thiruvAimozhi – 3.9.7 – sErum kodai

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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 seventh pAsuram – AzhwAr becomes pleased saying “I am unable to sing the praises of any one other than emperumAn“.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

Subsequently, AzhwAr says “I have no strength to sing false praises of any one other than emperumAn who has fully praiseworthy qualities and divine names”.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nampiLLai‘s introduction.

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

Seventh pAsuram. Like a person who escaped with his belongings from a place where there is rampant robbery, AzhwAr becomes pleased saying “Unlike these people [who are praising worldly persons, dhEvathAs et al], I am unable to sing the praises of any one other than emperumAn“.


sErum kodai pugazh ellaiyilAnai OrAyiram
pErum udaiya pirAnai allAl maRRu yAn kilEn
mAri anaiya kai mAl varai okkum thiN thOL enRu
pAril Or paRRaiyaip pachchaip pasum poygaL pEsavE


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

sErum – matching (for his stature)
kodai – generosity
pugazh – the fame (acquired by such generosity)
ellai ilAnai – being boundless
Or Ayiram – unparalleled thousand
pErum udaiya – having divine names
pirAnai – great benefactor
allAl – other than
maRRu – some one
pAril – in the earth
Or paRRaiyai – an entity which is as useless as a blade of grass
kai – his hand deeds
mAri anaiya enRu – like the clouds
thiN thOL – his strong shoulders
mAl varai – like huge mountains
okkum enRu – similar
pachchaip pasum poygaL – fresh falsehoods without a trace of truth
pEsa – to speak
yAn – I (who has taken refuge of the complete lord)
kilEn – incapable

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

I am incapable to speak fresh falsehoods without a trace of truth as in saying “the deeds of your hands is similar to that of clouds”, “your strong shoulders are like huge mountains” in praise of an earthly entity which is as useless as a blade of grass; I can only of glorify the great benefactor who has boundless generosity and fame (matching his stature] and having unparalleled thousand divine names.

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

  • sErum … – having boundless fame which was acquired by his generosity; Alternatively – having boundless fame due to having generosity which matches his stature; that is – when a person gives a cow in charity to another person, others would wonder “what is the reason for this charity [there must be some expectation]”; perumAL (SrI rAma) gave everything including his own simhAsanam (throne) and SrI sathrunjayan (his celebrated lead elephant) and stood without anything else to offer, a brAhmaNa named thrijada came and requested for some wealth. SrI rAma said “you can take all my cows which are living up to the banks of sarayu river” and gave them all, and others hearing this said “SrI rAma is quite capable to do that” [it is nothing unusual for emperumAn to be greatly generous]. In this manner, he is the one who has boundless fame acquired by his matching generosity. Only such emperumAn is praiseworthy.
  • Or Ayiram … – When we want to praise some one, instead of having one or two names, that too as in “jalapila:” [some random name] which does not fit in poetic meter easily, emperumAn is greatly generous in presenting us countless names which can be nicely blended in to poetry.
  • Or Ayiram – Every one of emperumAn‘s divine names is unparalleled to highlight his glories and to be praised.
  • pirAnai – The great benefactor who revealed them to me.
  • allAl … – I am not capable of singing any one other than such emperumAn.

When asked what would you not do?, AzhwAr says,

  • mAri anaiya kai – Glorifying some one who has nothing to offer as “generous like clouds”. That is – giving without any expectation [clouds don’t expect anything in return for dropping the rain], becoming pale when unable to give [clouds which do not rain become pale and shy away] etc. Here kai indicates kodai (charity/generosity).
  • mAl varai okkum … – Looking at the shoulders which become weak thinking about giving charity, saying “your shoulders have expanded by giving charity, and your shoulder gives the shadow for everyone to take rest”.
  • pAril Or paRRaiyai – At least if one is to glorify the dhEvathAs of the bhOga bhUmi (celestial worlds fully focussed on enjoyment), that is acceptable; but here in this pAr [earth], those who are like grass which simply grow and die; there is no use right from the time of taking birth and getting destroyed, they do good neither for oneself nor for others. Alternatively – pAr indicates place. That is, without a place to stay. A thamizh scholar explained, paRRai (based on paRRu – holding on, attaching) as some one who holds on to whatever he has and does not engage in any charity. It is apt to say paRRai as thruNa saman (as good as grass).
  • pachchaip pasum poygaL pEsavE – Speak falsehoods which have no trace of truth.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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