thiruvAimozhi – 6.8.3 – Odi vandhu

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Full series >> Sixth Centum >> Eighth decad

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Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the third pAsuram, parAnguSa nAyaki says to a swarm of bees “You inform my state to emperumAn, return to me and live on top of my head”.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

Subsequently, parAnguSa nAyaki says to some swarm of bees “As you go on behalf of me, krishNa, the destroyer of the enemies of his devotees, will behold you on his head; you would become refreshed; you return to me and suck the fresh flowers on my hair, which were decorated thinking ‘he is coming’ “.

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.


Odi vandhu en kuzhal mEl oLi mA malar UdhIrO?
kUdiya vaNdinangAL! kuru nAdudai aivargatkAy
Adiya mA nedundhErp padai nIRezhach cheRRa pirAn
sUdiya thaNduLabam uNda thUmadhu vAygaL koNdE


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

kUdiya – mutually close
vaNdu inangAL – swarm of bees!
kuru nAdudai – the leaders of kurukshEthra
aivargatku Ay – for the five pANdavas
Adiya – having beautiful movements
mA – horses
nedu – tall
thEr – chariots
padai – army
nIRu ezha – to become dust particles
seRRa – destroyed
pirAn – krishNa, the great benefactor
sUdiya – decorated on his divine hair
thaN – invigorating
thuLabam – from the thiruththuzhAy
uNda – drank
thU – pure
madhu – having honey
vAygaL – mouth
koNdu – having
Odi vandhu – coming here immediately

(that which is enjoyable for him in all manner)
en – my
kuzhalmEl – on hair
oLi – radiant
mA – best
malar – in flower
UdhIr – suck it as you sucked the honey

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

Oh swarm of bees who are mutually close to each other! Having drunk the pure honey from the invigorating thiruththuzhAy which is decorating the divine hair of krishNa, the great benefactor, who destroyed the horses which were having beautiful movements, tall chariots and the army to become dust particles, for the five pANdavas who were the leaders of kurukshEthra! Coming here immediately with the same mouth, suck the best flower which is on my radiant hair.

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

  • Odi vandhu – You should return soon. As you have seen my state, you should arrive when I am alive. Alternatively, she is asking them to return soon due to the urge in enjoying them.
  • en kuzhal mEl – She would know the greatness of her hair based on how a great personality (emperumAn) is attracted to it. Why is she speaking like those who pay fees after completing a task in saying “sUdiya thaNduLabam uNdE thUmadhuvAygaL koNdu Odi vandhu en kuzhal mEl oLi mA malar UdhIrO”? For the bees, there should be something in her hair. Now, the honey has dried out and the hair is withered; only when they return [with happy news], her hair will become fresh again.
  • en kuzhal mEl – This is the greatness of these bees who go as her messenger, over those [monkeys] who went as his messenger [with respect to the gift they got after going as messenger]. There sugrIva mahArAja’s madhuvanam (the orchard) was destroyed; here she is saying “I am giving my forest like hair which is dear to him, to you”. aLagAdavi (hair-forest) is the top most gift (as it is on the head, and it is the best). There is no dhadhimuka et al who can be a hurdle here [dhadhimuka was the guard for madhuvanam, who tried stopping hanuman and others from enjoying]. The peaceful hanuman said in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 62.2 “aham AvArayishyAmi yushmAkam paripanthina:” (Enjoy the honey! I will keep off your enemies). Though sugrIva mahArAja did not know about hanuman’s sighting of sIthAp pirAtti, as soon as he heard about madhuvanam’s ransacking, he smashed his tail on the rishyamuka parvatham [monkeys smash their tail when they are joyful]. As they are ransacking madhuvanam even though the time limit given to them is over, they must have spotted sIthAp pirAtti. bhattar mercifully used to say “If the madhuvanam was not present, the joy of the monkeys in finding pirAtti would have reflected on the back of the princes” [patting the back in joy is a common act – every monkey would have joyfully patted the back of SrI rAma and lakshmaNa].
  • en kuzhal mEl oLi mA malar UdhIrO – The bees should always be drinking the honey from her hair. thiruvAimozhi 9.9.4 “thUvi am puL udaith theyva vaNdu” (the divine bee (emperumAn) who has pure, beautiful garuda) or these bees. She is saying “Can emperumAn only give sAmyApaththi (a type of mOksha, where emperumAn gives his devotees all his qualities)? I too will give you sAmyApaththi (equality) with him [in enjoying my hair]”. As said in thaiththirIya upanishath “sOSnuthE …” (the liberated soul enjoys with bhagavAn), I will feed [give pleasure to] you both [emperumAn and the bees] from the same container [her hair]. This is the topmost food.
  • en kuzhal mEl oLi mA malar UdhIrO – In my hair which became fresh on your arrival, would you drink the honey from the best, radiant flower?
  • UdhIrO – Due to the abundance of honey, like someone who hesitates to enter flood waters, the bees are hesitating. While it is your duty [to inform emperumAn] and it is a help to others [me], why are you waiting?
  • kUdiya vaNdinangAL – There is no need for you to assemble the army like sugrIva mahArAja had to do. You have all already assembled to help me. sugrIva ordered his army only after iLaiyaperumAL (lakshmaNa) went to the entrance of kishkindhA and praised [chastised] him.
  • kuru nAdu udai aivargatkAy – emperumAn is of the nature that he will feel sorry for the wives of others [pANdavas] whose hair is not well maintained [due to sorrow]; as said in periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 4.9.6 “maiththunar mAr kAdhaliyai mayir mudippiththu avargaLaiyE mannarAkki” (Helping the wives of his cousins tie their hair [after their husbands became victorious] and crowning his cousins). He thinks that pANdavas are the owners of the kingdom and considers himself to be their servitor.
  • kuru nAdu udai aivar – dhuryOdhana and his brothers were like someone who climbed the ceremonial elephant without the permission of the elephant’s caretaker. As said in thiruvAimozhi 6.6.4nAdudai mannar“, pANdavas are the real owners of the kingdom. AzhwAr is speaking based on bhagavAn’s opinion which is “the current regime under dhuryOdhana et al is unlawful”; AzhwAr’s thoughts follow emperumAn’s thoughts.
  • Adiya mA nedum thEr – With the huge chariot that has horses with beautiful steps; with the chariot that is described in SrI bhagavath gIthA 1.14mahathi syandhanE sthithau” (seated in the huge chariot).
  • padai nIRezhach cheRRa pirAn – Since he was not allowed to take up arms, he rode the chariot wheels to destroy the army into pieces.
  • cheRRa pirAn – Favouring others even at the cost of obliterating himself, is his natural quality. She considers that he reduced himself as the charioteer due to a particular reason [not his natural quality].
  • cheRRa pirAn – arjuna et al are similar to his weapons; emperumAn himself declared in SrI bhagavath gIthA 11.33mayaivaithE nihathA: pUrvam Eva” (as I have vowed to finish them already).
  • sUdiya thaN thuLabam uNda – The bees which drink the honey from the garland which he wore while riding arjuna’s chariot. Whatever garlands he wears in his incarnations, thiruththuzhAy (thuLasi) assumes such garland forms to favour emperumAn.
  • thU madhu vAygaL koNdE – Having their mouth purified and sweetened after drinking the honey from that garland; it can also mean – the bees which have sweet speech.
  • thU madhu vAygaL koNdE – Odi vandhu en kuzhal mEl oLi mA malar UdhIrO – SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 5.6 is explained here. vAhivAtha – As you [wind] cannot be seen by eyes, what did you get? thvayimE gAthra samsparSa: – Contact with sIthAp pirAtti for my senses, is through you. I only get to touch you who touched her. chandhrE dhrushti samAgama: – Touch is similar to vision for me [I can only see the moon that was seen you]. [Another meaning – mouth is pure] With the mouth which makes that which fell apart to stick together [when dhraupadhi was in the forest, due to her purity, on hearing her words, a mango which fell from the tree went back to the tree and stuck to it]. Like hanuman said in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 65.10 “dhrushtA sIthA” (I have seen sIthA) [and eventually united sIthAp pirAtti and SrI rAma], you make me drink this honey and you too drink it.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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