thiruvAimozhi – 3.3.5 – sOdhiyAgi

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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 fifth pAsuram – AzhwAr says “For thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn’s nature, is accepting me such a great quality?”.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

Subsequently, AzhwAr says “Is he just SeelavAn (simple, one with good qualities)? For such emperumAn, who is also perfectly enjoyable in addition to being simple, is praising him as sarvESvaran (lord of all) adding to his glories?”.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nampiLLai‘s introduction.

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

Fifth pAsuram. Previously AzhwAr said – For one who gave himself to me, is hailing him as one who gave himself to nithyasUris, adding to his glories?; Is hailing him for giving himself to me adding to his glories, if he has searched and helped those who are even lower than me?


sOdhiyAgi ellA ulagum thozhum
Adhi mUrththi enRAl aLavAgumO
vEdhiyar muzhu vEdhaththamudhaththaith
thIdhil sIrth thiruvEnkataththAnaiyE


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

vEdhiyar – vaidhika’s [those who go by the vEdhas andn SAsthras]
muzhu vEdhaththu – in all of vEdhams
amudhaththai – (As revealed in thaiththiriya upanishath as “AnandhO brahma” (supreme brahmam is bliss), “rasO vai sa:” (he is the source of all tastes)) having greatly enjoyable aspects
thIdhu – defect (of bestowing the sweetness based on the qualification of the enjoyer)
il – not having
sIr – having auspicious qualities (of giving joy to lowly forest, monkeys, hunters etc)
thiruvEnkataththAnai – thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn
sOdhiyAgi – being the one with a radiant form
ellA ulagum – everyone (without any discrimination in greatness etc)
thozhum – being approached
Adhi – being the cause of everything
mUrththi – sarvESvaran (supreme lord)
enRAl – if we said so
aLavAgumO – is there any greatness?

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

If thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn who is (as revealed in thaiththiriya upanishath as “AnandhO brahma” (supreme brahmam is bliss), “rasO vai sa:” (he is filled with all tastes)) having greatly enjoyable aspects as highlighted in vaidhika’s all of vEdhams, not having the defect (of bestowing the sweetness based on the qualification of the enjoyer) and having auspicious qualities (of giving joy to lowly forest, monkeys, hunters etc), is hailed as sarvESvaran with a radiant form, being the cause of everything and presents himself to be worshipped by everyone (without any discrimination in greatness etc), is there any greatness in that? Implies that – his supremacy and being the shelter for everyone is no match for his simplicity and sweetness.

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

  • sOdhiyAgi – Having a divine form that is infinitely radiant. While his divine form is glorified as in nArAyaNa sUktham “neelathOyadhamadhyasthA” (Like a bright lightning in a dark cloud), he is also said as “pIthAbhA” (like the radiance of molten gold). His pleasant form is subdued by his radiance and his radiance is contained in his pleasant form too. This implies that both aspects are together and both need nothing more (either one is sufficient) to bring out his glories. He is also explained in SrIvishNu purANam 1.9.63 as “thEjasAm rAsimUrjitham” (one who shines like collection of radiant rays and who has the valour to demolish his enemies).
  • ellA ulagum thozhum Adhi mUrththi enRAl aLavAgumO – Previously, AzhwAr first said “eNNil thol pugazh vAnavar Isan” and repeated the same in “Isan vAnavarkku enban“. Is he doing the same here? No. Here he is explaining emperumAn‘s greatness by arthApaththi (inference from circumstances). How so? Before, he said “nIsanEn niRai onRum ilEn” (I am downtrodden and have no good qualities). He identified himself as the lowest of all. When he himself worshipped, it means that everyone (who is lowly) in all worlds have also worshipped. When one says “the top most step in a tank is now submerged into the water”, it implies that the lower steps are submerged and need not be explicitly stated.
  • thozhum – Even those who vowed not to worship krishNa, worshipped him as soon as they saw him as seen in mahAbhAratham sabhA parvam 75 “yadhArham kESavE vruththimavaSA: prathibEdhirE” (with great enchantment towards kESava, they performed obeisances etc).
  • Adhi mUrththi – On being told “brahma jigyAsyam” (Know brahmA), when asked what is the identity of brahmam, being the cause etc of universe is highlighted as the identity. kAraNa vAkyams (those phrases in vEdham etc that identify the root cause of everything) are explained through thaiththirya upanishath bruguvalli “yathO vA imAni bhUthAni jAyanthE … thadhvijigyAsasva thadhbrahma” (From which, the universe is created, on which, the universe is sustained, in which the universe dissolves, that is to be known and that is brahma). When asked “Which entity should be approached?”, it is said as in chAndhOgya upanishath “kAraNam thu dhyEya:” (the object of meditation is that which is the cause of everything) and as in SvEthASvathAra upanishath “yO brahmANam vithadhAthi pUrvam .. mumukshurvai SaraNam aham prapadhyE” (That SrIman nArAyaNan who blessed brahmA with all the knowledge during creation … I am surrendering unto that brahmam). Similarly, AzhwAr also is saying “ellA ulagum thozhum” (that which is worshipped by all) and “Adhi mUrththi” (one who is to be surrendered) in the same manner [as in upanishaths]. Even to explain that there is nothing matching brahmam’s greatness, we need to do it using vEdham as said in thaiththiriya upanishath “yathO vAchO nivarthanthE” (the words returned (being unable to glorify bhagavAn fully).
  • vEdhiyar muzhu vEdhaththu amudhaththai – Having unlimited sweetness as glorified in all vEdhams of brAhmaNas as explained in yajushi “sA hi SrIramruthA sadhAm” (For the scholars/elders, this vEdham is the eternal wealth), [brAhmaNas] who are the givers of vEdham, As said in kata upanishath 1.2.15 “sarvE vEdhA yathpadhamAmananthi” (that goal which is explained by all vEdhams), thaiththirya “sarvE vEdhA: yathraikam bhavanthi”  (that vEdham which subsides in brahmam), SrI bhagavath gIthA 15.15 “vEdhaiScha sarvair ahamEva vEdhya:” (All vEdhams reveal me only), bhagavAn who is glorified in all vEdhams as having the quality of “bliss”. He is also glorified in thaiththiriya upanishath as “AnandhO brahma” (supreme brahmam is bliss), “rasO vai sa:” (he is filled with all tastes).
  • thIdhil sIrth thiruvEnkaththAnaiyE – thIdhu – defects. il – absence. Having auspicious qualities which have no defects. While pursuing individuals, absence of defect means not choosing as in “this person is OK. this person is not” and so on. What is greater in this “thIdhil sIr” that is more than “ellA ulagum thozhum Adhi mUrththi ennum aLavAgumO?“. Previously we saw “enkaN pAsam vaiththa” (placing your attachment in such lowly me) as greater than “Isan vAnavrkku enban” (the leader of nithyasUris). Similarly, the greatness of “thIdhil sIrth” more than “ellA ulagum thozhum” is – pursuing/accepting me is not such a great aspect while he searched for the most downtrodden persons and not found one. He is such that, he would do hunger-fast and wait for such downtrodden persons as explained in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 59.3 “… ASayA yadhi vA rAma: …” (I was waiting here (banks of gangA) with guhap perumAL thinking that perumAL (SrI rAma) would call him some day). After accepting AzhwAr who said “nIsanEn niRai onRum ilEn“, emperumAn is looking for even more downtrodden persons and since he has not found them, he is just waiting. For one who is protecting, if he gets the protected entity and becomes satisfied immediately, it is a defect [he should wait and care for him instead]. This is explained in “…santhushta: kshathriyas thadhA…” (A brAhmaNa would become lost if he is not satisfied with what he gets. On the other hand, if a kshathriya becomes satisfied with what he gets, he will become lost [kshathriya should constantly strive for more]). The defect in quality is to discriminate between those who surrender.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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About Sarathy Thothathri

Disciple of SrImath paramahamsa ithyAdhi pattarpirAn vAnamAmalai jIyar (29th pattam of thOthAdhri mutt). Descendant of komANdUr iLaiyavilli AchchAn (bAladhanvi swamy, a cousin of SrI ramAnuja). Born in AzhwArthirungari, grew up in thiruvallikkENi (chennai), presently living under the shade of the lotus feet of jagathAchArya SrI rAmAnuja, SrIperumbUthUr. Learned sampradhAyam principles from (varthamAna) vAdhi kEsari azhagiyamaNavALa sampathkumAra jIyar swamy, vELukkudi krishNan swamy, gOmatam sampathkumArAchArya swamy and many others. Full time sEvaka/servitor of SrIvaishNava sampradhAyam. Engaged in translating our AzhwArs/AchAryas works in Simple thamizh and English, and coordinating the translation effort in many other languages. Also engaged in teaching dhivyaprabandham, sthOthrams, bhagavath gIthA etc and giving lectures on various SrIvaishNava sampradhAyam related topics in thamizh and English regularly. Taking care of portal, which is a humble offering to our pUrvAchAryas. is part of SrI varavaramuni sambandhi Trust ( initiatives.

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