Daily Archives: June 29, 2017

thiruvAimozhi – 5.4.4 – peN piRandhAr

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Full series >> Fifth Centum >> Fourth decad

Previous pAsuram

Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the fourth pAsuram, parAnguSa nAyaki says “While I am suffering so much that it cannot be tolerated by anyone who sees that, emperumAn who divinely measured the worlds to remove the dangers of everyone, has not arrived. Who will eliminate my endless mental suffering?”.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

Subsequently, parAnguSa nAyaki says “thrivikraman emperumAn looks prideful with beautiful features due to the joy of having measured the earth which he desired to; who will remove my endless mental suffering now?”.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

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

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.


peN piRandhAr eydhum perum thuyar kANgilEn enRu
oNsudarOn vArAdhoLiththAn im maNNaLandha
kaN periya sevvAy em kArERu vArAnAl
eN periya sindhai nOy thIrppArAr ennaiyE?


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

(being dependent, and having a tender nature)
peN – as a female
piRandhAr – born
eydhum – gets
perum thuyar – unbearable great sorrow
kANgilEn – unable to witness
enRu – saying so
oN – attractive during the time of dawn
sudarOn – radiant sun

(even during the time of following the orders of ISvara as said in thaiththirIya upanishath “bhIshOdhEthi sUrya:“)
vArAdhu – not coming
oLiththAn – hid himself (so that he is not found, even if searched for);
i – this
maN – earth
aLandha – as a result of joy due to measuring it to keep it for himself
periya – vast
kaN – divine eyes
sem – reddish
vAy – having divine lips
em – (like that earth, with his beautiful features) making us exist exclusively for him

(with that)
kAr – having cloud like blackish form
ERu – thrivikrama who appears like a prideful bull (having accomplished his desired task)
vArAn – has not come;
eN -for the thoughts
periya – great (to be out of reach, not conceivable through speech and mind)
sindhai nOy – mental anguish
ennai – me
thIrppAr – will eliminate
Ar – who?

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

The radiant sun which is attractive during the time of dawn is not coming and hid himself saying that he cannot witness the unbearable great sorrow one gets being born as female; thrivikrama who appears like a prideful bull, who is having vast divine eyes and reddish divine lips as a result of the joy of measuring the earth to keep it for himself, who is having cloud like blackish form, has not come; who will eliminate the great mental anguish of mine which is beyond the conception of thoughts?

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

  • peN piRandhAr … – Saying that I cannot witness the great sorrow experienced by women who are naturally dependent and hence unable to kill themselves, and being tender natured and hence unable to bear the separation.
  • oN sudarOn vArAdhu oLiththAn – While sarvarakshaka (protector of all) can witness [tolerate] such sufferings, can one (sun) who is engaged in a small act of protection, witness that? While purushOththaman (supreme lord) can witness that, can a purusha (sun, a mortal being) witness that? Even the sun who can dispel sorrows just by his arrival, hid himself and did not show up. Instead of saying “vandhilan” (has not come), it is said “oLiththAn” (hid himself) – this is because, as said in thaiththirIya upanishath “bhIshAsmAth vAtha:pavathE” (fearing bhagavAn‘s orders, wind is blowing), due to bhagavAn’s orders, he should be circling every day [present every day]; such sun too thinks “If I violate bhagavAn’s orders, they may cut my head, which is even alright in comparison to seeing this suffering of the women in separation” and hides himself from the servitors of bhagvAn when they come searching for him. periya thirumozhi 8.5.2 “oLiyavan visumbiyangum thErum pOyiRRu”  (the chariot of the sun which travels in the sky, disappeared). It disappeared in such a manner that it’s arrival is not to be guessed; as said in SrIvishNu purANam 5.18.31 “sObhirENur na lakshyathE” (even the dust (of the chariot) is not visible) and in periya thirumozhi 9.4.6 “suzhanRilangu vem kathirOn thErodum pOy maRaindhAn” (the revolving hot sun disappeared with his chariot).
  • im maN aLandha – What suffering engulfed the earth, which made him measure it and accept it? Is the suffering caused by mahAbali to the earth a match for the suffering caused by the night to me? emperumAn who protects without discriminating any one.
  • kaN periya sevvAy … – Out of his mercy, assuming a huge form and measuring the earth, mercifully showering his cool glance to eliminate the anguish of the dwellers of the earth, and smiling out of joy due to such acts – and thus manifesting his reddish lips.
  • em – One who is having as his nature, the protection given for all.
  • kAr – Having his natural complexion, due to protecting them.
  • ERuemperumAn who pridefully thinks that “doing all of this, is a benefit for me”, has not come. She is saying “em” (our) to indicate that she is also part of the protected persons by the sarvarakshaka (protector of all). When it is recited as “en” (my), it implies – one who has acquired his natural complexion as a resulting of being united with me previously.
  • vArAnAl – He need not beg from me; he need not measure the world, he just needs to manifest his form in front of me.
  • eN periya sindhai nOy – Until now, AzhwAr spoke about bhagavath vishayam (matters about bhagavAn) which is given up to be impossible to speak about by vEdhAntham as said in kEnOpanishath “yasyAmatham thasya matham” (one who thinks he knows does not know); but his own mental anguish (suffering in separation) is difficult to conceive even with the unblemished knowledge acquired by the blessings of bhagavAn. It can only be said as “eN periyadhu” (difficult to conceive in the mind) and cannot be said “how much”. The mental anguish will match the entity [bhagavAn] from whom she is separated. Since bhagavAn has no boundary, the anguish acquired in separation from him also has no boundary. SrIvishNu purANam 5.13.21 and 5.13.22 “thatha:prApthi mahAdhu:kha” (Having acquired great sorrow due to not attaining krishNa, chithayanthI was relieved of all her sins).
  • sindhai nOy thIrppAr Ar – All I need is to have this mental anguish eliminated, even if it means forgetting emperumAn, it is fine. These [AzhwArs] are of the nature to say as in periya thirumozhi 9.3.3 “Edhu seydhAl maRakkEn” (What can I do to forget him?); it does no matter we remember him or forget him, we need to get the anguish eliminated. Here, saying “forget him” is not done with desire, but only to highlight the great anguish. In separation, the remembrance of emperumAn will increase the suffering as seen in thiruvAimozhi 9.5.8 “kaNNan nAmamE kuzhaRik konRIr” (you recited krishNa’s name and killed me) and in thiruvAimozhi 9.5.7 “kAttEnmin num uru em uyirkkadhu kAlan” (Do not show your form, as that is death to my life).
  • ennaiyE – This anguish is unique to this AthmA (me) alone. People (bhakthi yOga followers) can meditate upon him and eliminate their anguish; it is possible for those who engage in bhakthi considering it as the means [to attain him], since such smruthi (remembrance) is ordained in SAsthram as in bruhadhAraNyaka upanishath “nidhidhyAsithavya:” (to be constantly meditated upon); but for those who are fully immersed in his nature/form, this situation [suffering in separation] is present.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 20 – peRRAr thaLaikazhala

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In the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr spoke about the happiness that the ocean had in attaining emperumAn. In this pAsuram, he says that when emperumAn left that ocean and incarnated himself, some persons had the fortune of enjoying him. When he gave happiness to the egoistic celestial people, should we wonder about his grace on the ocean?

Let us look at the pAsuram and its meanings.

peRRAr thaLai kazhalap pErndhu Or kuRaL uruvAych
cheRRAr padi kadandha sem kaN mAl naRRA
marai  malarch chEvadiyai vAnavar kai kUppi
nirai malar koNdu EththuvarAl ninRu

Word by Word Meanings

peRRAr – dhEvaki and vasudhEvar, krishNa’s parents’
thaLai kazhala – chain to snap open
pErndhu – coming out of thiruppARkadal (milky ocean)
Or – incomparable
kuRal uruvAy – in the form of a vAmana (dwarf)
seRRAr padi – the world of his enemy mahAbali (who thought that it was his)
kadandha – one who measured it
sem kaN mAl – emperumAn who has reddish eyes and lot of affection [towards his followers]
nal thAmarai adi sE adiyai – the divine reddish feet that resembled beautiful lotus
vAnavar – dhEvas (celestial persons)
kai kUppi ninRu – standing and folding their palms together (like in anjali posture)
nirai malar koNdu – with strung flowers
Eththuvar – will praise [emperumAn]
Al – alas! I did not get this fortune


peRRAr thaLai kazhalap pErndhunanjIyar mercifully said that this line alone [in this pAsuram] speaks about krishNAvathAram. There are several interpretations for this line: (1) emperumAn came from SrIvaikuNtam so that the chains tied to the legs of dhEvaki and vasudhEvar, his parents, would snap; (2) since their chains snapped, they were able to move out of the prison cell; (3) emperumAn uprooted himself and incarnated. Once he was born to them as their child, their problems disappeared. Another interpretation – peRRaAr also means those who got or attained. Thus, those who attain emperumAn have their chains (to samsAram, the materialistic realm) removed. In this case, along with the word pErndhu, the words Or kuRal uruvAy should be added and the following meaning should be added “emperumAn did more than that”. peRRAr – just as someone gets a treasure, AzhwAr says, “didn’t these people get the benefit!”. When the chains of those who deemed emperumAn as their son snapped, should one speak of the snapping of chains of samsAram of his followers? Thus it is amply clarified here that all the hurdles of those who connect with emperumAn will be removed. He removes whatever his followers deem as a prison [hurdle]. The same meaning was conveyed by nammAzhwAr in thiruvAimozhi 2-8-2pUNthanduzhAy en thani nAyagan puNarppu – vIdu mudhalAm” (the connection with emperumAn will grant us SrIvaikuNtam).

Or kuRal uruvAy – In the earlier sequence, AzhwAr mentioned about the snapping of chains by emperumAn by his action of coming [from SrivaikuNtam]. In this sequence, he mentions about how the chains of celestial persons got snapped by a single act of emperumAn. He talks about how his dwarfish figure, which he took by even destroying his great form, became a feast for the eyes. He took such a dwarfish figure that the dwarfs of the world would like his magnificent thrivikrama form. It is this incomparable form that AzhwAr describes by the word Or (unique).

seRRar – refers to enemies. Does emperumAn have enemies? The enemy of his follower (indhra, the lord of celestial persons) is his enemy. In mahAbhAratham udhyOga parvam 91-27, krishNa says “dhvishadhannam nabhOkthavyam dhvishadhantham naiva bhOjayEth, pANdavAn dhvishasE rAjan mama prANA hi pANdavA: ” (one should not take food from enemies; one should not offer food to enemies. Oh King! You are inimical to pANdavas. Aren’t pANdavas my life!) while speaking to dhuryOdhana. In vishNu dharmam 37-2 krishNa tells arjuna “yasthvAm dhvEshti sa mAm dhvEshti yasthvAmanu sa mAmanu, abhEdhEnAthmanO vEdhmi thvAmaham pANdunandhana” (Son of pAndu! Whoever treats you as an enemy treats me too as an enemy. Whoever follows you, follows me too. I do not think of you as anyone different from me). Thus, enemies of emperumAn’s  followers will be his enemies too. jithanthE sthOthram 2 says “dhEvAnAm dhAnavAm cha sAmAnyamadhidhaivatham” (emperumAn is equal toward dhEvas [celestial persons] and demons). Thus he does not have any enemies of his own! Those who are enemies of his followers, possessing demonical qualities, will become his enemies. In SrI bhagavath gIthA 9-29, krishNa says “samOham sarvabhUthEshu na mE dhvEshyOsthi na priya:, yE bhajanthi thu mAm bhakthyA mayi thEshu chApyaham” (I am equanimous towards all species; I have neither enemies nor friends. Those who hold on to me with love are with me; so am I with them). Thus he does not see any difference among his followers. nammAzhwAr says in thiruvAimozhi 1-6-3Idum eduppum il Isan” and in thiruvAimozhi 1-6-5koLgai koLAmai ilAdhAn eLgal irAgamilAdhAn” conveying the same meanings. Among his followers, he does not distinguish between those whom he considers as being dear to him and those whom he considers are not dear to him; he does not think that he will get some jobs done through certain people and will avoid certain other people; he does not show affection towards some and enmity towards others. It is said that he treats sage vaSishta and hunter tribal person Sabari equally.

seRRAr padi kadandha – he measured the worlds that enemies [of indhra, the lord of celestial persons] such as mahAbali thought were theirs.

padi kadandha – he felt ecstatic as if he got what he could never get, after measuring all the forests and hillocks.

sem kaN – his eyes became reddish in colour due to the happiness that he felt after getting the worlds, as if they were not his in the first place.

mAl – this word indicates the great stature that he got after getting all the worlds under his divine feet.

naRRAmarai malar sEvadiyai – his divine feet which became reddish in colour, similar to the fresh lotus flower.

vAnavar – the celestial people who consider themselves to be in the attic where the simplicity of his incarnation will not be felt on them.

kai kUppi – even when he had incarnated on the earth, they stayed where they were and saluted and worshipped him.

nirai malar koNdu – with illustrious followers, which have been strung in an orderly way.

EththuvarAl – will worship! They have attained him with flowers, while a sinner such as I have lost him.

ninRu nirai malar koNdu EththuvarAl – similar to people who are able to withstand floods and stand firmly, they will worship him, after having his dharSan (vision). The word nirai could be compounded with vAnavar as nirai vAnavar which will mean lot of dhEvas; thus lot of celestial persons will worship him with flowers. The meaning for the word EththuvarAl is as said before – when he incarnated here, those who were in other worlds [celestial people] worshipped him from there, while, I, remaining very much here, lost out.

We shall take up the 21st pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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SrIman nArAyaNan in paramapadham


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All the AzhwArs are ‘mayarvaRa madhinalam aruLappeRRavar’, i.e. they  are  bestowed with
unblemished knowledge and devotion by bhagavAn himself, through  his nirhEthuka  katAksha
(unconditional graceful glance). Of  them nammAzhwAr is called prapanna jana kUtastha
(leader of surrendered devotees). He  has  written  four  prabandhams namely,

  • thiruviruththam
  • thiruvAsiriyam
  • periya thiruvandhAdhi and
  • thiruvAimozhi

These  four prabandhams are considered to be equivalent to four vEdhams in thamizh
language. Of  them thiruvAsiriyam is the yajur vEdham equiavalent. This is the 6th prabandham
in the iyaRpA.

In the first prabandham, AzhwAr requested emperumAn to cut his dhEha sambandham (bodily
connection) which is an obstacle to bhagavath anubhavam (enjoying bhagavAn). But
emperumAn’s wish  was  different. He wanted AzhwAr to stay in this world for some more time
to  correct  the  people and show them the right path to mOksha (liberation). Therefore when
AzhwAr prayed ‘poynninRa gyAnamum pollA ozhukkum azhukkudambum inninRa neermai
(I cannot tolerate the existence in this inferior world with this false knowledge, bad conduct and dirty body). He thought  ‘ivvAzhwAr indha samsAraththai vittu vilagi oru
nalamandhamilladhOr   nAttilE   pOychchEravENumenRu pArippadhu nammudaiya  guNangaLai anubhavippadharkAgavE anRi vEronRukkAhavanrE; andha guNAnubhavaththai ivarkku nAm ivvidaththilEyE vAykkachcheyvOm; ingE  thAnE  ivar  guNAnubhavam paNNik kaLiththArAy, avvanubhavam uLLadangAmal puRa veLLamittu prabhandhangaLAgap perugi lOkOpakAramum seydhAnAgattum’ (This AzhwAr wants to come to paramapadham since he desires to enjoy my qualities. He can experience them in this world itself which serves  two  purposes – 1) the enjoyment  of my qualities and 2) to correct the samsAris (worldly people). The  second  one  is  achieved through  his  prabandhams which are the outpourings of his experiences which will benefit the entire world). Hence, emperumAn revealed his rUpa, guNa, vibhUthi etc. to AzhwAr. AzhwAr’s such experiences and expressions are these prabandhams.

This prabandham thiruvAsiriyam is in the prosody called AsiriyappA. Hence it is called
thiruvAsiriyam. The AsiriyappA is of 4 types—nErisai AsiriyappA, nilamaNdila AsiriyappA etc.
pASurams 1, 2, 3, 6 are in nErisai AsirappA and the rest (4, 5, 7) are in nilamaNdila AsiriyappA.
The style is andhAdhi (where ending of one pAsuram is connected to the beginning of the next pAsuram).

AzhwAr enjoys emperumAn‘s kalyANa guNams in these 7 pAsurams.

The brief translation proceeds with:

  • In the First pAsuram, he enjoys emperumAn’s thirumEni (dhivya mangaLa vigraham, divine form).
  • In the second, one should desire to be adorn with the bhAgavath vishayam which is the
    swaroopam like the one (vivEki, wise) who wear and adorn this empermAn’s divine lotus feet. AzhwAr desires to have nithya sambandham (eternal relationship) with bhAgavathas.
  • In the third, he wants to be “adiyArku adiyAn” (servant to the bhAgavathas who are the servant of you, emperumAn).
  • In the fourth he approaches the bhAgavathas who always sing mangaLAsAsanam, as in ‘pallANDu pallANDu pallAyiraththANdu“ (long live, long live, for many thousands of years) and to follow their footsteps and desire to engage in kainkaryam only.
  • In the fifth, he experiences emperumAn’s saulabhyam (easy approachability, being very simple) and sauSeelya athiSayam (the abundance of his quality of mixing freely with others ignoring his greatness and the lowliness of others) of thrivikrama avathAram.
  • In the sixth, He cries out loud to the people that they were worshipping  kshudhra dhEvathAs (inferior gods) for inferior benefits.
  • In the seventh, he feels happy that bhagavAn has made his mind to worship emperumAn unlike others who run behind and worship other dhEvathAs.

periyavAchchAn piLLai has written a beautiful commentary for this prabandham. We will enjoy
the English translation of the same here. This commentary is further elaborately explained
by kAnchIpuram prathivAdhi bhayankaram aNNangarAcharyar swamy (in his dhivyArtha dhIpikai) and by puththur krishNamAchAryar swamy. We are grateful to these commentaries as well, which we will be using in our translation.

periyavAchchAn piLLai

With this introduction, we will proceed with the detailed translation for tiruvASiriyam.

adiyen booma ramanuja dasi

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