thiruchchandha viruththam – pAsuram 53 – mOdiyOdu ilachchaiyAya

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avathArikai (Introeduction)

Just as kaNNan removed bANAsuran and others, who were strong and who were inimical to the desires of his grandson anirudhdhan, today, for removing hurdles for the desires of his followers, the divine abode where that kaNNan resides forever is the huge temple in SrI rangam, says AzhwAr.

mOdiyOdu ilachchaiyAya sAbameydhi mukkaNAn
kUdu sEnai makkaLOdu koNdu maNdi venjamaththu
Oda vANan Ayiram karam kazhiththa AdhimAl
pIdu kOyil kUdu nIr arangam enRa pEradhE

Word-by-Word Meanings

ilachchaiyAya – (those with noble qualities) feel embarrassed to even look at her
sAbam – curse
eydhi – attained
mOdiyOdu – with kALi
makkaLOdu – with sons
kUdu – assembly
sEnai – army
koNdu – taking them
venjamaththu – in the battle
maNdi – very rapidly
mukkaNAn – Sivan, with three eyes
Oda – to run away
vANan – bANAsuran’s
Ayiram karam – thousand hands
kazhiththa – one who severed
Adhi – causative factor
mAl – krishNa’s
pIdu kOyil – huge temple
kUdu nIr – having abundance of water
arangam enRa pEradhu – has the divine name of SrI rangam

Simple Translation

kaNNan made Sivan, who has three eyes, to run away from the battle field along with kALi, who, people with noble qualities feel embarrassed even to look at, as well as with his sons and the assembly of army, rapidly. He also severed the thousand hands of bANAsuran. The huge temple, with abundant water bodies, where that kaNNan, who is he causative factor (for all the worlds), resides, has the divine name of SrI rangam.

vyAkyAnam (Commentary)

ilachchaiyAya sAbam eydhi mOdiyOdu – for those who have sAthvika guNam (noble qualities), seeing her or talking about her is a matter of embarrassment. She has incurred the curse of not being cherished by them. mOdi is a name for kALi. Since she has thamO guNam (qualities of laziness, ignorance etc) and since she has the bad habit of accepting animal sacrifices such as sheep, roosters etc, she is not favoured by those with noble qualities. Thus, AzhwAr qualifies her by saying ilachchaiyAya sAbam eydhi. Alternatively, the verse could be rearranged as sAbam eydhi ilachchaiyAya mukkaNAn, in which case, the qualification [of being with shame] would shift to Sivan. In that case, just as it has been mentioned in mAthsya purANam -182 “brahmA: – yasmAdhanaparAdhasya SiraSchinnam thvayA mama l thasmAchchApasamAvishta: kapAlee thvam bhavishyasi ll” (brahmA said: since my head, which is without any deficiency, has been plucked by you, you will be seized by my curse and will become a kapAli (one who has skull in his hand)), since brahmA cursed him, he is the one with three eyes, who attained shame. Through SaivAgamam (rules and regulations governing establishment of temples for Sivan) Sivan instructed that he is sarvESvaran (lord of all) and donned moon on his head. Through these, he manifested his strength, showered people who think that the body is soul (those with ego), with whatever they had asked for, without looking at whether that would lead to beneficence or munificence and making them to worship him. Due to the curse of brahmA, that he is a jIvan who is governed by the SAsthrams (authentic, traditional texts) became known to everyone. Should one speak about the shame that this had caused him?

kUdu sEnai makkaLOdu koNdu maNdi venjamaththu Oda – along with murugan, the son of Sivan, who was spoken of, as in thiruvAimozhi 7-4-8 “nEr sarindhAn kodikkOzhi koNdAn” (subramanNyan, who has rooster as his flag, got defeated, being unable to fight), along with several other sons, along with a huge assembly of army, kALi, agni et al, Sivan ran away from the battle, unable to cope with the skills of kaNNan and balarAman.

vANan Ayiram karam kazhiththa – one who severed the thousand hands of bANAsuran, through his chakrAydham (divine disc). Didn’t periyAzhwAr too say in his thiruppallANdu 7 “mAyapporupadai vANanai Ayiram thOLum pozhi kurudhi pAyach chuzhaRRiya AzhivallAn” (one who severed the thousand shoulders of bANAsuran with his divine disc such that the asuran was bleeding profusely and his army was destroyed)! emperumAn destroyed the pride of rudhran who had vowed that he will protect bANAsuran. He severed the shoulders of bANAsuran who was prideful of the strength of his shoulders.

AdhimAl – the lord of all, who is the causative factor for the worlds. Was it not said in mahA bhAratham sabhA parvam 38-23? “krishNa Evahi lokAnAmuthpaththirapi chApyaya: l krishNasya hi kruthE bhUthamidham viSvam charAcharam ll” (krishNa is the causative factor for the creation, sustenance and destruction of all the worlds. The universe with stationary and mobile entities was created only for krishNa).

pIdu kOyil – huge temple. The term pIdu refers to greatness.

kUdu nIr arangam enRa pEr adhE – having the divine name of thiruvarangam (Sri rangam), surrounded by water gathered from the starting point in sahyAdhri mountain range and from the rains coming from regions to the east of that mountain range.

The verse should be rearranged as sAbam eydhi ilachchaiyAya mukkaNAn mOdiyOdu makkaLOdu kUdu sEnai koNdu venjamaththu maNdi Oda vANan Ayiram karam kazhiththa AdhimAl kUdunIr arangam enRa pEr adhAna pIdu kOyil.

The essence of the two pAsurams 52 and 53 is – irrespective of whether it is an animal such as kuvalayApeedam elephant or the lord of celestial entities, rudhran, emperumAn removes them seeing only whether they are inimical to his followers. Since kuvalayApeedam came to kill kaNNan, he mercifully killed that elephant. Since rudhran came with the thought “Let me defeat kaNNan, protect vAnan and make him victorious”, kaNNan made him to run away from the battle field, in fear. He severed the shoulders of vANan who thought, just as in SrI vishNu purANam 5-33-2 “kachchinmamaishAm bAhUnAm sApalya janakO raNa: l bhavishyathi vinA yudhdham bhArAya mama kim bhujai: ll” (for my multifold pairs of hands, will battle, which gives benefit [of being victorious], take place? If there is no battle, what is the purpose of having so many hands which are a burden for my body?) Thus, the thoughts of his enemies would return to haunt them, is the essence of these two pAsurams.

Next, we will take up the 54th pAsuram of this prabandham.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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