Monthly Archives: December 2015

upadhESa raththina mAlai – 29

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pAsuram 29

enthai ethirAsar ivvulagil enthamakkA
vandhu udhiththa nAL ennum vAsiyinAl – indhath
thiruvAdhirai thannin seermai thanai nenjE
oruvAmal eppozhudum Or                                                                            29

pAsuram 29

Word by word meaning

enthai – Our swAmi
ethirAsar – rAmAnujar
vandhu udhiththa – descended and divined his incarnation
nAL ennum – in this divine star day
ivvulagil – in this world
em thamakkA – for us,
vAsiyinAl – due to such excellence (of this day)
nenjE – oh mind!
Or – know about it
eppozhudum – at all times
oruvAmal – without fail
seermai thannai – (about the) greatness of
intha – this
thiruvAdhirai thannin – thiruvAdhirai star day. (ArdhrA)


By the previous two pAsurams he (maNavALa mAmunigaL) had divined his advise to all sentient about the greatness of this star day (of emperumAnAr); in this pAsuram, more than them unexpectedly his mind had reformed, (munthuRRa nenju [thaniyan for periya thiruvanthAdhi divined by emperumAnAr]), so toward such mind he is divining his advise to always think about this star day in its heart, starting this with ‘enthai ethirAsar’.

enthai ethirAsaremperumAnAr the head of yathis, who is the reason for our true being and growth;

ivvulagil – birth in this world that even samsAris (those who are attached to material world) hate and wish to leave from.

enthamakkA vandhu udhiththa – due to the relationship as ‘enthai’, he came and incarnated in this world for us.

enthamakkA – there is no other reason for him to incarnate in this ‘kodu ulagam [thiruvAimozhi 4.9.7] (dire world). He came only to save us, as said in ‘mAyum en Aviyai vandhu eduththAn [rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi – 42]’ (through causeless mercy he pulled my AthmA out of here where it was losing to material desires). As said in ‘irAmAnusan ippadiyil piRandhadhu maRRillai kAraNam pArththidilE [rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi – 51]’ (there is no other reason for emperumAnAr to incarnate here (other than to save me out of here)), is how it is for him.

{ emperumAnAr also incarnated to rescue chelvap piLLai (emperumAn’s vigraham) from the north and re-establish him at mElkotE (thirunArAyaNapuram) }

pAsuram starting with ‘kUbaththil vIzhum kuzhaviyudan kuthiththu’ and ending with ‘ethirAsAr thAn piRakkum ennai uyppadhA [Arththip prabandham – 9] (~ With the child that fell into a well, its mother too would jump in to save it from that danger. In the same way, even if I am born here due to karmas, my yathirAja would be born here to save me out of it) , and ‘enthai ethirAsarar emmai eduththu aLikka vandha’ (~ ethirAsar has come here to save us out of this material world). This is how maNavALa mAmunigaL had said about this.

enthamakkA vandhu udhiththa nAL ennum vAsiyinAl – For our ever dark dangerous hell that is samsAram, he incarnated to show the light, so it is of such greatness. This is as said in ‘viNNin thalaininRum veedaLippAn [rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi – 95]’ (from SrIvaikuNtam, for bestowing mOksham (liberation from material world)), ‘maNNin thalaththu udhiththu [rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi – 95]’ (he incarnated in to this world).

indhath thiruvAdhirai thannin seermai thannai – Being the reason for incarnation of ananthAzhAn (?), and having the greatness as said in ‘Sankara bhAskara [Arththi prabandham – 32]’ (how emperumAnAr defeated other philosophies, etc), this is having the greatness and eminence that is talked about in this and other places.

emperumAnAr_mElkoteemperumAnAr – mElkOtE (thirunArAyaNapuram)

nenjE oruvAmal eppozhudum Or – Oh mind which is the instrument for reflecting upon this great day that incarnated for thinking about itself. In this way, be thinking about it at all times without any break;

indhath thiruvAdhirai – (‘this’ thiruvAdhirai) – The way his (maNavALa mAmunigaL‘s) involvement in this is.

By this, as said in ‘AchAryam samsmarEth sadhA’ (should always think about AchAryan), the day of incarnation too is of interest for him (maNavALa mAmunigaL) to be thinking about at all times. The reason for that is his (maNavALa mAmunigaL’s) remembrance of his (emperumAnAr’s) help (of getting us out of samsAram) (upakAra smruthi), isn’t it?

– – – – – – –

English Translation: raghurAm SrInivAsa dhAsan

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SaraNAgathi gadhyam – 7th chUrNai

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avathArikai (introduction)

Would not whatever we had given up, as mentioned in the previous chUrNai, be a great loss to us, asks periyavAchchAn piLLai. He responds that they are not, as bhagavAn himself is all these things to us.


thvamEva mAthA cha pithA thvamEva
thavmEva bhandhuScha gurus thavamEva
thvamEva vidhyA dhraviNam thvamEva
thvamEva sarvam mama dhEva dhEva

Word-by-Word meaning

thvam – you
Eva – only
mAthA – mother
pithA – father
cha – and
thvamEva bandhuScha – you are like relatives
gurusthvamEva – you are like AchArya (teacher).
thvamEva vidhyA – you are the knowledge preached to us
dhraviNam thvamEva – you are the wealth
thvamEva sarvam – whatever has been left unsaid is also you
mama dhEva dhEva – you are my lord and master

Explanatory Note:

thvamEva mAthA cha pithA thvamEvathvam – you; Eva -only; mAthA – mother and pithA – father. cha – and. Unlike a father who starts wishing and doing good for the child after the child is born, the mother starts protecting and loving the child right from the time that the child is conceived in her womb. Hence precedence is given to the mother. bhagavAn is also the father as it is the father who is equally responsible for the formation of the child. In our sampradhAyam (traditional beliefs), the entire creation is carried out by bhagavAn and not by pirAtti, and hence bhagavAn acts both as mother and father.

thvamEva bandhuScha – you are like relatives. Relatives are those who ensure that the person does not go the wrong way in life, control him and guide him in the correct path. bhagavAn is also the antharAthmA (pervading within the AthmA). Thus he guides the person always and acts similar to the relatives.

gurusthvamEva – you are like AchArya (teacher). The sound “gu” in guru means ‘darkness’ and the sound “ru” means ‘negates’. Thus a guru negates darkness – in other words he enlightens. bhagavAn removes ignorance in this samsAram (materialistic world) and grants mOksham (liberation) and hence he is the guru.  In our sampradhAyam, he is the first and primary AchAryan, as mentioned in our guruparamparai (lineage of AchAryas). He provides all the implements and aids for us to get interested in reaching him – he gave vEdhas (fountainhead of knowledge, divided into rig, yajur, sAma and atharva), SAsthra (religious treatise), purANa (ancient literature such as vishNu purANam, gAruda purAnam etc), ithihAsa (epics such as SrI rAmAyaNam and mahAbhAratham), created AzhwArs and AchAryas to explain what he had told or done in vEdha, SAsthrapurANa and ithihAsa, showed his exalted thirumEni (physical form as seen in archA mUrthi, as evidenced in various dhivyadhEsams) –  he does all these things so that we move away from the worldly pleasures in this samsAram and take the initial steps towards him . As seen earlier, he does not create desire in us for us to reach him, but develops the desire once we show the initial spark. He is indeed a great teacher, guru.

thvamEva vidhyA – you are the knowledge preached to us. How can he be “knowledge”? He provides the vEdhas which provide knowledge. Since various parts of vEdhas and vEdhAnthas (upanidhaths, the end part of vEdhas) are under his control and he is the entity explained or propounded in these, he is indeed the knowledge.

dhraviNam thvamEva – you are the wealth. Here wealth does not indicate only monetary wealth but all the entities which are enjoyed – for example, garland, sandal paste, food stuff, property etc. Not only the perceptible entities, but even the imperceptible entities such as parabhakthi, paragyAnam etc (which we had seen in chUrNai 5) are called as wealth. His exalted feet are the path for us to reach him and these are considered wealth.

thvamEva sarvam – whatever has been left unsaid is also you.

mama dhEva dhEva – Having given up everything to hold on to you, you are my lord and master. You are the lord of nithyasUris and mukthAthmAs in SrIvaikuNtam and you are my lord too.

Let us now move on to chUrNai 8.

Translation by krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan.

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upadhESa raththina mAlai – 28

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pAsuram 28

AzhvArgaL thANgaL avathariththa nALgaLilum
vAzhvAna nAL namakku maNNulageer – Ezh pArum
uyya ethirAsar udhiththaruLum chiththiraiyil
seyya thiruvAdhirai                                                                                         28

pAsuram 28

Word by word meaning

nALgaLilum – Compared to the divine star days
AzhvArgaL thAngaL – in which all the AzhvArs
avathariththa – graced their incarnation,
maNNulageer – Oh those in this earth!
namakku – for us,
vAzhvAna – that can give us true life
nAL – is the divine star day
ethirAsar – (in which) emperumAnAr
udhiththu aruLum – graces by incarnating
chiththiraiyil – in the month of chiththirai (chaithra),
seyya – in the beautiful
thiruvAdhirai – star day of thiruvAdhirai (ArdhrA),
Ezh pArum – for those in all the seven worlds
uyya – to attain true goal.


For all the people in the world to attain true goal, emperumAnAr graced his incarnation; such divine star day is a huge wealth compared to the divine star days and months of all AzhvArs, says maNavALa mAmunigaL, for all kinds of people to know.

AzhvArgaL thAngaL avathariththa nALgaLilum – Having the quality of being given unblemished knowledge (mayarvaRa mathi nalam [thiruvAimozhi 1.1.1]) by sarvEsvaran, due to which through their dhivya prabandhams they were able to correct the village, country, and the world; that is, they had incarnated to help the world.

Compared to such divine days of their incarnations,

vAzhvAna nAL namakku maN ulageer – (better day for us, Oh the people of this earth) – that is, as said in ‘mangaiyarALi parAnkusa munnavar vAzhvu muLaiththidu nAL [Arththi prabandham – 32]’, the day of incarnation of emperumAnAr helps enrich those of AzhvArs, so it would be a more important day for us for us to attain true nature and proper being;


vAzhvAna nAL namakku maN ulageer Unlike you (the people of the earth) who are after material wealth etc., and who would be away from this (star day?), we who consider them as immaterial (like giving no importance like how one would ignore some grass), and have surrendered to emperumAnAr’s divine feet (rAmAnuja padhAmboja samASrayaNa SAlina:), and saying ‘thanthai nal thAy thAram thanayar perum selvam en thanakku neeyE ethirAsA [Arththi prabandham – 3]’ (Father, good mother, wife, brothers, huge wealth is all you for me ethirAsA), we consider him as all the wealth, so the divine star day of his incarnation also is a big wealth for us.

That is, instead of it (the day) being the reason for our true living, it in itself is our true living.

maN ulageer – As said in ‘AvirabhUdhbhUmau [varavaramuni mukthakam – 6]’ (appeared on the earth), and the same is said in ‘maNNin thalaththu udhiththu [rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi – 95]’, Oh the people of this earth who have born in the world where such emperumAnAr incarnated – you are having such a fortune! You also be considering this always as your true life.

Now, he (maNavALa mAmunigaL) is divining what this day is, as ‘Ezh pArum uyya ethirAsar udhiththu aruLum chiththiraiyil seyya thiruvAdhirai’.

That is, as said in ‘uNmai nal gyAnam uraiththa [rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi – 73]’ (emperumAnAr who preaches the true knowledge), due to his advice/preaching and giving knowledge, those in all the worlds became true being, and reached the true goal – such emperumAnAr who is the head of yathis, divined his incarnation in chiththirai month and beautiful thiruvAdhirai. So –

vAzhvAna nAL namakku maNNulageer Ezh pArum uyya – here ‘pAr’ being earth, and ‘Ezh pAr’ being earth that is the head of seven dhvIpams (islands). By this, it thinks about all the worlds. Like said in ‘anaiththulagum vAzhap piRantha [Arththip prabandham – 41] (~born for all the worlds to live the true one).

People of all the worlds getting the true life due to his incarnation is: as said in ‘thadhuparyapi bAdharAyaNas sambhavAth [SrI bashyam 1.3-25]’ (after this it becomes/happens like this, says bAdharAyaNa), which implies that worship of brahmam happens in the other worlds as well, and any doubts in sAsthras which mandates such things are cleared very well by emperumAnAr through SrI bAshyam, as said in ‘thaththuva nUl kUzh aRRadhu [rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi – 65](SAsthras that convey the truth in existence became clear of doubts and were able to convey the correct meanings), and so they learned without any doubts and got the true life.

Even though this is for matters related to those in the earth, it also helps those in the divine worlds.

When he (emperumAnAr) had divined his visit to SAradha peetam, sarasvathi had asked him about her doubts and got them clarified, and as said in ‘sankai keduththu ANda thavarAsA [periya thirumozhi thaniyan (related to emperumAnAr)]’ (~ clarified the doubts and ruled us), she celebrated him, showed the grantham ‘bhOdhAyana vruththi’, and later when SrI bAshayam grantham was graced to her she had kept SrI bAshayam on her head, is all well known isn’t it?

If all learned sarasvathi who is the wife of brahmA who is the head of all the dhEvas and who lives in sathya lOkam, would do something like this, then it goes without saying that those in all the worlds also would also celebrate this.

Or, as said in ‘sa bhrAthuch charaNau gAd(h)am nipIdya raghunandhana: | sIthA muvAchAthiyasA rAghavancha mahAvratham [SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 31.2]’ (famed and key of clan of raghu, that is iLaiyaperumAL (lakshmANan), fell fully at his elder brother’s feet, holding them by both hands, in the presence of sIthA pirAtti, pleaded as follows to SrI rAma who is staunch in accepting refuge and saving them), and so the head of nithya sUris that is iLaiyaperumAL (lakshmaNan) had started as a request for doing kainkaryam (service)

– such ways was followed as it is by his reincarnation that is emperumAnAr, as he said ‘SrIman! nArAyaNa! thava charNAravendhayugaLam saraNamaham prapadhyE [gadhya thrayam – srIranga gadhyam]’ (Oh periyA pirAtti accompanied nArAyaNa! I am strongly accepting your divine lotus feet as the means), and followed his (lakshmaNa’s) ways; and not stopping there, he divined it through SrI gadhyam that is gadhya thrayam, for others to follow such ways. Isn’t this the proper way for helping all the worlds to reach true goal?

Ezh pArum uyya ethirAsar udhiththaruLum – By the appearance of mere sun of this world, outer darkness of physical world goes away. rAmAnujar is one who possesses the light that is knowledge – due to such sun’s appearance all the worlds’ darkness (ignorance) is destroyed, as said in ‘ulagiruL neenga [rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi – 9], and ‘sarvalOka thamOhanthA’ (removed darkness of all the worlds).

emperumAnAr_thondanUr_0001emperumAnAr and his disciples

It is said ‘arka: svakara samparkAth dhivA hanthi bhahisthama: | santhasthu dharsanA dhEva bhahiranthardhivAnisam’ (~sun, by its rays, removes outer darkness during the day. Saints, by just the sight remove inner darkness as well), and ‘nikhilakumathimAyA sarvareebAlasUrya: [yathirAja sapthathi]’ (after night which gives all wrongs to mind, young sun that appears when it dawns).

In [rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi– 49] starting from ‘Anadhu semmai’ which ends with ‘irAmAnusan ith thalaththu udhiththE’, the great happenings due to emperumAnAr’s appearance can be seen in its meanings.

ethirAsar udhiththu aruLum chiththiraiyil seyya thiruvAdhirai – Like the sun entering the ArdhrA (thiruvAdhirai) star, emperumAnAr too appeared in ArdhrA (thiruvAdhirai). It is the time when crops are set; here too the crop that is AthmA got the brightness set for their true knowledge. Like said in ‘AdhithyAjjAyathE vrushti: [brahma purANam 29.4]’ (Sun instigates rain), here too there is rain of krupai (by this sun).

{vyAkyAnam for this pAsuram is longer than for earlier ones. Perhaps the vyAkyAtha (commentator) piLLailOkam jIyar too has rained more special meanings to this pAsuram for us}

chiththiraiyil seyya thiruvAdhirai – In the month of chiththirai when flowers blossom is the time when he incarnated in the beautiful thiruvAdhirai star. The beauty for it is based on the incarnation of emperumAnAr who is ‘azhagArum ethirAsar [Arththi prabandham – 31].

‘seyyA’ thiruvAdhirai – Based on the incarnation of SrImAn (emperumAnAr) who is of reddish hue, this thiruvAdhirai is also reddish. Like said in ‘subhaga: SrImAn’, his nature is also like reddish sun.

thirukkachchi nambi also divined ‘sivandhu valiya nediyarAy [guruparamparai](reddish, strong and tall (description of emperumAnAr)).

– – – –

English Translation: raghurAm SrInivAsa dhAsan

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upadhESa raththina mAlai – 27

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pAsuram 27

inRu ulageer chiththiraiyil Eyndha thiruvAdhirai nAL
enRaiyinum inRu idhanukku ERRam en thAn – enRavarkkuch
chARRuginREn kENmin ethirAsar tham piRappAl
nARRisaiyum koNdAdum nAL.                                                                       27


Word by word meaning

ulagIr – Oh the people in this world!
inRu – today is
Eyntha – a day aptly set
chiththiraiyil – in the month of chiththirai (chaithra)
thiruvAdhirai nAL – and of star day thiruvAdhirai (ArdhrA).
enRavarkku – For those who asked
en thAn – what could be
ERRam – the greatness
inRu ithanukku – of today’s day
enRaiyinum – compared to any other day,
saRRuginREn – I am saying
kEL(N)min – (so) listen;
that is,
nAL – it is the day
nAl thisaiyum – that those in all four directions
koNdAdum – celebrate
ethirAsar thamemperumAnAr’s
piRappAl – divine incarnation.


Now starting with this pAsuram, he (maNavALA mAmunigaL) divines in three pAsurams about he who is having the greatness distinct from AzhvArs, who is their servant, and who is the head of the others, that is emperumAnAr; in this pAsuram, he is mercifully conveying in the form of question and answer about the greatness of emperumAnAr’s divine incarnation day of chiththirai (chaithra) month’s thiruvAdhirai (ArdhrA) star day.

inRu ulageer chiththiraiyil Eyntha thiruvAdhirai nALmaNavALa mAmunigaL too, like emperumAnAr, for everyone in the world to reach the true goal, is addressing them as ‘inRu ulageer’. {recall emperumAnAr’s great thirukkOshtiyUr incident}.

Like said in ‘chaithra: SrimAn ayam mAsa: [SrI rAmAyaNam – ayOdhyA kANdam – 3.4]’ (this chiththirai month is accepted/nurtured by everyone).

inRusaying this shows that its greatness is of importance to him (maNavALa mAmunigaL).

chiththiraiyil Eyntha thiruvAdhirai nAL – The thiruvAdhirai star day in chiththirai month is the time that when emperumAnAr incarnated, it could pour flowers and to indicate good times ahead.

Eyntha thiruvAdhirai – thiruvAdhirai that goes well with our svarUpam (true nature). It is such a great month and star day, and it is available for us! perumAL who is SrImAn that is rAman incarnated in this SrImAn month (month having such wealth), and perumAL’s star day is close to emperumAnAr’s star day. He (emperumAnAr) too is referred to as ‘seemAn iLaiyAzhvAr [emperumAnAr nAL pAttu – verse which glorifies the day of his birth]’. SrI rAma and rAmanuja got the divine star days that are before and after, as thiruvAdhirai and punarpUsam.

In these ways this star day is being wonderful compared to other days, is the answer to those who asked what is great about this day. Based on that, he (maNavALa mAmunigaL) is saying ‘sARRuginRen’ (I shall tell you).

sARRuginREn – Whether you would appreciate it or not, I will do my duty. For sarvEsvaran’s victory SrI jAmbavAn, mAhArAjar (sugreevan) were sounding the drums; in the same way I (maNavALa mAmunigaL) am sounding the drum and letting it be known in all the worlds about the divine star day of emperumAnAr who is ‘vAmanan seelan [rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi – 40]’ (having greatness equal to emperumAn who took vAmana avathAram {who spanned all the worlds}).

kENmin – Listen to this devotee’s words without fail. No need to come closer, fall at the divine feet, and listen in privacy; just listen with your ears open from wherever you are, that is all.

When asked – If so, can you not convey the secret of the incarnation? He (maNavALa mAmunigaL) says ethirAsar tham piRappAl. Since it is the incarnation of the head of yathis (mendicants), it would be celebrated by the learned in all four directions.

pUrvAchAryas divined the use of general term ‘thiru nakshathram’ to imply the star day of emperumAnAr.

ethirAsar tham piRappu – This incarnation of yathi kula nAthan (head of yathis, that is, emperumAnAr) is having more greatness even than yadhu kula nAthan (head of cowherds) that is krishNan’s incarnation. For that incarnation the use was to sit on the chariot and explain everything to one person that is arjuna to make him get clarity. The use of this incarnation is for getting those in the whole world to get to the true destiny by him saying a few words.

emperumanar_with_sishyasemperumAnAr with Sishyas

Now he (maNavALa mAmunigaL) is showing to all directions about those who have understood the greatness of and cherish this incarnation day.

nAl thisaiyum koNdAdum nAL – As he is having the greatness as said in ‘thisai anaiththum ERum kuNanai [rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi – 46]’ (having divine qualities that have spread in all directions), and ‘thikku uRRa keerththi rAmAnusanai [rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi – 26]’ (emperumAnAr having complete fame in all directions), emperumAnAr‘s divine star day would also be protected from all sides.

{It is to be noticed that in rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi it is said that emperumAnAr’s greatness is known by people in all directions, and maNavALa mAmunigaL has used a matching phrase of ‘nAl thisaiyum koNdAdum‘ here, and the vyAkyAtha (commentator) piLLai lOkam jIyar of this pAsuram has unearthed this connection for us }

Those in these directions are all having the connection with emperumAnAr. So there is no place where there is no connection with emperumAnAr. So understand that this is celebrated by everyone, and you also nurture this, is the theme (of this pAsuram).

– – – –

English Translation: raghurAm SrInivAsa dhAsan

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upadhESa raththina mAlai – 26

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pAsuram 26

vAyththa thirumanthiraththin maththimamAm padham pOl
seerththa madhurakavi sey kalaiyai – Arththa pugazh
AriyargaL thAngaL aruLichchyal naduvE
sErviththAr thARpariyam thErndhu.                                                       26


Word by word meaning

maththimam Am padham pOl – Like the ‘nama’ word in the middle
thirumanthiranththin – of thirumanthram
vAyththa – that is corresponding to our true nature (svarUpa anurUpam),
madhurakavimadhurakavi AzhvAr
seerththa – who is full of greatness
sey – divined
kalaiyai – the prabandham that is kaNNinuN chiruththAmbu;
AriyargaL thAngaLpUrvAcharyas (preceptors)
Arththa – (who are) full of
pugazh – glory
thErndhu – understood
thARpariyam – its purpose/meaning/essence
sErviththAr – and added it to be
aruLichcheyal naduvE – in the center of dhivya prabandhams divined by AzhvArs.


Now, he (maNavALa mAmunigaL) is divining with an example about how AchAryas who research about the meanings of dhivya prabandhams, had researched the greatness of meanings of this AzhvAr’s dhivya prabandham and established it to be in the mid part of dhivya prabandhams (when looking in the order of full recital of the dhivya prabandhams), with ‘vAiththa thirumanthiraththin maththimamAm padham pOl’.

This thirumanthram ‘vAyththa is that it is complete in words and meanings, and so is according to our true nature. It is said too that ‘Sarvam ashtAksharAnthassadham [hArItha smruthi – 3.45]’ (everything is present in this thirumanthram that is of eight letters) – such is the greatness of thirumanthram.

As the etymology/origin for the word manthram is ‘manthrAram thrAya ithi manthra:’ (since it protects the one that deliberates on it, it is called manthram), thirumanthram uplifts from samsAram (life in the material world) those who inquire/deliberate on it. This is as divined in the divine saying (aruLichcheydhu aruLi) of ‘samsAra nivarththakamAna periya thirumanthram [SrI vachana bhUshaNam 315]’. The same is said in ‘sathyassamsAra nAsanam’ (samsAram is destroyed immediately).

maththimamAm padham pOl – Like the middle word which is present in it (thirumanthram) that is namas. That word (nama:) removes the hurdles regarding: svarUpam (true nature of self), upAyam (means), and purushArththam (goal), and tells us about what is svarUpam, upAyam, and purusArththam; also, as said in ‘sidhdhE thadheeya sEshathvE sarvArththAs sambhavanthi hi’ (by being servants of devotees all good are created isn’t it?), this manthram includes servitude to emperumAn’s devotees. It is the meaning of this word that is according to our true nature.

This (prabandham of madhurakavi AzhvAr) is also like this word (nama:) of thirumanthram.

Along the same lines, madhurakavi AzhvAr too, as said in ‘thadhiyAnAm akrEsara:’ (is foremost among devotees) in relation to nammAzhvAr (who is such a devotee), had divined about nammAzhvAr as being the head, protector, true destiny, etc., in his prabandham that is kaNNinuN chiruththAmbu.

seerththa madhurakavi sey kalaiyai – commendable prabandham kaNNinuN chiruththAmbu of this AzhvAr, which he said as ‘madhurakavi sonna sol [kaNNinuN chiruththAmbu – 11]’ (~ words said by madhurakavi), sErviththAr – placed such prabandham (to be in the middle).

seerththa madhurakavi – also says about him having the honor of not knowing any other master.

seerththa sey kalaiyai – More than prathama parvam related (first state, i.e.,subservient to emperumAn), it is charama parvam related (last state, that is, subservient to AchAryan/devotee); such prabandham would be having much greatness isn’t it?   This prabandham includes the greatness of holding the inner meaning of vEdhas as said in ‘mikka vEdhiyar vEdhaththin uL poruL [kaNNinuN chiruththAmbu – 8]’ (inner meanings of vEdham recited by the learned vaidhikas). This prabandham has got the greatness of ‘avar pAsuram koNdu ivvarththam aRudhi idak kadavOm [SrI vachana bhUshaNam – 409]’ (shall show the meaning (of charama parvam) using the prabandham of madhurakavi AzhvAr).

Also, to the divine feet of nammAzhvAr, SrI nAthamunigaL had repeated this prabandham 12000 times, and due to that nammAzhvAr’s mind was soothed, and so all the dhivya prabandhams became available, isn’t it? It is the greatness of this prabandham that that is attributed due to this too.

thiruppuLiyAzhwArthiruppuLi AzhvAr where nAthamunigaL recited kaNNinuN chiruththAmbu 12000 times

In this way this prabandham which is having the greatness of conveying the inner meaning, that is madhurakavi AzhvAr’s prabandham of kaNNinuN chiruththAmbu, they included this in the middle of beautiful dhivya prabandhams.

Arththa pugazh AriyargaL thAngaLAchAryas who follow the way of preceptors, determined the ways of madhurakavi AzhvAr (being dependent on AchAryan), and they have the glory that came due to researching the meanings of dhivya prabandhams;

Arththa pugazh is ‘Arndha pugazh’ similar to what is said in ‘Arndha pugazh achchuthan [thiruvAimozhi – 3.5.11]’ (full of glory).

nammazhwar-madhurakavi-nathamuniAcharyan nAthamunigaL with madhurakavi AzhvAr and nammAzhvAr

Since this prabandham gives the meanings expressed in pathikams like ‘payilum sudar oLi [thiruvAimozhi 3-7]’, and ‘nedumARku adimai [thiruvAimozhi 8-10], the AchAryas researched its greatness in meanings; like how when constructing a garland one would set a central gem store in the middle, due to which the whole garland would brighten up/become meaningful, they included kaNNinuN chiruththAmbu in the middle of other prabandhams such that those prabandhams became meaningful/useful.

This is like how the ‘nama:’ word in the middle brightens up the manthram, this prabandham being in the middle brightens up the dhivya prabandhams.

Like how this AzhvAr’s star day of incarnation, that is chiththirai month’s chiththirai star day is in the middle of thamizh months and is being bright among other months, madhurakavi AzhvAr ‘s prabandham of kaNNinun chiruththAmbu is in the middle of prabandhams

and would enrich those other dhivya prabandhams too.

When considering this prabandham as equivalent to the middle word ‘nama:’ of thirumanthram, then it would be possible to think of all the prabandhams placed before this as giving the meaning of the word prior to nama: in thirumanthram (praNavam), and  prabandhams placed after this as giving the meaning of the word after nama: (that is, nArAyaNa).

To explain that, ‘vEdhaththukku Om ennum adhu pOl [upadhEsa raththina mAlai – 19] (like praNavam for vEdham) starting from thiruppallANdu up to the prabandham before kaNNinuN chiruththAmbu are of the meaning of praNavam, kaNNinuN chiruththAmbu standing for the meaning of nama:, and after that, starting from ‘nArAyaNA ennum nAmam [periya thirumozhi 1.1]’, till the thirumadals that include ‘nArAyaNa O maNivaNNa nAgaNaiyAy vArAy en Ar idarai neekkAi’ are of the meaning of ‘nArAyaNa’, and of the meaning of ‘Aya’ of thirumanthram, which signifies that which is related to kainkaryam.

chiththirai month’s chiththirai star day is the incarnation day of thirumalai ananthAzhvAn too who is a follower of the words of AchAryan, isn’t it? That is why he got the dhAsya name of madhurakavi dhAsan.

– – – – – –

English Translation: raghurAm SrInivAsa dhAsan

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SaraNAgathi gadhyam – 6th chUrNai

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avathArikai (introduction)

periyavAchchAn piLLai does a recap of the 5 chUrNais here.

When one goes to bhagavAn for carrying out the process of surrendering, one needs to have strong desire for him as well as complete faith in him that he will grant us what we are praying for. In order to have these qualities, SrI rAmAnuja first prayed to pirAtti in the 2nd chUrNai and was granted the same by her in the 3rd and 4th chUrNais. Then he determined that only SrIman nArAyaNan is capable of granting him mOksham since he alone possesses all the qualities that are required of an entity to do this. He extolled all the auspicious qualities of bhagavAn and listed his various properties in both the worlds (the nithya vibUthi or permanent/spiritual realm and the leelA vibhUthi, the samsAram or materialistic realm). Having confirmed that he is the only one who can grant mOksham and  that he is the means or path for getting that boon, with pirAtti as purushakAra bhUthai (one who recommends) he surrendered to bhagavAn. We have seen this in the 5th chUrNai. Now we shall see the 6th chUrNai.


SrI rAmAnuja hesitates a bit here, as he feels that people in coming years would believe that he was the first one to perform SaraNAgathi. People may think that it is not necessary to check with SAsthram (religious treatise) on what it says about SaraNAgathi and that it is not required to see if preceptors before him had done SaraNAgathi. Hence he  quotes from purANas (works of time immemorial) and pUrvAchAryas (preceptors) on SaraNAgathi. Two such SlOkas (verses) from purANas form chUrNai 6.

At the time of surrendering, one should give up everything (that one has been holding on to in samsAram) and hold on only to bhagavAn‘s divine feet. In bhagavadh gIthai, krishNa says in his charama slOkam (verse 66 in chapter 18) to surrender to him after giving up all the dharmas (righteous paths). In the earlier five chUrNais, Sri rAmAnuja had not mentioned anything about what he had given up. Will his earlier act of surrendering without mentioning what he had given up, not go waste? No, it wouldn’t. In dhvaya mahAmanthram also, there is mention of what is to be held on to (bhagavAn‘s divine feet) and no mention of what is to be given up. Our pUrvAchAryas (preceptors) also did not insist on this when a person came to perform SaraNAgathi. They were happy that he came at all to perform it. bhagavAn sees whether the jIvAthmA is scared of samsAram and has the strong desire to come to him. bhagavAn does not create the desire in the jIvAthmA but helps in the furtherance of that desire.

Considering all the above, SrI rAmAnuja now explains what all should be given up at the time of surrendering. It is not that he is surrendering a second time, He has already carried it out. It is only to re-emphasise the fact that our  pUrvAchAryas  mentioned this and also to tell us that bhagavAn is gladdened by hearing it from us.

First let us look at the chUrNai.

pitharam mAtharam dhArAn puthrAn bhandhUn SakhIn gurUn
rathnAni dhanadhAnyAni kshEthrAni cha gruhANi cha I
sarvadharmAmScha santhyajya sarvakAmAmScha sAkhsharAn
lOkavikrAntha charaNau SaraNam thEvrajam vibhO II

Word-by-Word meaning

pitharam mAtharam – Father and Mother
dhArAn – wife
puthrAn – son
bandhUn – relatives
sakheen – friends
gurUn – AchAryas or guides
rathnAni dhana dhAnyAni kshEthrAni cha – rubies (reference is to all types of gems here), wealth, food stuff, land etc
gruhAni cha – and house
sarvadharmAmScha – all righteous paths mentioned in SAsthrams
sarva kAmAmScha – all desires
sAksharAn – enjoying one’s own AthmA
santhyajya – giving up with a feeling of being ashamed for having desire for such lowly things
lOkavikrAntha charaNau – The two exalted feet of bhagavAn that measured all the worlds
SaraNam – refers to bhagavAn‘s exalted feet as upAyam (path to mOksham)
thE – you
avrajam – holding on to
vibhO – refers to his all pervading nature

Explanatory Note :

In the first line he mentions giving up those entities which are all chith (those with thinking ability) and in the second, those which are  achith (those without thinking ability). In our sampradhAyam (traditional beliefs and practices), we consider bhagavAn as the upAyam (path to take us to him). Any other path such as karma yOgam (disposition through doing things mentioned in SAsthram or religious treatise) or gyAna yOgam (disposition through knowledge on bhagavAn) or bhakthi yOgam (disposition through devotion to bhagavAn) is considered as upAyAnthram (path other than bhagavAn). All the entities referred to by Sri rAmAnuja in the first two lines of this chUrNai are those which are aids in upAyAnthram. Also, these entities are prayOjanAntharam (those which are enjoyed other than bhagavAN who should be real prayOjanam). Thus the entities in the first two lines are both upAyAntharams and prayOjanAntharams. Hence SrI rAmAnuja says that he is giving up all these which are inimical to our svarUpam (basic nature) in reaching bhagavAn through SaraNAgathi.

pitharam mAtharam – Father and Mother. It would appear odd that SrI rAmAnuja mentions one’s father and mother as the first persons who are to be given up when SAsthram says “mAthru dhEvO bhava:” (mother is like God) and “pithru dhEvO bhava:” (father is like God). Father and mother being like God is indicated as upAsana angam (aid to bhakthi) to a bhakthi yOgi {one who desires to reach mOksham through bhakthi (devotion)} whereas for one who surrenders tobhagavAn through SaraNAgathi path, parents are like aids to upAyam (path to attain bhagavAn). We should give up father and mother as upAsana angam only and  not when they help in reaching bhagavAn through SaraNAgathi.

dhArAn – wife. How can one give up one’s wife, with whom one has walked seven steps around the agni (dhEvatha for fire) at the time of marriage? Wife is said to be sahadharmachAriNi (one who comes together when treading the path of dharma). If one is doing dharma as a means of attaining mOksham, then such dharma should be given up. If one’s wife helps in doing such a dharma (which is taken as a path to attain mOksham) then she should be given up. But if she helps in doing dharma as kainkaryam (service to bhagavAn), then she should not be given up, is the subtle meaning here.

puthrAn – son. It is said in SAsthram that once a son is born, the father  is saved from going to a naraka (hell) called puthu. When a person is trying to attain mOksham through bhakthi, he needs to beget a son as otherwise he would go to hell. Such a son is considered as upAsanAngam, aid in bhakthi yOgam. Since the context here is to reach bhagavAn through SaraNAgathi, such a son is not needed and hence is to be given up.

bandhUn – relatives. Relatives constantly invoke bhakthi yOgam for reaching mOksham and hence are upAsanAngam. Like before, they are not required and can be given up, if one is trying to reach bhagavAn through SaraNAgathi. In some cases, the relatives would be very well off, either financially or socially (in society). One would be tempted to boast of being their relative, thus falling into the trap of prayOjanAntharam (source of enjoyment other than bhagavAn as we have seen earlier). Here too, they are fit to be given up.

sakheen – friends. Friends would also encourage a person to go the bhakthi yOgam way and hence are to be given up. Moreover, a person would be close to his friends and treat them as confidantes and thus the friends would be prayOjanAntharars and are fit to be given up.

gurUn – AchAryas or guides. SrI rAmAnuja had five gurus and he was greatly attached to them all. How will he recommend giving up one’s guru? If a guru shows the path of bhakthi for attaining mOksham, he is fit to be given up, as we have seen earlier in other cases. guru should not help in performing yagna (rituals) for worldly materials. Such a guru should be given up.

rathnAni dhana dhAnyAni kshEthrAni cha – rubies (reference is to all types of gems here), wealth, food stuff, land etc. These help in performing yagna. Also they are fit for enjoyment otherwise for worldly pleasures. Hence being upAyAntharam and prayOjanAntharam, they are to be given up.

gruhAni cha – house. This is also similar to the materials listed above. Also it gives a false sense of protection for all the materials listed and hence acts as aid to upAyAntharam. Since it is also one of those giving worldly pleasures, this should be avoided and given up.

sarvadharmAmScha – all righteous paths mentioned in SAsthrams. Here the reference is to other upAyams (paths) such as karma, gyAna, bhakthi yOgams. The word sarva here refers to parts of dharma such as sandhyAvandhanam (prayer offered three times a day to the dhEvathA, sandhyA), tharppaNam (ritual offered to forefathers on selected days in a month or year) etc.

sarva kAmAmScha – all desires. Starting from desire for children, wealth etc, leading to svarga aiSvarya (heaven) ending with brahma aiSvarya (position of brahmA, the dhEvathA for creation). All these desires are to be given up.

sAksharAn – The word kshara means that which wanes. akshara means that which does not wane, here the reference is to AthmA and sAksharAn means enjoying one’s own AthmA, which in our sampradAyam is referred to as kaivalya mOksham (attaining mOksham, not for enjoying bhagavAn‘s divine qualities but for enjoying the lowly qualities of AthmA itself).

santhyajya – giving up with a feeling of being ashamed for having desire for such lowly things when compared to the divine feet of bhagavAn. This word santhyajya is to be taken together with each of the chith and achith entities listed above.

lOkavikrAntha charaNau – The two exalted feet of bhagavAn who measured all the worlds with his foot when he took the avathAram (incarnation) of vAmana (or dwarf) and transformed himself as thrivikrama (one who strode all the three worlds in three steps). He placed his exalted feet on the heads of those who did not have any particular liking for him and even on those who opposed him. That he came down to earth taking vAmana avathAram shows that he is swAmy (owner); that he came on his own shows his quality of sauSeelyam (magnanimity); that he touched our heads with his feet shows his quality of vAthsalyam (considering even the faults of devotees as good qualities); that he came right in front of our eyes and blessed us with his feet shows his quality of saulabhyam (easy to approach). All these are qualities found only in bhagavAn. SrI rAmAnuja invokes that bhagavAn here.

SaraNam – refers to bhagavAn‘s exalted feet as upAyam (path to mOksham)

thE – you. Refers to swAmy (lord or owner) who owns all the worlds. pirAtti (mahAlakshmi) being always inseparable from bhagavAN, is also invoked here to carry out her role of being purushakArabhUthai (recommending nature).

avrajam – holding on to. Here it refers to holding on to bhagavAn‘s exalted feet.

vibhO – refers to his all pervading nature, which contains all the essential qualities of gyAna bala aiSvarya etc which we have seen earlier (6 important qualities).

Thus SrI rAmAnuja very vividly captures in this chUrNai, all the entities which are to be given up and the entity that is to be held on to.

Let us now move on to chUrNai 7.

Translation by krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan.

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upadhESa raththina mAlai – 25

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pAsuram 25

ErAr madhurakavi ivvulagil vandhu udhiththa
seerArum chiththiraiyil chiththirai nAL – pArulagil
maRRuLLa AzhvArgaL vandhu udhiththa nALgaLilum
uRRadhu emakku enRu nenjE Or.                                                 25


Word by word meaning

Er Ar – Full of beauty (that is)
madhurakavimadhurakavi AzhvAr
vandhu udhiththa – came and divined his incarnation
iv ulagil – in this world
seer Arum – (in the) fully great
chiththiraiyil – month of chiththirai (chaithra)
chiththirai nAL – in the star day of chiththirai (chithrA);
emakku – for us
uRRadhu enRu – (this day is to be chosen because) it matches our svarUpam (true nature)
nALgaLilum – than the divine star days of
maRRuLLa – the other
AzhvArgaL – ten AzhvArs
vandhu udhiththa – who came and divined their incarnation
pAr ulagil – in the earth;
nenjE – Oh my mind
Or – understand this.


Out of the three mentioned earlier, considering the middle one that is madhurakavi AzhvAr, he (maNavALa mAmunigaL) divines to his confidential mind that the chiththirai star day (chithrA) during vasantha (spring) season (month of chiththirai (chaithra)), which is the star day of this AzhvAr, is the one that would be apt for our svarUpam (true nature (of serving emperumAn’s devotees)), compared to other AzhvArs‘ divine star days.

ErAr madhurakavi – he is – as said in ‘avargaLaich chiriththiruppAr oruvar [SrI vachana bhUshaNam – 409](~ this AzhvAr who is always happy due to surrendering to nammAzhvAr (a devotee), would be laughing at the other AzhvArs who have surrendered to emperumAn since they would be happy when emperumAn graces them and sad when emperumAn does not show up for them), such madhurakavi AzhvAr is involved in AchArya abhimAnam (getting the love of AchAryan).

Er’ (beauty) for him is – ‘AchAryavAn [chAndhOgya upanishath 6.14.2]’ (one having the AchAryan only would understand the true entity), thus being the place of jewellery for the world. He is ‘anbar adikku anbar [gyAna sAram – 39]’ (devotee of lotus feet of His devotees) isn’t it? As he is ‘thilatham enath thirivAr [gyAna sAram – 39]’ (considers the devotees of krishnAn to be as holy as the thilakam that is smeared on one’s forehead), he is the devotee of ‘jagathAbharaNar’ (jewel that decorates the world) (nammAzhvAr), isn’t it?

Er Ar’ is – having the completeness of: dependence on the will of AchAryan (AchArya parathanthran), such that madhurakavi AzhvAr could also lead to that same nishtai (intent).

azhwar-madhurakavi-nathamunimadhurakavi AzhvAr with nammAzhvAR – (dhEvap)perumAL kOyil (kAncheepuram)

ivvulagil vandhu udhiththa – such AzhvAr, like how there is rise of aruNan before that of the sun, he incarnated before the sun that is vakuLabhUshaNa bhAskarar (nammAzhvAr).

seerArum chiththiraiyil chiththirai nALSince he having ‘Er Ar’ (complete beauty) incarnated, this day is also being ‘seer Ar’ (complete greatness). Since he is being SrImAn (having (true) wealth {AchArya abhimAnam}), the month of his incarnation also matched ‘chaithra: SrImAn ayam mAsa: (SrI rAmAyaNam – ayodhyA kANdam – 3.4] (~this month of chiththirai is very best).

seer Arum – can be applied as adjective for both the chiththirais {month and star day / or, as quoted in SrI rAmAyaNam above, and for AzhvAr}.

As said in ‘chiththA nakshathram bhavathi [thaiththirIya upanishath]’ (chiththirai star day happened), this star day is celebrated by Sruthi as well.

This day is an important uthsavam day in kOyil (srIrangam) as gajEndhra mOksham (elephant) (thiruvURal uthsavam).

This AzhvAr is a mahAthmA as said in ‘periyavar seerai [rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi – 18]’ (madhurakavi AzhvAr’s qualities such as knowledge etc).

In this way, it is having the greatness that is not present for any other day – such star day.

pArulagil maRRuLLa AzhvArgaL vandhu udhiththa nALgaLilum – In this world, as said in ‘uNda pOdhu oru vArththaiyum uNNAtha pOdhu oru vArththaiyum solluvAr paththup pEr [SrI vachana bhUshaNam – 408] (other AzhvArs who have surrendered to emperumAn would be happy and praise Him and His related items when emperumAn graces them, and be sad and say the opposite about them when emperumAn does not show up for them) –

– compared to the months and days of incarnation of such ten AzhvArs,

for removing the darkness in this world (indha ulagil iruL neenga vandhu udhiththa mAdhangaL nALgaL (upadhEsa raththina mAlai – 5]) –

uRRadhu emakku enRu nenjE Or – (the divine star day of incarnation of madhurakavi AzhvAr) is apt for our svarUpam (true nature) which is like ‘madhurakavi soRpadiyE nilaiyAgap peRROm [Arththip prabandham – 55] (have got the state of the words/ways of madhurakavi AzhvAr (doing service to AchAryan)). It is said ‘uRRadhum un adiyArkku adimai [periya thirumozhi 8.10.3] (~ (what I learned from thirumanthram is that I am a servant of your devotees).

– – – – –

English Translation: raghurAm SrInivAsa dhAsan

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upadhESa raththina mAlai – 24

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pAsuram – 24

anju kudikku oru santhathiyAy AzhvArgaL
tham seyalai vinji niRkum thanmaiyaLAi – pinjAip
pazhuththALai ANdALaip paththiyudan nALum
vazhuththAi manamE magizhndhu.                                                   24


Word by word meaning

ANdALaisUdik koduththAL,
oru – (who incarnated as an) unparalleled
santhathiyAy – divine daughter
anju kudikku – of the lineage of AzhvArs who are afraid of the cruel world, and so do mangaLASasanam, (and who is)
vinji niRkum – being of special state than
AzhvArgaL thamAzhvArs
seyalai – ways of gyAna (true knowledge) bhakthi (devotion) vairAgyam (steadfastness in following the principles of SrIvaishNavam), etc., (and who is)
thanmaiyaLAi – having that nature,
pazhuththALai – being very mature
pinju Ay – when being very young,`
manamE – Oh the mind!
vazhuththAi – you shall worship
nALum – always
magizhndhu – happily
paththiyudan – with devotion.


He (maNavALa mAmunigaL) is divining to his mind to worship ANdAL happily, ANdAL who has got more greatness compared to (other) AzhvArs, as in ‘anju kudikku oru santhathiyAy’.

That is, as said in ‘santhAna bheejam kuru pANdavAnAm’ (only son for the lineage of the pANdavas), like how parIkshith himself was the offspring for the five pANdavas,

ANdAL too, for the lineage of prapannas that is AzhvArs, is being the one child as a divine daughter. As she is part of the clan of having true knowledge, she is referred by them as ‘kula magaL kOthai’ (~ daughter of the lineage, gOdhA).

Or, being an unmatched offspring of the lineage of periyAzhvAr who at a much later time would do mangaLASAsanam by being afraid of some wonderful valor that emperumAn showed at a much earlier time. This is reflected in ‘bhagavath yajaSramasthAna rakshaNa bhayAkula vamsajAthAm [jIyar nAyanAr who is maNavALa mAmunigaL’s divine grandson in pUravAsaramam – his upadhEsa raththinamAlai slOkam -24 ?]’.

ANdAL too starting with ‘anRu ivvulagam ALandhAi adi pORRi’, performed mangaLASAsanam at present, for the glorious deeds of the past of emperumAn, isn’t it? Reason for her doing mangaLASAsanam is the lineage of her birth, isn’t it?

This lineage is identified as ‘anju(m) kudi’ (clan that is afraid (as shown above)), isn’t it?

AzhArgaL tham seyalai vinji niRkum thanmaiyaLAi – that is, while matching her father periyAzhvAr in doing manaLASAsanam, she is supreme compared to the ten AzhvArs in gyAnam (true knowledge), bhakthi (devotion), vairAgyam (steadfastness), etc.

Since she gets bhakthi as ‘family wealth’ (being in the lineage of AzhvArs), and in addition unlike the ten AzhvArs’ who have to pretend to be a woman in their various states of bhakthi, she can be herself (a female), and so she is having wonderful level of bhakthi compared to them.

That is, unlike AzhvArs who in their urge to get emperumAn had used means other than Him, like starting with things like doing nOnbu (vratham – austerity), taking madal (calling out emperumAn in public) etc., which would destroy ananyOpAyathvam of a devotee (not using anything other than Him as the means), ANdAL said towards kAma dhEvan (deity of love) – ‘pEsuvadhu onRu uNdu ingu emperumAn [nAchchiyAr thirumozhi – 1.8] (addressing kAma dhEvan: now there is something I need to convey to you, who is my swAmy/master (to bless me as one who gets to caress the lotus feet of krishNan)), and ‘unnaiyum umbiyaiyum thozhudhEn [nAchchiyAr thirumozhi 1.1]’ (addressing kAma dhEvan: worshiping you and your brother sAman (please make me do kainkaryam to thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn/SrInivAsa)), and ‘thozhudhu muppOdhumunnadi vaNangi [nAchchiyAr thirumozhi 1.9]’ (again addressing kAma dhEvan: three times a day I surrender to you completely and prostrate unto your feet ( and am expecting you to help me do kainkaryam to krishNan)), – and so she was thinking of kAma dhEvan himself as the main deity, thus crossing the other AzhvArs‘ limit of using other means for getting emperumAn!

pinjAyp pazhuththALai – That is, in the world when something ripens, as said in ‘palasya kAraNam pushpam’, it would have gone through the stages of flower, tender fruit, then unripe fruit, and after some days among these stages it becomes a ripe fruit, isn’t it? Unlike that, it is as if the tender fruit without becoming unripe fruit had become ripe fruit by itself, is how ANdAL’s ways are.

That is, instead of going through the stages of para bhakthi, para gyAnam, and parama bhakthi regarding devotion to emperumAn as said in ‘gyAnam kanindha nalam [rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi – 66] (~ knowledge ripening ultimately to parama bhakthi), when she was too young when typically knowledge would not be pronounced, that she ripened to reach parama bhakthi. That is, the natural bhakthi was present in her at that itself.

Like when she was five years old when usually knowledge is not pronounced, she compiled thiruppAvai.

If asking whether what someone who is five years old say would be significant, there are examples like nammAzhvAr’s ‘mulaiyO muzhu muRRum pOndhila [thiruviruththam – 60] (too young that she is not even having enough of breast to distinguish from that of a boy (etc., but she still has bhakthi toward emperumAn, and talks about thiruvEnkatam, etc.,)), and more such examples.

And the knowledge of being devoted to devotees which the other AzhvArs got at a last stage, she got it in the beginning stage itself. That is, in the padhigam (decad) of ‘nedumARkadimai [thiruvAimozhi 8.10]’, it explained the greatness of them (devotees) as ‘nanimAk kalavi inbamE nALum vAykka nangatkE [thiruvAimozhi 8.10.7](wish to get always the togetherness with your devotees), and as ‘thamargaL thamargaL thamargaLAm sathirE vAikka nangatkE [thiruvAimozhi 8.10.9], (~ wish to get the opportunity to serve the devotees of devotees of devotees of you), that is the sweetness of the view of being together with emperumAn’s devotees was talked about (by nammAzhvAr) ;

also (thirumangai) AzhvAr divined in the padhikam (decad) of ‘kaN sOra vengkuruthi [periya thirumozhi 7.4] he said ‘tha(va)N sERai emperumAnukku adiyAr thammaik kaNdu enakku idhu kANeer en nenjum kaNNiNaiyum kaLikkumARE [periya thirumozhi 7.4.6]’ (see here how my mind and my eyes are ecstatic after seeing the devotees of sAranAthap perumAL at the beautiful thiruchchERai dhivya dhESam), and ‘thaN sERai emperumAn thALai nALum sindhippArkku en uLLam thEn Uri eppozhudhum thiththikkumE 1’ (Regarding the devotees who meditate on the divine feet of sAranAthap perumAL at the comfortable thiruchchERai, my mind produces nectar and it is very sweet for me),

Not taking that long (in to the prabandham to talk about the devotees), she did it in the beginning (of her prabandham) itself like in ‘pOdhuveer pOdhuminO [thiruppAvai – 1]’ (said towards other gOpikAs (devotees): Oh you who are interested in bathing (krishNa anubhavam) please join), and ‘ellArum pOndhArO [thiruppAvai – 15]’ (Have all the ones (devotees) who have to join (for going to krishNan) have come? (always including devotees for worshiping emperumAn)).

ANdALai – Like in this way she being very matured (ripened), and having the greatness of the aforementioned qualities;

paththiyudan nALum vazhuththAi manamE magizhndhu – Like how she is having unblemished bhakthi towards bhagavAn, you (mind) have that bhakthi towards ANdAL and do mangaLASAsanam in the form of praise (sthuthi) every day – ‘gOdhA thasyai nama idhamidham bhUyayEvAsthu bhUya: [thiruppAvai thaniyan]’ (~ ANdAL who is immersed in kaNNan, my similar reverence be placed toward ANdAL having such greatness, till eternity ), and also involve with affection in ‘mangaiyum pallANdu [thiruppallANdu – 1]’. It is as said in ‘uRREn ugandhu paNi seidhu [thiruvAimozhi 10.8.10]’ (reached your divine feet and be able to do kainkaryam).

– – – – –

English Translation: raghurAm SrInivAsa dhAsan

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  1. 4.5

upadhESa raththina mAlai – 23

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pAsuram 23

periyAzhvAr peN piLLaiyAy ANdAL piRandha
thiruvAdip pUraththin seermai – oru nALaikku
uNdO manamE uNarndhu pAr ANdALukku
uNdAgil oppu itharkum uNdu                                       23


Word by word meaning

uNdO – Is there
seermai – greatness
oru nALaikku – in any other day (compared to)
thiru AdippUraththin – the beautiful Adi month pUram star day
ANdAL – (in which) sUdik koduththa nAchchiyAr
piRandha – divined her incarnation
periyAzhvAr – (as) periyAzhvAr’s
peN piLLaiyAy – divine daughter;
manamE, uNarndhu pAr – Oh mind! Analyze and become clear about this.
uNdAgil – if there is
oppu – an equal
ANdALukku – for sUdik koduththa nAchchiyAr, (then)
uNdu – there would be an equal day
itharkum – for this day too.


Now as in this way she incarnated, he (maNavALa mAmunigaL) divines the greatness of this star day through showing that there is no equal to this day, with ‘periyAzhvAr peN piLLaiyAy’.

It is the greatness of him (AzhvAr) who is the reason for her birth.

periyAzhwAr who was having the main kainkaryam of making flower garlands, found her (ANdAL) under a thiruththuzhAy (thuLasi) plant, and took her and gave her in the hands of his dhEviyAr (wife), and she was childless, she took this girl of someone else with a lot of affection; at that time, her breasts produced a lot of milk as said in ‘van mulaigaL sOrndhu pAya [periyAzhvAr thirumozhi 2.2.4]’ ((as yaSOdha saying to krishNan) my beautiful breasts due to my love for you are producing milk which is pouring out). It is usually only for the mothers who delivered their babies that the milk would produce when they have their children. So it talks about her being their girl child.

periyazhwar-andalperiyAzhvAr’s divine daughter ANdAL

ANdAL piRandha – This is one (great) birth of her having greatness. nAchchiyAr who has got the worlds {bhUdhEvi} has come and incarnated in this world.

piRandha – nAnum piRandhamai poy anRE [nAchchiyAr thirumozhi – 10.4]’ ((if chakkaravarththith thirumagan’s words are not truthful, then only) my birth would also be not truthful), is how she has talked (about her own birth).

The one who got (janakan) and the one who was born (sIthA pirAtti) also say ‘mE pithA, me suthA [SrI rAmAyaNam – bhAla kAndam 73.27]’ (my father, my daughter); in the same way periyAzhvAr too said ‘oru magaL thannai udaiyEn [periyAzhvAr thirumozhi – 3.8.4]’ (am having only one daughter (though this is said in a different context)), and his daughter ANdAL too said ‘pattar pirAn kOthai’ (periyAzhvAr’s daughter gOdhA (AndAL).

piRandha thiruvAdippUraththin seermai – Because of birth only the greatness is present for this day. When said there isn’t any other day that are mentioned till now that has got this greatness, then if there is a question as to why not, then,

manamE uNarndhu pAr Oh the mind which has got the ability to analyse well, instead of giving a cursory look, you think deeply again and again about this day.

ANdALukku uNdAgil oppu itharkum uNdu – It there is an equal to ANdAL who rules all the worlds, then there would be an equal to this day also.

About her it was said ‘avargaLilum kAttil vinjina kshamA dhayAdhi guNangaLaiyum nAvAl thogaikka oNNAdha azhagaiyum udaiyaLAy’ (~ having qualities such as forgiving and kind mind compared to those others, and having beauty that cannot be expressed in words) is how it is divined.

So the meaning is that like how there is no equal to her, there is no equal to her incarnation month and star day as well.

– – – – –

English Translation: raghurAm SrInivAsa dhAsan

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