thiruvAimozhi – 2.4.2 – vAL nudhal

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Full series >> Second Centum >> Fourth decad

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Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the second pAsuram – parAnkuSa nAyaki‘s mother says “you who cut off the many shoulders (hands) of bANAsura and helped anirudhdhAzhwAne, ar not helping her even in her such pitiful state”.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

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

Second pAsuram – emperumAn asks “While you have lots of hurdles, is her craving enough?” and parAnkuSa nAyaki‘s mother says “are her hurdles greater than the bAhuvanam (many shoulders) of bANAsura?”.


வாள் நுதல் இம் மடவரல்,
உம்மைக் காணும் ஆசையுள் நைகின்றாள்,
விறல் வாணன் ஆயிரம் தோள் துணித்தீர்,
உம்மைக் காண நீர் இரக்கம் இலீரே

vAL nudhal im madavaral
ummaik kANum AsaiyuL naiginRAL
viRal vANAn Ayiram thOL thuNiththIr
ummaik kANa nIr irakkam ileerE


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

vAL – shining
nudhal – having forehead
immadavaral – this girl with abundance of humility
ummai – you (who are a treat to eyes)
kANum AsaiyuL – with the desire to see
naiginRAL – becoming weak
viRal – very prideful
vANan – bANAsura’s
Ayiram thOL thuNiththIr – oh the one who cut of the thousand shoulders!
ummai – you
kANa – to see
nIr – you
irakkam ileer – are merciless

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

This girl with shining forehead and abundance of humility is becoming weak due to desire to see you (who are a treat to eyes). Oh the one who cut off the thousand shoulders of the prideful bANAsura! You have no mercy to show your form (to her).

The important principle here – our desire is not the means to see him (it is only an intrinsic quality) and his mercy is the means to show himself to us.

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

  • vAL nudhal – this beauty of the forehead is the cause for grief instead of joy (for the mother).. That which is attractive to me who gave birth to this girl, is that which is causing you to ignore her. nampiLLai quotes SrI rAmAyaNam bAla kANdam 73.24 “iyam sIthA mama suthA sahadharmacharI thava | prathIchchachainAm bhadhram thE pANim gruhNIshva pANinA ||” (this sIthA, my daughter is well qualified to accompany you in the righteous path; you accept her; let there be all auspiciousness; you hold on to her hands with your hands) comparing parAnkuSa nAyaki to sIthA pirAtti.
  • im madavaral – having a very tender nature; cannot bear separation. The state of this divine mother of parAnkuSa nAyaki is the same as when thiruvadi (hanuman) saw sIthA pirAtti (in aSOka vanam). nampiLLai beautifully explains SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 15.53 here. dhushkaram kruthavAn rAma: – perumAL (SrI rAma) performed very difficult tasks while sustaining himself in her separation. hInO yadhanayA prabhu: – that is he sustained himself – which by itself is a great task. prabhu: – in his early days, he learned to ride horse, elephant etc and how to rule the kingdom; In separation from his beloved, he did not enjoy anything. When perumAL was in mAlyavAn, hanuman observed his agony in separation and since he was a renunciate, he thought about SrI rAma “he is Sishya of vaSishta (who is a great scholar/sage), but is suffering for a woman like this” and laughed [within himself] at perumAL; but on seeing sIthA pirAtti, since he is greatly knowledgeable, he thought “how can one sustain oneself in separation from sIthA pirAtti?”. dhArayathyAthmanO dhEham – is this a body which is acquired on loan (not one’s own) so that it can be sustained like this? is this body not present for enjoyment? is this body present for suffering? Her quality is not such that one can say “in separation, I will wait for the apt process to unite with her”.
  • ummai – I only need to explain her state to you; you know about yourself quite well such that you should know “those who are in separation from me will not survive”.
  • vAL nudhal immadavaral ummai – you both are as explained in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 16.5 “thulya SIla vayO vruththAm” (SithA and SrI rAma are perfect match in qualities, age, activities etc).
  • ummaik kANum AsaiyuL naiginRAL – one’s desire will match the object of such desire (you are great, so the desire is also great).
  • kANum AsaiyuL – Did she desire to embrace you? Why are you not even showing your form?
  • ummaik kANum AsaiyuL naiginRAL – Like being submerged in an ocean; desire is the ocean here; this craving is also acceptable.
  • viRal vANan Ayiram thOL thuNiththIr – if you are asking “is such craving sufficient when there are hurdles?”, let me say “are her hurdles not greater than the many shoulders of bANAsura?”. You are the one who united ushA and anirudhdha. Would you only help if it is your grandson or male? Should you not help this poor girl who united with you (previously)?
  • ummaik kANa – When someone desires for a karumugai garland [an exotic flower], it is to wear it, not to make it as summAdu (a cloth which is rolled up and kept on head to support heavy objects). Similarly, when she wants to see you, seeing is the purpose; she is not going to ask for something more after seeing. thirumazhisai AzhwAr says in nAnmugan thiruvanthAdhi 39 “azhaippan thiruvEnkataththAnaik kANa” (I call out for SrInivAsa to see him); thirumangai AzhwAr says in siRiya thirumadal “kArAr thirumEni kANumaLavum” (to see his cloud-like divine form); nammAzhwAr too said in thiruvAimozhi 3.8.5 “kaNgaLAl kANa varungolenRu” (arrive to be seen by my eyes). You are not having the mercy to make yourself visible.
  • nIr irakkam ileerE – As said in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 36.42 “…naiva dhamSAn…” (in separation from you, SrI rAma was not even driving away forest-flies etc from his body) – you were so attached to sIthA pirAtti; but here you are not even showing basic compassion towards parAnkuSa nAyaki who is suffering in separation from you. parAnkuSa nAyaki’s mother feels “her agony/craving is not the means for the goal; his mercy is the means for the goal”. She also thinks “her agony/craving is part of the entourage for his mercy; his mercy is the means for the goal”. As said in katavalli upanishadh “nAyamAthmA pravachanEna labhyO na mEdhayA na bahunA SruthEna | yamaivEsha vruNuthE thEna labhayasthasyaisha AthmA vivruNuthE thanUm svAm ||” (This paramAthmA cannot be attained through contemplation, profound and repetitive meditation, lots of hearing etc; only those who are accepted by such paramAthmA can attain him; for such jIvAthmA, this paramAthmA  shows his true nature) – one can see him only when he himself makes him visible.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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