thiruchchandha viruththam – pAsuram 30 – vAnagamum maNNagamum

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

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avathArikai (Introduction)

In the previous pAsuram, the term naraththilum piRaththi referred to his incarnations in human species, in general. In the pAsuram prior to that (28th pAsuram), through the verse adhuNdu umizhndhu his incarnation as AlilaikkaNNan (infant on a tender banyan leaf) was spoken. Combining these two, in this pAsuram, AzhwAr engages with the innocence, beauty and power of AlilaikkaNNan and in the playful and valorous deed of SrI rAman, who incarnated as a human.

vAnagamum maNNagamum veRpum Ezh kadalgaLum
pOnagam seydhu Alilaith thuyinRa puNdarIganE
thEnagam sey thaNNaRu malarththuzhAy nan mAlaiyAy
kUnagam pugaththeRiththa koRRa villi allaiyE

Word-by-Word Meanings

vAnagamum – svarga lOkam (heaven)
maNNagamum – bhUmi (earth)
Ezh veRpum – seven anchoring mountains
Ezh kadalgaLum – seven oceans
pOnagam seydhu – swallowing them
Alilai– on a tender banyan leaf
thuyinRa – one who reclined
puNdrIganE – Oh one with lotus-like eyes!
thEn – honey
sey – filled with
agam – having the internal region
thaN – being cold [comfortable]
naRu – having fragrance
malar thuzhAy – made of thuLasi flowers
nal – good [beautiful]
mAlaiyAy – Oh one who has divine garland!
kUn – hunchback
agam puga – to disappear inside the body
theRiththa – drawing the bow with balls made of clay
koRRa – victorious
villi – one who has the bow
allaiyE – aren’t you?

Simple Translation

Oh one who has eyes like a lotus flower! You swallowed heaven, earth, the seven anchoring mountains, the seven seas and then reclined on a tender banyan leaf. Oh one who has a cool, fragrant, nice, divine garland filled with honey! Aren’t you the one who drew your victorious bow and shot the clay balls on the hunchback and made it go into the body?

vyAkyAnam (Commentary)

vAnagamum maNNagamum – svargam (heaven) along with the celestial entities such as indhra et al, the materials which they enjoy, the implements (means) to enjoy those materials and the places where they enjoy these materials; similarly, the chEthana and achEthana entities on bhUmi (earth). Here, the words vAnagam (heaven) and maNNagam (earth) refer to the people who inhabit these places, just as it is mentioned in the saying “manjA: krOSanthi” which literally means that the bed is crying while figuratively, it refers to the people who are lying on the bed, who are crying. Only those who are in these worlds suffer during the time of deluge. Thus, this verse says that celestial entities such as indhra et al, who are worshipped by those who are on earth and who grant them the benefits desired by the people on earth, and the people on earth who worship the celestial entities, are all uniformly protected by emperumAn, without any difference between them, during the threatening time of deluge.

veRpum – the seven anchoring mountains (such as mEru etc) which sustain earth. Here too, this implies that during the time of deluge, without any distinction, earth, which is sustained and the seven anchoring mountains which sustain earth, are together protected by Alilaik kaNNan (emperumAn on tender banyan leaf) alone. The term veRpu denotes all the immovable botanical entities.

Ezh kadalgaLum – The seven oceans which separate the seven dhvIpams (land masses) such as jambhu dhvIpam, plaksha dhvIpam etc. The term kadal also includes all the creatures which inhabit the oceans. Thus, emperumAn is the protector for entities such as indhra et al who are worshipped, people who worship them, the mountains which sustain earth, earth which is sustained, oceans and the creatures which inhabit the oceans, without any distinction.

pOnagam seydhu – swallowing them. For a protector, the act of protection is as desired as food is desired by a person who is hungry. katOpanishath 1-2-25 says “yasya brahma cha kshathram chObhE bhavatha Odhana: mruthyur yasyOpasEchanam” (for that brahmam for whom brAhmaNa and kshathriya people become food and yaman (lord of righteousness) becomes the pickle); brahma sUthram 1-2-9 says “aththA charAcharagrahaNAth” ((in the aphorism yasya brahma cha) one who is spoken of as eating, is paramAthmA only; this is because the chEthana and achEthana entities, which are moving and stationary, are considered as food). Thus, these two authentic texts too spoke of these entities as being food for paramAthmA.

Alilaith thuyinRa – reclining on a tender banyan leaf, apt for the form of infant.

puNdarIganE – Oh one who has limbs which are like lotus flower! Just as thiruvAimozhi 2-5-1 says “senganivAy sengamalam” (the divine reddish fruit-like mouth is like a reddish lotus), thiruvAimozhi 2-5-4 says “kaN pAdham kai kamalam” (the divine eyes, feet and hands are like lotus flower). Thus, since emperumAn’s divine mouth, divine eyes, divine feet and divine hands are like lotus flower which had just then blossomed, he is apt to be referred to as puNdarIgan. Alternatively, this could be considered as emperumAn whose entire divine form is similar to a blossomed lotus flower. The implied meaning is that the happiness felt by him since he is keeping the worlds in his divine stomach and protecting them manifests itself in his divine form, in a radiant manner.

thEnagam seythEn could be considered as referring to beetles, in which case this will refer to beetles which are carving out the inner regions of thuLasi. Alternatively, thEn could be considered as referring to honey, in which case this will refer to thuLasi flower which is full of honey.

thaNNaRu malarth thuzhAy – just then blossomed thuLasi flower which is invigoratingly cool and is fragrant.

nan mAlaiyAy – this could refer to the divine garland which is more beautiful than his divine chest. Or, it could refer to ‘distinguished garland’ which tells all, that he is the one who protects everyone. Thus, until now, we have enjoyed the amazing power which is natural to emperumAn, the beauty of his limbs which are like lotus flower and the beauty brought about by the decoration with thuLasi garland.

kUn agam pugath theRiththa – one who shot the balls of hardened clay from his bow in order to push back the hump on the back of the body, into the body. When SrI rAma was a child, he shot the balls of clay, playfully, at the hunched back of kUni [kaikEyi’s servant]. This shows that a playful act, indulged in when he was young, became the reason for annihilating rAvaNa et al in later years [kUni stopped the coronation of SrI rAma because she wanted to take revenge for his shooting clay balls at her]. When he is the entity to protect everyone, everything with him becomes a protecting device.

koRRa villi allaiyE – when SrI rAma held the bow, demons such as rAvAna et al, who saw his bow and his divine hand, had their stomachs churning. Such was his valour! The word koRRam refers to victory and strength. While “vata dhaLa SAyi” (one who reclined on a tender banyan leaf) who was referred to as puNdarIganE [in the earlier part of the verse] and SrI rAma, who was referred to as koRRa villi are different incarnations, since they denote the same emperumAn, they appear as one to AzhwAr, with one being in the stage of child and another, in the stage of youth.  Starting from this pAsuram, until the 34th pAsuram, for five pAsurams, the verse mAyam enna mAyam which appears at the end of the 34th pAsuram, appears as the one denoting an activity.

Next, we will take up the 31st pAsuram of this prabandham.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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