perumAL thirumozhi – 2.2 – thOdulA malarmangai

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perumAL thirumozhi >> 2nd  Decad

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avathArikai (Introduction)

emperumAn’s followers recall his divine activities during his incarnation as SrI rAma, krishNa et al and dance, calling out his divine name “rangA! rangA!” AzhwAr says that having a dip in the pious river gangA is not greater than being engaged with the divine dust at the feet of such followers.

thOdulA malar mangai thOLiNai thOyndhadhum sudar vALiyAl
nIdu mAmaram seRRadhum nirai mEyththadhum ivaiyE ninaindhu
AdippAdi arangavO enRu azhaikkum thoNdar adippodi
Ada nAm peRil gangai nIr kudaindhu Adum vEtkai ennAvadhE

Word-by-Word Meanings

thOdu ulAm malar mangai – periya pirAtti (SrI mahAlakshmi), who has as her residence, the lotus flower which has abundant petals
thOL iNai thOyndhadhum – embracing her two divine shoulders
sudar vALiyAl – with arrow having splendour
nIdu mAmaram seRRadhum – piercing the distinguished seven trees
nirai mEyththadhum – grazing herds of cows
ivaiyE ninaindhu – recalling these activities
Adi pAdi – dancing and singing, with overflowing joy
O aranga enRu azhaikkum – calling out “aranganE”
thoNdar – SrI vaishNavas, who are his followers, their
adippodi – on the fine particles of dust present on their feet
nAm Ada peRil – if we are able to engage
gangai nIr – in the waters of river gangA
kudaindhu Adum vEtkai – the desire to plunge and have a bath
en Avadhu – for what purpose?

Simple Translation

SrI vaishNavas, the followers of emperumAn, keep recalling the amazing activities of emperumAn such as (1) embracing the divine shoulders of periya pirAtti who dwells on a lotus flower with abundant petals, (2) piercing seven huge trees with a single arrow which was splendorous, (3) grazing herds of cows etc. Due to overflowing joy, they dance and sing, calling out to emperumAn as “Oh rangA!” If we are able to engage with the fine dust particles sticking to their feet, will it not be greater than having a dip in the pious waters of river gangA?

vyAkyAnam (Commentary)

thOdulA malar mangai thOLiNai thOyndhadhum – embracing the two divine shoulders of periya pirAtti who resides on a lotus flower which has abundance of petals. AzhwAr hints that only emperumAn has the capability to carry out such rare acts of swimming in a huge flood, embracing the divine shoulders of periya pirAtti etc.

sudar vALiyAl – with a single arrow which was splendorous

nIdu mAmaram seRRadhum – shooting down seven huge trees which had grown tall. The underlying opinion here is that emperumAn shot the arrow and felled the seven huge and strong trees as if the arrow went through holes which were already existing in these seven trees. Was this not an activity which emperumAn carried out in order to bring in confidence in his devotee, sugrIva’s  mind to make him believe that he is capable of destroying his enemy vAli? Until now, emperumAn’s greatness had been described. Next, he describes the simplicity of emperumAn…

nirai mEyththadhum – though he is the owner of both nithya vibhUthi (SrI vaikuNtam) and leelA vibhUthi (samsAram), emperumAn incarnated as krishNa, in the clan of herds-people and grazed cows, holding a stick in his hand.

ivaiyE ninaindhu – meditating on these qualities of greatness and simplicity. That they think of nothing else other than these, since they do not desire any benefit, is emphasised by the long syllable in ivaiyE (the E-kAram, the long syllable in that word).

AdippAdi – due to excessive joy, being unable to remain in the places where they were, they indulge in dancing and singing.

arangavO enRazhaikkum – due to the distress resulting from their desire to see emperumAn, they call out the divine names of periya perumAL.

thoNdaradippodi Ada nAm peRil – if we are able to dance in the fine dust coming out of the feet of those SrI vaishNavas who were attracted by the auspicious qualities of emperumAn. AzhwAr desires to enter and dance in the dust of those SrI vaishNavas who have constant connection with emperumAn instead of entering and dancing in rivers such as gangA and kAvEri which had connection once upon a time with emperumAn, since those are more pious than these rivers.

gangai nIr kudaindhAdum vEtkai ennAvadhE – what is the benefit in entering and dancing in the waters of gangA, even though it originated from the divine feet of emperumAn, since it also entered the matted hair of people such as rudhra (Sivan) et al and became contaminated? That gangA had connection with people such as rudhra, brahmA et al has been brought out by pAsurams such as periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 4-7-2 “nalam thigazh sadaiyAn mudikkonRai malarum nAraNan pAdhaththuzhAyum kalandhizhi punalAl pugarpadu gangai” (the river gangA is splendorous as it falls from the sky towards earth due to its connection with the flower decorating the matted head of rudhra, who himself is looking radiant (because he took on his head the water which touched the divine feet of emperumAn) and with the thuLasi flower on the divine feet of emperumAn) and periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 4-7-3 “chadhumugan kaiyil chaduppuyan thALil sangaran sadaiyinil thangi kadhir mugamaNi koNdu izhipunal gangai” (the river gangA is looking radiant and is flowing with distinguished gemstones since it has connection with the hands of brahmA, who has four faces, with the divine feet of emperumAn, who has four divine shoulders and with the matted hair of rudhra).

We will next take up the 3rd pAsuram.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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