iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 13 – thodar eduththa

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Could only those with authority attain emperumAn? Could only dhEvas, with limitations, attain him and should others lose out being unable to attain him? AzhwAr says that there is no such compulsion. Even an animal, with a lowly birth and lowly activities, such as gajEndhran [an elephant] was able to attain his divine feet and also had his enemy removed by emperumAn, and ultimately reached paramapadham. Wasn’t he [emperumAn] such a simple entity even for an elephant! Thus, anyone can attain him, says AzhwAr. In the earlier pAsuram, it was mentioned that emperumAn gives what had been desired by those who attain him for other benefits. In this pAsuram, it says that emperumAn gives himself to those who worship him and desire to see him.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

thodar eduththa mAl yAnai sUzhkayam pukku anji
padar eduththa paim kamalam koNdu anRu idaradukka
AzhiyAn pAdham paNindhanrE vAnavar kOn
pAzhidhAn eydhiRRu paNdu

Word by Word Meaning

thodar eduththa mAl yAnai – an elephant in exultation, breaking free from its chains and running with the chain in its trunk
sUzhkayam pukku – entered an expansive pond
padar eduththa paim kamalam koNdu – taking lotus flowers which have blossomed well (in order to lay them at the divine feet of emperumAn)
anRu idar adukka – after getting into a deep hurdle (getting caught by a crocodile and unable to free itself from the crocodile)
anji – trembling with fear in its mind (whether it would be able to offer the flowers to emperumAn before they wither away)
AzhiyAn pAdham – at the divine feet of emperumAn who is holding in his hand the divine disc (the implement for killing the crocodile)
paNindhanRE – because of worshipping (after surrendering)
thAn – that gajEndhra AzhwAn [in our sampradhAyam certain people (and other entities) are referred to as AzhwAn to indicate their exalted status]
paNdu – in ancient time
vAnavar kOn pAzhi – the dwelling place of the Lord of nithyasUris (permanent dweller of SrivaikuNtam), paramapadham
eydhiRRu – attained

vyAkyAnam

thodar eduththa mAl yAnai – an elephant which, in exultation, pulling aside the creepers bearing flowers, went about as it pleased. It could also be construed as a huge elephant which removed its chain (used for tying it) and went about as it pleased.

mAl yAnai – elephant in exultation. Alternative meaning: one which cannot be controlled.

sUzh kayam pukku – entering an expansive pond whose bank could not be seen with one’s eyes [so huge]

sUzh kayam – a pond which could drive away those who entered it, with the help of wild creatures such as crocodile etc.

kayam pukku – entering an area which is not its [elephant’s].

anji – fearful of the hurdle caused by crocodile. The elephant would have felt stronger on land than in water. It would have been with huge ego similar to that of entities such as brahmA et al. vishNu dharmam 69-47 says “paramApadhamApanna:” (got into a huge difficulty). A difficulty which was huger than such an elephant. It was such a difficulty that emperumAn had to come hurriedly to overcome it.

padar eduththa paingamalam koNdupadar – being an expansive lotus flower which blossomed. eduththa – a lotus which has grown tall. paingamalam – a beautiful lotus. Alternatively, a cool lotus. Plucking that lotus with lot of desire.

anRu idar adukka – a difficulty which occurred there due to crocodile. idar – it was such a difficulty that there was no remedy for it other than emperumAn himself coming there.

anji – fearing whether he [gajEndhra] would be able to offer that lotus to the divine feet of emperumAn before the flower withered.

As a remedy to it…

AzhiyAn pAdham paNindhanRE – is it not by worshipping at the divine feet of emperumAn who is donning the chakrAyudham (divine disc as a weapon)!

AzhiyAn – one who is donning the divine disc. Hasn’t vishNu dharmam 69-81 said “graham chakrENa mAdhava:” (mAdhavan (emperumAn) killed the crocodile with his weapon disc). It is mentioned that emperumAn offers himself to those who desire only himself and no other benefit from him.

paingamalam – it is conveyed here that gajEndhran plucked a very soft lotus in an easy manner.

AzhiyAn – it is conveyed here that emperumAn has weapon in his hand to remove the difficulties of his followers.

vAnavar kOn pAzhidhAn eydhiRRup paNdu – once upon a time, the elephant ascended the mattress of emperumAn, who is the lord of tireless nithyasUris, at his dwelling place of paramapadham (this takes into consideration that the meaning for the word pAzhi could be either place or bed). When such is the quality of emperumAn, is there any boundary for saying that so and so is dear to emperumAn and so and so is not dear to emperumAn? AzhwAr says that everyone is qualified to attain him.

We shall move on to the 14th pAsuram, next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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