thiruviruththam – 9 – thiNpUnjudar

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

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avathArikai (Introduction)

The leading lady tells the leading man “You are determined to leave me and go to thirumalai”. He tells her “I did not think that way. Did you not think of going there?” Further he tells her “After reaching the stage of being together with the followers of emperumAn, is it not you (AzhwAr) who is thinking of being together with emperumAn? We have understood that you have not realised your greatness. You may not have understood about us. Would we too be like that?” An incident is cited here. Once emperumAnAr (bhagavadh rAmAnujar) had decided to go to thiruvEngadam and mentioned this to his disciples. piLLai uRangAvallidhAsar immediately went to his house. Seeing this, emperumAnAr sent a SrIvaidhNavar to see what was happening there. He returned and told emperumAnAr “He is reciting the pAsuram ‘kANginRanagaLum’ with tears in his eyes”. Immediately emperumAnAr told him “Shouldn’t you have reminded him about the pAsuram ‘vaN pU maNivalli yArE piribavardhAm’ and consoled him?”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings.

thiNpUnjudar nudhi nEmiyam selvar viNNAdanaiya
vaNpU maNivalli yArE piribavar thAm ivaiyO
kaNpUngamalam karum sudar Adi veNmuththarumbi
vaNpUnguvaLai madamAn vizhikkinRa mAyidhazhE

Word-by-Word Meanings

thiN – being firm
pU – being beautiful
sudar – being splendorous
nudhi – being sharp
nEmi – with the divine disc
am selvar – SrIya: pathi (consort of SrI mahAlakshmi), who has beauty and wealth
viNNAdanaiya – enjoyable, similar to SrIvaikuNtam
vaN – magnanimous
maNi – renowned like a gemstone
valli – Oh leading lady, who is like a creeper plant!
pU – being beautiful
kamalam – lotus
vaN – magnanimous
pU – being beautiful
kuvaLai – blue coloured Indian water-lily
karum sudar – a bluish effulgence
Adi – having
veN muththu – having tears of white pearls
arumbi – shedding them like buds
mA idhazh – having lip similar to tender mango leaves
madamAn – you, who are like an obedient doe
vizhikkinRa – looking, by opening your eyes
ivai – are these
kaNNO – eyes!
ArE – who
piribavardhAm – will separate (from you who are like this)?

Simple Translation

Oh one who is like a beautiful creeper and who is full of enjoyment similar to the paramapadham (SrivaikuNtam) of sarvESvaran who is wealthy and has the divine disc which is firm, beautiful, fiery and sharp which are fitting together! Are your eyes, mere eyes? No! They are like lotus flower, like the beautiful water-lily, emitting a bluish splendour. Whitish pearl like tear drops are welling up in those eyes. Your eyelids are like tender mango leaves. Who will separate from you who are opening eyes slowly, like an obedient doe?


thiNpU – the nature of divine disc is that it will not step back when it comes to annihilating the enemies of emperumAn’s followers. The term thiN refers to firmness while pU refers to gentleness. In other words, divine disc is firm when it is a weapon and gentle when it is an ornament.

sudar – splendorous

nudhi – sharp

nEmi – divine disc, chakraththAzhwAr

am selvar – the beauty and wealth which accrue because of holding such divine disc

viNNAdu anaiya …. – paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam) which is as said in chAndhOkya upanishath 8-15-1 “na cha punaravarthathE” (there is no returning from that place); only if someone who goes there returns would I separate from you and go to thiruvEngadam.

vaNmai – quality of being magnanimous. He [AzhwAr] was showered with faultless knowledge and devotion, in his mind, such that he could experience and enjoy. Instead of experiencing and enjoying that alone, he spread it to the whole world as thiruvAimozhi prabandham (divine collection). When he refers to himself in his prabandham, he calls himself as vaNsatakOpan (the magnanimous nammAzhwAr).

pU – one which gives enjoyment

maNivalli – being an ornament to itself. The word valli has two connotations here: she is clinging on to the neck of her beloved, just like a creeper will spread on to a supporting pole. Alternatively, while she should be holding on to a supporting pole, she is lying on the ground, being anguished in separation from her leading man.

ArE piribavardhAm – even if I do not have affection to the extent that you have, should I not be considered as one with knowledge?

ivaiyO kaN – aren’t they eyes which are so beautiful that they have to be protected from evil eyes?

pUm kamalam – eyes which are beautiful like a lotus flower.

karum sudar Adi – having an arrogance

veN muththu arumbi – just as a pearl forms in the oyster, sorrow was appearing in the beautiful eyes

vaN pUnguvaLai – the magnanimously blossomed purple coloured water lily.

madamAn vizhikkinRa – even when being united, anticipating separation, fluttering the eyes like a doe.

mA idhazhE – the word mA could refer to either black or reddish colour. If it refers to being black, it would apply to the black eyes while if it refers to being red, it would apply to the reddish lips.

svApadhESam – even when he is together with SrIvaishNavas, AzhwAr is sorrowful anticipating that they would separate from him and go away and wonders as to what will happen should they separate from him. This pAsuram is the result of their mocking at him because of his doubts.

In the next article, we will consider the 10th pAsuram

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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