thiruvAimozhi – 5.8.1- ArAvamudhE

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

Full series >> Fifth Centum >> Eighth decad

Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the first pAsuram, AzhwAr says “I have seen you who are melting me with your beauty etc, mercifully reclining; but I have not seen you showering your merciful glance, embracing me etc”.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

In the first pAsuram, AzhwAr says “I have seen you reclining in thirukkudandhai, making me melt being infinitely enjoyable by me with your beauty and your unconditional relationship”.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

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

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.


ArAvamudhE adiyEn udalam ninpAl anbAyE
nIrAy alaindhu karaiya urukkuginRa nedumAlE!
sIrAr senneRkavari vIsum sezhunIrth thirukkudandhai
ErAr kOlam thigazhak kidandhAy kaNdEn emmAnE



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

emmAnE – one who is my unconditional lord

(as a result of that relationship)
ArA – unquenchable (even after eternally enjoying)
amudhE – being eternally enjoyable
adiyEn – my (me who were captivated by such enjoyability)
udalam – body
ninpAl – towards you
anbAyE – having love as the mood/form

(due to that)
nIrAy – losing firmness to become watery
alaindhu – agitated (and not being steady)
karaiya – to dissolve
urukkuginRa – making it melt
nedumAlE – Oh one who is having infinitely enjoyable greatness!
sIr – by weight
Ar – abundance
sennel – paddy crops
kavari vIsum – appearing like fans swaying

(the cause for that being)
sezhu – rich
nIr – having water
thirukkudandhai – in thirukkudandhai
Er – beauty
Ar – abundance
kOlam – decoration
thigazha – shining
kidandhAy – resting;
kaNdEn – enjoyed by seeing with my own eyes.

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

emperumAn who is my unconditional lord, where my quench is never fulfilled even after eternally enjoying him; oh one who is having infinitely enjoyable greatness! You are agitating me to dissolve and melt my body which is having love as the mood/form towards you, losing firmness to become watery; you are resting in thirukkudandhai which has abundance of heavy paddy crops which appear like fans swaying and having rich water; your abundant beauty and decoration are shining; I enjoyed these by seeing with my own eyes. This implies – AzhwAr has only seen emperumAn and has not interacted with him yet.

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

  • ArAvamudhE [ArA amudhE]- Even if one enjoys, how can one be relaxed when separated from an entity who cannot be simply enjoyed in order. The order of experience is – first to see, then to approach closely and then come in physical contact; emperumAn is such that one cannot wait to these in order.
  • ArAvamudhE – To drink the salt water [nectar retrieved from milky ocean], one should be born as a celestial being, should practice celibacy and even after that it will be given only once; but this [emperumAn, the nectar], is open for all, eternally enjoyable, even if there is shortcoming in one’s celibacy vow, it [emperumAn, the nectar] will eliminate the shortcomings [and accept the person who desires for him]. lOkasArangamunigaL was residing in the uththara bhUmi (northern part of bhAratha dhESam). A person [devotee] from here [dhakshiNa bhUmi (southern part of bhAratha dhESam)] went there. lOkasArangamunigaL enquired from him “what is special in the dhakshiNa bhUmi?”, and he replies “a prabandham named thiruvAimozhi has apppeared [from AzhwAr], and the elders have accepted it and are greatly celebrating it”; lOkasArangamunigaL says “why don’t you recite a verse from what you know in it?” and he replied “I can recite this decad starting with ‘ArAvamudhE‘”. Hearing that lOkasArangamunigaL said “While there are abundant names like nArAyaNa etc for emperumAn, how amazing that AzhwAr is presenting us this beautiful name”, felt dissatisfied with his stay there and at once left for thirukkudandhai saying “Let me go to the abode where these verses are recited”.
  • ArAvamudhE – [SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 6.1 is explained here] sahapathnyA – Just as one who steps into deep water will hold on to a support [Along with sIthAp pirAtti, SrI rAma is worshipping SrIman nArAyaNan emperumAn who is his family deity]. pathnyA saha – Just as a person who is stepping into a river, will take the help of an expert, perumAL (SrI rAma) is setting out to worship periya perumAL [SrIranganAthan, SrIman nArAyaNa, who is the family deity of SrI rAma’s clan], with the help of sIthAp pirAtti. visAlAkshyA – sIthAp pirAtti became blissful seeing perumAL’s great love towards periya perumAL and her eyes expanded in wonder so much, even more than his embrace of her. nArAyaNamubAgamath – But SrI rAma’s total control over his senses is such that he is not getting disturbed by her glance, and instead was focussed on periya perumAL. From this, it is explained – emperumAn‘s unquenchable nature is such that, even when he sets out to enjoy himself, he needs to have a companion.
  • ArAvamudhE – This word [this nature of emperumAn] is the seed [root cause] for AzhwAr‘s craving in this decad.
  • adiyEn – Here AzhwAr is not identifying himself to be a servitor due to being bestowed unblemished knowledge [as done in thiruvAimozhi 1.1.1] by emperumAn, but is doing this being defeated by emperumAn’s enjoyability. This is similar to lakhsmaNa who first said in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 15.7 “paravAnasmi” (I am a servant), subsequently said in SrI rAmAyaNam kishkinthA kANdam 4.12 “guNair dhAsyamubAgatha:” (I am his servant due to his auspicious qualities).
  • udalam nin pAl anbAyE – When SEshathvam (servitorship) is the nature of AthmA [and is realised], the body being a hurdle for such servitude, is quashed. AzhwAr who was thinking “aham” (the independent, I am), is now saying “adiyEn” due to the enjoyable nature of emperumAn; similarly, the body too, melted due to emperumAn’s nature. The body, instead of pulling the AthmA which is the abode for servitude, towards it [body], followed the desire of AthmA. Not just the AthmA which is an embodiment of gyAnam (knowledge) and Anandham (bliss, not just the mind which is the gateway of AthmA for the gyAnam, but even the body which is made of skin, flesh etc also melted [out of love for emperumAn]).
  • nin pAl anbAyE – Towards you who can weaken both chEthana (sentient beings) and achEthana (insentient entities) with your love, the body, instead of being the abode of love, became an embodiment of love.
  • nIrAy alaindhu – The body became [an embodiment of ] love, and that love became perturbed like water. First it starts with SravaNam (hearing), then mananam (meditation), subsequently bhAvanA (deep contemplation) and finally it leads to visualisation which matches real experience; all of these happen due to emperumAn‘s enjoyability.
  • nIrAy alaindhu karaiya – Water will dissolve the substance which falls in it, but will not dissolve itself; here it is unlike that, water (body which became like water) itself is dissolving. If love can become water, why can’t water dissolve?

If this is the state of AthmA, what is the state of bhagavAn?

  • urukkuginRa – He is set out to fully weakening AthmA. Just as a gold smith will melt the ornaments etc [disregarding their worth, beauty etc], emperumAn is melting and destroying AzhwAr. It is said in thiruvAimozhi 4.3.2 “thEsamAna aNikalanum en kai kUppuch cheygaiyE” (My salutations to him with joined palms are his ornaments).

Is it just emperumAn melting AzhwAr’s body after weakening it? [What happens to emperumAn himself?]

  • nedumAlE – [Greatly loving] Only after seeing the other person’s total meltdown, emperumAn will start melting. If we consider emperumAn’s emotions, the emotions of AzhwAr will appear to be nothing. His melting cannot be explained using words as done for AzhwAr‘s melting and can only be said as “nedumAl“. mAl means vyAmOham (infatuation/love). nedumAl means great infatuation/love. Alternate explanation – mAl means great person, and when asked if he is like brahmA, rudhra et al, no, he is as said in thiruvAimozhi 8.4.5 “manisarkkuth thEvar pOlath thEvarkkum thEvAvO” (as dhEvas (celestials) exist in a higher platform for manushyas (humans), emperumAn exists for dhEvas). nedumAl means sarvESvaran (supreme lord of all). His greatness is a tool to melt AzhwAr.
  • sIrAr … – The fresh and heavy paddy crops, looking at the beautiful reclining posture of emperumAn, sway to the sides as if servitors are fanning him. sIr means heavy and beautiful. kavari means chAmaram (a type of fan). Alternatively, sIrmai (greatness) for the fresh paddy is that it is used in preparing food for ArAvamudhAzhwAr. In that case, it is the greatness as explained in thaiththirIya upanishath “aham annam” (I am the food).
  • kavari vIsum – As said in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 127.17 “akAla palinO vrukshA:” (let the trees blossom even during non-season). vIsum is a term in present tense, indicating it is already serving emperumAn [no need to wait for harvest]. Like those who read his mind and serve him accordingly. The master [emperumAn] considers all the activities of his servant as a task done to please him [Even the paddy crop naturally swaying is considered as a service by emperumAn].
  • sezhu nIr – In thirukkudandhai which has abundance of water bodies matching emperumAn’s beautiful reclining posture. sezhu nIr also implies peru nIr (huge water body).
  • Er Ar kOlam … – You reclined and rested to give more shine to your beautiful decorations. People of this world will have their bodily shortcomings hidden while they are roaming around; but when they settle and start sleeping, their ugliness will manifest to those who look at them; but in emperumAn‘s case, it is unlike that; as said in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 38.24 “samayAbOdhithaSSrImAn” (the prosperous lord who was sleeping, was awakened by me), even when he is in sleeping posture, he should be rid of evil eyes falling on him. He is such that one will fear “what will happen if he wakes up?” [we will not be able to enjoy his beautiful sleeping posture].
  • kidandhAy kaNdEn – as said in the same SlOkam “sukhasuptha:” (blissfully resting), I have seen his beautiful sleeping posture, but did not enjoy the aspects which I desired. [Looking at me] Standing up, being seated, walking around, asking me “what did you do?”, embracing me etc did not happen.
  • emmAnE – I can remain relaxed if I don’t think “emperumAn’s beauty is mine to enjoy”. Both emperumAn’s beauty and aptness [of being my master] are torturing me. Should you torture me showing this aptness?

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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