Daily Archives: December 4, 2016

thiruvAimozhi – 4.2.5 – thOLi sEr

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

Full series >> Fourth Centum >> Second decad

Previous pAsuram


Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In fifth pAsuram – Mother says “My daughter (parAnkuSa nAyaki) desires for the thiruththuzhAy (thuLasi) from the divine feet of krishNa who mercifully killed the seven bulls to marry nappinnaip pirAtti”.

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

Fifth pAsuram. Mother says – When asked “Is it possible to search for the thuLasi which decorated the divine feet of bhagaAn who is greater than all, who is residing in paramapadham and is impossible to attain?”, parAnkuSa nAyaki says “In that case, what is the difficulty in getting the thuLasi which decorated the divine feet of krishNa who killed the bulls disregarding safety of himself, for a girl like me?”.


thOLi sEr pinnai poruttu erudhEzh thazheeik
kOLiyAr kOvalanAr kudak kUththanAr
thAL iNai mEl aNi thaN am thuzhAy enRE
nALu nAL naiginRadhAl endhan mAdharE


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

thOLi – having shoulders (that are dear to him)
sEr – who is comparable to him (in her qualities such as Seelam etc)
pinnai poruttu – for nappinnai
erudhu Ezh – seven bulls
thazheeik kOLiyAr – embracing them (all at once)
kOvalanAr – belonging to the cowherd clan
kudak kUththanAr – one who captivates the heart through his dance with pots
thAL iNai mEl – on the two divine feet
aNi – offered (being won over by such brave act)
thaN – cool
am – beautiful
thuzhAy enRE – [saying] “thiruththuzhAy” only
nALum nAL – day after day
endhan mAdhar – my daughter
naiginRadhu – is becoming weak

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

krishNa who belongs to the cowherd clan, who captivates the heart through his dance with pots, embraced the bulls (at once) for nappinnai who is having shoulders which are dear to him and who has qualities comparable to his; day after day, my daughter is becoming weak, only saying “thiruththuzhAy” which is cool and beautiful, and which are offered at the two divine feet of such krishNa.

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

  • thOLi sEr pinnai – As explained in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 16.5 “thulya Seela vayO vruththAm” (SithA and SrI rAma are perfect match in qualities, age, activities etc), while sIthA is a perfect match in family heritage etc for SrI rAma, as explained in the same SlOkam “asithEkshaNA” (black-eyed sIthA) [Since only sIthA’s eyes are specifically explained, it is implied that her eyes are more beautiful than SrI rAma’s]. Similarly, while nappinnaip pirAtti’s beauty is a perfect match for krishNa’s, the beauty of her shoulders is greater than krishNa’s. This is to make him lose [his heart] to those shoulders and to embrace them.
  • erudhu Ezh thazheeik kOLiyAr – One who embraced the seven bulls. Since he subsequently wants to  embrace her, his fighting with the bulls appeared like embracing her. That is why, it is said “erudhu Ezh thazheei” (embracing the seven bulls). Since this is the means to get her, he fought with the bulls’ kombu (horn), as if he is joyfully embracing this kombu  (nappinnai who resembles a kombu (slender stick)
  • kOvalanAr kudak kUththanAr – One who is having an equivalent family heritage and pride (of being an expert in dancing with pots), in order to get nappinnai. Just like janaka who would not marry his daughter to any one other than a prince from the ikshvAku clan even if he broke the prized bow, parents of nappinnai would not marry their daughter to any one who has shortcomings in cowherd habits even if he killed the seven bulls [dancing with the pots is also a unique aspect of cowherd clan, and krishNa was an expert in it].
  • thAL iNai … – parAnkuSa nAyaki is desiring for the thuLasi which decorated the divine feet of krishNa who helped nappinnai.
  • nALu nAL naiginRadhAl – She, who is so tender that she cannot handle becoming weak for even a single day, is becoming weak day after day. emperumAn is the one who bestows the body and then weakens it too.
  • endhan mAdhar – My daughter. Is my daughter as strong as he (krishNa) who took birth [in a prison cell], broke the shackles and escaped from there, fought and killed pUthanA, SakatAsura, yamaLArjuna et al, having scarred feet as said in mudhal thiruvanthAdhi 21 “thazhumbu irundha thAL sakatam sAdi” (having a scar in the feet due to kicking the SakatAsura)? She is like a tender deer, who has a slender waist which will break simply if touched.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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thirumAlai – 39 – adimaiyil kudimaiyillA

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periyaperumal-thiruppanazhwarperiya perumALthiruppANAzhwAr

avathArikai (introduction)

The greatness of those who have gyAnam (knowledge) of the meanings mentioned in the previous pAsuram is described, starting with this pAsuram, until the 44th pAsuram. nammAzhwAr spoke about the greatness of emperumAn’s followers (servitors) in thiruvAimozhi 3.7payilum sudaroLi mUrththi” and in 8.10 “nedumARkadimai”. This (thoNdaradippodi) AzhwAr does the same, in these 6 pAsurams. AzhwAr surmises that even if the followers of emperumAn are wanting in birth [not belonging to the first three varNams], practices [result of the above] and qualities, if they have knowledge of the meanings mentioned in the pAsuram “mEmporuL ” they are fit to be our prApakam and prApyam (our means and our goal). In this pAsuram, AzhwAr says that even if the followers are born in a very low clan, if they have deep knowledge in the meanings of “mEmporuL” pAsuram, they will be adorned on his divine head by emperumAn, like thiruththuzhAy (thuLasi).

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings.

அடிமையில் குடிமையில்லா அயல் சதுப்பேதி மாரில்
குடிமையில் கடைமை பட்ட குக்கரில் பிறப்பரேலும்
முடியினில் துளபம் வைத்தாய் மொய்கழற்கு அன்பு செய்யும்
அடியரை யுகத்தி போலும் அரங்கமா நகருளானே.

adimaiyil kudimaiyillA ayal sadhuppEdhi mAril
kudimaiyil kadaimai patta kukkaril piRapparElum
mudiyinil thuLabam vaiththAy moykazhaRku anbu seyyum
adiyarai ugaththi pOlum aranga mAnagar uLAnE


Word-by-word meaning

mudiyinil – on the divine head/crown
thuLabam vaiththAy – one who has adorned the thuLasi garland (as a subtle mark of being the lord of all)
arangam mAnagar uLAnE – dwelling inside the temple at SrIrangam
adimaiyil – carrying out service (to you)
kudimai illA – even if they are not involved
ayal – being different (from being servitor)
sadhuppEdhimAril – from the vaidhikas (those who follow vEdhams) who recite the four vEdhams
kudimaiyil kadaimai patta – being lowly in terms of their birth
kukkaril – below the level of chaNdALas (of a very low birth)
piRappar Elum – even if they are born
moy kazhaRku – your close, divine feet
anbu seyyum – being affectionate
adiyarai – followers
ugaththi pOlum – don’t you enjoy!?

vyAkhyAnam (commentary)

adimaiyil kudimaiyillA – even if they do not have the thought that carrying out kainkaryam is apt for them. It is apt to think that “kainkaryam is natural to us. Just like the food that we eat and the water that we drink, we cannot live if we do not carry out kainkaryam”.  AzhwAr is referring to those who do not think this way.

ayal sadhuppEdhimAril – being different from the chathurvEdhis who are not immersed in kainkaryam. sadhuppEdhimAril – those who learn the four vEdhas. The benefit of learning vEdhas is to realise that emperumAn is the master of all the worlds,  that we are his possessions, that to carry out kainkaryam to emperumAn and his followers is the appropriate goal for us. ayal is not knowing that the purpose of learning vEdhas is to obtain this knowledge. If the chathurvEdhis do not have the knowledge that the goal of learning the four vEdhas is to know these (above mentioned) meanings, then they are of no use to anyone. pAdhmOththaram says “vishNubhakthivihInO yas sarvaSAsthrArtha vEdhyapi I brAhmaNyam thasya na bhavEth thasyOthpaththir nirUpyathAm II” (Even if a person knows the meanings of all SAsthras (sacred texts), he will not have the qualities of a brAhmaNa if he does not have devotion towards vishNu. His birth is doubtful). brahmANda purANam vihakOsam 24.11 says “ya: puthra: pitharam dhvEshti tham vidhyAdhanyarEthsam I yO vishNum sathatham dhvEshtitham vidhyAdhanyarEthasam II” (if a son hates his father, it can be surmised that he was born to another person. If a person always hates vishNu, it can be surmised that he was born to a chandALa). Thus SAsthras thundered that such people do not have brAhmaNyam (qualities of a brAhmaNa).

Through the remaining part of the pAsuram, it says about those who are different from these people and who are dear to emperumAn.

kudimaiyil kadaimaippatta kukkaril piRapparElum – those who spend several births, not carrying out deeds which are ordained in vEdhas and carrying out deeds which are forbidden by vEdhas, are born in very low births because of the accumulated sins in all these births. kukkar (kushka) refers to a class lower than chaNdALas. Since AzhwAr is using the term piRapparElum (even if they are born), he indicates that the superiority or inferiority of a person’s birth is not a reason for having knowledge about the meanings mentioned in the mEmporuL (previous) pAsuram. In SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 68.24, SrI rAma tells lakshmaNa “sarvathra kalu dhruSyanthE sAdhavO dharmachAriNa: I SUrA: SaraNyAs saumithrE thiryak yOni gathEshvapi II” (hE lakshmaNa! Those who are like sages, going in the path of righteousness, dhEvas et al, fit to be surrendered to, are seen among those born as animals and other species too!). SrI rAma says this when he sees jatAyu (vulture who fought valiantly with rAvaNa when he flew after abducting sIthAppirAtti). The opinion here is that knowledge of meanings of the pAsuram mEmporuL is prevalent across species, even among animals and birds. In SrI rAmAyaNam, which came about to explain the meanings of vEdhas, people who roam around in forest such as guhan (a hunter), Sabari (again from the hunters’ tribe), primates such as hanuman, sugrIva, rAkshasa such as vibhIshaNa had this knowledge. In the other epic which came about to describe vEdhas, mahAbhAratha, vidhura, born in a lowly caste, dharmavyAdha, a butcher, ghantAkarNa, the cow herd boys and girls – all had this knowledge. In thiruviruththam 79, nammAzhwAr says “pAmbaNai mEl paLLi koNdaruLum sIdhanaiyE thozhuvAr viNNuLarilum sIriyarE” (those who worship only the lord who is lying on the serpent bed, are greater than nithyasUris). Even though nithyasUris are constantly involved with emperumAn, those born in this samsAram (which only breeds ignorance) and reformed due to the efforts of emperumAn, are considered to be greater than nithyasUris. Just as syamanthakamani (a stone which will convert even iron into gold when it touches iron) is better than pure gold, since these dwellers of samsAram are capable of converting other samsAris into followers of emperumAn due to their connection, which even nithyasUris cannot do, such samsAris are considered to be greater than nithyasUris.

mudiyinil thuLabam vaiththAy – just as emperumAn adorns thuLasi on his head, these followers are also apt to be kept on his head like thuLasi. Just as he adorns thuLasi to indicate that he is sarvESvaran (lord of all), if he keeps his followers on his head, that would also indicate his quality of being sarvESvaran.

moykazhaRku anbu seyyum – Just as in the 38th pAsuram AzhwAr had said “aimpulan agaththadakki” (controlling their sensory organs) to serve emperumAn, these people cast aside their happiness [while carrying out kainkaryam] and serve only for his happiness, with affection, similar to sEvadi sevvi thirukkAppu (thiruppallANdu 1). To them this is the only way to spend time purposefully  and they consider this as their goal. Thus they have emperumAn, who is always delightful, as their means.   Next, the means (path) is mentioned.

adiyarai – they consider his compassionate divine feet as the means. As mentioned in pAsuram 38 as sOmbar, they know that their Athma svarUpam (nature of the AthmA) is being subservient to emperumAn for ever and will not have anything to do with their protection themselves. Another interpretation is – adiyar – remaining at the feet. The feet are the goal, which are enjoyable, and the feet are also the means, which sustain. This is similar to nammAzhwAr mentioning in periya thiruvandhAdhi 31 nizhalum adithARum AnOm (we became the shadow and the lines, of the feet).

ugaththi pOlum – you enjoy these followers, who have the knowledge, not considering their lowly birth, and not those chathurvEdhis who do not have the knowledge.

aranga mAnagar uLAnE – the purpose of coming to SrIrangam and lying here is to hear these people, who have affection towards you, even if they are of lowly birth. If you wanted to hear only great people, you would have remained at SrIvaikuNtam, is the meaning here.

We shall move on to the 40th pAsuram

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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