You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : July 1997

thirumalaimEl enthai

From: Parthasarati Dileepan (
Date: Wed Jul 23 1997 - 13:37:18 PDT

On Jul 23, 11:50am, Raja Krishnasamy wrote:
> While indeed there can be several literary interpretations to this verse,
> great AchAryAl illustrates this as the duality of Lord Shiva and srIman
> nArAyaNa, where pEyAzhvAr describes the Lord at Thirumalai as none other
> the union of the two divine forms.

With due respects, Sri Kanchi Sankaracharya's illustration of pEyaazhvaar's
verse as "the union of two divine forms" is not correct.  While Siva's form
is suitable for Lord Sriman Narayana (in the sense that all names
ultimately address our Lord Sriman Narayana), Lord Narayana's form is not
suitable for Siva.  This distinction is present in Azhvaar's verse, but
absent in Sri Sankaracharya's illustration.  Azhvaar's sreesukthees won't
help anyone wanting to show "the duality of Lord Shiva and srIman
naarayana" stated above.

Of the 100 verses of moonRaam thiruvandhathi pEyaazhvaar devotes a whopping
19 verses to the lord of Thiruvengadam.  In these 19 verses, starting with
verse 14 through verse 89, Azhvaar leaves no doubt that the Lord of
Thiruvengadam is none other than Lord Vishnu.  pEyaazhvaar sings of
ThiruvEngadavan as Vamanan, Thiruvikraman, Kannan, etc.  Thus, with the
term "enthai" in the phrase "thirumalaimEl enthaikku" occurring in verse
63, the verse in question, pEyaazhvaar is surely referring to Lord Sriman
Narayanan.  Any confusion that may exist if verse 63 is looked at in
isolation should disappear if it is interpreted with this background.   

Another verse that offers opportunities for misinterpretation is verse 5 of
muthal thiruvandhaathi of poygaiyaazhvaar.

aran naaraNan naamam, AnvidaippuL Urdhu
urain^ool maRaiyuRaiyum kOyil, varain^eer
karumam azhippaLippuk kaiyadhuvEl nEmi
uruvameri kaar, mEni onRu.

(The key for proper interpretation is the last phrase "mEni onRu" (one is
body).  Of the two entities (Sivan and Vishnu) described in the verse, one
(Sivan) is mEni; i.e. Sivan is body for Vishnu.)

In these cases keeping Nammaazhvaar's "udalmisai uyir ena karandhengum
parandhuLan" will be helpful in avoiding misinterpretation.

-- adiyEn

P. Dileepan
423-755-4675 (Work)
423-877-9860 (Home)