thiruvAimozhi – 1.3.7 – onRenap palavena

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

Full series >> First Centum >> Third decad

Previous pAsuram


Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

nammAzhwAr instructs “Oh ones who have limited life span! Determine the supreme lord amongst the three (brahmA, vishNu, rudhra) through established means and surrender unto such supreme controller”.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

Subsequently, AzhwAr explains the means to determine the supreme and then instructs everyone to quickly surrender unto that supreme.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

In this 7th pAsuram, AzhwAr seeing that the samsAris are still reluctant to find out about the supreme, says “Oh ones who have limited lifespan! Analyze who is the supreme and surrender unto him”.

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

7th pAsuram. Even after hearing AzhwAr‘s instructions, people were saying “we will do as you say” and were still lethargic. AzhwAr says “you have limited life span; you are not realising the true and wonderful nature of bhagavAn who is the ultimate object to attain; determine the supreme before you die, using proper means and devote yourself towards him” in this pAsuram which is a continuation of the previous pAsuram.


onRenap palavena aRivarum vadivinuL ninRa
nanRezhil nAraNan nAnmugan aran ennum ivarai
onRa num manaththu vaiththu uLLi num iru pasai aRuththu
nanRena nalam seyvadhu avanidai nammudai nALE

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

onRenap palavena – Considering there is one chief controller or considering there are many chief controllers
aRivarum – difficult to know
vadivinuL – in a form
ninRa – residing
nanRu – beautiful/distinct
ezhil – having radiance of auspicious qualities such as apahathapApmathvam (being freed from all evils)
nAraNan – srIman nArAyaNa who is explained in nArAyaNa anuvAkam and who is the in-dwelling supersoul of all chith and achith
nAnmugan – chathur-muka (four faced) brahmA who has four faces (a) to recite the four vEdhams and (b) for the different types of creation
aran – hara (rudhra/siva) who is focussed on samhAram (annihilation) only
ennum ivarai – these personalities who are explained in various pramANams to reveal their nature/activities
onRa – being neutral instead of taking sides of any one (to identify the chief person)
num manaththu vaiththu – contemplating in your heart/mind
uLLi – analysing their svarUpa (true nature) and svabhAva (qualities) through pramANams (sAsthram)
num irupasai aRuththu – eliminating the concept of being supreme from the 2 persons you may be attached to
avanidai – on that auspicious srIman nArAyaNan
nammudai – our
nAL – lifespan
nanRena – well-matured as said in “Eka bhakthi:” (single-focussed devotion)
nalam – snEham/friendship
seyvadhu  – do it

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

Thinking about srIman nArAyaNan (who is residing in these three forms (brahmA, vishNu, rudhra) which makes it difficult to consider if the chief controller is one or many, who has distinct/auspicious qualities and who is the in-dwelling super-soul of all sentient and insentient beings), brahmA (who has four faces to recite four vEdhams and to manage different types of creation) and rudhran (who is focussed on annihilation) through pramANams (from sAsthram) which reveal their different qualities, without any partiality and being neutral, analysing them in depth, eliminating any doubt on brahmA and rudhran having supremacy and having friendship towards that distinct srIman nArAyaNan and in your limited lifespan, carry out single-focussed devotion on him.

vyAkyAnams (commentaries)

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s vyAkyAnam

Similar to the simple transalation based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s vyAkyAnam.

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

  • onRenap palavena – It is difficult to easily comprehend if there is a single controller who exists in three different forms or if there are three different chief controllers in three different forms. It makes one wonder if it is “EkAthma adhishtAnam” (single AthmA being the controller) or “anEkAthma adhishtAnam” (multiple AthmAs being the controllers).
  • nanRezhilAzhwAr is meditating on nArAyaNa anuvAkam etc which are fully focussed on srIman nArAyaNan. This is explained by AzhwAr himself in thiruvAimozhi 4.5.10 “kaNdavARRAl thanadhE ulagena ninRAn” (Just by seeing his radiant/commanding form, one can understand everything is owned by him).
  • nAraNan – The name “nArAyaNa” itself explains that he is the prakAri (object) and everything else is his prakAram (attributes/forms).
  • nAnmugan – Having four faces indicating his involvement in srushti (creation) only.
  • aran – haran – the destroyer – indicating his involvement in samhAram only.
  • nAraNan nAnmugan aran – As explained in srIvishNu purANam 1.2.23 “srushtisthithyanthakarNIm brahma vishNu sivAthmikAm | sa samgyAm yAthi bhagavAnEka Eva janArdhana: ||” (the distinct bhagavAn janArdhanan assumes three forms with the names of brahmA, vishNu and siva to perform creation, sustenance and annihilation) – while vishNu is placed in between brahmA and rudhra (making them all look similar), while explaining bhagavAn, the slOkam uses vishNu’s name of janArdhana emphasising vishNu alone is supreme.
  • onRa num manaththu vaiththu – Instead of having favouritism towards the other two (brahmA, siva) or trying to bring up the glories of one individual without analysing, first contemplate the qualities of each of them, being neutral.
  • uLLi – analyse through logic explained in sruthi (vEdham). When such analysis is done, one person will look as the chief and other two will look as the subordinates.
  • num iru pasai aRuththu – eliminating the attachment towards the other two. There is no natural greatness for them – it is only because of your [samsAris’] praising that they look great.
  • nanRena nalam seydhu avanidai – Having established his supremacy, realising how fortunate you are, perform unalloyed devotion towards him.
  • nammudai nALE – When they said, we will take our time, AzhwAr says “our lifespan is very short”. This is already explained in thiruvAimozhi 1.2.1 “minnin nilaiyila pAsuram. When a person is sleeping inside closed doors and the building catches fire, should the person try to escape the fire in a relaxed way? There is very limited time to escape the fire – similarly, there is very limited lifespan for us to realise our nature and surrender unto emperumAn. Our life is such that, when the day dawns, one relishes that its time to go earn money and when the sun sets, one relishes that its time to enjoy sex life – in the mean time a day is lost in the life. “sAlil eduththa nIr pOle thangaL Ayussu kuRaginRathenRu aRiyAdhirA ninRArgaL” (A day in our lifespan is just like a pot of water fetched from the well – that water is gone and can never be brought back).

In the next article we will the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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