thiruchchandha viruththam – pAsuram 26 – ANinOdu peNNumAgi

SrI: SrImathE SatakOpAya nama: SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: SrImadh varavara munayE nama:

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avathArikai (Introduction)

AzhwAr says in this pAsuram “You control all the entities. With the divine form of yours which is enjoyed by nithyasUris (permanent dwellers of SrI vaikuNtam), for the sake of your followers, you incarnated in this world as vAmana, one among the celestial entities, as well as krishNa, one among the herd-people. Who can comprehend such amazing activities?” Since there is commonality between vAmanAvathAram and krishNAvathAram with regard to beauty and fitting well with everyone, without any difference, AzhwAr speaks about both the incarnations together, in this pAsuram.

ANinOdu peNNUmAgi allavOdu nallavAy
UNodOsai URumAgi onRalAdha mAyaiyAy
pUNi pENum AyanAgip poyyinOdu meyyumAyk
kANi pENu mANiyAyk karandhu senRa dhEvanE

Word-by-Word Meanings

ANinOdu peNNumAgi – being the dwelling soul for both men and women, controlling them (in order to increase the populace)
allavOdu – being the neuter gender too
nallavAy – being the controller for those who are beneficial, among them
UN – the sense of taste
Osai – the sense of sound
URumAgi – the sense of touch, being the controller of all these
onRalAdha – evolving, in this manner, in all entities
mAyaiyAy – being the controller for primordial matter
pUNi – cows
pENum – one who supports
AyanAgi – being the cowherd boy
poyyinOdu – being unfavourable towards dhuryOdhana et al
meyyumAy – being favourable towards the pANdavas
kANi – earth
pENum – one who supports
mANiyAy– as brahmachAri [one who is a student-learner] vAmana
karandhu senRa – Oh one who hid himself!
kaLvanE – Oh the deceitful one!

Simple Translation

You are the indwelling soul for men, women as well as neuter genders, controlling them. You are the five senses among all entities, evolving in them all. You are the controller of primordial matter. You protect cows, being born in the clan of cowherd people. You are truthful towards pANdavas and untruthful towards dhuryOdhana et al. You protect the earth, as a learner, vAmana. Oh the deceitful one, who hid himself, in this process.


ANinOdu peNNUmAgi – you remain as the indwelling soul for men and women, controlling and conducting them towards each other so that the world will increase in its population, through their union.

allavOdu – you are the indwelling soul of neuter gender too, who cannot support this increase in population, they being neither men nor women.

nallavAy – conducting the distinguished among men, women and neuter. The distinction for these people is to be engaged with one of the four ultimate benefits, namely righteousness, material, worldly pursuits and liberation from samsAram. Conducting them is remaining as the means for their attaining their ultimate goal, just as it has been mentioned in bhagavath gIthA 10-10 “thEshAm saththayukthAnAm bhajathAm prIthipUrvakam l dhadhAmi budhdhi yOgam tham yEna mAm upayAnthi thE ll” (I affectionately shower intelligence to those who desire to be with me all the time and who worship me such that they can use it as a path to attain me).

UNodu Osai URumAgi – for those who are not interested in any of the ultimate benefits, he remains as the controller of the five senses such as taste, sound, touch etc which are enjoyed by them. Reference to only three of the five senses is symbolic for the other two too. This is applicable mostly to animals and those who are similar to animals for whom there is no engagement with the ultimate benefits of righteousness, material etc.

onRalAdha mAyaiyAy – among these five sensory perceptions, apart from being the cause for their functioning, emperumAn is also the controller of primordial matter which evolves into various entities in samsAram, without distinction between what has been said and not said in SAsthrams (authentic texts). SvEthAsvathara upanishath 4-10 says “mAyAnthu prakruthim vidhyAn mAyinanthu mahESvaram” (Since prakruthi (primordial matter) is the cause for amazing creation, it is called as mAyai; one who impels it to act is mahESvaran, the supreme entity). Primordial matter is referred to as mAyai in upanishath, since it evolves into countless entities this way. The word mAyai also refers to amazement. Thus, instead of controlling only a few entities, as mentioned earlier, emperumAn conducts all entities appropriate to their karma (past deeds). Hence, he is said to have amazing characteristics.

pUNi pENum AyanAgi – you conduct everything through your sankalpam (thought or vow). In order to protect your followers, in this world, you transform your aprAkrutha (not made of primordial matter) divine form into the divine form of a cowherd, just as you did in krishNAvathAram (incarnation as krishNa). Instead of protecting yourself, you were protecting the cows. pUNi refers to cows.

poyyinOdu meyyumAy – when you incarnated and protected, you were not true to people like dhuryOdhana et al, who did not consider you as their refuge while you were true to people like pANdavas who took refuge under you. Didn’t nammAzhwAr too say in thiruvAimozhi 9-10-7 “meyyanAgum virumbith thozhuvArkkellAm poyyanAgum puRamE thozhuvArkkellAm” (he will fulfil the desires of those who take refuge under him, and shine, manifesting his ultimate form of being the goal; he will grant the wishes of those who pray for other benefits from him, without desiring him, and keep himself away from them)!

kANi pENum mANiyAy – when the earth was taken possession of by mahAbali, you protected it so that it did not suffer, while you did not bother about your own form.

karandhu senRa kaLvanE – oh the deceitful one, who hid yourself! Hiding himself refers to his taking a form by which none would think that he is the sarvESvaran (lord of all) and going to mahAbali, accepting that it belonged to mahAbali only and asking for it, as alms. Being deceitful refers to his ensuring that the words of mahAbali’s guru (mentor) did not enter mahAbali, through the beauty of his form and speech, bringing mahAbali under his spell, showing his small foot to mahAbali for taking three steps with that foot, and once mahAbali granted him, growing into a huge form to measure with his large foot. The last line karandhu senRa kaLvanE should be added to the last line of the previous pAsuram, ninnai yAvar kANa vallar, to get the meaning “who can know you, when you hide yourself, in a deceitful way?”

We will next take up the 27th pAsuram of this prbandham.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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