thiruvAimozhi – 1.1.7 – thidavisumbu erivaLi

srImathE satakOpAya nama:
srImathE rAmAnujAya nama:
srImath varavaramunayE nama:

Full series >> First Centum >> First decad

Previous pAsuram


Introduction for this pAsuram

Note: In this pAsuram, pancha bhUthams (five elements – AkAsam/ether, vAyu/air, agni/fire, jalam/water, bhUmi/earth) are explained as the raw-material for the variegated material manifestation. As part of srushti (creation), bhagavAn creates up to pancha bhUthams himself and subsequently gives control to brahmA and others to proceed with the variegated creation. Similarly as part of praLayam (annihilation), he lets rudhran, agni et al to do the initial annihilation and he finally consumes them as well.

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

In the previous 3 pAsurams, it is established that the svarUpam (true nature), sthithi (existence) and pravruththi (actions) of jagath (material realm) are all under the full control of bhagavAn through sAmAnAdhikaraNyam. In this pAsuram, it is explained that this sAmAnAdhikaraNyam is bound by the sarIra-Athma bhAvam of jagath and Iswara – that the entire realm (consisting of chith and achith) is the body and  bhagavAn is the antharyAmi of everything.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

After explaining the total control of bhagavAn over the nature, existence and actions through sAmAnAdhikaraNyam and vaiyadhikaraNyam in the previous pAsurams, the sarIra-sarIri bhAva sambandham (the body – soul relationship) between the material realm and bhagavAn is explained here. It is also explained that “since the material realm is totally under the control of bhagavAn, it is his body” as the body is fully controlled by the in-dwelling soul.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

Next, this sAmAnAdhikaraNyam is explained as bound by the body-soul relationship between the material realm and bhagavAn.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

Similar to nanjIyar‘s introduction.

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

Previously nammAzhwAr explained sAmAnAdhikaraNyam to explain it further in this pAsuram. The result of such sAmAnAdhikaraNyam is sarIra-Athma bhAvam (body-soul aspect of the material realm and bhagavAn). It can also be said that the sAmAnAdhikaraNyam is bound by the sarIra-Athma bhAvam principle.

It is explained in chAndhOgya upanishath “anEna jIvEna AthmanAnupravisya nAmarUpE vyAkaravANi”  (I enter into all matter through jIvAthmAs to give them distinct names/forms which signify creation). Instead of being like a clay pot which is just made of clay, bhagavAn stays as the antharyAmi of all entities and controls those entities fully just like an AthmA (soul) stays as the dhAraka (protector), niyAmaka (one who controls) and sEshi (the master). It is explained that this sarIra-Athma bhAvam is the driving force for the previously explained sAmAnAdhikaraNyam. When it is is said that “dhEvadhaththa is standing on a tree”, there is no sarIra-Athma bhAvam (but when it is said that “bhagavAn is everything”, there is sarIra-Athma bhAvam – bhagavAn is the AthmA and everything is his body).


திடவிசும்பு எரி வளி நீர் நிலம்  இவை மிசை
படர்பொருள் முழுவதுமாய அவை யவை தொறும்
உடல்மிசை உயிர் எனக் கரந்தெங்கும் பரந்துளன்
சுடர்மிகு சுருதியுள்  இவை உண்ட சுரனே

thidavisumbu eri vaLi nIr nilam ivai misai
padarporuL muzhuvadhumAy avai avai thoRum
udanmisai uyir enak karandhengum parandhuLan
sudarmigu surudhiyuL ivai uNda suranE

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

thidam – dhruda (more established – long lasting) – since AkAsa stays for a little longer than other elements in manifested state, it is explained as “established”
visumbu – AkAsam – ether
eri – agni – fire
vaLi – vAyu – air
nIr – jalam – water
nilam – bhUmi – earth
ivai misai – having them as the source
padar – pervaded
poruL muzhuvadhum – all worldly elements (matter)
Ay – being the upAdhAnam (raw-material)
udal-misai – in the body
uyir ena – like an AthmA pervading the body
karandhu – hidden/concealed
engum parandhu – thus being pervaded everywhere
sudar – radiant due to being svatha:prAmANyam (self-evident)
migu – abundant
surudhiyuL – in sruthi (which is heard)
uLan – being the essence
ivai uNda – one who consumed everything during samhAram as explained in brahma sUthram 1.2.9 “aththA charAchara grahaNAth
suran – One who is identified by the word “dhEva” (lord) as explained in subhAla upanishath “thama: parE dhEva EkI bhavathi” (thamas (mUla prakruthi-matter) merges into paramAthmA)

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

bhagavAn is the supreme lord who becomes (creates) all of the material realm having first created the strong ether, fire, air, water and earth as the source and pervades all of them. He is pervading in everything similar to AthmA is pervading in the body. Not only that, he is present inside and outside of everything. He is the main object of the most radiant vEdham, Such emperumAn consumes everything during praLayam and is glorified as “sura” (God).

After AkAsam, agni is listed instead of vAyu (as done normally) by nammAzhwAr. This is because in thathriya upanishath AkAsam is given importance in “Athmana AkAsa sambhUtha:” (From brahmam, ether came into existence) and in chAndhOgya upanishath agni is given importance in “thaththEjOsrujatha” (in the beginning, being alone, brahmam created fire). From this it is clear that srushti (creation), samhAram (annihilation) and antharAthmathvam (being antharAthmA) are all under the full control of bhagavAn.

vyAkyAnams (commentaries)

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s vyAkyAnam

bhagavAn pervades everywhere and controls all entities just like the AthmA controls the body. Thus being totally distinct from achit and three types of chith (nithya – eternally free, muktha – liberated, badhdha – bound), being free from all blemishes and full of all auspiciousness, being the one who creates, sustains and annihilates the whole of material realm as a sport, being the antharAthmA of everything (other than him), being not affected by the defects of chith and achith since he is not bound by any karmA is explained as the supreme lord in detail through vEdham. vEdham is blemishless due to its not being created by any individual, is understood through smruthi, ithihAsams and purANams and is unrefuted, radiant and authentic pramANam (source of knowledge). piLLAn lists over 30 pramANams from vEdham, upanishath, bhagavath gIthA etc to establish this principle. With this, philosophies of lOkAyatha (chAruvAka), mAyAvAdha, bhAskarIya, yAdhava prakAsa etc, which are contrary to vEdham, are refuted.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s vyAkyAnam

Similar to nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s vyAkyAnam

Similar to nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.

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

  • thida visumbu – thidam (dhrudam) indicates long lasting. This adjective can be given to all five elements, since they remain a little longer than the variegated material manifestation. Otherwise, it can be said only of AkAsam – which is created first even among the five elements and consumed in the end – so even among the five elements, AkAsam is more long lasting. This is also indicated to refute lOkAyatha philosophy which accepts only 4 elements (except ether).
  • ivaimisai padar poruL muzhuvadhumAy – Having these five elements as cause and the variegated manifestation as the effect. Here “Ay”  (become) should be understood as “Akki” (created). nammAzhwAr uses the term “Ay” due to his familiarity in vEdham (thaiththirIya upanishath) which says “bahusyAm” (he became many). This is how vaidhikas establish their philosophy through vEdham.
  • avai avai thoRum – Unlike many pillars which support a ceiling (where the pillars are separate from the ceiling), bhagavAn pervades all entities like its said in “jAthi vyakthithORum parisamApya varthikkumApOlE” (the category of an entity pervades all through the entity – here jAthi indicates – dhEva (godly), manushya (human), thiryak (animal), sthAvara (plant). If there is a human, humanness will pervade each human fully in all the parts of the human as well. Similarly, bhagavAn pervades all entities everywhere).
  • udalmisai uyirena – Similar to AthmA being the protector, controller, master of the body, bhagavAn is the protector, controller, master of everything. (Note: Its important to also understand the distinction between AthmA pervading body which happens through gyAnam (knowledge) and bhagavAn pervading everything through svarUpam (himself existing in every thing)).
  • engum karandhu – Even though he is all pervading, the pervaded entities may not know him since he is hidden inside them. He is spread inside and outside – everywhere.
  • uLan sudarmigu surudhiyuL – Such emperumAn is explained in detail in vEdham which is apaurushEyam (not created by an individual) and nirdhOsham (flawless).
  • sudarmigu – It is so radiant and cannot be discarded through arguments as in the case of prathyaksham (perception) and anumAnam (inference).
  • suruthi – sruthi – that which is continually taught orally through generations. With this, all principles which are explained starting with the first pAsuram until now, are based on the flawless vEdham.
  • ivaiyuNda suran – one who consumed (annihilated) everything (in the material realm). Previously creation was attributed to bhagavAn. If annihilation were attributed to some one else, that will minimize the glory of bhagavAn. So, nammAzhwAr establishes that samhAram is also under the control of bhagavAn.
  • Important aspects in this pAsuram
    • Through “ivayiyuNda suran“, nammAzhwAr refutes the kudhrushtis (ones who misinterpret vEdham) who say srushti/samhAram are conducted (independently) by other dhEvathAs.
    • Through “thida visumbu“, nammAzhwAr refutes lOkAyathas (chAruvAka who dont accept vEdham as pramANam) who do not accept AkAsam as an element and only accept 4 elements.
    • Through “udal misai uyir“, nammAzhwAr refutes adhvaithis who consider everything is one (as it is established that bhagavAn controls all different entities).
    • Through “sudarmigu surudhiyuL“, nammAzhwAr acknowledges srIman nArAyaNan‘s parathvam (supremacy), lakshmIsambandham (relationship with srI mahAlakshmi) etc which are explained in purusha sUktham etc.

In the next article we will see the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

archived in

pramEyam (goal) –
pramANam (scriptures) –
pramAthA (preceptors) –
srIvaishNava education/kids portal –

0 thoughts on “thiruvAimozhi – 1.1.7 – thidavisumbu erivaLi”

Leave a Comment