periya thiruvandhAdhi – 34 – pAlAzhi nIkidakkum

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In the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr had said that one should attain emperumAn by offering something or the other. In this pAsuram, he says that when he goes near emperumAn in order to attain him, his limbs become very weak and he is unable to approach him. This pAsuram is an example of how AzhwArs become ecstatic when they are deep in devotion.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

pAlAzhi nI kidakkum paNbai yAm kEttEyum
kAlAzhum nenjazhiyum kaN suzhalum neelAzhich
chOdhiyAy AdhiyAy tholvinai empARkadiyum
nIdhiyAy niRchArndhu ninRu

Word by Word Meanings

neel Azhi – like a dark ocean
sOdhiyAy – having effulgence
AdhiyAy – Oh one who is the cause for everything!
empAl – with me
thol vinai kadiyum – removing sins which have been there since time immemorial
nIdhiyAy – one who has the nature!
nin sArndhu ninRu – holding on to you
nI pAlAzhi kidakkum paNbai – the beauty with which you are reclining in the milky ocean
yAm kEttEyum – even as I hear
kAlAzhum – my legs become weak
nenjazhiyum – my mind will flutter
kaN suzhalum – eyes will spin (in bewilderment)


neelAzhich chOdhiyAy pAlAzhi nI kidakkum – The way emperumAn, with his dark, effulgent complexion is reclining on the milky ocean is similar to a black ocean reclining on a white ocean.

nI kidakkum – Just as it is mentioned in thirumAlai 23kidandhadhOr kidakkai”, isn’t emperumAn’s beautiful posture in the reclining state much superior to his beautiful states in standing or sitting postures!

paNbai yAm kEttEyum – The moment I hear about your reclining posture. How much will AzhwAr, who suffers so much on just hearing about the beauty of emperumAn’s reclining posture in the milky ocean, suffer if he sees him directly? AzhwAr next describes how he suffers on hearing about emperumAn’s beauty.

kAlAzhum nenjazhiyum kaN suzhalum – my legs will become weak. My mind will flutter. My eyes will spin around in bewilderment. The term kAl is representative of all the five organs of activity (hands, legs, mouth, reproductive and anal organs) while the term kaN is representative of all the five organs of senses (eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin). periyAzhwAr mercifully describes similar emotions in periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 5-3-5 “kAlum ezhA kaNNa nIrum nillA udal sOrndhu nadungi kural mElumezhA mayirkkUchchumaRA ena thOLgaLum vIzhvozhiyA mAlugaLA niRkum en mananE ” (my legs do not move out from the place where they were; my tears are not retained inside; the body is in a shambles and I am not able to speak; gooseflesh happens continuously and the shoulders droop down; my mind is utterly bewildered). Didn’t thoNdaraippodi AzhwAr also mercifully say in thirumAlai 19aravaNaiththuyilumAkaNdu udalenakku urugumAlO” (after seeing the reclining posture of emperumAn on AdhiSEshan, my body melts) and in thirumAlai 18kaNNanaikkaNda kaNgaL paniyarumbudhirumAlO” (my eyes, after seeing the divine form of kaNNan (krishNa) have not stopped shedding tears)!

Is it only the beauty of emperumAn which is making AzhwAr to behave like this? . . . .

AdhiyAy – Oh the one who created me and who is the ordained lord for me!

tholvinai em pAl kadiyum nIdhiyAy – Oh one who has the nature of removing my sins which have been there since time immemorial! The implied meaning is that apart from being beautiful and the ordained lord, emperumAn is also the benefactor who removes the enemies (in this case, sins).

niRchArndhu ninRu – holding on to you.

We will move on to the 35th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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