Vella neer parandhu paayum

இந்த பதிப்பினை 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/Emperumaan. In the first three hymns of this Divyaprabandham, Azhwaar enjoyed the experiences, graced by Emperumaan on him and in the subsequent eleven hymns, Azhwaar was preaching us his experiences with Paramathma. When people raised many objections, Azhwaar responded to them to follow Sri Rama, when he mentioned silaiyinaal ilangai setra devane devan aavaan”; and asked them follow Sri Krishna, who is simple and easy to approach, by ‘katrinam meitha kazhalinai panimin; and finally to Aranganathan, by mentioning ‘uybavaruku uyyum vannam Thiruvarangam kaatinaan”. Azhwaar continued his preaching by singing the glories of Thiruvarangam in the next three hymns.

As people still did not follow Azhwaar’s preachings, he decided to leave them and started to sing about the great help graced by Periyaperumaal to him in the next ten hymns. We discussed the first of these hymns, the fifteenth paasuram, ‘Meiyerke Meiyanaagum, where Azhwaar sang that Emperumaan does everything for those who show truthful devotion to him; He also protects those who do things related to devotion which are not really truthful, but could be classified as truthful; He lets down those who are not even showing such false devotion as mentioned above. Azhwaar concluded that hymn that Perumal uses His beauty to clarify all the doubts. In the next hymn, “soodhanaai kalvanaai“, Azhwaar mentioned that Azhwaar himself was a thief and a fraud, who got entangled in the beauty of the eyes of the other women and fell in deep pits. Azhwaar confirmed that Periyaperumal used His beauty to correct him and diverted all his love and affection towards Him.

In the next hymn, “Virumbi nindru“, Azhwaar stated that previously he did not use his hands to pray, mouth to say prayers or heart to devote himself to Emperumaan. Emperumaan used His soft and sweet beauty to melt the hardened heart of Azhwaar and Azhwaar was so happy that his eyes were filled tears. Initially, Azhwaar was happy about the opportunity he got to have the dharsan of Thiruvarangan, who is alone and without any peer, ruling the entire kingdom and that happiness caused continuous tears. With tears, he could not enjoy the dharsan continuously. So Azhwaar was distressed and frustrated at himself in not making use of the opportunity offered to him and hence called himself a sinner in the eighteenth hymn,ini thirai thivalai“.

In the nineteenth hymn, Kuda thisai mudiyai vaithuAzhwaar sang that Perumal created the four directions and kept the holy parts of His form (Thirumeni) in each direction, so that we can get abode by having dharsan of those holy form. Azhwaar continued that his mind and body started to melt after having the splendid dharsan of Periyaperumal and wondered how others were unaffected; if they were using any potion to sustain such a strong state, Azhwaar asked them to give him a small portion of that.

For that, people responded by asking him to come out of the devotion to Emperumaan. According to Azhwaar, those who know the glories of Emperumaan, would understand that Emperumaan is in Thiruvarangam only for themselves. Only those who are selfish and proud of themselves would get away from Periyaperumal and Azhwaar said that he would not do that. This is what he conveyed in the twentieth hymn, Paayuram Neer Arangam Thannul.

In the previous hymn, Azhwaar said that he could not leave Arangan after having His dharsan. Azhwaar was suggested that he could try limiting his time to enjoy the experience of the beauty of Arangan or he could stay at a corner and think about or offer prayers to Arangan, in stead of having dharsan of Arangan so that he would not suffer. To that, Azhwaar advised his mind/heart that limiting the experience of enjoying the beauty of Arangan, would be like what he lost in the past about the Bhagawath experience, due to his own level of confidence or faith. This was the summary of the hymnPanivinaal manam adhu ondri“.

Azhwaar sang “manithinaal ninaikalaame ?“, to confirm that enjoying the beauty of Periyaperumal could not be contained within a time frame or with a restricted frame of mind by the heart. Then people advised Azhwaar to avoid seeing Him, but only keep speaking about the beauty of Periyaperumal. Azhwaar asked them back as, how to talk about something which could not be conceived by the heart fully. This is the core of hymn 22, “pesitre pesal allaal’. Azhwaar told his heart that we could talk only what vedas and our acharyaas had spoken and we would not be able to speak anything new about the glories of the Emperumaan, who lives in the hearts of those who are faultless. Emperumaan would not be understood or visible to others.

People told Azhwaar that if he could not think or could not speak about Paramathama, he could forget Him. Ahwaar responded by saying how he could forget Him and live, after having the dharsan of Arangan in the beautiful reclining posture. This was seen in the hymn 23, Gangayyil Punidhamaaya.

Now let us go into the next hymn.

Thirumalai 24th hymn

Vella neer parandhu paayum viri pozhil arangam thannul, kallanaar, kidandhavaarum kamala nan mugamum kandum, ullame valaiyai polum, oruvan enru unara maataai, kallame kaadhal seidhu un kallathe kazhikindraaye (Thirumaalai 24)

Thondaradipodi Azhwaar in the previous hymns, expressed his love and affection towards Periyaperumal as,

  • manathinaal ninaikalaame” meaning that He can not be fully conceptulasied by the heart;
  • pesithaan aavadhu undo” meaning we can not talk anything new about Him; and
  • enganam marandhu vaazhgen”, meaning how can Azhwaar live forgetting Him after having had His beautiful dharsan.

Now in return Periyaperumal displayed His affection towards Azhwaar and Azhwaar realised that his love and affection towards Periyaperumal was too lowly compared what He has shown. Azhwaar sang that his love and affection was like the sanity that a mad man would get for a short while and hence called his devotion as deceitful (kallathanam) in this hymn.

Vella neer parandhu paayum viri pozhil Arangam

Azhwaar still remembering “pongu neer parandhu paayum” from the last hymn, continued here as well with “vella neer parandhu paayum” to express the glories of the river Cauvery.

The river Cauvery, right from its origin, has the main objective of reaching Thiruvarangam and hence comes with heavy floods to show its eagerness, flowing everywhere, unstoppable and uncontained. Azhwaar had carefully used present tense, instead of past tense, when he called “paayum” instead of paayndha, to indicate that her eagerness is boundless. And the copious water flowing everywhere also makes the orchards and gardens grow everywhere in Thiruvarangam.

Arangam thannul, Kallanaar

Emperumaan honestly could have been with the undeceitful Nithyasoories but has come all the way to Thiruvarangam to attract the faulty jeevathmaas through His own deceptive means. All the fair and honest methods will work with honest and fair people, whereas it has to be achieved only through deceptive means with faulty people. Azhwaar called Him as Kallanaar or Kalvanaar. Jeevathmaas who enter the temple with many bad thoughts are reformed into devotees by Emperumaan using His charming beauty. So, it is appropriate that Azhwaar call Him Kalvannar. Azhwaar did not call Him a normal thief (kalvan), instead, Kalvannar, to indicate that He is a big theif ! since jeevathmaas believe that the soul belongs to them, though it belongs to Him and if Emperumaan annonce His approaching to them for taking back His property, the soul, no one would be available and so He has come as a Kalvannar, according to Azhwaar.

It may look like that Emperumaan came down to Thiruvarangam becuse of the bountiful water and the abundant gardens as mentioned earlier. But the real objective of His presence in Thiruvarangam is to attract the Jeevathmaas and hence called Him Kalvan.

We can recall Swami Nammazhwaar in Thiruvaaimozhi, referring to the main deity of Thirumaliruncholai, ” senchor kavigaal, uyir kaathu aat seymin”.

Thirupaanazhwaar should have seen some deceptiveness in His holy face when he had the dharsan of Periyaperumal and hence sang “seyya vaai aiyo en sindhai kavarndhadhuve“, in his Amalanaadhi Piraan(7). In other words, He takes the soul of the jeevathmaas who come to Him for some purpose and the commentator said that He steals the soul and put into His pocket ! and turns them as His confidants . Since Emperumaan takes the soul or attaches the soul to Him, from the devotees or jeethavamaas without their knowledge, even though the jeevathmaas believed that the soul belonged to them for a long time, Azhwaar called Him as Kalvannar.

This is explained the first hymn of jitante stotram as Emperumaan takes the soul of the Jeevathmaa by the simple beauty of His form.

  • The Lord, you have beautiful eyes similar to the reddish lotus flower, you won this soul
  • This soul does not belong to me, it is Yours
  • It is You, who have created all the worlds
  • You are the One, who designate what each sense shall perform
  • You are the foremost bestower
  • You are the one, who came into existence, before anyone else
  • Kindly make sure that this soul serves only You and not me

Since time immemorial, the jeevathmas believe that the soul belongs to them, and now when Emperuman takes the soul that rightfully belongs to Him, it looked to jeevathmaas, as a deceptive one, similar to Krishna stealing butter in Ayarpadi in His early days, according to the commentator. Even though the soul belonged to Paramathma and even though the Jeevathmaas continued to believe that the soul belonged to them for a long long time, the commentator says that it is appropriate to call Him as Kalvan.

Even if we submit our souls to Emperumaan by ourselves, it is like how Mahavali gifted the worlds to Him, which always belonged to Emperumaan and hence it is also a deceptive act only.


It is the overall beauty of the Form of Periyaperumal that enchanted Azhwaar, rather than the beauty of His various parts of His Form (Thirumeni) or the various glories of Periyaperumal, like simplicity. We can also refer to the previous hymn of Thirumalai (23) “kidanthathor kidakkai”

Kamala Nan Mugamum

Here the lotus is compared to the holy face of Emperumaan. The flower and the face may be comparable in terms of blossom, fragrance, coolness and freshness. But the flower can not be equal to the face, as Azhwaar qualified the face as ‘nan mugam‘. The holy face of Emperumaan is completely pure (sudha satvam), fully radiant and always shining, that cannot be compared to a nonliving thing. The lotus blossoming with the sun can not be compared to the blossom of Emperumaan on seeing His devotees, according to Azhwaar. By ‘nanmugam‘, Azhwaar confirms that the holy face of Emperumaan is the most cooling face in all the worlds and all others are harsh.

The same commentator said that Periyazhwaar was praised by Aandal in her Thirupaavai (30) (vanga kadal kadaindha), as “than theriyal pattarpiraan”, meaning that Periyazhwaar was wearing a very cool floral garland. The commentator continued that all others, including Emperumaan were wearing hotter garlands compared to Periyazhwaar. If we consider both the situations together, we may be able to take it as Azhwaars are more saathvikargal than Emperumaan. Emperumaan is the coolest among all, except Azhwaars.

Kandum, ullame valiyai polum

Azhwaar was surprised that his heart was strong and unchanged, even after having the dharsan of Emperumaan with all His beauties, in His reclining posture. Azhwaar’s heart was asking why he sang, in the earlier hymns, like Kanninai kalikumaare (17), pani arumbu uthirumaalo (18) and udal enaku urugumaalo (19) expressing the changes that happened to his body. Azhwaar admitted / responded that after considering the glories of the Emperumaan, whatever he mentioned earlier as the changes that happened to him were very minimal.

Oruvan endru unara maataai

Azhwaar tells his heart that it does not understand that Emperumaan has none, equivalent or superior to Him. Had the heart understood that, it would have started thinking about His glories as they are, which should have triggered appropriate involvement with Him. According to Azhwaar, the heart is harder, mainly because it did not generate such an involvement.

Kallame Kathal Seithu

Azhwaar sang that we behave in a very deceitful manner regarding Bhagawadh matters, the same deceitful manner we behave in the worldly matters, similar to what he sang earlier Kanninai kalikumaare (17), pani arumbu udhirumaalo (18) and udal enaku urugumaalo (19).

Un kallathe kazhikindraaye

Azhwwar further said to heart that the regular and continued deceitful ways we have practised for many years and many births for the worldly matters had resulted in Azhwaar showing a deceitful devotion very well, even in Bhagawadh matters. Azhwaar said to his heart that he did not show true love and devotion and particularly he did not show the appropriate, true love and devotion in this bhagawadh matters.

As we know that this hymn is part of the subsection, where Azhwaar was mentioning the list of favours that were extended to him by Emperumaan. Here Azhwaar said that Emperumaan was preparing Azhwaar for the total surrender to Him, as one of the important qualifications for the total surrender is to realise that we do not have anything to offer to Him. In this hymn, Azhwaar said that even after having the dharsan of Emperumaan, his heart was very strong and was showing falsely devotion to Emperumaan. This made Azhwaar to admit that he did not have any of the requirements for the total surrender.

In a similar way, Periyazhwaar in his Periyazhwaar Thirumozhi (5.2.8), mentioned “edhangal aayina ellaam iranga viduvithu ennule, Peethaga aadai Piraanaar Pirama Guruvaagi vandhu, podhil kamala vann nenjam pugundhum en chenni thidaril paadha illaichinai vaaithaar pandandru pattinam kaappe”, meaning that Emperumaan got entered into Azhwaar, removing all the sins that were in the heart of Periyazhwaar. Emperumaan also did a favour by placing His holy feet on Azhwaar’s head.

With this, Azhwaar had completed the section, namely the favours done to him by Periyaperumal. Next section is where Azhwaar in the coming hymns 25 to 30, felt that he did not have any qualification to start any of the practices to attain abode (Paramapadham), the place where he could get eternal happiness.

Thank you very much and let us try to catch up again in our next weblog.

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