thiruvAimozhi – 3.9.2 – uLan AgavE

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

Full series >> Third Centum >> Ninth decad

Previous pAsuram


Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In second pAsuram – AzhwAr condemns those who sing praises of the ones who are as good as achith (matter which lacks knowledge), who are having worthless wealth instead of praising emperumAn who is eternal, who is complete in all auspicious qualities and wealth.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

Subsequently, AzhwAr says “What is the benefit of singing the praises of mortal persons instead of singing the praises of the lord of my clan who is standing in thirukkuRungudi with these qualities such as saulabhyam (easy approachability) etc.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

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

Second pAsuram. AzhwAr says “What is the benefit of singing the praise of lowly persons who have wealth which is not worth of even a word of praise, when such wealth is analysed it is false due to its impermanent nature, and the one who owns that wealth is also not worthy, instead of praising sarvESvara who is eternal, having complete wealth, being perfect with respect to true nature, forms and qualities and apt lord [for everyone]?”.


uLan AgavE eNNith thannai onRAgath than selvaththai
vaLanA madhikkum im mAnidaththaik kavi pAdi en?
kuLan Ar kazhani sUzh kaNNan kuRungudi meymmaiyE
uLan Aya endhaiyai endhai pemmAnai ozhiyavE


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

kuLan Ar – filled with water-bodies (ponds, lakes etc)
kazhani sUzh – surrounded by fields
kaN – having vast space
nal – beautiful
kuRungudiyE – in thirukkuRungudi
meymmaiyE – revealing the ultimate benefit of auspicious qualities such as saulabhya
uLan Aya – one who permanently presented himself
endhaiyai – my benefactor
endhai pemmAnai – the lord of my clan
ozhiya – other than him
thannai – oneself (who is as good as asath (achith) due to lack of knowledge about bhagavAn)
uLan AgavE – to be existing
onRAga – as an entity
eNNi – considering
than  selvaththai – the lowly wealth which is considered as one’s own though not belonging to oneself
vaLanA – greatly distinguished
madhikkum – oneself respecting/considering
i mAnidaththai – this human species which is very lowly
kavi pAdi en – what is the benefit of singing their praises?

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

What is the benefit of glorifying this human species which is very lowly where one is considering oneself to be an entity that is existing, considering the lowly wealth which is considered as one’s own though not belonging to oneself, respecting/considering oneself to be greatly distinguished, instead of glorifying the lord of my clan, my benefactor who permanently presented himself revealing the ultimate benefit of auspicious qualities such as saulabhya in beautiful thirukkuRungudi having vast space surrounded by fields which are filled with water-bodies?

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

  • uLan AgavE eNNiAzhwAr considers them to be “ilan” (non-existing) [though worldly persons consider themselves to be existing]. Since it is said in katavalli upanishath “nEha nAnAsthi” (there is nothing but that supreme brahmam) that there is nothing beyond bhagavAn [All sentient and insentient beings are contained in bhagavAn himself]. If one considers bhagavAn to be non-existing that persons is to be considered non-existing as said in thaiththiriya upanishath “asannEva” (as good as non-existing). One is said to exist only when one has knowledge about brahmam. While one should think about the existence of brahmam and exist oneself, there is no way to be existing while denying bhagavAn’s existence. When tied down and taken to the court of rAvaNa, hanuman said in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 43.25 “nEyam asthi purI lankA na yUyam na cha rAvaNa: | yasmAdhikshvAkunAthEna badhdham vairam mahAthmanA ||” (For the reason you became inimical with the great SrI rAma, for the same reason all of you, rAvaNa and lankA will cease to exist) [AzhwAr too saying that worldly persons are non-existing due to their lack of acceptance of bhagavAn].
  • eNNi – themselves thinking [to be existing], like imagining the great mEru mountain standing on a needle [which is impossible].
  • thannai – Is this person thinking about some one who remains fearless and rests without anxiety after hearing “emperumAn is there for us” as said in mudhal thiruvanthAdhi 99 “uLan kaNdAy nan nenjE uththaman enRum uLan kaNdAy” (Oh noble heart! emperumAn is present, the best lord is always present)? [No] He is thinking about himself who is like it is said in “asannEva“, where his existence depends on bhagavAn‘s existence.
  • onRAga – thinking intensely
  • than selvaththai – as said in “sathi dharmiNi dharmA:” (if the righteous entity exists righteous will exist), only when his (AthmA) existence is truth, his attributes will exist; when his existence itself is questionable, he thinks that he has some wealth.
  • vaLanA – this means beauty and greatness. He thinks that his wealth is greater than ISvara‘s wealth.
  • madhikkum – he himself would think highly of his wealth; to consider his wealth to be worthy, there is no one lower than him [i.e. he must first be worthy to consider his wealth to be worthy]. [An incident explains how one may consider himself very worthy] In a place called kal brahmadhESam, there was a person named karikAl chOLa brahmarAyan [probably a minister]  who said to nanjIyar “I have written a commentary for thiruvAimozhi” and submitted the same to him. Considering the favours done by him [towards sampradhAyam and SrIvaishNavas], he calls nampiLLai and mercifully tells him to listen to that and praise him accordingly [to keep him encouraged]. nampiLLai too obliges and tells the person “your commentary closely follows AzhwAr’s divine heart”. Hearing that the person [pridefully] says to nampiLLai “Oh piLLai! Can’t you identify the difference between AzhwAr and me? I did this while I was also taking care of my official duties [unlike AzhwAr who was engaged in this full time – hence, my work is more appreciable since I did both official duties and writing commentary].
  • immAnidaththai – already AzhwAr explained the true nature of such worldly people
  • immAnidaththai – AzhwAr does not even want to call them humans; he treats them like achEthana (insentient objects). [mey – truth, body.] One who does not know the true nature of oneself is as good as “matter” [which lacks knowledge]; Also explained as – one who does not know that he is the body of bhagavAn, he is as good as matter.
  • kavi pAdi en – What is the benefit of revealing their defects which they have concealed, in clear writings?
  • kuLan Ar – There is more water-bodies than fertile lands; otherwise the fields will dry out and die.  This implies, that the town where rakshaka (protector) is present more than the rakshya (protected).
  • kaNNan kuRungudi – This is the abode which is considered as his own with great attachment by sarvESvara himself. thamizh scholars explained this as “kaN nal kuRungudi” – this means spacious, beautiful thirukkuRungudi.
  • meymmaiyE uLan Aya – The lord who has all the qualities that are revealed in the verses praising him unlike those who are praised without any real standing and their praises are merely heard in the verses submitted to them. There is no arthavAdha (exaggeration or mere praise without fact) in bhagavAn‘s case. In other matters/entities there is nothing but arthavAdha. In bhagavAn’s case, one cannot fully glorify all the aspects and in others’ case, there is nothing to glorify.
  • endhaiyai – The benefactor who revealed his qualities to be praised by me. He is apt to be praised. Having all qualities in full in thirukkuRungudi and one who is being our lord.
  • endhai … – Since the result does not stop with AzhwAr, he says “emperumAn is the lord of my entire clan”. What is the benefit of glorifying mortal beings who lack good qualities, who are very lowly and who are not apt goals, instead of glorifying the apt lord who has all auspicious qualities?

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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