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thirunedunthANdakam – 6 – Part 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Word by word meaning

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– – – – – –

Translation by raghuram SrInivAsa dAsan

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thirunedunthANdakam – 5

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

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

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

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

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

Word by word meaning

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

oru kAl niRpa – one divine feet standing;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(even other incarnations of emperumAn are shunned here)

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

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

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

– – – – – –

Translation by raghuram SrInivAsa dAsan

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thirunedunthANdakam – 4

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

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By the three pAsurams, ‘arththam aRRadhirE’ (thirumanthra arththam (meaning) has been explained).

In the first pAsuram – SEshaSEshithvam (lordship, subservience) was clearly seen (as He put His divine feet on AzhvAr’s divine head (thiruvadi en thalai mElavE));

In the second pAsuram – anyaSEshathvam (subservience to others) was removed. (since the misunderstanding that the three dhEvas are equal, was cleared);

In the third pAsuram – talked about enjoyableness (of emperumAn, enjoying His divine form).

==> (So how do these three pAsurams talk about the meaning of thirumanthram?)

1st pAsuram -> Om  (SEsha SEshithvam)

2rd pAsuram -> nama:   (ananyaSEshathvam)

3nd pAsuram -> nArAyANAya  (nAra -> emperumAn’s wealth & divine form; these are enjoyable)

Then, it is a matter of finding companions for enjoying Him, together.  In that, since nithyasUris are far off, and samsAris are people indulged in worldly matters, neither of them would be of companionship. So, it is the inevitable mind of his is the one that would be a companion. So, Oh mind! Let us enjoy this together, says AzhvAr.

Please set to enjoy through thirumanthram that enlightens His true nature (manthiraththai manthiraththAl), about the glory of His having distinguished divine form/body talked about in the previous pAsuram, the One who is the source of creation of the world (kAraNathvam) – please see about doing that, says AzhvAr (to his mind).

If he is enjoying based on thirumanthram (whose main word is ‘nArAyaNa’) , isn’t the meaning of this (word ‘nArAyaNa’) mainly about his lordship over the two world realms, and about His nature of having qualities? (How come AzhvAr is using this word/thirumanthram to enjoy Him as being the source of creation of the world?). That thirumanthram (word nArAyaNa), due to many authoritative references (on the word nArAyaNa), is about Him being the source of creation of the world.

They are: ‘EkO havai nArAyaNa Aseeth [mahOpanishath – 1](Only He was present (it means He is the reason for creation)), and,

narAjjAthAni thathvAni [mahAbhAratham -anuSAsana – 13.12] (the twenty five truths (thathvams), which can undergo change/annihilation) got created from emperumAn) ,  and,

‘ApO nArA ithi prOkthA: [manu smruthi – 1.10] (water was created by emperumAn who is called naran; so the nAram indicates water; since emperumAn held water (milky ocean) as his abode during the time of creation, He is called nArAyaNan);

by these and other references, His creating the world shall be said by the word nArAyaNan.

Why is AzhvAr taking up mentioning His jagath kAraNathvam? Since residents of this world is having it upside down (where some in this world think of others as lords and as reason for creation of worlds, and emperumAn trying to prove His lordship), it is in this world where it is needed to use authoritative references.  It is only when someone else is using our land that we would have to show proof of our ownership; that is why he is saying so;

So, Oh mind! Let us enjoy the janakan (creator of births).

indhirarkkum piramarkkum mudhalvan thannai
  iru nilam kAl thee neer viN bUtham aindhAy
senthiRaththa thamizhOsai vada sollAgith
  thisai nAngumAyth thingaL nAyirAgi
antharaththil dhEvarkkum aRiyalAgA
  anthaNanai, anthaNar mAttu andhi vaiththa
manthiraththai manthiraththAl maRavAdhenRum
  vAzhudhiyEl vAzhalAm mada nenjamE.                            3

emperumAn revealing thirumanthram assuming the forms of nara (human) and nArAyaNa (superhuman)

Word by word meaning

mada nenjamEOh mind which is amicable (to me)!
indhirarkkum piramarkkum mudhalvan thannai Being the reason/source for indhra and brahmA,
iru nilam kAl thee neer viN bUtham aindhAybeing antharyAmi (inside resident) to the five core elements – the big earth, air, fire, water, space,
senthiRaththa thamizhOsai vada sollAgiHis showing the thamizh vEdham (dhivya prabandhams) (which show Him clearly), and samskrutha vEdhams,
thisai nAngumAy being antharAthmA for all the things in all the four directions,
thingaL nAyirAgi being antharyAmi for the moon and the sun,
antharaththil – when being antharyAmi in that way,
dhEvarkkum aRiyalAgA anthaNanai – being purest who cannot be known by even dhEvas,
anthaNar mAttu anthi vaiththa manthiraththai – sarvESvaran the secret entity who is kept safely in the knots of vEdhams (anthi -> end/tail -> vEdhAntham) which are the wealth of brAhmaNas (safe like in the knots of clothes worn),
manthiraththAl – by thirumanthram
maRavAdhu vAzhudhiyEl – if you enjoy without fail/forgetting,
enRum vAzhalAm – you can get good life always (in paramapadham).


indhirarkkum piramarkkum mudhalvan thannai – In ‘mU uruvum kaNda pOdhu onRAm sOdhi [thirunedunthANdakam – 2]’,  it was by squeezing the words we get the true meaning; AzhvAr is showing that it is what the meaning he means, by showing it explicitly here. You see, AzhvAr is saying ‘that is what I said earlier that He is the only one who is the lord!’.

Creator of indhra who is accepted by all as a jeevAthmA, and for brahmA who could be misunderstood as eeSvaran (controller).

While it would have been appropriate to talk first about brahmA who could be doubted as eeSvaran,  why say indhra first – it is to show that like indhra, brahmA is also one included in all that are created by emperumAn.

But, rudhran also could be doubted as eeSvaran. Why has AzhvAr not mentioned about him? As said in ‘brahmaNaSchApi sambhUtha: Siva ithyavadhAryathAm [mahAbhAratham – anuSAsana]’ (emperumAn talking to garudAzhvAr: Can say about four types of creation in another way too – hiraNya garbha that is said as lotus is first creation; brahmA who was created from it is the second creation; Siva was created from brahmA – conclude this in your mind;  this was the third creation;  from him skandha was created; this was fourth creation), and in other such references, it is famous that he is the son of brahmA, and so when having said about the main of all, that is brahmA and the ending dhEva of all that is indhra, by prathyAhara nyAyam (when first and last letters of alphabet are mentioned together, it includes the ones in between as well), it is to be concluded that rudhra is also included amidst this list.

Instead of saying indhiranukkum piramanukkum, why use ‘r’ (rEphAntham) – it is not due to having any mind of venerating them; AzhvAr is showing contempt (kShEpam);  it is even while brahmA is creatable by eeSvaran (emperumAn), he is thinking ‘I am the controller of the three worlds’, (indhran thinking)  ‘all the fourteen worlds were created by me and I am the controller of them’, and making everyone prostrate/worship him;

mudhalvan – (reason/source) – that is emperumAn who does not have a source for Himself;  Himself who is the reason/source (kAraNam) for vyashti srushti  (variegated creation of world by combining elements);

iru nilam, etc. (earth, etc.)  – The aforementioned (about brahmA, et al) phrase said about vyashti srushti; by the current phrase it says about samashti srushti  (initial creation of independent five great elements (space, air, etc.), (before vyashti srushti);

(emperumAn first created Sabdha thanmAthrai – (thanmAthrai -> like the stage between milk and curd, where it is neither milk nor curd); from Sabdha thanmAthrai, AkASam (space) is created. Then from it, sparSa thanmAthrai is created (stage in-between AkASa and vAyu); from that vAyu (air) is created;  then rUpa thanmAthrai is created (state in-between vAyu and thEjas); then from it thEjas is created; from it rasa thanmAthrai; from it water; from it gandha thanmAthrai; from that pruthvi (earth); So each creation includes cumulative qualities of earlier stages of creation; for example, pruthvi includes all the qualities of Sabdha, sparSa, rUpa, rasa, and gandha; this is also explained in ‘pUnilAya aindhumAy [thiruchchandha viruththam – 1]’.

Reason for saying vyashti srushti (which is a latter creation) first and then samasthi srushti (which is a prior creation) in this pAsuram is – since it is with brahmA et al where there may be doubt whether they are eeSvaran; there is no such doubt in core elements.

Reason for saying earth etc.,(iru nilam kAl thee neer viN bUtham aindhAy), in a different order instead of in order of annihilation in to its immediate prior source stage, or in the order of creation, is due to some other specific thinking (of AzhvAr):

Being a support for everything, being immobile, and not troublesome, AzhvAr first talked about such earth;  other  three core elements being mobile, being of both protection and disturbances, AzhvAr told about them in different order after earth; considering that space gives room for other elements, he mentioned it in the end;  if these are not considered, then there would not be an use for AzhvAr saying in this order;

earlier he said ‘mudhalvan thannai’; here he says ‘aindhAy’ (literal: emperumAn as the five elements  – which means: emperumAn being creator of five elements).  So, the association in this sAmAnAdhikaraNayam is – uthpAdhya uthpAdhaka bhAvam (the created – the creator);

senthiRaththa , etc. – For saying later in the prabandham about creation of those who are to be obedient to SAsthram (SAsthra vaSyar; humans), here he is talking about creation of SAsthram. Creating thamizh (dhrAvida), and samskrutham;

While it would be valid to say samskrutham  and then thamizh which is its changed/derived form, instead, he enumerated thamizh first because – it is eligible to be perused by everyone, being very good at conveying clear meaning, and it is his area of language usage, and also like samskrutha vEdham, thamizh vEdham (dhivya prabandhams) is also authoritative reference – hence AzhvAr mentions thamizh first.

AzhvArs’ words are not like that of vEdhas and ithihAsas and purANas. These words (in thamizh) is that of anushtAthA (who executes the words as per SrIvaishNavam), you see! AzhvArs say about shunning aiSvaryam, kaivalyam and not consider them as required (whereas vEdhas talk about those things also as means/goals).

sen thiRaththa thamizh Osai – thiRam -> its feature/capability and ways;  thamizh words enlighten in the best way the meanings they carry.  Not having need for an upabrahmaNam to explain it more.  (There ARE thirumangai AzhvAr’s six prabandhams that are called ‘Aru angam’ for thiruvAimozhi. But thiruvAimozhi does not need them for explaining itself); vEdhas require upabrahmaNam (to explain it well).

Osai  (Agi) – Osai is the name for poem, and sound. But here it is talking about the words of thamizh (lakShaNai – like: ‘house is in the ganges’ means it is in the shores of the ganges); this can also be seen in the next phrase ‘vada sol’ (words of samskrutham);

vada sol – is – talk about samskrutham. thamizhians call thirumalai as the north border for the places (in south) where thamizh is in use. samskrutham is in vogue in north of thirumalai. thamizh would not be in vogue in those places;  the greatness of this place (south) is that both the languages are in vogue here;

Agi – His creating SAsthram is about His revealing/spreading it.

thisai nAngumAy – creating all the things/people in all the four directions;  (It is by lakShaNai, it talks about the things- that is,) like saying ‘manchA: krOSanthi [mammadar’s kAvya prakASam 2nd ullAsam] (bed is crying – means – babies on the bed are crying). By this it says about creation of those who are to be obedient to SAsthram (SAsthra vaSyar; humans);

thingaL nAyirAgi – It is as said in ‘agnau prAsthAhuthis samyag AdhithyamupathishtathE | AdhithyAjjAyathE vrushti: vrushtErannam thatha: prajA: || [manu SAsthram – 3.76]’ (offering that is submitted in the fire for homam (vEdhic ritual) reached the Sun; from Sun, rain is obtained; by rain, food items are grown; using food items, humans live and are created (through father eating the food)); (Agi -> becoming) shows the completion of creation.

In previous phrases it showed the meaning of ‘nAra’ (indhran, brahmA, five core elements, etc.). Rest of the phrases of the pAsuram show the meaning of ‘ayanam’.

antharaththil – (anupravESam as part of creation) when being inside; when permeating within everything created; by ‘pruthivyA anthara: AnthanESnthara: [bruhadhAranyaka upanishath – mAdhyandhina – 5.7.72](One who is present outside and inside of land/jeevAthmA, One who is not known by the land/AthmA, One who is being inside the land/AthmA and letting it act, such paramAthmA is the AthmA that is never destroyed), so by the word anthara it talks about the permeating quality of emperumAn.

dhEvarkkum aRiyalAgA – being not known/aware about Him by all that are created (even dhEvas);  as said in ‘yamAthmA na vEdha [bruhadhAranyaka upanishath – mAdhyandhina – 5.7.72]’ (One who is not known by AthmA), the One whom the AthmA would not know, He is being inside and called as antharyAmi. To indicate that AzhvAr is saying that He is dhur-gyEyan (hard to learn about (antharyAmi));

But, by ‘dhEvarkkum’, why take up about them specially? even for those who are most knowledgeable, it would not possible to know about Him, that is why AzhvAr is considering them in the phrase.

anthaNanai(emperumAn being a) pure one (in mind; (won’t tolerate others’ suffering; won’t think trouble for others, etc.);  there is a greatness in AzhvArs using this word for implying pure one. nammAzhvAr said ‘aRavanai Azhip padai anthaNanai [thiruvAimozhi – 1.7.1]’ ( most benevolent (due to him bestowing the results); one having the sudharSana chakram (which purifies the heart); the purest eeSvarAn (supreme lord)).

(Why not give meaning to that as ‘brAhmaNa’ (in thiruvAimozhi)?) there is no brAhmaNa holding conch and disc, isn’t it? (kAnchi swami said something along the lines of ‘there IS one, and that is AchAryan’; so we could qualify as, One using them as weapons, there is no one other than emperumAn);  for kEvalan (one who is after kaivalyam (enjoying one’s own AthmA, and not emperumAn)) emperumAn is shown as the One to meditate upon as the pure one, for getting pure experience of kaivalyam, so nammAzhvAr is divining in that way, in that context.

And, one who wishes to get to emperumAn shall meditate upon His having all auspicious qualities, so that he would get those qualities;  The one who wishes to enjoy own AthmA (kaivalyam), shall meditate upon Him as having purity; It is because ‘jarA maraNa mOkshA’ (liberation from aging, death) that he considers;

But, here (for thirumangai AzhvAr), is purity required? AzhvAr first talked about creation (indhirar, piraman, etc.,), and then about that emperumAn permeating in all things created (being inside as antharyAmi is required for completing the creation, and for sustenance of the created ones);  then he says that the  blemishes of those things in which He is present, would not affect Him (He would stay pure (anthaNan)) – this is the point wished to be said by thirumangai AzhvAr here.

By ‘Esha sarvabhUthAntharAthmA – apahathapApmA [subAla upanishath -1]’, wherever it is talking about Him permeating, it is also talking that the blemishes of those things would not affect Him (He would remain pure); this is what is in the divine mind of this AzhvAr? The most vaidhikas are called AzhvArs, isn’t it? (parimElazhagar has shown that noble ones have a name as AzhvAr, and meaning for AzhvAr is noble one)

anthaNar mAttu anthi vaiththa manthiraththai – The matter (emperumAn) mentioned earlier is on the head of vEdhas (vEdhAntham) in mystic ways.

anthaNar mAdu – (brahmaNa’s wealth) – As said in ‘brAhmaNAnAm dhanam vEdha’ (wealth for a brAhmin is vEdham), wealth for brahmins is vEdham isn’t it? wealth is not emperumAn who is said in ‘dhanam madheeyam thava pAdhapankajam [sthOthra rathnam – 30](your divine feet is my wealth); it is vEdham – that told about emperumAn; that is the greatness of emperumAn that He is identified by vEdham; only by authoritative reference (pramANam) that one can know that the wealth is emperumAn (pramEyam) who is told by vEdham;

anthi vaiththa manthiraththai – the secret that is kept in vEdhAntham (anthi -> end/tail of vEdham); mAttu anthi – at the end of vEdham; that is, in vEdhAntham;

manthiram and sarvasmAthparan  (supreme to everyone) seems paryAyam (equivalent/alias/synonym); saying emperumAn as secret is – like the one who closes the front door and back door and then opens to see a bundle of valuables, this emperumAn is valuable so that, manthram is to be advised and implemented only among the four ears (AchAryan and disciple);

Or, ‘manthram’ is said as His divine name in SrI sahasranAmam – manthra: chandhrAmSu: bhAskaradhyuthi: [vishNu sahasranAmam 281, 282, 283]’ (protector of one who thinks about Him; One having comfortable light like moon; One who is too bright like the sun (these are some of His divine names)); by the root of the word manthram,manthAram thrAyatha ithi manthra: (since it protects the one who recites it, it is called manthram), so the word manthram is the divine name of emperumAn.

anthaNar mAdu – (why say it is the wealth of brahmaNas (and not him)) – saying so to show that he is not of such birth; even though all of it is bright in his mind, saying it out would be a damage to the respect for his eligibility was his state. Even while he is being an at most follower of vEdhas, like saying “others’ wealth”, he is saying in this way in unconnected way in order to establish the respect of the ways.

anthaNar mAtttu andhi vaiththa manthiraththai manthiraththAl – vAzhudhiyEl – Who is being said (emperumAn), and the one that is saying it (thirumanthram given by perumAn) are both being there (emperumAn);

manthiraththai – vAzhudhiyEl – if you experience/enjoy the One who is the reason/creator of the worlds (jagath kAraNa bhuthan), One who is present inside all (sarva antharyAmi), not knowable (dhurgyEyan), and not affected by the blemishes of the body He is present in;  (these qualities are mentioned in the earlier phrases of this pAsuram);

manthiraththAl – vAzhudhiyEl – When experiencing/enjoying that One, instead of trying to do that through vEdhAntham, or through ithihAsa purAnams, try to do that through in the way how I enjoyed:- try to do that through thirumanthram.  Other ways would not be delightful like enjoying through thirumanthram; As said in ‘sarvam ashtAkSharAnthasthatham [hAreetha smruthi – 3.45]’ (the meanings in the four vEdhas and in other references are all present inside the manthram of eight letters/syllables), this manthram tells all the meanings collected together;

Aren’t there innumerable manthrams. Does the word manthram indicate periya thirumanthram? As said by ‘yAni nAmAni gauNAni [mahAbhAratham – anusA 135.13]’ (names based on His qualities), other manthrams are about his qualities only; for the aforementioned meanings (creator, antharyAmi, etc.) there is no other manthram. So that is why manthram here means periya thirumanthram.

Can’t the other manthrams that indicate his permeating everywhere be considered as one said here? No, since the other two manthrams (vAsudhEvan, vishnu), need thirumanthram to complete the full meaning.

The manthram which he said with surety as ‘nAn kaNdu koNdEn [periya thirumozhi – 1.1]is this periya thirumanthram only isn’t it.

maRavAdhu vAzhudhiyEl – if you enjoy it without forgetting;

Reason for forgetting about experiencing emperumAn would be interest in material matters, so is AzhvAr saying – enjoy without interest in material matters? No, that would not suit AzhvAr; he is enjoying in his final state after sAkShAthkAram (enlightenment / seeing emperumAn (kaNdu koNdEn [periya thirumozhi – 1.1])).

So, what then would be for him the reason for forgetting?  Since having connection with the body which is having the three types of sorrows (thApams) (AdhyAthimika, Adhi baudhika, Adhi dhaivika), seeing having association with the body, seeing his old history, and seeing the greatness of emperumAn, there is the thought of him having emperumAn as the means for removal of such connection of body without seeing his prior history, and for getting the loved matter that is emperumAn;  that thought (of thinking Him as the means) would be the time of/reason for – forgetting to enjoy emperumAn!

So try to enjoy Him without getting into the pUrvArdham  (first line of dhvayam – which uses Him as means, (that our thought that He is the means, even such thought is not the means; it is His thought that would be the means) (and second line of dhvayam is about enjoying and serving Him);  AzhvAr is follower of dhvayam isn’t it?

Why explain the meaning in this way? Earlier when we have submitted our living to emperumAn, and after that now thinking about our living/upliftment  would be like interfering in the business of others (that is, of emperumAn); there is no difference in ineligibility between addressing one’s own well-being and thinking of creating/addressing well-being of the world (which we cannot not do);

vAzhudhiyEl – without involving in His purifying nature (anthaNanai), and in His being the means, if you would be involved in his enjoyableness (only),

vAzhudhiyEl – prosperity would be yours; I too am your colleague, isn’t it?

As vAzhudhiyEl – talking about his mind considering it as a sentient doer, which is his faculty, is due to seeing the predominance of mind. Till the end of life, it is the mind that is the helper for involving towards emperumAn, which is what a mumukshu (one wishing to be liberated from material world) expects from his mind, isn’t it?

enRum – vAzhalAm – can live amongst nithyasUris (in paramapadham) till the time AthmA exists (eternal). Everywhere, it is the experience/enjoyment that is there for him. vaishNavan is – a prince, isn’t it? (emperumAn is the king, and vaishNavan can live with many qualities that are equal in emperumAn, after reaching SrIvaikuNtam);

mada nenjamE – Oh mind who is obedient to me! Without any difference in the time when getting rid of vishaya prAvaNyam (interest in worldly affairs), and in the time of upliftment (experiencing emperumAn), and during the time of enjoyment, I got the mind that is following me obediently – saying so he is celebrating/appreciating his mind. It is like ‘nenjamE nallai nallai [thiruvAimozhi – 1.10.4]’ ((what you have done is) good, good.).

– – – – – –

Translation by raghuram SrInivAsa dAsan

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thirunedunthANdakam – 2

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

Full Series

<< pAsuram – 1 – minnuruvAy munnuruvil


In the first pAsuram – AzhvAr divined about the series of help of emperumAn to him, starting from removal of dhEhAthmAbhimAnam through giving him the destiny (divine feet); in this pAsuram – AzhvAr divines about the removal of his mistaken thought of the three lords as equals.

Is it not implied when it was said in previous pAsuram itself as ‘eNNum ponnuruvAy’, that is, about distinguished supreme quality of His nature?

Based on ‘simha avalOkana nyAyam’ (like a lion after eating its prey and walking away would turn back to look at the prey just to reconfirm), looking at all His help, even if His other help are digested, is it possible to digest the great help of breaking the doubt of equality among the three lords? – thinking of that, AzhvAr is again thinking about this particular help of emperumAn.

(How great is this particular help?)  Is this help like the (relatively less significant) help of saving me from vishayAnthara prAvaNyam, or is this help like the (relatively less significant) help of the danger of kaivalyam – says AzhvAr?

AzhvAr says that emperumAn showed me the ways of the One as the lord and the other two as subservient,  and, the other two as created and the One as creator.

pAruruvi neererikAl visumbumAgip
   palvERu samayamumAyp parandhu ninRa
Eruruvil mUvarumEyenna ninRa
   imaiyavar tham thiruvuruvEReNNum pOdhu
Oruruvam ponnuruvam onRu senthee
   onRumA kadaluruvam oththu ninRa
mUvuruvum kaNda pOdhu onRAm sOdhi
  mugiluruvam emmadigaL uruvam thAnE                          2

Word by word meaning

Er uruvil – Having beautiful bodies
mUvarumE enna ninRa – being as if all the three are equal
imaiyavar tham thiruvuru – of the form of brahmA, vishNu, and Sivan,
vEReNNumpOdhu – when seeing separately,
Oruruvam – brahmA’s form is
ponnuruvam – of the nature of gold;
onRu – rudhran’s (Sivan) form is
sem thee – of the nature of reddish fire;
onRu – form of nArAyaNan, the husband of lakShmI
mA kadal uruvam – is invigorating, like (when seeing) the big ocean;
mUvuruvum – all the three forms
oththu ninRa – standing together (with their such qualities);
kaNda pOdhu – (but) when seeing through pramANam,
pAr uruvi  neer erikAl visumbumAgi – creating the five core elements like the earth made of hard material, etc.,
palvERu samayamumAy – creating the world that is of many different paths/categories,
parandhu ninRa – and pervading everywhere, inside the AthmAs (as antharyAmi)
when reflecting upon the state based on such thathvam (truth),
Am sOdhi onRu – being said by ‘param jyOthi’ , and being the One
mugil uruvam – the form that is like the dark rainy clouds,
em adigaL uruvam – IS the form of sarvESvaran who is the lord of everyone.


pAr uruvi – Earth that is of hard make up (pAr -> pARai -> hard rock)urvi  is in the language used by the noble learned people (Aryas), that is, samskrutha word which means earth. It got transformed into thamizh word uruvi here.

The word pAr is Not to mean earth here – its meaning is from pARai  (hard rock) that it is a hard material like a hard rock.  By this, – compared to other core elements (like air, fire, etc.), this is different and having the hardness – the earth.

When recited as pAruruvil –  (in pAr uru) – it means – From the (twenty one) elements from which aNdam  (world sphere) is created, the following, that is, pAr-> earth,  etc., that are neer -> water,  eri -> fire , kAl -> air, visumbu – space –the five elements are created – He is being these elements;

If asked – avyaktha (name of world when it was in the unmanifested state), akshara  (the material realm’s source which has not changed), mahath (the great element),  ahankAram  (ego indicating root material realm) – are these also not the sources for creating of (aNdam) spherical world? (Why are they not included in the list of creating elements, but only the five elements, by AzhvAr?)

It is since mahAn etc., are in sUkShma (subtle) form (not visible to people’s eyes), and so would be difficult for people to understand; so AzhvAr talks here only about those that are sthUlam (gross, can be perceived by the senses of the body) (they are pAr, neer, eri, kAl, etc. mentioned above), and and since these are the (immediate) direct reason for creation of the aNdam; and so this is about nithya srushti (more frequent continuous creation activities of emperumAn).

rishi (parAsarar) too said ‘bhUthEbhyONdam’ about the direct/immediate source.

(why is it saying earth etc., in reverse order of creation?)
Saying pAr mudhalA  is based on order in which they go through annihilation.

Agi – would this word indicate that creation?  (Agi is ‘becoming’, Akki would mean ‘creation (but it would also mean creator)) – Since AzhvArs are vEdhAnthis (followers of vEdhanthas), AzhvAr is divining based on the Sruthi of ‘bahusyAm’ (I shall become many things (That is, being sareeree of them (they being part of His body) and his being nirvAhakar (controller))).

But, considering ‘AkASadhvAyu:, vAyOragni:, agnErApa:, adhbhya:pruthivee’,  where it says one is the reason/source for the next one’s creation, is it correct to say that He is the reason/source for the creation of All of them?

As said in, ‘thEja: aikShantha, Apa aikShantha:’, (desire of emperumAn to create the elements) the act of creation based on intent/desire (sankalpam) cannot be by non-sentient (like space, etc.), it is clear that it is emperumAn to whom these state/entities are His body and He in the form of those respective elements creates the next ones, and so He would have to be the creator.

If this pAsuram is about removal of doubt about equivalence of the three lords, why is the meaning given above as creation of material realm? It is to show that for the One who created the core elements that are the source for creation of spherical world (aNdam), then there is no prospect of Him being considered equal to those other two lords who are present/created within that spherical world.

pal vERu samayamumAy – What it talked about above is samashti srushti (creations before formation of aNdam;  creation of and without mixing of core elements (pruthvi (earth), appu (water), etc.); creation of ingredients for further creation; without division of dhEvas, human, etc.).

Now by the current phrase, it is talking about vyashti srushti (creation of spherical worlds, their enclosures (AvaraNam), and fourteen layers in them, in clearly diversified forms by mixing of the five core elements (pancha bUthams) , twenty four thathvams (non-sentient elements); with explicit divisions as dhEvas, humans, animals, plants).

Since brahmA (badhdha chEthanar – bound soul) is present without difference in the five core elements in singular (samashti) form, it is called samashti srushti.

From such brahmA, subsequently, the other sentients are born within the spherical world in variegated forms – it is called vyashti srushti.

(In the SrIbhAshyam book published in thirunArAyaNapuram, elaborate explanation is given about samashti srushti and vyashti srusthi).

Creating the world of many and of different system/limitations (samayam), and of innumerable AthmAs, that is vyashti srusthi, is said as ‘pal‘ (many);  it is unlike samasthi srushti where it is countable (five elements in separate forms).

vERu is, being separate such that they are distinct and non-mixed, and so by their bodies they are being completely separate.  samayam is system/limitation; being with the nature as per limitation of their category of creation (man being of specific set of behaviours, dhEvas being of some other set of behaviours, etc.).

dhEvas are having the nature of being worshipped and consuming nectar; humans are having the nature of worshipping and consuming food;  nature of animals and plants are to be accessories to such worship, and being the reason for the upliftment/life of humans;

and the behavior of those other than the aforementioned categories, is to be under the loving shadow of noble men. It is said too as ‘dhAsya sukha Eka sanginAm bhavanEShvasthvapi keetajanma mE [sthOthra rathnam – 55]’ ((noble ones) are involved in your joy of servitude to you; it should occur that I be born even as a worm in such divine place of their residence).

parandhu ninRa –  Doing parandhu is permeating by following the jeevAthmA into (anupravESam) all the created bodies and being AthmA for everything (that is, without Him nobody would be able to do anything – here body includes brahmA, Siva et al).

anupravESam is – setting Himself amicable to be inside the tangible material entity (sthUlam). Similar to how He is amicably present along with (viSishta) intangible/subtle forms (sUkshmam) of sentient and non-sentient, He is also amicably present along with (viSishta) tangible/concrete forms (sUkshmam) of sentient and non-sentient.

Er uruvil – in beautiful bodies;  Since by parandhu ninRa it says – eeSvaran who is present as AthmA for everything,  for such eeSvaran everything in the visible world are bodies for Him as said in ‘jagath sarvam SareeramthE’, by uru it refers to world. (that is, all the things (like earth, what and who are inside earth, other worldly bodies, and so on, are all bodies for Him).

Is it appropriate to refer to samsAris (people with interest in worldly things) who are to be shunned (by mumukshus), as Er uru (beautiful bodies)?

For a mumukshu (liberation seeker), samsAram would be a place to be afraid of, and also would be acceptable;  when looking at the visible body/world as attained due to being tied by karmas (and generate more karmas), mumukshus would consider it to be shunned; when looking at the world/people as being body of emperumAn as said in ‘jagath sarvam SareerathE’,  then it would be considered acceptable.

In this beautiful world (beautiful people of the world) –

mUvarumE enna ninRa – Avoiding the notion that the world is of numerous chiefs, some vEdhAnthis narrowed it down (to three).

This helped us to not have to reject individually the (numerous) chiefs who seem like ones to be worshipped, and gave us only a couple of them to be shunned (brahmA and Siva).

In pUrva kANdam (first part of vEdham), it says ‘thrimSachcha dhEva: nava chAsaparyan threeNi SathA three SahasrANyagnim’ (three thousand three hundred thirty nine dhEvathas served me, the agni) – it says three thousand three hundred thirty nine dhEvathas as to be worshipped. vEdhAnthis say that only the One who is the reason for creation of the world is to be worshipped. From this, some would say that since there are three who are the reason for creation, sustenance, and annihilation, all the three are to be worshipped.

Since saying enna ninRa – (be of stand as if (all three are equal)) – at a cursory look it appears as if all the three are equal,  they would look like ones to be worshipped; but if we analyse it, there is not even a possibility of the two being equal (to emperumAn).

As said in ‘brahma vishNu SivAthmikAm | sa samgyAm yAthi bhagavAnEka Eva janArdhana: || [SrIvishNu purANam – 1.2.23]’ (the distinct bhagavAn janArdhanan assumes 3 forms with the names of brahmA, vishNu and SivA to perform creation, sustenance, and annihilation), and so at cursory look it appears to be about equivalence, but with saying ‘janArdhana:’, as it refers to the substitute word of vishNu, it (the thought of their equivalence) is to be shunned.

imaiyavar – (dhEvas) This is also a reason for the misunderstanding.  Since they (brahmA and Siva) also do not blink their eyes, and since they are referred to with the word ‘dhEvas’, this term is being part of the misunderstanding.

Even though it is common for all the (three) dhEvas, there is no possibility of equivalence, since it is said as ‘sAkshAdhdhEva: purANOsau’ (this emperumAn who is of all ages, is the Only dhEva), the quality of dhEva is present only in Him at all times (unlike for others when it is present only from some point).

than thiruvuru vERu eNNumpOdhu – When thinking about their individual nature/activity (creation, sustenance, annihilation), it is capable of creating such misunderstanding.

Why praise the ones who are shunned, as ‘thiru uru’AzhvAr is talking so this way because like their nature/acts, their body is that of emperumAn (Sareera Sareeri bhAvam).

vEReNNumpOdhu – When thinking about the three of them together, we would consider it as Sareera Sareeri bhAvam (one (emperumAn) having the body, and the body (brahmA, Siva)), and it would be clear that the two are subservient, and One (emperumAn) is the lord. This can be seen in ‘ari ayan aran ennnum ivarai onRa num manaththu vaiththu [thiruvAimozhi – 1.3.6 & 1.3.7]’ (those who are popularly known as hari, aja (brahmA) and rudhra (Siva), these personalities who are explained in various pramANams to reveal their nature/activities, being neutral instead of taking sides of any one (to identify the chief person), contemplating in your heart/mind, analysing their svarUpa (true nature) and svabhAva (qualities) through pramANams (SAsthram));

Or uruvam etc. – This is talking about the individual nature/characteristics of them that are a reason for the misunderstand that they are equivalent.

Or uruvam pon uruvam – brahmA’s nature is that of gold;  gold is such that – all the ornaments could be made from it; in the same way (brahmA’s nature) would appear to be eligible for creating all the fourteen worlds; since he is the one from whose body all the things are created as he is the one for creation of all the bhadhdhAthmAs (sentient – bound souls).

onRu senthee – Another thathvam’s nature is that of fire, that is to destroy the world; nature of agni (fire) is that of burning everything; in the same way, if we see the nature of rudhran, it would be suitable for annihilating the world;

onRu mA kadal uruvam – being remover of sadness for those who see, the ocean’s nature is to keep within itself and save, everything from  bad things, good things, gems and such, etc., isn’t it? in the same way, if we see the nature of eeSvaran (emperumAn), He is the remover of sadness to those who surrendered to Him, and keeping them under His love and protecting them would be seen as the nature of Him.

The reason/source of the world is to be found only in the one where all these qualities are present isn’t it? Since these three nature are in these three, it is such that one could mistake that all the three are responsible for the reason/source of world (jagathkAraNam).

oththu ninRa – being together.  That is – each of their nature is together with their acts of creation, sustenance, and annihilation.

Next it talks about removal of the misunderstanding.

mu uruvum kaNda pOdhu – When knowing these three thathvams by using authoritative reference.

onRAm sOdhi – Among them, the light (which is having lustre by itself) is only One, is the point;

(Aren’t the other AthmAs also having lustre by themselves?) – the thEjas (lustre/light) that is of the creator, and being the constituent (Sareeree) of bodies,  and being lord (SEshi), is only of the One isn’t it?

The other two would be of the nature of being created, of being a body, and of subservience;  If asking where have we seen this – ‘EkOhavai nArAyaNa Aseeth’ (it is well known that only nArAyaNan was present (in a form)), that is, it is saying about the One who is the reason for the world (because He was the only one present in a form), and, ‘na brahmA nESAna: nEmE dhyAvA pruthivee’,  similar to earth, etc., that are non-sentient, brahmA and rudhran are also said as effected to go through annihilation, and, by ‘sa brahma sa Siva:’, (they are jeevAthmas only), et al, it talks about them as jeevAthmAs, and as having subservience, and, ‘Esha sarvabhuthAntharAthmA’ – by the world sarva (Everyone), it refers to everyone in which He is permeating; so, the fact that these two are among everyone, their being created (kAryathvam), they being jeevAthmas (kShethrathvam), they being subservient, and being part of body (of emperumAn) – are all well accepted by everyone (samprathipannam).

Even though jeevAthmAs also have the lustre by themselves (svayam prakASam), but by saying ‘Am sOdhi’, it differentiates Him from the other AthmAs, due to their being controlled (and Him being controller). That is why, ‘nArAyaNaparO jyOthi:’, (light means nArAyaNan) and, ‘jyOthishAm jyOthi:’ (He is light for all the lights) had to be said.

(Instead of splitting as onRu Am sOdhi,  why not take the meaning of onRAnjOthi  as – all the three would together become one (adhvaitham)) ?

Saying ‘mUvurum kaNdapOdhu onRAnjOthi’  would look to be according to those who argue there is brahmam only (and no jeevAthmAs etc). But since that is not AzhvAr’s philosophy, this is not according to their point of view. Moreover,  AzhvAr in previous pAsuram had with clear separation sang minnuruvAy, and, pinnuruvAy, and, ponnuruvAy, about the three separate thathvams (sentient, non-sentient, and eeSvaran), and in this pAsuram, saying ‘Er uru’, (beautiful form) to mean Sareera Athma bhAvam (others being bodies, and Him being AthmA for everyone),  and later (in 4th pAsuram) he is saying ‘indhirarkkum piramaRkum mudhalvan thannai‘ (lord for indhra and brahmA), there is contradiction to their point by way of other pAsurams also.

em adigaL uruvam – mugil uruvam – my lord’s form is black like that of rainy clouds; earlier where he said onRu mA kadal uruvam, as similar to the nature of ocean, it was meaning that He is protector;  Now – it is talking about His divine body; (Because) It is this form that identifies His sarvAdhikathvam (being the first of all things; being lord of/distinguished from every one).

thAnE – (But wasn’t that said as the colour of gem/diamond in pAsuram 1?) The body which was said as ‘maNi uruvil bUtham aindhAy [thirunedunthANdakam – 1]’  IS the one that is like that of dark rainy clouds, you see!

There it said ‘maNi uru’ because He is being pleasant and favourable like how one could keep a gem easily tied in the tip of their cloth, and it is bright, and extremely priceless,  and enjoyable.

In thamizh, the sequence of pAsuram words that would form the sentence for the whole meaning is as follows: Er uruvil mUvarumE enna ninRa imaiyavar tham thiru uru vEReNNumpOdhu, or uruvam pon uruvam, onRu senthee, onRu mAkadal uruvam; oththu ninRa muvurum kaNda pOdhu – pAr uruvi neer eri kAl visumbumAgip palvERu samayamumAyp parandhu ninRa – onRAm sOdhi mugil uruvam em adigaL uruvam thAnE’

{In the beautiful (AthmAs of the) world, the three stood as those to be worshipped as dhEvas, when considering their activities separately, one is like gold, one is like world-ending fire, and one is like the mighty ocean; (but) when seeing such matching nature (through the eyes of SAsthram) –  creating the hard-surfaced earth, and other core elements (separately), and permeating in various categories of things/lives (created by combining the elements) – (are due to emperumAn being the reason); such emperumAn who was the only self-illuminating light present, such emperumAn of mine is of the colour of rainy clouds, you see. }

– – – – –

Translation by raghuram SrInivAsa dAsan

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

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thirunedunthANdakam – avathArikai (introduction)

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

Full series

(vakthru vailakShaNyam – about the greatness of the Author)

AzhvAr, thirumangai AzhvAr is – As said in ‘venRiyE vENdi veezh porutku irangi  vERkaNAr kalaviyE karudhi [periya thirumozhi – 1.1.4]’ (going after victories, and longing for perishable things, and wishing for union with women of spear-like-eyes),  he was of extreme haughtiness that one had to wonder whether everything including the worlds of sarvESvaran are under his thighs, and having the dhEhAthmAbhimAnam (considering body to be non-different from soul) as the reason for it, and so due to that, as said in ‘sAndhEndhu menmulaiyAr thandanthOL puNarinba veLLathAzhndhEn [periya thirumozhi – 6.3.4]’ (I got immersed in the ocean that is ecstasy of embracing the big shoulders of women wearing kumkum (red powder) who are having tender bosoms), he was being a vishaya pravaNar (interest in worldly pleasures) such that he was not eligible to gain any knowledge about AthmA or any knowledge about emperumAn.

emperumAn seeing his association to such matters, looking for a way to uplift him from this situation, thought – we cannot get him by showing him SAsthram since he is interested in other matters, so we should get by him by showing him our beauty – He considered his interest in those matters itself as the means and showed His beauty to him; seeing this, AzhvAr, as said in ‘vEmbin puzhu vEmbanRi uNNAdhu, adiyEn nAn pinnum un sEvadi anRi nayavEn [periya thirumozhi – 11.8.7]’ (the worm living in margo tree would not eat anything other than enjoying the leaves etc., from the margo tree; I who am subservient to you, even if you reject me, would not like anything other than your reddish divine feet), became involved in emperumAn considering it as result of His distinguished beauty;

emperumAn seeing him getting immersed towards Him, thought ‘the love that he got towards me should not be like his interest towards worldly matters (where it is not ever-present and changes constantly), but instead it should be with the understanding of the relationship between us’, and so like how one would give money along with the bag holding it, He showed him thirumanthram that highlights all the meanings, and His qualities like sauSeelyam, and the divine abodes of His temples that are ultimate for the meaning of thirumanthram;

seeing this, AzhvAr, starting from ‘vAdinEn vAdi [periya thirumozhi – 1st centum]’ through ‘oru nal suRRam [periya thirumozhi – 10th centum]’, got immersed in the divine abodes of emperumAn, considering them as ones to be surrendered to, as the means, and as ones to be enjoyed.

Seeing AzhvAr being set at all times in the divine abodes, emperumAn thought – We should take AzhvAr to the special abode where this experience would continue uninterrupted for him; so we should first show him the cruelty of this material world’, and so showed him that;

Seeing this, he became extremely terrified of it, and in ‘mARRamuLa [periya thirumozhi – 11.8]’, he called emperumAn saying ‘iru pAduRu koLLiyin uL eRumbE pOl [periya thirumozhi – 11.8.4]’ (like the ant suffering, being caught between two ends of fire), and ‘ARRankarai vAzh maram pOl  [periya thirumozhi – 11.8.1]’ (like the tree near the shore of a river, am always fearful of what might happen in the future), and, ‘pAmbodoru kUraiyilE payinRAR pOl  [periya thirumozhi – 11.8.3]’ (like living and associating with a snake under one roof), and show such many situations as examples about his fear;

even when he called emperumAn in these ways, like how a mother hearing her child cry would not feed till its indigestion is resolved and there is hunger, emperumAn did not show up till AzhvAr gets the longing that is apt for enjoying emperumAnAzhvAr could not tolerate this even for a moment and so suffered so much;

like how an extremely thirsty one might jump into the water, pour water on himself, etc., AzhvAr thought of sustaining himself by talking about Him by mouth, prostrating Him by his head, thinking about Him by his mind,  and so got into doing that – that was in thirukkurunthANdakam.

Like how water that is drunk for quenching great thirst would itself create thirst due to hurrying, that singing became an instigator for the existing love towards Him, and so in thiruvezhukURRirukkai , he, with great love, surrendered to him, as in ‘nin adiyiNai paNivan varum idar agala mARRO vinaiyE [thiruvezhukURRirukkai]’ (am surrendering to your two divine feet  for the removal of hurdles that may come in the way (of reaching You);  please remove those hurdles by your mercy).

After that, since he did not get what he wanted, he with scared eyes, like how when perumAL surrendered to the ocean and when the ocean-king did not show up, as perumAL said in ‘chApAmAnaya saumithrE [SrI rAmAyaNam – yudhdha kANdam – 21.21]’ (bring the bow, Oh lakshmaNa! (I shall drain the ocean of its water)),  like saying bring the one that would work, AzhvAr went in not-so-apt ways,  he performed madal (going around town announcing about one’s love to her man), thinking that somehow we should get Him to show up even if it meant going against the true nature of either of them;

Out of that, in siRiya thirumadal, he said he would destroy emperumAn’s supremacy, destroy the neermai (staunchness, simplicity), that is, He considering His form of incarnations as Himself, which is as said in ‘thEvum thannaiyum [thiruvAimozhi – 2.7.4]’ (supremacy (which is the cause for simplicity), and his special aspect of simplicity);

He did not show up even for that; AzhvAr thought that emperumAn is thinking that there are these temples which stand for the ultimate level of neermai which are as if that is the real abode of emperumAn; and so AzhvAr said the he would destroy that neermai that is in the temples which are the desired abodes for both of them – this was in periya thirumadal.

emperumAn thought that if He does not show up even then, then the world would be considered as not having any eeSvaran  (controller),  (as AzhvAr might try to erase that if He does not show up), and so showed Himself to him like He did for prahlAdhan et al, and so made Himself, AzhvAr and the world to be truly existing (per nature).

(prathipAdhya vailakShaNyam – greatness of what is talked about in this prabandham)

Saints like sukhar and mudhal AzhvArs would be immersed in emperumAn’s parathvam (supremacy).  Those like sanakar and thirumazhisaip pirAn would be immersed in the nature of His being antharAthmA (being present in side our AthmAs); those like parASara, pArASarya (vyAsa) and nammAzhvAr, periyAzhvAr, ANdAL would be immersed in krishNa avathAram (incarnation);  those like nAradha and SrI thoNdaradippodi AzhvAr, thiruppANAzhvAr would be immersed in kOyil (SrI rangam) (It is included along with others that show his supremacy since emperumAn’s status got formed by itself, and since this abode is the root for every other abode); SrI Saunaka bhagavAn and this thirumangai AzhvAr would be immersed in archAvathAram (emperumAn in the form of deity – ultimate form of emperumAn’s quality of simplicity);

Unlike the other AzhvArs, and unlike the divine daughter of king janaka (seethai), this AzhvAr would be having intolerable delicateness (of mind) when having separation from emperumAn;  that is, when separated,  as said in ‘um adiyAr ellArOdum okka eNNi irundheer adiyEnai  [periya thirumozhi – 4.9.6]’ (You are considering me to be at the same level as your other devotees), can you consider me who cannot tolerate separation for even one moment, along with other AzhvArs who can enjoy like malaiyALar Uttu (those in the place of malayALam (kEraLA) can eat food of four days, and can also stay without food for four days), and can tolerate for some days  when separated, and along with divine daughter of king janakar who was separated from Him for ten months?

and, during the time of union with Him, as said in ‘Azhiyodum ponnAr sArngam udaiya adigaLai innAr enRu aRiyEn [periya thirumozhi – 10.10.9]’ (I do not clearly see who it is that is with divine conch and disc), due to the taste of experience of being together, this AzhvAr is not able to see clearly, and so even when He is present with His extra-ordinary aspect of identifications, AzhvAr is not sure, due to the experience;

So,  he enjoyed as emperumAn showed him the aspects of chith, achith, and eeSvaran, and as said in ‘adhanil periyavennavA [thiruvAimozhi – 10.10.10]’ (my love which is greater than chith (sentient beings), achith (insentient beings) and eeSwara (supreme lord)), not getting enough of it to match his devotion, he calls with a great desire, and then, he concludes by talking about him getting satisfied by attaining SrIvaikuNtam as said in ‘avAvaRRu veedu peRRa [thiruvAimozhi – 10.10.11]’ – in this prabandham.


Translation: raghuram srInivAsa dhAsan

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

SrI paramapadhanAthan in paramapadham (spiritual realm)

thirunedunthaNdakam is written by thirumangai AzhvAr . It is said to be his last prabandham before he ascended to paramapadham but is considered as one of the most important ones among dhivya prabandhams.

thirumangai AzhvAr with kumudhavalli nAchchiyAr at thiruvAli thirunagari

thirumangai AzhvAr’s avathAra thirunakshathram is ‘kArththigaiyil kArththigai’, and he was born in thirukkuraiyalUr.

thirunedunthANdakam is mentioned in the glorious vaibhavam of SrI parAsara bhattar and nanjeeyar, as the topic that started the wonder in nanjeeyar about who this bhattar might be.

periyavAchchAn piLLai has written vyAkyAnam (commentary) for this prabandham of thirunedunthANdakam.

thANdakam’ is a type of thamizh poetry in which this prabandham is set.

nedum’ indicates longer one (as opposed to thirukkurunthANdakam which is a shorter one).

vaibhavam (Glories)

About the translation

An attempt is made here to translate in English the vyAkyAnam of thirunedunthANdakam – or at least parts of vyAkyAnam of each pAsuram.

For this translation, adiyOngaL (we) will be perusing the following invaluable sources.

  1. periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s vyAkyAnam in maNipravALam style, and puththUr swami’s explanations of it.
  2. kAlakshEpam recordings of great scholars, on this prabandham.

With the blessings of asmadhAchAryan, AzhwAr, emperumAnAr, and jIyar we shall proceed with the translation. We invite you to come in and immerse yourself in the divine meanings of this wonderful and essential prabandham.

Translation by raghuram SrInivAsa dAsan

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

pramEyam (goal) – http://koyil.org
pramANam (scriptures) – http://granthams.koyil.org
pramAthA (preceptors) – http://acharyas.koyil.org
SrIvaishNava education/kids portal – http://pillai.koyil.org