thiruviruththam – 35 – pAlvAyp piRaippiLLai

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avathArikai (Introduction)

The nAyaki’s mother gets worried on seeing the onset of evening, which is far worse than all the other sorrowful situations that the nAyaki has been in so far and wonders “How will this end for her?” All those things which the nAyaki enjoyed when she was together with the nAyakan, turned hostile for her now. All along the mother was distressed by the sorrows of her daughter. Now she feels sorry also for the lady who is in the western direction [this is a simile for dusk time which brings with it, its own trails of sadness]. This is similar to the situation of the pirAtti who felt sorry for various naturally occurring events in thiruvAimozhi 2-1 padhigam “vAyum thiraiyugaLum”. Everything that one looks at, becomes inimical.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

pAlvAyp piRaippiLLai okkalaikkoNdu pagal izhandha
mEl pAl dhisaippeN pulambuRum mAlai ulagaLandha
mAl pAl thuzhAykku manam udaiyArkku nalgiRRai ellAm
sOlvAn pugundhu idhu Or panivAdai thuzhAginRadhE

Word-by-Word Meanings

pAlvAy – having milk in its mouth
piRai – crescent of moon
piLLai – child
okkalai – on the hip
koNdu – carrying
pagal –  day time, the master
izhandha – one who lost
mEl pAl – being on the western side
dhisai – as the direction
peN – who could be considered as a lady
pulambuRum – crying
mAlai – evening time
ulagu – worlds
aLandha – one who occupied
mAl pAl – with sarvESvaran
thuzhAykku – fond of thuLasi
manamudaiyArkku – those who have their minds [on such thuLasi]
nalgiRRaiyellAm – all those (including existence) which were given
sOlvAn – to steal
pugundhu – entering
idhu – this
Or – unique
pani – cold
vAdai – northerly wind
thuzhAginRadhu – gently hugging

Simple Translation

The western direction is like a lady who has lost daytime, her husband, and was crying. She had on her waist, the moon who is like a child which had milk in its mouth. At this time, the cold northerly wind gently hugged people who were waiting to get the divine garland of thuLasi from sarvESvaran, who had seized all the worlds, with the intention of stealing from those people, whatever had been given by sarvESvaran.


pAlvAyp pirAppiLLai – The lady called as western direction, stood with the crescent moon on her waist, crying for having lost her husband, the daytime or sUriyan. She appears like one who has lost her husband recently, crying out for him, carrying her infant who cannot even suckle properly.

pAlvAy – the child will wither if she removes her bosom from its mouth.

pagal izhandha – this signifies the importance of the husband who has been lost (daytime or sUriyan). It is similar to losing someone such as manu or mAndhAthA (these are great kings of the ikshvAku dynasty). When someone gets something of importance, it is said as “pagaRkandEn” just like it is said in iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi pAsuram 81 “pagaRkaNdEn nAraNanaik kaNdEn” (I saw SrIman nArAyaNa who is like sun who never sets). Thus losing that pagal is very sorrowful.

mEl pAl dhisaippeN – this gives the importance of the nAyaki. When directions are explained, greatness is given to the western direction. The roar from the ocean on the western side is taken as the crying out of the lady in the western direction.

ulagaLandha . . . .  – her mind is fully focussed on the divine thuLasi garland which sarvESvaran dons.

mAlai nalgiRRaiyellAm – all those which were given by the evening time ; vyAkyAthA calls this as giving existence and santhAnasApam – in olden times, when kings waged war and won an enemy country, the king of that country would request the conqueror to leave at the least one son to continue the clan. Similarly, the evening time left her complexion behind for her.

mAlai – sOlvAn . . . . –  the northerly wind tries to steal the existence, complexion etc left behind by evening.  Similar to torturing those who torture others, the wind tries to steal existence.

panivAdai – northerly wind which is poisoned. Since it belongs to the clan of prANan (vital air in the body; existence), it knows where the vital air is and it tries to steal it. When queried as to what it was doing, it would say “Are we destroying the world? We are only trying to take our relative with us” and tried to destroy her.

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): Looking at the condition of AzhwAr for whom even favourable entities appear to be inimical because of separation from emperumAn, the SrIvaishNavas are fearing as to what will happen to his existence.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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