thiruviruththam – 58 – kazhaRalam onRE

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avathArikai (Introduction)

AzhwAr now narrates an incident carried out by sarvESvaran by which the different types of fatigue experienced earlier get negated. He kept his divine feet on the heads of everyone, without discriminating between those who are favourable to him (his followers) and those who are not favourable to him (his enemies). Through this, he said that there is none who he considers as an enemy. AzhwAr mercifully mentions that after doing all these activities, sarvESvaran remained as if he had not done anything.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

kazhaRalam onRE nilam muzhudhAyiRRu oru kazhal pOy
nizhaRara ellA visumbum niRaindhadhu nINda aNdaththu
uzhaRalar gyAnach chudar viLakkAy uyarndhOrai illA
azhaRalar thAmaraikkaNNan ennO ingu aLakkinRadhE

Word-by-Word Meanings

onRu – being single
kazhal thalamE – divine foot itself
nilam muzhudhu – entire earth
AyiRRu – pervaded
oru kazhal – the other divine foot
pOy – growing
nizhal thara – as it gave shade
ellA visumbum – entire sky
niRaindhadhu – pervaded completely
nINda – expansive
aNdaththu – in the oval shaped universe
uzhaRu – roaming fully
alar – blossomed
gyAnam – knowledge
sudar – having radiance
viLakkAy – being self illuminating like a lamp
uyarndhOrai illA – not having anyone superior
azhaRu – in mud
alar – blossomed
thAmarai – like a lotus
kaNNan – sarvESvaran who has divine eyes
ingu – at this place
aLakkinRadhu – measuring
ennO – what is it?

Simple Translation

One divine foot measured such that the entire world came under it. The other divine foot grew, went up the sky such that it pervaded all the words above and gave shadow to the ones below. What is krishNa, who keeps roaming all over the universe, who has a radiant, self-illuminating knowledge and who has eyes which are like lotus flowers which have blossomed in slush, measuring in my case?


kazhaRalamonRE nilamuzhudAyiRRu – as soon as a drop of water [from mahAbali] fell on [sarvESvaran’s] divine hand, one divine foot spread out such that the entire earth came under it. kazhaRalam – kazhal thalam (foot)

onRE –  without waiting for his thoughts on what is to be done, the foot, on its own, spread out fully [and measured the earth].

oru kazhal . . . – the other divine foot

nizhaRara ellA visumbum niRaindhadhu – even as it entered its domain, with the confidence that he is there, it gave shade so that everyone can get under it; spread out everywhere.

nizhaRara – nizhal thara; to provide shade. Just as a flood would flow towards low lying regions, it [the divine foot] went to all open spaces and pervaded. vAsudhEva tharuchchAyA – shade of the tree vAsudhEvan (sarvESvaran). It became the shade of one tree which had pervaded everywhere. nAthiSIthA . . . – it will not be too cold; it will not be too warm; it will not allow the huge fire, naragam, hell, to come near. sAkimartham nasEvyathE – even if another shade which is an exact match for this is seen, is it proper to take shelter under the other shade? Could one say that this shade is not good? periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 5-3-4 “thirumAlirunjOlai endhAy un pAdha nizhalallAl maRROr iruppidam nAn engum kANginRilEn” (Oh the lord of thirumAlirum sOlai! Other than the shade of your divine foot, I do not see any shade elsewhere) – since you are the protector of your followers and eliminator of the enemies of your followers, I have not seen a shade where I could take refuge other than the shade of your divine feet.

The vyAkyAthA explains in detail, two SlOkams from SrI rAmAyaNam kishkindhA kANdam 15-19 and 15-20 to explain how sarvESvaran’s divine feet provide comforting shade and are the only refuge for all.  thArA tells vAli that she has heard from angadhan (their son) who had gone to play in the forest, that sugrIva has got some apt companions; on being questioned, angadhan had told her that it is perumAL who has come to sugrIva, along with his brother and that perumAL has given refuge to sugrIva. vAli asks her “Will he not give us refuge?” to which she recites SlOkam 15-19 “nivAsa vruksha: sAdhUnAm ApannAnAm parA gathi: | ArthAnAm samSraya: chaiva yaSasa: cha Eka bhAjanam ||”

nivAsa vrukshassAdhUnAm: thArA tells vAli “He [SrI rAma] is like a shade for those who desire to take refuge under him. He offers to others flowers, fruits, shade etc while taking sunlight on himself. For those who stand under his shade and wish to utilise him for gaining materials, he has the quality of offering even himself. vAli asks her “I have not caused any harm to him. Is there any objection in standing under his shade?” thArA replies . . .

ApannAnAm – it is not sufficient to think that we will take refuge under him. We should be under the grip of difficulties. vAli responds “But we are in difficult condition only. The brother born with me is himself my enemy” thArA responds, saying . . .

ArthAnAm – “It is not enough if we are in difficulties. We should also think that we need a refuge” vAli tells her “If SrI rAma is the refuge for sugrIva, we will find out another who will be our refuge” thArA tells him . . .

yaSasachchaikabhAjanam: “He is the only refuge. There is none like him”

The vyAkyAthA cites the reference of bhagavath gIthA 7-16 “Artha jigyAsu arthArthI gyAnI . . ” – one who is craving, one who is looking for knowledge, one who desires wealth and one who knows me – there are four types of people in the world. In the SrI rAmAyaNa SlOkam cited above, the term sAdhUnAm would refer to gyAni (as given above), the term ApannAnAm would refer to kaivalyArthi (one who wishes to enjoy his own AthmA) and the term ArthAnAm would refer to both types of arthArthi (one who is looking for lost wealth and one who is looking for wealth for the first time). The vyAkyAthA raises a query: Would the words of a lady (thArA) have such deep meaning? He answers this himself quoting SrI rAmAyaNam bAlakANdam 4-6 SlOkam “vEdhO’pabruhmaNArthAya” (capable of explaining the meanings of vEdhas (sacred texts)) Since SrI rAmAyaNam is capable of explaining the meanings of vEdhas, every word in it has deep meanings. bhagavath gIthA 7-17 “Eka bhakthir viSishyathE” (since he is deeply devoted to me, he attains eminence). Such a devotee is very much attached to me and I am attached to him, says krishNa. One should detest samsAram (life in the materialistic world) and break all ties with prakruthi (repeated cycle of birth and death). This holds true for AthmaprApthikAman (one who desires to attain sarvESvaran) and then to the one who is looking for lost wealth. This is true of the one who wishes to have wealth, for the first time, too.

nINda . . . – due to the reason of desiring to pervade the entire expansive universe, one who has a splendorous, well grown knowledge. He considered keeping his divine foot on the heads of all people as his benefit. The happiness which he obtained due to that act made his entire form to blossom.

uyarndhOrai illA – Since all the entities including brahmA were held under the divine feet, there was none to say “I” [he doesn’t have anyone superior to him].

azhaRalar thAmaraikkaNNan – one who has his divine eyes similar to blossomed lotus flowers standing in slush. Just as chAndOgya upanishath 1-6-7 says “thasya yathA kapyAsam puNdarIkam Evam akshiNI ” (having reddish eyes similar to inverted lotus flower)

ennO ingu aLakkinRadhE – We could not see the joy of having measured. There should be a time interval for saying that he measured. Even that time interval was not seen. Since he stood in the same place, can we say that he measured? Only if a step has been moved after keeping one step could it be said that something has been measured. Thus, none saw him measuring. Alternatively, it could be said that even as he kept his divine foot on the heads of everyone, without any reason, he stood as if he had done nothing. AzhwAr feels exhilarated in his divine mind, thinking as to what he cannot do.

ennO ingu aLakkinRadhE – Will anyone measure if the entity to be measured is extremely small and the entity, which is measuring it, is too large? Thus, the opinion here is that since the people to be protected are very small, he stood as if he has nothing to do.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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