thiruvAimozhi – 3.2.1 – munnIr gyAlam

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

Full series >> Third Centum >> Second decad


Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

First pAsuram – AzhwAr cries out with grief saying “You gave me the body which is to be used to surrender unto you; but I have instead gone in its (bodily) ways and gone astray; when will I see you?”.

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

First pAsuram. AzhwAr says “You have created this universe and bestowed me body and senses to worship you; I am using those for worldly pleasures and gone astray; you have to tell me, who is in this situation , as to when I will reach you”.


munnIr gyAlam padaiththa em mugil vaNNanE
anNAL nI thandha Akkaiyin vazhi uzhalvEn
vennAL nOy vIya vinaigaLai vEr aRap pAyndhu
ennAL yAn unnai ini vandhu kUduvanE


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

munnIr – having 3 types of water
gyAlam – universe
padaiththa em mugil vaNNanE – created and because of such magnanimous act similar to that of dark clouds (that shower the rain irrespective of land or water), you became my saviour!
annAL – during the time of such srushti (creation)

having merciful heart,
nI – you
thandha – gave (to reach you)
Akkaiyin – body’s
vazhi – going in its ways (that adds bondage)
uzhalvEn – me who is suffering (in garbha (womb), naraka (hell) etc)
vem – that which leads to a pitiable state (after having acquired knowledge)
nAL – in such day
nOy – diseases (in the form of ahankAram (considering oneself to be body), artha (worldly wealth), kAma (worldly pleasure) etc)
vIya – to destroy
vinaigaLai – karmas (which cause them)
vEr – with its traces
aRappAyndhu – plucked and thrown away
yAn – I (who used the senses which were supposed to be favourable towards you, against you)
unnai – you (who is the primary saviour)
ini – after being ungrateful
vandhu – come (giving up this situation)
kUduvan – unite
en nAL – when is that?

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

Oh emperumAn who created the universe that has 3 types of water and because of such magnanimous act similar to that of dark clouds (that shower the rain irrespective of land or water), you became my saviour! During the time of such srushti (creation), having merciful heart, you gave me (to reach you) a body; but in such day when I have become pitiable having gone in such body’s ways (that adds bondage) and am suffering (in garbha (womb), naraka (hell) etc), for such me, plucking and throwing out my karmas with its traces, to destroy the diseases (in the form of ahankAram (considering oneself to be body), artha (worldly wealth), kAma (worldly pleasure) etc) which are caused by such karmas, after me being ungrateful, when will I (who used the senses that were supposed to be favourable towards you, against you) unite with you (who is the primary saviour)?

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

  • munnIr – River water, ground water and rain water. As said in manu smruthi 1.8 “apa Eva sasarjAdhau” (that supreme being first created water), first created water and then created the aNda (universe containing 14 layers from brahma lOkam at the top till pAthALa lOkam at the bottom).
  • gyAlam padaiththaemperumAn who created this universe with diverse forms. Seeing the jIvAthmAs in a helpless state, being overwhelmed by compassion, he created the universe thinking “let them acquire body and senses to be uplifted”.
  • em mugil vaNNanE – Though bhagavAn creates to help every one, AzhwAr considers it as “madhartham” (for me). Like if a person performs great penances and brings the rains, many will reap the benefit, AzhwAr thinks, because emperumAn created the universe for me, all the AthmAs in the universe benefited too. AzhwAr says “mugil vaNNan” (cloud like) to highlight the qualities of cloud such as helping everyone and helping without expecting anything in return.
  • an nAL – That time when the AthmA was without any body/senses, being covered by subtle matter (the state of matter during deluge) and being qualified to accept the mercy.
  • nI – At that time, you who helped, since you consider it (the loss of AthmAs) as your own loss as said in mahOpanishath “sa EkAki na ramEtha” (he is not happy when being alone [as the AthmAs are in subtle state, without any means to express themselves, they are as good as non-existing].
  • thandha – you bestowed the body so that it can bow at your divine feet and attain you.
  • nI thandha – bestowed by you, who is very compassionate. Instead of the AthmAs requesting you, you yourself bestowed out of your compassion. The rarity of acquiring human body is explained in SrI bhAgavatham 11.2.28 “dhurlabhO mAnushO dhEha:” (It is very difficult to acquire human body) etc. Why is this (act of bestowing bodies/senses) explained as a favour? Is creation not happening based on karma? Though creation happens based on karma as said in “yaugapadhyam anugraha kAryam” (the whole universe(s) is created at once out of bhagavAn‘s mercy on seeing the plight of jIvAthmAs without any body/senses). SrIrangarAja sthavam 2.41 “achidhaviSEshithAn praLayasImani samsaratha: karaNakaLEbararirgatayithum dhayamAnamanA: …” (In the state of deluge, seeing the plight of chEthanas (souls) who are as good as achEthana (matter) [due to lack of body/senses], you, with compassionate heart, to bestow them body and senses, with your divine will, transformed the primordial (subtle) matter into gross forms such as mahAn, ahankAram,  pancha bhUthams etc). Like an emperor would release the prisoners on special occasions, you out of your mercy, blessed the souls with bodies and senses.
  • Akkaiyin vazhi uzhalvEn – You bestowed me the body with a particular intent; but I went with the ways of the body [instead of following your will]. embAr explained this as “When we are supposed to push the boat to reach emperumAn and enjoy him, like those who don’t understand the value of the boat and move along with the flow to end up in the ocean, I went along with worldly pleasures and caused disaster to self”.
  • vennAL – Once knowledge about the true nature of the self is acquired, the time spent in this material realm would feel like sIthA pirAtti’s [unbearable] stay in lankA in separation from SrI rAma. For AzhwAr, when in separation from bhagavAn, it feels like he is being burnt – so he says “vem nAL” (hot day).
  • nOy – birth [birth itself is considered as a disease that is to be cured]. SrI bharathAzhwAn’s disease was unlike chAthurthikam (a type of fever which is considered deadly that will kill very quickly), it is due to separation from SrI rAma [which lasted for 14 long years]; in the same manner, AzhwAr‘s disease (of separation from bhagavAn) is also well-known.
  • vIya – to eradicate.
  • vinaigaLai vEraRap pAyndhu – SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 37.6 “rAkshasAnAm kshayam kruthvA sUdhayithvA cha rAvaNam | lankAmunmUlithAm kruthvA kadhAdhrakshyathi mAm pathi: ||” (My husband SrI rAm will cause destruction for the rAkshasas, kill rAvaNa and destroy lankA completely and will see me always” – AzhwAr too desires that his hurdles are eradicated like this – i.e., eradicating the avidhyA (ignorance) etc along with their impressions, that cause the grief of separation. From “pAyndhu“, we can understand the anger of AzhwAr towards such hurdles. AzhwAr is saying “How can I do this (eliminating hurdles) which can only be done by bhagavAn, who is all capable?”.
  • ennAL – I am not saying that “I want this now”. I will be happy if you tell me when you will bestow that to me. As said in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 127.1 “pUrNE chathurdhaSE varshE …” (after completing 14 full years SrI rAma, elder brother of SrI lakshmaNa arrived at bharadhwAja maharishi’s ASramam on a panchami day and worshipped the maharishi).
  • yAn – me who used the body and senses for worldly pleasures and inflicted this disaster on myself.
  • unnai – You who can be requested to give a solution for the disaster I have caused upon myself.
  • ini – After having destroyed the tools/mercy that was given by you.
  • ini vandhu kUduvanE – Previous AchAryas would explain this as AzhwAr giving up thinking “Is it even possible to reach him?”. But emperumAnAr explains “AzhwAr is of the nature that if he gives up, he will be finished. He would give up in ninth pAsuram and emperumAn will appear immediately and convince him in the tenth pAsuram”. So here AzhwAr is saying “Tell me the day when you have arranged for me to reach you”.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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