mUnRAm thiruvandhAdhi – 51 – avanE aruvaraiyAl

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AzhwAr says that emperumAn who removed the danger of gajEndhran is the one who is our means [for attaining him]. Is it that he removed the danger from one crocodile alone? AzhwAr says that it is emperumAn who ensures that no danger comes our way and leads us to paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam). Even though emperumAn could have killed the crocodile through his sankalpa (vow/thought), he came running to the shore of the pond in order to manifest his affection for followers and killed the crocodile.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

avanE aruvaraiyAl AniraigaL kAththAn
avanE aNimarudham sAyththAn avanE
kalangAp perunagaram kAttuvAn kaNdIr
ilangApuram eriththAn eydhu

Word by Word Meanings

aruvaraiyAl – with the help of gOvardhana hill which nobody could move
AniraigaL – herds of cows
kAththAn – protected them mercifully
avanE kaNdIr – see, it was only emperumAn
aNi marudham – the two arjuna trees which were very close to each other
sAyththAn – felled it
avanE kaNdIr – see, it was only emperumAn
eydhu – shooting arrows
ilangApuram – the town of lankA
eriththAn – one who burnt it
avanE – he himself
kalangAp perunagaram – paramapadham which is without any bewilderment
kAttuvAn kaNdIr – will show the way, see that.


avanE aruvaraiyAl AniraigaL kAththAn – holding as an umbrella, the hill gOvardhana, which could not be shaken by anybody. AzhwAr says that it was only emperumAn who protected the cows and the cowherds so that no trouble came their way. Did either the cows or the cowherds try to protect themselves when indhra caused torrential rains? Neither did the cows nor the cowherds go to kaNNan (krishNa) and appeal to him to save them. The only thing that they did was when kaNNan lifted the gOvardhana hill as an umbrella, they did not say that they will not stand under it. There is nothing that either the cowherds or the cows could do. He also does not expect them to do anything. All that is required is that they should not change their stance that they are the protected and kaNNan is the protector.

avanE aNi marudham sAyththAn – it was he who felled the two demons yamaLa and arjuna who came in the form of the intertwined marudha (arjuna) trees. At that time, is it not true that people like yaSOdhA et al did not help him! AzhwAr says that emperumAn protects himself without having to take the support of yaSOdhA. The emphasis in the word avanE denotes that he carries out these tasks without support from anyone.

avanE kalangAp perunagaram kAttuvAn kaNdIr – when his support was required for cowherds in places which are well known to them do we have to mention that his support is required for us to reach paramapadham which we have not seen at all! Isn’t he the means for us, without the need for anyone to support him, to attain our goal [paramapadham]! He does not expect anything good in us for him to grant paramapadham. He will show us paramapadham without expecting anything from us.

kalangAp perunagaram – paramapadham is not in the grip of poverty like our samsAram where the clothes worn by one person will have to be shared by seven.

kAttuvAn kaNdIr – just as SrI rAma showed ayOdhyA to sIthAppirAtti as mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 123-55 “”EshA sA dhruSyathE” (ayOdhyA town is visible here), emperumAn will show us paramapadham and all that we have to do is to see it. It cannot be seen by those who try to see it with their efforts.

ilangApuram eriththAn eydhu – wasn’t it he who burnt the town of lankA by shooting the arrows and making them fly around, when the weapons of people like brahmA et al could not even enter the town! Did sIthAppirAtti let go of one arrow to protect herself? There is no difference between the ignorant cows and the knowledgeable sIthAppirAtti when it comes to the realisation that they cannot protect themselves. The purpose of sIthAppirAtti having knowledge was to say, as mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 39-40 “mAm nayEth yadhi kAkuthstha: thath thasya sadhruSam bhavEth” (it will be fitting if SrI rAma could come on his own and take me). The ignorance of the cows was the reason for their not shunning the help when emperumAn came to help them from danger.

We will take up the 52nd pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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