thiruvAimozhi – 3.5.1 – moymmAm pUmpozhil

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gajendramoksham

Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In first pAsuram – AzhwAr says “Worthless are those who remain indifferent even after observing emperumAn‘s vAthsalyam (motherly affection) of mercifully protecting SrI gajEndhrAzhwAn”.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

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

In first pAsuram – AzhwAr says “Worthless are those who remain indifferent even after observing emperumAn‘s compassion of rushing from [mUnRAm thiruvanthAdhi 51] ‘kalangAp perunagaram‘ (paramapadham which is unshakable) to the banks of the pond where his devotee (gajEndhra the elephant) was in danger”.

pAsuram

moymmAm pUm pozhil poygai mudhalaich chiRaippattu ninRa
kaimmAvukkaruL seydha kArmugil pOl vaNNan kaNNan
emmAnaich chollip pAdi ezhundhum parandhum thuLLAdhAr
thammAl karumam en solleer thaN kadal vattaththuLLIrE

Listen

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

moy – tightly packed
mA – well-grown
pU – blossomed [flowers]
pozhil – having gardens
poygai – in the pond
mudhalai – by the crocodile
siRaippattu – captured
ninRa – stood (standing still, being unable to reach the shore)
kaimmAvukku – for the elephant
aruL seydha – bestowed his mercy (of accepting the flower from its trunk before it loses its freshness and decorating himself with it)

to be enjoyed by such elephant after having its suffering eliminated,
kAr – pleasant (that which removes the fatigue of the one who sees)
mugil pOl – like a dark cloud
vaNNan – form
kaNNan – saulabhyam (simplicity) (of descending down to help uplift)
emmAnai – having [eternal] relationship (which is the cause for removing the fatigue and helping)
solli – speak with the mouth
pAdi – sing (out of joy)
ezhundhum – instead of being seated
paRandhum – flying high without having the feet touching the ground
thuLLAdhAr – by those who do not jump up and down doing somersaults
en – what
karumam – is the purpose?
thaN – cool
kadal – surrounded by ocean
vattaththu – earth
uLLIrE – those who are residing with the intention to enjoy bhagavAn
solleer – please tell

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

emperumAn is the one who bestowed his mercy  (of accepting the flower from the elephant’s trunk before it loses its freshness and decorating himself with it) upon the elephant  which stood (standing still, being unable to reach the shore) captured by the crocodile in the pond which is having gardens [around it] which have tightly packed, well-grown, blossomed flowers; (to be enjoyed by such elephant after having its suffering eliminated,) he has pleasant (that which removes the fatigue of the one who sees), dark cloud like form, saulabhyam (simplicity) (of descending down to help uplift) and [eternal] relationship (which is the cause for removing the fatigue and helping). Oh those who are residing in the earth which is surrounded by cool ocean, with the intention to enjoy bhagavAn! please tell, what is the purpose of those who do not speak with the mouth, sing (out of joy), flying high without having the feet touching the ground instead of being seated and jumping up and down doing somersaults?

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

  • moymmAm pUm pozhil – mA – bumble bee. Gardens swarmed by bumble bees. Another explanation. moy – tightly packed – denseness of the garden; that denseness will capture the heart. mA – [two meanings] mango tree, vastness; pUm pozhil – well blossomed garden. If denseness was only taken as meaning previously, here, heart-captivating aspect is explained.
  • poygai … – gajEndhraAzhwAn who wanted to serve the lotus feet of emperumAn with flowers, was worried since he did not find any; he saw the cool garden and blossomed-flower filled pond from a distance and ran in to it without realizing that there is a beast waiting inside; AzhwAr greatly enjoys the garden and pond as enjoyed by gajEndhrAzhwAn  back then; this pond resembles emperumAn as explained in thiruvAimozhi 10.1.8 “thayarathan peRRa maNiththadam” (the precious-gem like pond (SrI rAma) who was the son of dhaSaratha). As explained in thiruvAsiriyam 5 “thAmaraikkAdu malarkkaNNodu kanivAyudaiyadhumAy” (one who is having eyes which resembled a forest of blossomed lotus flowers, reddish fruit like mouth/lips), since these examples resemble emperumAn, AzhwAr enjoys them and becomes captivated. gajEndhrAzhwAn was captured by the crocodile in the pond. Since pond is not a natural habitat for the elephant, it was easily captured by the crocodile. If it was land, elephant would easily defeat the crocodile; the elephant is neither fighting with another elephant nor a lion [both are comparable in strength], but it is fighting with a lowly water worm [a slang for crocodile].
  • siRaippattu ninRa – The crocodile pulled the elephant into the pond and the elephant pulled the crocodile to the shore and it was going on for many years as said in SrI vishNu dharmam 68th chapter “dhivyam varshasaharakam” (1000 dhEva (celestial) years i.e., 360000 human years) and in the same SlOkam “gaja AkarshathE thIrE grAha AkarshathE jalE” (gajEndhrAzhwAn the elephant, pulls towards the banks of the pond and the crocodile pulls towards the water); subsequently, the elephant’s efforts stopped and the crocodile started winning; since water is not the natural habitat, the elephant’s strength will eventually reduce; and since water is the natural habitat and also the crocodile is inching towards victory, it’s strength gets doubled; the crocodile is explained in periya thirumozhi 5.8.3 as “muzhuvali mudhalai” (crocodile with full strength); previously, the crocodile’s strength would have been reduced since achieving it’s desire was not in sight; now that the victory is in sight, it acquires full strength. The crocodile knowing well, caught hold of the foot of the elephant which was not done before. For a long time, the crocodile was thinking “I have not seen an elephant to be relieved of my current condition” [a gandharva was previously cursed to become a crocodile and was told at that time that his relief will come from bhagavAn through an elephant] and held on to the elephant’s foot as soon as it entered the pond.
  • kaimmAvukku – kai means hand, mA means animal. kaimmA means elephant (which has a trunk/hand). Two explanations for using the name kaimmA – a) elephant being a tall/strong animal, would think that even if there is danger for other animals, I cannot be troubled – such elephant suffered here. b) even if there is a danger (in water), the elephant would keep its trunk outside and can breathe for long time – but here, even the trunk almost submerged into the water. As said in periya thiumozhi 2.3.9 “Anaiyin thuyaram” (elephant’s suffering), when an elephant is in danger, it must be really grave danger.
  • aruL seydha – even when the trunk was getting submerged, gajEndhrAzhwAn kept the flower above water to preserve freshness; [the mercy here is] emperumAn accepting such flower without losing its freshness. It can also be explained as emperumAn caringly holding the foot that was caught by the crocodile, with his divine hand and mercifully glancing at the elephant. To ensure that gajEndhrAzhwAn does not think that emperumAn is in a distant abode of paramapadham, emperumAn quickly arrived riding his garuda and accepted the flower from it.
  • aruL seydha – emperumAn broke the shackles from the elephant’s foot. The crocodile was described in periya thirumozhi 5.8.3 as “kodiyavAy vilangu” (animal with cruel mouth, shackle of cruel mouth). [it is the merciful] posture of emperumAn touching the elephant’s foot that was caught by the crocodile, with his divine hand. This is explained in “… grAham chakrENa mAdhava:” (The husband of SrI mahAlakshmi cut the crocodile into two using his chakra). nampiLLai explains nAchchiyAr thirumozhi 3.5 “kAlaik kadhuviduginRa” pAsuram here. When the gOpikAs placed their clothes in the banks of the pond and entered the pond, krishNa grabbed the clothes and climbed a tree on the banks of the pond. The gOpikAs find out about krishNa‘s mischief and request him to return their clothes in many different ways, but they did not succeed. One among them, who knew the secrets of ISwara, said “fishes such as kayal, vALai are biting our feet. emperumAn had rushed to the help of the elephant which had surrendered to him, when the elephant was attacked by the crocodile; why is he not coming to our help when we are suffering? There the elephant was troubled by one crocodile only, here we, who are helpless, are being troubled by both kayal and vALai”. The gOpikA thinks that krishNa would at once hand over the clothes hearing this. Since she was born in vaishNava family [ANdAL who is the daughter of periyAzhwAr, sang this pAsuram] would know the secrets of ISwara – they would know that bhagavAn would come and help on saying certain words.
  • kAr mugil … – The amazing reaction in emperumAn‘s form as well as qualities while helping the elephant. emperumAn let the elephant enjoy him and stood subserviently [by holding it’s foot caringly etc]; it is well known that krishNa means one who becomes subservient to those who enjoy him. emperumAn’s beautiful form and simplicity are the viSalya karaNi (that which heals wounds created by weapons) and sandhAna karaNi (the medicine which will re-fit the limbs which were cut off). He eliminated the sufferings of the elephant by letting the elephant enjoy him when he remained subserviently.
  • emmAnai – Elephant was removed of it’s shackles by his help. AzhwAr became captivated by emperumAn’s such compassion/simplicity. AzhwAr thinks how emperumAn helped SrI gajEndhrAzhwAn which is not of great birth, knowledge or activity, but only having taste [towards serving bhagavAn], and became completely taken over by emperumAn. When bhattar heard up to this line, he asked the reciter to recite the remaining part of the pAsuram [where AzhwAr says one would dance, sing etc] and mercifully said “How much ever emperumAn does, to be indifferent, we are needed; and when there is a danger for us, being emotionally affected and rushing to help us, he is needed”.
  • solli … – Those who are not speaking about the compassion of emperumAn helping the elephant, singing after being overwhelmed by love, standing up unable to stay still, flying high unable to keep the feet on ground and performing somersaults.
  • thammAl karumam en – As emperumAn is supposed to engage them in his service, what is the purpose of emperumAn’s creation [if they are not doing that]? What is the purpose of emperumAn assuming a form and doing this (to protect gajEndhrAzhwAn) [and still these people are not engaging in his service]?
  • thaN kadal vattaththuLLIr solleer – Though you are unlike us [who are knowledgeable], after assuming a [human] form and still not engaging in devotion towards bhagavAn, you being similar to those who are engaged in mundane pleasures – please tell me. In this world that is surrounded by ocean, both wise and unwise people will be present; AzhwAr says that this principle is easy to understand for both wise and unwise people.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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