thiruchchandha viruththam – pAsuram 90 – kulangaLAya Ir iraNdil

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

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avathArikai (Introduction)

Starting from the 87th pAsuram, AzhwAr had told emperumAn that other than him, there is no other deity apt to be surrendered to, emphasising his ananyagadhithvam (having no other refuge). In this pAsuram, he says “Even though you are the one apt to be attained, I do not have any means, with me other than your divine feet” mercifully bringing out the absence of kaimmudhal (any means) with him.

kulangaLAya IriraNdil onRilum piRandhilEn
nalangaLAya naRkalaigaL nAlilum navinRilEn
pulangaLaindhum venRilEn poRiyilEn punidha nin
ilangu pAdham anRI maRRor paRRIlEn em IsanE

Word-by-Word Meanings

poRiyilEn – getting caught in sensory perceptions such as Sabdham (sound) etc
pulangaL aindhum – the five sensory organs
venRilEn – I have not won over
nalangaLAya – conducting in the correct path
nal – benevolent
kalaigaL – vEdhams
nAlilum – among the four
navinRilEn – I have not learnt
IriraNdAya – in the four classes
kulangaL – among the four varNams (classes) of brAhmaNa, kshathriya, vaiSya and SUdhra
onRilum – even in one varNam
piRandhilEn – I have not been born
punidha – Oh, one who purifies
em IsanE – lord for us (who are without any means with us and who do not have any refuge)!
nin – your
ilangu – splendorous|
pAdhamanRi – other than the divine feet
maRRor paRRu – another means for being uplifted
ilEn – I do not have

Simple Translation

I have not won over the five sensory perceptions such as Sabdham etc in which I have got caught. I have not learnt any of the four benevolent vEdhams which conduct people in the correct path. I have not been born in any of the four varNas. Oh, one who purifies all! Oh, one who is our swAmy! Other than your splendorous divine feet, I do not have another means to get uplifted.

vyAkyAnam (Commentary)

kulangaLAya ….. poRIyilEn – this pAsuram has been arranged in such a way that one could either start from poRiyilEn … downwards and look at the four faults which AzhwAr speaks about that he has, analysing the cause for each as a link to another, or one could start with the words as they lie in the pAsuram and analyse the effect of each as a link to another. [This pAsuram has been written as a conversation between emperumAn and AzhwAr, by the vyAkyAthA (commentator) periyavAchchAn piLLai]. emperumAn asks AzhwAr in his divine heart “Do you have anything [any means] with you in order to attain me?” AzhwAr responds saying

poRiyilEn – I have the five senses as my residence. I have got caught in the prAkrutha vishayam (matters related to primordial matter, in other words, worldly pursuits) such as Sabdham, sparSam, rUpam, rasam and gandham which are responsible for samsAram. The implied meaning is “I have only this fault and no benevolent material to attain you”. Just like a trap laid out for rats, AzhwAr calls these worldly pursuits as poRi (trap). Similar to the trap for rat, these also will show what appears superficially as something appealing and encircle the person inescapably. emperumAn next asks him “You know that you should not get caught in this trap. Did you not prevent your eyes, ears etc from going towards them?” AzhwAr responds saying …

pulangaL aindhum venRilEn – while I was pulled by sensory organs such as eyes, ears etc, I went around, under their control, without winning over them. Hasn’t the power of sensory organs been mentioned in bhagavath gIthA SlOkam 2-60 too? “yathathO hyapi kaunthEya purushasya vipaSchitha: l indhriyANi pramAthIni haranthi prasabham mana: ll” (Oh, the son of kunthi! The mind of even the wise people, who have engagement (with yOgam) is pulled strongly by the sensory organs). thaiththirIya nArAyaNam says “dharmENa pApam apanudhathi” (By engaging in puNya karma, one rids of one’s sins). emperumAn further asks him “bruhadhAraNya upanishath 6-4-23 says ‘thasmAdh Evamvith SAnthO dhAntha uparathas thithikshus l samAhithO bhUthvA AthmanyEvAthmAnam paSyEth ll’ (Thus, one who knows like this, would be one who has controlled his internal and external sensory perceptions, who does not have desire (in deeds which are carried out with an end benefit in mind), with a patience, with a mind which is not muddled and who sees the supreme being (as indwelling soul) within his AthmA). In such instances, vEdhas teach a person the ways to control sensory organs. Have you not learnt those vEdhams?” AzhwAr replies …

nalangaLAya naRkalaigaL nAlilum navinRilEnnalangaLAya kalaigaL are the former parts of vEdhas which show the way to people depending on the predominance quality among sathva (noble), rajas (passionate) and thamas (ignorance) possessed by them, just as it has been said in bhagavath gIthA 2-45 “thraiguNya vishayA vEdhA: nisthraiguNyO bhavArjuna” (Oh arjuna! vEdhas were created for people who have one of three qualities of sathva, rajas and thamas, in excess; let you be one without sathva guNa which is admixed with rajas and thamas guNas) [in other words, let you have only sathva guNa, without any trace of rajas and thamas]. These vEdhas shower affection equivalent to that shown by a thousand parents, ordaining the means to achieve the end-goal. naRkalaigaL are the later part of vEdham, relating to vEdhAntham, the end portions of vEdhas, which focus on mOksham and the means for reaching mOksham. AzhwAr says that he has not learnt any of the four vEdhas and their vEdhanthams. naviludhal – to learn; kalai – vEdham. The implied meaning is that the benefit of carrying out deeds will result only for those who recite vEdhams and that it is only with such deeds that sensory organs could be won over. AzhwAr implies that he is too far from winning over sensory organs.

When emperumAn asks him “Why have you not recited vEdhams which are the first means for winning over sensory organs?” AzhwAr replies …

kulangaLAya IriraNdil onRilum piRandhilEn – it is not because of an indifferent mind that I did not engage with vEdhas. Since I was not born in a clan which is qualified to recite vEdhas, I did not engage with them. Only those who are born in brAhmaNa, kshathriya and vaiSya varNams can learn vEdhams. Even for those in the fourth varNam of SUdhras, by assisting the first three varNas, they could get rid of their sins and may get to win over their sensory organs. But I was not born in any of these four varNas, says AzhwAr. He was born to bhArgava rishi, a highly qualified brAhmaNa rishi. How could he then say that he was not born in any of the four varNas? Just as krishNa, who was born in the kshathriya clan of yadhu, considered the cowherd clan who brought him up, as his clan, since AzhwAr was brought up by a person who was engaged in bamboo craft, he considers himself to be outside the four varNas. Did not parASara maharishi too say in SrI vishNu purANam 5-20-49? “ayam sa kathyathE prAgyai: purANArtha viSAradhai: l
gOpAlO yAdhavam vamSam magnamabhyudhdharishyathi ll” ([krishNa] is celebrated as gOpAlan (one who tended to cows) by great wise people in the meanings of purANas; he is going to uplift the clan of yadhu which had been languishing for long). pramANams (authentic texts) too say “sa pithA yasthu pOshaka:” (only he who nurtures a child well is considered as the father), confirming that more than the one who gave birth, only he who nurtures and brings up the child is considered as the father of the child.

Instead of considering the meaning for the pAsuram starting with poRiyilEn, going down from one reason to another just as it had been mentioned at the beginning, we could also derive the meaning in the way that the pAsuram has been composed, starting with kulangaLAya IriraNdil …. viz. – Since I was not born in any of the four varNas, I was not qualified to recite vEdham which is only for those born in the first three varNas. Since I did not recite the vEdhams, I did not understand the meanings of vEdhams. Due to that, since I did not carry out activities mentioned in the vEdhAnthams, the second part of vEdhams, I could not win over my sensory organs. Due to that reason, I got caught in worldly pursuits such as Sabdham etc.

emperumAn asks him further “If you do not have the means to prevent engaging with worldly pursuits such as Sabdham etc, what have you thought of, as your means for getting uplifted?” AzhwAr says

punidha – Oh, one who is capable of purifying others! Don’t you have the sanctity in you with which you could purify those lowly people who do not have anything in them to purify themselves after engaging with worldly pursuits such as Sabdham etc? The implied meaning is that emperumAn’s grace will stand in the place of birth in a superior clan, the resultant connection with vEdham and the resultant carrying out of deeds in line with the meanings of vEdhams.

ninnilangu pAdhamanRi maRRor paRRilEn – your divine feet are such splendorous that they will remove darkness to any extent. Apart from those divine feet, which shine even more because of the mercy which they shower on the deficient people who do not have anything in themselves, I do not have any other means.

em IsanE – Oh one who fulfils the tasks through your relationship with people like us who do not have anything in them and who do not have anyone to protect them!

Next, we will take up the 91st pAsuram of this prabandham.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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