thiruviruththam – 38 – kadamAyinagaL

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

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avathArikai (Introduction)

When yOgis (those who are meditating) are in meditation for a very long time, they will turn their attention towards worldly matters for a short time, in order to engage more deeply in meditation once they resume it. In the same way, he too [nammAzhwAr] turned his attention towards worldly objects in order to enhance his experience with matters relating to emperumAn. However, since he has been showered with  knowledge and devotion without any illusion, even the worldly objects which he saw reminded him of emperumAn and tortured him further. It is as difficult to turn the AzhwArs away from the path of vEdhas, and towards worldly matters just as it is difficult to turn us away from worldly matters, and towards the path of vEdhas. Just as it is difficult to turn us away from materialistic pursuit and towards matters relating to bhagavAn, it is equally difficult to turn AzhwArs away from matters relating to bhagavAn and towards materialistic pursuits. embAr, the disciple of rAmAnujar, mercifully mentioned these two.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

kadamAyinagaL kazhiththuth than kAl vanmaiyAl palanAL
thadamAyina pukku nIr nilai ninRa thavam idhu kol
kudamAdiya maNNum viNNum kulunga ulagaLandha
nadamAdiya perumAn uruvoththana neelangaLE

Word-by-Word Meanings

neelangaL – blue Indian water lilies
immaNNum – this earth
viNNum – upper worlds
kulunga – to move in amazement
kudamAdi – dancing with pots (in krishNAvathAram)
ulagu – worlds
aLandha – measured (in thrivikrmAvathAram)
nadamAdiya – one who roamed
perumAn – sarvESvaran’s
uru – with divine form
oththana – are equivalent
idhu – the reason for this
kadamAyinagaL – three debts owed to celestial entities, forefathers and sages
kazhiththu – fulfilling them
than – one’s
kAlvanmaiyAl – strength of legs
palanAL – for a long time
thadamAyina – known as ponds
pukku – entering
nIr – in water
nilai ninRa – residing for a long time
thavangol – could be the penance

Simple Translation

In krishNAvatharam he danced with pots such that this earth and the upper worlds shook with amazement; in thrivikramAvathAram, he measured all the worlds. The blue lilies are having a complexion much similar to the sarvESvaran who roamed like this. The reason for this could be that they paid back their three types of debts, entered water bodies with the strength of their legs, stayed there for a very long time and carried out penance.


kadamAyinagal kazhiththu –  just as it is mentioned in manusmrithi 6-35 “ruNAnithrINyabAkruthya” – after fulfilling the three debts owed. yajUshi kANdam says “brahmacharyENa rushibhya: yagyEna dhEvEbhya prajayApithrubhya” – through brhamacharyam (observing the tenets of being a bachelor), one pays back the debt owed to rishis (sages); through yAgams (rituals involving agni, fire) one pays back the celestial entities and through siring children, one pays back the forefathers. Similarly, the blue lilies pay back their debts through the distress caused to their bodies in hot season, at the hottest time. Here, the body, hot season and hot time are the debts owed.

than kAl vanmai …. – through their efforts (strength of their legs), through their penance, considering only their existence, even during cold times, whether it is water formed under the hoof of a cow or in large water bodies like ocean etc, they stay up to their neck and carry out penance. Did you get a similarity with the complexion of sarvESvaran due to the strength of that penance?

kudamAdi – dancing with pots in the courtyard such that everyone could steal his beauty [with their eyes], snipping the pride of cowherd folk.

immaNNum – instead of benefitting some people or people in a street, he danced such that all the world could enjoy,

kulunga – if rudhra (Sivan) dances, the world trembles in fear since he is the celestial entity for annihilation. But if sarvESvaran dances, the word forgets itself and rejoices.

ulagaLandhu nadamAdiya – when sarvESvaran incarnated as thrivikrama and measured the worlds, indhra accepted his lands which he had lost to mahAbali; mahAbali felt happy that he had magnanimously donated the lands [which were not his in the first place]; sarvESvaran felt that he had carried out the act of retrieval as a benefit for himself.

uruvoththana neelangaLE – was it through paying back the debts, entering water bodies through the strength of your legs and carrying out penance over long periods that you attained equality with emperumAn in all aspects of his divine form?

The vyAkyAthA says that the knowledge that AzhwAr had was such that even if he wanted to look at worldly objects due to separation from emperumAn, even those objects remind him of emperumAn only.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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