mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 22 – aRiyum ulagellAm

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emperumAn asks AzhwAr, “You mentioned that it is my nature to mingle with my followers. I do not know about that. How did you know it?” AzhwAr responds saying “You can keep my mouth closed. But can you shut the mouths of the people of this world? (The whole world knows about your nature, after seeing the scars on you)”

Let us enjoy the pAsuram and its meanings.

aRiyum ulagellAm yAnEyum allEn
poRi koL siRai uvaNam uRndhAy veri kamazhum
kAmbEy menthoLi kadai veNNey uNdAyaith
thAmbE koNdu Arththa thazhumbu

Word for Word Meanings

poRi koL siRai – wings with many colours
uvaNam – garudAzhwAn
UrndhAy – riding on
veRi kamazhum – having sweet fragrance
kAmbu Ey men  thOLi – yaSOdhA, having slim shoulders looking like bamboo
kadai veNNey – butter that was churned
uNdAyai – you, who ate that butter
thAmbu koNdu – with a small rope
Arththa – due to binding
thazhumbu – scar
yAnEyum allEn – was I the only one who knew this?
ulagam ellAm aRiyum – all the people in the world knew.


aRiyum ulagellAm yAnEyum allEn – Doesn’t the whole world know about this! Do not think that only I am talking about it. Even an enemy such as SiSupAlan knows about this!

poRi koL siRai uvaNam UrndhAy – You are capable of guiding garudan who has multi coloured wings. Aren’t you the one who controls the entities who have the nature of carrying out kainkaryam [service] to you!

veRi kamazhum – yasOdhA pirAtti with fragrance. She decorates herself with sweet smelling fragrances so that her little child krishNa will not feel disappointed. Alternative explanation – one who emits sweet fragrance as her nature.

kAmby Ey menthoLi  kadai veNNey uNdAyai – yaSOdhA pirAtti has her shoulders like bamboo; it is not hard as bamboo, but soft. Her shoulders are compared to bamboo stick since they are fresh, long and beautiful.

kadai veNNey uNdAyai – the butter churned with so much of difficulty by yaSOdhA pirAtti without even minding her soft shoulders and which you ate. This action sustains them both – it sustains yaSOdhA because she considers kaNNan (krishNa) as her life and krishNa considers butter as his life.

thambE koNdu Arththa thazhumbu – your divine body is so soft especially when you sit astride periya thiruvadi (garuda). yaSOdhA tied [such] you with rope. When she caught krishNa, she tied him with some torn rope that she could lay her hands on. She could have searched for a good rope; but by the time she found such a rope, krishNa would have escaped. Hence she tied him with a torn rope. She cannot lengthen the rope, neither could she contract the ural (mortar). When she found that the rope was short, she found space in his own body (by asking him to pull in his stomach). All the AzhwArs get deeply involved and look at in bewilderment at  the rope which was used to tie him. thirumangai AzhwAr says in periya thirumozhi 5-9-7 “kaNNiyAr kuRum kayiRRAl” (with a small rope which had several knots); madhurakavi AzhwAr says in kaNNinuN siRuth thAmbu 1kaNNi nuN siRuth thAmbinAl”(with a small rope which had several knots and which was crossing his body). SrIvishNu purANam 5-6-14 says “dhAmnA chaiva udharE badhvA prathyabadhnAth ulUkalE krishNamaklishta karmANamAhachEdhamamarshithA” (yaSOdha, who bound krishNa, who is not bound by karma, with a rope across his stomach to a mortar, said …). thirumangai AzhwAr says in periya thirumozhi 2-10-6 “thaRiyArndha karum kaLiRE pOla ninRu thadam kaNgaL pani malgum thanmaiyAnai”- here thaRiyArndha karum kaLiRu pOla ninRu refers to krishNa who stood like an arrogant elephant and thdam kaNkaL pani malgum thanmaiyAnai refers to krishNa standing there, with tears in his eyes, without knowing his strength (just as an elephant stays bound by a chain to a pillar, not knowing its strength). Thus [poygai] AzhwAr tells emperumAn “it is not only I, but the entire world knows the scar that you had because you were bound to a mortar with a rope”.

Let us move on to the 23rd pAsuram.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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