Category Archives: thiruviruththam

thiruviruththam – 69 – kArERRiruL

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avathArikai (Introduction)

Next, dusk came and started tormenting her. Since the time after dusk is the happy time of night, and since the nAyakan had not come there to be with her, the nAyaki feels distressed. Her friend tells her “This is  not dusk. Two bulls are raring to fight with each other”, making her feel bewildered about time and trying to console her.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

kArERRiruL segilERRin sudarukku uLaindhu velvAn
pOrERRu edhirndhadhu punthalai mAlai bhuvaniyellAm
nIrERRaLandha nediya pirAn aruLAvidumE
vARERRiLa mulaiyAy varundhEl un vaLaiththiRamE

Word-by-Word Meanings

iruL darkness
kAr – black
ERu – bull
segil – reddish
ERRin – bull (refers to sUriyan (sUrya))
sudarukku – effulgence
uLaindhu – losing out
(hiding all along, now)
velvAn – to win (against that bull)
pOr – battle
ERRu – accepting that
pul – negligible
thalai – duration
mAlai – in the evening time (dusk)
edhirndhadhu – fought
bhuvaniyellAm – throughout the earth
nIr ERRu – accepting water (given as sign of giving alms, from mahAbali)
aLandha – one who seized
nediya – one who had unlimited friendliness
pirAn – sarvESvaran, the benefactor
aruLAvidumE – will he not shower his mercy?
vAr – with bodice
ERRu – being held
iLa mulaiyAy – Oh one who has youthful bosoms!
un vaLaiththiRam – regarding your bangles
varundhEl – do not grieve

Simple Translation

The bull of darkness had lost out to the bull of reddishly splendrous sUriyan. However, in order to win against that bull, it came during dusk, which lasts only briefly. Will sarvESvaran, who had accepted water, as a sign of receing alms from mahAbali, and measured all the worlds, not show his mercy on you at this time of dusk? Oh one has held her bosoms in a bodice! You need not grieve regarding your bangles.

vyAkyAnam

kArERRiruL – darkness looks like a black bull.

segilERRin sudarukku uLaindhu – surrendered to the rays of reddish bull, called as sUriyan, after losing to it. That dark bull told itself “Should we lose like this such that we would perish? We should also win once” and waged a fight with the reddish bull, donning the garland (or evening) [In thamizh language, both garland and evening are referred to by the same word, mAlai].

pun thalai mAlaisandhyA (dusk) time which lasts only briefly; dusk which has minute buds of embers of darkness. Is it possible to ascribe buds to evening? Just as it has been mentioned in the saying nakanibhasunjathiyAnthamOvallaya: where darkness is compared to a creeper, it is acceptable to say that darkness has buds.

bhuvani . . . – shouldn’t one, who knows sarvESvaran’s qualities, remain patiently? Is he not one who kept his divine foot, which are like the flowers for nithyasUris, on everyone’s head, without any reason, treating indhra as the cause for doing that way? Will he, who is the benefactor for all, leave you behind? Would one, who comes and helps entities who are engulfed by thamas (ignorance) and complain to him [reference is to indhra et al], remain idly when thamas (darkness) spreads in the world (during dusk)? Would one, who comes seeking alms to reclaim land which others claim as their own [mahAbali] leave you, who are his wealth, and that too when he does not have to seek alms? Would one, who does not let go of anything on this earth which is full of forests and highlands, let you to suffer? Would one, who hastened when the earth was in trouble, remain patiently when a lady is in trouble?

vArERRu iLa mulaiyAy – would he, who keeps his divine feet on forests and highlands, not keep them on your bosoms?

aruLAvidumE – would one, who transforms himself to help those who have the quality of sathvam (goodness) occasionally, not help you who is full of Sudhdha sathvam (pure goodness)?

bhuvani . . . – he is the great benefactor who feels that he has not done anything even after keeping his divine feet on the heads of everyone, when he measured the earth consequent to accepting water as a sign of taking alms.

aruLAvidumE – even if his affection for you is lost, would even his mercy, which is a corollary of his true nature, not be showered on you?

vArERRu iLamulaiyAy – oh one who has bosoms which have to be held by a bodice! Would he allow you to bear your bosoms which are to be borne either by the bodice or by him?

iLa mulaiyAy – though you have not reached adulthood, your bosoms are such that they have to be sustained by bodice. Just as children cry out for food during times of hunger, your bosoms are heaving, crying out for worldly pleasures.

varundhEl un vaLaiththiRamE – you do not have to grieve for the bangles slipping out of your hands. If you wish, you could grieve for entities on his hands slipping out. Just as it has been said in thiruppallANdu 2 “appAnchasanniyamum pallANdu” (long live that conch, pAnchajanyam), praise his conch [our bangles are representative of the conch since they are made of conch].

In the previous pAsuram, how AzhwAr sustained himself through the knowledge of sarvESvaran’s auspicious qualities and through sarvESvaran entering his mind, was mentioned. In this pAsuram he says that even that is not required; mere knowledge that he is the protector and we are the entities to be protected is sufficient. varundhEl un vaLaiththiRamE – this is similar to the saying in bhagavath gIthA 18-66 SlOkam “mA Sucha:” (do not grieve). Through the words aham thvA, the true nature of both (sarvESvaran and AzhwAr) has been explained and only after that has mA Sucha: been said.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 68 – malarndhE ozhindhila

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avathArikai (Introduction)

The nAyakan, who had united and later separated from the nAyaki, told her before leaving “I will come when the konRai flowers blossom (konRai is a tree belonging to the legume family, with elongated clusters of yellow flowers)” The konRai flowers started blossoming with the arrival of that season. Since the nAyakan had not returned, the nAyaki felt distressed. Her friend sees the flowers, knows that the season has arrived, but still tells her “They are only in the process of blossoming but have not blossomed yet. He will certainly return at the correct time; do not worry”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

malarndhE ozhindhila mAlaiyum mAlaippon vAsigaiyum
pulandhOy thazhaippandhal thaNduRa nARRip poru kadal sUzh
nilandhAviya emperumAn thanadhu vaigundham annAy
kalandhAr varavedhirkoNdu van konRaigaL kArththanavE

Word-by-Word Meanings

poru – agitating
kadal – ocean
sUzh – surrounded by
nilam – bhUmi (earth)
thAviya – one who measured
emperumAn thanadhu – sarvESvaran’s
vaigundham annAy – one who is (enjoyable) like SrIvaikuNtam!
van – being cruel
konRaigaL – konRai trees
kalandhAr – sarvESvaran who united (with you)
varavu – arrival
edhir koNdu – expecting
kArththana – are forming buds
mAlaiyum – as garlands (string)
mAlai – made as garland
pon vAsigaiyum – golden strings
pulam – on the earth
thOy – falling
thazhai – well grown
pandhal – as a bower
thaNdu – in the branches
uRa – fitting
nARRi – making it to hang
malarndhEyozhindhila – have not blossomed fully

Simple Translation

Oh one who gives joy like SrIvaikuNtam which belongs to sarvESvaran, who had measured this earth surrounded by agitating oceans! The cruel konRai trees are waiting with buds, for the arrival of sarvESvaran who had united with you. They are not seen with blossomed flowers on their branches which come down like strings of garlands or garlands with golden strings, to the ground from the bower on which they have spread.

vyAkyAnam

malarndhE ozhindhila – the friend tells nAyaki “This is not the season when he said he would return” The nAyaki tells her “How do you say so even after seeing that the flowers have blossomed?” The friend says “You could only see them trying to blossom; they have not blossomed fully”

mAlai . . . – only if they come down in strings as garlands or as golden strings through those garlands, could one say that they have blossomed. They should come down to the earth in such a way that those who see them would have their sensory organs stolen by them.

poru kadal – [friend’s words] aren’t you matching his indestructible nithyavibhUthi (spiritual realm)? Will he allow you to get destroyed? He has one vibhUthi (leelA vibhUthi) which keeps getting formed and destroyed repeatedly and one vibhUthi (nithya vibhUthi) which is indestructible.  Measuring this earth which is surrounded by ocean, he is the lord who brought all the worlds under him.

thanadhu vaigundham annAy – is it possible for you not to have svarUpa gyAnam (knowledge about your true nature)? Aren’t you matching his nithyavibhUthi? Only if he gives up that nithyavibhIUthi, would he give you up too. Will he allow you to get distressed?

kalandhAr – even if he does not know your true nature, will he not know his true nature? Would he, who had united with you and knows your importance, let go of you? Know well that his identity is that he is kalandhAr (one who united with you).

varavedhir koNdu – even plants which do not know any distinction between correct and incorrect, were ready to blossom as mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam SlOkam “akAlapalinO vrukshA” (thought it was not the season, trees blossomed flowers). Thus, when these flowers are waiting for the arrival of nAyakan to blossom, why are you upset?

van konRaigaL – the konRai trees were anxiously waiting, deciding to blossom only when he comes and not otherwise

kArththana – they formed buds. When the embryo is formed, it would change colour. This indicates that. It could also be taken to refer to rainy season.

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): this pAsuram states how those who were nearby comforted AzhwAr, saying that due to his knowledge of sarvESvaran’s auspicious qualities and due to the fact that sarvESvaran had entered his mind, sarvESvaran will not remain without coming during the time which is apt for enjoyment.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 67 – kAviyum neelamum

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avathArikai (Introduction)

In this pAsuram too, the nAyakan keeps talking about the beauty of her eyes.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

kAviyum neelamum vElum kayalum palapalavenRu
Aviyin thanmai aLavalla pArippu asuraichcheRRa
mAviyam puL valla mAdhavan gOvindhan vEngadam sEr
thUviyam pEdai annAL kaNgaLAya thuNai malarE

Word-by-Word Meanings

asurai – demons
seRRa – one who annihilated
mA – having greatness
viyam – having amazing activities
puL – garuda
valla – capable of conducting (as his vehicle)
mAdhavan – Sriya:pathi (consort of SrI mahAlakshmi)
gOvindhan – sarvESvaran, who tends to cows, his
vEngadam – in his divine abode of thiruvEngadam
sEr – living permanently
am – beautiful
thUvi – having wings
pEdai annALnAyaki who is like a female swan
kaNgaLAya – called as eyes
thuNai – together
malar – like flowers (these)
pArippu – spread
kAviyum – red lily
neelamum – blue lily
vElum – spear
kayalum – fish
palapala – and various other entities
venRu – emerging victorious
Aviyin – AthmA’s
thanmai – svabhAvam (true nature)
aLavalla – cannot be contained (it will go beyond)

Simple Translation

This nAyaki is like a female swan which is permanently residing in thiruvEngadam. This is the abode of sarvESvaran, who conducts garuda who annihilates demons. He has great eminence and has amazing activities, who has SrI mahAlakshmi constantly on his chest and who tends to cows. Such nAyaki’s eyes are like flowers which match each other well. Their expansive nature wins over many entities such as red lily, blue lily, spear, fish etc and are beyond the nature of AthmA.

vyAkyAnam

kAviyum . . . – If one were to look for an entity which matches her eyes, one has to refer to SrI rAmAyaNam bAla kANdam 1-18 “vishNunA sadhruSA: vIryE sOmavath priya dharSana: kAla agni sadhruSA: krOdha kshamayA prithvI samA:” (matching SrI mahAvishNu in valour, chandhiran (chandhra – moon) in attracting others, agni in anger, bhUmi (earth) in patience); as mentioned in this SlOkam, in each attribute, one has to compare with several entities and even then, one will have a doubt whether these would be an exact match for that attribute. In this SlOkam, in the verse vishNunA sadhrusO vIryE he compared parathvam (supreme) only to the quality of valour. Here, it is not so. By its [eye’s] reddish colour it was superior to red lily, by its dark colour it was superior to blue lily, by its sharpness it was superior to a spear and by its innocence it was superior to fish; thus it was superior to several entities.

Aviyin thanmai aLavalla pArippu – is destroying entities such as flowers etc, which will in any case get destroyed in course of time, a sign of victory? The eyes are capable of destroying even AthmA which is indestructible.

Aviyin thanmai aLavalla – not stopping merely with the entity of AthmA, going towards the entity which is the sustaining force for it – in other words, her limbs are capable of bewildering even sarvESvaran.

asurai . . . – one who is capable of conducting garuda who destroys the demons along with their clan, who is  great and is equivalent to emperumAn himself, having amazing activities.

mAdhavan – more than the greatness of being the conductor of garuda, sarvESvaran has the greatness of being the consort of SrI mahAlakshmi.

gOvindhan – due to that union with SrI mahAlakshmi, he is simple to attain; that simplicity made him come down to thirumalai and be easily approachable to his followers, making that easy approachability as a sign of supremacy. The nAyaki is like thUviyampEdai  – the female swan which has beautiful wings, which will live only in that thiruvEngadam, belonging to gOvindhan and not in any other place. Alternatively, thUviyampEdai could refer to SrI mahAlakshmi, and in this case, nAyaki is similar to SrI mahAlakshmi. What is the necessity to speak about garudavAhanan, lakshminAthan et al? He wanted to talk about sarvESvaran’s easy approachability, spoke about supremacy which is the basis for the quality of easy approachability and finally he came into the  boundary of simplicity.

kaNgaLAya thuNai malarE – being referred to as eyes, they became two flowers which matched each other.

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): AzhwAr is enjoying the pAsuram of SrivaishNavAs who say that as per AzhwAr there is no limit to those who enjoy the simplicity of one who stands in thirumalai [sarvESvaran].

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 66 – uNNAdhu uRangAdhu

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avathArikai (Introduction)

This pAsuram also reveals the words spoken by the nAyakan who is engaged with the beauty of the nAyaki’s eyes.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

uNNAdhu uRangAdhu uNarvuRum eththanai yOgiyarkkum
eNNAy miLirum iyalvinavAm eri nIr vaLi vAn
maNNAgiya emperumAn thanadhu vaigundhamannAL
kANNAy aruvinaiyEn uyirAyina kAvigaLE

Word-by-Word Meanings

eri – for fire
nIr – for water
vaLi – for air
vAn – for sky
maN – for earth
Agiya – as indwelling soul
emperumAn thanadhu – for emperumAn who is my benefactor, his wealth
vaigundham annAL – she, who is like SrIvaikuNtam (having enjoyability)
kaNNAy – being called as eyes
aru – cruel
vinaiyEn – I, having sins
uyirAyina – life-giving airs
kAvigaL – red water lily
uNNadhu – foregoing food
uRangAdhu – foregoing sleep
uNarvu – knowledge (about true nature of AthmA)
uRum – those who have attained
eththanai yOgiyarkkum – for even the distinguished people who carry out meditation
eNNAy – to think about
miLirum – being radiant
iyalvinavAm – they have that nature

Simple Translation

She is like SrIvaikuNtam, which is the abode of sarvESvaran who remains as the indwelling soul of the five elements, fire, water, air, sky and earth.Her two eyes are like red water lily and are the life sustaining airs for me.  Her eyes, which are radiant, are such that even great yOgis, who keep constantly meditating on sarvESvaran, foregoing their food and sleep, would keep thinking of.

vyAkyAnam

uNNadhu . . . – unable to sustain themselves through the pleasures available in this world, with the intellect that this world and its materials are to be renounced, being firm in their minds that only the AthmA which is the goal to be attained is apt, considering that even that entity AthmA is not independent but a conduit for obtaining knowledge about sarvESvaran – even for such yOgis

eNNAy miLirum iyalvinavAm – if such people, as described above, were to become the target of these eyes, even they will discard the supreme entity who they can attain as their nature, and consider these eyes as eminent.

eri . . . – the causal factors of the five elements are representative of the effect factors too [whatever is enjoyed through these five entities]. sarvESvaran has all these as his wealth.

emperumAn – sarvESvaran’s vibhUthis (spiritual and materialistic realms) are the benefits for one. Apart from his auspicious qualities, his vibhUthis are also apt for him.

thanadhu vaigundham annAL – unlike the materialistic realm which is created and destroyed repeatedly, she is like his nithyavibhUthi (SrivaikuNtam) which is never destroyed and which is his natural abode as well as confidential to him.

kaNNay . . . – when such a lady came near me, her eyes, which are the most important limb in her form, which are like the entity AthmA which does not change or does not get destroyed, and which, unlike the AthmA, remain independent and cause harm, indeed harmed me.

aruvinaiyEn – I have carried out such sinful activities that the entity which should protect me, is harming me.

uyirAyina kAvigaLE – when they are with her, they remain as her eyes; when she comes near me, they are like my life.

uyirAyina kAvigaLE – it appeared as if life took a form to harm me.

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): Thus, for the SrIvaishNavas who are enjoying the SrIvaishNavaSrI  (wealth of service to sarvESvaran) of AzhwAr, this gives their position of dhEvum maRRaRiyEn (we do not know of any other deity). They cherish him because of connection with sarvESvaran. This states how his SrIvaishNavaSrI is so complete that they do not cherish sarvESvaran but cherish him. Those who are engaging with charamAvathi (ultimate position) will not engage with prathamAvathi (primary position) [in other words, AchAryan takes precedence over sarvESvaran, which is the underlying principle of SrIvaishNavam]

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 65 – kaRRuppiNai

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avathArikai (Introduction)

The nAyakan, caught in the glance of nAyaki, narrates how her eyes harmed him.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

kaRRuppiNai malarkkaNNin kulam venRu OrOkarumam
uRRuppayinRu seviyodusAvi ulagamellAm
muRRum vizhungi umizhndha pirAnAr thiruvadikkIzh
uRRumuRAdhum miLirndha kaNNAy emmai uNginRavE

Word-by-Word Meanings

kanRu – being youthful
piNai – doe’s [female deer’s]
malarndha – blossomed
kaNNin – eyes’
kulam – gathering
venRu – being victorious
OrO karumam – one task
uRRu – determining
payinRu – attempting (to do that)
seviyodu – with ears
usAvi – discussing (that task)
ulagamellAm – all the worlds
muRRum – completely
vizhungi – swallowing (during the time of deluge)
umizhndhu – spitting out (during the time of creation)
pirAnAr – benefactor, sarvESvaran’s
thiruvadikkIzh – under his divine feet
uRRum – fitting (with me)
uRAdhum – not fitting
miLirndha – looking radiantly
kaNNAy – having the name ‘eyes’
emmai – us
uNginRa – (two entities) are harming me

Simple Translation

The eyes of the nAyaki, emerging victorious over the eyes of a rangale of deer [a herd of deer], determining to carry out a job and attempting to carry it out, engaged in a discussion with her ears. Despite being present under the divine feet of sarvESvaran who benefitted the worlds by swallowing them (during the time of deluge) and by spitting them out (during the time of creation), the two entities of the nAyaki, called as eyes, are engaging and disengaging with me, harming me in the bargain.

vyAkyAnam

kaRRuppiNaimalar – deer which is young; the eyes of such a young deer.

malarkkaN – eyes which are like flowers, viz. well opened eyes.

kulam venRu – being victorious over the eyes of all young deer.

OrO karumam . . . – thinking of a specific task only, and discussing with ears on that specific task. Instead of engaging with several tasks at the same time, without attachment with any of those, thinking intently about one task alone; just as it has been mentioned in SrI bhagavath gIthA 10-9bOdhayantha: parasparam” (discussing with each other), glancing at only the nAyakan. When he looks at her, she will change her glance and appear to look elsewhere, just as it has been mentioned in thirukkuRaL 1094 “yAnOkkungAlai nilan nOkkum nOkkAkAl thAn nOkki mella nagum” (when I look at her, she will avoid my look and look at the ground below; when I am not looking at her, she will look at me and smile gently).

ulagamellAm . . . – despite being under the divine feet of the protector of all the worlds. The eyes will cause harm in spite of being under his boundary.

uRRum uRAdhum miLirndha – the eyes will look at him, questioningly. If he looks at her with ecstasy, they [the eyes] will change their glance to some other direction and shine lustrously.

kaNNay emmai uNginRavE – A harmful object, allegedly called as eyes, will harm me.

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): This is the situation of SrivaishNavas who are looking at AzhwAr’s situation. The verse kaRRuppiNaimalarkkaNNin kulam venRu refers to innocence regarding what is to be done. OrO karumam uRRup payinRu refers to prapaththi (SaraNAgathi, the act of surrendering to sarvESvaran). Is this not related to knowledge? How is there a connection with the previously stated innocence? Even though prapaththi is manifestation of knowledge, there is a lack of focus in it, due to innocence. The act of prapaththi arises out of one’s true nature as a jIvAthmA and is not to be considered as an effort taken by the jIvAthmA to attain the means.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 64 – irukkAr mozhiyAl

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avathArikai (Introduction)

In the earlier pAsuram AzhwAr had said that sarvESvaran had glanced at him with his divine eyes and showered his mercy on him. He analysed this saying “Why did he glance at me with his divine eyes instead of at his favourable ones?” He concludes saying “I had recited his divine names superficially and not even wholeheartedly. It could be because of this”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

irukkAr mozhiyAl neRi izhukkAmai ulagaLandha
thiruththALiNai nilaththEvar vaNanguvar yAmum avA
orukkA vinaiyodum emmodum nondhu kaniyinmaiyil
karukkAy kadippavar pOl thirunAmachchol kaRRanamE

Word-by-Word Meanings

irukku – being mentioned in rig vEdham (one of the four parts of sacred texts)
Ar – completely (explaining the true nature of supreme entity)
mozhiyAl – with purusha sUktham
neRi – the supreme path of worshipping supreme entity
izhukkAmai – without mistake
nilaththEvar – SrIvaishNavas, who are referred to as the dhEvathAs (celestial entities) of earth
ulagu – world
aLandha – one  which measured
thiruththALiNai – divine feet
vaNanguvar – will worship [and attain]
yAmum – we too
avA – desire
orukkA – not allowing to reach
vinaiyodum – with sins
emmodum – and with us
(looking at these two true natures)
nondhu – grieving
kani inmaiyil – due to absence of fruit
karukkAy – unripened fruit
kadippavar pOl – those who eat
thirunAmachchol – divine names without following the meanings
kaRRanamE – learnt

Simple Translation

brAhmaNas who are referred to as celestial entities on earth, keep worshipping the two divine feet [of  sarvESvaran] which measured all the worlds, through purusha sUktham seen in rig vEdham, which explains the true nature of the supreme entity, without transgressing from the path of righteousness. We grieve at our sins and our nature which are a hurdle to realise our desire of worshipping in a similar way. Consequently, we learnt only to recite the divine names of sarvESvaran, just as those who eat only unripened fruit since ripened fruit is not available.

vyAkyAnam

irukkAr mozhiyAl – Due to the distinguished knowledge of those who had carried out prapaththi (SaraNAgathi, or act of surrendering) to SarvESvaran, through the lines mentioned in rig vEdham, the lands where crops grow to a meagre extent as well as arid lands became fully grown lands. The vyAkyAthA says that there is no need to feel bewildered that in vEdhams, terms such as Sambhu et al denote rudhra, brahmA et al as eminent entities. This is because the distinguished divine word of nArAyaNan as mentioned in places describing sarvESvaran’s svarUpam, rUpam, guNam, vibhUthi (true nature, divine form, auspicious qualities and wealth respectively) is superior to everything else. In other words, he says that in nArAyaNa anuvAkam, only sarvESvaran is spoken of. In yajur AraNyakam, the verse sarvE vEdhA yathraikambhavathi refers to the fact that only nArAyaNan is being recited in everything [including the defining names of all entities]. Since all the terms which refer to eminent entities in this nArAyaNa anuvAkam speak only about nArAyaNan, it should be considered that all the terms refer only to him.

neRi izhukkAmai – not deviating from bhagavath ArAdhanam (worshipping of sarvESvaran), which is the path of righteousness,

ulagaLandha thiruththAliNai – his nature is such that he would say “Whether these entities (both sentient and insentient) do or do not know, these are all my property; I will not let go of them”. When all the entities were not even aware of, did he not redeem them all, by measuring everyone and everything?

nilaththEvar vaNanguvar – though the brAhmaNAs are living in this samsAram  (materialistic world), just as they have been referred to in thiruviruththam 79 viNNuLArilum sIriyar (they are more eminent than nithyasUris), they are considered as dhEvathAs [celestial entities] on earth.

yAmum – I, who am not having knowledge on SAsthrams just like they have

avA orukkAvinaiyodum emmodum – my sins prevent me from engaging with matters related to sarvESvaran with the same desire which I have towards worldly matters. I am grieving about those sins and about me, who is having those sins. Grieving because of the fact that these are there and I am there, carrying on with these sins.

kani inmaiyil karukkAy kadippavar pOl – even though I do not have the qualification which they have in worshipping, without deviating from the path of righteousness, I recited only the divine names, just as one who does not have access to fruits, eats only the unripened ones.

thirunAmachchol kaRRanamE – even when I recited those divine names, I did so without knowing their meanings. I had not even known their greatness. However, sarvESvaran showered his mercy upon me, without any reason.

Alternative explanation:

avA . . . – there is a sin which enables the desire which is there for worldly matters to be diverted towards matters related to sarvESvaran. It is referred to as bhakthi [devotion]. Could bhakthi be termed as sin? Since it is the cause for suffering when one does not attain bhagavAn, it can be termed as a sin.

kani inmaiyil karukkAy kadippavar pOl – just as those who eat the unripened fruit when ripened ones are not available, AzhwAr had to make do with reciting divine names. He wanted to see sarvESvaran with his eyes and embrace him with his hands.  In such a situation, what could he do with only reciting of divine names?  There is another interpretation for the word kani inmai. Just as people would eat an unripened fruit before it becomes ripened, before nithyasUris could enjoy him [sarvESvaran], AzhwAr destroyed him by only speaking about him.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 63 – vaNNam sivandhuLa

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avathArikai (Introduction)

She had asked him whether it was correct (muRaiyO?) in the previous pAsuram. The nAyakan came immediately and looked at her with comforting eyes.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

vaNNam sivandhuLa vAnAdamarum kuLir vizhiya
thaNmen kamalaththadam pOl polindhana thAm ivaiyO
kaNNan thirumAL thirumugam thannOdum kAdhal seydhERku
eNNam pugundhu adiyEnOdu ikkAlam irukkinRavE

Word-by-Word Meanings

vaNNam – due to colour
sivandhuLa – becoming red
vAn nAdu – nithyasUris who are in paramAkASam (SrIvaikuNtam)
amarum – to sustain
kuLir – refreshing
vizhiya – having glance
thaN – being cool
mel – being soft
kamalam – lotus flowers which have blossomed
thadam pOla – like a pond
polindhana – being splendorous
ivaidham – these divine eyes
thirumAL – being SrIya:pathi (consort of SrI mahAlakshmi)
kaNNan – purushOththaman (best among all chEthanas), who is obedient to his followers
thirumugam thannOdu – with the divine face
(in that matter)
kAdhal seydhERku – one who is desirous, my
eNNam – with that intention
pugundhu –  entered [on their own]
adiyEnodu – with me, the servitor
ikkAlam – during the present time
irukkinRavE – are present

Simple Translation

The eyes [of sarvESvaran] are reddish in colour, are the sustaining force for nithyasUris who are in SrIvaikuNtam due to their refreshingly cool glance and are splendorous like cool, soft lotus flowers which have blossomed in a pond. These eyes entered my heart on their own, when I was with the intention of desiring the divine face of Sriya:pathi, the obedient kaNNan, and are present without leaving me.

vyAkyAnam

vaNNam sivandhuLa – the divine eyes of sarvESvaran are reddish as a natural corollary of not having seen AzhwAr. With this term vaNNam sivandhuLa, it is opined that these were like this even earlier. The distress of separation is similar to what SrI rAma had said in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 66-10 “najIvEyam kshaNamapi” (I cannot live even for a moment (without sIthAppirAtti)). The implication is that the reddishness in the eyes which happened due to not seeing AzhwAr, has now gone.

vAnAdu amarum kuLir vizhiya – those in thripAdhvibhUthi (SrIvaikuNtam which is three times bigger than leelAvibhUthi, the materialistic realm) sustain themselves through these divine eyes. The divine eyes are cool, so that they [nithyasUris] could sustain themselves. Sustenance for them is through eating, dressing and living, because of the divine eyes. They are dhArakam, pOshakam and bhOgyam (water as sustaining material, food as nourishment and betel leaves as enjoyment) for nithyasUris.

 thaN . . . – the divine eyes appear like a pond whose surface is full of just blossomed lotus flowers which are cool and soft.

thAmivaiyO – just as it has been mentioned in chAndhOgya upanishath 1-6-7 “thasya yathA kapyAsam puNdarIkam Evam akshiNI”, we have heard through those who recite vEdhams that sarvESvaran’s divine eyes are like just blossomed lotus flowers. Would they be like these?

kaNNan thirumAL – should be rearranged as thirumAL kaNNan – Sriya:pathi, the consort of SrI mahAlakshmi, who is like an obedient attendant of his followers.

thirumugam thannOdum kAdhal seydhERku – for me who had desired that such nAyakan should come with his beautiful, divine face and glance at me with his cool divine eyes.

eNNam pugundhu – entering, as I had intended. Alternatively, considering my desire as his own.

adiyEnodu – AzhwAr says as in jithanthE SlOkam 1 “jitham” (success to you). The true nature of the word aham (I) appears to be adiyEn (your servitor). The term adiyEn has two meanings: AzhwAr says that he has lost out to the beauty of the divine eyes and has become a servant. adiyEn also refers to the natural servitude (of jIvAthmA). What is the pramANam (authentic source) for saying that servitude is the natural quality of jIvAthma? thaiththirIya upanishath nArAyaNavalli 5-1 says “OmithyAthmAnam yunjItha” (one should meditate on AthmA, by reciting the praNava manthram, Om) as well as in the vEdhic saying OnkArO bhagavAn vishNu – vishNu is identified by the manthram Om.

ikkAlam – I do not know if the reason for the benefit that I had attained [of his divine eyes entering me] had happened earlier.

irukkinRavE – just as it has been said in chAdhOgya upanishath 8-15 “na cha punarAvarthathE ” (those who reach SrIvaikuNtam do not return), it appears as if mOksham has been attained. It appeared that he would not separate again from her. It appeared that he had come right in front of her.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 62 – iRaiyO irakkinum

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avathArikai (Introduction)

In the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr was reminiscing about krishNavathAram. He felt saddened that he had not been born in this world, during that time. Due to the pain of this separation, he returned to his earlier feminine mood (as nAyaki). Her mother says that the sounds of the ocean aggravated her distress of separation.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

iRaiyO irakkinum IngOr peNpAl enavum irangAdhu
aRaiyO ena ninRu adhirum karungadal IngivaL than
niRaiyO ini un thiruvaruLAl anRik kApparidhAl
muRaiyO aravaNaimEl paLLi koNda mugil vaNNanE

Word-by-Word Meanings

karum kadal ocean which has a dark complexion
irakkinum – even if beseeched
Or – without any support
peNpAl enavum – even if the person happens to be a lady
Ingu – in her matters
iRai – even a little bit
irangAdhu – is not taking pity
aRaiyO ena – like those who make a huge noise
ninRu – remaining firmly
adhirum – it is making a noise
O – Oh, how cruel!
aravaNai mEl – on top of the mattress, AdhiSEshan
paLLikoNda – one who has reclined
mugil vaNNanE – Oh lord, who has the complexion of cloud!
Ingu – at this place
ivaL than – her
niRaiyO – modesty
ini – henceforth
un thiruvaruLAl anRi – other than by your mercy (with any other entity)
kAppu aridhu – difficult to protect
muRaiyO – (is this) apt?

Simple Translation

The dark ocean, despite being beseeched by her, is not taking any pity on her, even though she is without any support. The ocean is like those who are making a war-cry, being very firm. How cruel is this! Oh lord, who is having the complexion of cloud and who is reclining on the mattress, AdhiSEshan! Her situation is such that she cannot be protected by anything other than your mercy, henceforth. Is her condition proper?

vyAkyAnam

irakkinum IngOr peNpAl enavum iRaiyO irangAdhu – this ocean is not taking even a little bit of pity on her despite her falling at its feet, saying “taking refuge is indeed a great act which manifests her state”, despite hinting “she is without any help and has no other refuge”. This is similar to revealing our weakness to those who harm us, thus giving them an opportunity to harm us even more. vyAkyAthA cites SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam SlOkam 21-8 “adhya mE maraNam vAtha tharaNam sAgarasya vA” (Sri rAma says that today either he should cross the ocean or die). Even after SrI rAma performed SaraNAgathi (surrendered) to the king of ocean, he did not come. However, the moment he strung the arrow on his bow, he came helter-skelter. Thus, the ocean will not take pity for SaraNAgathi, but will, for the arrow. It will not consider SaraNAgathi but will take pity when faced with death.

aRaiyO ena ninRu adhirum kadal – the ocean behaved like sugrIva who sounded the war-cry on vAli saying “Will you come out of your hiding to fight with me?”

karum kadal – the ocean appears as if its anger inside is visible on its surface. Just as the saying goes “sivappum karuppum sinam” (red and black colours are manifestation of anger)

Ingu . . . – the modesty of this girl who is in such a distressed state.

un thiruvaruL anRik kApparidhAl – she has lost her senses due to her deep love for you; without your mercy, which is the manifestation of your true nature, she will not revive. She has crossed the stage when she could have corrected herself, due to fear of being ridiculed by the people of the town.

muRaiyO – SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 39-30 says “thath thasya sadhruSam bhavEth” ((sIthAppirAtti tells hanuman) if SrI rAma comes here and takes me with him after destroying lankA, it will be appropriate for his valour). Instead of waiting like that for him, here, the nAyaki is calling out to him to protect her; this is her situation now.

aravaNai . . . – her beauty and the arrangement of the mattress are such that even if she had dressed herself in saffron robe (indicating renunciation) she should have been accepted.

aravaNai mEl – while she is lying on the hard floor, you are looking out for a soft mattress.

mugil vaNNanE – when a person was reading out this line, embAr (disciple and successor of ramAnujar) [sarcastically] told him “even after she has called out so much, if he is not going to turn in her direction, he should be a great sage. Hence, instead of saying mugil vaNNan, call him as mugil vaNNar (the end syllable ar in vaNNar is an honorific term, indicating respect while the end syllable an in vaNNan indicates someone who is of same status or lower status). Even if one gets hit with stick, the person who is hitting should be addressed respectfully” embAr is one who takes delight in the togetherness of perumAL and pirAtti; here, he takes the side of pirAtti when they are separated [and shows his anger on perumAL who is delaying in uniting with pirAtti].

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): This pAsuram illustrates how the distress in separation makes one to destroy one’s svarUpam (true nature) to attain the end benefit, instead of waiting for the appropriate time, in line with one’s svarUpam.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 61 – vAsagam seyvadhu

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avathArikai (Introduction)

In the previous pAsuram, the nAyaki’s mother, after hearing her saying “perumAn malaiyO thiruvEngadam enRu kaRkinRa vAsagamE” elucidated it. On hearing this explanation, AzhwAr returned to his original form [from his feminine form]. Once he realises his true nature, since he is always engaged with krishNAvathAram, he is once again amazed [at the simplicity of that avathAram] .

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

vAsagam seyvadhu nam paramE thollai vAnavar tham
nAyagan nAyagar ellAm thozhumavan gyAlam muRRum
vEyagamAyinum sOrAvagai iraNdE adiyAl
thAyavan AykkulamAy vandhu thOnRiRRu nam iRaiyE

Word-by-Word Meanings

thollai vAnavar tham – for nithyasUris who have been present from time immemorial
nAyagan – as the lord
nAyagar ellAm – all entities such as brahmA et al
thozhumavan – being worshipped
gyAlam muRRum – entire world
vEy agam Ayinum – sufficient space for planting bamboo pole
sOrA vagai – not leaving [even that]
iraNdE adiyAl – with only two steps
thAyavan – one who measured
nam iRai – Sriya:pathim (consort of SrI mahAlakshmi), being our lord
AykkulamAy – in the clan of herdsfolk
vandhu thOnRiRRu – that he came and incarnated
vAsagam seyvadhu – to narrate it
nam paramE – is it possible for us?

Simple Translation

Is it possible for us to speak about the incarnation, in the clan of herdsfolk, of one who is the lord of nithyasUris who have been present from time immemorial, who is worshipped by brahmA who is the lord of celestial entities, who measured this world with just two steps without leaving space even for a bamboo pole to be planted and who is our lord?

vyAkyAnam

vAsagam seyvadhu nam paramE – apart from being unconscious, as mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 1-3-1 “eththiRam” (how amazing!), is it possible for us to praise sarvESvaran? Why can’t we praise him through pAsurams? . . .

thollai vAnavar – just as it has been mentioned in achchidhram 42 “prathamajAyEpurANA:” (they have been here from the beginning) he is the controller of nithyasUris.

AykkulamAy vandhu thOnRiRRu vAsagam seyvadhu nam paramE –  without any distinction between vEdhams (sacred texts) and those who follow the vEdhams, none can speak about him. vEdhams, which desired to speak about his quality of happiness, returned empty handed, as mentioned in thaiththirIya upanishath 6 “yathO vAchO nivarthanthE” (mind and words came back without being able to speak). purusha sUktham says “thasya dhIrA: parijAnanthi yOnim” (only those who are well versed would know about his incarnations)

thasya yOnim: sarvESvaran is without any karma (result of sin or virtue from past deeds). Yet, due to his quality of simplicity, he takes birth; the most prominent among wise will not know about it despite engaging deeply with it; they will keep coming back repeatedly, trying to immerse in it. sarvESvaran himself says, as in SrI bhagavath gIthA 4-9 “janmakarmacha mE dhivyam” (my birth and karma are divine) and in SrI bhagavath gIthA 7-24 “parambhAvam” (superior state). For AzhwAr, to remain unconsicious, being amazed at his simplicity, is a naturally occurring phenomenon.

thollai vAnavar tham nAyagan – he is superior to nithyasUris

nAyagar ellAm thozhumavan – even celestial entities such as brahmA et al, who take pride in saying “We control the fourteen worlds” will remove that pride from their minds and worship him. They, who are termed as being without a birth, will worship sarvESvaran who takes birth in this world. They, who are not visible to human beings, will come after the killing of demon rAvaNa and worship him.

gyAlam . . . – he took over the entire area of earth, without leaving space for even planting a bamboo shoot, with his two steps. Just as dhuryOdhanan had said “I will not give pAndavas, the space even for planting a bamboo shoot”, sarvESvaran, for the sake of his follower indhra, said that he will not give mahAbali even the space for planting a bamboo shoot.

iraNdE adiyAl thAyavan – he took three steps of land as alms from mahAbali and measured the entire space with two steps, keeping the third step on mahAbali’s head to imprison him.

AykkulamAy vandhu thOnRiRRu – he had taken hold of the entire earth under his divine foot and came down to earth as the child of one of the entities caught under his divine foot. Is it possible to praise this simplicity through a pAsuram?

AykkulamAy – just as bruhadhAraNyaka upanishath 5-5 says “bAlyEnathishtAsEth” (leaving aside the qualities of silence and not being silent, one becomes a brahmA gyANi (knowing about sarvESvaran)), if a samsAri gains even a little bit of wisdom, he will not manifest his expertise. When such is the case, what is surprising when sarvESvaran, who is omniscient, hides all his supreme nature etc and does not reveal about himself? SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANda, 1-7 says “jagyE vishNu: sanAthana:” (vishNu, the eternal entity, was indeed born) – when those who attained him and those who have been there from time immemorial do not take birth here, is it possible to praise him when he is born here?

vandhu thOnRiRRu – didn’t SrI vishNu purANam 5-3-2 say “AvirbhUtham” (he appeared)? [bhagavAn’s incarnations are unlike AthmAs assuming bodies, by their karma]

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 60 – mulaiyO muzhumuRRum

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avathArikai (Introduction)

In the previous pAsuram, she [the nAyaki] had said “thaLapperu nINmuRuval seyyavAya thadamulai vaLapperu nAdan madhusUdhan ennum”. Her mother says “What is surprising about her saying such words in her youthful state? Isn’t this how she has been thinking even in her childhood days?”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

mulaiyO muzhumuRRum pOndhila moy pUnguzhal kuRiya
kalaiyO araiyillai nAvO kuzhaRum kadal maNNellAm
vilaiyO ena miLirum kaN ivaL paramE perumAn
malaiyO thiruvEngadam enRu kaRkinRa vAsagamE

Word-by-Word Meanings

mulaiyO – if one considers her bosom
muzhumuRRum –  even a little bit
pOndhila – have not sprouted
moy – being dense
pU – being beautiful
kuzhal – locks
kuRiya – are short
kalaiyO – if one considers her dress
araiyillai – has not been properly tied on the waist
nAvO – if one considers her tongue
kuzhaRum – will not be clear
kadal – surrounded by the ocean
maN ellAm – this entire earth
vilaiyO ena –  will it be the price (for the eyes)
kaN – the eye
miLirum – huge
perumAn – sarvESvaran’s
malaiyO – if one considers thirumalai
thiruvEngadam – it happens to be thiruvEngadam
enRu – saying so
kaRkinRa – learning
vAsagam – spoken word
ivaL paramE – is it apt for her in her state?

Simple Translation

The bosoms of this girl have not sprouted. Her locks which are dense and beautiful are short. The dress which she wears does not sit well on her waist. Her tongue has not grown out of her child-like gibberish way of speaking. However her eyes are sparkling such that one could say that even the earth, surrounded by ocean, is not equivalent in terms of compensation for them. Her words saying that sarvESvaran’s divine hill is thiruvEngadam is indeed surprising.

vyAkyAnam

mulaiyO . . . – these words are best said after reaching a certain stage [in the development of a girl’s life].

mulaiyO muzhu muRRum pOndhila – it is not that her bosoms have not grown properly; even the place from where they sprout has not been identified [she is such a young girl].

moy pUnguzhal kuRiya – the locks which are dense and beautiful.

kuRiya – they are so short that if the nAyakan wants to arrange the locks into a bun and she, not liking that arrangement, wishes to let the locks down, he will not [be able to] fall at her feet [to beg her to keep them as a bun].

kalaiyO araiyillai – she does not even know as to where to tie her dress.

nAvO kuzhaRum – if the mothers teach her a few words, she would pronounce them indistinctly, like gibberish. They would then teach her a few simple words such as “iyar {father), Achchi (mother)” Her indistinct words sound better than their clear pronunciation.

kadal . . . – when parASara bhattar was explaining this pAsuram, his disciple, nanjIyar told him “he (AzhwAr) says that all the other limbs have not developed well. But he has spoken about the greatness of eyes alone. This appears contradictory” to which bhattar responded saying “It is not that way. Even here, he has stated only the condition of under-development”. “How is that?” “At a small age, the eyes will see objects fully; at a youthful stage [adolescent age], the eyes will see through glance only. Hence, here too AzhwAr is speaking of very young age only” The splendour in her eyes is such that even if the entire earth, surrounded by ocean, is given as a compensation, it will not be a match.

miLirum – even if the waves keep pushing against the shore, they cannot cross it. This is similar to that. When united with nAyakan, a girl will look at him with tenderness and love. Unlike that, this girl would look at her mother and her beloved, equally.

ivaL paramE – Is it apt for her age? It is because of her friends, just as it has been mentioned in periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 3-7-2 “sAyvilAdha kuRundhalai” (even though they are young without any shyness or reverence, my girl is joining with a few girls and appears like one possessed).

perumAL malaiyO thiruvEngadamenRu – is it apt for her age to disregard para and vyUha forms of sarvESvaran and focus on archA form, and that too saying that thiruvEngadam is the divine hill for his residence? vEdhas set out to measure one quality, the joy of sarvESvaran, and returned empty handed. But the eminence of archAvathAram is not like that.

kaRkinRa vAsagam – the words spoken by her; alternatively, the words taught by her mothers so that they could hear them from her mouth. thiruvAimozhi 6-5-7 says “ivaL vAyanagaL thirundha” (to appear clearly from her mouth). The verse could be arranged as ivaL paramE perumAL malaiyO thiruvEngadamenRu kaRkinRa vAsagamE in which the meanings would be as given till now; alternatively, the words could be arranged as perumAL malai thiruvEngadamenRu kaRkinRa vAsagamE O ivaL paramE in which case, the sound O ivaL paramE would indicate astonishment.

svApadhEsam (distinguished meaning): Just as it has been mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam bAla kANdam 18-28 “bAlyAth prabhruthi susnigdha:” (amiable since childhood) and thiruvAimozhi 2-3-3 ”aRiyAkkAlaththuLLE” (at that age when I did not know about servitude), this pAsuram speaks about how AzhwAr’s engagement with matters relating to emperumAn has always been his sustaining force.

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