iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 8 – ugandhu unnai vAngi

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AzhwAr tells his mind that when taking refuge under emperumAn, make sure that enmity is not lurking behind. It is implied here that taking refuge with falsity will be harmful. When asked whether there are hurdles in taking refuge under him, AzhwAr says that when you take refuge under him, he would destroy the enemy just as he did in the case of pUthanA [a demonic woman sent by kamsan to kill the infant krishNa]. Since he mentioned about namuchi in the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr thought of pUthanA also and hence mercifully mentions about her in this pAsuram.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

ugandhu unnai vAngi oLi niRangoL kongai
agam kuLira  uN enRAL Avi  ugandhu
mulai uNbAy pOlE munindhu uNdAy nIyum
alai paNbAl AnamaiyAl anRu

Word by Word Meaning

ugandhu – playacting as if she is full of affection, just like yaSOdhA pirAtti
unnai vAngi – lifting you (when you were sleeping)
oLi niRam koL kongai – beautifully radiant bosom (since it was full of milk)
agam kuLira uN enRAL – she said “drink” to make the infant happy in its mind
AnamaiyAl – hence
anRu – during that time when she offered her bosom to you
nIyum – you too, as an infant
alai paNbAl – due to your [excessive] childishness
mulai uNbAy pOlE – as if you are really suckling
ugandhu – (showing outwardly) your happiness (as if you have attained an impossible gift)
munindhu – becoming very angry (in your mind)
Avi – (that pUthanA”s) life
uNdAy – you swallowed (along with her milk)


ugandhu – since pUthanA came in the guise of a mother, she came with the affection [put on, in her case] like a mother would have towards her child. She came with the same affection that yaSOdhA would have towards her child, but a feigned one. Even as she had anger towards kaNNan (krishNa) she hid it and came as if she had love. If she did not have love, milk would not have secreted! If she did not have the thought of having love towards her infant, milk will not secrete!

unnai vAngi – lifting you gently even as you were sleeping, just as yaSOdhA pirAtti will lift you gently with love.

oLi niRam koL kongai – the bosom which is shining radiantly with milk, similar to yaSOdhA pirAtti’s milk laden bosom.

agam kuLira uN enRAL – mothers, before nursing their children, would say a few loving words which would bring out their love for the children as well as remove any tiredness that the children may have.  pUthanA said similar words [to krishNa]. She spoke a few words to comfort krishNa’s heart, making it clear that he has to drink her milk. She spoke so sweetly that his stomach would get filled up with her words themselves, even without the need for drinking her milk.

Avi – her life

nIyum ugandhu mulai uNbAy pOlE munindhu uNdAy – you also became happy and like an infant wishing to drink milk, drank her life with anger, as if you were drinking her milk. Just as she came with feigned love to kill you, you too feigned happiness while drinking her milk and, becoming angry, killed her. He [emperumAn] too did not show his anger and killed her. pUthanA gave her milk to him as if she could not have survived had she not given her milk. He also drank her milk as if he could not have survived had he not taken that milk. The term being angry while suckling is explained this way – when infants are hungry they would like to have milk immediately. If there is any delay, they will start wailing in anger. In the same way, he too was angry. The qualities of devotion and act of surrendering to him that we have would also look feigned like the feeling that pUthanA had when she came to nurse him.

alai paNbAl AnamaiyAl anRu – the way you did when pUthanA came that day to kill you, who are the beginning of this world. alai paNbal – the simplicity which a great person has. alai paNbAl – since you are an ocean of qualities. While the feigned quality of being a friend is enough to protect, you killed pUthanA and protected yourself, Lord of the world. Isn’t this because of your great qualities! Isn’t it because of the partiality that you have towards your followers that you killed pUthanA and gave yourself! AzhwAr says that emperumAn is carrying out such deeds only to sustain them. Alternatively alai paNbAl could also refer to the destructive quality of pUthanA.

We shall take up the 9th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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