thirumAlai – 19 – kudadhisai mudiyai vaiththu

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avathArikai (Introduction)

In the previous pAsauram AzhwAr mentioned about the issue caused by the sensory organ eyes. In this pAsuram he mentions about how all the organs in his body are melting.

குடதிசை முடியை வைத்துக் குணதிசை பாதம் நீட்டி
வடதிசை பின்பு காட்டித் தென்திசை இலங்கை நோக்கி
கடல் நிறக் கடவுள் எந்தை அரவணைத் துயிலுமா கண்டு
உடல் எனக்கு உருகுமாலோ எஞ்செய்கேன் உலகத்தீரே.

kudadhisai mudiyai vaiththuk kuNadhisai pAdham nItti
vadadhisai pinbukAttith thendhisai ilangai nOkki
kadal niRak kadavuL endhai aravaNai thuyilumA kaNdu
udal enakku urugumAlO enseygEn ulaaththIrE


Word for Word meaning

ulagaththIrE – those who are in this world
kadal niRam kadavuL – sarvESvaran who is of the colour of ocean
endhai – my swAmy (my Lord)
kudadhisai – in the western direction
mudiyai vaiththu – keeping the divine head (as an indication of his being the Lord)
kuNadhisai – in the eastern direction
pAdham nItti – stretching (to reach me) his divine feet (which are the refuge for all sentient entities)
vadadhisai – for the people in the northern direction
pinbu kAtti – showing the beautiful form of his back
then dhisai – in the southern side
ilangai nOkki – looking (affectionately) at lankA (where vibhIshaNa dwells)
aravu aNai – on the bed of thiruvananthAzhwAn [the serpent AdhiSEsha]
thuyilum A kaNdu – after looking at the beauty of his sleeping
enakku udal urugum – my body will melt
AlO – Oh!
en seygEn – what will I do?

vyAkhyAnam (Explanatory Notes)

kudadhisai  etc – in two lines AzhwAr shows what is the entity that melted him. emperumAn had created bhUmi (earth) for enabling chEthanas who have done a mixture of puNya (virtues) and pApa (sins), thiryak (animals) and sthAvara (plants) who have done more pApa than puNya, to live. He created heaven for enabling dhEvas (celestial entities) who have done more puNya than pApa to live. AzhwAr thought all along that there was no purpose for the four directions east, west, north and south. Now he has realised the reason for creating these four directions. He has realised that the purpose of creating chEthanas is only to make them long for mOksham (liberation), the purpose of creating the worlds is to enable jIvAthmAs to live and the purpose of creating the directions is for keeping his divine head and divine feet so that the chEthanas get a taste for mOksham.

kudadhisai mudiyai vaiththu – in order to benefit the western direction, he kept his divine head adorned with the crown that indicates that he is the Lord of both nithyavibhUthi (spiritual realm) and leelAvibhUthi (materialistic realm). Just as nammAzhwAr had called out in thiruvAimozhi 3.8.1 “mudiyAnE” – one with the divine crown, keeping his quality of being the Lord, he kept his divine head in the west direction so that those in the west direction would prosper.

kuNadhisai pAdham nItti – nammAzhwAr had called his divine feet in thiruvAimozhi 3.8.1 as “mUvulagum thozhudhEththum sIradiyAn” – one with the beautiful divine feet which are worshipped by people in all the worlds. He stretched such divine feet, which are the refuge for all worlds to prosper, in the eastern direction. AzhwAr points out that emperumAn stretched his divine feet all the way to thirumaNdangudi (AzhwAr’s place of birth) in order to attract him. When the western direction, which was the direction in which dhuryOdhana sat [in krishNavathAram, when dhuryOdhana went to seek help of krishNa, he sat near his head] itself prospers, is it required to say that the eastern direction in which he stretched his divine feet, where arjuna sat, will also prosper? It is pertinent to note here that parAsara bhattar [SrI kUraththAzhwAn’s son] used to tell his disciples “whenever ALavandhAr [one of our important preceptors]went to worship periya perumAL, he would never stand near his divine head which he used to call as dhuryOdhana’s position. There was not a spot on the eastern side, towards emperumAn’s divine feet, where ALavandhAr had not stood while worshipping him”

vadadhisai pinbu kAtti – the northern direction is inhabited by people who are proficient in tough samskritham (Sanskrit language) and where AzhwArs’ bhakthi (devotion) laden words are not much heard of. To correct the people in this direction, he wanted to show his back side rather than the front as his back is considered to be more beautiful than the front. As said in these words ”pUrvAngAdhadhikaparAnkhakalaham” – the back side of emperumAn is more beautiful than his front side…

thendhisai ilangai nOkki – Until now, in each of the directions he kept one part of his dhivya thirumEni (divine physical body) in order to remove the purposelessness in those directions. He looked at the southern direction to remove the shortcoming in him. The others were the help that he rendered out of his mercy. This (looking in the southern direction) is the help that he rendered himself to overcome his powerless state. kulaSEkara AzhwAr in his perumAL thirumozhi 1.10 said “anbodu thendhisai nOkkippaLLikoLLum” – lying down, looking at the southern direction with affection. emperumAn looks at the southern direction which is the dwelling place of his protector vibhIshaNa. periyAzhwAr in his periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 4.9.2 says “mannudaiya vibIdaNarkA madhiLilangaith thisai nOkki malar kaN vaiththa ennudaiya thiruvarangaRku” – after removing the hurdles for vibhIshaNa, emperumAn gave the kingdom to him and lying at SrIrangam, he is looking at the way in which vibhIshaNa is ably ruling lankA. This is similar to how a mother who is nursing her infant, looks at the infant’s cheerful face. thirumangai AzhwAr said in periya thirumozhi 6.8.5 “selva vibIdaNaRku vERAga nallAnai” – emperumAn has special affection towards vibhIshaNa who was blessed by pirAtiti. When sugrIva threatened to walk out with his army of monkeys should SrI rAma accept vibhIshaNa, SrI rAma said “even if I have to forego you and your army, I will not let down vibhIshaNa”. This is similar to a cow, in order to protect its calf that it gave birth to that day, pushes aside the calf which is older, with its horns and hoofs. When that sugrIva did something which could have resulted in harm to him, SrI rAma said “thvayi kinchith samApannE kim kAryam sIthAyA mama I bharathEna mahAbhAhO! lakshmaNEna yavIyasA  SathrugnEna cha Sathrugna! svaSarIrEna vA puna: II” – Oh, sugrIva with long arms! If something shameful had befallen you, what benefit would I get through sIthA or bharatha or lakshmaNa or Sathrugna? Oh warrior who kills enemies, what benefit would I get out of my own body? Such was rAma’s affection towards sugrIva. But his affection for vibhishaNa was greater than that which he had towards sugrIva and hence he is lying in SrIrangam, looking in the direction of vibhIshaNa.

kadal niRak kadavuLemperumAn, who is constantly desired by nithyasUris, is lying in wait for a samsAri chEthanan (a sentient entity in samsAram). Since his physical form removes the ennui of beholders like an ocean, AzhwAr refers to him as “kadal niRakkadavuL” In a way the ocean may match his physical form, but his aprAkrutha thirumEni (his divine physical form composed of upanishaths and not the 5 elements that our bodies are composed of) goes beyond the ocean. Hence he says “kadavuL” [in thamizh language, kada means beyond]

endhai – he displayed such a form and enslaved me. When a new well is ready, the old well is cleaned up for maintenance. When I have been enslaved by this form, there is no need to talk about his taking under control the nithyasUris, displaying this form. His form has enslaved someone like me who is totally under the control of body and senses and who is the epitome of all that is low.

aravaNaith thuyilumA kaNdu – Just as a gemstone’s value goes many times higher after being fixed on a gold ornament, emperumAn’s form became incomparable after lying on AdhiSEsha.

udal enakku urugumAlO – after seeing emperumAn’s thirumEni (divine physical form) lying on AdhiSEsha, instead of enjoying that, AzhwAr’s body is melting. rAmAnujar in SaraNAgathi gadhyam 12 says “bhagavath svarUpa thirOdhANakarIm” – the body hides the basic nature of bhagavAn. Such a body, which hides emperumAn’s svarUpam is now melting after seeing his divine form. brahma sUthram 3.2.5 says “dhEhayOgAdhvA sO’pi” – the reason for chEthana’s svarUpam being hidden is because of its connection with the( gross and subtle forms of) the body. Thus, the body which is supposed to hide the knowledge of AthmA, is not only enjoying the divine form of emperumAn but is melting as a result of that joy. When samsAris who came with AzhwAr to worship periya perumAL said that their bodies are not melting, AzhwAr responds enakku urugumAlO – see, it is melting for me.

enseygEn ulagaththIrE – looking at the samsAris who, without showing any difference, are leaving in a firm manner after looking at the beauty of periya perumAL, AzhwAr asks them “will you not tell me the way to be steady like yourselves?” He cannot ask the other AzhwArs for a remedy as they too are like him when it comes to having dharSan of periya perumAL (they are also like a leaking boat which sinks along with another boat which came to its rescue since the second boat had a bigger hole). He cannot ask this of periya perumAL as it will expose his weakness to the person who is the reason for his discomposure. It may also be the reason for periya perumAL to feel proud that “I have been able to conquer him” Hence he is asking the samsAris who are so steady even after seeing the wonderful form of periya perumAL “you people are keeping your body so taut as if affected by rheumatism. Why don’t you give me a little bit of the medicine that you are taking [so that I will also be steady like you all]?”

We shall now move on to the 20th pAsuram.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dasan

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