Daily Archives: January 18, 2015

kaNNinuN chiRuth thAmbu – Introduction (avathArikai)

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srI:
srImathE satakOpAya nama:
srImathE rAmAnujAya nama:
srImadh varavaramunayE nama:

Full Series

thaniyans

Nammazhwar-kanchi-3nammAzhwAr – kAnchIpuram

madhurakavi-2madhurakavi AzhwAr – thirukkOLUr

nanjIyar‘s introduction
For the jIvAthmA, purushArtham (goal) can be at 3 levels – uththamam (top-most), madhyamam (mediocre), adhamam (lowly). Top-most goal is to serve Iswara. Mediocre goal is to be attached to oneself (AthmA). Lowly goal is to be attached to material aspects (achith).

Material aspects are lowly due to their insignificant and temporary nature. Though there is boundless joy in AthmAnubhavam (enjoying oneself), in comparison with bhagavAn‘s auspicious qualities, it is still insignificant and thus this AthmAnubhavam is mediocre. Enjoying bhagavAn‘s boundless auspicious qualities and serving him – that too in krishNAvathAram and that too his life and pastimes at vraja bhUmi where he stole butter, being caught by yasOdhA red-handed and punished by her, etc., are the top most goal.

madhurakavi AzhwAr determines that srIvaishNavas who are immersed in such krishNAvathAram is the ultimate goal for the jIvAthmA. He is like sathrugnAzhwAn who ignored srI rAma and was fully focussed on bharathAzhwAn. Whatever emotions/desires nammAzhwAr had towards emperumAn and srIvaishNavas, madhurakavi AzhwAr demonstrated the same towards nammAzhwAr‘s lotus feet alone and reveals those emotions in this prabandham.

nampiLLai‘s introduction
rishis (sages) were focussed on all purushArthams (goals – aiswaryam, kaivalyam and kainkaryam to bhagavAn) which are highlighted in sAsthram. AzhwArs were fully focussed on reaching bhagavAn and performing kainkaryam to him. madhurakavi AzhwAr is focussed on bhAgavatha sEshathvam (being surrendered to bhAgavathas) which is the ultimate state of bhagavath sEshathvam (being surrendered to bhagavAn). He arrived at this state by observing nammAzhwAr who sung many prabandhams but revealed this bhAgavatha sEshathvam in thiruvAimozhi 2.7 “payilum sudaroLi” padhigam (decad) and 8.10 “nedumARkadimai” padhigam (decad). So, madhurakavi AzhwAr focusses on what is dear to nammAzhwAr.

This principle is observed in personalities from srI rAmAyaNam. srI rAma was focussed on sAmAnya dharmam (common sAsthram) which focusses on following the orders of parents, teacher, etc. iLaiya perumAL (lakshmaNa) was focussed on serving perumAL (srI rAma). bharathAzhwAn was focussed on following the heart of perumAL (srI rAma) – i.e., unlike going along with srI rAma and serving him in the forest like lakshmaNa did, he stayed back and fully followed the orders of srI rAma. sathrugnAzhwAn was fully focussed on serving bharathAzhwAn (who was a dear devotee of srI rAma) even at the cost of ignoring srI rAma.

bhAgavathas are the ultimate goal since they first plant the seed of taste towards bhagavAn into oneself, (by) being a friend with whom one can have discussions about bhagavAn and nourish/nurture the kainkaryam done by oneself. Thus, madhurakavi AzhwAr is fully holding on to nammAzhwAr who has done all these favours for him.

periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction
In addition to the principles explained by nampiLLai in his introduction, periyavAchchAn piLLai highlights some important aspects beautifully. He highlights the importance of following the heart of AchArya by giving a couple of examples. After learning all the important principles from srI bhIshma, yudhishtra asked him “What is the top most dharma to follow?”. srI bhIshma replied what is most dear to him (i.e., about srI krishNa who was standing right amidst them) and yudhishtra happily accepted that. Similarly some one asked thripurA dhEviyAr (a local queen and a disciple of srI rAmAnuja) “Did you accept srIman nArAyaNan as the total refuge due to many pramANams that are available in sAsthram?”. She confidently replied “Not at all. Had srI rAmAnuja accepted the dhEvathA of IsAnya direction (the direction of rudhran), we would have also accepted that dhEvathA as our refuge” (knowing well that srI rAmAnuja is the top-most authority of sAsthram). Likewise, madhurakavi AzhwAr is following the heart of nammAzhwAr whose most cherished desire is to be with thadhIya sEshathvam (being surrendered to bhAgavathas who are surrendered to bhagavAn).

azhagiya maNavALa perumaL nAyanAr‘s introduction
nAyanAr further elaborates the principles explained in previous avathArikais.

He nicely highlights the differences between nammAzhwAr and madhurakavi AzhwAr.
nammAzhwAr stayed in prathama parva nishtai (initial state – being surrendered to bhagavAn). madhurakavi AzhwAr stayed in charama parva nishtai (ultimate state – being surrendered to bhAgavathas.

nammAzhwAr is fully focussed on “u” in praNavam which explains that jIvAthmA is a servitor of paramAthmA only. madhurakavi AzhwAr is focussed on the expansion of “u”, i.e., “nama:” which explains elaborately that jIvAthmA is a servitor of bhAgavathas only.

nAyanAr then highlights the similarity between prathama parva nishtars and charama parva nishtars – yet underlining the subtle differences.

nammAzhwAr is compared to srI mahAlakshmi herself for ananya bhOgathvam (existing only for the joy of emperumAn). He is compared to iLaiya perumAL for his kainkarya thvarA (desire to serve) and pArathanthriyam (existing fully for emperumAn). He is compared to prahlAdhAzhwAn for his giving instructions to samsAris seeing their sufferings in this samsAram. Similarly, madhurakavi AzhwAr is compared to ANdAL for thadhIya pArathanthriyam (being totally surrendered to bhAgavathas) as she was surrendered towards periyAzhwAr. Amongst nithyasUris, he is compared to sathrugnAzhwAn (for being totally surrendered to bharathAzhwAn). Amongst mumukshus (ones who desire mOksham), he is compared to ALavandhAr (since ALavandhAr also declared that nammAzhwAr is everything for him in “mAthA pithA” thaniyan).

The difference between this prabandham and others is explained by nAyanAr beautifully. vEdham explains different aspects for different kinds of people based on their guNam as mentioned in bhagavath gIthA “thraiguNya vishayA vEdhA:“. vEdham is also explained as endless (huge for us to search and extract the essence). nammAzhwAr‘s thiruvAimozhi explains emperumAn‘s qualities only in 1000 (1102) pAsurams (which is still huge). But this prabandham is very short and crisp and only speaks about the auspicious qualities of nammAzhwAr. thiruvAimozhi is the essence of vEdham. kaNNinuN chiRu thAmbu is the essence of thiruvAimozhi.

nAyanAr then highlights 4 persons who are dear to a mumukshu namely sarvEsvaran (srIman nArAyaNan), srI mahAlakshmi, AchArya and srIvaishNavas. sarvEsvaran helps a jIvAthmA constantly and uplifts him from the miseries of samsAram. srI mahAlakshmi, being the natural mother recommends to emperumAn to accept the jIvAthmA in spite of his sins and also helps improve his kainkaryam even in paramapadham. AchArya explains the glories of emperumAn and thAyAr, personally demonstrates the principles of sAsthram and always looks out for the ultimate well-being of the jIvAthmAs. srIvaishNavas initially trigger the desires towards bhagavAn, help develop the knowledge in bhagavath vishayam, be good companions, nurture the devotion towards one’s AchArya, be the masters, and finally clarify any doubts which occur due to constant relationship with material aspects. These 4 personalities are identified in sruthi (thaithriya upanishadh – sIkshAvalli) as “mAthru dhEvO bhava, pithru dhEvO bhava, AchArya dhEvO bhava, athithi dhEvO bhava“. Here srIvaishNavas are explained as athithi (athithi generally means guest). When an athithi arrives, one should take care of such athithi properly without inquiring their background. Similarly, a srIvaishNava must be taken care of without inquiring about their birth, family background, etc (basic hospitality should first be given). When such srIvaishNavas are not given adequate hospitality, one accumulates sins and also one’s virtues are reduced.

Among these 4 personalities, AchArya is the foremost person to be cared for. That is why madhurakavi AzhwAr who fully understands the glories of AchArya, who fully served nammAzhwAr‘s lotus feet for a lengthy period and became dear to nammAzhwAr, who understands that there is nothing equivalent to favours done by nammAzhwAr, etc., wanting to show his gratitude by singing nammAzhwAr‘s glories, sings this prabandham.
Iswara is difficult to worship. AchArya is easy to worship. nammAzhwAr compiled 4 prabandhams to glorify emperumAn. nammAzhwAr was easily worshippable in just this one small prabandham.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

pramEyam (goal) – http://koyil.org
pramANam (scriptures) – http://srivaishnavagranthams.wordpress.com
pramAthA (preceptors) – http://guruparamparai.wordpress.com
srIvaishNava education/kids portal – http://pillai.koyil.org

kaNNinuN chiRu thAmbu – thaniyans

Published by:

srI:
srImathE satakOpAya nama:
srImathE rAmAnujAya nama:
srImadh varavaramunayE nama:

Full Series

nammazhwar-madhurakavi-nathamuninammAzhwAr, madhurakavi AzhwAr and nAthamunigaL – kAnchIpuram

thaniyans blessed by nAthamunigaL

avidhitha vishayAnthara: satArEr upanishadhAm upagAnamAthra bhOga: |
api cha guNavasAth thadhEka sEshI madhurakavi hrudhayE mamAvirasthu ||

அவிதித விஷயாந்தர: சடாரேர் உபநிஷதாம் உபகாநமாத்ர போக: |
அபி ச குநவசாத் ததேக சேஷீ மதுரகவி ஹ்ருதயே மமாவிரஸ்து ||

word-by-word meanings
avidhitha vishayAnthara: – one who does not know any other thing (apart from nammAzhwAr)
satArE: – nammAzhwAr‘s (divine words)
upanishadhAm – dhivya prabandhams
upagAnamAthra bhOga: – one who considers singing the glories as the only enjoyment
guNavasAthapicha – also one who is immersed in the auspicious qualities (of nammAzhwAr)
thadhEka sEshi – one who considers nammAzhwAr only as his master
madhurakavi: – madhurakavi AzhwAr
mama hrudhayE – in my heart
Avirasthu – let him be manifested

Simple Translation
Let madhurakavi AzhwAr who does not know anything other than nammAzhwAr, who considers singing the glories of nammAzhwAr‘s divine words of dhivya prabandham as the only enjoyment and who considers nammAzhwAr only as his master due to being immersed in nammAzhwAr‘s auspicious qualities be manifested in my heart.

Highlights from piLLai lOkam jIyar‘s vyAkyAnam

avidhitha vishayAnthara: – Just like nammAzhwAr declares in thiruvAimozhi 7.10.10 “chinthai maRRonRin thiRaththathallA” (my thoughts do not dwell in anything but emperumAn) and thiruppANAzhwAr declares in amalanAdhipirAn 10 “maRRonRinaik kANAvE” (my eyes will not see anything but srIranganAthan), madhurakavi AzhwAr does not focus on anything but nammAzhwAr. For all AzhwArs, vishayAntharam means material aspects. For madhurakavi AzhwAr, vishayAntharam means bhagavath vishayam (He even discards bhagavath vishayam and is fully focussed on bhAgavatha vishayam {nammAzhwAr} only).

nammAzhwAr discards iLam dheivams (small gods – dhEvathAs). madhurakavi AzhwAr discards the perum dheivam (supreme God) and focusses fully on nammAzhwAr (his AchArya).

satArEr upanishadhAm upagAnamAthra bhOga: – Not only madhurakavi AzhwAr is surrendered to nammAzhwAr, he is also very attached to matters that are related to nammAzhwAr such as singing thiruvAimozhi, etc.

apicha guNavasAth thadhEka sEshi – First madhurakavi AzhwAr‘s svarupa prayuktha dhAsyam (natural servitude) towards nammAzhwAr is explained by “avidhitha vishayAntharas satArE:” (not knowing anything but nammAzhwAr). Here guNakrutha dhAsyam (servitude due to nammAzhwAr‘s auspicious qualities) is explained.

Such madhurakavi AzhwAr has the most nectarean and sweetest words. I (nAthamunigaL) desire such nishtai (charama parva nishtai – being totally surrendered to AchArya). Let him manifest in my heart in the same form as he humbly stood in front of nammAzhwAr and documented the dhivya prabandhams as heard from nammAzhwAr.

vERonRum nAn aRiyEn
vEdham thamizh cheytha mARan satakOpan
vaNkurukUr ERengaL vAzhvAm enREththum madhurakaviyAr
emmai ALwAr avarE araN

வேறொன்றும் நான் அறியேன்
வேதம் தமிழ் செய்த மாறன் சடகோபன்
வண்குருகூர் ஏறெங்கள் வாழ்வாம் என்றேத்தும் மதுரகவியார்
எம்மை ஆள்வார் அவரே அரண்

word-by-word meanings
vERu onRum nAn aRiyEn – I do not know anything other than nammAzhwAr
vEdham thamizh cheytha – One who mercifully explained the meanings of vEdham in thamizh
mARan – one who is known by the name “mARan”
vaN kurukUr ERu – the leader of the beautiful town of thirukkurukUr
satakOpan – nammAzhwAr
engaL vAzhvu Am enRu – understanding that “the one who will uplift us”
Eththum – glorified
madhurakaviyAr – madhurakavi AzhwAr
emmai ALwAr – one who rules us
avarE – that madhurakavi AzhwAr only
araN – protector (of prapannas – clan of surrendered persons)

Simple translation
Understand that madhurakavi AzhwAr who said “I do not know anything other than nammAzhwAr who mercifully explained the meanings of vEdham in thamizh, who is known by the name ‘mARan’, who is the leader of the beautiful town of thirukkurukUr and who will uplift us” is the one who rules us and that madhurakavi AzhwAr only is our (prapannas) protector/refuge.

Highlights from piLLai lOkam jIyar‘s vyAkyAnam

piLLai lOkam jIyar explains that nAthamunigaL phrased this thaniyan based on madhurakavi AzhwAr‘s own words in this prabandham.

nammAzhwAr is the lord/master for madhurakavi AzhwArmadhurakavi AzhwAr is the lord/master for us.

Just like madhurakavi AzhwAr considered nammAzhwAr as his everything, for us madhurakavi AzhwAr is everything.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

pramEyam (goal) – http://koyil.org
pramANam (scriptures) – http://srivaishnavagranthams.wordpress.com
pramAthA (preceptors) – http://guruparamparai.wordpress.com
srIvaishNava education/kids portal – http://pillai.koyil.org