mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 29 – iRaiyum nilanum

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AzhwAr tells his heart, in this pAsuram “Oh heart!  don’t retreat from approaching sarvESvaran (supreme entity) because he is great. He has announced to everyone that he is devoted to his followers by showering his grace on gajEndhra [the elephant in distress]”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

iRaiyum nilanum iru visumbum kARRum
aRai pulanum sem thIyum AvAn piRaimaruppin
paim kaN mAl yAnai padu thuyaram kAththaLiththa
sem kaN mAl kaNdAy theLi

Word by Word Meanings

iRaiyum – he is the paramapadhanAthan (the Lord of SrIvaikuNtam)
nilanum – he is also the bhUmi (earth)
iru visumbum – he is also the well spread skies
kARRum – he is also the wind
aRai pulanum – he is also the oceans which keep making noise continuously
sem thIyum – he is also the red hot fire
AvAn – he is all of these
piRai maruppil – tusks in the shape of the moon’s crescent
paim kaN – having beautiful eyes
mAl yAnai – huge elephant
padu thuyaram – its deep sorrow
kAththu – removing it
aLiththa – protecting it
sem kaN mAl kaNdAy – behold the paramapurusha (supreme entity) with lotus like eyes
theLi – (Oh my heart!) know this well


iRaiyum – just as river kAviri flows transgressing both sides, without any shores, emperumAn also has a similar quality, being the paramapadhanAthan (Lord of SrivaikuNtam).

nilanum iru visumbum kARRum aRai punalum sem thIyum AvAn – by referring to the five elements, AzhwAr thinks of him as having pervaded all over the universe. Thus he owns the entire leelA vibhUthi (materialistic realm). By mentioning him as paramapadhanAthan in the previous verse, AzhwAr says he owns SrIvaikuNtam (spiritual realm) as well. Thus he owns both spiritual and material realms. Could there be anything more than these to draw the boundary of wealth!

piRai maruppil paingaN mAl yAnai – the elephant has its tusks in the shape of the crescent and beauty in the eyes, typical of elephants. Being in rut, without knowing the truth, it entered the pond and got caught by the crocodile.

paduthuyaram kAththaLiththaemperumAn rescued the elephant gajEndhran from the crocodile’s grip and took the flower that the elephant wanted to submit to him, on his divine feet, thus removing its sorrow [that it could not submit the flower at the divine feet of emperumAn].

paduthuyaram – it was a sorrow that even the elephant had to feel hurt

sengaN mAl kaNdAy theLi – isn’t emperumAn such that he clearly manifests his quality of vAthsalyam (motherly affection) towards his followers through his eyes and is loving towards them! [Oh heart] know this well.

sengaN mAl – the reddish eyes denote that he showers his vAthsalyam on his followers.

mAl – one who has deep love. Here it denotes the love with which he came to save gajEndhran [the elephant] with his yellow dress worn from waist down and the crown on his head in utterly dishevelled condition. He is very simple towards his followers and isn’t he the one who always removes their hurdles!

theLi – Oh my heart! Please know this. While emperumAn told AzhwArmA Sucha:” (don’t feel sad) [SrI bhagavath gIthA 18-66], AzhwAr tells his heart now “mA Sucha:” In order to get emperumAn’s grace there is no need to search out and go to his place. It is enough to keep the door to the mind open, just as people open the doors to their houses for inviting someone, and inform emperumAn of our acceptance [of him]. If he doesn’t come by himself, is there any other way to get him who is incomparable? AzhwAr says that out of habit, he called out to his mother “ammA” when in distress. emperumAn has to come on his own on hearing our call.

Let us move on to the 30th pAsuram.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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