thiruvAimozhi – 3.2.2 – vanmA vaiyam

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Full series >> Third Centum >> Second decad

Previous pAsuram

alagar-vamanaazhagar emperumAn – vAmanAvathAram

Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In second pAsuram – AzhwAr calls out for emperumAn saying “I escaped from having your divine feet on my head when you touched everyone’s head without discriminating land/water; in such case, when will I reach your divine feet?”.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

Subsequently, AzhwAr asks “You came to  take alms like a mendicant and won over the universe completely; when will I reach your exalted divine feet?”.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nampiLLai‘s introduction.

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

Second pAsuram. emperumAn says “If you are not coming to my place with your body and unite with me, when I assumed the form of vAmana and stood in front of mahAbali; why did you not approach me there?”, AzhwAr replies “I missed that opportunity also”.


vanmA vaiyam aLandha em vAmanA! nin
panmA mAyap piRaviyil padiginRa yAn
thonmA valvinaith thodargaLai mudhalarindhu
nin mA thAL sErndhu niRpadhu engyAnRukolO


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

val – being tight due to firmness
mA – vast
vaiyam – world
aLandha – measured (with your tender divine feet)
em – made me exist fully for him by such act
vAmanA – Oh vAmana!
nin – for your sport
pal – variegated (due to the qualities and resulting forms)
mA – very difficult to cross over
mAyam – in prakruthi (material realm) which is amazing
pal piRaviyil – many different forms (such as dhEva, manushya etc)
padiginRa – living in a well fitting manner
yAn – I
thol  – since time immemorial
mA – countless
val – difficult to eradicate
vinai – sins
thodargaLai – chains
mudhal – with their cause
arindhu – cut them off
nin – your (who is apt to be attained)
mA – having great glories (that are to be attained)
thAL – divine feet
sErndhu – reach
niRpathu – stay there firmly (without moving away)
engyAnRu kol – when will that be?

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

Oh vAmana who measured (with your tender divine feet) the tight (due to firmness) and vast world and made me exist for you fully by that act! I am living in a well fitting manner assuming many  different forms (such as dhEva, manushya etc) in prakruthi (material realm) which is amazing, that is variegated (due to the qualities and resulting forms), is very difficult to cross over and that which exists for your sport. When will I cut off the countless chains of sins that are difficult to eradicate and that exist since time immemorial, reach your (who is apt to be attained) divine feet that are having great glories (that are to be attained) and stay there firmly (without moving away)?

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

  • vanmA vaiyam aLandha – This world [people of world] was so hard that even when he himself came and manifested his beautiful form, it did not feel any emotion. It did not even have the tenderness of mahAbali who is born in demoniac clan. He did not heed to the advice of SukrAchArya et al [to ignore vAmana]. It is also explained as – due to the righteousness of mahAbali, the world was difficult to be measured at that time. Another explanation – He measured the world which had harsh forests and mountainous terrains with his tender divine feet which are touched by the most tender SrI mahAlakshmi and bhUdhEvi with utmost care. Here vanmai (hardness) is explained as the hard nature of the heart of materialistic people, the hard nature of earth and the “hard to enter” nature of the world that was due to being protected by mahAbali’s strong shoulders.
  • em vAmanAAzhwAr considers vAmanAvathAram is for AzhwAr himself and not for indhra who lost his kingdom.
  • nin – What was said by bhagavAn in SrI bhagavath gIthA 7.14 “mama mAyA dhurathyayA” (this material realm which is mine is difficult to cross over) has become true in my case.
  • pal mA mAyammAyam means mUlaprakruthi (primordial matter). Here variegated nature is – the resulting variegated forms is applied on the primordial matter which is the cause for the same. Alternatively, it can be explained as – since prakruthi is the abode of three types of guNas (sathva, rajas, thamas), due to this difference in qualities, it can be explained as variegated.
  • pal piRaviyil – Due to the connection of prakruthi (matter), AthmA assumes many different births.

In such births,

  • padiginRa – being submerged completely. AzhwAr is saying “padiginRa” (fitting well) instead of “vizhuginRa” (falling into) because, the AthmA is happily living in these births without any discomfort. Due to padiginRa being in present tense, it implies that the AthmA is submerging (like in a ocean without hitting the bottom).
  • yAn – me who is roaming in this material realm
  • thol mA val vinai – the sins that have been present since the presence of AthmA (thol – without a beginning), inexhaustible even if the results of the sins are experienced (mA – great), very strong such that even if bhagavAn is to eradicate them, he needs to position himself firmly and eradicate them (val – strong) – eliminating such sins that are together, along with the traces.
  • thodar – chain
  • nin mA thAL sErththu – attaining your divine feet that are most apt to be attained and are infinitely enjoyable.
  • niRpadhu – The nithya samsAri (one who has been eternally bound in this material realm) surrendering unto bhagavAn is like placing heavy object on a leaf [that was used to eat, considered impure] so that it does not fly [and spread its impurity]. This is explained in thaiththiriya upanishath “atha sO ‘bhayangathO bhavathi” (thus [by being firm in bhagavAn], he reaches the fearless state).
  • niRpadhu engyAnRu kolO – Let it be this day [ennAL (which day) is considered as innAL (this day)] . As said in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 24.37 “apIdhAnIm sa kAla: syAth” (kausalyA tells SrI rAma – let the day when I see you be this day). Alternatively, it is considered as a question – “which day will I firmly stay at your lotus feet?”.

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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