thiruviruththam – 17 – iruL virindhAlanna

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

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avathArikai (Introduction)

After being united with the leading lady for some time, the leading man thought that the people of the town may talk ill of them and hence decided to leave her and go, for some time. If she saw him going, she would not bear it; hence he leaves on his chariot in the night, unknown to her as well as to the people of the town. SrI rAma left ayOdhyA in the night [for spending fourteen years in exile] since he knew that the people would not be able to tolerate his separation if they saw him going. Lest they find out the route by which he had gone, he ensured that there were no marks of his chariot in the pathway. Unlike that, the leading man here did not remove the chariot marks. Looking at those marks, the leading lady consoled herself. At that time, ocean, with its waves, set out to destroy the marks. Immediately, she surrenders to the ocean. Is it proper to surrender to an insentient entity such as the ocean? Just as SrI rAma had done, as mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam “prathiSiSyE mahOdhadhE” (SrI rAma prostrated in front of that huge ocean), AzhwAr too [in the pathos of the leading lady] surrendered to the ocean.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

iruL virindhAlanna mAnIrth thiraikoNdu vAzhiyarO
iruL pirindhAr anbar thEr vazhi thUral aravaNai mEl
iruL viri neelak karu nAyiRu sudar kAlvadhu pOl
iruL viri sOdhip perumAn uRaiyum eRi kadalE

Word-by-Word Meanings

iruL – darkness
viri – spread out
neelam – dark
sudar – radiance
kAlvadhu – setting out
karu – black
nAyiRu pOl – like the sun
iruL viri – spread out like darkness
sOdhi – one who has radiance
perumAn – sarvESvaran
aravaNai mEl – on thiruvananthAzhwAn (AdhiSEshan)
uRaiyum – dwelling for ever
eRi – throwing out (waves)
kadalE – Oh ocean!
anbar – the  beloved leading man
iruL – in the darkness
pirindhAr – separated (from me)
thEr vazhi – marks of (his) chariot
iruL – darkness
virindhalanna – spread out
mA – dark
nIr – having water
thirai koNdu – with waves
thUral – do not destroy
vAzhiyarO – may you be happy

Simple Translation

Oh ocean on whom sarvESvaran, who is like a bluish gem emitting darkness, who is dark like sUriyan (sUrya) emitting radiance and who has a dark complexion, is lying on the mattress of AdhiSEshan! My beloved has left me, separating from me. Please do not destroy the marks left behind by his chariot. May you live long!


iruL virindhAlanna – looking at the ocean which has spread out expansively, like darkness. While water is associated with the colour white, why is AzhwAr comparing it with black coloured darkness? This is because of the abundance of water present in the ocean. However, if one scoops water in one’s palm, it would appear white. Both black and red denote anger. Thus, the opinion is that ocean looks dark because of anger in its mind.

mA nIrththirai koNdu – with its waves which are in abundance, ocean is obliterating the marks of chariot. The term mA nIr could be taken either as abundant quantity of water or as dark water.

vAzhiyarO – She is praising the ocean to live long, similar to praising a person who is coming to cause sorrow. She is surrendering to the ocean.

vAzhiyarO – She surrendered to the ocean since it was destroying the chariot marks, being unable to hear her and since it had abundant waves. Seeing her surrender to it, the ocean asked her “What are you doing?” She responded saying “You should go the horrible way. Did you not listen to my sorrows?” The ocean asked her “What are you suffering from?” She then started narrating how her beloved separated from her in the night. Had he left during daytime, I would have seen how he would have suffered due to the separation, thinking “Alas! He is suffering so much because of me” and would have consoled myself. Or else, I would have looked at the beauty in his face and his quality of being the Lord and would have had some consolation. However, he had left in the night since he probably thought “If I leave during daytime, she would see me. Looking at her suffering, my legs would not be able to move from here”. Let him go wherever he wished. However, didn’t he leave during the night that we united? Hearing her narration, the ocean asked her “What should I do?” She responds . . . . .

thErvazhi thUral – Just as people give up all their possessions in alms and then eke out a living through taking food from others, I have given him up and am looking at the marks left behind by his chariot. Please do not destroy these marks.

aravaNai mEl – He is sleeping on the mattress of thiruvananthAzhwAn, just as it has been mentioned in periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 5-1-7 “veLLai veLLaththin mEl” so that the oceanic water on which he is lying will not cause any discomfort to his soft divine form.

iruL viri neela  . . .  – just like sUriyan who is emitting bluish rays similar to darkness encompassing. Would sUriyan emit bluish rays? Since there is no object in the world which can be compared to the effulgence of sarvESvaran, he is mentioning as a simile, an entity which is not seen anywhere.

iruL viri sOdhi . . . – the permanent abode of emperumAn, who has a dark form similar to darkness which has spread everywhere and, who is resplendent

eRi kadalE – it is natural for ocean to rejoice and rise up on seeing moon which is like butter. However, here, it is rejoicing on seeing emperumAn who has a dark form. Refer to mudhal thiruvandhAdhi pAsuram 19 “mAlum karum kadalE” (Oh the black ocean, who is rejoicing!)

eRi kadalE – since you are always with him, you know only of union. Since you do not know of separation, please know that separation is not something which is new to this world. Don’t those who attain him have qualities similar to his? [here she is referring to ocean] Why are you seeking a fault by destroying these marks left behind by his chariot? Should you not learn from him? periya thirumozhi 11-3-5 “thammaiyE okka aruL seyvarE” (he mercifully grants equality [in eight qualities] to those who seek him) is cited here as reference.

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): It appears to AzhwAr that everything which causes separation for him from SrIvaishNavas is harmful for him.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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