thiruviruththam – 27 – sEmam sengOn

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

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avathArikai (Introduction)

The mercy of emperumAn, who is our lord and who helps us as his nature, without any reason, is the apt protector for AthmAs (all living creatures). When he looks at us with mercy, all the hindrances change themselves so that they become our helpful entities. This is similar to those who had ostracised a prince when he was imprisoned, falling head over heels in welcoming him when he ascends the throne. When sIthAppirAtti was in aSOka vanam, having been imprisoned by rAvaNa, she was tortured by demons some of whom had single eye or single ear. When they came to know that SrI rAma was very much present in lankA [to fight with rAvaNa] they became favourable to her.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

sEmam sengOn aruLE seruvArum natpAguvar enRu
Emam peRa vaiyam sollum meyyE paNdellAm aRai kUy
yAmangaL dhORu eri vIsum nam kaNNan thaNNam thuzhAyth
thAmam punaiya avvAdai IdhO vandhu thaN enRadhE

Word-by-Word Meanings

paNdu ellAm – before (this)
aRai kUy – making war cry (like a soldier)
yAmangaL dhORu – during every jAmam (a time-period of three hours)
eri – fire
vIsum­ – throwing up
avvAdai – that northerly wind
nam – our
kaNNan – mercifully donned by krishNa
thaN – cool
thuzhAy – strung with divine thuLasi
thAmam – garland
punaiya – since he donned
IdhO – here
vandhu – coming
thaN enRadhu – is very cool
sem – beautiful (and ordained)
kOn – SrIya: pathi (consort of SrI mahAlakshmi), who is the lord, his
aruLE – mercy alone
sEmam – protection
seruvArum – even enemies
natpAguvar – will become friends
enRu – saying
Emam peRa – such that protection occurs
vaiyam – people of the world
sollum – words
meyyE – are true

Simple Translation

Oh the mercy of the beautiful emperumAn who is the lord for all! During the time that I was separated from sarvESvaran, my lord, the northerly wind was blowing fire on me every hour, just like a soldier would make a war-cry against his enemies in the battlefield. However, that northerly wind is now blowing the fragrant smell from thuLasi garland, worn by krishNa who is dear to us, and it appears cool. Thus, the words of the people of the world that even enemies would become friendly at some point of time, ring true.


sEmam sengOn aruLE – only the mercy of emperumAn, who is the lord and who is apt for the AthmA, is the apt protector for AthmA. Even though sarvESvaran is the protector, the jIvAthmA acts in ways which make him undeserving of sarvESvaran’s mercy. sarvESvaran creates the worlds, gives body and senses to the jIvAthmAs, creates paths for them such as bhakthiyOgam (path of devotion) etc to attain him and takes residence in divine abodes such as thirumalai etc so that they could approach him easily. However, the jIvAthmas discard all these and act as if dhEham (physical body) is AthmA. The horrendous knowledge of AthmA is such that he would destroy himself while sarvESvaran’s wisdom will be just like as it is mentioned in mudhal thiruvandhAdhi 69 “uLan kaNdAy nannenjE” (Oh heart! emperumAn exists only to protect us) – willing to take the jIvAthmA into himself.

sengOn – beautiful and capable administrator. Just as it is mentioned in thaiththirIya upanishath nArAyaNavalli pathim viSvasya, he is the lord of the entire universe.

aruLE – there is nothing apart from his divine mercy, just as it has been mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 9-9-6 “avvaruL allana aruLum alla” (anything other than his mercy is not mercy at all). There is no need for any intervening devotion etc.

seruvArum natpAguvarenRu – even enemies will become friends; here, the body itself is referred to as enemy, as per the explanatory notes given in the commentary. In other words, enemies will act in a way which is appropriate for us. This physical form, which is fit to be given up, will, with the mercy of sarvESvaran, assist us in attaining him. At the apt time, it would leave us too.

Emam peRa – to get protection

vaiyam sollum meyyE – whatever has been said by the people of the world from time immemorial, is true only. Just as it is mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 34-6 “kalyANI batha gAthEyam laukikI prathibhAthi mA | Ethi jIvanthamAnandhO naram barshaSathAdhapi ||” (the adage that joy comes to a living being even though it may be at the end of a hundred years is true – sIthAppirAtti tells hanumAn that she wanted to put an end to her suffering by perishing; however she wanted to see SrI rAma just once before dying and hence delayed her decision; that turned out to be a happy one since it was at that time that hanumAn appeared there, singing SrI rAma’s praise), it is true that the fiery wind too would be cool one day, justifying the adage “If one who is in distress does not end his life, he would become happy one day”.

paNdellAm – just as one had been born and brought up only in prison, separation has become the norm. In this situation, being distressed by the northerly wind too has become the norm.

aRai kUy – just as sugrIva had let out a war-cry when challenging vAli for a fight, with SrI rAma as his support, the northerly wind was letting out a war cry, all on its own, as a single soldier.

yAmangaL dhORu eri vIsum – due to its engagement in causing harm, the wind is coming hard at her, like a tiger which has disguised itself like a cow.

vIsum – the fire of separation is blowing from all sides. The fire of hell is more cruel than the fire of samsAram (materialistic realm). But this fire of separation makes the fire of hell look like cool water.

nam kaNNan thaNNandhuzhAy . . . . – just as it has been mentioned in thirunendundhANdagam 13 “vehkAvil thuyilamarndha . . ” (one who is mercifully reclining in the divine abode thiruvehkA), the northerly wind embraced the divine thuLasi garland which is decorating sarvESvaran there and which is capable of invigorating anyone. It is enough if that wind gently contacts the thuLasi garland; there is no need to embrace it completely.

avvAdai – she [the nAyaki who is saying all these] changes her countenance – in other words, it is the same northerly wind which caused her harm.

IdhO vandhu thaN enRadhE – now it is blowing with a comforting coolness. Thus it proves the words of the people of the world “Those who carry out harmful deeds towards us will do us beneficial acts once we get sarvESvaran’s mercy”

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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