thiruviruththam – 37 – kodungAl silaiyar

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

Full Series


avathArikai (Introduction)

The nAyaki who was distressed after being separated from her nAyakan, could not wait till he returned and left on her own [in search of him]. She went through a cruel forest which had animals and people, capable of harming, sounds which caused fear in one, and paths which were dangerous. Her mother found out that her daughter was not in her bed and gets bewildered thinking “Alas! She has gone through a dangerous path. What is she doing?” In the case of the daughter in thirukkOLUr (thiruvAimozhi 6-7) decad, the mother knew as to where her daughter had gone. But in the case of this mother, she did not know as to where her daughter had gone and feels distressed.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

kodungAl silaiyar niRaikOL uzhavar kolaiyil veyya
kadungAl iLaigyar thudipadum kavvaiththu aruvinaiyEn
nedungAlamum kaNNan nINmalarppAdham paravippeRRa
thodungAl osiyumidai iLamAn senRa sUzh kadamE

Word-by-Word Meanings

aruvinaiyEn – I, having cruel sins
nedungAlamum – for a long time
kaNNan – krishNa’s
nIL – being long
malar – like a flower
pAdham – divine feet
paravi­ – after praying
peRRa – got as a daughter
thodungAl – merely on touching
osiyum – quivering
idai – having a waist
iLamAn – this girl who is like a youthful deer
senRa – the place that she went to
sUzh – surrounded (by heat)
kadam – the path
kodum – curved
kAl – having leg
silaiyar – having bow
nirai – cows
kOL – those who steal
uzhavar – farmers
kolaiyil – in harming
veyya – being cruel
kadungAl – having legs which will move fast
iLaigyar – youthful hunters
thudi –  small drum (tambourine)
padum – created from
kavvaiththu – had a sound

Simple Translation

I, who am having cruel sins, prayed to the long, lotus-like divine feet of krishNa and got this daughter. She has a waist which will quiver by merely being touched and she jumps around like a youthful deer. This girl has, however, left me. The place that she went to is a cruel forest – which has people having curved bows, who steal cows as their profession, young people who kill others and who have legs which will carry them fast and from whose drums (tambourines) a sound is created.


kodum kAl silaiyar – just as it has been mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam bAla kANdam 6-21 “yOdhAnAm agni kalpAnAm pESAlAnAm mAhEshuNAm” which describes those who are guarding the city of ayOdhyA (firebrand like skilful warriors), these people always carry their curved bows. The term kodum kAl silaiyar has two interpretations – it could refer to those who have bows with curved legs or it could refer to those who carry bows and who have cruel legs. In the former case, it would mean that they are constantly ready with drawn bow in order to harm others. For the bow, cruelty refers to its nature of sending another entity (arrow) to cause harm and does not go by itself to harm someone.

silaiyar – they keep carrying their bows, whether it is during the time of taking food or when they are in privacy with their wives. The nAyaki is one who has known sarvESvaran who, just as it is mentioned in periya thiruvandhAdhi 86 “kai kazhalA nEmiyAn” always has the divine disc on his hand. This is his authenticity. Since she has moved with him, she is not afraid of anything. That divine disc is one which sustains everyone while this (the bow carried by these people in the cruel forest) is a harmful entity. Just as it is said in SrI rAmAyaNam adyOdhyA kANdam 60-20 “nAhArayathi santhrAsam bAhU rAmasya samSrithA” (sIthAppirAtti does not fear the wild animals in the forest since she is protected by the broad shoulders of SrI rAma), those who are under the protection of his divine disc and divine shoulders need not fear anything. However, that is not the case here.

nirai kOL uzhavar – for these people, stealing cows is a profession. However she is someone who has known sarvESvaran for whom, as it is said in SrI vishNu purANam “gO brAhmaNa hithAyacha” – protecting cows and brAhmaNas is normal.

kolaiyil veyya – these people exhibit anger when killing others. They kill just to see how their victims tremble when being killed. Alternatively they will torture their victims, ask them to work for them till they die. periya thirumozhi 11-8-6 says “idaiyan eRindha maram” (the tree cut down by the shepherds for their sheep would be fresh at one place and dry at another). These people will harm their victims similarly, by making them half dead and half alive, with pain. In the case of sarvESvaran, though he also aims his arrows at his victims, it is only to carry out a beneficial act for them, just as it is said in SrI rAmAyaNam kishkindhA kANdam 24-24 “sanjAtha bhAshpa paravIra hanthA rAmO muhUrtham vimanA babhUva” ((on hearing sugrIva’s words) SrI rAma had moist eyes and was for a moment perturbed), after he killed vAli.

kadungAl iLaigyar – if they were to harm someone, they will run a hundred miles and return a hundred miles, running. Such is the strength and speed of their legs. One would be fearful of them on just seeing them; there is no need for them to act. Through AyurvEdha medicines, they will keep themselves youthful, always.

thudipadum kavvaiththu – having the sound of drums (similar to tambourine). If she (nAyaki) goes to such a place, only her physical form will get destroyed. But if she stays in her place, her AthmA will get destroyed through the words of her mother.

aruvinaiyEn – it is not that he is not keen on coming to her; it is also not that she doesn’t have the desire to be united with him. They are not uniting with each other only because of my cruel sins [says the nAyaki’s mother]. This is similar to the SrI rAmAyaNa SlOkam “math pApamEva athra nimiththam AsIth” – it is only due to my sin.

nedungAlam . . . . – I had worshipped krishNa who would not tolerate any delay in surrendering to him [vyAkyAthA says that the word sakruth in SrI rAma charaka SlOkam (ultimate hymn) sakrudhEva prapannAya is to be considered as immediately; krishNa doesn’t want even this delay]. Just as dhEvaki had carried out lot of penance to give birth to krishNa, I had done lot of penance to beget her. However, not realising about herself or about my penance to beget her, she has gone. SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 66-3 speaks of the penance carried out by dhaSaratha to beget SrI rAma “mahathA thapasA rAma mahathA cha api karmaNa” (Oh rAma, you were born because of the great penance and great acts carried out by dhaSaratha).

nINmalarppAdham – his divine feet are such that they will go towards the place where his followers are present. They are so easily approachable. Those divine feet considered attaining his followers as their [the divine feet’s] benefit.

malar – soft; beautiful.

paravippeRRa – obtained after offering prayers of various types. It is similar to attaining a treasure after lot of efforts.

thodungAL osiyum idai – her waist was such that it would snap if touched. The nAyakan enjoyed that waist merely by looking at it and not by touching it after realising its greatness. thiruvAimozhi 6-7-8 “osindha nuNNidai mEl kaiyai vaiththu nondhu nondhu” (keeping the hand on the already quivering slender waist (out of tiredness) and hurting it more and more). Her waist was such that one would doubt its existence. By looking at the form above and below the waist, one could surmise that waist should be there in between. If one were to keep the hand as a support for that waist, the hand would like a mountain in comparison with the wait; it was that slender.

iLamAn senRa – she could not tolerate any of the difficulties which lay in that path

sUzh kadam – the forest which had pervaded in a cruel way.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

archived in

pramEyam (goal) –
pramANam (scriptures) –
pramAthA (preceptors) –
SrIvaishNava education/kids portal –

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *