Daily Archives: February 1, 2015

gyAna sAram 5 – thIrtha muyandRAduvadhum

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gyAna sAram

Previous pAsuram

                                                                              5th pAsuram



“தீர்த்த முயன்றாடுவதும் செய்தவங்கள் செய்வனவும்
பார்த்தனை முன் காத்த பிரான் பார்ப்பதன் முன் – சீர்த்துவரை
மன்னன் அடியோ மென்னும் வாழ்வு நமக்கீந்ததற்பின்
என்ன குறை வேண்டு மினி”

“thIrtha muyandRAduvadhum seithavangaL seivanavum
pArththanai mun kAththa pirAn pArppadhan mun – sIrthuvarai
mannan adiyO mennum vAzhvu namkIndhadharpin
enna kuRai vENdu mini”



The important message in first line of dwayamahAmanthram is to surrender to bhagawAn’sholy feet. This is known as “sidhdhOpAyavaraNam”.

“siddhOpAyam” means the upAyam (perumAn) that is always in a ready state. Since bhagawAn is always ready (to accept our saraNAgathi), He is understood as “siddhOpAyam”.  When we do saraNAgathi saying “You are the means/upAyam” to such a sidhOpAyam (perumaL), we should not be attached to any other means/upAyam. Only after completely discarding anything else as upAyam, should we surrendertoperumAL’s feet. So it is required that one who surrenders to Him as upAyam should discard other things as upAyam. So discarding other upAyams(means) is considered as a part of doing saraNagathi. These are clearly specified in gIthacharamaslOkam.When one deeply understands charamaslOkam and surrenders to His lotus feet, he or she would not have interest in taking to other upAyam/means. They would act according to their sEshathvam (sub-servience to perumAL), and so would rest all their deeds on His shoulders and would be at peace with everything.It would bring extreme peace to the mind of such a person who thinks: “for all our well-being it is emperumAn who is responsible, we don’t have anything to do with it”. Swami aruLALaperumALemperumAnAr says that he is also one such person and in this pAsuramhe shares the state of mind of such a person, including himself.

Phrasal Meaning:

thIrthammuyandruaaduvadhum         – (we were doing these before): Take big efforts to bathe in rivers like Ganga, cauvery, etc., to cleanse ourselves from sins,

seithavangal                                          – penances that are done with a lot of strain on one’s

seyvanavum                                          – do other good deeds (for getting good karma),

paarpadhanmun                                  –  (the above were) before the Lord’s grace was  understood by us (before He saw us),

pArthanaimunkaathapiraan               – (that is, before) lord Krishna protected Arjuna in kurukshEthra war by giving him and us, the bhagavadgItha.

sIrthuvaraimannan                              –   (After) the ruler of the great Dwaraka, The Supreme Lord Krishna

namakku                                              –  has given to the devotees like us

adiyomennumvaazhvu                       – the most prized title of “eternal servants to the Lord”,

eendhadharpin                                    – after He has given such a life,

ennakuraivendumini                            – why would there be any worries after that about ways
to reach Him (upAyam), and about the kainkaryam
(benefit/upEyam)? (we don’t have to worry about
anything is the meaning)


 thIrtha(m)muyandRAduvadhum:  People make efforts to go and take full-fledged dip in the holy waters of rivers such as Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswathi, Cauvery etc., in order to get cleansed of their sins.

seithavangaLseyvanavum:  People undergo a lot of strain in their body by doing tough penances. “oonvAdauNNAdhuporuppidaiyEnindrumpunalkuLithumaindhuneruppidaiyEnindrumvIzhkaniyumoozhilaiyumennumivaiyEnugarndhuudalamthAnvarundhi” are some of the phrases that azhvars use to describe the high level of strain that people undergo in some penances inorder to get rid of their sins. Since Swami aruLALaperumALemperumANAr has said “thavangal” in plural, it includes charity, yAgam and other activities that are deemed good as well (which are done as a means/upAyam).

pArththanaimunkAththapirAnpArppadhanmun: Lord Krishna did advise Arjuna about other ways of reaching HIM including karma yOgam, gyAnayOgam, bhakti yOgam and the like. After listening to them Arjuna realized that there is a significant effort that a person needs to put in forfollowing those other means of reaching Him, and that it is against the nature or eligibility of a sEshan (servant/subservient) to use other means to reach Him. Seeing Arjuna in such a confused and sad state, Lord Krishna replied “Arjuna! You do not have to do any upAyams such as karma yOgam, gyAnayOgam, or bhakti yOgam that I described earlier. Forget about all those completely without any trace. I am an ocean full of virtuous qualities, and at the same time I am easily accessible to those who believe Me and only Me. I would not punish My devotees for their sins. I shall gladly forget those. I am the Intellect and also valorous. Hence, please take refuge under Mewho hasall these divine qualities. While doing so, please think: “kaNNan would not expect anything from us; we do not Have to give anything to Him” and surrender to me by considering me as complete in all divine qualities. If you can do this, I, who is the source of qualities such as strength, power, valour as well as ease of accessibility, simplicity etc., will think about your ignorance, lack of strength, lack of power to get things accomplished, so on and so forth. I will also think about your helpless state upon which you have surrendered everything toMe. In this hapless situation of yours, I will never leave you and will always be by your side to protect you at all times. Inorder for you to surrender to me, there may be many sins that may obstruct the way to reach Me. I will make sure that all those sins are removed, and thus the path to surrender is very clear for you. So, you do Not worry.” Thus, by His words, Krishna removed the confusion and sorrow that engulfed Arjuna’s mind. Swami aruLALaperumALemperumAnAr says “pArppadhanmun” (before He saw us) to refer to the time before such a Supreme God Krishna sees and utters that statement (that he told Arjuna) to us (and to imply that it is before our hearts understood its meaning).

 seerthuvaraimannan:    Azhwars say “padhinArAmAyiravardevimArpaNiseyyathuvaraiennumadhilnAyagarAgiveetRirundhamaNavALar”. Krishna was not only the King of Dwaraka, but also the King of wives who did not want anything apart from Krishna.

 adiyOmennumvAzvhuA jIvAthmA should realize that he is an eternal servant to his master. After realizing this, he should relinquish all those other ways of saving himself and be assured that perumAL is the only ONE who can save him after all. When a jIvAthmA get this knowledge, only then he would possess real wealth. When PerumAL had given a jIavAthma this sort of wealth, then there is no reason for jIvAthmato worry. A jIvAthmA is characterized by a lot of qualities like happiness personified, knowledge personified, sEshathvam(servant) personified etc. Out of all these, he should realize that being a servant to his Master is the most important and significant character (identifying factor) for which he should be proud of. When he realizes that he is an eternal servant to his Lord Krishna, then he does not take any step to protect himself, nor does he do anything for his own personal satisfaction. When these kinds of realizations happen for a jIvAthmA, only then he is said to be “living” (vAzhvu).

 namakkueendhadharpin:   The character of being a servant to the Master is not something that is created new. All the 9 different relationships between jIvAthmA and paramAthmAare there forever. The phrase of the pAsuram refers to the time when a jIvAthmA acknowledges and accepts it (he had lost and forgotten about this relationship). It is understood that the reason for this knowledge to be born again is completely due to perumAL’s causeless grace. So, in essence, Perumal has chosen a time to bestow the knowledge that “a jIvAthma is always a servant to Him”.

 ennakuraivENdumini:   When He Himself has granted such a knowledge, then why should one worry anymore about other means/upAyams? Since perumAL has said to Arjuna“maasuchaha”, we too don’t have to be worried about anything, and so do live in peace without any worries about having to do any efforts or taking any responsibilities (for reaching Him).

gyAna sAram 4 – matRondRai eNNAdhE

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Previous pAsuram

                                                                         4th pAsuram



“மற்றொன்றை எண்ணாதே மாதவனுக்கு ஆட்செயலே
உற்றது இது என்று உளம் தெளிந்து – பெற்ற
பெரும் பேற்றின் மேலுளதோ பேர் என்று இருப்பார்
அரும் பேறு வானத்தவர்க்கு”


“matRondRai eNNAdhE mAdhavanukku AtcheyalE
utradhu idhuvendru uLam theLindhu – petra
perum pEtRin mEluLadhO pEru endru iruppAr
arum pEru vAnaththavarkku”

Phrasal Meaning:

eNNAdhe                                              –                      (One who)does not pay attention to / does not consider
matrondrai                                          –                      benefits like wealth, etc., (and such earthly desires)
(matRu                                                 –                      other(s) and ondru = one(s))
endruuLamtheLindhu                         –                      and gets clear thought
endruiruppaar                                    –                      and lives with the determined mind that
AtcheyalE                                             –                      to serve
                                   –                      mAdhavan (implies pirAtti)
idhuutradhu                                        –                      is the apt thing (utradhu)
perumEluladho                                   –                     and that there is no better benefit than
petraperumpetrin                               –                      having gotten that great benefit (of serving Him)
arumperu                                            –                     (such people would be considered as) the most
precious and rareadiyAr
vAnaththavarkku                                 –                      by the nithyasUris.


Short meanings of the earlier three pAsurams: In the first pAsuram (Unaudal), the significance of saraNAgathi that is referred in the first line of dwayamahAmanthram, was explained. The reason one performssaraNAgathi is because of his incessant sufferings from the wrath of this worldly ties. That the state of such suffering would arise based on parabhakthi is explained in the 2ndpAsuram (naragumsuvarkkamum). The third pAsuram explained about the state of “paramabhakthi”,which is the state of losing one’s life if separated from emperumAn (AnaiiDarkaDindha). (gajEndra). Now, in this fourth pAsuram, swAmiaruLALaperumALemperumAnAr expounds on the greatness of thosewho have understood the greatness of ultimate goal that is service (to Him, PirAtti, and Their Devotees) as specified insecond line of dwayamahAmanthram, and sowho completely shred off their ties with the ways of other benefits, and who have firmly decided to involve themselves in the kainkaryams that are according to the subservient nature of the soul.


matrondraieNNAdhE:      That is, kainkaryam is doing things that brings happiness to perumAL’s heart. This is one’s ultimate objective. There is nothing greater than this. Not paying any attention toother things that are other than such a kainkaryamis the meaning of this phrase. Those other things are: indulgence in these worldly things, heaven and such similar things out there, kaivalyam that is enjoying just the jIvAthmA are the three that are not related to doing kainkaryam. The nature of AthmA is when not in this body would bein the state of bliss. Some say that this is mOksham. But since it would not help in doing bhagavath (and bhAgavatha) kainkaryams, it is referred by swAmiaruLALaperumALemperumAnAr as ‘matrondru’ (other things).  SwAmi did not want to even utter the names of all these obstacles for kainkaryam and so he dismissed these by saying “matru”. On top of it, he does not use the term “virumbAdhE” (without having a desire for other things), but he uses the word “eNNadhE” (without (even) thinking about those other things).This is because such a person would not even think about those other things let alone not desire them. So since the person does not consider it as worthy, he does not even think about it. Those who do not know the sweetness of doing service to perumAL and His devotees (bhagavath / bhAgavathakainkaryam) are those who are always immersed in the other aforementioned benefits and happiness. People who know the true value of kainkaryam will treat all the other stuff as if drinking the salt water and treat it very much inferior, if not as a non-existent entity in their lives.

mADhavanukkuATcheyalE:   Serving them both is what one has to attain as the top level of their goal. (Serving including pirAttiis conveyed by this name “mAdhavan”). This is being referred in ‘srImathE’ that is the first word of the second line of DwayaMahamanthram.In Thirumanthram(OmnamOnArAyaNAya), in the third part “NArAyanAaya”, it is implicit that the kainkaryam that one does is for both perumAL and pirAtti. What was said implicitly in thirumanthram, is explained well inDwayam.  This fact is being spelled by swAmipiLLailOkAchAryar in his mumukshupadi“InguthirumanthrathilsonnaprApyathaivisathamAgaanusandhikiradhu (mumukshupadi, dwayaprakaraNam, chUrnikai 168)”. Thus, in both thirumanthram and dvayamahAmanthram, the key point is that kainkaryam is the only objective for any jIvAthmA. Swami nammAzhvArtoo said “ozhivilkAlamellAmuDanAimanni” in his thiruvAimozhi (3,3,1).

utradhuidhuvendru:   This phrase means “That this is what is the ultimate destination/goal”. azhvArhimself said “neeLkudakkUthanukkuATcheyvadhE”. “utradhu” is about what is the most appropriate (for a jIvAthma). That means other things are not appropriate for the definition of sEshathvam of a jIvAthma. So they were concluded as not fit for the Athma. So, through the words ‘mAdhavanukku’ and ‘ATcheyalE’ we understand the meaning as concluded by vEdhantha that AthmA is subservient to both pirAtti and perumAn, and doing kainkaryams to the divine couple is the ultimate objective and benefit. Swami periyAzhvAr sings “thirumAlEnAnumunakkupazhavadiyEn” (Thirupallandu,11) saying that this jIvAthmA is a servant to both pirAtti and perumAL. Thus, a jIvAthmA is a servant to both pirAtti and perumAL as evinced by “adimaiseyvArthirumalukkE” and “sendrAlkudaiyAm, irundhAlsingAsanamAm, nindrAlmaravadiyAm, neeLkadaluL,endrumpuNaiyAm, maNiviLakkAm, pUmpattAmpulgumaNaiyAm”. By this since it talked about AthmA’s definition/nature and the related kainkaryam, it talked about AthmA’s greatness (of being able to serve).

uLamtheLindhu: “theLindhu” is to get rid of any doubts and be clear about something. Here, Swami says that one should be clear that the ultimate destination iskainkaryam as shown above. (One should) remove the thoughts of (doing kainkaryams for) “me” and “for myself” (yaan,enadhu) which would lead to wishing for other unwanted things. Kainkaryams should be done for His happiness. Swami nammAzhvAr says “thanakkEAga enaikkoLLumeedhE” in his thiruvAimozhi and AndALsays “unakkEnAmATcheyvOm”. Thus kainkaryam is to be done with the clarity in mind that only that (kainkaryam) is the ultimate destination. With this it refers to “namaha” in the second part of dwayamahAmanthram (srImathEnArAyaNAyanamaha) to mean that this jIvAthmA will do eternal service for the DIVINE couple’s enjoyment only, and not for the jIvAthmA’s personal satisfaction. When the DIVINE couple becomes happy, seeing the happiness on THEIR face, a jIvAthmAwould derive happiness.

petraperumpEtrinmEluLadhOpERendruiruppAr It is about those people who if they get the opportunity to do kainkaryams, then they would understand that there cannot be anything greater than this ultimate opportunity of doing kainkaryams. Paramapadham is an eternal place, never changes, and is of pure sathvaguNam, the celestial abode of srimannArAyaNA. It is the source of knowledge and happiness. Hence, one can do kainkaryam here without any interruptions. So such gyAnis wish for this kind of uninterrupted kainkaryam. So it is no wonder they say that there is nothing greater than this kainkaryam. It implies that they are steadfast in getting such a great level of kainkaryam.

arumpEruvAnaththavarkku: The aforementioned group of people are by nature those that consider themselves as servants of emperumAn. They are always deeply involved in bhagavath kainkaryams. They consider bhagavAn as the ultimate happiness. Such people are rare to find in this world. When they go to Paramapadham, the nithyasUris and others there would celebrate these people as a rare find. Swami aruLALaperumALemperumAnAr says that even to those nithyasUris, who enjoy the ArAvamudhan forever, the enjoyment of such a group of adiyArs is considered a hard-earned kainkaryam compared even to the serviceof emperumAn.

gyAna sAram 3 – Anai idar

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Previous pAsuram

                                                                            3rd pAsuram



“ஆனை யிடர் கடிந்த ஆழி அங்கை அம்புயத்தாள்
கோனை விடில் நீரில் குதித்தெழுந்த மீன் எனவே
ஆக்கை முடியும்படி பிறத்தல் அன்னவன்தாள்
நீக்க மில்லா அன்பர் நிலை”


“Anai iDar kaDindha Azhiyankai ambuyaththAL
kOnai vidil neeril kuthithezhundha meen enavE
Akkai mudiyum padi pirathal annavan thAL
nIkkamilA anbar nilai”

Phrasal Meanings:

vidil = If one gets separated from

ambuyathAL kOn-ai = the king of the one who sits on the Lotus (emperumAn, the king of pirAtti)

Anai iDar kadindha = (who) removed the suffering of the elephant (gajendhrAhvan)

Azhiyangai (Azhi-am-kai) = (and who) holds Azhi (discus) in his beautiful (am) hand (kai),

meen enavE = (they would), like the state of a fish

kudhithezhundha = that jumped and came out

neeril = of water

Akkai mudiyum padi pirathal = they would reach the state of destruction of the body (die);

nilai = such is the state of

Anbar – the bhakthas

nIkkamilA = who never want to get separated

annavan thAL – from Sriman NArAyanAn’s lotus feet


In the last pAsuram, swAmi aruLALa perumAL emperumAnAr talked about a state of bhakthi known as “para bhakthi”, where one suffers much when he gets the thought that he is separated from Sriman NArAyanAn, and he is at home when he is in unison with Him. In this pAsuram, swAmi talks about “parama bhakthi” that is an even advanced stage. In this case when one is separated from Sriman NArAyanAn, then it is now not a question of suffering; the person would reach the stage of dying soon. SwAmi explains this with an example in this pAsuram.


The story of gajEndrAzhvAn is mentioned quite often in puraNAs and AzhvArs’ pAsurams. GajEndrA the elephant wished to place lotus flowers at the feet of emperumAn, retrieved them from a pond and got to the shore. A crocodile which was looking for an elephant that would get rid of a sin that had been cast upon it, caught hold of gajEndhrAzhvAN’s leg. Gajendra pulled its leg towards the land and the crocodile pulled it towards the water. This continued for 1000 deva years (360,000 human years). Crocodile grew stronger and stronger since it was his home turf and because it was going to get its wishes satisfied; the elephant grew weaker and weaker because it was not his home turf and since it was not getting his wishes satisfied. GajendrazhvAn was losing all his hope as only his trunk was above the water then. He quickly realized that there cannot be more danger than this and he thought “One whose nature it is to remove the obstacles of devotees is our protector” and so cried “nArAyaNA!!! O!!! maNivaNNa!!! nAgaNaiyAi !!! vArAi en AriDarai nIkkAi” (phrase from thirumangai AzhVar’s siriya thirumadal). Lord nArAyaNan rushed immediately and removed the sadness of gajEndrA. gajEndra did not fear for his body getting destroyed in the crocodile’s mouth, his fear was about keeping the beautiful lotus flower intact when he presented it to emprumAn’s thiruvadi. It was this fear of the devout gajEndra that  nArAyaNA got rid of by showing up quickly.  This is mentioned in the pAsuram in ‘yAnai iDar kaDindha’.

Aazhi am kai: ‘The beautiful hand holding the holy discus (chakra)’ is the meaning of this phrase. When going to save gajEndhrAvan to kill his enemy the crocodile, emperumAn held the holy discus in his beautiful hand at that time – is the meaning expressed in this phrase.

Swami nammAzhvAr, in his Thiruvaimozhi 3,1,9, says:

“mazhungAdha vainnudhiya chakkara nal valathaiyAy-th
   thozhum kAdhal kaLiraLippAn puL Urndhu thOndrinaiyE”

It is clear that perumAL rushed with the discus to save the elephant. SwAmi parAsara bhattar salutes to His speed. PerumAL took off from His celestial abode and He did not even pay attention to the fact that He always holds His discus in His right hand. Had He remembered it, He would have cast it right from where He was and the discus would have done its work. Or, even if He had known that He holds the discus in His hands forever, He chose to rush to the elephant and used the discus, is another meaning. The reason is, as we saw in nammAzhvAr’s pAsuram, gajEndrA is being celebrated as “kAdhal kaLiru” because of his untainted love for perumAL. GajEndrA wanted to enjoy the beauty of emperumAn with the discus in His beautiful hand; he wished to offer the flowers to bhagavAn’s thiruvadi. So, perumAL, instead of doing the work from His place, went to the lotus pond. The inner meaning of this is that perumAL is ready to give Himself the way His devotees wish to see Him. SwAmi pEyAzhvAr, in 99th pAsuram of his mUndrAm thiruvandhAdhi, also sang about it – kuttaththu kOL mudhalai thunja kuriththerindha chakkaraththAn”.

ambuyaththAL kOnai: It refers to emperumAn who is the hero of periya pirAttiar who was born on a Lotus flower. PurANa says that when emperumAn was lying down on Adhi sEshan in thiru pArkadal (milky ocean), with bhUdevi and nILAdevi massaging His divine feet, and Him hugging srIdevi thAyAr in His divine chest, He heard the call of gajEndra. PerumAL then took His feet very gently from the thAyars doing service, He sat up on His divine serpent bed, opened the petals of His divine eyes, looked everywhere around Him, and tactfully moved his chest from srIdEvi whom he was hugging.  Only after that, to everyone’s awe, did He immediately spring upon His divine carrier garuDa and rushed to gajEndra and saved him from his sorrow. Like how a mother would be happy if a king protects the people well, it is periyA pirAtti who would be happy to see emperumAn save the bhakthas from their sorrows. This is why PerumAL is being referenced with respect to pirAtti and described as “ambuyathAL kOn” in this pAsuram. So, this pAsuram says that ‘emperumAn would go to the place of a devotee who has surrendered to Him, for saving the devotee’, that He would not think that He did it for such devotees and instead would think that He did it to satisfy Himself, and, such a perumAn is the husband of periya pirAttiAr.

vidil: If a person happens to be separated from such a loving emperumAn,

neeril kuthithezhundha meen enavE: It would be like a fish that jumped and came out of the water;

Akkai mudiyumpadi pirathal: such a devotee would reach the stage of having this body destroyed (die). Happy when in union with, sorrow when separated from emperumAn is the state of those having ‘parabhakthi’. The state of ‘parama bhakthi’ is even higher – that is if separated from emperumAn they would reach the stage of dying. That is the greatness of such a bhakthi as quoted in this pAsuram. It is explained with the example of the state of a fish that gets separated from the water.

annavan: means ‘that perumAN’ (in general it means ‘that person’ referring to someone mentioned earlier). Earlier the pAsuram said ‘ambuyaththAL kOn’ (pirAttiar’s king). Here it says, ‘that perumAn’. Or, it can refer to the perumAn who is the life line of such a devotee like how water is the life line of a fish.

thAL nIkkamilA anbar nilai: “thAL” is the Lotus feet and “nIkkamilA” is ‘without separation’. Love that does not tolerate separation from His lotus feet; Devotees who are so attached to Him that if they get separated from Him, then they are not able to live any more just like a fish could not live without water. This pAsuram explains that it is the state of parama bhakthi.