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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