periya thiruvandhAdhi – 5 – peRRa thAy

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AzhwAr tried to move away from emperumAn after thinking that he does not have the qualification to approach him. Just as it is mentioned in thaiththirIya upanishath Anandhavalli 6 “asannEva bhavathi I asath brahmEthi vEdehachEth I asthi brahmEthi chEdh vEdha I santhamEnam thathO vidhu: II” (when he (a sentient being) realises that brahmam (emperumAn) does not exist, he (the sentient entity) does not exist; when he realises that brahmam exists, for that reason alone, (good people) know that he (sentient entity) exists), AzhwAr was about to lose his svarUpam (basic nature) when he tried to move away from emperumAn. However, emperumAn showers his mercy on AzhwAr and gives him his svarUpam. In this pAsuram, AzhwAr expresses his gratitude to emperumAn.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

peRRa thAy nIyE piRappiththa thandhai nI
maRRaiyAr AvArum nI pEsil eRREyO
mAya mA mAyavaLai mAya mulai vAy vaiththa
nIyammA kAttum neRi

 Word by Word Meanings

mAya – Oh one who has amazing activities!
ammA – Oh my Lord!
pEsil – if we have to speak (about the beneficial activities that you carry out)
peRRa thAy nIyE – you are the only one who carries out sweet activities for me, like a mother
piRappiththa thandhai nI – you are the only one who carries out beneficial activities like the father who created
maRRaiyAr AvArum nI – you are the other AchAryas (teachers) who do good by the AthmA (soul)
mA mAyavaLai mAya – ensuring that the huge demon pUthanA perishes
mulai vAy vaiththa – taking (her) bosom in your mouth
nI – you, the lord of all
kAttum neRi – the path that you showed (to remove my enemy)
eRREyO – how wonderful it is!


peRRa thAy nIyE – only you are the mother who, even before the child is conceived, observes fast, [and as the child grows inside the womb] adjusts her intake of food and sleeping hours according to the needs of the foetus when carrying it for ten months in her womb, takes care of cleaning the child, after it is born and discharges waste fluids, and keeps doing only sweet things for the child always.

piRappiththa thandhai nI – you are the father who, just as it is mentioned in SAsthras (religious treatises) “mAthA bhasthrA pithu: puthra:” (mother is like a vessel holding the child for ten months, the son belongs to the father), has rights over the child in many ways, one who creates the child, doing what is beneficial for the child unlike the mother who does only sweet things for the child.

maRRaiyAvArum nI – just as it is mentioned in Apasthamba sUthra 1-1-6 “SarIramEva mAtha pithA janathaya: I sa hi vidhyAthas tham janayathi thach chrEshtam janma  II” (mother and father create only the physical form for the child; it is AchAryan alone who creates AthmA through knowledge; it is this AthmA which is the superior birth), the parents create only the physical body for the child. They do not carry out any beneficial activity for the AthmA. AzhwAr tells emperumAn that it is emperumAn who is his AchAryan, always thinking of doing beneficial acts for the AthmA. The term marraiyAr refers to great AchAryars (teachers) who are different from mother and father.

pEsil – is it not impossible to speak about the benefits that you carry out? If one attempts to speak about these to an extent . . .

eRReyO – All that one can say is “How amazing!”

mAya – Oh one who has amazing power! The opinion is that emperumAn can carry out what others cannot. AzhwAr is speaking about how emperumAn accepted him after he decided to leave emperumAn.

mAyavaLai mAya mulai vAy vaiththa – keeping his (emperumAn’s) mouth on the poisoned bosom of the huge demon pUthana to kill her when she came deceptively in order to kill him [during his incarnation as krishNa]. By the term mAyavaL AzhwAr shows how the demon pUthanA came deceptively, in the guise of krishNa’s mother, in an amazing way. The word mAya refers to her perishing in the process.

nIyammA kAttum neRi eRREyO – When one looks at the way you removed my hurdle when I decided to move away from you feeling unqualified to be with you, does it not look similar to the way you removed pUthanA! The usage of the word ammA emphasises that you [emperumAn] did this since you possess me.

We will move on to the 6th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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