thiruvAimozhi – 2.2.2 – EpAvam paramE

SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:
SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:
SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

Full series >> Second Centum >> Second decad

Previous pAsuram


Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

Subsequently, AzhwAr says krishNa is the cause for anishta nivruththi (removal of unwanted aspects) and ishta prApthi (bestowing the desired aspects).

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nampiLLai‘s introduction. periyavAchchAn piLLai nicely coins the question as asked by AzhwAr “Is ‘others being non-controllers (dependents)’ not obvious that it needs to be separately discussed and established?”.

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

Second pAsuram – When asked “Why are you saying ‘alladhu illai’ (there is no other controller)? Aren’t brahmA, rudhra et al also explained as controllers in some scriptures?”, AzhwAr says that when their situations are analysed one person gets his head cut off, and another person cut the head off; emperumAn is the one who removed the defects of both of them and so you tell me if they are controllers or he is the controller?


ஏ! பாவம் பரமே ஏழ் உலகும்
ஈ பாவம் செய்து அருளால் அளிப்பார் ஆர்
மா பாவம் விட அரற்குப் பிச்சை பெய்
கோபால கோளரி ஏறு அன்றியே?

E! pAvam paramE Ezh ulagum
ee pAvam seydhu aruLAl aLippAr Ar
mA pAvam vida araRkup pichchai pey
gOpAla kOLari ERu anRiyE


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

mA – very big
pAvam – sin (against one’s own preceptor)
vida – to be erased
araRku – for rudhra
pichchai pey – one who offered alms
gOpAla kOL ari ERu – the lion amongst those who are born in cowherd clan
anRiyE – if not
Ezhulagum – all worlds
eepAvam seydhu – to be with eradicated (eliminated) sins
aruLAl – out of his compassion
aLippAr – one who protects (by fulfilling the desires)
Ar – who?
EpAvam – how sad!
paramE – become my responsibility (to establish the supremacy of emperumAn)
E – showing dislike

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

AzhwAr asks “Who else can protect all the worlds out of compassion other than krishNa who is the lion amongst those are born in cowherd clan and the one who offered alms to rudhra to erase the effects of a very big sin?”. With dislike he says “How sad! It has become my responsibility (to establish the supremacy of emperumAn) [which is already well established]”.

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

  • EpAvam – “E!” indicates “O!” (alas!) – abundance of distress.
  • EpAvam – AzhwAr says “We are forced to explicitly speak about the differences between diamond and dung”. He says “How sad! People have become so foolish that we are forced to try and establish the well-known supremacy of bhagavAn“.
  • paramE – bharam – responsibility; Instead of enjoying the divine auspicious qualities of bhagavAn, I am forced to explain his supremacy to others [By definition, AzhwAr means one who is immersed in bhagavAn‘s qualities etc and has less inclination towards instructing others – It is only out of compassion to uplift others that they engage in instructing others].
  • Ezhulagum – While the residents of the seven worlds engage in accumulating more and more sins,
  • IpAvam seydhu – to eradicate their sins

Without the jIvAthmAs requesting emperumAn to help them,

  • aruLAl – out of his unconditional unsolicited grace
  • aLippAr Ar – Who will protect these souls? These sins can be eradicated only by his grace and not by their self-effort or atonement. When they try on their own, they will only end up increasing the sins. Instead of saying “aLippAn ivan” (emperumAn is the protector), AzhwAr is saying “Who will protect?” – this is to convince them when they are situated in sathvam (goodness) so that they would accept saying “Only the one about whom you are speaking about” . This is explained in SrI rAmAyaNam uththara kANdam “pAvanssarvalOkanAm thvamEva” (SrI rAma! You are the one capable of removing the sins and purifying every one) and SrIvishNu purANam 1.22.19 “nahi pAlana sAmarthyam ruthE” (No one has the ability to protect other than vishNu who is the supreme controller of everyone). His helping everyone is well-known.
  • mA pAvam vida – to eradicate the great sin. “Anaikkum thanakkuth thakka vAdhamiRE” (an elephant would have problem that matches its size – this is to identify the nature of sins committed by great personalities). In comparison with others, rudhra is distinct when it comes to gyAnam (knowledge) and Sakthi (capability); But using such knowledge and ability, he became a sinner by plucking the head of brahmA who is the master of the (material) universe [the universe which is under his control – there are innumerable universes each one having a brahmA as the leader]. To be relieved of the great sin that is identified in mathsya purANam “… vAmAngushtanakAgrENa chinnam thasya SirO mayA” (Siva says – “the head of brahmA was plucked by me using my left hand thumb finger nail”).
  • araRkup pichchai pey gOpAla kOLari ERu – Though rudhra is the annihilator [appointed by bhagavAn with great authority/responsibility], he committed a sin and still bhagavAn rescued him from that situation during bhagavAn‘s incarnations in this mortal world.  gOpAla (krishNa as cow-herd boy) term is used here to indicate that irrespective of the greatness of these dhEvathAs and whatever humble form SrIman nArAyaNan assumes, SrIman nArAyaNan is the only protector.
  • gOpAla kOL ari ERu – kOL – pride; kOL (extension of koL) – one who overrules the detractors. The pride of being the leader of cow-herds even though he is the leader of nithyasUris (eternally servitors in paramapadham). Should we call those who get trapped in danger as ISwara (controller) or should we call the one who rescues them from such danger as ISwara?

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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