Daily Archives: October 30, 2016

thiruvAimozhi – 3.9.9 – vAy koNdu

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

Full series >> Third Centum >> Ninth decad

Previous pAsuram


Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In ninth pAsuram – AzhwAr says “I who was made by the most generous emperumAn only by him, am not qualified to praise others”.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

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

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.


vAy koNdu mAnidam pAda vandha kaviyEn allEn
Ay koNda sIr vaLLal Azhip pirAn enakkE uLan
sAy koNda immaiyum sAdhiththu vAnavar nAttaiyum
nI kaNdu koL enRu vIdum tharum ninRu ninRE


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

vAy koNdu – with my mouth which is the sensory organ for speech (which is meant to praise the apt emperumAn)
mAnidam – manushya (mortal humans who are not apt to be praised)
pAda – to sing
vandha – come
kaviyEn allEn – not a poet;
Ay – examined (in vEdhAntham)
sIr – qualities such as Anandham (bliss) etc
koNda – having
vaLLal – most generous
Azhi – having divine chakra (which will ensure that the hearts of those poets will be captivated in emperumAn)
pirAn – great benefactor
enakkE uLan – is present for me exclusively as the distinguished one;

sAy koNda – having great radiance
immaiyum – archAvathAra anubhavam in this material realm
sAdhiththu – create and present
vAnavar nAttaiyum – the spiritual realm which is owned by nithyasUris

(like sEnai mudhaliyAr)
nI kaNdu koL enRu – saying “you analyse and manage”
vIdum – mOkshAnandham (the bliss of liberation which is acquired by serving him)
ninRu – in the proper methods
tharum – will give.

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

I am not a poet who have come to sing manushya (mortal humans who are not apt to be praised) with my mouth which is the sensory organ for speech (which is meant to praise the apt emperumAn); the most generous emperumAn whose qualities such as Anandham (bliss) etc are examined in vEdhAntham, who is a great benefactor having divine chakra (which will ensure that the hearts of those poets will be captivated in emperumAn) is present for me exclusively as the distinguished one; he will create and present us the greatly radiant archAvathAra anubhavam (enjoyment in deity form of emperumAn) in this material realm and the spiritual realm which is owned by nithyasUris, and will say “you analyse and manage (like sEnai mudhaliyAr, who is chief administrator of all operations)” and also give mOkshAnandham (the bliss of liberation which is acquired by serving him) in proper methods.

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

  • vAy koNdu … – AzhwAr is the only one who can naturally praise emperumAn [His speech/mouth is present specifically to praise emperumAn which is explained by this SlOkam].  SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 40.5 “srushtasthvam vanavAsAya” (sumithrA says to lakshmaNa – “you are given birth to accompany (and serve) SrI rAma in the forest”); “srushtasthvam vanavAsAya” – iLaiya perumAL (lakshmaNa informed his mother sumithrA, “perumAL (SrI rAma) is leaving to forest as per the orders of father and mother (dhaSaratha and kaikEyi); I am following him too”, and sumithrA replies “if you have the desire to be crowned to rule the kingdom [which you don’t have], that could have been due to me praying to give birth to a son with such qualities; I have given birth to you to have you fully serving SrI rAma”; “suhrujjanE rAmE – svanuraktha:” – you care for the divine feet of SrI rAma without anyone instructing you to do so; is there anything for me to specifically advise you now? you serve emperumAn with great taste in serving him and seeing him through your ears [since AdhiSEsha, the serpent has both seeing and hearing through the same sensory organ]. Alternatively – it is explained as “svanuraktha: suhrujjanE” – You are dear to those who good people who care for perumAL (SrI rAma) thinking “Like a soft garland was placed under hot sun, perumAL ignoring his tender nature, left to the forest to fulfil his father’s order – what is going to happen now [for him]?” – SrI rAma’s mothers and others in ayOdhyA request lakshmaNa to care for SrI rAma who is like the root (which sustains them all) for them. “rAmE” – One who is beautiful as it is, and walking a few steps elegantly will increase his beauty manifold.  “rAmE pramAdham mAkArshI:” – There is no reason for lakshmaNa who since birth as said in SrI rAmAyaNam bAla kANdam 18.27 “bAlyAth prabruthi susnigdha:” (friendship from childhood) sustained himself by being together with SrI rAma and suffered in separation from him, to become forgetful now; she must be saying some thing specifically for the current context [of going to the forest]. “bhrAthari gachchathi” – SrI rAma will be walking in front of you; You be alert that you don’t become captivated by his beauty [while walking in front of you]; his elegant walk makes him deserve a ceremonial umbrella as said in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 11.1 “agratha: prayayau” (SrI rAma walks first).  periyazhwAr too explains the beauty of his walk/steps in periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 3.6.4 “Adal pAdal” pAsuram.
  • vAy koNdu – I am not born to glorify lowly persons with my mouth/speech. If I praise some one else, how will your creation of me be fulfilled? srushti (creation) is for self as said in SrI rangarAja sthavm “svamudhdhisya” (for himself).
  • Ay koNda – When asked “Though you are set out to praise him, is he not beyond words as vEdham itself returned unable to glorify him as in thaiththiriya upanishath ‘yathO vAchO nivarthanthE‘ (the words returned being unable to glorify bhagavAn fully and even the mind cannot comprehend him)?”, AzhwAr says he presents himself for me as said in jithanthE sthOthram “bhakthAnAm” (My names, forms etc (everything) are for my devotees only).
  • Ay koNda sIr – His auspicious qualities which are well analyzed already [by vEdhAntham etc] and are opposite to all defects.
  • vaLLal – Very generous
  • Azhip pirAn – One who is having the tool (sudharSana chakra) which preserves these qualities in him.
  • enakkE uLan – he presented himself to be glorified by my poems exclusively.
  • Azhip pirAn … – He presented the divine combination of himself and his tools (sudharSana chakra etc) to be praised by me as said in thiruvAimozhi 6.4.9 “valakkai Azhi” (having sudharSana chakra in the right hand) etc.
  • sAy koNda immaiyum sAdhiththu – Bestowing me with radiant joy in this material ream. sAy – radiance. koLgai – having. Making the present life such that it is more enjoyable than liberation too.
  • sAdhiththu – By having emperumAn as the sAdhanam (means),  AzhwAr achieves everything in this material realm and in subsequent life in paramapadham (spiritual realm).
  • vAnavar nAttaiyum – SrIvaikuNtanAthan (the lord of spiritual realm) is considered as one among the residents of paramapadham (though he is the lord); the ultimate abode is fully under the control of nithyasUris (the eternally liberated servitors in paramapadham). As said in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 1.20 “bhavadhvishayavAsina:” (the sages tell SrI rAma “we reside in the same kingdom as you”), the same concept applies for bhagavAn too [where he would joyfully say that he is residing in the same abode as the nithyasUris].
  • nI kaNdu koL enRu – SrI bharathAzhwAn managed ayOdhyA’s treasury during SrI rAma’s exile, grew it greatly and returned it with much greater wealth as said in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 127.55 “krutham dhaSaguNam mayA” (SrI bharathAzhwAn to SrI rAma “By your grace, this treasury is worth ten times now in comparison to when you managed it”). By saying “vAnavar nAttaiyum nI kaNdu koL“, it is implied that emperumAn does not discriminate between a nithyasUri and a newly liberated individual as a cow would ignore her previous calves after giving birth to a new calf [if at all, newly liberated individuals are showered with more love by emperumAn]. This is explained in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 41.4 “thvayi kinchith samApannE” (SrI rAma to SrI vibhIshaNAzhwAn – even if you are suffering a little bit, what is the use of regaining sIthA?).
  • enRu – saying with attachment like this
  • vIdum tharum – will bestow kainkaryam (service); nigaNdu (dictionary) says “mukthi: mOkshO mahAnandha:” (mukthi (liberation), mOksham (liberation), mahAnandham (great bliss) are synonyms).
  • ninRu ninRE – Three explanations:
    • Our AchAryas explained this as – Even after giving everything, emperumAn would feel “I have not done anything to him”, with agony in his divine heart as said in mahAbhAratham udhyOga parvam 58.22 “ruNam pravruththam iva mE” (krishNa thinking about dhraupathi – I am worried like a borrower who is unable to repay the debt).
    • A thamizh scholar explained this as – emperumAn would bestow the aforementioned aspects one by one – i.e., first he will let the individual enjoy worldly pleasures, then show him paramapadham and then give him the joy of kainkaryam.
    • Also explained as – emperumAn will give sufficient experience of himself here in this material realm, attainment of parampadham and the joy of kainkaryam in small/adequate portions.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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thirumAlai – 28 – umbarAl aRiyalAgA

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avathArikai (Introduction)

periya perumAL told AzhwAr “even though squirrels are animals, they took efforts to carry out kainkaryam for me. Even though such a good thought was not with you, did you at least have a thought to look up to me as the protector, just as SrI gajEndhrAzhwAn called out to me to protect him when he was caught by the crocodile when he stepped into the pond?”. AzhwAr responded “No, even that was not there with me”

Let us see the pAsuram and its meanings.

உம்பரால் அறியலாகா ஒளியுளார் ஆனைக்காகிச்
செம்புலால் உண்டு வாழும் முதலை மேல் சீறி வந்தார்
நம் பரமாயதுண்டே நாய்களோம் சிறுமை யோரா
எம்பிராற்கு ஆட் செய்யாதே என் செய்வான் தோன்றினேனே.

umbarAl aRiyalAgA oLiyuLAr AnaikkAgich
chempulAl uNdu vAzhum mudhalai mEl sIRi vandhAr
nam paramAyadhuNdE nAygaLOm siRumai OrA
empirARku AtcheyyAdhE en seyvAn thOnRinEnE


Word-by-word meaning

umbarAl – (starting with brahmA) celestial entities
aRiyal AgA – unable to know (that it is this much, as per a measure)
oLi uLAr – emperumAn who is in the radiant paramapadham (SrI vaikuNtam)
AnaikkAgi – for gajEndhrAzhwAn
sem pulAl – red meat
uNdu vAzhum – eating for sustenance
mudhalai mEl sIRi – getting angry with crocodile
vandhAr – came (to the bank of the pond)
nam param Ayadhu uNdE – (when he is biased towards his followers as a protector) is there any responsibility for us in our protection?
nAygaLOm – being lowly creatures like dogs
siRumai OrA – not considering our faults
em pirARku – for my emperumAn
AL seyyAdhE – instead of being a servitor
en seyvAn – for what
thOnRinEn – was I born?

vyAkhyAnam (commentary)

umbarAl aRiyalAgA oLiyuLAr – the  word umbar refers to celestial people such as brahmA in the upper worlds upto sathyalOkam. oLi  refers to SrIvaikuNtam which cannot be understood by those such as brahmA and oLiyuLAr refers to paramapadhanAthan (emperumAn) who dwells in SrIvaikuNtam. chAndhOkya upanishath 3.13.7 says “atha yathatha: parO dhivO jyOthir dhIpthyathE viSvatha: prushtEshu sarvatha: prushtEshu anuththamEshUththamEshu lOkEshu” (in paramapadham, that which is superior to individual and collective entities, that which is without anything superior to it, that which emits radiance in higher reaches). mahAbhAratham AraNya kANdam 136.18,23 says “athyarkAnaladhIptham thath sthAnam vishNOr mahAthmana: I svayaiva prabhayA rAjan! dhushprEksham dhEvathAnavai:II thahtra gathvA punarnemam lOkamAyAnthi bhAratha! II “ (Oh king! That place belonging to mahAthmA vishNu is more radiant than sun and agni [god of fire]; because of its radiance, it cannot be seen by celestial and demoniac entities; Oh, one who was born in the clan of bharatha! No one, who has ever gone there, has returned). Thus, mahAbhAratham also mentions that SrIvaikuNtam cannot be seen by celestial people.

aRiyalAgA – even people who have high levels of gyAna (knowledge), as said in bhagavath gIthA 16.14 “ISvarO’hamaham bhOgI sidhdhO’ham bhalavAn sukhI “ (I am ISvaran (one who controls everything and everyone), only I attain all enjoyment, I am endowed with supernatural faculties (by nature); only I am endowed with strength and I enjoy all comforts (by nature)), such as brahmA and Sivan, who think that they are ISvaran cannot attain paramapadham. Not only can they not attain it, they cannot know about it. Such is paramapadham. SrIvishNu purANam 1.9.55 says “yanna dhEvA na munayO na chAham na cha Samkara: I jAnanthi paramESasya thath vishNO: paramam padham II “ (the one place which celestial entities, sages, I (brahmA) and Sankara do not know of, that is vishNu’s paramapadham). Thus, brahmA also spoke about this supreme place.

oLiyuLAr – mUnRam thiruvandhAdhi 51 says “kalangAp perunagaram” (the calm, supreme place). One who is enjoying nithyasUris (permanent dwellers of paramapadham) constantly, came to samsAram to protect a suffering person such as I.

AnaikkAgi – such an emperumAn, with unbounded eminence, came with dress astray and hair dishevelled in great hurry. Did he come for pirAtti or thiruvadi (garudan) or thiruvananthAzhwAn (AdhiSEshan) or such great entity? No, he took so much of effort for an animal. If one looks at the difference between the suffering elephant and the helping emperumAn, it is something between a pond and a mountain. If he has to protect a follower, he does not look at his greatness or the lowliness of the follower. He only looks at the danger that his follower is in and the inseparable relationship between him and his follower, is the considered opinion here.

Let him not see the lowliness of the follower. Was the enemy befitting the stature of emperumAn? Who was it, who created such an anger in emperumAn?

sem pulAl uNdu vAzhum mudhalai mEl Siri vandhAr – the one which gobbles up different types of fish which are much lower than itself, as a result of which it thinks that it has got a fullness equivalent to emperumAn, as mentioned by nammAzhwAr in thiruvAimozhi 4.5.1 ”vIRRirundhu Ezhulagum thanikkOl seyya “ (ruling all the worlds, sitting in paramapadham) – it was a worm in the water [that is how vyAkhyAthA describes the crocodile] on which he came with a rage. SrIvishNu purANam 1.9.25 says “yadhAvath kathithO dhEvair brahmA prAha thatha: surAn I parAvarESam SaraNam vrajadh vamasurArdhanam  II” (brahmA, who was informed of the sufferings of the celestial entities, told them that the one who is ISvaran to all without any difference between the great and lowly people, the one who is the opponent of demons, take refuge under him, the emperumAn). If emperumAn had destroyed demons in order to protect brahmA et al who came to surrender to him to protect them from their enemies, it would not have been considered as anything wondrous. What is wondrous is that he came with a rage to protect an elephant which called out to him, to kill its enemy with his dress and hair in dishevelled condition considering it as a great enemy. SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 24.34 says “krOdha mAhArayath thIvram vathArtham sarvarakshasAm I dhushprEksha: sO’bhavathkrudhdhO yugAnthAgniriva jvalan  II “ ((SrI rAma) brought on himself deep anger to kill all the demons. He appeared like a huge ball of fire, a rare sight to behold). When someone commits an irreverent act on emperumAn,  emperumAn remains calm, as said in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 1.10 “sa cha nithyam praSAnthAthmA “ (perumAL is always peaceful). But he changes his nature and brings on anger when he sees that his follower is put to difficulty by an irreverent act, as seen in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 59.136 “atha rAmO mahA thEjA rAvaNEna kruthvraNam I dhrushtvA pravaga SArdhUlam kOpasya vaSamEyivAth II “ (after that, SrI rAma, the splendrous person, became angry on seeing hanumAn, the greatest among monkey warriors, who was injured by rAvaNa). When he is this angry, he will not care whether the enemy is a lowly person or not and hence there is nothing wondrous in this. Just as thirumangai AzhwAr says in periya thirumozhi 5.8.3 “kodiyavAi vilangin uyir malangakkoNda sIRRam onRu uNdu” (there is a rage which killed the animal with cruel mouth), it is this great quality that people consider as their refuge.

vandhAr – while he could have destroyed the crocodile from his place through his sankalpa (will), how wondrous that he came to the pond, with dishevelled dress and hair! If he wanted to annihilate the world, he could have done that with his will. To protect his follower, if he does not come in person and destroy the enemy with his own hands his anger will not subside, is the opinion here. It appears to AzhwAr that emperumAn, by coming that day to help the elephant, helped AzhwAr himself. Didn’t thirumangai AzhwAr describe the crocodile as “kodiya vAy vilangu” in periya thirumozhi 5.8.3, as if he himself had been caught in its jaws? The surmise here is that if we don’t think that emperumAn coming to help a follower is like helping ourselves, then we do not have vaiNavathvam (the fundamental nature of being a SrI vaishNavan).

nam param AyadhuNdE – when emperumAn comes to protect his follower due to his bias towards his follower, is there any responsibility for us in our protection? If emperumAn looks at his greatness or at our lowliness or gets angry with the excessive sins that we have committed and decides “let this type of person suffer for some more time”, we can attempt to protect ourselves. When he is not like this, we have no basis for protecting ourselves.

nAygaLOm – our lowliness is such that the elephant gajEndhran is at the level of rishis such as sanakar (mAnasa puthra of brahmA). Even if we enter houses where the doors are open, we are being driven out like unwelcome dogs; we are without a recourse. Even if the person who brings up a dog touches us, he has to take a bath [to get rid of dirt etc], such is our lowliness.

siRumai OrA empirARku –  however lowly we are, those who are unable to see our lowliness. Just as SrI vishNu sahasranAmam says “avigyAtha sahasrAmSu” (even with thousands of eyes, he is ignorant [of  his followers’ faults]) he is ignorant of and blind to our faults and multiplies our [good] qualities with his thousands of eyes. muNdakOpanishath 1.1.10 says “yassarvagyas sarvavith yasya gyAnamayam thapa:” (which paramapurushan [supreme being] knows the true character and inherent nature of all entities,  whose will is gyanamayam (full of knowledge)) – when emperumAn is praised as omniscient, what is the meaning of saying that he does not see our faults? He does not judge the extent to which he should help after seeing the faults in his followers. He ignores the faults and even considers the faults as good qualities. empirARku – thus, not looking at our faults and protecting us considering the danger that we are in, being our ordained Lord, AzhwAr refers to him as empirARku. Alternatively, em  would refer to being his swAmy and pirARku would refer to emperumAn helping him.

AL seyyAdhE – It is apt to serve such a Lord. Once emperumAn takes up our work as his responsibility, it is apt to submit our physical body and five senses to his service, as per our svarUpam (basic characteristics). Instead, AzhwAr laments that he is not doing that.

En seyvAn thOnRinEnE – my birth has become wasted, says the AzhwAr. Just as sumithrA tells her son lakshmaNa that the purpose of giving birth to him was to help SrI rAma in forest, while the purpose of one’s birth is to carry out kainkaryam to emperumAn, AzhwAr says that since he did not do this, his birth is wasted. Instead of saying “piRandhEn” (was born), AzhwAr is using the term “thOnRinEn” to indicate that he appeared, like an achEthana (insentient) entity. While lakshmaNa was born to carry out all kainkaryams to perumAL, AzhwAr says that he “appeared” since he was not useful in carrying out any kainkaryam.

We shall take up pAsuram 29, next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dasan

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