iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 2 – gyAnaththAl nanguNarndhu

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AzhwAr says in this pAsuram that those who have such bhakthi [as described in the first pAsuram], even if they recite the divine names of emperumAn in a disorderly way, and even if they are permanent samsAris (dwellers of materialistic realm), emperumAn will make them on a par with nithyasUris (permanent dwellers of SrIvaikuNtam).

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

gyAnaththAl nanguNarndhu nAraNan than nAmangaL
dhAnaththAl maRRu avan pEr sARRinAl vAnaththu
aNi amarar Akkuvikkum ahdhanRE nangaL
paNiyamarar kOmAn parisu

Word by Word Meaning

nAraNan than – SrIman nArAyaNan’s
nAmangaL – distinct divine names (which refer to his svarUpa guNam (qualities of his basic nature))
maRRu – and
avan pEr – his divine names (which refer to his expansive wealth)
gyAnaththAl – with knowledge (which is the epitome of bhakthi)
nangu uNarndhu – knowing very well
dhAnaththAl – standing in the position (of the boundary of bhakthi)
sARRinAl – if meditated upon
nangaL paNi amarar kOman parisu – the quality of emperumAn who is the lord of nithyasUris, who are our friends and who are servitors of emperumAn
vAnaththu aNi amarar Akkuvikkum ahdhenRE – will make us to be on a par with nithyasUris who are like decorations to paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam)


nAraNan than nAmangaL maRRu avan pEr dhAnaththAl sARRinAl – if the distinctive divine names of emperumAn which refer to the qualities of his basic nature and his divine names which refer to his aspects [wealth] are recited with bhakthi, from an exalted state

gyAnaththAl nangu uNarndhu – knowing very well through bhakthi (it is difficult to know without bhakthi). Even though both dhritharAshtra [father of the 100 kauravas starting with dhuryOdhana] and sanjaya [his charioteer] studied [in gurukula, school of learning from an AchAryan] together, only sanjaya had devotion [towards emperumAn]. dhritharAshtra learnt only the lines [in the lessons]. dhritharAshtra asked of sanjaya “while both of us studied only in the same place, what is the reason that you have knowledge while I do not have it?” sanjaya responded saying “unlike you who learnt only the lines, did I not learn with bhakthi!”

nangu uNarndhu – when reciting his divine names, we should know very well the relationship between emperumAn and us. In other worlds, we should know his qualities and our qualities; that he is the lord and we are his servitors.

nAraNan than nAmangaL – (nArAyaNa is also a divine name. Why then say “nArANan than nAmangaL?”) the divine name nArAyaNa is distinct from other divine names. Just as emperumAn’s gyAna, Anandha etc (knowledge, bliss etc) are considered as identities of his basic nature, and other characteristics such as gyana, Sakthi etc (knowledge, power etc) as identities of his qualities, thirumanthram (nArAyaNa) is considered as an identity of his basic nature while other names are considered as divine names. Haven’t nammAzhwAr in his thiruvAimozhi 9-3-1 “pEr Ayiram koNdadhOr pIdudaiyan” (the strong one with a thousand names) and pEyAzhwAr in his mUnRAm thiruvandhAdhi “nAmam pala solli nArAyaNa” (reciting multitude names) divinely mentioned the same!

nAraNan than nAmangaL – the divine names of the apt Lord, emperumAn

dhAnaththAl –  with bhakthi. Reciting for obtaining other benefits [than emperumAn himself]. Even if there is no need for other benefits, unless these are recited, it will not be possible to sustain oneself, hence reciting these names. That it is not possible to sustain oneself without reciting the names indicates the boundary of bhakthi. The next stage to this is reciting emperumAn’s divine names with ecstasy.

maRRu – this could be considered either as a metrical syllable or as reciting the divine name above the position of bhakthi.

avan pEremperumAn’s divine names which refer to his wealth and qualities.

avan pEr – since it has been mentioned as pEr (name) instead of mentioning as thirunAmam (divine name) this implies that there is no need for any specific propriety or ritual to recite these names and that they can be recited in any manner (even if it is not orderly). Hasn’t nammAzhwAr too divinely mentioned in his thiruvAimozhi 3-5-8pEr pala sollip pidhaRRi” (babbling the names)! nangu uNarndhu sARRudhal refers to realising with the heart and reciting the divine names through the mouth.

sARRinAl – reciting the divine names such that emperumAn’s enemies will become disgusted and his followers will become very happy on hearing these divine names.

What will emperumAn do if the divine names are recited?

vAnaththu aNiyamarar Akkuvikkum ahdhenRE – emperumAn will make paramapadham to feel proud due to association with such a samsAri [who recites the divine names of emperumAn] and keeping the samsAri as an equal to nithyasUris. An alternative explanation – taking such samsAris to paramapadham and making them as decorative objects for those who reside there (nithyasUris). Hasn’t nammAzhwAr too divinely mentioned in his thiruvAimozhi 4-2-1malipugazh vAnavarkkAvar naRkOvaiyE” (they will complement nithyasUris)! Even when AzhwArs are worshipping emperumAn don’t they say as said by kulaSEkara AzhwAr in perumAL thirumozhi 2-3-10 “adiyArgaL kuzhAngaLai – udan kUduvadhu enRukolO” (when will I ever be with the group of nithyasUris!).

vAnaththu aNi amarar – the greatness of paramapadham is that it has nithyasUris who are faultless. We can consider the meaning as: Reciting the divine names will take the samsAris to paramapadham which has nithyasUris as decorative objects. nammAzhwAr too has divinely mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 10-5-8 “pEr Ar OdhuvAr ArAr amararE” (whoever recites the divine names of emperumAn will be considered as equivalent to nithyasUris irrespective of their birth, clan etc).

Is emperumAn giving such a high status to those who recite his divine names only because he does not have anyone who attains him?

nangaL paNiyamarar kOmAn parisu – this is the quality of emperumAn who is the lord of nithyasUris such as AdhiSEshan, garudan et al who are naturally related to us [all are servitors of emperumAn] and who, as mentioned in mahAbhAratham Santhi parvam 344-45 “nithyAnjaliputA hrushtA: nama ithyEva vAdhina:”(always worshipping emperumAn with folded hands and becoming happy on account of that, and always saying nama: (I am not for me [ I am only for emperumAn])).

paNiyamarar – doing service is natural to them [nithyasUris]. It is not that they carry out service one day and refrain from doing that the next day. Being subservient to emperumAn is their nature.

paNiyamarar – unlike mukthars (those who were samsAris once upon a time, and after being liberated, reached paramapadham) and mumUkshus (those who are desirous of reaching paramapadham) who were subservient to others for some time and then falling at the divine feet of emperumAn, saying  as in thirukkuRundhANdagam 12 “azhukkudambu echchil vAyAl” (those with dirty forms and disgusting mouths) and as in iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi 10 “kAvadiyEn patta kadai ”(you have to rid me of all the lowliness that I suffered before becoming your servitor), these nithyasUris do not have to say such things.

We shall move on to the 3rd pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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