periya thiruvandhAdhi – 28 – anRE nam kaN

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When AzhwAr meditated on emperumAn’s divine form when he measured the worlds, he desired to see that form with his eyes, which are external, on his face. He becomes disgusted when he is not able to see emperumAn with his external eyes and after thinking about it, says “it is not emperumAn’s fault that we are unable to see him. It is our fault only”.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

anRE nam kaN kANum AzhiyAn kAruruvam
inRE nAm kANAdhiruppadhuvum enREnum
katkaNNAl kANAdha avvuruvai nenjennum
utkaNNEl kANum uNarndhu

Word by Word Meanings

kaN kaNNAl – with the external eye which goes by the name of ‘eye’
enREnum kANAdha – cannot be seen at any point of time
avvuruvai – that divine form
nenju ennum – what is called as mind
uL kaN – eye which is inside
uNarndhu kANumEl – if it can visualise
anRE – at that time itself
AzhiyAn kAr uruvam – the dark divine form of one who holds the divine disc in his hand
nam kaN kANum – our external eye will also see
nAm kANAdhiruppadhuvum – our inability to see emperumAn
inRE – now (when we cannot visualise him with our heart)


anRE nam kaN kANum AzhiyAn kAruruvam – our external eye will see the dark, divine form of the supreme being who holds the divine disc on his hand, only on that day.

When asked, “On which day?” AzhwAr says

enREnum kaN kaNNAl kANAdha avvuruvai nenjennum uL kaN uNarndhu kANumEl – our external eye is similar to the eye which is present on the feather of a peacock. On that day when our heart, which is also called as internal eye, is able to see the divine form of emperumAn, our external “peacock” eye, which is unable to see the divine form of emperumAn, will be able to see.

inRE nAm kANAdhiruppadhuvum – it is now when our internal eye of heart is unable to visualise emperumAn that our external eye is also not able to see. When the internal eye sees him, the external eye will also see him.

When AzhwAr said in the 26th pAsuram that he and his heart are now in harmony, why is it that his internal eye (heart) is not able to see emperumAn? The opinion here is that only when one reaches the stage of paramabhakthi in which the person cannot sustain himself if he separated from emperumAn, could the heart be able to visualise him. Thus the implied meaning is that when one survives when separated from emperumAn, he would not be able to see emperumAn with his external eye.

We will move on to the 29th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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