mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 38 – Urum vari aravam

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Since emperumAn came to dwell in thirumalai, with desire, AzhwAr, on seeing this, describes with joy, all the entities which have connection with emperumAn in that place. If a particular place is desired, all the things associated with that place also become desirable! Just as all the people in paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam) are desired since paramapadham is a place to be attained.

Let us enjoy the pAsuram and its meanings:

Urum vari aravam oN kuRavar mAL yAnai
pEra eRindha peru maNiyai kArudaiya
min enRu puRRadaiyum vEnkatamE mEla surar
em ennum mAladhu idam

Word by Word Meanings

Urum – that which crawls
vari aravam – snake with lines (on its body)
oN kuravar – wise inhabitants (hunters) of thirumalai hill
mAl yAnai pEra – making the huge elephants, which are grazing in the fields, to leave
eRindha – thrown (on those elephants)
peru maNiyai – huge carbuncle gems
kAr udaiya min enRu  – thinking that it is the lightning amidst clouds
puRRu adiyum vEnkatamE – (fearing the thunder) such snakes entering their anthills in thiruvEnkatam
mEla surar – distinguished celestial beings [nithyasUris]
em ennum – thinking that this is ours
mAladhu idam – is the place desired by emperumAn as his dhivyadhESam.


Urum – The snakes in thirumalai will crawl around, as they like. Without any specific target, they will keep crawling, as a pastime. sumithrA tells lakshmaNa in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 40-5 “rAmE pramAdham mA kArshi: puthra bhrAthari gachchathi” (Oh dear child! By watching the gait of SrI rAma when he is walkling, don’t get involved in that and slip from protecting him). Similar to that beautiful gait of Sri rAma, the beauty of the snakes crawling all over the hills engages AzhwAr.

vari aravam – The lines on the body of the snake are beautiful to look at. AzhwAr involves with the snake as if it is a part of emeprumAn’s divine body and it is the mattress thiruvananthAzhwAn (AdhiSEshan) for emperumAn.

oN kuRavar – great inhabitants of the hill, the hunters. The greatness about these people is that they do not leave thirumalai and go down the hills. They think that leaving the hills will be termed as a great calumny to their heritage.  If someone says “such and such person’s great  grandfather’s great grandfather had left the hill once”, they will consider that as an affront on their clan. Without inviting such insults, these inhabitants have been residing in the hills. Unlike mukthars who had once lived in the samsAram and then got liberated to reach paramapadham, these inhabitants, very much like the nithyasUris who had always lived in paramapadham, always lived on the thirumalai hills (they are thus different from the brAhmaNas (that we had seen in the previous pAsuram) who come to thirumalai hills from all directions to worship and carry out kainkaryam to emperumAn there).

mAl yAnai pEra eRindha perumaNiyai – elephants looking like mEru mountain, would be straying in the fields.

pEra eRindha – In order to drive away the elephants, the hunters of the hills will throw carbuncles on them. Afraid of the radiance of the carbuncles, the elephants will get bewildered and run wildly, like mountains moving suddenly.

perumaNiyai – the inhabitants throw the invaluable carbuncles as if they are throwing them on mountains.

kAr udaiya min enRu puRRadaiyum – When these carbuncles hit the elephants, it would appear as if lightning is streaking across dark clouds. Snakes will mistake this action as if it is the clouds which are moving with lightning flashing across them and in fearful anticipation of the subsequent thunder, they will enter their protective anthills. It would appear as if lightning carries the cloud as lightning flashes across the clouds! Thus, AzhwAr engages deeply with the thirumalai hills, the snakes which keep moving around there, with the elephants which stray into the fields, with the inhabitants who drive away the elephants, with the carbuncle gems which are used to drive them, with the snakes which are afraid of this simulation and reach their anthills, without any difference, since all these entities are in thirumalai hills.

meLA surar emmennum mAladhidam – the nithyasUris who are permanent dwellers of paramapadham are the distinguished celestial people, unlike the dhEvars (celestial persons in indhra’s place of swargam / heaven) who are created. Each of these nithyasUris will come to thirumalai hills claiming “this is ours; this is ours” and reside there with affection.

Even though the term “Urum variaravam” appears to be in singular, the opinion is that all the snakes in thirumalai would act like this.

We shall move on to the 39th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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