thiruviruththam – 61 – vAsagam seyvadhu

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

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avathArikai (Introduction)

In the previous pAsuram, the nAyaki’s mother, after hearing her saying “perumAn malaiyO thiruvEngadam enRu kaRkinRa vAsagamE” elucidated it. On hearing this explanation, AzhwAr returned to his original form [from his feminine form]. Once he realises his true nature, since he is always engaged with krishNAvathAram, he is once again amazed [at the simplicity of that avathAram] .

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

vAsagam seyvadhu nam paramE thollai vAnavar tham
nAyagan nAyagar ellAm thozhumavan gyAlam muRRum
vEyagamAyinum sOrAvagai iraNdE adiyAl
thAyavan AykkulamAy vandhu thOnRiRRu nam iRaiyE

Word-by-Word Meanings

thollai vAnavar tham – for nithyasUris who have been present from time immemorial
nAyagan – as the lord
nAyagar ellAm – all entities such as brahmA et al
thozhumavan – being worshipped
gyAlam muRRum – entire world
vEy agam Ayinum – sufficient space for planting bamboo pole
sOrA vagai – not leaving [even that]
iraNdE adiyAl – with only two steps
thAyavan – one who measured
nam iRai – Sriya:pathim (consort of SrI mahAlakshmi), being our lord
AykkulamAy – in the clan of herdsfolk
vandhu thOnRiRRu – that he came and incarnated
vAsagam seyvadhu – to narrate it
nam paramE – is it possible for us?

Simple Translation

Is it possible for us to speak about the incarnation, in the clan of herdsfolk, of one who is the lord of nithyasUris who have been present from time immemorial, who is worshipped by brahmA who is the lord of celestial entities, who measured this world with just two steps without leaving space even for a bamboo pole to be planted and who is our lord?


vAsagam seyvadhu nam paramE – apart from being unconscious, as mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 1-3-1 “eththiRam” (how amazing!), is it possible for us to praise sarvESvaran? Why can’t we praise him through pAsurams? . . .

thollai vAnavar – just as it has been mentioned in achchidhram 42 “prathamajAyEpurANA:” (they have been here from the beginning) he is the controller of nithyasUris.

AykkulamAy vandhu thOnRiRRu vAsagam seyvadhu nam paramE –  without any distinction between vEdhams (sacred texts) and those who follow the vEdhams, none can speak about him. vEdhams, which desired to speak about his quality of happiness, returned empty handed, as mentioned in thaiththirIya upanishath 6 “yathO vAchO nivarthanthE” (mind and words came back without being able to speak). purusha sUktham says “thasya dhIrA: parijAnanthi yOnim” (only those who are well versed would know about his incarnations)

thasya yOnim: sarvESvaran is without any karma (result of sin or virtue from past deeds). Yet, due to his quality of simplicity, he takes birth; the most prominent among wise will not know about it despite engaging deeply with it; they will keep coming back repeatedly, trying to immerse in it. sarvESvaran himself says, as in SrI bhagavath gIthA 4-9 “janmakarmacha mE dhivyam” (my birth and karma are divine) and in SrI bhagavath gIthA 7-24 “parambhAvam” (superior state). For AzhwAr, to remain unconsicious, being amazed at his simplicity, is a naturally occurring phenomenon.

thollai vAnavar tham nAyagan – he is superior to nithyasUris

nAyagar ellAm thozhumavan – even celestial entities such as brahmA et al, who take pride in saying “We control the fourteen worlds” will remove that pride from their minds and worship him. They, who are termed as being without a birth, will worship sarvESvaran who takes birth in this world. They, who are not visible to human beings, will come after the killing of demon rAvaNa and worship him.

gyAlam . . . – he took over the entire area of earth, without leaving space for even planting a bamboo shoot, with his two steps. Just as dhuryOdhanan had said “I will not give pAndavas, the space even for planting a bamboo shoot”, sarvESvaran, for the sake of his follower indhra, said that he will not give mahAbali even the space for planting a bamboo shoot.

iraNdE adiyAl thAyavan – he took three steps of land as alms from mahAbali and measured the entire space with two steps, keeping the third step on mahAbali’s head to imprison him.

AykkulamAy vandhu thOnRiRRu – he had taken hold of the entire earth under his divine foot and came down to earth as the child of one of the entities caught under his divine foot. Is it possible to praise this simplicity through a pAsuram?

AykkulamAy – just as bruhadhAraNyaka upanishath 5-5 says “bAlyEnathishtAsEth” (leaving aside the qualities of silence and not being silent, one becomes a brahmA gyANi (knowing about sarvESvaran)), if a samsAri gains even a little bit of wisdom, he will not manifest his expertise. When such is the case, what is surprising when sarvESvaran, who is omniscient, hides all his supreme nature etc and does not reveal about himself? SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANda, 1-7 says “jagyE vishNu: sanAthana:” (vishNu, the eternal entity, was indeed born) – when those who attained him and those who have been there from time immemorial do not take birth here, is it possible to praise him when he is born here?

vandhu thOnRiRRu – didn’t SrI vishNu purANam 5-3-2 say “AvirbhUtham” (he appeared)? [bhagavAn’s incarnations are unlike AthmAs assuming bodies, by their karma]

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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