thiruvAimozhi nURRandhAdhi – 29 – sonnAvil vAzh pulavIr

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Essence of thiruvAimozhi 3.9


In this pAsuram, mAmunigaL is following AzhwAr’s pAsurams of highlighting service to others being disastrous and service to bhagavAn being apt, and is mercifully explaining it.

How is that done? AzhwAr called out for emperumAn with unending desire; he thought “is there any companion for such calling out?” and looked at the worldly people; though they had body and senses which are meant to serve bhagavAn, they were using those to praise the lowly men of this world; seeing that, unable to tolerate that, AzhwAr gave good advice to them saying “it is not apt for you to praise unqualified persons leaving the apt emperumAn”; yet, they remained in their ways; hence, AzhwAr gave up on them and became pleased thinking about the benefit he got in thiruvAimozhi 3.9sonnAl virOdham“; mAmunigaL mercifully explains this starting with “sonnAvil“.


sonnAvil vAzh pulavIr sORu kURaikkAga
mannAdha mAnidarai vAzhththudhalAl ennAgum
ennudanE mAdhavanai Eththumenum kurugUr
mannaruLAl mARum sanmam


word-by-word meanings

sol nAvil vAzh pulavIr – Oh poets who have the ability in your tongue to make poems!
sORu kURaikkAga – for food and clothes
mannAdha mAnidarai – men who have short life span
vAzhththudhalAl – by praising through poems
en Agum – what is the benefit?
ennudanE – being with me
mAdhavanai – Sriya:pathi (lord of SrI mahAlakshmi)
Eththum enum – instructed them to praise
kurugUr man – AzhwAr, the leader of thirukkurugUr, his,
aruLAl – by the grace
sanmam mARum – birth [in this material realm] will stop

Simple Translation

Oh poets who have the ability in your tongue to make poems! What is the benefit of praising the men who have short life span, through your poems, for food and clothes? By the grace of AzhwAr, the leader of thirukkurugUr, who instructed them [everyone] to be with him and praise Sriya:pathi, their birth will stop.

Highlights from vyAkyAnam

  • sol nAvil vAzh pulavIr – Oh poets who are using the tongue which is meant to praise bhagavAn, to praise him! Are you not most intelligent?
  • sORu kURaikkAga mannAdha mAnidarai vAzhththudhalAl ennAgum – What benefit will you get by praising lowly men for lowly results such as food, clothes etc? It is explained that both dhrushta (worldly) and adhrushta (spiritual) benefits will not be attained, and this will only lead to disaster. mAmunigaL is thinking of AzhwAr’s words “ennAvadhu? eththanai nALaikkup pOdhum pulavIrgAL! mannA manisaraip pAdip padaikkum perum poruL” (Oh poets! How long will the great reward of great wealth which was achieved by singing the praises of impermanent humans, be of use?) [4th pAsuram]. This is not the same wealth which is explained in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 21.7 “gO sahasra pradhAram” (the hands [of SrI rAma] which gave thousands of cows in charity) and SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 16.27 “sasarvAnarthi nOdhrushtvA samEpyaprathinandhyacha” (SrI rAma saw all the people who came there to behold him, approached nearer to them, greeted them).
  • ennudanE mAdhavanai Eththumenum – As said in “thiruvEnkataththu
    en Anai en appan emperumAn uLan AgavEen nAvil in kavi yAn oruvarkkum kodukkilEn” (the apt lord who is eligible to be praised by me, the benefactor who gives himself, who is present in thirumalA (thiruvEnkatam) where the beetles are making sweet humming sound, is sustaining himself (by these pAsurams in praise); I am unable to submit the sweet pAsurams coming out of tongue fulfilling its purpose to anyone else) [1st pAsuram], “OrAyiram pErum udaiya pirAnai allAl maRRu yAn kilEn” (I can only glorify the great benefactor who has boundless generosity and fame, and having unparalleled thousand divine names) [7th pAsuram], “pAdip pOyk kAyam kazhiththu avan thALinNaik kIzhp pugum kAdhalan mAya manisarai en solla vallEn en vAy koNdE” (I am desirous of shedding my body and taking shelter at the lotus feet of krishNa by spending long time in singing the individually unlimited countless qualities of his, matching his nature, and who is always desired by nappinnai who is having shining shoulders which are greater in comparison to bamboo) [8th pAsuram], “vAy koNdu mAnidam pAda vandha kaviyEn allEn” (I am not a poet who has come to sing mortal humans who are not apt to be praised, with my mouth) [9th pAsuram], “ulagam padaiththAn kavi” (the poet who sings the creator of this world) [10th pAsuram], AzhwAr highlighted his cessation from matters relating to others and his involvement in praising bhagavAn, advised others saying “come and praise my lord who is the lord of SrI mahAlakshmi, along with me who is a poet for him” and also his own reformation without anyone else’s advise [as he was directly reformed by bhagavAn himself].
  • kurugUr … – By the grace of AzhwAr, who is the leader of AzhwArthirunagari, birth [in this samsAram] which is the root cause for service to others, will be eliminated. AzhwAr was freed from bondage in material realm, by emperumAn’s divine glance. But for others, they will be freed from bondage by the grace of AzhwAr. As said in thiruviruththam 45 “sUzh piRappum marungE varapperumE” (will this worldly birth come near?) mARugai – elimination with the trace. The palaSruthi (result) for this decad is as said in “ivaiyum Or paththu ERkum perum pugazh solla vallArkkillai sanmamE” (for those who who are having great qualities and can recite this unparalleled decad, there is no birth) [11th 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), lived in SrIperumbUthUr, presently living in SrIrangam. 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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