thiruviruththam – 6 – thadAviya ambum

SrI: SrImathE SatakOpAya nama: SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

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avathArikai (Introduction)

SrIvaishNavas, who were engaged with AzhwAr’s activities, tell the samsAris (dwellers of materialistic realm) “If you wish to remain in samsAram, avoid going near her”; here AzhwAr is referred to as the leading lady and SrIvaishNavas are referred to as the leading man.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

thadAviya ambum murindha silaigaLum pOgavittuk
kadAyina koNdu olgum valliyidhEnum asurarmangak
kadAviya vEgappaRavaiyin pAgan madhana sengOl
nadAviya kURRam kaNdIr uyir kAmingaL gyAlaththuLLE

Word-by-Word Meanings

kadAyina – being apt
thadAviya – being expansive
ambum – (eyes which are like) arrows
murindha – curved
silaigaLum – (eyebrows which are like) bows
pOgavittukkoNdu – controlling (inside)
olgum – hiding
valliyidhEnum – even if she were like a creeper
asurar – demonic entities
manga – to be annihilated
kadAviya – one who is conducted
vEgam – having agility
paRavai – to garuthmAn (garuda)
in – being sweet
pAgan – one who controls, the sarvESvaran
(his son)
madhanan – manmatha’s
sengOl – order
nadAviya – one who conducts
kURRam kaNdIr – beware, the death
gyAlaththuL – in the bhUlOkam (samsAram)
(if you wish to remain here)
Uyir – your vital airs
kAmingaL – protect

Simple Translation

This girl (AzhwAr in feminine pathos) has eyes which are like expansive arrows and eyebrows which are like curved like bows. However, she has hidden them. This world is conducted by the order of manmatha, who is related to sarvESvara, who in turn is sweet towards garuda whose speed can annihilate the demonic entities. Oh those who have seen this girl’s beautiful form! Hold on to your lives [if you wish to save yourselves and remain in this world].


thadAviya ambum – there are two interpretations for this term. thadAvudhal would refer to an arrow which has an end looking like a broad mouth. It can also mean a curved, deformed arrow. Since in the first case it is a broad-mouthed arrow, he says it has a broad end. In the second case, since it is curved and deformed, it will not be visible to our eyes initially. It can be felt only after it hits us. The implied meaning for this is that we will know the effect only after the eyes of the leading lady fall on us. We will not know those eyes until then. The eyebrows which are together with the eyes always, like the arrows which are together with the bow always, are referred to here as the bow.

thadAviya – here it refers to the crooked arrow. Crookedness would refer to the arrow not coming in the regular path. Here, the crookedness of the arrow would refer to the fact that we cannot see it coming but can feel it only after it hits us. Her glance, which is like this, cannot be dislodged once it takes hold of us. Thus, the term thadAviya has four interpretations here:

  1. arrow which has an expansive edge – the expansive eyes of the leading lady
  2. that which can be felt only after it pierces us – we can feel only after the glance of the leading lady falls on us
  3. arrow together with the bow – expansive eyes together with the eyebrows
  4. crooked arrow – the glance which hurts us in an indirect [hidden] manner

murindha silaigaLum – the term murindha would refer to being curved. Since it is bent on its own, it cannot be said that it was bent for a particular person or that it was bent by a particular person. In other words, the implied meaning is that her glance is not meant for a few specific people. Instead of saying ambugaLum silaigaLum, addressing both in plural, why has it been said as ambum silaigaLum? Since ambu refers to eyes where the vision is singular [two eyes are seeing the same entity] and silaigaL refers to eyebrows and eyes together, it has been said this way.

pOgavittuk kadAyina koNdu – she was thinking as to on whom she has to glance with her eyes. Since there was none in this world worth her glance, she controlled her glance within herself. The fact that AzhwAr did not open his divine eyes for a long time when he was in samsAram, has been brought out by this narration.

olgum valli idhEnum – just as a creeper would be in anguish without a supporting pole for leaning onto, even though she is without her leading man to lend her support, her activity is like this.

asurar mangak kadAviya vEgap paRavaiyin pAgan – the lord who conducts garuda who gains speed on looking at the armies of demons in order to annihilate them. If demons come to witness such a fight, even if they were not willing to fight with sarvESvaran, garudan will destroy them on his own. Through the term paRavaiyin pAgan he refers to the superior quality of emperumAn.

madhana sengOl nadAviya – Just as emperumAn has rukmiNi pirAttiyAr (SrI mahAlakshmi), he treats AzhwAr too, who is like a creeper, as his dear consort. She herself (AzhwAr in feminine pathos) is here to carry out the orders of manmatha (cupid). The implied meaning is that AzhwAr conducts the devotion towards the lord of garuda. Instead of bewildering us with the arrows of cupid, she unites us with emperumAn and ends our miseries.

uyir kANmingaL gyAlaththuLLE – thus, if you wish to be immersed in this samsAram, escape from her glance.

svApadhEsam (distinguished meaning): If you wish to remain in this samsAram forever, worrying about your consort and children, do not go to AzhwAr thirunagari and see this AzhwAr who is sitting under a tamarind tree there. If AzhwAr sees you, he would aim the arrows of devotion, towards emperumAn, on you and make you lose your lives.

In the next article, we will take up the 7th pAsuram.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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