thiruchchandha viruththam – pAsuram 40 – Anai kAththu

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

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avathArikai (Introduction)

In the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr spoke about how emperumAn protected celestial entities who think of themselves as ISvaran (one who controls everyone). In this pAsuram, he enjoys emperumAn’s activities when he protects those who do not expect any benefit from him; emperumAn does not differentiate between his consorts who are above nithyasUris and cows, which are below jIvAns (souls) and protects them only because they cannot sustain themselves without him, removing their enemies.

Anai kAththor Anai konRadhanRi Ayar piLLaiyAy
Anai mEyththi AneyuNdi anRU kunRam onRinAl
Anai kAththu maiyarikkaN mAdharAr thiRaththu mun
Anai anRu senRadarththa mAyam enna mAyamE

Word-by-Word Meanings

Anai – SrI gajEndharAzhwAn [the elephant]
kAththu – protected
Ayar piLLaiyAy – being the son of the entire clan of cowherds
or– unique
Anai – kuvalayApeedam [the elephant]
konRu – killed it
Anai – cows
mEyththi– you grazed
Aney – cow’s ghee
uNdi – you ate
anRu – when indhran brought in a hailstorm
kunRam onRinAl – with a mountain (at hand)
Anai kAththu – protected cows
mai – decorated with black pigment
ari – having reddish lines
kaN – having divine eyes
mAdharAr thiRaththu – for the sake of nappinnaip pirAtti
anRu – earlier
mun senRu – going in front of nappinnaip pirAtti
Anai adarththa– killed the seven bulls
mAyam– amazing activity
enna mAyam– how amazing is it!

Simple Translation

You protected the elephant, gajEndhrAzhwAn. Further, as the son of the entire clan of cowherds, you killed the unique elephant, kuvalayApeedam. You grazed cows; you ate cow’s ghee. On that day, when indhran showered a hailstorm, you protected cows by lifting the mountain gOvardhanam. For the sake of nappinnaip pirAtti, who had decorated her eyes, which had reddish lines, with black pigment, you killed seven bulls by walking in front of her. How amazing are these amazing activities!

vyAkyAnam (Commentary)

Anai kAththu – you protected gajEndhrAzhwAn, despite his being an animal by birth and despite not having good conduct since he was going around with female elephants, just as it has been mentioned by poygai AzhwAr in mudhal thiruvandhAdhi 97 “pidi sEr kaLiRu” (male elephant going around, uniting with female elephants), by looking only at his quality of not looking for any benefit other than emperumAn. Instead of describing what sort of elephant gajEndhran was, AzhwAr is merely saying elephant, since the danger which befell the elephant and the way emperumAn came running with disheveled dress and hair, were famous. vishNu dharmam 69-46 says “gaja AkarshathE dhIrE grAham AkarshathE jalE l thayOr dhvandhvasamam yudhdham dhivyam varshasahasrakam ll” (gajEndhran was pulling the crocodile towards land; crocodile was pulling the elephant towards water. This equal fight between them went on for thousand years by dhEvamAnam (one dhEvamAnam is equivalent to 360 earth years). parASara bhattar (son of kUraththAzhwAn) says in rangarAjasthavam 2-57 “athanthritha chamUpathi prahithahastham asvIkrutha praNItha maNipAdhukam kimithi chAkulAntha:puram l avAhana parishkriyam pathgarAjamArOhatha: karipravarabrumhithE bhagavathas thvarAyai nama: ll” (As soon as you heard the outcry of gajEndhrAzhwAn, you did not bother about the hand held out by sEnai mudhaliyAr (vishwaksEnar) and did not accept the ruby studded sandals; your divine consorts were perplexed exclaiming ‘Oh what happened?’; you did not wait for your vehicle [garuda] to be decorated; I salute that speed of emperumAn who mounted garuda), bringing out the urgency in emperumAn’s action in order to protect the elephant. The manner in which emperumAn protected gajEndhrAzhwAn is famous, as brought out by thoNdaradippodi AzhwAr in his thirumalai pAsuram 44 “thavam seydhAr veLgi niRpa viNNuLAr viyappa vandhu Anaikku anRu aruLai Indha” (you had mercifully come to the bank of the pond in order to protect the elephant [gajEndhrAzhwAn] and showered your mercy on him such that those who were engaged in carrying out penance [in order to reach you] put their heads down in shame [despite the penance which they were carrying out for a long time, they could not have your dharSan] and nithyasUris were surprised [that emperumAn was going with such a hurry in order to save an animal])

adhanRi Ayar piLLaiyAy – in order to have belief in taking refuge under you, this narrative of your protecting the elephant alone is enough. Going beyond the above-mentioned narrative, emperumAn incarnated as the son of the entire clan of cowherds such that he could be nominated as their representative for everything. In the 36th pAsuram, AzhwAr had spoken of “aSOdhai Aychchi piLLaiyAy”. In this pAsuram he changes that line and says “Ayar kulaththiRkE piLLaiyAyI” (son of the entire clan of cowherds)

OrAnai konRu – Looking at SrI rAma and rAvaNa, many said that this was a battle between unequals, just as it has been said in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 103-5 “bhUmau sthithasya rAmasya rathasthasya cha rAkshasa: l na samam yudhdhamithyAhur dhEva gandahrva dhAnavA: ll” (dhEvas, gandharvas and demons said that the battle between SrI rAma, who is on the ground, and rAkshasa, who is on a chariot, is not one among equals). In a similar way, SrI vasudhEvar, dhEvaki pirAtti, the ladies in SrI mathurA et al who were favourable to emperumAn were afraid that the elephant kuvalayApIdam which was incited to be in rut and which was kept to kill kaNNan, was posing grave danger to kaNNan; however, he killed it casually. The term OrAnai refers to the elephant which had its natural strength, along with the strength that it acquired due to its rutting. Thus, it was unmatched in its strength. Didn’t this AzhwAr himself say “kadam kalandha vankari” in the 38th pAsuram?

adhanRi Anai mEyththi – further, in line with your clan of cowherds, you protected the cows during grazing. Just as nammAzhwAr had said in thiruvAimozhi 6-2-4 “viLaiyAdu sUzhalaich chUzhavE ninRu kAli mEykka vallAy” (Oh lord who is capable of grazing cows in the broad grounds which are the playing arenas for them), you had protected the cows by manifesting your divine beauty to them such that their stomachs became full.

Aney uNdi – you ate the ghee obtained from the cows. Though chAndhOgya upanishath 8-7-1 says of emperumAn sathyakAma: … vijighAthsa: (he has no unfulfilled desire and that he has no hunger), you desirously ate the materials which were touched by your followers (such as ghee, butter etc) as if you could not sustain yourself without eating them.

anRu kunRam onRinAl Anai kAththu – further, when indhran made the cloud bank called as samvartha gaNam to destroy AyppAdi (SrI gOkulam) [on being denied food], you took hold of a mountain which was lying near your hand and protected the cows. The word An appearing at the beginning of the 2nd and 3rd lines refers to cows. In the previous pAsuram too, this narrative was mentioned through the verse “veRpeduththu mAri kAththa“. What is the reason for repeating this narrative here? In the previous pAsuram, it was mentioned that indhran was spared from death since opposing emperumAn is not a natural characteristic for him and that kaNNan lifted the mountain gOvardhanam, thus praising emperumAn’s divine quality. Here, this refers to the nature of the cows which cannot sustain themselves in separation from emperumAn. Thus, there is no fault of repeating a narrative.

maiyarikkaN mAdharAr thiRaththu – for the sake of nappinnaip pirAtti who had her eyes, which were with reddish lines, decorated with black pigment.

mun Anai anRu senRadarththa mAyam – when nappinnaip pirAtti was waiting to embrace kaNNan, after decorating herself, he went in front of her, controlled the seven bulls simultaneously. How amazing is this! Here, the term An refers to bull.

enna mAyamE – this action is more amazing than the ones mentioned earlier! The term enna mAyamE reveals wonder. It could also be considered to express a doubt. In this case, the meaning would be – he had incarnated only to control the seven bulls and to marry nappinnaip pirAtti, according to the preceptor who had given the meanings of difficult terms in the prabandham.

Next, we will consider the 41st pAsuram of this prabandham.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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