Arththi Prabandham – 28

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

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Introduction:

maNavALa mAmunigaL celebrates the choicest blessings of SrI rAmAnuja towards him, that made him to do something that he had never paid any attention whatsoever. In his earlier life, maNavALa mAmunigaL had done all wise activities yet  he did not have the interest in going to paramapadham. Only after SrI rAmAnuja graced him and instigated the desire to reach paramapadham, he focused on ascending to paramapadham. Thus, maNavALa mAmunigaL praises this golden blessing of SrI rAmAnuja in this pAsuram.

pAsuram:

paNdu palavAriyarum pArulagOruyyap
parivudanE seydharuLum palkalaigaL thammaik
kaNdadhellAm ezhudhi avai kaRRirundhum piRarkkuk
kAdhaludan kaRpiththum kAlaththaik kazhithEn
puNdarIgai kELvanuRai ponnulagu thannil
pOga ninaivu onRuminRip poRundhi ingE irundhEn
eNdisaiyum yEththum ethirAsan aruLAle
ezhil visumbEyanRi ippOdhen manam eNNAdhE!!!

Word-by-Word Meanings:

paNdu – earlier
kAlaththaik kazhithEn – I spent my life by
kAdhaludan – lovingly
kaRpiththum – propagating/educating
piRarkku – to other people
avai kaRRirundhum – what I learned from my guru
kaNdadhellAm – (that includes) all the knowledge in the books that I saw
ezhudhi –  wrote about which I learned
palkalaigaL thammai – Those multitude of books
seydharuLum – were magnanimously given by
palavAriyarum – those gurus who have always contemplated and stood by tenets concerning the “upliftment and betterment of the soul”
parivudanE – and gave (those books) with compassion towards these chEthanas so that
pArulagOruyyap – the chEthanas (sentient beings) in this world to get uplifted (liberated from bondage).
poRundhi ingE irundhEn – I was staying happily in this vibhUthi
pOga ninaivu onRuminRi – without  having any iota of inclination to go to
ponnulagu thannil – paramapadham that is known as “nithya vibhUthi”
uRai – which is the dwelling place of
puNdarIgai kELvan – sriman nArAyaNan, who is the divine consort of periya pirAtti who is seated on a lotus flower.
ippOdhen manam eNNAdhE – (But now) my heart will not think about anything else
ezhil visumbEyanRi – except the resplendent paramapadham.
ethirAsan aruLAle – (This is due to) emperumAnAr‘s blessings.
eNdisaiyum yEththum – He is someone whose glories are being praised  by people in all eight directions

Simple Translation:

maNavALa mAmunigaL talks about how he used to spend his life earlier. He used to read the books that were given to this world by those most compassionate gurus. He systematically read them, stood by them and even preached them to those who were unaware of their esoteric purports. maNavALa mAmunigaL had no inkling or interest earlier in going to paramapdham. However, he celebrates the grace of emperumAnAr who had blessed him with the desire to go to paramapdham, the divine place of sriman nArAyaNan, HIS consorts and HIS innumerable devotees.

Explanation:

maNavALa mAmunigaL says “In my earlier days, I read a lot of books that were authored by our great pUrvAchAryas with the sole purpose of lifting the downtrodden chEthanas (those that has conscience) in this world. Though those books might have been authored by different AchAryas, all of them resonated the same thought as though it was spoken with one neck. These books were given by the AchAryas with so much compassion towards the chEthanas. I studied whatever books I could catch hold of with interest during that time.  As they say “theriththu ezhudhi (nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi 63)”, I even learned them methodically from my gurus. Not just learning them, I even stood by what was mentioned in those books. This extended to me preaching those who had no idea of these books. I taught them the purport of these books so that they could as well learn that which will only be beneficial for the betterment of their souls. This was how I used to spend my time in those days. I never had any inclination to go to paramapadham, the place where Lord SrIman nArAyaNan resides. I was enjoying the benefits of this world and paid no heed to go to the place where the consort of the divine periya pirAtti, that is, sriman nArAyaNan (as described as “thAmaraiyAL kELvan” in mudhal thiruvandhAdhi 67) lives. I never had any dream to go to that glorious place known as “paramapadham”.

maNavALa mAmunigaL continues, “It was not until emperumAnAr showered me with his choicest blessings that kindled the interest to go to paramapadham. His blessings are definitely something that are being celebrated by people in all eight directions. How lucky am I to get his blessings. My mind does not think about anything other than going to paramapadham. This is possible due to nothing but the blessings of our one and only emperumAnAr.” This stress on emperumAnAr’s blessing as seen in the suffix “lE” in “aruLAlE” is of “thERRathu EkAram”.

Footnote: In the word “aruLAlE”, the author, piLLailOkam jIyar mentions about “thERRaththu EkAram”. It is thamizh grammar and needs a little bit of explanation.  There are two types of “EkAram” in thamizh grammar. The first one is “thERRaththu EkAram”. This signifies “urudhi” or “certainty” or “unanimousness”. Example – In thiruppAvai 1st pAsuram where AndAL nails it beautifully. In “nArAyaNanE”, AndAL uses “EkAram” to mean that only nArAyaNaN can give paRai (benefit) and no body else. This is used to mean certainty about who can give mOksham and the fact that no one else can give it. This is “thERRaththu EkAram”. The second type is “pirinilai EkAram”. This means something like “even that”. That is in this example “namakkE”, AndAL uses to mean that nArAyaNan will give paRai to people like even us. Who are we? We are the ordinary (alpa) humans who go after food and other worldly pleasures thinking that is the highest form of pleasure.  We are the dumbest and stupidest people and to even people like us (namakkE), nArAyaNan will give. This connotation is known as “piri nilai EkAram”. In the phrase “eNNAdhE”, the “thERRathu EkAram” is being used.

Translation by santhAna rAmAnuja dhAsan

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