Monthly Archives: July 2015

thiruvAimozhi – 1.3.7 – onRenap palavena

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

Full series >> First Centum >> Third decad

Previous pAsuram


Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

nammAzhwAr instructs “Oh ones who have limited life span! Determine the supreme lord amongst the three (brahmA, vishNu, rudhra) through established means and surrender unto such supreme controller”.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

Subsequently, AzhwAr explains the means to determine the supreme and then instructs everyone to quickly surrender unto that supreme.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

In this 7th pAsuram, AzhwAr seeing that the samsAris are still reluctant to find out about the supreme, says “Oh ones who have limited lifespan! Analyze who is the supreme and surrender unto him”.

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

7th pAsuram. Even after hearing AzhwAr‘s instructions, people were saying “we will do as you say” and were still lethargic. AzhwAr says “you have limited life span; you are not realising the true and wonderful nature of bhagavAn who is the ultimate object to attain; determine the supreme before you die, using proper means and devote yourself towards him” in this pAsuram which is a continuation of the previous pAsuram.


onRenap palavena aRivarum vadivinuL ninRa
nanRezhil nAraNan nAnmugan aran ennum ivarai
onRa num manaththu vaiththu uLLi num iru pasai aRuththu
nanRena nalam seyvadhu avanidai nammudai nALE

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

onRenap palavena – Considering there is one chief controller or considering there are many chief controllers
aRivarum – difficult to know
vadivinuL – in a form
ninRa – residing
nanRu – beautiful/distinct
ezhil – having radiance of auspicious qualities such as apahathapApmathvam (being freed from all evils)
nAraNan – srIman nArAyaNa who is explained in nArAyaNa anuvAkam and who is the in-dwelling supersoul of all chith and achith
nAnmugan – chathur-muka (four faced) brahmA who has four faces (a) to recite the four vEdhams and (b) for the different types of creation
aran – hara (rudhra/siva) who is focussed on samhAram (annihilation) only
ennum ivarai – these personalities who are explained in various pramANams to reveal their nature/activities
onRa – being neutral instead of taking sides of any one (to identify the chief person)
num manaththu vaiththu – contemplating in your heart/mind
uLLi – analysing their svarUpa (true nature) and svabhAva (qualities) through pramANams (sAsthram)
num irupasai aRuththu – eliminating the concept of being supreme from the 2 persons you may be attached to
avanidai – on that auspicious srIman nArAyaNan
nammudai – our
nAL – lifespan
nanRena – well-matured as said in “Eka bhakthi:” (single-focussed devotion)
nalam – snEham/friendship
seyvadhu  – do it

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

Thinking about srIman nArAyaNan (who is residing in these three forms (brahmA, vishNu, rudhra) which makes it difficult to consider if the chief controller is one or many, who has distinct/auspicious qualities and who is the in-dwelling super-soul of all sentient and insentient beings), brahmA (who has four faces to recite four vEdhams and to manage different types of creation) and rudhran (who is focussed on annihilation) through pramANams (from sAsthram) which reveal their different qualities, without any partiality and being neutral, analysing them in depth, eliminating any doubt on brahmA and rudhran having supremacy and having friendship towards that distinct srIman nArAyaNan and in your limited lifespan, carry out single-focussed devotion on him.

vyAkyAnams (commentaries)

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s vyAkyAnam

Similar to the simple transalation based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s vyAkyAnam.

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

  • onRenap palavena – It is difficult to easily comprehend if there is a single controller who exists in three different forms or if there are three different chief controllers in three different forms. It makes one wonder if it is “EkAthma adhishtAnam” (single AthmA being the controller) or “anEkAthma adhishtAnam” (multiple AthmAs being the controllers).
  • nanRezhilAzhwAr is meditating on nArAyaNa anuvAkam etc which are fully focussed on srIman nArAyaNan. This is explained by AzhwAr himself in thiruvAimozhi 4.5.10 “kaNdavARRAl thanadhE ulagena ninRAn” (Just by seeing his radiant/commanding form, one can understand everything is owned by him).
  • nAraNan – The name “nArAyaNa” itself explains that he is the prakAri (object) and everything else is his prakAram (attributes/forms).
  • nAnmugan – Having four faces indicating his involvement in srushti (creation) only.
  • aran – haran – the destroyer – indicating his involvement in samhAram only.
  • nAraNan nAnmugan aran – As explained in srIvishNu purANam 1.2.23 “srushtisthithyanthakarNIm brahma vishNu sivAthmikAm | sa samgyAm yAthi bhagavAnEka Eva janArdhana: ||” (the distinct bhagavAn janArdhanan assumes three forms with the names of brahmA, vishNu and siva to perform creation, sustenance and annihilation) – while vishNu is placed in between brahmA and rudhra (making them all look similar), while explaining bhagavAn, the slOkam uses vishNu’s name of janArdhana emphasising vishNu alone is supreme.
  • onRa num manaththu vaiththu – Instead of having favouritism towards the other two (brahmA, siva) or trying to bring up the glories of one individual without analysing, first contemplate the qualities of each of them, being neutral.
  • uLLi – analyse through logic explained in sruthi (vEdham). When such analysis is done, one person will look as the chief and other two will look as the subordinates.
  • num iru pasai aRuththu – eliminating the attachment towards the other two. There is no natural greatness for them – it is only because of your [samsAris’] praising that they look great.
  • nanRena nalam seydhu avanidai – Having established his supremacy, realising how fortunate you are, perform unalloyed devotion towards him.
  • nammudai nALE – When they said, we will take our time, AzhwAr says “our lifespan is very short”. This is already explained in thiruvAimozhi 1.2.1 “minnin nilaiyila pAsuram. When a person is sleeping inside closed doors and the building catches fire, should the person try to escape the fire in a relaxed way? There is very limited time to escape the fire – similarly, there is very limited lifespan for us to realise our nature and surrender unto emperumAn. Our life is such that, when the day dawns, one relishes that its time to go earn money and when the sun sets, one relishes that its time to enjoy sex life – in the mean time a day is lost in the life. “sAlil eduththa nIr pOle thangaL Ayussu kuRaginRathenRu aRiyAdhirA ninRArgaL” (A day in our lifespan is just like a pot of water fetched from the well – that water is gone and can never be brought back).

In the next article we will the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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thiruvezhukURRirukkai – 4

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

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nAl thisai nadunga anjiRaip paRavai ERi
nAlvAi mummadhaththu irusevi
oruthani vEzhaththu arandhaiyai
orunAL irunIr maduvuL thIrththanai

Word by word meaning

oru nAL – once upon a time
nAl thisai nadunga – (got an anger such that) people in all four directions were scared
am siRai paRavai ERi – (and you) got onto the garudan who has got beautiful feathers
iru nIr maduvuL – (and went to the shore of) the pond having deep waters
thIrththanai – and removed
arandhaiyai – the suffering of
nAl vAi – the one having a hanging mouth
mummadham – which lets out madha (intoxicated) water out of three places
iru sevi – and which has got two ears,
oru thani vEzhaththu – that is the unparalleled elephant gajEndhran who was alone.

Simple translation

thirumangai AzhwAr says that it is not just those like indhran who are great in gyAnam and shakthi, you helped even an elephant; whereas you calmly created and destroyed the worlds, in this case you rushed losing your temper, to the astonishment of brahma and all other beings that are on all four sides of the universe;

AzhwAr describes the beauty of elephant the emperumAn rescued. This is to show how emperumAn considered the elephant so dear to him that he appreciates his beauty after rescuing him.

Like ANdAL sang in nAchiAr thirumozhi asking emperumAn to come rescue her, thirumangai AzhwAr is also implying that He should come rescue him from the samsAram and the five faculty/senses that have been dangerous to him from time immemorial.


Now to the question of whether He would help only those like indhran who possess gyAnam and shakthi, AzhwAr points out that if there is faith in Him, and if there is little bit of danger, then too He has come rushing (arai kulaiya, thalai kulaiya – a saying in thamizh to roughly mean that He would rush without regard to whether the clothes worn by self are in proper position, and whether the hair style is getting disturbed) to help even animals which are lower in birth and conformity (ஒழுக்கம்).

nAl thisai nadunga – All the brahma and people who know that when creating the worlds He did so just by his thoughts, and when destroying the worlds He did so without any anger or efforts, now they are witnessing Him rushing without regards to his self and with so much anger; they are terribly afraid to see this, thinking something very untoward might happen.

am siRaip paRavai Eri – Like the dark clouds moving across the golden mountain mEru, He climbed on the shoulders of garudAzhvAn who possesses beauty and speed, and rushed to help gajEndhrAzhvAn. thirumangai AzhwAr then describes why He is rushing like this:

nAl vAi mummadhaththu iru sevi oru thani vEzhaththu arandhaiyai – (nAl vAi) because of having raised its trunk it is having the mouth that his hanging; from three places of its body it is having madha (intoxicated) water pouring; having two (or, big) ears; not having any other source of protection; after having lost its strength, and not having any one to go to for help; having a big sorrow (arandhai – arathi – sorrow)

oru nAL iru nIr maduvuL thIrththanai – on that unparalleled time, when it was a foreign land for the elephant that was your devotee, and which was a familiar land for the crocodile that was its enemy, (you came to such a) shore of the lake having deep waters – seeing the weight of that danger you came rushing and removed the sorrow of the elephant.

oru nAL – thirumangai AzhwAr is celebrating such a day when emperumAn took to rushing to rescue an elephant.

AzhwAr means that like how you rescued the elephant from the clutches of the crocodile, you please rescue me from the clutches of this samsAram. Like it is said, “elephant is pulling towards the shore; crocodile is pulling towards the water; this war continued with their equal strengths for 1000 dhEva years (vishNu dharmam 69)” – for elephant the enemy was one crocodile, for me the enemies are the 5 crocodiles which are the 5 faculty (indhriyas/senses); that one is a strong elephant – I am weak; the elephant suffered for a short duration – I have been suffering from time immemorial; don’t You have to run to me and rescue?

vEzhaththu arandhaiyai iru nIr maduvuL thIrththanai – Like it is said in vishNu dharmam, – grAham chakrENa mAdhava:, He rushed in to the pond, came to the shore tugging the elephant and the crocodile, and without hurting even a nail in the foot of the elephant He very carefully used sudharshaNa chakra and killed the crocodile. Does He have to tug/hug the crocodile that was a bhAgavatha virOdhi (enemy to His devotee), when coming back to the shore? bhattar says, “Like how a servant, who uses his hands and body and fights with the prince every day during the practice for wrestling, would get related food when the prince is fed, the crocodile that fought with the elephant also got the benefit of emperumAn’s hug”.

nAlvAi mumadhaththu iru sevi oru thani vEzhaththu – why is AzhwAr describing so much the body parts and the overall makeup (samudhAya sObhai) of the elephant? When people rescue a baby that fell into a well, they would start describing the beauty of that baby, “Oh! see this baby’s ears, aren’t they so beautiful? The shape (vALippu) of its neck! Its legs are beautiful! Its head is so beautiful! Not able to describe its overall beauty! By good grace we saved such a beautiful child!”, and so they would keep talking about the beauty of the body parts of the baby and its overall beauty; in the same way this phrase of the prabandham talks about emperumAn’s involvement towards the elephant after He rescued him;

vEzhaththu arandhaiyai – unlike the danger of something small-bodied, it was a big danger like its big body; “paramApadham Apanna: manasA{S} chinthayath harim” [vishNu dharmam] – said rishi showing the greater danger of the elephant – this is by saying ‘parmApadh; now, by ‘manasA chinthyAth’ it is implied that gajEndhrAzhvAn lost his ability due to weakness to even open the mouth, but just called emperumAn in his mind only.

oru nAL … thIrththanai – the woman who was born to periyAzhAr who is dear to emperumAn, knew her ways to get emperymAn’s attention, and so sang – kAlaik kadhuviduginRa kayalodu vALai veruvi [nAchiAr thirumozhi 3-5] – when you could not tolerate a worm that lives in the water, can you tolerate when there are two fish (that live in the water)?. In the same way thirumangai AzhwAr asks emperumAn, “When you did not tolerate a crocodile that gave trouble to the strong gajEndhran for some duration, can you tolerate when five faculty (indhriyas/senses) have been troubling me forever?”

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Translation by raghuram srInivAsa dAsan

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