upadhESa raththina mAlai – 73

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pAsuram 73

indha upadhESa raththina mAlai thannaich
chindhai thannil nALum sindhippAr – endhai
ethirAsar innaruLukku enRum ilakkAgich
chathirAga vAzhndhiduvar thAm.                       73


Word by word meaning

sindhippAr thAm – Those who reflect on
indha upadhESa raththina mAlai thannai – this upadhESa raththina mAlai
chindhai thannil – in their mind
nALum – always,
enRum – would at all times
ilakkAgich- be the receiver of
in – sweet
aruLukku – grace of
endhai – my swAmi
ethirAsar – SrI bhAshyakArar,
vAzhndhiduvar – and would live
chathirAga – with greatness.


Finally, as he (maNavALa mAmunigaL) had vowed to advice about all the meanings obtained via good lineage of preceptors, he followed that and completely explained about them in this prabandham to completion, and now divining about the benefit of those who are involved in learning this prabandham, and bringing the prabandham to completion, starting this pAsuram with ‘indha upadhESa raththina mAlai thannai’.

That is, those who always at all times reflect in their mind about this prabandham which is most distinguished from all other prabandhams, would be the receiver of grace without effort on their part, and would get distinguished experience of enjoying emperumAn, doing services (kainkaryam), etc., and will stay happy – says maNavALa mAmunigaL.

indha upadhESa raththina mAlai thannai – He is saying ‘indha’ (this), looking at how the pAsurams connect the meanings of beginning ones and the latter ones.

He says, like a pearl garland put together by an expert, this too is a garland of gems; and it is being well regarded by him.

This is made of gems of meanings and advice. Like saying ‘garland of pearls’, ‘garland of ruby’, the identity of this prabandham is being ‘upadhESa rathna mAlai’ (garland of gems of advice).

upadhESa raththina mAlai – By this, as it is obtained through the lineage of advice, it is being well connected with such words. In a garland if one of the connections/gems is lost then it would be a big loss. Here too it would be tied together with ‘kurumAmaNi [periyAzhvAr thirumozhi – 1.2.10]’ (SrI kausthubam). That is, starting with ‘namperumAL, nammAzhvAr’ [upadhESa raththina mAlai – 50]’, up to thiruvAimozhip piLLai, in the good sampradhAyam without any slippage, it has been carried out very well.

It is said, “thiruvaruL mAl … thirumalaiyAzhvAr padhangaL munbu ennuL sErndhanavE” (~ starting from SrIman nArAyaNan up to the divine feet of thirumalaiyAzhvAr has reached in me), and in ‘lakshmI nAtha samArambhAm … asmadhAchArya paryanthAm vandhE guruparamparAm [podhu/common thaniyan]’ (starting from the husband of goddess lakshmI .. up to my AchAryan – I praise this lineage of preceptors).

That this prabandham is having the characteristic of a garland can be seen in the way he has put it together. That is, on one side are the ten AzhvArs, and then, with ANdAL, madhurakavi AzhvAr, and yathirAja in the center, and then, all the Acharyas before him such as ‘nAthamuni mudhalAna nam dhEsikar [upadhEsa raththinamAlai – 36]’ (preceptors starting from SrIman nAthamunigaL) are on the other side of the garland – this is how he has collected them well together and made it like a garland.

In this way, this is a distinguished garland; those who reflect upon it every day …

sindhai thannil nALum sindhippAr – A garland would be a decoration for the chest, and one would be able to wear it (tharippu). It is like said in ‘mArvaththu mAlai [thiruvAimozhi 10.10.2]’ (She in your chest like a garland),

As saying in ‘upadhESa raththina mAlai thannai than nenju thannil tharippavar [upadhESa raththina mAlai – thaniyan]’ (who keeps/wears upadhESa raththina mAlai in their heart (their divine feet is shelter for us)), and in ‘upadhESarathnamAlAmimAm dhadhathiyE hrudhayEna nithyam [jIyar nAyanAr vadamozhi mAlai – 73]’, one would be able to wear it (tharippu) in their heart as a decoration. Heart and chest are always together; (similarity of garland and upadhESa raththina mAlai).

mAlai thannaich chinthai thannil nALum sindhippAr – Since this prabandham is looked upon as a priceless garland of gems, it can be worn in the heart every day like a garland of flowers that don’t wilt (vAdAppU mAlai).

In this way this is distinguished, and loved by the people, and its meanings attract the hearts, so it is being suitable for thinking about at all times. This is as said in ‘japthavyam guru paramparaiyum dhvayamum [SrI vachana bhUshaNam – 274]’ (to be muttered is lineage of AchAryas and dhvayam).

There should be some benefit for those who reflect on this..

It is now showing that such and such is the benefit for this {over varied and distinguished commentary that follows now}

endhai ethirAsar innaruLukku enRum ilakkAgich chathirAga vAzhndhiduvar thAm – that is, as said in ‘asmadhgurOr bhagavatha: asya dhayaikasindhO: [common thaniyan]’ (adiyEn’s AchAryar rAmAnujar is like a sea of mercy), they, without any reason on their part, would be able to receive limitless loving kindness of emperumAnAr who is trusted that he can say for the attainment (of true goal) for all AthmAs, and they would be able to live well.

That is, as said in ‘vaLarththa idhath thAy irAmAnusan [thiruvAimozhi thaniyan]’ (emperumAnAr a mother who wishes good for us (who nurtured the meanings of thiruvAimozhi)), since emperumAnAr nurtured this dharSanam, he would give the benefit to those who are involved in this prabandham that shows the meanings of dharSanam. Since this is according to the way of AzhvArs, he (emperumAnAr) nurtures it as he knows its greatness. Since they think about this prabandham every day, his kindness would also be upon them every day.

ethirAsar in aruLukku enRum ilakkAgi Even when Isvaran who is ‘aruLAzhi ammAn [thiruvAimozhi – 1.4.6]’ (emperumAn who is a sea of mercy) refuses to show His mercy, the mercy of emperumAnAr as referenced in ‘nin aruLin kaN anRip pugal onRumillai [rAmAnusa nuRRanthAdhi – 48]’ (~there is no shelter other than your mercy), and in ‘yathirAja dhayAmburASE | thasmAth ananya SAraNa: [yathirAja vimsathi – 20]’ (Oh yathirAja! who is like a sea of mercy who cannot tolerate the suffering of others, so I am not having any thing other than you as the means) – they would be receivers of such divine grace of emperumAnAr;

enRum ilakkAgi – Due to the relationship of father/chief (endhai), his never changing look of mercy would be upon us at all times.

sathirAga vAzhndhiduvar – Would live in a grand manner (by getting emperumAnAr’s grace) better than getting the unconditional grace of emperumAn that is said as ‘mAsathir [thiruvimozhi 2.7.1](~greatly glorious).

ALuriyanAy, adiyEn sathirththEn inRE [kaNNinuN chiruththAmbu – 7] (became a devotee of nammAzhvAr, and attained greatness) is how the words are from one who is immersed in services to AchAryan (madhura kavi AzhvAr towards nammAzhvAr).

sathirAga vAzhndhu is, unlike those who received the grace of Isvaran where they have to say ‘nalivAn innam eNNuginRAy [thiruvAimozhi – 7.1.1]’ (may be you are thinking of making me suffer some more (by not showing up)), ‘ARRang karai vAzh maram pOl anjuginREn [periya thirumozhi – 11.8.1]’ (am afraid like a tree close to the shore of river), ‘idaiyan eRindha maramE oththirAmE, adaiya aruLAy [periya thirumozhi – 11.8.6]’ (please help me by giving your mercy, and not let me suffer like trees cut off by cowherd boy (for the cows to reach out to the leaves)), that is, they who seek the grace of emperumAn would live with fear/doubt and happiness,

those who are part of his (emperumAnAr’s) love, would stay without any worries here and there as well, be relaxed keeping their hands in their chest (a saying to imply – no worries), be without any fear as said in ‘nirbharO nirbhayO asmi [nyAsa vimsathi – 22]’ (have been removed of all shortcomings and I have no fear), be distinguished as said in ‘vaiyyam manni veeRRirundhu [thiruvAimozhi – 4.3.11]’ (will stay in this world for a long time (and here itself will rule paramapadham)), and would live with the praising by the world, and in this world which creates ignorance they would get the ability to live happily.

That is, as said in ‘nam thalai misaiyE pongiya keerththi irAmAnusan adippU mannavE [rAmAnusa nuRRanthAdhi – 108]’ (rAmAnujar who is having greatness that is spread everywhere; for his divine lotus feet to be present in my head for ever), for those who jeeyar (maNavALa mAmunigaL) decorates with the garland of gems (upadhESa raththina mAlai), emperumAnAr would decorate them with crown, and they would live well. Reason of living well is the crown and garland isn’t it?

Like saying ‘adi sUdum arasu [perumAL thirumozhi – 10.7]’ (would wish only for the kingdom of having rAma pirAn’s divine feet in my head), for those who are in that state, they are apt to get such apparels and ornaments as said in ‘un padha yugamAm Er koNda veedu [rAmAnusa nuRRanthAdhi – 83]’ (the most distinguished mOksham, your divine lotus feet).

His prApyam (goal) is like said in ‘SrImathpAdhAravindhayugaLam sirasi krutham dhyathvA, amrutha sAgarAntha:nimagnas sarvAvayavas sukhamAseeth [SrIvaikuNta gadhyam – 6]’ (Would think that the divine lotus feet that is of unlimited sweetness is kept on his head, and be immersed in the sea of happiness, and with all the faculties, would live very well). Here, it is its pinnacle state (servitude to such AchAryan). It is said as ‘rAmAnusan charaNAravindham nAm manni vAzha [rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi – 1]’ (for us to live dependent on the beautiful feet of emperumAnAr), and ‘un iNai malarth thAL enthanakkum adhu [rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi – 76]’ (~(what emperumAn’s divine feet is for you), same is your divine lotus feet for us);

{notice how the vyAkyAnam here is gravitating towards quoting rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi pAsurams to explain about rAmAnujar’s mercy that is important for us},

By this, it says that those who are the receivers of emperumAnAr’s mercy would be subservient like the shadow of the feet (which is always together with the feet) like said in ‘un thoNdarkatkE anbuRRu irukkumpadi [rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi – 107]’ (to be in loving state towards your devotees), and would do all kinds of services (kainkaryams) to his (AchAryan’s) divine feet like ‘than Ariyanukku … avan innAdu thannil irukkum nAL [upadhEsa raththina mAlai – 64]’ (~serve AchAryan when he is in this world), and would live very well.

It is as said in ‘thannai uRRu Atcheyyum thanmaiyinOr mannu thAmaraith thAL thannai uRRu At cheyya, rAmAnusan than thagavAl, ennai uRRAn [rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi – 97]’ (emperumAnAr accepted me and graced me such that I would be devoted only to the divine feet of those who are of the nature of being devoted only to the lotus feet of emperumAnAr).

It is divined as ‘allAdha pOdhu prApya prApakangaLukku aikyam illai [SrI vachana bhUshaNam – 426]’ (~ it would not match if we don’t consider AchAryan himself as the means and the destiny).

jeeyar (maNavALa mAmunigaL) also prayed as ‘thvadh dhAsadhAsagaNanA charamAvadhau ya: thadhdhAsathaikarasathA avirathA mamAsthu [yathirAja vimSathi – 16]’ (For your servant who is so devoted to your words that he could be even bought or sold (by you), please let me serve, without interest in anything else, the last of series of such servants who serve such a devotee of yours; please let this happen every day by your grace). And he is ‘thiruvAimozhip piLLai mAthagavAL vAzhum maNavALa mAmunivan’ {lives well by the great mercy of his AchAryan thiruvAimozhip piLLai (by achieving this wish of being the last of the series of servants of his devotee}.

Or, as saying in ‘paranthAmam ennum thivam tharum [rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi – 94]’ (will give the place of SrI vaikuNtam), and ‘thannai eydhinarkku atthAnam koduppadhu than thagavu ennum charaN koduththE [rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi – 66]’ (for those who have surrendered to him he gives that place (SrIvaikuNtam) by giving his grace due to mercy), by his grace they would get the goal of paramapadham and the experience of emperumAn and services, and live as per their true nature;

As said in ‘pAvaLarum thamizh mAlai paNNiya nUl ivai ayndhum ayndhum vallAr, pUvaLarum thirumagaLAl aruL peRRup pon ulagil polivar thAmE [periya thirumozhi – 11.6.10]’ (~ those who are able to follow the meanings of this decad of prabandham will by the grace of thAyAr who is in the lotus flower, live well in SrI vaikuNtam), starting with ‘gyAnam anuttAnamthAnE vaikuntham tharum [upadhEsa raththina mAlai – 61]’ – and then starting with ‘uyyaa ninaivu uNdAgil parama padham ungaLukkAm [upadhEsa raththina mAlai – 62]’ is how he divined definitively about the decoration of those in the state of AchArya abhimAnam (love of/for Acharyan), and he also divined ‘mAmalarAL kOn madiyil vaiththu ugakkum vAzhvu namakku ethirAsan aruLum vAzhvE [Arththi prabandham – 20]’ (the life we get where thAyAr’s husband happily keeps us in his lap (in SrI vaikuNtam), is the life that emperumAnAr bestows upon us).

ethiraja_sampathkumararemperumAn in emperumAnAr’s lap

vAzhndhiduvar thAm – those who are distinguished compared to those in the state of bhagavath abhimAnam (love towards emperumAn),

endhai ethirAsar innaruLukku ilakkAgi enRum vAzhndhiduvar – Those who are the receivers of emperumAnar’s grace one time, would get the life there of eternal service (kainkaryam). It is said ‘aruLAlE adiyEnai abhimAniththu aruLi, anavaratham adimai koLLa [Arththi prabandham – 35]’ (due to his grace he loves me and accepts me for performing eternal service (to him)).

enRum sathirAga vAzhndhiduvar – As said in ‘athra parathra chApi [sthOthra rathnam – 2]’ (there and here), even if they go there they would enjoy the experience of Him based on the thought that He is loved by emperumAnAr, and they would not have the inferior state of doing it for their own happiness.

vAzhndhiduvarThere is no doubt that the life would be good. It is said too as ‘nissamsayasthu thadhbhaktha paricharyArathAthmanAmi’ (He who is involved in kainkaryam to guru would not have any doubts (about getting the true goal)).

enRum sathirAga vAzhndhiduvar – As the benefit of his grace, as said in ‘pallANdum paramAthmanaich chUzhndhu irundhu Eththuvar pallANdE [thiruppallANdu – 12]’ (will eternally be around emperumAn and praise him with their pallANdu (mangaLASAsanam/wish Him live long), eternally they would be involved in the mangaLAsAsana kainkaryam (wishing Him well) which follows the true nature of AthmA, and they would live very well.

This is also divined in ‘ “ALumALAr” engiRavanudaiya thanimaiyaith thavirkkaikkAyiRRu bhAshyakArarum ivarum upadhESippadhu [SrI vachana bhUshaNam – 256]’ (ALumALAr pAsuram of thiruvAimozhi – 8.3.9 says that there is no one emperumAn keeps for kainkaryam, He carries his divine conch etc., himself, nobody is there to carry them and follow Him (except iLaiyaperumAL/lakshmaNa), and so on, saying He is being alone), to such lonely emperumAn, periyAzhvAr and emperumAnAr do mangaLASAsanam and call others to join them, so that His loneliness would be removed).

So he (emperumAnAr) takes care of doing ‘thiruththith thirumagaL kELvanukku Akkugai [rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi – 78] (reformed and made me to exist for the divine pirAtti’s husband). It is this benefit that one can see directly by their eyes.

So, like how he started this prabandham as ‘enthai thiruvAimozhip piLLai innaruLAl’ [upadhESa raththina mAlai – 1], here at the time of discussion of benefits (palam) maNavALa mAmunigaL has divined in the same way as ‘enthai ethirAsar innaruLukku enRum ilakkAgi’, and has concluded the prabandham so.

– – – – – – – – – –

Translation: raghurAm SrInivAsa dhAsan

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