thiruvezhukURRirukkai – 6

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

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aimpulan agaththinuL seRuththu
nAnugudan adakki mukkuNaththu iraNdavai agaRRi
onRinil onRi ninRu
Angu iru piRappu aRuppOr aRiyum thanmaiyai

Word by word meanings

aimpulan agaththinuL seRuththu – (without letting roam around onto other bad influences outside) they control the five senses to stay inside
nAngu udan adakki – eating, sleeping, fearing, enjoying other pleasures – are the four things they nullify
mukkuNaththu – out of the three characteristics, sathvam, rajas, and thamas
agaRRi – they avoid
iraNdu avai – rajas and thamas
onRi ninRu – and stay involved
onRinil – only in sathva guNam;
Angu – by such a bhakthi yOgam
iru piRappu aRuppOr – upAsakars (worshipers/followers who use their own efforts) avoid two types of births,
aRiyum thanmaiyai – You are of such a nature that they can reach You (by their own efforts as the means).

Simple translation

In the previous phrase thirumangai AzhwAr started talking about those who try by their own efforts to reach emperumAn. It talked about karma yOgam (including gyAna yOgam). In this phrase he talks about those who do very difficult and almost impossible bhakthi yOgam which some use as the means for attaining mOksham and reaching emperumAn.

Those who perform bhakthi yOgam have to control their outer five senses (body, mouth, eye, nose, and ears) from roaming around to enjoy the five benefits (sound, touch, form, taste, and smell (sabdha, sparsa, rUpa, rasa, ganDha)); they have to control their mind; they have to stay focused on having sathva guNam (tranquillity), and avoid two other guNams (rajas, thamas) which can pull us down;

After doing such highly difficult tasks on their own, they avoid the two types of births – good and bad births (samsAram), and may attain emperumAn.

AzhwAr says that putting in these efforts which they consider as the means for attaining You, is against the nature of AthmA which is supposed to depend on emperumAn for everything; even then a few such beings are able to reach You, whereas adiyEn who considers You as the means for reaching You is still not able to attain You!.



Now, thirumangai AzhwAr talks about bhakthi yOgam which has got karma yOgam as its part (angam), which is even more difficult (than karma yOgam), and which is followed by upAsakars (those who resort to meditation/recitation/worshiping) who are scared looking at this samsAram and wish to attain mOksham.

aimpulan agaththinuL seRuththu – body, mouth, eye, nose, and ears are the five outer senses that they control from roaming around the outside influences of sound, touch, form, taste, and smell (sabdha, sparsa, rUpa, rasa, ganDha).

nAngu udan adakki – mind which is an inner sense is usually present in four states – 1) when involved in thinking (mananam) it is ‘manam’; 2) when it gains knowledge/understands – it is ‘budhDhi’; 3) when reflecting, it is ‘chiththam’; and 4) when thinking of self it is ‘ahankAram’. This phrase points out that they have to control all these four states at the same time, which is hard and rare to do.

nAngudanadakki – can also understand this as that they have to control the four common activities of all beings – eating, sleeping, fearing, and sexual intercourse.

Or, 1) the wealth of being able to distinguish between nithyam (which is there forever), anithyam (which is destroyed/changed), 2) control of inner and outer senses; 3) being not interested in benefits in this world or in other worlds, and 4) interested in attaining mOksham – are the four means of mOksham that they possess within them.

mukkuNaththu iraNdavai agaRRi – out of the three primordial – sathvam, rajas, and thamas – they avoid with great effort and difficulty the rajas and thamas which pull us down,

onRinil onRi ninRu – stay focussed on the one remaining, that is, sathva guNam.

Angu – by the bhakthi yOgam that is reached through karma yOgam

iru piRappu aRuppOr –  upAsakars break the chain of the type type of births – good and bad – which are due to good and bad karmAs (puNayam and pApam);

aRiyum thanmaiyai – and You are of the nature whose guNams are being known by such upAsakars based on their upAsanai.


By ‘birth’, it refers to this samsAram.

We can combine to the phrase of ‘Angu iru piRappu aRuppOr’ to mean ‘they get rid of births by bhakthi yOgam’. Or, ‘Angu aRiyum’ to understand it as ‘upAsakars who know You by doing bhakthi yOgam’.

So, starting from the previous phrase ‘muththI’, till the current phrase, following is explained:

Their following of the very hard to do karma (including gyAnam), bhakthi yOgams for getting rid of this samsAram and enjoy emperumAn – is the same as how gajEndhrAzhwAn tried to win the crocodile by his own efforts and put flowers in emperumAn’s thiruvadi (lotus feet to enjoy emperumAn). Mostly, they would miss out, is what would happen (பெரும்பாலும் இழந்தேபோமித்தினை). So, he emphasizes that we should survive (out of this samsAram) only by considering emperumAn only as the means, and he says “even when a few of them who followed other means that are very hard to do, which are against the nature of AthmA (that is supposed to depend on emperumAn only for everything), which in reality are Not the means, have been able to attain You with their impossible efforts, here I am who depends on You who is the true means for attaining mOksham and reaching You – and I am not able to get You!”

Thus these are the thoughts thirumangai AzhwAr has provided us in the phrases from “muththI” till “aRiyum thanmaiyai”.

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Translation by raghuram srInivAsa dAsan

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