mUnRAm thiruvandhAdhi – 1 – thirukkaNdEn

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While AzhwAr had seen everything in the divine form of emperumAn who has all chith (sentient) and achith (insentient) entities as his body, due to overflowing affection, he says that “I have seen this”, “I have seen that” among some of emperumAn’s personal possessions and speaks about that experience in the first pAsuram.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

thirukkaNdEn ponmEni kaNdEn thigazhum
arukkan aNi nirRamum kaNdEn serukkiLarum
ponnAzhi kaNdEn purisangam kaikkaNdEn
ennAzhi vaNNan pAL inRu

Word by Word Meanings

inRu – now (on the day when the other two mudhal AzhwArs made him see)
en Azhi vaNNan pAl – in (the divine form of) emperumAn who has the complexion of ocean
thiru – periya pirAttiyAr (SrI mahAlakshmi)
kaNdEn – I had the fortune to worship
pon mEni – the beautiful divine form
kaNdEn – I had the fortune to worship
thigazhum – shining
arukkan – like sun
aNi – beautiful
niRamum – resplendent radiance [of the divine form of emperumAn]
kaNdEn – I had the fortune to worship
seru – in the battlefield
kiLarum – bursting out
pon Azhi – beautiful divine disc
kai – in the (right) hand
kaNdEn – I had the fortune to worship
puri sangam – (pAnchajanyam) divine conch curling towards right (in the other divine hand)
kaNdEn – I had the fortune to worship


thirukkaNdEn – while everything is contained in saying “I saw emperumAn”, due to excessive involvement, AzhwAr says that “I saw this”, “I saw that” like people who have attained great things.

thirukkaNdEn – I saw pirAtti who is the cause for all wealth. I saw pirAtti who wants those who attain her to realise their natural characteristics. Even when emperumAn was running behind indhra as his younger brother (during his incarnation as upEndhra, also called as vAmana), since indhra did not have the blessings of pirAtti, all his wealth disappeared. Just as pirAtti’s purushakAram (recommendatory role) is required during devotion, even while seeing emperumAn, the first to be seen is only pirAtti. Is it not true of the saying “yathOpAsanam palam” (benefit is proportional to depth of devotion)! As per thathkrathu nyAyam, devotion cannot be something and benefit, something else. Both will be identical. Just as it is mentioned in iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi 56karumAlaip ponmEni kAttAmun kAttum thirumalai nangaL thiru”, even to have direct dharSan (viewing) of emperumAn, it is pirAtti who carries out purushakAram! Even for gyAnam (knowledge) it is only her purushakAram which is the reason, as mentioned in mudhal thiruvandhAdhi 67thAmariyAL kELvan oruvanaiyE nOkkum uNarvu” (knowledge will attain only emperumAn who is the consort of mahAlakshmi who dwells on lotus).

thirukkaNdEn  – I saw pirAtti who is the identity for establishing emperumAn. One can see sun only after seeing its rays! Isn’t pirAtti the resplendent rays for emperumAn, the sun! In SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 21-16 sIthA says “ananyA rAghavENAham bhAskarENa prabhA yathA” (just as rays do not leave sun, I do not leave SrI rAma) and in 121-15 SrI rAma says “ananyAhi mayA sIthA bhAskarENa prabhA yathA” (just as rays do not leave sun, sIthA does not leave me)!

ponmEni kaNdEn – I saw the complexion of emperumAn, after seeing which even pirAtti will be greatly involved. Hasn’t it been mentioned in manu smrithi 12-122 “rukmAbham svapnadhI gamyam” (he has a golden hue complexion; he can be discerned through dream-like vision of the mind)! The greatness of his divine form is mentioned.

thigazhum arukkan aNi niRamum kaNdEn – due to the union of perumAL and pirAtti, I saw a hue like that of nascent sun. AzhwAr saying this is similar to what has been mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 38-15 “SObayan dhaNdakAraNyam dhIpthEna svEna thEjasA adhruSyatha thathO rAmO bAlachandra ivOdhitha:” (decorating the forests of dhaNdakAraNyam with his radiance, SrI rAma was seen like a nascent sun which had just then arisen). The hues of perumAL and pirAtti appear mixed together.

thigazhum arukkan aNi niRamum kaNdEn serukkiLarum ponnAzhi kaNdEn –  thiruvAzhi (divine disc), looking at the union of perumAL and pirAtti gets fearful for their safety, where he should not get fearful and gets ready to burst out on those who see their union [with evil eyes].

ponnAzhi – the divine disc has such a beauty that people will have affection for him. I saw the divine disc on which one should sing praise similar to how periyAzhwAr had sung in thiruppallANdu 2vadivAr sOdhi valaththuRaiyum sudarAzhiyum pallANdu

puri sangam kaikkaNdEn – unlike thivAzhi AzhwAn (divine disc), the divine conch will not burst out fiercely on enemies, but will keep looking all over the place for enemies so that it could pounce on them. Just as SrI guhapperumAL (the boatman in SrI rAmAyaNam) cast doubts on iLaiyaperumAL (lakshmaNa) as he was the brother of bharatha who had sent SrI rAma to the forest, pAnchajanyam would doubt the divine disc also. I saw such conch in the divine hand of emperumAn. Or, we could also consider conch as being humble, like iLaiyaperumAl, as mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 4-42 “prAgyalim prahvamAsInam” (one who stood humbly with joined palms).

en Azhi vaNNan pAl inRu – towards emperumAn who is like my wealth, who has a complexion like that of ocean which removes one’s fatigue, one who cannot be estimated.

en Azhi vaNNan – emperumAn is just like AzhwAr’s ocean. Aren’t pirAtti, divine conch and rubies present in the ocean! In the same way, aren’t they with emperumAn too! thirumangai AzhwAr also has mercifully mentioned in his periya thirumozhi 2-8-5 “mAmaNiyum malarmEl mangaiyum sangamum thanguginRa alaikadal pOnRivar” (emperumAn is like the ocean which has the great gems, pirAtti who resides on a flower and conch).

inRu – today, when emperumAn decided to show himself to AzhwAr. We can also construe this as AzhwAr saying that he got to see emperumAn today with the recommendatory role played by pirAtti.

We shall take up the 2nd pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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