thiruviruththam – 25 – engOlvaLai mudhalA

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avathArikai (Introduction)

The nAyaki’s (leading lady’s) mother wonders whether among those who had been engaged with bhagavath vishayam (matters relating to emperumAn) and who had taken refuge only under him, anyone else had suffered this much. The commentator refers to the 27th pAsuram in mUnRAm thiruvandhAdhi “ArE thuyaruzhandhAr . . .” (who has suffered even for one day after attaining emperumAn? Who has experienced sorrow like that?”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

engOlvaLai mudhalAk kaNNan maNNum viNNum aLikkum
sengOl vaLaivu viLaivikkum mAl thiRal sEr amarar
thangOnudaiya thangOn umbar ellAyavarkkum thangOn
nangOn ugakkum thuzhAy enseyyAdhu ini nAnilaththE

Word-by-Word Meanings

thiRralsEr – being strong
amarar thangOnudaiya – brahmA who is the lord of dhEvas (indhra et al), his
thangOn – being the distinguished lord
umbar – being great
ellAyavarkkum – other nithyasUris (permanent dwellers of SrIvaikuNtam)
thangOn – being the distinguished lord
nam kOn – being our lord, sarvESvaran
ugakkum – pleased with
thuzhAy – divine thuLasi
kaNNan – kaNNan’s
maNNum – bhUmi (earth)
viNNum – upper worlds
aLikkum – protecting
sengOl – for the order
em – our girl
kOl – being beautiful
vaLai mudhalA – for her bangles
vaLaivu – salutations
viLaivikkum – did not offer
ini – hereafter
nAnilaththu – on the earth, which is of four types [of lands]
enseyyAdhu – what will it not do?
Al – how amazing!

Simple Translation

He is the lord of brahmA who is the lord of all the dhEvas who are more powerful than human beings; he is the lord of nithyasUris who dwell in paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam); he is the lord of people like us. What is the divine garland of thuLasi, which is worn with pleasure by such sarvESvaran, doing? It is not offering salutations to my daughter who is wearing beautiful bangles, and who is under the protection of sarvESvaran’s orders, which rule both this world (earth) and upper worlds. What else will this divine thuLasi not do on this earth which is of four types?


engOl vaLai mudhala – it is said that this pAsuram has been sung by the nAyaki. Some others will say that it is the nAyaki’s friend who had sung while yet others will say that it is the nAyaki’s mother who had sung it. Since the pAsuram starts with the words engOlvaLai (my bangles) nayaki becomes the subject. Elsewhere in the vyAkyAnam the words “If one attains such a helpless woman in samsAram” are seen, indicating that the nAyaki’s friend who has sung the pAsuram. The previous pAsuram has been sung by the nAyaki’s mother and hence it could be taken that she has sung this pAsuram too. If the pAsuram is taken as the words of the nAyaki, the meaning for this term will be “Should the nAyakan manifest his independent nature by destroying my soul?” If it is taken as the words of the mother, the meaning will be “To kill my daughter”

kaNNan – The sceptre of emperumAn is conducting both this world and the upper worlds properly, protecting them. However, the divine thuLasi is causing harm to such righteous conduct of the sceptre. What is causing the harm? . . . .

nam kOn ugakkum thuzhAy – the divine thuLasi, which is much liked by sarvESvaran, is doing this. If one gets this helpless girl in samsAram . . . .

en seyyAdhu – sarvESvaran is there to protect both this world and the upper worlds. But instead of protecting, if he himself issues orders contrary to that, who is there to protect my girl?

thiRal sEr . . . . – he is the lord of brahmA who in turn is the lord of dhEvas such as the mighty indhra.

umbar . . .  – the distinguished dhEvas who are spoken of as ayarvaRum amarargaL – nithyasUris who do not have any bewilderment at all. Through these two terms, that emperumAn is the lord of both vibhUthis (leelA and nithya) is established.

nangOn – he is the lord of not only the two vibhUthis; he is my lord too.

ugakkum thuzhAy – thuLasi is such that it is desired by even such a lord, as mentioned in thiruvAimozhi pAsuram 1-9-7 thOLiNai mElum nanmArbin mElum (the garland of divine thuLasi is in contact with his divine shoulders and divine and distinguished chest).

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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