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By the three pAsurams, ‘arththam aRRadhirE’ (thirumanthra arththam (meaning) has been explained).
In the first pAsuram – SEshaSEshithvam (lordship, subservience) was clearly seen (as He put His divine feet on AzhvAr’s divine head (thiruvadi en thalai mElavE));
In the second pAsuram – anyaSEshathvam (subservience to others) was removed. (since the misunderstanding that the three dhEvas are equal, was cleared);
In the third pAsuram – talked about enjoyableness (of emperumAn, enjoying His divine form).
==> (So how do these three pAsurams talk about the meaning of thirumanthram?)
1st pAsuram -> Om (SEsha SEshithvam)
2rd pAsuram -> nama: (ananyaSEshathvam)
3nd pAsuram -> nArAyANAya (nAra -> emperumAn’s wealth & divine form; these are enjoyable)
Then, it is a matter of finding companions for enjoying Him, together. In that, since nithyasUris are far off, and samsAris are people indulged in worldly matters, neither of them would be of companionship. So, it is the inevitable mind of his is the one that would be a companion. So, Oh mind! Let us enjoy this together, says AzhvAr.
Please set to enjoy through thirumanthram that enlightens His true nature (manthiraththai manthiraththAl), about the glory of His having distinguished divine form/body talked about in the previous pAsuram, the One who is the source of creation of the world (kAraNathvam) – please see about doing that, says AzhvAr (to his mind).
If he is enjoying based on thirumanthram (whose main word is ‘nArAyaNa’) , isn’t the meaning of this (word ‘nArAyaNa’) mainly about his lordship over the two world realms, and about His nature of having qualities? (How come AzhvAr is using this word/thirumanthram to enjoy Him as being the source of creation of the world?). That thirumanthram (word nArAyaNa), due to many authoritative references (on the word nArAyaNa), is about Him being the source of creation of the world.
They are: ‘EkO havai nArAyaNa Aseeth [mahOpanishath – 1]’ (Only He was present (it means He is the reason for creation)), and,
‘narAjjAthAni thathvAni [mahAbhAratham -anuSAsana – 13.12]’ (the twenty five truths (thathvams), which can undergo change/annihilation) got created from emperumAn) , and,
‘ApO nArA ithi prOkthA: [manu smruthi – 1.10]’ (water was created by emperumAn who is called naran; so the nAram indicates water; since emperumAn held water (milky ocean) as his abode during the time of creation, He is called nArAyaNan);
by these and other references, His creating the world shall be said by the word nArAyaNan.
Why is AzhvAr taking up mentioning His jagath kAraNathvam? Since residents of this world is having it upside down (where some in this world think of others as lords and as reason for creation of worlds, and emperumAn trying to prove His lordship), it is in this world where it is needed to use authoritative references. It is only when someone else is using our land that we would have to show proof of our ownership; that is why he is saying so;
So, Oh mind! Let us enjoy the janakan (creator of births).
indhirarkkum piramarkkum mudhalvan thannai
iru nilam kAl thee neer viN bUtham aindhAy
senthiRaththa thamizhOsai vada sollAgith
thisai nAngumAyth thingaL nAyirAgi
antharaththil dhEvarkkum aRiyalAgA
anthaNanai, anthaNar mAttu andhi vaiththa
manthiraththai manthiraththAl maRavAdhenRum
vAzhudhiyEl vAzhalAm mada nenjamE. 3
emperumAn revealing thirumanthram assuming the forms of nara (human) and nArAyaNa (superhuman)
Word by word meaning
mada nenjamE – Oh mind which is amicable (to me)!
indhirarkkum piramarkkum mudhalvan thannai – Being the reason/source for indhra and brahmA,
iru nilam kAl thee neer viN bUtham aindhAy – being antharyAmi (inside resident) to the five core elements – the big earth, air, fire, water, space,
senthiRaththa thamizhOsai vada sollAgi – His showing the thamizh vEdham (dhivya prabandhams) (which show Him clearly), and samskrutha vEdhams,
thisai nAngumAy – being antharAthmA for all the things in all the four directions,
thingaL nAyirAgi – being antharyAmi for the moon and the sun,
antharaththil – when being antharyAmi in that way,
dhEvarkkum aRiyalAgA anthaNanai – being purest who cannot be known by even dhEvas,
anthaNar mAttu anthi vaiththa manthiraththai – sarvESvaran the secret entity who is kept safely in the knots of vEdhams (anthi -> end/tail -> vEdhAntham) which are the wealth of brAhmaNas (safe like in the knots of clothes worn),
manthiraththAl – by thirumanthram
maRavAdhu vAzhudhiyEl – if you enjoy without fail/forgetting,
enRum vAzhalAm – you can get good life always (in paramapadham).
indhirarkkum piramarkkum mudhalvan thannai – In ‘mU uruvum kaNda pOdhu onRAm sOdhi [thirunedunthANdakam – 2]’, it was by squeezing the words we get the true meaning; AzhvAr is showing that it is what the meaning he means, by showing it explicitly here. You see, AzhvAr is saying ‘that is what I said earlier that He is the only one who is the lord!’.
Creator of indhra who is accepted by all as a jeevAthmA, and for brahmA who could be misunderstood as eeSvaran (controller).
While it would have been appropriate to talk first about brahmA who could be doubted as eeSvaran, why say indhra first – it is to show that like indhra, brahmA is also one included in all that are created by emperumAn.
But, rudhran also could be doubted as eeSvaran. Why has AzhvAr not mentioned about him? As said in ‘brahmaNaSchApi sambhUtha: Siva ithyavadhAryathAm [mahAbhAratham – anuSAsana]’ (emperumAn talking to garudAzhvAr: Can say about four types of creation in another way too – hiraNya garbha that is said as lotus is first creation; brahmA who was created from it is the second creation; Siva was created from brahmA – conclude this in your mind; this was the third creation; from him skandha was created; this was fourth creation), and in other such references, it is famous that he is the son of brahmA, and so when having said about the main of all, that is brahmA and the ending dhEva of all that is indhra, by prathyAhara nyAyam (when first and last letters of alphabet are mentioned together, it includes the ones in between as well), it is to be concluded that rudhra is also included amidst this list.
Instead of saying indhiranukkum piramanukkum, why use ‘r’ (rEphAntham) – it is not due to having any mind of venerating them; AzhvAr is showing contempt (kShEpam); it is even while brahmA is creatable by eeSvaran (emperumAn), he is thinking ‘I am the controller of the three worlds’, (indhran thinking) ‘all the fourteen worlds were created by me and I am the controller of them’, and making everyone prostrate/worship him;
mudhalvan – (reason/source) – that is emperumAn who does not have a source for Himself; Himself who is the reason/source (kAraNam) for vyashti srushti (variegated creation of world by combining elements);
iru nilam, etc. (earth, etc.) – The aforementioned (about brahmA, et al) phrase said about vyashti srushti; by the current phrase it says about samashti srushti (initial creation of independent five great elements (space, air, etc.), (before vyashti srushti);
(emperumAn first created Sabdha thanmAthrai – (thanmAthrai -> like the stage between milk and curd, where it is neither milk nor curd); from Sabdha thanmAthrai, AkASam (space) is created. Then from it, sparSa thanmAthrai is created (stage in-between AkASa and vAyu); from that vAyu (air) is created; then rUpa thanmAthrai is created (state in-between vAyu and thEjas); then from it thEjas is created; from it rasa thanmAthrai; from it water; from it gandha thanmAthrai; from that pruthvi (earth); So each creation includes cumulative qualities of earlier stages of creation; for example, pruthvi includes all the qualities of Sabdha, sparSa, rUpa, rasa, and gandha; this is also explained in ‘pUnilAya aindhumAy [thiruchchandha viruththam – 1]’.
Reason for saying vyashti srushti (which is a latter creation) first and then samasthi srushti (which is a prior creation) in this pAsuram is – since it is with brahmA et al where there may be doubt whether they are eeSvaran; there is no such doubt in core elements.
Reason for saying earth etc.,(iru nilam kAl thee neer viN bUtham aindhAy), in a different order instead of in order of annihilation in to its immediate prior source stage, or in the order of creation, is due to some other specific thinking (of AzhvAr):
Being a support for everything, being immobile, and not troublesome, AzhvAr first talked about such earth; other three core elements being mobile, being of both protection and disturbances, AzhvAr told about them in different order after earth; considering that space gives room for other elements, he mentioned it in the end; if these are not considered, then there would not be an use for AzhvAr saying in this order;
earlier he said ‘mudhalvan thannai’; here he says ‘aindhAy’ (literal: emperumAn as the five elements – which means: emperumAn being creator of five elements). So, the association in this sAmAnAdhikaraNayam is – uthpAdhya uthpAdhaka bhAvam (the created – the creator);
senthiRaththa , etc. – For saying later in the prabandham about creation of those who are to be obedient to SAsthram (SAsthra vaSyar; humans), here he is talking about creation of SAsthram. Creating thamizh (dhrAvida), and samskrutham;
While it would be valid to say samskrutham and then thamizh which is its changed/derived form, instead, he enumerated thamizh first because – it is eligible to be perused by everyone, being very good at conveying clear meaning, and it is his area of language usage, and also like samskrutha vEdham, thamizh vEdham (dhivya prabandhams) is also authoritative reference – hence AzhvAr mentions thamizh first.
AzhvArs’ words are not like that of vEdhas and ithihAsas and purANas. These words (in thamizh) is that of anushtAthA (who executes the words as per SrIvaishNavam), you see! AzhvArs say about shunning aiSvaryam, kaivalyam and not consider them as required (whereas vEdhas talk about those things also as means/goals).
sen thiRaththa thamizh Osai – thiRam -> its feature/capability and ways; thamizh words enlighten in the best way the meanings they carry. Not having need for an upabrahmaNam to explain it more. (There ARE thirumangai AzhvAr’s six prabandhams that are called ‘Aru angam’ for thiruvAimozhi. But thiruvAimozhi does not need them for explaining itself); vEdhas require upabrahmaNam (to explain it well).
Osai (Agi) – Osai is the name for poem, and sound. But here it is talking about the words of thamizh (lakShaNai – like: ‘house is in the ganges’ means it is in the shores of the ganges); this can also be seen in the next phrase ‘vada sol’ (words of samskrutham);
vada sol – is – talk about samskrutham. thamizhians call thirumalai as the north border for the places (in south) where thamizh is in use. samskrutham is in vogue in north of thirumalai. thamizh would not be in vogue in those places; the greatness of this place (south) is that both the languages are in vogue here;
Agi – His creating SAsthram is about His revealing/spreading it.
thisai nAngumAy – creating all the things/people in all the four directions; (It is by lakShaNai, it talks about the things- that is,) like saying ‘manchA: krOSanthi [mammadar’s kAvya prakASam 2nd ullAsam]’ (bed is crying – means – babies on the bed are crying). By this it says about creation of those who are to be obedient to SAsthram (SAsthra vaSyar; humans);
thingaL nAyirAgi – It is as said in ‘agnau prAsthAhuthis samyag AdhithyamupathishtathE | AdhithyAjjAyathE vrushti: vrushtErannam thatha: prajA: || [manu SAsthram – 3.76]’ (offering that is submitted in the fire for homam (vEdhic ritual) reached the Sun; from Sun, rain is obtained; by rain, food items are grown; using food items, humans live and are created (through father eating the food)); (Agi -> becoming) shows the completion of creation.
In previous phrases it showed the meaning of ‘nAra’ (indhran, brahmA, five core elements, etc.). Rest of the phrases of the pAsuram show the meaning of ‘ayanam’.
antharaththil – (anupravESam as part of creation) when being inside; when permeating within everything created; by ‘pruthivyA anthara: AnthanESnthara: [bruhadhAranyaka upanishath – mAdhyandhina – 5.7.72]’ (One who is present outside and inside of land/jeevAthmA, One who is not known by the land/AthmA, One who is being inside the land/AthmA and letting it act, such paramAthmA is the AthmA that is never destroyed), so by the word anthara it talks about the permeating quality of emperumAn.
dhEvarkkum aRiyalAgA – being not known/aware about Him by all that are created (even dhEvas); as said in ‘yamAthmA na vEdha [bruhadhAranyaka upanishath – mAdhyandhina – 5.7.72]’ (One who is not known by AthmA), the One whom the AthmA would not know, He is being inside and called as antharyAmi. To indicate that AzhvAr is saying that He is dhur-gyEyan (hard to learn about (antharyAmi));
But, by ‘dhEvarkkum’, why take up about them specially? even for those who are most knowledgeable, it would not possible to know about Him, that is why AzhvAr is considering them in the phrase.
anthaNanai – (emperumAn being a) pure one (in mind; (won’t tolerate others’ suffering; won’t think trouble for others, etc.); there is a greatness in AzhvArs using this word for implying pure one. nammAzhvAr said ‘aRavanai Azhip padai anthaNanai [thiruvAimozhi – 1.7.1]’ ( most benevolent (due to him bestowing the results); one having the sudharSana chakram (which purifies the heart); the purest eeSvarAn (supreme lord)).
(Why not give meaning to that as ‘brAhmaNa’ (in thiruvAimozhi)?) there is no brAhmaNa holding conch and disc, isn’t it? (kAnchi swami said something along the lines of ‘there IS one, and that is AchAryan’; so we could qualify as, One using them as weapons, there is no one other than emperumAn); for kEvalan (one who is after kaivalyam (enjoying one’s own AthmA, and not emperumAn)) emperumAn is shown as the One to meditate upon as the pure one, for getting pure experience of kaivalyam, so nammAzhvAr is divining in that way, in that context.
And, one who wishes to get to emperumAn shall meditate upon His having all auspicious qualities, so that he would get those qualities; The one who wishes to enjoy own AthmA (kaivalyam), shall meditate upon Him as having purity; It is because ‘jarA maraNa mOkshA’ (liberation from aging, death) that he considers;
But, here (for thirumangai AzhvAr), is purity required? AzhvAr first talked about creation (indhirar, piraman, etc.,), and then about that emperumAn permeating in all things created (being inside as antharyAmi is required for completing the creation, and for sustenance of the created ones); then he says that the blemishes of those things in which He is present, would not affect Him (He would stay pure (anthaNan)) – this is the point wished to be said by thirumangai AzhvAr here.
By ‘Esha sarvabhUthAntharAthmA – apahathapApmA [subAla upanishath -1]’, wherever it is talking about Him permeating, it is also talking that the blemishes of those things would not affect Him (He would remain pure); this is what is in the divine mind of this AzhvAr? The most vaidhikas are called AzhvArs, isn’t it? (parimElazhagar has shown that noble ones have a name as AzhvAr, and meaning for AzhvAr is noble one)
anthaNar mAttu anthi vaiththa manthiraththai – The matter (emperumAn) mentioned earlier is on the head of vEdhas (vEdhAntham) in mystic ways.
anthaNar mAdu – (brahmaNa’s wealth) – As said in ‘brAhmaNAnAm dhanam vEdha’ (wealth for a brAhmin is vEdham), wealth for brahmins is vEdham isn’t it? wealth is not emperumAn who is said in ‘dhanam madheeyam thava pAdhapankajam [sthOthra rathnam – 30]’ (your divine feet is my wealth); it is vEdham – that told about emperumAn; that is the greatness of emperumAn that He is identified by vEdham; only by authoritative reference (pramANam) that one can know that the wealth is emperumAn (pramEyam) who is told by vEdham;
anthi vaiththa manthiraththai – the secret that is kept in vEdhAntham (anthi -> end/tail of vEdham); mAttu anthi – at the end of vEdham; that is, in vEdhAntham;
manthiram and sarvasmAthparan (supreme to everyone) seems paryAyam (equivalent/alias/synonym); saying emperumAn as secret is – like the one who closes the front door and back door and then opens to see a bundle of valuables, this emperumAn is valuable so that, manthram is to be advised and implemented only among the four ears (AchAryan and disciple);
Or, ‘manthram’ is said as His divine name in SrI sahasranAmam – manthra: chandhrAmSu: bhAskaradhyuthi: [vishNu sahasranAmam 281, 282, 283]’ (protector of one who thinks about Him; One having comfortable light like moon; One who is too bright like the sun (these are some of His divine names)); by the root of the word manthram, ‘manthAram thrAyatha ithi manthra:’ (since it protects the one who recites it, it is called manthram), so the word manthram is the divine name of emperumAn.
anthaNar mAdu – (why say it is the wealth of brahmaNas (and not him)) – saying so to show that he is not of such birth; even though all of it is bright in his mind, saying it out would be a damage to the respect for his eligibility was his state. Even while he is being an at most follower of vEdhas, like saying “others’ wealth”, he is saying in this way in unconnected way in order to establish the respect of the ways.
anthaNar mAtttu andhi vaiththa manthiraththai manthiraththAl – vAzhudhiyEl – Who is being said (emperumAn), and the one that is saying it (thirumanthram given by perumAn) are both being there (emperumAn);
manthiraththai – vAzhudhiyEl – if you experience/enjoy the One who is the reason/creator of the worlds (jagath kAraNa bhuthan), One who is present inside all (sarva antharyAmi), not knowable (dhurgyEyan), and not affected by the blemishes of the body He is present in; (these qualities are mentioned in the earlier phrases of this pAsuram);
manthiraththAl – vAzhudhiyEl – When experiencing/enjoying that One, instead of trying to do that through vEdhAntham, or through ithihAsa purAnams, try to do that through in the way how I enjoyed:- try to do that through thirumanthram. Other ways would not be delightful like enjoying through thirumanthram; As said in ‘sarvam ashtAkSharAnthasthatham [hAreetha smruthi – 3.45]’ (the meanings in the four vEdhas and in other references are all present inside the manthram of eight letters/syllables), this manthram tells all the meanings collected together;
Aren’t there innumerable manthrams. Does the word manthram indicate periya thirumanthram? As said by ‘yAni nAmAni gauNAni [mahAbhAratham – anusA 135.13]’ (names based on His qualities), other manthrams are about his qualities only; for the aforementioned meanings (creator, antharyAmi, etc.) there is no other manthram. So that is why manthram here means periya thirumanthram.
Can’t the other manthrams that indicate his permeating everywhere be considered as one said here? No, since the other two manthrams (vAsudhEvan, vishnu), need thirumanthram to complete the full meaning.
The manthram which he said with surety as ‘nAn kaNdu koNdEn [periya thirumozhi – 1.1]’ is this periya thirumanthram only isn’t it.
maRavAdhu vAzhudhiyEl – if you enjoy it without forgetting;
Reason for forgetting about experiencing emperumAn would be interest in material matters, so is AzhvAr saying – enjoy without interest in material matters? No, that would not suit AzhvAr; he is enjoying in his final state after sAkShAthkAram (enlightenment / seeing emperumAn (kaNdu koNdEn [periya thirumozhi – 1.1])).
So, what then would be for him the reason for forgetting? Since having connection with the body which is having the three types of sorrows (thApams) (AdhyAthimika, Adhi baudhika, Adhi dhaivika), seeing having association with the body, seeing his old history, and seeing the greatness of emperumAn, there is the thought of him having emperumAn as the means for removal of such connection of body without seeing his prior history, and for getting the loved matter that is emperumAn; that thought (of thinking Him as the means) would be the time of/reason for – forgetting to enjoy emperumAn!
So try to enjoy Him without getting into the pUrvArdham (first line of dhvayam – which uses Him as means, (that our thought that He is the means, even such thought is not the means; it is His thought that would be the means) (and second line of dhvayam is about enjoying and serving Him); AzhvAr is follower of dhvayam isn’t it?
Why explain the meaning in this way? Earlier when we have submitted our living to emperumAn, and after that now thinking about our living/upliftment would be like interfering in the business of others (that is, of emperumAn); there is no difference in ineligibility between addressing one’s own well-being and thinking of creating/addressing well-being of the world (which we cannot not do);
vAzhudhiyEl – without involving in His purifying nature (anthaNanai), and in His being the means, if you would be involved in his enjoyableness (only),
vAzhudhiyEl – prosperity would be yours; I too am your colleague, isn’t it?
As vAzhudhiyEl – talking about his mind considering it as a sentient doer, which is his faculty, is due to seeing the predominance of mind. Till the end of life, it is the mind that is the helper for involving towards emperumAn, which is what a mumukshu (one wishing to be liberated from material world) expects from his mind, isn’t it?
enRum – vAzhalAm – can live amongst nithyasUris (in paramapadham) till the time AthmA exists (eternal). Everywhere, it is the experience/enjoyment that is there for him. vaishNavan is – a prince, isn’t it? (emperumAn is the king, and vaishNavan can live with many qualities that are equal in emperumAn, after reaching SrIvaikuNtam);
mada nenjamE – Oh mind who is obedient to me! Without any difference in the time when getting rid of vishaya prAvaNyam (interest in worldly affairs), and in the time of upliftment (experiencing emperumAn), and during the time of enjoyment, I got the mind that is following me obediently – saying so he is celebrating/appreciating his mind. It is like ‘nenjamE nallai nallai [thiruvAimozhi – 1.10.4]’ ((what you have done is) good, good.).
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Translation by raghuram SrInivAsa dAsan
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