iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 5 – adi mUnRil

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In the earlier pAsuram, AzhwAr called bhakthi as lamp and town as temple. In this pAsuram, he is talking only about bhakthi. Or, we can say that he is speaking about how emperumAn remains very simple for people with bhakthi. AzhwAr said in the previous pAsuram “nigarillAp paingamalam Endhip paNindhEn” (he carried an incomparable lotus flower and attained [emperumAn]). emperumAn asks him “Did you attain me?” AzhwAr responds “I just said a word like that. I do not know whether I attained you. Is it possible for anyone to measure you?” AzhwAr is asking in this pAsuram, whether the simplicity of emperumAn which he mentioned in the previous pAsuram could be measured by anyone. We can also say that AzhwAr is talking about the grace showered by emperumAn on those who surrendered to him. Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

adi mUnRil ivvulagam anRu aLandhAy pOlum
adi mUnRu irandhu avani koNdAy padi ninRa
nIr Odha mEni nedumAlE nin adiyai
yAr Odha vallAr aRindhu

Word by Word Meaning

padi ninRa – incarnating on earth and standing on it
nIr Odham mEni nedumAlE – Oh supreme being, with the colour of ocean!
adi mUnRu – land covered by three steps
irandhu avani koNdAy – begging (from mAvali) you got the worlds
anRu – during that time
ivvulagam – this world
adi mUnRil aLandhAy pOlum – did you measure with your divine feet? No.
nin adiyai – your divine feet
aRindhu – knowing very well
Odha vallAr yAr – who is capable of speaking? [There is none]


adi mUnRil ivvulagam anRu aLandhAy pOlum – For the sake of those who have devotion towards you, you incarnated like vAmana. In order to manifest your bias towards them, you had already decided in your divine mind that you are going to measure the world in three steps and accordingly asked for three steps of land and measured the world. In other words, he begged as if he is not accepting his possessions but is accepting someone else’s possession.

adi mUnRu irandhu aLandhu koNdAy – In order to make the earth yours, thinking of measuring it, you sought three steps of land from mahAbali. You measured the worlds in just two steps. For this purpose, you showed your small feet [as vAmana] and said that you wanted three steps of land with those feet, ascertaining what you wanted. Since you knew what was going to happen later on, seeking three steps of land and measuring in just two steps, you kept your foot atop mahAbali’s head and imprisoned him [in pAthAla lOka, the nether word]. Did anyone know this thought process of yours?

padi ninRapadi is bhUmi (earth). Standing on earth to protect it. Or, padi is to resemble. You stood to resemble [your greatness]. Another meaning for padi is quality. You stood to manifest your quality of simplicity.

nIr Odha mEni nedumAlE –  Oh emperumAn, having a beautiful form like the ocean which is lapping with waves, you are greater than everyone else.

nedumAlEmAl – greatness. Oh, the one who had a great form during your thrivikrama incarnation! Or, mAl – affection. Having lot of affection towards your devotees.

nIr Odha mEni nedumAlE – Your form can be described as being similar to the ocean. But it is not possible to set a limit for y our affection.

nin adiyai yAr Odha vallAr aRindhu – Who can know and talk about the simplicity of your divine feet? Even after knowing that it is not possible to speak, only a few persons without any knowledge, such as I am, can speak this much. AzhwAr says that there is none who can speak about your divine feet which are indeterminate. Only if someone can determine that activity of yours when you went to mahAbali and measured the worlds after begging him for three feet, could one determine [the greatness of] your divine feet. It may be possible to set a boundary for your greatness, but no boundary can be set for your simplicity.

We shall consider the 6th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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