thiruviruththam – 18 – kadal koNdu

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avathArikai (Introduction)

The leading man had told his beloved “I will return once monsoon arrives”; however, he did not return even after monsoon had arrived. This pAsuram indicates the mental make-up of the nAyaki (leading lady) regarding the monsoon season. This pAsuram, like the seventh pAsuram in this prabandham (gyAnam panippa) belongs to the classification of kAlamayakku (bewilderment due to change in time). While this has been spoken about in the seventh pAsuram itself, what is the need to mention the same here too? That pAsuram was composed when monsoon had just set in. However, this pAsuram speaks about the nAyaki’s anguish at the non-arrival of her beloved when the rainy season is about to end. It has been said this way since she is of a soft nature who cannot tolerate separation, he is one with greatness and this is the time at which he had promised he would return. There is no other way for her to sustain herself other than crying about his continued absence. thirumangai AzhwAr had spoken about SaraNAgathi (surrendering to emperumAn) in ten different ways in ten different pAsurams. This AzhwAr too is carrying out in the same way. He too is bewildered on account of kAlamayakku. In the seventh pAsuram, she [AzhwAr in feminine pathos] comprehended what she had seen – gathering of clouds – as two bulls fighting with each other; here, she is comprehending a similar incident (rainfall) as arising out of the fight between ocean and cloud. She is mistaking the intimacy of ocean and cloud as a fight between them and is bewildered.

Let us look at the pAsuram and its meanings:

kadal koNdu ezhundhadhu vAnam avvAnaththai anRich chenRu
kadal koNdu ozhindha adhanAl idhu kaNNan maNNum viNNum
kadal koNdu ezhundha akkAlam kolO puyaRkAlam kolO
kadal koNda kaNNIr aruvi seyyA niRkum kArigaiyE

Word-by-Word Meanings

kadal – ocean
koNda – defeating
kaN – from the eyes
nIr – tears
aruvi seyyA niRkum – making it as a flood
kArigaiyE – Oh lady!
vAnam – the sky
kadal – ocean
koNdu – swallowing
ezhundhadhu – rose
kadal – the ocean
avvAnaththai – that sky
anRi – getting angry
senRu – following it
koNdu – retrieving (the water taken by cloud)
ozhindha adhanAl – due to the water which stayed (in it)
idhu – these drops of rain
(are pouring)
kaNNan – krishNa’s
maNNum – bhUlOkam (earth)
viNNum – the upper lOkam (svarga etc)
kadal – ocean
koNdu – swallowed
ezhundha – developed
akkAlam kolO – is it that time of deluge?
puyaRkAlam kolO – or is it the monsoon time
(I am unable to determine)

Simple Translation

Oh lady who is shedding tears like a flood, which can defeat the water contained by ocean!  The sky imbibed the entire water present in ocean and rose up. Ocean, becoming furious at this, followed that sky and went up. Reaching the sky, it retrieved the water from. At the end of all this, a few drops of water fell down as rain. I do not know whether this is the time for seasonal rains or the time when deluge swallowed krishNa’s upper world and this world.


kadal koNdu ezhundhadhu vAnam . . .  – the term vAnam here refers to cloud [and not to sky]. Cloud drank up the water from ocean so completely that the ocean bed was visible. Due to this, creatures living in the ocean started struggling for life. Seeing this, the ocean became furious thinking “Our citizens are suffering acutely. The cloud has taken away our possession of water so easily”. It ran behind the cloud to retrieve its water. The term anRi refers to fury. These should be taken as the words of the nAyaki’s [leading lady’s] friend. The nAyakan [leading man] had not returned during monsoon time, as he had promised when he separated from the leading lady. Since it started raining, and a few drops of water fell on her, the leading lady queries her friend “The monsoon has arrived; however, the nAyakan has not arrived”

ozindha adhanAl idu – when the two are fighting with each other [for that water] just a few drops are falling on us; it is not raining, assures the friend. When rAvaNa and jatAyu were fighting in the sky, several articles such as the decorations of rAvaNa’s chariot, his flag etc fell down. In the same way, these drops of water are falling during the fight between ocean and sky. The friend feigns surprise and says “How did this flood get generated? Is it that or this?” The reason for this is that she had been giving some excuse or the other since the nAyaki would not be able to bear the continued absence of nAyakan despite the rainy season having set in. Guessing as to what she could do if the nAyaki finds out that she had been telling lies, she continues cleverly.

kaNNan maNNum viNNum . . .  – don’t this world and sky which belong to sarvESvaran, appear to have been taken up by the ocean, as happens during a deluge?

puyaRkAlam kolO – Or is it the rainy season? I am unable to ascertain. The friend, who was cleverly saying such words, says “Oh! I have found out how this flood was formed” and continues.

kadal koNda kaN – Is this [flood] not coming from your eyes? Your eyes will defeat the ocean itself in terms of the water held. There are two interpretations to the term kadal koNda kaN – the eyes are as expansive as the ocean; also, the eyes hold more water than the ocean.

nIr aruvi seyyA niRkum – have you not realised that the reason for this flood, which looks like a deluge, is the large quantity of water shed by your eyes, like a stream?

kArigaiyE – you are like a helpless woman, unable to tolerate these.

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning) for this pAsuram: This pAsuram appears to have been narrated by those who are unable to bear the anguish of AzhwAr who is anxious to unite with emperumAn or his followers at the correct time. It appears that since deluge has come in, it has created an urge in him to unite with emperumAn and has bewildered his knowledge.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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