thiruvAsiriyam – 2 – ulagu padaiththuNda

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As said in purusha sUktham “AdhithyavarNam thamasa: parasthAth” (The parama purusha shines brightly like sun and is beyond the primordial matter) , AzhwAr explained about the greatness of bhagavAn’s (dhyEya vasthu – object of meditation) distinct form (vigraha vailakshaNyam) in his first pAsuram. And in the second pAsuram he says that the devotion to emperumAn only is required for him, since parabhakthi (the growing desire to be with bhagavAn) etc on bhagavAn, are all part of the ultimate goal. In the first pAsuram he explained emperumAn’s auspicious qualitites like saundharyam (bodily beauty), parathvam (supremacy) and sauseelyam (magnanimity); and in the second pAsuram he says that these qualities of emperumAn act like karma, gyAna, bhakthi yOgams for AzhwAr and subsequently lead to AzhwAr’s para bhakthi, para gyAna and parama bhakthi which are considered as part of the ultimate goal. These para bhakthi etc are explained as desirable. Now, AzhwAr repeats those qualities of emperumAn which acts as gyAna, bhakthi yOgams in this pAsuram starting with “ulagu padaiththuNda endhai aRai kazhal sudarp pUm thAmarai“.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

ulagupadaiththuNda endhai aRai kazhal
sudar pUm thAmarai sUdudhaRku avAvAr
uyirurugi ukka, nEriya kAdhal
anbilinbIn thERal amudha
veLLath thAnAm siRappu vittu oru porutku
asaivOr asaiga, thiruvodu maruviya
iyaRkai, mAyAp peru viRal ulagam
mUnRinOdu nal vIdu peRinum
koLvadheNNumO theLLiyOr kuRippE?


Word by Word Meanings

ulagupadaiththu – emperumAn who created all the worlds
uNda – and ate them up (during praLayam (deluge))
endhai – emperumAn is my lord
aRaikazhal – holy feet of the lord resounding with the ankle bells
sudar pU thAmarai – glittering lotus flower
sUdudhaRku – to wear it (beautiful lotus like thiruvadi to wear it on head)
avA – with desire
Ar – filled with
uyir urugi ukka – the soul that melts and fall
nEriya kAdhal – the love/affection (in the form of bhakthi) which resulted from it
anbil – in the the desire (to reach emperumAn)
inbu – that produces the bliss
In thERal amudha veLLaththAnAm – submerging into nectar-like ocean which is great in sweetness.
siRappu vittu – renouncing the pride
oru porutku – for the meagre goals of life
asaivOr – those who get afflicted
asaiga – wanders
thiruvodu maruviya – in association with the wealth/opulence
iyaRkai – true nature
mAyA peru viRal – with imperishable immense strength
ulagam mUnRinOdu – along with the three worlds
nal vIdu peRinum – even if attaining mOksham (which is the ultimate goal of life) also
theLLiyOr – the vivEki’s who have clear wisdom
kuRippu – opinion
koLvadhu – to obtain all these
eNNumO – will think?


ulagu padaiththunda – As said in chAndhOgya upanishadh “thadhaikshatha – bahusyAm prajAyEyEthi (he vowed to become many forms and then creates the entire world), bhagavAn (in many forms) with his sankalpam (divine will) creates all the the entities apart from him; and when danger like praLaya (dissolution) occurs for these entities , he protects all these by placing them inside His stomach; and because of these acts of emperumAn, his undiminished supremacy (parathvam) is established.

endhai AzhwAr says that even though emperumAn is distinctly supreme (being lord to everyone – sarva swAmi), he himself came forth and accepted AzhwAr; since AzhwAr thinks himself as the most inferior person in all the three worlds; and because of this acceptance of emperumAn, AzhwAr highlights his magnanimity. As said in first pAsuram “mUvulagaLandha” (which states His magnanimity), AzhwAr thinks himself as the lowest person in these three worlds.

aRai – emperumAn’s thiruvadi (the sacred feet) is wearing ornaments that make jingling sound, are radiant and most enjoyable; with this emperumAn’s saundharyam (bodily beauty) is explained.

thAmarai sUdudhaRku – As soon as his sacred feet are said to be resembling the lotus flower, one would naturally desire to place them on his/her head as said in sthOthra rathnam 31kadhA punaS SankharathAngakalpaka dhvajAravaindhAnkuSa vajralAnchanam | thrivikrama! (oh thrivikrama! When will my head be decorated with your two divine feet which are having [the marks of] Sankha , chakra , et al?) [here AzhwAr highlights his desire to place emperumAn’s lotus-like sacred feet on his head].

sUdudhaRku avAvAruyir – When the jIvAthmA meditates upon the distinguished nature of emperumAn, it is impossible for him to give up the yearning for Him.

sUdudhaRku avAvAruyir – The desire on wearing it.

Aruyir– The soul that desires it.

urugi ukka– The soul which cannot be split or melted, attained a liquid state [due to melting] such that it can never be seen as AthmA again.

nERiya kAdhal – And that desire lead to a distinguished involvement/attachment [in emperumAn];  SrI bhagavath gIthA 2-62sangAth sanjAyathE kAma: (While contemplating on the objects of the senses, one develops attachment to them and that attachment leads to desire, and from that desire arises the anger); and in chAndhOgya upanishath 7-26-2 “dhruvA smrithi:” (from purity of food comes purity of mind, and from that comes constant remembrance of God); here AzhwAr says that attachment (which arise out of desire towards Him) resulted in love/devotion on bhagavAn.

anbil inbu – As said in SrI bhagavad gIthA 9-2susukham karthum avyayam(knowledge is the king of wisdom and is most confidential. It can be perceived by self realization, and it is joyous to perform and is everlasting); here AzhwAr says that since the love/devotion is on emperumAn who is filled auspicious qualities, it is so sweet; because of the sweetness of emperumAn, the meditation upon him would also be sweet.

When asked how sweet this love is? AzhwAr says – It is like the nectar.

In thERal – Due to emperumAn’s sweet nature, it will taste like the concentrated nectar which is churned of an ocean of nectar. It is like an ocean of nectar since it is towards emperumAn who is said as in thaiththirIya upanishath – 5 “Anandhamaya: (He is filled with bliss); and due to emperumAn’s distinguished nature and the devotee’s attachment towards him, it will be like an individual falling into an ocean [of nectar] and enjoying it immensely.

amudha veLLaththAnAm– drowning into the flood of joy.

siRappu vitu – leaving the parabhakthi, paragyAna and paramabhakthi which is the greatest wealth [Implies the person who leaves this prosperity is known as foolish person].

oru porutku – If a person leaves the above said greatest wealth, he will have to think obtaining the purushArthams (goals) such as dharma (righteousness), artha (wealth), kAma (desire) and mOksha (salvation) only; and here AzhwAr says that he doesn’t even consider these goals as worthy; and due to his disregard for them, he calls these goals as “oru porutku(just another thing)”.

asaivOr asaiga – Unlike the greatest wealth like parabhakthi etc., the purushArtham (dharma etc.) will be very hard for one to obtain; and even if they are attained, the significance and the benefit of them will be very meagre; and those people who are attached to them will have much greater tribulation. Though it is said in SrI bhagavath gIthA 12-5klESO’dhikatharas(greatly troublesome); and when asked “why many people desire for them?”, AzhwAr says here “am I talking about foolish people? Would the intelligent ones ever think about these goals?“.

thiruvodu maruviya iyaRkai mAyAp peruviRal ulagam mUnRinOduemperumAn is always with the eternal wealth/opulence; and though one may possess such  wealth but if he doesn’t have power/energy to enjoy it, there will be not be any use of it; unlike those emperumAn possess everlasting majestic potency; his wealth is not limited to particular location but spread over all three worlds.


nalvIdu perinum – As nalvIdu indicates uththama purushArtham (top most goal of enjoying and serving bhagavAn), here [vIdu] the inferior goal of kaivalyam (eternally enjoying oneself) should also be included.

perinum – it is not only about desiring for these goals, but attaining them.

koLvadheNNumO AzhwAr asks “Can one even think about attaining them?”, and he himself replies “No”; since worldly wealth is temporary, it is discarded; since AthmAnubhavam is insignificant [though permanent], it is discarded; since bhagavath anubhavam is enjoyed only with a different body [which is attained in paramapadham[, and not the current body, it is discarded too. he says “do we even need to think about these goals which are incomparable with the greatest wealth – parabhakthi , paragyAnam and parama bhakthi, which are enjoyed in the current body itself?”.

But when asked “Still, why are some people are desiring for these goals?“, AzhwAr replies,

theLLiyOr kurippu ennumO – AzhwAr says that the vivEki (intelligent person) who can distinguish between the sAra (essence) and asAra (residue) will not even mind to think about anything other than parama bhakthi (total devotion towards lord); and these viveki’s are born with the ability to differentiate between good and bad. As explained by emperumAnar in his vEdhArtha sangraham – 3 “sArAsAravivEkagyA garIyamsa: (the intellectual can differentiate between the sAra and asAra), and by thirumazhisaip pirAn in his thiruchchantha viruththam – 108 “kEdil sIr varaththanAyk kedum … kUdum Asai alladhonRu koLvanO kuRippilE (even though obtaining the wealth of brahmA, Siva and indhra and reaching the highest state of liberation, he will never ever entertain any desire other than being with the lord)” [AzhwAr concludes at the end that the experience of the divine and service to emperumAn is the ultimate supreme bliss].

Let us move on to the 3rd pAsuram.

adiyEn booma ramanuja dhAsi

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