Ini Thirai Thivalai modha

இந்த பதிவினை தமிழில் படிக்க இங்கே சொடுக்கவும், நன்றி.

As the saying goes ” Thirumaalai (the prabandham) ariyaadhaar, Thirumaalaye (Perumalai) ariyaadhaar”, we all need to learn and understand Thirumaalai , sung by Thondaradipodi Azhwaar, to know more and more about Perumal. In the first three hymns of this Divyaprabandham, Azhwaar enjoyed the experiences, graced by Perumal on him and in the subsequent eleven hymns, Azhwaar was preaching us his experiences with Paramathma.

As Azhwaar realised that people did not follow him or his preaching, he denounced such people. They pleaded that Paramapadha Nathan was unapproachable, as He would not be in this world, but somewhere else. Azhwaar responded by asking them to follow Sri Rama, when he mentioned silaiyinaal ilangai setra devane devan aavaan”. But they then stated that Sri Rama was a King and it would be difficult to approach or follow Sri Rama. To this Azhwaar, by stating ‘katrinam meitha endhai kazhalinai panimin asked us to follow Sri Krishna, who herded the calves, and showed His simplicity. We again complained that Sri Krishna went back to Paramapadham after completing the purpose of that incarnation. Azhwaar took us along to Arangan, by mentioning ‘uybavarku uyyum vannam Thiruvarangam kaatinaan”.

Since people did not follow his preaching, Azhwaar decided to leave them and started to sing about the greatest help and support graced by Periyaperumal to him in the next ten hymns. We discussed the first of these hymns earlier in the fifteenth paasuram, ‘Meyyarke Meyyanaagum‘. In that hymn, Azhwaar said that Perumal does all the things for those who show Him, truthful devotion; He also protects those who do things related to devotion which are not really truthful, but considered as truthful by Him; He lets down those who are not doing even a false devotion as mentioned above. Azhwaar concluded that hymn, that Perumal uses His beauty to clarify all the doubts and He is in Srirangam. In the sixteenth, ‘Soodhanaai kalvanaaiAzhwaar mentioned that he himself was a thief, a fraud and who got entangled with the beauty of the eyes of the other women and fell into deep pits. Azhwaar continued that Periyaperumal with His beauty, mended and diverted all his love and affection towards Him. In the next hymn, ‘Virumbi ninru,’ Azhwaar stated that previously he did not use his hands to pray, mouth to say prayers or heart to devote himself to Perumal. Perumal used His soft and sweet beauty to melt the hardened heart of Azhwaar.

Now let us go into the next hymn.

Thirumaalai – Eighteenth Hymn

Ini thirai thivalai modha, eriyum thann paravai meedhe, thani kidanthu arasu seyyum, thaamarai Kannan emman, kani irundhu anaiya sevaai, kannanai kanda kangal, pani arumbu udhirumaalo, en seygen paaviyene – Thirumaalai 18

In the previous hymn, Azhwaar said that his eyes got delighted and enjoyed the dharsan of Arangan. In this hymn, Azhwaar laments about his inability to continuously enjoy the dharsan of Arangan, as the tears rolling from his eyes out of the happiness were blocking like a wall between him and Perumal. Generally, Azhwaars would sing and claim that they had committed more sins resulting in them not attaining Paramapadham, the abode. But this hymn is not sung on those lines.

Initially, Azhwaar was happy about getting the opportunity to have the dharsan of Thiruvarangan and that happiness caused tears welling from his eyes. But the tears started swelling, causing worry and anxiety in Azhwaar, as he could not enjoy the dharsan continuously. So he hated himself in not making use of the opportunity he got and called himself a sinner in this hymn.

The meaning of this hymn is as follows : The sweet water droplets from the cool waves of the river Cauvery, which was like a sea, were hitting Sri Krishna, whose eyes were like red lotus and who is alone and unequal, ruling the entire kingdom. Azhwaar continued that after seeing Sri Krishna, with a mouth as red cherry (kovvai fruit) , and Azhwaar’s Master, his eyes were pouring cool tears out of happiness that interrupted the dharsan. This made him feel that he had committed sins and what else could he do.

Inithirai Thivalai Motha

The last letter of the word “inidhu” was dropped and combined with the next word “thirai,” form the word “inithirai.” The meaning for the first word ‘inidhu’ is sweet and the meaning for the second word ‘thirai’, is small particles. Dropping of a last letter is called ‘kadaikuraippu‘ as seen in another hymn from Thirvaaimozhi, (8.8.1), where Nammazhwaar had sung as “onnsangathai vaallaazhiyaan“, to combine onnsangu, gadhai, vaall, aazhi the weapons of Perumal. The sweet small droplets of water from huge waves touched (the holy form of Periyaperumal, in a reclined posture) is the meaning of ‘ini thirai thivalai modha’. Since the holy form of Periyaperumal (Thirumeni) is soft and tender, the touching of the tiny droplets felt by Azhwaar as collision, when he sang ‘modha’. Common people like us feel, these were small droplets, and they only touched His thirumeni, but for Azhwaar it was like a collision, considering the tenderness of Perumal. Earlier in Thirumaalai hymn 11, Azhwaar sang about the valor and strength of Perumal, as “arakkar konai setra nam sevaganaar” whereas here Azhwaar was mentioning His softness while enjoying Periyaperumal.

Eriyum Thann paravai methey

Like the sea, having cool waves that remove any fatigue in the reclined holy form of Perumal, here in Srirangam, Periyaperumal reclined beautifully on the shores of river Cauvery. We can also take that the size of the river Cauvery is also as huge as a sea and has copious supply of water.

Thani kidandhu

Thani could be taken as unequalled. In Paramapadham (abode), He has many Nithyasoories and Mukthathmaas who consciously do services only to Perumal. Perumal left them and been waiting here alone (thani) in Srirangam out of His love and affection towards the devotees, hoping for any one devotee to reach Him.

Here the commentator takes an example from Thiruvaaimozhi (2.3.5), where Namazhwaar states “thaniyen vaazh mudhale”, meaning ‘alone since birth’. Namazhwaar thanks Perumal that he was happy and alone to be thinking only about Him since birth. Nammazhwaar singles himself out to be exceptionally different from other people in this world, who happily spend their time in the materialistic activities and not carrying out any activities towards getting moksham. Perumal was awaiting here in Srirangam, looking for such an individual(thani) like Nammazhwaar. Again in Thiruvaaimozhi (10.10.1), Namazhwaar stated “thaniyen aaruyire”, meaning that he did not fit with others in this world.

Arasu Seyyum

Arasu Seyyum means governance. When Jeevathmaas claim that they belong to themselves, as against the claim of Perumal or Paramathma that all Jeevathmaas belong to Him, it is called governance by two. Periyaperumal changes the attitudes of such Jeevathmaas and make them say ‘namaha‘, meaning that they do not belong to themselves, but they belong to Paramathma. Such a governance is a single ruling by Paramathma and this is what is mentioned here by Azhwaar as arasu seyyum.

The commentator refers to Mahabharatham (Shanthi 344.45), that Nithyasoories take pleasure in chanting ‘namaha‘ and with folded hands always, a sign to show their devotion, called Anjali. In the same way, Periyaperumal governs by making the people in this world to get rid of their pride and ego and this governance is by Him alone.

Thamarai Kannan Emmaan

The above phrase “thamarai kannan‘ implies that Periyaperumal shows the beauty of His eyes to get rid of the pride and ego of the people of this world. With Bhrahmaasthram, one can win over every enemy. Paramathma won over all in the paramapadham with his lotus like eyes. According to Azhwaar, Periyaperumal in the same way would win over each and every one in this world. Reference is made to Thiruvaaimozhi (2.6.3), where Nammazhwaar mentioned “Thaamarai Kannanai vinnor paravum thalaimaganai” to substantiate, nithyasoories would have been defeated by His lotus like eyes.

Thondaradipodi Azhwaar asked a question on who were seduced by His beautiful eyes and responded that if a lower most person like himself could be defeated by His beautiful eyes, there would not be any other person who could not be defeated by Him. Azwaar himself became enslaved as such and conveyed that as “emmaan” here.

Kani Irundhu Anaiya Sevvai

People, whose ego and pride had been got rid of, enjoy the beauty of Periyaperumal’s holy mouth, which is like a sweet, and looks beautiful in the phrase “Kani irundhu Anaiya Sevvaai”. Here Azhwaar states that the holy mouth is like a fruit when he mentioned “anaiya“, which means only similar to but not equal to. The reason being that the fruit perishes over a period of time whereas the holy mouth is ever fresh. We can recall the sage Parasarar in Vishnu Puraanam, “avikaaraaya sudhaaya nithyaaya paramaathmane” (1.2.1), in this context.


The moolavar in Srirangam, Periyaperumal is Sri Krishna or Kannan and the Utsavar, Namperumal is Sri Rama, according to the Aacharya, Parasara Bhattar. He stated that Periyaperumal is in Srirangam to grace the people who are born after the completion of Sri Krishna incarnation. Yasoda, mother of Sri Krishna, had fed more and more butter and curd to Krishna, in spite of all His playful acts, which were at times a little bit extreme, and the results of those butter and curd are reflected in Moolavar, Periyaperumal’s form, according to Parasara Pattar. Further he would state that the humbleness and discipline, result of being associated with learned rishis like Vasishta, would show in the eyes of Namperuamal, as Sri Rama.

Kanda Kanngal

Azhwaar is talking about his eyes, which got the divine oppurtunity to have the dharsan of Periyaperumal, after missing the same for many years and births in the past.

Pani Arumbu Udhirumaalo

As described earlier, the happiness of having the dharsan of Periyaperumal brought tears like flood from the eyes of Azhwaar. These tears were cold and according to the commentator, these could even sprout the roasted beans. The commentator continued to state that these tears could be hot, had it come out of separation. The final word ‘aalo’ is a pre-cursor to the increased sadness of Azhwaar.

En Seygen Paaviyene

The tears flowing like flood, forming like a wall, prevented Azhwaar from having the dharsan of Periyaperumal. So Azhwaar lamented that he did not know what to do to prevent that. Azhwaar knew that he got a very rare opportunity to have the dharsan of Periyaperumal. Since he felt that he had sinned so much, the tears were preventing him, having an uninterrupted dharsan. The glories of Periyaperumal are very many and the happiness out of having the dharsan of Periyaperumal is also very huge. So the tears out of happiness would also be like a flood. Azhwaar felt that if there is a gap, he could have at least, got dharsan in between, but the tears continued without a break. The commentator concludes this hymn, by stating that the experience of Azhwaar was like having troubles because of water that is floods and drought at the same time.

Let us catch up in the next hymn, thanks.

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