mUnRAm thiruvandhAdhi – 4 – marundhum poruLum

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AzhwAr says that it is the protector of all, emperumAn’s divine feet which are to be attained and which help in attaining. In the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr mentioned about how he was protected. In this pAsuram, he is mentioning about protecting everyone.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

marundhum poruLum amudhamum thAnE
thirundhiya sengaNmAl AngE porundhiyum
ninRulagam uNdumizhndhum nIrERRu mUvadiyAl
anRulagam thAyOnadi

Word by Word Meanings

thirundhiya – with exactness (knowing clearly that he is the supreme being)
sem kaN – having lotus-like divine eyes
mAl – with affection
AngE – in that only activity of protecting the world
ninRu porundhiya – being firmly suited (to that)
ulagam – all the worlds
uNdu – swallowing (so that deluge will not destroy them)
umizhndhu – later, spitting them out
anRu – once, in an earlier time
nIr ERRu – taking water from mahAbali as a symbol of taking alms from him
mU adiyAl ulagam thAyOn – emperumAn who measured all the worlds with his three steps
adi thanE – only his divine feet
marundhum – are like medicine to cure the disease of samsAram (life in this materialistic realm)
poruLum – like wealth, capable of obtaining what is desired
amudhamum – being sweet like nectar


marundhum poruLum amudhamum thane – the term marundhu (medicine) refers to its ability to destroy enemies (since medicine cures diseases) , the term poruL refers to the means (wealth) for obtaining the medicine and the term amudham refers to the benefit realised. It is only emperumAn who removes our enemies, gives what we need and allows himself to be enjoyed by us. He removes those which we do not want and gives what we want. Alternatively, since medicine cures the disease and gives strength, the term marundhu refers to the means and the terms poruL and amudham refer to the two states of benefits (i.e. as wealth it is the means for obtaining other needed things and it is enjoyed as the benefit, like gold). vishNu dharmam 72-4 says “amrutham sAdhanam sAdhyam yam paSyanthi manIshiNa:, gyEyAkhyam paramAthmAnam vishNum dhyAyan na sIdhathi ” (one never suffers any sorrow, if he meditates on vishNu, the supreme being, who is seen by wise people as the indestructible means and who is attained). Hasn’t brahmA too mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 117-17 “SaraNyam SaraNancha thvAmAhur dhivyA maharshaya:” (the sacred sages state that you are the means and the benefit)! In thrivikrama avathAram (incarnation) since he removed enemies such as namuchi, he is the medicine; since he came as a mendicant, he became the wealth too; since he kept his divine feet on everyone’s head, he became the nectar (benefit) too. Thus, divine feet of emperumAn who measured all the worlds are everything. It is not samiththu pAdhi sAvithri pAdhi (this is an old saying which refers to carrying out a ritual where one keeps a count of the manthra that one recites using samiththu, a type of stick. One should have 1008 sticks and recite the gAyathri manthram 1008 times, without short-changing in either). emperumAn is everything, unlike the above-mentioned saying.

thirundhiya sengaN mAl – he has reddish eyes which reflect that he is the supreme being. Alternatively,

thirundhiya – he is the final goal as well as the means. He is as per his svarUpam (basic nature). Or, if the AthmAs (souls) do not change their ways, he changes his ways to align himself with them. Or, just as AthmAs do not ever correct themselves, emperumAn will always be exact (without any error).

sengaN – he has reddish eyes to reflect his affection for his followers.

mAl – one who is affectionate.

AngE porundhiyum ninRu – instead of feeling ashamed that the consort of mahAlakshmi has come to ask for alms, he stands firmly in the act of taking alms.

porundhiyum – being firm in protecting

ninRu – his divine mind standing firmly in that

ulagam uNdu umizhndhum – protecting the worlds by swallowing them and letting them out in due course

nIReRRu – he took alms as if he is obtaining something which did not belong to him.

nIrERRum – he obtained something which he could not have attained otherwise

mUvadiyAl anRu ulagam thAyOnadi – it is the divine feet of one who measured the three worlds after taking water [from mahAbali as symbol of taking alms] which are medicine, wealth and nectar.

We can also consider uNdu as referring to medicine, umizhndhu as wealth and sengaNmAl as nectar.

We shall take up the 5th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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