periya thiruvandhAdhi – 20 – kANappugil aRivu

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AzhwAr says that even though he told his heart to see emperumAn, considering our svarUpam (basic nature) and his activities, shouldn’t the heart feel shy to see him?

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

kANappugil aRivu kaikkoNda nenjam
nANappadum anRE nAm pEsil mANi
uruvAgikkoNdu ulagam nIrERRa sIrAn
thiruvAgam thINdiRRuch chenRu

Word by Word Meanings

mANi uruvAgik koNdu – assuming the garb of a bachelor
ulagam – throughout the world
nIr ERRa sIrAn – one who has great auspicious qualities and who took as alms
thiru Agam – his beautiful, divine, auspicious form
thINdiRRu – when it felt the entire world
nAm kANappugil – even if we enquire
pEsil – even if we attempt to speak
aRivu kaikkoNda nal nenjam – the superior mind which has knowledge
nANap padumanRE – should it not feel shy?


kANap pugil nAm pEsil aRivu kaikkoNda nal nenjam nANappadum anRE – Even if we, lacking in knowledge, desire to see him and speak about his svarUpam (basic nature) as it is, shouldn’t the heart, which is the seat of knowledge and which thinks good for us, feel shy, after comparing our svarUpam and his activities? AzhwAr says in the latter part of the pAsuram as to what is such an activity that emperumAn carried out.

mANi uruvAgi nIrERRu ulagam koNda sIrAn thiruvAgam senRu thINdiRRu – emperumAn took the garb of a dwarf bachelor and went to mahAbali to get as alms the three worlds. During this time, he went to feel the worlds [touch them] with his beautiful, divine form. If we desire to see that activity or to speak about that, shouldn’t the heart feel shy? In other words, does it make any meaning to see him falling head over heels to take possession of the three worlds? The opinion here is that even though AzhwAr had told his heart in the previous pAsuram “kAN” (to see emperumAn), the good heart, which has knowledge, should have felt shy to see him and to speak about him. The opinion further here is that while emperumAn has been working since time immemorial to get hold of us, it is not proper on our part to attain him on our own. This indicates the significant superiority of paragatha svIkAram (where emperumAn is engaged actively in trying to get hold of the jIvAthmA) over svagatha svIkAram (in which the jIvAthmA is making efforts to attain emperumAn).

thiruvAgam thINdiRRu nANappadumanRE – we can consider this as a re-emphasising of what he himself had mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 1-5vaLavEzhulagu” since the heart, which has knowledge,  should have felt shy in going about to feel emperumAn, considering its [the heart’s] lowliness.

We will take up 21st pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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