thiruvAimozhi – 5.7.3 – karuLap putkodi

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Full series >> Fifth Centum >> Seventh decad

Previous pAsuram

Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the third pAsuram, emperumAn asks “What is the gain for me to accept you?”, and AzhwAr replies “I cannot see any gain for you who are complete in all manner, in accepting me who am very inferior; you did only out of your mercy. In the same manner, please fulfil my desires too”.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

Subsequently, AzhwAr says “I have not done any favour in return for the your favour of accepting me and engaging me in service of you who have distinguished symbols which manifest your supremacy”.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nampiLLai‘s introduction.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s introduction as documented by vadakkuth thiruvIdhip piLLai

Third pAsruam. emperumAn says “You said ‘show me mercy’; Alright, we will do; nothing to worry there; but as said in pUrva mImAmsA “SAsthrapalam prayOkthari” (When AthmA becomes karthA (doer), SAsthram is of use) and in brahma sUthram “karthA SAsthrArthavathvAth” (If SAsthram is of use, AthmA should be the doer), those who receive the mercy should also have something in them”, and AzhwAr replies “is this a rule only for what is to come? did I have anything previously [when you blessed me originally]? hence, give up the expectation of even a little bit from me and just do it out of your mercy”. AzhwAr says “Just as you have acknowledged me out of your causeless mercy to get me thus far, you have to mercifully do the rest as well”.


karuLap putkodi chakkarappadai vAna nAda em kAr mugil vaNNA
poruL allAdha ennaip poruL Akki adimai koNdAy
theruL koL nAn maRai vallavar palar vAzh sirIvaramangala nagarkku
aruL seydhangirundhAy! aRiyEn oru kaimmARE


Word-by-Word meanings (based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s 12000 padi)

karuLan – garuda
puL – bird
kodi – as flag
chakkaram – divine chakra (disc)
padai – as weapon
vAnam – paramapadham (spiritual realm)
nAda – have as kingdom

(you who are ultimately apt in this manner)
kAr mugil – like a dark cloud (which does not expect anything from the recipient of its rain)
em – bestowed for me
vaNNA – having a form

(with that beautiful form)
poruL – as an entity
allAdha – cannot be considered, as said in “asannEva” (non-existent)
ennai – me
poruL – to realize my nature
Akki – acknowledge

adimai – vAchika kainkaryam (service by speech)
koNdAy – being the one who accepted

(to conduct that fully)
theruL – great knowledge
koL – having
nAl – four types
maRai – vEdhams [sacred texts]
vallavar – who have mastered (at their will)
palar – many
vAzh – living (endowed with bhagavath anubhavam (experience of lord))
sirIvaramangala nagarkku – to SrIvaramangala nagar
aruL – infinite mercy
seydhu – showed
angu – there
irundhAy – oh one who is residing!

(in this manner, for the favours you have done previously)
oru – a
kaimmARu – gratitude, return of favour
aRiyEn – do not know that I have done.

Simple translation (based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s 12000 padi)

emperumAn is having garuda bird as his flag, divine chakra as his weapon and paramapadham as his kingdom; he is having a dark cloud like form which he bestowed to me; with that form, he transformed me who cannot be considered as an entity as said in “asannEva” (like achith) to realize my nature; he acknowledged and accepted my vAchika kainkaryam; Oh you, who are residing in SrIvaramangala nagar where many who have mastered the four vEdhams, having great knowledge, are living and showed your mercy there; I do not know of any gratitude, return of your favour, which I have done.

The remainder of the sentence [which is to be assumed] is – this being the case, please show your mercy to fulfil the rest of the aspects too and to be recited along with previous pAsuram’s ending “thamiyEnukku aruLAy” (bless me who is lonely). “karuLap puL” also means dark-nosed garuda. “theruL koL nAnmaRai” – “theruL koL” (having clarity) can be seen as an adjective to vEdham itself.

vyAkyAnams (commentaries)

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s vyAkyAnam

See vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s translation.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s vyAkyAnam

See nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s vyAkyAnam

See nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam as documented by vadakkuth thiruvIdhip piLLai

  • karuLap putkodi – did you bestow your mercy earlier upon me knowing you [your greatness] or me [my lowliness]!
  • karuLap putkodi – Is your supremacy such that, it needs anything more? Your supremacy is such that you have periya thiruvadi (garudAzhwAr) as your flag. garudAzhwAr is known as said in thiruvAimozhi 1.4.6aruL Azhip puL” (garudAzhwAr who is an ocean of mercy).
  • chakkarap padai – Is the chakra present such that, there is need for garudAzhwAr to appear [No, chakra itself is sufficient to prove his supremacy]? sudharSana chakra is said as in thiruviruththam 33 “aruLAr thiruchchakkaraththAl” (the chakra which is filled with mercy).
  • vAna nAda – Should he be carried by something (garudAzhwAr) or hold something (chakra)? Is his residence itself not sufficient? He is having periya thiruvadi as flag, divine chakra as weapon and paramapadham as residence. Riding on periya thiruvadi, holding chakra without getting tired and having paramapadham as his residence – these are the identification marks of the supreme lord; though just one of these is sufficient for him, it is explained here that he is complete in all aspects here.
  • karuLap puL – puL indicates bird species, and it is specifically highlighted as garuda bird. As “IdE” is written as “ILE” in thamizh, garuda is written as karuLa. Alternative explanation – karuL indicates black, which means anger and hence saying “garuda who is angry on the enemies”. It is said in periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 4.9.3 “karuLudaiya pozhil marudhu” (the two angry marudha trees appearing like a garden).
  • em kAr mugil vaNNA – Did you see your supremacy or the entity [me] on which you are showering your mercy! Oh one who manifested your magnanimity all the way down to me! You did this without any expectation, without seeing my [lowly] nature.

When asked “What is the favour done by emperumAn?”, AzhwAr says,

  • poruL allAdha … – Did you elevate a pre-existing entity? Prior to your acceptance, I was as said in thaiththirIya upanishath “asannEva sa bhavathi” (one who is ignorant of God, is considered to be non-existent) and you uplifted such me as said in the same passage “santhamEnam” (the learned people accept him to exist).
  • adimai koNdAy – You engaged me in service which is performed by nithyasidhdhars (eternally free souls) as said in thiruvAimozhi 3.7.5peru makkaL uLLavar” (for the nithyasUris who have greatness of having parama sAmyApaththi (having similar qualities to those of bhagavAn‘s)). Not only you created me, you also helped me live. This is how [by accepting my service] what he said in “kArmugil” (dark cloud), materialized [like a cloud will give life to the crops etc]. AzhwAr indicates what is said in thiruvAimozhi 1.1.1adi thozhudhezhu” (worship his divine feet and rise) by the term “adimai koNdAy“. As AzhwAr who was divinely blessed by emperumAn with knowledge and devotion speaks in this manner [i.e., very lowly of himself], it is to be understood that the result of true knowledge will make one highlight his/her own faults; being egotistic as said in “ISvarOham” (I am God) is the result of ignorance.
  • theruL koL nAnmaRai vallavar – Those who have understood the essence of vEdham clearly. Those who are having great wisdom, and are able to excel in vEdham which is divided into four categories (namely rig, yajur, sAma, atharvaNa).
  • palar – Not just one or two, but many groups as seen in SrIvaikuNtam (the spiritual realm).
  • vAzh – Those who visualise and enjoy emperumAn who is the essence of vEdham. Though many creatures live in holy rivers, their sins do not get washed up since they lack knowledge [about self, bhagavAn, the sacred nature of the river they live etc]; unlike these creatures, the residents of this dhivyadhESam have both knowledge and adequate practice.
  • sirIvaramangala nagarkku aruL seydhu angu irundhAy – He is residing there giving himself to the residents there and considering such act of his as his own gain. It was not that the residents of sirIvaramangala nagar requested emperumAn to come and stay there, but out of his own natural compassion, he descended there.  Also explained as – you descended there to accept my [AzhwAr‘s] service. You thought “We have brought AzhwAr up to kainkaryam, and hence there should not be any break” and descended there.
  • aRiyEn oru kaimmARE – For all that you have done, I do not know if I have done anything [in return]. If you say that I have done something to trigger your mercy [since I do not know what I have done], still you have to fulfil the subsequent aspects. You cannot say “I helped you since you existed”, since I have already mentioned “poruL allAdha ennaip poruLAkki adimai koNdAy” (You made me exist as an entity, when I remained like a non-existent entity, and then accepted my service).

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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