mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 10 – maNNum malaiyum

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In the earlier pAsuram, AzhwAr mentioned that with a huge form, he carried out a small task (of begging King mahAbali). In this pAsuram, he talks about carrying out a huge task (swallowing the entire world) with a small form [he lay down as a child on the leaf of a banyan tree after swallowing all the worlds].

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings first.

maNNum malaiyum maRi kadalum mArudhamum
viNNum vizhungiyadhu meyyenbar eNNil
alagu aLavu kaNda sIr AzhiyAykku anRu iv
vulagu aLavu uNdO un vAy

Word by Word Meanings

maNNum – the earth
malaiyum – the mountains
maRi kadalum – the oceans which throw up waves constantly
mArudhamum – the air
viNNum – the sky [all these]
vizhungiyadhu – ate up
mey enbar – (rishis, sages) will say that it is true
eNNil – if one were to delve into this
alagu aLavu kaNda sIr AzhiyAykku – one who has seen the boundary (limitlessness) of auspicious qualities and who has the divine chakra (disc)
anRu –  during that time
un vAy – your divine mouth
ivvulagu aLavum uNdO – was it bigger than the worlds


maNNum – the earth, which supports all the entities in the world

malaiyum – the mountains which serve the earth

maRi kadalum – the oceans which surround the earth and throw up the waves

mArudhamum – air which is required for living beings to breathe and for supporting them

viNNum – the skies which provide space for the aforementioned entities

vizhungiyadhu meyyenbar – vEdham and rishis,  who speak only truth, say that you had swallowed all the above mentioned entities like butter, to contain them in a small portion of your stomach.

Normally when one recounts the five elements, in thamizh, the usage is maNNum punalum (earth, water etc). Why did AzhwAr say earth, mountains etc? When he swallowed all the entities, he did not swallow them in any order! That he swallowed these was true is claimed by vEdhas and those who are highly knowledgeable in vEdhas (rishis or sages).

eNNil – if we have to get a measure of such you [you refers to emperumAn]

alagu aLavu kaNda sIr AzhiyAykku – alagu refers to the instrument used for measuring. It has several units of measurement such as lakhs, crores, Sankam, mahASankam, padhmam, kumudham etc. The count of auspicious qualities that you have is so huge that these units cannot measure them. He has auspicious qualities and weapons such as the divine disc. It is said “mathikshayAnnivarthathE na gOvindha guNakshayAth” (I am unable to about the qualities of gOvindha, not because of any shortcoming of his qualities but due to shortcoming of my knowledge).

anRu ivvulagaLavum uNdO un vAy – on that day when you swallowed all the worlds to keep them safely in your divine stomach, was your divine mouth bigger than these worlds to enable you to swallow them? AzhwAr hints here that with a small mouth, he was able to swallow such large dimensional worlds, thus exhibiting his wondrous activity.

We shall move on to the 11th pAsuram.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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