SrI: SrImathE SatakOpAya nama: SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: SrImath varavaramunayE nama:
ulagam, etc. (up to guNapAla madhayAnAy) – it is about how AzhvAr has built the ‘elephants’ in the four directions.
ulagam Eththum then AnAy – Oh You who have come and stood in the divine mountain of the south (thirumAlirunchOlai) for both the worlds (leelA and nithya vibhUthi) to come and take shelter! You came and are providing divine presence not just for those who are based around this mountain to be living/surviving, but even for nithyasUris to come and have the great feast that are your auspicious qualities such as simplicity, as said in ‘valam seyyum vAnOr mAlirunchOlai [thiruvAimozhi 2.10.8]’ (nithyasUris, the residents of paramapadham, do favourable acts towards thirumalai). Oh You who is like an elephant, in the direction of South! – is the meaning.
vadavAnAy – In the same way is how You have divined your presence in the north direction.
As said in ‘vAnavar vAnavar kOnodum sindhu pU magizhum thiruvEnkatam [thiruvAimozhi 3.3.2]’ (nithyasUris along with (their leader) sEnai mudhaliyAr (vishvaksEnar, their leader) would spread out flowers which blossom due to residing in thirumalA), and in
‘vAnavar vAnavar kOnodum namanRezhum thiruvEnkatam [thiruvAimozhi 3.3.7]’ (nithyasUris with sEnai mudhaliyAr would bow (which highlights their total dependence) feeling accomplished (having realized their true nature), in the abode having the name thiruvEnkatam), and in
‘ellA ulagum thozhum Adhi mUrththi [thiruvAimozhi 3.3.5]’ (being approachable by everyone (without any discrimination in greatness, etc.), being the cause of everything, sarvESvaran (supreme lord)), that is, thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn is standing there without discriminating between nithyasUris, brahmA etc., and humans too, for them all to live/survive.
kudapAl AnAy – Unlike the aforementioned elephants, there in the direction of west, periya perumAL has come and is lying down with closed eyes, like an elephant with madness (madham), reclining. As said in ‘vanperuvAnagam uyya, amarar uyya, maN uyya, maNNulagil manisar uyya [perumAL thirumozhi 1.10]’, He has come to the kOyil (SrI rangam) and reclining with closed eyes, for all the worlds to experience Him and live/survive.
kuNapAla madha yAnAy – Oh who is like a mad elephant, being present in the east direction! (thirukkaNNapuram).
Due to his love towards nAthamunigaL (and ALavandhAr), emperumAnAr would call the emperumAn mannanAr (of kAttumannArkudi) as kuNapAla madha yAnAy, considering mannanAr’s beautiful form, great pride, beauty of His aspects. (kAttumannAr kOyil is not included as part of 108 dhivya dhEsams).
‘thrutheeyam krishNa nagaram’ (Third among the five abodes of krishNa, viz., kaNNankudi, kaNNamangai, kaNNapuram, kOvalUr, kaNNan kaviththalam), it is read in the puraNas as the third abode among the 5 places of krishNa, and as said in ‘karuvarai pOl ninRAnaik kaNNapuraththu ammAnaik kaNdAL kolO [periya thirumozhi – 8.1.2]’, and ’kaNNapuram onRu udaiyAnukku adiyEn, oruvarkku uriyEnO [periya thirumozhi – 8.9.3]’, and ‘kaRRAr sEr kaNNapuram [periya thirumozhi – 8.10.5]’, thirumangai AzhvAr being ever fond of that dhivya dhEsam, it can be considered that he is divining about thirukkaNNapuram.
The phrase ‘ulagam Eththum’ (divine abodes praised by the world), (that appears before the first of the aforementioned four directions), is applicable to all the four.
imaiyOr, etc. – By this phrase AzhvAr is talking about Him (paramapadha nAthan) who is present as the means and the destiny.
imaiyOrkku enRum mun AnAy – Oh who is present for the nithyasUris to see You always directly. Oh who is being the object of vision forever (as said in ‘sadhA paSyanthi [rig ashtakam 1.2.7]’).
pin AnAr, etc. – even for the people of malai nAdu (kerala) to know the place which is filled with those who do not know any about paramapadham, divine milky ocean, incarnations, or the archA forms (statue) of emperumAn, You are present in thirumUzhikkaLam! You are ever present in the western ocean for becoming the target of surrender even for those in malai nAdu that is filled with nasthikas.
By ‘pin AnAr’ (lowly) it could imply those whose state does not have any more comparable lowliness, who are even lower than brAhmaNa, kshatrhiya, vaiSya, and also even lower than the fourth varNam – even for them to attain Him, He is present in thirumUzhikkaLam.
pin AnAr vaNangum – He being attainable at the same level for those who are considered lowly based on place, time, or birth.
sOdhi – Like a light in pitch darkness, since He stands as the target of surrendering even for lowly ones, it talks about Him as having the brightness/light due to being attainable for everyone. This is also said in ‘thirumUzhikkaLaththu uRaiyum oN sudarai [thiruvAimozhi – 9.7.11]’ (the light that is residing at thirumUzhikkaLam), and in ‘en kaN pAsam vaiththa param sudar sOdhi [thiruvAimozhi – 3.3.4]’ (To the One who has place infinite attachment towards me (who is directly opposite to Him who is the abode of auspicious qualities only and Him who is also being opposite of all blemishes), who is (due to that) having perfect radiance in fully radiant form);
mudhal AnAyE – Oh You being the first root of goodness for all – for them to know that emperumAn Himself is the means and destiny, and for them to experience Him at divine abodes (dhivyadhESams), and for all the other greatness of Him! This is said too in ‘thvath pAdha kamalAdhanyath na mE janmAntharEshvapi | nimiththam kuSalasyAsthi yEna gachchAmi sadhgathim || [jithanthE sthOthram – 1.10]’ (There is nothing in any birth other than Your divine lotus feet that is the first goodness (root) which is the cause of means which would get me to attain You).
Or, it is talking about Him being the root cause of creation of worlds.
Or, mudhal AnAyE – it is talking about ‘Oh You who created me in such a beautiful way that I suffer (as described in earlier pAsurams, that is, being separated from Him, not able to see Him, etc), and so AzhvAr completes the first ten pAsurams with such sadness.
Translation by raghuram SrInivAsa dAsan
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