Category Archives: thirunedunthANdakam

thirunedunthANdakam – 10 – Part 2

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

Full Series

<< previous – 9 – vangaththAl

<< thirunedunthANdakam – 10 – Part 1

emperumAn in thirumUzhikkaLam

ulagam, etc. (up to guNapAla madhayAnAy) – it is about how AzhvAr has built the ‘elephants’ in the four directions.

ulagam Eththum then AnAy – Oh You who have come and stood in the divine mountain of the south (thirumAlirunchOlai) for both the worlds (leelA and nithya vibhUthi) to come and take shelter!  You came and are providing divine presence not just for those who are based around this mountain to be living/surviving, but even for nithyasUris to come and have the great feast  that are your auspicious qualities such as simplicity, as said in ‘valam seyyum vAnOr mAlirunchOlai [thiruvAimozhi 2.10.8]’ (nithyasUris, the residents of paramapadham, do favourable acts towards thirumalai).  Oh You who is like an elephant, in the direction of South!  – is the meaning.

vadavAnAy – In the same way is how You have divined your presence in the north direction.

As said in ‘vAnavar vAnavar kOnodum sindhu pU magizhum thiruvEnkatam [thiruvAimozhi 3.3.2]’ (nithyasUris along with (their leader) sEnai mudhaliyAr (vishvaksEnar, their leader) would spread out flowers which blossom due to residing in thirumalA),  and in

vAnavar vAnavar kOnodum namanRezhum thiruvEnkatam [thiruvAimozhi 3.3.7]’ (nithyasUris with sEnai mudhaliyAr would bow (which highlights their total dependence) feeling accomplished (having realized their true nature), in the abode having the name thiruvEnkatam), and in

‘ellA ulagum thozhum Adhi mUrththi  [thiruvAimozhi 3.3.5]’ (being approachable by everyone (without any discrimination in greatness, etc.), being the cause of everything, sarvESvaran (supreme lord)), that is, thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn is standing there without discriminating between nithyasUris, brahmA etc., and humans too, for them all to live/survive.

kudapAl AnAy – Unlike the aforementioned elephants, there in the direction of west, periya perumAL has come and is lying down with closed eyes, like an elephant with madness (madham), reclining. As said in ‘vanperuvAnagam uyya, amarar uyya, maN uyya, maNNulagil manisar uyya [perumAL thirumozhi 1.10]’, He has come to the kOyil (SrI rangam) and reclining with closed eyes, for all the worlds to experience Him and live/survive.

kuNapAla madha yAnAy – Oh who is like a mad elephant, being present in the east direction! (thirukkaNNapuram).

Due to his love towards nAthamunigaL (and ALavandhAr), emperumAnAr would call the emperumAn mannanAr (of kAttumannArkudi) as kuNapAla madha yAnAy, considering mannanAr’s beautiful form, great pride, beauty of His aspects. (kAttumannAr kOyil is not included as part of 108 dhivya dhEsams).

‘thrutheeyam krishNa nagaram’ (Third among the five abodes of krishNa, viz., kaNNankudi, kaNNamangai, kaNNapuram, kOvalUr, kaNNan kaviththalam), it is read in the puraNas as the third abode among the 5 places of krishNa, and as said in ‘karuvarai pOl ninRAnaik kaNNapuraththu ammAnaik kaNdAL kolO [periya thirumozhi – 8.1.2]’, and ’kaNNapuram onRu udaiyAnukku adiyEn, oruvarkku uriyEnO [periya thirumozhi – 8.9.3]’, and ‘kaRRAr sEr kaNNapuram [periya thirumozhi – 8.10.5]’, thirumangai AzhvAr being ever fond of that dhivya dhEsam, it can be considered that he is divining about thirukkaNNapuram.

The phrase ‘ulagam Eththum’  (divine abodes praised by the world),  (that appears before the first of the aforementioned four directions), is applicable to all the four.

imaiyOr, etc. – By this phrase AzhvAr is talking about Him (paramapadha nAthan) who is present as the means and the destiny.

imaiyOrkku enRum mun AnAy – Oh who is present for the nithyasUris to see You always directly. Oh who is being the object of vision forever (as said in ‘sadhA paSyanthi [rig ashtakam 1.2.7]’).

pin AnAr, etc. – even for the people of malai nAdu (kerala) to know the place which is filled with those who do not know any about paramapadham, divine milky ocean, incarnations, or the archA forms (statue) of emperumAn, You are present in thirumUzhikkaLam! You are ever present in the western ocean for becoming the target of surrender even for those in malai nAdu that is filled with nasthikas.


By ‘pin AnAr’ (lowly) it could imply those whose state does not have any more comparable lowliness, who are even lower than brAhmaNa, kshatrhiya, vaiSya, and also even lower than the fourth varNam – even for them to attain Him, He is present in thirumUzhikkaLam.

pin AnAr vaNangum – He being attainable at the same level for those who are considered lowly based on place, time, or birth.

sOdhi – Like a light in pitch darkness, since He stands as the target of surrendering even for lowly ones, it talks about Him as having the brightness/light due to being attainable for everyone.  This is also said in ‘thirumUzhikkaLaththu uRaiyum oN sudarai [thiruvAimozhi – 9.7.11]’ (the light that is residing at thirumUzhikkaLam), and in ‘en kaN pAsam vaiththa param sudar sOdhi [thiruvAimozhi – 3.3.4]’ (To the One who has place infinite attachment towards me (who is directly opposite to Him who is the abode of auspicious qualities only and Him who is also being opposite of all blemishes), who is (due to that) having perfect radiance in fully radiant form);

 mudhal AnAyE – Oh You being the first root of goodness for all – for them to know that emperumAn Himself is the means and destiny, and for them to experience Him at divine abodes (dhivyadhESams), and for all the other greatness of Him!  This is said too in ‘thvath pAdha kamalAdhanyath na mE janmAntharEshvapi | nimiththam kuSalasyAsthi yEna gachchAmi sadhgathim || [jithanthE sthOthram – 1.10]’ (There is nothing in any birth other than Your divine lotus feet  that is the first goodness  (root) which is the cause of means which would get me to attain You).

Or, it is talking about Him being the root cause of creation of worlds.

Or, mudhal AnAyE – it is talking about ‘Oh You who created me in such a beautiful way that I suffer (as described in earlier pAsurams, that is, being separated from Him, not able to see Him, etc), and so AzhvAr completes the first ten pAsurams with such sadness.


Translation by raghuram SrInivAsa dAsan

archived in

pramEyam (goal) –
pramANam (scriptures) –
pramAthA (preceptors) –
SrIvaishNava education/kids portal –

thirunedunthANdakam – 10 – Part 1

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

Full Series

<< previous – 9 – vangaththAl


By this pAsuram, AzhvAr says: He who goes to the place of His devotees, and does so without seeing whether they are qualified or not qualified, has absolutely not shown up for me – AzhvAr gets a doubt that “this could be due to my saying earlier ‘mandhiraththai mandhiraththAl maRavAdhenRum vAzhudhiyEl vAzhalAm [thirunedunthANdakam – 4]’ may have been construed by Him as a means I used (other than Him as the means), and so He must have avoided coming to me till I complete the process of such means”; AzhvAr says – in that pAsuram “I said that one could have that thirumanthram as companion, which shows us the relationship between us and emperumAn, and be enjoying that and such people would be able to enjoy so till there is AthmA (eternally), and I did not say that thirumanthram could be used as a means. Only if I think that there is something other than You as prApyam (destiny) would I think that there is something other than You as prApakam (means), isn’t it?”

Saying ‘mandhiraththAl’ – could be construed as using it as a means, and saying ‘maRavAdhu vAzhudhiyEl’ – could be construed as saying that one should perform that means without fail, and saying ‘vAzhalAm’ – could be construed as that if one performs such means then there is a benefit/end/destiny for that. This pAsuram is this AzhvAr’s ‘nORRa nonbu [thiruvAimozhi – 5.7]’. Like how that was for nammAzhvAr, where he said ‘nORRa nOnbilEn nUNNaRivilEn [thiruvAimozhi – 5.7.1]’ (I do not have karma yOgam performed to attain the result/destiny; I do not have subtle knowledge related to gyAna yOgam which is focussed on knowledge about self and god), saying about his Akinchanyam (utter destitution), and ‘Agilum unnai vittu onRRum ARRA kiRkinRilEn [thiruvAimozhi – 5.7.1]’ (Not having bhakthi yOgam which is impossible without these two, i.e. karma yOgam and gyAna yOgam, but after meditating upon your qualities, I am unable to survive even for a moment without You who are the saviour), saying there is no dearth of interest (toward Him) – this is how nammAzhvAr divined. In the same way, in the 4th pAsuram thirumangai AzhvAr sang ‘mandhiraththai mandhiraththAl’  thus divining that there is no dearth of interest (toward Him), and in this 10th pAsuram he is divining about his utter destitution.

pon AnAy pozhil Ezhum kAval pUNda
   pugazh AnAy igazhvAya thoNdanEn nAn
en AnAy en AnAy ennal allAl
  en aRivan EzhaiyEn – ulagam Eththum
then AnAy vada AnAy kudapAl AnAy
  guNapAla madha yAnAy imaiyOrkku enRum
mun AnAy pin AnAr vaNangum sOdhi
  thirumUzhik kaLaththAnAy mudhal AnAyE.                     10

Word by word meaning

then AnAy – Oh One who is like an elephant that stands in the beautiful thirumAlirunchOlai mountain
ulagam Eththum – which is worthy of praise by one and all in the world!
vada AnAy – Oh One who is like an elephant that stands in the thiruvEnkatam in the north!
kuda pAl AnAy – Oh One who is like an elephant in the westerly (in sleeping pose in thiruvarangam)!
guNapAla madham yAnAy – Oh One who is like a proud elephant (in thirukkaNNapuram)!
imaiyOrkku mun AnAy – Oh One who stands in front of nithyasUris (for them to see and enjoy You)
enRum – at all times!
thirumUzhik kaLaththAnAy  – Oh One living in thirumUzhikkaLam
pin AnAr vaNangum sOdhi –  like a luminous entity who could be surrendered to by those living after your incarnations!
mudhal AnAy – Oh the cause of the world!
pon AnAy – Oh One who is like the gold!
pozhil Ezhum kAval pUNda Oh One who is having the fame due to giving divine protection to all the seven worlds!
igazhvu Aya thoNdanEn EzhaiyEn nAn – I who am a devotee who is lowliness/scorn personified and who am of unsteady mind (chapalan),
en AnAy en AnAy ennal allAl – Other than saying ‘Oh my elephant! Oh my elephant!’ (calling emperumAn so),
en aRivan –  what else do I know to say?  (Akinchanyam).


pon AnAy – Oh emperumAn You who are my destiny!  As said in ‘rukmAbham svapnadhee gamyam [manu smruthi – 12.122]’ (Should only meditate upon the supreme being who is … and like gold …), and ‘avyayO nidhi: [mahAbhAratham – sahasranAmam – 301]’ ((emperumAn) is the ever lasting (fixed) deposit of wealth), and as ‘vaippAm [thiruvAimozhi – 1.7.2]’ (emperumAn is the wealth (that is the goal)), in smruthi, ithihAsa, and purANas, by the word ‘nidhi’ it talks about destiny/end.  Wealth is – one that helps during crisis, one which if known to exist would bring back the life (of its owner),  and one which is enjoyable by everyone.

(Why talk about destiny/end when in the context of means?) – saying this now is to imply – only if I knew that there is some other destiny than You, would l be knowing about some means other than You.

Or this is also said to show – one would look for a means only when they need to get to the destiny, isn’t it? (since I have already got You I would not be looking for some means). nammAzhvAr too said ‘vaippAm marundhAm [thiruvAimozhi – 1.7.2]’ (emperumAn is the wealth (that is the goal) and the medicine (that removes the obstacles in attaining the goal) ) (showing that emperumAn Himself is the means as well as the destiny);

Or, since AzhvAr is saying ‘pozhil Ezhum kAval pUNda’, thus saying that emperumAn Himself is the means, and since in ‘ananyasAdhyE [bharatha muni: – vishvaksEna samhithai]’ (When someone else cannot get you what you need, then with full faith praying to the One who is fully qualified (for getting you that), saying ‘Only You shall be the means please’ is saraNAgathi), and so since He is the suitable means for getting the destiny, AzhvAr is first saying ‘pon AnAy’, thus saying that He is the destiny.

AnAy – While I am loitering being interested in worldly matters, based on Your grandeur You Yourself took me up, creating interest in me toward You, and became my destiny. This is all You, isn’t it? (So is there anyway I would look for some other means?)

pozhil Ezhum kAval pUNda pugazh AnAy  – by this, AzhvAr says ‘You are also the means’. Oh the protector of leelA vibhUthi!

pozhil Ezhum – talking about all the seven worlds. By this – it implies the worlds below as well.  It implies all the oval shaped worlds, that is said in ‘eedhRuSAnAm [SrI vishNu purANam – 2.7.27]’ (There are thousands, ten thousands, crore of crores of oval shaped worlds (in this environment of prakruthi)). pozhil – world.

kAval pUNda – You are unlike the kings of the world who while having taken the crown would use others to protect his people, but is like one who with a weapon in his hand looks out for the safety of his town, You are protecting all the worlds with great attention.

pUNda – You have taken this protection as a penance; You protect by all means even in the presence of any hindrance/danger in protecting. That is, even if one of very close relationship like mahArAjar (sugreevan) say ‘vadhyathAm [SrI rAmAyaNam – yudhdha kANdam – 17.29]’ (this vibheeshaNan shall be killed along with his ministers in most harsh way), Your staunchness of protecting is like your reply ‘na thyajEyam [SrI rAmAyaNam – yudhdha kANdam – 18.3]’ (There is no way I would reject him (vibheeshaNan) who has come in the form of a friend).  As saying in ‘abhayam sarva bhUthEbhya: [SrI rAmAyaNam – yudhdha kANdam – 18.33]’ (I give protection from all things (to those who surrendered to me), (this is my vow)), You would protect me without even leaving that responsibility to me.

By this – You are the one who protected me, removing my ignorance, scent of prior actions, and their taste.

Or, pUNda – He is in the form of sweetness itself that is the destiny;  without any other option He is being the means also which He takes it upon Himself;  even though milk may be the medicine to remove the bile (piththa), one would not consider it as a decoction (kashAyam), but only as a medicine; so – You Yourself are anxious to be the means, says AzhvAr.

pugazh AnAy – Oh You having the splendour due to protecting so! It is said too as ‘yaSasaScha Eka bhAjanam [SrI rAmAyaNam – kishkindhA kANdam – 15.19,20]’ (He is being the holder of fame (due to protecting everyone)), and as ‘ulappil keerththi ammAnE [thiruvAimozhi – 6.10.1]’ (lord with endless glories).  As said in ‘yAni nAmAni gauNAni  [mahA bhAratham – anusA – 153.13]’ (I shall tell you the divine names of vishNu, which are based on His qualities. These were divined by noble ones. I shall say these for the goodness of the world (stating so, bheeshmar says to yudhishtra the thousand divine names of emperumAn)), your divine names are to express the qualities and acts of Yours that are due to Your vow of protecting.

igazhvAya thoNdanEn nAn – By this it talks about the true nature of ones (adhikAri svarUpam) who attain the means (prApakam) and destiny (prApyam). Like how for You the whole form is greatness, for me the whole form is my lowliness. For us the qualification is not having any quality etc that qualify us. Does it mean one should keep doing mistakes? No, one does not have to do any bad deeds; it is already there aplenty in us.  All one has to do is humbly convey that to emperumAn.

In ‘aham asmyaparAdhAnAmAlaya: [ahirbudhnya samhithA 87.30 and 87.31]’ (I am the abode of all faults..), and ‘rAvANO nAma dhurvruththa: [Sri rAmAyaNam – yudhdha kANdam – 17.12]’ ((I am the brother of) the one who is full of evil qualities named rAvaNan), and ‘amaryAdha: kshudhra: [sthOthra rathnam 62]’ ((I am) one who crossed the limits of vEdhas, having great interest in lowly matters…), it is humbly conveying to Him of one’s own faults only. So what we have to do is convey to Him about our faults, and about not having any qualifications.

thoNdanEn nAn – I who am deeply interested toward You. By this, it talks about interest in what is going to be attained (prApya ruchi).  Like how for praying Him to be the means, one has to convey to Him that we do not have any qualifications and convey our own faults, to pray that He is the one to be attained, one has to have interest toward Him, isn’t it?  It is about not having any qualifications and not tolerating separation from Him that convey our qualification for involving in dhvaya manthram.


igazhvAya thoNdanEn nAn – Like how people would scorn a servant who carries water pot if she wishes to marry the emperor, and like how everyone would scorn a beggar who begs for a handful of food if he wishes to be crowned, it is same as me who am a nithya samsAri (forever involved in worldly affairs), wishing to attain You.

en AnAy en AnAy ennal allAl  – (Anai – elephant) By this – it talks about how the time is spent by him, he who considers emperumAn only as the means and destiny.  I reminisced your qualities (like in ‘manthiraththai) for spending the time only, and not by considering such interest of me as a means (to attain You).  He is saying ‘en AnAy’ (~You are like an elephant for me), based on the qualities of elephants.

Elephant is such that (1) one is not satisfied by seeing it just one day – it is such that one would wish to see it always; (2) having huge pride; (3) is such that it could lift someone nearby and place on its neck; (4) it would stoop down if one wishes to climb on it by himself;  (5) if it pushes down some unwanted one from its back it is not possible to find its reason;  (6) would itself give the rope for tying it down;

emperumAn also carries these qualities; (1) He having the beautiful form that is wished to be seen always;  (2) He having great pride as there is no one equal to or above Him; (3) like how if a king wishes to make a female servant as his main queen then there would not be anyone to stop it, if emperumAn wishes to grant Himself to a nithya samsAri (one who is forever involved in worldly affairs) based only on his surrendering to Him, then there is no one to stop Him – He is having such independence; (4) like how the elephant would stoop down if someone wishes to climb on it on his own, emperumAn having the character of simplicity of giving Him even to those who wish to attain Him by using some other means; (5) having the character of not having anyone who could stop Him from finishing off the enemies of His devotees even if they are related to Him; (6) creates interest towards Him by He Himself giving the bhakthi (devotion) that could be used for enjoying Him – these are the characteristics that are matters for AzhvAr‘s time pass. (How is rope related to bhakthi?) – In ‘ettinOdu iraNdenum kayiRu [thiruchchandha viruththam – 83]’, bhakthi is referred as a rope. It is about tying emperumAn in the pillar/post that is mind, using bhakthi that is rope, so that He would not be able to go away.

By repeating ‘en AnAy’ (and by comparing the aforementioned respective qualities), AzhvAr implies that these qualities are always in his mind, and are the matter for his time pass. It is not possible to remove this from his mind.  AzhvAr cannot indulge in material pleasures – since he became afraid of those and so joined emperumAn. AzhvAr cannot indulge in other means – since he has surrendered to the means that is emperumAn who does not tolerate other means. So AzhvAr can only be involved in the matters of emperumAn by talking about his many qualities.

ennal allAl – In this way I keep spending my time thinking about Your nature; other than that,

en aRivan – would I know any other means mentioned by the SAsthram? Would I know the qualities like ‘do not disrespect the noble people’ etc. (qualities such as ones listed in SrI bhagavath gIthA chapters 7 through 11)? Would I know karma yOgam? Would I know gyAna yOgam? Would I know bhakthi yOgam that can be attained through these two yOgams? What do I know? Like the dawn that came upon someone sleeping, when I was roaming as one interested in worldly pleasures, I saw, as you showed, the greatness of You. This is all I have got – where did I see other means – is what he is saying.

emperumAn asks “If you are staying put thinking that I am your means and destiny, and if you are in the state that you do not have anything good as a qualification, then do you not have to just be as I see fit? Is it right of you to call saying ‘Oh You are not showing your face to me!’ “

ezhaiyEn – What can I do if my love for seeing You is unbounded? During those times when I was interested in worldly affairs only, I did not have any control or limits; then how would I be able to control or limit in the case of wishing to enjoy You?  Without having ability to think that this is good and that is not good because of my my excessive interest, I had immersed in worldly matters; this is all I had done isn’t it? (now also I am showing interest towards You without any control or limit). If you are going to consider this my love for You as my using it as a means and You try to reject me,  then you would have to reject the nithyasUris first before rejecting me.

As emperumAn asks, ‘Did you learn through SAshtrams or through an AchAryan that I have got qualities similar to that of elephant?, AzhvAr replies, ‘I found and learned from the divine abodes where You are happily present (ugandhu aruLina nilangaL)…

Continued in part 2


Translation by raghuram SrInivAsa dAsan

archived in

pramEyam (goal) –
pramANam (scriptures) –
pramAthA (preceptors) –
SrIvaishNava education/kids portal –

thirunedunthANdakam – 9 – Part 2

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

Full Series

<< Previous – 8 – nEErakaththAy

<< pAsuram 9 – part 1

pavaLavaNNan with SrI dhEvi, bhUdhEvi and ANdAL

pARkadalAy – Did He stop with just giving a part of His body to rudhran just by accident like how a worm moving around might create letter forms? When there is a danger to brahmA and others, He thinks He should not stay away, His being the protector (of all), and so giving lower priority to paramapadham, He comes to ksheerAbdhi (milky ocean) and lies down there. Oh such emperumAn! Oh the One who shows Himself whether one wished for it or not, is the One who is not showing His fact to me who is longing for it.

pArin mElAy – As all the dhEvAthAs came and surrendered after losing their places due to asuras and rAkshasas, by taking the forms of rAma, krishNa etc., He lowered Himself, and came on this world (pAr), and protected. This talks about that. In ‘sa hi dhEvair udheerNasya rAvaNasya vadhArthibhi: | arthithO mAnushE lOkE jagnyE vishNussanAthana: || [SrI rAmAyaNam – ayOdhyA kANdam – 1.7]’ (One who was prayed to by the dhEvas saying that He should kill rAvaNan having pride, that SrIman nArAyaNan who does not have end, it that One who has incarnated in this word as rAman),

(following is commentary of aforementioned SlOka).

the ‘sa:’ (that) word refers to the same One who was mentioned in the previous SlOka.

It had said earlier as ‘babhUva guNavaththara:’ [SrI rAmAyaNam – ayOdhyA kANdam – 1.6]’ (rAman was of top grade in having auspicious qualities). AzhvAr is saying that since He is having such qualities, He incarnated. There is no quality to show in incarnating for the devotees who do not wish for other things; (it was for the dhEvas who wished for other benefits); (so it implies that He proved that he is the best in having auspicious qualities); the ‘he’ samskrutha word above (in 1.7) shows the reason for His being full of qualities;

‘dhEvai:´ – did He come here for the prayers of nithyasUris like thiruvadi (garudAzhwAn) and thiru ananthAzhVan’ (AdhiSEshan)? Did He not come and incarnate for the dhEvas who wish for other benefits, and who are of the opinion that they are the lords? Are they not ones who would go against Him after getting the benefits they wished for?

udheerNasya rAvaNasya vadhArthibhi: – for winning rAvANan who is roaming around destroying all the world due to his pride; when His relationship with everyone as emperumAn is common for everyone, while the dhEvas who pray Him are doing so for other benefits, He came and incarnated for destroying those like rAvaNan, isn’t it?

arThitha:  – this you see, is the penance that they performed. (just praying).

mAnushE lOkE – He is incarnating in the place which even for dhEvas is a lowly place and not looked at.

jagnyE – while the common people of the world would live in the womb for ten months, He was present in the womb for twelve months!

vishNu – One who permeates everything is one who incarnated in this place (ayOdhyA) which is permeated by Him, to be under the control of those living in this place!

sanAthana: – One who is present forever is the One who came and was born as a son for someone!

In these ways the One who lowers Himself so much for those who pray to Him for other benefits, is the One who is not showing Himself to me! says AzhvAr.

pani varaiyin uchchiyAy – (Oh one who is standing on top of the mountain (thirumalai)) –  Did you stop with just showing yourself for those wishing for other benefits? (you didn’t); as said in ‘kAnamum vAnaramum vEdum udai vEnkatam [nAnmugan thiruvanthAdhi – 47]’ (thiruvEnkatam having forests, monkeys, and the clans of hunters), One who shows Himself even for the lowly animals and hunters by coming and standing in thiruvEnkatam is the One who is not showing Himself to me, says AzhvAr.

pavaLa vaNNA – (Oh One who is having beautiful divine body like that of gems); He is not having the mediocre form that one could tolerate the wait to see in due course of time. If it was of such form we could relax thinking let Him show up whenever He prefers; His beauty is not such, that we could stay without any interest , when we think about his divine nature.

pavaLa vaNNA enguRRAy – (where are you) – since AzhvAr got blurred vision due to immersing in the enjoyability of His form, he is saying ‘where are You’.  As said in “rAmam mE’nugathA dhRushtiradhyApi na nivarthathE | na thvA paSyAmi kausalyE sAdhu mA pANinA spruSa [SrI rAmAyaNam – ayOdhyA kANdam – 42.34]” (After rAma went to the forest, dhaSaratha said to kausalya) – Oh kausalyE! my vision has gone away following rAma. It has not returned till now. I don’t see you. Touch me well with your hands),  like how dhaSaratha lost his vision, it happened to AzhvAr too.

(following is commentary of aforementioned SlOka).

mE dhRushti: – rAmam – anugathA –  my eyes have gone behind perumAL. attracted by His beauty.  It left the body which holds it and has gone behind the target of the eyes. It appears that the relationship with mother’s home (my body, for the eyes) is only till it gets the attraction of the in-laws’ home (rAman’s beauty)!

me dhRushti: – saying so he (dhaSarathan) is celebrating the ways of his eyes. Distraught due to the separation I lay on the floor; my eyes got the opportunity to go with Him! Wish I had not been the holder of those eyes, but the eyes themselves, says dhaSarathan.

adhyApi na nivarthathE – eyes have not returned; even in this state of getting solace while seeing you, the eyes have not returned;

na thvA paSyAmi – if asking – while you who are the holder of those eyes, why have the eyes gone behind Him? – dhaSarathan says that he deduced the cause from the action! While you (Kausalya) have come stood here, I don’t see you; hence I knew that they went behind Raman. The senses of the body (indhriyas) are such that they are learned about based on anumAnam (conclusion based on previous prathyaksham (understood by the senses)). When seeing things we come to know that there are senses in the body; when nothing is seen, then we learn that the senses are not present.

kausalyE – not seeing you not because it is kaikEyi standing in front of me.

sAdhu mA pANinA spRuSa – please do not think about the cruelty I executed, but think about my pitiful state, and feel ‘alas! (aiyyO)’  and touch (comfort) me. Please do not think that I decorated Him for crowning Him and then sent Him to the forest, but think ‘Oh he might die due to separation from Him!’, and touch (comfort) me, says dhaSarathan to Kausalya.

bhattar would divine, ‘eyes have gone behind Him; to find out whether the seeing sense has gone behind Him or not, you please touch and search me, says dasarathan’.

pavaLa vaNNA engu uRRAy – where have you gone while having the form that is for the devotees as said in ‘bhakthAnAm [jithanthE sthOthram – 1-5]’?  Is your showing us the greatness of your divine body, to hide it from us? Or, engu uRRAy – Thinking that He would never not show up after seeing this longing, and that keeping this longing itself as the reason He would show up, AzhvAr is groping his hand in the air saying engu uRRAy (where are You); as I extended my arm He would be felt, and then I could catch Him – thinks AzhvAr. Since he is like the creeper plant lying on the ground looking for a stick to climb on to (flagstaff), He would wish to look for Him (who is that stick). jIvAthmA can be called as such creeper.

emperumAn – engu uRRAy – While your property is suffering, where are You the owner hiding? It is only the owner who would come to the property; is it possible for the property to go to the place of its owner? It only the hungry person who would go to the place where there is food, and not the food that would come to that person, will it?

unnai nAdi – Searching for You who is unequalled in enjoyableness, and Who is One to be attained. You being the attainable is the reason for my urge to reach You.

unnai nAdi – It has become such, that I have to look out for You who has been trying for me (edhir sUzhal pukku [thiruvAimozhi – 2.7.6]’) from time eternal! As said in ‘OdinEn Odi [periya thirumozhi 1.1.1]’, I was running behind worldly pleasures, and you got hold of me and informed about the truth and made me not wish for anything else than You, and made me as said in ‘thaLir puraiyum thiruvadi en thalai mElavE [thirunedunthANdakam – 1]’ thus keeping Your divine feet on my head as if it is an honour for You; are all these for not showing up when now I am suffering due to separation?

If You are saying – “Oh that’s interesting; If you have understood that I got hold of you and did everything for you , then you should see what I will be doing further, and so stay put in your place like seethAp pirAtti as said in ‘thath thasya sadhRSam bhavEth [SrI rAmAyaNam – sundhara kANdam – 30-30]’ (if chakravarthy thirumagan would destroy the enemies and take me back, that is what would be suitable for Him); is it right for you to hurry?”, then,

EzhaiyEn – my many wishes does not let me stay put, replies AzhvAr.  I am one with such a huge wish, says AzhvAr.  That does not allow me to be patient thinking  ‘let Him do further whatever’.

inganamE Uzhi tharukEnE – it cannot be said that He is subservient to His devotees; it cannot be said that He would show Himself up by considering our qualifications; given so, losing Him is due to my sins only, isn’t it? Would I spend the rest of my life suffering?

inganamE – Like how in the forest the rishis showed Him their bodies eaten by the rAkshasAs as said in ‘Ehi paSya SarIrANi [SrI rAmAyaNam – AraNya kANdam – 6-16]’, AzhvAr is showing his body eaten by love.

uzhi tharugEnE – Like the body that is taken up in hell, my life has become the ever experienced suffering that does not end and also not tolerable, says AzhvAr.  I have not been able to get the enjoyment of the experience of Him, nor am I able to stay put like seethA pirAtti by considering the true nature of AthmA as subservient, nor  am I done with like chinthayanthi and chakravarthi;  It has become second nature for me to be always experiencing the suffering of separation! says AzhvAr.


Translation by raghuram SrInivAsa dAsan

archived in

pramEyam (goal) –
pramANam (scriptures) –
pramAthA (preceptors) –
SrIvaishNava education/kids portal –

thirunedunthANdakam – 9 – Part 1

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

Full Series

<< Previous – 8 – nEErakaththAy


Since the place he is in is not got to be thirukkOvalUr, and since emperumAn did not come to the place where he was and showed Himself, he called Him using the true characteristics of emperumAn that would be the reasons for Him to come and show Himself – in previous pAsuram.

In this pAsuram – ‘For those who wish the see the beauty of my striding the worlds, I am showing that beauty in the same pose by coming to thirukkOvalUr; so AzhvAr who wishes to see that should come here and enjoy it, is all there is’ – is this what He is thinking (and so is not showing Himself in the different place where I am now)?, wonders Azhvar, and also fears,  ‘Is He not showing Himself here to me, thinking that I am a rogue?’;

Then, he thinks ‘If we consider His ways, He would go by Himself and show His form to those even having a lit bit of interest; He is One who shows up without considering the merit or absence of it in a person; so such blemish would not occur in Him; so my losing His divine vision is due to my sins only; so due to my wish in vain and not able to let go of Him, and so toiling in this body, my state has become like that of being yAthanA Sareeram (body which one gets into while going to hell) which would not be destroyed nor be tolerable, and so am being put up in this place and be sorrowful’  – AzhvAr is sad thinking about his state.

vangaththAl mAmaNi vandhundhu munneer
  mallaiyAy madhiL kachchi UrAi pErAi
kongaththAr vaLangonRai alangal mArvan
  kulavaraiyan madappAvai idappAl koNdAn
pangaththAy pARkadalAy pArin mElAy
  pani varaiyin uchchiyAy pavaLa vaNNA!
enguRRAy emperumAn unnai nAdi
  EzhaiyEn inganamE uzhi tharugEnE                         9

Word by word meaning

munneer mallaiyAy – Oh One who lives in thiruk kadal mallai (dhivya dhEsam, modern day mahAbalipuram) by the shore
mAmaNi vandhu undhu – which brings and pushes the best gems
vangaththAL – by ships!
madhiL kachchi UrAy – Oh One who lives in the city of kAnchee having divine ramparts / walls!
pErAy – Oh One having divine presence in the city of thiruppEr!
kula varaiyan madappAvai idappAl koNdAn pangaththAy – Oh One having on one side (of His body) the rudhran who is having in the left side (of his body) acquiescent/beautiful pArvathi, who is the daughter of himavAn who is the best of kings,
kongu Ar vaLam konRai alangal mArvan – and such (rudhran is ) having in His chest the garland of koNRai flower that is having honey and much beauty.
pArkadalAy – Oh One who is resting in the divine milky ocean!
pArin mElAy – Oh One who incarnated in the earth (for doing good to those living here)!
pani varaiyin uchchiyAy – Oh One who stood at the top of cool divine thirumalai (thiruvEnkatam)!
pavaLa vaNNA – Oh One having pleasant divine body like a coral!
engu uRRAy – where have You gone in to?
emperumAn – On my lord!
unnai nAdi – searching for You,
EzhaiyEn – adiyen having the wish in vain, am
uzhithargEnE – roaming
inganamE – in these ways only.


vangaththAl mAmaNi vandhu undhu munneer mallaiyAy –  A devotee (named puNdareekan) had in this shore put together a garland, and thought ‘we should decorate Him with this before it loses its sheen’ (and since emperumAn lives on the shore of the other end of the sea), he started draining the sea water thinking he can not go near Him across the sea unless the sea dries up; seeing his love towards Him, He came to the place where he had made a place for Him and rested there on the ground (without Adhi SEshan), the place which then became to be known as thirukkadal mallai.

But, while it would have been apt to just say ‘munneer mallaiwhy add adjectives (vangaththAl mAmaNi vandhu undhu) – ship is one that would push things from one island to the other; likewise, He who is set in paramapadham got pushed into this world and got Him lying down on the floor – due to the love for His devotee. Here the ship is His love towards His devotees.

mAmaNi – gem of very high value; This love pushed that gem which is as said in ‘kaiyAr chakkaraththu en karu mANikkam [thiruvAimozhi – 5.1.1]’ (with the divine hand well fixed with  the divine disc, One who made me enjoy your attractive blue gem like divine form!), and ‘vAnavar uchchi vaiththa peru mANi [periya thirumozhi – 9.5.4]’ (nithyasUris keep Him in their head as a valuable gem).

vandhu undhu – He is lying down in the sea shore with no one to come and have Him! Just as how one who knows the value of ruby gem would keep it safely tied in a valuable cloth, One who is ever enjoyed by nithyasUris is the One who is here lying down the shore – there is no one who understood this greatness and nurture Him here, that the state in which you see, He is staying here on the floor; even if some people come to Him they would ask for other things and go away, alas, there are none who wish to get Him.

munneer mallaiyAy – One of great valuables of another abode (place; paramapadham), has come to this island (place) that is thirukkadal mallai, but is not sold (wished for), but is still lying down on the ground of this shore without getting tired (of waiting).  It is the ananthasAyI  (One who rests on ananthAzhvAn (Adhi SEshan)) who for a devotee has come here and is lying down on the ground, you see.  By these adjectives, there is no one who has understood His greatness and nurture Him, and thus talks about the lowness of this place (world);

One who could come to the place of a devotee and show Himself, is the One who is not showing Himself to me who is longing.

madhiL kachchi UrAy – Even though (in previous pAsuram) he talked about these dhivya dhESams, there is no blemish of ‘saying same thing again in pAsurams’ (punar ukthi dhOsham) due to difference in application here; (there, it was to say that He is similar in the good characteristics of emperumAn of thirukkOvalUr;  here he is mentioning the dhivya dhEsams for different reasons);

Unlike in thirukkadal mallai where He is present without the care of anyone, here some people of high quality have constructed these walls which we got the opportunity to see – says AzhvAr. He talked about his sadness of seeing no one to care about emperumAn there; here he is caring that emperumAn has been saved with the walls raised; even while he is sad due to not seeing emperumAn, his true nature is such that he is caring seeing whether there would be any danger to emperumAn. Or, the walls are such that the enemies cannot get into the place, says AzhvAr.

mallaiyAy madhiL kachchi UrAy – stuff that comes in at a shore would get sold in a city only; likewise, emperumAn came ashore at thirukkadal mallai and got sold (cared for) at kancheepuram.

Caring for Him considering His tenderness, and, grieving/being angry considering ones’ own state (of not getting the vision of Him) , are both apt for a jeevAthmA.

pErAy – in the aforementioned, he talked about how emperumAn is anxious whether He would get the devotes;  here – as said in ‘thirumAlirunchOlai malai enREn enna thirumAl vandhu en nenju niRaiyap pukunthAn [thiruvAimozhi – 10.8.1]’ (~(even though I was not  interested in You), just based on the reason of my saying ‘thirumAlirunchOlai’ You came and took me as yours), He is present (in the dhivya dhESam thiruppEr) to get the devotees for Himself, and that is He who is not taking me who cannot survive if separated from Him, says AzhvAr.  By this, it says that emperumAn comes to the place of His devotees and shows Himself.

Now it talks about His coming and showing Himself without looking at one’s disqualifications.

emperumAn having Sivan in His divine body
(image coutesy:

kongu etc – Like a saying in thamizh, ‘nAyE koL, pEyE koL’, that refers to sivan who is being with ghosts, got a place in the divine body of emperumAn, but that divine body is being hard for me to reach, laments AzhvAr. Oh the One who in a part of His divine body is having sivan who is decorated with ‘konRai’ garland that is having honey, fragrance and beauty. kongu – honey. Ar – excess of it. vaLam – beauty. (aRRu – a meaningless affix allowed by thamizh grammar). Beauty of a flower – being fresh, and full of fragrance.

kulavarai etc. – One who is having pArvathy as is wife;  while it would have been enough to just say,  ‘giving part of his divine body to rudhran’, this pAsuram is giving so many attributes to him describing so much, which is to make his wrongful pride explicit: trying to be equal to sarvESvaran who is decorated with divine basil/thiruththuzhAy and who is the husband of SrIdhEvi, he wears konRai flower garland and thinks ‘I am eeSvaran’ – it is to such sivan of bad disposition that He gave his body.

kongaththAr vaLankonRai alangal mArvan – Being opposite of ‘thaNduzhAy mAlai mArban [thirumAlai – 5]’ (One having chest decorated by thiruththuzhAy garland). Seeing eeSvaran  protecting/sustaining the worlds wearing unique garland of thiruththuzhAy, he is wearing konRai garland thinking ‘I too should need a garland if I should be called eeSvaran and so look for one’.

kulavaraiyan madappAvai –   Being a counterpart of ‘malar magaL virumbum nam arumpeRal adigaL [thiruvAimozhi 1.3.1]’ (being joyed about the two aspects of being eLiyavan (simple to attain) and ariyavan (difficult to attain)) being desired by One who is having the lotus flower as her residence, our master who is difficult to attain). Oh He is being Sriya:pathi (husband of lakshmi),  when we get such opportunity we should also be with a wife – thinking so he is being umApathy (husband of umA (pArvathi)).

idap pAl koNdAn – As counterpart to ‘vala mArbinil vAzhginRa mangai [thiruppallANdu – 2]’ (thAyAr who lives in the right chest of Him); (rudhran is having umA on his left side).

pangaththAy – (pangu – a share); As said in ‘kUr ALum thani udamban [thiruvAimozhi – 4.8.1]’ ((kUr – share) having divine body which the consorts individually (part by part) enjoy and consider to be their own abode, which is unique, and spiritually distinguished), emperumAn gave a part of His body to rudhran as if in competition with periya pirAttiyAr . It is the divine body which He gave to Her who never separates from Him, which He also shared with rudhran who thinks ‘ISvarOham’ (I am the lord). He does not see rudhran’s state, or Her state, or His own state – He sees only His relationship with them (AthmAs). The form that He gave to the one having perversity of mind that thinks ‘I am the lord’, is not available to me who does not survive without seeing that form, says AzhvAr.

Continued in part – 2


Translation by raghuram SrInivAsa dAsan

archived in

pramEyam (goal) –
pramANam (scriptures) –
pramAthA (preceptors) –
SrIvaishNava education/kids portal –

thirunedunthANdakam – 8

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

Full Series

<< Previous – 7 – vaRpudaiya varai nedum thOL


As AzhvAr became sorrowful and thought – ‘We could not experience at that time when He strode the worlds’, and (as He said), ‘I am there with that beauty in thirukkOvalUr, come and experience it!’, as AzhvAr took along his mind to experience Him (there), he forgot about the saurya (not running away in a fight (absence of parAngmukhathvam)), and veerya (not getting confused and agitated during fight (unlike arjuna did in kurukshEthra)) of Ayan (of thirukkOvalUr dhivya dhEsam), also forgot about experiencing Him, and as he saw Him in front of his eyes he saw the soft delicateness of emperumAn, and thought about the nature of the place which is having many asuras, and thought ‘Oh what might happen to this divine One’, thus fearing for Him. It is the nature of AthmA to be loving of and be caring of Him. As He showed His valor etc., and cleared his fear, he took his mind along and was involving in experiencing Him – in the previous pAsuram.

In this pAsuram – AzhvAr is deciding that we shall go to thirukkOvalUr and experience the emperumAn. Since it is he (who is having extreme love toward emperumAn), his divine feet are not moving; thinking about the beauty etc., of Ayan (of thirukkOvalUr) his senses got weakened as said in ‘kAl Azhum nenjazhiyum kaN suzhalum’ [periya thiruvanthAdhi – 34] (~ my feet would get stuck, mind would be destroyed, eyes would not focus, even if I just hear about how He is lying down in the divine milky ocean), and to be according to the true nature of self (to be subservient and not do something on own efforts) – that is, both at the time of surrendering to Him, and at the time of enjoying Him (by doing services) – surrendering to Him when He comes and pushes us to surrender to Him, and enjoying Him when He comes with His own efforts and making us enjoy Him, is our true nature. This is as said in ‘kUvudhal varudhal seyyAy [thiruvAimozhi – 9.2.10](~You call me and make me serve you, and You come to me), en thiRam sollAr [thiruvAimozhi – 8.3.7]’ (He is not saying a single word about me His ardent devotee).

Thus due to decimation of senses, and not having eligibility (as per his nature), he is not able to go there; but he did not have the place he was in to happen to be thirukkOvalUr; he started calling (the place); as he was longing to enjoy thirukkOvalUr, why would he start calling other divine places?  Like how one would pick and collect multiple grains (spilled in the field), as Ayan’s nature is shining in dhivya dhEsams, AzhvAr is calling them based on that. It is like (praising SrI rAmA through multiple examples as) said in ‘vishNunA sadhruSO veeryE [SrI rAmAyaNam – bAla kANdam – 1-18]((SrI rAman) is equal to vishNu in manliness; He is pleasing to the eyes like the moon; is like the annihilating fire in His anger; is equal to the earth in His patience).

neeragaththAy nedu varaiyin uchchi mElAy
  nilAththingaL thuNdaththAy niRaindha kachchi
UragaththAy oNthuRai neer vehkAvuLLAy
  uLLuvAr uLLaththAy ulagamEththum
kAragaththAy kArvAnaththuLLAy kaLvA
  kAmarupUngAviriyin then pAl mannu
pEragaththAy pErAdhen nenjin uLLAy
  perumAn un thiruvadiyE pENinEnE                        8

Word by word meaning

neeragaththAy Oh One who is giving divine presence in thiruneeragam dhivya dhEsam!
nedu varaiyin uchchi mElAy –  Oh One who stood at the top of tall and great thirumalai!
nilAththingaL thuNdaththAy –  Oh One who is giving divine presence in the divine place called nilAththingaL thuNdam!
niRaindha kachchi UragaththAy – Oh One who is giving divine presence in the divine place called Uragam by pervading the whole of kachchi (by your qualities)!
oNthuRai neer vekhAvuLLAy – Oh One who is in sleeping posture at the beautiful shore of water tank that is in thiruvehkA!
uLLuvAr uLLaththAy – Oh One who is present in the hearts of those who think of you (as their leader)!  (that is also a temple for Him);
ulagam Eththum kAragaththAy – Oh One who stood in the divine place called ‘thirukkAragam’ for the whole world to worship!
kAr vAnaththuLLAy – Oh One who lives in the divine place called kArvAnam!
kaLvA – Oh the thief (who hid the divine form and not showing it to the devotees)!  (there is a dhivya dhEsam called kaLvanUr);
kAmaru pUm kAviriyin then pAl mannu pEragaththAy – well set in the town of thiruppEr (of appakkudaththAn) that is on the south shore of very beautiful kAvEri!
en nenjil pEradhu uLLAy – Oh One who is showing Himself to my mind without break or going away!
perumAn – Oh One having many many divine places!
un thiruvadiyE pENinEnE – I am calling for your divine feet (wishing to see it).


thiru neeragam – image courtesy –

neeragaththAy – Oh one residing in thiruneeragam! Since One who is of neermai that is of quality of neer (water), is residing here, the place is referred to as neeragam. Even though the nature of AthmA is same for everyone, it is due to karma there are differences of being human, dEvas, etc., and also based on that there are differences in their knowledge and thoughts; but water is the life line for every one of them; likewise, the emperumAn of thiruneeragam  is the life line for everyone. So the divine feet that stored all the worlds is the life line for everyone; since this nature of emperumAn is highlighted in this dhivya dhEsam, Oh One who is enjoyable to everyone without any limits, is not showing yourself to me! wonders AzhvAr.

nedu variyin uchchi mElAy – Oh one who is divining His presence in thirumalai such that You are enjoyed not only by those in the earth, but also in the higher worlds.  This is as said in ‘vAnavar vAnavar kOnodum namanRezhum thiruvEngadam [thiruvAimozhi – 3.3.7]’ (nithyasUris (eternally free souls of paramapadham), with sEnai mudhaliyAr (vishwaksEna – who is their leader), bowing (which highlights their total dependence), feeling accomplished (having realized their true nature), divine place having the name thiruvEngadam); the state of thirumalai reminds of the divine feet of nAyan who strode all the worlds; You who would show up even for those who think of themselves as lords, is not showing yourself to me! wonders AzhvAr.

nilAth thingaL thuNdathhAy – this is also being the name based on the nature of nAyAnAr (emperumAn, the lord). Oh, like the moon who is complete in all the arts, One who helps those who suffer from the three types of thApams by clearing those thApams, and being sweet to those who enjoy You!

As said in ‘sUryAmSu janitham thApam ninyE thArApathi: Samam [SrI vishNu purANam – 5-10-3](like how a discerning mind would remove the sorrow caused by pride, moon the head of stars removed the heat caused by the rays of sun), for the people who suffer due to the heat of the sun it is the moon that is reason for their calm and comfort;  nilAth thingaL – during waning phase its light would be dimmed, and so it is mentioned as ‘nilAth thingaL’  (to imply full moon). Since the divine abode is a part (thuNdam) of the earth, he is saying ‘nilAth thingaL thUNdam’ based on that. Since he mentions about it specifically saying thuNdam, he is saying it to show its uniqueness compared to other dhivya dhEsams. This reminds about emperumAn who is present with removal of tiredness he got due to striding the worlds, and being lovely. Oh one who removes the tiredness and gives happiness to everyone, is not showing yourself to me! wonders AzhvAr.

niRaindha kachchi UragaththAy – Oh one who is present and divining in the dhivya dhEsam of thirukkachchi Uragam for the whole of kAncheepuram to be filled with your beauty and kindness! He is present in thiru Uragam that reminds us of His divine posture in thirukkOvalUr! niRaindha kachchi – As said in ‘SObhayan dhaNdakAraNam [SrI rAmAyaNam – AraNya kANdam – 38-15]’ (SrI rAman, by His brightness, appeared like a young moon which rose just then, in that forest), the whole of thirukkachchi is filled with His brightness; also kachchi that is filled with divine abodes (thirukkachi being one having so many dhivya dhEsams).

Uragam – image courtesy

oN thuRai neer vekhAvuLLAy –  Oh one who is in sleeping posture in the shore of beautiful thiruvehkA! Unlike other places, since this is the one where thirumazhisaip pirAn got down and took holy bath, this is referred to as beautiful shore. He is staying put and lying down in this shore to show that He obeyed AzhvAr‘s words. Going behind the devotee when he left, and coming back as that devotee came back and lying down back again but in the opposite direction keeping His head where His divine feet were earlier – isn’t this how the ‘pArathanthryam toward devotees’ is present in there!

thiruvehkA – sonna vaNNam seydha perumaL – image courtesy

As said in ‘irundha Uril irukkum mAnidar eththavangaL seydhAr kolO [periyAzhvAr thirumozhi – 4.4.7]’ (Oh what penances they might have performed to be rewarded of being in the town where His devotees are present!), for SrIvaishNavas it is the place where a SrIvaishNavan lives is the preferred place – likewise, it is for eeSvaran the place that is preferred is where there is a connection of devotee.

As said in ‘vAsal kadai kazhiyA uL pugA kAmar pUngOval idai kazhiyE paRRi ini [mudhal thiruvanthAdhi – 86]’ (neither going out nor going in, you are staying in the in-between place (because that is where we three mudhal AzhvArs had stayed once)!), how He had entered and jammed Himself into the place where the three AzhvArs were present, and even after they left, He did not have the mind to leave that place – this is how it reminds us about the nature of emperumAn at thiruvehkA (being dedicated to devotees).  soNNa vaNNam seydha perumAn mingled with the devotees with his divine head in the place of the feet. Oh You who is steadfast in the place that was of the devotees, are not showing Yourself to me who would not bear the separation!

uLLuvAr uLLaththAy – Oh one who lives in the hearts of those who live with the thought that there is a lord for me!  It is for reaching a devotee’s heart that He is present in a dhivya dhEsam (this is the reason for AzhvAr to talk about the heart of devotees when in the setting of listing these dhivya dhEsams). ‘ninRadhu endhai [thiruchchandha viruththam – 64]’ (He being present in these dhivya dhEsams is doing all those sitting, standing, etc., in my mind too), etc. You who would live in the hearts of those who have got even a little love toward You, are not showing Yourself to me! wonders AzhvAr.

ulagam Eththum kAragaththAy –  Oh who is divining his standing presence in thiruk kAragam for the whole world to heap praises! As said in ‘lOka vikrAntha! charaNau [vihagESvara samhithai padalam 22]’ ((vikrama:  = stepping) – Oh emperumAn! adiyEn am leaving all the relatives, and all the means, and all other destinies including kaivalyam, and surrendering unto the divine feet of You who strode the three worlds!), for all the worlds to argue (with Him saying – Your divine feet is common and available for all), and surrender, He having such history of taking the three steps, that Ayan being amicable for all to surrender, and this dhivya dhEsam (too) lets us think about that emperumAn! Oh You who is available for all to surrender, are not showing Yourself to me!

kAr vAnaththu uLLAy – Oh one who lives in thiruk kArvAnam, who is having the nature of cloud whose nature is to pour rain! The divine name for dhivya dhEsam is based on the nature of this emperumAn. Cloud would pour rain without expecting any benefit, and without any distinction of water or land (to everyone) – this dhivya dhEsam reminds of the generosity of Ayan (of thirukkOvalUr), who kept His divine feet on the heads of all the people whether they longed for it or not.

kaLvA – Oh one who steals! (apahAram). We would not call Him ‘kaLvA’ since we do not have such love towards Him like this AzhvAr. Stealing is – hiding something that belongs to one by making it not his. His stealing is – not showing His beauty which is to be experienced by His devotees. AthmApahAram is when the sentient does not agree that the AthmA belongs to Him;  whereas that is how it is regarding AthmA, we don’t agree to that but say ‘svathanthrOham’ (I am independent) – this is our stealing.  Is your preventing my stealing, is to steal (not showing) Your AthmA (divine body)? Making the meaning of AthmA to flourish, is for destroying the meaning of ‘bhakthAnAm [jithanthE sthOthram – 1.5]’ (everything of You are there not for you; they are there for Your devotees)?

kAmaru pUm, etc. – Oh One who is having presence in thiruppEr(nagar; appakkudaththAn) that is near the south of kAvEri river that is beautiful which is wished to be seen! AzhvAr is adding this adjective (to river kAvEri) because it is having kOyil (thiruvarangam) in the middle. kOyil (SrIrangam) is such that it is preferred by the ones who are to be saved and for the One Who saves.  then pAl – checking whether there are people going by the shore (on the south), He is staying put near the shore (to get them). Like people who depend on the shore for their livelihood – He is also by the shore for His being the protector to come to bear.  mannu – He is staying put thinking He won’t leave unless everyone one in this world reached Him; ‘Is there anyone who will come and reach Me?’ – thinking so You are waiting for such opportunity; but You are not showing Yourself to me! This dhivya dhEsam also reminds us of Ayan (of thirukkOvalUr) who cannot not sustain Himself without having devotees following Him;

pErAdhu en nenjil uLLAy – You are not making Yourself the target of my eyes, but then why are You appearing in my mind? While making Yourself grandly visible in my mind like it is a brahmOthsavam, why are You keeping Yourself away on the outside like without any kAhaLam (instrument that makes sound), or pole/flag,etc. (that are used during celebrations). If You would not show Yourself in my mind, I would live without thinking about You; I did not get to live by seeing You on the outside; did not get to live by Not seeing You on the inside (mind); did not get to live by dying – says AzhvAr;

he could not live by seeing – because it is He who has to give that vision; he could not live by forgetting Him in his mind – due to the distinct greatness of what he sees in his mind;  not able to live by dying – due to the wish the he would be able to see Him again;  even if separated, the distinct greatness of emperumAn is such that one would keep saying ‘that! that!’ about Him. Only if it is about other matters, that one would be able to forget as time goes by; this matter is such that it would increase the longing as days go by;

he is not able to live by dying – because being present under His control – (sIthA) pirAtti could not proceed with attempting to hang Herself – because She is His property; nammAzhvAr, even though was desperate when singing ‘uyirinAl kuRaivilam [thiruvAimozhi – 4.8.10]’ (There is no use of my AthmA (self) which is not liked by emperumAn), he had to beg Him for ending his life as he sang in ‘sAmAREpaNi (kaNdAy) [thiruvAimozhi – 4.9.1]’ (to die (and shed my body), you have to mercifully speak a word (as in the case of SrI bhagavath gIthA 18.66 “mOkshayishyAmi” (I will free you)).

perumAn – Oh one who does not have any count of such dhivya dhEsams! Since there is not a count of dhivyadhEsams that remind us of Ayan (of thirukkOvalUr), and since he (AzhvAr) does not have the ability to talk about all those dhivya dhEsams, he is collecting them together with this word (perumAn).

Or, perumAn – Oh the lord who accepts our services! Oh I am suffering because of knowing the relationship with Him, says AzhvAr. If I had not known that then I would have happily done whatever came to mind as one interested in worldly matters, like the samsAris (people interested in worldly matters). Is it correct for him to feel bad for not being like the samsAris who undergo the three types of suffering? – the suffering of samsAris due to their ahankAram and mamakAram are tolerable; the suffering that AzhvAr goes through by not getting emperumAn even though he wishes for it so much – this suffering is not tolerable, isn’t it? (ALavandhAr too said) ‘sarvam sahE [sthOthra rathnam – 25]’ (my) sorrows are tolerable (but not that of your devotees), and as I said in ‘nAn kaNdu koNdEn nArAyaNa ennum nAmam [periya thirumozhi – 1.1.1]’ (I have obtained the divine name nArAyaNA), I thought it is enjoyable when I got You. But it has ended up being the reason for my sorrows! When one gets the knowledge about their true nature, there would be happiness only when one gets life that is according to that nature; when that is not the case, it is all sorrows only, isn’t it? It is for one who is having indigestion that the hunger is preferable; for one who is very hungry, it is that hunger that is the cause for his suffering. ‘On one hand I am not enjoying in worldly matters like the samsAris; on the other hand, I am not enjoying in Your experience like the mukthAthmAs (liberated from the cycle of birth); I am not being in the state of ‘thath thasya sadhruSam bhavEth [SrI rAmAyaNam – sundhara kANdam – 30.30]’ (it would fit His nature (to get me when He likes)) like mumukshus (those wishing to be liberated) who have understood their true nature; like being not in any of these groups, I am having this state of suffering!, wonders AzhvAr.

emperumAn asks – For you who were having affinity towards bodily affairs and earthly interests, I showed you the true goal that is suitable for your true nature, and affected you such that your union with and separation from me would be happiness and sadness for you – while there is all these help of mine for you, why are you calling in this way like an ungrateful?

un thiruvadiyE pENinEnE – I am not calling while being ungrateful for things You have done for me; in those matters I am grateful to You; I am calling due to the longing to see Your divine feet – says AzhvAr. Is my purushArtham (aim) about getting a few better things compared to worldly people? (No,), it is about seeing You with my eyes that is the purushArtham for me, says AzhvAr. Because You have not shown Your divine feet, the good things You did for me have become the reason for my sorrows, is the thought here.

un thiruvadi – Your divine feet that is both the means and destiny. Mentioning many of these divine abodes and then saying ‘un’ (Your in singular) thiruvadi, shows that AzhvAr is experiencing the ways of Ayan (of thirukkOvalUr) only in all these dhivya dhEsams.  un thiruvadi – Your divine feet that is of such nature.


Translation by raghuram SrInivAsa dAsan

archived in

pramEyam (goal) –
pramANam (scriptures) –
pramAthA (preceptors) –
SrIvaishNava education/kids portal –

thirunedunthANdakam – 7

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

Full Series

<< Previous – 6 – alam purindha


As AzhvAr set out to enjoy by taking along his mind also, that emperumAn who is enjoyed was the one being in the divine pose of thrivikraman who without differentiating between noble and otherwise had kept His divine feet on their heads and gave Himself to them. Thinking about this, AzhvAr forgot that it is to be enjoyed, and started becoming afraid. Why be afraid, is His standing in the pose not par for the enjoyment?  By the state of one like himself who are the enjoyers, and by the state of Him who is enjoyed, fear bubbled up. AzhvAr‘s love for Him – is such that fear and doubt is shown in the wrong place (where emperumAn is the almighty). AzhvAr‘s love blinds him such that instead of devotion being an instrument for enjoyment, it becomes an instrument for protecting Him.

AzhvAr‘s enjoyment is emperumAn‘s beauty, etc., and as he thought about emperumAn‘s tenderness, he would have to be scared. When vibheeshaNAzhvAn came amicably and stood for surrendering, mahArAjar (sugreevan) due to being blinded by love, had said ‘vadhyathAm badhyathAm [SrI rAmAyaNam – yudhdha kANdam – 17-29]’ (This vibheeshaNan along with his ministers shall be killed through severe punishment).

AzhvAr too thought that since this place is full of asuras and rAkshasas (by character), as he sees this he would have to be afraid. (Are there enemies here? Yes, there are asuras as said in ‘vipareethasthatha asura:’ (Those who do not have devotion towards vishNu are asuras)).

(AchAryas always followed emperumAn as He would go in procession. As emperumAn would return to temple, embAr and mudhaliyAndAn would prostrate to each other and hug each other and jump happily with fear removed as emperumAn has returned safely. piLLai uRangAvilli dhAsar would carry a knife with him during procession of emperumAn, so that if there would be any small discomfort for emperumAn then he would kill himself with the knife).

When AzhvAr loses (the experience) due to fear, it is on the protector to remove such fear and give the experience of Himself to AzhvAr. So too, like how perumAL decided that it would not be possible to convince mahArAjar by showing about the ways of kings like about His promise that He would not reject those who surrender to Him, as ‘na thyajEyam [SrI rAmAyaNam – yudhdha kANdam – 18-3] (it is not possible to reject him due to any case), had instead showed the strength of his shoulders, and removed the fear of sugreevan,  (thirukkOvalUr emperumAn) showed his strength/pride (incarnations), the guardian of His place (dhurgA), and the protection present in the place (description of the place), thus giving AzhvAr such knowledge, and so AzhvAr being relieved of his fear, tells, ‘Oh mind! Come! let us go and enjoy!’.  Shall fear thinking about delicateness of Him; shall be without any fear by thinking about His bravery and virility.

vaRpudaiya varai nedum thOL mannar mALa
  vadivAya mazhuvEndhi ulagam ANdu
veRpudaiya nedum kadaluL thani vEl uyththa
  vELmudhalA venRAnUr vindhai mEya
kaRpudaiya madakkanni kAval pUNda  
  kadipozhil sUzh nedu maRugil kamala vEli
poRpudaiya malai araiyan paNiya ninRa
  pUngOvalUr thozhudhum pOdhu nenjE               7

Word by word meaning

(AzhvAr is enjoying various incarnations of emperumAn)

vadivAya mazhu Endhi – carrying beautiful axe,
vaRpudaiya varai nedum thOL mannar mALa – (When incarnating as paraSurAman), having strength and mountain-like tall shoulders, such that the kings (like kArthaveeryArjunan) die,
ulagam ANdu – (incarnating as SrI rAman), ruling the word for a very long time,
veRpu udaiya nedum kadalUL thani vEL uyththa vEL mudhal venRAn – (when incarnating as kaNNan) of emperumAn who won those like murugan (subrahmaNya) who threw his spear into the sea that is having mountain inside it,
Ursuch emperumAn‘s divine place,
vindhai mEya kaRpu udaiya madam kanni kAval pUNda – (place which is) guarded by one who  had done penance in vindhyA hills, who is having great knowledge, who does not turn away from a task undertaken, and who is subservient to emperumAn only, that is dhurgA,
kadi pozhil sUzh – (place which is) surrounded by fragrant gardens  
nedu maRugil – having wide/long divine streets
kamalam vEli – having ponds with blossoming lotuses,
poRpudaiya malai araiyan paNiya ninRa – and the place where emperumAn is standing such that the king of the abundant people of hills would come and surrender to Him,
pUm kOvalUr – such beautiful thirukkOvalUr
thozhudhum – shall enjoy that place
nenjE – Oh mind!
pOdhu – Ye come!


vaRpudaiya, etc. – AzhvAr‘s excess of fear is such that emperumAn has to show His strength and make AzhvAr feel better.

vaRpudaiya nedum thOL mannar – Divining about the strength of these kings like talking about the strength of hiraNyan, rAvaNan, and such, is to show His strength.  They are having strength and having shoulders like mountains. If anything hits a mountain those would get decimated, and no damage would be done to the mountain. Likewise, enemies would get destroyed and these kings’ shoulders would not be affected due to that.

mannar mALa – (Aren’t the kings saviours, is it appropriate to destroy them?) – If they have decorated themselves as per kings’ form, but are having excess of asura (demoniac) qualities, then emperumAn would destroy them, is the point. (uLam thottu iraNiyanai – emperumAn checked within the chest whether there was any bit of good quality in hiraNyan)).  In the case of such kings, He would not think as – oh they are kings who are there to protect their people. He would only see their demoniac qualities.  For those kings like kArthaveeryArjunan of thousand hands to be destroyed without any bit left.

What is it that He did that they got destroyed –

vadivAya mazhuvEndhi – (He held the axe in His hands) – As He held the axe in His hand, they simply got destroyed. They got destroyed seeing the sharpness and how His hand held it. (bhattar nirvAham is similar for (karan), ‘ven narakam sErA vagaiyE silai kuniththAn (siriya thirumadal) – seeing the way perumAL held the bow, karan did not have to go to hell; that posture itself was like hell for him).

Like hiraNyan became dead seeing the form as narasimhan;

or, the state  of (paraSurAmar) holding the axe in his hand is a beauty to behold;

Whereas vaishNavas think that this form of holding axe with anger is not to be supported (worshipped), this AzhvAr is saying ‘vadivAya mazhu’ (beautiful axe);  even if emperumAn holds some and any weapon, it would look beautiful; the divine conch is also beautiful to look at as and when He holds it.

ulagam ANdu – Since there is no kingdom for SrI paraSurAmAzhvan, this is about rAmAvathAram. paraSurAman, due to the anger that the kings had affected His father, had cut the heads of all the kings and filled the pond with their blood and performed the karmas for His father, is all that He had done. But then, like it is said in ‘snAthvA bhunjeetha [dharma SAsthram]’ (you have to eat only after having taken bath (‘thvA’ being ‘lyap’ prathyaya in samskrutham)), isn’t the phrase ‘Endhi (ulagam ANda)’ (samskrutha ‘lyap’ prathyaya) set to be performed by one person only? Due to same emperumAn doing both, it is acceptable to say in this way. Since in one incarnation both actions were not done, it is acceptable also to consider this as were done in different incarnations. It is for the same reason that further up in the pAsuram, AzhvAr is going to talk about the actions of incarnation as krishNan, since it is the same emperumAn. (Since paraSurAman gave his power to SrI rAman, and so since paraSurAman’s powers were included in that of SrI rAman, it is acceptable to say that both of them had ruled the world, so ruling the world is talking about SrI rAman only). When paraSurAman saw perumAL, He dropped the axe and took up the bow; perumAL got paraSurAman’s bow and His powers and used that bow for winning rAvaNan and other evil persons, and saved the world such that the strong do not trouble the weak. Thus it talks about perumAL (SrI rAman) ruling the world in this way.

veRpu etc. – subrahmaNyan who is like a young calf who threw his spear into the big ocean that is having a mountain (veRpu); That is, when mountains were able to fly and were destroying the worlds, indhiran used his vajra weapon and cut the wings of mountains. One of the mountains escaped and hid inside the ocean. Since he (subrahmaNyan) is the head of the army of dhEvas, he learned its hiding place and destroyed it – this phrase talks about this incident.

nedum kadal – very vast ocean. Talking about this to show that it was so vast that it would be very hard for anyone else to find where that mountain was hiding.

thani vEL uyththa – Throwing the spear that is unparalleled – if he throws his spear then it would not require any other weapon to kill the enemy. While ‘vEL’ refers to kAman,  referring to him as ‘vEL’  is about talking of his winning enemies due to his youth and strength.

mudhalA venRAn Ur – place (thirukkOvalUr) where The Man (krishNan) who won such subrahmaNyan and others; in the battle with bANan, it is he who came first and foremost, so his name is being mentioned first in the list (of family of Sivan who came fighting). It is said too as ‘nEr sarindhAn kodik kOzhi koNdAn [thiruvAimozhi – 7.4.8]’ (came to the battle, one who is having rooster in his flag). Since there were innumerable persons who came fighting emperumAn, AzhvAr is talking about it in short, saying ‘vEL mudhalA’.  Similar to ‘muNdan neeRan [thiruchchandha viruththam – 71]’ (a bigger list is present in this pAsuram).

venRAn Ur – (kaNNan’s grandson was taken away while sleeping, as arranged by bANan’s daughter ushA, and was kept in her room with love; as her father learned of this, and), as  (bANan) captured and tied anirudhdhAzhvAn, SrI nAradha bhagavAn came and informed krishNan; He went there riding periya thiruvadi (garudAzhvAn);

(bANan then approached Sivan to protect him from this). Since he (Sivan) is of ignorant mind to not realize that it is not possible to win if it is krishNan on the other side, he thought about his promise (to bANan) to protect him, and so came and opposed krishNan. Since they (dhEvas) are not like those (rAvaNan) who say ‘na namEyam’ (won’t bow),  but since they came to fight thinking ‘eeSvarOham’ (we are supreme),  He made them realise and leave bANan and run away showing their back.  Not killing bANan but only destroying his many shoulders/arms (except two) is – to avoid ushA crying ‘I am fatherless’;

leaving them so had also helped in another way – ‘Oh the trouble I went through taking you as my protector’, and ‘Oh the trouble I went through imagining me to be your protector’ saying  so they could hug each other with (remaining) two arms and weep.

venRAnUr place (thirukkOvalUr) where such a hero (veeran) is present.

vindhai mEya, etc – AzhvAr is divining about the strength of protection for this divine place.

vindhai mEya – She who was present in the forest of vindhyA mountains;  while he could have referred to her by just saying ‘dhurgai’, he is saying this (vindhai mEya, madak kanni) to – talk about the forest where she performed penance to become a protector of emperumAn. Even though it is by true nature (of AthmA) one could render service, one would do penance to get the recognition as protector of a divine place, by acceptance of emperumAn; (why sing about her?) – her greatness is resulting in protection of the place, so AzhvAr is divining about her.

kaRpudaiya – kaRpu – (result of kaRRal (learning) – knowledge).  She having the richness of knowledge/ability of tying the eyes of an enemy of emperumAn‘s divine place, and to release it when he becomes amicable.  kaRpu – as female virtue; like how  a female would try to save her virtue even by forgoing her life if required, this demigod is protecting the place even forgoing her life;

madak kanni – madam – is a quality where one does not forgo an association with someone. Here, even if there would be any strong enemies to this dhivya dhESam, she would not shy away, but would protect it. kanni – implies not be subservient to any one other than emperumAn.

kAval pUNda – not doing the protection based on someone’s instigation, but due to her own desire.

kAval pUNda – due to overflowing affection, she involved herself in protecting the place. If she marries someone then there would be a break in her protecting emperumAn, kanni (virgin) implies she is focussed only on protecting emperumAn.

kanni – is the name for something that does not disintegrate (similar to ‘kannith thamizh’), so since she does not have annihilation, there is no annihilation (for the protection) of the place. (During the incarnation of krishNan), she had undertaken His command and had gone from thiru AyppAdi to mathurA, and she always holds affection towards Him. (Since she was born before Him, to yaSOdhA, and as an elder sister she was protective towards kaNNan, so) nanjeeyar says ‘she is thambi vaLaikkAri isn’t it’ (so says periyavAchchAn piLLai in this commentary. vaLai – protection). Even though one is a servant , due to one’s overflowing affection would take up the role of a protector. periyAzhvAr too said ‘nin sevvadi sevvi thirukkAppu [thiruppallANdu – 1]’ (divine protection to your beautiful divine feet).

kadi pozhil, etc. – arcade having fragrance as its identity. Place which is of spring season eternal. Now, the intention is not to talk about the enjoyability of the place; since this is the occasion of talking about the things that aid in removal of AzhvAr‘s fear of safety of emperumAn,  our AchAryas divine the meaning of this phrase as aid of removal of fear. There is no other destiny than enjoyment (of things in this world), and liberation (to SrIvaikuNtam);  the beauty of this place would attract and tie those who are after material pleasures of this world, and thus would not let them go inside the dhivya dhESam; it is such that ‘do you have to go inside and bring trouble to the One? Is it not enough for you to enjoy the beauty of the place?’.

nedu maRugil – (maRugu – divine streets) The divine streets that are beautiful to see by length and breadth, and so would tie those who escaped the beauty of the arcades, and thus prevent them from going inside the temple.

kamala vEli – Place having waterways where lotus blooms through out the breadth of them;  since the streams would be full of flowers (like a fence), it would attract and keep such people; by this, it says that that the place is having such protection as if there is no other need of protection by people.

poRpudaiya, etc. – (poRpu – connection); even if there is no (aforementioned) protection, there is the strength of policing of the dhivya dhESam preventing them entering it. This is the place of residence of the head of people living in the neighboring mountains, who is fond of the dhivya dhESam and who is into protecting it. Unlike protecting it after doing penance, he protects it considering it as his duty.  Or, poRpu to imply all the kings around are connected to each other and the group is protecting the dhivya dhEsam; hence mentioning them together in singular (as malai aRaiyan).

paNiya ninRa – place of the One who is surrendered to by everyone;

ninRa – (emperuman) stood firmly, feeling satisfied and happy about the purpose of His incarnation only after everyone surrendered to Him; those who surrender to Him would feel that their purpose is satisfied after getting immersed fully in the enjoyment of Him; in the same way, when people were for other things, He voluntarily showed their relationship with Him and when they surrendered to Him based on that connection, is it required to mention explicitly about the satisfaction He would derive from that?

pUngOvalUr thozhudhum – that divine place (the people of that divine place) is enjoyable even without considering Him; this is how this AzhvAr is fully attached (maNdinapadi) to divine abodes.

pOdhu nenjE – even after his fears were cleared (based on aforementioned), the divine mind of his was still in fear and still fainted; we don’t have to fear since this place is protector in all the ways, Oh mind! let us go so we can experience this, says AzhvAr.

thozhudhum pOdhu nenjE – He is calling like how someone would call ‘let us go for feasting’ (which is enjoyable to everyone);  it is said too as ‘thozhudhu ezhu [thiruvAimozhi 1.1.1]’ (worship, be uplifted and be enthusiastic);  there is no existence/life when not worshipping;  AzhvAr is saying ‘thozhudumpOdhu nenjE’ (Oh mind! let us worship, come on!).


Translation by raghuram SrInivAsa dAsan

archived in

pramEyam (goal) –
pramANam (scriptures) –
pramAthA (preceptors) –
SrIvaishNava education/kids portal –


thirunedunthANdakam – 6 – Part 2

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

Full Series

<< previous – 5 – oNmidhiyil punaluruvi

<< pAsurm 6 – Part 1

(Part 2)

thirukkOvalUr temple  (photo courtesy wikipedia)

thAn ugandha Ur –  (amarar vEndhan thAn ugandha Ur) (angu aruL illAth thanmaiyALan thAn ugandha Ur) – (thirukkOvalUr is the) place where unsurpassed enjoyer is present; place where One having the quality of finishing the enemies is present. paramapadham is the place where nithyasUris and Himself are happily present;  (whereas) this place is one in which the samsAris have turned away from Him but He by Himself is happy to be present in. For avoiding the decay of His properties He Himself came in support and is standing – such is this place. By this – places of His liking (dhivya dhESams)  are the ones (for us) to be present in, and are our destiny.

By saying amarar vEndhan – we see supremacy; ignoring that place and coming to this place that is aplenty of blemishes and standing here – we see vAthsalyam (motherly forbearance);

while having the aforementioned power, coming here (in the form of archai) and standing as if to say ‘there is no breath’ thus making Himself under their control – we see sauSeelyam; being visible to the eyes – we see saulabhyam.  Since nithyasUris come here for getting more rewards (that is, enjoyment of Him) this place is a richer destiny. nammAzhvAr too said, ‘vAnavar vAnavar kOnodum Sindhu pU magizhum thiruvEnkatam [thiruvAimozhi – 3.3.7]’ (~nithyasUris along with their leader sEnai mudhaliyAr (vishwaksEna), have come to thiruvEnkatam);  vAnavar vAnavar kOnodum – completely moved out (to this world). SrIvaikuNtanAthan is like the man of the house letting each and every one go, and then taking care of the house himself. thAn ugandha Ur – His liking this place is the reason for AzhvAr having affinity to it.

Ur ellAm – (all the dhivya dhEsams) before getting the true knowledge, like said in ‘avar avar paNai mulai thuNaiyA [periya thirumozhi – 2](~seeking the company of many women), without having any restriction of any type (varNam/jAthi) of women, that is, everyone of them was interesting, but after getting the true knowledge, AzhvAr is having interest in all the dhivya dhESams.

When AzhvAr is going to thirukkOvalUr for enjoyment, why say ‘Ur ellAm’? Like how when going (by walk) to a place one would break near the places where water is available, and shadow is available, AzhvAr is going through the dhivya dhESams that are  on the way. When going for enjoying the big tree that is vAsudhEvan, it is in the shadows of that tree that one would rest before carrying on.  As said in ‘sarvam vasatheethi vAsudhEva: ’ (He is one present everywhere (all dhivya  dhESams), for AzhvAr it is those places liked by emperumAn that are to be reached;  AzhvAr thinks of other places as desert.

than thAL pAdi  (singing about His divine feet) –  one would need food during the journey; it is as said in ‘pAdhEyam puNdareekAkSha nAma sankeerthana amrutham [gAruda purANam](for those taking the long journey, it is singing the names of the lotus eyed One that is the nectar, that is the appropriate food to carry. The divine feet that are the means and destiny for AzhvAr. Not saying as ‘thannaip pAdi’ (singing about Him), but as ‘than thAL pAdi’,  it is the divine feet which he sang about earlier as ‘oru kAl niRpa oru kAlum [thirunedunthANdakam – 5]’ (One divine foot on the earth..), it is the divine feet that is the journey food for AzhvAr. pAdi – singing, which is induced by love.

nilam …  – It is before seeing peNNai (river) that AzhvAr would sing about the divine feet; after seeing peNNai, he forgot about the divine feet and started making poetry on this. What is the reason for this? Since he is having affinity towards that place, those who are interested in that place are his companions.

nilam parandhu varum – Since a woman (river) is going for enjoying purushOththaman, she is going with utmost interest.  Due to the extreme love in going to thirukkOvalUr, she is overflowing into the shores, destroying the houses there, and piercing, removing, and pulling away the small bamboo spurts out with the roots, and coming, jumping with great noise.

kaluzhi being muddled and being like forest river. Induced by love, she is feeling agitated. Is it appropriate for her to destroy His place when enjoying the matter of emperumAn?  He won’t see the destruction of His place, it is her love that He sees.  ghaNtAkarNan too said (to krishNan) ‘it is a rishi’s dead body; killed just now; please have the divine consumption of this now’ (as he was told by Sivan that he should request krishNan for getting mOksham; krishNan was not angry at him for killing a brahmaNa (or for tying bell in his ears (hence his name), so as to not hear the name of nArAyaNan), but saw his eagerness to be liberated).

Due to happiness of seeing pirAtti (seethA), the monkeys had destroyed the garden that was dear to their king sugreevan, but when this news was told to sugreevan, he and the princes were happy, saying ‘our effort has been fulfilled’ – given this, it was not required (for hanuman) to say ‘dhrustA seethA’ (saw seethA). At this, embAr would divine – ‘if that garden was not there in between, it would have been the princes’ back that would have got damaged, as they would have shown their full happiness in there’.  (It is good that the bamboos were there in-between for peNNai river – otherwise she would have shown that happiness on thrivikraman there).

peNNaiyeerththa nedu vEygaL padu muththam – Just delivery would occur quickly if the hair is pulled on pregnant women who are about deliver – as the river pulls the bamboos from the root and attempts to wash them away, those bamboos deliver the pearls.

nedu vEygaL – the tall growth of these bamboos is remembrance of His divine spanning of the world.

undha undhi – induced by love, pENNai would push the pearls in to the paddy fields, and farmers would push them away as weeds, and the river would push back the pearls throughout into the fields which the farmers cannot match with their efforts.

The richness of the dhivya dhESam is such that what grows is gold, and where pearls are weeds. Water bodies that grow gold (richness of grains).

The Entity that is said as ‘pon AnAy [thirunedunthANdakam – 10] (you are being as gold), is what is grown by this place, you see!

poygai vEli – place having such fields and water bodies around it (as fence). (Unlike) as said in ‘nadhees thatAkAni cha pUrayithvA [SrI rAmAyaNam – kishkindhA kANdam – 30-58]’, ((after) making the whole world happy by good rains, filling the rivers and tanks, and making paddies be full of grains, the clouds vanished from the sky), water bodies that are filled not by rain, but by the river.

pUnkOvalUr – the enjoyment of the place is such that one does not have to go near Him there.

thozhudhum pOdhu nenjE – Oh mind! Go for worshipping. Whereas it would have been enough to say as ‘thozhuvOm’ (worship), adding ‘pOdhu (shall worship, let us go) is because –

as the divine mind heard the AzhvAr saying about the love of the river, enjoyability of the fields, and enjoyability of the town, it went flat like on a sick bed (could not get up from the experience), and had to be lifted up, thus shows AzhvAr.

Or, since singing about the divine feet as in than thAL pAdi’, the enjoyability of the divine feet and the singing in high note by the mouth had exhausted the divine mind, and so it was feeling weak. AzhvAr is saying go, and giving it his hand to lift it up.

thozhudhum –  He said earlier ‘nama ithyEva vAdhina: [mahAbhAratham – SAnthi parvam – 344-45] (mukthas would always be saying ‘nama:’ by their mouth) (as he said ‘malar puraiyum thiruvadiyE vaNanginEnE, where he talked about saluting by his mouth). In this, he is saying ‘badhdhAnjaliputA [mahAbhAratham – SAnthi parvam – 344-45] (mukthas would always be doing anjali by their hands) (since he is saying thozhudhum by his hands). Both are the experiences of the liberated (mukhthas), you see.

– – – –

Translation: raghurAm SrInivAsa dasan

archived in

pramEyam (goal) –
pramANam (scriptures) –
pramAthA (preceptors) –
SrIvaishNava education/kids portal –

thirunedunthANdakam – 6 – Part 1

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

Full Series

<< previous – 5 – oNmidhiyil punaluruvi


(sangathi -> review of/connection with previous pAsurams)

Not just seeing thirumanthram (that is, sarvESvaran) through authoritative references as said in ‘manthiraththai manthiraththAl maRavAdhenRum vAzhudhiyEl’, but to be seen by eyes and enjoyed He incarnated and kept His divine feet on everyone’s head and suggested about the relationship; thinking of that, and, of His blossoming divine feet at that time, AzhvAr became sad for not being able to enjoy that incarnation because of living later than that time;

So, emperumAn said, “It is only for getting those to experience me, those who are living at a later time than my incarnation, have I come and stood with elegance in thirukkOvalUr”, and so showed AzhvAr the place that He is fondly present (ugandhu aruLina nilam); and so AzhvAr is saying ‘Oh mind! go there to enjoy that opportunity of us’.

These ugandharuLina nilam (dhivya dhESams) are the frontier of the meaning of thirumanthram (that He is of at most saulabhyam (easy to attain / kind). When mentioning thirumanthram first (in the very first pAsuram of this AzhvAr), and when in the stage of experiencing its meaning, AzhvAr enjoyed that as only ‘sUzh punal kudanthaiyE thozhudhu [periya thirumozhi – 1.1.2]’ (~worship the dhivya dhESam of thirukkudanthai) (So the meaning of thirumanthram is dhivya dhESam).

But, would it not be sufficient to say (about the dhivya dhESam, as in) ‘pulam parandhu pon viLaikkum poigai vElip pUnkOvalUr thozhudhum?’ Why (describe emperumAn by) saying other prior words? It is saying the history of the place due to emperumAn being present with eagerness. Both supremacy (so, talks about this) and kindness are in the meaning of the word nArAyaNan.

alampurindha nedum thadakkai amarar vEndhan
  anjiraippuL thanippAgan avuNarkkenRum
salam purindhu angu aruL illAth thanmaiyALan
  thAnugandha UrellAm than thAL pAdi
nilam parandhu varum kaluzhip peNNai eerththa
  neduvEygaL padu muththam undha undhip
pulam parandhu pon viLaikkum poigai vElip
  pUnkOvalUr thozhudhum pOdhu nenjE.                        6

Word by word meaning

manamE – Oh mind!
alam purindha nedum thadakkai amarar vEndhan – One having long and huge divine hand that gives until (the one asking) saying enough, head of the nithya sUris (eternal residents of SrIvaikuNtam ),
am siRai puL thani pAgan – being the unmatched rider of garudAzhvAn having beautiful wings,
enRum salam purindhu – (and emperumAn) always creating problems
avuNarkku – for the asuras,
angu aruL illA thanmaiyALan thAn – not having any kindness towards them (angu) as His nature, such emperumAn who is sarvESvaran (lord of all),
ugandha – presiding in
Ur ellAm – all the dhivya dhESams,
than thAL pAdi – praising His divine feet
nilam parandhu vaum kaluzhi peNNai – river then-peNNai is growing spanning all of the world, and having muddled (water),
eerththa nedu vEygaL padu muththam undha – and pushing (into the fields) the  pearls that are in the bamboo sticks that it pulls along with it,
undhi – and (such pearls) are pushed aside  (as weeds, by the farmers),
pulam parandhu – spreading into the fields
pon viLaikkum – and growing gold
vEli – having wall on four sides
poigai – the water tanks,
pUnkovalUr – the beautiful thirukkOvalUr
thozhudhum – let us enjoy it,
pOdhu – you shall come (Oh mind!).


alam purindha nedum thadakkai – Arm that is long due to giving, says AzhvAr. Giving such that the receivers say ‘enough’ (alam);  giving such that one does not have to go to another person’s house seeking. By this it says – one who has taken the shelter of emperumAn, is not interested in other matters.

Or, alam purindha –  As He engages into generosity, He would take back His hand only when the receiver says ‘enough’, and not due to any limit in His generosity. He stops only because it is not possible to pour from ‘padhakku’ in to ‘uzhakku’ (these are measuring containers of different sizes; this says that He would stop only due to the limit of the receiver). When seeing His generosity, the receiver’s expectation is like the water in the sand of a foot step compared to water in the sea (kadalil kuLappadi).

puri -> giving and withdrawing the hand (after them saying enough).

Giving till saying enough is – giving such that one does not have to go to anybody else seeking more/anything.

{From SrI. u.vE. bhUvarAchAryar swami’s kAlakshEpam} – Poet kambar describes dhaSarathan’s generosity, in kamba rAmAyaNam – a person would ask for some wealth from dhaSarathan; dhaSarathan would give so much of it that have to be loaded in to several carts. When that person would return with these gifts, he would see another person who is on his way to the king asking for help. The first receiver would say that there was no need to go to the king since he himself could share from the carts. Then the 2nd receiver would do similarly to a 3rd person and so on; so ultimately, there was only one person who would have gone to dhaSarathan seeking wealth. dhaSarathan gave so much that the receiver not only would not have to go to another person’s house seeking, but he himself would be able to give enough to other people. Since rAmAn is such dhaSarathan’s son, He too got this quality of generosity – ‘piRandhu padaiththa audhAryam}.

For one who is ananya prayOjanan (one who does not ask Him for anything else), He has given Himself and His belongings, and there is no need for giving anything else. Such recipient also would not ask Him anything. Such recipient will be immersed in experience of Him, and He would stay with the eagerness of – what more shall we do for this devotee (‘en seyvan enRE [periya thiruvanthAdhi – 53]’ (what more shall I do (for my devotees)).

nedum thadakkai – arm/hand that grew watered by that generosity;  growth of protector is due to getting time/opportunity to engage in the path of protecting.  (long and wide) arm such that it is not possible to limit the generosity;  also, arm that extends up to the presence of all those seeking (other things / Himself);

thadak kai – As said in ‘bAhuchchAyAm avashtabdha:’ [SrI rAmAyaNam – sundhara kANdam 34-31] (world is under the shadow of the shoulders of supreme rAmA (says hanuman to seethA)),  shoulders having more space even if whole world is sheltered under them. Arm/hand that is for everyone,  apt to be a shelter, and being in itself the purpose;  thadak kai – hand that is wide.

amarar vEndhan – is talking about those (nithyasUris) who live based on this generosity. amarar – those who do not have death. If asking whether nithyasUris have the applicability of death: since they would lose their breath if they don’t get the experience of togetherness with emperumAn; but since there is no actual death, it says ‘amarar’. As their experience of Him is eternal, they also are being eternal.

vEndhan’He who is having heads down focused on getting their subservience to Him. vEndhan –  king. (Do they not also have the crown, as said in ‘mudi udai vAnavar [thiruvAimozhi – 10.9.8]’ (nithyasUris wearing crown)) – when He is getting them to serve Him He would be having such crown; they, as said in ‘aham sarvam karishyAmi [SrI rAmAyaNam – ayOdhyA kANdam – 31.27]’ ((iLaiyAzhwAr to perumAL) – I would do all services to you (while You are awake or asleep)), they would be having crown of subservience. Coronation is applicable for both.  It is said too, as ‘arasamarndhAn adi sUdum arasu’ [perumAL thirumozhi – 10.7]’ (~the kingdom of wearing the divine feet of perumAL in his head (for bharathan)).

anjiraippuL thanip pAgan – (AzhvAr) is talking about one nithyasUri as an example of how emperumAn accepts the subservience of all nithyasUris – unmatched rider / protector of periya thiruvadi (garudan) having beautiful wings.  Isn’t there a need for a ride/transport only when there is some war (வினை) to do? (there is no war in paramapadham) – even when there is no war, kings would carry flower bouquet in their hands and go around in a ride during festivals. It is said too, as ‘Odum puLLERi [thiruvAimozhi – 1.8.1]’ (climbing on garudAzhwAr wander around (fulfilling his desire to serve him));  since periya thiruvadi cannot sustain himself and emperumAn also cannot sustain Himself if there is no such ride, and also to give divine experience to the nithyasUris, there would be this riding (‘garuda sEvai’) in SrIvaikuNtam also.  It is said too, as ‘sezhum paRavaith thAn ERith thirivAn [thiruvAimozhi – 10.6.5]’ (~would climb on the beautiful bird (garudAzhwAn) and roam around).

am siRai – beautiful wings. When He is flying on periya thiruvadi, the wings would be a decoration like a beautifully folded 2nd cloth (angavasthram) on Him. Or, when going around with flower bouquet, for removing the tiredness, like fanning (Alavattam), he is the one having wings as fan for emperumAn. It is said too, as ‘vyajanam thrayeemaya: [sthOthra rathnam – 41]’ (periya thiruvadi performs services also as a fan). Or, we can consider him as having wings that are having the beauty of helping to bring emperumAn to His devotees.

puL – (bird) – Do nithyasUris have bad karmas due to which they could be born as a bird [It is said that when one commits an offense by speech, they are born as a bird/animal]? When pirAtti and sarvESvaran are inside the divine screen (privacy), their togetherness would be such that moon, and breeze would also have to back off in their movement;  like when emperor and queen are alone, old people and eunuchs would be allowed inside for serving them, the nithyasUris would take on appropriate form of body for performing personal services. They would take on different forms whether it is of snake, bird, or plant (Adhi SEshan, garudAzhvAn, thiruththuzhAy);  while a worldly person would take on body based on karmas, they would take on these forms for the states of services to emperumAn and pirAttiyAr.

thanip pAgan – (pAgan -> mahout) – by this it suggests that He is being under the guard of him, and he being under the guard of Him; mahout would control the elephant through his mind, and he would be serving the elephant as well; identity of sarvESvaran is to be present well in the back of periya thiruvadi and conduct him; it is ‘thani’ (matchless), because there is nowhere else this is seen (with other demi-gods, etc).

Or, thanip pAgan – unique/matchless conductor for all the nithyasUris. It is said too, as, ‘ayarvaRum amarargaL adhipathi [thiruvAimozhi – 1.1.1]’ (lord of nithyasUris).

avuNarkku, etc. – by this – since there is no question of enemies in that abode (SrIvaikuNtam), it talks about Him incarnating as rAma, krishNa, etc., for saving the devotees, and to remove their enemies. Removing the enemies is also one use of His incarnations (as said in SrI bhagavath gIthA, etc).  Why does it talk here only about removal of enemies (and not about grace to devotees, etc)? Since removal of enemies is done first (for getting  the services of devotees), it talks about that.  It is said too, as ‘sarva pApEbhyO mOkShayishyAmi [SrI bhagavath gIthA – 18-66]’ (~would liberate (you) from all sins) (where it talks about removal of the unwanted, to imply goodness that would go with it); for jeevAthmA which by nature there is sense of service, if sins are removed, then servitude would automatically flourish; removal of enemy/hurdle (sins) is the one to be achieved. That is why this is said as a representative of the subsequent result as well.

avuNar – by this – it is not talking about asuras. it is talking about those having ahankAram (ego, I) and mamakAram (possessiveness, mine) and being as said in ‘na namEyAm [SrI rAmAyaNam – yudhdha kANdam – 36-11]’ (would not prostrate in front of anyone; would rather be split into two and fall (sideways), said rAvaNan); since, while SrIprahlAdhan being in that birth (of asuras), he is praised as ‘upamAnamaSEshANam sAdhUnAm [SrI vishNu purANam – 1-15-156]’ (prahlAdhan is always being an example for noble people), and since while being a rAkShasa by birth, SrIvibheeshaNAzhvAn is praised as ‘vibheeshaNasthu dharmAthmA [SrIrAmAyaNam – AraNya kANdam – 17-23]’ (vibheeshNanan is of noble character (sUrapaNaka to SrI rAman about her family)), and while being in the birth of dhEvas, jayanthan (kAkAsuran) became the target of brahmAsthram, this is not based on caste/descent. It is based on nature of them as having asura character.  It is said too, as, “vishNu bhakthi parO dhEvO vipareethasthathA’’ura: [vishNu dharmam – 109-74]” (In this world there are two types of births, as dhEvas and asuras. One who is having devotion towards SrIman nArAyaNan is said as dhEva; one who is in other ways is said as asura).

enRum salam purindhu – like how it is a constant for them to be as ‘na namEyam’,  for Him also causing trouble to them out of anger, is a constant.   purindhu – those who go to emperumAn do not have to return empty handed, you see. It would not be void of benefit but rather they would get His grace or His anger. Is it a benefit for them if they are getting destroyed? Even though they may not consider it so, it would end up being the good thing for them – like how when someone tries to cut his head with a sword, it is beneficial to remove that sword,  it is beneficial for emperumAn to remove the body that is trouble for emperumAn and His devotees. Since all the acts of emperumAn would be regarding protection, doing those things also would be of protection. It is said too, as, ‘rAma bANA sanakShipthamAvahath paramam gathim [SrI rAmAyaNam – kishkinthA kANdam 17:8]’ (The arrow that is shot by the valiant rAmapirAn, and which would put one into paramapadham, gave to valiant vAli that paramapadham), ‘thalaiyai AngE aRuppadhE karumam kaNdAy [thirumAlai – 8]’ ((for such asura characters) such things are required (because that would be good for them));

salam purindhu –  is – doing the destruction due to anger. thamizh pundits would give meaning for ‘purindhu’ as ‘doing’.  Doing (getting) ‘salam’ (anger) – is the meaning.  Meaning of ‘purindhu’ is about doing or giving.

angu aruL illAth thanmaiyALan – Like how it is a constant for Him to show grace to His devotees, it is a constant for Him to not show grace towards those others. Anger and kindness are opposite qualities, but it can be present in one place due the difference of where they are applied. We see how the same stone (called chandhrakAntham), which is a non-sentient, is being as water in the presence of moon, and is solid in its absence (so it is not a wonder for such quality to exist in sarvESvaran). thanmaiyALan –  having His nature as being so. It is always His nature to be generous and kind towards devotees, and be angry and strict towards their enemies.

(to be continued in pAsuram 6 – part 2).

– – – – – –

Translation by raghuram SrInivAsa dAsan

archived in

pramEyam (goal) –
pramANam (scriptures) –
pramAthA (preceptors) –
SrIvaishNava education/kids portal –

thirunedunthANdakam – 5

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

Full Series

<< previous – 4 – indhirarkkum piramarkkum mudhalvan


In previous pAsuram AzhvAr enjoyed how emperumAn is being the root of creation of world (jagathkAraNabhUthan), and having the world as His divine body, i.e., he is the antharyAmi (jagachchareeree). Next, instead of just enjoying in the writings of vEdham (OlaippuRaththE) in nArayanANuvAkam about nArAyaNan, AzhvAr is enjoying how He could be seen by eyes and enjoyed, as He incarnated as vAmanan and spanned the worlds. The word nArAyaNan is about the relationship of lord and subservient, isn’t it?

By His being the reason for creation of world, it also talks about the relationship of AthmA to that emperumAn, isn’t it? Saying ‘kANmingaL ulageer enRu kaN mugappE nimirndha [thiruvAimozhi – 6.3.11]’ (thrivikraman growing and as if saying – Oh world! see this wonder), – He spanned all the worlds, for all in the world to see this meaning of relationship. So AzhvAr is enjoying the meaning of word nArAyaNan through the word of thrivikraman.

(In vAmana avathAram it shows His Seelam only (mingling with simpletons), why say that it is about the relationship?) AzhvAr is Not saying about how vAmanan went to the yAgasAlai (place of sacred rites) asking for land, etc., but saying about the part of how He kept his divine foot on everyone’s head – this is how we see that AzhvAr is enjoying about Lord-servant relationship (as a lord, He kept his divine foot on servants’ heads).

oNmidhiyil punaluruvi orukAl niRpa
  orukAlum kAmaruseer avuNan uLLath(thu)
eNmadhiyum kadandhu aNdameedhu pOgi
  iruvisumbin Udu pOy ezhundhu mElaith
thaNmadhiyum kathiravanum thavira Odith
  thArakaiyin puRam thadavi appAl mikku
maNmuzhudhum agappaduththu ninRa endhai
  malar puraiyum thiruvadi en thalai mElavE              5

Word by word meaning

oN midhiyil – after making the soft step
oru kAl – with one divine foot,
punal uruvi niRpa – it went all the way to AvaraNa jalam (water surrounding the aNdam (oval shaped world)),
oru kAlum – another divine foot also
kAmaru seer avuNan uLLaththu eNmadhiyum kadandhu – crossing even the extent of thought of mahAbali who is having greatness that is liked,
ezhundhu – it started
aNdam meedhu pOgi – to go even above the aNdam,
iru visumbin Udu pOy – permeating the big space (AkASam)
thavira Odi – going further by crossing
thaN madhiyum – the cool zone of moon
mElai – that is above, and
kadhiravanum – the zone of sun (that is below),
thArakaiyin puRam thadavi – permeating the zone of stars (above)
appAl mikku – permeating even beyond (that),
agappaduththu ninRa –  and stood spanning
maN muzhudhum – all the places;
vaNanginEnE – I got to experience/enjoy
malar puraiyum thiruvadiyE – the lotus flower like divine foot only
enthai – of my lord (of such glory).


oNmidhiyil … – With one divine foot He spanned all the earth, lower worlds; and with one divine foot , He spanned all the worlds above, says AzhvAr .

oNmidhiyil – If He who is the support for everything keeps His divine foot on the heads of sentient, would the world be able to bear it? Did kamsan not get squashed when His divine foot touched him? – He keeping His divine foot, that itself, is the reason for their being able to live.  Even if He / His divine foot that is the supporting/saving becomes one supported, His quality of supporting/saving them would not be lost.

(Where have we seen this?) – Like how for His thiruvadis (His divine feet / divine body), His paramAthma svarUpam (entity) is the support (even though He stands on His divine feet; in the same way), for the people’s heads also He is the support.

{Translator’s note: Another meaning: Taking thiruvadis as garudAzhAr and hanuman, as they are called so,  as, Like how even though He sets His feet on their palms/head (during garuda/hanumantha vAhanam), He still is the support for them}.

Supporter cannot be one supported; One supported cannot be supporter (jeevAthmA cannot become paramAthmA and vice versa). Like how even though AthmA is having a place inside the body, the body is not the supporter and AthmA is not the one supported. That the AthmA is the supporter and body is the one supported, is explained when talking about the identity of body and AthmA (SareerAthma lakShaNam in SrIbAshyam) (This is said in ‘yasya chEthanasya yadhdhravyam sarvAthmanA svArthE niyanthum dhArayithum cha Sakyam thachchEshadhaika svarUpancha thath thasya Sareeram’ (One that is object for the sentient AthmA, in all the ways be commanded by AthmA, be supported by AthmA, be only for that AthmA – then that is Sareeram.)).

(If AthmA leaves the body, the body falls off. So it shows that it is AthmA that is supporting the body).

midhiyil – (in step/trampling) (why say in this way instead of saying that His divine feet is kept as a jewel on their heads?) – Saying ‘madheeyamUrdhnAnam alankarishyathi [sthOthra rathnam – 31](~oh thrivikrama! .. when is your divine feet going to decorate my head (again)?), and ‘padikkaLavAga nimirththa nin pAdha pangayamE thalaikku aNiyAy [thiruvAimozhi – 9.2.2] (your divine feet only would be the decoration for my head), that is, saying divine feet as decoration for head is only when one understands its glory and also having interest;  since the people are dhEhAthmAbhimAni (giving importance to body and not AthmA), they would only think that some feet had pushed their head. So, AzhvAr is saying this way (midhiyil) from their point of view.

oN midhiyil – Like the breeze under moonlight He kept the divine feet amicably;  if that is not the case, they would have commanded as ‘thiruvANai [thiruvAimozhi – 10.10.2]’ (by the name of thAyAr), ((do not) keep your feet on me);

Or, the stepping on them is such that if in future one becomes desirous of emperumAn, they don’t have to back out thinking about their previous state and greatness of emperumAn, so it is ‘oN midhi’ (such a great stepping on his head);  One could say “What is there to not surrender to your divine feet now when we got the desire, while the divine feet which were present in my head when I was not caring for you?”.  When one could argue,  ‘lOkavikrAntha charaNau [vihagESvara samhithai, padalam (part) 22 ((please keep on my head) your divine feet which spanned the worlds), emperumAn would not have any opposing reply (but have to keep His feet on the head), you see!

punal aruvi – His divine feet grew downwards and extended not just till the earth, or seven seas, or the seven continents (dhveepams), or the mountain of chakravALa (mountain that surrounds the previous layers), or the great water (mahA jalam), or the covering wall of the aNdam (aNda kadAkam), but till the water covering the aNdams (AvaraNa jalam);

Why go till that extent, when the ones to be protected are within the aNdam? The protector’s eagerness is not just till the extent of the ones to be protected; As said in ‘adhanil periya en avA [thiruvAimozhi – 10.10.10]’ (my desire which is bigger than that) – His desire is like AzhvAr ’s desire, you see!

What this one’s love (prEmam) did, would His affection (vAthsalyam) not do that?

If asked – if the divine feet intruded the covering wall of the aNdam and go till the water covering aNdams, would the aNda kadAkam (covering wall) not be destructed? It does not have to be so, when the subtle one (sUkshmam) permeates the tangible/gross ones (sthUlam). Space (AkASam) (already) permeates that aNda kadAkam; the mUla prakruthi (source of material realm) is subtler than that AkASam; the divine auspicious body of emperumAn is subtler (sUkshmam) than that mUla prakruthi.

oru kAl niRpa – one divine feet standing;

later in this pAsuram he says ‘thiruvadiyE vaNanginEnE’  (worshipped only the divine feet); earlier – ‘thiruvadi en thalai mElavE [thirunedunthANdakam – 1]’ (divine feet on my head); given that, instead of saying thiruvadigaL (divine feet), his saying kAl (foot) here is from the point of view of samsAris (worldly people); other than thinking – someone’s leg is in my head – they don’t know the way of considering it as one to be attained and which is enjoyed by the nithyasUris, such lord’s divine feet.

niRpa – as He took up to use the divine feet to span (just) the earth, it showed the beauty of breaking (as it went up to the water layer of aNdam (AvaraNa jalam) and stopped (niRpa) as if by pulling the reins. His greatness is like supporting like the reins to stop the divine feet!

oru kAlum – earlier, AzhvAr enjoyed the divine feet that spanned the earth; by this phrase AzhvAr is enjoying the divine feet that spanned the upper worlds;

oru kAlum – also the other divine foot; saying ‘oru kAlum (one leg also)’ instead of ‘maRRa kAlum’ (other leg also) is – “Oh how wonderful this one is”. When AzhvAr was enjoying that divine foot, ‘There cannot be anything more enjoyable than this!’ was his state; as he saw this other divine foot, he is saying ‘There is nothing more enjoyable than this one!’ (oru -> unique/wonder)

kAmaruseer, etc. –  going beyond (the knowledge that is extent of mind of mahAbali).

kAmaruseer avuNan – mahAbali having attractive nature;  instead of censuring him as ‘one having haughtiness’, ‘thief of emperumAn’s places’, AzhvAr is saying ‘greatly fortunate’ about him. What is the reason for this? Unlike us who are here at a later time, he got to see the beauty of the form and simplicity (Seelam) of SrI vAmanan. Are there any fortunate people like him? – is the thought of AzhvAr . Oh! instead of being as ‘adiyEn’ (servant), I too should have stolen the places of emperumAn, and should have artificially taken up generosity and do yagyam (worship by sacred rites).   kAmaru -> liking.

eN madhiyum kadandhu – (crossing the limit of mahAbali’s thought in mind (eN -> eNNam -> thought)) – As He said ‘mUvadi [thiruvAimozhi – 3.8.9]’, mahAbali was like ‘rest of the places are mine only’.  After He spanned everything including the earth, he was like – there are those other worlds above for me’. As He spanned the space above, he realized he lost even the worlds above and became loser. So, AzhvAr is saying ‘kadandhu’ (going beyond the limit of thoughts of mahAbali).

aNda meedhu pOgi – One divine foot itself going beyond the wall like limit of the aNdam (aNda bhiththi). Instead of saying in the order in which He spanned, why first say about aNda meedhu pOgi? Due to his great love of the victory of SrI vAmanan, AzhvAr is setting a marker (koNdaik kOl) at the limit of emperumAn’s extent of spanning.

Like how SrI jAmbavAn mahArAjar said due to his great love for His victory, ‘jitham bhagavathA jagath [harivamSam – prathamapari – 42](jAmbavAn saying to dhEvas: all the worlds have been won by emperumAn (by incarnating as thrivikraman), (so please come back to your places)) – by going around the chakravALagiri and announcing by drum, about His victory to everyone.

Saying meedhu pOgi – shall be considered as pOga (to go), to mean, to go to it. This is similar to ‘thiruvudai adigaL tham nalam kazhal vaNangi [thiruvAimozhi – 1.3.8] (worshipping the good feet of emperumAn who is having thAyAr in His divine chest), where it is taken as ‘vaNanga’ (if you worship); There also nammAzhvAr saying that first is to set the marker (koNdaik kOl) of the full extent.

It is to be read as ‘ezhundhu – iru visumbin Udu pOy (started and went through the space).

ezhundhu – The moment water drops fell on his palm (water poured into the palm of vAmanan by mahAbali, to complete the pledge to give three steps of land), Him raising from the place of yagyam of mahAbali;

iru visumbu – the big space; since it is big when considering earth, and due to the great love in emperumAn’s growth, AzhvAr is referring to space as iru visumbu. (BIG space);

Udu pOy – (went through) He raised his divine foot such that the space that is above the earth and below heaven that is of hundred thousand kAdham (kAdham is approximately a mile or two and a half) got fully filled plump by His divine foot; creation of space became fruitful; when the divine feet had not permeated there, it was like a waste, you see.

mElai … – Sun’s place is the upper border of space, and lower border of heaven; above that, for one hundred thousand kAdham is the place of moon. But why not AzhvAr say about the place of the Sun and then about that of the Moon (mElaith thaN madhiyum (moon) kadhiravanum (sun) )? Since He kept His divine and completely delicate feet on people having self-interest and not interested in emperumAn, AzhvAr is attending to service for that divine feet by trying to make it cool down (through moon’s place); to show that, AzhvAr is saying ‘thaN madhi’ (cool moon);  (Since it is already known that moon is cool, he still specified that attribute thaN, for this purpose only. He did not specify any attribute of Sun in this pAsuram, so he does not want to think about its heat)  He did not say ‘vem kadhirOn’ , but just kadhiravan only.  mElaith (above) thaN madhiyum, implies ‘keezhai’ (below) kadhiravanum.

thavira Odi – going above that. By Odi – (running)  – having to stop it with difficulty as the divine foot is running due to haste (looking for devotees); As said in ‘thAy nAdu kanRE pOl [mudhal thiruvanthAdhi – 30]’ (like the calf seeking its mother), like how a devotee would show haste in reaching the lord, the lord would have the haste to get His devotee. For everyone, there would be haste for getting what they love, isn’t it?

thArakaiyin puRam thadavi – permeating the place of stars, and going above that; above the place of moon, there is the place of stars for one hundred thousand kAdham. Above the upper limit of the place of stars, is the place of SimSumAra prajApathi. Like the planets, he is one of the stars; he is of twelve hundred thousand kAdham.

thadavi – lord (caressing) trying to see if any devotee would be found, like how one would caress around in the floor (in the dark) searching for something that fell from self.  When going and trying to find someone and not finding anyone, AzhvAr says, kadandhu (crossed that).

As said in ‘pudaith thAn peridhE puvi [periya thiruvanthAdhi – 75]’ (Is earth like an elevated place that emperumAn‘s flood of kindness not flow through it?), what a loss this is to be not having the divine feet of thrivikraman on our head, says AzhvAr .

thadavi – (softly caressing) – since He would keep the divine feet in positive ways, that touch would be of delight.

appAl mikku – going up till the brahma lOkam (abode of brahmA); since mahAbali stole only the three worlds, why go above beyond that?  Like how the three worlds were ruined due to anyaSEshathvam (subservience to others such as indhra), the other worlds were also ruined due to feeling themselves as independent (svasvAthanthriyam); because their mind is having the state of ‘eeSvarOham’ (I am the lord); disaster of nature of AthmA due to anyaSEshathvam is not (that worse) compared to disaster due to svasvAthanthriyam. The former has (at least) accepted subservience.

{Translator’s note: This is also succinctly put by piLLai lOkAchAryar in mumukshuppadi as ‘piRarkkuriyan Ana anRu than vailakShaNyaththaik kAtti meetkalAm; thanakku ennum anRu yOgyathaiyum kUda azhiyum [mumukshuppadi – 81]’ (~When one agrees to be subservient to others, they can be retrieved back by Him showing them His greatness compared to those of others; but if being self-independent, even eligibility to retrieve would be lost)}

(The goodness for Him is based on the goodness He does for His devotees).

maN muzhudhum agappaduththu Spanning the fourteen worlds; saying about earth by the word maN’ , he says ‘muzhudhum’, thinking about the worlds above it as well;

Or, by ‘maN’ to mean place, it is talking about the places above.

Instead of saying ‘aLandhu(spanning), AzhvAr is saying ‘agappaduththu’  (capturing), which shows His falling on them with love (mEl vizhum), and their sliding away.

ninRa – stopping satisfied having done His wishes (of capturing His devotees); like how a devotee would stand satisfied, here the lord is satisfied after getting (reforming) the devotees.

enthai (my svAmi -> my lord / father) when seeing SrI vAmanan’s beauty and simplicity, proper thing to do would be to ignore the kingdom and pierce into the chest and writing that he is subservient to Him – instead indhra got his kingdom and went away; mahAbali kept him (his generosity) for himself (to consider himself great), and gave (only) his kingdom to emperumAn; (But) I gave myself to Him, says AzhvAr .

malar puraiyum, etc.  (divine feet that is like lotus flower) – I got to enjoy the boundless enjoyment that is His divine feet.  Earlier, AzhvAr said ‘thaLir puraiyum thiruvadi [thirunedunthANdakam – 1]’ (divine feet that is like a flower bud blooming); here he says ‘malar puraiyum thiruvadi’.  Reason for this, is – there, it was about emperumAn withering due to separation from this AzhvAr , and then as He kept His divine feet on AzhvAr ’s head, it started becoming fresh and blooming; here – as the ones who enjoy, as they started to enjoy, it is talking about the enjoyableness of the divine feet (like a lotus flower).

malar puraiyum – due to presence of devotees the divine feet is blossoming. (the other lotus would blossom in the present of Sun).

thiruvadi – the divine feet is the place the devotees go to for enjoyment (compared to other parts of emperumAn).

by saying ‘E’ (avadhAraNam) in thiruvadiyE, (only the divine feet), it shows the specialty/difference from/compared to other parts of emperumAn.

This divine feet is the one not having any dearth of greatness (mEnmai), kindness (neermai), and beauty of shape (vadivazhagu).  There is no dearth of greatness to the divine feet as He kept His divine feet on the heads of those who were like ‘eeSvarOham’ (I am the lord); for getting His property (devotees), He rushed eagerly, which shows there is no dearth of His kindness (neermai); attracting even the bad one like mahAbali, there is no dearth of his beauty of form. So there is no need (for devotees) to go to any part other than His divine feet, isn’t it?

vaNanginEn – I got to enjoy; this meaning is as said too in ‘nama ithyEva vAdhina: [mahAbhAratham – SAnthi parvam – 344-45] (identity of those who got liberated into SrIvaikuNtam would be to be doing salutation (anjali)) (so) they would be happy; they would be of nature of saying ‘nama:’ in their mouth), (saluting is) about enjoying Him by the liberated (mukthas);

for AzhvAr , the divine feet are the ones to surrender to (upAyam); and also ones to enjoy (upEyam);  during the time of surrendering it was said as ‘ulagam aLandha pon adiyE adaindhu uyndhEn [periya thirumozhi – 5.8.9]’ (reached and survived by the divine feet that spanned the worlds);

Is there anyone to surrender to other than the beautiful One who creates interest even in mahAbali who was disinterested?

Is there anyone to surrender to other than the one who is eager to go and get His own property (AthmAs, by pleading for it)?

Is there anyone to surrender to other than this simple One who made His divine body which cannot be seen by any senses, to be seen even by the asuras?

Is there anyone to surrender to other than the lord who spanned the fourteen worlds?

(even other incarnations of emperumAn are shunned here)

Being lord of everyone, simple, easy, and being one who creates desire in Him, is the one who is also the One we could surrender to and experience the enjoyableness in Him.

ALavandhAr said, ‘thrivikrama thvachcharaNAmbuja dhvayam madheeyamUrdhAnam alankarishyathi [sthOthra rathnam – 31](Oh emperumAn who performed incarnation as thrivikraman! When would your divine lotus feet decorate my head?).

udaiyavar said, “lOkavikrAntha charaNau SaraNam thE’vrajam vibhO [SaraNAgathi gadhyam 6th chUrNai – gadhya thrayam (quoting from vihagESvara samhithai – part 22)]’ (I surrender only to the divine feet of yours that spanned the worlds).

– – – – – –

Translation by raghuram SrInivAsa dAsan

archived in

pramEyam (goal) –
pramANam (scriptures) –
pramAthA (preceptors) –
SrIvaishNava education/kids portal –

mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 19 – mAlum karum kadalE

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

Full Series

<< Previous


AzhwAr says “When he himself came one day [as thrivikrama] and approached all, I lost him; this earth, because he came one day and measured it, was touched by him on that day. What fortune do you [referring to thiruppARkadal] have, that you are always with emperumAn!”

Let us look at the pAsuram and its meanings.

mAlum karum kadalE  ennORRAy vaiyagam uNdu
Alin ilaith thuyinRa AzhiyAn kOlak
karumEnich chengaN mAl kaN padiyuL enRum
thirumEni nI thINdap peRRu

Word by Word Meanings

vaiyagam uNdu – after swallowing the world [after deluge]
Alin ilai – on the banyan leaf
thuyinRa – sleeping
AzhiyAn – one who reclines on the ocean [thiruppARkadal]
kOla karumEni –having  beautiful, black form
sem kaN – having reddish eyes
mAl – one who had affection [towards his devotees]
kaN padaiyuL – when he is reclining in a sleeping posture
enRum – at all times
thirumEni – his divine form
thINdappeRRu – feeling it
mAlum – overwhelmed (due to that happiness)
karum kadalE – Oh, black coloured ocean!
ennORRAy – what penance did you perform! [to get this fortune]


mAlum – this word means stupefied or overwhelmed or bewildered. Just as people who get intoxicated after consuming certain types of drinks, the ocean is also feeling intoxicated due to the touch of emperumAn constantly. The ocean has the same happiness that mukthars (those who are liberated from samsAram (materialistic realm) and have reached SrIvaikuNtam) have on enjoying emperumAn.

karum kadalE – wouldn’t the ocean have become pale otherwise? But, emperumAn is lying on milky ocean, which is white in colour. How is AzhwAr then referring to it as the dark coloured ocean? It is said that emperumAn lies in all oceans and hence it is called as dark coloured ocean. Alternatively, the qualities of an ocean are referred to, in all places. Hence it is called as dark coloured ocean. Another explanation is that since dark coloured emperumAn is lying on it, the ocean too has become dark and hence AzhwAr is referring to it as dark coloured ocean. Ocean and emperumAn are having the complexion of bharatha (white) and rAma (dark) respectively.

en nORRAy – what penance did you carry out to be inseparable from emperumAn? AzhwAr wants to rid his attachment toward emperumAn and carry out the same penance for a similar result.

vaiyagam uNdu Alin ilaith thuyinRa – keeping all the worlds within his divine stomach and lying on a banyan leaf which appeared at the same time.

AzhiyAn – lying atop the banyan tree with all the weapons required for protecting. Holding the sudharSana (disc) weapon on his hand, emperumAn says that he will release the disc and tear apart the deluge if it comes to swallow the earth. Alternatively, Azhi could be construed as referring to ocean and in this case it would refer to his reclining on oceans.

kOlak karumEni sem kaN mAl – eyes which are beautiful, remove the tedium of beholders and shower affection on them. His divine eyes are like those referred to in chAndhOgya upanishath 1-6-7  “yathA kapyAsam puNdarIkamEva akshiNI” (eyes like lotus flower just blossomed by sun).

mAl – if the meaning is considered as pride, this word will refer to Isvaran (one who controls). If the meaning is considered as infatuation, it will refer to one who has lot of love.

kaN padaiyuL – where he is sleeping

enRum – at all times. Even if pirAtti (mahAlakshmi) out of a rare discord with emperumAn were to leave him, the ocean has no separation from emperumAn. AzhwAr is praising the good fortune of ocean which, unlike him, has no separation from emperumAn.  For upAsakas (those who attain emperumAn through upAsana or bhakthi (devotion)), attaining emperumAn is the end result; kainkaryam is like a by-product. In the same way, for the ocean, feeling emperumAn is the end-result. Just as sweat comes out when one is pounding paddy, kainkaryam, like sweat, comes automatically when emperumAn is attained [through devotion]. If the underlying knowledge about emperumAn, who is the means for attaining him, is obtained, strong belief in him comes on its own.

thirumEni nI thINdap peRRu mAlum karum kadalE – Oh ocean! You are in a stage of stupor after attaining him. I am bewildered because I have not.

karum kadalE – He showers qualities which he himself has, on those who he wants to grace. That is why you are also dark, like him. It appears that you have carried out some penance to get this. At the same time, it appears that this has come about because he has graced you especially.

Let us go on to the 20th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

archived in

pramEyam (goal) –
pramANam (scriptures) –
pramAthA (preceptors) –
SrIvaishNava education/kids portal –