Category Archives: periya thirumadal

periya thirumadal – 14 – innadhOr thanmaiyarAy

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innadhOr thanmaiyarAy Ingudalam vittezhundhu           14
thonneRikkaN senRAr enappadum sol allAl
innadhOr kAlaththu inaiyAr idhu peRRAr                            15
ennavum kEttaRivadhillai uLadhennil

Word by word meaning

innadhOr thanmaiyar Ay – thus, having such nature
Ingu udalam vittezhundhu – leaving the physical body in this world and rising up
thol neRikkaN senRAr enappadum sol allAl – other than saying that he reached an ancient place
innadhu Or kAlaththu idhu peRRAr – on a specific day, a particular person reached mOksham (SrIvaikuNtam)
ennavum kEttaRivadhillai – has not been heard, as told by someone

vyAkyAnam

innadhOr thanmaiyarAy – being constantly amidst difficulties, acquiring that (sorrowful state) as his nature, even if he gets heavenly bliss as a result of his penance, can he relish it?

Ingudalam vittezhundhu – in this world, wherein one can enjoy whatever one thinks of, he leaves behind his body, which he considers as a favourable entity having lived with it for such a long time, and rises up.

thonneRikkan senRAr enappadum sol allAl – other than hearing that he had reached the ancient mOksham (SrIvaikuNtam)

innadhOr kAlaththu – at a specific point of time

inaiyAr idhu peRRAr ennavum kEttaRivadhillai – we have not heard from someone, through his (her) own words that he (she) has attained this benefit. While we have heard of proof that someone has reached mOksham  through vEdhas, we have not heard it in person, as proof. We have heard that “Sukar has attained mukthi (reached mOksham)” or “vAmadhEva has attained mukthi” but we have not heard anyone say “I have reached mOksham and enjoyed the mukthas (those who have been liberated from samsAram and who have attained SrIvaikuNtam) there”. While rushis have said that Sukar and vAmadhEva have attained mukthi , can we not hear this from Sukar or vAmadhEva? This is not possible since there is none who has said “I had gone to SrIvaikuNtam; this is how it is there”.

In the next article, we will discuss the next part of this prabandham.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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periya thirumadal – 13 – thunnum ilaik kurumbai

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thunnum ilaikkurumbaith thunjiyum venjudarOn                                     13
mannum azhal nugarndhum vaN thadaththin utkidandhaum

Word by word meaning

thunnum ilaikkurumbaith thunjiyum – lying inside hermitages which are close to each other
venjudarOn – sun who has cruel rays
mannum azhal nugarndhum – eating (the sun’s) hot rays which are established firmly
vaN thadaththin utkidandhum – immersing in the bountiful ponds

vyAkyAnam

thunnimilaik kurambaith thunjiyum – sleeping inside hermitages which are worn with closely knitted leaves. kurambai – house; ilakkurambai – hermitage (thatched house made of palm tree leaves or coconut tree leaves). When lying inside these thatched houses, the dust falling from the house will enter the eyes and create great distress; yet sleeping with such distress inside these hermitages. The word thunjudhal refers to both sleep and death. Since the sleep that he has inside these hermitages gives the pain which death gives, AzhwAr is using such a word here.

venjudarOn mannum azhal nugarndhum – eating the hot rays of sun who emits such cruel rays. mannum azhal – firm heat. Here, it refers to the fact that the hot rays of the sun enter his body and establish themselves firmly inside. This implies that the hot rays are not only the nourishing food for him, but also the sustaining water. He nurtures his body by eating wind and hot rays, not even taking water

vaN thadaththin utkidandhum – he is unfortunate not to enjoy the magnanimity of the pond. vaN thadam – magnanimous pond. The pond will beckon those who wish to enjoy it by telling them “please come”. Instead of entering the pond in the summer season, with womenfolk who he would desire, and engaging in water sports, he is immersing himself in the winter like a water bird, inside the pond, carrying out penance, having his body covered with moss.

In the next article, we will discuss the next part of this prabandham.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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periya thirumadal – 12a – ennum ivaiyE

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

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ennum ivaiyE nugarndhudalam thAm varundhi

Word by word meaning

ivaiyE nugarndhu – eating these two
udalam varundhi – tormenting the physical body

vyAkyAnam

ennum ivaiyE nugarndhu udalam thAm varundhi – doesn’t one observe penance by eating the dried leaves and fruits which are without any juice? Since he is using the word ivaiyE, with the long syllable E at the end, it is clear that when one penance is completed and the next is begun, during the interregnum  too, normal food is not taken. This implies that the physical body should be continuously tormented.

nugarndhu – while eating (the dried fruits and leaves), enjoying them. Since there is desire in the end benefit, one should have deep affection for the means too. As a corollary, while eating the dried leaves and juiceless fruits, he relishes them as if he were eating very tasty food items.

udalam thAm varundhi – after having seen the desired entity (archchai deity), tormenting the physical form which is to be enjoyed here.

thAm varundhi – in this world, due to one’s karma (past deeds), one could go to lowly places and torment the physical body. Alternatively, yama et al could take this body to their worlds and torment it. AzhwAr says here that this person is tormenting the body himself and that it is not the torment created by someone else.

In the next article, we will discuss the next part of this prabandham.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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periya thirumadal – 12 – thonneRiyai vENduvAr

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thonneRiyai vENduvAr vIzhkaniyum Uzhilaiyum                             12

Word by word meaning

Or thol neRiyai – that paramapadham (or archirAdhi mArga, the way to reach paramapadham) is distinguished and is existing for a very long time
vENduvAr – those who desire to attain
vIzhkaniyum Uzh ilai ennum – fruits which had ripened and had fallen on their own as well as leaves which dried up

vyAkyAnam

Or thonneRiyai vENduvAr – those who wish to get rid of samsAram (life in materialistic world) and desire the matchless joy of mOksham. Or – unique. Or thol neRiyai vENduvAr – those who desire the unique, anciently spoken of mOksham. The word neRi refers to the path as well the place that the path leads to. It will not be a mistake to consider it as referring to the path itself. If that place is desired, wouldn’t the path which takes one to the place, also be desired? vENduvAr – could there be those who desire such mOksham, considering it too as an object! When there is a fruit on hand, will anyone look up at a fruit which has to be plucked with a tool? AzhwAr is thus expressing his displeasure for that benefit (mOksham).

Next, he describes the means adopted by those who desire for attaining that benefit, mOksham.

vIzh kaniyum – the fruit which has dropped on its own. Since the fruit has fallen on its own, it is not a healthy fruit (in other words, fruit without any juice).

UzhilaiyumUzh refers to withering as well as to being ancient. This refers to a leaf which has fallen even when it was tender and has become dried up fully, as well as to an old leaf, which has withered after it has become old. The opinion in this is that here too, it is not healthy (it is a fully dried leaf, without any nourishment).

In the next article, we will discuss the next part of this prabandham.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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periya thirumadal – 11 – mannum aRam porul

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

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mannum aRam poruL inbam vIdu enRu ulagil
nanneRi mEmbattana nAnganRE nAnginum                        11
pinnaiyadhu pinnaip peyar tharum enbadhOr

Word by word meaning

mannum aRam poruL inbam vIdu enRu – being firmly established as righteousness, wealth, love and mOksham (attaining paramapadham or SIvaikuNtam)
ulagil nal neRi mEmbattana nAngu anRE – these are the four ultimate benefits as said in this world as being attained through correct means.
nAnginum – among these four benefits
pinnai peyar tharum enbadhu – after this physical body is gone [after death], it will get another body (as mentioned in SAsthras)

vyAkyAnam

ammaRaidhAn – those vEdhas

mannum aRam poruL inbam vIdu enRu ulagil nanneRi mEmbattana nAnganRE – in the world, the four ultimate benefits of aRam (righteousness), poruL (wealth), kAmam (love) and vIdu (mOksham) are the ones which are realised through proper means. Initially it says mannum aRam (firmly established righteousness). aRam by itself means righteousness. Why qualify it with the word mannum aRam? Righteousness is effected by poruL (wealth) and righteousness is the path for attaining kAmam and vIdu (love and mOksham). Hence it is firmly established through these two forms. poruL is the benefit which is also referred to as arththam. inbam is the benefit which is cherished by AzhwAr [here it is the love towards sarvESvaran and not the lower variety of physical love, indulged in by samsAris]. vIdu is the fourth benefit which is spoken of by others.

nAnginum – among these four benefits

pinnaiyadhu pinnai – the benefit mentioned at the end (of the four) is referred to as pinnaiyadhu. pinnai – it will keep getting delayed, saying “later”. There is none who has attained this benefit with this physical form. Could one talk derisively of the supreme benefit which is mentioned as readily available by SAsthras (vEdhams, sacred texts)? Since AzhwAr has the desire to enjoy it with his present physical form, he is mentioning this way. Could one term an experience which he gets after giving up this physical form, going to a very faraway place and enjoying it at some distant point of time as something worthy? No. Even that experience has only been heard from vEdhas and vaidhikas (followers of vEdhas). There is none who has recounted it after seeing or experiencing it.

peyar tharum enbadhu – giving up this physical form, acquiring another and enjoying . This is similar to one person carrying out penance and another person enjoying the benefit of that penance. Alternatively, we can group the verse as pinnaip peyar tharum and the meaning will be as said before.

In the next article, we will discuss the next part of this prabandham.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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periya thirumadal – 10 – munnam thisaimuganai

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

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munnam thisaimuganaith thAn padaikka – maRRavanum
munnam padaiththanan nAnmaRaigaL ammaRaidhAn               10

Word by word meaning

munnam thisaimuganaith thAn padaikka – even as he created brahmA during the time of creation (after deluge)
maRRavanum – that brahmA too
munnam nAnmaRaigaL padaiththanan – he obtained the four vEdhas (from supreme being)
ammaRaidhAn – those vEdhas

vyAkyAnam

ammalarmEl munnam thisaimuganaith thAn padaikka – during the time of srushti (creation), emperumAn created brahmA, whose four heads appeared like four lotuses, from his navel which itself was like a lotus.

maRRavanum – Was it not said that once sarvESvara (lord of all) created brahmA, that brahmA wondered  about emperumAn ”Is he sarvESvara?”  and occupied the earth on the sides, above and below as mentioned in purusha sUktham 1-5 “thasmAdh virAda jAyatha I virAjO adhi pUrusha: I sa jAthO athyarichyatha I paSchAth bhUmimathO pura: II ” (brahmANdam (a huge ovoid) formed out of that vishNu; brahmA formed inside that; once he was born, that four headed brahmA occupied earth on the sides, top and bottom)?

munnam  padaiththanan nAnmaRaigaL – it would appear that brahmA created the four vEdhas. vaidhikas (followers of vEdham) have said “vEdham was not created by paramapurusha (sarvESvara); he too, just like one after awakening from sleep thinks of the earlier events, thought of the collection of vEdhas which had been there before creation and instructed such vEdhas to nAnmugan (brahmA)” thus confirming that vEdhas are not born out of the intellect of purusha (sentient entity) and that they are apaurushEyam (not by purusha). Thus, to say that brahmA created vEdhas will go against the grain of what vaidhikas have said. It will also go against the vEdha vachanam (saying of vEdha) as said in thaiththirIya upanishath nArAyaNavalli “yO brahmANam vidhadhAthi pUrvam yO vai vEdhAmScha prahiNOthi thasmai . . . ” (whosoever created brahmA initially, whosoever instructed him the vEdhas …). How to interpret this without being antagonistic to vEdha and vaidhika saying? Just as it is commonly said that a person, after his birth, inherits wealth from his father, the word padaiththa (as stated above, munnam padaiththa) could be interpreted as both created and inherited.   Thus, here the meaning is that brahmA inherited the vEdhas from sarvESvaran, after he was created.

In the next article, we will discuss the next part of this prabandham.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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periya thirumadal – 9 – pinnaith than nAbi

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pinnaith than nAbi valayaththup pEroLisEr
manniya thAmarai mAmalarpUththammalar mEl       9

Word by word meaning

than nAbi valayaththu – in the region of his navel
pEr oLi sEr – being with great radiance
manniya thAmarai mAmalar pUththu – making the forever indestructible lotus flower to blossom
a malar mEl – atop that lotus flower

vyAkyAnam

than nAbi valayaththu – just as bhUmaNdalam (earth) is referred to as bhUvalayam (the region of earth), the region of navel present in emperumAn’s divine form is referred to as nAbhivalayam to signify its greatness.

pEroLi sEr manniya thAmarai mAmalar pUththu – the great radiance of such lotus (navel) which is far greater than the radiance of the entire world created by it.

manniya thAmarai mAmalar pUththu – in the world, when the potter starts making pots from mud, the quantum of mud, which is the cause for the pots, will start decreasing as he goes on making pots, which are the effect. Ultimately, when all the pots have been made, there will be no mud at all. However, this lotus, which is the cause for creation of all the worlds, will remain without getting lessened, without getting destroyed and be present forever, when the worlds created by it start growing more and more.  When the word manniya (firmly, forever) is used as the adjective for lotus, this is the meaning which we get. Instead of this, if we rearrange the verse to get manniya pEroLi sEr thAmari mAmalar pUththu it would mean that the great radiance of this lotus is permanent (forever).

In the next article, we will discuss the next part of this prabandham.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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periya thirumadal – 8 – thannudaiya angaigaLAl

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

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thannudaiya angaigaLAl thAn thadavath thAn kidandhOr
unniya yOgaththu uRakkam thalaikkoNda                                      8

Word by word meaning

thannudaiya am kaikgaLAl adiyiNaiyai thadava – gently massaging the divine feet [of emperumAn] with her beautiful hands

(thus, with all these greatness)

kidandhu – reclining eminently

Or unniya yOgaththu uRakkam thalaikkoNda pinnai – after assuming the posture of reclining where he is thinking about protecting the world

vyAkyAnam

adiyiNaiyai – the soft, divine feet which even she (bhUmippirAtti) who is  extraordinary, would hesitate to touch

thannudaiya am kaikaLAl – with her beautiful and great, divine hands which even sarvESvaran (lord of all) has to obtain by carrying out penance

thAn thadava – is it possible to sustain by asking someone else to drink for self? Is it possible to live by asking someone else to breath for self? Hence, pirAtti is carrying out the service (of massaging emperumAn’s divine feet) with her own hands. She will sustain herself if she massages his divine feet by herself or else she will perish. Thus, sarvESvaran is sleeping, with the ocean fanning him with chowry (fan whisk) and bhUmippirAtti massaging his divine feet.

thAn kidandhu – being omniscient by his nature, being without any bewilderment for any reason, he is now sleeping because of her mere touch, forgetting even that the ocean is fanning him and that she is massaging his divine feet.

Or unniya yOgaththu uRakkam thalaikkoNda pinnai – after sleeping through his yOgam which is unique since he is fully aware even when he is sleeping. For people like us, the heart is already very dark. When we are awake, the external entities will be seen to an extent; once we close our eyes, even they will disappear and everything will become dark. For him (emperumAn), this is not the case. He is not one who sees with his eyes “paSyathachakshu:” (seeing with eyes). His closing his eyes, thus, is to enable his thoughts to develop further. The meaning of the term unnuvadhu is to meditate. yOgaththu uRakkam is to be aware while one is sleeping. yOgaththuRakkam – he does not sleep like people like us who would sleep when rajasthamO guNas (qualities related to passion and ignorance) overtake us. He is similar to what nammAzhwAr had mercifully said in thiruvAimozhi 5.4.11uRanguvAn pOle yOgu seyginRa perumAn” (emperumAn who is thinking about the well-being of all even as he is sleeping). He is sleeping with the thought “what is the way in which these chEthanas (sentient entities) would be able to come out of the ocean of samsAram?”

thalaikkoNda pinnai – the pAsuram now starts talking about entities who are created, now that the time for creation has arrived, just like flowers which are ready to bloom in their season.

In the next article, we will discuss the next part of this prabandham.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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periya thirumadal – 7a – anna nadaiya aNangE

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

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anna nadaiya aNangE(y) adiyiNaiyai                         7

Word by word meaning

anna nadaiya – having a gait similar to that of a swan

aNangu thAn – bhUmippirAtti who is a divine lady

vyAkyAnam

anna nadaiya – having a gait resembling swan’s, if she walks four steps ahead of him, as a prelude to their union, he will become a slave only to her style of walking and will not think of anything else with his heart. The gait is such that the attention will be only on it, until time lasts (forever).

aNangE – Just like the old saying “gurumaNangum dheyvappeNNE” since the word refers to a celestial lady, it implies that she will have a behaviour which is aprAkrutham (different from normal; special, spiritual). Instead of referring to lowly states of pleasure derived from bosom and union, this refers to higher state of pleasure which is extraordinary. Alternatively, so far the pAsuram had spoken of her (bhUmippirAtti’s) characteristics which are sweet for emperumAn while now, the word aNangE refers to her divine characteristics which makes us, her children, to attain her. Just as vAlmIki had mercifully said in SrI rAmAyaNam bAlakANdam 77-30 “dhEvathAbhi samA” (sItha is identical to dhEvathAs (deities)) and in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 55-26 “thrayANAm bharathAdhInAm bhrAthrUNAm dhEvathA cha yA rAmasya cha manakAnthA: ” (one who was like a deity for his three younger brothers and who was sweet to rAma’s mind), with hanumAn saying that sIthAppirAtti was fit to be attained by all four of them, AzhwAr too mercifully states similar context here [being sweet to emperumAn and fit to be attained by us, her children].

In the next article, we will discuss the next part of this prabandham, along with the meaning for the term adiyiNaniyai.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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periya thirumadal – 7 – thennan uyar poruppum

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

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thiruvEngadam – thirumalai

thirumAliurunjOlai

thennan uyar poruppum dheyva vadamalaiyum

ennum ivaiyE mulaiyA vadivamaindha

Word by word meaning

thennanuyar poruppum dheyva vadamalaiyum ennum ivaiyE mulai A – the mountain of thirumAlirum sOlai and thiruvEngadamalai (thirumalai hill) as her bosom
vadivu amaindha – having a fitting form

vyAkyAnam

thennan uyar poruppum dheyva vadamalaiyum ennum ivaiyE mulaiyA – thirumAlirunjOlai, which was enthusiastically claimed by chEra, chOzha and pANdiya kings of the south as theirs, even as south was abused by the ancient vaidhikas (those who follow vEdham, sacred texts) and thiruvEngadamalai (thirumalai) which is the epitome of the greatness of simplicity such that even samsAris could attain it; it is emphatically said that these two mountains are spoken of as the tall, expansive and firm bosom of this great lady. While there are mountains such as mEru and himAlaya which are taller, more expansive and firmer than these two mountains, why are these two mountains being spoken of as her bosom and not those greater mountains? emperumAn has taken permanent residence only in thirumALirunjOlai and thiruvEngatam and hence these are mentioned as her bosom. thiruvAimozhi 10.7.4 says “then koL thisaikkuth thiladhamAy ninRa  thirumAlirunjOlai” (thirumAlirunjOlai stands as the identifying mark for the southern direction) and thiruvAimozhi 3.3.7 says “paran senRu sEr thiruvEngadam” (thirumalai where emperumAn has reached), thus identifying these two mountains as divine abodes of emperumAn. A SlOkam from SrI rAmAyaNam has been explained here by periyavAchchAn piLLai to bring out the greatness of thirumAlirunjOlai:

It is only because of the greatness of thirumAlirunjOlai that vAlmIki bhagavAn too cited this as a simile for chithrakUta mountain in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 98-12  “subhagaS chithrakUtO’sau girirAjOpamO giri”. girirAja is an alternative name for thirumAlirunjOlai. chithrakUta is very beautiful like thirumAlirunjOlai. subhaga:  – very beautiful. Even if it is beautiful, it may not be liked by its beloved. Is it like that? girirAjOpamO giri: – it matches thirumAlirunjOlai which is considered as bhUmippirAtti’s bosom. Does its beloved reside in it just as thirumAlirunjOlai’s beloved does? yasmin vasathi kAkustha: – SrI rAma has taken a liking to this  [chithrakUta] since it is similar to the bosom of bhUmippirAtti. yadhadhyAsthE mahAthEjA: – kubEra iva nandhathE – just as kubEra (one of the celestial entities, protector of northern direction) lives continuously in his chaithraratham (chariot) with happiness, the greatly radiant SrI rAma too lives continuously in this chithrakUta mountain which is inhabited by wild animals. asau chithrakUta: subhaga: – there is nothing greater than such chithraUta.

vadivamaindha – the divine form of bhUmippirAtti is matching the mountains which are like her bosom.

In the next article, we will discuss the next part of this prabandham.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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