Author Archives: T N Krishnan

thiruviruththam – 20 – chinmozhi nOyO

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avathArikai (Introduction)

This pAsuram belongs to the classification of veRivilakku in thamizh literature. Concerned with the illness of the nAyaki (leading lady), the mothers engage fortune tellers to tell them the reason for her state. They say that it is because of (a lowly) deity. Believing that, the mothers engage in remedial activities to rid the nAyaki of her illness. The lowly deity, seeing all these, possesses a person in the crowd, making him to go into a frenzy. The nAyaki’s friend tells the mother to stop all these and drives away the one who is in frenzy. This is called as veRivilakku.

Looking at the clouds surrounding, both the nAyaki and her friend became bewildered. The nAyaki’s mother became very saddened on seeing this state. Determining that this is the correct time, those who worship deities other than emperumAn, came there and started giving remedial measures to improve the situation of nAyaki. The mothers too started carrying out such remedial measures. Another friend of the nAyaki’s, who knew the real reason for the nAyaki’s sorrow, came there at that time. She told the mothers “When a beautiful garland is given to you, with water sprinkled on it to freshen it up, you act as if you want to throw it into fire. Don’t destroy her svarUpam (true nature) by indulging in these remedial measures”. She explained to them the reason for her illness, the antidote for that illness and the method to remove that illness.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

chinmozhi nOyO kazhi perum dheyvam innOyinadhenRu
inmozhi kEtkum iLam dheyvam anRu idhu vEla nil nI
en mozhi kENmin en ammanaimIr ulagu Ezhum uNdAn
sonmozhi mAlai andhaNNandhuzhAy koNdu sUttuminE

Word-by-Word Meanings

chinmozhi she, who speaks (illegible) small words , her
nOy – illness
kazhi – very much
perum – huge
dheyvam – happened due to such supreme entity
innOy – this illness
inadhu enRu – resulted due to lowly Gods
inmozhi – non-existent (false) words
kEtkum – feeling happy on hearing
iLam dheyvam – a lowly God
idhu – this illness
anRu – did not result
vEla – Oh vEla (subrahmaNya)!
nI – you
nil – stand at a distance
en ammanaimIr – Oh my mothers!
en mozhi – my words
kENmin – do listen to
ulagu Ezhum – the seven worlds
uNdAn – one who ate
mozhi – divine names
sol – recite
am – beautiful
thaN – cool
thuzhAy – strung with divine thuLasi
mAlai – garland
koNdu – bring
sUttumin – adorn

Simple Translation

nAyaki’s friend tells her mothers “The reason for the illness of this girl, who talks only a few words, is the supreme entity who is huge. Her disease has not been caused by any lowly God, as said by some people. Oh subramaNya! Go far from this place. Oh my mothers! Do listen to what I am saying. Keep reciting the divine names of the supreme entity who ate up the seven worlds. Offer her a garland strung with beautiful, cool, divine thuLasi”.

vyAkhyAnam

chinmozhi – there are two interpretations: one who uses very few words because of her young age or one who uses few words because of deep sorrow. The commentator uses the former meaning. If one were to consider this as a case where the girl is so young that she cannot even repeat the words spoken of by others, one would wonder as to how such a person became engaged with emperumAn to such an extent that she suffers in separation. The commentator gives reference here to SrI rAmAyaNam bAlakANdam 18-27 “bAlyAth prabhruthi susnigdha:” (lakshmaNa was very affectionate towards SrI rAma from infancy stage).  In the same way, the nAyaki too has been affectionate towards emperumAn from a young age. However, the illness which she exhibits is not congruent with her age. Does it not come after observing many deeds? Is it proper to term the love that one shows towards emperumAn as illness? Since it is a state which one takes upon oneself, it is apt only. The svarUpam (true nature) of the person is such that it becomes difficult to sustain himself/herself when separated from emperumAn.

nOy O – she is amazed that it is not the illness which befalls a person at such an age. She says that one can even make a payment in order to get such an illness. It is that good. One’s inability to sustain oneself during separation from emperumAn is the svarUpam of the AthmA.

kazhi perum dheyvam – the term kazhi refers to abundance. Here, it refers to a huge deity or one who has such greatness that he cannot be described by words. Several references are cited: purusha sUktham “pathim viSvasya” (lord of all the worlds); pathim pathInAm – superior to all the kings of the world; tham ISvarANAm paramam mahESvaram – one who is his own lord [he does not worship any other lord] and is the lord of all other deities; thaiththirIya upanishath yathO vAchA nivarthanthE – words return unable to describe the supreme entity.

innOy inadhenRu – [it is difficult to say] that this is the illness that she is suffering from or that this is the medicine or method to get rid of that illness

inmozhi – the lowly words which convey the meaning that this illness was caused by a lowly deity who wishes to listen to meaningless words such as “This disease was caused by such and such lowly deity”. Here, inmozhi refers to meaningless words.

kEtkum iLam dheyvam anRu idhu – all the lowly deities are happy and they celebrate when the people praise them ascribing non-existent greatness to them. However, the deity who caused her the illness is not one such deity. This is not the deity who grants people their wishes, expecting in return, words of praise from such people.

inmozhi – as far as other deities are concerned, their greatness will not equal the words spoken in their praise. However, in the case of bhagavath vishayam (matters relating to emperumAn), his greatness will be such that no words of praise can truly reflect it.

vEla nil nI – on hearing the words spoken by the nAyaki’s friend finding fault with the fortune tellers who were praising him, vElan (one who has spear, subrahmaNya) started getting jittery. Through the fortune teller, who he had taken possession of, he started blabbering “We will protect her as our child” etc. But the friend told him “We will not allow you to enter this place. Just as it has been said in thiruppaLLANdu engaL kuzhuvinil pugudhalottOm, we will not permit you to enter our group. Just as thiruvAimozhi 6-6-1 says kUrArAzhi veNsangEndhi, we are waiting to see sarvESvaran with his divine hands carrying divine disc and white conch. But you are standing here with your spear. Leave this place at once”.

enmozhi kENmin enammanaimIr – the nAyaki’s friend tells them “Oh mothers! Listen to my words”. Normally we see people instructing those who are younger or disciples or children. We do not come across younger people instructing elders. piLLai lOkAchAryar says that this is similar to the words spoken by Sukra to pithrus (forefathers) who had incurred a curse from brahmA. The remedy for the curse is for them to approach Sukra. Sukra comes there and tells them “puthrakA ithihOvAcha”. However, there, Sukra addresses the pithrus as puthrakA (children) whereas here, the friend addresses them as “Mothers!” which appears to be incongruent. There is a difference between the two incidents. In the case of Sukra, the pithrus were ignorant; hence he addressed them as puthrakA. Here, the mothers are aware of bhagavath vishayam. They appear bewildered on seeing the condition of daughter who is separated from emperumAn. Thus, it is not incongruent here.

ulagamEzhum . . . . – She tells them to recite to the daughter the divine names of the entity who had protected the worlds from the dangers of deluge by keeping them in his stomach. The mothers counter this saying “He will protect if there is danger to the worlds. For this girl alone, will he come and protect?” The friend responds saying “He protected the worlds as an equivalent of ridding her of her disease. You could consider that her illness is similar to the illness of all the worlds”.

mAlai andhaNNandhuzhAy koNdu sUttuminE – ensure that the divine, cool, beautiful thuLasi garland on his divine shoulders touches this girl’s form. The commentator says that sonmozhi (reciting the divine names of emperumAn) is internal medicine while thaNNandhuzhAy koNdu sUttumin is external medicine for her illness.

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning) – for nammAzhwAr, connection with other deities and their followers is harmful while connection with emperumAn and his followers is the reason for his sustenance.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 19 – kArigaiyAr niRai

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avathArikai (Introduction)

The friend, in order to placate the nAyaki [leading lady] had told her several lies, as in the previous pAsuram when she told her that it is not the rainy season. Just because she had told lies, will the real monsoon season become false?  Just as it has been mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam kishkindhA kANdam 28-31 “raNOthyathAnAm ivavAraNAnAm” (clouds which have thunder and lightning as their flags), the clouds have surrounded on all sides, like an army of elephants and are pouring rain. Seeing this, the nAyaki swooned, thinking that her nAyakan (leading man) has not returned yet, to her. Looking at this, the nAyaki’s friend too swooned. Looking at this state, the nAyaki’s mother says “Let her sorrow take leave of her”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings.

kArigaiyAr niRai kAppavar Ar enRu kAr koNdu innE
mAri kaiyERi aRaiyidum kAlaththum vAzhiyarO
sArigaip puLLar andhaNNandhuzhAy iRai kUyaruLAr
chErikaiyERum pazhiyAy viLaindhadhu en chinmozhikkE

Word-by-Word Meanings

kArigaiyAr – of the women
niRai – modesty
kAppavar – one who protects
yAr – who?
enRu – saying so
kAr koNdu – becoming dark
innE – like this
mAri – rain
kaiyERi – gathering in groups
aRai idum kAlaththum – during the time when they announce victoriously like a war cry
sArigai – flying in circles
puLLar – SrIya:pathi (consort of SrI mahAlakshmi), who has garuda as his vehicle
am – beautiful
thaN – being cool
thuzhAy – divine thuLasi garland
iRai – even a little bit
kUy aruLAr – is not offering mercifully, after calling out
en – my
chinmozhikku – for her who talks in feeble (gibberish) words
chEri – those who reside in the neighbourhood
kai ERum – lifting their hands
pazhiyAy – as an accusation
viLaindhadhu – happened
vAzhiyarO – let this sorrow get eliminated

Simple Translation

The clouds, becoming darker, have gathered on all sides and ask uproariously “Which women could protect their modesty in our presence? Or, who is there to protect the modesty of these women?” Even during this time, sarvESvaran, who has garuda who can circle rapidly in the skies, has not called out to her and given her his cool, beautiful thuLasi garland. As a result, those who live in our neighbourhood raise their arms and accuse my daughter who talks very few words. Let her live long, after getting rid of this sorrowful state.

vyAkhyAnam

kArigaiyAr . . . – There are two interpretations for this term – one meaning is that the clouds ask “When we are roaming here, who is there to protect these women who are suffering in separation from their beloved?” The other meaning is that the clouds ask “When we are roaming, which lady can protect herself or another person?”

kAr koNdu – becoming dark or becoming angry

innE – like this

mAri kaiyERi – the rain which is lashing heavily. It could be said that the clouds had rain as their ornament.

aRaiyidum kAlaththum – similar to making a war-cry in battlefield. Just like sugrIva called out to vAli for battle, with SrI rAma as his support. The clouds here, unlike sugrIva who needed support, won on their own strength. There it was the warrior, vAli. Here, it is the women who are helpless. There, as said in SrI rAmAyaNam kishkindhA kANdam 32-17 “antharEnAnjalim badhvA lakshmaNasya prasAdhanAth” (the only option to save yourself is to perform anjali (join palms together) to lakshmaNa), sugrIva, being a sentient entity, did just that. However, here, the clouds, being insentient, wound not listen even when told.

vAzhiyarO – let her live long, after getting rid of her sorrows.

sArigaip puLLar – it is not possible for the nAyakan to say that he could not come before the rainy season. It could not be said that he had never come fast anytime before this. One needs to recap his speed when he came to help the elephant gajEndhran. It could not be said that he does not have any support to come fast, since he has garuda who comes fast in circles. He has the quality of offering himself to his followers when they are in distress, thus manifesting to them his quality [of being a protector]. While he was wondering “Should I leave today?” to save sIthA who was with him for fourteen years, he did not think for a moment when setting out to save the elephant, and had the support of garuda, too. He has all the qualities of being a supreme entity by having garuda who could take him fast to his followers in distress, by having the divine disc in his hands [again to protect his followers], by having periya pirAtti [SrI mahAlakshmi] who he refers to as “mine” and by having the divine thuLasi as his garland.

andhaNNandhuzhAy – the divine thuLasi which is capable of redeeming life. Similar to saying santhAnakaraNi – visalyakaraNi: the former term refers to his divine feet and the latter, to thuLasi.

iRai kUyaruLAr – If he tries to avoid her love, should he avoid being her lord too? He has forgotten that he is her nAyakan. However, should he not have come to protect her since he is the lord for all? He has forgotten that too! He should have come on his own, embraced me and made the divine thuLasi which is on his shoulder to touch my chest. But he did not do that. He could have at the least, called me and offered thuLasi as well as many other entities. He did not do that. Whether he comes to me or calls me out towards him, the benefit is his only.

chEri kaiyERum pazhiyAy viLaindhadhu – looking at my state, all those who are near me are saying “Oh how she is craving”. Everyone started pointing out to me, saying “Instead of waiting for him, she is attempting to seek the benefit on her own!”

chinmozhikkE – it is not the age for her to crave like this! Isn’t her age such that even if she were asked to say something, she is unable to utter anything!

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 18 – kadal koNdu

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avathArikai (Introduction)

The leading man had told his beloved “I will return once monsoon arrives”; however, he did not return even after monsoon had arrived. This pAsuram indicates the mental make-up of the nAyaki (leading lady) regarding the monsoon season. This pAsuram, like the seventh pAsuram in this prabandham (gyAnam panippa) belongs to the classification of kAlamayakku (bewilderment due to change in time). While this has been spoken about in the seventh pAsuram itself, what is the need to mention the same here too? That pAsuram was composed when monsoon had just set in. However, this pAsuram speaks about the nAyaki’s anguish at the non-arrival of her beloved when the rainy season is about to end. It has been said this way since she is of a soft nature who cannot tolerate separation, he is one with greatness and this is the time at which he had promised he would return. There is no other way for her to sustain herself other than crying about his continued absence. thirumangai AzhwAr had spoken about SaraNAgathi (surrendering to emperumAn) in ten different ways in ten different pAsurams. This AzhwAr too is carrying out in the same way. He too is bewildered on account of kAlamayakku. In the seventh pAsuram, she [AzhwAr in feminine pathos] comprehended what she had seen – gathering of clouds – as two bulls fighting with each other; here, she is comprehending a similar incident (rainfall) as arising out of the fight between ocean and cloud. She is mistaking the intimacy of ocean and cloud as a fight between them and is bewildered.

Let us look at the pAsuram and its meanings:

kadal koNdu ezhundhadhu vAnam avvAnaththai anRich chenRu
kadal koNdu ozhindha adhanAl idhu kaNNan maNNum viNNum
kadal koNdu ezhundha akkAlam kolO puyaRkAlam kolO
kadal koNda kaNNIr aruvi seyyA niRkum kArigaiyE

Word-by-Word Meanings

kadal – ocean
koNda – defeating
kaN – from the eyes
nIr – tears
aruvi seyyA niRkum – making it as a flood
kArigaiyE – Oh lady!
vAnam – the sky
kadal – ocean
koNdu – swallowing
ezhundhadhu – rose
kadal – the ocean
avvAnaththai – that sky
anRi – getting angry
senRu – following it
koNdu – retrieving (the water taken by cloud)
ozhindha adhanAl – due to the water which stayed (in it)
idhu – these drops of rain
(are pouring)
kaNNan – krishNa’s
maNNum – bhUlOkam (earth)
viNNum – the upper lOkam (svarga etc)
kadal – ocean
koNdu – swallowed
ezhundha – developed
akkAlam kolO – is it that time of deluge?
puyaRkAlam kolO – or is it the monsoon time
(I am unable to determine)

Simple Translation

Oh lady who is shedding tears like a flood, which can defeat the water contained by ocean!  The sky imbibed the entire water present in ocean and rose up. Ocean, becoming furious at this, followed that sky and went up. Reaching the sky, it retrieved the water from. At the end of all this, a few drops of water fell down as rain. I do not know whether this is the time for seasonal rains or the time when deluge swallowed krishNa’s upper world and this world.

vyAkhyAnam

kadal koNdu ezhundhadhu vAnam . . .  – the term vAnam here refers to cloud [and not to sky]. Cloud drank up the water from ocean so completely that the ocean bed was visible. Due to this, creatures living in the ocean started struggling for life. Seeing this, the ocean became furious thinking “Our citizens are suffering acutely. The cloud has taken away our possession of water so easily”. It ran behind the cloud to retrieve its water. The term anRi refers to fury. These should be taken as the words of the nAyaki’s [leading lady’s] friend. The nAyakan [leading man] had not returned during monsoon time, as he had promised when he separated from the leading lady. Since it started raining, and a few drops of water fell on her, the leading lady queries her friend “The monsoon has arrived; however, the nAyakan has not arrived”

ozindha adhanAl idu – when the two are fighting with each other [for that water] just a few drops are falling on us; it is not raining, assures the friend. When rAvaNa and jatAyu were fighting in the sky, several articles such as the decorations of rAvaNa’s chariot, his flag etc fell down. In the same way, these drops of water are falling during the fight between ocean and sky. The friend feigns surprise and says “How did this flood get generated? Is it that or this?” The reason for this is that she had been giving some excuse or the other since the nAyaki would not be able to bear the continued absence of nAyakan despite the rainy season having set in. Guessing as to what she could do if the nAyaki finds out that she had been telling lies, she continues cleverly.

kaNNan maNNum viNNum . . .  – don’t this world and sky which belong to sarvESvaran, appear to have been taken up by the ocean, as happens during a deluge?

puyaRkAlam kolO – Or is it the rainy season? I am unable to ascertain. The friend, who was cleverly saying such words, says “Oh! I have found out how this flood was formed” and continues.

kadal koNda kaN – Is this [flood] not coming from your eyes? Your eyes will defeat the ocean itself in terms of the water held. There are two interpretations to the term kadal koNda kaN – the eyes are as expansive as the ocean; also, the eyes hold more water than the ocean.

nIr aruvi seyyA niRkum – have you not realised that the reason for this flood, which looks like a deluge, is the large quantity of water shed by your eyes, like a stream?

kArigaiyE – you are like a helpless woman, unable to tolerate these.

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning) for this pAsuram: This pAsuram appears to have been narrated by those who are unable to bear the anguish of AzhwAr who is anxious to unite with emperumAn or his followers at the correct time. It appears that since deluge has come in, it has created an urge in him to unite with emperumAn and has bewildered his knowledge.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 17 – iruL virindhAlanna

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avathArikai (Introduction)

After being united with the leading lady for some time, the leading man thought that the people of the town may talk ill of them and hence decided to leave her and go, for some time. If she saw him going, she would not bear it; hence he leaves on his chariot in the night, unknown to her as well as to the people of the town. SrI rAma left ayOdhyA in the night [for spending fourteen years in exile] since he knew that the people would not be able to tolerate his separation if they saw him going. Lest they find out the route by which he had gone, he ensured that there were no marks of his chariot in the pathway. Unlike that, the leading man here did not remove the chariot marks. Looking at those marks, the leading lady consoled herself. At that time, ocean, with its waves, set out to destroy the marks. Immediately, she surrenders to the ocean. Is it proper to surrender to an insentient entity such as the ocean? Just as SrI rAma had done, as mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam “prathiSiSyE mahOdhadhE” (SrI rAma prostrated in front of that huge ocean), AzhwAr too [in the pathos of the leading lady] surrendered to the ocean.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

iruL virindhAlanna mAnIrth thiraikoNdu vAzhiyarO
iruL pirindhAr anbar thEr vazhi thUral aravaNai mEl
iruL viri neelak karu nAyiRu sudar kAlvadhu pOl
iruL viri sOdhip perumAn uRaiyum eRi kadalE

Word-by-Word Meanings

iruL – darkness
viri – spread out
neelam – dark
sudar – radiance
kAlvadhu – setting out
karu – black
nAyiRu pOl – like the sun
iruL viri – spread out like darkness
sOdhi – one who has radiance
perumAn – sarvESvaran
aravaNai mEl – on thiruvananthAzhwAn (AdhiSEshan)
uRaiyum – dwelling for ever
eRi – throwing out (waves)
kadalE – Oh ocean!
anbar – the  beloved leading man
iruL – in the darkness
pirindhAr – separated (from me)
thEr vazhi – marks of (his) chariot
iruL – darkness
virindhalanna – spread out
mA – dark
nIr – having water
thirai koNdu – with waves
thUral – do not destroy
vAzhiyarO – may you be happy

Simple Translation

Oh ocean on whom sarvESvaran, who is like a bluish gem emitting darkness, who is dark like sUriyan (sUrya) emitting radiance and who has a dark complexion, is lying on the mattress of AdhiSEshan! My beloved has left me, separating from me. Please do not destroy the marks left behind by his chariot. May you live long!

vyAkhyAnam

iruL virindhAlanna – looking at the ocean which has spread out expansively, like darkness. While water is associated with the colour white, why is AzhwAr comparing it with black coloured darkness? This is because of the abundance of water present in the ocean. However, if one scoops water in one’s palm, it would appear white. Both black and red denote anger. Thus, the opinion is that ocean looks dark because of anger in its mind.

mA nIrththirai koNdu – with its waves which are in abundance, ocean is obliterating the marks of chariot. The term mA nIr could be taken either as abundant quantity of water or as dark water.

vAzhiyarO – She is praising the ocean to live long, similar to praising a person who is coming to cause sorrow. She is surrendering to the ocean.

vAzhiyarO – She surrendered to the ocean since it was destroying the chariot marks, being unable to hear her and since it had abundant waves. Seeing her surrender to it, the ocean asked her “What are you doing?” She responded saying “You should go the horrible way. Did you not listen to my sorrows?” The ocean asked her “What are you suffering from?” She then started narrating how her beloved separated from her in the night. Had he left during daytime, I would have seen how he would have suffered due to the separation, thinking “Alas! He is suffering so much because of me” and would have consoled myself. Or else, I would have looked at the beauty in his face and his quality of being the Lord and would have had some consolation. However, he had left in the night since he probably thought “If I leave during daytime, she would see me. Looking at her suffering, my legs would not be able to move from here”. Let him go wherever he wished. However, didn’t he leave during the night that we united? Hearing her narration, the ocean asked her “What should I do?” She responds . . . . .

thErvazhi thUral – Just as people give up all their possessions in alms and then eke out a living through taking food from others, I have given him up and am looking at the marks left behind by his chariot. Please do not destroy these marks.

aravaNai mEl – He is sleeping on the mattress of thiruvananthAzhwAn, just as it has been mentioned in periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 5-1-7 “veLLai veLLaththin mEl” so that the oceanic water on which he is lying will not cause any discomfort to his soft divine form.

iruL viri neela  . . .  – just like sUriyan who is emitting bluish rays similar to darkness encompassing. Would sUriyan emit bluish rays? Since there is no object in the world which can be compared to the effulgence of sarvESvaran, he is mentioning as a simile, an entity which is not seen anywhere.

iruL viri sOdhi . . . – the permanent abode of emperumAn, who has a dark form similar to darkness which has spread everywhere and, who is resplendent

eRi kadalE – it is natural for ocean to rejoice and rise up on seeing moon which is like butter. However, here, it is rejoicing on seeing emperumAn who has a dark form. Refer to mudhal thiruvandhAdhi pAsuram 19 “mAlum karum kadalE” (Oh the black ocean, who is rejoicing!)

eRi kadalE – since you are always with him, you know only of union. Since you do not know of separation, please know that separation is not something which is new to this world. Don’t those who attain him have qualities similar to his? [here she is referring to ocean] Why are you seeking a fault by destroying these marks left behind by his chariot? Should you not learn from him? periya thirumozhi 11-3-5 “thammaiyE okka aruL seyvarE” (he mercifully grants equality [in eight qualities] to those who seek him) is cited here as reference.

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): It appears to AzhwAr that everything which causes separation for him from SrIvaishNavas is harmful for him.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 16 – papapala UzhigaLAyidum

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avathArikai (Introduction)

The leading man separated from his lady after being united with her for a long time. As a result of this, the sorrow due to separation became severe. This pAsuram could be considered as the leading lady telling her friend or as the friend telling the leading lady.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings.

palapala UzhigaLAyidum anRiyOr nAzhigaiyaip
palapala kURitta kURAyidum kaNNan viNNaNaiyAy
palapala nALanbar kUdilum nIngilum yAm melidhum
pala pala sUzhal udaiththu amma vAzhi ippAyirulE

Word-by-Word Meanings

kaNNan – krishNa’s
viNNaNaiyAy – one who is enjoyable like paramapadham
anbar – the leading man who is affectionate
palapala nAL – many kalpams (kalpam is one day of brahmA, running to millions of years)
kUdilum – whether united
(during that time)
Or nAzhigaiyai – one nAzhigai (24 minutes)
palapala kURitta – broken down many times over
kURAyidum – will become infinitesimal
(time will fly like a fleeting moment)
anRi – otherwise
nIngilum – even (if the leading man) separates (for a moment)
Or nAzhigaiyai – one nAzhigai
palapala kURitta kURu – an infinitesimal moment by breaking down the nAzhigai
palapala UzhigaLAyidum – will become many kalpams
(it will grow like that over a very long period)
yAm – we
palapala – long time
melidhum – are suffering
amma – Oh mother!
pAy – expansive
i iruL – this darkness
palapala – many types
sUzhal – deceitful acts
udaiththu – has
vAzhi – let it live long
(this is termed as nindhAsthuthi – abusing, as if being praising)

Simple Translation

Oh one who is enjoyable like krishNa’s paramapadham! Even if one were united with an affectionate beloved person for a long time, that time would appear as fleeting as breaking down a nAzhigai (24 minutes) into infinitesimal parts. It would end that fast. However, if the same man leaves even for a brief time, even an infinitesimal portion of a broken down nAzhigai would appear to be as long lasting as many kalpams. I have been in such a sorrowful state, for a long time. This night, which brought my situation to this level, is full of deceitful acts. Let this darkness live forever.

vyAkhyAnam

palapala UzhigaLAyidum – After being together for a long time, if one were to separate for a short time, even that short span of time appears like eons.

anRi – instead of that

Or nAzhigaiyaip palapala kURitta kURAyidum – the time that they [the leading man and his lady] were together appears like an infinitesimal portion such as breaking down one nAzhigai (twenty four minutes) into a million parts and considering one such part. Even during such an infinitesimal length of time, instead of being united, they had spent it in knowing about each other. The time that they were together did not appear to be for enjoying but to create separation later.

kaNNan viNNaNaiyAy – this term could be considered as having been said either by the leading lady or by her friend. If it is considered as having been said by the leading lady, the meaning would be – “Oh my friend who is sweet and very dear, like paramapadham! I am existing only because you are near me like krishNa’s paramapadham. Just as the sorrows of samsAram will not go anywhere near those who are in paramapadham, despite all my sorrows in separation due to the cruelty of this time, if I exist it is only because of you”. If it is considered to have been uttered by the lady’s friend, the meaning would be – “Is it not true that those who are in paramapadham will never return from there? They will never separate from there, will they? Oh one who is dear like paramapadham! Is it possible for one who has attained you, to leave you? Could they exist, after separating from you?”

palapala nAL . . . . – If this is considered as having been said by the leading lady, the meaning would be – “Whether I am with him forever or separate from him for a very short span of time, it is not possible for me to be like him [the leading man], without any change. When I was with him, since I did not think of anything else, I felt like floating in the air and became emaciated; when I separated from him, due to the anguish of separation, I became emaciated; how strange is this!” If this is considered as having been spoken of by the friend, the meaning will be – “My friend, this leading lady, is totally weakened whether she is with her man or separated from him, without any distinction”. The term sUzhal refers to plotting. In other words, night time is plotting to hasten the time when the leading man and lady are together and to delay the time further when they are separated. Both the lady and her friend are feeling sad that they do not have the quality of plotting which the night has. The reason for both of them to feel sad is the separation from the man [leading lady is genuinely affected while for the friend it is because of seeing the lady feeling sad].

palapala sUzhal udaiththu – it is helpful when they are together and inimical when they are separated. Commentator cites a couple of examples to illustrate this – nAchchiyAr thirumozhi 12-3 “nandhagOpan kadaiththalaikkE naLLirutkaN” (reach me at the doorstep of nandhagOpan’s house before it dawns) implying that darkness is helping them to unite; thiruviruththam 72 “surungA iruLin karundhiNimbai” (breaking the hold of darkness) implying that night gets scared when they are separated.

amma – calling out to her mother

vAzhi – if this is considered as having been spoken of by the leading lady, this implies that she is paying backhanded compliment just like telling her brothers who had taken her possessions “Oh my brothers! May you live up to the age of hundred”; if it is considered as having been told by the lady’s friend, this would imply that the friend genuinely wishes her to get out of her troubles.

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): this pAsuram conveys the unwillingness of AzhwAr to stay in samsAram (materialistic world)

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 15 – kayalO numa kaNgaL

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avathArikai (Introduction)

When the leading man had separated from the leading lady earlier, he had hinted that he would come again, after sometime, and meet her. Once that time has arrived, he comes to the field to meet his beloved. On seeing that she is with her friends and not alone, he is perplexed. He tells them “I have come looking for an elephant” in order not to reveal his intention in coming there. The lady’s friends tell him “You had said that you were leaving in order to earn wealth. You are now saying that you have come to find an elephant. You are also hinting that you are suffering due to separation from our friend. However, we do not see any connection among these three”. There are two interpretations for talking about elephant, as given by the commentator, periyavAchchAn piLLai – to imply the first meaning, he said that the leading man is a warrior. In other words, he said that he goes for hunting elephants. Secondly he said that he had come looking for an elephant. To imply the second meaning, the commentator says that he has come looking for an elephant which has lost its female elephant. He implies that just as a male elephant wanders here and there, in exultation, after losing its mate, the leading man too is wandering in order to overcome the anxiety of separating from his leading lady.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

kayalO numa kangaLenRu kaLiRu vinavi niRRIr
ayalOr aRiyilum Idhenna vArththai kadal kavarndha
puyalOdu ulAngoNdalvaNNan punavEngadaththemmodum
payalOvileer kollai kAkkinRa nALum palapalavE

Word-by-Word Meanings

numa – your
kaNgaL – eyes
kayalO – are they fish?
enRu – asking this way
(later)
kaLiRu – elephant
vinavi – querying
niRRIr – you stood
ayalOr – outsiders
aRiyilum – if they know of this
Idhu – this
enna vArththai – what sort of words
kadal – ocean
kavarndha – cleaning it up completely
puyalodu – along with the water
ulAm – roaming
koNdal – like a cloud
vaNNan – thiruvEngadamudaiyAn who has the complexion, his
punam – having fields
vEngadam – at thiruvEngadam
kollai – fields
palapala nALum – for a long time
kAkkinRa – those who are protecting
emmodum – with us
payalO ileer – you have not become familiar

Simple Translation

The leading man complimented the leading lady about her eyes. Seeing this, the leading lady and her friends queried him “You came looking for an elephant, but you are talking about our eyes. If others hear these words, what will they think of this? We are residing in the hills of thiruvEngadamudaiyAn who has the complexion of cloud which has imbibed all the water from the ocean and is roaming. We are protecting the fields which are in this place, for a long time. We do not know as to who you are”

vyAkhyAnam

kayalO numa kangaL – the leading man had come to the field in order to talk to his leading lady about an elephant which had come there. However, he had not expected her to be with her friends there. Becoming perplexed on seeing them, he asks the leading lady “Are your eyes fish?” like a person closing his mouth while eating. The commentator cites an example to show how the leading man will forget about the elephant on seeing  the eyes. chAndhOgya upanishath 8-12-9 says nOpajanam smaran idham SarIram – mukthAthmAs (those who are liberated from samsAram and are leaving for SrIvaikuNtam) will not think of samsAram. He [the leading man] stood as if he had forgotten about himself and the matter which he wanted to talk about (since he asked whether her eyes are fish, the opinion here is that he forgot about himself; matter related to emperumAn is such that it will not allow anything else to be thought of; matter related to followers of emperumAn will also act in a similar way). chAndhOgya upanishath 7-23-1 says “yathra nAnyath paSyathi nAnyath SruNOthi nAnyath vijAnAthi sa bhUmA” (that, which when seen will not require others to be seen, which when heard will not require other things to be heard, which when known will not require other things to be known, is supreme). This is because of the fact that matter related to brahmam (supreme entity) is superior to everything else. Is it apt to equate eyes with fish? Why can’t the eyes be compared to the eyes of a deer? This is because the eyes [of the leading lady] keep darting, like fish. Why should they [the eyes] be referred to in plural? Just as emperumAn has thousands of friends, the leading lady too has thousands of friends. They may be with her, but will their eyes too be similar to hers? The commentator quotes from muNdaka upanishath 2-1-9 “niranjana: paramam sAmyam upaithi” (they too attain the same state of being without any fault). Just as he forgot about himself, he forgot about those he saw. He did not seem to know beyond what he saw.

kaLiRu vinavi niRRIr – wondering as to who this person who is talking in a contradictory way, they looked at him quizzically. If they are not able to see him clearly, his existence itself may be in doubt. Hence he asked them whether they had seen an elephant. Would they see him as soon as he uttered these words? Even if they do not see those who get destroyed, since they look after the fields which get destroyed, they saw him. Since they saw him, he was able to recall what he wanted to ask them earlier. He asked them the same question which he had been asking others too [have you seen an elephant?]. Those who are deceitful and those who are lustful, will say something initially; when queried about it, they will look like a statue as if they do not know anything at all. In the same way, the leading man initially spoke about eyes and now, he was speaking about elephant. Wondering about this, they looked at him. Since they looked at him with wonder, he stood without saying anything further, like a statue. She started speaking further.

ayalOr aRiyilum – why refer to “others”? Just as he was infatuated with her, she too was infatuated with him. All the others who were not infatuated with him like she was, are referred to by this term. She affirmed the distinction that she had over the others.

aRiyilum – even after uniting with him, she does not know much about him. In such a situation, will it be apt for the others to know more about him than she does? Just as it has been said in periya thirumozhi 10.10.9 “innArenRu aRiyEn” (I do not know about his nature) when he had come in person, since she had not asked him anything, it has come to this pass. When no one could know about him, why does she have a doubt as to whether others would have known about him? Should not the fault of doubt be removed?

Idhu enna vArththai – how are you saying unconnected words such as “Are your eyes fish? Have you seen the elephant?” If you talk like this, what will others think of you? How are you saying words which we have not heard of, to someone whom you have not seen before at all? When we are protecting the fields, why are you saying that we are driving away birds with the word “AyO”? Why are you speaking words with inner meanings, as if they are mixed with gentle breeze and rain drops? She is wondering as to what all secrets are contained in his words. She is asking whether he is adept with words in his speech. She says that it appears that his activity is to engage with others with word-play. Our activities [she refers to herself and her friends] may not be centred around carrying out apt work at apt time. Do you have activities without this fault?

kadal kavarndha puyalOdu ulAm koNdal vaNNan – aren’t we living in our houses, on this hill, with the hope that you would come? thiruvEngadamudaiyAn has the divine complexion of cloud which has drunk all the water from the ocean and has become immobile since it is pregnant with all the water. SrI rAmAyaNam kinshkindhA kANdam 28-22 conveys the same meaning  ”samuthvahanthas salilAdhibAram”.

koNdal vaNNan – water mentioned in the simile does not sustain the people on the hill. It is the physical beauty of the entity who is compared with water [thiruvEngadamudaiyAn], which sustains the people here.

vEngadaththup punaththu emmodum payalO ileer – the lady tells the leading man “You are calling yourself the Master, and as said in jithanthE SlOkam, ‘pUrvajar’ – one who had been there from the beginning” If that were the case, shouldn’t you have come here ahead of us? We have attained the most pious thiruvEngadamalai, which is apt to be attained. Hearing this, the leading man asks “Are you implying that we have not taken hold of you? What is the necessity for us to do that?” The lady responds saying “Should you not give refuge to us who are without a refuge? If we step out of our house, it is a fault. If you do not step out, it is your fault. Since you are the master and the protector, it is a fault on your part if you do not come to protect us without waiting for us to call you. Since we are your servitors and are protected by you, if we attempt to protect ourselves, it is our fault” Just as it has been said in perumAL thirumozhi 2-6 “thIdhil nanneRi kAtti” (manifesting the correct paths which are without faults) she implies that they should not do anything to protect themselves but could carry activities which would please emperumAn.

kollai kAkkinRa nALum palapalavE – Are we looking at the fields? Are we not looking at you? She says that they had been looking for such a long time that the crop has become mature, ready for harvesting; she is fearful that they may not be allowed to come to the field anymore by their parents. We had been waiting for you, all along. Did you come now, to manifest your sorrow in separation? She implies that though they had been waiting for him, only now it has dawned on him. Just as you came here with the excuse of going for hunting elephant, we had come here with the excuse of looking after the fields. We are now returning home, since we had done enough of looking after the fields. Just as we had been protecting the fields all along, you may now protect the field, after we leave. Since we are leaving now, did you come as a protector for us, on our way back home? Or else, did you think that we are on our own and hence you failed to show up all along, in order not to accept us?

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): AzhwAr had told the SrIvaishNavas “We would like to instruct you about matters related to emperumAn; hence please come soon” However, the SrivaishNavas arrived, after a delay. AzhwAr tells them “What is the purpose in coming now? He [emperumAn] has granted us SrIvaikuNtam. You have come this late!”

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 14 – IrvanavElum anjElum

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avathArikai (Introduction)

This pAsuram comes under the classification of nalam pArAttu. In other words, the leading man praises the qualities of the leading lady. Here, the leading man, bewildered by the beauty of the leading lady’s eyes, describes their beauty in several ways.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

IrvanavElum anjElum uyirmEl miLirndhu ivaiyO
pErvanavO alla dheyva nal vEL kaNai pEroLiyE
sOrvana neelach chudar vidumEniyammAn visumbUr
thErvana dheyvam annIrakaNNO ichchezhum kayalE

Word-by-Word Meanings

Irvana – splitting
vElum – as the weapon spear
am – beautiful
sElum – as the fish
ivai – these
uyir mEl – on the life
miLirndhu – attacking
pErvanavO alla – they will not go away
dheyvam – as the lord
nal – being distinguished
vEL – manmatha’s (cupid‘s)
kaNai – arrow of red lotus
pEr – huge
oLi – lustre
sOrvana – letting out
neelam – dark
sudar – splendorous
vidum – emitting
mEni – divine form
ammAn – sarvESvaran, the Lord’s
visumbu – SrIvaikuNtam
Ur – nithyasUris who are present in that place
thErvana – are searching
dheyvam – different from prAkrutham (primordial)
annIra – distinguished like that
i – this
sezhum – well rounded
kayal – fish
kaNNO – eyes?

Simple Translation

Her eyes are like the sharp spear as well as like beautiful fish. They are pouncing on my life as if they wish to take it under their control. These eyes emit an effulgence similar to the one emitted by the arrows of the beautiful manmatha who looks divine. Moreover, these eyes are searching for nithyasUris who are in SrIvaikuNtam which is the abode of sarvESvaran who has a dark bluish form, emitting splendour. Are these, which appear like well grown-up fish, your eyes?

vyAkhyAnam

IrvanevElum anjElum – there are two interpretations to this term – one is taken as IrvanavElum anjElum and the other is taken splitting the two words as Irvana vElum and am sElum. In the first interpretation, the meaning is – manmatha’s arrows will break all the creatures in this world. They enter the creatures through the five senses. Her two eyes create the same impact which the arrows of manmatha create through the five senses. In the second interpretation, the meaning is – just as the spear will pierce enemies, her beautiful eyes which are like fish, will pierce the lives of people. Thus, two interpretations namely vaidhakdhyam and maukdhyam were described here. maukdhyam refers to saundharyam (overall beauty). This beauty was explained through the term am sEl (beautiful fish). Just as a spear will destroy an enemy without changing its form, her eyes will pounce on the person standing opposite them, without undergoing any change in themselves. Through the term IrvanavElum the commentator described in a distinguished manner, the entity which created an effect and he also described the effect.

uyirmEl miLirndhuhere, he describes the entity which is affected [by the eyes]. Even though her eyes pounced on the leading man like a spear, they did not create any injury on the body, unlike the spear. Thus her eyes, instead of hurting the body, which has being destroyed as its nature, desires to pierce the life, which has been termed in SrI bhagavath gIthA 2-24 as achchEdhyOyam (incapable of being split); in other words, it attempts to destroy life which is indestructible.

miLirndhu – just as the spear thrown at an enemy pierces him and stays there, her eyes also pierce the life and stay there.

ivaiyO – these (the eyes) are cruel

pErvanavO alla – once it pierces, the spear will not move. The person who flings the spear [to attack his enemy] will not throw it in such a manner that it could be removed [by the enemy] for treating the injured place. Her eyes too were similar; they stayed put on his life, without moving.

dheyvam nal vEL kaNaip pEr oLiyE sOrvana – her eyes, apart from being like spear or fish, have taken the form of the arrows of kAman (manmatha). Why are they taking different forms, like the sage saubhari? [sage saubhari, in order to marry the fifty daughters of King mAndhAtha, took fifty forms so that each daughter thought that he was spending time only with her). These eyes also emit the splendour of the arrows of kAman who is capable of acting well and who is beautiful.

neelach chuddar vidum mEni ammAn visumbUr thErvana – the word thErvana has two interpretations – to search out for those who are in SrIvaikuNtam. Also, to be sought by those who are in SrIvaikuNtam. Her eyes searched for the SrIvaikuNtam which belongs to sarvESvaran who has a divine form emitting bluish effulgence. The divine form of sarvESvaran is dhArakam and pOshakam (sustenance and nourishment, respectively) for nithyasUris.

ammAn – even if one loses out to his [sarvESvaran’s] divine form, one will still say that they had been won over by him. He is such a lord. katOpanishath 1-2-23 says thasyaisha AthmA vivruNuthE thanUm svAm (he manifests his divine form to one who he chooses to be apt to see his form)

visumbUr – this term refers to those who are in SrIvaikuNtam, viz. similar to the term manjA: krOSanthi (literally this means that the cot is making noise; however the noise is made by those who are lying on the cot and not by the cot itself). nithyasUris constantly envision emperumAn’s divine form and enjoy it.

thErvana – those who reside in SrIvaikuNtam will not leave that place. However, her eyes are such that even these people will come in search of her eyes, leaving the distinguished SrIvaikuNtam. After winning over leelA vibhUthi [materialistic realm], her eyes have set out to win over nithya vibhUthi [spiritual realm].

dheyvam annIra – these eyes are unlike what we see in this samsAram; they are aprAkrutham (beyond primordial matter). The word annIra refers to such distinction in her eyes. They are like that, being aprAkrutham.

kaNNO ichchezhum kayalE – makes one wonder initially whether they are eyes, but subsequently ascertain that they are fish only.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 13 – thani vaLar

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avathArikai (Introduction)

Daylight, which gives some comfort, has gone and night time, which creates sorrow, has arrived. Entities such as cool wind have joined hands with night time to increase the sorrow. The person, who could save her from these entities, has not arrived yet. Hence the leading lady says that she will perish. During daytime, since the sensory organs can engage with various entities, it was possible to forget the separation from her beloved and survive. In the night time, however, since all entities subside, the sensory organs impel the mind to engage with the entity which has got separated (the leading man) and since it is the time for uniting, it becomes all the more difficult to survive.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings.

thani vaLar sengOl nadAvu thazhal vAyarasaviyap
panivaLar sengOl iruL vIRRirundhadhu pAr muzhudhum
thunivaLar kAdhal thuzhAyaith thuzhAvu thaN vAdai thadindhu
ini vaLai kAppavar Ar enai UzhigaL IrvanavE

Word-by-Word Meanings

thani – unique
vaLar – growing
sengOl – having order
nadAvu – conducting
thazhal – for the heat
vAy – being the origin
arasu – sUriyan, the king
aviya – to disappear (to set)
pani – cold
vaLar – growing
sengoL – having order
iruL – darkness
pAr muzhudhum – throughout the world
vIRRirundhadhu – had pervaded
thuni – sorrow
vaLar – one which enables to grow
kAdhal – being the matter for love
thuzhAyai – divine thuLasi
thuzhAvu – mingling
thaN – cool
vAdai – northerly breeze
thadindhu – splitting
ini – hereafter
vaLai – bangles
kAppavar – one who protects
Ar – who
enai – me
UzhigaL – (these nights) like eons
IrvanavE – are splitting

Simple Translation

sUriyan (sUrya), who is the lord of heat and who is unique, is ruling the world with his effulgence which is forever growing. Darkness, which has increasing levels of chillness, spread throughout this world in such a way that sun’s rule ended. Who can stop the northerly breeze which comes with the fragrance of thuLasi from my lord, which is the reason for exasperating my sorrow to a great extent? Who can protect and stop the bangles from slipping from my hands? These nights, which seem to extend to eons, are splitting me.

vyAkhyAnam

thanivaLar sengOl nadAvu – sUriyan, on his own, without the help of any secondary entity, emits an effulgence during day which is far greater than the combined light emitted by moon and thousands of stars in the night. Unlike darkness which makes sUriyan to set before letting out its dominance, sUriyan is splendorous without making anything else to disappear, through his radiance. Even when the moon and stars are there during daytime, sUriyan puts their brightness to shade through his radiance. Is there an event when something had shone even when his enemies were around? krishNa did that when dhuryOdhana et al were present, as brought out by the term kurUnprachchAdhayanaSriyA.

sengOl nadAvu – sUriyan had a sceptre which will not falter, just like manu and mandhAthA, who came in the clan of sUriyan.

thazhal vAy arasu aviya – he is the personification of heat. arasu – unique warrior. aviya – sUriyan was like a lamp which had got put out. Is there annihilation for sUriyan? The leading lady thought this way since it had not dawned yet. Just as thiruvAimozhi says oNsudarOn vArAdhoLiththAn (effulgent sUriyan hid himself without showing up), she too says this way.

pani vaLar sengOl iruL vIRRirundhadhu – night, which has chillness or dew as a manifestation of its rule, had spread throughout the world and made it as its kingdom. His is like another king taking over a land when a king, who rules it, disappears [sun has gone and night takes over]. The word pani can mean both dew and shivering. In line with this, it can be said that night was ruling the roost since everyone shivers when a new king takes over. It appeared that the space over which sUriyan was ruling was sufficient for darkness alone to reside.

vIRRirundhadhu – darkness sat on the kingdom as if there were no one to oppose it.

pani vaLar sengOl iruL vIRRirundhadhu – it was similar to one, who was residing in a small area, grew up to pervade everywhere.

thuni vaLar kAdhal thuzhAyaith thuzhAvu thaNvAdai thadindhu inivaLai kAppavar Ar – who is there who is capable of snapping the breeze, which embraces the fragrance from thuLasi, thus multiplying my sorrow, into two?

thaN vAdai – how is it possible to split wind, which is invisible, into two? Her sorrow was in such abundance that even entities which are invisible became visible to her.

inivaLai kAppavar Ar – is it possible for her to unite with her beloved, so that her bangles could be  protected from the chill wind by destroying the wind?

enai UzhigaL IrvanavE – the nights which are like this, appear to be stretching to several eons. This implies that the world is not congruent with AzhwAr.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 12 – pErginRadhu maNimAmai

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

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avathArikai (Introduction)

In several pAsurams so far, AzhwAr had considered SrIvaishNavas as the leading man and composed the pAsurams. In this pAsuram, he is considering emperumAn as the leading man. It is natural for union with emperumAn to end with union with SrIvaishNavas as also for union with SrIvaishNavas to end with union with emperumAn. In the pAsurams before the 6th pAsuram of thadAviya ambum, he had mentioned about his distress on account of separating from emperumAn and from the 6th pAsuram thadAviya ambum till the 11th pAsuram he mentioned about his distress due to his doubt that the SrIvaishNavas will separate from him. In this pAsuram, separation from emperumAn is causing him distress.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

pErginRadhu maNimAmai piRangi aLLal payalai
UrginRadhu kangul UzhigaLE idhellAm inavE
IrginRa chakkaraththu emperumAn kaNNan thaNNandhuzhAy
sArignRa nannenjinAr thandhu pOna thani vaLamE

Word-by-Word Meanings

IrginRa – splitting (me) with (his) beauty
chakkaraththu – having the divine disc
emperumAn – one who is my swAmy (lord)
kaNNan – krishNa’s
thaN – being cool
am – beautiful
thuzhAy – in divine thuLasi
sArignRa – being engaged with
nal – distinguished
nenjinAr – mind
thandhu pOna – given
thani – unique
vaLam – wealth
What is it?
maNi – praiseworthy
mAmai – beauty
pErginRadhu – is leaving
piRangi – abundant
aLLal – being close
payalai – sickness due to love
UrginRadhu – is spreading
kangul – night
UzhigaLE – grew like unending time
idhellAm – all these sickness etc
inavE – became hindrance

Simple Translation

krishNa is holding the beautiful divine disc and is splitting me with his beauty. My mind desired such krishNa’s cool and beautiful thuLasi garland, and left me, following thuLasi. Due to this, it made my beautiful complexion to change. Sickness due to love is spreading throughout my form. Nights lengthened to unending yugas (long periods of time). Entities such as breeze etc became hindrances for me.

vyAkhyAnam

pErginRadhu maNimAmai – the complexion in my distinguished form is changing. Just as it has been mentioned in the 5th pAsuram of thiruviruththam mAmai thiRaththukkolAm, the complexion of the form which he [emperumAn] desired is receding. My complexion is getting destroyed as I keep seeing him. maNi mAmai refers to beautiful complexion. Is it proper for one to praise one’s own complexion? Since he [emperumAn] praises her form saying “Oh the complexion! Oh the beauty!” there is nothing wrong in her praising it herself. Since she exists for his sake rather than for her sake, it is not improper in her praising something which is pleasing to him.

piRangi aLLal payalai – instead of keeping the place, from where the complexion has left, barren, it has been filled up with paleness, a sign of sickness due to love. piRangi refers to abundance, like a flood. aLLal refers to the fact that while desilting a well in which there is plenty of mud, the foot will sink when one steps on it, if emperumAn himself comes to remove the paleness, he could not remove it. There is such an abundance of paleness.

Urginradhu – spreading fast, just like poison spreads. Just as someone comes surreptitiously when a powerful king leaves the private quarters of his queen or just as rAvaNa came when iLaiyaperumAl [lakshmaNa] left the hermitage to go looking for SrI rAma, the paleness came spreading, when the beautiful complexion left me.

kangul UzhigaLE – night time felt as if it were lasting several ages; while the time spent before uniting with emperumAn appeared like half a day and the time spent uniting with him appeared like a moment, the time separated from him appeared to last forever.

idhu ellAm inavE – apart from these, whatever affected her, whatever caused her distress are being mentioned. This includes entities such as love-bird and gentle breeze, which, in normal times, would have caused happiness. Whatever entity appeared to be sweet and favourable when sIthAppirAtti and SrI rAma were together in the forest, appeared to be inimical in the same place when they were separated.

IrginRa chakkaram – affecting without any distinction between favourable and unfavourable persons; [The divine disc] affects because of its sentient quality. It will destroy those who are inimical towards it; it will destroy those who are dear to it, through separation, by going afar from them. It will kill those who are unfavourable to it through its power and bewilder those who are favourable through its beauty.

chakkaraththu emperumAn – through his beautiful divine hands and the way he held his beautiful divine discus, emperumAn affirmed “He is my property” and enslaved me.

kaNNan – krishNa. One could get the doubt whether he is with two shoulders. SrI vishNu purANam SlOkam upasamhara sarvAthman rUpamEthach chathurbhujam – his beautiful form is with four shoulders.

thaNNandhuzhAy sArginRa – my heart was fully engaged with the beautiful garland of thuLasi which he had donned. Instead of falling at the feet of the primary entity [bhagavAn, emperumAn], my mind was engaged with the ultimate entity [thuLasi, likened to bhAgavathas, SrIvaishNavas].

nannenjinAr – is it apt to refer to one’s heart as “nalla nenju”(good heart)? Even if they are one’s own children, if they are better than the parents in terms of engaging with emperumAn, they should be praised. He [AzhwAr] is in such a state that he is wandering without even realising that his dress is dishevelled. What he wants to do is to tell emperumAn that emperumAn is everything for him just as he had said in thiruvAimozhi pAsuram “”pUsum sAndhu en nenjamE” (my heart is the sandal paste for you), that he is all the enjoyment for him and hence he wants to be always with emperumAn, singing and dancing about him.

thandhu pOna thani vaLamE – the loss of complexion is the wealth which emperumAn left for him.

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning) for the pAsuram: AzhwAr is mercifully mentioning through the words of the leading lady, her inability to suffer separation from her leading man, since her heart has got fully engaged with him, as a result of which how she decayed being unable to bear the separation.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 11 – ariyana yAm

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

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avathArikai (Introduction)

The leading lady was united with the leading man in total happiness, not knowing anything about separation. A person came and told the leading man about earning wealth in a different place. On hearing this, the leading lady thought “While I was thinking that we could be together like this for a long time, he is thinking of separating from me” and was distressed. Seeing this, the leading man was amazed, thinking “Even when I had not told her anything about leaving her, she is so distressed”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings.

ariyana yAm inRu kANginRana kaNNan viNNaNaiyAy
periyana kAdham porutkO pirivena gyAlam eydhaRku
uriyana oN muththum paim ponnum Endhi OrO kudangai
periyana keNdaikkulam ivaiyO vandhu pErginRavE

Word-by-Word Meanings

kaNNan – krishNa’s
viN aNaiyAy – Oh one who is most enjoyable like paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam)
porutku – for wealth
pirivu – separation
ena – even as this was being mentioned
periyana – being huge
kAdham – being afar
(appears like having been separated)
O – how amazing!
gyAlam – distinguished people with supreme knowledge
eydhaRku – to experience
uriyana – being apt
oN – beautiful
muththum – pearls of tears
pai – fresh (new)
ponnum – gold with distinguished colour
Endhi – holding
OrO kudangai – each one being as much as the palm of the hand
periyana – large
keNdai – of fish
kulam – schools of
ivai – these eyes
vandhu – coming
pErginRana – are flipping
O – how amazing!
yAm – we
inRu – now
kANginRana – what we see
ariyana – are rare

Simple Translation

Oh one who gives happiness similar to krishNa’s paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam)! I had merely said that it is normal for the head of a family to travel afar for earning wealth, but had not left you. On hearing this, your eyes which are capable of keeping the world under their control, which are as large as the palm of one’s hand, which are like the carp fish, are shedding tears of pearl and fresh gold with distinguished colour. How amazing is this! What I see here is very much a rarity.

vyAkhyAnam

ariyana – even as we (the leading man says of himself and the lady) were together, why is she in such a tearful condition, wonders the leading man. He says that he had not seen this condition when they were together or when they were separated [in earlier times].

yAm inRu – by adding the numeral one to one thousand, will the value of one thousand increase considerably? By adding the quantum of water which is present under the hoof of a cow, will the quantum of water in an ocean increase? In the same way, when I was together with her, while I had lot of wealth, what else is needed? This was my state.

kANginRana – There are four different reasons for separating from a beloved: to increase one’s level of knowledge, to earn more, to take part in a battle and to be with some other girl. None of these is applicable here, says the leading man.

kaNNan viN aNaiyAy – just as chAndhOkya upanishath 8-15-1 says “na cha punarAvarthathE” (one does not return from SrIvaikuNtam), only if someone leaves that place and returns does the question of my leaving you arise. That place (SrIvaikuNtam) does not undergo any change. You, who provide happiness which is much similar to that distinguished place of SrI krishNa’s, should not undergo any change, like that place.

pirivu ena O periyana kAdham – on hearing the word “Separation” she feels as if we have been separated by a very long distance with many oceans and mountains between us, with no one who could act as a messenger between us. She feels very distressed

porutku – the leading lady seems to say “If the purpose of separating from me is to earn lot of wealth, such wealth is available in plenty here itself”

gyAlam eydhaRku uriyana – This wealth (which is available here) is such that those with distinguished knowledge can enjoy well. Its value will equal the wealth of nithyavibhUthi as well as leelAvibhUthi (the spiritual and material realms). The wealth which you are seeking elsewhere is available here itself, she says.

oN muththum – pearls at their place of origin [very pure]

paim ponnum – fresh gold

Endhi – holding them, as if saying “When these are here, why do you have to go elsewhere for wealth? Accept these”

OrO kudangai – the beauty of her eyes was such that those who see them, which are as large as one’s palm, would imbibe them.

periyana – they were so huge that the enjoyer (the leading man) would be totally satiated

kudangai – through her face, isn’t she offering wealth which could not be held in one’s palm!

keNdai – like fish which have an arrogance

kulam – they (her eyes) would match each other; nothing else will come anywhere near them.

ivaiyO vandhu pErginRavE – the eyes suffered similar to the sufferings of those who saw them. Even an inanimate object could flop over someone

vandhu pErginRavE – they are being spoken of as animate objects.

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): AzhwAr wanted to be together with SrIvaishNavas all the time. He expressed his feelings in this pAsuram as though they would separate from him and go on their own.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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