Thirumaalai – Aarthu Vandu Alambum (32)

இந்த பதிவின் தமிழ் பதிவை இங்கே காணலாம், நன்றி.

Thirumalai Till Now

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.

Azhwaar’s Experience and Preaching

In the first three hymns (1-3) of this Divyaprabandham, Azhwaar enjoyed the experiences, graced by Emperumaan on him and in the subsequent eleven hymns, (4-14) 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”. 

Favours to Azhwaar from Emperumaan

Azhwar moved 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 tradition (sampradhayam) in Meyyerke meyyanaagum.
  • Emperumaan entered the heart of Azhwaar in Soodhanaai Kalvanaai, 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, in 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 in Kuda Thisai mudiyai.
  • Emperumaan made Azhwaar happy by making him realise that His lustrous and effulgent Holy form and parts are only for the happiness of His devotees in Paayum Neer Arangam.
  • Emperumaan made Azhwaar 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 had already said about Him and we need not toil to create anything new to speak about Him in, 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, in Gangaiyil punidhamaaya.
  • Emperumaan made Azhwaar 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 in Vella Neer parandhu paayum.

After the first three subtopics of Thirumalai, 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 only bad qualities in the next 10 hymns (25-34), which is the fourth subsection, known as naichiyaanusandhaanam in our tradition.

No to Good things

In Kulithu Moondru Analai (25), Azhwaar mentioned 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 including the qualifications onward.

In Podhellam Podhu Kondu (26), Azhwaar mentioned that he did not do the normal poojas and singing slokas on Him, which anyone could have done, even if they were not qualified to practice, karma, gnana or bakthi yogams.

In “kurangugal malaiyai nooka” (27), Azhwaar stated that he did not do any service similar to the ones done by squirrels and monkeys, with good intention during the Rama incarnation.

In Umbaraal ariyalaaha” (28), Azhwaar said that his mind did not think about Paramaatma as his saviour, like the elephant Gajendra, which was saved by Emperumaan. after a crocodile caught its legs.

  • In Kulithu moondru analai (25) Azhwaar, said that he did not do prayers using all the three elements, thinking through mind, offering flowers using hands and reciting holy chants using mouth. In Podhellam Podhu Kondu (26), Azhwaar mentioned that he did not chant prayers. In kurangugal malayai nooka, (27), Azhwaar mentioned that he did not do any service. In Umbaraal ariyalaaha” (28) Azhwaar mentioned that he did not think.
  • Initially Azhwaar said that he did not use all the three senses together in his prayers, and subsequently denied that he did not use them individually also.

In Oorlien, kaani illai, (29) Azhwaar said that he did not have any association whatsoever, with Divyadesams, as He is committed to protect all those who have any association with Divyadesams like chanting of Tirupallandu, or holding any piece of land for doing some service to Him.

Yes to Bad Things

In this fourth part of Azhwaar’s Naichanusandhanam, which consists of ten verses 25 to 34, we saw Azhwaar saying that he had no good qualities, in the five hymns from 25 to 29 and in the next five songs, he says that he has all kinds of bad qualities.

In Manathilor thooymai illai (30), Azhwaar confirmed that he had all the bad qualities and there was no bad quality left in this world, which he did not have, as Emperumaan would have graced Azhwaar with moksham, as long as he did not have any bad qualities, even if AZHWAAR did not have any good quality.

In Thavathular thammil allen Azhwaar said that he did not possess any of the means, that the Shastras meant for attaining salvation, like doing yagnas, or donating to others, instead he had wasted the birth, by drowning himself into the worldly pleasures, showing hatred towards everyone, thereby he became undesired even to his own relatives.

Now let us move on with the next hymn.

Hymn 32

Aarthu vandu alambum solai, ani Thiruvarangam thannul, kaarthiral anaya meni, Kannane unnai kaanum, maargam ondrum ariya maataa, manisaril thurisanaaya, moorkanen vandhu ninren, moorakanen moorakanene (32)

The Emperumaan’s form, is like a huge dark rainy cloud, in the temple of Thiruvarangam, that was surrounded by gardens, with blooming flowers and beetles buzzing and wandering, that were like ornaments and adding beauty to the temple. Azhwaar said about himself, as a lowly human being, a fool unable to let go of things that he loved, knowing no way to reach Thee, The Emperumaan, and cried that he came there without minding what he lacked. He exclaimed his action as a stupid one.

The interlocutor puts an interesting preface to this song, Emperumaan was wondering how Azhwaar had came to Him, when Azhwaar was rejected even by his close relatives and friends, including by those who did not get involved with Emperumaan and the activities related to Him. The response from Azhwaar was that he came there brutally, and could not find a reason, as fools would do many things without any reason or it would be really difficult to find a reason for the activities of fools.

Now let us start moving into more details in the following sections.

Aarthu Vandu Alambum Solai

The beetles who came to drink the nectar from the flowers of the Thiruvarangam gardens were very eager to sip the nectar, they drank up to their necks, without realising, how much they drank , and were unable to stay in one place and were buzzing around here and there.

This is compared with the singing of Sama Gaana by the mukthathmas, in Paramapadham, in the bliss of seeing Emperumaan and hence reflects the sweetness of Thiruvarangam. Azhwar was singing this hymn to pray for the Paramapadham, but the beetles express the bliss of drinking the nectar.

As the monkeys in their joy after hearing about seeing Sita, by Sri Hanuman as stated in the Ramayana, Sundara Kanta (61.14), destroyed Sugriva’s gardens, these beetles were enjoying in the same way

Similarly, Periyazhwaar sang about Sri Krishna”s birth, as everyone in Gokulam were overjoyed, when they heard that their leader Nandagopar had got a child. People in that town overjoyed, not knowing what to do, some ran, some slipped in the mud, some shouted loudly, some searched for the child, some sang, some beat the drum and some danced appropriately to that. Everyone in Gokulam was in a frenzy. Periyazhwaar said that there was none who did not change in Tiruvaipadi because of Krishna’s birth. Thondaradipodi Azhwaar says that the beetles in Thiruvarangam were also enjoying similarly.

Oduvaar, vizhuvaar, ugandhu aalippaar, naaduvaar, nampiraan engutraan enbaar, paaduvaargalum, palparai kotta nindru aaduvaarkalum aayitru Aaipaadiye (Periyazhvaar Thirumozhi 1.2.2)

In summary, it is said that the beetles who came to drink the nectar were like Markandeya Maharishi who wandered in the pralayam, the deluge. The beetles were also like the gardens in the river floods of Thiruvarangam.

Ani Thiruvarangam Thannul

Azhwaar said that Thiruvarangam is like an ornament to a woman. Ramayana Sundara Kandam (16.26), says that a woman’s best ornament is her husband and Sita Piraatti, who is worthy of worship with all ornaments, was without radiance, because of her separation from Sri Rama. “Indeed, the husband is the greatest ornament for a married woman. Hence though deserving adornment she does not like it, bereft of her husband who is her only ornament. When giving explanation to this, the commentator said that Thiruvarangam was like a woman without her Thaali, or mangala suthram, when Emperumaan had not descended or taken His reclining position in Thiruvarangam.

The term ”Solai’ can be combined as Solai ani Thiruvarangam to mean, that the Thiruvarangam Periya koil has those gardens as it’s ornaments.

Just as Azhwaar said that the term Ani Thiruvarangam, Andal, too, the daughter of Periyazhwaar, sang about Srivilliputhur as Ani Pudhuvai Pattar Piraan Kothai sonna (Thirupaavai 30). Both Periyazhwaar and Thondaradipodi Azhwaar had done Pushpa Kainkaryam, flower related services to Emperumaan.

Kaar Thiral Anaiya Meni

Seeing the flood of honey in the Thiruvarangam gardens, and assuming that as sea, the clouds drank the nectar upto their neck. Thereby the clouds could not move and leave the tower of the temple of Thiruvarangam. The commentator goes further to say that the reclining posture of Emperumaan resembles the above clouds and could not leave the temple. The interlocutor describes that cloud could be said to some extent to be a metaphor for the form of Emperumaan, because of it’s blackness in colour, it’s coolness, its helping tendency towards others without expecting anything back, and giving everything to others without keeping anything for itself.

We can recall, how Swami Nammazhwaar says that whenever he saw the clouds, he is reminded of Emperumaan in Thiruvaaimozhi (8.5.8) “Thokka mega pal kuzhaangal kaanum thorum tholaivan naan”.


This word Kannane here, says that the Emperumaan is superior than the cloud. Unlike the clouds, Krishna is not the one who brings water from far off and stay there. But He was born together in the simplest clan, stayed close and gave Himself to help them. So it is very appropriate to call Periyaperumaal as Kannan. Our Achaaryas would say, by stealing and eating the stored butter of Yasodha, He grew and roamed like a dark grazing bull, which could be seen in Periyaperumal.

We can also recall Thirupaanazhwaar in Amalanaadhipiraan (10), “Kondal vannanai Kovalanaai vennai unda vaayan…. Ani Arangan“.

Unnai Kaanum maargham onrum ariya maataa

It means that Azhwaar did not know even one way to reach Him or see Him. Bhagavadh Geetha, mentions that the way to reach Him is to practice the activity based Karma Yoga, which would resuly in Gnana Yoga, the knowledge about Emperumaan. These two yogas together result in the Bakthi Yoga. It is also important to know about the secrets of His many incarnations, and to understand the “Purushothama Vidhya”. Apart from Bhagavadh Geetha, there are many other methods mentioned in saastras, like Thirunama Sankeerthanam, (Chanting His Holy names), residing and doing services in holy places or Punniya Kshethra Vaasam. All these methods were given to Jeevathamas so that they could choose one way or other to reach Him. Azhwaar says that he does not practice or know even one of the innumerable ways mentioned in our Sampradhaayam to attain Paramapadham


Azhwwar regrets that even after born as a human being, who is capable of reasoning between, the right and the wrong things, unlike an animal, he did not have the knowledge about the means of attaining Moksha.


Azhwaar says that if he was compared with others, they would be considered very high as the Nithyasooris, and they would also reject him as a theif. He could have withdrawn or accepted that he was unworthy to get Moksha, had he been born as an animal. But he regrets that he lost the benefits of born as a human being, as he considered himself as a sinner.

A quote is given here that, one who is born as a human being and not deaf or dumb, but who has not detached himself from this samsaram, would be with Brahmahathi dosha. Azhwaar says that due to this he had become a deceitful person who did not belong to either humans or animals.

Moorkanen Vandhu Ninren

Emperumaan was wondering, under such case, why Azhwaar came in front of Him. Azhwaar responded by saying that he came because he was an ignorant person who did not know his inferiority. He continued that had he known the superiority of Emperumaan, he could have withdrawn as it was inappropriate to go near Him. But he came in front of Emperumaan, mainly because, he was ignorant.

Here Swami Nammazhwaar’s Thiruvaaimozhi (1.5.1) is quoted, where he mentioned “valavezh ulagin mudhalaai vaanor irai aru vinaiyen”. “valavezh ulagin muthalaai vaanor irai” means that Emperumaan is so superior that a common man is unworthy to glorify, Emperumaan. By aru vinaiyen, Azhwaar mentioned about his inferiority, who was not worth to say anything about Emperumaan. Azhwaar mentioned that as some poison being mixed in the drinking fountain in a place, he approached the matter about Emperumaan, that is enjoyed by good people.

Thondaradipodi Azhwaar, in this hymn, said that he approached Emperumaan, because He is Kannan, and He accepts everyone and hence Azhwaar also used the same logic to go near Him without knowing the evils that would result because of that. He says that even though he was a monster, he came and stopped because the great Emperumaan is showing Himself as Kannan.

Moorkanen Moorkanene

He says that this lack of knowledge could not be found anywhere else in the world and hence mentioned Moorkanen twice. It can be also assumed that the first moorkanen is related to the harm he could have caused to Periya Perumal because of his approach and the second moorkanen is related to his inferiority.

See you in the next chapter, thank you

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