nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 25 – vagaiyAl madhiyAdhu

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AzhwAr says that all his [emperumAn‘s] activities will be only for the sake of his followers and none for himself. Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

vagaiyAl madhiyAdhu maNkoNdAy maRRum
vagaiyAL varuvadhu onRuNdE vagaiyAl
vayiram kuzhaiththuNNum mAvali thAnennum
vayira vazhakkozhiththAy maRRu

Word for Word Meanings

madhiyAdhu – not considering this as a huge task
vagaiyAl – in the path of begging for alms
maN koNdAy – you took the worlds from mahAbali (a king who had  seized all the worlds from indhra)
maRRum – moreover
vayiram – gem like diamond
vagaiyAl – with the help of medicines
kuzhaiththu – softening it
uNNum – one who eats it
(adhanAl) thAn ennum – one who has ego due to that and thinks of himself as bhagavAn
mAvali – mahAbali’s
vayiram vazhakku – the inimical relationship
ozhiththAy – you removed
vagaiyAl – due to such activities of yours
varuvadhu onRu uNdE – is there any resultant benefit for you? (you are doing all these for the sake of your followers)


vagaiyAl maN koNdAy – since mahAbali had the quality of magnanimity, he should not be destroyed; at the same time, indhra (head of celestial entities) has to get back his lost kingdoms. After analysing the situation, you transformed yourself to the form of a mendicant, measured the worlds through a good means and returned the redeemed worlds to indhra, so that he could reside in his dwelling place.

vagailyAl – this refers to the form of the dwarf, vAmana, his sweet talk etc which softened the heart of the asura mahAbali so that he would give the three steps of land asked for by the dwarf.

madhiyAdhu maN koNdAy – instead of considering it as a huge task, you performed the activity of measuring of the worlds in an effortless manner. There are some who construe this as emperumAn not thinking about his greatness and transforming himself into a dwarf. appiLLai, one of the vyAkyAthAs (commentators) of this prabandham considered that emperumAn did not think about the demonic nature of mahAbali as something to be considered at all.

maRRu – was it only to do something good for indhra that emperumAn transformed himself into a dwarf? Was it not for doing a benefit for mahAbali? Did he not do good for mahAbali considering the demon as his follower?

vagaiyAl vayiram kuzhaiththuNNum mAvaliAzhwAr refers to the decorations that mahAbali carried out to boost his ego. If someone were to take diamond directly, it would lead to death. Hence, mahAbali mixed diamond in small portion with several medicinal materials and consumed it to nurture his physical body.

mAvali thAn ennum vayira vazhakku ozhiththAy – you removed the ego of such mahAbali, making him to bow down his head to you, kept your divine foot on his head and stabilised him. vayiram – diamond. vayira vazhakku – the way by which one becomes an enemy.

thAn ennum vayira vazhakku – it is implied here that while outwardly mahAbali appeared to be a devotee [of emperumAn], since he had lot of ego, he behaved like an enemy of emperumAn. Hasn’t emperumAn himself mercifully mentioned “AgyAchchEdhI mama dhrOhi madhbhakthOpi na vaishNava:” (one who goes against my order is one who commits treachery against me even if he is my devotee, he is not a vaishNava)!

maRRum vagaiyAl varuvadhu onRu uNdE – apart from granting benefits to your followers, is there any benefit for you [emperumAn] by carrying out all these deeds? It is implied by this that the activities of emperumAn are only for the sake of his followers and there is nothing in them for him.

We will take up the 26th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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