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thirunedunthANdakam – 21 – Part 1

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<< previous pAsuram – 20 – thErALum vALarakkan


The SlOkam that was quoted in eleventh pAsuram, “machchiththA: mathgathaprANA: bODhayantha: parasparam [SrI geethA – 10-9]”, is considered here. SrI parASara Bhattar divines that the three words of this SlOkam give meanings of the three pathigams of thirunedunthANdakam. (each set of 10 pAsurams). This SlOkam was explained in the introduction to eleventh pAsuram. It is explained more here.

“machchiththA:” is – “madh Eka chiththA:” (those who hold only me in their hearts). Not mixing other worldly matters, but channel their mind only in the matter of emperumAn, is the meaning. AzhvArs too divined that the intellect is only that which depends on the divine pair of emperumAn and pirAtti, as in “thAmaraiyAL kELvan oruvanaiyE nOkkum uNarvu [mudhal thiruvanthAdhi – 67]”. Everything else is dishonour (like a wife seeking some other man. It is because, between emperumAn and jeevAthmAs, there is a relationship of husband and wife). Considering other than emperumAn as means and/or destiny is a dishonour. Considering primordial matter (prakruthi) and items that are made of it, as something to attain is also dishonour. Thinking that we are independent of emperumAn, is also a dishonour. These are the meanings shown by “madh Eka chiththA:“. The 1st set of 10 pAsurams of thirunedunthANdakam talked with the mind that is having the place only for emperumAn. So, those 10 pAsurams are the explanation for “machchiththA:“.

“madhgatha-prANA:” (their life is based on me) is the next word. As said in “Aviyai aranga-mAlai [thirukkuRunthANdakam – 12]”, having life that is focussed towards Him. Being like that means – Feeling alive when being with Him, but fainting when separated. In the 2nd set of 10 pAsurams, thirumangai AzhvAr fainted due to the excessive love for emperumAn, and could not talk about her state on her own. So these pAsurams were set as the talk of her mother. So those 10 pAsurams are the explanation for “madhgatha-prANA:“.

“bODhayantha: parasparam” (They enlighten each other about the matters of emperumAn), is the next word. As said in “pullANi emperumAn poy kEttu irundhEnE [periya thirumozhi – 9.4.5]”, listening about emperumAn and sustaining oneself. “gOvindhan guNam pAdi – Avi kAththiruppEnE [nAchchiyAr thirumozhi – 8.3]”, sustaining one’s life by talking about the divine qualities of emperumAn. Talking to her friends about the relationship between her and emperumAn, and listening to their words, is how she could sustain her life – this is shown in the 3rd set of 10 pAsurams of thirunedunthANdakam. So these last 10 pAsurams are the explanation for the third word “bODhayantha: parasparam“. So this has been the additional explanation of SrI parASara Bhattar divining the meaning of groups of pAsurams in thirunedunthANdakam.

The first 10 pAsurams are set like how parASarar, his divine son vyAsar, and rishis would talk keeping emperumAn in their mind. They are of the type of giving importance to intellect. Middle 10 pAsurams are of the type of AzhvArs’ experience of emperumAn – being happy when together with Him, and sad when separated from Him. Third 10 pAsurams go with the state of seethA pirAtti and other pirAttis. They sustain themselves by talking about their happy times with emperumAn.

The relationship of this pAsuram with the previous one is – since not being in the state listening to correcting words, the mother appreciated the state of her ways and stepped aside after saying ‘perum thavaththAL enRu allAl pEsalAmE [thirunedunthANdakam – 20]”. Since her attaining a state of desperation is the result of His efforts (in many lives of a jIvAthmA), He was happy with that result and stayed away. But parakAla nAyaki was not able to tolerate the separation and so was in sunken state. As said in “Evam bahu-viDhAm chinthayithvA [SrI rAmAyaNam – sundhara KANdam – 31-1]” ((After seeing the state of seethAp pirAtti in ashOkavanam, thought of many different ways of introducing himself and the ways of talking to her), so in these ways, after thinking in many different ways .. (he started talking such that only she would be able to hear him)), like how thiruvadi thought of many ways, here too, after observing the state of parakAla nAyaki, her dear friend thought that she is not in the state of accepting good words of advice, and she thought about many different ways to make her sustain her life, and concluded that if she reminded her about the times of her union with emperumAn, then she would sustain her life thinking about that. So she asked parakAla nAyaki – since your union with Him was of gAndharva type, I was not present with you at that time, so you tell me how He came to your place, how did He unite with you, then before leaving what words did He say to comfort you? Since her reply is based on what happened with emperumAn, she was able to sustain herself and answered her inquiring friend – that is the theme running here.

In the first pAsuram (of the last 10 pAsurams) – parakAla nAyaki says – Oh dear friend!, Even after seeing His beauty and simplicity, like putting into the ocean and losing some thing that we were able to get hold of, I lost Him due to thinking of Him in a different way (that He is supreme, instead of thinking He is simple to approach). As her friend asked first as to how He came, this pAsuram is set as answering that question. This pAsuram is set as the association of chakravarthy thirumagan (rAmar) as the man, and parakAla nAyaki as the woman that is as seethA pirAtti.

maivaNNa naRum kunchik kuzhal pin thAzha
magaram sEr kuzhai iru pAdilangi Ada
eyvaNNa venchilaiyE thuNaiyA ingE
iruvarAi vandhAr en munnE ninRar
kaivaNNam thAmarai vAy kamalam pOlum
kaNNiNaiyum aravindham adiyum ahdhE
avvaNNaththavar nilaimai kaNdum thOzhee!
avarai nAm dhEvarenRu anjinOmE 21

Word by word meaning

mai vaNNam naRu kunchi kuzhal pin thAzha – Black in colour, having much fragrance, flailing in the air on His back is the divine hair each of which is curled separately,
magaram sEr kuzai – ear rings
ilangi Ada – shaking bright
iru pAdu – on both sides,
ey veNNam vem silaiyE thuNai aa – having as the companions the bow having fiery nature of shooting (a rain of arrows),
iruvar Ay vandhAr – He and iLaiya perumAL who does not separate from Him, came
en munnE ninRAr – and stood in front of me
ingE – in this thirumaNankollai;
kai – divine hands
thAmarai vaNNam – are beautiful like red lotus flower;
vAy – mouth too
kamalam pOlum – matches the lotus;
kaN iNaiyum – the two divine eyes too
aravindham – are that lotus only;
adiyum – divine feet also
ahdhE – are that lotus only;
kaNdum – even after having seen
nilamai – the state of
avvaNNaththavar – Him who is having such beauty,
thOzhee – Oh dear friend!
avarai – About Him
nAm – I
dhEvar enRu anjinOmE – was afraid because of thinking that He is the supreme lord.


mai vaNNam – Very dark hair. Its blackness is such that His divine black body would look like a clear crystal. So the divine hair gave more beauty along with His divine body.

naRum kunchi – naRumai – fragrant. Divine hair that is excessively fragrant. So fragrant that it would remove the difficulties faced by both those affected by the three types of hardships faced in this world (ADhyAthmikam, ADhi Baudhikam, ADhi dhaivikam), and the hardships due to separation from emperumAn. As said in “kESava: klESa-nASana: [nArasimha purANam – 26-37] (Did you not worship) kESavan who destroys sorrows, (asked yamadharma to one who is suffering in his hell)“, emperumAn’s divine hair would remove all sadness. Not only pleasing to the eyes, but the excessive divine fragrance also removes all the difficulties faced in mind.

kunchi – Instead of being curly in groups of hair, His hair is looking beautiful with each strand of hair hanging curled separately. At first nammAzhvAr divined, “koLginRa kOL iruLaich chugirndhitta kozhum suruLin uL koNda neela nannUl thazhi kol [thiruvAimozhi 7.7.9]” comparing darkness to emperumAn’s black hair. Since it was not a good match, he said just “anRu mAyan kuzhal [thiruvAimozhi – 7.7.9]”, thus just saying – “His hair”, because nothing was an apt comparison. The unstable darkness would not be a good comparison to His hair that is always set in such form. Hair that is sweet to look at, attracts our mind, and always enjoyable.

kuzhal pin thAzha – As said in “praSastha snigDhaneela kutilakunthala: [SrI vishNu sahasranAmam – kEsava: – 23 – Bhattar’s Bhasyam] (Having locks of hair that is praise-worthy, soft, dark, and curly), hair that is soft, dark, and curly flailing in His back;

pin thAzha – Friend asks, “How did you see His back (where the hair was, when He would have been facing you)”, and she replies, “Like how one cannot swim against the force of air from a cyclone, He could not face the wave of my beauty, and so turned His head away. I saw His hair at that time”. sthOthra rathnam SlOkam-35 talks about hair hanging in the forehead, and SlOkam-34 talks about it hanging till the shoulders. Even for emperumAn who is all-capable could not face it – such is her sweetness.

magaram sEr kuzhai irupAdu ilangi Ada – Due to the darkness of that hair, my sight was darkened, and so the divine face was not clear. At that time, like two moons rising, the divine ear-ornaments were present in His ears. When thiruvadi was searching for seethAp pirAtti, the rising moon helped him. Similarly, for the face that was darkened due to His dark hair, the ear-ornaments were giving it brightness.

ilangi – That is, it is talking about the brightness due to the pair in His ears adding colourfulness to each other. You could not see the beauty of that added colourfulness where I could not decide whether the ear-rings were the ornament for the hair, or the hair was like an ornament for the ear-rings, she says to her friend.

Ada – It was like an ocean coming with gentle movements, when the two ear-rings shaking on both sides as He came walking. Bhattar divines about this as, “There would be some movement (of happiness) in the face when seeing one’s lover. (so the ear-rings were shaking)”. nanjIyar divines, “Showing his front side, then His back side, what all gimmicks does He do to destroy her womanliness! (that is why the ear-rings shook on either side)”.

Who came along with Him?

ey vaNNa venchilaiyE thuNaiyA – He came with his hands and bow only as His companion, she says.

ey vaNNa venchilai – The fiery bow with the nature of shooting arrows. It is in the family of the bow to shoot arrows. (As per the ways of the clan of ikShvAku to which SrI rAmar belongs; as per the ways of bow made of bamboo). He brought the bow as His companion, thinking that a “Shiva-dhanuS” helped Him unite (Bow given by Shiva to janakar which SrI rAmar lifted and broke and so got the hand of seethA pirAtti. Here she thinks of herself as pirAtti). As she herself said, He is “villiRuththu mellyial thOL thOydhAy [thirunedunthAndakam – 13]” (~broke the bow and embraced the shoulders of pirAtti).

venchilai – The bow is such that even if a person with no valour would lift it then it would make him the greatest among beings. Or, it cannot be lifted other than the greatest of beings. Even for paraSurAmAzhvAn, he had to be born as a son of jamadhagni muni as an amSAvathAram (jeevAthmA with aspects of emperumAn’s powers), in order to be able to life the bow.

venchilaiyE thuNaiyA – bow that does not require the help of mind of one lifting it and shooting arrows. Just the bow serves as the companion.

venchilai – The bow is such that the enemies would be afraid to the core at just the sight of it. Seeing the state of Him with the bow would make those who love Him to live well, and those who oppose Him to lose. Oh friend, you could not see the manliness of how He came here with His hands holding the bow. Wife of a valorous warrior would indulge in his valour only. It is as said in “tham dhRushtvA SathruhanthAram – parishasvajE [SrI rAmAyaNam – AraNya KANdam – 30-39]” (Seeing such SrI rAman who destroyed the enemies and gave comfort to the maharishis, seethA pirAtti felt like regaining her existence. Happy, she hugged Him very much – it is His valour to which she fell for here).

silaiyE thuNaiyA – Since He came for me, He came alone (along with a non-sentient bow). Or, If someone who see Him asks why He came here, then He could say that He came for hunting, so that they could not question any more. He came with the bow that would help Him so. She also came here with the front of plucking flowers, so that she could be with Him.

ingE – This is the place where I got the treasure-trove (that is union with Him). After He went away after union, this place is such that I could stay put smelling the sand as He walked leaving the marks of His foot-prints here.

ingE – She is showing thirumaNankollai.

iruvarAy vandhAr – Isn’t it a contradiction to say that two of them came, after having said He came with His bow as the companion? There is no contradiction since like how the bow gives Him identification, presence of iLaiya perumAL (SrI lakShmaNan) also gives Him identification. He is said as “rAmasya-dhakShiNO-bAhu: [SrI rAmAyaNam – AraNya KANdam – 34-13, 34-14]” ((SrI lakShmaNan is) like a right-hand for SrI rAmar).

iruvarAy vandhAr – If he is like His right-hand, then why mention him separately? Like how it is not a separating meaning when one says that He came with His shoulder that hugs. It is not an exaggeration to say that one who is coming alone for union is coming with His bed (SrI lakShmaNan being Adhi Seshan).

iruvarAy vandhAr – He came as a supreme lord but also came as a simple human being. He did not come as just a lord, nor as just a devoted person, but as these two aspects mixed in Him. (How can someone come with both aspects mixed?) – He came with the mind as the lord placing His divine feet on my head, but ended up placing my feet on His divine head, losing Himself due to love. When holding hands during wedding one behaves as the lord, and in the bed room the formal ways are lost. So emperumAn is supreme as per the state of His devotees, and when His love for them flows back in excess, He behaves like a devotee of the devotee, as said in “athyantha Bhakthi yukthasya na Sasthram naiva cha krama:” (One who is having great love would not focus on the rules of SAsthras, nor the formal etiquettes).

Or, considering the word’s grammar, He came such that we would become two; such that only we two would be present (neither He nor I would be alone).

vandhAr – While I am supposed to go to His place and do madal procedure to get Him, it is He who came to my place. Or, Oh friend, you did not get to see the beauty of His walk when He came here walking. His walk required shouting an award to Him that He is the expert above of all in the art of walking.

vandhAr en munnE ninRAr – He came with a big rush, but like a river stagnating when nearing an ocean, He hesitated and stopped after not being able to win me, and so stood in front of me. While it is apt for me to longingly think when the time would come that I would see Him, it is He who stood thinking whether this girl could see my face directly – she says to her friend.

ninRAr – Stood as He could not step further. Stood in one place like a plant, or stood because there was nowhere else to go – these could also be the meanings.

Continued in part 2.

– – – – –

Translation by raghurAm SrInivAsa dhAsan.

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thirunedunthANdakam – 20

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

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<< previous pAsuram – 19 – muRRArA vanamulaiyAL


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).

– – – – –

Translation by raghurAm SrInivAsa dhAsan.

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thirunedunthANdakam – 19

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<< previous part – 18 – Part 2 kAr vaNNam thirumEni


She said those words in previous pAsuram indicating that she agreed to her daughter’s state, after the daughter did not heed her words of advice, by sayingidhu anRO niRaivu azhindhAr niRkum ARu”. Those who came to inquire, said, “Even though she did not behave suiting her womanliness, you could have told her that the one she loves is interested in periya pirAttiyAr. Such One would not consider you”. Mother replies, “I have even told her that. That gave only the opposite result. That He is the husband of SrIdhEvi became the reason for her to go to the place of His residence” – this is in this pAsuram.

muRRArA vanamulaiyAL pAvai mAyan
moyyagalaththuLLiruppAL ahdhum kaNdum
aRRAL than niRaivazhindhAL AvikkinRAL
aNiyarangam AdudhumO thOzhee! ennum
peRREn vAychchol iRaiyum pEsak kELAL
pEr pAdith thaN kudanthai nagarum pAdi
poRRAmaraik kayam neerAdap pOnAL
poruvaRRAL en magaL um ponnum ahdhE         19

Word by word meaning

ahdhu kaNdum – Even after having seen
muRRu ArA vanam mulaiyAL – One who is having beautiful not fully-grown-out bosom and being the woman having the nature of womanliness, that is, periya pirAttiyAr to be
moy agalaththuL iruppAL – living well set in the beautiful divine chest
mAyan – of emperumAn who is marvellous,
poru aRRAL en magaL – my daughter who is matchless
aRRAL – has set herself up to be for Him and only for Him.
than niRaivu azhindhAL – She ignored the completeness (of womanliness of waiting for Him to show up);
AvikkinRAL – she is sighing;
thOzhee! aNi arangam AduthumO ennum – Oh friend! shall we mingle with and enjoy the grand city of thiruvarangam! she says.
peRREn – I, the mother, who gave birth to her,
vAy sol pEsa – told a few words of advice,
kELAL iRaiyum – does not listen even a little by lending her ears.
pEr pAdi – singing about the city of thiruppEr,
thaN kudanthai nagar pAdiyum – and singing about the pleasant city of thirukkudanthai
pOnAL – she got up and went
neer Ada – to immerse and experience in the water
pon thAmarai kayam – of tank full of golden lotus flowers;
um ponnum agdhE? – Is the nature your daughter too is of this way?


muRRArA vana mulaiyAL – This is talking about the beauty of pirAtti that makes emperumAn engage in Her.

muRRArA-mulai – The divine bosom that is not full grown by breaking the barrier. Growing by breaking the barrier is – about not having a barrier in the inner/bottom part of the place where it grows. By this it says that she is having the right age for the age of emperumAn. As said in “yuvAkumAra: [Ruk. ash.2-2-25]” (vishNu is of the age of youth, and just above the childish stage), emperumAn’s age would be such that He has just reached the state of youth. As said in ‘yuvathiScha kumAriNee’ (pirAtti is of the age of youth, but not crossed the childish stage as well), thus being just about a bit younger to His stage. Considering that She is a bit younger, AzhvAr says muRRArA vanamulai.

As said in ‘sadhaikarUpa rUpAya [vishNu purANam 1-2-1]”, their age would always be of this stage. Even after ruling the kingdom for eleven thousand years, for pirAtti and perumAL (SrI rAmar) this was the stage of their age. If so, were they not of small form in childhood, and also would their form deteriorate later due to old age? Their form was smaller in their childhood state in order to be obedient to parents, but not because they would undergo changes in their true form. When their age (in this world) grew, they did not become old in form because they did not wish so, and none of their people were interested in seeing them in such form.

That their form was small during childhood, and then after reaching the initial state of youth, their form stayed so – is seen in SrI rAmAyaNam – as said in “unnaiyum okkalaiyil [periyAzhvAr thirumozhi 1.5.8]” by periyAzhvAr that even when kaNNan was a baby, both the childhood stage and the stage of youth (thangaL karuththAyina seydhu varum, in the same pAsuram), were experienced in him by periyAzhvAR.

vana mulaiyAL – That is, She who is having beautiful bosom. Reason for highlighting only this beauty as ‘vana mulai’ is – as said in ‘malarAL thanaththuLLAn [mUnRam thiruvanthAdhi – 3], is to show its greatness of sweetness such that emperumAn would be involved in this part and so not focus on other parts of Her beauty. He who is having qualities like gyAnam, Sakthi using which He rules nithya viBhUthi (SrI vaikuNtam), leelA viBhUthi (other worlds), is not able to measure the beauty of this one part of His dear pirAtti. He who is independent by nature, and who does not have any needs by nature, due to love towards Her, is being loving towards this one part of Her and being expectant about it.

As said in ‘guNAnurUpENa vilAsachEshtithai: [sthOthra rathnam – 38]” (with SrIdhEvi who is always experienced in Her full form, and who gives you wonder like new using Her qualities, beautiful form, and beautiful acts, and who is fit only for you in all states (of param, vyUham, vibhavam, etc), and being your treasure), all these qualities, form, beautiful actions are all becoming needless as He is involved in this one part of Her. By ‘uLLAn’ in this pEyazhvAr pasuram, it indicates emperumAn who is viBhu (omnipresent), is henpecked into this part of Her who is aNu (smallest form without any parts).

pAvai – She having natural womanliness. Her womanliness is such that even His greatness of being purushOththaman cannot change it.

mAyan – He who is of wonder. The wonder of Him who is naturally independent losing Himself to the part of Her, the wonder of Him who is naturally having all wishes fulfilled is expectant about one part of Her, the wonder of Him who is all-knowing and who can do anything is not being able to measure the extent of beauty of one part of Her – this word shows these wonders.

moy agalaththuL iruppAL – By ‘moy’, it means beauty. emperumAn having beautiful chest. pirAtti is well set in His divine chest, is the meaning. By previous phrase it talked about the greatness of Her bosom which He would not move away from even for a moment. In this phrase, it talks about His divine chest which She would not separate even for a moment, as said in “agalagillEn iRaiyum [thiruvAimozhi – 6.10.10]”. Like how He does not go for any other parts of Her than Her bosom, She too does not go anywhere except His divine chest.

She who is naturally having gyAnam and Sakthi like Him is One who is not able to consider any other part than His divine chest. She who is such that He the omnipresent is caught in one part of Her and is desperate like a thirsty person saying ‘water, water!’, is One who is not able to consider any other part than His divine chest. These can be said for Him too. His other attributes of form, and attributes of qualities are of no use to Her as She is focussed on His divine chest only. Him embracing Her divine bosom and staying enchanted, and Her embracing His divine chest and staying enchanted, Oh what a great enchanting togetherness this is!

iruppAL – Like how the lord is subservient to one part, the utmost servant is subservient to one part of Her lord. For the ever-auspicious divine form it is She who enables identification of Him as the lord. As said in “SrIvathsavakShA-nithyaSrI: [SrI rAmAyaNam – yudhDha kANdam – 114-15](perumAL having the maRu (mole) mark in His divine chest, having SrI dhEvi who never separates from Him), having Her set in His divine chest, and being Her husband is the factor that identifies Him, as the sarvESvaran. Saying that the other deities are of lower status is because they are not the husband of Her. (thirumazhisaip pirAn too divined the others as “thiruvillAth thEvarai [nAnmugan thiruvanthAdhi – 52]”).

uLLiruppAL – Being not only the identifying factor for His divine form, being the identifying factor for the true nature of divine paramAthmA that is inside that divine form. These two are the reasons for saying that their togetherness is our preference whether at the time of surrendering, doing services, or at the time experiencing and enjoying His true nature. Other pirAttis are together with Him as part of His vibhUthi (property/ownership). But SrIdhEvi is together in cases of svarUpam (His true nature / giving Him identity), rUpam (His form, in His divine chest), and vibhavam (during His incarnations).

ahdhum kaNdum aRRAL – When I told her that both of them behave like they have consumed thorn-apple (UmaththankAy) that they are crazily in love with each other, (so there is no use in your wishing to be with Him), my words brought the opposite effect in my daughter. Even after she saw that He and She don’t focus on anything other than each other.

Even after seeing Her nature as said in ‘na kaSchin nAparADhyathi [SrI rAmayaNam – yudhDha kANdam – 116-44]” (There is no one who have not committed sins), and even after seeing His nature of considering even the mistakes as good attributes as said in ‘kunRanaiya kuRRam seyyinum guNam koLLum [mudhal thiruvanthAdhi – 41]”, she became dedicated to none other than them. Even after seeing His stature she became dedicated to Him; even after seeing Her stature she became dedicated to Her; even after seeing the nature of their togetherness she became dedicated to that togetherness. Seeing His ways of “seydhArEl nanRu seydhAr [periyAzhvAr thirumozhi 4.9.2]”, she became fully dedicated to Him.

As said in “rAja-samSraya-vaSyanAm [SrI rAmAyaNam – yudhDha kaNdam – 113-36]“ ((who would get angry at) … servants of kings..?(no one would)), seeing His nature of considering mistakes as positive attributes, she became dedicated to Him.

Seeing their togetherness, seeing that both have consumed UmaththangAy fruit (~thorn-apple) (madly in love with each other that they behave like mad), she thought that there needs to be one person with them who is having clear mind, and so became dedicated to that togetherness.

ahdhum kaNdum aRRAL – (My) complaint about them to get her rid of her state, became the reason for dedication toward Him. He gave his divine chest for Her to rest, I said, and she said that is the reason for dedication toward Him (because it is clear that His divine chest is for His devotees), and said it is as per “en thirumagaL sEr mArvanE ennum ennudai AviyE [thiruvAimozhi – 7.2.9](Oh One having divine chest which SridhEvi resides in, Oh my love). Fulfilment of our enjoyment is in emperumAn and thAyAr’s togetherness only. So she got fully dedicated to that togetherness.

than niRaivu azhindhAL – Not only that she became dedicated to them, her unique nature of femininity got destroyed too, says mother. Either pirAtti’s attributes of joining us with Him, or emperumAn’s attributes of being the means to reach Him, is enough to destroy her completeness. Does it need to be told that both these attributes together would definitely destroy her status of completeness? Completeness is – given any situation, keeping her state intact and making Him lose His state and be madly in love with her. That completeness is now destroyed, says mother.

than niRaivu – The ocean has dried up, says she.

How do you know that her completeness has been destroyed? –

AvikkinRAL – She who (had the strength and) was trying to go to His place by asking ‘emperumAn thiruvarangam engE’, is now letting out a long sigh when He did not show up as soon as she thought about emperumAn and pirAtti’s togetherness.

aNi-arangam etc. – The daughter’s friend came near her after seeing her state, and after seeing her thinking as “He did not show up (even) after seeing my state; since mother would say words that are good for herself, she would not calm me down who is desperate to get Him”. Even though separated from him, she manages to stay strong by seeing her friend. This daughter, considering her desperation itself as a strong reason that she would not miss the opportunity of getting Him, gained strength, and says ‘Oh friend! We shall go to kOyil (thiruvarangam) and experience Him”, and thus prepares for going.

Adudhum – Let us bathe. For both those who suffer from the there types of difficulties in this world (ADhyAthmika, AdhiBaudhika, Adhidhaivika), and for those suffering due to separation, that divine place is their saviour. So she is talking about that place as a pond. Oh thOzhee! is addressing of her friend.

peRREn etc. – If I said a few words, she would not listen even if it is sweet to her.

peRREn vAychchol kELAL – Would listen to the words of His, and would listen to the words of her friend, but considering my giving birth to her as a reason, she would not listen to my words.

iRaiyum pEsak kELAL – She would not listen even if I talked words that are based on her state, nor would she listen even if i talked about the place she likes, that is, thiruvarangam periya kOyil.

kELAL – even if she is not doing what I asked of her, can’t she not at least listen to my words with ears? She did not do even that. When one decides that a person is not needed for them, then whatever valuable words that person says, they would not listen and follow.

pEr pAdi, etc. – What were the words of her who would not heed your words? She is talking about the food for the journey to periya kOyil, that is, other dhivya dhESams (present on the way). Those who lost their full sense would go in proper route also sometimes.

pEr pAdi – Due to her excess of interest in going to thiruvarangam, she is saying thiruppEr first instead of thirukkudanthai. when there is no hurdle (by mother), then it is but natural to be fully indulgent in experiencing Him, similar to saying ‘EthathsAmagAyannAsthE [thaiththirIyOpanishath, bRuguvalli 10-5]” ((those who got hurdles removed due to karmams and reached SrIvaikuNtam) would sing songs of vEdhas).

poRRAmaraik kayam neerAdap pOnAL – By adjectives “poRRAmraik kayam”, it talks about the nature of emperumAn that is experienced. Experts in thamizh say ‘sunaiyAdal’, ‘neerAttu’ to imply union of two. That is, she went to experience this.

pOnAL – In previous pAsuram – she asked for directions in ‘emperumAn thiruvarangam engE’, now how do you say pOnAL (she went)? – Only the body is present here. Her heart has gone there, says the mother. Daughter said about the place inaNi arangam AduthumO”; Now mother is saying ‘poRRAmaraik kayam’ to imply periya perumAL. As said in “thayarathan peRRa maradhaka maNith thadam [thiruvAimozhi – 10.1.8]”, and “vAsath thadam pOl varuvAnE [thiruvAimozhi 8.5.1]”, He is referred as thadam (water tank/pond).

Are you not a stopper of her going?

poru aRRAL – She crossed that state. poru – togetherness. After getting that togetherness with Him, she lost that connectedness with me. Or,

poru aRRAL en magaL – poru – comparable. She became incomparable. Even the One talked about earlier (SrIdhEvi) is not an equal to her. This is said too in “pinnai kol, nilamAmagaL kol thirumagaL kol piRanthittAL [thiruvAimozhi 6.5.10]”, (to imply that there is a small chance if the three dhEvis put together that they might equal nammAzhvAr).

um ponnum ahdhE? – Mother asks those who came to inquire – do those who are born from you have also got in to such state as that of my daughter?. Inner meaning of ‘um pon’ indicates the other AzhvArs. Saying “maththuRu kadai veNNai kaLavinil uravidai AppuNdu [thiruvAimozhi 1.3.1]” (In stealing the butter churned with great difficulty using the churning staff, ending in being tied in the chest) they fell in love thinking about vibhavAvathAram, whereas it is this daughter who melted to the archAvathAram. (So even she is not her equal is the thought). “nangaimeer” etc. (Even parAnkuSa nAyaki’s mother asked those who came to inquire – “nagaimeer neerum Or peN peRRu nalgineer..[thiruvAimozhi 4.2.9]”.

– – – – –

Translation by raghurAm SrInivAsa dhAsan.

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thirunedunthANdakam – 18 – Part 2

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pAr vaNNa mada mangai paththar, piththar panimalar mel pAvaikku – This is about – like how the pearl-divers would dive all the way down and bring the sand full of pearls, SrIdhEvi and BhUdhEvi are enjoying this ocean of beauty direct from the source. Reason for talking about this now is to show that the matter of interest (emperumAn) which these dhEvis cannot manage to enjoy fully, is the interest that this nAyaki intends to experience.

pAr vaNNa madamangai – BhUmi pirAtti who is having the ever-attached earth as Her body, having the celebrated qualities of women, and having age that is matching His as said in ‘thulya Seela vayOvRuththAm thulyABhijanalakShaNam | rAghavO(s)rhathi vaidhEheem tham chEyamasithEkShaNA || [SrI rAmAyaNam – sundhara kANdam – 16-5]” (For vaidhEhi who is having matching qualities, age, behaviour, and having equivalent greatness of family lineage, and defining characteristics, only rAghavan is the correct match; she who is having dark eyes is the match only for Him).

pAr vaNNam – Reason behind saying that She is having the BhUmi as Her Sareeram is to show the following – She is not only enjoyable to emperumAn, those who live in that BhUmi are also enjoyable to emperumAn.

As said in “adiyAradiyAr thammadiyAradiyAr thamakku adiyAradiyAr tham – adiyAradiyOngaLE [thiruvAimozhi 3.7.10]”, like how those who are related to Him are dear to Her, those who are related to Her would be dear to Him too.

mangai – Suitable for His young age as said in ‘yuvAkumAra: [Ruk – ash – 2-2-25]’ (vishNu is in the age of a youth, with a little of previous state, that is at the starting stage of youth), she is said as ‘yuvathiS cha kumAriNee’.

paththar – As said in “Bhaja sEvAyAm [DhAthu pAtam – BvAdhi 995]”, the verb-root “Bhaja” gives the meaning of serving. The samskRutha word “Bhaktha:” coming from this verb-root, becomes “paththar” in thamizh. He is being served by Her, and She being in the state of serving Him is the natural state. When He falls in love, Her sweetness is such that it is He who would serve Her.

As said in “aham SishyA cha dhAsee cha BhakthA cha purushOththama | mathkRuthE sarva BhUthAnAm laGhUpAyam vadha prabhO || [varAha purANam 114-64] (Oh SrImannArAyaNa my lord! (I who am the BhUmi) am being a student of You, also a servant, and devotee. For my sake please give a simple means of salvation for all the AthmAs (thus prayed BhUmi pirAtti to varAha perumAL), thinking about His natural manliness she would be His student, servant, and devotee. When He thinks about the greatness of Her womanliness and be under love towards Her, He would undergo all the effects of such love as said in “kidandhirundhu ninRaLandhu [thiruvAimozhi 2.8.7]”.

piththar pani malar mEl pAvaikku – That love (towards BhUmi pirAttiyAr) too is a normal one is what one would think when seeing His love towards periya piRattiyAr. He being in extreme love towards periya pirAttiyAr who appears as if it is the fragrance of lotus that removes tiredness. As said in “alli-malar-magaL BhOga-mayakkukkaLAgiyum niRkum [thiruvAimozhi 3.10.8]”, her sweetness is such that He would struggle trying to fully enjoy it.

pAvam seydhEn – The mother is showing her tears to those who came to inquire. (Her true feeling is positive regarding her daughter). She says – Like the pirAttis her daughter is also trying to experience Him on her won (whereas it is proper for Him to come to her). It is not possible to subdue His greatness, it is not possible to subdue her desperation of separation, so it is my sins that are the reason for her suffering.

As said in “math-pApamEvAthra-nimiththamAseeth [SrI rAmAyaNam (this SlOkam not found in (current) text], like how BharathAzhvAn said that it is the sin of him who was born from kaikEyi, mother is saying that it is the sin of her who gave birth to nAyaki.

pAvam seydhEn – I gave birth to such a girl child, that she is not helpful to me (because she is not listening to my words), and not helpful to herself (because she is suffering this much due to separation, and losing her nature of a woman by not waiting for Him to come to her).

Then she says that her daughter’s suffering is due to not understanding her own greatness.

Er vaNNa en pEdhai – If she had understood about herself, then the suffering she undergoes would be what He would have undergone. It is the suffering of Him based on her beauty, is what is turned around and she is undergoing that suffering.

Er vaNNa en pEdhai – His colour of dark clouds is not a match for her beautiful form. His form is such that an example (of a dark cloud) could be given. Her daughter’s beauty has no comparison, so other than saying beautiful form, there is no example for her beauty. All we can say is ‘vadivu iNai illA malar magaL [thiruvAimozhi 9.2.10]” (pirAtti not having an equal to Her beauty). emperumAn would be enjoyable to Her. She would be enjoyable to Him. Seeing that pair and enjoying it is the greatness of BhUmi pirAtti. Enjoying seeing them together is the greatness of her daughter. (So her daughter’s beaty is even more because), as the enjoyment increases, one’s beauty also would increase.

en pEdhai – my daughter. She who is born is having that additional greatness (of being born in my clan) (unlike the pirAttis who are ever-present). Such birth is of greatness can be seen in “thirumgaL kol nila mA magaL kol piRAndhittAL [thiruvAimozhi 6.5.10]”, where though AzhvAr is compared to pirAttis, it is her birth that gave its greatness).

If one were to ask – If she is your daughter, does she not have to be obedient to you. Do you have to say “pAvam seydhEn”? What is wrong in your instructing her? –

en sol kELAL – She has passed the stage of my instructing her, says the mother. If I told her that to wait is proper, so why be so anxious, then she does not heed to my words.

en sol kELAL – Since she has heard and follows His words, she would ignore my words. Since she has listened to His words “mAm Ekam SaraNam vraja [Bhagavadh geethA charama SlOkam 18-66]” (~surrender to Me as your only means), she has not accepted my words of saying that one should wait for Him to come. Daughter – If there were some things I had to do, then I could do those and wait for Him to come. Since His words (in charama SlOkam) has not demanded any action from me, there is nothing wrong of me in showing urgency in getting Him.

emperumAn thiruvarangam engE ennum – Is it just that she did not listen to my words? She is even trying to figure out how to go to His place (thiruvarangam). She would ask – what is the direction to go to Him who made it intolerable for me to live without Him?’.

engE ennum – Is it just that she did not listen to my words? She is asking for direction from me itself. Before He left, to make her stay calm, he highlighted to her that she is always His. But that itself has become the reason for her anxiety.

neer vaNNan neer malaikkE pOvEn ennum – Going to thiruvarangam is through the route of thiruneermalai, she says. This is the way of those who lost their greatness like sense, etc. From her birth-place of thirukkuRaiyalUr go north to thiruneermalai, and then go south to thiruvarangam periya kOyil, is her intent. This is her way of staying in a dhivya dhESam during the journey – it does not have to be one on the way to periya kOyil. As said in “pAdheyam puNdareekSha-nAma-sankeerthanAmRutham [gAruda purANam]” (Due to walking a very long distance (after dying), for the jeevan suffering from hunger and thirst, the divine names of the lotus-eyed is the food for the journey), like how for some the divine names of Him is the food during a journey, divine dhivya dhESams are the food she takes during her journey. She would not travel without staying in dhivya dhESams. Direction to go to kOyil is via thiruneermalai – she says due to her distress.

niRavu azhindhAr niRkum ARu – idhuvanRO – Isn’t this the way of those who do not see their true nature (of waiting for Him to come), but see the greatness of Him?

idhuvanRO – niRkumARu – Even though I do not know this state, it is her state. Going after the sweetness of enjoyment is the nature of those who have learned it. (Daughter thinks) – those who consider the greatness of Him who is the means and who is without any expectation from us and who is readily available – would be in this state only. But I, the mother, do not know about the greatness of Him, and also not know about Him, the means, readily waiting for us. Our true nature is to be complete subservience is what I have known – says the mother.

emperumAn thiruvarangam engE ennum – nampiLLai would divine – “This girl who lost a thing in the river, is searching for it in the tank; isn’t this the state of those who lost their sense (due to love)”. (thiruvarangam periya kOyil being in the middle of two rivers, and thiruneermalai being surrounded by water, she is getting confused with one for the other). The stance of Azhvars and of ANdAL is – one should consider the greatness of the enjoyment and then set their svarUpam accordingly. When considering krishNan mingling with cowherd girls, she also got the walk, talk and smell of such girls. When considering krishNan mingling with wives of rishis (in “kArththaN [nAchchiyAr thirumozhi – 12.6]”), ANdAL would behave with more proper conduct and wear madithARu (madisAr?) clothes, and wish to present food to krishnan.

– – – – –

Translation by raghurAm SrInivAsa dhAsan.

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thirunedunthANdakam – 18 – Part 1

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In the previous pAsuram line of ‘nangAy nam kudikku idhuvO nanmai enna, naRaiyUrum pAduvaL navilkinRALE’, since the mother said that she did not adhere to her words, she thinks now – ‘I cannot get her back by saying good words’, and ‘Now let her be as is, and let us find what her thoughts are’, and so asks the daughter ‘What are you thinking?’. She replies ‘There is no use of calling Him like this any more. So I am going to go to the place where He is present’. Upon hearing this, the mother tells those who came to inquire, ‘Oh she is trying to go and get the experience of Him. Even SrI dhEvi, BhUmA dhEvi et al who are having the utmost love, would struggle to get satisfied by the experience of Him. Isn’t this the state of those like her who ignore their state of womanliness and only consider the sweetness of emperumAn that they wish to attain?’. The mother who was talking indirectly about her being proud of her daughter’s state, is now saying openly as ‘This is what is ‘niRaivu azhindhAr ninRkum ARu’ (the ways of those who ignore their state and consider emperumAn’s sweetness).

In this pAsuram, it makes the mother’s words as first objection (pUrva-paksham), and then talks settled determination (sidhDhAntham) using daughter’s words. Mother’s opinion is – we should realize first about our true nature of complete subservience, and then be involved in the enjoyment that is matching such subservience. Reason for mother to say so is – Since in SAsthrams it talks about benefits like heaven that are adverse to our true nature, first we should determine what (limited) benefit is there as per our true nature, and only then should we be in the path of experiencing that benefit. So, enjoyment is only that which matches our true nature, is the principle of the mother. Daughter, refusing this thought, making it pUrva-paksham, replies – What you are saying is not acceptable. First we should determine the enjoyment that we are going to get, and then we should shape our nature to match that enjoyment. When seeing it in this way, considering the beauty of divine body of emperumAn, and considering the greatness of involvement of SrIdhEvi and BhUdhEvi, we who wish to get such top most enjoyment should not consider our complete subservience, but make efforts towards trying to get Him – this is the sidhDhAntham of daughter (parakAla nAyaki).

kAr vaNNam thirumEni kaNNum vAyum
kaiththalamum adiyiNaiyum kamala vaNNam
pArvaNNa madamangai paththar, piththar
panimalar mER pAvaikkup pAvam seydhEn
ErvaNNa enpEdhai en sol kELAL
emperumAn thiruvarangam engE ennum
neervaNNan neermalaikkE pOvEn ennum
idhuvanRO niRaivazhindhAr niRkumARE            18

Word by word meaning

Er vaNNam pEdhai – Having beautiful form that is the daughter
pAvam seydhEn en – of me who is a sinner,
en sol kELAL – does not listen to my words;
thirumEni kAR vaNNam ennum – She is saying that (emperumAn’s) divine body is having colour like that of dark cloud;
kaNNum – (His) eyes, and
vAyum – divine mouth, and
kai thalamum – divine palms of hands,
adi iNaiyum – two divine feet
kamala vaNNam ennum – are of colour like lotus flower, says she;
pAr vaNNam mada mangai paththar ennum – She says that (He) is under the influence of BhUmi pirAtti;
pani malar mEL pAvaikku piththAr ennum – She says that He is in deep love towards periya pirAttiyAr who was born in the comforting beautiful lotus;
emperumAn thiruvarangam engE ennum – She asking where is thiruvarangam of emperumAn who got me to realize servitude;
neer vaNNan neer malaikkE pOvEn ennum – I have to go to thiruneermalai that is the abode of the one who is having the nature of water;
niRaivu azhindhAr niRkum ARu idhu anRO – It appears that this is the way of those who lost their controlled state.


kAr vaNNam thirumEni By this pAsuram mother establishes to those who came to inquire about her state, that such and such is the determination (sidhDhAntham) of her daughter.

She (daughter) is not the one immersing first in the meaning of praNavam that is the first word (padham) of thiruvashtAkSharam, and that of its congruent and third word “nArAyaNAya”. She got immersed first in the beauty of His divine body that is the meaning of the word “nArAyaNAya” only. (prakruthi – root matter that He is present in, and is used by Him, to create all non-sentient elements and things including our body). Reason for this stance of daughter is that when she was in the state that the body made of prakruthi that causes troubles was the purushArtham (benefit), He showed His beautiful divine body and that is only how He removed her interest in the body made of prakruthi. So it is the divine body that is enjoyed by nithyasUris that she got attracted to first, says the mother.

As seen in “Esha sarvasvsBhUthasthu parishvangO hanUmatha: | mayA kAlamima prApya dhaththas thasya mahAthmana: || [SrI rAmAyaNam – yudhDha kANdam – 1-13]” (SrI rAma says – This embrace of me, which is like giving away everything of me, is given to the noble hanUman by me at the apt time), what He gave to hanUman who served Him, is His divine body only!

In geethA charama SlOkam, based on being arjuna’s charioteer, holding the reins of bridle of horses of the chariot, standing with dust from army’s movement covering His divine fluffy hair – and thus showing His divine body only is how He divined to arjuna – “surrender only to me”.

Because of showing the true nature, qualities that are the destiny, it is the ultimate destiny that is the divine body which helped her get rid of her interest in worldly matters. Going to paramapadham by archirAdhi mArgam too is to enjoy the divine body of paramapadha nAthan who fully shows all His six main attributes such as gyAnam, Sakthi.

Due to these reasons, one should first consider the meaning of third word of thirumanthram (nArAyaNAya) that is the beauty of divine body, and only in congruence with that should we determine our true nature that is the meaning of the first word (praNavam) of thirumanthram – this is the opinion of her daughter.

kArvaNNamRemoval of three types of sorrows that arise in this world (AdhyAthmikam, AdhiBauthikam, Adhidhaivikam), and removing the suffering from those who are undergoikng that due to separation, is done by this divine body only.

kaNNum vAyum kaiththalamum adiyiNaiyum kamalavaNNamAs said by poet kambar in bAla kANdam of his kamba rAmAyaNam – “karumugil thAmaraik kAdu pUththu(like flowers blossoming in the dark cloud), in the cloud that is His divine body, His eyes, lips, and palms are reddish – so it appears like lotus blossoming in the dark cloud. That is the way the divine limbs of His body are. That is, it is not enough to give just the dark cloud as an example to explain about His divine body; one can say it as an example only if there is a cloud that is full of blossoming lotus. So this comparison is aBhUthOpamai (comparison with a non-existent).

kaNNum vAyum kaiththalamum adiyiNaiyum kamalavaNNam – In general, those who surrender to emperumAn should first consider the attributes such as vAthsalyam, sauSeelyam, saulaBhyam that are present in His true nature/form. But since she is interested in His divine body, she is first considering the divine limbs of His body, that is, eyes, lips, palm, divine feet, which reflect the attributes of His divine body.

If she had fallen in love based on His true nature, then the attributes of His nature like saulaBhyam etc., would have helped her as the means to surrender to Him. But since she is in love with Him based on the beauty of His divine form, it is the limbs and qualities of His divine body only that are the means for her. Generally when one gets afraid of the worldly matters, then they understand the true nature of self and of emperumAn, and understand one’s (wrong) ways of living earlier, and to remedy that be involved in the divine qualities of Him – this is Not the case for her. She got interested in His divine form first, and so is considering the qualities of His form and surrendering to Him.

kaNNum – As said in “thUdhu sey kaNgaL [thiruvAimozhi – 9.9.9]”, His eyes would make one who is not interested in emperumAn, to become interested and fall on His feet. So His eyes are the means for Her.

As seen in “jitham thE puNdareekAkSha namasthE viSvaBhavana .. || [jithanthE sthOthram – 1.1]“ (Oh One having eyes like beautiful lotus! (This AthmA) was won by You; it is not mine; it is Yours! Oh One who created the worlds! … (this AthmA) should avoid being for me, and it should be there for You only (as Your servant)) — it is the eyes of emperumAn that first makes one interested in Him. So only His eyes are the means.

As said in “aham BheethOsmi dhEvESa samsArE(S)min BhayAvahE | pAhi mAm puNdareekAkSha na jAnE SaraNam param || [jithanthE sthOthram – 1.8] (Oh the leader of dhEvas! I am taken aback seeing this scary sea of births. Oh One with lotus eyes! I don’t find any way other than You (to cross such a sea). Please save me) – for those who get interested in Him, it is the eyes that are the means to reach Him.

As said in “thAmaraik kaNNanai viNNOr paravum thalaimaganai [thiruvAimozhi – 2.6.3]”, after reaching emperumAn, it is the eyes that one has to see all the time, it is only the eyes that becomes the destiny/benefit (upEyam) too.

vAyumTo those who got involved in His eyes, it is the divine lips/mouth that gives out a smile to remove all the sadness due to such a long separation from Him; if we approached Him with the hesitation – “Would the mind of emperumAn be in anger towards us who have done mistakes”, His smile would be such that we ourselves would think “We did not do any mistakes”. It is the smile that says without saying that He has forgiven our mistakes.

kaiththalamumand the hand that says to the ones that go to Him, “mASucha: [geethA charama SlOkam]” (do not feel bad/bemoan). As said in “aNimigu thAmaraik kaiyai andhO adichchiyOm thalai misai nee aNiyAy [thiruvAimozhi – 10.3.5]”, it is only the hand that is the destiny/benefit (upEyam) too.

adiyiNaiyumAnd the divine feet that one would wish to enjoy, after getting their fear removed by seeing the hand that gives removal of fear. As said in ‘lOkavikrAntha charaNau’ it is the divine feet that is for surrendering. As said in “thirvikrama thvath charaNAmbuja-dhvayam-madheeyamUrdhAnam alankarishyathi [sthOthra rathnam]”, and in “padikkaLavAga nimirththa nin pAdha pankayamE thalaikkaNiyAy [thiruvAimozhi – 9.2.2]”, it is only the divine feet that is enjoyable.

This is the nature of the divine eyes that enable our relationship first, of the smile of lips that make it stronger, of the divine hands that would eagerly embrace those who have understood their relationship with Him, and of the divine feet one falls to after losing themselves to that embrace.

kamala vaNNamComparing to lotus is just based on a small similarity only; the lotus that would wither soon would not be a suitable means to explain about the parts of divine body of emperumAn that is said as ‘sadhaika-rUpAya [vishNu purANam – 1.2.1](to vishNu who has got the divine body that is always of a sustained form). nammAzhvAr too rejected the comparison by divining, “katturaikkil thAmarai nin kaN pAdham kai ovvA [thiruvAimozhi – 3.1.2]”.

Continued in Part 2.

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Translation by raghurAm SrInivAsa dhAsan.

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thirunedunthANdakam – 17

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Upon seeing her wailing in loud voice, calling Him, and then falling down fainting, the mother thought – “I kept parrot and veeNA in front of her thinking that they would console her. Even these have become useless”, and setting them aside, thought “Would it be helpful if I told her a few good words?”, and so told her “Your calling Him loudly and fainting are not appropriate for your womanliness. This is a bad name for our clan, so it is only appropriate for you to stay patiently till He comes”. Daughter replied “Am I in a state to consider womanliness and bad names?”. To this the mother said, “Let the womanliness and bad name be set aside. Do you not have to make sure that He, who is loved by you, does not get any bad name? Would not the world accuse Him as – ‘He who is merciful to those having even a little love, is not being merciful to her who is not able to sustain her life without Him and so calling Him with sorrow’? Don’t you have to consider that He should not get such bad name?”. To that the daughter thinks, “Would the time come for me to see the face of Him who understands the sadness of those separated, and not see her (mother’s) face who is talking these words of advice without understanding my sorrow due to separation?”, and calls Him thinking about Him, in this pAsuram.

Mudhalazhvars with Idai kazhi aayan

pongAr melliLangkongai ponnE pUppa
porukayaRkaN neerarumbap pOndhu ninRu
sengAla madappuRAvap pedaikkup pEsum
siRukuraluk kudalrugich chindhiththu AngE
thaNkAlum thaNkudandhai nagarum pAdith
thaN kOvalUr pAdi Adak kEttu
nangAy! nam kudikkidhuvO nanmai? enna
naRaiyUrum pAduvAL navilginRALE. 17

Word by word meaning

pongu Ar mel iLa kongai – Bosom that is growing, delicate, and young

ponnE pUppa – losing colour,

poru kayal kaN – two eyes that are like two fish fighting

neer arumba – sprouting tears,

pOndhu ninRu – in the state of coming away separated from mother,

udal urugi – body melting

sem kAla madam puRavam pedaikkup pEsum siRu kuralukku – upon hearing the intellect-less doves having red legs, talking with their wives in low voice,

chindhiththu – thinking (about Him talking in personal ways?),

AngE – at that moment,

pAdi – (she started to) sing and

Ada – dance,

pAdi – by singing to her mouth’s content, about

thaNkAlum – thiruththaNkAl,

thaN kudandhai nagarum – and the place of thirukkudandhai,

thaN kOvalUr – (and about) the comforting thikkOvalUr too;

kEttu – As I heard that,

enna – and as I said

nangAy – ‘Oh girl!

nam kudikku – for our clan

idhu nanmaiyO’ enna – is it good (to call out openly loudly)’,

pAduvAL navilginRALE – she started for singing about

naRaiyUrum – thirunaRaiyUr too.


pongAr mel iLamkongai ponnE pUppa Mother is saying, “This state of all the longing that she is going through is what He would go through due to her bosom, and now she is going through that state that would be His state usually”.

pongAr mel iLam kongai Having growth, soft, and young bosom. ‘Ar’ in ‘pongAr’ implies high/excess. Or, ‘Ar’ could also indicate spreading and widening, this phrase could mean bosom that is growing more and more and spreading out.

men kongaiWhen it is the nature of bosom to be hard, saying it as soft is to show that it is not able to bear the separation.

iLam kongaiidea is that it has just started to grow and not a matured one.

ponnE pUppa – For it to change its colour. Like a fertile land became a desert, the bosom that is instrumental to His experience, has changed its colour and lost itself, is the thought.

ponnE pUppa – Instead of saying ‘colour changed’, the mother is saying ‘turned golden’, because it seems that for her this change of colour is like a karpaka tree sapling newly blossoming its flowers. When it was having its colour earlier, it was like an ornament worn during union with Him. Now changing its colour golden is like wearing it as an ornament for the separation, is the thought of the mother. If she is saying that it is like an ornament, would it befit for her to say the words of dislike about the state of her daughter? – It is only for those who came to inquire about her daughter that she hid her appreciation and talked as if she disliked it, but actually the mother finds it beautiful to see her daughter in this state due to separation.

poru kayal kaN neer arumba – by talking about tears rolling from the eyes, mother is saying that her daughter’s eyes that are supposed to keep looking at Him all the time are also lost.

poru kayal kaN – ‘poru’ – fight. This phrase may be understood to mean either that it is one that wins Him over, and the eyes that compete with each other in being beautiful.

kayal kaN – bright eyes like the kayal fish.

kaNNeer arumba – For her the tears are persistent. It would be tears overflowing out of joy when together with Him; tears overflowing out of sorrow when separated. Like how colourlessness entered her bosom, sorrowful tears entered into her eyes. Mother is saying, ‘The eyes that are supposed to be seeing Him are the ones that became the target of sorrowful tears”.

In the previous pAsuram, ‘thuNai mulai mEl thuLi sORa’, tears fell on her bosom, said the mother. Here, due the fire that is separation, internally her mind has become bone dry, so she is not saying ‘sOra’, but is saying ‘arumba’. That is, if boiling a quarter measure (kAl padi – uzhakku) of milk in a pot of size two marakkAl (padhakku), then even if the boiling milk comes up to the rim of the pot, there would not be wetness in the bottom of the pot – likewise, even when the mind has dried up, tears are welling up in her eyes.

pOndhu – When her mother advised, ‘You, who have got the beautiful bosom, and beautiful eyes which should make Him come and be with you, are engaging in Him – this does not match your womanliness”, she could not bear to hear it, she left outside from her mother’s house urgently like how one would rush out of a burning house.

Hearing the good words of SrI viBheeshaNAzhvAn, rAvaNAn replied, “yO(S)nyasthvavamviDham brUyAth vAkya mEthanniSAchara | asmin muhUrthE na BhavEth thvAm thu Dhik kulapAmsanam [SrI rAmAyaNam – yudhDha kANdam – 16-16]” (Oh giant! If anyone else had said these harsh words, they would not be alive. You, who have come here as a destroyer of our clan of giants, are a shame. (So, you should not be present here from this moment)), and so as said in “ithyukthvA parusham vAkyam rAvaNam rAvaNAnuja: | AjagAma muhUrthEna yathra rAma: salakShmaNa: || [SrI rAmAyaNAm – yudhDha kANdam – 17-1]” (viBheeshaNan, brother of rAvaNan, saying harsh phrases to rAvANan, came quickly to the place where there were rAmA and lakshmaNa), she left like how viBheeshanAzhvAn left quickly.

ninRu – after leaving from mother’s house, parakAla nAyaki stood sustaining herself.

As said in “thEshAm samBhAshamANAnAmanyOnyam sa viBheeshaNa: | uththaram theeramAsAdhya KasTha Eva vyathishTatha || [SrI rAmAyaNam – yudhDha kANdam – 17-10]” (That viBheeshaNan, while the vAnaras were talking to each other, reached the north shore (of the sea), stayed put above the land), as how viBheeshaNAzhvAn reached the north shore and stayed strongly in one place,

and as said in “vaDhyathAm Esha theevrENa dhaNdEna sachivai: saha | rAvaNasya nRuSamsasya BhrAthA hyEsha viBheeshaNa: || [SrI rAmAyaNam – yudhDha kANdam – 17-29]” (Let this viBheeshaNan be killed along with his ministers. (Because) he is a brother of the cruel rAvaNan. (sugreevan said this before he was accepted). (The oft-quoted phrase ‘vaDhayathAm paDhyathAm’ is not present in the text) – similarly, sugreevan and others said that we should punish viBheeshaNan. perumAL also did not accept him as soon as he arrived. Even then, viBheeshaNAzhvAn sustained himself and stood still, above the ground. Likewise, after she came out of her mother’s house, she sustained herself and stood well.

sem kAla, etc – Since the words of her mother was not acceptable to her, she left from her mother’s house. All the places outside looked poisonous. So none outside were any shelter to her. From this it is clear that the worldly life is sorrowful whether within or outside the house, and that it is only paramapadham that is of happy experience.

sem kAla mada puravam – Male dove having reddish feet, and which does not have wisdom. Its red legs made her suffer as it reminded her of His reddish feet which she keeps in her head when together with Him, as said in “adichchiyOm thalai misai nee aNiyAy AzhiyankaNNA! un kOlap pAdham [thiruvAimozhi – 10.3.6]”.

mada puravam – Here ‘madam’ implies lack of wisdom. When in union with Him He would converse out of losing His sense due to enjoyment of that union – so the bird reminds her of that and makes her suffer now.

pedaikkup pEsum siRu kuralukku – Male dove talking to its female birds in low voices – reminds her of the loving talks of Him to her, and so she suffers now.

siRu kural – Can take the meaning of this phrase as – words that were said out of tiredness, or the words only that He and She know. Since the words of man talking love to the woman should not be known to others, he would talk close to her ears. She is indicating that as ‘siRu kural’.

udal urugi – Seeing His physical form her heart melted. Hearing His talks, her body melted, is the thought.

sindhiththu – Thinking about His deeds when talking together with Him. That is, thinking about mix up of their clothes, doing salutations, etc. – such deeds of contrary ways.

AngE – Since the personal talk of male dove of red legs to her female lover is making her suffer, it is better to listen to the good words of her mother even in such state. The acts of her even while in that state, which she did while not listening to her mother, is told by the mother – starting with ‘thaN kAlum’.

The places thaNkAl, thaN kudandhai nagar, thaN kOvalUr are those that are already discussed for a meet with Him. Mother is saying that her daughter is calling out the names of such places.

thaNkAlum – This dhivyadhESam is referred as thiru thaNkAl to indicate the comforting nature of the One living in thaNkAl. Another meaning of thaN-kAl – breeze of air (kAl) that removes tiredness. Like the breeze, He who is having sweet touch and having form that removes any tiredness, is living there – so this dhivyadhESam is getting the divine name of thiruththaNkAl. She is calling Him ‘thaNkAl’ because it removes her tiredness when He hugs her when together, and is sweet.

thaN kudandhai nagarum pAdi – thirukkudandhai is the place where He mingled with the devotees without considering the norms.

As said in “thvadheeya BhukthOjjithaSEsha BhOjinA – thvayA nisRushtAthmaBharENa yadhyaThA | priyENa sEnApathinA nyavEdhi thath – thaThA(S)nujAnantham udhAraveekShaNai: || [sthOthra rathnam – 42]” (vishvaksEnar consumes the prasAdham first consumed by You, he manages both the worlds as his responsibility as given to him by You. Whatever deed is requested by Him for You to consider, You would go along with it and decide that it be done that way),

while it is the norm for the svAmi to eat first and then the devotees to eat the remaining, thirukkudandhai ArAvamudhAzhvAr first makes thirumazhisaip pirAn eat the prasadham made for Him, and then only does He consume it. thirumazhisaip pirAn would not complain about this because this is done by emperumAn out of overflowing fondness towards him.

The idea behind parakAla nAyaki saying this is – it indicates that the fortune of her friends (AzhvArs) is considered as her fortune.

thaN kOvalUr pAdi – If devotees approached Him first, it is customary for Him to mingle with them. Unlike so, it is He who went to where they were and jostled among mudhalAzhvArs out of love – such is this place called thirukkOvalUr. As they took shelter from rain in idai kazhi (small verandah) at thirukkOvalUr, He want to that place out of His own volition, and jostled with them, and mingled in this way. After the three AzhvArs left that place, He keeps thinking about them and so standing in that place itself – that is thirukkOvalUr Ayan. This is sung by poigai AzhvAr, “vAsal kadai kazhiyA uL pugA kAmar pUnkOval idaikazhiyE paRRi ini [mudhal thiruvanthAdhi – 86]”.

pAdi – She sang out of love, as she forgot her earlier sorrow as she thought of thaNkAl that was sweet for her like a cool breeze, and of thirukkudandhai and thirukkOvalUr where He mingled with other AzhvArs like her.

Ada – She is dancing also, and not stopping with just singing.

kEttu – hearing; this also includes ‘seeing’. Seeing the way she is dancing, and hearing the way she is singing – is the meaning.

pAdi Ada kEttu – Mother is wondering, ‘what blessing has she gained for her to sing and dance!’?

nangAy – Earlier AchAryas gave the meaning to this word as – she who is important – ‘muKhari’. That is – as you are very important for Him, it is He who has to come to you and undergo these sufferings. So should you go through such pains to attain Him? – was their thought. Bhattar gave the meaning for ‘nangAy’ to mean ‘Oh who is complete in qualities!’. In the eighth pAsuram, as per the SrI rAmAyaNa SlOkam – sundara kANdam – 30-30, which was discussed for the word ‘perumAn’, bhattar gives the meaning as “The mother asks – You are one who is having the completeness of the thinking as – let Him do whatever He wants to do to me as I am subservient to Him. – So is it appropriate for such a person with this quality to sing and dance for Him to come to you?”. Or, the word could also mean – we thought that our clan would flourish based on your completeness of such quality. That completeness is getting destroyed due to your efforts to make Him come”.

nangudi – nam kudi – The clan of prapannas is of higher greatness compared to all other clans of the world.

nangAy – third meaning for this word follows – You are having the beautiful form that He would wish to see always. You possess the helpers for enjoyment, like the red-footed dove, etc. You also possess the inability to bear the separation; like seethAp pirAtti you also have the sense that it is better to wait and look forward to His coming to you. When that is the case, is it appropriate for you to call our to Him like one who is not having the completeness of qualities?

idhuvO nanmai – Is calling Him out loud the favour you are doing to the clan that wishes to survive based on completeness of your qualities? You who have born to bring greatness to this clan could make this blemish to the clan?

enna – As the mother said this; instead of pulling back, she started calling Him out more, says the mother.

naRaiyUrum pAduvAL navilginRALE – She started singing about the place from where it is impossible to get her back – thiru naRaiyUr. Daughter was like asking – are you still spending your life talking about greatness of clans? The daughter is trying to get hold of aasu – 1) singing the type of poetry called aasu kavi – continuing to sing. 2) aasu : weapon – it is like touching the handle of weapon (with intention to pull it out and use it) for destroying her clan. (such is her starting to sing about thirunaRaiyUr).

naRaiyUrum pAduvAL navilginRALE – Daughter is wondering, ‘Instead of looking at the mother who is giving words of advice without understanding my suffering due to separation and longing to reach Him, when would I see the divine face of thirunaRaiyUr vanjuLavallith thAyAr the natural mother, who knows the sadness that occupies me due to separation?’. Since thAyAr is of the state “agalakillEn iRaiyum [thiruvAimozhi 6.10.10]”, she is the one who can understand my state due to separation.

Another meaning for the phrase – calling out thinking about thirunaRaiyUr nambi. He who had roamed around all of the forest looking for seethAp pirAtti and finally found her, would be able to understand my sad state of separation. When would I see the mother and father who understand my sad state of separation – asks nAyaki.

pAduvaL navilginRALE – Starting to sing, she is introducing its rAgam/tune. Is it wrong to sing? – Her own efforts of singing is wrong for her true nature of subservience – wrong like doing madal (announcing her love publicly to gain support from people).

navilginRALE – She is engaging in starting with elaboration of rAga of the song. If she completes singing then the pride of our clan would be like getting drowned in the sea. From this we can understand the expertise of mother on the SAsthram of music (this too is thirumangai AzhvAr!), since she is understanding the direction the song is going, just from listening to the beginning of her picking up the rAga for singing.

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Translation by raghurAm SrInivAsa dhAsan.

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thirunedunthANdakam – 16

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In the previous pAsuram, she was holding veeNA in hand, and thinking about the veeNA itself as emperumAn and being in union with Him, said words of victory that highlighted her victory and His losing, but she did not hear His reply of words of His victory and her loss – because she thought veeNA itself as Him. Only due to this she lost the state she was in, in the previous pAsuram, and losing her pride also, she started calling Him thinking about her and the veeNA in its original form itself. As was seen in the previous pAsuram, the SlOkam “BharThAramiva samprApthA jAnakee mudhithASBhavath”, becoming very happy thinking of His ring (kaNaiyAzhi) itself as rAmA, and after realizing that perumAL was not present there, (laments) seethA pirAtti (who is threatened by the demons in ashOkavanam) – “hA rAma hA lakShmaNa hA sumithrE hA rAmamAtha: saha mE jananya: | EshA vipaDhyAmyaham alpaBhAgyA mahArNavE nauriva mUDavAthA || [SrI rAmAyaNAm – sundhara kANdam – 28-8] (Oh rAma! lakShmaNa! SumithrA! Mother of rAma! My mothers! I who do not have good deeds in me, has been affected by sorrows, like a boat caught in the sea storm); like how She lamented, parakAla nAyaki also laments in this pAsuram. seethAp pirAtti thought about her dear perumAL and said ‘Oh rAmA!’, and thinking about iLaiya perumAL who is enjoying the presence of perumAL with him and said “Oh lakShmaNa!”, and thinking about the mother of that iLaiya perumAL and called out “Oh sumithrE!”. Likewise, she is also calling perumAL, who does not look at either the greatness or lowliness of anyone for protecting them, and is saddened in this pAsuram (due to separation).

kanRu mEyththu inidhugandha kALAy! enRum
kadipozhil sUzh kaNapuraththu en kaniyE enRum
manRamarak kUththAdi magizhndhAy! enRum
vadathiruvEngadam mEya maindhA! enRum
venRasurar kulam kaLaindha vEndhE! enRum
viripozhil sUzh thirunaRaiyUr ninRAy enRum
thunRu kuzhal karuniRaththen thuNaiyE! enRum
thuNai mulai mEl thuLi sOrach chOrginRALE 16

Word by word meaning

kanRu mEyththu – Oh one who protected the cows

inidhu ugandha – and became very happy,

kALAy enRum – and having the individualism, and

en kaniyE – Oh my fruit

kaNapuraththu – (that became ripe in) thirukkaNNapuram that is

kadi pozhil sUzh – surrounded by fragrant gardens! And,

magizhndhAy enRum – Oh who became happy

manRu amarak kUththAdi – by dancing with pots in the middle of the junction of roads! And,

vada thiruvEngadam mEya maindhA enRum – Oh the proud one who resides firmly in vada thiruvEngadam! And,

vEndhE – Oh the king who

venRu – won and

kaLaindha – destroyed

asurar kulam – the clan of asuras! And

ninRAy enRum – having your divine presence

thirunaRaiyUr – in thirunaRaiyUr

viri pozhil sUzh – that is surrounded by the gardens spread out expanding, and

thunRu kuzhal kaRu niRaththu en thuNaiyE enRum – Oh one having dense hair plaits, dark divine body, and being my companion, saying all these,

sOrginRAL – she becomes sad/faint that the

thuLi sOra – drops of tears flow down

thuNai mulai mEl – the bosoms that match each other.


kanRu mEyththu – First she says how emperumAn protects the little cows without considering any status.

kanRu mEyththu inidhu ugandha kALAy enRum – She is asking – Have you abandoned the nature of saving all entities including the calves? Here the word mEyththu (herding the calves) is present in the sense of protecting them. It would be apt to stay relaxed if He protects only the nithyasUris. It would be apt to stay relaxed if He protects the munis like sanakar sometimes. Having been incarnated as balarAma and kaNNan and protecting only the cowherds who are so innocent that they can’t distinguish between their left and right hands, even then one can stay relaxed. But when you are herding the calves who are the epitome of lack of wisdom, how can I stay relaxed while separated from you (because you are not including me in protecting)?

kanRu mEyththu inidhugandha kALAy – By kALai (bull) it says His dignity – can mean to imply a king or a youth. When it means king – being in the state of protecting the nithyasUris is like (the king) being in a jail, and only after herding the calves did He become a chakravarthy of all the worlds – is the thought. Only after protecting everyone did He completely gain the nobility of being known as one who protects everyone.

inidhugandha – Like said in “thivaththilum pasu niRai mEyppu uvaththi, sengani vAy engaL Ayar dhEvE [thiruvAimozhi 10.3.10]”, he is joyful due to herding the group of cows. Due to herding the calves He becomes extremely (inidhu), happy. Cows would have the knowledge that He is protecting. These calves don’t even have that knowledge. So, when He protects the calves He becomes very very happy – is the idea. Oh You who protected the calves that are at the upper limit of ignorance, are not protecting me who understood You and cannot survive life without You! – says she. Oh! leaving the state of being the beloved lover, and being knowledgeable, and helpless, could I not be one among the calves of no intelligence!

kALAy enRum – Here ‘kALai’ can be considered to say the age of youth. Even though she is overcome by sadness, she is saying this due to losing to His youth.

As said in “tharuNau rUpasampannau sukumarau mahAbalau | puNdareeka viSAlAkShau cheerakRushNAjinAmbarau || [SrI rAmAyaNam – AraNya kANdam – 19-14]” ((rAma and lakShmaNa are) being young, full of beauty, soft in nature, having great ability, having wide eyes like lotus, having tree barks and deer skin for dress (so describes sUrpaNakA about them to rAvaNa)), when their youth would attract even a vulture like sUrpaNakA, will it spare parakAla nAyaki? It could be that she wishes to further polish her youth by union with Him. Or, after herding the calves, kaNNan’s youth became even better than earlier, like those who ate the kAyakalpa medicine. Humans have the body that grows by food, so it is the food that is the reason for their growth – likewise, for Him the protector, when the act of protecting increases, His youth also gets better.

kadkpozhil sUzh kaNapuraththen kaniyE enRum – It is only to protect those who are present later than the respective vibhava avathAras, that He has come to thirukkaNNapuram, and stood there sweetly – this is the type of explanation of AchAryas who were present before Bhattar. Bhattar considered the phrase “kadipozhil sUzh kaNApuram” to give another explanation. That is, “kaNNapirAn who went herding the calves, went in a different path to surround the calves that moved away from his hands – at that time He saw there a very beautiful garden that would remove all tiredness. That was thirukkaNNapuram. Since it is a garden that mesmerizes, like nammAzhvAr also said “mayal migu pozhil sUzh [thiruvAimozhi – 2.10.3]”, kaNNan did not have the heart to leave that place and so stayed there itself” – divined Bhattar. It is to be noted that Bhattar divined so because he thinks of viBhava avathAr and archA avathAr as one and the same.

kadipozhil sUzh kaNApuramthe garden is such that one would say it is made of fragrance itself – such a thirukkaNNapuram that is surrounded by fragrant gardens. As said in, “sarvaganDha: sarvarasa: [chAndhogyOpanishath – 3-14-2]” ((paramapurusha, in His divine body) has got all the fragrances, all the good tastes), this garden’s fragrance is such that He who possesses all the fragrances is engaged in it.

en kaniyE enRumemperumAn is like a ripe fruit of that garden. It means He is sweet for me like a ripe fruit. “en kaniyE” – she is showing that she is only a prapanna who has surrendered to Him, consider only Him as the means to attain Him, and that she is not an upAsaka who would go for other means such as Bhakthi. For those who are using Bhakthi etc., as the means, only after completion of such means would it give them the experience of BhagavAn. So, before such completion, He would be tasteless to them like an unripe fruit. For prapannas, from the very time they surrendered to Him as their means He would be sweet to them, so He would be of good taste (enjoyable) to them like a ripe fruit.

en kaniyE enRumSince she thinks as “kaNNapuram onRu udaiyAnukku adiyEn oruvarkku uriyEnO [periya thirumozhi – 8.9.3]”, she saying en kaniyE.

kaniyE enRumA ripe fruit would rot and go waste if it is not eaten and enjoyed by someone. One who eats also would not bear if he does not enjoy that fruit. Since You did not give yourself for me to enjoy, are You trying to destroy us both? – says parakAla nAyaki.

manRamarak kUththAdi maghizhndhAy enRumIn the previous line, she referred to Him as the fruit that is sweet (only) for the one who enjoys it. Further she says You showed Yourself fully to everyone (by dancing with pots in the middle of the road), like one opening a bag full of aval (rice flakes) in a junction of roads.

manRamarak kUththAdiOh You who danced such that the theatre stage that is the junction square was completely well set for the dance! That is, even after finishing the dance, that arena would be having the smell of dance. That is, in that dancing arena, there would be an image of dance being performed still. Bhattar gives an example for this – “In thiruvarangam, even after namperumAL has crossed a street during procession, there would be the fragrance of kasthUri which is the fragrance of divine body of thiruvaranganAthan. Likewise, in the arena of thiruvAyppAdi, the fragrance of dance would be filled even after He finished dancing”. The word manRu denotes both a junction and a court/arena. It is the courtyard of assembly of the cowherds. Or, taking manRu to mean those present in the arena/the court, it could mean – all the cowherds of the arena, amara – he danced such that they all would become His belonging. That is, without the mind going after any other matter but fully engaged in the dance, making them think “that, that dance!”.

maghizndhAy enRumIt is not important that those who saw the dance were happy. It is He who was happy – such was the dance. That is, it is He who was happy by winning them over with His dance.

kUththAdi maghizhndhAy enRumHe who has to be happy seeing thumburu, nAradha, et al dancing after experiencing His sweetness, is being the dancer and the one who is happy too, says parakAla nAyaki. Is it apt for a eeSvaran to do pot dance? It is not so when in the state of parathvam, but for kANNan who is born as a cowherd, this dance gives excellence. Like how when there is more wealth, brahmins would perform vaidhika karmas like yAgam, like how when there is more wealth the samsAris that are engaged in wordly pleasures would marry again and again, the outlet of pride of increased wealth for cowherds is the dance with pots. He the sarvESvaran considered Himself as one of the cowherds only, He danced so – is the idea. The matter that was available for everyone to enjoy in the middle of the junction is the one who is being hard for me to get – says she. The item that is available in the market is being hard for me to get – says she.

vada thiruvEngadam mEya myndhA enRum It is not only about standing in a junction in the place that is thiruvAyppAdi and giving Himself fully to them, it also talks about Him giving Himself fully by standing in thirumalai that is in the middle of both the worlds. “kaNNAvAn enRum, maNNOr viNNOrkku [thiruvAimozhi 1.8.3]”, divined nammAzhvAr too, that the place where people of this world and that world would assemble is thirumalai.

maindhA enRum – It is His youth that He gave everyone, standing in thirumalai. myndhan – young person. As said in “vAnavar vAnavar kOnodum namanRezhum thiruvEngadam [thiruvAzimozhi 3.3.7]”, “kAnamum vAnaramum vEdumudai vEngadam [nAnumugan thiruvandhAdhi – 47]”, those who proudly think of themselves as eeSvarans, the vAnaras that were born as animals, and hunters of lower births, all together stole His divine body, but which is being hard for me to get, says she. It could also be considered to mean – In eighth pAsuram, in the vyAkhAyanam of the word “kaLvA”, as per jithanthE 1-5 taken there as a pramANam, the divine body that is common to all the devotees, is belonging to everyone except me!

venRasurar kulam kaLaindha vEndhE enRum – The thought here is, “If He is a dear one only, but if it is in someone else’s hands to remove hurdles to reach Him, then I might lose Him. It is not so in His case who destroys very big hurdles such as the clans of asuras”. By this phrase, she is calling – O chakravarthy thirumagan, who killed Kharan, thUshanan in the forest of janasthAnam, who went to lankA, who killed everyone associated to rAvaNa and made him be alone, who uprooted everyone who were having characteristics of asura, and who destroyed their leader rAvaNAn also! She is saying ‘asurar kulam kaLaindha’, referring to rAkshasas as asuras because they are different from the dhEvas who are warriors.

vEndhE enRum – As said in, “rAmO rAmO rAma ithi prajAnAnAm aBhavan kaThA: | rAmaBhUtham jagath aBhUth rAmE rAjyam praSAsathi || [SrI rAmAyaNam – yudhDha kANdam – 128-102]” (rAmA, rAmA, rAmA is what the people were talking. When rAma ruled the country, the whole world became rAmA), One who is there for the dear ones to rumble about Him, and for enemies to fall, is not showing Himself to me. This AzhvAr is divining the two attributes of perumAL as divined by periyAzhvAr in “thAyar magizha onnAr thaLara [periyAzhvar thirumozhi 1.7.11]”, and in “thiN koL asuraraith thEya vaLarkinRan [periyAzhvAr thirumozhi 1.2.16]”.

viripozhil sUzh thirunaRaiyUr ninRAy enRum – (thirunaRaiyUr being) the place where chakravarthy thirumagan comes and stands for those who are present after His incarnation of rAma. Unlike other dhivya dhESams where emperumAn is present with the two divine consorts, in thirunaRaiyUr He is present with only vanjuLavallith thAyAR, and thus appears as rAma who cannot think of anyone other than seethA, is being present there. Meaning of this phrase is “Oh who stood in thirunaRaiyUr that is surrounded by vast garden”. Since the garden is using the loving glance of nambi and vanjuLavallith thAyar as the required water for growth, it is growing by leaps everyday. Since the loving glance of them would not change, the expansion of garden would not change either.

ninRAy enRum – He roamed around in search of pirAtti. After seeing Her in that place (thirunaRaiyUr), He could sustain Himself and then stood there. If that state has to last long for You, then don’t You have to show Yourself to me who is a servant of Her? When You don’t show Your grace on me, will You get Her company? – thinks she.

thunRu kuzhal karu niRaththu en thuNaiyE enRum – In this line too parakAla nAyaki is talking about nambi’s divine hair plait, and beauty of His divine body. It means ‘my companion having very dense black hair plait, and black divine body like a dark rainy cloud!’. Like how nammAzhvAr is also considering that dark cloud as his help, divined “thOLum nAngudaich churikuzhal kamalakkaN kari vAyk kALa mEghaththai anRi maRRonRilam gathiyE [thiruvAimozhi 10.1.1]”. The word “thuNai” has got the meaning of “protector”. Or, dear husband could also be a meaning. She is indicating that His divine hair plait and beauty of His divine body by themselves got her interested in Him. During the time of searching for pirAtti during His stay in the forest, due to not maintaining it His hair was down with locks. Since after seeing Her here (thirunaRaiyUr), it is then the hair that was properly combed and reformed by Her, it is saying ‘thunRu kuzhal’ (dense hair plait).

en thuNaiyE – “praSastha snighDha neela kutila kunthala: [SrI vishNu sahasranAma BhAshyam – kESava [23] nAma Bhattar BhAshya SrIsUkthi] (One having slippery, black, curly divine hair plait) – having such hair plait that is praised, and with divine body having nature of removing tiredness – showing these You made me Yours – is the meaning. During the days when I was not inclined to be involved in You, You cared for my being and not getting destroyed, and so showed your beauty of form and made me Yours and joined me – all of these You did so that You could leave me now? – says she. The word “thuNai” implies both the person who made her interested in Him, and also the one who protected her. In the pAsuram “ilai thuNai maRRu en nenjE [nAnumugan thiruvandhAdhi – 8], thirumazhisai AzhvAr showed both these meanings for the word “thuNai”. Oh who is my dear destiny, and who is the means of protection as well – is the thought.

enRum thuNai mulai mEl thuLisOrach chOrginRALE – Mother is saying that as my daughter was calling Him out like this, she fainted in the floor.

thuNai mulai – When He and she enjoy in union, her bosoms would be a companion instrument for both of their enjoyment. In the state of separation from Him too, the bosom of His touch would be a companion for her. So she is saying ‘thuNai mulai’.

thuLi sORach chOrginRALEDue to her tears pouring out like fire and falling on her bosoms and changing its colour, she also fainted, says the mother.

Considering the “en thuNaiyE” in previous line together with “sOrginRALE” of this line, the meaning of this word is as follows – Like how those who are falling down would say “ammA” while falling down, even when suffering due to Him not showing up, she is telling His name only while fainting and falling down. As a help to her as a mother, while I was standing looking at her thinking “would she look at my face (for help?)”, she, even without considering that He whom she considered as help had left her, is thinking about His showing up only, and fainted; may be this is how the state would be of those who are having connection with emperumAn. It is the nature of such people to ignore the other matters/things that shout out “take me, take me”, and not being able to sustain oneself without Him even when He has ignored. Even though the mother had considered herself as a protector, the daughter had ignored her (and considered only emperumAn as her protector).

– – – – – – –

Translation by raghurAm SrInivAsa dhAsan.

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thirunedunthANdakam – 15

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<< previous – 14 – muLaikkadhirai


Previous pAsuram talked about how she recovered consciousness as she heard the parrot saying the divine names , and thanked the parrot and appreciated it. In this pAsuram – improving from the stage of only listening to the divine names from the parrot, she herself said the divine names and sang them along with playing the veeNA instrument. As she touched the veeNA when singing, it reminded her about her singing about the nature of herself and of Himself using the veeNA, when they were together earlier. Through that veeNA she visualized His divine body, and imagining the veeNA to be Him, she did with veeNA what she would do when she is together with Him. Mother is getting afraid thinking ‘what is going to befall her when she realizes that this is only a veeNA and not Him’.

kalluyarndha nedu madhiL sUzh kachchi mEya
kaLirenRum kadaRkidantha kaniye! enRum
alliyampU malarp poygaip pazhana vEli
aNiyazhundhUr ninRugandha ammAn enRum
solluyarndha nedu veeNai mulai mEl thAngith
thUmuRuval nagai iRaiyE thOnRa nakku
mel viralgaL sivappeydhath thadavi AngE
menkiLi pOl miga mizhaRRum en pEdhaiyE.

Word by word meaning

kal uyarndha nedu madhiL sUzh – Constructed using rocks, and surrounded by big towering walls,

kachchi mEya – being present in such kAncheepuram’s thiruppAdagam
kaLiRu enRum – O emperumAn who is like a must elephant, and,
kadal kidandha kaniyE enRum – who is like a fruit sleeping in the divine ocean of milk, and,
ammAn enRum – who is the lord
ninRu ugandha – who is happy standing in
aNi azhundhUr – the beautiful dhivya dhESam thiruvazhundhUr
alli am pU malar poygai – that is having ponds with beautiful and fragrant flowers pregnant with pollen, and
pazhanam – agricultural fields,
vEli – as the surrounding fences, (saying these),
thAngi – propping
mulai mEl – upon her breast
veeNai – the veeNA instrument that is
sol uyarndha – high in tone
nedu – long in harmonic range,
thU muRuval – she with pure smile,
nagai – and with her well set teeth
iRaiyE thOnRa – being visible a little,
nakku – is laughing, and
thadavi – caressing the veeNA,
mel viralgaL – (that her) thin fingers,
sivappu eydha – become reddish,
AngE – and after that,
en pEdhai – my daughter,
men kiLi pOl – like a small parrot,
miga mizhaRRum – makes melodies in many ways.


kal uyarndha, etc.- Divine name is helpful when in danger, it helps revive, and is also enjoyable. In pAsuram 13, she talked about it being helpful; in pAsuram 14 about how it is helping revive oneself. In this pAsuram she is talking about its enjoyability.

kal … – Qualities of the surrounding wall shows the greatness of the elephant being protected inside. Is it possible to be caring when in separation? It is not of concern whether she is with Him or separated. Her true nature is to care for Him. The ever-present greatness of a devotee is to create greatness for the master. The wall is having such height that it is not possible for the enemies to get in, and at the same time it is having enough space inside for the free movement of the elephant inside.

kachchi mEya kaLiRu – (elephant) is the lord pANdava thUdhan inside the dhivya dhESam of thiruppAdagam. He is sitting inside like a must elephant because like the elephant He too is ever-refreshing even if seeing Him all the time, and having the independence that cannot be controlled by anyone. Even though it is said that He is dictated by sEnai mudhaliyAr and periya thiruvadi, they are doing so based on His wishes and as a service to Him, and not as His masters.

He who is lovable by everyone is not showing His face to me who loves Him. He who does not have any one to control if He loves me, is One who is not showing His face to me – laments parakAla nAyaki.

kadal kidantha kaniyE enRum – This is talking about the place of incarnation of this elephant. She says – Oh You who are sweet like a ripe fruit lying down in the divine ocean of milk that is unreachable for the adversaries! Fruit is eagerly eatable, and gets destroyed when it does not find anyone to eat it. Likewise, He too searches for anyone who would enjoy Him, and He would be lost when not getting anyone to enjoy Him.

Oh He who looks for devotees to enjoy Him, is not showing His face to me!

alliyampU … – She is talking about the place where that elephant is standing, having roamed around independently. The place (thiruvazhundhUr) that is surrounded by ponds and water bodies having flowers that are pregnant with pollen, fragrant, and beautiful. Place that is hard for enemies to reach (as the ponds would attract such people towards themselves and prevent them going to emperumAn), and for the amicable ones it removes their fatigue.

ninRugandha – Standing so that the people of the world can surrender to Him, and if they get involved in the beauty of His standing there, and in His qualities that are the reason for that beauty, and so go to Him, then He would be the one happy about it. He becomes one who wished to reach them, and being happy for reaching them. Getting an AthmA to reach Him is His gain.

ninRugandha – As the reason for His standing becomes fruitful, He is being happy. Reason for that is the following.

ammAn enRum – Since He is the owner, He is the One who makes the efforts, and (after attaining the property), He is the one who becomes happy as well. The lordship of the lord got fulfilled in these dhivyadhESams (not in paramapadham, since He got them after coming here and standing). The jeevas who are subservient get their subservience fulfilled in these dhivya dhESams only, is how thirumangai AzhvAr thinks about this. The way thirumazhishaip pirAn enjoyed in ‘ninRadhu endhai Uragaththu irundhadhu endhai pAdagaththu anRu vehkaNaik kidandhadhu ennilAdha munnelAm [thiruchchandha viruththam – 64]’, this parakAla nAyaki is enjoying these three dhivya dhEsams in this thirunedunthANdakam.

solluyarndha nedu veeNai – volume being more, and music being lengthy in this compared to regular veeNA or flute; music being lengthy is about the individual letters of the song melting and only the music is present; Or,

nedu veeNai – being memorable for a long time for those who heard it and they would say ‘that, that song’.

veeNai mulai mEl thAngi – As she touched the veeNA, she saw in front of her eyes how the veeNA was played with the song that announced about the sweetness of herself and the sweetness of emperumAn when her hero that is emperumAn was with her earlier; and she saw directly in her mind the hand that caresses it, and saw the shoulder that holds that hand, and saw in her mind the divine body of that shoulder, and like embracing Him in her chest when together with Him, she embraced the veeNA by her chest.

Is it possible to think of this veeNA as emperumAn? As said in ‘gruheethvA prEkShamANA sA Bharthu: karaviBhUshaNam | BharthAramiva samprApthA jAnakee mudhithA Abhavath [SrI rAmAyaNam – sundhara kaNdam – 36-4]’ (seethA took (from hanuman) the ring that decorated her husband and became happy as if her husband himself came), seethA pirAtti enjoyed as if that ring itself is perumAL, and enjoyed like she saw perumAL Himself.

This SlOka is described now.

gRheethvA” – getting it, she started seeing it with great interest as if seeing relatives who had gone abroad; “prEkShamANA” – was seeing it without taking her eyes off of it. “sA” – she who was afraid upon seeing hanuman thinking that it is rAvaNan who has come, is now enjoying with interest; “Bharthu: kara viBhUshaNam” – (saw the) ring which pressed against her fingers when she had joined hands with Him; or, when He and She were together, due to excess of enjoyment would love-quarrel and not see each other’s face; the ring that got them back together then; that is –looking straight at each other and talking would be wished by them; but since there would be no body else there to get them back together, perumAL would remove the ring from His hand and let it fall on the floor; at that time He would instigate Her to say “oh, see you have let the ring fall down” and so create a conversation – it is that ring; so it is said as one that got them together; “BharthAramiva samprApthA” – as She got the divine ring from hanuman, She thought about perumAL; then about the shoulder that the ring belongs to, and the form that the shoulder belongs to; like embracing Him when He is present, she hugged the ring; “BharthAramiva” – she thought of it as perumAL Himself; seeing that in his mind, he (vAlmiki maharishi) says ‘like husband’. “jAnakee mudhithA aBhavath” – Divine daughter of king janaka got happiness; what would be the consequence (when she realizes it is just the ring [not SrI rAma himself]) – vAlmiki rishi is afraid so.

thAngi – instead of saying ‘kept’, it is saying ‘upheld’ the veeNA – because when together, as said in “apUrvavath vismayam AdhaDhAnaya [sthOthra rathnam – 38]” (She gives amazement like new), when He was immersed in her enjoyability and lost Himself, she took Him in her arms and held Him – thinking about that now, thinking of veeNa as Him, she is holding the veeNa close to her breasts.

thUmuRuval – This is talking about the smile that came due to the happiness of touching emperumAn, and due to the happiness of defeating Him (by her beauty);

nagai iRaiyE thOnRa nakku – laughing with just enough of the row of teeth be visible, and with the smile mentioned earlier, she could not stop with that, and so she laughed opening her mouth further. It is said too as “kAnthasmithA lakShmaNa jAthahAsA [SrI rAmAyaNam – AraNya kANdam – 63-12]” (Hey lakshmaNa, in this rock, together with me, seethA dhEvi being generous (in giving her body to me), having sweet smile, and sitting on all sides of the rock (by quickly changing her position), and getting a big laughter, she addressed you with a lot of words).

mel viralgaL sivappeydhath thadavi – talking about her thinking about putting nail marks in the back of her hero when enjoying together with Him, and so caressing the string of veeNA.

mel viralgaL – the fingers are so delicate , you see!

sivappeydhath thadavi – during the time of union, it would be tolerable when such fingers suffer due to putting nail marks on His back.

sivappeidha – fingers that are naturally red, became even more reddish due to caress.

AngE – meaning for this could be taken as ‘after that’, or ‘in that state’.

men kiLi pOl miga mizhaRRum – spoke very sweetly like a young parrot. Since she has heard the divine names from the mouth of the parrot, the mother is talking about the even better softness and youth of her daughter by saying miga.

miga mizhaRRum – even though she is of young age, is talking like a mature lady when together with Him, it cannot be described by me, says the mother. She laughing at perumAL who lost (in playing game with pirAtti), as said in ‘thvAmaha seethA bahuvAkyajAtham [SrI rAmAyaNam – AraNya kANdam – 63-12] (addressing you lakshmaNa, seethA spoke many words (when playing on top the big rock, like described the same SlOka earlier)), “aren’t we ladies, aren’t we delicate and not have any strength, aren’t you man”, and so on, there is no count of words she talked in this manner, says vAlmeeki maharishi. As said in “nayva mA kinchith abraveeth [SrI rAmAyaNam – ayOdhyA kANdam – 58-35]” (seethA who has never before undergone suffering, and who is a famous princess, did not say any word to me, but was crying due to the sorrow (that happened to Her husband) (says sumandhrA to dhaSarathA after leaving them in the forest), as she could only express Her feeling with tears at that time, now at this time of enjoying the sweetness of enjoyment, losing the state of holding together Her divine mind, showing Her victory, she talks like a mature lady.

en pEdhaiyE – Where did this little girl, who was born from my stomach, learn all these? At this young age, where did she learn the mature ways of exchanging loving words? Her age, and time are not enough to teach her these. It must be Him. emperumAn holding the big world in His small stomach is His smartness of doing the impossible (aGatithaGatanA sAmarThyam]. Another such smartness is being a vibhu (all-pervading), at the same time being present with His full form inside AthmA that is the smallest particle. This smartness of changing this girl like this is beyond those smartness! – says the surprised mother.

men kiLi – en pEdhaiyE – youth by age, and maturity by speech, how are these both present in the same person!


Translation by raghurAm SrInivAsa dhAsan.

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thirunedunthANdakam – 14

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The previous three pAsurams talked about her inability to hear His divine name (as she was in fainted state, and (as she gained a bit of consciousness) in the next pAsuram it was not clear whether she could take in His divine name, and in the previous pAsuram she herself started saying His divine names and as she recited those names, the parrot repeated it. But she thought ‘He who saves during times of danger has not helped us’ and fainted which is said as ‘sOrginRALE’ in previous pAsuram. Seeing this, the parrot, using its common sense, started saying His divine names in the same order, for her to recover from fainted state and sustain herself, the divine names which she taught earlier when she was able to sustain herself.

In this pAsuram, she, after hearing those names, recovers and sustains herself, and rejoices about her parrot by saying ‘vaLarththadhanAl payan peRREn varuga’ (Oh come to me dear parrot! I attained the goal of nurturing and raising you).

muLaikkadhirai kuRunkudiyuL mugilai,
mUvAmUvulagum kadandhappAl mudhAlAy ninRa
aLappariya Aramudhai arangam mEya
andhaNanai andhaNar tham sindhaiyAnai
viLakkoLiyai maradhakaththaith thiruththANkAvil
vehhAvil thirumAlai pAdakk kEttu<
vaLarththadhanAl payan peRREn varugavenRu
madakkiLiyaik kai kUppi vaNanginALE                             

parakAla nAyaki with madakkiLi

Word by word meaning

muLaikkadhirai – He who is like a young sun
kuRunkudiyuL mugilai – and bright in thirukkurunkudi as a rainy cloud
mUvA mUvulagum kadandhu – and ever present and beyond the three types of worlds
appAl – in paramapadham
mudhalAy ninRa – being present as the leader (for both the worlds (leelA and nithya vithi),
aLappariya – who is not measurable by number (of auspicious qualities of true nature and form)
Ar amudhai – who is like a specal nectar
arangame mEya andhaNanai – who is the ultimate purity, present in great city of thiruvarangam
andhaNar tham sindhaiyAnai – who is having His abode as the mind of vaidhikas (those who live based on the words of vEdhas),
thiruththaNkAvil viLakku oLiyai – who provides dharSan as the deity viLakkoLip perumAL in thiruththaNkA,
maradhakaththai – who is having a beautiful form like the green of gem of emerald,
vehhAvil thirumAlai – who the sarvESvaran, who is the husband of SrIdhEvI, who is in reclining resting pose in thiruvekhA,
pAdak kEttu – as the (parrot) sung (about Him), and she listened (to its pAsurams),
madak kiLiyai – looking at that beautiful parrot,
vaLarththadhanAl payan peRREn varuga enRu She called it, saying – ‘I got the fulfilment due to nurturing/raising you; come here’
kai kUppi vaNanginAL
– and joined her hands in anjali form, and prostrated to it.


muLaikkathirai – This pAsuram includes the divine names in the order in which she had taught the parrot when she was able to sustain herself. Addressing the parrot, “Thou say ‘muLaik kadhir’, thou say ‘kuRungudiyuL mugil’ is how she had taught.

muLaikkathirai – He who is having divine and auspicious form (body) which can be devoured by eyes like the sun that rises in the morning. As said in ‘thathra gOvindhamAsInam prasannAdhithavarchasam | upAsAnchakrirE sarvE kurava: rAjaBhi: saha || (mahAbhAratham – udhyOga parva – 89-10] ( (kaNNan the messenger sat in a priceless seat in dhuryOdhana’s palace). All the kaurvas with other kings attended to krishNa who sat there with his brightness like a clear sun)), where the greatness of His divine body was told.

After emperumAn recovered this AzhvAr from worldly matters, and created interest in him towards Himself, were all done by showing His divine body only, so she taught that first to the parrot. In the first pAsuram too, she said ‘maNi uruvil bhUtham aindhAy’, referring to His divine body that reformed him first. There he talked about His black coloured divine body as ‘maNi uruvil’ – But, here, by saying ‘muLaik kadhirai’, would it not mean, like the rising sun His divine body is said to be reddish? How would that fit with the earlier pAsuram? In here, by ‘muLaik kadhirai’, it does not talk about reddish divine body. It is only talking about the brightness of His divine body like that of the rising sun. So, even though black, it shined like a rising sun, is the meaning.

kuRum kudiyuL mukilai – He did not show this divine body through SAsthrams. Nor did He show it through the advise of an AchAryan. He let me know this only through the divine body in thirukkuRunkudi. In the 2nd pAsuram, by ‘mukil uruvam’, he meant ‘divine body like a cloud’ by considering the nature of removing the suffering, and about his generosity. AzhvAr is meaning the same thing here too in ‘kuRunkudiyuL mukil’. Like saying that if the cloud sets on top of this particular mountain then it would definitely rain, if emperumAn stands in thirukkuRunkudi, then the whole world would benefit from it, is how He is present.

uL mukilai – It is unlike the clouds that come from some place, pour rain, and go away. This is a cloud that stays put firmly in thirukkuRunkudi.

In the next phrase he says where He, who is affable, came to thirukkuRunkudi and stood steadfast, had come from

mUvA muvulakum kadanthu appAl – By ‘mUvA mUvulagu’, he is divining about the eternal AthmAs of three categories (nithyar, mukthar, badhDhar).

kadanthu – He being of great stature than all the sentient and insentient.

appAl – in paramapadham.

mudhalAy ninRa – Being the reason for both (nithya, leela) worlds to exist. For nithyaSuris, based on His enjoyability He is the reason for their existence; for people of this world, He gives body and faculties to them such that they would exist (do actions).

aLappariya Aramudhai – Being immeasurable in each – His nature, form, and qualities (svarUpa, rUpa, guNam), like a sea of nectar, being enjoyable unlike anything that could equal or exceed it.

arangam mEya andhaNanai – It is like a bubble out of that sea of nectar coming up and getting setting in a pond – His state of being in the lying posture in SrIrangam. periya perumAL did not come from the divine milky ocean (as is generally said) but He is from SrIvaikuNtam itself – It is said as in ‘aNdarkOn aNi arangan [amalanAdhipirAn – 10]’ (periya perumAL from paramapadham).

arangam mEya – The way He is present in paramapadham is apt to lead to Him wishing to do incarnations; it would be apt for each of His incarnations (like SrI rAma, SrI krishNa) to end one day (and return to SrIvaikuNtam); His saying “Until all the people end their worldly affairs (and wish to go to His abode in paramapadham only) I will not leave and go’, is how He is present here (in SrIrangam, other dhivyadhEsams). Even at the end of a kalpam, when praLayam occurs, He returns only because there is no one here wait for.

andhaNanai – He who is having the purity of removing the impurities ahankAram (sense of independent self) and vishyAnthara prAvaNyam (interest in worldly affairs), by showing His beauty.

andhaNar tham sindhaiyAnai – He who would live in the heart of those who became pure. His presence in Srirangam periya kOyil is based on His consideration of the heart of someone who is not interested (in worldly affairs), and so not having hatred (due to not getting the object of his interest). This is as said (by thirumazhisai AzhvAr) in ‘anRu vekhaNaik kidanthadhu ennilAdha munnelAm [thiruchchandha viruththam – 64]’ (emperumAn being present in dhivyadhEsams in various postures, was when I was indifferent (now He is in my heart doing all these postures)).

viLakkOliyai – He who not just removes ahankAram and vishayAnthara prAvaNayam, but then enters their heart and shows their relationship with Him;

viLakkoLiyai – He who brought out the knowledge; that is – AthmA’s nature, His nature, hurdles in reaching Him, and the nature of means (Him) which helps overcome the hurdles to attain the benefit (Him).

thiruththaNkAvil maradhagaththai – Like how one would say ‘elephant of arumaNavan’ – this elephant is from arumaNavan (burmA/myanmAr) to imply its good quality, AzhvAr is sayingthe emerAld of thiruththaNkA’, to say that if it is the form of the One lying down in thiruththaNkA then it would be distinguished (periyavAchchAn piLLai would often say this). Having the form that is green in colour like that of emerald, as said in pachchai mAmalai pOl mEni [thirumAlai – 2]’. (periyavAchchAn piLLai would say) His being in the state of lying down here is to welcome and remove the tiredness of people coming from north.

(Some say that this is about the dhivya dhEsam famously named ‘pachchai vaNNar’ which is in the city of kAnchIpuram. This is only about thiruththaNkA viLakkoLip perumAL so says periyavAchchAn piLLai).

vekhAvil thirumAlai – Like how the greatness of form is shown in thiruththaNkAvil – maradhakam’, his nature of being the husband of periya pirAtti (SrI lakshmI) became meaningful after He came to thiruvekhA. That is how he divined earlier too – ‘villiRuththu melliyal thOL thOyndhAy enRum”, “vekhAvil thuyil amarndha vEndhE enRum” – emperumAn marrying pirAtti, and then both coming with their wedding decoration and staying put (in thiruvekhA). Whether it is the time of surrendering or the time enjoying, it is their togetherness is what is the shelter.

pAda as parakAla nAyaki is able to bear His divine names, thinking that I got the opportunity to help at the right time, with that happiness, (the parrot) said (the divine names); and when it said,

kEttu – as her love incited, she heard (the parrot’s words). Earlier, ‘sollE enRu – sOrginRAL’ – when the parrot recited the divine names she was unconscious so no one heard it; now since it is bearable for me to hear His names, the parrot got me to hear it, says she. Like ‘selvan nAraNan enRa sol kEttalum [thiruvAimozhi – 1.10.8]’ (nammAzhvAr melting at the hearing of His divine name selva nAraNan).

vaLarththadhanAl payan peRREn – Since the divine name that it said is life-sustaining for her, she is saying – I got the benefit of fostering you. She is saying ‘The one who is a friend during danger had gone away creating the danger; even in that state, I got you as a friend who helps during danger’.

varuga enRu – (asking the parrot to come near, or, welcoming the parrot) – the parrot in her forearm seemed like being at a thirty miles (due to her excessive happiness).

madak kiLiyai – parrot that is shy; parrot that is obedient.

(that is),

vaLarththadhanAl payan peRREn – meaning, the parrot thought – ‘Oh she is making her natural relationship to me as based on some reason!’, and “As I did little service to her as a disciple, she is talking as if I helped her!’, so it felt shy. As the disciple performed some service as suitable for his true nature (of subservience), the master said ‘dharmatha: parirakShithA: [SrI rAmAyaNam – yudhDha kANdam – 1-11]’ ((SrI rAman said to hanUman who performed the service as per his true nature) – “We got saved due to your noble deed (of finding seethA)”);

As she praised, the parrot stood with obedience as per its subservience, like how hanUman stood in front of seethA pirAtti when he went to inform her about SrI rAman, as said in ‘niBRtha: praNatha: prahva: [SrI rAmAyaNam – yudhDha kANdam – 113-4]’ (prostrated, humble and without movement, stooping).

kai kUppi vaNanginAL – Not satisfied with saying so to show her appreciation for its help, she also showed reverence by joining the palms of her hands (anjali). It got rid of its shyness (after seeing that). Reason for that is – it thought that it should not argue about proper etiquette when she did that out of affection.

vaNanginALE – Thinking that the parrot was able to tolerate her anjali, (she proceeded further and), she fell on its feet. When udaiyavar along with his disciples was going for taking bath, periya nambi prostrated due to affection of seeing the divine group – udaiyavar was thinking “If I stopped him to show my humility, then it would amount to accepting his prostration”, (and so, udaiyavar) proceeded without saying anything.

{valarththadhanAl payan peRREn varuga enRu -When some people complained to perumAL that piLLailOkAcharyar has written in SrIvachanabhUshaNam some things that are not as per SAsthram, perumAL called for him to inquire. At that time he had gone to cauvEry so his younger brother azhagiya maNavALap perumAL nAyanAr went to perumAL sannidhi, and explained the accuracy of his brother’s grantham. perumAL was very happy and honored him with prasAdham etc. When the elder brother came back to his thirumALigai and found out the details from his brother he was very happy with azhagiya maNavALap perumAL nAyanAr [and said] vaLarththadhanAL payan peRREn varuga.

Another incident – ananthAzhvAn had gone to thirumalai to do service of making and presenting garland of flowers to thiruvenkatamudaiyAn. This was based on emperumAnAr’s wish. ananthAzhvAn created a flower garden and named it as rAmAnusan, and used the flowers from there for his service. When emperumAnAr visted thirumalai later, he saw the garden and was very happy about ananthAzhvAn and said ‘vaLarththadhanAl payan perRREn varuga



Translation by raghurAm SrInivAsa dhAsan.

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thirunedunthANdakam – 13 – Part 2

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villiRuththu etc. Oh You, who are having “breaking the bow” as a hindrance to attain Her, thus showing Your valor, and removing her womanliness of shying away, and got the union of Her who is of smooth body by nature.

Since SrI janaka chakravarthy had taken a vow ‘I shall give Her hand in marriage to the one who will break this bow”, He took the bow and as He tried to pull the string to tie it, the bow broke; at that time as the king tried to bring water in a golden bowl to use for giving his daughter to Him, He said, “Since we are princes, we came here to engage our strength; did we come here considering looking for a girl for wedding? (If that should happen) you may ask vaSishta et al., (AchAryas), and the father”; seeing His manliness of breaking the bow and the greatness of His words, seethA pirAtti melted (as water); to remove the tiredness of breaking the bow He (married Her and) immersed (in water) in her smooth shoulders;

thOL thOyndhAy ennum – The entity that is present everywhere was controlled in to one part (shoulder). The other parts of Her body, auspicious qualities of AthmA, and auspicious qualities of divine body got wasted by not getting this opportunity;

by this – When being separated from Her, who is known as always being with Him without getting separated (nithyAnapAyinee), due to incarnating as humans in separate families, there is a need to have someone (like SrI janaka) to use water, and to give Her hand to Him; even though the sentient (human beings) have the true nature of being there for emperumAn only like pirAtti (ananyArha Seshathvam), there is a need for surrendering to AchAryan, and for someone (thAyAr) to recommend to Him, in order for Him to accept sentient;

Oh, You, who removed the danger that came upon Her who was alone separated from You, is not removing the danger of me who is having loneliness!

vekhAvil thuyil etc. – (thiru vekhA) is the divine place where emperumAn has come to rest after marrying pirAtti (since AzhvAr talked about marriage in the previous phrase, AzhvAr is thinking about thiruvekhA as where He came to after that).

vEndhE enRum – (king/prince) – For everyone to know that a prince has come down and present in reclined position; He is present in reclining posture in thiruvekhA. (vekhA is related to speed (vEgam in thamizh) – {when brahmA performed yagya to get dharSan of SrIman nArAyaNan with four arms, his wife sarasvathi came flowing fast as a river in order to stop that yagya because he started it without inviting her; emperumAn stopped the river by lying down in its path, like a dam; so He was referred to as ‘vEga aNai’ (dam that stopped that speed), which got transformed into present day ‘thiruvekhA’; and the river is called ‘vEga’vathee.};

I wished to enjoy the togetherness of both of you, but am suffering due to not seeing that, so what is the use of that togetherness of both of you?

malladarththu mallarai etc. – When winning the wrestlers chANuran and mushtikan, He destroyed their strength first, and only then did He decimate them. (The ‘mal’ in the first word refers to strength). As said in ‘mRga maDhyE yaThA simhau garva-leelavalOkinau | pravishtau sumahArangam balaBhadhra-jarAndhanau [vishNu purANa – 5-20-43] ’ (Like two lions looking with pride amidst a herd of deer, kaNNan and balarAman entered the stage of celebration set up by kamsa), they killed the elephant kuvalayApeetam, pulled its trunk and held in their hands, without caring that it is the crowd of enemies, with droplets of sweat in their divine faces, with great pride entered the stage of celebration of bows; since it was like two lions entering amongst the herd of deer, the strength of wrestlers decimated just as they saw them. After that, He killed them.

Or, malladarththu – it talks about the way the wrestlers were destroyed. The first mal being the strength of shoulders of krishNan and balarAman, and that strength saying ‘Do I go waste? Show me matter to fully scratch my itch to fight’, and they gave enough food for that strength.

anRu attAy enRum – Danger is present today also like that day (anRu), you see. SrI vasudhEvar and dhEvaki pirAtti were sad thinking ‘We saw Him on the day He was born; is it possible to see Him at least near the end of our life?’; that danger of them being an example of her danger, she is saying anRu (that day). They could have gone and seen their parents first and then destroyed the enemies; not doing so is because – their thinking ‘What is the use of seeing them without destroying the enemies?’. Only after destroying the enemies would it be possible to get what is to be attained (prApyam).

mallarai anRu attAy enRum – Would you remove the danger for parents only? Is it not needed to remove the danger of lover? “The shoulders that the worst sinners chANUra mushtikas got, is being hard to get for me who does not wish for anything else than those shoulders!”, says she. “Instead of suffering like this as a lover, if I had come to fight Him like those wrestlers, then I would have got the enjoyment of those shoulders!’, she says. (Instead of having gyAnam, etc., as a disciple, if I had been a mute and deaf like that person, I would have got the divine feet of emperumAnAr in my head, opined kUraththAzhvAn).

mAkeeNda, etc. – (mA – animal) It talks about destroying the wild horse kEsi which was a hindrance for the five lakh household gOpikAs of AyppAdi, and then giving Himself to them. kEsi, instigated by kamsan, looked at His age and delicateness and thought ‘Is He even a matter? Shall take Him and swallow’, and came with his mouth open; small kids would put their hands in if they see a hole, so He put His hand inside the mouth of kEsi the horse; since it is the arm of the protector, as it saw the space for protecting, it grew big. kEsi was laying down split just like a cucumber split.

en myndhA enRum – She is saying ‘Oh You who attracted the gOpikAs in thiru AyppAdi by showing your youthfulness (myndhA), which You showed me too and made me Yours!’.

In these ways, she is prompting the parrot by saying the divine names that help during danger.

sol eduththu – Uttering these divine names itself is like lifting a mountain is how she feels – because of suffering due to separation. Thinking about His strength when He lifted the mountain, she said ‘kal eduththu’ as if he lifted a small stone. But when at the stage of saying what she taught the parrot, she is showing her lack of strength by saying ‘sol eduthu’ (lifting the word).

than kiLiyai – The parrot that she brought up with fondness. After understanding the enjoyability of Him, she was ignoring the pAvai toy she had enjoyed earlier. But since this parrot has learned His divine names, she is still fond of it. From this it is seen that there is no thing that is wanted or not wanted by just its nature; but when it is opposed to matters related to emperumAn then all such or unwanted; when amicable to Him then all such are wanted.

sollE enRu – She prompted the first words saying ‘Thou recite the divine name’. After that it started reciting.

thuNai mulai, etc. – With tears flowing over her two divine breasts, she is suffering. She is saying there is nobody to listen to the parrot (or) she became weak to listen to its words. ‘Isn’t he (thirumangai AzhvAr) just having the thought that he is a girl (parakAla nAyaki)? Did he lose his moustache and got breasts sprouting?’ – moustache represents independence; breasts represent subservience; so this phrase is about his losing independence and growing subservience; breasts of women contribute to the enjoyment of their husbands;  talking about breast for a devotee – it is about devotion.

Like how the breasts help in enjoyment for both the hero and his lover, devotion helps one enjoy emperumAn, and it also helps emperumAn enjoy the devotee. This is as said in ‘BhrAmyathAmathra samasArE narANAm karmadhurkgamE | hasthAvalambanO hyEkO BhakthikreethO janArththana: || [vishNu dharmam]’ (In this forest where the path is not clear due to karmAm, it is only janArdhanan, who is bought by devotion (bhakthi-kreetha:), is the guide who holds the hand and takes one in the right path), and so He is said as one bought by our devotion.

thuNai mulai – Breast (devotion) that helps when the lover emperumAn enjoys the sentient, that is, the devotee. Or, there is no parallel to one breast than the other breast. It is like how His divine feet are there for each other as equals. (Are there not equals in the form of breasts (devotion) of other AzhvArs too?) This thirumangai AzhvAr is unlike other AzhvArs since he is very delicate; like how some of those in kEraLA are capable of eating enough once to sustain for a month, and starve even for a month, other AzhvArs can sustain themselves during the time of union with Him, and can sustain themselves during separation also; but this AzhvAr’s delicateness is such that he cannot bear union as well as separation; he would not eat and he would not starve either; this is as he said in ‘num adiyArOdum okka eNNi irundheer adiyEnai [periya thirumozhi 4.9.6]’ (Did you think of me to be same as your other devotees (AzhvArs), oh the one in thiru indhaLUr?).

thuNai mulai mEl thuLi sOra – (tears dripping down from her eyes to her breasts); appears like the faculty (indhriyam) of touch (skin/breast), and the eyes that see, have lost their ability of touch of emperumAn and seeing of Him, and are weeping loud while hugging each other; since tears are flowing from her eyes to her breasts and not to any other part of her body, it can appear as if the eyes and breasts are crying loud while hugging each other.

sOrginRALE – The inner meaning for eyes is gyAnam; breasts imply devotion; their crying together implies loss of gyAnam and devotion (because not able to see or touch Him?); since gyAnam and devotion that help in enjoying emperumAn are lost, she became tired; seeing that earlier when (mother and diviner) saying His divine names got her to recover, she (parakAla nAyaki) thought ‘His divine would help her recover now also’, and so started prompting her parrot to say His divine names; thinking about the meanings of those divine names (which are about His removing the dangers of His devotees), my daughter fainted thinking “He who helps during the time of danger is not helping me now who is in danger too (due to separation)”, says her mother.


Translation by raghurAm SrInivAsa dhAsan.

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