thiruvAimozhi – 8.3.4 – gyAlam pOnagam

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Full series >> Eighth Centum >> Third decad

Previous pAsuram

Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the fourth pAsuram, AzhwAr meditates about emperumAn‘s dangerous resting on the pipal leaf without anyone protecting him and thinks “what will happen to him?”

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nampiLLai‘s introduction.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s introduction as documented by vadakkuth thiruvIdhip piLLai

Fourth pAsuram. Seeing AzhwAr‘s fear [in previous pAsuram], emperumAn says “Am I not the one who protected the universe by digging it out of the ocean of deluge and placing it in my stomach? Don’t fear for me” and shows his form of being the protector of all; seeing that, AzhwAr fears further thinking “such protector of all, is now caught in the ocean of deluge”.


gyAlam pOnagam paRRi Or muRRA uruvAgi
Alam pErilai anna vasam seyyum ammAnE!
kAlam pErvadhu Or kAriruL Uzhi oththuLadhAl un
kOlam kAr ezhil kANaluRRu Azhum kodiyERkE


Word-by-Word meanings (based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s 12000 padi)

Or – being unparalleled
muRRA – very tender
uruvAgi – having a form
gyAlam – the great universe
pOnagam – as food
paRRi – consumed
Al – pipal
pEr – to be said
ilai – on a leaf
anna vasam seyyum – mercifully resting in sideways
ammAnE – Oh lord!

(thinking what danger will befall upon him in that deluge)
kAr – dark cloud’s
ezhil – having the beauty
un – your
kOlam – physical beauty
kANaluRRu – forcing to see
Azhum – becoming immersed (due to fear)
kodiyERku – for me who has cruel sin
pErvadhu – between one moment and the next
kAlam – time duration
Or – unparalleled
kAr iruL – having deep darkness
Uzhi oththu – like a kalpa (a night of brahmA)
uLadhu – is.

Simple translation (based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s 12000 padi)

Oh lord who is having an unparalleled and a very tender form, who consumed the great universe as food and is mercifully resting in sideways on the pipal leaf! Your form has the beauty resembling the same of a dark cloud; I am having cruel sins to force you to show such form for me to see and be immersed in it; for me, this time duration between one moment and the next, is like a kalpa which is having deep darkness. Implies AzhwAr saying “your prowess of agaditha gatanA samArthyam (ability to unite contradicting aspects, ability to accomplish impossible tasks) and ability to protect everyone ends up causing more fear in me”.

vyAkyAnams (commentaries)

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s vyAkyAnam

See vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s translation.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s vyAkyAnam

See nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s vyAkyAnam

See nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam as documented by vadakkuth thiruvIdhip piLLai

  • gyAlam pOnagam paRRiemperumAn consumed the whole of earth without realising “I won’t be able to digest it”. AzhwAr would think that emperumAn can’t even digest butter.
  • Or muRRA uruvAgi – He is so young that when milk spills on one cheek it will be visible in the other cheek. He is in a younger stage than the stage of nursing under mother yaSOdhA. AzhwAr’s heart is not focussing on emperumAn protecting everything during the danger of deluge and his amazing ability to rest on the pipal leaf after consuming the universe; AzhwAr is only looking at his tender nature.
  • Alam pEr ilai – There [under yaSOdhA’s care] he was at least resting on a cradle, but here he is dangerously resting on a tender pipal leaf.
  • pEr ilai – [other meanings for “pEr“] Moving leaf; blossoming leaf; “kathanvayam SiSuSSEthE lOkE nASam upAgathE | SAkAyAm vata vrukshasya pallavEthvithi vismitha: ||” (When the worlds were annihilated, this small child is resting on the tender leaf of a pipal tree. How amazing!). As said in periya thirumozhi 2.10.1 “iLan thaLiril kaN vaLarndha” (mercifully resting on a tender leaf), “Al ilai” is just for namesake. pEr ilai (big leaf) is also explained as viparItha lakshaNA (sarcasm), indicating that it is a small leaf.
  • anna vasam seyyum – After consuming the worlds, he is uncomfortably moving around on the leaf [due to indigestion]. Whatever he did in mother yaSOdhA’s cradle, he is doing the same here [causing fear in AzhwAr‘s mind that he will fall into the ocean of deluge]. In the cradle he did as said in periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 1.1.9 “kidakkil thottil kizhiya udhaiththidum” (while resting he would kick the cradle to break it). Being very childish to know “this will not digest”, mercifully resting on the small leaf in the ocean of deluge, moving around while being on such small leaf are all causing fear for AzhwAr.
  • ammAnE – Oh protector of all! Also, AzhwAr is fearing because this has not occurred to some anonymous person but for the protector of all.
  • kAlam … – As I keep thinking about your loneliness, the duration between one moment and the next feels like the unending dark kalpa (night of brahmA).
  • un kOlam kAr ezhil kANaluRRu – AzhwAr is saying “your dark, beautiful form”; alternatively AzhwAr is saying “your beauty which resembles that of a cloud”.
  • kANaluRRu Azhum kodiyERku – For me, the great sinner who desires to see your beautiful form to perform mangaLASAsanam (wishing for well being), yet not getting to see the same and suffering due to that. The fear in samsAram will be eliminated as one takes refuge of emperumAn; but I have committed such a great sin that I have this fear [for emperumAn’s well being] which will go on eternally without an end. There is no end for the fear of thinking “What will happen to the protector of all?”

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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0 thoughts on “thiruvAimozhi – 8.3.4 – gyAlam pOnagam”

  1. Swamin,
    Adiyen. If this vyagyanam in tamil also, it will very nice and helpful. Though this vyaganam above is simple, reading is a bit tough ( transliteration parts).
    க்ஷமிக்கவும். அடியேன் நமஸ்காரம்.


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