thiruviruththam – 60 – mulaiyO muzhumuRRum

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avathArikai (Introduction)

In the previous pAsuram, she [the nAyaki] had said “thaLapperu nINmuRuval seyyavAya thadamulai vaLapperu nAdan madhusUdhan ennum”. Her mother says “What is surprising about her saying such words in her youthful state? Isn’t this how she has been thinking even in her childhood days?”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

mulaiyO muzhumuRRum pOndhila moy pUnguzhal kuRiya
kalaiyO araiyillai nAvO kuzhaRum kadal maNNellAm
vilaiyO ena miLirum kaN ivaL paramE perumAn
malaiyO thiruvEngadam enRu kaRkinRa vAsagamE

Word-by-Word Meanings

mulaiyO – if one considers her bosom
muzhumuRRum –  even a little bit
pOndhila – have not sprouted
moy – being dense
pU – being beautiful
kuzhal – locks
kuRiya – are short
kalaiyO – if one considers her dress
araiyillai – has not been properly tied on the waist
nAvO – if one considers her tongue
kuzhaRum – will not be clear
kadal – surrounded by the ocean
maN ellAm – this entire earth
vilaiyO ena –  will it be the price (for the eyes)
kaN – the eye
miLirum – huge
perumAn – sarvESvaran’s
malaiyO – if one considers thirumalai
thiruvEngadam – it happens to be thiruvEngadam
enRu – saying so
kaRkinRa – learning
vAsagam – spoken word
ivaL paramE – is it apt for her in her state?

Simple Translation

The bosoms of this girl have not sprouted. Her locks which are dense and beautiful are short. The dress which she wears does not sit well on her waist. Her tongue has not grown out of her child-like gibberish way of speaking. However her eyes are sparkling such that one could say that even the earth, surrounded by ocean, is not equivalent in terms of compensation for them. Her words saying that sarvESvaran’s divine hill is thiruvEngadam is indeed surprising.


mulaiyO . . . – these words are best said after reaching a certain stage [in the development of a girl’s life].

mulaiyO muzhu muRRum pOndhila – it is not that her bosoms have not grown properly; even the place from where they sprout has not been identified [she is such a young girl].

moy pUnguzhal kuRiya – the locks which are dense and beautiful.

kuRiya – they are so short that if the nAyakan wants to arrange the locks into a bun and she, not liking that arrangement, wishes to let the locks down, he will not [be able to] fall at her feet [to beg her to keep them as a bun].

kalaiyO araiyillai – she does not even know as to where to tie her dress.

nAvO kuzhaRum – if the mothers teach her a few words, she would pronounce them indistinctly, like gibberish. They would then teach her a few simple words such as “iyar {father), Achchi (mother)” Her indistinct words sound better than their clear pronunciation.

kadal . . . – when parASara bhattar was explaining this pAsuram, his disciple, nanjIyar told him “he (AzhwAr) says that all the other limbs have not developed well. But he has spoken about the greatness of eyes alone. This appears contradictory” to which bhattar responded saying “It is not that way. Even here, he has stated only the condition of under-development”. “How is that?” “At a small age, the eyes will see objects fully; at a youthful stage [adolescent age], the eyes will see through glance only. Hence, here too AzhwAr is speaking of very young age only” The splendour in her eyes is such that even if the entire earth, surrounded by ocean, is given as a compensation, it will not be a match.

miLirum – even if the waves keep pushing against the shore, they cannot cross it. This is similar to that. When united with nAyakan, a girl will look at him with tenderness and love. Unlike that, this girl would look at her mother and her beloved, equally.

ivaL paramE – Is it apt for her age? It is because of her friends, just as it has been mentioned in periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 3-7-2 “sAyvilAdha kuRundhalai” (even though they are young without any shyness or reverence, my girl is joining with a few girls and appears like one possessed).

perumAL malaiyO thiruvEngadamenRu – is it apt for her age to disregard para and vyUha forms of sarvESvaran and focus on archA form, and that too saying that thiruvEngadam is the divine hill for his residence? vEdhas set out to measure one quality, the joy of sarvESvaran, and returned empty handed. But the eminence of archAvathAram is not like that.

kaRkinRa vAsagam – the words spoken by her; alternatively, the words taught by her mothers so that they could hear them from her mouth. thiruvAimozhi 6-5-7 says “ivaL vAyanagaL thirundha” (to appear clearly from her mouth). The verse could be arranged as ivaL paramE perumAL malaiyO thiruvEngadamenRu kaRkinRa vAsagamE in which the meanings would be as given till now; alternatively, the words could be arranged as perumAL malai thiruvEngadamenRu kaRkinRa vAsagamE O ivaL paramE in which case, the sound O ivaL paramE would indicate astonishment.

svApadhEsam (distinguished meaning): Just as it has been mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam bAla kANdam 18-28 “bAlyAth prabhruthi susnigdha:” (amiable since childhood) and thiruvAimozhi 2-3-3 ”aRiyAkkAlaththuLLE” (at that age when I did not know about servitude), this pAsuram speaks about how AzhwAr’s engagement with matters relating to emperumAn has always been his sustaining force.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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