thiruvAimozhi – 1.5.8 – uNdAy ulagu

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

Full series >> First Centum >> Fifth decad

Previous pAsuram


Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

AzhwAr curses himself and moves away from emperumAn. Seeing that, emperumAn shows his true nature as the one having the quality of sustaining himself by being together with his devotees and consoles AzhwAr.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the eighth pAsuram – Seeing AzhwAr leave, to bring AzhwAr towards him, emperumAn shows his inability to sustain himself in separation from his devotees – AzhwAr becomes amazed at that.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

Subsequently – AzhwAr thus tries to move away losing hope. Seeing that, emperumAn shows his great attachment towards his devotees saying “I will not fail those who are bound to me; I cannot sustain myself without being with them; There is no disrepute for me in being with you and you can see that yourself in my history” and AzhwAr becomes consoled after seeing that.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

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

Eighth pAsuram – When AzhwAr tries to leave like this, emperumAn thinks “He is quite brave; he should be straightened up” and asks AzhwAr “Oh AzhwIr! Have you not heard about the incidents in thiruvAyppAdi (gOkulam)?” and AzhwAr replies “I am unaware of that” wanting to hear about it from emperumAn. emperumAn says “Once upon a time, I rescued the earth and protected it by keeping in my stomach; Subsequently, I released it out; I then thought that there may be residue in my stomach – so to have them digested properly, I consumed some butter in gOkulam”. AzhwAr questions “Both events happened at different times. What is the relationship?”. emperumAn then asks “So, you tell me – why did I do that?” and AzhwAr replies “Because you sustain yourself with the things that are touched by your devotees [butter churned by the cowherd girls], you consumed the butter”. emperumAn says “Just like that butter, you too are very dear to me. In that case, if you don’t present yourself to me, you will reach the same hell as those who hid the butter away from me”. In this pAsuram, AzhwAr repeats emperumAn’s words thinking that he has understood emperumAn’s desire.


uNdAy ulagu Ezh munnamE umizhnthu mAyaiyAl pukku
uNdAy veNNey siRu manisar uvalai Akkai nilai eythi
maN thAn sOrnthu athu uNdElum manisarkku Agum bIr
siRithum aNdA vaNNam maN karaiya ney UN marunthO mAyOnE!

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

mAyOnE – Oh amazing person (who does not get impacted negatively even while mixing with everyone in all aspects)
munnamE – once upon a time
ulagEzh – the seven worlds (which is a sample of all creation)
uNdAy – you consumed
umizhnthu – (without any residue) spit it out
siRu manisar – insignificant humans
uvalai – to be avoided/abandoned
Akkai – body
nilai – position/situation
eythi – descended/took
mAyaiyAl – through unnatural ways
pukku – entered
veNNey – butter
uNdAy – ate
maNthAn – some residue from the earth that was consumed before
sOrnthu athu uNdElum – remaining that are present
manisarkku – for the humans
Agum – that occur
bIr – indigestion
siRithum – even little
aNdA vaNNam – kept away
maN – that soil
karaiya – to dissolve
ney UN – (in a different incarnation) eating ghee
marunthO – is that a medicine? no

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

Oh amazing person (who does not get impacted negatively even while mixing with everyone in all aspects)! Once upon a time, you consumed all the worlds and spit it out. Subsequently, you descended as an insignificant human being bound in a body (that is generally considered to be avoided). You ate butter to keep away the indigestion that occur to humans. Is eating ghee a medicine to dissolve the residue soil? (No).

Consuming the world is also to protect the devotees (jIvAthmAs); consuming the butter also is to highlight that emperumAn cannot sustain without the things that are touched by his devotees. Here veNNey (butter) and ney (ghee) are used as synonyms.

vyAkyAnams (commentaries)

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s vyAkyAnam

See vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s translation.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s vyAkyAnam

See nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s vyAkyAnam

See nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.

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

  • mAyaiyAl pukku uNdAy veNNey – As explained in vEdha nigaNdu (vEdha dictionary), “mAyA vayunam gyAnam” (mAyA is synonymous to wisdom, knowledge) – consumed butter with desire (which is a form of knowledge).

It would not suit well if we say emperumAn was born as srI rAma, stole butter and consumed the same. So,

  • siRu manisar uvalai Akkai nilai eythi – He took up the body (that is to be avoided) of lowly humans. He presented his own aprAkrutha (divine) form as a lowly human form. As explained in thiruvAimozhi “kaRaiynAr thuvar udukkai” (wearing dirty clothes), he was born amongst cowherd boys and enjoyed butter. While it is said in srIvishNu purANam 5.3.14 “sapalam dhEvi sanjAtham jAthOham yat thavOdharAth” (the result of your prayers in previous births, lead to the result of me entering your womb – krishNa to dhEvaki), it is also said in mahAbhAratham “naisha garbbathvamApEdhE na yOnyAmavasath prabhu:” (This krishNa, does not have the quality of staying in some one’s womb and never stayed in anyone’s womb). How is this possible that without being in the womb of the mother, he is born? It is purely by his sakthi (power).  A king descending in the ikshvAku vamsam was once performing a yAgam. He became thirsty and consumed the water that was sanctified with manthras and that lead to him becoming pregnant. Though the union of man and woman only generally leads to pregnancy – in this case it was the special power of the manthram which got him pregnant. If this can be said for a normal king who drinks sanctified water, why should it not be possible for bhagavAn to appear in the form which he likes.

Consuming the soil is for the sustenance of the worlds. Consuming the butter was to sustain yourself (by being in contact with your devotees).

  • maNthAn … – Here consuming ghee is explained in two ways.
    • bIr is explained as vaivarNyam (becoming pale) – If there is soil remaining in the stomach, for common men, it leads to becoming pale (due to indigestion, etc). So, to avoid that, he is eating butter to dissolve the soil.
    • bIr is explained as “little” here – emperumAn is consuming butter without leaving behind even a little portion for others.
  • marunthO? – Is that a medicine? No. You are not consuming it as medicine, but you are consuming it since they were touched by cowherd girls who are very dear to you – and you are so mad for your devotees that you cannot sustain yourself without things that are touched by them.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

archived in

pramEyam (goal) –
pramANam (scriptures) –
pramAthA (preceptors) –
srIvaishNava education/kids portal –

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *