thiruviruththam – 75 – ulAginRa keNdai

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avathArikai (Introduction)

This pAsuram describes the nAyakan celebrating the nAyaki when they are united. Alternatively, it could be taken as a natural doubt raised by the nAyakan [after looking at her eyes].

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

ulAginRa keNdai oLiyambu emmAviyai Uduruvak
kulAginRa venjilai vANmugaththIr kuni sangidaRip
pulAginRa vElaip puNari am paLLiyammAn adiyAr
nilAginRa vaigundhamO vaiyamO num nilaiyidamE

Word-by-Word Meanings

ulAginRa –  roaming
keNdai – innocent, like fish
oLi – having a radiance
ambu – eyes which are like arrows
em Aviyai – my prANan (life)
Uduruva – crumbling it by piercing
kulAginRa – bent
vem – cruel
silai – having eye brows which are like bow
vAL – having a radiance
mugaththIr – oh those who have faces!
num – for you
nilai – dwelling
idam – place
kuni – being bent (to the right side)
sangu – conches
idaRi – pushing (to the shore)
pulAginRa – being a matter for sensory perceptions
vElai – having waves
puNari – ocean
am – beautiful
paLLi – having as mattress
ammAn – lord’s
adiyAr – nithyasUris, his devotees
nilAginRa – place of dwelling
vaikundhamO – is it SrIvaikuNtam?
vaiyamO – or, is it leelAvibhUthi (materialistic realm)?

Simple Translation

Oh you people who have radiant face having splendorous eyes which are like arrows piercing our lives and which look like fish which keep roaming, and eye-brows which are like cruel and bent bows! Is your place of dwelling SrIvaikuNtam which is inhabited by the followers of sarvESvaran who has as his mattress the divine milky ocean (thiruppARkadal) where conches curved to the right side are pushed to the shore by the waves or is it this earth?


ulAginRa keNdai – the innocence of the eyes looks like roaming fish.

oLiyambu – when the nAyakan looks at her, she would not look in his direction; when he is not looking at her, she would look at him. Without his being aware of it, the arrow will come and pierce him.

oLiyambu – he cannot escape from her eyes

emmAviyai Uduruva – this will not pierce anyone else. It will pierce us only [says the nAyakan}. Even that, it will not do superficially on the skin, but will pierce the prANan [vital air; life itself]; even that, it is not superficially but deep down.

kulAginRa venjilai vAL mugaththIr – [eyebrows are] constantly bent so that when an arrow has to be shot, one need not bend the bow, string it and then take aim; by merely looking at a person, the arrow will be shot immediately. Also, instead of having the bow in the hand, having the bow on the face itself. Oh, such people! Another interpretation: the term vAL could be considered as radiance; in this case the meaning will be – Oh one who has a face with a bent bow and radiance! Her bow [eyebrows] is tormenting him.

kunisangu . . . – pushing ashore conches which are curved to the right.

pulAginRa – making a noise, the ocean which has agitating waves and is a mattress for sarvESvaran.

pulAginRa – it appears to be the time of dawn since the conches keep emitting radiance constantly. Such sarvESvaran who has this ocean as his bed, his

ammAn . . . – instead of remaining constantly at paramapadham [SrIvaikuNtam] where sarvESvaran holds the court so that both he and the nithyasUris could spend their time together, he enters thiruppARkadal which roars because of his presence and stays there similar to those who set up a house in a place of their liking, with the purpose of protecting the words and reclines. This makes nithyasUris to be amazed at his simplicity. [The nAyakan asks the nAyaki] Is your residence SrIvaikuNtam which is the dwelling place of such nithyasUris or is it the leelAvibhUthi (materialistic realm) which he visits occasionally and which keeps getting created and destroyed similar to the arrangement of pandhal etc made during festival times? Just as it is said in thiruvAimozhi 3-9-9 “vAnavar nAdu” SrIvaikuNtam is the place where the nithyasUris would draw the rules and regulations [since nithyasUris are parathanthrars (totally dependent on him) he allows them to run that realm as per their desire]. However, leelAvibhUthi (materialistic realm) has chEthanas (sentient entites) who are svathantharars (independent) having ego and possessive qualities. Hence he does not let them rule it as they wish; instead, he rules it by himself. piLLai thirunaRaiyUr araiyar would say “adiyAr nilAginRa vaigundhamO anRikkE avanadhAna vaiyamO?” (is it SrIvaikuNtam ruled by nithyasUris or this leelAvibhUthi ruled by sarvESvaran?)

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): those who saw AzhwAr said “There is none like AzhwAr in both the vibhUthis”. Those who are in nithyavibhUthi are constantly in engagement with bhagavath vishayam (matters relating to sarvESvaran). Those who are here (leelAvibhUthi) are constantly engaging with worldly matters. AzhwAr is distinct from both of them. He is without permanent engagement with bhagavath vishayam [since he is still here]. He is not sustaining himself with food, water etc [like the chEthanas who are here]. Thus this explains how he is outside the nature of both vibhUthis.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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