thiruvAimozhi – 3.3.6 – vEnkatangaL

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

Full series >> Third Centum >> Third decad

Previous pAsuram

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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”.

pAsuram

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

Listen

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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