thiruchchandha viruththam – pAsuram 88 – veLLai vElai

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

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avathArikai (Introduction)

In the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr had said that brahmA, rudhran et al get their positions due to emperumAn. In this pAsuram, he says “When they face a hurdle, they get rid of it with your mercy. When such is the case, will I ever consider anyone other than you as bhagavAn?”

veLLai vElai veRpu nAtti veLLeyiRRu arAvaLAy
aLLalAyk kadaindha anRu aruvaraikkor AmaiyAy
uLLa nOygaL thIr marundhu vAnavarkku aLiththa em
vaLLalArai anRi maRRor dheyva nAn madhippanE

Word-by-Word Meanings

veLLai vElai – in the milky ocean, which is white in complexion
veRpu – mandhara, the mountain
nAtti – keeping it [as the staff for churning the ocean]
eyiRRu – having teeth
arAvu – vAsuki, the snake
aLAy – coiling it (around mandhara)
aLLalAy – such that the waves became dense
kadaindha anRu – on that day when it was churned
aru varaikku – to support the mountain which could not be supported [otherwise]
orAmaiyAy – as a unique tortoise
uLLa nOygaL – when the harm due to sage dhurvAsA’s curse
thIr – removing them
marundhu – ambrosia, the medicine for it and the mercy of SrI mahAlakshmi
vAnavarkku – to the celestial entities
aLiththa– one who granted
em vaLLalAraiyanRi – other than emperumAn who is the most magnanimous entity
maRRor dheyvam – any other deity
nAn – I (who do not know anyone other than that emperumAn)
madhippanE – will I respect (as an entity)?

Simple Translation

When the mountain was used as a staff for churning the milky ocean, with vAsuki who has white teeth being used as the rope around the mountain, emperumAn took the form of a unique tortoise in order the support the mountain which could not be held in place otherwise. Will I respect any deity other that magnanimous emperumAn, who granted ambrosia, and the grace of Sri mahAlakshmi, as the medicine to get rid of the harm which came the way of celestials due to sage dhurvAsA’s curse?

vyAkyAnam Commentary)

veLLai vElai veRpu nAtti – keeping the mountain mandhara as churning staff in the whitish milky ocean. The blackish complexion of emperumAn would contrast with the white coloured milky ocean, making it enjoyable for wise people who do not desire any other benefit from him. However, for the sake of celestial entities who desire other benefits, he had to curtail that experience of those wise people and establish mandhara mountain as the churning staff in the ocean.

veLLeyiRRarAvaLAy – coiling the snake, vAsuki, who has white teeth, around that mountain as the rope, for churning. The reason for mentioning the white coloured teeth of vAsuki is: when the churning process started, vAsuki, unable to bear the pain, bared its teeth, manifesting its weakness; emperumAn gave it sufficient strength to continue the churning action. Hasn’t this been mentioned in SrI vishNu purANam SlOkam 1-9-91? “thEjasA nAgarAjAnam thathApyAyithavAn hari: l anyEna thEjasA dhEvAn upabrumhithavAn prabhu: ll” (hari (emperumAn) nurtured the snake vAsuki with a part of his radiance. With another part of his radiance, he gave strength to the celestial entities).

aLAy – around

aLLalAyk kadaindha anRu – the depth of that ocean could not be estimated just as it has been said in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 19-31 “kAnithas sagarENAyamaramEyO mahOdhadhi: l karthum arhathi rAmasya gyAthvA kAryam mahAmathi: ll” (this king of oceans, who is unfathomable, was severed by (SrI rAma’s ancestor) sagaran. This wise person [referring to the king of oceans] will know the importance of SrI rAma’s deed and would carry out his wish accordingly). On that day when the ocean was churned such that the waves were rising and hitting against one another, similar to thiruvAimozhi 7-4-2 pAsuram “kadal mARu suzhanRu azhaikkinRa oli” (the sound of the ocean turning towards left and right alternately). aLLal – denseness; the waves were close, hitting one another. The term anRu refers to that day when the celestial entities, who were proud that they were the lords, came looking up to emperumAn in order to get rid of their danger that they faced about loss of their wealth.

aruvaraikkor AmaiyAy – incarnating as a unique tortoise to support that mandhara mountain on his back so that the mountain will not get submerged in the ocean during churning. The term or would refer to uniqueness. Alternatively, or Amai could also mean that when he incarnated as a tortoise, the other tortoises in the ocean considered him as one among them. It is pertinent to recall parASara maharishi’s SlOkam in SrI vishNu purANam 1-9-99 “kshIrOdhamadhyE bhagavAn kUrmarUpI svayam hari: l mandharAdhrEr adhishtAnam bhramathO’bhUn mahAmunE ll” (bhagavAN hari (SrIman nArAyaNan), in the form of divine tortoise, was the support for mandhara mountain which was gyrating in the middle of milky ocean).

uLLa nOygaL – the problems which came in the way of celestial entities owing to the sage dhurvAsA’s curse. For the celestial entities who considered themselves to be lords of others, due to the curse of sage dhurvAsA, initially all their wealth disappeared. Due to this, they lost their mental strength; that led to loss of their wisdom and physical strength. Owing to loss of their physical strength, they lost to the demons. All these are clubbed under the term nOygaL (harm).

thIrmarundhu vAnavarkkaLiththa – one who gave them ambrosia as well as the distinguished mercy of SrI mahAlakshmi, so that they could get rid of their harm. Through ambrosia, emperumAn gave them back their physical strength and through pirAtti’s distinguished mercy, he gave them back their wealth. This has been mentioned in SrI vishNu purANam 1-9-106 and 1-9-111 SlOkams “thathO’valOkithA dhEvA: harivaksha:sthalasthayA l lakshmyA maithrEya shasA parAm nirvruthimAgathA: ll pIthE’mruthE cha balibhir dhEvair dhaithyasamUsthadhA l vadhyamAnA dhiSO bhEjE pAthALancha vivESa ha ll” (Oh maithrEya! Subsequently, owing to the grace of mahAlakshmi who is mercifully residing on the divine chest of emperumAn, the celestial entities attained superior comfort; with the ambrosia which the celestial entities took, the assembly of demons scattered in all four directions; they entered pAthAlam (nether world) too).

em vaLLalAraiyanRi maRRor dheyvam nAn madhippanE – emperumAn is one who showed his magnanimity to me by calling those who seek alms from him as magnanimous people, just as he said in bhagavath gIthA 7-18 “udhArAs sarva EvaithE gyAnI thvAthmaiva mE matham” (All these people are magnanimous only; among them, the wise ones are my AthmA (they sustain me); this is my philosophy). Apart from such emperumAn, would I, having no other means [to attain emperumAn], consider any other deity as being apt to be worshipped?

Next, we will take up the 89th pAsuram of this prabandham.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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