thiruvAimozhi – 1.1.3 – ilanathu udaiyanithu

srImathE satakOpAya nama:
srImathE rAmAnujAya nama:
srImadh varavaramunayE nama:

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Previous pAsuram


Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

In this pAsuram, the material realm which is fully owned/controlled by bhagavAn who is distinct from all other entities is explained.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In this pAsuram, the material realm which is present for the sport of bhagavAn who was explained in the first pAsuram as the master of nithya vibhUthi (paramapadham – spiritual realm) is explained.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

nammAzhwAr explains bhagavAn‘s connection with material realm to establish that he is not limited by any particular object or location.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

Same as nanjIyar‘s introduction.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s introduction as documented by vadakkuth thiruvIdhip piLLai

nammAzhwAr enjoyed bhagavAn‘s auspicious qualities, bhagavAn‘s control over spiritual realm and his divine form (lotus feet) in the first pAsuram. In the second pAsuram, he explained the true nature of bhagavAn being totally distinct from chith and achith. In continuing with that, he is explaining the material realm which is also belonging to bhagavAn. Though chAndhOgya upanishath declares “nOpajanam smarannidham sarIram” (a mukthAthmA, after being liberated, will never contemplate about this material realm since he will be fully engaged in blissful activities in spiritual realm), mukthAthmAs would still relish material realm as something that exists for the sport of bhagavAn. AzhwAr too, even though being present in this realm only, since he is blessed by bhagavAn himself with blemishless knowledge, relishes this world as the wealth of bhagavAn.

Just like a king and his wife may be engaged in making a garden and destroying it playfully even though they may have huge wealth (lands, palaces, etc), when srIman nArAyaNan and srI mahAlakshmi glance with their divine vision this material realm becomes manifested and when they glance away, the material realm becomes subtle. AzhwAr is enjoying such material realm in this pAsuram.


இலனது உடையனி தென நினைவரியவன்
நிலனிடை விசும்பிடை உருவினன் அருவினன்
புலனொடு புலனலன், ஒழிவிலன், பரந்த அந்
நலனுடை யொருவனை நணுகினம் நாமே.

ilanadhu udaiyanidhu ena ninaivu ariyavan
nilanidai visumbidai uruvinan aruvinan
pulanodu pulanalan ozhivilan parandha
an nalanudai oruvanai naNuginam nAmE

Word-by-Word meanings (based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s 12000 padi)

ilanadhu – not owning because of being far-away from an object
udaiyanidhu – owning because of being close to an object
ena – thus limiting by certain objects
ninaivu aRiyavan – cannot be understood
nilanidai – in the earth
visumbidai – in the sky and higher realms
uruvinan aruvinan – having achith (insentients) which are visible to eyes (and other external senses) and having chith (sentients) which are not visible to eyes (and other external senses) as prakAram (attribute, body)
pulanodu – existing amidst such chith and achith which are well established through pramANam (authentic source)
pulanalan – not having their nature
ozhivilan parandha – pervading everywhere without missing out on any object/place
annalanudai – one having auspicious qualities as explained in first pAsuram
oruvanai – that most distinct person
nAm naNuginam – we are blessed to be able to approach him

Simple transalation (based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s 12000 padi)

bhagavAn cannot be understood by limiting him to certain objects only saying “since he is far-away from such object he is not present in it” and “since he is nearby to this object he is present in it”. He owns all chith (which are not visible to external senses) and achith (which are visible to external senses) in both the lower and higher realms (earth and sky). He thus exists pervading everywhere having chith and achith as his attributes. We are blessed to take refuge of the most distinct bhagavAn who is filled with such auspicious qualities.

In the first two lines, bhagavAn‘s vasthu parichchEdha rAhithyam (not limited by any object) is explained. In the next two lines, through the vyApthi (all pervading nature), his dhEsa parichchEdha rAhithyam (not limited by any place) is explained. Thus his connection with leelA vibhUthi (material realm) is explained in this pAsuram.

vyAkyAnams (commentaries)

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s vyAkyAnam

We are fortunate to receive the shelter of bhagavAn who is the master of everything/everyone, who is the in-dwelling soul of entire existence, one who is not touched by the defects of chith and achith, who is having full control over everything being the in-dwelling soul and who is distinct from everything else that exists. AzhwAr tells his mind to worship such emperumAn and be uplifted.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s vyAkyAnam

Very similar to nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s vyAkyAnam

Very similar to nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam as documented by vadakkuth thiruvIdhip piLLai

  • ilanathu udaiyanathu en ninaivariyavan – It is easy to understand when it is said that “bhagavAn cannot be be explained as not having/owning this object” since he owns everything. But why can we not say “bhagavAn cannot be explained as having/owning this object”? If we said “x person has this”, then immediately a thought may arise “x person may not have this other thing” –  to avoid such confusion bhagavAn cannot be explained as having one particular object. Either way, one may misunderstand the vastness (infinite nature) of bhagavAn‘s wealth.
  • nilanidai visumbidai … – Then how do we explain his wealth? It has to be done as done in sAsthram – nArAyaNa sUktham says “pathim visvasya” (he is the owner of the entire existence). “nilan” (earth) indicates regions down to pAthALam (lowest in a particular aNdam – universe) and “visumbu” (sky) indicates regions up to the border of paramapadham.
  • uruvinan aruvinan – Does “inan” in thamzh mean ownership? Yes, as explained in thiruvAimozhi 9.3.1 “kArAyina kALananmEniyinan” (bhagavAn has cloud-like beautiful dark-hued body), “inan” will indicate ownership.
  • pulanodu – Would such emperumAn just stay in paramapadham enjoying endless bliss? No, he will exist inside everyone and protect everyone as the in-dwelling soul. He performs creation (subtle to gross manifestation), enters into all manifested matter through jIvAthmAs and thus is present as the in-dwelling soul of everything that is manifested.
  • pulanalan – If he exists with them, will he be affected by the defects of achith (like complete transformation of state) and chith (like having joy and happiness based on karmA)? No, this principle is explained in rig vEdham “dhvA suparNA sayujA sakhAyA samAnam vruksham parishasvajAthE | thayOranya: pippalam svAdhvaththi anaSnannanyO abichAkasIthi ||” (There are two related (servant and master) birds (jIvAthmA and paramAthmA) residing in a tree (body). One bird (jIvAthmA) enjoys the fruits of its actions (karmA) and the other one (paramAthmA) being detached is radiantly witnessing that).
  • naNuginam – Not just being blessed by bhagavAn with blemishless knowledge, I have also taken shelter of him.
  • nAmE – Instead of saying “nAm”, AzhwAr is saying “nAmE!” with exclamation. AzhwAr doubts if he has really taken shelter of bhagavAn. Considering how materialistic he was before being blessed by bhagavAn, he cannot believe his fortune. When sIthA pirAtti was in agony in asOka vanam at lankA, she saw hanuman singing the glories of srI rAma and became very confused and could not believe what was happening. She questioned herself if it was her own bewilderment or madness or is this a wicked dream (srI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANtam 34.23). Before, AzhwAr was thinking “IswarOham” – aham should lead up to Iswara, but AzhwAr was considering his body as AthmA/Iswara before being blessed by bhagavAn with blemishless knowledge. When bharadhAzhwAn went looking for srIrAma to srI bharadhwAja rishi’s Asram, he was thinking himself “Am I truly entering the Asram here to see srI rAma? I am the most unfortunate person to have been called “Oh! king” by kaikEyi when srI rAma was the real king and was doubted by guhap perumAL that I was coming to hurt srI rAma further. How is this happening?”

In the next article we will the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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0 thoughts on “thiruvAimozhi – 1.1.3 – ilanathu udaiyanithu”

  1. Srimathe Ramanujaya Namaha

    I don’t have words for your sincere efforts , I am very happy for your service towards sri vaishnava community.

    Jaya Srimannarayana

    Teja Sanduga Ramanuja Dasan


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