Daily Archives: June 8, 2017

SrIvishNu sahasranAmam

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maNavALa mAmunigaL who is considered as yathi punaravathAram (re-incarnation of emperumAnAr (SrI rAmAnuja)) glorifies nammAzhwAr as “vEdham seydha mARan” in upadhESa raththina mAlai 14th pAsuram, explaining that nammAzhwAr presents the essence of vEdham in simple and beautiful thamizh language.

nammAzhwAr, emperumAnAr, mAmunigaL

Such nammAzhwAr highlights in thiruvAimozhi 2.5.6pala palavE AbharaNam pErum pala palavE pala palavE sOdhi vadivu paNbeNNil” (emperumAn has many many ornaments, many many names, many many forms and qualities), in thiruvAimozhi 8.1.10 “thOLgaL AyiraththAy! mudigaLAyiraththAy! thuNai malark kaNgaL AyiraththAy! thALgaLAyiraththAy! pErgaLAyiraththAy!” (Oh one with thousand shoulders! Oh one with thousand heads! Oh one with thousand lotus like pair of eyes! Oh one with thousand divine feet! Oh one with thousand names!”) and in thiruvAimozhi 9.3.1 “pErAyiram koNdadhOr pIdudaiyan” (the one who is having the unique greatness of having thousand names). This is in line with how bhagavAn is explained in the most important hymn of vEdham which is purusha sUktham, where bhagavAn is described as “sahasra SIrshA purusha: | sahasrAksha sahasra pAdh |” (the supreme lord is with thousand heads, thousand eyes and thousand feet). Here thousand indicates the countless nature of his limbs, features etc. The whole of thiruvAimozhi is focussed on emperumAn and his auspicious qualities. Each name of emperumAn is reflective of a particular quality. For example, achyutha indicates the quality of not abandoning his devotees, anantha indicates the quality of being infinite and so on.

SrIvishNu sahasranAmam is a divine hymn which is part of mahAbhAratham. bhIshma pithAmaha, laying down on the arrow bed, instructs to pANdavas, the highest principle of meditating upon bhagavAn’s auspicious qualities through his divine names.

AzhwAn, bhattar

parASara bhattar, the celebrated son of kUraththAzhwAn, one of the most important among the direct disciples of emperumAnAr, compiled an elaborate commentary for SrIvishNu sahasranAmam. This divine treatise is named as “bhagavath guNa dharpaNam” (A mirror revealing the auspicious qualities of bhagavAn). It is our desire to explore the wonderful meanings of this treatise and present an english translation of the same for the benefit of the devotees of SrIman nArAyaNa.

We pray unto the divine feet of Sriya:pathi, AzhwArs and AchAryas and begin this effort as a humble offering at their divine feet.

Translation by SrInivAsarAja rAmAnuja dhAsan

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 2 – enRu kadal kadaindhadhu

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AzhwAr says “what have I done? Do I need to prove through conjecture that emperumAn is there because there are effects and hence there should be a cause? Through his athimAnusha deeds (deeds that are beyond the capabilities of human beings), we can easily know his presence”

Let us look at the pAsuram and its meanings, first.

enrU kadal kadaindhadhu evvulagum nIrERRadhu
onRum adhanai uNarEn nAn – anRu
adhu adaiththu udaiththuk kaN paduththa Azhi idhu nI
padaiththu idandhu uNdu umizhndha pAr

Word by Word Meaning

kadal kadaindhadhu enRu – when was the ocean (of milk) churned?
nIrERRadhu evvulagam – for which world did you accept water
adhanai onRum uNarEn nAn – I do not know anything at all about that
adhu anRu adaiththu udaiththu – dam was built on that ocean (by SrI rAma) and was broken
kaN paduthta Azhi – ocean on which [you are] reclining
idhu nI padaiththu – this world was recovered (after accepting water)
idandhu, uNdu – [as varAha avathAram] dug up and eaten [during deluge]
umizhndha pAr – [after deluge] the world that was spat out


enRu kadal kadaindhadhu – when was the ocean churned? The implied answer is that it was churned today. Have the waves and the agitation of the ocean stopped after he churned it? Do they not remain as they were? emperumAn has blessed AzhwAr such that he could see all that happened, is happening and will happen, all at the same time right before him! Thus, the great task that he had undertaken [of churning the milky ocean] appears to AzhwAr as if it has been carried out today.

evvulagam nIrERRadhu – which world did he measure after accepting water? (Here too, the implication is that it is this world). Is there a world other than ours that he measured after accepting water? Is it not to protect this world that he went seeking alms, concealing his identity totally [as vAmana]? AzhwAr says that his foot print that he set out to measure the world has not disappeared. Is this world suffering because of mahAbali? (No) As said in thiruvAimozhi 4-4-1vAmanan maN” (the world measured by vAmana) it appears that this world is only his.

onRum adhanai uNarEn nAn – AzhwAr says that from the day that emperumAn measured this world, we should have realised that and should have been talking this only. Instead of that, we are constantly engaged in and wasting our time in eating, dressing up and similar activities. Another interpretation is that instead of knowing such wondrous deeds of emperumAn, we are trying to establish emperumAn through conjecture. Another interpretation is that just as nammAzhwAr swooned and did not regain his consciousness for 6 months after reciting the verse “eththiRam” in thiruvAimozhi 1-3-1, poygai AzhwAr too goes into a trance after seeing his wondrous deeds. Reference to churning of ocean and accepting water [to recover the world] are pointers to all his deeds.

anRu – did emperumAn not churn the ocean today? To AzhwAr, it appears that he has been churning the ocean from that day and is still at it. Though time keeps moving, to AzhwAr it appears that what was done yugams (ages) back is being done right now, due to his deep knowledge. Since thiruppARkadal is a little distance away from where he is, AzhwAr is calling it as adhu (that).

adaiththu udaiththuk kaN paduththa Azhi – he built a bridge across the ocean with stone. He broke it with his bow (after killing rAvaNan). He reclined in that ocean. udaiththu also means destroy.

idhu nI padaiththu idandhu uNdu umizhndha pAr – since AzhwAr is in samsAram, he calls the world which is near him as idhu (this). emperumAn created this world when it was not there; when it got drowned during praLayam (deluge) he dug it out; before the onset of praLayam, he kept it in inside his stomach to protect it; after praLayam ends, he spat it out this earth so that it could see all the galaxies. This earth has suffered a similar destiny that cotton suffers from the time it comes out as a flower till it gets converted into a cloth (paruththi patta panniraNdum is an old saying in thamizh which means the twelve processes that cotton undergoes before it becomes useful. Earth suffers like this at his hands). While other dhEvathAs call themselves as “Isvaran” (one who controls), if they are really Isvaran, would they not have taken the steps that he had taken to retrieve this earth? This alone is enough to understand that they are not Isvaran. Also, if this earth were indeed not his [emperumAn’s] would he have carried out all these actions? As nammAzhwAr says in thiruvAimozhi  4-5-10kaNdavARRAl thanadhE ulagena ninRAn” (he establishes that the world is his due to all his deeds).

We shall see the 3rd pAsuram in this thiruvandhAdhi, next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

pramEyam (goal) – http://koyil.org
pramANam (scriptures) – http://granthams.koyil.org
pramAthA (preceptors) – http://acharyas.koyil.org
SrIvaishNava education/kids portal – http://pillai.koyil.org