iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 78 – thavam seydhu

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AzhwAr exclaims that it was only nAnmugan (brahmA) who carried out penance like this and effortlessly attained the divine feet of emperumAn.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

thavam seydhu nAnmuganE peRRAn tharaNi
nivandhaLippa nIttiya poRpAdham sivandha than
kai anaiththum Arak kazhuvinAn gangai nIr
peydhu anaiththup pEr mozhindha pin

Word by Word Meaning

tharaNi – the earth
aLappa nivandhu – growing up in size as thrivikrama to measure
nIttiya – (the divine foot that) he raised
poRpAdham – the great divine foot
gangai nIr peydhu – carrying out service by pouring gangA water which was actually dharmam (all the righteousness)[ which melted upon seeing emperumAn’s divine foot]
anaiththu pEr mozhindhu – reciting (emperumAn’s) all the divine names  wholeheartedly
pin – later
than sivandha kai anaiththum Ara – to make his beautiful hands become benefitted
kazhuvinAn – one who washed the divine foot
nAnmuganE – it is only nAnmugan
thavam seyudhu peRRAn – who reaped the benefit out of carrying out the penance of reciting the divine names of emperumAn


thavam seydhu nAnmuganE peRRAn – even though many persons have carried out penance, they did not get the fruits of their penance. Only brahmA reaped the benefit of the penance that he had undertaken. emperumAn considered as penance the sweet activity of brahmA reciting emperumAn’s divine names. nammAzhwAr too has divinely mentioned in thiruvAymozhi 1-3-5vaNakkudaith thavaneRi” (emperumAn considers the act of worshipping too as a penance)

tharaNi nivandhaLappa – the activity of emperumAn to help someone else (indhra) became the fruit of brahmA’s penance. The activity carried out for someone ended up as a benefit for somebody else.

nanmuganE peRRAn – is there anyone who benefitted as much as brahmA got, by carrying out penance?

nIttiya poRpAdham – the great divine feet raised in order to measure the earth. AzhwAr says that while brahmA stayed in sathyalOkam, out of emperumAn’s reach, it fructified for him (did not emperumAn lift his divine foot up to the place where brahmA stayed!).

sivandha than kai anaiththum Arak kazhuvinAn – brahmA washed the divine feet such that his reddish hands became satisfied. He obtained the benefit of having had many hands.

kai anaiththum AraAzhwAr says that brahmA washed till the hands became satisfied just as one says that a person ate till his stomach became satisfied.

gangai nIr peydhu – dharma (righteousness) filled up brahmA’s kamaNdala (a pitcher used by ascetics) even as brahmA thought of washing the divine feet of emperumAn. Just as ISvara samhithai says “gruhIthvA dharmapAnIyam” (taking the water of righteousness), taking the water which formed out of dharma.

anaiththup pEr mozhindhu – by reciting all the divine names of emperumAn, brahmA attained the benefit of having been provided with a mouth.

pin – after carrying out such an act, brahmA attained the benefit of that penance. AzhwAr says that it is only brahmA who reaped such a benefit.

We can also sequence the above by saying that righteousness transformed into gangA; then brahmA recited all the divine names of emperumAn; then he washed the divine feet of emperumAn till his reddish hands felt satiated; then brahmA obtained the benefit of carrying out this penance.

We shall take up the 79th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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