thiruviruththam – 71 – UzhigaLAy

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avathArikai (Introduction)

The nAyakan who had clandestinely united with the nAyaki and separated from her, sends a few persons to sell fruits to the place where the nAyaki resides. These fruits resemble the complexion of his divine form and would help her to lessen her distress in separation. Looking at those fruits, the nAyaki sustains herself. Her mother notices this and chides her. The nAyaki tells her friends about this excessive act of her mother’s.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

UzhigaLAy ulagEzhum uNdAn enRilam pazham kaNdu
Azhi kaLAm pazhavaNNam enRERku ahdhE koNdu annai
nAzhivaLO enRum gyAlam uNdAn vaNNam solliRu enRum
thOzhigaLO uraiyIr emmai ammanai sUzhginRavE

Word-by-Word Meanings

UzhigaLAy – being the controller of all the worlds ruled by time
Ezhu ulagum – (during deluge) all the seven worlds
uNdAn – ate (to keep them in his stomach and protect them)
enRilam – we did not say that
pazham kaNdu – looking at the fruit
kaLAppazha vaNNam – the colour of berry fruit
Azhi –like the colour of ocean
enRERku – to me who said so
ahdhE koNdu – presuming another meaning for that word
annai – (my) mother
ivaL – this girl
nAzh – is clever
enRum – saying so
gyAlam – earth
uNdAn – one who swallowed
vaNNam – complexion
solliRRu – said
enRum – saying so
thOzhigaLO – Oh my friends!
emmai – regarding me
ammanai – mother
sUzhginRa – saying it repeatedly
(remedy for this)
uraiyIr – please tell

Simple Translation

Oh friends! I had not revealed the name of my nAyakan explicitly by saying “He is the lord of all the worlds ruled by time and he protected the seven worlds in his stomach during deluge”. Instead, looking at the colour of berry fruits, I had said “The colour of ocean is the colour of this fruit”. My mother, who listened to my words, said “This girl is very clever! She is referring to the complexion of the one who swallowed all the worlds” Please tell me a remedy since my mother is accusing me repeatedly and hurting me.


UzhigaLAy Ezhulagum uNDAn enRilam – Had I said “During deluge, he swallowed and protected the seven worlds”, I could be accused of talking about him (sarvESvaran). However, I had not said “He is the controller of all entities such as time etc; he is the great benefactor who swallowed all these entities during deluge”. Those who say that sarvESvaran does not have auspicious qualities will give a different meaning to the words sathyam, gyAnam etc which are mentioned in thaiththirIya upanishath Anandhavallee “sathyam gyAnam anantham brahma” (the supreme entity is permanent, omniscient and unlimited). In the same way, the nAyaki too feels happy to praise the greatness of his auspicious qualities by saying indirectly about his complexion etc. She has a right to say this. Her mother too has a right to deny what the nAyaki had meant. The right for the nAyaki comes from the basis that she cannot remain quiet about someone who has carried out a beneficial act for her; one with intellect cannot keep quiet. Her mother, on the other hand, felt that the nAyaki’s thoughts would torment her later.  She thought that deep involvement with the qualities of a person would lead to worries later on.

pazham kaNdu – when one looks at an entity in this world, it is natural to identify it by its name. Whether it is ghatam (pot) or patam (cloth), it is called by its name. Is identifying a material by its name, an offence?

Azhi kaLAm pazhavaNNam enRERku – I merely said that the colour of the berry fruit is similar to the colour of the ocean. However, my mother presumed “She is talking about the one who has the complexion of ocean [sarvESvaran]”

ahdhE koNdu – Instead of accepting what I had said, she thought that there was an inner meaning to it.

annai – was she a mother right from the time of her birth? It appears that she had not grown up to the stage of a young girl (before becoming a mother). If there is a fault, it could be chided. But when there is no fault, is it proper to see as to who is controlling and who is being controlled?

nAzhivaLO enRum – we are seeing the fruits and speaking about them. Does she not understand what I am saying? Why is she taking a different meaning for it? Is she having a skill in talking meaninglessly? nAzh refers to skill.

What is the greatness of the nAyaki?

gyAlam uNdAn vaNNam solliRRu ennum – sarvESvaran had kept all the worlds during the time of deluge, inside his stomach to protect them. Reminiscing that quality, my daughter could not bear separation from that sarvESvaran.

thOzhigaLO uraiyIr – Oh friends! Don’t you stand with me in my happy moments and sad moments? You are not like my mother.

emmai ammanai sUzhginRavE – just like a snake in the house will torment even when it is not biting, whenever someone comes into the house or leaves the house, my mother is tormenting me.

sUzhginRa – my mother is exaggerating things three times. While I am seeing something and speaking about the same thing, my mother torments me saying that there is some other meaning to what I am saying. Only you have to offer me a remedy for this.

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): this pAsuram says that it is not possible to sustain oneself without looking at entities which are equivalent to sarvESvaran and that it is not possible to redeem someone who is having overflowing affection towards sarvESvaran.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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