iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 40 – surukkAga vAngi

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

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In the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr had said that the essence of all vEdhams is reciting emeprumAn’s divine names. Instead of saying something for namesake, he tells people in this pAsuram, to think of the meaning of those divine names, emperumAn, soon. Any entity other than him does not have the characteristic of an entity. Hence, only he is apt to be attained. He says that instead of attaining at one’s convenience, attain him immediately.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

surukkAga vAngi sulAvi ninRu aiyAr
nerukkAmun nIr ninaimin kaNdIr thiruppolindha
AgaththAn pAdham aRindhum aRiyAdha
bOgaththAl illai poruL

Word by Word Meaning

aiyAr – phlegm (a mucous material)
surukkAga vAngi – contracting the body
sulAvi  ninRu – surrounding the body fully [spreading to all parts of the body]
nerukkA mun – before it starts troubling
thirup polindha AgaththAn pAdham – the divine feet of emperumAn who is decorated with SrI mahAlakshmi on his chest
nIr ninaimin kaNdIr – please think of [his divine feet]
aRindhum – even if you are conversant with matters relating to emperumAn
aRiyAdha – those which will make you ignorant
bOgaththAl – enjoying worldly pursuits starting with Sabdham (the five sensory perceptions)
poruL illai – there is no purpose


surukkAga vAngi sulAvi ninRu aiyAr nerukkA mun nIr ninaimin kaNdIr – phlegm, which is present everywhere in the body, will start giving trouble during the last days. At that time, the sensory perceptions of the chEthana (sentient entity) will not be under his control and will not allow him the desire to think of emperumAn. Thus, before such a situation arises, think of emperumAn immediately.

surukkAga vAngi – phlegm will start contracting the body, made of five elements, to look like a purse with a double string [so that it can be contracted fully at the neck].

sulAvi ninRu – it will spread all over the body and kill the person

aiyAr nerukkA mun – before phlegm starts troubling

nIr ninaimin – please keep this in your mind. It is not enough if you say that you will do it. You have to do it. Has it not been mercifully mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 1-3-8mALumOr idaththilum vaNakkodu mALvadhu valamE” (even at the time of leaving this body (at the time of death) it is better to bow down [to emperumAn] and leave)! For those who are trying to attain emperumAn through bhakthi yOgam (the path of devotion) it is compulsory to think of emperumAn at the time of death. For those who are trying to attain emperumAn through emperumAn himself, there is no such compulsion (as mentioned in varAha charamaSlOkam). If one were to think of dhvaya manthram [emperumAn] in the last stage, irrespective of these two states, it is welcome.

But should one have to think [of emperumAn], to the point of hurting oneself, at that stage?

thiruppolindha AgaththAn  – AzhwAr is asking whether emperumAn’s physical beauty is such that it can be forgotten. One need not fear that one has not attempted to attain emperumAn in a long time and feel guilty. This is because as said in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 116-44 “na kaSchinnAprAdhyathi” (there is none who has not committed a mistake), pirAtti is always there with emperumAn to plead on our behalf. Hence think of the divine feet of emperumAn who is made to look radiant by pirAtti.

aRindhum aRiyAdha bOgaththAl illai poruL – despite being knowledgeable about emperumAn there is no purpose in going after worldly pursuits just like ignorant people do. There is no purpose in going after worldly pursuits which will make even a knowledgeable person to appear as ignorant. Even though sugrIva maharAjar had total devotion towards SrI rAma, since he was immersed in worldly pursuits for some time, he had to be reminded [about his responsibility] like others. aRindhum aRiyAdha bOgam can also refer to wealth which does not allow one to give up worldly enjoyments despite knowing that they are harmful. Another interpretation – even if one enjoys worldly pursuits to a large extent, he cannot clearly understand what he had enjoyed and thus even such a person is made to look ignorant. Thus there is no benefit out of enjoying worldly pursuits. Has it not been mercifully mentioned in SrI vishNu purANam 6-5-87 “sandhruSyathE vApyavagamyathE vA thathgyANamagyAna mathOnya dhukkam” (except seeing and knowing about emperumAn, knowledge about all other things is ignorance)! The knowledge which does not lead to attaining emperumAn is not knowledge at all. It will be termed only as ignorance. If a person knows about everything other than emperumAn, he will be called as ignorant only. Even if he does not know about anything other than emperumAn, he will be referred to us a knowledgeable person only. In the pAsuram, while referring to emperumAn, it says nIr ninaimin (you think) while referring to worldly pursuits it says aRindhum, meaning one should understand fully about those worldly things. If one were to ask whether it is comfort that one gets through other entities, in reality since they prevent one from attaining the real benefit that one should go after, they create only discomfort. Other entities, other than creating no purpose, also become hurdles to attaining the real benefit. This is brought out well in this pAsuram.

We shall take up the 41st pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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