thiruvAsiriyam

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

SrIman nArAyaNan in paramapadham

nammAzhwAr

All the AzhwArs are ‘mayarvaRa madhinalam aruLappeRRavar’, i.e. they  are  bestowed with
unblemished knowledge and devotion by bhagavAn himself, through  his nirhEthuka  katAksha
(unconditional graceful glance). Of  them nammAzhwAr is called prapanna jana kUtastha
(leader of surrendered devotees). He  has  written  four  prabandhams namely,

  • thiruviruththam
  • thiruvAsiriyam
  • periya thiruvandhAdhi and
  • thiruvAimozhi

These  four prabandhams are considered to be equivalent to four vEdhams in thamizh
language. Of  them thiruvAsiriyam is the yajur vEdham equiavalent. This is the 6th prabandham
in the iyaRpA.

In the first prabandham, AzhwAr requested emperumAn to cut his dhEha sambandham (bodily
connection) which is an obstacle to bhagavath anubhavam (enjoying bhagavAn). But
emperumAn’s wish  was  different. He wanted AzhwAr to stay in this world for some more time
to  correct  the  people and show them the right path to mOksha (liberation). Therefore when
AzhwAr prayed ‘poynninRa gyAnamum pollA ozhukkum azhukkudambum inninRa neermai
iniyAmuRAmai’
(I cannot tolerate the existence in this inferior world with this false knowledge, bad conduct and dirty body). He thought  ‘ivvAzhwAr indha samsAraththai vittu vilagi oru
nalamandhamilladhOr   nAttilE   pOychchEravENumenRu pArippadhu nammudaiya  guNangaLai anubhavippadharkAgavE anRi vEronRukkAhavanrE; andha guNAnubhavaththai ivarkku nAm ivvidaththilEyE vAykkachcheyvOm; ingE  thAnE  ivar  guNAnubhavam paNNik kaLiththArAy, avvanubhavam uLLadangAmal puRa veLLamittu prabhandhangaLAgap perugi lOkOpakAramum seydhAnAgattum’ (This AzhwAr wants to come to paramapadham since he desires to enjoy my qualities. He can experience them in this world itself which serves  two  purposes – 1) the enjoyment  of my qualities and 2) to correct the samsAris (worldly people). The  second  one  is  achieved through  his  prabandhams which are the outpourings of his experiences which will benefit the entire world). Hence, emperumAn revealed his rUpa, guNa, vibhUthi etc. to AzhwAr. AzhwAr’s such experiences and expressions are these prabandhams.

This prabandham thiruvAsiriyam is in the prosody called AsiriyappA. Hence it is called
thiruvAsiriyam. The AsiriyappA is of 4 types—nErisai AsiriyappA, nilamaNdila AsiriyappA etc.
pASurams 1, 2, 3, 6 are in nErisai AsirappA and the rest (4, 5, 7) are in nilamaNdila AsiriyappA.
The style is andhAdhi (where ending of one pAsuram is connected to the beginning of the next pAsuram).

AzhwAr enjoys emperumAn‘s kalyANa guNams in these 7 pAsurams.

The brief translation proceeds with:

  • In the First pAsuram, he enjoys emperumAn’s thirumEni (dhivya mangaLa vigraham, divine form).
  • In the second, one should desire to be adorn with the bhAgavath vishayam which is the
    swaroopam like the one (vivEki, wise) who wear and adorn this empermAn’s divine lotus feet. AzhwAr desires to have nithya sambandham (eternal relationship) with bhAgavathas.
  • In the third, he wants to be “adiyArku adiyAn” (servant to the bhAgavathas who are the servant of you, emperumAn).
  • In the fourth he approaches the bhAgavathas who always sing mangaLAsAsanam, as in ‘pallANDu pallANDu pallAyiraththANdu“ (long live, long live, for many thousands of years) and to follow their footsteps and desire to engage in kainkaryam only.
  • In the fifth, he experiences emperumAn’s saulabhyam (easy approachability, being very simple) and sauSeelya athiSayam (the abundance of his quality of mixing freely with others ignoring his greatness and the lowliness of others) of thrivikrama avathAram.
  • In the sixth, He cries out loud to the people that they were worshipping  kshudhra dhEvathAs (inferior gods) for inferior benefits.
  • In the seventh, he feels happy that bhagavAn has made his mind to worship emperumAn unlike others who run behind and worship other dhEvathAs.

periyavAchchAn piLLai has written a beautiful commentary for this prabandham. We will enjoy
the English translation of the same here. This commentary is further elaborately explained
by kAnchIpuram prathivAdhi bhayankaram aNNangarAcharyar swamy (in his dhivyArtha dhIpikai) and by puththur krishNamAchAryar swamy. We are grateful to these commentaries as well, which we will be using in our translation.

periyavAchchAn piLLai

With this introduction, we will proceed with the detailed translation for tiruvASiriyam.

adiyen booma ramanuja dasi

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