thiruvAimozhi – 3.5.3 – malaiyai eduththu

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Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In third pAsuram – AzhwAr says “Hellish experience is [nothing but] being indifferent after meditating upon the great quality of emperumAn lifting up the gOvardhana hill to eliminate the danger for the cows that cannot even realize the favour done [by emperumAn] and those who are similar to those cows [the cowherds]”.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

Subsequently, AzhwAr says “those who do not get excited on meditating upon emperumAn protecting the cows that were in trouble,  would suffer becoming residents of hell”.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nampiLLai‘s introduction.

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

Third pAsuram. AzhwAr says “Those who are being indifferent after meditating upon the great quality of emperumAn lifting up the gOvardhana hill to eliminate the danger for the cows that cannot even realize the favour done [by emperumAn] and those who are similar to those cows [the cowherds], will eternally suffer in this material realm”.


malaiyai eduththuk kal mAri kAththup pasu nirai thannaith
tholaivu thavirththa pirAnaich chollich cholli ninReppOdhum
thalaiyinOdAdhanam thattath thadu kuttamAyp paRavAdhAr
alai koL naragaththazhundhik kidandhuzhaikkinRa vambarE


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

malaiyai – gOvardhana hill
eduththu – lifted
kal mAri – hail storm (which was caused by indhra since his worship was interrupted)
kAththu – protected
pasu nirai thannai – herd of cows (which don’t even know to request to be protected)
tholaivu – from destruction
thavirththa – averted
pirAnai – one who favoured
chollich cholli – repeatedly saying [praising]
eppOdhum – always
ninRu – staying without break
AdhanaththOdu – ground
thalai – head
thatta – to hit
thadu kuttamAy – doing somersaults
paRavAdhAr – dance with their feet not touching the ground
alai koL – having many sorrows
naragaththu – in the great hell
azhundhi – drowned (so they cannot reach the shore)
kidandhu – staying there
uzhaikkinRa – suffering
vambar – those who never lose their freshness

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

krishNa is the one who favoured the herd of cows (which don’t even know to request to be protected) by lifting up the gOvardhana hill, protecting them and averted their destruction when hailstorm (which was caused by indhra since his worship was interrupted) occurred; those who never lose their freshness, who are not repeatedly saying [praising] such emperumAn, doing somersaults such that their heads hit the ground and dancing with their feet not touching the ground, are drowned (so they cannot reach the shore) in the great hell which is having many sorrows and stay there suffering.

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

  • malaiyai … – indhra would be honoured once a year with great feasts by the cowherd men; seeing their great enthusiasm, krishNa asked them “what are you doing?” and they reply “we offer this feast to indhra to get rains properly”; krishNa thinks “In the land where I am [supreme lord] born and raised, offering something to a dhEvathAtntharam [some demigod other than himself] is like the sweat of the emperor’s wife being attended by some one other than the emperor himself” and said “Why should we offer anything to the resident of sky? should we not be offering this feast to this gOvardhana hill which provides us the vast land to receive the rain and wind, being the shelter for our cows and having lots of greenery and water?” Since they are simple cowherds, they at once agreed to his words. They brought huge quantity of food stuffs and placed them in front of the hill; krishNa then assumed the form of the hill itself as said in “gOvardhanO’smi” (I am this gOvardhana hill) and consumed everything; since indhra who was waiting for the feast did not get it, and due to the anger out of hunger, he started the hailstorm.
  • malaiyai eduththu – He protected by lifting up the hill that was highlighted by him as the shelter previously. Real fighter would use the weapons [strategy] of the enemy when the battle approaches the end. Similarly, kaNNan emperumAn lifted up the hill that was in front of him and protected everyone from the hailstorm. For the mistake committed by indhra, krishNa should have cut off his hands. But he thinks “This idiot is doing this due to anger out of hunger; I cannot treat him like demoniac people; let him give up himself after a while” and patiently kept lifting up the hill for seven days.
  • kal mAri kAththu – [This is bhattar’s interesting perspective] If indhra caused [regular] rain with water, emperumAn would have protected by stopping it with water [but since indhra rained with hail (hard object), krishNa protected with stones].
  • pasu nirai thannai – When we look at the state [intelligence] of cowherds and cows, the elephant (first pAsuram) and samsAris (second pAsuram) look like nithyasUris. Why is it said “pasu nirai thannaith tholaivu thavirththa” (averting the disaster for the herd of cows) [while the cowherds are superior]? That is to identify who is the main target of emperumAn‘s protection [cows would not reject emperumAn’s help unlike cowherds who may reject some times].  Another explanation – that is to identify the ones who realise the protection [and be grateful]; it is the cows that smile when seeing the ignorance of the cowherds. kirAdhArjunIyam chapter 4 “… kruthAnukArAniva gObhirArjavE” (looked like the cows were making fun of the cowherds’ activities).
  • tholaivu thavirththa – protected the cows and cowherds from getting destroyed.
  • pirAnaiAzhwAr thinks that he himself was the one caught in that hailstorm and suffered and he thinks that emperumAn helped for him only.
  • chollich cholli – only when it is said for a particular purpose, it stops with one time [when he is praised for the sake of praising only, such praises never stop].
  • ninRu – Not just stopping after praising once, but also not stopping after repeating the praise many times.
  • eppOdhum – praising always, not just when some one is looking.
  • thalaiyinOdu Adhanam thatta – such that the head hits the ground
  • thadu kuttamAyp paRavAdhArthadu kuttam – irregular movements. That is, doing things in no proper sequence. Those who dance without having their feet touching the ground.
  • alaikoL … – Will suffer by drowning deep in the hell which has waves of sorrows.
  • vambar – For the servants of yama, they will look ever fresh. vambu – pudhumai (new). After torturing one day, when they return the next day, instead of showing mercy thinking “we just tortured this person yesterday”, like receiving a very fragrant fruit which makes them smell it again and again, the servants of yama would say “come on! we are just looking for you” – such freshness.

nampiLLai is now repeating the meaning once more [a SrIvaishNava arrived late to the lecture and nampiLLai is repeating the meanings specifically for him].

  • malaiayai eduththuk kal mAri kAththu – He likes to act for his devotees. Even if he performed the most difficult task, it would feel easy for him [AzhwAr would have used the word “sumandhu”  (holding it with difficulty) otherwise].
  • pasu nirai thannai – While performing difficult task and protecting, one just needs to not reject his help. [By saying “pasu nirai“] it implies that there is no such capability in them.
  • pirAnai – [one who does great favours] it is the nature of emperumAn to exist for helping others, to be like moon, cool breeze, sandalwood paste and water [all of which exist exclusively for the pleasure of others].
  • solli …bhagavAn who is said in chAndhOgya upanishath as “avAkyanAdhara:” (anAdhara: – not caring for anyone since he has no desires left to be fulfilled;  avAkI – he maintains silence considering everything else as unworthy of conversation – this is bhagavAn‘s state in SrIvaikuNtam), places himself for them [cowherds, devotees] and chatters continuously as said in periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 2.1.2 “alavalai vandhu appUchchi kAttuginRAn” (krishNa who is like a chatter box, comes and scares me); similarly, [his devotees too] instead of glorifying mortal humans as said in thiruvAimozhi 3.9.9 “vAykoNdu mAnidam pAdAdhE“, should think “the purpose of having the mouth is fulfilled by praising him” as said in thiruvAimozhi 3.8.2 “en thanjanE-nanjanE-vanjanE ennum eppOdhumen vAsakam” (my speech will always say ‘my shelter, the one who is like poison for hurdles, mischievous one” ; those who are not like this,
  • alai koLAzhwAr says that they will enter [remain] in the hell of samsAram [material realm]. Another explanation – being not engaged in such dancing and jumping around itself is hell. [Isn’t there a separate place called naraka (hell)?] SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 30.18 “yasthvayA saha sa svarga: nirayO yasthvayA vinA | ithi jAnan parAm prIthim gachcha rAmamayAsaha ||” (sIthA pirAtti says to SrI rAma – To be with you is heaven for me and to be separated from you is hell for me; knowing this great love of mine towards you, you go along with me to the forest) – svarga and naraka will be different for each individual. Since AzhwAr feels like being in hell when not dancing like that, he says so.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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