srImathE satakOpAya nama:
srImathE rAmAnujAya nama:
srImath varavaramunayE nama:
Introduction for this pAsuram
Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction
No specific introduction.
Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction
Eighth pAsuram. nammAzhwAr explaining sriya:pathithvam (being the husband of srI mahAlakshmi) that is the basis for emperumAn being worshippable, says that in the beginning of such worship, all obstacles for such worship will be eliminated.
Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction
Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction
Similar to nampiLLai‘s introduction.
Some people ask “You are saying at least surrender to emperumAn now. But we have accumulated sins since time immemorial. How do we eliminate that? Do we have time to surrender unto him?” AzhwAr replies “When you get ready to surrender, your obstacles will be destroyed. Since you are surrendering to sriya:pathi (husband of srI mahAlakshmi), don’t think that you have lost your opportunity. Even if you are too old and walking with a stick, you can fall at his lotus feet with the stick and will still be protected”.
nALum ninRadu nama pazhaimai am kodu vinai udanE mALum
Or kuRaivillai mananaga malamaRak kazhuvi
nALu nam thiruvudai adigaL tham nalam kazhal vaNangi
mALumOr idaththilum vaNakkodu mALvadhu valamE
Word-by-Word meanings (based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s 12000 padi)
mananagam – in the heart
malam – dirt which is created due to confusion on thrimUrthi sAmyam (brahmA vishNu rudhra being considered equal)
aRa – to remove
kazhuvi – purified through knowledge
nALum – everyday which is dear to us
nam – for us
thiruvudai – srImAn (one who has srI mahAlakshmi)
adigaL tham – unto the swAmi (master)
nalam – approachable by all, most enjoyable
kazhal – lotus feet
vaNangi – surrendering
nALum – everyday
ninRu – always being with us
adum – torturing
nama – accumulated by us knowingly
pazhamai – eternal, always existing since time immemorial
am kodu – most cruel
vinai – pApams (sins) such as akruthya karaNa (indulging in the prohibited acts) etc
udanE – at the time of surrender
mALum – will be destroyed
Or kuRaivillai – nothing to worry
mALumOr idaththilum – even while leaving the body
vaNakkodu – with surrender
mALvadhu – dies
valam – strong
Simple transalation (based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s 12000 padi)
By purifying one’s heart through knowledge eliminating the dirt of considering the three dhEvathAs (brahmA, vishNu, rudhra) to be equal and surrendering unto the most enjoyable and easily approachable lotus feet of our swAmy (master) srIman nArAyaNan who is the husband of srImahAlakshmi, we can eliminate the most cruel sins which were accumulated by us knowingly and which have tortured us every day, during such time of surrender. Even if we are able to surrender at the last moments of our life, it will be strong enough.
Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s vyAkyAnam
Similar to vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s translation. In addition, piLLAn says “Even if those who realise this at the last moments of their life are unable to engage in bhakthi yOgam for even a small period of time, just an anjali (namaskAram with folded hands) or even a word or even a thought towards emperumAn is better than such bhakthi yOgam”.
Highlights from nanjIyar‘s vyAkyAnam
Similar to piLLAn‘s vyAkyAnam.
Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s vyAkyAnam
Similar to nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.
- nALum ninRadum – continuously torturing. Though emperumAn‘s svarUpam (true nature) and guNams (auspicious qualities) are existing eternally, his qualities are subservient to him. Similarly, though jIvAthmA is eternal and eternally subservient to emperumAn, jIvAthmA‘s connection with achith (matter) in samsAram is also going on since time immemorial.
- nama – our own. It is said in sAtyAyana sAkhA “suhrudhassAdhukruthyAm dhvishantha: pApakruthyAm” (Friends receive the result of pious deeds and enemies receive the result of sinful deeds) – unlike that these were caused by our own deeds which were done knowingly. nampiLLai explains here ALavandhAr‘s sthOthra rathnam 25th pAsuram “abhUthapUrvam…” where ALavandhAr says that he suffers the results of many sinful deeds from past and present and it is only inappropriate for emperumAn to allow such sufferings to happen to the ones who are surrendered unto him.
- pazhamai – this is not something from recent past, but ancient.
- am – krauryam – cruel nature. Explanation in arumpadham – “am” generally means beautiful. But this is called viparItha lakshaNai – for example, in thamizh “nalla pAmbu” refers to cobra, a very poisonous snake, though “nalla” means good.
- kodu vinai – those which are only exhausted by experiencing the fruits of the actions.
- udanE mALum – will be immediately eliminated while approaching emperumAn. chAndhOgya upanishath 5.25 explains this principle “yathEshIkathUlamagnau prOtham pradhUyEtha Evam hAsya sarvE pApmAna: pradhUyanthE” (Just like cotton gets burnt fully in fire, all his sins are destroyed). Similar principle is explained in vishNu dharmam 78th chapter SlOkam as well “mErumantharamAthrOpi…” which explains that one who approaches krishNa, even if his sins amount to the size of mEru mountain, they will be removed just like a disease is removed by the doctor. These 2 statements explain the removal of previously committed sins.
- Or kuRaivillai – [anishta nivruththi (removal of unfavourable aspects)] There won’t be any further obstacles [In the arumpadham, to establish that the future sins will be eliminated, the author quotes chAndhOgya upanishath 4.14.3 “yathA pushkarapalAsa ApO na slishyanthE Evam Evamvidhi pApam karma na slishyathE” (Just like water does not stay on a lotus leaf and just slides down, for the one who has this brahma vidhyA, the sins will not stay and he will be unaffected by them)]. Subsequently it can also be said as all the favourable aspects will be attained. In gIthA 9.31, bhagavAn says “kaunthEya prathigyAnIhi na mE bhaktha: praNasyathi” (arjuna! you declare that my devotee never perishes). Devotees and sins are like fire and soaking – unrelated. nampiLLai then explains mahAbhAratha sAnthi parva slOkam “dhurAchOpi sarvAsI kruthagna: nAsthika: purA samAsrayEdh…prabhAvAth paramAthmana:” – Even when a person was previously having bad manners/discipline, eating that which is not to be eaten , ungrateful to those who helped him, disrespecting vaidhika principles, etc., if he is surrendered to srIman nArAyaNan, he is explained to be pure. Considering him to be lowly is to disrespect bhagavAn‘s glories. This is also explained in mahAbhAratham (sahasranAma adhyAyam – pala sruthi) “na vAsudhEva bhakthAnAm asubham vidhyathE kvachith” (For the one who has devotion towards vAsudhEva, there will be no inauspiciousness).
- mananaga malamaRak kazhuvi – should not be bewildered seeing vishNu in between brahmA and rudhran and always having pure faith that sarvEsvaran is our protector. One should have the faith as in nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi 68 “thiruvadi than nAmam maRandehum puRam thozhA mAndhar” (Even if forgetting srIman nArAyaNan, one should not worship others).
- nALum – every day, any day. One cannot touch ocean/sea on aparva kAlam (parva kAlam – EkAdhasi, paurNami, amAvAsyai, mAsa pravEsam) [Explanation in arumpadham – It is forbidden to see and touch peepal tree and ocean/sea everyday – peepal tree can only be seen on Tuesdays and ocean/sea can only be touched on parva kAlam] – this is in connection with next phrase, which says that emperumAn’s relationship with thAyAr is eternal/always.
- nam thiruvadai adigaL tham – unto our master who is always having srI mahAlakshmi (on his chest) – this explains nithyayOgam – eternal togetherness of perumAL and thAyAr. nanjIyar asks bhattar “When one surrenders to sarvEsvaran, he is going to be delivered by bhagavAn. What is the need for the purushakAram (recommendation) of thAyAr?” bhattar replies “It is explained in this pAsuram by AzhwAr that one should approach perumAL with the purushakAram of thAyAr”. He continues “This is because, when a jIvAthmA surrenders to emperumAn, thAyAr will keep him under her protection and when bhagavAn turns towards her, she will make him ignore the faults of the jIvAthmA and accept him. Thus one should approach emperumAn through thAyAr”.
- nalam kazhal – good feet – those lotus feet which will accept those who surrender with the purushakAram of thAyAr without seeing their defects.
- mALumOr idaththilum – Even at the last moment of one’s life.
- vaNakkodu mALvathu valam – Instead of being as rAvaNa said in srI rAmAyaNam yuddha kANdam 36.11 “dhvidhA bhajyEyamapyEvam na namEyam…” (Even if I am cut into two, I will not worship any one), even at the last moment if one dies with a bowed head, that will be better.
- valamE – strong/best. Instead of approaching him and others, even if he is approached at the end of one’s life, it will lead to fruitful result. From this we can understand that, even if one is surrendered to someone other than bhagavAn throughout one’s life, there is no benefit; but if one surrenders even at the last moment to bhagavAn, (best) result is certain to be accomplished.
In the next article we will the next pAsuram.
adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan
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