periya thiruvandhAdhi – 36 – avanAm ivanAm

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AzhwAr says that when emperumAn is so affectionate towards us, we should not have any doubt about him and step back.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

avanAm ivanAm uvanAm maRRumbar
avanAm avan enRirAdhE avanAm
avanE enaththeLindhu kaNNanukkE thIrndhAl
avanE evanElum Am

Word by Word Meanings

avan – that emperumAn
avanAm – would he be difficult to attain?
ivanAm – will he be easy to attain?
uvanAm – would he be both?
umbar avanAm – residing in some place (above all)
enRu irAdhE – not doubting
avan avanE Am enath theLindhu – having clarity that he is dependent on his followers
kaNNanukkE thIrndhAl – if one is servile to him who incarnated as krishNa
avanE evanElum Am – that kaNNan will be protector in all ways


avan avanAm – would emperumAn be the lord of thiruppARkadal (milky ocean) and be difficult to approach?

ivanAm – would be in the state of archchai (in idol form) and be simple to approach?

uvanAm – would he be in the form of antharyAmi (indwelling soul), being accessible easily for yOgis (ascetics) and difficult for the others? Since the world avan refers to someone at a distance, the meaning translates into one who is difficult to approach. In the same way ivan refers to someone who is close at hand and hence refers to one who is easy to approach, and uvan refers to someone who is in between the two and thus will be both easy and difficult to approach.

maRRu umbar avanAm – will he be difficult to attain, being the lord of paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam)?

enRirAdhE – instead of doubting him like this and moving away from him. Since AzhwAr has mercifully added he word enRirAdhE the words avanAm ivanAm uvanAm are not assertive words (where they are statements) but interrogative words, with expression of doubt.

avanAm avanE enath theLindhu kaNNanukkE thIrndhAl – Just as it is mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 111-7 “bharathasya vacha: kurvan yAchamAnasya rAghava I AthmAnam nAthivarthEthA: sathyadharma parAkrama II” (Oh rAghava! Oh one who has true righteousness and valour! By doing as per bharatha who is beseeching you, you may refrain from going past your basic nature of being dependent on your followers), being clear that dependence on followers is his basic nature which he cannot give up, if one were servile to kaNNa (krishNa) who is easy to approach for followers…

kaNNanukkE thIrndhAl – being servile to kaNNa who was such a simple person for a cowherd lady (yaSOdhA) whom he allowed to tie him up and to beat him.

avanE evanElum Am – Just as it is mentioned in mahAbhAratham vanaparvam 49-20 sanjaya vachanam “yasya manthrI cha gOpthA cha suhrudhachaiva janArdhana: I haristhrailOkyanAthassa kinnuthasya na nirjitham II” (when that bhagavAn, who is the lord of three worlds, who is called as janArdhana and hari, is the minister, protector and friend of dharmaputhra, which is that which cannot be worn over by that dharmaputhra?) that emperumAn will himself be all forms of relations and will protect his followers in all ways.

We will take up the 37th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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