Monthly Archives: March 2016

thiruvAimozhi – 2.5.7 – pAmbaNai mEl

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Full series >> Second Centum >> Fifth decad

Previous pAsuram

rama-7-trees

Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the seventh pAsuram – AzhwAr enjoys the divine activities which were mercifully manifested by emperumAn.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

Subsequently, AzhwAr enjoys the divine activities of emperumAn which shone nicely after uniting with him.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

In seventh pAsuram – AzhwAr enjoys emperumAn‘s divine activities.

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

Seventh pAsuram – AzhwAr says “You being the master of nithyasUris who have unblemished knowledge, rested in kshIrAbdhi (milk ocean) and assumed the forms of SrI rAma, krishNa et al for me”.

pAsuram

பாம்பு அணை மேல் பாற்கடலுள் பள்ளி அமர்ந்ததுவும்
காம்பு அணை தோள் பின்னைக்கு ஆய் ஏறு உடன் ஏழ் செற்றதுவும்
தேம் பணைய சோலை மராமரம் ஏழ் எய்ததுவும்
பூம் பிணைய தண் துழாய்ப் பொன் முடி அம் போர் ஏறே

pAmbu aNai mEl pARkadaluL paLLi amarndhadhuvum
kAmbu aNai thOL pinnaikku Ay ERu udan Ezh seRRadhuvum
thEm paNaiya sOlai marAmaram Ezh eydhadhuvum
pUm piNaiya thaN thuzhAyp pon mudi am pOr ERE

Listen

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

pARkadaluL – In the milk ocean
pAmbu aNai mEl – on the serpent bed
paLLi – resting
amarndhaduvum – firmly placed
kAmbu aNai – Like bamboo
thOL – having shoulders
pinnaikkAy – for nappinnaip pirAtti
ERu Ezhu – seven bulls
udan – at the same time
seRRadhuvum – killed
thEn – honey
paNaiya – having branches
sOlai – (due to that) grown like a garden
marAmaram – pipal (peepal) tree
Ezh – seven
eydhadhuvum – shot
pU – beautiful
piNaiya – woven
thaN – cool
thuzhAy – decorated by thuLasi
pon – very radiant
mudi – having crown
am – delight to watch
pOr – prideful, being focused on destroying the enemies
ERu – Like a bull

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

emperumAn is like a beautiful (delightful to our eyes), prideful bull that is focused on destroying the enemies, wearing a very radiant crown which is decorated by cool, beautifully woven thuLasi. He is firmly resting on the serpent bed in the milk ocean. He killed the seven bulls at once to marry nappinnaip pirAtti. He shot down the seven pipal trees which had honey and many branches which made them look like a garden by themselves.

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

  • pAmbaNai – To protect his devotees, emperumAn is resting in the milk ocean. [As he is most tender] not wanting to be affected by the fluids in the ocean, he is resting on thiruvanthAzhwAn (Adhi SEshan) who has coolness, nice fragrance and is most tender.
  • kAmbu … – Beautiful shoulder of nappinnaip pirAtti resembles bamboo for the circumference and smoothness. To marry such nappinnaip pirAtti, krishNa killed the bulls (which were the hurdles for marrying her) together, at once.
  • thEn paNaiya (thEmbaNaiya) – sugrIva mahAraja said “You cannot kill vAli” and to instill confidence in him, he shot down the seven pipal trees which had honey, lots of large branches and grown like a bush which make them difficult to take aim.
  • pU … – Having nicely woven flowers; being decorated with nicely decorated thuLasi garland, wearing beautiful divine crown which signifies his supremacy, and after bestowing such wonderful experience to nithyasUris and feeling prideful due to that, he is looking like a bull which is ready for a fight. It is also like AzhwAr saying “all of these are done by emperumAn for me (to enjoy)”.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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thiruvAimozhi – 2.5.6 – pala palavE

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Full series >> Second Centum >> Fifth decad

Previous pAsuram

lakshmi_narayan_py94_l

Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the sixth pAsuram – AzhwAr enjoys the countless divine ornaments etc of emperumAn who united with him.

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

Sixth pAsuram – AzhwAr says “having united with me and not being satisfied, he assumed multiple forms to enjoy me”.

pAsuram

பல பலவே ஆபரணம் பேரும் பல பலவே
பல பலவே சோதி வடிவு பண்பு எண்ணில்
பல பல கண்டு உண்டு கேட்டு உற்று மோந்து இன்பம்
பல பலவே ஞானமும் பாம்பு அணை மேலாற்கேயோ

pala palavE AbharaNam pErum pala palavE
pala palavE sOdhi vadivu paNbu eNNil
pala pala kaNdu uNdu kEttu uRRu mOndhu inbam
pala palavE gyAnamum pAmbaNai mElARkEyO

Listen

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

pAmbaNai mElARku – for the emperumAn who united with me, just like having thiruvananthAzhwAn (AdhiSEshan) as his bed (thus being united with him)
paNbu eNNil – when analysing his nature
AbharaNam – ornaments
pala pala – having many ornaments like crown etc and having many varieties of each of such ornaments
pErum – names
pala pala – many due to his being present as different entities, having many different objects in each category
sOdhi – radiantly shining
vadivu – divine spiritual forms
pala pala – many forms such as para (in SrIvaikuNtam), vyUha (kshIrAbdhi – milk ocean) etc and multiple forms in each such category
kaNdu uNdu kEttu uRRu mOndhu inbam – all pleasures acquired through the different senses such as eyes, mouth, ears, skin, nose
pala pala – many due to the presence of different entities and different objects in each category
gyAnamum – knowledge acquired through such senses
pala pala – also many (like previously explained)

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

For the emperumAn who united with me, just like having thiruvananthAzhwAn (AdhiSEshan) as his bed (thus being united with him), when analysing his nature, [we would understand that] he is having many ornaments like crown etc and having many varieties of each of such ornaments; many names due to his being present as different entities, having many different objects in each category; many radiantly shining divine forms such as para (in SrIvaikuNtam), vyUha (kshIrAbdhi – milk ocean) etc and multiple forms in each such category; many pleasures acquired through the different senses such as eyes, mouth, ears, skin, nose due to the presence of different entities and different objects in each category; and knowledge acquired through such senses are also many (like previously explained).

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

  • pala palavE AbharaNam – jAthi bhEdham (different categories) and vyakthi bhEdham (different objects in each category) are present. [For example: ] Ornaments for hands are many. Even in each category (bracelet) – there may be the one for forehand, another one for upper part of the hand and so on.
  • pErum pala palavE – While enjoying different qualities/activities of emperumAn, different names will come up – some names which highlight his simplicity, other names which highlight his valour and so on.
  • pala palavE sOdhi vadivu – The names lead to many different forms. Since he makes his divine form manifest among many different species [plant, animal, human, celestial forms], all such forms would shine radiantly [sa u SrEyAn bhavathi jAyamAna:bhagavAn becomes radiant by taking birth since his birth is out of his desire and not out of force]. Like saubhari rishi [who assumed 50 different forms to marry 50 different girls], emperumAn assumed many different forms to enjoy AzhwAr. Like a mukthAthmA would assume many different forms to enjoy bhagavAn [sa EkadhA bhavathi …. – mukthAthmA assumes one form, two form, multiple forms], bhagavAn here assumes many different forms to enjoy me [role reversal]
  • paNbeNNil – while analysing his qualities/states,
  • pala pala … – pleasures derived through senses by rUpa (seeing), rasa (tasting), Sabdha (hearing), sparSa (feeling the touch) and grANa/gandha (smelling) are many. Also explained as – those which are desirable for eyes, mouth, ear, skin and nose are many.
  • pala palavE gyAnamum – here gyAnam can indicate the object of knowledge – i.e., pleasures acquired through the senses as well as the senses themselves which are the tools to acquire the pleasure [this is explained based on the root meaning of gyAnam]. But can this knowledge be many too? Yes – knowledge will differ based on the object of such knowledge. emperumAn being the enjoyer of all matters other than himself, being the knower of such matters and having the greatness of enjoying such matters are explained here.
  • pAmbaNai mElARkEyOAzhwAr is showing an example of an aspect where emperumAn is enjoying all such variety of pleasures. AdhiSeshan (serpent) is soft (sparSa indhriyam – touch); has nice fragrance (grANa indhriyam – smell), delight to watch (rUpa indhriyam – eyes). Like this, all pleasures are present. [Oh! indicates the manifestation of delight].

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

pramEyam (goal) – http://koyil.org
pramANam (scriptures) – http://granthams.koyil.org
pramAthA (preceptors) – http://acharyas.koyil.org
SrIvaishNava education/kids portal – http://pillai.koyil.org

pUrva dhinacharyA – 12 and 13

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SlOkams 12 and 13

Bhavanthameva neerandram pasyan vasyena chethasa |
Mune varavara swamin muhursthvameva keerthayan ||

Thvadanya vishayasparsa vimukhairakhilendriyaihi |
Bhaveyam Bhava dukhkhanam asahyana manaspadam ||

Word to word meaning

  • Swamin  varavara –  To me, who is the property of yours, Mamunigale!
  • Mune  – As a Chief, a sage with great soul, who is showing kindness by thinking the means of accepting me,
  • Bhavanthameva  – Only your goodself, who is complete in the attributes of the beauty of Divya Mangala Vigraha, inherent quality of simplicity,
  • neerandram  – uninterruptedly,
  • pasyan  – looking,
  • vasyena chethasa  – with my controlled mind for your grace,
  • thvameva – to praise your goodself,
  • muhuhu – frequently,
  • keerthayan  – praising, (aham – myself),
  • Thvadanya vishayasparsa vimukhai – not seeing worldly matters other than your goodself, akhilendriyaihi – organs of perception like skin (thvach), tongue (rasana), eyes (chakshus), ear (karna) and nose (grana), and organs of action like mouth (vak) etc.
  • asahyanam –   not bearable with this,
  • bhava dukhkhanam  – the grief that emerges due to birth,
  • anaspadam – not subjected,
  • bhaveyam  -being.

Commentary

In these two Slokas, Erumbiappa prays Mamunigal that hereafter, he should not suffer with the fear of birth which emerged due to sense organs that yielded to mundane matter till now, as he was uninterruptedly worshipping the Acharya, praising him and directed his sense organs in the matter of Acharya only which qualified him for the salvation, moksha. Here, in the words ‘pa­syan’, ‘keerthayan’ the suffix in two places denote the meaning of respective causes i.e. looking and praying. With these words, the words bhavathukhkhanam anaspadam bhaveyam in next Sloka is to be added. Since  the meaning for suffix in the word bhaveyam is prayer, Erumbiappa says that by looking at Mamunigal, by praising him and by directing all sense organs towards Mamunigal, all these became eligible for liberation, and he prays Mamunigal to shower grace towards him to save him from the grief of samsara forever. It is to be noted that since the darsan of Acharya and praising him is the traditional cause which will erase the disciple’s suffering in samsara, he always look for Acharya, praise him which creates affection in the mind of Lord and eventually that will liberate the disciple.

Having said that all sense organs which are opposing to the other worldly matters, one can guess that they are bound to pray Mamunigal. The sense organs are always in the nature of indulging in something or other. Hence, for the sense organs the matter is Mamunigal.  Thus, Erumbiappa prays Mamunigal that all his sense organs be in constant favor of Mamunigal. Hence, he is eligible for liberation. Since it will not direct them in the world matters, the grief in birth is also negated. For which, Mamunigal has to shower his blessings. Shandilya Smrithi, Bharadwaja Parishistam and other Dharma Sastra texts say that the   organs of perception like skin (thvak), tongue (rasana), eyes (chakshus), ear (karna) and nose (grana), and organs of action like mouth (vak) etc. must be utilized in the service of Bhagavatas and Bhagavan.

Till now, the preface of this text is explained. Further, the following five parts i.e. accession (abhigamanam), application (upadanam), offerings (ejjay), studying the veda (swadhyayam), self concentration (yogam) to be done is particularly explained except ejjay. The word abhigamanam means to worship the Lord going ahead.  This is explained in Sloka 2 wherein Mamunigal was visiting the temple to worship the Chief of world Alagiya Manavalan. The word upadanam means to collect things that are to be submitted to the Lord.  This is explained in Sloka 11 wherein the soul is subservient to the Lord and attaining Him is the benefit of the soul and hence Mamunigal who accepted Erumbiappa, is to be accepted by the Lord to do service.  The word swadhyayam means to study Veda Mantras. This is explained in the Sloka 9, as Mamunigal’s lips always pronounce the Dvaya Mantra, which is great Mantra among Veda Mantras. The word yogam means to concentrate in the matter of Bhagavan, which is explained in the Sloka 9.  The real meaning of Dvaya Mantra which speaks about Goddess and the Lord or Bhagavat Ramanuja is being meditated by Mamunigal. In this way, among the five parts, the four parts are explained.  Hence, this preface is in short to explain the text. It is to be noted that the Sage Bharadwaja says that visiting the temple to worship the Lord, collecting things that are to be submitted to the Lord, study the Veda Mantras, concentrating the matter on Bhagavan – all these five parts are important to spend good time in life.

With this the introduction part of the text Dinacharya is ended.

Translation by Dr M Varadarajan

Source: http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org/index.php/2015/09/purva-dhinacharya-tamil-12-13/

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

pramEyam (goal) – http://koyil.org
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pramAthA (preceptors) – http://acharyas.koyil.org
SrIvaishNava education/kids portal – http://pillai.koyil.org

pUrva dhinacharyA – 11

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SlOkam 11

Atmalabhath param kinchith anyan nastheethi nischayath |
Angikarthumiva praptham akinchanamimam janam ||

Word to word meaning

  • Atmalabhath – for the Supreme,  who concerns more than in making
  • jivatma (soul) as his servant and attaining him,
  • anyath kinchith – other than that, param
  • nasthi – not much great benefit,
  • ethi nischayath – such constant thinking,
  • akinchanam – there are no good qualities which are the cause for accepting,
  • imam janam – in turn I am full of bad qualities which are to be erased,
  • Angikarthum – by rectifying my mistakes and to be a servant to Sriman Narayana,
  • praptham iva   – like  your goodself visiting when it was not expected…….

Commentary

As mentioned in earlier Sloka about the smile, benign look and sweet words, I guess for my sake, he visits the temple when I visit. He says that his association with Mamunigal is not natural. The word jana means He was born, akinchanaha means He has no character. Imam means He is the possessor of all mistakes. The meaning is based on musical sound for this word imam. Thus, Erumbiappa despised himself for being an additional weight to the earth by consuming the food and found his birth to be useless, never corrected himself and never attempted to develop good character. He was in deep awe for Mamunigal’s great grace in safeguarding him despite his inferiority.  Hence, in the word ‘praptamiva’,’ iva’ denotes not the simile, but it means conjecture.

Translation by Dr M Varadarajan

Source: http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org/index.php/2015/09/purva-dhinacharya-tamil-11/

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

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pUrva dhinacharyA – 10

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SlOkam 10

Smayamana mukhambhojam dayamana druganchalam |
Mayi prasada pravanam madhurodara bhashanam ||

Word to word meaning

  • Smayamana mukhambhojam  – Mamunigal, who has lotus like face always sporting a smile,
  • dayamana druganchalam  – with an elated benign look with grace,
  • Mayi  – to me who failed to notice Mamunigal all these days,
  • prasada pravanam  – one who  accepts to shower grace,
  • madhurodara bhashanam  – one whose words are with deep meaning and soothing to hear….

Commentary

In this Sloka, Acharya Erumbiappa narrates Mamunigal’s grace towards him by inference on the three actions of his indwelling smile of lips, along with a benign look and combined with sweet words. By this, Erumbiappa feels that Mamunigal smiles sweetly since he knows that the continuous meditation of the meaning of Dvaya would benefit him by fetching salvation. Apart from that, his smile reflects his sweet words. Mahans sport their happiness by a smile and then speak. The word daya means to feel the pain of others who are in trouble. Here the cause for Mamunigal’s sorrow is that he attained happiness by meditating the meaning of Dvaya, whereas the people of the world are not attaining and they are suffering in the cycle of birth. Apart from this, the reason is as informed earlier that his words are also sweet. Acharyas speak sweet words to their disciples. Happiness and kindness are important dharmas to practice. Sage Bharadwaja says that truth, purity, kindness, non-aversion, forbearance and happiness are important dharmas to be possessed by all people. There is another meaning for the words Mayi prasada pravanam that Erumbiappa was guilty of deliberately overlooking Mamunigal earlier and now realized his folly sought Mamunigal with great devotion. Medhathithi, a learned commentator of Manusmriti says that one has to speak soothing words to hear. Sage Shandilya also says that one has to speak words with deep meaning.  Here ‘deep meaning’ means that any word one speaks should have attention to the detail of the deep meaning of Dvaya.

Translation by Dr M Varadarajan

Source:  http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org/index.php/2015/09/purva-dhinacharya-tamil-10/

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

pramEyam (goal) – http://koyil.org
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pUrva dhinacharyA – 9

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SlOkam 9

Mantra ratna anusanthana santhatha spurithadharam |
Tadartha tattva nityana sannadhdha pulakothkamam ||

Word to word meaning

  • Mantra ratna anusanthana santhatha spurithadharam  –  His lips are  gently shaking always because he keeps pronouncing Dvaya, the crowning jewel among Mantras,
  • Tadartha tattva nityana sannadhdha pulakothkamam – Pulsating by thoroughly meditating the true meaning of Dvaya Mantra….

Commentary

In this Sloka, he describes the beauty of lips. Dvaya Mantra is as follows: Sriman Narayana Charanow Saranam Prapadhye / Srimathe Narayanaya Namaha //.  This is of a greater glory than Tirumantra – Om Namo Narayanaya, Moola Mantra is called Mantra Rajam and this is called Mantra Ratnam. Mantra Ratnam means that among the Mantras, this is a crowning jewel.

It is to be noted that Sage Parasara informs Narada as follows: Among the Mantras, this is the greatest mantra. Among the secrets, this is the greatest secret. Very quickly it will cross the ocean of birth. This will clarify the doubts that arise in Tirumantra. All sins will be wiped out. This Saranagati Mantra creates all prosperity and welfare. Hence this is called Mantra Ratna. Anusanthanam means slowly pronouncing.  Always Mamunigal keeps pronouncing Dvaya Mantra and hence his lips always shiver gently. Sage Parasara says that till our soul departs from the body, one has to pronounce Dvaya Mantra repeatedly. Since pronouncing the Mantra slowly, it is learnt that the Mantra should be safeguarded without hearing to others as codified in Sastra and Mamunigal takes due care.

Since pronouncing the Mantra without being aware of its meaning is not appropriate for adhikaris, it is stated that Mamunigal keeps pronouncing the Mantra with its meanings. The meaning of Dvaya is to seek the refuge of the Lord, accompanied with Goddess.  Further the truth is – due to the recommendation of Goddess and with Her help the emergence of attributes like vatsalya, in Sriman Narayana along with His Divya Mangala Vigraha and his holy feet constitute the holy combination. The word nityana means uninterruptedly thinking. The devotees of Lord, who uninterruptedly thought of the above truths will always be in bliss. Likewise Mamunigal experienced the same here. By thinking of Dvaya Mantra and its meaning, is actually prapatti and that prapatti is to be done for a single time and need not repeat. Though for the liberation, one can do prapatti for a single time, but for spending good time as well as experiencing the meanings of that Mantra uninterruptedly, it can be repeated. Hence Mamunigal keeps chanting it.

There is another method of giving the meaning for the word thathartha tattva nityanam. Periya Vachchan Pillai, a great commentator says as follows: Vishnu is Chief, who accepts the kainkarya of a devotee. His Divya Mangala Vigraha is manifested with several good attributes and Nammalvar called Sri Satari represents His feet, and Sri Ramanuja is manifested as the feet of Nammalvar. The word Guru applies to Sri Ramanuja only and not for anybody.  Accordingly, Sri Ramanuja is the meaning for the word  Charana in Dvaya Mantra – Sriman Narayana Charanow Saranam This is the meaning of thathartha tattvam. This means that the feet of Sriman Narayana is not of the Lord, but of Sri Bhagavath Ramanuja’s feet, which is the true purport of Dvaya Mantra.

Mamunigal is a devotee of Sri Ramanuja and considered his feet are to be thought of repeatedly, and this interpretation is more glorious compared to earlier meaning of Dvaya. In Sloka 12, Acharya Erumbiappa says that he desired to see Mamunigal who experienced the meditation of Dvaya and its meaning as notified in Vishnu Tattva.

Translation by Dr M Varadarajan

Source: http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org/index.php/2015/09/purva-dhinacharya-tamil-9/

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

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pramAthA (preceptors) – http://acharyas.koyil.org
SrIvaishNava education/kids portal – http://pillai.koyil.org

 

pUrva dhinacharyA – 8

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SlOkam 8

Kasmeera kesara sthoma kadara snigtha rochisha |
Kowseyena samindhanam skanda moolavalambina ||

Word to word meaning

  • Kasmeera kesara sthoma kadara snigtha rochisha  – Like assembly of saffron, red coloured with gleaming light,
  • skanda moolavalambina  – adorned in the arms,
  • Kowseyena  -by silk garment,
  • samindhanam  – appears more brightly…….

Commentary

Recalling narration about Mamunigal’s arms that were adorned with mark (tirumankappu) and silk garment, Erumbiappa narrates the same in this Sloka. Here, it is stated that he has adorned the silk cloth as upper garment. It is proclaimed that generally all Brahamins in the four Ashrams i.e. Brahmachari, house holder (Grahastha), Saint and religious hermit (vanaprasthan) can put on silk garments. It is to be noted that Sage Parasara says that Brahmins must wear the sacred thread, tuft, mark on forehead (thirumankappu), lotus beads garland and silk cloth. In this context, the need for upper garment is negated for non-vaishnava saints and not about the Srivaishnavas.  Hence the upper garment is for Mamunigal. Sage Chandilya says that the upper garment should not be put on while encircling the temple, performing puja to Devas, doing homam and prostrating before Acharya and Perumal. Here, the upper garment is in the colour of red, which is acceptable for saints.

Translation by Dr M Varadarajan

Source: http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org/index.php/2015/09/purva-dhinacharya-tamil-8/

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pUrva dhinacharyA –7

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SlOkam 7

Ambhoja beejamalabhihi abhijatha bhujantharam |
Urdhva pundraihi upachchishtam uchisthana lakshanaihi ||

Word to word meaning

  •  Ambhoja beejamalabhihi  – by arranging the garland with the lotus bead,
  • abhijatha bhujantharam – adorned in the beautiful arms and chest,
  • uchisthana lakshanaihi  – in the places of liver, gap between each other as codified in the Sastra,
  • Urdhva pundraihi  – the mark (tirumankappu) from downward to upward, suitably done…..

Commentary

Having narrated about the chest, arms, the sacred thread, Erumbiappa narrates about the garland made of lotus beads which is adorned  over the chest  and the sacred tirumankappu.  It is to be remembered that according to Sage Bharadwaja  one has to wear sacred garland made out of lotus bead, to stamp  the symbol of conch (Sanka) and the Discus (Chakra) on the shoulders and  name oneself as either Vishnu’s various names or His devotees names. Sage Parasara says that a Brahmin must wear sacred thread, keep a tuft, wear the holy mark on forehead (tirumankappau), put on garland made out of lotus bead and silk cloth.  If not lotus bead garland, one can add Tulasi garland and different coloured ceremonial garland made out of silk.  It is also to be remembered that Brahma Purana says that one has to adorn the garland made out of black thulasi stump, silk pavithras, garland made out of lotus bead to the Lord and as His Prasad,  one has to put them all.

Regarding mark (tirumankappu), Sri Pancharathra Parasara Samhitha says that a Brahmin must adorn tirumankappu as follows: in the base of the nose an inch length line and in the centre of the forehead there should be one and half inch  space between the lines  on both sides and the  side line should be one inch  thick. Padma Purana states that starting from the base of the nose; the face mark should be worn upto the forehead of white clay.  From the centre of the eye-brows there should be space between the lines and the space, about two inches and the two lines must be an inch thick each. Parasara Samhitha underlines that pure white clay must be brought from a Vishnu Kshetra, consecrated with Tirumantra and then adorn the sacred tirumankappu with that clay on the face and other places beginning from head in twelve places. Erumbiappa by mentioning tirumankappu implies Srichurnam also.  One can also notice that Parasara says that the Srichurnam made out of turmeric, which is liked by Goddess Sridevi,  must be applied in the space between the white clay marks.

Translation by Dr M Varadarajan

Source: http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org/index.php/2015/09/purva-dhinacharya-tamil-7/

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SrIvaikuNta gadhyam – pravESam

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paramapadhanathan

Let us now look at SrI periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s pravESam (introduction) for SrIvaikuNta gadhyam.

bhAshyakArar (another name of SrI rAmAnuja which means the author of SrI bhAshyam which is a detailed commentary for vEdha vyAsa’s brahma sUthram) feels that the meanings that sprang from his heart should not remain as the shadow of a palm tree (the shadow of a palm tree would give shelter only to the palm trunk and not to anyone else) but should be useful to humanity-at-large like the shadow of a kalpakatharu (a type of tree whose shadow covers a wide area and fulfills the wishes of those who pray under it). Hence, he acts as a pravarthakar (one who engages in doing something) to show the path as well as the fruit of attaining the path in SrIvaikuNta gadhyam. In SaraNAgathi gadhyam he prays to bhagavAn in general (not to any particular form of bhagavAn) about his wishes. In SrIranga gadhyam, he prays to SrIrangam periya perumAL who is the epitome of saulabhyam (easy to approach and attain) about his wishes. In SrIvaikuNta gadhyam, he discourses about SrIvaikuNtanAthan (lord of SrIvaikuNtam) to others.

periyavAchchAn piLLai digresses a bit at this stage to explain why SrI rAmAnuja emphasised on bhakthi mArgam (path of devotion) to attain bhagavAn in his SrIbhAshyam whereas he emphasises on SaraNagathi (surrendering) in gadhya thrayam. When bhagavadh rAmAnuja wrote SrIbhAshyam, there were many branches of sanAthana dharmam (traditional customs), each with its own followers. There was a sect which said that there is nothing called as vEdha (the four vEdhas, rig, yajur, sAma and atharvaNa) and not practicing any dharmam is the path to attain liberation (this sect is called as chAruvAka matham, a belief of smart talking). There was another sect which said that dhEvathAntharOpAsanam (worshipping other demi-Gods such as indhra, chandra, brahmA, Siva et al) is the path to attain liberation. Yet another sect preached that doing karma (following all the activities mentioned in vEdha), forgetting about God and demi-Gods, would liberate us (this sect was called as mImAmsaka matham). Another said that gyAna (knowledge) is the path to liberation. Another said that the combination of karma and gyAna is the path. All these people twisted the teachings of vEdha to suit their own ends. They were called as vEdha bhAhyA (not accepting vEdha) and vEdha kudhushti (twisting meanings of vEdha). SrI rAmAnuja had to counter these sects and he said that whatever they were saying was not correct and that bhakthi, aided by karma and gyAna (devotion supported by deed and knowledge) was the path to attain mOksham (liberation). He cited reasons and various pramANams (proofs) to support his arguments. SaraNAgathi has always been  cited in vEdha to attain mOksham. Yet SrI rAmAnuja cited bhakthi yOgam as the path. Why did he do this and not cite SaraNAgathi itself? We should consider the time (period) when all these were happening.  That was the age when people believed that they had to do something on their own to attain mOksham. If he had to say that there was no need to do anything and all that one had to do was to surrender to bhagavAn, no one would have taken his words since this did not involve doing something which was physical in nature. Hence he had to point out to one of the two paths mentioned in vEdha (bhakthi and prapaththi or SaraNAgathi). Once they were convinced that bhakthi would set them free, they started understanding it better. And, they also found that it was not easy to practice as it had several conditions (karma and gyAna should be attained in full prior to practicing bhakthi; all hurdles in the path of bhakthi had to be removed). Also, it would take many, many births before one could start practicing bhakthi. And at the last moment, one had to think of bhagavAn.  All these posed great difficulties. It was then that he told them that there was another path available and mentioned about prapaththi (or SaraNAgathi) in SaraNAgathi gadhyam. This is called as charama upAyam (ultimate path) and is suited for practicing bhakthi, not as a means for attaining mOksham but for enjoying various qualities of bhagavAn) and for attaining bhagavAn’s exalted feet and carrying out kainkaryam to him. He mentioned in SrIranga gadhyam that prapaththi is the prerequisite for carrying out bhakthi; but at the same time prapaththi does not expect anything else for yielding fruit, it is our svarUpam (aligns with our nature) and it is easy to perform. Now that clarity has been obtained on the path to be taken for getting liberated he mentions about the place that one would reach on getting liberated; the lord, bhagavAn, of the place (SrIvaikuNtanAthan), experiencing that bhagavAn; and carrying out kainkaryam, born out of that experience. He does all these so that those who hear this would get interested in carrying out all these and in the end he also blesses them. He mentions very briefly about the path (prapaththi) but mentions more expansively about the place (SrIvaikuNtam).

There are 6 chUrNais in SrivaikuNta gadhyam. In the 1st chUrNai, he describes the svarUpam (basic nature), rUpam (form) and vibhUthi (wealth) of bhagavAn as well as chEthnan‘s (sentient entity) faults; for such a chEthanan, prapaththi is the only path to reach bhagavAn who is the repository of all auspicious qualities such as souSeelya (simplicity personified) etc. In the 2nd chUrNai, he affirms that while reciting dhvayam once is sufficient to reach bhagavAn, the chEthanan will recite it everyday to ward off worries and to pass time purposefully. In the 3rd chUrNai, he mentions about the path that the chEthanan will take on getting liberated (archirAdhi mArgam or the path of radiance) including crossing the prakruthi boundary (materialistic realm); the greatness of nithya vibhUthi (SrIvaikuNtam) that he enters; its qualities; the decorations in that place; the resplendence with which bhagavAn gives dharSan (audience) there with his consorts (SrIdhEvi, bhUdhEvi and neeLAdhEvi); the elegance of bhagavAn with all exalted bodily features which are experienced by his consorts; the beauty of various decorative jewels that adorn bhagavAn, fitting to a nicety; the weaponry that protect all these; the nithyaSuris and mukthAthmAs who experience all these, taking various forms, and carrying out kainkaryam born out of love from that experience; the exalted seating of bhagavAn who is being served by these nithyAthmAs and mukthAthmAs without any break; the thought of chEthanan on seeing all these, wondering when he would get an opportunity to serve bhagavAn like this, and on attaining SrIvaikuNtam, praying to bhagavAn for granting him kainkaryam and offering himself to bhagavAn. In the 4th chUrNai, he mentions that bhagavAn grants chEthanan his wish and chEthanan starts carrying out kainkaryam. In the 5th chUrNai, he mentions about the chEthanan constantly having dharshan (vision) of bhagavAn, without batting an eyelid, to compensate for what he had lost all these years that he had missed. The 6th chUrNai describes how bhagavAn welcomes him, inquires him and blesses him by placing his exalted feet on the head of chEthanan who exults as a servitor in SrIvaikuNtam.

Let us next see the first chUrNai.

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Translation by krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan.

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SrIvaikuNta gadhyam – thaniyan

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alavandharALavandhAr (yAmunAchAryar)kAttu mannAr kOyil

yAmunArya sudhAmbhOdhim avagAhya yathAmathi
AdhAya bhakthiyOgAkhyam rathnam sandharSayAmyaham II

Explanatory Notes:

yAmunAryayAmunAcharya (ALavandhAr, one of the principal preceptors in our SrIvaishNava sampradhAyam, who was the grandson of nAthamunigaL and the AchAryar for all 5 AchAryas of rAmAnujar)

sudhA – nectar
ambhOdhim – in the ocean
avagAhya – take a deep dive
yathAmathi – to the extent that there is knowledge (or intelligence)
AdhAya – to bring
bhakthi – devotion
yOgAkhyam – called (or named) as bhakthi yOgam
rathnam – ruby
sandharSayAmyaham – aham – I; sandharSayAmi – show. I show to you.

Since it says in the end that “I show it to you”, it is possible that bhagavadh SrI rAmAnujar himself would have compiled this thaniyan. Or it is possible that one of his disciples would have written this, in the way that SrI rAmAnujar himself would have compiled it.

From where did he get this ruby? It was obtained from the ocean which is the nectar like bhakthi of yAmunAcharyar (SrI ALavandhAr). He (SrI rAmAnuja) had taken a deep dive into the ocean of bhakthi of SrI yAmunAchAryar and brought out this ruby which is called as bhakthi yOgam (devotional attachment). And, he goes to explain this to us to the extent that he has knowledge about it. This would sound strange coming from such a great and knowledgeable person like SrI rAmAnuja. Here “yathAmathi” (to the extent that there is knowledge) would apply to us who have limited knowledge to absorb what he says.

We are discussing about gadhyathrayam, in which the principal path shown is SaraNAgathi (surrendering). bhakthiyOgam is meant for capable people (such as rishis and sages like vAlmiki, vaSishta, suka et al) and not for us. Why is bhakthi yOgam now being shown to us? SrI vEdhAnthachAryar says in his comment on gadhya thrayam that here bhakthi yOgam refers to thinking about bhagavAn and not as a path to reach bhagavAn. The path defined for us is only SaraNAgathi.

Translation by krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan.

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