Daily Archives: November 29, 2020

periya thirumozhi – 1.2.1 – vAli mAvalaththu

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periya thirumozhi >> First centum >> Second decad


vAli mAvalaththu oruvanadhu udalkeda
varisilai vaLaiviththu anRu
Elam nARu thaN thadam pozhil idampeRa
irundha nal imayyaththuL
Ali mAmugil adhirthara aruvarai
agaduRa mugadERi
peeli mAmayil nadanjeyum thadanjunaip
piridhi senRadai nenjE

Word-by-Word meanings

nenjE – Oh heart!
anRu – when sugrIva surrendered
vAli – one with the name vAli
mA – very
valam – powerful
oruvanadhu – the distinguished, his
udal – body
keda – to fall apart
vari – beautiful
silai – bow
vaLaiviththu – bent to shoot the arrows;

Elam – fragrance
nARu – blowing
thaN – cool
thadam – vast
pozhil – in the gardens
idam peRa – in an expansive manner (sarvESvaran)
irundha – being present and giving audience
nal – distinguished
imayaththuL – in himavAn
Ali – having small droplets
mA mugil – huge clouds
adhir thara – making tumultuous sounds
peeli – having feathers
mA – large
mayil – peacocks
aru – difficult to climb
varai – mountains
agadu – lower stomach
uRa – to rub
mugadu – on their peaks
ERi – climb
nadam seyum – dancing
thadam – vast
sunai – having ponds
piridhi – the dhivyadhESam named thiruppiridhi
senRu adai – try to go and reach.

Simple translation

Oh heart! When sugrIva surrendered to SrI rAma, emperumAn bent his beautiful bow to shoot the arrows to make the body of the very powerful, distinguished one named vAli fall apart; such sarvESvaran is present in an expansive manner and is giving audience in the cool, vast gardens where fragrance is blowing, in the distinguished himavAn (Himalayas mountain range); there, huge clouds having small droplets are making tumultuous sounds; large peacocks having feathers, are climbing and dancing to have their lower stomach rub on the peaks of the mountains which are difficult to climb; try to go and reach the dhivyadhESam named thiruppiridhi which is having vast ponds.

Highlights from vyAkyAnam (Commentary)

  • vAli … – One who is known as vAli, one who is distinguished in having great strength, where second person cannot be counted along with him for his strength; to make his body fall apart, emperumAn bent his beautiful bow. While vAli is there and is being killed, AzhwAr is enjoying the combination of emperumAn’s divine hand and the bow, and their beauty. As said in SrI rAmAyaNam kishkindhA kANdam 3.9 “SakrachApanibE … SathrunASanE” (You who are holding the bow which resembles indhra’s bow and you who are destroyer of enemies) – AzhwAr is enjoying SakrachApanibE aspect ignoring the SathrunASanE aspect. [The SlOkam is explained] SakrachApanibE … – Like the bow of indhra, those who are favourable towards emperumAn, the bow appears very beautiful and one cannot take one’s eyes off. gruhIthvA – Looking at the way he holds the bow, the enemies will become destroyed. emperumAn will destroy the favourable ones with his beauty and the unfavourable ones with the arrows. Here periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 4.3.8 “eri sidhaRum siraththAl” pAsuram is explained.
    • eri sidhaRum siraththAl – As said in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 16.22 “dhIptha pAvaka sankASai:” (resembling blazing fire), while shooting the arrow, it will be seen as arrow; when it hits the target, it will hit like a ball of fire.
    • ilangaiyinai – The town which is feared even by yama to enter.
    • thannudaiya varisilai vAyil peydhu – Just as a snake will swallow using its tongue, the bow will swallow using the arrow. Arrow is the mouth for bow. He shoots the arrow to let it consume the enemies and their abodes.
    • vAykkOttam thavirththu – kOdudhal in mouth, not speaking straight – emperumAn eliminated that. emperumAn eliminated the attitude explained in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 36-11 “na namEyam” (I will not worship him); kasyachith – One may think, since SrI rAma made himself a human, rAvaNa too considered him as a human and did not worship him. But if ISvara (SrIman nArAyaNa) came in his original form, will he worship? When one realises one’s true nature, one will remain as said in mahAbharatham mausala parvam 166.40 “nama ithyEvavAdhina:” (they constantly say “Our salutations to you”); to think “mama” (mine) is svarUpa virOdhi (contrary to one’s true nature). While it is apt for rAvaNa to have spoken as a favourable person, he was speaking selfishly; such dishonesty was eliminated.
    • ugandha araiyan – Became joyful after eliminating the dual-lordship [after killing rAvaNa, any doubt on rAvaNa also being the lord was eliminated]. emperumAn became joyful thinking “When rAvaNa gives up his claim for ownership, everything becomes mine!” When an AthmA gives up his claim for ownership, subsequently they will be emperumAn’s belongings.
    • araiyan – Since bhagavAn is the owner of everyone, even if a small favourable aspect is present in any AthmA, that is sufficient for him. His relationship with all AthmAs is such that, even their withdrawal from unfavourable aspects brings joy in emperumAn.
  • anRu – Back then, he did that; now he has arrived and is residing here.
  • Elam … – Only when there is danger, will he not care about himself and eliminate it voluntarily; when the danger is gone, his tenderness which resembles that of a royal prince, will manifest; this abode matches such nature of bhagavAn. Alternative explanation – emperumAn thought “instead of attacking the unfavourable ones with the arrow, let me reform them by my presence”, arrived here and remained in this abode; this is similar to kings thinking “instead of attacking the enemies in battle, let us surround them and show our might to make them surrender unto us”, will surround the enemies and remove their pride by their presence.
  • Elam nARu – The abode which will make him forget paramapadham from where he arrived. SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 95.12 “adhikam puravAsAchcha manyE cha thava dharSanAth” (I consider seeing you and residing in this chithrakUtam is greater than residing in ayOdhyA). SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 57.38 “jahau cha dhu:kam puravi pravAsAth” (SrI rAma’s became joyful on seeing the river mAlyavathi and even forgot the sorrow of coming to the forest leaving ayOdhyA). While residing in SrI ayOdhyA, SrI rAma would have to leave sIthAp pirAtti due to official duties and was very sad about that; the stay here eliminated all such sorrow [due to fully remaining with pirAtti]. The fragrant, invigorating, vast garden.
  • idam peRa – Being present there to give audience to everyone. Giving his audience to nithya samsAris (those who are present forever in this world) instead of nithyasUris (permanent residents of paramapadham). This is the abode where he is presenting himself to those who missed to see him during his incarnations.
  • nal imayaththuL – The abode is such that, one would desire to remain there without any reason. Not just that he is remaining there due to his mercy, the stay in this abode itself is desirable.
  • Ali … – This abode is where emperumAn is enjoying his stay listening to the tumultuous sounds of clouds and the dance of the peacocks, which make him forget his loss of the joyful stay in SrIvaikuNtam where musical instruments are played and nithyasUris remain blissful thinking as said in thaiththirIya upanishath “aham annam aham annam” (I am his food (enjoyment), repeatedly). Since he is staying there along with pirAtti without any danger, the sounds of the clouds remain favourable [in separation, the same will be unfavourable].
  • Ali … – The huge clouds with little droplets of water, make huge sound due to the weight of water. As the clouds make sounds, the feathered peacock is dancing; when the music starts, the body of the dancers cannot remain still; just as the dancers would start dancing when apt situation arises, as the clouds make tumultuous sound, the peacocks dance.
  • aruvarai … – On the mountains which are difficult to climb. Only when attempted with love, will it be possible to climb those mountains; the peacock will climb on such mountain peak to have its lower stomach rub on it, will expand its feathers to fill the peak and dance on it.The peacocks are dancing seeing emperumAn’s presence here, similar to the joyful dance of the vAnara (monkey) clan on seeing SrI rAma’s victory.
  • piridhi senRu adai nenjE – AzhwAr is telling his heart “When even the less-intelligent creatures reach that abode and engage in activities which highlight their joy, you who are having no shortcomings in your intelligence, should try to reach that abode”. The nature of bhagavAn and his abode is such that, irrespective of the level of intelligence, one will become an expert in kainkaryam and engage in the same. Even a piece of wood will dance on seeing emperumAn.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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thiruviruththam – 10 – mAyOn vadathiruvEngadam

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Full Series


avathArikai (Introduction)

This pAsuram comes under the classification of madhiyudan paduththal in thamizh literature. This signifies that the leading man, who had separated the previous day, returns the next day and expresses his desire to the leading lady and her friends when they are guarding the paddy fields (from birds). The opinion is that he expresses his feelings to the friends and, bewildering them, tells them to inform his desire to the leading lady.

Let us look at the pAsuram and its meanings:

mAyOn vadathiruvEngadanAda vallikkodigAL
nOyO uraikkilum kEtkinRileer uraiyIr numadhu
vAyO adhu anRi valvinaiyEnum kiLiyum eLgum
AyO adum thoNdaiyO aRaiyO idhu aRivaridhE

Word-by-Word Meanings

mAyOn – belonging to thiruvEngadamudaiyAn (lord of thiruvEngadam), the one with amazing activities
vadathiruvEngadanAda – those who are dwellers of thirumalai which is on the northern side
valli – like a creeper plant
kodigAL – oh women!
nOy – (my) disease
uraikkilum – even if mentioned
kEtkinRileer – you are not listening
O – alas!
numadhu – your
vAyO – mouth?
adhu anRi – or else
val vinaiyEnum – me, who has the sins (to say these words)
kiLiyum – even the parrot
eLgum – to quiver (after hearing)
AyO – is it the sound “AyO”?
thoNdaiyO – is it the lips which are like the reddish fruit
adum – affected (like this)
uraiyIr – please tell the reason for this disease
aRivaridhu – unable to ascertain
The term aRaiyO refers to a battle cry.

Simple Translation

Oh women who are like the creeper plant and who are dwelling in thiruvEngadam hills which are to the northern side and for which thiruvEngadamudaiyAn, who has amazing activities, is the lord! You are not aware, on your own, of my disease of separation and are not listening to me when I reveal it to you. You should tell me as to what is troubling me. Is it your talk which is troubling me? Or am I, having lot of sins, the reason for this? Or is it the sound “AyO” which you make to drive away the parrots which are sitting on the trees? Or is it your lips which are reddish like the fruit?


mAyOn – one who has amazing activities. Why is he [AzhwAr] talking about amazing activities here? While emperumAn has paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam) which is beyond one’s words and mind, he left that and took residence atop thiruvEngadam hills, as said in nAnmugam thiruvandhAdhi pAsuram 47 “gAnamum vAnaramum vEdum udai vEngadam” (thiruvEngadam which has forests, monkeys and hunter-tribe people). This simplicity, even when he is so supreme, is the reason which makes AzhwAr to address him as one with amazing activities.

vada thiruvEngadam nAda – while there are places beyond thiruvEngadam too, on the northern side, AzhwAr is calling this place as one on the northern side since this place has been sung in praise of, by most of the AzhwArs.

vallik kodigAL – both terms valli and kodi would refer to women. What is the need for using both terms? This is to affirm that they do not have any of the qualities of masculinity and are full of feminine qualities only. Since creeper plants need to cling on to a supporting pole, he is stressing on the need for holding on to emperumAn for sustaining oneself. The leading man is the only supporting pole and all the other women look up to him as their support.

nOyO – being separated from her, I am neither able to live nor give up my life.

nOy uraikkilum O kEtkinRileer – Looking at my state, shouldn’t you all have come to me and comforted me saying “Oh, your situation has become like this”? Instead of that, I, who am affected with this disease, am coming to you and, I am asking you the reason for this disease. In other words, while you should have got this disease due to separation from me, I have been afflicted with this. This is very strange. You do not have to give any treatment for getting rid of this disease. It is enough if you listen to my outpouring.

uraiyIr – he is imploring those who are not listening to his words “Please listen” thus manifesting his desire towards her. After listening to him, the leading lady’s friends tell him “You have realised on your own that you have the disease. What is there for us to say?” To this, the leading man responds saying “I do not know the reason for this disease. You should tell me that”

numadhu vAyO – is your blossomed face the reason for my disease?

adhu anRi valvinaiyEnum kiLiyum eLgum AyO – is it the sound “AyO” that you make to drive away the parrots (which have come to eat the grains in the field which you people are guarding)?

kiLiyum eLgum – the word eLgum has two meanings – to leave and to be involved. In the former case, it would refer to the parrots leaving the place on hearing their words “AyO”and in the latter case, it would refer to the parrots being involved with what they were saying and staying put in their place.

valvinaiyEnum – I did not become attracted to you, only on account of your sound (when you speak); I was engaged with you on account of your sweet voice and your beautiful forms. The implied meaning is that sarvESvaran is engaged with AzhwAr like the parrot, listening to his pAsurams while the SrIvaishNavas are engaged with AzhwAr on account of the pAsurams as well the qualities of his soul.

thoNdaiyO – is it because of your reddish lips?

adum – all these make me perish.

aRaiyO idhu aRivaridhE – I do not know as to which of these troubled  me and caused this disease. For not knowing the reason, he is saying the words aRaiyO as if he were raising a battle cry.

svApadhEsam (distinguished meaning) – SrIvaishNavas were engaged with the qualities of AzhwAr’s AthmA (soul) as well as his dhEham (physical form) such as his pAsurams, his splendour etc, without making any distinction among them.

We will take up the 11th pAsuram in the next article.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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periya thirumozhi – 1.2 – vAli

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periya thirumozhi >> First Centum

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thirumangai AzhwAr having meditated upon the nature of samsAram (material realm) and his own attachment towards worldly pleasures, explained in the previous decad “emperumAn considered such suffering itself as the reason, accepted me out of his nirhEthuka krupai (unconditional grace) and manifested his svAmithvam (lordship)”; rAmAvathAram was spoken about in periya thirumozhi 1.1.6 “ambinAl arakkar verukkoLa nerukki” (suffocated with his arrows to cause fear in the demons) and thirumanthram too. svAmithvam (lordship) and saulabhyam  (easy approachability) are the most important meanings of this thirumanthram. Just as a farmer would build a hut in his field and protect it, arriving at the residence of the entities to be protected and protecting them is saulabhyam. Due to being present in ugandharuLina nilangaL (dhivyadhESams and other abodes where he eagerly arrived and stayed) and protecting the world, his svAmithvam indicates that he is the owner, is shining well. His act of being present as antharyAmi (all-pervading super-soul), waiting to help, without expecting the request of the entities, is due to his svAmithvam. Unlike that, his saulabhyam is well manifested by his presence in temples, to be seen and enjoyed for those who desire to do so, immediately upon having such desire. When one (who is in this world) desires to enjoy bhagavAn after acquiring knowledge about his relationship with him, one cannot immediately serve such bhagavAn with the present body in paramapadham; when one acquires such desire, one can enjoy with the present body only in these abodes in this world. AzhwAr desires to go to all the abodes which are the ultimate manifestation of emperumAn’s saulabhyam and enjoy there; while desiring so, AzhwAr’s desire is not limited to thirumalai (thiruppathi) which is the boundary for thamizh language, and hence will extend up to himavAn (Himalayas mountain range) which is the boundary for such divine abodes; AzhwAr goes up to thiruppiridhi which is in himavAn and sets out to enjoy that abode, along with his divine heart.

In the previous decad, the elimination of hurdles in rAmAvathAram was highlighted through periya thirumozhi 1.1.6 “ambinAl arakkar verukkoLa nerukki” (suffocated with his arrows to cause fear in the demons); through that, AzhwAr remembers about sugrIva mahArAjar being tormented and driven out by vAli and was staying alone; even when he was not requesting for help, SrI rAma went to his place and voluntarily eliminated his enemy and helped him as said in SrI rAmAyaNam kishkindhA kANdam 4.21 “sa rAmO vAnarEndhrasya” (That SrI rAma, was seeking sugrIva’s help). Oh heart! Similarly, to help us, emperumAn has mercifully arrived in thiruppiridhi to help us! You try to go there and surrender unto him – AzhwAr tells his heart in this manner. Previously AzhwAr was attached to those aspects which are visible to his eyes; even after acquiring knowledge about bhagavAn, due to the previous vAsanA (impression), he is going to divine abodes which are visible to the eyes, and enjoying them. It is said in thirunedundhANdagam 6 “thAn ugandha Ur ellAm than thAL pAdi” (going to all the divine abodes of emperumAn which are dear to him, praising his divine feet).

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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