mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 16- pazhudhE pala pagalum

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AzhwAr feels regretful that he has wasted lengthy period of time in other means and other deities and thus lost emperumAn.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings.

pazhudhE pala pagalum pOyina enRu anji
azhudhEn aravaNai mEl kaNdu thozhudhEn
kadal Odham kAl alaippak kaNvaLarum sengaN
adal Odha vaNNar adi

Word by Word Meanings

kadal Odham – the waves in thiruppARkadal [kshIrAbdhi or milky ocean]
kAl alaippa – rising against his divine feet
kaN valAraum – sleeping because of that [soft caressing]
sem kaN – having reddish eyes
adal Odha vaNNar – emperumAn having he complexion of waves which are close together
adi – divine feet
aravu aNai mEl kaNdu – seeing atop the mattress thiruvananthAzhvAn (serpent AdhiSEsha)
thozhudhEn – worshipped (today)
pala pagalum – time immemorial
pazhudhE pOyina enRu – that they have been wasted
anji azhudhEn – cried out of fear


pazhudhE pala pagalum pOyina enRu – in the days passed, instead of spending part of the time purposefully and the remaining, purposelessly, AzhwAr says that he has wasted the entire time purposelessly. If one were involved with emperumAn for some time and not involved with him for rest of the time, one can say that one had spent some of the time purposefully and the rest purposelessly. Instead, the entire time in the past had been wasted, says the AzhwAr.

pala pagalum – is it possible to specify this period? Isn’t it without a beginning!

pOyina enRu – is there any purpose in constructing a dam after the floods have receded? In the same way, AzhwAr says “what is the purpose in talking about something which has passed?”

anji azhudhEn – The time spent has been  without a beginning. The time to come now is without an end at all. AzhwAr cries for the time that he had spent in the past without any purpose, as he feels that that length of time is equivalent to the supreme time that he now spends experiencing emperumAn. AzhwAr says “anji azhudhEn” (cried out of fear). He could cry since he had wasted the time already passed. But why should he fear for the time that is going to come now? He fears for a reason which is going to appear in future. In other words, while his connection with emperumAn is permanent, it was he who had lost that connection in the past by not knowing about it. And, he is going to be there in future too! [He fears that he may again lose that connection]. Alternatively, instead of crying for the time that had passed, it could be taken that he fears that the future would also be like the past and he may spend it purposelessly and hence cries out of that fear. In SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 17-14 it is said “yaScha rAmam na paSchyEththu yancha rAmO na paSchayathi nindhithas sa vasEl lOkE svAthmApyEnam vigarhathE” (one who has not seen rAma or one who has not been seen by rAma will live in the world as a condemned person. His own mind will condemn him). People who do not see emperumAn even for a fleeting moment will suffer like this. When such is the case, is there any need to talk about his losing emperumAn since time immemorial?

aravu aNai mEl kaNdu thozhudhEn –  AzhwAr says that he saw emperumAn on thiruvananthAzhwAn (AdhiSEsha) like the gem carbuncle pressed on a silver plate. As a natural corollary of having his dharSan (seeing him) he worshipped him. aravaNai mEl – as mentioned in paryanka vidhyA he saw emperumAn atop AdhiSEsha. kaNdu – even if sees emperumAn through the vision of his mind, it appears to him as if he had seen emperumAn right in front of his eyes. In SrI rAmAyaNam, when sIthAppirAtti was in lankA and SrI rAma was on this side of the ocean, they were able to see each other through the vision of their minds, as if they were seeing each other in person. In the same way, AzhwAr too saw emperumAn who is in paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam).

kadal Odham kAl alaippak kaN vaLarum sengaN adal Odha vaNNar adi – the waves in the ocean come and gently caress his divine feet such that he is able to close his eyes and rest awhile; his divine eyes reflect his greatness due to their reddish colour [people who are magnanimous and who are loving towards others will have reddish eyes, it is said]; it appears as if one ocean is straddling another; he has a form resembling the beautiful waves; the waves display the divine feet of emperumAn who is reclining on thiruppARkadal (milky ocean).  kAl alaippa – the tiny droplets of water in the ocean gently rub  on his divine thighs. sem kaN – eyes appear reddish out of his love.

We shall take up the 17th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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