Category Archives: thiruviruththam

thiruviruththam – 79 – vEdhanai veNpuri

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avathArikai (Introduction)

AzhwAr is mercifully speaking about those who are able to enjoy firmly all the matters related to bhagavAn, unlike himself who becomes faint on thinking about him.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

vEdhanai veNpurinUlanai viNNOr parava ninRa
nAdhanai gyAlam vizhungum anAdhanai gyAlandhaththum
pAdhanaip pARkadal pAmbaNai mEl paLLi koNdaruLum
sIdhanaiyE thozhuvAr viNNuLArilum sIriyarE

Word-by-Word Meanings

vEdhanai – one who is described by vEdhas (sacred texts)
veN – whitish
puri – having strands
nUlanai – having divine sacred thread
viNNOr – nithyasUris (permanent dwellers of SrIvaikuNtam)
parava ninRa – being worshipped by
nAdhanai – being the lord
gyAlam – leelAvibhUthi (materialistic realm) including earth
vizhungum – one  who swallows
anAdhanai – one who does not have a lord for him
gyAlam – earth
thaththum – one who brought under
pAdhanai – having divine feet
pARkadal – in thiruppARkadal (divine milky ocean)
pAmbu aNai mEl – on top of the divine bed of divine AdhiSEshan
paLLi koNdu aruLum – one who is reclining mercifully
sIdhanaiyE – sarvESvaran who has coolness as his natural quality
thozhuvAr – those who worship
viNNuLArilum – more than nithyasUris
sIriyarE – are eminent

Simple Translation

sarvESvaran is described by the vEdhas, he wears the divine sacred thread with white strands and is worshipped by nithyasUris. He swallows all the worlds, doesn’t have a lord for himself and measures all the worlds and keeps them under his divine feet. He reclines on the divine mattress of AdhiSEshan in the divine thiruppARkadal and has coolness as his true nature. Those who worship him are more eminent than the nithyasUris.

vyAkyAnam

vEdhanai – AzhwAr thinks of vEdhas which keep thinking, just like himself, only about sarvESvaran and which do not have a beginning or end.

veN puri nUlanai – just as it has been  seen in the previous pAsuram mai varai pOl poliyum uru, he  has a dark form; vEdhas too describe such divine form. He has a whitish divine thread which contrasts with that dark form.

viNNOr parava ninRa nAdhanai – even nithyasUris, in a disorderly way, keep calling out to such form

gyAlam vizhungum anAdhanai – he does not look at his eminence in being praised by those who have no shortcomings in them [nithyasUris]; he thinks constantly of samsAris (dwellers in materialistic realm) and protects them by keeping the world in which they live, in his divine stomach, during deluge. He has no one who can tell him “You are not supposed to do this” [he has none above him who can order him].

gyAlam . . . – instead of protecting once and letting go, like a worm making movements such that it forms an alphabet by accident, he has the divine feet which encircled the world fully, protecting them.

gyAlam . . . – even after carrying out all the activities for samsAris, including measuring their worlds and protecting them, he thinks “We have not done anything for them”

pARkadal . . . – he keeps reclining on thiruppARkadal (the divine milky ocean) thinking about the protection of the worlds; despite doing everything, he thinks “We have not done anything for them”; he retrieves the worlds which indhra [the lord of celestial entities] had lost out to demons,and reclines.

sIdhanai – if one were to think about his reclining on thiruppARkadal, all the heat [anguish] gets removed; he has such a cool nature. Just as it has been mentioned in narAyaNa sUktham thApArthO jalaSAyinam – he reclines on water in order to remove the heat of samsAris.

sIdhanaiyE thozhuvAr – those who worship him without expecting some other benefit [instead of himself]; those who worship him without becoming faint hearted on hearing his divine name.

viNNuLArilum sIriyarE – unlike those who are permanently enjoying sarvESvaran from that place [nithyavibhUthi], those who are in samsAram, which is the exact opposite of nithyavibhUthi, and having the activity of worshipping him as a constant behaviour, are more eminent than nithyasUris.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 78 – naliyum naraganai

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avathArikai (Introduction)

The nAyaki who was engaged with krishNAvathAram (incarnation as krishNa) desires to obtain a material connected with it. This pAsuram narrates that.

Let us go through the pAsruam anda its meanings:

naliyum naraganai vIttiRRum vANan thiN thOL thuNindha
valiyum perumaiyum yAn sollum nIrththalla maivaraipOl
poliyum uruvil pirAnAr punai pUm thuzhAy malarkkE
meliyum mada nenjinAr thandhu pOyina vEdhanaiyE

Word-by-Word Meanings

naliyum – troubling
naraganai – the demon narakAsuran
vIttiRRum – destroying
vANan – the demon bANAsuran’s
thiN – strong
thOL – shoulders
thuNiththa – severed
valiyum – strength
perumaiyum – eminence (which followed it)
yAn sollum – to be informed by me
nIrththalla – do not have that nature
maivarai pOl – like a black mountain
poliyum – shining (beauty)
uruvil – having divine form
pirAnAr – krishNan, the lord
punai – donning
pU – being beautiful
thuzhAy malarkkE – for the divine thuLasi flower
meliyum – withering
madam – being stubborn
nenjinAr – mind
thandhu pOna – given
vEdhanai – (this) agony

Simple Translation

The strength and greatness of sarvESvaran’s acts in the annihilation of narakAsuran and severing the thousand shoulders of bANAsuran are not of that simple a nature to be narrated by me. The agony of my heart, pining with stubbornness for the divine thuLasi garland which is worn by krishNa who looks beautiful like a black mountain, is like this.

vyAkyAnam

naliyum naraganai – the demon narakAsuran imprisoned those who were apt to be part of sarvESvaran’s retinue.

naliyum – their trouble [of being imprisoned] was like his [sarvESvaran’s]

vIttiRRum – felling him – killing him.

vANan . . . – bANAsuran, the demon, who imprisoned ushai (ushA, his daughter) and anirudhdhan (grandson of krishNa) instead of allowing them to be together.

thiN thOL – the demon was thinking that he had very powerful shoulders after taking refuge of some other deity [and not sarvESvaran]. The vyAkyAthA explains a few verses from thaiththirIya upanishath Anandhavalli 2 to distinguish this from one who takes refuge under sarvESvaran. “Anandham brahmaNO vidhvAn” – one who knows about the joy of brahmam (sarvESvaran); na bibhEthi kuthaSchana – will not fear anything; EshashyEvAnandhayAthi – due to that courage, he will not respect entities which his intellect respects. Due to the false courage that the demon bANan had about his taking refuge under some other deity, he did not show reverence to those entities which his intelligence accepted as reverential. The strength and greatness [of sarvESvaran] who severed the shoulders of such bANAsuran.  Alternatively, the greatness of such strength.

yAn sollum nIrththalla – is it something which would be narrated by me at this time?

nIrththalla –it [the narration] is not of that simple a nature. Could I narrate today about his quality of annihilating his enemy, his manliness and his greatness? If his true nature were spoken about, then it will be impossible to blame him for the sorrow that I am facing due to his absence.

Then, was it due to someone else?

maivarai . . . – AzhwAr says that it is the gift given by the heart by not analysing whether something is attainable or unattainable and desiring it.

maivarai – the divine form is like a black mountain.

poliyum uru – since there is nothing equivalent to the divine form’s beauty, it cannot be explained through an example. If among the entities which exist, one were to consider the best to attempt to match the beauty of his divine form, that would be found wanting, viz. everything else is inferior.

pirAnAr – just as jithanthE SlOkam 5 says “bhakthAnAm” (for the sake of followers), his divine form exists for the sake of followers.

punai . . .  – only for the divine thuLasi garland which he has donned.

meliyum mada nenjinAr – if one desires something which is possible to get, yet if it is  not obtained, there will be sorrow. But what will happen if one desires to get something which is impossible to get? This is what the stubborn heart did for me, leading to this agony.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 77 – thingaLam piLLai

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avathArikai (Introduction)

This narrates the words of the nAyaki who is feeling saddened by the onset of dusk.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

thingaLam piLLai pulambath than sengOl arasupatta
sengaLam paRRi ninRu eLgu pun mAlai thenpAl ilangai
vengaLam seydha nam viNNOr pirAnAr thuzhAy thuNaiyA
nangaLai mAmai koLvAn vandhu thOnRi naliginRadhE

Word-by-Word Meanings

thingaL – chandhiran (moon)
am – beautiful
piLLai – son
pulamba – weeping (due to the sounds of birds)
sengOl – one who was ruling with his sceptre
than arasu – his king sUriyan (sun)
patta – fell down (sun set)
sem – reddish
kaLam – battle field
(reddish sky)
paRRi – attaining
ninRu – remaining
 eLgum – engaging with
punmAlai – short duration of dusk
thenpAl – in  the southern direction
ilangai – lankA
vengaLam seydha – made it into a cremation ground
viNNOr – by celestial entities such as brahmA et al
pirAnAr – lord, who is apt to be worshipped
nam – worn by our chakravarthy thirumagan (son of emperor dhaSaratha)
thuzhAy – desire which was created in the divine thuLasi
thuNaiyA – as helping hand
nangaLai – us
mAmai koLvAn – to destroy the natural complexion
vandhu – reaching
thOnRi – rising
naliginRadhu – is tormenting

Simple Translation

It was the time of dusk when the King sUriyan, who has been ruling righteously with his sceptre, was about to meet his end in the reddish battlefield [of western horizon] and son of dusk, chandhiran, was about to rise, crying. It [the chandhiran] is trying to take our desire for the divine thuLasi garland, worn by SrI rAma, who created a battlefield in the southern place of lankA, as its support and is trying to torment us by destroying our natural complexion.

vyAkyAnam

thingaLam piLLai – the beautiful son, chandhiran. Just as it has been mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 66-3 “mahathA thapasA” (by superlative control), he is a son sired after lot of difficulties.

pulamba – could not wail with a loud tone since there were other entities such as ocean, birds etc which were making lot of noise at that time.

than sengOl . . . – the short duration of dusk held on to the reddish sky where its king, sUriyan, who was ruling righteously with his sceptre, had fallen down. The redness could be compared to the earth which had become reddish due to the flood of blood shed in a battle. Just as maNdOdhari called out in the battlefield where rAvaNa had fallen and just as thArA had called out, along with her son angadhan, in the battlefield where her husband vAli had fallen, this evening time too is remaining in that battlefield, where she had lost sUriyan, and is engaging with that place; just as AzhwAr had sung in thiruvAimozhi 2.1 decad vAyum thiraiyugaLum when it appeared to him that every entity which he saw at that time was commiserating with him. The nAyaki too feels despondent, after losing sUriyan who has been mentioned as pagaR kaNdEn in iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi 81 (I saw SrIman nArAyaNan who is like the sun which never sets).

thenpAl . . . – in the southern side where great people [reference to kubEran and other dhEvathAs] had lost, in lankA, where wise people will not venture, making it to look reddish with blood.

vengaLam – making it look like a cremation ground and places allied to it. It is similar to thirumozhi 10-9-1 “ilangai oLLeri maNdi uNNa ”(making the effulgent agni (lord of fire) to pervade lankA and eat it up fully)

nam viNNOr pirAnAr – just as it has been said in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 117-13 “bhavAn nArAyanO dhEva: ” (brahmA tells SrI rAma “You are the lord SrIman nArAyaNan” sarvESvaran carried out acts of benefaction to everyone such that brahmA et al all stood and praised him.

thuzhAy thuNaiyA – taking my desire to obtain the divine thuLasi garland lying on his divine shoulder, as the means.

nangaLai . . . – the dusk, instead of calling us to comfort it during its sorrowful moment [of losing sUriyan], is calling us to torment us.

nangaLai mAmai koLvAn – for those who covet others’ complexion, is complexion a necessity at all? Instead of calling us to support it during its difficult time, it is craving for tormenting us, who are already in distressed condition.

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): In the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr’s distress in not getting the garland which sarvESvaran wore at the time he measured the worlds, and which he desired, was narrated. In this pAsuram, AzhwAr’s distress in not getting the garland which sarvESvaran wore after annihilating rAvaNa, which AzhwAr desired, has been narrated.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 76 – idam pOy virindhu

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avathArikai (Introduction)

During the time of moon rising, the nAyaki feels very distressed. She tells her mind “It is the nature of chandhiran (moon) to carry out simple tasks such as to make the lotus to close its petals and to make lily to blossom. Do not grieve regarding this’.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

idam pOy virindhu ivvulagam aLandhAn ezhilAr thaNdhuzhAy
vadam pOdhil naiyum madanenjamE nangaL veLvaLaikkE
vidam pOl viridhal idhu viyappE viyan thAmaraiyin
thadam pOdhu odunga mellAmbal alarvikkum veN thingaLE

Word-by-Word Meanings

idam – at various places
pOy – going
virindhu – pervading
ivvulagu – this world
aLandhAn – one who measured
ezhil – by [his] beauty
Ar – being full
thaN – cool
thuzhAy – divine thuLasi
vadam – in the garland
pOdhil – in its beauty
(desiring it and since not attaining it)
naiyum – crumbling
madam – having stubbornness
nenjamE – Oh mind!
viyan – amazing
thAmaraiyin – lotus’
thadam – broad
pOdhu­ – flower
odunga – to contract
(one who does)
mel – small
Ambal – lily flower
alarvikkum – one who makes it to blossom
veN – white
thingaL – chandhiran (moon)
nangaL – our
veL – pale
vaLaikkE – on the bangles
vidam pOl – like poison
viridhal – spreading its rays
idhu – this [activity]
viyappE – is it of any surprise?

Simple Translation

Oh mind which is craving for the beautiful divine thuLasi garland of sarvESvaran who measured the world at all places with his divine foot! Is it any surprise that the whitish moon, which makes lotus to close its petals and lily to blossom, is spreading like poison on top of my pale bangles?

vyAkyAnam

idam pOy virindhu – just as flood will fill up all the low lying areas, [sarvESvaran’s] divine foot permeated wherever there was space. Beautiful, cool divine thuLasi is there on the divine form of the one who measured all the worlds; the divine garland is there as the sustenance for that divine thuLasi. Oh mind, which is stubbornly desirous of that garland since it is beautiful and cool on account of being in constant contact with is divine form!  You are languishing because the divine thuLasi is not attained and you are not listening to me when I say that it is not easy to obtain that!

nangaL . . . – is it any surprise that the white rays of the chandhiran are spreading on my bangles made of conch, like poison?

veL vaLaikkE – it is natural for harming something when an entity is capable of harming it. Since chandhiran is whitish and my bangles too are, seeing a congruence in the colour, it could be harming.

viyan thAmarai . . . – when someone does not know the distinction between a great and a lowly entity, what will he not do? When chandhiran is capable of making the great and wondrous lotus flower to contract and the lowly lily flower to blossom, is it a surprise that it is spreading like poison on our bangles?

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): AzhwAr is narrating about how in a situation when he could not get the beautiful divine thuLasi garland which sarvESvaran wore when he mercifully measured the worlds, even favourable objects [such as chandhiran] turn out to be harmful.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 75 – ulAginRa keNdai

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avathArikai (Introduction)

This pAsuram describes the nAyakan celebrating the nAyaki when they are united. Alternatively, it could be taken as a natural doubt raised by the nAyakan [after looking at her eyes].

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

ulAginRa keNdai oLiyambu emmAviyai Uduruvak
kulAginRa venjilai vANmugaththIr kuni sangidaRip
pulAginRa vElaip puNari am paLLiyammAn adiyAr
nilAginRa vaigundhamO vaiyamO num nilaiyidamE

Word-by-Word Meanings

ulAginRa –  roaming
keNdai – innocent, like fish
oLi – having a radiance
ambu – eyes which are like arrows
em Aviyai – my prANan (life)
Uduruva – crumbling it by piercing
kulAginRa – bent
vem – cruel
silai – having eye brows which are like bow
vAL – having a radiance
mugaththIr – oh those who have faces!
num – for you
nilai – dwelling
idam – place
kuni – being bent (to the right side)
sangu – conches
idaRi – pushing (to the shore)
pulAginRa – being a matter for sensory perceptions
vElai – having waves
puNari – ocean
am – beautiful
paLLi – having as mattress
ammAn – lord’s
adiyAr – nithyasUris, his devotees
nilAginRa – place of dwelling
vaikundhamO – is it SrIvaikuNtam?
vaiyamO – or, is it leelAvibhUthi (materialistic realm)?

Simple Translation

Oh you people who have radiant face having splendorous eyes which are like arrows piercing our lives and which look like fish which keep roaming, and eye-brows which are like cruel and bent bows! Is your place of dwelling SrIvaikuNtam which is inhabited by the followers of sarvESvaran who has as his mattress the divine milky ocean (thiruppARkadal) where conches curved to the right side are pushed to the shore by the waves or is it this earth?

vyAkyAnam

ulAginRa keNdai – the innocence of the eyes looks like roaming fish.

oLiyambu – when the nAyakan looks at her, she would not look in his direction; when he is not looking at her, she would look at him. Without his being aware of it, the arrow will come and pierce him.

oLiyambu – he cannot escape from her eyes

emmAviyai Uduruva – this will not pierce anyone else. It will pierce us only [says the nAyakan}. Even that, it will not do superficially on the skin, but will pierce the prANan [vital air; life itself]; even that, it is not superficially but deep down.

kulAginRa venjilai vAL mugaththIr – [eyebrows are] constantly bent so that when an arrow has to be shot, one need not bend the bow, string it and then take aim; by merely looking at a person, the arrow will be shot immediately. Also, instead of having the bow in the hand, having the bow on the face itself. Oh, such people! Another interpretation: the term vAL could be considered as radiance; in this case the meaning will be – Oh one who has a face with a bent bow and radiance! Her bow [eyebrows] is tormenting him.

kunisangu . . . – pushing ashore conches which are curved to the right.

pulAginRa – making a noise, the ocean which has agitating waves and is a mattress for sarvESvaran.

pulAginRa – it appears to be the time of dawn since the conches keep emitting radiance constantly. Such sarvESvaran who has this ocean as his bed, his

ammAn . . . – instead of remaining constantly at paramapadham [SrIvaikuNtam] where sarvESvaran holds the court so that both he and the nithyasUris could spend their time together, he enters thiruppARkadal which roars because of his presence and stays there similar to those who set up a house in a place of their liking, with the purpose of protecting the words and reclines. This makes nithyasUris to be amazed at his simplicity. [The nAyakan asks the nAyaki] Is your residence SrIvaikuNtam which is the dwelling place of such nithyasUris or is it the leelAvibhUthi (materialistic realm) which he visits occasionally and which keeps getting created and destroyed similar to the arrangement of pandhal etc made during festival times? Just as it is said in thiruvAimozhi 3-9-9 “vAnavar nAdu” SrIvaikuNtam is the place where the nithyasUris would draw the rules and regulations [since nithyasUris are parathanthrars (totally dependent on him) he allows them to run that realm as per their desire]. However, leelAvibhUthi (materialistic realm) has chEthanas (sentient entites) who are svathantharars (independent) having ego and possessive qualities. Hence he does not let them rule it as they wish; instead, he rules it by himself. piLLai thirunaRaiyUr araiyar would say “adiyAr nilAginRa vaigundhamO anRikkE avanadhAna vaiyamO?” (is it SrIvaikuNtam ruled by nithyasUris or this leelAvibhUthi ruled by sarvESvaran?)

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): those who saw AzhwAr said “There is none like AzhwAr in both the vibhUthis”. Those who are in nithyavibhUthi are constantly in engagement with bhagavath vishayam (matters relating to sarvESvaran). Those who are here (leelAvibhUthi) are constantly engaging with worldly matters. AzhwAr is distinct from both of them. He is without permanent engagement with bhagavath vishayam [since he is still here]. He is not sustaining himself with food, water etc [like the chEthanas who are here]. Thus this explains how he is outside the nature of both vibhUthis.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 74 – thaLarndhum muRindhum

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avathArikai (Introduction)

Southerly breeze was blowing then. The nAyaki feels saddened seeing this saying “The southerly breeze has set in; but the nAyakan has not come” Her friend tells her “Do you think that this is merely southerly breeze? When the fragrance of the palace starts spreading, it would indicate the arrival of the prince. In the same way, along with this breeze you could smell the fragrance of divine thuLasi. This is a hint that the nAyakan is coming. You need not feel sad”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

thaLarndhum muRindhum varu thiraippAyil thirunedungaN
vaLarndhum aRivuRRum vaiyam vizhungiyum mAlvaraiyaik
kiLarndhum aRidharak kINdeduththAn mudi sUdu thuzhAy
aLaindhuN siRu pasum thenRal andhO vandhu ulAginRadhE

Word-by-Word Meanings

thaLarndhum –  crumbling down
muRindhum –  breaking down
varu – coming
thirai – having waves
pAyil – in the mat of milky ocean [thiruppARkadal]
thiru – due to beauty
nedum – without limit
kaN – divine eyes
vaLarndhum – closing
aRivu – thinking of protecting the worlds
uRRum – engaged in
vaiyam – worlds
vizhungiyum – (during deluge) eating them
mAl – huge
varaiyai – gOvardhanam
kINdu – (from the earth) uprooting
kiLarndhu – raising
maRidhara – upside down
eduththAn – one who lifted, his
mudi – in the divine crown
sUdu – donned
thuzhAy – in divine thuLasi
aLaindhu – pervading
uN – having stayed with it
pasum – without contact with any other entity
siRu thenRal – gentle breeze
vandhu – reaching
ulAginRadhu – is blowing
The word andhO is an indication of the happiness felt on seeing the gentle breeze

Simple Translation

sarvESvaran is lying on the divine mat of thiruppARkadal in which the huge waves are rising, crumbling and breaking down repeatedly. sarvESvaran has closed his beautiful, divine eyes and meditating on protecting the worlds. He keeps all the worlds in his divine stomach during the time of deluge and lifts up the gOvardhana mountain from earth, holding it upside down to protect all the herd and herdsfolk. A gentle breeze has pervaded the divine thuLasi which is decorating his long divine crown and, without contacting any other entity, is blowing here, making me feel happy.

vyAkyAnam

thaLarndhum . . . – thiruppARkadal (milky ocean) has huge waves which rise up, crumbling down on their own weight as well as breaking down due the effect of wind. sarvESvaran is reclining on that mat, with his beautiful eyes which indicate that he is the sarvESvaran, closed, thinking of ways to protect the worlds.

aRivuRRum – when all entities get troubled by deluge, he awakens thinking “When I am lying here only to protect them, would I allow them to suffer?”

vaiyam vizhungiyum – keeping the worlds in his divine stomach, during the time of deluge and protecting them.

mAl varai . . . – it is not only when the entire world is suffering that he comes and rescues. Even when a small place suffers [such as gOkulam] he runs in to help the people. Without any effort, he uprooted the huge mountain of gOvardhanam and held it upside down so that all the herd and the herd-folk could stand under it. Such sarvESvaran’s . . .

mudi sUdu thuzhAy – her thoughts are on the divine thuLasi on his divine feet, just as it has been mentioned ini thiruvAimozhi 4-2-1 “thALiNai mElaNi thaNNandhuzhAy” (the divine, cool thuLasi applied on top of his divine feet); he considers that as gruhNAthi SirasAsvayam – he considers that which has been offered to his divine feet, as having been offered to his divine crown. Hence the friend says this way. The breeze pervades the divine thuLasi which has been laid out on his divine crown, takes the fragrance from there and without entering any other entity, comes to the place where the nAyaki is present and blows there. The friend asks the nAyaki “Do you have the time for feeling sad?” The pAsuram says “mudi sUdu thuzhAy”. The reason for all the explanation thus far has been to indicate that the breeze approaches him [sarvESvaran], pervades the place fully and brings the fragrance to her.

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): By this, the pAsuram explains how those who were near AzhwAr comforted him [when he was suffering from separation from sarvESvaran] by telling him about the qualities of sarvESvaran lying in thiruppARkadal,  protecting the worlds by keeping them in his divine stomach and carrying out gOvardhanOddhAraNam (lifting the gOvardhana mountain) to protect the people. AzhwAr sustains himself by meditating on such qualities.

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thiruviruththam – 73 – vAl veNNilavu

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avathArikai (Introduction)

The moon rose to be a huge entity, harming the nAyaki, who swooned, unconsciously. Her mother, seeing this, said “Look at the disgrace which has befallen righteousness”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

vAl veNNilavu ulagArach churakkum veN thingaLenRum
pAl viNsuravi suramudhirmAlai paridhivattam
pOlum sudar adalAzhippirAn pozhilEzhu aLikkum
sAlbin thagaimaikolAm thamiyAtti thaLarndhadhuvE

Word-by-Word Meanings

veN thingaL enRum – being referred to as the whitish moon
viN – moving in the sky
suravi – cow
vAl veN – being very whitish
nilavu – moon
pAl – milk
ulagu – world, considered as the (receptor) vessel
Ara – to be full
surakkum – secreting
sura – secretion
mudhir – matured
mAlai – night time
thamiyAtti – this girl, without any support
thaLarndhadhu – has crumbled
paraidhivattam pOlum – looking like the sun’s halo
sudar – having radiance
adal – battle-ready
Azhi – one who has the divine disc
pirAn – sarvESvaran, who is the benefactor
Ezh pozhil – the seven worlds
aLikkum – protection
sAlbin – the eminence of protection
thagaimai kolAm – is it the true nature?

Simple Translation

This matured evening (night) is filling up the milk of whitish moon in the container of world. It also has the secretion of the cow which is roaming in the sky as moon. During this time, this girl, who is without anyone to help her, is lying in a crumbled state. Is this due to the nature of sarvESvaran who is having the divine disc which has the radiance of the halo of the sun, and who has the greatness of protecting all the worlds?

vyAkyAnam

vAl veNNilavu . . . – the nAyaki’s mother is having doubts on the capability of sarvESvaran in protecting people, after looking at her daughter’s oppressive state. Whitish moon, which looks like a cow, is in the sky, secreting its white light which looks like milk, into the world, which looks like a container for holding that milk.

viN suravi – the moon is  in the sky, ensuring that the deluge of the nAyaki’s oppression does not come anythere near it.

paridhi vattam . . . – there is an enemy for the moon in the sky. sarvESvaran who showers benefits on all, has the divine disc which has the radiance of sun’s halo and which is always battle-ready.

pozhil EzhaLikkum sAlbin thagaimai kolAm – is this the way of protecting, by one who is the protector of all the worlds? He is at the eminence of protecting all the worlds. Is this his nature? Those who considered him as the protection are in a good position. Even when deluge comes, those who have deep faith in him will escape. However, is this the way to protect, having his divine hands and divine disc? We offer our salutations to his earlier state of protection [this is said in derision].

thamiyAtti thaLarndhadhuvE – Will he, the protector be like this if someone within his sphere of protection remains like this [like the nAyaki]? The mother says that despite her [mother] being together [with the nAyaki], the nAyaki considers herself to be alone, without any support. This is because she considers only the sarvESvaran as the protector and the rest as those who worship other dhEvathAs (deities). In the last stages of one’s life, when the messengers of yama (the deity for righteousness) surround the person, they will not come for help. They will merely say “Whatever has been destined to happen, has to happen” and cause distress only.

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): This pAsuram states the doubt that those, who saw AzhwAr suffering from the distress due to separation,  had in the protective ability of sarvESvaran.

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thiruviruththam – 72 – sUzhginRa kangul

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avathArikai (Introduction)

When the nAyaki had to sustain herself by looking at objects which were similar to the nAyakan, during the time of separation, the night time entered and started tormenting her. When she was thinking “Who will protect me from the torment of separation?” chandhiran (chandhra – moon) appeared. piLLai amudhanAr used to narrate a story here. One ascetic brAhmaNa was walking through a forest when a cow started following him. He was wondering as to who will protect him from the cow when a tiger happened to come there; it killed the cow and ate it up. It then came in front of the brAhmaNa, twitching its tail. The brAhmaNa thought “I could have at the least saved my life from the cow. Now it appears that there is no way that I could survive this”. The nAyaki’s situation is similar to this.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

sUzhginRa kangul surungAviruLin karundhiNimbaip
pOzhginRa thingaL am piLLaiyum pOzhga thuzhAy malarkkE
thAzhginRa nenjaththoru thamiyAttiyEn mAmaikkinRu
vAzhginRavAru idhuvO vandhu thOnRiRRu vAliyadhE

Word-by-Word Meanings

sUzhginRa – pervading everywhere
kangul – caused by the night
surungA – not contracted (huge)
karu – being black
iruL – darkness’
thiNimbai – strength
pOzhginRa – splitting
am – being beautiful
piLLai – favourable like a son
thingaLum – chandhiran too
pOzhga – let him split
(only for that)
vAliyadhu – strong
vandhu thOnRiRRu – it rose up (in the sky)
thuzhAy malarkkE – only for the divine garland of thuLasi (worn by sarvESvaran)
thAzhginRa – languishing
nenjaththu – having heart
oru thamiyAttiyEn – I, who am lonely, without anyone to assist; my
mAmaikku – natural complexion
inRu – during this time
vAzhginRa ARu – the way I live
idhuvO – is it like this?

Simple Translation

Let chandhiran, who rose up to split the black coloured darkness which occurred in the night and which pervaded everywhere, split me too. The beautiful and strong chandhiran, who appeared like a son, seems to have risen up only for splitting me. I am alone, with no support, longing for the divine thuLasi garland worn by sarvESvaran, with a languishing heart. Is this the way to live for my complexion?

vyAkyAnam

sUzhginRa – just as praLayam (deluge) pervades everywhere, this [darkness] pervaded everywhere, without leaving a place where one can take rest away from it.

kangul surungA iruLin – the darkness of the night, without any contraction. There are limits when it is expected to come with full denseness and when it is expected to come without being dense. This did not follow that principle. It was fully dense.

karum thiNimbai – having a black colour. Through the word thiNimbai, strength is indicated. It is as if the petals outside the flower of darkness have been removed and the strong diamond-like darkness inside is manifested.

pOzhginRa . . . – chandhiran who comes splitting and tearing apart such darkness. Since I do not have any right over anything outside of myself, let that chandhiran harm me too.

pOzhginRa – darkness and chandhiran are natural enemies. Thus, in the presence of chandhiran, darkness, aside from being torn apart, is being destroyed physically. The strength of darkness and the youthful state of chandhiran are indicated.

thingaL am piLLai – chandhiran who is like a beautiful child. Initially he appears as a favourable entity, but later turns out to harm us. He is favourable since he is driving out darkness, but is a harmful entity because he reminds the nAyaki of her loneliness. SrI rAmAyaNam kishkindhA kANdam 1-71 “padhmakOSa palASAni dhrushtvA dhrishtir hi manyathE l sIthAyA nEthra kOSAbhyAm sadhruSAm ithi lakshmaNa ll” (Oh lakshmaNa! Since these petals of lotus flower are like the eyes of sIthA, when I look at them, I am reminded of her eyes and it hurts me) In other words, when one is in distress, differences are not noticed. Would it be proper for the tongue, which is supposed to eat only tasteful food, to eat poison? In other words, without realising the danger which is going to come from chandhiran, is it proper to call him as being beautiful? SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 43-24 says “paSya lakshmaNa …” (for the sake of this sIthA, I will catch that deer; protecting her is our duty), in other words dharSi saumithrI – look, lakshmaNa – they saw the situation at that point of time and did not think of what would happen later.

thuzhAy malarkkE . . .  – desiring to obtain the divine thuLasi garland which decorated his divine shoulder, and having a mind deeply engrossed with that.

thuzhAy malarkkE thAzhginRa – not thinking of the situation when it does not occur that way

oru thamiyAttiyEn – for her loneliness, even the loneliness of sithAppirAtti cannot equal. The nAyaki was distressed by both the dark night and chandhiran. The term oru (one) signifies that there is no simile for her condition.

mAmaikkinRu vAzhginRavARidhuvO – was it for this that we felt happy that chandhiran has come to remove the distress caused by the dark night?

vandhu thOnRiRRu vAliyadhE – she laments “Just as chandhiran came to get rid of the darkness of the night, isn’t there a sUriyan (sun) who would get rid of the chandhiran?”  She says that chandhiran himself would stay firmly and keep harming.

vAliyadhu – strong

The verses should be arranged this way to convey the sequential meaning: thingaL am piLLaiyum pOzhga – let that also come and harm; vandhu thOnRiRRu vAliyadhE – over and above that darkness, this chandhiran too appeared to harm; mAmaikkinRu vAzhginRavARidhuvO – is this the way for my complexion to survive?

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): Just as it has been said in periya thiruvandhAdhi 24 “iruLanna mAmEni” (divine form which resembles darkness), the dark night reminded AzhwAr of sarvESvaran’s divine form and tormented him. On top of that, chandhiran reminded him of sarvESvaran’s divine face and divine conch and tormented him even further.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 71 – UzhigaLAy

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avathArikai (Introduction)

The nAyakan who had clandestinely united with the nAyaki and separated from her, sends a few persons to sell fruits to the place where the nAyaki resides. These fruits resemble the complexion of his divine form and would help her to lessen her distress in separation. Looking at those fruits, the nAyaki sustains herself. Her mother notices this and chides her. The nAyaki tells her friends about this excessive act of her mother’s.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

UzhigaLAy ulagEzhum uNdAn enRilam pazham kaNdu
Azhi kaLAm pazhavaNNam enRERku ahdhE koNdu annai
nAzhivaLO enRum gyAlam uNdAn vaNNam solliRu enRum
thOzhigaLO uraiyIr emmai ammanai sUzhginRavE

Word-by-Word Meanings

UzhigaLAy – being the controller of all the worlds ruled by time
Ezhu ulagum – (during deluge) all the seven worlds
uNdAn – ate (to keep them in his stomach and protect them)
enRilam – we did not say that
pazham kaNdu – looking at the fruit
kaLAppazha vaNNam – the colour of berry fruit
Azhi –like the colour of ocean
enRERku – to me who said so
ahdhE koNdu – presuming another meaning for that word
annai – (my) mother
ivaL – this girl
nAzh – is clever
enRum – saying so
gyAlam – earth
uNdAn – one who swallowed
vaNNam – complexion
solliRRu – said
enRum – saying so
thOzhigaLO – Oh my friends!
emmai – regarding me
ammanai – mother
sUzhginRa – saying it repeatedly
(remedy for this)
uraiyIr – please tell

Simple Translation

Oh friends! I had not revealed the name of my nAyakan explicitly by saying “He is the lord of all the worlds ruled by time and he protected the seven worlds in his stomach during deluge”. Instead, looking at the colour of berry fruits, I had said “The colour of ocean is the colour of this fruit”. My mother, who listened to my words, said “This girl is very clever! She is referring to the complexion of the one who swallowed all the worlds” Please tell me a remedy since my mother is accusing me repeatedly and hurting me.

vyAkyAnam

UzhigaLAy Ezhulagum uNDAn enRilam – Had I said “During deluge, he swallowed and protected the seven worlds”, I could be accused of talking about him (sarvESvaran). However, I had not said “He is the controller of all entities such as time etc; he is the great benefactor who swallowed all these entities during deluge”. Those who say that sarvESvaran does not have auspicious qualities will give a different meaning to the words sathyam, gyAnam etc which are mentioned in thaiththirIya upanishath Anandhavallee “sathyam gyAnam anantham brahma” (the supreme entity is permanent, omniscient and unlimited). In the same way, the nAyaki too feels happy to praise the greatness of his auspicious qualities by saying indirectly about his complexion etc. She has a right to say this. Her mother too has a right to deny what the nAyaki had meant. The right for the nAyaki comes from the basis that she cannot remain quiet about someone who has carried out a beneficial act for her; one with intellect cannot keep quiet. Her mother, on the other hand, felt that the nAyaki’s thoughts would torment her later.  She thought that deep involvement with the qualities of a person would lead to worries later on.

pazham kaNdu – when one looks at an entity in this world, it is natural to identify it by its name. Whether it is ghatam (pot) or patam (cloth), it is called by its name. Is identifying a material by its name, an offence?

Azhi kaLAm pazhavaNNam enRERku – I merely said that the colour of the berry fruit is similar to the colour of the ocean. However, my mother presumed “She is talking about the one who has the complexion of ocean [sarvESvaran]”

ahdhE koNdu – Instead of accepting what I had said, she thought that there was an inner meaning to it.

annai – was she a mother right from the time of her birth? It appears that she had not grown up to the stage of a young girl (before becoming a mother). If there is a fault, it could be chided. But when there is no fault, is it proper to see as to who is controlling and who is being controlled?

nAzhivaLO enRum – we are seeing the fruits and speaking about them. Does she not understand what I am saying? Why is she taking a different meaning for it? Is she having a skill in talking meaninglessly? nAzh refers to skill.

What is the greatness of the nAyaki?

gyAlam uNdAn vaNNam solliRRu ennum – sarvESvaran had kept all the worlds during the time of deluge, inside his stomach to protect them. Reminiscing that quality, my daughter could not bear separation from that sarvESvaran.

thOzhigaLO uraiyIr – Oh friends! Don’t you stand with me in my happy moments and sad moments? You are not like my mother.

emmai ammanai sUzhginRavE – just like a snake in the house will torment even when it is not biting, whenever someone comes into the house or leaves the house, my mother is tormenting me.

sUzhginRa – my mother is exaggerating things three times. While I am seeing something and speaking about the same thing, my mother torments me saying that there is some other meaning to what I am saying. Only you have to offer me a remedy for this.

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): this pAsuram says that it is not possible to sustain oneself without looking at entities which are equivalent to sarvESvaran and that it is not possible to redeem someone who is having overflowing affection towards sarvESvaran.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 70 – vaLai vAy

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avathArikai (Introduction)

Due to the craving arising out of the desire of obtaining the garland of thuLasi which had been worn by SrIvaikuNanAthan [sarvESvaran], this pAsuram narrates the difficulty in spending time.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

vaLaivAyth thiruchchakkaraththu engaL vAnavanAr mudimEl
thaLaivAy narungaNNith thaNNandhuzhAykku vaNNam payalai
viLaivAn miga vandhu nAL thingaL ANdu Uzhi niRka emmai
uLaivAn pugundhu idhuvOr kangul Ayiram UzhigaLE

Word-by-Word Meanings

vaLai – being bent
vAy – having mouth
thiruchchakaraththu – having the divine disc
engaL – being our swAmy
vAnavanAr – sarvESvaran, who is the controller of paramapadham, his
mudimEl  – donned atop his divine crown
thaLaivAy – having the opportunity
naRu – having fragrance
thaN – being cool
am – being beautiful
kaNNI – strung as a garland
thuzhAykku – for the divine thuLasi
(desired by me, but feeling sad since it is not available)
vaNNamcolour
payalai viLaivAn – to make it become pale (losing colour)
idhu – this
Or – one
kangul – night
nAL – as a day
thingaL – as a month
ANdu – as a year
Uzhi niRka – as a kalpam (life time of brahmA), apart from transforming
emmai – us
uLaivAN – to trouble
migavandhu – increasing repeatedly
pugundhu – entering
Ayiram – many
UzhigaL – increased as kalpams

Simple Translation

I desired the cool, beautiful thuLasi garland which is fragrant and has the nice opportunity of decorating the divine crown of our lord sarvESvaran, who has the divine discus which has curved mouth and who is the controller of paramapadham. As a result of this, in order for the complexion in my form to lose its colour and become pale, this one night appears to extend beyond one day, one month, one year and many kalpams, troubling me.

vyAkyAnam

vaLaivAy thiruchchakaraththu – divine disc which has a bent mouth. Alternatively, one who has vaLai – SrI pAnchajanyam (divine conch) and vAy – divine disc which has mouth. Reference is made to SrI rAmAyaNa SlOkam yudhdha kANdam “thamasa: paramOdhAthA Sanka chakra gadhAdhara:” (one who is beyond the darkness of ignorance, one who is supreme and who adorns the divne weapons of conch, disc, mace etc).

engaL vAnavanAr mudimEl – having the opportunity of donning the divine crown of SrIvaikuNtanAthan who is having divine weapons, divine garlands and who is the lord of thripAdhvibhUthi (nithyavibhUthi, the spiritual realm) which is three times larger than leelA vibhUthi (materialistic realm); the garland has been strung by nithyasUris such as AdhiSEshan, garudan et al.

naRungaNNith thaNNandhuzhAykku – the divine garland of divine thuLasi which is fresh.

vaNNam . . . – desiring that divine garland, and becoming pale since it has not been obtained; losing colour.

miga vandhu . . . – the night which came, first became a day; that day then became a month; that month became a year; that year became a kalpam. Thus a single night extended to several kalpams, in order to torment me.

miga vandhu – each part came, getting worse than the previous. Thus, several nights came this way. How one night turned out to be!

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): this pAsuram explains the benefit that AzhwAr desired similar to the benefit which sIthAppirAtti attained in SrI rAmAyaNam as mentioned in ayOdhyA kANdam 16-21 “pathi sammAnithA sIthA” (sIthAppirAtti who was given a happy message by her husband) and how it became extremely difficult to spend time on not attaining that benefit.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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