periya thiruvandhAdhi – 14 – sAyAl kariyAnai

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In the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr had requested emperumAn to show him his divine physical form. Once he thinks of the divine physical form of emperumAn, he starts moving away from emperumAn again, saying “Seeing such a distinguished divine form with these eyes is an inappropriate activity”. He says that his approaching emperumAn is much similar to the way pUthanA (the demon who tried to kill infant krishNa) approached emperumAn.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

sAyAl kariyAnai uLLaRiyArAy nenjE
pEyAr mulai koduththAr pEyarAy nI yAr pOyth
thEmbUN suvaiththu UNaRindhaRindhum thIvinaiyAm
pAmbAr vAy kainIttal pArththi

Word by Word Meanings

nenjE – Oh my mind!
sAyAl kariyAnai – krishNa, who is dark in complexion
uL aRiyArAy – not knowing how to enjoy, after entering
pEyAr – pUthanA, the fiend
pEyarAy mulai koduththAr – being a fiend, she offered her (poisoned) bosom
pOy – going repeatedly
thEmbu UN suvaiththu – enjoying Sabdha (sound) etc which keep eroding the AthmA (soul)
UN aRindhum aRindhum – even after knowing the result
thIvinaiyAm pAmbAr vAy – inside the mouth of the snake samsAram (materialistic realm) which nurtures only evil qualities
kai nIttal pArththi – you are trying to put out your hand
nI yAr – how lowly are you (in comparison with pUthanA)?


sAyAl kariyAnaisAyal refers to complexion. Thus, one who is black in complexion.

uL aRiyArAy – not knowing how to enjoy, after entering; not knowing that the supreme being has come down as an infant, crying for mother’s milk and, not knowing as to how to engage with that simplicity. We can also construe this as meaning that she (pUthanA) did not know that it is actually sarvESvaran who has come down.

nenjE pEyAr mulai koduththAr pEyarAy – Oh my mind! pUthanA did not engage with deceit after taking birth as a human being. Did she not engage with that deceitful act because she was a fiend?

nI yAr – when compared to her, what a lowly entity are you [AzhwAr tells his mind]! When looking at you, who should have been engaging with SAsthras (sacred texts), hailing from the human birth but instead are harming emperumAn, pUthanA appears to be fit for being considered as a nithyasUris!

thEmbUN suvaiththu UNaRindhu aRindhum thIvinaiyAm pAmbAr vAy kai nIttal pArththi – you are engaging  with worldly pursuits of Sabdha, sparSa, rUpa, rasa, gandha (the five senses of sound, touch, form, taste and smell) even after knowing very well that these pursuits will keep eroding the nature of AthmA. This is similar to a person putting out his hand inside the mouth of a (poisonous) snake. How are you related to pUthanA? In this interpretation, the word nI yAr wonders whether one is related to pUthanA. The word pOy could be added to suvaiththu or to kai nIttal pArththi. The opinion here is that despite knowing that the result of engaging repeatedly with worldly pursuits is only ruinous for AthmA, you [reference here is to AzhwAr’s mind] are repeatedly putting out your hand inside the mouth of the poisonous snake, which is what samsAram is. The word thEmbUN refers to worldly pursuits which cause ruin to AthmA’s nature. Alternatively, thEmbUN could refer to bringing a bad name to emperumAn by the heart by its being unsuitable to approach emperumAn and the heart repeatedly carrying out this. Thus this will mean that the heart, knowing well that its approaching emperumAn will bring bad name to emperumAn, is repeatedly doing this, just like one puts out his hand into the mouth of a poisonous snake. In both interpretations, it is clear that you are much lowlier than pUthanA. The end letter Ar in pEyAr, pAmbAr would indicate the nature of cruelty brought about by these entities.

We will move on to the 15th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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