thiruchchandha viruththam – pAsuram 113 – salam kalandha

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

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avathArikai (Introduction)

In the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr had said “meeLvilAdha bOgam nalga vENdum” asking his heart to bow down to the divine feet of emperumAn and to praise him until attaining kainkarya bhOgam (the enjoyment of servitude). Hearing this, his heart told him “This enjoyment is attained only by those who are at the threshold of pArathanthryam (total dependence on emperumAn). We were at the exact opposite end, having been spoiled by ahankAram and mamakAram (ego and possessiveness, respectively). How will we get that benefit?” AzhwAr tells his heart, in this pAsuram, “emperumAn removed brahmahaththi pApam (the sin of harming a brAhmaNa) of rudhran who had severed the head of his father, brahmA, because of his ego. The same emperumAn will remove our ahankAram and mamakAram which are the opposite of pArathantryam and grant us this benefit. You be firm that he is the means [to attain him]”

salangalandha senjadaik kaRuththa kaNdan veNdalaip
pulan kalanga uNda pAdhagaththan van thuyar keda
alangan mArbil vAsa nIr koduththavan aduththa sIr
nalam koL mAlai naNNum vaNNam eNNu vAzhi nenjamE

Word-by-Word Meanings

nenjamE – Oh, my mind!
salam – with waters of [river] gangA
kalandha – being together
senjadai – having reddish coloured matted hair
kaRuththa kaNdan – having bluish throat
veN thalai – in the white coloured skull of brahmA’s head
pulan kalanga – such that all his sensory organs were bewildered
uNda – took food
pAdhagaththan – rudhran, who had the sin of brahmahaththi (harming a brAhmaNa), his
van – severe
thuyar – grief
keda – to be annihilated
alangal mArbil – in the divine chest decorated with divine garland
vAsa nIr – fragrant water
koduththavan – one who gave and protected
aduththa sIr – derived from the auspicious qualities (which are apt for his basic nature)
nalangoL – having eminence
mAlai – sarvESvaran (lord of all)
naNNum vaNNam – his mercy which is the means to attain him
eNNu – keep thinking of
vAzhi – may you live long

Simple Translation

Oh, my mind! rudhran, who has reddish matted hair along with the waters of gangA as well as a bluish throat, took food from the white coloured skull which had stuck to his hand and which he contracted due to brahmahaththi pApam of plucking it from his father, brahmA’s head. His senses got bewildered due to this; to annihilate his severe grief, emperumAn sprinkled fragrant water [sweat] from his divine chest, decorated with divine garland. Keep thinking of the mercy of that emperumAn, who has great eminence, derived from his auspicious qualities, which are apt for his basic nature and who is he lord of all. May you live long.

vyAkyAnam (Commentary)

salam kalandha sem sadaik kaRuththa kaNdan – rudhran who has reddish matted hair, within which he had contained the entire waters of river gangA, and who has a throat with bluish colour derived from consuming the hAlakAla poison which came out during the churning of thiruppARkadal (milky ocean). His holding waters of gangA and having bluish throat indicate his strength. It is also indicated, due to his reddish hair, that he derived the strength by performing penance. The reason for explaining about his strength is due to the fact that it was due to his ego which he had as a result of his strength that he severed his father’s head. Just as the sathva guNas (noble qualities) of eminent people would be the refuge for other eminent people, strength derived from ego of those with thamO guNas (qualities of ignorance) would be the reason for harming others.

veN thalai – just as thirumangai AzhwAr had said in periya thirumozhi 6-9-1 “mudaiyadarththa siram Endhi” (holding brahmA’s skull which was having foul smell), since rudhran severed one of the five heads of brahmA, it got stuck to his hand due to the curse. Since he was holding it for a long time, all the blood etc in that skull had got dried off fully, leaving a white coloured skull in rudhran’s hand.

pulan kalanga uNda – rudhra recalled the time when he had the strength and wealth due to which many took refuge under him and his present condition of lowliness due to which he had to beg for food which he had to take in that skull due to his act of offence.

pAdhagaththan van thuyar keda – to remove the severe grief which came about due to the sin of severing the head of brahmA who was eminent, who had created the worlds and who was also his father. The term van thuyar (severe grief) indicates that there was no expiation for this sin and that this could not be got rid of by experiencing it fully too. Only through the supreme entity’s omnipotence could this be removed.

alangal mArvil vAsa nIr koduththavan – one who filled up that skull with fragrant water from his divine chest which had the divine garland as the symbol for his supremacy of being the protector of all. The reason for adding the term alangal mArbu as an adjective for emperumAn is – he is the protector for all, irrespective of any distinction between those who come to him for other benefits or who come, seeking himself. vAsa nIr denotes that the water came from his divine form which has all the fragrances, just as chAndhOgya upanishath 3-14-2 says of emperumAn “sarva gandha: sarva rasa:” (he is the repository of the good fragrances and all the good tastes). In the 42nd pAsuram this water was shown as blood through the term “URu sengurudhi” (secreted with reddish blood) to indicate the trueness of the incarnation, that even when he incarnates with aprAkrutha (divine) form/qualities, he appears to have a prAkrutha (worldly) form.

aduththa sIr nalangoL mAlai – sarvESvaran, who has the eminence of having auspicious qualities which are apt for his basic nature.

naNNum vaNNam eNNu – keep thinking of his mercy which is the means to attain him. There is no doubt that emperumAn, who had removed the sin of rudhran, who had ego, will remove ego and possessiveness of ours too, we being those who do not consider other benefits. All that you have to do is to keep thinking of his quality of compassion alone which is the means to attain him. In other words, there is no way by which we can attain him through our efforts. We have to remain firm with the thought that he will grant himself through his quality of compassion.

nenjamE vAzhi – Oh my heart, let this state of firmness happen to you!

Next, we will take up the 114th pAsuram of this prabandham.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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