Daily Archives: September 4, 2016

uththara dhinacharyA – 6

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unmeelat padhma garba dhyuthithalamupari ksheerasangaatha gauram
raagaa chandhra prakaasa prachuranakamani dhyotha vidhyothamaanam |
angulyagreshu kinchit natamati mrudulam ramajaamaatruyogee
divyam tatpaaha yugmam disatu sirasi me deshikendro dayaalu: ||

Word to Word meaning:

dayaalu:= one who is of the aspect of compassion
desikendra:= the supreme among the gurus
ramya jaaamatru yogee= Azhakiya manavaaala maamunikal
unmeela garbha dhyuti talam=lustrous feet like the insides of the just blossoming lotus petals
upari=in the upper side
ksheera sanghata gauram= white like the sweetened milk
raagaa chandraprakaasha prasura nakha manidhyota vidhyotamaanam=lustrous nails like the white of the full moon
anguli agreshu=the end parts of the nails
kinchit natam=slightly bending
ati mrdulam=very soft
divyam=not of this world
tat=extremely exalted
paada yugmam=his two feet
me  shirasi=should grace my head

COMMENTARY

From this stanza, next six slokas are in the form of stotra by discioles.   In the first sloka one disciple appeals to Mamuni to put his feet on his head as its decoration.  Dayalu=one for whom compassion is natural.  Like Sri Ramanuja Mamuni is also compassionate to disciples not due to the service rendered like other acharyas, but by nature. dishati upadishati iti deshika:= one who teaches meanings of sastras is desika.  desikaanaaam indra:=deshikendra;  Chief to the Acharyas who are Deshikas. Chief of the Acharyas means possessing the wisdom, practice congruent to wisdom, compassion unto all.  maamuni’s feet are pink like lotus, the nails are white like the moon, and generally the whole feet are fair, smooth and soft.  As Mamuni is  an incarnation of Adisesha his feet are described as Apraakrtam, not of this world, but a supreme thing of Paramapada.  They are not low and cheap like those of the samsaaris of this world.   The description earlier, “Unmeelat padmagarbha”, all those are the aspects of beauty which qualify a person as a uttamapurusha.  This disciple appeals to Mamuni to grace him with those feet for which  he is naturally eligible as  a shishya.  Like Nammazhwar praying in Tiruvaaimozhi, “Nin sem maa paada parpu(padmam) thalai serththu”, here a disciple prays to Mamuni requesting him to grace with his feet as he is his Acharya, “paada yugma shirasi dishatu me”

Though this sounds like a sentence in third person, may Mamuni grace me, the real intent is in personal request to Mamuni from the disciple. This will be clearer in the next slokas.

Translation by vangIpuram sadagOpa rAmAnuja dAsan

Source: http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org/index.php/2016/09/uththara-dhinacharya-tamil-6/

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uththara dhinacharyA – 4 and 5

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tata: kanaka paryanke taruna dhyumani dhyutau |
visaala vimala slakshna tunga dhoolaasana ujjwale ||

samagra saurabha utkaara nirantara dhigantare |
sopadhaane sukha aaseenam sukumaare vara aasane ||

Word to Word meaning

tata=after that
taruna dhyumani dhyutau= with lusture like the morning sun
visaala vimala slakshna tunga dhoolaasana ujjwale=broad, spotless, smooth, and thick with cotton mattresses
samagra saurabha utkaara nirantara dhigantare=full of flowers offered to Perumal and with theie r pleasant aroma in all four directions
sopadhaane=with pillows to lean on
kanaka paryanke=bed of gold
sukumaare=very smooth
vara aasane=on the seat made of holy grass, deerskin and clothes
sukha aaseenam=being seated comfortably
(tam)=that Manavaala Mam
(chintayaami)=i always meditate.

COMMENTARY      

In this sloka  Appa   eulogizes Mamuni who is seated in great elegance on the golden cot  always meditating on Emperumanar who is the goal of panchamopaya nishta  and who is the subject matter of all his simple, sweet erudite talks that please  his disciples and depicts here the great beauty and elegance of Mamuni seated so.  Though sanyaasis are prohibited from sitting on golden cots by the sastras, when requested by the disciples such seating is not barred.  Saints do not incur sin by eating in vessels made of gold, silver, bell metal, copper, stone etc.  If they ask for such things from their disciples, the sages are afflicted, says Medhati and here what is said for eating vessels applies to cot and using a cot not asked fr personally but used only upon the disciples prevailing is not unethical.  One can deny his own yearning for gold or silver, but can not deny when the disciples desire them to use it/ Therefore using the golden cot is not wrong for Mamuni.

Translation by vangIpuram sadagOpa rAmAnuja dAsan

Source:  http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org/index.php/2016/09/உத்தர-திநசர்யை-4-5/

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uththara dhinacharyA – 3

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saayantanam tata: krtva samyagaaraadhanam hare: |
svairaalaapai: subhai: strotrun nanadayantam namaami tam ||

Word to Word meaning

tata:= in the evening after erforming sandhya vandanam
saayantanam=the evening oriented
hare: aaraadhanam=tiru aaraadhanam for Aranganagar Appan, his Personal deity
samyag=in great detail
and with deep devotion
krtva=having performed
subhai=auspicious
svai: aalaapai:=his own sweet willed simple utterances
srotrun=the audience, listeners
nandayantam=pleasing
tam=that Mamuni
namaami=i worship

COMMENTARY

As stated in Upadesa Ratnamala verse 55, “aar vachana bhooshanaththin aazh porul ellaam arivaar? aar athu sol neril anuttippaar?”…in .howsoever simpler language the tenets may be explained by Mamuni to his disciples, , the concepts in Srivachanabhooshanam would be too tough to follow and more difficult to enjoin in practice; yet because of the complications in the meanings, the teachings to the disciples also would appear to be difficult.  The discourses by the swami after performing the saayam sandhyavandanam and the evening Tiruvaaraadhanam would be spontaneous couched in simple utterances.  This is svairaalaapai:  The discourse that contains all the saastraartha and yet in simple style is svairaalaapai.  Mamuni pleases his disciples by his very lucid and simple discourses.  Here, Hari refers to AranganagarAppan referred to as  ‘Ranganidhi’ in sloka 17 of Poorva Dinacharya   ‘Hari’ means one who removes the obstacles of the devotees, and also One who appoints, controls all the othergods.  It should be noted that in Poorva Dinacharya sloka 17 the morning aaraadhanam to  ‘atha Ranganidhi’, in sloka 29  “aaraadhya Srinidhim’  thebhagavad aaraadhanam, and in this sloka the evening aaraadhanam have been mentioned, indicatin that the swami was offering all the three tiru aaraadhanam to the Lord.

Translation by vangIpuram sadagOpa rAmAnuja dAsan

Source:  http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org/index.php/2016/09/உத்தர-திநசர்யை-3/

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uththara dhinacharyA – 2

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atha ghoshteem garishtaanaam adhishtaaya sumedhasam |
vaakyaalankruti vakyanam vyaakhyaataaram namaami tam ||

Word to Word meaning

ata= after composing Yatiraja Vimsati
garishtaanaam=each in his own right capable of composing texts and holding the Acharya status
sumedhasaam=truly wise and virtuous
ghoshteem=assembly
adhishtaaya=having attained
vaakyaalankruti vaakyaani=the sentences in Sri Vachana Bhooshanam
vyaakhyaataaram=explaining
tam=that Mamuni
namaami=i worship

COMMENTARY

Having detailed till now the swaadhyaaya of composing a grantha, henceforth he details the other type of swaadhyaaya namely explaining the vyaakhyaanas for the great works of the earlier preceptors.   karishtha= adhyantam kuravak karishtha=the supreme teachers.  The title for them is, “sumedhasa:”   Knowing the meanings perfectly in just one hearing,  remembering the learnt concepts well, is called Medha.  Sumedhaa:=those who have excellent Medha.  Who are these Sumedha here?  Koil Kanthaadai Annan, Vanamamalai Jeeyar and other Ashta Dig Gajas.  Mamuni who was till now worshiping Sri Ramanuja in yoga by himself is now giving it up to sit in assembly with the disciples explaining the  Sei Vachana Bhooshana divya sastra. I am worshipping such a saint, says Sri Erumbiyappa.   Vachana bhooshanam=a jewelery made of rubies and diamonds is a ratnabhooshanam.  The text by Sri pillai lokacharya with very few of his own words, but mainly by the great words of the earlier saints giving illumination to the readers is Vachana bhooshanam.   As this text is of very order in style and contents, Mamuni explains it with grace, making the meaning understandable.   He explains by breaking words whose meaning is not known,  by splitting sentences and clauses so that the concepts are easy to follow,  by raising questions where doubts are likely and answering them so on so forth.  Sumedhasa: karishtha…..by saying that Mamuni explains the difficult concepts of Sri Vachana Bhooshanam hard to know even for great scholars like Koil Annan, it is indicated that the concepts of the Text are very deep and Mamuni’s medha makes it easier for us to follow the great text.

As Sri Vachana Bhooshanam contains all the essence of Vedas, smritis, itihaasas, puranas, Divya prabandhas etc explaining this one text itself will tantamount to explaining all those other ancient texts, and therefore Mamuni practiced the supreme form swaadhyaaya by explaining this unique Grantha.

 

Translation by vangIpuram sadagOpa rAmAnuja dAsan

Source:   http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org/index.php/2016/09/uththara-dhinacharya-tamil-2/

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uththara dhinacharyA – 1

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itiyatikuladhuryamedhamaanaisruti madhurairuditai: prahaharshayantam
varavaramunimeva chintayantee matiriyametiniratyayam prasadam

Word to Word meaning

iti= as stated from “Sreemaadhavaanghri” unto “vigyaapanam”
etamaanai= the ever further evolving
sruti madhurai= pleasant to hear
uditai=utterances
yatikula dhuryam=on the chief of the yatis lineage, Ramanuja
praharshayantam=while pleasing him
varavaramuni eva= always steadfast in Sri varavara muni
iyam mati=my mind
niratyayam=permanantly
prasadam eti=attains clarity

COMMENTARY

Sri Erumbiyappa is consoled and pleased that his mind which  was until now drowned in turmoil  in the attained and unattainable matters, has now reached the status of thinking only of Sri Varavaramuni who plunged Sri Yatiraja in joy by submitting to him Yatiraja Vimsati and there by is rid of its earlier turbulance and absolutely calm.  By stating “Varavaramni eva” he specifically says the bliss is due not directly by thinking of Yatiraja but by thinking of Mamuni who pleased Yatiraja by his stotra.  More than by the thought of  Bhagavan, or Bhagavatas, or even the Acharya the mental clarity attained by thinking of Mamuni who is absolute in his devotion to Acharya is supreme and also stable.  Though this Text is small in size with only just 20 verses, these utterances are referred to by the word “edhamaanai” which sound excessive perhaps due to the Grace of Sri Ramanuja who would consider each verse by Mamuni as equal to a thousand paeans

Mahatmas consider our love unto them even of very petty measure as big and valuable.  In the word “praharshayantam”, indicating bliss, the word “Harsham” is preceded by “pra” indicating Sri Ramanuja”s immense happiness unto Mamuni.  Sri Ramanuja”s happiness unto Mamuni is just due to the devotion and Mamuni is not going to think of obtaining  any material gain by this happiness of Acharya.   By the word “Chintayantee”, it is clear that Mamuni who is always thnking of Sri Ramanuja is unique compared to Chintayantee the gopi who was always thnking of Sri Krishna or Nammazhwar who is known as Dheergha Chintayantee due to his immeasurable deep love for Him.  Here the words were split into three parts…..sruti, madhurai, and uditai.   This can also be split into srutimadhurai and uditai, when ruditai would mean crying.  From the stanza “Alpaapi me” as Mamuni is  mostly talking about his ignorance, lack of devotion, and cries “haahanta hanta” explaining his pain, and as crying always leads to self effulgence we can take the word to be “ruditai”.  Is it necessary to say that it will please Sri Ramanuja to listen to the cries asking for Moksha?  So  Mamuni used the word “ruditai”. Mamuni’s cries in  Samskrit is Yatiraja Vimsati and his cries in Tamizh is Arti Prabandham.

Translation by vangIpuram sadagOpa rAmAnuja dAsan

Source: http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org/index.php/2016/09/uththara-dhinacharya-tamil-1/

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thirumAlai – 11 – oruvillAl Ongu

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lord-rama

avathArikai

AzhwAr had shown the extreme limit of simplicity – emperumAn lying at SrIrangam temple, as periya perumAL. Despite that, samsAris were not showing any involvement with periya peumAL. He feels sad that despite telling them that the same SrI rAma who he had earlier (in pAsuram 7) pointed out to them for taking refuge under, is now lying in SrIrangam to help them, the samsAris, instead of reciting his names, are wasting their time.

Let us enjoy the pAsuram and its meanings, first:

ஒரு வில்லால் ஓங்கு முந்நீர் அடைத்து உலகங்கள் உய்யச்
செருவிலே அரக்கர் கோனைச் செற்ற நம் சேவகனார்
மருவிய பெரிய கோயில் மதிள் திருவரங்கம் என்னா
கருவிலே திருவிலாதீர்! காலத்தைக் கழிக்கின்றீரே.

Oru villAl Ongu munnIr adaiththu ulagangaL uyyach
cheruvilE arakkar kOnaich cheRRa nam sEvaganAr
maruviya periya kOil mathiL thiruvarangam ennA
karuvilE thiruvilAdhir! kAlaththaik kazikkinRIrE

Listen

Word-by-word meaning

oru villAl – with a bow that he could lay his hands on
Ongu munnIr adaiththu – constructing a dam on the turbulent ocean
ulagangaL uyya – so that all worlds could get uplifted
cheruvilE – in war
arakkar kOnai – rAvaNa, the head of demons,
cheRRa nam sEvaganAr – our azhagiya maNavALan who destroyed that rAvaNa
maruviya – dwelling permanently
periya kOil – the temple which is famous
madhil thiruvarangam –  at SrIrangam, with several protective walls
ennA – not saying so
karuvilE thiru ilAdhIr – not having emperumAn’s mercy when you were inside your mother’s womb
kAlaththai – time (when you should be carrying out service to him after surrendering)
kazhikkinRIrE – wasting

vyAkhyAnam

oru villAl – with the help of a bow that he could lay his hands on, he blocked the ocean. But wasn’t the ocean blocked with stones? How is it that AzhwAr says that SrI rAma blocked it with a bow? When it was decided to build a dam across the ocean, SrI rAma surrendered to samudhrarAjan (king of ocean). But when the king of ocean did not appear even after 3 days, SrI rAma told lakshmaNa “chApamAnaya soumithrE SarAmSchAShI vishObamAn I sAgaram SOshayishyAmi padhbhyAm yAnthu plavangamA: II” – hEy lakshmaNa! Bring the bow and arrows which are like poisonous snakes. I shall dry up the ocean. The army of monkeys can walk through the ocean bed. After lakshmaNa brought the bow and arrows, SrI rAma drew the bow and was about to shoot the arrow when the king of ocean appeared. Thus AzhwAr says that with the help of the bow he created the dam.

ongu munnIr – turbulent ocean. It is not the natural turbulence in the ocean that is referred to here.  On seeing Sri rAma with the bow and the way he stood with a courageous stance, the ocean felt shaken and thus became turbulent. The king of ocean did not appear when emperumAn surrendered to him. Only when he took the arrow did he appear. It is similar to children in school bowing to the class teacher when he takes the stick. vAlmIki bhagavAn describes the anger of SrI rAma “samudhrasya thatha: krudhdhO rAmO rakthAnthalOchana: I” – rAma, because of his anger towards the king of ocean, was red in his eyes.

adaiththu – only after SrI rAma let go off a few arrows did varuNa appear and begged SrI rAma to build the dam on his back.. Hence AzhwAr says, he blocked the ocean with bow and not with stones. Without the backing, the mountains which were thrown into the ocean by the army of monkeys would have sunk and the dam would not have been built.

ulagangaL uyya – For all the worlds, including earth, nether world, svargam (heaven) and anthariksham (world between earth and heaven) to live in comfort. When rAvaNa was alive, these worlds were in disarray due to the strength of the boons that he had obtained. It was only after his death that these worlds became liveable. SrIvishNu purANam 1.13.14 says “na yashtavyam na dhAthavyam na bhOgthavyam kathanchana: I” – at no point of time should there be yagyam (a form of worship) or donations or hOmam (ritual with agni, or fire) was the order during rAvaNa’s time. He conquered all the worlds with his strength and power and made the worlds almost unliveable. Another way of interpreting is “ulagangaLuyya munnIr adaiththu” – for the worlds to live in comfort, he blocked the ocean. “sEthum dhrushtvA samudhrasya gangA sAgara sangamam I brahmahathyA vimuchyathE mithradhrOhi na muchyathE II” – by looking at the sEthu built in the ocean [by SrI rAma] and the place where gangA joins with ocean, a person gets rid of killing a brAhmaNa, but not betrayal of a friend, goes a saying. samsAris, at all times, can get rid of their dhOshas (impurities or faults by merely looking at the sEthu (bridge)).

cheruvilE – in war. Unlike the coward rAvaNa who, using a bait (the illusory deer) removed rAma and lakshmaNa from their dwelling and entering an open house like a dog and took away pirAtti when she was alone, SrI rAma engaged in war with rAvaNa and killed him.

arakkar kOnai – king of demons. As thirumangai AzhwAr says in periya thirumozhi 4-4-6 “arakkar thangaL kOn pOlum” – rAvaNa was arrogant that he was the king of demons, looking at the strength of demons with him. Apart from indulging in evil acts, he gave room for other bad people too to indulge in such acts.

cheRRa – destroyed. Right in front of rAvaNa’s eyes, SrI rAma destroyed his supporters who were the cause for his arrogance; he destroyed his sons; he cut off his heads one by one so that he would be able to see his heads falling on the ground, a sight which no one else would have seen, thus shaming him. This is how rAvaNa was destroyed. In SrI rAmAyaNa, yudhdha kAndam SlOkam 59.144, SrI rAma tells rAvaNa “gachchAnujAnAmi  raNArthithas thvam praviSya rAthrinchararAja! lankAm I ASvAsya niryAhi rathIcha dhanvI thadhA bhalam dhrakshyasi mE rathasthatha: II” – Oh, king of demons! You have become tired in the battlefield. Go back! I allow you to go. Go to your place, recoup your strength and come back with your chariot and your bow. Sitting on your chariot, you will see my strength. SrI rAma disarmed rAvaNa completely and told him to leave the battlefield, demonstrating the extreme limit of his valour.

nam sEvaganAr – our servant. He is not a sEvagan  by his being emperumAn. He is a servant because he is dependent on us (parathanthran to us). If a chEthanan (a sentient entity) folds his palms together in anjali fashion to emperumAn, he forever becomes a servant to such chEthanar. nam – as said in nAchchiyAr thirumozhi 5.3 “thAy thalaiyaRRaRRu vIzhaththoduththa thalaivan” – by removing the heads of rAvaNa one by one and making them fall, SrI rAmA removed the enemy for uniting with pirAtti. In the same way he will remove our enemies too; here, the term “nam” refers to us who don’t have any other refuge. pirAtti is the recommending authority for all of us (purushakAra bhUthai). Hence if he helps her (by removing her enemy) it can be construed as helping us all. The following incidents which took place with our pUrvAchAryas is quoted to explain this term – (1) nanjIyar was listening to his AchAryar bhattar explaining this pAsuram. After the session was over, nanjIyar was thinking about this pAsuram when he saw a soldier and a lady having an argument. The soldier was demonstrating his authority to her and trying to frighten her. The lady calmly told the soldier “what can you do to me? Only for protecting poor people and ladies like me, our king is ruling this country adorning all the weapons” nanjIyar was amazed that the meaning for this pAsurtam came from a commoner. (2) bhattar was recounting to chOzha sikAmaNi pallavarAyar the SrI rAmAyaNa SlOkam  yudhdha kAndam 25.33 “rAmalakshmaNagupthA sA sugrIvENa cha vAhini I babhUva dhurthdharshadharA sarvairapi surAsurai: II” – rAma and lakshmaNa were protecting the army of monkeys that had sugrIva in it and it could not be disturbed by dhEvas or asuras (celestial or demonic people). After reciting this, bhattar told them to keep remembering this incident which happened on the seashore. The audience, which included nanjIyar, pillAI vizhupparaiyar and nambi SrI gOvardhana dhAsar among others, thought of another pAsuram, in nAnmugan thiruvanthAdhi 8 “ilai thuNai maRRu en nenjE – ilangayai azhiththa kUrambanallAl” – there is no  protector other than the one who destroyed lankA with his sharp arrows. Thus, for samsAris like us who have no other refuge, chakravarthi thirumagan (son of dhaSaratha, SrI rAma) is the only refuge.

sEvaganAr maruviya periya kOil – the temple where emperumAn came willingly. After he destroyed rAvaNa in the battlefield and fulfilled his word to dhEvas and rushis, emperumAn came and lay down in this temple in order to help those who came after his period of incarnation. Instead of saying sEvagan (servant) the purpose of adding the honorific sound Ar at the end (sEvaganAr) is not only to highlight his glory; it is to emphasise his dedication in serving his followers here.

maruviya – emperumAn’s permanent place of dwelling, with total commitment. Going beyond para (SrIvaikuNtam), vyUha (thiruppARkadal) and vibhava (places where he took various incarnations), he chose thiruvarangam which is the root for all archAvathArams (dhivya dhESams).

periya kOil – big temple. The adjective big does not refer to the expanse of the temple, but considering the greatness of the place (dhivya dhESam). If the King of a country issues an order from his capital he would not think of rescinding it. In the same way, the sankalpams (solemn vows) that he takes from here makes it a big temple. What are the vows that he takes from here? We have already seen in the explanatory notes of pAsuram 3 that this place is “pavithram paramam puNyam dhESOyam sarva kAma dhuk” (gAruda purANam 11) – this place is sacred, takes the people to liberation, and fulfils their desires. linga purANam says “vaishNavAnAm viSEshOsthi vishNOr Ayathanam mahath” – there is glory among vaishNavas that this temple is a big temple for vishNu.

madhiL thiruvarangam – In order to allay the fears of what will happen to the soft thirumEni (physical body) of periya perumAL, who is lying inside the temple, from his enemies, this temple has huge protective walls. Knowing the greatness of the emperumAn, weren’t protective walls raised by persons such as thirumangai AzhwAr?

ennA – there is no need to trouble the body and carry out superhuman deeds. It is enough just to say a few words. There is no need to even recite his names with auspicious qualities and deeds such as nArAyaNa et al. It is enough if one says the name of the place that he resides in, namely thiruvarangam.

karuvilE thiruviLdhIr – not blessed in the womb. When it is so simple to recite thiruvarangam, why did you not recite it? asks the AzhwAr. Is it because you were not blessed by emperumAn when you were in your mother’s womb? As said in mahAbhAratham, SAnthi parvam (358.73) “jAyamAnam hi purusham yampaSyEn madhusUdhana: I  sAthvikas sa thu vigyEya sa vai mOkshArtha chinthaka: II” – that person who is blessed by madhusUdhanan (emperumAn) as he comes out into this world from his mother’s womb, is the person who is known to possess sAthvika (purely good) qualities and he is the one who thinks of the greatness of mOksha. It is this blessing from emperumAn when he is about to be born that attracts him towards emperumAn. AzhwAr tells the samsAris that they have lost that blessing. poigai AzhwAr and bhUthaththAzhwAr (the first two AzhwArs) conveyed the same meaning in their respective thiruvandhAdhi (of being blessed by emperumAn when they were inside the womb).

kAlaththaik kazhikkinRIrE – wasting your time. As vishNu thathvam says “vichithrA dhEha sambandhISvarAya nivEdhithum I pUrvamEva kruthA brahman hastha pAdhAdhi samyuthA II”- this splendorous body with arms and legs was structured yugas (ages) ago to be offered to emperumAn. AzhwAr is asking, instead of attaining emperumAn and carrying out the appropriate kainkaryam, why are you wasting your time? emperumAn, who has left timeless SrivaikuNtam and taken position in this time-controlled world, is waiting for you all to attain him. But you people are wasting your time. While nithyasUris (vishvaksEnar, AdhisEshan, garuda et al, who are permanent dwellers of SrIvaikuNtam) are willing to carry out appropriate kainkaryam by knowing his desires, he has, forfeiting them, come here so that you people could take refuge under him. But you people are running after food and dress for the body and wasting your time. While he is waiting here so that he can slowly get you interested in him and he can train you to enjoy him, you people are holding onto everything except him. How sad this is, feels the AzhwAr.

We shall proceed to pAsuram 12.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dasan

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