thiruvAimozhi – 2.5.10 – AN allan

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Full series >> Second Centum >> Fifth decad

Previous pAsuram


Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the tenth pAsuram – AzhwAr highlights emperumAn‘s distinct nature which is different from all entities such as male, female, gender-less individuals and says that he cannot speak about the bonding of such emperumAn with him.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

Subsequently, AzhwAr says that it is very difficult to explain emperumAn‘s nature.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

In the tenth pAsuram – AzhwAr says “even if I can speak about his greatness, I cannot speak about such emperumAn uniting with me”.

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

Tenth pAsuram. AzhwAr says “It is very difficult to speak about the nature of emperumAn who united with me”.


ஆண் அல்லன் பெண் அல்லன் அல்லா அலியும் அல்லன்
காணலும் ஆகான் உளன் அல்லன் இல்லை அல்லன்
பேணுங்கால் பேணும் உரு ஆகும் அல்லனும் ஆம்
கோணை பெரிது உடைத்து எம் பெம்மானைக் கூறுதலே

AN allan peN allan allA aliyum allan
kANalum AgAn uLan allan illai allan
pENungAl pENum uru Agum allanum Am
kONai peridhu udaiththu em pemmAnaik kURudhalE


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

AN – male
allan – not being
peN – female
allan – not being
allA – useless
aliyum – gender-less
allan – not being
kANalum – to be seen (using the pramANams that show them)
AgAn – unable
uLan allan – does not exist (for those who are unfavourable)
illai allan – exists – he is not void (for those who are favourable)
pENum – when being devoted (as devotees)
kAl – at times
pENum – desired (by those)
uru Agum – assuming a form
allanum Ay – (for those who don’t have such desire) he will not manifest his form
em pemmAnai – my master
kURudhal – while explaining (me who has seen this nature of him as shown by him)
peridhu – very
kONai udaiththu – difficult

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

He is unlike male; he is unlike female; He is unlike the gender-less individuals who are not of any use [in the context of procreation]. He is also unable to be seen (using the pramANams/tools such as eyes that show these differences such as male, female and so on); He does not exist (for those who are unfavourable). He exists and is not void (for those who are favourable); for those devotees who desire to see him in specific forms, he assumes those forms; for those others (who don’t desire to see him) he will not manifest his form; While [I am] explaining about my master [who showed his such nature to me], I feel great difficulty in doing so due to these aforementioned reasons.

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

  • AN allan … – He is unlike the worldly men; similarly he unlike the worldly women; he is unlike the gender-less individuals who are not of any use. This is explained in rig vEdham AraNyam 2.2 “nainam vAchA sthriyam bruvannainamasthrIpumAn bruvan | pumAmsam na bruvannainam vadhan vadhathi kaSchana || a ithi brahma ||” (A man who explains this paramAthmA, cannot explain him in feminine terms. He cannot explain paramAthmA as gender-less individual who is different from male and female. He cannot explain paramAthmA in masculine terms; in this manner, parabrahmam (bhagavAn) is identified as “a” (akAram)). This is also explained in SrI bhAgavatham 8.3.24 “sa vai na dhEvAsuramarthyathiryangna sthrI na shaNdO na pumAnna janthu: | nAyam guNa: karma na sanna chAsannishEdhaSEshO jayathAdhaSEsha: ||” (That paramAthmA is not present as dhEva (celestial beings), asura (demoniac beings), marthya (human beings), thiryang (animals); He is not present as a woman; he is not present as a gender-less individual; he is not present as any other object outside these three types (male, female and gender-less). He is not present as a quality; he is not present as an activity. He is not sath (jIvAthmA [who does not change but] whose knowledge can reduce); he is not present as asath (achEthanam – matter which itself transforms). That sarvESvaran who is different from all these aforementioned entities and who is also present as everything due to his immense potency, has to appear for my liberation). When bhattar was thus explaining, a thamizhan (a person who is proficient in thamizh language) questioned “jIyA (Oh great personality)! if he is not like any of the 3 types (male, female, gender-less) which are seen in this world, is he SUnyam (void – non-existing)?”. bhattar mercifully replied “Oh son! you seem to be ignorant about the grammar in the word construction of the pAsuram. AzhwAr is not saying ‘AN allan (He is not a man), peN allaL (She is not a woman), allA aliyum alladhu (It is not a gender-less entity)’; Since AzhwAr is saying ‘allan, allan, allan‘ (all of which indicate masculine nature) – here, the word purushOththaman (best among men – supreme man) is indicated. isn’t it?”. By saying “AN allan peN allan …“, AzhwAr establishes that bhagavAn is neither like some other entity within each type (not like any other male) nor is he like another type (not like another female).
  • kANalum AgAn – He cannot be understood through the pramANams (tools – eyes etc) which make us see these differences such as male, female etc. This also establishes that there is no equality between the tools that show him and these other aspects.
  • uLan allan – for those who have not surrendered unto him – he is not existing.
  • illai allan – for those who have surrendered unto him – he is not void. This is explained further.
  • pENum kAl pENum uru Agum – When some one prays to him “Please take birth as our son”, he does so and says “… sapalam dhEvi sajjAtham jAthOham yath thavOdharAth” (As prayed by you desiring for a son previously, Oh mother dhEvaki! That desire has been fulfilled for you now; by that reason I have been born through your womb). Also explained as – when someone desires for him, he will appear in a manner that those who prayed for him will have to carefully protect him or take care of him.
  • allanum Am – Even when he makes himself available like this, those unfavourable persons such as SisupAla will not be able to understand/approach him.
  • kONai peridhu … – To speak about sarvESvaran‘s nature of revealing so much to me, is very difficult.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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About Sarathy Thothathri

Disciple of SrImath paramahamsa ithyAdhi pattarpirAn vAnamAmalai jIyar (29th pattam of thOthAdhri mutt). Descendant of komANdUr iLaiyavilli AchchAn (bAladhanvi swamy, a cousin of SrI ramAnuja). Born in AzhwArthirungari, grew up in thiruvallikkENi (chennai), lived in SrIperumbUthUr, presently living in SrIrangam. Learned sampradhAyam principles from (varthamAna) vAdhi kEsari azhagiyamaNavALa sampathkumAra jIyar swamy, vELukkudi krishNan swamy, gOmatam sampathkumArAchArya swamy and many others. Full time sEvaka/servitor of SrIvaishNava sampradhAyam. Engaged in translating our AzhwArs/AchAryas works in Simple thamizh and English, and coordinating the translation effort in many other languages. Also engaged in teaching dhivyaprabandham, sthOthrams, bhagavath gIthA etc and giving lectures on various SrIvaishNava sampradhAyam related topics in thamizh and English regularly. Taking care of portal, which is a humble offering to our pUrvAchAryas. is part of SrI varavaramuni sambandhi Trust ( initiatives.

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