thiruvAimozhi – 8.8.2 – adiyEn uLLAn

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Full series >> Eighth Centum >> Eighth decad

Previous pAsuram

Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the second pAsuram, AzhwAr says “emperumAn who is greatly distinguished, not only mercifully entered me, he also mercifully entered my body”. Since AzhwAr uses the word “adiyEn uLLAn” (present in me, the servitor) where he should be using “en uLLAn” (present in me), I and adiyEn are understood to be synonyms.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s introduction as documented by vadakkuth thiruvIdhip piLLai

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.


adiyEn uLLAn udal uLLAn aNdaththagaththAn puRaththuLLAn
padiyE idhuvenRuraikkalAm padiyan allan param paran
kadi sEr nARRaththuLLAlai inbaththunbak kazhi nErmai
odiyA inbap perumaiyOn uNarvil umbar oruvanE


Word-by-Word meanings (based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s 12000 padi)

aNdaththu – for all entities inside the oval shaped universe
agaththAn – being the antharAthmA (indwelling soul)
puRaththu – outside the universe, the entities such as avyaktha (unmanifested matter), mahath (the great element), ahankAra (the ego)
uLLAn – being the AthmA
idhuvE – this itself
padi – form
enRu – as
uraikkalAm padiyan – one who has the form to say
allan – not being
param paran – being the one who is greater (than nithyasUris and mukthAthmAs who are greater than these entities here in samsAram)
kadi sEr nARRaththuLLAlai – fully immersed and enjoyed the collection of great fragrances
inbam – joy’s
thunbam – (due to being insignificant and impermanent) sorrow’s
kazhi – having the elimination
nErmai – the subtle aspect’s
odiyA – eternal (due to having no breaks)
inbam – joy’s
perumaiyOn – having the boundless nature
uNarvil – in knowledge
umbar – being superior (like the joy which is eternal, boundless etc)
oruvan – one
adiyEn – I (inside what is said as aham (I) which is identified exclusively by servitude)
uLLAn – is present as antharAthmA inside;
udal – in SarIram (body, which is to be rejected)
uLLAn – is residing in the heart too.

Simple translation (based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s 12000 padi)

emperumAn is the antharAthmA for all entities inside the oval shaped universe and the entities such as avyaktha (unmanifested matter), mahath (the great element), ahankAra (the ego) outside the universe; yet he cannot be said to be present in this form only [not limited to few qualities/definitions]; he is greater than all; he is having the greatness of subtle, eternal, unbounded joy, which is like the joy of being fully immersed and enjoyed the collection of great fragrances, after eliminating all the sorrow; his knowledge is greater than the superior ones’ (who have such joy as explained before); such great emperumAn is present in me, the servitor; he is also inside the heart in my body. “padiyE idhu” indicates the lack of similes for emperumAn. The example of joy derived from fragrance, is given to instill faith in us [to understand that bhagavAn will be pure, without any blemish] since there is no example for emperumAn who is with ubhayalingam [two aspects – with auspicious qualities, without any blemish], with great knowledge/bliss which is distinguished from all other entities.

vyAkyAnams (commentaries)

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s vyAkyAnam

See vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s translation.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s vyAkyAnam

See nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s vyAkyAnam

See nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam as documented by vadakkuth thiruvIdhip piLLai

  • adiyEn uLLAn – kUraththAzhwAn, after serving thirukkOshtiyUr nambi for six months, was about to leave [Once in emperumAnAr‘s kAlakshEpam, a question arose on the true identity of AthmA – whether it is knowledge/bliss or servitude; emperumAnAr instructed kUraththAzhwAn to go to thirukkOshtiyUr nambi and have the doubt clarified; he had gone there and spent six months serving nambi, but nambi never asked AzhwAn why he had come; thinking of returning to SrIrangam, being unable to handle the separation from emperumAnAr, he decided to leave]; nambi said to him “AzhwAn! ? Have you not seen AzhwAr saying ‘adiyEn uLLAn‘?” AzhwAn said “I am grateful for this insight”. Where AzhwAr should have said “en uLLAn“, he said “adiyEn uLLAn“. This is because, AthmA is not identified by gyAnam (knowledge) and Anandham (bliss); but is identified by SEshathvam (servitude). Implies that – servitude towards bhagavAn is more intrinsic than knowledge and bliss.
  • udal uLLAn – Just as for the chEthana (sentient being), bhagavAn’s divine auspicious form is more desirable than bhagavAn’s true nature, for ISvara, AzhwAr‘s divine form is more desirable than AzhwAr’s true nature; this is similar to prideful persons having desire for the dirt/sweat of their beloved ones. With this – the view points such are “jIva-para bhEdham (difference between jIvAthmA and paramAthmA), jIva paraspara bhEdham (difference among jIvAthmAs) and SEsha-SEShi sambandham (servant-master relationship between jIvAthmA and paramAthmA) are false principles” are negated naturally.

When asked “who desires your divine form?” AzhwAr says,

  • aNdaththu agaththAn puRaththuLLAn – One who is present in the entities which are present inside the oval shaped universe and outside it. Implies that, emperumAn who is omnipresent, became captivated in an entity (AzhwAr), that too in a small part (heart) of that entity.
  • padiyE idhu – “Is this his nature?”  He does not have a fully matching simile. Only if there is another entity which is omnipresent and which controls every other entity, can we cite that entity as a simile.

When asked “how can we explain him then?” AzhwAr says,

  • param paran – One who is superior to all superior entities. As said in bruhadhAraNyaka upanishath 4.3 “nEthi nEthi’”(not like this, not like this – emperumAn cannot be understood in any specific way), we can only that he is unlike anything else.

When asked “Still, how can we try to understand him?” AzhwAr says,

  • kadi sEr nARRaththuL Alai – Alai – madhu (honey). Both kadi and nARRam indicate parimaLa (fragrance) – meaning “greatly fragrant”. Also, kadi could mean freshness, meaning “freshly fragrant”. Since parimaLa is not a physical substance, the nARRam (scent) of it is indicated.
  • inbath thunbak kazhi nErmai – There is pure enjoyment of that experience, which is the subtle joy – where all the sorrows from it are eliminated [in this world, with every joy, there is an aspect of sorrow – eliminating that aspect]. Since the fragrance in the flower is highlighted as the example, the sorrowful aspect [blemish] in that is its insignificant and temporary in nature; the subtle joy which is derived after eliminating such blemish; that is unblemished joy.
  • odiyA inbap perumaiyOn – The uninterrupted and great joy. One who has eternal and perfect joy; as said in thaiththirIya upanishath “Anandhamaya:” (one who is filled with bliss).
  • uNarvil umbar oruvanE – One who is superior in knowledge. Saying that emperumAn who has distinguished gyAnam and Anandham.
  • odiyA inbap perumaiyOn uNarvil umbar oruvan – adiyEn uLLAn – udal uLLAn – One who is greatly desirable for everyone, is the one who desires my body.

In the next article we will enjoy the next 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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