thirumAlai – 14 – vaNdinam muralum sOlai

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avathArikai (Introduction)

AzhwAr counselled the samsAris about the divine names of emperumAn and his dhivyadhESam but the samsAris did not pay heed. He then recited the previous pAsuram, as if to himself, but in reality again to the samsAris only. Despite taking so much efforts to say good things to them, seeing their indifference and not being involved with bhagavath vishayam (knowing and enjoying about emperumAn) he becomes averse to them. Just as a person chews a block of camphor to rid of foul taste in the mouth, he immerses himself in the sweetness of thiruvarangam (SrIrangam) and laments that while the samsAris too are born to enjoy this sweetness they are not showing any inclination towards this. Thus he brings to an end the parOpadhESam (counselling others) that he started with the 4th pAsuram. Even though this pAsuram appears as if AzhwAr is talking to himself, it is considered as part of parOpadhEsam. The good words coming out of a sAthvic (purely good) person should be followed by others too.

Let us look at the pAsuram and its meanings:

வண்டினம் முரலும் சோலை மயிலினம் ஆலும் சோலை
கொண்டல் மீதணவும் சோலை குயிலினம் கூவும் சோலை
அண்டர் கோன் அமரும் சோலை அணி திருவரங்க மென்னா
மிண்டர் பாய்ந்துண்ணும் சோற்றை விலக்கி நாய்க்கு இடுமினீரே.

vaNdinam muralum sOlai mayilinam Alum sOlai
koNdal mIdhaNavum sOlai kuyilinam kUvum sOlai
aNdar kOn amarum sOlai aNi thiruvarangam ennA
miNdar pAyndhuNNum sORRai vilakki nAykku iduminIrE


Word-by-word meaning

vaNdinam  – a swarm of bees
muralum sOlai –  gardens where the bees keep humming
mayil inam – a muster of peacocks
Alum sOlai – gardens where the peacocks are dancing
koNdal mIdhu aNavum  – clouds overhanging and hugging
sOlai – gardens
kuyil inam – a bevy of quails
kUvum sOlai – gardens where the quails keep calling out to each other
aNdar kOnsarvESvaran (emperumAn) who is the lord of nithyasUris
amarum sOlai – gardens where emperumAn has taken permanent residence
aNi – like an ornament (to samsAram)
thiru arangam ennA – those who do not pronounce the word “SrIrangam
miNdar – ungrateful fool
pAyndhu uNNum sORRai – falling over [others] to eat food
vilakki – prevent (them from eating)
nIr nAykku idumin –  you give that [food] to a dog

vyAkhyAnam (Explanation)

vaNdinam muralum Solai – just like people crowd together near (flowing) holy rivers and have a bath, the bees come in swarms to these gardens as they contain lot of honey. “muralum” – since they have consumed honey up to their necks, they are not able to stay in one place and keep humming around. This is similar to nithyAthmAs and mukthAthmAs in SrivaikuNtam, enjoying emperumAn and as a consequence, singing sAma gAnam (the musical notes of sAma vEdha).

mayil inam Alum sOlai – looking at the verdant gardens and hearing the humming of the bees, the peacocks think that monsoon has arrived [the swarm of bees appear like cloud to these peacocks] and start dancing in ecstasy.

koNdal mIdhu aNavum sOlai – hearing the humming of the bees, looking at the vastness and greenery of the garden and mistaking thiruvarangam for ocean, the clouds come over this place and hang around in a hugging fashion. Another interpretation is that these gardens have risen up to the level of cloud. As nammAzhwAr says about thirumAlinrunchOlai in thiruvAimozhi 2.10.8mayal migu pozhil sUzh mAlirunchOlai” similar to thirumAlirunchOlai deluding the clouds, the gardens in SrIrangam also delude clouds into believing that it is an ocean. In thirumAliunchOlai, because of the darkness of the gardens, the starting point and the end-point were not clear, creating a delusion. Here, the gardens make the clouds and peacocks to mistake something for something else [as explained above] and create delusion in them.

kuyil inam kUvum sOlai – unlike the bees, clouds and peacocks, which came out of their places, the quails remain wherever they are, and call out one to another, due to the coolness of the place.

aNdar kOn amarum sOlai – Just as bees, clouds, peacocks and quails, emperumAn also looks at the expanse of the gardens here and their sweetness, forgets that he is the lord of nithyasUris (permanent dwellers) in paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam) and wants to be here permanently. Just as emperumAn is the refuge for all the samsAris who he protects, this place is the refuge for sarvESvaran himself. “aNdar” refers to nithyasUris and “aNdarkOn” refers to their lord, parapapadhanAthan.  “amarum” –  forgetting parapamadham, he takes permanent residence here. The term paramapadham also implies vyUha (his kshIrasamudhra or thiruppARkadal or milk ocean), vibhava (various incarnations such as rAma, krishNa et al).

sOlai aNi thiruvarangam – one meaning is that the gardens are like an ornament to the temple here. Another meaning is that the temple is an ornament to samsAram (materialistic realm).

thiruvangam ennA miNdar – While he has taken up permanent residence in this place for their sake, the samsAris, like fools, are not mentioning the name of the place that he is residing in. miNdar – they do not realise their present position nor do they know what is coming up next. In other words, hell and womb are catching the scruff of their necks to push them and they keep desiring for their food and clothing to stay in samsAram forever.

pAyndhu uNNum sORRai vilakki nAykku idumin nIrE – those who do not say the word thiruvarangam are ungrateful people. They eat by stealing the materials from emperumAn. Remove the food that they are eating and give it to dogs, ordains the AzhwAr of good people.  sarvESvaran, who created the samsAris, out of consideration for their well-being, has left SrIvaikuNtam and is dwelling in the temple. Forgetting such a great help, these samsAris are enjoying their food. Remove that food and give to a dog, which is grateful to someone who gives it food once and remains at his doorstep to protect him. nIrE – this refers to good people who remove materials from bad people and give them to good people (such as thirumangai AzhwAr).

We shall move on to the 15th pAsuram.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dasan

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