Daily Archives: March 16, 2016

thiruvAimozhi – 2.5.1 – andhAmaththu anbu

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

Full series >> Second Centum >> Fifth decad


Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the first pAsuram, AzhwAr speaks about the splendour acquired by emperumAn after arriving with all his entourage and uniting with AzhwAr as desired by AzhwAr himself.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

In the first pAsuram, AzhwAr enjoys emperumAn‘s beautiful form that is decorated with divine ornaments.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

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

First pAsuram – AzhwAr says that emperumAn came and united with him as he desired in thiruvAimozhi 2.3.10 “adiyArgaL kuzhAngaLai – udan kUduvadhu enRu kolO” (when will I join the assembly of nithyasUris agreeing with their principles?) [Since emperumAn’s chakra, thread, garland etc are all nithyaSuris, AzhwAr’s desire of being together with them is thus fulfilled].


அம் தாமத்து அன்பு செய்து என் ஆவி சேர் அம்மானுக்கு
அம் தாமம் வாழ் முடி சங்கு ஆழி நூல் ஆரம் உள
செந்தாமரைத் தடம் கண் செங்கனி வாய் செங்கமலம்
செந்தாமரை அடிகள் செம்பொன் திரு உடம்பே

am dhAmathu anbu seydhu en Avi sEr ammAnukku
am dhAmam vAzh mudi sangu Azhi nUl Aram uLa
sendhAmaraith thadangaN sengani vAy sengamalam
sendhAmarai akikkaL sempon thiru udambE


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

andhAmaththu – in paramapadham
anbu – attachment
seydhu – having
en Avi – in my heart (me who is not favourable)
sEr – well-placed
ammAnukku – to the natural master

(the identities of lordship)
am – beautiful
dhAmam – having garland
vAL – radiant
mudi – crown
sangu Azhi – divine weapons chakra (disc) and Sanka (conch)
nUl – yagyOpavItham (sacred thread)
Aram – divine garland
uLa – they appeared
kaN – divine eyes
sem thAmaraith thadam – like a pond with red lotus flowers
sem – reddish
kani – like a ripened fruit
vAy – mouth/lips
sem – reddish
kamalam – like a lotus flower
adikkaL – divine feet
sem – reddish
thAmarai – like a lotus flower
thiru udambu – divine body
sem pon – like reddish gold

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

bhagavAn who is the natural master and has attachment towards paramapadham, became well-placed in my heart; manifesting his supremacy, radiant crown having beautiful garland, divine weapons, sacred thread and garland appeared clearly; his eyes look like a pond of reddish lotus flowers; his reddish ripened fruit like mouth/lips resemble a lotus flower; his divine feet look like a lotus flower; his divine body shines like reddish gold.

Another explanation – AzhwAr is saying that bhagavAn who is having molten gold like beautiful form which is explained in antharAdhithya vidhyA, beautiful limbs such as lotus like eyes etc., beautiful ornaments such as crown, head gear etc., beautiful Sanka, chakra etc., and who is residing in Adhithya maNdalam (solar galaxy) has great attachment towards sun. He is showing the same attachment towards my heart. He is manifesting great radiance to highlight the similarity between his radiant residence of solar galaxy and my heart.

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

  • andhAmaththu anbu seydhu – Showing the same affection to me as shown towards the beautiful land (parampadham). dhAmam – sthAnam [place]. Also explained as – As in manchA: krOSanthi (bed making noise which implies those who are lying on the bed making noise), showing the same affection to me as shown towards nithyasUris who are the residents of paramapadham. He showed me the total affection that was shown towards all the residents of nithya vibhUthi (paramapadham). AzhwAr himself mercifully said in thiruvAimozhi 1.2.6muRRavum ninRanan” (firmly attached towards me).
  • en Avi – it shows that emperumAn reaches out to him, but AzhwAr shies away from him. Thinking about his previous state, he shied away; but emperumAn approaches him with that itself as the reason. Like pouring water on a drought stricken land, emperumAn united with my soul which was explained in thiruvAimozhi 2.4.7 as “uLLuL Avi ularndhu ularndhu” (AthmA inside the heart which is dried up).
  • sEr – Like a thirsty person who jumps into a pond, he united with me.

What is the reason for his uniting with me like this?

  • ammAnukku – because he is the natural lord/master; he has natural entitlement to mingle with the residents of both realms viz., nithya vibhUthi (paramapadham) and leelA vibhUthi (samsAram). Only after accepting AzhwAr as his servant, he became sarvESvaran (master of all).
  • andhAma … – two explanations:
    • ALavandhAr‘s explanation presented by thirumAlai ANdAn – As desired by AzhwAr in thiruvAimozhi 2.3.10adiyAr kuzhAngaLai udan kUduvadhu enRu kolO” (when will I be united with nithyasUris accepting their principles?) emperumAn arrived with nithyasUris to unite with AzhwAr. But how is it that “Azhi nUI Aram” (chakra, sacred thread, garland) are identified as nithyasUris? These nithyasUris who are filled with knowledge, assume these forms to manifest their pArathanthriyam (total dependence on bhagavAn).
    • emperumAnAr presents a different explanation – Before uniting with AzhwAr, like emperumAn, his weapons/ornaments too were lacking splendour. On uniting with him, they all became radiant and their existence was well established. Just like when a tree dries up, the leaves, flowers etc will also dry up (when emperumAn lacks splendour, his weapons, ornaments etc also lack splendour).
  • andhAma vAzh mudi – beautiful garland became crowned and lively. Another explanation – vANmudi – vAL + mudi – vAL means radiance, thus it means infinitely radiant crown. dhAmam also means thEjas (glow). Glowing pAnchajanyam (conch), glowing thiruvAzhi (chakra – disc), glowing yagyOpavItham (sacred thread), glowing thiruvAram (garland); In this ways glow is an adjective for all nithyasUris.
  • uLa – How do they acquire “existence” now? As said in mahOpanishadh “sa EkAkI na ramEtha” (that SrIman nArAyaNa was not joyful alone during praLayam when all AthmAs were submerged in him) , before uniting with AzhwAr, emperumAn does not even feel the existence of paramapadham.
  • sem thAmaraith thadam kaN – the state of emperumAn seeing him to his heart’s full satisfaction. Only after uniting with AzhwAr, his eyes became fresh and expanded/brightened. That which is explained as “EkarUpa” (unchanging) is changing like this. It is said in SrI vishNu purANam 1.2.1 “sadhaikarUparUpAya” (having a divine form which matches his true nature) – he does not acquire any change due to karma (like us) [His changes are due to his divine desire].
  • sem kani vAy sem kamalam – the mouth/lips which speak hundreds of sweet words. Beautiful tender (like ripened fruit) lips looked like red lotus flower.
  • sem thAmarai adikkaL – after becoming overwhelmed with the glance (of the eyes) and smile (of the lips), one will naturally fall at the lotus feet.
  • thiru udambE – after falling at the lotus feet, one will naturally (get to) enjoy the divine body of emperumAn. As said in manu smrithi 12.122 “…rukmAbham…” (one who has a golden form) – his body started shining like gold after uniting with AzhwAr.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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SrIranga gadhyam – 7th chUrNai

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avathArikai (Introduction)

SrI rAmAnuja now lists all the auspicious qualities of bhagavAn. He has been praying all along that he has nothing in himself, but he has the desire to carry out kainkaryam. bhagavAn asks him how he can grant him his wish if he has nothing. To which, SrI rAmAnuja says that bhagavAn has all the qualities in him to grant him his wish and starts reeling out his qualities. Let’s go through the chUrNai:

apAra karuNAmbudhE! anAlOchitha viSEsha – aSEsha
lOkaSaraNya! praNathArthihara! ASritha vAthsalyaika
mahOdhadhE! anavaratha vidhitha nikhila bhUthajAtha yAthAthmya!
sathyakAma! sathyasankalpa! Apathsaka! kAkuthstha! SrIman!
nArAyaNa! purushOththama! SrIranganAtha! mamanAtha!
namOsthu thE II

Explanatory Notes

apAra karuNAmbudhEapAra – boundless; karuNa – merciful; ambudhi – ocean. bhagavAn is like an ocean of mercy which has no shores. What is this mercy? It is that quality which will make him feel sad (he can not endure) when his ASrithars (followers) are in trouble or sorrow. Since this quality is boundless, SrI rAmAnuja equates it to an ocean. When does this quality become boundless? He shows this quality even to those who are not his ASrithars. It reflects on common man too. Hence you have to show this quality towards me who is also a common man, says SrI rAmAnuja.

anAlOchitha viSEsha aSEsha lOka SaraNyaanAlOchitha – not differentiating; viSEsha – special; aSEsha – without leaving anything; lOka – people; SaraNya – refuge. bhagavAn does not see if a person is of a high or low birth; he does not see if the person has high or low level of knowledge; and he does not see if he is a good or poor practitioner of religious rites. He does not make a distinction among people based on their birth or knowledge or practice. Without leaving anyone, he is the SaraNyan (refuge) to all the persons living in this samsAram (materialistic realm). Taken with the previous words (apAra karuNAmbudhE) this confirms that the person who is merciful is also the only one to whom people can go, to take refuge.

praNathArthiharapraNatha – followers; Arthi – grief; hara – removing. Since he has mercy in abundance and he is also the refuge for the entire world, he removes the grief of those who take refuge in his exalted feet.

ASritha vAthsalyaika mahOdhadhEASritha – followers; vAthsalyaika – fond affection only; mahA – great; udhadhi – ocean. Just as a cow licks off all the dirt from the body of a calf that it had given birth to, bhagavAn removes the faults in his ASrithars. His affection towards his followers is like a great ocean and he forgives the faults of his ASrithars as his svabhAvam (his character). In the first line of this chUrNai, he had mentioned bhagavAn’s mercy as a boundless ocean (apAra karuNAmbhudhE). Now he terms his vAthsalyam (the quality of bhagavAn which treats the faults in ASrithars as virtues) as a great ocean (mahOdhadhE). His vAthsalyam towards his ASrithars is greater than the mercy that he shows towards them [A word of caution here is in order. Just because he is willing to overlook our faults, it should not be taken to mean that we can knowingly go in the wrong way (doing something forbidden by SAsthram or not doing something ordained by it), even after taking refuge under him. He has kept us in a high position and expects us to do only good things. If we slip and go to him for forgiving us, it will certainly create a bad taste in him about us. Hence we should not give way for such an eventuality and be ultra careful in our activities].

anavaratha vidhitha nikhila bhUthajAtha yAthAthmyaanavaratha – incessantly; vidhitha – known; nikhila – entire; bhUthajAtha – all living beings; yAthAthmya – in true states as they are. bhagavAn knows the true state of all the living beings, at all times. The inference here is that SrI rAmAnuja tells bhagavAn, since you know the truth about everyone, do I need to speak about my lowliness to you? You know it already and you should protect me.

sathyakAmasathya – nithya (forever); kAma – desire. bhagavAn is known as avAptha samastha kAman (one whose desires have all been fulfilled). Since he has no unfulfilled desire, he fulfills the desires of his ASrithars (followers).

sathyasankalpasathya – not wasted; sankalpa – will. If he wants to take a chEthana (sentient) from samsAram and keep him in SrIvaikuNtam, no one can come in his way. His will (vow) always prevails.

ApathsakhaApath – danger; sakha – friend. When there is any danger to his follower, he stands by his ASrithar. If a danger comes from someone, he will help. But if the danger comes from bhagavAn himself, his ASrithars can still approach him for relief. This appears strange to bhagavAn and he queries SrI rAmAnuja as to why he is saying this. Is there any incident like this wherein a person approaches him for relief when he himself is after him. SrI rAmAnuja replies…..

kAkuthstha – one of the many names of SrI rAma. When kAkAsura (a demon) wronged sIthA pirAtti (in SrI rAmAyaNam), SrI rAmA sent a dharbham (type of grass) after uttering brahmAsthra (a powerful manthram, hymn) after kAkAsura to destroy him. When kAkAsura fell at his feet after trying various refuges, SrI rAmA forgave him and spared his life.

SrIman – pirAtti’s swAmy (mahAlakshmi‘s consort). When SrI rAmA protected kAkAsura, sIthA pirAtti was sitting next to him. Thus, even if bhagavAn does not favour sparing someone, pirAtti pleads with him for the sake of the jIvAthmA and makes him protect the jIvAthmA. In the same incident involving kAkAsura, it was sIthA pirAtti who changed the position of the asura (demon) who fell with his feet touching SrI rAmA’s exalted feet and instead, made his head touch SrI rAmA’s thiruvadi (exalted feet).

nArAyaNa – even if pirAtti complains about ASrithars, he does not support her, but supports his ASrithars. SrI rAmAnuja subtly hints to bhagavAn that he and bhagavAn are connected by strong relationship (9 types of relationship between paramAthmA and jIvAthmA, such as husband-wife, father-son, owner-owned, master-servant etc) and bhagavAn has to protect him.

purushOththama – supreme among purushas (badhdha, muktha, nithya jIvAthmAs). bhagavAn gives to all living beings whatever they wish for, but still calls them as ‘generous’ because, if they do not ask him, how can he give and earn the name ‘generous’ for himself? Since he is so generous, he should protect me, says SrI rAmAnuja.

SriranganAtha – Lord of SrIrangam. If all the auspicious qualities described above had been manifested in some place where we can not see or approach bhagavAn, of what use would these qualities be to us? But instead of that, bhagavAn has manifested himself as SrIranganAtha, lying on AdhiSEsha, in SrIrangam, where we can all go and have dharshan (vision) of  him.

mama nAtha – my Lord. He is not only Lord of SrIrangam, but he is my Lord too. This is emphasised to bring out the relationship between bhagavAn and SrI rAmAnuja (Lord-servant).

namOsthu thE – salutations to you. Since the relationship is very clear, SrI rAmAnuja beseeches bhagavAn to grant  him his svarUpam (of being a servant to bhagavAn) and to enjoy him as an entity.

With this, we come to the end of SrIranga gadhyam. Our preceptors have included gadhya thrayam as part of nithyAnusandhAnam (to be recited every day along with other treatises such as select verses of 4000 dhivya prabhandham, upadhEsa rathinamAlai etc). If we fall short of time and are unable to recite SaraNAgathi gadhyam, we should find time to recite SrIranga gadhyam as emperumAn feels happy to hear us reciting this wonderful treatise.

SrIranganAthanSrIranga nAchchiyAr thiruvadigaLE SaraNam
emperumAnAr thiruvadigaLE SaraNam
periyavAchchAn piLLai thiruvadigaLE SaraNam
jIyar thiruvadigaLE SaraNam

Translation by krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan.

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