Monthly Archives: April 2018

mUnRAm thiruvandhAdhi – 50 – sUzhndha thuzhAyalangal

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

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avathArikai

In the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr said that there is no limit to the tasks that he undertakes for the sake of his followers. Where did we see such a characteristic? He says he showed his anger, which he did not show on people such as bhIshma et al, on a worm in the water [reference here is to a crocodile] for the sake of an elephant and manifested his partiality towards his followers.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

sUzhndha thuzhAyalangal sOdhi maNi mudi mAl
thAzhndha aruvith thadavarai vAy Azhndha
maNi nIrchchunai vaLarndha mAmudhalai konRAn
aNi neelA vaNNaththavan

Word by Word Meanings

sUzhndha – decorating all over his divine form
thuzhAy alangal – garland of fragrant thuLasi
sOdhi – radiant
maNi mudi – crown with gems
aNi neela vaNNaththavan – one who has the complexion of beautiful blue colour
mAl – sarvESvaran (supreme entity)
thAzhndha aruvi thadavarai vAy – in the middle of a huge mountain which has many streams flowing towards earth
Azhndha maNi nIr sunai – in the reservoir which is deep and having clear water
vaLarndha – growing (without any fear)
mA mudhalai – a huge crocodile
konRAn – he killed

vyAkyanam

sUzhndha thuzhAy alangal sOdhi maNi mudi mAlemperumAn who has thuLasi garlands and crown which indicate that he is the lord of all the worlds

sUzhndha thuzhAy alangal – thuLasi garland which symbolises his primacy.

sOdhi maNi mudi – crown with resplendent gems

thAzhndha aruvith thadavarai vAy –  on the slopes of the mountain having many streams which flow towards the earth

Azhndha maNi nIrchchunai vaLarndha – growing in the waters of the reservoir having deep and clear water

mA mudhalai konRAnemperumAn killed a huge crocodile, not considering it just as a worm in the water. Did he not let go of the divine disc on the crocodile, which he had not done even when he was angry with people such as bhIshma et al! The affection that he has towards his followers is the reason for such an act.

aNi leela vaNNaththavan – he got the colour on his divine form only after killing his follower’s enemy. Since he became very happy that he had got rid of his follower’s enemy, he acquired the complexion of blue colour which removes the fatigue of those who see him.

aNi neela vaNNaththavan – by displaying such a complexion, he fulfilled the desire of gajEndhra (the elephant) who wanted to see him.

konRAn – by killing the enemy of his follower, he fulfilled his own longing. emperumAn, who has the complexion of an ornament, donning the thuLasi garland and resplendent crown, killed the huge crocodile.

We will take up the 51st pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruvAimozhi – 6.8.1 – ponnulagALIrO

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Full series >> Sixth Centum >> Eighth 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 prays to some birds saying “inform him about my state and [in turn] I will bestow you paramapadham (spiritual realm) and samsAram (material realm) for you to rule over”.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

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

ponnulagALIrO? bhuvani muzhudhALIrO?
nannalap puLLinangAL vinaiyAttiyEn nAn irandhEn
mun ulagangaL ellAm padaiththa mugil vaNNan kaNNan
en nalangoNda pirAn thanakku en nilaimai uraiththE

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

nal nalam – having distinguished friendship etc towards those who pray [to you]
puL inangAL – Oh flocks of birds (who have wings which help in your acts)!
vinaiyAttiyEn – who am having sins to be separated from him and sending message to him
nAn – I
irandhEn – praying to you as his devotees pray to him;

(for what?)
mun – in the beginning
ulagangaL – world
ellAm – all
padaiththa – created

(as protection for the created worlds)
mugil – like black cloud
vaNNan – one who is having divine form
kaNNan – being easily approachable for his devotees [as krishNa]

(with such forms)
en – my
nalam – all distinguished features
koNda – took ownership
pirAn thanakku – to the benefactor
en – my
nilaimai – state
uraiththu – informing

(both of us being united by that act, and gifted to you)
pon – eternally desirable
ulagu – paramapadham
ALIrO? – would you rule?
bhuvani – highlighted by the earth
muzhudhu – entire material realm
ALIrO – rule.

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

Oh flocks of birds (who have wings which help in your acts) having distinguished friendship etc towards those who pray [to you]! I who am having sins to be separated from him and sending message to him, am  praying to you as his devotees pray to him; inform my state to the benefactor who created all worlds in the beginning, who is having divine black cloud like form, who is easily approachable for his devotees and who took ownership of my distinguished features; [after both of us become united after you inform him] would you rule the eternally desirable paramapadham and the material realm which is highlighted by the earth? Implies that both the realms are at your disposal. By saying inangAL (flocks), she feels confident that with so many of birds, the task in hand will be easily accomplished.

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

  • pon ulagu ALIrOparAnguSa nAyaki is thinking that ISvara’s wealth (spiritual and material realms) are there to be gifted to those who united her with him, when she was suffering in separation. Both the realms are at the disposal of the [divine] couple. One can say this when  she reaches that state [being the consort of the lord]. She is thinking that while sarvESvaran is present, this is being a ruler-less kingdom [so, she is asking the birds to rule over]. Whatever one will acquire after being freed from material bondage and reaching paramapadham, she is offering that right here. This is the nature of the one [AzhwAr] who bestows paramapadham while being in bondage and the one [emperumAn] who bestows paramapadham after freeing one [AthmA] from bondage. When two persons [emperumAn and parAnguSa nAyaki] are separated from each other and suffering, it is natural for both to give [but the approach is different, as explained here]. The nature of those who help in uniting is – some give up their body in trying to unite [like periya udaiyAr, jatAyu] and some others who unite being with their bodies [like these birds].
  • pon ulagu ALIrO bhuvani muzhudhu ALIrO – Should your kingdoms also suffer as I am suffering now [i.e., being without the lord]? parAnguSa nAyaki who is separated from her beloved consort, and is seeking out a messenger, is offering both realms to the messenger! This is based on her dependence on him. She is not with some lowly person who would make himself and his belongings hers while being united and take them away when separated. He made himself and his belongings exist fully for her so that she can give them to anyone she desires, even in his absence. When aruLALap perumAL emperumAnAr [a disciple of bhagavath rAmAnujar] was ill, AzhwAn [kUraththAzhwAn] went to see him along with piLLai uRangA villi dhAsar [another disciple of bhagavath rAmAnujar]. aruLALap perumAL emperumAnAr said “The heartache caused by AzhwAn [in not praying to emperumAn to make him bestow me mOksham, though he is capable of doing so] will be cured only when I attain the divine feet of ALavandhAr [who is in paramapadham already]”.
  • pon ulagu ALIrO bhuvani muzhudhu ALIrO – She thinks that just as SrI rAma broke the bow and krishNa killed the bulls to attain sIthA and nappinnai respectively, here the birds will get to rule both realms of emperumAn for uniting her with emperumAn.
  • ALIrO – She is in total possession that some one [i.e., emperumAn] need not make her the owner newly. perumAL (SrI rama) himself said in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 18.34 “dhaththam asya abhayam mayA” (he was given protection by me); similarly, parAnguSa nAyaki too bestows both the realms just as the birds turn favourable to become messengers. As they are really fulfilling emperumAn‘s benefit, she need not inform him before giving the gift to them. She too is working for his benefit. As they go as messengers, she will survive; as she survives, emperumAn too, who is her owner, will survive. Now, she is giving them her own private wealth [which she acquired due to being with emperumAn].
  • ALIrO – You should not just be engaging in your own activities; you should also work for my benefit. Ruling the realms means taking care of her activities. When asked “If she gives both the realms to them, when he arrives, where would both of them live?”, ananthAzhwAn said “They will live in a place which is given by the bird”.
  • pon ulagu ALIrO – bhuvani muzhudhu ALIrO – [Reasons for giving paramapadham first] One would give that which is at closer reach first and then the others next. She is giving in the order which she received them from emperumAn. emperumAn bestowed AzhwAr nithya vibhUthi (paramapadham) first and then leelA vibhUthi (samsAram). First AzhwAr sang [based on emperumAn’s revelation] his having paramapadham in thiruvAimozhi 1.1.1 “ayarvaRum amarargaL adhipathi” (lord of tireless nithyasUris) and then only his having leelA vibhUthi in thiruvAimozhi 1.1.3ilanadhu udaiyanidhu” (emperumAn cannot be limited to saying that he is far from an object or close to an object). Even while being here, when one acquires knowledge, paramapadham appears closer; periyAzhwAr too said in periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 5.3.7 “akkarai ennum anaththak kadaluL azhundhi un pEraruLAl ikkarai ERi iLaiththu irundhEn” (While I was previously suffering in the disastrous ocean, with your great mercy, I have now reached this shore and am remaining peaceful) – he highlighted paramapadham as his current abode and samsAram as the other shore. At the time of attaining the goal, paramapadham only will be in forefront; only because of samsAram being a possession of emperumAn, it will be desirable. Though it is said in chAndhOgya upanishath 8.12.3 “nOpajanam smaran idham SarIram” (AthmA will not contemplate about the material body after reaching the spiritual realm), one will consider that emperumAn’s possession should be enjoyed fully, and only due to that reason, one will consider samsAram to be desirable. Otherwise, with any other reason [such as materialistic enjoyment], it will not be fully enjoyable [as it is said “bhuvani muzhudhu (fully) ALIrO“]. ponnulagu ALIrO – bhuvani muzhudhu ALIrO – This [material] realm is contrary to servitude, but paramapadham is natural fit for servitude. paramapadham is the primary abode of emperumAn who is the target of the message. leelA vibhUthi is his possession too [Since paramapadham is his primary abode, it is said first].
  • bhuvani muzhudhu ALIrO – Why did she, who gave the desirable paramapadham, also give leelA vibhUthi which is to be given up? Being overwhelmed by the help of the birds, she gives leelA vibhUthi too without realising what she is doing. Even those who became bewildered previously did the same thing as said in  SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 68.29 and 68.30 “aparAvarthinAmyAcha yAcha bhUmipradhAyinAm” (For those who never return to this world and for those who have given the earth in charity). Only when the love is limited, one will be clear. [When sIthAp pirAtti became overwhelmed with affection towards hanuman for announcing the victory of SrI rAma] she became bewildered and said in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 116.20 “hiraNyamvA suvarNamvA rathnAnivividhAnivA | rAjyamvA thrishu lOkEshu rAjyam naithadharhathi bhAshitham ||” (All of silver, gold, many varieties of gems, the reign of the three worlds would not be a match for the sweet words you rendered). Both the realms are present equally at the disposal of the couple [emperumAn and parAnguSa nAyaki].
  • nal nalap puL inangAL – Your quality [two explanations – collection of all good qualities, compassion], is greater than his, how amazing! Instead of being like him who needs to be sent a messenger even at this situation, you are present in front of me! I have seen your qualities – you have carried my message and brought him over to me! We thought he is famous due to his qualities; but it appears that you have greater qualities than he – says parAnguSa nAyaki. Instead of realising about your qualities, due to my urge, I troubled you saying “accept this (paramapadham)! accept that (samsAram)!” and so on! On seeing you even emperumAn who is praised in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 116.28 “guNAsthvayyEvaSObhanA:” (these qualities are shining in you only), is to be overlooked. piLLai amudhanAr used to say “For your greatness his qualities are like aRugu (grass) and thALi flowers”. Did I do anything for you! Haven’t you done all of these out of your mercy! Your mercy is similar to how krishNa went as messenger for pANdavas and how maNakkAl nambi reformed ALavandhAr!
  • nal nalap puL inangAL – Explained as “Oh flock of birds who are having good qualities!” and “Oh flock of birds who are being very affectionate!” They remained confident saying “would we do anything short of uniting both of you?”; (hanuman says to sIthAp pirAtti) SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 116.24 “arthathascha mayAprApthA dhEvarAjyAdhayO guNA: | hathaSathrum vijayinamrAmam paSyAmi susthitham ||” (On seeing the victorious SrI rAma, I attained the greatness of ruling the heaven etc).
  • nal nalam – You have mercifully helped me and made me shiver thinking “what will I do in return” forever. [nalam is explained as mercy] SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 1.11 is explained. SrI rAma says to hanuman.
    • aham cha raghuvamSaScha … – I who remain as said in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 66.10 “na jIvEyam kshaNamapi” (SrI rAma says – I will not survive even for a moment without seeing sIthA) and brother bharatha who cannot survive without me and lakshmaNa who is our life.
    • vaidhEhyA: – to say that all of these words are apt [finding of vaidhEhi].
    • dharmatha: parirakshithA: – Is there anything in return that will match your help? You have done this only due to your righteousness.
  • puL – You who are having such great mercy, are having wings which help you travel! Due to recollecting the act of the monkeys in SrI rAmAyaNam, she remains thinking “the job of the animals/birds is to unite those who are separated from each other”.
  • inangAL – Even those who say as in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 116-45 “nakaSchin nAparAdhyathi” (there is none who has not committed a wrongful deed), are present [in the flocks].
  • inangAL – Like the body and soul (wife and husband) are together! Having those who walk ahead saying as [sIthAp pirAtti said] in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 27.9 “agrathasthE gamishyAmi” (I will go before you).
  • inangAL – Also explained as in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 30.3 “dhikshu sarvAsu mArganthE” (searching in all directions), the flocks are present to go in every direction.
  • vinaiyAttiyEn – I have sinned so much that I lost the emperumAn who was with me, and am now falling at your feet. Just as you have good qualities as your nature (main characteristic), I have misfortune as my nature.
  • nAn – He remains as said in “dharmatha: parirakshithA:”! She is thinking “I am sending messenger with the same greatness of the divine daughter of SrI janakarAja!”.
  • nAn irandhEn – The tables have turned (Previously, SrI rAma prayed towards hanuman/sugrIva and now parAnguSa nAyaki is saying the words towards birds).
  • irandhEn – Previously, nammAzhwAr surrendered to emperumAn in four decads (thiruvAimozhi 5.7, thiruvAimozhi 5.8, thiruvAimozhi 5.9, thiruvAimozhi 5.10); now, he is surrendering to emperumAn‘s devotees; even if those failed, this would not fail. There is no hurdles in this approach. [Where is SaraNAgathi?] SaraNAgathi is said as “prArthanA mathi” (the state of praying). He is pursuing the means which has no failings.
  • inangAL – irandhEn – For couples, the nature of those who request will be well known. While these birds with great mercy will even give up their own lives for the sake of those who surrendered unto them [as illustrated by SrI rAma to sugrIva and others while accepting SrI vibhIshaNAzhwAn – a pigeon sacrificed its own life to feed the hungry hunter who previously killed the pigeon’s pair], my situation is too pathetic even for the most cruel murderers.
  • nal nalap puL inangAL irandhEn – How complete he is to give refuge!
  • nAn irandhEn – First he only surrendered to sugrIva as said in SrI rAmAyaNam kishkinthA kANdam 4.19 “sugrIvam SaraNamgatha:” (SrI rAma surrendered to sugrIva); only then, she (sIthAp pirAtti) said in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 40.3 “thathA kuru dhayAm mayi” (you have to bestow your mercy in this manner).
  • vinaiyAttiyEn nAn irandhEn – Even after giving everything to the birds, she remains dissatisfied feeling that she has not done nothing to them. Only when their favour is limited, she can find a matching favour in return and give it to them. Even after giving everything, as said in mahAbhAratham “kruthsnamvA pruthivIm dhadhyAn na thaththulyam kathanchana” (while serving the AchArya, for the favour done by the AchArya, the Sishya can never repay it even if he can offer the entire world), one remains only with the feeling that whatever offered is not enough. One should not stop with thinking as said in Apasthamba sUthram “thasmai na dhruhyEth” (I should not betray him); instead one should think as said in mahAbhAratham udhyOga parvam “krutham asya jAnan” (one should be grateful for his favour). Only when one withdraws from being grateful, he should be told not to betray the benefactor. When the birds asked “Do we have to explain these to him? Only if he has it in him to come, we can inform him”, she replied “I lost him due to my misfortune only and if we look at his qualities, would I lose him?”.
  • mun ulagam … – He can create everything from the beginning after being destroyed! I am too in a dilapidated state. Who created this world for me to feel broken in separation and send him a messenger? He did this purely out of his mercy! Previously (during creation), one need not send him a messenger to protect everyone!
  • mun ulagangaL ellAm padaiththa em mugil vaNNan – He who previously created everything without distinguishing between water and land, through his sankalpa gyAnam as said in thaiththirIya upanishath “bahu syAm” (let me become many)!
  • mugil vaNNan – Even if he protects with favouritism, his form is so beautiful that he cannot be given up; can also be construed as emperumAn helping for his own sake [like cloud, instead of expecting anything from us].
  • mugil vaNNan kaNNan – Explaining the audhAryam (magnanimity) etc which is the reason for jagath kAraNathvam (his being the cause of everything) and avathArams (incarnations); alternatively – it can be construed as saying how emperumAn descended with his spiritual divine form.
  • en nalam koNda pirAn – Why should we re-dig an old well [why going back to emperumAn who created the world long ago]? He is the one who fully captured me; he made me surrender unto you. Except for being separated from me now, whatever he has done is good! Before uniting with us he would have many good qualities, but now he only has beautiful qualities.
  • mugil vaNNan en nalam koNda – Instead of me being the recipient of the water of that cloud [emperumAn], I became the place from where he fetches water [i.e., captured me].
  • thanakku en nilaimai – When the birds asked “Though he will come on his own, what should we tell him?”, she said “my state” and showed her own form just as the dhaNdakAraNya rishis showed their bodies with cut-off limbs to SrI rAma in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam “Ehi paSya SarIrANi” (Look at our bodies). As you have seen me, you can yourself speak about my situation to him [I need not tell you what to tell him]. She spoke about his jagath kAraNathvam, avathArams and the special mercy he showered upon her without any shortcoming; but her own nature of being fully immersed in his qualities cannot be spoken by her similar to emperumAn who is said as in thiruvAimozhi 8.4.6 “thanakkum than thanmai aRivariyAn” (emperumAn does not himself know the limits of his greatness).
  • uraiththu – She is confident that these birds can speak about her situation, which are difficult to comprehend for himself. Since they stand on the shore [unlike me who is drowned in his qualities], they can do it. Why did she not tell the birds “inform him, and bring him along” [and stopped at saying “inform him”]? She remains “How can I ask him to act in a particular way? It is his choice”; we can only inform him our needs; rest is his responsibility.
  • en nilaimai uraiththu – pon ulagu ALIrO – You try to rule after ensuring my suffering cry [it will be unfair for you to enjoy while I am suffering]! While dhaSaratha chakravarthi was eagerly awaiting the coronation of perumAL (SrI rAma), SrI rAma did not have his heart attached to the kingdom due to the sufferings of the sages at the hands of the demons and hence he left for the forest; similarly, she thinks that the birds will not rule the two realms if they keep hearing the defeat of the women and their cry.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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mUnRAm thiruvandhAdhi – 49 – seRRadhuvum sErA

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

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avathArikai

AzhwAr asks whether these alone are the tasks that he had undertaken for his followers and replies that there are many others too.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

seRRadhuvum sErA iraNiyanai senrERRup
peRRadhuvum mAnilam pinnaikkAy muRRal
muriyERRin munninRu moymbozhiththAy mUrich
churiyERu sanginAy sUzhndhu

Word by Word Meanings

pinnaikkAy – for the sake of nappinnai (incarnation of emperumAn’s consort neeLA dhEvi)
muRRal – being strong
muri – running (here and there)
ERRin – the seven bulls’
mun ninRu – standing in front (without fear)
sUzhndhu – analysing (the way of killing them)
moymbu ozhiththAy – Oh one who annihilated their strength!
mUri – being large
suri ERu – being curved inside
sanginAy – Oh one who is holding the conch in the divine hand!
sErA iraNiyanai – hiraNya kashyap who could not live with you
seRRadhuvum (nI anRE) – was it not you who killed him!
senRu – going (to mahAbali)
mA nilam – the expansive earth
ERRu – taking as alms
peRRadhuvum (nI anRE) – was it not you who obtained that!

vyAkyanam

seRRadhuvum sErA iraNiyanai – the entity who emperumAn killed was hiraNya kashyap who was incongruent with him. Or, it can be construed that hiraNya could not fit with emperumAn’s followers. Or, we can construe it as emperumAn killing hiraNya kashyap, being unable to tolerate the way that hiraNya kashyap was following in destroying himself by engaging in cruel activities and accumulating sins.

senRu ERRup peRRadhuvum mAnilam – going to mahAbali, emperumAn sought as alms his own possession of the worlds and felt very joyous on obtaining it, as if he had got something that he could never have got otherwise.

pinnaikkAy muRRal muri ERRin munninRu moymbozhiththAy sUzhndhu – in order to marry nappinnai, you stood in front of the seven raging, strong bulls and destroyed their strength.

sUzhndhu – waiting, for an opportune moment. Or we can construe it as sUzhndhu azhiththAy which would indicate his strength in destroying them.

muri – raging bulls, moving here and there

mUrich churiyERu sanginAy – was it not emperumAn who had the expansive, curling conch in his divine hand who surrounded the bulls and killed them! He killed them with his own hands, in an appropriate way.

pinnaikkAy – since he was infatuated with the beauty of nappinnai, unmindful of the danger that was coming his way, he stood in front of the raging bulls.

We will move on to the 50th pAsuram next.

 

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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mUnRAm thiruvandhAdhi – 48 – nIyanRE nIrERRu

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avathArikai

emperumAn tells AzhwAr “Oh AzhwIr! I am not aware of all these matters which you are saying” to which AzhwAr responds saying “Oh emperumAn! Then, who else carried out all these activities!”.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

nIyanRE nIrERRu ulagam adi aLandhAy
nIyanRE ninRu nirai mEyththAy niyanRE
mAvAyuram piLandhu mAmarudhinUdu pOyth
thEvAsuram porudhAy seRRu

Word by Word Meanings

nIr ERRu – accepting water as symbolic of alms (from mahAbali)
ulagam – all the worlds
adi aLandhAy nI anRE – was it not you who measured with your divine feet?
ninRu – being focussed on protection
nirai – herds of cows
mEyththAy nI anRE – was it not you who grazed them?
mA – the demon kESi who came in the form of a horse
vAy uram – the strength of his mouth
piLandhu – destroying it
mA marudhin Udu pOy – going between the twin arjuna trees and uprooting them
dhEvAsuram – in the war between celestial and demonic entities
seRRu – destroying (the  demons)
porudhAy nI anRE – was it not you who waged the war!

vyAkyanam

nIyanRE nIr Erru ulagam adi aLandhAy – was it not you who went as a mendicant to mahAbali to take as alms the worlds which are your possessions, stretched out your hand to accept water that he poured, and measured the worlds with your divine feet! Did I carry out this task? Or did indhra carry out this?

nIyanRE ninRu nirai mEyththAy – was it not you who incarnated as krishNa [in the clan of cowherds] and followed the cows with a stick in hand in order to graze them! Did I carry out this activity or did someone else do this?

nIyanRE mAvAy uram piLandhu – was it not you who tore the mouth of kESi, the demon, who came in the form of a horse! (mA vAy uram piLandhu – he tore the mouth of kESi such that the strength of the mouth was demolished) That he carried out that task effortlessly when he went to graze the cows is mentioned here.

mAmarudhin Udu pOy – when two demons, yamaLa and arjuna, stood in the form of two huge arjuna trees, you crawled in between the two trees and uprooted them, thus escaping from that danger too.

dhEvAsuram porudhAy seRRu – was it only the insentient entities that you destroyed? Did you not destroy the sentient enemies too? When a war broke out between the celestial and demonic entities, was it not you who engaged in the battle, destroying the demons? But then, is it not mentioned that it was only Siva who burnt the three towns? It does not appear that way to AzhwAr. Just as it is mentioned in mahAbhAratham karNa parvam 29 “vishNurAthmA bhagavatha: bhavasyAmitha thasmAth thanurjyAsamsarkkam sa vishEhE mahESvara:” ((during the time of burning the three towns) vishNu remained as antharAthmA (the indwelling soul) of Siva, who has unlimited radiance and is venerable. It is because of this that Siva had the capability to draw the bow), since emperumAn is the antharyAmi (indwelling soul) of all entities, it was emperumAn who carried out this task too, says AzhwAr.

We will take up the 49th pAsuram next.

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mUnRAm thiruvandhAdhi – 47 – ninRa perumAnE

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avathArikai

AzhwAr says that it is emperumAn, who fulfilled the desires of celestial entities, who also removes the enemies of lowly entities such as ourselves and makes us his servitors.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

ninRa perumAnE nIrERRu ulagellAm
senRa perumAnE sengaNNA anRu
thuragavAy kINda thuzhAy mudiyAy nangaL
naragavAy kINdAyum nI

Word by Word Meanings

nIr ERRu ninRa perumAnE – Oh emperumAn, who stood near mahAbali to take the water as symbolic of taking alms!
ulagu ellAm senRa perumAnE – Oh emperumAn who measured all the worlds!
sem kaNNA – Oh one who has lotus like eyes!
anRu – at an earlier point of time
thuragam – the demon kEsi who took the form of a horse
vAy – his mouth
kINda – one who tore it and killed the demon
thuzhAy mudiyAy – Oh one who wears the thuLasi garland on top of your crown!
nangaL – our
naragam vAy – way to samsAram which is like hell for us
kINdAyum nI – was it not you alone who destroyed this also!

vyAkyanam

ninRa perumAnE nIrERRuemperumAn, who is avApthasamastha kAman (one who has all his desires already fulfilled), went to mahAbali and stretched his hand towards him for taking water, which is symbolic of accepting alms from him.

ninRa perumAnE – one who stood as thrivikrama, manifesting his supremacy, after receiving alms.

ulagellAm senRa perumAnE – As soon as mahAbali poured water on his hand, he grew to make it appear that he himself is all the worlds, and measured the worlds. He stood such that he is the possessor of all the worlds!

sengaNNA – his eyes became red due to the happiness of having removed the shortcoming of indhra!

anRu thuraga vAy kINda thuzhAy mudiyAy – when the demon kESi came in the form of a horse, emperumAn killed him without his decorations getting disturbed. It is implied that the ring of thuLasi which was adorning his divine crown did not change position even a little bit when he killed kESi.

nangaL naraga vAy kINdAyum nI – For the one who tore apart the mouth of hell for us (samsAram), is it a wonder that you tore the mouth of kESi! For those with superior knowledge (of emperumAn) life in samsAram is the true hell. Did not sIthAppirAtti tell SrI rAma in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 30-18 “nirayO yasthvayA vinA” (being separated from you is hell)!

We will move on to the 48th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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mUnRAm thiruvandhAdhi – 46 – malai mugadu

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avathArikai

AzhwAr says that emperumAn who has taken residence at thirumalai, close to us, will also fulfil the desires of those who desire other benefits.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

malai mugadu mEl vaiththu vAsugiyaich chuRRi
thalai mugadu thAnoru kai paRRi alai mugattu
aNdam pOy nIr theRippa anRu kadal kadaindhAn
piNdamAy ninRa pirAn

Word by Word Meanings

piNdam Ay ninRa pirAn – emperumAn who is the material cause [for the creation of the worlds]
anRu – once upon a time
mugadu malai – the mountain mantharam with peaks
mEl vaiththu – keeping it atop (himself in the form of tortoise)
vAsugaiyaich chuRRi – coiling the snake vAsugi (around that mountain as rope for churning)
thalai mugadu – the tallest peak [of mantharam]
thAn oru kai paRRi – holding it with one of his hands
alai mugattu nIr – the droplets of water on top of the waves
aNdam pOy theRippa – to hit against the walls of the universe
kadal kadaindhAn – he churned the ocean

vyAkyanam

malai mugadu mEl vaiththu – keeping the mountain mantharam with its tall peak on top of himself (in the form of kUrma, tortoise)

vAsugiyaich chuRRi – coiling the snake vAsugi around the middle of mantharam as a rope for churning [the ocean].

thalai mugadu thAn oru kai paRRi – just as he took the form of a tortoise and sat under the mountain so that it would not sink during the churning process, emperumAn pressed his hand on top of the peak to support it so that the mountain will not get toppled over during the churning process.

alai mugattu nIr theRippa anRu kadal kadaindhAn – he churned the ocean such vigor that the water droplets on top of the waves went all the way to the walls of the universe and banged against them.

Who is the entity who churned the ocean such that the water from the waves hit against the walls of the universe?

piNdamAy ninRa pirAn – the one who is the cause (for all these – the world, ocean, mountain etc). Just as clay, which is the previous state for pot, lid etc, is the cause for these products, emperumAn is the cause for the worlds. mahOpanishath states “EkO ha vai nArAyaNa AsIth” (only nArAyaNa was present before creation).

pirAn – one who is the benefactor. When the worlds, which are the resultant factors, were destroyed and he alone remained, he is the benefactor who created these again so that they will reap the benefits. He is the one who is affectionate towards the worlds which he created.

piNdamAy ninRa pirAn – should not the father, who sired the children, provide for their sustenance? He churned the oceans only for that and gave nectar [to celestial entities].

pirAn – while he could have carried out the task of protecting the worlds through his mere sankalpa (vow/will/thought), did he not churn the ocean, hurting his divine form in the bargain! AzhwAr engages with this characteristic of emperumAn saying “How is this simplicity!”

We will take up the 47th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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mUnRAm thiruvandhAdhi – 45 – purindhu madha vEzham

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avathArikai

After saying in the previous pAsuram “pala kadhirgaL pAriththa paimpon mudiyAn” that he is the lord of paramapadham, AzhwAr wants to attain him; if he were to attain him, he has to see him! But then, will emperumAn become so very simple that we could see him? AzhwAr says that only to remove that shortcoming, he has taken residence, close to us, at thirumalai, as a simple entity, so that we could see him with our eyes.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

purindhu madha vEzham mAppidiyOdUdith
thirindhu sinaththAl porudhu virindha sIr
veNkOttu muththu udhirkkum vEngadamE mElorunAl
maNkOttuk koNdAn malai

Word by Word Meanings

madha vEzham – male elephant which is in exultation
mA pidiyOdu – with its great female elephant
purindhu – engaging in union
Udi – (after that) engaging in love-quarrel
thirindhu – (due to that separating from its female and) wandering
sinaththAl porudhu – hitting (against gem rocks) in anger
virindha sIr – having the wealth of valour
veN kOdu – from its white tusks
muththu – pearls
udhirkkum – will shed
vEngadamE – thirumalai hills
mEl oru nAL – at an earlier point of time

(in the form of varAha, wild boar)
maN – earth
kOdu – on its tusks
koNdAn – one who had it
malai – divine hills

vyAkyanam

madha vEzham – an exulting elephant

mAppidiyOdu Udi – engaging in love-quarrel with its female elephant, knowing well that the female is capable of making it (the male elephant) carry out tasks that it thinks.

purindhu – after the love quarrel, engaging in union

thirundhu – the male elephant will wander about as a result of its pride over that union

Udi mAppidiyOdu – the greatness of the female was the cause for the male to engage in love-quarrel.

thirindhu – wandering in orchards

sinaththAl porudhu – looking at its own shadow on the rocks, mistaking the shadow for another elephant, it will become angry and hit against the rocks. It will remain in that posture to manifest its valour fully.

There is another way to interpret the meaning:

madhavEzham mAppidiyOdu purindhu Udi – the male elephant will engage in love-quarrel after its union with the female.

thirindhu sinaththAl porudhu – because of that quarrel, the male elephant will wander here and there and hit against the gem rocks in the hills. Just as it has been mentioned in SrI bhagavath gIthA 2-62kAmAth krOdhObhijAyathE” (infatuation gives birth to anger), hitting against the rocks due to that anger.

virindha sIr – the valour which the elephant had because of hitting [against the rocks] like this. Just as sIthAppirAtti happily embraced SrI rAma after seeing his valour when he killed demons such as kara , dhUsha et al, the female elephant would put an end to the love quarrel and embrace the male elephant.

virindha sIr veNkOttu muththu udhirkkumnanjIyar, the AchArya of nampiLLai [who has written this commentary] would mercifully say: it is that thirumalai where the elephant which has wealth of valour would shed pearls formed in its tusks [from hitting against the gem rocks].

mEl oru nAL maN kOttuk koNdAn – isn’t thirumalai, which has such benefits, the land which is the dwelling place of one who once upon a time dug out the earth and kept in on his tusks! It is the hill belonging to emperumAn when he took the form of SrI varAha [wild boar] and held bhUmip pirAtti (earth) on his tusks. The elephants in thirumalai complement the divine form of SrI varAha. The act of elephant in exultation, hitting against the gem rock with the pride of valour and shedding pearls from its tusks reminds one of the act of SrI varAha in digging out earth and sustaining her on his tusks. thirumangai AzhwAr too has mercifully mentioned in periya thirumozhi 3-4-3 “varAhamonRAy maNNellAm idandheduththu madhangaL seydhu” (digging out earth as the unique varAha and engaging in exultation with pride).

malai – just as one says that he has this mountain, this itself is his wealth.

We will take up the 46th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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mUnRAm thiruvandhAdhi – 44 – ulagum ulagiRandha

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avathArikai

AzhwAr implores his heart to attain emperumAn who is the lord of both vibhUthis.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

ulagamum ulagaiRandha Uzhiyum oNkEzh
alar kadhirum sendhIyumAvAn palakadhirgaL
pAriththa paimpon mudiyAn adi iNaikkE
pUriththen nenjE puri

Word by Word Meanings

en nenjE – Oh my heart!
ulagamum – the worlds
Uzhiyum – deluge
Azhiyum – the oceans
oN kEzh alar kadhirum – moon and sun who have beautiful colour and radiant rays
sem thIyum – fire with reddish colour
AvAn – one who has all the above as his attributes
pala kadhirgaL pAriththa – one who lets go of many rays
paimpon mudiyAn – emperumAn who has golden hued locks
adi iNaikkE – for his divine feet
pUriththu puri – desire wholeheartedly.

vyAkyanam

ulagamum – all the worlds

Uzhiyum – the remaining period after all the entities have been destroyed

Azhiyum – oceans

oN kEzh alar kadhirum – moon and sun who have beautiful coloured radiant rays. We can also construe the meaning as beautifully blooming sun and moon.

sendhIyum AvAn – emperumAn, apart from all the above mentioned entities,  is also fire which is reddish. He has all these as his attributes. Thus, it is opined here that all the worlds are part of emperumAn’s form.

pala kadhirgaL pAriththa paimpon mudiyAn – this describes his status in paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam). Just as it is mentioned in SrI bhagavath gIthA 11-12dhivi sUryasya bhavEth yugapadhuththithA yadhi bhA: sadhruSI sA syAth bhAsas thasya mahAthmana:” (if a thousand suns rise in the sky together, the combined brightness of all these may probably match the radiance of paramAthmA (emperumAn)), one who has a beautiful crown which emits the radiance of hundreds of thousands of suns.

paimpon mudi – the locks which are brighter than dhivi sUrya mentioned in the previous paragraph. There is no equivalent for this.

adi iNaikkE – his two divine feet which match each other totally.

pUriththu en nenjE puri – AzhwAr tells his heart to attain completely with happiness, just like people who are riding on top of elephant will be.

pUriththu – AzhwAr implores his heart to attain emperumAn to get rid of the sorrows of having forgotten him for a very long time.

paimpon mudi – even as we sight his divine crown, we would feel like falling at his divine feet. Thus, his divine crown lets the beholder to fall at the divine feet. Azhwar tells his heart to know that emperumAn is the only entity who is apt for carrying out our tasks and tells it to fall at emperumAn’s divine feet, entrusting him with all the responsibility and be like one who has completed the assigned task.

We will take up the 45th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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mUnRAm thiruvandhAdhi – 43 – sinamA madhakaLiRRin

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avathArikai

AzhwAr wonders whether emperumAn protected only one prahlAdha. He says that when the danger crosses limits, doesn’t he protect everyone by keeping everyone inside him! Aren’t the worlds existing merely by his sankalpam (will)!

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

sinamA madhakaLiRRin thiN maruppaich chAyththu
punamEya bhUmi adhanai dhanamAgap
pEragalaththuLLodukkum pErAra mArvanAr
OragalathuL uLLadhu ulagu

Word by Word Meanings

sinam mA madha – being angry and having huge exultation
kaLiRRin – the elephant (kuvalayApIdam)
thiN maruppai – its strong tusks
sAyththu – one who broke it
punam mEya – being together with arable land
bhUmi adhanai – the earth
dhanam Aga – considering it as a gift
pEr agalaththuL odukkum – one who protected by keeping in his expansive stomach
pEr Aram mArvanAr – emperumAn, who has donned huge chains on his chest, his
Or agalaththu – in a part of his knowledge, which is in sankalparUpam (in the form of his will or solemn vow)
ulagu uLLadhu – all the worlds are existing

vyAkyanam

sina mA madha kaLiRRin thiN maruppaich chAyththu – breaking the tusks of the elephant kuvalayApIdam which was angry, huge, in exultation and not knowing what is going on around it; snatching it effortlessly.

punamEya bhUmi adhanai – the earth which has arable land, which could be enjoyed by the sentient entities [by cultivating]

dhanamAga – considering it as a wealth

bhUmiyadhanaith thanamAga – did he not protect earth which has forests and streams [implying ups and downs or in other words, rough terrain] as a great wealth!

pEragalaththu uL odukkum – one who has the ability to protect it inside his stomach which [stomach] is so huge that even after keeping these worlds inside his stomach, it could be said that there was still a lot of space.

pEr Ara mArvanAr – even when he swallows all the worlds, he does it so capably that his decorations do not get disturbed. His qualities are also equally beautiful. It is implied here that even as he protected the worlds which were his possessions, it appeared that he had decked himself up with ornaments out of that happiness.

Or agalaththuL uLLadhu ulagu – the worlds are in his incomparable, immeasurable sankalpa (will / thought). We can also construe that the worlds are in the memory of his knowledge which is in the form of his will. While he can protect the worlds through his mere thoughts, the fact that he physically carried out the act by keeping them in his stomach indicates the affection that he has for his followers.

We will take up the 44th pAsuram next.

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