thiruviruththam – 72 – sUzhginRa kangul

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avathArikai (Introduction)

When the nAyaki had to sustain herself by looking at objects which were similar to the nAyakan, during the time of separation, the night time entered and started tormenting her. When she was thinking “Who will protect me from the torment of separation?” chandhiran (chandhra – moon) appeared. piLLai amudhanAr used to narrate a story here. One ascetic brAhmaNa was walking through a forest when a cow started following him. He was wondering as to who will protect him from the cow when a tiger happened to come there; it killed the cow and ate it up. It then came in front of the brAhmaNa, twitching its tail. The brAhmaNa thought “I could have at the least saved my life from the cow. Now it appears that there is no way that I could survive this”. The nAyaki’s situation is similar to this.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

sUzhginRa kangul surungAviruLin karundhiNimbaip
pOzhginRa thingaL am piLLaiyum pOzhga thuzhAy malarkkE
thAzhginRa nenjaththoru thamiyAttiyEn mAmaikkinRu
vAzhginRavAru idhuvO vandhu thOnRiRRu vAliyadhE

Word-by-Word Meanings

sUzhginRa – pervading everywhere
kangul – caused by the night
surungA – not contracted (huge)
karu – being black
iruL – darkness’
thiNimbai – strength
pOzhginRa – splitting
am – being beautiful
piLLai – favourable like a son
thingaLum – chandhiran too
pOzhga – let him split
(only for that)
vAliyadhu – strong
vandhu thOnRiRRu – it rose up (in the sky)
thuzhAy malarkkE – only for the divine garland of thuLasi (worn by sarvESvaran)
thAzhginRa – languishing
nenjaththu – having heart
oru thamiyAttiyEn – I, who am lonely, without anyone to assist; my
mAmaikku – natural complexion
inRu – during this time
vAzhginRa ARu – the way I live
idhuvO – is it like this?

Simple Translation

Let chandhiran, who rose up to split the black coloured darkness which occurred in the night and which pervaded everywhere, split me too. The beautiful and strong chandhiran, who appeared like a son, seems to have risen up only for splitting me. I am alone, with no support, longing for the divine thuLasi garland worn by sarvESvaran, with a languishing heart. Is this the way to live for my complexion?


sUzhginRa – just as praLayam (deluge) pervades everywhere, this [darkness] pervaded everywhere, without leaving a place where one can take rest away from it.

kangul surungA iruLin – the darkness of the night, without any contraction. There are limits when it is expected to come with full denseness and when it is expected to come without being dense. This did not follow that principle. It was fully dense.

karum thiNimbai – having a black colour. Through the word thiNimbai, strength is indicated. It is as if the petals outside the flower of darkness have been removed and the strong diamond-like darkness inside is manifested.

pOzhginRa . . . – chandhiran who comes splitting and tearing apart such darkness. Since I do not have any right over anything outside of myself, let that chandhiran harm me too.

pOzhginRa – darkness and chandhiran are natural enemies. Thus, in the presence of chandhiran, darkness, aside from being torn apart, is being destroyed physically. The strength of darkness and the youthful state of chandhiran are indicated.

thingaL am piLLai – chandhiran who is like a beautiful child. Initially he appears as a favourable entity, but later turns out to harm us. He is favourable since he is driving out darkness, but is a harmful entity because he reminds the nAyaki of her loneliness. SrI rAmAyaNam kishkindhA kANdam 1-71 “padhmakOSa palASAni dhrushtvA dhrishtir hi manyathE l sIthAyA nEthra kOSAbhyAm sadhruSAm ithi lakshmaNa ll” (Oh lakshmaNa! Since these petals of lotus flower are like the eyes of sIthA, when I look at them, I am reminded of her eyes and it hurts me) In other words, when one is in distress, differences are not noticed. Would it be proper for the tongue, which is supposed to eat only tasteful food, to eat poison? In other words, without realising the danger which is going to come from chandhiran, is it proper to call him as being beautiful? SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 43-24 says “paSya lakshmaNa …” (for the sake of this sIthA, I will catch that deer; protecting her is our duty), in other words dharSi saumithrI – look, lakshmaNa – they saw the situation at that point of time and did not think of what would happen later.

thuzhAy malarkkE . . .  – desiring to obtain the divine thuLasi garland which decorated his divine shoulder, and having a mind deeply engrossed with that.

thuzhAy malarkkE thAzhginRa – not thinking of the situation when it does not occur that way

oru thamiyAttiyEn – for her loneliness, even the loneliness of sithAppirAtti cannot equal. The nAyaki was distressed by both the dark night and chandhiran. The term oru (one) signifies that there is no simile for her condition.

mAmaikkinRu vAzhginRavARidhuvO – was it for this that we felt happy that chandhiran has come to remove the distress caused by the dark night?

vandhu thOnRiRRu vAliyadhE – she laments “Just as chandhiran came to get rid of the darkness of the night, isn’t there a sUriyan (sun) who would get rid of the chandhiran?”  She says that chandhiran himself would stay firmly and keep harming.

vAliyadhu – strong

The verses should be arranged this way to convey the sequential meaning: thingaL am piLLaiyum pOzhga – let that also come and harm; vandhu thOnRiRRu vAliyadhE – over and above that darkness, this chandhiran too appeared to harm; mAmaikkinRu vAzhginRavARidhuvO – is this the way for my complexion to survive?

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): Just as it has been said in periya thiruvandhAdhi 24 “iruLanna mAmEni” (divine form which resembles darkness), the dark night reminded AzhwAr of sarvESvaran’s divine form and tormented him. On top of that, chandhiran reminded him of sarvESvaran’s divine face and divine conch and tormented him even further.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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