Daily Archives: February 3, 2015

gyAna sAram 15 – kudiyum kulamum

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gyAna sAram

Previous pAsuram

                                                                    15th pAsuram

god,hindu,mahavishnu-8af75d30e076a9163fee484b74963508_h

thamizh:

“குடியும் குலமும் எல்லாம் கோகனகைக் கேள்வன்
அடியார்க்கு அவன் அடியே ஆகும் – படியின் மேல்
நீர் கொழுவுமாறுகளின் பேரும் நிறமும் எல்லாம்
ஆர் கலியைச் சேர்ந்திட மாய்ந்தற்று”

English:

“kudiyum kulamum ellAm kOkanagaik kELvan
adiyArkku avan adiyE Agum – padiyin mEl
nIr kozhuvumARugaLin pErum niRamum ellAm
Ar kaliyaich sErndhida mAyndhaRRu”

Phrasal Meanings:

kudiyum kulamum ellAm  — The birth place, gender, gOthram and all other identifications at birth are rendered useless after reaching the

kOkanagai kELvan adiyArkky avan adiyE Agum — feet of the husband of pirAtti and becoming HIS devotees and get the svarUpam of being treated as one, with no differences.

padiyin mEl nIr kozhuvum ARugaLin — The state of these devotees is the same as the rivers flowing on this earth, filled with water

pErum niRamum ellAm — and going by different names, colors like red, white, black, etc., seemingly with many differences

Ar kali serndhida mAyndhaRRu — but when it mixes with the ocean, all these differences are destroyed and they become one

Synopsis:

In the last pAsuram, svAmi aruLALa perumAL emberumAnAr told “evvuyirkkum indhirai kOn thannadiyE kANum saraN”. In this pAsuram, he gives an example to bolster that thought that it is sriman nArAyANan’s lotus feet that is the refuge for everyone one and the like. The devotees of sriman nArAyANan are called as “thirumagaL maNALanukku adiyAr” (devotees of perumAL who is the husband of pirAtti). These devotees before realizing their true svarUpam, have some kind of identification that includes a name in conjunction with their associated town, a name that is in conjunction with their associated varNam and many such associations. However, after they realize their true svarUpam (through the causeless cause of the divine couple and AchAryan), there is no identification of those town,varNam or whatsoever anymore. Their only identification that they have is sriman nArAyANan’s lotus feet and nothing else.

Meanings:

kudiyum kulamum ellAm:   The following three excerpts are to be noted that would explain the meaning of the phrase “kudiyum kulamum ellAm”. They are:

 

“sONNAttu pUnjAtRUr pArpAn gauNiyan viNNathAyan”

                                                                                                                      – puranAnOru

“veNgaNmA kaLirundhi viNNiyEtra
viRal mannar thiral  azhiya vemmAvuytha
cheNgaNAn kOchOzhan”

                                                                                                                       – periya thirumozhi (6.6.4) 

“irukilangu thirumozhi vAi endOl Isarku
ezhil mAdam ezhubadhu seydhu ulagamANda thirukulathu vaLachOzhan”

                                                                                                                        – periya thirumozhi (6.6.8) 

In these three, we can note that the authors have mentioned about one’s place of birth (kudi), varNam (kulam), gOthram and other birth identifications (ellAm).

kOkanagaik kELvan adiyArkku:   “kOkanakam” refers to lotus and so kOkanagai” refers to the one who is seated atop a lotus. Thus it refers to pirAtti. “kELvan” refers to a hero and so the phrase kOkanagaik kELvan” points to “sriman nArAyANan” who is the hero of pirAtti (sri mAhAlakshmi). The word “adiyAr” refers to those devotees who are under the lotus feet of such a perumAL who is the hero of pirAtti. This act of being under THEIR lotus feet itself is the identification for them.

avan adiyE Agum – This means that these aforementioned devotees who have been identified with their place of birth, varNam, gOthram etc, they would no longer be associated with any of their earlier identifications once they become a devotee of sriman nArAyANan. All those earlier identifications get destroyed and the only identification that stands out for them from that moment on is that they are devotees of sriman nArAyANan. Their relationship with sriman nArAyANan’s lotus feet establishes an identification for them. This is why they are being called as “thirumAl adiyAr”. svAmi aruLALa perumAL emberumAnAr explains this with an example in the second half of the pAsuram.

padiyin mEl – on top of the earth

nIr kezhuvumARugaLin pErum niRamum ellAm:  Rivers have lot of water in them. Rivers have different names for them like Ganges, Yamuna etc and come in many colors as well like red, black, white etc.

Ar kaliyaich sErndhu – Once these rivers go and meet the ocean

mAyndhidum aRRu:  It is as similar in destruction (in the way rivers lose their unique identity after mingling up in the sea)

Conclusion: One’s earlier, historic identifications gets destroyed when one becomes a devotee. This destruction is similar to the destruction that individual rivers encounters upon mixing up in the ocean. Rivers lose their name, color etc. Hence, we should not give any importance to all those temporal and impermanent factors like varNam etc but should focus only on the only permanent thing that is called as “adiyarAm thanmai”. This is nothing but being a servant (devotee) of perumAL and pirAtti forever. This quality of being a servant of perumAL and pirAtti is not just for one or two selected souls. Instead it is for all souls one and the like. This would remove all differences arising out of temporal factors and unite all souls under one common umbrella known as “thirumAl adiyAr”.

gyAna sAram 14 – bUthangkaL aindhum

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gyAna sAram

Previous pAsuram

                                                                       14th pAsuram

satya

thamizh:

“பூதங்கள் ஐந்தும் பொருந்துடலினார்  பிறந்த
சாதங்கள் நான்கினோடும் சங்கதமாம் – பேதங்கொண்டு
என்ன பயன் பெறுவீர் எவ்வுயிர்க்கும் இந்திரை கோன் 
தன்னடியே காணும் சரண்”

English:

“bUthangkaL aindhum porundhudalinAR piRandha
sAdhangkaL nAnkinOdum sangkathamAm – pEthangkoNdu
enna payan peRuvIr evvuyirkkum indhirai kOn
thannadiyE kANum saraN”

Phrasal Meanings:

bUthangkaL aindhum porundhum udalinAR piRandha  — The bodies of all the people born here are made up of the five entities – land, water, fire, air and ether

sAdhangkaL nAnkinOdum sangkathamAm  —  and are split in to four types of varNams – brAhmaNar, King, Businessmen, agriculturist (referring to the fourth sect) and everyone is expected to follow these in unison.

bEthangkoNdu enna payan peRuvIr   —  However, these differences are not useful and are worthless because

evvuyirkkum indhirai kOn thannadiyE kANum saraN– all the jIvAthmAs have to take refuge at the feet of the hero of thirumAmagaL, sriman nArAyaNAn.

Synopsis:

There arouse a question: “Till the time that one is alive, he or she is going to be impacted by the differences in varNam. No one can be spared from that and would continue to follow anyone until the time he lives here”. svAmi aruLALa perumAL emberumAnAr answers that in this pAsuram by saying that “there is no use of those varNam” and then goes ahead and says that all jIvAthmAs have to take refuge under the lotus feet of the ONE who is the hero of thirumagaL            .

Meaning:

bUthangkaL aindhum porundhudalinAR piRandha:   swami thirumangai AzhvAr says “manju sEr vAn eri nIr nilam kAlivai mayaki nindra anju sEr Akai”. thiruvaLLuvar says “suvai oLi ooRu Osai nAtRam ivvaindhin vagai therivAn katE ulagu”. The above two excerpts means that entities like land, water, fire, air and ether combine together to form bodies. With this, we can infer that there is no connection between a body and a soul as the latter is made of the five entities. In addition, the body is one that undergoes a lot of transformations constantly as seen in newly born, young, adult and old stages of life in a man. On top of it, it is temporary and one that needs to be loathed. Hence, it is clear that this body is just a temporary place for the soul.

sAdhangkaL nAnkinOdum:    There are four varNams that includes brAhmaNar, king, businessmen, agriculturist. “sAdhangkaL” would mean varNam. These four varNams was born out based on the body that originated through the combination of five aforementioned entities.

nAnkinOdum sangkathamAm – pEthangkoNdu:    Within these four varNams, there are umpteen number of sub-divisions that gives birth to the conception of “higher and lower” among them. In the case of “brAhmaNar”, there are stages like “brahmacharyam”, “illaRam”, “vAnaprastham” and “thuRavaRam”. These differences are not just limited to just “brAhmaNar” but extend to other varNams as well. There are differences that originates with body as the genesis of these very differences.  parimEl azhagar captures this by the phrase “nAlvagai nilaithAi varNam thORum vERupAtudamayin”

enna payan peRuvIr:   svAmi aruLALa perumAL emberumAnAr asks the worldly people as to what do they derive out of such differences. The answer that is implicit in his question is that there is no benefit derived from these differences. The thing that stands out of all these is that these varNam differences creates and propagates the concept of “yAn” (I) and “yanadhu” (mine) that are eventually detrimental to a soul.

There is an alternate phrase instead of “enna payan peRuvIrbecause of “pAta bEdham”. The other phrase is “enna payan keduvIr” that is also been practiced by some. In this school of learning, “keduvI” is a viLi chol (sambOdhanam) that points out at the people standing nearby swami aruLALa perumAL emberumAnAr. It is to be construed that svAmi aruLALa perumAL emberumAnAr is talking to the people and addressing them as “keduvIr”

evvuyirkkum indhirai kOn thannadiyE kANum saraN:            The phrase “evvuyirkkum” would mean that it is for everyone. As they say “vENdudhal vENdAmai ilAn”, “innAr inaiyAr endRa vERupAdu illAmal”, the lotus feet of sriman nArAyANan, who is the hero of thirumagaL, is for everyone one and the like. It is the refuge for all souls and all the souls take shelter at HIS. It implies that since all souls are under HIS lotus feet, there is no difference between these souls in that they all have one destination. There is no difference in that and so the differences arousing from body does not mean anything. All souls are servants of their eternal master sriman nArAyANan. svAmi bhUdathAzvAr says:

“adhu nanRu idhu thIdhu enRu iyapadAdE
madhu ninRa than thuzhAi mArvan
podhu ninRa ponnangazhalE thozhumin muzhu vinaigaL 
munnagazhalum thozhumin”

                                                                                                               -mUndrAm thiruvandhAdhi (88)

The phrase “podhu nindRa ponnangazhal” means that sriman nArAyANan’s lotus feet is common for everyone. This is the reason why they keep satAri at the head of all those who come to the temple. The “satAri” is supposed to be svAmi nammAzvAr who represents the lotus feet of sriman nArAyANan.

gyAna sAram 13 – paNdE uyir anaiththum

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gyAna sAram

Previous pAsuram

                                                                      13th pAsuram

young-narada-muni-with-lord-narayana

thamizh:

“பண்டே உயிர் அனைத்தும் பங்கயத் தாள் நாயகற்கே
தொண்டாம்  எனத் தெளிந்த தூமனத்தார்க்கு – உண்டோ?
பல கற்றும் தம் உடம்பைப் பார்த்து அபிமாநிக்கும்
உலகத்தவரோடு உறவு”

English:

“paNdE uyir anaiththum pangkayath thAL nAyagaRkE
thoNdAm enath theLindha thUmanaththArkku – uNdO?
pala kaRRum tham udambaip pArththu abimAnikkum
ulagaththavarOdu uRavu”

Verbatim Meanings:

paNdE uyir anaiththum                       –           Do the conscientious objects who forever
pangkayath thAL nAyagaRkE             –           have been a happy servant to the lakshmi nAthan,
thoNdAm enath theLindha
                             with their clean hearts and having realized the truth,
uRavu uNdO?                                           –           ever have a relationship/contact?
tham udambaip pArththu                     –           with the worldly people who are proud of the
abimAnikkum abimAnikkum
                          caste that they are born in (due to the association of
their body)

pala kaRRum                                           –           and appear to be learned

Preface:

There are some people who have developed the urge to do kainkaryam to HIS divine lotus feet only and nothing else. However, if these people have contacts/relationships with their friends and relatives who does not have any inclination in sampradhAyam, who are all after eating, clothing and roaming, will there be a impediment in bhagavadh kainkaryam for first group of people (devotees)? This question might arise. This pAsuram answers the question. It says that if one truly understands the true nature of a soul (jIvAthma), then there will not be any contact or relationship with those other people who are after material pursuits

Explanation:

paNdE – The word “paNdE” should be added with “uyir” and “thoNdAm” to get “paNdE uyir thoNdAm”. This would mean that the soul’s inherent nature is to be a servant to its master, i.e., sriman nArAyaNan. More importantly, this inherent nature of the soul is not something that sprung just now. It has been there forever. There is no start time to that and no end time for this unbreakable nature of soul and its master.

uyir anaiththum – The word “uyir anaithuthum” means everyone. Since it is being said as “everyone”, each and every soul is a servant to its one and only master sriman nArAyaNan. Hence, it disproves the fact that only some souls are subservient to its Master and the rest of the souls are not.

pangkayath thAL nAyagaRkE –  The aforementioned phrases talks about being servant to someone. However, that someone is being explicitly stated in this phrase of the pAsuram, namely “the ONE who is the hero of the one who sits on the lotus flower”. Since it is being mentioned as” pangkayath thAl nAyagaRkE”, it is implied that all the souls are not subservient to just perumAL alone. They are all servants to both perumAL and HIS wife (pirAtti) alike. The case ending in “nAyagaRkE is “E” that denotes “only to perumAL andpirAtti, and to no one else. This is 4th level case ending in thamizh grammar and this clears up any question that might arise like “are the souls servants to these two namely perumAL and pirAtti in addition to someone else”? The answer is “no” as explained by the fourth level case ending “E” in nAyagaRkE”.

thoNdAm enath theLindha thUmanaththArkku:  In this phrase, swami aruLALa mAmuni talks about certain group of people whom he calls as “thUmanaththAr”. They are those people who know the meaning of thirumanthiram completely and thereby understand and appreciate the fact that “a soul is subservient to its eternal master sriman nArAyaNan and no one else”. This thought which is a condensed thought of all Vedas is what is contained in thirumanthiram.

uNdO? – There is not. Swami asks a question “is there” (uNdO?). The context to this question is mentioned in the latter part of the pAsuram in the word “uravu” (relationship). So, the words “uravu” and “uNdO” needs to be joined to ask the question that is being put forth is “is there a relationship”? The answer is no.

pala kaRRum tham udambaip pArththu abimAnikkum – “pala kaRRal” is learning a lot about different things sAsthrams that includes the likes of vEdAs, manu smirthi, tharkam, vyAkaraNam etc. “tham udambu” refers to “one’s body”. It is the place where the condition such as “brahmachari” (bachelorhood) for varNam like brAhmaNan resides. The reason swamy  aruLALa mAmuni used “tham udambu” is to point out the fact that people look at their bodies and take great pride in them when they say “I am from such and such caste, such and such creed”. They think so high of themselves thinking about the condition in which their body is currently in like “brAhmachari” etc.

ulagaththavarOdu uRavu – This refers to the bunch of mundane people who regard themselves as “high” based on just the caste / creed in which they were born.

thUmanaththArkku –  We need to join the phrase “thUmanaththArku”, “uNdo” and “uravu” to mean “For those people who are regarded as “thUmanaththAr”, will there be any relationship to these other group of people who regard themselves as “high” based on their birth / religion. Swami aruLALa mAmuni answers this question by saying that there will never be any relationship.

Inner Meaning: “Aum” that is also called aspranavam” revealed the fact that all souls are subservient to the ONE who is being referred by “A” (sriman nArAyaNan). The souls are being referred by “Ma” component of “m”. These souls that are being appalled by “m” can be defined as that which has conscience and thus is different from non-living objects that do not have any conscience. These souls are knowledge and happiness personified and is always a servant to its master sriman nArAyaNan. Those who know this definition of “m” are considered to be “thUmanaththAr”. To these “thUmanaththAr”, will there be any relationship ever with those who does not know the definition of “m”. Never. Those who do not realize this true definition of “m” will always regard their body as everything and will not differentiate between it and the soul. They would take utmost pride in being born in a high caste. So, there can never be any kind of relationship between these two sets of people ever. One may get a question here as to what would the “thUmanaththAr” tell the other kind of people when they happen to meet each other. In order to illustrate this, there is a story.

“Thiruvahindirapuram” is a place near Cuddalore, South India. There lived a person by name “Villiputhoor pagavar” in that place. He was a famous sanyasi who had renounced everything with the thought that they will never be the means but only perumAL’s lotus feet is the only means and end. He used to go to river to take bath and while doing so, he would never go to near the same shore as brAhmanas go and take their bath. This happened for quite some time. One day, these brAhmanas gathered together and asked villiputhOr pagavar”, “Hey! Why are you not taking bath in the same shore as us? Why do you keep yourself aloof and stay away from us all the time”.  villiputhOr pagavar replied, “Hey brAhmanas!!! We are servants of Vishnu but you are those brAhmanas who follow dharma based on your caste. There is no relationship whatsoever between us. We are servants of sriman nArAyaNan. There is no way for us to have any kind of contacts/relationship/friendship. Swami manavALa mAmunigaL, who writes commentary for this gyAna sAram talks about this story in this pAsuram’s explanation.

gyAna sAram 12 – mARAy iNaindha

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gyAna sAram

Previous pAsuram

                                                                      12th pAsuram

krishna-tied-to-grinding-mortar

thamizh:

“மாறாய் இணைந்த மறுதம் இரத்த தவழ்ந்த
சேறார் அரவிந்தச் சேவடியை – வேறாக
உள்ளாதார் ஒண்ணிதியை தந்திடினும் தான் உவந்து
கொள்ளான் மலர் மடந்தை கோன்”

English:

“mARAy iNaindha maRudham iRath thavazhndha
sERAr aravindhach sEvadiyai – vERAga
uLLAdhAr oN nidhiyai thanthidinum thAn uvandhu
koLLAn malar madandhai kOn.”

Verbatim Meanings:

malar madandhai kOn                                    –          sriman nArAyaNA, who is the King of the one
living in the lotus flower (sri mahAlakshmi)

mArAy iNaindha maRudham                          –          is the sole enemy of the twin asuras, who were
joined together to become a “marudha” tree
due to a curse.

iRath thavazhndha                                          –          These asuras in the marudha tree, fell by being
broken completely, when sriman nArAyaNA
crawled between them.

vErAga uLLAdhAr oN nidhiyai Indhidhinum –          The people who do not regard it in their heads
that if, they offer a great deal of wealth

instead of seeking HIS

sERAr aravindham sEvadiyai                         –          feet, which are like the red lotus which
blossoms in the mud,

thAN uvandhu koLLAn                                   –          sriman nArAyaNa will not accept it with HIS
heart’s content

 

Preface:

People who look for other material (rather immaterial) benefits from sriman nArAyaNan without yearning for HIS lotus feet, whatever big wealth they may offer HIM, HE will not accept them gladly with full heart’s contention

Explanation:

mARAy iNaindha maRudham iRath thavazhndha: The inseparable, twin “yamalArchanam” trees that regarded krishNa as its enemy, was made to fall down in the ground by krishNa who crawled in between them.

YashodhA went to take bath in Yamuna river after leaving krishNa in HIS bed. krishNa was crying out of hunger at that time. His mother who used to feed HIM with her breast milk was not there in the vicinity at that time. krishNa was very upset that HE did not get any food when HE was hungry. So, HE kicked out HIS legs. When HE kicked, HE kicked a wheel nearby. There was an asurA who was inside that wheel. The asurA was destroyed by the mere little kick of krishNa. This happened earlier. Similarly, the twin “yamalArchanam” trees who became such trees in the first place due to a “sAbam”, were destroyed completely due to krishNa’s actions. krishNa had stolen butter from others’ homes and had eaten them fully. Not able to listen to others’ complaints of krishNa’s mischief, YashodhA tied HIM up to a mortar and went on to do her chores. krishNa was still a small kid and hence did not know what to do. HE went ahead and crawled with the mortar as well. He was stuck in between the twin trees as HE could not go through them. The mortar could not penetrate through it as it was too wide. krishNa forcefully tried to enter. HIS divine thighs rubbed against the trees because of which the twin trees broke down completely and fell to the ground. The asurAs who were inside the tree were killed. YamalArchams tried to kill krishNa and help kamsA by residing in the tree. However, they were destroyed by krishNa HIMSELF. Hence, even though one opposes krishNa for the sake of others, they would eventually need to succumb to krishNa. Whoever be the enemy, krishNa will destroy all of them.

sERAr aravindhach sEvadiyai – HIS lotus feet has the hue of a fresh lotus that has just blossomed in a pond midst a natural settings. “sEvadi generally refers to “red hued” color of HIS feet. However, it is not just the red coloredness. It also means the associated characteristic beauty of HIS feet that includes beauty, coolness, fragrant etc (as per the thamizh grammar “yaerpuli kodal”). Swamy parAsara muni (author of srIvishnu purANam) describes this event and when he did that, he glorified the beauty of krishNa’s red eyes, when HE turned HIMSELF back with the mortar to look at the tree that had just fallen on the ground. However, swami aruLALa mAmuni, instead of describing the red hued eyes, here described the red hued LOTUS feet of krishNa, explains swami Manavaala mAmunigaL in his commentary for this pAsuram.

“porundhiya mAmarudhin idai pOya vem
perunthagAi, un kazhal kANiye pEdhutru
varundhi naan vAsaga mAlai kondu unnayE
irundhu irundhu eththanai kAlam pulambuvanE”                                                                                                                                                                                                           –Thiruvaimozhi 3-8-10

Even azhvAr wanted to enjoy the LOTUS feet with which HE crawled between the twin trees (“ponnAy maa marudhin naduvE en pollAmaNiyE”).

vERAga uLLAdhAr – this refers to those people who regard these two divine LOTUS feet as the ultimate enjoyment and do not pay any heed to other stuff. When krishNa killed the asuras in yamalArchanam trees, HIS true devotees will feel delighted because HE saved HIMSELF from the clutches of those demons. Not only that, by saving HIMSELF, HE gave HIS lotus feet to HIS devotees for their enjoyment. Hence, true devotees will always think about those LOUTS feet that had saved HIMSELF. They will never turn their attention to any other mundane stuff. However, not all people are HIS true devotees. There are many people who are involved in mundane material benefits. These people are being referred to as “vERAga uLLAdhaR”.

oN nidhiyai thanthidinum  – even if those aforementioned people offer the greatest wealth

thAn uvandhu koLLAn malar madandhai kOn-   krishNa, who is verily sriman nArAyaNan, is known as “Thiruvukum thiruvAgiya selvan”, i.e., “HE gives “Thiru” to even the periyapirAtti”. Hence, HE is replete with everything and does not need anything from anyone to make HIMSELF complete in any aspect. Hence, these people who indulge themselves in materialistic pursuits, even if they offer the highest of the highest wealth, HE will not take it with full heart. Had HE been an “incomplete” person in the first place, HE would have gladly accepted with highest satisfaction those enormous wealth that those people offer. Since HE is “complete in every sense”, we cannot say that HE will accept those wealth with HIS heart content. Moreover, HE accepts with full heart based on with what thought a devotee offers. Since it is being described as “HE accepts those wealthy offerings of other people but not with full satisfaction”, we can infer from this that “HE accepts it still but will treat it just for the sake of it to accept it and no real happiness behind it”. God is ONE who everyone is dependent on. Hence, HE has to take all that anyone offers. However, if one gives it with full heart’s content, HE accepts it with an even more full heart’s content irrespective of what is being offered to HIM. This is similar to how parents accepts everything that one of their good natured child gives and at the same time accepts anything that their other children with not so good nature offers.

gyAna sAram 11 – than ponnadi

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                                                                    11th pAsuram

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thamizh:

“தன் பொன்னடி அன்றி மற்றொன்றில் தாழ்வு செய்யா
அன்பர் உகந்திட்டது அணு எனினும் – பொன் பிறழும்
மேருவாய்க் கொள்ளும் விரையார் துழாய் அலங்கல்
மாறி மாக் கொண்டால் நிகர் மால்”

English:

“than ponnadi anRi maaRRonRil thAzhvu seyyA
anbar ugandhittadhu aNu eninum – pon piRazhum
mEruvAyk koLLum viraiyAr thuzhAy alangkal
mAri mAk koNdal nigar mAl”

Verbatim Meanings:

than ponnadi anRi maaRRonRil         –           The people with great bhakti, who seek for
thAzhvu seyyA anbar                                       nothing except the beautiful feet of sriman
nArAyANan, without being concerned about other
benefits,

 ugandhittadhu aNu eninum                –           when offering anything to sriman nArAyANan, be
it even as small as an atom

 

viraiyAr thuzhAy alangkal mAri          –           thirumAl sriman nArAyANan, who has the fragrant

mAk koNdal nigar mAl                                   thuLasi garland and is like the color of dark rain
bearing clouds

pon piRazhum mEruvAy koLLum       –           accepts it like sparkling with gems, similar to
“mEru” mountain that is a huge mountain with
umpteen number of precious gems

Preface:

In the 9th pAsuram, “Asil aruLAL”, swami aruLALa perumAL emberumAnAr explained how sriman nArAyANan resides in the hearts of those who wish nothing but HIM and HER. In the 10th pasuram, “nAlum ulagai”, swami explained how sriman nArAyANan resides in the hearts of those who never leaves attachment with material world and still catches hold of sriman nArAyANan. In this pAsuram, swami goes ahead and explains how sriman nArAyANan accepts and treats even the miniscule thing that a true devotee of HIM offers with untainted love towards HIM. Swamy explains how greatly sriman nArAyANan treats even a small item that HIS devotee offer. Even PoyyAmozhi reiterates this fact in”thinai thuNai nanRi seyinum panai thuNayAga koLvAr payan therivAr”.KambanAtaAhvAr when describing the lotus feet of the ONE who measured this whole universe, says “uyarndhavarku udhaviyoppave”.

Explanation:

than ponnadi anRi:   “than” refers to the condition where sriman nArAyANan is present naturally in all the souls without any cause. “ponnadi anRi” refers to all that except the beautiful and the most desirable lotus feet of sriman nArAyANan. Here, “than ponnadi” hence means that each and every soul in this universe has the same and equal right on the lotus feet of sriman nArAyANan. “ponnadi” refers to the feet that is supreme in terms of beauty as well as enjoyment.

maaRRonRil thAzhvu seyyA anbar:    sriman nArAyANan’s lotus feet , as seen above ,is both supremely beautiful and every one of the infinite jIvAthmAs has a right on them. Hence, “maaRRonRil thAzhvu seyaar anbar” refers to those people who does not divulge themselves in anything apart from those diving lotus feet of sriman nArAyANan. The word “maaRRonRu” refers to worldly wealth, the pleasure of a soul enjoying itself (kaivalyam) etc. The word “thAzhvu” is used in a derogatory manner and means “anything low” that would point to all other things apart from the lotus feet of sriman nArAyANan.

Here, it is appropriate to refer to thiruvAimozhi pAsuram “sadhiriLa madavAr thAzhichiyai madhiyAdhu” (thiruvAimozhi 2.10.2). The word “thAzhchi” in this thiruvAimozhi pAsuram and “thAzvhu” in this pAsuram both mean the same thing. The same thought is conveyed in “thAzchi maRRu engum thavirthu” where AzhvAr describes the lowliness of indulging in anything and everything apart from sriman nArAyANan. Hence, we can infer that there is a special group of bhAgavathAs who does not immerse themselves in anything apart from the lotus feet of sriman nArAyANan.

ugandhittadhu:    The word “ugapu” means happiness and “ittadhu” would mean “to give”. Hence, this word totally would mean “that which was offered with lot of happiness”. There are two types of being a servant. The first type is where one is a servant in accordance with the sAsthrAm’s order. He is being a servant just because he is asked to be. The second type is where one is a servant because of outpouring of love. For example, all the things that a wife does to her husband is in accordance with the rules of “sAsthram” in how a wife should behave to her husband. thiruvaLLuvar says “tharkAthu tharkondAn peni”. This is when a husband does all the things for his wife that is a because of the excessive love that he has towards her. Similarly, devotees should be a servant not out of compulsion enforced by sAsthrams. It should be done out of pure love that he or she has towards sriman nArAyANan. This is what swamy nammAzhvAr refers as “ugandhu pani seydhu” in his thiruvAimozhi.

“uRRen ugandhu paNi seydhu unapAdham
peRRen, eedhe innam veNduvadhendhaai
kaRRAr maRai vAnargal vaazh thirupeRArku
aRRAr adiyAr thamaku allal nillAve”                                                
— ThiruvAimozhi 10.8.10

Hence, such devotees who give out of their excessive love towards sriman nArAyANan, how much ever little it may be, HE relishes it nothing else.

pon piRazhum mEruvAy koLLum:   sriman nArAyANan will regard the tiniest thing that HIS true devotee gives HIM as a huge “mEru” mountain that sparkles like and is full of precious jewels and ornaments. Had HE be ONE that needs something in order to be rich, HE would have grown more complete by taking the offering that a devotee gives. So, HE would have yearned for those little thing in order to grow richer. However, this would have been termed as “alpathanam” or “one who yearns for silly and petty things”. But the fact of the matter is that HE is not like that.  HE is one who is without any defects, without any holes that needs to be filled. Hence, there is absolutely no need for HIM to get anything from somebody and so subsequently erase that defect or grow richer. Hence, how much ever small HIS devotee gives, HE accepts it with utmost satisfaction and regards that thing as equivalent of mEru Mountain. This type of sriman nArAyANan is being described in the next paragraph.

viraiyAr thuzhAy alangkal mAri mAk koNdal nigar mAl:    sriman nArAyANan is ONE who stands with a beautiful and fragrant thuLasi garland. HIS body resembles the hue of dark rain bearing clouds. “virai” is fragrant, “alangkal” – garland, mAri – rain , mA- big, koNdal – clouds.

Essence: Since HE is being described as ONE who is complete with everything, to those pure bhAgavathAs who does not keep their heart and mind in anything apart from HIS lotus feet, HE shows more and more of HIS beauty of HIS body with all those beautiful ornaments. Thus, HE makes sure that they are always glued to HIM and their bhakti is increased more and more. So, finally, with these meanings explained, we can re-word the phrase in the pAsuram to “viraiyAr thuzhAy alangkal mAri mAk koNdal nigar mAl than ponnadi anRi maaRRonRil thAzhvu seyyA anbar ugandhittadhu aNu eninum pon piRazhum mEruvAyk koLLum” which gives the essence of the pAsuram.

gyAna sAram 10 – nALum ulagai

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Previous pAsuram

                                                                               10th pAsuram

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thamizh:

“நாளும் உலகை நலிகின்ற வாளரக்கன்
தோளும்  தலையும் துணித்தவன் தன் – தாளில்
பொருந்தாதார் உள்ளத்துப் பூ மடந்தை கேள்வன்
இருந்தாலும் முள் மேல் இருப்பு”

English:

“nALum ulagai naliginRa vALarakkan
thOLum thalayum thuNiththavan than – thALil
porundhAdhAr uLLaththup pU madandhai kELvan
irundhAlum muL mEl iruppu”

Verbatim Meanings:

nALum ulagai naliginRa vALarakkan            –          there is a person who tortures everyone in the
world daily, has a sword called
“chandrahAsam”

thuNiththavan thOLum thalayum                              and this arakkan (rAvaNan’s) 10 heads and
20 shoulders were severed

pU madandhai kELvan than                                     by rAman, who is the husband of the periya
pirAtti.

thALil porundhAdhAr uLLaththu                    –          Even though people do not hold the feet of
rAmA in their heart

irundhAlum muL mEl iruppu                          –          rAmA stays in their hearts though HE is
residing on top of a prickly thorn

Preface:

perumAL does not live quite happily in the hearts of those who seek and yearn for anything apart from HIM. This forms the message in this pAsuram. In the previous pAsuram, swami aruLALa perumAL emberumAnAr described how happy perumAL is in the hearts of HIS pure devotees. He is indeed happier than being in srivaikuNtam. However, in this pAsuram, he says that even though perumAL lives in the heart of a person who goes after anything other than perumAL, HE will not enjoy it but will continue to stay there just for the sake of it.

Explanation:

nALum ulagai naliginRa:   rAvaNan, the ruler of LankA, was a personification of evil. The phrase “nALum ulagai” describes how bad he was. He was a person who tortured not for just a day or just for some period of time. His bad deeds continued daily. It is not just a few people who were tortured. He tortured the whole world. Thus, the mighty rAvaNan not just tortured a few people just for a short period of time. He cast his wrath upon everybody continuously.

vALarakkan:  rAvaNan did penance upon sivan and got a sword called “chandrahAsam” from him. He was able to defeat his enemies with considerable ease with the sword. kambar says“sankaran kodutha vALum”  in his kambarAmAyaNam to describe this.

thOLum thalayum thuNiththavan:  rAman cut asunder the 10 heads and 20 shoulders of evil rAvaNan. Swami nammAzhvAr exclaims “nIl kadal sOOzh ilangai kOn thoLgaL thalai thuni seydhAn thaaLgaL thalayil vAngi nAL kadalai kaLimin”. Whenever a fight erupts between two people, if one of them grows weaker and weaker by every passing minute, the stronger person at one point of time, would realize his hold on him and at some point of time would kill him or defeat him totally with the thought that he should not let the weaker person to come up and fight back. The stronger person would want to annihilate him or his forces completely. However, the omnipotent, valorous rAman did not want to do the war this way. He wanted to give rAvaNan as many chances as possible for him to realize his mistake and fall under the lotus feet of rAman. This is why he cut his 20 shoulders one by one and then 10 heads one by one. He also let him away by saying “Go now today and come back tomorrow”. rAman was full of grace but rAvaNan did not surrender to HIM at all. All these acts of rAman were extolled by AzhvArs.

Swami Thirumangai AzhvAr says “
“thAn polum yEndru ezhundAn tharaNiyALan
adhu kaNdu tharithu irupAn arakar thangaL
kOn polum yendrezhundhAn kundra manna
irupadhu thoLudan thunindha oruvan kaNdEr”   

                                                                                                                 –Periya Thirumozhi (4,4,5)

“thaLaigal pathayum vetti thaLLi
pozhudhu poga viLayAdinAr pOL kondravan”                                       –(Not sure of author)

“sarangaLai thurandhu vil vaLaithu ilangai mannan
sirangaL pathu aruthu thIrtha selvar maN ponnidam”
                   — (Thiruchandhavirutham, 51)

pU madandhai kELvan:    perumAL is the consort of pirAtti who resides on the beautiful, young, fresh and ever-radiating lotus flower. rAvaNan was destroyed not only because he was torturing all the people in this world but also because he was the villain who separated perumAL and pirAtti. This was the most important reason why he and his army was annihilated by rAman. Swami Thirumangai AzhvAr corroborates this in his Periya Thirumozhi pAsuram below.

“suri kuzhal kanivAi thiruvinai piritha kodumayil kaduvisai arakan
eri vizhithilanga mani mudi podi seydhu ilangai pAzhpadupadharku eNNi”

—(Periya thirumozhi 5,5,7)

At this juncture, one may get a thought that rAman was selfish and hence HE destroyed rAvaNan, when the latter took away the former’s wife. This may look selfish if it is not being looked at the right perspective. One needs to understand the broadness of thought rAman had. If pirAtti was not there, then it is not only perumAL’s loss. More than perumAL, the people of the world can never live without her. It is because of her that perumAL gets the qualities of compassion, grace and forgives our sins. If not for her, then all the jivAthmAs like us cannot do saranAgathi at all. perumAL cannot protect us if pirAtti is not by HIS side. This can be seen in many instances. All the killings in sriramayaNam happened when piratti was not with perumAL. vAli, kara, dhOOshaNaN, rAvaNan, kumban, nikumban etc., all were killed when pirAtti was not with perumAL. At the same time, a demon known as “kAkAsuran”, who was in a crow form, stung pirAtti’s breasts with its beaks. Blood started to ooze out at that time when perumAL was lying in her lap. She did not want to disturb perumAL’s sleep. But when perumAL woke up and understood what happened, the demon ran for help. No one, no demi-gods, no rishis could come to its rescue. Even perumAL did not want to help. But it was pirAtti who intervened and out of her sheer compassion for her child (everyone is a child to her), she made her rAmA forgive it. Thus, it is only because of the thought that “people needs to be saved and to be saved I need pirAtti”, rAman had to kill rAvaNan, who apparently separated the Divine couple.

than – thALil porundhAdhAr uLLaththu:   Swami aruLALa perumALemberumAnAr talks about people who catch hold of perumAL’s Lotus feet. But even after that, these people start to wander and look for other material benefits forgetting where they are. “porundhudhal” refers to “match”. If one were to completely surrender unto the Lotus feet of perumAL, then how could it be possible that they can desire for other stuffs apart from perumAL? This apparently contradicts each other and so is looked upon as a “mis-match”. This is because the person did not do complete surrender or is looking for some other worldly benefits and not perumAL.

irundhAlum:  Everyone and everything has connection with perumAL. There cannot be any object or any person in any universe without HIS connection. HE is present in us, inside the jIvAthmA which is extremely tiny. He is present in all animals, birds, all species in this universe. He is present as fire, earth, sky, water and wind. He is present in the letters that we speak, write and think. He gives meanings to these words and becomes the One who is being described by the words. HE is beyond them as well. He exists as the very thought, action, cause, problem, solution and what not. Everybody is a vasihnavan in this aspect. He is there, even inside rAvaNaN whom we saw earlier. But, in the heart of those persons described as “porundhAdhAr”, HE resides just for the sake of it. However, in the case of HIS true devotees, HE enjoys it being there, much more than what HE enjoys at this ever-lasting, celestial abode of srivaikunNam.

muL mEl iruppu:   In the vast majority of people who think about anything and everything other than HIM, he stays just for the sake of it. He is living as if HE is on top of a prickly thorn. He does not like and love to live there but continues to stay for the heck of it.

gyAna sAram 9 – Asil aruLAl

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                                                                           9th pAsuram

Lord-Vishnu

thamizh:

“ஆசில் அருளால் அனைத்துலகும் காத்தளிக்கும்
வாச மலராள் மணவாளன் – தேசு பொலி
வின்னாட்டில் சால விரும்புமே வேறொன்றை
எண்ணாதார் நெஞ்சத்து இருப்பு”

 

English:

“Asil aruLAl anaiththulagum kAththaLikkum
vAsa malarAL maNavALan – thEsu poli
viNNAttil sAla virumbumE vERonRai
eNNAdhAr nenjchaththu iruppu”

Verbatim Meanings:
Asil = The faultless one (the fault that a person makes when he expects something in return of something he does to a person).

aruLAl = out of compassion

anaiththulagum kAththu = protects all of the worlds

aLikkum = to yield to requests or to grant wishes,

vAsa malarAL maNavALan = is the consort of pirAtti, who was born in a Lotus flower and it is this Emperuman

thEsu poli viNNAttil  = who is resplendent in srIvaikuntam

nenjchaththu iruppu = and stays in the heart of the people

sAla virumbum = who very much like

vERonRai eNNAdhAR = to keep nothing apart from sriman nArAyaNaN and ask for nothing other than HIM

Preface:

 In the previous pAsuram, swami aruLALa perumAL emberumAnAr talked about the happiness that perumAL gets when HIS devotee does not yearn for a thing apart from being a servant to his Master forever. In this pAsuram, swami aruLALa perumAL emberumAnAr goes one step further and describes an even more happy state of perumAL who lives in the hearts of HIS devotees. However, before entering his heart, perumAL looks at the heart of HIS devotee first. He looks to see if the heart thinks only about HIM or other things as well. HE checks for HIMSELF “Does this heart think about ME for some material benefits or does it want to enjoy ME completely and nothing else”?. If perumAL is convinced that the heart does not think about anything else apart from only HIMSELF, then HE happily stays there forever and enjoys being there.

Asil aruLAl :    When someone does something expecting a favor in return, the very act of doing (even if it is a help) becomes faulty. aruL, in this pAsuram denotes the compassion of the Lord, blessing someone without expecting something in return. parimeElazhagar, when explaining the basics of “aruL” (blessing out of compassion), described that a person should have compassion on all beings not for any particular reason. He should have it just for its very basic existence. We usually love our children, parents, wife, siblings and relatives because they are related. We do not share the same love with some passerby. There is a vast difference in the love that we show between these two people. In case of our family, relatives and friend, the love is born out of the relationship that we share with them. It is the lack of the same relationship with a passerby that we do not show love towards them. However, for perumAL and HIS true devotees, the ability of showing unbiased love and compassion towards one and all is a very important quality. They do not find anything good in a person to show love or find some fault to show hatred against that same person. If they find good / bad credits, then that act of showing love or compassion itself becomes faulty. This kind of faulty love or compassion is what we jIvAthamAs can show and not the real one that our perumAL shows on us. He does not expect anything in return from us.

anaiththulagum:   There  are 14 worlds, seven above, including the earth and seven below earth. The seven worlds above us are: bhur lOkam (earth), bhuvar lOkam, suvar lOkam, mahar lOkam, jana lOkam, tapO lOkam and sathya lOkam. The seven worlds below us includes atala lOkam, suthala lOkam, vithala lOkam, talAtala lOkam, mahAtala lOkam, rasAtala  lOkam and pAthAla lOkam. The collection of these 14 lOkas are known as “aNdam”. perumAL shows HIS unbiased love towards everyone in all these 14 worlds. If perumAL shows HIS love based on a reason, then there might be disparity in the love itself. However, perumaAL is common for all of us and HE does not discriminate among us.

kAththaLikkum:   perumAL protects us. We should be very careful what is meant by protection because this is normally misconstrued. It is not giving all that we want and all that we love irrespective of knowing if it is really good for us. Protection is giving what is really needed and destroying what is not needed totally. The thing one may need is not the one that he may like and vice versa. This is very common. We try to see Perumal as “non-protective” as HE does not yield to our requests. However, we do not look in the longer scheme of things in which all that we wished may not really be what we need. This is why our ancestors say that we should be happy for whatever Perumal has given us right now and should be thankful for giving it. He knows how to protect us more than anyone else.

vAsa malarAL maNavALan:  swAmi nammAzhvAr says “VEri mArAadha pU mEl iruppAL”. perumAL is the consort of pirAati who sits on a cool, beautiful and fragrant lotus that does not fade in beauty even for a spilt second. When perumAL protects us, pirAti is also involved. To go a step further, it is fair to say only if pirAti is with perumAL, HE protects us, else does not. So, pirAti plays an equally important role of protecting the jIvAthmAs as much as perumAL does. She serves as a catalyst and triggers perumAL’s quality known as “compassion” towards us. In addition to doing this, she is the first person to be happy when perumAL protects us.

thEsu poli viNNAttil This place refers to “paramapadham” or “srivaikuNtam”. All souls who are liberated go there. People who are there forever continue to enjoy their stay, that is destined to be forever. There is nothing called time, no one becomes old, sick. Everyone can do whatever they desire to do as kainkaryam. There will not be any obstacle to any task from whatever means. To put it short, it is the quintessence of everything.

sAla virumbumE*:   perumAL likes very much a place and place it at a even higher pedestal than HIS paramapadham that was described above. He relishes HIS stay in this place more than paramapadham. There is an “EkAram” attached to the phrase “virumbumE”. Please see footnote for grammatical details of it. The “EkAram” here finds context in the following lines vERonRai eNNAdhAR nenjchaththu iruppu”.

ERonRai eNNAdhAR nenjchaththu iruppu   The place that was referred by “sAla virumbumE” above, is the heart of HIS devotees, namely prapannas who does not think/ask about anything apart from the Lord HIMSELF. As swAmi nammAzhvAr put “uNNum sORu, parugum nIr, thinnum vetRilai ellAm kaNNan”. Translated loosely it means that Krishna is AzhvAr’s food, his water, his beetal leaves (to denote other luxuries). In the heart of such a person, perumAL absolutely rejoices being here ,even more than being in HIS own celestial srivaikuntam. perumAL, who does not expect anything from HIS devotees, if HE finds a person who does not expect anything other than perumAL, becomes extremely joyful and ecstatic to stay in his heart.

Footnote (*) – There are two types of “ekAram” in thamizh grammar. The first one is “thEtrathu ekAram”. This signifies “urudhi” or “certainty” or “unanimousness”. Example – thirupAvai 1st pAsuram where AndAL nails it beautifully than any other AzhvArs or perumAL. In “nArAyaNaNE”, andAL uses “EkAram” to mean that only nArAyaNaN can give parai and no body else. This is used to mean certainty about who can give mOksham and the fact that no one else can give it. This is “thEtrathu EkAram”. The second type is “pirinilai EkAram”. This means something like “even it”. That is in this example “namakE”, andAL uses to mean that nArAyaNaN will give parai to people like even us. Who are we? We are the ordinary (alpa) humans who go after food and other worldly pleasures thinking that is the highest form of pleasure.  We are the most dumbest and stupidest people and to even people like us (namakE), nArAyaNaN will give. This connotation is known as “piri nilai EkAram”. In the phrase “sAla virumbumE”, the “thEtrathu EkAram” is being used.

gyAna sAram 8 – muRRap buvanam

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                                                                           8th pAsuram

vishnu

thamizh:

“முற்றப் புவனம் எல்லாம் உண்ட முகில் வண்ணன்
கற்றை துழாய் சேர் கழல் அன்றி – மற்றொன்றை
இச்சியா அன்பர் தனக்கு எங்கனே செய்திடினும் 
உச்சியால் ஏற்கும் உகந்து.”

English:

“muRRap buvanam ellAm uNda mugil vaNNan
kaRRaith thuzhAy sEr kazhal anRi – maRRonRai
ichchiyA anbar thanakku engnganE seydhidinum
uchchiyAl ERkum ugandhu.”

Verbatim Meanings:

muRRa buvanam ellAm uNda = the one how swallowed all worlds without any trace and keep them in HIS stomach

mugil vaNNan = is the one who has the colour of dark rain bearing clouds

kaRRaith thuzhAy sEr = and collection of beautiful bunch of thulasi

kazhal anRi maRRonRai ichchiyA anbar  = The devotees of Emperumaan, who do not like anything apart from Lord’s Holy Feet and do not ask for any other benefits excluding those divine Feet

thanakku engnganE seydhidinum = However the Kainkaryams done to Perumal

uchchiyAl ERkum ugandhu = will be very gladly accepted, that too with HIS head!

Preface:

People who do not have any interest or stakes apart from Lord’s divine Feet (thiruvadi) do kainkaryam all the time to HIM. The Supreme Lord sriman nArAyaNaN does not mind mistakes, mishaps or any type of disorders in their kainkaryam. HE will gladly accept without any qualms and will be extremely pleased to see that HIS devotee is doing kainkaryam to HIM. HE will hold their kainkaryam in HIS head. Lord krishnA, in bhagavad gIthA told arjunA “Hey arjunA!!! I take whatever MY devotee gives me with pure and untainted bhakti. Let that be a leaf, flower, fruit, water or whatever. I love whatever he gives with pure heart and I drink them immediately”.  Since leaves and flowers are also included here, all it conveys is that what one gives does not matter at all. It is how he gives that would make Krishna’s heart happy. This is the essence of this pAsuram.
Explanation:

muRRap buvanam ellAm uNda mugil vaNNan:    During the times of cosmic deluge (praLayam), Lord sriman nArAyaNaN swallowed all the worlds in HIS stomach and protected them. Thus it is not destruction but only protection. Often times, we construe that to be destruction because it is not there in the place it was used to be. Since Lord had destroyed it from its immediate place, we try to see it as destruction. While in actuality, it is not destruction, as HE just protects them safely from where those worlds were born in the first place. He does it keeping in mind that it is HIS duty to do so and that HE does not expect anything in return, nor does HE does it for any other benefit. This nature of Lord is often times being compared with a dark rain bearing cloud that pours down heavily for prosperity. The clouds’s duty is to pour and it does not expect anything for doing so. The darker the clouds, the more rain it can give. Perumal is also dark hued in colour. This is a point of similarity. However, we should also note that clouds stop giving rain once all the darkness (impregnated water) is gone. But Perumal never does that and so we should remember this dissimilarity as well and take the spirit of the metaphor that is being referenced here. AzhvAr says “thAi irukkum vaNNamE ummai than vayitru iruthi uyya kondAn”, that means that perumAL was like a mother in saving and protecting. While the mother would protect her child, perumAL protects this whole universe which is HIS creation. The universe did not even know about this protection but even then perumAL did protect it because of the very connection that HE has on the universe. Does HE need any other reason to protect it? If a child is going near a well, the mother will automatically go and drag the child because the child is her creation and so it is her duty to protect the child by all means. Similarly, we are all HIS children and thus this very basic relationship is enough, if not any, for HIM to protect us during the times of cosmic deluge. By having this whole universe and its inhabitants including living and non-living things in HIS stomach, HE is the one who gets utmost satisfaction because HE is the owner of all of them and so HE feels immensely happy when everything is protected. There is no other benefit for HIM in doing this. Similarly, when a prapannan is doing kainkaryam, perumAL just relishes the fact that he is doing kainkaryam and ignores whatever mistakes he commits while doing it.

kaRRaith thuzhAy sEr kazhal anRi:   perumAL’s divine feet’s sweetness is being explored here. “thuzhAi” refers to tulasi plant. There is a difference between the tulasi that grows on the land and the one that went up to decorate perumAL. The latter is naturally way more fragrant than the former because of the contact it makes with perumAL’s body. Since it has got to its ultimate destination, there is nothing more left for it to do. It is serving under perumAL and so it attains height of happiness which is visible in its fragrance. So, prapannas, who go and surrender unto perumAL’s lotus feet that is being adorned with beautiful tulasi plant, will first of all be attracted by its sheer beauty, leave alone other characteristics of perumAL. HE is not only going to bowl over by HIS characteristics like sowlabhyam (ease of access), sowseelyam (ability of the HIGHEST to mix with the lowest like us) etc. Even before going to such qualities, beauty is the first thing that is visibly explicit and perumAL does not miss any opportunity to take our hearts away. He adorns HIMSELF with beautiful and fragrant tulasi. He shows his dark hued colour that is HIS best and natural colour that signifies “generosity”. He also shows HIMSELF with His Piraati. Swami madhuraKavi AzhvAr describes this as “kariya kOla thiru uru kANban nAn” in his kaNiNun siruthAmbu. “katrai thuzhAi sEr kazhal andRi” specifically refers to enjoyable nature of HIS divine feet.

maRRonRai ichchiyA anbar:   prapannas who do not desire anything apart from the lotus feet of sriman nArAyaNaN is what is being referred by this phrase. Majority of people today are those who ask perumAL for worldly benefits and enjoyments. In order to get them, they might do something that they think would please the heart of perumAL. They even make it a business where in they strike a deal with perumAL to get this thing done and they shall cut out a percentage to perumAL. Though this may look very funny, this is the state of affairs apparently today. But this is exactly the way one should not be in. It behoves us to remember AndaL’s who told perumAL, “Oh! My beloved Lord! “I have cooked akkAra adisil for you. If You come and eat this fully, you will get a gift. The gift is nothing but another 100 containers of akkAra adisil. I am giving the gift because You have come unto me and fulfilled my desire of eating the akkAra adisil cooked by me”. AzhvArs and AchAryAs sing glories to perumAL not because HE has killed the demons or evil kings and destroyed them. It is because they were afraid something might happen to perumAL during the fight and since HE emerged victorious and thus protected HIMSELF, they sing glories to perumAL and not because HE killed the demons who were threatening the very face of civilians in the country.

thanakku engnganE seydhidinum   To these type of bhaktAs (prapannas), perumAL is full of grace and HE does not even care for the mistakes they might do in their process of doing kainkaryam. All HE looks for is the heart with which he did and everything else is a non-entity to HIM.

uchchiyAl ERkum ugandhu   He will accept such a prapanna’s kainkaryam with much pleasure. Even if a prappannan had kicked out an object during kainkaryam, HE shall gladly take it and place it on top of HIS head. AndAL had adorned herself with a beautiful garland that her father periyAzhvAr had meticulously made for vatapathrasAyI perumAL. She wanted to decorate herself not for her own happiness but just to make sure that she is a suitable match for her darling krishnA. She stood before a mirror and saw herself when periyAzhvAr entered and caught her red handed. periyAzhvAr was very upset that AndAL had taken the garland and because of it , AndAL’s hair got onto the garland. Seeing this periyAzhvAr asked her to keep the garland aside and started to make a fresh garland from the scratch. He took this to vatapathrasAyI and offered HIM. When perumAL saw this new garland, HE became very sad that HE could not get the garland that was adorned by HIS devotee AndAL. So HE ordered periyAzhvAr to get him that particular garland that AndAL had worn because it had her hair on it and He wanted to enjoy only that. periyAzhvAr was pleasantly shocked and was very happy for his daughter. He went back and told the story to AndAL who become ecstatic on hearing it. Thus, we can see that even perumAL wants bhAgavatha sambandham. He wants only those that have the touch of a prapannan in some way or the other. He absolutely rejoices it and does not look for any demerits in them.

gyAna sAram 7 – thOLAr sudarth

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                                                                              7th pAsuram

sri-parkadal-nathar

thamizh:

“தோளார் சுடர்த் திகிரி சங்குடைய சுந்தரனுக்கு 
ஆளானார் மற்றொன்றில் அன்பு செய்யார் – மீளாப் 
பொருவரிய விண்ணாட்டில் போகம் நுகர்வார்க்கு 
நரகன்றோ இந்திரன் தன் நாடு?”

English:

“thOLAr sudarth thigiri sangkudaiya sundharanukku
ALAnAr maRRonRil anbu seyyAr – mILAp
poruvariya viNNAttil bOgam nugarvArkku
naraganRO indhiran than nAdu?”

Verbatim Meanings:

ALAnAr                                               –                      those who have become servants to

thOLAr                                                –                      the one with powerful shoulders that have

sudarththigiri                                       –                      the resplendent discus

sangkudaiya sundharanukku               –                      and the very beautiful conch

maRRonRil                                          –                      are not interested

anbu seyyAr                                        –                      or have any attachment towards anything

apart from perumAL

viNNAttil                                             –                      (will be happy only) in Srivaikuntam

mILAp                                                             –                      which is a place of no return

poruvariya                                           –                      and is the one and only place

bOgam                                                –                      where there is utmost happiness

nugarvArkku                                       –                      for experiencing, (such that)

indhiran than nAdu                             –                      Heaven, Indira’s land

naraganRO                                         –                      will be hell

Preface:

In the last pAsuram, swAmi AruLaLa PerumAL EmperumAnAr discussed about the state of those people who knew the essence of being a slave to his master. They will never resort to worldly wealth, even if it was to include the highest of worldly wealth namely the worlds of BrahmA. In this pAsuram, swAmi goes ahead and says that those who are deeply immersed in PerumAL’s beauty, they will not even see other things that are claimed to be beautiful or object of enjoyment. This forms the crux of this pAsuram.

Explanation:

thOLAr sudarth thigiri sangkudaiya sundharanukku:    PerumAL holds HIS divine discus in HIS right hand and the divine conch in HIS left hand. perumAL, when seen with these two, appear more beautiful than when HE is not holding them. These two can be thought of as weapons that instill fear in the minds of the enemies and annihilate them. However, for HIS devotees they do appear more as objects of decoration. So He is being described as “azhagan”. swAmi bhUdathAzhwAr in his irandAm thiruvandAdhi says “manaipAr pirandhAr pirandheydhum perinbamellAm thurandhAr thozhudhArath thol”This means that those who see perumAL’s shoulders and get lost in its beauty, they will relinquish whatever objects of enjoyment and happiness that they had adhered to hitherto.  In srirAmAyanam, those who saw the shoulders of Lord rAmA did not want to see any other thing. kambanAtAzhwAr in his kambarAmAyanam exclaims “thOl kandAr thOlE kandAr”. In the same kambarAmAyanam, kambar describes Lord rAmA through vishwAmitrA’s words “Adavar penmayayi avavum thOlinAi”. This says that those men who had seen the shoulders of Lord rAmA would be yearning and wish to have been born as a female. Swami nammAzhwAr said “thOlumor nAngudai kAlamegathai andri matrondru ilam” to say that there is nothing more than the kAalamegha perumAL at ThirumOghUr who gives darshan with HIS beautiful shoulders. We should take “hArathi” for perumAL who is just stunningly beautiful with the discus and conch. People who have seen this beautiful form of PerumAL, will never ever get resort to any other things/persons/objects that were celebrated as beautiful earlier. perumAL’s shoulders’ beauty alone shall cut asunder all their high esteem that these people had on worldly beauties and enjoyments. AzhwAr said “aniyAr Azhiyum sangamum yEndhum avar kAnmin”. When perumAL holds both such wonderful discus and conch over HIS shoulders, HIS beauty gets doubled automatically. Such was the shoulder’s beauty. periyAzhwAr was describing perumAL’s beauty one by one. Firstly, he sang glories to perumAL, then went on to sing glories to perumAL and pirAti who lives in HIS divine chest. After this, he sang about the beauty of the divine couple when perumAL holds HIS discuss. All these have been described by periyAzhwAr in the first three lines of second pAsuram in Thirupallandu. These first three lines, have been sung in direct speech, meaning periyAzhwAr is facing perumAL and says “Long live, You, Long live You and Your consort pirAti, Long live You and the resplendent discus that You hold on Your right hand”. At this point, the conch entered the scene and perumAL showed his form with pirAti in His chest, discuss in HIS right hand and conch in HIS left hand. He was at his very best and strikingly beautiful. periyAzhwAr could not take any more of HIS beauty that he literally began to turn his face away from perumAL who was standing right in front of him. Since he turned away, he now started to sing “appAnja sanniyamum pallandE” or “let that conch that blows the divine sound during times of war, also live long”. He did not say it in direct speech facing perumAL and which is why he said “let that conch also live long”. He just could not face and see the extreme beauty of perumAL when HE appears with the conch on HIS left shoulders. Such is the beauty of perumAL. Can anyone who has seen this resort to wordily pleasures?

AlanAr:   This refers to the group of people who were bowled over just by HIS beauty alone. There are two way perumAL attracts us. The first type is when He manifests HIMSELF as the sustainer, a leader and shows HIS heroic qualities and makes sure that we, jIvAthmas, are under HIS Lotus Feet. In addition to this HE shows his unparalleled superior characters starting with HIS beauty, ease of accesibility, ability to mix freely without any inhibitions of caste, creed, color and species.  In the previous pAsuram, “pundarIgai kElvan adiyAr” refers to the first type, where HE is described as the ONE who is the consort of pirAti. “sundaranuku AlanAr” is used in this pAsuram to refer to the second type whereby perumAL make us crave for HIM with his qualities starting from HIS outstanding beauty that is one of the easiest quality to see and appreciate even for jIvAthmas like us. perumAL uses these two methods to make jIvAthma realize that he is a servant to HIM, be it for the beauty or any of HIS  other qualities. Swami aruLaLa perumAL emperumAnAr describes and praises those devotees that are completely awestuck by HIS beauty that they hand it in writing that “perumAL is my eternal master forever”.

Matrondril anbu seyyAr:  People who have realized the true nature of the soul and the divine qualities of perumAL will never develop any sort of attachment to worldily stuffs. Srivaikuntam is a place that is made of sutha sathvam (heights of purity) qualities. It is being referred to as “aprAkrutham” or “without the bounds of nature”. On the contrary the universe in which we live is termed as “prAkrutham” or “within the bounds of nature”. All objects in this universe are constrained by space and time and so are subjected to transformation from one form to other at some point of time. But in Srivaikuntam, it is not so as time does not exist there. On top of it, objects / persons over there attract our mind easily. Hence, those people, who can analyze the differences between the inferior nature of objects in this universe and the superior and the most ultimate nature of those in Srivakuntam, accept the fact that nothing in this universe can bowl over them, after knowing Srivaikuntam. Can they ever desire of worldy pleasures anymore? Certainly not and the reason is that these worldly stuff and their so called pleasures appears good only from outside while it is not. As they say beauty is skin deep, passage of time deteriorates anything in this world, whereas it is never a concern in Srivaikuntam, which is there forever. The worldly objects not only deteriorate over time but they are also objects that needs to be condescended.

Someone may have a question as to people say Srivaikuntam as superior because it is being compared to this universe. If the same Srivaikuntam is being compared to heaven, can Srivaikuntam still reign supreme? Will saranAgathas be totally enticed by heaven, the enjoyment over there, the angels who do anything for us? The answer to this question is being answered in the subsequent lines.

mILAp poruvariya viNNAttil bOgam nugarvArkku:  Srivaikuntam, as discussed earlier, is describe as a place of no return, a resplendent place where time does not exist and the enjoyment is forever, an unparalleled place where there is nothing called “construction” and “destruction” of it, a place beyond nature and laws of this universe, a place like nothing else literally. This is the place where saranAgathas yearn to go for and enjoy being a servant of his master sriman nArAyanan, Pirati and THEIR devotees.

naraganRO indhiran than nAdu?:   Heaven is a place which a jIvAthamA goes to, by virtue of his good karma. He enjoys there in measures equal to that of his saved karma. After all the good karma’s benefits have been reaped by the jIvAthamA in heaven, he will be thrown upside down from there to this earth again. The same is true for hell as well, where after one suffers pain to the extent he has bad sins, he is being born again in this earth in a cycle of birth and death. Indira is the chief of heaven and other such celestial worlds, where dEvAs who are as well bound by karma , go there, live and enjoy for very much longer time than an ordinary jIvAthamA like us. They will also be destroyed at one point of time but the time when they exist, they feast on the enjoyments available to them there. This enjoyment is also not forever and more importantly, the enjoyment is not towards serving the Supreme Lord. They enjoy for their own happiness which is fundamentally opposite to the basic nature of a jIvAthamA who had realized his own self of doing kainkaryam to PerumAL for HIS happiness is the ultimate wish for him. So, a saranAgathan would treat heaven and hell as one and the same time and regard them as a place of suffering for him. As described in the second pAsuram, whenever saranAgathas are separated from perumAL and pirAti, that is hell for them.They care least for the heaven , its enjoyment and whatever it has to offer. They absolutely loathe it for they are interetsted in the ultimate enjoyment of sriman nArAyanan.

gyAna sAram 6 – pundarIgai kElvan

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                                                                     6th pAsuram

$37B2598BC35DA6F3

thamizh:

“புண்டரிகை  கேள்வன் அடியார் அப்பூமிசையோன் 
அண்டமொரு பொருளா ஆதரியார் – மண்டி 
மலங்க ஒரு மீன் புரண்ட மாத்திரத்தால் ஆர்த்துக்
கலங்கிடுமோ முந்நீர்க்கடல்? “

English:

“pundarIgai kElvan adiyAr apUmisaiyOn 
andam oru porulA AdhariyAr – mandi
malanga oru mIn puranda mAthirathAl Arthu
kalangiduO munIr kadal”

Verbatim Meanings:

adiyAr                                                 –                      devotees of
pundarIgai                                          –                      pirAtti, the one born in a Lotus flower and

kElvan                                                 –                      Sriyapathi/PerumAL,the bridegroom of Pirati

AdhariyAr                                           –                      will not accept or pay heed to

Andam                                                 –                      the entire universe including the 14 worlds

apUmisayOn                                       –                      created by Brahma, who was born from the

navel of Sriman Narayana,

oru poruLA                                         –                      as worthy.

oru mIn                                               –                      (just like the action of) a fish

mandi                                                  –                      with all its strength

puranda mAthirathAl                          –                      shaking and swaying left and right (will not)

malanga                                              –                      transform,

Arthu                                                   –                      destroy,

kalangidumO                                      –                      or shake

munnIr kadal                                       –                      the ocean with three types of water

(a) AatRu nIr – from rivers

(b) UtRu nIr – Underground water and

(c) vEtRu nIr – Rain water,


Preface :

There are several ways to reach PerumAL. Some of them include Karma yOgam, bhakti yOgam and gyana yOgam etc. These are not practical and extremely difficult paths. More importantly, they are in stark contrast to jIvAthma’s basic nature of being a servant to his Master. Since there are a lot of pain points in these methods, they are to be discarded by all means. These pain points and flaws will never take a jIvAthma unto his paramAthmA and thus taking refuge under the Lotus Feet of the Lord is not only the only way available to him but also the end destination. But this jIvAthma, who has been under the clutches of the five senses for innumerable eons together, and who has realized and performed saranAgathi, will he be seduced by worldly wealth that has been condemned by our scriptures?. Will those wealth not entice him? If these are the questions raised by a person, then the answer lies in this pAsuram.  The key message is that those who have done kainkaryam to perumAL and know the value of it, will dismiss all other wealth even if that wealth included the likes of the highest possible wealth that is available in universe – BrahmalOkam. The BrahmalOkam will be totally insignificant to them is what Swami AruLaLa PerumAL emperumAnAr conveys here. A case in point is the story of sarabangha muni in srirAmAyanam.

Lord rAmA went to the hermitage of sarabangha muni in the dhAndaka forest. indirA was talking with sarabanga muni then. After indirA took leave, Lord rAmA was about to enter the hermitage along with his brother lakshmanA. Even before Lord rAmA could enter, sarabangha muni expected HIS arrival through his divine powers. Then, sarabangha muni actually saw Lord rAmA infront of him and was on cloud nine and said “indhiran arulinAn irudhi sei pagala vandhanan, maruvudhi malar ayan ulagam thandhanan”, en, uravoy! andhamil uyarpadham adaidhalai muyalven”. The meaning of this is that sarabangha said “Oh! My Dear rAmA with beautiful eyes!!! BrahmA had sent IndirA to get me there and enjoy the benefits of BrahmalOkam. I said I would not come”. Muni continues “nI ivan varudhi” enum ninaivu udaiyEn, ini oru vinai ilai, viralOy. sarabangha says “ I have been waiting and has been expecting for the arrival of Lord rAmA in his hermitage for a long time. I am yearning for this wealth – Lord rAmA’s arrival and to bless my hermitage with YOUR divine feet. With such a wealth in mind, will any other worldy pleasures such as being a king of all worlds or for that matter even BrahmalOkam, can that distract me and take me away from my destination that is You my dear rAmA?. I told IndirA, No. I do not want any of those so-called benefits or enjoyments. I am in for the greatest of all wealth that is nothing but being a servant to the Supreme Lord rAmA”. Thus for a saranAgathan (one who does saranAgathi) nothing can affect his sternness in reaching PerumAL is the crux of this pAsuram. 

Explanation:

Swami nammAzhwAr says ““pandai nAlalE nindriruvarulum pankayathAL thiruvarulum kondu (ThiruvAimozhi 9,2,1). AzhwAr, as jIvAthma’s representative, had accrued a lot of sins before getting blessed by the causeless cause PerumAL along with HIS consort PirAti. After being blessed, all his sins had been burnt like cotton in a fire, AzhwAr began to sing “yAne ennai ariyagilAdhE, yAnE endhenadhE endrirundhEn, yAne nI en udaimayum nIye”. Loosely translated it means that AzhwAr was oblivious for his own self, the true nature of jIvAthma, he was always behind the two “I” and “Mine”. This is all mattered to AzhwAr the most before the DIVINE couple blessed AzhwAr. But after being blessed, AzhwAr was able to realize his true self and acknowledged the fact that he and his so called possessions if any are not for himself but only for the DIVINE couple. Thus, saranAgathas like AzhwArs will value the wealth that they have got which is nothing but the wealth of doing kainkaryam. They will value this immensely more than anything else in this world and will be proud to be a sevant and do kainkaryam with extreme happiness, not for a moment, but forever. They will be immersed in this enjoyment only and will not come out of it at any cost.

apUmisaiyOn andam oru porulA AdhariyAr: We need to understand what kind of wealth are these saranAgathas dismissing as non-entity or non-existent. In order to understand, let us think of the maximum desire for a person in this world. Let us for a moment be creative and say Rs. 10000 Trillion. Add on top of this other luxuries like house, other properties and whatever we are able to think. These pool of luxuries that we can think of let say it can yield us 1 unit of happiness. The happiness that devas get is 1000 times bigger than that of humans. Similarly, this scale of 1:1,000 grows exponentially as devAs are compared with superior demi-gods like Rudran etc. At the pinnacle of all these happiness rests the BrahmalOkam that is like 1 million unit of happiness. If someone takes this and offers it to a saranAgathan, like in the case of sarabangha muni, he will dismiss it as insignificant because what he is going to get is not measurable in the first place. All these pleasures can be measured. But doing kainkaryam to PerumAL, PirAti and THEIR devotees, can there be a measure. In addition to that, the other pleasures are constrained by time, whereas the wealth of kainkaryam is forever. The concept of time does not exist in Srivaikuntam.

The vast majority of people today are of the opinion that there is no difference between body and soul. They regard their body as everything and do things based on what they think is right. If they dont even realize the difference between body and soul, they can’t even elevate to a higher platform whereby they are able to accept that they are servants to the Supreme. They think that on just the two basic dimensions “I” and “Mine” and think they are independent and control their actions. To fools like these people, these aforementioned wealth would definitely entice and will be their ultimate goal in life since they do not know to value the ultimate gift of being a servant to the Master. saranAgathas, who realize the true nature of soul, will have a condescend these wealth and would look at these with hatred. They will never ever get enticed by it. To illustrate this point, Swami AruLaLa perumAL EmperumAnAr gives an analogy. A fish that lives in a mighty ocean, how much ever it sways left and right with all its might cannot distort or transform a sea. The ocean will continue to remain as ocean no matter how much great the efforts of that tiny little fish is. The efforts of the fish is like the wealth of BrahmalOka and sea is the ultimate wealth of being a servant and doing kainkaryam to PerumAL, PirAti and THEIR adiyArs.