thiruvAimozhi – 2.9.1 – emmA vIttu

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

Full series >> Second Centum >> Ninth decad


Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

In the first pAsuram – AzhwAr desires for the goal which is connection with emperumAn‘s divine feet over fully qualified liberation.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the first pAsuram – AzhwAr says “I am not desiring even for the top-most goal of reaching SrIvaikuNtam; my goal is only to have your divine feet placed on my head”.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

See piLLAn‘s introduction.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

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

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.


emmA vIttuth thiRamum seppam – nin
semmA pAdha paRputh thalai sErththu – ollai
kaimmA thunbam kadindha pirAnE!
ammA adiyEn vENduvadhu IdhE


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

e – in all ways
mA – great
vIttuth thiRam – form of liberation
seppam – won’t say/ask
nin – your
sem – reddish
mA – apt
pAdha paRpu – divine lotus feet
thalai – on my head
ollai – immediately
sErththu – to be joined/placed
kaimmA – the elephant who had drowned into the pond along with its trunk
thunbam – suffering
kadindha – one who eliminated
pirAnE – being most magnanimous
ammA – the lord who accepted my servitude (manifesting this incident)
adiyEn – I who am servant (of you)
vENduvadhu – praying for (the result which matches my nature)
IdhE – this only.

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

I won’t ask for the form of liberation that is great in all ways; I only want to have your divine reddish feet which are apt for me, immediately placed on my head. Oh my lord who eliminated the sufferings of the elephant who had drowned into the pond along with its trunk! Oh my lord who magnanimously accepted my service! I, who am servant (of you), am praying to you for this (result which matches my nature) only. Implies that, that which is desired by purusha is purushArtham (goal).

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

  • em mA vIttuth thiRamum – ISwaran said “AzhwIr! Here, accept mOksham”; AzhwAr said “No! I don’t want”; emperumAn said “this is mA vIdu – distinct/special mOksham”; AzhwAr said “I don’t want that too”; emperumAn further said “this is em mA vIdu – don’t think that is aiSwaryam (joy in this world) or Athma lAbham (kaivalyam – eternal self enjoyment); this is parama purushArtha lakshaNa mOksham (attainment of the ultimate liberation of eternal joyful service in SrIvaikuNtam)” AzhwAr says “I don’t want even that”. I don’t want to hear any discussion on any form of liberation (however great it may be).
  • seppam – we won’t speak about it. You need not bring up that discussion and I need not discard your suggestion.
  • emmA vIttuth thiRamum seppam – An expert in thamizh explained “thiRamum seppam” as “vikalpamum sevviyum“. vikapam means choice/diverse – here, it explains the different aspects of mOksham (sAlOkya – residing in the same place as bhagavAn, sArUpya – having similar form to bhagavAn, sAmIpya – being in close proximity to bhagavAn and sAyujya – being connected to bhagavAn). seppam – semmai – best (all inclusive) – in this, all types of mOksham are contained.

When asked “but, what is it that you need?”,

  • nin semmA pAdha paRputh thalai sErththu – This is what I need. sem – reddish and mA – blackish; you have to place your divine feet which is reddish on the inside and blackish on the outside that resemble a lotus flower which has broadness, freshness, coolness and fragrance. Alternatively, semmai implies sevvai – Arjavam (honesty) which ensures that the devotees don’t need to worry. mA indicates greatness and most worshippable divine feet. sErththu – to be joined. Your divine feet and my head should be joined like a hook and a loop-head. Here sErththu is not a request, but an order. SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 98.8 “yAvanna SaraNau bhrAthu: pArththivavyanjanAnvithau | SirasA dhArayishyAmi  na mE SAnthirbhavishyathi ||” (Until I behold the divine feet of my brother SrI rAma who has all qualities of being a king, I will not have peace) – When bharatha was asked “Oh son! when will your internal sorrows be eliminated?”, he replied “When perumAL (SrI rAma) is crowned aptly [as the emperor] and I am crowned aptly [as his servitor], my sufferings will be removed”.
  • nin semmA pAdha paRputh thalai sErththu – Like those who desire to decorate their hairs (in head) with flower after washing the hair cleanly, AzhwAr too wants to be drowned in the endless flood of joy and have his head decorated with the flower (divine feet of emperumAn).

emperumAn agreed and said “I will do so”. I cannot wait for your leisurely pace.

  • ollai – You should do it while you are saying “Here, I am doing it”.

Is there any place where there was such desperation/hurry?

  • kaimmA thunbam kadindha pirAnE – Don’t you know how to rush quickly? nampiLLai explains part of a beautiful SlOkam from vishNu dharmam 68. “paramApadhamApanna:” (fell in great danger) – It was such a great danger that sarvESvaran rushed in without checking his own situation. “manasAchinthayath” (thought in its mind) – even stopped crying out [only thinking in the mind].
  • kaimmA thunbam – Elephant suffers to its stature – it was such suffering that even its trunk had drowned [unable to breathe]. emperumAn asks AzhwAr “Are you in such danger?” AzhwAr replies “it was one crocodile there; here, I have five crocodiles [five senses which try to swallow me]; it was 1000 celestial years; here, I have been in this material realm since time immemorial; it is a small pond there; here it is a great ocean named samsAram [material realm]; it is danger for the body there; here, it is danger for the soul; the crocodile caught the leg of the elephant; here, the senses are catching and torturing my heart. So, see the difference between there and here”.
  • pirAnEAzhwAr feels that the help of emperumAn removing the sufferings of SrI gajEndhrAzhwAn is help for AzhwAr himself.

emperumAn says “There is a reason for my help to the elephant. But, why should I help you?”,

  • ammA – The relationship with your highness is the same for the elephant and me. Aren’t you the lord?

When, emperumAn says “Who are you?”,

  • adiyEn – I am a SEshabhUtha (servitor).

When emperumAn asks “Do you insist upon this simply as a duty due to our master-servant relationship?”,

  • vENduvadhu – rAga prAptham (desire to achieve). No, this is my desire too [not just mechanical activity].

When emperumAn asks “You want this and what more?”

IdhE AzhwAr says “nin semmA pAdha paRputh thalai sErththu” (Placing your divine lotus feet on my head) only is desired.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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