rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi – 8

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IMG_0919poigai AzhwAr and emperumAnAr – srIperumbUthUr

pAsuram 8

Introduction (given by maNavALa mAmunigaL)
{To begin with he provides a summary of the first 7 pAsurams}.

First he (amudhanAr) discussed with his mind that we shall recite the names of emperumAnAr, then talked about the way that his mind does not know anything other than emperumAnAr’s auspicious quality of having kind interactions with lowly people like him; then he fell at the feet of his mind which helped in such a great way; then talked about his mind trying to back out (when thinking about own disqualifications), and when others asked how he is going to continue on doing the prabandham he replied that it is due to emperumAnAr’s causeless kindness so there would not be any problem in his singing his names; so as he started to sing his names, he thought about the learned ones who might find fault with the words/grammar, and concluded that if those who do not have devotion toward emperumAnAr find faults then that would be a praise only, and those who love emperumAnAr as the destiny would see his poetry as coming out his love and so would only appreciate it and not find fault – and so he got encouraged to continue; and as he inquired into himself whether he has got such a love, he felt he was not qualified enough; and after thinking about the strength of his association with the divine feet of AzhvAn, and that after getting such association there is nothing that is impossible, he is all set to continue the prabandham – so far. Taking this forward, he is all of hymns of praise (about emperumAnAr ).

He (amudhanAr) is saying that emperumAnAr who keeps the dhivya prabandham of poigai AzhwAr in his divine mind, is our master.

Introduction (given by piLLai lOkam jIyar)

{To begin with he provides a summary of the first 7 pAsurams} First he talked to his mind that we shall recite the divine names of emperumAnAr, and was thrilled that his mind – without thinking of anything else – was immersed in emperumAnAr’s auspicious quality of easily mingling with simpletons (like him), next he fell at the feet of his mind for helping to reach the divine feet of devotees (of emperumAnAr), next he thought about emperumAnAr’s causeless mercy of accepting him and so with that princely status there is no shortcoming in him, and as he started on reciting the divine names he backed out thinking about those who might find fault in his words/grammar, and then recovered thinking that if those who do not consider emperumAnAr as the reachable goal would find faults then that would be a praise only, and those who do consider emperumAnAr as goal would recognize that my singing his names is out of my love and so would consider this as a good quality, and so he was inclined to start praising emperumAnAr’s names, but next he thought that such a good love towards emperumAnAr is not within him so he is not eligible for such praises or for singing the divine names, but next as he thought about his relationship with his AchAryan kUraththAzhvAn’s divine feet, he realized that after attaining that, there is nothing that is impossible for him and so gets settled to start his prabandham – this is so far.
Till this, it is entry/introduction to doing the praising (of emperumAnAr’s name); now he is starting that praising.

poigai AzhvAr who removed the ignorance in the minds of the people of the world, and to help them teach the difference between things which should be discarded and which should be pursued, he took the lamp of knowledge and provided us the dhivya prabandham {mudhal thiruvanthAdhi} – emperumAnAr who is having the greatness of keeping in his divine mind firmly the thoughts of this dhivya prabandham {and its meanings}, is our master, says amudhanAr.

varuththum puraviruL mARRA * em poigaip pirAn maRaiyin
kuruththin poruLaiyum senthamizh thannaiyum kUtti * onRath
thiruththu anRu eriththa thiruviLakkaith than thiruvuLLaththE
iruththum paraman * irAmAnusan em iRaiyavanE                         8


Word by word meanings (provided by maNavALa mAmunigaL)

varuththum – In these entities (jIvAthmAs) that are supposed to act based on the command of bhagawAn,  external things that create the thought of being independent, and so create contradiction against emperumAn’s thoughts, and make them suffer;
(the non-sentient (achith) which are) unlike the jIvAthmAs and unlike the paramAthmA that resides inside,

puram iruL – the darkness that is the ignorance is the result of being involved in such external things which are seen in the outside through the eyes; (external influence);  (it is not the external things themselves that are the darkness – it is our ignorance and giving too much importance to such things is the darkness in us)

mARRa – to remove (such darkness),
em – he who is sought after by the prapannas
poigaip pirAnpoigai AzhwAr who is so generous,
kUtti – combining the
maRaiyin kuruththin poruLaiyum – meanings of vEdhAntha
senthamizh thannaiyum – and the sweetness of thamizh in a way that can be easily understood just by seeing the words, {unlike vEdhAntha}
onRathth thiriththu – combined them in a way that they (upanishadh and thamizh) can be understood easily together
anRu – on that day, when in the divine ‘idai kazhi´ (narrow verandah) (at thirukkOvalUr), sarvEswaran came and nestled with the AzhvArs;
paraman – the one having unequaled greatness
iruththum – keeps
tham thiruvuLLaththE – in his divine mind
eriththa thiruviLakkai – (the prabandham) starting with ‘vaiyam thagaLiyA’ which is the lamp that was brightened
em iRaiyavan – (such rAmAnujar is) our leader and master.



(starting with varuththum) varuththum puRa iruL mARRa – varuththum=making us suffer; the word suffering is used as an adjective to the word darkness; like, darkness that can create the suffering; pura iruL – darkness related to attraction to external things; that darkness (in us) creates suffering in this world.
For one who is able to be involved in unwanted external things, isn’t there sadness during and after attaching to such things, in this world and in the other world
{piLLailOkam jIyar now shows that dhEvathAndhra bhajanam is one such great ignorance due to attraction to external things, and shows a series of examples}

  • there is a well-known incident about one person who was very attached to a vEsyA (prostitute) (attraction to external things); when she was sick to the extent of losing her life, he took a vow that if she survived then he would self-immolate/enter the fire (agni pravEsha), and so saying he fell at the feet of other petty dhEvathAs, and he did keep his vow (as the dhEvathA fulfilled his wish for getting his self-immolation).
  • If one worships petty dhEvathA for some benefits in this world, it would say cut a goat and give it, cut your head and give it, do dances after drinking and eating meat, etc., (sedil Attam – செடில் ஆட்டம்), do scary pUjAs, etc., and he would also follow and do such things..;
  • it is well known that rAvaNan cut his heads and worshiped rudhra (and got the boons because of that); (whereas emperumAn does not want us to present Him a few kind of flowers just because there are thorns in such plants and He is afraid that it might pierce the body of His devotee);
  • there is another well-known incident where one person granted a son to a king but asked the king to destroy the son for him to do a yAga, and the king followed that instruction;
  • In this world, sufferings like applying bone ash on one’s body (basmOdhuLana), growing long and stuck hair (jatA dhAraNa), applying excretions on the body (malalEpana), setting up pots of liquor (surA kumbha sthApana), roaming naked (nagnathva), screaming and shouting while keeping the hands raised above the head; and suffering in the other world of naraka lOka (hell) is what one achieves by worshiping such petty dhEvathAs, which is due to the ignorance of attraction to external things of this world;

puRa iruL – Unlike the AthmA that is known, and unlike the Iswara who is its antharyAmi (residing inside AthmAs), these others who make us impure, as said in “bhIsha asmath vAtha: pavathE, bhIshOdhEthi sUrya:, bhIsha asmat agnischa indhrascha, mrithyur dhAvathi panchama ithi” [thaiththiriya upanishadh] (Out of fear towards Hthe wind blows, out of fear the sun rises, out of fear acts the fire as also indhra; and fifth, the death)”, and in “Ethou dhvou vibhutha srEshtau, prasAdha krOdhajau smrithou, thayA dharisitha pandhAnou srishti samhAra kArakau”,(both (brahma and rudhra) are knowledgeable, were born out of bhagavAn’s serenity and anger respectively; and they follow as directed by bhagavAn to do creation and destruction), even though they got such wealth due to emperumAn, they forget that due to their rajas (action/anger) and thamas (laziness/gloom) and behave independent with ahankAra
– worshipping such petty dhEvathAs for getting some inconsequential benefits in this world, is the darkness; when doing that, as said in ‘dhEhimE dhadhAmithE’ (~you give me something and then I would give you what you want), begging to such dhEvathAs is the darkness that is the ignorance in our mind when having attraction to the external things;

mARRa – to completely remove such darkness

poigaip pirAn

em poigaip pirAn – says ‘em’ (our) (instead of my), which shows his affection towards the devotees and their devotees as well; em poigai – for my group, that is, of prapannas, he incarnated in kAnchIpuram in a lotus pond, poigai, and with his name tied to that as his identity; pirAn – our master who did a great favour by giving us the dhivya prabandham which removed the darkness that is ignorance, and like a lamp he showed the brightness that is the truth/reality (thathvam).

maRaiyin kuruththin poruLaiyum – “dhIpa upamAna yuktha: prapashEthu” (~one shall see with the knowledge that is the lamp), “mahathO vEdha vrukshasya mUla bHUthas sanAthana: | skandha bHUthA rigAdhyAsthE shAkAbhUthAs thadhAparE || (~rig and such vEdhas are the roots, (and shAkAs, ithihAsa purANas are the branches)) – such vEdhanthas

senthamizh thannaiyum – the greatness of his prabandham is – reality, means, and destiny are consistently shown in the beginning, middle, and end (unlike perumAn in gItha who kept changing the topic from one yOga to other, etc), thamizh thannaiyum – dhivya prabandham in the form of dhrAvida language; it is easy to understand.
onRath thiriththu – somehow combined the …
kUtti – … meanings of vEdhAnthas, and the beautiful rhythm of thamizh words;

anRu – that day; that day during a night at thirukkOvalUr, in the dark when the first three AzhvArs met in a narrow veranda (idai kazhi – இடை கழி) , when they could not see each other, emperumAn that is AyanAr who wished to be in their company, came in between and pushed them for space; that day;

thirukkOvalUr Ayan

eriththa thiruviLakkai – he sang ‘vaiyam thagaLiyA vAr kadalE neyyAga, veyya kadhirOn viLakkAga’ [mudhal thiruvanthAdhi – 1], thus making the 2 x 7, 14 worlds as the agal (lamp), making the ocean that contains all the water together as the ghee (for the lamp), and making the bright sun as the flame, thus making everything in this world to lose the darkness and brighten; such form of light is his dhivya prabandham.

tham thiruvuLLaththE iruththum – (emperumAnAr) who is able to firmly keep (like a tree that firmly stays in a place) this prabandham in his divine mind;

paraman – “dhEvamiva AchAryam upAsItha” and “agyAna thimira andhasya, gyAna anjana shalAkaya chakshur unmeelitham yEna thasmai srI guravE nama:” (~ AchAryan removes our darkness opens our eyes using the keys kAjal that is knowledge; bowing to such AchAryan); “yasmAth thadh upadhEshtAsau thasmAdh guru tharO guru:” (who teaches us about bhagavAn is higher than that bhagavAn) [mahAbhAratham]; “agyAna dhvAntharOdhAth” (removes the darkness that is ignorance), “aha pariharaNAth” (steals away the ego), “Athma sAmya AvahathvAth” (makes his disciple equal to him (in knowledge)), “janma pradhvamsi janmapradha garithayA” (helps get rid of births here and enables attaining mOksha), “dhivya dhrishti prabHAvAth” (can make one great by his divine graceful look), “AchArya: sadhbi: prathyupakArENa vishaya dhaivavathu ithyAthu upAdhya:

such greatness is present in the AchAryan emperumAnAr


em iRaiyavanE – he is our lord, our owner; “AchArya dhEvO bhava” “gururEva param brahma”, “hari sAkshAth” [hari himself is born here as AchAryan], is what is said, isn’t it?


From srI u.vE. thirumalai nallAn chakravarthy rAmakrishNa iyengAr’s ‘amudha virundhu’.

Ignorance is compared to darkness because it does not let us see the existing things/truth as is.

In the next pAsuram after this, it talks about the darkness in the heart/mind (idhayaththu iruL keda [9]; here it talks about the darkness related to how we see the external things.

Those having ignorance see the external things like sun and wind and assume that they are independent (whereas they are dependent on emperumAn‘s command), and so feel sad when they are affected by those external things.

poigai AzhwAr shows that the worlds that he uses as a lamp is created by someone (emperumAn); the sea that he uses as the ghee for the lamp stays within the shores and is created and under the control of the one; the sun that the AzhwAr uses for the flame does its work at the specified times so it is under the command of the one.  As we realize that these are under control of emperumAn and are unable to act by themselves, then we stop the feeling of suffering due to their effects, when we get the knowledge that it is emperumAn who is controlling them. So ‘pura iruL mARRa‘.

onRath thiriththu –  prabandham is given in such a way we would feel that the meanings of vEdhas are in the form of thamizh itself.

Unlike bhUthaththAzhvAr who used the mind as the twisted cotton for lighting the lamp, poigai AzhvAr did not use anything for that (only lamp, ghee, and light). So interestingly here amudhanAr is saying in this pAsuram ‘onRath thiriththu‘, that is, “used vEdhantha and beautiful thamizh as that combined thread”.

tham thiru uLLaththE – emperumAnAr kept the light alive in his mind by always thinking about this prabandham. Instead of saying ‘than‘ it is saying ‘tham‘ to imply that emperumAnAr also made sure that those who came to him too would keep this alive in their minds.  Because of that, he is paraman – gururEva param brahma.

– – – – –

Translation: raghurAm srInivAsa dAsan

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