periya thirumadal – 75 – thannuruvam Arum

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thannuruvam Arum aRiyAmal thAnangOr                                           107
mannum kuRaL uruvinmANiyAy mAvali than
ponniyalum vELvikkaN pukkirundhu pORvEndhan                           108

Word by word meaning

maRRu anRiyum – apart from that
than uruvam Arum aRiyAmal – making his nature unknown to anyone else
thAn Or mannum kuRaL uruvin mANi Ay – he, who is the most supreme among all men, made himself into a divine dwarf bachelor
mAvali than – mahAbali’s
pon iyalum vELvikkaN pukkirundhu – taking abode in the yAgabhUmi (the place where mahAbali conducted the ritual) where gold was being gifted


Starting from maRRanRiyum until thALAnai, the narration is about emperumAn’s vAmanAvathAram [incarnation as vAmana, the dwarf]. When he churned the ocean and helped the vain celestial entities, he did not lower his greatness. However, when he helped them again, he gave up all his fame, transformed himself as a vAmana (dwarf) and sought alms from mahAbali. parakAla nAyaki says that she will destroy this great quality of simplicity too, in emperumAn.

maRRanRiyum – More than that. This narrates emperumAn’s quality of simplicity which is the exact opposite of his quality of greatness.

thannuruvam Arum aRiyAmal – those who saw him [emperumAn, as vAmana] thought that he was always like this, seeking alms. None would know that he is the one who gave the four purushArthams (ultimate benefits) through his four huge shoulders.

Arum aRiyAmal – even periya pirAtti (SrI mahAlakshmi) and nithyasUris (permanent dwellers of SrIvaikuNtam) did not know that [he is vAmana].

thAn angu pukku – he, who is to be attained by everyone, went to the yAgyaSAlA (place where mahAbali was conducting the ritual).

Or mannum kuRaL uruvil –  disguising himself as vAmana (dwarf), without any comparison and with such beauty that those who saw him could not take their eyes off him and look at any other person or object.

mANiyAy – keeping his countenance with equanimity and with a blossomed face, whether the person from whom he sought alms offered him anything or shut the door on his face. A bachelor whose form had got scarred while taking alms [as if he had known only seeking alms all his life].

mAvali than pon iyalum vELvikkaN – in the beautiful ritual of mahAbali. Unlike parakAla nAyaki who had to attempt at engaging in madal in order to attain him [emperumAn], the ritual was such great that it was able to bring emperumAn, who is the goal of the ritual, to it. The opinion is that had she not undertaken madal but had undertaken a ritual like mahAbali, emperumAn would have come to her too. Alternatively, this would mean a ritual where gold was being gifted. A ritual where whatever was sought was given.

pukku – he entered that place in such a way that earth had to bend for each step that he took while reaching the place.

irundhu – Just as thiruvAimozhi 3-8-9 said “koLvan nAn mAvali mUvadi thA” (Oh mahAbali, give me three steps of land as measured with my foot; I will accept it), even if mahAbali had refused, he would have remained there like a tree [remaining stationary], refusing to leave the place without getting what he had asked for.

In the next article, we will discuss the next part of this prabandham.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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