iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 18 – koNdadhu ulagam

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AzhwAr says that though emperumAn is ISvaran (controller) for all and is attained by all, when it comes to protecting his followers, he will even transform his identity to protect them. When others protect, they will do so without any harm to their identity.  But emperumAn will be even willing to change his identity if he has to protect them.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

koNdadhu ulagam kuRaL uruvAyk kOL ariyAy
oNdiRalOn mArvaththu ugir vaiththadhu uNdadhuvum
thAn kadandha EzhulagE thAmaraikkaN mAl orunAL
vAn kadandhAn seydha vazhakku

Word by Word Meaning

kuRaL uruvAy – in the form of vAmana (dwarf)

(went to mahAbali and begged)
koNdadhu – seized
kOL ariyAy – became narasimha with strength
oN thiRalOn mArvaththu – on the chest of the might iraNiyan (hiraNyakashyap)
ugir vaiththadhu – pressed his fingernails and tore him, killing him
oru nAL – at one point of time
thAn kadandha – that which he measured
Ezh ulagE – all the worlds
uNdadhuvum – keeping in his divine stomach (so that deluge will not swallow it)

(all these activities)
vAn kadandhAn – having the greatness that  even if one were to measure the sky, he cannot be measured
thAmaraikkaN – having eyes like reddish lotus
mAl – emperumAn
seydha – mercifully carried out
vazhakku – honest activities


koNdadhu – this mentions about emperumAn protecting the world. Even if he carries out very difficult tasks, he assumes that “I did what I am supposed to do”

koNdadhu ulagam kuRaL uruvAy – for the sake of his followers, he assumed the form of vAmana (a dwarf) to obtain the worlds. For getting back his possession, was it required to go begging? If he had to ask for alms, could he not have gone in his natural form? Did he have to take the form of a dwarf?

kOL ariyAy oNdiRalOn mArvaththu ugir vaiththadhu – In order to keep his finger nails on the chest of the mighty iraNiyan (hiraNyakashyap) did he not assume the form of narasinga (lion face and human torso) which no one else in the world assumed! kOL ari – very powerful narasimha. Could he not have destroyed the enemy iraNiyan with one form? Did he have to combine lion and man?

oN thiRalOn – very powerful iraNiyan.

mArvaththu ugi vaiththadhu – it is implied here that he, with his own hands, touched and destroyed the enemy of his followers.

ugir vaiththadhu – Could he not have killed him with his divine disc? If he had to do that [kill iraNiyan with his nails] since iraNiyan had obtained the boon that he should not die of any weapon, could he not have killed him with his sankalpam (mere thought), if he had so much of ingenuity!

uNdadhuvum thAn kadandha EzhulagE – Was it not enough that he had to assist one follower, prahlAdha? Did he have to protect the entire world?

uNdadhuvum thAn oru nAL kadandha EzhulagE – did he not protect the world which he had one day (during his incarnation as thrivikrama) kept under his divine feet! Alternatively, we have to construe the meaning for oru nAL as once upon a time when he ate up the world.

thAmaraikkaN mAL – sarvESvaran (supreme being) who is lotus-eyed (it is implied that only the one with lotus eyes can be the ISvaran (controller) for all the worlds). nammAzhwAr too has divinely mentioned in his thiruvAimozhi 6-5-10 “anaiththulagum udaiya aravindha lOchananai” (only the one with lotus eyes is the possessor of all the worlds).

Who begged as SrI vAmana for the earth, who tore the chest of iraNiyan as SrI narasimha, who ate up the world that he had measured one day?

vAn kadandhAn – one who cannot be estimated (measured). As said in thiruvAimozhi 1-3-10vAnilum periyana vallan”, one can measure even the sky but not emperumAn. Alternatively, the word vAn can be taken to imply those in the sky, and the meaning will change to: he is greater than nithyasUris in paramapadham. Or it can mean vAnai aLandhavan – one who measured heaven.

seydha vazhakku – he is the protector of the world. Hence in order to protect the worlds which are his possession, he carried out certain tasks and was contented that “I did what I was supposed to do”. He thought that he had done all these for himself and not for others. Since he is the Lord, he is responsible for protecting his possession and hence did those. Isn’t the protector protecting his possession, an apt act!

We shall take up the 19th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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