thiruviruththam – 29 – innanna thUdhu

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

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avathArikai (Introduction)

In the previous pAsuram, she had submitted to periya perumAL saying porunIrththiruvarangA aruLAy. As a response to this, thiruvarangan did not say either “I will shower my mercy” or “I will not shower my mercy”. Hence, she sends a few swans as messenger to him.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

innanna thUdhu emmai ALaRRappattu irandhAL enRu
annanna sollAp pedaiyodum pOyvarum neelamuNda
minnanna mEnip perumAn ulagiR peN thUdhu sellA
annanna nIrmai kolO kudichchIrmaiyil annangaLE

Word-by-Word Meanings

kudi – arising out of being born in a clan
sIrmai – quality
il – not having
annangaLE – Oh swans!
ivaL – this girl
ALaRRappattu – being without any other person
emmai – us
innanna – of this type
thUdhu – need as messenger
irandhAL – beseeched
enRu – thinking this way
annanna – words like those
sollA – not saying
pedaiyodum – with your female swans
pOy varum – you are going
neelam – bluish cloud
uNda – one who swallowed
minnanna – similar to lightning
mEni – having divine form
perumAn – sarvESvaran’s
ulagil – his world of paramapadham
peN thUdhu – messenger sent by a girl
sellA – will not fructify
(saying so)
annanna – like that
nIrmai kolO – do you have such a nature?

Simple Translation

Oh swans who do not have the distinction of having been born in a distinguished clan! You are roaming with your female swans, thinking in your mind “This girl is beseeching us to go as messengers since she could not get anyone else” and are not carrying her message. Is it your nature not to carry such message to paramapadham which is the residence of sarvESvaran who has a complexion similar to dark bluish clouds and who has a divine form which is similar to effulgent lightning?


innanna thUdhu – sending an errand like this is not carried out when one is living in happy times; it is not sent for one’s pleasure; it is sent as a sustenance for oneself. Just as sithAppirAtti tells hanuman in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 39-22 “gathEhi harisArdhUla puna: AgamanAyathu praNAnAmapi sandhEhO mama syAn na athra samSaya:” (Oh warrior of the monkey clan! If after this there is any doubt about your return, then there will be a doubt about my survival too. There is  no doubt about this matter), here too a similar narrative is mentioned.

emmai – my status is very much similar to the way I am sending my errand. Just as sithAppirAtti sent an expert in grammar [so that he could recount the status very clearly, without any degree of ambiguity], I too should have sent one [says the nAyaki]. But my present state is such that I have to send you [the swans] only.

ALaRRappattu – since there is none else to send errand. Her greatness is such that even sarvESvaran, the lord of both vibhUthis (spiritual and materialistic) has to send her a messenger; however, she, who is like sIthAppirAtti, who had about ten crore people who could be sent as messengers even if most of her people go to various corners in mithilA and kOsala countries, is now in a position where she has none to be sent as messenger.

irandhAL – she is doing what he should be doing. While he should be sending a messenger to her, she is sending him one.

ivaL – she is similar to sIthAppirAtti who was spoken of as in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 37-18 “apramEyamhi thaththEja:” (that rAma, whose wife is janaka’s daughter, is with inestimable resplendence)

annanna sollA – they did not say anything like that. Those who go on errand should say what the person, who had sent them, told them to say,  as well as say a few words of their own, in order to add strength to the message given. This is termed in thamizh language as Olai pAdhi-thUdhu pAdhi (what is seen in the letter sent through the messenger is 50% and what the messenger adds of his own, is 50%). But these [swans] did not do that, but made a mockery of that proverb in thamizh. Some people will not desire anything. But shouldn’t they help those who desire something and carry on in that state?

pedaiyodum pOy varum – when they carry out such errands, when they go to sarvESvaran, they will meditate on his auspicious qualities and when they return, they will meditate on the experience gained through their service. Those who carry out service to sarvESvaran do so as a pair. We could see this in the cases of sEnai mudhaliyAr- sUthravathi, garudan-sukIrthi, athri-anasUyai et al. Will meditating on his auspicious qualities be the basis for their sustenance? The commentator quotes the verse pAdhEyam puNdarIkAksha nAma sankIrthanAmrutham – meditating on the divine names of the one with lotus-like eyes is the nectar which sustains one.

neelamuNda . . .   – he is everything to those who are in SrIvaikuNtam. Just as it is said in vEdham neelathOyathamadhyasthA vidhyullEkEva bhAskarA:, he keeps pirAtti always on his splendorous chest, like lightning across bluish, dark clouds. The situation during separation will be as mentioned in thirunedundhANdagam 25 minnilangu thiruvuruvu – his divine form will be like lightning and when united with him, the situation will be as mentioned in thirunedundhANdagam 24 karumugiloppar – he will resemble dark clouds.

peN thUdhu sellA – would you go as a messenger only if sent by a man? Would you not go on errand for a lady? Did you think that none other than sarvESvaran will send someone as a messenger? There is no point in blaming either you [swans] or him [sarvESvaran]. All the blame is mine only.

kudichchIrmaiyil annangaLEkudichchIrmai is the knowledge about the distress caused by separation. It is not your fault that you do not have this knowledge. Since he was not born in a great clan, he did not have this quality. Due to this, he would have reached a stage where he could not listen to me or to you.

neelamuNda minnanna mEnip perumAn – he keeps his divine form not for his sake but for keeping periya pirAtti in his divine chest. Since you have come in a clan which does not have kudichchIrmai it appears that you are not listening to me.

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning) – AzhwAr is in distress due to separation from emperumAn. This pAsuram speaks about his state where even those who are helping him to attain emperumAn are not to his liking.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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