Monthly Archives: October 2017

SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – pUrva pItikA – Part 1

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Although not questioned, sage vaishampAyana – out of utter affection – volunteered to speak thus to janamEjaya, who had a very peaceful mind having heard repeatedly from various learned people about the glories of the Lord, in order to enlighten him on many more esoteric meanings as preached in the scriptures:

श्री वैशम्पायन उवाच –
श्रुत्वा धर्मान् अशॆषॆण पावनानि च सर्वशः
युधिष्टिरः शान्तनवं पुनरॆवाभ्यभाषत  ॥ १ ॥

SrI vaishampAyana uvAcha –
shruthvA dharmAn ashEshENa pAvanAni cha sarvasha:
yudhiShTira: shAnthanavam punarEvAbhyabhAShatha || 1 ||

Having heard fully about all purifying dharmas in detail in the battle field, yudhiShTira asked the glorious son of shAntanu [bhIshma pitAmaha] further.

dharmAn – all the dharmas that are of varied kinds, mentioned in the vEdhas and smrithis, which bestow upon the followers a multitude of auspicious spiritual and material benefits – such as the rAja dharma (duties of the king), mOksha dharma (duties to be observed by a seeker of salvation), dhAna dharma (duties of a donor), and many more.

ashEShENa – in entirety, meaning – as much as needed.

pAvanAni cha – along with purifying deeds such as penance, pilgrimage, worship, et al.

sarvasha: – in all respects; meaning – in terms of fruits, limbs, nature and authority of the prescribed actions.

shruthvA – having heard.

yudhiShThiraH – yudhiShTira, verily the son of dharma [yama dharmarAja]

shAnthanavam – unto bhIshma, the one with a high-class birth, born of shAnthanu from gangA

punarEva abhyabhAShatha – asked again. The reason for asking again was to know from bhIshma about the dharma that he held close to his heart as the highest of all. This can be known from the fact that he later asks bhIshma “which – of all dharmas – do you think is the supreme?” [Reference: the next two verses in series]. Also, yudhistira considered the fact that the wise men search and seek refuge of other learned men who are strongly rooted in the ancient good practices (sadhAchAra). Being subservient to them, the seekers also engage in similar practices that are most liked by their preceptors – the learned people. In the process, the seekers also develop a taste for those good deeds and fruits. That is to say, they do not engage in the most lofty deeds for the mere reason that it is stated in the scriptures, but because such deeds have been accepted and practiced by other learned men in the past.

It has been already stated [at the very beginning of the introduction post] that the wise men should distinctly identify the subjects of knowledge from the various sources available to them, and accept only those that prove to be conducive for their welfare. Such knowledge is of two types – upAya (means) and upEya (goal). The means and the goal can further be thought to be of three types: likeable, more likeable and most likeable ‘goals’; and beneficial, more beneficial and most beneficial ‘means’.

Of these, the goals usually have their own obstacles such as birth, growth, transformations, transient nature, the various effects on the soul namely sorrow, fruits of action, ignorance, desires etc. All these are considered to be the drawbacks of the goals. Similarly, they also have their share of positives such as being free from blemishes, developing taste for soul and body, permanence, abundant knowledge, bliss, wealth etc.

The means also have drawbacks such as deterioration, exhaustion, being long-routed, deception, being over-rewarding or under-rewarding etc. The good qualities of the means are: being definitive, safe, and easy to follow, being extremely rewarding etc.

The distinction in the aforesaid three types of goals and means is achieved keeping in mind the qualities and drawbacks of each of them, as discussed previously. When a seeker finds the ‘most beneficial’ way, he should give up the other two ways namely ‘beneficial’ and ‘more beneficial’, considering them as lowly in comparison to what he holds. Similarly, when he finds the ‘most likeable’ goal, he should give up the two other lower categories of goals namely ‘likeable’ and ‘more likeable’. The true seeker should understand the need for rightly judging between the various goals and the means and holding on to the best out of them.

Thus, in order to clearly differentiate between the various goals and means, yudhiShTira further classified his doubts into six questions, and posed them to bhIshma thus, as seen in the following two slokas:

युधिष्ठिर उवाच –
किमॆकं दैवतं लॊकॆ किं वाsप्यॆकं परायणम्
स्तुवन्तः कं कमर्चन्तः प्राप्नुयुर्मानवाः शुभम् ॥ २ ॥

yudhiShTira uvAcha –
kimEkam dhaivatham lOkE kim vApyEkam parAyaNam
sthuvantha: kam kamarchantha: prApnuyurmAnavA: shubham || 2 ||

कॊ धर्मः सर्वधर्माणां भवतः परमॊ मतः
किं जपन् मुच्यतॆ जन्तुः जन्मसंसारबन्धनात् ॥ ३ ॥

kO dharma: sarvadharmANAm bhavatha: paramO matha:
kim japan muchyathE janthu: janmasamsArabandhanAth || 3 ||

A question on The Supreme Entity as the Goal

Having known that the various means lead to an ultimate goal, yudhiShTira proceeded to inquire about the ultimate goal at first. Since the philosophies and scriptures have projected and preached about the ultimate goal in two forms namely ‘The Supreme Entity’ and ‘The Ultimate Destination’, he inquired about the ‘Supreme Entity’ at first.

yudhiShTira asked ‘Which is the Supreme Godhead shown by the scriptures? and who is the one whom we should attain?”. The words “Which” (kim) and “in the scriptures” (lOkE) are to be read along with every question that yudhiShTira has asked. Similarly, the phrase “the loftiest in your opinion” (bhavatha: paramO matha:) should also be applied to all the six questions that he has asked, according to the ‘simha-avalOkana nyAya’ (just as a lion looks back at the way it has treaded after walking a certain distance). The “vibhakthi”s in each of the questions need to be modified as required while applying these aforesaid phrases in all the questions. The word ‘lOka’ has an origin as: ‘lOkyathE anEna’ (through which everything is seen), which indicates that the word ‘lOka’ in this context doesn’t refer to the world as it normally does, but refers to the ancient scriptures such as vEdhas, smrithis, and other SAsthras using which we see the Supreme Reality.

The word ‘Ekam’ refers to the main entity that has no equivalent or superior power to it. This is in concord with the phrases “the Supreme One who is also the biggest effulgence”, “of that One who is the chief of the world” etc. This doesn’t stop at the nature alone (the word ‘Ekam’ doesn’t refer to the nature of being Supreme alone), but also represents the numeral ‘one’ as it normally does. The next word ‘dhaivatham’ – due to its connotation and the use of singular form of the word – does not eliminate its representation of the Supreme Godhead as well as singularity. No Godhead exists, which has no nature of its own or which is multiple in number (in other words, all Godhead entities are indeed one in number, and have their own nature). Thus, even though it is known that the Godhead being referred to is singular, the usage of ‘Ekam’ is made specifically, for which no other meaning can be deduced. So in this context, the word ‘Ekam’ holds a special meaning, which represents ‘the Supreme One’, and not just the numeral one.

The word ‘dhaivatham’ refers to the connotation of the Supreme Mastery of all worlds, as also the representation of extraordinary qualities. Yudhishitra meant to ask “which is the loftiest of such Godheads professed by the scriptures in your opinion?” The reason being: even some of the learned scholars, who know about the Supreme Entity from the various scriptures, have their own doubts regarding the natural superiority of that entity due to the various ill-effects on it driven by illusion, limitation, transformation etc, and also due to the differentiation seen among the divine trinity – hari, hara and hiraNyagarbha (Brahma) – due to various common and special causes. So, in order to get these doubts clarified by bhIShma, yudhiShTira asked unto him: “Which is that Supreme Godhead, which is professed by the scriptures, in your opinion?”

A question on The Ultimate Destination as the Goal

A similar confusion about the salvation (mOksha) can be found in the phala-SAasthras, the scriptures that detail about the ultimate goal. Many people are of the opinion that the destruction of the identity of self along with ignorance is itself called as salvation, while many others opine that the voidance of some special characteristics of the soul itself is mOkSham. While some more propound that attaining the status and powers of the Supreme Brahman itself is salvation, some others declare that attaining of the qualities of Bhagavan is salvation. Some also opine that attaining the abode of the Supreme Self and residing in his shelter is mOkSham. Many others think that attaining the eight qualities such as the Supreme Bliss and the like is mOkSham, whereas some others think that performing eternal service of all kinds to the Supreme Brahman itself is mOkSham. With so many people professing so many meanings for ‘salvation’, yudhiShTira – with a mind to know the truth – posed his second question unto bhIShma thus: “Which is the only ultimate goal?” (in other words, “what is mOkSham?”)

Further to this, he has asked for two things – ‘dhaivatham’ and ‘parAyaNam’ (Supreme Entity and Ultimate Goal). In order to know if the two are totally different from each other or refer to the same entity in different states, there is the usage of two conjunctions ‘vA’ and ‘api’ (‘or’ and ‘also’). The word ‘Ekam’, as before, refers to the entity (destination, in this case) being Supreme – with no equivalent or superior, untainted, and auspicious in nature, and hence being the ‘Most likeable’ goal. ‘ayanam’ refers to the goal/result; the one which should be attained. yudhiShTira, in this question, intends to inquire about the highest goal (parAyaNam) in everyone’s life that helps achieve immense benefits both in this world as well as the nether, in bhIShma’s opinion. Thus are the first two questions on the “Goal” (puruShArtha – the Supreme Entity and Destination) that needs to be attained by every soul.

Question on the means – simple/detailed means and pursuable/established means

Further, the various scriptures indicate three means of attaining the ultimate goal – namely karma yOga, jnAna yOga and Bhakthi yOga. There are again confusions about these means of attaining the highest goal. Some people say the three means are mutually exclusive. Some others say they should all be treated / practiced together. Some say that one of three is the main way, and the other two are just limbs of it. With all these confusions in mind, it is naturally the best to inquire about the different ways of achieving the highest goal of life from a learned scholar. The upAya or the means of attaining a certain result is of three types – sidhdha (established), sAdhya (pursuable) and sAlambana (supported). Of these, the ‘established’ way refers to verily the Godhead that provides the intended fruits upon due worship. This worship of the Godhead can further be classified into two subtypes, namely ‘simple worship’ (laghu) and ‘detailed worship’ (alaghu). Classifying thus, yudhiShTira asks in the second half of the SlOka thus: “praying to whom and worshipping whom, will the humans attain their welfare?”

‘kam sthuvantha:’ – pleasing whom by prayers alone (only by singing the glories, praising the qualities) –> refers to the simple worship

‘kam archantha:’ – worshipping whom – in the form of upAsana – with utmost devotion –> refers to detailed worship

‘mAnavA:’ – all ‘Humans’ – devoid of any restrictions in terms of race, clan, gender, age, etc

‘shubham’ – two types of auspicious results, namely ‘well-being in this world’, and ‘attainment of the Paramapadham (ViShNulokam)’

‘prApnuyu:’ – shall attain

Question on the ultimate pursuable means

The ‘sAdhya’ upAya or the pursuable means refers to an absolute involvement of the three prime faculties called speech, mind and body in terms of chanting, meditating and worshipping respectively, in order to please the respective Godhead and gain the benefits. When yudhiShTira asks “Which – of all dharmas – is the loftiest, in your opinion?” (SlOka 3), he means to ask “Of all the dharmas prescribed by the scriptures and connotative of all the aforesaid natures, which is the One – in your opinion – that is distinctly unique with no equal or superior dharmas to it, which is clearly proven and can be relied upon similar to Apaddhanam (wealth in times of dire need)?”

Question on the verbally supported means

Finally, he asks a question regarding the verbally supported means of achieving the goal. He inquires about the support of verbal chanting done along with the help of prayers, mantras, and the idol of the deity, sandal, flowers, and other things. He asks, “Having chanted which one, will all the born souls be released from the cycles of births and samsara?”

‘japa:’ – refers to the restricted and specialized repetitions of mantras and the like

The manu smruthi declares: “Only by japa will a brAhmaNa attain all benefits/fruits; there’s no doubt about it. Whether a person practices anything else or not, he will be considered as a brAhmaNa only by his friendly nature”.

The same scripture also says: “The worship with japa is ten times better than worship with physical objects”.

Krishna, in his SrI bhagavadhgIthA declares: “I am the japa-yajna among the modes of worship”.

Since the loftiness of verbal ‘japa’ has been established with such assurances, the other modes of worship with mind and action are not being inquired by yudhiShTira.

‘janthu’ – that which is born

‘janma’ – the cycle of aging, death, and birth, and other pains as an effect of samsAra are shown with this word, and

‘samsAra’ – refers to the main causes due to which the soul is bound in this creation, namely ignorance, fruits of action, habits, tastes / desires etc.

The ‘janma’ and ‘samsAra’ are the two obstacles that are stopping a soul from attaining the ultimate goal of life called paramapadham. These obstacles will be warded off with the help of japa. The ‘mOksha’ or salvation mentioned in this context is representative of all other auspicious benefits, since the various scriptures clearly mention both material as well as spiritual benefits in plenty for the japas that they prescribe.

Thus, beginning with phrases like “in entirety” (ashEShENa), “by all means” (sarvasha:) etc, and later on using more phrases such as “in the scriptures” (lOkE), “all humans” (mAnavA:), “auspicious material/spiritual benefits” (shubham), et al, these questions also clearly intend to highlight the best modes in terms of time, authority, limbs of action, and the fruits of action.

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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thiruvAimozhi – 6.1.4 – idaril bOgam

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Full series >> Sixth Centum >> First decad

Previous pAsuram

Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the fourth pAsuram, parAnguSa nAyaki tells some swans “Tell emperumAn who is mercifully residing in thiruvaNvaNdUr that here is a woman who has become weakened seeing him”.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

Subsequently, parAnguSa nAyaki sends some swans towards emperumAn who is very beautiful and is obedient towards his devotees.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

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

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

pAsuram

idaril bOgam mUzhgi iNaindhAdum mada annangAL!
vidalil vEdha oli muzhangum thaN thiruvaNvaNdUr
kadalin mEnip pirAn kaNNanai nedumAlaik kaNdu
udalam naindhoruththi urugum enRuNarththuminE

Listen

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

idar – thought/talk about separation
il – not having
bOgam – enjoyment
mUzhgi – immersed
iNaindhu – without separation
Adum – to roam around
madam – obedient towards each other
annagAL – Oh swans!
vidal – break
il – not having
vEdha oli – chants of vEdham
muzhangum – resounding
thaN – invigorating
thiruvaNvaNdUr – residing in thiruvaNvaNdUr
kadal – attractive like ocean
mEni – form
pirAn – as the one who presents me
kaNNanai – being obedient towards me
nedu – covering the limits of such obedience
mAlai – the very great lord
kaNdu – on seeing
oruththi – a unique woman
udalam – her body
naindhu – weakened
urugum – melt
enRu – that
uNarththumin – inform him.

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

Oh swans who are immersed in enjoyment without any thought/talk about separation, to roam around without separation! emperumAn is the one who is residing in the invigorating thiruvaNvaNdUr where resounding chants of vEdham are heard; he is having attractive ocean like form and presents me such form; he is obedient towards me and is the very great lord where his greatness covers the limits of such obedience; on seeing such emperumAn, inform him that a unique woman is having her body weakened and is melting [in separation from him]. By this, it is implied that the mutual comfort of the gatakas (AchAryas) and their mutual respectful dealings are to be desired [by us].

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

  • idaril bOgam mUzhgi – Immersed in the joy of union without any smell of separation. While I do what I do, I am seeing such united couples [swans] in this world [she is amazed that couples remain united unlike she who is separated from her lord]. She [sIthA] got separated right in the beginning of her union with emperumAn. [sIthA’s plight] If we remain in the palace, we should be answerable to SrI rAma’s parents; they should listen to the concerns of the citizens; so, they looked out for a secluded place in the forest to avoid all these extraneous activities and there came rAvaNa [to separate her from him]; no such worries exist for the swans.
  • idaril bOgam mUzhgi – They are not suffering my fate of seeking for union and ending up with separation.
  • mUzhgi – The enjoyment is still unending [present tense].
  • iNaindhu Adum mada annangAL – This is unlike the situation where one is enjoying while the other is suffering. Their hearts are so much in sync that one swan’s thought is perfectly followed by the other.
  • mada annangAL – The obedience/humility which is explained for one is applicable for the other too. Usually, obedience/humility is attributed to the female swan only; but here it is explained for both male and female swans, due to the involvement in the union matching for both of them.
  • vidalil vEdha oli muzhangum – This town [where I am] is not having recitals of vEdham [unlike thiruvaNvaNdUr where there is constant recitals of vEdham happening]. The clan of janaka is where there is no one present to recite vEdham. SrI bhagavath gIthA 3.20karmaNaiva hi” (only through karma yOga) [Even such righteous town has become devoid of chanting of vEdham].
  • muzhangum – Do we need any other landmark to identify thiruvaNvaNdUr? Would we not be guided by the resounding chants of vEdham? And aren’t you all vEdhamArga anusAri (followers of the path of vEdham)?
  • kadal mEnip pirAn – One who is having invigorating form like that of an ocean, fully presenting it to us for our enjoyment, and further having great love thinking “I have not done anything for them”. Alternative explanation [bhattar‘s view] – initially letting us enjoy his cool form like an obedient person [manifesting simplicity] and now being unreachable [manifesting supremacy]. Even back then, he did not unite with me for my pleasure, but only to capture me; had he united with me for my pleasure back then, would he not want to do it still?
  • udalam naindhu – Tell him – Don’t wait thinking “She may be affected emotionally; but I will help her before it affects her body”.
  • udalam naindhu – This body is capable of weakening part by part [as seen in thiruvAimozhi 3.8mudiyAnE“]. emperumAn himself will know that parAnguSa nAyaki who united with him with that body, cannot sustain in separation with that same body.
  • oruththi – [not specifically named] If informed “this doe is hurt being shot in this forest”, the hunter who shot the arrow will know [similarly, emperumAn will know if you just tell him “a woman”].
  • oruththi urugum – Just inform that he does not have the same emotions like her.
  • uNarththuminE – Remind him that he has forgotten her. Those who are unaware [emperumAn] should be made aware. It is the duty of the swan to bring awareness [emperumAn, in hamsAvathAram awakened everyone through vEdham]; even previously he did that as said in periya thirumozhi 5.7.3 “piRangiruL niRam keda orunAL annamAy anRangarumaRai payandhAn” (emperumAn bestowed the great vEdham to eliminate the darkness).
  • oruththi urugum enRu uNarththuminE – Inform him that this is the suffering of one woman.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 13 – thodar eduththa

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avathArikai

Could only those with authority attain emperumAn? Could only dhEvas, with limitations, attain him and should others lose out being unable to attain him? AzhwAr says that there is no such compulsion. Even an animal, with a lowly birth and lowly activities, such as gajEndhran [an elephant] was able to attain his divine feet and also had his enemy removed by emperumAn, and ultimately reached paramapadham. Wasn’t he [emperumAn] such a simple entity even for an elephant! Thus, anyone can attain him, says AzhwAr. In the earlier pAsuram, it was mentioned that emperumAn gives what had been desired by those who attain him for other benefits. In this pAsuram, it says that emperumAn gives himself to those who worship him and desire to see him.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

thodar eduththa mAl yAnai sUzhkayam pukku anji
padar eduththa paim kamalam koNdu anRu idaradukka
AzhiyAn pAdham paNindhanrE vAnavar kOn
pAzhidhAn eydhiRRu paNdu

Word by Word Meaning

thodar eduththa mAl yAnai – an elephant in exultation, breaking free from its chains and running with the chain in its trunk
sUzhkayam pukku – entered an expansive pond
padar eduththa paim kamalam koNdu – taking lotus flowers which have blossomed well (in order to lay them at the divine feet of emperumAn)
anRu idar adukka – after getting into a deep hurdle (getting caught by a crocodile and unable to free itself from the crocodile)
anji – trembling with fear in its mind (whether it would be able to offer the flowers to emperumAn before they wither away)
AzhiyAn pAdham – at the divine feet of emperumAn who is holding in his hand the divine disc (the implement for killing the crocodile)
paNindhanRE – because of worshipping (after surrendering)
thAn – that gajEndhra AzhwAn [in our sampradhAyam certain people (and other entities) are referred to as AzhwAn to indicate their exalted status]
paNdu – in ancient time
vAnavar kOn pAzhi – the dwelling place of the Lord of nithyasUris (permanent dweller of SrivaikuNtam), paramapadham
eydhiRRu – attained

vyAkyAnam

thodar eduththa mAl yAnai – an elephant which, in exultation, pulling aside the creepers bearing flowers, went about as it pleased. It could also be construed as a huge elephant which removed its chain (used for tying it) and went about as it pleased.

mAl yAnai – elephant in exultation. Alternative meaning: one which cannot be controlled.

sUzh kayam pukku – entering an expansive pond whose bank could not be seen with one’s eyes [so huge]

sUzh kayam – a pond which could drive away those who entered it, with the help of wild creatures such as crocodile etc.

kayam pukku – entering an area which is not its [elephant’s].

anji – fearful of the hurdle caused by crocodile. The elephant would have felt stronger on land than in water. It would have been with huge ego similar to that of entities such as brahmA et al. vishNu dharmam 69-47 says “paramApadhamApanna:” (got into a huge difficulty). A difficulty which was huger than such an elephant. It was such a difficulty that emperumAn had to come hurriedly to overcome it.

padar eduththa paingamalam koNdupadar – being an expansive lotus flower which blossomed. eduththa – a lotus which has grown tall. paingamalam – a beautiful lotus. Alternatively, a cool lotus. Plucking that lotus with lot of desire.

anRu idar adukka – a difficulty which occurred there due to crocodile. idar – it was such a difficulty that there was no remedy for it other than emperumAn himself coming there.

anji – fearing whether he [gajEndhra] would be able to offer that lotus to the divine feet of emperumAn before the flower withered.

As a remedy to it…

AzhiyAn pAdham paNindhanRE – is it not by worshipping at the divine feet of emperumAn who is donning the chakrAyudham (divine disc as a weapon)!

AzhiyAn – one who is donning the divine disc. Hasn’t vishNu dharmam 69-81 said “graham chakrENa mAdhava:” (mAdhavan (emperumAn) killed the crocodile with his weapon disc). It is mentioned that emperumAn offers himself to those who desire only himself and no other benefit from him.

paingamalam – it is conveyed here that gajEndhran plucked a very soft lotus in an easy manner.

AzhiyAn – it is conveyed here that emperumAn has weapon in his hand to remove the difficulties of his followers.

vAnavar kOn pAzhidhAn eydhiRRup paNdu – once upon a time, the elephant ascended the mattress of emperumAn, who is the lord of tireless nithyasUris, at his dwelling place of paramapadham (this takes into consideration that the meaning for the word pAzhi could be either place or bed). When such is the quality of emperumAn, is there any boundary for saying that so and so is dear to emperumAn and so and so is not dear to emperumAn? AzhwAr says that everyone is qualified to attain him.

We shall move on to the 14th pAsuram, next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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thirunedunthANdakam – 6 – Part 2

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<< pAsurm 6 – Part 1

(Part 2)

thirukkOvalUr temple  (photo courtesy wikipedia)

thAn ugandha Ur –  (amarar vEndhan thAn ugandha Ur) (angu aruL illAth thanmaiyALan thAn ugandha Ur) – (thirukkOvalUr is the) place where unsurpassed enjoyer is present; place where One having the quality of finishing the enemies is present. paramapadham is the place where nithyasUris and Himself are happily present;  (whereas) this place is one in which the samsAris have turned away from Him but He by Himself is happy to be present in. For avoiding the decay of His properties He Himself came in support and is standing – such is this place. By this – places of His liking (dhivya dhESams)  are the ones (for us) to be present in, and are our destiny.

By saying amarar vEndhan – we see supremacy; ignoring that place and coming to this place that is aplenty of blemishes and standing here – we see vAthsalyam (motherly forbearance);

while having the aforementioned power, coming here (in the form of archai) and standing as if to say ‘there is no breath’ thus making Himself under their control – we see sauSeelyam; being visible to the eyes – we see saulabhyam.  Since nithyasUris come here for getting more rewards (that is, enjoyment of Him) this place is a richer destiny. nammAzhvAr too said, ‘vAnavar vAnavar kOnodum Sindhu pU magizhum thiruvEnkatam [thiruvAimozhi – 3.3.7]’ (~nithyasUris along with their leader sEnai mudhaliyAr (vishwaksEna), have come to thiruvEnkatam);  vAnavar vAnavar kOnodum – completely moved out (to this world). SrIvaikuNtanAthan is like the man of the house letting each and every one go, and then taking care of the house himself. thAn ugandha Ur – His liking this place is the reason for AzhvAr having affinity to it.

Ur ellAm – (all the dhivya dhEsams) before getting the true knowledge, like said in ‘avar avar paNai mulai thuNaiyA [periya thirumozhi – 2](~seeking the company of many women), without having any restriction of any type (varNam/jAthi) of women, that is, everyone of them was interesting, but after getting the true knowledge, AzhvAr is having interest in all the dhivya dhESams.

When AzhvAr is going to thirukkOvalUr for enjoyment, why say ‘Ur ellAm’? Like how when going (by walk) to a place one would break near the places where water is available, and shadow is available, AzhvAr is going through the dhivya dhESams that are  on the way. When going for enjoying the big tree that is vAsudhEvan, it is in the shadows of that tree that one would rest before carrying on.  As said in ‘sarvam vasatheethi vAsudhEva: ’ (He is one present everywhere (all dhivya  dhESams), for AzhvAr it is those places liked by emperumAn that are to be reached;  AzhvAr thinks of other places as desert.

than thAL pAdi  (singing about His divine feet) –  one would need food during the journey; it is as said in ‘pAdhEyam puNdareekAkSha nAma sankeerthana amrutham [gAruda purANam](for those taking the long journey, it is singing the names of the lotus eyed One that is the nectar, that is the appropriate food to carry. The divine feet that are the means and destiny for AzhvAr. Not saying as ‘thannaip pAdi’ (singing about Him), but as ‘than thAL pAdi’,  it is the divine feet which he sang about earlier as ‘oru kAl niRpa oru kAlum [thirunedunthANdakam – 5]’ (One divine foot on the earth..), it is the divine feet that is the journey food for AzhvAr. pAdi – singing, which is induced by love.

nilam …  – It is before seeing peNNai (river) that AzhvAr would sing about the divine feet; after seeing peNNai, he forgot about the divine feet and started making poetry on this. What is the reason for this? Since he is having affinity towards that place, those who are interested in that place are his companions.

nilam parandhu varum – Since a woman (river) is going for enjoying purushOththaman, she is going with utmost interest.  Due to the extreme love in going to thirukkOvalUr, she is overflowing into the shores, destroying the houses there, and piercing, removing, and pulling away the small bamboo spurts out with the roots, and coming, jumping with great noise.

kaluzhi being muddled and being like forest river. Induced by love, she is feeling agitated. Is it appropriate for her to destroy His place when enjoying the matter of emperumAn?  He won’t see the destruction of His place, it is her love that He sees.  ghaNtAkarNan too said (to krishNan) ‘it is a rishi’s dead body; killed just now; please have the divine consumption of this now’ (as he was told by Sivan that he should request krishNan for getting mOksham; krishNan was not angry at him for killing a brahmaNa (or for tying bell in his ears (hence his name), so as to not hear the name of nArAyaNan), but saw his eagerness to be liberated).

Due to happiness of seeing pirAtti (seethA), the monkeys had destroyed the garden that was dear to their king sugreevan, but when this news was told to sugreevan, he and the princes were happy, saying ‘our effort has been fulfilled’ – given this, it was not required (for hanuman) to say ‘dhrustA seethA’ (saw seethA). At this, embAr would divine – ‘if that garden was not there in between, it would have been the princes’ back that would have got damaged, as they would have shown their full happiness in there’.  (It is good that the bamboos were there in-between for peNNai river – otherwise she would have shown that happiness on thrivikraman there).

peNNaiyeerththa nedu vEygaL padu muththam – Just delivery would occur quickly if the hair is pulled on pregnant women who are about deliver – as the river pulls the bamboos from the root and attempts to wash them away, those bamboos deliver the pearls.

nedu vEygaL – the tall growth of these bamboos is remembrance of His divine spanning of the world.

undha undhi – induced by love, pENNai would push the pearls in to the paddy fields, and farmers would push them away as weeds, and the river would push back the pearls throughout into the fields which the farmers cannot match with their efforts.

The richness of the dhivya dhESam is such that what grows is gold, and where pearls are weeds. Water bodies that grow gold (richness of grains).

The Entity that is said as ‘pon AnAy [thirunedunthANdakam – 10] (you are being as gold), is what is grown by this place, you see!

poygai vEli – place having such fields and water bodies around it (as fence). (Unlike) as said in ‘nadhees thatAkAni cha pUrayithvA [SrI rAmAyaNam – kishkindhA kANdam – 30-58]’, ((after) making the whole world happy by good rains, filling the rivers and tanks, and making paddies be full of grains, the clouds vanished from the sky), water bodies that are filled not by rain, but by the river.

pUnkOvalUr – the enjoyment of the place is such that one does not have to go near Him there.

thozhudhum pOdhu nenjE – Oh mind! Go for worshipping. Whereas it would have been enough to say as ‘thozhuvOm’ (worship), adding ‘pOdhu (shall worship, let us go) is because –

as the divine mind heard the AzhvAr saying about the love of the river, enjoyability of the fields, and enjoyability of the town, it went flat like on a sick bed (could not get up from the experience), and had to be lifted up, thus shows AzhvAr.

Or, since singing about the divine feet as in than thAL pAdi’, the enjoyability of the divine feet and the singing in high note by the mouth had exhausted the divine mind, and so it was feeling weak. AzhvAr is saying go, and giving it his hand to lift it up.

thozhudhum –  He said earlier ‘nama ithyEva vAdhina: [mahAbhAratham – SAnthi parvam – 344-45] (mukthas would always be saying ‘nama:’ by their mouth) (as he said ‘malar puraiyum thiruvadiyE vaNanginEnE, where he talked about saluting by his mouth). In this, he is saying ‘badhdhAnjaliputA [mahAbhAratham – SAnthi parvam – 344-45] (mukthas would always be doing anjali by their hands) (since he is saying thozhudhum by his hands). Both are the experiences of the liberated (mukhthas), you see.

– – – –

Translation: raghurAm SrInivAsa dasan

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thiruvAimozhi – 6.1.3 – thiRangaLAgi

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Full series >> Sixth Centum >> First decad

Previous pAsuram

Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the third pAsuram, parAnguSa nAyaki sees the flocks and flocks of birds, considers them to be flocking together to fulfil her desire, tells them “Please inform my sorrow to emperumAn who is in thiruvaNvaNdUr”.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

Subsequently, parAnguSa nAyaki sends some birds who are staying together to  emperumAn who is greater than all in his protection and enjoyability.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

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

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

pAsuram

thiRangaLAgi engum seygaL Uduzhal puL inangAL!
siRandha selvam malgu thiruvaNvaNdUr uRaiyum
kaRangu chakkarak kaik kani vAyp perumAnaik kaNdu
iRangi nIr thozhudhu paNiyIr adiyEn idarE

Listen

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

thiRangaLAgi – in flocks
engum – everywhere
seygaLUdu – amidst the fertile fields
uzhal – roaming
puLLinangAL – Oh flocks of birds!
siRandha – matching his greatness
selvam – wealth
malgu – existing in abundance
thiruvaNvaNdUr – in thiruvaNvaNdUr
uRaiyum – eternally residing
kaRangu – spinning around (due to the joy of experiencing bhagavAn and setting out to destroy his enemies)
chakkaram – having divine chakra (disc)
kai – having divine hand
kani – infinitely enjoyable
vAy – having beautiful lips
perumAnai – one who is having supremacy (acquired due to his protective and enjoyable nature)
kaNdu – seeing

(matching such supremacy)
nIr – you
iRangi – lowering yourself
thozhudhu – worshipping
adiyEn – me who am parathanthra (to have my deeds accomplished as per your desire), my
idar – sorrow in separation
paNiyIr – inform.

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

Oh flocks of birds roaming everywhere amidst the fertile fields in flocks! emperumAn, the supreme lord who is having divine chakra which is spinning around in his divine hand and who is having infinitely enjoyable divine lips and who is eternally residing in thiruvaNvaNdUr where abundant wealth matching his greatness exists. Seeing such emperumAn there, lower yourself, worship him and inform him the sorrow in separation, of me who am parathanthra.

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

  • thiRangaLAgi – In flocks. parAnguSa nAyaki is thinking that these cranes are roaming around in flocks to help her. Due to her recollection from thiruvAimozhi 2.1vAyum thiraiugaLum“, she is thinking that they have all gathered unable to bear her sorrow. There – she was thinking that they were distressed not having fulfilled their own desires. Here – she is thinking that they are distressed for her not having fulfilled her desire. Is this possible? Well, if she is not able to understand “these are birds and really cannot fulfil our task”, then this too is possible.
  • thiRangaLAgi engum – When SrI rAma was in sorrow due to separation from sIthA, all the revered devotees (monkeys etc) went to all four directions searching for her. Similarly, here too the cranes are searching for emperumAn.
  • engum – They searched everywhere, even in places where there is no scope of finding him. They [monkeys] even entered the pit which was self illuminous [in search of sIthA].
  • uzhal puL inangAL – The cranes are struggling just as the monkeys who searched in places where there is no scope of sIthA’s presence, not seeing her there and vowing to fast until hanuman’s return. From the time of SrI rAmAvathAram, AzhwAr thinks that thiryaks (animals, birds) are those who unite the separated couples.
  • siRandha … – It is not his fault. It is the richness of the town which stops from thinking about anyone else.
  • siRandha selvam malgu – Very opulent town.
  • thiruvaNvaNdUr uRaiyum – Highlighting the difference from avathArams (incarnations) and paramapadham (spiritual realm).
  • siRandha selvam – Matching wealth. parAnguSa nAyaki thinks – when emperumAn was with her together, he would say “you are my wealth”, but now having acquired rich wealth, he is not caring for her. By saying thiruvaNvaNdUr, the distinction from paramapadham is highlighted. By saying uRaiyum (reside eternally), the distinction from avathArams is highlighted. The wealth there made him forget about everything else as said in chAndhOgya upanishath 8.12.3 “nOpajanam smaran idham SarIram” (AthmA will not contemplate about the material body after reaching the spiritual realm).
  • kaRangu chakkarak kai – SarvESvaran who is having in his hand, the divine chakra which is spinning around due to the urge in destroying the enemies. Alternative explanation – [bhattar’s explanation] emperumAn smiling with the chakra spinning in his hand with supremacy having captivated her.
  • kani vAyp perumAnaik kaNdu – Seeing emperumAn who smiles revealing his internal bliss and captivating me with that. Though he has other wealth, for us there is no wealth other than him. He is praised in periya thirumozhi 7.7.1 “thiruvukkum thiruvAgiya selvA” (Oh wealth of SrI mahAlakshmi who is wealth personified herself).
  • iRangi nIr thozhudhu paNiyIr – She is telling them to worship him; don’t just stop with worshipping, but since he is the lord, he will have his ministers with sticks close to him waiting to hit those who don’t fall at his divine feet; so you fall at his divine feet; if you fall at his divine feet, he will feel happy; so you give up your pride and fall at his feet – says parAnguSa nAyaki as said in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 116.3 “nibrutha: praNatha: prahva:” (that hanuman with joined palms offered obeisances and mentally surrendered).
  • paNiyIr – She should address them the way emperumAn would address them when they arrive there from her. The way everyone else praises emperumAn, emperuman praises those who arrive from her. If one respectfully addresses bhagavAn due to his supremacy, there is nothing surprising in bhagavAn respectfully addressing her messengers due to his love towards her.
  • adiyEn idar – paNiyIr – You have to inform him what he does not know. Had he known, would he have waited for the messengers for me?
  • adiyEn idar – [What if he knew?] While both have similar joy during union, now I am the one in sorrow – so inform him about my suffering.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 12 – avar ivar enRillai

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avathArikai

Can’t we hold on to other deities? Why talk ill of them? AzhwAr says that these other deities approach emperumAn and obtain the authority that they need and the [limited] ability to fulfil their followers’ wishes. Hence, it is appropriate for us for the remainder of our lives to hold on to emperumAn’s divine feet only (in the second explanation for the earlier pAsuram it was said that the other deities worship emperumAn. In the same way, they get their authority for administrative purposes).

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

avar ivar enRillai aravaNaiyAN pAdham
evar vaNangi EththAdhAr eNNil pavarum
sezhum kadhirOn oNmalarOn kaNNudhalOn enRE
thozhum thagaiyAr nALum thodarndhu

Word by Word Meaning

eNNil – if we analyse (who all get their sustenance from emperumAn)
avar ivar enRu illai – there is no distinction between one person and the other when it comes to attaining him [for getting favours]
aravu aNaiyAN pAdham – the divine feet of emperumAn who has AdhiSEshan as his mattress
vaNangi – worship
EththAdhAr – those who do not praise
evar – who? (there is none)
pavarum sezhum kadhirOn – sun who has well spread out rays in thousands
oNmalarOn – brahmA who has the beautiful lotus (growing out of emperumAn’s navel) as his seat
kaN nudhalOn – rudhra who has an eye in his forehead

(all these deities)
nALum – every day
thodarndhu thozhum thagaiyAr anRE – aren’t they having the quality of seeking out the place where emperumAn is dwelling and worshipping him?

vyAkyAnam

avar ivar enRillai – There is no difference between lowly people or great people. (emperumAn is attained, without any distinction, by all entities, including the dhEvars such as brahmA, rudhra et al who are famous for being attained by others, and the people who attain such dhEvas . Is there any child who is not liked by its mother? (thus all the entities attain emperumAn).

Who do they attain?

aravaNaiyAn pAdham – the divine feet of emperumAn who is reclining on the mattress of AdhiSEshan in thiruppARkadal (milky ocean). Isn’t reclining on AdhiSEshan a unique identification for emperumAn! AdhiSEshan is there with him in order to speak on our behalf and carry out purushakAram (recommend us to emperumAn). Hasn’t it been said in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 17-1 “yathra rAmassa lakshmaNa:” (where rAma is together with lakshmaNa) – vibhIshaNa came to that place where the two were together (that vibhIshaNa came to surrender to SrI rAma who was with lakshmaNa (an incarnation of AdhiSEshan) to play the role of recommending, is mentioned here). When nammAzhwAr surrendered to emperumAn he did so in the presence of AdhiSEshan as in thiruvAimozhi 5-10-11nAgaNai misai nambirAn charaNE SaraN”. ANdAL too said the same in her nAchchiyAr thirumozhi 10-9 “nAgaNaiikE senRu” (going to the mattress of AdhiSEshan)

evar vaNangi EththAdhAr – who does not hold on to emperumAn? Everyone attains him. This is because one has to attain the divine feet of one who does not have to hold on to someone else (that particular quality is present only with emperumAn)

eNNil – if one were to analyse; or, if one were to think.

pavarum sezhum kadhirOn oN malarOn kan nudhalOn anRE – these people are famous for being attained by others. But even these people attain emperumAn.

pavarum sezhum kadhirOn – sun with spread out, infinite number of rays.

oN malarOn – brahmA who is in the lotus shooting out of emperumAn’s navel.

kaN nudhalOn – rudhra who has an eye in his forehead.

Don’t these people…

thozhum thagaiyAr nALum thodarndhu – have the quality of following emperumAn wherever he goes, compel him and attain him.

nALum thozhum thagaiyAr – every day they are worshipping emperumAn. Just as a rope will lose its strength if it is untwisted, these people also think that they will lose all their power if they do not worship emperumAn and hence keep following him. Instead of worshipping him because this is what has been ordained, they worship him in order to get some benefits [and lose the more important benefit of enjoying him]. How unjustified is this that they are treating their worshipping of emperumAn as a wage for getting some benefits instead of treating the act of worshipping itself as the benefit!

We shall move on to the 13th pAsuram.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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thiruvAimozhi – 6.1.2 – kAdhal men pedai

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Full series >> Sixth Centum >> First decad

Previous pAsuram

Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the second pAsuram, parAnguSa nAyaki says to some cranes “Please inform my plight to the most compassionate lord of thiruvaNvaNdUr”.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

Subsequently, parAnguSa nAyaki sends a crane which is with its spouse towards the lord who is the companion during dangerous situations.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nampiLLai‘s introduction.

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

Second pAsuram. parAnguSa nAyaki prays to a crane “inform my plight to emperumAn who has vowed to protect the distressed ones”.

pAsuram

kAdhal men pedaiyOdu udan mEyum karu nArAy!
vEdha vELvi oli muzhangum thaN thiruvaNvaNdUr
nAdhan gyAlam ellAm uNda nam perumAnaik kaNdu
pAdham kai thozhudhu paNiyIr adiyEn thiRamE

Listen

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

kAdhal – due to great love
men – being tender, unable to bear the separation
pedaiyOdu – with the spouse
udan – together
mEyum – grazing
karu – having blackish complexion
nArAy – oh crane!
vEdha oli – the tumultuous sound of recital of vEdham
vELvi oli – the joyful vaidhika rituals
muzhangum – sounding
thaN – having coolness which will not allow the samsArathApam (heat of this material realm) to enter
thiruvaNvaNdUr – for thiruvaNvaNdUr
nAdhan – being the lord
gyAlam ellAm – all the universe
uNda – his companionship during danger of deluge by placing [the universe] in his stomach and protecting
nam – one who revealed to us
perumAnai – the great person
kaNdu – seeing him to make me see him subsequently
pAdham – towards his divine feet
kai thozhudhu – performing anjali (joined palms)
adiyEn – I who am his servitor, my
thiRam – situation
paNiyIr – inform him.

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

Oh black coloured crane who is tender being unable to bear the separation from the spouse and is grazing with the spouse! The great emperumAn who is the lord for thiruvaNvaNdUr where the tumultuous sounds of recital of vEdham and the joyful vaiodhika rituals are resounding, revealed to us his companionship during danger of deluge by placing [the universe] in his stomach and protecting. You see him to make me see him subsequently, performing anjali towards his divine feet, inform him my situation,me who am his servitor. The usage of plural for the cranes implies that parAnguSa nAyaki is addressing the crane along with its spouse. paNiyIr indicates respectful ways of addressing. adiyEn (being a servitor) could also imply parAnguSa nAyaki’s servitude towards gataka (AchArya). This implies that the companionship and the beauty of AchArya are desirable.

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

  • kAdhal … – emperumAn is not of the nature that one can wait thinking “those who have gone previously will bring him”; if that is the case, the prapaththi (surrender) done previously is sufficient [i.e., we are supposed to constantly recite dhvaya mahA manthram which expresses our surrender towards him. This is due to our great affection towards emperumAn].
  • kAdhal men pediayOdu udan mEyum karu nArAy – While sIthAp pirAtti said in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 38.68 “Urdhvam mAsAn najIvishyE” (I will not survive beyond a month), SrI rAma said in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 66.10 “najIvEyam kshaNamapi” (I cannot even survive a moment). Unlike those who remain far away and saying for the sake of doing so, we have got those [the crane couple]  putting it in practice [Also, implies that the AchArya makes the union happen unlike emperumAn who just explains it]. You are fortunate to have not joined hands with sarvagya [my omniscient lord]. emperumAn will say “when it is inevitable that we will be together, why can’t you handle the separation for now”; these cranes are not intelligent like that.
  • kAdhal – Embodiment of love and nothing beyond it [Here the crane is explained as love itself instead of an entity which is having love].
  • men pedaiyOdu – So tender hearted that it cannot even bear/handle the union.
  • udan mEyum karu nArAy – It is extraneous to explain that it cannot handle the separation when it is said that it cannot even handle the union. Due to that the female crane is roaming around with the male crane.
  • kAdhal men pedaiyOdu udan mEyum karu nArAy – There is the male crane which understands the love of the female crane and is together with it [unlike emperumAn who is ignoring me].
  • udan mEyum – They are roaming together as said in SrI rAmAyaNam kishkinthA kANdam 1.88 “idham mEthyam idham svAdhu” (this is pure and this is relishable). When the male crane picks up something with its beak and feeds it to the female crane, the female crane can instantly consume it without checking the same. There is a male crane which feeds the female crane, knowing its heart [unlike emperumAn who ignores me].
  • udan mEyum karu nArAy – [bhattar‘s view point of all pAsurams in distress] parAnguSa nAyaki is trying to find fault in the crane to have her own desire accomplished [that is, while you are with your spouse, I am suffering in separation]. Like stopping one from consuming food from a vessel. Hearing her distressed voice, the food will not pass through the throat for the crane.
  • karu nArAy – Since they are together, the crane is in dark completion without any paleness and is shining. For those who are together, they won’t become pale. Only parAnguSa nAyaki is pale.
  • vEdha vELvi oli muzhangum thaN thiruvaNvaNdUr – The benefit of their ignorance is explained. That is, they will not be attracted on hearing the vaidhika chants and rituals. Her lord remains attracted in such chants and rituals and is hence not coming to her. SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam “dhAna yagya vivAhEshu” (SrI rAma would be present where righteous charity, fire sacrifices and marriages happen). emperumAn would be present in yagya (fire sacrifice) at the appropriate places and times to facilitate righteous acts. He would be present there to engage people with honestly earned wealth and to remedy any shortcomings in the rituals. vivAhEshu – He will be present in the places of marriage to match the bride and groom, and to reconcile their difference of opinions, and to facilitate the fire sacrifice and complete the event successfully. samAjEshu mahathsucha – In the great assemblies and festivals. cha – he will be present in all divine activities. “nadhrakshyAma: punar jAthu” – We are not seeing him in any of these places. He said “dhArmikam rAmam antharA” (We have seen the righteous SrI rAmA in these places) – What is the purpose of his presence there? He will eliminate the doubts in the righteous principles and ensure that they are practiced properly. This is SrI rAma’s nature.
  • thiruvaNvaNdUr nAdhan – Greatness over “SrIvaikuNtanAthan” is highlighted. The greatness of thiruvaNvaNdUr nAthan is unlike that of SrIvaikuNtanAthan who remains in paramapadham enjoying fragrant sandal paste while the strong torment the weak. The invigorating town where the chants of the hymns and the fire sacrifices are well heard.
  • gyAlam ellAm uNda nam perumAnaik kaNdu – When he descends with such supremacy, would he also carry along his unhelpful attitude? No, here in thiruvaNvaNdUr, he is the protector and the companion during danger.
  • nam perumAnaik kaNdu – Seeing the one who showed his act of protecting during danger and accepted me exclusively.
  • pAdham kai thozhudhu – Paying obeisances at the divine feet. parAnguSa nAyaki said “kaigaL kUppi” (joining the palms) in previous pAsuram. Those who are worshipping cannot simply stand [they will fall at the divine feet at once]. Previous AchAryas explain “Praying and not paying obeisances is like strangling one’s neck while he is eating”. nanjIyar mercifully explains “Only when I pay obeisances to a respectful SrIvaishNava, would I feel like being relieved from hunger after eating”. Alternative explanation [bhattar’s view] – parAnguSa nAyaki tells the crane, you go and fall at his divine feet such that your hands hit his divine feet highlighting my praNaya rOsham (romantic anger)”.
  • paNiyIr – She cannot say the angry words to the crane [AchArya] as she would say to emperumAn. So, she is addressing them respectfully.
  • adiyEn – I am not a servitor to the one who is going to accept me through you but a servitor to you who are going to eliminate my loss and unite me with him as said in sthOthra rathnam 2nithya yadhIya charaNau SaraNam madhIyam” (SrIman nAthamunigaL’s divine feet are always my refuge).
  • adiyEn thiRamE – My situation is not the same as his. You explain my situation to him, and it can last as long as mahAbhAratham.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 11 – kadai ninRu

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avathArikai

emperumAn asks AzhwAr “you are saying ‘protect me’ and putting all the responsibility on my head. Shouldn’t there be some benefit or the other with you also?” to which AzhwAr responds saying “one can attain other deities and ask for very low benefits only such as swargam (heaven); is it possible for one to know about you, who are absolutely unquantifiable, and attain you?  Who can know about your divine feet and attain you, who can remove the sorrows of having attained other deities? Who can attain you, after knowing your simplicity?”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

kadai ninRu amarar kazhal thozhudhu nALum
idai ninRa inbaththarAvar pudai ninRa
nIrOdha mEni nedumAlE nin adiyai
yArOdha vallAr avar

Word by Word Meaning

(samsAris (dwellers of materialistic realm))
amarar kadai ninRu – standing at the doorstep of other deities
nALum – at all times
kazhal thozhudhu – falling at (their) feet

(without realising salvation)
idai ninRa inbaththar Avar – they will realise the pleasures lying in-between (such as heaven etc)
pudai ninRa nIr Odham mEni nedumAlE – Oh the supreme being who is having the form of ocean which is surrounding this world!
nin adiyai – your divine feet
Odha vallAr avar yAr – is there anyone who can think of? (there is no one)

vyAkyAnam

kadai ninRu – standing at the door step of various deities at the places of their dwelling. kadai  – door step.

amarar – these deities are called as amarar (immortals) as they live for a few years longer [than we]. vEdham says “na brahmA nESAna:…” (not brahmA, not ISan [the deity for creation and destruction as ordained by emperumAn] have seen SrIvaikuNtam). Not realising that these deities also get destroyed one day, the samsAri [dweller of materialistic realm] thinks that they are immortals.

amarar kazhal thozhudhu – the samsAri keeps falling at the feet of such deities, one after another. These deities, unlike emperumAn, are not capable of granting all wishes of a samsAri. Hence the samsAri keeps falling at the feet of each of these deities to get each wish granted.

nALum thozhudhu – these deities keep asking for various things to satisfy themselves such as infant or goat or rooster etc and are difficult to worship. Thus, until they grant him his wish, the samsAri has to keep holding on to their feet, for a long time. These deities are unlike emperumAn who had mercifully said in SrI bhagavath gIthA 9-26pathram pushpam palam thOyam…” (worship me with a leaf, or a flower or a fruit or water). Even after worshipping them in such a hard way, what can these deities grant?

idai ninRa inbaththar Avar – they [those who worship these deities] will get to experience comfort in swargam (heaven) which is neither here nor there, and is more of a hurdle. They do not enjoy you as in paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam) like mukthars and nithyars. They do not stay here (on earth) like us, worshipping you and expecting to reach SrIvaikuNtam soon. Since it [heaven] is a place full of egotists and they stay for a long time, as said in mudhal thiruvandhAdhi 56kadikkamalaththil uLLirundhum kANgilAn kaNNan adikkamalam thannai ayan” (even though brahmA is residing in the fragrant lotus flower which grows out of emperumAn’s navel, he does not get to worship the divine feet of emperumAn) they do not worship you to get uplifted and merely enjoy the mediocre comforts such as swargam etc. How ignorant is this!

But why do they carry out such a foolish act? It is because they do not know your greatness, says the AzhwAr

pudai ninRa nIrOdha mEni – AzhwAr mercifully describes about the divine form of emperumAn which removes the ennui of those who have dharSan (audience) of his divine form. His divine form has the complexion of the ocean which surrounds the earth. Is it only the divine form?

nedumAlE – Oh one who has immeasurable greatness of AthmasvarUpam (nature of emperumAn’s soul)!

nin adiyai OdhavallAr avar yAr – Is there anyone here who, knowing that you are greater than everyone else, attains your divine feet as the ultimate benefit through worship etc? There are many in this world who attain other deities for lowly benefits. The opinion here is that even among those who worship emperumAn, there are very few who consider him as both the means and the benefit. Hasn’t emperumAn himself said in bhagavath gIthA 7-19 “vAsudhEvas sarvam ithi sa mahAthmA sudhurlabha:” (those great souls who consider emperumAn as everything are very rare)!

There is another interpretation to this pAsuram.

amarar – other deities such as brahmA, rudhra et al

kadai ninRu – holding on to the door of your temple

kazhal thozhudhu – worshipping your divine feet

nALum idai ninRa inbaththar Avar – instead of enjoying you as the ultimate goal, they will seek positions such as brahmA, rudhra, indhra etc, similar to asking for loin cloth from a wish fulfilling tree such as kaRpakam (a celestial tree). AzhwAr feels sad about the ignorance of such people. Hasn’t nammAzhwAr too divinely mentioned in his thiruviruththam 92 “ninnai viNNOr thAL nilam thOyndhu thozhuvar nin mUrththi pal kURRil onRum kANalum aNgol enRE vaigal mAlaiyum kAlaiyumE” (the celestial entities will worship you everyday both in the morning and in the evening, with their feet firmly rooted to the ground [so that you would get rid of their enemies and] not because they wish to see one of your varied forms)! nammAzhwAr conveyed the same meaning in bhUdhaththAzhwAr’s verse “nin adiyai yAr Odha vallAr” in his verse “nin mUrththi pal kURRil onRum kANalum Angol enRE

We shall take up the 12th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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thiruvAimozhi – 6.1.1 – vaigal pUngazhivAy

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Full series >> Sixth Centum >> First decad

Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the first pAsuram, parAnguSa nAyaki looks at some storks and requests them to go to thiruvaNvaNdUr and inform her state to the emperumAn there.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

In the first pAsuram, parAnguSa nAyaki thinks “emperumAn, the lord, who showed his beauty and made me exist exclusively for him, may be focussed on something else due to the richness in thiruvaNvaNdUr”, and sends the storks which were nearby as her messengers.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

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

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

pAsuram

vaigal pUngazhivAy vandhu mEyum kurginangAL!
sey koL sennel uyar thiruvaNvaNdUr uRaiyum
kai koL chakkaraththu en kani vAyp perumAnaik kaNdu
kaigaL kUppich cholleer vinaiyAttiyEn kAdhanmaiyE

Listen

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

vaigal – always
pU – beautiful
kazhivAy – in canal close to the ocean
vandhu – appearing in front of me
mEyum – grazing
kuruginangAL – oh group of storks!
sey – fertile land
koL – covering
sen nel – fresh paddy
uyar – growing tall
thiruvaNvaNdUr – in thiruvaNvaNdUr
uRaiyum – one who is eternally residing

(to be enjoyed by his devotees)
kai – in the hand
koL – seated
chakkaram – having the divine chakra
en – attracted me through such beauty and let me enjoy that
kani – [reddish] fruit like
vAy – having beautiful lips
perumAnai – the paramaSEshi (great lord, who accepted me as his exclusive servitor)
kaNdu – see
kaigaL kUppi – performing the action of a servitor matching his lordship
vinaiyAttiyEn – I who am having the sin which has caused this separation from him, my
kAdhanmai – great love
solleer – inform.

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

Oh group of storks who are appearing in front of me in the beautiful canal close to the ocean and grazing there! You go and see the paramaSEshi who is eternally residing in thiruvaNvaNdUr, where the fresh paddy grows tall and covers the fertile land, who is having fruit like beautiful lips, who is having the divine chakra seated in his hand and who attracted me through such beauty and let me enjoy that; you perform the action of a servitor matching his lordship; and you inform him about my love, I who am having the sin which has caused this separation from him. For the birds, kaigaL kUppudhal (joining the palm) means waving their wings. With this, the proximity of gatakas (AchAryas) due to being present in the same place [as we] and the activity towards the apt lord are implied.

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

  • vaigal – I am separated [from emperumAn] due to not having you all reaching the compassionate one [emperumAn]; I am feeling that I can remedy all my loss through you. Unlike emperumAn who united once and then separated from me, I am fortunate to be with you always here! How great is your compassion!
  • vaigal – everyday.
  • pUm kazhivAy – In beautiful canal. Also explained as canal with blossomed flowers. You [storks] are appearing when the rakshaka (protectors) have discarded me and there is abundance of those entities which harm us [even enjoyable aspects feel to be harming when in separation]. Beautiful garden, cool southerly breeze, nice fragrance are all present. Not only emperumAn who is separated, is harming, even the place where we are present is harming.
  • vandhu – As said in SrI rAmAyaNam bAla kANdam 1.58 “pampA thIrE hanumathA sangatha:” (SrI rAma united with hanumAn on the banks of pampA river). Just as you have arrived here when I am at the stage of sending messenger, and just as mother’s appearance will be soothing for a child who lost everything, thiruvadi (hanuman) appeared when SrI rAma was anguishing in separation of sIthA. hanumathA – It is implying that when SrI rAma was weakened in separation, thinking “who will help us”, he united with the valourous hanuman. vAnarENa – Unlike rAvaNa who assumed the form of an ascetic to take away sIthA and caused the separation, SrI rAma united with hanumAn who is honest [and willing to help, even though he himself had assumed an ascetic form]. ha – rishi (sage vAlmeeki) is celebrating the union. He is feeling blissful that they united to enjoy and feeling happy that they found some one who would care for their survival.
  • vandhu – Unlike him to whom I have to send messengers, you have arrived without my invitation. He needs to be awakened for her cause by sending messengers. These storks are similar to those who share the food and bed [very close friends] and go as messengers.
  • mEyum – As said in mahAbhAratham udhyOga parvam “gruhE bhuktham aSangitham” (karNa tells krishNa – at home, everyone ate without any shyness).
  • kuruginangAL – What a union as said in [the same SlOkam quoted previously from] mahAbhAratham udhyOga parvam “dharSithAni kaLathrANi” (the wives were shown).
  • vandhu mEyum … – Their nature is similar to those who along with their wives and children visit their natural [unconditional/close] relatives and joyfully eat at their place. The task is indicated by “kuruginangAL – kaikUppich cholleer” (Oh storks! Join your palms and inform him). Previous AchArayas [before bhattar] explained this decad saying that in the tenth pAsuram parAnguSa nAyaki is speaking with praNaya rOsham (romantic quarrel). bhattar mercifully explained that all pAsurams are explained with praNaya rOsham.
  • vandhu mEyum kuruginangAL – kaigaL kUppich cholleer – Also, should you keep working to help others [being in AzhwAr’s association]? Should you not perform your own activities [like going to emperumAn and speaking to him on AzhwAr’s behalf]? Should you, who are healthy, not help me, who am weakened due to fasting [in separation]?
  • sey koL sem nel – His nature is as said in SrIvishNu purANam 5.18.15 “mathurAm prApya gOvindha: katham gOkulam Eshyathi| nagarasthrI kalAlAbamathu SrOthrENa pAsyathi ||” (How will krishNa return to gOkulam after reaching mathurA? He will be listening to honey like sweet songs of the city dwelling damsels”. Will he, who is captivated by the enjoyability of thiruvaNvaNdur, think about us?
  • sey koL sem nel – Just one paddy itself appears to cover the whole field.
  • uyar – Since there is no limit, the paddy crop grows very tall. It is growing tall to reach the abode [paramapadham (spiritual realm)] of those who say as in thaiththirIya upanishath “aham annam” (I am enjoyed by bhagavAn as food).
  • thiruvaNvaNdUr uRaiyum – The abode which need not be called out as said in thiruvAimozhi 5.10.1seydhu pOna mAyangaLum” (his amazing ways of completing the purpose of his incarnation and returning to his divine radiant abode) [he is permanently residing in thiruvaNvaNdUr]. That is – the difference between archA forms and incarnations.
  • kai koL chakkraththu – Similar to the fresh paddy [which is a decoration for the field]. The chakra being the ornament for the hand.
  • en kani vAy – One who gave his smile as the complete food for me.
  • perumAn – One who sustained my life by showing his lips and accepted me as his servant.
  • kai koL chakkaraththu en kani vAyp perumAn – Similar to being won over by the multiple rings in the same finger of princes.
  • perumAn – She became fully captivated by his reddish lips and the combination of his hand and chakra, and offered her fully to him.
  • kaNdu – You are going to enjoy the aspects which I desired to enjoy in him. For those who are associated with parAnguSa nAyaki, their result is attained even before she attains it. This can be observed in the life of SrI vibhIshaNa et al [for example, hanuman who was sent by sugrIva to investigate SrI rAma and lakshmaNa, got to see them first even before sugrIva could see].
  • kaigaL kUppi – Don’t consider yourself to be superior thinking about your royal heritage [of being part of the prapanna kulam (the group of great devotees)]. He is not the same old person we knew, but he is to be greatly respected. Offer your worships to him. She is of the nature as said in thiruvAimozhi 5.3.7thalaiyil vaNangavum Am kolO” (can we bow with our head?) and her entourage too is similar to her.
  • solleer – On seeing you bow in front of him, he will look at your face. At that time you can tell him whatever is needed for you. Though he may have something lacking in his romantic aspects, he will still have his true nature [of honouring those who worship him].
  • solleer – You please tell him everything starting with my bodily paleness [due to separation], my anguish etc to make him aware.

When asked “Should I not inform him these in a poem?”,

  • kAdhanmai solleer – [Just inform him my great love] If you speak about my great love, he will consider that he too has such great love towards me; he remains “if there are two matching entities, the effect of such entities should also be matching [both emperumAn and parAnguSa nAyaki have equal love towards each other]”. Like other greatness, the anguish in separation of parAnguSa nAyaki is greater.
  • vinaiyAttiyEn kAdhanmai solleer – If he thinks “this is the distance between my abode and her abode”, I have so much sin that I cannot think the same way “this is the distance between my abode and his abode”. Though emperumAn is able to sustain himself in her absence, I have committed sin that makes me unable to sustain in his absence. Also, I did not get the opportunity [like sIthAp pirAtti] to explain my plight to him through a messenger who came from him.
  • vinaiyAttiyEn kAdhal solleer – The love of tender-hearted is not the same as that of the hard-hearted; inform him my love which is even greater than that of the tender-hearted. parAnguSa nAyaki tells the storks – only due to lack of a messenger he has not arrived yet, if you go and inform him, he will certainly come.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 10 – pErththanai mAsagadam

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avathArikai

AzhwAr says – this being the position, I should have had the devotion that yaSOdhA pirAtti had towards you. Even though I did not have love towards you to that extent, I had an involvement with you. He pleads with emperumAn to have mercy on him so that the lowliness of having to fall at the feet of other dhEvathAs for eons should not recur.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

pErththanai mAsagadam piLLaiyAy maNNirandhu
kAththanai palluyirum kAvalanE Eththiya
nAvudaiyEn pUvudaiyEn ninuLLi ninRamaiyAl
kAvadiyEn patta kadai

Word by Word Meaning

kAvalanE – Oh, the omni-protector!
piLLaiyAy – as a child
mA sagadam – a huge wheel (inside which a demon had entered)
pErththanai – you kicked it such that it was destroyed completely
maN – the world
irandhu – taking alms (from mahAbali)

(stroking it with your divine feet to make it comfortable)
pal uyirum – all the AthmAs (souls)
kAththanai – mercifully protected
nin – your (such a protector)
uLLi ninRamaiyAl – since thinking of (as protector)
Eththiya nA udaiyEn – I am having a tongue which worships you as its nature
pU udaiyEn – I am having flowers (fit for worshiping you)

(Moreover)
adiyEn – having a great status as being your servitor
patta – having suffered (attaining other deities)
kadai – lowliness
kA – you have to remove

vyAkyAnam

pErththanai mAsagadam piLLaiyAy – even when you were a little child, you destroyed a huge wheel which could not be moved, by kicking it.

mA sagadam – huge wheel. AzhwAr is afraid as to what will happen [to emperumAn] if this wheel comes and gives him difficulties. This was an activity carried out by emperumAn even before he had become a youth.

maN irandhu kAththanai pal uyirum – even as mahAbali seized the worlds which were your possession, you took the role of a mendicant for the sake of indhra (head of celestial persons), sought the worlds as alms and with your divine feet, caressed the heads of all chEthanas (sentient entities) and uplifted them.

kAvalanE – the reason for carrying out the [above-mentioned] deed is that you are the protector.  Thus, while protecting is the quality of the protector, the quality of those protected is to carry out kainkaryam (service) to the protector. His activity is that of a protector and my activity is that of a servitor.

When asked as to what he was going to carry out, AzhwAr responds saying

nin uLLi ninRamaiyAl – since I am involved with you, who are having such a quality [of being a protector]

Eththiya nA udaiyEn pU udaiyEn – I am having a tongue which will recite hymns about you and a body with which I can carry out bodily service to you. AzhwAr says that he has a tongue and hence he can carry out servitorship to emperumAn.

Ehthiya nA udaiyEN – I have a tongue which will praise emperumAn without having to wait for me to give it orders to do so.

pU udaiyEn – I have flowers too with which I can carry out service to you.

nin uLLi niRamaiyAL Eththiya nA udaiyEn pU udaiyEn – since I attained you, I became endowed with abundance of limbs and materials with which to worship you. Since I thought of emperumAn who is fit to be attained, I do not have any shortcoming. Even then, there is something which you have to do….

kA adiyEn patta kadai – you have to mercifully bless me, your follower, so that the lowliness that I have been accruing because of carrying out service to other deities who are not fit for those, will not come my way hereafter.

adiyEn patta kadai  kA – I, who am having the pride of being your servitor.  You have to mercifully ensure that I, who now have the greatness of being your servitor, do not suffer the lowliness of being the servitor to others.

adiyEn patta kadai – how can I describe how I suffered by falling at the feet of other deities, when I belong only to emperumAn?

We shall move on to the 11th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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