mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 54 – aravam adal vEzham

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AzhwAr says in this pAsuram that emperumAn, leaving the comfort of the mattress that AdhiSEshan provides (as part of all the services that he willingly carries out to emperumAn), comes down to the materialistic realm and protects it. His nature is such that in order to make the people of this realm also to be his servitors and get them to carry out services like AdhiSEshan does, he sets aside his greatness and comes to lower levels.

As per thamizh grammar, this poem falls under the category of niral nirai aNi in which each of the terms in the first part of the poem corresponds to each of the terms in the second part in the same order that the terms appear.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

aravam adal vEzham An kurundham puL vAy
kuravai kuda mulai maRkunRam karavinRi
vittiRuththu mEyththosiththu kIndu kOththAdi uNdu
atteduththa sem kaN avan

Word by Word Meanings

sem kaN avan – emperumAn with reddish lotus like eyes
karavu inRi – without hiding
aravam vittu – driving away the snake kALiyan [from the river yamunA]
adal vEzham iRuththu – breaking the tusk of the warring elephant kuvalayApIdam
An mEyththu – grazing cows
kurundham osiththu – uprooting the tree kurundham (a flower bearing tree) in which a demon had entered
puL vAy kIndu – tearing the beak of a crane in which a demon had entered
kuravai kOththu – carrying out rAsakrIdai with cowherd girls [rAsakrIdai is a game in which two persons grip their hands in a crossed way, together, and go in a circular motion, with their planted feet acting together as the centre]
kudam Adi – dancing with pots
mulai uNdu – suckling (pUthanA’s) milk (along with her life)
mal attu – killing wrestlers (chANura and mushtika)
kunRam eduththa – lifting (gOvardhana) hill

(how wonderful were his activities!)


aravu …..emperumAn who has eyes similar to reddish lotus, engaged in many activities when he took his incarnation as krishNa.  AzhwAr describes some of those activities in this pAsuram. In the first two lines of the pAsuram are the subjects aravam, adal vEzham, An, kurundham, puL vAy, kuravai, kudam, mulai, mal and kunRam and in the last two lines are the activities associated with these subjects in the same order – vittu, iRuththu, mEyththu, osiththu,kINdu, kOththu, Adi, uNdu, attu and eduththa. The pairs will thus be

aravam vittu – driving away the snake kALiyan and not killing him as requested for, by his wives

adal vEzham iRuththu – when kamsan set his royal elephant kuvalayApIdam on krishNa to kill him, krishNa broke off its tusks and killed it

An mEyththu – though he is emperumAn, he did not consider his greatness but came down as a cowherd boy and took the cattle for grazing.

kurundham osiththu – when a demon entered a tree kurundham in order to kill krishNa, krishNa uprooted the tree, killing the demon.

puL vAy kINdu – kamsan asked his friend bakAsuran, a demon, to take the form of a bird [crane] to kill krishNa. But, krishNa, knowing the disguise of the demon, killed the bird by tearing its beak.

kuravai kOththu – he engaged in dancing with the cowherd girls in a type of dance called rAsakrIdai (explained above)

kudam Adi – dancing with pots [in the middle of the road]

mulai uNdu – kamsan first set off pUthana, his friend, to kill infant krishNa. She took the form of yaSOdhA, krishNa’s mother and offered her poisoned milk to him, and he drank both her milk and her life, thus killing her.

mal attu – kamsan, after kuvalayApIdam was killed, set off his champion wrestlers against krishNa. But both chANura and mushtika, the wrestlers, were killed by krishNa in the wrestling match.

kunRam eduththu – indhra, the deity of celestial persons, was denied food by the people of gOkulam. In anger, he rained hailstorm on gOkulam. krishNa lifted gOvardhanam, a hill around gOkulam and saved the herds-people.

karavinRi vittuemperumAn did not hide anything  while engaging in the above mentioned acts. There are two meanings given for karavinRi – allowing someone to escape without killing him, and acting honestly without anything deceitful.

emperumAn takes all these efforts after leaving the comfortable mattress of thiruvanthAzhwAn (AdhiSEshan) and his services. In irandAm thiruvandhAdhi 15, bhUthaththAzhwAr says “nAgaththaith thaN paLLi koLvAn thanakku” (emerpumAn has AdhiSEshan as his comfortable bed).

Let us take the 55th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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