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upadhESa raththina mAlai – 54

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pAsuram 54

munnam kuravOr mozhindha vachanangaL
thannai migak koNdu kaRROr thammuyirkku – minnaNiyAch
chErach chamaiththavarE seer vachana bhUdaNamen(num)
pEr ikkalaikku ittAr pin.                                                                         54


Word by word meaning

vachanangaL thannai – Those words
mozhindha – divined (by)
kuravOr – preceptors (pUrvAchAryas)
munnam – earlier,
koNdu – (piLLai lOkAchAryar) combined (those words)
miga – in special ways,
min – as a bright
aNiya – ornament
samaiththu – made
chEra – together
uyirkku – for AthmA of
kaRROr tham – those who learned and understood;
avarE – that piLLai lOkAchAryar himself
pin – later
ittAr – gave
pEr – a divine name
ikkalaikku – for this mahA sAsthram
en – as
seer – great
vachana bhUdaNam – SrI vachana bhUshaNam.


He (maNavALa mAmunigaL) is divining how he (piLLai lOkAchAryar) named it himself who authored such distinguished rahasya prabandham – starting this prabandham with ‘munnam kuravOr’.

That is, previously those earlier to piLLai lOkAchAryar, the pUrvAchAryas who are our heads, had divined the dhivya sUkthis as advise for all the AthmAs – according to his accepted faith in them that he published his rahasya grantham and spread their words.

mozhindha vachanangaL – their divine words for everyone to know; (explanation for this being plural) – as they are many such persons (whom we have faith in), their divine words are also many in number.

vachanangaL thannai migak koNdu – As said in ‘dharmagyasamaya: pramANam | vEdhAscha [Apasthamba Suthram 1.1.1,2,3]’ (main reference (pramANam) is of the way of those who know dharma; vEdham is also a reference), even though there are other references, since those preceptors are fully involved in them, their dhivya sUkthis being the best manthras is what he (piLLai lOkAchAryar) took as main reference, and authored this grantham filled with their divine words.

Like how those constructing an ornament would first collect all the gems and then construct it, he too is constructing vachana bhUshaNam as he collected preceptors’ divine words that are full of meanings.

As said in ‘suvyAhruthAni mahathAm sukruthAni thathasthatha: | sanchinvan dhIra AsItha silAhAree silam yathA [bhAratham udhyOka parvam – 34.31]’ (~ he is like one who collects all good deeds said by noble elders) .

If asked, in this way for whom is he doing this using their words –

kaRROr tham uyirkku – to give honours to the learned. That is, in the presence of AchAryas who aim for our wellness, for the nature of those who learned everything that is to be learned from those AchAryas; it is to be said ‘nin thiruvettezhuththum kaRRu [periya thirumozhi – 8.10.3]’ (learned from understanding the meaning of thiruvashtAksharam (manthram of eight words), and ‘aRiyak kaRRu vallAr [thiruvAimozhi – 5.5.11]’ (those who learned with understanding of meanings).

min aNiyAAs an ornament that is having light that can brighten the true nature of such learned people.

uyirkku min aNiyA – Among those who make ornaments for the transient body, he made this ornament for the AthmA, isn’t it?

uyirukku min aNiyA – It is like a kausthubha for a kausthubha (celebrated jewel). It is being ‘vaikuNta priya kaNta bhUshaNa [SrI vachana bhUshaNam thaniyan].

min aNiyA chEra samaiththavarE – making it come together as a glittering jewel; making it come together to match the true nature of AthmA.

He who formed together with the sayings of the earlier AchAryas, is the one (who named that grantham).

samaikka is to mean – to make. That is how their clan’s words are, like in ‘Aranjamaikka’.

samaiththavarE seer vachana bhUdaNam ennum pEr ikkalaikku ittAr pin – That is, like how one who puts together an ornament would name it, he who authored the collection of their words as an ornament of words, that piLLai lOkAchAryar himself gave a best name to his prabandham, as SrI vachana bhUshaNam.

pin – After putting together the prabandham. After divining those rahasyams.

avarE pEr ittArLike said in ‘pithA purthrasya nAmakuryAth (Father should give name to his son), like how his father gave the best name for him, he who is like a mother who gave birth to this grantham too gave a very special name to it. Through this prabandham only his dynasty of knowledge is progressing without any break.

pillailokacharyar-nayanarTwo best names – piLLai lOkAchAryar, his brother azhagiya maNavALap perumAL nAyanAr

vachana bhUdaNam enn(um) pEr – jIyar himself divined his divining in the beginning of the vyAkyAnam for SrI vachana bhUshaNam as – ‘like how an ornament made of gems is called ornament of gems (rathna bhUshaNam), this being full of words of AchAryas and gives enlightenment to those who use it, this got the divine name of vachana bhUshaNam’.

vachana bhUdanam en(num) pEr ikkalaikku ittAr pin – For this splendid SAsthram, he gave a name that is splendid. Like how when an expert (mukam aRindhavan) puts together a pearl necklace, those who know its greatness would rejoice saying ‘wow the way this is looking!’, this rahasya prabandham is also attractive to his mind since it is having formation of divine words, as said in ‘vAngmaNisara graivEyabhUshAthmakam’ (being an ornament for the neck, made of words and gems).

– – – – – – – – – –

Translation: raghurAm SrInivAsa dhAsan

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SaraNAgathi gadhyam – 16th chUrNai

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avathArikai (Introduction)

bhagavadh SrI rAmAnuja had asked for granting him kainkaryam (performing service) through parabhakthi, paragyAna and paramabhakthi in the 2nd chUrNai itself. By asking for it here (in this chUrNai) again, will he not commit the fault of repeating what he had said once? asks the vyAkyAtha (one who wrote the commentary for the original text), periyavAchchAn piLLai. Earlier (in the 2nd chUrNai), he had requested pirAtti to grant him the taste for kainkaryam (kainkarya ruchi) through parabhakthi etc, just prior to surrendering himself to pirAtti. He had talked about the swarUpam of kainkaryam there. Here he is praying for kainkaryam itself from bhagavAn after surrendering to him. Hence there is no fault here for repeating something that he had mentioned earlier, says periyavAchchAn piLLai..

Let us look at the chUrNai.

parabhakthi paragyAna paramabhakthikrutha – paripUrNAvaratha – nithya
viSadhathama – ananyaprayOjana – anavadhikAthiSaya priya
bhagavadhabhavOham thathAvidha bhagavadhanubhava janitha
– anavadhikAthiSaya preethikAritha – aSEshAvasthOchitha – aSEsha
SEshathaikarathirUpa – nithya kinkarO bhavAni II

Word-by-Word meaning

parabhakthi – knowledge about bhagavAn
paragyAna – ability to have sAkshAthkAram of bhagavAn (ability to see bhagavAn as if he is right if front of us)
paramabhakthi – attain bhagavan
krutha – being carried out
paripUrNa – completely
anavaratha – without any break
nithya – always
viSadhathama – enjoying in the state of paramabhakthi
ananyaprayOjana – without any other benefit
anavadhika – without any boundary
athiSaya – wondrous or very exalted
priya – loving
bhagavadh anubhava – experience bhagavAn
aham – I
thathAvidha – like that
bhagavadh anubhava janitha – that which is obtained because of experiencing bhagavAn
preethi kAritha – resulting in joy
aSEsha – without leaving anything
avasthOchitha – proper situation
aSEsha – without leaving anything
SEshathaika –  only as servitor
rathi – desire
rUpa – form
nithya – for ever
kinkara: – to be a servitor
bhavAni – to be

Explanatory Notes:

parabhakthi paragyAna paramabhakthikrutha – parabhakthi – knowledge about bhagavAn, paragyAna – ability to have sAkshAthkAram of bhagavAn (ability to see bhagavAn as if he is right if front of us), paramabhakthi – attain bhagavan; krutha – being carried out. SrI rAmAnuja talks about the unbounded happiness that he gets out of carrying out kainkaryam to bhagavAn, based on parabhakthi, paragyAna and paramabhakthi.

paripUrNa – enjoying bhagavAn‘s svarUpa (basic nature), rUpa (physical form), guNa (auspicous qualities), vibhUthi (wealth) etc, completely

anavaratha – without any break; i.e. not diluted with anything other than bhagavAn. When we are thinking of bhagavAn, the entire thought process should be fully focused on bhagavAn alone and not on other things also.

nithya – always; until the AthmA is there (in other words for ever, since AthmA is indestructible).

viSadhathama – viSadha is enjoying in the state of parabhakthi; viSadhathara is enjoying in the state of paragyAna; viSadhathama is enjoying in the state of paramabhakthi. Enjoying what? Enjoying the svarUpa (true nature), rUpa (form), guNa (qualities), vibhUthi (wealth) etc of bhagavAn. When it is in the state of paramabhakthi, the enjoyment is complete, says periyavAchchAn piLLai.

ananyaprayOjana – without any other benefit; even the benefit of getting love or affection by the enjoyable experience is not required; and, the desire to carry out kainkaryam as a result of the love is also not required. The mere experience of enjoying bhagavAn‘s svarUpam, rUpam, guNam and vibhUthi is supreme and is enough.

anavadhikAthiSaya priya bhagavadhanubhavOhamanavadhika – without any boundary; athiSaya – wondrous or very exalted; priya – loving; bhagavadh anubhava – experience bhagavAn; aham – I. SrI rAmAnuja is praying for getting the experience of bhagavAn which is unbounded, supremely exalted and very dear. What will happen once he gets this experience?

thathAvidha bhagavadhanubhava janitha preethikArithASEshAvaschthOchithathathAvidha – like that; bhagavadh anubhava janitha – that which is obtained because of experiencing bhagavAn; preethi kAritha – resulting in joy; aSEsha – without leaving anything; avasthOchitha – proper situation. Extreme joy is obtained because of the bhagavadh anubhavam. What can be done with this joy?

aSEsha SEshathaikarathirUpa – aSEsha – without leaving anything; SEshathaika –  only as servitor; rathi – desire; rUpa – form. The joy leads to a strong desire to carry out kainkaryam (service to bhagavAn).

nithyakinkarO bhavAni – nithya – for ever; kinkara: – to be a servitor; bhavAni – to be. bhagavadh rAmAnuja prays to bhagavAn to make him as a servitor for ever. To get to this state, he asked for parabhakthi, paragyANa, paramabhakthi, and then preethi (loving devotion), and out of preethi, carry out kainkaryam. And he wants this kainkaryam in all states, without leaving anything.

With this, he has put forward to bhagavAn whatever he wanted bhagavAn to give him. Now namperumAL starts his response, which we shall see in the 17th chUrNai.

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Translation by krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan.

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upadhESa raththina mAlai – 53

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pAsuram 53

anna pugazh mudumbai aNNal ulagAsiriyan
innaruLAl seydha kalai yAvaiyilum – unnil
thigazh vachana bhUdaNaththin seermai onRukkillai
pugazhalla ivvArththai mey ippOdhu.                                               53


Word by word meaning

pugazh – Having greatness
anna – of such nature,
mudumbai – the chief of the city called mudumbai
aNNal – the most auspicious swami
ulagAsiriyan(piLLai) lOkAchAryar, (he)
seydha – divined, (out of his)
ini – sweet
aruLAl – grace, (many)
kalai – granthams / SAsthrams;
yAvaiyilum – among all of them,
unnil – if thought through,
seermai – the greatness of
thigazh – the shining
vachanabhUdanaththin – SrI vachana bhUshaNa mahA SAsthram
illai – is not present at all
onRukku – in other SAsthrams;
ippOdhu – now
ivvArththai – this statement that I say
pugazh alla – is not a flattery
mey – but it is sathyam (the truth) only.


In the beginning of this prabandham, he (maNavALa mAmunigaL) had divined about ‘thAzhvAdhumil kuravar [upadhESa raththinamAlai – 3]’, and ‘avargaL uraiththavaigaL [upadhESa raththinamAlai – 3]’, and divined as explanation of that in the pAsuram ‘avargaL seydha viyAkkiyaigaL uLLadhellAm [upadhESa raththinamAlai – 34];

the remaining is talking about piLLai lOkAchAryar’s greatness, and the greatness of what he divined – that is, as said in ‘vakuLa bhUshaNa SAsthra sAram’, and ‘SAngAkhila dhravida samskritha rUpa vEdha sArArtha sangraham [SrIvachana bhUshanam thaniyan]’ (summary of meaning of essence of thamizh and samskritha vEdhams), SrIvachana bhUshaNam reflects the meanings of thiruvAimozhi and other aruLichcheyal (dhivya prabandhams), and it includes the meanings of these aruLichcheyal, and is divined by him (piLLai lOkAchAryar) who is of greatness of being an incarnation of emperumAn and so gives the idea that these are the opinions of emperumAn himself, is giving the meaning of dhvayam in the order of its words, is having the culmination as charama parva nishtai (subservience to AchAryan) so having that as its head, and because of that it is being incomparable;

so as he (maNavALa mAmunigaL) sets out to divine in many ways about the greatness of the aforementioned, in this pAsuram, he divines that – in this way who is known popularly in this world as (piLLai) lOkAchAryar, for the world to reach true goal, out of his kindness divined many rahasya prabandhams, out of which SrIvachana bhUshaNam is of greatness, with this pAsuram as ‘anna pugazh mudumbai aNNal ulagAsiriyan’.

As said in ‘thasya nAma mahadhyasa: [thaiththirIyam ambasya praSNam]’ (name of that is grand greatness), he who is having countless honour based on his divine name, being chief of the city named mudumbi, as said in ‘mudumbai iRaivan [SrIvachana bhUshaNam thaniyan]’, – is (piLLai) lOkAchAryar.

Or, can say as ‘mudumbai ulagAsiriyanAna aNNal’ (lOkAchAryar of mudumbai who is the most auspicious/generous person); mudumbai – name of his clan. Like saying ‘eeyuNNi mAdhavar [upadhEsa raththina mAlai – 48]’ in earlier pAsuram, saying him as mudumbai ulagAsiriyan here. Anything related to a noble person also would be of great value isn’t it?

ulagAsiriyan innaruLAl seydha kalai yAvaiyilum – It is by his grace without any reason as means, and without anyone requesting, that he divined all the (rahasya) prabandhams, isn’t it? It is due to him being ‘aNNal’ (most auspicious/generous person), that he was authoring these due to his sweet kindness, isn’t it?

piLLai_lOkAchAryarpiLLai lOkAchAryar

Since they (what he authored) are many, the pAsuram says yAvaiyilum.

unnil – if researched well and proved,

yAvaiyilumamong the eighteen rahasya prabandhams that he divined, not one of them is –

thigazh vachana bhUdanaththin seermai onRukku illai – of equal greatness compared to the most radiant SrIvachana bhUshaNam.

Though there are many of them, would there be any one of them that can equal the greatness of this which is complete in its message/meanings?

That is, more than the words of sages regarding jeeva/paramAthma SAsthrams, more than the aruLichcheyal (dhivya prabandhams) of AzhvArs who got unblemished knowledge (mayarvaRa mathinalam [thiruvAimozhi 1.1.1]), even more than the commentaries of aruLichcheyal by AchAryas who got the grace of AzhvArs, above the divine rahasya prabandhams that are like manthras which he (piLLai lOkAchAryar) authored by the grace of AchAryas

having significance of wonderful meanings compared to those others, and as said in ‘ithihAsa SrEshta [SrIvachana bhUshaNam – 5]’ etc., (talks about significance of SrI rAmAyaNam and mahA bhAratham), it shines light on meanings of such earlier ones and also related ones; it is having that greatness, so it is apt to say that SrI vachana bhUshaNam is being significant compared to others. Isn’t that why he divined it unparalleled?

Compared to Acharyas‘ dhivya sUkthis, his prabandhams are significant – because we are having to understand the meanings of those using his prabandhams only.

pugazhala ivvArththai – Like said in ‘pugazhvillai [thiruvAimozhi 8.4.9]’ (not a sugary praise (but true that everything is under your control)), praising this prabandham (SrI vachana bhUshaNam) is not just words of praise;

mey ippOdhu – Now these words that are showing proved about the greatness of the matter of this prabandham, are the truth only.

Since he is ‘poy ilAdha maNavALa mAmuni [maNavALa mAmunigaL vAzhi thirunAmam]’ (~ not having falsities), he is divining with oath that this is the truth as mey ippOdhu’, as part of his faith in these words.

vachana bhUdanaththin seermai onRukkillai – (none are having the greatness of SrI vachana bhUshaNam) – this is ‘mey’ (true) – Like saying ‘sathyam sathyam’ [vEdha vyAsa’s declaration] (It is truth and truth only that there is no scripture greater than the vEdhas and no god superior to kESavan (emperumAn))).

So it is shown that he (piLLai lOkAchAryar) authored many granthams, and that among them SrI vachana bhUshaNam is of unparalleled greatness.

– – – – – – – – – –

Translation: raghurAm SrInivAsa dhAsan

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SaraNAgathi gadhyam – 14th & 15th chUrNais

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14th and 15th chUrNais are short ones and hence we shall see them together, First, the 14th chUrNai:

avathArikai (Introduction)

In the earlier chUrNai, SrI rAmAnuja prayed for gyAna, which is the prerequisite for parabhakthi, paragyAna and paramabhakthi. In this chUrNai, he is praying for  parabhakthi, paragyAna and paramabhakthi which are the prerequisites for kainkaryam (carrying out service to bhagavAn).


purushas sa para: pArtha bhakthyA labhyas thvananyayA
bhakthyA thvananyayA Sakya: madhbhakthim labhathE parAm
 – ithi sthAnanathrayOdhitha parabhakthi yuktham mAm kurushva II

Word-by-Word meaning

pArtha – arjun!
sa – that
para: purusha – the highest among the purushas
bhakthyA – through devotion
thu – only
labhya: – can be attained
ananyayA – not by any other means
bhakthyA – through devotion
thu – only
ananyayA – not by other means
Sakya: – possible
madh – my
bhakthim – devotee
labhathE – attains
parAm – highest
ithi – this
sthAna – place
thraya – three
udhitha – said
parabhakthi – high level of devotion
yuktham – to be with
mAm – me
kurushva – make
parabhakthi – to know about bhagavAn
paragyAna – to envision bhagavAn
paramabhakthi – to attain bhagavAn
Eka – only
svabhAvam – basic nature
mAm – me
kurushva – make

Explanatory Notes

Here too, bhagavadh SrI rAmAnuja quotes from 3 SlOkas (verses) of bhagavadh gIthA, but taken from different Chapters. The first line is taken from the 22nd SlOka of 8th Chapter, the 1st half of second line from 54th SlOka of 11th Chapter and the second half from the 54th SlOka of 18th Chapter. Let us look at the meanings of these verses:

purushas sa para: pArtha bhakthyA labhyas thvananyayA: pArtha – arjun!  sa – that; para: purusha – the highest among the purushas (we have seen the meanings of these words in earlier chUrNais, there are 5 different types of purushas, the achith (apurusha), badhdhAthmA, the mukthAthmA, the nithyAthmA and bhagavAn, who is purushOththama); bhakthyA – through devotion; thu – only; labhya: – can be attained; ananyayA – not by any other means. SrI krishNa tells arjun that the supreme being can be attained only through bhakthi and through no other means.

bhakthyA thvananyayA Sakya:bhakthyA – through devotion; thu – only; ananyayA – not by other means; Sakya: – possible.

madh bhakthim labhathE parAmmadh – my; bhakthim – devotee; labhathE – attains; parAm – highest.

SrI krishNa further says that it is only through bhakthi (devotion) and not by any other means does my devotee attain the highest position.

ithi sthAnathryOdhitha parabhakthi yuktham mAm kurushva –  ithi – this; sthAna – place; thraya – three; udhitha – said; parabhakthi – high level of devotion; yuktham – to be with; mAm – me; kurushva – make. SrI rAmAnuja now pleads with bhagavAn to make him as one who has parabhakthi, paragyAna, paramabhakthi  just as he had mentioned of his devotee in 3 different places (in 8th, 11th and 18th Chapters) of the bhagavadh gIthA.

Let us now move on to the 15th chUrNai.

parabhakthi paragyAna paramabhakthyEka svabhAvam mAm kurushva II

parabhakthi paragyAna paramabhakthyEka svabhAvam mAm kurushva – parabhakthi – to know about bhagavAn; paragyAna – to envision bhagavAn; paramabhakthi – to attain bhagavAn; Eka – only; svabhAvam – basic nature; mAm – me; kurushva – make. While SrI rAmAnuja had already prayed for being  granted parabhakthi, paragyAna and paramabhakthi, here he wants these three to be part of his svabhAvam (nature). It should be clearly understood here that he is asking for these three levels of bhakthi as a prerequisite for carrying out kainkaryam and not as upAyam (path to attain mOksham). One may wonder as to why he is asking for all three when paramabhakthi alone would be enough to carry out kainkaryam in SrIvaikuNtam. Let us look at it this way. We have food every day. The quality of food as prepared in the house would be  almost the same. The type of food is also almost the same. But every day before we sit down to eat, there is an expectation as to what is going to be served today, even though we know what would be as we have been eating for ages. Why do we have this feeling of expectation? It is because of the change in the type of hunger that we have each day. First we imagine what the food prepared for the day would be; then we see the actual food when we sit and are served food; the third is the pleasure that we get after partaking of the food. Every day all these three ingredients, the imagination, the actual seeing and the feeling of satisfaction after eating, are there in us. And we need all three to enjoy the food served. Now let us look at what happens (or will happen) in SrIvaikuNtam. Here bhagavAn, who is simile for food, is  not constant like food, but keeps changing. One day he will give dharshan (view) like varAha, one day like vAmana, one day like nrusimha, et al (varAha, vAmana, nrusimha are all various avathArams (incarnations) of bhagavAn on earth). And the expectation from nithyAthmAs and mukthAthmAs will be very high to know how bhagavAn would show himself up each day. Thus it is not enough to have only paramabhakthi, but it is equally important to have parabhakthi and paramagyAna to fully appreciate bhagavAn’s various forms and do kainkaryam to each of these [Thanks to vELukkudi SrI krishNan swAmy for explaining this lucidly in his upanyAsam on gadhya thrayam].

We shall now move on to the 16th chUrNai, which is the last chUrNai in which bhagavadh SrI rAmAnuja speaks to SrI ranganAtha. After that, from 17th chUrNai, till the 23rd chUrNai, it is only bhagavAn who speaks and SrI rAmAnuja only listens. It will be a wonderful experience to know what bhagavAn tells SrI rAmAnuja.

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Translation by krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan.

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upadhESa raththina mAlai – 52

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pAsuram 52

pinnai vadakkuth thiruveedhip piLLai anbAl
anna thirunAmaththai Adhariththu – mannu pugazh
maindharkkuch chARRugaiyAl vandhu parandhadhu engum
indhath thirunAmam ingu.                           52


Word by word meaning

pinnai – later
vadakkuth thiruveedhip piLLAi vadakkuth thiruveedhip piLLAi who is nampiLLai’s disciple
anbAl – due to affection (towards his AchAryan)
Adhariththu – liked
anna – such
thirunAmaththai – divine name,
chARRugaiyAl – gave that name
myndharkku – to his divine son
mannu – of ever present
pugazh – greatness,
indha thirunAmam – (so) this divine name that is (piLLai) lOkAchAryar
vandhu – came about in this manner,
parandhadhu – spreading
engum – in all places
ingu – in this world.


Now he (maNavALa mAmunigaL) is divining his showing that such is the reason for the divine name lOkAchAryar to spread everywhere in the world, starting the pAsuram with ‘pinnai’.

That is – during that time when the divine name of nampiLLai as lOkAchAryar was going well established, he who was having staunch indifference to worldly objects (athi virakthar), and who was always doing service to his AchAryan nampiLLai – that is vadakkuth thiruveedhip piLLai, due to his AchAryan’s command a divine son incarnated in the same year; then he who is immersed in love towards AchAryan –

vadakkuthiruveedhipillaivadakkuth thiruveedhip piLLai

anbAl anna thirunAmaththai Adhariththu – Since this divine name was given by affectionate ones (anbudaiyOr sARRu [upadhEsa raththinamAlai – 50]), he (vadakkuth thiruveedhip piLLai) too with affection, loved that name whose greatness is beyond words and mind and –

mannu pugazh maindharkkuch chARRugaiyAl – due to naming his divine son who is of apt nature for naming with such a name; that is, being an incarnation of nambUr(u) varadhar (being born as per his (nampiLLai’s) command) and thiru aththiyUr (hasthigiri – kAnchIpuram) varadhar (being of same star day), to such divine son having ‘ERkum perum pugazh [thiruvAimozhi 3.9.11]’ (greatness that fits the state of emperumAn, nammAzhvAr, thiruvAimozhi, etc.). In this way, due to divining the name to the divine son having such ever present greatness,

piLLaiLOkacharyar_thiruvarangammannu pugazh maindhar – piLLai lOkAcharyar – as divining in thiruvarangam

vandhu parandadhu, etc. – In this way this name was gratified by krishNa pAdhar (vadakkuth thiruveedhip piLLai), and his divine son’s name came and spread here everywhere. A name that flooded; his name that is piLLai lOkAchAryar jumped up around in the world and spread everywhere. Like how when a flood breaks boundary it would flood forests, higher grounds, etc., this flood that is his name spread everywhere whether they  are having knowledge or lacking it, in such a way that everyone could know, think, and reach true goal.

jIyar too would repeat many times this divine name as he said in ‘vAzhi ulagAsiriyan [mumukshuppadi thaniyan] (long live piLLai lOkAchAryar), and to his confidential (antharanga) disciples he guided them about this name for reaching true goal; and when looking at those who are indifferent to this name, he would always feel dejected saying “when there is this simple and sweet name, without thinking about this and reaching true goal, they are suffering (in this earth)”.

– – – – – – – – – –

Translation: raghurAm SrInivAsa dhAsan

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चतुः श्लोकी – अंत में कहे जाने वाला श्लोक

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श्रीमते शठकोपाय नमः
श्रीमते रामानुजाय नमः
श्रीमद्वरवरमुनये नमः

चतुः श्लोकी


अंत में कहे जाने वाला श्लोक:

आकार त्रय संपन्नाम अरविंद निवासिनीम् |
अशेष जगतीशित्रीम् वंदे वरद वल्लभाम् ||



संसार के श्रृष्टि एवं परिपालन करने वाले श्री वरदराजपेरुमाळ के प्रिय, जो केवल उनके प्रति शीश (दास्यता), पारतंत्र्य (पूर्ण निर्भरता) तथा अनन्य भोग्यता ( उन्ही के आनंद मात्र) निभाती हैं और कमल में वास करति हैं, उनको मैं पूजता हूँ ।

इस अनुभव को बढ़ाने के लिए कुछ और श्लोक (दामल वंकिपुरम पार्थसारथी स्वामि) प्रस्तुत करते हैं-

ॐ भगवन्नारायण अभिमतानुरूप स्वरूपगुणविभवैश्वर्य शीलाध्य अनवदिकातिशय असंख्येय कल्याण गुणगणाम , पद्मवनालयाम , भगवतीं , श्रियं देवीं , नित्यानपायिनीम् , देवदेवदिव्यमहिषीम , अखिल जगन्मातरम् अस्मन्मातरम् अशरण्य शरण्याम अनन्य शरण: शरणमहं प्रपध्ये ।।


श्रीमन नारायण के लिए रूप, स्वरूप ,गुण ,वैभव, ऐश्वर्य तथा अकलंकित स्वभाव में जो योग्य हैं, असंखित कल्याण गुण संपन्न, भगवति नाम के ६ शुभों से पूर्ण, श्री नामक, मेरी प्रिय माते, अन्य गति न होने के कारण में उनको गति मानकर  प्रपत्ति करता हूँ।

 — शरणागति गद्यं , १ चुरणै

उल्लास पल्लवित पालित सप्तलोकी
निर्वाह गोरकित नेम कटाक्ष लीलां।
श्री रंग हर्म्य तव मंगळ दीप रेखां
श्री रंगराज महिषीं श्रियं आश्रयाम: ||


हम उन श्रीमहालक्ष्मीजी के शरणों में आत्म समर्पण करे, जो अपनी झलक से सातो लोकों को समृद्ध करती हैं और श्री रंगराज के दिव्यमहिषी होने से श्रीरंगम कि शुभ दीप की रेखा हैं।

समस्त जननीं वन्दे चैतन्य स्तन्य धायिनीम् ।
श्रेयसीं श्रीनिवासस्य करुणामिव रूपिणीम् ।।


अपने आनंददायी झलक से जीवात्माओं को अपने स्तनों से ज्ञान की दूध पिलाने वालि जो श्री श्रीनिवास के करुणा कि रूप हैं और जो उनके श्रेयस की कारण हैं (उनमें वास कर) उन श्री महालक्ष्मी को मैं पूजता हूँ।

अडियेन् प्रीती रामानुज दासि


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upadhESa raththina mAlai – 51

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pAsuram 51

thunnu pugazhk kandhAdai thOzhappar tham ugappAl
enna ulagAriyanO enRu uraikkap – pinnai
ulagAriyan ennum pEr nampiLLaikku Ongi
vilagAmal ninRadhu enRum mEl                                                 51


Word by word meaning

kandhAdai thOzhappar,
thunnu – of fitting
pugazh – greatness,
tham ugappAl – due to his affection (asked)
enna – are (you a)
ulagAriyar(n)OlOkAcharyar! (AchAryan for the whole world?).
enRu uraikka – As he said so,
pinnai – subsequently
pEr – the divine name
ulagAriyan ennum – of lOkAchAryan
nampiLLaikku – for nampiLLai
Ongi – spread
vilagAmal – without parting
ninRadhu – and stayed firm
mEl – in esteemed position.


Now, he (maNavALa mAmunigaL) is divining the reason for the chief among the aforementioned ones, that is, nampiLLai, getting an even more distinguished name, as lOkAchAryar – with this pAsuram of ‘thunnu pugazh’, etc.

He (kandhAdai thOzhappar) is – the one having the greatness of great family heritage, education, moral conduct, having the name as pachchai vAraNap perumAL, being a divine grandson of mudhaliyANdAn, and being a divine son of kandhAdai ANdaN, isn’t he? It is talking about what such a person did, as ‘tham ugappAl’.

That is, seeing nampiLLai’s greatness of knowledge and wealth of disciples, he could not tolerate, and got jealous, and in the presence of perumAL insulted him, and, as he returned to his home, his divine wife who is of goodness, heard about this, and said a few words of regret, and hearing those words of her, he got his jealousy cleared as said in ‘pramAdhAth budhdhithOvApi yadhaka: kriyathE sadhA anuthaprasthu thAnEva kshamayEnnAnyathA sama:’ (~due to inattentiveness or knowingly what mistake is committed, always be repenting and asking for bearing /forgiving it; it cannot be any other way),

with great regret, to find the lost item in the actual place, was starting to go there with additional support,

at that time, as said in ‘ahEthOrapi sakrOdha marchchayan achyuthapriyam prabOdhya vividhairyathnai: praSAdhayEth’ (~ When one who does archanai and is dear to achyuthan gets angry without any reason, a knowledgeable one should try to get his mercy and satisfy him [is this the correct interpretation??]),

(thOzhappar decided) to please him, had come to the entrance of his divine house (thirumALigai), and was being there in the pial (thiNNai / front patio), saw such nampiLLai, and saw and heard his very submissive words and actions, and with love wondered what a way this exchange was, and due to excess of love, looked at him and said ‘All these days you were an AchAryan for a few people; now you have become fit for being an AchAryan for the whole world’, ‘enna ulagAriyar(n)O enRu uraikka’ – what, are you the lOkAchAryan, saying so he divined this name.

nampillaiulagAsiriyan (nampiLLai)

This is also referenced in ‘lOkAchAryabhidhAmdhathu: kalijidhdhAsa sUrayE | syAmEbhESasya charaNau karaNaisthribhirASrayE || dhayayA dhEvarAjasya dhAsarathyAryasanthathE | abhivrudhdhikaram vandhE harithadhvipadhESikam’ .

pinnai ulagAriyan ennum pEr, etc. – After getting the name due to him, the name lokAchAryar attained greatness (due to being associated with such great personality), and it was established for nampiLLai in all the worlds. After reaching him, this name stayed with him; by this, his being lokAchAryan was established without debate when the descendants of kUraththAzhwAn and mudhaliyANdAn surrendered unto nampiLLai’s divine feet.

The meanings said in this pAsuram, and for the other ones related to this – my (piLLai lOkam jIyar‘s) paramAchAryar periya pattar pirAn jIyar has mercifully explained this very well in anthimOpAya nishtai. See and follow in that.

– – – – – – – – – –

Translation: raghurAm SrInivAsa dhAsan

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SaraNAgathi gadhyam – 13th chUrNai

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Nammazhwar-krishnanammAzhwAr (the foremost amongst gyAnis) and krishNa

avathArikai (Introduction): 

In the previous chUrNais, bhagavadh rAmAnuja had spoken about namaSSabdhArtham (meaning of the word nama: as it occurs in dhvaya mahAmanthram). The meaning of the word nama:  is getting rid of enemies/obstacles. SrI rAmAnuja had prayed to bhagavAn in the previous three chUrNais for getting rid of his enemies – karma (past deeds), agyAna (ignorance) and dhEhasambhandham (connection with physical body, in other words with prakruthi). Is it not enough if enemies are got rid of? asks periyavAchchAn piLLai and he further adds that what SrI rAmAnuja is desirous of is parama purushArtham (the highest benefit that one can ask of bhagavAn), which is kainkaryam (doing service to bhagavAn). A prerequisite for kainkaryam is to have parabhakthi, paragyAna and paramabhakthi (we have seen in detail about these states of bhakthi in the 2nd chUrNai itself) and for parabhakthi, the prerequisite is bhakthirUpaApannagyAnam (knowledge that would have the form of bhakthi; in simple terms, it means love for bhagavAn). SrI rAmAnuja prays for this gyAnam from bhagavAn in the 13th chUrNai, quoting what bhagavAn himself said in bhagavadh gIthA, when he took the avathAram (incarnation) of SrI krishNa. In the 7th chapter, 17th to 19th SlOkas (verses) , SrI krishNa quotes on the supreme features and qualities of his bhakthas. SrI rAmAnuja repeats these three SlOkas here and requests bhagavAn to make him one such bhaktha and to grant him gyAnam. Let us look at the chUrNai now:

thEshAm gyAnI nithyayuktha: Ekabhakthir viSishyathE I
priyO hi gyAninOthyartham aham sa cha mama priya: II

udharAs sarva EvaithE gyAnI thvAthmaiva mE matham I
Asthithas sa hi yukthAthmA mAmEvAnuththamAm gathim II

bahUnAm janmanAm anthE gyAnavAn mAm prapadhyathE I
vAsudhEvas sarvamithi sa mahAthmA sudhurlabha: II
 – ithi SlOka thrayOdhitha gyAninam mAm kurushva II

Word-by-Word meaning

thEshAm – among them (among the 4 types of bhakthas, as mentioned above)
gyAni – the knowledgeable
viSishyathE – said to be the best among
nithya – always
yuktha: – joined
Ekabhakthi: – single point of devotion
priya: – beloved
hi – surely
gyAni – bhaktha
athyartham – supreme
aham – I
sa – he
cha – also
mama – to me
priya: – beloved
udhAra: – (most) generous
sarva – all
EthE – these
Eva – only
gyAni – knowledgeable
thu – but
AthmA – sentient being
Eva – only
mE – my
matham – opinion
anuththamAm – nothing higher than
gathim – refuge
mAm – me
Eva – only
Asthitha: – dwells on
sa – he
hi – surely
yukthAthmA – intent upon
bahunAm – many
janmanAm – births
anthE – end
gyAnavAn – has knowledge
mAm – me
vAsudhEva: – only vAsudhEvan
sarvam – everything
ithi – so
prapadhyathE – take refuge
sa – he
mahAthmA –  eminent
su – very
dhurlabha: – difficult to obtain or find
ithi – like this
SlOkam – verse
thrayam – three
udhitha – told
gyAnina: – knowledgeable-like
mAm – me
kurushva – make

Explanatory Note: 

There are 4 types of bhakthas, says SrI krishNa in the 7th chapter of bhagavadh gIthai – those who want all the riches that  they once had, but had lost subsequently; those who want to become wealthy, for the  first time; those who want only kaivalya mOksham (an inferior mOksham wherein the jIvAthmA enjoys itself, without extolling the virtues of bhagavAn and doing kainkaryam to him) and those who want bhagavAn himself so that they could carry out kainkaryam to him eternally. SrI krishNa calls the fourth among the above as gyAni, the knowledgeable since he (the bhaktha) knows what is his swarUpam (basic nature) and what he should do. Let us now look at the meanings of these verses.

thEshAm gyAni – thEshAm – among them (among the 4 types of bhakthas, as mentioned above); gyAni – the knowledgeable. As previously mentioned, krishNa calls his bhaktha as gyAni as he knows where he stands and what he should do.

viSishyathE – said to be the best among. The gyAni stands out among the four types of bhakthas.

nithya yuktha: Ekabhakthi: – This is what makes the gyAni special or best among the four. nithya – always; yuktha: – joined; the gyAni desires to be with bhagavAn himself permanently unlike the other types of bhakthas who leave bhagavAn once they get whatever they had asked for.

Ekabhakthi: – single point of devotion. The gyAni does not ask for anything else from bhagavAn unlike others who need various things. The other three types of bhakthas are desirous of prayOjanAntharam (other benefits) while bhagavAn himself is the prayOjanam (benefit) for gyAni. Hence he has only one bhakthi (devotion) which is towards bhagavAn himself while the other 3 types of bhakthas have devotion towards what they desire (purushArtham) and bhagavAn through whom they have to get the objects of their desire.

priyO hi gyAninOthyartham ahampriya: – beloved; hi – surely; gyAni – bhaktha; athyartham – supreme; aham – I. bhagavAn says that gyAnis (the knowledgeable bhakthas) treat bhagavAn as a supremely beloved person. It is  not possible to describe the love that gyAnis have towards bhagavAn. It is so exalted.

sa cha mama priya:sa – he; cha – also; mama – to me; priya: – beloved. bhagavAn says that such a gyAni is also dear to him. But bhagavAn makes a difference here between the love of gyAni  towards him and his love towards gyAni.  He says that if the gyAni’s love is like an ocean, his own love towards the gyAni is like a little pond. Why does bhagavAn belittle his love and magnify his bhaktha’s love?  The bhaktha lives in samsAram (materalistic realm) and is constantly troubled by his karma (past deeds), janma (repeated births), avidhyA (ignorance) etc. There are any number of hurdles or enemies for his bhaktha to show his love, while there is no such hurdle for bhagavAn to show his love. bhagavAn is vipu (huge) while the bhaktha is aNu (atom). It is like a 6 footer taking a step to cover 2 feet and a worm crawling for a whole day to cover the same 2 feet. The end distance covered is the same 2 feet, but there is a huge difference in the effort put in by the 6-footer and the worm. Moreover the bhaktha keeps wailing continuously imploring bhagavAn to take him away from samsAram, making it difficult for even the omnipotent bhagavAN to sit in SrIvaikuNtam. bhagavAn says that his bhaktha’s love is so heavy that he is not able to sit in SrIvaikuNtam.

udhArAs sarva EvaithEudhAra: – (most) generous; sarva – all; EthE – these; Eva – only; krishNa says that all these people (all 4 types of bhakthas as mentioned above) only are most generous. This may sound strange when in reality we ask bhagavAn for various needs and he gives these to us and thus we are the seekers and he is the most generous. Why is SrI krishNa reversing the roles? He says that unless the bhakthas ask him for favours, how can he give them (here the hidden meaning is “what if they ask some other dhEvathA”)? Thus to get a name for himself (as the giver) he needs people to beseech him and he calls them as most generous.

gyAnithugyAni – knowledgeable (here the reference is to his bhaktha); thu – but. 4 different types of bhakthas may ask him for favours, but among them the gyAni is….

AthmaivaAthmA – sentient being; Eva – only. SrI krishNa says that only the gyAni is his AthmA; bhagavAn lives inside the gyANi and the gyAni bears him from outside. In other words, the gyAni is the reason for the existence of bhagavAn. This sounds strange and completely reverse of what we all know of. But, bhagavAn says that this is …..

mE mathammE – my; matham – opinion. bhagavAn says that let anyone think whatever he wants on hearing this. But he is firm in his mind that he lives because of such gyAnis.

Asthithas sahi yukthAthmA mAmEvAnuththamAm gathim

anuththamAm gathim mAmEvaanuththamAm – nothing higher than; gathim – refuge; mAm – me; Eva – only.  Continuing from the previous part of the Sloka (verse), SrI krishNa says that for such a gyAni, there is no refuge higher than himself (bhagavAn).

Asthithas sahi yukthAthmAAsthitha: – dwells on; sa – he; hi – surely; yukthAthmA – intent upon. SrI krishNa says that such a gyAni keeps dwelling on himself constantly to reach him as there is no refuge higher than himself to such a gyAni.

bahunAm janmanAmanthEbahunAm – many; janmanAm – births; anthE – end. An AthmA has taken many many births and at the end of one such birth…

gyAnavAn – has knowledge; such a person gains knowledge of only bhagavAn and nothing else.

mAm – me;

vAsudhEvas sarvamithi –  vAsudhEva: – only vAsudhEvan (son of vasudEva in krishNavathAram); sarvam – everything; ithi – so. The gyAni knows that bhagavAn is everything, taking the place of whatever he had given up (mother, father, teacher, relatives, wealth etc which we had seen in chUrNai 6). As nammAzhvAr says, bhagavAn is water, food and betel leaves to him (that which sustains, nurtures and offers pleasure).

prapadhyathE – take refuge. The gyAni gives up everything and comes to bhagavAn and holds on to him as the only refuge.

sa mahAthmAsa – he; mahAthmA –  eminent. bhagavAn describes such a gyAni who considers bhagavAn as everything as a mahAthmA. When bhagavAn is the mahAthmA (the big AthmA) and we, the jIvAthmAs are small (we are in subtle form, less than the size of an atom) why is bhagavAn calling a jIvAthmA (gyAni) as mahAthmA? The reason is similar to what we had seen under the verse “sa cha mama priya:” under the second slOkam among the three slOkams above. bhagavAn is in an absolutely pure form, with no fault capable of getting anywhere near him whereas the jIvAthmA is living in samsAram, surrounded by all faults. Despite this, the jIvAthmA is knowledgeable enough to give up everything in samsAram and take refuge under bhagavAn, taking him as everything that he has given up. Hence krishNa calls such a gyANi as mahAthmA.

su dhurlabha:su – very; dhurlabha: – difficult to obtain or find. krishNa says that it is very difficult to see such a person not only in samsAram, but also in paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam). The samsAram is capable of shaking up even a great AchAryan (teacher) and trap him in its fold. Even in such a realm, the gyAni is able to stand firm and look at bhagavAn alone and nothing else. Hence it is difficult to see such a person anywhere, contends SrI krishNa.

ithi – like this.

SlOkathrayOdhitha gyAninam mAm kurushvaSlOkam – verse; thrayam – three; udhitha – told; gyAnina: – knowledgeable-like; mAm – me; kurushva – make. bhagavadh rAmAnuja prays to bhagavAn to make him also a gyAni as he had mentioned in the three SlOkas in bhagavadh gIthA. In the first slOka, SrI krishNa said that gyAni is dear to him. In the second, he said that he bears him and in the third, he said that it is very difficult to find such a gyAni who has the qualities mentioned in the first two slOkas.

Let us now look at the 14th chUrNai.

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Translation by krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan.

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upadhESa raththina mAlai – 50

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pAsuram 50

namperumAL nammAzhvAr nanjeeyar nampiLLai
enbar avaravar tham ERRaththAl – anbu udaiyOr
sARRu thiru nAmangaL thAn enRu nannenjE
Eththu adhanaich chollu(i) nee inRu.                                                     50


Word by word meanings

namperumAL nammAzhvAr nanjeeyar nampiLLai enbar – are called so
avaravar tham ERRaththAl – due to each of their greatness;
anbu udaiyOr – those who love them
sARRu – named
thiru nAmangaL thAn enRu – these divine names; saying so
nal nenjE – oh good mind
nee – you
solli – say
adhanai – that greatness
inRu – now (today)
Eththu – and praise.


(nam => my/our (dear)).

Now, after talking about vakuLabhUshaNa (nammAzhvAr) dhivya prabandha vyAkyAnams, he (maNavALa mAmunigaL) wishes to divine about its core meanings said in SrI vachana bhUshaNam which shows the excellence of ways (nishtAkramam), and so he is setting up for it here.

If asking how – he is divining one pAsuram each in three pAsurams now, about namperumAL et al who were talked about in previous pAsurams, as to how they got such wonderful names; and while doing that he talks about the reason for nampiLLai getting the name of lOkAchAryar, and that this name was the reason for the name of piLLai lOkAchAryar, and due to him how the name was spread everywhere.

Out of that, in this pAsuram, he divines about how those starting from namperumAL who were talked about in earlier pAsurams got such wonderful names, by starting this pAsuram withnamperumAL’.

namperumALThat is, as said in ‘ivai ellAm namakku namperumAL pakkalilE kANalAm [mumukshuppadi – 141]’ (~ we can see these auspicious qualities in namperumAL (at SrIrangam)), such namperumAL who could be experienced by the AchAryas;

nammAzhvArAs said in ‘mugilvaNNan adi iNaiyai adaindhu aruL sUdi uyndha [thiruvAimozhi 7.2.11] (~surrendered to the divine feet of mugilvaNNan (emperumAn having the dark hue like the dark cloud), and got true goal by his grace) – such nammAzhvAr.

nanjeeyar – He who was accepted by namperumAL’s divine son bhattar.

nampiLLai – He who was loved in a great way by nanjeeyar, and as said in ‘nampiLLai gOshtiyO? namperumAL gOshtiyO?’ (when nampiLLai’s kAlakshEpa gOshti disperses after completion, the king and others see that in awe asking whether such a big assembly is the gOshti of namperumAL or of nampiLLai) – such nampiLLai having such a big wealth of looking for more people to do mangaLAsAsanam to emperumAn.

enbar anbudaiyOr – those who love them would call (them by these names).

avar avar ERRaththAl anbudaiyOr sARRu thirunAmangaL thAn enRu – Due to each of their own greatness, those who are having very high devotion/love towards them gladly divined these names for them.

thAn enRu – think, how wonderful are these names, inRu adhanaich cholli nee Eththu ­– and you say so and praise that.

anbudaiyOr sARRu – is – {about the name namperumAL} – He (piLLai lOkAchAryar) divined ‘ivai ellAm namakku namperumAL pakkalilE kANalAm [mumukshuppadi – 141]’ (we can see these auspicious qualities in namperumAL (at SrIrangam)), isnt’ it?

One upon a time, in a group, a few who were nefarious had brought perumAL (from SrIrangam) and emperumAns of that place, and grabbed them all to the effect of saying ‘kettEn’ (sinned), and took to the North; at that time, one who is good towards the divine feet of perumAL by name rAjakaNda gOpAlar, an araiyar (devotees organized by SrIman nAthamunigaL in various temples, and currently include SrIrangam, SrIvillipuththUr, AzhwArthirunagari – they sing pAsurams, show dramatic acting of meanings of pAsurams during occasions at the temple), he could not bear that separation like said in ‘enganE tharikkEn unnai vittu [thiruvAimozhi 7.2.1]’ (How would I survive when separated from you?), was searching for him like ‘iru nilam kai thuzhA [thiruvAimozhi 7.2.1]’ (searching with hands in the big world (~since not having energy to walk/see, due to missing Him)), and went there, and saw that person, and sang sweetly like in ‘nudangu kELvi isai [thiruvAimozhi 3.4.6]’ (EmperumAn is like a song that mesmerizes those who hear it), and he lovingly asked ‘what do you need?’, reply was ‘our perumAL came here, you should give him’, and he said ‘if so take him and go’, and showed many statues, and at that time as He could not be found among them, he was sad like said in the ones like ‘sindhikkum thisaikkum [thiruvAimozhi 7.2.5]’ (thinks about earlier experience with emperumAn, loses her mind); at that time that man’s daughter liked and brought to her harem (queen’s quarters) he who is azhagiya maNavALap perumAL, and as that man came to know this matter, he brought without her knowledge and showed asking ‘Is he your perumAL?’, and seeing this the araiyar hugged perumAL with a lot of love as said in ‘SrI ranganAtha! mama nAthA! [SrIranga gadhyam] (Lord of SrIrangam, my lord), and in ‘arangamALi en ALi [periya thirumozhi 7.3.4]’ (ruler of thiruvarangam periya kOyil, and my ruler), and ‘en aragaththu innamudhar, kuzhal azhagar, vAi Azhagar, kaN azhagar [nAchchiyAr thirumozhi 11.2]’ (my sweet nectar of thiruvarangam, having beautiful hair, divine mouth, and divine eyes), araiyar hugged azhagiya maNavALan saying ‘yes he is namperumAL’, and mercifully/quickly returned to thiruvarangam – his incident is famous, isn’t it?

araiyar_crownanbudaiyOr: crown of an araiyar

At that time, when everyone doubted that this is not perumAL, Ayi AzhvAr piLLai signed on the divine vigraham saying ‘ivar nammudaiya perumALAm’ (yes he IS our perumAL ). From that day onward, that (name) became his identity – they divine the story in this way also.

Next, reason for the coming of name nammAzhvArOnce upon a time, perumAL loved AzhvAr as ‘nam’ AzhvAr, compared to other AzhvArs, and also for the periya thiruvadhyayanam (uthsavam) he would divine the writing of letter addressing him in the same way and send it to thirunagari – this is the fact isn’t it?

Not only that, at one point when perumAL with many others had mercifully stayed in malai nAdu (state of kEraLA), at that time unexpectedly emperumAns from other dhivya dhEsams and AzhvAr (from AzhvAr thirunagari) too had joined Him there; at that time perumAL, like said in ‘palar adiyAr munbu aruLiya [thiruvAimozhi 7.10.5]’ (singling him out and gracing him in the assembly of great devotees), very kindly called AzhvAr – ‘nam AzhvAr nam arugE vArum’ (my AzhvAr, come near me), saying so kept him in his divine throne itself, and divined him his shirt of pearls (muththin chattai), and vatta maNai, and more, and divined him like said in ‘thammaiyE okka aruL seyvar [periya thirumozhi 11.3.5]’ (would mercifully give his equivalence) – they divine this incident.

nam SatakOpanaip pAdinaiyO enRu namperumAL vinjiya AdharaththAl kEtpar’ (namperumAL with much desire inquired – did you sing about our SatakOpan?) – is what he (poet kambar) also said.

namperumal-nachiar_serthi2anbudaiyOr: namperumAL and thAyAr

Not only these, periya mudhaliyAr (SrIman nAthamunigaL), had regarded him more than other AzhvArs, got, with dhvayam first, the meanings of thiruvAimozhi etc., due to his (nammAzhvAr’s) grace; as the showing of that distinction, like saying ‘our AchAryAn’, he would say ‘nammudaiya AzhvAr’ (my/our AzhvAr) – this is how he was lovingly doing this. Due to this only he divined ‘na: kulapathEr vakuLAbhirAmam [sthOthra rathnam – 5]’ (my chief and head of the group), isn’t it?

perumal_koil_rappaththu_uthsavam_2015_nammazhvar_madhurakavi_azhvar_nathamunigal_DSC_0691anbudaiyOr: nAthamunigaL with nammAzhvar

Now, he who was always thinking about thiruvAimozhi and was crowned as an expert (for having lectured on thiruvAimozhi for 100 times), that is nanjeeyar – reason for his name is – after he surrendered to bhattar’s divine feet, got sanyAsam at mEl nAdu (karnAtakA), gave up all his attachments there, came to thiruvarangam, and stood under bhattar’s feet – seeing this, bhattar with great happiness said ‘nammudaiya jeeyar vandhAr’ (my jeeyar has come), pulled him up and hugged him and rejoiced, and starting from that day, the vedhAnthigaL got this name of ‘nanjeeyar.

parasara-bhattaranbudaiyOr: bhattar, with nanjeeyar at his divine feet

Now, he who is liked very much by him (nanjeeyar), he who can be said as incarnation of nammAzhvAr, that is nampiLLai – how he got that name is: nanjeeyar divined a vyAkyanam for thiruvAimozhi, having the length count of nine thousand, and mercifully gave that text to the divine hands of him whose name was varadharAjar who had surrendered to his divine feet, asking him to make a copy of it. When he was going to (his) place, it had fallen into the river, and so he had written on empty leaves without missing any words, returned and kept it in front of nanjeeyar; he opened it and since it was very good, he asked ‘how did this happen?’, and listened to him explaining the reason and divined his happiness saying ‘What a great ability of this knowledge!’, and divined ‘nammudaiya piLLai – thiruk kali kanRi dhAsar’ (my piLLai (nam piLLai)), and starting from that day, the name of ‘nampiLLai’ is famous in the world isn’t it?

nanjeeyaranbudaiyOr: nanjeeyar

avar avar ERRaththAl anbudaiyOr sARRu thirunAmangaL – these are those divine names, isn’t it?

nannenjE – Oh the mind which knows about the greatness of these divine names and being happy.

Eththi adhanaich chollu nee inRu – Today being a good time for thinking about these divine names, you who has understood their sweetness, say with your mouth’s content, what a great thing that there are some such divine names (ivaiyum sila thirunAmangaL irundhapadiyE), and praise them.

From time immemorial these were not thought about – to compensate that loss, today when taste in this matter is born (izhavu theera, ruchi piRandha inRu), try to do the good thing of praising those names and gain your true nature;

praise as said in ‘prathyakshE gurava: sthuthyA:’ ((Glorify the AchAryan in public and in his presence), and ‘gurOrnAma sadhA japEth [anthimOpAya nishtai, page 10]’ (Should always meditate AchAryAn’s divine name), and ‘solluvOm avan nAmangaLE [rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi – 1]’ (shall say him (emperumAnAr‘s) divine names), and ‘en manam Eththi anRi ARRagillAdhu [rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi – 89]’ (~ my mind would not rest without praising).

{ Have heard an interesting interpretation where if we put a pause/comma after the word ‘namperumAL’  in this pAsuram, then the first line would be like: namperumAL himself with love would say nam AzhvAr, nam jeeyar, and nam piLLai. }

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Translation: raghurAm SrInivAsa dhAsan

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upadhESa raththina mAlai – 49

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pAsuram 49

Angavar pAl peRRa siRiyAzhvAn appiLLai
thAm koduththAr tham maganAr tham kaiyil – pAngudanE
nAlUr piLLaikku avar thAm nalla maganArkku avar thAm
mElOrkku eendhAr avarE mikku.                                                     49


Word by word meaning

Angu – In that place,
avar pAl peRRa – as he got from nanjeeyar {must be nampiLLai or vadakkuth thiruveedhip piLLai}
siRiyAzhvAn appiLLaieeyuNNi mAdhavap perumAL (his another name)
thAm koduththAr – himself gave it
tham maganAr tham kaiyil – to the hands of his divine son named padhmanAbhap perumAL;
pAngudanE – In the same way
avar thAm – that padhmanAbhap perumAL
nAlUr piLLaikku – to one named nAlUr piLLai;
avar thAm – he himself
nalla maganArkku – to good divine son nAlUrAchchAn piLLai;
avarE – he himself
eendhAr – by grace gave it
mElOrkku – to the noble ones of later time
mikku – in a big/special way.


He (maNavALa mAmunigaL) divines about how this vyAkyAnam was carried out in sampradhAyam way, starting from nampiLLai’s grace, as obtained by eeyuNNi mAdhavap perumAL who has got the divine name of siRiyAzhvAn appiLLai, (who gave it to padhmanAbhap perumAL, who gave it to nAlUr piLLai, who gave it to nAlUrAchchAn piLLai, who after praying to dhEvap perumAL and getting the command of dhEvap perumAL spread it to several of next generation including) thiruvAimozhip piLLai, who is the AchAryan of maNavALa mAmunigaL, with this pAsuram Angavar pAl peRRa siRiyAzhvAn appiLLai.

Angu – In front of him, being in divine assembly (gOshti); or, from the situation of getting it from the divine hands of vadakkuth thiruveedhip piLLai;

avar pAl peRRa – Being the chief of gOshti, and being the principal one doing upanyAsam of eedu – from such nampiLLai, he (eeyuNNi mAdhavar) got the meanings like getting wealth, as said in ‘uRu perum selvamum [rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi – 19]’. The scene of that place, the preceptor, and the grantham! (oru dhEsamum dhEsikarum kOSamum irundhapadi).

siriyAzhvAn appiLLai thAm – His (eeyuNNi mAdhavap perumAL) other name (siRu pEr) being this. Such is the wealth that he got, he –

thAm koduththAr tham maganAr tham kaiyil – Like how one would show their savings, he that is mAdhavap perumAL, passed it on into the hands of his divine son who is identified as padhmanAbhap perumAL. That is, after bestowing the meanings of eedu muppaththARAyiram (36000 padi), he handed over the SrIkOSam (text) in his divine hands as well. That is why it is said ‘mAdhava padhmanAbha [eedu thaniyan]’.

In this way they both were advising this grantham in OrAN vazhi, and not publishing the SrIkOSam but nurturing it in kOyil AzhvAr (pUjA room) as part of their thiruvArAdhanam (daily worship), based on the condition of nampiLLai; this is how the eedu of thiruvAimozhi was handled.

In this way, protecting it like protecting wealth, this was taken care of in the thirumALigai (divine house of SrIvaishNavas) at perumAL kOyil (kAncheepuram), bhattargaL thiruveedhi (name of the street).

pAngudanE nAlur piLLaikku avar thAm – That is, surrendering to the divine feet of padhmanAbhap perumAL, and with his (nAlUr piLLai) obeisance to that feet, prostrating, speaking with pleasant words, etc., made him happy as said in ‘kurukkaLukku anukUlarAi [periyAzhvAr thirumozhi 4.4.2]’ (well disposed to do services to AchAryan), so in this way, padhmanAbhap perumAL who was pleased by the obeisances and services, decided to bestow eedu that had been forwarded along one-on-one, to nAlUr piLLai whose services served as the means.

So he took him in front of pEraruLALap perumAL, and thinking that he should get an authentic vow that he would not reveal it to anyone, and so through archakar he requested for SrI SatakOpam to be pressed on his (nAlUr piLLai’s) divine head;

he (nAlUr piLLai) who understands the intention of minds, understood the way in which it was pressed in the head to imply that the text should not be released to anyone, (but) he looked at dhEvap perumAL’s divine face, and as said in ‘aruLALar thiruvadiyai UnRinavar’ (one who pressed the SrI satakOpam of dhEvap perumAL), showed him the sign, pressing it in the head;

and emperumAn who understands everything, felt it in his divine mind, and after thinking through he gave divine command through archakar, ‘you shall propagate this to everyone’, and the AchAryan padhmanAbhar who heard this, and as it is not happening according to the old ways, accepted ‘thiruvuLLam Anapadi’ (as your divine mind wished), and after that, with happiness, he divined it (to nAlUr piLLai).

As he (nAlUr piLLai) wished to propagate it to everyone, with that idea in his divine mind, he who is focused only on the welfare of others, had done things like pradhakshiNam (circumambulating emperumAn’s sannidhi), doing namaskArams (prostrating), etc., and more.

And since this emperumAn is ‘arthithArtha paridhAna dhIkshitha’ (vowed to fulfill the desires of the devotees), He commanded like this (for propagation of eedu).

That is why, ‘since nAlUr piLLai got it by his prayers, he is referred as ‘sumana: kOlEsa dhevAdhipAn [bhagavath vishaya thaniyan]’  (kOlavarAhap perumAL being his another name).

Isn’t it in the same way thiruvAimozhip piLLai had SrI ranganAtha’s divine feet on maNavALa mAmunigaL , and propagated the eedu of thiruvAimozhi.

It is to be said as ‘charaNAbja samarppaNAth | dharSayan sugrahAnArthAn dhramidOpanishathkirAm’ (~ placing unto your lotus feet, show the meanings of thiruvAimozhi that are known).

nalla maganArkku avar thAm – That nAlUr piLLai, as emperumAn fulfilled his prayers,  showed his gratitude as when he got a divine son he named him as ‘dhEvap perumAL’; such son who got this name, who learned everything, and being so, such –

nalla maganAr – nAlUrAchchAn piLLai’ (being other name), his father divined him the eedu saying – you propagate this. Like father like son in auspicious qualities.

Or, (to explain the phrase of pAsuram by combining the words differently), for ‘ivar aruLALar thiruvadi UnRiyavar [bhagavath vishaya thaniyan]’ (one on whose head SrI satakOpam (SatAri) of SrI dhEvarAjap perumAL was well pressed meaning well blessed, one who pressed on the SrI SatakOpam of srI dhEvarAjap perumAL),

the word ‘ivar’ (he) could refer to padhmanAbhar, having his divine grace could be said for nAlUr  piLLai, and saying ‘thiruvadi UnRiyavar’ as by nAlUr piLLai saying to nAlUrAchchAn piLLai as per divine feet of peraruLALar to be set on the son, and in that say ‘thiruvadi UnRina dhEvap perumAL kaikoNdu aruLum thirumalai AzhvAr [bhagavath vishaya thaniyan] (thiruvAimozhip piLLai who was lovingly accepted by nAlUrAchchAn piLLai (who is the son of nAlUr piLLai), as his disciple), that is talking about thiruvAimozhip piLLai – and so they divine as the meaning for this phrase. This line of explanation would match very well with that of ‘melOrkku eendhAr avarE mikku’.

mElOrkku eendhAr avarE mikku – that is, unlike the aforementioned way of passing this one to one, by his generosity, he who is given (eedu) by the grace of kOlavarAhap perumAL, he having the (other) name of dhEvap perumAL (as named by this divine father) , (that is, nAlUrAchchAn piLLai), divined the obtaining of thirumalai AzhvAr (thiruvAimozhip piLLai), and starting from him he divined eedu to thirunArAyaNapurththil Ay, thiruvAimozhi AchchAn piLLai as well. That is why it used the plural word ‘mElOr’ (future noble ones).

This information is in his thaniyan too – ‘thrEdhApravarthya bhuviya: prathayAm chakAra [nAyanArAchchAn piLLai thaniyan](he who made it popular in the world by divining to the three).

It is said too ‘SrISailanAtha gurumAthru gurUththamAbhyAm SrISUkthi dhESikavarENa cha yasthridhaivam [nAlUr piLLai thaniyan]’ (thiruvAimozhi’s bAshyam that is eedu sath sampradhAyam, which got enriched by the three, that is thiruvAimozhip piLLai, thirunArAyaNapuraththu Ay, and thiruvAimozhi AchchAn..).

thiruvaimozhi-pillaithiruvAimozhip piLLai

avarE mikku – by this, their requesting (for it) could be considered as excessive – such was the way he himself gave them the meanings after getting them, due to his generosity.

Not only that, maNavALa mAmunigaL himself has mentioned in the vyAkyAnam of ‘mARRuth thAi [periyAzhvAr thirumozhi 3.9.4]’ (like the mother), about nAlUrAchchAn piLLai teaching the meanings of all the prabandhams to thiruvAimozhip piLLai (such was that piLLai’s generosity and interest).

In many places of periyAzhvAr thirumozhi vyAkyAnam by maNavALa mAmunigaL, he divines ‘nAlUr piLLai prasAdhiththathAga AchchAn piLLai aruLich cheyvar’ (nAlUr AchchAn piLLai would say that this (meaning) was divined by nAlUr piLLai).

Due to thiruvAimozhi such was the Acharya-sishya relationship between that father and son, such relationship could also be seen in the cases of – kUraththAzhvAn bhattar, periyavAchchAn piLLai and his sons, vadakkuth thiruveedhip piLLai piLLai lOkAchAryar, (eeyuNNi) madhavarpadhmanAbhar, and nAlUr piLLainAlUrAchchAn piLLai.

As said in ‘thirumalai AzhvAr theevinaiyOm thammaik kuruvAgi vandhu uyyak koNdu [Arththi prabandham – 46]’ (~ thiruvAimozhip piLLai accepted the lowly me and came as AchAryar and saved me)), He who is accepted by thirumalai AzhvAr (thiruvAimozhip piLLai), who is said as ‘dhEvap perumAL kaik koNdaruLum thirumalai AzhvAr’, such maNavALa mAmunigaL got the meanings of thiruvAimozhi and all dhivya prabandhams, and after that he spread it in the world, isn’t it?

(He got the meanings from his AchAryan as said in) ‘AryAScha SrISailanAthA dhadhigatha SatajithsUkthi bhAshyO mahimnA [bhagavath vishya thaniyan?]’ (by the greatness of the vyAkyAnams of nammAzhvAr SrISukthi learned from thiruvAimozhip piLLai),


‘AsisrayadhayambhUya: SrISailAdhISadhESikam | aSEshAnshruNoth dhivyAn prabandhAn pandhanachchidha: [yathIndhra pravaNa prabhAvam – 57](This azhagiya maNavALap perumAL reached an AchAryan named thirumalai AzhvAr. From him, he learned the meanings of all dhivya prabandhams that break the bondage of births).

It is said, ‘yE(a)vApya saumyavarayOgi varAchchatAri SrIsUkthi bhAshya madhi thathprathitham vithEnu: | thAn bhattanAtha munivAna mahAdhriyOgi vAdhUla vamsyavaradhAryamukhAn bhAjAma: [bhagavath vishya thaniyan?]’ (From which guru that thiruvAimozhip piLLai learned, all of the prabandhams without leaving even one, he crossed the bounds of dhivya prabandham learning and learned again?)

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Translation: raghurAm SrInivAsa dhAsan

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