thiruviruththam – 56 – viyalidam uNda

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avathArikai (Introduction)

The nAyakan, after being united with the nAyaki for some time, separated from her. The nAyaki’s friend realised that there was a delay in his returning and that the nAyaki was in distress because of that. The friend thought “Her sadness due to the separation is so harsh; there is no sign of his returning; she will decide that there is no reason for her to be alive anymore. Thus, will we lose her?” The nAyaki realised her friend’s predicament. At that time, by chance, the nAyaki felt that there was a connection with a material which had a connection with him. She tells her friend “Without your knowledge, a connection happened just now, with him. Hence, you do not have to feat about my position”. She narrates the connection that she got, to her friend.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

viyalidam uNda pirAnAr viduththa thiruvaruLAl
uyalidam peRRu uyndham anjalam thOzhi Or thaN thenRal vandhu
ayalidai yArum aRindhilar am pUndhuzhAyin in thEn
puyaludai nIrmaiyinAl thadaviRRu en pulan kalanE

Word-by-Word Meanings

am – beautiful
thOzhi – Oh friend!
viyal – amazing
idam – earth
uNda – one who ate
pirAnAr – sarvESvaran, the benefactor
viduththa – gave
thiru – praiseworthy
aruLAl – due to mercy
uyal – for being uplifted
idam peRRu – getting an opportunity
uyndham – we got our lives back
anjal – do not fear
Or – being unique
thaN – cool
thenRal – southern wind
vandhu – coming and blowing gently
am – beautiful
pU – having flowers
thuzhAyin – available in divine thuLasi
in – enjoyable
thEn – honey
puyaludai – cloud’s
nIrmaiyinAl – due to its nature
en – my
pulan – senses
kalan – ornaments
thadaviRRu – touched
ayalidai yArum – none in the vicinity
aRindhilar – knew (it)

Simple Translation

(The nAyaki tells her friend)

Oh beautiful friend! Due to a distinguished merciful act of sarvESvaran who is the benefactor of this amazing earth, I got an opportunity to uplift myself and live. Do not fear. The cool, southerly breeze, carrying honey from the flowers of divine thuLasi, and with the nature of clouds, came here and blew gently on my senses and my ornaments. None here knew it.


The friend told nAyaki “If we have to get his mercy just as bhUmi (earth) had got, we should have something with us [which he likes]. But we do not know as to what it is” …

viyal idam uNda – whatever the earth had during deluge, we have with us now, says the nAyaki. It is enough if he thinks that we are in danger. This is the only requirement which he expects from us. During the time of deluge, he had kept earth inside his stomach and protected it. Did earth have any other recompense with her to receive his help? Whatever distressed condition that the earth was in then, is seen in the nAyaki too now.

pirAnAr – he has only the quality of bestowing benefit [to others]. All that is required of the recipient to receive his mercy is to be an apt entity for that. He does not offer a help, expecting anything in return.

The vyAkyAthA narrates an incident from the life of emperumAnAr (bhagavath rAmAnujar). Some SrIvaishNavas came to offer their obeisance to emperumAnAr at the place where he had mercifully come. After falling at his divine feet, they asked him “What should we think of as our refuge if we have to come out of this ocean of samsAram and reach its shore?” vangipuraththu nambi, one of rAmAnujar’s disciples, told them to think of the words of kshathrabandhu, just as it has been mentioned in vishNu dharmam SlOkam 98-35 “mUdOyam alpamathi alpaviSEshtithOyam kalishtAm manOsya vinayair namayi prasangi | iththam krupAm kuru mayi praNathE klESa thvAm sthOthum ambuja bhavOpi hi dhEvanESa || ” (Oh the lord of everyone and everything! I have a lowly knowledge, indulging in only lowly activities; this mind of mine is looking for wrongful activities alone. My mind is refusing to obey me. Hence, you have to help me who is coming to you for help. Even nAnmukhan (brahmA) does not have the knowledge to worship you completely). emperumAnAr, after listening to this, said “It is a difficult condition to attain. The word praNathE (for me who is worshipping you) indicates that only the one who thinks that he is nirmama (nothing belongs to me) should fall at the divine feet of the omniscient sarvESvaran. If we think that we attain a benefit only by carrying out some activity, engaging in that activity will create a sorrow in us and will prevent us from getting that benefit. If we think that we have a qualification with us, that qualification will only stop him from bestowing a benefit on us without any reason. That qualification will not be the means to receive his mercy. Even though we should necessarily have the thought ‘you should be our means’ even that thought should come only from him. Even if one gets to the stage of paramabhakthi (attaining sarvESvaran), that paramabhakthi will only end in his getting the taste to enjoy sarvESvaran, but it will not, on its own, have the capability to grant him what he desires”. The SrIvaishNavas then asked emperumAnAr “What else should we think of as our refuge?” He responded, saying “Only the words of kALiyan are apt to be considered as our refuge” [kALiyan is a snake who had troubled the herd and herdsfolk at SrI gOkulam by remaining in the river yamunA]. His prayer to krishNa, who had come to drive him away from yamunA is seen in SrI vishNu purANam SlOkam 5-7-10 “sOham thE dhEva dhEvESa nArchanAthau sthuthau na cha | sAmArthyavAn krupAmAthra manOvruththi prasIdhamE || ” (Oh the lord of dhEvathAs! I am incapable of praising or worshipping you. For such a person like me, you should yourself shower your mercy; your divine mind should feel happy and show mercy on me). This SlOkam is explained in detail here, by the vyAkyAthA:

sOham – I, who had coiled myself around your divine form and indulged in activities which are not to your liking and had not freed myself from such activities; such a lowly person

dhEva dhEvEsa: your quality is such that not indulging in activities which are not to your liking alone is sufficient to qualify for your mercy. You consider our saying the words “You should shower your mercy” as “renouncing the undesired”. Just as it has been mentioned in periya thirumozhi 5-6-4 “nanju sOrvadhOr venjina aravam veruvi vandhu nin Saran enach charaNA …” (the snake sumukhan which spits poison and which is fiery and angry, out of fear for garuda, took refuge under you saying “I am surrendering to you”) Though its anger was against it, since it surrendered by merely saying the words “SaraNam” it was granted that. veruvi vandhu – it came running to him out of fear [of garuda]. The fear towards its enemy alone was with the snake

nArchanAthau sthuthaunacha sAmArthyavAn – [kAliyan tells krishNa] I am capable of doing everything for myself but incapable if I have to do even a little bit for you [that is my nature]. You are such that you do not expect anything for yourself, from me; I am without any strength to do anything. krishNa tells kALiyan “If you are capable of doing anything for yourself and incapable of doing anything for me, what is it that you want me to do?”

krupA mAthra manOvruththi – You should show your mercy on me, says kALiyan. krishNa tells him “For that you need remorse” kALiyan responds saying “But I do  not have even that remorse. Whatever you want to do for me with my feeling of remorse, you should do with your mercy itself” vyAkyAthA cites the reference from SrIrangarAjasthavam 2-97 “balibhujiSiSupAlE” (kAkAsuran and SiSupAlan) [kAkAsuran was indhra’s son who took the form of a crow in order to trouble sIthAppirAtti when she was with SrI rAma in the forest and SiSupAlan was krishNa’s cousin, who poured scorn on krishNa all the time]. Just as it is mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 38-34 “sa tham nipathitham” (that crow fell on earth and sought refuge) the crow experienced sorrow and sought refuge by falling on the earth. SiSupAlan kept reciting your names [though his intention was to abuse krishNa, that he recited the names was sufficient] to get recognised by krishNa. kALiyan continues “Your mercy was refused for them because of the initial lowly thoughts that they had. However, since no such fault can be ascribed to me, your mercy can get manifested beautifully”.

viduththa thiruvaruLAl – through the mercy showered by him; without expecting anything from us, treating our benefit as his own, and showering his mercy.

viduththa – allowed to come; given

uyalidam peRRu uyndham – the friend thought “She has no scope to live; I will not be able to see her alive”. The nAyaki tells the friend “An opportunity arose for my being uplifted. Instead of waiting for it to happen, we got it immediately and got our lives back”. Since the friend had known the nAyakan too, she had thought that she had lost both of them. Now, everyone has got uplifted.

anjal – do not fear

am thOzhiyou are the person who considers my benefit as yours. We are similar to the friendship between SrI rAma and sugrIva as mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam kishkindhA kANdam 5-17 “Ekam dhu:kham sukham cha nau” (our mirth and misery are one). Is it not enough to say thOzhi (friend)? Why address her as am thOzhi (beautiful friend)? Some people would look for same benefits in both theirs and their friends’. However, this friend is such that she does not look for any benefit for herself. She considers whatever benefit that the nAyaki gets as her own. This is why she is addressed as am thOzhi. SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 18-16 says “suhrudhO vA bhavadhvidhA:” – SrI rAma tells sugrIva “Not all friends are like you”. SrI rAma further tells sugrIva “As soon as you saw me, you considered your elder brother [vAli] as your enemy, you had more confidence in me than in your brother and you tried to get answers to your confidential problems too. Such was your friendship with me” The nAyaki tells her friend “You considered my benefit as yours and my loss as yours; you were fearful of my loss; now, you do not have to fear”

Or thaN thenRal vandhu – earlier, the southern breeze was causing me harm; now a cool southern breeze came, tells the nAyaki. Breeze will be cool only when united; the nAyaki subtly hints that union did take place. The friend too accepts that and is worried as to what will happen if others around know about it. The nAyaki says . . .

ayalidai yArum aRindhilar – None in our vicinity knew about it.

The friend asks her as to what happened further? . . . .

am pUndhuzhAyin inthEn – the fine drops of honey collected from the flowers of cool, divine thuLasi

puyaludai nIrmaiyinAl – the southerly breeze assumed the quality of the cool clouds. This talks about the help rendered by the breeze when one had not expected it.

thadaviRRu en pulan kalanE – it gently touched all my sensory organs and all my ornaments. It touched my sensory organs as if to satisfy their thirst and the ornaments so that they do not slip out of my limbs. Thus the nAyaki tells her friend as to how the nAyakan united with her.

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): AzhwAr describes that he survived due to the knowledge of sarvESvaran’s auspicious qualities. thaiththirIya upanishath Anandhavalli says Anandham brahmaNO vidhvAn nabibhEthi kuthaSchana – one who knows about the joyfulness of brahmam (sarvESvaran) does not fear anything.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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