kaNNinuN chiRuth thAmbu 8 – aruL koNdAdum

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

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Previous pAsuram

githacharya-nammazhwargIthAchAryan (krishNa) and nammAzhwAr

Introduction for this pAsuram:

nanjIyar highlights that madhurakavi AzhwAr glorifies that nammAzhwAr‘s mercy of revealing thiruvAimozhi is more valuable for this universe than bhagavAn‘s mercy of revealing vEdham.

nampiLLai  and periyavAchchAn piLLai highlight that madhurakavi AzhwAr says “I will speak the glories of nammAzhwAr” since the glories of nammAzhwAr‘s mercy is greater than all the three thathvams (entities) namely chith, achith and Iswara.

azhagiya maNavALa perumaL nAyanAr‘s introduction

  • Hearing madhurakavi AzhwAr glorifying nammAzhwAr‘s mercy, some ask “While everyone is glorifying bhagavAn‘s mercy, why are you glorifying AzhwAr’s mercy?”, madhurakavi AzhwAr replies “bhagavAn‘s mercy is useful to attain the ultimate goal. But that ultimate goal is attained by first having gyAnam (knowledge). That knowledge is given by nammAzhwAr. That is why nammAzhwAr‘s mercy is greater than everything else”. prApthi (attainment of goal) is dependent on gyAnam (knowledge). But gyAnam is not dependent on the goal (i.e., knowledge does not occur after attaining the goal – it happens before hand).
  • In the 4th pAsurammadhurakavi AzhwAr expressed that he has many defects. In the 5th pAsuram, he explained his defects to be of two types (considering AthmA as independent, and being attached to worldly pleasures). In the 7th pAsuram, he mentioned that nammAzhwAr removed all his sins/hurdles. In this pAsuram, he explains how nammAzhwAr dispelled his sins/hurdles.
  • Considering body as soul (not knowing difference between soul/body), and having attachment towards worldly pleasures (which is not fitting for the soul) are the hurdles that are removed through true knowledge about AthmA, bhagavAn and their relationship (this is called adhyAthma gyAnam/vidhyA). This knowledge will stop the accumulation of karmA. The already accumulated karmA will be removed by bhagavAn. AchAryan will remove the desires for more karmA. bhagavAn will remove existing karmA. bhagavAn removes karmA due to AchAryan giving the true knowledge.

aruL koNdAdum adiyavar inbuRa
aruLinAn avvarumaRaiyin poruL
aruL koNdu Ayiram in thamizhppAdinAn
aruL kaNdIr ivvulaginil mikkathE

word-by-word meanings
aruL koNdAdum – glorifying bhagavAn‘s mercy
adiyavar – bhakthas – devotees
inbuRa – to relish
a aru maRaiyin poruL – essence of that rare (difficult to acquire/learn) vEdham
aruLinAn – he blessed
aruL koNdu – with great mercy
in thamizh – in beautiful thamizh language
Ayiram – thiruvAimozhi 1000 pAsurams
pAdinAn – compiled/sung
aruL kaNdIr – it is purely his mercy only
i ulaginil – in this world
mikkathu – is great (greater than anything else)

Simple translation:
nammAzhwAr revealed the essence of vEdham for the pleasure of the devotees who glorify bhagavAn. nammAzhwAr, out of great mercy, compiled the 1000 pAsurams of thiruvAimozhi. This mercy of nammAzhwAr is very great in this world.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s vyAkyAnam:

  • Being blissful is the nature of devotees. Contemplating the grace of bhagavAn, the mukthas are always blissful as explained in mahAbhAratham sAnthi parvam 358.73 “hrushtA:” (mukthAthmAs are always worshipping bhagavAn and being blissful like the ones in swEtha dhvIpam).
  • Being gIthAchAryan, bhagavAn revealed the most confidential principles of vEdham to uplift the ones who have even little bit inclination. Whatever was concealed by vEdham, he mercifully revealed them in gIthai. Note: nanjIyar alone attributes first 2 lines to bhagavAn revealing the principles of vEdham through gIthai. In all other vyAkyAnams, the pAsuram is fully attributed to nammAzhwAr.
  • bhagavAn explained gIthai for the ones who are qualified to learn vEdham. nammAzhwAr explained the principles even for the unqualified ones.
  • bhagavAn revealed it for the ones who were assembled in the battle field (only few benefited). nammAzhwAr revealed it for the benefit of all as mentioned in thiruvaimozhi 1.5.11 “pAlEy thamizhar isaikArar paththar paravumum Ayiram” (thamizh speaking persons, musicians/poets, devotees – all take refuge in these 1000 pAsurams)  and in thiruvAimozhi 9.4.9 “thoNdarkkamudhuNNach chol mAlaigaL” (garlands made of nectarean words for the pleasure of devotees).

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s eedu vyAkyAnam:

  • aruL koNdAdum adiyavar – those who glorify bhagavAn‘s mercy like nammAzhwAr. nammAzhwAr in thiruvAimozhi 8.8.3 said “athuvum avanathu innaruL” (that is also his mercy only) and in thiruvAimozhi 10.6.1 “aruL peRuvAr adiyAr” (the devotees are blessed by bhagavAn). Other AzhwArs are also like him only.
  • aruL koNdu – with mercy – nammAzhwAr did not sing on his own (whatever he felt like singing)- he sung based on the mercy of bhagavAn as said in thiruvAimozhi 1.1.1 “mayarvaRa madhinalam aruLinan” (bhagavAn blessed me blemishless knowledge/devotion). As explained in thiruvAimozhi 7.9.4 “ennAgiyE thapputhalinRith thanaik kavi thAn solli” (Through me, bhagavAn sung the glories of himself without any defect) – not only others, nammAzhwAr himself became blissful after compiling these pAsurams.
  • inthamizh pAdinAn – even though he is giving the most complicated knowledge, he gave in such sweet thamizh language.
  • ivvulaginil mikkathE – greater than chith (sentients), achith (insentients) and Iswara (bhagavAn) thathvams (entities).

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s vyAkyAnam:

  • This vyAkyAnam is mostly based on nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.
  • aruL koNdAdum adiyavar – those who glorify bhagavAn‘s mercy like nammAzhwAr. nammAzhwAr in thiruvAimozhi 8.8.3 said “athuvum avanathu innaruL” (that is also his mercy only). thoNdaradippodi AzhwAr says in thirumAlai 46 “AnaikkanRu aruLai Intha” (one who showed his mercy to gajEndhran/elephant). bhUthaththAzhwAr says in iraNdAm thiruvanthAdhi 56 “aruL purintha sinthai” (bhagavAn‘s merciful thoughts). periyAzhwAr says in periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 5.4.1 “ninnaruLE purinthirunthEn” (desiring for your mercy only). pEyAzhwAr says in mUnRAm thiruvanthAdhi 16 “aruLAthozhiyumE” (always merciful). thirumangai AzhwAr says “AzhiyAnaruLE” (mercy of the one who holds sudharsana chakra only – srIman nArAyaNan). All these AzhwArs are fully situated in bhagavAn‘s prasAdham (mercy) and have no attachment in self-effort.
  • arumaRai – vEdham which is very difficult to acquire/understand, i.e., the confidential/essence part of vEdham which is upanishadhs. The meanings of upanishadhs can only be understood by the ones who are situated in sathva guNam (pure goodness). For such persons, their wealth is that deep knowledge of upanishadhs. That too acquiring the knowledge by the grace of bhagavAn (not through self-effort). Such knowledge is blissful (inbuRa) as said in brahma sUthram 1.1.15 “thaththEthu vyapadhEsAchcha” (As bhagavAn is explained as the source for jIvAthmA‘s Anandham (they are different from each other)).
  • Ayiram inthamizh pAdinAn – sung 1000 pAsurams. For the well-being of an AthmA, just one pAsuram from thiruvAimozhi is sufficient. But nammAzhwAr sung the most difficult principles in the manner that everyone can best relish.
  • pAdinAn aruL kaNdIr – Such nammAzhwAr‘s aruL (mercy) is greater than bhagavAn‘s aruL since nammAzhwAr uplifts the jIvAthmAs that are given up by bhagavAn himself.

Highlights from azhagiya maNavALa perumaL nAyanAr‘s vyAkyanam:

  • aruL koNdAdum adiyavar inbuRanammAzhwAr sung thiruvAimozhi for the pleasure of sAthvikas (who are fully situated in proper knowledge) and not for the pleasure of bhagavAn.
  • adiyavar – servants/devotees – ones who have sEshathva gyAnam (knowledge of servitude) – such knowledge must lead to kainkaryam (service).
  • aruL koNdAdum adiyavar – those firmly believe that for such kainkaryam, bhagavAn‘s mercy is the sAdhanam (means/process). mercy is upAyam (means) and kainkaryam is purushArththam (goal). Ones who glorify bhagavAn‘s mercy more than any other of his qualities. They glorify mercy more since when there is mercy, bhagavAn‘s other qualities will be worthy, but when there is no mercy, other qualities will become useless. Just like bhagavAn is more glorifiable than dhEvathAntharams (other dhEvathAs), bhagavAn‘s mercy is more glorifiable than his other qualities.
  • bhagavAn‘s krupai is required for sakthan (one who is capable to engage in karma, gyAna, bhakthi yOgams) and asakthan (one who fully surrenders revealing his incapability). For karma, gyAna, bhakthi yOgam followers, bhagavAn looks at their difficult efforts, have mercy on them, becomes pleased and fulfills their desire. For prapannas, they reveal their Akinchanyam (having nothing in their side) and bhagavAn shows mercy on them to fulfill their desires.
  • To show that bhagavAn uses his mercy to uplift others, two pramANams are quoted – nammAzhwAr himself says in periya thiruvanthAdhi 26 “aruLennum thaNdu” (stick named mercy) and thirumangai AzhwAr says in periya thirumozhi 6.2.4 “aruLennum oL vAL” (sword named mercy). Since nammAzhwAr has brAhmaNyam, he uses the example of stick and since thirumangai AzhwAr has kshAthram (warrior qualities) he uses the example of sword. In arumpadham, it is explained that nammAzhwAr is said as brAhmaNa due to his tranquil nature – the most advanced/peaceful state of understanding brahmam clearly.
  • inbuRa – even though these sAthvikas know that mercy is the way to get bhagavAn‘s benediction, they are blissful to hear the same from nammAzhwAr. When others recommend/speak about our favourite, we will be naturally pleased.
  • arumaRaiyin poruLmaRaiyin arum poruL (most important meaning of vEdham) that is mercy is the means and kainkaryam is the goal.
  • poruLai aruLinAn – Since nammAzhwAr would not recite vEdham as it is (due to his varNam), he is revealing the meanings of the same. While the vEdham itself cannot be learned/recited by chathurtha varNam (sUdra), everyone can learn/speak the meanings of vEdham irrespective of their varNam.
  • Ayiram inthamizh pAdinAn – Unlike praNavam which is very short and mahAbhAratham which is very long, he sung 1000 pAsurams in beautiful thamizh.
  • pAdinAnnammAzhwAr sang – vEdham is apaurushEyam (not written/compiled by any individual) and is considered as the highest pramANam. But if compiled by individuals, will these be pramANam? If these were sung out of nigraham (disgust), it would not be pramANam. But as nammAzhwAr himself says in 7.9.3 “Am mudhalvan ivanenRu thaRRERRi en nA muthal vanthu pugunthu nalli kavi thUmuthal paththarkkuth thAn thannaich chonna en vAy muthal appanai” (selecting me (nammAzhwAr) as the chosen/leading one, bhagavAn gave me full knowledge, being seated in my tongue, compiled beautiful poems on himself which are most enjoyable for mumukshus), it was bhagavAn‘s own words which came through him in a joyful manner – so it is a valid pramANam.
  • aruL kaNdIr ivvulaginil mikkathEnammAzhwAr‘s mercy is great and well-known in this world. Not the pAsuram, not the one who compiled the pAsuram (nammAzhwAr), not the mercy of the one who blessed nammAzhwAr to compile the pAsuram (bhagavAn) – but nammAzhwAr‘s mercy is greater.
  • inthamizh pAdinAn… – Not the mercy of bhagavAn who gave the difficult gIthai, but the mercy of nammAzhwAr who gave the sweetest thiruvAimozhi. Not gIthai, which is spoken by bhagavAn independently, but thiruvAimozhi which is spoken by nammAzhwAr by the grace of bhagavAn.
  • inthamizh pAdinAn aruL kaNdIr ivvulaginil mikkathE – As said in thiruvAimozhi 10.6.11 “kEttArAr vAnavargaL sevikkiniya senchol”  (the people of paramapadham wants to hear thiruvAimozhi again and again), paramapadham is filled with nammAzhwAr‘s pAsurams. Similarly, this samsAram is filled with nammAzhwAr‘s mercy.
  • Ayiram… – No one performs anjali as soon as hearing the name of krishNa who spoke gIthai. But as soon as we hear thirukkurukUr (the birth place of nammAzhwAr), we perform an anjali (as part of thiruvAimozhi sEvAkAlam, in the last pAsuram of each pathikam (decad), we perform anjali hearing nammAzhwAr‘s name or his birth place thirukkurukUr).
  • kaNdIr – this is obviously visible. bhagavAn‘s mercy is to be understood from sAsthram, but nammAzhwAr‘s mercy is obviously visible for us to see. We can see it here in this world itself – need not wait until we reach paramapadham.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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One thought on “kaNNinuN chiRuth thAmbu 8 – aruL koNdAdum

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