thiruviruththam – 49 – paNdum palapala

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avathArikai (Introduction)

Earlier, AzhwAr was wondering whether sarvESvaran had not blessed him in a distinguished way. In the previous pAsuram, he realised that he has been showered with distinguished mercy by sarvESvaran. He now wonders “Though he has showered his mercy, why is he still keeping me in samsAram which is a hurdle for enjoying him continuously?” Due to this distress of separation from sarvESvaran, he assumes the mood of pirAtti (consort of sarvESvaran). After being united with sarvESvaran and having separated from him, the nAyaki, unable to tolerate this distress, tells how she is suffering in the night time. Or, these words could be taken to have been spoken by her friend.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

paNdum palapala vIngiruL kANdum ippAyiruL pOl
kaNdum aRivadhum kEtpadhum yAmilam kALavaNNa
vaNdundhuzhAyp perumAn madhusUdhanan dhAmOdharan
uNdum umizhndhum kadAya maNNEranna oNNudhalE

Word-by-Word Meanings

kALam – dark
vaNNam – having colour
vaNdu – beetles
uN – drinking (honey)
thuzhAy – having divine thuLasi
perumAn – being a benefactor
madhusUdhanan – having annihilated the demon, madhu
dhAmOdharan – sarvESvaran who has the (scar of) the rope tied around his stomach (by yaSOdhA pirAtti)
uNdum – swallowed (during deluge)
umizhndhum – spat out (during creation)
kadAya – carried out (protected)
maN – bhUmi (earth)’s
nEr – for the beauty
anna – matching
oN – beautiful
nudhalE – Oh one who has forehead!
paNdum – earlier too
pala pala – different types
vIngu – growing
iruL – darkness
kANdum – we have seen
i – this
pAy – spreading
iruL pOl – like darkness
yAm – we
kaNdum – seen
aRindhum ilam –  have not known
kEtpadhum ilam – have not heard of

Simple Translation

sarvESvaran has the divine thuLasi garland from which dark coloured beetles are drinking honey; he killed the demon madhu and has the [scar of the] rope with which yaSOdhAppirAtti had tied him [when he stole butter during his incarnation as krishNa] on his divine stomach. Oh one who has a beautiful forehead which is as beautiful as the earth which that sarvESvaran swallowed during deluge, spat out during creation and protected! We have seen different types of nights in the past. However, have we seen or heard of or known a night which has spread out as much as this?

vyAkyAnam

paNdum palapala vIngiruL kANdum – In earlier times too, she has spent several nights in distress due to separation from him. AzhwAr says that just as sage mArkaNdEya has seen several deluges, he too has suffered in distress over several nights in the past.

vIngiruL kANdum – we have seen several nights which had extended over a long time.

ippAyiruL . . . – However, we have not seen a night which extended for such a long time as this night. We do not see a place where we can rest in this night as it has pervaded everywhere, just like deluge.  We have not heard that even the daughter of janaka maharAjar (sIthAppirAtti), who had also suffered in separation like us, would have suffered during a night like this. AzhwAr says that he had in the past, as a samsAri, seen and suffered for many nights. Even after attaining knowledge granted by sarvESvaran with causeless mercy, he had suffered for many nights. However, after being showered with distinguished mercy by sarvESvaran, he has not suffered like this ever.

kALa vaNNan – The entity which casued harm for us through this dark coloured night is one which has a dark complexion. Just as it is said in periya thiruvandhAdhi 26 “iruLanna mAmeni” (huge form which is dark), did he not manifest his dark form to make me like this? This darkness ,which is similar to the dark night when he, with a form which is as dark as this, had come in happier times and embraced me, is the reason for my sorrow.

vaNduN thuzhAy – he explains the beauty of the divine form which came through decorations.

madhusUdhanan – he is the one who removes hurdles which come about due to enjoying such beauty, just like he removed the demon madhu.

dhAmOdharan – he is obedient towards those who are happy on seeing him, such that they could even tie him down to a mortar.

uNdum . . . – engaging in activities such as swallowing, spitting etc

maNNEranna – when it is considered that she is an entity to be protected by him, she is like bhUmi (earth). If this pAsuram is considered to have been recited by the nAyaki, the meaning will be – just like bhUmippirAtti was protected by you from being annihilated during deluge, if I have to exist after being caught by this dark night, it will be with your assistance only; if it is to be considered as having been recited by the nAyaki’s friend, the meaning will be – you should understand that he is not one who will see his wealth being destroyed; he is one who will look at with consideration. Just as he had protected bhUmippirAtti from deluge, he will not leave until he protects you too from the sadness of this night.

oNNudhalE – I had cited an example (bhUmi) only to illustrate that you are his wealth. However, will that bhUmi match you? Don’t you alone have the beauty of form which will attract him?

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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