thiruvAimozhi – 4.1.1 – oru nAyagamAy

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

Full series >> Fourth Centum >> First decad


Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In first pAsuram – AzhwAr says “Emperors will [one day] lose their kingdom and miserably live by begging. This being the case,  approach the divine feet of thirunArAyaNan (SrIman nArAyaNan) who is eternally wealthy, and be uplifted”.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

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. SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam – maNdOdhari’s words “SrIvathsavakshAnithyaSrI:” (the eternally wealthy lord with SrIvathsa mole in his chest) is quoted to highlight emperumAn‘s eternal wealth.


oru nAyagamAy Oda ulagudan ANdavar
karu nAy kavarndha kAlar sidhaigiya pAnaiyar
peru nAdu kANa immaiyilE pichchai thAm koLvar
thirunAraNan thAL kAlam peRach chindhiththuymminO


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

oru nAyagamAy – having supremely independent empire
Oda – to conduct (for a lengthy period of time)
ulagu – with the world
udan – fitting firmly
ANdavar – those who protected their kingdom

(when that wealth got destroyed, they went to beg in the night out of shyness [to go in day time when there is light])
karu – black (unable to distinguish from the darkness)
nAy – by a dog
kavarndha – bitten
kAlar – having leg
sidhaigiya – (useless) broken and discarded
pAnaiyar – having that as the pot for begging
peru nAdu – by the people of this great earth (which was once ruled by them)
kANa – to be seen
immaiyilE – in this birth itself
pichchai – alms
thAm – themselves (asking after giving up their shame)
koLvar – will accept;

(in this manner, since aiSwaryam (worldly wealth) is temporary,)
thiru – being nithyaSrI (eternally wealthy)
nAraNan – (the natural lord) nArAyaNan’s
thAL – divine feet
kAlam peRa – immediately, without wasting any time
sindhiththu – meditate upon
uymmin – be uplifted.

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

Those emperors who are conducting supremely independent empire, fitting firmly in the world and protecting their kingdom, (when their wealth gets destroyed, would beg in the night) have their leg bitten by black dog , having a broken and discarded pot (shell/skull) for begging, will accept alms themselves to be seen by the people of this great earth (which was once ruled by them). (Since aiSwaryam (worldly wealth) is temporary,) meditate upon the eternally wealthy lord nArAyaNan’s divine feet immediately, without wasting any time and be uplifted.

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

  • oru nAyagamAy – humans who hold on to impermanent wealth and burst like bubbles; these kings, like pauNdraka vAsudhEva (who imitated krishNa, to be killed by krishNa in the end) – AzhwAr is saying “oru nAyagamAy“, as they think their wealth is similar to emperumAn‘s wealth as said in nArAyaNa sUktham “pathim viSvasya” (the lord of the entire creation); being singular emperor.
  • Oda – How long this [ruling] goes on? for a very lengthy period of time. As said in “60000 years, 70000 years”.

What is being ruled?

  • ulagu – the whole earth which is surrounded by the ocean. As said in SrIvishNu purANam 4.2.65 “mAndhAthu: kshEthramuchyathE” (mAndhAthA’s kingdom spreads from where the sun rises to where it sets); they would rule it effortlessly like managing a small field.
  • udan ANdavar – Two explanations:
    • Those who ruled the earth fully having no place outside their regime.
    • Those who ruled with authority over every single person as in the case of kArthavIryArjuna who would at once appear with his bow and arrow in front of those who think to engage in sinful activities (even before they set out to performing such activities) as said in raghu vamSam 6 “akArya chinthA sama kAlam Eva prAthurbhavamS chApadhara: purasthAth“.

What will such independent emperors, who ruled the world for too long,  do? AzhwAr says they will suffer after losing their kingdoms as said in “rAjyam nAma mahA vyAdhi rachikithsyO vinASana: | bhrAtharam vAsuthamvApithyajanthi bhUmipA: ||” (kingdom is an uncurable and disaster-causing disease; don’t people even give up brothers and sons for the sake of kingdom?).

  • karu nAy kavarndha kAlar – After living a royal life for a very long time, one would not tolerate hunger [while living a simple life, after losing the kingdom] and say “let me fast today”; with great desire to live, he would set out to beg; but since he lived a royal life, out of shame, he will not go in the day time; he would instead go in the dark night and in dark areas; black dogs would be present in some places like a collection of darkness; not seeing them, he will step into their mouth; they will bite.
  • karu nAy – karu indicates anger – angry dog; karu also means pregnant/nursing mother; since its a dog which gave birth to pups, it is protecting them and when it sees people nearby, it will chase and bite those who come near by.
  • kAlar – they were previously identified as “those who are wearing anklets of bravery”; now they are identified as “those whose legs are bitten by dog”.
  • sidhaigiya pAnaiyar – Searching everywhere, they will only find a useless broken pot. Previously they ate in a golden pot, but now their state is such that they can not even find a new earthen pot. That too, when some one gives some alms, that will fall through the holes in the pot.
  • peru nAdu kANa – Previously, everyone will bring offerings to them and wait at their entrance for 6 months, 1 year and so on, unable to gain entry; in contrast, now everyone can see them. Another explanation – since they lived a royal life previously and then became poor, everyone will come to see their transformation.

Does this transformation happen in a subsequent birth?

  • immaiyilE – in the same birth where they lived a royal life before.
  • pichchai – Previously they would give smaller kingdoms to other regional kings; now all they expect is little bit of alms.
  • thAm koLvar – Previously, when regional kings bring them gifts, they will collect those gifts through their representatives, since it hurts their ego to accept from certain people; now, they accept themselves without seeing who is giving.

This being the worth of worldly kingdoms,

  • thirunAraNan thAL – periya thirumozhi 6.9.1 “idar keduththa thiruvALan iNaiyadi” (the divine feet of SrIman nArAyaNan who removed the sorrows of rudhra). Approach the divine feet of SrIman nArAyaNan and be uplifted. mathsya purANam “thathra nArAyaNa SrImAn mayA bhikshAm prayAchitha:” (rudhra says – I begged that SrIman nArAyaNan for alms). Other than emperumAn, there is no other refuge for those who beg with a pot (shell/skull) in their hand; periya thirumozhi 3.4.2 “OttUNozhiththa“van (one who eliminated the need to beg with pot/shell).
  • thAL – When bharathAzhwAn was asked “when will you be relieved of internal agony?”, he replied as in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 98.8 “yAvanna charaNau bhrAthu: pArthivavyanjanAnvidhau SirasA dhArayishyAmi…” (Until I behold the divine feet of my brother SrI rAma who has all qualities of being a king, I will not have peace), “When perumAL is crowned with suitable throne for him [being the lord], and I being crowned with suitable throne for me [being the servitor], my distress will be removed” – such divine feet. This is explained in perumAL thirumozhi 10.7 “arasamarndhAn adi sUdum arasu” (the crown of the lotus feet of SrI rAma being the emperor). kulaSEkarAzhwAr desires to be living at the divine feet of emperumAn.
  • kAlam peRa – Even if it is a small moment, one should come as early as possible. One cannot postpone this to the next day since “jIvitham maraNAntham hi jarAnthE rUpa yauvanE | sampadhaScha vinASAnthAjAnan kOdhruthimApnuyAth ||” (life ends with death, youth ends with old age, wealth ends with destruction – how can the one who knows this be fearless?). Thus one should not say “I will surrender unto emperumAn tomorrow”; garuda purANam pUrva 222.22 “yanmuhUrtham kshaNam vApi vAsudhEvO na chinthyathE |  sA hAnisthanmahachchidhram sA bhrAnthis sA cha vikriyA ||” (if in a muhUrtha [48 minutes of our time] or in a moment vAsudhEva is not thought of, that is a great loss; that is great sorrow; that becomes illusory; that is deterioration) – such lapse in thinking for a moment leads to the disaster of making him to be non-existing as said in thaiththirIya upanishath “asannEva“. “thanmahachchidhram” (great sorrow) – this leads to disaster. “sA bhrAnthi:” (confusion) – this is viparItha gyAnam (adverse knowledge). “sA vikriyA” (deterioration) – this is prohibited conduct.
  • sindhiththu – Don’t give reason that there is nothing [no tool] to reach him [mind is present]; Use the faculty (mind) that was given by him for him; when this is understood in the heart, one can meditate; SrIvishNu purANam 1.17.78 “smruthOyachchathiSObanam” (what is the difficulty in thinking about bhagavAn?).
  • uymminO – such meditation ends with the goal [of upliftment]. Since AzhwAr thinks that all should get this benefit, he is telling this to all [in plural].
  • uymminO – If there is no [care for] adi (feet, root), one (devotee, plant) will become dry; so one should care for the adi (feet, root) and be uplifted/revived.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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