thiruppallANdu 8 – neyyidai nallathOr

srImathE satakOpAya nama:
srImathE rAmAnujAya nama:
srImadh varavaramunayE nama:

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Introduction for this pAsuram

AzhwAr accepts the aiswaryArththis (those who are after material wealth) who accept AzhwAr‘s suggestion and arrive at him after being invited by him in “aNdak kulam” pAsuram. ananya prayOjanars (those who are focussed on kainkarayam) who were invited in “vAzhAL pattu” arrived in “enthai thanthai” highlighting their greatness. kaivalyArththis (those who are focussed on self-enjoyment) who were invited in “Edu nilam” arrived in “thIyil poliginRa” highlighting their greatness. These people (aiswaryArththis) desired for insignificant results, yet, emperumAn responded to them as he would do for ananya prayOjanars and fulfilled their desires. Being overwhelmed with emperumAn‘s generosity, they gave up the wealth and with pure heart arrive to glorify bhagavAn who is most generous. While they previously spoke about the greatness of (materially) higher worlds, now they are talking about that which is dhAraka (sustenance), pOshaka (nourishment) and bhOgya (enjoyment) – this is because of them realizing the insignificant nature of the higher material worlds and also realizing that even for brahmA (who is great) the need is for dhAraka, pOshaka and bhOgyam only. If we consider anything other than such basic needs as “mine”, that will only lead to losing ones own true nature/composition.


நெய்யிடை நல்லதோர் சோறும் நியதமும் அத்தாணிச் சேவகமும்
கையடைக் காயும் கழுத்துக்குப் பூணொடு காதுக்குக் குண்டலமும்
மெய்யிட நல்லதோர் சாந்தமும் தந்து என்னை வெள்ளுயிராக்க வல்ல
பையுடை நாகப் பகைக் கொடியானுக்குப் பல்லாண்டு கூறுவனே

neyyidai nallathOr sORum niyathamum aththANich chEvakamum
kai adaikkAyum kazhuththukkup pUNodu kAthukkuk kuNdalamum
meyyida nallathOr sAnthamum thanthu ennai veLLuyirAkka valla
paiyudai nAgap pagaik kodiyAnukkup pallANdu kURuvanE


word-by-word meanings

ney idai – in between ghee
nallathu Or sORum – rice which is seen in there, that which is placed with pure heart and that which tastes delicious
niyathamum – always
aththANich chEvakamum – inseparable service
kai – placed by (emperumAn with his own) hand
adaik kAyum – betel leaves and nuts
kazhuththukkup pUNodu kAdhukkuk kuNdalamum – ornaments for the neck and ears
meyyida – fit to be applied on the body
nallathu Or sAnthamum – very fragrant sandalwood paste
thanthu – given
ennai – (most lowly) me
veL uyir Akka valla – to transform me to be pure natured
pai udai – having hoods
nAgam – for the serpent
pagai – garuda who is the enemy of (serpent)
kodiyAnukku – one who has it (garuda) in his flag
pallANdu kUruvan – will perform mangaLAsAsanam

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai’s commentary

  • neyyidai – idai means abundance and amidst. This means – rice with abundance of ghee and rice morsels in the midst of ghee (that there is some rice morsels as well in the ghee – very rich food).
  • nallathOr sORum – goodness of food is – when the giver of food does not think “I have given” and the receiver does not feel “What will I have to do in return?”. It is like mother feeding her son [where there is no other expectation than feeding the child].
  • Or sORu – Not just the mood of goodness, but also very tasty food. Alternatively, it is the food offered by sEsha bhUtha (servitor) to sEshi (master). That is, food with abundant devotion, i.e., offering food to bhagavAn thinking that bhagavAn exists purely for his devotees as stated in jithanthE sthOthram “… bhakthAnAm …” (for the devotees only) and also thinking that bhagavAn is vathsalan (having motherly affection towards child, who tolerates the child’s mistakes). How will such food offered by ananya prayOjanars to their master be? That is explained in mahAbhAratham udhyOga parvam 74 “vidhurAnnAni bubhujE suchIni guNavanthi cha” (krishNa accepted the pure and delicious food offered by vidhura). Here the purity is that vidhura did not have any pride while offering food. dhuryOdhana was prideful about his wealth. bhIshma was prideful about his knowledge/wisdom. dhrONa was prideful about his birth in good family. Unlike these men, vidhura was filled with devotion only.
  • niyathamum – always. Unlike material wealth, even when given by sarvEswaran himself, it will not stay permanently. Even when its lost, bhagavAn will remedy that situation – that is why two types of wealth seekers are defined namely arththArththi (one who seeks out new wealth) and Arththan (one who longs to retrieve lost wealth). Alternative explanation – samsAris are those who take the favours from bhagavAn yet have no gratitude towards him. Still bhagavAn protects them and shows his magnanimous nature.
  • aththANich chEvakamum – aththANi  means being inseparable. chEvakam means service. Even for aiswaryArththi, always thinking about bhagavAn , thinking about bhagavAn during the last moments are essential duty just like for a ananya prayOjana.  In that case, why is this said “thanthu” (given) like a result derived out of some self-effort? Because it is done after being purified, they do it purely as svayam prayOjanam (kainkaryam – service) instead of upAyam (means) to attain something else.
  • kaiyadaik kAyum – dhAraka, pOshaka are explained previously. Now, bhOgyam is explained.  Why is it said as “given by bhagavAn himself?” Just like the servitor treats the master with respect/reverence, bhagavAn too treats the servitor with dignity/love.
  • kazhuththukkup pUNodu kAthukkuk kuNdalamum – Since he was interested in material wealth, he is decorating himself with ornaments instead of doing the same on emperumAn. The reason for separately identifying necklaces and earrings is to distinguish between one self-enjoying an ornament (necklace), and the others seeing and enjoying the same (ear-rings). When srI rAma returns to ayOdhya (victoriously), he looks at ornaments that are lovingly presented to them by indhra and tells sIthA “this is for your neck”, “this is for your ears”, etc.
  • meyyida – After developing taste in the lotus feet, we will joyfully say that “this body is to be given up”.
  • nallathOr sAnthamum – Matching his form which is gloried in chAndhOgya upanishath 3.14.2 as “sarva gantha:” (the cause of all fragrances). Like the sandalwood paste from kubhjA.  When krishNa and balarAma was visiting mathurA, krishNa asked the hunch-back lady “Would you offer/apply sandal paste for all?” As she was attracted to krishNa, she did not leave but did not want to give the best sandalwood paste considering them as mere cowherd boys. She initially thought that krishNa and balarAma being from AyarpAdi, they may not know these different types of sandal wood pastes, but realizing their knowledge in this, she gave the best paste to them. Such sandalwood paste was applied by bhagavAn in our hands.
  • thanthu – While giving, he made us feel overwhelmed by the gait in his face and his magnanimity and made us give up the attachment towards the material wealth and we thus became fully attached to him.
  • ennai veLLuyir Akka valla – My situation was as explained in mahAbhAratham udhyOga parvam 42.35 “…chOrENa AthmAbahAriNA” (what sins are not committed by the one who steals the AthmA (considers it to be ones own property) which is really the property of bhagavAn?) – I was fully engrossed in worldly pleasures, he purified such person.
  • veLLuyir Akka valla – He purified me so much that I looked like a nithyasUri and can never be recognized by any one here where I was fully immersed in this worldly activities previously.
  • valla – One who is naturally capable to transform one type of object (being completely immersed in worldly pleasures) into another (being completely immersed in him).

When asked what/who is the object of mangaLAsAsanam?

  • paiyudai … – performing mangaLAsAsanam to bhagavAn who has the garuda dhvaja (flag) – garuda who is the enemy of serpent [in worldly matters] – having such serpent with raised hoods due to the touch of bhagavAn as his bed. AzhwAr is saying that he is singing thiruppallANdu for the eternal well-being of bhagavAn who is in anantha (Adhi sEsha) which resembles a gem embossed in a gold plate and to the one who has garuda flag which establishes that even if some one comes to him with ulterior motives, they will become fully surrendered to him. Here, in the end “kURuvanE” is in singular unlike when singing about ananyaprayOjanars and kaivalyArththis which were in plural. This is because those groups are limited in numbers but aiswaryArththis are unlimited (most common set of people). So, in this case, a single person represents the huge group and speaks on behalf of them.

adiyEn sArathy rAmAnuja dAsan

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