thirumAlai – 18 – inidhiraiththivalai mOdha

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

Full series

<< Previous


avathArikai (Introduction)

In the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr spoke about his eyes enjoying on their own. Due to this, there were tears of joy in his eyes which became a flood.  AzhwAr feels sad that “this is acting like a wall and is preventing me from enjoying emperumAn

Let us see the pAsuram and its meaning.

இனிது திரைத் திவலை மோத எறியும் தண் பரவை மீதே
தனிகிடந்து அரசு செய்யும் தாமரைக் கண்ணன் எம்மான்
கனியிருந்தனைய செவ்வாய்க் கண்ணணைக் கண்ட கண்கள்
பனி அரும்பு உதிருமலோ என் செய்கேன் பாவியேனே.

inidhithu thiraith thivalai mOdha eRiyum thaN paravai mIdhE
thanikidanthu arasu seyyum thAmaraik kaNNan emmAn
kaniyirundhanaiya sevvAyk kaNNanaiak kaNda kaNgaL
pani arumbu udhirumAlO en seygEn pAviyEnE


Word for Word Meaning

inidhu – being sweet
thirai thivalai mOdha – droplets from the waves, beating
eRiyum thaN paravai mIdhu – (waves) agitating atop kAvEri which is like a cold ocean
thani kidhandhu – sleeping alone
arasu seyyum – ruling over (destroying the ego of chEthanars (sentient entities))
thAmaraik kaNNan – krishNa with red-lotus like eyes
emmAn – my swAmy (lord)
kani irundhu anaiya sevvAy  kaNNanai – Sri krishNa with reddish lips like a fruit
kaNda kaNgaL – the eyes which saw him
pani arumbu – cool, tears of joy
udhirum – will flow copiously
pAviyEn – (one who could not properly worship) sinner like me
en seygEn – what will I do?


inidhiraiththivalai mOdha – delightful droplets emanating from waves touched [periya perumAL]. Similar to “oNsangadhai vALAzhiyAn” in thiruvAimozhi 8.8.1 where oN sangu gadhai morphed into oNsangadhai with the last letter of sangu getting shortened, here the words iniya and thirai morphed into inidhirai with the last word in iniya getting shortened. Initially huge droplets came from the waves; these mountain-like droplets broke into smaller droplets. These smaller droplets touched the thirumEni (the divine body) of emperumAn, lulling him to sleep (similar to sleep induced by massaging the thighs). Even though the droplets only touched him gently, keeping in mind the soft nature of emperumAn’s divine body, AzhwAr is using the term mOdha – to hit hard against.  In pAsuram 11, AzhwAr divined “arakkar kOnaich cheRRa nam sEvaganAr” speaking about his strength when he took refuge under him. Now, at the time of enjoying emperumAn, he speaks about the softness of emperumAn.

eRiyum thaN paravai mIdhE – waves breaking out from the ocean. Refers to emperumAn who, to get rid of his tiredness, is lying on kAvEri in which waves are breaking out like in an ocean. Alternatively, it also means that due to its expanse and water flow, kAvEri is like an ocean.

thani kidandhu – lying all alone. The entity who has a retinue of servitors in paramapadham to serve him by merely following his thoughts, is lying here all alone. While he is lying here, instead of engaging in deeds which will uplift themselves, the samsAris are engaging in pursuits which deface the AthmA, while they think that they are enjoying unparalleled ecstasy. emperumAn is lying here so that samsAris will have an opportunity to get him when he is alone, without any disturbance just as nammAzhwAr says in thiruvAimozhi 10.10.1 “thaniyEn vAzhmudhalE

What has been done to get him here like this? …..

arasu seyyum – to rule means avoiding dual rule. When emperumAn says “thvam mE” – you are mine, the samsAri says “aham mE” – I am mine. This is called dual rule. Avoiding this is ruling. Making the samsAris to say “nama:” – I am not mine, is taken as ruling. In mahAbhAratham SAnthiparvam 344.45 it says “mukthAnAm lakshaNam hyEthath yachchvEthadhvIpavASeenAm I nithyAnjaliputA hrushtA nama ithyEva vAdhina: II – whatever is the identity of svEthadhvIpavAsis is also the identity of mukthars (the AthmAs which liberated from samsAram and reached SrIvaikuNtam). Hence they will always be applying anjali (folding the palms together) to emperumAn. They will be happy. They will be capable of reciting “nama:”. Thus emperumAn is lying here, waiting for samsAris to be like nithyasUris, without ahankAram and mamakAram [egoistic and possessiveness respectively].

What is the implement that he has with him, to rid the samsAris of their ego? ….

thAmaraik kaNNan – when one has brahmAsthram [a highly potent weapon] there is no enemy who cannot be defeated. It is the same beautiful eyes with which he won over nithyasUris that emperumAn is employing here to win over samsAris too. As nammAzhwAr says in thiruvAimozhi 2.6.4thAmaraikkaNNanai viNNOr paravum thalaimaganai” – even nithyasUris lost out to his lotus-like eyes. It is with the same eyes that he destroys the ego and possessiveness of samsAris.

Who became the target of this brahmAsthram? ….

emmAn – I lost out to these eyes and gave in writing my being a servitor to him, says AzhwAr.   ”Is there any other samsAri who cannot be won over by these eyes which have won over me, the lowest among all samsAris?” says the AzhwAr.

kani irundhanaiya sevvAy – Reddish lips similar to a fruit. For those whose possessiveness was cut off by emperumAn, this is the object to be enjoyed. The lips are so sweet that they create an urge in the person who sees them to immediately eat them up like a fruit. Unlike the fruits in the world which will dry up over a period of time, these lips remain fresh always, as said in SrIvishNu purANam “sadhaika rUpa rUpAya” – always with the same form.

kaNNanai – If one worships periya perumAL, he would think that it is kaNNan (krishNa) who is lying there to help those who had missed out during the time of his incarnation. It is pertinent to note here that parAsara bhattar [son of kUraththAzhwAvn] would say “when one looks at periya perumAL, the eagerness with which yaSOdhA pirAtti brought him up without faulting him for all the mischief that he engaged in, would appear” and that “when one looks at namperumAL (uthsasvar), one would think of chakravarthith thirumagan (SrI rAma, son of dhaSaratha chkaravarthi), well brought up by vaSishta and other rishis and showing the well mannered behaviour”

kaNda kaNgaL – the eyes [of AzhwAr], which had lost a great deal since time immemorial, and are seeing now

pani arumbu udhirumAlO – because of the enjoyment in the eyes that resulted in happiness, there was a flood of tears of joy. paniyarumbu – since the tears were the result of happiness borne out of enjoyment, they were cold such that even fried lentil would germinate if immersed in the tears, says the vyAkhyAthA. The tears would be warm only if they had been shed due to separation from emperumAn. SrI vishNu thathvam says “AhlAdha SIthanEthrAm bU: puLakIkrutha gAthravAn I sadhA paraguNAvishtO dhrashtavya: sarva dhEhibhI: II” – the bhagavath bhaktha (devotee of bhagavAn) who has cold tears of joy due to elation, who has goose pimples all over his body and who has been enslaved by the qualities of bhagavAn, is fit to be seen by all jIvAthmAs” Here too it says that tears of joy are cold.

en seygEn pAviyEnE – since the tears of joy appear like a wall, he is unable to worship periya perumAL and AzhwAr laments “what will I do?” He feels saddened that while he should be enjoying the rare dharSan (sight) of periya perumAL, the tears are preventing him from seeing, by drawing a curtain over his eyes and he feels like a sinner. The sound “AlO”[in the previous word] denotes the extremity of sadness. Since there is no limit to the greatness of emperumAn, there is no limit to the elation that one would get out of enjoying that greatness and it is impossible for one not to shed tears of joy. AzhwAr feels sad that he has sinned so much that he cannot even atone for it and wonders what he can do. If there is a gap in the formation of tears, he could see periya perumAL in that gap. But the tears are coming copiously without any gap. All along, due to his ignorance, he could not enjoy periya perumAL. But now when he knows about periya perumAL, he is unable to enjoy because of the tears. The implied meaning is that his experience has become one of flood and drought. So far the meanings were given considering the world pAviyEn (sinner) to denote sadness. This word is also used in conjunction with musical concert when audience will exclaim “pAviyEn” and “aiyyO” which are uttered due to excessive joy. Some people will say that AzhwAr is using the term “pAviyEnE” out of joy [in line with the second meaning given above].

We shall now move on to the 19th pAsuram.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dasan

archived in

pramEyam (goal) –
pramANam (scriptures) –
pramAthA (preceptors) –
SrIvaishNava education/kids portal –

Leave a Comment