thiruviruththam – 85 – mANikkangoNdu

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avathArikai (Introduction)

This pAsuram reveals the words of the nAyaki who is saddened by the appearance of night. This could also be treated as the words of the nAyaki’s mother who is lamenting the nAyaki’s position.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its words:

mANikkangoNdu kurangu eRivoththu iruLOdu mutti
ANipponnanna sudar padumAlai ulagaLandha
mANikkamE en maradhagamE maRRoppAraiyillA
ANipponnE adiyEn adi Avi adaikkalamE

Word-by-Word Meanings

kurangu – monkey
mANikkam – gem [carbuncle]
koNdu – taking it
eRivu oththu – equivalent to throwing
iruLOdu – with darkness
mutti – getting close
ANipon anna – like a distinguished gold
sudar – radiant sUriyan ([sun]
padum – suffering
mAlai – dusk (appeared)
ulagu – worlds
aLandha – one who seized
mANikkamE – Oh one who is virtuous!
en – being my lord
maradhagamE – one who is invigorating like an emerald gem!
maRRu – over and above
oppArai – those who are equal
illA – ohe who does not have
ANipponnE – Oh one who is like distinguished gold!
adiyEn – this servitor, my
adi – being your servitor
Avi – vital air
adaikkalam – is to be protected (by you)

Simple Translation

Oh one who measured all the worlds! Oh one who is virtuous and is like an invigorating emerald gem to me! Oh one who is like distinguished gold, without anyone being your equal! Just like a monkey threw a carbuncle gem, the dusk time has thrown out sUriyan who is like eminent gold. This AthmA (soul) of mine, your servitor, has to be protected by you.


mANikkam koNdu kurangu eRivoththu – Just like a monkey would throw a gemstone of carbuncle. A monkey, without knowing the great value of a gemstone, throws it out such that it reaches a place where it will be of no use to anyone. Alternatively, being an animal, it throws the gemstone where it cannot be used even by the monkey itself and the gem remains losing its shine.

iruLOdu . . . – coming with darkness. The evening time appeared, destroying sUriyan who is like an incomparable, eminent, reddish gold. Just like the carbuncle gem was destroyed by the monkey, sUriyan was destroyed by darkness.

Instead of merely speaking about evening, she now speaks about sarvESvaran’s great activities.

ulagaLandha mANikkamE – he is one who pushed aside entities such as mahAbali when indhra et al, who think that they are the protectors, withdrew, being unable to fight with such mahAbali. He is an entity who is virtuous, who measured the worlds which are full of forests and mountains.

mANikkamE – he transformed himself though he is priceless and inestimable [for the sake of indhra et al].

en maradhagamE – he is invigorating when embraced.

maRRoppAraiyillA ANipponnE – he is eminent without any simile to compare him with – like distinguished gold.

adiyEn – AzhwAr calls himself as adiyEn [servitor] manifesting his enjoyability [by sarvESvaran].

adiyAvi – If these are the nAyaki’s words, this would refer to the Athmavasthu (her soul) which is subservient to sarvESvaran. It is so much subservient to sarvESvaran that even offering it to him would tantamount to being an act in excess [it belongs to sarvESvaran; hence there is no need even to offer it to him]. It is to be offered as soon as one is bewildered; once offered, it would be so severed from him/her that it would make him/her shrink from thinking “I offered an entity of mine to him”. It will be similar to sthOthra rathnam 53 “athavA kinnu samarppayAmi thE” (What can I offer you?) and thiruvAimozhi 7-9-10 “uRReNNil adhuvum aRRu AngavanRannadhu” (if I wanted to call it as mine, even that Athmavasthu happened to be his). The vyAkyAthA (periyavAchchAn piLLai, commentator for this prabandham) narrates an incident when kUraththAzhwAn was sent by bhagavdh rAmAnujar to thirukkOttiyUr nambi (rAmAnujar’s AchAryan) to find out whether it is gyAthruthvam (being with knowledge about matters relating to sarvESvaran) or SEshathvam (being a servitor of sarvESvaran) which is AthmasvarUpam (the true nature of AthmA). nambi mercifully informed kUraththAzhwAn “Oh my child! Where he should have said ennuLLAn [within me] as in thiruvAimozhi 8-8-2 ‘adiyEnuLLAn udaluLLAn’ (he is within me), he had said adiyEnnuLLAn to signify that it is servitude which is the true identity for AthmA”

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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