Daily Archives: March 4, 2016

Sriranga gadhyam – 2nd chUrNai

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avathArikai (Introduction):

In the previous chUrNai, SrI rAmAnuja prayed for kainkaryam (service). In this chUrNai, he says that he doesn’t have any other place to go, he doesn’t have anything in his hand , he has all the faults, yet he wants to surrender to bhagavAn so that he will be able to carry out kainkaryam thereafter.

chUrNai:
svAthma nithya niyAmya nithya dhAsyaikarasa – Athma
svabhAvAnusandhAna pUrvaka bhagavadhanavadhikAthiSaya
svAmyAdhyakila guNagaNAnubhavajanitha –  anavadhikAthiSaya
prIthikAritha – aSEshAvasthOchitha – aSEshaSEshathaikarathirUpa
nithya kainkarya prApthyupAya (bhUtha) bhakthi, thadhupAya samyak
gyAna, thadhupAya samIchInakriyA, thadhanuguNa sAthvikath 
AsthikyAdhi samasthAthma guNavihIna:, dhuruththarAnantha thadh
viparyaya gyAna kriyAnuguNa – anAdhi pApavAsanA
mahArNavAnthar nimagna:, thilathailavath dhAruvahnivath
dhurvivEcha thriguNa kshaNaksharaNa svabhAva – achEthana
prakruthi vyApthi rUpa dhurathyaya bhagavanmAyA thirOhitha
svaprAkaSa:, anAdhyavidhyA sanchitha – ananthASakya
visramsana karmapASa pragrathitha:, anAgathAnanthakAla
samIkshayApi adhrushta santhArOpAya:, nikhila janthu jAtha
SaraNya! SrIman! nArAyaNa! thava charaNAravindha yugalam
SaraNamaham prapadhyE II

Explanatory Notes: 
Sri rAmAnuja, in the first chUrNai of this gadhyam, had stated (a) his svarUpam (that he is always controlled by bhagavAn and that carrying out kainkaryam to bhagavAn is sweet to him), (b) bhagavAn’s auspicious qualities (3 qualities that he displays to all, 12 qualities that he displays only to his ASrithars (followers) and 3 qualities that he shows only to his and his ASrithar’s enemies) and (c) how he wishes to carry out kainkaryam to bhagavAn in all states, without interruption. In the 2nd chUrNai, he repeats these in the first part, starting from svAthma nithya niyAmya until nithya kainkarya. Why would he repeat something that he had just mentioned to bhagavAn? It is because of pArathanthriyam (dependence on bhagavAn) he wishes to restate his svarUpam; because of the superiority of bhagavAn, he wishes to restate bhagavAn’s auspicious qualities and because of the sweetness of carrying out kainkaryam he wishes to restate his desire for doing kainkaryam to bhagavAn. Not only that. In order to carry out this kainkaryam, he needs to make himself eligible for it. What is the enabler for doing kainkaryam? Is it not surrendering to bhagavAn? It is this that he is now asking for, from bhagavAn.

Let us briefly see the first part of this chUrNai, based on what we have seen in the first chUrNai (2nd part). SrI rAmAnuja says that being controlled by bhagavAn and being a servant to him are his svarUpam (basic nature). He then immerses himself in the auspicious qualities of bhagavAn (21 stated qualities that we have seen in detail). Born out of this experience is a loving desire (prIthi) to carry out  uninterrupted, unabated, exalted kainkaryam in all states, at all times, in all places.
Only one term is new in the repetitive words: anavadhikAthiSaya swAmy – bhagavAn is swAmy (master or lord or owner). What sort of swAmy is he? He is boundless and exalted. More than that, he is swAmy without any cause or reason. We have people on this earth who will be our swAmy for various reasons – be it giving us sustenance for living here (through employment) or our parents who take care of us for sometime, offering us protection or who give us gifts on festival occasions. But bhagavAn as lord or master is beyond all this. He takes care of all the needs of the jIvAthmA in this world; protects him in all ways; the relationship between bhagavAn and jIvAthmA is natural unlike the artificial ones that we have seen above as these last for specified period only.

In the first chUrNai, SrI rAmAnuja described all auspicious qualities of bhagavAn but did not mention the quality of bhagavAn which is being swAmy. Here he says that, indicating that this one quality is equivalent to all the other qualities mentioned in the earlier chUrNai.

prApthyupAya (bhUtha) bhakthi – prApthi – attained; upAya – through; bhUtha – being present; bhakthi – devotion. The kainkaryam that SrI rAmAnuja wishes to carry out is acquired through bhakthi.

thadhupAya samyag gyAnathadhupAya – that is attained through; samyag – well (defined); gyAna – knowledge.  bhakthi is achieved through gyAna (knowledge). It is that gyAna which differentiates between jIvAthmA (soul) and paramAthmA (bhagavAn) and not any ordinary gyAna. It is the knowledge which enables jIvAthmA to be pArathanthriyan (subservient) to paramAthmA.

thadhupAya samIchInakriyAthath – that; upAya – through; samIchIna – correct or proper; kriyA – deed. This gyAna is attained through proper deed. What is a proper deed? It is an act done knowing fully well about the AthmA‘s true knowledge and done with three renunciations – that I am the karthA (doer). that it is my duty, and that it is done with a benefit as its goal.

thadhanuguNa sAththvikadhAsthikyAdhi samasthAthma guNavihIna: – thath – that; anuguNa – suitable to; sAthvikath – having sAthvika (purely good) quality; Asthikya – believing in; samastha – all;  Athma – relating to AthmA (soul); guNa – quality; vihIna – deprived of. bhagavdh rAmAnuja lists a few qualities which are needed (basic) to carry out the previously stated deeds and ends up saying that he does not have these qualities. Let us look at these qualities;

thadhanuguNa – to be appropriate to the qualities mentioned in the previous sentence.

sAthvikath – full of sathva guNa (only good qualities, not mixed with unwanted qualities such as rajasic, passion or thamasic, ignorance)

Asthika – believing in bhagavAn/SAsthram and being faithful.

samasthAthma guNavihIna: – SrI rAmAnuja now says that he does not have any of these qualities related to AthmA.

dhuruththarAnantha thadh viparyaya gyAna kriyAnuguNa – anAdhi pApavAsanA
mahArNavAnthar nimagna: –  dhuruththara – not possible to cross; anantha – without end; thath – that; viparyaya – contrary to ; gyAna – knowledge; kriya – deed; anuguNa – appropriate to; anAdhi – from time immemorial; pApa – sins ; vAsanA – knowledge derived from memory; mahA – huge; ArNavam – ocean; anthar – right inside; nimagna: – sunk. SrI rAmAnuja says that contrary to the good knowledge and good deeds which are required for carrying out bhakthi and enjoying bhagavAn’s auspicious qualities, he possesses all the wrong knowledge and wrong deeds. Due to these, he has sunk right at the bottom of the huge ocean called samsAram. And, he doesn’t know how to come out of this endless ocean (here the reference is to the repeated births and deaths that an AthmA undergoes in its journey in samsAram).

thilathailavath dhAruvahnivath dhurvivEcha thila – sesame; thailavath – full of oil; dhAru – a type of wood; vahnivath – full of fire; dhurvivEcha – unable to separate. SrI rAmAnuja says that though AthmA is self-illuminating (due to his unbounded gyAna) it is not seen. It is not possible for him to separate AthmA from the physical body and see it separately. To understand this he quotes two examples: just as there is oil in sesame, but not seen by the eye; just as there is fire inside a type of wood but not seen by the eye. But why should he attempt to separate AthmA from body? In the previous sentence he mentioned that he is fully sunk in the deep ocean called samsAram and is unable to extricate himself from it. bhagavAn asks him as to why he can not separate himself from samsAram, also called as prakruthi (primordial matter). Responding to that, he says that only those who are desirous of separating the two (AthmA and body) and who can separate the two, can achieve it. Such people would have the mercy of bhagavAn and gyAna vAsanai ( deep impression in the mind about true knowledge). For the others, the body and soul can not be separated.

thriguNa kshaNaksharaNa svabhAvathriguNa –  three guNas; kshaNa – moment; ksharaNa – changing; svabhAva – basic nature. The AthmA which is inside the body, which in turn is composed of the three qualities of saththva (good), rajas (passionate) and thamas (ignorant), keeps changing every moment; i.e. keeps changing constantly.  This is its basic (the physical body’s) nature.

achEthana prakruthi vyApthi rUpaachEthana – insentient; prakruthi – primordial matter; vyApthi rUpa – pervading throughout. jIvAthmA has inseparable connection with prakruthi (samsAram) which is insentient and all-pervading.

dhurathyaya bhagavanmAyA thirOhitha svaprakASa:dhurathyaya – not able to cross; bhagavanmAyA – prakruthi; thirOhitha – hidden; sva – self; prakASa – illumination. jIvAthmA is hidden by prakruthi, due to which it is unable to emit its lustrous nature and is also unable to cross prakruthi (to reach SrIvaikuNtam).

anAdhyavidhyA sanchitha – ananthASakya visramsana karmapASa pragrathitha: anAdhi – without a beginning; avidhyA – ignorance; sanchitha – accumulated bundle; anantha – without an end; aSakya –  incapable; visramsana – to untie ; karma – deeds; pASa – rope; pragrathitha: – well tied down. SrI rAmAnuja says that he has been tied down properly by a rope. What is this rope? It is the rope of karma (deeds resulting in puNya (virtue) and pApa (sin)). What is it made of? It is made of ignorance that has been coming with him from time immemorial. Could it be untied? No, it is not possible for him to untie it. First he said that he is deeply sunk in an ocean which has the fine footprint of sins (pApa vAsanA mahArNavAnthar nimagna:). Then he said that his svarUpam has been totally hidden by prakruthi (bhagavanmAyA thirOhitha svaprakASa:). Now he says that he is well bound by the rope of karmA (karmapASa pragrathitha:). Thus the chain is anAdhi vAsanA (all the footprints carried from memory over long period of time or infinite births) – leading to agyAna (knowledge about bhagavAn is hidden) – leading to indulging  in wrongful actions or karma. In turn karma leads to janma (birth, carrying footprints from memory) and ends up in a vicious circle (anantha). Is there any path known to cross this samsAram?

anAgathAnanthakAla samIkshayApi adhrushta santhArOpAya: anAgatha – future; ananthakAla – endless time; samIkshyApi – even if looked at cautiously; adhrushta – not seen; santhAra- crossing; upAya – path. SrI rAmAnuja says that even if he were to look at the future, for a very long number of years, he is unable to see any way (path) by which he can cross this samsAram.

nikhila janthu jAtha SaraNya  – nikhila – without leaving leaving; janthu – all living beings; jAtha – born; SaraNya – refuge. SrI rAmAnuja confesses that not only does he not have good qualities, he also has all the bad qualities; despite this, he says that bhagavAn is the ultimate refuge for all people born in this samsAram. He implies that he too, having been born in the samsAram, qualifies to take refuge (surrender) under bhagavAn. This is similar to his saying in SaraNAgathi gadhyam “akhila jagath swAmin; asmath swAmin” (you are the lord and master of the entire universe; you are my swAmy too).

SrIman nArAyaNa thava charaNAravindha yugalam SaraNamaham prapadhyE  Sriman – consort of SrI (pirAtti, mahAlakshmi); nArAyaNa – protector; thava – your; charaNam – exalted feet; aravindham – lotus-like; yugalam – two of them; SaraNam – surrender; aham – I; prapadhyE – hold firmly onto. SrI rAmAnuja performs SaraNAgathi in this chUrNai, by surrendering to the exalted feet of bhagavAn. In the first chUrNai, he had prayed for kainkaryam. In this chUrNai, he carries out surrendering so that he will be granted kainkaryam.

SrIman – If the surrendering had been done only to nArAyaNan, he might have looked at all the faults and bad deeds that he had committed in earlier births. But SrI rAmAnuja is calling upon SrIman nArAyaNan – i.e. nArAyaNan who is always with mahAlakshmi.

nArAyana – when the AthmA was lying similar to achith during praLayam (deluge) bhagavAn had mercifully given him an opportunity to be born, learn about bhagavAn, carry out SaraNAgathi, and attain him ultimately. All these were possible because bhagavAn had decided to protect him somehow or the other. Thus, whether one looks at SrI (mahAlakshmi) or nArAyaNa, protection has to be granted.

thavacharaNAravindhayugalam – easily accessible, merciful, bhagavAn’s lotus-like two exalted feet are the means for attaining him. After attaining him, they are the unparalleled objects of desire too for carrying out kainkaryam. There can be no other path, apart from his exalted feet, for us to attain him.

SaraNam aham parapdhyE – As a path to attain you, I hold on to you firmly. This is not a physical action but an act carried out by mind (bhudhdhi).

This completes the 2nd chUrNai. We shall go forward to the 3rd chUrNai.

Translation by krishNa rAmAnujadhAsan.

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thiruvAimozhi – 2.4.1 – Adi Adi

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SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

Full series >> Second Centum >> Fourth decad

Narasimha_Avatar1

Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the first pAsuram – parAnkusa nAyaki‘s (AzhwAr in feminine mood) divine mother is grieving saying that my daughter is feeling sunken saying “emperumAn who incarnated as narasimha and helped SrI prahlAdhAzhwAn, is not helping me”.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

In the first pAsuram – She is saying that parAnkusa nAyaki is feeling depressed saying “He has not helped me like he did for prahlAdha”.

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 – parAnkusa nAyaki‘s mother is saying that her daughter is calling out for emperumAn who is of the nature of helping his devotees when they called for him keeping their danger itself as the reason (for his arrival).

pAsuram

ஆடி ஆடி அகம் கரைந்து,
இசை பாடிப் பாடிக் கண்ணீர் மல்கி,
எங்கும் நாடி நாடி நரசிங்கா என்று,
வாடி வாடும் இவ் வாள் நுதலே

Adi Adi agam karaindhu
isai pAdip pAdik kaNNIr malgi
engum nAdi nAdi narasingA enRu
vAdi vAdum iv vAL nudhalE

Listen

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

ivvAL nudhal (ivvANudhal) – one who is having a shining forehead
Adi Adi – running around many times (like a trained dancer whose dance is a treat to watch, out of her grief unable to stay in one place)
agam karaindhu – having a broken heart
isai pAdip pAdi – (out of that grief) lamenting by singing in many different ways
kaNNIr malgi – (like a melted heart will shed) tears from eyes
engum – everywhere
nAdi nAdi – looking out for him
narasingA enRu – calling out as narasimha! (who is present everywhere)
vAdi vAdum – (since he did not arrive even after that) became very exhausted

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

My daughter who is having a shining forehead, is running around many times (like a trained dancer whose dance is a treat to watch, out of her grief unable to stay in one place), and is having a broken heart; she is thus lamenting by singing in many different ways and shedding tears from her eyes; she is looking for emperumAn calling out as narasimha! (who is present everywhere) and (since he did not arrive even after that) became very exhausted.

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

  • Adi Adi – The divine mother of parAnkusa nAyaki became attracted to her daughter’s restlessness/anxiety (in separation from emperumAn) which was manifested in her irregular state, walking and sleeping. Like SrI kausalyA suffering in (thinking about the) separation from SrI rAma as explained in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 40.45 “… nruthyanthImiva mAtharam” (Seeing kausalyA starting to cry constantly, in thinking about the separation of SrI rAma, lakshmaNa and sIthA – SrI rAma watched her like seeing a dancer). When someone is beautiful, all their actions would also be beautiful (and enjoyable for others). When sIthA was in separation from SrI rAma and not decorated, vAlmIki bhagavAn narrated her in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 29.1 “… subhAm …” (the one with an auspicious form).
  • Adi – Second “Adi” is not the same as first “Adi” (the tone becomes much lower due to her inability). Initially, though unable to sustain oneself, one would walk about waiting for perumAL [But subsequently, even that would not be possible, since one will be totally exhaused]. Since emperumAn is filled with auspicious qualities, one cannot easily give up on him. This is explained by quoting bharatha’s situation in SrI rAmAyaNam bAla kANdam 1.38 “rAmAgamanakAngshayA” (desiring for SrI rAma’s arrival) – bharatha thinks “if I can see SrI rAma’s face one more time, why should I give up this life in a useless manner?” administered the kingdom, waiting for SrI rAma. Second “Adi” is recited in half the volume of first “Adi” – this can be understood based on the sound of the cymbal (like a sound being echoed).
  • agam karaindhu – Like the walk (action) is irregular, heart/mind too became weak like ice melting to become water. How did the mother know the daughter’s heart is melting? Just like the daughter’s actions are observed through her eyes, the daughter’s heart is  understood by her own heart. While it is said that “mana: pUrvO vAguththara:” (whatever is conceived in mind manifests in action subsequently), there is no such order in her behaviour. Her crying out in anxiety has naturally turned into a song. Just as it is said in thiruchchantha viruththam 105 “paNNai venRa insol mangai” (girl whose words are better than music), SrI rAma said to hanuman about sIthA in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 64.15 “madhurA madhurAlApA” (the beautiful one with beautiful voice). Just like her actions out of anxiety became a dance, her words out of anxiety became a song. Unlike the first time crying, subsequent crying will be a lot weaker.
  • kaNNIr malgi – Once the heart melted, it flowed like music and came out as tears.
  • malgi – abundance. SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 33.4  “kimartham thava nEthrAbhyAm vArisravathi SOkajam” (Why are sad tears coming out of your eyes (which resemble lotus flower) where there should only be tears of joy?) – bhattar explained the meaning of this SlOkam and mercifully asked “Whose clan is going to be destroyed by these tears?”; piLLAn asked “Who is there to enjoy this form (no one)?” focusing more on “lotus like eyes shedding tears” (since emperumAn is not present there). nampiLLai says “Oh sinful me! I have not seen perumAL arriving to see my form”.
  • engum nAdi nAdi – having her danger (separation) alone as thAmrasAsanam (charter written on copper plate as evidence/reason), she would look around in all directions. SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 31.19 is explained by nampiLLai here:
    • sA thiryakUrdhvancha thathApyadhasthAth (sIthA pirAtti looked across, up and down) – though she was unconscious, when she heard the divine names (of SrI rAma recited by hanuman), she started looking around everywhere across lankA, up and down. Why did she look down? Three explanations are given: 1) If one can come out of earth and recite the names, he can come out of everywhere – so she looked around everywhere; 2) one who was fasting for a month, upon hearing the word “food”, will look around everywhere with great desire – similarly she looked around everywhere; 3) it can be said as sIthA pirAtti looking at the SimSupA tree everywhere (across, top and bottom).
    • thamachinthyabhudhdhim dhadharSa – Before seeing hanuman’s form, she analysed his heart, thinking that he has arrived where she is and with the kind heart to help her.
    • pingAdhipathEr amAthyam – she understood that he is not independent and he is here on the orders of his king
    • vAthAthmajam – he looked like “the son of vAyu who is the one who provides life sustaining air to all” since he is going to help sustain pirAtti who is the life of SrI rAma
    • sUryamivOdhayastham – he laid the foundation for sunrise in lankA; like the aruNOdhayam (the early morning time before sunrise), hanuman was the aruNOdhayam before SrI rAma who is the sUryOdhayam. That is why inside lankA’s fort, it sounds “hari hari” (double meaning – hari means vishNu; hari also means monkey; the name “hari” is recited in the morning as soon as one wakes up to ward off their sins). So, why is she searching in places from where emperumAn may not arrive? Because, emperumAn arrives from any place; why is she not calling out for vishNu (generally)? After singing “paththudai adiyavar“, she would always stop at avathArams (incarnations) and not go beyond that.
    • engum nAdi nAdibhattar explained this as “she searched even in her own koysakam (saree-fold)” – this is based on emperumAn having AzhwAr‘s waist as his residing place as AzhwAr himself said in thiruvAimozhi 1.9.4 “kaNNan en okkalaiyAnE” (krishNa is on my waist).
    • narasingA enRu – Since she did not have a pillar like prahlAdha had. The one who appeared in front of prahlAdha who had pristine knowledge and said “maththassarvam aham sarvam” (SrIvishNu purANam 1.19.85 – everything is created from me, everything is me) – he is not appearing before this poor girl! Would you help only if the father becomes enemy? Would you not help if you yourself become enemy (by not uniting with her)? While you helped the one who is firm in gyAnam (knowledge), would you not help me who is firm in bhakthi (devotion)? While you helped men, would you not help girls (like me)? While you helped assuming form which is unnatural, would you not help with your natural form? Should she develop some qualification (like prahlAdha should be protected with a unique narasimha form), approach you at a particular time (since hiraNyakaSipu could not be killed at day, night etc), expect you to help her with a particular tool (like emperumAn was forced to use his nails to kill hiraNyakaSipu and protect prahlAdha)? Should you have to assume a particular face to protect her (like he assumed lion face to protect prahlAdha)?
    • vAdi vAdum – Like a stem which lost its supporting stick. First “vAdi” (sulking) is fresh, when we compare the second “vAdum” with that (she deteriorated quickly).
    • vAdum – It is in future tense. So she is sure that she will not die and will just crave for his arrival.
    • ivvANudhalE (ivvAL nudhalE) – having a shining forehead. She is going through such suffering which those who become attracted to her will go through. Are you staying away from her thinking that you can create someone like her if she dies? Are you planning to create (someone like her) again as said in thaiththirya upanishadh nArAyaNavalli “dhAthA yathApUrvamakalpayath” (brahmA created like it was present in previous times (before praLayam))? The signs of the union you had with her in “Unil vAzhuyir” has still not disappeared. Just like one who was destroyed by arrows and one who drowned in water will be clearly identified, she is suffering due to separation from emperumAn who has abundance of auspicious qualities.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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