Daily Archives: August 7, 2016

thiruvAimozhi – 3.3.6 – vEnkatangaL

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Full series >> Third Centum >> Third decad

Previous pAsuram


Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In sixth pAsuram – when asked “Would those karmas (virtues/vices) be hurdles for our kainkaryam (service)?”, AzhwAr says “as soon as we agree to serve, those would disappear themselves”.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

Subsequently, AzhwAr mercifully explains the easy nature of taking refuge of emperumAn which is helpful in blissful experience of bhagavAn which is acquired after the unfavourable aspects are eliminated.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

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

Sixth pAsuram. Previously (in the first pAsuram), AzhwAr explained the meaning of thirumanthram. But “nama:” was not explained in that pAsuram. (that is, elimination of hurdles such as ignorance etc); he is explaining that here. When asked “Though he may not be satisfied until every jIvAthmA is protected, and though we may be determined to reach him, what are we going to do with the karmas which have been accumulated by us since time immemorial and are the hurdles for us to achieve bhagavAn?”, AzhwAr says “as we engage in kainkaryam (service), they will themselves disappear”.


vEnkatangaL meym mEl vinai muRRavum
thAngaL thangatku nallanavE seyvAr
vEnkataththuRaivArkku namavennal
Am kadamai adhu sumandhArgatkE


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

vEnkataththu – in thirumalai
uRaivArkku – for the lord who resides eternally (to be pursued by everyone)

(to be totally existing for him)
nama ennalAm – the word “nama:” (which highlights the eradication of independence, indicates total dependence, easy means, that which matches one’s true nature)
adhu – that (which is emphasised by Sruthi (vEdham) saying “bhUyishtAm thE nama ukthim vidhEma“)
kadamai – activity
sumandhArgatku – those who carried in their heads (to highlight their qualification)
kadangaL – previously accumulated sins in the form of debts (that can be exhausted by consuming the results)
mEl vinai – uththarAgams (sins that are accumulated after surrendering)
muRRavum vEm – will be burnt into ashes (as said in thiruppAvai 5 “thIyinil thUsAgum” (like dust in fire))
mey – sathyam – this is truth (since this is conclusion of the faultless vEdhAntham)

Since the unfavourable aspects disappear themselves,
thAngaL – those (who have surrendered)
thangatku – for their true nature
nallanavE – experience of bhagavAn which leads to bliss
seyvAr – only engage in

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

For those who performed the activity of carrying the word “nama:” (which highlights the eradication of independence, indicates total dependence, easy means, that which matches one’s true nature) in their heads (to highlight their qualification) towards the lord who resides eternally in thirumalai (to be pursued by everyone) , their previously accumulated sins in the form of debts (that can be exhausted by consuming the results) and uththarAgams (sins that are accumulated after surrendering) will be burnt into ashes (as said in thiruppAvai 5 “thIyinil thUsAgum” (like dust in fire)); this is truth (since this is conclusion of the faultless vEdhAntham). Since the unfavourable aspects disappear themselves, those (who have surrendered) would only engage in experience of bhagavAn which leads to bliss for their true nature.

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

  • vEnkatangaL – katam – kadan (debt). kadangaL means debts (obligations). Those are as explained in yajushi kANdam 6 “thribhir ruNavA jAyathE” (one is born with 3 debts) [they are debts to rishis (sages), dhEvas (celestial beings) and pithrus (ancestors)]; Further as explained (in same SlOkam) “brahmacharyENa rushibhya: yagyEna dhEvEbhya: prajayA pithrubhya:“, by brahmacharyam (pursuit of brahmam), his obligation to sages will be fulfilled; by engaging in yAgams, his obligation to dhEvas will be fulfilled and by prajOthpaththi (progeny), his obligation to ancestors will be fulfilled. It is said in manu smrithi 6.35 “ruNAni thrINyapAkruthya …” (One should fulfill these 3 obligations and pursue sanyAsASramam (renounced order); if sanyAsASramam were pursued without fulfilling the obligations, one will fall).
  • meym mEl vinai muRRavum – The sins that are acquired due to engagement in this prakruthi (material aspects) [here mey is explained as body]. Thus, “the three debts and the sins acquired will be burnt/destroyed [when nama: is recited]” – up to this is ALavandhAr‘s explanation. emperumAnAr heard this and said “can we not explain this in line with vEdhAntham?” and mercifully explained it as follows. That is as said in brahma sUthram 4.1.13 “uththarapUrvAgayOraSlEshavinASau” (as said in Sruthi (vEdham), due to the greatness of the vidhyA (upAsanam, means), the uththArAgam (the sins that were committed after acquiring knowledge) will not stick to the pursuer and the pUrvAgam (the sins that were committed before acquiring knowledge) will be burnt to ashes); and chAndhOgya upanishath 5.25 “Evam hAsya sarvE pApmAna: pradhUyanthE” (For one with such true knowledge in vEdhAntham, all his sins will be destroyed like dust thrown in to fire). vEm (destroyed) implies destruction for past sins and dissociation from future sins. Alternatively, it can be said that both past and future sins would be dissociated. pUrvAgam means all unfavourable acts which were done intentionally before acquiring true knowledge. uththarAgam means all unfavourable acts which were done unintentionally after acquiring true knowledge. Even after acquiring true knowledge, due to being bound in bodily condition, one may end up engaging in forbidden acts. Subsequently, on realizing the mistake, one would (should) withdraw immediately from such acts and atone/suffer thinking “what great mistake I have committed?”. [emperumAnAr‘s explanation is] past sins and future sins will be destroyed – this is truth [here mey is explained as sathyam – truth]. This is explained in chAndhOgya upanishath 5.25 “Evam hAsya sarvE pApmAna: pradhUyanthE” (For one with such true knowledge in vEdhAntham, all his sins will be destroyed like dust thrown in to fire). [Is it truth just because it is explained in SASthram?] pramANams (authentic source of knowledge) such as prathyaksham (sense perception) and anumAnam (inference) would cause both confusion and clarification [Some times they confuse and other times they reveal the truth]. But if it is explained in SAsthram [Sabdha pramANam], it will always be truth as said in “yathAbhUthavAdhi hi SAsthram” (SAsthram explains the truth as it is). SrI rAma launched his bow/arrow to destroy the ocean; but when samudhrarAjan (king of ocean) realized his mistake and came out humbly in front of SrI rAma, SrI rAma [with his anger subdued] asked samudhrarAjan “Tell me who are your enemies, I will send this arrow towards them”.  Here bhattar explains a humorous incident. Once there was a bald and wealthy land owner who was measuring his harvest. A poet comes by that side and [desiring to win some prize money] asked him “Instead of taking care of your curly hair, why are you working hard in measuring this?”. The land owner asked “Why did you come?” and the poet replied “I came to just see you”. Being pleased, the land owner gave him a sack of paddy. The poet accepted it gleefully and started walking away. Another poet ran into him and asked “where did you get this sack of paddy from?” and the first poet sarcastically said “that mottaith thalaiyan (the bald headed person) gave me”. The second poet runs to the land owner and complains to him that the first person called him bald headed and asked “why was he awarding such persons?”. The land owner became furious and started running towards the first poet to retrieve the sack of paddy. The first poet noticed the land owner coming towards him furiously and realized what could have happened. As the land owner got closer, the first poet praised him saying “why are you running towards me so hard with your curly hairs dishevelling here and there?”. The land owner again became pleased on hearing the praise and told “I came to give you another sack of paddy” and gives the same. Similarly, SrI rAma,  first himself surrendered to samudhrarAjan (king of ocean) and then on his non-arrival, threatened to destroy him with his bow/arrow. But on his arrival and surrender, he himself felt embarrassed for having raised his bow/arrow and with care, asked him “Tell me who are your enemies, I will aim this at them” [This passage is highlighted to explain, how emperumAn  will willingly remove all the sins of those who are surrendered to him].

In the first pAsuram, AzhwAr missed to explain one aspect (nama:). He is explaining it here.

  • thAngaL … – When asked “For the one who is to enjoy the results, like he is praying for kainkaryam, would he also have to pray to have the hurdles/sins removed?”, AzhwAr says “No. It is not necessary to separately pray for elimination of hurdles. As they engage in kainkaryams, their hurdles will be automatically removed”. ananthAzhwAn used to emphasise on “thAngaL thangatku” (those (qualified persons), for them) since this is focussed on those who desire to perform all types of kainkaryams as said in “vazhuvilA adimai seyya vENdum nAm” in the first pAsuram.
  • thAngaL – those who are detached from worldly pleasures and attached to performing kainkaryam.
  • thangatku – For them, who have such taste towards kainkaryam.
  • nallanavE seyvAr – They would only engage in kainkaryams that are matching their true nature.

What were they thought about when said “thAngaL thangatku nallanavE seyvAr“?

  • vEnkaththu uRaivArkku – Here the meaning of chathurthi (Aya in thirumanthram) is explained.
  • nama – nama: means “for him and not for me”.
  • ennal – It need not come from the heart. It can just be said (without deep interest/understanding). Even though this may be a very small act (of saying the word), would it be good for him? Yes, susukam [krishNa explains in SrI bhagavath gIthA 9.2 that bhakthi yOgam is something very pleasing for the self to engage in].

If it is said to be very easy to do, would it match the true nature of the self?

  • kadamai – prAptham (naturally fitting).
  • adhu sumandhArgatkE – Looking at the greatness of the result and the insignificant act of the AthmA, like it is said in “would he have to carry a mountain to accomplish this task?”, AzhwAr says “adhu sumandhArgatku” (those who carry this nama: on their heads) as it would be considered by bhagavAn himself. Or it could have been said in AzhwAr’s own opinion who knows the greatness of the result and bhagavAn’s mercy; or it could have been said based on bhagavAn’s consideration of any small effort of AthmA to be great; it is explained in yajushi “bhUyishtAm …” (We are reciting the word nama: which is considered great by you). When dhraupathi cried out “gOvindha!”, bhagavAn became greatly hurt thinking “She cried out my name [and I am not with her to help her immediately]”. He praised her (for crying out for him) and condemned himself for not being with her at that time of suffering for her. As said in mahAbhAratham udhyOga parvam 58.22 “… krishNA mAm dhUravAsinam …” (My heart is still not relieved from the debt (which is accumulated now) of letting dhraupathi cry out “gOvindha!” for me, who was staying far away from her). Even though she was rescued from the insult that occurred in the assembly, he was always feeling sorry for not being present physically with her while she called out for him. He felt “while my name did its job in protecting those who called out, I have not specifically done anything for her”. [When asked if the name itself can protect] if two unrelated words are recited together [in the form of garuda manthram], it cures the poison of snake bite just by the power of the manthram, why wouldn’t bhagavAn‘s name protect those who recited it?

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi – 40

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Full Series

<< previous (poruLum pudhalvarum bhUmiyum)

Introduction (given by maNavALa mAmunigaL)

amudhanAr divined about the help of emperumAnAr to him – in the previous pAsuram. In this pAsuram – he is happy about the help done to the world.

Introduction (given by piLLailOkam jIyar)

In the previous pAsuram he was delighted about the help of emperumAnAr to him; In this – without the request of others, in the incarnation of vAmana as said in ‘thAL parappi maN thAviya eesanai [thiruvAimozhi – 3.3.11]’ (about emperumAn who raised his divine feet and spawned the whole world), He kept his divine feet in everyone’s head and helped them – like Him (emperumAn), he (emperumAnAr) too helped everyone regardless of difference of qualification in them, had given them the meanings that goes with the true nature (of AthmA) – and so (amudhanAr) is delighted about that.

sEma nal veedum poruLum dharumamum seeriya naR
kAmamum enRivai nAngenbar nAnginum kaNNanukkE
Amadhu kAmam aRam poruL veedu idhaRku enRuRaiththAn
vAmanan seelan irAmAnusan indha maNmisaiyE                               40


Word by word meaning (given by maNavALa mAmunigaL)

vAmanan seelan  – Without any requirement from our side to Him, He came by Himself to help, as vAmanan;
irAmAnusan – emperumAnAr (whose act is equivalent to such act of vAmanan)
uraiththAn – said
indha maN misai – in this earth, that,
as said in ‘dharma artha kAma mOkshAyA: purushArthA: udhAhruthA [SrI parAsarar]’,
sEmam – being in the form of propriety (kshEmam),
nal – being distinguished,
veedum – liberation (1),
poruLum – wealth/material (2),
dharumamum – and virtue (3),
seeriya – unlike the aforementioned that are part of the goal, it by itself being the goal
nar – that is the distinguished
kAmamum – affection/love (4),
ivai nAngu – these four are the goals
enbar – so say the authoritative ones;
nAngium – (but) among these four,
kAmam – affection/love
kaNNanukkE Am  –   is to be towards sarvESvaran; and
aRam – virtue (dharmam)
poruL – wealth/material (arththam)
veedu – and liberation (mOksham) (are to be aids towards such love towards krishNan), among these,
dharmam, as said in ‘dharmENa pApamapanudhathi’ (sins would be removed by doing dharmam) enables the decline of sins, and since arththam by way of charity is helpful for kAmam, and since mOksham helps in keeping and continuously enjoying emperumAn with kAmam,

(so, all the three are to aid kAmam)

idhaRku enRu – these three would be only just part of help in being together with emperumAn as based on affection/love (kAmam).

Oh emperumAnAr is saying this to help us without looking for us to ask about the truth – so delighted is amudhanAr.

When recited as ‘vAmanan seerai – He incarnated as vAmanan and mingled with everyone without expecting us to request or not – emperumAnAr established the nature of emperumAn that is, that one does not have to go through suffering (penances, etc.) for getting that goal – thus amudhanAr is showing us about how emperumAnAr showed the greatness of vAmanan. The previous explanation is better than this, in terms of connection of words and weight of meaning.


sEma nal veedum – One that can give liberation (mOksham), as said in ‘thamasa:parasthAth’, being non-material world, that is, paramapadham, which is said as ayOdhyA (not breakable), and aparAjithA (not winnable);

poruLum – being part of the aforementioned series, being the means, helps to perform the means – such wealth earned in ways allowed by SAsthram;

dharumamum being of daily (like sandhyAvandhanam) and situation specific acts (like deeds to do related to solar eclipse), being in the form of worshiping, being distinguished based on varNASramam – such dharmam

seeriya naR kAmamum – love/affection that is celebrated in SAsthram, being enjoyable, and prescribed by the scriptures, being goal by itself – that kind of kAmam

enRivai nAngenbar – those like vyAsar, parAsarar, et al,  who are well versed in SAsthras would say that the goal are of such four types; it is as said in ‘dharma artha kAma mOkshAyA: purushArthA: udhAhruthA’;

 Out of these four, the three – dharma, artha, and kAmam are related to material/being with our body, would be of mismatch with the true nature, and would have to experienced along with this body; the important one that is mOksham would be after the time one gets liberated from the material world, it would be non-material, and at the time he takes on the special body, and it is when going to the special place (paramapadham); mOksham would be the benefit by itself for those who use some other means to achieve this;

but (emperumAnAr shows that) this would be different for those who have understood the true nature of themselves  (AthmA).  This is because, the sentient who is subservient as if an insentient, and who does not seek any benefit for himself, and thinks that the loss (of mOksham) is of the master only, and so is of full faith in this, (would consider love towards emperumAn as the main goal).

nAnginum(emperumAnAr explained, that) out of the four goals,

kaNNanukE Am adhu kAmam – as said in ‘na kAma kalusham chiththam mamathE parshoschitham kAmayEvaishNavaththanthu sarva janmasu kEvalam [jithanthE sthOthram] (not interested in other things, and only wishes (kAmam) for being born as a SrI vaishNava in any number of births), and, ‘na dhEvalOkA kramaNam na amarathvam ahamgruNE aiSvaryam vApi lOkANAm kAmayE nathvayAvinA’ (lakshmaNa says, I don’t wish for the post of Indhira, brahma, etc., and my wish is to be only with you), and ‘kAma krOdha nruNAm lOkE nirayasyaiva kAraNam|mukthayEgObIsvaradhvishAm…’ (love towards things of the material world is the cause of getting hell; love towards emperumAn would reach you to the great experience of emperumAn),  and as krishNan said “priyOhi gyAninO’thyarththamaham sa cha mama priya:” (I am not able to show even a small part of the love that my devotees show towards me), and prahlAdhan prayed as ‘yApreethi avivEkAnAm vishayEshu anapAyini, thAm anusmara hrudhayAn kAma sarpathu‘ (happiness in worldly matters would only dim the true knowledge; let me always have love towards you, protect me from being interested in other things), and as parAsara bhattar said, ‘svAmithvam prArthanAncha’ (pray to emperumAn the love towards Him), the main goal would be the love to join the established master that is sarvESvaran; that is, avoiding any ahankAram related to doing it for our happiness, but doing it only for His happiness – doing only such joining with emperumAn is the utmost goal.

By kaNNanukkEonly for kaNNan – is as said in ‘thanakkEyAga enaik koLLum [thiruvAimozhi – 2.9.4]’ (wish krishNan to say “always exclusively serve me”), and ‘uRROmE AvOm unakkE nAm At cheivOm maRRai nam kAmangaL mARRu [thiruppAvai – 29]’ (we shall be related to you, we shall be subservient to you only, kindly prevent us having interest in other matters) – should have such a state.

Nammazhwar-krishnaWho is having more kAmam?

So, for the person involved in this, love towards emperumAn only would be the prime goal.

(kAmam towards lowly/other matters brings sorrows) What perumAL (SrI rAman) (said in ‘kAma Eva artha dharmAbhyAm gareeyAn ithimE mathi: [SrI rAmAyaNam – Chapter 53, Verse 9] (my mind thinks that it seems that more than arththam or dharmam, it is kAmam that is of greatness (looking at the poor state of dasarathan)), was ironical praise, it rejected the love towards prohibited ways;

(then, did he say clearly about illness of love towards other matters?) He himself has said clearly the meaning in ‘artha dharmau parithyajya ya:kAmam anuvarthathE – Evam ApathyadhE kshipram rAjA dhaSarathOyathA [SrI rAmAyaNam – Chapter 53, Verse 13](who goes behind kAmam leaving artham and dharmam, will have to suffer very soon; like dhaSarathan who is suffering by separating from me).

aRam poruL veedu idhaRku enRu uraiththAnaRam visEsha dharmam – as said in ‘guNairdhAsyamupAgatha:’, and, ‘aham sarvam karishyAmi’, and, ‘unakkE nAm At cheyvOm [thiruppAvai – 29](We would do services to you only); doing services like ‘aupachArikam’ (argyam, pAthyam, Achamaneeyam during thiruvArAdhanam), ‘sAmsparSikam’ (what we touch and present to emperumAn, like sandal paste etc., during thiruvArAdhanam), ‘bhOjyam’ (presenting the food prasAdham);

poruL money for helping in services, for making food prasAdham, for decorating emperumAn, etc.

veedu – the place for earning money and doing dharma, for making that happen; / for doing loving services;

idhaRku enRu (emperumAnAr said) that the aforementioned would be a part of and in support of kAmam that is about being together with emperumAn;

indha maN misaiyE – not in the other world, but here in this big earth that creates illiteracy to every one (is where emperumAnAr advised about this).

vAmanan seelan – (emperumAnAr too) like vAmanan, had came by himself without anyone pleading for it etc., and helped;

irAmAnusan – (such) emperumAnAr

uraiththAn gave such meaning in this place, the noble meaning which is supposed to be told in the other world;

vAmanan seelan In SrI vAmana avathAram, without anybody pleading etc., He had kept his divine feet as said in ‘nalladippOdhu [thiruvAimozhi – 1.3.10](distinct/beautiful lotus feet), on everyone’s head without making distinction of great sage like vaSishtar or a lowly person;

In the same way, since,

as said in ‘nidhidhyAsithavya:’, etc., as commanded by SAsthram, and as said in ‘mahaneeya vishayE preethirbhakthi:’, he divined about this kAmam that is based on bhakthi, in his SrIbAshyam, and for every one in the world to get the taste of being with emperumAn he preached without distinction of their qualification; so His nature is also his nature, and he became similar to Him.

From AzhwAr thirunagari SrI U.Ve. vidhwAn thirumalai nallAn chakravarththi rAmakrishNa iyengAr’s ‘amudha virundhu’:

To distinguish from the liberation for kaivalyam, he is calling SrIvaikuNtam as ‘nal’ veedu.

poruL is the means for dharmam. dharmam is directly the means for such veedu. Money earned in the correct/prescribed ways for the purpose of worshiping emperumAn (thiruvArAdhanam) is the goal.

This is as said in ‘yagyArthAth karmaNOnyathra lOkOyam karma bhandhana: | thadh artham karma kaunthEya muktha sagassmAchara ||’ (Deeds other than earning money etc., for the purpose of bhagavath ArAdhanam, any deed done for one’s own benefit, would bind one in this material world; So, Oh arjunA! without any interest in other things, do earning etc., for doing bhagavath ArAdhanam only).

This is also as said in ‘nyAyArjitha dhanEna mahA yagyAdhikam kruthvA thachchishtAchanEnaiva sareera dhAraNam kAryam’ (using the money earned in appropriate way, do big yagyas, etc., and eat only what remains from it, and in that way only sustain the body).

Combining ‘maN misaiyE’  with ‘kaNNan’, we can see that the kAmam is towards the archchAvathAram in this world where emperumAn with his beauty has attracted us and made us love him in this form.

Like how vAmanan with his smartness got the world from mahAbali, emperumAnAr too got from me by his smartness; he got from me the master of the world, that is, arangan.  vAmanan gave the world to indhiran saying that it belongs to him. emperumAnAr too gave the owner of the world to the SrIvaishNavas saying that He belongs to them. After giving to them, he said to them, “that kAmam is only for kaNNan; that only is the goal; other goals are there to support this kAmam towards kaNNan.”, and in that way he preached to them such that they fell in love saying ‘nam perumAL, nam perumAL’ (our emperuAn).

It is the ultimate to have such love towards emperumAn; getting SrIvaikuNtam without such love, is not in the mind of great ones like nammAzhvAr and thirumangai AzhvAr;

emperumAnAr says that we should follow their path and make kAmam towards emperumAn as the destiny.

– – – – –

Translation: raghurAm SrInivAsa dasan

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