iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 66 – idhu kaNdAy

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AzhwAr says that the benefit obtained out of engaging with matters relating to emperumAn is great. But it is essential not to have desire with worldly pursuits, thinking of the ruins that one would end up with such acts. He says that the reason for attaining emperumAn and for removing of hurdles in this path is not worshipping emperumAn but the ability to see the faults in worldly pleasures.

Let us look at the pAsuram and its meanings:

idhu kaNdAy nannenjE ippiRaviyAvadhu
idhu kaNdAy ellAm nAmuRRadhu idhu kaNdAy
nAraNan pEr Odhi naragaththarugaNaiyA
kAraNamum vallaiyE kAN

Word by Word Meaning

nal nenjE – Oh good heart!
ip piRavi Avadhu idhu kaNdAy – the cruelty of samsAram (materialistic realm) is like this, do observe.
nAm uRRadhu ellAm idhu kaNdAy – the sorrows that we experienced (in this samsAram) are like these.
nAraNan – SrIman nArAyana’s
pEr – divine names
Odhi – reciting them well
naragaththu – the hell called samsAram
arugu – near
aNaiyA kAraNamum – the reason for hating that we should not be here
idhu kaNdAy – is only the fault of this samsAram, do observe.

(for me, not having to tell each and everything like this)
vallaiyEL – if you are capable of knowing
kAN – see for yourself (the lowliness of this samsAram).


nal nenjE – Oh heart who agrees with me when I say that life in this world is terrible!

idhu kaNdAy ippiRaviyAvadhu – The nature of this samsAram (materialistic realm) is not what we had thought of, earlier. It is that which has been shown to us by emperumAn. Life on earth is the epitome of sorrow. All that we had thought of life on this earth as something great is mere delusion. Even faults in this life will appear to our eyes as faults, only with the grace of emperumAn. Otherwise, they will appear to be without faults. Just as we cannot see emperumAn unless he reveals himself to us, we cannot see the faults too in life unless he reveals them to us.

idhu ellAm nAm uRRadhu – just as there is only happiness in enjoying emperumAn, there is only sorrow in life. Hasn’t this (samsAram) given to us only sorrow, in the garb of pleasure, for a very long time! Just as there is only happiness in paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam) with emperumAn’s grace, there is only sorrow in samsAram. Has not ALavandhAr mercifully mentioned in sthOthra rathnam 25abhUthapUrvam mama bhAvi kim vA sarvam sahE mE sahajam hi dhu:kam” (there is no sorrow that I have not experienced. I am tolerating all the sorrows. Isn’t sorrow born with me)! It appears that sorrows will be there as long as AthmA is there [in this samsAram]. Even though this AthmA belongs to emperumAn, have you [referring to his heart] not seen all the sorrows that we experienced!

idhu kaNdAy nAraNan pEr Odhi naragaththu arugu aNaiyAk kAraNamum – The reason for reciting the divine names of the apt Lord emperumAn and for not going towards naragam (hell) is only seeing (knowing) the faults in the worldly life that I had mentioned earlier [says the AzhwAr to his heart]. Just as emperumAn enables us to attain him and relieves us from worldly pursuits, seeing the faults in worldly pursuits will enable us to relieve ourselves from these and to hold on to emperumAn.

vallaiyEl kAN – Some people will lose their belongings even when they are awake. In the same way, even while we know about worldly pursuits, their faults will not dawn in our hearts. Hence, even you have to suffer, see clearly the nature of the worldly pursuits. Even as we are experiencing the sorrows, isn’t our sin the reason for not moving away from the worldly life!  In this matter, doesn’t even seeing with our eyes become useless! Just as we desire if we see something good, should we not become averse if we see something bad? The opinion here is that since attaining emperumAn is not due to our efforts and since the involvement in worldly pursuits is our desire, what is needed for the jIvAthmAs is to see the faults in the worldly pursuits. Doesn’t SrI vishNu purANam 6-7-28 say “mana Eva manushyANAm kAraNam bandha mOkshayO!” (it is the person’s mind which is responsible for both bondage and liberation). When the chEthana (sentient entity) gets involved in unnecessary pursuits, emperumAn, who helps in attaining the necessary entity and avoiding the unnecessary, prevents the chEthana from involving in the unnecessary and gives what he really needs. nammAzhwAr initially saw emperumAn as the head of nithyasUris (imaiyOr thalaivan). This AzhwAr says that he should help in releasing us from falsified knowledge, bad conduct and impure body, all of which are opposite of his being the lord of nithyasUris.

We shall take up the 67th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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