thiruvAimozhi – 1.2.9 – odunga avan

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Previous pAsuram


Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In this ninth pAsuram, nammAzhwAr says that by approaching emperumAn the hurdles which stop us from reaching emperumAn will be destroyed. It is only delayed until the end of this body/life.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

Subsequently, nammAzhwAr explains the removal of hurdles which is the result of worshiping emperumAn.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

In this ninth pAsuram – Though worshiping emperumAn is easy, aren’t the anAdhikAla sanchithamAna avidhyA, etc (ignorance, vAsanA, ruchi, karmA, etc., which are accumulated since time immemorial) are hurdles for worshiping emperumAn? For having the thought “let us worship him” we only need sukrutham (virtue). By engaging in worshiping emperumAn due to that sukrutham, the hurdles will be eradicated fully.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s introduction as documented by vadakkuth thiruvIdhip piLLai

ninth pAsuram – In the previous 2 pAsurams, nammAzhwAr explained that one should not shy away from emperumAn since everyone is eternally related to emperumAn (pAsuram 7) and worshiping him is by engaging the senses given by him in his service (pAsuram 8). Are we not worshiping him due to lack of knowledge? We are actually not serving him due to our hurdles. nammAzhwAr says that by approaching emperumAn, the hurdles will go away.


odunga avan kaN vidungalum ellAm
vidum pinnum Akkai vidum pozhuthu eNNE

Word-by-Word meanings (based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s 12000 padi)

avan kaN – unto the master
odunga – being bound to him as per apruthak sidhdham (inseparable aspect)
odungalum – Contraction of AthmA’s  knowledge, etc.,
ellAm – the cause for such contraction such as avidhyA (ignorance), etc
vidum – will leave, will be eradicated
pinnum – After that, as explained in mahAbhAratham “kruthakruthyA pradhIkshanthE” (those learned persons who have completed all that is to be done and expecting).
Akkai – the remaining life of the current body
vidum pozhuthu – end
eN – look out for it

Simple transalation (based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s 12000 padi)

Give up everything unto the master (bhagavAn), eliminate avidhyA (ignorance), etc., which are the cause for the contraction of AthmA’s knowledge. After that, one can surrender to emperumAn and seek out for his kainkaryam at the end of the this life itself.

It is explained as “Akkai vidumpozhuthu eNNa vENumO” (should we think about him at the end of our life?). Also, some explain this as a part of bhajanam (worshiping or more specifically bhakthi yOgam) saying “subsequently, think about him while giving up your life”.

vyAkyAnams (commentaries)

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s vyAkyAnam

By engaging our senses in his kainkaryam always, all hurdles will be removed. After that, please wait until the current body dies – that is how long it takes to attain the ultimate result.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s vyAkyAnam

Similar to nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s vyAkyAnam

Similar to nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam as documented by vadakkuth thiruvIdhip piLLai

  • odunga avan kaN – By you (jIvAthmA) who is prakArabhUtha (attribute/mode) becoming part of (approaching) bhagavAn who is prakAri (substratum for all such jIvAthmAs). Here becoming part of him is explained as giving up svAthanthriyam (independence) accepting oneself as fully subservient to him.
  • odungalum ellAm vidum – When what is prAptham (apt/deserving) is pursued, aprAptham (inapt/undeserving) will be eradicated. When what is appropriate for the true nature is pursued, hurdles which are inappropriate for the true nature of jIvAthmA will naturally leave. “odungal” indicates that this independence is not natural for jIvAthmA. It can also be considered as “odukkal” became “odungal” – odukkal indicates binding jIvAthmA‘s senses in worldly pleasures.
  • ellAm vidum – avidhyA (ignorance), karmA (action/reaction), vAsanA (impressions), ruchi (taste), etc., will all be removed. Remember periya thiruvanthAdhi pAsurams 54 “vAnO maRikadalO” (where did my sins go after pursuing kaNNan emperumAn) and 59 “mAdE varappeRuvarAmenRE valvinaiyAr” (Will great sins come close to me anymore?). If all hurdles leave him, what does he do?
  • pinnum Akkai vidum pozhuthu eNNE – Instead of staying calm thinking “being confident of the upAsanam(devotion), the result will come”, one would anxiously be thinking “as all hurdles are removed,  when would this body fall and achieve the ultimate result without any further obstruction”. Just like a lover would clean herself of sweat, etc., and be prepared to engage with her lover, jIvAthmA will wait for the removal of the material body to engage with emperumAn (in parampadham). ANdAL too decorated herself and said in nAchchiyAr thirumozhi 8.7 “kongai mEl kungumaththin kuzhambazhiyap pugunthu oru nAL thangumEl ennAvi thangum” (When emperumAn comes and embraces me such that the sandalwood pasted applied on my breasts are effectively useful, my life will be sustained) and waited for emperumAn. As explained in thiruviruththam 1 “azhukkudambu” (dirty/material body), when will this body be removed and the ultimate result be achieved? As explained in  mahAbhAratham “krutha kruthyA: … mruthyum priyamivAthidhim” (one who has performed what is to be done, waits eagerly for mruthyu dhEvathA – the dhEvathA for death). krutha kruthyA: means one who has accepted that emperumAn is the means to achieve him (pursued the sidhdhA sAdhanam – established means). This is explained in  mahAbhAratham also “one who knows krishNa truly, are the ones who have performed all that is needed to be performed”. Once on ayanam (varusha pravEsam – new year day), kunRaththu jIyar approached emperumAnAr and worshiped his lotus feet. At that time emperumAnAr says “singappirAn! today is an ayanam”. jIyar does not understand the emotions of emperumAnAr and looks at him curiously. emperumAnAr says “Once it is sure that the ultimate result will be achieved at the end of this life, an year of those days of waiting is gone! Isn’t this a happy aspect to celebrate for you?”. Another time, embAr gives a different view point for this – “When the cause of this samsAram, i.e., avidhyA, etc., is eradicated, wouldnt the effect, i.e., the body be naturally eradicated? Wouldn’t the result be accomplished surely? so, what is there to worry about the eradication of this body?”.

In the next article we will the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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