thiruviruththam – 30 – annam selveerum

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avathArikai (Introduction)

When we send messengers, until they return, we may engage in some pastime activities such as gambling, chess etc. In the case of nAyaki, however, since the entity to whom she had sent the messengers is a great one, she keeps sending all those whom she sees, as messengers. SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam SlOkam 30-3 says “yAm kapInAm sahasrAni subahUni ayUthAni cha dhikshu sarvAsu mArganthE sA iyam AsAdhithA mayA” (that sIthAppirAtti, who was searched out by thousands of monkeys in many directions, was found out by me). Thus there is precedence for sending many messengers towards one entity. In the referred instance, hanuman feels that while all the monkeys who had set out to locate sIthAppirAtti should have seen her, he alone was able to see her. The happiness which would not have been sufficient had all the monkeys experienced it, was left to him, to enjoy alone. However, he did share his happiness with the rest of the monkeys. While returning from lankA, on entering kishkindhA, he let the monkeys to enter the private garden of sugrIva maharaja, known as madhuvanam, which was guarded by sugrIva’s uncle dhadhimukhan and his army. When dhadhimukhan tried to resist the invasion, hanuman told the monkeys, as in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 62-1 “ahamAvArAyishyAmi yushmAkam paripanthina” (you enjoy the honey in the garden. I will take care of those who oppose you). On hearing about this incident, sugrIva told lakshmaNa as in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam SlOkam 63-17 “dhrushtA dhEvI na sandhEhO na cha anyEna hanUmathA” (there is no doubt that sIthAppirAtti has been seen by none other than hanumAn himself). The happiness which sugrIva felt on hearing about the destruction to his favourite garden made his tail to grow to such an extent that it reached the peak of rushyamukha hill. bhattar, the son of kUraththAzhwAn, would explain this sequence by saying “Had that madhuvanam not been there, SrI rAma’s and lakshmaNa’s backs would have taken a beating from the monkeys (by their patting) who were celebrating their happiness”.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

annam selveerum vaNdAnam selveerum thozhudhirandhEn
munnam selveergaL maRavElminO kaNNan vaigundhanOdu
ennenjinAraik kaNdAl ennaich cholli avaridai nIr
innam solleerO idhuvO thagavu enRu isaimingaLE

Word-by-Word Meanings

annam selveerum – those who are going [as my messengers] as swans
vaNdAnam selveerum – those who are going as storks
thozhudhu – seeking refuge
irandhEn – I beseeched
munnam – ahead
selveergaL – those who are going
maRavElminO – keep (in your mind) without forgetting
kaNNan – being simple
vaigundhanOdu – with sarvESvaran who is residing in paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam)
(going around with him)
en nenjinArai – my mind
kaNdAl – if you see
ennai – me (who has reached this state)
solli – inform about
avaridai – with that mind
innnam – further
selleerO – will you not go?
idhuvO thagavu – is this (your) nature?
enRu isaimingaL – please say

Simple Translation

I took refuge under and beseeched the swans and storks who are going (as my messengers). Those (among you) who are going ahead, should keep in your minds, without forgetting. When you are flying, if you see my mind who is roaming around with vaikuNtanAthan who incarnated as krishNa, please inform my anguished state and tell further “Will you not return to that nAyaki after all these days? Is this your nature?”


annam selveerum vaNdAnam selveerum – those who are going as swans and as storks.

thozhudhu irandhEn – it is my pitiable position, due to which I am beseeching you to go as messengers, when the learned wise man such as hanumAn and the omniscient krishNa went as messengers without feeling lowly about it. Instead of sending such people, I have to send you. While saying “I request you to go as my messenger” itself would appear to be excessive, she tells these birds, “I seek refuge and beseech you to go’. mahAbhAratham udhyOga parvam SlOkam 86-17 is quoted by vyAkyAthA periyavAchchAn piLLai in  his vyAkyAnam – anyath pUrNathapAm kumbhAth anyath pAdhAvanEjanAth anyath kuchala sampraSnAnnachEchadhi janArdhana: – that krishNa is complete in all aspects; he does not expect anything other than pUrNa kumbham (a filled pot of water) with which to wash his divine feet; that alone is sufficient. While discussing this with kidAmbi AchchAn (one of the disciples of bhagavath rAmAnujar), nambi thiruvazhudhinAdu dhAsar and other AchAryas asked him “Should we keep things like pUrNa kumbham?” kidAmbi AchchAn said “We do not have to think that we are keeping this for krishNa; if we keep it in order to wash one’s feet when entering the house from outside, he would think that it has been kept specially for him. When we wash our feet from that pot and a few droplets of water fall on his divine feet, he would consider that we have washed his divine feet with dedication”. The reason for her beseeching birds to go on her errand is because she thinks “It is my fault that I am sending such distinguished entities such as you on my errand”. When sugrIva was enjoying his life in his palace, forgetting about SrI rAma and lakshmaNa [and his word that he will send his monkeys to search for sIthApirAtti once the monsoon is over], lakshmaNa came to his palace with fury and called out to him. sugrIva trembled on hearing this, realising his mistake. hanuman offering him counsel, told him that bowing down to lakshmaNa alone will calm him down. This could be seen in SrI rAmAyaNam kishkindhA kANdam SlOkam 32-17 “krutha aparAdhasya hi thE na anyath paSyAmi aham kshamam | antharENa anjalim baddhvA lakshmaNasya prasAdhanAth ||” (I do not foresee any other appropriate means for you, as a blunder has been committed by you, except seeking lakshmaNa’s pardon by duly adjoining your palms). Just as hanuman had told sugrIva that there is nothing to equal anjali (adjoining palms), the nAyaki too requests these birds by beseeching them, apart from performing anjali as an expiation for asking them to on her errand. The vyAkyAthA quotes from SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 17-11 as an example for beseeching apart from performing anjalisa uvAcha cha – (vibhIshaNa) also told (SrI rAma).  While it was sufficient for SrI rAma that vibhIshaNa came to him to surrender, that he started speaking a few words too, came as a surprise for SrI rAma.

munnam selveergaL maRavElminO – those who are going in the front, keep what I said, in your mind, without forgetting. After reaching that place [paramapadham], as said in thaiththirIya upanishath “aham annam” (I am your food), do not forget my message. Looking at the eagerness with which he would come [to meet them since they have been sent by her], would they remember even if they are told not to forget? This is the reason she had worshipped them and beseeched them. Is it that only those who went in the front rows would forget? The commentator says that even sarvESvaran and her heart forgot her. The one who said piriyEn piriyil dhariyEn – I will not separate, and were I to separate, I cannot sustain myself, separated from her. periya thirumozhi pAsuram 9-3-3 says pEdhai ninnai – the term pEdhai refers to the innocent stage in a girl’s life cycle at which she treats both union and separation as the same. The term ninnai conveys the meaning that he is indeed a sentient entity to separate from her. Even when he said piriyEn she felt as if he had separated. The heart which went looking for him, also forgot about her. Thus, when such is the situation, she is doubting whether the birds who are going in the front rows would remember. She thinks that sarvESvaran, who went like this [in separation from her] would be wandering around with his dress in dishevelled condition as there would be none to take pity on him. Several SlOkams from SrI rAmAyaNam are cited here by the commentator in this context [whether there are people to take pity on sarvESvfaran]. SrI rAma took rest for a night in SrI guhapperumAL’s place, SrI rAmAyaNam SlOkam ayOdhyA kANdam 87-22 ”niSAmathishtath parithO asya kEvalam” (lakshmaNa walked alone [going around SrI rAma] in that night). Looking at lakshmaNa walking alone during the night, guha tells him, as in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 51-2 “iyam thAth sukhA SayyA thavadh artham upakalpithA” (I have made a comfortable bed for you, my friend), I had made a comfortable bed with green leaves, befitting you, and asked SrI rAma to sleep comfortably on it, hence you too take rest; lakshmaNa responds to this through SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 51-9 “katham dhASarathau bhUmau sayAnE saha sIthayA” (when the son of emperor dhaSarathan is sleeping on the ground). lakshmaNa says that he cannot sleep after seeing SrI rAma, who was born to emperor dhaSarathan after sixty thousand years to rid him of the stigma of being without progeny, sleeping on the ground, along with his wife sIthAppirAtti. He says saha sIthaya – implying that SrI rAma, having been the disciple of sage vaSishta, could have hardened his body and mind so that he could sleep on a hard surface too; however, here, sIthAppirAtti, who had not stepped out of her house and who is the dear daughter of King janaka, is sleeping on the floor. After seeing this, how could I sleep? Hence he says in the same SlOkam sakyA nidhrA mayA labhdhum – how is it possible for me to sleep? guhapperumAL says as in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 87-23 and 87-24 “mahath dhanu: sajyam upOhya laksmaNau……. sa yathra lakshmaNa athanthrabhir gyAthibhir Aththa kArmukhair …” when lakshmaNa went around the bed on which SrI rAma and sIthAppirAtti were sleeping, guarding them with a huge bow, I too went around, like that lakshmaNa, along with my kinsmen who were free from lassitude, carrying bows. Through all these references, the nAyaki implies that she too cares for sarvESvaran, just as guhan had shown in SrI rAmAyaNam.

kaNNan . . . . – my heart went to paramapadham meditating on the amazing, auspicious qualities of krishNa.

ennenjinAr – she recounts how her heart was praised by emperumAn. In other words, he enticed her heart to follow him so that she could become more anguished in separation from him.

kaNdAl – she hints that it is very difficult to see her heart which followed krishNa. Just as thaiththirIya upanishath says sadhA paSyanthi – he would be constantly seen by nithyasUris, it is possible to see sarvESvaran; however it is well nigh impossible to see her heart. Even if you see it per chance, it will not ask about me “How is she?” manifesting love in its tongue and teeth.

ennaich cholli – approach that heart which is like this and tell it “She is like this; would you know about it?” Isn’t she, who was spoken of in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 37-18 “apramEyam hi thaththEja:” (she, who is with inestimable resplendence), now speaking like this?

avar idai – to that heart, which has been lying like this from then

nIr – don’t you know now that I am expectantly waiting with tears in my eyes, so that you would say “I will bring that heart immediately”

innam selleerO – I had sent messengers to you who had gone as my messenger [she is now addressing her heart which she had originally sent as her messenger behind sarvESvaran]. Did you delay returning to me thinking that time is not an entity there, just as it has been mentioned in mahAbhAratham SAnthi parvam mOksha dharmam 25-9 “na kAlasthathravai prabhu:” (time is not the lord there)? There are sequences for time there, just as it has been mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 10.3.1 “oru pagal Ayiram UzhiyAlO” (a noon is similar to thousand kalpams).

idhuvO thagavu – agreed that you may not have much of involvement with me. But should you not have a mind to show pity on a person even if (s)he were an enemy, just as it has been said in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 38-41 “AnruSamsyam parOdharmamsthvaththa Eva mayASrutha:” (I have heard from you alone that kindness is the best righteousness)?

isaimingaLE – tell that heart, she informs the birds. She tells them to speak boldly and with pride in such a way that it destroys his [her heart] svarUpam (true nature). She is not sure whether to address the heart as a masculine gender or as a feminine gender.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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