Daily Archives: August 2, 2016

thirumAlai – 2 – pachchai mA malai – Part 2

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In the earlier part we had seen how thoNdaradippodi AzhwAr enjoyed the whole thirumEni (pachchai mA malai pOl mEni) of emperumAn and certain divine parts of his thirumEni such as “pavaLa vAi” and “kamala chengaN”. He then called him as “achchuthA” to denote that he is unchanging. We shall continue from there.

amararERE – this refers to those who constantly enjoy the above-mentioned beauty of emperumAn (“amarar” here refers to nithyasUris – those who dwell in SrIvaikuNtam always). Even though they constantly keep having dharSan (audience) of bhagavAn, they have not seen the end of that experience – i.e. they have not got full satisfaction of having ‘seen’ him fully. If they are able to have this experience of enjoying him, viz. experiencing him fully, they may not exist anymore. Hence they are called as “amarars” – those without an experiential end. emperumAn is their Lord (ERu – master or Lord). Both rig vEdha and sAma vEdha say “sadhA paSyanthi sUraya:” (the nithyasUris see [experience] him always).

Is it that he is fit to be experienced only by pirAtti (SrI  mahAlakshmi, bhUdhEvi, neeLA dhEvi), vishvaksEnar, thiruvananthan, garudan et al? [vishvaksEnar is head of his army, thiruvananthan is his serpent-bed, garudan is his vAhanam (vehicle) – they are the primary members among his nithyasUris]. No……..he is also experienced by …

Ayar tham kozhundhE – Just as he is the controller of those who are taken as the limiting boundary for all that is great and superior, he is also easily accessible to the cowherds and cows themselves [at the other end of the spectrum]. In other words, while the first quality (guNa) of his is called as “parathvam” (greatness), the second quality (when he is accessible to cows and cowherds) is called as “souSeelyam” (simplicity). Thus by describing his beauty (kamalachchengaN, achchuthA), his greatness (amararERE) and his simplicity (Ayar tham kozhundhE), AzhwAr confirms that the entity who is amidst cows is indeed the paramAthmA [among several auspicious qualities which are exhibited by parmAthmA are soundharyam, parathvam and  souSeelyam- beauty, greatness and simplicity respectively]

ennum – emperumAn asked AzhwAr whether he derived sweetness by looking at his thirumEni (physical form) and thinking of his auspicious qualities. AzhwAr replied that this was not the reason for deriving sweetness; it was by merely pronouncing his divine names that he got the sweetness. The word “ennum” should be added to each of the qualities mentioned earlier such as “pachchai mA malai pOl mEni ennum”, “pavaLa vAi ennum”, “kamalachchengaN ennum”, “achchuthA ennum”, “amararERE ennum” , “Ayar tham kozhundhE ennum” to get the full meaning of the qualities described. It is by saying each of these that AzhwAr derived the sweet taste that he is going to speak of, next.

ichchuvai thavira – leaving aside this elixir. chuvai – elixir. Instead of enjoying this elixir (of reciting his divine names) is there any point in looking for some other taste? AzhwAr tells emperumAn that he has to elucidate about the divine names of emperumAn only because emperumAn has never pronounced them himself [He has only heard them from his followers and not pronounced them himself and hence does not know how sweet they are].

yAn – I, who has a tongue suited to reciting your divine names. Another meaning – I, who does not have the patience to wait for a delay in going to SrIvaikuNtam.

pOi – to go. Instead of enjoying here, at SrIrangam, itself or any dhivyadhEsam close to SrIrangam, you are asking me to go to some place which is so far away, tells AzhwAr.

indhiralOgam – SrIvaikuNtam. The land of one with unlimited wealth. Here the word “indhira” does not refer to the head of swargam, but to emperumAn. Moreover any word that we pronounce ultimately points to SrIman nArAyaNan only, as per vEdhas and hence “indhira” refers to emperumAn only.

ALum – rule. AzhwAr is being invited by emperumAn to do as he pleases at SrIvaikuNtam. He can be the king there. But even then…..

achchuvai – ichchuvai – achchuvai (SrIvaikuNtam) refers to something which is to be learnt through vEdhas only whereas ichchuvai (reciting emperumAn’s divine names) refers to something which is evidently clear to AzhwAr. That has to be heard from someone else whereas this is right in one’s hands.

peRinum vENdEn – even if I get, I will not take it. emperumAn tells Azhwar “now you would say that you don’t want it, because you have not got it. But if you were to get it, you would change your mind”, to which AzhwAr responds, “ why don’t you give it to me? Then you will realise whether I desire it or not”.  This is why AzhwAr says “even if I get it” (peRinum).

Again, AzhwAr says “vENdEn” (don’t want it) instead of saying “uRAdhu” (not superior). If he had said “uRAdhu” he would have belittled the enjoyment of those who are superior (such as nithyasUris, the dwellers of SrIvaikuNtam) who enjoy emperumAn constantly. He would also be rejecting the pramANams (proof or evidence) about the superiority of SrIvaikuNtam. (one proof quoted is from SrIvishNu purANam which says

nirasthAthiSaya AhlAdha sukha bhAvaika lakshaNA I
bhEshajam bhagavathprApthirEkAnthAthyanthikI mathA II

(That which does not have in terms of joy anything superior to it, that which is full of mirth, that which has enjoyment as its identity, that which does not have anything sorrowful, that which is endless – attaining bhagavAn is thought to be the antidote (to samsAram))

If someone says that milk is sour or it is bitter, one can argue with that person. But if the person says that he does not want milk, there is nothing that can be done. AzhwAr says in the same way that he does not want indhira lOgam (SrIvaikuNtam).

Is there anyone who said that he does not want SrIvaikuNtam, asks the vyAkhyAthA, and gives the answer himself that hanuman had refused it when offered by SrI rAma (….bhAvO nAnyathra gachchathi) […my thought will not be with SrIvaikuNtanAthan].

emperumAn asks him, “you are saying that you do not want paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam). What is the good thing that you have here?

arangamA nagaruLAnE – AzhwAr responds saying “ you have left paramapadham experience and have come down here so that the inferior people (samsAris) can enjoy your beauty (pachchai mA malai pOl mEni, pavaLa vAi,kamalachchengaN) and your simplicity (Ayar tham kozhundhE). Is this not enough for me to stay back here? Moreover, the nithyasUris are coming here to experience the quality that you are displaying here (to allow the inferior samsAris to have your dharshan). So, why do you want to somehow take me there?”

In summary, even paramapadha anubhavam (the enjoyment in SrIvaikuNtam) is not equivalent to enjoying your divine names here. Your divine names are that sweet.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dasan

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thiruvAimozhi – 3.3.1 – ozhivil kAlam

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

Full series >> Third Centum >> Third decad


Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In first pAsuram – AzhwAr says “should engage in all types of kainkaryams to thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn“.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

In first pAsuram – AzhwAr longs along with those who are related to him to engage in all types of services to thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn who is the lord and greater than all.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

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

In first pAsuram – AzhwAr says “At all places all times and in all forms, should engage in service at the divine feet of thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn”.


ozhivil kAlam ellAm udanAy manni
vazhuvilA adimai seyya vENdunAm
thezhikural aruvith thiruvEnkataththu
ezhilkoL sOdhi endhai thandhai thandhaikkE


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

thezhikural – making great noise
aruvi – having waterfalls
thiruvEnkataththu – in thirumalA thiruvEnkatam
ezhil – beauty
koL – having
sOdhi – having fully radiant form
endhai thandhai thandhaikku – to the leader of our clan of successive ancestors
nAm – we (who are distinguished servants)
ozhivil – without break/rest
kAlamellAm – all times
udanAy – being together (in all places)
manni – being inseparable (in all forms)
vazhuvilA – without leaving anything
adimai – all types of services
seyya vENdum – should perform

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

We should perform all types of services without leaving anything at all times without break/rest, being together (in all places), being inseparable (in all forms) to the leader of our clan of successive ancestors, that is, thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn (SrInivAsan) who is having a fully radiant form and is beautiful due to being present in thirumalA thiruvEnkatam which is having waterfalls that are making great noise.

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

  • ozhivil kAlamellAm – endless time [i.e., for eternity]. Some would extrapolate “ozhivil kAlamellAm” as “AzhwAr desiring for even the past times”. That is – there is no way lost time can be retrieved.  The only possible option is to make one forget about what has happened in the past as said in chAndhOgya upanishath “nOpajanam smaran” (AthmA will not contemplate about the material realm after reaching the spiritual realm). Also seen in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 5.5 “na mE dhukkam … vayOsyA hyathivarthathE” (My biggest sorrow is … sIthA’s age is passing by without being enjoyed [by me (SrI rAma)]) etc. Thus, this should be understood as all times in the future. [this highlights service at all times]
  • udanAy – Like he desired to be present at all times, he also desires to be present at all places. Like iLaiya perumAL (lakshmaNa) served [sIthA – rAma] in the palace as well as forest. [this highlights service in all places]
  • manni – Even when sarvESvaran and pirAtti (SrI mahAlakshmi) draw down their curtains and enjoy in private, one should desire to be in the form of a vessel, lamp etc that are engaged in their confidential service. In this – service in all forms/states is highlighted. It is said in SrI rAmAyaNam bAla kANdam 1.31 “ramamANA vanE thraya:” (all 3 – SrI rAma, sIthA and lakshmaNa enjoyed together in the forest); Why is lakshmaNa associated with a share of the enjoyment, when it was really sIthA and SrI rAma enjoyed? It is because, whatever joy they get by enjoying together, one who witnesses that would also acquire the same joy.
  • ozhivil kAlam … – This speaks about sarva kAlam (all times), sarva dhESam (all places) and sarva avasthA (all forms/states). Whenever AzhwAr thiruvarangapperumAL araiyar starts singing this pAsuram, he would keep singing “ozhivil kAlamellAm, kAlamellAm, kAlamellAm” and would stop at that [being overwhelmed with emotions].
  • vazhuvilA adimai seyya vENdum – one’s service cannot be shared with others. Should serve like iLaiya perumAL (lakshamaNa) who went along with SrI rAma and served him in the forest without separating; should also perform the kainkaryams done by SrI bharathAzhwAn who stayed behind in the capital (ayOdhyA). When kaikEyi called SrI bharathAzhwAn [in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 72.24] as “rAjan” (Oh king), he was unable to bear it, became completely broken and cried out [in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 82.11 “vilalApa” (cried out); for those who understand the flavour of pArathanthriyam (total subservience), svAthanthriyam (independence) would feel like disaster. nampiLLai beautifully explains SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 101.12 here.
    • EpiScha sachivaissArdham” (with these ministers who are here … I (bharatha) pray unto you (SrI rAma) …) – there were many along with bharatha who were more anguished than him. He brought along many who were grieving like him. He thought “If it was just me, he could think ‘he is my brother only’ and exercise his independence. But with them, he cannot simply do that. For such elders, he needs to obey their orders. If they themselves enquired what happened and suggested him solution “you do this”, he will have no choice. If bharatha wanted to highlight his suffering in separation from SrI rAma, he could have gone alone. Why did he bring everyone along? bharatha thinks “If he does not return to ayOdhyA seeing the tears in my eyes, he may at least return on seeing the tears of everyone assembled here”. Like a person who goes to battle, would bring along elephants, horses etc., bharatha too brought them along, since they too feel the anguish in separation from SrI rAma.
    • SirasA yAchitha: – SrI rAma is the one who tries hard to help me. In such case, if I bow down and beg him, would he refuse?
    • mayA – If the roles are reversed (as explained in previous phrase), would he not help me?
    • bhrAthu: – As said in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 97.8 “… bhasmAthkuruthAm SikI” (SrI rAma saying – If I get even little pleasure without bharatha, you (lakshmaNa) and Sathrugna, let that pleasure be burnt by fire), am I not born after him? He himself said “let my properties that are not useful for my brothers be burnt down to ashes”.
    • Sishyasya – Am I laying my claim for the throne citing that I am his brother? Did I not learn all the confidential meanings from you [as a disciple would learn from his teacher]?
    • dhAsasya – Did I just stay as a disciple? Did I not commit myself as a full servitor so that you can even sell me? This being the case, would he refuse my request? This is the state of those who are desirous of kainkaryam.
  • vazhuvilA adimai – Even if he missed out on a single service, that will reflect on his physical form [i.e., the grief would reflect on his body].
  • seyya – Even previously he had such desire [which were reflected in many pAsurams previously]. But now, it cannot just stop with the desire. He needs to practically engage in service now.
  • adimai seyya vENdumAzhwAr‘s desire for service itself is part of the goal for AzhwAr. When set out to enjoy “sensual pleasures” in this world, a mutually enjoyable aspect would be identified for both parties, the aspect would be enjoyed until the particular time and once done, the aspect will be discarded [the enjoyable aspects are temporary]. When set out to enjoy “heavenly pleasures”, as said in SrIvishNu purANam 6.5.50 “svargE’pi pAthabhIthasya kshayishNOr nAsthi nirvruthi:” (Since even in heaven, there is the fear of falling down, there is no real joy); from there one can see others suffering in hell, so even while enjoying, one would not fully manifest the joy; also, the puNyam (virtues) that keeps one there, will reduce like water fetched from pot [which will eventually dry out], they too will be pushed down eventually; instead of these temporary pleasures which are the result of ahankAram (considering body as soul) and mamakAram (considering oneself to be independent) and are contrary to the nature of the AthmA, this [adimai – servitude, towards bhagavAn] is fitting to the true nature of the AthmA, the one who accepts such service [bhagavAn] is also eternal and the one serves [AthmA] is also eternal, time is also eternal, the place is also eternal (paramapadham which is indestructible), the result is apunarAvruththi mOksham (liberated state, from where there is no return to material realm), this is perfectly joyful unlike sensual pleasures which are mixed with pain.
  • nAmAzhwAr saying “nAm” in plural by including his heart along with him. It can also be explained that after “kESavan thamar“, he is not alone and is always with devotees of emperumAn, he is also including those devotees who are as dear as his own heart to him.
  • thezhi kural … – Further it is explained that – more than the excitement of AzhwAr who wants to serve, the excitement of emperumAn who is going to accept his service is greater. AzhwAr is desiring from wherever he is; but emperumAn gave up the great assembly in “kalangAp perunakaram” (the unshakable paramapadham)) and descended all the way down to thirumalA and exhibited his excitement by his actions.
  • thezhi kural … – The waterfalls that have a great sound. Because of the presence in this divine abode, even the sound of the waterfalls is pursuable for him. For AzhwAr, the sound resembles “those who are interested to serve, please come here”. Do we need to explain this sound being enjoyable for nammAzhwAr as thirumangai AzhwAr sang in periya thirumozhi 1.7.2 “silaikkai vEdar thezhipparAdha” (the abode where the sound of those hunters with bows never subsides) and enjoyed even those hunters who rob? Even the sounds of the robbing hunters are enjoyable, if it is present in the divine abodes.
  • thiruvEnkataththu ezhil koL sOdhi – This is the divine abode of emperumAn which he considers to be the apt place to accept service. It is the place where one can serve emperumAn the same service that is done after giving up one’s body, traveling in the archirAdhi gathi (the path of light) and reaching paramapadham (spiritual realm).
  • ezhil koL sOdhi – Even if he is not present in close proximity, his bodily beauty is so attracting that one will naturally fall in love with him.
  • vEnkataththu ezhil koL sOdhi – Differentiates “vAnAr sOdhi” (the radiant light in spiritual sky – paramapadham) and “neelAzhich chOdhi” (the radiant light in the milk ocean  – kshIrAbdhi). The light in spiritual sky is like a light in the midst of brightly illuminated day, The light in the milk ocean is consumed by the ocean. But the light in thiruvEnkatam is alike a lamp on the top of a hill which shines clearly everywhere. His beauty improved due to the contact with the divine hill.
  • endhai – The (fatherly) relationship is such that, even if he is ugly, we cannot leave him. Also explained that – emperumAn won over AzhwAr by showing his simplicity (by descending in thiruvEnkatam) and his beauty.
  • thandhai thandhaikkE – Supreme lord. In this pAsuram, thirumanthram (ashtAkshram) which is focussed on kainkaryam as the goal, is explained. chathurthi (Aya in thirumanthram, “adimai seyya vENdum“) explains the prayer/request. “nAm” explains jIvAthmA’s nature. “thezhi kural …” explains the meaning of the word “nArAyaNa”. The kainkaryam (service) that is done towards the apt entity is the goal. Now, saulabhyam (vEnkataththu), physical beauty (ezhil koL sOdhi), swAmithvam (endhai thandhai thandhai) explain the meaning of the word nArAyaNa [Note: all of these are explained as part of mumukshuppadi and other granthams which give detailed explanation for thirumanthram. It can be learned from elders precisely].

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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