periya thiruvandhAdhi – 16 – sIrAl piRandhu

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

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In the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr experienced the reclining posture of emperumAn in thiruppARkadal (milky ocean), wherein emperumAn was waiting expectantly for someone (his devotees) to approach and attain him. In this pAsuram, he says “Is it only expectation that he has? Did he not incarnate as a mendicant too, in order to retrieve his possession?”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

sIrAl piRandhu siRappAl vaLarAdhu
pEr vAmanAgAkkAl pErALA mArbArap
pulgi nI uNdumizhndha bhUmi nIr ERparidhE
sollu nI yAmaRiyach chUzhndhu

Word by Word Meanings

pErALA – Oh supreme being!
sIrAl piRandhu – being born into a wealthy family
siRappAl vaLarAdhu – not growing up in a grand manner
pEr vAman AgAkkAl – even if you had not borne the name of vAman
nI – you
mArbu Ara pulgi – (during your incarnation as varAha, the great boar) embracing with  your chest
uNdu – swallowing (during the time of deluge)
umizhndha – spitting it out (during the time of creation)
bhUmi – this world
nIr ERpu aridhE – is not possible to take it in alms?
nI – you
sUzhndhu – analyse
yAm aRiya – such that we know
sollu – please tell


sIrAl piRandhu – Couldn’t you have been born similar to the divine son of chakravarthy (emperor) dhaSaratha who observed rituals such as puthra kAmEshti yAga using his wealth and his penance, as mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 66-3 “mahathA thapasA rAma mahathA chApi  karmaNA I rAjyA dhaSarathEnAsi labdhO’mruthamivAmarai:  II” (Oh SrI rAma! Just as dhEvas obtained nectar, you were obtained by emperor dhaSaratha through great penance and great deeds). Couldn’t you have been like kaNNa (krishNa) who was obtained by vasudhEva after observing anantha vratha  (anantha here could mean the name of a specific ritual or innumerable rituals)?

siRappAl vaLarAdhu – Couldn’t you have been brought up by the great gyAni (one with lot of knowledge) SrI sumanthra or vaSishta who nurtured you thoroughly? Couldn’t you have grown up like kaNNa who ate up all the butter saved by his favourite devotees and who killed the unfavourable entities such as pUthanA?

pEr vAman AgAkkAl – should you have assumed the most famous name of vAmana through which you made all the dwarfs, living then, to be referred to as thrivikrama? Couldn’t you have assumed a great name such as Sriya:pathi (consort of SrI mahAlakshmi)? It was inside the hut of athithi, the consort of sage kashyapa that you were born; you grew up without having anyone to nurture you with care; your name was vAmana (dwarf).

AzhwAr says further whether he couldn’t have obtained this earth from mAvali (mahAbali) if he had not lowered himself to such an extent.

pErALA – Oh one who has great affection! Just as this AzhwAr said “eththiRam” (in thiruvAimozhi 1-3-1) even before saying about his activity, he engages with the simplicity of emperumAn by saying pErALA. He says that he cannot see the limit to emperumAn’s partiality towards his followers.

mArbArappulgi nI uNdumizhndha bhUmi nIr ERparidhE – if you didn’t manifest such simplicity, is it impossible to obtain from mahAbali this earth, which underwent as many transformations as cotton undergoes (twelve transformations, from flower stage to cloth stage) by way of being embraced by you tightly when you dug it out during your incarnation as varAha, being swallowed by you during deluge, being spat out during next cycle of creation etc?

sollu nI yAmaRIyach chUzhndhu – you must analyse the reason for incarnating with such simplicity and explain to us, so that we will know. Since AzhwAr cannot estimate such simplicity, he is asking emperumAn himself to explain this. When emperumAn speaks about his incarnations as in SrI bhagavath gIthA 4-9janma karma cha mE dhivyam Evam yO vEththi thathvatha: I thyakthvA dhEham punarjanma naithi mAmEthi sO’rjuna II” (Oh arjuna! One who knows truthfully my aprAkrutha (not related to primordial matter) birth and my activities, will not take birth again after relinquishing his body; he attains me), he only called his incarnation as dhivyam (divine) but did not elaborate on it. vEdham (sacred texts) too , when speaking about the mystery of his incarnation as in purusha sUktham, mentioned that only intelligent people will know about it “ajAyamAnO bahudhA vijAyathE thasya dhIrA: parijAnanthi yOnim” (even though he (emperumAn)  is without any birth, he incarnates many times; only the knowledgeable ones know the mysteries of his incarnations) [Hence AzhwAr is requesting emperumAn to state the reasons himself].

We will go on to the 17th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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