mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 23 – thazhumbirundha sArnganAN

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emperumAn tried to hide the scar [mentioned in the previous pAsuram] saying “How can I, the sarvESvaran (supreme entity), be afraid of a woman? How can I be tied down by her? How can the world know about it?”. AzhwAr responds saying “if it is a single scar you could probably succeed in hiding it. When there are many scars formed all over your divine form when you carried out tasks to protect your followers, how can you hid them all?”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

thazhumbirundha sArnga nAN thOyndhavAm am kai
thazhumbirundha thAL sagadam sAdi thazhumbirundha
pUngOdhaiyAL veruvap pon peyarOn mArvidandha
vIngOdha vaNNar viral

Word by Word Meaning

am kai – in beautiful hands
sArnga nAN – the cord of bow
thOyndha – formed due to constant touching
thazhumbu – scars
irundha Am – were present
thAL – in the divine feet
sagadam sAdi – formed due to kicking the demon who had entered the wheel
thazhumbu irundha – scar was present
pUm kOdhaiyAL – piratti with beautifully platted divine hair
veruva – being fearful (of what will happen to the world)
pon peyarOn – the demon hiraNyakashyap’s
mArbu idandha – tearing his chest
vIngu Odha vaNNar – emperumAn who has the complexion of ocean with agitating waves
viral – on his fingers
thazhumbu irundha – scars are present


thazhumbu irundha sArnga nAN thOyndha Am am kaiemperumAn’s divine hand will have multiple scars due to the cord of his bow touching his hand constantly. His hand had to bear the scars since he had to hold the divine bow [constantly to protect his followers].

thAL sagadam sAdith thazhumbu irundha – his divine feet are so soft and gentle that even pirAttimArs (SrI mahAlakshmi and other consorts) would hesitate to touch them. emperumAn kicked the demon Sakata with those feet and hence scars were formed there. His purpose in kicking his feet was to cry out for milk, which infants would do when they cry for milk. It so happened that the wheel came there at that point of time and got kicked and the demon, who had pervaded the wheel, died. This, of course, created joy in emperumAn.

vIngu Odha vaNNar viral – how will the fingers of the person whose complexion is like that of the ocean with agitating waves, be? ….

pUngOdhaiyAL veruvaemperumAn tore the chest of hiraNyakashyap in order to help his child devotee prahlAdha, so that pirAtti will feel happy. But even that pirAtti was fearful, wondering what will happen to the world due to narismha perumAn’s anger (the form taken by emperumAn to kill hiraNyakashyap was a combination of human body and lion’s head.

pUm kOdhaiyAL – pirAtti feels happy when emperumAn carries out any task for the sake of his devotees. She knows the greatness of his valour. She once told (SrI rAma) to remain in the garb of rishi (sage) so that he would not harm anyone [this is a backhanded compliment paid by sIthAppirAtti in dhaNdaka AraNyam (forest) when SrI rAma had forgotten to keep his word of protecting the sages there by killing demons who were troubling the sages and she nudged him in a playful way to remind him of his promise, since protecting followers is dear to her heart].

vIngu Odha vaNNar – Since emperumAn narasimha’s anger was tumultuous, AzhwAr is comparing him to the complexion of an ocean with agitating waves. thirumangai AzhwAr says in periya thirumozhi 2-5-8 “adal ariyAyp peruginAnai” (emperumAn grew in to the form of powerful narasimha). In nararsimha manthram (hymns in praise of Lord narasimha) emperumAn’s ability to pervade everything is identified with the name “mahAvishNum

Thus AzhwAr is asking of emperumAn “when scars have been formed on your divine fingers, divine feet and divine hands, in various incarnations, how can you hide them all?”

We shall take up the 24th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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