain, is intimately aware of Him as the form of Siva, Resplendence of the Light of Knowledge, and hymns him as such.
As the earth bears the mountain, it has acquired the name bhudara. This fits the earth only with respect to mountains other than Arunachala.
Arunachala, the form of supreme Siva, the Absolute, the content of supreme Silence, beyond the reach of mind and speech, is the Substratum that bears everything including the world. Hence the term bhudara befits only Arunachala.
As the hymn is coming to an end, as in verse 100 – (vaidalai vazhtta: even as a loving mother enjoys the prattling abuse of a child as a strain of heavenly music, so should Thou enjoy and regard mine), he reiterates his request to bear with his trivial words.
He has no will of his own other than that of the Lord. Thus, the essence of the paramount principle of surrender is re-emphasized here in un ishtam-pin.” 2