periya thirumadal – 76 – mannai manam koLLa

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mannai manangoLLa vanjiththu nenjurukki
ennudaiya pAdhaththAl yAnaLappa mUvadimaN                                            109

Word by word meaning

pOr vEndhar mannai – that mAvali who is the chief of kings who have the strength to indulge in war
manam koLLa vanjiththu – bewildering him to make him believe (that this bachelor has come only to seek alms)
nenju urukki – softening his heart (through the beauty of his gait, speech etc)
manna – Oh King!
ennudaiya pAdhaththAl yAn aLappa – by measuring with my foot
mU adi maN tharuga enRu – saying ‘give me three steps of land’ 


pOr vEndhar mannai – the chief king among all the kings who are great warriors.

manam koLLa vanjiththu – While people such as Sukra bhagavAn (guru [preceptor] for demons) tried to dissuade mahAbali from granting anything, saying “this (vAmana) is no ordinary bachelor; he is the deceitful vishNu himself”, vAmana deceived mahAbali through his beauty. Alternative interpretation – vAmana deceived mahAbali by making him believe fully thinking “He has come only for seeking alms; he hasn’t come to deceive”.

nenjurukki – just as it is said in thiruvAimozhi 1-8-6pulan koL mANAy” (in the guise of a dwarf and a bachelor at that, stealing the sensory perceptions), making mahAbali feel that he cannot sustain himself unless he grants whatever vAmana asks for, by softening mahAbali’s mind which was disturbed by Sukra (his guru).

The following conversation [as given in the arumpadhavurai (explanatory note) by puththUr swAmy] explains the way in which vAmana softened mahAbali’s heart:

ennudaiya pAdhaththAL yAn aLappa . . . . .

manna – vAmanA drew the attention of mahAbali by calling him “Oh King!”

mAvali stared at him from head to foot.

mUvadi – the child-like vAmana said “You must give me three steps”

mAvali asked him “What should I give you?”

maN – the child told him “I want three steps of land”

mAvali asked him “Through whose foot should I grant you three steps of land?”

ennudaiya pAdhaththAl – the child told him “Through my foot”

mAvali told him “Would you not take three steps of land as measured by my foot which is big?”

yAn aLappa – vAmana advised mAvali “Is it not your duty to grant me whatever I desire?”

mAvali kept quiet for sometime, with the desire “I should listen to his conversation for some more time”

tharuga – the child spoke as if nectar were dripping from each word “give now itself”

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

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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