mUnRAm thiruvandhAdhi – 42 – kOvalanAy AniraigaL

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In the same breath as when he spoke of emperumAn keeping all the worlds under his divine feet, AzhwAr speaks about the removal of enmities which happened to one town (thiruvAyppAdi or gOkulam) and protection of cowherds.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

kOvalanAy AniraigaL mEyththuk kuzhal Udhi
mAvalanAyk kINda maNivaNNan mEvi
ariyuruvamAgi iraNiyadhu Agam
theriyugirAl kINdAn sinam

Word by Word Meanings

kOvalan Ay – being born as a cowherd
Aniraigal – herds of cows
mEyththu – grazing them (by taking them to places which have grass and water)
kuzhal Udhi – playing the flute (to bring the cows together)
mA – the demon kESi who came in the form of a horse
valan Ay kINda – one who tore it capably
maNi vaNNan – one who has the form of a blue coloured gem
mEvi ari uruvam Agi – appropriately taking the form of narasimha (combination of lion face and human body)
iraNiyadhu Agam – the chest of demon iraNiyan (hiraNya kashyap)
ugirAl – with his finger nails
kINda – emperumAn who tore
sinam – anger
theri – (Oh heart) know it.


kOvalanAy AniraigaL mEyththuk kuzhal Udhi – born in the clan of cowherds in order to make himself appropriate for herding cows, he grazed the cows by playing on the flute. Just as a brAhmaNa recites vEdham (sacred text), he grazed the cows, which is appropriate for one born in the clan of cowherds and played on the flute. He carried out acts which are apt for the clan.

mA valanAyk kINda – even when he had not attained the apt age, he tore the mouth of a demon kESi who had come in the form of a horse. Instead of stepping back on seeing the demon who came in the form of a horse, he stood face to face, with dexterity, and tore his mouth.

mA valanAyk kINda – he disproved the thinking of kESi who thought after looking at the softness of kaNNan (krishNa) that he [kaNNan] was incapable of killing him [kESi].

maNivaNNan – because he destroyed the enemy, his form became such that it removed the fatigue of the beholder. AzhwAr celebrates the beautiful form of emperumAn which he had when he decimated kESi by referring to him as maNivaNNan.

mEvi ari uruvamAgi – fitting well with the form of narasimha. In other words, while the combination of lion and human would be something which cannot gel well and be incongruent, that form was so homogeneous that the two forms merged well. Just as adding candy to well boiled milk would enhance sweetness, the form of narasimha was also very appropriate. Alternatively iraNiyadhu Agam mEvi could be considered as approaching iraNiyan.

iraNiyadhu Agam ugirAL kINdAn sinam – he tore the tough physical form of iraNiyan with his finger nails.

sinam theriAzhwAr tells his heart to think of emperumAn’s anger and determine that what we need is not his grace but the anger that he has on the enemies of his followers and think of that anger. Alternatively, theri ugir could be construed as broad nail.

We will take up the 43rd pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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