thiruvAimozhi – 6.1.5 – uNarththal Udal

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Full series >> Sixth Centum >> First decad

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Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the fifth pAsuram, parAnguSa nAyaki tells some swans “thiruvaNvaNdUr will make those who enter there forget everything else, and so, while you enter there, remember me too”.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

Subsequently, parAnguSa nAyaki sends some more swans towards the supreme lord who is complete in enjoyability and lordship.

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.


uNarththal Udal uNarndhu udan mEyum mada annangAL!
thiNarththa vaNdalgaL mEl sangu sErum thiruvaNvaNdUr
puNarththa pUndhaN thuzhAy mudi nam perumAnaik kaNdu
puNarththa kaiyinarAy adiyEnukkum pORRuminE


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

uNarththal – the difficulty in communicating to the spouse [after a quarrel]
Udal – the suffering in romantic quarrel
uNarndhu – realising
udan – without separating
mEyum – grazing
madam – having attachment towards each other
annangAL – oh swans!
thiNarththa – well grown
vaNdalgaL mEl – on the sand banks
sangu – conches
sErum – reaching
thiruvaNvaNdUr – in thiruvaNvaNdUr
puNarththa – strung
pU – beautiful
thaN thuzhAy – having fresh divine thuLasi
mudi – one who is wearing divine crown
nam – our
perumAnai – lord
kaNdu – on seeing
puNarththa – performing anjali (joining the palms)
kaiyinarAy – having hands
adiyEnukkum – on behalf of me who am servitor for you
pORRumin – offer some words in praise of him.

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

Oh swans who are having attachment towards each other, grazing without separating, after realising the difficulty in communicating to the spouse and the suffering in romantic quarrel! Our lord is the one who is wearing divine crown having beautiful fresh divine thuLAsi strung around it and is residing in thiruvaNvaNdUr where the conches reach the well grown sand banks. On seeing such emperumAn,  performing anjali with your hands, on behalf of me who am servitor for you, offer some words in praise of him.

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

  • uNarththal … – Realising well the nature of communication between them and romantic quarrels, the swans are roaming together. They are roaming together knowing well the sufferings in separation. Now, the way of enjoyment is in three forms. They are: thamizh scholars explained three results in love as said in thirukkuRaL 1109 “Udal uNardhal puNardhal ivai kAmam kUdiyAr peRRa payan” (romantic quarrel, compromising by sweet talks and reunion are the results obtained in love). In this Udal is – incidental fights when being united with the spouse. That is as seen in “You bathed without me, you looked at the flower without me, your body is having nice fragrance [may be due to uniting with some one else] and so on”. uNarththal is – sweet talks to resolve the quarrel such as “I bathed just for you”, “I looked at the flower to pick it up for you”, “I decorated myself just for you” and so on. Subsequent to these too is kalavi (puNardhal, reunion). These are seen in her lord too.
  • uNarththal Udal uNarndhu udan mEyum – thinking “who can separate, who can suffer in separation and who can try to compromise”, they roam around without separating. Their philosophy is “Only if one commits a mistake, one needs to try and correct it”.
  • udan mEyum – They said as in SrI rAmAyaNam kishkindhA kANdam 1.88 “idham mEthyam idham svAdhu” (this is pure and this is relishable). Among the three viz Udal, uNarththal and puNardhal, these swans are only engaged in puNardhal.  They are so close that they eat from the same vessel and will never eat in separation from each other. I did not realise what is coming. That is – when emperumAn said “this separation will improve our union”, I did not stop him saying “only for those who are capable of handling separation, such desire for enhanced enjoyment can exist”. These swans who lack intelligence are acting smartly, but I who have intelligence [being blessed by emperumAn himself with unblemished knowledge] did not act smartly.
  • mada annangAL – Their forms reveal the fatigue which came about due to enjoyment in union.
  • uNarththal … – Should those who are knowledgeable about the future and avoid the separation, not help those who are not knowledgeable and get caught in separation. By this, it is understood that Udal (romantic quarrel) is present in a subdued manner.
  • thiNarththal … – His not coming is not his fault. On raised sand banks. The conches reach the sand banks when the water bothers them.
  • sangu sErum – This town is so enjoyable that even achEthana (nonsentient) objects are so attached to it.
  • sErum – Not having any other refuge. Reaching the state of no return as said in chAndhOgya upanishath “na cha punar AvarthathE” (there is no return). The tenderness and coolness make one not to think about anything else.
  • sangu sErum – The town which retains even those who are not bound by SAsthrams [conches don’t have any knowledge to understand and abide by SAsthram]. The nature of the town which attracts even the veLLai [veLLai, white which means both conch and detached persons].
  • puNarththa … – On seeing emperumAn who is wearing the crown which has the attractive, invigorating thuLasi which is strung as a garland, and who made me exist exclusively for him. All you need to do is to go and inform me, he has already decorated and is ready to come to me. Alternative explanation [bhattar‘s view] – one who manifests his supremacy of captivating me by wearing garland on his crown.
  • pUm thaN thuzhAy mudi nam perumAnaik kaNdu – On seeing the one who manifests his decoration and supremacy to us.
  • puNarththa kaiyinarAy – [In line with bhattar‘s view] Instead of waiting to worship him after reaching there, start performing anjali (joining your palms) before reaching there. Perform anjali even while being on the way; otherwise, as said in mAhAbhAratham sabhA parvam “avaSA: prathibEthirE” (being emotionally charged, without their knowledge, they performed anjali etc [persons in the court of dhritharAshtra, worshipped krishNa even after dhuryOdhana stops them from doing so]), he will consider you also to be like them.
  • adiyEnukkum pORRuminE – Don’t forget me like he did; after reaching there, do remember me. That is – since that town will captivate all who enter there and engage them in it, there is no reason for you to think about me. It remains as explained in chAndhOgya upanishath 8.12.3 “nOpajanam smaran idham SarIram” (AthmA will not contemplate about the material body after reaching the spiritual realm).
  • adiyEnukkum pORRuminE – You should inform about my purpose too to him.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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