thiruviruththam – 10 – mAyOn vadathiruvEngadam

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

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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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