srImathE satakOpAya nama:
srImathE rAmAnujAya nama:
srImadh varavaramunayE nama:
Introduction for this pAsuram
Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction
The most distinct nature of bhagavAn‘s svarUpam (true nature) which is the abode of the previously mentioned auspicious qualities is explained in this pAsuram. Such bhagavath svarUpam is explained as the opposite of all blemishes and the abode of all auspiciousness.
Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction
Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction
Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction
Previously, bhagavAn who is explained as “yavan” is further elaborated as distinct from all other entities and is made of gyAnam (knowledge) and Anandham (bliss). This is explained in a step-by-step manner.
bhagavAn can be explained by explaining the result (this universe) first and then explaining the cause like it is done in thaiththirIya upanishath “yathO vA imAni…“. He can also be explained by explaining his svarUpam first and then his wealth, etc. But AzhwAr chooses to explain the auspicious qualities first and then bhagavAn‘s svarUpam subsequently. This is because bhagavAn attracted AzhwAr by revealing his qualities to him. Thus AzhwAr spoke about his qualities first. He simply stated the glorious nature of bhagavath svarUpam which is the abode of such qualities using the term “avan”. Here, he enjoys that svarUpam being most distinct due to his being distinct from all chEthanam (sentients) and achEthanam (insentients) as he is opposite of all blemishes/defects and the abode of all auspiciousness.
மனனக மலமற மலர்மிசை யெழுதரும்
மனனுணர் வளவிலன், பொறியுணர் வவையிலன்
இனனுணர், முழுநலம், எதிர்நிகழ் கழிவினும்
இனனிலன், னெனனுயிர், மிகு நரை யிலனே.
mananagamalam aRa malar misaiyezhudharum
mananuNarvu aLavilan poRiyuNarvu avaiyilan
inanuNar muzhunalam edhir nigazh kazhivinum
inanilan enan uyir migu narai ilanE
Word-by-Word meanings (based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s 12000 padi)
mananagam – in the mind
malam – blemishes such as kAmam (lust), krOdham (anger) etc
aRa – being removed
malar – being blossomed
misai – up
ezhudharum – rise and grow
manan uNarvu – gyAnam which is felt in the heart/mind through the practice of yOga
aLavilan – immeasurable and thus distinct from chith (jIvathmA)
poRiyuNarvu avaiyilan – distinct from achith (matter) which is experienced/understood through the external senses
inan – thus being different from chith and achith
uNar muzhunalam – Identified with being full knowledge and full bliss
edhir – in the future
nigazh – in the present
kazhivinum – in the past
inanilan migunaraiyilan – having none who is equal to or higher than
enanuyir – my sustaining soul
Simple transalation (based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s 12000 padi)
bhagavAn is immeasurable by even well-blossomed mind which is free of blemishes such as kAmam, krOdham etc., that can understand the AthmA. He is immeasurable by the external senses which are used to comprehend achith (matter). Thus he is distinct from both chith and achith. He is identified as being full knowledge and full bliss and has none who is equal to or higher than him, in the past, present or future. He is my sustaining soul.
In all the 10 pAsurams, “avan thuyaraRu sudaradi thozhudhezhu” (worship such bhagavAnand be uplifted) should be added in the end. This pAsuram explains sOdhaka vAkyam (that statement which analyses bhagavAn‘s true nature) – “sathyam gyAnam anantham brahma” i.e., sathyam – most distinct in nature, gyAnam – being full knowledge and bliss, anantham – not having anyone equal/higher in past/present/future. First “inan” explains his greatness. Subsequent “inanilan” explains that there is none comparable to him.
Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s vyAkyAnam
Highlights from nanjIyar‘s vyAkyAnam
- When it is sufficient to say that bhagavAn is different from all jIvAthmAs, why is it necessary to establish that he is different from achith (matter)? This is to establish that – looking at him, it is irrelevant whether it is chith (sentients) or achith (insentients) – none can match him.
- It is already explained that bhagavAn is distinct from (greater than) everyone/ everything. What is the need for saying that there is none equal/higher than him in past / present / future? This is to expain that no one is even qualified to be compared with him (let alone be compared).
Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s vyAkyAnam
This reflects nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam mostly.
- mananagam… – nampiLLai questions the need for explaining about jIvAthmA in detail. This is AzhwAr‘s real experience of his own self/heart being most purified (by bhagavAn‘s mercy).
- malamaRa – blemishes in the heart/mind are avidhyA etc. kAmam (lust), krOdham (anger), lObam (desire for material aspects), harsha (happiness), mAnamathA guNA: (ahankAram, pride and lack of good qualities), vishAdham (sorrow) are the eight defects for the mind. But since AthmA is eternal and is fully knowledgable naturally, these defects are not natural for the mind (since mind also gets subdued during praLaya). Thus by following yOga sAsthram, removing the detachment from external worldly pleasures and turning it inwards towards the AthmA, these defects can be removed.
- Here the mind is explained as the tool through which AthmA can be understood. But one may question, just like gold and charcoal may be different, they can be perceived by the same senses, why can’t bhagavAn be perceived by mind which perceives AthmA? That cannot be applied here due to the infinite greatness of bhagavAn. But then, why is it said that “…manasA thu visudhdhEna” (such bhagavAn is perceived by the pure mind)? In other words, bhagavAn can be understood that he is supreme/great – but he cannot be fully understood as he is, due to his infinite greatness.
- uNarmuzhunalam – fully made of knowledge and bliss. As explained in bruhadhAraNyaka upanishath “yathA saindhavagana:” (like a salt crystal is filled with salt, bhagavAn is filled with knowledge). thaiththirIya upanishath says “AnandhO brahma” (brahmam is bliss) and “Anandha maya:” (pervaded by Anandham). One can attempt to understand him through examples – even through those examples, he cannot be fully comprehended.
- inanilan – bhattar highlights that “First AzhwAr says that there is no sAdharmya dhrustAntham, here he says that there is no vaidharmya dhrustAntham“. That means first it is explained that bhagavAn cannot be compared to chith and achith. Here it is said that there is no one who is even qualified to be compared to bhagavAn. kAnchIpuram PB aNNangarAchAryar swamy gives a nice example for this in his dhivyArtha dhIpikai. He says if some one says “A chaNdALa (dog-eater) cannot be compared to vasishta (famous sage)”, learned persons will say “No! dont say that”. That does not mean that they are comparable. It simply means that chaNdALa is not even qualified to be compared to vasishta.
- enanuyir – Such bhagavAn is my sustenance. Just as it is said in bruhadhAraNyaka upanishath “yasya AthmA sarIram” (bhagavAn is antharyAmi for the AthmA and the AthmA is the sarIram – body). bhagavAn is the dhAraka (bearer) and AthmA is the dhArya (held by bhagavAn).
- migunaraiyilanE – Just like his being the antharyAmi and bearing/controlling the jIvAthmAs, there is no one else who is his antharyAmi and greater than him. This is explained in svEthAsvathara upanishath “na thathsamascha abhyadhikascha dhrusyathE” (No one equal to or higher than that bhagavAn is seen).
In the next article we will the next pAsuram.
adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan
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