Daily Archives: February 12, 2016

upadhESa raththina mAlai – 72

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pAsuram 72

pUruvAchAriyargaL bhOdham anuttAnangaL
kURuvAr varththaigaLaik koNdu neer thERi – iruL
tharumA gyAlaththE inbam uRRu vAzhum theruL
tharumA thEsikanaich chErndhu.                                   72


Word by word meaning

neer sErndhu – You surrender to
thEsikanai – AchAryan (preceptor)
mA – having greatness
theruL tharum – who advises good knowledge,
thERi – and learn as is
koNdu – and accept
vArththaigaLai – the words of
kUruvAr – those who say truthfully
pOdham – about knowledge
anuttAnangaL – and matching conduct
pUruvAchAriyargaL – of the earlier AchAryas (preceptors);
iruL tharumA gyAlaththE – and in this big world that creates darkness that is ignorance
vAzhum – you shall live
inbu uRRu – in bliss.


{Again, piLLai lOkam jeeyar, due to his immense mercy, is summarizing the previous pAsurams related to AchAryan and disciple, and then gets into the commentary of this pAsuram}.

Earlier in this prabandham where he (maNavALa mAmunigaL) started with ‘than guruvin thALiNaigaL [upadhEsa raththina mAlai – 60]’, he talked that if one who does not have association with the divine feet of the ultimate goal that is AchAryan, then Isvaran who is the top most head would not give the true goal, so they won’t achieve that;

that, after reaching the AchAryan who is complete in knowledge and matching conduct, the husband of thAyAr would himself divine such disciple the SrIvaikuNtam;

that, this being the case, those who are interested in reaching true goal, you show love towards your AchAryan’s feet and you will get the paramapadham as surely as having a fruit in your hand;

that, if you think about the favour of AchAryan, there is no room for separating from him, and not just that, he who has fully involved himself in the services to the AchAryan has no room for separating him;

that, in this way about how the disciple and AchAryan protect the divine body and Athma,

that, how the disciple would not be having interest in that place (SrIvaikuNtam) and would consider services to AchAryan’s divine feet only as the limitless true goal, and so would live nurturing that;

and showing those who are like that and what their conduct is (pinbazhagiya perumAL jeeyar),

and that, since the words of advice of those who are ignorant of the ways of the AchAryas would be of confusion, what we need to follow is the conduct of AchAryas who are able to clear such ignorance;

that, in this way the supportable and opposable types of people are to be accepted and rejected respectively based on thinking through this;

that, due to association with these two types of people what good and bad qualities would arise;

that, such opposable types who give wrong advice are foolish.

After divining these, now he is setting to show that one would get the greatest benefit that is the great life of having AchAryan’s love that is reached based on the advice of those who are subservient to AchAryas;

and so by the aforementioned details of pAsurams he gives the essence of meanings of SrI vachana bhUshaNam.

First he started with ‘pinnavarum kaRka upadhEsamAyp pEsuginREn [upadhEsa raththina mAlai – 1]’, and he set forth in this way such advice to others, and completes that;

and now addressing those interested in surviving/reaching true goal, saying that you gain faith in the words (of devotees) that reflect the knowledge and conduct of pUrvAchAryas, and surrender to AchAryan who through giving knowledge, etc., takes care of us; and in this world that generates ignorance, surrender to such highly valued AchAryan and live with happiness; saying so he completes his divining to us.

It is talking about the way for living (surviving/reaching true goal), by

pUruvAchAriyargaL bhOdham anuttAnangaL kURuvAr vArththaigaLaik koNdu.

That is, what with the unblemished true knowledge of pUrvAchAryas starting from SrIman nAthamunigaL who is highly knowledgeable who knows the full extent of truth, up to the recent AchAryas, what with their unblemished conduct that is according to such knowledge,

he (maNavALa mAmunigaL) says that you use the words of those (devotees) who talk about these greatness and thus help reach the divine feet of AchAryan;

Detailed information on wealth – guru paramparA (lineage of preceptors)
(courtesy: http://www.adiyenramanujadasan.org/images/SrivaishanavaGuruparampara.jpg)

neer thERi – unlike the knowledge of SAsthram that could be the reason for confusion, use the words that bring clarity to mind and that is easy to follow;

that is, it is required to get their association in order to get the association of AchAryan as said in ‘kodiyaik koL kombilE thuvakkum pOdhu suLLikkAl vENumApOlE AchArya anvayaththukkum idhu vENum [SrI vachana bhUshaNam – 442]’ (since it is rare to get to the AchAryan that can be the savior, it is essential to have the association with the devotees first, like how it is required to give a small stick as a support for the creeper to grow enough before it could spread into the awning (pandhal)). Using this as the goodness;

pOdham anuttAnangaL – what is said here is – gyAnam (knowledge) and anuttAnam (conduct).

kURuvAr vArththaigaLaik koNdu neer thERi – Even if one learns SAsthram with all the lines explained, it would be hard to get clarity as Asthika and reach the goal. If one follows those who have learned such SAsthram and are having matching conduct, their words would help create interest and faith, bring clarity, and help reach the true goal.

So, you who are interested in reaching the true goal, you hear their words, and as said in ‘atha rAma: prasannAthmA SruthvA vAyu suthasya ha [SrI rAmAyaNam – yudhdha kANdam – 18.1]’ (after that rAman heard the words of the son of vAyu (wind god), that is hanuman, and became having clear mind), be of good existence (saththai) before going to AchAryan, and for growing that state reach the AchAryan and surrender to him, and experience the benefit of that here.

neer thERi – Like a muddled water would become clearer, you who due to the connection with non-sentient having the muddled mind, listen to their mystic words and become clear in your mind like the ‘thERRAm’ seed that can clear the well water; and based on that clarity, surrender to AchAryan and enjoy the benefit that comes out of it right in front of your eyes.

You become reformed by their (aforementioned people’s) words, and do it in action, that is, reach the AchAryan.  As said in ‘thamEva gurumApnuyAth [?]’ (You take him itself as your AchAryan).

So if you hear about – the knowledge of those people about being subservient and due to that their following of the AchAryan, and about their matching conduct – then you would get clarity in your mind, and due to that would surrender to AchAryan, and would be able to get the related benefit.

Next it talks about the benefit one gets when they understand the words (of such devotees) that create faith, and enable reaching the AchAryan:

theruL tharumA thEsikanaich chErndhu, iruL tharumA gyAlaththE neer inb(am)uRRu vAzhumthat is, surrender to the greatly beneficial AchAryan who is complete in knowledge, conduct, etc., gives knowledge etc., and protects us, and due to that greatness (rAja kula mAhAthmiyam), in this material world itself which creates ignorance and which does not have any true joy as said in ‘illai kaNdeer inbam [thiruvAimozhi 9.1.5]’ (~ there is no pleasure that you see), here itself, you shall live with limitless bliss as said in ‘andhamil pErinbam [thiruvAimozhi 10.9.11]’ (endless bliss) that is available in SrI vaikuNtam referred as ‘theLivisumbu thirunAdu’ (~brightest place, full of bliss).

neer vAzhum – As said in ‘periyArkku AtpattakkAl peRadha payan peRumARE [thiruvAimozhi 10.9.10]’ (~ if one serves the noble ones, one would get the unobtainable benefit), the unobtainable benefit that is services to AchAryan – you would be able to do that here when he is in this world as said in ‘avan innAdu thannil irukkum nAL [upadhEsa raththina mAlai – 64]’, and get that wealth that is service (kainkaryam), and live with taste in that. It is due to wealth only one gets good life.

iruL tharumA gyAlaththE inb(am)uRRu vAzhum – Not in some other place {SrIvaikuNtam} or in some other body {special body one gets there}, but here itself and in this birth itself, as said in ‘ingE kANa ippiRappE magizhvar [thiruvAimozhi 8.5.11]’ (here for one to see in this birth itself will become happy), you get the wealth that is love of AchAryan towards you, and live well. It is said as ‘mOdhathvam [?]’ (you shall get happiness).

His (maNavALa mAmunigaL’s) words ‘pinnavarum kaRka upadhEsamAyp pEsuginREn [upadhEsa raththina mAlai – 1]’, is completing with good life as he says here as ‘neer vAzhum’.

So, surrendering to AchAryan, and good life – are Not two things.

By this it has explained the reference (pramANam) words, ‘AchAryasya prasAdhEna mama sarvamabhIpsitham | prApnuyAmithi viSvAsO yasyAsthi sa sukhIbhavEth [anthimOpAya nishtai – page 8]’ (Those who have got the faith that due to the mercy of AchAryan all their wishes would be fulfilled, they would live happily).

– – – – – – – – – –

Translation: raghurAm SrInivAsa dhAsan

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thiruvAimozhi – 2.3.1 – Unil vAzh

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Full series >> Second Centum >> Third decad


Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the first pAsuram – AzhwAr praises his heart saying “emperumAn and I united and as a result we enjoyed continuous bliss; this abundance of bliss is because of you”.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s introduction as documented by vadakkuth thiruvIdhip piLLai

In the first pAsuram – When a prince lost his kingdom and someone helps him regain it, the prince will praise that person who helped saying “I got this because of you”; Similarly, AzhwAr praises his divine heart thinking “AthmA (Self) who is rightfully qualified for kainkarya sAmrAjyam (the kingdom of servitude) had lost it for so long, it was this heart which got it now”.


ஊனில் வாழ் உயிரே நல்லை போ உன்னைப் பெற்று
வான் உளார் பெருமான் மதுசூதன் என் அம்மான்
தானும் யானும் எல்லாம் தன்னுள்ளே கலந்தொழிந்தோம்
தேனும் பாலும் நெய்யும் கன்னலும் அமுதும் ஒத்தே

Unil vAzh uyirE! nallai pO unnaip peRRu
vAn uLAr perumAn madhusUdhan en ammAn
thAnum yAnum ellAm thanuLLE kalandhozhindhOm
thEnum palum neyyum kannalum amudhum oththE



Word-by-Word meanings (based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s 12000 padi)

Unil – body which is made of flesh
vAzh – living (gloriously with bhagavath anubhvam in this body which is rare like a lotus blooming on a stove)
uyirE – Oh mind/heart!
nallai pO – this is good!

How so?
unnai – you
peRRu – getting (as subservient to me)
vAnuLAr – more than the nithyasUris who are residents of paramapadham
perumAn – having greater glory
madhusUdhan – one who finished my hurdles (since I have the desire to enjoy him) like he finished the demon madhu
en ammAn thAnum – he who has the quality of being my master, accepting my services
yAnum – I (who desired to enjoy him and surrendered to him for that)
than uLLE – within himself
ellAm – being all sweet
thEnum – like honey and honey
pAlum – like milk and milk
neyyum – like ghee and ghee
kannalum – like sugar and sugar
amudhum oththu – like nectar and nectar
kalandhu ozhindhOm – we have mixed

Simple transalation (based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s 12000 padi)

Oh mind/heart which lives in this body! This is good! Due to having you (as subservient to me),  emperumAn who is greater than nithyasUris, finished my hurdles in enjoying him like he finished the demon madhu. Such emperumAn who is my master and I, who am desirous of serving him, mixed like honey and honey, milk and milk, ghee and ghee, sugar and sugar and nectar and nectar.

With this, it is explained that perumAL and AzhwAr mixed like same species (seamlessly). Reason for having many examples (honey, milk etc)  is to show that emperumAn is the source of all tastes/flavours. uyir (vital air) is indicative of heart which is the abode of prANa (vital air).

vyAkyAnams (commentaries)

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s vyAkyAnam

See vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s translation.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s vyAkyAnam

See nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s vyAkyAnam

See nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam as documented by vadakkuth thiruvIdhip piLLai

  • Unil vAzh uyirE – Un – SarIram (body); vAzh – living/residing; uyir (AthmA) that resides in body; Also explained as, living in the body without knowing anything else. vAzh – explained as living gloriously now; living gloriously in this body itself which is made of flesh. You have favoured me to reach paramapadham and enjoy variegated experiences. In this body which is made of flesh, blood, bones, stool, urine etc., you have helped me achieve great bliss. From this, vAzh is explained as living gloriously – since time immemorial you enjoyed material/worldly pleasures, you have now favoured me to acquire divine bliss. manas (mind) is indicated with the term “uyir” (vital air – life) since even though AthmA’s dharmabhUtha gyAnam (knowledge) is eternal, the importance of mind is explained in SrIvishNu purANam 6.7.28 “mana Eva manushyANAm kAraNam bandha mOkshayO” (mind is the main cause for bondage to and liberation from [samsAram] for people). He is calling out for his own mind as “uyirE!“.
  • nallaipO – pO generally indicates go. Here AzhwAr is addressing his mind, saying “come, good mind!” (pO (go) is to be treated as vA (come) – viparItha lakshaNai – Opposite meaning). bO! is also sambOdhana (addressing). nallaipO can also be treated as a single world indicating “nallai nallai” (good good).

Why are you praising me in between (while enjoying divine union with emperumAn)?

  • unnaip perRRu – You, who are generally the cause for bondage, are now the cause for liberation. bhagavAn is eternal (always existing); relationship with him is also anAdhi (without a beginning). Even though he tried to help you in many ways, you did not turn towards him until now and lost the great opportunity to serve him. Since you have turned towards him today, you have got this great result.

AzhwAr explaining further, the great result he got.

  • vAnuLAr perumAn madhusUdhan ennammAn thAnum yAnum – multiple explanations:
    • Though being the leader of nithyasUris, just like he incarnated and finished the demon named madhu, he finished the hurdles which were stopping my divine union with him, overwhelmed me and engaged me in his service; thAnum – I who am the performer of kainkaryam.
    • I who suffered in seeing all visible entities to be suffering in pain of separation in “vAyum thiruayugaL (thiruvAimozhi 2.1)” and emperumAn who removed my suffering through his many efforts.
    • emperumAn who put in efforts (to get me); me who became the target of his efforts.
  • ellAm than uLLE kalandhu ozhindhOm – Just like one [the numeral] is contained in thousand and a puddle of water is contained in sea, we had divine union in which all different tastes/flavours manifested.
  • ozhindhOm – to the maximum – eternal experience. Even when I enter nithya vibhUthi (paramapadham – spiritual realm), I will be ruminating this experience. There is nothing separate (for AzhwAr) in paramapadham; it is the continuation of his blissful experience from here (here it happens with break, there it happens without any break). So, even after having such divine union, the reasons for AzhwAr to seek out to reach paramapadham are – to have proper companionship (with like-minded persons) and to have this experience without any break.

How did they mix?

  • thEnum pAlum kannalum … – For this, thirumAlai ANdAn explains it saying he heard it this way from ALavandhAr – Like two objects of the same species mixed (seamlessly); that is, honey and honey mixing, milk and milk mixing, ghee and ghee mixing, sugar and sugar mixing, necatar and nectar mixing”. But emperumAnAr gives a different explanation – AzhwAr takes these sweet objects as samples for all different flavours and says “we enjoyed all such flavours in our union”. As explained in chAndhOgya upanishath “sarvagndhas sarvarasa:”  (bhagavAn is the source of all fragrances and flavours), AzhwAr mixed with such (tasteful) emperumAn. When two entities (paramAthmA and jIvAthmA) who have gyAnam (knowledge), Anandham (bliss) unite, they unite in such a way that all flavours are manifested. Even in ALavandhAr‘s explanation, when two objects of the same species mix, the quantity increases – so , here AzhwAr is not talking about merging (eliminating of individual identity of jIvAthmA/paramAthmA as explained in adhvaitha philosophy) – he is only highlighting the seamless union.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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