Simple guide to dhivyaprabandham – Part 7 (thiruvezhukURRirukkai, siRiya thirumadal, periya thirumadal)

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

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AzhwArs are the ones blessed with divine devotion due to blemishless knowledge (mayarvaRa madhinalam). Their overflowing experience of bhagavAn came out as dhivya prabhandam. dhivya prabhandhams give the essence of vEdhas.

The goal of dhivya prabandhams is to take us to emperumAn.

AzhwArs say that emperumAn only is the upAyam (means) and the upEyam (goal) . The same concept is highlighted in vEdham.

bhagavath gIthA, SrI rAmAyaNa and varAha purANam explain that one who does SaraNAgathi to emperumAn will definitely be protected.

SrI gIthA SlOkam, Chapter 18.66 says He is the upAyam.

sarvadharmAn parithyajya mAm Ekam SaraNam vraja |
aham thvA sarva pApEbhyO mOkshayishyAmi mA Sucha: ||

rishIs, AzhwArs, AchAryas highlighted that emperumAn is the upAyam. It is by holding on to His lotus feet, one has to reach him and reaching Him is the upEyam (goal). That is our true benefit (palam).

thirumangai AzhwAr’s works: 

thirumangai AzhwAr’s works: periya thirumozhi, thirukkuRundhANdagam, thiruvezhukURRirukkai, siRiya thirumadal, periya thirumadal,thirunedunthANdagam.

Out of the six works, periya thirumozhi, thirukkuRundhANdagam,thiruneduNthANdagam come in the second Ayiram.

Remaining three works, thiruvezhukURRirukkai, siRiya thirumadal, periya thirumadal come in the iyaRpA, mUnRAm Ayiram. These 3 come under the iyaRpA . iyal, typically is not sung with music, and is not put to musical format.

mAmunigaL glorification of thirumangai AzhwAr:

maNavALa mAmunigaL’s verse on thirumangai AzhwAr glorifies the work of thirumangai AzhwAr in pAsuram 8 of upadhEsa raththina mAlai

pEdhai nenjE inRaip perumai aRindhilaiyO
Edhu perumai inRaikken ennil OdhuginREn
vAiththa pugazh mangaiyarkkOn mAnilaththil vandhuthitha
kArthigaiyil kArthigai nAL kAN

Oh foolish mind! Don’t you know the glory associated with this day? The illustrious thirumangai AzhwAr incarnated in this world in the kArthigai month under kArthigai star. 

thirumangai AzhwAr in connection with nammAzhwAr:

nammAzhwAr’s works are considered equivalent to the four vEdhas.

  • thiruviruththam (திருவிருத்தம்) – 100 verses – Rig vEdha
  • thiruvAsiriyam (திருவாசிரியம்) – 7 verses – yajur vEdha
  • periya thiruvandhAdi (பெரிய திருவந்தாதி) – 87 verses – atharvaNa vEdha
  • thiruvAimozhi திருவாய்மொழி) – 1102 verses – sAma vEdha

thirumangai AzhwAr’s six works are considered angas of nammAzhwAr’s works. Just like how there are 6 angas for the 4 vEdhas, thirumangai AzhwAr composed 6 prabandhams consisting of 1361 verses in total, making the most composed by any AzhwAr. SrI vaishNavas consider them as 6 vEdhAngas, that is angas (ancillary prabandhams) for the 4 prabandhams of nammAzhwAr.

In this article we will see an introduction to three works of thirumangai AzhwAr. The three works we will learn about are thiruvezhukURRirukkai, siRiya thirumadal and periya thirumadal.

thaniyan blessed by emperumAnAr:

Let us see the thaniyan glorifying thirumangai AzhwAr created by emperumAnAr:

vAzhi parakAlan vAzhi kalikanRi
vAzhi kuRaiyalUr vAzh vEndhan
vAzhiyarO mAyOnai vAL valiyAl mandhiramkoL
mangaiyarkOn thUyOn sudarmAna vEl

Long live thirumangai AzhwAr who is like yama for people of other philosophies; long live thirumangai AzhwAr who destroyed the illness of kali yuga; long live the king thirumangai AzhwAr of thirukkuRaiyalUr, the place that is cherished (because of him); long live the bright and great spear of thirumangai AzhwAr, the one who has both inner and outer purity and who, with the strength of his sword, received thirumanthram from emperumAn.

thirumangai AzhwAr’s thiruvezhukURRirukkai :

thiruvezhukURRirukkai comes in the iyaRpA section.The vyAkhyAnam is provided by the vyAkhyAna chakravarthy (emperor of commentaries), periyavAchchAn piLLai.

thirumangai AzhwAr sang periya thirumozhi first; During his periya thirumozhi anubhavam, AzhwAr was deeply involved in the experience of dhivya dhESams. emperumAn wondered whether AzhwAr had forgotten about vaikuNtam, and so showed him the nature of this samsAram. AzhwAr felt the true nature of this samsAram and in the last padhigam of periya thirumozhi – mARRamuLa – sang how he is suffering in this samsAram like an ant surrounded by burning firewood. He ended with the prayer to emperumAn to help get rid of the dhEha sambandham (relationship of AthmA with the body).

In his second prabandham, thirukkuRundhANdagam, since emperumAn did not show himself to AzhwAr as He wanted AzhwAr to have more hunger for His visit, AzhwAr was not able to bear the delay, and like how an extremely thirsty person would drink and immerse himself into the water, and pour water on himself, AzhwAr sang about emperumAn by talking, and prostrating, and thinking about Him, and tried to sustain himself. AzhwAr sang thirukkuRundhANdagam, where he immersed with emperumAn through his words, thoughts, actions like falling at His feet.

Now, when a thirsty person drinks a bit of water, he would feel like drinking more and more. AzhwAr also felt much more thirst for emperumAn, and so in his third prabandham of thiruvezhukURRirukkai, he surrendered to thirukkudandhai ArAvamudhan with great longing for Him. So this is a saraNAgathi prabandham.

emperumAn asks him, “What do you need from me?”; AzhwAr replies, “Please completely rid me of the samsAram, without any scent/trace of it, as it prevents us from enjoying You”. emperumAn asks – “Is it something that I could do?”AzhwAr says, “Everything other than You is created and protected by You; You are responsible for them, everything surrenders and depends on you to protect them, so only You can remove us from this samsAram and we cannot remove it by ourselves.”.

You are our swAmi – all the AzhwArs have said this and accepted this; they have accepted that they are Your property. Saying so, thirumangai AzhwAr falls at the divine feet of thirukkudandhai ArAvamudhan and announces to Him his predicament and status.

nammAzhwAr too sang a thiruvAimozhi (decad) to this emperumAn in (5-8) – ArAvamudhE adiyEn udalam, and performed SaraNAgathi to ArAvamudhan emperumAn. Thus we see the whole prabandham of thirumangaiAzhwAr is sung on thirukkudandhai ArAvamudhan.

The second vyAkhyAnam for this dhivya prabandham is also provided by the vyAkyAna chakravarthy (emperor of commentaries), periyavAchchAn piLLai.

The second vyAkhyAnam of thiruvezhukURRirukkai by periyavAchchAn piLLai is referred to as vyAkhyAnam provided by the most compassionate periyavAchchAn piLLai, for (more) SrIvaishNavas who requested him for it.

Here, he says, we were without any functional and sense organs, and surrounded by thamas (during praLayam), without any knowledge (gyAnam), and were similar to achith (non-sentient), and stuck in Your body similar to achith. You saw this pitiable state, and without us requesting You, provided us the dhEha (body, by carrying out creation), due to your kindness towards us, and due to Your ever-existing relationship with us.

Like ALavandhAr says in sthOthra rathnam (10),these worlds would not be created’, without Your blessing. From time immemorial, our being itself is under Your control, so does it not go without saying, that without You, there is nothing that we can do.

Similarly nammAzhwAr pleads in thiruvAimozhi 10-10-6, that “You created this world, then why have You stopped caring/ why are You delaying from taking us to You?

emperumAn asks when there are so many knowledgeable ones like vasishtar, viSvAmithrar, how can you say there is no one to protect ?

AzhwAr: Like it is said: there is nothing You do not know; You are not known fully to anyone (with their own efforts); You are not attainable to anyone (with their own efforts), You know everything, there is nothing that You do not know or cannot attain; how much ever knowledge and ability (gyAnam and Sakthi) some of us may possess, You are not fully knowable or attainable by us (by our own efforts). Consider this example: there is one person who is blind, and cannot walk either; another is having very good sight and is able to walk well. Unless the second one helps and shows the way for the first one, the first one cannot do anything on his own, isn’t it? I am without knowledge and ability, you are the one who knows everything and possesses all the abilities; given that, You are the one to take action, is there anything like my doing something and achieving it?

Even if I try to understand with the knowledge given by you, do I have the strength/ability to achieve the goal (of reaching vaikuNtam)? I cannot reach you with my gyAnam; the only knowledge I got is that, You are the only means and You are the only means to reach You.

AzhwAr is saying, “is there anything we can do? Like how a child would cry when the mother goes out of sight, we can only cry for His mercy to get us out of this samsAram”

These are some of the snippets of beautiful vyAkhyanam of periyavAchhAn piLLai for thirumangai AzhwAr’s works.nammAzhwAr is referred to as inba mAri (rain cloud of sweetness), and thirumangai AzhwAr is called aruL mAri (rain cloud of mercy).

thiruvezhukURRirukkai thaniyan: 

sIrAr thiruvezhuk kURRirukkai ennum sendhamizhAl ArAvamudhan
kudandhaip pirAn than adiyiNaik kIzh
ErAr maRaip poruL ellam eduththu ivvulagu uyyavE
sOrAmal sonna aruL mAri pAdham thuNai namakkE

Meaning of the thaniyan:

The prabandham named thiruvezhukURRirukkai, which is in the form of a beautiful thamizh prabandham (poem), which sings about the lotus feet of emperumAn who has the name of ArAvamudhan, clearly shows the meanings of vEdhas that declare the ways to understand this world and live well; AzhwAr gave us all the meanings of vEdhas without missing anything. Such thirumangai AzhwAr, who showered grace on us, his lotus feet is our shelter.

Other than emperumAn, there is no other protector. He has a conch and discus in his hands. He gave the knowledge to brahmA, he is our only protector. “Oh emperumAn! You know everything, only You can protect me , I can’t protect myself!” is the plea of a surrendered devotee.

About the name of the prabandham thiruvezhukURRirukkai :

ezhu – 7, kURu – parts, irukkai – being/having. It is referred to as ‘chiththirak kavithai’ – we can draw thiruvezhukURRirukkai, in the form of a chariot.

The chariot starts with a small width and becomes wider and wider. In the same way, thiruvezhukURRirukkai uses numbers 123 in one line of the pAsuram, then uses 12321 in the next line,1234321 then 123454321, and so on .


oru pErundhi iru malar thavisil oru muRai ayanai InRanai


oru muRai iru sudar mIdhinil iyangA mummadhiL ilangai irukAl vaLaiya, oru silai

Essence of thiruvezhukURRirukkai: 

“Due to Your causeless mercy (nirhEthuka krupai), when the whole world did not exist after praLayam, You made them all come into existence. You created the worlds, and created brahmA from your lotus like navel and you are staying as antharyAmi inside him, You created the samsAram for sentient and non-sentient beings, You are the cause of all causes, is it hard to do the favor of giving mOksham to all of us?”

In the second pAsuram, thirumangai AzhwAr says, “I cannot remove the ones that separate me from You, Also in this samsAram, my avidhyA, karma, vAsanA, ruchi (lack of right knowledge about nature of self, etc., long lasting impressions of my previous impressions, and the taste for material things created by the five sense organs, which I still have left in me); I’m unable to remove any of this … only You can and so, please remove such demons that separate me from You.

In the concluding pAsuram, thirumangai AzhwAr surrenders to the lotus feet of thirukkudanthai emperumAn. He describes the wealth and nature of the place – due to river kAveri with its rich water base bringing in gems and other valuables and glorifies the learned ones living in this place who worship the emperumAn with their vEdhantha sUkthis, and so on just like thirumazhisai AzhwAr whose fame spread in all the eight directions –

Like nammAzhwAr, here thirumangai AzhwAr also surrenders to ArAvamudhan’s divine feet, and pleads Him to get him out of the samsAram.

Finally the song authored by the poet kambar is recited at the end of thiruvezhukURRirukkai.

idam koNda nenjaththu iNangik kidappana
enRum thadam koNda thAmarai sUzhum malarndha thaN pUngudandhai
vidam koNda veN pal karum thuththi chenkaN thazhal umizh vAi
padam koNda pAmbaNaip paLLi koNdAn thiruppAdhangaLE

In this poem, kamba nAttAzhwAr describes the greatness of thirumangai AzhwAr. Similar to thirumangai AzhwAr who described thirukkudanthai in thiruvezhukURRirukkai, kambar describes thirukkudanthai, and AravamudhAzhwAr, and thiruvananthAzhwAn, and that emperumAn‘s thiruvadi (divine feet) is what is always present in thirumangai AzhwAr‘s wide and deep heart.

siRiya thirumadal and periya thirumadal:

thirumangai AzhwAr has composed a beautiful prabandham named siRiya thirumadal. In this prabandham, he is feeling the separation from emperumAn and due to the great sorrow in separation, he assumes a feminine mood (as parakAla nAyaki) and takes madal [madal is an activity where the man/woman would hurl accusations at his/her beloved in the hopes to convince the other person for marriage].

There are two thiru madal prabandhams (sacred hymns relating to the love that the nAyaki (lady) has towards the nAyaka (the man loved by the lady)) composed mercifully by thirumangai AzhwAr – siRiya thirumadal which deals with matters relating to krishNa and periya thirumadal, which deals with matters relating to thirunaRaiyUr nambi (emperumAn who resides as archA mUrthy (deity form) in thirunaRaiyur (a dhivya dhESam or divine abode, near kumbakONam).

The term madalUrdhal refers to the courage exhibited by the nAyaki (or nayAka), who, after finding that the nAyaka (or nAyaki) is not responding to her (or his) love, shames him (her) for the all the world to see, so that the people of the world would help her (him) in uniting with him (her). thirumangai AzhwAr, who attains the emotional build-up of a woman, manifests such courage in these two madals. This is one of the ways in which a lady displays her emotions when her love becomes irrepressible and she forgets her basic nature. Our pUrvAchAryas (preceptors) would say that this (composing madal) along with fasting and mangaLASAsanam (praising emperumAn) should be considered as great behaviour, since it is born out of ignorance caused by excessive devotion towards emperumAn and at the same time complimented by knowledge about Him. thirukkuRaL (a composition in thamizh) says “kadalanna kAmaththarAyinum mAdhar madalUrAr maRRaiyAr mEl” (women will not engage with madal even if they have love which is as deep as the ocean, towards their beloved) and “kadalanna kAmam uzhandhum madalERAp peNNiR perundhakkadhil” (there is nothing greater than a lady who does not engage in madal on her beloved even if her love is as deep as the ocean). But thirumangai AzhwAr, not subscribing to this view, says in this periya thirumadal that he subscribes to the view of the culture of the northerners (north of vindhyA mountain) in which it is accepted that irrespective of a person being man or woman, if the love becomes irrepressible, one can engage in madal. It should be appreciated that when desire for a person breaks out of the banks, like the river kAvEri in spate, it will shatter all the boundaries of stated rules and regulations.

In siRiya thirumadal, this AzhwAr had attempted to engage with madal on emperumAn krishNa. Since krishNa lived in a different age and He himself was lacking in a sense of honour [he didn’t mind being tied to a mortar by his mother for stealing butter, he put up with all the abuses which the herds-women hurled at him when he indulged in such mischief etc], it did not fructify. Hence, he attempts to compose a madal on the archAvathArap perumAL (emperumAn in deity form) at thirunaRaiyUr, who was very much present during his time, as a symbol of simplicity. Just as nammAzhwAr said in thiruvAimozhi 5-3-9 “madal Urdhum” (I will engage with madal), this AzhwAr too frightens emperumAn that he is going to engage with madal in order to make emperumAn to come to him. But in essence, he only frightened emperumAn but did not engage with madal and hence it could be said that there was no harm to AzhwAr’s basic nature of total dependence on emperumAn.

The vyAkhyAnam for this pAsuram has been composed by periyavAchchAn piLLai as well as by azhagiya maNavALap perumAL nAyanAr. We will follow the vyAkhyAnam of periyavAchchAn piLLai and add significant highlights mercifully given by azhagiya maNavALap perumAL nAyanAr wherever required.

thirumangai AzhwAr’s chronological sequence of works is periya thirumozhi, thirukuRuNdhANdagam, thiruvezhukURRirukkai, siRiya thirumadal, periya thirumadal and thiruneduNdhAndagam. In thirukuRuNdhANdagam, thirumangai AzhwAr saw parama purushan (supreme being) SrIman nArAyaNan in his heart through his internal senses. In thiruvezhukURRirukkai, he yearned for SrIman nArAyaNan and expressed his desire to enjoy Him with his external senses as well. He performed SaraNAgathi (act of surrendering) at the lotus feet of the lord at thirukkudandhai.

What is “madal”? both nAyaka (male lead of a play or story) and nAyaki (female lead of the play or story) should be of matching age with the nAyaka being complete in having the (masculine) qualities of knowledge, pride, inquisitiveness and firmness and the nAyaki being complete having the (feminine) qualities of shyness, obedience, fear, paleness of skin in separation. The nAyaki goes to a garden with her friends to pluck flowers. The nAyaka also goes to the same garden for hunting. nAyaka and nAyaki look at each other at first and that leads to their union. Since continued, uninterrupted union between them would lead to their end ultimately, just like a crop would be destroyed by excessive inundation, providence decided to separate them so that they could enjoy for a long time, with patience, in the future. However, the separation increased their distress a hundred, thousand times more. At this juncture, the nAyaka or nAyaki, unable to attain the other, indulges in a daring act which is referred to as madal.

The daring act is to destroy the beloved’s characteristics such as svarUpa (basic nature), rUpa (physical beauty), guNa (qualities) and vibhUthi (wealth). The person draws a picture of his or her beloved, keeps staring incessantly at the picture without eating ghee and drinking milk. He or she does not take bath, nor decorates himself (or herself). He or she would sit on top of a horse made of palm leaves and pretend that he or she is travelling on the horse all over the place with disheveled hair. He or she would cry out saying “this person has estranged from me. He or she does not have any mercy towards me. He or she is a hard-hearted and cruel person. There is no limit to the harmful acts that he or she can indulge in”. Such an act, in which the person goes all over the streets, with those who hear such laments taking pity on him or her, is termed as engaging in madal. Isn’t the act of negating the innate nature, beauty, qualities and wealth of the beloved, equivalent to destroying that person?

What is the purpose of this cruel act of engaging in madal?

The relatives of the two lovers could try to unite them. It is also possible that the king of that country could help in uniting the two. If the friends and relatives of the two give up on them, the two could unite and sustain each other, like a heap of weapons where each weapon sustains the other weapons. If none of the above happens, then there will be the pride that the nAyaka or nAyaki ended his or her life because he or she could not get his or her beloved.

Just as nammAzhwAr had mentioned In his thiruvAimozhi 1-5 “vaLavEzh ulagil” decad, the AzhwArs are of the nature who would, thinking of their lowliness, say “If I go to such a great person (emperumAn), I would bring him lowly stature” and move away from Him. Given this nature of AzhwArs, could they be involved in engaging in madal which is a cruel act on emperumAn? They are not the ones who are going to destroy the qualities of SrIman nArAyaNan by engaging in madal till the end. Just as namAzhwAr had threatened that he would engage in madal as said in his thiruVaimozhi 5-3-9 “ANaiyen thOzhi ulagu thOru alarthURRi, Am kONaigaL seydhu kudhiriyAi madalUrdhumE)” (Oh dear friend! We will certainly engage in madal, ridiculing emperumAn at every place, carrying out tough acts, as an uncontrollable girl) and in thiruvAimozhi 5-3-10 “yAm madalUrndhum em AzhiyangaippirAnudai, thUmadal thaNNandhuzhAi malar koNdu sUduvOm” (even if we have to engage in madal, we will do that and wear the garland of thuLasi which has sacred leaves and which is cool, offered to us by emperumAn who has the divine disc in his beautiful divine hand), this AzhwAr too threatens SrIman nArAyaNan that he would perform madal so that he would come to AzhwAr, as mentioned in siRiya thirumadal “UrAdhozhiyEn nAn vArAr pUm peNNai madal” (I will not stop from engaging in madal with the long, beautiful palm leaf) and in periya thirumadal “ulagaRiya Urvan nAn manniya pUm peNNai madal” (I will engage in madal with the great, beautiful palm leaf, with the entire world knowing about it) but did not fulfill the act of engaging in madal.

Even then, why do AzhwArs not speak in their own nature [as a male] but speak in the nature of a pirAtti (consort of emperumAn)? Since the AthmA’s svarUpa nirUpaka dharmas (basic defining qualities) manifest themselves radiantly like the extraordinary qualities of women, especially the qualities of a pathivrathA (a female who is totally dedicated to her husband) such as (a) ananyArhaSEshathvam (the quality of not being subservient to anyone other than SrIman nArAyaNan (b) ananyaSaraNathvam (the quality of not surrendering to anyone other than SrIman nArAyaNan) and (c) ananyabhOgyathvam (the quality of not being an enjoyable object to anyone other than SrIman nArAyaNan) which the AthmA has towards emperumAn, since great people like AzhwArs can sustain themselves only if they are with emperumAn and cannot sustain themselves in separation from Him, since during the moment of liberation [from the material world] their knowledge blossoms and matches that of emperumAn’s consorts, since these AzhwArs have been granted blemishless knowledge and devotion even when they are in the materialistic world and are on an equal footing with the consorts of emperumAn, the AzhwArs speak in the nature of the consorts of emperumAn.

Well known thamizh literature thirukkuRaL says “kadalanna kAmaththarAgilum mAdhar madalUrAr maRRaiyAr mEl” (even if their lust is as deep as the ocean, women will not engage in madal) and “kadalanna kAmamuzhandhum madalErAp peNNiR perundhakkadhil” (no birth is considered greater than that of those women who do not engage in madal even if they are troubled by lust). When it is clearly mentioned in such thamizh scriptures that it is the hallmark of women not to engage in madal, is it proper on the part of AzhwAr to assume the mood of a pirAtti and engage in madal? If it happens that between men and women, only males have unabated love towards their beloved and that the women’s love towards their beloved is within limits, then what has been said in thamizh literature could be correct. However, in reality it does not seem to be the case as we see instances where the love towards their beloved is unabated for both men and women. Thus, in line with samskrutham scriptures, which say that both men and women can engage in madal, if their love crosses boundaries, this pirAtti (AzhwAr in feminine mood) engages in madal.

Instead of actually performing a madal, why should she express her resolve in performing the madal and procrastinate thereby? It is because parakAla nAyaki has to (a) list out the reasons for engaging in madal, (b) make her relatives to agree to her action, (c) ensure that she does not destroy Him who has great, auspicious qualities in a hurry and (d) allow time for Him to come.

madal normally is done by men. Both siRiya and periya thirumadal are created in the bhAvam of women. This is not the materialistic kind of love. This is in the higher state of bhakthi.All Atmas are women and emperumAn is the only purushan. And these madals are high form of bhakthi.

thirumangai AzhwAr does not actually perform the madal. He only says he will perform the madal. Since he is such a gentle hearted person, he calls out to emperumAn and questions emperumAn, “Are You going to come and take me with You?” He pleads with emperumAn to come.

In the thaniyan:

muLLichezhumalarO(r) thArAn muLaimadhiyam
koLLikennuLLam kodhiyAmE – vaLLal
thiruvALan sIrkkaliyan kArkkaliyai vetti
maruvALan thandhAn madal

The thaniyan was composed by piLLai thirunaRaiyUr araiyar. The commentary to the thaniyan was written by piLLai lOkam jIyar.

Preface to thaniyan

There are two interpretations for the preface to this thaniyan.

Interpretation 1

This would be when the first phrase is treated as “muLLi chezhu malarOr thArAn”. There are five entities which are collectively known as “SabdhAdhi vishayangaL”. These are Sabdha, sparSa, rUpa, rasa and gandham. Sabdham is sound; sparSa is touch; rUpa is form, rasa is taste and gandham is smell. These five are primarily responsible for controlling one’s heart. piLLAi thirunaRaiyUr araiyar celebrates thirumangai AzhwAr who gave us this work called “siRiya thirumadal”. With the help of “siRiya thirumadal”, piLLAi thirunarayiUr araiyar says that, devotees who are at the service of the lotus feet of thirumangai AzhwAr, are able to control the unwanted desires which emanate because of “SabdhAdhi vishayangaL” and consequently they are able to focus their mind and heart towards SrIman nArAyaNan. In this interpretation, the purport is that the prabandham (set of verses) called “siRiya thirumadal” acts as sustenance for devotees who would otherwise destroy themselves due to pain of separation from SrIman nArAyaNan.

Interpretation 2

This would be when the first phrase is treated as “muLLi chezhu malarO thArAn”. There are devotees of thirumangai AzhwAr who cannot live by separating themselves from their beloved AzhwAr. thirumangai AzhwAr gave this work called “siRiya thirumadal” so that these devotees are able to sustain themselves and not indulge in materialistic pleasures which are controlled by “SabdhAdhi vishayangaL”. thirumangai AzhwAr used to wear a garland that was made of “muLLi” flowers. However, he did not give his devotees “muLLi” garland. Rather he gave them something that is even more spectacular which is nothing but the garland of verses called “siRiya thirumadal”.

Main difference between siRiya thirumadal and periya thirumadal is that, in siRiya thirumadal, thirumangai AzhwAr is in the feminine mood; he threatened to take madal, but emperumAn didn’t come. So AzhwAr, in periya thirumadal, thought “krishNa is without shame. So, let me perform madal, on the deity form archAvathAra, I have been crying, and pining for him, maybe He will come”. bhagavath anubhavam is the goal, not mOksham.

In both siRiya thirumadal and periya thirumadal , he highlights the greatness of emperumAn and the greatness of all dhivya dhESams, but asks “what is the purpose, if He has not come to me, after calling so many times?”.

He has a great longing for emperumAn, He has the longing in 3 roles:

  • thAy pAsuram (Mood of mother) – emperumAn is the upAyam – only He needs to come and we wait
  • thalai magaL (Mood of Heroine) – need to reach emperumAn no matter what – that is the goal
  • thOzhi pAsuram (Mood of Friend) – sambandham between AthmA and bhagavAn, perumAL and pirAtti

Thus, we saw an introduction of the three works thiruvezhukURRirukkai, siRiya thirumadal and periya thirumadal.


adiyen smrithi rAmAnuja dAsi
adiyen vidhyA rAmAnuja dAsi

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