thiruviruththam – 12 – pErginRadhu maNimAmai

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avathArikai (Introduction)

In several pAsurams so far, AzhwAr had considered SrIvaishNavas as the leading man and composed the pAsurams. In this pAsuram, he is considering emperumAn as the leading man. It is natural for union with emperumAn to end with union with SrIvaishNavas as also for union with SrIvaishNavas to end with union with emperumAn. In the pAsurams before the 6th pAsuram of thadAviya ambum, he had mentioned about his distress on account of separating from emperumAn and from the 6th pAsuram thadAviya ambum till the 11th pAsuram he mentioned about his distress due to his doubt that the SrIvaishNavas will separate from him. In this pAsuram, separation from emperumAn is causing him distress.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

pErginRadhu maNimAmai piRangi aLLal payalai
UrginRadhu kangul UzhigaLE idhellAm inavE
IrginRa chakkaraththu emperumAn kaNNan thaNNandhuzhAy
sArignRa nannenjinAr thandhu pOna thani vaLamE

Word-by-Word Meanings

IrginRa – splitting (me) with (his) beauty
chakkaraththu – having the divine disc
emperumAn – one who is my swAmy (lord)
kaNNan – krishNa’s
thaN – being cool
am – beautiful
thuzhAy – in divine thuLasi
sArignRa – being engaged with
nal – distinguished
nenjinAr – mind
thandhu pOna – given
thani – unique
vaLam – wealth
What is it?
maNi – praiseworthy
mAmai – beauty
pErginRadhu – is leaving
piRangi – abundant
aLLal – being close
payalai – sickness due to love
UrginRadhu – is spreading
kangul – night
UzhigaLE – grew like unending time
idhellAm – all these sickness etc
inavE – became hindrance

Simple Translation

krishNa is holding the beautiful divine disc and is splitting me with his beauty. My mind desired such krishNa’s cool and beautiful thuLasi garland, and left me, following thuLasi. Due to this, it made my beautiful complexion to change. Sickness due to love is spreading throughout my form. Nights lengthened to unending yugas (long periods of time). Entities such as breeze etc became hindrances for me.


pErginRadhu maNimAmai – the complexion in my distinguished form is changing. Just as it has been mentioned in the 5th pAsuram of thiruviruththam mAmai thiRaththukkolAm, the complexion of the form which he [emperumAn] desired is receding. My complexion is getting destroyed as I keep seeing him. maNi mAmai refers to beautiful complexion. Is it proper for one to praise one’s own complexion? Since he [emperumAn] praises her form saying “Oh the complexion! Oh the beauty!” there is nothing wrong in her praising it herself. Since she exists for his sake rather than for her sake, it is not improper in her praising something which is pleasing to him.

piRangi aLLal payalai – instead of keeping the place, from where the complexion has left, barren, it has been filled up with paleness, a sign of sickness due to love. piRangi refers to abundance, like a flood. aLLal refers to the fact that while desilting a well in which there is plenty of mud, the foot will sink when one steps on it, if emperumAn himself comes to remove the paleness, he could not remove it. There is such an abundance of paleness.

Urginradhu – spreading fast, just like poison spreads. Just as someone comes surreptitiously when a powerful king leaves the private quarters of his queen or just as rAvaNa came when iLaiyaperumAl [lakshmaNa] left the hermitage to go looking for SrI rAma, the paleness came spreading, when the beautiful complexion left me.

kangul UzhigaLE – night time felt as if it were lasting several ages; while the time spent before uniting with emperumAn appeared like half a day and the time spent uniting with him appeared like a moment, the time separated from him appeared to last forever.

idhu ellAm inavE – apart from these, whatever affected her, whatever caused her distress are being mentioned. This includes entities such as love-bird and gentle breeze, which, in normal times, would have caused happiness. Whatever entity appeared to be sweet and favourable when sIthAppirAtti and SrI rAma were together in the forest, appeared to be inimical in the same place when they were separated.

IrginRa chakkaram – affecting without any distinction between favourable and unfavourable persons; [The divine disc] affects because of its sentient quality. It will destroy those who are inimical towards it; it will destroy those who are dear to it, through separation, by going afar from them. It will kill those who are unfavourable to it through its power and bewilder those who are favourable through its beauty.

chakkaraththu emperumAn – through his beautiful divine hands and the way he held his beautiful divine discus, emperumAn affirmed “He is my property” and enslaved me.

kaNNan – krishNa. One could get the doubt whether he is with two shoulders. SrI vishNu purANam SlOkam upasamhara sarvAthman rUpamEthach chathurbhujam – his beautiful form is with four shoulders.

thaNNandhuzhAy sArginRa – my heart was fully engaged with the beautiful garland of thuLasi which he had donned. Instead of falling at the feet of the primary entity [bhagavAn, emperumAn], my mind was engaged with the ultimate entity [thuLasi, likened to bhAgavathas, SrIvaishNavas].

nannenjinAr – is it apt to refer to one’s heart as “nalla nenju”(good heart)? Even if they are one’s own children, if they are better than the parents in terms of engaging with emperumAn, they should be praised. He [AzhwAr] is in such a state that he is wandering without even realising that his dress is dishevelled. What he wants to do is to tell emperumAn that emperumAn is everything for him just as he had said in thiruvAimozhi pAsuram “”pUsum sAndhu en nenjamE” (my heart is the sandal paste for you), that he is all the enjoyment for him and hence he wants to be always with emperumAn, singing and dancing about him.

thandhu pOna thani vaLamE – the loss of complexion is the wealth which emperumAn left for him.

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning) for the pAsuram: AzhwAr is mercifully mentioning through the words of the leading lady, her inability to suffer separation from her leading man, since her heart has got fully engaged with him, as a result of which how she decayed being unable to bear the separation.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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