Daily Archives: October 17, 2021

periya thirumozhi – 2.5.8 – peNNAgi innamudham

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periya thirumozhi >> Second centum >> Fifth decad

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Highlights from avathArikai (Introduction)

bhattar mercifully explained – sarvESvaran is the one who grants same stature as him for those who surrender unto him; considering this point, to reveal his simplicity, pramANams (scriptures) will highlight greatness of others [other dhEvathAs]; they will also manifest some greatness just as a worm’s movement may end up making a proper letter accidentally; seeing that, the people of the world will become bewildered that these dhEvathAs have certain greatness; thus, as the scriptures are in this manner and the chEthanas (sentient beings) are less intelligent, without realising the essence of these scriptures, people will become drowned in the ocean which is known as in jithanthA sthOthram “samsAra sAgaram” (the ocean of nescience) had it not been for the wet (compassionate) words [of truth] of these AzhwArs.


peNNAgi innamudham vanjiththAnaip piRai eyiRRu anRu adalariyAyp peruginAnaith
thaNNArndha vArpunal sUzh meyyam ennum thadavarai mEl kidandhAnai paNangaL mEvi
eNNAnai eNNiRandha pugazhinAnai ilangoLi sEr aravindham pOnRu nINda
kaNNAnaik kaNNArak kaNdu koNdEn kadipozhil sUzh kadalmallaith thalasayanaththE

Word-by-Word meanings

in – sweet
amudham – nectar (to be not consumed by demons)
peN Agi – assuming a feminine form
vanjiththAnai – one who cheated them
anRu – when prahlAdha was tormented by hiraNya
piRai – resembling a crescent moon
eyiRu – teeth
adal – strong
ariyAy – being narasimha
peruginAnai – one who grew
thaN Arndha – cool
vAr – flowing
punal – by water
sUzh – surrounded by
meyyam ennum – known as thirumeyyam
thada varai mEl – on the huge hill
paNangaL – on thiruvananthAzhwAn
mEvi – firmly
kidandhAnai – one who mercifully reclined
eNNAnai – one who is thought about by everyone
eN iRandha – unlimited
pugazhinAnai – one who is having divine, auspicious qualities
ilangu oLi sEr – having great radiance
aravindham pOnRu – vast like lotus petal
nINda – wide
kaNNAnai – one who is having divine eyes
kaN Ara – to quench the thirst of the eyes
kadi – fragrant
pozhil – by garden
sUzh – surrounded
thalasayanaththu – in sthala sayanam (where he rests on the ground)
kadal mallai – in thirukkadalmallai
kaNdu koNdEn – I got to see

Simple translation

emperumAn assumed a feminine form and cheated the demons by stopping them from consuming the sweet nectar; when prahlAdha was tormented by hiraNya, being strong narasimha with crescent moon like teeth, emperumAn grew; he mercifully reclined on thiruvananthAzhwAn on the huge hill known as thirumeyyam which is surrounded by cool, flowing water; he is thought about by everyone; he is having unlimited, divine, auspicious qualities; he is having wide divine eyes which are vast like greatly radiant lotus petal; I got to see such sarvESvaran to quench the thirst of my eyes, in sthala sayanam in thirukkadalmallai, which is surrounded by fragrant garden.

Highlights from vyAkyAnam (Commentary)

peN Agi … – One who fulfils the tasks of his devotees even by performing actions which don’t match him. One who is known as purusha and purushOththama, assumed a feminine form which does not match him, and cheated saying “this sweet nectar should not be given to demoniac persons”.

piRai … – When the young prahlAdha was tormented by harsh hiraNya, emperumAn having crescent moon like teeth,

adal ariyAy – being narasimha who would expand for battle.

peruginAnai – Had emperumAn not appeared when prahlAdha vowed, he would have considered to have shrunk and become incapable and would have lost his saviourship.

thaN Arndha … – When father et al ceased to be saviour and set to be tormentor, emperumAn thought “we should not leave our devotees at the disposal of such enemies” and mercifully reclined. emperumAn who is the real father mercifully reclined thinking “I sent some as protective fathers who will be caring and will do favours; but when such persons become tormentors, I cannot remain absent there”. One who mercifully reclined on thiruvananthAzhwAn in thirumeyyam which is having rejuvenating, flowing water.

eNNAnai – AzhwAr is speaking about emperumAn mercifully thinking about protecting the world, while reclining on that mattress; alternative explanation – one who is constantly thought as “emperumAn who is constantly cared by nithyasUris has come here and mercifully reclined! What a simplicity!”

eN iRandha pugazhAnai – AzhwAr is saying that there is no limit to his greatness due to constantly thinking about the protection of the world. Alternative explanation – for those who meditate upon his qualities, there are abundant qualities in him which cannot be fully thought about.

ilangu … – His physical beauty is such that, even without his qualities, he cannot be given up. Being very radiant, for blossomed nature etc, lotus can be cited as an example. But lotus will be round in shape. Unlike that, his eyes will be very wide. Alternative explanation – there is unlimited enjoyability in his eyes.

kaN Ara – Just as being filled with badabAmukhAgni (a type of fire), the eyes are withered and longing to see him; to quench the thirst of such eyes, I got to see him. Attaining a distinguished form and seeing him after reaching the special abode of paramapadham, is similar to one person having hunger and another person getting food; I got to see with the eyes that longed to see him. SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 40.3 “gAthrai: SOkAbhi karSithai:” (to see SrI rAma with this same body which suffered in separation).

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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thirunedunthANdakam – 22

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<< previous pAsuram – 21 – maivaNNa narunkunchi


In the previous pAsuram, by “avarai nAm dhEvar enRu anjinOm”, parakAla nAyaki said to her friend “one who is kind was thought by me as a supreme One”. “Her friend asked, Now you are separated from Him, but tell me the story of what happened when He was together with you”. “This is the way He enthralled me and stayed together with me” – she replies in this pAsuram.

Even after showing His beauty and kindness, she did not get charmed by it; so He thought whether He would have to leave from there. But His divine feet did not move. How is it that the One who does not have any needs, is standing because of having no heart to leave, so is standing still, for the one (jeevAthmA) who is always needy? – It is only because He is the owner of this jeevAthmA. The loss if a property leaves, and the gain if the property joins, are that of the owner. Moreover, He is in love with her so He is not able to leave from there. “If I leave after failing to attract her with my beauty, then there won’t be anybody to use this beauty against”, He thought about His beauty. So He did not leave. If a prince of noble clan went to a princess of a noble clan and returned because she did not engage in His beauty, then nobody else would engage in that beauty. It is emperumAn’s thought that it is His beauty that helps Him right from the first step of engaging jeevathmA toward Him through to the step of making that jeevAthmA finally reach Him. Even if His beauty does not help here, His love for jeevathmA would not let Him leave. Since she is His sweet lover, He cannot engage force to get her; so He could not hug her forcefully. It is not enjoyable to hug her without her acceptance.

So He pondered, “I could not attract her by my beauty or my simplicity; nor do i want to use force. So what else is the way?”. When He was as kaNNan in thiruvAyppAdi He had seen that the cowherd girls were attracted to his playing of flute. So He decided that He shall engage her with the sound of His voice. So He sang a song that is set in a melody called “naivaLam”.

When thiruvadi wished to talk to seethAp pirAtti the first time after seeing her in rAvaNan’s place, he thought of several ways to do that without troubling her. That is, “Evam bahuviDhAm chinthAm[SrI rAmAyaNam – sundhara KANdam – 31-1]” (thinking of these many ways). Here, it is emperumAn’s Evam bahuviDhAm chinthAm moment.

I came here to the place where she is alone, for hunting. So there is no one who could stop me singing, by asking ‘Oh who is singing like this’. So this is the only way to engage her”, He thought and sang one melody.

parakAla nAyaki says, “So due to this I got interested in Him very much and was in union with Him. This is what happened”.

It is the usual practice of those who come for hunting, to rest in the shadow under a tree, sprinkle water in the face to remove tiredness, keep a piece of camphor inside the mouth to get relief from thirst, and to sing some melody for tiredness to go. In that manner, He sang a melody – she says so in this pAsuram.

naivaLamonRArAyA nammai nOkkA
nANinAr pOl iRaiyE nayangaL pinnum
seyvaLavil en manamum kaNNum Odi
emperumAn thiruvadik keezh aNaiya ippAl
kaivaLaiyum mEkalaiyum kANEn kaNdEn
kanamakarak kuzhai iraNdum nAngu thOLum
evvaLavuNdu emperumAn kOyil enRErku
idhuvanRO? ezhil Ali enRAr thAmE. 22

Word by word meaning

ArAyA – Singing elaborately

onRu – the very best

naivaLam – melody named naivaLam,

nammai nOkkA – then seeing me

iRaiyE nANinARpOl – while standing near me like He is a bit shy,

pinnum – and even after that,

nayangaL seyvaLavil – when He was singing with humble words in the melody,

en manamum kaNNum – my mind and eyes

Odi – ran (while leaving me)

emperumAn thiru adik keezh aNaiya – and set under the divine feet of emperumAn; as this happened,

ippAl – after that,

kANEn – I lost and have not seen

kai vaLaiyum – the bangles I had worn in my arms,

mEkalaiyum – and the cloth worn in my hip;

kaNdEn – (But ) I saw

kanam makarak kuzhai iraNdum – two strong ear ornaments,

nAngu thOLum – and four divine shoulders;

(after that),

emperumAn kOyil evvaLavu uNdu enRERku – to me who asked Him – how far is the place (from here) of you my majesty,

ezhil Ali idhu anRo enRAr – He pointed to and told that the beautiful divine place thiruvAli is this.


naivaLam – Since this melody would attract the people, this melody “natta pAdai” (nAttai kurinji rAgA) is mentioned here as “naivaLam” based on such nature of it. Meaning obtained from this name naivALam is that it would attract both the singer and the listener and everyone. He sang such a melody. nammAzhvAr too divined as “nudangu kELvi isai [thiruvAimozhi – 3.4.6]”, that is, that those who listen to this melody will get attracted.

onRu – unparalleled. Considering that this melody is the best in attracting when compared to all other types of melodies, and if one is not able to attract using this melody then there is no other way to attract, it is said as unparalleled. When it is not possible to attain Him through karma yOgam or gyAna yOgam, then one could try to attain Him through bhakthi yOgam. If that does not work, then one could attain Him through prapaththi, considering Him as the shelter. If prapaththi also does not yield Him, then there is no other way to attain Him. Like how a devotee does not have a way other than the last one that is prapaththi, He too used the last resort to get her – singing in this rAgA of naivaLam.

ArAyA – He started a prelude (AlApanai) to the song.

nammai nOkkA – After doing the AlApanai for the rAga, He Himself got under its control and forgot Himself. “Now it is impossible for her to not be under my control”, He thought, and so looked at my face. He thought, “It goes without saying that the one that melts a diamond itself, would definitely melt lac wax”. That is, He thought – the melody that attracted me who is a man, would definitely engage this soft-natured woman; and so He looked at my face. She is saying in plural, “nammai” to imply herself only.

nANinAr pOl iRaiyE – Like getting shy a little bit. I melted completely when He started AlApanai for singing, and as He saw my face, I pretended not to be interested, like how rice puff appears with jaggery paste covering it. Seeing that, shyness was born in Him, and He thought – I performed the act of last resort, but it did not get the result; so He became shy. If He becomes fully shy then He would not be able to do anything further. So He pretended to be shy, she says. That is, in order to appear shy, instead of seeing me directly, He saw the garden, then saw on the sides, etc., – she says. All the struggle that a prapannar went through in ‘azhuvan thozhuvan [thiruvAimozhi – 5.8.5]”, He went through regarding one He loves.

pinnum nayangaL seyvaLavil – Even after that, when He sang using humble words;

nayangaL pinnum – Like how my utmost faith is, is how His utmost faith too. Even though the surrender did not yield desired result, one would not be having any other place to go for help; similarly, even after His final effort of attracting by singing did not yield the desired result, He did not leave it, but still continued singing the same melody.

nayangaL – (this word being in plural) there is no count of words expressing (His) humbleness in the song, she says.

ArAyA, nammai nOkkA, nANinAr pOl iRaiyE nayangaL pinnum – when paraphrasing like this, she says to her friend – you could not see His sweet acts, by being with me here.

seyvaLavil – As He sang that song,

en manamum kaNNum Odi – my high-esteem got destroyed fully. I was pretending to be uninterested, but I could not control it. I broke like the ocean breaking (into the shore). Normally it is the mind that goes behind what the eyes see. That norm got broken, she says. Mind went toward Him separately, and my eyes also went to Him separately, she says. One’s senses would be having connection with a person only till he sees HrusheekESan (one who controls senses). Since the senses are tied to the body, (even though AthmA is the controller of the senses) it is based on karmam, and so that control is artificial/temporary. (So when seeing Him who is having natural relationship, the mind and eyes ran to Him).

Odi – (mind and eyes) ran without looking at each other in the back, she says. They ran even without looking at me, she says.

emperumAn thiruvadik keezh aNaiya they ran and reached Him who is naturally related.

emperumAnHe who got me as His servant using the sound of His voice.

thiruvadikkeezh aNaiyaMy self-control was lost beyond the level He expected. He was thinking of hugging me tightly by pressing my bosom to His chest, but I kept his leg in my head, she says. Like how when having control and being in the state of AzhvAr as a male, where he sang “thaLir puraiyum thiruvadi en thalai mElavE [thirunedunthANdakam – 1]”, here too when she has lost her control, it is again the divine feet of His to which she reaches out (Note: This is given in periyavAchchAn piLLai vyAkhyAnam as “azhakki irukkumAppOlEyirE azhiyumpOdhazhiyumpadi”. If it were not for the generous explanations showered by the great swamys it would be impossible at present to understand its meaning or others’ meanings too).

ippAl(after that) – I told about all His acts of coming here and trying to get me. It would be like mahAbhAratham if I tried to explain what all He did when we united. Since I don’t have a clear mind to explain it fully, it is not possible to be explained. If I tried to describe, it would be like starting to describe about seethA pirAtti in SrIrAmAyaNam. (Like how it talked about the state and actions of seethAp pirAtti in SrI rAmAyaNam, you see my state and actions and understand my story). I told the introductory part, now would you listen to the effects of it in me (palaSruthi).

kai vaLaiyum, etc. – Like when there is a theft in the house, how one would ask, “what is present, what is gone”, her friend asks her – when did He come and unite, what did you see and and not see. She replies starting with ‘kai vaLaiyum..”. “dhRushtam became adhRushtam, adhRushtam became dhRushtam” – my bangles, hip garment, etc., on my body which I had been seeing till then were not to be seen; His ear rings, etc., which I had not seen earlier, were seen by me, she says.

kai vaLaiyum Bangles coming out of hand is after separation from Him only, so why say that the bangles left the arm (even during union)? Due to union with Him my body grew ecstatic, and so my bangles burst away.

mEkalaiyumIs it appropriate to tell others that you lost the dress worn around you? One’s clothes got in to the other’s hands during union, so I did not see my clothes, she says. She only saw His clothes in her hand.

kANEnI do not know where my bangles, clothes, etc., went. By this, when it comes to its inner meaning – It is talking about losing one’s ahankAram and mamakAram. When a jeevAthmA is in the path to understand its true nature, ahankAram (I enjoyed/experienced), and mamakAram (It is sweet for me) would be hurdles. At the time of enjoyment, ahankAram and mamakAram would be denoted as bangle and cloth. According to jeevAthmA’s true nature it is not a correct behaviour to think, “I am the one enjoying”, and “it is enjoyable for me”. It would be matching one’s true nature to only think, “I am desirable for emperumAn”, “He is the one who enjoys me”.

kANEnI would know where they went only if I made efforts to get rid of them hurdles, or if I had approached Him to request to remove them. As I was immersed in experiencing Him and lost myself, He removed them and they went away, so I did not see them – she says.

kaNdEN etc. – Unlike how I did not see anything on my side, I saw everything about Him. I did not see the hurdles straight; saw the sweetness in Him to be unlimited. When he hugged me, I saw His ear rings that pressed against me, and the arms that hugged me.

kanamakarak kuzhai Ear rings that stay strong; by kanam it implies that it is present for enjoying forever.

nAngu thOL – Whereas the One who hugged is chakravarthy thirumagan (SrI rAmar), why say four shoulders? It is because His shoulder grew due to happiness of hugging me. Or, coming here as a mere hunter, and after getting her, He showed His true self as emperumAn with four shoulders. When having to use shoulders for this experience, it is not possible to hide them.

evvaLavu etc. – To me who asked him – how far is Your house, as I wished to enjoy with Him without a break,

evvalavu uNduIt is like asking ‘evvaLavu’, thinking that if it is nearby then let us go with Him. It is like how nammAzhvAr said “parugik kaLiththEn [thiruvAimozhi – 2.3.9]”, and after that he wished to enjoy Him by being together with his close devotees by saying “adiyAr kuzhAngaLai – udan kUduvadhu enRu kolO [thiruvAimozhi – 2.3.10]. That is, after being able to unite with Him, and after seeing His greatness, a wish was born that she should enjoy along with His well-qualified devotees.

evvaLavu uNdu emperumAn kOyil enRERku – Whereas I asked Him about His place because I tried to go with Him and enjoy Him, it became the reason for Him to return to His place, and I myself became the reason for Him to leave me.

idhuvanRO ezhil Ali enRArSince the distance between thirumaNamkollai and thiruvAli is very small, He showed His hand toward thiruvAli, “idhuvanRO”, to say He is from there – she says. Or, He says – it is the place where you are present (thirumaNamkollai), that is desirable for me (is my thiruvAli). Like how the place of lord is desirable for the devotee, the place where she is present is desirable to Him. It is common for a boy to like being in his in-laws’ house, and for the girl to be interested in her in-laws’ place (same wish is happening here with emperumAn and parakAla nAyaki).


evvaLavu, etc. – As their union got into their heads, the excitement became too much to bear; He thought he should calm her and then let her enjoy slowly,; He said of separation from her as “I am going to my house”. It is for that she asked “evvaLavu uNdu emperumAn kOyil” (How far is your place); to that question of mine, He replied “idhuvanRO ezhil Ali”, that is, my desirable place of stay is your feet only, He replied; and left.

thAmEIt ended up as – it is He who comes, and it is He who enjoys – she says. (That is, it became like it is the desire of the owner to enjoy His property).

– – – – –

Translation by raghurAm SrInivAsa dhAsan.

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