nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 53 – kallAdhavar ilangai

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Some samsAris asked AzhwAr “What is the reason for your position in saying enakkAvAr Ar oruvarE and our position vilaikkAtpaduvar? Also, please mercifully tell us the way in which we can redeem ourselves”. AzhwAr responds saying “being not connected with other deities is the reason for my greatness and the same is the reason for your lowliness. If you wish to redeem yourselves, sever your connection with other deities”.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

kallAdhavar ilangai kattazhiththa kAguththan
allAl oru dheyvam yAnilEn pollAdha
dhEvaraith thEvarallAraith thiruvillAth
thEvarai thERElmin dhEvu

Word for Word Meanings

kallAdhavar ilangai – the country of lankA populated by the ignorant demons
kattu azhiththa – destroying its fortress
kAguththan allAl – other than SrI rAma
oru dheyvam – another deity
yAn ilEn – I will not accept as a deity
pollAdha dhEvarai – deities with deformities
dhEvar allArai – (in truth) lacking in the qualities of being a deity
thiru illA dhEvarai – without having any connection with pirAtti (SrI mahAlakshmi), those who bear the name as deity
dhEvu – as deities
thERElmin – please do not think of


kallAdhavar ilangai – lankA which is polulated like the hive of wasps, with ignorant demons. Just as sIthAppirAtti  doubted, as in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 21-9 “iha santhO na vA santhi” (does this place not have learned people?) It is the habitat of ignorant people who could not tolerate the presence of the only intelligent person vibhIshaNa and drove him out of the country. Here, the term kalvi refers to knowledge relating to mOksham as mentioned in SrIvishNu purANam 1-19-41 “sA vidhyA yA vimukthayE” (learning is that which is used for attaining mOksham). Isn’t it well known that those in lankA lack that learning!

kattazhiththa kAguththan – the divine son of emperor dhaSaratha who destroyed the fortress of lankA.

kAguththanallAl oru dheyvam yAnilEn – I will not think of  anyone other than that benefactor who is totally devoted to the huge yAgam (a ritual with agni, fire) for protection through surrendering, as being fit enough for being attained. AzhwAr implies that this is the reason for his greatness.

yAn ilEn – AzhwAr tells samsAris that not having this quality of not worshipping other deities, even through forgetfulness, is the reason for their lowliness. This AzhwAr is similar to hanuman who said as in SrI rAmAyaNam uththara kANdam 40-15 “snEhO mE paramO rAjan thvayi nithyam prathitishtitha: bhakthiScha niyathA vIra bhAvO nAnyathra gachchathi II” (Oh emperumAn! The affection that I have towards you is huge. This affection is firmly established in you).

When asked by the samsAris as to the way by which they can redeem themselves, AzhwAr tells them the nature of other deities and tells the samsAris to sever their connection with such deities…..

pollAdha dhevarai – unlike emperumAn who attracts the heart and eyes of his followers through his divine form, nature, qualities and activities, these other deities do not have the kind of form to see or fame which is sweet to hear or do not have the capability to grant boons which will be everlasting. Their forms will be crude and grotesque with deformed eyes, eyes which emit fire and with matted hair, with powdered ash applied all over the body, unlike the lotus like eyes of emperumAn who is like a mother to the world. Their activities too will be crude such as plucking the head of one’s own father, begging all over the world in order to remove the curse that got stuck on removing the head of father, destroying holy rituals, running away out of fear from a demon called basmAsura and helping another demon bANAsura and getting defeated in the battle in the bargain etc. These are in direct contrast to the sweet activities of emperumAn who killed the wicked ones, protected the good ones, redeemed dead sons and granted mOksham to bird, demon and pot. Instead of asking for pathram pushpam … (SrI bhagavath gIthA 9.26) for worshipping, these deities will ask for the flesh of devotee’s son. Thus their qualities will also be crude. Since they are crude in various ways, AzhwAr calls them as crude deities.

Next AzhwAr realises that he has called them as dhEva by mistake….

dhEvarallArai –  if one were to disregard such cruelties in them and analyse their basic nature in order to worship them they will be such that they will look up to emperumAn for alms for their sustenance and be without any greatness. In other words, they will not be apt to be worshipped.

dhEvarallArai – just as it is mentioned in nAchchiyAr thirumozhi “ayanmudhalAththandha naLirmA malarundhi vIttaippaNNi viLaiyAdum vimalan”, is it correct to call those who were created by emperumAn for his pastime, as deities? Is it apt to call those who run away from battlefield (in the war with bANAsura which they indulged in and lost) or those who borrow radiance and decorate themselves or those who learn vEdhas from emperumAn or those who carry a skull in their hands in order to get rid of a curse or those who run away when troubled by demons? With what feature or quality in them can they be called as dhEvas?

What is the reason for their not being dhEvas? …

thiruvillAththEvarai – since they do not have the grace of SrI mahAlakshmi, they are not dhEvas. Since they do not have the connection with periya pirAtti (SrI mahAlakshmi) who even the vEdhas praised by saying “SradhdhayA dhEvO dhEvathvamaSnuthE” (only due to periya pirAtti, even SrIman nArAyaNa qualifies to be a dhEva), they do not qualify to be dhEvas.

thiruvaillAththEvarai – when referring to lowly persons in the world, they are called as thiruvilAr (lacking in wealth).

thiruvillAththEvarai – did not purusha sUktham which spoke about emperumAn “uthAmruthathvasya ISAna:” as the one who grants mOksham, say “hrIScha thE lakshmIScha pathnyau… sarvam manishANa” (SrIdhEvi and bhUdhEvi are your consorts… we will obtain everything from you) concluding that it is due to his being SrImAn that he grants mOksham!

pollAdhadhEvarai dhEvarallArai thiruvillAththEvarai – since they do not have any connection with pirAtti, even though they are not really dhEvas, they are called as dhEvas as they carry the name dhEvas. Hence AzhwAr is calling them as pollAdha dhEvar and thiruvillAththEvar.

thEREnmin dhEvu – AzhwAr tells us not to respect them as deities. If you follow this [instruction] you can also say “enakkAvAr Ar oruvarE” (who is equal to me, as AzhwAr had sung in the earlier pAsuram).

thEREnmin dhEvu – since these deities also grant materials such as son, cow, food etc they may be called as deities. Hence you may also think that these deities are fit to be attained. Since the materials which they give are transient (they do not last long), are lowly and are granted ultimately by emperumAn as mentioned in SrI bhagavath gIthA 7.22mayaiva vihithAn hi thAn” through these deities, AzhwAr tells us not to think of them as deities.

We will take up the 54th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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