thirunedunthANdakam – 5

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In previous pAsuram AzhvAr enjoyed how emperumAn is being the root of creation of world (jagathkAraNabhUthan), and having the world as His divine body, i.e., he is the antharyAmi (jagachchareeree). Next, instead of just enjoying in the writings of vEdham (OlaippuRaththE) in nArayanANuvAkam about nArAyaNan, AzhvAr is enjoying how He could be seen by eyes and enjoyed, as He incarnated as vAmanan and spanned the worlds. The word nArAyaNan is about the relationship of lord and subservient, isn’t it?

By His being the reason for creation of world, it also talks about the relationship of AthmA to that emperumAn, isn’t it? Saying ‘kANmingaL ulageer enRu kaN mugappE nimirndha [thiruvAimozhi – 6.3.11]’ (thrivikraman growing and as if saying – Oh world! see this wonder), – He spanned all the worlds, for all in the world to see this meaning of relationship. So AzhvAr is enjoying the meaning of word nArAyaNan through the word of thrivikraman.

(In vAmana avathAram it shows His Seelam only (mingling with simpletons), why say that it is about the relationship?) AzhvAr is Not saying about how vAmanan went to the yAgasAlai (place of sacred rites) asking for land, etc., but saying about the part of how He kept his divine feet on everyone’s head – this is how we see that AzhvAr is enjoying about Lord-servant relationship (as a lord, He kept his divine feet on servants’ heads).

oNmidhiyil punaluruvi orukAl niRpa
  orukAlum kAmaruseer avuNan uLLath(thu)
eNmadhiyum kadandhu aNdameedhu pOgi
  iruvisumbin Udu pOy ezhundhu mElaith
thaNmadhiyum kathiravanum thavira Odith
  thArakaiyin puRam thadavi appAl mikku
maNmuzhudhum agappaduththu ninRa endhai
  malar puraiyum thiruvadi en thalai mElavE              5

Word by word meaning

oN midhiyil – after making the soft step
oru kAl – with one divine feet,
punal uruvi niRpa – it went all the way to AvaraNa jalam (water surrounding the aNdam (spherical world)),
oru kAlum – another divine feet also
kAmaru seer avuNan uLLaththu eNmadhiyum kadandhu – crossing even the extent of thought of mahAbali who is having greatness that is liked,
ezhundhu – it started
aNdam meedhu pOgi – to go even above the aNdam,
iru visumbin Udu pOy – permeating the big space (AkASam)
thavira Odi – going further by crossing
thaN madhiyum – the cool zone of moon
mElai – that is above, and
kadhiravanum – the zone of sun (that is below),
thArakaiyin puRam thadavi – permeating the zone of stars (above)
appAl mikku – permeating even beyond (that),
agappaduththu ninRa –  and stood spanning
maN muzhudhum – all the places;
vaNanginEnE – I got to experience/enjoy
malar puraiyum thiruvadiyE – the lotus flower like divine feet only
enthai – of my lord (of such glory).


oNmidhiyil … – With one divine feet He spanned all the earth, lower worlds; and with one divine feet, He spanned all the worlds above, says AzhvAr .

oNmidhiyil – If He who is the support for everything keeps His divine feet on the heads of sentient, would the world be able to bear it? Did kamsan not get squashed when His divine feet touched him? – He keeping His divine feet, that itself, is the reason for their being able to live.  Even if He / His divine feet  that is the supporting/saving becomes one supported, His quality of supporting/saving them would not be lost.

(Where have we seen this?) – Like how for His thiruvadis (His divine feet / divine body), His paramAthma svarUpam (entity) is the support (even though He stands on His divine feet; in the same way), for the people’s heads also He is the support.

{Translator’s note: Another meaning: Taking thiruvadis as garudAzhAr and hanuman, as they are called so,  as, Like how even though He sets His feet on their palms/head (during garuda/hanumantha vAhanam), He still is the support for them}.

Supporter cannot be one supported; One supported cannot be supporter (jeevAthmA cannot become paramAthmA and vice versa). Like how even though AthmA is having a place inside the body, the body is not the supporter and AthmA is not the one supported. That the AthmA is the supporter and body is the one supported, is explained when talking about the identity of body and AthmA (SareerAthma lakShaNam in SrIbAshyam) (This is said in ‘yasya chEthanasya yadhdhravyam sarvAthmanA svArthE niyanthum dhArayithum cha Sakyam thachchEshadhaika svarUpancha thath thasya Sareeram’ (One that is object for the sentient AthmA, in all the ways be commanded by AthmA, be supported by AthmA, be only for that AthmA – then that is Sareeram.)).

(If AthmA leaves the body, the body falls off. So it shows that it is AthmA that is supporting the body).

midhiyil – (in step/trampling) (why say in this way instead of saying that His divine feet is kept as a jewel on their heads?) – Saying ‘madheeyamUrdhnAnam alankarishyathi [sthOthra rathnam – 31](~oh thrivikrama! .. when is your divine feet going to decorate my head (again)?), and ‘padikkaLavAga nimirththa nin pAdha pangayamE thalaikku aNiyAy [thiruvAimozhi – 9.2.2] (your divine feet only would be the decoration for my head), that is, saying divine feet as decoration for head is only when one understands its glory and also having interest;  since the people are dhEhAthmAbhimAni (giving importance to body and not AthmA), they would only think that some feet had pushed their head. So, AzhvAr is saying this way (midhiyil) from their point of view.

oN midhiyil – Like the breeze under moonlight He kept the divine feet amicably;  if that is not the case, they would have commanded as ‘thiruvANai [thiruvAimozhi – 10.10.2]’ (by the name of thAyAr), ((do not) keep your feet on me);

Or, the stepping on them is such that if in future one becomes desirous of emperumAn, they don’t have to back out thinking about their previous state and greatness of emperumAn, so it is ‘oN midhi’ (such a great stepping on his head);  One could say “What is there to not surrender to your divine feet now when we got the desire, while the divine feet which were present in my head when I was not caring for you?”.  When one could argue,  ‘lOkavikrAntha charaNau [vihagESvara samhithai, padalam (part) 22 ((please keep on my head) your divine feet which spanned the worlds), emperumAn would not have any opposing reply (but have to keep His feet on the head), you see!

punal aruvi – His divine feet grew downwards and extended not just till the earth, or seven seas, or the seven continents (dhveepams), or the mountain of chakravALa (mountain that surrounds the previous layers), or the great water (mahA jalam), or the covering wall of the aNdam (aNda kadAkam), but till the water covering the aNdams (AvaraNa jalam);

Why go till that extent, when the ones to be protected are within the aNdam? The protector’s eagerness is not just till the extent of the ones to be protected; As said in ‘adhanil periya en avA [thiruvAimozhi – 10.10.10]’ (my desire which is bigger than that) – His desire is like AzhvAr ’s desire, you see!

What this one’s love (prEmam) did, would His affection (vAthsalyam) not do that?

If asked – if the divine feet intruded the covering wall of the aNdam and go till the water covering aNdams, would the aNda kadAkam (covering wall) not be destructed? It does not have to be so, when the subtle one (sUkshmam) permeates the tangible/gross ones (sthUlam). Space (AkASam) (already) permeates that aNda kadAkam; the mUla prakruthi (source of material realm) is subtler than that AkASam; the divine auspicious body of emperumAn is subtler (sUkshmam) than that mUla prakruthi.

oru kAl niRpa – one divine feet standing;

later in this pAsuram he says ‘thiruvadiyE vaNanginEnE’  (worshipped only the divine feet); earlier – ‘thiruvadi en thalai mElavE [thirunedunthANdakam – 1]’ (divine feet on my head); given that, instead of saying thiruvadigaL (divine feet), his saying kAl (foot) here is from the point of view of samsAris (worldly people); other than thinking – someone’s leg is in my head – they don’t know the way of considering it as one to be attained and which is enjoyed by the nithyasUris, such lord’s divine feet.

niRpa – as He took up to use the divine feet to span (just) the earth, it showed the beauty of breaking (as it went up to the water layer of aNdam (AvaraNa jalam) and stopped (niRpa) as if by pulling the reins. His greatness is like supporting like the reins to stop the divine feet!

oru kAlum – earlier, AzhvAr enjoyed the divine feet that spanned the earth; by this phrase AzhvAr is enjoying the divine feet that spanned the upper worlds;

oru kAlum – also the other divine foot; saying ‘oru kAlum (one leg also)’ instead of ‘maRRa kAlum’ (other leg also) is – “Oh how wonderful this one is”. When AzhvAr was enjoying that divine foot, ‘There cannot be anything more enjoyable than this!’ was his state; as he saw this other divine foot, he is saying ‘There is nothing more enjoyable than this one!’ (oru -> unique/wonder)

kAmaruseer, etc. –  going beyond (the knowledge that is extent of mind of mahAbali).

kAmaruseer avuNan – mahAbali having attractive nature;  instead of censuring him as ‘one having haughtiness’, ‘thief of emperumAn’s places’, AzhvAr is saying ‘greatly fortunate’ about him. What is the reason for this? Unlike us who are here at a later time, he got to see the beauty of the form and simplicity (Seelam) of SrI vAmanan. Are there any fortunate people like him? – is the thought of AzhvAr . Oh! instead of being as ‘adiyEn’ (servant), I too should have stolen the places of emperumAn, and should have artificially taken up generosity and do yagyam (worship by sacred rites).   kAmaru -> liking.

eN madhiyum kadandhu – (crossing the limit of mahAbali’s thought in mind (eN -> eNNam -> thought)) – As He said ‘mUvadi [thiruvAimozhi – 3.8.9]’, mahAbali was like ‘rest of the places are mine only’.  After He spanned everything including the earth, he was like – there are those other worlds above for me’. As He spanned the space above, he realized he lost even the worlds above and became loser. So, AzhvAr is saying ‘kadandhu’ (going beyond the limit of thoughts of mahAbali).

aNda meedhu pOgi – One divine foot itself going beyond the wall like limit of the aNdam (aNda bhiththi). Instead of saying in the order in which He spanned, why first say about aNda meedhu pOgi? Due to his great love of the victory of SrI vAmanan, AzhvAr is setting a marker (koNdaik kOl) at the limit of emperumAn’s extent of spanning.

Like how SrI jAmbavAn mahArAjar said due to his great love for His victory, ‘jitham bhagavathA jagath [harivamSam – prathamapari – 42](jAmbavAn saying to dhEvas: all the worlds have been won by emperumAn (by incarnating as thrivikraman), (so please come back to your places)) – by going around the chakravALagiri and announcing by drum, about His victory to everyone.

Saying meedhu pOgi – shall be considered as pOga (to go), to mean, to go to it. This is similar to ‘thiruvudai adigaL tham nalam kazhal vaNangi [thiruvAimozhi – 1.3.8] (worshipping the good feet of emperumAn who is having thAyAr in His divine chest), where it is taken as ‘vaNanga’ (if you worship); There also nammAzhvAr saying that first is to set the marker (koNdaik kOl) of the full extent.

It is to be read as ‘ezhundhu – iru visumbin Udu pOy (started and went through the space).

ezhundhu – The moment water drops fell on his palm (water poured into the palm of vAmanan by mahAbali, to complete the pledge to give three steps of land), Him raising from the place of yagyam of mahAbali;

iru visumbu – the big space; since it is big when considering earth, and due to the great love in emperumAn’s growth, AzhvAr is referring to space as iru visumbu. (BIG space);

Udu pOy – (went through) He raised his divine foot such that the space that is above the earth and below heaven that is of hundred thousand kAdham (kAdham is approximately a mile or two and a half) got fully filled plump by His divine foot; creation of space became fruitful; when the divine feet had not permeated there, it was like a waste, you see.

mElai … – Sun’s place is the upper border of space, and lower border of heaven; above that, for one hundred thousand kAdham is the place of moon. But why not AzhvAr say about the place of the Sun and then about that of the Moon (mElaith thaN madhiyum (moon) kadhiravanum (sun) )? Since He kept His divine and completely delicate feet on people having self-interest and not interested in emperumAn, AzhvAr is attending to service for that divine feet by trying to make it cool down (through moon’s place); to show that, AzhvAr is saying ‘thaN madhi’ (cool moon);  (Since it is already known that moon is cool, he still specified that attribute thaN, for this purpose only. He did not specify any attribute of Sun in this pAsuram, so he does not want to think about its heat)  He did not say ‘vem kadhirOn’ , but just kadhiravan only.  mElaith (above) thaN madhiyum, implies ‘keezhai’ (below) kadhiravanum.

thavira Odi – going above that. By Odi – (running)  – having to stop it with difficulty as the divine foot is running due to haste (looking for devotees); As said in ‘thAy nAdu kanRE pOl [mudhal thiruvanthAdhi – 30]’ (like the calf seeking its mother), like how a devotee would show haste in reaching the lord, the lord would have the haste to get His devotee. For everyone, there would be haste for getting what they love, isn’t it?

thArakaiyin puRam thadavi – permeating the place of stars, and going above that; above the place of moon, there is the place of stars for one hundred thousand kAdham. Above the upper limit of the place of stars, is the place of SimSumAra prajApathi. Like the planets, he is one of the stars; he is of twelve hundred thousand kAdham.

thadavi – lord (caressing) trying to see if any devotee would be found, like how one would caress around in the floor (in the dark) searching for something that fell from self.  When going and trying to find someone and not finding anyone, AzhvAr says, kadandhu (crossed that).

As said in ‘pudaith thAn peridhE puvi [periya thiruvanthAdhi – 75]’ (Is earth like an elevated place that emperumAn‘s flood of kindness not flow through it?), what a loss this is to be not having the divine feet of thrivikraman on our head, says AzhvAr .

thadavi – (softly caressing) – since He would keep the divine feet in positive ways, that touch would be of delight.

appAl mikku – going up till the brahma lOkam (abode of brahmA); since mahAbali stole only the three worlds, why go above beyond that?  Like how the three worlds were ruined due to anyaSEshathvam (subservience to others such as indhra), the other worlds were also ruined due to feeling themselves as independent (svasvAthanthriyam); because their mind is having the state of ‘eeSvarOham’ (I am the lord); disaster of nature of AthmA due to anyaSEshathvam is not (that worse) compared to disaster due to svasvAthanthriyam. The former has (at least) accepted subservience.

{Translator’s note: This is also succinctly put by piLLai lOkAchAryar in mumukshuppadi as ‘piRarkkuriyan Ana anRu than vailakShaNyaththaik kAtti meetkalAm; thanakku ennum anRu yOgyathaiyum kUda azhiyum [mumukshuppadi – 81]’ (~When one agrees to be subservient to others, they can be retrieved back by Him showing them His greatness compared to those of others; but if being self-independent, even eligibility to retrieve would be lost)}

(The goodness for Him is based on the goodness He does for His devotees).

maN muzhudhum agappaduththu Spanning the fourteen worlds; saying about earth by the word maN’ , he says ‘muzhudhum’, thinking about the worlds above it as well;

Or, by ‘maN’ to mean place, it is talking about the places above.

Instead of saying ‘aLandhu(spanning), AzhvAr is saying ‘agappaduththu’  (capturing), which shows His falling on them with love (mEl vizhum), and their sliding away.

ninRa – stopping satisfied having done His wishes (of capturing His devotees); like how a devotee would stand satisfied, here the lord is satisfied after getting (reforming) the devotees.

enthai (my svAmi -> my lord / father) when seeing SrI vAmanan’s beauty and simplicity, proper thing to do would be to ignore the kingdom and pierce into the chest and writing that he is subservient to Him – instead indhra got his kingdom and went away; mahAbali kept him (his generosity) for himself (to consider himself great), and gave (only) his kingdom to emperumAn; (But) I gave myself to Him, says AzhvAr .

malar puraiyum, etc.  (divine feet that is like lotus flower) – I got to enjoy the boundless enjoyment that is His divine feet.  Earlier, AzhvAr said ‘thaLir puraiyum thiruvadi [thirunedunthANdakam – 1]’ (divine feet that is like a flower bud blooming); here he says ‘malar puraiyum thiruvadi’.  Reason for this, is – there, it was about emperumAn withering due to separation from this AzhvAr , and then as He kept His divine feet on AzhvAr ’s head, it started becoming fresh and blooming; here – as the ones who enjoy, as they started to enjoy, it is talking about the enjoyableness of the divine feet (like a lotus flower).

malar puraiyum – due to presence of devotees the divine feet is blossoming. (the other lotus would blossom in the present of Sun).

thiruvadi – the divine feet is the place the devotees go to for enjoyment (compared to other parts of emperumAn).

by saying ‘E’ (avadhAraNam) in thiruvadiyE, (only the divine feet), it shows the specialty/difference from/compared to other parts of emperumAn.

This divine feet is the one not having any dearth of greatness (mEnmai), kindness (neermai), and beauty of shape (vadivazhagu).  There is no dearth of greatness to the divine feet as He kept His divine feet on the heads of those who were like ‘eeSvarOham’ (I am the lord); for getting His property (devotees), He rushed eagerly, which shows there is no dearth of His kindness (neermai); attracting even the bad one like mahAbali, there is no dearth of his beauty of form. So there is no need (for devotees) to go to any part other than His divine feet, isn’t it?

vaNanginEn – I got to enjoy; this meaning is as said too in ‘nama ithyEva vAdhina: [mahAbhAratham – SAnthi parvam – 344-45] (identity of those who got liberated into SrIvaikuNtam would be to be doing salutation (anjali)) (so) they would be happy; they would be of nature of saying ‘nama:’ in their mouth), (saluting is) about enjoying Him by the liberated (mukthas);

for AzhvAr , the divine feet are the ones to surrender to (upAyam); and also ones to enjoy (upEyam);  during the time of surrendering it was said as ‘ulagam aLandha pon adiyE adaindhu uyndhEn [periya thirumozhi – 5.8.9]’ (reached and survived by the divine feet that spanned the worlds);

Is there anyone to surrender to other than the beautiful One who creates interest even in mahAbali who was disinterested?

Is there anyone to surrender to other than the one who is eager to go and get His own property (AthmAs, by pleading for it)?

Is there anyone to surrender to other than this simple One who made His divine body which cannot be seen by any senses, to be seen even by the asuras?

Is there anyone to surrender to other than the lord who spanned the fourteen worlds?

(even other incarnations of emperumAn are shunned here)

Being lord of everyone, simple, easy, and being one who creates desire in Him, is the one who is also the One we could surrender to and experience the enjoyableness in Him.

ALavandhAr said, ‘thrivikrama thvachcharaNAmbuja dhvayam madheeyamUrdhAnam alankarishyathi [sthOthra rathnam – 31](Oh emperumAn who performed incarnation as thrivikraman! When would your divine lotus feet decorate my head?).

udaiyavar said, “lOkavikrAntha charaNau SaraNam thE’vrajam vibhO [SaraNAgathi gadhyam 6th chUrNai – gadhya thrayam (quoting from vihagESvara samhithai – part 22)]’ (I surrender only to the divine feet of yours that spanned the worlds).

– – – – – –

Translation by raghuram SrInivAsa dAsan

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