SrI: SrImathE SatakOpAya nama: SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: SrImath varavaramunayE nama:
Introduction for this pAsuram
Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction
No specific introduction.
Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction
In the first pAsuram, this pirAtti (parAnguSa nAyaki) is grieving and her friends whose eyes resemble that of deer’s ask her “what are you thinking in your divine heart?”; she replies to them “When will I reach the divine feet of emperumAn who is in thiruvallavAzh?”.
Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction
See nanjIyar‘s introduction.
Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction
See nanjIyar‘s introduction.
See nanjIyar‘s introduction.
mAnEy nOkku nalleer! vaigalum vinaiyEn meliya
vAnAr vaN kamugum madhu malligai kamazhum
thEnAr sOlaigaL sUzh thiruvallavAzh uRaiyum
kOnArai adiyEn adi kUduvadhu enRu kolO?
Word-by-Word meanings (based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s 12000 padi)
mAn – deer’s eyes
Ey – matching
nOkku – having eyes
nalleer – those who are identified as well-wishers for me!
vinaiyEn – I who am having sin (which stops me from interacting with him as desired)
vaigalum – always
meliya – to weaken me
vAn – the sky
Ar – to cover
vaN – generous (to offer its own body as support to the jasmine creeper [which is growing near it)
kamugum – areca tree
madhu – with flowing honey (due to being with the areca tree)
malligai – jasmine [creeper]
kamazhum – being fragrant
thEn – beetles which extract honey and the fragrant buds
Ar – filled with
sOlaigaL – gardens
sUzh – surrounded
thiruvallavAzh – in thiruvallavAzh
uRaiyum – eternally residing
kOnArai – unconditional lord
adiyEn – I who am a servitor (captivated by his supremacy)
adi – his divine feet
kUduvadhu – reach
enRu kolO – when?
Simple translation (based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s 12000 padi)
Oh those who are identified as well-wishers for me and whose eyes match the eyes of deer! When will I, the servitor [of emperumAn], who am sinful and am always weakened by emperumAn who is eternally residing in thiruvallavAzh which is surrounded by gardens which have the generous areca trees, fragrant jasmine [creeper] with flowing honey and are filled with beetles which extract honey and the fragrant buds, reach his divine feet? “vinaiyEn meliya” is recited with “vaN kamugu” [indicating that the rich areca trees weaken her] and “thiruvallavAzh uRaiyum” [indicating that the emperumAn who resides in thiruvallavAzh weakens her].
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.
- mAnEy nOkku nalleer – piLLAn explains this as – parAnguSa nAyaki is requesting her friends to mercifully shower their cool glance to facilitate her reaching thiruvallavAzh.
- mAnEy nOkku nalleer – Oh those who have eyes matching those of a deer’s eyes and are well-wishers for me. Her friends thought “she is suffering due to separation, engaged in the beauty of the gardens and is weakened due to our advice; if she hears our words which stop her from her pursuit, she will become unconscious” and manifested their emotions with their eyes which resemble a deer’s eyes, and so she is calling them “mAnEy nOkku nalleer“. For her, all it takes is to be as said in SrI bhagavath gIthA 9.1 “anasUyavE” (not having hatred). “idham thu thE guhya thamam pravakshyAmi” (I shall explain to you this most secretive knowledge about upAsana (practicing bhakthi yOga)) – I am explaining you this precious wealth [of knowledge]. Once there is no shortcoming in arjuna, will there be any limiting factor in krishNa?
- vaigalum vinaiyEn meliya – Only those who can sustain after becoming weakened once on separation, can tolerate separation [she is always weakened].
- vaigalum meliya – For those who are interested in worldly pleasures, as time goes by, they lose interest in their object of interest; but this [AzhwAr’s love towards bhagavAn] is first meditated upon, followed by deep contemplation, and then vision, and then vision which matches physical experience and finally wait for the shedding of the body [for the soul to reach bhagavAn permanently]. [chAndhOgya upanishath SlOkam is highlighted here] thasya (mE) – for (that person who is) me; this (thasya) should be read along with “atha sampathsyE”; thAvadhEva chiram – the delay [to reach bhagavAn] is only until that time [when he sheds his body]; yAvanna mOkshE athasampathsyE – subsequently I will become perfect (in liberated state). That is, as said in chAndhOgya upanishath “… paramjyOthi: upasampathya …” (he reaches paramAthmA and realises his true nature). This is the nature of those who are waiting to shed their bodies.
- vaigalum vinaiyEn meliya – I who am greatly sinful to be separated from emperumAn, am very weak due to the suffering in separation constantly. She is so tender that she cannot even bear the weakening one day! Now she is suffering for many days. She is going through the same suffering as sIthAp pirAtti went through after thiruvadi (hanuman) met her and left [to inform SrI rAma]. thiruvadi could not bear witnessing her suffering for one night. SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 16.28 chapter – imAmasithakESAnthAm – She has got beautiful hair which can be desired even by those who have hair as said in thirunedunthANdagam 21 “mai vaiNNa naRungunji” (dark and fragrant hair); Sathapathra nibhEkshaNam – one who is having dark eyes which deserve to be constantly seen by SrI rAma who is explained as “kamalapathrAksha:” (one who has lotus-petal like eyes); sukArhAm – deserves to rest on the comfortable lap of emperumAn; dhu:khithAm dhrushtvA – having seen her in an undeserving state; mamApi vyathithammana: – even my heart which is undisturbed by sorrow/joy became grieved. parAnguSa nAyaki is also in the same state.
- vinaiyEn – I have committed such a sin that even after many days passing by, my desire [for emperumAn] is not reducing.
- meliya – Melting like ice.
- vAnAr … – As she was becoming weakened the other side grew proportionately. It appears that her weakening is the water (that nourishes) the garden there.
- vAnAr … – The areca trees are such that they cover the sky. Her abode is as said in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 59.4 “apivrukshA: parivlAnA:” (the trees withered), and his abode is as said in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 127.17 “akAla palinO vrukshA:” (let the trees blossom even during non-season).
- vaN kamugum – attractive. As said in periya thirumozhi 6.9.8 “kulaiyArndha pazhukkAyum pasungAyum pALaimuththum thalaiyArndha iLangamugu” (The areca trees with well ripened fruits, fruits which will ripe soon etc).
- vaN kamugu – Instead of the creeper having to reach out to the tree, the tree itself is leaning towards the creeper to facilitate spreading on it – such generosity. This is true generosity; also explained as generosity of giving one’s own body.
- madhu malligai kamazhum – Not a barren creeper! Due to embracing the areca tree, it is with vastness and flowers. The fragrance of the jasmine flowers which are having honey, reaches up to her abode and hits her.
- thEnAr sOlaigaL sUzh – Whatever explained previously are places but the town itself is filled with honey. The areca trees were tossed up and down in flood of honey, and suffered as mArkaNdEya rishi was tossed around during the deluge. The lord of thiruvallavAzh who is residing in thiruvallavAzh which is surrounded by the gardens which are flooded with honey. While both emperumAn and I should together enjoy drinking the honey, I am suffering here while he is enjoying there. Alas! Should he not say that he won’t drink the honey as said in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 36.42 “na chApi madhu sEvathE” (he is not even drinking honey). The reason for AzhwAr’s singing praises of the gardens even while suffering is due to the enjoyable nature of emperumAn who is residing in the temple and the gardens etc. Just as emperumAn who is the target of meditation, will present himself for those who [are attached to him yet] cannot meditate upon him, these [beautiful aspects of thiruvallavAzh] too present themselves to parAnguSa nAyaki. This is similar to emperumAn who is the goal, also assumes the state of being the means. emperumAn who is the eternal goal and is residing in paramapadham, assumes a divine form which is desired by his devotees and presenting himself for them, the residents of paramapadham too follow him, descend to these dhivyadhESams and assume immovable [plants, assembly halls etc], movable [vAhanams etc] and animal [cow, elephant etc which serve emperumAn in temples] forms and remain close to him. nithyasUris (eternal residents of paramapadham), mukthAthmAs (liberated souls) and those badhdhAthmAs (bound souls) who have the devotion towards emperumAn – all of these devotees are greatly attached to ugandharuLina nilangaL (dhivyadhESams); in SrI rAmAvathAram lakshmaNa et al (nithyasUris), vAnaras (dhEvas, celestial beings assumed the forms of monkeys etc) and vibhIshaNa et al (mumukshus, those bound souls who were desirous of mOksham) were surrendered to SrI rAma. [Why would anyone be born as sthAvara (immovable plants)?] for human and animal forms there is possibility of leaving the dhivyadhESam, but for plants, there is no such scope. When jananAtha brahmarAyar was planning to cut a tree in SrIrangam, embAr heard about that and told him “Oh lord (in a sarcastic way)! Are you trying to destroy bhagavAn’s wealth?”; jananAtha brahmarAyar enquired embAr with curiosity “Is there any place which is not owned by bhagavAn?” and embAr mercifully explained “This place is unlike other places; just as an emperor and empress would maintain their own personal garden by watering the plants etc themselves, this place is personally created by periya perumAL and periya pirAtti”. For those who have true faith in dhivyadhESams everything present there will be enjoyable. This samsAram (material realm) where one could not stand for even a moment, became enjoyable in one sense when it is considered as his wealth. When something is perceivable (through the senses), it is more believable, unlike the belief in pramANam (SAsthram, authentic texts). For AzhwAr, like mukthAthmAs, bhagavAn’s ownership of everything is perceivable as he is seeing through his own eyes. For a bonafide person, unless it is in pramANam (SAsthram), he will not believe it. [An incident is cited to explain this] nallAn, a disciple of bhattar, was devoted to bhattar for a long time. During his last moments, bhattar mercifully arrived at his place and asked him “What are you thinking?”. nallAn replied “I was thinking – when sarvaSakthi (omnipotent emperumAn) favours, he will greatly favour like this”. bhattar asked “Oh! You are away from your native town, your relatives etc. And you are going to reach emperumAn’s divine feet after suffering like this. What is the favour in this?”. nallAn replied “Being in a different place, I would have died as an unknown person. But he brought me over here to SrIrangam, made me take refuge at your divine feet, instigated my love towards him and made me shed my body in this divine abode in your presence [what more is required?]”. bhattar asked “Still, how could you think like this when the body which was considered as self is dying?”. nallAn replied “I am thinking this based on pramANam”. For those who have pristine knowledge without any shortcoming, this is how they will think.
- thEnAr sOlaigaL sUzh thiruvallavAzh uRaiyum kOnArai – He is on his own, where he should enjoy with me too.
- uRaiyum – Unlike [vibhava] avathArams [like SrI rAma, krishNa et al], here [in archAvathAram] he is not leaving.
- kOnArai adiyEn – [Explains this as thirumanthram] As in the word “nArAyaNa” and in praNavam, it is not possible to explain emperumAn without highlighting self; self cannot be explained without highlighting emperumAn. kOnArai indicates the meaning of nArAyaNa, adiyEn indicates praNavam. praNavam is focussed on jIvAthmA [where it says jIvAthmA is exclusively existing for bhagavAn, and it is an instruction for the jIvAthmA] and nArAyaNa is focussed on ISvara (bhagavAn) [where it says emperumAn is the abode of everything and emperumAn is present in everything]. “adikUduvadhu enRu kolO” reveals the meaning of chathurthi [hidden “Aya” in praNavam]; “enRu kolO” indicates prArthanA [prayer to emperumAn for accepting our service, which is indicated in nama:].
- kOnArai adiyEn – The lord is courageous [kOn – leader]; she is lacking in courage [adiyEn – weak].
- adiyEn adi kUduvadhu enRu kolO – Matching the nature [of the soul], it [the pAsuram] is ending with vibhakthi [nArAyaNAya]. Whatever state AzhwAr may be in, his nature will not be lost. Whether he is singing as himself, or in the mood of a pirAtti or any other mood beyond that, at all times, his true nature [of being a servitor, who is attached to emperumAn’s divine feet] will not change; even if mruth (clay soil) takes the form of a block, pot or a container, it will still remain soil and that is never lost. In his own state, he will say as in thiruvAimozhi 1.1.1 “adi thozhudhu ezhu” (worship the divine feet and be uplifted); while instructing others he will say as in thiruvAimozhi 1.2.10 “thiN kazhal sEr” (reach the firm divine feet); while sending messages he will say as in thiruvAimozhi 1.4.2 “thiruvadik kIzh kuRREval” (serving at the divine feet); while speaking about some one else, he will say as in thiruvAimozhi 2.1.2 “thAL patta thaNdhuzhAyth thAmam kAmuRRAyE” (You desired for the thuLasi garland which decorated emperumAn’s divine feet); even while becoming bewildered and engaging in madal he will say as in thiruvAimozhi 5.3.7 “thalaiyil vaNangavumAngolO” (can we bow by our head?); while in a mad state of love for him, he will say as in thiruvAimozhi 4.4.8 “kaNNan kazhalgaL virumbumE” (will desire krishNa’s divine feet) and as in thiruvAimozhi 4.4.7 “ERiya piththinOdu ellA ulagum kaNNan padiaippu” (being maddened she will say everything is krishNa’s creation).
In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.
adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan
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