periya thiruvandhAdhi – 32 – thamakkadimai vEnduvAr

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AzhwAr says that while he is decisive in carrying out service to emperumAn his heart steps back, thinking “It is not proper on our part who have connection with this body to approach him”.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

thamakkadimai vENduvAr dhAmOdharanAr
thamakkadimai seyyenRAl seyyAdhu emakkenRu
thAm seyyum thIvinaikkE thAzhvuRuvar nenjinAr
yAm seyvadhu ivvidaththu ingu yAdhu

Word by Word Meanings

adimai – being servile (towards those who are involved with him)
thamakku vENduvAr – one who desires it for himself
dhAmOdharanAr thamakku – for dhAmaOdhara (who had a scar to display to others, when he was tied down by yaSOdhA)
adimai sey enRAl – if told to carry out service
seyyAdhu – not doing it
nenjinAr – my mind, the elderly person [AzhwAr says this with derision]
emakku enRu – with stubbornness saying ‘I will do what I like’
thAm seyyum – what it does often
thIvinaikkE – the activity of going away [from emperumAn]
thAzhvuRuvar – will be interested in
ivvidaththu – when things are like this
ingu – in this world
yAm seyvadhu yAdhu – what is there for us to do?


thamakkadimai vEnduvAr – one who likes to be servile toward those who are engaged a little bit towards him. This implies that emperumAn would like to be dependent on his followers by being servile to them, just as people say that they like something bitter or they like something sour.

Where have we seen this behaviour in emperumAn?

dhAmOdharanArAzhwAr says that we have seen such a behaviour when he was tied down to a mortar by his mother yaSOdhA through his stomach and beaten for stealing butter. The word dhAmOdhara means stomach being tied by a rope. The word adimai refers to being servile. Alternatively adimai could refer to followers [of emperumAn] and the meaning would change to [emperumAn] being affectionate towards his followers who are servile to him.

dhAmOdharanAr thamakku adimai sey enRAl seyyAdhuAzhwAr says that when he tells his heart to carry out service to kaNNa (krishNa) who is the follower of his followers, his heart does not carry this out.

emakkenRu thAm seyyem thIvinaikkE thAzhvuRuvar – he [the heart] will be stubborn saying “I will do whatever I want” and will carry out inappropriate acts only. Here the word thAm seyyum thIvinai refers to the act of moving away from emperumAn considering itself as ‘unsuitable’. The long syllable in thIvinaikkE implies that the heart is wont to doing this often.

nenjinAr – the elderly person who goes in his own way instead of listening to me!

yAm seyvadhu ivvidaththu ingu yAdhu – emperumAn is keen on taking us as his follower. The heart is keen on moving away from emperumAn. The opinion here is that AzhwAr is indecisive on whether to listen to his possession [heart] or to carry out as per emperumAn, who is the possessor.

We will take up the 32nd pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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