mUnRAm thiruvandhAdhi – 45 – purindhu madha vEzham

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After saying in the previous pAsuram “pala kadhirgaL pAriththa paimpon mudiyAn” that he is the lord of paramapadham, AzhwAr wants to attain him; if he were to attain him, he has to see him! But then, will emperumAn become so very simple that we could see him? AzhwAr says that only to remove that shortcoming, he has taken residence, close to us, at thirumalai, as a simple entity, so that we could see him with our eyes.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

purindhu madha vEzham mAppidiyOdUdith
thirindhu sinaththAl porudhu virindha sIr
veNkOttu muththu udhirkkum vEngadamE mElorunAl
maNkOttuk koNdAn malai

Word by Word Meanings

madha vEzham – male elephant which is in exultation
mA pidiyOdu – with its great female elephant
purindhu – engaging in union
Udi – (after that) engaging in love-quarrel
thirindhu – (due to that separating from its female and) wandering
sinaththAl porudhu – hitting (against gem rocks) in anger
virindha sIr – having the wealth of valour
veN kOdu – from its white tusks
muththu – pearls
udhirkkum – will shed
vEngadamE – thirumalai hills
mEl oru nAL – at an earlier point of time

(in the form of varAha, wild boar)
maN – earth
kOdu – on its tusks
koNdAn – one who had it
malai – divine hills


madha vEzham – an exulting elephant

mAppidiyOdu Udi – engaging in love-quarrel with its female elephant, knowing well that the female is capable of making it (the male elephant) carry out tasks that it thinks.

purindhu – after the love quarrel, engaging in union

thirundhu – the male elephant will wander about as a result of its pride over that union

Udi mAppidiyOdu – the greatness of the female was the cause for the male to engage in love-quarrel.

thirindhu – wandering in orchards

sinaththAl porudhu – looking at its own shadow on the rocks, mistaking the shadow for another elephant, it will become angry and hit against the rocks. It will remain in that posture to manifest its valour fully.

There is another way to interpret the meaning:

madhavEzham mAppidiyOdu purindhu Udi – the male elephant will engage in love-quarrel after its union with the female.

thirindhu sinaththAl porudhu – because of that quarrel, the male elephant will wander here and there and hit against the gem rocks in the hills. Just as it has been mentioned in SrI bhagavath gIthA 2-62kAmAth krOdhObhijAyathE” (infatuation gives birth to anger), hitting against the rocks due to that anger.

virindha sIr – the valour which the elephant had because of hitting [against the rocks] like this. Just as sIthAppirAtti happily embraced SrI rAma after seeing his valour when he killed demons such as kara , dhUsha et al, the female elephant would put an end to the love quarrel and embrace the male elephant.

virindha sIr veNkOttu muththu udhirkkumnanjIyar, the AchArya of nampiLLai [who has written this commentary] would mercifully say: it is that thirumalai where the elephant which has wealth of valour would shed pearls formed in its tusks [from hitting against the gem rocks].

mEl oru nAL maN kOttuk koNdAn – isn’t thirumalai, which has such benefits, the land which is the dwelling place of one who once upon a time dug out the earth and kept in on his tusks! It is the hill belonging to emperumAn when he took the form of SrI varAha [wild boar] and held bhUmip pirAtti (earth) on his tusks. The elephants in thirumalai complement the divine form of SrI varAha. The act of elephant in exultation, hitting against the gem rock with the pride of valour and shedding pearls from its tusks reminds one of the act of SrI varAha in digging out earth and sustaining her on his tusks. thirumangai AzhwAr too has mercifully mentioned in periya thirumozhi 3-4-3 “varAhamonRAy maNNellAm idandheduththu madhangaL seydhu” (digging out earth as the unique varAha and engaging in exultation with pride).

malai – just as one says that he has this mountain, this itself is his wealth.

We will take up the 46th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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