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rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi – 64

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Introduction (given by maNavALa mAmunigaL)

amudhanAr said ‘aRu samayach chediyaith thodarum maruL seRindhOr sidhaindhOda vandhu’, talking about how emperumAnAr came here for winning the philosophies that did not accept vEdhas as authority – in the previous pAsuram;

in this pAsuram – due to the overflowing affection towards emperumAnAr, amudhanAr addresses those of other philosophies that don’t accept vEdhas or gives wrong meanings for vEdhas – the elephant that is irAmAnusa muni came to this world looking out for you and opposed you; your existence is now done with – says amudhanAr.

Introduction (given by piLLailOkam jIyar)

amudhanAr said ‘aRu samayach chediyaith thodarum maruL seRindhOr sidhaindhOda vandhu’, talking about how emperumAnAr came here for winning the philosophies that did not accept vEdhas as authority – in the previous pAsuram;

in this pAsuram – due to the overflowing affection towards emperumAnAr, amudhanAr addresses those of other philosophies that don’t accept vEdhas or gives wrong meanings for vEdhas – the elephant that is irAmAnusa muni came to this world holding the ruling stick looking out for you for punishing you; your existence is now done with from the root up – says amudhanAr.

paN tharu mAran pasum thamizh Anandham pAy madhamAy
viNdida engaL irAmAnusa muni vEzham meymmai
koNda nal vEdhak kozhum dhaNdam Endhik kuvalayaththE
maNdi vendhEnRadhu vAdhiyargAL ungaL vAzhvu aRRadhE          64


Word by word meaning (given by maNavALa mAmunigaL)

engaL – he who we depend on
iramAnusa muni vEzham – that is, emperumAnAr like an elephant ,

due to thiruvAimozhi which can be said as ‘paNNAr pAdal’, which
mARan – AzhvAr
paN tharu – bestowed using his pAsurams
pasum thamizh – in beautiful thamizh language,
Anandham – (emperumAnAr’s) happiness
pAy – pouring out as
viNdida – fully developed
madhamAy – madness,
Endhi – (emperumAnAr) holding the
kozhun dhaNdam –beautiful stick, that is
nal vEdham – distinguished vEdham

as said in ‘vEdha nUl Odhugiradhu uNamai’ (what vEdhas say are true),
meymmai koNda – that is, having the truth due to saying what is the truth,
maNdi vandhu – he came pushing you all aside

for no one to stand in front of him
kuvalayaththE – in this world where you are ruling as if it is yours
EnRadhu – and opposed charging against you;
vAdhiyargAL – oh! you the debaters
ungaL – you, who were well grown with disciples and next levels of disciples
vAzhvu – your ‘good’ existence
aRRadhE –
has ended!

That is, the world got saved!

Can it be interpreted as ‘paNdu aru’ instead, to mean that it is existing from old ages, and is hard for others to get it? That would not be accurate because the focus is not on old times, but on the music of the pAsuram, so ‘paN tharu’ is apt.


engaL irAmAnusa muni vEzham – “engaL irAmAnusan”, “em irAmAnusan”, “ennai ALa vandhu ippadiyil piRandhadhu”,  and so in many pAsurams amudhanAr has divined in this way –  this is due to his love towards the wonderful divine body of emperumAnAr, you see!

The elephant that is emperumAnAr who incarnated for us, unlike the worldly elephant that has got lowered sentience, this elephant is here to condemn those who try to propagate wrong meanings for vEdhas, and to enlighten them and put them in proper track of vEdhas, and to protect the amicable ones, and be one to meditate upon – this elephant is one having such flourishing of sentience/knowledge;

in this way for this elephant that is not material based, its knowledge also would be of that size;

describing emperumAnAr as an elephant is to show his ability to destroy the opponents, and for the ones protected by him to make them eligible for getting crowned.

paNdaru mARan pasum thamizh – that which is complete in all respects of grammar, style, construction, etc., for pAsuram, which is enjoyable for the ones who take it up; Or, even though for proper emphasis it cannot be split and considered as ‘paNdu aRu’ (instead of paN tharu), we can say that like how sarvESvaran Himself incarnated as vyAsar in each yuga-cycle [4 yugas] and gave vEdhas in good form, in each kali yugam, etc., among the cycles, sarvESvaran Himself incarnates as knowledgeable noble ones  and gives dhrAvida (thamizh) vEdhas to us – this is famous as said in brahma, bhArgava, pAdhma, etc., purANas;

so thiruvAimozhi which is eternal and not authored by a person, is hard for anyone to know and understand in their mind except for the devotees;

mARan is the original first divine name of nammAzhvAr.

pasum thamizh – constructed by him which is in pure thamizh language, that is thiruvAimozhi;

As ‘mARan paNiththa thamizh maRai’, and, ´eenRa mudhal thAy satakOpan’,  thiruvAimozhi that is connected to nammAzhvAr;

Anandham pAy madhamAy – From the sea that is SrIpathi (husband of SrI mahAlakshmi), the cloud that is AzhvAr,  sourced the water that is great kindness, and poured in on the hill that is periya mudhaliyAr (nAthamunigaL), and that kindness came down as water falls that are maNakkAl nambi, and uyyak koNdAr,  and reached the river that is the elder AchAryar ALavandhAr, and filled the lake that is emperumAnAr, and flowed freely through the pathways/canals that are the preceptors, and went to the paddies that are sentient beings of this material world, and protected them – so thiruvAimozhi is referred with joy as ‘kavi amudham’ (nectar that is poetry), and as ‘thoNdarkku amudhu uNNach chonmAlai’, and so it is nectar for everyone – the happiness that came out of thiruvAimozhi that is fully of joy, and so that nectar has gathered and is pouring out (from emperumAnAr) (like how for a mad elephant water would pour from its eyes);

{Translator’s note:  nammAzhvAr is also known as ‘parAnkuSar’, a meaning of which is that for debaters of other philosophies who were like mad elephants, he was like the stick that can control and remove that madness; there – he removed the madness; here – he created the sort of madness in emperumAnAr;  emperumAnAr used that stick to win the debaters of other philosophers; so the stick he used could be considered as nammAzhvAr himself! }

viNdida – and is fully developed, such that there is no barrier to it at any time and any place;

ramanujar_yaanai_vahanam_sriperumbuthuremperumAnAr the elephant, on the elephant vAhanam

meymmai koNda nal vEdhak kozhum dhaNdam Endhi – meymmai – truthfulness;

that is, as said in ‘vEdha nUl Odhuvadhu uNmai´ (what vEdham says is truth),  being truthful to the actuals; since it is having such truthfulness it is the ultimate authority  – such distinguished vEdham;  

vEdham that shows the supremacy of emperumAn in saying ‘sathyam gyAnam anantham brahma’. (so ‘nal’ (good) vEdham’).

And it is apt that vEdham is defined as ‘parAvara thathvAni yathAvathu vEdhayathi ithi vEdha:’ (shows the factual meanings correctly and clearly like a mirror).

The inner meaning for the adjective for vEdham as ‘meymmai koNda’ :- For the misunderstanding ‘rajjAvayam sarpa:’,  (rope as snake), only when we get the correct knowledge ‘iyam rajjurEva na sarpa:’ (this is rope only, not a snake), would we realize what it is; in the same way, for the eternal ignorance through the philosophies which derive own meanings and which dismiss or misinterpret vEdhas, vEdhas show the true meanings and clears the misunderstanding.

So, (emperumAnAr) uses the help of stick that is vEdham that is instrumental in winning the opposing debaters;

kozhu – greatness;

Or, even though what is mentioned now is samskrutha vEdham, it can also be taken together with the thamizh vEdham mentioned earlier. (that is, emperumAnAr using the stick that is thiruvAimozhi as well).

This phrase implies an ‘also’ here; so he not only just held the stick in his hand to correct them, but also affected them with the stick such that they got corrected;  for emperumAn to correct others He is always holding conch and disc as said in ‘sangodu chakkaram Endhum thadak kaiyan,  emperumAnAr is also holding in his hands the stick that is in the form of vEdham!

kuvalayaththE maNdi vandhu EnRadhu – in the places where you were ruling as if they are yours, from sEthu in south to the himAchal in the north, vEnkatAchala, yAdhavAchala, and, SAradhA peetam, etc., divine places, he argued and won the debaters who came to argue, and that is how he came against you;

vAdhiyargAL – Oh you who are attached to arguing for philosophies that ignore or misinterpret vEdhas!

ungaL vAzhvu aRRadhE – your well being of having grown big with disciples and next levels of disciples, has ended! As you were thinking of living and growing with disciples and next levels of disciples, all your philosophies have been lost;

jeeyar too divined this meaning in ‘sankara bhAskara yAdhava bhAttap prabhAkarar thangaL matham sAyvura vAdhiyar mAyguvar enRu chathu maRai vAzhndhidu nAL’ (the day when all the ill meaning philosophies like Sankara etc., were won and the four vEdhas lived well (that is emperumAnAr’s incarnation day of chiththirai thiruvAdhirai)).

The SlOkam ‘kaNAdha paripAdibhi:’, (about how other philosophies were won over by the words of yatheendhrar), and the SlOkam ‘gathAdhAthA gadhAnAm’,  are to be considered as the authoritative reference for this meaning.

From AzhwAr thirunagari SrI u.vE. vidhwAn thirumalai nallAn chakravarththi rAmakrishNa iyengAr’s ‘amudha virundhu’ :

It is ‘thamizh’, moreover ‘pasum thamizh’, and moreover ‘paN tharu pasum thamizh’, and more than anything it is ‘mARan paN tharu pasum thamizh’ – so it goes without saying that emperumAnAr would be so ecstatic upon immersing in thiruvAimozhi.

Unable to stay in, the experience of thiruvAimozhi comes out as joyous tears from emperumAnAr; comparing this to the madness water coming out of the eyes of an elephant.

By ‘engaL vEzham’, it shows emperumAnAr makes himself available to other SrIvaishNavas who enjoy thiruvAimozhi, that they could even hug him happily, while by ‘muni vEzham’ it shows that debaters of other philosophies cannot come near emperumAnAr;

By ‘vEdhak kozhum thaNdam’, (beautiful stick tha is vEdham), amudhanAr considers the ‘thirdhaNdam’ (three sticks/staff tied together as held by viSishtAdhvaitha saints) that emperumAnAr holds; they are the three vEdhas is the opinion of amudhanAr.

emperumAnAr immersed himself in the meanings of thiruvAimozhi, and based on that he got clear understanding of the vEdhas, and won the debaters using the words of those vEdhas.

– – – – –

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thiruvezhukURRirukkai – 4

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srImathE rAmAnujAya nama:
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nAl thisai nadunga anjiRaip paRavai ERi
nAlvAi mummadhaththu irusevi
oruthani vEzhaththu arandhaiyai
orunAL irunIr maduvuL thIrththanai

Word by word meaning

oru nAL – once upon a time
nAl thisai nadunga – (got an anger such that) people in all four directions were scared
am siRai paRavai ERi – (and you) got onto the garudan who has got beautiful feathers
iru nIr maduvuL – (and went to the shore of) the pond having deep waters
thIrththanai – and removed
arandhaiyai – the suffering of
nAl vAi – the one having a hanging mouth
mummadham – which lets out madha (intoxicated) water out of three places
iru sevi – and which has got two ears,
oru thani vEzhaththu – that is the unparalleled elephant gajEndhran who was alone.

Simple translation

thirumangai AzhwAr says that it is not just those like indhran who are great in gyAnam and shakthi, you helped even an elephant; whereas you calmly created and destroyed the worlds, in this case you rushed losing your temper, to the astonishment of brahma and all other beings that are on all four sides of the universe;

AzhwAr describes the beauty of elephant the emperumAn rescued. This is to show how emperumAn considered the elephant so dear to him that he appreciates his beauty after rescuing him.

Like ANdAL sang in nAchiAr thirumozhi asking emperumAn to come rescue her, thirumangai AzhwAr is also implying that He should come rescue him from the samsAram and the five faculty/senses that have been dangerous to him from time immemorial.


Now to the question of whether He would help only those like indhran who possess gyAnam and shakthi, AzhwAr points out that if there is faith in Him, and if there is little bit of danger, then too He has come rushing (arai kulaiya, thalai kulaiya – a saying in thamizh to roughly mean that He would rush without regard to whether the clothes worn by self are in proper position, and whether the hair style is getting disturbed) to help even animals which are lower in birth and conformity (ஒழுக்கம்).

nAl thisai nadunga – All the brahma and people who know that when creating the worlds He did so just by his thoughts, and when destroying the worlds He did so without any anger or efforts, now they are witnessing Him rushing without regards to his self and with so much anger; they are terribly afraid to see this, thinking something very untoward might happen.

am siRaip paRavai Eri – Like the dark clouds moving across the golden mountain mEru, He climbed on the shoulders of garudAzhvAn who possesses beauty and speed, and rushed to help gajEndhrAzhvAn. thirumangai AzhwAr then describes why He is rushing like this:

nAl vAi mummadhaththu iru sevi oru thani vEzhaththu arandhaiyai – (nAl vAi) because of having raised its trunk it is having the mouth that his hanging; from three places of its body it is having madha (intoxicated) water pouring; having two (or, big) ears; not having any other source of protection; after having lost its strength, and not having any one to go to for help; having a big sorrow (arandhai – arathi – sorrow)

oru nAL iru nIr maduvuL thIrththanai – on that unparalleled time, when it was a foreign land for the elephant that was your devotee, and which was a familiar land for the crocodile that was its enemy, (you came to such a) shore of the lake having deep waters – seeing the weight of that danger you came rushing and removed the sorrow of the elephant.

oru nAL – thirumangai AzhwAr is celebrating such a day when emperumAn took to rushing to rescue an elephant.

AzhwAr means that like how you rescued the elephant from the clutches of the crocodile, you please rescue me from the clutches of this samsAram. Like it is said, “elephant is pulling towards the shore; crocodile is pulling towards the water; this war continued with their equal strengths for 1000 dhEva years (vishNu dharmam 69)” – for elephant the enemy was one crocodile, for me the enemies are the 5 crocodiles which are the 5 faculty (indhriyas/senses); that one is a strong elephant – I am weak; the elephant suffered for a short duration – I have been suffering from time immemorial; don’t You have to run to me and rescue?

vEzhaththu arandhaiyai iru nIr maduvuL thIrththanai – Like it is said in vishNu dharmam, – grAham chakrENa mAdhava:, He rushed in to the pond, came to the shore tugging the elephant and the crocodile, and without hurting even a nail in the foot of the elephant He very carefully used sudharshaNa chakra and killed the crocodile. Does He have to tug/hug the crocodile that was a bhAgavatha virOdhi (enemy to His devotee), when coming back to the shore? bhattar says, “Like how a servant, who uses his hands and body and fights with the prince every day during the practice for wrestling, would get related food when the prince is fed, the crocodile that fought with the elephant also got the benefit of emperumAn’s hug”.

nAlvAi mumadhaththu iru sevi oru thani vEzhaththu – why is AzhwAr describing so much the body parts and the overall makeup (samudhAya sObhai) of the elephant? When people rescue a baby that fell into a well, they would start describing the beauty of that baby, “Oh! see this baby’s ears, aren’t they so beautiful? The shape (vALippu) of its neck! Its legs are beautiful! Its head is so beautiful! Not able to describe its overall beauty! By good grace we saved such a beautiful child!”, and so they would keep talking about the beauty of the body parts of the baby and its overall beauty; in the same way this phrase of the prabandham talks about emperumAn’s involvement towards the elephant after He rescued him;

vEzhaththu arandhaiyai – unlike the danger of something small-bodied, it was a big danger like its big body; “paramApadham Apanna: manasA{S} chinthayath harim” [vishNu dharmam] – said rishi showing the greater danger of the elephant – this is by saying ‘parmApadh; now, by ‘manasA chinthyAth’ it is implied that gajEndhrAzhvAn lost his ability due to weakness to even open the mouth, but just called emperumAn in his mind only.

oru nAL … thIrththanai – the woman who was born to periyAzhAr who is dear to emperumAn, knew her ways to get emperymAn’s attention, and so sang – kAlaik kadhuviduginRa kayalodu vALai veruvi [nAchiAr thirumozhi 3-5] – when you could not tolerate a worm that lives in the water, can you tolerate when there are two fish (that live in the water)?. In the same way thirumangai AzhwAr asks emperumAn, “When you did not tolerate a crocodile that gave trouble to the strong gajEndhran for some duration, can you tolerate when five faculty (indhriyas/senses) have been troubling me forever?”

– – – – – –

Translation by raghuram srInivAsa dAsan

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