upadhEsa raththina mAlai – 1

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pAsuram – 1

enthai thiruvAimozhip piLLai innaruLAl
vandha upadhEsa mArkkaththaich chindhai seidhu
pinnavarum kaRka upadhEsamAyp pEsuginREn
manniya seer veNpAvil vaiththu                                    1


Word by word meaning

enthai – my master
thiruvAimozhip piLLai – that is, thiruvAimozhip piLLai
in(iya) aruLAl – by his sweet/kind distinguished grace,
vandha – what I got (from him)
upadhEsa mArkkaththai – (is) the history of (AchAryas’) teachings;
chindhai seidhu – in thinking of them,
pEsuginREn – I am talking about them
upadhEsamAi – as advice/instructions,
vaiththu – as constructed (in the form of)
manniya – distinguished/well known
seer – greatness
veNpAvil – of vEnpA, a form of thamizh poetry,
pinnavarum – for the generations after me
kaRka – to learn/think/follow.


First pAsuram in this – he is taking a vow to convince the minds of those who listen – I shall bring out in the form of a prabandham the exclusive meanings that came in the lineage of AzhvArs and AchAryas through the grace of my AchAryan thiruvAimozhip piLLai’s teachings, for the future generations to know and attain the goal; by starting with, enthai thiruvAimozhip piLLai’.

That is, he having the name of thirumalai AzhvAr, due to his complete devotion to thiruvAimozhi (prabandham), got the name of thiruvAimozhip piLLai as known throughout the country. mAmunigaL thought about the same and said too as ‘thirumalai AzhvAr thiruvAimozhip piLLai [Arththi prabandham – 21)”. The auspicious meanings the he gave can be fully trusted {thiruvAi?}.

innaruLAl thiruvAimozhip piLLai tries for my revival (ujjeevanam), due to his causeless mercy (nirhEthuka krupai),

pillailokacharyar-nayanar-thiruvaimozhipillai-mamunigalpiLLai lOkAcharyar, nAyanAr, thiruvAimozhip piLLai, maNavALa mAmunigaL

vandha upadhEsa mArkkaththai – the history of the advice/instructions he gave by coming to do that; combine this phrase with the phrase that comes later, ‘upadhEsamAi pEsuginREn’ (saying/passing on/repeating) those advice/instructions). This is following the words/path of what pUrvAchAryas said (sudhdha sampradhAyam – pure lineage), and not saying whatever came to mind and insisting that to be the truth, as mAmunigAL says in a later pAsuram ‘than nenjil thORRinathE solli, idhu suththa upadhEsapara vArththai enbar [71].

So based on the three aforementioned phrases (of the pAsuram?), the association for which he was the target, completeness of true knowledge, and completeness of kindness, are his (mAmunigaL‘s) shelter.

enthai thiruvAimozhip piLLai innaruLAl vandhaAs said in ‘thAyAith thanthaiyAi [thiruvAimozhi 2.3.2]’, and ‘annaiyAi aththanAi [kaNNinUNchiruththAmbu – 4]’, he is present as my mother and head. As being present as my father, like how one would squirt out into the floor the excessive breast milk, he as a father showed excessive kindness towards me. Like said in ‘eyiRRidai maN koNda enthai irAppagal Odhuviththu ennai [periyAzhvAr thirumozhi – 5.2.3] (~ emperumAn as a father taught me all the time), thinking about the ways that came in the lineage, through the blessings of his natural father-figure thiruvAimozhip piLLai, is how mAmunigAL is doing this upadhEsam (advice/instructions).

That is, as said in ‘vivasvAn manavE prAha manur ikshvAkavE abravIth – Evam paramparA prAptha [bhagavath gIthA – 4-1]’ (~ sUryan taught vaivasvatha manu; manu taught his son ikshvAku), as the pristine way of knowledge (parisudhdha gyAna mArgam) that came in the lineage, is being considered about.

mArkkaththaich chinthai seidhu – think about the ways/history

pinnavarum kaRka – for the future generation that is going to follow his ways, for them to learn to be in the correct ways; for them to learn, properly as said in ‘munnOr mozhindha muRai thappAmal kEttup pinnOrndhu [upadhEsa raththinamAlai – 71] (properly learn what the previous AchAryas have said, and follow/repeat) ’.

That is, as said in ‘neRi uLLi uraiththa [thiruvAimozhi 1.3.5] (~ thought through the correct ways/vEdhas and then explained it), everything that mAmunigaL, who knows everything, says, are like ‘sollum avidu suruthiyAm [gyAna sAram – 40]’ (~whatever is said is the vEdhas), that is, they are of higher reference (pramANa thamam), and are to be reasons for future generations to trust, learn, and follow; he has thought through that and divined this prabandham for us.

{now, the word ‘pEsuginREn’ (saying) is combined with other words of the pAsuram in different interesting ways below, and it brings out the salient thoughts of maNavALa mAmunigaL as he set out to write this prabandham}

upadhEsamAip pEsuginREn – {am saying these as advice} (this prabandham has got) it is the weight of meanings of the topic; this prabandham talks in the range – from those interested in surrendering, up to those who are interested in gaining the acceptance of an AchAryan which is the ultimate state;  these are the topics that it talks about as advice, isn’t it?

When advising the distinguished meanings, as ‘pinnavarum karka upadhEsamAyp pEsuginrEn’, unlike how thiruvAimozhip piLLAi taught him one-on-one (OrAN vazhi), he is saying that he is enriching through this prabandham for all the sentient people to learn and attain the ultimate goal.

sindhai seidhu pEsuginREn –  {am saying these after thinking through} His – ‘yadhvi manasA dhyAyathi thadh vAchA vadhathi [thaiththrIyam AraNyakam 1.23]’ (what he meditates/thinks in his mind, he says that) – is this prabandham.

pEsuginREn manniya seer veNpAvil vaiththu – {am saying these in the form of great veNpA form of thamizh poetry} when doing that (prabandham/advice), he did so in veNpA (thamizh poetry form); that is, there are many poetry forms for thamizh, like veNpa, kaliththuRai, etc. Out of this, the last prabandham (in 4000) that is rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi is based on kaliththurai; this prabandham is based on the metric of veNpA which is simpler for learning – that is how maNavALa mAmunigaL who loves thamizh has divined this prabandham; he is advising only so that others could learn; veNpA is easy to learn in a couple of practices, that simple this form is.

To explain about the adjective ‘seer’ for the vENpA – its greatness is like said in ‘pugazh malindha pA [rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi – 1]’; this is also full of greatness. As said in ‘eNNarum seer poigai munnOr [30]’, this greatness of this prabandham goes well with their (AzhvArs’) greatness; to match that greatness, this prabandham is in the great veNpA.

pEsuginREn – {saying} The meaning said in ‘pEsumaLavanRidhu [periya thirumozhi 2.4.9]’, not being able to tolerate the wrong ways of everyone, I am saying it openly to bring it out in the open; you may listen or avoid, but I would not be able to survive without saying it (as advice/instructions). For those who surrendered, as said in ‘prOvAchathAm thathvathO brahmavidhyAm [muNdakOpanishath 1.2.13]’ (knowledge about brahmam should be taught as is), I am saying the meanings that have to be said – so he is doing this without expecting any request from us – that is the greatness of his kindness isn’t it?

By this we conclude that, like when sarvEsvaran gave AzhvAr unblemished knowledge (mayarvaRA madhinalam), AzhvAr in turn gave that to the village, country, and world for them to be like him, and made them get unblemished knowledge and survive; here maNavALa mAmunigaL also is advising the knowledge he got due to thiruvAimozhip piLLai’s grace, and letting us reach the destiny.

– – –

English Translation: raghurAm srInivAsa dhAsan

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