kaNNinuN chiRuth thAmbu 11 – anban thannai

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

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Previous pAsuram


Introduction for this pAsuram:

nanjIyar highlights that madhurakavi AzhwAr declares in the end that those who learn his prabandham will live in srIvaikuNtam which is fully under the orders of nammAzhwAr.

nampiLLai and periyavAchchAn piLLai highlight that madhurakavi AzhwAr declares in the end that those who learn this prabandham will live in srIvaikuNtam.

azhagiya maNavALa perumaL nAyanAr‘s introduction

In the end, madhurakavi AzhwAr declares that those who learn this prabandham will live in srIvaikuNtam.

Previously, madhurakavi AzhwAr explained

In this pAsuram, madhurakavi AzhwAr declares that those who learn and recite this prabandham will be favoured by nithyasUris in paramapadham. Though such devotees (of nammAzhwAr) are only desiring to be in AzhwArthirunagari, to fulfill the desires of nithyasUris, they would go to paramapadham and will enjoy nammAzhwAr there too.

anban thannai adainthavarkatkellAm anban
thenkurukUr nagar nambikku anbanAy
madhurakavi sonna sol nambuvAr pathi
vaikuntham kANminE

word-by-word meanings
anban thannai – that emperumAn who is Asritha pakshapAthi (who is partial towards his devotees)
adainthavarkatku ellAm – to all bhAgavathas who surrendered unto him (bhagavAn)
anban – one who is devoted
thenkurukUr nagar nambikku – to nammAzhwAr (who is the leader of beautiful AzhwArthirunagari)
anban Ay – being devoted to
madhurakavi sonna sol – this dhivya prabandham which is spoken by madhurakavi AzhwAr
nambuvAr – one who is faithful (that this is their refuge)
pathi – residing place
vaikuntham kANmin – (see it to be) paramapadham

Simple translation:
srIvaikuNtam (paramapadham) will be the residing place for the ones who firmly believe in this dhivya prabandham that is spoken with devotion by madhurakavi AzhwAr (me) towards nammAzhwAr who is devoted to all bhAgavathas who are dear to emperumAn who is partial towards his devotees.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s vyAkyAnam:

  • anban thannai…emperumAn is affectionate towards everyone. As explained in srIrAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 30.56 “ripUNam api vathsala:” (srI rAma shows his motherly forbearance even towards one who considers him as his enemy). This is the true nature of Iswara/bhagavAn.
  • thannai adainthavar…nammAzhwAr is affectionate towards everyone who is surrendered to such emperumAn. This is nammAzhwAr‘s true nature. It is natural for everyone to be friendly with like minded persons.
  • thenkurukUr… – It is the true nature of srI madhurakavi AzhwAr to be affectionate towards nammAzhwAr. This is said by madhurakavi AzhwAr after being induced by loving devotion towards him.
  • nambuvAr… – For those who learn this prabandham, srIvaikuNtam will be their abode. This sounds contradictory. When nammAzhwAr is explained as the goal, should he not declare that AzhwArthirunagari is their abode? AzhwArthirunagari is under the control of polindhu ninRa pirAn and nammAzhwAr (Even the dhEvasthAnam is known as AdhinAthar AzhwAr dhEvasthAnam). But paramapadham is explained as the abode that is fully under the control of nammAzhwAr as in thiruviruththam 75 as “adiyAr nilAginRa vaikunthamO?” (Is this srIvaikuNtam the land that is fully controlled by the devotees? – as per vyAkyAnam).
  • Another explanation. The place where those who learned this prabandham reside, that becomes srIvaikuNtam. nambi thiruvazhudhi vaLaNAdu dhAsar explains that after the birth of parAsara bhattar as the son of kUraththAzhwAn there is no barrier between samsAram and paramapadham since he destroyed the barrier and made them all a single abode.

Thus ends nanjIyar‘s vyAkyAnam. nanjIyar thiruvadigaLE charaNam.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s eedu vyAkyAnam:

  • anban – (without any other special qualifications/requirements) – he is naturally vathsalan (one who has vAthsalyam – motherly forbearance). His motherly forbearance is towards everyone irrespective of their attitude as explained in srIrAmAyaNam “ripUNam api vathsala:“. That is due to his eternal sambandham (relationship) with every one as explained in jithanthE sthOthram 2 “dhEvAnam dhAnavAnAm cha sAmAnyam adhi dhaivatham” (You are the common refuge to both dhEvas who are devoted to you and asuras who are against you).
  • thannai adainthavarkatku ellAm anbannammAzhwAr‘s affection is not common like bhagavAn‘s. His affection is specifically towards devotees as he himself says in thiruvaimozhi 3.7.1 “paramanaip payilum thiruvudaiyAr yavarElum avar kaNdIr  emmaiyALum paramar” (Whoever has the wealth of devotion towards the supreme lord, they are my supreme lords).
  • thenkurukUr nagar nambikku anbanAy – Not just stopping with bhagavAn, not just stopping with all his devotees but being affectionate to his own AchArya (nammAzhwAr). When there is personal expectation towards a goal, one will approach/serve bhagavAn. When there is desire to fulfill bhagavAn‘s expectation (only), one  will approach/serve bhAgavathas. But when one desires to fulfill both bhagavAn and bhAgavathas’ expectations, one serves AchArya.  AchArya is the goal since he is the one who reveals knowledge that is not known before. Subsequently, since he engages oneself in discussing about bhagavAn all the time and being a good companion in this world, he is the goal at that time. To attain ultimate goal of reaching bhagavAn, he is the purushakAra bhUthan (recommendation authority) – so he is the goal at that time. Finally, in paramapadham, since he is the one who nurtures bhagavath kainkaryam, he is the goal at that last stage also.
  • nambuvArpathi vaikuntham kANminE – nambi thiruvazhudhi vaLanAdu dhAsar says wherever such persons (who have faith in madhurakavi AzhwAr‘s words) are, that place will become srIvaikuNtam.
  • bhattar‘s explanation is explained here as repeated by nampiLLai as heard from peRRi (who is a contemporary of nanjIyar).

Thus ends nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam. nampiLLai thiruvadigaLE charaNam.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s vyAkyAnam:

  • This vyAkyAnam is mostly based on nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.
  • anban – Another pramANam for eternal relationship between jIvAthmA and bhagavAn is quoted from mahAbhAratham AraNya parvam 192.56 “sarvEshAmEva lOkAnAm pithA mAthA cha mAdhava:” (srIman nArAyaNan, the divine consort of srI mahAlakshmi, is the father and mother for every one).
  • nambikkanbanAy – A couple of pramANams that show bhagavAn‘s affection towards his devotees are highlighted. bhagavAn himself says in gIthA 7.18 “gyAni thu Athma Eva mE matham” (such gyAni is only my AthmA and this is my philosophy). He also says in mahAbhAratham udhyOga parvam 74.27 “mama prANA hi pANdavA:” (pANdavas are my life breath).
  • vaikuntham – To highlight that paramapadham is under the control of nithyasUris and mukthAthmAs, another pramANam is quoted from thiruvAimozh 3.9.9 “vAnavar nAdu” (the land of nithyasUris and mukthAthmAs – not said as the land of bhagavAn).
  • nambuvArpathi vaikuntham kANminE – a pramANam is quoted for this from thiruvAimozhi 5.3.9 “uraikkavallArkku vaikunthamAgum thammUrellAm” (whoever recites (thiruvAimozhi), their residing place will become paramapadham).

Thus ends periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s vyAkyAnam. periyavAchchAn piLLai thiruvadigaLE charaNam.

Highlights from azhagiya maNavALa perumaL nAyanAr‘s vyAkyanam:

  • anban… (full pAsuram summary) – In this pAsuram, nammAzhwAr, madhurakavi AzhwAr, the kaNNinuN chiRuth thAmbu dhivya prabandham and result of learning this prabandham somehow are explained.
  • anbanbhagavAn is unconditionally affectionate towards everyone. sthOthra rathnam 10 explains “Evam nisargga suhrudhi – na chithramidham Asritha vathsalathvam” (Since you are doing so many favours towards everyone (irrespective of their state), there is nothing artificial/great in your motherly forbearance towards your devotees). He is explained as “sarvalOkaika vathsala:” (he is affectionate towards everyone in the universe), srIrAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 21.20 “saraNagatha vathsala:” (one who is affectionate towards the ones who surrender unto him), srIrAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 30.56 “ripUNam api vathsala:” (srI rAma shows his motherly forbearance even towards one who considers him as his enemy). But more specifically, towards his devotees he even accepts their defects happily as mentioned in srIrAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 18.3 “…dhOshO yathyapi…” (I will never give up vibhIshaNa who approached me with friendly attitude even if he has defects. For good persons, such acceptance is not to be condemned). Even those who engage in unfavourable acts are cared with motherly forbearance by emperumAn as mentioned in sthOthra rathnam 63 “…prathibhavam aparAdhdhUr mugdha sAyujyadhObhU:…” (Even sisupAla who committed many offenses was pardoned by you and was given mOksham by you).
  • Among all qualities of bhagavAn, this vAthsalyam (motherly forbearance) is the most glorified. It is because of this vAthsalyam, bhagavAn is glorified as supreme (since this quality in its truest sense cannot be seen in anyone else). And it is because of this quality, bhagavAn is approachable by everyone and is being the refuge for everyone.
  • madhurakavi AzhwAr started with “kaNNinuN chiRuth thAmbinAl kattuNNappaNNiya perumAyan ennappan” in the first pAsuram explaining bhagavAn‘s qualities such as sausIlyam (easily mixing with everyone), saulabhyam (easily approachable), svAmithvam (supremacy), etc. And in the end, he completes with vAthsalyam separately since this quality is more special than any other qualities of emperumAn.
  • anban thannai adainthavarkatku ellAm anban – starting to explain about nammAzhwAr. Unlike bhagavAn who is affectionate towards everyone due to his natural relationship with everyone, nammAzhwAr is affectionate towards everyone who is devoted to bhagavAn. Irrespective of such devotees’ birth, etc., nammAzhwAr is affectionate towards them. He himself says in thiruvAimozhi 3.7.8 “kumbi narakargaL EththuvarElum … em thozhu kulam thAngaL” (Even if one who lives in kumbI narakam glorified bhagavAn, those are considered as my masters) and in thiruvAimozhi 3.7.9 “eththanai nalam thAn ilAtha chandALa chaNdALargaLAgilum,  maNivaNNARkALenRu uL kalanthAradiyAr tham adiyAr em adigaL” (Even though one is the lowest of a chaNdALa (dog-eater) with no good qualities, if he is fully surrendered to bhagavAn, such chaNdALa’s devotees are my masters).
  • anbannammAzhwAr will even give up bhagavath anubhavam to be with bhAgavathas. He himself says in thiruvAimozhi 8.10.7 “… avanadiyAr, nanimAkkalavi inbamE nALum vAykka” (instead of being with bhagavAn, I would like to have the association of his devotees only).
  • thenkurukUr…nammAzhwAr‘s attachment towards bhagavAn/bhAgavathas is due to his birth in this dhivya dhEsam. If the field is fertile, the crop will also be rich.
  • nambi – One who is full in Athma guNams (essential qualities for a jIvAthmA).
  • anbanAy – madhurakavi AzhwAr became devoted to nammAzhwAr seeing such Athma guNa pUrthi (complete in qualities).
  • anbanAy madhurakavi – Just like nammAzhwAr is identified as bhagavAn‘s most loving devotee as he himself says in thiruvAimozhi 2.1.11 “ArAtha kAthal kurukuUrch chatakOpan” (satakOpa of AzhwArthirunagari, who has unfulfillable love towards emperumAn), madhurakavi AzhwAr is identified as nammAzhwAr‘s dear devotee. nammAzhwAr was focussed on praNavam (which explains jIvAthmA‘s svarUpam as a servant of bhagavAn) and nama: (which explains jIvAthmA‘s servitude towards bhAgavathas). madhurakavi AzhwAr is focussed on nama: exclusively.
  • nambikku anbanAy madhurakavinambikkanbanAy – For the heart, there is love towards nammAzhwAr. madhurakavi – For the mouth/speech, there is sweet glorification of nammAzhwAr‘s qualities.
  • nambuvAr – Instead of learning the meaning and ignoring it, having firm desire/faith in the meanings of these words, always engaging in reciting this prabandham, meditating on nammAzhwAr‘s glories that are revealed in this prabandham and feeling blissful, always wanting to hear the glories of nammAzhwAr from others, etc.
  • nambuvAr – One who has firm faith that the glories of nammAzhwAr revealed in this prabandham are not false (exaggeration) and only truth.

Thus ends azhagiya maNavALa perumaL nAyanAr‘s vyAkyAnam. azhagiya maNavALa perumaL nAyanAr thiruvadigaLE charaNam.

Thus ends the English translation of kaNNinuN chiRuth thAmbu based on the wonderful vyAkyAnams written by nanjIyar , nampiLLaiperiyavAchchAn piLLai and azhagiya maNavALa perumaL nAyanAr.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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