thiruviruththam – 52 – azhaikkum karum

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

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avathArikai (Introduction)

This is in the classification of kAla mayakkuth thuRai (similar to pAsurams 7 and 18) which occurs due to bewilderment regarding time. nAyakan who had promised to return by monsoon time, is delaying his return. With the monsoon having arrived, nAyaki is in distress since he has not returned yet. Her friend tells her “This is not rainy season.  What you are seeing now is not rain, but the tears of bhUmippirAtti (bhUdhEvi)”, thus bewildering the nAyaki into thinking that it is not rainy season.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

azhaikkum karum kadal veN thiraikkE koNdu pOy alarvAy
mazhaikkaN madandhai aravaNai ERa maN mAdhar viN vAy
azhaiththup pulambi mulai malai mEl ninRum ARugaLAy
mazhaik kaNNa nIr thirumAl kodiyAn enRu vArginRadhE

Word-by-Word Meanings

alarvAy – having been born in a lotus flower
mazhaikkaN – having a cool glance, just like rain [in terms of coolness]
madandhai – periya pirAtti [SrI mahAlakshmi]
azahikkum – calling out loudly
karu – bluish coloured
kadal – in the ocean
veN – whitish
thiraikkE – through the waves
koNdu pOy – inviting (the nAyakan)
aravaNai – on the mattress of thiruvananthAzhwAn (AdhiSEshan)
ERa – on climbing
maNmAdhar – bhUmippirAtti
thirumAl – Sriya: pathi (consort of SrI mahAlakshmi)
kodiyAn – cruel entity
enRu – saying so
viN vAy – through the mouth of sky
azhaiththu – loudly calling
pulambi – wailing
malai – mountains
mulai mEl ninRum – standing atop the bosoms
mazhaik kaNNIr – tears like rainfall
ARugaLAy – like rivers
vArginRadhu –  created copiously

Simple Translation

The bluish ocean invited periya pirAtti who was born in a lotus flower and who has a glance, as cool as the rain. Taking hold of the whitish waves of that ocean, periya pirAtti, along with her lord, sarvESvaran, started mercifully to ascend the mattress of AdhiSEshan. At that time, bhUmippirAtti, standing atop the mountains which are like her bosoms, calling out loudly from the sky, started wailing saying “The consort of SrI mahAlakshmi is a cruel entity” and started letting down her tears of rainfall copiously, like rivers.


azhaikkum karum kadal – in line with the saying “apAm api Suklam” – the colour of water is white. However, when it is in abundance, it would appear to be dark. With the bottom portion of the ocean appearing dark and the top portion appearing white (because of the white coloured waves), it appeared like a place made with bluish gems having whitish steps. When SrI rAma was on the mAlyavAn mountain along with lakshmaNa, he told lakshmaNa looking at the clouds, as in SrI rAmAyaNam kishkindhA kANdam 28-4 “Sakyam ambaram Aruhya mEgha sOpAna pankthibhi: | kutaja arjuna mAlAbhir alankarthum dhivAkara: ||” (it appears that it is possible to decorate the supreme entity, who is at the centre of sUryamaNdala, through the steps of clouds, with wild jasmine and other flowers). He said that there is a deficiency in this. While garlanding the supreme entity, it is necessary to go with one’s wife, just as it is mentioned in Sri rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 6-1 “saha pathnyA viSAlAkshyA nArAyaNamupAgatham” (SrI rAma meditated on SrIman nArAyaNa along with sIthAppirAtti, who has wide eyes). While sIthA was with us then, she is not here now to help us. This is the deficiency.

veN thiraikkE koNdu pOy –  with the help of those waves which were like hands, taking sarvESvaran along

alarvAyalar – lotus; periya pirAtti has divine lips similar to lotus flower. She was born in the lotus flower.

mazhaikkaN madandhai – after looking at the place of sleeping (AdhiSEshan mattress) and periya pirAtti, he has to follow her. When she looks, it is with cool eyes, just like rain falling on a dry place makes it cool. If he considers her divine mind, he has to follow her.

aravaNai Era – getting atop AdhiSEshan, along with periya pirAtti.

maN mAdhar – bhUmippirAtti (SrI bhUdhEvi)

viN vAy azhaiththu – calling through sky, which is lke the mouth; alternatively, calling, standing in the sky. When the waves came up to the sky in agitation, it appeared that the earth was calling out.

pulambi – wailing, as if reciting several pAsurams

mulai mEl ninRum – standing on top of mountains, which were like bosoms. Since earth is bhUmippirAtti’s wealth, the mountains can be considered to be her bosoms, just as it has been said in siRiya thirumadal “kArAr varaikkongai” (completely dark mountains which were like bosoms).

ARugaLAy – when it rained, the water coming down from the mountains appeared like rivers which were full.

mazhaik kaNNa nIr – tears which were like rain water. In normal times, it would appear like rain water; now it appeared like her tears.

thirumAL kodiyAn enRu – we thought that if we see sarvESvaran and periya pirAtti united, it would be a great fortune; however, it is now distressing us. When he manifests his simplicity, it appears like cruelness to us.

enRu vArginRadhE – as she wails mentioning his cruelty, her tears appear like abundant flow of water.

While it is the normal rainy season, the nAyaki’s friend tells her “While sarvESvaran and periya pirAtti united, SrI bhUmippirAtti, unable to bear that, is shedding copious amount of tears which appear like rainfall”, making her bewildered into thinking that it is  not the rainy season but tears shed by bhUmippirAtti.

When sarvESvaran is united with periya pirAtti, both bhUdhEvii and neeLAdhEvi would think that he has united with their soul and when he is united with bhUdhEvi and neeLAdhEvi, periya pirAtti would think that he has united with her bosoms and shoulders. Thinking like this is their true nature. Since he is without any limit, everyone has to enjoy him together. When such is their true nature, how is it said that bhUdhEvi is wailing on seeing sarvESvaran being united with periya pirAtti? Our pUrvAchAryars prior to ALavandhAr would explain this saying “bhUdhEvi is in tears because when sarvESvaran and periya pirAtti are together, we are unable to help them by bringing them flowers, sandalwood paste etc” ALavandhAr explained it by quoting thiruvAimozhi 9-2-10 “vadiviNai illA malarmagaL”- I have made such periya pirAtti who is unparalleled in her beauty and soft nature to shiver in the cool water and being carried away by the ocean even as I remained as a mattress for her – and wept because of that. parASara bhattar on hearing this would say “There is no need for all these explanations. The nAyaki on hearing such inapt explanation from her friend would have thought ‘How is this possible?’ By the time she analyses this and decides on it, the nAyakan would have returned. AzhwAr would have mercifully said this, for this position”

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): Since AzhwAr cannot sustain himself without attaining sarvESvaran, he has to be consoled by pointing to events which take place nearby, which may not be true.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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