thiruvAimozhi – 7.4.1 – Azhi ezha

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

Full series >> Seventh Centum >> Fourth decad

Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the first pAsuram, AzhwAr meditates about emperumAn‘s divine act of measuring the world and becomes blissful.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

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.


Azhi ezhach changum villum ezhath thisai
vAzhi ezhath thaNdum vALum ezha aNdam
mOzhai ezha mudi pAdham ezha appan
Uzhi ezha ulagam koNdavARE


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

(During his act of divinely measuring the world, while he was growing, as said in “spuradhAyudha:“)
Azhi – the divine chakra, who is the chief [among the weapons]
ezha – appearing to rise to the front

sangum – SrI pAnchajanya (conch)
villum – SrI SArnga (bow)
thaNdum – the maze
vALum – the sword
ezha – as they all appear

(seeing this completeness of weapons, as said in vishNu dharmam “sangaissurANAm …” (groups of dhEvas from the heavenly planets, groups of humans from earth, plane-dwellers from the sky, glorified thrivikrama. Let such thrivikrama who measured the world be there for my auspiciousness))
thisai – present in every direction
vAzhi – the tumultuous sound of mangaLASAsanam (wishing well by dhEvas, manushyas etc)
ezha – to rise

(due to immediate rising)
aNdam – breaking the top portion of the oval shaped universe

(the water surrounding the oval shaped universe)
mOzhai – bubble
ezha – to rise

(due to the sudden rise)
mudi – the divine crown
pAdham – the risen, divine feet
ezha – to rise together

(to end the times of demoniac mahAbali’s rule)
Uzhi – distinguished times
ezha – to commence
appan – sarvESvaran, who is the lord of all
ulagam – the world
koNda – measured and accepted
ARu – method
E – this is how [amazing] it was!

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

The divine chakra appears to rise to the front, along with the conch, the bow, the maze and the sword; the tumultuous sound of mangaLASAsanam was raised by those who are present in every direction; the divine crown and the divine feet rose together to break the top portion of the oval shaped universe and the bubbles [from the water] rose; this is how amazing, the method by which sarvESvaran, who is the lord of all measured and accepted the world, to commence the distinguished times!

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

As said in “dhEvAs svAsthAnamAyAnthi nihathA dhaithya dhAnavA: | nabhayam vidhyathE kinchith jitham bhagavathA jagath ||” (dhEvas are returning to their residences; asuras were killed; there is no fear left; bhagavAn won over the universe) [This is how jAmbavAn celebrated emperumAn‘s thirvikrama avathAram], this is the act of emperumAn redeeming the universe for himself. Unlike in the case of rAvaNa where he was made an enemy and killed. as mahAbali had a few good qualities, he was won over in a natural manner.

Would the servitors not help in bringing victory to the master?

  • Azhi ezha – Only sarvESvara would have the total inclination to have the whole universe under his divine feet; though such desire is not found in his paraphernalia they set out to do that first. This is similar to iLaiya perumAL (lakshmaNa) decorating himself and getting ready to go to forest when perumAL (SrI rama) was only asked to go, as said in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 33.28 “pUrva jasyAnuyAthrArthE dhrumachIrairalankrutha:” (the virtuous iLaiya perumAL decorated himself with tree-bark clothes to follow SrI rAma).
  • Azhi ezha – Commencing with a kingly battle; he is known as hEthirAja. thiruvAzhi (divine chakra) is the chief among the divine weapons. While the army remained still, sugrIva mahArjAja jumped at rAvaNa, being unable to tolerate the situation, thinking “How can this lowly person stand in front of SrI rAma wearing a crown! It will imply that there are two kings”. SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 40.29 is explained here [sugrIva went to attack rAvaNa even before SrI rAma did].
    • atha harivara nAtha: – There were many valiant [monkey] warriors like him [sugrIva].
    • prApya sangrAma kIrththim – He could not just fight along with those who were there. He wanted to have special glory for him in the battle field. He assumed the greatness of perumAL (SrI rAma) in the battle field, on himself.
    • niSichara pathim – Even on the other side [rAvaNa’s side], there were many great warriors. But he directly set out to fight rAvaNa considering no one else in their side as equals.
    • Ajau – Unlike them (the enemies) who attacked them (SrI rAma’s army) in illegal ways, he attacked rAvaNa in an upfront manner.
    • yOjayithvA SramENa – Gave him the suffering which he had never tasted before.
    • gaganamathi viSAlam lankayithvA – He crossed the expansive sky effortlessly with his skills;
    • arkasUnu: – He returned without others realising about his return. He acted according to his heritage [he is the son of sUrya]. Sky is his natural habitat. One cannot know how the sun travels from one place to another.
    • harivara gaNa madhyE – He went and stood among the monkey warriors not desiring to distinguish himself from them.
    • rAma pArSvam jagAma – He stood near SrI rAma thinking “only those who have performed respectable feats in the battle field will stand in the front”.
  • Azhi ezha – As said “the little one of a bird which can fly at thousand feet, will practice flying at five hundred feet”, the divine chakra first rose. Will those who fear for his safety even where there is no danger, be fearless in this abode [material realm] where there is scope for danger? His greatness is such that they will fear for his safety even where there is no danger. Being paranoid [about his own palace], vidhura checked the mattress in his own palace, when he saw how dhuryOdhana et al tried mischievously to harm krishNa; mahAbhAratham udhyOga parvam “samspruSan ASanam SaurE: vidhuras sa mahAmathi:” (the wisest vidhura checked the mattress [which was placed by himself] on which krishNa was seated) – as an ocean will be agitated to its capacity [i.e. vidhura became fearful based on his love towards krishNa]. piLLai uRangAvilli dhAsar asked “Does ‘mahAmathi:’ indicate losing one’s mind?” During namperumAL’s puRappAdu, piLLai uRangAvilli dhAsar would hold up his knife and worship him saying “if there is even a slight shaking for namperumAL, I will kill myself” [indicating that perumAL should be carried very carefully]; our elders, the SrIvaishNavas, would call him as “mahAmathi”. Real wisdom means losing one’s mind in matters relating to bhagavAn.
  • Azhi ezha – Looking at emperumAn‘s inclination to grow, thiruvAzhi (chakra) feared “he cannot rise alone” and started to rise.
  • sangum villum ezha – Just as the junior warriors will follow the senior warriors entering the war, other AzhwArs (weapons) too started rising from the other hand. Those who keep roaring where there is no prey [i.e. no war in paramapadham], will not abandon one another where there is prey [opponents in samsAram]. [Alternative explanation] Just as the relatives will come and surround someone who became rich, all the divine weapons started to rise along with sudharSana chakra. iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi 71 is explained here.
    • idangai valampuri ninRArppa” (the conch in his left hand stood firm and blew vociferously), meditating upon emperumAn’s beauty SrI pAnchajanya blew vociferously.
    • eri … – Unlike having opportunity to make vociferous sound like SrI pAnchajanya, spitting fire. The divine chakra which wanted to consume namuchi [son of mahAbali who challenged emperumAn while measuring the universe] et al.
    • vidangAlum … – thiruvananthAzhwAn (AdhiSEshan) could only remain where he is and spit poisonous fire on the enemies.
    • aravaNai mEl thOnRal – The chief who has AdhiSEshan as his mattress.
    • thisai aLappAn pUvAradi nimirththa pOdhu – He measured the forests, plains and plateaus with his tender flower like feet. He measured the bhU (earth) with his pU (lotus like divine feet). If emperumAn who fits in the tender mattress and is having such tender form set out to measure this rough world, would they [his divine weapons] not be agitated like this? They cannot remain silent, when he sets out to measure the world like this.
  • thisai vAzhi ezha – The divine weapons rise thinking “what danger is falling upon him?” Others were fearing for them and singing mangaLASAsanam (well wishes) thinking “what danger is falling upon them?” as said in thiruppallANdu 2vadivAr sOdhi valaththuRaiyum chudarAzhiyum pallANdu padaipOr pukku muzhangum appAnjasanniyamum pallANdE” (Long live the radiant chakra which is on the right hand! Long live the conch which is blowing vociferously while entering the war!) As said in thiruppAvai 22nin kaiyil vEl pORRi” (Long live the spear in your hand), even the spear should be cared for. The “vAzhi vAzhi” wishes of the favourable ones are rising from all directions. As AzhwAr is reciting the rising of mangaLASAsanam amidst the rising of the divine weapons, it can be construed that he thinks such mangaLASAsanams are greater protection than the divine weapons for him.
  • thisai vAzhi ezha – He is as said in thiruvAimozhi 2.2.11Eththa Ezh ulagum koNda kOlak kUththan” (The beautiful dancer who measured the worlds to be praised by everyone). SrI vishNu purANam 5.5.17 “thrivikrama: kramAkrAntha thrailOkyas spurathAyudha:” (the weapons rose when emperumAn set out to measure the worlds).
  • thaNdum vALum ezha – The remaining ones too started rising thinking “If they follow the emperumAn in the battle, only they will be glorified”; this is how every one of emperumAn’s weapons thought “we are lagging behind; we are lost”; this is similar to many persons fighting for a single person’s food. Those who said in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 17-29 “vadhyathAm” (let vibhIshaNan be killed) when a favourable person entered, will not remain quiet where the enemies are present. namuchi, son of mahAbali, held emperumAn’s divine feet and said “my father does not know your mischief. You should measure with the little feet you had before” as said in periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 1.9.8 “en idhu mAyam en appan aRindhilan munnaiya vaNNamE koNdaLavAy“. As this is an act of emperumAn who was born on a particular day and grew up immediately, there is good reason for everyone to care for him. periya thiruvandhAdhi 16 “sIrAl piRandhu siRappAl vaLarAdhu pEr vAmanan …” (not being cared while he was born and raised) – do you have to accept this world in this manner, while you have toyed with the world in many ways like how cotton seed goes through twelve types of evolution.
  • aNdam mOzhai ezha – He started to stretch his foot thinking to measure the three worlds (bhU:, bhuva:, svarga) for indhra’s sake; but as his will was not just, he stretched his foot upto the top of the oval shaped universe. His divine foot reached upto the external shell of the universe and pierced through it as said in thirunedunthANdagam 5oN midhiyil punal uruvi oru kAl niRpa“. The water surrounding the universe rises. The oval shaped universe is simply like a seed in the causal water. His anger at that time in measuring the world made everyone fear thinking “is his act of protection causing danger?”. mOzhai – bubble.
  • mudi pAdham ezha – The divine feet [foot] rise upto the level of his divine crown. Also recited as “mudi mElE pAdham ezha” (the foot going over the crown) to highlight his dancing posture.
  • appan Uzhi ezha – The bad times of mahAbali’s inapt regime ends and the apt, good times commenced; to have the good times rise.
  • appan – ulagam koNda ARE – Saying “How amazing is it that sarvESvaran, the great benefactor, accepted the world!” Alternative explanation – asking “How did he accept the world?” Also said that AzhwAr is becoming blissful saying “appan” repeatedly.
  • appan – AzhwAr is saying “emperumAn made me exist by the act of presenting the kingdom to indhra”.

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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