thiruviruththam – 92 – pENalamillA arakkar

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

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avathArikai (Introduction)

AzhwAr had said in the previous pAsuram “perungiRiyAnai allAl adiyEn nenjam pENaladhE”. Here he says that dhEvas (celestial entities) who are limited [by their abilities] but are higher than samsAris, are not involved even to this extent with sarvESvaran. Their deficiency is that while we attempt to attain sarvESvaran by destroying our sense of possessiveness, they try to gain advantages for themselves even if they have to make him transform himself.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

pENalamillA arakkar munnIra perum padhi vAy
nINagar nILeri vaiththu aruLAy enRu ninnai viNNOr
kAnilam thOyndhu thozhuvar nin mUrththi pal kURRil onRum
kANalumAngol enRE vaigal mAlaiyum kAlaiyumE

Word-by-Word Meanings

munnIra – surrounded by ocean
perum – expansive
padhi – vibhUthi (materialistic realm)
pEN – protecting
nalam illA – not having the benefit
arakaar – inhabited by demons
nIL – having the greatness of not being able to be destroyed by anyone
nagar – in lankA
nIL – not being burnt by any other entity
eri – fire
vaiththu – making use of
aruLAy – protect (us)
enRu – beseeching
ninnai – you
viNNOr – celestial entities
nilam – on earth
kAl thOyndhu – keeping their legs firmly
vaigal – every day
kAlaiyum mAlaiyum – during dawn and dusk
thozhuvar – will worship
nin mUrthy – in the beauty of your divine form
pal kURRil – among the many forms
onRu – at the least one form
kANulAmAngol enRE – is to see (that they worship)? (No)

Simple Translation

The celestial entities worship you everyday, both during dawn and dusk, planting their feet firmly on earth, asking you to save them by setting fire to lankA which is inhabited by demons. lankA is a small part of the expansive earth, surrounded by ocean. The demons, who do not have the quality of protection, inhabit it. Are they doing this considering that they would like to see one form among your many divine, beautiful forms? (No, they are doing this to serve their own interests).


pENalam . . . (munnIra perum padhiyaip pENalamillA arakkar) –  your realm, composed of many different parts, which is surrounded by ocean.

nINagar . . . – they will request you to destroy a small part of your realm. Since they know that harming anyone or anything is against the grain of your divine mind, in order to show pity on them, they will use apt words. They will say “Your vibhUthi will not survive if they survive”. They will tell sarvESvaran “They are harming rishis (sages) who are meditating on your divine auspicious qualities, dwelling in one place and celestial entities”.

pENalamillA – sarvESvaran considers that protecting others is his benefit. The demons will not think that others should live, as they do.

pENalam . . . – demons who do not have the benefit of protecting sarvESvaran’s realm.

munnIra perum padhi vAy nINagar – since that place [lankA] is like a refuge for those who fear for their safety, it became the refuge for the entire cruel clan of demons. Since it is well surrounded by ocean on all sides, it is impossible for some to enter it. It is a huge island with the ocean serving as a moat.

nINagar – the place has been reinforced by the benefits of boons granted by celestial entities.

nILeri vaiththaruLAy – the celestial entities will beseech sarvESvaran to use his arrows which are capable of destroying the power granted through their boons. Just as it has been mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 4-2-8 “ilangai nagar ambu eri uyththavar” (fire which was shot off the arrows from SrI rAma), they prayed to sarvESvaran to burn the entire place.

ninnai – you are one who is deeply engrossed in protecting all the worlds. They will shed tears of distress through their eyes to change your mind when you are against destroying a place in your realm.

viNNOr – these celestial entities do not dwell in the place where nithyasUris [who dwell in paramapadham] constantly experience sarvESvaran; they do not dwell on earth where sarvESvaran comes down, manifesting his simplicity amidst his greatness. They dwell somewhere in between, in svaragam, like an attic.

kAl nilam thOyndhu – aren’t they the people who will come here, degrading themselves, since this is the place where they do not like to place their feet.

thozhuvAr – unlike rAvaNa who said as in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 36-11 “na namEyam . .” (Even if I am broken into two pieces, I will not bend before anyone), the celestial entities will stand before you, worshipping you.

nin . . . – are they worshipping you to get the benefit desired by those who worship you? It is certainly not to experience the divine form that they are worshipping you. Are they worshipping you to see the procession of your beautiful form [as during a festival in temples] which is one part among the many parts of your divine form?

anRiRE – they are not like the great people mentioned in sthOthra rathnam 56 “sakruth thvadhAkAra vilOkanASayA thriNikruthAn uththama bhukthi mukthibi:” (the followers who consider their great qualilties as inferior to a blade of grass if they could see your divine form once).

vaigal mAlaiyum kAlaiyumE –  the worshipping carried out by celestial entities is not for the purpose of seeing your divine form which your followers will worship for; yet they will keep worshipping you incessantly, for a much longer time  [in order to destroy the demons and enable them to live peacefully].

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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