thiruppallANdu 11 – al vazhakku

srI:
srImathE satakOpAya nama:
srImathE rAmAnujAya nama:
srImadh varavaramunayE nama:

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Previous pAsuram

Selva Nambi-3selva nambi – perunkaruNai (his avathAra sthalam)

Introduction for this pAsuram

Here, AzhwAr is singing thiruppallANdu through the words of aiswaryArththis (those who are focussed on worldly wealth) who were invited in “aNdak kulam” pAsuram and who joined him in “neyyidai” pAsuram.

pAsuram

al vazhakku onRum illA aNi kOttiyar kOn abhimAna thungan
selvanaip pOlath thirumAlE nAnum unakkup pazha adiyEn
nal vagaiyAl namO nArAyaNA enRu nAmam pala paravip
pal vagaiyAlum paviththiranE unnaip pallANdu kURuvanE

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word-by-word meanings

thirumAlE – Oh master of srI mahAlakshmi!
al vazhakku – bad manners/habits
onRum illA – one who is not having even a tinge of it
aNi – being an ornament (for the samsAram (material realm))
kOttiyUr – for the residents of thirukkOshtiyUr
kOn – being the leader
abhimAna thungan – being great due to considering himself as “I am a servant of emperumAn
selvanaip pOla – like selva nambi
nAnum – me too
unakku – for you who is the master
pazha adiyEn – am being an eternal servitor;
pal vagaiyAlum paviththiranE – Oh the one who can eliminate [my/our] sins in many ways (through his nature, form, qualities, wealth, etc)!
nal vagaiyAl – through beautiful ways
namO nArAyaNA enRu – meditating upon the thirumanthram and reciting the same
pala nAmam – your many auspicious names
paravi – saying in different improper ways
unnaip pallANdu kURuvan – I will perform mangaLAsAasnam to you

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai’s commentary

  • al vazhakku onRum illA – vazhakku means “nyAyam” (manner, justice, etc). Real justice according to AzhwAr is to be constantly performing mangaLAsAsanam to the master. There are many injustices/ill-manners. They are:
    • Considering the body to be soul is improper.
    • Considering AthmA which is distinct from body, to be independent is improper.
    • Considering dhEvathAntharams (other dhEvathAs such brahmA, rudhra, etc) to be supreme is improper.
    • Considering ulterior results for worshipping emperumAn is improper.
    • Considering upAyAntharams (other means such as karma yOgam, etc., which are based on self-effort) as means even after being an ananya prayOjana (one who is fully focussed on kainkaryam) is improper.
    • Considering bhagavath anubhavam (experiencing bhagavAn) as for ones own exclusive joy is improper.
  • aNi kOttiyar kOn – the residents of thirukkOshtiyUr is without any of these defects and fully exist for performing mangaLAsAsanam to emperumAn. The cause for that is selva nambi being the leader of the town. This town is greatly glorified as an ornament for the whole (material) world.
  • abhimAna thungan – abhimAnam (pride) is generally a hurdle for being a servitor – then how is he glorified as having abundance of pride? abhimAnam which is acquired by karma (material activities, puNyam (virtues) and pApam (sins)) are to be given up; But being “dhAsOham” (I am a servitor) is good pride which is to be pursued – and selva nambi is having abundance of such servitude. That is , considering the good and bad aspects of the dhivya dhEsams and the lives of srIvaishNavas to be ones own [and feeling joy and sorrow for them respectively].
  • selvan – one who does not lack gyAnam (knowledge), bhakthi (devotion) and vairAgyam (detachment). Also, being “aham sarvam karishyAmi” (I will serve in all ways (said lakshmaNa)- srI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANtam 31.25) as said in srI rAmAyaNam bAla kANdam 18.28 “lakshmaNO lakshmIsampanna:” (srI lakshmaNa who has abundance of kainkaryasrI (wealth of servitude)).
  • pOla – Like it is said in srIvishNu purANam 1.15.157 “upamAnamasEshANAm sAdhUnAm” (prahlAdhAzhwAn who is the prime example for all devotees) – selva nambi is the prime example for sAthvikas (srIvaishNavas). Does it not seem contrary that saying “pazha adiyEn” (eternal devotee) and quoting selva nambi (who is such great devotee coming in great family heritage) as an example for aiswaryArththis who just became servitors? No – when the ahankAram that is acquired by karma is eliminated, the natural quality of all AthmAs is to be servitors – that is why here AzhwAr says “pazha adiyEn” for aiswaryArththis who became real servitors. Alternatively, it can also be explained as – bhagavAn‘s glories of accepting all irrespective of whether he is a nithyasUri or was an aiswarArththi (before), is revealed here.
  • thirumAlE – Here, it is explained that “this jIvAthmA is a servitor for the divine couple” and thus explains the nature of the lordship who accepts the service. From this, we can understand that being a servitor of mother, father, other dhEvathAs, etc., are based on ones karma (artificial/temporary). Alternatively, it is explained us – just like you (emperumAn) are identified by your relationship with srI mahAlakshmi, we are identified with our servitude toward you.
  • nAnum – Me who was immersed in worldly pleasures since time immemorial. To expect ulterior benefits from the master is like a chaste wife expecting money for her (intimate) services [prostitution] from her husband.
  • unakkup pazha adiyEn – Just like your lordship is eternal, my servitude is also eternal.
  • unakku – For you, who has the ability to transform even those who come to you for ulterior benefits to be a pure devotee.

How did we acquire this true knowledge about the self? This is explained by AzhwAr further that it was acquired from nArAyaNa manthram which is the essence of all of vEdhAntham.

  • nal vaigaiyAl namO nArAyaNA enRu – Saying that “I am existing only for nArAyaNa” and “I am not existing for myself”.
  • nal vagaiyAl – Previously without understanding the meaning of this manthram, they used it in japam, hOmam, etc – this is called thI vagai (improper ways). [Now they are practicing with proper understanding of the manthram] this manthram can accomplish all results as explained in nAradhIya purANam 1.41 “… namO nArAyaNAyEthi manthras sarvArththasAdhaka:” (this manthram of “namO nArAyaNAya” will accomplish all results).
  • nAmam pala paravi – When AzhwAr invited aiswaryArththis, he called them in 5th pAsuram saying “adi thozhuthu Ayira nAmam solli“. So, they too are repeating the same saying they will recite the many names of emperumAn.
  • paravi – Once when something is “means” (the process), it should be performed properly [Since emperumAn is the only means to attain him, all of these are kainkarayams only and not means to attain him] – so, this can even be recited in improper ways. For those who were fully focussed on material enjoyment, to become focussed on mangaLAsAsanam, they only need to have the desire for that [no other rules are applicable].
  • pal vagaiyAlum paviththiranE – Oh one who is pure in eliminating the dirt of being interested in ulterior motives, removing the ahankAram and mamakAram which are the cause of that, and even in servitude, removing the servitude towards mother, father, other dhEvathAs, etc.! Even looking at his svarUpam (true nature), rUpam (forms), guNa (qualities) and vibhUthi (wealth), it is understandable that he is capable of eliminating (our) sins.
  • unnaip pallANdu kURuvanE – I am performing mangaLAsAsanam to you who is with auspicious qualities such as saundharyam (beauty), etc. By saying it in singular, it can be understood that, AzhwAr is speaking on behalf of ananya prayOjanars, kaivalyArththis and aiswaryArththis.

adiyEn sArathy rAmAnuja dAsan

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