thiruvAimozhi – 3.8.3 – vAsagamE Eththa

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Full series >> Third Centum >> Eighth decad

Previous pAsuram


Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In third pAsuram – AzhwAr mercifully explains the desire of his hands for his activities and the activities of his mouth/speech.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

Subsequently, AzhwAr says “My hands analyze krishNa who likes the possessions of his devotees due to great love towards them”.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

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

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.


vAsagamE Eththa aruL seyyum vAnavar tham
nAyaganEe! nAL iLam thingaLaik kOL viduththu
vEyagam pAl veNNey thoduvuNda An Ayar
thAyavanEe! enRu thadavum en kaigaLE


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

vAsagamE – speech only
Eththa – to praise
(adhukkE) aruL seyyum – one who blesses (that only)
vAnavar tham – (as a result of that) to be glorified by nithyasUris
nAyaganE – Oh one who is the controller!
nAL – being fresh every day
iLam thingaL – young rising moon
kOL – pleasing radiance
viduththu – revealing (like the moon will rise softly, releasing the beautiful shining smile (of the intact teeth) and the beauty of the lips)
vEyagam pAl – placed inside bamboo hut
veNNey – butter
thoduvu uNda – due to stealing and consuming it
An Ayar – cowherds
thAyavanE – one who nurtures their existence etc
enRu – saying so
en kaigaL – my hands
thadavum – (where he performed his act of stealing) will seek out to touch him

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

Oh controller of nithyasUris who glorify you, due to your blessing my mouth/speech to praise you! Oh nurturer of the existence etc of cowherds by stealing and consuming the butter placed inside bamboo hut with the light generated by the pleasing radiance of the young rising moon which is fresh everyday [here fresh young rising moon is an example for krishNa’s shining teeth]! Saying these, my hands will seek out to touch you.

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

  • vAsagamE Eththa … – AzhwAr‘s hands thought “Why should speech alone praise? Can I not praise once?”. Did my speech offer anything special to you to be able to praise you who remains detached [without any expectation] even after being praised by nithyasUris as said in rig vEdham [vishNu sUktham] “… vipanyava: …” (those who are wise and have the nature of praising [him] constantly, reach that supreme abode of vishNu). Though he has no expectation, he became desirous to be praised by speech. Is he manifesting that detachment towards me now? Also explained as – emperumAn who blessed the speech to naturally praise him as done by nithyasUris.
  • nAL iLam thingaLaik kOL viduththu – He entered in to the huts to steal cow’s butter as said in periya thirumozhi 4.4.3 “padaladaiththa siRu kurambai nuzhaindhu pukkup pasu veNNey kaLavu kANa“. Butter is usually preserved in a container that is secured in a rope hanging from the ceiling; due to his own dark complexion and the darkness of the place, he would search for the pots by touch – when his hand touches the pot, he would feel excited and smile – at that time his shining teeth would help him as the lamp and would eat the butter joyfully. When some one arrives, he would immediately close his mouth and darkness will surround the place again. [Why would he close his mouth?] Since the presence of others is unfavourable for him, he would become upset and stop smiling by closing his mouth. [What happens to the shining kausthuba jewel in his chest?] He would cover that with his hands too. His smile (teeth) resembles a fresh moon. periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 1.7.2 “sekkaridai nunik kombil thOnRum siRupiRai muLaip pOl nakka sendhuvar vAyth thiNNai mIdhE naLir veNpal muLaiyilaga” (emperumAn‘s cool white teeth inside the raised lips which resemble a crescent which appears on a stick In the reddish sky (early evening)). Instead of saying “thingaL pOl“, AzhwAr just said “thingaL” – this type of usage is called muRRuvamai in thamizh [where the example is super-imposed in the object that is explained]; this is similar to thiruvAimozhi 6.9.9 “thAvi vaiyam koNda thadam thAmarai” (the vast lotus [instead of saying lotus like feet] that stretched and accepted the earth).
  • kOl viduththu – releasing the radiance; stops covering the teeth with his lips.
  • vEy agam – house/hut built using bamboo.
  • pAl veNNEy thoduvuNda – Mercifully stole and ate the milk and butter from those places [pAl – milk].  Also explained as – the butter in the house [pAl – place].
  • vEy agam pAl veNNey thoduvuNda – After spying the place, he went in to the house, stole the butter and mercifully consumed it. vEyththu – spying and checking the situation. Naturally, one will first spy the place before stealing from there [so vEyththu as spying seems more appropriate than vEy as bamboo]. His stealing of butter is explained in detail by thirumangai AzhwAr in siRiya thirumadal starting with “pOrAr vEL“.
  • An Ayar thAyavanE enRu – Saying “Oh one who is caring like a mother for the cowherds!”.
  • thadavum en kaigaLAzhwAr searching to catch emperumAn red-handed while he enters the house for stealing. Alternatively – when AzhwAr starts meditating upon emperumAn’s butter stealing act, his hands are not able to locate his eye. SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 42.34 “rAmam mE anugathA dhrushti:” (dhaSaratha says to kausalyA – My vision followed rAma to the forest). Can we retrieve that which was consumed by the ocean? How will my eyes which waited for 60000 years [to see rAma] return to me? [Still, are they not your eyes?] When something gets attached to an apt target, is there any point arguing based on ownership? “adhyApi” (even now) when their (eyes’) help is needed, they are not here to help. Even if I cannot see him, at least I will touch you who gave birth to him and feel his presence.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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