Daily Archives: January 28, 2018

thiruvAimozhi – 6.5 – thuvaLil

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Full series >> Sixth Centum

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thiruththolaivillimangalam – dhEvarpirAn, nAchchiyArs and nammAzhwAr

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

See nampiLLai’s introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

See nampiLLai’s introduction.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

In the fifth decad – previously, having been immersed in krishNa’s activities and becoming blissful, AzhwAr’s internal experience matured and triggered the desire for external experience. But due to not acquiring such external experience, AzhwAr became distressed and started recollecting previous experience of emperumAn in the following aspects:

  1. sarvESvaran being with distinguished symbols
  2. his distinguished enjoyability
  3. his activities for the protection [of his devotees]
  4. his having an attractive form
  5. his radiant ornaments etc
  6. his easily visible beauty
  7. his generous nature
  8. his having lotus-eyes which highlights his supremacy
  9. his ability to eliminate the hurdles
  10. his great attachment

Seeing the state of AzhwAr who is having great attachment towards such emperumAn, those who previously nurtured his attachment try to disrupt his meditation seeing his distress. And those who know AzhwAr’s nature tell them “if you who first nurtured his attachment and now stop him, you will end up being disliked by him” and explain his great attachment towards emperumAn. AzhwAr is mercifully singing this scenario in the following manner – [AzhwAr in feminine mood as parAnguSa nAyaki] a consort of dhEvapirAn, emperumAn of thiruththolaivillimangalam dhivya dhESam who enjoyed and was immersed in him. Seeing her attachment, her mothers bring her to dhEvapirAn and make her worship his divine feet. Subsequently, seeing her overwhelming attachment, they try to stop her engagement with him. Seeing this, her dear friend who knows her heart explains her emotions to her mothers saying “When you first engaged her with him, did you do it without any desire? Now, you give up your attachment towards her [and let her go to emperumAn]”.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nampiLLai‘s introduction.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s introduction

Before and after this decad, AzhwAr praised emperumAn; in this decad, he speaks about himself.  As per simhAvalOkana nyAyam [logic of lion walking back and forth to inspect the situation], AzhwAr is speaking in the mood of some one else, the great attachment he acquired in bhagavath vishayam starting from thiruviruththam 1st pAsuram “poynninRa gyAnamum” (false knowledge) until now. All our mudhaligaL (Acharyas, elders) would greatly like this decad saying “this decad is revealing AzhwAr’s nature”. Only AzhwAr who was blessed with divine wisdom by bhagavAn’s mercy to speak effortlessly about emperumAn who was said in thaiththirIya upanishath as “yathO vAchO nivarthanthE” (The speech returned unable to understand and glorify emperumAn), could speak about his own nature too.

When SrIjanakarAjan thirumagaL (sIthAp pirAtti) was born, expert astrologers were invited and asked “How will she live?”, they said “She will have no shortcoming in her life; she will marry an emperor of the universe; yet she will have to live in the forest”; similarly when this girl (parAnguSa nAyaki) was born, her mother and others invited learned scholars and asked “How will she live?”; they replied “everything will be fine in the end; but there is a great danger for her; if she survives that, she will live prosperously. That is, if you don’t bring her to thiruththolaivillimangalam, she will survive”. But their clan is of the nature that they will bring  her to thiruththolaivillimangalam even at the cost of losing her; they are of the nature that “let her go there and be finished”. Only when sIthAp pirAtti did not have to go through vanavAsam (time in forest), she too will not enter thiruththolaivillimangalam. SrI naLa’s words should be recollected. [When he was asked “Is it possible for us to build a bridge with rocks on the ocean?] SrI naLa said “Is it conceivable that perumAL (SrI rAma) could mercifully go to the forest, pirAtti could be captured by the demoniac rAvaNa, and perumAL feel anguished? If such things can happen, this could happen too”.

Even though dhEhAthmAbhimAnis (those who consider body as soul) acquire vast knowledge, they still cannot change their thinking from “sthUlOham kruSOham” (I am thin, I am fat); similarly, AzhwAr too cannot be pulled back from dhivya dhESams even if various faults are identified in such abodes. Those who are attached to lowly pleasures cannot be pulled back by highlighting them as “adharmam” (unrighteous), “pazhi” (shame) and “mEl narakam” (this will lead to hell subsequently). Here, since AzhwAr’s attachment is in the matter which has so many auspicious qualities, he cannot be pulled back highlighting any faults. Even if some one sets out to highlight the faults, they will end up highlighting the good qualities only. That will only lead to [more] attachment. parAnguSa nAyaki’s faith is so firm that even if there is shame and disrespect, she will not give up. If such is the case, why are they [mother and others] trying to pull her back? They are being fearful thinking “she is not matured enough, yet she is having great attachment towards emperumAn; what if such desire consumes her and we lose her?”.

[Another reason for their attempt to pull her back] Now, since great attachment is generally seen in sAdhakas (those who practice bhakthi yOga, upAsana etc which are based on self effort], they would try to pull her back fearing “what shall we do if she is pursuing emperumAn having such sAdhanA as means?”; [but] she thinks “only if such attachment crosses the limit of the true nature of self [of being totally dependent on him], it will become a means”. She thinks “If we accept the difference in the true nature [of bhagavAn and self, being lord and servitor], should we not accept the acts which align with such nature?”. [That is] As being the means fits the nature of SEshi [bhagavAn, lord], having great attachment fits the nature of SEShabhUtha [AzhwAr, servitor].

Now, what is the connection between previous decad and this decad? [bhattar’s explanation] As the water that is being drunk could cause hiccups and lead to a helpless state, while enjoying the qualities of krishNa, that experience itself leads to a different taste [archAvathAra emperumAn], and AzhwAr is speaking his anguish in the mood of someone else. That is, starting from thiruviruththam 1 “poynninRa gyAnam” until here, as he did not experience emperumAn fully, here he is mercifully explaining the great attachment. [pUrvAchAryas’ explanation] Alternatively, AzhwAr’s experience in previous decad was just an internal experience, and AzhwAr acquired the desire for external experience and became anguished on not acquiring the external experience which is explained by him in the mood of someone else [a consort in separation of her lord].

Though they [mother and others] knew her nature, without realizing the situation, brought her to thiruththolaivillimangalam and she started reciting “aravindhalOchana”, “dhEvapirAn” and emperumAn’s qualities such as simplicity, supremacy and his distinguished forms; seeing her state, they came to her friend thinking “we may lose her”, and told her “you know about her fully; you should identify the means to bring her back”; her friend said “first you triggered her attachment towards him and now what is the use in desiring to pull her back? As you are unable to pull her back, just give up your attachment towards her; instead of stopping her, you too help her to be uplifted!”. When the mother asks, it is the friend who is speaking; in bhagavath vishayam there is no concept of “old and new”; those who are dhESika (those who know the truth) can speak and those who are interested can listen.

[SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 86.1 is highlighted as example for newer devotee instructing an existing devotee] SrI guhap perumAL explained the good qualities of iLaiya perumAL to SrI bharathAzhwAn as seen in “AchachakshE’tha sadhbhAvam lakshmaNasya mahAthmana:”.

  • AchachakshE – He could speak about the glories which are beyond the ability of speech.
  • atha – He spoke after knowing the greatness of SrI bharathAzhwAn.
  • sadhbhAvam – He explained lakshmaNa’s nature and qualities as said in SrI rAmAyaNam bAla kANdam 18.27 “bAlyAth prabruthi susnigdha:” (being very loving towards SrI rama since childhood) and in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 15.7 “paravAnasmi” (I am totally dependent on SrI rAma).
  • lakshmaNasya mahAthmana: – He started fetching water from the ocean using his hands [lakshmaNa’s glories are so vast].
  • bharathAya apramEyAya – There is no restriction that only certain persons can instruct certain other persons.
  • guhO gahana gOchara: – guha who dwells in forest knowing the nature of the various varieties of trees, now became an expert in knowing about SrI lakshmaNa and SrI bharathAzhwAn. Alternative explanation – guha who had fallen apart and stayed in bushes due to separation from SrI rAma, became bold, speaking about SrI lakshmaNa to SrI bharathAzhwAn, after having met dhESika [SrI lakshmaNa].


Each pAsuram is discussed subsequently.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 82 – vadikkOla vAL nedungaN

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AzhwAr says “Is it that I saw only that beautiful form?”. In this pAsuram he says that he also saw pirAtti, who has a matching form for emperumAn, along with him. In the previous pAsuram he said that he got to see nArAyaNa. In this pAsuram he says that he saw him together with thirumagaL (mahAlakshmi). It is not the brahmachAri (bachelor) nArAyaNa, but thirunArAyaNa (SrIman nArAyaNa) that he saw. Just as radiance is to sun, pirAtti is for emperumAn and hence he says that he saw emperumAn with radiance.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

vadikkOla vAL nedungaN mAmalarAL sevvip
padikkOlam kaNdagalAL pannAL adikkOli
gyAlaththAL pinnum nalam purindhadhu enkolO
kOlaththAl illai kuRai

Word by Word Meaning

vadikkOlam – having filtered (pure) beauty
vAl nedum kaN – having divine sweet eyes which are shining
mA malarAL – periya pirAttiyAr (SrI mahAlakshmi) who was born in a great lotus flower
sevvi padik kOlam – having a natural beauty which is appropriate [referring to emperumAn]
kaNdu – enjoying with her divine eyes
pal nAL agalAL – is always together with emperumAn, without separating from him even for a moment
pinnum – even after seeing periya pirAttiyAr being engaged with the beautiful form of emperumAn
gyAlaththAL – bhUmippirAtti (bhUdhEvi)
adikkOli – being ecstatic
nalam purindhadhu enkolO – why is she nurturing her desire for emperumAn?
kOlaththAl kuRai illai – (despite many people enjoying) there is no shortcoming in the beauty (since emperumAn has unlimited beauty, there is no embargo on many persons desiring his beauty at the same time)


vadikkOlam – pirAtti’s beauty is such that it is fully filtered so that there is no fault in it and only the pure form of beauty is present. nanjIyar (preceptor of the commentator nampiLLai) will ask as to whose beauty is the one which is made from the residue (of pirAtti’s beauty) (The opinion here is that it is emperumAn’s beauty which is made from the residual beauty of pirAtti’s). emperumAn’s beauty is such that all the other beautiful forms in the world are faulty in comparison with his while pirAtti’s beauty is such that emperumAn’s beauty is faulty in comparison with hers.

vAL negungaN mAmalarAL – pirAtti is such that she has this faultless beauty, is radiant and has wide, expansive divine eyes (vAL here means radiance). She is the personification of sweetness.  Her eyes have one target and one person. Even those who enjoy this cannot see the boundary for this beauty. Has it not been said in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 16-14 “thrailOkyarAjyam sakalam sIthAyA: nApnuyAth kalAm” (even the entire three worlds cannot match a part of sIthA pirAtti’s beauty)! The term vAL nedungaN implies that her eyes have the filtered portion out of the filtered beauty of her divine form.

mA malarAL – pirAtti has fragrance as her causative factor. She has the softness and fragrance of lotus flower.

sevvip padikkOlam kaNdu agalAL pannAL – looking at the divine form of emperumAn which is beauty personified, she will not leave him even for a moment.

sevvi refers to the freshness of the flower which has just blossomed.

padikkOlam refers to his beauty which is referred to as “arumbinai alarai ” (budding flower, about to blossom) in thriuvAimozhi 7-10-1 and as “sadhaika rUparUpAya” (having unchanging form) in SrI vishNu purANam. Even as periya pirAtti is constantly enjoying his beautiful form, she will not leave him even for a moment as mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 6-10-10 “iRaiyum agalagillEn”(cannot separate even for a moment). She will not feel satisfied even after seeing and enjoying  emperumAn for a very long time and will not leave him. Is it because she has no other alternative? No, it is because she cannot take her eyes off him and cannot move away from him and will continue to enjoy him.

Even while periya pirAttiyAr is like this

adikkOli gyAlaththAL – bhUmip pirAtti (bhUdhEvi), with lot of desire, got in to enjoy emperumAn. While periya pirAtti enjoys only emperumAn, bhUmip pirAtti enjoys both emperumAn and periya pirAtti. Consistent with this, she enters with lot of expectation. For periya pirAtti’s eyes, the target is only emperumAn while for bhUmip pirAtti, since the target is double with the union of emperumAn and periya pirAtti, her longing is twice as much.

gyAlaththAL – epitome of patience.

pinnum nalam purindhadhu enkolO – In a deep water body [lake or river or ocean] when an expert in swimming struggles to stay afloat, the person in the shore should not enter that place and instead, plan to move away. periya pirAtti, unable to enjoy emperumAn fully, struggles but bhUmip pirAtti decides to enter the fray. When periya pirAtti, who is far superior to everyone else, herself struggles to enjoy emperumAn, bhUmip pirAtti, instead of moving away from the place, engages with emperumAn. What is the reason for this?

kOlaththAl illai kuRai – For the people in the world, the beauty will be such that even two people will be one too many to enjoy that beauty. But emperumAn’s beauty which is without any shortcoming is such that, unlike the former case, anyone who comes to him will immerse in it. The beauty of his divine form will attract even those who are on the shores. Even when her nose and ears were cut off, did not sUrpaNakA describe the beauty of rAma and lakshmaNa, as in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 19-14 “tharuNau rUpa sampannau” (they are young and beautiful)! Due to her ill thoughts, she went the wrong way. People will be caught in emperumAn’s divine form in whatever state they are in. In samsAram, there isn’t enough beauty for one person to enjoy another. Thus if there are many people, it leads to fight. However, in the case of emperumAn, his greatness is such that many people can enter the river [of emperumAn] to enjoy him. All that is required is a sense of longing to enjoy him.

We shall take up the 83rd pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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