thirunedunthANdakam – 20

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In the previous pAsuram, by ‘poruvaRRAL’ it showed that the daughter became one who is not heeding her mother’s words. If restrictions are lifted in a village, then it would be busy with farm related activities such as harvesting, ploughing etc. Likewise, after the restriction, that is the mother, was lifted, she too is lecturing everyone openly about how emperumAn is a protector of all. So other than saying ‘She is the most blessed’, the mother says “Is there anything equivalent to her that can serve as comparison?” Helping His queen (seethAp pirAtti), helping His grandson (anirudhDhan), helping those who are in need of protection, protecting out of His kindness those who did not even seek His help, even setting His divine feet on those who were not having any interest in Him (as He grew in thiruvikrama avathAram) – these are the matters the daughter was talking about aloud.

In the first ten pAsurams – Being in his own state (as AzhvAr), he longed to enjoy thirukkOvalUr, and since his own place did not happen to be thirukkOvalUr , and since He did not show up even after calling Him, then saying “mandhiraththai mandhiraththAl maRavAdhu enRum vAzhudhiyEl, vAzhalAm mada nenjamE [thirunedunthANdakam – 4]”, trying to enjoy Him for the sake of spending time, but not getting that joy she thought that may be He did not show up thinking that I used it as a means for getting Him, and so in ‘pon AnAy [thirunedunthANdakam – 4]he made Him understand that he does not use something else as a means, but consider only Him as the means.

In this set of next ten pAsurams – those who came to inquire thought that her longing for Him is being used as a means to get Him; to them who were in the state of the mother, he ends this set of pAsurams by removing their doubts, explaining to them that he considers as means only emperumAn who voluntarily accepts us without expecting any qualification from us. By this what is shown is – for those who surrendered to Him by considering Him as one who accepts us voluntarily, it is the attributes and actions of emperumAn that are the matter of consideration for them till the end of their life.

thErALum vALarakkan selvam mALath
thennilangai munmalangach chendheeyolgi
pOrALan AyirandhOL vANan mALap
porukadalai araN kadandhu pukku mikka
pArALan pAridandhu pAraiyuNdu
pArumizhndhu pAraLandhu pArai ANda
pErALan pErOdhum peNNai maNmEl
perundhavaththaL enRallAl pEsalAmE 20

Word by word meaning

mun – Once upon a time

thEr Alum vAL arakkan – for rAvaNan who is a chariot warrior and an able fighter of sword,

selvam mALa – to lose all his wealth, and

then ilangai malanga – (his) beautiful lankA to be disturbed,

sem thee olgi – (emperumAn) burned it with fire that is red

(not only that),

vANan – (for) bANAsuran

pOr ALan – who is having the nature of waging war

Ayiram thOL – and having thousand shoulders

mALa – to be defeated,

poru kadal araNai kadandhu – (emperumAn) crossing the fort that is like an ocean with strong waves

pukku – entering bANapuram

mikka – (emperumAn who is) having in excess the lakshmi for victory,

pArALan – and is the ruler of the earth and

pAr idandhu – who pried and lifted up the earth (in varAha avathAram),

pArai uNdu – and kept the earth in His divine stomach (during praLayam (annihilation of the world)),

pAr umizhndhu – then letting out the earth

(so in these several ways)

pArai ANda – rules the world and protects it,

pEr ALan – that is the glorious emperumAn;

peNNai – This girl

Odhum – reciting without break

pEr – His divine names,

maN mEL – in this world

perum thavaththaL enRu allAl pEsalAmE? – can only say that she is having real blessing; is it possible to say by any other way?


thErALum etc. – Saying about His greatness now because – to show emperumAn’s supremacy of destroying rAvaNan without effort. thEr – chariot – It also stands to indicate the strength of rAvaNan’s army of all four types like horse, elephant, etc. Since it is the ability to manage in a chariot that is said primarily when describing someone’s strength by saying athi-rathar, mahA-rathar, it indicates all types of army through the mention of chariot. Saying just ‘thErALum’ and not mentioning the number of chariots that he owns, is to show that anything that is called a chariot is ruled by him.

vALarakkan – He is a warrior who can handle on his own, and his assembling these four types of armies is only to show that it is the ways of kings. If he starts and comes with a sword in his hand, indhiran and others would run away showing their back – such is his unique valor.

arakkan selvam – thiruvadi madhiththa aiSvaryam” – his prosperity was respected by even thiruvadi (hanUman) – such was the state of his wealth. As said in “yadhya-DharmO na balavAn syAth [Sri rAmAyaNam – sundhara kANdam – 49-18]” (rAvaNan’s palace was filled everywhere with the sound of recital of vEdhas, and with fumes from sacrificial fires. hanuman seeing all these for the first time, thought that) if rAvaNan did not have the evil acts, then he would be capable of protecting not just the giants of his kingdom but even indiran the king of the world of dhEvas) – such were the words of thiruvadi.

mALa – (such prosperity) to be destroyed that even their dead bodies could not be seen.

then ilangai – by ‘then’ it implies lanka having beautiful protection. Good characteristic of a protection is – being very difficult to reach. That is, lankA that is under full control. It is surrounded by the ocean, then by country-side, then by the mountains, and above that – the walls and pavements. Even a pregnant woman could win the enemies (if she is present/ruling from such place).

mun malanga — mun – in front of the eyes of seethAp pirAtti. Even while he was alive, his people having tears in their eyes due to losing their prosperity, like saying seven people having to wear alternately only one set of clothes. All the suffering of the world in his hands, lankA went through the same suffering in front of her eyes.

sen thee olgi – Lighting the fire. Sending just one person to enter such lankA and turning it into ashes.

sen thee – (red fire) – fire that was being a servant of rAvaNan and not getting enough food and so its body had turned white (due to lack of food), now with the help of thiruvadi’s tail got back its colour and got saturated of excess food. Or, as said in “dheeptha pAvaka samkASai: [SrI rAmAyaNam – yudhDha kANdam – 16-2 ] (vibheeshNAzhvAn said to rAvaNan – I don’t wish to see you getting killed by rAmA with His arrows that are like gathering fire, sharp, and decorated by gold), chakravarththi thirumagan destroyed lankA by the fire from arrows.

(This second explanation matches the words of this pAsuram that SrI rAmA burned lanka). But then why say that thiruvadi burned lankA (the first explanation) – if emperumAn’s discus destroys someone, would it not imply that emperumAn destroyed it, is the meaning. It is said as “yaThA rAGhava nir-muktha: Sara: [SrI rAmAyaNam – sundhara kANdam – 1-38]” (Like how the arrow sent by SrI rAma would go so fast, I too would go fast and reach lankA that is protected by rAvaNan), said thiruvadi, comparing himself as that arrow.

(now it talks about bANAsuran’s story)

pOrALan – involved in going to wars from the time of birth. Since he did not get a matching enemy that would give a tough fight matching the strength of his shoulders, he went to rudhran to whom he has surrendered as his shelter, and said “BhArAya mama kim Bhujai: [vishNu purANam – 5-33-2]” that is, “What is the use of me going about with these strong shoulders? Please show me an enemy that matches my strength”.

Reason for that is –

Ayiram thOL – because of having thousand shoulders.

Ayiram thOL – As said in “yau thathpUjAkarau karau [vishNu Dharmam 1-13]” (… arms that are used for praying emperumAn, are the arms of any use), and “kai ulagam thAy avanai alladhu thAm thozhA [mudhal thiruvanthAdhi – 11]”, having arms is for doing anjali to the lord that is emperumAn. He (AzhvAr) is saying, he is not using even two of his arms for doing anjali to emperumAn. Even if he did anjali one time (with his 500 pairs of arms), it would be like five-hundred anjali. Instead all these faculties are the basis for troubling others!, says she.

What is the reason for his being so –

vANan – because he is villain.

mALa – emperumAn cut the richness of his thousand shoulders (leaving just two), and destroyed his valour. For a warrior, destruction of life is preferred, than destruction of his valour. (So it is like killing him if one kills his valour. So AzhvAr is using the word ‘mALa’ – to die).

mALa – Since she (the daughter) knows about the greatness of valour, she thinks that after this happened, his being alive is like a dead body present.

poru kadalai araN kadandhu pukku – Going and entering bANapuram that is having the protection which is the sea having dense waves that makes it impossible for enemies to get near it. Or having the waves that seem to fight with each other. This phrase could be read with previous phrase related to the sea around lankA.

mikka – emperumAn being full of wealth of valour. Being full of victory and also valour. It is talking about the valour that kept growing as the enemies kept losing – be it rudhran, or those in his army, or bANan.

pArALan – Being the controller of earth as he destroyed bANan who was a liability to the earth.

pAridandhu – Not only did He protect bhUdhEvi when she was set in proper place while having bANan in it, but he also protected as a varAha avatharam when She was immersed in the lower world of pAthAlam. Instead of protecting without any change in His state of supremacy by just His divine wish, He lowered His stature undergoing a change of form that was a suitable form as a boar, and lifted bhUdhEvi out of the abyss. Previously by ‘pArALan’ it talked about protecting and ruling SrI bhUmi pirAtti. So by both these phrases, it talks about protecting SrI bhUmi pirAtti.

pArai uNdu – As the annihilation was about to destroy earth, He used that as a reason to keep the earth inside his stomach and protected it.

pAr umizhndhu – Even while there was no danger that needed protection, He created the earth back due to His kindness.

pAr aLandhu – when the people on earth were not only not requesting any protection, but were ignoring Him, seeing that their behaviour of feeling independent from Him, and being subservient to some others, and thus losing their true nature, He used the reason of His relationship with them, to keep His divine feet on their head and let them know about His supremacy over them.

pArai ANda – protecting the earth in these ways. Instead of saying (like nammAzhvAr) “padaiththu idandhu uNdu umizhndhu aLandhu [thiruvAsiriyam – 6]”, (thirumangai AzhvAr) including ‘pAr’ in each of these cases is due to his excess interest in these stories of emperumAn.

pErALan – (~ruler of divine names) – Him having innumerable divine names that show His attributes and acts that are the reasons for Him protecting. For parakAla nAyaki too, it is based on His attributes and acts that give her association to His names.

pErOdhum peNNai – parakAla nAyaki who can talk about His innumerable names without a break; she who can immerse in the experience of His divine names and acts, for spending time. (is it appropriate to treat such a girl as different from nithyasUris),

maN mEl etc.She got separated from nithyasUris (and came to earth) – is it possible to talk about her in any other way? Is it possible to talk about her in any other way than saying that she is having behaviour like nithyasUris?

perum thavaththar – this phrase refers to those in paramapadham. Only if we would consider the interaction of nithyasUris with emperumAn as means for attaining Him, would we have to consider her acts due to separation as means to attain Him. It is not gainful for us to even do the smallest act of cutting a small particle by considering that act as a means to attain Him. When it is based on spending the time in His thoughts, then there is no place for doing something else even for a moment.

maN mEl perunthavaththaL – Is it possible to consider her as one among nithyasUris? (she is not living in the place of nithyasUris, but living here she behaves like nithyasUris, continuously thinking and talking about Him). This phrase also means – is it possible to consider her as just an equal to nithyasUris? She is above them. It is as said in “viNNuLArilum seeriyarE [thiruviruththam – 79]” (greater than those in paramapadham).

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Translation by raghurAm SrInivAsa dhAsan.

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