thiruvAimozhi – 1.3.2 – eLivarum iyalvinan

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

Full series >> First Centum >> Third decad

Previous pAsuram

krishna-messengerkrishNa going as a messenger for pANdavas and kauravas insulting him

Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

nammAzhwAr started speaking about bhagavAn‘s simplicity in his avathArams, but after meditating on his unlimited simplicity of being bound in the mortar and trembling out of fear, AzhwAr who is beyond the control of prakruthi (matter/body), became controlled by prakruthi (fainted and became unconsicous) and then after regaining consciousness started elaborating bhagavAn‘s simplicity.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

After enjoying emperumAn‘s saulabhyam (simplicity), AzhwAr starts instructing about his saulabhyam in a detailed manner.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

Subseqently, AzhwAr instructs about the speciality of emperumAn‘s avathArams.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

Becoming bewildered after experiencing emperumAn‘s saulabhyam, AzhwAr faints and stays unconscious for 6 months. Subsequently, he becomes conscious again and starts instructing about his saulabhyam in detail.

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

It is well-known that hailing “eththiRam” (how is this possible?) AzhwAr fainted and remained unconscious for 6 months. When he was lying unconscious madhurakavi AzhwAr and his associates carefully took care of him just like srI guhap perumAL (guhan) watched sIthA pirAtti and srI rAma sleeping during their visit to his place. It looked similar to birds thronging a well-ripened fruit-bearing tree.

When sIthA pirAtti and srI rAma were traveling, they rested at guha’s place and guha watched them carefully. When bharathAzhwAn came looking for them, guha showed him the place where they rested. bharatha became unconscious thinking about them (having had to rest with very minimal comforts contrary to the princely life they were used to) and later regained consciousness. Similarly, AzhwAr too lost his consciousness thinking about emperumAn‘s saulabhyam.

As a great fortune for the sAthvikas (good persons – fully devoted to emperumAn) of AzhwArthirungari, as said in thiruviruththam 100 “nallAr navil kurugUr” (AzhwArthirungari which is the abode of good persons), he regained conscious. When he asked where he stopped before losing consciousness, madhurakavi AzhwAr and others carefully told him, “You said ‘eththiRam‘ and fainted” instead of reminding about “paththudai adiyavarkku eLiyavan” which may cause him to faint again.

In the first pAsuram, he experienced emperumAn though he wanted to instruct others. In this pAsuram, he starts instructing others.


எளிவரும் இயல்வினன் நிலை வரம்பில பல பிறப்பை
ஒளிவரு முழுநலம் முதலில கேடில விடாம்
தெளிதரு நிலைமையது ஒழிவிலான் முழுவதும் இறையோன்
அழிவரும் அருளினோடு அகத்தனன் புறத்தனன் அமைந்தே

eLivarum iyalvinan nilai varambila pala piRappAi
oLivaru muzhunalam mudhalila kEdila vIdAm
theLidharu nilaimaiyadhu ozhivilan muzhuvadhum iRaiyOn
aLivarum aruLinOdu agaththanan puRaththanan amaindhE

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

nilai – a position (without discriminating based on birth, activities etc)
varambu – boundary
ila – not having
pala – many different types of
piRappAy – one who is with (such) births
mudhalila kEdila muzhunalam – full auspicious attributes which are without beginning and ending
oLivarum – radiant
eLivarum iyalvinan – having natural simplicity
vIdAm – (even being like this) mOksham
theLi tharum – that which gives clarity
adhu – that
nilaimai – position
muzhuvadhum – completely
ozhivilanAna – ever-existing
iRaiyOn – swAmy (master)
aLivarum – naturally helpful
aruLinOdu – with mercy
amaindhu – present
agaththanan – residing within the devotees
puRaththanan – staying away from the others

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

emperumAn appears in different types of life without any boundary with his full auspicious qualities which are without both a beginning and and end. Despite being supreme, he is naturally simple and is radiant because of that and though he is simple, he is still capable of liberating any one which leads to pristine knowledge about everything. Such ever-existing emperumAn who is our master who is naturally helpful, is mercifully present within his devotees and stays away for the others. From this, it can be understood that his qualities shine radiantly in his incarnations (even more than in paramapadham).

vyAkyAnams (commentaries)

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s vyAkyAnam

Being simple means assuming different forms of life without discriminating between them (being born in human, animal, plant etc forms) and their activities. Even while being born in such forms, he carries along all his eternal auspicious qualities and abilities such as giving mOksham to others etc. Being born like this, he presents himself to his devotees and for the others he is unapproachable.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s vyAkyAnam

Similar to piLLAn‘s vyAkyAnam.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s vyAkyAnam

Similar to nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.

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

  • eLivarum iyalvinan – Having simplicity as a natural quality. He is not simple towards his friends alone – even towards others he manifests his simplicity. Everyone is simple at times. For him its always present – it is svarUpam (natural) for him.
  • nilai varambila – pUrvAchAryas explained this as “there is no condition on the type of birth and type of activities”. But bhattar explained it as “there is no condition in any type of birth – but whatever may be the birth, he is not limited”. Even while being a charioteer for arjuna (which is considered very humble), he manifested viswarUpam. Similarly, he was going to rudhran at kailAsam seeking offspring but on his way he gives mOksham to gaNtA karNan. He lifted gOvardhana hill, being a seven year old boy. Thus there is no boundary for him even in humble situations – the only aim for him is to protect his devotees and he will do it in any situation.
  • pala piRappAy – Many many births. He himself (who is absolutely knowledgable) says in gIthA 4.5 “bahUni” (many). vEdham which says truth as it is, says in purusha sUktham “bahudhA vijAyathE” (many births). AzhwArs who are blessed by bhagavAn with flawless knowledge say “pala piRappu” (many births). He likes to present himself in such forms (instead of showing his supremacy) and does not feel guilty about it.
  • oLivaru muzhunalam – Unlike jIvAthmA who acquires a body due to karmA which leads to hiding of his knowledge etc., bhagavAn‘s birth means “The humbler his form, the more radiant his auspicious qualities” (since he takes them on willingly to help others). In yajur vEdham its seen “…sa u srEyAn bhavathi jAyamAna:” (…that bhagavAn takes birth. After taking birth, he acquires great radiance). Here “u” is explained as “Eva” (only) which means, he becomes great only by descending into this samsAram with various forms.
  • mudhalila kEdila – These qualities are eternal – they do not appear and disappear.
  • vIdAm… – mOksha pradhathvam (granting of mOksham) is separately explained because the whole purpose of his births is to uplift others. theLi tharu – that which gives absolute knowledge – when the jIvAthmA reaches paramapadham, he gets full knowledge. This samsAram is such that, it is even capable of confusing bhagavAn himself (In arumpadham, it is highlighted that, this is explained to show the difference between samsAram and paramapadham – not to say that bhagavAn can be confused in this material world).
  • iRaiyOn – Only bhagavAn has the quality of mOksha pradhathvam (granting of liberation). Even in avathArams, that quality is preserved by him.
  • aLivarum aruLinOdu – compassion as necessary; unconditional compassion.
  • agaththanan – For his devotees (pANdavas for example), he will present himself as a humble messenger who ties the envelope of message [on a palm leaf] around his neck and goes to the destination.
  • puRaththanan – For others (kauravas for example), even in such state of being so humble, they cannot approach/accept him.

In the next article we will the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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