thiruvAimozhi – 1.5.8 – uNdAy ulagu

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

Full series >> First Centum >> Fifth decad

Previous pAsuram


Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

AzhwAr curses himself and moves away from emperumAn. Seeing that, emperumAn shows his true nature as the one having the quality of sustaining himself by being together with his devotees and consoles AzhwAr.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the eighth pAsuram – Seeing AzhwAr leave, to bring AzhwAr towards him, emperumAn shows his inability to sustain himself in separation from his devotees – AzhwAr becomes amazed at that.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

Subsequently – AzhwAr thus tries to move away losing hope. Seeing that, emperumAn shows his great attachment towards his devotees saying “I will not fail those who are bound to me; I cannot sustain myself without them; there is no disrepute for me in being with you and you can see that yourself in my history” and AzhwAr becomes consoled after seeing that.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

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

Eighth pAsuram – When AzhwAr tries to leave like this, emperumAn thinks “He is quite brave; he should be made to understand” and asks AzhwAr “Oh AzhwIr! Have you not heard about the incidents in thiruvAyppAdi (gOkulam)?”  AzhwAr replies “I am unaware of that” desiing to hear about it from emperumAn. emperumAn says “Once upon a time, I rescued the earth and protected it by keeping in my stomach; Subsequently, I released it; I then thought that there may be residue in my stomach – so to have them digested properly, I consumed some butter in gOkulam”. AzhwAr questions “Both events happened at different times. What is the relationship?” emperumAn then asks “So, you tell me – why did I do that?” AzhwAr replies “Because you sustain yourself with the things which are touched by your devotees [butter churned by the cowherd girls], you consumed the butter”. emperumAn says “Just like that butter, you too are very dear to me. In that case, if you don’t present yourself to me, you will reach the same hell as those who hid the butter away from me”. In this pAsuram, AzhwAr repeats emperumAn’s words thinking that he has understood emperumAn’s desire.


உண்டாய் உலகு ஏழ் முன்னமே உமிழ்ந்து மாயையால் புக்கு
உண்டாய் வெண்ணெய் சிறு மனிசர் உவலை ஆக்கை நிலை எய்தி
மண் தான் சோர்ந்து அது உண்டெழும் மனிசர்க்கு ஆகும் பீர் சிறிதும்
ஆண்ட வண்ணம் மண் கரைய நெய் ஊன் மருந்தோ மாயோனே!

uNdAy ulagu Ezh munnamE umizhndhu mAyaiyAl pukku
uNdAy veNNey siRu manisar uvalai Akkai nilai eydhi
maN thAn sOrndhu athu uNdElum manisarkku Agum bIr siRidhum
aNdA vaNNam maN karaiya ney UN marundhO mAyOnE!

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

mAyOnE – Oh amazing person (who does not get impacted negatively even while mixing with everyone in all aspects)
munnamE – once upon a time
ulagEzh – the seven worlds (which is a sample of all creation)
uNdAy – you consumed
umizhndhu – (without any residue) spat them out
siRu manisar – insignificant humans
uvalai – to be avoided/abandoned
Akkai – body
nilai – position/situation
eydhi – descended/took
mAyaiyAl – in cunning ways
pukku – entered
veNNey – butter
uNdAy – ate
maNdhAn – some residue from the earth that was consumed before
sOrndhu adhu uNdElum – remaining that is present
manisarkku – for the humans
Agum – that occur
bIr – indigestion
siRidhum – even a little
aNdA vaNNam – kept away
maN – that soil
karaiya – to dissolve
ney UN – (in a different incarnation) eating ghee
marundhO – is that a medicine? no

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

Oh amazing person (who does not get impacted negatively even while mixing with everyone in all aspects)! Once upon a time, you consumed all the worlds and spat them out. Subsequently, you descended as an insignificant human being bound in a body (that is generally considered to be avoided). You ate butter to keep away the indigestion that occurs to humans. Is eating ghee a medicine to dissolve the residual soil? (No).

Consuming the world is also to protect the devotees (jIvAthmAs); consuming the butter also is to highlight that emperumAn cannot sustain without the things which are touched by his devotees. Here veNNey (butter) and ney (ghee) are used as synonyms.

vyAkyAnams (commentaries)

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s vyAkyAnam

See vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s translation.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s vyAkyAnam

See nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s vyAkyAnam

See nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.

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

  • mAyaiyAl pukku uNdAy veNNey – As explained in vEdha nigaNdu (vEdha dictionary), “mAyA vayunam gyAnam” (mAyA is synonymous with wisdom, knowledge) – consumed butter (which is a form of knowledge) with desire.

It would not suit well if we say emperumAn was born as srI rAma, stole butter and consumed the same. So,

  • siRu manisar uvalai Akkai nilai eydhi – He took up the body (that is to be avoided) of lowly humans. He presented his own aprAkrutha (divine) form as a lowly human form. As explained in thiruvAimozhi “kaRaiynAr thuvar udukkai” (wearing dirty clothes), he was born amongst cowherd boys and enjoyed butter. While it is said in SrIvishNu purANam 5.3.14 “sapalam dhEvi sanjAtham jAthOham yat thavOdharAth” (the result of your prayers in previous births, led to the result of me entering your womb – krishNa to dhEvaki), it is also said in mahAbhAratham “naisha garbbathvamApEdhE na yOnyAmavasath prabhu:” (This krishNa does not have the quality of staying in someone’s womb and never stayed in anyone’s womb). How is this possible that without being in the womb of the mother, he is born? It is purely by his Sakthi (power).  A king descending in the ikshvAku vamsam was once performing a yAgam. He became thirsty and consumed the water that was sanctified with manthras and that led to him becoming pregnant. Though only the union of man and woman generally leads to pregnancy – in this case it was the special power of the manthram which got him pregnant. If this can be said for a normal king who drinks sanctified water, why should it not be possible for bhagavAn to appear in the form which he likes?

Consuming the soil is for the sustenance of the worlds. Consuming the butter was to sustain yourself (by being in contact with your devotees).

  • maNdhAn … – Here consuming ghee is explained in two ways.
    • bIr is explained as vaivarNyam (becoming pale) – If there is any residual soil remaining in the stomach, for common men, it leads to becoming pale (due to indigestion etc). So, to avoid that, he is eating butter to dissolve the soil.
    • bIr is explained as “a little” here – emperumAn is consuming butter without leaving behind even a little portion for others.
  • marundhO? – Is that a medicine? No. You are not consuming it as medicine, but you are consuming it since it was touched by cowherd girls who are very dear to you – and you are so mad for your devotees that you cannot sustain yourself without things which are touched by them.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

archived in

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

Leave a Comment