thiruviruththam – 53 – vArAyina mulaiyAL

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avathArikai (Introduction)

Though the friend had said that it is not the rainy season, in the previous pAsuram, it was raining steadily like a true rainy season. Since the nAyakan who had promised to return before the rains had not returned, the nAyaki fell down unconsciously. Her relatives who had seen this were bewildered, not knowing the reason for her behaviour. They thought that this must be the act of a lowly deity and started engaging in activities to remedy the situation. An old, knowledgeable woman, who was passing that way and who knew her real condition, told them “The remedies which you are trying to carry out will not revive her. Carry out the remedy which I am going to tell you”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

vArAyina mulaiyALivaL vAnOr thalaimaganAm
sIrAyina dheyva nal nOy idhu dheyvaththaNNandhuzhAyth
thArAyinum thazhaiyAyinum thaNkombadhAyinum kIzh
vErAyinum ninRa maNNAyinum koNdu vIsuminE

Word-by-Word Meanings

ivaL – this nAyaki
vAr Ayina – apt bodice with which to tie
mulayAL – having bosom
idhu – this disease
vAnOr – for nithyasUris
thalaimaganAm – being the lord
sIr Ayina – having auspicious qualities
dheyvam – caused due to the deity
nal – distinguished
nOy – resulted as disease
dheyvam – being related to that deity, SrIman nArAyaNan
thaN – being cool
am – being beautiful
thuzhAy – divine thuLasi’s
thAr Ayinum – whether it is a bunch of flowers
thazhaiyAyinum – whether it is the petals
thaN – cool
kombadhAyinum – whether it is the stem
kIzh – seen below it
vEr Ayinum – whether it is the root
ninRa –  from which that divine thuLasi plant sprouted
maNNAyium – whether it is the soil
koNdu – bringing that
vIsumin – blow it such that the wind from that [object] falls on her

Simple Translation

The nAyaki’s bosoms are apt to be tied with a bodice. The disease that she has is a distinguished one, caused by SrIman nArAyaNan, the lord of nithyasUris and the one who has auspicious qualities. Obtain the cool, beautiful flower of thuLasi plant or its petals or its stem or its root or the soil from which the plant sprouted and blow it on her such that the wind from that falls on her.


vArAyina mulayAL ivaL – she is not in a position to accept the harsh remedies which you are carrying out towards a lowly deity. Isn’t her position such that without wasting time, you have to carry out a remedy immediately?

vArAyina mulayAL ivaL – bosom tied by a bodice; bosom sustained by a bodice. Her bosom could be sustained either by a bodice or by the nAyakan; it cannot be sustained by her. The vyAkyAthA explains a few verses from thirumangai AzhWar’s periya thirumadal “ennivai thAn vALA enakkE poRaiyAgi” (what is the use of these bosoms? They have become an unwanted load for me) starting with the verse

kal navilum kAttagaththu – in the forest which is full of stones

Or vallik kadi malarin – in a fragrant flower on a creeper

nal naRu vAsam – with great fragrance

maRRArAnum eydhAmE – without anyone enjoying that fragrance

mannum vaRu nilaththu vALAnguguththadhu pOl – withering on the ground from which it blossomed, without being of use to anyone; similar to that

ennudaiya peNmaiyum ennalanum enmulaiyum – my femininity, my qualities and my bosoms are [wasted] like those creeper, flowers and fragrance respectively.

mannu malar mangai maindhan – sarvESvaran who has been attained by periya pirAtti, who resides on a flower

kaNapuraththup ponmalai pOl ninRavan than – sarvESvaran should come to thirukkaNNapuram, instead of being in SrIvaikuNtam, along with periya pirAtti

ponnagalam thOyAvEl – if I am not embraced by his valorous chest and if my distress is not removed

ennivaidhAn vALA – should there not be a purpose for their [bosoms’] creation?

enakkE poRaiyAgi – when two people are required to sustain them, what is the purpose in my sustaining them alone? They become unbearable for me. Had they been on my back, I would not have to see them losing their beauty.

mUvAmaik kAppadhOr marundhu aRivIr illaiyE – there is none who can give a remedy to prevent them from aging and losing their beauty.

parASara bhattar, on hearing this, said “He is asking whether there is no AndharALikar in this land” (AndharALikar is one who is an intermediary, helping the nAyakan and the nAyaki in sorting out their love-quarrel. nanjIyar would say that piLLai thirunaRaiyUr araiyar and others who were listening to this explanation by bhattar would praise bhattar’s sharpness for four to five nAzhigais (about two hours), without speaking about any other subject. piLLai thirunaRaiyUr araiyar thought that when he is much older than bhattar and has more knowledge too, others may wonder whether it is apt to praise parASara bhattar like this. Hence he said “Oh child, earlier too AchAryars (teachers) have praised their Sishyars (disciples). In the thirunedundhANdagam pAsuram 14 vaLarththadhanAl payan peRREn for which you gave certain explanations, the nAyaki had nurtured a parrot, taught it the divine names  of emperumAn; when the parrot recited those divine names, did she not fall at its feet?” bhattar told him “Oh swAmy! You could praise me by keeping me in whatever position that you desire; but please do not deny us the opportunity of having you in our midst and enjoying your presence”.

The vyAkyAthA narrates another incident to show how sarvESvaran becomes elated when someone who is totally devoted to him is praised. Once emperumAnAr (rAmAnujar) was sitting near a punnai tree close to chandhira pushkaraNi inside SrIrangam temple. thirvarangan [SrI ranganAthan] had mercifully reached that place as a part of temple festivity. A few people who came there fell at the divine feet of emperumAnAr and worshipped him. An officer of the kingdom, udaiyAr subrahmaNya  bhattar, saw this incident. Given below is the conversation between this officer and emperumAnAr:

He asked emperumAnAr “I want to ask you a question. Can I?”

“What is it?”

“In the presence of SrI ranganAthar, a few persons fell at your feet. They were ignorant. But I did not hear you telling them not to do that. Why is it?”

“Others may ask this question. But your asking this question is not apt”

“What is the difference between others and me?”

“Are you not one who is carrying out service to the King? When someone comes to the court of the King to ask for some help, you would have seen him taking the sandals of the King and keeping them on his head. Would the sandals tell that man ‘Do not keep us on your head’? Is that man truly celebrating the sandals? No. Even if he praises the sandals, are they capable of helping that man? However, doesn’t the King, who is seeing this, feel happy and help the man?” [In the same way, SrI ranganAthan feels happy and helps the people who had fallen at emperumAnAr’s feet].

vArAyina mulayAL ivaL – her bosoms are such that the bodice, through its connection with them, realises its true nature. Even the nAyakan realises his nature through embracing them. The nAyaki too cannot sustain herself without him, just as it has been mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 6-10-10 “agalagillEn iRaiyum” (I cannot leave even for a moment) and in Sri rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 53-31 “na cha sIthA thvayA hinA” ((lakshmaNa tells SrI rAma) sithAppirAtti will not survive without you).

It is due to the connection between the cause of her disease [sarvESvaran] and her disease that AzhwAr says vAnOr thalaimaganAm sIrAyina.

sIr Ayina – widespread disease. It is such a rare disease that no one could say that (s)he will be able to cure her from the disease.

dheyva nOy – it is a disease which has not been caused by any entity in this world.

nal nOy – a disease which one has to accept by even making lot of efforts. Alternatively, a disease caused by the supreme entity who is the lord of nithyasUris, due to his greatness and auspicious qualities.

dheyvaththaNNandhuzhAy . . . – make sure that you find a remedy such that it is aligned with your nature as well as the nature of the disease which is afflicting her. Just as it is said “dhEvathAnthara katAksha kauleenA:” (grace from other dhEvathAs (deities) will create major fault for the clan), do not approach other deities.

dheyvam . . . – try to save her by bringing a material which, through its contact with the supreme entity, has his true nature, such as the leaves of thuLasi, or its stem or its root or the soil from which the thuLasi plant sprouted. With other medicines (obtained through the grace of other deities), only harm will result while medicines which are connected with sarvESvaran, even if they are far removed from sarvESvaran, will be the apt remedy. Just as it has been mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 3-7-9 “endhai pirAn thanakku adiyAr adiyAr tham adiyAr adiyAr….” it is enough if someone has direct contact with sarvESvaran or contact through several of his followers in a lineage. That alone will do.

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): This pAsuram brings out AzhwAr’s belief that contact with other deities will be the cause of destruction of one’s existence and contact with any material which has even a remote connection with sarvESvaran will be the cause for one’s existence

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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