Daily Archives: August 17, 2017

mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 68 – uNarvAr Ar

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

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Other than emperumAn, there is no refuge for knowledge. Despite this, there is none who knows him, says AzhwAr in this pAsuram.

Let us enjoy the pAsuram and its meanings.

uNarvAr Ar un perumai UzhidhORUzhi
uNarvAr Ar un uruvam thannai uNarvAr Ar
viNNagaththAi maNNagaththAi vEngadaththAi nAlvEdhap
paNNagaththAi nI kidandha pAl

Word by Word Meanings

viNNagaththAy – Oh one who is dwelling in SrIvaikuNtam!
maNNagaththAy – Oh one who incarnated in this samsAram (materialistic realm)
vEngadaththAy – Oh one who is standing in thiruvEngadam!
paN – having musical intonation as the most important part
nAl vEdha agaththAy – Oh one who is flourishing in the sacred texts!
un perumai – your greatness
uNarvAr Ar – who will know?
Uzhi thORu Uzhi – in every kalpam [brahmA’s life time running to millions of years]

(even if analysed)
un uruvam thannai – your svarUpam (basic nature) and rUpam (divine form)
uNarvAr Ar – who will know?
nI kidandha pAl – the milky ocean where you are reclining
uNarvAr Ar – who will know (by measuring)?


viNNagaththAy – Oh one who is dwelling with all your greatness in paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam)!

viNNagaththAy uNarvAr Ar un perumai – “yO asyAdhyaksha: paramE vyOman sO anga vEdha yadhi vA na vEdha” (will the one who is the lord of all the worlds and who resides in paramapadham, know his greatness himself?) When vEdhas (sacred texts) doubt whether you know your greatness, will anyone else know?

maNNagaththAy uNarvAr Ar un perumai – will anyone know your greatness after you descended from paramapadham and took many incarnations in this samsAram to exhibit your simplicity? Even if one gets close to the ocean, can he measure its depth? As said in purusha sUktham “thasya dhIrA: parijAnanthi yOnim” (only wise people know his birth), while vEdham said that some wise people know about him, even these people who have been blessed by great knowledge and great devotion (such as AzhwArs) by emperumAn himself, will start getting bewildered, looking at his simplicity. maNNagaththAy implies all the materialistic realm [and not our earth alone].

vEngadaththAy uNarvAr Ar un perumai – will anyone know your greatness as you stand in thiruvEngadam, in order to redeem all the persons in materialistic realm, being under the control of archakas [in archAvathAram (as idol/deity form in many places) he is under the control of the archakas who are the persons appointed to conduct daily worship in the temples, arranging various rituals through the year], with all your svarUpa (basic characteristics), rUpa (divine form), guNa (auspicious qualities), vibhUthi (wealth) etc, being common to both nithyasUris and samsAris, exhibiting both your greatness and your simplicity?

nAl vEdhap paNNagaththAy uNarvAr Ar un perumai – vEdha purushan (vEdham, sacred scripture) says “vEdhAhamEtham purusham mahAntham” (I knew this supreme being). When vEdham was asked how it knew emperumAn, it said that he is mahAntham (he is so huge that it is not possible to measure him)

nAlvEdhap paNNagaththAy – vEdhas which have musical intonations called udhAththam and anudhAththam said that he cannot be measured

uNarvArAr un perumai – who can know you, who are having auspicious qualities such as greatness, simplicity etc?

uNarvArAr un uruvam thannai – who can know the greatness of your svarUpam (basic nature) which is the repository of your auspicious qualities? Alternatively, who can know the greatness of your dhivya mangaLa vigraham (the divine, auspicious form) which exhibits such auspicious qualities?

UzhidhORUzhi aRivAr Ar – It is not for a short time that someone is trying to measure your qualities. Even if they were given time of brahmA’s lifespan, can they measure you and know you? nammAzhwAr in his thiruvAimoizhi 4-3-10 says “yAnum Eththi Ezhulagum muRRum Eththip pinnaiyum thAnum Eththilum thannai Eththa Eththa engeydhum” (it is not possible to find the end,  if AzhwAr praises him, all the people in all the worlds praise him and emperumAn himself praises himself, viz. no one can know him).

nI kidandha pAl uNarvAr Ar – while measuring your basic nature and auspicious qualities would be very difficult, has anyone measured a drop of your qualities when you were reclining in your milky ocean, waiting for your followers to call you for overcoming their troubles?

Thus AzhwAr says that emperumAn’s basic nature, his auspicious qualities, his wealth etc cannot be measured by anyone.

We shall take up the 69th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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thiruvAimozhi – 5.7.10 – ARenakku

Published by:

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

Full series >> Fifth Centum >> Seventh decad

Previous pAsuram

Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the tenth pAsuram, AzhwAr says “I cannot do anything in return for your favour of making me remain as ‘your divine feet are the only refuge’ even in dire situations”.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

Subsequently, emperumAn shows to AzhwAr “My divine feet are the means to attain me” and  AzhwAr says “I cannot do anything in return for this favour”.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nampiLLai‘s introduction.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s introduction as documented by vadakkuth thiruvIdhip piLLai

Tenth pAsuram. AzhwAr said “aruLAy uyyumARu enakku“, but he did not see emperumAn coming and showering his mercy; he then says “even in such dire situations you have made me remain as ‘your divine feet are the only refuge’ – there is nothing which I can do in return for this favour”.


ARenakku nin pAdhamE SaraNAgath thandhozhindhAy unakkOr
kaimARu nAn onRilEn enadhAviyum unadhE
sERu koL karumbum perunjennelum mali thaN sirIvaramangai
nARu pUnthaNduzhAy mudiyAy! dheyva nAyaganE


Word-by-Word meanings (based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s 12000 padi)

enakku – for me
ARu – means to attain the goal
nin pAdhamE – your divine feet only
SaraNAga – upAyam (means) which is the refuge
thandhozhindhAy – you have bestowed;
unakku – for you (who are such a benefactor)
Or – in any way
kaimARu – return favour
nAn – I (who am akinchana (empty-handed))
onRu – anything
ilEn – do not have
enadhu – my
Aviyum – AthmA
unadhu – (already) yours;
sERu – in muddy field
koL – present
karumbum – sugarcane
peru – growing tall (taller than sugarcane)
sennelum – paddy crop
mali – abundant
thaN – invigorating
sirIvaramangai – present in sirIvaramangai
nARu – very fragrant
pU – having freshness
thaN – invigorating
thuzhAy – decorated with thiruththuzhAy (thuLasi)
mudiyAy – having divine crown
dheyvam – for nithyasUris
nAyaganE – Oh leader!

Simple translation (based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s 12000 padi)

Oh leader of nithyasUris who is in sirIvaramangai dhivyadhESam which has sugarcane and tall paddy crop in muddy field, wearing divine crown which is decorated with fresh invigorating thuLasi! You (emperumAn) have bestowed on me your divine feet only which are the means to attain the goal, as the upAyam (means) which is the refuge; I do not have anything to give you in return and my AthmA is yours.

vyAkyAnams (commentaries)

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s vyAkyAnam

See vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s translation.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s vyAkyAnam

See nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s vyAkyAnam

See nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam as documented by vadakkuth thiruvIdhip piLLai

  • ARenakku … – ARu means vazhi (path). vazhi means upAyam (means/way). perumAL thirumozhi 9.2 “evvARu nadandhanai” (How did you walk?), nAchchiyAr thirumozhi 3.2 “ippoygaikku evvARu vandhAy” (How did you come to this pond?). SaraN[am] – upEyam (goal). You made your own divine feet as the upAyam and upEyam – this is piLLAn’s explanation. bhattar mercifully explains “both ARu and SaraNam indicate upAyam only”. You arranged such that your divine feet are my upAyam. ARu – upAyam. Since it is explained in  SrI pAncharAthram “… upAyArthaika vAchaka:” (SaraNam means upAyam (means), vIdu (house), rakshaka (protector); here it is explained as upAyam), SaraNam means upAyam. By saying “enakku“, AzhwAr is differentiating himself from followers of other upAyams [such as karma gyAna bhakthi yOgams]. Since, this decad is focussed on highlighting AzhwAr’s lack of any other means and establishing the real upAyam [emperumAn‘s divine feet] starting with “nORRa nOnbilEn“, here the same point is highlighted as the conclusion. By avadhAraNam [emphasis] (pAdhamE), AzhwAr thinks about [and reminds us of] “Eka” (only) padham in charama SlOkam. Instead of giving up other upAyams as a result of holding on to ISvara confidently, if we gave them up out of nAsthikyam (lack of faith in SAsthram), it will only lead to attachment towards worldly pleasures; one who has taken the antidote for serpent’s poison can boldly place his hand in serpent’s mouth; but if someone who has not taken the antidote and still places his hand in the serpent’s mouth, it will only lead to death. For you who bestowed this clarity in my mind, it is not just that there is no favour in return which matches your greatness, I who am an akinchana (empty-handed) do not see even a favour which slightly matches your greatness.

emperumAn asks “Alright, why don’t you give your AthmA (soul) then?”, AzhwAr replies,

  • enadhu Aviyum unadhE – I would have satisfied myself doing that; had you not bestowed me with unblemished knowledge and devotion, as someone stealing “rAjamahEndhran padi” (a divine ornament which is worn by namperumAL), considering it one’s own and offering it to perumAL, such act of AthmasamarpaNam (presenting the AthmA to bhagavAn) will only reveal one’s robbery.

emperumAn asks “Why don’t you give your own AthmA?”, AzhwAr says,

  • nin pAdhamE – enadhu Aviyum unadhE – AppAn thiruvazhundhUr aRaiyar would recite “nin pAdhamE!” here to make it sound like AzhwAr is vowing that his AthmA is emperumAn’s [in this case AzhwAr is saying “You have given your divine feet (charaN) as ARu (upAyam) – this is sathyam (nin pAdhamE!)”].
  • sERu koL … – The cool sirIvaramangai, which has muddy fields of sugarcane, and abundance of  paddy crop which appears to be providing shade to the sugarcane.
  • nARu pUm thaN thuzhAy mudiyAy … – Fragrant attractive thuLasi. Having a crown indicating that you are the leader of all these [natural riches of sirIvaramangala nagar, having a thuLasi garland as the crown]. You remain as the controller of even those nithyasUris who are very intelligent, and this being the case, what can I do anything in return for you? While you are favouring me greatly, I am not ignorant [having known that I am already yours]; even in this case, you are so complete that I cannot do something to satisfy you. Those who did not accept your favour [i.e., your bestowing of true knowledge about the upAyam], just roam around enjoying worldly pleasures; those who are ignorant [about the fact that the AthmA is already owned by bhagavAn] remained saying “I have done something in return for his favour”; only if you are incomplete, we can consider to have done something, but you are complete; this being the case, can I do anything worthy? [dheyva nAyagan] The leader of nithyasUris. dhevaym – nithyasUris.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

pramEyam (goal) – http://koyil.org
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SrIvaishNava education/kids portal – http://pillai.koyil.org