Thirumaalai – Ullathey Uraiyum Maalai (34)

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 Paramathmaa. 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 ‘uybavarku uyyum vannam Thiruvarangam kaatinaan”. 

Favours of Emperuman to Azhwaar

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

Devoid of any good virtue

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 by hands and reciting holy chants from 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.
  • So, initially Azhwaar said that he did not use all the three elements together in his prayers, and subsequently Azhwaar said no to each one of them in the subsequent hymns.

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.

Full of all bad qualities

The fourth part of Azhwaar’s Naichyanusandhanam, consists of ten verses 25 to 34, where Azhwaar says that he had no good qualities, in the five hymns from 25 to 29 and from 30 to 34, says that he has all kinds of bad qualities.

In Manathilor thooymai illai (30), Azhwaar declared 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 Thavathulaar thammil allen (31) 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.

In the 32nd song Arthu Vandu Alambum Solai, Azhwaar states that he did not know or understand even one single way to reach Him. Azhwaar also stated about himself as a human being, who was unable to let go of what he liked, and behaved like a stupid, came in front of Emperumaan without knowing the criteria and that was his stupidity.

In the 33rd hymn, Meiyellaam Poga Vittu, Azhwaar, sang about his lowly qualities and cried that he had nowhere else to go and came in front of Emperumaan, only due to Azhwaar’s desire for the Emperumaan’s mercy.

Now let us move on to the next hymn.

Hymn 34 Ullathey uraiyum Maalai

Ullathe uraiyum Maalai, ulluvaan unarvu ondru illaa, kallathey naanum thondaai, thondukke kolam poondu, ulluvaar ullitru ellaam udan irundhu aridhi enru velgi poi ennule naan vilavara sirithittene (33)

Azhwaar laughed at himself, when he was trying to cheat Emperuman and his devotees by wearing appropriate costumes and speaking untrue words, realised that he could never cheat emperumaan, as He stays in the heart of everyone, from where all the thoughts are generated. Azhwaar considered himself a thief, as he believed the soul as his own. Azhwaar realised that his false guise was exposed and he laughed loudly, all by himself, to the extent of breaking his ribs. Azhwaar says that :

  • We need not run around and search for Him, as Emperuman, is always close in our hearts.
  • Residing always in the heart, Emperuman never goes out of the heart, knows everything.
  • Azhwaar describes himself as a person, who does not have any brain to do the right thinking.
  • Azhwaar acted as if he was a supreme devotee of Emperumaan and His devotees and sang “thodaiyotha thuvalamum, koodaiyum, polindhu, thonriya thol Thondaradipodi ” (Thirupalliyezhuchi,10), meaning that Azhwaar’s shoulders were shining with the basket with sacred basil garland that extended till his thighs”.
  • Azhwaar laughed boundlessly

Azhwaar, knowing that he, as a benefactor, was wearing the guise of a great devotee of Emperumaan, knowing that He, who knows all the thoughts of all thinkers by staying close to the heart of every individual, Azhwaar felt ashamed and laughed loudly within himself as Azhwaar also thought that he had moved away from Emperumaan, to the extent of breaking his ribs, is the direct meaning of this hymn.

Emperumaan always stays in the heart of everyone, the source for all the intelligence that come out of everyone’s mind, and known as “Sarvagyan’, meaning that He knows everything about everything, including all the mistakes committed by each and every one of us. So Azhwaar felt ashamed of coming in front of Emperumaan with disguise and untrue words, and thereby caused blemishes on Emperumaan . Azhwaar felt, as the brightness of the Sun, and darkness cannot be together, Azhwaar with all his shortcomings (darkness) could not go near Emperumaan ( brightness). Azhwaar felt that he brought disgrace to Him and tried to move away from his desire towards the Holy feet of Emperumaan and join all other jeevathmaas who did not have the knowledge to know about Azhwaar’s faults.

Here as a comparison, we can recall the hymn by Swami Nammazhwaar in Valavezh Ulagin (Thiruvaaimozhi 5.1), where Nammazhwaar wanted to move away from Emperumaan considering His Supreme Qualities and Azhwaar’s own lowliness.

Now let us go through in some details.

Ullathe Uraiyum Maalai

By “ullathe”, Azhwaar says that the Emperumaan, resides in the heart of every individual, which is the source from where the thoughts are generated. Outsiders can not see anything other than what is seen and since He resides in the heart, no one could ever cheat Him. By “uraiyum“, Azhwaar means that Emperumaan stays in the heart for ever and does not go out anywhere anytime. Further Azhwaar meant that if He goes out of the heart for sometime, during that time, the individuals could act either according to their wish (as told by the mind) or act in the right way (as told by Sastras or vedas). Since Emperumaan always stays in the heart, cheating Him is not possible. Azhwaar mentioned “Maalai”, to mean that He is superior to everyone, because of that also no one could ever cheat Him.

Though, Jeevathmaa is inside everyone’s body, it does not know everything that is happening inside this body. Though the sky is all-pervading, it cannot assign tasks to everyone. But since He knows everything, capable of designating anything to anyone, and the superiormost, it is absolutely impossible to deceive Him.

In Periyaazhwaar Thirumozhi (5.4.11) Periyaazhwaar sang, “Vittuchithan Manathe kovil konda kovalanai”, that Emperumaan is residing in Azhwaar’s heart.

Swami Nammazhwaar says in Thiruvaimozhi (10.6.1) “En nenjathul irundhu irunthamizh nool ivai mozhindhu” meaning that these are the words of the scriptures from my heart”. In Tiruvaimozhi (7.9.3), Azhwaar again says that Emperumaan entered into him through his tongue by “en naa mudhal vandhu pugundhu nal in kavi, thoo mudhal patharku thaan thannai sonna en vaai mudhal appanai “. In Thiruvaaimozhi 10.8.2 Azhwaar says that Emperumaan residing in Tiruppernagar had come to him on that day and He not only entered his heart, but occupied it fully with a vow, not to leave Azhwaar for ever. 

Similarly, in the Thiruvattaru Pathigam (Thiruvaimozhi 10.6.8), Azhwaar says, “Mei nindru kamazh thulava virai yeru thirumudiyan, kai ninra chakarathan karudhumidam porudhu punal, mai ninra varai polum thiru uruva vaataatraarku ennanri seydheno ennenjil thigazhvadhuve ” where Azhwaar was wondering, what he did, to deserve the grace of the Thiruvattaru Emperumaan. Azhwaar continued that Emperumaan with His fragrant Tulasi garland, has a radiant victorios discus that sets itself for action, wherever He wills. Here it can be seen as Emperumaan being inside the holy body of Azhwaar as one meaning. However the same can be seen as the good fragrance of the Thulasi moving from His holy form to His holy head. And Emperumaan feels, how blessed He is to enter into Azhwaar’s heart.

Our Acharyar, Parasara Bhattar, says that Emperuman resides in Nammazhwar’s voice and body to do good to him.

We can also recall, Thirumangaiyaazhwaar, in Periya Thirumozhi (8.9.5) the pathigam on Thirukkannapuram Souriraja Perumal, mentioned Thirukkudandhai Emperuman in “vandhaai en manathey vandhu nee pugundha pinnai, endhaai poi ariyaai“, meaning that Emperumaan came, entered Azhwaar’s heart, and after that did not know how to leave, Azhwaar’s heart. This was a great fortune Azhwaar was bestowed and could never forget this grace by Thirukudanthai Emperumaan.

Ulluvaan Unarvu Ondru Illaa

‘Ulluvaan unarvu ondru illa’ means that there is no material knowledge to think that He dwells within us. It is the opinion that there is no knowledge of Him, the Paramathmaa, Who is the Supreme Soul. In addition, there is no knowledge of Himself, who is the Jeevaathma. It is of the opinion, that only by knowing about Jeevathmaa, one will come to know about Him, the Paramathmaa, the possessor of Jeevathmaa. In the explanation of ‘ondru illa”,

  • The living soul has no knowledge about itself, the Jeevathmaa,
  • has no knowledge on Paramathmaa
  • has no knowledge about the nature of this body, which is inferior, temporary and is different from the Jeevathmaa.
  • There is no knowledge on the fact that the existence of the Jeevathmaa is for serving the Supreme Paramathmaa.

Antharyami and Antarathma are two different things. Antaratma is one of the five levels of the Parmathmaa, the Supreme Being within every living being. Antharyami is the determining or administering force or (Nyandrutvam) nature or quality of Antharatmaa, which is one of the five states of Paramatma, and that stays within that Jeevathmaa. In other words, Jeevathmaa is within each of us. Paramatma is the soul of Jeevathmaa itself. Shastras say that in everyone’s heart resides the all-pervading and majestic Emperumaan with Mahalakshmi in a lotus the size of a thumb. (It is wrong to say that Emperumaan is seen in a state called Antharathmaa at the size of the thumb. Our forefathers opined that the nature of Emperumaan shrinking himself is applicable only to His another state, namely archai.)

Kallathe Naan

Azhwaar says that he became a thief by hiding himself in outer guises so that the world could not recognize him as ignorant. He deceived the uninformed by saying that he had no evil qualities, known to his soul, the antharatmaa. He disguised himself according to Naichanu Santhaanam by telling the intellectuals that he had no good quality, known to the Antharathma and tricked them into thinking that Azhwaar possessed the knowledge of Jeevathmaa and Paramathamaa.

Azhwaar says that he had been harboring evil qualities since birth and made others believe that he had none of the evil qualities, and that too he has committed all these misdeeds while Emperumaan as a witness was watching him. While giving explanation to the above, the commentator also explains that Emperumaan Himself was a witness to both of Azhwaar’s actions of misdeeds and showing that he was not like that now.

Naanum Thondaai

Here the commentator quotes Valmiki, that those who did not have the connection with Emperumaan would hate themselves in Ramayana.

யஶ்ச ராமமஂ ந பஶ்யேது யம் ச ராமோ ந பஶ்யதி, நிந்தித ஸ்ஸர்வல்லோகேஷு ஸ்வாத்மாப்யேநம் விகர்ஹதே“. இராமாயணம் அயோத்யா காண்டம் (17-14)

yescha Ramam na pasyethu yam cha Ramo na pasyathi, nindhitha sarvalokeshu swaathmaapyenam vigarhathe ” Ramayanam, Ayothya Kaantam (17-14). ‘He who does not see Rama or does not think about Rama will be blamed by all in the three worlds. He hates even himself.” is the meaning of this sloka.

Here, Azhwaar says that he, who had no merit, came to do the service to Emperumaan that should be done only by those full of spiritual qualities, and hates himself for coming to do the things that only good people should do.

Thondukke Kolam poondu

Azhwaar says that not only in the case of Emperumaan, Azhwaar has cheated even good people with sattva qualities, by wearing disguises and having holy names to celebrate him. Azhwaar says that he cheated others by wearing 12 Thirumans, all over his body and adorning the five weapons, the Pancha Ayudhams.

It seems to be the practice to wear all the five weapons of Emperumaan during panchasamskaram in the days of the explanatory Acharya or earlier. But nowadays during Panchasamskaram the practice is to wear the symbols of only Conch and Discus.

By mentioning “Kolam Poondu”, Azhwaar indicates that he put only the disguise, but never did the services. Similarly by stressing the word “Thondukke”, Azhwaar indicates that he did not do the services which are to be done by only people with good qualities.

Azhwaar after realising how insane he was to utter insensible words, listed his own words in the earlier hymns, presuming himself to be a great man and preaching others.

  • Achchutha, Amarar Ere, Aayar Tham Kozhundhe (Thirumalaai 2) – the holy names of Emperumaan
  • Ichuvai thavira yaan poi …. Achuvai perinum venden (2) – here talked about the sweetness of Emperumaan
  • Naavalittuzhi tharuginrom, naman thamar thalaigal meedhu (1) – here Azhwaar talked as though he was a supreme person, that he wanted to place his foot on the the head of Yaman, the leader for handling the karmas of the jeevathmaas after death.

Ulluvaar ullitru ellaam udan irundhu aridhi enru

Azhwaar realised that Emperumaan knows all the thoughts of every person by staying with them, as Emperumaan resides in the heart of each and everyone, from where all the thoughts are generated.

It is worth noting the words of Sakunthala to Dushyantha as per the quote given by the explanatory Achaarya. “Dushyanta Maharaja, you think that you are alone, you do not know Emperumaan, Adipurusha, who resides eternally, in your heart; you are committing sin in front of Him, Who knows the sinful deeds you are committing,” Azhwaar says that when Emperumaan, who knows everything and designates everything, is in the heart of Azhwaar and that was when Azhwaar did things that no one should do.


Velgi poi means being ashamed. Azhwaar feels ashamed when he thinks of his hypocrisy, that Emperumaan is omniscient and always present in his heart. Being ashamed like this, he bowed his head and could not stand before Periyaperumal, and trying to move away from Him. Azhwaar continued to think that if someone was ashamed of a certain thing, they would look for a place where that was not there and go away. Here Azhwaar felt ashamed that he forgot to remember that there is no place where He, the Emperumaan is not present and Azhwaar was searching for a place where Emperumaan was not present.

Ennulle Naan

The common people are shameless, so they would not join Azhwaar when it comes to laughing loudly without inhibition. Even if Azhwaar thought that he was moving away from Periyaperumal, He would not like to laugh at Azhwaar, whether Azhwaar was in front of Him or away from Him. Therefore Periyaperumal also would not join Azhwaar in the matter of this uninhibited laughing; As a result, Azhwaar would be left alone to laugh all by himself. The author of the text says that Azhwaar himself became his partner in this matter, realizing that he deserved to laugh, and because there was no one to laugh with him.

Vilavarach chirithittene

Azhwaar says that he laughed until his ribs were broken. He says that there was no limit to his laughter as what he had done was also bordering on laughable things. He laughed thinking that what he wanted to do like destroying himself by getting away from Periya perumal, was similar to the thinking that those who wanted to fall into a fire, tried to do the same after taking betel leaf.

In Ramayana, Bharata told Satrukhnan with joy and a beaming face that he had reached the ashram mentioned by the sage Bharadhwaja in search of Srirama.

“Kagachaneva mahaa bhaahurdhyuthimaan Bharathasthathaa

shathrugnam , abraveethirishtaasthaanamaathyaam cha sarvashaha (Ramayanam, Ayodhya kaantam, 2.99.8)

manye praapthaah smatham dhesham Bharadhvaajo yam abhraveeth,

na athidhoore hi manyeh nadhee, mandhaakineem ithaahaa (Ramayanam, Ayodhya Kaantam 2.99.9)

Before hearing the Charama sloka, in Mahabharatham, Arjuna asked Krishna about the means of attaining moksha, and was saddened that it was difficult. He remained there, thinking that if Krishna was asked again, He would give a remedy for that too, and help Arjuna reach Him through that. Similarly, Emperumaan blessed Arjuna with the Charama Slokam, thinking that had He not responded, Arjuna would leave Him with sadness.

In the same way, Swami Nammazhwaar in Thiruvaaimozhi 1.1.3, says “An nalanudai oruvanai nanuginam naame”, which means that Azhwaar, being the lowest of lowly approached Emperumaan.

From the above, we can see, when Bharata, Arjuna and Nammazhwaar tried to approach Emperumaan, here Thondaradippodi Azhwaar, wanted to move away from Emperumaan with no desire and that he should not approach Periyaperumal anymore in this matter. Therefore, he was like a person who eats betel leaves, sprinkles flowers, and smiles before entering the fire and looked to move away from Periyaperumaal.

With this song, the fourth part, Naichanusandhaanam, ends with Thondaradippodi Azhwaar claiming that he had no good qualities and possessed all bad qualities. The next part will take us to the most important and interesting part of the Thirumalai, blessed by Azhwaar. We can experience and enjoy in our nexrt weblog. Thanks.

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