thiruviruththam – 96 – vaNangum thuRaigaL

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

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avathArikai (Introduction)

In the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr had submitted the AthmA which belongs to sarvESvaran back to him since he could not match the benefit that sarvESvaran had carried out for him. The benefit that sarvESvaran had done for AzhwAr was that he had stopped the interest in worldly pursuits and created interest in matters related to him, when AzhwAr was unable to seclude himself without speaking about it or could not remain without speaking either (about these two – refraining from worldly pursuits and engaging with matters relating to bhagavAn). In this pAsuram, he says that all the ingredients to attain sarvESvaran are not available here. Since you [refers to sarvESvaran] have given up, does it mean that I too [refers to AzhwAr], who am capable of carrying out your tasks, should give them up? When all the chEthanas [sentient entities] were lying like achEthana entities during the time of deluge, you had granted the qualities which are exclusive to chEthanas and the knowledge to choose between what is to be acquired and what is to be discarded. The reason for granting them this was for them to decide as to what is the end goal for them and how to attain that. However, since that knowledge is common with engaging with worldly pursuits and being firmly rooted in them, due to their association with karmas (deeds, both good and bad) since time immemorial, with that knowledge these chEthanas have been engaging with worldly pursuits. Thus, since you made them engage with worldly pursuits, your situation has become similar to a mother who was unable to prevent her child from falling into the well and was accused of having pushed that child into the well.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

vaNangum thuRai palapalavAkki madhivigaRpAl
piNangum samayangaL palapalavAkki avai avaidhORu
ANangum palapalavAkki nin mUrththi parappi vaiththAy
iNangu ninnOrai illAy ninkaN vEtkai ezhuvippanE

Word-by-Word Meanings

vaNangum – to attain (other deities)
pala pala – many
thuRaigaL – various deities who instruct
Akki – created
madhi vigaRpAl – due to difference in intellect
piNangum – disagreeing
palapala – of many types
samayam – philosophies
Akki – created
avaiyavaidhORu – among all those philosophies
ninmUrththi – as your forms
palapala – of many types
aNangum – deities
Akki – created as being apt to be attained
parappi vaiththAy – you created expansively
iNangu – (with those deities) appearing to be a match
ninnOrai – those who are an equal to you
illAy – Oh, one who doesn’t have!
ninkaN – towards you
vEtkai – desire
ezhuvippanE –  I will create

Simple Translation

You have created many different paths for people to attain their goals; you created many different philosophies due to differences in the levels of intellect and deities, who are all part of your form, for those philosophies. Even though those deities are a part of you, you have none who is equal to you. I will create desire in the minds of samsAris, towards you.


sarvESvaran asked AzhwAr “You are saying that I had pushed these chEthanas in samsAram. What can I do for it?” AzhwAr responds . .

vaNangum thuRai . . . – samsAris have the qualities of rajas (passion) and thamas (ignorance) in them.  When they get an involvement based on these qualities, they would be told to attain the deity which is predominant for those qualities, by instructors who were created by you. The word thuRai refers to sacred water and through that, it refers to celestial entities.

madhi . . . – due to bewilderment in their knowledge as well as differences with one another, when one person enunciates his philosophy, another person takes it as something which opposes his philosophy. You created many such philosophies to cater to such feelings of mistrust and misunderstanding.

avai avai . . . – you created many deities who are spoken of highly in those philosophies.

nin mUrthy parappi vaiththAy – just as you had mentioned in bhagavath gIthA 7-21 “yOyO yAmyAm thanumbhakthyA” (for whatever reasons someone worships whichever deities …), you created many deities who realise their powers from you. Just as the saying goes “paisal kaisunOy mukkaisu” (even the small sufferings of a child are serious diseases), you had created lack of knowledge in these chEthanas, you created those who tell such chEthanas that attaining only lowly deities are apt for them and you also created pAsurams (hymns) in those SAsthras (sacred texts) extolling those deities and you created the deities too.

iNangu ninnOrai illAy – if you create a maze of such philosophies and deities for those philosophies, there is none through whom these could be  avoided. There is none who could stand equalling you, none who is like you. On hearing this, sarvESvaran asked AzhwAr “That may be. What are you going to do now?”

nin kaN vEtkai ezhuvippanE – I will stop these activities of yours which you are carrying out due to your unlimited independence; I will stop them [samsAris] from experiencing the results of their activities which they are indulging in due to the faults in their knowledge; I will make them run towards you with desire, just like me. This has arisen out of AzhwAr getting faultless knowledge even while he was in samsAram.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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