thiruvAimozhi – 6.3.1 – nalguravum selvum

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Full series >> Sixth Centum >> Third decad

Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the first pAsuram, AzhwAr says “I have seen sarvESvaran who is having contrary entities as his wealth/form, in thiruviNNagar”.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

In the first pAsuram, AzhwAr says “I have seen emperumAn who is sarvavyApaka (omnipresent)  and is having contrary entities which cause pleasure/pain, as his wealth/form, in thiruviNNagar”.

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.


nalguravum selvum naragum suvarggamumAy
vel pagaiyum natpum vidamum amudhamumAyp
pal vagaiyum parandha perumAn ennai ALvAnaich
chelvam malgu kudith thiruviNNagark kaNdEnE


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

nalguravum – the poverty of having contracted forms
selvum – the wealth of having expanded forms
naragum – hell which is the abode of sorrow
suvarggamum – heaven which is the abode of joy
Ay – being [having as his form/attribute]
vel – knocking down the opponents
pagaiyum – hostility
natpum – friendship which is the opposite of that
vidamum – poison which finishes [the one who consumes it]
amudhamum – amrutham (nectar, which gives immortality) which redeems the life
Ay – being [having as his form/attribute]

(in this manner)
pal vagaiyum – in many ways
parandha – one who has permeated
perumAn – greater than all
ennai – manifesting such forms to me
ALvAnai – the master (who accepted me as a servitor)
selvam – the wealth of experiencing bhagavAn
malgu – abundant
kudi – having group of virtuous people
thiruviNNagar – in thiruviNNagar [oppili appan temple]
kaNdEn – I have seen.

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

emperumAn is having the poverty of having contracted forms, the wealth of having expanded forms, hell which is the abode of sorrow, heaven which is the abode of joy, hostility which knocks down the opponents, friendship which is the opposite of that, poison which finishes [the one who consumes it] and amrutham which redeems the life, as his forms/attributes. I have seen such emperumAn who has permeated in many ways [in all these aspects], who is greater than all and the master who is manifesting such forms to me, in thiruviNNagar which is having abundant group of virtuous people who are having the wealth of experiencing bhagavAn.

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

  • nalguravum selvum – Poverty and its opposite, wealth.
  • naragum suvarggamum – Hell which is the abode of sorrow, and heaven which is the abode of joy.
  • vel pagaiyum natpum – Hostility which eliminates any scope of truce and [friendly] relationship which is opposite of that.
  • vidamum amudhamum Ay – Poison which will kill and nectar which will bring back life in a dead person. The nectar both redeems lost life and is also enjoyable. AzhwAr likes both poverty which is undesired and wealth which is desired, considering them both to be owned by emperumAn. “Ay” (being) is added to every word [i.e., nalguravumAy, selvumAy and so on].
  • pal vagaiyum parandha perumAn – Even emperumAn who is most knowledgeable withdrew saying in SrI bhagavath gIthA 10.19nAsthyanthO vistharasya mE ” (there is no end to the full expansion of my wealth), while trying to explain his wealth; such wealth cannot be spoken by AzhwAr who is in the mood of loving devotion. Yet, he should speak at least a little bit. An entity is not seen without its attributes; he is not speaking mAyAvAdha philosophy which speaks about brahmam without any attributes, as in “nirviSEsham vasthu” (entity (brahmam) is devoid of any attributes). If that is the case [i.e., entity is devoid of attributes], there is no need for mOksha SAsthram (the sacred text which speaks about liberation [which leads to eternal kainkaryam to bhagavAn]). When accepting the existence of an entity, the attribute will only show the differentiation [between this entity and others]. When something becomes an attribute for an entity, the attribute cannot be explained unless it is considered as anyayOga vyavachchEdham (exclusive distinction – an attribute which is exclusively held by this entity) [“rAma is the only archer” – this establishes the exclusive nature of archery in rAma]; since all other entities are his [emperumAn’s] attributes, anyayOga vyavachchEdham is inapplicable; but, how can contrary attributes be present in a single entity? It is applicable as per ayOga vyavachchEdham (co-existing distinction) [“rAma is archer only” – this implies, he is not the only archer, but archery is his main skill, and he will have other qualities as well] and AzhwAr is setting out to enjoy such emperumAn. What is the purpose of his explaining such contrary attributes in him? That is to see him truly and enjoy him. For a prince, both his father’s grand assembly which is the enjoyable spot and the prison house are equally treated as “my father’s wealth”. AzhwAr’s meditation here [in this samsAram] is similar to that of the mukthAthmA’s (liberated souls) about the material realm. Though it is said in chAndhOgya upanishath 8.12.3 “nOpajanam smaran idham SarIram” (AthmA will not contemplate about the material body after reaching the spiritual realm), for the mukthAthmA, this material realm is desirable when considered as bhagavAn’s wealth; for AzhwAr too, similar to mukthAthmAs, to have his views only based on the thinking that, this material realm is owned by bhagavAn, emperumAn removed his ignorance. When looked at it from own perspective, it is seen to be thyAjyam (given up); one will urge to give up this world where there is room for both knowledge and ignorance, and to reach the spiritual abode where there is no scope for ignorance.
  • pal vagaiyum parandha perumAn – emperumAn who is expanded in multifarious ways through his wealth.
  • parandha perumAn ennai ALvAnai – AzhwAr thinks that emperumAn has permeated everything to capture him; just as a town is rounded up to capture a single person.
  • selvam malgu kudith thiruviNNagark kaNdEnE – Like seeing an oasis in a desert.
  • selvam malgu kudi – thiruviNNagar which is having greatly opulent communities. As said in SrI rAmAyaNam bAla kANdam 18.28 “lakshmaNO lakshmI sampanna:” (lakshmaNa who is endowed with wealth of kainkaryam), like iLaiya perumAL (lakshmaNa) who had the same relationship with SrI rAma as SrI bharathAzhwAn, he served SrI rAma, while bharathAzhwAn could not – similar to such lakshmaNa.
  • thiruviNNagark kaNdEnE – Just as one gets food when/where he is hungry, AzhwAr enjoyed per his desire [of seeing emperumAn] right here [in thiruviNNagar], instead of assuming a different body, reaching a different [spiritual] abode and seeing emperumAn there. As said in periya thirumozhi 6.8.1 “nAn senRu naRaiyUril kaNdEnE” (I went to thirunaRaiyUr and saw the emperumAn there).

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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About Sarathy Thothathri

Disciple of SrImath paramahamsa ithyAdhi pattarpirAn vAnamAmalai jIyar (29th pattam of thOthAdhri mutt). Descendant of komANdUr iLaiyavilli AchchAn (bAladhanvi swamy, a cousin of SrI ramAnuja). Born in AzhwArthirungari, grew up in thiruvallikkENi (chennai), presently living under the shade of the lotus feet of jagathAchArya SrI rAmAnuja, SrIperumbUthUr. Learned sampradhAyam principles from (varthamAna) vAdhi kEsari azhagiyamaNavALa sampathkumAra jIyar swamy, vELukkudi krishNan swamy, gOmatam sampathkumArAchArya swamy and many others. Full time sEvaka/servitor of SrIvaishNava sampradhAyam. Engaged in translating our AzhwArs/AchAryas works in Simple thamizh and English, and coordinating the translation effort in many other languages. Also engaged in teaching dhivyaprabandham, sthOthrams, bhagavath gIthA etc and giving lectures on various SrIvaishNava sampradhAyam related topics in thamizh and English regularly. Taking care of portal, which is a humble offering to our pUrvAchAryas. is part of SrI varavaramuni sambandhi Trust ( initiatives.

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