Monthly Archives: March 2018

mUnRAm thiruvandhAdhi – 33 – pALaganAy Alilai mEl

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avathArikai

AzhwAr says that emperumAn, who is like this, gives whatever is asked of to those who ask for them. He says that emperumAn’s possessions are all only for others.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings.

pAlaganAy Alilai mEl paiya ulagellAm
mEloru nAL uNdavanE meymmaiyE mAlavanE
mandharaththAl mAnIrkkadal kadaindhu vAnamudham
andharaththArkkIndhAy nI anRu

Word by Word Meanings

mEl oru nAL – once upon a time
pAlaganAy – in the form of an infant
Al ilai mEl – on top of a tender banyan leaf
ulagu ellAm – all the worlds
paiya – slowly
meymmaiyE – truly
uNdavanE – Oh one who ate and reclined!
mAlavanE – Oh the great one!
nI – you, who are like these
anRu – on that day
mandharaththAl – with the manthara hill [a celestial hill]
mA nIr kadal kadaindhu – churning the ocean which has huge quantity of water
vAn amudham – the great nectar
andharaththArkku – to dhEvas (celestial entities)
IndhAy – you offered

vyAkyanam

pAlaganAy – taking the form of an infant so that some people will have sympathy on him

Alilai mEl – atop a tender banyan leaf which had just then sprouted

mEl orun nAL uNdavanE – when deluge showed itself, you kept all the worlds inside your stomach and protected so that the worlds would not face hurdles from the deluge

ulagellAm paiya uNdu – keeping the worlds in the divine stomach slowly so that they would not hit against each other

meymmaiyEAzhwAr says that truly there was no fault in this activity. Unlike clairvoyants who carry out some magical acts [with the sleight of their hands], did not emperumAn truly carry out this deed [of keeping the worlds in his divine stomach]!

mAlavanEmAl refers to greatness. Oh supreme being! No one can estimate the extent of activities carried out by you

mandharaththAL mA nIr kadal kadaindhu – churning the huge ocean with the [celestial] mountain manthara as the staff.

vAn amudham – the potent nectar; in other words, the nectar which has the power to provide permanency to the physical form; the nectar which would give life to dhEvas (celestial entities) so that they would not face old age, death etc.

andharaththArkku IndhAy nI anRu – you gave nectar to dhEvas who dwell in suvargam (heaven). dhEvas are referred to as andharaththAr since they are neither in samsAram which is down below nor in SrivaikuNtam which is far above, but somewhere in between the two, like a loft for samsAram fastening themselves to samsAram (remaining in samsAram by taking nectar, without having to face death).

meymmaiyEAzhwAr is amazed that emperumAn truly swallowed the worlds during the time of deluge, protecting them, and churned the oceans to offer nectar to dhEvas, without any trace of magic.

We will take up the 34th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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siRiya thirumadal

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vayalAli maNavALan with thAyAr

thirumangai AzhwAr with kumudhavalli nAchchiyAr

thirumangai AzhwAr has composed a beautiful prabandham named siRiya thirumadal. In this prabandham, he is feeling the separation from emperumAn and due to the great sorrow in separation, he assumes a feminine mood (as parakAla nAyaki) and performs madal [madal is an activity where the man/woman would hurl accusations on his/her beloved in the hopes to convince the other person for marriage].

periyavAchchAn piLLai

periyavAchchAn piLLai has composed a beautiful commentary for this prabandham. Let us enjoy this wonderful prabandham with the help of this commentary,

Translation by santhAna rAmAnuja dhAsan

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mUnRAm thiruvandhAdhi – 32 – pARkadalum vEngadamum

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avathArikai

AzhwAr says that there is no limit to the divine abodes where emperumAn, who is this simple, has taken residence.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

pARkadalaum vEngadamum pAmbum panivisumbum
nURkadalum nuNNUlathAmari mEl pARpattu
irundhAr manamum idamAgak koNdAn
kurundhu osiththa gOpAlagan

Word by Word Meanings

kurundhu – the kurundham tree (a variety of tree growing along the bank of river yamunA)
osiththa – one who snapped it and destroyed it
gOpAlagan – kaNNapirAn (krishNa) who tends to cows
pARkadalum – thiruppARkadal (milky ocean)
vEngadamum – thiruvEngadam hills
pAmbum – thiruvananthAzhwAn (AdhiSEshan)
panivisumbum – paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam) which is very cool (without the heat from samsAram casting its shadow)
nURkadalum – SAsthras which are like the expansive ocean
nuN nUla thAmarai mElpAL pattirundhAr manamum – the hearts of yOgis (those who carry out penance) who focus their sensory perceptions on the lotus-like heart which is mentioned in those subtle SAsthras
idam Agak koNdAn – has taken these as his places of dwelling

vyAkyanam

pARkadalum – thiruppARkadal (milky ocean)

vEngadamum – thiruvEngadam hills

pAmbum – thiruvananthAzhwAn (AdhiSEshan)

pani visumbum – the sweet SrIvaikuNtam which is cool, without a trace of the heat which is emanating from samsAram (materialistic realm)

nURkadalaum – the sea of knowledge. The sea of ithihAsa (great epics such as SrI rAmAyaNa and mahAbhAratha) and purANas (ancient literature describing emperumAn).

nuN nUla thAmarai mElpAl pattirundhAr manamum – Just as it is mentioned in thaiththirIya upanishath nArAyaNavalli “padhmakOSaprathIkASam hrudhaynchApyadhOmukham” (heart which is like the inverted lotus) the hearts of those who know that emperumAn resides in the lotus-like hearts of people, as known only from SAsthras. The hearts of yOgis who focus their sensory perceptions on the place revealed by SAsthras as lotus-like heart.

idamAgak koNdAn – one who has these places as his dwelling abode.

Who is this?

kurundhu osiththa gOpAlagan – kaNNan (krishNa) who has the characteristic of destroying enemies. AzhwAr is amazed that emperumAn, who has such greatness, appears as such a simple entity to him.

We will move on to the 33rd pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruvAimozhi – 6.7.9 – kAriyam nallanagaL

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Full series >> Sixth Centum >> Seventh decad

Previous pAsuram

Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the ninth pAsuram, parAnguSa nAyaki‘s mother says “My daughter who is greatly attached to emperumAn, is considering the accusations thrown at her by the residents of the town as her companion and is going to thirukkOLUr”.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

Subsequently, parAnguSa nAyaki‘s mother says “My daughter who considers anything good she sees to be existing for krishNa, who is easily accessible to her, is ignoring the accusations of the residents of the town, and is going to thirukkOLUr”.

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

kAriyam nallanagaL avai kANil en kaNNanukkenRu
IriyAy iruppAL idhellAm kidakka inip pOy
sEri pal pazhi thUuy iraippath thirukkOLUrkkE
nErizhai nadandhAL emmai onRum ninaiththilaLE

Listen

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

nallanagaL – good
kAriyam – that which is known [having form, name]
avai – objects
kANil – when seen
en – one who is obedient to me
kaNNanukku – for krishNa
enRu – saying that
IriyAy – kind-hearted
iruppAL – one who is
nEr – thin
izhai – she who is wearing ornaments
idhu – this material realm which is created for that
ellAm – all
kidakka – while they exist
ini – now
pOy – leaving me
sEri – the residents of the town
pal – in many ways
pazhi – accusations
thUuy – saying
iraippa – shouting loudly
thirukkOLUrkkE – certainly to thirukkOLUr
nadandhAL – walked;
emmai – me
onRum – in any manner
ninaiththilaL – did not think about.

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

My kind-hearted daughter, who is wearing thin ornaments, when seeing good objects which are known,thinks that they exist for krishNa; while all this material realm which is created for that is existing, she is now leaving me; the residents of the town are shouting loudly and accusing her, and she certainly walked to thirukkOLUr; she did not think about me in any manner. Implies that she neither thought her mother as a co-resident nor as one who lived with her as her mother.

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

  • kAriyam nallanagaL avai kANil – She does not see anything to start with; but if she sees something good in objects, she will say that this is for krishNa who presented himself to me, and become melted and will remain like that. She says similar to whatever SrI rAma said in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 36.45 “dhrushtvA palam vA pushpam vA” (Whenever he sees fruits and flowers, he calls out for you – said hanuman to sIthA). She is seeking out something greater than just thinking that everything good she sees is for krishNa! His simplicity is the manner he descended to thirukkOLUr for her and remained there.
  • idhellAm kidakka – [First explanation – giving up all these play tools] As said in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 16.19 “sarvAn bhOgAn parithyaya” (giving up all enjoyments). [Second explanation – giving up all the bhagavath anubhavam here] As said in thiruvaimozhi 6.7.1uNNum sORu parugu nIr thinnum veRRiai ellAm kaNNan“, thiruvAimozhi 6.7.2Urum nAdum ulagamum thannaip pOl avanudaiya pErum thArgaLumE pidhaRRak kaRpuvAn idaRi“, thiruvAimozhi 6.7.3pUvai paingiLigaL pandhu thUdhai pUmputtilgaL yAvaiyum thirumAl thirunAmangaLE kUviyezhum“. Giving up these unlimited wealth [kainkaryaSrI] here which exist for krishNa only.
  • inip pOyemperumAn will feel indebted to one who simply becomes fully faithful to him. For such emperumAn, she went to offer something and has her worries eliminated. He remains as said in yajur vEdham “thE bhUyishtAm” (We are reciting “nama:” which is too much to handle for you). Doesn’t it befit her to remain here if we look at his nature?
  • sEri pal pazhi thUuyiraippa – As she got companion [accusations of the townspeople], she left there. Not just one or two! Also, each one says different accusations.
  • pal pazhi thUuyiraippa – First she made herself exist for him; that was not sufficient; she left for going there; she did not consider her mother; she did not consider the accusations of the townspeople; emperumAn should have come to her seeing any of these – but he has not done anything. As said in thirukkuRaL 1141 “alarezhil Aruyir niRkum” (the accusations of townspeople will sustain her life).
  • nErizhai nadandhAL – Her mother is also desiring to follow her daughter’s beautiful ornaments.
  • nadandhAL – Though she is talking about her own daughter, once she took a few steps towards thirukkOLUr, her acts should be expressed only in a polite language [she could have said “pOnAL“, but is using more respectful term]. How respectfully she is treating her own daughter! Though own children or disciples, those who are immersed in bhagavath vishayam should be treated respectfully. Once nanjIyar greatly praised his disciple nampiLLai in an assembly and said “don’t think that I am praising my own disciple”! He mercifully continued to say – even previously there were those who said as in periya thirumozhi 8.2.9 “kaNapuram kai thozhum piLLaiyaip piLLai enRu eNNap peRuvarE” (a child who worships thirukkaNNapuram sourirAjap perumAL, even if it is one’s own child, it should be revered instead of being treated like a small child). ammuNi AzhwAn [an AchArya] would often offer obeisances to his disciple; when asked “what are you doing?”, he replied “we need to analyse the actions of other SrIvaishNavas to know about them! but I praise my Sishyas having known their vaishNava qualities very well”.
  • emmai onRum ninaiththilaLE – Even if she did not take me along as a companion, should she not have at the least thought about me?
  • onRum ninaiththilaLE – Should she not consider me as one amongst those who receive her there, or those who accompany her? The mother remains “Her thoughts about me are what I need”. The care of those who are close to emperumAn is that which is desirable/necessary.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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mUnRAm thiruvandhAdhi – 31 – ivai avan kOyil

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avathArikai

AzhwAr says that emperumAn, who has taken residence in the divine abodes mentioned in the previous pAsuram, removes the enemies of followers and is very simple. The divine abodes mentioned in the previous pAsuram still remain in his heart and continue.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

ivai avan kOyil iraNiyadhu Agam
avai seydhu ari uruvum AnAn sevi theriyA
nAgaththAn nAl vEdhaththuLLAn naRavERRAn
pAgaththAn pARkadaluLAn

Word by Word Meanings

iraNiyanadhu – the demon hiraNya kashyap’s
Agam – chest
avai seydhu – to break it into many pieces
ari uruvam AnAn – one who incarnated as narasimha
sevi theriyA nAgaththAn – having as his mattress thiruvananthAzhwAn who does not have separate ears as his eyes serve the purpose of both eyes and ears
nAl vEdhaththu uLLAn – one who resides inside the four vEdhas (sacred texts)
naRavu ERRAn pAgaththAn – one who has in one part of divine form, rudhra, who has honey-like gangA in his body (alternatively, one who has in one part of divine form, rudhra, who has liquor in his hand)
pARkadaluLAn – one who is reclining on thiruppARkadal
avan – that emperumAn’s
kOyil ivai – divine abodes are these which were mentioned in the previous pAsuram

vyAkyanam

ivai avan kOyil– the divine abodes mentioned in the previous pAsuram are his places of dwelling.

iraNiyadhu Agam – the body of the ill-tempered hiraNya kashyap

avai seydhu ari uruvum AnAn – Just as mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 94-82 “chinnam bhinnam” (cut and split), emperumAn took the form of narasimha to split iraNiyan’s heart into many parts.

Agam avai seydhu – splitting the chest. He split one into two. AzhwAr says that the purpose of emperumAn taking residence in many different abodes is to destroy enemies [of his followers].

sevi theriyA nAgaththAnemperumAn has his mattress thiruvananthAzhwAn (AdhiSEshan) who carries out the activities of his ears through his eyes. Aren’t snakes referred to as “chakshu: Srava:” (in thamizh, katsevi, having eyes as ears)! Has it not been mercifully mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 9-9-9 “thUdhu sey kaNgaL koNdonRu pEsi” (speak with the help of eyes and carry out a message) by which the function of one sensory organ has been appropriated by another!

nAl vEdhaththuLLAn – emperumAn has been identified by the four vEdhas.

naRavERRAn pAgaththAnnaRavu refers to the lowly arrack. emperumAn has the characteristic of giving a portion of his divine form to accommodate Sivan who carries lowly arrack in his hand. This refers to his quality of Seelam (simplicity). naRavu could also be considered as referring to sweetness [like honey]. Thus this will refer to Sivan taking gangA on his head, and emperumAn giving place to such Sivan on his divine form. ERRAn would refer to one who has ERu (bull) as his vehicle and combined with naRavu this will refer to Sivan who has bull as his vehicle.

Who has such a person as a part of his divine form?

pARkadaluLAn – one who is reclining in thiruppARkadal (milky ocean).

We will take up the 32nd pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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mUnRAm thiruvandhAdhi – 30 – sErndha thirumAl

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avathArikai

yaSOdhA showered affection on krishNa since he was near her. When we say the he is not near us now, AzhwAr gives the names of divine abodes where he has taken residence. He mercifully states that emperumAn, who was simplicity personified for one person (yaSOdhA) at one point of time, is now simplicity personified for all people at all times by taking residence in many divine abodes.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

sErndha thirumAL kadal kudandhai vEngadam
nErndha en sindhai niRai visumbum vAyndha
maRai pAdagam ananthan vaN thuzhAykkaNNi
iRai pAdiyAya ivai

Word by Word Meanings

kadal – thiruppARkadal (milky ocean)
kudandhai – thirukkudandhai (present day kumbakONam)
vEngadam – thiruvEngadam
nErndha en sindhai – my suitable heart
niRai visumbum – the completely fulfilled SrIvaikuNtam
vAyndha maRai – fitting vEdham (sacred text)
pAdagam – thiruppAdagam (divine abode in present day kAnchIpuram)
ananthan – AdhiSEshan
Aya ivai – all these
vaN thuzhAyk kaNNi – one who is wearing the  beautiful thuLasi garland
thirumAL sErndha – where SrIman nArAyaNa gives divine dharSan appropriately
iRai pAdi – capitals (places where he has taken residence)

vyAkyanam

sErndha thirumAL – the places where emperumAn who is SrIya: pathi (consort of SrI mahAlakshmi) has reached

kadal kudandhai vEngadam – thiruppARkadal, thirukkudandhai and thiruvEngadam

nErndha en sindhai – my heart which is not that great [as the divine abodes mentioned above]. Since AzhwAr says nErndha en sindhai the reason for taking residence in all these divine abodes is only to enter his heart.

niRai visumbu – SrIvaikuNtam which is a completely fulfilled divine abode. It is called as thripAdhvibhUthi  (three times as expansive as leelA vibhUthi, the materialistic realm)

vAyndha maRai – the vEdhas (sacred texts) which describe him as he is. Thus, to AzhwAr, emperumAn taking residence in divine abodes explicitly and standing firmly in vEdhas appear with equal radiance, without any difference.

pAdagam – the divine abode of thiruppAdagam

ananthan – AdhiSEshan

vaN thuzhAyk kaNNi – the divine thuLasi garland

pAdiyAya – are capitals (towns)

ivai – AzhwAr says that these are the places where emperumAn has taken residence. vaN thuzhAyk kaNNi  could also be considered as a place where he has taken residence.  Or it can taken as an adjective for emperumAn and consider the meaning as: emperumAn who has adorned the beautiful thuLasi garland  has taken residence in these places.

We will take up the 31st pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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mUnRAm thiruvandhAdhi – 29 – pEychchipAluNda

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avathArikai

Once he mentioned about yaSOdhAp pirAtti, AzhwAr remembers of her affection for kaNNan (krishNa) and her qualities and says that she is unique. In the previous pAsuram had he not said “udaindhadhuvum AychchippAl maththukku”? Just as there is none to equal him in being afraid of yaSOdhA, he says that there is none to equal yaSOdhA in showering affection.  In the previous pAsuram he had said “midaindhadhu bAradha vempOr”. Just as emperumAn transformed himself for the same of his followers, he says in this pAsuram yaSOdhA transformed herself for his sake. For a woman, being afraid of is a natural characteristic. For yaSOdhA, being without fear is transforming herself and it is this which she did, he says.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

pEychchipAluNda perumAnaip pErndheduththu
Aychchi mulai koduththAL anjAdhE vAyththa
iruLAr thirumEni in pavaLach chevvAy
theruLA mozhiyAnaich chErndhu

Word by Word Meanings

pEychchi – pUthanA’s
pAl – bosom milk
uNda – one who drank
perumAnai – being the supreme being
vAyththa iruLAr thirumEni – having a divine form which is dark, and befitting him
in pavaLach chevvAy – having a reddish mouth similar to sweet coral
theruLA mozhiyAnai – kaNNapirAn (krishNa) who was speaking gibberish
sErndhu – going near him
Aychchi – yaSOdhA
pErndhu eduththu – embracing  him with affection
anjAdhE – without any fear
mulai koduththAL – fed him her bosom

vyAkyanam

pEychchi pAL uNda perumAnai – killing pUthanA after drinking milk from her poisoned bosom. Due to this, he protected himself and gave himself to the world. Has it not been mentioned in harivamsam “sthanyam thath vishasammiSram rasyamAsIth jagathgurO:” (her breast-milk which was poisoned, was very sweet for him)! There is none in the world to equal him when it comes to escaping death.

perumAnai – he re-established his quality of SEshi (being the Lord). When events such as pralayam (deluge) take place, we can remain unperturbed since he is there to take care of. Did not danger come to him (due to pUthanA)?

pErndheduththu Aychchi mulai koduththAL anjAdhE – wouldn’t the mother become fearful once she comes to know that krishNa has been captured by pUthanA! But, leaving aside the quality of fear which is natural for women, yaSOdhA rushed to him and tried to give him antidote. Instead of swooning on hearing that krishNa has been taken away by pUthanA, yaSOdhA came walking to the place where krishNa was, lifted him up and started nursing him. Swooning is an act of affection only. However, shouldn’t one take the initiatives to get back krishNa! Did not AzhwArs, who were blessed with knowledge sans any ignorance, engage in the activity of madalUrdhal (an act in which the person sits on a horse made of palmyra leaves and requests the townspeople to unite him/her with his/her beloved) knowing full well their as well as emperumAn’s nature! This (act of yaSOdhA) is similar to that.

vAyththa iruLAr thirumEniAzhwAr describes the radiance in the divine form of krishNa as he sat on pUthanA’s lap to drink her milk. Wasn’t this beauty the reason for yaSOdhA to shun looking after herself and lift krishNa, falling head over heels!

in pavaLach chevvAyemperumAn has divine lips similar to coral. He smiled when he was suckling from pUthanA just as he smiled when suckling from yaSOdhA.

vAyththa iruLAr thirumEni – he has a divine form which will remove fatigue.

theruLA mozhiyAn – when suckling from pUthanA, he will talk something gibberish. Looking at her face, in that gibberish language he said “Achchi, Achchi ”(mother)

mulai koduththAL  – for such krishNa, yaSOdhA transformed herself and suckled him.

sErndhu – approaching him.

We will take up 30th pAsuram, next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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mUnRAm thiruvandhAdhi – 28 – adaindhadhu aravaNai mEl

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avathArikai

AzhwAr says that those who attained emperumAn will experience the result of their misdeeds on the day when the pANdavas kill their adversaries themselves [without seeking krishNa’s help] (in other words, this will not happen at all). In continuation of the earlier pAsuram when AzhwAr had mentioned about divine abodes “vEngadamum vehkAvum vELukkaippAdiyumE”, he mentions about how emperumAn is subservient to his followers.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

adaindhadhu aravaNai mEl aivarkkAy anRu
midaindhadhu bAradha vem pOr udaindhadhuvum
AychchipAl maththukkE ammanE vALeyiRRup
pEychchi pAl uNda pirAn

Word by Word Meanings

vAL eyiRu – having teeth which are like sword
pEychchi – pUthanA’s
pAl – bosom milk
uNda – one who drank and killed her
pirAn – the benefactor
adaindhadhu – reached out to take rest
aravu aNai mEl – on top of AdhiSEshan as mattress
anRu – at one point of time
aivarkku Ay – for the five pANdavas
midaindhadhu – conducted vehemently
bAradha vempOr – the rigorous bhAratha battle [ held at kurukshEthra]
udaindhadhuvum – trembling with fear
AychchipAl – towards the cowherd person yaSOdhA’s
maththukkE – staff
ammanE – how amazing!

vyAkyanam

adaindhadhu aravaNai mElemperumAn cannot ignore thiruvananthAzhwAn (AdhiSEshan) who cannot sustain himself without emperumAn. Hence he reclines on him.

aivarkkAy anRu midaindhadhu bAradha vem pOr – for the sake of his followers, emperumAn even transformed himself. For the sake of pANdavas, he conducted the rigorous mahAbhAratha war. By these two lines, it is opined here that emperumAn will give his own divine form as he gave to AdhiSEshan and transform his divine form, as he did in the case of pANdavas. AzhwAr says that emperumAn, who has the softness of divine form to recline on AdhiSEshan, conducted the rigorous battle also.

midaindhadhu – AzhwAr says that it was emperumAn who conducted the mahAbhAratha battle. The pANdavas were not even the mere reason for it.

udaindhadhuvum AychchipAl maththukkE – emperumAn did not fear bhIshma et al; he did not fear their weapons such as brahmAsthra, spear etc. But he was very much afraid of the staff [used for churning curd to get butter] at the hands of yaSOdhA. The one who did not lose to great warriors lost out to yaSOdhA, without any remedy! Fearful of yaSOdhA, he suffered at her hands just as his opponents suffered at his. It appears that if his enemies had dropped their weapons and instead took a staff in their hands, they might have won! When rAvaNa lost his bow, didn’t SrI rAma spare him without killing him, as mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 59-130 “chachAla chApancha mumOcha vIra:” (rAvaNa walked unsteadily; he let go of his bow)!

ammanE – how amazing is this act of his when he stood trembling seeing the staff at the hands of yaSOdhA! AzhwAr says “What simplicity! Haven’t I been won over by this simplicity?”

vAL eyiRRup pEychchi pAl uNda pirAn – he is the benefactor who destroyed pUthanA who came with teeth which were like swords when he was just an infant. Afraid of yaSOdhA who was very much favourable to him, he did not sever himself from the string with which she had tied him. Is it not amazing that even at that tender age, he had the capability to distinguish between his mother and the demon who came in the form of his mother! What would have happened had you been afraid of pUthanA who came in the form of yaSOdhA? Is it not our fortune that you did not fear her thinking that she is your mother! For the phrase vAL eyiRu we can consider the meaning as pUthana with radiant teeth. AzhwAr expresses his amazement with the word ammanE.

We will take up the 29th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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mUnRAm thiruvandhAdhi – 27 – ArE thuyaruzhandhAr

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avathArikai

AzhwAr is asking whether we have ever heard of anyone suffering due to the sins committed, after attaining emperumAn. If this is the characteristic of emperumAn, is there anything such as someone is experiencing the results of sins, asks AzhwAr. Did not yama (deity of dharma, righteousness) ask a person who was experiencing the results of sinful deeds in hell, “You will go the terrible way! Have you not attempted to attain emperumAn even for one day?”. Did yama not tell a person, as mentioned in SrI vishNu dharmam “kim thvayA nArchithO dhEva: kESava: klESa nASana:” (did you not worship kESava, who removes sufferings?). Had he not said “You will go the terrible way! You did not go the right way! You spoiled yourself!”. Didn’t sIthAp pirAtti tell rAvaNa in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 21-19 “mithramaupayikam karthum rAma: sthAnam parIpsathA, vadham cha anichchathA ghOram thvayA asau purusharshabha: ” (SrI rAma  who is the best among all purushas (souls) is the apt person to make friends for you who would like to remain in this world and who would not like to die a horrible death )! Did she not say that he had not attempted to carry out atonement for all the sins that he had committed!

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

ArE thuyaruzhandhAr thunbuRRAr ANdaiyAr
kArE malindha karum kadalai nErE
kadaindhAnaik kAraNanai nIraNaimEl paLLi
adaindhAnai nALum adaindhu

Word by Word Meanings

kArE malindha karum kadalai – the dark ocean which is full of clouds
nErE kadandhAnai – one who stood in the forefront and churned
kAraNanai – one who is the cause for all the worlds
nIr aNai mEl paLLi adaindhAnai – one who is reclining on thiruppARkadal (on AdhiSEshan)
adaindhu – after attaining
nALum thuyar uzhandhAr Ar – who suffered even for one day?
thunbu uRRAr ANdaiyAr – where are those who experienced sorrow (like that)?

vyAkyanam

ArE thuyar uzhandhAr thumbuRRAr – who, before this, has suffered the consequences of carrying out sinful deeds which are the reason for sorrow? Are there people who have experienced the result of carrying out lowly deeds? After attaining emperumAn, suffering the results of sins is equivalent to “agnina sinchEth ” (wetting with fire). Who has experienced the consequences of carrying out sins in the past, after attaining emperumAn? Hasn’t emperumAn himself told arjuna in SrI bhagavath gIthA 9-31kaunthEya prathijAnIhi na mE bhakthi: praNaSyathi” (my devotee does not get destroyed. Oh arjuna! You take this oath!). When the king of ocean did not pay heed initially to SrI rAma’s request to yield way for going to lankA (to wage war against rAvaNa), SrI rAma prepared to shoot an arrow on him. But when the king of ocean surrendered to him, did not  SrI rAma not only not shoot the arrow on him but shoot it against the enemies of the king of ocean! Once a person attains emperumAn, all that remains is experiencing the benefit of that.

ANdaiyAr – in which time are those, who did not experience that benefit?

kArE malindha karum kadalai – is emperumAn such powerless that his followers have to suffer the consequences of sinful deeds? Is there any suffering for those who attain the omnipotent? Isn’t he the one who churned the ocean which was surrounded by clouds with manthara mountain as the staff!

nErE kadaindhAnai – he churned the ocean such that only nectar came out, without disturbing the clouds which had gathered over the ocean.

kAraNanai – the causative entity for all the worlds. Am I leaving him because I want to disprove the relationship with him? There is no place to go other than he, who is the cause for the worlds.

nIraNai mEl paLLi adaindhAnai – are we suffering because he is not making any effort to protect us? He is reclining in the milky ocean so that he could come near us and carry out our activities since he is the causative factor.

nALum adaindhu – have those, who attained him, suffered because they had carried out deeds which would give rise to sorrow? Since attaining him itself is sweet, attaining him every day will give rise to sweetness only. Alternatively, we can consider the meaning for ANdaiyAr as any point of time and nALum as every day and consider the meaning for the verse as those who would not suffer at any point of time or any day. The reason for AzhwAr saying this is the deep belief that he has on emperumAn.  An incident which happened in the life of parASara bhattar (son of kUraththAzhwAn) is quoted here. One day, during the uthsavam at the SrIrangam temple, parAsara bhattar was recounting the greatness of periya perumAL (SrI ranganAthan), at a place called thiruvURRangarai. At that time, a disciple of siRiyAththAn came there and told bhattar, “jIyA! (a name by which bhattar was known, which means a knowledgeable/venerable person) All the brAhmaNas have congregated here. This is the time for sandhyAvandhanam (a daily ritual for people from the first three varNas). Come, let us get up and carry out sandhyAvandhanam”.  bhattar told him “What have you done? When periya perumAL  and the festivities are going on in a grand scale, just because I have not carried out a small task,  will yama write it down in his book?”. bhattar then went on to mercifully recite the pAsuram “sollAy thirumArbA” from periya thirumozhi 6-3-9 and gave the following explanation:  “unakkAgath thoNdu patta nallEnai  vinaigaL naliyAmai nambu nambi ” – a king was listening to the names of people who had committed crimes in his kingdom. If the person who is reading out the names, mentions the name of a person who is very close to the king and the king says “let it be so. Go ahead and read the other names”, can that person’s name be read out again? In the same way, if emperumAn has accepted a person, yama et al cannot delve into his misdeeds ever. Thus AzhwAr says that due to any shortcoming in the power of emperumAn or if the relationship between us and emperumAn becomes false, we have to experience the result of our karmas (deeds). In other words, since there is no shortage in emperumAn’s powers to remove our sins and since there is nothing false in our relationship between us and emperumAn, there will be no need to experience the result of our sins.

We will take up the 28th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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mUnRAm thiruvandhAdhi – 26 – siRandha en sindhaiyum

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avathArikai

AzhwAr mercifully states how, after he attained emperumAn, he desired AzhwAr’s divine mind more than his divine abodes. The reason for emperumAn taking residence in temples is only to enter the hearts of followers who accept him. Alternatively, we can say that AzhwAr is saying that the benefit that we obtained out of emperumAn eating yaSOdhAp pirAtti’s butter is the simplicity of emperumAn, more than his simplicity in eating butter, by taking residence in divine abodes. Had he not asked “Is there any harm in worshipping?”. After AzhwAr saying this, will emperumAn keep quiet? (he took residence in AzhwAr’s divine heart).

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

siRandha en sindhaiyum sengaN aravum
niRaindha sIr nIL kachchiyuLLum uRaindhadhuvum
vEngadamum vehkAvum vELukkaippAdiyumE
thAm kadavAr thaN thuzhAiyAr

Word by Word Meanings

thaN thuzhAyAr thAm – emperumAn who is adorning the cool, thuLasi garland
kadavAr – not leaving for even one day
uRaindhadhuvum – the places where he took permanent residence

(which are they?)
siRandha en sindhaiyum – my heart which is the greatest (amongst all)
sem kaN aravum – thiruvananthAzhwAn (AdhiSEshan) who has reddish eyes
niRaindha sIr – having abundant wealth
nIL – expansive
kachchiyuLLum – the divine town of kachchi (present day kAnchIpuram)
vEngadamum – the divine abode of thirumalai
vehkAvum – the divine abode of thiruvhkA
vELukkaip pAdiyumE – the divine abode of thiruvELukkai

vyAkyanam

siRandha en sindhaiyum sengaN aravum – both these are equal as far as emperumAn’s desire goes. In other words, AzhwAr says that emperumAn considers AzhwAr’s heart to be the exact match for thiruvananthAzhwAn (AdhiSEshan) who is his most desired mattress.

sengaN aravum – ananthAzhwAn’s eyes are reddish, like the eyes of those who take intoxicating materials such as honey, because of his connection with emperumAn.

uRaindhadhuvumemperumAn has taken residence in AzhwAr’s divine heart, considering it as his own,  just as he has taken residence atop thiruvananthAzhwAn who is his most desired mattress.

niRaindha sIr nIL kachchiyuLLum – in divine kachchi which is full of divine abodes of emperumAn and unlimited sweetness. emperumAn will reside continuously at thirukkachchi, thirumalai, thiruvehkA and thiruvELukkai, without ever letting go of them. By considering the verse sequence to be niRaindha sIr nIL kachchiyuLLum uRaindhadhuvum – vEngadamum vehkAvum vELukkaip pAdiyumE thAm kadavAr we can say that emperumAn cannot let go of each of the divine abodes of vEngadam, vehkA and vELukkai and he will reside continuously in these divine abodes and that he resides with lot of desire in the great divine mind of AzhwAr, thiruvananthAzhwAn and the town of thirukkachchi which has many divine abodes. Since the word uRaindhadhuvum (resides) has been used, we can consider it this way. Alternatively, by taking the sequence  siRandha en sindhaiyum sengaN aravum thAm kadavAr we can say that emperumAn will not go past AzhwAr’s great divine mind and thiruvananthAzhwAn. niRaindha sIr nIL kachchiyuLLum vEngadamum vehkAvum vELukkaippAdiyumE uRaindhadhuvum will give the meaning that emperumAn merely resided in these places.

Who does like this?

thanduzhAyAremperumAn who wears the divine thuLasi garland, taking a vow that he will protect the followers.

We will take up the 27th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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