iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 75 – perugu madha vEzham

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After AzhwAr said that he is great, emperumAn asked him to sing a poem on him and this pAsuram is the poem that AzhwAr sang then. Just as SrI rAmAyanam came out of vAlmIki’s poems, details about thiruvEngadam come out of this AzhwAr’s poem.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

perugu madha vEzham mAppidikku mun ninRu
iru kaN iLa mUngil vAngi arugirundha
thEn kalandhu nIttum thiruvEngadam kaNdIr
vAn kalandha vaNNan varai

Word by Word Meaning

perugum – flowing copiously
madham – the liquid that comes out during periods of exultation
vEzham – (male) elephant
mA pidikku mun ninRu – standing in front of its great female elephant
iru kaN iLa mUngil vAngi – plucking a bamboo sprout with two nodes
arugu irundha thEn kalandhu – dipping (that bamboo sprout) in honey available nearby
nIttum – when it offered (to the female elephant, with its trunk)
thiruvEngadam kaNdIr – is that not thiruvEngadam!
vAn kalandha vaNNan varai – it is the hill which is the residence for emperumAn who has the complexion of cloud


perugum madha vEzham – elephant which secretes the liquid during its period of exultation, in overflowing manner like a river. Unlike the way periyAzhwAr mentioned in his thirumozhi 1-7-1 “mummadhappunal” instead of secreting from three places in its body, the liquid was flowing from various places, like a flood, for this elephant, by looking at which even the lions will be scared. When the flow of liquid stops, the elephant will be able to gain some sense. But when it is in exultation, the elephant cannot be controlled in any way.

mAppidikku mun ninRu – it will stand in front of of its proud female elephant. The pride for the female elephant is that it is able to control the male elephant which is otherwise uncontrollable when it is in exultation.

mAppidi – the female elephant is capable of making the male elephant to starve for several days for its sake.

mun ninRu – Just as lakshmaNa told SrI rAma in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 15-7 “kriyathAmithi mAm vadha” (please command me that this [activity] should be carried out), the male elephant, when in exultation, would stand humbly before the female elephant. It would carry out any task at the command of the female elephant. All the activities of the male elephant would be under the control of the female. Just as emperumAn, who controls everyone, was under the control of pANdavas (the five sons of king pANdu), the male elephant would be under the control of its female.

mAppidikku mun ninRu – the reason for chEthana not being afraid of emperumAn’s svAthanthriyam (independence) is pirAtti (SrI mahAlakshmi). While his svAthanthriyam in itself is the cause for his forgiving  and accepting us, the real reason for this is pirAtti’s purushakAram (recommendatory role). SrI rAmAyaNa SlOkam 30-39 in AraNya kANdam says “tham dhrushtvA SathruhanthAram maharshINAm sukhAvaham | babhUva hrushtA vaidhEhi bharthAram parishasvajE ||” (after seeing SrI rAmapirAn who destroyed the enemies and comforted the sages, sIthA realised that she existed and embraced her husband tightly).

iru kaN iLa mUngil vAngi – in the same way, the female elephant is present here. Even though the male elephant is not under its own control, it would strive to keep the female elephant happy. It will pluck a bamboo sprout with two nodes and offer it to the female.

iru kaN – Even if the bamboo is so long that it will reach until the nether world, it has only two nodes.

vAngi – Even though the male elephant is so strong that it can bring down a mountain, when it comes to doing anything for its female, it will be very gentle with whatever it handles for the female. This verse refers to the gentleness of the bamboo and the care exhibited by the male elephant. It handled the bamboo shoot as if it were butter. The male will think that even if there is any shortcoming in its greatness, the female will not accept it.

arugirundha thEn kalandhu – just as inside the sannidhi (sanctum sanctorum) of emperumAn, various materials used in emperumAn’s thirumanjanam (divine bath) will be kept in their places without any fault, there too (in the forest) sweet materials such as honey will be available at various places without any shortcoming. Honey will be present inside the mountainous caves. The male elephant will dip the bamboo shoot in that honey and offer it to the female. Since AzhwAr has used the word kalandhu (mixed) this implies that bamboo and honey will be like two liquid materials [such soft bamboo].

nIttum – even if the female turns its face away not accepting it from the male, the male will continue to offer it. It will consider its offering [the bamboo] itself as the benefit. The female will be indifferent to its offering, saying “give it to those you like” and the male will beg the female to accept it.

nIttum – just as SrI rAma offered to sIthA as mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 96-2 “idham mEdhyam idham svAdhu” (this is pure; this is sweet), the male elephant will offer [the honey dipped bamboo shoot] to the female.

thiruvEngadam kaNdIr – isn’t it such thirumalai!

vAn kalandha vaNNan varai – it is the mountain of emperumAn, who is having the complexion of cloud. Just as the bamboo shoot and honey mixed well together with the same taste, the colour of cloud and that of emperumAn are the same here. It will be difficult to distinguish between the colour of cloud and the form of emperumAn.  Both the subject and the object of comparison are equal in all aspects.

We shall take up the 76th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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