thirumAlai – 42 – pazhudhilA ozhugalARRu

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periyaperumal-thiruppanazhwarperiya perumAL – thiruppANAzhwAr

avathArikai (introduction)

Those who have this knowledge of mEmporuL pAsuram, even if they are born in lowly births and consequently have lowly behaviour, are qualified to be worshipped by those who are born in higher births (chathurvEdhis, those who are conversant with all the four vEdhas), on a par with sarvESvaran, and are also qualified for exchanging gyAnam (knowledge) with those born in higher births.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings.

pazhudhilA ozhugal ARRup palasadhuppEdhimArgaL
izhikulaththavargaLElum emmadiyArgaLAgil
thozhuminIr kodumin koLmin enRu ninnOdum okka
vazhipada aruLinAy pOl madhiL thiruvarangaththAnE


Word-by-word Meaning

madhiL thiruvarangaththAnE – Oh one who is residing inside the temple with high walls!
ozhugal ARu – in the lengthy lineage starting with brahmA, up to themselves
pazhudhu ilA – without any blemish
pala sadhuppEdhimArgaL – those who are learned in the four vEdhas!
em adiyArgaL Agil – if they are regarded as “our servitors”
izhi kulaththavargaL Elum – even if they are born in a lowly birth
nIr – you
thozhumin – worship (them)
kodumin – teach them (the special knowledge that you have)
koLmin – learn from them (if they have special knowledge)
enRu – thus
ninnOdum  okka – as your equal
vazhipada – to worship
aruLinAy pOl – did you not divine!

vyAkhyAnam (commentary)

pazhudhilA ozhugalARRu – Starting from brahmA and reaching up to them, they come from a lineage where no blemish [transgression] could be pointed at them. ozhugal – long lineage; ARu – path. Either in their birth or in their behaviour, they do not slip from their quality of brahminhood (quality of being a brAhmaNa).

pala sadhuppEdhimArgaL – in this lineage there were many  who had studied all the four vEdhas. Just as it is said chathurvEdhA rushaya: (rishis are those who recite the four vEdhas), the people from this lineage are learned like the rishis. sadhuppEdimArgaLAzhwAr is calling out to those in this lineage, Oh! chathurvEdhimArgaLE (those who have learned the four vEdhas)!

izhi kulaththavargaLElum – even if they are born in a class below which there is no other class. Elum – as said in SrI gIthA “bahunAm janmanAm anthE” a person gets the knowledge that emperumAn is the prApyam and prApakam (goal and means) only after many [hundreds of thousands of] births. For those with such a high level of knowledge [of mEmporuL], it is unlikely that they would be born in a low birth. If they had been born in a low birth, like a vidhura or a dharmavyAdha . . .

em adiyArgaL Agil – if they know all the relationships with me [emperumAn] [it is said that there are nine types of relationships between a chEthana and emperumAn] and if they act according to that knowledge. The meaning here is that these people think that kainkaryam to emperumAn alone is beneficial and emperumAn also thinks that for them he is the upAyam and upEyam (means and goal) and all types of relationships for these people.

thozhumin nIr – you worship them. “vidhyAmadhO dhanamadhas thruthiyO’bhijanO madha: I EthE madhAvalipthAnAm Etha Eva sathAm dhama: II” (for the arrogant, being learned becomes a cause for arrogance; being wealthy is also a cause for arrogance; being born in a high lineage also becomes a cause for arrogance. These (education, wealth and lineage) become the causes for good people to be humble). Thus, you people, who feel that your education, wealth and high lineage should become reasons for humility instead of arrogance, fall at their feet [prostrate to them]. jithanthE SlOkam 1.9 says “kAlEshvapi cha sarvEshu dhikshu sarvAsu chAchyutha I SareerE cha gathau chApi varthathE mE mahath bhayam II” (Oh one who does let his followers down! In all the puNya kAlam (auspicious times), in the puNya kshEthrams (holy places) in all directions, in the physical body (which is the implement for virtuous deeds) and in the state other than physical body, I have great fear). Thus, as said in sacred texts, only emperumAn’s causeless grace gives fearlessness and all the other implements create only fear. You people, who have this belief, worship those who have the same belief. As kUraththAzhwAn, in SrIvaikuNta sthavam 77 says “ kainkarya nithya nirathair bhavathEkabhOgair nithyairanukshaNanavInarasArdhrabhAvai: I nithyA’pi vAnchithaparaspara nIcha bhAvair madhdhaivathai: parijanaisthava sangasIya II” (make me to be together with those who are your beloved ones and who are fit to be worshipped by me, who are always engaged in kainkaryams, who consider you as their greatest enjoyment, those whose hearts melt in new experienes [about you] every moment, who desire to be servitors to each other), the true nature of AthmA, which is being humble, comes naturally to those born in lower births. It is very rare for you people, born in high lineage and being learned in the four vEdhas, due to the arrogance of being born in high birth. The opinion here is that “if you people worship them, your arrogance which makes you suffer in this samsAram, will go”. Have we seen anywhere a person from lower birth protecting one from higher birth? In kaiSika vruththAntham (incident), we have seen that nampAduvAn, a person from chaNdALa class, was able to get rid of brahmarakshas (a demoniacal entity) from the body of a brAhmaNa who had lost his quality of being a brAhmaNa.

kodumin koLmin – if they desire to obtain knowledge from you, tell them supportively. If they desire to divine knowledge about emperumAn to you, seek it and enjoy it. Since those exchanges which take place because of class of birth and engaging with each other because of qualities, will not last beyond that birth, they will be like words written on the surface of water and will not last long. Relationship established with these people [having knowledge of mEmporul] through exchanging of knowledge will continue beyond this birth, into paramapadham and will last as long as AthmA lasts [forever].

enRu ninnOdum okka vazhipada aruLinAy pOl – The opinion here is that “since all the meanings until now in this pAsuram have been divined by you [emperumAn] , who grants mOkshapalam (benefit of liberation), there is no scope for any doubt in this”. enRu ninnOdum okka aruLinAy – you divined “since there is no one superior to me, fit for worshipping, worship them just as you worship me and proceed in the path of righteousness”. aruLinAy – vyAkhyAthA (commentator) quotes emperumAn who divined in gArudam 219.6…9  “madhbahakthajana vAthsalyam pUjAyAnchAnumOdhanam I svayamabhyarchananchaiva madharthE damba varjanam II mathkathASravNE bhakthi: svaranEthrAnga vikriyA I mamAnusmaraNam nithya yachcha mAm nOpajIvathi I bhakthirashtavidhA hyEshA yasmin mlEchchE’pivarththathE II sa viprEndhrO muni: SrImAn sa yathi: sa cha paNditha: I thasmai dhEyam thathO grAhyam sa cha pUjyO yathA hyayan II” ((1) motherly love towards my followers, (2) agreeing to my being worshipped, (3) the person himself worshipping me, (4) not being ostentatious in my matters, (5) showing affection in hearing my stories, (6) when thinking about me, voice faltering, eyes shedding tears and body developing goose-bumps always, (7) always thinking about me and (8) not asking for any other benefit from me [except myself] – if these eight different types of devotion are seen in a person, even if he is a lowly person, he alone is a superior brAhmaNa; he alone is a sage; he alone is a wealthy person; he alone is a scholar; he can be taught knowledge; knowledge can be obtained from him; he is fit to be worshipped like me).  aruLinAy – isn’t this secret divined by you out of your causeless mercy? nammAzhwAr in his thiruvAimozhi 7.10.11 “thIrththangaLE enRu pUsiththu nalgiyuraippar tham dhEviyarkkE ” (nithyasUris also will tell their consorts about the pure nature of those who have connection with emperumAn)

pOl – like that. We can consider that in the SlOka seen earlier on varAha avathAram (incarnation as varAha), what he divined as varAha, he carried out as periya perumAL in the case of thiruppANAzhwAr. First varAha perumAL divined the meanings for this. (thoNdaradippodi) AzhwAr composed the meanings in this pAsuram in thamizh. periya perumAL, after hearing this pAsuram, carried it out in the case of thiruppANAzhwAr. Just as SrI rAma heard SrI rAmAyanam from agasthya (a sage), periya perumAL heard these meanings from this AzhwAr.

madhiL thiruvarangaththAnE – instead of merely giving a discourse on this as varAha avathAram, did you not come to thiruvarangam (SrIrangam) and make lOka sArangamuni (a temple priest) who is from a higher birth and status to carry on his head, thiruppANAzhwAr, who is from a lower birth and status? madhiL thiruvarangaththAnE – only if it is possible to cross the temple compound wall can one cross the limit set by you.

In some texts, it is mentioned that this pAsuram extols the virtues of SrIpAdha thIrtham (divine water from the feet of emperumAn’s followers). The previous pAsuram, pOnagam seydha sEdam, mentioned about the greatness of food partaken from a follower of emperumAn. It is apt that this pAsuram mentions about the greatness of SrIpAdha thIrtham. The meaning for kodumin koLmin should be changed in keeping with this order. If the followers pray for it, provide SrIpAdha thIrtham and accept if they offer SrIpAdha thIrtham.  ninnOdum okka vazhipada aruLinAy – in SAsthram, it is mentioned that AchAryan is to be treated as emperumAn’s avathAram (incarnation). Hence, ninnOdum okka would mean treating AchAryan like emperumAn. Just as it says svAchAryamiva tham dhrushtvA (looking  (at a SrIvaishNava) (with dignity) as one’s AchAryan ….), one should worship a SrIvaishNava like one’s AchAryan. Similarly avidhyam vA sa vidhyam vA (irrespective of whether a SrIvaishNava is learned or not, he should be treated with dignity). thiruvAimozhi 7.10.11 that we had seen earlier dhEvar vaigal thIrththangaLE enRu , nithyasUris also lauded because of the connection with SrIpAdha thIrtham. nammAzhwAr in his thiruvAimozhi 10.9.10 said pAdhangaL kazhuvinar meaning that nithyasUris accepted SrIpAdha thIrtham.

We shall next take up the 43rd pAsuram.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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