thiruvAimozhi – 4.7.4 – kANa vandhu

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Full series >> Fourth Centum >> Seventh decad

Previous pAsuram

Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In fourth pAsuram, AzhwAr says “I, who is very lowly, am calling out to see sarvESvara who is desired to be seen by brahmA et al and cannot be seen by even them; How shameless of me!”.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

Subsequently, AzhwAr says “What is the use of me shamelessly calling out for emperumAn who cannot be seen by dhEvathAs such as brahmA et al, to appear in front of me with his attractive, beautiful form?”.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

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

Fourth pAsuram. AzhwAr calls out for emperumAn to be seen by him; he says – What is the use of desiring “I want to see the divine form which is enjoyed by nithyasUris (eternally free souls of paramapadham) who are never touched by samsAram, and which cannot be seen by brahmA, indhra et al”? The reason for this  [desire] is – my shamelessness and lack of knowledge.


kANa vandhu en kaN mugappE thAmaraik kaN piRazha
ANi sem pon mEni endhAy! ninRaruLAy enRenRu
nANam illAch chiRu thagaiyEn nAningalaRRuvadhen?
pENi vAnOr kANa mAttAp pIdudai appaniyE


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

vAnOr – dhEvas such as brahmA et al
pENi – with desire as per their knowledge and love
kANamAttA – not having the ability to see him
pIdu udai – having greatness
appanai – lord
ANi sem pon – attractive like pure, best gold [ANip pon means the best gold, which is used as benchmark to compare other gold and determine the other gold’s quality]
mEni – having form
endhAy – my father/lord!
thAmarai – like a lotus (which is infinitely enjoyable)
kaN – eye
piRazha – lighting up

(seeing me)
kANa – to be seen (by me, from the beginning)
vandhu – come
en kaN mugappE – in front of me
ninRaruLAy – kindly stand
enRu enRu – saying repeatedly
nANam illA – shamelessly
siRu thagaiyEn – having lowly nature
nAn – I
ingu – in this world which takes me away from bhagavath vishayam (bhagavAn related matters)
alaRRuvadhu – to lament
en – what is the use?

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

Oh my father/lord who is having such greatness that even dhEvas such as brahmA et al with desire as per their knowledge and love, are not having the ability to see him and having a form which is attractive like pure, best gold! What is the use of me who is having lowly nature, shamelessly saying “You kindly come and stand in front of me with your lotus like eyes lighting up, to be seen by me” repeatedly and lamenting in this world which takes me away from bhagavath vishayam?

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

  • kANa vandhu – Not merely experiencing your form in the mind, but you should appear physically to be seen by my eyes – says AzhwAr; another explanation – I should see and enjoy your arrival right from when your commence your journey towards me.  AzhwAr says “ANich chem pon mEni endhAy – en kaN mugappE – ninRaruLAy” (my lord who has pure, best gold like form, kindly stand in front of me). As said in thiruviruththam 85 “maRROppArai illA ANip ponnE” (the best gold like lord, who has no one comparable to him), even the best gold of this world which is said in thiruvAimozhi 3.1.2sutturaiththa nan pon un thirumEni oLi ovvAdhu”  (Even the shine of the best molten gold is not comparable to your divine form’s shine) appears without shine when compared to him. If the best gold is rubbed on the rubbing stone of the tongue (of AzhwAr) and placed in the wax of the heart (of AzhwAr), it will fail the test.
  • sem pon mEni endhAyemperumAn enslaved AzhwAr by showing his form which is said as in thirunedunthANdagam 10 “ponnAnAy” (You are gold). This is explaining the changes which happen in emperumAn’s form which remains EkarUpa (changeless), when he sees AzhwAr.
  • thAmaraik kaN piRazha – His divine eyes light up [with loving agitation] on seeing him, like an agitated ocean rising with topsy-turvy waves; another explanation – shining brightly. Oh emperumAn who made me exist exclusively for you by manifesting your divine form which resembles the best gold!
  • ninRu aruLAy – You have to stand in the vicinity of my eyes.
  • enRu enRu – When he arrives in front, those who are with ulterior motives as explained in “dhEhi mE dhadhami thE” (quid pro quo – you give me something and I will give you this) will say [whatever is to be said] once [But AzhwAr will keep praising emperumAn, since he is not seeking for any ulterior benefits].
  • nANam illA – Who is saying the words that are to be said by whom [AzhwAr is saying the words of nithyasUris here which he feels as inapt]? I who is not contemplating my own previous state and thus being shameless.
  • siRu thagaiyEn – Me who is very lowly. thagai – aLavu – knowledge/greatness. siRu thagai – means lack of knowledge/greatness.
  • nAn ingu alaRRuvadhen – What is the use of calling out to him from a place where he cannot place his divine feet? [Or, What is use of calling out to him from a place where he cannot be served properly?].
  • pENi … – Can he be seen by those (dhEvathAs) who do not place their feet on the earth? As said in uththara mImAmsA 1.3.25 “thadhuparyapibAdharAyaNassambhavAth“, even brahmA et al engage in upAsanam (worship) of lord. pENugai – desiring, which indicates upAsanam. There is greatness of not being seen by even those celestial beings who worship him; How can I, such shameless, ignorant person, lament to see him? AzhwAr considers himself very inferior that when compared to him even brahmA et al (dhEvathAs) appear to be like nithyasUris.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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