periya thiruvandhAdhi – 18 – thAmbAl AppuNdAlum

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In the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr said that emperumAn will not feel disgusted if samsAris are indifferent to him. In this pAsuram, he says that he will not step back from protecting them even if they insult him either due to love or due to enmity.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

thAmbAl AppuNdAlum aththazhumbudhAn iLaga
pAmbAl AppuNdu pAduRRAlum sOmbAdhu ip
palluruvai ellAm padarviththa viththA nin
tholluruvai yAr aRivAr sollu

Word by Word Meanings

thAmbAl – with (yaSOdhAppirAtti’s) rope
AppuNdAlum – even if tied down
aththazhumbudhAn iLaga – to make even that scar to appear small
pAmbAl AppuNdu pAduRRAlum – even if he were to suffer due to being tied down by the snake (kALiyan)
sOmbAdhu – not backing down (due to these troubles)
ippal uruvum – these chEthanas (sentient entities) who have variegated forms such as dhEva (celestial), manushya (human) et al
padarviththa – creating them and spreading them out to many places
viththA – Oh, the causative factor for the world!
un thol uruvai – your form which is very old
yAr aRivAr – who can know?
sollu – please say it yourself, ….


thAmbAl AppuNdAlum – even if yaSOdhAppirAtti ties him with a rope saying “Isn’t he my son! To punish him when he does any mischief is only beneficial”. The scar created by her when she tied him with a rope is much sought after, similar to the mark which forms when the nAyaka (leader) unites with his beloved nAyaki (leading lady). Hence AzhwAr is taking this as an example along with the next (kALia bandhana or tying down by kALiya) :

aththazhumbudhAn iLaga pAmbAl AppuNdu pAduRRAlum – when he had to suffer so much at the hands of kALiya (a poisonous snake) when being tied down, that it will make the former scar appear insignificant.

sOmbAdhu ippal uruvai ellAm padarviththa viththA – not stepping back thinking  “the samsAris have insulted me”, creating jIvAthmAs, who are worse than kALiya in their hatred towards emperumAn, with the thought “is carrying out an apt deed,  in any way bad for my dignity?”, emperumAn is the causative factor for all the worlds, creating jIvAthmAs from out of his divine form.

un thol uruvai yAr aRivAr sollu – could a few people know about your divine form which has been there for a very long time? Please say this yourself. The opinion here is that his svarUpam (basic nature) which remains the same irrespective of whether someone insults him or not, cannot be known by others. AzhwAr requests emperumAn to clarify this himself.

tholluru – here, the meaning for saying old svarUpam is the concern which the possessor [emperumAn] has towards the possession [all his creations].

We will take up the 19th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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