iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 98 – koNdu vaLarkka

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AzhwAr enjoys the activities of the one who blessed him with his grace. He says that if one were to look at the way emperumAn, who controls all the worlds, blends freely with a lowly samsAri such as himself, this would also appear to be one of those great activities of emperumAn. It can also be said that AzhwAr is saying that just as world cannot exist without emperumAn, emperumAn also cannot exist without him.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

koNdu vaLarkkak kuzhaviyAyth thAn vaLarndhadhu
uNdadhu ulagEzhum uLLodunga koNdu
kudamAdik kOvalanAy mEvi ennenjam
idamAgak koNda iRai

Word by Word Meanimg

kOvalanAy – being born as a cowherd
kudam koNdu Adi – dancing with pots on hand and head

and, in the same position
en nenjam mEvi – getting into my heart
idamAgak koNda iRai – the lord, considering( my heart) as the temple for himself
koNdu vaLarkka – enabling others to cuddle and nurture him
kuzhavi Ay – as an infant
thAn vaLarndhadhu – he grew up mercifully

at that time
uL odunga – shrinking within (in a corner)
uNdadhu – ate as food
ulagu Ezhum – the seven worlds! (How amazing!)


kOvalanAy – the supreme being, emperumAn, came in the clan of cowherds who do not know the difference between left hand and right hand [they are so ignorant].

mEvi – fitting well into that clan. When he was asked by the cowherds, after seeing his superhuman activities (including lifting the gOvardhana hill for seven days to protect them and their cattle), he said, as mentioned in SrI vishNu purANam 5-13-13 “nAham dhEvO na gandharvO na yakshO na rAkshasa: I aham vO bAdhavO jAtha: naichinthyamithO’nyathA: II” (I am not a dhEva or gandharva or yaksha (all these three are different types of celestial beings) or rAkshasa (demonic clan). I was born as your relative; you should not think in any other way). He affirmed that he is one among the cowherds since he fitted so well in their clan.

kudam koNdu Adi – being born in the clan of cowherds, he danced their traditional dance with pots. Dancing with pots on their hands and heads is typical of cowherd people.

The word mEvi could be taken together with en nenjam and meaning for this would be:

kudamAdi en nenjam mEviAzhwAr says that even as krishNa came dancing in the street with pots, seeing the involvement of AzhwAr in his activity, he entered the heart of AzhwAr and carried on with the dance in his heart.

idamAgak koNda iRai – the supreme being entered the hard heart of AzhwAr which will not easily melt for anything, made it melt by his dance and thus made AzhwAr’s heart as his dwelling place. AzhwAr says that not only did emperumAn have the soft quality of taking AzhwAr’s heart as his residence, but he also has the quality of aghatithaghatanA sAmarthyam (ability to perform impossible tasks) since he melted AzhwAr’s heart which was stronger than stone, iron , diamond etc. In the same breath, AzhwAr mentions another aghathithaghatanA sAmarthyam of emperumAn …

koNdu vaLarkkak kuzhaviyAyth thAn vaLarndhadhu – did he not recline on the tender banyan leaf as a child who would be caressed and nurtured by everyone! nammAzhwAr was moved so much by his innocent form of an infant on the tender banyan leaf that he praised him in his thiruvAimozhi 4-2-1bAlanAy EzhulaguNdu parivinRi Alilai anna vasam seyyum aNNalAr”and in thiruvAimozhi 3-7-10adiyArndha vaiyamuNdu ALilai anna vasam padiyAdhumil kuzhavi” (he reclined on a tender banyan leaf as an innocent infant with none to care for him, after swallowing the worlds)

What were the activities that he indulged in as an infant? ……

uLLodunga uNdadhu ulagEzhum – what he ate as an infant, and which would occupy a small corner of his little stomach, were all the worlds! AzhwAr is amazed at this activity of the infant swallowing all the huge worlds,  making them rest in a corner of his stomach and lying on a tender banyan leaf. Ezhulagam is indicative of all the worlds in samsAram.

We shall take up the 99th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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