thiruvAimozhi – 1.2.3 – nIr numathu

srImathE satakOpAya nama:
srImathE rAmAnujAya nama:
srImath varavaramunayE nama:

Full series >> First Centum >> Second decad

Previous pAsuram


Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In this pAsuram, nammAzhwAr briefly explains what is to be given up.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

Subsequently, nammAzhwAr explains the process of renunciation briefly.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

Similar to nampiLLai‘s introduction.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s introduction as documented by vadakkuth thiruvIdhip piLLai

A question is raised to AzhwAr – “you are saying that if we understand the defects, we can give up (attachment to worldly aspects). We have already spent our time in this world since eternity. It looks endless too. Dont we need a really long time to give up that which was accumulated over very long time?”. nammAzhwAr briefly explains that which is to be given up. He explains the cause for being in samsAram with worldly attachments and the remedy for the same.


nIr numathu enRu ivai vEr muthal mAyththu
iRai chErmin uyirkku athan nEr niRai illE

Word-by-Word meanings (based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s 12000 padi)

nIr numathu enRu ivai – that which are known as ahankAram and mamakAram
vEr muthal mAyththu – destroying them completely along with the ruchi (taste) and vAsanA (habit/impressions) like pulling out a plant along with its root.
iRai – the master
chErmin – reach out to him
uyirkku – For the AthmA
athan nEr – fitting/suitable
niRai illai – no fulfillment

Simple transalation (based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s 12000 padi)

Give up ahankAram and mamakAram and reach out to the master. For the jIvAthmA, there is nothing more fulfilling and suitable than that.

vyAkyAnams (commentaries)

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s vyAkyAnam

Fully give up ahankAram and mamakAram (along with the ruchi and vAsanA) which will destroy the jIvAthmA and reach out to emperumAn.  There is nothing more fulfilling for the nature of jIvAthmA.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s vyAkyAnam

Similar to nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s vyAkyAnam

Similar to nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam as documented by vadakkuth thiruvIdhip piLLai

Both periyavAchchAn piLLai and nampiLLai explain ahankAram and mamakAram nicely in their vyAkyAnam using the following pramANa slOkam from srIvishNu purANam.

anAthmani Athma budhdhiryA asvE svamithi yA mathi: |
avidhyAtharusambhUthibIjamEthath dhvividhA sthithtam ||

Considering that which is not AthmA (i.e., body) as AthmA and considering that which is not ones property (i.e., AthmA and that which is owned by the AthmA which are fully owned by bhagavAn) as ones own are the two seeds for this tree of samsAram (which is the cycle of birth and death based on ones actions). Here ahankAram is considering the AthmA as body – dhEhAthma abhimAnm. mamakAram is considering oneself as the owner – sva svAthanthriyam. Both need to be eradicated and one should understand that oneself is AthmA (ahankAram eliminated) and oneself is totally owned by bhagavAn (mamakAram eliminated).

  • nIr numathu enRu – You and yours. When instructing others, it is common to use “You and yours”. Also, AzhwAr would not say “nAn ennathu” (I and mine) – since even the thought of such ego will burn his tongue as he is fully realized that he belongs to emperumAn only. Also, ahankAram (nAn) indicates two aspects  – the egoistic thought of jIvAthmA as an independent entity and confusing it with the body. Once we understand that rAvaNa, etc., were destroyed due to their egoistic attitude, we can easily give up that ego and independent thought and consider ourselves as subservient to emperumAn. We also need to not confuse ourselves with our body. Both aspects need to be eliminated.
  • ivai vEr muthal mAyththu – Eliminating completely. That means developing strong faith that these (ahankAram and mamakAram) are not real goals. When two trees stand bound together, if one tree is poisoned, that will eventually die out and the other tree will survive and grow. Similarly, if the ahankAram and mamakAram (first tree ) are destroyed, the AthmA (second tree) will nicely blossom. It can also be explained as if the ahankAram and mamakAram (first tree) are destroyed, samsAram (second tree) will be automatically destroyed. We already saw the vishNu purANa slOkam which explains ahankAram and mamakAram as the cause for bondage. The remedy is also given in srIvishNu purANam itself in slOkam 6.7.11 “achyuthAham thavAsmIthi saiva samsAra bhEshajam” (Oh achyutha (one who does not let his devotees slip/fall)! I am being your servant. This thought alone is the remedy for the disease of samsAram/bondage). Since emperumAn who is the rakshaka (protector) is always waiting to protect/uplift us, if only jIvAthmA has vilakkAmai (not refusing his help), all hurdles will be removed.
  • iRai chErmin – give up unfitting aspects and approach emperumAn who is the true master. jIvAthmA approaching emperumAn is like a ship that lost its way finding the shore.
  • uyirkku athan nEr nirai illE – There is nothing more ideal for the jIvAthmA than taking shelter of emperumAn. At first, bhagavath sambandham (realizing ones connection with bhagavAn) will be hitham (like medicine that which is good but may not be likable that much) and subsequently priyam (very likable). This is most fitting for the AthmA which is eternal and known by its gyAnam (knowledge), Anandham (bliss), etc.
  • Finally, nampiLLai summarises – As it is explained in vishNu dharmam “samsArArNava magnAnAm vishayAkrAntha chEthasAm | vishNupOtham vinA nAnyath kinchidhasthi parAyaNam ||” (For the ones who are having the mind which is attached to worldly pleasures and is immersed in the ocean of samsAram, there is no means (to be uplifted) other than the boat of srIvishNu who is all pervading), the only means for upliftment is emperumAn who is explained as the boat that connects both the material and spiritual realm.

In the next article we will the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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