TVM 2-1: Vaayum Thirai

In the previous Poruma Neelpadai thiruvaimozhi, Azhwar enjoyed the easy accessibility, greatness, and the captivating form of Thirukkurungudi Nambi in the pasuram maniyai vanavar (மணியை வானவர் கண்ணனைத் தன்னதோரணியை). When just one of these auspicious attributes of the Lord was sufficient to draw Azhwar towards Him, Azhwar enjoyed a generous supply of all the three attributes together in Thirukkurungudi Nambi. Unsurprisingly, Azhwar found Emperuman’s charm irresistible and grew desirous of a physical union with Him. However, since he could not achieve this union in Nambi’s archavathara, Azhwar, like a forlorn lover, turned despondent and started experiencing pain owing to her predicament.

Azhwar, thus, assumes the role of Parankusa Nayaki and moves into a garden beside the seashore to bemoan her separation. Although Azhwar experienced a similar separation from the Lord in Amchiraya Mada Narai (1-4) thiruvaimozhi, he was able to send emissaries in the form of birds to convey his message of separation. Here, Azhwar does not find anyone to carry his message to the Lord. Also, in the Amchiraya padhigam, Azhwar bemoaned his inability to lock himself in divine embrace with the Lord in His vibhava avathara. That could have, if any, been of some solace to Azhwar as his birth post-dates the occurrence of Emperuman’s vibhava avataras. However, in this Vayum Thirai padhigam, Azhwar can’t find a reason for comfort as Thirukkurungudi Nambi, who is supposed to be easily accessible in His archavatara, is not available for a physical union.

அவதாரத்திலே அநுபவிக்கக் கோலிப் பெறாததாகையாலே, “அது ஒருகாலத்திலே, நாம் பிற்பாடராகை” என்று ஆறலாம்; இது அங்ஙனன்றிக்கே, உகந்தருளின நிலத்திலே அநுபவிக்க ஆசைப்பட்டுப் பெறாமையாலே வந்த ஆற்றாமையாலே இது கனத்திருக்கும்   

This padhigam, thus, brings out the Lord’s quality of making his devotees go mad with God- Love. This madness is so acute that the same stork, which Parankusa Nayaki had commissioned earlier to carry her message, now appears to her as a fellow damsel-in-distress. Though the natural colour of the stork is white, she opines that the stork has undergone de-colouration as a result of its separation from the Divine Lord. Similarly, she attributes the crying of Anril birds along with other naturally-occurring events around her to their separation from the Supreme Lord, thereby deriving solace from the fact that the objects and beings around her share her dejection.

எம்பெருமானோடே கலந்து பிரிந்து ஆற்றாமையினால் நோவுபடுகிறாள் ஒரு பிராட்டி; ஆற்றாமை கைகொடுக்க லிலோத்யாநத்திலே   புறப்பட்டு, அங்கே வர்த்திக்கிற பதார்த்தங்களைக் கண்டு, அவையுமெல்லாம்  பகவதலாபத்தாலே நோவுபடுகிறனவாகக் கொண்டு

At this juncture, Nampillai makes an interesting observation in his commentary to account for the acuteness in Azhwar’s separation. In the case of Amchiraya padhigam, Azhwar was exposed to Emperuman’s Paratvam (Supremacy), Bhajaneeyatvam (Easy Worshippability) and Saulabhyam (Easy Accessibility) in the preceding thiruvaimozhis. However, in the case of Vayum Thirai, the acuteness is intense as Azhwar has since then experienced several other auspicious qualities of the Lord from Valavezh Ulagu to Poruma Neelpadai padhigams.

Nampillai further makes a comparison between Lakshmana and Parankusa Nayaki to drive home the acuteness of Azhwar’s separation. When Lakshmana pleaded that he be allowed to accompany Sri Rama in his exile, he cited the example of a fish failing to survive without water. That is, Sri Rama was unto Lakshmana what water is unto fish. However, Parankusa Nayaki goes one step further in claiming that the fish, water and all things depend on the Lord and cannot brook separation from Him. Thus, driven by her God-love madness, Parankusa Nayaki ends up commiserating with all living and non-living things around her.


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