thiruchchandha viruththam – pAsuram 36 – Adagaththa pUN mulai

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avathArikai (Introduction)

In the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr had mentioned about emperumAn showing pArathanthryam (dependence) towards his followers. He repeats that and engages with the amazing activities of emperumAn during his incarnation as krishNa.

Adagaththa pUN mulai yasOdhai Aychchi piLLaiyAy
sAdu udhaiththu Or puLLadhAvi kaLLadhAya pEy magaL
vIda vaiththa veyya kongai aiyapAl amudhu seydhu
Adagakkai mAdhar vAy amudham uNdadhu enkolO

Word-by-Word Meanings

Adagaththa – with lustrous gold
pUN – having chain
mulai – having bosom
asOdhai Aychchi piLLaiyAy – as the son of herd-woman yaSOdhA
sAdu – the monster SakatAsuran
udhaiththu – punishing him with his divine foot
Or puLLadhu – (one which troubles children) a bird’s
Avi – having the thought
kaLLa thAya – deceptive mother
pEymagaL – the demon
vIda – (for you) to be destroyed
vaiththa– kept in (your) mouth
veyya – cruel
kongai – in the bosom
aiya – subtle
pAl – milk
amudhu seydhu – mercifully drinking
Adaga– wearing golden bangles
kai – having hands
mAdhar – cowherd girls’
vAyamudham – nectar of their saliva
uNdadhu – mercifully drank
en kol – how amazing!

Simple Translation

You incarnated as the son of herd-woman yaSOdhA, who had her bosom decorated with lustrous gold chain. You punished the monster Sakatan with your divine foot. You drank milk subtly, from the bosom of the demon [pUthanA] who came with cruel thought of killing you, just like birds, in the form of your mother. You mercifully drank the nectar-like-saliva of the cowherd girls, who were wearing golden bangles on their hands. How amazing is this!

vyAkyAnam (Commentary)

Adagaththa pUN mulai yasOdhai Aychchi piLLaiyAy – AzhwAr had said in the previous pAsuram “kombarAvu nuNmarungul Ayar mAdhar piLLaiyAy“, referring to the slender waist of yaSOdhA. He is stating the same, with different words, here.

Adagaththa pUN mulai – one who had her bosom decorated with a chain made of shining gold. Since it was the bosom from which kaNNan drank milk, she has decorated her bosom; AzhwAr is enjoying that affection which she had towards kaNNan. In the previous pAsuram, he had said, in a general way, Ayar mAdhar piLLaiyAy (son of the cowherd lady). Here, he is specifically saying that he is the son of the cowherd lady, yaSOdhA. Since AzhwAr is engaging with the quality of simplicity manifested by emperumAn, who, being the controller of everyone, let a cowherd lady, who calls him as “My son” to tie him up and to beat him, he is repeating what he had said in the previous pAsuram, enjoying the activity.

sAdudhaiththu – an infant would flail its arms and legs, when it needs milk. kaNNan was flailing his legs for a similar reason, the leg touched the cart in which the demon Sakatan had pervaded. He died due to that impact. ALavandhAr, one of our preceptors, has said in his sthOthra rathnam SlOkam 30 about the divine feet of emperumAn: “vilAsa vikrAntha parAvarAlayam namasyadhArthikshapaNE kruthakshaNam l dhanam madhIyam thava pAdha pankajam kadhA nu sAkshAthkaravANi chakshushA ll” (When will I see with my eyes your divine feet, which casually measured the worlds where the eminent celestial entities and the lowly human entities live, which spend their time in removing the sorrows of those who worship them and which are like wealth for me?) nammAzhwAr in his thiruvAimozhi 4-3-6 says “kOlamAm en sennikku un kamalamanna kurai kzhalE” (your lotus-like divine feet, having the valorous anklets, are a decoration for my head). AzhwAr is amazed that emperumAn is using his divine feet, which are the means for those who do not desire anything else from him, for destroying wicked people.

Or puLLadhAvi kaLLa thAya pEy magaL – the demon who was having the evil thoughts of a bird which is flying to frighten children, and who came in the guise of a mother with affection such that none would go away from her doubting if she were a ‘stranger’. The word Or puL refers to a bird which creates evil deeds; Avi refers to thoughts. Just like the bird comes thinking of creating evil deeds for children, the demon came thinking of creating evil deed for kaNNan.

vIda vaiththa veyya kongai – you are the one who sustains all the worlds. She came with the thought of harming you, keeping her cruel bosom in your divine mouth.

aiyapAL amudhu seydhu – drinking the subtle milk which was capable of pervading and destroying the subtle life of the demon. Due to his fear in thinking about that event, AzhwAr states about the cruelty of the demon through the verse “puLLadhAvi kaLLa thAya pEymagaL“; the cruelty of her bosom through the verse veyya kongai and the cruelty of the milk that she gave through the verse “aiya pAl”. The word aiya could also be considered as calling out ‘’my lord!”

amudhu seydhu – kaNNan drank the milk given by her, considering her to be his mother, desiring it a lot. Just as darkness gets destroyed in a place where brightness comes in, since kaNNan is of the nature of destroying evil people, she, who wanted to kill kaNNan, perished.

Adagakkai mAdhar vAy amudhu uNdhadhu enkolO – when he was like an infant, as described in the above-mentioned incident and just as periyAzhwAr had said in periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 1-5-8 “unnaiyum okkalaiyil koNdu thamil maruvi” (the cowherd women would take kaNNan to their homes, keeping him on their waists) and in the same pAsuram “unnOdu thangaL karuththAyina seydhu varum kanniyarum magizha” (taking the form of a youth, just as they desired and making them happy by uniting with them), AzhwAr is amazed that emperumAn enjoyed the nectar-like saliva of the cowherd girls.

Adagakkai mAdhar – women whose hands were decorated with golden bangles. They decorated their hands, considering them as “These are the hands which he holds and these are the hands which embrace him”. The word “en kolO” seems to ask “For the poison given by pUthanA, is the nectar of their saliva, the antidote?” Sustaining everyone and not having anyone to sustain yourself, are the lives of enemies and the affection of dear ones, the sustenance? This could also be construed as: when you were a small child, you transformed yourself as youth for the sake of cowherd girls; when you were a youth, you appeared as a small child for yaSOdhAp pirAtti. How amazing is this!

We will next take up the 37th pAsuram of this prabandham.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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