Kurangugal Malaiyai Nooka

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/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 Emperumaan or Paramathma. When people raised many objections, Azhwaar responded to them to follow Sri Rama, by silaiyinaal ilangai setra devane devan aavaan”; and asked them to follow Sri Krishna, who is simple and easy to approach, as ‘katrinam meytha kazhalinai panimin; and finally Aranganathan, by mentioning ‘uybavaruku uyyum vannam Thiruvarangam kaatinaan”. 

Still people did not follow Azhwaar, he decided to move on to describe the great favours he received from Periyaperumal in the next ten hymns, 15 to 24.

  • Emperumaan clarified Azhwaar’s doubts on the concept of Paramatma, the supreme most concept among the twentysix concepts of our sampradhayam in the hymn Meyyerke meyyanaagum.
  • In the next hymn Soodhanaai Kalvanaai, Emperumaan entered the heart of Azhwaar and made Azhwaar’s devotion and affection towards Periyaperumal to swell.
  • Emperumaan melted the hardened heart of Azhwaar and graced Azhwaar with His dharsan and blessings, in spite of Azhwaar’s belief that he was not worth to receive any favours from Periyaperumal. (Virumbi ninru)
  • Emperumaan nullified Azhwaar’s long time loss of not seeking Emperumaan’s dharsan and made Azhwaar to worship Him, which made Azhwaar’s eyes to pour out tears of joy. (ini thirai thivalai modha)
  • Emperumaan created the four directions and kept His holy parts of His form in each of these directions so that He can be worshipped to get abode / Moksham (Kuda Thisai mudiyai)
  • Emperumaan made Azhwaar happy by making him realise that His lustrous and effulgent Holy form and parts are for the happiness of His devotees only. (Paayum Neer Arangam)
  • Emperumaan made Azhwaar to realise, that he missed experiencing Him for a such a long time, mainly because Azhwaar did not surrender to Him completely, which shattered Azhwaar. (Panivinal manamadhu onri)
  • Emperumaan made Azhwaar sing that we can simply follow what the Vedas and our Acharyaas had already said about Him and we need not toil to create something new to speak about Him. (Pesitre pesal allaal)
  • Emperumaan showed the beauty of His reclining posture to Azhwaar in Thiruvarangam, that made Azhwaar to realise that he would not live without His dharsan. (Gangaiyil punidhamaaya)
  • Finally, Emperumaan made Azhwaar to realise and sing that he did not have any pre-requisites for total surrender, and that helped Azhwaar to get prepared for total surrender to Him. (Vella Neer parandhu paayum)

These are the first three subtopics of Thirumalai, namely, Azhwaar’s experience (1-3), Azhwaar’s preaching based on his experience (4-14), and the favours graced by Him to Azhwaar (15-24).

Now Azhwaar sings that he did not have any good qualities but had only bad qualities in the next 10 hymns (25-34), which is the fourth subsection, known as naichiyaanusandhaanam in our tradition.

In the first hymn in this subsection, Kulithu Moondru Analai (25) doing Naichiyaanusandhaanam, we saw Azhwaar mentioning that he did not have any of the qualification that were needed to practice Karma, Gnana or Bakthi yogams (Actions, Knowledge or Devotion) and Azhwaar requested Periyaperumal to bless him with everything from those qualifications onward.

In the next hymn, Podhellam Podhu Kondu (26), we saw Emperumaan asking Azhwaar, that he could do the poojas and singing slokas on Him, which anyone could do, even if they were not qualified to practice, karma, gnana or bakthi yogams. We also saw Azhwaar mentioning that he did not do them as well.

Now let us move on with the next hymn.

Hymn 27

Kurangugal malaiyai nooka kulithu thaam purandittu odi, tharanganeer adaikal utra salam illa anilam polen, marangal pol valiya nenjam, vanjanen nenju thannaal, Aranganaarku aat seyyaadhey aliyathen ayarkindrenne. Thirumaalai 27

The ape warriors pushed the mountains into the sea and the squirrels dipped in the water and then flipped into the sand on the shore to drop sand particles back to the sea to construct the bridge enabling them to participate in the activities that were related to Rama. The squirrels were sincere and not hypocritical, in dropping the sand to reclaim the sea with swelling waves. Azhwaar sings that he was not sincere like squirrels, but as hard-hearted as trees, and deceptive. Azhwaar completed the song that though he was eligible to perform all the services to Thiruvarangan, did not do any sincere service to Emperumaan and his life became useless.

As sung by Azhwaar in the last two verses, though he did not do any good deeds that humans could do, Paramathmaa stated that He accepted the services that were carried with good intention by squirrels and monkeys, when He took Rama incarnation, same way as He accepts the services of Nithyasoories, like Vishwaksena, Ananthazhwaan and Garudazhwaar in Paramapadham. When Periyaperumal inquired Azhwaar whether he could do any such thing, Azhwaar responded negatively in this hymn.

Kurangugal malaiyai nooka

The usage of plural for monkeys and singular for mountains, denotes that the number of monkeys is more and the number of mountains is few and one mountain is pushed by many monkeys. Although every ape warrior was capable of lifting a mountain like a small stone, the commentator says that many monkeys are touching a mountain out of a desire to put in their efforts to take part in the services that were related to Rama. The commentator further asked, would there be any desire for the animals to do such service and responded that, when Sri Rama, the apt Lord who accepts the service, is seen with the bow and arrow in His hand, all who are knowledgeable (human) and those who do not have the knowledge, (non-human, like animals, birds, insects and all) including a tiny matter would do the services.

Malaiyai nooka

Azhwaar did not use the word poda to indicate that the mountains being dropped into the sea but nooka to mean to push the mountain. This only shows that one set of monkeys push the mountain for some distance, before another set of monkeys take over and go towards the sea. In this way the mountains without being lifted by any, were simply pushed from one hand to another into the sea .


In the Ramayana, Yutha Kaantam (5.9), Rama said that His body was getting hot with the thoughts on Sita, and if He stays in the ocean for a while, the glowing Kaamagni, even in the water would still trouble and all the water would dry up. The narrator says that all the ape warriors who saw the plight of Emperuman due to His separation from Sitapiraati , were engaged in Rama’s work very briskly in constructing the bridge over the sea.

Kulithu … anilam polen

Let us look at Azhwaar’s first thoughts from the perspective of the squirrels .

  • Seeing the speed with which the monkeys were pushing the mountain, squirrels thought that the speed was inadequate for Emperumaan’s longing to reach Sita Piraati as soon as possible.
  • If the mountains, were simply thrown into the sea, the bridge could not be built. They had to be plastered, and not a single monkey did that.
  • To plaster the mountains, sand is needed, and that too in between the mountains, and none of these monkeys were doing the same.
  • So, the squirrels dipped into the sea, swam ashore and flipped in the sand, and with the sand on their bodies, bathed in the sea again in between those mountains in the sea. (Kulithu).
  • Thus the squirrels thought that they were plastering the mountains in the sea.
  • The squirrels also thought that the frequent dipping into the water and going to the shore with dripping water would help drying up the water in the sea, so that constructing the bridge for Rama would become easier.
  • The squirrels did not think that these activities so minuscule and would not make any significant difference in the construction of the dam but were very keen to engage themselves in the activities towards Rama’s objective.
  • Azhwaar used the word ‘Thaam‘ to indicate that the squirrels were very proud in the service of plastering the mountains which the monkeys could not do.
  • Thaam can also be meant to indicate the small size of their body.
  • After dropping the sand in the water, the squirrels bathed again and ran far away in the shore, beleiving that would enable their bodies to attract more sand by rolling their bodies on the sand back and forth. This Azhwaar calls it as “purandittodi”
  • Noticing the squirrels running far and fast, the monkeys asked the reason for such a speed in their activities. The squirrels answered that, Sri Rama was saddened. Therefore, His lunch should be at the Northern Entrance of Lanka and that’s why they were hastening and were disapproving the monkey’s inadequate speed. The squirrels responded that Ramapiran is so saddened and he would like to have his lunch on the other side of the sea, which is the northern part of Sri Lanka. Squirrels also complained that the speed of the work done by the monkeys was not enough.
  • The squirrels continued the service, without worrying about whether they could finish the thing on their own or not, because of the desire in participating in the activities for Rama.
  • These little squirrels tried to block the ocean that was with swelling waves. (tharanga neer adaikal )
  • The squirrels began to think that they were the supervisors and managing the activities of blocking the ocean and the helping monkeys which were pushing the mountains into the sea were the subordinates. the word (“utra”)
  • Squirrels did this as service, without expecting any thing in return. (“salam illa anilam“)
  • Here Azhwaar is giving an explanation as to why these activities of the squirrels, which were not really helpful in completing the bridge, were considered as services towards Emperumaan. It is the purity in their minds, that was enough for Azhwaar to count these activities towards Rama’s objectives. What was in the minds of the squirrels was that Emperumaan should reach Sri Lanka at the earliest.

The word “Salamila” could also mean temptation. Based on that meaning, the commentator provides one more explanation. Human beings are bound by the Shastras for carrying out all activities, whereas these animals like monkeys and squirrels are not bound by any shastras and do not even have limbs to do services like human beings. But here, the lowly animals did lot of things like bathing, running from shore to the sea and return, sticking sand on their bodies, pushing mountains, etc. and with all good intentions. Based on the meaning of Salamila as temptation, commentator explains that Azhwaar felt that he did not do any such activities and also he did not even had the good intentions like those animals. Azhwaar had mentioned this not only in this hymn but also in the previous hymn, kulithu moondru .

All wishes of Emperuman have been already fulfilled, hence what He expects from the Jeevathmaas are only the above good intentions. Nothing can be done by the imperfect souls to the comprehensive Emperumaan. But if Jeevathmaas thinking what they can do with their meagre knowledge and power, and abstain from doing the services because of that reason, they are considered unblessed. Emperuman, who is completely comprehensive, will accept even small things from every one, with complete happiness. There are only a very few jeevathmaas who do things towards Him without any expectation, like the squirrels. Azhwaar felt that he did not even have such involvement like those squirrels .

Some hymns on the construction of the bridge

Kalaiyum, kariyum, parimaavum, thiriyum kaanam kadandhu poi, silaiyum, kanaiyum thunaiyaaga chendraan, vendri serukalathu, malai kondu,alai neeranai katti, mathil neer ilangai vaal arakkar thalaivan thalai pathu aruthu uganthaan Saalagirammam adai nenje (Periya Thirumozhi 1.5.1)

Mallai munneer atharpada vari venchilai kaal valaivithu kollai vilangu pani seyyak kodiyon ilangai pugal utru, thollai marangal pugapeydhu thuvalai nimirndhu vaananava kallal kadalai adaithaan oor Kannapuram naam thozhudhume (Periya Thirumozhi 8.6.4)

Malai adhanaal anai katti mathil ilangai azhithavane ! (Kula Sekara Azhwaar, Perumaal Thirumozhi 8.8)

Kurai kadalai adal ambaal maruga veydhu kulai katti maru karaiyai adhannal yaeri, eri nedu vel arakkarodu ilangai vendhan innuyir kondavan thambikku arasum eenthu (Kula Sekara Azhwaar, Perumal Thirumozhi 10.7)

Oru Villaal Ongu munneer anaithu ulagangal uyya, seruvile arakkar konai setra nam sevaganaar (Thondaradipodi Azhwaar, Thirumalai 11)

Marangal Pol Valiya Nenjam

In the 17th hymn, Azhwaar sang that his heart was hardened like iron, and here he sang that his heart was as strong as trees. Azhwaar called his heart tree, because iron could be molded to a desired shape when smelted in hot furnace, but the wood would turn to ashes if placed on fire.

There is also a school of thought as, “salamilla marangal pol“, and the explanation given is that the wood can be shaken by a weapon, whereas Azhwaar’s heart was stronger than that and nothing could shake it.


Azhwaar says that with such a hardened heart, he was able to pretend as though his heart melted thinking about Emperumaan. Azhwaar said that he was fully involved into all other worldly activities, but could not get involved in the matters related to Paramathma, and at the same time he was able to make onlookers believe as though Azhwaar was true in matters related to Emperumaan and no one would be like Azhwaar. Azhwaar said that he was hiding his true colours and live differently. The same thought was shared in the hymn 17, when Azhwaar mentioned “irai irai urugum vannam” to highlight his disguised life.

Nenju Thannaal

Azhwaar said that he could have done at least some service with some involvement to Him with the heart given by Him and who was so nearby, like the squirrels who did the activities with good intention.

Aranganaarku aat seiyaadhey

Devotion and service to Emperumaan, means doing it to the fullest, and as said earlier, if it is done with lesser involvement, it does not become service to Him. But looking at Emperumaan, who took the good intentions of the squirrels themselves as Service, Azhwaar said that Emperumaan could have taken even the services done with lesser involvement as though a complete service to Him.


Lakshmanan said In Ramayana (Ayodhya canto 31-25), that he would do all the services to Sita and Rama, while they were moving happily on the slopes of the mountains, when they were awake or when they were sleeping. Azhwaar felt sad that his soul, which could have delivered all the services, all the times, like ‘ozhivil kaalam ellaam udanaai manni vadivilla adimai seiya” was wasted.


Azhwaar says that the reason why his soul was wasted like this was due to him forgetting the Emperumaan and not because he was not eligible. Here is a quote from the great hymn of Thirumangai Azhwaar (Periya Thirumozhi 6.2.2), “marandhen unnai munnam marantha madhiyin manathaal, iraanthen” meaning that I forgot you, I died,  I had forgotten you then, in that forgotten mindless state, I lost all and fell into the trap of birth-death, cycles, suffering pain and miseries. 

Azhwaar in this subsection of Naichaanusanthaanam, said in the first hymn that he did not even have the eligibility to follow any of the karma, gnana, bakthi (actions, knowledge and devotion) routes, which were accorded to him. In the second hymn, he said that he did not follow the steps followed by any human like doing Poojas and the Praising the Perumal. In this third hymn, Azhwaar continued his denial or naichaanusanthaanam, that he did not do even what the squirrels and monkeys had done according to their abilities with good intentions.

With this, let us conclude this hymn and move onto the next hymn in the next weblog, thanks

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