Daily Archives: November 24, 2016

thirumAlai – 35 – thAvi anRu ulagamellAm

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SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

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avathArikai (introduction)

periya perumAL felt sad that AzhwAr had decided to move away from him and may even get ruined. He is worried that he may lose him. He asks AzhwAr “AzhwIr? What is the reason for your decision to leave my presence?” to which AzhwAr responds “instead of approaching you, by telling lies to an omniscient entity to you and bringing disrepute to you, it is better to move with samsAris, who do not know my intentions and with whom I have been together since time immemorial. I can remain with them from now onwards”.  periya perumAL divines “it is good that you approached me. I do not see faults in my followers. samsAris will look at all the faults of others, without exception. I look at all the good qualities of followers, without leaving anything. Hence, irrespective of the number of faults that one has, it is very apt if he leaves samsAris and comes to me”.  AzhwAr asks periya perumAL “are these mere comforting words or have you shown this in practice?” and periya perumAL replies “It is there for a very long time” and shows AzhwAr how he measured the worlds as thrivikrama. “That I measured all the worlds as thrivikrama is mentioned in vEdhas for a very long time. Have you not heard of it? By keeping my foot on both brAhmaNas, who control their sensory organs, and chaNdALas, who are of very low birth, without differentiating between them, I showed that there is none who is ill-disposed towards me” says emperumAn, showing AzhwAr his simplicity and how it is difficult for him to sustain himself should AzhwAr leave him, comforting AzhwAr in this pAsuram, who also gets comforted. AzhwAr meditates on the meanings meditated by nammAzhwAr in his thiruvAimozhi 1.5.1vaLavEzh ulagu” in the previous pAsuram and this pAsuram.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings.

தாவியன்று உலக எல்லாம் தலை விளாக் கொண்ட எந்தாய்
சேவியேன் உன்னையல்லால் சிக்கெனைச் செங்கண் மாலே
ஆவியே! அமுதே! என்றன் ஆருயிர் அனைய எந்தாய்
பாவியேன் உன்னை அல்லால் பாவியேன் பாவியேனே.

thAviyanRu ulagam ellAm thalai viLAk koNda endhAy
sEviyEn unnaiyallAl chikkenach chengaN mAlE
AviyE! amudhE! endhan Aruyir anaiya endhAy
pAviyEn unnai allAl pAviyEn pAviyEnE


Word-by-word meaning

anRu – on that day (when the worlds were seized by mahAbali)
ulagam ellAm – all the worlds
thAvi thalaiviLAkkoNda – going across, pervading everyone’s head with divine feet
endhAy – my swAmy (lord)
unnai allAl sEviyEn – I will not worship anyone other than you
sem kaN mAlE – Oh the one with reddish eyes, being partial towards his followers!
AviyE – being my vital air
amudhE – being the nectar
endhan Ar uyir anaiya endhAy – my swAmy, being the in-dwelling soul of my life, like nectar
pAviyEn – sinner like I
chikkena – surely (at all times)
unnai allAl – other than you
pAviyEn – will not think of (others)
pAviyEnE – I have committed lot of sins

vyAkhyAnam (commentary)

thAvi – crossing. If emperumAn had given prior information that “I am going to keep my foot on your heads”, the samsAris, with huge egos, would have refused to take his divine foot on their heads and would have ordered him “don’t keep”. Just as people with sathva guNam (pure good qualities) would have ordered “thiruvANai ninnANai” (thiruvAimozhi 10.10.2) in order to ensure that emperumAn keeps his divine foot on their heads without refusing, these samsAris would have ordered that emperumAn’s divine foot should not come near them. It was only because of this that emperumAn kept his divine foot on their heads without their knowing about it, and grew rapidly, without either they [samsAris] or he, getting enervated.

anRu – on that day when the status of he being the master and samsAris being the servitors was in ruins and mahAbali had seized the worlds.

ulagamellAm – instead of being satisfied with measuring the three worlds seized by mahAbali, his divine foot went all the way to brahmalOkam, after it graced the heads of all the people, without any discrimination between the great and lowly ones, and grew in size.

thalai viLAkkoNda – AzhwAr shows that the excitement of the protector [emperumAn] was much more than the size of the entity that he protected . purusha sUktham 1 says “sahasra SIrshA purusha: sahasrAksha: sahasrapAdh I sa bhUmim viSvathO vruthvA athyathishtadhdhaSAngulam II” (nArAyaNa, who is called as purusha, has countless heads, countless eyes, countless legs; he surrounded the earth on all sides and pervaded for countless yOjanas (one yOjana is 10 miles or 16 kilometers) beyond the earth). Thus purusha sUktham also mentioned that emperumAn pervaded much beyond the earth, all the way upto nithya vibhUthi. The term thAvi thalai viLAkkoNda shows that he measured much more than what he had to measure [the three worlds seized by mahAbali].

endhAy – what is the reason for emperumAn to keep his divine feet, referred to by thirumangai AzhwAr in thirukkuRundhAndagam 6 as “amarar sennippUvinai” (the divine feet borne by nithyasUris on their heads) on the heads of samsAris, who do not have any involvement with them? AzhwAr shows that it is due to the indelible relationship between emperumAn and samsAris. AzhwAr addresses emperumAn as endhAy  since emperumAn had kept his divine foot on AzhwAr’s head too, on that day. The opinion here is that it is due to the goodwill of the effort on that day that he has reformed today. Just as a mother hugs her child while it is sleeping, emperumAn also graced the samsAris on that day by touching them with his divine foot and protecting them. On that day, AzhwAr did not know the relationship that he had with emperumAn and today, since he knows it, he calls emperumAn as endhAy (lord or master); even today, the samsAris have not realised this and AzhwAr makes himself happier for them too.

sEviyEn unnai allAl – emperumAn asks AzhwAr “why then did you think of moving away from me?” AzhwAr responds “I thought of leaving you because I did not know your simplicity. Having known this, I will not leave you hereafter and will not hold on to something else” “If I leave you, I should either be independent like a king or be a servitor to someone else. Such shortcomings will not come to me hereafter” says the AzhwAr. In thirumanthram [ashtAksharam], the first word, praNavam negated being servitor to others and the second word, nama, negated being independent like a king. AzhwAr shows these two aspects in his words sEviyEn unnai allAl. Is it correct to say that he will not worship others? Since being a servitor to emerpumAn is considered to be equivalent to worshipping him, by force of habit, AzhwAr uses the same word (worshipping) when it comes to talking about others.

emperumAn asks him “for how long will you have this determination?” . . . .

chikkena – this will last forever. It will last till my AthmA lasts [i.e. forever]. Just as nammAzhwAr says in thiruvAimozhi 2.6.1pidhiththEn koL chikkenavE” (I held on to you forever), AzhwAr gives refuge to emperumAn who is in grief that AzhwAr would leave him. It is AzhwAr’s turn to tell emperumAn “mA sucha:” (don’t feel saddened), just as emperumAn told arjuna in bhagavath gIthA.

sengaNmAlE – this word does not reflect the natural reddishness in emperumAn’s eyes. It denotes the unique reddishness acquired by emperumAn’s eyes on hearing the word “chikkena” from AzhwAr. After hearing AzhwAr say “sEviyEn unnaiyallAl chikkena”, the fear that emperumAn felt after hearing AzhwAr say in the previous pAsuram “veLgippOy” (I am leaving you out of shame) disappeared; the uncontrollable love that emerpumAn felt towards AzhwAr  manifested as radiance in his eyes. Another interpretation for sengaNmAlE is – In SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 17.29, sugrIva tells SrI rAma when vibhIshaNa comes to take refuge under SrI rAma “vadhyathAmEsha dhaNdEna thIvrENa sachivais saha I rAvaNasya nruSamsasya bhrAthA hyEsha vibhIshaNa:  II” (let this vibhIshaNa, with his ministers, be tormented, through harsh punishment. Is not this vibhIshaNa the brother of the cruel rAvaNa?). On hearing this, the heart of SrI rAma was in tatters. It was similar to that of periya perumAL when he heard from AzhwAr in the previous pAsuram “vilavarachchiriththittEnE”. When hanuman responded with this SlOka (yudhdha kANdam 18.1) “atha: rAma prasannAthmA SruthvA vAtu suthasya ha I prathyabhAshatha dhurthdharsha: SruthavAnAthmani sthitham II” (later, one who cannot be won over (by words), one who had learnt about various matters (from vasishta and others), SrI rAma, after hearing vAyu’s son (vAyu is the dhEvathA for wind) hanuman’s sweet words, became clear in his mind and started speaking from his divine mind). rAma came back to existence after hearing hanuman. In the same way, periya perumAL, after hearing AzhwAr say chikkena  came back to existence. Just as hanuman told SrI rAma in rAmAvathAram “mA sucha:” (do not feel sad), AzhwAr offers refuge to periya perumAL in archAvathAram. sengaNmAlE — unnaiyallAl sEviyEn – the opinion here is that AzhwAr canot go from perumAL when perumAL’s face blossoms out of love, on getting AzhwAr.

Is that all? . . . . .

AviyE – where else can I go from you, who is like my breath [vital air]? AzhwAr does not consider that air [which is breathed] is a state of vAyu (wind), as mentioned in SAsthras. Just as nammAzhwAr says in thiruvAimozhi 7.2.9 “en thirumagaL sErmArvanE ennum ennudaiya AviyE ennum” (one who is the repository for pirAtti (SrI mahAlakshmi) and who is the breath of nammAzhwAr), this AzhwAr considers Sriman nArAyaNa as his breath.

amudhE – apart from being the sustaining force like breath, emperumAn is also like nectar, which is infinitely sweet, and which is like a medicine for saving AzhwAr’s AthmA from death.

Is that all? . . . .

en Aruyiranaiya – aren’t you my AthmA? The opinion here is that the body cannot go outside and live, without the AthmA.

endhAy – aren’t you the swAmy (master) who took me back when I tried to leave you and ruin myself, thinking that I am not fit to approach you? The view here is that AzhwAr has no place to go to, leaving emperumAn, who is (1) like sengaNmAl to AzhwAr, showing motherly love through his lotus like eyes; (2) AzhwAr’s breath; (3) like a sweet nectar to AzhwAr; (4) AzhwAr’s AthmA, guiding him properly like his swAmy.

emperumAn asks the AzhwAr “the words that you speak are beautiful. Are these also lies like you said earlier in the 33rd pAsuramaiyanE aranganE” and 30th pAsuramennai ALudaiya kOvE”? . . .

pAviyEn unnaiyallAl – AzhwAr says “the reason why I decided to leave you (as being unapproachable), who graced the heads of all samsAris with your divine feet, is because of my sins”

pAviyEn pAviyEnE – The meaning of first pAviyEn  is that he has lot of  sins; the meaning of the second pAviyEn is that he will not think of anyone else other than emperumAn. Another interpretation for pAviyEn pAviyEnE – both the terms mean the word pAvi, showing the excessive sin that he has committed. The opinion here is that his sins are the reason for his trying to leave emperumAn, who, not only does not mind the faults in followers, but who also does not hate samsAris who hate him. Yet another interpretation is that through the first pAviyEn he talks about the sin that he would have committed by leaving emperumAn and ruining himself and the second pAviyEn would indicate the sin that he would have committed by leaving emperumAn, who is the cause for existence of all, by ruining emperumAn himself and consequently all the others.

We shall take up the 36th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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thiruvAimozhi – 4.1.7 – Amin suvai

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SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

Full series >> Fourth Centum >> First decad

Previous pAsuram


Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In seventh pAsuram – AzhwAr explains the temporary nature of food, drinks and similar pleasures.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction. Thus, meditate upon the qualities of emperumAn who is the cause of all and who is greater than all.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

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

Seventh pAsuram. When asked “Though wealth has the defects which you highlight, food, drinks etc have the quality of being dhAraka (that which sustains), bhOgya (that which gives pleasure)”, AzhwAr replies “even they are not permanent”.


Amin suvai avai AROdadisiluNdArndha pin
thU men mozhi madavAr irakkap pinnum thuRRuvAr
Imin emakkoru thuRRenRu idaRuvar Adhalin
kOmin thuzhAy mudi Adhi am sOdhi guNangaLE


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

Am – Matching the nature
in – pleasing
avai – world renowned
ARu suvaiyOdu – having six types of tastes (madhura (sweet), amla (sour), lavaNa (salty), katu (pungent), kashAya (astringent), thiktha (bitter))
adisil – (distinguished) food
uNdu – ate
Arndha pin – after feeling full [filled with such food]
thU – pure (due to affectionate attitude)
men – soft (audible)
mozhi – having speech
madavAr – (humble) damsels
irakka – due to their desire

(unable to refuse)
pinnum – again
thuRRuvAr – will eat, with difficulty

(after losing such wealth, they will go to the places of those damsels and tell them – you too,)
emakku – for us
oru thuRRu – a handful of food
Imin – give
enRu – asking so
idaRuvar – (even if they don’t get that, at every house) knock around;
Adhalil – thus
thuzhAy – decorated by thiruththuzhAy (thuLasi)
mudi – the infinitely enjoyable lord, due to having the divine crown
Adhi – being the cause of all
am – beautiful
sOdhi – one who has radiant divine form, sarvESvaran’s
guNangaL – qualities
kOmin – enjoy together

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

[The rich folks] after eating (distinguished) food which is matching the nature [of oneself], pleasing, world renowned and having six types of tastes, and feeling full, they will again eat with difficulty, unable to refuse the desire of pure (due to the affectionate attitude) and soft-spoken, damsels; after losing such wealth, they will go to the places of those damsels asking “you too give us a handful of food” and knock around (their entrances); thus, together you enjoy the qualities of beautiful sarvESvaran who has radiant divine form, who is infinitely enjoyable lord due to having the divine crown which is decorated by thiruththuzhAy (thuLasi) and who is the cause of all.

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

  • Amin suvai – Apt and good taste.
  • avai AROdu – the well-known shat-rasam (six types of tastes)
  • adisil uNdu – the one who begged for food previously, once he got some money, will appoint a maid-servant, call himself “mudhaliyAr” (Honourable person, landlord) and will use the term “adisil uNdAr” (ate food) [Usually, food/rice is mentioned as sORu in thamizh in colloquial language, but elegant way of saying is “adisil”].
  • Arndha pin … – filling the stomach with whatever is available, remained like a leech which can neither leave nor stay attached, after sucking the blood; at that time some of his damsel friends would come and tell him “you look very weak; how are you going to protect us if you are like this?”; he will then wonder “have I not eaten before?”. First when they tell, he will refuse; but then, they will take a handful of food and feed him lovingly. He will not refuse at that time; being captivated by their sweet-talks he will eat again.
  • Imin … – In the same manner, some one else will own these damsels. They will feed such [new] person in the same way; at that time, he will go there and ask them to give at least a handful of food.
  • emakku – The same person who would offer anything good to them instead of eating/using himself, out of helpless situation, is saying “for me”. But these damsels will not even look at him, to keep the new person satisfied.
  • idaRuvar – They will again go around, knocking.
  • Adhalin – Thus, this being the truth of life.
  • kOmin … – Enjoy the auspicious qualities of bhagavAn who has thiruththuzhAy (thuLasi) garland which signifies him as the owner of all wealth, who is the cause of entire creation, who is having infinitely radiant form.
  • Adhi am sOdhi guNangaLaik kOmin – Enjoy the qualities of his svarUpam (true nature) and vigraham (form) together. Enjoy them as said in chAndhOgya upanishath “aham annAdha:” (bhagavAn is the food and I am the enjoyer), thaiththirIya upanishath “sOSnuthE …” (jIvAthmA enjoys all the auspicious qualities of bhagavAn, along with him) and in periya thiruvanthAdhi 78 “OvAdha UNAga uN” (enjoy as eternal bliss).

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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