siRiya thirumadal – 1 – kArAr varai

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thiruvEngadam – thirumalai

thirumAlirunjOlai – thirumalai

kArAr varaik kongai kaNNAr kadal udukkai
siRAr sudarch chuttich chengaluzhip pErARRu 

Word-by-Word meanings

kAr Ar varai kongai – Having the divine mountains (of thirumAlirunjOlai and thiruvEngadam), which are laden with clouds, as her bosoms
kaNNAr kadal udukkai – Having the expansive ocean as her sari
sIr Ar sudar sutti – having sun, with its beautiful rays, as thilakam (pattern on the forehead), a decorative ornament
sem kazhaluzhi pEr ARu – the huge river  (kAviri) which is reddish and muddled


The description is about sri bhUmi pirAtti.

parakAla nAyagi (thirumangai AzhwAr in feminine mood) would not turn back even when her mothers and friends, saying “one should not have this much of daring”, dissuade her from engaging with madal. However bhUmippirAtti does not dissuade her. parakAla nAyagi wishes to celebrate bhUmippirAtti for supporting her. Since she desires to speak about kAma purushArtham  (the end goal of pure love),  the end benefit which she opted for, she has to explain about the different types of purushArtham (the ultimate benefits). parakAla nAyagi has to speak about chEthanas for whom these purushArthams are meant. In order to talk about them, she has to talk about bhUmi (earth) on which they dwell and thus starts describing SrI bhUmippirAtti who is the esteemed dhEvathA (deity) for earth.

kArAr varaik kongai –  This talks about the mountains of the lady, bhUmippirAtti, as the bosoms. The phrase “kAr Arndha varai” refers to mountains which are covered with dense clouds, thus implying tall mountains. Since the bosoms of noble women are well developed and lofty, AzhwAr is describing the cloud-laden mountains as bosoms. Since they are laden with clouds, the peaks of the mountains are dark, just like the ends of bosoms. Since bosoms are two, which are the two mountains which are referred to? thirumangi AzhwAr himself has mercifully said in his periya thirumadalthennan uyar poruppum vadamalayum ennum ivayE mulayA” (the tall mountain of thirumAlinjOlai in the south and the mountain (thiruvEngadam) in the north are like bosoms) . Thus, parakAla nAyagi is referring to these two mountains [thirumAlirunjOlai and thiruvEngadam] as bhUmippirAtti’s bosoms. For a noble lady such as bhUmippirAtti, instead of comparing with very distinguished mountains such as mEru (a celestial mountain), why are these mountains considered as similes?  Since bosoms are a place of dwelling for the husband as brought out in pAsurams such as in thiruppAvai 19nappinnai kongai mEl vaiththu kidandha malar mArbA” (one with soft flower-like chest who lay on nappinnai’s bosom), mUnRAm thiruvandhAdhi 3malarAl thanathullAn” (he dwells on the bosom of SrIdhEvi), and thiruchandha viruththam 57 “sangu thangu mun kai nangai kongai thangaluRRavan” (one who dwells on the bosom of the lady who has bangles on her forearms)”, it is only apt to refer to thiruvEngadam and thirumAlirunjOla malai which are the permanent residences of emperumAn

varaik kongai Since the bosoms of noble women are hard, mountains are used for comparison.

kaNNAr kadal – An ocean is something that fills the eyes of the beholder, viz., it is an ocean which is apt to be seen. Alternatively, kaN also means “place” and so it can be construed as an ocean that is full of place.

kaNNAr kadal udukkai – The very beautiful ocean is like a blue coloured sari for bhUmippirAtti.  Since the ocean is expansive, it can be draped as mundhAnai (front portion of a sari) and koychakam (plaited folds of a sari) for bhUmippirAtti.

kadal udukkai – Ocean will be soft and cool, lending to the softness of the divine form [of bhUmippirAtti]

sIrAr sudar sutti – sun with its beautiful rays is an ornament for bhUmippirAtti.  

The term sudar refers to sun’s rays and the term siRar sudar refers to sun. sirAr is an adjective for the rays – being full of beauty. Alternatively, if the term sudar refers to sun himself. the term sIrAr would be an adjective for sun. Eminence for sun is that he is the decorative ornament on the forehead of pirAtti, who herself is a decorative ornament for emperumAn just as it is mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 10-3-5 “aNimigu thAmaraik kaiyai andhO adichchiyOm thalaimisai nI aNiyAy” (you should place your hand which is like an attractive and well decorated lotus flower, on the head of ours, servitors). Just as it is mentioned in vikramOrvaSIyam “AbharaNasyAbharaNam . . .vapusthasyA:” (it is a decorative ornament for the ornament of her divine form), aren’t pirAttimArs (all the divine consorts of emperumAn) those who add beauty to ornaments!

sengaluzhip pErARRup pErAramArvil – pirAtti’s divine bosom is the huge river here. If there is a bosom, the area below it should have been decorated with the paste of sandalwood and vermilion. Is it like that, here? Just as it is mentioned in thiruchchandhaviruththam 54 “malaiththap piRandhizhindhu vandhu numdhu sandhanam kulaiththiRiththeRindhu kungamakkuzhambinOdu alaiththozhugu kAviri “ (river kAviri originates from (sahya) mountain, flows from there rapidly, pushing sandalwood trees, damages vermilion creepers, carrying particles of vermilion which are let out from those creepers, creating waves), is this (river) too not formed atop the mountain, coming down carrying sandal, vermilion etc from the mountain and as a result, is reddish in colour? If it were a bosom, it would be decorated with chains of pearls, precious stones etc. Is it like that, here? periya thirumozhi 3-8-3 says “. . . .ALariyAl alaippuNda yAnai maruppum agilum aNimuththum veNsAmaraiyOdu ponni malaippaNdam maNdathth thiraiyundhu . . .” (waves of river kAviri carry materials such as tusks of elephants which have been thrown by courageous lions, fragrant eaglewood, beautiful pearls, white chowries as well as various materials which grow on mountains); periya thirumozhi 5-4-1 says “sandhinOdu maNiyum kozhikkum punaRkAviri” (kAviri river which has abundance of sandalwood and gems); periya thirumozhi 5-4-9 says “vEyin muththum maNiyum koNarndhAr punaRkAviri” (river kAviri has distinguished pearls and gems); SrI rangarAjasthavam 1-21 says “sanjachchAmara chandhra chandhana mahAmANikya mukthOthkarAn kAvEvi laharIkarair vidhadhathI paryEthi “ (kAviri is flowing down rapidly, carrying through its waves which act like hands materials such as chowry (fly-flapper), fragrant camphor, sandalwood trees, distinguished gems and pearls). As stated in the above references, by thirumangai AzhwAr and parASara bhattar, isn’t kAviri flowing from the mountains, carrying pearls and precious gems. Just as the bosom is expansive, so is the river, expansively covering the earth. Even though it has been said generically as a river, just as the bosom of a noble lady keeps embracing the husband always, it is kAviri, who embraces SrI ranganAthan through her two tributaries, who is referred to as the river here.

We will take up the 2nd part, in the next article.

adiyen santhAna rAmAnuja dhAsan

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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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