Daily Archives: June 18, 2017

thiruvAimozhi – 5.3.5 – kadiyan kodiyan

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Full series >> Fifth Centum >> Third decad

Previous pAsuram

Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the fifth pAsuram, parAnguSa nAyaki tells her friend “Even if emperumAn is not having noble qualities  as I said and is having many faults like being cruel, my heart will not know anyone other than him”.

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. parAnguSa nAyaki tells her friend “Even if you say ‘he has no good qualities, he is cruel’, there is no use for such statements, and even if you highlight his defects to withdraw me from him, it will only help in me pursuing him”.

pAsuram

kadiyan kodiyan nediya mAl ulagam koNda
adiyan aRivaru mEni mAyaththan Agilum
kodiya en nenjam avan enRE kidakkum ellE
thudi koL idai madath thOzhi! annai en seyyumE?

Listen

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

kadiyan – having cruelty (ignoring others while quickly engaging in his activities)
kodiyan – being evil (walking away once such activity is completed)
nediya – (while leaving, difficult to stay away) great
mAl – having supremacy
ulagam – the whole world
koNda – accepting it for himself, without leaving anything for the others
adiyan – being the deceptive one, who is having it for himself
aRivu – to conceive
aru – difficult
mEni – captivating by his beauty
mAyaththan Agilum – though he is amazing
kodiya – bad (disregarding the worldly limits, unable to withdraw by highlighting the defects)
en – my
nenjam – heart
avanE – he (who is having the qualities explained here) is the only refuge
enRu – as
kidakkum – will remain
ellE – ellE (wonder struck thinking about having these qualities – since emperumAn pursues first, since he eliminates our attachment in external matters, since he has great attachment, since he places us at his divine feet exclusively, since he is an amazing entity who is having an inconceivable form after having helped us) – what amazing qualities does he have!
thudi – slender
koL – having
idai – waist
madam – having humility
thOzhi – Oh friend!

(Though you have the matching qualities such as beauty to know this situation of separation, you stopped me fearing my mother’s order)
annai – she (mother)
en – what
seyyum – will do?

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

Though emperumAn is cruel, evil and is having great supremacy in accepting the whole world for himself, without leaving anything for the others and is being deceptive in having it for himself, and though he is amazing in captivating us by his inconceivable beauty, my heart will remain considering “he is the only refuge”; what amazing qualities does he have! Oh friend who is having a slender waist and having humility! what will my mother do? ellE indicates her being wonder-struck as well as calling out to her friend. mAl indicates greatness and love.

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

  • kadiyan … – Even to highlight his faults, only I am qualified to do so; you have only seen him from distance unlike I who have fully understood him by being together with him; this being the case, parAnguSa nAyaki tells “just listen to me”.
  • kadiyan – Harsh. Very selfish. If we wants to get something done, he will disregard the other person’s interest and pursue forcefully.
  • kodiyan – While he pursues and enjoys with us, he cannot guarantee that “I will not leave you”. What can he not do when he thinks about separation while being together? Is there anything  impossible for him to do when he thinks about something else while being together as said in periya thirumozhi 9.3.3 “pEdhai ninnaip piriyEn ini enRu aganRAn” (saying “Oh ignorant girl! I won’t separate from you” and separated).
  • nediya mAl – mAl – greatness. By “nedumai”, the abundance of such greatness is indicated. By this, it indicates that while emperumAn is right inside the reach of our hands, he is also immeasurable. Though knowing well that “he is planning to leave”, his nature is as explained in thiruviruththam 8 “sENkunRam senRu poruL padaippAn kaRRa thiNNanavu” (an act of going to the mountain with high peaks to earn new wealth). Even when he himself pursues and unites, if he thinks about leaving, we would be unable to question him strongly “why are you planning to leave?”.
  • ulagam koNda adiyan – If he wishes to take over some one else’s belongings, he would do so without leaving anything for them. He will push them into pAthALam (lower planetary layer) [as in the case of mahAbali]. He bestows them the assembly of pAthALam. He is the one who is having the divine feet [adi explained as feet] to capture everything which he desires to grab from someone.
  • aRivaru mEni – He is having a form which makes one wonder when approached, “is he thinking to give us all his wealth or is he thinking to capture all our wealth?”. He captures oneself and the belongings by approaching and saying “my self and all my belongings are at your disposal”. First, he made himself and his belongings to be at her disposal and then captured her.
  • mAyaththan – While she has lost her heart thinking about his words “I and my belongings are yours”, he would disappear in thin air – he is having such amazing capability.
  • Agilum – I am capable of highlighting many of his faults which cannot be revealed by you or demoniac persons like SisupAla et al, if I plan on giving him up.
  • kodiya en nenjam – My heart which is of different nature from the worldly hearts and is of different species. For worldly people, good qualities lead them to pursue some one and bad qualities lead them to give up some one; but here, my heart is such that, his bad qualities are the reason for its attraction towards him.
  • avan enRE kidakkum – For this piLLAn explains “even these bad qualities belong to [my dear] emperumAn [So, I will enjoy them]”; [that is] if he is cruel, I want to see his cruely right now; if he is evil, I want to see his evil nature right now; if he is difficult to attain, I want to see that difficulty right now; if he is robber of all my belongings, I want to see him rob me and be robbed of everything; if he is difficult to be conceived, I want to understand the difficulty of conceiving him.
  • avan enRE kidakkum – Another explanation – even if my heart becomes attached to mAyAvAdha philosophy, it is alright. That is – ignoring the viSEshaNams (qualities) and just focussing on the viSEshyam (brahmam, the supreme entity) is sufficient. From this, it is understood that – our relationship with him is not based on his qualities, but it is based on the existence of both the entities [paramAthmA and jIvAthmA].
  • ellE – How amazing! Alternative explanation – The friend started leaving parAnguSa nAyaki saying “You have not listened to my words of trying to withdraw you. You be the way you want to be”; it can be said that parAnguSa nAyaki holds her friend’s hand, stopping her from leaving and calling her out.

Hearing that, the friend feels “what a great affection she has towards me” and became emotional; seeing that, parAnguSa nAyaki tells,

  • thudi koL idai madath thOzhi – She says “thudi koL idai madath thOzhi“. Oh friend who is having a slender waist and who is having noble quality of humility! You should speak matching your form, quality and our relationship. Her friend says “I am not speaking without knowing [your heart] and useless words. I am speaking like this fearing your mother”.
  • annai en seyyumE – Since I did not even obey your words, will I obey my mother’s words?

Beyond the simple meaning, the following needs to be thought through.

anasUyA told sIthAp pirAtti “For women, their husbands are their Gods” and hearing this, sIthA out of shyness, put her head down; she then said “the people of this world think that I have SrI rAma very dear to me due to his auspicious qualities; while by divine arrangement, he has auspicious qualities, I will remain faithful for him even if he is devoid of auspicious qualities and a beautiful form; but I can only prove this if I can separate his auspicious qualities from him [which is not possible]”. These are the words of the one who truly understands the relationship with bhagavAn. In periya thirumozhi 11.8.7, it is said “vEmbin puzhu vEmbanRi uNNAdhu” (a worm originated in neem, will not eat anything other than that neem) [to indicate that he is always dependent on emperumAn only]. If this is expressed in the matters of emperumAn who is filled with auspicious qualities, should it not have been said as “karumbin puzhu karumbanRi uNNAdhu” (a worm originated in sugarcane, will not eat anything other than sugarcane)? The neem is highlighted here, to emphasise “even if he does not have any good qualities, I will not give him up”; naturally in emperumAn who is filled with all auspicious qualities, this will be true. If we look at my nature, I cannot leave you and even if you don’t behave like yourself, I cannot leave you.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 9 – porukOttu Or EnamAy

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avathArikai

Will he protect only his followers? What would happen to those who are not his followers? Will they have to die? When there is a danger, without making any distinction between his followers and disbelievers, he will protect every living being, even at the cost of his greatness. AzhwAr says that when there was danger through mahAbali (a ruler in the lineage of hiraNyakashyap and prahlAdha) and deluge, he took the form of a mendicant to beg from mahAbali and took the form of a boar to dig out the earth respectively, not minding about what such forms would do to his greatness.

Let us look at the pAsuram.

porukOttu Or EnamAyp pukku idandhAykku anRu un
oru kOttin mEl kidandhadhanRE virithOtta
sEvadiyai nItti thisai nadunga viN thuLanga
mAvadivin nI aLandha maN

Word by Word Meanings

viri thOtta sEvadiyai – reddish coloured divine feet which resemble a lotus with blossomed petals
nItti – making them grow
thisai nadunga – making people in all directions to quiver
viN thuLanga – making people in the upper worlds also to tremble out of fear
mA vadivin – with a huge form (as thrivikraman)
nI aLandha – measured by you
maN – the earth
poru kOttu – with tusks which are meant for battle
Or EnamAy – a unique boar [incomparable]
pukku idandhAykku – (during deluge) immersed in water and dug it out
anRu – during that time
un – your
oru kOttin mEl – in a corner of one tusk
kidandhadhu anrE – was it not staying?

vyAkhyAnam

poru kOttu Or EnamAy – as a boar with tusks meant for battling. He took the incarnation of boar which keeps digging at all the places with its tusks. The boar cannot keep quiet without digging; it is its nature. When not digging the earth, he would dig the saffron present in bhUmip pirAtti’s bosom.

Or Enam – an incomparable, unique boar. Even if he has a body which could be destroyed, his beauty was such captivating that one would carry out Alaththy (a custom carried out in the southern parts of  India to ward off evils).

pukku idandhAykku – the way the boar went under water to search for earth which had got stuck to the walls of the universe. Just us pearl divers dive into the deep parts of the ocean in search of pearls, emperumAn also dove into deeper parts to search for earth.

anRu un oru kOttin mEl kidandhadhanRE – the earth that you dug out from the deep waters with so much of involvement was lying at one corner of your tusk like a bluish jewel! (the opinion here is that the earth was so small compared to his huge form that it could have passed through the gap between his teeth). It is clear from this that the involvement of the person who protects is much larger than the object that is to be protected. When a magnanimous person is asked to arrange food for one person, he would arrange for nine persons. In the same way, to dig out such a small earth, emperumAn took the huge form of a boar.

virithOtta sEvadiyai nItti – stretching his reddish coloured divine feet which were like the blossomed petals of a lotus. While there is reference to only the petals here, mentioning the petal is equivalent to mentioning the flower itself. Another interpretation is: “virithOtta” also refers to shining ear studs. Here it would be calling out to emperumAn who has shining ear studs [and then referring to his reddish coloured divine feet].

thisai nadunga viN thuLanga – emperumAn measured the worlds making people in various directions to quiver; making dhEvas who are in upper worlds (celestial persons) to quiver. He measured the worlds only for redeeming them for the sake of dhEvas. Why then should they be afraid? Here, their fear is out of affection for him, wondering “what will happen now?”

mAvadivil nI aLandha maN – the huge form that you had taken as thrivikrama in order to measure the earth. Wasn’t that same earth like a dot on your tusk when you took varAha avathAram! The opinion conveyed in this pAsuram is that emperumAn will carry the earth on his head as well as on his foot in order to protect it (as varAha and as thrivikrama respectively) when his focus in on protecting the earth.

We shall next enjoy the 10th pAsuram.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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thirunedunthANdakam – 3

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Introduction

In the first pAsuram – AzhvAr was astonished about the series of help of emperumAn to him, starting from removal of vishayAnthara prAvaNyam (interest in other things of material world) through giving him the destiny (divine feet) which is the gain for true nature of AthmA,  and He showed him all this while considering it as an honour for Himself;

(Why the astonishment of AzhvAr when emperumAn is doing these for His own benefit?) – If AzhvAr requests for it and emperumAn performs help on that request, then that would be understandable/valid; but while I am averse/turned away from Him, He Himself is eagerly performing such help, so it is astonishing).

In the second pAsuram – AzhvAr said that emperumAn cut his subservience towards others.  Mistaking due to the misunderstanding that the three deities are equivalent would be subservience to others, isn’t it?

In this pAsuram –  As said as ‘maNi uruvil bUtham aindhAy [thirunedunthANdakam – 1]’,  and ‘mugil uruvam [thirunedunthANdakam – 2]’, that which is illuminating the svarUpam (for (parama) Athma vasthu (entity)),  and for the qualities present in such vasthu (entity), and which is of unsurpassed enjoyment, and which is having the colour like that of rainy clouds – the way in which emperumAn helped by showing such divine body/form of His, to those having even a tiny affection, based on their taste, even by affecting His stature/original form (azhiya mARi), and the way in which emperumAn showed him due to His voluntary kindness His natural body/form – AzhvAr, seeing these as He showed them, says who would be able to see this like he did.

(Why enjoy His divine body instead of focusing on working for emperumAn’s excellence (athisayam) as dictated by subservience?)

Like how a virtuous woman would be focused on being in unison with her husband, if one gets subservience, and also get the state of not yielding  to others (ananyArhathai), then he would just be involved in enjoyment of Him isn’t it? His qualities are such that one would enjoy them more than His svarUpam; but one would enjoy His form more than both His svarUpam and His qualities – such is the enjoyability of His body/form, isn’t it?

By this pAsuram, AzhvAr is enjoying that form/body/beauty.

thiruvadivil karunedumAl sEyan enRum
  thirEthaikkaN vaLaiyuruvAyth thigazhndhAnenRum
peruvadivil kadal amudham koNda kAlam
   perumAnaik karuneela vaNNan thannai
oruvadivaththOruruvenRu uNaralAgA(dhu)
   Uzhi thORuzhi ninREththal allAl
karuvadiviR chenkaNNa vaNNan thannaik
  katturaiyE yAroruvar kANkiRpArE                         3

Word by word meaning

karu neela vaNNan thannaiOne naturally having blue colour among the colours,
perumAnaithat is sarvESvaran,
thiruvadivilin the matter of his divine body,
karunedumAl(like rainy clouds) emperumAn naturally having black colour, having a lot of love towards devotees,
sEyan enRumthat He is having reddish colour
thirEthaikkaNin the thrEthA yugam;
peru vadivil kadal amudham koNda kAlamin the krutha yugam when having many forms, and took nectar from the divine milky ocean
vaLai uruvAyth thigazhndhAn enRumHe was having white colour like a conch;
Uzhi thORu Uzhi ninRu EththalallAlother than being in each kalpam and praise Him (like this),
uNaral AgAdhuIt is not possible to know (Him)
oru vadivaththu Or uru enRuas having one specific form of divine body, or as having one type of colour;
katturaiyEother than (everyone) be (only) talking about
karu vadivil sem kaNNa vaNNan thannaithat emperumAn having bluish divine body, and reddish divine eyes,
yAr oruvar kANkiRpArEwho can see Him (like I did as He showed to me)?

vyAkyAnam

thiruvadivil –  In the matter of divine form/body.

Like how in the first pAsuram it was about (His help in) SEshathvam (subservience), and in the second pAsuram it was about anyaSEshathva nivruththi (removal of subservience to others), now in this pAsuram it is about His (His help about) divine form, you see! says AzhvAr.

thiru vadivu – Distinguished form. periya pirAttiyAr’s form (form enjoyed by Her).

When it could have been said as (just) vadivu, saying thiru vadivu is – Like said in ‘agalakillEn iRaiyum [thiruvAimozhi – 6.10.10]’ (will not leave you even a fraction of a moment), the form is such that pirAtti’s state is like (a thirsty one saying) ‘water! water!’, it is such difficult to attain and get Him in such form, and it is such status He lowered Himself from, and showed it to the world – it is for this, that AzhvAr is saying thiru’ vadivu.

Now it talks about how emperumAn helped by giving such divine from.

karu nedu mAl – Having the form of colour like black rainy cloud (karu), having the great glory that is beyond both the worlds (nedu). By this – One who is having distinguished divine body, not needing/expecting from anyone else (having everything by Himself) (mAl), and superior to everything, is the one, you see, become like these (as shown by phrases that follow)! – says AzhvAr.

Or, by mAl – with maddening love, He is of deep (nedu) love. By this, the One who is of greatness as aforementioned, is lowering/changing himself and showing himself due to His being of deep love (vyAmOghatha).

karu -> kALa, in samskrutham, both meaning black. kALa mEgham -> black cloud.

sEyan enRum thirEthaikkaN – When considering thrEthA yugam, He would be having reddish (sEy) form. People of that time were having more quality of rajas (action/anger), so their interest would be in red colour only isn’t it? (rajas is represented as red). Based on that interest of those people, He would present himself to them in reddish colour.

rajas (anger/active) is reddish, sathvam (tranquillity) is whitish, and thamas (ignorance/laziness) is blackish.

For prakruthi (material realm) specific properties are these three qualities as said in ‘lOhitha Sukla krishNAm [SvEthasvathara Upanishadh – 4.5]’ (red, white, and black) (samsAri (worldly person) with the mind of enjoyment follows the woman that is prakruthi having red (rajas), white (sathvam), black (thamas) colours (qualities) and which can create various things equal to it; the other one that is muktha jeevan (liberated), even though enjoys the woman that is prakruthi for some period, then hates it and leaves her [gets liberated]. This prakruthi and these beings are eternal (meaning is taken from pramANath thirattu (collection of authoritative references) given along with vyAkyAnam).

Reason for talking about red first is – to show that it is in the order of word of Sruthi in ‘lOhitha Sukla krushNam’.

While it is for the subservient to set himself for the happiness of the lord, it is the lord who is changing Himself against His superiority according to the taste of His subjects.

(This can be seen in), As said in ‘thamar ugandhadhu evvuruvam [mudhal thiruvanthAdhi – 44]’ (whatever form the devotees enjoy), the ‘enRum enRum ((praise him) as, as) seen in multiple lines of this pAsuram is to be read with ‘Uzhi thORu Uzhi ninRu EththalallAl’ (other than praising him in each such yugam).

peruvadivil kadal amudham koNda kAlam – When considering krutha yugam;  not saying (explicitly) krutha yugam in the pAsuram, like saying ‘thirEthaik kaN(in previous line) , but saying about it as ‘kadal amudham koNda kAlam (time when He churned milky ocean)Saying thirEthaik kaN’ appears as barren time for AzhvAr (As SrI rAman with anger bridged on the ocean just for killing the asura and so AzhvAr is not considering that as great, whereas here He with kindness churned the ocean (and gave nectar)), and so AzhvAr is talking about the specifics of emperumAn’s glory of krutha yugam since the activities of emperumAn of this time is loved by AzhvAr;

This is similar to how those (in SrIrangam) having love towards periya thirunAL (panguni uththram day when perumAL and pirAttiyAr grace together once a year) would say ‘I will do it (some activity) after periya thirunAL’ instead of saying based on the month, as, ‘I will do after the month of panguni’, thus basing it on the activity of emperumAn. (In the same way AzhvAr is talking about the time of churning of milky ocean).

But, is it not enough to say ‘kadal amudham koNda kAlam’ why say ‘peru vadivil kadal amudham koNda kAlam’? (huge form)

kSheerAbdhi (milky ocean) is big such that it covers fourteen hundred thousand miles (14 lakh miles (kAdham -> around a mile); 

Isn’t He reclining in that ocean as said in ‘thALum thOLum mudigaLum samanilAdha pala parappi [thiruvAimozhi – 8.10.8]’, such that the whole area of the ocean swells and splashes.

With that form itself as He gets up and churns, it would look like an ocean churning an ocean, so AzhvAr is divining so (as peru vadivil (huge form));

Ocean is such that it relieves our burdens, and it is boundless; likewise, (emperumAn’s form) also relieves our burden, is boundless, and enjoyable.

Or, as peru vadivu – by the form that cannot be measured; for the manthara mountain not to drown He took the form of kUrmam (tortoise), and to control the turbulence above, the form of bruhathrUpi (brahma rUpi (as said in ’uparyAkrAnthavAn Sailam bruhadhrUpENa kESava: [SrIvishNu purANam – 1.9.90]’) (kESavan)), thus being in a form among the dhEvas and in a form among asuras, and pulling / churning amidst them, and being as strength for vAsuki the snake (used as rope for churning), and as said in ‘yanna dhrushtam surAsurai:’, thus permeating everywhere whether mountain, dhEvas, asuras, and gave strength – thus taking many forms in these ways.

kadal amudham koNda kAlam – All the dhEvas without anyone missing, who due to the curse of dhurvAsa muni became losers of wealth, losing nectar and becoming poor, and so as said in ‘SaraNam thvAmanuprApthA: samasthA dhEvathAgaNA:’ – surrendered, and the way He churned the ocean and gave nectar to them.

koNda -> having (as against ‘gave’ the nectar))-  He was thinking that it is his gain/blessing to give them nectar.

kadal amudham koNda kAlam – The time when He created nectar for the dhEvas, for Himself, and for me (AzhvAr).

dhEvas got the goods of nectar and went away; He took the nectar that is periya pirAttiyAr (who came from the ocean and settled on His divine chest);  These two, as said in ‘viNNavar amudhuNa amudhil varum peN amudhuNda [periya thirumozhi – 6.1.2](dhEvas got the nectar, emperumAn got the nectar that is thAyAr) are not enjoyment  for AzhvAr. It is as said in ‘nAl thOL amudhu [thiruvAimozhi – 6.10.9] (emperumAn the divine nectar), with his hands arms and divine conch, the One who churned the ocean is the One that is the enjoyment for him (AzhvAr).

dhEvas got what they loved; He also got His love; I also got what I love (says AzhvAr).

As said in ‘paSyathAm SarvadhEvAnAm yayau vakSa:sthalam harE:’, as all dhEvas where witnessing it, stepping her feet on His divine flower of navel, climbed into His divine chest. Why climb so without giving importance to those witnessing? It is only when One gets Her love would She be able to shower love on others.

Or, thinking – only due to His grace I would be able show my grace, and looked at His face (for His grace/approval).

(aithihyam) ­- (nan)jeeyar asked (parASara) bhattar, ‘Is it appropriate for womanhood to climb on His chest when so many dhEvathAs are present watching?’;  bhattar divined his reply, ‘While being with husband, is it required to be shy in front of those who are doing personal services to them?’.

Even though all the dhEvathAs were thinking that they were all powerful as ‘eeSvarOham’ , the true nature of subservience is to serve towards the togetherness of emperumAn and pirAtti.

amudham koNda kAlam – Oh what a wonderful time it was! – says AzhvAr.

{similar to ‘madhi niRaindha nannALAl [thiruppAvai – 1]’}.

Not only showing Himself to ananya prayOjanar (devotees not expecting anything else), even for prayOjanAntharaparar (those seeking some other thing from Him) it is a time of good life as he was available for them too.

Time when His supremacy, simplicity, and enjoyability shined!  Since all the deities came and surrendered, supremacy shined;   since not enforcing His supremacy against the prayOjanAntharaparar who are arrogant and think ‘eeSvarOham’ (I am the controller/supreme), and as He performs what is required to help them, His simplicity is highlighted; due to the togetherness of Him and pirAtti enjoyability shined.

(at the time when He incarnated and churned the ocean..)

vaLai uruvAyth thigazhndhAn enRum – (.. He was white in colour)Since the ones in krutha yugam are high in sathva guNam (tranquillity), it is white that they are joyous about. So as per their taste, He was in the form having white colour. vaLai uruvAy – in the colour of conch. (uru -> colour, as a facet of beauty). It is said too, ‘SaSi varNam chathur bhujam’.

If asking what the authoritative reference is for the time of churning ocean was krutha yugam;- Since it is said as He was ‘SvEtha varNan’ (white in colour), – it shows that it is krutha yugam. The great one (thirumazhisai AzhvAr) divined ‘pAlineermai – niRaindha kAlam nAngumAy [thiruchchandha viruththam – 44]’ (among the four yugams, He having simplicity like milk (white)), showing as four colours for the four yugams.

thigazhndhAn enRum – Lowering His state and showing to them, instead of them becoming bright/satiated, He becomes bright/satiated; since He shows/attends even by lowering His state, His simplicity is obviously highlighted.

perumAnai – (supreme / lord); Not having any count of the forms He takes in these ways for devotees. If yugams are four, would His forms also be just four? Since there is no count for each of the yugams (since they repeat), obviously His forms also would be countless.

Since those in dhvApara yugam people were with the mix of rajas and thamas, He was having the form having colour as per their taste thus not having just red or blue (respectively) – since this is not said explicitly in the pAsuram, this word includes that form/colour as well (bluish black). It is said too as ‘pAsiyin pasum puRam pOlum neermai  [thiruchchandha viruththam – 44]’ (~like the outside blackish colour of moss outside, He being with simplicity).

karu neela vaNNan thannai – In the time of kali, since people shun him and are not having any taste about the colour of his form – He would be having his natural form (of colour) (bluish black). From ‘kalau jagathpathim [SrIvishNu purANam]– etc., (parASara muni saying to maithrEya – people of kali yugam would not worship vishNu the supreme) – “Oh maithrEya! See the trouble emperumAn went through! You are the only one who is not affected by this period! (since parASara in dhvApara yugam can see the future kali yugam, he is talking as ‘this period’)”

karumai – is the name for black; it is also the general name for colours; when it comes to His colour it would be black.

oru vadivaththu Or uru enRu uNaral AgA – Not just lowers himself in colour, but also lowers himself in his form; since in this way for the devotees he lowers himself in his form and colour, it is not possible for anyone to measure it and say that such and such is His form, such and such is His colour; as said in ‘sura nara thiraSchAm [varadharAja sthavam – 17]’, (when incarnating as dhEva, human, or animal, He hid His original nature and took respective characteristics of those births), (Or,  sura nara thiraSchAm [SrIvishNu purANam] (even though you are of no birth and do not go through any change, you are incarnating with the characteristics of dhEvas, human, and animals, for your leelai (play/enjoyment)), since He comes and incarnates in different types of births, He lowered His original form too; 

The adolescent age as said in ‘yuvAkumAra:’  (emperumAn is of such young age), and His colour of dark clouds would be His natural state  – could we not limit/determine His form and colour in this way? Since we also see Him as being a son (growing to different ages), it is not possible to determine the limit of Him based on age.  And, it is not possible to determine the limit of colour since He takes upon the colour based on the taste of devotees.

But what is wrong in determining/limiting by saying, how He is in SrivaikuNtam is the natural colour and form, and the colour and form in these incarnations as incidental (temporary)? When looking at the forms and colours that He took for the devotees, the one in SrivaikuNtam would look incidental/temporary, and the ones He took up for His incarnations are the ones that would be well set for Him (as actual nature); It is ‘ichchAgruheetha’ (He does that out of love for those forms/colours (due to the interest in such forms/colours by devotees), isn’t it?

uNaral AgA – Not only one cannot talk about it with words/songs; it cannot even be thought by the mind (about His many forms/colours).

Uzhi thORu Uzhi ninRu Eththal allAl – (other than praising Him in each eon);  we can only do this – says AzhvAr. If we see His ways of many forms and many colours, other than praising Him till there is time (eternal), it is not possible to determine/limit them.

karu vadivil sem kaNNa vaNNan thannai – (AzhvAr) divines about the form emperumAn showed to him. Only if there is any interest towards Him would He show as per his interest in any specific form or colour.  Since he is not interested in emperumAn and interested in material affairs, He showed, based on His own interest, He showed me His natural form; He showed Himself of dark cloud-like colour and as its accompaniment, the divine (red) eyes – the ones which shower the nectar that is the love (represented as red) which  is inside His mind; (like the love (rain) that is inside rainy clouds);  these too define his superiority similar to His being the husband of periya pirAttiyAr.

katturaiyE yAr oruvar kANkiRpArE – by voluntary blessing of emperumAn I saw Him and talked to Him – is it possible for anyone else to see and talk to Him? (katturaiyE – who can say? Or, they can only talk based on imagination).

Is there anyone who can see Him like I saw Him? Is there anyone who can talk to Him like I talked to Him?

Or, katturaiyE – everyone can only stay far and talk about it; is there anyone who can see Him?

(Aren’t there vEdhams, and AzhvArs who have done that?)

vEdhams too talked about the form of emperumAn as ‘neelathOyadhamadhyasthA’ (nArAyaNan is like the dark rainy cloud with lightning in the middle), thus seeing Him from afar and said approximately so, and went away.

Even those (other AzhvArs) who said ‘neelamuNda min anna mEnip perumAn [thiruviruththam – 29]’ (emperumAn of form like black clouds with lightning) – did they see Him in the way I saw Him? They saw Him only by their innate indifference (to worldly matters), and innate love (towards Him);  Is there any equal to the ways in which I, who is having innate indifference to emperumAn and love towards material matters, saw Him, in compromising ways? Since such is the case, has the vEdham or have the AzhvArs seen the scene that I saw?

Ar oruvar kANkiRpArE – who can see by their own accord? Like the worshippers (sAdhakar (rishis)), did I see Him by my own efforts? Like the prapannas (Arththa prapannas (those who wish to be liberated immediately and reach SrIvaikuNtam), did I see Him by being fearful of this material world? I saw while I was roaming around with interest in worldly aspects, isn’t it? (so I am the main one eligible for paragatha sveekAram (emperumAn voluntarily pursuing me)).

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Translation by raghuram SrInivAsa dAsan

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