Posted in Amalanaadhipiran, Naalayiram

Amalanaadhipiraan Song Nine: Alamamarathin Ilaimel

Preamble:
[The destruction, wrought by the conventional arms, deployed, one by one or piecemeal, is very much limited, as compared with the wholesale destruction of an entire region, wrought by a single nuclear bomb].

Hitherto, the Lord pressed into service the missiles, one by one, in the shape of His limbs, but now, He throws His entire weight, the sum-total of the several regiments (members of the body, with the characteristic ornaments, worn by each) by exhibiting His enthralling Form, as a whole. The bewildered Pan Perumal exclaims, in this song, that, alas ! he has lost now his earlier composure, swept off his feet by Lord Ranganatha’s flooding beauty. The overall charm of His enchanting person and dazzle of His bluish complexion, of incomparable excellence.

Text:
Alamamarattinilaimel oru palakanay
Jnalamelumundan Arangattaravinanaiyan
Kolamamaniyaramum muttuttamamum mutivillador elil
Nilameni aiyo ! nirai kontatuennencinaiye ! ||9||

Translation:
The endless charm of the peerless chains with sparking pearls and rubies set
And the bluish tint, in glorious blend, of my Lord on serpent-bed
At Arangam, who did once the worlds seven mouth and rest
As Babe unique on a tender leaf of the banyan tree vast,
Has the poor me thrown into awful disarray, distraught !

Notes:
Alamamarattin ilai mel oru palakanay jnalam elum undan: Wonderful and unimaginable it was. What ? A tender babe [in comparison with whom Yasodha’s babe (Krsna) could be deemed a mature elder] devoured the worlds, one and all, with all their enormous contents, and rested on an equally tender leaf, plucked from a huge banyan tree, for millions of years (the entire duration of ‘mahapralaya’ – the great Deluge). The whopping stuff, gulped down by the unique Babe, however, occupied just a corner of the Babe’s belly ! Had they all got jumbled, huddled together ? No, far from it. Layer by layer, they remained, in tact, their contours and configuration were not disturbed, in the least – so the texts say. One might question whether anyone has seen such a Babe and peeped inside the belly, so as to vouchsafe the veracity of seemingly hyperbolical statements, as above. A pertinent question indeed ! Well, sage Markandeya did, according to his own admission in Srimad Bhagavatam and Mahabharata, of unquestionable veracity, personally verify and testify. In the ‘Aranyaparva’ of Mahabharata, Sage Markandeya narrated to Yudhistira the marvelous deeds of (breath-taking exploits) of Lord Vishnu, when he beheld Him reclining, as a tender Babe, on a tender leaf of the banayan tree over the huge expanse of the furious waters of the Deluge. He said, “O King ! I was awe-struck when I saw all the worlds in that infantile bowel of the Lord. With His special permission to this solitary observer, long after, I was inside His body, looking around for a hundred years and still I could not see the farthest limit of the bowels, at any time. Baffled that I was, I could not but exclaim, ‘Ha ! where and how does this infant lie !”

Arangattaravinanaiyan: Why beat about the bush? The Lord, now reclining on the serpent-couch at Srirangam, is the same as the One, who secreted, inside His bowels, all the worlds with all their things and beings, thereby protecting them all from the fury of the swirling waters of the Deluge, out to devour them. In earlier songs, Lord Ranganatha was similarly identified with Lord Trivikrama, Rama, Krsna and Narasimha.

When the Lord lay on a small piece of leaf on the watery expanse, there was none around to worry about His personal safety, whether such a tiny bed, with little or no space to roll about, was not fraught with the risk of His falling down and getting drowned in the deep waters, the more so, because of the heavy load inside His belly. But the milieu here is entirely different. He is resting on the spacious, cushiony bed, the silken-soft bosom of ‘Adisesa’ (Ananta) who also zealously guards Him against any possible danger. Of course, the Lord is potent enough to take care of Himself, unaided. And yet, it is Adisesa’s inordinate devotion which makes him apprehensive of the Lord’s personal safety, as did Perialvar and other Alvar saints of the same ilk.

Kolamamani aramum muttu tamamum mutivillator elil nilameni: Elegant rows of necklaces of infinite charm, inset with priceless gems of exceptional radiance like ‘Koustubha’ and sparkling pearls, keeping the Lord’s cloud-hued person, cool and refreshing are referred to here.

Aiyo nirai kontata ennencinaiye: This points to the loss of the Alvar’s erstwhile stability and composure, in toto. Those traits had sustained him and made him feel elated and elevated while imbibing the exquisite charm of the limbs of the Lord, step by step. But now, by exhibiting the overall charm of His cloud-hued person, full and flooding, well-bedecked, the Lord has unsettled the Alvar to such an extent as to make him apprehensive of the safety of One, so charming and alluring besides pining for ocular perception as well, unable to brook separation from Him, any longer.

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