thiruvezhukURRirukkai – avathArikai (Introduction)

srImathE satakOpAya nama:
srImathE rAmAnujAya nama:
srImath varavaramunayE nama:

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As thirumangai AzhwAr thought of the nature of the samsAram (this world), he became very sad. When was he involved in samsAram and went through its difficulties? During his periya thirumozhi anubhavam, AzhwAr was deeply involved in the experience of dhivya dhEsams. perumAn wondered whether AzhwAr has forgotten about srIvaikuNtam, and so showed him the nature of this samsAram. AzhwAr felt the true nature of this samsAram and in the last padhigam of periya thirumozhi – mARRamuLa – and sang how he is suffering in this samsAram like an ant surrounded by burning firewood, and so on.

To reduce that angst, AzhwAr sang thirukkuRunthANdagam, where he involved emperumAn through his words, thoughts, actions, falling on His feet, etc., (vAkkinAl karumam thannAl (4)). Doing that is the medicine out of this samsAram. He got determination (vairAgyam) and felt that he spent all these days doing other things.

emperumAn asks him, “What do you need from me for your suffering due to being in this samsAram?”; AzhwAr replies, “Please completely rid me of the samsAram, without any scent/trace of it, as it prevents us from enjoying You”.   When replied – “Is it something that I could do?”, AzhwAr says, “Everything other than You is created and protected by You; You are responsible for them, everything surrenders and depends on you to protect them, so only You can remove us from this samsAram and we cannot remove it ourselves.”.

There is nothing of the sort where we protect ourselves and you mind your business. If I had the ability to protect myself I would have easily gone to srIvaikuNtam. You are our swAmi – all the AzhwArs have said this and accepted this; they have accepted that they are your property. unnAlallAl yAvarAlum onRum kuRai vENdEn (thiruvAimozhi 5-8-3)nobody else need to do the good for me, and they can’t do it either. Do not show me to myself for protection.

Saying so, thirumangai AzhwAr falls on the divine feet of thirukkudandhai ArAvamudhan and announces to him his predicament and status.

The whole prabandham is sung to thirukkudandhai ArAvamudhan.

nammAzhvAr too sang a thiruvAimozhi (decad) to this emperumAn in (5-8) – ArAvamudhE adiyEn udalam, and performed saraNAgadhi to this emperumAn.

aarAvamuthankOmaLavalli thAyar samEtha ArAvamuthan, thirukkudanthai

kaliyan-and-his-nachiyar-2kumudhavalli nAchchiyAr and thirumangai AzhwAr

~ ~ ~ ~ end of avathArikai of first vyAkyAnam.

avathArikai of second vyAkyAnam

There is something unique about this prabandham related to its vyAkyAnam by periyavAchAn piLLai. After he completed kAlakshEpam (lecture series) of the prabandham, a group of srIvaishNavas joined later and prayed the AchAryan to do kAlakshEpam for them again. Swami with his nirhEthuka krupai (causelss mercy), provided them the vyAkyAnam again, only this time it is with more samskritham (sanskrit) words, and with additional content!

This is similar to his own AchAryan, nampiLLai: for thiruvAimozhi, eedu 36000, the introduction is multi-fold and are referred to as ‘first srIya:pathi padi, second srIya:pathi padi, and third srIya:pathi padi’, for the same reason of more srIvaishnavas joining the kAlakshEpam in the next days.

The second vyAkyAnam of thiruvezhukUtRirukkai by periyavAchchAn piLLai is referred to as “parama kAruNikarAna periyavAchchAn piLLai, menakkitta srivaishNavarukkAga sAththi aruLina vyAkyAnam” (~ vyAkyAnam provided by the most kind periyavAchchAn piLLai, for (more) srIvaishNavas who requested him for it).

The 2nd vyAkyAnam of the introduction (avathArikai) is as follows.

In the first vyAkyAnam where it says ‘ you are the one who created us’, in here there is more explanation of that too.

We were without any faculties, and surrounded by thamas (matter during praLayam?), without any knowledge (gyAnam), and were similar to achith (non-sentient), and were sticking in Your lotus feet similar to achith. You saw these, and without our requesting You, provided us the faculties, due to your kindness towards us, and due to Your ever-existing relationship with us.

Like said by ALavandhAr in sthOthra rathnam (10), ‘amUni bHuvanAni bHavithum nAlam’ – ‘these worlds would not be created’, without Your blessing us. Starting from our being itself is under your control, so does it not go without saying, that without You there is nothing that we can attempt for betterment or otherwise. (nammAzhwAr saying ninRananar irundhanar … ninRilar irundhilar (thiruvAimozhi 1.1.6), to mean the same). When there is nothing in my control, You who made me has to figure out a way, and there is nothing to discuss about me protecting myself.

Same is said by poigai AzhwAr in his mudhal thiruvandhAdhi (60): charaNAmaRai payandha. All, including the highly knowledgeable chathurmukan (brahma), and all sentient and non-sentient would look for you to protect them, You who is holding the divine conch in your hands for the protection of your devotees. They would not know about protecting themselves from this samsAram.

Similarly nammAzhvAr pleads: uNdittAi ini uNdozhiyAy – (thiruvAimozhi 10-10-6)you created us, and why have you stopped/are delaying from taking us to you?

emperumAn: when there are so many knowledgeable ones like vasishtar, viswAmithrar, how can you say there is no one who knows how to protect themselves?

AzhwAr: Like it is said: naiva kinchit parOksham thE prathyakshOsi na kasyachith | naiva kinchidhasidhdHam thE na cha sidhdHOsi kasyachit (jithanthE 1-6), [ there is nothing you do not know; you are not known fully to anyone (with their own efforts); You are not attainable to anyone (with their own efforts) ], You who knows everything, there is nothing that you do not know or cannot attain; how much ever knowledge and ability (gyAnam and sakthi) some of us may possess, You are not fully knowable or attainable by us (by our own efforts). Consider this example: there is one person who is blind, and cannot walk either; another is having very good sight and is able to walk well. Unless the second one helps and shows the way for the first one, the first one cannot do anything by own self isn’t it?

I am without knowledge and ability, you are the one who knows everything and possesses all the abilities; given that, You are the one to take action and achieve this, and is there anything like my doing something and achieving it?

Even if I try to understand with the knowledge given by you, do I have the strength/ability to achieve the goal (of reaching srIvaikuNtam). I cannot reach you with my gyAnam; the knowledge I got is the knowing that You are the means to reach You.

(It is not like emperumAn is denying to AzhwAr; AzhwAr is saying this for us; is there anything we can do? Yes, like how a child would cry when the mother goes out of sight, we can only cry for His mercy to get us out of this samsAram).

End of avathArikai from second vyAkyAnam.

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