siRiya thirumadal – 37 – IrA viduththu

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Ira viduththu avatku mUththOnai vennaragam                                40
sErA vagaiyE silai kuniththAn – sendhuvarvAy

Word by Word Meanings

IrA viduththu – severed and drove [sUrpaNakA]
avatku mUththOnaikara, her elder brother
vem naragam – for him to go now to another cruel narakam (hell)
sErA vagaiyE silai kuniththAn – he [SrI rAma] stood with his bow drawn, giving all sorts of troubles which kara would undergo in narakam such that he need not experience more troubles (in another narakam more cruel than this)
sem thuvar vAy – one who has very reddish lips


IrA viduththu – chased her away, after cutting her nose and ears. The sharpness of the sword was indicated in the term kUrArndha vAL. The roughness of the body, which made it difficult to cut, is indicated in the term IrA (cut).

IrA viduththu – unlike the way when a girl leaves her parents’ place for her husband’s place, when she leaves her husband’s place for her parents’ place, isn’t it customary to decorate her well! In the same way, he [SrI rAma] decorated her [sUrpaNakA] and sent to her parents’ [here, brothers’] place. Even though she desired the lord of all the worlds, since she was inimical towards pirAtti, she lost her limbs. Thus, the implication here is that even if one has desire in matters related to bhagavAn, if one commits an offence towards his devotees, what happened for sUrpaNakA only will result. In SrI vishNu purANam 5-3-20 . . .22, the story of chinthayanthi (a girl in thiruvAyppAdi, SrI gOkulam) has been narrated “kAchichchAvasathasyAnthE sthithvA dhrushtvA bahirgurUn I thanmayathvEna gOvindham dhadhyau meelitha lOchanA II thachchinthAvimalAhlAdhakhshINa puNyachayA thadhA I thadhaprApthimahAdhu:kkavileenASEshapAthakA II chinthayanthi jagathsUthim parabrahma svarUpiNam I niruchchvAsathayA mukthim gathAnyA gOpakanyakA II” (Another herds-girl, (on hearing the music from flute), seeing the elders in the way, stayed inside the house itself (out of fear) and meditated on kaNNa through her mind. At the same moment, since she felt unblemished happiness as she thought of the supreme being, all her puNya (virtues) got eliminated. Since she could not see him in person, all her pApa (sins) got eliminated. Since she kept meditating on the supreme entity, who is the cause for all the worlds, she stopped breathing (having got both her sins and virtues eliminated) and attained liberation). Though chinthayanthi too desired the same supreme entity whom sUrpaNakA desired, since she did not commit any offence, she attained the highest benefit.

viduththu – letting her to go. Making her to fall at the feet of kara [her brother] exclaiming “tharuNau rUpasampannau” as mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 19-14 (SrI rAma and lakshmaNa are youthful and handsome), thus recounting their greatness.

avatku mUththOnai – in the case of favourable ones (emperumAn’s devotees), just as it has been said in thiruvAimozhi 2-7-1kEsavan thamar kIzhmEl emar EzhEzh piRappum mAsadhiridhu peRRu” (those who are related to me and who are devotees of kEsavan, in seven generations gone by, seven generations including me and in seven generations coming after me, obtained greatness like this), emperumAn’s mercy will not stop with his devotee alone, but will extend to those who are related to such devotee. In the same way, his anger towards the unfavourable ones (those who consider emperumAn as their enemy) will not stop with them but extend to those who are related to them [thus, the anger towards sUrpaNaka for showing her cruelness towards sIthAppirAtti went towards her elder brothers too].

vennaragam sErA vagaiyE silai kuniththAn – when kara [incited by sUrpaNakA] entered the battlefield, he saw SrI ramapirAn with his curved bow drawn, ready for battle. After seeing such a sight, there was no need to go to another hell and experience hardships. SrI rAma ensured that he suffered all the hardships here itself. When nanjIyar was in mElakkOttai (present day thirunArAyaNapuram), still in gruhasthASramam (leading a married life, with the name of SrI mAdhavan), before he came under the tutelage of SrI parAsara bhattar, there was a discussion about this prabandham. Some people interpreted the meaning for this verse as “SrI rAma drew his bow such that kara entered valorous heaven without having the need to enter narakam”. However, the context here is about how emperumAn was dealing with those who are unfavourable to him. Both the verse before this (hurting sUrpaNakA) and the verse following this (killing rAvaNa) deal with hurting the unfavourable ones. Hence it is inappropriate that the verse in between the two could speak about sending someone to the valorous heaven. nanjIyar asked one of the disciples of bhattar who was there “How will bhattar mercifully explain this verse?” and that disciple responded by saying “SrI rAma had drawn the bow in such a way that for kara who saw Sri rAma with drawn bow, there was no hell more cruel than that sight ”. Hearing this, the longing to see bhattar who had given such an explanation would increase in nanjIyar. In later years, nanjIyar did surrender to the divine feet of SrI parAsara bhattar.

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

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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