thiruvAimozhi – 6.8.1 – ponnulagALIrO

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

Full series >> Sixth Centum >> Eighth decad

Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the first pAsuram, parAnguSa nAyaki prays to some birds saying “inform him about my state and [in turn] I will bestow you paramapadham (spiritual realm) and samsAram (material realm) for you to rule over”.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s introduction as documented by vadakkuth thiruvIdhip piLLai

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.


ponnulagALIrO? bhuvani muzhudhALIrO?
nannalap puLLinangAL vinaiyAttiyEn nAn irandhEn
mun ulagangaL ellAm padaiththa mugil vaNNan kaNNan
en nalangoNda pirAn thanakku en nilaimai uraiththE


Word-by-Word meanings (based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s 12000 padi)

nal nalam – having distinguished friendship etc towards those who pray [to you]
puL inangAL – Oh flocks of birds (who have wings which help in your acts)!
vinaiyAttiyEn – who am having sins to be separated from him and sending message to him
nAn – I
irandhEn – praying to you as his devotees pray to him;

(for what?)
mun – in the beginning
ulagangaL – world
ellAm – all
padaiththa – created

(as protection for the created worlds)
mugil – like black cloud
vaNNan – one who is having divine form
kaNNan – being easily approachable for his devotees [as krishNa]

(with such forms)
en – my
nalam – all distinguished features
koNda – took ownership
pirAn thanakku – to the benefactor
en – my
nilaimai – state
uraiththu – informing

(both of us being united by that act, and gifted to you)
pon – eternally desirable
ulagu – paramapadham
ALIrO? – would you rule?
bhuvani – highlighted by the earth
muzhudhu – entire material realm
ALIrO – rule.

Simple translation (based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s 12000 padi)

Oh flocks of birds (who have wings which help in your acts) having distinguished friendship etc towards those who pray [to you]! I who am having sins to be separated from him and sending message to him, am  praying to you as his devotees pray to him; inform my state to the benefactor who created all worlds in the beginning, who is having divine black cloud like form, who is easily approachable for his devotees and who took ownership of my distinguished features; [after both of us become united after you inform him] would you rule the eternally desirable paramapadham and the material realm which is highlighted by the earth? Implies that both the realms are at your disposal. By saying inangAL (flocks), she feels confident that with so many of birds, the task in hand will be easily accomplished.

vyAkyAnams (commentaries)

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s vyAkyAnam

See vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s translation.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s vyAkyAnam

See nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s vyAkyAnam

See nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam as documented by vadakkuth thiruvIdhip piLLai

  • pon ulagu ALIrOparAnguSa nAyaki is thinking that ISvara’s wealth (spiritual and material realms) are there to be gifted to those who united her with him, when she was suffering in separation. Both the realms are at the disposal of the [divine] couple. One can say this when  she reaches that state [being the consort of the lord]. She is thinking that while sarvESvaran is present, this is being a ruler-less kingdom [so, she is asking the birds to rule over]. Whatever one will acquire after being freed from material bondage and reaching paramapadham, she is offering that right here. This is the nature of the one [AzhwAr] who bestows paramapadham while being in bondage and the one [emperumAn] who bestows paramapadham after freeing one [AthmA] from bondage. When two persons [emperumAn and parAnguSa nAyaki] are separated from each other and suffering, it is natural for both to give [but the approach is different, as explained here]. The nature of those who help in uniting is – some give up their body in trying to unite [like periya udaiyAr, jatAyu] and some others who unite being with their bodies [like these birds].
  • pon ulagu ALIrO bhuvani muzhudhu ALIrO – Should your kingdoms also suffer as I am suffering now [i.e., being without the lord]? parAnguSa nAyaki who is separated from her beloved consort, and is seeking out a messenger, is offering both realms to the messenger! This is based on her dependence on him. She is not with some lowly person who would make himself and his belongings hers while being united and take them away when separated. He made himself and his belongings exist fully for her so that she can give them to anyone she desires, even in his absence. When aruLALap perumAL emperumAnAr [a disciple of bhagavath rAmAnujar] was ill, AzhwAn [kUraththAzhwAn] went to see him along with piLLai uRangA villi dhAsar [another disciple of bhagavath rAmAnujar]. aruLALap perumAL emperumAnAr said “The heartache caused by AzhwAn [in not praying to emperumAn to make him bestow me mOksham, though he is capable of doing so] will be cured only when I attain the divine feet of ALavandhAr [who is in paramapadham already]”.
  • pon ulagu ALIrO bhuvani muzhudhu ALIrO – She thinks that just as SrI rAma broke the bow and krishNa killed the bulls to attain sIthA and nappinnai respectively, here the birds will get to rule both realms of emperumAn for uniting her with emperumAn.
  • ALIrO – She is in total possession that some one [i.e., emperumAn] need not make her the owner newly. perumAL (SrI rama) himself said in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 18.34 “dhaththam asya abhayam mayA” (he was given protection by me); similarly, parAnguSa nAyaki too bestows both the realms just as the birds turn favourable to become messengers. As they are really fulfilling emperumAn‘s benefit, she need not inform him before giving the gift to them. She too is working for his benefit. As they go as messengers, she will survive; as she survives, emperumAn too, who is her owner, will survive. Now, she is giving them her own private wealth [which she acquired due to being with emperumAn].
  • ALIrO – You should not just be engaging in your own activities; you should also work for my benefit. Ruling the realms means taking care of her activities. When asked “If she gives both the realms to them, when he arrives, where would both of them live?”, ananthAzhwAn said “They will live in a place which is given by the bird”.
  • pon ulagu ALIrO – bhuvani muzhudhu ALIrO – [Reasons for giving paramapadham first] One would give that which is at closer reach first and then the others next. She is giving in the order which she received them from emperumAn. emperumAn bestowed AzhwAr nithya vibhUthi (paramapadham) first and then leelA vibhUthi (samsAram). First AzhwAr sang [based on emperumAn’s revelation] his having paramapadham in thiruvAimozhi 1.1.1 “ayarvaRum amarargaL adhipathi” (lord of tireless nithyasUris) and then only his having leelA vibhUthi in thiruvAimozhi 1.1.3ilanadhu udaiyanidhu” (emperumAn cannot be limited to saying that he is far from an object or close to an object). Even while being here, when one acquires knowledge, paramapadham appears closer; periyAzhwAr too said in periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 5.3.7 “akkarai ennum anaththak kadaluL azhundhi un pEraruLAl ikkarai ERi iLaiththu irundhEn” (While I was previously suffering in the disastrous ocean, with your great mercy, I have now reached this shore and am remaining peaceful) – he highlighted paramapadham as his current abode and samsAram as the other shore. At the time of attaining the goal, paramapadham only will be in forefront; only because of samsAram being a possession of emperumAn, it will be desirable. Though it is said in chAndhOgya upanishath 8.12.3 “nOpajanam smaran idham SarIram” (AthmA will not contemplate about the material body after reaching the spiritual realm), one will consider that emperumAn’s possession should be enjoyed fully, and only due to that reason, one will consider samsAram to be desirable. Otherwise, with any other reason [such as materialistic enjoyment], it will not be fully enjoyable [as it is said “bhuvani muzhudhu (fully) ALIrO“]. ponnulagu ALIrO – bhuvani muzhudhu ALIrO – This [material] realm is contrary to servitude, but paramapadham is natural fit for servitude. paramapadham is the primary abode of emperumAn who is the target of the message. leelA vibhUthi is his possession too [Since paramapadham is his primary abode, it is said first].
  • bhuvani muzhudhu ALIrO – Why did she, who gave the desirable paramapadham, also give leelA vibhUthi which is to be given up? Being overwhelmed by the help of the birds, she gives leelA vibhUthi too without realising what she is doing. Even those who became bewildered previously did the same thing as said in  SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 68.29 and 68.30 “aparAvarthinAmyAcha yAcha bhUmipradhAyinAm” (For those who never return to this world and for those who have given the earth in charity). Only when the love is limited, one will be clear. [When sIthAp pirAtti became overwhelmed with affection towards hanuman for announcing the victory of SrI rAma] she became bewildered and said in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 116.20 “hiraNyamvA suvarNamvA rathnAnivividhAnivA | rAjyamvA thrishu lOkEshu rAjyam naithadharhathi bhAshitham ||” (All of silver, gold, many varieties of gems, the reign of the three worlds would not be a match for the sweet words you rendered). Both the realms are present equally at the disposal of the couple [emperumAn and parAnguSa nAyaki].
  • nal nalap puL inangAL – Your quality [two explanations – collection of all good qualities, compassion], is greater than his, how amazing! Instead of being like him who needs to be sent a messenger even at this situation, you are present in front of me! I have seen your qualities – you have carried my message and brought him over to me! We thought he is famous due to his qualities; but it appears that you have greater qualities than he – says parAnguSa nAyaki. Instead of realising about your qualities, due to my urge, I troubled you saying “accept this (paramapadham)! accept that (samsAram)!” and so on! On seeing you even emperumAn who is praised in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 116.28 “guNAsthvayyEvaSObhanA:” (these qualities are shining in you only), is to be overlooked. piLLai amudhanAr used to say “For your greatness his qualities are like aRugu (grass) and thALi flowers”. Did I do anything for you! Haven’t you done all of these out of your mercy! Your mercy is similar to how krishNa went as messenger for pANdavas and how maNakkAl nambi reformed ALavandhAr!
  • nal nalap puL inangAL – Explained as “Oh flock of birds who are having good qualities!” and “Oh flock of birds who are being very affectionate!” They remained confident saying “would we do anything short of uniting both of you?”; (hanuman says to sIthAp pirAtti) SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 116.24 “arthathascha mayAprApthA dhEvarAjyAdhayO guNA: | hathaSathrum vijayinamrAmam paSyAmi susthitham ||” (On seeing the victorious SrI rAma, I attained the greatness of ruling the heaven etc).
  • nal nalam – You have mercifully helped me and made me shiver thinking “what will I do in return” forever. [nalam is explained as mercy] SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 1.11 is explained. SrI rAma says to hanuman.
    • aham cha raghuvamSaScha … – I who remain as said in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 66.10 “na jIvEyam kshaNamapi” (SrI rAma says – I will not survive even for a moment without seeing sIthA) and brother bharatha who cannot survive without me and lakshmaNa who is our life.
    • vaidhEhyA: – to say that all of these words are apt [finding of vaidhEhi].
    • dharmatha: parirakshithA: – Is there anything in return that will match your help? You have done this only due to your righteousness.
  • puL – You who are having such great mercy, are having wings which help you travel! Due to recollecting the act of the monkeys in SrI rAmAyaNam, she remains thinking “the job of the animals/birds is to unite those who are separated from each other”.
  • inangAL – Even those who say as in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 116-45 “nakaSchin nAparAdhyathi” (there is none who has not committed a wrongful deed), are present [in the flocks].
  • inangAL – Like the body and soul (wife and husband) are together! Having those who walk ahead saying as [sIthAp pirAtti said] in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 27.9 “agrathasthE gamishyAmi” (I will go before you).
  • inangAL – Also explained as in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 30.3 “dhikshu sarvAsu mArganthE” (searching in all directions), the flocks are present to go in every direction.
  • vinaiyAttiyEn – I have sinned so much that I lost the emperumAn who was with me, and am now falling at your feet. Just as you have good qualities as your nature (main characteristic), I have misfortune as my nature.
  • nAn – He remains as said in “dharmatha: parirakshithA:”! She is thinking “I am sending messenger with the same greatness of the divine daughter of SrI janakarAja!”.
  • nAn irandhEn – The tables have turned (Previously, SrI rAma prayed towards hanuman/sugrIva and now parAnguSa nAyaki is saying the words towards birds).
  • irandhEn – Previously, nammAzhwAr surrendered to emperumAn in four decads (thiruvAimozhi 5.7, thiruvAimozhi 5.8, thiruvAimozhi 5.9, thiruvAimozhi 5.10); now, he is surrendering to emperumAn‘s devotees; even if those failed, this would not fail. There is no hurdles in this approach. [Where is SaraNAgathi?] SaraNAgathi is said as “prArthanA mathi” (the state of praying). He is pursuing the means which has no failings.
  • inangAL – irandhEn – For couples, the nature of those who request will be well known. While these birds with great mercy will even give up their own lives for the sake of those who surrendered unto them [as illustrated by SrI rAma to sugrIva and others while accepting SrI vibhIshaNAzhwAn – a pigeon sacrificed its own life to feed the hungry hunter who previously killed the pigeon’s pair], my situation is too pathetic even for the most cruel murderers.
  • nal nalap puL inangAL irandhEn – How complete he is to give refuge!
  • nAn irandhEn – First he only surrendered to sugrIva as said in SrI rAmAyaNam kishkinthA kANdam 4.19 “sugrIvam SaraNamgatha:” (SrI rAma surrendered to sugrIva); only then, she (sIthAp pirAtti) said in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 40.3 “thathA kuru dhayAm mayi” (you have to bestow your mercy in this manner).
  • vinaiyAttiyEn nAn irandhEn – Even after giving everything to the birds, she remains dissatisfied feeling that she has not done nothing to them. Only when their favour is limited, she can find a matching favour in return and give it to them. Even after giving everything, as said in mahAbhAratham “kruthsnamvA pruthivIm dhadhyAn na thaththulyam kathanchana” (while serving the AchArya, for the favour done by the AchArya, the Sishya can never repay it even if he can offer the entire world), one remains only with the feeling that whatever offered is not enough. One should not stop with thinking as said in Apasthamba sUthram “thasmai na dhruhyEth” (I should not betray him); instead one should think as said in mahAbhAratham udhyOga parvam “krutham asya jAnan” (one should be grateful for his favour). Only when one withdraws from being grateful, he should be told not to betray the benefactor. When the birds asked “Do we have to explain these to him? Only if he has it in him to come, we can inform him”, she replied “I lost him due to my misfortune only and if we look at his qualities, would I lose him?”.
  • mun ulagam … – He can create everything from the beginning after being destroyed! I am too in a dilapidated state. Who created this world for me to feel broken in separation and send him a messenger? He did this purely out of his mercy! Previously (during creation), one need not send him a messenger to protect everyone!
  • mun ulagangaL ellAm padaiththa em mugil vaNNan – He who previously created everything without distinguishing between water and land, through his sankalpa gyAnam as said in thaiththirIya upanishath “bahu syAm” (let me become many)!
  • mugil vaNNan – Even if he protects with favouritism, his form is so beautiful that he cannot be given up; can also be construed as emperumAn helping for his own sake [like cloud, instead of expecting anything from us].
  • mugil vaNNan kaNNan – Explaining the audhAryam (magnanimity) etc which is the reason for jagath kAraNathvam (his being the cause of everything) and avathArams (incarnations); alternatively – it can be construed as saying how emperumAn descended with his spiritual divine form.
  • en nalam koNda pirAn – Why should we re-dig an old well [why going back to emperumAn who created the world long ago]? He is the one who fully captured me; he made me surrender unto you. Except for being separated from me now, whatever he has done is good! Before uniting with us he would have many good qualities, but now he only has beautiful qualities.
  • mugil vaNNan en nalam koNda – Instead of me being the recipient of the water of that cloud [emperumAn], I became the place from where he fetches water [i.e., captured me].
  • thanakku en nilaimai – When the birds asked “Though he will come on his own, what should we tell him?”, she said “my state” and showed her own form just as the dhaNdakAraNya rishis showed their bodies with cut-off limbs to SrI rAma in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam “Ehi paSya SarIrANi” (Look at our bodies). As you have seen me, you can yourself speak about my situation to him [I need not tell you what to tell him]. She spoke about his jagath kAraNathvam, avathArams and the special mercy he showered upon her without any shortcoming; but her own nature of being fully immersed in his qualities cannot be spoken by her similar to emperumAn who is said as in thiruvAimozhi 8.4.6 “thanakkum than thanmai aRivariyAn” (emperumAn does not himself know the limits of his greatness).
  • uraiththu – She is confident that these birds can speak about her situation, which are difficult to comprehend for himself. Since they stand on the shore [unlike me who is drowned in his qualities], they can do it. Why did she not tell the birds “inform him, and bring him along” [and stopped at saying “inform him”]? She remains “How can I ask him to act in a particular way? It is his choice”; we can only inform him our needs; rest is his responsibility.
  • en nilaimai uraiththu – pon ulagu ALIrO – You try to rule after ensuring my suffering cry [it will be unfair for you to enjoy while I am suffering]! While dhaSaratha chakravarthi was eagerly awaiting the coronation of perumAL (SrI rAma), SrI rAma did not have his heart attached to the kingdom due to the sufferings of the sages at the hands of the demons and hence he left for the forest; similarly, she thinks that the birds will not rule the two realms if they keep hearing the defeat of the women and their cry.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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