srImathE satakOpAya nama:
srImathE rAmAnujAya nama:
srImath varavaramunayE nama:
In the 5th chUrNai, SrI rAmAnuja establishes the supreme being to whom one should surrender. He emphatically says that nArAyaNa is that supreme being . We have already seen that nArAyaNa is composed of two terms, nArA: (collection of various types of sentients and insentients) and ayana (dwelling place). He keeps the explanation for nArA: for the later phrases, and now explains about the svarUpam (basic nature) of paramAthmA (supreme being).
Since the chUrNai is very lengthy, we shall see it in several parts – first part would be till he describes svarUpam of bhagavAn. First let us go through the chUrNai in full:
akhilahEya prathyanIka kalyANaikathAna svEthara samastha vasthu vilakshaNa anantha gyAnAnandhaika svarUpa! svAbhimathAnurUpa EkarUpa achinthya dhivyAdhbhutha nithya niravadhya nirathiSaya oujjwalya saundharya saugandhya saukumArya lAvaNya yauvanAdhyanantha guNanidhi dhivyarUpa! svAbhAvikAnavadhikAthiSaya gyAnabalaiSvarya vIryaSakthithAEja: sauSeelya vAthsalya mArdhdhavArjava sauhArthdha sAmya kAruNya mAdhurya gAmbhIrya oudhArya chAthurya sthairya dhairya Saurya parAkrama sathyakAma sathyasankalpa kruthithva kruthagyAthyasankhyEya kalyANagunAgaNaugha mahArNava! svOchitha vividha vichithrAnandhAScharya nithya niravadhya nirathiSaya sugandha nirathiSayasukhasparSa nirathiSaya oujjwalya kirIta makuta chUdAvathamsa makarakuNdala graivEyaka hAra kEyUra kataka SrIvathsa kausthubha mukthAdhAma udharabandhana pIthAmbara kAnchIguNa nUpurAdhyaparimitha dhivya bhUshaNa! svAnurUpAchinthya Sakthi Sankha chakra gadhA (asi) sArngaAdhyasankhyEya nithya niravadhya nirathiSaya kalyANa dhivyAyudha! svAbhimatha nithya niravadhyAnurUpa svarUpa rUpa guNa vibhavaiSvarya SeelAdhyanavadhikAthiSaya asankhyEya kalyANaguNagaNa SrIvallabha! EvambhUtha bhUmi neeLAnAyaka! svachchandhAnuvarthi svarUpasthithi pravruthi bhEdha aSEsha SEshathaikarathirUpa nithya niravadhya nirathiSaya gyAnakriyaiSvaryAdhyanantha kalyANa guNagaNa Sesha SEshASana garuda pramukha nAnAvidhAnantha parijana parichArikA paricharitha charaNayugala! paramayOgi vAngmanasA parichchEdhya svarUpa svabhAva svAbhimatha vividha vichthrAnantha bhOgya bhOgOpakaraNa bhOgasthAna samrudhdha ananthAScharya anantha mahAvibhava anantha parimANa nithya niravadhya nirathiSaya vaikuNtanAtha! svasankalpa anuvidhAyi svarUpasthithi pravruthi svaSeshathaika svabhAva prakruthi purusha kAlAthmaka vividha vichthrAnantha bhOgya bhOkthruvarga bhOgOpakaraNa bhOgasthAnarUpa nikhila jagadhudhaya vibhava laya leela! sathyakAma! sathyasankalpa! parabrahmabhUtha! purushOththama! mahAvibhUthE! SrIman! nArAyaNa! SrIvaikuNtanAtha! apArakAruNya sauSeelya vAthsalya oudhArya aiSvarya soundarya mahOdhadhE! anAlOchitha viSEsha aSEshalOka SaraNya! praNathArthihara! ASritha vAthsalyaika jaladhE! anavaratha vidhitha nikhila bhUtha jAtha yAthAthmya! aSEsha charAcharabhUtha nikhila niyamana niratha! aSEsha chidhachidhvasthu SEshibhUtha! nikhila jagadhAdhAra! akhila jagath swAmin! asmath swAmin! sathyakAma! sathyasankalpa! sakalEthara vilakshaNa! arthikalpaka! Apathsaka! SrIman! nArAyaNa! aSaraNyaSaraNya! ananya SaraNa: thvath pAdhAravindha yugalam SaraNam aham prapadhyE I
Word by Word meaning:
akhilahEya – all that is faulty
prathyanIka – exactly opposite of
kalyANaikathAna – having only auspicious qualities
svEthara – other than self
samastha – all
vasthu – things (entities)
vilakshaNa – superior
anantha – without an end
gyAna – knowledge
Anandhaika – full of happiness
svarUpa – basic nature
svAbimatha – appropriate
anurUpa – likeable physical form
EkarUpa – one physical form
achinthya – can not be thought of
dhivya – divine
adhbhutha – wondrous
nithya – permanent
niravadhya – without fault
nirathiSaya – without comparison
oujjwalya – very bright
soundarya – beauty in parts
saugandhya – sweet smell
saukumArya – soft
lAvaNya – beauty as a whole
yauvana – youthful
Adhi – starting with
anantha – without end
guNa – quality
nidhi – treasure
dhivyarUpa – divine form
svAbhAvika – natural
anavadhika – without boundary; many
athiSaya – wondrous
gyAna – knowledge
bala – strength
aiSvarya – ability to control or direct
vIrya – not tiring
Sakthi – energy
thEjas – radiance
sauSeelya – not concerned about difference in levels (when compared with others); treating them as equals
vAthsalya – with a mother’s affection (just as a cow shows towards its calf)
mArdhava – soft in heart
Arjava – honest
sauhArdha – good-hearted
sAmya – equal
kAruNya – mercy
mAdhurya – kind
gAmbhIrya – deep
audhArya – generous in nature
chAthurya – clever
sthairya – firm
dhairya – courage
Saurya – defeating enemies
parAkrama – not tiring
sathyakAma – having likeable qualities
sathyasankalpa – ability to create at will
kruthithva – doing
kruthagyAtha – thankful
asankhyEya – countless
kalyANa – auspicious
guNa – qualities
gaNaugha – collection of
mahArNava – huge ocean
svOchitha – appropriate to self
vividha – of many types
vichithra – many kinds within a particular type
ananthAScharya – wondrous without an end
nithya – always
niravadhya – without fault
nirathiSaya sugandha – emitting wondrous sweet smell
nirathiSaya sukhasparSa – wondrously soft on emperumAn’s body
nirathiSaya oujjwalya – emitting wondrous radiance
kirIta – circumferential ornament on head
makuta – worn over kirItam like a crown
chUda – worn over forehead
avathamsa – worn over ears
makara – like a fish
kuNdala – ear rings
graivEyaka – neck band
hAra – chain
kEyUra – worn over shoulder
kataka – like a bangle on forearm
Srivathsa – mole like
kausthubha – central gem stone
mukthAdhAma – ornaments made of pearl
udharabandhana – worn between waist and stomach
pIthAmbara – yellow cloth
kAnchIguNa – waist cord
nUpura – anklet
Adhi – many like these
aparimitha – countless
dhivyabhUshaNa – divine ornaments
svaAnurUpa – suited to self
achinthya – beyond thought
Sakthi – powerful
Sankha – conch
gadhA – mace
aSi – sword
SArnga – bow
Adhi – many weapons like these
aSankhyEya – countless
nithya – permanent
niravadhya – faultless
nirathiSaya – wondrous
kalyANa – auspicious
dhivyAyudha – divine weapons
svAbhimatha – to his liking
nithya niravadhya – permanent, without any fault
anurUpa – of similar physical beauty
svarUpa – basic characteristic
rUpa – physical form
guNa – quality
vibhava – wealth
aiSvarya – control or direct others
Seela – superior person mixing with an inferior person without discrimination
Adhi – many such qualities
anavadhika – never reducing
adhiSaya – wondrous
asankhyEya – countless
kalyANa – auspicious
guNa gaNa – hordes of qualities
SrI – mahAlakshmi – pirAtti
vallabhA – dear to; loving
Evam bhUtha – of similar qualities
bhUmI neeLA nAyaka – Lord (husband) of bhUdhEvi and neelAdhEvi
Since the chUrNai is very long, we shall look at the word by word meaning for the remaining portion of the chUrNai in the next parts.
akhilahEya – shortcoming or fault. For all other types of beings, there is some fault or the other. In the case of achith (insentient) the fault is that it keeps changing (transforming) constantly. For badhdhAthmA (people still bound in samsAram or materialistic realm), the fault is that once it takes a physical form (the body) it experiences sorrow and happiness constantly based on its pApa (bad deeds) and puNya (good deeds) in previous births. For mukthAthmAs (those who have reached SrIvaikuNtam after getting liberated from samsAram) the fault is that till they became mukthAthmA, they were also in samsAram experiencing sorrow and happiness constantly. For nithyAthmAs (eternal residents of paramapadham such as ananthan, vishvaksEnar, garudan and others) the fault is that they did not get the good characteristics that they possess on their own, but due to the causeless mercy of bhagavAn; i.e. they are not svathanthrars (ability to stand on their own). Only for paramAthmA (bhagavAn) there is no shortcoming or fault.
prathyanIka – exact opposite of; i.e. bhagavAn is the exact opposite of all that is faulty. In other words, he is free from any shortcoming or fault.
kalyANaikathAna – the only dwelling place for all auspicious qualities. bhagavAn is not only devoid of all that is faulty or bad, but is also the epitome of all that is good.
svEthara samastha vasthu vilakshaNa – compared to all other beings (sentient and insentient) he is superior . This can be taken as a corollary for being with all auspicious qualities and without any faulty quality.
anantha – one without an end. We are all limited by place, time and physical being; i.e. we can exist in only one place, we can exist for only a specific period of time, say 100 years or 120 years but not for ever and we can exist in only one body (physical being). But bhagavAn is not limited by these. He can be at all places at the same time, exist for ever and exist in more than one body. Since we all dwell in him, he is present everywhere and in all bodies. Even when there is a deluge (pralayam) he alone exists. Thus, he is called as ananthan.
gyAna Anandhaika svarUpa – bhagavAn doesn’t need another source of light to show him up. This of course is true of AthmAs too. This is called as svayamprakASathvam. bhagavAn is full of gyAna (knowledge) which results in Anandham (happiness). Thus gyAnam and Anandham are his svarUpam (characteristics). Thus far, SrI rAmAnuja has been extolling about the svarUpam of bhagavAn. Now he goes on to his rUpam (thirumENi or physical being). Unlike our physical bodies which are made of five elements (cosmos, air, fire, water and earth), bhagavAn’s thirumEni is made of shakthis and five upanishads.
svAbhimatha – appropriate to his qualities. His rUpam is brighter than the qualities of his svarUpam mentioned earlier and is dear to him. Hence, before mentioning about the qualities of his rUpam, he describes the vigraham (bhagavAn‘s thirumEni, his physical form or body). As mentioned in vishnU purAnam (one of the 18 purANas) by parAsara maharishi, this is the thirumEni which he takes based on his desire. He likes this form of his very much. In order to correct the jIvAthmAs, if every other method of his fails, finally he displays his thirumEni and brings them to his path.
anurUpa – his physical body very vividly complements his svarUpam (which we have seen already). In our case, our AthmA is also full of knowledge (gyAna) and happiness (Anandha). But our physical body hides these characteristics of AthmA while in the case of bhagavAn, his physical form adds glory to his characteristics.
EkarUpa – only one rUpam (physical form). We also have only one body in our lives. Then what is this EkarUpam of bhagavAn? Our body undergoes 6 different transformations through its life – it forms, it is born, it changes, it grows, it weakens and one day it goes. This is called as shat vidha bhAvam (6 different types of forms). In the case of bhagavAn, there are no such transformations. He has one body and that is it.
achinthya – beyond our ability to hold him in our minds. We would have been seeing his thirumEni for an hour inside the temple, but once we reach home and try to recollect what dress he was wearing, or what coloured flower decorated him or what different types of jewels he wore, we would not be able to recall all of them correctly.
dhivya – Even if we make lot of efforts, we can not find an equivalent to him. He is called as aprAkrutham (extraordinary). Our physical form is called as prAkrutham (natural) which is composed of 5 different elements while his is not composed of these elements.
adhbhutha – keeps changing constantly. Only a few words back we saw that he is EkarUpan (immutable) and doesn’t change at all. How is it that we are now saying that he keeps changing? Here what is meant as adhbhutha is that even though we have been seeing the same vigraha (idol) of bhagavAn in the temple every day, we do not tire of seeing him, because he appears different each day. His jewels change places; the way he dresses changes; his garlands are different. Thus he is not the same as what he was the previous day or previous week. Every moment he appears different and in each of these forms, he appears wondrous.
nithya niravadhya – avadhya means fault. niravadhya means not having any fault. nithya niravadhya means not having any fault at any point of time. i.e. permanently without any fault. He does not consider that his body is for himself. It is there only for the sake of his bhakthas (persons devoted to him). This is another meaning of niravadhya.
nirathiSaya oujjwalya – oujjwalya means complete brightness. His brightness is such that even the brightest of objects in the universe would appear dark when compared to the brightness of his physical form. Up to now, SrI rAmAnuja has been describing his physical form. Now he starts describing the qualities of his physical form.
soundharya – beauty of individual parts of the body. When the body as a whole looks beautiful from a distance, it may appear when it comes nearer that some parts are not that beautiful and they may be little bit more beautiful to attain perfection. In bhagavAn‘s case, the individual parts of the body appear perfectly beautiful.
saugandhya – very sweet smell. Also the ability to give good smell to other things.
saukumArya – very soft. His body is so soft that if his nAchimArs (consorts) even look at him, that part of the body will turn red; it is that soft.
lAvaNya – overall beauty of the form. Compare this with soundharya, earlier in the series of qualities above. While soundarya reveals the beauty of each part, lAvaNya gives the beauty of the entire form. Our eyes may not be able to look at each part of his body and appreciate its beauty in its lifetime; hence he also has the quality of lAvaNya, by which the eye can absorb the entire beauty of his form.
yauvana – Refers to his youthful state. He always remains in this state despite passing of years. He does not age at all.
Adhi – Starting from these qualities (stated above), there are many more such qualities.
anantha guNa nidhi – Treasure of such countless good qualities.
dhivya rUpa – His form which is in srIvaikuNtam, is present in leelA vibhUthi (our world, the materialistic realm) in a non-containable way.
Up to now we have seen his svarUpam and rUpam and qualities of his rUpam. Next we shall move on to his svarUpa guNas, his consorts, nithya sUris, srIvaikuNtam, leelA vibhUthi etc which form the nArA: part of his name nArAyaNa, in the second part of the 5th chUrNai.
Translation by krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan.
archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org
pramEyam (goal) – http://koyil.org
pramANam (scriptures) – http://srivaishnavagranthams.wordpress.com
pramAthA (preceptors) – http://guruparamparai.wordpress.com
srIvaishNava education/kids portal – http://pillai.koyil.org