thiruviruththam – 46 – madanenjam enRum

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avathArikai (Introduction)

In the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr praised his heart saying “vAzhi mada nenjamE”. His heart asked him “Why should you praise me like this? What did I do?” He replied saying “You have been here all along to explain the relationship between sarvESvaran and me. Now, you have become the target of his mercy. You have become friendly with him. Was it not because of you that I too got this fortune?” Having celebrated like this, the previous experience (between AzhwAr and sarvESvaran) became like a dream, with the experience limited to internal faculty (mind). AzhwAr desired external union and since that did not fructify, AzhwAr became upset. Looking at his distressed condition, his divine mind asked him “What should I do here?” AzhwAr told his mind “Go to the divine feet of narashimhan who tore the heart of hiraNyakasipu and inform him of my condition”. The mind too went, but did not return, which made AzhwAr to become more afflicted. While he desired to be united with perum kEzhalAr (sarvESvaran in varAhAvathAram), why is he sending his mind to narasimhAvathAram? Since both the incarnations were benevolent towards followers, he sent the messenger to the latter. In the previous pAsuram when he called his heart as mada nenjamE (Oh obedient heart!) it too, not refusing, became favourable towards him and agreed to carry out his task. Now he is disgusted with the same heart. Why did he praise it earlier and why is he disgusted with it now? The mind created deep desire in him for sarvESvaran and nurtured that desire to such an extent that AzhwAr could not sustain himself without uniting with him. Instead of fulfilling that task by being together with him, the heart deserted him. Hence he is disgusted with it. The mind [in all these vyAkyAnams, mind and heart are interchangeably used], apart from being the reason for creating a relationship with sarvESvaran, should also be the reason for attaining mOksham (uniting with sarvESvaran in paramapadham). While sarvESvaran is the reason for mOksham, why is AzhwAr saying that mind is the casue for mOksham? Just as it has been mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam kishkindhA kANdam 1-127 “raraksha dharmENa balEna cha” ((lakshmaNa vigilantly) protected (SrI rAma) (with an undespaired mind and) even by his virtue and strength), AzhwAr’s mind should have stayed with him until he attained sarvESvaran and told him “Whatever troubles you have had, I too had experienced with you”. While the words of those who say that only sarvESvaran is the means [for attaining him] are uttered after discriminating between what is apt and what is inapt, there are certain requirements from the chEthana (sentient entity) too who wishes to attain mOksham. First he should exist. Even if he exists, he should engage with the means; he should know the purushArtham (end-goal or benefit) which is apt for him and a heart which helps to develop ruchi (interest / taste) in that benefit. Moreover, he should shun the other means, carrying out activities which alone will be apt for sarvESvaran. When sarvESvaran himself is the means and readily available, the reason for the chEthana to continue in samsAram is because the requirements mentioned above have not developed in him. Thus, when the heart should have stayed with him until he attained his end-goal, since it did not do, he is upset with his heart.

Let us go through the pAsiuram and its meanings

madanenjam enRum thamadhenRum Or karumam karudhi
vida nenjai uRRAr vidavO amaiyum appon peyarOn
thadanenjam kINda pirAnAr thamadhikkIzh vidappOyth
thida nenjamAy emmai nIththu inRu thARum thiriginRadhE

Word-by-Word Meanings

appon peyarOn – that hiraNyakaSipu’s
thadam – broad
nenjam – chest
kINda – tore
pirAnAr thamadhu – benefactor, sarvESvaran’s
adikkIzh – under the divine feet as objective
vida – on sending (the mind)
pOy – going (there)
thidam – firmly
nenjamAy – having deep belief
emmai – us
nIththu – leaving
inRu thArum – till date
thiriginRadhu – is roaming
nenjam – mind
madam enRum – saying that it is obedient (to us)
thamadhu enRum – saying that it is our limb
Or karumam – an activity
karudhi – thinking (of doing)
nenjai – mind
vida – to send (on an errand)\
uRRAr – those who had planned
vida – to drop (that activity)
amaiyum – will be apt

Simple Translation

I sent my mind with the intention of taking refuge under the divine feet of narasimhan, who had torn the broad chest of hiraNyakaSipu. My mind which went like this, instead of returning to me, stayed firmly there itself, considering those divine feet as an apt place for itself. Those who think that our mind is obedient to us and is ours, and who are planning to send it on an errand, would do well to drop that firmness.


mada nenjam enRum thamadhenRum – there is a wrong impression among many that their minds are obedient to them. The mind has been provided by sarvESvaran as an aid along with the physical form to enable the chEthana (sentient entity) to reach his end-goal. Hence they may consider the mind as theirs. Moreover, apart from the physical form and the five senses, sarvESvaran had provided the heart to propel the chEthana towards the end-goal and to create an interest in it. This being the case, there is no fault in thinking that the heart is one’s own. If one were obedient to another and the other person becomes distressed, the obedient entity should stand by that person and tell him “I am also suffering the same difficulties which you suffered”. Also, one who is a SEshan (carrying out servitude) should reveal his master’s fame and good qualities. However, AzhwAr says that the heart does not have these qualities.

Or karumam . . . – some people may be bold enough to send their hearts on errands. If their hearts leave them without carrying out that errand, it is better not to feel sorrowful about it. It is better not to have an attachment to that errand.

If this is the case, let the heart remain like that. Why search for it? . . . .

appon peyarOn  . . . – being under his control and being his slave, isn’t this the target for that mind to be engaged in?

appon peyarOn thadanenjam kINda pirAnAr thamadhu adikkIzh vida – did I leave it in a place where I cannot be successful? Did I not leave it where the one who does benefits for us, is present? AzhwAr feels that the benefit which sarvESvaran did for his follower [prahlAdhan] is as good as having done for him.

appon peyarOn – prahlAdhan, who was sired by hiraNyakaSipu, recited the divine names of sarvESvaran. Getting angry with him because of this, hiraNyan meted out punishments to his son, which he would mete out to his enemies. Thinking of those cruelties AzhwAr is referring to him as pon peyarOn.

Here, the vyAkyAthA explains a few lines from periya thirumozhi pAsuram 2-3-8 paLLiyil Odhi vandha siRuvan

paLLiyil Odhivandha – whatever the children recite, which they had learnt from their school, is always joyous.

than siRuvan – it would be joyous even if other children recite it. But if it is by one’s own child, it is more delightful.

vAyil Or Ayira nAmam oLLiyavAgippOdha – the words recited by prahlAdhan were such that even if they had been recited by an enemy, one would have fallen at the enemy’s feet!

onRum Or poRuppilanAgi – hiraNyakaSipu had carried out asahyApachAram (irreverence, being unable to bear) in the case of prahlAdhan. While he was related to prahlAdhan, being his father, not respecting that, he did to prahlAdhan what enemies would do.

piLLaiyaichchIRi – he gave up prahlAdhan saying “He is not my son” just because prahlAdhan recited the divine names of sarvESvaran.

AzhwAr is mentioning a connection that he has with him.

thada nenjam – the huge chest [of hiraNyakaSipu} which had grown to become a prey for sarvESvaran’s divine nails and divine teeth.

kINda – even when narasimhap perumAn had not torn it, the physical form of hiraNyakaSipu started melting on merely looking at that divine form and fury. Without any difficulty, narasimhap perumAn tore that chest.

pirAnAr – would narasimhap perumAn, who came running when prahlAdhan’s father himself turned inimical, be able to tolerate should AzhwAr send a messenger due to his distressed condition in separation? While he had helped for prahlAdhan’s clarity of mind, he would indeed help for AzhwAr’s distressed condition. Not only because prahlAdhan had deep devotion, as mentioned in SrI vishNu purANam 1-19-88 ”maththassarvam ahamsarvam” (Everything is mine (being a form of bhagavAn), I am everything (having bhagavAn as antharyAmi)), he has devotion with clarity.

thamadhadikkIzh vida – leaving his heart under such narasimha perumAn’s divine feet.

pOy thida nenjamAy – his heart, while going to sarvESvaran as AzhwAr’s messenger had thought “AzhwAr is in tears. Will he sustain himself until I return?” But once it reached there, it seemed to have taken his [sarvESvaran’s] nature. When sIthAppirAtti separated from SrI rAma for the second time (due to the disparaging words of a washerman), did he not sustain himself for long? Probably, the heart too took to this nature.

emmai nIththu – leaving me aside, completely.

inRu . . . – let us at the least hear that the heart felt bad saying “Now that I have left him, to whom will he cry about his distress in separation? How bad that we have left him like this?” The heart was roaming around, like this.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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