thiruvAimozhi – 3.9.5 – koLLum payanillai

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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 fifth pAsuram – AzhwAr says “Come and sing emperumAn who is the abode of all auspicious qualities and the bestower of all desires instead of singing those who are not doing any favours and will cause insult to those who sing their praises”.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

Subsequently, AzhwAr says “Instead of praising of others which is of no use, come and praise the great benefactor and the one gives all benedictions”.

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.


koLLum payan illai kuppai kiLarththanna selvaththai
vaLLal pugazhndhu num vAymai izhakkum pulavIrgAL!
koLLak kuRaivilan vENdiRRellAm tharum kOdhil en
vaLLal maNivaNNan thannaik kavi solla vamminE


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

koLLum payan – a benefit that is acquired
illai – not there
kuppai kiLarththu anna – like digging out the waste/garbage which will only reveal faults
selvaththai – the lowly people who are having wealth
vaLLal – as greatly generous persons
pugazhndhu – praising
num vAymai – your truthfulness
izhakkum – losing
pulavIrgAL – Oh poets!
koLLa – to accept (as the object of the praise and the benefit of the praising)
kuRaivilan – complete without any limitation
vENdiRRu ellAm – whatever we prayed for
tharum – while giving
kOdhu il – being without any defect (like discriminating between the recipients or giving with an expectation in return)

(as an example for that)
en vaLLal – being the great benefactor who gave himself to me

(even if there is no such favours from him, we cannot leave him due to his being)
maNivaNNan thannai – one who is having the best form which resembles a blue gem
kavi solla – to praise
vammin – come

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

Oh poets! Don’t lose your truthfulness by praising the lowly people who are having wealth which is like digging out the waste/garbage which will only reveal faults and which has no real benefit when acquired, as greatly generous persons. Come and praise emperumAn who is completely qualified to accept all praises, who is without any defect (like discriminating between the recipients or giving with an expectation in return) while giving whatever we prayed for, who is the great benefactor who gave himself to me and who is having the best form which resembles a blue gem.

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

  • koLLum payan illaiAzhwAr says “One ventures to praise others not because they are worthy of being praised but because there is some worldly benefit; but there is no such benefit”. They are not singing their praises for the sake of it. There are only doing this because there is some reward in doing so; hence, AzhwAr starts with saying “there is no such benefit” – hearing which they may give up such praising.
  • koLLum payan illai – This is the great reward of singing their praises with great dedication, i.e., no reward – there is no reward that is worthy to be accepted. Thus, there is no benefit for you.

Though there is no benefit for self, one may perform certain acts for the well-being of others. Is there anything like that in this?

  • kuppai … – This wealth which resembles the effect of digging out the waste/garbage. That is, exposing the faults/defects/dirt which is disgraceful for those who are praised. When we dig the garbage we will end up bringing out soiled clothes etc. Not only it is disgraceful for them, it is also that which causes impurity for the ones who are singing such [false] praises.
  • vaLLal pugazhndhu – Singing them as very generous. Though such praises do nothing good to the one who is praised and have no value for others, praising him well to bring auspiciousness for him and to show that it is done purely for the sake of praising without any expectation.
  • num vAymai izhakkum – This is the reward you get. He said previously that both good aspects are not present (there is no benefit and exposes the dirt); thus, you give up your title of “vAgmi” (eloquent speaker). Alternatively – vAymai is explained as mey (truth), and since you are telling those aspects which are contrary to well-known facts, you will be called as a liar.
  • pulavIrgAL – Is this matching the stature of you who know about losing great things? I am in this unfortunate situation of instructing what is good for you; will your praises match varNASrama dharma [To acquire wealth, a person of higher standing may need to praise some one of lower standing]? As bhagavAn is the sarvaSabdhavAchyan (indicated by all words), would the words in praise indicate anyone else?

When they ask “Whoever you speak about (emperumAn), is there greater glory than whom we are praising now?”, AzhwAr says,

  • koLLak kuRaivilan – AzhwAr is explaining the opposite of what was explained previously. There is real benefit. And there is no garbage in this wealth. Whatever praises you have rendered, emperumAn is fully qualified to receive those praises; he is the abode of all auspicious qualities.
  • vENdiRRu ellAm tharum – The reward is great. Whatever you pray for – bhOga (enjoyment in this world), mOksha (ultimate enjoyment after liberation), he will bestow them. Others, when they bestow worldly enjoyment and if the recipient wants liberation, they cannot bestow that; [but, would everyone who seeks out bhOga and mOksha get them from emperumAn after surrendering unto him?] In bhagavAn‘s case, only due to incapability of the recipient, they may miss out; they will not miss out on them because bhagavAn is not able to give to them [bhagavAn is always ready and able to give]. vishNu dharmam “bhaumam manOratham svargyam svargivandhyancha yathpadham| dhadhAthi dhAyinAm nithyam apavargapradhO hari:” (bhagavAn who is liberation giver, bestows worldly pleasures, pleasures in celestial worlds and paramapadham which is desired by the residents of celestial worlds, for those who meditate upon him); vishNu dharmam “sakala pala: pradhO hi vishNu:” (vishNu who is bestower of all results).
  • kOdhil – While giving reward to some one, there will be no faults. Faults in charity/gift – giving according to time, place and recipient [discrimination], giving with the pride that “I gave”, making the recipient worry “How am I going to repay this great reward?”.

When asked, “How did you know?”, AzhwAr says,

  • en vaLLal – I am sharing my own experience [with the most generous bhagavAn].
  • maNivaNNan – His divine bodily beauty which is so attractive even if his rewards are worthless and he has no opulence. Previously, people were singing praises by being attracted to fake beauty; even if one were to sing the beauty, it is emperumAn only who deserves such praises. Just like his qualities are complete to be praised, his beauty is also complete to be praised.
  • maNivaNNan thannaik kavi solla vamminO – Come and sing the one who is of the nature which I have explained.
  • vammin – instead of hesitating, join fast.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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