thirumAlai – 30 – manaththilOr thUymai illai

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avathArikai (Introduction)

In the 25th pAsuram, AzhwAr said that he does not have karma, gyAna, bhakthi yOgams which are well known as means for attaining mOksham (liberation). Instead of these, which are being observed only by the male members in brAhmaNa, kshathriya and vaiSya kulam, there are means such as meditation and reciting of divine names which any one including women and SUdhras can observe. AzhwAr said in the 26th pAsuram that he did not have these also. In the 27th pAsuram, he said that he did not have the good thoughts that even squirrels had. In the 28th pAsuram he said that he did not have the intelligence that an elephant had as upAyam (means) to call out to emperumAn. In the previous (29th) pAsuram he said that he did not have the benefit of living in a dhivya dhESam. Thus in these 5 pAsurams he confirmed that he did not have anything in him (Akinchanyam).  emperumAn told him “even if you did not have anything good in you, if you do not have anything bad in you which will not pose any difficulty or loss to me, then I can take you under me using that as the reason and grant  you the purushArtham (benefit) that you desire. Are you without any bad qualities?”  AzhwAr says “just as I do not have anything good in me, there is no fault in me which is not present in this world” [in other words I have all the faults which are there in the world], starting with this pAsuram for the next 5 pAsurams. In the previous 5 pAsurams he had said, like nammAzhwAr said in thiruvAimozhi 3.3.4niRai onRumilEn” (I have nothing good). In the next 5 pAsurams, he says, like nammAzhwAr said in thiruvAimozhi 3.3.4 “nIchanEn” (I am a very lowly person) that he is the repository for all lowly things in the world. In this pAsuram he says that he has no AnukUlyam (being good or friendly towards others) and that he has the bad quality of being jealous of others who progress.

Let us see the pAsuram and its meanings.

manaththilOr thUymai illai vAyilOr insol illai
sinaththinAl seRRam nOkkith theeviLi viLivan vALA
punaththuzhAy mAlaiyAnE ponni sUzh thiruvarangA
enakkinikkadhiyEn sollAy ennai ALudaiya kOvE


Word-by-word Meaning

punam thuzhAy – thuLasi which blossoms as if it is in its own land
mAlaiyAnE – having as a garland
ponni sUzh – surrounded by kAvEri
thiruvarangA – sleeping in the temple
ennai AL udaiya kOvE – swAmy who has made me your servitor
manaththil – in my mind
Or thUymai illai – no purity at all (without lust, anger etc)
vAyil – in my mouth
Or in sol illai – not even one word with affection
vALA – without any benefit
sinaththinAl – due to anger
seRRam nOkki – looking inimically
thee viLi viLivan – I would speak harsh words full of fire
enakku – for me (with such faults)
ini – after surrendering to you
en gadhi – what refuge
sollAy – you must divine

vyAkhyAnam (commentary)

manaththilOr thUymaiyillai – “na chakshusha gruhyathE nApi vAchA manasA thu viSudhdhEna” ((paramaAthmA ) can not be realised by eyes or speech; only through pure mind is he realised). SrIvishNu purANam 1.4.41 says “yE thu gyAnavidha: Sudhdha chEthasasthE’kilan jagath I gyAnAthmakam prapaSyanthi thvadh rUpam paramESvara! II” (hEy paramESvara! Those who realise that AthmA is gyAnasvarUpam (full of gyAnam) and are having purified mind  know that world is full of gyAnam and it is your SarIram (physical body)). Thus, SAsthras say that purity of mind is considered as a means for enjoying paramAthmagyAnam (knowledge on emperumAn). AzhwAr says that he does not have that purity of mind. Since he says Or thUymai, he shows that the little bit of purity that one would get if even one of the faults of mind such as kAmam (lust), kOpam (anger), lObham (greed), bhayam (fear) dhvEsham (hatred), madham (arrogance), mOham (foolish passion), mAthsaryam (malice) is lessened, is not there. Since he says thUymai illai he says that it is not that at some point of time the mind is muddled and some point of time it is pure. He says that always he is without purity of mind.

vAyilOr insol illai – There is no purity of mind, accepted. At least, through the mouth, is there the good quality of speaking sweet words?  He says that he does not have even that. By saying Or insol illai he says that he has never enquired about the well being of anyone, which could be pleasing to the ears of the other person. He hints that even if someone else enquires about his well being, he has not responded in a nice way. Just as thirumangai AzhwAr had said in periya thirumozhi 1.6.5 “nedum chollAl maRuththa nIchanEn” (I am a lowly person who denied with harsh words), AzhwAr also says the same. By saying Or he hints that even he converses with women who he loves, he uses harsh words only which will singe their ears. Thus with these two sets of words, he has said briefly what he had said expansively in the earlier 5 pAsurams.

From now on, for the remainder of the pAsuram, he talks about his bad qualities.

sinaththinAl seRRam nOkki – even if did not have purity of mind and sweetness of words, others could move away from him and sustain themselves. But he will not leave at that. He will voluntarily go to a person who has some greatness in him and create harm for that person without any reason. Initially he will show all the anger in his mind and look at them inimically. seRRam nOkki – to look inimically. Alternatively, since both seRRam and sinam both indicate anger, and both have been used here, it shows deep anger. The considered opinion in this case is that by looking at the other person with a fiery look, the other person would almost fall down, drooping under the onslaught of his anger.

thee viLi viLivan – it is not only by look; even the words that he uses would appear like cinders to the other person and he will disappear completely.  Is the purpose of doing all this to gain anything? . . .

vALA – these are not done anticipating any benefit. Looking at someone with anger, scolding the person with harsh words are done so that these actions become the source of enjoyment. There is no other benefit needed for such actions. The opinion here is that just as good persons think that doing good to others is in itself a benefit, AzhwAr thinks that harming others is in itself a benefit to him.

periya perumAL says that since he is such a bad person, there was no benefit if he compels him. Azhwar responds . . . .

punam thuzhAy mAlaiyAnEchEthanas cannot leave him and go after seeing their lowliness because he has pledged to protect them if they desire him. He wears a garland of thuLasi to show this quality openly. The meaning here is that since you are the ordained Lord and after seeing the sweetness in you, how can I let go of you? punam refers to the land in which thuLasi plant flourishes. The thuLasi on his chest is in a flourishing state as it does in its own land and he wears such a garland.

ponni sUzh thiruvarangA – even if you are a protector, if you are not near me it will not be beneficial to me. Only to ensure that even lowly persons can attain you, you have come to SrIrangam and taken a lying posture here. This is my fortune, feels AzhwAr. ponnisUzh – on top of thuLasi garland, the holy kAvEri surrounding him is like another garland.

enakku –  to me, with all the lowliness that has been spoken about so far.

ini – considering my lowliness, I cannot protect myself and after giving the responsibility of protecting me to you,

gadhi en sollAy – please show me the way for my salvation. Even after accumulating all the harm such that it is not possible to uplift himself, AzhwAr could still plead for his case with him for uplifting him because emperumAn is the ordained Lord.

What is the compulsion for me to tell you the way for your salvation, asks emperumAn  . . .

ennai ALudaiya kOvE – you being the swAmy (Lord) and I being the servitor are states that will last for ever. Hence who else can protect me? If my Athmavasthu (the entity called AthmA) were to get degraded, isn’t the shortcoming due to that, yours?

We shall proceed to the 31st pAsuram, next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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